May 11, 2009 archive

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports the Pentagon to replace top commander in Afghanistan. After less than a year, Gen. David McKiernan is out. His replacement is to be “Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, a former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command who recently ran all special operations in Iraq.”

    Meanwhile, the U.S. accuses Afghan militants of using white phosphorus. According to the U.S. military, “at least seven instances of militants using white phosphorus in improvised explosive attacks since spring 2007, including attacks in civilian areas. The military documents showed 12 attacks where militants used white phosphorus in mortar or rocket attacks.”

    All the while the West looked the other way as Afghan drug trade exploded, according to McClatchy. For more than six years, U.S. and NATO forces failed to take poppy cultivation seriously. “Now Helmand and Kandahar have become the core of a narco-state within Afghanistan, effectively ruled by the resurgent Taliban. Drugs are the main economic engine there, and most politicians and police are said to be under the thumbs of dealers… Poppy cultivation has shifted almost exclusively to five of the country’s southern provinces, Taliban areas such as Kandahar and Helmand have become even more volatile.”

Four at Four continues with an update from Pakistan, tossing out Bush’s antitrust policy, Somali pirates’ man in London, West coast high speed rail, and snail evolution.

“Buying” Congress Back

“And the banks – hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place,” Durbin said.

They own the place.

OUR place.

Does The United States Government exist to legislate on behalf of the banking industry, the insurance industry and the coal/energy industry? At the expense of the People of the United States?

Mortgage relief for Citizens, credit card legislation, health care, Climate Change. All of these much needed legislative reforms that are intended to help We The People, the citizens of the United States, are either in danger, are being changed to benefit industry, or are downright dead. Killed at the behest of the “business sector.” At the bidding of The Ruling Class. At the hand of our very own government. Our government is working against us and for them.

Because the Ruling Class has bought our government out from under us.

Is our Congress in the business of exploiting us for the benefit of the “business sector?” As things stand now, yes.

Here’s how it works….and here is why we can “buy” our government back.

The Senate Democrats Who Fucked 9 Million Americans: Senator Max S. Baucus (D-MT)

(Crossposted atThe Free Speech Zone)

(This is Part 1 of a 13 part series)

VOTED NAY on Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009…


Current Office: U.S. Senate

Seniority: Senior Seat

First Elected: 11/07/1978

Last Elected: 11/04/2008

Next Election: 2014

Party: Democratic

Background Information

Gender: Male

Family: Wife: Wanda Minge

1 Child: Zeno.

Birth Date: 12/11/1941

Birthplace: Helena, MT

Home City: Missoula, MT

Religion: United Church of Christ


LLB, Stanford University Law School, 1967

BA, Economics, Stanford University, 1964.

Professional Experience:

Attorney, George and Baucus Law Firm, 1971

Attorney, Civil Aeronautics Board, 1967-1971.

Political Experience:

Senator, United States Senate, 1978-present

Representative, United States House of Representatives, 1974-1978

Representative, Montana State House of Representatives, 1973-1974.

Executive Director, Committee Coordinator, Montana’s Constitutional Convention, 1972.…

Death by Orgasm


Three Self-Evident Truths:

ONE; Fantasy is always better than reality

TWO; Life is always better than death

THREE; Sex is a drug

Who dares to disagree?

Docudharma Times Monday May 11

CRC Public Relations Who

Brought You

Harry And Louise And The Swift Boat

Ads Are Back

Attacking Health Care


Health Care Is A Right

Not A Privilege  

Monday’s Headlines:

Administration Plans to Strengthen Antitrust Rules

Economic downturn finally hits Iraq

iPhones in Iraq – the US Army’s new weapon

Tsvangirai insists Mugabe is ‘part of Zimbabwe’s solution’

Zuma’s first cabinet fails to include veteran finance chief

Silvio Berlusconi under fire over anti-immigration remarks

Putin Says NATO Exercises in Georgia Hinder U.S.-Russia Relations

 China quake: From rubble, civil society builds

Japan’s opposition head ‘to quit’

A trip to Mexico’s Museum of Drugs

King Abdullah of Jordan’s ultimatum: peace now or it’s war next year

From The Times

May 11, 2009

Richard Beeston and Michael Binyon in Amman

America is putting the final touches to a hugely ambitious peace plan for the Middle East, aimed at ending more than 60 years of conflict between Israel and the Arabs, according to Jordan’s King Abdullah, who is helping to bring the parties together.

The Obama Administration is pushing for a comprehensive peace agreement that would include settling Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and its territorial disputes with Syria and Lebanon, King Abdullah II told The Times. Failure to reach agreement at this critical juncture would draw the world into a new Middle East war next year. “If we delay our peace negotiations, then there is going to be another conflict between Arabs or Muslims and Israel in the next 12-18 months,” the King said.

Details of the plan are likely to be thrashed out in a series of diplomatic moves this month. Chief among them is President Obama’s meeting with Binyamin Netanyahu, the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, in Washington a week today.

Pakistani civilians flee Swat valley as major ground offensive draws closer

• Army orders residents to leave during lull in fighting

• Exodus prompts warning of humanitarian crisis

Declan Walsh in Islamabad and Sana ul Haq in Mingora, Sunday 10 May 2009 23.03 BST

The Pakistani army ordered residents to flee the Swat Valley during a lull in fighting , triggering a further exodus of frightened people and raising expectations of a significant ground offensive against the Taliban.

