MSNBC-Dylan Ratigan, video (07:15):
"Street protest the only recourse for disempowered Americans."Howie P.S.: RAW STORY has "Protesters to launch “Occupy Wall Street Journal.”
I started posting on HowieinSeattle in 11/04, following progressive American politics in the spirit of Howard Dean's effort to "Take Our Country Back." I decided to follow my heart and posted on seattleforbarackobama from 2/07 to 11/08.--"Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle."--Michael Hood.
"Street protest the only recourse for disempowered Americans."Howie P.S.: RAW STORY has "Protesters to launch “Occupy Wall Street Journal.”
They were once among President Obama’s most loyal supporters and a potent symbol of his political brand: voters of moderate means who dug deep for the candidate and his message of hope and change, sending him $10 or $25 or $50 every few weeks or months.
But in recent months, the frustration and disillusionment that have dragged down Mr. Obama’s approval ratings have crept into the ranks of his vaunted small-donor army, underscoring the challenges he faces as he seeks to rekindle grass-roots enthusiasm for his re-election bid.
In interviews with dozens of low-dollar contributors in the past two weeks, some said they were unhappy with what they viewed as Mr. Obama’s overly conciliatory approach to Congressional Republicans. Others cited what they saw as a lack of passion in the president, or said the sour economy had drained both their enthusiasm and their pocketbooks.
For still others, high hopes that Mr. Obama would deliver a new kind of politics in his first term have been dashed by the emergence of something that, to them, more resembles politics as usual. MORE...
Watch the full episode. See more Ken Burns.KCTS, video (03:00).
Dylan just launched his national program to Get Money Out of Politics. Like many idealistic reforms, the proposal for a Constitutional Amendment to change American elections has drawn a pretty typical response: “Great idea — but it will never happen.”
People are skeptical because they don’t expect politicians to legislate against their self interest. I get it. Just look at the the politicians in office right now. They won through a money-driven system, so they won’t want to change it. That’s true, as far as it goes. But if you consider the history here, the fact is that politicians have repeatedly been forced to pass tough reforms curbing money in politics. How? MORE...
Author and Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and their potential for motivating change.
The protest, as it stands, is mostly made up of young people who are feeling fed up and disaffected, but Taibbi sees the protests as a reflection of real anger on the part of the American people, anger that rises out of the sense that Wall Street controls too much of American political life. Activists whose work centers around these issues, he says, can point to the protests as a manifestation of genuine distress on the part of the public.
Keith poses the question as to whether a gathering of Tea Party protests would have garnered more media attention. At the end of the segment, he quips that maybe the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd needs more “funny hats.”
So you wanna make a difference, huh? You're young, you're strong, you're entering your intellectual prime, and you're just itching to stand up to the arrogant gray-hairs of your parents' generation—who, admittedly, royally screwed things up—and set our nation right again. You want to end injustice, end poverty, end pollution, end the wars, and push the powers that be toward smarter, fairer, and more sustainable policies. In other words, like generations of politically conscious students before you, you want to change the world.
Well, here's a novel idea: You could fucking vote! MORE...
According to data compiled by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University (yes, they stupidly felt the need to spell out the acronym CIRCLE), only 21.3 percent of eligible voters age 18 to 24 bothered to vote in the 2010 midterm election... you know, the election that filled Congress with racist, fascist, science-denying teabagging lunatics.
The university campus is the ideal society. Even more than that, it is the most human society possible. We are the learning animal. Our brains are huge and develop very slowly. Chimp children, for example, mature much faster than human children. After two or so years, the chimp stops asking questions. The chimp just wants to get on with life. We, on the other hand, can't stop learning, we extend childish wonder deep into adulthood, which transformed us into the book-reading, history-learning, formula-memorizing ape. MORE..."Josh Potter's Guide to Dystopia---A Stranger Intern on Having Just Graduated College and Entering the Job Market Right Now" (Josh Potter-The Stranger):
Only six weeks into a job at a fancy deli on Queen Anne and eight weeks into living in Seattle, I'm calling my boss and quitting via voice mail. I've delved so far into the negatives of my bank account since graduating that, after a $450 paycheck, I'm still well below zero dollars. MORE...
Michael Moore, filmmaker, activist and author of "Here Comes Trouble," calls on people all over the country to bring the Occupy Wall Street movement to their communities. Later, Moore denounces the state of Georgia for executing Troy Davis.
