November 16, 2010 archive

Hello Cruel World or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Blogs

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

How exhausting is blogging?  That’s the $64,000 question for some as following a discouraging election, they seek solace in drifting away or, even, posting a GBCW diary.  As a follow-up to this wonderful series — Welcome New Users — by LaughingPlanet and smileycreek, I add my voice addressing not just newbies on this (and other) blogs but, also, a bunch of oldies.

JekyllnHyde’s Tip #1: and take a look at your computer keyboard first!

Open Anderson

Photobucket

For millions of Americans, every day gets a little harder

“For millions of older Americans, every day gets a little harder.

Even though the costs of medication, transportation, and utilities are rising, we have already denied seniors a modest Cost of Living Adjustment to their Social Security payments for two years.

The war in Afghanistan costs the taxpayers $190 million PER DAY.

We will continue to spend $1.3 billion every week on war in Afghanistan for the indefinite future while we force our seniors to make tough choices between their medications and their food; their rent and their heat; their phone and gas for their car.”

[…]

The Last Refuge of Failed Economic Empires and Banana Republics

Laura Flanders of GRITtv.org talks with economist & Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington Dean Baker about the Obama Administration deficit commission‘s recommendations for massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, and with UK journalist Laurie Penny about the growing street protests in London last week. Flanders also talks here with Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water and about the corporate push to privatize water:

“It’s the wrong answer to not a problem,” says Dean Baker of the report out last week from the leaders of Obama’s deficit commission, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. The report, which recommends massive cuts across the budget, most significantly to Social Security and health care programs, has been roundly criticized by progressives for its targeting, but Dean notes that the biggest problem with it is that without the health care crisis we still have, we wouldn’t have deficits in the first place.

He joins us via Skype from Washington, D.C. to talk about the commission, the latest action by the Fed, and what can really be done to balance the budget–and why we should be much more focused on creating jobs and really reforming health care than on slashing programs that benefit us all.

“It’s fair to smash up someone’s future but not to smash up someone’s lobby,” notes UK journalist Laurie Penny of the student protests in London last week, now being branded as “violent” and “out of control.” Aside from one person who dropped a fire extinguisher off a building, she points out, the protests were free of violence against people, and property damage needs to be put in the proper perspective.

Laurie joins us via Skype from London, where she attended the protests and covered them for The New Statesman, where she is a columnist, to provide some perspective on misunderstood events–and to fill us in on why they’re said to be only the beginning.

“We’re on a collision course with our finite supply of water,” says Susan Leal, co-author of the new book Running Out of Water. It’s not just that the supply is limited, she notes, it’s our growing population, increased personal use, and climate change that are all playing into what journalist Anna Lenzer calls “the coming shock.”

Susan and Anna join us in studio to discuss water: why we’re limited, why privatization and drinking bottled water isn’t the solution, and why the problem has a better chance of being solved when people work together rather than have decisions imposed by private corporations.



GRITtv.org – November 15, 2010

Dean Baker, Laurie Penny, and the Coming Water Crisis

?! Bush Leftover DEA Nominee Leonhart ?!

First we had the leftover Bush era reefer madness drug policy :

Holder’s DOJ Setting Record Marijuana Busts

https://docudharma.com/diar…


FBI stats say 858,408 people were arrested for marijuana in 2009, under US Atty General Holder’s DOJ,  the 2nd highest total ever, and it was an increase of + 1.3% from under the Bush administration’s last year in office, 2008.  (the record was 872,721 in 2007)

per this FBI sourced chart here,  http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius200…      251,740 Californians were arrested last year for drug offenses, if 52% of them were for marijuana, that would be  130,940  citizens of California busted for pot,  the equivalent of 2 large sport stadiums filled with people,  or about the population of the cities of Elk Grove or Thousand Oaks.   If 88% of those people were charged with possession only, that’s still about  

         – 115, 196 Californians getting arrested in 2009 just for possessing marijuana

Then we had CA vs. the Feds and DiFi & Baca :

Prop 19: AG Holder Issues Shocking Threat Against State’s Rights To Legalize MJ

https://docudharma.com/diar…

If Proposition 19, the Decriminalize and Tax initiative had passed, Attorney General Eric Holder said he’d keep prosecuting them anyway, per a letter written to ex DEA (and now private Homeland Security contractors) agents who petitioned him to keep prosecuting legal marijuana users and growers.

Opposition to Prop 19 was funded by Indian Casino gambling such as the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the beer and wine industry, including both large ones like EJ Gallo and Anheiser Busch and smaller artisan breweries in the state of CA, Big Oil companies like Chevron, Big Tobacco such as Phillip Morris,  and even most of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers of mood altering drugs like Pfizer, Glaxosmithkline, Eli Lilly, and even Perdu Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin.  CALBUSPAC, one of the multi donor PACs against prop 19, lists many of them thru one of the pharma pac subdonors.   http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Ca…

_______________________________

Now we have the leftover Bush Era DEA Appointee looking for an Obama administration upgrade. An appointee already so lousy, Republican President George W Bush first tried foisting her off on the taxpayer in 2003.   Then in April 2008, the Bush White House said it wanted to promote her to replace Karen P Tandy, who had resigned in 2007.  The Senate was not enthused. Again.  Now, 7 years later, like fungus, “Democratic”  President Barack Obama is proposing Dubya’s leftover appointee, Michele Leonhart, be promoted from Deputy Administrator to head the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Michele Leonhart,  under Bush’s era, was the Special Agent in Charge for the DEA in Los Angeles, and the ranking agent in charge for many, many Bush era raids on legitimate medical marijuana, which has been legal now in CA for 14 years.  Then she started doing them for the Obama administration.  And she must be very good at it.   The Senate is supposed to have hearings on this Wednesday (tomorrow).  Are you excited yet ?  Yes We Can Waste Money We Don’t Have On Going After Stoners Because We Have Nothing Else to Do !

michele leonhart This is a Bush era appointee, Michelle Leonhart,  who makes a living raiding from CA Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.  Now President Obama wants to promote her to head his DEA.  Attention younger voters who are going to be watching the 2012 nominees – is this the sort of thing that appeals to you as a constituent ?

Docudharma Times Tuesday November 16




Tuesday’s Headlines:

Edward Wedbush’s roof leaks, but his wallet doesn’t

USA

Access to General Motors stock offering won’t include many of its rescuers

Erin Brockovich prepares for a real-life sequel

Europe

Nato eyes ‘fresh start’ with Russia

Battling Merkel calls for stability to end euro zone crisis

Middle East

Woman sentenced to death by stoning confesses ‘sin of adultery’ to Iran TV

Israel blames Egypt for Hamas rearm

Asia

Family leads outcry at blasphemy death penalty

Delhi building collapse: 51 dead

Africa

Senegal to open inquiry into deadly 2002 ferry sinking

Southern Sudan begins registration for independence vote

Latin America

Protestors in Haiti attack UN peacekeepers in cholera backlash

Europe Fears That Debt Crisis Is Ready to Spread  

 

By LANDON THOMAS Jr. and JAMES KANTER

Published: November 15, 2010


LONDON – European officials, increasingly concerned that the Continent’s debt crisis will spread, are warning that any new rescue plans may need to cover Portugal as well as Ireland to contain the problem they tried to resolve six months ago.

Any such plan would have to be preceded by a formal request for assistance from each country before it would be put in place. And for months now, Ireland has insisted that it has enough funds to keep it going until spring. Portugal says it, too, needs no help and emphasizes that it is in a stronger position than Ireland.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

A new idea is delicate.  It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip, and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.

–Charlie Brower



Color Coded

We Shall Overcome

Robert Freeman  . . .

For the past 30 years, the rich have been waging war on the middle class. It’s been astonishingly effective, partly because it has been undeclared. But even that pretense is now being abandoned.  The President’s National Debt Commission has effectively declared that the rich will now go after what is left of working and middle class wealth and will take whatever steps are necessary to seize it.  If allowed, their plan will reduce Americans to a state of serfdom.

That’s the agenda of the bankers, it’s the agenda of the courts, it’s the agenda of the corporate media and the politicians in D.C.  

Machiavelli was an idealistic proponent of political virtue and a paragon of integrity compared to the moral debris in two-party suits who “govern” America.  He wouldn’t last 30 seconds inside the Beltway, that crowd of thugs would fold, spindle, mutilate and deep-six him so fast he’d be inhaling mud at the bottom of the Potomac before he even knew what hit him.

That’s what we’ve been up against, a political system of ruthless efficiency masquerading as a partisan circus of flip-flopping acrobats, tax-and-spend trapeze artists, high-wire tightrope-walkers from swing districts, lions and tigers and bears growling about gridlock, and plenty of elephants trumpeting all over the place.  In the opinion of eager ticket buyers like Tweety, it’s the greatest show on earth.

But the politicians seem to be growing weary of the charade . . .    

The Commission’s proposal is the most naked, undisguised declaration of class warfare possible.  It’s agenda is not to reduce the deficit, but rather to reduce what is left of the American middle class and American workers to a condition of servitude, of feudal peerage.  This will make possible the final looting of America by those whose sociopathic greed has brought it so low already.  The battle over this proposal is the last bulwark against the devastation and final destruction of America.

Justice and equality are being taken away everywhere, by politicians and generals, by dictators and ayatollahs, by lawless regimes from Burma to Moscow, from Tehran to Tel Aviv, from Pakistan to America and everywhere in between.  Oppression takes many forms, “leaders” trot out different justifications, they may even believe some of them, but that does not erase their guilt, it does not absolve them of their crimes, it will not wash away the blood on their hands.  

Late Night Karaoke

Austerity fails to save Ireland

  Ireland did everything right, according to the bankers of the world. They slashed wages, services, and public employment. After two years of sacrifice what do they have to show for it?

 Wages have fallen and unemployment is around 13%. That much was expected. What wasn’t expected is that the markets would punish the nation for crushing the domestic economy because of the austerity measures.

 “We do not really see how Ireland is going to be able to ‘hold on’ without EFSF help,” one euro zone source with knowledge of the talks said.

  “Obviously since this implies a pretty tough programme for the government and to some extent a loss of sovereignty, they want to think twice…” the source said.

 In other words, things are going to get even harder for Ireland. What will Ireland get in return? The ability to go even deeper into debt.

Social Security: If The Rich Paid Taxes Like You And Me…Problem Solved

Over the course of the past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about how the War On Social Security was about to get under way and what happens when countries choose to privatize their systems.

Today we take on another bite-sized chunk of economic analysis: how can you get to a situation where Social Security is financially stable for the next 75 years?

We’ll describe some proposals that are out there-but the big focus of this conversation will be to look at one change that, all by itself, could not only solve the entire funding problem, but could actually allow us to lower the Social Security tax rate, immediately, and still achieve fiscal balance.

“Well, if that’s such a bright idea” you might ask, “why haven’t we adopted it already?”

That’s a great question-and after you hear the proposal, you may well have explanations of your own.

TSA Full Body Screening! Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta TOUCH ME! (w/ Video)

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)


Load more