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    • Politics Series: Power
      (Previous: Economy) (Introduction and Table of Contents) We have seen that who gets how much of what is a political decision: that the economy and economics is downstream from politics. Power is the ability to make people do what you want, or not do what you don’t want. Ideology determines what the good life is and power determines who lives it. All politica […]
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Monday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians! I know I’ve been a bit out of if for the past few days–is that why I have a feeling that there is no news worth discussing? Sure, there is another earthquake, this time in Turkey; there are elections in Iraq, there is a new “Al Quaeda” arrest in Pakistan, and there is the ongoing nightmare of “health care reform.”

So why do I feel as if nothing is really happening? Is it just me, or is this country paralyzed, waiting for–what? The other shoe to drop? Another depression er– “recession?” Is there anything that can get us moving? Can anything force this scaredy-cat President to do something–anything!–to change the disastrous course we are on?

In the big media and at “progressive” blogs Rahm Emanuel is being blamed for the paralysis. The Hill had a long piece by Sam Youngman about this “controversy” yesterday.

A spate of recent reports have portrayed Emanuel, known for his aggressive brand of Washington politics, as either the voice of reason in a weak, liberal White House or the wet blanket preventing President Barack Obama from pursuing the kind of change he promised as a candidate.

Emanuel has become the flash point in those arguments as liberals express betrayal over Obama’s failure to convince Congress to pass a public option in healthcare reform and close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

According to Youngman, “Democratic strategists” are blaming the netroots for the attacks on Rahm, but other anonymous sources say that efforts to undermine him are coming from inside the White House. The article references Huffington Post pieces by Dan Froomkin and Michael Moore. As we at TC know all too well, these “progressives” still can’t face the fact that they helped elect Bush III. They want to believe that Obama is being duped by Emanuel–and the subtext is that it’s the Clinton’s fault. From the Hill article:

But what Rahm represents to the left dates back to liberal anger with Clinton and his kindred spirits at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). Emanuel is seen by some progressives as wanting to win, to a fault by sacrificing principles of the party.

“Rahm believes in being elected; not in the glory of losing or failing,” the strategist said.

In another “think piece,” at Business Week, veteran Village insider Al Hunt calls this “faux White House intrique.” Hunt doesn’t seem to want to blame Obama either, but he nibbles around the edges of doing that:

Yet there is a larger self-created problem for which Emanuel and Axelrod are only partly to blame. Go back to the remarkable Obama campaign of 2007-2008. More than any of its rivals, it had a strategic sense of what it was, where it wanted to go.

This provided a shield against setbacks: losing the New Hampshire primary, the candidate’s careless remarks about rural Pennsylvania voters or even the incendiary remarks of Obama’s pastor. These became speed bumps in the strategic narrative.

That is missing in the Obama presidency. Too often it seems situational rather than strategic, reactive more than proactive. Thus setbacks, from minor ones, such as the handling of the Christmas Day bomber, to major ones, like the loss of the Senate seat in Massachusetts, throw team Obama off stride, and leave voters confused.

Hint, hint…but no one wants to come out and say it: Obama is clueless–he has no idea how to lead our country and no goal in mind even if he could lead. How are we going to survive three more years of this kind of inertia?

And all this focus on Rahm is only drawing attention away from the real problem: the banks. I know Karl Denninger’s hair is always on fire, but check his latest posts on Barney Frank and the Dubai situation.

I’m really starting to think the only answer is some kind of people’s uprising–a peaceful one, I hope. Could voting the bums out in 2010 make a difference? It’s hard to see how it could, since the guys who come in will be just as corrupt as the guys they replaced in no time at all. What can we do? This story on Iceland (H/T Market Ticker) is interesting:

Icelanders rejected by a massive majority a bill that would saddle each citizen with $16,400 of debt in protest at U.K. and Dutch demands that they cover losses triggered by the failure of a private bank.

Ninety-three percent voted against the so-called Icesave bill, according to preliminary results on national broadcaster RUV. Final results will be published today….

