January 10, 2009 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Citigroup, Morgan Stanley discuss brokerage combo

By MADLEN READ, AP Business Writer

46 mins ago

NEW YORK – A deal to combine the brokerages of Citigroup and Morgan Stanley – which would give Citi more cash, and Morgan Stanley more manpower – appears just days away.

Morgan Stanley is likely to pay Citigroup between $2 billion to $3 billion for a 51 percent stake in the brokerage Smith Barney, a person close to the negotiations said.

Morgan Stanley would then have the option to buy Smith Barney over the next three to five years, the person said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the ongoing talks.

Bad Bloggers, Naughty Bloggers, bad, Bad, BAD!

(Ed. note: This is written for Dkos, you guys are all great….and my, those shoes are attractive! Are they new?)

I would roll up a newspaper and smack your nose…..but newspapers are dead!

So instead I will write this spur of the moment badly thought out impulsive rant.

!!! Ha, THAT will teach you!

You are being BAD! You are being naughty! And if you don’t straighten up and fly right, you WILL go to bed with no snark tonight!

Ok Ok, As a Dad, and a past owner of many pets, and a semi-Skinnerist, I know that just yelling at you and threatening you without spelling out exactly what you have done wrong will only confuse you and cause resentment….and perhaps lead you in later years into a life of sex, drugs, and depravity.

Ooops, looks like I was too late!

But I will still explain…( …I give and give and give to you people…)

…YOU are squandering an opportunity. You are giving up an advantage. You are missing a key fact. You have not adjusted to the new reality.

(Whereas I, as per usual for people doing the scolding, am perfectly perfect in every way! Bask in my brilliance and perfectitude! Hork!)

What is this new reality, you ask? What opportunity are you giving up? This one:

You are now being listened to. And not only are you now being listened to, you are being listened to by People In Power.

We need a Real Recovery: Obama’s Plan is “Too Weak.”

This morning, Barack Obama raised the number of jobs the Recovery Plan will create from 3 million to 4 million.  He released a new report drafted by Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” projecting the number of jobs the Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create:

“The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create 3 to 4 million jobs.  Ninety percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector.  The remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities.”

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

The Report is here: The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

More, after the fold.  

Uncensoring Brenda Norrell: Forced Navajo Relocation


Navajos at Big Mountain resisting forced relocation view the 19th Century prison camp of Bosque Redondo and the war in Iraq as a continuum of U.S. government sponsored terror. Louise Benally of Big Mountain remembered her great-grandfather and other Navajos driven from their beloved homeland by the U.S. Army on foot for hundreds of miles while witnessing the murder, rape and starvation of their family and friends.

“I think these poor children had gone through so much, but, yet they had the will to go on and live their lives. If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be here today.

– snip –

“The U.S. military first murders your people and destroys your way of life while stealing your culture, then forces you to learn their evil ways of lying and cheating,” Benally said.

And of course per history repeating…

Petitioning For A Special Prosecutor: Crashing The MSM

Image courtesy of: www.arimelber.com

On December 30, 2008 I wrote here about Ari Melber helping to push the petition and public awareness of Bob Fertik’s great efforts at forcing the demand for a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Bush administration war crimes to the top of the list of questions for Barack Obama at change.gov, under Additional Issues. At the time Ari had written a great article for The Nation, which was also published at Huffington post, about Obama’s Open For Questions invitation for citizen input.

Ari Melber is The Nation’s Net Movement correspondent and a writer for the online magazine’s blog State Of Change. Ari’s own website is www.arimelber.com.

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Well, that wasn’t a one shot effort on Ari’s part, and he emailed me on Thursday to let me know that he’s been at it again, continuing his push as Net Movement correspondent with another article on Thursday at The Nation, Torture Prosecutor Tops 70,000 Questions for Obama on Change.Gov. His article was also graciously showcased again by Arianna Huffington at Huffington Post, yesterday.

Since all of that happened several more progressive bloggers including Digby and David Swanson have picked up on the story and it’s been spreading, finally prompting even the New York Times to relent and write about it, as Ari explains in his article below.

We’re getting somewhere folks, inch by groaning inch, but we are making an impact!

Here is Ari’s article in full on the flip:

Docudharma Times Saturday January 10

Bush The Liberator

The Liberator Who Liberated Nothing  

Saturday’s Headlines:

More Americans obese than merely overweight

On the trail of Pakistan’s Taliban

China’s reluctance to reform

Big chill: Bulgarians battle to keep warm

The hospital hit: patient’s honest answer costs drug baron his life

Gaza: international plan hatched to bring back Fatah

Iraq’s novice political candidates embrace campaigning

$3m ransom drops in for Somali pirates

Gaza Strikes Reverberate in Egypt

Oil giant comes in from the cold

Exxon funded global warming denial for years. Yesterday, in an astonishing U-turn, it called for the imposition of green taxes.

By Stephen Foley in New York

Saturday, 10 January 2009

The boss of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, has called for a carbon tax to tackle global warming, marking a volte-face by the firm once described by Greenpeace as Climate Criminal No 1. Assailed from all sides by scientists and a new cadre of US politicians, led by the President-elect, Barack Obama, the landmark concession by Rex Tillerson represents a nod to realpolitik after years when the company denied the existence of man-made global warming.

