Monday, July 29, 2013


Thematic Photographic 254 - Signs of the times

Lots of signs, cops, trouble. Not unusual for this spot.

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Not Happy, Still Crappy

Big Papi: Not Happy

Our Politicians: Still Crappy

Digby, re: The NSA and Saxby

Austerity is no longer the new black, notes Duncan Black.

When you hear the words "Public-Private Partnership", watch your back.

Why hang chads when you could hang an Admiral instead?

And here are the Ramones!

Cross-posted at Whiskey Fire.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fireworks Orbs

My 2nd Blurred Vision post:

In other news, BDR has been having some trouble with Google. So his new place is on the blogroll, along with the old one (in hopes that the old one will be reborn). Also, he has a Wordpress blog.

(Fool me a hundred times, google, shame on you...can't get fooled again.)

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blurry Picture

Carmi's Thematic Photographic 253 is Blurred Vision.

Here we have a nice sharp picture of the leaf behind carpenter bee's shoulder. NOT what I was trying for.

There have been very few butterflies around Columbus this summer. But this Black Swallowtail stayed still for a picture.

Downtown Columbus at twilight:

P.S. Here's a pic I saw at Naked Capitalism.

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Better Than Ezra

Here's a Wonkblog post about the Administration's efforts to further screw the American worker:

How Congress might have already tied Obama’s hands in trade negotiations

Quoted in the post are:

James Bacchus, a former member of Congress who served as a judge at the World Trade Organization and now chairs Greenberg Traurig’s global trade practice.

Thomas Bollyky, a former negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative who’s now at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Stanford professor Judith Goldstein, who calls this emerging dynamic (foes of granting fast-track authority) a “Baptist-bootlegger coalition.”

Chris Wenk, the Chamber of Commerce’s point person on trade issues.

And just one opponent: Lori Wallach of Public Citizen. Even the caption "Obama needs leverage with the Europeans. Congress could help." is slanted in favor of granting fast track authority to get these trade deals done.

So here's Dean Baker:
Of course there is no reason the deals have to be complicated. If the trade deals focused on removing traditional trade barriers such as tariffs and quotas, there would not be "a zillion different interests and moving parts." There would be some formulaic wording written into the agreement that specified the rate at which these restrictions would be pared back.

The reason there are a zillion moving parts is because the Obama administration went to the oil and gas industries to ask how they can use the trade agreement to get around environmental restrictions on drilling. It went to the food and agricultural industries to ask how they could get around food safety rules. It went to the pharmaceutical industry to ask it how it can use these deals to increase patent protections and jack up drug prices. It went to the entertainment industry and asked how it can use these deals to strengthen copyright enforcement and require Internet intermediaries to take responsibility (and incurr expenses) to help enforce copyrights.
Note: The Wonkblog post was written by Lydia DePillis, not Ezra Klein. However, I wanted an excuse to put up this youtuber.

NAFTA was begun by President G.H.W. Bush, and finished by Bill Clinton.

"First of all, because NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement." - Bill Clinton, September 14, 1993

"In a few moments, I will sign the North American free trade act into law. NAFTA will tear clown trade barriers between our three nations. It will create the world's largest trade zone and create 200,000 jobs in this country by 1995 alone. The environmental and labor side agreements negotiated by our administration will make this agreement a force for social progress as well as economic growth. Already the confidence we've displayed by ratifying NAFTA has begun to bear fruit. We are now making real progress toward a worldwide trade agreement so significant that it could make the material gains of NAFTA for our country look small by comparison." - Bill Clinton, December 8, 1993

So what happened? "As of 2010, U.S. trade deficits with Mexico totaling $97.2 billion had displaced 682,900 U.S. jobs. Of those jobs, 116,400 are likely economy-wide job losses because they were displaced between 2007 and 2010, when the U.S. labor market was severely depressed." - Robert E. Scott, Economic Policy Institute, May 3, 2011

Similarly, it was G.W. Bush who began Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. And neither the results of NAFTA nor five years of high unemployment due to the financial meltdown have dissuaded our President Hope and Change from pursuing "NAFTA on steroids" one iota. Serving "our" multinational corporations by screwing the American worker has been bipartisan ever since 3rd Way corporatists captured the Democratic party.

Cross-posted at Whiskey Fire. Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Columbus Clouds and Duckling Update

Carmi's Thematic Photographic 252 is Cloudspotting

Critters? Of course!

Common Whitetail, Plathemis lydia

And guess who still has nine ducklings?


Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Moonflowers Are Back

(My 2nd Thematic Photographic 251 post.)

They get cut down to the ground every year...and every year they come right back.

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Growing and Not Grown

Thematic Photographic 251 - Grown
Some things are growin' on this tree!

This tiny mouse isn't grown enough to know: 1) People are scary, 2) mousies shouldn't come out in the daytime, and 3) what various sidewalk weeds taste like (thus each must be sampled).

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ducklings in Schiller Park II

It's that time of year again...

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Froth of July

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Any justice for Sunny Sheu?

How about Donald Siegelman?

John Kiriakou?

At least President Hopey's DOJ is working out nicely for the people who paid for his election.
As head of the Securities and Exchange Commission for the past four years, Mary Schapiro failed to win a major civil action against any Wall Street executive connected to what may be the worst financial fraud in history, the subprime-mortgage scam that led to the 2008 crash.

As head of the Justice Department’s criminal division for the past four years, Lanny Breuer failed to accomplish the same with criminal action. And now both are headed back over to the other side: deep-pocketed firms that earn their keep largely from Wall Street. In Schapiro’s case, that’s Promontory Financial Group, which advises financial firms on regulation; in Breuer’s, it’s Covington & Burling, a major law firm that defends financial clients.

Monday, July 1, 2013

In Rough Shape and Exotic Columbus Animals

Thematic Photographic 250 - In rough shape

A squirrel! And a sparrow!

Mouse over pics for captions, and click them for larger versions.