Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Citizens Petition: Special Prosecutor for Bush War Crimes....Now LIVE!

by buhdydharma  Sat Dec 20, 2008

Please go to and sign the petition!

With the recent admissions by Vice President Cheney and the release of the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on detainee treatment, what we have known in the blogosphere for years has now....finally....made it into the mainstream. The Bush Administration planned, developed and carried out an organized torture program stretching from Gitmo to Iraq, Afghanistan and secret prisons around the world.

Despite their protestations and attempts to cover themselves with highly questionable legal opinions, this was and is a War Crime. Their politicization and corruption of the Department of Justice has stymied any investigation and left all efforts at accountability and justice to the new Obama Administrations DOJ, and specifically to AG Designate Holder.

Now, even the New York Times is....again, finally...calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate these crimes.

However, as we also know well in the Blogosphere, this is far more than an issue of crime, punishment and justice as it should be. It is a political issue. A 'hot potato' political issue considering that any and all attempts at investigation and prosecution will undoubtedly (and erroneously) be described by the Republicans, the Right Wing press and pundits, and even some (complicit?) Democrats as a 'partisan witch hunt' and as 'criminalizing politics.' in other words, there are huge political costs at stake here. It would be much, much easier to 'move on' or 'not play the blame game' or point fingers to the past.'

The Obama Administration will face incredible pressure to sweep these War Crimes under the rug of history. We in the Blogosphere need to provide the counter-pressure. We do that by making our voices heard, and one way to do that is by each and everyone of us, the thousands if not millions of blog readers, adding our names to a petition. The petition will ultimately be submitted to AG Holder, as well as to However it can make a great impact on the 'public conversation' just by being everywhere in the Blogosphere as well.

To that end, Docudharma and have teamed up to create, host, and distribute the following petition. The petition calls for Attorney General Designate Holder to, immediately upon being confirmed, appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all officials of the Bush Administration for Torture and War Crimes.

The petition:

Dear Attorney General Designate Holder,

We the undersigned citizens of the United States hereby formally petition you to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in War Crimes.

These crimes  are being euphemistically referred to as "abusive interrogation techniques" by such respected figures as Senator John McCain. These are euphemisms for torture. Torture is a War Crime. Waterboarding is a War Crime. The CIA has admitted waterboarding detainees. Recently, Vice President Cheney has brazenly admitted authorizing the program that lead to waterboarding, other forms of torture too numerous to list, and ultimately, the deaths by homicide of detainees.

As Major General Antonio Taguba, the Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison has stated:

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

The Washington Post recently summarized the Senate Armed Services Committee Report on detainee treatment thusly:

A bipartisan panel of senators has concluded that former defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials bear direct responsibility for the harsh treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and that their decisions led to more serious abuses in Iraq and elsewhere.

We the undersigned citizens demand a full and thorough investigation immediately upon your taking office. This investigation should be pursued no matter where it may lead and no matter what the political implications may be. To this end, we remind you that you work not on behalf of or for the President or the Congress, but for the People of the United States of America and for Justice itself.

The United States is a representative democracy. The actions of our government officials are done in the name of its citizens. War Crimes have been committed in our name. Torture has been done in our name. The only way to clear our name of War Crimes is to repudiate them through the aggressive prosecution of each and every person involved to the full extent of the law through the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.


We are urging everyone in the Blogosphere and beyond to get involved in this project...not just to sign the petition, but also to write diaries and blog posts in support of the effort. And also to display the linked badge (created by Edger) in your posts or on your sites. The easy to embed code for posting the badge can be found here.

Please feel free to contact us at for more information or any technical assistance you may need.

If you wish to post this essay, or just the petition, on any site or on your own blog, please mail us at and we will send you the entire essay, complete with HTML code, to post wherever you wish. Please feel free to edit, within the parameters of keeping the original spirit and intent. We enthusiastically give full permission for such use!

President-Elect Obama's Weekly Address...

   today touched on science, and Obama named his science advisors.


Over the past few weeks, Vice President-Elect Biden and I have announced some of the leaders who will advise us as we seek to meet America’s twenty-first century challenges, from strengthening our security, to rebuilding our economy, to preserving our planet for our children and grandchildren.  Today, I am pleased to announce members of my science and technology team whose work will be critical to these efforts.

Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create twenty-first century jobs – today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.  It’s time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.

Right now, in labs, classrooms and companies across America, our leading minds are hard at work chasing the next big idea, on the cusp of breakthroughs that could revolutionize our lives.  But history tells us that they can’t do it alone.  From landing on the moon, to sequencing the human genome, to inventing the Internet, America has been the first to cross that new frontier because we had leaders who paved the way: leaders like President Kennedy, who inspired us to push the boundaries of the known world and achieve the impossible; leaders who not only invested in our scientists, but who respected the integrity of the scientific process.

Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it’s about protecting free and open inquiry.  It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology.  It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient.  Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us.  That will be my goal as President of the United States – and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.

Dr. John Holdren has agreed to serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  John is a professor and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center.  A physicist renowned for his work on climate and energy, he’s received numerous honors and awards for his contributions and has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change.  I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead.

John will also serve as a Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – or PCAST – as will Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander.  Together, they will work to remake PCAST into a vigorous external advisory council that will shape my thinking on scientific aspects of my policy priorities.

Dr. Varmus is no stranger to this work.  He is not just a path-breaking scientist, having won a Nobel Prize for his research on the causes of cancer – he also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health during the Clinton Administration.  I am grateful he has answered the call to serve once again.

Dr. Eric Lander is the Founding Director of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard and was one of the driving forces behind mapping the human genome – one of the greatest scientific achievements in history.  I know he will be a powerful voice in my Administration as we seek to find the causes and cures of our most devastating diseases.

Finally, Dr. Jane Lubchenco has accepted my nomination as the Administrator of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is devoted to conserving our marine and coastal resources and monitoring our weather.  As an internationally known environmental scientist, ecologist and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jane has advised the President and Congress on scientific matters, and I am confident she will provide passionate and dedicated leadership at NOAA.

Working with these leaders, we will seek to draw on the power of science to both meet our challenges across the globe and revitalize our economy here at home.  And I’ll be speaking more after the New Year about how my Administration will engage leaders in the technology community and harness technology and innovation to create jobs, enhance America’s competitiveness and advance our national priorities.

