Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Republicans Caused The Great Recession. Feeling They Have Not Done Enough Damage They're About to Cause The Great Recession Part Two

Republicans Caused The Great Recession. Feeling They Have Not Done Enough Damage They're About to Cause The Great Recession Part Two

Republicans have been playing a double game with the debt limit debate. On one hand, it’s hard to imagine GOP members of Congress actually blocking a measure that would raise the debt ceiling, because that would lead to sudden, dramatic reductions [1] in government functions: there might not be money for Social Security payments, Medicare checks, military salaries and more. Worse, confidence in US Treasury bills would be seriously wounded if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2, meaning economic catastrophe [2]. Voters would blame Republicans for this economic catastrophe, polls [3] show, and House Speaker John Boehner was warned [4] by Wall Street executives in no uncertain terms that he could not allow this situation to occur.

At the very same time, this nightmare scenario is the only leverage Republicans have in the debt ceiling debate. They’re asking for a whole host of policy changes—from dramatic spending cuts [5] to radical changes [6] to entitlement programs—that would otherwise be non-starters with Democrats in Congress and the White House, but Republicans are refusing to vote for a debt limit increase unless these policy changes are approved. “I must be convinced we have wrung every nickel of spending out of this,” Representative Michael Burgess told [7] World Net Daily.

So far the strategy has worked well for Republicans. Bipartisan talks between the administration and House majority leader Eric Cantor produced tentative agreements to cut $1 trillion [8] from the budget, with Vice President Joe Biden saying [9] he believed the cuts would total as much as $4 trillion. A mandatory and enforceable spending cap may be enacted [10]. Democrats are insisting that tax increases be part of the deal—but only 17 percent [8] of it. The tax increases are targeted to particularly egregious areas, like ending exemptions for private jets or changing rules that allow hedge fund managers to count their income as capital gains, and even though the Bush tax cuts are the number-one [11] driver of the debt, the White House will not insist [12] that a deal that repeals or changes them.

Meanwhile, Obama and Boehner are photographed [13] playing a friendly, back-slapping round of golf. Nothing to see here, folks—the US government is functioning properly.

But over the past week, several GOP actors have upped the ante and painted a very different picture of a government that might not actually be able to solve this problem. And there are potentially serious consequences to this shift.

Not satisfied with having even 17 percent of the debt ceiling deal include tax increases, Cantor and Sen. Jon Kyl walked out [14] of the bipartisan meetings with Biden. Meanwhile, SenatorJim DeMint, who holds powerful sway in the Senate, has said he simply doesn’t believe [15] that the debt ceiling needs to be raised by August 2. This opinion is shared by leaders [16] of national Tea Party organizations and presidential candidate Representative Michele Bachmann [17]. DeMint also says the only acceptable outcome is the passage [18] of a balanced budget amendment, an extreme request that’s almost certain to be left unfulfilled.

This is where the political theatre is getting more dangerous every day. There are serious risks attached to even the appearance that a deal may not happen. As Jared Bernstein explains [19] at his blog, the Treasury Department is currently selling bonds to investors with a relatively low 2.93 percent interest rate. Investors feel comfortable with the low yield because they remain confident that the Treasury bonds are a safe investment. But if that confidence is shaken, investors may demand more, and Bernstein speculates that Treasury might have to add half of a percentage point to the interest rate.

If investors begin to lose confidence in US Treasury bonds like this, there could be serious economic consequences at home, as lending would become even more difficult. At the very least, if the interest rate we’re paying out on Treasury bonds goes up a half-percentage point, that means $50 billion more in annual debt servicing costs—and yes, this would increase the debt and deficit even further.

It’s a bewildering situation. Republicans, who recently voted for a Ryan budget that increases [20] the debt by trillions, are demanding a debt reduction deal that ignores the largest driver of debt—the Bush tax cuts—and the theatrical process they are using to get what they want may itself end up increasing the debt by $50 billion per year.

There may be a deal in the end. But with every passing day of threats and theatrics, the risks get bigger, the debt may get larger, and confidence in the American political system shrinks—with good reason.

