October 31, 2009 archive

Politics, People’s Lives, and the Democratic Platform for Change

Back in 2008, Candidate Barack Obama, invited average American Citizens, to provide their thoughts, on what should be INCLUDED in the ‘New’ Democratic Platform for Change.

Here is one such reply, that made it to the ‘final draft’:

Citizen Statement – (pg 10)

“I worked for a manufacturer for over fifteen years. My wages stayed the same for six years as I found myself paying more and more for health care. Co-pays went up, deductibles went up.

In late 2006, the company sent my production job to Mexico and China and I was laid off.  I could not afford COBRA premiums.  I am two years away from Medicare and unemployed and on the ‘faith based’ health care system — meaning I just pray I don’t get sick.  

Oh yeah, and I’m a cancer survivor and I haven’t done the yearly checkup in 3 years.”

— Listening to America – National Hearing

Renewing America’s PromiseThe 2008 Democratic National Platform

Such is the America Dream as of 2008.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

35 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Abdullah poised to boycott Afghan run-off

by Waheedullah Massoud, AFP

1 hr 40 mins ago

KABUL (AFP) – Abdullah Abdullah was poised on Saturday to boycott Afghanistan’s run-off presidential election unless incumbent Hamid Karzai has a last minute change of heart and bows to a series of demands from his rival.

Officials in Abdullah’s campaign team said the former foreign minister would announce he was pulling out of the November 7 contest on Sunday in the absence of any U-turn by Karzai on measures to combat fraud.

“If by the end of today we do not receive a positive response to our conditions from the government, then Dr. Abdullah himself will announce his reaction to it tomorrow,” Sayed Aqa Fazel Sancharaki, a spokesman for Abdullah’s campaign, told AFP.

Dynamic Duo: Moyers and Greenwald

Actual smart people actually talking about actual issues!

Well worth the investment of your time. The end of part two is just devastating to the War Machine.

Joe Wilson waxes Palinesque against Net Neutrality, invokes 9/11, Iraq and Iran

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Yesterday, South Carolina Congressman Joe “YOU LIE” Wilson gave a speech condemning Health Care Reform as a “Greater Control” on American lives. The video can be seen here, but the main event is below the fold.

      Fear mongering over health care reform is nothing new for Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC02), but the speech he gave on the House floor a few days ago that was mocked by Jon Stewart should stand in the Wingnut Hall of Fame of insane, disconnected rants that have nothing at all to do with the reality of the issues being discussed.

    It is, in a word, Palinesque.

    More below the fold.

Congratulations Ilona and the VA: “Moving a Nation to Care”

Ilona Meager met many of us, especially us veterans, through using this technology, especially in research and posting on interactive community boards, and her awaking interest in a subject she had never thought much about until reading reports about suicides by returned veterans of the Afghan and Iraq occupations well into the start of both conflicts. Her interest caused her to start researching the why these were happening, joining her were other online researchers, many like her who might have heard about but never really thought about an extremely important issue, we veteran advocates have been fighting to get much more recognition for from the masses since especially our occupation Vietnam. That issue is Combat PTSD.  

Video: Ford workers speak out against concessions contract

Original here: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2…

Docudharma Times Saturday October 31

Saturday’s Headlines:

Lapses Kept Scheme Alive, Madoff Told Investigators

In the Sumatran jungle, lessons on the river to school

In Congress, a call to review internal cybersecurity policies

For stocks, a correction may come, but probably not a calamity

History made as Chirac is told to stand trial

Merkel: no chance of Kyoto-style agreement at Copenhagen

Can Mrs Ambani sort out her sons’ £10bn feud?

China website campaign reunites kidnapped child with father

Clinton continues push for Mideast peace

More Iraqis trying to move beyond sectarian divide

Pact to restore ousted Honduran leader in Congress

If you haven’t seen this? See it

If you haven’t yet seen Frontline’s documentary about Brooksley Born, the woman who warned about the dangers of the Derivatives markets during the Clinton Administration, and the resulting financial disasters that ensued from deliberately choosing to ignore her, you simply must see it.


