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    • Eddie C on November 15, 2010 at 19:06

    I don’t write every day but there is a post every day. This new anchor is called In the News & On the Blogs. Perhaps someone here would like to read In the News & On the Blogs: 11/15/2010

    November 15 is the 319th day of the year. There are 46 days remaining until the end of the year. As to Christmas shopping days, the tree in Rockefeller Center has already been delivered and Lord & Taylor’s Christmas windows go on display this week!

    On November 15, 1777, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. For information on this precursor to the Constitution of the United States, see The Library of Congress: American Memory Today.

    On this day in 1867, the first stock ticker was unveiled in New York City.

    On Nov. 15, 1887, Georgia O’Keeffe, one of America’s foremost 20th-century painters, was born. Following her death on March 6, 1986, her obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. | Other Birthdays)

    In 1926 The National Broadcasting Co. debuted with a radio network of 24 stations.

    On Nov. 15, 1969, a quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C., against the Vietnam War. (Go to article.)

    In the News

    First up, the number one story in the nation, Back to back overtime wins for the New York Jets. “This is the first time in NFL history that a team has won consecutive road overtime games.” J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets!

    Of lesser importance, the lame duck Congress starts quacking today. For more info see This Week in Congress.

    Catch up with the real news at the Democracy Now page of if you are feeling a bit lazy on a Monday Pat Kiernan will read today’s newspapers to you.

    He did not miss a special report in The New York Times about Betting On Justice. Putting Money on Lawsuits, Investors Share in the Payouts stirs up thoughts of lawsuits that are “too big to fail” and lawsuit default swaps.

    Large banks, hedge funds and private investors hungry for new and lucrative opportunities are bankrolling other people’s lawsuits, pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into medical malpractice claims, divorce battles and class actions against corporations – all in the hope of sharing in the potential winnings.

    Here’s a little old news, ancient by blooging standards but it’s never too late for innocent victims. These victims it is too late but they still deserve our time. In the Texas Observer there was a story on Thursday, DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution. The story was not about Cameron Todd Willingham, that received extensive coverage on Frontline recently and should at least be grounds for giving Gov. Rick Perry life in prison. This story that appeared in a paper where both Molly Ivans and Jim Hightower once worked was about another possibly innocent victim named Claude Jones.

    But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to Jones after all. The day before his death in December 2000, Jones asked for a stay of execution so the strand of hair could be submitted for DNA testing. He was denied by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

    Very disturbing news. Haiti cholera death toll soars.

    Nearly one month after cholera took hold, the confirmed fatalities rose to 917, up from Friday’s 796 recorded deaths.


    With Hati still waiting for promised funds, today’s human interest story by Deborah Sontag A School Fights for Life in Battered Haiti is an investigation of outside help, Haitian government action and people working hard for a chance.  

    Last night on 60 Minutes there was a report on hydrofracking. It was called Shale Gas Drilling: Pros & Cons and started with the upside? Can fracking be done safety? I hope the attention challenged did not miss the end of the report with abandoned towns and burning water faucets.    

    In the Sunday New York Times there was a very informative global warming report, As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas.

    Melting ice is by no means the only sign that the earth is warming. Thermometers on land, in the sea and aboard satellites show warming. Heat waves, flash floods and other extreme weather events are increasing. Plants are blooming earlier, coral reefs are dying and many other changes are afoot that most climate scientists attribute to global warming.

    Also from yesterday, NPR’s Liz Halloran had a not very promising Congress Braces For Hectic Lame-Duck Session. Add ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal In Lame-Duck Hands and Rangel Ethics Trial Set To Begin In House, then it’s looking even more grim.

    One awkward piece of unfinished business on Capitol Hill is the ethics case against veteran Democratic lawmaker Charles Rangel. On Monday, members of the House ethics committee are scheduled to start Rangel’s trial, formally called an adjudicatory hearing. But there are problems. For starters, Rangel doesn’t have a lawyer.

    I watched and the proceeding seemed to have ended because Rangel didn’t have a lawyer. His PAC money ran out and he wouldn’t want to reach into his own pocket to answer two year old charges. Too bad it dosen’t work that way for bank robbers. No wait, I’m confused. Ethics Panel Denies Rangel’s Request To Delay Trial. Follow the bouncing Rangel.

