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Oh I don’t know… 9 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, AFRICOM, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. Senate, UK, WAR!.
93 comments

reidclawback

.

Oh I don’t know.. it just looked like an appropriate pic… :roll:

Riding at the top of the online NYT

[A]merican investors are ditching foreign ventures and bringing their dollars home, entrusting them to the supposed bedrock safety of United States government bonds. And China continues to buy staggering quantities of American debt.

These actions are lifting the value of the dollar and providing the Obama administration with a crucial infusion of financing as it directs trillions of dollars toward rescuing banks and stimulating the economy, enabling the government to pay for these efforts without lifting interest rates.

Of course there has to be the lining in the cloud that is not silver..

[A]nd yet in a global economy crippled by a lack of confidence and capital, with lending and investment mechanisms dysfunctional from Milan to Manila, the tilt of money toward the United States appears to be exacerbating the crisis elsewhere.

“Virtually all of the low-income countries are in very serious trouble,” said Eswar Prasad, a former official at the International Monetary Fund and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the liberal-leaning research organization in Washington.

He went on: “This is the third wave of the financial crisis. Low-income countries are getting hit very hard. The flow of private capital to the emerging market has dried up.”

Private money invested in so-called emerging countries plunged from $928 billion in 2007 to $466 billion last year and is likely to fall to $165 billion this year, according to the Institute of International Finance.  …

Starve them til we and others are there to plunder the resources…

“The fact that we can still borrow at lower interest rates is saving us from much more severe adjustments,” Mr. Rogoff said. “We’re really still staring down an abyss.”

Seems an awful lot of abyss, more than enough to go around..

***

Somehow related, I spied a headline in the UK papers that whatshisname of Virgin Mega Everything now also wants to be a high street bank. 

Can’t the big frantic boys ever fucking nap?

Masters of our incredibly shrinking universe. 8 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
81 comments

liebermannelsoncollinsspector

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., talk about the Senate’s work to pass the economic stimulus bill in the face of strong GOP opposition. [AP]

Yes… don’t miss the guy on the left, who, forever it seems, lives to fight another day.   I say, the Gang of 14, from the old filibuster fights, still rules.

If it matters, this is the article that accompanied the photo, with some bits and pieces of the debris…

In other infinitely cheerier news, Kissinger, in Munich to receive an award for his “outstanding leadership in the cause of peace”… (no, really!) praised Obama.  Sounds like he said some version of With Obama As Our Global Rep, We Shall Overcome.

Irony is not dead and cannot die, it is literally all over the place.  We trip over it on the way to the exits…

***

Not a fan of the editorial page, nor the opinion columns, at the NYT but I did laugh out loud reading Gail Collins… too funny.  I would suspect the Op/Ed pages are feeling renewed vigor after the Daschle debacle.

I wanted them to work together on global warming, not on cutting money for Head Start out of the stimulus.

And Obama feels your pain. He always said the bipartisan path was going to be rocky, but this week the going was so rough that the great trailer-tractor of stimulus blew out several tires on the shoals of post-partisanism.

It was embarrassing — the President of the United States held White House negotiations with people who had already announced that they had no intention of voting for his bill. He let minority-party subleaders lecture him about what’s wrong with redistribution of wealth. He had a bipartisan Super Bowl party!

But he still wound up cooling his heels, waiting for word from the newly hatched moderate caucus on what would happen next. This is the group that was led by Susan Collins of Maine. In November, we apparently elected Collins and her fellow Maine Republican, Olympia Snowe, to help run the country. And you wasted all that time thinking about Joe Biden.

Tho as it turned out, it seems Snowe and Voinovich walked out… oh well!, stiff upper something and carry on…

Protest 3 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Greece, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate, UK, Viva La Revolucion!.
86 comments

Three people were injured Monday when Greek riot police officers clashed with hundreds of farmers from the southern island of Crete who sailed to the Greek mainland and tried to drive tractors and other farm vehicles to the capital to push demands for financial aid. [Orestis Panagiotou/European Pressphoto Agency]

this from an emailer (full text)... a quick snapshot of global protest… a couple I had not heard of, Guadeloupe for one… Madagascar I had not gotten around to reading about, but had followed (in a sense) thru photos in the media.

In terms of the UK protests, Lenin has had some troubling posts.  It seems that right wing, nationalist issues are making use of the times.   My stars!  What a shock!

