Saturday, January 29, 2011

Via SacBee: Viewpoints: Facts refute GOP's take on fiscal crisis

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address was a ho-hum affair. But the official Republican response, from Rep. Paul Ryan, was really interesting. And I don't mean that in a good way.

Ryan made highly dubious assertions about employment, health care and more. But what caught my eye, when I read the transcript, was what he said about other countries: "Just take a look at what's happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn't act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody."

It's a good story: Europeans dithered on deficits, and that led to crisis. Unfortunately, while that's more or less true for Greece, it isn't at all what happened either in Ireland or in Britain, whose experience actually refutes the current Republican narrative.

But then, American conservatives have long had their own private Europe of the imagination – a place of economic stagnation and terrible health care, a collapsing society groaning under the weight of Big Government. The fact that Europe isn't actually like that – did you know that adults in their prime working years are more likely to be employed in Europe than they are in the United States? – hasn't deterred them. So we shouldn't be surprised by similar tall tales about European debt problems.

Read more:

Via DemocracyNow: Financial Crisis Inquiry Report gets it right

 The  Financial Crisis Inquiry Report seems well researched and well written. Here. The economic crisis was caused by lax regulation and by greed.  This grand theft in the financial markets caused at least half of the current California  economic crisis.  If the Tea Baggers opposed the financial bail outs, I am waiting to see if they will support the arrest and prosecution of those who caused this crisis.  I haven’t seen support for prosecution  yet.
California is suffering a severe recession. We have 12.5 % unemployment. We need to build the promise of of California. 
  That promise is a good job for all and  the opportunity to have  a rewarding career. That is how people become tax payers.  The austerity paradigm  being promoted by the Republicans is the same policy that produced the economic crisis in the first place.  The tax and budget cut mania proposed by the governor  does not promote good jobs and a recovery.  It will make the recession worse.
 "From the Report : "While the vulnerabilities that created the potential for crisis were years in the making, it was the collapse of the housing bubble—fueled by low interest rates, easy and available credit, scant regulation, and toxic mortgages— that was the spark that ignited a string of events, which led to a full-blown crisis in the fall of 2008. Trillions of dollars in risky mortgages had become embedded throughout the financial system, as mortgage-related securities were packaged, repackaged, and sold to investors around the world. When the bubble burst, hun- dreds of billions of dollars in losses in mortgages and mortgage-related securities shook markets as well as financial institutions that had significant exposures to those mortgages and had borrowed heavily against them. This happened not just in the United States but around the world. The losses were magnified by derivatives such as synthetic securities."

The crisis reached seismic proportions in September 2008 with the failure of Lehman Brothers and the impending collapse of the insurance giant American Interna- tional Group (AIG). Panic fanned by a lack of transparency of the balance sheets of ma- jor financial institutions, coupled with a tangle of interconnections among institutions perceived to be “too big to fail,” caused the credit markets to seize up. Trading ground to a halt. The stock market plummeted. The economy plunged into a deep recession.  

Via UTNE: This Is How They Roll

Physically integrated dance companies blur lines and cross barriers.

Read More >>

Two from Truthout:

Fear Extreme Islamists in Egypt and the Arab World? Blame Washington
Jeff Cohen, Truthout: "For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.... One of the mantras on US television news all day Friday was: Be fearful of the democratic uprisings against US allies in Egypt (and Tunisia and elsewhere). After all, we were told by Fox News and CNN and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, it could end up as bad as when 'our ally' in Iran was overthrown and the extremists came to power in 1979."
Read the Article

Will Mubarak Heed Obama's Call to Listen to Protesters?
Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: "President Barack Obama dramatically increased pressure Friday on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to overhaul the political system in response to nationwide protests, telling Mubarak it's time to open 'a meaningful dialogue' with his opponents.... Obama's remarks were the most blunt from the US government since the protests began Tuesday, and suggested that Mubarak's days in power could be numbered following the worst violence in 60 years."
Read the Article

Jorge Ben - País Tropical

Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama; Granny Is Safe

Via JMG: 2010: Soldier Suicides Vs. Combat Deaths

For the second year in a row, last year the number of U.S. soldiers who killed themselves exceeded those killed in battle.
One of the problems hindering the military's attempt to address soldier suicides is that there's no real rhyme or reason to what kind of soldier is killing himself. While many suicide victims are indeed afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after facing heavy combat in the Middle East, many more have never even been deployed. Of the 112 guardsmen who committed suicide last year, more than half had never even left American soil. "If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times, "because we don't know what it is."