    Paging Dr. Boehner;

    Bipartisan comes to New York? Gov-elect Andrew Cuomo taps former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to keep New Yorkers safe. Hey wasn’t Giuliani the guy who transformed the NYPD into a lawsuit magnet and came up with Bernie Kerik? Well none of that matters.

    By bringing Giuliani into the fold, Cuomo may be neutralizing the ex-mayor’s potential to be a vocal critic of the incoming Democratic gov on all things security related. After all, if Giuliani helps pick Cuomo’s public safety cabinet, how can he trash them later?

    For partisan entertainment there was A Journey From Lawmaker to Lobbyist and Back Again. A story about a republican revolving door that spins both ways.

    Mr. Coats is hardly the only former lobbyist to join Congress. The list includes Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, and Representative Dan Lungren, Republican of California. Representative Doris Matsui of California, a Democrat, was also a lobbyist with a particularly extensive client list.

    But few rival Mr. Coats, whose blue-chip list of 36 clients included corporate titans like General Electric and Google. These companies routinely have major legislative issues pending in Congress – and in the Senate Finance Committee – that Mr. Coats will now be asked to vote on, often with great consequences to their bottom line.

    For the reality of the situation, after the capitulation to Republican demands that tax cuts be extended for the wealthy, there was Paul Krugman’s rant The World as He Finds It.

    But none of this will matter unless the president can find it within himself to use his power, to actually take a stand. And the signs aren’t good.

    Or for the situation as a whole, I hope you did not miss Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich? by Frank Rich.

    Many of the countless tasks that need to be addressed to start rebuilding an equitable America are formidable, but surely few, if any, are easier than eliminating a tax break that was destined to expire anyway and that most Americans want to see expire. Two years ago, Obama campaigned on this issue far more strenuously than he did on, say, reforming health care. Now he and what remains of his Congressional caucus are poised to retreat from even this clear-cut battle. You know things are grim when you start wishing that the president might summon his inner Linda McMahon.


    At least Chuck Schumer is really pissed off at China. Lead in reusable grocery bags prompts call for federal inquiry. Old Chuckles is on it.

    “China has no regard for American safety. It’s a place notorious for lax safety and health standards,” Schumer said. “A record of manufactured products with things like cadmium and lead come from China.”

    Elsewhere in these Times, this is just creepy. Years Later, Armey Once Again a Power in Congress.

    Of course, Representative John A. Boehner, an actual congressman, is expected to lead the Republican majority that will take office in January. But having helped build the wave that created that majority, Mr. Armey has been operating like something of a shadow majority leader – eight years after he left Congress.

    Have you see the 50th Anniversary celebration in Life? JFK: Unpublished, Never-Seen Photos. Those were the days.

    On the Blogs

    Another anniversary. Talking Points memo turned ten and Joshua Green told Josh Marshall’s story about the ‘start up.” Not so fond memories of Bush v. Gore.

    One day, after a morning of working the phones, Josh came out of his office looking as though he’d imbibed more than his usual liter-age of Pepsi One. He was on fire about some travesty of media coverage related to the recount (looking back at his first post–to read it verité-style, click here and scroll to bottom–it must have been about Ted Olson). I remember him pausing and asking Nick and me, “Dude, do you guys think it would be weird if I did a thing like Kaus is doing?” This was in reference to Kausfiles, which had begun the year before. Nick and I shrugged and said that it wouldn’t be weird at all. Then, when Josh disappeared back into his office to create what would become Talking Points Memo, Nick and I decided that actually, yes, it would be sort of weird, because who but a fool would write for no money?

    At the time, Josh was Washington bureau chief for the American Prospect. Yesterday so pertinent Social Security information fro the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect in What Planet Are Deficit Hawks Living on?

    What pushed Social Security (very slightly) into the red is the fact that all the income gains have gone to the top. The chairmen’s draft report, with its rhetoric of equal sacrifice, gets 92% of proposed Social Security savings from cutting benefits, and just 8 percent from increasing the income ceiling on payroll taxes. Some sharing.