FACTBOX-Global financial crisis sparks unrest

02 Feb 2009 12:17:59 GMT

FACTBOX-Global financial crisis sparks unrest

(Reuters) – Here are some details of protests and developments as a result of the global financial crisis:

* FRANCE — Hundreds of thousands of strikers marched in French cities on Thursday to demand pay rises and job protection. Some protesters clashed with police, but no major violence was reported. — The one-day strike failed to paralyse the country and support from private sector workers appeared limited. Labour leaders hailed the action, which marked the first time France’s eight union federations had joined forces against the government since President Nicolas Sarkozy took office in 2007.

* RUSSIA — Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Moscow and the far east port of Vladivostok on Saturday in a national day of protests over hardships caused by the financial crisis. On Sunday hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow called for Russia’s leaders to resign. — Street rallies were held in almost every major city over the weekend. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party also drew thousands to rallies in support of government anti-crisis measures. — About 100 protesters were arrested in Vladivostok last month during protests against hikes in second hand car import duties aimed at protecting jobs in the domestic car industry.

* MADAGASCAR — More than 100 people were killed in civil unrest in Madagascar last week, according to the U.S. ambassador. Police previously confirmed 44 deaths, with most of those in a store burned during looting when an anti-government protest degenerated into violence. — The mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, galvanised popular frustrations to spearhead demonstrations and strikes against President Marc Ravalomanana’s government. The violence came amid an oil and minerals exploration boom in Madagascar.

* ICELAND — Parties forming a new coalition for the crisis-hit island decided on Sunday its new prime minister will be former Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. — Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned last week after a series of protests, some of which had turned violent. He was the first leader to fall as a direct result of the credit crunch. — The collapse of the country’s fast-expanding banks under a weight of debt forced the country to take a $10 billion IMF-led rescue package and sparked widespread anger.

* DAVOS — Hundreds of people rallied in Geneva and Davos on Saturday to protest against the World Economic Forum, saying the elite gathered for its annual meeting are not qualified to fix the world’s problems. — In Geneva, where the WEF has its headquarters, police in riot gear fired teargas and water canon to disperse a crowd.

* BRITAIN — Up to 900 contractors at the Sellafield nuclear plant walked off the job on Monday, joining hundreds of other contract workers who have gone on strike in recent days over the use of foreign labourers as recession bites. — Thousands of energy workers staged walkouts on Friday, two days after contractors at a refinery owned by France’s Total began protests at the award of a construction contract to Italian firm IREM. Unions say it has brought in workers from Italy and Portugal and deprived Britons of work.

* GREECE — Greek farmers removed roadblocks last week which caused 11 days of travel chaos across the country as they protested against low prices. They kept their blockade on Bulgaria’s border and central Greece. — High youth unemployment was a main driver for rioting in Greece in December, initially sparked by the police shooting of a youth in an Athens neighbourhood. The protests forced a government reshuffle.

* GUADELOUPE — France sent a minister to the Caribbean island on Sunday for talks aimed at ending a 13-day general strike over pay and prices that has paralysed the French territory. — An alliance of 47 unions and local bodies launched their protest on Jan. 20 over the cost of living. They have drawn up a list of 146 demands including a 200 euro ($257) increase in the minimum salary, a freeze on rents and a cut in taxes and food prices. Island authorities have rejected the demands.

* BULGARIA — Hundreds of Bulgarians demanded economic and social reforms in the face of a global slowdown in anti-government rallies last month, calling on the Socialist-led government to act or step down. — Earlier in January, hundreds of protesters clashed with police, smashed windows and damaged cars in Sofia when a rally against corruption and slow reforms in the face of the economic crisis turned into a riot.

* LATVIA — A 10,000-strong protest in Latvia on Jan. 16 descended into a riot, with protesters trying to storm parliament before going on the rampage. Government steps to cut wages, as part of an austerity plan to win international aid, have angered people.

* LITHUANIA — Also on Jan. 16, police fired teargas to disperse demonstrators who pelted parliament with stones in protest at government cuts in social spending to offset an economic slowdown. Police said 80 people were detained and 20 injured. — Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said the violence would not stop an austerity plan launched after a slide in output and revenues.