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: The Official State Of Utah

It still makes me cry...

Via Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Send a powerful message to President Obama and Congress to Fix Gun Checks.

Donate Now

The push to fix gun checks is quickly gaining momentum. More than 200,000 Americans have joined our call to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

And now Newsweek reports that “in the next two weeks, the White House will unveil a new gun-control effort in which it will urge Congress to strengthen current laws."1

President Obama has a crucial opportunity to bring the nation together and call for common sense steps to prevent senseless shootings.

We need supporters like you to make sure the President steps up to take on this challenge. Please sign the petition and let President Obama know that it’s time to fix America’s broken background check system and prevent more senseless shootings.

Send a powerful message to President Obama and Congress to Fix Gun Checks.

Keep the Pressure on Washington to Fix Gun Checks

Mayors Against Illegal Guns deals with the impact of gun crime every day. So as the Obama Administration begins crafting a proposal to close the gaps in our gun laws, we have two recommendations to stop dangerous people from getting their hands on guns:
  1. Get all the names of people who should be prohibited from buying guns into the background check system.

  1. Require a background check for every gun sale in America.
It's hard to believe, but even in the wake of a mass gun murder that shocked our nation, there are those who still oppose fixing this broken system. That’s why we’re counting on supporters like you to raise your voice and strengthen our call for action.

Add your name to Fix Gun Checks today:

Lives depend on whether people like you will speak out at this time of crisis. Make sure you join our call today and keep up the pressure on our leaders in Washington.

Thanks for getting involved,
Mayors Against Illegal Guns

1 Newsweek Article by Daniel Stone, January 27, 2010.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Focus Should Not Be on Partisanship, But People
LOS ANGELES, CA – Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF, issued the statement below in response to a radical proposal by Republican Sens. David Vitter (La.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) that flies in the face of the Fourteenth Amendment’s grant of citizenship to those born in the United States of America. The constitutional right of citizenship at birth, rooted in the hard-fought American values of fairness and equality, should not be subject to political and discriminatory whims. The Vitter-Paul proposal would strip the long-standing grant of citizenship to all born on U.S. soil, and would limit citizenship to those (1) with a parent who is a U.S. citizen; (2) with a parent who is a lawful permanent resident residing in the U.S. or serving on active-duty in the U.S. Armed Forces; or (3) naturalized under immigration law.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel:
"There are few elements of our Constitution more sacrosanct than the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted after great struggle and following the bloody Civil War. Our nation's extraordinarily accomplished early history is marred by a pattern of legally-sanctioned exclusion and racism. The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment -- and its Citizenship Clause in particular -- permanently altered this extraordinarily regrettable pattern. This week's introduction of a proposed constitutional amendment to return this nation to its pre-Civil War infamy will earn a permanent place in the annals of shameful senatorial conduct."
“Still, MALDEF is confident that the American people and their representatives will resoundingly defeat this contemptible proposal. We urge Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul to recognize that their oath to uphold the Constitution demands fidelity to our nation's deepest, hard-fought values and rejection of any nostalgic retrogression to caste-based exclusions." 

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Today's "Holy Shit!" Posting goes to: El camino del rey 2010

Via Beyond the Chron: School Beat: Imagining A New Funding Framework for Schools

next article
School Beat: Imagining A New Funding Framework for Schools

President Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night promised a continuation of flawed education strategies while ignoring the need for truly transformative actions. Reaffirming his support for the exclusionary and unfair approach of competitive grants as embodied in the Race To The Top (RTTT) program, Obama once again sidestepped the most fundamental challenges our students and their schools are facing – increasing child poverty across the nation and chronic underfunding of education in almost all states.

If our children are to have a new and better educational future, one that lays the foundation for living a full engaged-life, thus benefitting all of us, then addressing poverty and school finance must be the first priorities of elected officials and educational leaders, beginning with the White House and Congress. When President Obama announced allocating more money to education, two years of experience with his policies tell us that addressing baseline school finance is not where that money will go, but instead will be spent on expansion of RTTT type efforts, “innovation” grants for tracking students and grading teachers and the increase of privatization of schools. Despite the President’s confidence, this is simply the wrong direction. [more]->

Via Beyond the Chron: Obama’s Progressive Enablers

Obama’s Progressive Enablers

Among the fantasies arising from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was that progressives would hold him politically accountable. Even candidate Obama subscribed to this view, as he urged supporters to keep him on track should he detour from the path to Change. But progressives have long given the President a pass. The response to Obama’s State of the Union address shows that many progressives prefer unconditional cheerleading to questioning the President’s plans. For example, SEIU cheered Obama’s “clear call to action to solve our jobs emergency,” ignoring the President’s call for a five-year spending freeze on the very job-creating domestic programs that organized labor strongly supports. Unfortunately, such cheerleading simply enables future progressive betrayals. It also sends a strong message to the White House that progressives view themselves as too weak to firmly back their own agendas. 


