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Pause for the Claus 24 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, AFRICOM, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Pakistan, Panama, WAR!.


A man dressed as Santa Claus walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. US. stocks rose further on Monday [of Thanksgiving week] after data showed U.S. existing-home sales fell in October about in line with expectations, adding to earlier gains on the government’s $20 billion injection of new capital into Citigroup. [Reuters via The Independent]

Looks like top of the commercial line theatrical costume rental.. as well.  We don’t want any ratty old down at the edges childrens’ Santa for Wall St… oh nooo.

Surprised they did not slap Old Glory patches on his shoulders, as some on the trading floor wear on their jackets…


In the last thread…Madman had popped up the link to the Center for Constitutional Reform’s opposition to Warren…

From the close:

We understand that there will be compromises and decisions we won’t agree with in the coming years, and we will be right there challenging them. But to begin it all in this way, is a terrible signal to send to the people who worked day and night to elect President Obama. He should withdraw his invitation. At the very least, he should ask someone else to officiate as well, someone with decency and eloquence who can balance the presence of Rev. Warren. If the president is at a loss for ideas, allow us to suggest two women who could ably fit the bill: Bishop Katherine Jeffords Schori,  the presiding head of the Episcopal church who supports the ordination of gay ministers, and Susana Heschel, a feminist theologian and daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Jewish leader who worked hand in hand with Martin Luther King.

Let’s not start off on the wrong foot and hobble progress before we’ve even begun.

I was surprised what a strong statement it was… but of course Obama just points to Lowery and says that takes care of it.  Either of the two women clerics would have been an amazing, bracing, invigorating choice.

Change and forward motion,  written all over it,  Lowery there as benediction, a balm and blessing for safe passage (we need it).   Too much for Ob to handle, is my take.

Instead we get schlock.


Someone popped me this by email…  I think of it as Christmas future, for America, as we gift the earth with endless war, more than the various people of the world could think up or manage on their own…  I don’t hear us making any plans to stop.  Quite the opposite.

[A]nd when they benefit from the carnage no longer, their yellow ribbon patriotism and shallow concern fade quickly to apathy and indifference. The living refuse of war that returns are heroes no longer, but outcasts and derelicts, and burdens on the economy. The dead, they mythologize with memorials and speeches of past and future suffering and loss. Inspiring and prophetic words by those who sanction the slaughter to those who know nothing of sacrifice.

I used to try to explain war to help them understand and to know its horror, naively believing that war was a deficiency of information, understanding, discernment and vision. But being crazy has liberated me, allowing me to see that war is not a deficiency at all, but an excess of greed, ambition, intolerance and lust for power. And we are its instruments, the cannon fodder, expendable commodities in the ruthless pursuit of wealth, power, hegemony and empire.

And now, I accept and celebrate my unorthodoxy, my insanity, as an indictment of the hypocrites and the arrogant, of the ignorant and the narrow-minded for a collective responsibility and guilt for murder and mayhem, and crimes against humanity. And I offer my insanity as a presage of their future accountability – to humankind in the courts of history, and to the god they invoke so often to sanction and make credible their sacrilege of war.

Amen – to a secular prayer.



1. marisacat - 24 December 2008

Shocking but not so surprising:

A shocking four million New Yorkers are struggling to pay for groceries, according to a study by the Food Bank for New York City. And contrary to what your parents told you when you were younger, graduating from college won’t help you afford food. But having a well-paying job probably will, which you usually need the college degree for….

yeah well, we all know that is not necessarily true, and so does Clusterstock (embeddd links all thru the short article):

Gothamist: A report released Tuesday by the Food Bank for New York City has found that approximately four million New Yorkers—one in two—are having trouble paying for groceries, a 26 percent increase since the last survey in February.

The Hunger Experience 2008 Update also found that college degrees are increasingly useless protection against indigence; one out of every three (36 percent) NYC college graduates had difficulty affording needed food this year, up from 11 percent in 2003. Lucy Cabrera, the food bank’s president, says,

“The results of this report are devastating. These numbers should be a wake-up call for all New Yorkers.”

The Food Bank NYC sources and distributes food to the estimated 1.3 million New Yorkers who rely on emergency food.

At least New Yorkers, the 5 boroughs, have some access to a wide swath of services. Many rural communities do not.


