January 9, 2009 archive

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Four at Four

  1. Congressional Democrats are looking to right a wrong perpetrated by a 2007 Supreme Court decision. The LA Times reports Democrats focus on workplace bias. The Supreme Court tossed out a workplace discrimination suit brought by Lilly Ledbetter against Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Ledbetter said “she was paid less than comparable male employees for years, won at trial, but the justices ruled she had sued too late.”

    The legislation, sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), would force judges to adopt Ledbetter’s position that each paycheck constituted a separate act of discrimination that extended the statutory time limit for filing suit. Supporters think such a rule is necessary because victims of pay disparity often have difficulty finding out the salaries of other workers.

    The legislation passed the House today on a 247-171 vote.

  2. The NY Times has the latest from Afghanistan where a series of Bombings kill 9 Afghans and 5 American soldiers. Today, three U.S. soldiers were killed when their armored Humvee hit a large roadside bomb near the border of Zabul Province near Kandahar Province. A separate attack, a suicide bomber also killed Gul Mohammed, a police commander in Zaranj, and five others.

    Yesterday, “two American soldiers and three Afghan civilians were killed near Kandahar when a suicide bomber drove an explosive-packed car into a crowded bazaar… The blast wounded 21 civilians.”

  3. Bloomberg reports that 2008 Payrolls Drop Biggest Since 1945. “The U.S. lost more jobs in 2008 than in any year since 1945 as employers fired another 524,000 people in December, indicating a free-fall in the economy just days before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.”

    The Labor Department reported that the nation lost 2.589 million jobs in 2008, just shy of the 2.75 million decline at the end of World War II…

    During President George W. Bush’s two terms in office, the economy generated a net 3 million jobs, compared with 22.8 million created during the eight years when Bill Clinton was president.

    Bush leaves office with unemployment at 7.2 percent, compared with the 4.2 percent rate he inherited from Clinton in January 2001. Unemployment was 7.3 percent when Clinton took office in January 1993, the last month that the jobless rate was higher than now.

    Atrios notes the “U6, a broader measure of unemployment, is up to 13.5%“.

  4. The Guardian reports Climate change may ruin farming in tropics by 2100 and half the world’s population could face food shortages. “Harvests of staple food crops such as rice and maize could fall by between 20% and 40% as a result of higher temperatures during the growing season in the tropics and subtropics.”

    The study published in Science “found there was a 90% chance that by the end of the century, the coolest temperatures in the tropics during the crop growing season would exceed the hottest temperatures recorded between 1900 and 2006.”

No Pardons

“I don’t have any reason to believe that anybody in the agency did anything illegal,” he said.

(On Waterboarding) “It’s been used with great discrimination by people who know what they’re doing and has produced a lot of valuable information and intelligence,” he said, sitting in an arm chair in his West Wing office.

“There is no way I am backing down or bursting my reality bubble just because everything I made George do was wrong, illegal, immoral and ultimately harmful to the US. I would wiretap DFH’s and torture brown people til the cows come home again and again, because that is just the kind of macho studly dude I am. Badges? I don’t need no stinking badges! If I do it is IS legal! And you can shove your pardon up your ass AND….”


Ok, I MAY have misquoted him on that last one a bit.

Cheney then shot his arms into the air, both hands making a “v for victory” gang sign and yelled out….”I am NOT a War Criminal!”

Accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt, of wrongdoing. And while lesser mortals in the pipeline of the Dick Cheney Industrial Torture Network that included strings of secret torture prisons, torture ships and even a torture airline may be a bit nervous, Dick will never wilt.

Admitting guilt by accepting a pardon would open a can of worms that contains civil rights prosecutions, civil lawsuits, and international prosecutions. In addition to wounded pride, admitting he was wrong about something or anything, and a readjustment of his adamantine, if completely erroneous, world view of black hats and white hats.

