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    • 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, Sunday Edition

Health Care Clusterf*@k

Two things happened here: First, instead of standing up for the successful parts of Mass Health, Romney decided to denigrate anything that had to with MA, the State that made him a Governor, in order to suck up to the extreme Right-wing; Secondly, there is unbearable mendacity present throutout the ranks of those who don’t want any type of reform and who mainain “we have the best healthcare in the world”
Romney a victim in health care debate

Three years ago, Romney was heralded for his innovative effort to institute near-universal health care in his state. But now that the issue has emerged as a partisan fault line and the Massachusetts plan has provided some guidance for Democratic reform efforts, Romney finds himself bruised and on the defensive as the GOP rallies around opposition to President Barack Obama’s plans.

When Romney came to Washington last week to speak to social conservative activists at the annual Value Voters Summit, his potential 2012 GOP rivals chewed him up in front of the same audience over his Massachusetts legacy.

Jon Kyl says he doesn’t need all this “women stuff”, so why why not flush it all down the toilet in order to achieve a “bipartisan” health care reform?
Health reform: why stakes for women are especially high

[W]omen face steeper healthcare challenges than men. Women interact with the healthcare system more often, because of female-specific health needs, and so are more vulnerable to a system with soaring costs and with restrictions that hurt women specifically.

“The current market doesn’t work very well for women,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D) of Illinois, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, speaking Friday at a breakfast with reporters.

Speaking of “best healtchare in the world”
How Does the Quality of U.S. Health Care Compare Internationally?

Authors Elizabeth Docteur and Robert Berenson find that international studies of health care quality do not in and of themselves provide a definitive answer to this question.

What they do show is that the evidence for American superiority in quality of care (or lack thereof) is a mixed bag, with the nation doing relatively well in some areas—such as cancer care—and less well in others—such as mortality from treatable and preventable conditions.

And while evidence base is incomplete and suffers from other limitations, it does not provide support for the oft-repeated claim that the “U.S. health care is the best in the world.” In fact, there is no hard evidence that identifies particular areas in which U.S. health care quality is truly exceptional.

Addressing the American public’s widespread concern about the potential negative impact of health reform on the quality of care they currently receive, the authors conclude that reform should in fact be seen as an opportunity to systematically improve quality of care, rather than a threat to the existing system. It provides an opportunity to build on strengths and correct weaknesses in U.S. health care, working towards aims for improvement that the care provided is safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient and equitable.


More from the new must-read book.
Family Ties: The Other Bill Clinton

In acclaimed historian Taylor Branch’s new book The Clinton Tapes — woven from Branch’s recorded conversations with the President from 1993 to 2001 — the portrait of the relationship between Bill Clinton, a man who never knew his own father, and his daughter reveals a side we rarely saw on the public stage. Bill Clinton, it turns out, raised a daughter and ran the free world, sometimes in that order.

If you don’t believe it, consider the fight Branch describes between Clinton and Al Gore in November 1995. Gore told Clinton the President needed to visit Japan to heal a rift caused when Clinton failed to attend an APEC economic summit. Looking over Clinton’s calendar, Gore noticed three light days in January. No, Clinton said, he needed to be home for Chelsea, who’d be taking her junior-year midterms. Gore was dumbstruck. “Al,” Clinton said, “I am not going to Japan and leave Chelsea by herself to take these exams.”

CA GOP Convention looks like fun.
Top Republican GOP candidates joust at convention

Steve Poizner points to Meg Whitman’s apparent failure to vote until she was 46 years old. Tom Campbell mocks his rivals’ budget plans.

“Is That Any Way to Treat a Brother?” Cont’d
House ally criticizes Obama over advice he gave governor

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, in an unusual public spat involving three of the nation’s most prominent black politicians, criticized President Barack Obama for reportedly pressuring New York Gov. David Paterson not to seek a full term.

In an interview for broadcast Sunday on “Washington Watch With Roland Martin,” a new talk show, Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress and a close Obama ally, reacted sharply to published reports that Obama emissaries had advised the unpopular incumbent against running next year.


