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New team please… Please?! 18 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.


Appropriately an old pic from The Onion, that I landed on and used back in the Palin era…. 😉

Catching Nouriel Roubini on some business / stock show on PBS, saying what too many, across the board, say, moves from pretzel are too small, too spread out, move too slow… and … etc.

In Cali, we languish with no budget… it almost is not news.  We have passed so many “deadlines”, been assured so many times that at 6PM, 10PM, tomorrow am, later in the afternoon, it will be achieved.  They, the Sacto gang, have been photographed with pillows, toothbrushes in hand, sleeping bags… all but a snuggle toy for the midnight snooze.

Latest word, another attempted vote at 10PM tonight, and the legislators are under lock down in the Capitol Bldg. unable to leave.  Worse, as of a few days ago… the damn thing is worded to require a voter ratification.  In May, now they say.

Mother of Gawdddddd.

Further, supposedly ‘no budget’ risks our varying amounts from the DC boondoggle handout.  Which might be 26 billion, 39.5 (I really want that big .5 added on!) OR 42 billion, depending on the hour of the day.

I doubt we can be trusted with the money.

Kansas yesterday got a state budget out… but we, sans Toto, languish.  I am voting Wicked Witch of the West to be governor.  Red Queen to be Speaker of the Assembly in Sacto.  This is not a feminist manifesto, anyone who can get it done.  Those mythic figures just popped into my head.

Anyone who can get it done.

The Bank of England is to start ‘printing’ new money for the first time in 30 years as it runs out of options to kick-start the economy. The Governor of the Bank of England will write to the Chancellor within days to get permission for the unprecedented action.

On the FP of the Independent… as we continue to live in “unprecedented” times.  So they tell us……….

Last from the Flasher Coast, they still might vote at 10PM tonight!  News at 11PM…


From the tag end of the last thread, a comment from Madman:

Blue Dogs: The Democrats Who Love Big Business

The Blue Dogs were founded in 1995 in the wake of the GOP takeover of the House, but they didn’t get much attention until the Democrats took it back in 2006. If you read any of the post-election coverage, it was the freshmen Blue Dogs like Pennsylvania’s Chris Carney and North Carolina’s Heath Shuler who had upset high-profile Republicans who were the MVPs of the cycle and the party’s new voice. Leaders of the House Pack? the Philadelphia Inquirer asked in a headline, Blue Dogs Could Point Way for Democrats.

Their star turn extended through much of the 110th Congress, as caucus members flexed their muscles on their signature issue: fiscal discipline. They pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to adopt “pay-go” rules, which required all new expenditures (except, notably, those for the war) to be offset by tax increases or corresponding spending cuts. Their outsize influence frustrated progressive activists who viewed their support for the Iraq occupation and expanded government surveillance powers and their opposition to “net neutrality” as obstacles to fulfilling the progressive promise of the new Congress. The website Open Left labeled the group “Bush Dogs” and began documenting the ways they enabled right-wing legislation.

“Remember, you don’t get to choose your politics,” Cooper told me when I visited his office one morning in December. “The voters choose you. All Blue Dogs and our predecessors were trying to do is reach people who don’t read The Nation…. Why have people been begging to be Blue Dogs? Because it’s a brand of Democrats people in the heartland can trust. It partly means fiscal conservatism and it partly means we’re not going to rubber-stamp the rest of the [party] agenda.”

In the 110th Congress, the Blue Dogs’ clout made a kind of sense. The caucus was larger than the Democrats’ margin, which meant they were the proverbial swing voter — and fawned over as a result. But in the 111th Congress, the Democrats’ margin is big enough to pass legislation without a single Republican or Blue Dog vote. On top of that, the severity of the economic crisis has moved the center of debate decidedly away from the Blue Dogs’ cardinal issue of fiscal austerity. There’s a broad consensus among economists that we need to run large short-term deficits to avoid levels of unemployment and misery we haven’t seen in seventy years. So you’d think the Blue Dogs would have as central a role in today’s debate as pacifists did in the months after 9/11.