Voters rejected the bill because “ordinary people, farmers and fishermen, taxpayers, doctors, nurses, teachers, are being asked to shoulder through their taxes a burden that was created by irresponsible greedy bankers,” said President Olafur R. Grimsson, whose rejection of the bill resulted in the plebiscite, in a Bloomberg Television interview on March 5.

The Icesave deal passed through parliament with a 33 to 30 vote majority. Grimsson blocked it after receiving a petition from a quarter of the population urging him to do so. The government has said it’s determined any new deal must have broader political backing to avoid meeting a similar fate.

Icelanders used the referendum to express their outrage at being asked to take on the obligations of bankers who allowed the island’s financial system to create a debt burden more than 10 times the size of the economy.

Of course it sounds like Iceland’s president is a tad less clueless than ours.

Yves Smith discusses a minor, but failed uprising by retiring Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT):

The Financial Times gives us yet another sorry update in the bankster vs. the general public saga, and the banksters continue to gain ground. Their latest about-to-be-cinched victory is beating back a pro-reform idea sponsored by Senator Dodd (yes, even he can have the occasional “Nixon Goes to China” moment). Dodd had wanted bank regulation to be stripped from the Fed and housed in a new agency.

Of the Fed and the banks’ success in keeping control, Smith writes:

Perhaps most important in the case of the US, the Fed is far and away the most captured, the most asleep at the switch of the banking regulators. Keeping them in charge of bank regulation is like reappointing a fire commissioner who let half the town burn down.

And the “compromise” settled upon is to allow the banks most in need of tough supervision, ones with more than $100 billion in assets (which amounts to the biggest 23, and thus includes all the 19 TARP recipients) to remain the wards of the supine Fed. Yet these are the ones that pose the biggest systemic risks. Heck of a job, Brownie.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz argued last week that the Fed is corrupt beyond belief.

One of the world’s leading economists said Wednesday that the very structure of the Federal Reserve system is so fraught with conflicts that it’s “corrupt.”

…Joseph Stiglitz, a former chief economist at the World Bank, said that if a country had applied for World Bank aid during his tenure, with a financial regulatory system similar to the Federal Reserve’s — in which regional Feds are partly governed by the very banks they’re supposed to police — it would have raised alarms.

“If we had seen a governance structure that corresponds to our Federal Reserve system, we would have been yelling and screaming and saying that country does not deserve any assistance, this is a corrupt governing structure,” Stiglitz said during a conference on financial reform in New York. “It’s time for us to reflect on our own structure today, and to say there are parts that can be improved.”

When will Americans fight back against the corruption, the theft of our future, the lies? When will Americans rise up and take back the government?

I’m definitely seeing more calls for that to happen–at least at the most liberal news sites. Here is Bill Quigley at Alternet: 15 Reasons Why We Need a Revolt in this Country

It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.

The 1776 Declaration of Independence stated that when a long train of abuses by those in power evidence a design to reduce the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the peoples right, in fact their duty to engage in a revolution.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said forty three years ago next month that it was time for a radical revolution of values in the United States. He preached “a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” It is clearer than ever that now is the time for radical change.

And of course Chris Hedges at Truthdig is still predicting disaster:

There are no constraints left to halt America’s slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Hedges asks (rhetorically) if the country is really worth fighting for anymore:

How do we resist? How, if this descent is inevitable, as I believe it is, do we fight back? Why should we resist at all? Why not give in to cynicism and despair? Why not carve out as comfortable a niche as possible within the embrace of the corporate state and spend our lives attempting to satiate our private needs? The power elite, including most of those who graduate from our top universities and our liberal and intellectual classes, have sold out for personal comfort. Why not us?

