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Archive for June 2009

Dejavu-Doo in a Parallel Universe

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off a cliffby Claudia

The people of America are obsessed with the outbreak of passion for personal freedom and justice in Iran.  It doesn’t matter that they can’t find Iran on a map, never heard of Farsi and couldn’t tell a Persian from a persimmon………

Our culture has become addicted to the thrill of mass focus on (fill in the blank):  and probably the more life threatening to someone, somewhere- the greater kick the Twittering thumbs will get out of it.  Any minute now the spotlight will shift to an American Idol loser or a gotta-have techno gadget, but in the meantime all the speculation, rumor and bathos available are fixated on Iran. 

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Written by laudyms

June 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

Made in America?

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ProtestAs Dennis Kucinich eloquently says here, about the only thing made in America any more is WAR.

Of course we can add the negatives: unemployment, homelessness, insecurity and unresponsive government.  If you’re feeling sold out by a neo-liberal cabal intent on serfdom for all in a Global Fiefdom, this may help explain how it all happened:

Big Box Mart

Hint: repressive policies are not changed by virtuality or Tweets. They are changed by real people standing up and taking it to the streets.  We have much we can re-learn from Iran right now, and very little to teach them.

Written by laudyms

June 20, 2009 at 10:19 am

‘The Responsible Left’: Funding Obama’s Expanding Wars

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The cowardly Democrats who checked their spines at the door to Congress oppressionwhen they voted Tuesday try to defend their flip-flop on war funding. Frankly, it is embarrassing.

By Jeremy Scahill

June 18, 2009 “RebelReports” — Over the past few days, we reported on how the White House and Democratic Congressional Leadership waged a dirty campaign to scare up votes to support another $106 billion in funds for their wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, several of the so-called anti-war Democrats who left their principles at the House coat check on their way in to vote Tuesday are trying to explain away their hypocritical votes.

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Written by laudyms

June 18, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Not the Health Care Co-ops They Had in Mind

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cooperation bBy Tom Sullivan

ourfuture.org     June 17, 2009

Efforts continue in the Senate to water down any public health insurance option included in comprehensive health care reform, regardless of what 83% of the American public wants.

First it was the trigger provision designed never to be pulled, like that floated by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Last week, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), proposed creating non-profit health insurance cooperatives. Politico dubbed it “a potential game changer.” Jacob Hacker called it Conrad’s co-op cop-out.

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, supported the co-op proposal, saying, “I am inclined, and I think the committee is inclined, toward a co-op.” Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the panel’s senior Republican, said, “If it can be presented… as an entirely private-sector operation and is like co-ops we know generally in the Midwest, I think it’s got some possibilities.”

Fine. Here is one possibility we could see and, given the abandonment of single-payer and what looks like a systematic effort to sabotage the public option, a co-op that a growing number of Americans would gladly join:

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Written by laudyms

June 18, 2009 at 11:17 am

Obama a Very Smooth Liar

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trapBy John R. MacArthur

June 17, 2009 “The Providence Journal” — It isn’t quite fair to call Barack Obama a liar. During the campaign he carefully avoided committing to much of anything important that he might have to take back later. For now, I won’t quibble with The St. Petersburg Times’s Obamameter, which so far has the president keeping 30 promises and breaking only six.

And yet, broadly speaking, Obama has been lying on a pretty impressive scale. You just have to get past his grandiloquent rhetoric — usually empty of substance — to get a handle on it. I offer a short, incomplete list, which I’m sure others could easily enlarge.

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Written by laudyms

June 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Senators held stock in bailed-out banks

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thiefClearly with campaign contributions now a euphemism for graft, Senators no longer have any concern about consequences from conflicts of interest. 

Senators held stock in bailed-out banks

By Reid Wilson and Kevin Bogardus   TheHill

Senators who oversee the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package held stocks in many of the banks bailed out towards the end of last year, according to financial disclosure reports released Friday.

According to the reports detailing senators’ finances in 2008, nearly half of the members of the Senate Banking Committee had holdings in financial institutions that have taken funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The panel has jurisdiction over the bailout fund and other relief efforts directed by federal regulators to save the nation’s financial system.

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Written by laudyms

June 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Greenwald: Tribalistic self-absorption

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angerIn which Glenn Greenwald skewers the “American exceptionalism” delusion of endless rights to exploit  and “if we do it it’s not really bad– I want I want I want!”: 

It’s a defining attribute of early adolescence to be incapable of seeing the world through any lens other than total self-centeredness, self-absorption and empathy-free self-obsession.  If you watch for it (principally though not only) in right-wing discourse, you will see that this is really the central theme animating most of what they write:  My group is superior.  My group (political, national, religious, ethic, gender) is victimized and treated unfairly.  The misery and suffering my group inflicts on far less powerful groups is irrelevant and always justifiable.  Even those societies we bomb, occupy, devastate and destroy — even those we lock in cages without trials — are the ones victimizing us.  They never advanced beyond the adolescent stage of tribalistic self-absorption and it’s amazing how completely that lies at the core of most of what they believe and argue. 

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Written by laudyms

June 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm