Saturday, November 29, 2008

The United States " War On Drugs "


by CommonSense2k8  Sat Nov 29, 2008

Is it time to end the drug war once and for all?
Is it time America takes a more educated approach to the issue?
Young Adults are dying in our country, while Europe takes a more logical approach to fighting the problem of drug abuse.
The War on Drug's have not produced the outcomes Reagen promised in the 80s, yet we still are basing our nations policy on the issue on his initial plan.

After the jump, I discuss two articles published in the past week about Heroin use in Switzerland and Virginia, and their vastly different results.

I read an article this week how Switzerland has addressed the Heroin epidemic in their nation. While once they had hundreds of Heroin addicts shooting up in their parks, overdosing, and creating an unsafe environment, they now have ended the problem. Today, an addict can go to a doctor’s office and shoot-up in a safe environment, with a doctors approved dosage. Not only does this result in a safe environment, it takes the crime aspect of acquiring the drug out of the equation, and gets these addicts into a safe environment to try and address the issues they face, why they use drugs to begin with.  The Swiss, as do most industrialized, modern nations, have national health care, where the government will pay for health insurance if the individual cannot afford it. So with the government’s money, they are actually addressing the issue of drug abuse, instead of fighting it as an invisible enemy.

Contrary, in our nation, the Washington Post published a story last week about how Heroin has become an epidemic in Virginia’s Suburban High Schools. Ignoring the probably CIA connections to the location and demographic, there is no disputing the "drug war" has failed. Alicia Lannes, 19, overdosed for the 4th time, and died, in March. Her friends didn’t call the police at first, but called friends to try and help her, afraid of getting in trouble themselves. Eventually they placed an anonymous call to report her unconscious state. She was dead when the paramedics arrived. This is far from an isolated situation.

"Alicia Lannes's death was one of 18 related to heroin in Fairfax County this year, many involving people between 18 and 24 years old, and it prompted a joint police and FBI investigation into how the hard-core drug has permeated the wealthy suburb and killed young users."

If Barack Obama brings one sweeping change to our nation, it should be a reworking of our nations Drug Policy. The racist and deadly drug policy America has been using for the past 30 years needs a radical change. With our economy already in turmoil, the majority of the world wanting to liberalize restrictions on Marijuana, the Pharmaceutical Companies rampant hypocrisy and deceptive marketing of their drugs, the time is ripe for a real change.

The truth about the world’s Drug Trade is far to complicated and convoluted for the average American to understand or believe, but the real life stories of how this effects the average American family is what is needed to educate the population how a real Change needs to occur.

If after Alicia’s first overdose, she were able to go to a doctor’s office and address her addiction, be given safe Opium/Heroin, speak with doctors about it, and address her issue, she would be alive today. Instead due to our illogical, profit driven, embarrassing drug policy, this 19-year-old is DEAD, along with millions of others who have died or who are in jail for crimes that only affected their own life.  Lets hope the Obama Administration addresses this issue as urgently as we address the economic crisis and the wars, because in the end, they are all the same problem.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday: Shopping Deaths At Wal-Mart And Toys 'R' Us

  The way that some people will stand in line for hours while waiting for a certain store to open its doors is amazing to me. The worst part is that some of these waiting customers will run over anyone who happens to be in their way when those doors do open.


NEW YORK (AP) — A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday when "out-of-control" shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale. Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

At least four other people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Police said criminal charges were possible in the case, but Fleming said it would be difficult to identify individual shoppers. Authorities were reviewing surveillance video.

  Do we no longer have any sense or decency in this country?

   Meanwhile, violence broke out between what could possibly be gang members at a  Toys 'R' Us in California.

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Two people were shot to death in a crowded toy store Friday in a confrontation apparently involving rival groups, city officials said.

The violence erupted on Black Friday, the traditional post-Thanksgiving start of the holiday shopping surge, but accounts of what occurred inside the store were fragmentary or second hand and it was not clear whether it involved any shopping frenzy.

"Some people got into a fight," said Splain, who spoke with some of the customers. "One of the guys here thought it was over a toy but it got louder and louder and then there were gunshots."

  Tis the season, I guess.

Wachovia Executives Will Be Paid Handsomely

Wachovia execs make out like bandits

by Dollars & Sense

Don't worry about the bankers. They'll be alright.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wachovia Corp (NYSE:WB - News), which lost $33 billion in the last two quarters, said 10 top executives may be entitled to $98.1 million in severance pay after the bank is acquired by Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC - News).
In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wachovia said the executives would receive severance under their employment agreements if the merger closes by December 31, as expected. Wachovia said shareholders will vote on the merger on Dec 23.
The 10 executives do not include Robert Steel, who in July replaced the ousted Ken Thompson as Wachovia's chief executive, and does not have an employment agreement.
Wachovia also said a closing would entitle its 11 executive officers, who include Steel, as well as Chairman Lanty Smith to $2.5 million in equity-based awards under existing stock incentive plans. But the executives' stock options are worthless, the bank said.

  I want a bailout too! I know that this isn't a bailout, but since I am not a bank CEO and can't get stock options and the other perks, I want a bailout!!

   If the banks and all of those Wall Street firms can get a government bailout for purposely running their companies into the ground and for ripping of many retiree's, then I should be able to get a bailout since I at least try to make money for my business without stealing it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bush to Pardon Appointees He authorized To Commit Crimes?

  You have no doubt heard about President Bush's plan to issue pardons to a few of his appointees who committed crimes under order of Bush. Pre-emptive pardons is the phrase that I believe is being used.

   My first question is, can a President do this? Next. If Bush does this to cover his own ass, is there any recourse that we American's can take? What about Congress?

   From what I am hearing, a President cannot pardon a crime that he authorized. We are dealing with George Bush, so anything that could not be done legally, will be done illegally. But can he get away with it?

   Alternative News

Statement from the Steering Committee for the Prosecution for War Crimes of President Bush and His Subordinates

Never before has a president pardoned himself or his subordinates for crimes he authorized. The closest thing to this in U.S. history thus far has been Bush’s commutation of Scooter Libby’s sentence. Bush is widely expected to follow that commutation with a pardon. Not only did Libby work for the White House, but he was convicted of obstruction of justice in an investigation that was headed to the president. Evidence introduced in the trial, including a hand-written note by the vice president, implicated Bush, and former press secretary Scott McClellan has since testified that Bush authorized the exposure of an undercover agent, that being the crime that was under investigation.

There are widespread concerns that Bush might pardon other subordinates for various other crimes that he authorized, potentially including torture, warrantless spying, a variety of war crimes, taking the nation to war on fraudulent evidence, and the abuses of the politicized Justice Department. Voices in the media advising Bush to issue such pardons include: Stuart Taylor Jr. (Newsweek 7/12/08) and Alan Dershowitz (Wall St Journal 9/12/08), while many additional voices have urged Obama to commit to not prosecuting.

The idea that the pardon power constitutionally includes such pardons ignores a thousand year tradition in which no man can sit in judgment of himself, and the fact that James Madison and George Mason argued that the reason we needed the impeachment power was that a president might some day try to pardon someone for a crime that he himself was involved in. The problem is not preemptive pardons of people not yet tried and convicted. The problem is not blanket pardons of unnamed masses of people. Both of those types of pardons have been issued in the past and have their appropriate place. The problem is the complete elimination of any semblance of the rule of law if Bush pardons his subordinates for crimes he instructed or authorized them to commit.

If Bush attempts this, here are possible responses:

1. Immediate impeachment of Bush and Cheney and various pardonees, even if they are out of office. (Here are arguments for the permissibility of such impeachments: )

2. Overturning of the pardons by the new president or by Congress, as Bush’s lawyers told him he could do to Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich, which was a far more minor abuse of the pardon power.

3. Legislation banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

4. A Constitutional Amendment banning self-pardons and pardons of crimes authorized by the president.

5. Refusal by the courts to honor the supposed pardons.

6. Prosecution of Bush, Cheney, and their subordinates for their crimes.

With thanks to all who have aided over the past millennia in the establishment of the rule of law.