[1] Limit Myth v Fact FINAL.pdf
Republicans were willing to increase the deficit - shown by two House votes for the Ryan Plan. Now they say they will accept nothing but spending cuts to balance the budget. In other words Republicans are once again showing their deeply anti-American stripes, the kind of fake patriotism Washington warned us about. Unless programs they have always hated such as Medicare, Social Security, education and just about every other program that keeps seniors and children out of bone grinding poverty are gutted- conservatives are willing to blow up the economy one more time. Republicans might be patriots, we just do not know which country they are patriots of.

John Quincy Adams Wikipedia Page Edited by Bachmann Wing-nuts To Describe Him As A ‘Founding Father’

Monday, June 27, 2011

Historically a Key Component of Fascism is Crony Corporatism. Wanker Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Defends Crony Corporate Welfare

Historically a Key Component of Fascism is Crony Corporatism. Anti-American Wanker Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Defends Crony Corporate Welfare

Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) argued that budget talks should not include the reduction of oil and gas subsidies. Kyl, who abandoned budget negotiations with the White House this week, claimed that eliminating $2 billion in annual subsidies for the richest oil companies — instead of slashing programs that feed the poor and protect the middle class — would “hurt the American consumer”:

First of all, if you want gas prices to rise and pay more than $4 at the pump, go ahead and do this. That is not what we should be about right now. That kind of tax increase is going to flow right to the consumer. Everybody knows that. Secondly, you are picking out one industry in the United States, an industry that employs almost 10 million people, represents 7.5% of the Gross Domestic Product. You’re saying to them you are not going to get the same tax treatment that all other manufacturing corporations get in the United States. So we’re going to punish you, because you make a lot of money. It’s also true with those big profits, they have enormous costs of investment. Of course, you covered the issue of how much it costs to put one of those platforms out in the middle of Gulf of Mexico. Billions of dollars. Big money all the way around. You’ll hurt the American consumer if you impose more taxes on them.

Kyl is not telling the truth about oil and gas subsidies:

Eliminating Oil Subsidies Won’t Raise Gas Prices. Eliminating Big Oil’s subsidies would have very little effect on gas prices. The subsidies have little to no influence on the investment decisions oil companies make, especially with the price of oil around $100 a barrel. Instead, the tax breaks simply pad oil profits, and are funneled into “obscene” executive pay schemes and shareholder payoffs. Even the American Petroleum Institute, which opposes cutting the subsidies, has admitted that eliminating subsidies wouldn’t affect gas prices.

The Oil And Gas Industry Employs About 700,000 Americans, Not “Almost 10 Million”. A report prepared for the American Petroleum Institute in 2009 estimated the the oil and gas industry involves only 2.1 million direct jobs with 7.1 million indirect and induced jobs. But even the 2.1 million jobs figure is grossly inflated. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, oil and gas drilling — the industries directly affected by most of these subsidies — only employed 63,012 jobs in September 2009, the most recent reporting period. U.S. Department of Labor 2007 statistics indicate the drilling and production of oil and natural gas, plus support activities directly account for 425,025 jobs. If sectors such as oil refineries and natural gas distribution are included, even though they are unaffected by drilling subsidies, the total increases to 743,825 jobs. According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data from 2009, the drilling and production of oil and natural gas directly generates 799,100 jobs.

Taxes aren’t dollars that disappear, and the payment of taxes isn’t a punishment for successful businesses, like the oil industry that gets over $7 billion in subsidies a year, far more than the Obama administration has proposed cutting. Taxes paid go back into the American economy, supporting the long-term investments that make the United States the richest nation on earth.

For example, taxes support public universities like Arizona State, where Kyl earned his bachelor’s and law degree. Taxes pay for the electoral system that Kyl joined as a member of Congress in 1986, where he has been taxpayer-funded ever since. Then again, Kyl has also directly received $333,332 from the oil and gas industry in political contributions over his career. Maybe he is just concerned about protecting his own personal oil and gas subsidies, which he receives on top of his taxpayer salary.