Nossa nomeação saiu no Diario Oficial da União hoje...

O Pró-Reitor de Administração da Universidade Federal de
Ouro Preto, no uso da competência que lhe foi delegada pela Portaria
nº 540, de 05.08.94, considerando: A Portaria MPOG nº 124, de
15/03/2010, publicada no DOU de 16/03/2010 e a Portaria MEC nº
328, de 19/03/2010, anexo I, publicada no DOU de 22/03/2010; a
Portaria MEC nº 55, de 19.01.2011, publicada no D.O.U. de
20.01.2011, o Anexo I, o Processo de concurso público nº
7.497/2010-0 e o Processo UFOP de nomeação nº 560/2011-0, resolve:

No- 104 - Art. 1º Nomear, em caráter efetivo, nos termos do artigo 9º,
inciso I da Lei 8.112, de 11 de dezembro de 1990, Daniel Clark Orey,
habilitado em concurso público de provas e títulos (Edital PROAD nº
141, de 18 de agosto de 2010, publicado no DOU de 19.08.2010),
homologado pela Resolução CEPE nº 4.242, de 20 de dezembro de
2010, publicada no DOU de 06/01/2011, para o cargo de Professor de
3º Grau, classe Adjunto, nível 1, da carreira de magistério superior do
quadro de pessoal desta Instituição, em regime de trabalho de 40
horas semanais com dedicação exclusiva, em vaga de código
0899044, redistribuída para UFOP, conforme Portaria MEC nº 346,
anexo VI, de 25 de março de 2010, publicada no DOU de
26/03/2010. Parágrafo único: O servidor deverá ser lotado no Centro
de Educação Aberta e a Distância/UFOP.Art. 2º Esta Portaria entra
em vigor na data de sua publicação no DOU.

O Pró-Reitor de Administração da Universidade Federal de
Ouro Preto, no uso da competência que lhe foi delegada pela Portaria
nº 540, de 05.08.94, considerando: A Portaria MPOG nº 124, de
15/03/2010, publicada no DOU de 16/03/2010 e a Portaria MEC nº
328, de 19/03/2010, anexo I, publicada no DOU de 22/03/2010; a
Portaria MEC nº 55, de 19.01.2011, publicada no D.O.U. de
20.01.2011, o Anexo I, o Processo de concurso público nº
7.497/2010-0 e o Processo UFOP de nomeação nº 559/2011-0, resolve:

No- 105 - Art. 1º Nomear, em caráter efetivo, nos termos do artigo 9º,
inciso I da Lei 8.112, de 11 de dezembro de 1990, Milton Rosa,
habilitado em concurso público de provas e títulos (Edital PROAD nº
141, de 18 de agosto de 2010, publicado no DOU de 19.08.2010),
homologado pela Resolução CEPE nº 4.242, de 20 de dezembro de
2010, publicada no DOU de 06/01/2011, para o cargo de Professor de
3º Grau, classe Adjunto, nível 1, da carreira de magistério superior do
quadro de pessoal desta Instituição, em regime de trabalho de 40
horas semanais com dedicação exclusiva, em vaga de código
0899045, redistribuída para UFOP, conforme Portaria MEC nº 346,
anexo VI, de 25 de março de 2010, publicada no DOU de
26/03/2010. Parágrafo único: O servidor deverá ser lotado no Centro
de Educação Aberta e a Distância/UFOP. Art. 2º Esta Portaria entra
em vigor na data de sua publicação no DOU.

