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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Questions Linger Over Paulson's Calls To Goldman During Crisis

New York Times:
Before he became President George W. Bush's Treasury secretary in 2006, Henry M. Paulson Jr. agreed to hold himself to a higher ethical standard than his predecessors. He not only sold all his holdings in Goldman Sachs, the investment bank he had run, but also specifically said that he would avoid any substantive interaction with Goldman executives for his entire term unless he first obtained an ethics waiver from the government. LinkHere

How Ted Kennedy Countered Town Hall Goon Squads

In 1994, Senator Edward Kennedy was in a tough fight for reelection against a well-financed Republican opponent named Mitt Romney. There was a debate between Kennedy and Romney at Faneuil Hall and before the candidates arrived a large crowd of boisterous Romney supporters dominated the gathering. The place was a sea of Romney signs with a few placards with photos of aborted fetuses thrown in for good measure. The white, largely well-healed Republicans outside the hall were shouting classy chants like: "Last Call for Ted!" and "Chappaquiddick!" Romney arrived first and it was clear that the loud and unruly GOP partisans had the upper hand, especially in front of the local television cameras.
The spectacle at health care town hall meetings we are seeing today, where screaming people seek to dominate a political event ever cognizant of the cameras, remind me of those Romney people I saw that day in Boston.
But an old pro like Ted Kennedy who had been steeped in Boston politics from the days when his maternal grandfather, Honey Fitz, was mayor, wasn't going to allow the Romneyites to control the assembly.
Suddenly, the entire scene outside Faneuil Hall shifted when about a hundred burly men descended on the place engulfing the Romney supporters. The area outside Fanueil Hall now became a sea of Kennedy signs held by very pushy, very big, and very noisy members of a local carpenters' union. Kennedy had given a fiery speech at a union hall just prior to the debate where he reminded the workers about what he and his brothers had done for labor over the course of their political careers. At the end of his speech, he urged the entire union local to pick up Kennedy signs and head down to Fanueil Hall to show their support, which they did with vim and vigor. By the time the workers assembled the Romney people had been literally pushed outside the view of the TV cameras and the landscape looked like a huge Kennedy rally. I could hear a few Romney supporters complaining about the "rudeness" of the carpenters. I also heard one of the workers ask: "What has Mitt Romney ever done for working people?" (There was only silence on the other end of that question.)
So there's a simple solution to these Republican astro-turf goon squads that are currently disrupting Democratic town hall meetings on health care. Do what Kennedy did. Speak before a crowd of supporters who have dirt under their fingernails and know how to win battles in the workplace. The fight over health care is no different from the fight over the eight-hour day or the minimum wage. At root is whether we as a nation are going to view health care as a human right or will we allow it to remain a privilege.
Democratic politicians facing town hall disruptions should seek the help of their working-class supporters. Make sure large numbers of people from the local unions come to these events. Then we'll see if the Tea Bagger thugs can continue their bullying tactics on behalf of corporations seeking to block progress on health care. LinkHere

Commenter, where is the free speech here, death threats, this is mob rule.

Unions Receive Increasingly Scary Threats Of Violence For Town Hall Participation

You socialist f---s have the nerve to say stop the violence at the town hall meetings when they weren't violent until you p---ies showed up because your n----- leader obama said to?????? When we have ours in Racine, Wi, I want you there. I want one of your little b----- to put his hands on this Marine. I want one of you to look or talk to me wrong. I'll be the last thing your ignorant faux body guards will remember for a very long time. You can f---ing guarantee that.

"I will be going to a local town hall this weekend, all you union members BEWARE!" an emailer wrote at 9:40 Saturday morning. "We will be waiting for you. better make sure you have arrangements with your local ER. today is the day when the goon meets the gun. see you there."

Capitol Police Looking Into Death Threat Against Congressman Over Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON — A North Carolina congressman who supports an overhaul of the health care system had his life threatened by a caller upset that he was not holding a public forum on the proposal, his office said Friday.
Democratic Rep. Brad Miller received the call Monday, one of hundreds the congressman's office has fielded demanding town-hall meetings on the health care proposal, said his spokeswoman, LuAnn Canipe. She said the callers were "trying to instigate town halls so they can show up and disrupt."
"We had one of those kind of calls that escalated to what we considered a threat" on the congressman's life, said Canipe. "These are some strong-arm tactics, and we are trying to deal with and trying to talk to people in good faith about health care reform."

WRONG!!!! The world has a rights to know the crimes of the Bush Administration, just like they had the right to know Sadams crimes.

