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      In light of the collapse of the Ruble I think it’s worth revisiting what controls exchange rates. Supply and Demand. Yeah, if you know something about the subject you’re probably shaking your head. Supply and Demand doesn’t set prices in many cases in the way that an Economics 101 course tells you. Such texts will [...]
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Can we send a deep dish pizza to the Chicago teachers?

HONK!

They appear to be going on strike.  Oh, and Rahm Emannuel has continued to demonstrate his own particular brand of respect for working people, bullying and mean and nasssssty.  I hope the Chicago teachers have been paying attention to the way he treated Occupy.

So, the average teacher’s salary in Chicago is $76,000/year, which, to me, sounds fair for living in a big city like Chicago.  Rent ain’t cheap (about $2000/month in a decent neighborhood) and if you don’t want to commute hours and hours a day to work, you need to live pretty close to your school.  At that salary, your taxes are getting toward the hefty side.  But here’s the statistic that I found most shocking:

The school system, which employs about 25,000 teachers, announced contingency plans in the event of a strike, including a program to open 144 of its 675 schools with half-days of activities supervised by people other than unionized teachers. Officials said that program would also include meals — no small concern since 84 percent of the city’s public school students qualify for the free and reduced meals program.

WTF?  84% of Chicago’s public school children live at or below the poverty line and qualify for the subsidized school lunch program??  That’s fricking outrageous.  What is Rahm Emanuel doing about that?  Is he working with businesses and corporations in Chicago to make them pay a living wage?  Jesus Christ on a Cracker, this is just beyond derelict.  I realize that he’s only been mayor for a year but in that year, he seems to have spent more time suppressing the Peasants’ Revolts than actually working for them.

Maybe he’s just following Obama’s example.  As I recall, he sucked as a state rep for his little corner of Chicago.

Well, now is the time for both men to show their quality.  Time to step up and demand fair working wages for all of Chicago.  At this point, the teachers of Chicago are subsidizing those lunches with their substantial taxes.  It’s time for the wealthy to stop getting away with dumping all responsibility on the backs of the 99% who they are underpaying.

What say you, Rahm?  Be nice now.

Here is a link to the Chicago Teachers’ Union.  So far, they seem to have the support of working people in Chicago.  Now, they just need to hang in there.  I’m guessing they’re going to need more than pizzas to man the baricades and hold out longer than Rahm.

Read it and weep

From the New York Times article on Obama’s hit list summarized by Katiebird below, we find this tasty nugget that went unreported:

It was not only Mr. Obama’s distaste for legislative backslapping and arm-twisting, but also part of a deeper pattern, said an administration official who has watched him closely: the president seemed to have “a sense that if he sketches a vision, it will happen — without his really having thought through the mechanism by which it will happen.”

In fact, both Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the attorney general, Mr. Holder, had warned that the plan to close the Guantánamo prison was in peril, and they volunteered to fight for it on Capitol Hill, according to officials. But with Mr. Obama’s backing, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, blocked them, saying health care reform had to go first.

Holy snot! So weird for the NYTimes to report anything like this for Hillary.  Well, obviously, this is not a principled position.  She did it to make Obama look bad.  But I don’t understand why the NYTimes is mentioning it.  It’s just so unlike them.

Where’s a factchecker when you need one…

Here we go again


Welcome to post-racial America, where the only thing that matters is race.

CNN:

Rep. Danny Davis, a Democrat from Illinois and mayoral candidate in Chicago has a message for former President Bill Clinton: Butt out.

Davis, a onetime ally of Clinton’s, issued a strongly worded statement Tuesday, in which the Chicago Democrat said he is “seriously concerned and disturbed” by the news Clinton plans to throw his weight behind ex-Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and make a campaign stop in the Windy City next month.

“The African American community has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the Clintons, however it appears as though some of that relationship maybe fractured and perhaps even broken should former President Clinton come to town and participate overtly in efforts to thwart the legitimate political aspirations of Chicago’s Black community,” Davis said in the statement.

The pushback from a prominent member of the black community echoes that which greeted Clinton in 2008 as he campaigned on behalf of his wife, a presidential candidate at the time battling then-Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton – long a popular figure in the black community – saw his approval numbers sink among that demographic as he took sharp aim at Obama and questioned the freshman senator’s competancy to sit in the Oval Office, sometimes in terms conceived as particularly harsh.

[…]

The Chicago Sun Times’ Lynn Sweet reports that Carol Mosely Braun, a former ambassador to New Zealand under Clinton and now a candidate for mayor in Chicago, is also calling on the former president to back off.

Her statement:

“Bill Clinton is an outsider parachuting in to support another outsider. Rahm’s residency status continues to be challenged in court. It’s not yet clear that he will be on the ballot. At the same time former president Clinton risks his legacy and the great respect that he has enjoyed among African Americans by coming to Chicago to endorse Rahm Emanuel who is running for mayor against two black candidates.

