Daily Archive: August 4, 2009

Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports Higher costs spur the rise in U.S. consumer spending. “While consumers spent more in June, they did so because prices of food and energy were rising, and not because they were ready to spend freely again. Personal incomes sagged as employers continued to cut wages and reduce working hours. And the personal saving rate, which had been rising, dropped sharply from a month earlier”.

    Meanwhile, Team Obama continues to wage the class war against the middle class. The CS Monitor reports Mixed signals from Obama team on middle class taxes. Obama’s economic advisors are considering breaking the president’s campaign pledge of no tax increases for those making $250,000 and under.

    In a televised interview on ABC on Sunday, Secretary Geithner talked about the need to make “hard choices” to rein in federal budget deficits. And the president’s top economic policy adviser, Larry Summers, said on CBS that healthcare reform will cost money, and “it is never a good idea to absolutely rule things out.”

    The Hill adds Labor unions and liberal activists criticize breaking Obama’s campaign promise.

    Obama pledged during his White House campaign not to raise “one dime” of taxes on Americans earning below $250,000 a year.

    “If you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increased by a single dime. Not your income tax. Not your payroll tax. Not your capital gains tax. No tax,” Obama vowed.

    “It’s a pretty important campaign promise,” said Thea Lee, policy director at the AFL-CIO. But, still Team Obama and Congressional Democrats led by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) are floating a plan to tax employer-provided health benefits as opposed to increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Geithner and Summers are in the White House advocating for their rich friends, while the rest of America still continues to hurt.

    The Washington Post reports For many Americans, there’s nowhere to go but down and the NY Times adds a person’s Income loss persists long after layoffs.

    Economists, in fact, say income losses for workers who are let go in a recession can persist for as long as two decades, a depressing prognosis for the several-million people who have lost their jobs in the current recession.

  2. Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports Antidepressant use in U.S. doubled over decade to 10% in 2005. “The number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled to 10.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2005 compared with 1996, increasing across income and age groups… An estimated 27 million U.S. people ages 6 and older were taking the drugs by 2005… according to Columbia University research.”

    Coincidently surely, the LA Times reports Obama gives powerful drug lobby a seat at healthcare table. “As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry’s chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.”

    Now, Tauzin is Obama’s partner having been to the White House at least 6 times and where he says he’s “secured an agreement that the administration wouldn’t try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.”

    “Drug companies — Washington’s leading source of lobbyist money — now have ‘a seat at the table’ at the White House and on Capitol Hill as healthcare legislation works its way through Congress.” Six months ago, Obama “criticized drug companies for greed now praises their work on behalf of the public good.”

    Meanwhile, The Hill reports Liberals protest Speaker Pelosi’s comments on health deal. Pelosi (D-CA) said to reporters on Friday: “Are you asking me, ‘Are progressives going to vote against universal, quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans?’? No way.” Her response triggered laughter.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus have formally protested her remarks. “Progressive Caucus Co-Chairwoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) said Monday she was unhappy at the idea that liberals were being ‘laughed at’ and not taken seriously.” The Progressive Caucus has vowed to oppose legislation that weakens or excludes a public option for health care.

Four at Four continues with Guantanamo inmate trial proposal and Obama’s Appalachian apocalypse.

Dharmathon, Lyrics


I am just a poor boy and my storys seldom told

Ive squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises

All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear

And disregards the rest, hmmmm

When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy

In the company of strangers

In the quiet of the railway station, runnin scared

Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go

Looking for the places only they would know.

Help, I need somebody,

Help, not just anybody,

Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,

I never needed anybody’s help in any way.

But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,

Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Some folks trust to reason others trust to might,

I don’t trust to nothin’, but I know it comes out right.

Say it once again now, Whoa, I hope you’ll understand

When it’s done and over, Lord, a man is just a man.

Playin’, playin’ in the band. Daybreak, daybreak on the land.

Some folks look for answers others look for fights,

Some folks up in treetops just a looking for their kites.

Whoa, I can tell your future just look what’s in your hand,

But I can’t stop for nothin’ I’m just playing in the band.

Playin’, playin’ in the band. Daybreak, daybreak on the land.

Standin’ on a tower world at my command

You just keep a turnin’ while I’m playing in the band.

And if a man among you got no sin upon his hand

Let him cast a stone at me for playing in the band.

Playin’, playin’ in the band. Daybreak, daybreak on the land.

Together we’ll stand

Divided we’ll fall

Come on now people

Let’s get on the ball

And work together

Come on, come on

Let’s work together

(Now now people)

Because together we will stand

Every boy, every girl and man

People, when things go wrong

As they sometimes will

And the road you travel

It stays all uphill

Let’s work together

Come on, come on

Let’s work together

You know together we will stand

Every boy, girl, woman and man

Oh well now, two or three minutes

Two or three hours

What does it matter now

In this life of ours

Let’s work together

Come on, come on

Let’s work together

(Now now people)

Because together we will stand

Every boy, every woman and man

Ahhh, come on now…

Ahhh, come on, let’s work together…

Well now, make someone happy

Some come to laugh their past away

Some come to make it just one more day

Whichever way your pleasure tends

If you plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind.

Roll away the dew

Roll away the dew

Roll away the dew

Roll away the dew

In franklins tower the four winds sleep

Like four lean hounds the lighthouse keep

Wildflower seed on the sand and wind

May the four winds blow you home again.

In David Jeffrey Bomford’s Words: The Radio Interview

There’s a Front Page post, on the latest from the ‘birther’ conspiracy, recently posted. That’s got the links to the Washington Independent latest.

Below you can hear the interview:

Adelaide man caught up in bid to oust Obama

Shhh, we’re not supposed to talk about this!

But wait.  There’s more!

Former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation

Peter Dale Scott on similaries between JFK and 911

Sibel Edmonds:  Bin Laden worked for US till 9/11

NIST finally admits “free fall” in WTC7 implosion

Let Bin Laden Stay Free, says CIA man

And of course:

Official story of 9/11 “almost entirely untrue”, so says Commission insider.

So while we’re all chortling over the useful idiots that the corporatocracy sends out to distract us (Orly Taitz, Glenn Beck, et al), the ongoing coup will not be interrupted.

We won’t even know that the coup occurred.  We’ll be too busy laughing at the jesters and going “gosh, it’s a good thing the Dems are in power, because if they weren’t, these nutjobs would be!   Whew!”

Mission accomplished.

Happy Birthday! Now….Let’s talk, Barack

Now at Dkos

I’m getting close to another birthday too! And since you are a bit younger than me, I thought this might be a good day to have a little chat, maybe even pass along a little wisdom gained with years that you may not have arrived at. Yet.

First of all….just in case you haven;t noticed….The Republicans are assholes. Professional assholes, in point of fact.

And despite your considerable charm, you just aren’t going to win them over. Yeah I understand the political theater of bipartisanship, but you have pretty much milked that for all it is worth, right? The midterms are coming up, and as always, and certainly as we see on the HCR tactics, if you don’t kick their ass, they will kick yours. Iow…..it’s time to stop pretending they are reasonable partners and being nice and start really exposing them for who and what they are. Assholes.

DD Writers Jam Fest AUG 12 – 16: Part Deux


Hey who wants to work up a cool banner? UPDATE! Done! Yay! Thank you, On The Bus!!

Okay Part One of the brainstorming of this was here yesterday. I’m picking up with Part Deux today to give everyone a week’s notice in advance, and get into some details. Don’t worry, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just my OCD showing. heh.

DD Writers Jam Fest… a five days Docudharma exclusive (!) Writer’s… uhm … focus group? no… er, Workshop? well, sorta, maybe. Free For All? hmmm, yah.

Okay the main thing we’ve agreed to do is a Round Robin.  We’ll see if some of the other stuff comes together…. it’s up to us, you. Shake it up in the comments.

DATES: Wed through Sunday, August 12 – 16th, 2009

WHERE: Here, mostly, but also in your Brain, CPU or Journal

WHO: You. Everybody. Dharmanoids. Whoever wants in, jump in (as long as you play nice). You don’t have to be a “Writer”, no ID card or credentials art the door required. No Registration Fees either

HOSTED BY: moi but it’s a community thing

REWARDS? PRIZES? MEGA BONUSES? Er, no. Free ponies though!

So what’s this Round Robin thing? Fun. Da Rulz below. Well. I forgot where I was for a minute. “Rules” are just the standard issue Rules of Docudharma: “be excellent to each other”. The rest (below) is more like Guidelines really.

Fear Of Reform, What The Right Is Selling

No one following the health care debate can fail to know the Conservative movement in this nation is doing everything they can to stoke the level of fear of their base in an effort to spread the disease of fear to the nation as a whole and the Members of Congress in particular. Their overall goal is to keep any major changes in how health coverage is sold (which is what we are really talking about in this round of reform) from happening.

Originally posted at Squarestate.net

It’s about damn time! Brutal beatdown of Pat Buchanan and GOP, and they still don’t get it

Crossposted on Daily Kos

    How long have you been waiting for this? Well it was worth the wait. For 8+ minutes Unkle Pat is on the ropes, on the defensive, and the tool he is attacked with is the pure, simple, inconvenient truth that the fantasy world of Conservative politics can not co-exist with.

   And now that fantasy world is falling down all around them.

   I could have titled this diary Death by Stupid. It is really getting that bad, and the GOP just doesn’t get it. They have begun to believe their own spin.

   In order to grok fully the utter totality of this beatdown I have broken this video down into it’s Nonsense and Smackdown componenets.

   Go below the fold to see the brutal beating explained.

Docudharma Times Tuesday August 4

Bill Clinton in North Korea to Seek Release of U.S. Reporters


Published: August 4, 2009

WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton landed in North Korea on Tuesday to negotiate the release of two American television journalists sentenced to 12 years of hard labor for illegally entering North Korean territory, according to a person briefed on the mission.

Mr. Clinton flew into Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, in an unmarked jet early Tuesday morning local time, Central TV, a North Korean station, reported. The White House declined to comment.

Citing television footage from Pyongyang, The Associated Press said Mr. Clinton was greeted at the airport by North Korean officials including the chief nuclear negotiator Kim Kye Gwan and Yang Hyong Sop, vice parliamentary speaker. The footage showed him smiling and bowing as a young girl presented him with flowers.

New Leader Tries to Get Toyota Back on the Road


Published: August 3, 2009

DETROIT – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are not the only ones working through wrenching restructurings. Toyota is, as well, though with a much lower profile.

The results have yet to show, and in fact, no one at Toyota expects 2009 to be anything but dismal. (On Tuesday, the company reported a loss of $819 million for the first quarter.)

Its new president, Akio Toyoda, has moved quickly since taking charge in June, when he declared his dismay at the company’s financial crisis.

“Like everyone in the company, I am extremely frustrated” about the automaker’s decline, Mr. Toyoda said at his first news conference as president. “So we must start again from the ground up.”

Operation Reflation

Mission accomplished! Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon….the bubble economy has been reflated and it’s oh so glorious to be an American. Matt Taibbi’s Bubble Number Five – The Bailout Bubble as expressed in his brilliant The Great Bubble American Machine is now well on the way to reaching critical mass. Oh come all ye suckers, joyful and triumphant the casino is open again….time to drive up those depleted 401k’s, fine whatever credit cards haven’t been maxed out and spend….spend….spend….

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