BTW, have B16 on from Rome (Let us Pray!) and it is pointed out that an extra bit of merch he has on (really he rivals the catwalks in Paris), a pallium, signifies his jurisdiction over all Catholics. Oh I am sure he thinks over everyone. Why be mild about power… 😈

LOL Merry Christmas

2. marisacat - 25 December 2008

Don’t know if anyone else ran into reports on the horrid coal ash spill in Tennessee…a dam at a TVA plant gave way Monday. I woke today to a segment on the coal sludge that has slid thru a big swath of Eastern Tenn… and into the Emory River a tributary of the Tennessee River..

Anyway Amy had a very good segment on it today… and on “clean coal” which the Dems push. (And i just saw that NYT has caught up to the failed dam.)

AMY GOODMAN: Ann League is vice president of Save Our Cumberland Mountains. Your response? When we were in Denver at the Democratic National Convention, there were ads for clean coal everywhere.

ANN LEAGUE: It’s a myth. Clean coal is just a huge myth. It cannot be clean. It starts dirty from the extraction. As we see by what just happened in Harriman, it’s dirty after you burn it, also. They keep talking about clean coal and how they can clean it up after they burn it. Very few people talk about the extraction end of coal. If you could see the beautiful mountains of Appalachia being flattened and blown up day after day, you’d know that coal cannot be clean. There’s people who are losing their homes, whose drinking water has been polluted by the acid mine drainage coming off these huge mountaintop removal sites. There’s no such thing as clean coal. It can never be clean, as long as they’re blowing up our mountains and polluting our waterways with this coal sludge.

If you put scrubbers on these plants that go to clean coal technology, they’ll start burning dirtier and dirtier coal, and therefore, the sludge that they’re holding in these ponds is going to get more and more toxic, so the next accident we have like this where a pond gives way, what comes out of that is going to be even worse than what came out of the Harriman sludge pond.

Well… he and Chu have been handed a propaganda tool, depending on what it is that they want.

HA! From the NYT:

The Tennessee Valley Authority has issued no warnings about the potential chemical dangers of the spill, saying there was as yet no evidence of toxic substances. “Most of that material is inert,” said Gilbert Francis Jr., a spokesman for the authority. “It does have some heavy metals within it, but it’s not toxic or anything.”

Mr. Francis said contaminants in water samples taken near the spill site and at the intake for the town of Kingston, six miles downstream, were within acceptable levels.

3. bayprairie - 25 December 2008

noche buena ya’ll

4. BooHooHooMan - 25 December 2008

…Hi BHHM!….
I find
the infestation of anti-Semitic BHHM….
– Heather-Rose Ryan, Order of the Thistle wannabe

Wherein The Infestation
Deigns to Reply to the Honorable Lady::

{On Christ-a-mAs?!@?? – LOL. Sure, What the Hell?…}

Your exemplary but insufferably stupid dribble
about Magon de la Villehuchets “Honor” … – Rene, if you prefer–
Holy Bag the Order of the Garter
But Bury Me In An Elightenment Cathedral Jesus –
One swooning whiff of the gentleman’s bloody hanky, and you needed a feinting couch. LOL. Notions of “Honor”. GMAFB.

It is typical of your Bullshit.

Yeh, he Really threw himself on the oppressors sword there, with the sleeping pills and the boxcutters to his wrists, rather than sticking around, perhaps helping assemble the truth, testifying even. The guy effectively subbed out nearly the entirety
of funds in his charge, entrusted to HIM – HIS fiduciary Responsibility – to Madofff. Then, quite literally in Life, he went Sailing.

So much for Noblesse Oblige. How Honorable. And How very cliched, along with those tired Richualist epitaphs,
‘”enjoyed splitting his time between ..”.. and sailing. Gah.

Rene sailed. THAT’s the Epitaph.

You into Sailors? Fine.
You into tacking back and forth,
“enjoy splitting your time” between various blogs? Great.
What an Honor. So SAIL already.
Sail forth aboard your old scow bound in drydock.

But bag your pathetic appeal to authority and the recruitment of others for Portage
of. your. boat.
For it is a vessel so overburdened with Ancient Rock that it surely will scuttle the rebulding of anything – much less Temples – Anew.

