February 18, 2010 archive

Read my lips.

Ha, ha.

President Barack Obama’s deficit-reduction committee will consider all options to reduce the government’s ballooning deficit, including cutting spending in areas currently protected by the administration’s formal budget proposal, or raising taxes for those earning less than $250,000, Peter Orszag, director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, told CNBC Thursday.

“What the president was very clear about first was that [raising taxes] was not what we proposed, but that we have to let this commission do its work, and that everything’s on the table,” Orszag said. “All options need to be examined.”

If that doesn’t give you naughty, paradoxical, bipartisan titters, then nothing will.  I’m positively giddy.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 42 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Eight US missionaries arrive in Miami after Haiti release


Thu Feb 18, 3:49 am ET

MIAMI, Florida (AFP) – Eight of 10 American missionaries who faced child kidnapping charges in Haiti arrived here early Thursday after being freed by a Haitian judge and leaving the quake-devastated nation.

The Miami Herald newspaper reported that the group arrived at Miami International Airport shortly after midnight.

A Haitian judge freed the missionaries without bail on Wednesday — though the charges were not dropped — and they were whisked to the airport in a van bearing diplomatic plates to board a US military transport plane for Miami.

My Pound of Flesh

In case you haven’t heard and before they remove it all together.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — A small airplane crashed into an office building in Austin, Texas which reportedly housed an Internal Revenue Service office, according to media reports Thursday. However, Austin officials said the crash is not terror related. So far, two people have been sent to the hospital and one person is unaccounted for, the authorities said. They declined to comment on the pilot. But the Wall Street Journal reported that a Texan named Joseph Stack made an Internet posting that indicated that he was responsible for the crash.

Here is the original link:


Feeling bored? Helpless? Excited? Energetic, perhaps? Then you should help Marcy Winograd!

So I was sitting around my house today, putting off doing my Latin homework, when it hit me – instead of just opening the fridge a dozen times and checking my facebook a hundred times, I could be putting this time to good use!  And I did.  I started doing some online phonebanking for Marcy Winograd‘s campaign for Congress in California’s 36th district.

If you’re bored, feeling helpless and alone amidst a sea of political currents fighting against you, excited about the upcoming primaries and election, overcome with energy you need to spend on something, or feeling any other emotion, this is for you!  Marcy has been a member of the Netroots for years and is a firebrand progressive.  Since she’s running against a corrupt Blue Dog (Jane Harman), this is one of the best races in the country for progressives to get involved in.

I live in Pennsylvania, yet I’m still able to help Marcy’s campaign, because of a neat online phonebanking tool that has been set up.  Follow me below the fold to learn how you can help, too.

OTW:: tuning in?

Every Tuesday morning, I drive my daughter all the way to school, instead of just to the bus stop, for Band Sectionals at the ungodly hour of 6:30a.m. So I have a good sit in the car. On the return trip, I am all alone and get to choose the station! I listen to my local hippie station which has, in that weekly time slot, a Pacifica show called “People of the Earth”. Very cool. They talk about various native and indigenous peoples and related issues. Like this one:

With numerous errands to do yesterday and today, I’ve been driving and listening more than usual. Its their pledge drive now. “CALL! and let us know you’re there.” I really want to contribute to this station, maybe I make it another birthday present to myself (this could go on all month, if I had $).


So. What stations do you like and listen to? Links welcome!

Open Hall


On Our Wacky Weather, Or, Did The Olympic Torch Stop In Oklahoma?

As most of you are well aware, last week was a snow week in Washington, DC, and the odds are pretty good that there’s something like that going on for you as well.

Our good friends in the conservative community have seized upon the moment as proof that this whole “global warming” thing is just a big scam perpetrated by the likes of Al Gore and his Legion Of Weather Nazis; their mission being only to deprive the American people of their Constitutional right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Ford Super Duty F-450 King Ranch Edition with the Heavy Service Suspension Package, Snow Plow Prep Package, Transmission Power Take-Off Provision, dual alternators, and supplemental cab heater.  

To drive the point home, last week Senator James Inhofe’s family went to the time and trouble to build a little igloo on the National Mall for our amusement.

But here’s a question: just what has the weather been like in other places-for example, in my part of the world…or in the Senator’s home State of Oklahoma?

It’s a good question-and the Senator won’t like the answer.

Olympic Alternatives III

You thought I was not serious?

I’m dead serious.  The only way to effect change is through sacrifice (changing your habits) and protest (telling people what you think, publicly).

Plenty of other stuff out on the Hypnotoad.  Just look-

The Hypnotoad.

