October 18, 2008 archive

Meet Ben Ray Lujan: NM-03

Ben Ray Lujan is running for Congress in New Mexico’s diverse third district.

He is young and progressive. He supports universal health care, single payer or otherwise. He hopes to transform northern New Mexico’s national laboratories into alternative energy research facilities. And, as the grandson of a farmer and sheepherder, he overflows with ideas about sustainable agriculture.

He is expected to win.

More about El Norte, New Mexico’s third Congressional District, and her favored son after the jump.

(Art by native Norteño artist and health care advocate, Roger Montoya. Photos by me.)

Docudharma Times Saturday October 18

The Financial Bailout Funds

Being Put To Excellent Use

Salaries And Bonus’s For Wall Street Bankers and Investors  

Saturday’s Headlines:

Coping with financial crisis in the heartland

100ft down, the capital’s cold war warren gives up its final secrets

Paris mega-rich raise barricades against urban poor neighbours

China extends influence into Central Asia

Pakistan does some US dirty work

Zimbabwe rivals appeal for help

Egyptian magnate pleads not guilty to singer’s murder

Iraqis stage mass anti-US rally

Muqtada al-Sadr urges rejection of US-Iraqi pact

20bn barrel oil discovery puts Cuba in the big league

Obama’s Ad Effort Swamps McCain and Nears Record



Published: October 17, 2008

PHILADELPHIA – Senator Barack Obama is days away from breaking the advertising spending record set by President Bush in the general election four years ago, having unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era.

With advertisements running repeatedly day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels, Mr. Obama is now outadvertising Senator John McCain nationwide by a ratio of at least four to one, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.

Wall Street banks in $70bn staff payout

 Pay and bonus deals equivalent to 10% of US government bail-out package

Simon Bowers

The Guardian, Saturday October 18 2008

Financial workers at Wall Street’s top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year – despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government’s cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.

Pay plans for bankers have been disclosed in recent corporate statements.



Thousands Face Mix-Ups In Voter Registrations

In New Databases, Many Are Wrongly Flagged as?Ineligible

 By Mary Pat Flaherty

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, October 18, 2008; Page A01

Thousands of voters across the country must reestablish their eligibility in the next three weeks in order for their votes to count on Nov. 4, a result of new state registration systems that are incorrectly rejecting them.

The challenges have led to a dozen lawsuits, testy arguments among state officials and escalating partisan battles. Because many voters may not know that their names have been flagged, eligibility questions could cause added confusion on Election Day, beyond the delays that may come with a huge turnout.

10% of $700 billion bailout to cover Wall Street banker pay and bonuses

One tenth of the $700 billion bailout to be footed by U.S. taxpayers is projected to go to the pay and bonuses of Wall Street bankers. The same captains of finance who sent the world into a financial meltdown are now going to be rewarded handsomely.

The Guardian has found that the Top Wall Street bankers are to receive $70 billion in pay deals.

Financial workers at Wall Street’s top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40.4bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in bonuses, for their work so far this year – despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash…

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted widespread criticism. The government cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay will be curbed.

“…and the elephant he rode in on.” [UPDATED: Now with Obama Pie!]

Crossposted from ePluribus Media. Not to be confused with this diary from last year.

January 20, 2009: The End of an Era Error

As November 4th approaches and the nation takes stock of the current state of our security, our economy, our infrastructure, our global standing and our fractured Constitution, it’s time to turn and bid adieu to the Administration that has, with the full and complicit knowledge of the GOP, lied, cheated and stole its way through two terms of unadulterated, unapologetic corruption.

So let us all say goodbye to George W. Bush and the elephant he rode in on this November, by voting against the Republican party. In droves.

Make the jump for Obama Pie…

Random Japan

Well, glad that’s settled

Researchers have determined that genetic variations can explain the physical differences between “mainland” and “Ryukyuan” Japanese, such as hair thickness and “whether earwax is dry or wet.”

A Japanese historian claims to have found documents proving that the US military was able to locate and kill Imperial Navy Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto because his travel plans were broadcast in “an old cipher that should have earlier been destroyed.” The Americans shot down Yamamoto’s plane in an aerial ambush over the Pacific in April 1943.