***

And… this was so drearily predictable:

[E]very four or eight years a new president arrives in town, declares his determination to cleanse a dirty process and invariably winds up trying to reconcile the clear ideals of electioneering with the muddy business of governing. Mr. Obama on his first day in office imposed perhaps the toughest ethics rules of any president in modern times, and since then he and his advisers have been trying to explain why they do not cover this case or that case.

The language, however, was always more sweeping than the specifics. He spoke of refusing campaign money from lobbyists but took it from the people who hired them. The ethics plan he outlined, and eventually imposed on his administration, did not ban all lobbyists outright but set conditions for their employment and did not cover many who were lobbyists in everything but name.

“This is a big problem for Obama, especially because it was such a major, major promise,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “He harped on it, time after time, and he created a sense of expectation around the country. This is exactly why people are skeptical of politicians, because change we can believe in is not the same thing as business as usual.”

Several Democrats, including some who have advised Mr. Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for delivering such an uncompromising message as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.

In the campaign, Mr. Obama assailed Washington’s “entire culture” in which “our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.” He vowed to “close the revolving door” and “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.”

It is so sands thru the hourglass, days of our lives utter drooly tripe…  Or as a friend of mine hilariously (and perhaps not originally) dubbed it, As the World Squirms.

Go for it Golden Man.

Marie Cocco :

[D]aschle isn’t indispensable. But he is indefensible.

Not many Americans manage to underpay their taxes by the whopping sums Daschle overlooked. The $140,000 he paid in January to satisfy the taxes and interest is nearly triple the median household income. That is, the median income of $50,233 reported by the Census Bureau before the layoffs, pay cuts, reduced hours and other hardships of the current economic crisis burdened average families. The free use of a chauffeured limousine provided by a business associate who happens to be a big Democratic donor — the source of the unreported income at the root of Daschle’s tax troubles — is a joy ride to political hell. I hope Daschle enjoyed it.

Some Democratic senators have rallied to defend their former leader. The demonstration merely reinforces the narrative that the rules can be bent by, and for, a member of their club.

This is all uncomfortably reminiscent of the Bush administration’s abhorrent interpretation of what constitutes proper ethics. Perhaps no laws have been broken — but since when is that the standard for holding high public office?

When Vice President Joe Biden said during the presidential campaign that it is a patriotic duty to pay taxes, I agreed. So did most of us who believe in the ability of government to better Americans’ lives. But we also believe this responsibility is to be born by plumbers and power brokers alike.

If Daschle and the Senate Democrats still believe this, they have their own duty: It is to end this sorry spectacle now.

I’ll be petty, at the least (because the Boys and Girls Club of the senate will still likely confirm his sorry ass) he needs to take off the effete glasses frames.  It, on top of everything else, is irritating the hell out of me.

Dick Polman:

[T]he Democratic-run Senate Finance Committee, in a report on Daschle released Friday, included this gem of a sentence: “Senator Daschle told staff that in June 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable, and disclosed the arrangement to his accountant.”

Something made him wake up…Well, it’s not hard to determine what that something was. On June 3, 2008, Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. That same week, Daschle told the press that he was “interested” in being “helpful” to an Obama administration on the health care issue. Translation: With his dream of an influential Obama post becoming more real by the day, with his ambitions on the line, he suddenly developed religion about the tax laws.

Reportedly, however, he didn’t share his new-found religion with the Obama transition team until mid-December, after he was tapped for the HHS job; only then did he share the news about the car-and-driver matter.

The result today, of course, is that he has badly embarrassed Obama. The new president has set a high bar on ethics and accountability, yet here’s another prominent Cabinet nominee (with baggage worse than Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner) who can’t seem to hurdle it.

On the other hand, it was Obama’s decision to nominate Daschle in the first place; presumably, he knew all along that this guy was a classic Beltway animal. Scads of lawmakers have left Capitol Hill and promptly cashed in on their connections and expertise by signing up with the deep-pocket companies that they once regulated. Daschle epitomizes that traditional Washington two-step. He has taken in roughly $5.3 million in the last two years alone – including $300,000 from health-care companies that he would have to regulate if he is confirmed as HHS secretary. And he was savvy enough to elude the strictures that are imposed by lobbyists, because, while he has been giving “policy advice” to private sector clients, he has never registered as a lobbyist.

Will Daschle be confirmed? A Senate Democratic spokesman said yes, citing Daschle’s “long and distinguished career and record in public service.” Translation: Daschle is a member in good standing of the Senate club, and it’s hard to imagine that club members will sandbag one of their own, for the behavior that they too would indulge in the private sector if given the chance.

