Saturday, December 13, 2008

Years ago -- before political correctness set in -- there was a Polish joke asking "how many poles does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" The answer was always something like "Five. One to hold the lightbulb and the other four to spin the ladder around."

American business has become a polish joke. "How many UAW employees does it take to install a headlamp? Four." "How many Teamsters does it take to hammer in a nail? Five."

The problem is that when three, four and five people are "needed" to do the simplist tasks -- each of them earning approximately seventy-five dollars an hour in direct salary plus every perk the union can extract from management -- someone has to pay for it.

This is the same mentality that saw Fannie Mae collapse. It's the same mentality that has destroyed our public schools. It's the mentality of entitlement where everyone gets a job and everyone gets a high salary and everyone gets maternaity leave (even fathers!) and everyone gets time-and-a-half and by the time everyone is given everything no one can afford the product any longer.


Anonymous said...

It must be a ANOTHER failure of creeping socialism.

Put enough hungry fleas on a healthy dog and allow them to reproduce long enough, and pretty soon all you've got left is a dead dog.

smitty1e said...

My personal favorite (mildly risque) light bulb joke:
Q: How many Russians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two, but don't ask me how they got there.
Smutty jokes are about as useful as ethnic jokes, but humor hinging upon the parsing of the sentence gets me every time.

Anonymous said...

Ask Sarah Palin, she must've seen something from her backyard.

:-D Shea said...

Lean and Mean, that's the real world. The automakers and industries living in the "real world" are already eating our lunch. Is a job an entitlement or something earned? The big 3 together with the unions together with the politicians conspired to make an unsustainable reality, somebody will have to pay at some point. Same situation with the general bailout related issues, any band-aids will just make it worse later. If it's broken fix it, actually fix it so it will work and make sure the lesson sticks. Honestly if this could be done right and nobody got too greedy going forward we'll do great in the "real world". Americans MAKE their furture!

Anonymous said...

Oops, Evan. That $75 INCLUDES benefits. Still, it's a lot more than the wage/benefit package earned by American Toyota workers (around $48).

Anonymous said...

Why aren't they Impalin Carolyn Kennedy?

She's as qualified to be a US Senator as Barack Obama was. In other words, "unqualified".


Anonymous said...

As usual this scumbag's "case" is so weak and stupid that he has to lie blatantly in order to make it.

The beauty of this latest GOP gambit is that they have now made it unambiguously clear to working class people that they're here to serve only the rich with near trillion dollar gifts but will offer nothing to save the last decent jobs in America.

They've now lost Michigan, Ohio and the entire upper midwest permanently and have firmly relegated themselves to a few lousy peckerwood fiefdoms in the old, racist, luddite South.

Anonymous said...

Creeping socialism, my ass...GW and the looney right has given us the most galloping strides toward a nationalized, socialist economy imaginable.

Thank you.

In addition, they have made unregulated capitalism a dirty joke here and around the world.

Go, comrade Boosh.

Anonymous said...

Questions are swirling about whether Bernard L. Madoff acted alone and why his suspected con game, in which billions were lost, was not uncovered sooner. $50 billion blown due to deregulation on Wall Street, $700 billon of our money lent to fix the problem, and some southern senators with foreign car plants torpedo the auto industry over $15 billion. This is economic treason.

Anonymous said...

ore Republican Economic Treason: Why are Republicans Providing a Half a Billion Dollars in Tax Breaks to a Foreign Car Manufacturer in Tennessee But Refusing to Assist American Workers and American Industry? Republican Senators Betray America and Sell Out to Foreign Companies. 12/14

Jane said...

Wait, what's wrong with maternity leave?


Anonymous said...

Look, the lean and mean toid woild countries, they drop them babies on the sweathouse floor and they like it that way.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dora, some people would prefer to have women at home, barefoot, pregnant,slavin' in the kitchen and cleaning the house while the MAN brings home the bread. Maternity leave would encourage women to come back into the workforce. Why you entice dem wimmim folk to work by giving dem maternity leave and dey jest might wont to progress up the ladder, wont men to share the responsibilities of house work, cooking and the children. Hayell, dey mights even be attracted to their male co-workers and have affairs. Ohhhhhhh noooooooooooo, cain't haves dat!

