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  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • What Would Chinese Democracy Look Like?
      A few months ago I read a couple of books by the Singaporean intellectual Kishore Mahbubani. In “Has China Already Won he discusses Taiwan. The one exceptional trigger for a war involving China is Taiwan. Most of the time, the Chinese leaders have a lot of policy flexibility. There are no strong domestic lobbies to worry about. But the one issue where the Ch […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence


  • Tragedy In The skies
  • France and Brazil Press Search for Missing Plane

    Working through the night, ships and aircraft from the French and Brazilian militaries continued to search Tuesday for the wreckage of an Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday evening during a flight from Brazil to France.

    The Airbus A330-200, carrying 216 passengers and a crew of 12, apparently went down in a violent thunderstorm after encountering “very heavy turbulence,” Air France said.


  • Smearing Sotomayor
  • Double Standard: Funny how the achievements on Sonia Sotomayor’s resume suddenly count for so little.

    ON PAPER, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor resembles one of her would-be colleagues on the high court: Princeton undergrad, Yale Law School, an editor on the Yale Law Journal, experience as a prosecutor and years of service on the federal bench.

    Yet Judge Sotomayor, President Obama’s pick to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter, is not being compared by some conservatives to Princeton/Yale alum Samuel A. Alito Jr., widely acclaimed as smart and qualified when he was nominated. Instead, they are trying to peg her as “President Obama’s Harriet Miers,” after the nominee of President George W. Bush who took herself out of contention as conservatives savaged her reputation and raised doubts about whether she was smart enough for the job.

    More in GOP make race focus of Sotomayor nomination

    Since the introduction last week of Sonia Sotomayor, Republican senators wary of attacking the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee have lashed out at conservatives in their party who branded the would-be justice a racist and have even predicted a smooth confirmation.

    But several of those same GOP senators said yesterday that they would now make race a focus of the Sotomayor nomination battle – and they were far less eager to criticize conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for their racially tinged critiques.

    Way to go GOP. That probably explains this massive shrinkage


  • Dems Got Problems
  • GOP salivating for New Jersey governorship

    With New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine lagging in the polls, Republicans couldn’t be more enthusiastic about their chances of ousting him in November.

    Democrats’ fundraising numbers worry some

    [A]t a time that was supposed to be a golden era of Democratic fundraising, with a popular president in charge and Congress firmly ensconced in Democratic hands, the early fundraising hauls have been, well, downright ordinary.

    Dating back to the start of the year, Democrats barely hold a financial advantage over the GOP, despite the current toothless state of the Republican Party, its dispirited base and its dim prospects of taking back control of any branch of government in 2010.

    President Obama to the right of Cheney on same sex marriage and to the right of Bush on Government secrecy.


  • “Torturegate”
  • Judge rules against sealing Guantanamo detention information

    A federal judge on Monday rejected an attempt by the federal government to seal information it submitted justifying the continued detention of Guantanamo prisoners

    Why’d Obama switch on detainee photos? Maliki went ballistic

    President Barack Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos from Iraq and Afghanistan after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and that Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned, two U.S. military officers, a senior defense official and a State Department official have told McClatchy.


  • The Future For Women and Pro-Choicers?
  • The Deadly Toll of Abortion by Amateurs

    Abortion is illegal in Tanzania (except to save the mother’s life or health), so women and girls turn to amateurs, who may dose them with herbs or other concoctions, pummel their bellies or insert objects vaginally. Infections, bleeding and punctures of the uterus or bowel can result, and can be fatal. Doctors treating women after these bungled attempts sometimes have no choice but to remove the uterus.

    Security stepped up at abortion clinics

    Planned Parenthood ups security in wake of shooting

    Sotomayor’s record shows she’s no sure vote on abortion

    Activists on all sides can find solace in different parts of Sotomayor’s record on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She backed some abortion clinic protesters and a restrictive Bush administration policy on international family planning. At other times, she agreed with prosecutors who were seeking to charge clinic protesters with criminal contempt.

    Kan. doctor refused to quit: `I know they need me’

    “He never wavered,” says Susie Gilligan, who knew Tiller as part of her work in the Feminist Majority Foundation. “He never backed away. He had incredible strength. When you spoke to him, he was a soft-spoken man, a very gentle man. He said, ‘This is what I have to do. Women need me. I know they need me.'”


