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Archive for December 12th, 2008

Obama Will Detail Staff Contacts with Blagojevich

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:38 am by HL

Obama Will Detail Staff Contacts with Blagojevich
President-elect Obama stated at a press conference that he’s “absolutely certain” that no one on his staff was involved in Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pay-for-play scheme for filling Obama’s old Senate seat. Most importantly, Obama said that his staff is compiling of its own contacts with the governor and his staff and will release that information “in the next few days.”


Republicans Ask Workers to Give, but Not Small Businessmen or Bond-Holders

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:37 am by HL

Republicans Ask Workers to Give, but Not Small Businessmen or Bond-Holders
The Republicans in the Senate are risking crashing the world economy simply because hundreds of thousands of real workers wouldn’t make concessions that the local owners and white collars bankers weren’t asked to make.

Best as I can tell from the speeches, the takeaway from Bob Corker’s cynical “compromise” bill is this. The US Congress would ask the auto industry’s creditors to take a “hair cut” as follows:

  • The suppliers would not be asked to make a deadline-certain concession
  • The bond-holders would not be asked to make a deadline-certain concession
  • The dealers (who are important constituents in every congressman’s district or state) would not be asked to make a deadline-certain concession

But..

  • The workers had to make a deadline-certain concession–to lower their own wages so as to compensate for the fact that their employers had signed contracts to–and planned to honor–their commitments to retirees who had worked for the in years past.

The Republicans in the Senate are risking crashing the world economy simply because hundreds of thousands of real workers wouldn’t make concessions that the local owners and white collars bankers weren’t asked to make.

And that–according to the Republicans in the Senate–is the American way.


Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker!: A Memoir of Anarchism in the ’60s

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:36 am by HL

Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker!: A Memoir of Anarchism in the ’60s
In 1967, I became a founding member of an anarchist street gang — an unexpected career move for a nice Jewish boy with an MA in history.


Avraham Burg: Response to Book Club

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:35 am by HL

Avraham Burg: Response to Book Club
Bernard — You are right that Spinoza’s distinction that peace is not the absence of violence is something that needs to be seriously considered — especially by someone like me who is not just interested in justice for myself and…


Long Term

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:34 am by HL

Long Term
After it became clear that Obama’s trip through the Middle East was not only error-free but wildly successful (because of Maliki’s gambit), there’s been a third wave of press chatter and fretting to the effect that Obama’s trip may now…


Cheney alienates congressional Republicans.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:33 am by HL

Cheney alienates congressional Republicans.
In September, the White House sent chief of staff Josh Bolten and Vice President Cheney over to Capitol Hill to convince recalcitrant Republicans to accept the administration’s financial bailout package. The appeal failed, however, when “House Republicans rose up en masse against their vice president,” as Politico reported. Yesterday, the White House nevertheless dispatched […]

chenrb.jpg In September, the White House sent chief of staff Josh Bolten and Vice President Cheney over to Capitol Hill to convince recalcitrant Republicans to accept the administration’s financial bailout package. The appeal failed, however, when “House Republicans rose up en masse against their vice president,” as Politico reported. Yesterday, the White House nevertheless dispatched Bolten and Cheney to meet with Senate Republicans about the auto bailout plan, where they “heard a barrage of criticism — and offered few satisfying answers.” “They probably left with less support than they came in with,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) said that Bolten and Cheney were unconvincing, admitting “that the bill wasn’t as strong as they would have liked.” A June poll found that Cheney had an approval rating of 18 percent.


Obama, Democratic Leaders Expanding Health Measures in Stimulus Package

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:32 am by HL

Obama, Democratic Leaders Expanding Health Measures in Stimulus Package
President-elect Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress are devising plans to significantly expand the health provisions in next month’s economic recovery legislation, arguing that pouring billions of dollars into an array of health programs will not only boost the economy but also make a…


Gates Comes Of Age

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 12th, 2008 5:28 am by HL

Gates Comes Of Age
WASHINGTON — With President U.S. Grant’s long, narrow desk behind him, he works at Gen. John Pershing’s spacious partners desk, and converses with guests at a round table used by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, part of the reassuring furniture of government for most of 42 years, will soon serve his eighth president in a career that began in 1966 when Gates joined the CIA, of which he became director 25 years later. On Nov. 1, 1979, he was note-taker when Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser, met in Algiers with representatives of Iran’s radical Islamic regime that had just overthrown the shah, who had fled to the West. Brzezinski assured the Iranians that America would recognize their revolution, sell them weapons the shah had wanted and embrace normal relations. They demanded the shah. Brzezinski rejected that as dishonorable. Three days later, U.S. diplomats were taken hostage in Tehran.

Good Old-Fashioned Graft?
The response of Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review Online) to the arrest of Rod Blagojevich was priceless. “Finally, a political scandal you can talk to your children about. No room at the Mayflower. No myspace page. No Gay-American announcement. Just good and evil and money and power corrupting.” Rod Blagojevich is part of a storied American tradition. By selling government posts, shaking down businesses that had dealings with the state, and maneuvering to get lucrative jobs for his wife and himself, Blagojevich was practicing “honest graft.”