Hedges argues that those of us who are still fairly comfortable must refuse to go along in order to save our own skins. He quotes Mario Savio in 1964 (a quote that I used as my dailykos sig line in 2008):

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop,”

Hedges writes:

The capacity to exercise moral autonomy, the capacity to refuse to cooperate, offers us the only route left to personal freedom and a life with meaning….Rebellion allows us to be free and independent human beings, but rebellion also chips away, however imperceptibly, at the edifice of the oppressor and sustains the dim flames of hope and love. And in moments of profound human despair these flames are never insignificant. They keep alive the capacity to be human.

I feel like the country is in a holding pattern. I see the corporate totalitarianism that is just about a fait accompli. I see the way the liberal elites have abandoned any pretense of morality or virtue, any responsibility to fight for “the people.” Is there any hope of turning it around? I guess there’s always hope. Right now it just feels to me like we are all waiting…waiting to see what happens next. Is there any way we can exert any influence–make something happen?

HAVE A MARVELOUS MONDAY CONFLUCIANS! At least we still have each other.

88 Responses

  1. Today’s tabloids
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/tabloids-iraq-election-dems-bunbling-kill-the-gov/
    Also, the Hill article is right about one thing though – Rahm is Obama’s lightning rod – and I think the reason Obama needs him most:

    He’s an easier bogeyman for the Netroots and The Huffington Post than the nation’s first black president, who was elected on a mantle of hope and change.

    “They don’t want to attack President Obama directly,”

    • Yep.

    • And they can also further shift the Blame to the Clintons, continuing this myth they’re so attached to of sweet, innocent but oh-so-naive hopey changey Mr. Smith from Pleasantville accidentally picking Rahm because of the evil Clinton mind meld. Stop it, Clintons! Even such a genius can’t just crawl out of the pumpkin patch and immediately adapt to tawdry, modern, ugly citified ways.

  2. “Is there any way we can exert any influence–make something happen?”

    Dare I say ‘Tea Party’ movement? The media has very successfully portrayed this movement as a right wing thing. Ever wonder why? Perhaps you should look into it more closely. There are a lot of Independents in the movement. And, if you recall, the number of Independents swelled before and after the Obama election…something to do with us having no place else to go…
    Before the election, it was a matter of whether or not you could stomach voting for a candidate with an R after their name, in order to stop Obama. For those of you who couldn’t stomach it…how’s that working out for you?

    • Give me a break. What has the TP “movement” accomplished? I want us to move to the left–not even further right.

      • “move to the left”….you mean like the “progressives”

        • No the progressives move to the right. And if you think it’s possible to take over a funded AstroTurf movement that’s trying to make itself look like a grassroots uprising, forget the TP, why not take over Obama for America, instead?

        • No, I do NOT mean “like the ‘progressives.'”

          Get a clue. We aren’t into the tea parties here. You’re in moderation till you drop the subject.

      • It nothing else, it’s prompted people to start listening, learning and participating. That’s a start.

    • The TEA Party movement is a right wing funded recruitment operation, designed to exploit the fears and anger of the populace in order to give them a large enough base to move the Republicans further right.

      • Sing it Sister! It is too bad there isn’t a ‘real’ protest movement and not one funded by the GOPers FAR RIGHT! I have no problem with them protesting but they should practice TRUTH IN ADVERTISING and clearly state who they are and what there goal is: To Elect MORE FAR RIGHT GOPers!

        • What it comes down to is access to media. The TPs have it. The anti-war, pro-single payer forces, etc. don’t. What does that tell you?

    • But you conservatives wanted a corporate capitalist–to the point that many of you stayed home because McCain wasn’t in the pockets of the banksters. Now you’ve got one.

      How’s that working out for you?

      • Excellent! That’s a great point and worth pounding into conservatives every time they complain like this.

        They didn’t want McCain because he wasn’t right/corporatist enough. They got someone they should like who is right/corporatist (who happens to have a D after his name), but it’s not working out so well.

        My god, the WH is even pushing a right/corporatist “health care” bill and they yell how they don’t like it. It’s right/corporatist. What they hell more do they want.

        Instead of dealing with the reality of corporatism, they run around screaming progressive or socialist or other nonsense.

