A growing number of American children are living in poverty and with unemployed parents, and are facing the threat of hunger, according to a federal report released yesterday.

According to the report, “America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being,” 18 percent of all children 17 and younger were living in poverty in 2007, up from 17 percent in 2006. The percentage of children with at least one parent working full time was 77 percent in 2007, down from 78 percent in 2006. Those living in households where parents described children as being hungry, having skipped a meal or having gone without eating for an entire day increased from 0.6 percent in 2006 to 0.9percent in 2007, the report said.

Federal officials said the statistics predate the current economic downturn, and forecast harder times for some of the country’s 74 million children 17 and younger.

“It foreshadows greater changes we’ll see when we look at these figures next year,” said Duane Alexander, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Heath, one of the government agencies that participated in the study.

FBI agent says Guantanamo was like ‘animal house,’ says photos show drunken carousing ‘day and night’

The first full-time female FBI agent stationed at the US prison in Guantanamo, Bay, Cuba says she witnessed a drunken “spring break” atmosphere during her tenure – and has photographs to prove it.

In a little noticed complaint Friday, the 43-year-old agent, Theresa Foley, alleges that she experienced a “generally sexist, discriminatory and ‘boys club’ atmosphere” during her time at Camp Delta in Cuba and that she contracted a permanent debilitating disease as a result of being forced to sleep in rat-infested quarters. Foley is suing the Justice Department over her illness and purported sexual harassment.

Her illness has led to a hysterectomy and spinal collapse.

Other FBI agents, she says, ostracized her because she refused to participate in the alleged carousing. She claims to have attended parties with other FBI agents in which they wore a “mocking imitation of Arab or Afghan attire” and has pictures of “personnel at Guantanamo engaged in drunken carousing in a sexually charged atmosphere, day and night,” including shots of “female employees in bathing suits or revealing attire sitting on the laps of male employees, and female employees being hugged, kissed and likely groped by male employees.”

I’ve Seen 1,200 Torture Photos, By David Swanson

This moment, in which the Attorney General of the United States claims to be considering the possibility of allowing our laws against torture to be enforced seems a good one in which to reveal that I have seen over 1,200 torture photos and a dozen videos that are in the possession of the United States military.  These are photographs depicting torture, the victims of torture, and other inhuman and degrading treatment.  Several videos show a prisoner intentionally slamming his head face-first very hard into a metal door.  Guards filmed this from several angles rather than stopping it.

Liz Cheney: Investigating My Dad Would Prove Americans ‘Can’t Trust’ Democrats With National Security

On Saturday, the New York Times reported that former Vice President Dick Cheney gave “direct orders” to the CIA, compelling the agency to withhold “information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years.” Despite new organizations’ efforts to contact him, Cheney has yet to comment on the revelation.

(Liz) CHENEY: There’s this big piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning that says that it was a number of different concepts for ways that we could capture or kill al Qaeda leaders in the days after 9/11. I am really surprised that the Democrats decide that that’s what they want to fight over. I mean, if they want to go to the American people and say that they disagree with the notion that we ought to be capturing and killing al Qaeda leaders, I think it’s just going to prove to the American people one more time why they can’t trust the Democrats with our national security.

You know, he is very angry, as you’ve heard him say publicly. You know the notion that this administration is going to come into office and they’re going to prosecute the brave men and women who carried out this program that kept America safe. It is, it is un-American.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A one-time aide to former Vice President Dick Cheney suggested Sunday that recent reports about Cheney and the CIA are a distraction designed to avert attention away from the policy struggles of the Obama administration.

“This is very suspect timing,” Republican strategist and former Cheney adviser Mary Matalin said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “The president’s agenda is almost in shambles. His

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numbers are dropping. Isn’t it coincidental; they gin up a Cheney story.”

13 doctors say WMD mole did not commit suicide

A group of doctors in the UK are mounting a legal and political campaign to overturn the suicide verdict in the death of a British doctor who was found dead shortly after exposing falsehoods about the justification for the Iraq war.

Dr. David Kelly was found dead in 2003 in a forest near his home in Oxfordshire. An inquiry into his death concluded that he had bled to death during a suicide attempt.

