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    • Remember Colin Powell
      Colin Powell was the first black secretary of state. He was the consummate insider, who climbed the military bureaucracy with great skill and vigor. A man who always knew what had to be done to get ahead and get along. In Vietnam, for example, he understood his role perfectly: his time as a young U.S. Army Major posted in Saigon, when, after the My Lai Massa […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Served By The Confluence*

Healthcare Reform

Dems on Dems violence.
Democrats Are at Odds on Financing Health Care

House and Senate Democrats appeared on Thursday to be on a collision course over how to pay for a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system, with the House planning to propose an income tax increase on the wealthiest Americans, an idea that Senate negotiators have all but dismissed as unworkable.

Super majorities in both Houses of Congress, and the White House. Who are we trying to appease here, the Terry Randall-constituency? Oh I forget we still have those very important “centrists”. Sigh!
Could Abortion Coverage Sink Health-Care Reform?

While current versions of the legislation do not address the abortion issue at all, late last month, 19 antiabortion Democrats in the House sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warning that they “cannot support any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health-insurance plan.

Somebody please kill me now!

House Democrats buck leaders on health-care bill unveiling

Rank-and-file Democrats stalled the introduction of a long-awaited health-care bill in the House on Thursday by conducting a letter-writing campaign of sorts to put forth their demands for changes to the legislation, even before its authors could unveil it.

Obama Budget Chief Says Health Bill ‘Not Enough’ to Fix System

How Canadians Feel About Their Health Care: Wait Times and Spending

Economy News

Paul Krugman to the administration: You guys blew it! Man up and see if we can polish the turd still save the economy.
The Stimulus Trap

It was disturbing when President Obama walked back Mr. Biden’s admission that the administration “misread” the economy, declaring that “there’s nothing we would have done differently.” There was a whiff of the Bush infallibility complex in that remark, a hint that the current administration might share some of its predecessor’s inability to admit mistakes. And that’s an attitude neither Mr. Obama nor the country can afford.

Brown Manure, Not Green Shoots (Nouriel Roubini)

The jobs situation is even worse than the headlines.

Larry as Fed Chairman?
Barry Ritholtz says “Fuck Hell no!” and makes some Mt Vesuvius-size threats. Please don’t challenge him, don’t make him do it:

So help me God, if Obama nominates this incompetent, lacking-in-judgment jackboot to the FOMC chair, then in 2012, I will write in George W. Bush’s name for President . . .

What? We shouldn’t have listened to God Alan Greenspan?
The Man Nobody Wanted To Hear

William White predicted the approaching financial crisis years before 2007’s subprime meltdown. But central bankers preferred to listen to his great rival Alan Greenspan instead, with devastating consequences for the global economy.

With Sale of Good Assets, G.M. Out of Bankruptcy

General Motors completed a major step in its turnaround on Friday and closed the sale of its good assets to a new, government-backed carmaker, at a speed unimagined by auto and bankruptcy experts even six months ago.

Geithner says derivatives blindsided the gov’t

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is telling lawmakers the U.S. economy stumbled last year in part because the power and risks of an explosive derivatives market blindsided the government.

China replacing U.S. as top trade partner in Latin America

China has moved aggressively to fill a vacuum left by the United States in recent years, as the U.S. focused on wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the global economic crisis sapped its economy.

Palinpalooza: There’s something for everyone.

A midlife meltdown for Palin

What if Palin were president?

Sarah ‘Barracuda’ Palin and the Piranhas of the Press

The Media as Villains in the Palin Story? Not Guilty, Your Honor

Here Sarah Palin explains the difference between her much more warranted “whine” and Hillary’s unnecessary “whine”

At one point during the campaign you said Hillary Clinton whines a little bit too much about being in the public eye. Do you now sort of sympathize with her?
What I said was, it doesn’t do her or anybody else any good to whine about the criticism. And that’s why I’m trying to make it clear that the criticism, I invite that. But freedom of speech and that invitation to constructively criticize a public servant is a lot different than the allowance to lie, to continually falsely accuse a public servant when they have proven over and over again that they have not done what the accuser is saying they did. It doesn’t cost them a dime to continue to accuse. That’s a whole different situation. But that’s why when I talk about the political potshots that I take or my family takes, we can handle that. I can handle that. I expect it. But there has to be opportunity provided for truth to get out there, and truth isn’t getting out there when the political game that’s being played right now is going to continue, and it is. When you realize that it doesn’t cost them a dime and it’s a fun sport for some, you know it’s going to continue. I love Alaska too much to put her through this in a lame-duck session.