Obama and Axelrod are clearly engaging in a bit of expectations-management here — for largely strategic reasons. Why?Howie P.S.: Here's how Cilliza finishes his piece:
First and foremost, the tale of Obama’s first three years (or so) in office is that of a failure to meet impossibly high expectations. MORE...
Expectations, as the Obama team learned over the past few years, are a dangerous thing in politics. Too high and you can’t meet them. Too low and people start believing you can’t change things. Can Obama and his team find an expectations middle ground for 2012?
Mike Papantonio appears on MSNBC's The Ed Show to talk about how Obama has finally decided to push back against the GOP, after trying to be a great compromiser for 3 years.
In his remarks to donors at the event (which took place in what was described to NPI as an “airy, vast rectangular space, like entering a wing at a contemporary art museum”, President Obama warned that America cannot afford to elect a Republican as president. Doing so would usher in “an approach to government that would fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century,” he said. Obama pointed to the ongoing budget debate in Congress as part of “a constant ideological pushback” that he has had to deal with since his inauguration.
“It is not just a national crisis it is an international crisis that we’ve been managing for the last three years,” the President reflected. “Domestically, we still have a lot more to do to heal this economy and to deal with some of the structural problems that existed even before the financial crisis hit.”
“My hope when I came into office that was because we were in crisis that the other side would respond by saying now is the time for all of us to pull together,” he said. “That was not the decision they made so from the moment I took office what we’ve seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity.”
He added, “We’re seeing it even now. As we speak there’s a debate going on in Congress about whether disaster relief funding should be granted as part of the overall budget to keep the government open.”
“What makes it worse is that some of the Republicans who are opposing this disaster relief it’s their constituents who’ve been hit harder than anyone by these natural disasters.”
The President said his message to Republicans is simple: “I’m prepared to work with you but these games have to stop.”
He ended his remarks by talking about the upcoming presidential election. MORE...
After being rained out last Friday, we’re heading down to #OccupyWallStreet today for a live broadcast from the scene of the protest…and this time it looks like the weather will hold off on the rain until we’re done with the broadcast.
Be sure to tune in!
BBC News—Sept. 26, 2011—Just listen to this guy. Thanks to zerohedge for posting this story.
Obama took the oath of office determined to change the way things were done in Washington, by which he meant a turn toward civility, comity, coöperation, and mutual respect—honest debate and earnest, public-spirited compromise. He did not grasp how profoundly the transformation of the Republican Party into a disciplined, nearly monolithic agent of radical reaction and ruthless obstruction—a transformation that has only accelerated since that day—had changed things already. Perhaps he did not wish to grasp it. In recent weeks, though, he has surprised disdainful opponents and dispirited supporters alike with the passion and firmness of his drive for urgent job spending, responsible debt reduction, and equitable taxation. A President may learn more from the frustrations of power than from the wielding of it. But in this President’s case the learning has been perilously slow. MORE...Howie P.S.: I am usually dazzled by Rick Hertzberg's writing, but sometimes his content is spot on, as well.
JOBS were the focus of nearly 1,000 people who gathered outside President Obama's fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. Labor, community groups, seniors and everyday people rallied to support the President and to hold him accountable in his promise to protect the middle class, create jobs and not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.Howie P.S.: Jay Inslee appears at the end of the video to express his support.
The man in the rubber boots and a thick coat to protect against the evening chill walked purposefully about a farm here, scattering pheasants as he went. He could have been an English gentleman out for a bit of hunting, except he carried no gun.
In his current circumstance, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is more hunted than hunter, fighting extradition to Sweden on accusations of sexual misconduct while struggling to maintain the influence of WikiLeaks even as he remains here at Ellingham Hall, the country manor house of Vaughan Smith, a former soldier and journalist who runs a restaurant and club for journalists in London.
Mr. Assange and a few WikiLeaks staff members who are staying at the farm joined some friends of Mr. Smith on Saturday for an outdoor lunch. I took the train up from London to get a first-hand look at Mr. Assange’s gilded, remote sanctuary. MORE...
...the left must realize that when progressives achieved success in the past, whether at organizing unions or fighting for equal rights, they seldom bet their future on politicians. They fashioned their own institutions — unions, women’s groups, community and immigrant centers and a witty, anti-authoritarian press — in which they spoke up for themselves and for the interests of wage-earning Americans. MORE...
Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges' discussion with livestream viewers at Liberty Plaza for Occupy Wall Street 9/25/11, protesting corruption in corporate ruled media, government, and life.
The volume on the ongoing discussion about whether President Obama should face a primary challenge for the 2012 Democratic nomination is constantly being adjusted. When the president compromises on basic premises of progressivism, when he talks of putting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts “on the table,” and sometimes when he simply seems unfocused and politically inept, the volume goes up. When the president stands strong, however, when he outlines plans for making the rich pay their fair share, when he promotes infrastructure and investment in he face of Republican intransigence, sometimes when he simply seems to “get” that there is a point where compromise becomes capitulation, the talk dies down.
After the president drew some lines in the sand last Monday, with a speech that laid out the case for genuine shared sacrifice by the wealthy and that seemed to reject the most extreme cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the “Primary Obama” volume dialed downward. As Michael Moore said on MSNBC the other day: “It doesn’t take much” to renew the “hope”—or, at least, the partisan fidelity—that made Obama the most politically potent Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
But if the “Primary Obama” volume is turned down for the moment, the knob is still within hands reach. And there are more than a few Democrats who are only one “Super Committee” bargain away from spinning it toward “10.” MORE...
Obama was expected to bring in $4 million. Community and labor groups including the Washington State Labor Council and the Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans plan to gather at the theater. They say they’ll call on Obama to create jobs, protect Social Security and Medicare, and support immigration reform. MORE...Howie P.S.: Detailed visit information here from KING 5 NEWS.
The price list began at $1,000 for Sunday lunch at the Paramount with President Obama, but as the event nears the Obama reelection campaign has begun hawking cheap seats in the balcony for $100.
“A few seats remain in balcony seating at an affordable price: this is your chance to see the President, and show your support for all the values we share,” said an Obama campaign invite.
“Hear from him about how the Jobs Act can be passed, and learn more about what you can do to help. All from our Commander in Chief, in person.”
A hundred bucks is indeed more affordable. A “Medina Brunch with Barack” is priced at $35,800 a couple. Luncheon seating at the Paramount starts at $1,000, rises to $2,000 for “preferred seating” with a picture with the president costing $7,500. MORE...
Rip Troy Davis.Howie P.S.: I find it hard to accept her defense of Obama's lack of action on Troy Davis.
Its projections also put almost all of the U.S. in the clear — with Washington state the lone holdout.
Purported sightings in Texas and California caught on video
Plunging satellite debris dropped somewhere over Africa or Canada
Exact time and location of satellite not yet confirmed
Debris fell to Earth some time between 11.23pm on Friday and 1.09am EDT today
Pieces of debris remain property of U.S. with people who find them ordered to hand them back. MORE...
"Barack,Troy, and a falling satellite" (the Field Negro):
Someone asked me today if I thought that the killing of Troy Davis will cost his O ness votes. Black folks are still mad that you could hear a pin drop in the White House during the days leading up to the state sanctioned killing of Davis.
Hey, what can I tell you? O is first and foremost a politician, and he did what politicians do when these types of "touchy" issues raise their ugly heads: He kept his mouth shut. Pro death penalty folks vote.
But back to the question: Will it cost him votes? Maybe. It's still too early to tell. I just don't think that blacks folks are going to be motivated to head to the polls this time around. MORE...
This week, thousands of protesters took to the streets in New York City to protest the greed and corruption of Wall Street. The groups were made up of people of all ages who are sick and tired of being taken advantage of and looked over by billionaires and millionaires who have taken our economy and jobs hostage.
Obama in SeattleHowie P.S.: Be advised that the tickets being offered here are "$100.00 Gen44 Balcony Seats."
We are kicking off a new campaign, and we want you with us from the start.
Please join President Obama at a lunch with supporters like you in Seattle.
What:Obama Victory Fund 2012 - Lunch with President Obama
Where:The Paramount Theatre
911 Pine Street
When:Sunday, September 25, 2011
On October 3 activists from across the country will gather in Washington at the Take Back the American Dream conference, in the belief that only a citizens movement can save an American dream that grows ever more distant. In the face of a failed economy and a corrupted politics, the only hope for renewal is that citizens lead and politicians follow. MORE...Howie P.S.: There's a local effort in Seattle: "Build the American Dream movement Sunday in Seattle."
