September 22, 2009 archive
Sep 22 2009
Sep 22 2009
Deposed, legitimate president Manual Zelaya of Honduras returned to his country and took shelter in the Brazilian Embassy, where he remains. Thousands of Hondurans rushed into the streets to support his return. And now, the golpistas have unleashed the expected repression.
Please join me on the streets of Tegucigalpa.
Sep 22 2009
Cross-posted at Daily Kos and MyDD
The last Sunday in September, according to federal statute, is Gold Star Mother’s Day:
(a) Designation.- The last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother’s Day.
(b) Proclamation.- The President is requested to issue a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings, and the people of the United States to display the flag and hold appropriate meetings at homes, churches, or other suitable places, on Gold Star Mother’s Day as a public expression of the love, sorrow, and reverence of the people for Gold Star Mothers.
For those who do not know, a Gold Star mom is one who has lost a son or daughter in military service.
I was reminded of this mostly overlooked solemn occasion when I checked the VFW wall calendar which hangs in my kitchen.
Sep 22 2009
I just realized what has been nagging at the back of my mind about the creepy demeanor of Treasury Secretary Geithner. He has the affectless expression of a hitman, but he is a special kind of hitman. Like John Perkins, the author of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman,” Geithner was hand-picked for his willingness to execute the instructions of a powerful elite – no matter what the consequences for ordinary citizens.
Consider Geithner’s career progression. Wikipedia gives us the key early dates:
After completing his studies, Geithner worked for Kissinger and Associates in Washington, D.C., for three years and then joined the International Affairs division of the U.S. Treasury Department in 1988. He went on to serve as an attaché at the US Embassy in Tokyo. He was deputy assistant secretary for international monetary and financial policy (1995-1996), senior deputy assistant secretary for international affairs (1996-1997), assistant secretary for international affairs (1997-1998)
Nobody in the press pays any attention to Geithner’s early years, but these were the years in which he became a made man in the service of the US Plutocracy. In 1985, when he joined Kissinger and Associates, Henry Kissinger’s reputation had been badly discredited by reports of his involvement in numerous ugly international plots of the Nixon administration, including the bombing and destabilization of Cambodia, the murder of Allende in Chile, and dirty dealings backing the Argentine dictatorship. Ask yourself what kind of well-informed Dartmouth graduate would join Kissinger Associates. The answer is an aspiring hitman.
Like Perkins, Geithner’s ambition knew no moral bounds, and he was determined to make himself useful to the wealthy and powerful. Having established his bona fides at Kissinger Associates, he rose rapidly in Government “service,” with the backing of Kissinger-connected godfathers and patrons, and always accumulating greater influence in preserving the wealth of the people who run the world. As president of the NY Fed, he was at the center of decisions that transferred huge amounts of taxpayer wealth into the hands of failing banks and financial firms. As Treasury Secretary, he continues to protect the strong against the weak and the wealthy against the poor. He has been a safe pair of hands for the Plutocracy, and for this loyal service he will be richly rewarded.
Tim Geithner was not made Treasury Secretary by President Obama. He was installed by America’s permanent government: the Plutocracy.
Sep 22 2009
The Hill reports Obama defends U.S. inaction on climate change. Speaking at the U.N. Climate Change Summit this morning, “President Barack Obama downplayed congressional delays in climate change legislation as he worked to win over world leaders who are skeptical of America’s commitment to the issue.”
“The good news is that after too many years of inaction and denial, there is finally widespread recognition of the urgency of the challenge before us,” Obama said. “We know what needs to be done.”
While the NY Times reports Obama opens the U.N. Climate Conference with a call for unity. The world “cannot allow the old divisions that have characterized the climate debate for so many years to block our progress,” Obama said.
China and the U.S. account for nearly 40 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. “President Hu Jintao of China committed his country to reducing carbon emissions, but he qualified his commitment, saying that the size of the cuts would depend on the growth of his nation’s economy, rather than an absolute number.”
The Guardian reports China fails to deliver challenge to major carbon emitting countries. While Hu “broke new ground” today, he “failed to deliver measures that would galvanise the stagnant negotiations towards a global treaty to fight global warming… Hu failed to set a figure, or a date by which China’s emissions would peak.”
Four at Four continues with Obama’s caught in Afghanistan’s vise, 75 percent of all Americans drive to work alone, and CIA torture caused false memories.
Sep 22 2009
Lamestream news begets lamestream culture especially in the minds of “professionals”. Having financial problems so I went to my financial planner. He did however have a problem with my plan of cash money in a fireproof safe. It is his livelyhood to sell you pieces of paper which say you have money,money later that is. Bank,stock,bond or offshore derivatives none of it is edible. If the institution goes so the the money. Future? There is no future.
Sep 22 2009
If only the actions of our politicians matched the rhetoric of our President!