Anonymous said...

Democrats have controlled Congress for the past two years, so how is it possible that "Republicans" are giving tax breaks to foreign automakers?

Typical Democrats, spewing a lot of crap blaming others for their own faults.

Funny how it only took two years for them to destroy the American economy, you'da thunk it would have taken them longer...

Anonymous said...

President-elect Barack Obama is refusing to answer any questions about the internal review he has ordered into Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell his former Senate seat, saying he will do so when the examination is finished.

Obama's staff has declined to respond to even basic questions, like who is conducting the probe, how long it will take, what issues are being explored and whether they are working with federal investigators.

Anonymous said...

The giveaway is happening in southern states which host foreign automakers, moron. As for the rest of your statements, you're too fucking stupid to kick in the ass more than once.

Anonymous said...

Lol...right on, anon...these morons exist on ignorance.

VW is receiving $577.4 million in tax breaks and direct assistance from Tennessee governments to build an automobile plant in Chattanooga.

Anonymous said...

McCain really dissed the GOP yesterday!! Have you noticed that you can almost see McCain's relief at being free of having to mime the petty filth that constitutes a Republican campaign?

Meanwhile, the Iraqis are showing The Chimp what they think of him.

Too bad those size tens didn't hit the murdering,little motherfucker square in his stupid face.

Can you imagine ANY other "president" in our history being disrespected in this way??!


Anonymous said...

The giveaway is happening in southern states which host foreign automakers...

Southern States governed by...

La. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D)
N.C. Michael F. Easley (D)
Okla. Brad Henry (D)
Tenn. Phil Bredesen (D)
Va. Tim Kaine (D)
W.Va. Joe Manchin (D)

Although the House and Senate Republicans in Congress may oppose bailouts for foreign automakers, Democratic governor's are the one's giving the foreign automakers the taxbreaks...

Make's you wonder why Democratic governors in northern states like Illinois, Ohio and Michigan don't do likewise...

Oh, that's right, they're too busy selling Senate seats to worry about silly things like the American economy.

Anonymous said...

Just what GOPigs hate in Minnesota...they're going to count ALL the votes.

Damn, I hate it when they do that, says Coleman.

Anonymous said...

Duh, if the moron could read, he'd know Tennessee is the state in question. Lol...
you guys are debating people with their heads up their asses...I guess that makes it a twofer every time you kick their ass, eh?

And, even the Bush administration opposes these anti-bailout fanatics.

What little is left of the GOP is at war with itself...ain't that fun to see?

Anonymous said...

Who's illiterate?

And who's been the governor of Tennessee since 2003?


Anonymous said...

Flanked by some of the state's most prominent Republicans, Democratic Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran announced Monday he is joining the GOP.

"I am changing parties as a matter of conscience," Curran said at a news conference at the Lake County GOP headquarters in Libertyville.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I knew you'd find a way to get the morons to tell us how even the ultra red states were being taken over by Democrats...actually put out a list and do it like they're happy about it!! of a roundabout way of doing it though...but look, they got a county sheriff...and actually brag about it...hahahahaha

That pretty much says it for their long term future...nothing but a few scraps here and there for the Greedy Old Potty.

Anonymous said...

Taking over? The DemoKKKrats never left on the local level.

...and the way it's going, the Degenerating New Potty shall once again rise to INFAMY!

Anonymous said...

thats funny...but I think you're playing chess with a shit beetle.

Anonymous said...

evan, you are such an idiot. do you not recognize that the automobile moguls have a union. oh they are called lobbyists, but they are, in fact, unions. those unions, flush with cash, have kept the automobile industry from advancing.

when you have the following figures, how can you dare to castigate the struggling middle class workers:

toyota: ceo made 1 million USD this year--the company pulled in 5 billion usd
ford: ceo makes $21.7 million USD--co. lost $7.5 billion
gm: ceo makes 15.7 million usd--co. lost $15.9 billion

these losers are profiting from their mistakes, while the ceos at toyota are making modest amounts for their success in comparison to their large profits.

as usual, evan, you've revealed yourself to be a fool. of course, with you educational level, i fully expect you to be pretty dim and to fancy yourself above the lower middle class of which you are a member.

