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Archive for November 5, 2010

Bush’s Worst Moment?!

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KahakaiGirl – Dolphin Capture and Trade Nov 3/4

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US Submits to UN Human Rights Council

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Travis McArthur – The Numbers Are In: Trade Deals Fail to Deliver

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Labor Notes:

The Numbers Are In: Trade Deals Fail to Deliver

Travis McArthur | November 1, 2010

Exports from the U.S. have lagged to countries that have NAFTA-style trade agreements, a new study says. Photo: Jim West.

Remember when American workers were promised that trade pacts based on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) model would boost exports and create millions of jobs in the United States?

Since President Obama set a goal in his State of the Union address this year to double U.S. exports over the next five years, corporate lobbyists have been claiming that the way to do so is to implement a slew of NAFTA-style trade deals. Agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama are pending.

The lobbyists should have checked their facts before running with this claim. Public Citizen’s new report, “Lies, Damn Lies, and Export Statistics,” crunched the numbers and found that exports to countries that have NAFTA-style trade agreements with the U.S.—such as Mexico and Australia—have grown at less than half the rate of exports to all other countries.

In other words, the data don’t support the corporate sales pitch.

If U.S. exports to trade deal partners like Guatemala and Singapore had simply grown as fast as exports to other countries, the U.S. would have exported $33 billion worth of goods more in 2007 alone. That could have supported tens of thousands of well-paying jobs.

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Media Matters – Rasmussen: A pollster made for Fox News

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Media Matters:

Rasmussen: A pollster made for Fox News

Poll results from Rasmussen Reports consistently overstated Republican performance in the midterm elections, according to The New York Times’ Nate Silver. Rasmussen polls and analysis have been criticized by polling experts who note that they often harmonize with narratives favored by conservatives and Republicans. Indeed, the polling company is a favorite of Fox News, which has cited Rasmussen polls at least 94 times in the past three months.

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Crooks and Liars – Rick Scott’s Columbia/HCA Fraud

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Crooks and Liars:

Rick Scott’s Columbia/HCA Fraud

Posted: 04 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PDT

Rick Scott's Leadership at Columbia/HCA
Click here to view this media

The speaker in this video is ex-New York Times Reporter Kurt Eichenwald giving a keynote speech at the 2010 HCCA Compliance Institute. In this short clip, Eichenwald describes the culture at Columbia/HCA as one driven by a “cult of personality” centered around Rick Scott. He goes on to describe the fraud that went on at the company under Scott’s management as systemic, and directly related to the culture and attitude of the company, along with an utter lack of compliance safety nets.

This is the man Florida just elected as governor of their state. With due respect to my friends in Florida, WHAT were you thinking?

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Also…

What Role Did Comcast Play in Keith Olbermann’s Suspension?–UPDATED with Comcast response

By karoli

There is a double standard at work with regard to Keith Olbermann’s suspension, not only between other personalities appearing on MSNBC as commentators, but also at the very top level of the food chain.

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Evan McMorris-Santoro – In Election Week, Majority Agrees It’s Time To Scrap The Filibuster

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From TPM:

In Election Week, Majority Agrees It’s Time To Scrap The Filibuster

Evan McMorris-Santoro | November 5, 2010, 8:29AM

Even though they just got done creating a government in Washington where gridlock is expected to be the norm instead of the exception, voters surveyed this week are overwhelmingly opposed to the filibuster, the procedure most often used bring the Senate to grinding halt.

Exclusive results of of a new poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee by venerable Democratic pollster PPP show 64% of voters contacted Tuesday and Wednesday said it was time to get rid of the legislative blocking maneuver used so often by Republicans since 2009. Just 23% said they’d like to preserve the practice, which President Obama has often decried and some Democrats have moved to abandon with little success.

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Steve Kornacki – Um, yeah, about Ronald Reagan’s popularity…

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Salon:

Um, yeah, about Ronald Reagan’s popularity …

The hagiographers are out in full force this week: Video

By Steve Kornacki

Um, yeah, about Ronald Reagan's popularity....

Craig Shirley, a Republican political consultant, is rather upset that so many comparisons have been drawn this week between Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, who emerged from a disastrous midterm election in 1982 in roughly the same political position that Obama now finds himself.

“In fact, there is no comparison,” Shirley writes in a FoxNews.com column, “mainly because even though Reagan’s popularity had sagged and support for Reaganomics had fallen, when pressed, in all the polling data, the American people still believed in Reagan’s prescriptions. ”

I’ve written plenty about the absurdity of wishful, backward-looking assertions like this, so I’ll leave that aspect of Shirley’s piece alone. But something else he wrote caught my eye:

[Reagan] did all these things because he believed and lived American Exceptionalism.

And then he rode off into the sunset, never worrying about his post-presidency as a means of cleaning up the mess of his time in office.

