|How Many Americans Have a Passport? The Percentages, State by State by Colin Grey|
Federal audits accuse top five mortgage firms of defrauding taxpayers:
The audits accuse the five major lenders of violating the False Claims Act, a Civil War-era law crafted as a weapon against firms that swindle the government. The audits were completed between February and March, the sources said. The internal watchdog office at HUD referred its findings to the Department of Justice, which must now decide whether to file charges.Eating incompetence:
The federal audits mark the latest fallout from the national foreclosure crisis that followed the end of a long-running housing bubble. Amid reports last year that many large lenders improperly accelerated foreclosure proceedings by failing to amass required paperwork, the federal agencies launched their own probes.
“Most fat people do not binge eat, and many binge eaters are not obese. Conflating compulsive overeating with fatness is not just inaccurate, it can be dangerous. Fat people going to doctors for non-eating-related complaints may be told to stop binge eating, even if they don’t binge eat. (I have been.) And thinner people who do experience binge eating — which is a type of eating that is not exactly optional, voluntary, pleasant, and definitely not the result of gluttony, greed, or general immorality — may go undiagnosed and untreated.”5 Things Progressives Should Do—and Not Do:
#1 Don’t talk, write or argue about Obama, who has proved himself irrelevant to the progressive project, no matter how narrowly that project is defined. Similarly, don’t conflate progressives with Democrats, since the latter category prominently includes Obama.Very short but poignant post!
Presenting the Interesting Man's Guide To Penning That Privilege-Based Rape Apology:
Ahh, the vita is always dolce when you are an Interesting Man. And rape? This is not a crime that Interesting Men dismiss out of hand, necessarily. But it's a tawdry and declasse sort of thing that happens to downmarket people. It's not supposed to rile up the lives of the world's elite. Game recognizes game, after all. And shame? That's for lesser people. And so while it can be acknowledged that the possibility exists that DSK is the perpetrator of a crime (Levy: "I do not know what actually happened." Stein: "...it's possible indeed, maybe even likely, that he is guilty as the prosecutors charge."), the important thing to do right now is remind the world that in this life, Interesting Men are never supposed to experience shame, let alone experience it publicly. Isn't that the greater indignity?This post is about Bernard-Henri Levy and Ben Stein's defense of would-be French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn who is accused of raping a hotel maid. One of the more amusing posts I've read in a while.
The good news for Interesting Men is that they need never again spend too much time wondering how to defend their fellows from such base charges, as Levy and Stein have discovered the formula by which such a defense can be mounted.
Confronting the Mass Incarceration Mindset:
Mass incarceration is not just about the number of people actually behind bars. It’s also about a cultural mindset that turns to the criminal justice system—either literally or as a model—as the first response to almost any problem or disruption, even something so minor as a schoolchild’s misbehavior. In his book Governing through Crime (Oxford, 2007), Berkeley law professor Jonathan Simon argues that over the past 40 years, our society has reconceptualized virtually every social problem—extreme poverty, educational inequality, mental illness, undocumented migration, etc.—through the lens of crime, creating a culture of fear in which every citizen is defined first and foremost as a victim. At the same time, this culture also defines certain members of our society as criminals—everywhere they go.Great read.
If Democrats are the big spenders, why do Republican states get the money?
The "red" states up in arms about government spending receive the largest share of it. This is not a new finding, but research by economist Gary Richardson at the University of California-Irvine backs it up. Richardson provides insight into how the paradox came about and what it means for the future.This post is from December, but I thought it was really interesting.
It isn't surprising that the more Republican a state leans, the more likely it is to be furious about government spending. But what is surprising is that states with the highest anti-spending sentiment appear to be the largest beneficiaries of government spending. Not only do red states swallow the lion's share of government spending, but Richardson found a linear relationship between the extent of GOP support in a state—and, by implication, the fervor of its anti-government sentiment—and the amount of federal largesse the state receives.
Ron Paul "It's Only Been In RECENT Years That We've Been Bogged Down In This War on Drugs:"
Breakdown of Netanyahu's Appearance in US Congress:
John Kriesel: This Amendment Does Not Represent What I fought For:
1. Kathy Hochul won the special election in New York's 26th district. You would think the GOP could figure out how ridiculous it is to come out against Medicare by now. That saying about insanity and expecting different results with the same action comes to mind.
2. A new Gallup poll shows that for the first time ever more Americans support legalizing same sex marriage.
Eric Cantor saying disaster relief has to be offset by other spending cuts before it can be approved:
Of course a program for green energy gets cut. Never waste a national disaster eh? You can see some pictures of the tornado aftermath here. It's completely devastating.
“The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied…but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.” — John Berger