Around The Nation

Can a “Father” get a table dance? Silly me! I thought he was just praying for her sins.
The priest, the stripper, and their baby

She was an exotic dancer at a Miami strip club called Porky’s. He showed up wearing a Hawaiian shirt, eager to share a night in the VIP lounge.

They began a torrid, on-and-off love affair that ended for good in January, after she gave birth to a daughter she says is his. Now, she wants child support and has filed a restraining order against him.

It might be a routine, if tawdry, court case if not for respondent David Dueppen’s job: Catholic priest with the Miami Archdiocese.

Group marches for ‘white civil rights’ in wake of bus beating

A group waving flags adorned with swastikas traded insults with and challenged a crowd of about 250 onlookers from behind yellow wooden barricades manned by police including SWAT members during a midday protest Saturday.

The making of a horror show.
Michelle Phillips and Friends Speak Out about Mackenzie’s Incest Allegations

I applaud Mackenzie Phillips’s crushingly difficult honesty. Even in our confessional culture, there are a few taboos that never stop shaming the confessor, and incest is one of those few. It is, simply put, a life-ruiner, and it’s amazing that Mackenzie, addictions notwithstanding, survived as productively as she has. But what do the people in her family, and the Mamas and Papas family, think of her revelations? I made some inquiries.


Economy Watch

6 to 1! Yaowza! Those among us with a job should hang on very tight, it’s rough out there.
U.S. Job Seekers Exceed Openings by Record Ratio

Despite signs that the economy has resumed growing, unemployed Americans now confront a job market that is bleaker than ever in the current recession, and employment prospects are still getting worse.

Job seekers now outnumber openings six to one, the worst ratio since the government began tracking open positions in 2000. According to the Labor Department’s latest numbers, from July, only 2.4 million full-time permanent jobs were open, with 14.5 million people officially unemployed.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Washington and London don’t seem to be as serious about these reforms as Paris and Berlin are.
World Leaders Commit to Rein in Financial Bonuses

The leaders of 20 of the world’s biggest economies committed to a laundry list of executive pay reforms for financial firms, including limiting bonuses to a portion of total net revenues and linking them tightly to share prices. But don’t count on sweeping mandates from regulators just yet.

Listen to this man. He’s very smart.
Clinton’s Cure For Capitalism

Former President Bill Clinton, in an exclusive interview with Forbes this week, stated adamantly that major multinational companies must put their customers’ and employees’ interests before those of shareholders in order to promote economic development and growth, especially in the emerging markets.

Clinton also adamantly criticized Wall Street’s use of exotic securities like derivative contracts and asset-backed securities. “We created all these new securities, which have no value and create no jobs,” Clinton charged in the interview. He strongly suggested that the markets would be more stable and benign if investors would return to the practice of long-term investing.

Our useless “Watchdog”
As Subprime Lending Crisis Unfolded, Watchdog Fed Didn’t Bother Barking

Between 2004 and 2007, bank affiliates made more than 1.1 million subprime loans, around 13 percent of the national total, federal data show. Thousands ended in foreclosure, helping to spark the crisis and leaving borrowers and investors to deal with the consequences.
[…]
The Federal Reserve is best known as an economic shepherd, responsible for adjusting interest rates to keep prices steady and unemployment low. But since its creation, the Fed has held a second job as a banking regulator, one of four federal agencies responsible for keeping banks healthy and protecting their customers. Congress also authorized the Fed to write consumer protection rules enforced by all the agencies.


Hot Spots

What to do with a war that’s becoming unpopular by the day?
Plan to Boost Afghan Forces Splits Obama Advisers

As President Obama weighs sending more troops to Afghanistan, one of the most consequential decisions of his presidency, he has discovered that the military is not monolithic in support of the plan and that some of the civilian advisers he respects most have deep reservations.

No Deadline Set for Decision on Troops

President Obama has not set a deadline for determining a new strategy or for committing more troops to the war in Afghanistan, despite an urgent request from his top commander, his national security adviser said Saturday.

