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    • And The Mass Evictions are ON
      So, the evictions moratorium expired Saturday at midnight. Over a quarter of renters are behind in some states, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities think-tank. Southern states are some of the worst affected, though some 16 percent of US households owed rent — about double the amount before the pandemic. This wasn’t necessary, but the choi […]
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Your Breakfast Read, Saturday Edition

Tragedy in Fort Hood

Kevin Drum received a a letter with a firsthand account of the shooting. Go check it.
Letter From Fort Hood

The brave lady who ended the bloodbath
She Ran to Gunfire, and Ended It

As she pulled up to the center, the officer, Sgt. Kimberly Denise Munley, spotted the gunman, later identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, brandishing a pistol and chasing a wounded soldier outside the building, said Chuck Medley, the director of emergency services at the base.

Sergeant Munley — a woman with a fierce love of hunting, surfing and other outdoor sports — bolted from her car, yanked her pistol out and shot at Major Hasan. He turned on her and began to fire. She ran toward him, continuing to fire, and both she and Major Hasan went down with several bullet wounds, Mr. Medley said.

Whether Sergeant Munley was solely responsible for taking down Major Hasan or whether he was also hit by gunfire from her partner is unclear, but she was the first to fire at him

I’m with the POTUS on this one
Obama urges caution amid fears of backlash against Muslims

Barack Obama today joined calls from across America for calm amid fears of a backlash in the wake of the shooting spree by a Muslim soldier at the Fort Hood that left 13 dead and 28 wounded.

No rationalizing but a search for possible explanations
Is Fort Hood a Harbinger? Nidal Malik Hasan May Be a Symptom of a Military on the Brink.

It’s hard to draw too many conclusions right now, but we do know this: Thursday night, authorities shot and then apprehended the lone suspect, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. A psychiatrist who was set to deploy to Iraq at the end of the month, Hasan reportedly opened fire around the Fort Hood Readiness Center, where troops are prepared for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. And though this scene is a most extreme and tragic outlier, it comes at a time when the stress of combat has affected so many soldiers individually that it makes it increasingly difficult for the military as a whole to deploy for wars abroad.

Hasan’s Therapy: Could “Secondary Trauma” Have Driven Him to Shooting?

As an army psychiatrist treating soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Major Nidal Malik Hasan had a front row seat on the brutal toll of war. It is too early to know exactly what may have triggered his murderous shooting rampage Thursday at Fort Hood — Hasan is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 32 others before he was wounded by a police officer — but it is not uncommon for therapists treating soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) to be swept up in a patient’s displays of war-related paranoia, helplessness and fury.

Suspect a study in contrasts

Investigators examined Hasan’s computer, his home, and his garbage yesterday to learn what motivated the suspect, who lay in a coma, who was shot four times. Hospital officials said some of the wounded had extremely serious injuries and might not survive.

The 39-year-old Army psychiatrist emerged as a study in contradictions: a polite man who stewed with discontent, a counselor who needed to be counseled himself, a professional healer now suspected of cutting down the fellow soldiers he was sworn to help.

The scoundrels are out
Top GOP recruit says Ft. Hood shooting shows ‘enemy is infiltrating our military’

A top Republican congressional recruit said on Friday that the shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas yesterday by a solider allegedly sympathetic to suicide bombers shows that the “enemy is infiltrating our military.”

Allen West (R-Fla.), a retired military colonel who served as a commander at the Texas base, said in a release that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan’s attack may indicate a broader effort by Islamic extremists to recruit downtrodden members of the military.

 


 

Health-care (pseudo) Reform

Is the whole thing coming to a close?
Health Care Nears Major Vote

The House of Representatives headed toward a historic vote on a bill overhauling the health-care system after House Democrats late Friday cleared an abortion-related impasse that had threatened to block the vote.

John Cassidy has a very interesting analysis of the bill. It’s hard to excerpt, just go read the whole thing.
Some Vaguely Heretical Thoughts on Health-Care Reform

It’s the Dems. What would you expect?
Health care headache for House Democrats

Amid signs of division in the Democratic ranks, majority leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team had yet to secure the 218 commitments needed for passage. Obama, who picked up the phone and asked fence-sitting Democrats to get on board with his top domestic priority, delayed a trip to Capitol Hill until today. Representatives were put on notice that the floor vote may be postponed until tomorrow afternoon or even early next week.