Kyl is the kind of corrupt anti-American assclown that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton warned us about. Kyl is simply a criminal who does not care how much he weakens America or the economy as long as he and his fellow criminals have fat bank accounts.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Andrew Breitbart's Favorite Conservative Pimp James O'Keefe accepted $100 from a man who claimed to be a crack pipe dealer

Andrew Breitbart's Favorite Conservative Pimp James O'Keefe accepted $100 from a man who claimed to be a crack pipe dealer

Conservative media prankster James O'Keefe accepted $100 from a man who claimed to be a crack pipe dealer during the RightOnline conference, according to a report in the notorious Buffalo Beast.

Of course, the man wasn't really a crack pipe salesman: he's Ian Murphy, the gonzo journalist who posed as billionaire David Koch in a phone call with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

In his latest coup, Murphy set up a fake conservative persona named Jay Mitchell Huntsman, after an alias used by the famous con-man James Hogue, then went trotting about the RightOnline conference in Minneapolis apparently out of curiosity.

His claim to fame: a fake conservative blog Murphy called Eagles, Guns & Eagle-Guns.

Then, he spotted O'Keefe. Playing off the fanboy angle, Murphy writes that he offered to buy him a meal, which O'Keefe accepted. As they walked together, Murphy told him about the Eagle-Guns blog, which O'Keefe pulled up on his phone.

"So you’re in construction?” he reportedly asked, looking at Murphy's fake profile.

"Right," he replied. "But that’s not where I get most of my money…”

That's when it all unraveled. Murphy explained that he invested in a company that sells small glass tubes to convenience stores in low income, mainly black areas.

"Yeah, the–the blacks buy them together, remove the rose, insert the steel wool and use them to smoke crack…I figure it’s OK because they’re black and it’s, strictly speaking, not a crack pipe–but they are crack pipes," Murphy said.

That was apparently enough to convince O'Keefe to bolt, declining the free meal -- but before he could go, Murphy offered him $100 and urged him to "get yourself something good."

"And he fucking took it," Murphy wrote. "He took my crack pipe money, slipped it in his coat pocket, shook my hand and bolted back the way we came. I rode the elevator down to the first floor, cackling like an absolute madman. Best hundo I’ve ever spent."

Raw Story reached out to O'Keefe for comment, but had not received a reply at time of this story's publication.
O'Keefe will not have meal with a guy who makes thinly disguised crack pipes but he will take his money. Nothing strange about that really. Conservatives have those deeply relativistic morals that can be twisted anyway they like. usually in away that puts money in their pocket.

Jon Stewart 1, Politifact 0: Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed

Fox Panel Teams Up To Promote A Bushel Of Misinformation On Health Care Reform.
When your lies don't fly the first time, don't apologize, just try again. Its the Fox News mantra.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fox Tweeting Falsehoods About ACORN After it Was Found O'Keefe and Breitbart Were the Liars

Fox News Tweet Du Jour: The Bolling ACORN Doesn’t Fall Far From The Fox News Tree

Remember ACORN? Sadly, the advocate group for poor and disadvantaged ‘Merkins was utterly destroyed by the deceptively edited ‘Pimp & Ho’ videos created by James O’Keefe and disseminated by Andrew Breitbart. Once Fox News started running the videos, it was all over. Lawmakers quickly defunded the group, based on no more evidence than these bogus videos. This forced ACORN to declare bankruptcy in November of last year. Yet, investigation after investigation has exonerated ACORN and pointed the finger at James “Pimp” O’Keefe. In fact, just this week the Government Accounting Office weighed in after an extensive investigation. According to, “GAO Finds Little to Support Congress' Abolition of ACORN.” You’d think that based on all the investigations concluding ACORN engaged in no wrong-doing that Fox News would stop denigrating the organization. However, you’d be wrong.

However, an advantage of Twitter is that one can engage in discussions with people in real time. That’s why I posed the following question to Mr. Bolling:

' investigations have cleared acorn'

I’ll let you know if I ever get a reply, although I don’t really expect one.

