••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

state secrets privilege

learned of this case and this book on public radio's this american life.
a couple posts i thought worth linking to:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

from today's talk of the nation

COX: All right. Let's take a call. We have Harry(ph) joining us from St. Louis, Missouri. Harry, you're on TALK OF THE NATION. Welcome.

HARRY (Caller): Oh, thanks very much. I appreciate it. It just struck me in reading some of this stuff. It's very similar of what we used to see coming out of Vietnam, which was you could be in the same fight and get five different people. There'd be five different descriptions of what happened, depending on their perspective.

And the only thing that continues to appall me as it did then was that we're in a situation where it appears that civilian casualties are inevitable. And every time there is that kind of outcome of a battle, you've essentially, strategically lost anything you might have gained by fighting that battle. And, you know, we saw that again and again and again in Vietnam, and nobody really recognized it.

gee. i guess that means racists are less than 10% of the tea party. ya coulda fooled me....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Obama administration has condemned WikLeaks' decision to publish more than 91,000 U.S. military documents related to the war in Afghanistan, saying the disclosures undercut American security and endanger the lives of U.S. troops and informants. It neglected to mention that when it comes to the release of sensitive U.N. documents, Washington and WikiLeaks have been allies.

For five years, the U.S. government and WikiLeaks have each posted several hundred internal U.N. documents, including scores of confidential investigation reports on corruption, mismanagement and sexual misconduct by U.N. staff and peacekeepers at headquarters and in the field. The leaked reports have discussed highly sensitive U.N. anti-corruption probes from Haiti to Congo, and detailed audits of U.N. procedures for purchasing everything from jet fuel to office equipment.

To be clear, the U.N. documents do not disclose war-time military and intelligence secrets, but they do contain lots of raw, unsubstantiated rumors and, allegations whose publication have the power to expose wrongdoing but also to damage reputations. They also show that the interests of Washington policymakers and WikiLeaks sleuths are sometimes more closely aligned than you'd think following days of White House denunciations.
uh-oh! our goose is cooked...

KABUL — Afghanistan's national security adviser called on the West Tuesday to review policy towards Pakistan after leaked Pentagon documents pointed to Pakistani double-dealing in the Afghan war.

Kabul has consistently accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of supporting Taliban insurgents -- including masterminding attacks against Afghan and US-led targets in the country. Islamabad denies the claims.

either we have an unreliable ally or our intelligence is unreliable. it has to be one or the other, if not both. in any case, things look bleak.

we oughta pull out now before something bad happens...something really bad.

[update may 2011: ok. i admit i didn't foresee the bin laden hit. if we'd pulled out we couldn't've gone into pakistan from afghanistan.]

Monday, July 26, 2010

dems sent me this last week:

Five things to know about Pat Toomey

Tea party favorite Pat Toomey has stood with Wall Street his entire career -- as a derivatives trader, as a congressman, and as head of the radical Club for Growth. And Pat Toomey's record and his actions make it clear that he'll only continue his special-interest agenda in the Senate.

We've put together five facts about Pat Toomey that all Pennsylvanians should see before they make their decision this November. Can you help by spreading these far and wide?

Five facts you should know about Pat Toomey:

1) Even as the BP oil crisis raged on, he advocated for expanding offshore drilling -- and in the past has said that regulating oil companies "borders on the criminal."

2) He voted to allow drilling in the Great Lakes, even though the amount of oil the BP oil spill crisis has leaked into the Gulf would contaminate every drop of Lake Erie, a source of drinking water for millions.

3) He is running a campaign funded by special interests. He's pulled in $851,489 from Wall Street and $54,950 in donations from the oil and gas industries -- including the largest donation that Halliburton's PAC made in May.

4) Under his watch, the Club for Growth spent about $10 million on a publicity campaign to privatize Social Security; Toomey lamented that it was a "pity" that Bush's proposed privatization "couldn't be implemented sooner."

5) After making a fortune trading derivatives on Wall Street, he wrote legislation repealing key laws that kept banks and investment firms separate -- spurring massive deregulation that led to the economic crash.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

There are no innocents in the Shirley Sherrod mess. You have an administration that pushed her to resign without due process. You have a civil rights organization that condemned her without hearing her side of the story. And you have a news media that failed to ask the most basic journalism 101 questions that could have spared everyone the last 36 hours or so of grief. But this is a controversy based on a lie. A lie disseminated by Andrew Breitbart, who says that he was trying to point out the hypocrisy of the NAACP and stubbornly stands by his reprehensible action despite being proved wrong.

