Be INFORMED

Saturday, January 24, 2009

3rd Salmonella Death Reported in Minnesota

  The latest casualty of this outbreak was a woman living in a long-term care facility and she was in her 80's. The woman's date of death, name, and the facility in which she was living has not been made public.

   The other two victims from the state also live in nursing homes which had served the tainted peanut butter. Of course, the state, says that all three of the victims also had other health problems and officials are not confirming that Salmonella had indeed killed them.                           Source

   Thus far there have been seven deaths nationwide linked to the infection.

   3 in Minnesota, 2 in Virginia, and 1 each in North Carolina and Idaho.

More than 200 peanut butter and peanut paste products from at least 38 companies have been recalled so far in the ongoing salmonella outbreak, according to the latest count posted on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Xinhua

President Obama's first Weekly Address...

   was all about the stimulus package and how his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will kick the economy into gear.

  As you all know, President Obama's weekly addresses are always on video, so here it is.

   For those of you who would rather read the text, here it is.

We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action. Just this week, we saw more people file for unemployment than at any time in the last twenty-six years, and experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four. And we could lose a generation of potential, as more young Americans are forced to forgo college dreams or the chance to train for the jobs of the future.

In short, if we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.

That is why I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jump-start job creation as well as long-term economic growth. I am pleased to say that both parties in Congress are already hard at work on this plan, and I hope to sign it into law in less than a month.

It's a plan that will save or create three to four million jobs over the next few years, and one that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment -- the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work even as, all around the country, there’s so much work to be done. That's why this is not just a short-term program to boost employment. It's one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century.

Today I'd like to talk specifically about the progress we expect to make in each of these areas.

To accelerate the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double our capacity to generate alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and biofuels over the next three years. We'll begin to build a new electricity grid that lay down more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines to convey this new energy from coast to coast. We'll save taxpayers $2 billion a year by making 75% of federal buildings more energy efficient, and save the average working family $350 on their energy bills by weatherizing 2.5 million homes.

To lower health care cost, cut medical errors, and improve care, we'll computerize the nation's health record in five years, saving billions of dollars in health care costs and countless lives. And we'll protect health insurance for more than 8 million Americans who are in danger of losing their coverage during this economic downturn.

To ensure our children can compete and succeed in this new economy, we'll renovate and modernize 10,000 schools, building state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries, and labs to improve learning for over five million students. We’ll invest more in Pell Grants to make college affordable for seven million more students, provide a $2,500 college tax credit to four million students, and triple the number of fellowships in science to help spur the next generation of innovation.

Finally, we will rebuild and retrofit America to meet the demands of the 21st century. That means repairing and modernizing thousands of miles of America's roadways and providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans. It means protecting America by securing 90 major ports and creating a better communications network for local law enforcement and public safety officials in the event of an emergency. And it means expanding broadband access to millions of Americans, so business can compete on a level-playing field, wherever they’re located.

I know that some are skeptical about the size and scale of this recovery plan. I understand that skepticism, which is why this recovery plan must and will include unprecedented measures that will allow the American people to hold my Administration accountable for these results. We won't just throw money at our problems -- we'll invest in what works. Instead of politicians doling out money behind a veil of secrecy, decisions about where we invest will be made public, and informed by independent experts whenever possible. We'll launch an unprecedented effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov.

No one policy or program will solve the challenges we face right now, nor will this crisis recede in a short period of time. But if we act now and act boldly; if we start rewarding hard work and responsibility once more; if we act as citizens and not partisans and begin again the work of remaking America, then I have faith that we will emerge from this trying time even stronger and more prosperous than we were before. Thanks for listening.

Back to The Future Prosecutions Of Bushco

Original Article

Chris Matthews: BushCo Should Be Prosecuted

by srkp23  Fri Jan 23, 2009 at 04:02:04 PM PST

I was just watching Hardball and the last segment with Jonathan Capeheart of The Washington Post and John Heilemann of New York Magazine was extremely interesting:

Should Obama Investigate Bush Administration for Supporting Torture and Surveillance?

(The teasers had been "Should Dick Cheney Be Tried? Dick Cheney and War Crimes," &c.)

Matthews asked his guests if the Obama administration should see if laws were broken with regard to torture and surveillance?

Jonathan Capeheart began by saying that the truth is important and we need to find out what happened. (And to find out how high up it went, interjected Matthews). Capeheart became visibly uncomfortable, saying the problem is, once the truth is known, then what? Then what?

(There is no transcript and no video clip, so I've done a little transcribing myself.)

Matthews responded: "I have an easy answer. You do to the big people what you did to the little people."

Matthews then turned to Heilemann and said that they took the little people, threatened them with serious sentences and loss of liberty and got them to cop a plea. He then asked: "Why don’t we do the same things to the bosses that told them to do it? If you catch them, if you catch them."

Heilemann concurred, saying that Matthews was making a strong argument, that the only real question was if this would cost Obama politically and Heilemann said that he thought it would and that it would run somewhat counter to Obama's stated objective to look forward. Heilemann concluded, however, "I think justice demands certain things."

And then Matthews stated the real crux of the matter just as clearly as possible:

If waterboarding is torture and torture is criminal, and it came from Cheney’s office, I don’t see why there is a problem prosecuting. If waterboarding is torture and torture is criminal, and it’s been ordered from the top, I don’t see the problem with prosecuting unless there’s a political reason to obstruct it and I don’t think that’s justice.

And that's it in a nutshell. Cheney has already admitted to helping authorize the waterboarding:

Cheney's comments also mark the first time that he has acknowledged playing a central role in clearing the CIA's use of an array of controversial interrogation tactics, including a simulated drowning method known as waterboarding.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared," Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.

Asked whether he still believes it was appropriate to use the waterboarding method on terrorism suspects, Cheney said: "I do."

The bipartisan Levin-McCain Report (PDF) has already detailed that the torture policy came from high-ranking BushCo officials (although it doesn't mention Cheney):

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.

WaPo

Chris Matthews gets it. We get it. The Republicans sure get it, as they are trying to get Eric Holder to promise that there will be no prosecutions for torture (eh? I thought the Rs maintained that we didn't torture?)