But not so. The Blue Dogs continue to wield influence. Before the stimulus could be brought to the floor, the House had to approve emergency orders to expedite the process. The Blue Dogs balked and threatened to rebel until the White House sent a letter to several House committee chairs reaffirming its commitment to return to pay-go budgeting after the stimulus is passed. In the end, half the caucus voted against the leadership anyway. The week after the stimulus passed the House, Blue Dog co-chair Stephanie Herseth Sandlin sent an open letter to Pelosi and House majority leader Steny Hoyer expressing the caucus’s support for efforts by Senate Republicans and conservative Democrats to cut approximately $100 billion from the package — including money for things like school construction, rural broadband and early childhood programs. “We believe that’s a highly worthwhile goal,” they wrote.

Meanwhile, the media remain obsessed. As Talking Points Memo’s Elana Schor recently noted, press mentions of the Blue Dogs outnumbered mentions of the Progressive Caucus by nearly ten to one between mid-October and mid-January. This despite the Progressive Caucus being larger and having far more members in the leadership.



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

The Bloo Dogs get so much coverage b/c they serve the needs of the multinationals that own the media.


2. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Boll Weevils/Dixie Biz Wing finally let go of Vietnam… broke the logjam, from some tellings of it.

I cannot stand them, frankly. Don’t like La Nan and sure don’t like that fucked xtian ex athlete, Shuler from Asheville who is set up to oppose La Nan.

May they all bite each other to death.

3. marisacat - 18 February 2009

And the worms continue to turn… on the worm. gah.

You’re Outta Here

02.18.09 — 7:48PM
By Josh Marshall

Durbin gives Burris the old heave-ho …

4. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Via BBC- UBS pays $780m to settle tax case

UBS has agreed to pay $780m (£549m) to the US government to settle allegations that it defrauded US tax authorities, the Justice Department has said.

In an unprecedented move, the Swiss banking giant has also agreed to hand over the identities and account information of certain US clients.

Always the “unprecedented move”. Big deal, a billion in fines on how many billions lost? And those tax cheats names? Headed to the DOJ, to the Criminal Division headed by AAG Lanny Breuer. One of the New York Lanny, Manny,and Larry’s in Robert Rubin’s circle now calling the shots at DOJ while Holder parks their fuckin cars.

5. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Obama’s Justice Department – Where Investigations Die.

6. catnip - 18 February 2009

I wrote something, finally. Hail to Their Chief?

7. diane - 18 February 2009

oops sorry marisa, should’ve hit the refresh button, reposting this from the older thread:

……just a thought re Cali’s woes…..it’s easy to ignore (likely deliberately) the woes – job loss, impossible rents, pitiful health care, foreclosures, poverty crime – of millions ……which surely foretell a coming collapse, when the extreme economic and physical wellbeing of an obscenely wealthy handful is the denominator, and the masses are the numerator, in determining per capita well being….likely it’s so in all of the highest Gross Domestic Product states……I try to check out the Sly Con Valley Murky Biz news from time to time, since Cali is so powerful..and it was vomit worthy that not long ago at all…..all was well for anyone not a slacker….even while one of their…long time reporters committed suicide by stabbing himself in the gut…yes,…his job,……most certainly did seem a factor….from what I read………Things have been seriously fucked up across the US since before the dot com boom…but one certainly don’t see much of that around the net since so many “big time” bloggers are not in the economic class that has been loosing their fucking shirts for so long…most folks cannot blog while they’re at work…unlike so many upper management types, say at places like huffpo and the citrus factory…

Not to worry, IT will save the day at the Singularity Institute…….we can just see all the jobs created…yes we can………………

8. diane - 18 February 2009

link for the Singularity Institute

fucking psychopaths………

9. catnip - 18 February 2009

Lawrence Summers is a very sickly looking man.

10. diane - 18 February 2009


work, brood, sleep
work, brood, sleep
work, brood, sleep
work, brood, sleep
work, brood, sleep
drink, brood, sleep
drink, brood, sleep
work brood sleep……..

gnight all! ;0(

11. catnip - 18 February 2009

ND House Passes Abortion Ban

North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a bill effectively outlawing abortion.

The House voted 51-41 this afternoon to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of any person.

That means a fetus could not be legally aborted without the procedure being considered murder.

Minot Republican Dan Ruby has sponsored other bills banning abortion in previous legislative sessions – all of which failed.