In a lengthy telephone interview, retired Gen. James L. Jones outlined Obama’s plans for reassessing the war effort. Jones noted that although the administration has seen some progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it remains uncertain about the outcome of President Hamid Karzai’s contentious bid for reelection.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran thinks Obama should either go for it, or fold. No “bipartisan” solution is warranted.
In Afghanistan, Splitting the Difference May Be Obama’s Most Dangerous Choice

As Obama and senior members of his national security team plot the way forward in Afghanistan following Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s assessment, and in anticipation of the general’s expected request for as many as 40,000 additional troops for the war, the starkest choices may be the president’s best options. The most dangerous course, according to some military strategists and diplomats in Afghanistan, is what Obama often gravitates toward: the middle ground.

Meanwhile, on the Iran front…
U.S. to Demand Inspection of New Iran Plant ‘Within Weeks’

The Obama administration plans to tell Iran this week that it must open a newly revealed nuclear enrichment site to international inspectors “within weeks,” according to senior administration officials. The administration will also tell Tehran that inspectors must have full access to the key personnel who put together the clandestine plant and to the documents surrounding its construction

I think Iran has already responded.
Iran missile tests stoke tensions

Iran has tested two short-range missiles and announced plans for a controversial long-range missile test, state TV reports.

Just in case you forgot, there’s also Pakistan.
US threatens airstrikes in Pakistan

The United States is threatening to launch airstrikes on Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership in the Pakistani city of Quetta as frustration mounts about the ease with which they find sanctuary across the border from Afghanistan.

The threat comes amid growing divisions in Washington about whether to deal with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan by sending more troops or by reducing them and targeting the terrorists.

Frank Rich puts it all together. This is a very critical phase for the Obama presidency.
Obama at the Precipice

THE most intriguing, and possibly most fateful, news of last week could not be found in the health care horse-trading in Congress, or in the international zoo at the United Nations, or in the Iran slapdown in Pittsburgh. It was an item tucked into a blog at ABCNews.com. George Stephanopoulos reported that the new “must-read book” for President Obama’s war team is “Lessons in Disaster” by Gordon M. Goldstein, a foreign-policy scholar who had collaborated with McGeorge Bundy, the Kennedy-Johnson national security adviser, on writing a Robert McNamara-style mea culpa about his role as an architect of the Vietnam War.

Gelnn Greenwald has some questions.
Should any Iraq lessons be applied to Iran?


Around The World

Fidel Castro’s Cuba full of his offspring after years of womanising by El Commandante

When journalist Ann Louise Bardach asked Castro how many children he had during an interview with Vanity Fair in 1993, he smiled and answered “almost a tribe”.

During the research for Without Fidel, her new book chronicling the lives of Castro and his brother, Raul, to be published by Scribner, she discovered how true that observation was.

It’s election day today here in Germany. Angela Merkel’s party (CDU) will certainly keep the majority. The main opposition and coalition partner, the center-left SPD may be in for some shellacking, and I don’t understand why. The only thing interesting question is how many votes are the extreme left parties going to gather and how well is the liberal party FDP going to do (I don’t understand why anyone in his right mind would vote for those guys).
All thing considered, this has been the most boring election with the most boring personalities I’ve ever witnessed.
The Enemy Within: Angela Merkel’s Fight to Hold on to Power

German Chancellor Angela Merkel may look set for another term in office, but her political future hinges on the election result. If her CDU party ends up having to form another grand coalition with the center-left SPD, it will spell the beginning of the end of her political career.

Diverse Sources Fund Insurgency In Afghanistan Poses Challenge

The Taliban-led insurgency has built a fundraising juggernaut that generates cash from such an array of criminal rackets, donations, taxes, shakedowns and other schemes that U.S. and Afghan officials say it may be impossible to choke off the movement’s money supply.


Odds & Ends

Ever heard of resurrection?
“Dead” baby wakes up for his funeral wake

A baby boy born 16 weeks prematurely was declared dead by doctors at a hospital in Paraguay only to wake up in time for his funeral wake hours later.