  • Economy Watch
  • Confidence in U.S. Economy Builds Even as Recovery Still Seems Distant

    [T]hree months after signs of hope emerged, the evidence of improvement still exists only in the form of glimmers. A slew of recent economic data and other news, including yesterday’s bankruptcy filing by General Motors, make clear that the nation is still muddling through a deep recession.

    How GM Lost Its Way

    Decades of dumb decisions helped send General Motors to a bankruptcy court yesterday, but one stands out.

    In GM, Wall Street Gets Another Bailout

    The bankruptcy of General Motors Co. is a historic low point for automakers, but it’s going to mean a big payday for another bailed-out industry: Wall Street.

    Mankiw & Rogoff: Why We Don’t Need Economists

    Rogoff and Mankiw think heightened inflation is the cure for our sagging economy. In Rogoff’s case, he’s advocating “6 percent inflation for at least a couple of years”, while Mankiw says the Federal Reserve should pledge to create “significant” inflation.
    […]
    If Rogoff and Mankiw get their way, what many term the greatest economist crisis since the Great Depression will intensify. Worse, and maybe this is a good thing, the reputation of conventional economists will plummet even more than it already has.

    For those who missed it:
    The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M.

    It is not every 31-year-old who, in a first government job, finds himself dismantling General Motors and rewriting the rules of American capitalism.

    But that, in short, is the job description for Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant until he took on his nearly unseen role in remaking the American automotive industry.


  • From The World of Medicine
  • Scientists hail the first effective treatment for skin cancer victims

    Scientists have developed the first “personalised” drug shown to be effective against advanced melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer which is on the rise in Britain.

    Deep brain stimulation: Expanding its reach to new patients

    Electrical therapy, used for years to treat Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, may soon tackle depression and more.


    Please DIGG & Share!!!

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    60 Responses

    1. Hi MaBlue– please check your mail. 🙂

    2. Wow !!! The dam they built around the messiah seems to be springing leaks all over the place ! I love it !
      PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP !

      http://gabrielsfire.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/fanning-the-flames/

    3. That would be just terrible if we had to withdraw from Iraq early.

      Sounds like bullshit to me

      (and I have lots of experience with bullshit)

    4. The Cheney news was interesting – and the upshot as you observed is stunning: Obama is now to the right of Cheney!
      He is also finding a defender for his excesses
      http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/bloomberg-leave-poor-poor-obama-alone-hes-poor/

      • It’s so true. Just yesterday I jetted off to France for a muffin…

        • With defenders like Bloomberg, who needs enemies?…But then again, they both have a tight grip on the media – Bloomberg more than Obama as he owns it. Also, Bloomberg already abolished term limits in NYC – he can keep buying the job for life.

      • Please, send two buck to our Millionaire President…he is hurting while we bask in the recession and health premiums rise for those lucky enough to have them (while we can afford it…he gets his FREE).

        Honestly, Bloomberg should concentrate on the ‘poor’ of New York fix some things or COUNT HIS MILLIONS.

    5. Times Online:

      How Obamas’ romantic £120 trip to Broadway racked up a £45,000 bill

      Does anybody know how much that is in real money?

      • 45,000 British Pound = 73,476.0 US Dollar

      • The Scare Force One flight cost $50,000+ and it didn’t even land.

        Granted, a 747 uses more fuel, but there were three Gulfwings and two choppers, several limos and a whole lotta security.

        • Actually I didn’t have a problem with the fact that he took the trip. The cost associated with every move the POTUS make are just a matter of reality: He can’t move around like the rest of us and schlepping that entire apparatus is expensive.

          The worst thing in the story is what the (serious) press made out of it:

          “Obama takes Michelle on a date”, “Obama held his promise top his wife”, “Obama’s romantic evening on Broadway” and yada yada.

          Those were all front page stories, which is embarrassing considering what all the issues we have going on:
          2 wars, an economic depression, the Middle East, Pakistan, Healthcare policy just to name a few.

        • A couple days earlier Obama joked about protesters telling him to keep his promise.

          Of all the ones he made, so far this is the only one he’s kept.

        • Yup, that was COLD about ‘What promise’…

        • Don’t forget we have a first dog now too. I wonder who walks the dog these days?

    6. KC Plog:

      Phone number found inside car of man suspected of killing George Tiller belongs to woman who plotted 1988 clinic bombing

      The phone number is written on an envelope with the name “Cheryl” and “Op Rescue.” Cheryl is Cheryl Sullenger, Operation Rescue’s senior policy adviser, who in 1988 was convicted of conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic. She served two years in prison.