I am confident that if we recommit ourselves to discovery; if we support science education to create the next generation of scientists and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe and invest in things unseen, then we can lead the world into a new future of peace and prosperity.

Thank you, and happy holidays everybody.

Music Industry Changing Tactics Against Music Pirates

   Once again, in an effort to stop all of those illegal downloads of music, the music industry is changing its tactics. Instead of taking the you who may be downloading music from P2P's or from free download services to court and suing you, the Recording Industry Association of America is teaming up with the ISP's (Internet-service providers ). The recording industry has started legal proceedings against some 35,000 people since 2003. We all know how well that has worked.

  Wall Street Journal

Instead, the Recording Industry Association of America said it plans to try an approach that relies on the cooperation of Internet-service providers. The trade group said it has hashed out preliminary agreements with major ISPs under which it will send an email to the provider when it finds a provider's customers making music available online for others to take.

Depending on the agreement, the ISP will either forward the note to customers, or alert customers that they appear to be uploading music illegally, and ask them to stop. If the customers continue the file-sharing, they will get one or two more emails, perhaps accompanied by slower service from the provider. Finally, the ISP may cut off their access altogether.

  For those of you who do this kind of thing, it is not the downloading that can get you into trouble, it is the uploading. If you are going to download music through such services as " FrostWire " and others, do not share your files. Not all of them, anyway.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Funnies: Political Humors Best Jokes This Week

   Time for a decent laugh. Have a great weekend!

   David Letterman: 

   "George Bush is over there in Baghdad saying goodbye to the troops, and this Iraqi journalist heaves a couple shoes at the President. And we thought, hopefully that's just a one-of-a-kind episode. Unfortunately, however, the news coming out of the Middle East is that Iran is developing a long-range loafer."

   "Sarah Palin also honored today. She was named 'person of the year' by LensCrafters. And in about an hour, they'll name somebody else."


Conan O'Brien:

   "The Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear a motion to throw Governor Blagojevich out of office. Afterwards, Blagojevich thanked the Supreme Court and said, 'Your check is in the mail!'

    "This week, Dick Cheney was interviewed by ABC News, and he said that he will miss being vice president. Then he said, 'And I'll really miss being president.' That was the best part."


Jay Leno:

   "President Bush announced before he leaves office, he wants to visit the poorest regions of the world. You know, any place where people can't afford to buy shoes."

    "President Bush made a surprise visit to Detroit today. Honestly, people in Detroit are upset with him, but I understand auto workers threw brake shoes at him."             Source

Company Closings/Cutbacks In December: KB Toys, Office Depot, And Others

    This list is not as up to date as I would like it to be, but it is fairly recent.

KB Toys Fully Liquidating Its 431 Stores; In Bankruptcy - Again
Pittsfield, MA-based KB Toys filed bankruptcy on Dec. 11. Brought out of chapter 11 in 2005 through a buyout by private equity firm, Prentice Capital Management, liquidation is the path the toy retailer is taking this time around.
The company said going-out-of-business sales would immediately commence at its 431 stores, "in order to take advantage of the last two weeks of the holiday selling season." The company concluded an "expedited and orderly" liquidation would be the best option for its debtors.

Office Depot Shuttering 126 Stores, 6 Distribution Centers, and Cutting 2009 Store Opening Plans
Boca Raton, FL-based office supply retailer, Office Depot, Inc. (NYSE:ODP), announced the closure of 126 stores and six distribution centers today, Dec. 10, 2008. The company made the announcement as part of its strategic review process, initiated in late October. Labeled underperforming, Office Depot will close 112 stores over the next three months, while the remaining 14 closures will occur over the course of 2009 as leases expire or terminations are negotiated.
Office Depot said total company headcount would be reduced by 2,200 positions as a result of the closures.

S&K Menswear Will Rack Up 81 Store Closings in 6 Months, Come January
Richmond, VA-based S&K Famous Brands (dba S&K Menswear) launched a strategic turnaround initiative on July 25, 2008 that included a realignment of its store locations. The company said it would "move aggressively to pursue early lease terminations in locations
that no longer positively represent its brand strategy or do not generate an adequate financial return." S&K's new strategy was to locate exclusively at "attractive" malls and lifestyle centers in eastern states. At the time, the men's apparel retailer had 219 stores in 26 states.
Since, it has whittled down to 196 stores. Last week, S&K said it would close another 58 underperforming stores by the end of January. In addition, the company has put its headquarters up for sale with plans to downsize its corporate operations.

EZ Lube Files Bankruptcy, Selling Assets
Santa Ana, CA-based EZ Lube, LLC, an operator of express oil change auto service stations, filed Chapter 11 on Dec. 9, 2008. The company operates 82 locations in California and Arizona under banners EZ Lube and Xpress Lube-Tech and has nearly 1,000 employees.
  EZ Lube plans to utilize a $62.5 million loan to fund its operations during the bankruptcy process; but said it intends to sell off "substantially all" of its assets.

BTWW Retail Fully Liquidating; RCS Appointed to Dispose of 78 Leases
BTWW Retail, a western wear and accessories retailer that filed bankruptcy on Nov. 3, 2008, recently retained RCS Real Estate Advisors to dispose of the leases related to the 78 stores that remain in its portfolio. Now in the midst of a full-liquidation process, BTWW recently operated as many as 130 stores under banners Western Warehouse, Boot Town, Corral West Ranchwear, Western World, and Workwear Depot.

  Expect to see much more of this in the following months. Consumers do not have the money to spend, businesses have to close.

Rep Brad Miller: The World Is Flat...And Crooked

   Representative Miller ( D-NC District 13 ) is one of my favorite Representatives in Congress. I sometimes live in his district and I can say that he is one of the most forthright and honest members of the House that there is.

  For those reasons, I am posting a piece which Rep. Miller posted at DailyKos which concerns our bailout of the Wall Street hoods in suites and those same peoples lack of owning up to our currant mess.

Rep Brad Miller
Fri Dec 19, 2008 at 12:33:28 PM PST

The punditocracy is gravely concerned about business ethics in America.

Bernard Madoff’s "alleged Ponzi scheme was only slightly less outrageous than the ‘legal’ scheme that Wall Street was running, fueled by cheap credit, low standards and high greed," Thomas Friedman wrote Tuesday in the New York Times. "The Madoff affair is the cherry on top of a national breakdown in financial propriety, regulations and common sense. Which is why we don’t just need a financial bailout; we need an ethical bailout."