Just to remind you who got screwed, here’s ACORN’s Mission Statement:

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) aims to organize a majority consituency of low- to moderate-income people across the United States. The members of ACORN take on issues of relevance to their communities, whether those issues are discrimination, affordable housing, a quality education, or better public services. ACORN believes that low- to moderate-income people are the best advocates for their communities, and so ACORN's low- to moderate-income members act as leaders, spokespeople, and decision-makers within the organization.
Conservatives are about as afraid of ACORN as they are of brown people. It's Not Just Race: Fox's Bolling Has A Long History Of False Claims, Inflammatory Rhetoric

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stalinist Conservative Jerk of the Week - Maine Republican Chairman Charlie Webster

Maine Republican Chairman Charlie Webster : We can't let people vote so Democrats can't 'steal elections'

There's one thing that the modern-day GOP and teabaggers have in common with our founding fathers: the idea that voting should be restricted to the "right" people, the people who "deserve" to have a say in how government functions. If they had their way, only white, landed, middle-aged and older men would vote. They're doing their damnedest to figure out how to make that happen.

For nearly four decades, Maine has been one of eight states which provides same-day voter registration to voters at the polls. This policy of enfranchising the greatest number of Maine voters is likely to end, however, now that the GOP-controlled state legislature has passed a bill ending same-day registration and Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage is expected to sign it. Worse, state GOP Chairman Charlie Webster explained it was necessary to disenfranchise the thousands of Maine voters who take advantage of same-day registration every election year in order to save Maine from one of his paranoid fantasies:

“If you want to get really honest, this is about how the Democrats have managed to steal elections from Maine people,” Webster told a columnist for the Portland Press Herald in a piece published Friday. “Many of us believe that the Democrats intentionally steal elections.”

Sadly, Maine’s voter disenfranchisement bill is only the latest example of the Republican war on voting that began almost immediately after the GOP took over several statehouses this year. Numerous GOP state legislatures have rammed through “voter ID” laws which disenfranchise thousands of elderly, disabled, and low-income voters. Republicans typically justify these voter disenfranchisement laws by claiming that they are necessary to combat voter fraud at the polls, but in-person voter fraud is only slightly more common than unicorns.

Democrats "steal" elections when more people vote. Fewer people voting, fewer elected Democrats. Never mind that whole democracy thing.
Conservatism by definition is to sign up to be a paranoid loon - In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud

Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.
Republicans simply hate the fact that voter drives increase voter participation and when voter participation is up, most people vote Democrat. It is Republicans who have been illegally trying to suppress votes for years - i.e. vote caging.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) The Al Capone of Privatizing Education

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) The Al Capone of Privatizing Education

One of the major initiatives of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has been pushing for is the expansion of for-profit and privately managed schools in K-12 education. As part of this push, Christie has been championing a school voucher expansion that would cost the state $825 million to funnel tax dollars to private schools, while at the same time slashing spending for public education, cutting $820 million last year alone.

Last week, Christie announced a new “public-private school pilot program” which would allow “local school boards [to] hand control of some so-called ‘transformation schools’ to education management organizations, possibly including for-profit firms.” Christie designed the new program with Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf, the “former president of the world’s largest for-profit operator of public schools, Edison Schools Inc.”

The New Jersey Star-Ledger notes that Christie actually has a very strong financial tie to Cerf’s for-profit company. The private law firm at which Christie worked as a lobbyist between 1999 and 2001 actually lobbied New Jersey’s government on behalf of Edison Schools:

From 1999 to 2001, Christie was a registered lobbyist at a law firm that lobbied New Jersey government on behalf of Edison Schools, according to filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. While the firm was representing the multinational education company, Chris Cerf was its general counsel.

The firm, Dughi, Hewit and Palatucci, also represented Mosaica Education, a for-profit charter school operator, and the University of Phoenix, a for-profit online university. At the time, the firm listed two lobbyists, Christie and William Palatucci, a longtime political ally of the governor who is a named partner in the firm.
When it becomes OK to do anything to make money, that is not free enterprise, it is organized crime.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How the Bush Tax Cuts Helped Cripple the Economy

How the Bush Tax Cuts Helped Cripple the Economy

It seems hard to believe but, just a decade ago, the deficit didn’t exist and there were surpluses as far as the eye could see. The United States was on track to eliminate the national debt altogether by 2010, making the country debt free for the first time in nearly two centuries.

Then 2001 happened. In fact, a year ago this week, George W. Bush’s tax policy became law, and to honor the occasion, Slate’s Annie Lowrey tried to “find something redeeming” to say about them. Alas,she came up empty, concluding that they’ve “been a failure in every conceivable way.”

Ten years ago this week, the policy’s conservative champions made bold predictions about what the tax cuts would do — massive job growth, vast new wealth, higher incomes, smaller government, and balanced budgets. None of these predictions proved to be even remotely true.

The fine folks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put together several worthwhile charts this week to mark the 10th anniversary of this tragic mistake, but this one’s my favorite. (see above)

But the spectacular failure of the policy is really only part of the story. Indeed, to a certain extent, looking back at recent history only helps provide a salient foundation for the more important problem: the fact that we haven’t learned anything from the mistake.

Well, perhaps “we” is the wrong word. Some of us have learned quite a bit. But in the Republican Party, we have lawmakers who continue to insist that their votes in support of this monstrosity were fully justified. They won’t apologize, they have no regrets, and they’d rather cause a deliberate recession than any allow a single penny of tax increases to be imposed on anyone.

And on the presidential campaign trail, it’s arguably even worse. Tim Pawlenty is pushing a tax-cut plan that’s triple the size of Bush’s tax-cut package, convinced that it will — you guessed it — generate massive job growth, vast new wealth, higher incomes, smaller government, and balanced budgets.

Worse, in the process, Pawlenty is setting a bar and challenging his presidential rivals to follow him. He wants $11.6 trillion in tax cuts — will other candidates match that? Surpass it? The race is on to see which Republican presidential candidate can be the most ridiculously irresponsible, and the competition will no doubt be fierce.

We are, in other words, talking about a party that tried an ambitious and radical experiment, saw it fail, and decided what’s needed now is significantly more failure.

I mind that Republicans got this wrong and we’ll be dealing with the consequences for many years to come, but I really mind that Republicans think they were right. As Ezra noted the other day, the party not only “hasn’t learned anything from the failure of the Bush tax cuts,” it’s actually managed to “unlearn some things, too.”
One can understand why the elite millionaires of the radical Right do not care about the consequences of robbing the country to keep wealth in the hands of the few. The elite are immune to the economic consequences. One does have to wonder about the self loathing and self destructive tendencies of blue collar conservatives. The latter are shafting themselves - voting Republican means less of a social safety net like Medicare, Social Security, reduced veterans benefits, poorer education.

America's problem is not being over taxed. Those are the shrill cries of the greedy and uninformed - Ten Charts that Prove the United States Is a Low-Tax Country
Our Citizens and Corporations Pay Much Less Than They Once Did and Much Less Than in Most Other Countries

Fox's Eric Bolling: Obama Is Hosting "Hoodlums" In "The Hizzouse"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Conservative Bedwetter of the Week - Rand Paul(R-KY) Who Thinks 40,000 People Are Out to Kill Him

Rand Paul Worried Legal Immigrant Students Will Attack Us

There’s nothing unusual about Republicans denouncing illegal immigration. But a GOP senator attacking immigrants who come to this country legally to work and study is something new. According to the New York Times, that’s exactly what Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) did today during a Homeland Security Committee hearing. Sen. Paul specifically went after immigrant students, who he called our “would-be attackers”:

“We have 40,000 students coming to this country from all over the world,” he said. “Are they would-be attackers?”

Speaking at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on border patrol corruption, Mr. Paul on Thursday questioned whether the government was adequately screening and then keeping tabs on those who enter the country with student visas or as refugees.[...]

But while Mr. Paul said he worried about legal immigrants, he was not concerned about the potential threat from American citizens.

