January 2009 archive

Your stimulus dollars at work…in Europe

Ya Think? Your tax dollars at work people!? Pictures, Images and Photos

Obama and the Democrats campaigned on jobs, buy American, taxing companies that ship jobs overseas, supporting unions and renegotiating trade.  

So far, Obama and the Democrats are flip-flopping on all of it; and I can’t help but ask, WTF are they doing?  

What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been

What a long strange trip it’s been for America.  And it keeps getting stranger by the minute.

Jon Perr at Crooks and Liars warns:

Last year, the Roadblock Republicans of the 110th Congress set the all-time filibuster record.  Forcing 104 cloture votes by October 2008, the Senate’s GOP minority easily eclipsed the old mark of 61 filibusters.  And now, fresh on the heels of “elated” and “celebrating” House Republicans’ refusal to provide a single vote in support of President Obama’s $825 economic recovery package, Senate Republicans are now suggesting they will filibuster the stimulus bill.

As NLinStPaul notes in her analysis of this filibuster threat, ThinkProgress has reported the latest in Republican obstructionism:

While Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions offered a none-too-thinly veiled threat of a GOP filibuster (“I think its going to take 60 votes to pass the bill”), Arizona’s John Kyl said he would explore “whatever parliamentary possibilities are in front of us.” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) promised to join the effort, announcing, “I would be a part of it.” And on Thursday, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told Robert Siegel on NPR that a filibuster of the Obama package passed by the House could be in the cards.

In what cards?  These cards?

Tarot Cards Pictures, Images and Photos

Rush Limbaugh and a deck of Tarot cards, that’s all the RePugs have left.


Can Republican Senators Stop the Stimulus?

Apparently, Republican Senators still haven’t gotten the message about how little power they have. According to Think Progress, there is some talk about trying to filibuster the stimulus bill next week.

Now, that might sound threatening to some. But a simple look at the math will tell you just what an uphill battle it would be. Nate Silver recently published a filibuster watch in which he looked at how many times Republican Senators have voted with the Obama administration already. Certainly this is a bit lop-sided since 2 of the 7 votes were for confirmations of Cabinet posts. But one of them was for Tim Geithner, the most contested to date.

The results are that all but 2 Republicans (DeMint and Vitter) have voted with the Obama Administration at least once and the fewest on any matter has been 5 on the Ledbetter Fair Play Act. If you remove the confirmation votes from the mix, a total of 28 Republican Senators have voted with the administration at least once.

Children Sue Obama

600 US born children have filed a lawsuit against Obama  to stop the deportation of their undocumented immigrant parents, who mostly immigrated from Latin American countries.  The children do not oppose President Obama, but rather are hopeful that he will exercise his authority to either adopt an Executive Order or  promote immigration reform in Congress to cease this governmental policy of separating families.  A similar lawsuit against Bush did not accomplish diddly-shit.  This is another problem that Obama has inherited from Bush’s immigration policies and also from immigration “reform” enacted in 1996.   One thing the children really need is public pressure.  While children suing Obama should be an attention-getting story, so far the lawsuit has been reported “almost exclusively by Spanish-language media.”  

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Super Bowl ads promise glitz, guffaws, groans

By DEBORAH YAO, AP Business Writer

Sat Jan 31, 9:24 am ET

It’s time for that annual winter ritual where people gather before their TV screens to whoop and holler as they gobble down unhealthy treats. Yes, it’s Super Bowl time. And Sunday’s NFL championship wouldn’t be complete without a look at its uber-expensive advertising, which is priced at an all-time high.

On Friday, NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., said it was in talks to sell the last two of the 67 spots for the game, which have gone for between $2.4 million and $3 million per 30-second slot.

“Considering the state of the economy in the United States, we couldn’t be any more thrilled,” said Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.

What if they gave a Class War and nobody came?

Well…I don’t think we need to worry about that scenario anymore!

There is a huge asymmetrical War raging. But just as when America ‘didn’t know’ it was at war with terrorists, The Ruling Class doesn’t know it is in a Class War.

Because as far as they are concerned, they have already won. Because for the last eight year….they had.

HT to  bubbanomics

Bloomberg is reporting today that the wealthiest 400 Americans had their incomes double during the Bush presidency.  The average for these poor souls is a measly $263,300,000 per year.  Times are hard indeed.

Capital gains made up 63 percent of the richest 400 Americans’ adjusted gross income in 2006, or a combined $66.1 billion, according to the data. In all, the 400 wealthiest Americans reported a combined $105.3 billion of adjusted gross income in 2006, the most recent year for which the IRS has data.


The richest 1% of Americans earned $1.3 trillion in 2004, an amount greater than the total national income of Canada. Further the top 1% of Americans has 33% of the country’s wealth.

It appears however that the drums and trumpets of War are approaching their luxurious redoubts of sheltered wealth. They are starting to get the hint.

“They don’t get it,” McCaskill said on the floor. “These people are idiots. You can’t use taxpayer money to pay out $18-billion in bonuses… What planet are these people on?”

The Ruling Class (and drooling bigots like Limbaugh and his dittoheads) are the last constituencies of the Republican Party. In point of fact, the Republican Party is not much more than Political Arm of The Ruling Class.

Why should Repubs vote to fix the economy for the Middle and Lower Class….when their constituency is doing just…swell? People are losing jobs and getting thrown out in the street in record numbers, and in response the Ruling Class and their political arm, The Republican Party are echoing Dick Cheney…


The only thing they have to fear….is us. And even that ‘us’ has been largely unaware…or afraid to acknowledge….that we are in a Class War. Up until now.

To put it simply….It’s On.

And  …Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets it’s worldwide.

As the one percent of the planet that holds the preponderance of wealth and the other 99% of the planet wake up to the fact that we ARE in a Class War, things are about to get interesting. Especially IF the 99% wake up to the fact that the 1% is killing the planet we all share …unnecessarily…  just so that they can make even more money.

As if money will save them.

Hold onto your hats, kidz. The symbolic election of Obama portends FAR more change than anyone (ha) could have anticipated. I wonder what will happen when the Ruling Class wakes up to the fact that they have…once again, gone too far… and that the peasants are indeed revolting.

First Strikes: Bombing Civilians

The discussion on the Bill Moyers Journal, last night, shows the problem with War, Wars of Choice, Occupations and especially Guerilla/Insurgent Warfare, of which all conflicts are, and have been, now for many years, and will continue to be!

And why there is Criminal Terrorism and the rise of!

Bill Moyers Journal, January 30, 2009

Bill Moyers sits down with historian Marilyn Young, author of the forthcoming “Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth-century History” and former Pentagon official Pierre Sprey, who developed military planes and helped found the military reform movement.

Obama’s calculated anger over Wall Street bonuses

Original article, by Tom Eley, via World Socialist Web Site:

On Thursday, President Obama publicly criticized Wall Street bankers who awarded themselves more than $18 billion in annual bonuses even as their banks collapsed, driving the US and world economy into the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Docudharma Times Saturday January 31

400 richest Americans’ incomes doubled under Bush.

While One Hundred Thousand Americans Lost Their Jobs

This Week

Saturday’s Headlines:

The last stop for a young utopian

Women fight for Iraqi votes but still lack power behind scenes

Iran’s nuclear terrorism fears

Sri Lanka president calls for safety of civilians in Tamil Tiger conflict

We are on the brink of war with the South, says North Korea

Officials sacked after Sarkozy hears jeers

Mafia bosses seek sun and safety on la costa nostra

New power-sharing deal will not end the agony in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Somali MPs choose new president

Lithium deposits could power long-exploited Bolivia’s future

Steep Slide in U.S. Economy as Unsold Goods Pile Up


Published: January 30, 2009

The economy shrank at an accelerating pace late last year, the government reported on Friday, adding to the urgency of a stimulus package capable of bringing the country back from a recession that appears to be deepening.

The actual decline in the gross domestic product – at a 3.8 percent annual rate – fell short of the 5 to 6 percent that most economists had expected for the fourth quarter. But that was because consumption collapsed so quickly that goods piled up in inventory, unsold but counted as part of the nation’s output.

“The drop in spending was so fast, so rapid, that production could not be cut fast enough,” said Nigel Gault, chief domestic economist at IHS Global Insight. “That is happening now, and the contraction in the current quarter, as a result, will probably exceed 5 percent.”

Governments across Europe tremble as angry people take to the streets

Ian Traynor, Europe editor

The Guardian, Saturday 31 January 2009

France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battle?eld. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment ?gure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New ?gures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.

It’s a snapshot of a single day – yesterday – in a Europe sinking into the bleakest of times. But while the outlook may be dark in the big wealthy democracies of western Europe, it is in the young, poor, vulnerable states of central and eastern Europe that the trauma of crash, slump and meltdown looks graver.



Daschle Owed Back Taxes That Exceeded $128,000

Former Senator Paid Days Before First Confirmation Hearing

Thomas A. Daschle, nominated to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, did not pay more than $128,000 in taxes over three years, a revelation that poses a potential obstacle to his Senate confirmation.

The back taxes, along with $12,000 in interest and penalties, involved unreported consulting fees, questionable charitable contributions, and a car and driver provided by a private equity firm run by entrepreneur and longtime Democratic Party donor Leo J. Hindery Jr., according to a confidential draft report prepared by Senate Finance Committee staff

Peanut Butter Recall

The peanut butter recall continues to spread.  This afternoon, while I was at work, my colleague got a phone call instructing her to pull a bunch more products, apparently in response to the latest round of recall news.

More recently, I visited La Vida Locavore…there’s more on the way.  The entire situation ain’t pretty.

FWIW, Reese’s peanut butter cups seem to remain safe, as the Reese’s people seem never to have bought anything from the supplier in question.

But jars of pb are now on the do-not-eat list.

Late Night Karaoke

Just Pretend Your

Listening To C89fm  

Paul Oakenfold – Hypnotised

paul van dyk – new york city

CCR: Close Torture Loopholes in Army Field Manual

A huge step in the fight against torture took place today. Center for Constitutional Rights has joined Physicians for Human Rights, The Constitution Project — and myself — and come out publicly against the abusive interrogation techniques contained in the Army Field Manual.

This is significant because the Army Field Manual is being put forward by President Obama and top Democratic Senators as the proposed “single standard” for all interrogations by the military and the CIA. Meanwhile, old recalcitrant Bushites, and the CIA, are for their part trying to paint the current AFM as “too soft” for use with “terrorist” suspects.

Their “action alert”, reprinted below, includes an automated letter that you can send to President Obama asking him to say NO to interrogation practices that include isolation, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, and humiliation. It also asks for investigations of those officials ” for those officials who broke the law to create an official program of torture and abuse.”

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