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Red 24 December 2010

Posted by marisacat in Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
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All of the temporary [German] Christmas post offices are staffed by volunteers, who write back to children. Here, men dressed as Santa Claus head to an annual Santa Claus convention in Berlin in November 2010. [Getty Images]

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1. catnip - 24 December 2010

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Despite all his time studying the Clinton administration, Mr. Obama told his aides that he had no intention of following the precise path of Mr. Clinton, who after the Democratic midterm election defeats of 1994 ordered a clearing of the decks inside the White House, installed competing teams of advisers and employed a centrist policy of triangulation. In fact, several advisers confirmed, the word “triangulation” has been banned by Mr. Obama because he does not believe it accurately describes his approach.

I heard he’s reading a biography of Reagan while on vacation. Stay tuned for “trickle down” to be banned next.

marisacat - 24 December 2010

wake me when he bans “hope”… then we might be headed somewhere (won’t b happening!)

lucid - 24 December 2010

But, “Hope is a good thing, Maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Said in my best Morgan Freeman voice…

marisacat - 24 December 2010

“…. no good thing ever dies.”

Well they just go live with Martha Stewart, so the argument could be made…. they do die. :lol:

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 December 2010

Social Security in Perspective, Part III

A conversation with William Greider

Trudy Lieberman: What are we to make of this consensus on fixes to Social Security that some in the media tell us has been reached?

William Greider: This is a staggering scandal for the media. I have yet to see a straightforward, non-ideological, non-argumentative piece in any major paper that describes the actual condition of Social Security. The core fact is that Social Security has not contributed a dime to the deficit, but has piled up trillions in surpluses, which the government has borrowed and spent. Social Security’s surpluses have actually offset the impact of the deficit, beginning with Reagan.

TL: Why don’t reporters report this?

WG: They identify with the wisdom of the elites who don’t want to talk about this—because if people understand that Social Security has a $2.5 trillion surplus, building toward more than $4 trillion, people will ask why are politicians trying to cut Social Security benefits?

TL: Is that why coverage has been so one-sided?

WG: Most reporters, with few exceptions, assume the respectables are telling the truth about Social Security, when it is really propaganda. What elites are saying is deeply misleading, and they deliberately are distorting the story. But reporters think they are smart people and must know what they are talking about.

TL: Who influences the coverage?

WG: There are layers of influence that tell reporters this is the safe side of the story. They don’t go to people who might be unsafe sources, like labor leaders who know how changes will affect workers, or to old liberals who are out of favor but who know the origins of Social Security and why it was set up in the first place, or to neutral experts like actuaries who actually understand how it works and what the trust funds are all about. If they write about what the AFL-CIO thinks, they are out of the orthodoxy.

WG: My sense from the way stories are written is that unless you have the “facts” of pseudo-scientific evidence, editors don’t want reporters making any observations on what they learned as reporters. This supposedly makes them more “objective,” but it does the opposite. They become more one-sided in their reporting.

TL: Doesn’t that make them more disconnected from the public?

WG: Yes. Reporters and editors are disturbed to learn that growing sectors of the public do not trust their reporting. But this is the natural result of one-sided reporting. It reflects the unconscious class bias of the media—looking up to selected expertise that’s in power and looking down on the everyday citizens. In the old days, when I started as a reporter, newspapers were far more diverse and representative in speaking to and for the variety of popular perspectives. Each newspaper might have its bias, left or right or something else, but there were countering opinions and perspectives that tended to keep the other side more honest. That variety is pretty much gone now, so lots of citizens are finding their own ways to inform themselves, putting their faith in the bloggers or other renegade sources. Who can blame them?

TL: Who are the losers in this paradigm?

WG: It’s pretty obvious. I start with the conviction that people in every station of life are not stupid. Most people are pretty capable of forming opinions and insights of their own, based on their own experiences and what they see happening around them. They don’t get everything right but—guess what—neither do the governing elites, the economists and policy wonks who tell us what is correct thinking. The financial collapse and economic breakdown are dramatic evidence of elite failure, yet I see most media reporting still relying on the same old sources as if nothing went wrong. In a functioning democracy, what the people think would be regarded as a vital source for informing democratic debate. That is what the people lose—their seat at the table.

TL: Do the losers care?

WG: As we are learning every day, most of them gave up on the press a long time ago. They realized that newspapers were not on their side. There was no longer that old-time relationship. People got the feeling that newspapers weren’t speaking for them. The new technologies give the “losers” new options for how to inform themselves. Some of these are half-baked or worse, but people will keep exploring alternatives and refining what they are willing to trust. The crucial point I am trying to make is that this process of citizens in a democracy keeping themselves informed does not belong to private enterprise. It does not depend on finding the right business model. People must find a way—and I think they will—regardless of whether newspaper and broadcasting owners want to assist them, or merely make money.

marisacat - 25 December 2010

That covers all bases….

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2010

he has a lot more faith in people being able to find a way out of this box we’re in than I do.

marisacat - 25 December 2010

ugh… can’t wait to see how he tells us to vote! Obama!! Brand! in a year or so.

3. marisacat - 25 December 2010

hmm Is it possible to even care? (prolly not!! :lol: )

THE SHOWS:

–NBC’s “Meet the Press“: White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett; roundtable with NBC News’ Tom Brokaw; historian Doris Kearns Goodwin; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward [well, there's a full table - - of big fat liars! -- Mcat]

–ABC’s “This Week“: Special report by ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff on homeless Veterans; Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli; former Taliban hostage and New York Times reporter David Rohde and his wife Kristen Mulvihill (authors, “A Rope and a Prayer”)

–CBS’s “Face the Nation“: Roundtable with CBS News Correspondents Chip Reid, Lara Logan, David Martin, Nancy Cordes and Sharyl Attkisson

–“Fox News Sunday“: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK); Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl; roundtable with the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, FORTUNE’s Nina Easton, former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Fox News’ Juan Williams

–CNN’s “State of the Union“: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; former CIA Director General Michael Hayden (Ret.) and former Director of National Intelligence Vice Admiral Mike McConnell (Ret.)

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (SAT 6:30 p.m. ET): Public Knowledge President & Co-Founder Gigi Sohn and Information Technology Industry Council President Dean Garfield (by phone), Lariat Owner Brett Glass … “Newsmakers” (Sun., 10 a.m. ET / 6 p.m. ET): RNC Chairman candidate and former RNC Political Director Gentry Collins, questioned by the Hotline’s Reid Wilson and the AP’s Phil Elliott … “Q&A” (Sun., 8 p.m. ET / 11 p.m. ET): British House of Commons Member Diane Abbott.

–Univision’s “Al Punto“: Year in Review show with Rep.-elect Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-TX) and Rep.-elect David Rivera (R-FL); Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ); Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ); opera singer Placido Domingo; clothing designer Isabel Toledo; Cuban-American rapper Armando Christian Perez (a.k.a. “Pitbull”); dancer Joaquin Cortes; roundtable with Noticiero Univision’s Luis Megid and Primer Impacto’s Ricardo Arambarri.

4. ts - 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas Marisa. Merry Christmas to one and all.

ts - 25 December 2010

Even though I have the most basic of basic cables, there’s two channels showing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_Log_(TV_program).

marisacat - 25 December 2010

A UHF channel here always shows it, or has for 30+ years… I heard the station owner discuss it once, he picked it up from, I think, a Mid West UHF channel that had started doing it..

marisacat - 25 December 2010

oh Thank you! and… Merry Christmas to you ts… and to your wife….
;)

catnip - 25 December 2010

Joyeux Noel to those who are celebrating.

marisacat - 25 December 2010

… and for those maybe celebrating differently…. IOZ smacks religion (and Gerson!) around. And I spy lucid in the thread… 8O
:lol:

While I am on religion… I see il Papa called out the “rods of oppression” in his message to the, ahem! whirled….. :lol: HE was calling for resistance to oppression in Iraq and China against Catholics…

Funny! I thought of something entirely different !!

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2010

one of many good comments:

NYM NYM NYM said…

“Aztec human sacrifice” (not, by the way, a religion) “share[s] a similar striving” with Quakerism?

Why not? Wasn’t Nixon heavily into human sacrifice?

marisacat - 25 December 2010

I got a huge kick out of the thread……………. and the evocation of Nixon and Kissinger and ”Dial 1-800-Bomb Cambodia”!

Not that any of them are any different, they are not….

Honest to fucking god, would McCain have been ANY DIFFERENT on the god damned WARS? (than Moses Messiah Foundling, I mean)

I don’t think so.

BTW on Euro News yesterday I saw something absolutely awful. 5 minutes of live streaming (their “no comment” segment they run daily) from Bethlehem, outside the Church f the Nativity… with some bizarre fundie American Xtian group on a stage exhorting people in the open square to yell “Jesus”. Which they did do.

ugh.

catnip - 25 December 2010

“rods”?

Oh the irony…

marisacat - 25 December 2010

Freud snaps to life!! And a new found relevance!

What a hoot!!

5. brinn - 25 December 2010

Happy Merry, all! 8)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend with their favorite people, food and drink!

Kidlets are happily stuffing their faces with a brunch feast and I am wearing a necklace that says “We Love You Mom!”

All is well in brinn’s world! :)May your universe be as kind to you and your this day and every day!

much love and lotsa hugs, friends!

be well.

catnip - 25 December 2010

Kidlets are happily stuffing their faces with a brunch feast and I am wearing a necklace that says “We Love You Mom!”

Good stuff. :)

marisacat - 25 December 2010

Have a lovely day brinn!

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2010

remember all the chestbeating and gnashing of teeth over people walking away from their debts, the non-stop movement in this country away from allowing actual human beings to declare bankruptcy? Remember how people had a moral obligation to pay their debts?

Well, ole’ Grover thinks that this thinking only works on way, and that obligations that help PEOPLE are perfectly okay to walk away from:

The University of Pennsylvania law professor David Skeel, in a Weekly Standard article last month, also concluded that permitting state bankruptcy is the best option to avoid a monumental federal bailout of state governments. “Letting states file for bankruptcy to shed some of their obligations,” Skeel wrote, “could save American taxpayers a great deal of money.”

In fact, a bill that may well serve as a precursor to state bankruptcy legislation was introduced early this month by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). This legislation would require states and municipalities to provide an accurate assessment of their public pension liabilities.

Thanks to inflation of assets’ fair market value as well as high discount rates, state and local governments currently under-report their pension liabilities by approximately $2 trillion. The bill also makes clear that these pension obligations are the sole responsibility of state and local governments.

Some critics allege that a state bankruptcy code would be used as a tool to “smash unions.” On the contrary, government employee unions and their dogged defense of the status quo are, in fact, smashing budgets and credit ratings in California, Illinois, New York and other states where they are dominant and have outsized influence in the state capitol.

Though it is true that the bond market might not be happy with a state filing for bankruptcy, as Skeel noted, the market is already beginning to take the possibility of default in certain states into account. California, for example, put $10 billion in revenue anticipation notes on the market in November — yet was only able to sell $6 billion worth.

Advocacy for permitting state bankruptcy should not be confused with a desire for states to go bankrupt. In fact, simply having bankruptcy as a tool at states’ disposal is likely to be a boon to lawmakers trying to rectify their unsustainable financial plight.

marisacat - 25 December 2010

They’ll be falling like DOMINOES!
:lol:

I don’t know what else to do but laugh!

7. marisacat - 25 December 2010

hmmm

WikiLeaks Poised for Major Israel Document Dump

Info on Killings, 2006 War Near Release

by Jason Ditz, December 24, 2010

The paucity of information on Israel in the early WikiLeaks releases led to a flurry of speculations and conspiracy theories, insisting WikiLeaks may have made a secret deal with the Netanyahu government or that the lack of data proved the organization’s insincerity as a whistleblower. After all, in a dump of 250,000+ classified documents from the US, surely Israel would figure pretty prominently.

And actually it does. Though the information has not been released there will be a considerable dump, according to reports, including some 3,700 documents detailing Israel’s assassination plot in Dubai, the 2007 air strike against Syria, and the 2006 invasion of southern Lebanon. ….

dropout - 25 December 2010

Kool.

Our crazy weather is either flooding, burning, melting or freezing unusual parts of our planet, but hopefully we will continue to be entertained as the empire falls. Let’s hope they manage to keep the electricity on next year! :))

WikiLeaks saga pushes businesses to adapt

This cautionary tale shows that even though we are not ready for massive change, it’s happening

Read more: Vancouver Sun

8. dropout - 25 December 2010

Why???

Ros-Lehtinen: Israel will remain top priority

“Security assistance to Israel is a top priority for Republicans because our Members understand that it is a vital investment which enhances our nation’s security interests and is a force-multiplier of our efforts to combat extremism in the Middle East,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said in a statement. “Charges to the contrary are baseless and politically-motivated.”

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/23/2742311/ros-lehtinen-israel-will-remain-top-priority

Spengler is an idiot. He proposes we are collapsing because of one election? It’s been a long time coming. Funny how there’s no mention of the Cheney/Rumsfeld/neo-con cabal in his article.

Naked emperor and a conspiracy of silence
By Spengler

America is exceptional – utterly and absolutely exceptional – because the rest of the world depends on American guns, American money and American mediation in a way that no other country or combination of countries possibly might replace. Any other power that suffered the setbacks that America sustained during 2010 under the Barack Obama presidency would have been pushed off the top of the hill. The reason America still has diplomatic currency to spend in Asia as well as actual currency to borrow demonstrates its indispensable role: no one, least of all Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao or Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, wants America to fail.

That is why a conspiracy of silence surrounds the observation that the emperor is naked. But the facts are depressingly clear.

After one trillion dollars and 5,000 casualties, America will leave Iraq with nothing to show for its Quixotic commitment to build a nation in the Mesopotamian sand.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/LL23Ak04.html

marisacat - 25 December 2010

Spengler did a reveal on himself… last year sometime iirc… he is a conservative, reactionary financial guy….

dropout - 25 December 2010

He reminds me of Beck.

dropout - 25 December 2010

This man is must reading, and he has a new article. Have not gotten through it yet:
M K Bhadrakumar

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LL23Df05.html

9. marisacat - 26 December 2010

HA! Don’t know if diane is around tody, but the French Connection scene she mentioned, Doyle lighting up a multi storey building of addicts and whathaveyous is in French Connection II

10. catnip - 26 December 2010

Happy Boxing Day!

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 December 2010

how much are the maid and the cook pushing you around?

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 December 2010
12. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 December 2010
13. marisacat - 26 December 2010

Geesh… you wonder if ANYTHING works…

via Playbook email

– L.A. Times 2-col. lead, “Stimulus for L.A. mostly sits unspent: Only about 25% of $630 million in U.S. grants has been used. Staff cuts and complex rules are blamed,” by Maeve Reston:

“Though the bulk of L.A.’s stimulus money was awarded by last March, the city had completed only eight of its 108 projects by mid-October. L.A. officials say they have been hampered by a painful irony. As millions of federal stimulus dollars flowed in the door, the city was reeling from cost-cutting measures that led to the exodus of 2,400 experienced workers through an early retirement program and more than 360 layoffs. On top of that, many city workers, including some who are handling stimulus projects, are forced to be on furlough 16 to 26 days a year.”

http://lat.ms/gWbHhr

14. marisacat - 26 December 2010

New…..

LINK

………………….. 8O


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