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    April 2010
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

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    The Confluence

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  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • The Lack of Belief In Good
      Are humans good, bad or neutral? It’s an old philosophical debate, and not just in the West. Confucius thought they were born neutral, for example, while the later Confucian Mencius felt they were good, noting that everyone who saw a child fall into a well would be horrified. Others, including many Confucians and the Christian church, with original sin, have […]
  • Top Posts

Thursday, Reading the News (Oh, me, oh my!)

The shocking lack of news continues.  I’m starting to think someone’s hiding something ::

Barack Obama eases offshore oil drilling ban

The White House says drilling will be allowed off Virginia and considered off much of the rest of the Atlantic coast.

The plans would overturn moratoriums on exploration put in place in the 1980s.

Analysts say the move, designed to cut dependency on foreign oil, is aimed at appeasing Republicans to help pass Mr Obama’s climate-change proposals.

The Democrat-backed climate change bill, which calls for binding emissions’ limits, has been languishing in Congress for months amid Republican opposition.

Or as the BBC said in their intro to this story, “Oil firms could be given the chance to explore for reserves off the US coast for the first time in decades, under plans outlined by President Obama.” — sweet!

I don’t know about you guys but, speaking for myself, our endless wars make me VERY uneasy.

Shocking Admission on Killing Civilians by Top US General Almost Completely Ignored by Corporate Media

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” says top American commander.

At the same time, an astonishing open admission of possible US war crimes by Obama’s man on the ground in Kabul, senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal, was reported by Richard A. Oppel Jr. in the New York Times… and then promptly ignored by the rest of the mainstream media.

“We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat,” McChrystal said during a recent video-conference to answer questions from troops in the field about civilian casualties.

IPhone-Weary TV Broadcasters Gear Up to Fight FCC for Airwaves

“Why is the iPhone entitled to more spectrum than local broadcasters?” said Nexstar Chief Executive Officer Perry Sook, whose Irving, Texas-based company owns or provides services to 62 stations. “When the snowstorm hit Washington, did people rush to an iPhone app to find out what was going on? No, they turned to their local broadcasters.”

Is that guy kidding?? — Of COURSE we watched the Weather Reports on TV….. But, we were also hammering on any Internet site we could find (our local weatherman has a great blog & THAT’s where we went to find out what was going on — the detail on his blog was incredible!) And I don’t even have an iPhone.

Frankly, any headline dated April 1st is suspect. But, I don’t think this is a joke:

Job cuts surge 61%

Employers announced plans to cut 67,611 jobs in March, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. That’s up 61% from February, when 42,090 jobs were lost, the lowest level in nearly four years.

“Unfortunately, many people are still jobless and many businesses still shuttered,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of the firm, in a statement. “This combination is having a significant negative impact on state and local tax revenues and, in turn, leading to continued downsizing in this sector.”

Government job cuts led March’s surge, accounting for nearly 75% of the total jobs shed. Year to date, government job losses have made up about a third of all announced cuts.

Sung to the tune of Que Sera, Sera ::

Geithner: Disparity in recovery ‘deeply unfair’

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday it’s “deeply unfair” that some financial institutions that got taxpayer-paid bailouts are emerging in better shape from the recession than millions of ordinary Americans.

He acknowledged public outrage over that and said people watched with disdain as Washington protected high-risk banks and investment houses, even as the national unemployment rate was soaring to double-digit levels for the first time in a generation.

But in a nationally broadcast interview, Geithner also argued that President Barack Obama had no choice when confronted with a financial crisis.

“As the president has said, we had to do some very unpopular things,” Geithner said. “People looked at what had happened.”

“It’s not fair. It’s deeply unfair,” he said. “He (Obama) had to decide whether he was going to act to fix it or stand back … and that would have been calamitous for the American economy.”

In the end, even Yahoo News let me down. Either there’s nothing much going on . . . Or they aren’t telling us about it.

What have you been reading this morning?

51 Responses

  1. This is off topic but, I’m curious. GW Bush often described himself as a “War President” — is Obama also a “War President?”

  2. I remember W calling himself a “man of peace” once – although no Nobel for him for some reason.
    I suppose “we are at war” and that should justify a lot of abuse of power. Obama didn’t use that yet, but who knows? he might “give it to the Republicans” yet again.

  3. Baloney. Look at the lack of agency Geithner is pushing. Obama had plenty of choices. Not many were happy ones, it’s true, but he chose to bail out the one sector of society most responsible for this mess and flip everyone else the bird. He could have chosen to bail out Wall St. and then turned around and 1) punished those responsible; and 2) implemented at least a few little regulations which would prevent the same d*mn thing from happening again. This whole shrug-what-could-he-do? weakness narrative has got to go.

    • Geithner’s pushing the Plouffe/Axelrod narrative, cuz everything now is about getting The One re-elected.

