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Lenny Bailes
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Attended University of California, Los Angeles
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Lenny Bailes

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I thought I was in too much of a funk to care about comics fanboy stuff; but leave it to Alan Moore to draw me back in with his amazingly compelling writing, just as he's done in the past. The recently published screed on Pádraig Ó Méalóid's blog, titled "Last Alan Moore Interview?" is fascinating reading -- particularly for someone who's read a lot of comic books written by Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. 
Given no other source material, it would be easy to fall completely under the sway of Moore's compelling rhetoric in this. 

http://slovobooks.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/last-alan-moore-interview/comment-page-1/#comments

But, I couldn't buy into Alan's dismissal of Grant Morrison as a no-talent hack, whatever personal business has passed between him and Morrison. After reading through a bunch of reader comments, I was motivated to click on a response by some of the individuals Alan roasts so devastatingly in this piece.

http://comicsbeat.com/the-strange-case-of-grant-morrison-and-alan-moore-as-told-by-grant-morrison/

If you compare this article with Moore's interview, you'll find contradictory statements concerning matters of fact. I'm not scholar enough to resolve them.

Plus, I didn't buy DC's "Before Watchmen," but I was genuinely touched by Darwyn Cooke's work in it -- despite my belief that Alan had the right of it in asking that DC not publish the series. 

Life is complicated
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I missed that the link to the article where Grant Morrison replies to some of Alan Moore's accusations is actually to an older version of them. Apparently,  Moore's complaints about Morrison in the earlier version are similar to what he says in the current screed. There's also quite a bit of activity in the Comments section of Padraig's blog challenging Moore's statements on other topics. 
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Lenny Bailes

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Chicago public school teachers are on strike. The average annual salary for their teachers is $70,000, according to this news story, which also compares this salary with what some rich public officials make. ((http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/the-pay-of-chicago-school-teachers-and-selected-others?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29)

_ _ _

This story points out that the school buildings are in bad shape. (http://thinkprogress.org/education/2012/09/11/828761/chicago-school-experience/?mobile=nc)

$70,000 a year is more than I've ever made on a job. It's a good idea to point out the disparity between what teachers (who serve the future by educating children) make and what politicians make. But the issue of getting the schools in shape for the teachers to do a good job is also important, in my opinion.
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Lenny Bailes

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Do you believe this? I think I do, so here's a small signal boost.
http://www.eschatonblog.com/2012/02/but-nobody-actually-has-to-pay.html
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Study: Gingrich tax plan would worsen deficit
By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press–3 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) —

The tax plan by GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich would provide big tax breaks to the rich and blow a huge hole in the federal budget deficit, according to an independent study released Monday.

https://encrypted.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&btnmeta_news_search=1&q=gingrich+tax+plan&oq=gingrich+tax+plan&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=458l3658l0l3984l0l0l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0

Let us not talk falsely now ....
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Every other GOP tax plan in the last 30 years has worsened the deficit; why would this one be different?
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Lenny Bailes

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Nuts! Just when I feel like saying something for a change, Livejournal is experiencing another DDOS attack (probably instigated by the Russian government, like the one two weeks ago).

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The United States late Friday lost its triple-A debt rating from Standard & Poor’s for the first time in its history, with the credit-rating agency saying the political system of the world’s... top economy has become less stable and that budget cutting announced earlier this week didn’t go far enough.
* * *

"Apparently we're supposed to care about what some idiots at some corrupt organization think about anything."
--Duncan (Atrios) Black
http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/08/stupids.html


[In November 2009] "Ten months after launching an investigation, the European Commission formally charged Standard & Poor’s with abusing its position as the sole provider of international securities identification codes for U.S. securities by requiring European financial firms and data vendors to pay licensing fees for their use. “This behavior amounts to unfair pricing,” the European Commission said in its statement of objections which lays the groundwork for an adverse finding against S&P. “The (numbers) are indispensable for a number of operations that financial institutions carry out – for instance, reporting to authorities or clearing and settlement – and cannot be substituted."

-Securities Technology Monitor
http://www.securitiestechnologymonitor.com/news/-24275-1.html
(courtesy of Wikipedia)

So who is Standard & Poor’s to tell America how much debt it has to shed in order to keep its credit rating? Well, it's the company that Wall Street firms pay bribes to in order to obtain their own AAA credit ratings.

Robert Reich's opinion about that is at http://robertreich.org/post/8099560686

"Standard & Poor’s didn’t exactly distinguish itself prior to Wall Street’s financial meltdown in 2007. Until the eve of the collapse it gave triple-A ratings to some of the Street’s riskiest packages of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.

Standard & Poor’s (along with Moody’s and Fitch) bear much of the responsibility for what happened next..."

((This post may go away from here and move over to my LJ, once the Russian government stops picking on them again.))

##Footnote: See also, this note from David Atkins at Digby's place:

"A downgrade in U.S. debt means functionally that U.S. treasury bills are, in S&P’s oh-so-wise opinion, less trustworthy and a greater credit risk to investors. This comes only a day after investors fled the DOW and S&P500 into the safe and waiting hands of…you guessed it: U.S. treasuries. The same treasuries that S&P suddenly finds a more dangerous buy. So what does that say about the stock market, and the S&P500? Perhaps S&P might wish to re-evaluate the credibility of its own market index."
-- http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/low-standards-poor-judgment-by-david.html
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Lenny Bailes

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Elizabeth Warren replies to Chris Christie, the Republican Keynote speaker, with truth. Go Elizabeth! (Link courtesy of The Sideshow - www.sideshow.me.uk.)
http://www.businessinsider.com/elizabeth-warren-has-slammed-chris-christies-keynote-speech-in-a-huge-way-2012-8
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Lenny Bailes

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There's very little that Obama's campaign might do that would persuade me to vote for a Green Party candidate instead of him; but this comes close:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/romney-killed-bin-laden-implies-obama-campaign-ad/story?id=16227942

Q, "What? You mean you don't think Obama should have ordered Bin Laden's death?"

A. This is a problematical issue. Obama apparently made the decision that it was not worth the risk to the lives of the Seals team to instruct them to offer Bin Laden a chance to surrender, first.

I don't feel competent to challenge this decision.

If one holds to the position that Bin Laden's instigation of mass murder was an international crime rather than an act of war, then the problem of neutralizing any threat Bin Laden might still pose to our safety might be mitigated by the fact that U.S. Law has always stood for the principle of giving even mass murderers the right to surrender to justice before applying lethal force to apprehend them. If it had been possible, I believe that the capture and public trial of Osama Bin Laden might have been a significant healing force for our country and for the citizens of the world. It might have repaired some of the damage done by the Bush/Cheney administration to this country's reputation in the world, and also to the spirit of international law and justice that allows us all to live as civilized human beings.

That said, maybe offering Bin Laden the chance to surrender without risking the lives of the Seals was a practically impossible scenario.

As a fan of Western Civilization and International Law, I think it's a horrible idea to brag about killing Bin Laden to try to gain votes to win an election.
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Lenny Bailes

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All those fascists are bound to lose....

Or maybe they're not: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/12/hillary-clinton-hero-and-villain-internet/45975/

But in the meantime, we can make the existential gesture of calling our House Reps to protest SOPA: http://act.demandprogress.org/call/sopa_call/
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