He left no mess but instead, the country and the world much better off than he found it. Reagan’s legacy didn’t need to be rehabilitated. After all, his approval rating in January of 1989 was 70 percent. Among voters under 30, it was a mind boggling 85 percent!

This, of course, is the right’s preferred Reagan narrative, the idea that his presidency was one long love fest between leader and the people, and that even after he left office Americans never stopped yearning for a Reagan restoration. But it is absolutely false.

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Iraqis Angry At Lawmakers’ ‘Lavish’ Salaries

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Karl Rove: “Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson are Fair Game”

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emptywheel – Neo-Feudalism and the Housing Crisis

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From emptywheel:

Neo-Feudalism and the Housing Crisis

By: emptywheel Thursday November 4, 2010 2:55 pm

A number of people have linked to the part of this Joseph Stiglitz interview where he says we won’t fix the economy without some good old fashioned prosecutions. But I wanted to highlight where he describes the way our system of debt imposes a kind of indentured servitude on the debtors.

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Cory Doctorow – Toronto cops who removed their name-tags during the G20 to avoid identification will be docked a day’s pay

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Boing Boing:

Toronto cops who removed their name-tags during the G20 to avoid identification will be docked a day’s pay

Cory Doctorow at 5:57 PM Thursday, Nov 4, 2010

About 90 cops will be docked a day’s pay for illegally removing their nametags during the G20 crackdown in Toronto. Toronto police chief Bill Blair said that the officers removed their badges so that they couldn’t be identified. This is part of a general pattern of illegal behavior during the Toronto G20, including arrests for violating a nonexistent law, extended detention in cuffs without adequate heating or toilet facilities, misleading press statements about seized weapons, and arresting a protester who was blowing soap-bubbles.

Also…

TSA official slipped white powder into fliers’ bags, told them they’d been caught with coke and were under arrest

Cory Doctorow at 5:28 PM Thursday, Nov 4, 2010

A TSA bomb appraisal officer in Philadelphia International Airport repeatedly “pranked” fliers by slipping a bag of white powder (creatine, a nutritional supplement, being used in equipment testing) into their luggage and then threatening them with arrest. Though his colleagues saw him pull this stunt, he was not removed from duty or reported — merely told “don’t do that,” by another TSA worker. It wasn’t until he reduced a woman to tears that he was disciplined. It’s not clear whether the officer — whose name has been redacted from the TSA memo that was released under a Freedom of Information Act request — was fired, or quit, though reportedly he isn’t working for the TSA any longer.

You know how the TSA has all those signs saying you can be arrested for joking or “making remarks” about bombs? One law for them, another for us, apparently.

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Geologists: Earth Will Take 100,000 Years To Recover From Global Warming

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Child Soldiers ‘No Bar’ For U.S. Aid

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Yemen incident analysis

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techdirt – Surprising, But Good, News: FTC Appoints Ed Felten As CTO

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From techdirt:

Surprising, But Good, News: FTC Appoints Ed Felten As CTO (Surprises)

by Mike Masnick from the excellent dept on Thursday, November 4th, 2010 @ 4:58PM

This is a surprise, but really excellent news. Princeton Computer Science professor Ed Felten — one of the few folks out there who seems to really understand various tech issues having to do with e-voting, DRM, net neutrality, copyright and other issues has been appointed as the first ever CTO of the FTC. Felten is the guy who was threatened by the RIAA years ago for cracking their DRM and daring to want to actually publish an academic paper about how weak the DRM was. He’s also been heavily involved in exposing security weaknesses with e-voting machines (and has been legally threatened about that as well). His blog (which now includes posts from lots of others), called Freedom To Tinker, has long been a must read. Hopefully Felten is able to actually make a difference.

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Dave Johnson – A Look At The Military Budget Through Social Security Eyes

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Seeing the Forrest:

A Look At The Military Budget Through Social Security Eyes

— by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture I am a Fellow with CAF.

Let’s take a look a the military budget, but using conservative framing usually aimed at Social Security. Let’s see how the military budget — currently over a trillion dollars a year if you include related programs — compares to Social Security using this approach.

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Tea Party Test: Korea Free Trade Agreement

— by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

The “Tea Party” will face many tests when the new Congress convenes next year. Everyone is asking, how long will it take before the Tea Party officeholders are co-opted by the big money insiders? “Free Trade” is one of those tests.

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Legal Schnauzer – The Dixiecrats Are Gone, But Their Influence Lives on in the 2010 Midterm Elections

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Legal Schnauzer:

The Dixiecrats Are Gone, But Their Influence Lives on in the 2010 Midterm Elections

Boutwell Auditorium

Many pundits attributed yesterday’s midterm election results to the rise of the modern Tea Party movement. But a political scientist argues that the Republican advances of 2010 have their roots in 1948. That notion hits close to home because those roots of 62 years ago were planted in my home city, Birmingham, Alabama. And it reminds us that white resentment over integration and associated issues never has gone away.