Last week, the civil rights organization passed a resolution calling on the leaders of the Tea Party movement to disavow the racist elements within it. Breitbart says the point of posting a small portion of Sherrod’s speech to an NAACP chapter in March was to show the hypocrisy of the NAACP tolerating racism within its own organization. “I have evidence that shows, based upon [the NAACP’s] standards, that shows people in the audience behaving racist,” Breitbart told Mara Schiavocampo of NBC News. “We have an NAACP-sanctioned event in which the speaker is talking in a racist narrative, in which the audience, when she refers a white farmer to a white lawyer... and when she talks about not giving him the full weight of what she could do with her position, the audience cheers in this video. That to me is the standard of showing that racism existed in that room.”

Except it didn’t. And after watching her entire 43-minute speech, to say that racism did exist in that room is to believe that Rodney King really was lunging at cops while on the receiving end of a beat-down from the LAPD. The cheers were loudest when Sherrod spoke of getting beyond race.

apparently this racist jerk breitbart cut the recording just seconds before sherrod got to the part that clears up the misunderstanding breitbart foisted on his audience.

unfortunately he succeeded in panicking both the government and the naacp into circling the wagons. the right's relentless attacks must be making them feel besieged.
aw, c'mon!
give lebron a break already!
he's young!
maybe some day he'll acquire some character....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

but not as racist as rush

Rush was all over the right wing's two favorite stories today. He led off by joining the frenzy over Journolist emails that liberal journalists exchanged before they wrote an open letter to ABC criticizing a presidential debate it hosted in 2008. Rush was concerned about the "coordination" that involved, seemingly oblivious to the fact that such a letter would necessitate "coordination." Rush also claimed that the emails proved "mainstream coordination with the left." He went on and on about this throughout the show. It was evidence of the liberal-media conspiracy: the media exist to elect Democrats, there is no journalism -- only liberal propaganda, etc.

Early in the program, Rush jumped into the other big right-wing story of the day, praising as "great work" Andrew Breitbart's smear video of an Agriculture Department official speaking at an NAACP event in Georgia. (She resigned; the story unraveled.) While he was discussing the story, Limbaugh said that "the NAACP is as racist an organization as there has been and is in this country." Incredibly, Rush turned himself around 25 minutes later and declared that "the charge of racism is losing its heft" and that it has been "overdone and overblown."

During the course of the show, Rush also aired doctored audio of an exchange that Tom Brokaw had with Charlie Rose on his PBS show -- a replay of something he did a year and a half ago. In addition, Limbaugh said that "unemployment" is a new "entitlement" and "welfare program."

rush, who doesn't know a racist when he sees one staring at him in his bathroom mirror, is as entitled to unemployment and welfare as anyone. i'd like to see him on both.

Monday, July 19, 2010

what we need — and quick!

extending unemployment insurance is a far better stimulus than tax cuts.

a federal jobs program would be even better. how about a green infrastructure job corps to install solar and wind generating technology on federal buildings and military bases?

we also need government-backed loans for property-owners to install solar and wind equipment.

and the fed should raise the interest rate to motivate banks to lend more.

oh...and end the wars!

People don't want to come back to work while they still have unemployment. They're literally telling - I'll come back to work when the unemployment runs out. That's becoming a problem. The jobs are there, but if we keep extending unemployment the people are just gonna sit there and...I've literally had construction companies tell me, I can't get people to come back to work, until - we'll come back when unemployment runs out.
[i kid you not!]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And so it has come to passeth on this day that Sharron Angle, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Nevada, has been endorsed by the Lord Almighty himself. In political circles, this is known as a "good get."

"I believe that God has been in this from the beginning," she told Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition, who himself has been touched by God, except for his failed political run for office, "and because of that, when He has a plan and a purpose for your life and you fit into that, what He calls you to He always always equipped you for."

It should be noted that Ms. Angle is the one Republican "Tea Party" candidate who almost makes Rand Paul seem sensible. Indeed, she has invoked the Lord's support for her candidate platform before, stating that abortion even in the case of rape and incest should be illegal because "God has a plan." Whether God told Ms. Angle of this plan for full-term pregnancy when a woman has been raped as a condition of His campaign support, or she heard it at a campaign brunch and solicited His support is unknown.

Mind you, if in fact, the Lord supports Sharron Angle's candidacy -- and has "from the beginning" -- then it holds that God also supports Ms. Angle's positions beyond just the whole rape/incest/abortion thing. That God, too, supports eliminating the Department of Education; phasing out Social Security for the protection of the elderly; and believing that if a man has a job, it is the wife's place to stay at home with the kids. Also, making alcohol illegal. (It is a good thing she has God's support on this one, because it will likely be an uphill fight to convince the residents of Las Vegas in Ms. Angle's home state on this one.) Further, Ms. Angle's statements suggest that God stands wrongly by the disproven contention that abortion causes breast cancer. Of course, since God is infallible, perhaps this is just one of the points on which He and Ms. Angle "agree to disagree."

To be clear, none of this is to diminish nor demean Sharron Angle's personal religious faith -- or anyone's. But personal belief and using God as a shameless, self-righteous, petty, political campaign stunt is a selfish insult to the many hundreds of millions of people worldwide who believe in the very same God but may have different political positions. Or different religious interpretations.

It is also an insult to God to suggest that He has nothing better to do than stump the campaign trail with Sharron Angle. Or stump with any political candidate who invokes God's support and plan on their behalf, as Sarah Palin and so many others do.

It suggests that the Lord has decided not to get involved with ending the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, or stopping the Gulf oil spill, or fixing the U.S. economy, or getting jobs for the unemployed -- or curing cancer or juvenile diabetes or Alzheimer's...but He wants to get Sharron Angle elected to the U.S. Senate.

Then again, in fairness, maybe Sharron Angle is right, maybe this is all God's plan. Maybe He has been involved "from the beginning."

It's just that maybe it's not in the way she thinks....

...if you look at the electoral map in 2012, you have to assume that Obama is going to have a very hard time in holding North Carolina and Virginia. The industrial Midwest, where the auto decline has been huge, has weakened Obama's numbers...a great deal. So Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin become a bit more wobbly. So if you're Barack Obama, the firewall is the Latin belt from Florida to southwestern California. And there is only one Republican who can break through that firewall. And it is Jeb.

It's a terrible calamity that those in charge never should have allowed to happened, it's doing incalculable damage that will last for generations, and even as the destruction continues to spread, the government seems powerless to stop it.

No, I'm not talking about BP and the Gulf. I'm talking about President Obama, the millions of unemployed Americans, and the gulf between what needs to be done to deal with the jobs crisis and what is actually being done. It speaks volumes about our country and our deeply dysfunctional political system that not only have we been unable to bring the unemployment rate down, we can't even pass a bill extending unemployment benefits.

As the Huffington Post's Arthur Delaney points out, by the end of this week, Congress' failure to act will bring the total number of long-term unemployed prematurely cut off from aid to 2.5 million. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' June 2010 numbers, the unemployment rate is currently 9.5 percent. Almost half of those out of work have been looking for a job for over six months. What's more, the only reason the unemployment rate went down .2 percent in June is because over 650,000 people had become so discouraged they left the workforce altogether and are no longer being counted. Also not being counted are the underemployed....

Over the course of eight short years -- between 2000 and 2008 -- the Republicans methodically executed their plan to transform American society. They systematically transferred wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest two percent of Americans -- slashing taxes for the wealthy. They eviscerated the rules that held Wall Street, Big Oil and private insurance companies accountable to the public. They allowed and encouraged the recklessness of the big Wall Street banks that ultimately collapsed the economy and cost eight million Americans their jobs. They ignored exploding health care costs, tried to privatize Social Security, gave the drug companies open season to gouge American consumers and presided over a decline in real incomes averaging $2,000 per family. They entangled America in an enormously costly, unnecessary war in Iraq, pursued a directionless policy that left Afghanistan to fester, and sullied America's good name throughout the world.

Their economic policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy and deregulating big Corporations failed to create jobs. In fact, over his eight year term, George Bush's administration created exactly zero net private sector jobs. They inherited a Federal budget with surpluses as far as the eye could see and rolled up more debt than all of the previous Presidents in the over 200 years of American history. And in the end they left the economy in collapse.
to be featured on book tv this weekend

From the Publisher
In the years of cultural and political ferment following World War II, a new generation of Jewish- American writers and thinkers arose to make an indelible mark on American culture. Commentary was their magazine; the place where they and other politically sympathetic intellectuals—Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Lionel Trilling, Alfred Kazin, James Baldwin, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick and many others—shared new work, explored ideas, and argued with each other.

Founded by the offspring of immigrants, Commentary began life as a voice for the marginalized and a feisty advocate for civil rights and economic justice. But just as American culture moved in its direction, it began—inexplicably to some—to veer right, becoming the voice of neoconservativism and defender of the powerful.

This lively history, based on unprecedented access to the magazine’s archives and dozens of original interviews, provocatively explains that shift while recreating the atmosphere of some of the most exciting decades in American intellectual life.
i'll be interested to see if this version matches what i heard back then, which is similar to the wikipedia account, with a few added details, like it wasn't so much that the shift was caused by the new left's criticism of israel as the fear that the antiwar movement was becoming anti-american, as evidenced by occasional flag burnings, which were actually very rare. i also heard that the rag had been operating more or less as a collective till editor norman podhoretz abruptly announced to the staff that he owned it and it would thenceforth advance conservative views.
bp gops
[sent by the dnc]

Rep. Joe Barton (R-BP)Congressman Joe Barton, the top Republican on the committee overseeing the oil spill and its aftermath, delivered a personal apology to BP, saying the $20 billion fund that President Obama directed BP to establish to provide relief to the victims of the oil disaster was a "tragedy in the first proportion."

Spread the Word

Rep. Steve King (R-BP)As criticism mounted in the wake of Joe Barton's apology to BP, Republican Representative Steve King came to his defense. "I think Joe Barton was spot-on," King said on the conservative Laura Ingraham radio show.

Spread the Word

Rand Paul (R-BP)Kentucky's Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul leaped to the defense of BP, calling President Obama's efforts to hold the British company accountable for the Gulf Coast oil spill "un-American."

Spread the Word

Sharron Angle (R-BP)On a conservative radio show, Sharron Angle — the GOP nominee for Senate in Nevada — called the Gulf oil spill victims' relief program a "slush fund." When a caller suggested the BP payout was extortion, she agreed, saying, "Government shouldn't be doing that to a private company." Her solution to the energy crisis is to "deregulate" the oil industry.

Spread the Word

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-BP)Representative Michele Bachmann defended BP, criticizing the Gulf Coast oil spill fund — designed to aid spill victims — as a "redistribution of wealth."

Spread the Word

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my advice to the US and the EU

US: raise interest rates. banks won't lend much if they can't make much profit. i know you think it will hurt jobs and maybe even cause deflation, but you're wrong. we're in a cost-push inflationary phase. jobs will grow faster.

EU: get rid of the VAT. replace it with a progressive income tax. you're killing yourselves. the people who buy most can't buy as much as they would. take the most taxes from those who can afford it most.
so show me already

Karen Cole says she carries a copy in her purse.

"The Democrats are eviscerating our Constitution," Cole says.

Her friend Betty Anne Olsen agrees. "This current administration is trashing our Constitution; they couldn't care less about the values. They're breaking the laws."

And how does she know that?

"I do not study the Constitution, no, but I'm well aware of my history," Olsen says. "I'm well aware of how this country was founded, and I'm well aware of what has happened to it in current years."
ok. i'll bite. give me one example of how democrats are "eviscerating" and/or "trashing" the constitution.

The NAACP has approved a resolution condemning what it calls "racist elements" within the Tea Party. The vote has sparked a war of words between the two groups, and NAACP leaders hope the move will help fire up its membership with midterm elections approaching.

The fray began when NAACP President Benjamin Jealous issued a challenge to the Tea Party:

"You must expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take full responsibility for all of their actions."

Delegates at the convention unanimously approved a resolution echoing Jealous' words Tuesday night. It said that while the group believed in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in democracy, the Tea Party should repudiate bigoted statements, images and any racist leaders.

"I don't recall the NAACP speaking out when George Bush was portrayed as Curious George or as The Joker," said Mark Williams, a national spokesman for the Tea Party Express.

"I don't recall the NAACP ever standing up and saying we need to civilize discourse when Republicans were in the White House," Williams added.

A number of Tea Party leaders say they don't tolerate racist displays.

Williams contends that it's actually the NAACP that's being bigoted.

"You're dealing with people who are professional race-baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It's time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history," Williams said.

Charges of racism against the Tea Party flared after African-American congressmen said they were heckled, spat at and were assailed with racial slurs by Tea Party supporters during a demonstration at the U.S. Capitol.

People in the Tea Party movement have been holding rallies for more than a year now calling for limited government and protesting the Obama administration.

"We've been leaving the president hanging," said Jamal Simmons, a Washington, D.C.-based Democratic strategist. "The president's been out there pushing these real solid policies: health care, jobs, stimulus, education reform. Those of us who consider ourselves to be his allies haven't been doing our part in being out there and pushing hard enough against his opponents. Explaining why we're for what the president is doing while they're saying what they're against."

Polls show that black Americans still overwhelmingly support the president with approval ratings of about 90 percent. But many in 2008 were considered Obama voters who don't regularly show up to vote. So the resolution is part of a strategy to motivate potential voters to come out and vote in November.

And so is an upcoming march in Washington that NAACP's Jealous rallied the troops for as the organization gets ready for the midterm elections.

"The NAACP along with its allies and partners will show America that a solid majority of this nation is ready, willing and able to fight back to ensure that all the change we voted for is made a reality for all of our children," Jealous said.

Madeline Taylor of Memphis, Tenn., said she's glad Jealous decided to take on the Tea Party. She's not perturbed that a Tea Party activist accused the NAACP of being racist.

"We're always accused of being racist when we stand up and speak for ourselves," Taylor said.

The Tea Party resolution will go to the NAACP's national board of directors for a full vote in the fall.
that guy williams is a real piece of work. i won't say much about his vitriol and obvious racism, but i will point out that, far as i can tell, bush wasn't compared to curious george till 2006 and the joker till 2008. tea party attacks on obama began within weeks after he took office.

then again, obama accomplished more in his first few weeks than bush did in his first six years.

Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.

The resolution came after a year of high-profile media coverage of attendees of Tea Party marches using vial, antagonistic racial slurs & images. In March, respected members of the Congressional Black Caucus reported that racial epithets were hurled at them as they passed by a Washington, DC health care protest. Civil rights legend John Lewis was called the “n-word” in the incident while others in the crowd used ugly anti-gay slurs to describe Congressman Barney Frank, a long-time NAACP supporter and the nation’s first openly gay member of Congress.

Missouri Representative Emmanuel Cleaver was spat on during the incident, and so it was particularly appropriate that the resolution was passed as NAACP delegates gathered in Kansas City for our 101st Annual Convention.

The proposed resolution had generated controversy on conservative blogs, where in some cases the language has been misconstrued to imply that the NAACP was condemning the entire Tea Party movement itself as racist.

The resolution will not become official NAACP policy until approved by the National Board of Directors in October.
[take a look at the photos]

A survey by The Washington Post-ABC News showed 54 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's leadership on the economy. In a CBS News poll, only 40 percent of Americans said they approved of Obama's handling of the economy.

To counter such perceptions, the administration trumpeted an analysis from the White House Council of Economic Advisers that said government funding of clean energy, economic development, construction projects and other initiatives was spurring "co-investment" by the private sector.

The report, unveiled by CEA Chairman Christina Romer and Vice President Joseph Biden, estimated that Obama's $862 billion economic stimulus package had saved or created roughly 3 million jobs, and was on track to meet its goal of 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year.

"The impact of the fiscal stimulus suggest that the (Recovery Act) has raised the level of GDP as of the second quarter of 2010, relative to what it otherwise would have been, by between 2.7 and 3.2 percent," the report said.

"Real GDP growth is expected to remain steady in the second half of 2010 and throughout 2011."

But an open letter from the Chamber of Commerce threatened to overshadow that analysis. The Chamber's letter gave Obama credit for stabilizing the economy and preventing another Great Depression.

"But once accomplished, the congressional leadership and the administration took their eyes off the ball," the letter said.

"They neglected America's number one priority -- creating the more than 20 million jobs we need over the next 10 years for those who lost their jobs, have left the job market, or were cut to part-time status -- as well as new entrants into our workforce."
maybe it's no surprise that a majority of americans don't understand economics, but the US chamber of commerce? see the entry on lagging indicators below this one, and let's hope some of the ignoramuses at the CofC start educating themselves.

then again, they likely don't care about facts but just want to destroy obama. see Carefully Crafted USCofC Effort to Undermine President Obama on tristar research’s blog less than two months into obama's term.
from wikipedia

Lagging indicators

Lagging indicators are indicators that usually change after the economy as a whole does. Typically the lag is a few quarters of a year. The unemployment rate is a lagging indicator: employment tends to increase two or three quarters after an upturn in the general economy. In finance, Bollinger bands are one of various lagging indicators in frequent use. In a performance measuring system, profit earned by a business is a lagging indicator as it reflects a historical performance; similarly, improved customer satisfaction is the result of initiatives taken in the past.[citation needed]

The Index of Lagging Indicators is published monthly by The Conference Board, a non-governmental organization, which determines the value of the index from seven economic variables. These components tend to follow changes in the overall economy.

The components are:

The average duration of unemployment (inverted)
The value of outstanding commercial and industrial loans
The change in the Consumer Price Index for services
The change in labour cost per unit of output
The ratio of manufacturing and trade inventories to sales
The ratio of consumer credit outstanding to personal income
The average prime rate charged by banks
found online

Lest we forget - the Republican legacy:

More porous border for millions of more illegals -
Global economic meltdown -
Global loss of respect for America - lost moral high ground -
USA Becomes a TORTURE STATE leading to global hatred of America -
Health Care: skyrocketing insurance premiums, increasing family bankruptcies, dropped coverages
Katrina deaths and abandonment of the city and the people New Orleans -
Deaths of 4300 courageous US military personal and 200,000 innocent Iraqis in an unnecessary war - Skimped on body armor for soldiers -
Walter Reid decline & disgrace -
Near poverty military pay -
Sub-standard support of military families and returning soldiers and wounded -
Over a $ trillion already spent on an unnecessary war and likely $2 trillion more for future follow-up - blow-back, and V.A. costs for lifetime of all current and future Iraq related veterans -
Shameful treatment of local civilian populations -
Degenerate torture prisons -
Let Bin Ladin go at Tora Bora -
Bin Ladin family flight out of U.S. on 9/12 -
Al Qaida & Taliban not finished off in Afg -
Bush walking hand-in-hand and kissing Saudi King in the mouth -
No-bid outsourcing of military and war to friends -
Corporate welfare for outsourcing jobs overseas -
Non enforcement of already weakened regulations -
Illegal Immigration Crisis -
Social Security Crisis -
Medicare Crisis -
Bernie Madoff, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Enron, WorldCom, Fannie May, Freddie Mac -
Unemployment Crisis -
Welfare Crisis -
Gulf oil spill destruction due to de-regulation
Gulf coast communities destroyed, fisheries, property value, tourism due to toxic destruction
Toxic food outbreaks
Average Household Wealth Sunk 25 %
Gas up to $4.40 per gallon

In short, destruction of our great nation.


& here's another one, more bush-specific:

* Attacked and took over two countries.
* Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
* Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
* Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
* Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
* First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
* First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
* First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history.
* After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, presided over the worst security failure in US history.
* Set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips than any other president in US history.
* In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
*Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in US history.
* Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.
* Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
* Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
* Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history.
* Presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
* Presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
* Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
* Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
* Dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
* My presidency is the most secretive and un-accountable of any in US history.
* Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. (the 'poorest' multi-millionaire, Condoleeza Rice has an Exxon oil tanker named after her).
* First president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.
* Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.
* First president in US history to order a US attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.
* Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
* Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the human rights commission.
* First president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the elections monitoring board.
* Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history.
* Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
* Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
* Refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
* First president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 US elections).
* All-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
* My biggest life-time campaign contributor presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
* Spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US history.
* First president in US history to unilaterally attack a sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
* First president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
* First US president to establish a secret shadow government.
* Took the biggest world sympathy for the US after 911, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
* With a policy of 'dis-engagement' created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
* First US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
* First US president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the US than their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
* Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
* Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated US law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
* Failed to fulfill my pledge to get Osama Bin Laden 'dead or alive'.
* Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the United States Capital building. After 18 months I have no leads and zero suspects.
* In the 18 months following the 911 attacks I have successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
* Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
* In a little over two years created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided the US has ever been since the civil war.
* Entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Talk of the Nation

Facts often don't matter, especially in political arguments. New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts, and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The phenomenon is called backfire and it plays an important role in how we shape and solidify our political beliefs. It also raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is better than one that is not informed, or is misinformed. Dana Milbank, national Political Columnist for the Washington Post, joins Neal Conan, along with Brendan Nyhan, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Monday that tax cuts for the wealthy shouldn't be offset by revenue increases elsewhere because their purpose is to shrink the size of government, fleshing out an argument he made on Sunday. The White House has seized on Kyl's assertion that unemployment benefits should be paid for but tax cuts shouldn't, hoping to portray the GOP as staunch defenders of the rich. But Kyl stood by his statement, calling jobless benefits a "necessary evil."