It was announced that sexpot Mika Kano, who along with “sister” Kyoko has made a career out of having large breasts, is releasing a book called Something Beyond Boobs.

A North Korean official said that Japan should never be allowed a permanent seat on the UN Security Council because it “beautifies… the massacre of millions of innocent peoples in Korea and other Asian countries.”

Soon after, Japan decided to extend economic sanctions on North Korea for another six months.

Researchers at the National Institute of Animal Health say they’ve come up with a way to check the brain waves of a cow to determine whether it is afflicted with BSE.

Overnight Caption Contest (Roll Your Own)



Quite apart from the acting or the production values of the film, “W” very nearly accurately reflects the relationships not only of Bush and his father but of the entire Bush cabinet.

I would take the relationship of George W with George H a large step further.

I believe George W. Bush intentionally made a mess of his presidency. He did this essentially through the invasion of Iraq. The purpose of which was simply to punish his father. His father regarded him as a “screw up”. His presidency has been a screw up, but not by accident. It has been intentional. George W. Bush knew everything he was doing was the “wrong” thing to do. It is not a question of intelligence, it’s a question of intention. Any fool could see that an invasion of Iraq was the “wrong thing” to do.

The purpose of George Bush’s invasion of Iraq was to punish his father by screwing up on a monumental presidential level. The purpose was to destroy the Bush name, by destroying in any way possible, the image of America. The image of his father. This is a typical famalial pattern. The son keeps doing self destructive things. The upstanding father cannot understand why. It’s not because the son is stupid. It’s because the son is punishing the father. It’s really trite.

You can simply reverse everything George W. Bush has said about “America” and freedom and his love of freedom and of Bush’s often stated perception about “those who hate freedom”. It is George Bush who hates America, not Al Queda. Al Queda is a myth. Al Queda is used as a vehicle for George W. Bush  to displace his hatred of America. And America is George W. Bush’s father.

Now, we see in the film that all of George W’s advisors eventually indulge George Bush. They indulge him, they enable him. I believe this is accurate. Dick Cheney, is a provincial and essientially unsophisticated man has achieved through political experience the appearance of sophistication. But he is an actor with avuncular “chops”. Cheney is an extremely paranoid individual and is certainly a force that is aligned, for different reasons, not suicidal, with George W. Bush and his need to self destruct. It’s as if George W is saying  to his father, “Oh you think i’m a screw up huh?…I’ll show you how much of a screw up I can be. I’ll screw things up so bad it will make your head spin. I’ll destroy everything in the world that you like, I’ll destroy the world as you know it.” And that is exactly what he has done. George W.  has unraveled everything his father did during his presidency.

Almost all the the important treaties, all the foreign and domestic policies of his father have been thrown out.

I thought the actors were fine in the film, but it’s really irrelevant. The point of Bush’s presidency, the essence of this bizzarre human failure is brought out in the film.

Oliver Stone is not dumb.

What is not brought out and is a topic for another film, is the reason why an entire population of people indulged this person for 8 years in his utterly pointless wars. Not to mention, of course, his destruction of the American economy for which no one is blaming him.

Why hasn’t one senator, one congressman, one journalist, one somebody somewhere stood up and called George Bush out. I’m mean really called him out. He is a very distrubed person. He is psychologically distrubed, deeply disturbed. His disturbance is not unusual. But it is unusual for a person to become president WHOSE INTENTION IS TO FAIL.

Perhaps the destruction of the American economy was an unforseen but inevitable bonus for George W. That’s another issue.

Large parts of the American population want to die. Large parts of America are secretly suicidal. They use religion and the excuse of the “rapture” to cover their simple desire to die. They prefer to live in heaven. They don’t want to be here on Earth all that much. So, we can say, as conservative as they may be, they really don’t care all that much about “America”. The real interest of the fundamentalist is “Heaven”.  I call that being suicidal.

They are George Bush’s base.

Obama and the Derivatives Merchants

Original article, by Glen Ford, via blackagendareport.com:

“…in many respects, working with [Barack Obama] will be very much like working with President Clinton…. I think he will be just fine.”