"In all that’s been said in recent days about the latest proposals to rescue the financial system, two words have been conspicuously absent," Steve Pearstein, a business columnist for the Washington Post, wrote in September. The words were "We’re sorry." "What responsible, honorable people do is apologize for their mistakes, promise that it won’t happen again and vow that they’ll make it up to us once the crisis has passed," Pearlstein said. "But in the past year, we’ve not heard any of that from the titans of Wall Street."

And Pearlstein was in high dudgeon last week over Wall Street executives’ continued lack of contrition. On Tuesday, Pearlstein wrote that instead of acknowledging mistakes, Wall Street executives insist that they are innocent victims of freakish, unforeseeable events "to explain why their company or their industry is suddenly in the soup," an argument that the economics blog Calculated Risk calls "Hoocoodanode."

"What capsized the economy was not a perfect storm," Pearlstein wrote, "but a widespread failure of business leadership—a failure that is only compounded when executives refuse to take responsibility for their misjudgments and apologize." Pearlstein wrote on Thursday that Wall Street executives’ "leadership failure was a big part of how we got into this mess, and it continues with their stubborn refusal to take responsibility, apologize and ask for a chance to make things right."

I suggested a little repentance was in order more than a year ago, before all of Wall Street landed "in the soup," when the subprime meltdown was just causing millions of middle-class families to lose their homes to foreclosure. I thought that was reason enough:

The financial industry was engaged in a fierce public relations battle then to present the borrowers as unsympathetic, as speculators, or people who bought far more house than they could afford. Friedman repeated, uncritically, the story of a lender giving "a worker who makes only $14,000 a year a nothing-down and nothing-to-pay-for-two-years mortgage to buy a $750,000 home." Michael Lewis, in an otherwise useful and engaging article about Wall Street’s securitization of subprime mortgages, repeated the same story with added details that the borrower was "a Mexican strawberry picker...with no English."

Like Reagan’s "welfare queen," the story of the Mexican strawberry picker has a political point: subprime borrowers are not victims worthy of our sympathy, and subprime lenders and the Wall Street firms that bought the mortgages were therefore not villains. Even if true (the story of the welfare queen was wildly hyperbolic at best), the story of the Mexican strawberry picker presents no more accurate a picture of subprime mortgage lending than the story of the welfare queen presented of poverty in America.

I’ve written in the blogosphere before about the causes of the subprime mess. Almost three quarters of subprime mortgages were refinances, not mortgages to purchase a home. And well more than half of subprime mortgages during the frenzy from 2004 to 2006 were to borrowers who qualified for prime mortgages. Most of the subprime borrowers were middle class families that had a rainy day—illness, unemployment, divorce--and needed to borrow money against their home. The problem was the mortgages, not the borrowers: the mortgages stripped borrowers of the equity in their homes with unconscionable upfront costs, and trapped homeowners in a cycle of repeated borrowing.

Lenders often boasted in their offering documents that the subprime mortgages they were selling had subprime terms, but many of the borrowers qualified for better. Purchasers of the mortgages apparently never asked whether that meant that the borrowers had been cheated. And they never asked the next obvious question: if you cheated the borrowers, how do I know you won’t cheat me? Instead, purchasers saw tidy profitability in prime borrowers in subprime mortgages.

Wall Street firms relied to their grief on rating agencies to tell them what they were buying. Middle class homeowners relied on mortgage brokers to tell them what they were signing, also to their grief.

So Steve Pearlstein is still waiting to hear "we’re sorry" for the devastation that the securitization of subprime mortgages caused to Wall Street companies and hedge fund investors. And I’m still waiting to hear "we’re sorry" for the devastation that subprime mortgages caused middle class homeowners.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barney Frank: Disappointed Over Rick Warren Pick

  I think that many of us are wondering what kind of medication Barack Obama is on after picking Rick Warren to do the inauguration invocation when he is sworn in as our next President. Mr. Obama! What the fuck were you thinking?

  I guess that Congressman Barney Frank didn't care for the Warren choice either.

                                  December 18, 2008

    “I am very disappointed by President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to honor Reverend Rick Warren with a prominent role in his inauguration.  Religious leaders obviously have every right to speak out in opposition to anti-discrimination measures, even in the degrading terms that Rev. Warren has used with regard to same-sex marriage.  But that does not confer upon them the right to a place of honor in the inauguration ceremony of a president whose stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause.
    “It is irrelevant that Rev. Warren invited Senator Obama to address his congregation, since he extended an equal invitation to Senator McCain.  Furthermore, the President-Elect has not simply invited Rev. Warren to give a speech as part of a series in which various views are presented.  The selection of a member of the clergy to occupy this uniquely elevated position has always been considered a mark of respect and approval by those who are being inaugurated.”

  I have been trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt with his cabinet selections and such, but this takes the fucking cake.

   Just for the record, I am heterosexual. When Warren's " Purpose Driven Life " first came out, I tried to read it, making it only a quarter of the way through before throwing that load of shit into the garbage can. This punk is no Christian, far from it. He's a bigot, racist, and a general all around asshole out to make a buck. He has made many of those from the easily swayed.

   I'm sorely vexed at our President-elect for making Warren his choice. this goes beyond ' reaching across the aisle '.

George Bush Legalizes Medical " Prejudice "

   This could only come from a Republican idiot and George Bush certainly fits the bill. Our asshate President has pretty much made being prejudice an official law with the name of a "right of conscience."

   So basically, if I happen to have to go to the emergency room of a hospital for some reason and the attending physician smells a beer on my breath, he can refuse to treat me because he is opposed to alcohol.  " right of conscience " can cover many things and for the most stupid reasons.

The controversial rule empowers federal health officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan, doctor's office or other entity if it does not accommodate employees who exercise their "right of conscience." It would apply to more than 584,000 health-care facilities.

"Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a statement.

Leavitt has said the regulation was intended to protect workers who object to abortion, but both supporters and critics said the rule remains broad enough to protect pharmacists, doctors, nurses and others who do not wish to dispense birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraceptives and other forms of contraception. While primarily aimed at doctors and nurses, it offers protection to anyone -- including ultrasound technicians, nurses aides, secretaries and even janitors who have any role in the service.