.. {Sigh}

…So very much de-Gravitas, Heather, in your inverted Demi-Intellectual architecture. …your ill-placed NeoLiberal Archistrave, superceded only by your studied yet left unhewn block, your Classicist Frieze, and the capstone of Your Great Impediment,
your MOST UnEnlightened Thinking…
You wouldn’t know a Liberal header if it dropped on your noggin.

Strange, maybe I should get my “infestation” levels checked…LOL.
Here I wrote yet another piece without ever mentioning
THE J Word: Justice.
Damn! No matter.

I, for one, PREFER hearing about Lucid’s Colon. LOL.
Sorry for my own appeal to higher authority there.
{ BTW -Hope it’s okay, old chap….Pagan Holiday and all… }

Quite simply Heather, you’re a hobbyist.
A dabbler. A freelance Babel’r,
“splitting time between…” …various blogs, er – “projects”…

5. BooHooHooMan - 25 December 2008

{ cue Heathering variant on
“Judge not…” the Dead / Sheepish Lobitimization for the Living ..}

6. marisacat - 25 December 2008

Double oops on the Toussie pardon retraction. Clinton parsed “is”, seems Bushiters will parse “delivered”… but I just heard that BOTH Bush and Ob referenced Washington at the Delaware on Christmas day (back then), in their Greetings (now). So, we are safe as houses.

[E]xperts said Wednesday they knew of no other instance of a presidential pardon being revoked. Some analysts suggested Toussie might be able to challenge the reversal in court.

“I can’t think of another time that it’s happened for a presidential pardon,” said Margaret Love, who was the lead pardon attorney under President George H.W. Bush and for part of the Clinton administration. “It’s not clear to me that it’s as easy to do as all that.”

White House aides said that the pardon did not take effect until it was “delivered” to Toussie and that that had not happened when Bush changed course Wednesday. The definition of “delivered” was unclear.

More troubling, some analysts said, was that the pardon had been approved in the first place.

7. marisacat - 25 December 2008


I Told You So, Damn It

“After giving Bush a C- for his presidency, [Pat] Robertson said he’s “remarkably pleased with Obama.” Despite having “grave misgivings about him” earlier, Robertson said he now lauds Obama for picking a “middle-of-the road Cabinet.” “I’m very pleased so far,” he concluded.”

Posted by As’ad at 8:02 AM


8. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

Don’t you just love when flacks lie their asses off?

“Most of that material is inert,” said Gilbert Francis Jr., a spokesman for the authority. “It does have some heavy metals within it, but it’s not toxic or anything.”

FIRST HIT on Google, a gov’t report:


Disposal and/or any use of coal ash is becoming a major issue because of its potential to contaminate surface and groundwater with arsenic, boron, heavy metals, etc. Knowledge on the chemistry of fly ash is essential in developing a methodology that can predict release rate(s) and concentration(s) of chemical constituents of environmental concern (pollutants). Safe disposal of fly ash with respect to surface and groundwater protection depends on having the know-how to evaluate the potential of a given fly ash to release toxic pollutants.

Environmental Effects

Because fly ash contains toxic elements, disposal sites should be monitored for excessive buildup of heavy metals, salts and alkalinity. Potential heavy metal problems with power plant wastes are greatly reduced by the pronounced liming effects of the wastes. A problem that some consider an environmental issue is the movement of heavy metals from fly ash in ponds or landfills to drainage waters. Levels of heavy metals or metalloids, e.g., selenium, chromium, boron, and in some instances, mercury and barium, exceeded EPA’s public water supply
Passage of the leachates through soil columns removed most of the dissolved elements. Thus, passage of pond effluents through soil was found to provide significant protection against ground water contamination (Terman, 1978 and references therein). An important consideration is that soils that receive fly ash or ash disposal sites should always have the pH maintained at above 6 in order to keep most heavy metals immobile.

Of course, have a catastrophic failure of that pond, then all of that nastiness is dumped right into the ecosystem (and I’m not all that believing about just how good a job that leeching really does, and wouldn’t that process leave a more and more concentrated sludge behind?).

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008
10. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

It isn’t xmas until I’ve heard Fairytale of New York

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

Fly ash and a drunken xmas in moderation.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

EPA veils hazardous substances

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency routinely allows companies to keep new information about their chemicals secret, including compounds that have been shown to cause cancer and respiratory problems, the Journal Sentinel has found.