Obama at the UN:
Good morning. I want to thank the Secretary-General for organizing this summit, and all the leaders who are participating. That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation’s response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it – boldly, swiftly, and together – we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.
No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. More frequent drought and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees. The security and stability of each nation and all peoples – our prosperity, our health, our safety – are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.
Sep 22 2009
Forget about rising toward some political rebellion, a fight for our lives for a modicum of popular power. Forget it. Forget about “fighting” for your inalienable rights to live in health, in freedom and in pursuit of your better angels. Forget it. Forget about fighting for peace to stop all the illegal, irresponsible and immoral wars of Western hegemony. Forget about fighting for truth and justice for the Banksters who Ponzi-schemed the world to bankruptcy and blackmailed the world to fork over the people’s dough for a perpetual debt which can’t be repaid – the people now forever enthralled to its creditors – International Bankers . Forget about demanding justice for the torturers, rapists and murderers of America’s rabidly racist, religiously bigoted and downright evil mercenary armies who do the dirty work for just another in a long line of evil empires.
Sep 22 2009
Crossposted at Daily Kos
Yesterday, in a NYTimes Op-Ed titled “Reform or Bust”, Nobel Economist Paul Krugman gave some well needed advice on good economics and good politics that President Obama and Democratic members of Congress should listen to.
It’s not just that taking a populist stance on bankers’ pay is good politics – although it is: the administration has suffered more than it seems to realize from the perception that it’s giving taxpayers’ hard-earned money away to Wall Street, and it should welcome the chance to portray the G.O.P. as the party of obscene bonuses.
Equally important, in this case populism is good economics. Indeed, you can make the case that reforming bankers’ compensation is the single best thing we can do to prevent another financial crisis a few years down the road.
One obvious point is the need, politically, to make the GOP the party that defends huge Wall St salaries and bonuses, which they will do anyway and gladly. Politically, the GOP can not be for the bonuses. They just can’t. Even more so, they can not be against the regulations AND against the bailouts. It just won’t work. Like Saruman in Lord of The Rings when confronted by Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan at the foot of Orthanc, the GOP can not be all things to all people, or against all things either. When too many eyes are watching at once the illusion is broken. The GOP can not be against all cures and still appear in the populist corner, as their teabagging antics try to portray, badly. The GOP must stand for something, and they do, they stand for the Super Rich and Corporate Wealth. Proving this is very important.
Recently wingnutty teabagging Republican Senator Jim DeMint (C Street-SC) offered his answer to all that economically ails Wall St. Guess what? His answer; More Tax Cuts!
Instead of looking at more regulation, we could do a lot by fixing our tax system here in this country, to make us globally competitive. The President needs to focus on what really has caused problems and look at what has really made America so prosperous, and I’m afraid that’s not the lens he’s looking through right now.
Because who would think that cutting taxes for Wall St would be kind of rewarding for them, or a serious attempt at real reform.
The GOP has NO new ideas, and the only ones they do have are Failed, totally and utterly Failed. Bipartisanship with these guys is a sort of cheating off of the dumb kid in class at ths point. It WILL NOT WORK. I understand why Obama has made the effort, but no it is time to play hardball, it is NO LONGER the time to keep trying to make the GOP feel good about themselves, especially when their ideas suck and they hope you fail.
More and my own analysis below the fold.
Sep 22 2009
U.S. Commanders Told to Shift Focus to More Populated Areas
By Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top military officer in Afghanistan, has told his commanders to pull forces out of sparsely populated areas where U.S. troops have fought bloody battles with the Taliban for several years and focus them on protecting major Afghan population centers.
But the changes, which amount to a retreat from some areas, have already begun to draw resistance from senior Afghan officials who worry that any pullback from Taliban-held territory will make the weak Afghan government appear even more powerless in the eyes of its people.
Senior U.S. officials said the moves were driven by the realization that some remote regions of Afghanistan, particularly in the Hindu Kush mountains that range through the northeast, were not going to be brought under government control anytime soon.
MOROCCO: Ramadan ‘protest picnickers’ face prosecution
OBSERVATIONS FROM IRAQ, IRAN,
ISRAEL, THE ARAB WORLD AND BEYOND
September 21, 2009 | 10:36 am
Moroccan authorities are expected to prosecute a group arrested for organizing a forest picnic to protest a law that forbids Muslims from eating publicly during Ramadan fasting hours, media reports say.
Members of the Moroccan Alternative Movement for Individual Freedoms (MALI) had planned to hold the picnic on Sept. 13 in the woods near the town of Mohammedia, between the Moroccan capital Rabat and Casablanca. Word of the picnic was spread through a page on the social networking site Facebook.
But as would-be picnickers arrived at the train station in Mohammedia, they were met by a large police squad that searched them and took the names and phone numbers of some of them, according to a statement issued by Human Rights Watch.
Sep 22 2009
Muse in the Morning