Lawrence Velvel, Dean of Massachusetts Law School, chairs the Steering Committee whose members include Ben Davis, Marjorie Cohn, Chris Pyle, Elaine Scarry, Peter Weiss, David Swanson, Kristina Borjesson, Colleen Costello, Valeria Gheorghiu, and Andy Worthington.


8 Year Old Arizona Boy Kept List Of Spankings

  Those big dinners are all eaten and the football games is on.

   Back to reality.

   the Arizona Republic

An 8-year-old St. Johns boy charged with double-homicide may have kept a written record of spankings by his parents, vowing that the 1,000th would be his limit, according to a police records released Friday.

A search affidavit by Sgt. Lucas Rodriguez says the child "is believed to have made ledgers and or communicated in the form of writings about his intentions. (The boy) told a CPS . . . worker that when he reached one thousand spankings . . . that would be his limit. (The boy) kept a tally of his spankings on a piece of paper."

In a statement to police a day after the Nov. 5 killings, the boy said he had been spanked the day before the shootings because he did not complete a school assignment.

According to the police records, family members were not surprised when told one day after the slayings that the boy had confessed to murder. Police Chief Roy Melnick says in his report, "I comforted them as best we could. After several minutes, (the boy's grandmother) shouted out in an angry and loud tone, 'I knew this would happen. They were too hard on (the boy). I knew (he) did it. He spent the night in my bed cuddling up to me. I had a feeling he did it. If any eight year old boy is capable of doing this, it's (him).'

One day after the killings, the boy gave police a statement which they have characterized as a confession. In it, he provided various explanations for what had happened, finally declaring that he had shot his father and the other man twice each to stop their suffering after they had been wounded by an unknown person.

    This story gets more interesting by the day. from the above article, it would seem that the police are still not sure why the boys killed the two men.

    Did the boy finally get his 1,000th spanking and then decide that enough is enough? That could be reason for killing his father, but what about the other man? Did the second victim make an attempt to help the father after he was shot, and then suffered the same fate?

     The boy claimed originally that he shot both men twice to put them out of their misery after being shot by someone else. Ain't no way that that happened.

   If the boy did receive 1,000 spankings by the time he reached the age of 8, then he was either one very rotten child or daddy was one very rotten child abuser.

Barack Obama's Thanksgiving Address

  For some reason the video will not embed on this site, so Here is the link in case you wish to watch Obama. Below is the text of his message.

Good morning.

Nearly 150 years ago, in one of the darkest years of our nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. America was split by Civil War. But Lincoln said in his first Thanksgiving decree that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be – and I quote – "gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people."

This week, the American people came together with families and friends to carry on this distinctly American tradition. We gave thanks for loved ones and for our lasting pride in our communities and our country. We took comfort in good memories while looking forward to the promise of change.

But this Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people.

Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve.

At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions. More and more Americans are worried about losing a job or making their mortgage payment.  Workers are wondering if next month’s paycheck will pay next month’s bills. Retirees are watching their savings disappear, and students are struggling with the cost of tuition.

It’s going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis. That’s why I’m committed to forging a new beginning from the moment I take office as President of the United States. Earlier this week, I announced my economic team. This talented and dedicated group is already hard at work crafting an Economic Recovery Plan that will create or save 2.5 million new jobs, while making the investments we need to fuel long-term economic growth and stability.

But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone – it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people.

I have seen this strength firsthand over many months – in workers who are ready to power new industries, and farmers and scientists who can tap new sources of energy; in teachers who stay late after school, and parents who put in that extra hour reading to their kids; in young Americans enlisting in a time of war, seniors who volunteer their time, and service programs that bring hope to the hopeless.

It is a testament to our national character that so many Americans took time out this Thanksgiving to help feed the hungry and care for the needy. On Wednesday, I visited a food bank at Saint Columbanus Parish in Chicago. There – as in so many communities across America – folks pitched in time and resources to give a lift to their neighbors in need. It is this spirit that binds us together as one American family – the belief that we rise and fall as one people; that we want that American Dream not just for ourselves, but for each other.