   I have a question.  If I'm a doctor and George Bush is brought into the hospital that I happen to be working in, and he's near fatal, can I refuse to treat him because my  "right of conscience"  doesn't approve of war crimes performed by the said individual?

    For a funny, but serious, look at how this shit could go, read here.

Republican's Engage In Class Warfare....

   which is nothing new with this group of creeps.

    The GOP is using the UAW as their excuse for derailing the auto manufacturer bailout. the UAW wouldn't take a pay-cut down to the level that workers make at Toyota and others. The fact is that Toyota and the rest of the foreign workers should be making what our Big 3 is making. But, that's for another time.


The failed negotiations in the Senate over the Detroit bailout bill provide Americans with a preview of the political class warfare that will break out in the next Congress. The attempt by the Senate to pass a Bush White House-Democratic bill failed. It was scuttled by a group of conservative Republican Senators led by Tennessee's Bob Corker. They pushed to revise the bailout in a deal-breaking way that would allow them to blame unionized auto workers for its demise.

Corker's group framed the issue as one of protecting taxpayers from greedy, overpaid, unionized workers who had contributed to the American auto industry's demise. By so doing it sought to harness American outrage over bailouts to an anti-union political agenda. Both efforts were highly cynical and hypocritical examples of the politics of class warfare at its worst.

Corker entered the negotiations by demanding that the automakers reduce the wages and benefits of unionized workers to the level of Honda and Toyota's American factory workers. By imposing a demand on the union that was not required for any of the other parties--lenders, suppliers, dealers, or executives--Corker and his group were able to set up the auto workers union, the UAW, so that it would take the heat from the public if the bailout failed, or so that it would be weakened internally if it made the demanded wage concession.

  It would seem that this tactic has worked for them so far. Most Americans are buying into the " it's the unions fault " story from the Republicans. What a shame that we have to go through this sorry affair in the first place.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bad News For Chrysler workers...

  as they are pretty much being laid-off until January 19,2009, effective at the end if this Friday's shift. All of the companies manufacturing facilities will be closed, which means that 30 plants will see no work. That's some 46,000 UAW workers who will now sit at home over the holidays thanks to people like Bob Corker and the rest of the Republican Party killing off an auto bailout package for purely political reasons.


Chrysler says these employees will receive state unemployment benefits as well as supplemental payments from Chrysler during the layoff according to a union negotiated formula. 

These workers will not be receiving their regular income.  There will be an unknown number of white collar workers who will not be working as well, but the expectation is that they will continue to receive their regular salaries during this time.

As for the number of cars and trucks not being built -- the privately held company (which wants billions of your tax dollars) will not disclose that information.

The company says dealers are telling them there are buyers out there, but they can't get financing and as a result, have lost 20 to 25 percent in sales.  One bankruptcy expert predicted that while Washington tinkers with how much aid to provide and under what conditions, the auto companies will continue their game of chicken.

  I see the " sky is falling " scenario up next, just as was with Wall Street. Both sides of this equation will play chicken and in the end it will be the taxpayer which loses either way.

Goldman Sachs Makes Profit and Pays Little Taxes

  They got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October because they are supposed to be strapped for operating cost, yet they had an $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits ( read: Bonus ). On top of that, the company only has a tax liability of $14 million for the year after having had a $6 billion tax liability the year before. Those are word-wide numbers.   What is wrong with this picture?


The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement.

  So just how was their tax rate lowered. Can you say offshore?

         Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,” the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,” said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,” Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.”

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat who serves on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said steps by Goldman Sachs and other banks shifting income to countries with lower taxes is cause for concern.

“This problem is larger than Goldman Sachs,” Doggett said. “With the right hand out begging for bailout money, the left is hiding it offshore.”

   This is what happens when there is no oversight from our government officials. I'll bet that the Republicans, and some Democrats, are making a fistful in kick-backs for passing this kind of shit ( bailout ).

Time Magazine's 2008 Person Of The Year: Barack Hussein Obama

   As if there would have been any other person to choose for this slot.

   Congratulations President-Elect Obama


  Person of the Year 2008

But crisis has a way of ushering even great events into the past. As Obama has moved with unprecedented speed to build an Administration that would bolster the confidence of a shaken world, his flash and dazzle have faded into the background. In the waning days of his extraordinary year and on the cusp of his presidency, what now seems most salient about Obama is the opposite of flashy, the antithesis of rhetoric: he gets things done. He is a man about his business — a Mr. Fix It going to Washington. That's why he's here and why he doesn't care about the furniture. We've heard fine speechmakers before and read compelling personal narratives. We've observed candidates who somehow latch on to just the right issue at just the right moment. Obama was all these when he started his campaign: a talented speaker who had opposed the Iraq war and lived a biography that was all things to all people. But while events undermined those pillars of his candidacy, making Iraq seem less urgent and biography less relevant, Obama has kept on rising. He possesses a rare ability to read the imperatives and possibilities of each new moment and organize himself and others to anticipate change and translate it into opportunity.

...Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich reminded the country that some aspects of politics will never change. Government is a human enterprise, after all, and Obama, like everyone else, is bound by its limits and subject to human frailty. Nevertheless, if he has shown anything this year, Obama has made it clear that he knows how to write new playbooks and do things in new ways. Which is a compelling quality right now. His arrival on the scene feels like a step into the next century — his genome is global, his mind is innovative, his world is networked, and his spirit is democratic. Perhaps it takes a new face to see the promise in a future that now looks dark. What's in store for Obama's America? "I don't have a crystal ball," he says. But the measure of his success in menacing times can be found in the number and variety of people who consider the question with eagerness alongside their dread.

Latest Poll: 70% Back Iraq Pullout


  Americans are more upbeat about U.S. prospects in Iraq than at any time in the past five years, but nearly two-thirds continue to believe the war is not worth fighting and 70 percent say President-elect Barack Obama should fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw U.S. forces from the country within 16 months, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Meanwhile, most Americans support the war in Afghanistan and a slim majority said the conflict there is essential to battling global terrorism, the poll found. Yet, a majority of Americans also believe that the U.S. military action there has been unsuccessful.

  So what do we think about the situation in Iraq?

    Still, much of the American public agrees that security is improving in Iraq, a view that does not change their basic opposition to the war. Fifty-six percent said the United States is making significant progress toward restoring order in Iraq. Overall, two-thirds of Americans are optimistic about U.S. prospects in Iraq over the next year, a rising level of confidence that is rooted in improved assessments of security on the ground and widespread expectations that Obama will be able to wind down the U.S. role there.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Obama On Our Economic Crisis

   Earlier today I made mention of who Obama had chosen to head the Secretary of Education. That would be Arne Duncan.