Obama Admin Asks Supreme Court To Block Detainee Photos
The Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the public release of detainee abuse photos that were the subject of a high-profile reversal by President Barack Obama earlier this year. LinkHere

Sotomayor Sworn In As Supreme Court Justice

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Mel Martinez and the Last Nail in the Republican Diversity Coffin
I'm sure it's only a matter of time now before somebody cranks out a Freakonomics-esque pop culture tome on the seemingly accelerating phenomenon of elected Republican officials getting the quitsies. Arlen Specter and Sarah Palin and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
But Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martínez's just-announced resignation isn't just a variation on the "quit and ditch" theme. It's very probably the last nail in the Republican's "diversity" coffin.
Poorly made little pine box that it was.
Cuban-American Melquíades Rafael "Mel" Martínez was the sole (or lonely) Hispanic U.S. senator in the Republican Party. As former chair of the RNC he made outreach to Hispanics and minorities a priority. This to the consternation of some Republicans who were at odds with his stand on immigration. He didn't last long in that position. Less than a year.
And now, a day after breaking with all but eight of his fellow Republicans in voting to confirm Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Martínez is throwing in the towel.
It's very, very hard not to see the timing as a statement. Not just against the Republican's attempted debasement of Sotomayor, and by association the Hispanic narrative in America. Martínez's move, too, can been seen as another accomplished person of color -- following Colin Powell -- flipping a metaphorical middle finger at all the Republicans have devolved into: The party of the "angry white voter," as Paul Krugman says. A return to the "white voter strategy," writes Thomas Edsall. It is a party dominated by dangerously reactionary regressives whose fallback position is open hate and active violence. Frankly, those Tea Bag Party days seem like gentle times compared to the thuggery of the Health Care Town Hall meetings.
As an aside, the next time a Conservative asks how they can trust the government with health-care reform when it can't administer "cash for clunkers," ask them how we can trust conservatives with governance when they can't talk about health care reform without it turning into a UFC match?
So, then, after the tokenism of Sarah Palin as a feminist and Michael Steele as the new black American, the Republicans are left whiter than when Ron Reagan kicked off his campaign as the Republican nominee outside Philadelphia, MS talking about States' Rights.
As a swing voter, the utter implosion of the Republican Party is actually distressing. But I have hopes that one day maybe Mr. Powell, Mr. Martínez and I might have our own beer summit and plot our entry back into what is allegedly "the party of Lincoln." LinkHere

Friday, August 07, 2009

Top Blue Dog Boasts: "We Held Bill Hostage," Killed Single Payer

Rep. Mike Ross on Thursday boasted about how his Blue Dog coalition "held the [health care] bill hostage in committee for 10 days" and prevented a single player plan.

The Arkansas Democrat said that the conservative group's opposition ensured "that we don't end up with some type of single payer system," Firedoglake reported.

Legacy ...

Legacy ... the world's most famous koala, Sam, is to be preserved and displayed in the same museum that houses champion racehorce Phar Lap, after having lost her battle this week More

How easily these Republicans forget.

How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish
Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone
An armed guard poses beside pallets of $100 bills in Baghdad. Almost $12bn in cash was spent by the US-led authority
The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped $100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent.
The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.
In the year after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 nearly 281 million notes, weighing 363 tonnes, were sent from New York to Baghdad for disbursement to Iraqi ministries and US contractors. Using C-130 planes, the deliveries took place once or twice a month with the biggest of $2,401,600,000 on June 22 2004, six days before the handover.
Details of the shipments have emerged in a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the House committee on oversight and government reform which is examining Iraqi reconstruction. Its chairman, Henry Waxman, a fierce critic of the war, said the way the cash had been handled was mind-boggling. "The numbers are so large that it doesn't seem possible that they're true. Who in their right mind would send 363 tonnes of cash into a war zone?"
The memorandum details the casual manner in which the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority disbursed the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets.
"One CPA official described an environment awash in $100 bills," the memorandum says. "One contractor received a $2m payment in a duffel bag stuffed with shrink-wrapped bundles of currency. Auditors discovered that the key to a vault was kept in an unsecured backpack.
"They also found that $774,300 in cash had been stolen from one division's vault. Cash payments were made from the back of a pickup truck, and cash was stored in unguarded sacks in Iraqi ministry offices. One official was given $6.75m in cash, and was ordered to spend it in one week before the interim Iraqi government took control of Iraqi funds."
The minutes from a May 2004 CPA meeting reveal "a single disbursement of $500m in security funding labelled merely 'TBD', meaning 'to be determined'."
The memorandum concludes: "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste ... thousands of 'ghost employees' were receiving pay cheques from Iraqi ministries under the CPA's control. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents fighting the United States." LinkHere

The world watches these dilusional fools fighting their own best interests, just like they watched Katrina, in stunned amazement.