      Sullenger tells The Pitch that she hasn’t spoken with Roeder recently.

      • Yeah, right! I certainly hope the police are questioning her.

      • 😯 …it is a conspiracy…. 😯

        • Operation Rescue needs to go on to the Domestic Terrorist list … along with Bill O’Reilly.

          I’m not sure at this point if I’m snarking about O’Reilly or not at this point which suddenly strikes me as odd.

      • I’d love it if they could legally nail Operation Rescue as accomplices in Dr. Tiller’s murder. Goddess knows they’re implicated on a moral level.

        • I am sure that if they qualify it as terrorism, the PATRIOT Act would have the right provisions for it. It would also be deliciously ironic to use it for it.

    7. There is the official exchange rate and then the rate the banks give you.

    8. “Decades of dumb decisions helped send General Motors to a bankruptcy court yesterday, but one stands out.”

      Being the WSJ, they of course blame GM for caving in to the UAW

      • Damn GM for allowing workers a living wage….yup that’s what did it.

      • How GM lost its way – WSJ – (on the bailout) – >>>>>More worrisome, it invokes the question famously asked before the U.S. invasion of Iraq: You can go in, but can you get out?

        Very true.

        • My WW2 father in law said this war is unwindable!
          I said ” of course Pop….that’s why they started it.” It’s no accident as one of our main industries bites the dust , ( cars,) a new one is created,….. a hot war industry…..with plans for expanding markets too!

    9. Well Duh!

      • Good point.

      • lol!! True. Also Barry shook the cup so hard last year already AND Dems traditionally have less dough than the GOP anyway . Lord, the Dem leadership takes over the GOP corner of servicing the Upper Crust and now they are pissed off the Dem base somehow didn’t get the memo and provid endless rivers of dough? Perhaps people are waiting for any change before digging deep again? The only decent thing about the Obama age is Hill as SOS….and the Dems spent all of last year villifying her. So what exactly is the Dem base supposed to give money for?

    10. Via Vastleft:

      No Blood for Hubris takes on HuffPo’s sexist obsession with Hillary’s pantsuits

    11. OMG! Did you guys know that Richard Wolffe has written a book on the campaign?

      He was traveling to Des Moines for yet another debate and was getting ready to board his plane at the same time as Clinton was boarding hers, at Reagan National Airport. Clinton asked to talk to Obama and she apologized to him for comments by her New Hampshire co-chairman. Billy Shaheen had suggested that Republicans would exploit Obama’s self-confessed drug use if he won the nomination. Such comments had no place in her campaign, Clinton assured Obama, and Shaheen would resign. But Obama was not satisfied: he felt it was part of a pattern, which included an email forwarded by a Clinton volunteer in Iowa, suggesting that he was Muslim. Clinton grew agitated, waving her arms and poking her finger at him, as she hurled his own negativity back at him. Wasn’t he the one who just called her disingenuous for saying she couldn’t release her own White House papers? Wasn’t it his donor, David Geffen, who accused her and her husband of lying with ease? Instead of responding with anger, Obama tried to chill his rival, placing a hand on her arm. Clinton recoiled from the gesture, which seemed either patronizing or restraining, or both. Obama boarded his plane with a new sense of wonder. “I never saw that look of concern in her eyes before,” he told his senior aides. “I think we can we can win this one.”

      I’d like to get Hillary’s side of this story. He was always putting his hands on her. What a slimeball! Is that when he decided to bring out the big guns of misogyny?

      • OMG!

        Obama didn’t get that what he did there was wrong?

        a)-Somebody tries to apologize to you for something someone else did, be it on her “behalf”

        b)- You say the apology is not enough

        c)- She gently reminds you that you are sitting in a glass house so think twice before throwing stones

        d)- You asked her to chill and put proceeds to touch her, something she rightfully finds patronizing

        Out of this you conclude that you are winning a political battle? Yikes!

        This guy is really an arrogant jerk.

        • He’s a misogynist pig! I’d like to get Rev. Wright’s side of the story too. Like all narcissists, Obama is a user.

        • Narcissistic Personality Disorder. To a Tee.

      • …..Clinton asked to talk to Obama and she apologized to him for comments by her New Hampshire co-chairman. Billy Shaheen had suggested that Republicans would exploit Obama’s self-confessed drug use if he won the nomination.

