November 8, 2009 archive

It’s Time for a WPA — It’s Time to fix that Leaky Roof

The Problem: Unemployment, is just supposed to keep getting worse:

Unemployment rate rises to 10.2%

It’s the first time it has hit double digits since 1983.

By Don Lee and Jim Puzzanghera — Nov 7, 2009

Not since 1983, after a double-dip economic downturn had sent the auto, steel and housing industries plunging, has the jobless rate gone so high. And many economists predict that it will go higher still in coming months — and remain high for most if not all of next year.

Some 15.7 million workers now have no jobs, the government said in releasing its monthly unemployment report, and an estimated 5 million more are working fewer hours and drawing smaller paychecks than they were before the country fell into the worst recession in a generation.…

Funny, you’d think that a Country with SO Much to Fix, in the Backlog, could find SOMETHING for ALL those Millions TO DO?

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Wall anniversary celebrations kick off in Berlin

by Deborah Cole, AFP

Sun Nov 8, 11:11 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – Berlin warmed up Sunday for the 20th anniversary of the Wall’s fall with celebrations throughout the city, as crowds gathered to relive the ecstatic scenes that heralded the demise of European communism.

Leaders from across the continent were due in the German capital to join around 100,000 revellers Monday at the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of national unity since the peaceful revolution that tore down the Wall in 1989.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to give a speech late Sunday on the challenges facing the West two decades after the Cold War.

Lost in Translation

This morning I spoke at meeting to deliver a vocal ministry that, once it had fully formed in my consciousness, I knew would likely not be received with accolades.  Because I believe that the only way to keep forward progress and to foster growth is to at times make light of hard truths, I did not sugarcoat my message.  Having been raised in a Christ-centered tradition that was decidedly not Quaker, I recall many sermons over the years designed to call out the congregation when they had gone astray.  As such, I am a firm believer that criticism can be constructive and is not uniformly destructive in nature, even when the words themselves make waves and challenge assumptions.  This may have been my background, but I came to understand that it was not the reference point that many fellow Friends in attendance understood.  I fault them not for this.      

Perhaps I should qualify that I use as my guide the words, wisdom, and intent of Jesus.  They are, as I understand them, rarely, if ever, composed of feel-good platitudes or self-congratulatory statements.  Some of them were highly inflammatory in their day and when one contemplates the sum of their impact, one can hardly fail to recognize why Jesus was eventually crucified.  He had quite a knack for enraging the powers that be and making absolutely no attempt to smooth over his lessons and teachings with anything resembling tact or diplomacy.  Though we, in my humble opinion, ought to consider him a hero, he was a rabble-rouser in his day and in our time, those who threaten the establishment enough usually pay for it with their very lives.  Jesus did not coddle anyone and neither do I.    

The Forever War of the Mind

No one is trying to find excuses nor defend what the Major did at Ft Hood to his fellow soldiers, but what he was doing for his service career, whether it helped push him over the edge or not, is of major concern for what this country faces for it’s support of it’s extremely failed policies.  

Can Someone Here Educate DKOS?

I have seen a number of Diaries writtien over at DKos today that are just attacking Dennis Kucinich and making him out to be a villain, for having done the correct thing and voted no on the faux Health Care “reform” Bill.

As I feared, that whole site just blindly believes all the untrue soundbites, phony PR, exaggerated claims, and hype about the Health Bill, and DKos neither knows nor cares at all about the actual language of the Bill, and what this very bad Bill actually does, and what it does not do.

In fact, it is the Insurance Companies who are cheerleading even more wildly than the people over at DKos, which is a reflection of the ignorance, and dogmatic “anything the DParty or Obama does is great” mindset that DKos is hopelessly stuck in.

I am banned over at DKos.  I cannot write anything there. So this Essay is a plea and a request for someone here to write a Diairy over at the DKos site (on my behalf), that both defends Dennis Kucinich (and his no vote), and also educates the readship there on just how bad this Health Care Bill really is.

You do not have do write a new Diary from scratch.  I have already written one Diary right here at Docudharma on this very subject that you can just copy word-for-word verbatim, that detailed the reasons why the “reform” Bill deserves to be defeated.

Please See and Use this:  Why The Health Care Bill Deserves To Be Defeated!

You can just repost it word-for-word.  I also wrote a second essay here, containing an additional statement by Kucinich, that also helps provide some further background context for a no vote:

See: Statement by Kucinich on Health Care Bill

The Long and Open Thread


Maddow: Democratic women will REVOLT over Stupak-Pitts if it is not removed in Conference

Crossposted at Daily Kos

     On Meet The Press today, Rachel Maddow made a point that should NOT be overlooked by Democrats in the House and Senate who wish to remian in their elected offices in 2010 and beyond, and that is the fact that if the Stupak-Pitts C Street anti abortion amendment in the House version of Health Care Reform is NOT removed if/when the bill goes to Conference to be merged with the Senate bill, there will be MASSIVE blowback for the Democratic party from it’s female base.

H/t to DKos user Scarce for the video

    More below the fold


The Week In Review

Since Saturday before last (and not including today or yesterday) I’ve brought 382 stories to your attention more or less, an average of 54 a day.