      If you read the econoblogs, though, you’ll hear quotes from Geithner like “Jobless rate to stay unacceptably high.”

      Supposedly, they feel your pain. Ugh.

    • I love how Geithner implies a false choice, as if it was either bail out banks or create jobs.

      Maybe they were short on paper and could only print up legislation for one.

      • Yes, Obama et al are just great at some of the Repubs’ worst verbal tricks:

        1) False equivalency — In the drill, baby, drill, aka kill, baby, kill the environment announcement, Obama said he had to go beyond tired old debates:

        …we need to move beyond the tired debates between right and left, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place. Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.

        2) False choices, especially binary false choices, as in the unemployment statements. Or with drilling.

        and 3) Lack of agency. The passive voice. “Things were done. Shit somehow happened.”

        Catapulting the propaganda….

        • Ya know, it’s just like with Cheney. How can you tell when 0bama’s lying? His mouth’s open and his lips move.

    • Shorter Geithner: “Yeah, we took yer money. What the fuck do you think yer gonna do about it?”

  4. Was the article about McCrystal for real?

    Here’s news from April 1 about Obama having talks with the militia groups in Michigan: http://redhottemptress.blogspot.com/2010/04/obama-sneaks-into-michigan-near-front.html.

    All kidding aside, we all knew Obama would be bad environmentally. You could tell that from his website during the campaign, so again–why are people surprised? Koolaid is powerful stuff. I wonder when the environmental groups will wake up? Only PEER has an ObamaWatch: http://www.peer.org/campaigns/obama/issue.php

    • There was reporting about Obama as an IL legislator and a US senator, but anything not laudatory was very lightly covered. Reports which were in the least negative or unflattering simply gained no traction. How many people knew about how he sold out people whose wells were radiactively polluted to Exelon?, the pollutor?

      I worked hard to learn about Obama’s past record, but it was so difficult to pull up reporting. And when I posted about those rare articles, I would be attacked massively.

      I find it hard to blame the general public, people with so little time to decompress, much less read through 50 google links to find actual hard reporting. The MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) ill served the public. Many leftie blogs ill served their readers, but most were either True Believers or were scared shitless about being hack attacked and effectively shut down.

      Think of the Big Names who took carefully “neutral” positions. Atrios, Digby…I’m sure there were more.

      Even with all my reading and research I didn’t know of the reports about how Obama treated his chance to move for single payer in IL. As usual where Big Corporations were involved, once he met with the money men and Big Boyz he walked things back to “try” and “study commission,” way, way back from fighting for what the people need.

      Now he’s doing it on a grand scale, afecting the entire nation.

  5. Good news locally here. A student who founded a Gay-Straight Alliance in his high school last year received the 2010 Pennsylvania State Education Association Human and Civil Rights Award for Student Leader. Some in the community loudly opposed this organization and tried to stop its approval by the school board. At the following school board election some were elected because they opposed it.

    Courageous, principled actions are still rewarded!

    • Yea! This is a great antidote to the story about the lesbian student who wanted to go to her prom with a date and so the district cancelled the prom.

  6. I saw this comment over at TL which summed up what BO’s campaign promises should have looked like.

    1. Iraq – maintain the Bush policy: timetables, strategy, headcount, etc.
    2. Afghanistan – triple the troop count and escalate the war in the name of domestic security.
    3. National security – ensure a near seamless continuity between the Bush policy over the last 4-5 year of his Presidency regarding preventive detention, surveillance, etc.
    4. Nationalize Romneycare only adding restrictive abortion language handing the pro-choice movement it biggest defeat in 35 years.
    5. Open up 50% of America’s shoreline to offshore drilling.
    6. Bail out banks without a nationalized recap as Krugman suggested. And please…DO NOT under any circumstances interfere with their bonuses.
    7. Stimulus plan that was too small (incremental) with 40% if it being tax cuts.

    I think that person could win the Republican nomination.

    • Oh look it’s McSame’s campaign. So glad we averted the coming apocalypse that would have come from electing him.

      • Indeed. And Bowers et al is still claiming the Big O is not triangulating.


        • It’s not just any triangulation either, it’s turning an FDR moment into an RWR moment. Privatization is the new progressivism. Yes, Obama has surely owned those Republicans. As in he literally he owns their platform.

          • Those whose antennae went wild when Obama praised St Ronnie and Repubs for all the good ideas of the past were so right.

            Others could not believe a Democratic politician, especially a black one, could do Repub things.

            And, remember, he has SocSec and Medicare coming up on his agenda. His appointees to his deficit commission tell us what we need to fear from him.

            Will Congressional Dems dare to defy him? Health INSURANCE, not CARE, reform tells us they will not.

        • It isn’t triangulation–it’s pure Repub policy. The only triangulation is in the explanation of the policy, pretending that it’s something other than what it is. Obot airheads like Chris Bowers are easily suckered by anything Obama says.