“Clinton should remember New Hampshire where he called Barack Obama’s opposition to the war in Iraq ‘a fairy tale.’ He was wrong.

“Clinton should remember South Carolina where he played the race card painting Obama as “the black candidate”. Again he was wrong. Bill Clinton will be wrong again if he gets involved in the Chicago mayoral contest. He should stay home and avoid the cold.”


First of all let me say that I don’t like Rahm Emanuel. Although I was never one of those DLC-phobics I didn’t care for him even before he hooked up with Barack Obama. I hope he loses the election.

Secondly, unless Hillary really plans on running again I doubt the Big Dawg gives a shit about his approval ratings. If she runs in 2012 against Obama I doubt the Chicago mayoral race will be the first thing on the minds of African American voters. If she runs in 2016 against a slate of white Democrats I doubt it would make any difference either.

But this race card shit has got to stop.

Whatever Bill Clinton’s motives for supporting Rahmbo, I’m sure race was not one of them. The people turning this into a racial issue are Danny Davis and Carol Mosely Braun. They should be ashamed of themselves.


(h/t Angienc)


Eric Massa Fights Back

Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY)

Suddenly the Eric Massa story is everywhere. I don’t know what finally set him off. He seemed pretty resigned about the whole thing just a couple of days ago. From Hotline this AM:

Embattled Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) lashed out in an emotional radio appearance Sunday, accusing Dem leaders of what he suggested was an orchestrated campaign to force his resignation.

“There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”

Massa admits he made an “inappropriate” remark to a male staffer at a New Year’s party, which led to a House ethics investigation, but he claims he was set up by Democratic leaders because of his votes against the health care bill and other administration initiatives. Massa had harsh words for White House enforcer Rahm Emanuel:

“When I voted against the cap and trade bill, the phone rang and it was the chief of staff to the president of the United States of America, Rahm Emanuel, and he started swearing at me in terms and words that I hadn’t heard since that crossing the line ceremony on the USS New Jersey in 1983,” Massa said. “And I gave it right back to him, in terms and words that I know are physically impossible.”

As for Steny Hoyer’s claim that he talked to Massa about the ethics inquiry,

“Steny Hoyer has never said a single word to me at all, never, not once,” Massa said. “Never before in the history of the House of Representatives has a sitting leader of the Democratic Party discussed allegations of House investigations publicly, before findings of fact. Ever.”

“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning,” he added. “The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.”

The New York Daily News has even more:

“Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn,” he said. “He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to the front end of a steam locomotive.”

Massa alleges that Emanuel ripped into him a number of times over votes, including in the House shower.

“I am showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me,” said Massa.

Here is some audio from the radio interview:

The latest thing I heard is that Massa is going to go on Glen Beck’s show tomorrow–that’s what Dave Wiegel says anyway.

Rep. Eric Massa’s (D-N.Y.) scorching attack on Democrats — while a lot of attention is going to a silly story about Rahm Emanuel, he accuses his party of trying to “shove the [health care] bill down our throats” — will be amplified tomorrow with a full-hour interview on Glenn Beck’s Fox News show.

That may be pushing things a little too far. I’ll update if I get more info. Please add your own links in the comments.

Monday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! I know I’ve been a bit out of if for the past few days–is that why I have a feeling that there is no news worth discussing? Sure, there is another earthquake, this time in Turkey; there are elections in Iraq, there is a new “Al Quaeda” arrest in Pakistan, and there is the ongoing nightmare of “health care reform.”

So why do I feel as if nothing is really happening? Is it just me, or is this country paralyzed, waiting for–what? The other shoe to drop? Another depression er– “recession?” Is there anything that can get us moving? Can anything force this scaredy-cat President to do something–anything!–to change the disastrous course we are on?

In the big media and at “progressive” blogs Rahm Emanuel is being blamed for the paralysis. The Hill had a long piece by Sam Youngman about this “controversy” yesterday.

A spate of recent reports have portrayed Emanuel, known for his aggressive brand of Washington politics, as either the voice of reason in a weak, liberal White House or the wet blanket preventing President Barack Obama from pursuing the kind of change he promised as a candidate.

Emanuel has become the flash point in those arguments as liberals express betrayal over Obama’s failure to convince Congress to pass a public option in healthcare reform and close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to Youngman, “Democratic strategists” are blaming the netroots for the attacks on Rahm, but other anonymous sources say that efforts to undermine him are coming from inside the White House. The article references Huffington Post pieces by Dan Froomkin and Michael Moore. As we at TC know all too well, these “progressives” still can’t face the fact that they helped elect Bush III. They want to believe that Obama is being duped by Emanuel–and the subtext is that it’s the Clinton’s fault. From the Hill article:

But what Rahm represents to the left dates back to liberal anger with Clinton and his kindred spirits at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Emanuel is seen by some progressives as wanting to win, to a fault by sacrificing principles of the party.