Right-Wing Rage Cultivated At McCain-Palin Rallies Being Harnessed To Oppose Obama’s Agenda Today
The Paranoid Style in American Politics

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) scolded the recent angry disruptions at congressional town halls on his twitter feed. While McCain’s opposition to the behavior of right-wing activists is a welcome development, the wave of unfounded, anti-Obama hate found legitimacy through the McCain Presidential campaign last year.
Rather than talking about health care or the economy, once Sarah Palin joined the McCain ticket, calling into question the legitimacy and patriotism of Obama became a central message of the campaign. And with this line of rhetoric, anger directed at Obama found a venue at McCain rallies. To divert attention away from policy issues, Palin focused her attention on decrying Obama’s alleged ties to the “unrepentant terrorist” Bill Ayers. Palin’s denunciations of Obama were met with loud cries of “kill him!” Instead of immediately clamping down on these calls to violence and racial slurs featured at campaign events, the McCain campaign searched for ways to harness them — notably, for example, embracing the mentally ill Ashley Todd, who faked a racially-motivated political attack.
McCain himself was booed when he described Obama as a “decent man” and denied claims that he is an “Arab.” Despite this incident and many others, the McCain campaign maintained its tacit approval by remaining largely quiet. This right-wing hate, being harnessed by lobbyists-run organizations and the GOP, is now on full display at congressional town halls. Progressive Media has compiled a video on this phenomenon: LinkHere

Health Care Protester Exposed As Operative For Congressman's Opponent
Congressman Steve Kagen, (D-Wisc.) found himself interrupted during a town hall meeting on health care on Thursday evening which, considering the boisterous protests going on at these events all week, wasn't much of a surprise.
But towards the end of the Wisconsin Democrat's health care forum something a bit peculiar happened. A woman who initially identified herself as "just a mom from a few blocks away" who was "not affiliated with a political party" was outed by a reporter as a GOP operative who worked for Kagen's election opponent John Gard as well as the Republican Party of Wisconsin and the Republican National Committee.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Faux Whores, bring on the propaganda

Tampa Town Hall On Health Care Reform Disrupted By Violence
Angry protesters screamed, yelled and banged on windows as officers hurried to guard the entrances to the facility, where U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was trying to discuss the various health care reform proposals being debated in Congress. One photojournalist said that a fistfight broke out inside the building, reports WTSP.
Many of the hundreds of protesters said that they had been inspired by a conservative activist group promoted by Fox News host Glenn Beck and some received emails from the county Republican party, according to the St. Petersburg Times:
Instead, hundreds of vocal critics turned out, many of them saying they had been spurred on through the Tampa 912 activist group promoted by conservative radio and television personality Glenn Beck. Others had received e-mails from the Hillsborough Republican party that urged people to speak out against the plan and offered talking points to challenge supporters.

Can you believe these demented fools, the face of America.


Those of us who voted for Obama, who saw his election as a historic moment in the transformation of this society, and who can perceive how it is part of a larger worldwide movement where more and more people are learning about each other and wanting to live together well as equals, should have been expecting a backlash from those who want to maintain dominance by any means necessary. Well, now we’re seeing it, and it’s likely to get worse. The issue of lynching being raised reminds me of pictures first displayed at the MLK Center in Atlanta, and now available on the web:


If anyone has ever seen these pictures, and looked at the faces of those who had just done the lynching, you’d be looking at the parents, grandparents and great grandparents of those who are disrupting these town hall meetings now. Anyone who wants to argue that this “conservative” disruption isn’t a symbolic lynch mob, doesn’t know how to learn from history, nor how to see that the past is still the present. We have work to do, people.

Question is are you going to let them win.

The Health Insurers Have Already Won
How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit
As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling.
Executives from UnitedHealth certainly showed no signs of worry on the mid-July day that Senate Democrats proposed to help pay for reform with a new tax on the insurance industry. Instead, UnitedHealth parked a shiny 18-wheeler outfitted with high-tech medical gear near the Capitol and invited members of Congress aboard. Inside the mobile diagnostic center, which enables doctors to examine distant patients via satellite television, Representative Jim Matheson didn't disguise his wonderment. "Fascinating, fascinating," said the Democrat from Utah. "Amazing."
Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives' Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth's strategy. It boils down to ensuring that whatever overhaul Congress passes this year will help rather than hurt huge insurance companies.
Some Republicans have threatened to make health reform Obama's "Waterloo," as Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has put it. The President has fired back at what he considers GOP obstructionism. Meanwhile, big insurance companies have quietly focused on what they see as their central challenge: shaping the views of moderate Democrats. LinkHere

What a hoot, to watch these goons bring down their party more and more to make it obsolete.

BREAKING: Violence at Tampa Health Care Forum
Wingnut protesters and single payer health supporters are clashing inside and all around a health care reform town hall meeting in Downtown Tampa. The meeting which was scheduled to begin at 6:00 at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County drew hundreds of people who quickly began to overwhelm staff and event organizers at the front entrance.
As the building filled to capacity, NeoCon "protesters" stuck outside began to scream, yell, chant, and try to intimadate those inside. At one point, these Glen Beck loving wackos' began banging on windows as Tampa Police officers quickly spread out guarding all entrances.
These "tea-bag protestors" are a part of a organized by well funded health insurance and republican special interests groups. They are trying to use the same tactics that stopped the Florida presidential recount back in 2000. LinkHere
Obama promises health overhaul with or without GOP
Source: AP
WAKARUSA, Ind. – President Barack Obama said Wednesday he's determined to get an overhaul of the health care system before the end of the year and, if necessary, without bipartisan support.
His comments reflected a growing sense among Democrats that they may have to carry the legislation to expand coverage and try to control medical costs with votes from lawmakers of their own party — or at best a handful of Republicans.
Visiting economically stressed Indiana to announce $2.4 billion in taxpayer grants for electric cars and tens of thousands of jobs, Obama pledged successful conclusion of the health care overhaul that he argues would stabilize the nation's fiscal health.
"I promise you, we will pass reform by the end of this year because the American people need it," the president said. LinkHere

Liberal groups launch town hall counteroffensive

Source: CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Liberal groups are sending supporters detailed instructions on strategies to counter what they call organized disruptions of congressional town halls — events that have become new front lines in the fight over health-care reform.
Conservative groups critical of Democrats’ overhaul proposals headed into the August recess with their own battle plans for the events, sending out information such as links to search engines; lists that relayed the locations of upcoming town halls; confrontational questions to ask members of Congress; and chants and slogans to use in and around the venues.
The increasingly tense face-offs have grabbed headlines, and national Democrats have spent the week highlighting reports of everything from rowdy crowds to physical assaults and death threats directed at lawmakers who are current or prospective backers of the president’s plan.
Over the past few days, groups including Health Care for America Now; the AFL-CIO, which is describing the town halls as the “principal battleground” in the health-care fight; and Organizing for America, the president’s campaign arm at the Democratic National Committee, have sent supporters logistical tips for dealing with any hostile conservative presence at the town halls, and for organizing lobbying efforts to neutralize their impact. LinkHere

I wouldn't believe it, he's so FAIR AND BALANCED!!!!!!!!

I bet they were just moved to another time slot!!!!!!!
nothing accomplished
Glenn Beck's Obama "Racist" Attack Costs Him Advertisers
Fox News' Glenn Beck is feeling the consequences of his controversial comments on the July 28 episode of "Fox and Friends," when he said that Barack Obama was a "racist" who had a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
According to TVNewser, Beck advertisers Proctor and Gamble, Lawyers.com and Progressive Insurance have all pulled their ads from Beck's 5PM ET show. This comes in the wake of groups like ColorOfChange.org's efforts to get companies to distance themselves from Beck.
Fox News told TVNewser that the advertisements were simply moved to other time slots on Fox News, and thus had no effect on the network's revenue (which, incidentally, was a bright spot in News Corp's otherwise dismal earnings).
Watch Beck's original comment's here. LinkHere

Denied Claims Placed At Health Insurance CEO's Doorstep

I bet this guy professes to be a fine, upstanding Christian, too.

A new video puts denied health insurance claims on United Health Care CEO Stephen Hemsley's doorstep.
The video, made by Brave News Films' Robert Greenwald, intercuts stories of people suffering because of denied claims with images Hemsley's fancy homes, along with details about how much money Hemsley's got ($744,232,068 in unexercised stock options, for example). LinkHere

Butt Out Wanker you had your 8 years, and your Bush Brigade accomplised nothing, Right!!!!!!!!

GOP Delegation In Israel Contradicts U.S. Policy
JERUSALEM — The Obama administration's policy on Israel is misguided, puts too much emphasis on the issue of settlements and ignores the bigger threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, a U.S. delegation of Republican congressmen visiting Israel said Thursday.
Led by minority whip Eric Cantor from Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, the delegation of 25 Republicans say their weeklong mission to Israel is designed to show solidarity with the Jewish state and promote Mideast peace. A group of Democratic congressmen are expected to visit next week.
Cantor said that instead of focusing on issues such as Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, Obama should concentrate on "the primary issue of import ... and that is the existential threat that Iran poses not only to the state of Israel but to the United States."
The congressman said he is "concerned about what the White House has been signaling of late."
Israel believes Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons that could one day be used against the Jewish state. Iran says its nuclear program is meant only for energy production.
Cantor and others supported Israel's handling of the eviction of two Arab families from a house in east Jerusalem earlier this week, a move criticized by the European Union and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"I don't think we, in America, would want another country telling us how to implement and execute our laws," Cantor said.
The Obama administration is pressuring Israel to freeze all settlement activity on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to hold peace talks with Israel until such a freeze is implemented.
The congressmen have been meeting Israeli and Palestinian leaders and their tour has included visits to West Bank settlements. LinkHere

Sotomayor confirmed

Senate voted, 68-31, to approve Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama said the confirmation brings the United States "closer to a more perfect union."

Keep Your Goddamn Government Hands Off My Medicare!

At the risk of bringing down the digital wrath of blog-savvy oldsters, I've noticed that a considerable number of the anti-reform Republican "hooligans," as Rachel Maddow describes them, who turn up at various town hall meetings to shout incomprehensible loud noises just happen to be senior citizens. And while the old people who turn up to protest health care reform are, to come extent, victims of the usual Republican lies and disinformation, they're still adults and therefore responsible for their opinions, their actions and their ziplock baggies filled with crazy.
Yes, they've been tricked by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh into believing that health care reform will somehow involve golden-grilled ACORN thugs showing up at bingo with a tray of syringes filled with black liberal death juice. Yes, they've been tricked by Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs into thinking that this "halfrican American" president with his terrorist pals and Kenyan birth certificate is trying to supplant God's U.S. government with a liberal fascist homocracy.
But failing to grasp the extraordinary contradiction evident in receiving Medicare benefits while simultaneously shouting nonsense about "government-run health care" is quite simply inexcusable. LinkHere
Reliable statistics clearly show that America does not have the "best health care in the world." You come in 46th in the world in terms of our infant mortality rate, and 50th when it comes to life expectancy; and these, and other, indicators are rapidly getting worse.

Widow Paints Plea For Reform After Husband's Death Without Health Care

In a Plea for Health Reform, a Widow Picks Up Her Paintbrushes

The Big Dog is Back

Stewart Slams CNN & Fox For Coverage Of Clinton's North Korea Rescue
Ahahahahahahahah, you are good!!!!!!!!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Israel: US will present peace plan

Def. Min. Barak says Israel should accept plan that US will unveil 'within weeks'. LinkHere

Claim: US bribed Gitmo witnesses

Detainee's lawyers say case against him based on witnesses who were paid. LinkHere

Goldman Sachs admits it's under investigation

Investment bank Goldman Sachs made $100 million or more trading on the stock market on each of 46 trading days in the second quarter on 2009. In all, the company made at least that much money on 71 percent of the days it was doing business.
And the company revealed Wednesday that the US government is investigating its controversial compensation practices, and, perhaps more importantly, its trading in derivatives -- the financial instruments widely blamed for last year's financial collapse.
According to a report at Bloomberg news service, Goldman's profits are an all-time record -- beating the previous record, 34 days of $100-million profits, set by Goldman in the previous quarter.
Goldman, a major beneficiary of last fall's bank bailouts, by some accounts now controls half of all the program trading (computer-based automatic trading) done on Wall Street.
The company and some affiliates “have received inquiries from various governmental agencies and self-regulatory organizations regarding credit-derivative instruments,” the firm said in a regulatory filing, as quoted by Bloomberg. “The firm is cooperating with the requests.”
The company is also facing questions from shareholders about how it rewards salaries and bonuses, Reuters reported Wednesday. Link Here

GE pays $50M to settle fraud charges.

General Electric, a giant conglomerate that owns manufacturing, media and financial companies, agreed Tuesday to pay $50 million to settle federal charges that it committed accounting fraud over a two-year period.
GE settled civil fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged that the company used improper accounting methods that allowed it to boost its reported earnings and avoid disclosing negative results.
The alleged violations included the company's accounting for certain loans and sales of trains and aircraft parts, the SEC said, and enabled GE to boost earnings by hundreds of millions of dollars.
"GE bent the accounting rules beyond the breaking point," Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. "Overly aggressive accounting can distort a company's true financial condition and mislead investors."
As is customary with civil settlements, GE did not admit or deny the allegations. "We have concluded that it is in the best interests of GE and its shareholders to resolve this matter and put it behind us on the basis announced today," the company said in a statement.
The SEC complaint, filed in federal court in Connecticut, alleged that GE met or surpassed analysts' earnings estimates every quarter from 1995 through 2004. A company's shares will often fall if it misses these estimates. LinkHere

Sotomayor picks up more GOP support with vote near

Source: AP
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor won more GOP support in her drive toward near-certain Senate confirmation Thursday as the first Hispanic justice, even as a growing chorus of Republicans called her unfit for the bench.
Republican Sens. Kit Bond of Missouri and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire broke with their party to announce they'd support President Barack Obama's nominee, as the Senate cleared the way for a history-making vote that will shape the court for decades to come and could carry heavy political consequences for both parties.
"There's been no significant finding against her, there's been no public uprising against her," said Bond, who is retiring. "I will support her, I'll be proud for her, the community she represents and the American dream she shows is possible." LinkHere

FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to 'Break' Gag Order Unless DoJ Intercedes

FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds Subpoenaed, Set to 'Break' Gag Order Unless DoJ Intercedes
Former agency translator called to testify in Ohio election case this Saturday on Turkish infiltration of U.S. government...
Unless the Dept. of Justice re-invokes their twice-invoked "state secrets privilege" claim in order to once again gag former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, her attorneys have notified the department by hand-delivered, sworn letter of declaration this week, that she intends to give a public deposition, open to the media, in response to a subpoena this Saturday in Washington D.C..
Edmonds has confirmed her intentions to answer any questions asked of her during the sworn proceedings, fully and publicly, during conversations with The BRAD BLOG this week. She notes that her agreement with her former employer, the FBI --- who fired her illegally after she filed whistleblower allegations about corruption and foreign infiltration in the linguistics department --- includes certain non-disclosure requirements. However, those requirements do not preclude her answering to a legally issued court subpoena.
The subpoena and request for sworn deposition is part of a case now pending before the Ohio Elections Commission in which Ohio's Republican U.S. Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) has filed a complaint against her 2008 independent challenger, David Krikorian who Schmidt has charged distributed false statements about her during last year's campaign...
FULL STORY: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7341

OhhhhhhhhhhShit, hahahahahahahaha Fair and Balanced

Murdoch: We will charge for all news sites
Source: Market Watch Aug 5, 2009, 5:45 p.m. EST
Chairman Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday that the company intends to charge for all of its news Web sites. "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting," Murdoch said. LinkHere
Rupert Murdoch plans charge for all news websites by next summer
Times and Sun readers to pay as loss-making Murdoch declares end to free-for-all LinkHere
News Corp records £2bn loss
Source: The Guardian
Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, News Corporation, slumped to a $3.4bn (£2bn) net loss for the 12 months to June as a combination of plunging advertising revenue, impairment charges and online losses contributed to the company's worst year in recent memory.
The group suffered hefty accounting charges related to a drop in the value of its assets. After stripping out these one-off items, its full-year operating profit dropped by 32% to $3.6bn, with growth in revenue at the group's cable television networks failing to make up for a slump in income from films, newspapers, books, magazines and online offerings.
Murdoch said: "The past year has been the most difficult in recent history, and our 2009 financial performance clearly reflects the weak economic environment that we confronted throughout the year."
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/aug/05/news-cor...

NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning agrees $97m dollar deal

Source: Associated Press wire
ALBANY, New York August 6 Sapa-AP
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has agreed to a
six-year, $97 million contract extension, making him the NFL's
highest-paid player.
A person close to the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity
because the deal had not been signed or announced, said Manning
will be paid about $15.3 million in annual salary to the end of the
2015 season.
The deal means he will now be paid more than his older brother
and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who receives an
average $14.2 million annually, and Oakland Raiders cornerback
Nnamdi Asomugha, who will get $15.1 million per year under his new
three-year contract.
Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers will make $16.7 million in
the coming season - but it's only a one-year deal.

What a friking lot of liars they are. GOD BLESS AUSTRALIA

Grassley Uses Kennedy’s Brain Tumor To Spread Fear Of Rationing
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, has taken the lead role in negotiating the health care reform bill for the GOP. But earlier today during a radio interview with Iowa City’s KCJJ, Grassley steered the conversation with a caller toward rationing health care services among the elderly, one of the right wing’s favorite fearmongering tactics when it comes to health care reform. And as an example, Grassley cited Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) brain tumor. Grassley said that in countries with government-run health care, Kennedy “would not get the care he gets here because of his age.” Instead, the government would decide to spend health care resources on younger people “who can contribute to the economy”:
GRASSLEY: In countries that have government-run health care, just to give you an example, I’ve been told that the brain tumor that Sen. Kennedy has — because he’s 77 years old — would not be treated the way it’s treated in the United States. In other words, he would not get the care he gets here because of his age. In other words, they’d say ‘well he doesn’t have long to live even if he lived another four to five years.’ They’d say ‘well, we gotta spend money on people who can contribute more to economy.’ It’s a little like people saying when somebody gets to be 85 their life is worth less than when they were 35 and you pull the tubes on them. LinkHere

Friking Wanker
Darn,I Just can't stand friking liars, maybe you should do a little traveling Senator, come Down Under at least your elderly won't be pennyless and out on the streets, like in the USA supposed to be the leading country of the free world.
My mother had cancer surgery at 78, 8 hours, radium theraphy, chemo and ten years of checkups and she paid ZERO dollars, still alive at 95 living by herself and still going strong.
I also had two surgeryies, 11hrs, 8hrs 6 mths chemo and am now in my 7th year of checkups all for ZERO dollars.
God Bless Australia,
and believe me after two extended trips to America, and watching the Bush Brigade for the last eight years, if your public option is voted down without a fight, your country deserves what it gets.
Darn it all fight for your health care.

Come one, come all everyone welcome.

AIG breakup nets Wall Street $1 billion bonanza: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street banks and lawyers could collect nearly $1 billion in fees from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and American International Group Inc to help manage and break apart the insurer, The Wall Street Journal said on Wednesday, citing its own analysis.
Morgan Stanley could collect as much as $250 million, the newspaper said, citing banking experts and documents released by the New York Fed.
Bank of America Corp, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, accounting firm Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among others that have or could get big paydays for helping dismantle AIG, the newspaper said.
To calculate dollar amounts, the newspaper said it tallied estimated fees for transactions already announced and those AIG is considering, planning or may be forced to pursue. It said it obtained assistance from Freeman & Co, Thomson Reuters and documents provided by the New York Fed.
According to the newspaper, the situation creates potential conflicts of interest in oversight by causing the government to employ many companies it regulates.
The government owns nearly 80 percent of AIG, and has given the insurer a series of bailouts estimated at $180 billion.
AIG was felled by big bets on credit default swaps that left it on the hook for tens of billions of dollars of payouts it could not make.
Shares of AIG closed Wednesday up 62.7 percent at $22 on the New York Stock Exchange, as investors rushed to cover short positions. AIG has said it plans to report second-quarter results on Friday.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing Bernard Orr) LinkHere

Sam the Koala loses battle for life

Pictures: Sam's survival story
SAM the Koala, who became a worldwide symbol of hope in the aftermath of Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires, has died.
She was expected to undergo surgery today to treat cysts as a result of urogenital chlamydiosis, a life-threatening disease that affects 50 per cent of the koala population.
Vet John Butler told waiting media outside Morwell Veterinary Clinic that due to complications with the disease, the best course of action was to put Sam down, The Herald Sun reported.
Mr Butler said that due to "extensive changes" in the condition of bladder and uterus this morning, the decision was taken to put Sam down before surgery to prevent her suffering too much pain. LinkHere

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Politics in a digital era.

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"And the walls came tumbling down"

BBC Baghdad blast wall art
Baghdad blast walls to be removed
BAGHDAD (AP) -- All blast walls designed to protect the streets of Baghdad will soon be taken off major thoroughfares, the Iraqi military said Wednesday, the latest in a government push to restore a sense of normalcy despite persistent bombings in the capital.
The removal of the ubiquitous concrete walls -- which have for years been a bleak feature of daily life in Baghdad -- would ease the flow of traffic and improve the appearance of the streets.
But security concerns remain amid continued violence.
In the latest attack, a roadside bomb killed five police officers patrolling in a mainly Sunni area in southern Baghdad on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the spokesman for the city's operations command center, said all blast walls on Baghdad's main and secondary roads will be removed within the coming 40 days.
''No exception will be made any place in Baghdad,'' he said in a statement LinkHere

"I don't have sophisticated lauguage"? uneducated in the extreme, I would say.

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Obama the Australian?

You would be more than welcome President Obama, with your family DOWN UNDER.

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Report: Ex-Marine, employee link Blackwater founder Erik Prince to murders

One on one with Obama

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Freed journalists home in US after NKorea pardon

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BURBANK, Calif. -- Two American journalists jubilantly reunited with family and friends early Wednesday upon returning to the United States with former President Bill Clinton, whose diplomatic trip to North Korea secured their release nearly five months after their arrests.
The jet carrying Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV, and Clinton arrived at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport at dawn. Clinton met with communist leader Kim Jong Il on Tuesday to secure the women's release. LinkHere

"Have you hugged your health insurer today"

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The angry mobs that have been shutting down town hall meetings called to discuss health care reform have reminded many people of an episode during the 2000 election generally known as the Brooks Brothers Riot.
“I think it is very similar,” Washington editor of The Nation Chris Hayes replied on Tuesday to a question from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow about whether he thought the same strategy is being used currently by Republican-backed corporate lobbying groups.
A few weeks after the November 2000 election, when the outcome of the presidential race was hanging on the Florida recount, a raucous and unruly group of young Republican aides — some of whom were actually on the Bush recount committee’s payroll — rioted outside the room where over 10,000 ballots were being recounted in Miami-Dade County and forced the cancellation of the recount. LinkHere

Obama Must Pass a Health Care Bill

Birthers Hate Having A Black President

The activists who have been whipped into a frenzy, and who have dominated the recess meetings so far, appear to be conservative whites.
Last weekend, right-wing Republicans stormed a number of such meetings across the country, shouting down members of the House and, in Philadelphia, Sen. Arlen Specter and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In Austin, protesters blocked Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett's car and made it impossible for him to talk to constituents about such matters as appointments to military academies.
What's particularly curious about these two protests is that they took place on very liberal turf -- Philadelphia and Austin -- yet the local liberals and people of color seemed absent. Philadelphia is a heavily African American city, yet one strains to see any blacks among the protesters on the YouTube clips. The activists who have been whipped into a frenzy, and who have dominated the recess meetings so far, appear to be conservative whites.
Part of this imbalance is the result of the inherent difficulty in winning universal health insurance in a nation where five out of six Americans are already insured, however imperfectly and expensively. Securing an integrated national system may be essential to slowing the spiraling costs that make us less competitive than other nations, and securing a universal system may be a moral imperative, but neither is a cause that has sent millions into the streets. As yet, such institutional supporters of health-care reform as the unions and Obama's own legions aren't turning out crowds to match the right at the town meetings. LinkHere

CNN Refuses To Run Health Care Ad Critical Of Insurance Companies

What on earth is going on at CNN?
The network — already taking criticism for declining to run an ad criticizing Lou Dobbs — is now refusing to run an ad nationally criticizing the insurance industry, the group that tried to place the ad tells me.
CNN’s reason: The ad “unnecessarily” singles out a top insurance industry executive by name for criticism. LinkHere

Holy Shit and this Bozo does? is he for real?

Grassley: Obama too inexperienced to understand how Congress works
President Obama is too inexperienced in national politics to really understand the legislative process, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Wednesday.
Grassley, who as a lead negotiator of the bipartisan healthcare reform deal the president supports has dealt often with Obama, said that while he likes the president personally, Obama effectively only had two years of experience in national politics.
"I think that he is a good person, and good-intentioned," Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a radio interview. "But I believe he didn't serve in government long enough to understand really how things work."
"Remember, he was in the Senate four years, but effectively only two years because he spent two years where he was hardly ever here at all — he was campaigning for president," Grassley said. "He really does not have an understanding of how Congress operates." LinkHere
Sen. Grassley's Comparison to Healthcare and King Arthur - Stewart Analyzes

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Six US Troops Killed in Afghanistan

Laura King, The Los Angeles Times: "Six American soldiers were killed in a 48-hour period ending Sunday, their deaths coming on the heels of the most lethal month for U.S. and Western troops since the start of the war nearly eight years ago, military officials said." LinkHere
Tensions Grow in Afghanistan as Villagers Get Rid of Opium, Fall into Poverty
Rukmini Callimiachi, The Associated Press: "For as long as anyone can remember, there was no need for paper money in this remote corner of the Hindu Kush. The common currency was what grew in everyone's backyard - opium." LinkHere

David Sirota | Thirteen in Congress Control Health Care Debate

David Sirota, Creators.com: "For those still clinging to quaint notions of the American ideal, these have been a faith-shaking 10 years. Just as evolutionary science once got in the way of creationists' catechism, so has politics now undermined patriots' naive belief that the United States is a functioning democracy." LinkHere

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This film stands as a vivid testimony to times of radical social change in our nation and to the power of people banding together for change.
Check out the trailer here, and if you like what you see, you can buy a DVD from Brave New Films for just $20:
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