How ’bout them bad girls?
The ten most notorious female criminals

[T]here is no shortage of women in history who have been anything but law-abiding. From ‘the Queen of London whoredom’ who charged £250,000 for a single night of her services, notorious drug baron ‘The Godmother’, or ‘Hell-Cat Maggie’ with her specially sharpened teeth, there’s a criminal here to satisfy every warped taste.


HAVE A NICE SUNDAY!!!

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82 Responses

  1. Remember last time NY Times apologized? Was it for the WMD story? They are at it again – on ACORN, and you won’t believe the excuse
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/protecting-the-progressives/

    • Very good post!

    • Too bad Irish Catholics don’t have a day similar to Yom Kippur, there is one NYT columnist and a couple TV “journalists” (one deceased) that are partly responsible for the eight years of Bush we haven’t recovered from.

      • Irish Catholics have Lent. By now there’s a rather extensive list of things they could give up: CDS, PDS, general (as opposed to specific) misogyny, Obamidolatry , and probably most of the Seven Deadlies.

  2. Catholic priest with the Miami Archdiocese

    The parents of the altar boys should feel relieved.

  3. David Dueppen is not the first priest to father a child. Father Miquel Hidalgo y Costilla whose “Grito de Dolores” started the Mexican War of Independence broke a few rules too:

    Although Hidalgo was educated as a priest in the traditional way, he did not advocate or live the lifestyle expected of 18th-century Mexican priests. Instead, his studies of Enlightenment-era ideas caused him to challenge traditional political and religious views. He questioned the absolute authority of the Spanish king and challenged numerous ideas presented by the Church, including the absolute power of the Pope, the virgin birth, and clerical celibacy. He enjoyed behavior regarded as outside the parameters of priests, including dancing and gambling. He openly lived with a woman named Maria Manuela Herrera,[12] fathering two daughters out of wedlock with her, and later fathered three other children with a woman named Josefa Quintana.

    In addition to the five kids he is also known as “The Father of the Nation of Mexico.”

    (Neither of the two women were strippers though)

  4. Great news roundup – thanks!

  5. Roman Polanski ‘arrested on US warrant’ in Switzerland http://bit.ly/IrhD5

    • I was just about to post that. Why on earth are they arresting him now?

      • No idea, I guess he has only gone to a handful of countries that wouldn’t extradite him. I guess Switzerland is not one of those places.

        sorta ot, but Susan Atkins died on Thursday. The Manson family member that killed Sharon Tate, Polanski’s wife.

  6. Thanks for the roundup. And, that kitty in the photo looks exactly like my cat.

  7. I like the roundup too, interesting read on ten most violent female criminals.

    -Unemployment rate for young explodes to 52.2%… http://tinyurl.com/ybxdu8y

    -Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs, New Research Finds http://bit.ly/Hcbtm

    -(Tappan Zee Bridge, like him.) Daughter of slain newspaper heiress kills self in death plunge http://bit.ly/10TLo6

    • Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs

      Don’t conservatives believe in corporal punishment? That would explain a lot.

      • I never spanked or laid a hand on my daughter despite the challenges of raising her. Today, she’s a super-liberal, activist, Hillary supporter that never drank a drop of kool-aid, with a recently tested IQ of 149.

        I rest my case.

        • My daughter discovered that if she came crying and apologizing for something before I found out about it she could completely escape punishment.

          “That’s okay honey, don’t cry. I’m not mad at you. Is the house still on fire?”

          • LOL! That always worked for my husband too! If I knew about it before him, I always suggested she put on that “face” and use the “Daddy, I luuuuvvv you” lead in.

          • That always worked for my daughter.

    • Agree with the non-spanking but, in the article the study seems dubious.

  8. Dave Sirota 2.0:

    The recent headlines about President Obama working to crush primary campaigns against Democratic incumbents would be great fodder for a canned column looking at hypocrisy.

    Yes, it would be easy to read about the president trying to clear the Empire State’s primary field for appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and then pen a screed wondering how that squares with Obama promising to avoid “be(ing) the kingmaker” in local elections.