        It’s that bad Dem habit of apologizing for someone pointing out 2+2= 4, that was the problem. Barry won that round the minute she came over to do so. What Billy Shaheen didn’t know then that Barry was the new Bush 2 and a little thing like drug use meant nothing to the Village….so there was no need for the reality based comment at all.

        • HRC wanted to stay away from “racism” accusations.

          Remember that life was already tough enough for Black who did not go with Obama: I can tell tons of stories about that, starting with my own family.

      • The more I read about this stupid foolish excuse of a man who is a wimp and never found a campaign promise he would never backtrack on the more I want him to fail. I do not only want him fail, I want him destroyed so badly that he will never run any public office job again.

        • I know how you feel. I don’t want America to go down with him though.

      • Ugh; I’d recoil too if such a slimeball tried to do the “There, there, emotional little lady” game on me.

    12. President Obama to the right of Cheney on same sex marriage and to the right of Bush on Government secrecy.

      wow…

    13. Highlights from Richard Wolffe’s new book about the 2008 race: notice BO calls Bill a “bold-faced liar.” Takes one to know one. Of course, no mention of caucus fraud, FL & MI etc. (so far—not sure about in the book).

      ‘Renegade’ cliff notes

      The flood of books devoted to the 2008 campaign and President Obama begins in earnest this week with the release of “Renegade, The Making Of A President,” by former Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe.
      —–
      The impressive fundraising Obama demonstrated in 2007 was largely a result of the usual high-dollar contributors – not the small-dollar donors the campaign liked to hold up to the press.

      “It wasn’t the internet,” admitted Penny Pritzker, Obama’s national finance chair.

      His wife is now Obama’s Secretary of State, but Obama had some tough words for the actions of former President Bill Clinton during the campaign.

      “We had to figure out how to deal with a former president who was just lying, engaging in bald-faced lies,” Obama explained to Wolffe.

      When the then-candidate was asked if Clinton got in his head, he replied: “Yes, but I got into his.”

      After Obama locked up the nomination, Pennsylvania Gov. and ardent Clinton supporter Ed Rendell got a note from an Obama supporter attached to a can of Kool-Aid telling him to drink up.

      So the next day at a Philadephla fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the ever-demonstrative governor poured it into a glass of water and proclaimed: “Now I feel that Senator Obama is the most wonderful person ever to have lived in the United States of America. The smartest, most sensitive most decent and honorable man. Now I understand what you guys have been feeling for the last six months.”

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23218.html

      • And now Rendell is playing “party boss” – telling Sestak NOT to run against Specter. i.e…..you will be crushed.
        Specter believes the Senate can’t run without him – and Dems pulled out the red carpet for #59.

      • I just read the whole article and I’m already furious.

        This book is going to revive old wounds and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

        I think Richard Wolf wrote the book to show what a cool customer Obama is but what I have seen so far shows how arrogant and entitled he behaves.

        • MABlue,

          Are you on Twitter? I’ve been getting lots of amazing links since I joined.

          • I’m still resisting Twitter and Facebook.

            My friends are trying to convince me by relentlessly sending those requests.

      • I’m working on “Con Man:How Obama Lied His Ass Off and Became President of the United States”.

      • “We had to figure out how to deal with a former president who was just lying, engaging in bald-faced lies,” Obama explained to Wolffe.

        WHAT 😡 I have nothing to say 😯

        • I wonder wtf he was referring to here.

          So I guess it is ok for a brown nosing, sycophantic, little pissant to release a book in which the current “dem” president refers to one of the best dem presidents in history as a bald faced liar. Nice.

          I feel like the fix was never officially called off when it comes to Bill and Hill. This is like another slap in her face. F*ck these people.

      • Koolaid comes in cans? Who knew?

    14. ….by former Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe.

      Newsweek(, I believe part of the NBC/MSNBC family, ) was Barry ‘s print HQ. They lead the cry of “just quit! NOW!!” everytime Hillary won a state

    15. Richard Wolffe is also the guy that Glenn Greenwald took to the woodshed for his bad reporting and enabling of Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

    16. hey what happen to that newspaper delivery girl that was at the top of this post this morning

      • I was afraid some may find it offensive.

        I found it cool but you never know.

        • Sorry I missed that. Could you re-post?

          I delivered newspaper for three years from 10-12 yrs old back in the 50s in a very small town in Kansas. I hated the cold windy winter months. A bicycle offers no protection from the elements.

          I did it to prove that girls were equal to boys. My mother hated it (made me less of a girl) – my dad supported me.

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