Obama has signaled that he is sticking with Daschle. No doubt Daschle believes that the president is sincere. Last June, Daschle offered this praise for his patron: “Those who accomplish the most are those who don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. Barack is a pragmatist.”  [that was borrring drivel months ago, now it is just SUSPECT  - Mcat]

Daschle, demonstrably less than perfect, appears to be reading Obama correctly.

Let me shorten that:  hack reads hack.  IF Obama had believed any of his stump drool, he would withdraw the Daschle nom.

NOR will we be getting any sort of decent health care… nor, as Schumer let drop on Rose last night, is that upper most in the pols minds… no!…it’s all about “Health IT” which is putting medical records online to accommodate the insurance companies.  They can then DENY MORE.

***

Works for me!

+ CitizenFarmer I’m a fan of this user permalink

If he keeps him, I’m planning to cheat on my taxes a bit. As a farmer, I have some cash income from a road-side stand where my kids sell some tomatoes, sweet corn, jam, etc. I also sell one or two steer a year that the people pay cash for; then they pay the butcher for processing. The IRS does not need to know about either any more. Daschel and Geither have a lot more money than me. I think I’ll just take the savings on tax as my personal stimulus package.

Carry on!

Just a thread… ;) 27 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
86 comments

zz

… this will probably defy the automated links… ;)

Whoops!  I forgot!  I DID have something to add… just taken ‘as is’ from the Greg Sargent blog at Wapo:

The Plum Line Greg Sargent’s blog

Source: Obama Asks House Dems To Drop Second Liberal Priority To Make GOP Happy

It appears that President Obama has asked House Dem leaders to jettison another provision sought by liberals from the stimulus bill as a way of placating Republicans.

As I noted below, anonymous House Dem staffers told Politico that Nancy Pelosi and the House Dem leadership were dropping from the bill the so-called “cram downs,” which give judges the power to renegotiate mortgages on terms that are better suited to homeowners who are in trouble. House liberals wanted this, and it was unclear why the leadership had done this.

I’ve just confirmed from a senior House Dem aide that the House leadership did this at the behest of Obama aides, who asked the leadership to chuck the provision. This is the second such move: It comes after the news this morning that Obama had personally appealed to Pelosi to drop family planning funds for low-income people from stim package — also to placate Republicans.

“The Obama camp said, `Don’t do it in the stimulus, we’ll do it in another bill,’” the aide told me, referring to the cram downs. “He thinks it’s controversial with Republicans.”

“Now Obama can say he’s trying to show a good faith effort with Republicans,” the aide continued. “He’s reaching out a hand to them, they keep slapping at it.”

Asked for confirmation, Pelosi spokesperson Brendan Daly would only say: “The Speaker has said that [the cram down measure] is a priority for her and for the caucus. We will work to pass it soon, whether in another vehicle or in a stand alone bill.”

One quick question about the politics here: Do Obama aides actually believe such gestures will win over Republicans? Perhaps, but it’s also possible that such measures are all about laying the groundwork in advance to blame GOPers and paint them as partisan obstructionists if and when most of them vote against the stim package, which they appear likely to do, no matter how many concessions Obama grants.

Posted by Greg Sargent | 01/27/2009, 04:10 PM EST | Categories: House Dem leadership, economy, stimulus package

Oh sorry! I find that last to be salesmanship. Laying the groundwork to blame the R.  Woo hoo Sure!

Yeah right. I am very mindful that Obster, at the Harvard Law Review, elevated the baby Federalists.

Go for it pretzel.

North Louisiana? And really why should Baton Rouge have all the fun… 26 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Russ Feingold, WAR!.
106 comments

zz

Not that it matters.  Just slowly starting off touring the political sites.  Not that it matters… [sigh] but I landed at this first.. at The Page:


Curtain Rises on the Blago Trial

Illinois’ Senate will open the state’s first-ever impeachment trial Monday, as Gov. Blagojevich continues his media blitz.

Set to appear Monday on “Good Morning America,”” The View” and “Larry King Live.”

Told the “Today” show that his trial is “rigged” and “fixed,” and that he draws comfort by thinking of Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King.

Watch video here.