Viewing Kyl's argument through the prism of the deficit makes for a confusing philosophical landscape. But it's not about the deficit, it's about the size of government: Kyl and the GOP in general want to slash government spending -- on the domestic front, at least. Borrowing to pay for unemployment insurance cuts against that goal; borrowing to pay for tax cuts reduces revenues available to government and moves the nation closer to a crisis point at which cuts to social programs may become palatable. That strategy has long been known as "starve the beast."

"My view, and I think most of the people in my party, don't believe that you should ever have to offset a tax cut," said Kyl, speaking to reporters off the Senate floor. "The money belongs to the taxpayer, to the people. The money does not belong to the government. And yet that's what this kind of a rigid pay-go rule would assume, that the money belongs to the government and, therefore, if you're going to deny the government some of that revenue through a tax cut, you have to make the government whole because the government can never lose any money. That would mean that you could never reduce the size of government. Each year when it gets bigger, it stays at that level or gets bigger yet, but you can never reduce it. The money doesn't belong to the government. The money belongs to the people, so you shouldn't have to make the government whole every time you do something to reduce the revenue to the government."

Most economists, including Mark Zandi, a former adviser to Kyl's homestate GOP colleague John McCain, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, say that spending on unemployment insurance stimulates the economy because the jobless spend nearly the entire check. The wealthy, meanwhile, save most of the money they receive from tax cuts, spend it on luxury goods or send it offshore.

Kyl disagreed forcefully with that economic analysis and urged lower taxes and less regulation. "First of all, no economist will say that you should have to spend money on people who are unemployed because that stimulates the economy. If you didn't have high unemployment or a recession, nobody would be suggesting unemployment benefits. Stimulus, by just giving people money, is not the most efficient way to generate jobs and growth. The best way to generate growth in the economy -- jobs, income for governments who need to tax -- is by a growing economy. And there is no better way to stimulate a growing economy than through reforming tax and regulatory policy," he said.

Kyl said that the government would prefer not to have to pay unemployment benefits. "It's a necessary evil in a sense. You'd like not to have raise revenue in order to pay people for not working - or not to pay them for not working, but because they can't get work. You want them to get work so you don't have to pay them. It's something the government would just as soon not have to do if it could avoid it," he said. "To me, you shouldn't look at it as an economic matter. It's a humanitarian matter. You've got people who are out of work who can't find work, you want to help them out. Families need help. That's why you provide it. You don't do it because it's going to stimulate the economy."

In March, Kyl suggested on the Senate floor that unemployment benefits dissuade folks from seeking jobs. He was the first -- but far from the last -- member of Congress to make such an argument. At the time, an incredulous Max Baucus (D-Mont.) asked him if he wanted to soften the statement and he did. On Monday, HuffPost asked if he still felt that way. "Yes. Most economists do. Look at the textbooks written by economists who work for President Obama, Larry Summers for example," he said.

HuffPost noted that the research for those studies applies to good economic times, when a job seeker can juggle multiple offers, but not to recessionary periods, where jobs are harder to come by. Summers made the point recently in a letter to the Wall Street Journal.

"Oh, baloney. They don't qualify it in the textbooks," replied Kyl.
textbooks?! you mean this guy has started studying economics? well, it's about time!

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued today a second deepwater drilling moratorium, based on new evidence about drilling safety following a recent court decision that found the administration’s original ban to be “capricious and arbitrary.”

The moratorium comes as the massive BP oil spill has been gushing thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico daily for more than 80 days.

According to an Interior Department press release, the moratorium, or “suspensions,” will last until Nov. 30,2010, “or until such earlier time that the Secretary determines that deep water drilling operations can proceed safely.[more]
what building is this?

it's not foxnews, is it?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Citing the "unprecedented" nature of the BP oil spill disaster, federal and state medical officials expressed concern Friday about what they see as mounting mental health issues that people in the Gulf states are facing.