    With the White House citing genteel deference to incumbents as justification for its efforts to stop a Democratic primary against Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, it would be a cinch to write an essay noting that Obama might never have become a successful politician had he not first taken on incumbents in 1996 and 2000.

    Watching Obama help newly appointed Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., attempt to thwart a primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), I might have a grand time simply railing on a president who never would have reached national prominence had he not run against machine-backed puppets in a Senate primary. Indeed, this Colorado example is a replica of that now-famous Illinois contest in 2004. Bennet, like one of Obama’s toughest opponents back then, is a millionaire who has never run for public office. And as in 2004, that millionaire is being propped up by the establishment against an Obama-esque state legislator who has oodles of experience and grass-roots support. The hypocrisy, of course, is that Obama is now backing the tycoon instead of his former self.

    I kinda like this new Sirota. The old one sucked really bad.

  9. Former President Bill Clinton, in an exclusive interview with Forbes this week, stated adamantly that major multinational companies must put their customers’ and employees’ interests before those of shareholders in order to promote economic development and growth, especially in the emerging markets.

    and

    Gore told Clinton the President needed to visit Japan to heal a rift caused when Clinton failed to attend an APEC economic summit. Looking over Clinton’s calendar, Gore noticed three light days in January. No, Clinton said, he needed to be home for Chelsea, who’d be taking her junior-year midterms. Gore was dumbstruck. “Al,” Clinton said, “I am not going to Japan and leave Chelsea by herself to take these exams.”

    {{{sigh}}}
    I love that man.

    • That story about Chelsea is beautiful.

    • I’m always happy when I learn more that Bill turns out to be what I thought he was all along. A great man and fine father.

      He and Hillary’s best legacy will likely be Chelsea.

      • Yup!

        It’s amazing because we heard over and over again that Clinton was the prototype of the calculating politician. More and more, we are discovering than he is more mensch than any other politician on the scene.

  10. Isn’t it special that a new book is out to give Obama the Kennedy answer to his dilemma in AfPak. And Joe Biden is the voice for that direction. I think it could be a win/win for the US—-he decides to fold and get out of the graveyard of failed imperialist ambitions and it gives the Repubs a point to hit him with—“surrender” is always a great weapon of the right. (And having Biden as the cheerleader on that approach will just add to the fracas.) I love that claim that he is so brilliant and analytical, so presidential!

    What is the real calculus? What will save the O presidency? ( That is all that really matters.) Will the public opinion polls and a Kennedy book be enough to persuade him to take that road home?

  11. notice Bill is speaking up more???

  12. “Women interact with the healthcare system more often, because of female-specific health needs…”

    This is just dripping in sexism, it infuriates me. As if simply being female were a disease requiring extensive treatment. You know why insurance rates have really gone up? Because insurance companies invested money in the market and suffered losses. Guess who has to help them recover their profits?

    Statistics do not back up this idea of women needing more health care because of their “female specific needs.” Whatever the hell that means. Pap smears? A mammogram once in a while? Childbirth? The auto insurance companies know the truth, they charge more for men, especially young men, because they tend to get into more accidents, to engage in more risky behaviors.

  13. The battle for health care is constantly shifting:

    For Democrats, Cracks in a United Front

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/us/politics/26memo.html?_r=1&ref=politics

  14. The Clintons at the CGI

    • I caught a bit of CNN discussing the same footage in a different segment….can’t find a youtube….so here’s the CNN transcript:

      So, when is a kiss just a kiss? Bill and Hillary Clinton show some rare affection in public.

      (COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Powerful words and a rare public display of affection. Former President Bill Clinton giving his wife, the secretary of state, a kiss on the forehead. The kiss was planted during a rare joint appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative conference at New York. President Clinton gave his wife a glowing compliment which was promptly returned in kind.

      (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

      BILL CLINTON, FMR U.S. PRESIDENT: Most of what I know about what I do today I learned from her and she’s become the best public servant our family has produced.

      HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It won’t surprise you to hear that I’m very proud of my husband and I think what he has invented and brought to life here is extraordinary.

