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Archive for December 30th, 2008

Why I Am a Socialist

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:38 am by HL

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

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Lanny Davis: The ‘Purple’ Moment of ’08

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:37 am by HL

Lanny Davis: The ‘Purple’ Moment of ’08
I predicted that the 2008 election 2008 could be the turning point for American politics, one in which decency and civil disagreement would finally replace personal destruction and vilification.

Vanity Fair: Farewell To All That: An Oral History Of The Bush White House
The threat of 9/11 ignored. The threat of Iraq hyped and manipulated. Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. Hurricane Katrina. The shredding of civil liberties. The rise…

Eric Margolis: 2009: Another Year of Living Dangerously
Special for the Huffington Post Eric S. Margolis December 29, 2008 The new year, 2009, dawns with all the grimness and evil portents of a…

Ari Melber: Ask Obama For a Torture Special Prosecutor
The Obama transition team is taking questions again at Change.gov, throwing open the site this week for citizen input. The first run of this experiment…

Letter To Obama Had Suspicious Powder
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Two Springfield office buildings were locked down today after a letter addressed to President-elect Barack Obama was found to contain a suspicious…


2008: We Learned What We Don’t Know

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:36 am by HL

2008: We Learned What We Don’t Know
It’s the end of an era. We know that 2008, much like 1932 or 1980, marks a dividing line for the American economy and society. But what lies on the other side is hazy at best. The great lesson of the past year is how little we understand and can control the economy. This ignorance has bred today’s insecurity, which in turn is now a governing reality of the crisis. Go back to the onset of the crisis in mid-2007. Who then thought that the federal government would rescue Citigroup or the insurance giant AIG; or that the Federal Reserve, striving to prevent a financial collapse, would pump out more than $1 trillion in new credit; or that Congress would allocate $700 billion to the Treasury for the same purpose; or that General Motors would flirt with bankruptcy? In 2008, much conventional wisdom crashed.


The Daily Muck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:35 am by HL

The Daily Muck
The committee responsible for looking into possible impeachment proceedings against Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will not subpoena advisers to President-elect Barack Obama. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has stated that subpoenaing Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel, along with Representative Jesse Jackson…





What Happened To Madoff’s Money?
Almost since the news broke that Bernard Madoff had confessed to running a “$50 billion Ponzi scheme”, one of the key unanswered questions has been, what happened to all that money? The short answer is, we don’t know yet. “It…

With Bailout Money At Stake, It’s Hip To Be A Bank
Maybe TPMmuckraker will reorganize as a bank to get our hands on some taxpayer money. After all, everyone’s doing it. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a good-government group, last week sent a letter to Congressional leaders identifying eight financial…


Are Older People Happier?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:34 am by HL

Are Older People Happier?
New research shows that happiness may have little to do with youth, mental sharpness or even physical health.

Gaza: Leaders Lie, Civilians Die and the Lessons of History Are Ignored
Quite a lot of the dead this weekend appear to have been Hamas members, but what is it supposed to solve?

Israel’s Bombs Are Only the Latest Variation in the Killing of Palestinians
Deprived of food and medicine by an Israeli blockade, the most vulnerable Palestinians die silent deaths every day.


Here’s The Playbook: How The Media Will Be Sold On Gaza Attacks

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:33 am by HL

Here’s The Playbook: How The Media Will Be Sold On Gaza Attacks
Check out Dan Fleshler on the strategy to justify what Israel is doing and watch the media fall into line. And here is The Israel Project, dedicated to separating Middle East myths from facts and propagating the myths. And here…

A Much More Pro-Labor Administration
In many ways, it is remarkable how much more pro-labor the Obama administration is compared to the Clinton administration, at least in its rhetoric. Obama himself has often talked about the importance of the right to organize for unions, something…






Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:32 am by HL

Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates
In an effort to “prevent Palestinians from attacking towns in southern Israel” with rockets, Israel today undertook its third day of offensive military airstrikes in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, raising the death toll to more than 300. The Palestinian casualty numbers have been described as the highest over such a brief period since the […]

strike.jpgIn an effort to “prevent Palestinians from attacking towns in southern Israel” with rockets, Israel today undertook its third day of offensive military airstrikes in the Palestinian territory of Gaza, raising the death toll to more than 300. The Palestinian casualty numbers have been described as the highest over such a brief period since the 1967 Six-Day war. Scores of Israelis have been wounded — and at least one killed — by rocket attacks fired by Palestinians. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called the situation “all out war.”

While Bush has been briefed on the situation by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, he has opted not to interrupt his final vacation as president to make a public statement on the crisis. For someone who has enjoyed the most vacation days as sitting president — including days spent relaxing in comfort during Hurricane Katrina and in the lead-up to 9/11 — it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Bush prioritizes vacationing over crisis management. ABC News reports:

Even an emerging crisis in the Middle East, one he pledged to resolve just 13 months ago, has not drawn President George W. Bush from his final vacation before leaving office. Despite his personal pledge at Annapolis last year to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians before 2009, this weekend Bush sent his spokesmen to comment in his stead. […]

Since departing Washington for Crawford on Friday, President Bush has made no attempt to be seen in public. In fact, he has yet to leave his ranch.

Today, in a press briefing delivered from the “Western White House” in Crawford, TX, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe was asked what is on Bush’s schedule today. In addition to receiving “updates on the ongoing situation,” Johndroe said, “I expect he’ll probably ride his bicycle today and spend time with Mrs. Bush.” Watch it:

President-elect Barack Obama has also been monitoring the violence from his vacationing spot in Hawaii, staying in contact with Bush and Rice. “President Bush speaks for the United States until Jan. 20 and we’re going to honor that,” Obama adviser David Axelrod said.

One senior Bush administration official told the Washington Post that he thinks the Israelis acted in Gaza “because they want it to be over before the next administration comes in” and because “they can’t predict how the next administration will handle it.” Indeed, Bush has become fairly predictable in how he manages these sorts of crises.


GOP Leaders Seek Extensive Vetting of Stimulus Plan

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on December 30th, 2008 5:31 am by HL

GOP Leaders Seek Extensive Vetting of Stimulus Plan
Congressional Republicans objected yesterday to hurried consideration of President-elect Barack Obama’s emerging stimulus proposal, questioning the economic value of many of the projects being floated for inclusion and voicing support for a more methodical process that might delay the legislation’s…

Obama Team Engages Public on Health Care
DUBLIN, Ind., Dec. 29 — Dolly Sweet, 77, has battled cancer more than once. She’s a fighter. But when her doctor recently prescribed a medication that cost $35,000 a year, she felt she had no choice.

Blagojevich Lawyer Implores Panel
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec. 29 — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attorney said Monday that a vague array of charges and evidence do not merit removing the governor from office, and he urged a committee in the state House not to recommend impeachment.