He also sponsored today’s bill and says it is compatable with Roe versus Wade – the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

(Rep. Dan Ruby, -R- Minot) “This is the exact language that’s required by Roe vs. Wade. It stipulated that before a challenge can be made, we have to identify when life begins, and that’s what this does.” VO CONTINUES But Minot Democrat Kari Conrad says the bill will land North Dakota in court, trying to defend the constitutionality of a law that goes against the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

(Rep. Kari Conrad, -D- Minot) “People who presented this bill, were very clear that they intended to challenge Roe versus Wade. So they intend to put the state of North Dakota into court defending Roe vs. Wade”

The bill now goes to the North Dakota Senate.

12. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Great piece , catnip, re Obama’s visit to Canada.

Top form:


So, unless Obama shows up here on Thursday and announces that he’s immediately releasing Omar Khadr (WHO WAS A CHILD SOLDIER AND HAS BEEN ROTTING IN GITMO FOR YEARS, MR PRESIDENT) you’ll just have to excuse me for not giving a crap about what will surely be a very politically correct and non-threatening to the status quo visit.

That this man – who constantly reminds people that he owes his current status as the first African-American president to people who were much braver than it appears he’ll ever be wiling to be about human and civil rights – should be greeted as the next great hope for the (rightly crumbling) American empire (and, thusly, Canada and the rest of the world) in a fashion equal to the joy felt by children at Xmas time is utterly inappropriate.

Quite the opposite, in fact.


13. catnip - 18 February 2009
14. marisacat - 19 February 2009

gah. Charlie has first Summers. Can’t he be refrigerated for the length of the ObamaRama Parteh?

But then he also has Roubini… ugh and the ubiquitous Zandi of Moody’s who is all over it seems. He is chatting up the Obrama housing stim quite enthusiastically. THAT alone means it is a mess.

15. CSTAR - 19 February 2009

12. Strategic hamlets, I’m sure that’s the fix.

16. catnip - 19 February 2009

Just re-reading some 2002 Gore Vidal that I found bookmarked…

As it proved, the conquest of Afghanistan had nothing to do with Osama. He was simply a pretext for replacing the Taliban with a relatively stable government that would allow Union Oil of California to lay its pipeline for the profit of, among others, the Cheney-Bush junta.

Background? All right. The headquarters of Unocal are, as might be expected, in Texas. In December 1997, Taliban representatives were invited to Sugarland, Texas.[18] At that time, Unocal had already begun training Afghan men in pipeline construction, with US government approval. BBC News, (4 December 1997) [19]: `A spokesman for the company Unocal said the Taliban were expected to spend several days at the company’s [Texas] headquarters . . . a BBC regional correspondent says the proposal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan is part of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea.’ The Inter Press Service (IPS) reported [20]: `some Western businesses are warming up to the Taliban despite the movement’s institutionalisation of terror, massacres, abductions and impoverishment.’ CNN (6 October 1996): `The United States wants good ties [with the Taliban] but can’t openly seek them while women are being oppressed.’

The Taliban, rather better organised than rumoured, hired for PR one Leila Helms, a niece of Richard Helms, former director of the CIA. In October 1996, the Frankfurter Rundschau reported that Unocal `has been given the go-ahead from the new holders of power in Kabul to build a pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan . . .’ This was a real coup for Unocal as well as other candidates for pipelines, including Condoleezza’s old employer Chevron. Although the Taliban was already notorious for its imaginative crimes against the human race, the Wall Street Journal, scenting big bucks, fearlessly announced: `Like them or not, the Taliban are the players most capable of achieving peace in Afghanistan at this moment in history.’ The New York Times (26 May 1997) leapt aboard the pipeline juggernaut. `The Clinton administration has taken the view that a Taliban victory would act as counterweight to Iran . . . and would offer the possibility of new trade routes that could weaken Russian and Iranian influence in the region.’

But by 1999, it was clear that the Taliban could not provide the security we would need to protect our fragile pipelines. The arrival of Osama as warrior for Allah on the scene refocused, as it were, the bidding. New alliances were now being made. The Bush administration soon buys the idea of an invasion of Afghanistan, Frederick Starr, head of the Central Asia Institute at Johns Hopkins University, wrote in the Washington Post (19 December 2000) [21]: `The US has quietly begun to align itself with those in the Russian government calling for military action against Afghanistan and has toyed with the idea of a new raid to wipe out Osama bin Laden.’