Miles of traffic jams snaked out of the war-torn valley as tens of thousands of people fled using all available means, from donkey-drawn carts to rickshaws.

In the battlezone the army said it had killed another 200 militants, most of them in a strike on a training camp in Shangla district and 55 in Swat. The fight is being closely watched from the US.


Health Groups Vow Cost Control

$2 Trillion in Savings Offered Over Decade, White House Says

By Michael A. Fletcher and Ceci Connolly

Washington Post Staff Writers

Monday, May 11, 2009

Volunteering to “do our part” to tackle runaway health costs, leading groups in the health-care industry have offered to squeeze $2 trillion in savings from projected increases over the next decade, White House officials said yesterday.

The pledge comes amid a debate over how, or whether, to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, and Obama administration officials predicted that it will significantly increase momentum for passing such changes this year.

The groups aim to achieve the proposed savings by using new efficiencies to trim the rise in health-care costs by 1.5 percent a year, the officials said. That would carry huge implications for the national economy and the federal budget, both of which are significantly affected by health-care expenses.

Monday Morning Business Update

Old News


Stress Tests

1 Improving markets helped banks pass stress test

By Mark Felsenthal, Reuters

21 mins ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. bank regulators breathed a huge sigh of relief in early April when improving financial markets looked set to push the nation’s 19 largest banks through the gauntlet of tough “stress tests” in reasonably good shape.

In early March, a month after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the tests on February 10 to help restore investor confidence in the major banks, the scene was much bleaker: major stock indexes had slumped to 12-year lows on persistent fears about the financial weakness. It looked possible that a major bank might need an emergency government rescue even before the stress test results could be announced.

But since the trough, markets improved steadily with rising share prices and volumes, better liquidity and other signs of stabilization, and regulators gained comfort that capital markets would be willing to fill any holes the stress tests unearthed at banks.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XXXIV

Art Link

Breaking Dreams


When did revenge

become part of

a liberal or progressive


How can we scream

call names

spead rumors

seek to crush

our enemies

and remain true

to our moral


Is payback

all there is?

Is this all

a game of


Or do we

still have ethics?

Who are we?

–Robyn Serven

–January 9, 2007

Late Night Karaoke

Just Another Day Monday

Action Alert! “Stand the F..k Up!” *

* (budhydharma)


Shoulda’ happened yesterday already!

Cong. Tammy Baldwin has introduced a bill “Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2009” (H.Res. 417), “calling on President Obama to reverse the damaging and illegal actions taken by the Bush/Cheney Administration and to collaborate with Congress to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power.”   h/t David Swanson

Here are the key points of the bill:

“Over the past several years, serious questions have been raised about the conduct of high ranking Bush/Cheney Administration officials in relation to some of the most basic elements of our democracy: respect for the rule of law, the principle of checks and balances, and the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights,” said Baldwin. “We must restore Americans’ faith that in a democracy, we follow the rule of law and that nobody – even the President and Vice President of the United States – is above the law,” Baldwin said.

“President Obama has already begun the work of reaffirming American values of justice and freedom. I commend him for his orders to close the detention facility at Guantanamo and prohibit illegal and immoral interrogation techniques. President Obama’s efforts to renew America must also include restoring executive branch accountability. We had an administration that spied on Americans, outed a covert intelligence agent, suspended habeas corpus, held people without charges and without access to counsel, and used torture and rendition. This measure lists steps President Obama can take to proactively prevent any further abuses of executive branch power and restore the public’s faith in our government,” Baldwin said.

The Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2009 calls on President Obama to:

* Affirm our nation’s commitment to uphold the Constitution;

* Fully investigate Bush/Cheney administration officials’ alleged crimes and hold them accountable for any illegal acts;

* Hold accountable Bush/Cheney Administration officials who showed or show contempt for the legal duty to comply with Congressional subpoenas; disclosed the identity of any covert intelligence agent; pursued politically-motivated prosecutions;

* Ensure that any Bush/Cheney administration official guilty of a war crime is prosecuted under the War Crimes Act and the Anti-Torture Act;

* Affirm that it is the sole legal right of Congress to declare war;

* Criminalize lying to Congress and the American public about the reasons for going to war;

* Restore the writ of habeas corpus as an essential principle of our democracy;

* Ensure that torture and rendition are uniformly prohibited under United States law;

* Responsibly close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp;

* Ensure that Americans can bring claims against their government;

* Immediately take affirmative steps to protect all Bush/Cheney Administration documents;

* Publicly review potential abuses of the presidential pardon process; and

* Further reform the use of presidential signing statements.

A copy of the Executive Branch Accountability Act of 2009 as introduced can be found in this PDF.

Congresswoman Baldwin explains why she feels this bill is necessary:

thanks mom!

Adira Amram – Mom Song from Jim Turner on Vimeo.

Losing the hearts and minds one war crime at a time

America.  The Home of the Brave.  The Land of the Free.  The country who has pundits and politicians who claim that “they” hate us for our freedom.  

The nation that is losing the hearts and minds of the international community one war crime at a time…

Thoughts from the Campfire

Another excellent time was had by all at the RV park on the beach.  Vacation with Grampy is always a great time and upon packing up he told his mother in no uncertain tones, “No home, mama, No home.”

And yes Glenn Beck is an asshole but not for the conventional reasons.