That’s the spirit we must summon as we make a new beginning for our nation. Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln’s first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for – and working for – new horizons of opportunity for all Americans.

So this weekend – with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.

Only In America: A Thanksgiving Story

  Many of us have thousands of reasons to be thankful on this Thanksgiving day. All of us have at least one reason.

  With our economy going down the toilet and our jobs outlook not getting any better, among a host of other bad news for many of us, I bring to you American hero's for acts that they have committed here at home.

   News Channel 5

WATERTOWN, Tenn. - A 10-year-old girl from Wilson County has turned $20 into enough money to feed two families.

Brittany Eiserman is making this Thanksgiving special for a lot of people.

There's not much one can buy for $20 these days, but Brittany found a way to do so.

Instead of keeping the money for herself, she decided to help others in need.

Brittany Eiserman and her family delivered bags of groceries to two families in Watertown Wednesday morning.

"Donna, we wanted your family to have a good Thanksgiving like ours," she said as she greeted Donna Holder Wednesday morning.

"This is an answer to a prayer because we didn't know if we were going to have Thanksgiving," Holder said. "They called and told us what they were going to do so it really is a wonderful thing."

The child participated in a local radio contest where she was given $20 to do something special for others.

She decided to use the money to make chocolate-covered pretzels. She sold them in the community and raised $150 to buy Thanksgiving dinner for families.


Before dying of leukemia last week, 11-year-old Brenden Foster had put together his very own "Bucket List." Item No. 1 on the boy's things-to-do-before-I-die list?
Feed the homeless.
Brenden, as it turned out, was too sick to handle that one on his own. Diagnosed with blood cancer in August 2005, he suffered a relapse last December. By this summer, doctors told the fifth-grader he hadn't long to live.
Then, earlier this month, KOMO-TV in Seattle aired a report about the boy's wish list. Within days the word had spread all the way down the Pacific Coast, and the response was startling.
In Los Angeles, the Union Rescue Mission, a nonprofit shelter, served 2,500 meals this month to the homeless in Brenden's honor. When it distributed sack lunches to the needy, two words were written on the front of each pouch: "Love Brenden."
In Seattle, near the suburb of Bothell, where the slight, curly-haired boy lived, volunteers prepared hundreds of sandwiches to give away — ham and cheese, Brenden's favorite, and peanut butter and jelly. (The boy wanted to make sure vegetarian homeless people had something to eat.)
By Thanksgiving, a Seattle campaign collected more than 60,000 pounds of donated food to be distributed among the state's food banks for the holiday. "I don't have much myself," read one note, attached to a donation, "but your wish touched me and I'm going to do what I can."
Says Camille Wells, a spokeswoman with the nonprofit Food Lifeline: "I can't say we would have gotten the same response from people if it wasn't for his request."
Brenden died Friday at home. He told his family he wasn't afraid of death, just sad that he didn't have more time on Earth to do more, says Patricia McMorrow, his grandmother. The boy's other wishes: To save honeybees and clean up Seattle's Puget Sound.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Late Night Political Humor

  With Thanksgiving upon us, we can use a little humor since this country has gone to shit with the economy and such.

  "In a speech this morning, Barack Obama said, 'This isn't about big government or small government. It's about building a smarter government.' When he heard this, President Bush said, 'I get it. I get it. I'm leaving.'"  --Conan O'Brien

"Everyone's talking about the American auto industry right now. A new study just came out and found that the Ford Motor Company makes the cars with the highest safety rating. Of all the cars, yeah. Yeah, apparently, Ford cars are so safe because they never leave the dealer's lot."  --Conan O'Brien

"Finally we got some good news about the economy. Barack Obama got $800 billion to rescue the economy. All I can say is, 'Thank you, Oprah.'" --David Letterman

"Welcome to 'The Tonight Show.' I have some wonderful news for you. Everyone in our audience tonight is getting a Federal bailout. Congratulations!" --Jay Leno

"Yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama announced his new economic team. You know what he should do? Hire those people who were in charge of his fundraising campaign. We can pay this thing off in like a week." --Jay Leno

"And this is true, the Big Three automakers are now talking about driving back to Washington in December. Remember the big uproar last week when they all flew to Washington in private jets? Well, now they're going to carpool. No, this is true. And to make sure there aren't any problems, they're driving a Toyota." --Jay Leno

                           HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

President Elect Barack Obama to appear On Barbara Walters...

    and he has a few good things to say about our economic crisis and the bankers who are now asking for bailouts.