Yeah! Whatever you say. There are over 40(!) books savaging Hillary Clinton any which way can imagine, a gazillion articles questioning even her humanity and she’s still going. When did she “whine about the criticism”?

Now that HE has spoken, I think we can close the speculations book:
Levi Johnson says Palin stepped down for money, family

Johnston met with reporters to say that he heard her musing about a better life, one in which she could spend more time at home, reduce her stress, and accept the lucrative offers coming her way.

War On Terror

U.S. military didn’t want to release Iranians held in Iraq

The United States claims that the five, detained in January 2007 in the northern city of Erbil, were in the Qods Force, the covert arms of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and were arming and training anti-U.S. insurgents. It has not provided detailed evidence to back up that charge, asserting it would compromise secret intelligence methods, and never pressed formal charges.

The US takes to the shadows in Iraq

Say what? Bin Laden was actually inside the US? Steve Coll has the goods.
Osama In America: The Final Answer (via Comment Central)

The question of whether Osama bin Laden has ever visited the United States, a subject on which I have expended an unhealthy amount of energy in the course of various journalistic and biographical research, has now seemingly been settled. Osama was here for two weeks in 1979, it seems, and he visited Indiana and Los Angeles, among other places.

Watchdog group: Dozens of active-duty troops found on neo-Nazi site

[T]here’s one other thing that dozens of members of newsaxon.org, a white supremacist social networking website, have in common: They proudly identify themselves as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces.


Beat The Press

Way to make it easy for your critics
White House Press Corps Happy to Attend Barack Obama’s Off-the-Record BBQ

Reporters from roughly 30 television networks, newspapers, magazines, and web sites celebrated the Fourth of July with Barack Obama at the White House last weekend. Why didn’t you know that? Because they were sworn to secrecy.

For Huffington Post, left is right

Around The World

What actually happened in Honduras and how did it happen?
Q+A: The dispute that led to a coup in Honduras

Was there a coup in Honduras? The answer divides a nation.

Honduras is a nation divided. After its president was unceremoniously flown out of the country, a new government was sworn in hours later. On Monday, the airport was shut down for 48 hours and protest marches continued in the capital. The Associated Press reported that Mr. Zelaya was flying back to Washington Tuesday to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But if the crisis centers at the highest levels of government, it has also spilled down into the nation’s entire political establishment. And from the vantage of a social democratic party president, who fields concerns from members who support the ouster, condemn it, and all the shades of gray in between, the repercussions of this division could be felt for far longer than the immediate crisis itself.

Fearless Iranians to the Mullahs: “Bring it on!”
Iran Protesters Take to Streets Despite Threats

Thousands of Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran on Thursday, clapping, chanting, almost mocking the authorities as they once again turned out in large numbers in defiance of the government’s threat to crush their protests with violence.

Deadly Uighur riots may force policy debate in Beijing

Kurds Defy Baghdad, Laying Claim to Land and Oil

Oh No!

Montco swim club accused of racial discrimination

Days before a Northeast Philadelphia day camp’s membership at a private suburban swim club was rescinded, several of the campers said they had heard racial remarks about themselves at the pool.

Of course we have the usual démenti
Swim club denies any wrongdoing in statement on Web site


Maureen Dowd has an excuse, so do all the plagiarists: It’s called cryptomnesia.
You Didn’t Plagiarize, Your Unconscious Did

Is cryptomnesia—copying the work of others without being aware of it—to blame for journalism’s ultimate sin? Um, maybe not.

Heart Warming Story of The Week

One-of-a-Kind Commencement

Howard Community College Makes a Very Special Delivery To Award a Degree to the Oldest Member of the Class of 2009

*With assistance from Dr BostonBoomer

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49 Responses

  1. I’ve somehow missed the “green shoots” thing. Can someone tell me what that concept refers to? I’m lost.

    • see Dakini’s post on June 18- “Dismal Economists: Getting Real on those Green Shoots”.

      Green shoots is a (in)famous phrase of Obama’s in ref. to the economy improving.