But, the Bush/Cheney apologist mewl, they have kept us safe from another attack! They foiled shoe bombers and folks who wanted to make impossible liquid bombs and other terrorist fantasies….that never had a chance of occurring and that all of the terroristic anti-terror measures that Dick instigated had NOTHING to do with stopping. All Dick did was throw away Americas claim to any kind of moral high ground and make US into a nation of terrorists, make us into a nation of torturers. Reduce us to a level BELOW those who we are fighting by throwing every human value of a proud nation down the toilet.

He don’t need our stinking pardon!

Hmm, American Citizen, 147yrs., Torture, Human Rights Abuses Committed Oversea’s, Hmmmm!

Looks like we have the conclusion, coming sometime today, of a bush administration justice? department trial for ‘Torture’ and ‘Human Rights Violations’ committed by an American Citizen, Overseas, as laid out in Our Laws, under Our Constitution!

Son of Liberian despot to be sentenced in US after torture trial

American citizen “Chucky Taylor” facing 147years on Human Rights Violations Committed Abroad, today, 1-09-09!!

Obama and the Two Santa Clauses

The Two Santa Claus Theory is a political theory and strategy developed by Jude Wanniski in 1976, which he promoted within the U.S. Republican Party. –snip

The theory states that, in democratic elections, if one party appeals to voters by proposing more spending, then a competing party cannot gain broader appeal by proposing less spending. The “Santa Claus” of the theory title refers to the political party that promises spending. Instead, “Two Santa Claus Theory” recommends that the competing party must assume the role of a second Santa Claus by offering other appealing options.

This theory is a response to the belief of monetarists, and especially Milton Friedman, that the government must be starved of revenue in order to control the growth of spending (since, in the view of the monetarists, spending cannot be reduced by elected bodies as the political pressure to spend is too great). Monetarism is a set of views concerning the determination of national income and monetary economics. … Milton Friedman (born July 31, 1912) is a U.S. economist, known primarily for his work on macroeconomics and for his advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism. …

“Two Santa Claus Theory” does not argue against this belief, but holds that such arguments cannot be espoused in an effort to win democratic elections. In Wanniski’s view, the Laffer curve and supply-side economics provide an attractive alternative rationale for revenue reduction: that the economy will grow, not merely that the government will be starved of revenue. Wanniski argued that Republicans must become the tax-cutting Santa Claus to the Democrats spending Santa Claus.

And the beat goes on….  

Docudharma Times Friday January 9

Mitch McConnell Thinks The

Stimulus  Package Should Be Targeted Towards

The Rich And Corporations As Usual  

Friday’s Headlines:

Geithner Preparing Overhaul Of Bailout

EU says deal struck with Russia over gas supply

Ireland’s second biggest employer defects to Poland

The West Bank: We’re all Hamas now – supporters of Fatah unite behind enemy

Rafah: A border town caught between Egypt and Hamas

Tokyo set for a turf war as recession-hit yakuza gangsters fight it out

Trading a life in Vegas to speak for troops in Afghanistan

‘It Feels Like We Are Under Siege’

West African nations meet amid split over Guinea

For redress of grievances, Mexicans turn to bureaucracy contest

Obama camp ‘prepared to talk to Hamas’

Incoming administration will abandon Bush’s isolation of Islamist group to initiate low-level diplomacy, say transition sources

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 January 2009 03.18 GMT

The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush’s doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.

The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group.

The Guardian has spoken to three people with knowledge of the discussions in the Obama camp. There is no talk of Obama approving direct diplomatic negotiations with Hamas early on, but he is being urged by advisers to initiate low-level or clandestine approaches, and there is growing recognition in Washington that the policy of ostracising Hamas is counter-productive.

War in Gaza: Israel accused of shelling house full of children

From Times Online

January 9, 2009

Times Online

The United Nations has cited witnesses accusing Israeli troops of evacuating scores of Palestinians – including children – into a house in Gaza on Sunday and then shelling the property 24 hours later, killing approximately 30 people.