        If they are real fiscal conservatives and complain and make valid points on those topics, more power to them. There are great debates to be had in that arena. If they run around and yell this nonsense, they’re just helping one wing of the corporatist party or the other. Same goes for stupid progressives that do the same crap on the other side.

        OK, I’m in a mood today…

        • Actually, a lot of them are claiming it’s socialist and they obviously don’t know what that means. A lot of them don’t seem to know that insurance companies are a market aberration and therefore aren’t capitalistic either. There just appears to be a free for all on name calling and that’s about it.

          I just got my HMO provider changed with out my permission and I’m praying my doctor, clinic and hospital will be on their list. That doesn’t even include the formulary for prescripts. My co payments and premiums keep going up and my salary doesn’t. I’m in the group that has what’s supposed to be working and it ain’t working.

          I just don’t get it at all.

          • They’re claiming it’s socialist because they’re echoing the right-wing screechmonkeys like Glenn Beck. And the right-wing screechmonkeys are perpetuating the false definition because it does two things for the Republicans:

            It gives them a fig leaf to plaster over the place where this White House’s policies and goals and Republican policies and goals become indistinguishable; and

            It gives them a rallying-cry to use when they move to unseat the sitting Dem majority in Congress this year and retake the White House in their own name in 2012.

            At that point, the rationale for continuing to do exactly what Bush and Obama did will be the same excuse Obama’s using now: “we have eight (twelve) years’ worth of mess to clean up. We can’t do it all overnight.”

            And exactly nothing will change.

        • It’s rational from their perspective, though. The one thing that’s always true is that the spectrum can always move farther right. Why settle for Obama when they can get someone even better. Why accept the sun, moon, and stars when they can agitate for more, more, more.

    • Slim, I voted for who was best following the suicide of the Dem Party. I sleep very well and, sadly, have since had all my misgivings of Obama proven to be true.

      Sad to say, but the D’s in 08 are worse than the R’s and SCOTUS were in 2000, because we were supposed to be better than that.

      I cannot support that kind of political party no matter what name they want to go by.

    • Slim, I am one of those Liberals, who not only voted Republican for the first time in my life but actually campaigned for McCain. Just a reminder (as Okashi points out) … it was you REPUBLICANS who couldn’t be motivated to get out to vote against Obama.

  3. Eric Massa gives the real story of the harrassment charge.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/43920-1.html

    • that is not harassment imo

    • Massa also suggested that Democratic leaders are using the ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.

      Massa said, “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.”

  4. Personally, I don’t believe for one second that Chris Dodd ever wanted the “end game” to be any different than exactly what it’s going to be: oversight/regulation nestled safely in the Fed, for the sake of his banker buddies. I think his kabuki push for something else is just that: kabuki (much like Obama bashing NAFTA in the primaries).

    I think that within a year of leaving the Senate, Chris Dodd will be a registered lobbyist, helping the banksters take advantage of the very loopholes he’s part of writing into the legislation right now.

    But I’ll admit, I’m old and cynical. 🙂

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, BB.

  5. Backtrack has had a free ride his whole life. He has never been held accountable. He is almost 50years old. Does anyone think he could really understand and handle to shock of someone saying ” hey you, you got the job and the salary, now produce something useful for the country?”

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  6. Cable news is playing audio of Massa going after the Dems for ousting him–can’t find the clip right now, but here’s an article from Politico:

    Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) says the House ethics committee is investigating him for inappropriate comments he made to a male staffer on New Year’s Eve — and that he’s the victim of a power play by Democratic leaders who want him out of Congress because he’s a “no” vote on health care reform.

    “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill,” Massa, who on Friday announced his intention to resign, said during a long monologue on radio station WKPQ. “And this administration and this House leadership have said, quote-unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass. You connect the dots.”

    According to Massa:

    He said he now understands the basis of the committee’s investigation — and dismissed it as a matter of “political correctness” gone awry.

