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  • Top Posts

Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence

  • Couple of “Oh No!”
  • Obama said to be open to taxing health benefits

    President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits, something he campaigned hard against while running for president, according to senators who met with him Tuesday.
    […]
    “It’s on the table. It’s an option.”

    Torture photo ban has O’s blessing, Lieb says

    President Obama backed Senate efforts last month to exempt the so-called torture photos of detainees from sunshine laws — and Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested she was open to the idea on Tuesday.

    Did Maliki get to Nancy Pelosi too?

    Al Sharpton emerges as Obama ally

    So far, Sharpton has been to the White House more times, and for more close-up conversations with Obama, than the leaders of other long-established civil rights organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Urban League.

    An Obama voter asks what went wrong

    You are breaking my heart.
    […]
    We fell in love with your vision of what we might be, and the desire of all of us to see justice prevail with an investigation into atrocities committed by the Bush/Cheney administration and finally, put the shame and damage of the past eight years behind us.
    […]
    What happened?

    In Video From Presidential Motorcade, Obama Knocks The Media

    [T]he President knocks cable news culture, name-checking Pat Buchanan, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann. “I don’t find most of the cable chatter very persuasive,” says Obama, adding “I don’t feel as if I’m learning anything from the debate.” He prefers print media, he explained.
    […]
    The President’s media criticism is pretty tame, however, compared to Rahm Emanuel.

    Oh no! These guys get no love from Daddy? Suckers!

    Congress honors Reagan with figure in Statuary Hall (This will certainly ruin Dr BostonBoomer’s breakfast)


  • Democrats=Weaklings
  • W.H.: Sotomayor what Right wants

    The White House, in talking points distributed Tuesday to Senators, casts Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as a model of judicial restraint who strictly adheres to precedent and is willing to take on abortion rights supporters and side with conservative judges.

    Are we (Liberals) supposed to be happy about that? Why is a Democratic White House trying to convince Rightwingers that the SC nominee is what THEY like, while leaving its own constituency in the dark?
    We all remember last time a Republican had to appoint SC justices. George Bush’s White House had to reassure Chuck Dobson, Gary Bauer and other such cooks that they were getting 2 Right Wing tools to the Supreme Court, other people and their concerns be damned.
    Now we have a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic super majority in the Senate but we still have to reassure only Rightwingers? WTF!


  • Hottest Potatoes
  • “Whatever you do will be wrong, including nothing.” – Henry Kissinger (Boy I hate to quote him)

    Netanyahu cites secret deal with Bush to justify more settlements

    The Israeli government of Benjmain Netanyahu is seeking to deflect Washington’s demand for a total settlement freeze by complaining that it ignores secret agreements between his predecessors and the Bush administration that construction in existing Jewish settlements could continue.

    Likud: US meddling in Israeli politics

    Kadima officials responded to the allegations by disagreeing that the US was meddling but expressing concern that such a perception by the Israeli public would harm their party and end up strengthening the prime minister. They accused Netanyahu’s associates of portraying Obama as an enemy of Israel in order to unite the public behind him.

    Israelis growing increasingly anxious about Obama policies

    Barack Obama is blind to his blunders over Islam

    The new President’s approach discourages change in Middle Eastern countries that need it most

    Obama Faces a Chasm in Mideast

    What the Muslim World Wants to Hear From Obama

    President Obama’s tour of the Middle East is intended to set the groundwork for a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and improve the image of the United States in the Muslim world. On Thursday, he is scheduled to give his first speech in Cairo. Here are seven views from the region about what he should say.

    In Afghanistan, time is running out, Pentagon worries


  • Dick Cheney: Torture-Loving Freak
  • Cheney Led Briefings of Lawmakers To Defend Interrogation Techniques

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney ‘a strong believer’ in waterboarding

    Cheney: No ‘evidence’ of Iraq, 9/11 link


  • Economy Watch
  • Why China’s Banks Are Stronger Than America’s

    Former powerhouses such as Bank of America and Citicorp have turned into shadows of their former selves as they shed assets and withdraw from foreign markets. Meanwhile, lenders in China and India that are little known outside their home countries now have the wherewithal to expand internationally. They have the potential to become the Citicorps of tomorrow.