The newspaper examined more than 2,000 filings in the EPA’s registry of dangerous chemicals for the past three years. In more than half the cases, the EPA agreed to keep the chemical name a secret. In hundreds of other cases, it allowed the company filing the report to keep its name and address confidential.

This is despite a federal law calling for public notice of any new information through the EPA’s program monitoring chemicals that pose substantial risk. The whole idea of the program is to warn the public of newfound dangers.

The EPA’s rules are supposed to allow confidentiality only “under very limited circumstances.”

Legal experts and environmental advocates say the practice of “sanitizing,” or blacking out, this information not only strips vital information from the public, it violates the agency’s own law.

Section 14 of the Toxic Substances Control Act, the foundation for all the EPA’s toxic and chemical regulations, stipulates that chemical producers may not be granted confidentiality when it comes to health and safety data.

“The EPA has chosen to ignore that,” said Wendy Wagner, a law professor at the University of Texas-Austin.

13. marisacat - 25 December 2008

Sorry! Madman, two of yours out of moderation…

…………….. 😳 …………..

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

no prob!

The TVA statement just pissed me off.

I’m so jolly on xmas morning, ain’t I?


15. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008
16. marisacat - 25 December 2008


Oh my goodness.. I had not heard Pinter died. I will miss him. Aside from everything else he did .. I saw The Pumpkin Eater when it came out, as a child and can never forget it.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

Merry War on Christmas — The Religious Right Isn’t Going Anywhere


At a national meeting of the American Catholic bishops held shortly after the election, many declared there was no acceptable compromise on abortion and denounced the pro-choice views of President-elect Barack Obama. Some condemned Catholics who had argued it was morally acceptable to back Obama because he pledged to reduce abortion rates.

Focus on the Family has rolled out a new “Truth Project,” a religious and ideological indoctrination program that is currently touring the country targeting young people of “college age.” In addition to the usual fare of family issues and sexuality, the project aggressively promotes intelligent design. Analysis of current polling shows a slight trend toward tolerance among young, white evangelicals concerning some of the issues of the culture wars. While many pundits take that as a sure sign of change to come, the Religious Right is looking at the same data. And Focus on the Family and the millennially militant organization The Call, among many others, intend to aggressively contend for that demographic.

The Call is a national parachurch youth organization of growing significance. It actively campaigned for the anti-marriage-equality ballot initiative in California, culminating with a 10-hour election eve prayer rally headlined by James Dobson and Tony Perkins that attracted some 33,000 people. Speakers called for “martyrs” and predicted there would come a time when “we will have to risk our lives.” Dobson promoted the rally on his national radio show, and according to one report was, “Choking up as he said he felt the hand of God telling him to go. ‘The Lord must be involved in this,’ Dobson said.”

When significant leaders of the Religious Right such as Dobson say such things, it is important to take notice. If we view such events solely though the lens of the culture war — which is to say, narrowly framed disagreements over abortion and homosexuality, we risk the error of reductionism.

Can you imagine if an American imam said such a thing? There would be raids.

18. marisacat - 25 December 2008

well all this blither about ME suicide bombers and various insanities ascribed to extremist elements in the Islamic world. Geesh. I worry about the home grown version TOO.

I dunno, in the mess and mass of all that was reported and written about 9/11.. I never got the impression those 19 were all that religious. Rather the opposite.

19. Intermittent Bystander - 25 December 2008

To CSTAR, last thread – Merry merengue!

And huzzah for 10 above – the Pogues!

The boys of the NYPD choir, still singing Galway Bay . . .
And the bells are ringing out for Christmas Day.


The drunk tank may not be the jolliest place for Christmas, but at least the Santas sleeping it off probably won’t shoot up the joint.

Cripes suzette . . . for breakfast. Sigh.

Merry holly day, everybody!

::Festoons evergreen with extra popcorn and berries for squirrels, wild critters, and birds::

20. marisacat - 25 December 2008

hmm slowly ti is occurring to people that Madoff likely did not act alone, nor merely wth his family and two accounting firms…. AFP via TPM… they post the full text.

21. wu ming - 25 December 2008
22. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

Bob & Doug 12 Days of Christmas

In case Catnip is checking in!

23. mattes - 25 December 2008

#21, thanks for the link

It means if the two parties to a trade have yuan available, they need not enter world exchange markets to pay.