It is certainly true that Barack Obama is not an advocate for any “wild-eyed socialist position.” Nor is he an advocate for any sober and sound socialist position.
Obama’s explicit and frequent rejection of the word “socialist” parallels his rejection of the ideals and ideas associated with that word.
But distancing himself from socialist and social democratic ideals does not make Obama or his policies any more “American”—or any more in sync with the approaches of the country’s great presidents.
Quite the opposite. MORE...
Sens. Lisa Brown and Ed Murray, the Democratic majority leader and budget panel chairman, released a statement urged their colleagues not to “draw a line in the sand.”
“Over three years, we have reduced public service levels across the board, from support for kindergarten education to supervision of offenders in our communities. As we approach special session, we must recognize that more cuts – however necessary mathematically – will impact Washingtonians, their families and their communities. As legislators, we have many tools for balancing our budget – including giving the voters the option of approving new revenue to pay for the services they want. We strongly encourage our colleagues in both parties, in the House and Senate, to avoid drawing lines in the sand and instead to arrive in Olympia in November prepared to offer solutions and to be ready to discuss all the possibilities.” MORE...
Keith and author Will Bunch, senior writer, Philadelphia Daily News, call out the New York Times and other mainstream outlets for failing to cover the Wall Street protests that began on September 17. Comparing their social media strategy to that of the Arab Spring, Bunch hopes that the protesters — promoted on Twitter and by the magazine “Adbusters” and other alternative news sources — refine their goals to appeal to a broader audience.
We know one thing about President Obama's new plan to cut the deficit by taxing millionaires more. It's popular. Really, unusually popular. But not according to the Beltway press. MORE...
...the choice in 2012, clarified: E.J. Dionne, commenting on the success of Obama’s rescue of the auto companies, deftly ties it to the larger question of whether government can and should act to rectify the unemployment crisis and the damage done by the individual hand of capitalism:We did not have to accept the collapse of our domestic auto companies, and we do not have to accept that the Federal Reserve is powerless to give the economy the boost it needs. There is no reason to believe that the federal government is incapable of investing more in schools, roads and other public goods to build for the future and get more money into the hands of consumers now. We do not have to rely on giving rich people tax cuts and then confine ourselves to offering fervent prayers that they might invest some of the money in creating jobs.We can seek to control our fate, or we can turn the invisible hand into a God who commands us to be helpless.
That’s pretty much what the 2012 elections will be all about.
Elizabeth Warren discussing the debt crisis, fair taxation and other important issues as part of her talking tour.
"I strongly disagree with Ralph Nader. As I've said many times before, I believe that re-electing President Obama is an absolute imperative for our economy, our judicial system, for progressives and for our country," said former Sen. Russ Feingold, who announced recently that he was not running for Wisconsin's open Senate seat. MORE...
Maddow continued to push back on the idea that the President has a problem with the base, and cited broad public support for his latest policy proposals.Greg Sargent:
My pick for read of the morning is this piece by Politico’s Glenn Thrush, which gently skewers the caterwauling of the moderate elite (Mark Penn, David Brooks) about Obama’s new populist approach.
With the claim gaining currency that Obama’s jobs bill and push to hike high end taxes are all about appealing to the base, and are certain to further alienate independents and moderates, it’s worth reiterating that the use of terms like “moderate” and “centrist” by such opinionnmakers is entirely arbitrary. They have nothing to do with where the center of public opinion, if such a place even exists, actually lies.
As Thrush puts it, saying what must never be said in polite centrist company:Polls show the major components of the plan, particularly the tax hikes on families earning $250,000 or more — and the “Buffett tax” on millionaires, polls well with all voters, including swing state independents.
This happens to be true. Key takeaway: Self-proclaimed centrist and moderate opinionmakers and pollster types do not speak for moderate voters. MORE from Sargent's The Morning Plum...
A changed landscape? On the morning after Obama vowed to veto any deficit deal that cuts entitlements without raising revenues, and accused Republicans of waging class warfare on behalf of the wealthy, the sense is unmistakable that a page has been turned, that the President is trying out an approach that’s fundamentally new. Commentators had constantly asked — in the awful Beltway cliche — how Obama would move to “hit the reset button” on his presidency. We now have our answer. The reset button has been pressed. MORE...Howie P.S.: Ezra Klein (via AMERICAblog) wonders: Is the White House finally "manning up"?