    China forced to support dollar to make yuan become convertible currency

    China is uncomfortable about being the principal creditor of the United States. Asia’s largest nation became the hostage of the US economy in the 21st century. The reserves of the People’s Republic of China are based on dollar assets – $2 trillion. US Treasury Bonds make $700 billion of the amount. China is forced to continue crediting the budget deficit of the United States not to let these reserves go down in value.

    Fed Said to Raise Requirements for Banks to Repay TARP Funds

    Federal Reserve officials surprised bankers in the past week by demanding they raise specific amounts of new capital before repaying taxpayer funds, applying a more stringent assessment than the stress tests in May.

    Martin Wolf responds to Niall Ferguson so Paul Krugman doesn’t have to
    Rising government bond rates prove policy works


  • Snafu
  • U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally

    The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public.


  • “Catcher in the Rye” vs “Coming Through the Rye”
  • Catcher in the Rye: The Sequel (or why JD Salinger is heading for the courts)

    Hermit author sues to block publication of novel about Holden Caulfield in a nursing home


  • No More Excuses
  • Clinical Data Says Antidepressant Preserves Sex Drive

    Clinical Data Inc.’s flagship antidepressant is effective without reducing sexual drive, according to a study that paves the way for the company to seek U.S. approval for the medication by year’s end.


  • Happy Ending
  • Man, dog reunited 4 years after Katrina


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    63 Responses

    1. It’s certainly appropriate to put up a statue of Reagan. He began the destruction of the American economy and enabled the Wall Street corruption. His dream of ending all government programs may soon be a reality too.

      • Except for the military, the IRS to fund the military, and a body that determines what will be named after Reagan.

      • LOL!

        I just checked in to watch your reaction and you actually surprised me. It almost fell off of my chair after just reading It’s certainly appropriate to put up a statue of Reagan.” The rest then made me fall off of laughing.

        • The Repubs are going to try rename everything in DC after Reagan and the Dems won’t stop them.

          • There are still agroup of Southern Repubs trying to get him onto the $5 bill.

    2. “I don’t find most of the cable chatter very persuasive,” says Obama, adding “I don’t feel as if I’m learning anything from the debate.”

      Gotta agree with him on that! But I don’t suppose even a mild criticism from the one they adore will change anything. I believe the media knows its not adding to “the debate.” And they don’t have to convince Obama he’s all that, he knows !

      • I think it’s hilarious that he complained about Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.

    3. Maybe if Catherine Callen had actually listened to Obama’s words, read his book, and learned about his history instead of swooning over his speeches, she wouldn’t be so disillusioned today. Or perhaps she could have looked at the list of his top donors? I’m so sick of these whining Obots. Next time learn something about the candidate before joining the cult.

      • This is not the transparency of government that you promised us time and time again. And it doesn’t make sense.

        Catherine, Catherine, Catherine…I’d like to say I feel bad for you. What do you think we were trying to tell you (circa Feb 08) while you were holding your hands over your ears, saying, “La la la la?”

      • I’m so sick of these whining Obots. Next time learn something about the candidate before joining the cult.
        Me too. They took our votes, literally, and threw them away on the slick-talking con-man.

      • Disillusionment is coming so fast and so hard for so many.

        • There are many more as you say. Here’s Matt Taibbi:

          The End of the Obama Honeymoon, Part II

          • All these fuckwits should have to sign a confession/apology.

            “I supported Obama and I apologize”

          • Is Matt Taibbi even old enough to remember the Clinton years? I don’t think so, and yet he just has to bash Clinton while writing about Obama’s cowardice on Gitmo. Does Taibbi seriously think Clinton would have favored torture and eliminating habeas corpus?

          • LOL. Look at Taibbi’s lame ending…but, but, but I still like him!, followed by the 11th dimensional chess argument made by commenter Maynard (must be exhausting, coming up with those rationalizations on a daily basis):

            Taibbi: I still like Obama, in a lot of ways. Having a president with less ability to inspire public confidence at a time like this, with our economy in such a death spiral, would be a disaster; God knows where we’d be right now with a McCain or a Mike Huckabee at the helm. But this guy has to show some stones somewhere along the line. He has to just forget the DC game and just take a clear stand on an issue like this sometime. He’s kind of running out of time to rescue his all-important first impression.