Most significant story today. The war on terror is going to look like child’s play, compared to the war on who controls the world currency.

I read somewhere that the super rich are unhappy they have no place to stash their lana. They demand safe harbor!!

24. marisacat - 25 December 2008

thanks wu ming…

think it is called “deep doo doo”

Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: “The US dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later.

“And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements.”

The Great American Stimulus is ALL based on printing money.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

Scrooged by the Democrats: Will the Rich Ever Pay Their Fair Share?

During the Democratic primary campaign, Barack Obama, along with all of his Democratic contenders, promised a swift repeal of these tax cuts. A rollback of tax cuts benefitting only corporations and the wealthiest individuals was supposed to provide the financing for Obama’s policy proposals, from education and health care to infrastructure and green energy. But by September, the Democratic nominee was already backpedaling on his pledge, and within three weeks of his election, Obama’s economic advisors confirmed that, after all, the new president might just let the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule in 2011, rather than eliminating them two years earlier. The decision is based on the premise that it is unwise—in economic as well as political terms—to raise taxes during a recession, since lower taxes stimulate the economy.

At the same time, New York’s Democratic governor David Patterson has refused to consider instituting a temporary “millionaire’s tax” to address his state’s desperate financial needs, choosing instead to slash vital social programs. Patterson claims that such a tax will drive businesses and wealthy individuals out of New York and further depress the economy. (This despite billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s declaration that among his rich friends, he’d “never heard one person say ‘I’m going to move out of the city because of taxes.’”)

Even the Bush Treasury Department’s analysis of the cost of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts “estimated that they would generate only enough economic growth to cover less than 10 percent of their long-term cost. Furthermore, that estimate was based on a best-case scenario; it depended on the assumption that the cost of the tax cuts would be fully offset by spending cuts.”

Likewise, on the state level, a recent study looked at a much stiffer “half-millionaire’s” tax that went into effect in New Jersey. While the study found a tiny increase in the “out migration” rate among wealthy residents, it detected no damage to the economy. In fact, it found that overall, the state’s tax revenue increased by $26 for every $1 lost.

Especially during a recession, if we put more money in the pockets of the rich, it is likely to stay right there—in their pockets. On the other hand, if we put more money in the hands of low- and middle-income workers through tax cuts, and in the hands of the poor and unemployed through increases in government programs (food stamps, TANF, unemployment benefits), that money is virtually guaranteed to go directly into the economy, since its recipients have no choice but to spend it on their basic needs—food, clothing, gasoline, doctor’s bills. A few of them might even be able to afford a room at the inn.

26. marisacat - 25 December 2008

At the same time, New York’s Democratic governor David Patterson has refused to consider instituting a temporary “millionaire’s tax” to address his state’s desperate financial needs, choosing instead to slash vital social programs. Patterson claims that such a tax will drive businesses and wealthy individuals out of New York and further depress the economy. (This despite billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s declaration that among his rich friends, he’d “never heard one person say ‘I’m going to move out of the city because of taxes.’”)

It reminds me of when Haley Barbour (boo hiss spit) of MS and Bredesen D governor of Tennesee (Yay! A Democratic beach head in the SOUTH !We are saved!) BOTH on the same cycle (iirc) slashed their state MedicAid rolls. And TENN-Care had been very very good. I had middle class and close to middle class relatives on it. Entirely income based.

And around the same time Rendell facilitated a 30 day (of non payment) shut off for non payment of utilities in PA. No matter the season. Ordinary people got caught as the thirty days was a hard deadline. Pretty quickly a little family burned to death. I only learned of it thru an hour on Cspan about hardening utilities rules across teh nation… with call in. Years ago now.

Paterson and Arnold are both cutting the same stuff.

27. marisacat - 25 December 2008


also this is the classic part of the election cycle when we get some truths. It was the same a few months following The Big Loss of 04. Some truths got told. But then quick as a wink from a corpse… everyone clams up, as we move to mid terms. we have about 5 months of truths ahead of us. Then Clam Time.

I hope in a year or two the American people manage to get it that we will have “saved” particular, named capitalists but that we don’t and never will have single payer health care. Only been off the table for decades. That the schools should be renamed for corporations. The Chevron School of Indoctrination, etc.