Let me just repeat Matthews' crystal clear formulation of the issue at hand:

If waterboarding is torture and torture is criminal, and it came from Cheney’s office, I don’t see why there is a problem prosecuting. If waterboarding is torture and torture is criminal , and it’s been ordered from the topfrom the top, I don’t see the problem with prosecuting unless there’s a political reason to obstruct it and I don’t think that’s justice.

Let's get Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor. There is already ample evidence to warrant opening investigations. Sign the petition.
Petition Badge
Get Badge

And call your congress critters and let them know that justice demands investigations, regardless of political considerations. The country is ready for sunlight and repudiation of the dark Bush years.

Polls: How Did Obama Do for The Week?

   Very well, according to Rasmussen Reports as 45% of Americans approve of the President's job performance while 16% do not.

  45% of Americans also favor the $825 billion dollar stimulus plan put forth by Obama and the Democratic leaders. 34% oppose of the plan, and  40% think that the plan will become law within Obama's first 100 days in office.

   To my surprise, voters say that tax cuts ought to be part of any stimulus plan, but 59% are worried  that Obama and Congress will increase government spending in the next couple of years.

   I guess that the voters still haven't realized that massive spending is necessary, but it should be selectively targeted. Those tax cuts? All for them except for those given to business. They have enough cuts as it is. Business is not going to help with this economic mess, main street is where the action is and  main street should be getting most of those tax cuts. trickle down hasn't worked and it is not going to work this late in the game. Hey Obama. Try some trickle up for a change and while you are at it, tell the Republicans in Congress to go fuck themselves. Nobody cares about what they hell they want.

  A somewhat disappointing observation in the poll.

It looks like global warming may be sliding down the list of priorities for the new administration. Champions of the global warming theory appear to be losing the battle on the idea that humans are to blame. Forty-four percent (44%) of voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who blame it on human activity.

  Some more poling stats for you.

Former President Bush has a way to go before he reaches those kinds of numbers. At least in his home state of Texas, he gets a little respect: 13% of Texas voters say Bush will be remembered as one of America’s five best presidents. Nationally, just six percent (6%) feel that way.

57% of voters think a foreign company will produce a car that uses alternative fuel before an American company does.

Fourteen percent (14%) of voters give Congress good or excellent marks, the legislature’s highest approval ratings since last February. But 47% say Congress is doing a poor job.

  I have a prediction that this Congress will get higher ratings once it stops worrying about what the GOP thinks, and then actually takes on the peoples business.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Salmonella Outbreak: Update January 23,2009

  The latest report on this outbreak, as of 9 PM, January 22 from the CDC.

As of 9PM EDT, Wednesday, January 22, 2009, 491 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 43 states.

Among persons with available information, 22% reported being hospitalized. Infection may have contributed to seven deaths.

To clarify whether other peanut-butter containing foods are associated with the outbreak, CDC along with state partners conducted a second national case-control study. Between January 17 and 19 2009, telephone interviews were conducted with 75 persons who became ill with the outbreak strain and 399 well persons. Preliminary analysis of data received as of 9PM, Sunday, January 18, reveals an association between illness and consumption of pre-packaged peanut butter crackers, specifically with Austin and Keebler brands. 

Austin and Keebler brand peanut butter crackers are produced by the Kellogg Company in North Carolina, using peanut paste from the Peanut Corporation of America.  On January 14, 2009, the Kellogg Company put a precautionary hold on these peanut butter crackers, and on January 16 recalled these products. Other peanut butter containing products produced by a variety of companies may have been made with the ingredients recalled by PCA. CDC and state health departments continue to investigate the association of other brands and foods that contain peanut butter with illness.

Salmonella Typhimurium was isolated from Austin brand peanut butter crackers in Canada. Further tests are pending to determine if the Salmonella Typhimurium in these crackers are the outbreak strain.

More than 180 peanut butter-containing products produced by a variety of companies may have been made with the ingredients recalled by PCA.  The list of currently recalled products can be found on the FDA website*. FDA and the product manufacturers are working to determine the list of affected products, which may be extensive. Many companies have already announced whether their products include ingredients being recalled by Peanut Corporation of America, Georgia, and more companies are expected to make similar announcements. The current list of recall announcements from companies can be found at FDA website*.

  From the  FDA.

January 23, 2009A combination of epidemiological analysis and laboratory testing by state officials in Minnesota and Connecticut, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have enabled FDA to confirm that the sources of the outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Typhimurium are peanut butter and peanut paste produced by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) at its Blakely, Georgia processing plant.

Peanut butter is sold by PCA in bulk containers ranging in size from five (5) to 1,700 pounds.  The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to product sold by the tanker container.  Neither of these products is sold directly to consumers.

However, through its investigation, FDA has determined that PCA distributed potentially contaminated product to more than 70 consignee firms, for use as an ingredient in hundreds of different products, such as cookies, crackers, cereal, candy and ice cream.  Companies all over the country that received product from PCA have issued voluntary recalls of their products.  FDA has created a searchable database for these products, which can be found at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/peanutbutterrecall/index.cfm, Identification of products subject to recall is continuing and this list is updated frequently.

Our Government And Those Big Banks

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson

   Mr. Jefferson was certainly right on this issue, as it would seem that most of our founding fathers had more common sense than do our latest batch of " experienced " professionals in government and economics. Read the above paragraph again, and note that Jefferson's words are coming to fruition. Thus far, President Obama and his so-called " advisor's " are playing along to the tune of the banks.

    We are getting fucked, and we will continue to get fucked until we get really loud. Those ass-wipes in D.C. are leading you and I into the gutter folks. What are we going to do about it?

  President Obama has appointed those same crooks who worked us into this financial mess in the first place, to fix it?  That's not change I can believe in!

Conservatives Hate Transparency..

  and boy are they now up in arms over President Obama revoking Bush's executive order to keep presidential records hidden from public view.

Conservatives hate transparency

by Daisy Cutter   Fri Jan 23, 2009

"Democracies die behind closed doors."
    - U.S. Appeals Court Judge Damon J. Keith

"Secrecy and a free, democratic government don't mix."
    - Harry Truman

"What I’m afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. [...]

What I’m afraid of is what Obama’s done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff– This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don’t– This is Banana Republic kind of stuff."
    - Rush Limbaugh

FreeRepublic:

This is about the LEFTIES socializing this country and destroying anything President Bush did.
As Barack is showing himself for the Ideologue that he is, he is forgetting he will only be in D.C for a short period of time.

Others will come after him, his political path will do nothing but come back to bite him in the end.
[...]
This is actually about setting the stage for a prosecution of Bush and others in his administration.

[...]
I’m well aware of what is taking place. They’re on a witch hunt. The other poster seems to think Barack Hussein Obama is working for the people, which is absolute nonsense.

[...]

This is a Witch Hunt. SO hold on folks, you can bet if anyone does not agree with the POS, the IRS will be called out,etc.

HotAir comments:

He open divorce records, why not these. When is he going to unseal his birth certificate or at least his medical records or maybe even his college transcripts.
[...]
Maybe he did this so leftists could plow thru Bush’s records in an attempt to find ammo for prosecution. I simply have a hard time believing Obama had some kind of altruistic intent here.
[...]

...In other words, now the Clinton administration documents will be opened. Bush, we know, is honest. The Clintons? Not so much.
[...]
Ah, yes, Mr. Sunshine. The same guy who did everything possible to hide his connections and votes from the American people when they could do something about them suddenly has a change of heart when we’re stuck with him for four years. Such a shame he wasn’t as transparent about his domestic terrorism connections.

The Orwellian world view of the wingnut mind is a fascinating thing indeed. Transparency and accountability makes America a "Banana Republic?" I mean, really Rush? Maybe conservatives should think of it this way: if Bush has done nothing wrong, then he has nothing to hide. If wingnuts hate America so much that they want to keep basic public policies a secret, maybe they all should think about leaving. I've heard that North Korea has a fairly closed society, maybe they'd feel more comfortable there.

I have documented Bush's penchant for secrecy a while back, and I hope that Obama does a great job of exposing his abuses of power. If conservatives don't like it, tough.

Friday Funnies: The Weeks Best From Late Night...

   and I'm starting with the best jokes from Inauguration day onward. Get a laugh and enjoy the weekend.

   Jay Leno:

"Nice to have you all here. As you all know, George Bush is no longer president, so they'll be no monologue."

"Two million people attended the inauguration, compared to less than 500,000 when Bush was inaugurated four years ago. But that makes sense because four years ago, you know, people had jobs to go to."

"In fact, John McCain said he was so moved by today's events, he suspended his campaign again."

"Every single TV network was covering the inauguration, except Fox. They're still doing the recount."

"The total cost of the inauguration was $170 million. They say this is the most of the expensive celebration since that last AIG retreat on our bailout money."

"Oh actually, you know who gave the shortest inauguration speech in history? George Washington, whose speech was just a couple minutes long, which makes sense because, remember, George Washington couldn't tell a lie, right?"

Conan O'Brien:

"Yesterday, in San Francisco, someone replaced all the street signs on Bush Street with signs that say Obama Street. Locals say it doesn't really matter because every street in San Francisco goes both ways."

"Yesterday, at Barack Obama's inauguration, he was sworn in on an old Bible that was used by Abraham Lincoln. Yeah, and the weird part is, Lincoln checked the Bible out of a library. There are $73,000 in late fees."

Craig Ferguson:

"President Obama got his new limousine. It has all the latest technology, although they did take out President Bush's favorite piece of technology, the PlayStation."

"The new season of 'Lost' kicked off tonight. If you haven't seen it, 'Lost' is about a group of desperate people out of touch with the world. It's based on the true story of the Republican Party."

Jimmy Kimmel:

"Last night, while their parents were at the inaugural balls, Sasha and Malia Obama, the kids, had their own little party at the White House. They held a scavenger hunt for them and some other kids. And this is the best thing. At the end of the scavenger hunt, they opened door and in a closet waiting for them were the Jonas Brothers. True. I guess they did the same thing with the Bush twins back in 2000, only it was Motley Crue with a tray of Jell-O shots in the closet."

Conan O'Brien:

"All the living ex-presidents attended the swearing-in ceremony. But did you see this? Bill Clinton got the biggest response from the crowd. Did you see that? Yeah. Yeah, apparently, thousands of women yelled, 'That's him, officer!'"

"Very cold today in Washington. Yeah. In fact, with the wind chill, President Bush's approval rating reached minus 13."

Obama Lifts Restrictions On Abortion Funding...

  which is another roll back of Bush's nutty policies.

    News Daily

President Barack Obama on Friday will lift restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, an administration official said.

   I'll have more on this one after the Republicans and the Christian Right start with their complaining. Some of that should be real fun to read.

Former President Bush's Resume

  Someone took this off of the Internet and sent it to me. They did not state where they got it from, so i can't credit whoever came up with this. But, damned, it is good.

Subject: Resume
Date: Wednesday January 21, 2009
GEORGE W. BUSH

Hiding somewhere in Texas


EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

LAW ENFORCEMENT
I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving
under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my
driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been
"lost" and is not available.
MILITARY
I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused
to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By
joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in
Vietnam.
COLLEGE


I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a
cheerleader.


PAST WORK EXPERIENCE
I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil
business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but
couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after
I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a
sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of
my father and our friends in the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken
Lay, I was elected governor of Texas.


ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS
I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil
companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my
tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in
America. I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of
billions in borrowed money. I set the record for the most executions by
any governor in American history. With the help of my brother, the
governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court,
I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT
I am the first President in U.S.history to enter office with a
criminal record. I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing
cost of over one billion dollars per week. I spent the U.S.surplus and
effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the record for
the largest annual deficit in U.S.history. I set an economic record for
most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. I set the
all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period. I set the
all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S.stock
market.
In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their
jobs and that trend continues every month. I'm proud that the members
of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My
"poorest millionaire," Condoleezza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named
after her. I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S.
President. I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving
the most corporate campaign donations. My largest lifetime campaign
contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the
largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate
attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my
election decision. I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton
against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent
investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent
investigating one of the biggest corporate rip- offs in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S.history and
refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was
revealed. I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S.history. I
changed the U.S.policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded
government contracts.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any
President in U.S.history. I created the Ministry of Homeland Security,
the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States' government.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in
U.S.history. I am the first President in U.S.history to have the United
Nations remove the U.S.from the Human Rights Commission. I withdrew the
U.S.from the World Court of Law. I refused to allow inspectors access
to U.S."prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide
by the Geneva Convention. I am the first President in history to refuse
United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S.election). I
set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President
since the advent of television. I set the all-time record for most days
on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month
of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S.history. I
garnered the most sympathy for the U.S.after the World Trade Center
attacks and less than a year later made the U.S.the most hated country
in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to
simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people),
shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of
mankind.
I am the first President in U.S.history to order an unprovoked,
preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I
did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of
U.S.citizens, and the world community. I have cut health care benefits
for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty
troops and their families-in-wartime. In my State of the Union Address,
I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our
British friends.
I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans
(71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and
security. I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker
Buster," a WMD. I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama
Bin Laden to justice.


RECORDS AND REFERENCES
All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my
father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view. All records
of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies
are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. All records or
regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable
for public review.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Merrill Lynch & Bank of America: Sour Grapes Already?

  This is what happens when a major banking corporation does not do their homework. BofA is upset that Merrill was not quite honest about their bad loses when the two were working on the BofA buyout of  the company. Crooks screwing over the other crooks. I love it!

John Thain, former chief executive of Merrill Lynch & Co, has been ousted from Bank of America Corp after the bank discovered surprise losses at the brokerage it bought three weeks ago.

Thain and Lewis cobbled together the merger after less than 48 hours of negotiations in mid-September, the same weekend Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc slid into bankruptcy.

But Lewis threatened to back out of the deal following shareholder votes at both companies last month after it became evident Merrill's finances were much worse than expected.

Lewis said U.S. regulators pressed him to complete the deal. Last week, the government agreed to inject $20 billion in capital, and to share in losses on $118 billion of debt.

Bank of America said Merrill lost $15.31 billion in the fourth quarter, separate from Bank of America's own $1.79 billion quarterly loss -- its first in 17 years. The bank also slashed its dividend to a penny per share.

  The really sad part of this entire rip-off? Merrill moved up the date of announced bonus to late December so that employees could get theirs before the merger. Bonuses were announced three days before the merger closed on January 1,2009.

    Merrill lost $15.31 billion in the fourth quarter but they have reportedly paid bonuses totaling $4 billion. Of course, those bonuses had to have been paid with money from we taxpayers.

    Wish I could find work that paid me millions to lose money for the company.

Medicare for All (Single-Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy...

  according to a first of its kind study which can be viewed at calnurses.org. or you can just download the study right here.

   The groups press release:

Establishing a national single-payer style healthcare reform system would provide a major stimulus for the U.S. economy by creating 2.6 million new jobs, and infusing $317 billion in new business and public revenues, with another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the findings of a groundbreaking study released today. It may be viewed at www.CalNurses.org.

The number of jobs created by a single-payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008.      read more here

Salmonella Outbreak: Product Recall List Growing...

   and if you eat or use any of the following, don't! This is a huge list so look carefully if you are a peanut butter eater. It is not just plain peanut butter, but many products containing the product.

                                           SOURCE

Find the full list, updated, from the FDA.

  • Peanut Corporation of America or Parnell's Pride
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter 6 ct/5 lb
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter with Sugar 6 ct/5 lb
    • Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter 6 ct/5 lb
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Natural Course Peanut Paste 35 lb
    • Old Fashion Creamy Peanut Butter with 1% Salt 35 lb
    • Old Fashioned Crunchy Peanut Butter w/ 1% Salt 35 lb
    • Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Creamy Natural Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Sugar Free Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter with Palm Oil 50 lb
    • Dark Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Creamy Extra Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Creamy Stabilized Peanut Butter w/monodiglyceride 50 lb
    • Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Extra Crunchy Stabilized Peanut Butter 50 lb
    • Creamy Natural Peanut Butter with Stabilizer 475 lb.
    • Organic Natural Creamy Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Organic Old Fashioned Crunchy Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Organic Crunchy Natural Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Organic Old Fashioned Creamy Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Organic Natural Creamy Peanut Butter 35 lb
    • Peanut Butter Variegate 45 lb
    • Creamy Natural Redskin Peanut Butter with Salt 475 lb.
    • Creamy Natural Peanut Butter 475 lb.
    • Dark Roasted Creamy Natural Peanut Butter 475 lb.
    • Pet Food Paste 35 lb
    • Feed Grade Peanut Butter 475 lb.
    • Creamy Natural Peanut Butter 1700 lb.
    • Peanut Paste 1700 lb.
    • Coarse Natural Paste Tanker
  • King Nut Peanut butter
  • Parnell's Pride Peanut butter
  • Austin Quality Foods
    • Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter
    • Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Mega Stuffed Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter
    • PB & J Cracker Sandwiches
    • Super Snack Pack Sandwich Crackers
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter
    • Fruits and Vegetables
    • Reduced Fat Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Cookie/Cracker Pack All
    • Variety Pack
  • Keebler
    • Cheese & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Toast & PB'n J Flavored Sandwich Crackers
    • Toast & Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Soft Batch Homestyle Peanut Butter Cookies 2.5-ounce
  • Famous Amos Peanut Butter Cookies 2 and 3-ounce
  • Hy-Vee
    • Peanut Butter Cookies
    • Monster Cookies
    • Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Cookies
    • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
    • Lunchbox Reese’s Pieces Cookies
    • Lunchbox Peanut Butter Cookies
    • People Chow Party Mix and Assorted Truffle Fudge
  • Perry's
    • Premium Peanut Butter Cup Craze Ice Cream 1/2 Pint
    • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT AND 3 GL
    • Peanut Butter Chip Frozen Yogurt 1.5 QT, 1.75 QT and 3 GL
    • Peanut Butter Sundae Crunch Ice Cream Bar Bulk 24 pack
    • Premium Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
    • Perfectly Churned Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.5 QT and 1.75 QT
    • Light Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
  • Shurfine Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT
  • Wegman's
    • Chocolate Nutty Cone Ice Cream 1.75 QT
    • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream 1.75 QT and Pint
    • Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream 1.75 QT
    • Peanut Butter Sundae Ice Cream 1.75 QT
    • Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream 1.75 QT
    • Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Bar 6 Pack
    • Peanut Butter Candy Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 Pack
    • Peanut Butter Sundae Cup Ice Cream 4 Pack
  • Little Debbie
    • Peanut Butter Toasty sandwich crackers
    • Peanut Butter Cheese sandwich crackers
  • South Bend Chocolate Company
    • Assorted chocolates 5 ounce, 8 ounce, 12 ounce, 26 ounce
    • Hoosiers 3.5 ounce, 5 ounce, 4 lb
    • Valentine Heart 14 Ounces
    • Peanut Butter Fudge 4.5lb.
    • Peanut Butter Meltaway, Milk Chocolate 5 lb.
    • Peanut Butter Meltaways-Dark Chocolate 5lb.
    • Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge 4.5 lb.
  • WalMart Bakery
    • Peanut Butter Cookie 12 Count Clear Plastic Container
    • Harvest Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake Cookies 9 Count Clear Plastic Container
    • Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake Cookies 9 Count Clear Plastic Container
    • Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake Cookies 12 Count Clear Plastic Container
  • H-E-Buddy
    • Celery with Peanut Butter with expiration dates: Jan. 16-18 & Jan. 20-22
    • Apples with Peanut Butter: with expiration dates: Jan. 16, Jan. 18-23 & Jan. 25-26
    • Snack Tray with two dips: with expiration dates: Jan. 16-17, Jan. 29, & Jan. 21-22
  • Food Lion Bake Shop Peanut butter Cookies 12 count clear plastic clamshell containers
  • Lofthouse
    • Peanut Butter Cookies 12 count clear plastic clamshell containers
    • Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies 9 or 12 count clear plastic clamshell containers
    • Peanut Butter Fudge No-Bake Cookies 9 or 12 count clear plastic clamshell containers
  • Parco Foods Chuck’s Chunky Peanut Butter Cookies 5lb boxes
  • Pastries Plus Gourmet Cookies 21 count plastic containers
  • ZonePerfect
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
    • Peanut Toffee Bars
  • NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate nutrition bars
  • LÄRABAR Peanut butter cookie flavor snack bars
  • JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp flavor snack bars
  • Private Selection (Kroger Co)
    • Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream sold ("Sell by" date of 9-13-2009) 48-ounce containers
    • Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream "Sell by" date of 8-11-2009 56-ounce containers
  • Meijer
    • Cheese and Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Toasty Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream
    • Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
  • CLIF BAR
    • Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch - Best by: 21JUN09 to 01OCT09 and 03NOV09 to 28NOV09
    • Crunchy Peanut Butter - Best by: 21JUN09 to 01OCT09 and 03NOV09 to 28NOV09
    • Peanut Toffee Buzz - Best by: 13SEP09
    • Builder’s Peanut Butter - Best by: 19JUL09 to 30SEP09 and 05NOV09 to 18NOV09
    • Kid Organic ZBaR Peanut Butter - Best by: 07JUL09 to 05SEP09 and 12NOV09
  • LUNA
    • Nutz Over Chocolate - Best by: 29JUL09 to 03OCT09 and 11NOV09 to 14NOV09
    • Peanut Butter Cookie - Best by: 02OCT09 to 03OCT09 and 11NOV09 to 14NOV09
  • MOJO
    • Honey Roasted Peanut - Best by: 30APR09 to 21JUN09
    • Mixed Nuts - Best by: 30APR09 to 21JUN09
    • Mountain Mix - Best by:30APR09 to 21JUN09
    • Peanut Butter Pretzel - Best by:30APR09 to 21JUN09
    • Dipped Chocolate Peanut- Best by: 30APR09 - 21JUN09
    • Dipped Peanut Butter and Jelly- Best by: 30APR09 - 21JUN09
    • Dipped Fruit and Nut- Best by: 30APR09 - 21JUN09
  • Optimum Energy Bars Peanut Butter Flavored Optimum Energy Bars - Best Before 01OCT09A

Other recalls:

PetSmart has voluntarily recalled seven varieties of its Grreat Choice Dog Biscuits.

The withdrawn products range in size from 32 ounces to 10 pounds, were sold between Aug. 21, 2008 and Jan. 19, and carry the following UPC codes: 73725702900, 73725700601, 73725700605, 73725702755, 73725700638, 73725700779, and 73725700766.

Also recalled were:

   * Evening Rise Bread Co. of McCall, Idaho, has recalled peanut butter cookies and peanut butter bars sold throughout Idaho.
   * Nature's Path Organic Foods of Richmond, British Columbia, has withdrawn peanut butter-flavored Optimum Energy Bars, which carry the UPC code 058449777151 and are marked with a "best before" date of Oct. 1, 2009.
   * Country Maid Inc. has recalled two-pound packages of Classic Breaks peanut butter cookie dough, which were distributed through fundraising organizations from Oct. 6, 2008 through Jan. 9 and carry the lot numbers 26208, 26308, 29808, 33808, 36508.
   * Ready Pac Foods Inc. has recalled certain celery with peanut butter products sold under the Ready Pac, Trader Joe's, and Eating Right brands and apple with peanut products sold under the Eating Right brand.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intel Corp. Employees Next up On The Chopping Block...

  as the chip-maker has announced that it will be closing plants in Malaysia and the Philippines. the bad news for American workers at the company is that it will also be closing its last plant in Silicon Valley,which means that as many as 6,000 jobs may be toast.

  Yahoo News

It will also halt production at a wafer fabrication facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, as well as its Santa Clara, California plant -- a factory connected to its headquarters and the only one left in Silicon Valley.

The actions will result in a reduction of 5,000 to 6,000 jobs, Intel said. It ended 2008 with around 84,000 employees.

Not all cuts at the affected plants will lead to job losses and some workers will be offered positions at other facilities, it said, adding that the restructuring will take place between now and the end of 2009.

Isn't all of that " free trade " pushed by our government just such a wonderful thing? Throw in the " Wall Street Ripoff " of us taxpayers and our stagnant wages and then it is no wonder that we cannot afford to by anything even when the companies drop prices due to lack of sales.

   Renegotiate NAFTA and withdraw from the WTO. For starters.

Senate Confirms Clinton...

     as the nation's newest Secretary of State by a vote of 94-2 with only Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Jim DeMint of South Carolina voting in the negative.

Republicans and Democrats alike said her swift confirmation was necessary so that Obama could begin tackling the major foreign policy issues at hand, including two wars, increased violence in the Middle East and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

Obama's presidential rival, Sen. John McCain, was among those who spoke in Clinton's favor.

"This nation has come together in a way that it has not for some time," said the Arizona Republican, on the Senate floor for the first time since the inauguration.

Voters "want us to work together and get to work," McCain said.

  it is a nice thing to see Senator McCain being back to his old self once again.

The administration also planned to name former Senate Democratic leader George J. Mitchell as Clinton's special envoy for the Middle East. Dennis Ross, a longtime U.S. negotiator, was also expected to advise Clinton on Mideast policy, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the move.

Obama Continuance Granted In Gitmo Cases

   On Tuesday, the Obama administration requested an 120-day suspension of the legal proceedings against detainees at Gitmo.

The same motion was filed in another case scheduled to resume Wednesday, involving a Canadian detainee, and will be filed in all other pending matters.

The motion prompted a clear sense of disappointment among some of the military officials here who had tried to make a success of the system, despite charges that the military tribunals were a legal netherworld. Military prosecutors and other commission officials here were told not to speak to the news media, according to a Pentagon official.

"It's over; I don't want to say any more," said one official involved in the process.

      This morning ( Wednesday ) a judge granted the request to suspend the trials.

President Obama's request to suspend all war crimes trials at Guantanamo was promptly accepted by military judges today in what may be the beginning of the end for the Bush administration's system of trying alleged terrorists.
The judges agreed to the 120-day halt the cases of five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks and a Canadian accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan. Similar orders are expected in other pending cases before the Guantanamo military commission.

The Employee Free Choice Act, For Economic Recovery

by brownsox  DailyKos  
Sun Jan 18, 2009

The Employee Free Choice Act is not simply about protecting and ensuring workers' rights to organize. Rather, it's about the economy writ large - it is an absolutely essential step into creating a high-wage economy - and as a result, a high level of consumer spending.

It will rebuild the middle class and fix broken labor laws. As Trapper John has written, perhaps the surest way of expanding the middle class - of giving working families a substantial income, a sustainable retirement package, affordable health insurance, and the other trappings of a middle-class life - is to protect and ensure their right to collective bargaining:

Union workers earn significantly more money, enjoy more significantly more retirement security, are significantly more likely to have health insurance, and have significantly safer workplaces than similarly situated non-union workers. It's not close.

And it's not magic -- simply joing a union doesn't in and of itself dramatically improve your quality of life. The reason there's a union advantage in all these areas is because union workers stand together, as an organized unit, to "get what they can take, and keep what they can hold" from their employers. But you don't have the opportunity to create that union advatage, to take what's yours, without unionizing. And it's that union advantage that's the difference between a family being solidly middle class and a family that's fundamentally insecure.

Finally, from a purely cynical point of view, more union workers means more Democrats, at the elected level. The percentage of unionized workers who voted Democratic in the 2006 elections is truly staggering:

High turnout among union members turned a win into a sweep with 74 percent of union voters supporting union-endorsed candidates in the House and 76 percent supporting Democratic candidates in Senate races - - a whopping 50 point margin for working family candidates. Non-union voters supported the Democratic House candidates by a two-point margin. Union households accounted for roughly 1 out of 4 voters.

Given all this, it's no wonder that big business interests like the Chamber of Commerce and an army of anti-union astroturfers are fighting Employee Free Choice just as they did during the election. They have no interest in creating a high-wage economy - stagnant wages mean more profits for shareholders and more extra cash for executives to take home. They've no real interest in revitalizing the middle class, either, as greater wealth inequality is in their own best interest. And they've certainly no interest in aiding the Democratic Party every election day.

As such, they are pouring millions of dollars into defeating the interests of working people throughout the U.S., and while unions and other progressive groups are fighting back (like with the American Rights at Work ad TomP had a recommended diary about), they're doing so without the same budget or scare tactics.

What they are fighting for Employee Free Choice with -- what all of us have at our disposal and should be using -- are the facts. The SEIU has broken down some of the bill's economic benefits:

New research makes a solid case as to why the Employee Free Choice Act would be a "stimulus" that gets our economy back on track. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that if 5 million service workers join unions:

  • 5 million workers would get a 22 percent raise on average, or an additional $7,000 a year;
  • $34 billion in total new wages would flow into the economy;
  • 900,000 jobs would be lifted above the poverty wage for a family of four ($10.22/hr); and
  • Between 1.8 million and 3 million dependent children would share in these benefits.
  • The economic impact on individuals would be about four times as large as the recent federal minimum wage increase, and allow nearly six times more in new wages to flow into the economy.

Now, given that consumer spending accounts for well over two-thirds of the American economy, it's pretty evident that Employee Free Choice would create a dramatic increase in middle-class spending power, which would provide a substantial economic stimulus -- at no cost to the cash-strapped federal government.  Moreover, the re-concentration of wealth in the hands of working Americans would lead to a long-term buoying effect on the health of the economy, and would help smooth out any future
downturns. That's why Congressional Democrats are looking to move the Act in the first wave of legislation after the inauguration.

And that's why it's slightly troubling that in the midst of a discussion of how he supports Employee Free Choice and the role of labor in raising wages, President-elect Obama stated that:

[I]n terms of time table [for passing the Act], if we are losing half a million jobs a month then there are no jobs to unionize. So my focus first is on those key economic priority items that I just mentioned.

As Obama himself realizes,

[W]ages and incomes have flatlined over the last decade.  Part of that has to do with forces that are beyond everybody's control: globalization, technology and so forth. Part of it has to do with workers have very little leverage and that larger and larger shares of our productivity go to the top and not to the middle or the bottom.  I think unions serve an important role in that.

Of course, as the EPI study shows, he's right.  Unionization leads to higher wages, which leads to more stable consumer spending and less debt, which leads to a healthy, prosperous economy. And Employee Free Choice is the quickest way to get there. Obama supports the Act, and he wants real stimulus for working Americans. So it seems that the President-elect just needs a nudge to reconcile his interests, and to recognize that the Act should be one of his "key economic priority items."

This is where it's up to all of us to get the message out, however. A poll (PDF) done by Peter Hart Research for the AFL-CIO found 78% support for legislation making it easier for workers to bargain with their employers, and 73% support for the Employee Free Choice Act once its provisions were described.

But without money to compete on television advertising, anyone who wants to see workers get a fair chance to join unions and bargain for better wages and working conditions needs to spread the word about what the Employee Free Choice Act means for workers and the economy.

We've got the luxury of having a Congress and President-elect who are receptive to the benefits of passing this potentially groundbreaking piece of legislation. It's up to us to ensure that they go the distance in actually doing it.

Microsoft To Layoff Employees

   It seems that all of those rumors on the Internet about Microsoft laying off 15,000 workers is no longer a rumor. Though it is not official yet, analyst expect the company to layoff as many as 8,000 workers in its first round of cost-cutting measures.

       Microsoft Microsoft has declined to comment on any likelihood of job cuts. Its shares have dropped 41 percent over the past year, while shares in another technology bellwether, IBM, have lost 16 percent. The S&P 500 Index has dropped 38 percent during the same period.

"Checks indicate that Microsoft is likely to engage in headcount reductions to the tune of 6,000 to 8,000 employees or 6 percent to 8 percent of its 95,000 workforce," said McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Sid Parakh. "Our checks also revealed some speculation over the potential for a second round of cuts in some groups sometime later in the year."

   This would reportedly be Microsoft's first ever layoff of workers.

Clear Channel Letting 1,850 Go

   I guess that the company released this yesterday  hoping that on an Inauguration news day no one would notice. 1,850 jobs are gone.That is 9% of their workforce.

     CEO Mark Mays sent a memo to employees telling them that they are history. Most of the job cuts are expected to come from Clear Channel's ad-sales department but the cuts span all departments in its corporate, radio and outdoor advertising divisions.           Source

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama's First Proclamation

   I'm not to big on these kinds of things, but, since it is Presidents Obama's first official act as President, I'm putting it up for you to read.

  From the NEW Whitehouse.gov:

NATIONAL DAY OF RENEWAL AND RECONCILIATION, 2009

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

As I take the sacred oath of the highest office in the land, I am humbled by the responsibility placed upon my shoulders, renewed by the courage and decency of the American people, and fortified by my faith in an awesome God.

We are in the midst of a season of trial. Our Nation is being tested, and our people know great uncertainty. Yet the story of America is one of renewal in the face of adversity, reconciliation in a time of discord, and we know that there is a purpose for everything under heaven.

On this Inauguration Day, we are reminded that we are heirs to over two centuries of American democracy, and that this legacy is not simply a birthright -- it is a glorious burden. Now it falls to us to come together as a people to carry it forward once more.

So in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, let us remember that: "The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 20, 2009, a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, and call upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

Bush's Midnight Regulations Get Halted...

  and that didn't take long at all. Check this out.

  BREAKING: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel stops Bush’s last-minute regs. Emanuel signs a memorandum ordering all agencies and departments to stop all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration.

  There is more on this from here.

"This afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel signed a memorandum sent to all agencies and departments to stop all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration," the White House said in a statement issued just hours after Obama took office.

Controversial late rules by the outgoing Bush administration include allowing the carrying of concealed weapons in some national parks and prohibiting medical facilities from receiving federal money for discriminating against doctors and nurses who refuse to assist with abortions or dispense contraceptives based on religious grounds.

   These late-night regulations are nothing new to our presidents, but the ones which FORMER president Bush has attempted to get though shows his gall.

   I'm hoping that President Obama and his crew will review and then trash these pathetic regulations.

Salmonella Outbreak:475 Persons Infected...

    as of Sunday,January 18,2009.

   CDC

As of 9PM EDT, Sunday, January 18, 2009, 475 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 43 states and Canada.

Preliminary analysis of data received as of 9PM, Sunday, January 18, reveals an association with consumption of any pre-packaged peanut butter crackers, and specifically with Austin and Keebler peanut butter crackers. Austin and Keebler peanut butter crackers are produced by Kellogg Company. On January 14, 2009, Kellogg Company put a precautionary hold on these peanut butter crackers, and on January 16 recalled these products. Other peanut butter containing products produced by a variety of companies may have been made with the ingredients recalled by PCA. CDC and state health departments continue to investigate the association of other brands and foods that contain peanut butter with illness.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory and the Georgia Department of Agriculture independently isolated Salmonella from unopened 5-pound containers of King Nut brand peanut butter. Further tests are pending to determine if this Salmonella is the outbreak strain.

Clusters of infections in several states have been reported in schools and other institutions, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals. King Nut is the only brand of peanut butter used in those facilities for which we have information.

The list of peanut butter and peanut paste containing products that may be affected is still being determined and is incomplete at this time. However, the list of currently recalled products can be found on the FDA website*.

The White House Has A New Look

  That would be the WhiteHouse.gov website and you are encouraged to check it out. As is with most of the Obama administrations changes, the website has been totally changed and brought into the 21st century.

   The home page:

Welcome to the new WhiteHouse.gov. I'm Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog.
A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life. One of the first changes is the White House's new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world.
Millions of Americans have powered President Obama's journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country's future. WhiteHouse.gov is just the beginning of the new administration's efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.
Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the Administration's online programs will put citizens first.

   Many of the sites pages and features are not showing to much, if anything, but that will change in quick fashion, I'm sure.

Welcome , President Obama...

   and what the hell took you so long to get here?

    Tuesday,January 20,2009, 12 noon, and after 8 long years of inept leadership,...

   3004912748_74a8c7ac14

President Obama

political-pictures-capitol-new-management

 

Good luck Mr. President!

Online Inauguration Streams

   I have many friends in places such as Russia and Eastern Europe who do not no where to watch the Inauguration. In some cases, their TV stations will not be carrying it live.

  So, I ran across a list of website that will be streaming the event live.

From by hyperbolic pants explosion

Note: The actual swearing in happens a few minutes before noon (Eastern).

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/...

MSNBC:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

C-Span
http://www.c-span.org/...
(The above is a link to the video control room, where you can choose between 4 live camera feeds.)
http://www.c-span.org/...
http://www.c-span.org/...

C-Span Radio (audio only):
http://cspan.org/...
http://cspan.org/...

Fox:
http://www.foxnews.com/...

ABC:
http://abcnews.go.com/...

CBS:
http://www.cbsnews.com/...

WGN (Chicago):
http://video.wgntv.com/...
(This is currently live, but I don't know if it will be for the ceremony.)

Chicago Tribune:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/
(There is a live video box on the front page that says AP on it now, but I suspect will become the WGN feed, since the Trib and WGN are the same company.)

CBC (Canada):
http://www.cbc.ca/...
(No video link yet. Live video begins at 11 am eastern.)

BBC (Video available in UK only):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

BBC (Video @ 11:00 easter, available globally (I think)):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

NECN:
http://www.necn.com/...

Hulu:
http://www.hulu.com/

McClatchy:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/...
(live feed begins at 11:00 eastern)

The World Is Waiting for President Obama...

   and thank God it is no longer a long wait!

Barack Obama had inspired many US citizens to get involved and to hope for change. This inspiration has also managed to be shared by people all over the world, tired of witnessing injustice and a superpower gone mad with its own self aggrandizement and lust for power and resources. He has also come under considerable attack from vicious rabid haters who are desperately maligning him with every libelous accusation known to man.

We believe that you can overcome and you have demonstrated the ability to overcome many challenges. Ignore as you have the insane foaming at the mouth haters. Ignore the special interests that would try to dissuade you from doing the right thing, which would drag us all back down to the corrupt and evil course of the past. Stay firm and stay on the right path and know that you have the good wishes of many who look forward to working with you in the spirit of cooperation and mutual friendship.     Pravda.Ru

A Letter To President Obama

  While browsing around the net today, I found this letter which someone had written after seeing an image which made them weep.

  The image?

BARACK       KENNEDY

 

The Letter?

Dear Sir,
You've come to us when seemingly we need you the most. Some have claimed you arrived out of nowhere, but we've always known you were out there, somewhere, waiting. We've endured eight years of what can only be described as, dreadful hell. It's a fact that even the reddest of the elephants can not deny, pure hell indeed. Many of us have been astounded by the blatant lack of constitutional concern over this past decade. Will you hear our voices going forward? Will you continue to feel our fears, will you act? Corrections shall likely remain a lovely liberal pipe dream in face of a pragmatic center approach and this course you must choose to change. You see if no one is ever held accountable for these crimes then when will justice ever be just again?

No we do not expect an overnight miracle or a fast fix. We know it will take time. Yet, we do expect sincere effort. For we the people have long been forgotten. Helplessly watching our government sit back as towers collapse, cities sink, and our American Dreams turn to a nightmare. Our voices will never again be muted nor will the walls at 1600 Penn. Ave. silence our cries. Sir, we expect effort, sincere effort.
Like so many others I've waited, waited to see the uninspired become the inspired. That is the change you gave birth to. No this is certainly not the beginning anymore than it is the end, this simply is the 're-awakening' of what's long been missed. You see we knew you existed because we believed with whole hearts that John, Martin, Bobby, Teddy, Abe, and the Like were not the Last Great Men.

Last Nov. we were not voting just 'for you', we were voting for 'us'. Voting for all of us and yes, even for those who weren't casting for you. Our votes were cast for the return of all our military children to safety. We voted so we wouldn't have to see another city drown. Ballot after BLUE ballot were marked not for you but for us, for the cause of HOPE. For the hope of jobs, for a new found sense of 'For The People.' Will you be our hero? Will you go down in the ranks of glorious history, maybe, maybe not. Rest assured that we will though. We the people, the electorate of 2008, the door knockers, the phone bankers, volunteer after volunteer will forever be remembered for fighting for us and thus casting for you.
We've given you this job and we sincerely expect results. We've always known you were out there and now your time is here. All we ask of you is for you to the job we've given you as it is laid out before you. Do not lie to us to force unwarranted wars. Do not sit back while our neighbors thirst for FEMA. DO not ignore intelligence meant for our protection and no do not spy upon us for it either. DO no allow the rich to get richer from our suffering. Do no allow the insurers miss any of us. Do not allow our schools, bridges and securities continued failure. Basically, in short, do not allow another day to seem anything like any of the last 2920 days have been.

We may appear to be asking a lot of you, however, it's nothing more than a request for you to uphold the office you have been given. Yes patience is a virtue and no it can't all be mended overnight, so we will wait. Rest assured we will be watching closer than ever though. The bar has been raised for you through no fault of your own but that is not to be a crutch to lean upon. We've been waiting for so very long for this rebirth of hope. We've been waiting so very long for the day 'we' are again the top priority at 1600 Penn. Ave. Though you may stumble we are here to prevent the fall.

Now, sir, go forth as steadfast as you have shown us you are. Go forth knowing we are behind you and collectively we have demonstrated our force of change. Now go forth and make us all proud. Justify our lifelong dreams and beliefs that you were out there. Our voices got you there and thus, you now owe us nothing less than our dreams.
Sincerely
We The People!

  Have patience with OUR President. WE  have placed a lot upon his shoulders!