Two from Truthout:

Paul Krugman | Wishful Thinking Won't Balance Out Trade Deficit
Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "The argument that the United States and China are on their way to soon reducing, or even eliminating, the trade gap between them has caused quite a stir in both the media and the blogosphere. The discussion was sparked by a paper that Martin Feldstein, an economist at Harvard, presented earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association. He explained that since consumers in the United States are starting to save more, and Chinese consumers possibly starting to save less, underlying trade imbalances could vanish. 'It is not hard to imagine that a few years from now the current account imbalances of the U.S. and China will be very much smaller than they are today or even totally gone,' he wrote."
Read the Article

Cow Most Sacred: Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable
Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch: "In defense circles, 'cutting' the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: US military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history."
Read the Article

Via Truthout: Henry Giroux | Remembering Howard Zinn, Once Again

Henry Giroux, Truthout: "Howard Zinn never faltered in his attempts to connect scholarship with politics, and he never retreated into the dystopian world of indifference or cynicism. Howard has left us a legacy of work, activism and hope that even in the darkest times offers a new language for reclaiming the link between politics and democracy, agency and critical thinking, ethics and a space of social responsibility and hope."

Read the Article

Via JMG: United States of Awesome

The follow-up to yesterday's United States Of Shame. (Source)

Labels: ,

reposted from Joe

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three from Truthout:

GOP Sen. Dick Lugar Chides Tea Party Movement for Offering Only "Cliche" and No "Specifics"
Alex Seitz-Wald, Think Progress: "Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been one of the few GOP lawmakers willing to make good faith efforts to work with President Obama, especially on foreign policy issues. Most recently, Lugar aggressively lobbied to pass the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia, and didn't hesitate to call out members of his own party who spread misinformation about the treaty. Lugar's moderate stances and cooperation with the White House have earned him scorn from many conservatives, and tea party activists in Indiana are gearing up to field a primary challenger against Lugar in 2012."
Read the Article

Tyranny American-Style: Pvt. Bradley Manning Is a Hero of Our Age
Dave Lindorff, ThisCan'tBeHappening.Net: "Looks can be deceiving. When you see photos of Army Specialist Bradley Manning, the fresh, boyish-faced 23-year old private who has spent the last seven months in solitary confinement, first in Kuwait and later at the Marine base at Quantico, VA, enduring the tender mercies of military guards, you don't get the sense that this is someone who could withstand a lot of pressure and physical and mental abuse."
Read the Article

This Modern World: Knowing and Not Knowing
Award-winning editorial cartoonist Tom Tomorrow on what we as Americans choose to know and not know.
Read the Cartoon

Via LeftAction: Speaker Boehner: Where are the jobs?

For nearly two years, John Boehner has been complaining nonstop about job growth.  "Where are the jobs?," he grumbled, over and over again.

Of course, facts are pesky things.  Accordingly, Boehner never mentioned that job losses skyrocketed under George Bush, largely due to policies that Bush and Boehner championed.  Nor did he mention that the job picture did in fact start to get better and better once President Obama took office, and actually started doing something.

Further, beyond complaining and whining, it was hard to come up with one damned idea that Boehner proposed for actually doing something about spurring job growth.  Aside from helping employ countless tanning salon employees, the leading Republican in the House of Representatives was pretty much... AWOL.
Well, Boehner has risen (hee hee) to Speaker, and it's time for him to be held accountable.  We're tired of Boehner's limp (hee hee) excuses for inaction.  We're fed up with the ridiculous games of House Republicans, putting the fantasy of repealing health care reform ahead of the actual work necessary to grow the economy (seriously, regardless of how you feel about health care, the odds of repealing it with a Democratic president are about the same as repealing gravity).

Enough is enough.   Boehner is Speaker, and it's time for him to stop whining, and start doing something.

Speaker Boehner: WHERE ARE THE JOBS? 

Via For America for Purchase: From the KKK to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin


Terrorism is the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population in order to bring about a particular political objective. It has been practiced Republicans, the religious right and right wingers for more than 100 years in the U.S.

And for more than 100 years America sadly has a very long history of hate, racism, and bigotry all authored by white militant people beginning in 1866 with the establishment in the South by the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization which was composed entirely of white, Anglo-Saxon, protestant ‘Christians’ male and female who believed the white race and their form of ‘Christianity’ were superior to those of every other ethnicities and religions in America.  This organization used acts of terrorism including murder, lynching, arson, rape, and bombings to oppose the granting of civil rights to African Americans. They were anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and opposed the immigration of every race they did not view as “racially pure.”  

Read more…

Via Belrico: Sometimes Losing Is How You Win

We have been talking a lot about Social Security these past few weeks, even to the point barack-obama-bw.pngwhere I’ve missed out on talking about things that I also wanted to bring to the table, particularly the effort to reform Senate rules.