Not that it matters, as we all know Obama is from Honolulu and Jakarta.  As I began the silly online perambulations, TV helpfully assisted with telling the Blago stories… with a cut from Daley being asked about Blago.  His only answer was to “cuck coo” a few times.  He does it well.  Which might mean something.  I guess.

Feingold has a nice idea (that I don’t see a bi partisan push back from governors going for) that out of cycle empty senate seats must be resolved by election, but hahahahahaha it barely scratches the surface of our political problems.

As for the rest, catching MTP on a repeat, Summers is surely on the right track, this was nearly the first out of his mouth.

DR. SUMMERS:  I’m telling him he’s inherited an extraordinarily difficult situation:  the worst economy since the second World War, a financial system that’s got very serious problems, government budget deficits he’s inheriting of a trillion dollars, an entitlement situation that’s three times the burden that it was in the year 2000. He’s inheriting an extraordinarily difficult situation in the domestic economy, in the global economy; the kind of situation that requires the types of decisive action he’s been working with Congress to produce.

Wars?  Anyone care to mention the wars?  The COST of the wars?

Oh look!  Beyonce is serenading the Prom King and Queen… Look over there!  At last… at last…

Things are in bad shape.

I do wonder what is to become of us.

What a saga… 22 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Democrats, Divertissements, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate.
105 comments

zz

A story of updates… Gothamist and Gawker Gothamist updated for hours...

UPDATE 11:24 p.m.: It’s the NY dailies versus the Associated Press: The AP spoke to a source (one who is not “authorized to speak for Kennedy”) who “says she has renewed her determination to win appointment to the U.S. Senate seat once held by her slain uncle, Sen. Bobby Kennedy.” Basically Uncle Ted’s seizure only gave her “misgivings” but the source seems to think she’s still going for it. Are Cuomo, Gillibrand, Maloney et al. hoping the AP has it wrong?

Please, Caroline, go home.  No matter the reason.

The Post‘s original, cryptic scoop offered no rationale for Kennedy’s withdrawal. Then, a person “told of [Kennedy's] decision” told the Times Kennedy chalked the move up to her worries about Sen. Ted Kennedy’s ill health.

People immediately started calling bullshit. Ted Kennedy has been on deathwatch since before the start of Kennedy’s non-bid bid for senate. Now she’s worried?

What a story.  The whole thing, not just the squibble of fiction dribbled out at the end..

NYT (who, I see, went with a photo from December of CKS at the Gee Whiz diner, so appropriate):

Mrs. Clinton resigned from the Senate on Wednesday, immediately after being sworn in as secretary of state. The governor has said privately and publicly that he would like to select a woman to succeed her, noting that if he were to choose a man, the number of female senators would drop to just 16.

So, Gillibrand moves up?  And Maloney?  (Not as if I know… I just guess from 2,700 + miles away.)  I feel like I am at a table of donated items at the Goodwill, or the St Vincent de Paul.  Charity.  How miserable it all is.

***

In other news, not unrelated… Tapper on with Charlie.. saying, when asked about the relationship of Team Obama (don’t get too close and ask about Gawd there, Charlie!) to the media..

Well some of us try to report from our feet rather than our knees.

Local Democratic aligned talk radio is bitching, as I flip it on at 1:18 am to see what is up, that Hannity refers to Obster as “the Messiah”.  ”How dare he”.  And “it’s just plain wrong”.

Then quit with crafting that bullshit… it seems simple to me.

Good luck to all.

I think sucker fish are looking pretty good for the senate… 5 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
73 comments

81853156KO002_Balloon_Lumpf

July 9, 2008: Some fish really suck: Here, Balloon lumpfish (Eumicrotremus pacificus) cling to a balloon at the Epson Shinagawa Aqua Stadium in Tokyo. Ventral sucker disks allow the deep-sea fish to cling to rocks. [Getty Images]

They seem to know who’s who and what’s what (balloon fish cling to … balloon!) and they certainly appear to be intelligently scrutinising the sitch (they can run the CIA TOO!). Works for me!

And, I suspect they are agnostic, unlike the mass of the authoritarians in charge, from one admin to the next..

hmm

Last I heard Burris was running around brandishing a letter from 60 black ministers… and he himself was quoted sometime yesterday that his selection was “ordained by god”.

Hardly different from Miss Caroline who, if pushed, might admit hers is ordained by Bloomie.  That culprit was last seen running around hospitals in Ashdod and Ashkelon. Accompanied by his personal storm trooper.  Wonder who he found to visit.