Anonymous said...


All we're saying is let GM's workers be paid what Toyota's American workers are... the American auto exec's have already agreed to work for $1 a year.

Anonymous said...

...the UAW gave to 176 members of the House and Senate that voted for the bailout and only 22 members that voted against it.

The union also gave to 78 candidates that were either unsuccessful in their congressional election bids or those that have yet to be sworn in, for a total of $768,800.

The UAW donated $70,500 to nine members that didn't didn't participate in the vote.

The union gave over $1.8 million altogether.

Anonymous said...

toyota workers get paid about the same as gm, ford, chrysler workers get paid--they get their bennies paid for, too.

So think about those fat cat ceos at gm, ford and chrysler, silly boy.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the Iraqis are showing The Chimp what they think of him..

Actually, they're shoeing the world what they think. Everybody (except for 0000000000000000000001%of the world's population)thinks the same thing of the chimp as virtually all americans do.

smitty1e said...

I suppose the likelihood that Sir Shoechucker would have been hanged with his own entrails for that under a prior regime is no sign of progress?

Anonymous said...

I suppose that there are a million less Iraqis than there would have been without Bush is a sure sign of fucking moron.

Anonymous said...

Since arresting Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has renewed interest in convicted fundraiser Tony Rezko's part in the purchase of Barack Obama's Chicago mansion, according to a former real estate analyst who says he was interviewed by the federal prosecutor in the past 10 days.

Kenneth J. Conner told WND he was interviewed by investigators from Fitzgerald's office regarding the purchase of the Obama mansion and the adjacent vacant lot that Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased simultaneously. As WND reported last week, Connor filed a civil complaint in October with the Illinois Circuit Court in Cook County alleging he was fired by Mutual Bank of Harvey, Ill., because he objected to land appraisals submitted on behalf of the Rezkos and the Obamas, with the complicity of the bank.

Connor previously confirmed to WND that he told the FBI, months ago, when he initially was fired, that the bank and the Rezkos were engaged in "fraud, bribes or kickbacks, use whatever term you want," to benefit the Obamas.

Connor said his lawyer, Glenn R. Gaffney, also has been interviewed by the FBI about the Rezko-Obama deal within the past 10 days.

Anonymous said...

Dictator Bush had the reporter beaten up, arrested--for who knows how long-- and the guy is probably being tortured.

Anonymous said...

Bush's shoe attacker has broken arm, ribs

December 16, 2008

He is being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

Zaidi's action won him widespread plaudits in the Arab world where Bush's policies have drawn broad hostility.

The Lebanese television channel NTV, known for its opposition to Washington, went as far as offering a job to the journalist.

In its evening news bulletin on Monday, it said that if he takes the job, he will be paid "from the moment the first shoe was thrown".

A manager at the channel told AFP that it had made its offer known to Zaidi and was ready to post bail on his behalf.

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risks a minimum of two years in prison if he is successfully prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state.

Egyptian independent daily Al-Badeel carried a frontpage caricature of the US flag with the sole of a shoe replacing the stars in the top corner.

Even government-owned newspapers in Cairo praised Zaidi's actions. "Pelting the American president with shoes was the best way for expressing what Iraqis and Arabs feel toward Bush," wrote Al-Gomhuria editor Mohammad Ali Ibrahim.

The independent Al-Dustur newspaper hailed the journalist as the "only Iraqi whose patriotic feelings made him express his opinion in this way."

"It is not a declaration by the Iraqi media only, but for all Iraqis who have suffered over the years and we demand that he not be handed over to US forces," the paper said.

Anonymous said...

Democrats would rather have a crook appoint the next Senator from Illinois than have the people elect an honest man.

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives postponed stripping Governor Rod Blagojevich’s power to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama that prosecutors say Blagojevich tried to sell.