Frontline is one of the few true journalistic documentary shows remaining in this country.  And in this case they do their usual superlative job in presenting the story of what happened when Wall Street took over Washington, and when an idiot named Alan Greenspan channeled tricked everybody into thinking he was a genius.  

And yes, Virginia, it was Clinton’s fault.  It happened on Clinton’s watch, when Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, and Alan Greenspan convinced everyone that NO REGULATION of the markets, of Wall Street, was a good idea.

Can you believe that?   Alan Greenspan actually came out and said that even going after blatant fraud on Wall Street was a bad idea, a mistake even, because “the markets would take care of it themselves”.   He gave fraudsters a GREEN LIGHT.  

This is like saying we shouldn’t fight gangs of street thugs because it will sort itself out.  Police?  Just stay home.  Rapists and murderers and thieves will somehow just take care of themselves and will magically eradicate themselves.

Indeed this was a classic example of Magical Thinking.

And Magical Thinkers ran this country’s economy, and almost destroyed it completely.  

And what is worse, is that the policies that led to this are still in place.  Nothing has changed, and I mean nothing.

And some of the people who LED this disaster are now back in power, with the Obama administration.  Larry Summers, for one, who was “the enforcer” for these fools, the tough guy who would really play hardball with people (and how that must have made his balls swell with manly pride when he would do that) is now Obama’s chief economic adviser!

This is just insulting as hell.

This is like putting Charles Manson in charge of security for the Oscars.

Obama is an idiot to have these guys anywhere near his big-ass ears.  These people should be too ashamed of themselves to ever step foot in Washington ever again, but here they are, in control.

What is astounding about this documentary is that what this woman warned about, regarding the derivatives market, happened.  

No, not in 2008.  It happened in 1998.  

In 1998, exactly as she predicted, a major, enormous hedge fund went under and almost took the economy of the United States down with it.   And what was the result?   Nothing.   Greenspan and the other fools managed to convince Congress that NOTHING was the thing to do, that NOTHING was the plan, that NOTHING could be done.   “I can’t conceive of any way we could regulate this!” was his refrain.   He didn’t want to.   He had a childlike fascination with Ayn Rand and thought that there simply should be no regulations of any kind, that government should have absolutely no ability or power to TOUCH industry, or banking.  And here we had a guy with this kind of MAGICAL THINKING in charge of the Federal Reserve!  For years.  And touted as a genius.  

It blows the mind.

And keep in mind this happened on a Democrat’s watch.  Bill Clinton, the best Republican President ever, as I’ve always said.  Indeed he was.

So what happened in 1998 happened ten years later, AGAIN, almost to the date.  Only this time it was a mega-meltdown, the mother of all meltdowns, and once again EXACTLY what this woman warned against.   This woman whose job as a regulator was destroyed by an Act of Congress, a woman who was deliberately neutered by these fools who didn’t even know what a derivative WAS.   And this time it nearly did take the economy of the world down with it and still very well might.  

And what do we have now?  This slimy old piece of dung FOOL, Alan Greenspan, saying “gosh, I guess I was wrong all my life”.    And his buddies Larry Summers and his mop-topped protoge Timmy Geithner back in the White House.

Obama, you’re an idiot.   Larry Summers, you should resign in shame at once.   Congress, you should figure out a way to impeach Geithner and get rid of him.  They all gotta go.  If they don’t clean house, this is all going to happen AGAIN.   And that’s not me saying that, that’s Brooksley Born saying that, and she’s saying that now, that if this isn’t dealt with, and it is STILL not being dealt with, that this will happen again.  And again.  And again.  Until we learn and finally get it right.

We have learned, and we are deliberately not getting it right?  Why?  Because Wall Street makes money off of it.  Yes, the banks.  And they will be bailed out, and they will have their billion dollar bonuses, and this country will see what is in effect NATIONALIZED GAMBLING taken hold, by the ultra-rich, in a game that they can never lose.