   A few excerpts from the interview.


"One of the concerns I have is that the economy is so weakened that the next 60 days are going to be difficult because we've got a president who, even though he may mean well, is now sort of in lame-duck status [and] Congress isn't in [session]."

"And I don't have the reins of power," Obama added.

  On the Wall Street bailout, Obama said,

    "I'm not president yet, so I don't know yet how much more money is going to be spent. I'm going to scrutinize very carefully how that money is spent. If the Bush administration chooses to draw down that money, then I'm going to have something to say about whether it's doing it wisely," he told Walters.

Obama said the executives at those companies who have taken federal loans should act responsibly with the tax payers' money, chiding Wall Street executives who sought multimillion dollar bonuses and the leaders of Detroit's Big Three automakers who last week flew to Washington aboard private jets to ask Congress for a bailout.

He called the automaker executives "tone deaf" to the concerns of the American people.

  Is Obama lost when it comes to these CEO's? They haven't acted in a responsible manner with their companies or its money. What makes Obama think that they will show any care for the taxpayers cash?

Executives at many of Wall Street's top firms, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, have, in recent days, laid off scores of workers and announced they would forgo Christmas bonuses, a policy the incoming president indicated he wanted to see more of.

Asked by Walters if bank executives should forgo their bonuses, Obama said, "I think they should."

  How about forgoing some of those Golden Parachutes and other retirement benefits while they are at it?

    Watch the show "A Barbara Walters Special: Barack and Michelle Obama," Tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wounded Vets Told Injuries Not Combat Related

  It is just one outrage after another under the Bush Crime Syndicate.

     The Los Angeles Times has an interesting, if not disgusting, look at how the Pentagon has gone about telling our wounded troops that their injuries are not combat related. This costs those veterans thousands of dollars in lost benefits, which are rightfully theirs.

   So how have some of our veterans been injured?

Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Army Sgt. Lori Meshell shattered a hip and crushed her back and knees while diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq. She has undergone a hip replacement and knee reconstruction and needs at least three more surgeries.

  Sounds like combat related injuries to me.

      In each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat-related.

   This kind of diagnosis comes about because of some rule changes that went onto effect this past March.

In a little-noticed regulation change in March, the military's definition of combat-related disabilities was narrowed, costing some injured veterans thousands of dollars in lost benefits -- and triggering outrage from veterans' advocacy groups.
The Pentagon said the change was consistent with Congress' intent when it passed a "wounded warrior" law in January. Narrowing the combat-related definition was necessary to preserve the "special distinction for those who incur disabilities while participating in the risk of combat, in contrast with those injured otherwise," William J. Carr, deputy undersecretary of Defense, wrote in a letter to the 1.3-million-member Disabled American Veterans.

    The DAV is working on having this rule rescinded, and it should be tossed of the books.

But veterans like Dixon and Meshell said their disabilities were a direct result of wounds suffered in combat.
Dixon said he was denied at least $16,000 in benefits before he fought the Pentagon and won a reversal of his noncombat-related designation.
"I was blown up twice in Iraq, and my injuries weren't combat-related?" Dixon said. "It's the most imbecile thing I've ever seen."
Meshell, who is appealing her status, estimates she is losing at least $1,200 a month in benefits. Despite being injured in a combat zone during an enemy mortar attack, she said, her wounds would be considered combat-related only if she had been struck by shrapnel.

    Funny how the government can pony up $700 billion to financial institutions which ripped of investors while lining their pockets, but they attempt to  deny benefits to our people fighting a war in foreign lands, who come home ravaged by that war.

Obama's Press Conference This Morning


The address in full:

Good morning.