    “I have to come find out that on New Year’s Eve, I went to a staff party — it was actually a wedding for a staff member of mine,” Massa said. “There were 250 people there. I was with my wife, and in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu, I went down to sing Auld Lang Syne. And with cameras on me — I’m talking three of them — filming me, I danced with the bride, and I danced with the bridesmaid. Absolutely nothing occurred.

    “I said goodnight to the bridesmaid. I sat at down at the table where my whole staff was, all of them, by the way bachelors. One of them looked at me and — as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne — a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid. His points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that.

    “And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and I said, ‘What I really ought to be doing is frakking you,’ and then tossled the guy’s hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where I shouldn’t be there.”

    “Was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely.”

    • Oops, page wasn’t refreshed when I wrote that, I see bb linked to the story already.

    • My question is why doesn’t he hold on until after the vote.

    • Why would Massa resign so quickly if there is no more basis to the ethics charge than the single incident he claims happened at the wedding reception?

      Looks a lot like damage control. Massa is free to spin his side to the media, but at this point in the investigation it would be unethical for the committee to speak publicly.

      Maybe he feels that the best way to save his public reputation and spare publicly humiliating his family is to resign and cut short the investigation.

      • I can imagine he’s got some splaining to do to his wife. Even if it wasn’t sexual harassment per se … it makes him look bi-sexual at the very least.

        • According to the story, his wife was right there when he made the remark. He says he resigned because of his cancer treatment.

          • “I was with my wife, and in fact we had a great time. She got the stomach flu, I went down to sing Auld Lang Syne.”

            Those words make it appear that they left the party together after she felt ill, but then he went back down to the party by himself.

            “One of them looked at me and a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid.”

            Seems unlikely that a staffer would suggest in front of his wife that he should be “chasing after the bridesmaid”.

          • Why do you care about something Eric Massa said to a staffer? Why is that more important than the fact that he was going to vote against the health insurance scam bill?

      • He resigned because he has cancer. The ethics allegations came after his resignation.

        • Yes but he changed his resignation to make it *effective immediately* to avoid the ethics investigation.

          He doesn’t want an ethics investigation for a reason, which doesn’t shock me because that would be true for most of us, but also makes his claim about what happened a little weak. If what he explained is exactly what happened, and all that happened, why avoid an ethics investigation? There’s two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

          I’m not saying what he did was anything more than salty or obnoxious language, but it’s not smart to take what he says as gospel truth. What he’s described is the way he wants the episode to be described, that’s all.

          • Won’t there still be an investigation? There was after Mark Foley resigned.

          • If the effectiveness of his cancer treatments is at all dependent on reducing his stress level, I certainly can see why he’s running, not walking, away from this cesspool. There’s an old Irish saw about “lying down with pigs” that would seem to apply.

  7. I am really glad y’all enjoyed my posting the link to the protest/sponsor list. Just in case anyone missed it the first time:

    http://thenewagenda.net/2010/03/07/take-action-sexist-comments-against-sarah-and-hillary-beckons-a-response/

  8. “So why do I feel as if nothing is really happening? Is it just me, or is this country paralyzed, waiting for–what? The other shoe to drop? ”

    It’s not just the country, and it has nothing to do with politics or finance, not at heart. What you feel may be a growing unconscious consensus about a collective shift of consciousness, something along the lines of, “Whatever the hell we got now, THIS ISN’T IT!”

  9. who said conservatives wanted a corporate capitalist. and how is obama one? You dont have to believe in a lie about right wingers to disagree with us. I dont think the tea party is an top to bottom org. Some try to say theyre the leader but you cant. I would never deny its right wing. I think most of us wantt a limited representaive govt.

    • I think the reference was to the Republicans who stayed home because they thought McCain was “too liberal.”

    • Follow the money. You’re being manipulated.

  10. Obama is starting a campaign to the people on HCR today…I think in PA. I sincerely hope those who are against it fill the auditoriums where he speaks!!