Public health officials in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida all said the growing need is especially worrisome because it comes at a time when their states are experiencing cuts in health services because of "very tight" budgets.

A breached well has been pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico for two months now. Nonstop. According to the Associated Press, as much as 125 million gallons may have flowed so far.
the date on this item was june 21, so it's almost 3 more weeks. see more & photos.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

read these at 3 sisters corner cafe last saturday, along with these two:


y'say y'stuk'n a rut
n whr y'wrk crowded

wl don' say it too loud
cz y'kno who wait fr yr job
f y'don' like it

we'l handl y'kno who
keep m 'n thr place
long as y'
jus do yr job
take yr pay
pray sundy morn
watch th game aftrnoon
n f tht ain nuf
n y'find y'slf yelln at th wife n kids
jus stop at th bar aftr wrk
n rmembr
bettr hom awaitn
'n th sky



god n cntry
mothrhd n appl pi
hom whr hart iz
evr so humbl,no place like hom
man's hom hz castl
place t'hang yr hat
charity bgins at hom
spare rod,spoil child
tall oaks frm lil acorns gro
lil pitchrs hav big ears
childrn shd b seen,nt hrd
silnce goldn
luv blind
womn shd b seen,nt hrd
womn's place in th hom
kitchn n bedrm
barefoot n pregnant
on a pedestal
lady in drawng rm,whor in bed
womn's wrk nevr dn
two cn liv cheap as one
luv me,luv my dog

drops in the bucket

President Barack Obama announced Saturday the awarding of nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that he said will create thousands of jobs and increase the country's use of renewable energy sources.

Obama disclosed the funding in his weekly radio and online address, saying it is part of his plan to bring new industries to the U.S.

"We're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America," Obama said.

The two companies that will receive the funds from the president's $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world's largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

But not everyone is happy to see her on the track. Despite the growing popularity of racing across the Arab world, a number of Muslim clerics have spoken out against the sport.

Jawabrah says she's heard men call it haram, or forbidden, but she thinks they are ill-informed. There is nothing wrong with racing, she says.

While most of the men at the races applaud just as loudly for the female racers as for the men, some say they are uncomfortable with women at the racetrack.

Tareq Sarsou, a 33-year-old Ramallah store owner, says that while he was impressed by the sport, he isn't sure it's appropriate for Palestinian society. "I would not allow my wife, my sister or my daughter to race here," Sarsou says.

yeah? how 'bout your mother?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

...when the Republican National Committee unfurled a big red "FIRE PELOSI" banner last month from a window of its Capitol Hill headquarters, right above the front door, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a photo of it in its own fundraising e-mail.

Most Norwegians seem to support their government’s moratorium on deepwater drilling, especially after the gulf disaster. But not all.

WASHINGTON – Hoping to breathe new life into the stalled immigration effort, President Barack Obama on Thursday blamed the delay on recalcitrant Republicans whom he said had given in to the "pressures of partisanship and election-year politics."

Republicans responded that Obama's first step going forward must be to secure the border.

In his first immigration speech, Obama took Republicans to task, in particular 11 GOP senators who had backed attempts during the previous Republican administration to tighten the immigration system. He did not call out anyone by name.

Obama dismissed the focus on a "border security first" approach, saying the system is too big to be fixed "only with fences and border patrols." He advocated a comprehensive approach that would call on the government, businesses and illegal immigrants themselves to live up to their responsibilities within the law.

WASHINGTON – More than 1.3 million laid-off workers won't get their unemployment benefits reinstated before Congress goes on a weeklong break for Independence Day.

And hundreds of thousands more will lose their benefits in the coming weeks.

The House voted 270-153 Thursday to extend jobless benefits for people who have been laid off for long stretches, but the gesture was made futile by the Senate's inability to pass the bill. For the third time in as many weeks, Republicans in the Senate successfully filibustered a similar measure Wednesday night before senators adjourned for vacation.

HAVANA – Elian Gonzalez says he's not angry at his Miami relatives who fought to keep him in the United States during a nasty international custody battle a decade ago, and is thankful "a large part of the American public" supported him being reunited with his father in Cuba.