  2. Hopeful signs for an economic recovery which exist in the windmills of Obama’s mind.

  3. Masslib, that was a reply to you.
    Thanks, mablue 2, for a fantastic roundup.

  4. What a great reading list! Thanks, MABlue. I may have to look at some of these links after work this afternoon. Now to start the Steve Coll piece!

  5. Isn’t this kind of discrimination illegal? What a disgusting thing to do to innocent children!


    (CNN) — A Philadelphia-area day care center said Thursday that members of a private swim club made racist comments about the center’s children, and the club then canceled their swimming privileges.

    The Creative Steps Day Care children — ages kindergarten through seventh grade — went to the Valley Swim Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, on June 29.

    The day center’s director, Alethea Wright, had contracted to use the club once a week. During their first visit, some children said they heard club members asking why African-American children were there.

    One of the boys told the Philadelphia Inquirer that a woman at the club said she feared the children “might do something” to her child.

    Days later, the day care center’s $1,950 check was returned without explanation, Wright said.

    • That’s story has been out for a couple of days. I even saw the video.

      I thought I was done but I’m going to add it.

      • I know. I’ve been following it. But it just makes me so angry.

        • I can’t stand it when children get hurt. And I don’t understand why so many people don’t mind hurting children. They are so vulnerable.

    • Philadelphia; Swim Club Accused Of Discrimination july 8 2009

  6. Thanks for the reading list, mablue. I’ve been wondering what has been happening in Iran. Also, I find it interesting the Bin Laden’s wife was in Indianapolis (near me) and found the people “gentle and nice”. This makes his attacks all the more inexplicable, it’s hard to dehumanize people once you’ve met them.

  7. Democrats Are at Odds on Financing Health Care

    The only time I see Dem fighting is with each other …or their base. Then the fangs come out.

    • “We do this not just on behalf of this institution, but on behalf of this democracy,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). “There’s kind of a unilateralism, an undemocratic, unreachable way about these signing statements.”

      So how did Bush get away with, I believe , 700 of them? He had a GOP congress for six of those years, but I didn’t hear even a peep , much less a protest from the likes of Mr. Franks for the 2 years Dems had the house while Bush was at the White House. It would have been nice if Franks got all tingly about democracy, and said that in 2006 .

    • Wow-I didn’t know that was happening. 😦

      The conditions on World Bank and IMF funding were part of the $106 billion war supplemental bill that was passed last month. Obama, in a statement made as he signed the bill, said that he would ignore the conditions.

      They would “interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions,” Obama said in the signing statement.

      Senior Democrats and Republicans railed against the notion that the president could ignore a law they had passed and he had signed.

  8. I’m disappointed in Krugman’s piece. He may or may not be right about more stimulus needed, but he seems willfully blind to the fact that a big problem with Stim 1.0 was not the amount, but HOW it is being spent or not spent.

    Simply calling something a “stimulus” does not make it stimulating. If I give someone 50 bucks to go buy some groceries for me, and they instead are spending it on cigarettes and beer, the immediate problem is NOT that I didn’t give them enough money.

    Of course, there may be a valid argument as to whether $50 is truly enough to buy groceries. But that point is a bit moot until I can get the fuckers to stop buying cigarettes and beer.

    I am disappointed that Krugman is utterly failing to address this.

    • Good point. They rushed it through because IT HAD TO HAPPEN NOW! and most of the money is not being spent until 2011-2019. There is also a completely irresponsible lack of accountability regarding how it is spent. One report referred to it as a “waterfall of money pouring into the states,” but with no restrictions or oversight at all. The White House even admitted that they wouldn’t know if the money was being spent correctly until AFTER the fact. WTF? Reports now indicate that states are not using the money as “intended,” but are just desperate to stay afloat, and putting it toward whatever needs attention right now. It’s a mess.

      • It’s shit like this that makes people draconian fiscal conservatives. I can’t tell you the number of people I know who, while they are not AT ALL ideologically conservatives, feel forced into the “screw you, I want low taxes” box as the only option left to them. They don’t trust the govt, whether right or left, with their money. They will vote for whoever has a hand in their pockets less, and f*ck all other considerations. I don’t agree, but can’t honestly say that I blame them.

