Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MN Republicans Literally Auctioning Off GOP Congressmembers And State Lawmakers To Highest Bidder

I thought that this happened a long time ago, starting with the governor.

MN Republicans Literally Auctioning Off GOP Congressmen And State Lawmakers To Highest Bidder: A Republican committee in Minnesota has been caught creating an eBay-style auction site to sell access with politicians, including top lawmakers like Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), as well as State House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-MN). With bidding starting at $250, the committee offered opportunities to “get up close and personal” with each lawmaker.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Aug. 20: FDL Book Salon: Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

Saturday, August 20, 2:00 pm (Pacific time), 5:00 pm EST FDL (FireDogLake) Book Salon: Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon Author: Gretchen Morgenson, Joshua Rosner The New York Times’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy. Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from coauthor Joshua Rosner—who himself raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco. Morgenson and Rosner draw back the curtain on Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance giant that grew, with the support of the Clinton administration, through the 1990s, becoming a major opponent of government oversight even as it was benefiting from public subsidies. They expose the role played not only by Fannie Mae executives but also by enablers at Countrywide Financial, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, the FDIC, and the biggest players on Wall Street, to show how greed, aggression, and fear led countless officials to ignore warning signs of an imminent disaster. Character-rich and definitive in its analysis, this is the one account of the financial crisis you must read. Gretchen Morgenson is a business reporter and columnist at The New York Times, where she also serves as assistant business and financial editor. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her “trenchant and incisive” coverage of Wall Street. Prior to joining the Times in 1998, she worked as a broker at Dean Witter in the 1980s, and as a reporter at Forbes, Worth, and Money magazines. She lives with her husband and son in New York City. Joshua Rosner is a managing director at the independent research consultancy Graham Fisher and Co. and was among the first analysts to identify accounting problems at the government-sponsored-enterprises and to warn of the coming credit crisis. He advises regulators and institutional investors on housing and mortgage-finance-related issues. He lives in New York City. (Macmillan)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What actually happened in Iowa last weekend?

I've been thinking about last weekend in Iowa (& a sidelight in South Carolina), Here are two possible scenerios:

1. Although we didn't hear about it, a bunch of inmates escaped from a mental institution & somehow almost all of the escapees ended up in Iowa. Just like Judy & Mickey @ MGM they decided to put on a show. But instead of a musical they put on an election show. A few people came & it was audience participation. So knowing it was just a show & didn't mean anything they voted for the most amusing, but least likely, "candidate." For some reason one of the escapees landed in South Carolina & viewed the election show from afar. But although this explains the events in Iowa last weekend, I think there's a more likely scenario.

2. An alien spacecraft landed in Iowa last weekend and the creatures inside it came here to destroy the U.S. & eventually the human race. My friend Burt & I were talking about these "candidates" a couple of weeks ago and were reminded of the "pod people" in the 1950s film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You may remember that the aliens who emerged from the pods were identical to human beings except for one thing, they had no feelings and that explains a great deal. For some reason one pod was dropped in South Carolina & that alien yelled, "What about me? I'm in this too." And perhaps the most dangerous pod person was born. There is evidence to support this Alien Theory, one creature @ a rally yelled "Happy birthday Elvis" on the anniversary of his death. It was just a loose wire, nothing serious. But again, no feelings.

So those are my most likely explanations for last weekends events. What do you think happened?

Viewers choice: 10 best British TV dramas of all time

Here are the 10 best British TV dramas as voted by viewers (who responded to a question on Anglophenia). Guess which one was voted #1:

London: Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery By Naomi Klein (from The Nation)

Here's my favorite analyst - Naomi Klein's - take on the looting in London. In essence she argues that
when you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance—whether organized protests or spontaneous looting.

Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery | The Nation

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Economic Update on WBAI Aug 13 | Professor Richard D. Wolff

Here's last Saturday's "Economic Update" by Richard D. Wolff. If you haven't already heard it (WBAI, every Sat. 12 noon - 1PM) listen and you too will become a fan. Dick Wolff's economic analyses is exactly what any movement for change needs. Please don't let the very dry name of the show turn you off, you need to listen to this. Economic Update on WBAI Aug 13 | Professor Richard D. Wolff

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mike Lupica on the weekend in Iowa

One of my favorite columnists, Mike Lupica (in today's 8/15/11 Daily News), sums up the weekend in Iowa:
Whether [Rick] Dubya Perry is holier than Michele Bachmann, the new President of Ames, Iowa, remains to be seen. For now, though, Perry and Bachmann are the headliners of the moment in the Republican Party. Barack Obama must be rooting like crazy for both of them, at the beginning of a campaign where fringe Republicans might do a better job of saving Obama than he can of saving himself.
Here's one of Bachmann's latest thoughts: "The Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy has worked very well", she told CNN's State of the Union. "I would be in consultation with our commanders, but yes, I probably will" reinstate the ban. (also in today's Daily News)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 20: Recess action -"Summer Streets" Bike/walk caravan

