August 27, 2009 archive

Four at Four

  1. Reuters reports Treasury Secretary Geithner says a Fed audit ‘would be problematic for the country’. When asked “Why has the Federal Reserve bank never been audited?” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner answered:

    “You want to keep politics out of monetary policy,” Geithner said, adding the Fed already has strong congressional oversight.

    “The Fed is dramatically more transparent than it was, is subject to very comprehensive oversight and audits, but there are certain things about what the Fed does that again you need to make sure you preserve as independent of political influence, that is free of political influence, and that is a line that we don’t want to cross,” Geithner said.

    Geithner does not believe the Federal Reserve should undergo a comprehensive audit. “I’m sure that many people concerned about the Fed’s role in the system will understand it would be problematic for the country if you let politicians come in and shape the conduct of monetary policy in the country,” he said. (Video available at the Wall Street Journal.)

    How can information about your nation’s financial health be “problematic”… unless, of course, there really are problems that Geithner doesn’t believe Americans should know about. The government doesn’t want to the public to know how broke the nation truly is. Last Friday, by the way, Reuters reported that President Obama was to raise 10-year deficit projection to $9.1 trillion.

    Bloomberg reports the Federal Reserve says disclosing emergency loans will hurt banks. “The Federal Reserve argued yesterday that identifying the financial institutions that benefited from its emergency loans would harm the companies and render the central bank’s planned appeal of a court ruling moot.”

    “The Fed has refused to name the financial firms it lent to or disclose the amounts or the assets put up as collateral under the emergency programs, saying disclosure might set off a run by depositors and unsettle shareholders.”

    That’s right, the banks are more important than the public’s right to know where our borrowed money went.

Four at Four continues with the CIA torture probe, vetting war reporters, and an update from Afghanistan.

Watch: Money-Driven Medicine

This week, 8.28.09, on Bill Moyers Journal: Money-Driven Medicine

Produced by Academy Award winner Alex Gibney (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM) and based on Maggie Mahar’s acclaimed book of the same name, MONEY-DRIVEN MEDICINE reveals how a profit-hungry “medical-industrial complex” has turned health care into a system where millions are squandered on unnecessary tests, unproven and sometimes unwanted procedures, and overpriced prescription drugs.

Teabaggers And “The Most Dangerous System in America”

Much has been made by teabaggers in the healthcare debate that we need to “return to the country our founders envisioned”. With all due respect to the founders who – as Enlightenment thinkers – got a lot of things right, this would be like asking Henry VIII for relationship advice.

Get Your Team Torture Cards! Collect and Prosecute Them All!

Lets talk about torture for a few minutes, shall we? The Dog hears the groans out there, and yeah, he gets that this is an icky subject, but even in our digital age where it is easy to find content you like and ignore the stuff you don’t, there are some things you should not look away from. Torture is one of them. However just because torture is horrible does not mean there is not a place for mockery in our pursuit of accountability to the rule of law! Follow the Dog below the flip for more details.

Originally posted at

Wingnuts Lose it Over Teddy’s 9/11 “Day of Service”

(cross-posted on Kos)

First the “War on Christmas,” now the dastardly “War on 9/11.”  Will the hard left never cease its evil crusades?

In April, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which includes federal authorization “to establish September 11 as an annually recognized National Day of Service and Remembrance.”  This is an effort led by 9/11 family members and others to encourage volunteerism, such as assistance at food banks.

The right has gone apeshit over this, labeling it as a “desecration” of 9/11.  As brilliantly analyzed by Sadly No, Ted Kennedy’s Serve America Act is yet another “hard left” “war” on a national holiday, making it.

.  .  . Obama’s vilest plot yet, his plot against September 11, the day on which no other subject is to be discussed and on which all Americans are supposed to be dressed in the blackest of crepe bathed in the bitterest of tears.

An excellent example of this lunacy is Obama’s Plan to Desecrate 9/11, a column by Matthew Vadum in the American Spectator.

Sadly, No captures the sinister essence of this evil War on Rudy G.’s favorite day of the year:  

According to Matthew, if Obama has his way, September 11 would be renamed “tarehe kumi na moja mwezi wa tisa,” which is Swahili for September 11 and which no ordinary American can ever remember, much less pronounce. School children will no longer be allowed to sing 9-11 songs at their 9-11 pageants, but will instead be forced to sing socialist stuff like “This Land is My Land,” “L’Internationale” (in French!!! ) and “Big Yellow Taxi.”

Yes, God Forbid that 9/11 should be remembered as 9/11 families wish, by helping those less fortunate and other public service.  

The Spectator’s Vadum makes a wonderful (Freudian?) slip, however, when he writes:

The plan is to turn a “day of fear” that helps Republicans into a day of activism called the National Day of Service that helps the left. In other words, nihilistic liberals are planning to drain 9/11 of all meaning.

Nice to see a winger admit that 9/11 is a “day of fear” that helps Republicans!

Of course, the Spectator commenters are a bit less subtle than Matthew, including one who wittily contributes the following:

So, basically, he’s turning Sept. 11 in to National Radical Negro Day.

Hail Nero! Hail Caligula! Heil Hitler!

This guy is gonna make REAL AMERICANS – (You heard me) – REAL AMERICANS, Americans who LOVE this country, rise up. You thought that there could never be another Revolution? This THING in the White House is TRYING to destroy this country. This is gonna get ugly. Mark My Words.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  To completely round it out, add something about death panels, OK?    