The governor, a Chicago Democrat, retains authority to appoint Obama’s successor while the House pursues an impeachment process that may last weeks. Democratic lawmakers led by House Speaker Michael Madigan dropped plans late yesterday to schedule a special election to fill the post after failing to agree in a closed-door meeting, said Steve Brown, a Madigan aide.

So much for the notion of a "public trust" or "the public good". Democrats have turned those terms into a mockery.

Anonymous said...

The ACLU wins another one for the people:

Court sides with ACLU, strikes down Patriot Act gag provision December 16, 2008

ACLU victorious as federal court declares Patriot Act provision a violation of the First Amendment

A federal appeals court ruling late Monday is the cause célèbre of the American Civil Liberties Union, as another provision of the Bush administration's Patriot Act falls to the judicial system.

Until the ruling, recipients of so-called "national security letters" were legally forbidden from speaking out. The letters, usually a demand for documents, or a notice that private records had been searched by government authorities, were criticized as a cover-all for FBI abuses

Anonymous said...

First McCain Rips the RNC and Now:

Gingrich Rips RNC For Its Blagojevich Attacks
December 16, 2008

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sent a rather scathing letter to Mike Duncan on Tuesday, accusing the RNC chairman of engaging in "a destructive distraction" by attempting to tie Barack Obama to Rod Blagojevich. In particular, Gingrich hit the RNC for putting out a web ad that made it seem as if the President-elect was hiding a nefarious chapter of his personal history with the embattled Illinois Governor.

"The RNC should pull the ad down immediately," Gingrich writes.

I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.

In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them, regardless of his Party.

From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.

Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.

This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the "better solutions" party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.

This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation's troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.

A Republican strategist, asked about the Gingrich letter, said he agreed with the former House Majority Leader. But, he added, "I think that Newt wants a change at the RNC, and it is an intervention in the RNC race."

Anonymous said...

Hilarious...more circular firing squad:

Rush Strikes Back at 'Turncoat' Colin Powell

Hate radio legend Rush Limbaugh wasted no time in attacking former Republican Colin Powell after the one time secretary of state said on CNN that the Republican Party should stop listening to the rabid, pill popping, thrice married radio host.

On Monday, Limbaugh told his 20 million listeners that what Powell was doing was telling the GOP to throw them under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Socialism the Wave of the Very Near Future...thanks to GW's disasters...

The Logic of Keynes in Today's World
Monday 15 December 2008
Robert Reich's Blog

Not long ago I was talking to someone who once had been a deficit hawk but the current recession had turned into a full-blooded Keynesian. He wanted a stimulus package in the range of $500 to $700 billion. "Consumers are dead in the water," he said, fervently, "so government has to step in." I agreed. But I didn't tell him his traditional Keynesianism is based on two highly-questionable assumptions in today's world, and the underlying logic of Keynes leads us toward something bigger and more permanent than he has in mind.

The first assumption is that American consumers will eventually regain the purchasing power needed to keep the economy going full tilt. That seems doubtful. Median incomes dropped during the last recovery, adjusted for inflation, and even at the start weren't much higher than they were in the 1970s. Middle-class families continued to spend at a healthy clip over the last thirty years despite this because women went into paid work, everyone started working longer hours, and then, when these tactics gave out, went deeper and deeper into debt. This indebtedness, in turn, depended on rising home values, which generated hundreds of billions of dollars in home equity loans and refinanced mortgages. But now that the housing bubble has burst, the spending has ended. Families cannot work more hours than they did before, and won't be able to borrow as much, either.

The second assumption is that, even if Americans had the money to keep spending as before, they could do so forever. Yet only the most myopic adherent of free-market capitalism could believe this to be true. The social and environmental costs would soon overwhelm us. Even if climate change were not an imminent threat to the planet, the rest of the world will not allow American consumers to continue to use up a quarter of the planet's natural resources and generate an even larger share of its toxic wastes and pollutants.

This would be a problem if most of what we consumed during our big-spending years were bare necessities. But much was just stuff. And surely there are limits to how many furnishings and appliances can be crammed into a home, how many hours can be filled manipulating digital devices, and how much happiness can be wrung out of commercial entertainment.