August 2011 Recess Action

Saturday, August 20th, 10:00 AM

"Summer Streets" Bike/Walk Caravan
starts at 51st & Park Ave/ ends at 25th & Park Avenue,
New York, NY

Message from your host, Arlene G.:
Let's keep the momentum going!
Please sign up for this gathering right away! Join this roving roll out of MoveOn's Contract for the American Dream. We'll bike and walk along [carless] Park Avenue wearing tee shirts or holding placards saying "Jobs not Cuts","Save the American Dream", "Tax the Rich to Invest in our Future".

We'll chant and sing our message along Park Avenue which will be free of cars due to "Summer Streets" with ready made crowds to see/hear us. Walkers will hand out and discuss our newly minted "Contract for the American Dream" give out free "Dream" buttons and sign people up for the ongoing campaign to Save/Rebuild the American Dream. Whether you walk or bike it'll be lots of fun.

There's FREE BIKE RENTALS!!! if you can't bring your own bike. If you'd like to help making the tee shirts/placard, etc sign up for further information.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

September 30: Haymarket 10th anniversary party

Haymarket 10th anniversary party

September 30th, 2011, 8 pm

Galapagos Art Space
(16 Main Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn).

Join Jeremy Scahill, Amy Goodman, Dave Zirin, Chris Lehmann, Frances Fox Piven, Brian Jones, Mousta Bayoumi, Michael Schwartz, and other Haymarket authors for an evening of music, drink, politics, and great books

Tickets are $10 and should be purchased in advance from Ticketmaster:

Haymarket Books seeks to drive a wedge into the risk-averse world of corporate book publishing. In the brief time since it started publishing, Haymarket, a project of the nonprofit Center for Economic Research and Social Change, has published more than 250 titles. Haymarket was recently listed as one of 10 publishers named by In These Times as being a key member of “The Progressive Media Network and Its Allies.” In 2009, Library Journal’s editor Barbara Hoffert called Haymarket her “top find of the convention” in a report on “Great Discoveries” at BookExpo America, and they had their first New York Times best-seller, with Amy Goodman’s Breaking the Sound Barrier.

In addition to great music, drink, conversation, and presentations by a number of Haymarkert authors, there will be a great display of titles — many on sale for $10 each. Help celebrate Haymarket's first 10 years and to lay the groundwork to sustain and expand its work for the next decade.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Melissa Harris Perry on "The Help"

I have to admit I enjoyed "The Help", but I have great respect for the views of Melissa Harris Perry (currently a professor @ Tulane), so I thought you should see her review of "The Help" (from Lawrence O'Donnell. "The Last Word")

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Aug. 18: Chris Hedges @ Mid-Manhattan Library

Thursday, August 18, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Author @ the Library presents:
"The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress,"
with Chris Hedges, acclaimed journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner.

Mid-Manhattan Library (On the 6th Floor)
(Map and directions)

One of the great moral voices of our age, who writes a hugely influential weekly column for the progressive news site Truthdig, insists that unless we begin to stand fast around moral imperatives, ones we cannot abandon while remaining willing to fight the formal systems of power, we will be complicit in our self-annihilation. He has the rare combination of decades of experience reporting from conflict zones in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans and the erudition one would expect from a student of Christian ethics and the classics at Harvard University. He prizes the truth over news and facts and in the pursuit of truth he has risked his career and even his life.
From Caroltheartist

Citing DOMA, Obama Admin Seeks to Deport Husband of Gay AIDS Patient

Citing DOMA, Obama Admin Seeks to Deport Husband of Gay AIDS Patient

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Wisconsin Republican shenanigans in recall elections

The Republicans in Wisconsin have held on to 3 seats (dist. 14, 10 & 2). The Democrats have recalled the incumbents in 2 districts (18 & 32). The last district which will decide who controls the Wisconsin Senate is #8. The final results will probably not be known until tomorrow. But it looks like the shenanigans of Republican Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus are responsible for the confusion over the election. She has been accused of similar antics in recent elections (see video below). Remember Florida Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, in the 2000 campaign, well the Republicans in Wisconsin seem to be recreating the same drama.