If the going gets tough, throw women under the bus.
Abortion deal as Dems try to reach 218

Abortion opponents won a huge last-minute concession late Friday night when leaders agreed to give Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak a vote on his amendment effectively barring insurers that participate in the exchange from providing abortions, except in the case of rape, incest or when the mother’s health is in danger.

The concession was expected to free up the votes Democrats need to approve the bill, even though reproductive rights groups were expected to vehemently oppose it.

In the end, the Conference of Catholic Bishops couldn’t support the compromise put forth by Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth to create an independent monitor to make sure that insurance companies didn’t spent public funds to pay for abortion, and a number of wavering Democrats wouldn’t sign on to the plan unless the church endorsed it.

 


 

Economy Watch: Unemployment Edition

David Leonhardt says it’s worse than you think
Broader Measure of Unemployment Stands at 17.5%

With the release of the jobs report on Friday, the broadest measure of unemployment and underemployment tracked by the Labor Department has reached its highest level in decades. If statistics went back so far, the measure would almost certainly be at its highest level since the Great Depression.

In all, more than one out of every six workers — 17.5 percent — were unemployed or underemployed in October. The previous recorded high was 17.1 percent, in December 1982.

Whose recovery is it anyway?
Soaring U.S. Unemployment Threatens Path to Economic Recovery

The unemployment rate in the U.S. jumped to 10.2 percent in October, the highest level since 1983, threatening the emerging economic recovery and giving President Barack Obama and Democrats a bigger hurdle to overcome before next year’s Congressional elections.

Payrolls fell by 190,000 last month, more than forecast by economists, a Labor Department report showed yesterday in Washington. The jobless rate rose from 9.8 percent in September. Factory payrolls dropped by the most in four months, and the average workweek held at a record low.

How do we explain the contradiction between the GDP growth and the rising unemployment?
America’s jobless chill

After last week’s news of growth in the US economy for the first time in nearly a year, what gives? The truth is, it’s hard to say. Economists aren’t exactly sure why the labor market is lagging despite the growth. One theory is that, with productivity still increasing – it increased at an astonishing 9.5 percent last quarter — employers still don’t need to hire new workers to keep up with the expansion. Others wonder if employers are still concerned that this growth is still temporary – they may need to see another strong growth quarter before they commit to rehiring. It’s still unclear what industry will drive the next American economy, despite hopes that a new green energy industry or revitalized manufacturing can begin the expansion

How far is Wall Street from Main Street?
Irreconcilable: $10 Million Bonuses, 10% Unemployment

Ostentatious bonus packages on Wall Street are stoking legitimate anger among ordinary Americans who got shafted.

Growing jobs should be THE priority, forget the deficit for now.
Seeking to Grow Jobs, Not the Deficit

As U.S. unemployment officially passes 10%, the White House is challenged to create jobs without adding to the $1.4 trillion federal deficit

Check out this interactive graph: It’s spectacular.
The Jobless Rate for People Like You

Not all groups have felt the recession equally.

How your tax dollars were doled out
Break for Companies in Bailout’s Fine Print

One of the federal government’s most opaque methods for bailing out the banking system allowed a handful of giant institutions to save up to $25 billion on their borrowing costs, a Congressional panel estimated on Friday.

Seven companies received about 82 percent of those benefits, the panel estimated. General Electric Capital was able to reduce its borrowing costs by about $1.9 billion, while Goldman Sachs saved an estimated $606 million. The other big beneficiaries were Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Company.

I hope you have been reading McClatchy’s investigation of Goldman Sachs: Low Road to High Finance

 


 

Around The Nation

If you think the food is limited to Right-wingers, think again. Tobin Harshaw has been perusing the intertubz for us.
Are Democrats, Too, Facing a Civil War?