I just read that 586,000 went on the unemployment rolls last month. Up 30K from the previous month. How long can more than a half million be dumped out of work, every month? 6, 7, 8 million a year?

And so on. As trillions will have gone directly to thieves. No matter who is Pretzel.

28. mattes - 25 December 2008

Someone is getting the payoffs on all the trillions in credit default swaps. I say that anyone betting on mortgages that were not holding the paper, give back the money. It was illegal betting. A sideshow.

29. marisacat - 25 December 2008

AHEM! (unblocked Roll Call article)

With Democrats poised to take over the White House and assume even bigger majorities in Congress next year, the gay community and its legislative allies appear to have finally gotten their chance to push through some of their most pressing issues.

But key Democrats — even openly gay lawmakers — are quietly conceding to letting another two years go by before trying to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the controversial 1993 law banning openly gay people from serving in the military. Most fear that moving too quickly on such a divisive issue could backfire, and most would rather tread lightly, at least in the early months of President-elect Barack Obama’s administration.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both have said the time is right to revisit the policy that Powell, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, helped implement. But Pelosi, for one, refused to say whether she planned to bring legislation to the floor next year to overturn the law.

Powell said recently that “attitudes have changed” in the 15 years since the law was first installed. Congressional leaders have “an obligation to review the law” and ideally there will be “a very spirited review,” he said, adding, “I’m quite sure that’s what President-elect Obama will want to do.”

Asked to respond to Powell’s comments, Pelosi said last week, “I agree. I agree with Colin Powell.”

Democratic lawmakers regularly beg off questions about the contentious policy, arguing that other issues are far more important — such as winding down the war in Iraq or bolstering the economy. They also remember the political uproar when then-President Bill Clinton used the beginning of his presidency to try to overturn an outright ban on gays serving in the military. That effort tied his administration in knots in his first months in office, and Democrats fear a repeat performance.

[But we DO have a repeat performance, 16 years later! Same thing! AND it was a given this would happen! Same party! — Mcat]

Describing the military as “a unique institution,” Powell warned against reversing the policy until it can be fully reviewed by the Joint Chiefs, military commanders and the Defense secretary. He called on Obama to ask the Joint Chiefs to revisit the issue and make recommendations before making up his mind on how to proceed.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) last week said it could still be a few years before anything changes. [Quel NEWS! … M]

“It ought to be re-examined and it ought to be on the agenda, but it shouldn’t be very high on the agenda,” Levin said. “There are just too many other more important things to do.” … slapwafatwa…

Mais Oui! Levin who never disagreed with Sen Warner of VA on The Wars, The Terror… etc.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the first openly gay Member of Congress, also has signaled that overturning the military policy would have to wait. Frank and Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), also an openly gay lawmaker, are co-chairs of the recently formed House LGBT Equality Caucus. [Gate Keepers!]

Obama “has to set his path on Iraq first before he does gays in the military,” Frank said during a national LGBT Caucus meeting at the Democratic National Convention in August.

At the same event, Baldwin said she hoped for “further progress” on the issue, but highlighted other topics as priorities for the caucus, such as hate crimes and workplace discrimination legislation.

30. marisacat - 25 December 2008


Well they broke all kinds of consumer legislation. Truth in Lending Act, for one. For months and months and months out here (and I assume still) borrowers could nto even find their lender. The mortgages had been so bundled and sold. And sold. And sold.

Plus a lot fo the new home development of the past few years out here, is clearly built on unstable land, near old levees. One thing to graze cows on it, another to develop it for residential lots and so on.

31. marisacat - 25 December 2008

eartha kitt died.

Are we now to wait for No 3?

32. mattes - 25 December 2008

Madoff and the folly of blind faith

The other main focus of the press coverage has been the sheer enormity of this crime; from the US Attorney’s office complaint comes the $50 billion (at least, according to the complaint) total amount of the fraud here. Not only is this the greatest Ponzi scheme ever; it will likely go down as the greatest single financial fraud of all time – the subprime scandal may eventually tip the scales at around three or four trillion dollars, but that required a whole worldwide industry of crooked bankers, realtors, securitizers, rating agencies and appraisers to pull it off.


33. ms_xeno - 25 December 2008

We’re gonna’ be okay, Folks. Just looked at Kos (through no fault of my own) and Pluto’s Purge or whatever that dumb turd’s name is assures me that HE CAAAAAAAAAARES !!!