"Television is a vast wasteland"

Now with Prime Time Update!

Late Night Final.

Just some musings

On the morning of September 11th. 2001 I was safely home on Hudson St. in Hoboken NJ. feeding the twin girls I nannied for when thier father called from his office a few blocks north of the World Trade Center.  He asked if we had heard anything on the news, apparently papers were floating by his office window several stories up in the air, people were running away from the area and lots of sirens were sounding.  We killed Barney on PBS and turned to CNN in time to see the second strike.

I finished feeding the girls, found out that my boss was safely away form the area and trying to get back across the Hudson and home.  I asked his wife if it was Okay for me to go see if I could help out down by the PATH station figuring that whatever was happening people would be coming back to town that way or by the ferry that docks there.  

I went to Pier 1 and watched as the south tower fell, we couldnt see it becuase the north tower was still up and blocking the view but we could feel the vibrations of the colapse course up through the ground well over a mile distant.  I knew then and there we were at war.  I spent the rest of the day volunteering at a triage that went mostly unused.  We had a few ferrys and one PATH train.  The few folks I saw had horror stories of watching and hearing people falling from the upper floors.  All were soaked from decontamination hoses and most looked like the walking dead.

Continued Legislative Pushback to SCOTUS Ruling

An article in yesterday’s Washington Post reveals that the roots of public dissatisfaction with the recent SCOTUS decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission run deep. As the paper’s own polling reveals,

Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court’s Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent “strongly” opposed. Nearly as many backed congressional action to curb the ruling, with 72 percent in favor of reinstating limits.

The poll reveals relatively little difference of opinion on the issue among Democrats (85 percent opposed to the ruling), Republicans (76 percent) and independents (81 percent).

The results suggest a strong reservoir of bipartisan support on the issue for President Obama and congressional Democrats, who are in the midst of crafting legislation aimed at limiting the impact of the high court’s decision.

The Roberts Court unfortunately reaffirmed that corporations have the same basic freedoms and rights to free speech as do individuals. The sordid history of corporate personhood began in the late Nineteenth Century and has been a contentious, divisive issue ever since. With the rise of corporations and multinational conglomerates, corporate personhood has never been far from the public consciousness.  A series of rulings over time have revealed the depths of the debate.

Justices Hugo Black and William O. Douglas both rendered opinions attacking the doctrine of corporate personhood. Justice Black, in a dissenting opinion, concluded,

If the people of this nation wish to deprive the states of their sovereign rights to determine what is a fair and just tax upon corporations doing a purely local business within their own state boundaries, there is a way provided by the Constitution to accomplish this purpose. That way does not lie along the course of judicial amendment to that fundamental charter. An amendment having that purpose could be submitted by Congress as provided by the Constitution. I do not believe that the Fourteenth Amendment had that purpose, nor that the people believed it had that purpose, nor that it should be construed as having that purpose.

(Hugo Black, dissenting, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company v. Johnson (303 U.S. 77, 1938)

It remains to be seen whether this bill will be signed into law, or, assuming it is, what its greater impact will be.  The recent ruling has just now taken effect and no one at this point is certain what liberties corporations might take or intend on taking in this year’s election cycle.  Furthermore, the Obama Administration and the Roberts Court have not yet taken highly antagonistic positions with each other the same way FDR did with the Hughes Court back in the 1930’s.  However, it must be noted that FDR’s New Deal lead to the enactment of a variety of reforms and Obama has only managed a paltry sum in comparison.  A majority desperate to minimize its losses would do well to start here.    

Docudharma Times Thursday February 18

Thursday’s Headlines:

Marjah residents skeptical of NATO promises

The Chagos archipelago – where conservation meets colonialism


White House crafts jobs bill, a year into stimulus effort

California, other states face problem of growing pension liabilities


Red Army soldier who helped raise Russian flag over Hitler’s Reichstag dies

World Cup hero Sir Geoff Hurst lost out in £2m Spanish property swindle

Middle East

Israel reels from backlash at killing of Hamas militant

Iranians Protest Bill on Rights of Women


Malaysia women caned for extramarital sex

New Karachi literary festival hopes to turn page on bombs


Scientists find great genetic differences among southern Africans

Latin America

Haiti’s quake survivors don’t wait for gov’t plan

“Bipartisan” campaign targets US working class

Original article, by Patrick Martin and subtitled Behind Obama’s overtures to Republican right, via World Socialist Web Site:

The Obama administration is announcing Thursday a new initiative for joint action by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party against American working people, when the leaders of a new bipartisan commission to slash the federal deficit are introduced at the White House.

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