“We’ve done so many things to think that we’re all terrorists, that universally we have to scrutinize everybody to the Nth degree instead of doing what I just think would be good police work,” Mr. Paul said, adding that it would be less expensive and less intrusive to privacy if the country looked at “the people who did attack us and who continue to attack us, and not really U.S. citizens.”

Paul’s latest attack on immigrants is only the latest example of the so-called libertarian’s disdain for civil liberties. Paul has advocated stripping many Americans of their constitutional right to citizenship, and he once suggested that the U.S. wouldn’t even need laws if all citizens were Christians. As ThinkProgress reported, he recently called for jailing people who attend “radical political speeches.”

The senator’s selective focus on immigrants also betrays his own ignorance about the threats facing this country. At today’s hearing, Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Alan D. Bersin cautioned Paul against dismissing the threat posed by homegrown terrorists. After all, Bersin pointed out, the man accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square last year was a U.S. citizen. Additionally, attacking refugees who flee persecution in their own countries and jump through countless legal hoops to receive asylum in the United States is a particularly baseless (not to mention heartless) concern.
One of the biggest terror threats to the USA is indeed domestic, as in home grown and raised. The second biggest terrorist attack in modern Us history was by Christian conservatives Timothy McVeigh and John Nichols. More here - Republican Rhetoric, Right-Wing Terror

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How Republicans and The Bush Tax Cuts Blew Up The Deficit

How The Bush Tax Cuts Blew Up The Deficit

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first of President George W. Bush’s two tax cuts, which have played a disproportionate role in blowing up the deficit and debt. As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Ettlinger and Michael Linden found, the federal debt would be at a sustainable level today — even with the wars and the financial crisis — were it not for the Bush tax cuts. ThinkProgress has assembled this short animation showing how the Bush tax cuts drove the deficit and debt up and are still ruining the budget picture today. ( video at link)

Adding insult to injury, in 2001, Bush promised that he would pay off the federal debt within 10 years.
One of the reasons the nation will be playing national debt ping pong for years is because Republicans cut off the revenue to pay for the debt they created. Its like they went crazy with the MasterCard and refuse to pay the bill. They passing that bill down to our children and grandchildren. There is no real deficit problem, there is a revenue problem caused by irresponsible and immoral conservative voodoo economics.

How Koch Became An Oil Speculation Powerhouse - From Inventing Oil Derivatives To Deregulating The Market

The joys of repressed voyeuristic titillation

There are few things more sickening -- or revealing -- to behold than a D.C. sex scandal. Huge numbers of people prance around flamboyantly condemning behavior in which they themselves routinely engage. Media stars contrive all sorts of high-minded justifications for luxuriating in every last dirty detail, when nothing is more obvious than that their only real interest is vicarious titillation. Reporters who would never dare challenge powerful political figures who torture, illegally eavesdrop, wage illegal wars or feed at the trough of sleazy legalized bribery suddenly walk upright -- like proud peacocks with their feathers extended -- pretending to be hard-core adversarial journalists as they collectively kick a sexually humiliated figure stripped of all importance. The ritual is as nauseating as it is predictable.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Who Published Pictures on Congressman Anthony Weiner's Twitter Account

update: While Cannofire and others did discover an exploit on twitter/yfrog that could have been used, all that is moot at this point as Rep. Weiner has confessed.

Who Published Pictures on Congressman Anthony Weiner's Twitter Account. The Congressman says he did not. As of today there is absolutely no proof that the Congressman published any inappropriate pictures on his account. No proof. Lots of finger pointing, but no proof. If the Congressman's enemies are so sure they are right now is the perfect time to come forward and pride the knock-out punch to a Congressman that really cares about America. The kind of public servant right-wing Republicans hate.

The screencap of Congressman Weiner's page -- the one featuring the infamous "crotch shot" -- lacks the URL. As far as I can tell, the only way to create that anomaly is when someone other than the account holder places an image on Yfrog, using the simple strategy outlined above.

The comparison image given here should explain the situation to anyone I've accidentally confused. (Click on the image to enlarge -- and I'm very embarrassed by the misspelled word.) The first header was taken from the Weiner screen cap as it appeared on Breitbart. Note the lack of a URL beneath "RepWeiner" -- just blank space.