Reid and Durbin certainly put in wretched performances yesterday, worthy of being rejected – and, one wishes, enough to warrant ejection!  If only!

The whole thing reeks to low heaven and demands choreography by Busby Berkeley.  Try to ignore the massing of the bloodied bodies, ongoing but mostly out of view… on a red draped stage…

From In Gaza blog:

[T]he Israeli army occupied areas in the north, shelled houses, demolishing them, many injuries, dead, many off-limits to the ambulances.

Beit Hanoun is occupied by the Israeli army, which is now controlling the entry points to the northern region, cutting it off.  One small, sub-par hospital without an ICU is staggering under the influx of injured from house demolitions, shellings, shootings… Two ambulances serve this region, I don’t have any information on their condition, the amount of petrol they have, or what areas of the Beit Hanoun region are accessible or not.

Entering via an ambulance to take an emergency case to Gaza’s Shifa hospital, I see the Beit Hanoun hospital crammed,  with a frenzied air, families desperate to get their injured care…those who have been able to get to the hospital.  Mohammed Sultan, 19, stands dazed with a gunshot graze to the back of his head.  From Salateen, northwestern Gaza, he had to walk 1 km before a car could reach him and take him here.

The man we transfer to Shifa has been shot in the face.  He is about 35, is a civilian, was in or near his house.  His face has exploded, and we move as fast as possible over torn up roads, ambulance jarring as we move and as the medics try to administer delicate care.  It’s on everyone’s mind that the army is present here, that our safety is not.

Beit Lahia and beyond, in the northwest, are mostly off-limits to ambulances, leaving the wounded and dead where they are.  The calls from there for help, for evacuation, have been non-stop and now go ignored.

In Zaytoun, reports have one extended family being separated men from women, locked inside two houses, and the houses shelled a day later (this morning, around 11 am).  Bodies are still being pulled and carted to Shifa hospital.  Many estimate that as many as 20 were killed, 10s more injured.  I will go to Shifa after this to try to confirm numbers, though again the disclaimer that confirmation in these conditions takes time (and working phone lines).  Zaytoun area is occupied in parts, making ambulance access again nearly-impossible, if not fully, I don’t know at this point.  …snip…

I say, take us back! 16 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. Senate, UK.
133 comments

zz

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh sit on golden thrones [Picture: PA]

Don’t they look ripe for Christmas tree ornaments?   More than they already have? ?

If we are for dynasties (and over and over we are, witness Biden putting a seat warmer in in DE to save it for Beau) then I say, I will pay the tax on the tea… sans representation! ain’t got none now! —  in exchange for the NHS.  Maligned as it is in our press and by Master Sully (does his mother know he is out of short pants, I wonder?).

NHS vs Caroline? Are you kidding? Fake democracy? Inherited seats?  Is it, the NYS junior senate seat, for celeb Democratic women?  Is the junior seat for Illinois for machine pols?  Is il papa homosesual?  LOL.

[this is a joke]

Street action… 13 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Spain, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
73 comments

zz

Meanwhile, further north in the town of Gijón, employees of a shipyard took to the streets in protest over threatened job losses [REUTERS]

A few days ago workers in Spain took to the streets to protest job lay-offs, about 1,600 jobs at a Nissan plant and to protest job losses at a shipyard, Gijon… Homemade rockets.  Ok!  These people do not fool around.  The photos from Telegraph UK

^^^^

This is riding at the top of Clusterstock, from Henry Blodget…  the dust bunnies sheltering in place in this house are stiffer, with greater intestinal fortitude, than the Democratic congressional pack.

Weak:

Republicans are putting their feet down and refusing to throw another $50 billion into Detroit’s black hole. Democrats, meanwhile, don’t think they have the votes to ram the bailout home.

Has Bailout Nation finally drawn a line in the sand? We’re on the edge of our seats.

Even I, who thinks the Democrats are still nearly dead (but multiplying, it’s a mutation), did not quite buy it (this is Blodget after all) but then this extract he links to in the WSJ:

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said he knew of no Republicans who would support the Democrats’ $25 billion proposal and said he was disinclined to move a bill without bipartisan support.