            Maynard (commenter): I don’t want to defend Obama’s indefensible policies inherited by a prior administration out to offend. However, I think may commentators may be missing what I believe to be Obama’s game.

            – He wants to close Guantanamo and end the torture policy. We know this because he said so.

            – He wants a single payer government run health care system. We know this because he said so.

            – He wants to implement various other liberal polices, such as low cost education, funding public transit, a carbon cap-and-trade (or other so-called “green” incentiveized tax system). We know this because he said so.

            Yet he has done none of these things. A pessimist would argue that these were campaign promises to be tossed as soon as he won elected office. But I don’t think that’s his game at all. I think he’s pushing *against* liberals in order to cause an uprising among liberal activists.

            He wants cover. He wants to be *forced* into implementing all those policies he said he likes, by a groundswell of citizen activism. Then he can tell the Republicans and moderates, “Gee, I really tried to keep the wars, torture policy, and all that other stuff going. But you see all that rabble? What am I to do? Here, have a cookie and some milk to drown your sorrows in.”

            Or perhaps I’m wrong. In which case, fuck all these political parties and the bullshit they espouse.

          • OMG. Did you see that creep’s “about me” comment asking for suggestions on how to “dump” “that chick’s” body after he strangles her. Welcome to Obamanation where misogyny is fun (and funny).

            It’s amazing to me that 8 years after Bush anyone would not recall the 8 years of Clinton as damn near paradise.

      • I agree with you. All the evidence was there, all his supporters needed to do was look. They bought the marketing hype, they fell for the infomercial, and now wish they could turn back time.

        And, rather than just being out $19.99 or three payments of $39.99, they invested their time and money in him, and get to watch him betray them for four long years. (Oh, and of course they probably have friends and family who will keep reminding them of their folly.)

    4. re Sharpton: he (publicly) declared for Obama during the campaign – adding that he’ll keep it a secret so as not to become a negative.
      Seems that misogyny is emerging as the common ground for post-partisanship:
      http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/women-as-cannon-fodder-in-political-wars/

    5. From the NBC/motorcade story:

      It looks like the White House Chief of Staff really got into character booting the cameras out of meetings. In one exchange from the short video below, Emanuel swears at White House correspondent Chuck Todd and adds, “I hate all of you.”

      Hahahahahahahaha! And they aren’t going to show it on the nightly news why?

    6. China is uncomfortable about being the principal creditor of the United States. Asia’s largest nation became the hostage of the US economy in the 21st century.

      Does that mean they will stop letting us buy their cheap crap in Wal Mart? Does that mean they are sorry they allowed themselves to become wealthy by selling to American consumers?

      • Would you loan us money if you were them?

        I wouldn’t.

        • I wouldn’t loan the U.S. government money if I were me. Thank goodness I don’t have any Treasury bonds.

          • Actually a lot of USians are buying treasury bonds rights — compared to the other money market funds they are still the most stable. They gotta put the money they took out of stocks someplace, and it’s not practical to buy gold. I mean, come on, would you buy a commercial bond instead? Rock & hard place.

          • It’s not an issue for me, since I live hand to mouth.

      • If they keep firing our American asses , who’s gonna buy the cheap plastic crap? …. Then you broken the loop and all hell breaks loose . I believe the Upper Crust want to burn down the village ( here) before the creditors can ride in to claim anything .

    7. Matt Taibbi still likes his former messiah:

      I still like Obama, in a lot of ways. Having a president with less ability to inspire public confidence at a time like this, with our economy in such a death spiral, would be a disaster; God knows where we’d be right now with a McCain or a Mike Huckabee at the helm. But this guy has to show some stones somewhere along the line. He has to just forget the DC game and just take a clear stand on an issue like this sometime. He’s kind of running out of time to rescue his all-important first impression.

      I’ve got news for you Matt. Obama doesn’t have any “stones.”

      • What a sap.

        These clowns think there is still somthing else to come from Obama, some courage to champion anything Liberal, to defend our agenda.

        I got news for them: This is it, this is Barack Obama and there’s nothing else tocome, besides more disappointment. Sukas!

      • Um, Obama inspires confidence? Only to the “true believers”. The rest of the public like him because he’s the new Coke, but they’ll soon realize that Pepsi is better

      • Ha!Ha!Ha!
        “Rescue his all important first impression?” That ship has sailed Matt, about 2004 – the year you were printing disgusting lies about Wesley Clark.

      • Matt voted specifically for the stones – because otherwise, what distinguishes obama from any other thin resume?

        honestly, I think we’d be in the same place we are now with McCain, except the “progressives” would be SCREAMING about every decision that would be exactly the same as obama. It isn’t the policy, it’s the historic nature of the hopey changey thing!

        • This is a guy who voted present 130 times in IL–what made them think he had “stones?” He never meets a controversial issue he does not muddy with “it’s this way,” but “it’s that way too. Vote for me.”

      • oops, just read downthread and BB beat me to it. Sorry for repeat.

      • Sadly, his only experience is in the DC game.

    8. But this guy has to show some stones somewhere along the line. He has to just forget the DC game and just take a clear stand on an issue like this sometime……

      Matt Taibbi

      You just have to laugh. Has this author never looked at Barry’s record? ( that’s a rhetorical question ) or his back tracks? . WTF? Even though I know such people are deluded, the amazing depth of their delusions is ever shocking .

      • I know. It is just too funny. He can never take a stand on anything unless it personally affects him.

    9. OMG, J. D. Salinger speaks! When is he going to release that novel he backed out of publishing? Well, I have to agree with him, Holden in a nursing home? How totally wrong. I suppose it could be done well, like Wicked, but it sounds pretty cheesy already.

      • Did he speak? I doubt if he’ll even show up in court. When is the last time he left his house?

        • Nobody knows.

          I lived up there for some time but I never heard about JD Salinger. I don’t really think he’ll show up.

    10. With respect to the torture photo ban, I don’t personally want to see any more torture photos, but think they need to be released. The debate on torture so often breaks down into whether or not waterboarding is torture, and whether or not valuable intelligence was gathered in the process.

      In reality, the widespread sexual mistreatment of prisoners exhibited in the released photos is much more troubling to me than the waterboarding of a select few during interrogation. I’m not suggesting that waterboarding is fine and dandy, but the abuse and mistreatment captured in prisoner photos is disturbing and senseless. That higher ups could have possibly encouraged such activity, and that those involved did not understand it was wrong is chilling.

      I watched a spoof of a government training video put out by an anti-tax organization yesterday, and literally felt sick when the prisoner abuse photos were shown.

        • Those are interesting charts. I guess others were ahead of me in realizing that much of the waterboarding debate is a distraction technique.

      • I don’t believe that only a select few were waterboarded. There is no way to know anyway, since we sent prisoners all over the world to countries where torture is fine and dandy.

        Obama doesn’t want the pictures released because then he might have pull the troops out of Iraq. Remember when he supposedly wanted to do that?

      • In case anyone is interested, here is the video spoof entitled “We’re the Government …. and You’re Not, A guide to good citizenship” (I’m not implying any support of the contents of the video, it was just interesting to find it at an anti-tax site …. signbig.com):

        In some respects, I’m concerned about where these anti-tax sentiments will lead. Two separate referendums for building/remodeling schools in Indiana were voted down by wide margins recently. I can’t help but fear education may reach a crisis state in the next few years if residents keep on voting down school improvements.

        • The same thing is happenning in SoFla, except for Ft. Lauderdale. FLL wisely saw that the bubble would burst and put some money to the side. They can ride it out. Other municipalities have spent like drunken sailors. Our land taxes are 3x that of Northern FL and our services are at best no better. People are taxed to death down here, and the median income does not support it. Every single ballot issue has faled miserably the last few elections. I got myself put into a citizen’s focus group and am fairly cerian that I will never be asked to come back. After a brisk discussion of how bad things were, the moderator asked if we would pay higher taxes for better services. After I recovered my aplomb, I replied that when I was working, had I told my boss that I knew that I rarely showed up and was relatively ineffectual when I did, I would make a huge effort if my salary were to be increased, I would have been out on my keester. I honestly don’t know what the answer is.