That's very unusual. Under normal circumstances, Yfrog never puts blank space there.

I demonstrate those "normal circumstances" in the second example. This is what the header looked like when I uploaded a picture to my own Yfrog account. Note that the URL for the image appears right below my pseudonym. (As noted in an earlier post, I opened the account under the name "G. Dowson," which happens to be the name of an illustrator whose work I like.)

The only way to create a URL-free header is to have someone else send a pic to one's Yfrog address. Milowent did just that. You can see the result: The header now has a blank space beneath Dowson's name.

Why does Yfrog work that way? I don't know. Ask their programmers.

The important point is this: The anomaly in the header indicates that the image was not sent by Weiner. It had to have been sent by someone else.

Not only that. Believe it or not, when an outsider sends a pic to someone else's Yfrog account in this fashion, the action creates a message in the "twitterstream." The message seems to originate with the Twitter account holder -- but it doesn't. It comes from somewhere else -- from someone mailing a picture to the account holder.

This is a serious security flaw in the design of Yfrog and Twitter. It allows a malicious outsider to "spoof" a tweet that seems to come from someone else.
Lots of technical details at the link. Yfrog was made aware of this gaping security hole - where anyone could post to someone else Twitter stream using e-mail. Apparently a user(maybe two users) conspired to place the photo on the Congressman Twitter page, New Forensic Details About Weinergate Photo

As the Anthony Weiner Twitter whodunit trundles on into almost a full week, it remains unclear where the now-infamous photo came from. To help shed some light on this, I contacted Hany Farid, a renowned expert in forensic photographic image analysis. (Farid was consulted by the Associated Press in debunking the fake Bin Laden death photos, and has also teamed up with Microsoft to develop anti-child-pornography software.) Using compression data and metadata from millions of photos, Farid and his colleagues at Dartmouth have developed a database that matches photos to the digital cameras that took them.

Anthony De Rosa of Reuters has already shown that the Weinergate photo’s metadata don’t match the metadata of another photo known to have come from the congressman’s Blackberry. I sent both photos to Farid, who analyzed them. Farid confirmed that the photo known to have come from Weiner’s camera was “inconsistent” with the controversial photo. In fact, Farid says, the photo appears not to have come from a Blackberry at all. But here’s the even stranger part: The controversial photo does not match any camera in Farid’s database, which consists of about 15,000 kinds of cameras, phones, and tablets.

What does this mean? One possibility is that the photo comes from a model so recent, it isn’t yet in Farid’s database. Judging from the photos on the congressman’s yfrog account, he does not own such a model. (The model of camera from which Weiner’s yfrog photos were taken would have led to a match in Farid’s database.) Another possibility is that something about the photo was tampered with, causing it not to match up with any model in the database.
All Andrew Breitbart, Dan Wolfe or any other right-wing Republican has to do is produce the photo with the correct metadata. No one can do that because the photo is a forgery. It does not matter whether people are happy with the exact wording of the Congressman's denial - there is no proof he posted the picture. Breitbart is now trying to wiggle out of responsibility and "Dan Wolfe" has disappeared.

Ryancare Versus Obamacare

Some commenters have asked a good question, albeit in a belligerent tone: how does the Ryan plan differ from the Affordable Care Act? After all, in both plans people are supposed to buy coverage from private insurers, with a subsidy from the government.

Well, the answer is that the ACA is specifically designed to ensure that insurance is affordable, whereas Ryancare just hands out vouchers and washes its hands. Specifically, the ACA subsidy system (pdf) sets a maximum percentage of income that families are expected to pay for insurance, on a sliding scale that rises with income. To the extent that the actual cost of a minimum acceptable policy exceeds that percentage of income, subsidies make up the difference.

Ryancare, by contrast, provides a fixed sum — end of story. And because this fixed sum would not grow with rising health care costs, it’s almost guaranteed to fall far short of the actual cost of insurance.

This is also why Ryancare is NOT premium support; it’s a voucher system. No matter how much they say it isn’t, that’s exactly what it is.