“I’d want to be careful about bringing up a proposition that might fail,” given that a rescue plan would likely fare better under a President-elect Barack Obama administration, Sen. Dodd (D., Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There’s some political considerations that need to be made over the next few days.”

eh.  Things will be better in the 111th no doubt…

zz

…and, frankly, speaking from the peanut gallery, I think Detroit car business, their lending business, all of it, should be forced into business bankruptcy, reorganisation.

I so enjoy reading the news and seeing (hearing, frankly) GE giggling at the sheer cash coming their way.

From today:

Today feels like one of the quieter days in awhile. The market has been trading with in a relatively narrow range, but GE and Citigroup are sticking out like a sore thumb. Citi, which got headlines for breaking $10 yesterday is now struggling to hang on to $9, down about 9% today.  And GE, which just last night got some help from the FDIC is off another 8%, falling below $15.

Somehow or other, it gets wearing… and if one wishes to hold on to the morning’s bran flakes, don’t think about Jack Welch.  Or his face.  He may not be in charge today, but all those years… not worth thinking about  — ’til The Bail Outs.

And, I am begging for better spin… I just cannot believe that Ob & co would consider Hillary for State.  Please, better spin.  I am begging.

There is good news: seems Stevens, Uncle Ted who wore a Hulk Hogan tie, is going down.  Hail Senator Begich. With luck, Franken keeps finding votes and Chambliss loses his run off in Georgia.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Control of the US Senate hangs in the balance with three races still too close to call. Democrats picked up six seats on November 4th, building up a commanding advantage to currently control fifty-seven Senate seats to forty for the Republicans. But three key races—in Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia—are still not certain, and they could open the door to a filibuster-proof, sixty-seat “supermajority” for the Democrats.

In Georgia, incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss fell short of winning the 50 percent of the vote required for election under Georgia law. He faces a runoff against former Democratic state legislator Jim Martin on December 2nd.

In Alaska, Senator Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, leads former Anchorage mayor, Democrat Mark Begich, by just over 3,000 votes, with about 30 percent of the ballots remaining to be counted. Stevens faces potential expulsion proceedings after his conviction last month of seven felonies connected to lies on financial disclosure forms. A final vote count is expected next Wednesday.

And in Minnesota, the race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is the closest in the country. As of Monday, Coleman leads Franken by a razor-thin 206 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast. When certified, the result will lead to an automatic recount, which state law says is triggered if the margin of victory is less than half of one percent.

Anything to reach the ‘no excuses’ congressional numbers.  Then, their only out is to claim to be the Three Blind Mice.  And Moe, Curly and whoever the other one was….

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UPDATE, 12:24 am Friday…

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Tea Fire in Montecito hills: Witnesses watch a home burn burn in the hills above Montecito, Calif.  November 13, 2008 [Phil Klein - Assocated Press via LAT]

For a few hours, a couple, they were calling it a brush fire.  Not quite.  800 acres as of an hour ago, over a hundred homes or structures… a comment left at a TV news site said the gas lines were exploding… along with other things, the usual, the cars and propane tanks.  A hot, fast moving fire, the kind that lashes a range of land to a post and just whips away.  We got thru October, thru Hallowe’en, without a fire to mark it..  Some years we seem to be an exploding Jack-o-Lantern.

Several fire departments were battling the flames as thick plumes of smoke hovered overhead.

“It looked like lava coming down a volcano,” Leslie Hollis Lopez told The Associated Press as she gathered belongings from her house in Montecito.

“It’s very tenuous. We’re hoping the winds are favorable.”

The Tea Fire, this one is, in Montecito, San Ysidro Ranch and lapping at the outskirts of Santa Barabara.  Tonight, for whatever reason, they are calling the winds driving the fires the Diablo winds… and they will continue thru tomorrow.

Year after year, our cycle of wildfire, leaving the land scraped to the nub, the rains, mudslide and landslide… the fires are always apocalyptic.  Grabbing the children, the pets, the photos. Fleeing.

In the hills of Montecito, residents of the darkened streets lighted only by the glow from the burning brush could be seen packing up cars. Horse trailers and Porsches snaked their way down narrow, winding mountain roads.

I think we are afraid the year will come when we grab the precious things and simply turn back and run into the fire.

The Bail Out Era…? 9 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
64 comments

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Used car lot outsized inflatable…

I should assume that some one from Detroit assumed the position in front of Nancy.. ?? The position that Paulson last held..??  On his knees before Madame Speaker..??