      (END VIDEO CLIP)

      WHITFIELD: The Clinton’s, the power couple back in the spotlight and President Obama is he too much in the spotlight? Two things that we’re going to tackle with our deputy political director, Paul Steinhauser, here to talk about all the goings on in and outside of Washington.

      Good to see you, Paul.

      Let’s talk about the Clinton’s first and they seem to know how to use their power, don’t they?

      [STEINHAUSER:] And power, they have a lot of it. You said power couple, this is really the ultimate power couple. You’ve got the former president who now heads the Clinton Global Initiative and the secretary of state and a woman who came very close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

      You know Fred, looking at looking at yesterday, it reminded me of the presidential campaign because we haven’t seen these two together too much since Hillary Clinton gave up her shot at the White House about a year and four months ago, so…

      WHITFIELD: In fact, Bill kind of said that. He said, I think I’ve spent more time with her now in this moment than I have in a long time.

      STEINHAUSER: It’s true, so it was a nice picture to see the two of them together and of course the glowing words. They both respect each other, that is obvious. We all remember they had — their marriage went through some difficult times in the late ’90s. But, at least publicly nowadays they are very much, very close and very respectful of each other.

      WHITFIELD: And it seems like they’ve won a lot of respect on the global stage. President Clinton, of course, he had that a long time ago, particularly when he became president and beyond, but as a duo, the two of them seem to be getting a lot of attention on the world stage and people are quick to want to talk with them, want to be with them and want to perhaps plan with them.

      STEINHAUSER: Exactly. And now they are working on so many of the same subjects, like food security is what brought them together yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative and Hillary Clinton said she had learned a lot from her husband and that’s what she models her new program on.

      http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0909/26/cnr.03.html

      p.s. It’s funny how they throw in that “is Obama overexposed” in the middle (CNN concludes no! he’s just perfectly exposed!)

      • “Most of what I know about what I do today I learned from her and she’s become the best public servant our family has produced.”

        Awwww…..now wouldn’t that just look beautiful on a Valentine card? All these cheating family values politicians really need to take some marriage lessons from the Clinton’s.

        • Well, my favorite part was the “i was wrong and she was right!” part of it. I wouldn’t want to be married to Bill, but it sure would be nice to hear those words come out of my husband’s mouth!

  15. Via Crook&Liars – some enlightened teabaggers at the 9/12 event:

  16. I shoulda gone to school to be mad scientist:

    LSD, the drug that launched the psychedelic era and became one of the resounding symbols of the counterculture movement of the ’60s, is back in the labs.

    Nearly 40 years after widespread fear over recreational abuse of LSD and other hallucinogens forced dozens of scientists to abandon their work, researchers at a handful of major institutions – including UCSF and Harvard University – are reigniting studies. Scientists started looking at less controversial drugs, like ecstasy and magic mushrooms, in the late 1990s, but LSD studies only began about a year ago and are still rare.

    The study at UCSF, which is being run by a UC Berkeley graduate student, is looking into the mechanisms of LSD and how it works in the brain. The hope is that such research might support further studies into medical applications of LSD – for chronic headaches, for example – or psychiatric uses.

  17. First numbers from Germany’s elections – 5 min after closing of election offices:

    gov’t change in Germany. A Merkel will likely from a coaltion with the liberal party FDP.

  18. From CNN:

    Honduras is accusing Brazil’s government of instigating an insurrection within its borders, and gave the Brazilian Embassy 10 days to decide the status of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge there.

    “Since the clandestine arrival to Honduras by ex-president Zelaya, the Brazil embassy has been used to instigate violence and insurrection against the Honduran people and the constitutional government,” the secretary of foreign affairs for Honduras’ de facto government said in a statement late Saturday night.

    The statement said Honduras would be forced to take measures against Brazil if Brazil did not define its position on Zelaya. It did not specify what those measures would be.

    I wonder if Paul Lukasiak considers CNN a right-wing source too?

  19. The Big Dawg:

    Former President Bill Clinton told NBC’s David Gregory on “Meet the Press” that the so-called “vast right-wing conspiracy” still exists and is “as virulent as it was,” but has had its impact diminished by the nation’s changing demographics.

    Gregory asked: “Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?”

    The former president replied: “Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America has changed demographically. But it’s as virulent as it was. I mean, they’re saying things about him. You know, it’s like when they accused me of murder, and all that stuff they did. … But … it’s not really good for the Republicans and the country, what’s going on now. I mean, they may be hurting President Obama. They can take his numbers down. They can run his opposition up. But, fundamentally, he and his team have a positive agenda for America. Their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail.”

    • When Bill Clinton uses the term “fundamentally” to me that indicates the same hesitation I see coming from much of the country. Why have 2 million people not descended on DC to protest for universal health care?? Because they aren’t quite sure their president backs them up. Why have millions not gone out to protest the defunding of Acorn? Because they aren’t quite sure this is a organization worthy of their support. People can’t protest and fight for something if they aren’t clear on what the agenda is and where their leadership stands.

      “I mean, they may be hurting President Obama. They can take his numbers down. They can run his opposition up.”

      They sure are. And the way to combat this is for the President to pick a position so people can rally around it and support it and protest for it, instead of being left with nothing to do but try to complain about the craziness of the opposition.

      • 2 million people didn’t descend on DC to protest HCR either – only 80-100 thousand did.

        You keep arguing for a false choice: Either Obama and the Democratic party must rally everyone to the left or we must join up with the right-wing.

        I don’t want anything to do with Obama or the right wing. Or more accurately, Obama AND the right wing.

        • “You keep arguing for a false choice: Either Obama and the Democratic party must rally everyone to the left or we must join up with the right-wing.”

          I’m not advocating that people do anything. I’m simply observing what’s happening. Either the Dems get busy and rally the majority of this country around some fundamental principles or the Republicans will do it.

          • The Obama Democrats ain’t gonna do it, but when I tell people to stay away from the GOP teabaggers you keep arguing with me.

            If you want to defend the GOP go somewhere else, this blog is not for you.

      • How can you stand behind a party or president who stand for nothing?

  20. Looks like results in Germany will not change anymore. Merkel remains chancellor but will change coalition partner from the socialist to the liberal party. New foreign minister will be Mr. Westerwelle, leader of the liberal party, who happens to be openly gay! Change we can believe in!

    • I saw it coming but I don’t understand the beating the center-left party (SPD) took.

      Why in the world would anyone vote for the liberal party (FDP)?

      If I don’t understand people in my own country, why shoudl I understand them here?

      • Why do people vote FDP – very simple….it is a entrepreneurial middle-class incl. small/medium-sized business owners who vote liberal. Germany is a country with a very strong social security network where people who work feel that they pay a lot of taxes with limited incentives for initiative.

        Do you live in Germany?

      • i cant believe how anybody in their right mind can vote for Die Linke!

        • People in the former East Germany have some nostalgia for the former communist party. The other part of Die Linke who were unhappy that the SPD under Shroeder veered to the right.

          But the FDP is advocating horrible economics, exactly the type of policies that led us where we are.

          • Sorry – disagree – I am very please abt the results.

          • You disagree about what?

          • ‘ horrible economics and exactly the type of policies that led us there’ – so i think the FDP will be good for germany!

          • The FDP is advocating more deregulation. You think that’s not silly?

          • more deregulation must not to be a bad thing….try to run a business is germany….there are rules for everything….the whole country has an insurance mentality…..if there is something that could possibly go wrong, the state needs to be there…..also, i dont believe the mantra that banks/bonus were at the center of the crisis….there was politically desired home-ownership (sub-prime), loose monetary policy (fed), no regulation of off-balance sheet products.
            the banks in germany which needed to be rescued where banks with no bonus culture,but politicians on the superv board. Deutsche Bk (super aggressive) did well, so it is a bit more complex.

          • there was politically desired home-ownership (sub-prime), loose monetary policy (fed), no regulation of off-balance sheet products.

            In Germany?

            Deutsche Bank didn’t do as well as you think. They also receive massive gvt help but the disclosure on public companies here is much lower than in the US. My German colleagues know far less about Deutsche Bank than I do, for ex none of all these well informed guys ever heard of Boaz Weinstein.

