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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,627

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"THE PROTESTER" Time magazine reveals its Person of the Year 2011

"The Protester" Time magazine reveals its Person of the Year 2011


Time magazine revealed the 2011 choice for its iconic Person of the Year cover live on TODAY Wednesday. The Protester is this year’s choice, managing editor Rick Stengel told Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.

“There was a lot of consensus among our people,” Stengel told the TODAY anchors as he revealed the magazine’s cover. “It felt right.”

As it has for the past 84 years, the weekly newsmagazine selected the person (or sometimes group, or thing) that its editors deemed had the single greatest impact during the past year, for better or for worse.


The Book of Jobs -by Joseph Stiglitz: "we need to embark on a massive investment program"

The Book of Jobs
Joseph Stiglitz
Vanity Fair
January 2012 Edition

...A banking system is supposed to serve society, not the other way around.

from page 3: That we should tolerate such a confusion of ends and means says something deeply disturbing about where our economy and our society have been heading. Americans in general are coming to understand what has happened. Protesters around the country, galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, already know.


It has now been almost five years since the bursting of the housing bubble, and four years since the onset of the recession. There are 6.6 million fewer jobs in the United States than there were four years ago. Some 23 million Americans who would like to work full-time cannot get a job. Almost half of those who are unemployed have been unemployed long-term. Wages are falling—the real income of a typical American household is now below the level it was in 1997.

We knew the crisis was serious back in 2008. And we thought we knew who the “bad guys” were—the nation’s big banks, which through cynical lending and reckless gambling had brought the U.S. to the brink of ruin. The Bush and Obama administrations justified a bailout on the grounds that only if the banks were handed money without limit—and without conditions—could the economy recover. We did this not because we loved the banks but because (we were told) we couldn’t do without the lending that they made possible. Many, especially in the financial sector, argued that strong, resolute, and generous action to save not just the banks but the bankers, their shareholders, and their creditors would return the economy to where it had been before the crisis. In the meantime, a short-term stimulus, moderate in size, would suffice to tide the economy over until the banks could be restored to health.

The banks got their bailout. Some of the money went to bonuses. Little of it went to lending. And the economy didn’t really recover—output is barely greater than it was before the crisis, and the job situation is bleak. The diagnosis of our condition and the prescription that followed from it were incorrect. First, it was wrong to think that the bankers would mend their ways—that they would start to lend, if only they were treated nicely enough. We were told, in effect: “Don’t put conditions on the banks to require them to restructure the mortgages or to behave more honestly in their foreclosures. Don’t force them to use the money to lend. Such conditions will upset our delicate markets.” In the end, bank managers looked out for themselves and did what they are accustomed to doing.


the rest (3 pages - very good read):

Spain:Basque government regulates cannabis sale and use

(ANSAmed) - MADRID, DECEMBER 12 - The Basque Parliament will approve a law bill in the first few months of 2012 on drug addiction, which will regulate "the growing, sale and consumption of cannabis". This is according to the second in command at the region's health authority, Jesus Maria Fernandez, who was quoted by the EFE agency. "It is better to regulate than to ban," said Fernandez, who called the consumption of cannabis "a practice that is already consolidated". His words were echoed by the leading health official, Rafael Bengoa, who said: "We do not want to be prohibitionists". The consumption and possession of cannabis are regulated by the penal code and by the law on citizen security. For the new ruling, for which "technical and legal studies have been undertaken", the regional government wants to "open a debate" with associations in favour of consumption and to "shape their rights". The law bill on drug addiction also features prevention and treatment for gambling addictions, which affect 2% of the Basque population, and for addiction to new technology. (ANSAmed).


Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating

Dem lawmaker blasts ‘Professor Obama’ as arrogant, alienating
By Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) - 12/13/11 06:05 AM ET

After observing President Obama for the last three years, it has become obvious to me that the president might prefer to be a university professor rather than do the job he holds today. While he might not realize that he feels this way, the evidence is very clear to those who work with or watch him closely. ...

In the president’s first year in office, his administration suffered from what I call “idea disease.” Every week, and sometimes almost every day, the administration rolled out a new program for the country. There was no obvious prioritization and, after the rollout, very little effort to actually pass the latest idea/imperative/plan/edict. ... This lack of focus also made it easy for congressional Republicans to stall and foil many of President Obama’s best initiatives — which they did with relish!

Early in his administration, President/Professor Obama repeatedly referred to “teaching moments.” He would admonish staff, members of Congress and the public, in speeches and in private, about what they could learn from him. Rather than the ideological or corrupt “I’m above the law” attitudes of some past administrations, President Obama projected an arrogant “I’m right, you’re wrong” demeanor that alienated many potential allies. Furthermore, the president concentrated power within the White House, leaving Cabinet members with no other option but to dutifully carry out policies with which they had limited input in crafting and might very well disagree. From my experience, this was especially true in the environmental, resources, housing and employment areas. Not by coincidence, these areas have also been responsible for much of the president’s harshest critiques.


the rest:

Americans Need To Ask Romney-WHY-He Is Using The KKK Slogan "Keep America American"

Romney adopts KKK slogan: "Keep America American"
By John Aravosis (DC) on 12/13/2011 11:36:00 AM

He's said it repeatedly for over a year now. Here is Romney a year ago, using the Klan slogan in a campaign ad.


