November 1, 2009 archive

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

35 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Abdullah pulls out of Afghan run-off election

by Sardar Ahmad, AFP

56 mins ago

KABUL (AFP) – Challenger Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday pulled out of Afghanistan’s run-off election, plunging the country into fresh political chaos amid international pressure for the one-horse race to be scrapped.

Two-and-a-half months after Afghans went to the polls to elect a president for the second time in history, Abdullah’s move appeared to guarantee President Hamid Karzai a second term in office but flung his legitimacy into doubt.

After Karzai snubbed a series of demands promoted by his rival as a chance to avoid a repeat of massive first-round fraud, Abdullah said he saw no point in standing, but stopped short of calling for a boycott.

Sunday Train: High Speed Rail – The Recruiters

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Crossposted from MyLeftWing, also in Orange

The big knock against high speed rail is, of course, that it does not run door to door. This is, of course, why the passenger air transport market is such a strategic target … it is an existing fuel-inefficient mode of transport where everyone travels as a pedestrian. And a well designed high speed rail system will deliver the target market among pedestrian travellers from as close or closer to their origin, and drop them off as close or closer to their destination.

But those are not the only passengers that HSR will be catering to. A term I have heard railfans use for this type of activity is “recruiting” patronage, so, after the fold, I step through some of the important current, and potential, recruiters.


How Do You Reach A Planet?

In Planet Versus Profit I laid out a theme I think could make a real difference for our little blue ball and the folks who live here.

We have certainly seen during the Health Care battle that the united voice of the People DOES work to effect change. When the outcry for the Public Option got loud enough …and united enough…we got a Public Option. Sure it is a crappy Public Option with the potential to do more harm than good, but the point is….”we” made them put it in.

The blessing of a leaderless epoch is that it allows The People to lead.

The Planet is in a huge state of flux and is going through change-quakes constantly. Pretty much all of the world’s “leadership” has proven that they are not some kind of wizards who have a level of knowledge that insists that we must shut up and trust them. Even The Ruling Class is rocked back on it’s heals.

IF we can find a way for the People to come together with one united voice, the People can at least help to fill the leadership void.

There are 7 billion people on the planet.

We need approximately .10% of them to come together with something approximating a united voice and a decent commitment to internet activism to really, really change the conversation.

Iow…we need to tap the mutant strain of planetary activism and draw it together some how.

But first those mutants need to know we are out here trying to make change.

So….how do we reach those mutants and wrangle them into enough united action to make a difference?

Why The Democrats “Health Reform” Deserves To Be DEFEATED

The total vacuum of any principled leadership from President Obama, has inevitably produced the most directionless, anti-consumer, Insurance Monopoly boondoggle fraud imaginable — which is now masquerading before Congress as “reform“.

In fact, the Insurance Companies are silently doing cartwheels over this, and stand to jack up rates even more, and fatten their considerable death grip over the American public.  The people who bother to read the fine print, like Congressman Dennis Kucinich, know this.

Who’s to blame?

Well, for starters, Capitulator-in-Chief Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi (who lied to us, and promised “a robust public option”), Max Baucus, …. and the list goes on and on. In other words, The Democratic Party and it’s entire leadership structure (do we have any?) created this fiasco all by themselves — the same people who also want to keep funding and expanding the Bush Wars, Bailout Goldman Sachs and give them (crooks) your tax money for CEO profits, and who blindly support the unconstitutional Bush U.S. Patriot Act.

Some remarks from Congressman Kucinich:

Speaking to liberal MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz on Friday, Kucinich continued:

They’re being mandated to buy private insurance. If you read the bill, the people are going to end up paying — the insurance companies can raise rates 25 percent right off the bat, if you read the bill.”

Schultz encouraged Kucinich to repeat himself on that point.

“It’s on page 22 of the bill,” he replied. “Right here, it says that rates shall be set at a level that does not exceed 125 percent of the prevailing standard rate for comparable coverage in the individual market. Now … It’s very easy to understand what that means.”

“It’s not reform,” Schultz insisted.

“It means a 25 percent increase, they’ll have the ability to execute and since insurance companies have already raised rates for the last four years by double-digits, we can expect — based on the bill — another rate increase by the insurance companies.”