    These people do live on another planet — Planet Wall Street. Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chair, has spent most of his life as an investment banker. He began at Morgan Stanley, and now serves on its board, where he collects a fee of $335,000 a year for attending a few annual meetings. That’s more than 99 percent of Americans earn for working full time.

    No wonder the man is so glib about tightening other people’s belts. And that’s the Democratic chair.

    Between the media and the Democrats it is sounding grim but electing farmers sounds promising;

    Farmers and manufacturers understand how the world of living creatures works better than financiers do.

    They understand better, because both farmers and manufacturers exploit living creatures for profit and, leaving ethical question aside, to do this they need to have what farmers call “stock sense”: an understanding of the animal off of which they make their living.

    Take pigs for example.

    A pig lives on death row from the day he is born.

    Few animals are as reviled as the pig, the very word “pig” is an insult… and yet, perhaps no other animal on earth is eaten with such relish as the pig. Thus there is money to be made in raising pigs

    Very few of those who live off of pigs like them personally, however pig raisers make sure that their pigs get plenty to eat, clean water to drink and clean air to breathe and they make sure that their charges excrement is removed at timely intervals… They also provide them with free veterinary care. The farmers don’t do this for love of the pig or from the goodness of their hearts, but simply because if pigs aren’t treated like this, they wont get fat soon enough or their flesh pass health inspection after they are slaughtered.

    The Republicans new and old have been making some farm news, Farm Subsidies Highlight The Hypocrisy Of Anti-Spending Politicians. Don’t they know that they will need to keep the pigs happy? (no offense intended for farmers)

    Will A Foolish And Unattainable Quest For Bipartisanship Be An Even Worse Disaster For Obama Next Year Than It Was This Year? Your guess is as good as mine but 5 Most Hilarious Moments From Sarah Palin’s Reality TV Debut might help lighten the mood.  

    MB at DK posted some numbers.

    Estimated percentage change since 2000 in the number of management positions in U.S. companies held by women: 0

    Number of delayed-notice search warrants granted by federal judges last year under the Patriot Act: 1,150

    Number that were related to drug offenses and terrorism, respectively: 844, 6

    Value of economic recovery bonds the State of Louisiana has sold since Hurricane Katrina: $5,900,000,000

    Percentage of the revenue that has been spent on projects in New Orleans: 1

    On the state’s oil industry: 29

    Rank of baked desserts, pizza and soda as sources of calories for American children, respectively: 1, 2, 3

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the Forever War by emptywheel is depressing.

    Pretty much agreeing with NPR, there is What To Expect From The Lame Duck Senate This Week (Hint: Not Much) over at TPM.

    And yesterday Dean baker, who is fighting hard to save Social Security, posted a short The NYT Doesn’t Know That We Have 15 Million People Unemployed. So many powers stacked against the people.

    • Xanthe on November 15, 2010 at 19:26

    From the Star Tribune: November 8, 2010.

    Washington – The BP oil rig explosion and spill wasn’t about anyone purposely trading money for safety, investigators on a special presidential commission said.  Instead it was more about seemingly acceptable risks adding up to disaster.


    Anytime you are talking about a million and a half dollars a day, money enters in.  All I am saying is human beings did not sit there and sell safety down he river for dollars on the rig that night. said Chief commission attorney Fred H. Bartlit, Jr.

    The sentence I’ve bolded is indicative of Mr. Bartlit’s brilliant and incisive intellectual powers. NOT.

    Mr. Bartlit was appointed by President Obama for the National Commission on BP Deepwater Oil Spill etc.  Mr. Bartlet was shrub’s Florida Recount Attorney and a highly respected mover in DC circles –

    Bartlit was a lead investigator into the Piper Alpha North Sea Oil Platform disaster of 1988 which killed 167   workers.  Criminal charges were not filed per Commission here.

    There are differing views out there, of course.  You can read the Article if you go to – November 8, 2010.

    Did I mention Mr. Bartlit was appointed by Obama.  

    I got nothin.  

  1. Like how it is being reclaimed, swallowed by the earth. Not sure when this pic was taken, probably 10-15 years ago.


  2. I need to take a break. Not FROM blogs and politics etc, just life day to day stuff. grrr.

    celtic heart knot

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