Romney said it again four days ago.

In an era in which it's apparently okay for Republicans to accuse President Obama of being a socialist, I guess we now need to ask if Mitt Romney is a Ku Klux Klansman. Not whether Romney inadvertently is using the KKK's number one slogan from the 1920s on the stump, no, the Republicans would say, if this were a Democrat, that clearly the candidate was a closet member of the KKK. So, is Mitt Romney a closet member of the KKK? Keep in mind, that even Romney is now claiming, between the lines, that President Obama is a socialist. So why shouldnt' America be asking if Mitt Romney is a Klansman?

4,500 Pages Of Blackwater's Rampage: Shooting Judges, Pet Dogs, Fast Drivers & Everything In Sight

‘Gentlemen, We Shot a Judge’ and Other Tales of Blackwater, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy’s Rampage Through Iraq

Shooting Judges, Pet Dogs, Fast Drivers and Pretty Much Everything In Sight

Every time a Blackwater centurion discharged his weapon in Iraq, the company filed a written report with the U.S. State Department. Blackwater shot Iraq to shit. Here are the reports.

Blackwater, the private mercenary firm that became synonymous with Bush-era war profiteering and reckless combat-tourism, announced yesterday that it has changed its name to Academi (after a previous incarnation as Xe Services) in a bid to distance itself from its history of wanton lawlessness. We've obtained a 4,500-page record of that history in the form of State Department incident reports documenting every time a Blackwater guard shot at an Iraqi between 2005 and 2007.

In Iraq, Blackwater's "protective services" consisted in large part of preemptively shooting any car that drove near its convoys. Page after page of the reports feature drivers (and occasionally boat pilots) who were fired upon simply because they drove "aggressively," attempted to pass, or didn't heed warnings to keep their distance. There was no routine mechanism for following up with the drivers to determine if they were injured or were actually hostile. Blackwater (and DynCorp and Triple Canopy) guards roamed Iraqi cities and highways, ignoring traffic rules and shooting at other drivers literally at will, and driving on. According to a 2007 investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (pdf) http://www.latimes.com/media/acrobat/2007-10/32930222.pdf, between 2005 and 2007 Blackwater operatives fired on Iraqis at least 195 times, or an average of 1.4 times per week. That included an infamous Baghdad firefight at Nisour Square that killed 17 civilians.



"Any Disciplinary Actions Would Be Seen as Lowering Morale"


"Well Gentlemen, We Shot a Judge"


All 4,500 pages of reports are embedded below. As we mentioned previously, we haven't read them all, but they don't appear to include some high-profile events, like the Nisour Square shootings (presumably because the State Department considers them to still be under investigation and exempt from the FOIA).

We've uploaded them to Document Cloud, an excellent service that allows readers to search and annotate documents and send around links to specific pages. So we encourage you to peruse them and flag any interesting incidents worth following up on.

HERE: http://gawker.com/5866375/gentlemen-we-shot-a-judge-and-other-tales-of-blackwaters-rampage-through-iraq

Bad Lip Reading: Rick Perry's "Strong" ad - Rick Perry will fight a chicken with hands

WATCH: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/13/1044644/-Open-thread:-Rick-Perry-will-fight-a-chicken-with-hands?via=blog_1

Photos Reveal Gingrich Holding Hands With Leader Of 'Invented People'

New York - Photos Of Newt Gingrich Embracing Yasser Arafat Surface


Begala: Thank You, Rush Limbaugh

..........the GOP is following the strategy of its intellectual leader, Rush Limbaugh, who famously said of the president, “I hope he fails.”

The Republicans seem to believe that if they tank the economy, they will be able to take down Obama and then rule over the ruins. Back in 2010, Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell declared that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” And the single best way to defeat Obama is to sabotage the economy.

But there’s just one problem with that strategy: the Republicans have no choice but to pursue it in broad daylight. And the trouble is, if they kill Obama’s middle-class tax cut, and Obama’s American Jobs Act, and his extension of unemployment benefits, and everything else he’s advocating to revive the economy, then fair-minded voters will likely blame the Republicans, and not the president, for the catastrophic results.

I cannot think of a time when the economy declined but the president was not blamed—but this may be the first. If the Republicans were smart, they would do on taxes what they did on trade: quietly pass Obama’s proposals, knowing full well that even a million new jobs will not be enough to climb out of the hole Obama inherited. (Fourteen million Americans are unemployed.) The economy isn’t giving Obama enough jobs, but the Republicans are giving him the next best thing: a villain to blame for the poor economy. By killing Obama’s jobs agenda, Republicans may just save his presidency.


Trump Pulls Out Of Newsmax Debate

12-13-2011 2:08 PM
Trump Pulls Out Of Newsmax Debate
CNN is reporting that Donald Trump has pulled out as moderator of a Newsmax Republican debate slated for the end of December. Only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum agreed to participate in the debate.

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