Insurance lobby’s secret plan to attack ‘Sicko’ and Michael Moore

In an interview with PBS’s Bill Moyers, a former insurance executive reveals a secret plan by the insurance industry to discredit Michael Moore’s health care documentary, ‘Sicko.’ The plan included lobbyists threatening negative, attack-style ads aimed at politicians who supported the formation of a government sponsored public health care option during election campaigns.


In his first television interview since leaving the health insurance industry, Wendell Potter tells Bill Moyers why he left his successful career as the head of Public Relations for CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest insurers, and decided to speak out against the industry. “I didn’t intend to [speak out], until it became really clear to me that the industry is resorting to the same tactics they’ve used over the years, and particularly back in the early ’90s, when they were leading the effort to kill the Clinton plan.”

Potter began his trip from health care spokesperson to reform advocate while back home in Tennessee. Potter attended a “health care expedition,” a makeshift health clinic set up at a fairgrounds, and he tells Bill Moyers, “It was absolutely stunning. When I walked through the fairground gates, I saw hundreds of people lined up, in the rain. It was raining that day. Lined up, waiting to get care, in animal stalls. Animal stalls.”

List of Dem Senators who oppose, don’t support the public option

Openly opposed to the public option: (2)

*Mary Landrieu, D-LA

*Joe Leiberman, D/I-CT

Can’t make up their minds: (20)

*Ben Nelson, D-NE

*Bill Nelson, D-FL

*Blanche Lincoln, D-NE

*Byron Dorgan, D-ND

*Diane Feinstein, D-CA

*Evan Bayh, D-IN

*Harry Reid, D-NV

*John Tester, D-MT

*Kay Hagan, D-NC (though she recently said she would support the public option)

*Kent Conrad, D-ND

*Maria Cantwell, D-WA

*Mark Begich, D-AK

*Mark Pryor, D-AR

*Mark Udall, D-CO

*Mark Warner, D-VA

*Max Baucus, D-MT

*Michael Bennett, D-CO

*Robert Byrd, D-WV

*Ron Wyden, D-OR

*Tom Carper, D-DE

The popular conservative blog Free Republic is facing intensified scrutiny over its reader comments policy — and its role in the American political debate — after the blog’s moderators allowed vicious attacks on the Obamas’ 11-year-old daughter to remain on the site for more than a day

Some of the quotes in Free Republic’s original thread, as reported by the Sun:

   “Could you imagine what world leaders must be thinking seeing this kind of street trash and that we paid for this kind of street ghetto trash to go over there?”

   “They make me sick …. The whole family… mammy, pappy, the free loadin’ mammy-in-law, the misguided chillin’, and especially ‘lil cuz… This is not the America I want representin’ my peeps.”

Jackson Lee wants deeper look into sailor death

Family says he was harassed because he was gay

Navy Seaman August Provost III, 29, was killed June 30 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California, where he was standing watch at a base compound. Navy officials said Provost, who grew up in Houston’s Acres Homes neighborhood, was shot to death and his body burned.


Provost’s mother, Melanie Provost, said Sunday the military originally told her simply that her son had been found unconscious in the guard shack and later died.

“The only way I found out my son had been shot and burned was on TV,” she said.

Her son had mentioned to her before he died that he was being harassed by some fellow sailors, but he handled it stoically, she said.

The Great American Bubble Machine

Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression

In Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83, Matt Taibbi takes on “the Wall Street Bubble Mafia” – investment bank Goldman Sachs. The piece has generated controversy, with Goldman Sachs firing back that Taibbi’s piece is “an hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories” and a spokesman adding, “We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance in being a force for good.” Taibbi shot back: “Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it.”

The Greatest Non-Apology of All Time

Matt Taibbi

   “While we regret that we participated in the market euphoria and failed to raise a responsible voice, we are proud of the way our firm managed the risk it assumed on behalf of our client before and during the financial crisis,” he said.

   via Goldman Regrets ‘Market Euphoria’ That Led to Crisis – DealBook Blog –

Anyone else out there find himself doubled over laughing after reading Goldman, Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein’s “apology” for his bank’s behavior leading up to the financial crisis? Has an act of contrition ever in history been more worthless and insincere? Even Gary Ridgway did a better job of sounding genuinely sorry at his sentencing hearing – and he was a guy who had sex with dead prostitutes because it was cheaper than paying live ones.