It never ends…around and around it goes. Just step over the dead bodies.

17. marisacat - 19 February 2009

HA! The Onion

A majority of African-Americans surveyed in a nationwide poll this week reported feeling “deeply disturbed” and “more than a little weirded out” by all the white people now smiling at them.

First witnessed shortly after President Obama’s historic victory, the open and cheerful smiling has only continued in recent months, leaving members of the black community completely unnerved.

“On behalf of black people across this nation, I would like to say to our white brethren, ‘Please stop looking at us like that,'” said Brown University psychology professor Dr. Stanley Carsons. “We’re excited Barack is president, too, and we’re glad you’re happy for us. But giving us the thumbs up for no reason, or saying hello whenever we walk by, is really starting to freak us out.”

Added Carsons, “We just want to be able to stand in line at Home Depot without getting patted on the back.”

18. marisacat - 19 February 2009

I am very worried! All these talking heads are using the ‘legs of the stool’ analogy. Check the plan for termites is my thought.

BTW, I had not been to the Onion in some time… they do horrorscopes. What a hoot!

Gemini May 21 – Jun 21

This week be sure to pray to St. Harold, the Patron Saint of Falling Down The Basement Stairs, Shattering Both Your Hips, And Laying Paralyzed Until Someone Gets Home.

19. marisacat - 19 February 2009

oh god.. Nouriel says:

“this administration is doing a little more than the last…”

deadly phrase.

20. marisacat - 19 February 2009

ugh. Why can’t George Will just drop dead. viz GW this past weekend in some slamfest over gobal warming…

Tiny Revolution.

[H]ere’s a funny story of Noam Chomsky’s from the book Understanding Power about a column Will wrote in 1982:

CHOMSKY: [A] few years ago George Will wrote a column in Newsweek called “Mideast Truth and Falsehood,” about how peace activists are lying about the Middle East, everything they say is a lie. And in the article, there was one statement that had a vague relation to fact: he said that Sadat had refused to deal with Israel until 1977.

So I wrote them a letter, the kind of letter you write to Newsweek—you know, four lines—in which I said, “Will has one statement of fact, it’s false; Sadat made a peace offer in 1971, and Israel and the United States turned it down.”

Well, a couple days later I got a call from a research editor who checks facts for the Newsweek “Letters” column. She said: “We’re kind of interested in your letter, where did you get those facts?” So I told her, “Well, they’re published in Newsweek, on February 8, 1971”—which is true, because it was a big proposal, it just happened to go down the memory hole in the United States because it was the wrong story. So she looked it up and called me back, and said, “Yeah, you’re right, we found it there; okay, we’ll run your letter.” An hour later she called again and said, “Gee, I’m sorry, but we can’t run the letter.” I said, “What’s the problem?” She said, “Well, the editor mentioned it to Will and he’s having a tantrum; they decided they can’t run it.” Well, okay. ….

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 February 2009

18 – journalistic “ethics” at work.

22. marisacat - 19 February 2009

6:33 am… we have a budget. Sort of…. they are still voting on it, section by section.

23. marisacat - 19 February 2009

hmm seems the week I was mouseless stuff happened in the “fix entitlements” business. And business it is, with appointed fixer ObRama in place. Black Agenda Report, they link to a Feb 14 WSJ article…. They also link back to FDL, who ferreted out the Brookings Inst seminal report (for progressive sell-outs, with which we are surrounded) on entitlements.

IF, and that is a big IF, FDL does take up a strong stand against WH Bloo Dog, Business, etc “fixing entitlements”, that would be good. Surely no sign that TPM, who made some bones on opposing Bushiter plans, will do it this go round.

The definitive “liberal” plan for “fixing” Social Security is a Brookings Institution document from 2003 titled “Saving Social Security: The Diamond-Orzag Plan. The good people at FireDogLake.com have offered the following excerpt therefrom, along with a link to the original.

“Since Painful Choices Must Be Made, a Key Question Is, Which Ones?

“The Social Security deficit can be eliminated only through different combinations of politically painful choices: tax increases and benefit reductions. Unfortunately, too many analysts and politicians have ignored this reality, responding to the painful alternatives by embracing “free lunch” approaches.