  7. Spammy, let go of me!

  8. War is the only growth industry we have…

    • Naw, offshore drilling is the new green jobs policy. It’ll be HUGE, HUGE!

    • Wasn’t Obama standing in front of a war plane, implying that drilling offshore was a matter of national security?

      Isn’t that exactly what Dubya said?

  9. The Progressives of the early twentieth century championed environmental protection, women’s rights (suffrage), and regulation of the financial industry. How can Obama’s followers get away with calling themselves Progressives?

  10. is uppity just playing with us??? or is she really leaving??

  11. “As the president has said, we had to do some very unpopular things,” Geithner said. “People looked at what had happened. It’s not fair. It’s deeply unfair. He (Obama) had to decide whether he was going to act to fix it or stand back … and that would have been calamitous for the American economy.”

    Apparently we are supposed to applaud their courage in screwing over the average American in favor of the banks.

    • Tim Geithner, now there’s an unbiased, objective observer. ;P

    • “calamitous for the American economy” needs a qualifier: calamitous for the upper-income-filthy-rich.


  12. Have you ever wanted to throw tomatoes at the parents on TV who will tell you that their convicted child rapist murderer thug is really innocent and a good child? Well that’s how i feel about Obama lapdogs.Their excuses for the fraud are absurd and laughable.

  13. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/us/01nsa.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    What are the consequences of this rulling? Can we get some of our freedom back?



    • What Obama’s DOJ does, and it will probably join in an appeal against the ruling, will tell us soon enough.

      Obama has adopted BushCo’s take on executive power (which I felt would happen and one of the reasons I could not vote for him. Of course, I had the luxury of voting in NJ where the outcome was not in doubt. I’m not sure, given I stil thought he would be bad, but not as bad as a Repub, what I would have done in a close call state…. Now? I know for sure he’s just as bad. And he won’t he push to get judges on the Federal bench!!! What’s he waiting for, an excuss to appoint repubs???)

  14. Historic:

    The favorable rating for the Democratic Party has fallen to its lowest level since Gallup began asking the question in 1992 —its standing has dropped 14 percentage points since President Obama’s election — but the Republican Party fares no better. Three of four Americans say they are dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

    • Unlikeable enough:

      For the first time, both major parties are viewed unfavorably by most Americans. The anti-tax “Tea Party” movement has a favorable rating nearly as high as they do — 37% compared with 41% for Democrats and 42% for the GOP.

      • looks like the country is split into thirds … no wonder the Republicans are trying hard to get to the tea partiers

        • They don’t have to try to “get” the tea partiers.

          Those tea partiers will NEVER vote Democratic, and for good reasons. And the Independents are gone, baby , gone, from the Obamarama group think.

          If, however, the Dems lose the true liberals (stay home, vote 3rd party, whatever), then 2010 will be a bloodbath.

          Hide and watch.

          • I saw this at free us now. There is a growing anger out in the country that will shock DC in November.



          • Thanks, Helen. I don’t think DC has a clue how angry Americans (many of them Independents) are , outside the beltway.

            USA Today poll showed a majority of Americans considered the Dems’ tactics to pass the healthcare reform as an ABUSE OF POWER.

            It’s all about HOW they got it, including playing the race card and handing out bribes.

          • I don’t think they need a clue… they simply do not give a shit. More and more I’m thinking they know the game is rigged… so why should they worry.

      • Latest Gallup on midterm generic vote (poll out this morning):

        Republicans favored 47%/44% in the midterms.

        Even Barbara Boxer is telling her fellow Dem incumbents not to assume anything about their re-election.

  15. I can’t hardly look at Yahoo News headlines – much less read the articles. They’re among the worst of the BHO apologists.

  16. I just unsubscribed from Think Progress. They just sent me something on the expanded off shore oil drilling that was basically on how outrageous the right was and how this would decrease the number of deaths due to our dependence on foreign oil. I’m being strangled by the triangulation here … how do you get your synapses to crossfire like that and not explode your brain? That’s what I want to know …

  17. The imaginary kerfuffle over the West Bank settlements was totally unconvincing — so Obie is picking up the pompoms for “drill, baby, drill,” and he will be shaking them as Israel bombs Iran’s assumed nuclear enrichment facilities. Mark your calendars, it should be just as gas prices summer spike for the first time around Memorial Day with the second prong of the double dip recession following shortly thereafter. It looks as though it is a fait accompli and we can’t do anything about it since Netanyahu can’t or won’t be cowed. With the legitimacy of the Iraqi government formation teetering, the incompetency of Bush has come home to roost again. Our only hope as Obie and Axelfraud dicker with politics is once again Hillary, the only possible bright spot in this whole mess.

  18. maybe we can still get her in 2012

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