– Top Obama adviser Robert Rubin, former Clinton Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chair, currently an executive with Citigroup, August 28, 2008.

It Was Nice KNowing You.

I apologize, but as soon as I conclude writing this diary I’m going to walk down the block and set my neighbor Jill on fire.

She’s in her her mid-to-late 50’s, is a lovely, smart women who has bought birthday and holiday gifts for both of my children (has even cared for our dog when she got sick) but by the definition of Michelle Bachman, representative from Minnesota in this video…

…poor Jill is an un-American, liberal leftist… and given that she’s acted on these views by protesting and writing letters espousing her views… she has, essentially, committed treason and therefore must die.

Friday Night at 8: Work Glow

There’s a kind of beauty to work, to labor, and in these tumultuous times that beauty just glows.

Last time I saw the glow was on 9/11.  I walked home from work in Midtown and bought a sandwich at the fake French bakery across the street.  It struck me very forcefully that the woman behind the counter was still at work while I was able to go home.  We didn’t know yet whether the attacks were over or not, the city was in shock, and yet I was able to buy a sandwich and later to go to the drugstore to pick up a few things, where yet another woman rang up my order.  She didn’t leave work either.

Of course one the best known examples I can recall of this glow was when John Swigert, Jr. and James Lovell who, with Fred Haise Jr., made up the crew of the US’s Apollo 13 moon flight communicated to Earth that something had gone technically wrong.  The real phrase is “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” which morphed into the well known phrase “Houston, we have a problem.”

That line was the sound of work, that glow I’m writing about.

In the world of teevee, there is Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise.  When the going got dangerous, they were at their workstations, fully engaged in the situation.  Scotty got the most flack, imo.

I’ve been doing diary rescue over at Daily Kos for the downticket races.  The rescued diaries get put into one big roundup and the whole thing goes on the front page.

I’ve been reading folks who have been posting every day on the races they’re involved in, and often this is on top of their canvassing work and such.

When I think about the last couple weeks, with big changes going on all over the place, I am seeing the glow in those diaries, the ability to focus on the situation confronting you and do the work you see needs to be done — with no boss, no paycheck, not a whole lot of comments most of the time, just to do it because you think it should be done.  That’s the glow.

There is not a poster here at Docudharma who I’m not getting that glow from.

Just sayin’.

10/15 Debate Essay Rescue

We had some good essays that kind of got lost during the debate and I thought I’d mention them so that if they escaped your attention you might pay a visit.


are pretty October 15th specific, celebrating anniversaries like they do.


might get a promotion, but they also might slide down.

If you want to see each and every artist’s original conception I encourage you to bookmark the DocuDharma Essays Button.

Baby Beluga

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


A Beluga Whale

Some great news, and a slap in the face to Sarah Palin.  The New York Times reports:

The federal government on Friday placed beluga whales that live in Alaska’s Cook Inlet on the endangered species list, rejecting efforts by Gov. Sarah Palin to keep the whales from coming under the increased protections.

The relatively small, whitish whales, sometimes visible from downtown Anchorage in the inlet’s silvery water, declined by almost 50 percent during the late 1990’s, and federal scientists say they have not rebounded despite protections that included limiting subsistence hunting by Native Alaskans. About 375 whales have been counted in Cook Inlet each of the last two years, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering,” James Balsiger, an acting assistant administrator in charge of the agency’s fisheries programs, said in a written statement announcing that the whales were in danger of extinction.

The announcement, whose timing was tied to a predetermined schedule under the Endangered Species Act, drew attention once again to Ms. Palin’s positions on environmental issues. The governor, the Republican nominee for vice president, has come under scrutiny for her ambiguous statements about climate change and her administration’s effort to prevent another species, the polar bear, from being declared a threatened species.

And why is Governor Palin opposed to Belugas?  Wanna guess?

As with the polar bear, Ms. Palin’s administration had fought the beluga listing because of its potential to restrict coastal and offshore oil and gas development. The beluga listing also could affect a proposed bridge over Knik Arm that would connect Anchorage to the Matanuska-Valley and Ms. Palin’s hometown of Wasilla.


And here’s an appropriate way to celebrate, with a song from Raffi my kids used to love back in the day:

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