Via Greenwald, go read it

WASHINGTON – It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“When you listened to him describe it you gulped,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

There’s no doubt the recession, which started in December 2007, has taken a toll on Americans.

It has snatched a net total of 6.5 million jobs, and driven the unemployment rate up to a 26-year high of 9.5 percent in June.

Americans watched their net worth shrink by $1.3 trillion in the first three months of this year, due mainly to declining stocks and home values, the Federal Reserve says.

Robert Strange McNamara

Secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, president of the Ford Motor Company and the World Bank, co-architect of the Vietnam War-died Monday at age 93. Two days later, The New York Times published a column by the filmmaker Errol Morris, who once directed a documentary about McNamara. Morris noted, with more sympathy than I could ever muster, that McNamara did take some blame for the disaster that the Vietnam War turned out to be. “He said, ‘We were wrong,’” wrote Morris.

If you ask an average high-school student how many people died in Vietnam, during the bloody war carried by the US over there, they’ll answer roughly 58,000 which is the number of American military personnel deaths.

The reality, in US history books, conveniently fails to mention the 2 to 3 million Vietnamese deaths caused directly by the American military (and its “allies”) and futhermore, never says anything about the catastrophic effects of highly toxic and hard to eliminate poisons like agent orange, a defoliant spread by the US to kill vegetation (and any living organism, basically).


‘We were wrong’



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  1. In this environment we can’t in good conscience and in accord with the purpose of blogging agree or disagree, take stands or back down, just based on worrying about hurt feelings.

    In the ‘Real World,’ feelings may indeed be the most important thing. Here, imo, ideas are. This is where we fight for what we believe and this is where we should be working through the feelings that ideas bring up in us. If we have the strength to do that without trying to destroy each other instead. I think hurt feelings are inevitably part of that. As is gaining the strength that comes with overcoming that hurt and pressing on with the ideas and causes that are important to the whole world, not just our individual feelings.

    We can of course try to balance those concerns with the understanding of others feelings, ALL others feelings, but we can’t sacrifice ideas in order to not upset people.

    It just ain’t all about YOU, sunflower.


    • TMC on July 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

     I used to say that to my kid when she was about to do something really, really dumb. 😉

  2. Didn’t Obama just come out and say we didn’t need a second stimulus and we had to be patient?  Haven’t bloggers on kos been saying the worst is over?  Good grief!

  3. …the central causation for all these escalating exchanges of dirt-hurling IS the need to be right.

    Usually (actually all but once here at DD) when I sense a discussion devolving into a need to be right (on whichever side), I withdraw.  I disengage.  I have gotten involved in these exchanges to no satisfactory result too many times in the interactive world to be tempted to engage this in the blog world.

    Perhaps it makes me a coward.  I value honesty, and I value growth positive outcomes.  I don’t run from the fray when I feel an outcome which may lead to greater awareness and learning is possible.  But when the need to be right is so overweening as to be obstructive of progress, I choose to withdraw.

    But then, I have that choice.  I am just a bystander here at DD.  I can come and go, join in or not, at will.  But buhdy does not have that choice.  As the founder and chief administrator, buhdy IS involved and can not duck out at will.

    Ultimately, the need to be right is related to an uptight ego holding, an ego fixation.  

    I thank buhdy for staying involved here, for continuing to try to bring this issue, these issues, to light.  

    I conclude here by selecting points from the Nalanda Translation of “The Root Text of the Seven Points of Mind Training” by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje with commentary based on teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “Drive all blames into one”:

    Drive all blames into one means that all the problems and complications that exist…are not somebody else’s fault.  All the blame always starts with ourselves.


    Interstingly, trips are laid on us, but not by anybody.  We decide to take on those trips ourselves, and then we become resentful and angry.  


    The blame for every mishap that happens to us is always directed naturally to us; it is our particular doing.


    But it is we who are not letting go, not developing enough warmth and sympathy–which makes us problematic.  So we cannot blame anybody.


    In this case,you actually begin to see the possibility that aggression and neurosis is expanded if you drive your neurosis into somebody else.  So instead, you drive the blames into  yourself.

    This is not easy to do.  We want to be right.  We want to blame others.  At least until we learn that that approach only amplifies the pain and discomfort.

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