Doctors used to believe that by draining a patient’s blood they could purge the evil “humors” that were thought to cause disease. In reality, of course, all their bloodletting did was make the patient weaker, and more likely to succumb.H/t to "TODAY’S MUST-READ" @ The Stand.
Fortunately, physicians no longer believe that bleeding the sick will make them healthy. Unfortunately, many of the makers of economic policy still do. And economic bloodletting isn’t just inflicting vast pain; it’s starting to undermine our long-run growth prospects. MORE...
"...could someone else have done better? Not the out-of-it McCain, not Hillary (an equivocator in her own right and one who would have embraced the same Clinton administration alumni and Wall Street crowd that Obama did). I still believe Obama was our best hope, and I still hope, however quixotically and self-deludedly, that he might learn from his mistakes." MORE...
As a number of us have argued, Obama’s continuing demand that Republicans pass the whole American Jobs Act — and his willingness to take it straight to the American people — represents a new approach by the White House. Rather than signaling a willingness to give early ground on core liberal principles in the name of compromise as a desirable end in itself, Obama and his advisers laid down some hard lines at the outset in a manner designed to increase leverage in the battles ahead.Howie P.S.: Robert Reich is curbing his enthusiasm:
The initial reports about what Obama will propose as his opening bid today for the deficit “supercommittee” suggest that they are sticking with it.The key details, per Zachary Goldfarb: MORE...
Apparently Obama will propose that people earning more than $1 million a year pay at least the same tax rate as middle-class earners. That's aiming mighty low. MORE...
Former president Bill Clinton argued on Face the Nation today that President Obama has, in essence, made himself his primary opponent leading up to the 2012 presidential election, and emphasized the role of compromise in contemporary politics.
Host Bob Schieffer asked Clinton if he agreed with James Carville (a former Clinton advisor) in saying that now is the time for President Obama’s team to panic and shake up their entire reelection strategy. Clinton did not take this view, but rather gave Obama credit for his jobs speech last week, which the former president thought was a good first step in taking care of the debt problem.
Clinton looked at President Obama’s struggle right now as a powerful political one. MORE...
On Monday, the Obama administration will call for a new tax on income over $1,000,000. The details aren’t available yet, but various versions of of a millionaire’s tax have been floating around for some time now, so it’s possible to get a rough sense of what the tax could raise. MORE...
While 68.3 million Americans struggle to get enough food to eat and wages are declining for 90 percent of the population, US millionaire household wealth has reached an unprecedented level. According to an extensive study by auditing and financial advisory firm Deloitte, US millionaire households now have $38.6 trillion in wealth. On top of the $38.6 trillion, they have an estimated $6.3 trillion hidden in offshore accounts.
Ed Schultz is one of the most-listened-to progressive radio talk show hosts on the air in America today and a burgeoning presence in the cable news/talk television scene. His daily radio show syndicated by Dial Global Radio Networks –– now in its eighth year –– broadcasts live weekdays from New York City 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on more than 100 affiliates across the country. In addition, he hosts a prime time 10:00 pm ET weekday cable television program (Monday through Thursday) on MSNBC. The Talkers Interview with Ed Schultz was conducted by Michael Harrison. MORE...
The President has kept the pressure on Congress in a series of speeches, and it appears to be working, at least a little bit. House Republicans like Boehner, Eric Cantor, and even Paul Ryan have sent signals that some kind of deal might be possible, a sign that, even if they’re just stalling so they can regroup, the President’s push has them back on their heels somewhat.
The President can always count on members of his own party to go all weak in the knees whenever there’s a crucial fight, and this time is no different. Several Democrats are already signaling opposition to President Obama’s plan, which completely undercuts the best leverage the President has. MORE...
Toxic runoff comes from many everyday sources, including soap, paint, fertilizers and herbicides, and even dog poop. According to the Department of Ecology, toxic runoff is the No. 1 threat to the health of Puget Sound. Each year, 14 million pounds of pollutants wash from our streets and driveways directly into our rivers and streams, and ultimately into the Sound. Sustainable West Seattle takes on Tox-Ick! “Most people I talk to think that polluted runoff from our streets and driveways go to facilities to remove contamination,” said Cate White, leader of Sustainable West Seattle’s toxic runoff outreach group. “However, that isn’t true. Most runoff is not treated. Our campaign helps people understand how they can reduce that flow of toxic runoff.” MORE...Howie P.S.: This group is sponsoring a series of educational events in West Seattle starting September 11 and ending November 19 at various locations. The next one is Saturday, September 24th @ 10am @ the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
The U.S. missed its own chance for ringfencing when a proposal for a full repeal of Gramm-Leach-Bliley was routed during the Dodd-Frank negotiations.