Saturday 10/31 35 Sunday 11/1 35
Monday 11/2 52 Tuesday 11/3 80
Wednesday Science 11/4 24 Wednesday 11/4 58
Thursday 11/5 48 Friday 11/6 50

I think by any objective measure this is a lot of news.

Because of the volume it can be easy to overlook some important stories or trends and that’s why I’m considering posting a Week in Review piece every week (of which this is the first) to highlight things you may have missed.

Make no mistake, the HTML is more complicated than it looks which is why it didn’t publish on Saturday, but once having worked out the kinks I’m hopeful that it will become much easier to produce (or I’ll abandon it as ‘too much work’).

The other motivation for publishing this is that there is one story in particular this week that I wanted to highlight.

Do you remember Frederick Forsyth’s The Dogs of War?

(A) company of European mercenary soldiers (is) hired by a British industrialist to depose the government of the African country of Zangaro.

(T)hough fictional, the Central African ‘Republic of Zangaro’, is based upon Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony.

Actually, like me, it’s not fictional at all.

Sir James Manson is Sir Mark Thatcher, son of Maggie, and ‘Cat’ Shannon is Simon Mann and this week he was released from “Black Beach prison, one of the most notorious in Africa” where he has been held since the failed 2004 coup.

And he wants to chat about it.

Sir Mark and friends have been warned “that those who abandoned him in adversity – which may well include Thatcher – should brace themselves for ‘an ice axe between the eyes’.”

I’ve covered this and I’ll highlight it here above the fold to get you used to the format-

Equatorial Guinea- 4 Stories

Tuesday 11/3 – 2

Wednesday 11/4 – 2

There is much, much more.

Americans Sold Out Again! Thanks, Congress! (Update!)

(See Update below:)

So much for progressives who promised they would vote “NO” if there was no robust public option.  Only Kucinich and Massa stood by their words.

This, from Dennis Kucinich, on the passing of the healthcare bill by Congress:

Who Said They’d Vote No on a Healthcare Bill This Bad in July, And Who Lied.  By David Swanson.

These 57 (PDF) said they would not accept a bill this bad. These two kept their word: Kucinich, Massa. The other 55 lied. Kucinich’s statement below the fold.

Kucinich: Why I Voted NO

Washington D.C. (November 7, 2009) – After voting against H.R. 3962 – Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

“We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system.

“Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.

“But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies – a bailout under a blue cross.

“By incurring only a new requirement to cover pre-existing conditions, a weakened public option, and a few other important but limited concessions, the health insurance companies are getting quite a deal. The Center for American Progress’ blog, Think Progress, states “since the President signaled that he is backing away from the public option, health insurance stocks have been on the rise.” Similarly, healthcare stocks rallied when Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill without a public option. Bloomberg reports that Curtis Lane, a prominent health industry investor, predicted a few weeks ago that “money will start flowing in again” to health insurance stocks after passage of the legislation. last month reported that pharmacy benefit managers share prices are hitting all-time highs, with the only industry worry that the Administration would reverse its decision not to negotiate Medicare Part D drug prices, leaving in place a Bush Administration policy.

“During the debate, when the interests of insurance companies would have been effectively challenged, that challenge was turned back. The “robust public option” which would have offered a modicum of competition to a monopolistic industry was whittled down from an initial potential enrollment of 129 million Americans to 6 million. An amendment which would have protected the rights of states to pursue single-payer health care was stripped from the bill at the request of the Administration. Looking ahead, we cringe at the prospect of even greater favors for insurance companies.

“Recent rises in unemployment indicate a widening separation between the finance economy and the real economy. The finance economy considers the health of Wall Street, rising corporate profits, and banks’ hoarding of cash, much of it from taxpayers, as sign of an economic recovery. However in the real economy — in which most Americans live — the recession is not over. Rising unemployment, business failures, bankruptcies and foreclosures are still hammering Main Street.

“This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America’s manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care.

“Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America’s businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals.”

Well, at least we have a list of all the progressives that didn’t stand the test — think they and all the other Dems need to hear from us BIG TIME!!!!!!!

BTW, already the health care insurance industry stocks have gone up!!!!!

Update With the Latest News:  Well, the “shine” has already been rubbed off of the “new penny.”  I don’t think this will surprise many, but — see the rest here.

Edger You’re On

Edger answered one of my comments, prompting me to elaborate further.…

Is it just me who takes a really broad view in asking what is the meaning of life, why are we all here and what roles do we have to play?  Am I just supposed to observe mankind destroying himself or should I attempt to alter that free will choice of destructive paths.

Caption This

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (centre) embraces Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s hand during a press conference after a vote on healthcare on Capitol Hill Nov. 7, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives passed the healthcare reform bill 220 to 215 after a late night vote.

Photograph by: Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images

Docudharma Times Sunday November 8

Sunday’s Headlines:

Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House

Jungle angel was Barack Obama’s mother

Officials cast wide net in search for answers

Runaway Toyota cases ignored

France is torn asunder by great debate over its national identity

20th anniversary special: Two days that destroyed a wall – and a world order

Hezbollah gears up for new war

Iran dissidents risk lives to escape regime

Afghanistan: Time to leave

Vanishing glaciers jolt smokestack China

Secret files show Sir Mark Thatcher’s role in Wonga coup plot

Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai rejoins troubled unity government – with conditions

A socialite’s crusade

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