   After the press conference, President-elect Obama took a few questions.

   CNN Transcripts

QUESTION: The Federal Reserve is expected to lower the fed funds rate today to 50 basis points, one of the lowest rates in history.
OBAMA: Right.
QUESTION: I'm just wondering, how confident are you in Ben Bernanke's decision? And with that decision, are we running out of options to jump start the economy?
OBAMA: Well, I don't think it's good policy for the president or a president-elect to second-guess the Fed, which is an independent body. But let me just make an observation that we are running out of the traditional ammunition that's used in a recession, which is to lower interest rates. They're getting to be about as low as they can go. And although the Fed is still going to have more tools available to it, it is critical that the other branches of government step up. And that's why the economic recovery plan is so absolutely critical.
And my economic team, which I'm going to be meeting with today, is helping to shape what is going to be a bold agenda to create 2.5 million new jobs, to start helping states and local governments with shovel-ready projects -- rebuilding our roads, our bridges, making sure that schools like this one are energy efficient, putting people back to work, getting businesses to start seeing some increase in demand, so that we can get, instead of a downward spiral, start getting on an upward spiral.
And I'm confident that we can accomplish that if we've got Democrats and Republicans, federal, state, and local governments all working together. But, look, we are going through the toughest time, economically, since the Great Depression. And it's going to be -- it's going to be tough.
And we're going to have work through a lot of these difficulties, these structural difficulties that built up over many decades, some of it having to do with the financial industry and the huge amounts of leverage, the huge amounts of debt that were taken on, the speculation and the risk that was occurring, the lack of financial regulation; some of it having to do with our housing market, stabilizing that.
It's going to be, I think, critical for us to look at some of the long-term issues that I talked about during the campaign, health care and energy.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) you had said before that you were going to appoint a number of Republicans to you Cabinet, and so far we haven't seen that many. Do you -- what can we expect in that area?
OBAMA: I'm not giving you a preview. We've got some more appointments to make. And I think that when you look at our entire White House staff and Cabinet and various appointments, I think people will feel that we followed through on our commitment to make sure that this is not only an administration that is diverse ethnically but it's also diverse politically and it's diverse in terms of people's life experience.
Arne's somebody who has really been working on the ground, for example. You know, he's not a creature of Washington. That's not where he cut his teeth. He cut his teeth working with kids individually, working in schools like this.
You know, we have other people, obviously, who have Washington experience, and I think that blend is going to make us extraordinarily effective on not just our education agenda but our broader agenda to help American families live out the American dream.
OK. Thank you guys.

  I have a hard time trusting politicians in general, but Republicans especially. Bi-partisanship? Yes indeed, the same kind that they have shown the Democrats since Bush took office.

     I wouldn't let a Republican politician near the White House, if I were the President, without him being shot. But that's just me.

Goldman Sachs Reports First Ever Quarterly Loss

    The company went public some 9 years ago and this is the first quarterly loss since.

   Goldman posted a net loss of $2.12 ( $4.97 a share ) for the fourth quarter which ended November  28, but, the news that it wasn't as bad as was expected sent Goldman's stock price up 14.4% today. This jump in price helped rival Morgan Stanley also as their stock price went up 18.3%.  

   Why the jump in prices of stock?

               News Daily

The loss exceeded the average analyst target of $3.73 a share, according to Reuters Estimates, yet privately many investors feared the results could have been as high as $6 a share.

"The fear in the market was that the results would be much worse," said Walter Todd, a portfolio manager at Greenwood Capital Associates in Greenwood, South Carolina.

  So how bad was Goldman's fourth quarter?

Goldman was forced to seek $21 billion in fresh capital from the U.S. Treasury, public investors and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc -- and converted to a bank holding company hoping to reassure investors it could survive.

Goldman slashed its balance sheet by nearly 20 percent to $885 billion during the quarter, boosting its capital ratios and paring leverage. The bank also cut its payroll by about 2,500 employees in the fourth quarter, down about 8 percent from the previous quarter.

  Morgan Stanley's fourth quarter results will be released on Wednesday. Should be an interesting read.

Bush Performs Another " Midnight Rule Change " For The Railroads...

     as if we should be surprised by this asshole any more.


New York

The Bush administration has finalized a controversial regulation that will allow railroads to continue to ship dangerous chemicals through major cities.

That has infuriated some city officials, security experts, and environmentalists because it preempts all local efforts to control if, when, and how those railroad tank cars move through their communities.

Federal security officials have long considered railroad tankers full of such chemicals as chlorine or anhydrous ammonia to be potential weapons of mass destruction. If attacked by a terrorist or disturbed individual in the middle of a city they could cause thousands of deaths.

  What I can't believe is that Bush still has supporters in our population who think that this asshate is a good man and President. WTF!

   it is bad enough that we have to concern ourselves with a terrorist attack on these chemicals while they are being transported through what could be your town or city during the busiest time of the day. Here's hoping that the states tell the Bush White House to go and fuck themselves!

Obama's Announcement of Secretary of Education

  Arne Duncan will be the next Secretary of Education.

Remarks of President-elect Barack Obama
As Prepared for Delivery
Announcement of Secretary of Education
December 16, 2008
Chicago, Illinois

Over the past few weeks, Vice President-elect Biden and I have announced key members of our economic team, and they are working as we speak to craft a recovery program that will save and create millions of jobs and grow our struggling economy.

But we know that in the long run, the path to jobs and growth begins in America's classrooms.  So today, we're pleased to announce the leader of our education team, whose work will be critical to these efforts: our nominee for Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

In the next few years, the decisions we make about how to educate our children will shape our future for generations to come.  They will determine not just whether our children have the chance to fulfill their God-given potential, or whether our workers have the chance to build a better life for their families, but whether we, as a nation, will remain in the twenty-first century, the kind of global economic leader that we were in the twentieth.  Because at a time when companies can plant jobs wherever there's an Internet connection, and two-thirds of all new jobs require a higher education or advanced training, if we want to out-compete the world tomorrow, we must out-educate the world today.

Yet, when our high school dropout rate is one of the highest in the industrialized world; when a third of all fourth graders can't do basic math; when more and more Americans are getting priced out of attending college – we are falling far short of that goal.