            The German economy cannot get into more deregulation know because we would be all screwed in a prime case of prisoner’s dilemma.

          • sub prime in the US, regulation is mostly based on Basel….re Deutsche Bank…the bank was NOT supported, DB is reporting under IFRS and is also listed on the NY stock exchange and files a 20F…so there are surely no transparency issues….for people in Germany, DB is a retail bank, they dont know Boaz nor Anshu

          • the bank was NOT supported

            Actually they did. It wasn’t only the type of help provided to firms like AIG or other firms in distress, which is why most people didn’t get that, especially when you add Josef Ackermann’s swagger to the equation.

            Moreover, the German Gvt guaranties the toxic papers in all of DB’s acquisition, even with the most recent acquision of Sal Oppenheimer.

          • Which support did DB?

  21. Ding! Ding! Ding!:

    First Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for ACORN, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not ACORN.

    Then they came for SEIU, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not SEIU.

    Then they came for the Apollo Alliance, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Apollo Alliance.

    Then they came for the Center for American Progress, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Center for American Program.

    Then they came for the Sierra Club, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Sierra Club.

    Then they came for the National Organization for Women, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the National Organization for Women.

    Then they came for the other community organizers, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not community organizers

    Then they came for AFSCME, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not AFSCME.

    Then they came for the National Council of La Raza, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the National Council of La Raza.

    Then they came for the NAACP, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the NAACP.

    Then they came for the ACLU, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the ACLU.

    Then they came for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

    Then they came for the National Council of Churches, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the National Council of Churches.

    Then they came for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

    Then they came for the AARP, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the AARP.

    Then they came for the Teamsters, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not Teamsters.

    Then they came for the Catholic Worker, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Catholic Worker.

    Then they came for UNITE HERE, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not UNITE HERE.

    Then they came for the Immigrant Solidarity Network, and, the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the Immigrant Solidarity Network.

    Then they came for the National Education Association, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the National Education Association.

    Then they came for the U.S. Student Association, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the U.S. Student Association.

    Then they came for the American Association of University Professors, and the Democrats did not speak out — because they were not the American Association of University Professors

    Then Big Business, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Lou Dobbs, the Religious Right, the Wall Street Journal, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove came for the Democrats — and there was no one left to speak out for the Democrats.

    • Exactly. And why are more Democrats not speaking out in support of these organizations? Because many of them are Obama supporters and not sure where their president stands. The rest of us have never had any enthusiasm for Obama in the first place. So what’s the solution? The elected Dems need to start leading or someone else will.

    • Ding? That’s the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen.

      Excusing or covering up corruption and illegal activity on the part of your allies is simply enabling them to do more of it. That leads to destruction when the corruption is ultimately found out.

      So Republicans are glad that ACORN has been found out, so what? Does that make their actions any less illegitimate? No.

      • Then why haven’t those same folks been as equally outraged by Halliburton, GE, Lockheed Martin, or any of those big corporations who cover up corrupt and illegal activity? GE has done the same thing over decades now!

        • Because they own the media? Including the DNA down his leg guy?

        • Equally outraged?

          ACORN got as much money from Uncle Sugar in the last 10 years as Halliburton got every day in Iraq.

          There is nothing equal about it.

          • No there really isn’t.

            I don’t have problems with the screwy elements of ACORN being rooted out, but being lectured to by GOP hacks is a joke, they should go clean out their own war profiteering crackhouse.

          • …..but being lectured to by GOP hacks is a joke, they should go clean out their own war profiteering crackhouse.

            Lord yes!

  22. i wish we could get more gay leaders.

    • The mayors of the German cities of Berlin and Hamburg both are gay. One is from the socialist, the other from the conservative party.

    • here a picture of the new german foreign minister and his partner. his sexual orientation was no topic during the elections.

    • We undoubtedly have quite a few. They just won’t come out of the closet.

      • Gay people are everywhere – even Saudi-Arabia….the only problem is you have to go to Dubai or Beirut to meet them!

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