That means we’re probably stuck here in the states with companies like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, giant commercial banks in charge of stewarding trillions in client bank accounts and consumer credit accounts who also behave like turbocharged gamblers via their investment banking arms.
Sooner or later, this is going to blow up in our faces, and it won't be one lower-level guy with a $2 billion loss we'll be swallowing. It'll be the CEO of another rogue firm like Lehman Brothers, and it'll cost us trillions, not billions. MORE...
Mike Papantonio and Ed Schultz talk about whether or not the GOP will ever support the President's jobs bill. They also take a look at some of the crazier moments from Right Wing talkers.
Elizabeth Warren announces her decision to run for U.S. Senate so she can fight for hard-working Massachusetts families.Howie P.S.: Warren may have appeal as a candidate for national office, someday.
SMALL BLUE ISLANDJim Davis | Atlanta, GA | September 13, 2011
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has also pulled the Palin strips. They've apparently given in to the fact that they're on a small blue island in a very large red sea. Ralph McGill must be up to 3600 RPM in his grave.MORE...COPOUTJean Ray | Canton, GA | September 13, 2011
I was disappointed, but not surprised, to find that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not running this week's strips, due to "stong political content..." What a copout! Keep up the good work.
At the Interactive One Open for Questions event hosted at the White House, Domestic Policy Advisor to President Obama, Melody Barnes, talks about the administration's accomplishments since the President took office two and a
half years ago. September 13, 2011.
A combative President Barack Obama exhorted Congress Friday to pass a new job-creation bill, taking a populist appeal to America's recession-racked Rust Belt in an effort to recapture the excitement of his campaign.Howie P.S.: I still can't believe this is from 1-22-10.
Obama weaved us-against-them rhetoric into his appearances, telling a town hall audience that he "will never stop fighting" for an economy that works for the hard-working, not just those already well off. MORE...
“I think the President’s team has been rather brilliant in putting this one together,” said former DNC chair Howard Dean, speaking on the American Jobs Act with Lawrence O’Donnell last night, sounding confident and convinced that the bill puts sufficient pressure on Republicans to get passed. “It would be hard to devise a better bill than this to put these guys on the griddle,” he said. “They’re in big trouble.” MORE...
The White House said Monday President Obama is proposing cutting $467 billion in tax breaks for wealthier Americans and some companies to offset the cost of his job-creation plan. Obama is proposing limiting itemized deductions for Americans making $250,000 or more a year and ending tax breaks for oil companies, corporate-jet owners and investment-fund managers. Jack Lew is the White House Budget Director.
Jack Lew, White House budget director: "At it’s most simple level, what the President said on Thursday night stands and is profoundly true: we can’t afford everything. We have to make choices. And I think if the American people were asked to make a choice between tax breaks for investment fund managers who get preferential treatment for carried interest and oil and gas industry tax breaks that treat oil and gas more favorably than other investments and corporate jets that are treated more favorably than commercial, that is not a hard choice for most Americans. If the choice is creating economic growth and jobs or tolerating the results of many years of inequities in the tax code."
My guess is that the House will give him just enough of his plan—further cuts to payroll taxes paid by employers and employees—to be able to say, We’re not rank partisans and blind ideologues: we are doing something. But this wouldn’t be nearly enough to reverse the downward economic slide, allowing the opposition to go on playing the game it’s played since Obama’s inauguration—to lay the blame on him for the results of their own acts of legislative sabotage. Power without responsibility requires a high degree of self-restraint, something lacking in the contemporary Republican Party. MORE...Howie P.S.: Greg Sargent says
Anyone who is still wondering whether Obama intends to go all in with his push to get his jobs plan passed as is — and not piecemeal — should be encouraged by the new ad the DNC has released today ratcheting up pressure on Congress to pass the bill. MORE...