And what about the so-called “public option“?

Some shameless fund raising. Okay begging

Cross posted at DK

Good morning;I know this isnt exactly the place for this but I can’t think of a better group of people to ask.  Yep I need some donations.

I’ve joined the largest endurance sports fund raising charity in the world Team In Training, I’m signed up for the New Jersey Marathon on May 2nd 2010 and I need to raise at least $2,100

Follow me below the fold.

Arlington West 6yrs.: Nov 3rd 2003 – Nov. 3rd 2009

November 3rd will be the sixth anniversary of the first installation of Arlington West on the beach. Veterans For Peace Chapter 54,  the Jim and Shirley Kennedy Chapter will set it up with friends on Sunday, November 1st and mark the sixth year that it has been installed on the first Sunday in November by citizens volunteering their time and talent to this community project to demonstrate the true cost of war.

It was set up weekly for five years but has been once monthly for the last year,  being the first Sunday of every month.

Citizens who wish to help the Veterans For Peace and friends with this effort should come between 7am and 9am for set up or at 3pm for takedown.  We set up Arlington West in fair weather only to protect the memorabilia left by families of the fallen.  Arlington West Santa Barbara was the original but has inspired similar displays across the USA.

Alan Grayson accused the Fed of manipulating the stock market

Crossposted at Daily Kos

     Back in late September, Alan Grayson (Big D-FL08) grilled Federal Reserve General Counsel Scott Alvarez on whether or not the Federal Reserve has manipulated the stock and futures market. Since this hasn’t been diaried and Sunday is a slow news day, I thought it would be fun to watch Alan Grayson in action in a bit of a flashback.

(UPDATE: Unfortunately and oddly, the video is no longer working for some strange reason. Good thing I transcribed it when I did. I am looking for another version of the same vide, so hang in there until I can find it

UPDATE 2: Found a second video. Hope you enjoy)

      Transcript and commentary below the fold.

How And Why Goldman Sachs Defrauded Investors While Homeowners Went Broke

In this first video Greg Gordon of McClatchy News reports that Goldman knew that mortgages were not being properly reviewed

Real News Network – November 1, 2009


McClatchy’s Greg Gordon reports that Goldman knew that mortgages were not being properly reviewed

Here Paul Jay interviews Gordon who explains that a five month McClatchy investigation has found that Goldman’s failure to disclose those secret bets may have violated securities laws – that in 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers that it also was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.

Real News Network – November 1, 2009

How Goldman secretly bet on the U.S. housing crash

Goldman didn’t tell buyers of $40 billion in securities it was secretly betting the other way

Docudharma Times Sunday November 1

Sunday’s Headlines:

Karzai Rival Said to Be Planning to Quit Runoff

How Detroit, the Motor City, turned into a ghost town  

In Tuesday’s contests, Steele sees a vote on his leadership

Health insurance mandate alarms some

Iran students plan return to street protests

Our man in Cairo rashly enters Egypt’s veil debate

Mother of jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky calls for UK help

Moscow’s iron mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, loses grip

Pakistan presses the Taliban in its lawless heartlands

In China lonely workers force sex into open

Homeless carted out of Cape Town and Johannesburg for World Cup

Mubarak avoids talk of succession

Mexican farmworker activist, 14 others slain

Newspeak News

My daughter works in retail.  Now that Halloween is over the you gotta buy stuff season is upon us corpo-rat has rolled out new policy renaming Black Friday Green Friday.  It has been stated the the term Black in reference to that traditional Friday after European Genocide Celebration Day marking the unofficial start of the you gotta buy stuff season shall now be called Greento denote money taken home by only the owner of the company which sells the stuff you gotta buy.

The utterance of Black Friday while on company property is cause for immediate dismissal.

Late Night Karaoke

What is Work?

An old friend of my family had a favorite saying: “Work is something unpleasant done for money.”

I lost touch with the fellow long ago, but the phrase has stuck in my mind and popped up occasionally over the years. Some of my recent conversations about economic systems, here and elsewhere, have brought it again to the fore.  

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