The current recession is a nightmare for people who have lost their jobs, homes, and savings; and it's part of a continuing nightmare for the poor. That's why we have to do all we can to get the economy back on track. But most other Americans are now discovering they can exist surprisingly well buying fewer of the things they never really needed to begin with.

What we most lack, or are in danger of losing, are the things we use in common - clean air, clean water, public parks, good schools, and public transportation, as well as social safety nets to catch those of us who fall. Common goods like these don't necessarily use up scarce resources; often, they conserve and protect them.

Yet they have been declining for many years. Some have been broken up and sold as more expensive private goods, especially for the well-to do - bottled water, private schools, security guards, and health clubs, for example. Others, like clean air, have fallen prey to deregulation. Others have been wacked by budget axes; the current recession is forcing states and locales to axe even more. Still others, such as universal health care and pre-schools, never fully emerged to begin with.

Where does this logic lead? Given the implausibility of consumers being able to return to the same level of personal spending as before, along with the undesirability of our doing so even if we could, and the growing scarcity of common goods, there would seem only one sensible way to restore and maintain aggregate demand. That would be through government expenditure on the commons. Rather than a temporary stimulus, government would permanently fill the gap left by consumers who cannot and should not be expected to resume their old spending ways. This wouldn't require permanent deficits as long as, once economic growth returns, revenues from a progressive income tax refill the coffers.

My friend the born-again Keynesian might not like where the logic of Keynesianism leads in today's world, but the rest of us might take heart.

Anonymous said...

Amazing what one brave man can do:

Bush Still Needs To Defuse Shoe Incident. America's Credibility and His Own Are on the Line. The shoe-throwing story is far from over. Now the Iraqi parliament speaker says he's resigning after legislators argued about the case. 1500 demonstrators took to the streets Wednesday in the Baghdad Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah to demand al-Zeidi's release. 12/18

Anonymous said...

Give up, Republican whack jobs:

Republicans Revolt on RNC's Obama-Blago Strategy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is not happy with Republican tactics toward President-elect Barack Obama. Photo by Dayna Smith for The Washington Post

As the Republican National Committee continues its attempt to tie disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich to President-elect Barack Obama, more high-profile GOPers are rebelling against the strategy.

Newt Gingrich (Ga.), the former Speaker of the House and a potential candidate for president in 2012, wrote a letter to RNC Chair Mike Duncan on Tuesday condemning the Web video circulated by national Republicans over the weekend that sought to link Obama to Blagojevich.

Calling the video a "destructive distraction," Gingrich added: "This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation's troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008."

His chorus of dissent was joined later in the day by Patrick Ruffini, a prominent online voice for Republicans. (Ruffini was the e-campaign director for the RNC during the 2006 election cycle and did the same for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.)

In a post on post on The Next Right (a new-ish online gathering place for conservatives), Ruffini wrote:

"It's fair to say that any residual connections Obama may have with Gov. Blagojevich as a result of being an Illinois Senator are not the strongest part of our argument. I can understand the desire to go at Obama. But with Obama at 76% approval for the transition, our hits against him have to be clean hits, or they will blow up in our face."

The sentiments expressed publicly by Gingrich and Ruffini are echoed privately by a number of Republican strategists who view the attempts to link Blagojevich and Obama as nothing more than a fool's errand given the lack of evidence that the public sees any real connection between the two men.

As we wrote earlier this week, the strategy adopted by the RNC poses a real risk to the party because of Obama's strength and Republicans' weakness in the eyes of voters.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll more than three in four voters approve of the way Obama has handled the transition and a majority (51 percent) of of independents said he had done enough to explain any conversations his aides had with Blagojevich.

Compare those solid numbers to a new national poll from Gallup that shows just one in four adults approving of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job while 69 percent disapprove. (In fairness, congressional Democrats' numbers weren't much better: 37 approve/55 disapprove.)

So, what should Republicans do -- given that they are out of power at the executive and legislative level?

Gingrich boils it down to a single sentence: "Republicans should be eager to work with [Obama] when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him."