Why is it that when looking back at an election in which very little went right for Democrats, so many folks are seeing nothing but dread and doom for the G.O.P. Apparently, everyone agrees that for the party in power, unity behind a popular president is something of a security blanket. Everyone, that is, except George Soros and his minions: “MoveOn.org is sending out emails today seeking more contributions for its campaign to defeat any Democratic senator who does not fully support Obamacare,” reported The Washington Examiner’s Byron York on Tuesday.

 


 

Around The World

Germans manufacture such great cars and other products, Germany is the birth place of so much culture, what happened?
Our Bad: Germany Still Looking for Freedom from David Hasselhoff

For years, the world has mocked Germany for its love affair with David Hasselhoff. And, for years, Germans have been hoping that the world would forgive and forget. But now that MTV has invited “the Hoff” to perform in Berlin, just like he did 20 years ago when the Berlin Wall came down, their hopes have been dashed.

 


 

Odds & Ends

I should have learned how to drink from this cat. I certainly would not have been as hammered as I was last night.
Inefficient drinker.

The Times of London has compiled a list of the 100 best movies of the decade. Check it out and see if you agree. Here’s their top 5.
The 100 Best Films of the Decade

1 Hidden (Cache) (Michael Haneke, 2005)
It is only as the decade draws to a close that it becomes clear just how presciently the Austrian director Michael Haneke tapped into the uncertain mood of the Noughties.

2 The Bourne Supremacy / The Bourne Ultimatum (Paul Greengrass, 2004, 2007)
The action movie is dragged, kicking and back-flipping, into the Noughties courtesy of Matt Damon’s amnesiac superspy and director Greengrass’s film-making élan.

3 No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 2007)
The alchemic combination of the Coen brothers’ eloquent precision and Cormac McCarthy’s vivid nihilism makes for a bleakly compelling cycle of violence.

4 Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
Party nature documentary, part philosophical tract, Herzog’s eerie account of the life and brutal death of mildly unhinged bear-watcher Timothy Treadwell is a monumental piece of cinema — emotionally satisfying, intellectually stimulating, but primal to the core.

5 Team America: World Police (Trey Parker, 2004)
The South Park creators launch an assault on pretty much everyone, from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to poor, hapless Matt Damon. It’s jaw-droppingly offensive and wildly funny.

 


HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!!!

 

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11 Responses

  1. Chris Britt captures a national sentiment with an artist’s pen:

  2. mablue, thanks for the cat link. It looks like the cat prefers filtered water – filtered through cat fur. Yummy.

    • Very funny. My sister’s cat is staying with us while she renovates her kitchen, and he loves to sit in the bathtub, and drink from a stream of water. In this cats case, the stream was too strong, so he came up with an innovative solution to quench his thirst!

  3. im not with obama on anything concerning these deaths at Fort Hood, his chicken ass should be there today, where is he, hell probably hiding outside the walls while healthcare debate goes on, the entire congress is holding this debate under a half raised american flag, all of them need to go home period.

  4. Our Bad: Germany Still Looking for Freedom from David Hasselhoff

    That’s just too funny. lol.

  5. I continue to be amazed by the juvenile stupidity and tone deafness of this administration. How much time and energy are they going to continue to spend on this useless endeavor? Alienate the press—the reason you got elected (besides fraud)—good strategy.

    Democratic consultant says he got a warning from White House after appearing on Fox News
    ‘We better not see you on again,’ the strategist says he was told by a White House official. Obama aides have taken an aggressive stance against the network and may be seeking to isolate it.

    Caddell added: “I have heard that they’ve done that to others in not-too-subtle ways. I find it appalling. When the White House gets in the business of suppressing dissent and comment, particularly from its own party, it hurts itself.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-obama-fox7-2009nov07,0,7720786.story

  6. Fed losing support on bank oversight
    Key lawmakers looking at other regulators to watch Wall Street

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110604127.html

  7. Not to go all Godwin or anything, but…. The shooter at Ft. Hood was desperate to get out of the military and really tried to do so. Maybe the military should be a bit less hardnosed about recruits who later change their minds?

    The Godwin part is that Hitler in his youth wanted to be an artist, but was refused entry to art school. (For obvious reasons, if you see his paintings.) Lots of people have wondered if he’d been accepted, if that would have changed history.

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