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“Europe Risks Another Global Depression”

While the “news” media focuses on the Tea Party mad hatters and their awesome political clout, there’s another potential financial meltdown in the pipeline.

This report from Baseline Scenario will possibly get move coverage in the coming week, as the markets react. In the meantime I just thought I’d post a quick Essay about it, as a kind of “Heads Up”.  

“The Winter of America’s Discontent”

Our leaders have offered excuse after excuse to try to explain why they won’t can’t pass social legislation.  Not since the time of LBJ have they passed any social legislation of significance.  Why could LBJ get such landmark legislation pushed through Congress as the following, and in such a very short time frame, while the Democratic majority of both Houses of Congress and a Democratic Administration is mired in self-inflicted gridlock?  Here’s a reminder of what was accomplished in two short years a few decades ago (and these are just the really big ones–there were many more also passed, and worth a few minutes to check them out  here : (all emphasis mine)

Sex, Bribes and Videotape. And Espionage. And Money Laundering…UPDATED X2

As noted in this post on DU,  Sibel Edmonds   recently testified  in the case of Rep. Jean Schmidt (yes that Jean Schmidt)  V. 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian.  

Edmonds testimony is long, and the linked post on BradBlog has five videotape segments to watch.  I’ve only watched the first three so far, but wanted to post this information on Whistleblower Edmonds’ testimony which names names and alleges some very disturbing things regarding some Congress members, their staff members, and other government employees:

UPDATE: I forgot to mention Edmonds’ testimony regarding the “outing” of Brewster Jennings–Valerie Plame Wilson’s CIA cover agency, enabling her group to investigate the existence of/extent of WMD in the ME.  Edmonds’ alleged that a government official warned the Turkish government and/or Turkish/foreign “operatives” that BJ was a CIA cover agency.

UPDATE 2:  Via Edmonds’ website “In Congress We Trust–Not”:

Vanity Fair printed the story only after they made certain they were on sure footing in the face of any possible libel by lining up more than five credible sources, and after triple pit bull style fact-checking. They were vindicated; Hastert did not dare go after them, nor did he ever issue any true denial. Moreover, further vindication occurred only a month ago. On April 10, 2009, The Hill reported that the Former Speaker of the House was contracted to lobby for Turkey. The Justice Department record on this deal indicates that Hastert will now be “principally involved” on a $35,000-a-month contract providing representation for Turkish interests. That seems to be the current arrangement for those serving foreign interests while on the job in congress – to be paid at a later date, collecting on their IOU’s when they secure their positions with ‘the foreign lobby.’

Wow–$35,000 a month!  Selling out your fellow citizens and the best interests of your nation to foreign governtments/ interest groups certainly does pay well.  

more below:

Why Did SEC “Stand Down” on Fraud Investigations?

In this post at Democratic Underground, EFerrari asks How much of economic meltdown is Iran Contra, continued?  The writer mentioned two reports that haven’t received a lot of press:  (emphasis mine)

First, there’s this from a post dated Feb. 20, 09 on Rep. Kucinich’s website Kucinich:  Who told SEC to “Stand Down” on Sanford Probe?

Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent a letter to Ms. Mary Schapiro, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting documents that could reveal which government agency told the SEC to “stand down” rather than take enforcement action against the Stanford Group in October 2006 as has been reported by the New York Times.

Recent media reports have indicated that the SEC was aware of improprieties at Stanford Financial Group as early as October 2006, but withheld action at the request of another government agency.


Clemons: McCain & Obama Coordinated on Personnel

Steve Clemons Reports McCain & Obama Camps Coordinated on Building Staff Rosters for Next Government:

“…A senior Obama campaign official shared with The Washington Note that In July 2008, the McCain and Obama camps began to work secretly behind the scenes to assemble large rosters of potential personnel for the administration that only one of the candidates would lead…”

At this point, the story is as Clemons termed it, “A Scoop”, so there hasn’t been verification of this by other sources at this time.

(There’s more):

“…Why my first vote will go to McCain…”

This is a title of a Letter to the Editor.  Ah, you say:  Must be from the offspring of some mega church evangelical in a red state, right?  Well, surprisingly enough, it’s not.  It is from a 2008 graduate of Mumford High School, writing the letter to the Detroit Free Press.

“I am not ashamed to admit that the man getting my vote will be a Republican referred to as “the anti-Christ” by my acquaintances…Since the campaign began, most of my friends and family supported Obama just because of the color of his skin — not because of his politics…”

So, this young African-American woman is going to vote for McCain.  What reasons does she give, other than her statement that initially it was a rebellion?  Here are a couple of reasons she gives (emphasis mine):

(More Below the Fold)

Hitchens: “Waterboarding IS Torture”

Color me astonished!  I’ve never been a Hitchens’ fan.  In fact, if anything, I’ve loathed the man.  But even “broken clocks are right twice a day” and in this case, Hitchens gets it right.  Bush apologist, right-winger Hitchens decided to undergo waterboarding to see whether he would be convinced that it was torture.  He wrote about his experience in Vanity Fair:

“…Here is the most chilling way I can find of stating the matter. Until recently, “waterboarding” was something that Americans did to other Americans. It was inflicted, and endured, by those members of the Special Forces who underwent the advanced form of training known as SERE… But it was something that Americans were being trained to resist, not to inflict….”

More below the Fold:

Meanwhile, back in Iran: Israel Prodding US to Attack Iran

CBS is reporting that Israel is pressuring the Bush administration to attack Iran: (emphasis mine)

“…Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen leaves Tuesday night on an overseas trip that will take him to Israel, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. The trip has been scheduled for some time but U.S. officials say it comes just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get the Bush administration to strike Iran’s nuclear complex.

“CBS consultant Michael Oren says Israel doesn’t want to wait for a new administration….

More Below the Fold:

Abrams: McCain: “I really didn’t Love America, Until I was deprived of Her Company”

Developing on “ Verdict with Dan Abrams” tonight, Abrams and a panel are discussing (arguing) about some information about a remark that McCain has made several times:

“I really didn’t love America until I was deprived of Her company.”

The one quoted in the headline above has been repeated by McCain in various versions.

More below the fold:

The McCain “Googlebomb” project

This will be a brief essay, to spread the word about how you can help spread the word about John McCain: I’ve had conversations with other Dharmists about how to communicate the truth to uninformed/ underinformed potential voters about McCain’s voting record and support of bush policies.  Chris Bowers describes how we can help:

more below the fold:

McCain & Bush: New GI Bill “Too Generous”

John McCain stands with George W. Bush, and against the troops.  These two politicians, have consistently funded the scandal ridden mercenaries of Blackwater and let the DoD shield KBR rapists from prosecution, and both men have continued to allow US tax dollars to be used to shore up a corrupt Iraqi government:   while “Overlooking Rampant Corruption in the Iraqi Government

These two politicians, one the current Commander in Chief, and the other the GOP’s presumptive nominee to be the next CIC, have again allied to Oppose the new GI Bill. As Bob Herbert, writing in his NYT Column, “Doing the Troops Wrong” says:  

There’s more…

Iran: Joint Chiefs Chairman-“US Preparing Military Options”

Well, as the pundits talk almost exclusively about the endless Primary Campaign, the Cheney Bush Administration seems determined to start it’s third war:

“…The nation’s top military officer said today that the Pentagon is planning for “potential military courses of action” against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government’s “increasingly lethal and malign influence” in Iraq…”

“…Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a conflict with Iran would be “extremely stressing” but not impossible for U.S. forces, pointing specifically to reserve capabilities in the Navy and Air Force…”

There’s more…

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