At an Army base near Seattle, soldiers are committing suicide, murdering their families—and in one case, waterboarding their own kids. Winston Ross reports from a base on the brink.---
Hubert wound up at Coffee Strong, where she’s surrounded by folks who agree that the Army isn’t doing enough to help soldiers who come back from war. In the first year the shop was in business, there were about 170 soldiers coming in a month. Now, the number is up above 300, says Carter.
The group is now asking for an investigation at Lewis-McChord to find the root of the suicide problems, says Carter. But he’s already certain of one of them: “They’re sending soldiers on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and when they come back they’re expected to be ready to deploy again in a year or 15 months. That’s not enough time to recover from trauma.” Nor do soldiers who know they’re going back to war really want to deal with their issues, he says. “I’ve had soldiers tell me ‘I don’t want to go to therapy. I’ve got to keep my edge.’”
So far, the military solution has been to throw money at the problem, says Carter. The Army recently built a $53-million barracks facility for a transition battalion, for example. “That makes for something you can put on the news, but it doesn’t fix the problem,” he says. “Soldiers are starting to catch on to the fact that if the military really cared about them, they’d be doing more to help.”
Champion wants to see counseling upon a soldier’s return—at least a month’s worth—not as an option but an order, so that there’s no stigma associated with getting help. When her son went into the Army, she told him she wasn’t worried he’d get physically hurt, but that “there are some things you never ever need to see in your entire life. I don’t want you to come back with your head all screwed up. That’s what happened.”“The Army failed my son. All they do is treat them like a damned number,” she says. “You’re not supposed to bury your children.” MORE...
And for failing to help him, Champion blames the military.
President Obama's speech Thursday night was one of his best ever delivered, and thank goodness he is making a huge political push on the all-important jobs issue. It was a good night for him, and he needed this badly for his political standing. But progressive activists should neither fall into a posture of uncritical support, or just focus on the negative sides of the speech, policy, and political strategy, as sometimes is done by our more hardcore brethren. We should take a critical eye to what is good and bad about the policy, and enthusiastically support the good side while strongly opposing what is bad; we should applaud that he has gone bigger and bolder than conventional wisdom in DC said he would or should, while calling for even more boldness because this package isn't enough to get this economy out of the deep, deep hole it is in. The President needs to have a left flank, not just because of political positioning but because progressives have a moral imperative to stand strongly for what the right thing to do is.
We should not let the fact that we are conflicted on the President's proposal slow down our willingness to take action to fight for what we believe in, either. We need to be strong and clear in what we are calling for, and fight for everything we believe in with every muscle we have. MORE...
A father and son return to the sea before their farewell.
Fordson" is a feature length documentary film that follows four talented high school football players from Dearborn Michigan as they gear up for their big senior year rivalry game during the last ten days of Ramadan, a month when Muslims traditionally fast every day from sunrise to sundown.
The story is set against the backdrop of the stunningly beautiful Fordson High School, a public high school built by Henry Ford in 1922, which was once all white, but now boasts a 98% Arab population. As our team readies itself to play its affluent, cross town rival, we unearth the adversity faced by a community that is desperately holding onto its Islamic faith and trying to gain acceptance from their fellow U.S. citizens in post 9-11 America.
Through the eyes of the team, their coaches, and their fans, we get an unprecedented glimpse inside the lives of a community that is home to the largest concentration of Arabs in any city outside of the Middle East, and their determination to hold on to the American Dream.
You can contact the producers at email@example.com
Thom Hartmann and Ari Berman, Contributor-Rolling Stone Magazine; Political correspondent-The Nation Magazine; author "Herding Donkeys" discuss the dirty tricks Republicans will use to disenfranchise you.Howie P.S.: Here's the link to the article Ari wrote for the Rolling Stone that is discussed in the interview. Tidbit:
In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year.
Mike Papantonio talks with MSNBC's Ed Schultz and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead about the pathetic "debate" among the Republican presidential hopefuls, as well as the ups and downs of President Obama's jobs speech.
Osama bin Laden inflicted a terrible crime on the American people. America’s elites and their allies have done the rest. MORE...