For years, we have talked our education problems to death in Washington, but failed to act, stuck in the same tired debates that have stymied our progress and left schools and parents to fend for themselves: Democrat versus Republican; vouchers versus the status quo; more money versus more reform – all along failing to acknowledge that both sides have good ideas and good intentions.

We cannot continue on like this.  It is morally unacceptable for our children – and economically untenable for America.  We need a new vision for a 21st century education system – one where we aren't just supporting existing schools, but spurring innovation; where we're not just investing more money, but demanding more reform; where parents take responsibility for their children's success; where we're recruiting, retaining, and rewarding an army of new teachers; where we hold our schools, teachers and government accountable for results; and where we expect all our children not only to graduate high school, but to graduate college and get a good paying job.

These are precisely the goals to which Arne Duncan has devoted his life – from his days back in college, tutoring children here in Chicago; to his work at the helm of a non-profit remaking schools on the South Side; to his time working for the Chicago Public Schools, where he became Chief Executive Officer of this city's school system.

When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners.  For Arne, school reform isn't just a theory in a book – it's the cause of his life.  And the results aren't just about test scores or statistics, but about whether our children are developing the skills they need to compete with any worker in the world for any job.

When faced with tough decisions, Arne doesn't blink.  He's not beholden to any one ideology – and he doesn't hesitate for one minute to do what needs to be done. He's worked tirelessly to improve teacher quality, increasing the number of master teachers who've completed a rigorous national certification process from 11 to just shy of 1,200, and rewarding school leaders and teachers for gains in student achievement.  He's championed good charter schools – even when it was controversial.  He's shut down failing schools and replaced their entire staffs – even when it was unpopular.  Dodge Renaissance Academy is a perfect example – since this school was revamped and re-opened in 2003, the number of students meeting state standards has more than tripled.

In just seven years, he's boosted elementary test scores here in Chicago from 38 percent of students meeting the standards to 67 percent.  The dropout rate has gone down every year he's been in charge.  And on the ACT, the gains of Chicago students have been twice as big as those for students in the rest of the state.

So when Arne speaks to educators across America, it won't be from up in some ivory tower, but from the lessons he's learned during his years changing our schools from the bottom up.

I remember a conversation we had about one of those lessons a while back.  We were talking about how he'd managed to increase the number of kids taking and passing AP courses in Chicago over the last few years.  And he told me that in the end, the kids weren't any smarter than they were three years ago; our expectations for them were just higher.

Well, I think it's time we raised expectations for our kids all across this country and built schools that meet – and exceed – those expectations.  As the husband and brother of educators, the Vice President-Elect and I know this won't be easy – we've seen how hard Jill and Maya work every day.  And we know it's going to take all of us, working together.  Because in the end, responsibility for our children's success doesn't start in Washington.  It starts in our homes and our families.  No education policy can replace a parent who makes sure a child gets to school on time, or helps with homework and attends those parent-teacher conferences.  No government program can turn off the TV, or put away the video games and read to a child at night.

We all need to be part of the solution.  We all have a stake in the future of our children.

I'll never forget my first visit to this school several years ago, when one of the teachers here told me about what she called the "These Kids Syndrome" – our willingness to find a million excuses for why "these kids" can't learn – how "these kids" come from tough neighborhoods, or "these kids" have fallen too far behind.

"When I hear that term, it drives me nuts," she told me.  "They're not ‘these kids,' they're our kids."

I can't think of a better way to sum up Arne's approach to education reform.  With his leadership, I am confident that together, we will bring our education system – and our economy – into the 21st century, and give all our kids the chance to succeed.

Thank you.

  One of Obama's better selections, I think.

Universal Healthcare: Republicans Fear It, Americans Want It

  Republicans don't want a healthcare system which would provide for everyone because the assholes know that their party would be waiting a  very long time to get back into power in Washington. So naturally, the GOP will do whatever it takes to derail any kind of nationalized medical care for all.

  Let us compare our healthcare to a few other countries.

Opponents of national health care often claim that it would lead to longer waits for treatment, and this is actually true with regard to elective surgeries such as knee replacements. For the health care that matters most, however, Americans wait longer than in the OECD countries with government health plans. A 2004 study looked at patients' experiences in five English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States). It found that U.S. respondents were the second-least able to make a same-day doctor's appointment when sick and had the most difficulty getting care on nights and weekends. They were also the most likely to delay or forgo treatment because of cost. Yet another study found that the United States had the third-highest rate of deaths from medical errors, among 26 countries reporting.

One of the most obvious ways to evaluate performance of a health care system is to ask about the health and longevity of people who live under it. Here also, the U.S. performs badly. The American Human Development Report, a 2008 study funded by Oxfam America, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Conrad Hilton Foundation, found that the US ranked 42nd in the world for life expectancy and that "Americans live shorter lives than citizens of virtually every Western European and Nordic country." Moreover, the infant mortality rate is "substantially higher in the United States than in other affluent nations" and is "on par with that of Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, and Poland."        by  Sheldon Rampton posted at Daily Kos

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Senate Majority Lead Reid: GOP's Best Friend?

  I've been ragging on Harry Reid quite a bit as of late and so have many others in blog-land, with good reason. As the top leader of the majority party in the Senate, Reid is a failure and has been since he took the spot.

   As  kos notes..

If Republicans knew what was good for their continued obstructionism efforts, they'd give Reid a reelection pass.

    A few more details for you.

Harry Reid has been exceptionally ineffective as the Democrats' majority leader.
The number of cloture votes skyrocketed in the 110th Congress following the Democratic takeover of the Senate and Reid's assumption of the majority leader position. The Senate voted on 112 cloture motions in the 110th, exactly double the number (56) of cloture votes in the 109th Congress, and two-and-a-half times as many as the average number of cloture votes (44) over the previous nine Congresses. Of these cloture motions, 51 were rejected (meaning that opponents of a bill succeeded in blocking an up-or-down vote) and 61 were passed.

There are basically two mechanisms that a majority leader can employ to limit filibusters: firstly, he can threaten to block votes on certain of the opposition party's legislation (or alternatively, present carrots to them for allowing a vote to proceed), and secondly, he can publicly shame them. Reid managed to do neither, and the Senate Republicans did fairly well for themselves considering that they were in a minority and were burdened by a President with negative political capital.
I don't imagine the culture of the Senate changing in the new Congress so long as it's under Reid's direction, and Reid is highly unlikely to be replaced. There is some chance, however, that Obama rather than Reid will dictate the tone, particularly if Joe Biden is dispatched to Capitol Hill fairly often.