In fact, just today, it has come out that Geithner’s idea to “fix” things, this little fuck actually has the gall to come out and propose that the Big Banks have an unlimited line of credit from the Executive Branch of the country, that they should be able to do whatever the FUCK they want and be PERMANENTLY BAILED OUT.   With no limits as to the dollar amount behind the bailouts.  

What the FUCK is this shit?   This is throwing good money after bad taken to a literally insane level.  Here, check this shit you, you simply won’t believe it:

In my opinion, Geithner’s proposal is “TARP on steroids.” Section 1204 of the proposal [the proposal being the “Resolution Authority for Large, Interconnected Financial Companies Act of 2009”] allows the executive branch to use taxpayer money to make loans to, or invest in, the largest financial institutions to avoid a systemic risk to the economy.

Geithner’s proposal reminds me of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the $700 billion Wall Street bailout adopted last year, but the TARP was limited to two years, and to a maximum of $700 billion. Section 1204 is unlimited in dollar amount and is a permanent grant of power to the executive branch. TARP contained some limits on executive compensation and an array of special oversight authorities. Section 1204 contains absolutely no limits on executive compensation and no special oversight.

When I asked Geithner whether he would accept a $1 trillion limit on the new bailout authority (if the executive branch wanted to spend more, it would have to come back to Congress), he rejected a $1 trillion limit, insisting that the executive branch be able to respond without coming back to Congress.

That’s Geithner’s idea of how to “fix” corruption on Wall Street — KEEP GIVING THE CROOKS MONEY.

Why the FUCK does this guy have a job again?  Why the FUCK isn’t he fired?   How DARE he propose something like this?

This documentary should be required viewing by everyone in this country.

And after watching it you will never want to see Larry Summer’s ugly face ever again.  But you will, because he’s Obama’s “guy”.  

With Dems like these, who needs Republicans?  

They’re all crooked.  Time to throw them all out.  All of them.   Every last one.

It’s just so appalling.  


Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Random Japan



Japan led all countries in the total amount of money bet on horse racing in 2008, with just under ¥2 trillion wagered on the ponies. Britain was second, according to a study produced for the British Horseracing Authority by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.

A British man who used a computer program to win ¥16 billion betting on horse races in Japan fled the country and dodged a huge tax bill. Former colleagues told the tax authorities that the man, who was president of a data analyzing company called UPRO, is now dead.

Japan Times sports editor Jack Gallagher took the gloves off when writing about Tokyo’s failed bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. Among the comments directed at Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara was this gem: “Putting a narcissist in charge of trying to secure a global event like the Olympics was nothing short of off the wall.” Ouch!

A survivor of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki hit a nerve during a talk he was giving at Rome’s city hall. The lecture by 78-year-old Hiroshi Nishioka so moved his audience that they decided to name a road in the Italian capital Hiroshima Nagasaki Street.

Friday Distractions

This week sure went by quickly.

Things are happening a little more rapidly it seems, & it will be darker sooner in a few days.

These images are to keep you confident, in light (pun) of these events.

I hope these pictures from my archives give you a brief respite from the daily drone.



Costs Of War Not Seen In Dover Repatriation Photos; and Bill Moyers Closing Comments

Cross-posted at DKos, Open Left, and Firedoglake

Hat tip to Henry Porter and the other diarists who posted on the videos and photos yesterday of the repatriation of service members slain in Afghanistan.

Henry wrote of how enraged he is that war criminals of the previous administration are walking free, of the pain he felt when he encountered a young disabled veteran, and that he finds “a measure of comfort in the hope that unlike his predecessor, this president has the courage, the character , the compassion and the judgment to make his decisions based on the best possible information and advice available to him.”

It is not often that we are able to see photos depicting the cost of war to our troops and their families.  Few people encounter our disabled veterans.  The face of war is rarely seen.

During the war in Vietnam, Walter Cronkite made sure that Mr. and Mrs. America saw plenty of the reality, during the dinner hour.

Sensitivity to the wishes of our soldiers and their families must prevail over other considerations.

And, there are some soldiers and families who have been willing to share images of their sacrifice with us.

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