I speak to you today, mindful that we meet at a moment of great challenge for America, as our credit markets are stressed, and our families are struggling. But as difficult as these times are, I’m confident that we will rise to meet this challenge – if we’re willing to band together and recognize that Wall Street cannot thrive so long as Main Street is struggling; if we’re willing to summon a new spirit of ingenuity and determination; and if Americans of great intellect, broad experience, and good character are willing to serve in government at this hour of need.

Yesterday, I announced four such Americans to help lead the economic team that will advise me as we seek to climb out of this crisis. Today, Vice President-elect Biden and I are pleased to announce two other key members of our team – Peter Orszag as Director and Robert Nabors as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Before I explain why I selected these outstanding public servants, let me just say a word about the work I am asking them to undertake. As I said yesterday, the economic crisis we face demands that we invest immediately in a series of measures that will help save or create two and a half million jobs and put tax cuts in the pockets of the hard-pressed middle class. Many of those new jobs will come in areas such as energy independence, technology, and health care modernization that will strengthen our economy for the future.

But if we’re going to make the investments we need, we must also be willing to shed the spending we don’t. In these challenging times, when we are facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It is an imperative.  We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a politician, lobbyist, or interest group.  We simply cannot afford it.

This isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That is why I will ask my team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges. We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.

Let me give you one example of what I’m talking about. There’s a report today that from 2003 to 2006, millionaire farmers received $49 million in crop subsidies even though they were earning more than the $2.5 million cutoff for such subsidies. If this is true, it is a prime example of the kind of waste I intend to end as President.

And we will also focus on one of the biggest, long-run challenges that our budget faces – namely, the rising cost of health care in both the public and private sectors. This is not just a challenge but also an opportunity to improve the health care that Americans rely on and to bring down the costs that taxpayers, businesses, and families have to pay.

That is what the OMB will do in my administration – it will not only help design a budget and manage its implementation, it will also help make sure that our government – your government – is more efficient and more effective at serving the American people.

There is no better person to help lead this effort as Director of the OMB than my friend Peter Orszag. Peter has been one of our nation’s leading voices on budgetary issues. It is said that a nation’s budget reflects its priorities. I believe that is true. And I know that Peter will bring to his work at the OMB a set of priorities that I – and the American people – share.

Throughout his career, he has made significant contributions in our understanding of all the major economic challenges we are now confronting – from reducing medical costs to saving Social Security to fighting global climate change to helping put the dream of a college degree within reach for more students.

As Director of the Congressional Budget Office, he reenergized and reinvigorated the agency, while shifting its focus to confront the health care crisis that is not only a cause of so much suffering for so many families, but a rapidly growing portion of our budget and a drag on our entire economy.

But it is not simply Peter’s past career that makes him qualified for his new appointment, it is his vision for the future. He believes, as I do, that even as we take steps to restore discipline to our budget, we must also take the steps right now that are necessary to solve our immediate crisis.

Peter doesn’t need a map to tell him where the bodies are buried in the federal budget.  He knows what works and what doesn’t, what is worthy of our precious tax dollars and what is not. Just because a program, a special interest tax break or corporate subsidy is tucked into this year’s budget, does not mean it should survive the next. The old ways of Washington simply can’t meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

And no one is more able or more qualified to assist Peter in this work as Deputy Director of the OMB than Robert Nabors. Rob will bring to this post experience in the executive branch, at the OMB, where he helped the Clinton administration achieve balanced budgets, as well as in the legislative branch, where he led the appropriations committee staff as a driving force for a responsible budget. Together with Peter, Rob will help steer our budget through Congress so that I can sign it into law.

Now, let me be clear: these appointments and the appointments I announced yesterday are not the sum of my economic team. These appointees will work with those I have yet to announce – including the secretaries of Energy and Labor, Commerce and Health and Human Services and others in my administration – to design a recovery plan for both Wall Street and Main Street, and to put our economy on a path to long-term growth and prosperity.