    11. Obama arrives in Riyadh, gets blast from bin Laden

      Shortly after Obama arrived Al Jazeera television aired a recording by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in which he said the U.S. president had planted seeds for “revenge and hatred” toward the United States in the Muslim world.

      Bin Laden said Obama was continuing in the steps of his predecessor George W. Bush and told Americans to be prepared for the consequences of the White House’s policies.

      Obama cautioned against expecting too much from the speech, which he said was just the first step in opening a broader dialogue with the Muslim world.

      “After all, one speech is not going to transform very real policy differences and some very difficult issues surrounding the Middle East and the relationship between Islam and the west,” Obama said.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/03/AR2009060300898_pf.html

      • That poor man actually thinks empty words can change the world. He really thinks his ability to read a teleprompter makes him a world leader.

        • Yea, he’s suddenly backpedaling about the magical power of his speeches, realizing that, “uh…this governin’ is hard! I thought I could just read Favreau’s speeches for 4 years and have my as* kissed.”

    12. And therein lies the very core of narciissim. It’s all about him. He can make this happen. He honestly believes this.

    13. But the reactions from North Korea & Iran to his let’s-be-friends overtures surprised him a bit. What–they won’t just roll over and love me?

    14. Another good read Mablue

      Perhaps if we clap our hands and all shout “we believe” Obama will be able to close down Guantanamo by 2010. At least that seemed to be the belief from a poster at The Left Coaster.

      As for your question on why he doesn’t have to prove anything to the left, that’d be because half of the left are going to keep on voting for him regardless of what he actually does. They have to. In their sorry little minds the alternative is too scary to contemplate. They would have to call each other Republican r@tf*cker if they actually decided that accountability meant clucking like a scold.

    15. Twenty-five people, including one American, have died over the past two weeks after being poisoned by homemade liquor laced with methanol on Indonesia’s resort islands of Bali and Lombok, police said Tuesday.

      Former Phoenix, Ariz. artist, Rose Johnson, was among the victims. The 48-year-old died Sunday at the Sanglah General Hospital in Bali after ingesting the lethal concoction made with methanol — a toxic chemical compound often used in antifreeze, the Phoenix News Times reported. It’s believed Johnson most likely died from acute alcohol poisoning.

      Police spokesman Gde Sugianyar said that 20 others fell ill and were hospitalized after consuming home-brewed rice liquor, Arak. He said two people had been detained in connection with the poisonings.

      Citizens from Britain, the Netherlands and Ireland were also among the dead, said Putu Alit, chief of forensics at Bali’s Sanglah hospital.

      Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used for fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde as well as plastics and paints.

      Alcohol is heavily taxed in Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, and the high prices have spawned a huge black market for wine and liquor.

      A local man has been arrested for making the home-distilled liquor that killed Johnson and 24 others, Bali police said.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,524340,00.html?test=latestnews

    16. Obama’s Cairo security angers some Muslims

      As President Obama nears his much-awaited address to the Muslim world, some Muslims are outraged that security precautions in Cairo, Egypt, have blocked off a historic mosque.

      Obama is scheduled to visit the 14th-century Sultan Hassan mosque with Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, head of al-Azhar University, an Islamic school that is co-hosting Obama’s visit.

      But super-tight security surrounding the president’s trip — which has included thousands of U.S. and Egyptian security forces cordoning off Obama’s route and even rounding up and questioning select students at the Islamic university — has put a security perimeter around the Sultan Hassan mosque.

      “This [restricting the faithful from praying at the mosque] is impermissible in Shariah,” Muslim Brotherhood member Muhsen Radi told al-Arabiya. “Egypt’s security service has cordoned the whole area around the mosque and has told businesses nearby to close on Wednesday and Thursday.”

      The Muslim Brotherhood, a banned group represented by independents in Egpyt’s parliament, has criticized Obama’s visit heavily and complained about the mosque restrictions in parliament as well as to Tantawi, al-Arabiya reported.

      http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obamas-cairo-security-angers-some-muslims-2009-06-02.html

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