The Rising: Part One


In our much-heralded two-party system which has been hyped as the engine of the Greatest Democracy in the History of the World (never mind we don’t have a democracy but a republic, because the common man can’t be trusted to self-govern without the checks and balances of an Aristocratic Elite,) both parties are wholly owned subsidiaries of a kleptomaniacal Corporatacracy. The People are but a society of suckers for hoodwinking at election time in a fool-me-again space-time continuum which makes déjà vu look like suspended animation.

Sarkozy calls for worldwide bonus limits for financial sectors

Crossposted at Daily Kos

  Overlooked in the coverage of the passing of the great Senator Ted Kennedy is this ground shaking news out of France.

    France’s leading banks agreed Tuesday to curbs on the way they award bonuses, including penalties for traders who lose money for their companies, as part of a push by President Nicolas Sarkozy for worldwide limits on bonus payouts.


    He stressed, though, that international rules are needed to keep French banks competitive, and Sarkozy promised to push the G20 meeting next month in the United States to adopt such measures.

    “While the first signs of stabilization of the economy are here, we are seeing bad habits coming back. I can’t accept that,” Sarkozy told the bankers.

    “No one has forgotten that the financial sector is at the origin of this crisis.”

    Expect more below the fold.

Afghan War: Mikey Likes It!

Crossposted from the Iraq Moratorium website.

Mike Mullen thinks the U.S. is losing the war in Afghanistan. He calls the situation “serious and deteriorating.” So what? A lot of us think the same thing.

But we don’t run the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the high command of the U.S. military. Mike Mullen does.

His job title isn’t the only difference between Admiral Mullen and the rest of us. More than half of all Americans think the 8-year-old occupation of Afghanistan is a mistake (52% of us according to the latest poll) and want it over with.

Not Mike Mullen! Right now, he’s locked in urgent discussions with administration advisers and his own generals to figure out how many more troops he can get away with asking for to keep the occupation going..

Will sending 15,000 more soldiers and Marines, the lowest number being floated, make the war the kind of liability for this administration that Iraq was for George W. Bush? Will Mullen dare to ask for 45,000 new troops, the number actually requested by General Stanley McChrystal, his top commander on the ground?

This is where WE come in. Follow the hearings when Congress comes back in session. Read the news commentary. The number of young men and women the Pentagon and the White House say must be sent into harm’s way will tell us two things–just how badly the occupation is going and just how scared they are of the American people.

And when they do finally ask for more troops, that will tell us one more thing: they aren’t scared enough of the political consequences to face reality–yet. It is still our job to to protest the escalation; to support the troops by demanding that they be brought home; to talk with our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers; to pressure our Congresscritters.

Because if Admiral Mike Mullen has his way, this war will drag on for years and years to come, and the death toll–of Afghans and occupiers both–will climb and climb.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Head of troubled Darfur peacekeeping force resigns

By Louis Charbonneau, Reuters

Tue Aug 25, 5:45 pm ET

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The head of the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s conflict-torn Darfur region, who some diplomats say has been ineffective, is stepping down, the U.N. said on Tuesday.

The world body is working closely with the AU to find a replacement for Rodolphe Adada, a former foreign minister of the Republic of Congo, U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said.

Other U.N. officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the United Nations and AU were considering several candidates from different parts of Africa.

Veterans “Death Book”? Not!!

As brought to you by their “Dear Leader” of their Political Cult:

Today Rush Limbaugh used Ted Kennedy’s death to keep pushing the “death book” tale, that  claim being spread on the right that Obama’s veteran’s agency is distributing manuals urging veterans to hurry up and die.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry II

Art Link


The Mask

My life was a mask I wore

to hide my secrets

Bleak, flat, colorless,

bland was my world

filled with responsibility

devoid of joy

Anguish washes away

meaningful emotion

The mask blinded me

to life’s possibilities

tunnel vision

eroding hope

love tainted by a lie

so immense

it can’t be seen

Lies piled upon lies

a false truth

that comforted


but me

Meaning dwindled


Heart broken


Soul warped


The walls

of my reality

were too close

Going forward



the mask

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 17, 2006

Afghan vote called “mockery”

So you can bet this will be completely underreported in the United States, or not at all.

I find it almost humorously ironic that a man who stole an election in the United States then invaded a country where he set up a faux Democracy, and the puppet that he installed has now proceeded to steal his own election.

All the while we spend $133 million dollars a day — $5.5 million bucks an HOUR, 24/7 to have our military in said puppet’s country, loading taxpayer money into Big Corporate’s pockets.  

It’s almost a perfect perpetual-motion machine of corruption.

This from The Toronto Star:

Afghan vote called ‘mockery’

On the videotape, a couple of mooks are shown blithely filling out a slew of ballots for President Hamid Karzai. Tick-mark. Tick-mark. Tick-mark.

Says one to the other: “We should at least include a few for Dr. Abdullah, don’t you think?”

The man in question, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, can’t prevent a bemused chortle from escaping his lips as he watches the video clips, surreptitiously shot, that purport to show brazen vote-rigging by Karzai boosters of both minnow and barracuda variety – from anonymous foot soldiers to the head of the Independent Election Commission in Ghazni province.

It is, indeed, to laugh. It is, perchance, to cry. It might become a matter of vocal citizen demonstration, too, beyond the formal complaints – some 100 – that Team Abdullah has already registered with authorities over alleged fraud in Afghanistan’s national elections.

This presidential vote, the second-ever democratic poll in Afghanistan, but the first organized and mounted by Afghans themselves, is rapidly turning into a wreck.

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