Ruffini is more expansive -- offering three solutions, the savviest of which is to push the idea that Democrats are seeking to rob voters of a say in Illinois by refusing to pass legislation that would create a special election to fill Obama's Senate seat.

The RNC may be listening. Duncan released a statement Tuesday evening on the need for a special election. "We agree with President-elect Barack Obama that his Senate seat belongs to the people of Illinois," said Duncan. "The only way the people's voice will be heard and Illinois can end the taint of the Blagojevich scandal is to have a special election."

That Republicans are in the political wilderness is without dispute. As the past week illustrates, how they get out of it remains an issue of significant disagreement.

Anonymous said...

Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ford Motor Company:

John King: What about the UAW in all of this?

Bill Ford: Well, the UAW obviously has been our partner through all of this. Have they made mistakes and have we made mistakes? Of course. The UAW has come a long way. I think their leader, Ron Gettelfinger, is an excellent leader and he really understands our business. In this last contract, he gave up a lot. He’s also indicated they’re willing to come to the table to do more. And so for anybody to blame the UAW as the sole reason for this is frankly wrong.

Evan, King of the Fails.

Anonymous said...

Which is why we have this:

The case of the vanishing GOP voter
By Eric Fehrnstrom, 2008

Eric Fehrnstrom is a Republican communications consultant.

The number of people who identify themselves as Republicans has gone from 36 percent in 2004 to 28 percent in 2008.

As the party ran out of new ideas, it lost the high ground on some of the old ones like fiscal accountability and ethics. Federal spending is now out of control. The annual federal budget deficit is closing in on $1 trillion. Our congressmen and senators were co-opted by a corrupt system. Some were marched off to jail. For a reason, Obama was viewed as "fresh" and "inspirational." Ron Kaufman, Republican National Committee member from Massachusetts, says the GOP came to Washington in the 1994 Republican revolution promising change, "but failed to deliver and so we got kicked out." Even before Colin Powell crossed party lines to endorse Obama, longtime Republican friends announced they were voting Democrat for the first time in their lives.

Anonymous said...

GOP Crime Wave Continues Unabated:

Ex-White House Aide Convicted
Former Official Had Ties to Abramoff

By Del Quentin Wilber and Derek Kravitz
Washington Post
December 20, 2008

A former top White House official was convicted yesterday of obstructing justice and lying to investigators about a lavish golf trip to Scotland and his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

It was the second time that David H. Safavian, former chief of staff at the General Services Administration, has been convicted on federal charges stemming from the government's wide-ranging probe of Abramoff.

A jury in the District yesterday convicted Safavian of obstructing a GSA inspector general's investigation into the 2002 golf trip, which was largely financed by Abramoff, and of lying on a financial disclosure form about its costs. Safavian also was convicted of making false statements to an FBI agent and a GSA ethics officer. Safavian was acquitted of giving a false statement to a Senate committee.

Anonymous said...

There is no racism in America:

Report: White vigilante groups blockaded small town in post-Katrina New Orleans and murdered blacks.

Anonymous said...

Report prepared by liberal revisionist history society.

Anonymous said...

Endless Right Wing Scum Parade Continues:

Police in San Francisco Bay area investigate brutal gang rape of lesbian by 4 strangers
AP News
Dec 23, 2008

A woman in the San Francisco Bay area was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building, authorities said Monday.

Detectives say the 28-year-old victim was attacked Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The men, who ranged from their late teens to their 30s, made comments indicating they knew her sexual orientation, said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan.

"It just pushes it beyond fathomable," he said. "The level of trauma — physical and emotional — this victim has suffered is extreme."

The 45-minute attack began when one of the men approached the woman as she crossed the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to disrobe and sexually assaulted her with the help of the other men.

Gay rights advocates note that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased nationwide as of late. There were 1,415 such crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007, both times making up about 16 percent of the total, according to the FBI.

"Assailants target LGBT people of all gender identities with sexual assault," he said. "Such targeting is one of the most cruel, dehumanizing and violent forms of hate violence that our communities experience."

"Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks," he said. "People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice."