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Dingdingding! 15 July 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics.
50 comments

We have a winner!!  I have no idea who wins this mess of an election (could we have two worse boobs running?) but Mr Fish …

WINS….  Cruel… and true.

When pigs swim 2 July 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics.
19 comments

A man evacuates pigs through a flooded street in Manila after heavy monsoon rains                 Picture: NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

hmm If it isn’t flood waters, it’s fire, if not fire then locusts (we have them here now, in California, in inland counties) if not fire and locusts then it is massive power outages across several states, millions will have gone without electricity for around 10 + days, if it is back on in some places, at least, by this Friday…

Has Slobby said anything?  He dropped in on the fire devastation in Colorado, that much I noticed… but any note take of the outages, which literally are in the backyard (MD) of the WH….

Only a hopeless voter would greet it with anything but cynicism, but even Mittens, the Great White Mormon Father, is collecting donations at campaign sites in Ohio, even in Democratic districts, for the dispossessed…

Those odd brothers, W and Jebby, handed out ice in some crisis – in Florida in campaign season in 2004.

Slob?  Slobessa?  No campaign they could cook up with one of their favored corporations?  Handing out water?  Ice?  Food rations?  Accompanying the Tide trucks of mobile washing machines?  Helping at a Red Cross emergency station?

Does it rate a disaster declaration?  Do we still hear of FEMA?  For good or ill?

Surely there is something they might be handy at?  No?

I hear they’ve got the daughters appearing in campaign commercials in swing states.  To “humanize him”, the campaign says.

Good luck.

What is .. 15 June 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Total fucking lunatics.
62 comments

From a Guardian gallery of illustrations for The Bloody Chamber

What is left to say?

Maybe it can be stopped but the way things are going, what they don’t get under Clinton (War in Iraq and Afghanistan leading to ever widening war) they get under Bush, what they don’t get under Bush, they get under “the nice black man”, what Slob doesn’t manage to give them (or did not have enough time!) they get under Romney.

Democracy NOW, and I just happened to fall into the show in the middle of the night…

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to a controversial trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations that until now has remained largely secret. It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. A chapter from the draft agreement leaked Wednesday outlines how it would allow foreign corporations operating in the United States to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings.

The agreement is being negotiated by the U.S. trade representative, Ron Kirk, appointed by President Obama. But the newly revealed terms contradict promises Obama made while running for president in 2008. One campaign document read in part, quote, “We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; [or] give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors.”

AMY GOODMAN: Earlier leaks from the draft Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement exposed how it included rules that could increase the cost of medication and make participating countries adopt restrictive copyright measures.

No one from the U.S. trade representative’s office was able to join us, but in a statement to Democracy Now!, they said, quote, “Nothing in our TPP investment proposal could impair our government’s ability to pursue legitimate, non-discriminatory public interest regulation.”

For more, we’re joined by Lori Wallach, director of the fair trade group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. The leaked documents were posted on her organization’s website early Wednesday morning.

Lori, welcome to Democracy Now! Explain what the documents show and what this agreement is about.

LORI WALLACH:Well, it’s been branded as a trade agreement, but really it is enforceable corporate global governance. The agreement requires that every signatory country conform all of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures to what are 26 chapters of very comprehensive rules, only two of which have anything to do with trade.

The other 24 chapters set a whole array of corporate new privileges and rights and handcuff governments, limit regulation. So the chapter that leaked—and it’s actually on the website of Citizens Trade Campaign, it’s a national coalition for fair trade—that chapter is the chapter that sets up new rights and privileges for foreign investors, including their right to privately enforce this public treaty by suing our government, raiding our Treasury, over costs of complying with the same policies that all U.S. companies have to comply with. It’s really outrageous.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Lori, there’s been a quite a bit of complaint, even in Congress, about the secretive nature of these continuing negotiations. About 600 or so corporate advisers have access to information that even members of Congress don’t? Could you talk about how that has come about?

LORI WALLACH: Well, this is how you get a text and in a potential agreement that is this outrageous. I mean, this isn’t just a bad trade agreement, this is a one-percenter power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights. How that happens is the negotiations have been done in total secrecy. So, for two-and-a-half years, until this leak emerged, people have suspected what’s going on, because, as you said, under U.S. law there are 600 official advisers, they have security clearance to see the text, they advise the U.S. position. Meanwhile, the senator, Ron Wyden, who is the chairman of the trade committee in the Senate, the committee with jurisdiction over the TPP, has been denied access to the text, as has his staff, who has security clearance, to a point where this man who has supported agreements like this in the past has filed legislation demanding he have the right to see the agreement that he’s supposed to be having oversight with. He’s on the Intelligence Committee, and he has security clearance, so he can see our nuclear secrets. He just can’t see this corporate bill of rights that is trying to be slipped into effect in the name of being a trade agreement. It’s a very elegant Trojan horse strategy. You brand it one thing, and then you put an agenda that could not survive sunshine into this agreement.

We have been able also to get some of the texts on patents, expanding patents for Big Pharma, jacking up medicine prices. And we have analysis on our website, tradewatch.org, as well as information about how to get involved, because these agreements are a little bit like Dracula. You drag them in the sunshine, and they do not fare well. But all of us, and also across all of the countries involved, there are citizen movements that are basically saying, “This is not in our name. We don’t need global enforceable corporate rights. We need more democracy. We need more accountability.”

AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach—

LORI WALLACH: And this agreement is the antithesis.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to read part of the comment we got from the U.S. trade representative’s office when we invited them on today’s show. They wrote, quote, “The Obama Administration has infused unprecedented transparency into the TPP negotiations. We have worked with Members of Congress … [and] invited stakeholders to every round of negotiations where they have given presentations and met with individual negotiating teams. … We are always looking for ways to enhance provisions on transparency and public participation.” Lori Wallach, your comment?

LORI WALLACH: Well, to start with, the idea of transparency of the current negotiators is a one-way mirror. We can basically talk to them and do presentations. But as this leak shows, nothing that the public interest organizations—and it’s a huge array of organizations, from faith groups to consumer groups, environmental, labor—nothing that we have said is now reflected in the U.S. position in this negotiation, which I’m sad to say is the most extreme. I mean, the U.S. is even opposing proposals in this agreement to try and make sure countries have the ability to use financial regulation to ensure financial stability. The U.S. positions don’t reflect what we’ve been saying, but we can talk at them.

But just to put this in perspective, in the last negotiation of a big regional agreement—that was the Free Trade Area of the Americas in the 1990s, 34 countries, very complicated agreement—two years into the negotiation, the entire draft text was published officially by the governments. Here we are, three years into this negotiation with eight countries, and they will not publish a sentence. In fact, it finally leaked that they had signed a special agreement not to release any draft text for four years after negotiations are done—a secrecy agreement on top of the normal secrecy. And when asked, Ron Kirk, the trade representative, why—in the past, the U.S. has sent out draft texts. The WTO, hardly a paradigm of transparency, publishes draft texts. “What the—what’s going on?” he was asked. He said, “Well, in the past, for instance, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, when the text was revealed, we couldn’t finish it.” Now, what sort of indictment is that of what they are doing behind closed doors, that merely allowing the public who will live with the results and Congress to know what’s up is going to somehow derail the plans to lock us in? Because what’s really important to understand about these agreements, it’s not about trade, and it’s like cement. [hmm we really ARE mired in cement! Mcat]Once the cement dries in these agreements, you can’t change the rules, unless all the agreement—all the other countries agree to amend the agreement.

So what we’re talking about with this leaked chapter is literally a parallel system of justice. People have domestic laws and courts, trying to defend our rights and get our needs met. Corporations would have a parallel system of private attorneys, three of them, no conflict-of-interest laws. The U.S. and the other countries would submit themselves to the jurisdiction of this corporate kangaroo court, and these three random attorneys would have the right to order the U.S. government to pay unlimited amounts of our tax dollars to corporations and investors who, A, claim regulatory costs need to be refunded, or, B, are saying they’re not being treated well enough, regardless if the policies they dislike are the exact same ones that apply to all of us. Even under NAFTA’s system, which has some of this, $350 million have already been paid out to corporations by governments, over toxics bans, zoning laws, timber rules. This is a sneaky outrage. And if people actually put a spotlight on it, we can stop it.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, Lori, I wanted to ask you—you mentioned the eight nations that are involved in the negotiations. Which nations are they? And also, the issue of the way this is being negotiated, the number could expand dramatically in the future. Can you talk about that?

LORI WALLACH:Well, the reason why it is so incredibly important that this agreement be exposed is this could well be the last agreement that’s negotiated. So, many of your listeners and viewers have been involved in the sneaky way trade agreements have been used by corporations to limit regulation and to foster a race to the bottom since NAFTA. And each of these agreements has gotten bolder, more expansive in its limits on government regulation and in its granting of corporate powers. This one could be the end, because what they intend to do is leave it open, once it’s done, for any other country to join. So, this is an agreement that ultimately could have the whole world in it as a set of binding corporate guarantees of new rights and privileges, enforced with cash sanctions and trade sanctions. It is not an exaggeration to say that the TPP threatens to become a regime of binding global governance, right at the time that the Occupy movement and movements around the world are demanding more power and control. This is the fightback. This is locking in the bad old way plus.

And in addition, the way that the agreement is being negotiated, these rules would require that you not only change all of your existing laws—so good progressive laws would have to be gotten rid of—but that, in the future, you don’t create new laws.

Now, the agreement now includes Australia, Brunei, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, Peru and Vietnam, as well as the U.S., plus Malaysia has now joined. [as we are best new buddies with the mil AND Our Girl in Myanmar... Mcat] 

 And the agreement includes all of the NAFTA-style privileges that promote offshoring. But more drastically, it has all sorts of new corporate privileges, so the right to extend medicine and seed monopolies to jack up medicine prices, even the right to challenge formularies, medicine prescription group buying plans. For instance, what the Obama administration has put in their health reform bill, they are at the negotiating table behind closed doors trying to kill the right to use for other countries.

Or the financial rules would have just a limit. Countries aren’t allowed to ban risky financial products or services, at the same time that we’re trying to issue regulations under financial reform. And the agreement even meddles with how we spend our local tax dollars. For folks around the country who are doing sweat-free campaigns, who are doing living wage campaigns, green buying campaigns, this agreement says, A, you can’t have local preferences, so no “buy New York” state preference to recycle money back in your state, your tax dollars, no “buy American,” but also conditions like a product has to have recycled content or that that uniform has to be sweat-free. Those kind of conditions can be challenged. It is an incredible corporate power tool. It’s only gotten this far because it’s been secret. And people in the other countries don’t want it either. But our country is the one that’s largely pushing the most radical provisions, which is why it was so important for this text, which everyone can see an analysis of at tradewatch.org, to be made public, to make people aware of what’s really going on.

AMY GOODMAN: Lori, the last round of negotiations on the trade agreement took place in Dallas. While there, Obama’s appointed trade representative, Ron Kirk, spoke at an event for the local business community. The Yes Men took the opportunity to present Kirk, the former mayor of Dallas, with a mock award. This is a clip.

GIT HAVERSALL: Hello. Thank you so much for being here. My name is Git Haversall. And on behalf of the Texas Corporate Power Partnership, we are very, very pleased to announce that the U.S. trade negotiators are the winners of our 2012 Corporate Power Tool Award. I would like to personally thank the negotiators for their relentless efforts. The TPP agreement is shaping up to be a great way for us to maximize our profits, regardless of what the public of this nation or any other nation thinks is right.

AMY GOODMAN: The next round of negotiations on TPP are scheduled over the July 4th holiday weekend. Lori Wallach, can you comment on this? And also, what I assume would be President Obama’s response, if talking behind the scenes, like perhaps tonight when he’s going to be at Sarah Jessica Parker house with—with raising a lot of money—the financial sector is donating $37 million to Mitt Romney so far, the Obama administration’s haul, $4.8 million—that even his own Wall Street supporters are going over to Romney right now, so he would say he is doing better than Romney would in trying to take on these guys.

LORI WALLACH: I think that, for President Obama, there are two scenarios. One is, he has not been on top of what these negotiators are doing. [oh puhleese  -  Mcat]  This really has been under the radar. It’s so important that the text finally came out, because it sends a warning to Congress, to the public, etc., and that basically he’s got negotiators on the loose. They are many of the same people who during the Clinton administration got us into NAFTA, that recycled back into the trade negotiating team. The other alternative explanation is just the money one, which is, it is the case that this is an agreement the 1 percent loves. This is sort of one-percenter fantasy. It’s not just that on the margins and in national governments you have to keep fighting with all your money and lobbying to try and get what you want; this would lock it in for the future, indefinitely.

AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach, we want to thank you very much for being with us, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. And we will continue to watch this.

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, whistleblower Jesselyn Radack on what a number in Congress are calling national security leaks. Stay with us.

Sunday 18 February 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
65 comments

Lord of the Flies cover designs – the shortlisted pictures – The Guardian will select the winner of a joint competition with publishers Faber to design a new cover for the schools’ edition of Lord of the Flies

The Devil Within by Naomi Bartholomew aged 14 | Photograph Naomi Bartholomew

The cover designs are pretty stunning for teens, 13 – 16.

******

What next? 24 January 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics.
70 comments

Sunderland, England: Waves pound the sea wall near Seaham lighthouse | Owen Humphreys/PA

Maybe Florida itself implodes…?  More?  Again?  This feels like a DVD with an alternative ending included:  See what happens when the R playlist fails to gel with the public.  Or, not gel predictably

Shake 8 January 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics.
43 comments

The Best Photos Of Dogs You’ll Ever See - Carli Davidson – Carli Davidson’s Facebook page

*****

I peek out a window sometimes and contemplate the world… and I think I probably get a look on my face like the dog above. I have a soft spot for this one too, I only figured the face out by finding the nose.

What is next. No matter who goes in in 2012, it’s going to b a free for all out of DC. Engines firing, guns ablaze, bombs at the ready. A slasher war movie.  No medics.

The USA!!! USA!!! is a battlespace too. And all of us are potential enemy combatants.

A vast spectacle of competition ripping ever-faster toward a foregone conclusion, a breadbowl circus lathered in Applebees Smokey Barbeque Honey Bacon Strudel Pepper Spice Chipotle Doritos Rub by Bobby Flay

That’s IOZ, on the elections bomb blast bombast.

**************

BTW, in case you are in need of a laugh (and who would turn one down these days?) this morning on the NBC debate David Gregory asked Santorum why, if we live with a nuclear NKorea, a nuclear Pakistan and so on, why can we not live with a nuclear Iran.

His answer – and remember this is Santorum, loonatick xtian:

 Iran is a THEOCRACY and believes in an afterlife better than life on earth.

Rapture anyone?

Face-off 5 January 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Viva La Revolucion!.
18 comments

Sitra, Bahrain: An anti-regime protester gestures as he faces riot police during a protest | Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

*****************************

Be interesting to watch and see, if 2012 isn’t just a year of the protest and protester, but a full frontal face-off.

So screwed 31 December 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics.
49 comments

Amazing Pictures From A Year In The Life Of Barack Obama – Here Obama Prays with the “Circle of Protection Campaign” a group of religious leaders dedicated to preserving government protections for the poor. | Image: White House

********

Oh please. A group of multicolored, self-serving, constantly poor-washing trough feeders. If they care at all for the poor it is to rake off what benefits poor people can manage to accrue. And privatise as much as possible.  Ensure what used to be benefits assigned to individuals or families, instead, come directly to them.

Hosanna

Cons, would be a shorter description.

And Romney is no peach. I forget where now, but I read somewhere reliable he called the Elders of Zion (the Utah branch) to get permission to add to his big hulking failing health mess of a bill a tiny 50.00 payment toward abortion for the poorest in MA..

So, we get moaning and groaning and Jesus invoking proselytisers from the incumbant OR we get a hot phone on constant re-dial to the Mormon hierarchy before the other one does ANYTHING.

AND Wall Street with a hot poker up both of their rumps.  (Not that they mind!)

I think with either administration, the official WH “cheap gift” to no-account visitors one step up from a tour group should be red white and blue lube rather than specially boxed M & Ms.

*****

It’s hard… 30 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
61 comments

The White House hasn’t had success brightening relations between the two countries. | AP Photo

It’s hard out there for a pretzel.  Especially one in the “brightening” business (who made up that line?!).

From the Politico article… firing on all engines it seems:

[“W]e have shown the limits of what carrots-only can do” as an approach, former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said Monday during an Aspen Institute forum in Washington. “In early 2010, under the energetic leadership of Richard Holbrooke, the United States put together a very large and comprehensive assistance program for Pakistan. … It turned out to be too much. Pakistan choked on some of it and didn’t believe the rest.”

Blair said the carrots the Obama team offered to Pakistan coincided with some progress — followed by substantial backsliding.  . . . .

Covers all the bases:   We tried for the ungrateful Pakis, but too hard… too many carrots no sticks.  We were too good for them!  Who knew.  Our man in Islamabad died from the effort but before he died, he was very energetic (what a fucking crock). 

We’re not believable – because we try too hard! – but we did manage to slap some sense into the renegade Pakis.  Then, somehow, it was all sloppy muddy at the top of the mountain and we slid back down to a ruined base camp.

Makes about as much sense as the quotes in the report.

**************

Options 25 November 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Moscow, NORCOM, Pakistan, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
83 comments

Don’t worry!  It can’t be the twilight of the American Empire, we still have options for war…. that table, the one reserved for war options, is loaded to the gills!!!  We never empty that table…

You want Northern War?  Southern War (always tasty! and a bonifide Reagan favorite!)?  War in the East?!  War in the West ???   Or, best for last… multidirectional war:   Iran and China!!

We have options.

****

Snicker Snax…. a second cartoon in the gallery also dealt with sabre rattling at China, employing a wicked satire of Slob.  YUM.

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