“Our plan makes the painful choices that are necessary—selecting a combination of benefit and revenue changes to restore long-term balance. In doing so, it focuses on three areas which contribute to the actuarial imbalance: improvements in life expectancy, increases in earnings inequality, and the burden of the legacy debt from Social Security’s early history.

“Workers who are 55 or older will experience no change in their benefits from those scheduled under current law. For younger workers with average earnings, our proposal involves a gradual reduction in benefits from those scheduled under current law. For example, the reduction in benefits for a 45-year old average earner is less than 1 percent; for a 35-year-old, less than 5 percent; and for a 25-year-old, less than 9 percent. Reductions are smaller for lower earners, and larger for higher ones.”

24. marisacat - 19 February 2009

From the WSJ article BAR links to:

[S]peaking Friday to business leaders at the White House, the president defended the surge of spending in the stimulus plan, but he made sure to add: “It’s important for us to think in the midterm and long term. And over that midterm and long term, we’re going to have to have fiscal discipline. We are not going to be able to perpetually finance the levels of debt that the federal government is currently carrying.” […]

[T]he president met with 44 fiscally conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats this week and gave a nod to legislation that would set up commissions to deal with long-term deficit strains. The commissions would then present plans to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

“We feel like we’ve found a partner in the White House,” said Rep. Charlie Melancon (D., La.), a Blue Dog co-chairman. …

IIRC Melancon is a real dog. Can’t remember all the stories now.

Love it, so classic America. The people should bear the burden. God forfend we scale back our real core business, WAR.

25. marisacat - 19 February 2009

via The Page (no embedded links)

Nearly 5 Million Receiving Unemployment Benefits

Those receiving unemployment benefits jumps to an all-time high Thursday while new jobless claims remain well above 600,000.

Plus: Inflation at the wholesale level surges unexpectedly in January, reflecting sharply higher prices for gasoline and other energy products.

Come now was INFLATION so unexpected? Get real.

26. perishedcore - 19 February 2009

lurkin, lurkin, lurkin….

Just becuz….

11. catnip – 18 February 2009

ND House Passes Abortion Ban

North Dakota’s House of Representatives has passed a bill effectively outlawing abortion.

The House voted 51-41 this afternoon to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of any person.

That means a fetus could not be legally aborted without the procedure being considered murder.

Well, since many fertilized eggs never attach to the uterine wall and so slide down the chute to freedom unattached and single, this by extrapolation requires that every woman’s menstrual flow must be thoroughly examined for stowaways riding the rapids. Then, what to do when the scurrilous, but precious, life form is caught?

Contrary wise, one way to get around the blastocyst as aborted fetus condition is to perform extrauterine capture and mandate (fully funded by fundies of course) that they receive full resuscitation efforts, regardless of the cause of the abortion (failure to implant, failure to grow, spontaneous abortion, chemical or mechanical extraction, etc.). I can see a Fox reality show in the works: Fetus SWAT: Bad blastocysts, bad blastocysts, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

27. marisacat - 19 February 2009

oops BHHM and catnip out of spam…

very sorry!

28. catnip - 19 February 2009

oops BHHM and catnip out of spam…

very sorry!

No problem. We were having fun in there.

29. catnip - 19 February 2009

ACLU Lawsuit Contends Pa. Man Free to Choose Hell

And who wouldn’t want to move to New Jersey? 😀

30. catnip - 19 February 2009

Don’t they look comfy together? lol

31. catnip - 19 February 2009


Obamalama: “Well, it is a great pleasure to be here in Iowa…in Ottawa.”


32. BooHooHooMan - 19 February 2009

oops BHHM and catnip out of spam…

very sorry! -mcat

No problem. We were having fun in there. -catnip

Well, I certainly hope my comment remained appropriate throughout the…the..the…

There weren’t cigarettes involved, were there?

33. catnip - 19 February 2009

There weren’t cigarettes involved, were there?

You expect me to reveal state secrets?

34. BooHooHooMan - 19 February 2009

Well THAT’s good. – God knows what can become of two comments in WordPress moderation- but I do think we should be prepared to coordinate message control via email and maybe a secret website.
No. one. has. to. know.

35. marisacat - 19 February 2009

I also saw a pic earlier, of him in a cosy sit down with the Governor General…

I am sure they will all get along just fine. Old home week.