        Bill Clinton was the last president who proved in practice that Liberal principles can work for a strong economy. And the current crop is pissing that legacy away as fast as they can. (Bush already pissed the opposite away for the Repubs.)

        If this continues, expect to see complete cynical disillusionment in the form of “I know they are ALL lying bastards, D and R, so just keep your hands off my paycheck and leave me the hell alone.” And they will vote for whoever they think will do that, and won’t give a rat’s ass if he is a fire-breathing scumbag whose every other policy sucks.

    • “Simply calling something a “stimulus” does not make it stimulating.”

      I understand the sentiment, but this is dead wrong as an economic claim . It doesn’t matter in the least what the stimulus is spent on; what matters is that it is spent.

      • well let me tell you.if they had given that money to we the people.it would be a stimulus.cause we have spent it.

      • BS. It does matter what the money is spent on and where it is spent. When you pour it down a black hole of pork barreling or 20 year old Democratic wishlists, you get little stimulus for it.

      • It absolutely does matter what it is spent on, and there are many studies to prove that. Infrastructure creates JOBS, and there is a direct correlation between fueling the economy and specific stimulus targets. Pouring money indiscriminately into states provides ample opportunity for corruption and mismanagement.

      • Like the drip down theory I suppose

        or KISS-(keep it simple stupid)

        simplistic because tax breaks often end up NOT being spent.

      • You now what would have been an excellent stimulus? Spain which is going thru an enormous excess housing crisis at the moment, is buying up the housing glut.

        70% of unsold housing will be bought up by the government and used as Public Housing.

  9. If I give someone 50 bucks to go buy some groceries for me, and they instead are spending it on cigarettes and beer, the immediate problem is NOT that I didn’t give them enough money.

    well put! lol.

  10. No post on Obama checking out the a*s of the 16 yr. old Brazlian girl? It’s hilarious, watching the MSM and Obamabots frantically spinning it:

    “If you watch the whole video, he could have just been helping her with the step!”

    “It only humanizes him, and makes me like him more.”

    “He was just looking down, because he almost tripped.”

  11. Unbelievably condescending, and patronizing piece about Palin from Peggy Noonan. She is the GOP MODO–so sanctimonious and full of herself. Another Villager:

    A Farewell to Harms
    Palin was bad for the Republicans—and the republic.
    By Peggy Noonan


    • Peggy is the Villagers, Villager. With each passing day I found myself approving of Palin’s decision more and more. The GOP only wanted her to be a cash cow and punching bag. Dems did not cause her to quit…it was her own party . Why put her family and state though this shit when it’s your own party doing it?

    • She must have fell in love with Obama at this dinner meeting! The Repubs love him because he’s so much like George, not Will but Bush! http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/17441.html?xid=rss-page

  12. “…19 antiabortion Democrats in the House sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, warning that they “cannot support any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion…”

    Who are these anti-abortion Democrats?? Article listed two men. I am really surprised there are that many anti-abortion Democrats. Humph.

    • She should sent it back saying NO COVERAGE FOR VIAGRA (or generics) too, they will fold.

      • Or send it back saying that included will be mandatory state-funded paternity testing on any man a woman names as father – refusal or avoidance to be answered with an arrest warrant.

        Then, IMMEDIATE garnishment of the man’s wages for support for that unborn child, to begin the moment it comes back a match – no lengthy process, no filing or family court proceedings or arguing by the woman, just automatic govt enforced GENEROUS child support, including the pregnancy/birth expenses, in every single case of a paternity match

        Let’s see how fast they’d back off. They’d shit themselves all becoming pro-choice as fast as they could.

    • Don’t you mean anti feminists? I mean from what I understand and all being anti choice means these guys think women are chattel. 😉

      • They are certainly not feminists. Gee, D next to your name doesn’t make you a feminist.

    • I was curious about that as well it was two women and seventeen men:

      “The letter was signed by Reps. Dan Boran (D-Okla.), Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), Colin Peterson (D-Minn..), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Mike Mclntyre (D-N.C.), Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), James Oberstar (D-Minn.), Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), John Murtha (D-Pa.), Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), and Kathleen Dahlkemper (D-Pa.).”

  13. take away their viagra.it will take the wind out of their sails

  14. […] The Confluence, in this morning’s news roundup, mablue2 has something to say about an Time Magazine interview in which Palin digs herself  in […]

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