Wilmer J. Leon III argues in an essay at Truthout that the Republican uprising of 2010 is just an extension of the Dixiecrat movement that split the Democratic Party in 1948. Leon, a political scientist at Howard University, says Tea Partiers are Dixiecrats dressed up in new clothing.

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Spiegel – ‘Obama Comes Across as Cold, Arrogant and Elitist’

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Spiegel Online:

The World from Berlin: 'Obama Comes Across as Cold, Arrogant and Elitist'

The World from Berlin

‘Obama Comes Across as Cold, Arrogant and Elitist’

It was a failure of historic proportions. With US President Barack Obama’s Democrats having lost control of the House, there seems little hope for progress during his two remaining years, say German commentators. Obama himself, they say, bears much of the blame. more…

Obama’s Election Debacle: A Settling of Accounts with Mr. Perfect

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November 5, 2010 Leave a comment
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Zero Hedge – The Fed’s Gone “ALL IN”… Here’s What’s to Come

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

From Zero Hedge:

The Fed’s Gone “ALL IN”… Here’s What’s to Come

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 11/04/2010 19:52 -0500

Well, it’s official, Ben Bernanke has officially gone “all in” regarding currency devaluation in the name of pumping the stock market. I have to admit, even though I knew this was going to happen, I’m still in shock. After all, it’s not every day that you see a superpower collapse and lose its reserve currency status courtesy of a deranged mad man.

Regardless of your feelings on the matter, these are the cards the Fed has dealt us, so rather than devote space to critiquing our insane and corrupt Fed Chairman, I thought it better to devote today’s article to detailing what is to come as a result of the Fed’s policies.

1) QE 1 Failed, so Will QE 2= The Fed Doesn’t Have a Clue

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Also…

Must Watch: David Stockman Says The Fed Is Injecting High Grade Monetary Heroin Into The Financial System

And…

QE2 – The Day After: Entire World Blasts Deranged Madman’s Uncheckable Insanity

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/04/2010 14:08 -0500

Yesterday’s Ben Bernanke penned an Op-Ed in which he essentially said: “I am doing whatever I interpret my mandate to be, which right now means only thing: Dow 36,000. I am only accountable to the private bank that is the Federal Reserve, a few Wall Street CEOs, and no one else. Congress has no power over me. Try to stop me.” And while the stock market is so far in love with this exhibition of outright hubris which promises record bonuses even as a record number of Americans subsist on foodstamps and real, not BLS, unemployment is over 20%, putting the Chairman in a long-overdue strait jacket will ultimately require an outright clash between those who still believe in that piece paper called the constitution and the kleptocratic cartel to whom the trade-off between a senior bond impairment and their first born is never all that clear. And while more and more try to educate a hypnotized, strategically defaulting US society what QE2 means to their future, the rest of the world is already rising in a tidal wave of disapproval aimed at the Federal Reserve. As the FT reports, Brazil, China, German, and Thailand, and soon everyone else, have already voiced highest criticism and their condemnation of this escalation in FX wars.

And…

Inflationary Thursday – Benny Drops the Big One!

By Phil of Phil’s Stock World

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

That was the actual military policy of the United States of America and the rest of the World for about 30 years.  We had Presidents and Kings and thousands of bureaucrats – the top minds of 2 generations – all getting together on a regular basis and coming up with or buying into insanity like the system on the right.  We look back at it now and say “Gee, what were we thinking” but the whole World went down this path for a  while.

There is a scene from Doctor Strangelove where Major Kong, the bomb commander, is so focused on completing his mission that he loses sight of the bigger picture but he doesn’t regret his actions – he goes down in a blaze of glory that ultimately dooms the World but his sense of personal triumph at achieving his wrong-headed goal is the punctuation for the film.  Watch this scene and think of Bernanke, tinkering with this or that but so focused on “fixing” the economy with the one tool at his disposal that he ends up destroying it instead.

After putting over $2Tn into our Dead Parrot Economy since the crash and getting no response, Bernanke is upping the ante with another $600Bn round of Quantitative Easing ON TOP OF the ongoing $250-$300Bn round of POMO commitments for a total of about $110Bn per month dumped into the economy between now and the end of Q2.  This represents a 10% increase in the money supply over 8 months and, therefore, a planned 10% decrease in the purchasing power of your dollar-denominated assets or, to put it bluntly – a 10% tax on everything you own.

That is the joke of this country.  People sit there arguing about whether or not to extend a tax cut that will cost 3% of a year’s salary while the Fed, with no electoral oversight, is simply taking 10% of your LIFETIME savings – AGAIN!  They did it last year, they did it this year and now they promise to do it next year too.  That’s 30% folks!

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