36. marisacat - 19 February 2009

HA! Taking a thought from lurker appearing at comment 26.. I think I better start thinking of a bail monies savings acct. In case anyone gets arrested in Mod or Spam.

You never know.

37. catnip - 19 February 2009

34. but I do think we should be prepared to coordinate message control via email

Well, I do prefer smoke signals but…whoops…I’ve already said too much.

38. marisacat - 19 February 2009

Getting out now… via schnauzers at The Corner (The Campaign Spot actually):

All Things Considered, the Spokesman Wasn’t the Problem

Sen. Roland Burris’s spokesman has resigned, citing a desire to return to a “newly formed strategic communications business.”

39. catnip - 19 February 2009

38. rats leaving a sinking ship…pics at 11

40. BooHooHooMan - 19 February 2009

Well, there’s SOME good news…

Not everybody wants their people killing or getting killed
for the discredited, Fraud Nation we are

Mute response to US Nato troop call

At a two-day meeting of Nato defence ministers in Poland, Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, said the US was ready to raise its troop levels in the country, but said “there clearly will be expectations that the allies must do more”.

But his plea met with a limited response from European allies after only a few announced plans to send hundreds, not thousands, more troops.

France said it had no plans to send additional forces.

‘Little to contribute’

The UK, which has the second largest force in Afghanistan, said it had made no decision on whether to send more troops.

John Hutton, the British defence secretary, said it was up to other Nato countries to step up their commitments first.

LOL. YOU first. Here, YOU can have our seat , CHEAP.
UPFRONT, at the next Obama Rally.

Germany, which confirmed a pledge of 600 more soldiers that it first made earlier in the year, rejected calls by Gates for troops from Nato’s Response Force (NRF) to be deployed to Afghanistan.

“The NRF should not be used as a reserve,” Franz Josef Jung, the German defence minister, said. “The NRF has fundamentally different tasks.”

Italy has said it will send 500 more troops by April.

Crispian Cuss, a military analyst and former British army officer, told Al Jazeera: “Seventy per cent of European forces can’t even operate beyond their own boundaries … there is very little they can contribute.”

41. marisacat - 19 February 2009

LOL. YOU first. Here, YOU can have our seat , CHEAP.
UPFRONT, at the next Obama Rally.

Free mechanical clapper included in the deal.

42. mattes - 19 February 2009


Music to my ears: Mitchell expresses support for Palestinian unity government


One issue Karmaf:


43. marisacat - 19 February 2009

merry xmas…

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Dow Closes at Its Lowest Level in More Than Six Years [4:09 p.m. ET]

44. aemd - 19 February 2009

Great post by Billmon, over at the Big O, on the economic mess. Amazing summary of the situation to date and a very, very good read.

Chocolate Covered Cotton

45. BooHooHooMan - 19 February 2009

LOL. Idiot. Burris ‘welcomes’ Blagojevich contacts probe

Enter the Tithe-Tubbies: Black pastors to ask Burris to resign

Both ledes offered on MSNBC. LOL.

What a delightful clusterfuck!

46. catnip - 19 February 2009

The atheist bus ads are coming to Calgary and the Islamic Supreme Council plans to run rival ads. (The Christians obviously slacked off in this one.)

Oh, and speaking of unholy things, hell hath frozen over: Alberta’s officially in a recession. (At least this time they can’t blame it on the Liberals like they did – and have – since the 80s.)

Things get ugly here when there are deficits. None of this “stimulus package” stuff. Just (more) tax cuts for the oil bigwigs and social spending cuts. The last time around, the premier blew up a hospital.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 February 2009
48. NYCO - 19 February 2009
49. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 February 2009

Medea Benjamin: Once You See What Truly Happened in Gaza, it Will Change You Forever

When I traveled to Gaza last week, everywhere I went, a photo haunted me. I saw it in a brochure called “Gaza will not die” that Hamas gives out to visitors at the border crossing. A poster-sized version was posted outside a makeshift memorial at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. And now that I am back home, the image comes to me when I look at children playing in the park, when I glance at the school across the street, when I go to sleep at night.

It is a photo of a young Palestinian girl who is literally buried alive in the rubble from a bomb blast, with just her head protruding from the ruins. Her eyes are closed, her mouth partially open, as if she were in a deep sleep. Dried blood covers her lips, her cheeks, her hair. Someone with a glove is reaching down to touch her forehead, showing one final gesture of kindness in the midst of such inhumanity.