Before a joint session of Congress, President Obama laid out a $447 billion package of tax cuts and new government spending Thursday night to help stimulate the economy and create new jobs. His speech comes at a time when 14 million people are unemployed and another 8.8 million are working part-time but seeking full-time work. The official unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent, and the White House is predicting the rate will not fall below six percent until 2017. The jobs crisis is particularly severe for African Americans, who face an unemployment rate that soared to 16.7 percent in August—the highest it’s been since 1984. We speak with Dedrick Muhammad, senior director for economic programs for the NAACP, and Scott Paul, founding executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. [includes rush transcript]
Most presidents kick off their re-election campaigns with a speech on the campaign trail somewhere, or from the Oval Office. President Obama did it in a novel, telling and shrewdly chosen place: in the middle of an address to Congress.Howie P.S.: Some are not yet ready to celebrate:
If people were wondering what template Barack Obama would choose for his re-election effort -- some had suggested FDR in 1936 or Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- we now have an answer:
Harry Truman in 1948, the "Give 'Em Hell Harry" who challenged Congress to tackle with the post-war nation's problems and castigated the Republican Congress for its obstinate failure to do so. MORE...
Lee_Rosenberg:Obama has given several great speeches in his presidency. And they've often been followed by legislative failures.
So, who is the source of these belated explanations?
The Dean of the University of California at Berkeley Law School Christopher Edley, Jr. His comments will probably be showing up on video, but here is a report I was just sent by long-time peace and justice activist extraordinaire Susan Harman:
"Then Dean Chris Edley volunteered that he'd been party to very high level discussions during Obama's transition about prosecuting the criminals. He said they decided against it. I asked why. Two reasons: 1) it was thought that the CIA, NSA, and military would revolt, and 2) it was thought the Repugnants would retaliate by blocking every piece of legislation they tried to move (which, of course, they've done anyhow)." MORE...
The reader may think that I am attributing Svengali-like powers to GOP operatives able to manipulate a zombie base to do their bidding. It is more complicated than that. Historical circumstances produced the raw material: the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class - without job security (or even without jobs), with pensions and health benefits evaporating and with their principal asset deflating in the collapse of the housing bubble. Their fears are not imaginary; their standard of living is shrinking.
What do the Democrats offer these people? Essentially nothing. Democratic Leadership Council-style "centrist" Democrats were among the biggest promoters of disastrous trade deals in the 1990s that outsourced jobs abroad: NAFTA, World Trade Organization, permanent most-favored-nation status for China. At the same time, the identity politics/lifestyle wing of the Democratic Party was seen as a too illegal immigrant-friendly by downscaled and outsourced whites.
While Democrats temporized, or even dismissed the fears of the white working class as racist or nativist, Republicans went to work. To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations' bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let's build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it's evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists. How do they manage to do this? Because Democrats ceded the field. MORE...
It's funny, though. I'm still rooting for McGinn to catch his political sea legs, whatever the critical stuff I've written about him and in spite of the press conference set-to.
A hopeless mayor hurts a city. Grant money -- the taxpayers' dollars -- gets wasted if it is used to create a feast for interest groups. If government is keyed to specific groups' agendas (e.g. Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices, Sierra Club) those left out resist and we witness the kind of conflict seen on the tunnel.
So, here's hoping the "Green Economy" isn't a Potemkin promise, that competent contractors get brought in, workers trained and homes weatherized. Mayor McGinn has it in his powers to shut me up.
On the other hand, it's our duty to shake off the choreography and spin and demand an answer to the question immortalized by an old lady named Sarah Peller in those famous Wendy's ads: "WHERE'S THE BEEF?" MORE...
In an effort to obtain badly needed revenue for the ailing U.S. economy, President Barack Obama recently appeared in a 30-second television spot for the popular Japanese snack product Glico Pretz Ham & Cheese, White House sources reported Wednesday.
According to aides, the advertisement will air nationally throughout Japan and will feature the president endorsing a savory, stick-shaped cracker snack manufactured by the Ezaki Glico corporation, which agreed to pay Obama a one-time fee of $300,000 plus residuals, compensation to be used exclusively for U.S. economic stimulus purposes.
Glico executives say they hope consumers associate the president's face with Pretz Ham & Cheese from now on.
"While the president does not ordinarily endorse retail products, he was willing to make an exception for Glico Pretz Ham & Cheese as a way of easing the current financial burden on our country," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, stressing that the commercial's quick, two-day shoot outside of Yokohama took little time out of Obama's schedule and was of the highest production quality. "Also, we have been assured by Ezaki Glico CEO Katsuhisa Ezaki that the TV advertisement, and accompanying billboard and bus ads, will only be seen in Japan and will portray the president in a very flattering, elegant light befitting a world leader of his stature." MORE...