Reid, Pelosi Urge Treasury to Extend Aid to Automakers

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 9, 2008; A01

With the nation’s automotive industry hemorrhaging cash, congressional leaders called on the Bush administration yesterday to offer government assistance to the car companies as part of the Treasury Department’s $700 billion emergency rescue program.

The call came one day after General Motors, the nation’s largest auto manufacturer, announced another multibillion dollar loss for the third quarter and said it was running out of money fast. Ford, the second-biggest car company, also reported heavy losses. Unless the government steps in, analysts warned, GM could face bankruptcy, endangering the livelihoods of about 100,000 North American autoworkers and hundreds of thousands of others whose jobs depend on the industry.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) asked Paulson to “review the feasibility . . . of providing temporary assistance to the automobile industry during the current financial crisis.”

The letter notes that Congress granted Paulson broad discretion to use the bailout money to “restore financial market stability. A healthy automobile manufacturing sector is essential to the restoration of financial market security,” the letter continues, as well as to “the overall health of our economy, and the livelihood of the automobile sector’s workforce.”

OhKay!  If we all declare ourselves bankers can we all instantly keep bankers hours? That would work for me…

A plan is in the works at the Treasury to use bailout money to take ownership stakes in a wide array of companies beyond the banking sector. But Treasury officials have indicated that participants in its recapitalization program must be financial firms subject to federal regulation. That means GMAC, GM’s auto financing arm, may be eligible for quick help, but GM itself may not.

I am working on some nickname having to do with drooling yeses as they ransack the taxpayer…

In recent days, top auto industry executives have been making the rounds in Washington, trying to shake loose federal cash from a variety of sources. And there are strong indications that Democrats, newly empowered in Tuesday’s election, are inclined to oblige.

And yes.. I did notice:

Obama’s team of economic advisers includes Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and former Michigan congressman David Bonior, who is considered a strong candidate for Labor secretary. With Granholm on stage with him Friday, Obama said his transition team is already working on “policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars,” either under existing law or through the passage of “additional legislation.”

Bonior no doubt needs something massaged after all that support for the new dad.

And, I am left supporting red tape, in all its glory:

In the meantime, however, the automakers have gotten little but sympathy. Congress recently voted to fund a $25 billion low-interest loan package intended to help the car companies retool their factories to produce fuel-efficient vehicles that meet tough new emissions standards. But that money has been hung up by red tape. Obama and other Democrats have discussed providing another $25 billion in loans, bringing the total federal aid to $50 billion. But unless the Bush administration agrees to work on an economic stimulus package when Congress returns to Washington later this month, that money would have to wait until at least January.

From The Hill:

Pelosi and Reid on Thursday met with representatives of the auto industry, stating that they “left the meetings convinced that our nation’s automobile industry – the heart of our manufacturing sector – and the jobs of tens of thousands of American workers are at risk.”

However, while lobbying that funds be made available, Reid and Pelosi also urged that Paulson “impose strong conditions on such assistance in order to protect taxpayers and maximize the potential for the industry’s recovery.”

“An automobile industry that is forward-looking and focused on ingenuity, competitiveness, and the creation of green jobs for the future is essential to its long-term viability,” they wrote.

Maybe if you subject the automakers to an 8 on the Richter scale earthquake they might get forward looking…  basically, the dirty not-so-little secret was 30 years of presumably predictable income from financing cars matched with poor R & D and reinvestment.

Maybe they can accidentally get around to extending unemployment benefits… and working out a bail out for states (we’re one of them) already about to deplete the funds for those benefits…

Can we get in line for change?  Too?  Even if we are near the end of the line, at least it is something..?  Right?

[I am thinking of a new category for post Jan 20.. something along the lines of "Change of Life"]

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LOL  There’s always privilege and ease for the insiders… I did get a kick out of this photo at LAT on presidential pets..

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President George W. Bush’s dogs, Barney and Spot, race down the steps of the presidential helicopter on the South Lawn after the president and his entourage returned from a visit to Bush’s ranch in Texas. Barney, at the bottom of the steps, is a Scottish terrier; Spot, an English springer spaniel, was the daughter of Millie, who belonged to the first President Bush. Millie died in February 2004.
[May 5, 2003  Reuters]
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The 11 o’clock news here mentioned that the biggest turn out tonight was in San Diego, 10,000 marched against passage of Prop 8…

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