Because at this moment, we must not only restore confidence in our markets. We must also restore the confidence of middle class families that their government is on their side – that it’s working for them – on their behalf – to meet their families’ needs. And that is exactly what I intend to do as President of the United States of America. Thank you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Citi Next Bank To Get Taxpayer Funded Handout

    to the tune of $20 billion from the Treasury. Those billions went into the purchase of some of Citi's  preferred stock. There was also some some $306 billion in guarantee's for Citi's troubled assets, which are added to the $25 billion stake in Citi which the government took back in October by way of the Troubled Asset Recovery Program..

  Just how fucking much more will you and I end up giving these crooks? Funny you should ask. Here is part of the answer for you from Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Paul Miller

  Indeed, with house prices falling after a decade-long run-up and unemployment last month hitting a 14-year high, U.S. banks face increasing loan losses on mortgages, commercial real estate and credit cards. FBR's Miller writes that the eight biggest U.S. firms - Citi, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) and General Electric's (GE, Fortune 500) financial services arm - need at least $1 trillion in new capital to weather the coming recession without the prospect of an institutional failure. ( my emphasis )

  A trillion dollars folks! That is one hell of a lot of money to be pissing away to companies that got themselves into this mess in the first place.

  Yet, you and I will still continue paying for their greed and corruption. What a fucking waste!

Dick Cheney Should Stand Before The World Court If Anyone Should

  You all know that there is plenty of talk about what should be done about the Bush Crime Syndicate and the crimes they have committed and so on, and so on. While many of us would like to see Bush convicted in a real court of law, it is Dick Cheney who must make the first appearance.

    So let's see what some of our friends from across the Atlantic think about this. Let's see what Germany thinks.

   Watching America

Neues Deutschland, Germany
Cheney In The Dock

By Olaf Standke
Translated By Ron Argentati

20 November 2008
Germany - Neues Deutschland - Original Article (German)
The International Criminal Court is about to open its first trial. Congolese rebel leader Thomas Lubanga is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. Dick Cheney should stand in the dock with him. A grand jury in Texas alleges the Vice-President is complicit in the abuse of prisoners incarcerated in privately run prisons. It also alleges that Cheney summarily used the power of his office to prevent an investigation of the charges. Small wonder: Cheney is reported to have invested $85 million in companies who realize most of their profits from the private prison industry.
The accusation is appropriate for the White House’s second in command who, since September 11, 2001, has been accorded presidential privileges. The former CEO of the Halliburton energy services company has been more successful than anyone else in maximizing profits from dirty political deals. He and his team laid the policy strategy as well as the legal basis for a number of crimes. The keyword list is long and includes not only the Iraq war, Guantanamo and CIA torture, but also the savaging of political opponents to the point that their livelihoods are endangered. In addition, he is responsible for the creation of “Washington insider” energy, environmental and financial policies geared toward big profits.
If anyone deserves to stand before World Court judges, it’s Dick Cheney.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

U.S. Exports To Iran

  Just a quick little fact for you.

U.S. exports to Iran - including brassieres, bull semen, cosmetics and possibly even weapons - grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran of nuclear ambitions and helping terrorists. America sent more cigarettes to Iran, at least $158 million worth under Bush, than any other products.

Other surprising shipments to Iran during the Bush administration: fur clothing, sculptures, perfume and musical instruments. Top states shipping goods to Iran include California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of seven years of U.S. government trade data.

  Bush has called Iran one of the " axis of evil " and made such a fuss over Iran's nuclear ambitions, but we still send goods there?

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Boys Father Calls For Internet Regulation Of Website's

  This is after his 19 year old son committed suicide live online by way of his webcam this past Wednesday. Now daddy wants tougher regulation of web-sites.

  I have one thing to say about this.

   Mr Biggs, your son had an online presence for some time that you were not aware of. Your son also was bipolar and on the medication which he killed himself with. Your son had threatened suicide online to his audience on more than one occasion in the past.

   I'm sorry for your loss Mr Biggs, but apparently neither you or any other family members were watching your son as close as you maybe should have. Internet web-sites don't need tougher regulation Mr Biggs. I would think that maybe your home-site needed tougher regulation instead.