We’ll make up for that today with a conversation that bears upon both of those issues, and a lot of others besides, by getting back to one of the fundamentals in a very real way…and today’s fundamental involves the question of whether it’s a good idea to keep pushing for what you want, even if it seems pointless at the time.

To put it another way: when it comes to this Administration and this Congress and trying to influence policy… if Elvis has already left the building, what’s the point?

Continue reading "Sometimes Losing Is How You Win" »

Today's WTF is wrong wit these people? is via JMG: Utah GOP Rep Proposes Naming Browning Semi-Automatic The Official State Gun

Tea Party-backed GOP state Rep. Carl Wimmer wants the Browning semi-automatic to be named Utah's official state gun. This model Browning is very similar to the gun used in Arizona's massacre.
The bill to make the Browning M1911 the official gun breezed through a committee hearing this week and is scheduled to be debated by the full House as early as Wednesday. Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer said the state should have the gun as one of its state symbols to honor John Browning, a Utah native who invented it in 1911. "He invented a firearm that has defended American values and the traditions of this country for 100 years," Wimmer told the House Political Subdivisions Committee. The committee approved the bill to add a state gun on a 9-2 vote.
Next up: The official Utah state land mine! The official Utah state pipe bomb!

(Tipped by JMG reader Corey)

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Pointless, Abused, Faked Terrorism Threat Level System To Be Abolished

Remember in 2009 when former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge confessed that he'd been pressured to raise the terrorism threat level in order to help Dubya's 2004 campaign? And how that totally worked? Today Homeland Security announced that they are doing away with the color-coded system, effective in March. The new system will only announce known threats to specific locations, so they say.

reposted from Joe

Two from Truthout:

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Maya Schenwar | Winning the Future for Whom?
Maya Schenwar, Truthout: "In the context of the State of the Union, and of Washingtonspeak on the whole, what does 'democracy' mean? This brand of 'democracy' certainly does not include the voices of the poor - the people who are disenfranchised due to their lack of access to basic necessities, the people who, more than anyone, need their government to care. This spectacle of contention and frustration and mess is ultimately a battle between a narrow sliver of very similar perspectives.... Does 'working together,' then, connote simply uniting the voices and interests of 'moderate' Republicans and 'centrist' Democrats, in Congress and in corporate America? A real democracy represents Gary, Indiana as boldly as it represents Washington, DC."
Read the Article

William Rivers Pitt | Onward Christian Soldiers ... To Hypocrisy
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "Talk to Mikey Weinstein for even a few minutes, and you get the definite sense that the man must have gills. It is the only explanation for how he can say so much, so quickly, without pausing to take a breath. This should come as no surprise, as Mr. Weinstein has a great deal to say on a topic that affects us all, and threatens the constitutional fabric of the nation: a frontal assault by elements within the active military on the separation of church and state, and a crusade by those elements to transform the Armed Services into a fundamentalist Christian entity."
Read the Article

Via Political Loudmouth:

From a buddy's facebook page this morning:

Via JMG: She's A Bad Ewa Jamma....

Oh thank you, thank you, Crazy Eyes! I knew you would not let me down. Aside from the fall-out-of-your-chair hilarity of never ONCE looking into the right camera, Crazy Eyes has placed her mispronunciation of Iwo Jima into the Twitter hall of fame, where it is now a top trending topic and probably will be for at least the next day. She's a Bad Ewa Jamma, people!


reposted from Joe

Via jMG: SOTU Word Cloud

(Via Steven Thrasher @ Village Voice)

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: United States Of Shame

Y'all know I love my silly maps, but I've resisted posting this one because some of the categories are so...baffling. Ugliest residents? But this one is apparently going viral. And now you can stopping sending it to me.

Labels: ,

reposted from Joe

Early 70's...

Cousins Gary & Sharon and my Sister Lynne
Fishing trip with our Dads and Uncle Ron

Via Utne:

The majority believes. They're just not that interested in the details.

Read More >>

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jerry and Me, San Francisco, 1989

I do not remember that tie, it seems so turquoise... I do remember thinking he was pretty nice. I am glad he's governor again.

Mt Whitney, 1990

That's John Shefflebine in the shorts and Kim to my other side, I can't remember the name of the due in the glasses... I do remember getting really sick with altitude sickness... but by golly we made it!
Copyright 2011 by Daniel C. Orey All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.