    • Obama appeals for public support on health care.

      President Barack Obama accused insurance companies of placing profits over people and said Republicans ignored long-festering problems when they held power as he sought to build support Monday for swift passage of legislation stalled in Congress.

      “How much higher do premiums have to rise before we do something about it?” said Obama, making the first in an expected string of out-of-town trips to pitch his plan to remake the health care system.

      The president’s proposal would give the government the right to rein in excessive premiums increases – a provision included after one firm announced a 39 percent increase in the price of individual policies sold in California. Separately, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and Human Services, convened a White House meeting with insurance executives last week, and followed up with a letter released in advance of Obama’s speech.

      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2011287184.html

      Wonder what they REALLY talked about in that WH meeting with ins execs?

      • I just noticed that the above article no longer has the paragraph about Obama using a brief from Goldman Sachs (yes, the vampire squid itself) complaining that ins cos benefit from lack of competition and then raise rates and drop unprofitable clients (sick people). Weird. I’m sure I read that information earlier.

        Anybody else see anything like that? Frankly I though POTUS was being awfully bold, getting his vampire squid cronies to come up with a news brief just for him.

        • Aha! A Google search brings up entries like this:

          President Obama attacks insurance companies in bid for public …

          “Both of these measures would bring more competition for consumers, … Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, recently released a brief showing that lack of … State Capitol deal reached to continue health care for poor …”
          http://www.startribune.com/politics/86857977.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUJ

          But when you click on the link to read the article, the wording about Goldman Sachs and their brief is NOT there anymore! From other searching about, the brief’s purpose apparently was to recommend stocks in certain Ins Cos over others.

          Damn it’s a convoluted devious world out there.

    • He’s speaking at a school in Philadelphia right now. Students camped out for tickets.

      • What kind of school? Elementary? Is he using the teleprompter?

        • It is a small private college very near where I live. I did see that students were camped out for tickets. I also wondered whether there would be protesters.

          Do you realize that PA stands poised to potentially become the first state with single payer health care? The first bill to move in that direction, funding a study of the economic impact, has bi-partisan support!

  11. India wants to give women 1/3 of legislative seats

    India’s government introduced a bill to parliament Monday that would reserve one-third of the legislature’s seats for women …. The bill has faced strong opposition since it was first proposed more than a decade ago, with many political leaders worried that their male-dominated parties would lose seats under a female quota system.

    But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, which was re-elected last year, is confident it has enough support this time and presented the bill to parliament on International Women’s Day.

    The bill is an attempt to correct some of the historical mistreatment of women in this South Asian country. Most Indian women receive far less education than men and are weighed down by illiteracy, poverty and low social status.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2011286492.html

    {{sigh}} It’ll be a long time before anything like this happens in the good ol’ US of A.

  12. Her Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker scooped six Oscars, including Best Picture, while Avatar, directed by James Cameron, won only three minor gongs.

    Making history: Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq war drama film The Hurt Locker won six Oscars. She is the first woman to win an Academy Award for best director, seen on stage last night at the 82nd Academy Awards
    Director Kathryn Bigelow (C), writer Mark Boal (L) and producer Greg Shapiro

    As she opened the envelope Barbra Streisand declared: ‘It’s about time’, and then read Kathryn Bigelow’s name for best director.

    As the Best Director award was announced, Cameron patted Bigelow on the back – she was sitting directly in front of him in the auditorium – and broke out into wild applause.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1256279/Oscars-2010-Kathryn-Bigelow-woman-win-best-director-Hurt-Locker-blasts-ex-husbands-Avatar-gongs.html#ixzz0hbdF9c5Y

    Check out the photo of Cameron pretending to ‘choke’ his ex-wife 😯 ???

  13. Backtrack’s latest brilliant solution:

    Homeowners to be paid to sell at a loss.

    In an effort to end the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration has been trying to keep defaulting owners in their homes. It now will take a new approach: paying some of them to leave.