Just hours after calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, the UN cited witnesses of the alleged attack in the house in Zeitun, an eastern Gaza city neighbourhood.

The UN said that “according to several testimonies, on January 4, Israeli foot soldiers evacuated approximately 110 Palestinians into a single-residence house in Zeitun (half of whom were children) warning them to stay indoors. 24 hours later, Israeli forces shelled the home repeatedly, killing approximately 30”.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) described it as “one of the gravest incidents since the beginning of operations” by Israeli forces in Gaza on December 27.



Senate Allies Fault Obama on Stimulus


Published: January 8, 2009

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan ran into crossfire from his own party in Congress on Thursday, suggesting that quick passage of spending programs and tax cuts could require more time and negotiation than Democrats once hoped.

Senate Democrats complained that major components of his plan were not bold enough and urged more focus on creating jobs and rebuilding the nation’s energy infrastructure rather than cutting taxes.

Just hours earlier, Mr. Obama called for speedy passage of the stimulus measure, warning that the recession “could linger for years” if Congress did not pass his plan within weeks.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Absolutely Nothing


Huh!  Good God, y’all!

What is it good for?

War is good

for making the rich richer

those mongers

who profit

from human suffering

and tragedy

It matters not

if they benefit from victory

by one side or the other

only that War

continue somewhere


And War is good

for spreading

that suffering and tragedy

along with hatred

death and the disintegration

of human society

What more could anyone want?

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–March 13, 2008

Late Night Karaoke

Just Pretend Your In A Sunny Exotic Location

Murray Head – One Night In Bangkok

I don’t know how many of my friends are gay

Crossposted at Rainbow Mittens.

I don’t know how many of my friends are gay.  I have a lot of them.

Me?  Not so much.  No fantasies or childhood experimentation, except the hetero kind.

In fact sex is kind of icky, if only because it fools with your emotions.  Makes you irrational.

I hate that.

I’m constantly surprised by the sexual lives of my friends, many seem to choose the most inappropriate people who bring out their worst characteristics.

My life is certainly like that.  My fiance gave me unconditional love, but I am Captain of the Enterprise and she was not it.

So maybe it wasn’t that unconditional after all.

But that’s not the story I want to tell.  

Kudos to Zuky For Making the List!

I’ve quoted Kai at the blog Zuky several times here at Docudharma.

He’s a blogger who I’ve learned a great deal from, who has changed the way I write, we’ve all experienced that, here on the tubez.

Well Kai has been nominated for a 2008 Weblog Award in the “Hidden Gem” category, one that describes his blog pretty well, imo.

Stuff like his Time to Throw the Traders Out of the Temple series, written right after the financial collapse.

He and Nezua from The Unapologetic Mexican went to Denver for the Democratic Convention, after which Kai wrote his own homage to Hunter Thompson with “Fear and Loathing in Denver.”

Anyway, if you want to show support to a great blogger, go on over to this post over at Zuky, the voting widget is embedded beneath the fold of that post.

You can vote every day through January 12.

And if you do vote for Kai, thanks from me.

Sen. Harkin: Obama’s Plan looks like trickle-down

From TPM:

Democratic senators are still emerging from their closed-door briefing with Obama economic adviser Larry Summers … but a senior Democratic senator, Iowa progressive Tom Harkin, just gave me a dire buzzword: trickle-down.

There’s only one thing we’ve got to do in this stimulus, and that’s create jobs,” Harkin told me. “I’m a little concerned by the way Mr. Summers and others are going on this … it still looks a little more to me like trickle-down.”

Likening Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan to the failed supply-side excesses of the Reagan and Bush years is a bit of a Cassandra moment. But Harkin didn’t back down. “What I’m hearing from Mr. Summers is that they’ve got a different approach — tax breaks, and this and that,” he said. Harkin warned that, much like the outcome of George Bush’s $600 stimulus package last year, recipients of quick tax cuts “are going to be salting it away, not spending it.”


Damn, I love Harkin. A Dem willing to stand up for working people.