Exxon had already dropped its funding of lobby groups which deny the science of climate change and begun to take a softer public line, but even Mr Tillerson admitted that propounding a carbon tax had stuck in the craw until recently. However, with European-style “cap and trade” rules governing carbon emissions moving up the agenda in the US, a carbon tax may be the least worst option, he said. Environmental groups gave a sceptical response to Exxon’s U-turn, calling it a deliberate attempt to torpedo the movement for outright carbon caps and any early switch to alternative energy.

Plan to Jump-Start Economy With No Manual


Published: January 9, 2009

WASHINGTON – The fresh evidence on Friday of the economy’s downward spiral focused even more attention on two questions: Is the stimulus package being pushed by President-elect Barack Obama big enough? And will the component parts being assembled by Congress provide the most bang for the buck?

With the Federal Reserve having just about reached the limit of how much it can help the economy with cuts in the interest rate, Washington’s ability to end or at least limit the recession depends in large part on the effectiveness of the big package of additional spending and tax cuts that Mr. Obama has made the centerpiece of his agenda



Obama Under Pressure On Interrogation Policy

Some See Harsh Methods as Essential

By Michael Abramowitz, Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writers

Saturday, January 10, 2009; Page A01

President-elect Barack Obama introduced his nominees to head his national security team on Friday. But now Obama begins a perilous balancing act to fulfill his pledge to make a clean break with the detention and interrogation policies of the Bush administration while still effectively ensuring the nation’s security.

Obama named retired Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair director of national intelligence and former congressman and White House chief of staff Leon E. Panetta as his CIA director.


Coming to terms with the reality and the lessons ignored for far too long, which ultimately by ignoring led us into the Deja-Vu of invasion and long term occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the failed leadership exposed!

Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes

Inside, the book, the Army’s Secret Archive of Investigations.

Atrocities, on all sides, are only a part of the story of the Tragedy of War and Occupation.

The rest we are once again observing and those serving and sacrificing in these theaters are living, along with their families.

Late Night Karaoke

Stuck In The Past

But Not A Bubble

The Vapours – Turning Japanese

Random Japan

?What’s in a name?

The most popular name for baby girls born in 2008 was Aoi, while Hiroto maintained top position for little boys, according to publisher Benesse. Hina had been the most popular name for girls for three straight years but dropped to third place this year.

The popularity of the name Aoi has been linked to NHK’s popular period drama Atsuhime, which stars actress Aoi Miyazaki. The show grabbed a viewer rating of 28.7 percent in Kanto region for its final episode in December.

For the second straight Olympics, Japanese hammer-thrower Koji Murofushi benefited when two athletes who finished above him were disqualified for doping. Murofushi got bumped up to the bronze medal for his efforts in Beijing, and four years ago he was awarded the gold in the Athens Olympics because the initial winner later failed a drug test.

A research institute called CM Databank announced that, for the second consecutive year, Softbank Mobile ads starring a white dog as the father of a human family were the most popular TV commercials.

Pony Party

No real theme tonight – just some cool stuff I Stumbled on last night.

Feel free to post your own links to weird or wonderful stuff!

“Change” and common sense

As many of you know, I am an avid reader of certain blogs; AMERICAblog, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress, TPM, Raw Story, Glenn Greenwald and Balloon Juice.  If I want to find news or commentary of substance, that is where I go to find it.

While I in no way put myself in the same class as those I read, I can also say that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure something out when the writing is on the wall…


Friday Night at 8: Leadership

What makes someone a leader?

When I was a little girl, I had the usual fantasies of big strong male leaders who were heroes, yeah, I mixed up leaders and famous comic-book type heroes and that was foolish — because usually heroes worked alone (usually in strange costumes) to halt villains and stuff and that’s why they were called heroes, using raw power and all.

I was married to a jazz musician who was the leader of his jazz quintet.  I found that leadership in this case was pretty much doing all the boring work of checking contracts, dealing with surly club owners and constantly making sure the musicians and singer got to the gigs on time and would show up at a rehearsal or two.  He was a good leader – the musicians dug his original compositions and his playing.  But they showed up to play, they’d do rehearsals for free, but they didn’t do all of the rest of it.

I guess my biggest leadership role in meatspace was when I managed a transcription service.  That was pretty much the same story … I had to make sure all the work was done correctly, and basically I had to allow myself to be hated a lot whenever the temp workers were in a bad mood.  Naturally, an authority figure is always a prime target for the woes we don’t want to take responsiblity for, and there I was, as I worked right alongside my transcribers.  For the most part they did respect me … but oh brother, they would sometimes eat me alive if the mood was cooking up that kind of a storm.

So to me, a leader is someone who does the work, first and foremost, who shows up and does the work.  If they do their work well, most often they find people will gather around them and pitch in.  It’s a kind of vibe, I guess.

We have leaders in our government, at least that’s what they call themselves.  I think that’s mistaken, though, as what they really are is holders of power, the power that the folks who elected them vested in them by their vote.

So they have power.  But do they lead?  These last eight years … eh, not so much.  We all know the disconnect that has occurred between our elected representatives and the folks who elected them.  And we’ve seen the grave consequences of this.

Can individual citizens be leaders?  I mean just regular folks, like us.  Can we be leaders?

I think we can and in many cases we are.

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