ABC News ignores Wisconsin recall election

I rarely watch the corporate-owned network news for obvious reasons. But I don't believe they usually cow-tow to their masters as blatantly as ABC did today. Six right-wing Republicans are up for recall in Wisconsin. I watched the ABC News from 5-7PM (including the National News w/George Stephanopolis) and the word Wisconsin never escaped the mouth of any of their so-called news reporters. If the Tea Party were scratching its ass, it would be the lead story. Well back to ignoring their version of the news.

The stakes of today's Wisconsin recall elections

From People for the American Way:

The recall elections today in Wisconsin can go one of two ways … you can make a difference by spreading the word about the stakes and importance of the recalls.

You might know someone in Wisconsin. Even if you don't, there's a good chance that one or several of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers know people in Wisconsin. So spread the word by sharing this page far and wide.

We hope, through a social media ripple effect, to reach Wisconsin voters in the six key districts with recall elections taking place today. And we hope to reach Wisconsinites outside of those districts to remind them of the importance of volunteering to help progressives win and getting their neighbors in the recall districts to vote.

Please share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, by email and however you can. Thanks!

Monday, August 08, 2011

"Five Points About Rick Perry's Prayer Rally Not Yet in Mainream Press"(From Talk to Action)

One thing the framers of our Constitution got right - after years of seeing the opposite results in England - was the separation of Church & State. One thing the religious right has wanted to undermine & destroy is the separation of Church & State. In this article Rachel Tabachnick writes:
We may have just seen the national debut of a new phase of political activism by the Religious Right that is the culmination of decades of planning.
Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, organized a prayer meeting last Saturday. Rick Perry, the same person who wants to be President of the United States. Will there be prayer meetings on the South Lawn of the White House? Will god determined the decisions made in the Oval Office? For centuries god (or gods) were used to justify the actions of people in power. You know the "Devine right of Kings"? When power, no matter how destructive it is, is justified as gods will not that of fallible human beings, it becomes virtually unchallengeable. The powers-that-be in the Catholic Church (& other religions) have been using this ploy for centuries. The devine right of presidents is a direct violation of the Constitution.


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Aug. 9: Protest nuclear war/ Remember Nagasaki

On the 66th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the NYC War Resisters League will join with Kairos Community and Catholic Worker for a vigil, as well as displaying an exhibit about the bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

Please bring your own signs and join in protest!

Tuesday, August 9th
5 - 7 PM
Washington Square Park in Manhattan across from Judson Church, 55 Washington Sq. So. (at Thompson St.),

(SUBWAYS: “West 4th St.” on B, C, D, E, F, M trains; “8th Street” on R, N trains)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Minnesota GOP Legislation Written by ALEC, Funded by Koch Brothers and Wal-Mart, and More

From the Thom Hartmann News Report, Thurs. 8/4:
The Minnesota state government may be open for business again after a shut down a few weeks ago – but the legislators aren’t working on new laws. Instead – transnational corporations are. The group Common Cause just released a report that shows a number of bills passing out of the Minnesota state legislature last session were actually written by the shadowy, non-profit organization known as the American Legislative Exchange Council – or ALEC. The organization – which is funded by the likes of the Koch brother and Walmart – is comprised of current and former lawmakers – as well as the heads of some of the biggest transnational corporations in the world. And ALEC’s job is to write corporate-friendly legislation to pass on to state lawmakers to turn into law in their respective states. Among ALEC’s successes in Minnesota: legislation that makes it harder for people to vote – legislation that protects corporations from consumer lawsuits – legislation that prevents regulations of greenhouse gases – and legislation that gives tobacco companies tax breaks. So here we have elected lawmakers outsourcing their jobs to corporate interests – still don’t think the corporatocracy has replaced our democracy?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


From The Granny Peace Brigade:


Friday, August 5, 2011, Noon to 1:30PM

Armed Forces Career Center (former U.S. Military Recruitment Center)

7th Ave & Broadway
(near 44th Street)

As our recent track record (as a nation) seems to demonstrate, we Yanks have a tough time learning from our own history. So this Friday we're having a refresher course.

On the tragic and shameful anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we will gather in Times Square -- to remind a forgetful public of these past tragedies and to encourage the citizens of the world to join together to put an end to nuclear weapons.

Join us. On this infamous anniversary, lets renew our commitment to a peaceful and just world.

Billy Bragg sings "Never Buy the Sun" on the Murdoch hacking scandal

Billy Bragg sings "Never Buy the Sun" on the Murdoch hacking scandal. On Democracy Now Just for the record people from Liverpool are called "Scousers."

For the complete one hour interview with Billy Bragg on Democracy Now in which he discusses the song & the whole Murdoch scandal (and much more). He also sings (among others) "There's Power in the Union."

Billy Bragg: Legendary British Rocker on Norway Attacks, Activism & His Latest, “Never Buy The Sun”