What was this little girl’s name, I wonder. How old was she? Was she sleeping when the bomb hit her home? Did she die a quick death or a slow, agonizing one? Where are her parents, her siblings? How are they faring?

Of the 1,330 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military during the 22-day invasion of Gaza, 437 were children. Let me repeat that: 437 children — each as beautiful and precious as our own.

As a Jew, an American and a mother, I felt compelled to witness, firsthand, what my people and my taxdollars had done during this invasion. Visiting Gaza filled me with unbearable sadness. Unlike the primitive weapons of Hamas, the Israelis had so many sophisticated ways to murder, maim and destroy-unmanned drones, F-16s dropping “smart bombs” that miss, Apache helicopters launching missiles, tanks firing from the ground, ships shelling Gaza from the sea. So many horrific weapons stamped with Made in the USA. While Hamas’ attacks on Israeli villages are deplorable, Israel’s disproportionate response is unconscionable, with 1,330 Palestinians dead vs. 13 Israelis.

The Israeli election was in full swing while was I visiting Gaza. As I looked out on the ruins of schools, playgrounds, homes, mosques and clinics, I recalled the words of Benjamin Netanyahu, “No matter how strong the blows that Hamas received from Israel, it’s not enough.” As I talked to distraught mothers whose children were on life support in a bombed hospital, I thought of the “moderate” woman in the race, Tzipi Livni, who vowed that she would not negotiate with Hamas, insisted that “terror must be fought with force and lots of force” and warned that “if by ending the operation we have yet to achieve deterrence, we will continue until they get the message.”

“The message,” I can report, has been received. It is a message that Israel is run by war criminals, that the lives of Palestinians mean nothing to them. Even more chilling is the pro-war message sent by the Israeli people with their votes for Netanyahu, Livni and anti-Arab racist Avigdor Lieberman.

How tragic that nation born out of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust has become a nation that supports the slaughter of Palestinians.

50. diane - 19 February 2009

Not that I think, that homeowners who couldn’t pay the mortgage are responsible for our economic crisis (this, likely rings truer: ….It wasn’t your overdue Mortgage ), but one of a multitude of reasons I would imagine families might buy homes that severely stretch their wallet:

Four die in suspicious NY fire; others jump to safety

”…..A woman and 3 of her children have died in a Long Island, N.Y., apartment building fire believed to have been arson.

Eight people jumped from second-flood windows and survived.

The owner of the building is being cited for failing to obtain a permit before removing the fire escape.

The blaze was so fierce that it damaged an adjoining building, displacing about 20 people…..”

The US Government, that great arbiter of Moral Authority, abetted by way too US citizens, have cultivated such overt, and covert contempt for those middle and lower income persons who rent, that many will indeed take on an impossibly overpriced house to escape that contempt…the vast majority of them will also work as hard ….(at work most Banker’s and Senate members would consider inhumane if they were forced to “labor” that way themselves), …..and as many hours ….as they possibly can ….to pay the mortgage.

And while on the housing subject,…what can you say about Jamie Dimon, but what vile slime:

….But he [Dimon] took a tough attitude towards home owners behind on their payments:

“I don’t think just because someone’s underwater they say I don’t have to stay there. But they’re supposed to pay the mortgage, and we should teach the American people, you’re supposed to meet your obligations, not run from them….”

(hat tip to Glenn Greenwald’s piece: The Face of Shrillness, and interesting that CNBC chose not to include that Dimon quote above in a more detailed interview synopsis (don’t know if it’s snipped from the video also, didn’t watch it),….mebbe they got a call from Geithner)

51. marisacat - 19 February 2009

Madman out os Moderation… sorry!

52. marisacat - 19 February 2009


I see that the msnbc article names one pastor.. Ira Acree of Greater St John Bible Baptist… etc. Yeah I remember him, looked him up before.. he also comes out of the Rainbow Push org… and is one that trailed in to offer whatever to Blago in that strange holding period.

i particularly remember that one, as it is the one with a “ministry” that serves to protect the pastor and his family.

Armor Bearer Ministry

The mission of the armor bearer ministry is to render immediate assistance to the Pastor and ensure the safety of the Pastor and his family.

Director: Cy Mitchell

By now, over the years, I have been thru way too many ministry sites. It does nto inspire anything to be frank… just my take.. Find succor where one must, is about all I can say.

53. marisacat - 19 February 2009

ugh I think Charlie Rose has dropped transcripts… they used to be, for the time they were available linked on the same page as the individual video of a show. Along with comments.

I went looking as a winger site is quoting a R house member as saying if they win back in 2010 they will cancel Stim Bill. (Meanwhile a lot of them are praising individual projects at home that will benefit, so classic)…

”I would like to say tonight that if the American people will let the Republicans back in charge, the 60% of this bill that won’t be spent until after the next election, we’ll cut it off and let it go to the Americans.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Hannity Show
February 19, 2009

The change we’ve been looking for.

Now here is a great idea…

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) says that Republicans will cancel the Spendulus bill that extends for the next several years if the GOP is voted back into power in 2010. …

BUT his main issue, too little money up front in a crisis, is one that Nouriel Roubini made very clearly last night on Rose.

gah. No transcript.

54. CSTAR - 19 February 2009

Talk about “gah”. Nikkei and HangSeng off > 2%

55. marisacat - 19 February 2009

I cannot think why Nikkei and Hang Seng should drop. ObRama wore the US Flag pin attached to his winter OVERCOAT, while in Canada.

Geesh, can’t the Asian markets get wtih the program. FFS.

56. marisacat - 19 February 2009

Trolling thru the big news sites.. I see that Stanford was found by the FBI but not arrested.

Be sure and steal big when you do.

57. NYCee - 19 February 2009

Hey hey hey… long time no… you know. Hey!

Mickey “the Chin” Gigante!

I just watched Mickey Rourke in profile, sittin an talkin with Tavis Smiley… and his chin is just gigantic beyond beyond, like a half loaf of peasant bread (glazed with egg before baking?) glued to where his real chin is hiding… Oh lawdy…

He humbly spoke of how he’d broken trust with Hollywood A listers after his deBOXle, but I have to say, there are precious few roles for Cher now either, and this is after having proven herself a damn good actress, and no trust broken on her part, but… that was pre plastic surgery jamboree. She was great in Mask, now she IS a mask. It is all you see. That does not engender calls from Central Casting. Yeah, she’s older, and there is that, but the parts narrow, they dont ALL fall off a cliff.

I loved the way Mickey looked before… perfect as his natural self, perfect for many a role, too, with his natural ways. He was great in Pope of Greenwich Village (as was Eric Roberts) but then, themz wuz the dayz.

And would actresses, women with perfectly lovely gawd-given lips, please stop curling the top lip into an upward tilt, after first stuffing a pillow in it? Meg Ryan, et al.

This plastic surgery overdrive is getting very depressing. I saw a short doc on how nose bobs are all the rage in Iran these days. A somebody in their film business said you simply cannot find an Iranian actress (A list, perhaps) who can play roles that call for historical parts, the look that lasted the ages… that is, until they got bitten by Doctor 90210 fever… and so many of them have. Even the guys. They walk around with pretty nose bandages, flaunting their rhinoplasty, even before theyve had it done!

Interesting Parallel Note on the original, Vincent the Chin Gigante

As a young teenager he idolized and wanted to mirror the life of actor Marlon Brando after seeing the film On the Waterfront. He earned the nickname “The Chin” from his boyhood moniker given to him by his mother who gave him the nickname “Vincenzo” and from a problem that arose in his boxing career where he would lose consciousness when punched in the chin.

Hmm… maybe Mickey idolized Vincent. In any case, one thing is clear from both stories — give up something for boxing, and you’ve signed your sad looney man warrant. (Didnt Mickey used to wander the streets, muttering, in a bathrobe, too? Or maybe that was a boxing robe.)

58. NYCee - 19 February 2009


Quoi?! Tu ne l’aimez pas notre president terrible? Catnipastophe, madame, Catnipastrophe!!!

I hear he rates 80% popularity amongst you star struck Canucks. Well, not YOU, obviously.

Quel dommage.

(He does cut a lovely figure. Succumb!)

59. marisacat - 19 February 2009

nu thred………


…………… 8) ……………..

60. marisacat - 19 February 2009

hey hey NYCee…

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