   Maybe we can get Joe Biden to take dear old Harry out to the wood shed for some disciplinary action.

Harry Reid: Organized Labor Sellout?

  You know what? If Senator Reid is the best for Senate Majority Leader that the Democrats can come up with, we're gonna have a few election problems come 2010 and 2012 because this piece of shit is one real worthless leader. But, we already knew that, didn't we?


by HGM MA    Sun Dec 14, 2008

For months I’ve read other’s concerns regarding the ineffectiveness of Harry Reid as majority leader and even though I generally have agreed with this sentiment, I’ve always given Harry the benefit of the doubt.   Perhaps it’s the perpetual pragmatist I have become in my old age or the belief that continuity will allow President Obama to enact his agenda with broader support.  In either case it led me to believe that with an increased majority the Senate Harry would be a better leader.  The failure of the Senate to act in a responsible manner with regards to the auto industry bailout is the last straw!  The only logical conclusion I’ve come to is; Harry is a Sniffling Winnie and must be replaced as Majority Leader.

It seemed to me that during the negotiations this past week to get a compromise in the Senate regarding the auto bailout Harry was deliberately absent in any substantive manner during negotiations between the UAW and Senator Corker.  The UAW did agree to concessions to cut wages to correspond with Japanese automakers but with one condition, which ultimately exposed the Corker and the GOP for the being the deceitful political hacks that they are.  The fundamental right to collective bargaining is the very essence of unionization, take away the leverage an existing contract has on employers and the union is broken.   So when the UAW stated unequivocally that they would accept these concessions but not allow them to take place until their current contract expires in 2011, only the most unreasonable reactionaries from the extreme right wing of the GOP would take issue with this because they would have failed to break the union. 

However a funny thing was developing the following day after the deal falling apart, which began to fester the previous night during Harry’s ominous sniffling speech on the Senate floor.  One would assume that a Democratic Leader in this situation would rail against the rhetorical thugary being spewed  by republican senators, accusing the UAW of killing this deal.  No, Sniffles came up to the lectern and cried how he "dread(ed) looking at Wall Street tomorrow".....excuse me? Wall Street?  Oh and not one word on how the UAW agreed to sacrifices in 2005, 2007 and their delegates voted to make additional sacrifices just the previous week?  Instead of taking a real stand for working families, Sniffles allowed the GOP to set the media narrative by successfully blaming the UAW for the deal’s collapse.  Most headlines the following morning led with some variation of: No Deal, UAW unwilling to agree to concessions.

Instead of sounding the alarm among Democrats that we are a pro-labor party and that we will not allow the demonetization of a workers right to sit at the bargaining table, Harry went with a conflated and convoluted message on how if the big three fail, all of America fails. This may be true, but the sign was obvious that he did not want to be seen as specifically supporting a labor agenda and be pigeon holed in case public sentiment goes against the UAW.  The perception to me as a union person myself (SEIU Local 5000, NAGE Local 206), is that he let my brothers and sisters out to dry.   I want a Majority Leader who is unabashedly pro-Union in rhetoric and action and I am surprised with his re-election bid coming in two years, where his success is very much dependent on support from organized labor in Nevada, he is being a bit gingerly at this time??? 

I have every confidence that President Obama will be enthusiastically pro-labor in his assistance with the auto bailout and whatever form a massive public works project materializes.  Let’s remember what is at stake with this bailout or I guess what is now being called a "bridge loan" to January, where Obama has shown nothing but strong support for the men and women of the UAW.   Harry on the other hand, needs to be reminded that three million jobs are at stake, thousands of businesses at risk,  health care and pensions are risk for millions of workers; taxpayers at risk for these obligations if companies fail.  I believe that Obama, being the deliberate cool cat that he is, would be better served with a firebrand unabashed liberal than a whiney moderate soft-talker.

In the last couple of days the current Administration has indicated that it would support a bridge loan to January coming from TARP funds which can be used for this purpose.  Yet, the details have been rather vague and the only forceful sound bites in support of this are coming from the Administration?? Geez, is this some lame attempt to allow Bush some sort of legacy?  I would assume that since the colossal failure of assisting working families lies on Harry’s shoulders, he would be more prudent within the public sphere and loudly advocating that TARP funds be disbursed ASAP!!!

Senate Democrat Leaders Praise Senator Bob Corker?

  So. What the fuck is wrong with our so-called Democrat leaders in the Senate? Are we sure that Harry Reid and Senator Dick Durbin are actual Democrats?  Reid I have always suspected of being an under-cover GOP operative trying to pose as a real American and Durbin I'm not to sure about at this point. An alien from another world perhaps? Oh wait, that would make him a Republican.

   So why are these asshats saying such good things  about Bob Corker?

Corker, a former mayor of Chattanooga who became a senator just two years ago and ranks last in seniority among the 10 Banking Committee Republicans, emerged from relative obscurity to become a key figure in the 11th-hour negotiations over a proposed $14 billion auto-industry loan package.

While the effort ultimately collapsed in partisan discord over union wages, Corker, 56, stands as a rare winner in the debate.

     Corker helped to derail the Big 3 bailout package and he gets praise from Democrats.

Corker tried to broker a deal after Senate Republicans turned their backs on appeals from Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to support the bailout package. The House had approved a plan, backed by President George W. Bush, for short-term loans to keep General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC from running out of cash early next year.

Plan B

Corker’s proposal became Plan B. His package sought to overcome Republican doubts, without alienating Democrats, by making creditors exchange some bonds for stock, and by cutting union wages to levels competitive with amounts paid at U.S. factories owned by European and Asian automakers.

    Anyway, Reid and company give Corker an " A " for effort for his attempt to screw over the UAW and the auto manufacturers. Also, for trying to screw over the hard working middle class of America.

Bush Administration Screws Taxpayers With TARP Loophole

   It looks as if the Bush Crime Syndicate has fucked us once again with the TARP funding for Wall Street.

    From  MSNBC:

[A]t the last minute, the Bush administration insisted on a one-sentence change to the provision, congressional aides said. The change stipulated that the penalty would apply only to firms that received bailout funds by selling troubled assets to the government in an auction, which was the way the Treasury Department had said it planned to use the money.