    This latest program, which will allow owners to sell for less than they owe and will give them a little cash to speed them on their way, is one of the administration’s most aggressive attempts to grapple with a problem that has defied solutions.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/text/2011285054.html

    …”speed them on their way” to where, exactly?

    • Under the overpass?

      Wonderful. Now he’s openly helping the banks to foreclose.

  14. Roll Call says Massa Hints He Could Rescind Resignation:

    Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) suggested on a New York radio station Sunday that he could rescind his resignation — scheduled to take effect at 5 p.m. Monday — after asserting that an ethics investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed one of his aides may have been orchestrated by Democratic leaders to get him out of office before the health care vote.

    Responding to a caller to his weekly radio show on WKPQ Power 105 FM, a recording of which was made available via the Web site of local station 13 WHAM-TV, Massa said: “I’m not going to be a Congressman as of 5 o’clock [Monday] afternoon. The only way to stop that is for me to rescind my resignation. That’s the only way to stop it. And the only way that’s going to happen is if this becomes a national story.”

    During the hour-and-a-half show, Massa said that Democratic leaders are using the House ethics committee to get him out of office before the vote on health care because he voted against the House health care bill last fall.

    “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, ‘they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill, and now they’ve gotten rid of me and it will pass.’ You connect the dots,” Massa said Several times during the broadcast Massa raised the prospect of rescinding his resignation if national news media picked up on his story of being railroaded out of office by Democratic leaders.

    In response to a caller’s suggestion that Massa disseminate his allegations by contacting Fox News, Massa stated: “I can’t call Fox News. You guys gotta call Fox News. I can’t do it. … Here’s why. I’m in the center of this storm, so obviously I’m not objective.”

    But Massa also repeatedly pointed out that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly referred to as the ethics panel, would continue its investigation if he remains in office.

    “That’s very kind of you, but understand what that means for me,” Massa said in a response to a caller who suggested he not resign. “It means that a group of lawyers are going to try to rip me and my family limb from limb. And you’ve already seen it in the newspapers. … It’s a piranha feeding frenzy.”

  15. Pentagon plans to spy from underground, now that they already know everything we are doing everywhere else.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/03/pentagon-backed-venture-aims-for-google-underground/

  16. You can always on the Telegraph to have a go at Backtrack

    The end of the road for Barack Obama?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7396358/The-end-of-the-road-for-Barack-Obama.html

  17. Wow, at NQ there’s a post about Rep Massa. He definately is having his say.

  18. Finally, something worth celebrating —
    FOR THE FIRST TIME A WOMAN WON BEST DIRECTOR !!!!!!!!
    Hooray to Kathryn Bigelow!

    [This is about as improbable as a woman becoming POTUS, but I digress.
    I was surprised that she didn’t pay tribute to the first female director, Ida Lupino, though, but she seemed completely taken by surprise, and her humility was refreshing!]

  19. The song “Fight Like a Girl” inspires one woman diagnosed with breast cancer. CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield reports.
    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/health/2010/03/08/whitfield.fight.like.a.girl.cnn

  20. http://www.dailytopseven.com/readmore.php?newsid=MTU2MQ==

    This first story made me stop and think. Backtrack has dissed just about every long term ally that America has.

    I am glad you are feeling better BB.

    Happy Woman’s Day and Month.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT T HEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • I thought I was embarrassed that W was our prez….I think I’m more embarrassed now.

  21. State Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Calif.), the fierce opponent of gay rights who was arrested last week for drunk driving after leaving a gay nightclub, confirmed in a radio interview Monday that he is gay.

    Funny world!

  22. http://www.alternet.org/economy/145918/men_may_have_it_bad%2C_but_unemployment_statistics_obscure_the_hit_taken_by_single_moms

    Something to be aware of during Women’s History Month.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  23. nicely put: Whos’ the Leading Man? It Ain’t Rahm or Ax.

    http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/08/whos-the-leading-man-it-aint-rahm-or-ax/

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