“Rahm believes in being elected; not in the glory of losing or failing,” the strategist said.

In another “think piece,” at Business Week, veteran Village insider Al Hunt calls this “faux White House intrique.” Hunt doesn’t seem to want to blame Obama either, but he nibbles around the edges of doing that:

Yet there is a larger self-created problem for which Emanuel and Axelrod are only partly to blame. Go back to the remarkable Obama campaign of 2007-2008. More than any of its rivals, it had a strategic sense of what it was, where it wanted to go.

This provided a shield against setbacks: losing the New Hampshire primary, the candidate’s careless remarks about rural Pennsylvania voters or even the incendiary remarks of Obama’s pastor. These became speed bumps in the strategic narrative.

That is missing in the Obama presidency. Too often it seems situational rather than strategic, reactive more than proactive. Thus setbacks, from minor ones, such as the handling of the Christmas Day bomber, to major ones, like the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts, throw team Obama off stride, and leave voters confused.

Hint, hint…but no one wants to come out and say it: Obama is clueless–he has no idea how to lead our country and no goal in mind even if he could lead. How are we going to survive three more years of this kind of inertia? Continue reading

The Obama Delusion and Health Care Reform

Obama Transition

The Obama Delusion: The belief that although President Obama is a liberal and has liberal values and goals, he cleverly pretends not to be a liberal in order to to fool Republicans into supporting his agenda.

{{Sigh…}} Where to begin? While perusing Memeorandum this morning, I noticed Booman’s post from yesterday about “11-dimensional chess.” Frankly, the less said about Booman’s post, the better. It’s just embarrassingly silly and illogical. Besides, Big Tent Democrat, who coined the term “11-dimensional chess,” has already handily disposed of Booman’s arguments, such as they are.

Booman’s post was prompted by one at the Cheeto in which the author, Maimonides, makes the claim that Obama, along with his trusty enforcer Rahm Emanuel, are actually using not 11-dimensional chess, but “Sun Tzu’s the strategy of “formlessness,” outlined in this quote:

“Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.”

Here is what Maimonides thinks Obama and his capo are up to:

For several months now I’ve been pushing the idea that President Obama is engaged in the Sun Tsu strategy of “formlessness.” This strategy is not the much-derided “11-D Chess” that so many choose to dismiss. This is the very simple and time-tested strategy of not taking a position that is easily defined by your opponents, of not giving them anything to attack. By doing so, one forces one’s opponents to take positions, giving you the advantage of adaptability and information, which they now lack.

Maimonides also claims to have some vital inside information, but, sadly, he/she cannot reveal the sources of that information.

You may not see reports of what Rahm Emanuel says to your Congressperson. You may not hear rumors of it. But it is going on all the time; what did you think he spent his time doing, checking in on Dkos diaries? Rahm is putting pressure where he is told to, floating trial balloons as directed, keeping all options on the table, and most of all keeping Obama’s strategy of formlessness alive. Until he’s directed otherwise.

Which brings us to now. Rumor in DC* is that Rahm has gotten exactly what he wanted: a “Big mess,” as Rahm reportedly described it. Formlessness has payed off. There are virtually no Congressional players left whose opinions we do not know, and every option has been talked to death. And now the Administration, rather than having its policies debated to death, has the ability to sweep in and choose among the options presented.

*Here I open myself to claims that I’m using unsourced “insider knowledge”, which is true, I am. You can take it or leave it, but I would hope that you would be open to the possibility that those of us working in the trenches may hear things that you do not.

Okay? See, Maimonides has inside sources, because he/she “works in the trenches.” But we just have to take that and the “rumors” Maimonides has heard on faith–just like we have to take on faith that Obama wants health care for all at a reasonable price.

Here’s the thing. In a sense I agree with Maimonides that Rahm and Barack have gotten exactly what they wanted–a “big mess.” And for all I know, Obama and Emanuel may both have read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and may be using it as a guide for their political strategy. But whether the “mess” is the result of a deliberate strategy or just one big clusterf*ck is irrelevant to the President’s actual goals for health care “reform.” Continue reading

Moving toward a “public plan” inch by painful inch and we STILL don’t know what we’ll have when it’s done!

[UPDATE: Reid to Republicans: Nevermind]

My head is reeling  – DID Obama slap-down Rahm Emanuel? — I don’t think so:

“I am pleased by the progress we’re making on health care reform and still believe, as I’ve said before, that one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest,” read the statement. “I look forward to a final product that achieves these very important goals.”

The vague reassurance came hours after Obama’s own chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel suggested that the White House would be comfortable with legislation that had a public plan “triggered” in only by worsening economic conditions.

Vague assurances make a tasty headline but, I have to agree with Crooks and Liars commenter all hail the hypno toad: Continue reading

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