I am filled with holiday merriment. My colon thinks that it’s died and gone to Heaven. Or something.

[smooches all around]

Merry Merry ! 😀

34. ms_xeno - 25 December 2008

“HE” being the Golden Man, of course.

Anyone for Chinese food, this festive evening ?

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

“has to set his path on Iraq first before he does gays in the military,”

OH, he’s doing them alright.

36. marisacat - 25 December 2008


hug hug kiss kiss… and of course we are invited to tea at Sandringham (the younger gen of Royals are also into very bad hats, I see) and later we surely are invited to Christmas Day drinks and dessert at the Kailua Western [Almost Is[ WH.

Right? They CAAARE!


37. marisacat - 25 December 2008


I thought the wording was hilarious. Don’t let it get about that ObMan does gays. ooooooooooooooooooo

38. marisacat - 25 December 2008

I see Dexter Filkins has moved on to exhort the war on Afghanistan. TNH has him on from Kabul:

“We gotta do something and we gotta do it fast”.

I don’t know. I am calling for coitus bombus interruptus. For those who want to “do something”.

What a fucked mess.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2008

there is nothing to do in Afghanistan … why can’t anybody see that?

40. marisacat - 25 December 2008

I thnk they DO see it. This si war for war’s sake. And to maintain the geo political hold. As I see it. “Keep bombing, hit someone”.

Dexter, viewed a certain way, was hilarious. He also looked highly debauched. Just another stringer for war.

41. marisacat - 25 December 2008

You Tube of the coal ash spill…

42. marisacat - 25 December 2008

Francis is out there with more “nothing to see, move along” comments … CNN:

“We’re taking steps to stabilize runoff from this incident,” Francis said.

Although video from the scene shows dead fish on the banks of the tributary, he said that “in terms of toxicity, until an analysis comes in, you can’t call it toxic.”

One environmental attorney called that statement “irresponsible.” The ash that gives sludge its thick, pudding-like consistency in this case is known as fly ash, which results from the combustion of coal.

43. BooHooHooMan - 25 December 2008

What a true loss: Harold Pinter’s death.
Withering , His Art Truth and Politics.
{via Youtube, the 2005 Nobel Acceptance in its entirety}

In his Charlie Rose interview later, Pinter correctly asserted 9/11 as sequalae to a series of US Military atrocities since World War ll including our insistence on dominating the ME, using our pivotal alliance with Israel.

From the last lines of Pinter’s
Art Truth and Politics:

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimeter and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.

44. marisacat - 25 December 2008

Mastercard Spending Pulse reports… right thru Xmas eve shopping numbers:

Luxury goods down 35%

Electronics, off 27%

Clothing, off 20%

Online, across the board, down 2%


45. wu ming - 25 December 2008

2009 will be a very interesting year, no doubt. i have no idea if china will be able to make it through our collapse unscathed, but that announcement certainly looks like they’re going to make an attempt.

one of the things that typified the 1930s was the attempt to build autarkic economies or economic blocs. being cut off from the liberalized global economy of the 20s was a major reason why imperial japan went into manchuria in 31, to try and secure a big enough resource base.

these quiet decisions will have unpredictable fallout all over the globe. we will certainly see change, albeit probably not of the sort many people were expecting.

46. marisacat - 26 December 2008

nu thred………..


………… 🙄 ……………

47. BooHooHooMan - 26 December 2008

per 32 mattes / ATimes:.. likely go down as the greatest single financial fraud of all time …required a whole worldwide industry of crooked bankers, realtors, securitizers, rating agencies and appraisers to pull it off.

And, In the context of wu ming’s::::
China to allow freer yuan trades,

Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying: “The US dollar is unlikely to be stable next year and later.

“And the likelihood of the United States issuing more money in the near future adds to the depreciation risk in US-dollar-denominated assets and trade settlements.”

..It’s Wholly understandable as

Doubts grow on whether Madoff acted alone in fraud
:{ AFP via TPM…Good on ya, Josh}

As a probe intensifies into Bernard Madoff, doubts are growing on whether the now-infamous Wall Street investment manager could have committed a record fraud of 50 billion dollars on his own.
…But many members of the financial community are skeptical that Madoff could have single-handedly maintained accounts for the fictitious investment scheme involving tens of billions of dollars and a multitude of clients.
…”It’s a rather extensive scheme, an extensive fraud. It’s impossible for it to be a one- to five-person event.”

What utter Pillaging of the Coalition of the Unwilling.
Again, this goes to the exponential effect these operators have had on Global markets. The only thing that is clear is smoke has been laid down on huge financial troop movements, if you will, in the U.S..

What IS discernible is the linkage between this effective seizure of global markets and Official bipartisan cover here over the course of MANY Administrations, over MANY decades now.

It is an effective subsidy of US/Israeli led War Footing.

Let’s reflect at Year’s End here:: ..on that hyped vaporware , the ‘Peace” Dividend we were to expect in Iraq, allowing a “focus” on Afghanistan…Enough? Hardly.

So here’s a few ledes to consider as
Global Financial markets collapse under US and Israeli Pillage.

In addition to the 30K more US troops to GO to Afghanistan, The Army wants to RECRUIT 30,000 more…

Nice shell game. ..{entrendre enclosed}.

The Army needs to add at least 30,000 active-duty soldiers to its ranks to fulfill its responsibilities around the world without becoming stretched dangerously thin, senior Army officials warn.

Never a question that goes to the Premise:

…fulfill its responsibilities around the world without becoming stretched dangerously thin…

“Fulfill Responsibilities around the world”???
Says WHO? …
Let alone , specifically, WHERE these responsibilities LIE..
Let Alone WHY$$$????.. WHY we even consider them “OURS”??

So Ho-Hum, as reports say
Israel Moving Closer To Invading Gaza Again?
That Time of year is it? Morale Need a boost?
Zionist Coffers a little Low? Or simply a vacā from
the Mādoff Holidays that came, but haven’t quite went?

The Chinese are not stupid. Nor Putin. Or Chavez.
And rightly so, They couldn’t give a whit abut the tender Judeo/Christian “sensibilities” used to by our US/Israeli Gangsterism. Not EVREYBODY is Obby and Harrier jet.

They do however care about our ever encroaching War Machine, our focus now to keep “OUR” colonial India afloat, “our” play in South America and Africa too.. Does anyone really believe that other nations like Russia and China will Wait till , – ironically yet predictably- we further granulate those regions simultaneously destroying the interests of Beiiing and Moscow – competetive as they may be– and now, even a good chunk of various EU interests there too?

As a result of our actions, I think we are going to see a realignment of global interests the likes of which will make the murky Cold and Hot shooting Wars of the last 50 years look absolutely transparent. Plan to travel abroad? Ya better not confuse that welcome mat with a postage stamp.

No they see it clearly. That the further we get away from World War ll, the political capital to justify our poise of Israel in the ME fades. That the further we get away from Viet Nam and the early Oil Crisis of the latter 60’s and and the Embargo in the early 70’s, the subsequent Revolution in Iran that deposed Pahlavi, our Butcher, the Shah — that we would become more desperate in our reach.

Yes, they do see it clearly. They do now at least-
after wisely protecting their near term interests,
they took the venture capital flowers from our cheap date
but never really bought our line.
China particularly , HAS control- real physical control over Western manufacturing Investments made in their country over the last decades…Good for them I say.

So Cheney met with Mossad Girl Livni recently.
And Mossad Girl has an Election coming…

Forget Bernie in New York – Gaza for New Years.anyone?

And The Jive on Mumbai is well under way as
The White house has a new busboy working the tables quite well doin the Christmas Dinner with the Troops thing in Hawhy….
Foreign creditors just came looking
for their dough a little early, that’s all.
…….. Pretty clear what’s up………….

Mattes and wu ming make similar points between the War Of Terror and the Financial Terror in the markets against what I call the Coalition of the Unwilling.

Wu Ming sums the elusive Hoped for Change the best:

we will certainly see change, albeit probably not of the sort many people were expecting.

48. wu ming - 26 December 2008

it is worth remembering that none of these countries works as a single player, but are made up of contested, debating, opposed and fractious populaces, interests and political/economic elites. an appreciated yuan helps some and hurts some, and while some might agree with this move, others no doubt will oppose it.

same as the old gold/silver standard battles in the 19th century.

the murkiness of alliances goes all the way down. welcome to a multipolar world.

49. marisacat - 26 December 2008

nu thred………..


………… 🙄 ……………

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