Now, however, the small change looks more like a giant loophole, according to lawmakers and legal experts. In a reversal, the Bush administration has not used auctions for any of the $335 billion committed so far from the rescue package, nor does it plan to use them in the future. Lawmakers and legal experts say the change has effectively repealed the only enforcement mechanism in the law dealing with lavish pay for top executives.

  Are we surprised? What I think that we need to do this Christmas is to get our lawmakers some " Hooked On Phonics " sets so that these clowns can learn to actually read these laws/bills which they pass.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

UAW Autoworkers Confront Republican Sen. Shelby in D.C. Office Over Future of American Manufacturing. Priceless!

   Good to see the autoworkers get into the face of this Alabama asshole!

On December 8 2008, active and retired UAW members from across the U.S. traveled to Washington D.C. to put a human face on the real issues underlying the future of the domestic auto industry, manufacturing, and the American working family. The workers marched, held a press conference, met with Democratic Congressman and author of Single-Payer Bill H.R. 676, John Conyers of Michigan, and confronted Republican Senator Richard Shelby on his views regarding unions, the value of domestic manufacturing, health care, green jobs, the double standards that exist between white-collar and blue-collar labor – especially with regards to the government's handling of the banking and automotive assistance plans – and more.
After being informed at Shelby's office by Ashley Bowles that the Senator was not in that day, Bill Duhnke and Mark Oesterle of the Republican staff on the Banking Committee agreed to sit down with the workers to discuss the Senator's positions.
Voice your opinion.
Call, email, or stop by the offices of:
Senator Bob Corker (R) Tennessee
Senator Jim DeMint (R) South Carolina
Senator Richard Shelby (R) Alabama
NOTE: This is an initial rough cut of the raw video


President Bush Attacked By Flying Shoe's....

  and I'd like to see more of this kind of stuff, only done here in America.

   As you know, Bush kind of crept out of the United States so that he could go play in Iraq. Probably just to see how things are going so that he could come back with some fresher lies to tell us.

   Anyway, while speaking his usual bullshit, a protestor threw two size 10 shoes at Bush while telling him"This is a farewell kiss, you dog!" 

  Bush did manage to duck out of the way of the flying shoes. Should note that the protestor is a journalist with for Al-Baghdadia television.

"There is still more work to be done," Bush said after his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It was at that point the journalist stood up and threw a shoe from about 20 feet away. Bush ducked, and it narrowly missed his head. The second shoe came quickly, and Bush ducked again while several Iraqis grabbed the man and dragged him to the floor.

In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt. Iraqis whacked a statue of Saddam with their shoes after U.S. marines toppled it to the ground following the 2003 invasion

  Maybe Bush should consider borrowing a football helmet from the Washington Redskins the next time that he goes out of town.

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Conservative Republicans Still At Large

   Just because we have a Democrat moving into the White House, along with a Democrat controlled House and Senate, does not mean that the fight for American citizens is over. Far from it. Those EVIL Republicans will fight every step of the way in order to keep the majority of Obama's ideas from becoming policy in this country. That is one thing that you can count on from the GOP. Filibuster,filibuster, and filibuster is mostly what we are going to get from the Republicans when the Congress attempts to pass anything meaningful for you and I. I'll bet that we have more filibuster's in Obama's first six months than we did in Bush's entire eight years in office. If it doesn't benefit big business, then the Republicans will try stopping those bills/laws from being implemented. They most certainly will try to stop any form of Universal Healthcare, as well as most kind of regulation of the banking industry and Wall Street. Better public school funding? Not going to happen if the GOP can help it.

   So, with that in mind...

The Cancer of Conservatism

I have wracked my brain and I cannot think of ANY time the Republicans EVER acted in the interests of ordinary working men and women. They and their allies fought savagely against unions, never hesitating to use violence and state power to destroy them. (There is a myth that violence in labor disputes is only union-generated; check out Henry Ford's war against the unions to see a powerful refutation of this, or the war of the coal mine owners against the unions in West Virginia and Kentucky.)

  further along..

           In short, the modern conservative movement's leaders consist of those who despise working people, those who proudly defend America's horrible racist legacy, the worst of the religious fanatics, and all those who wish to preserve America as an all-white, fundamentalist Christian patriarchy. On top of that is a group I can only call the New Imperialists, (the Neo-Conservatives) dedicated to imposing our "will" on every other nation on earth. And their methods of acquiring and keeping power have been so vicious and ugly as to shame any decent person.

Today, look what the Republican Party stands for: opposition to American working men and women, the channeling of trillions of dollars to the richest Americans, hatred of gays, hatred of immigrants, continued smoldering racism, opposition to desperately needed health care reforms, opposition to all environmental protections, spitting hatred for science, hatred for public schools, hatred of all those who are not fundamentalist Christians, support for torture, support for rendition, and support for the fantastically corrupt Bush-Cheney regime. The conservative cancer is the perpetuation of all the worst features of American life--intolerance, fear, prejudice, and tribalism. It is this cancer that screams out that Barack Obama is "the AntiChrist", a "Muslim radical", "corrupt", "ally of Satan", and all the other filth we have seen hurled at our next president. The Radical Right is now going to try to destroy Obama and block every reform he tries to institute. We, the Progressive Netroots, must and will fight these dangerous radicals every step of the way.

  I do suggest that you go and read the entire post here.

Are Our U.S. Banks Bankrupt?

   That seems to be the thinking of one Jim Rogers, who happens to be one of the world's top international investors. He also brought into creation the Quantum Fund with help from George Soros.

  Mr. Rogers said,

"Without giving specific names, most of the significant American banks, the larger banks, are bankrupt, totally bankrupt," said Rogers, who is now a private investor.

"What is outrageous economically and is outrageous morally is that normally in times like this, people who are competent and who saw it coming and who kept their powder dry go and take over the assets from the incompetent," he said. "What's happening this time is that the government is taking the assets from the competent people and giving them to the incompetent people and saying, now you can compete with the competent people. It is horrible economics."

"Governments are making mistakes," he said. "They're saying to all the banks, you don't have to tell us your situation. You can continue to use your balance sheet that is phony.... All these guys are bankrupt, they're still worrying about their bonuses, they're still trying to pay their dividends, and the whole system is weakened."

  Financially and morally bankrupt. Those are the" elite" in America.