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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 73,161

Journal Archives

"Pity The Billionaire": Thomas Frank on the "Unlikely Comeback of the Right" Ahead of Iowa I & II


Austerity reigns in Europe as crisis deepens

Austerity reigns in Europe as crisis deepens
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ, The New York Times

Published: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:07 a.m.

Europe’s leaders are bracing their nations for a turbulent year, with their beleaguered economies facing a threat on two fronts: widening deficits that force more borrowing but increasing austerity measures that put growth further out of reach.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Jan. 9 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss a new fiscal treaty intended to impose stringent budget requirements on European Union nations.

Saying that Europe was facing its “harshest test in decades,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany warned on New Year’s Eve that “next year will no doubt be more difficult than 2011” — a marked change in tone from a year ago, when she praised Germans for “mastering the crisis as no other nation.”

Her blunt message was echoed in Italy, France and Greece, the epicenter of the debt crisis, where Prime Minister Lucas Papademos asked for resolve in seeing reforms through, “so that the sacrifices we have made up to now won’t be in vain.” .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120102/ARTICLE/120109955

Eyeroll-inducing news story of the day......

DES MOINES, Iowa--He's mentioned during the presidential candidates' speeches. His image appears in their political ads. Is Tim Tebow the new Ronald Reagan?

What does a young NFL quarterback have to do with politics? Nothing, really. But the born-again athlete's star power and popularity have prompted several of the presidential candidates to try to hook themselves to his star.

A political action committee supporting Bachmann is the latest to get in on the Tebow comparison, running TV ads in Iowa that liken her to the 24-year-old born-again Christian.

The announcer in the ad, paid for by a super PAC called No Compromise, says that the establishment "loves to hate" Tebow, but notes he has "no baggage," keeps fighting and keeps winning, before adding, "The same could be said of Michele Bachmann: no baggage, Christian, and like Tebow, she keeps fighting and she just keeps winning votes." ..................(more)

The complete piece (of mierda) is at: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/michele-bachmann-rick-perry-compete-tim-tebow-vote-031316975.html

Iran/Iraq ‘Defectors’ and Disinformation

from Consortium News:

Iran/Iraq ‘Defectors’ and Disinformation
January 2, 2012

Exclusive: Official Washington has a soft spot for “defectors” from hostile nations, especially if their tales of perfidy about their ex-homelands fit with favored policy. That was the case with Iraq before the 2003 invasion and now with Iran, but these “defectors” often tell lies, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A new American war hysteria is rising, this time over Iran, and – like its predecessor with Iraq – this one employs “defectors” who come forward, often under the umbrella of neocon organizations, to impart alarming tales.

The latest example is a “default judgment” by a U.S. federal judge implicating Iran in the 9/11 attacks. It is based largely on Iranian “defectors” whose testimony was given without Iranian lawyers or anyone else present to challenge the lurid claims. Since Iran has no diplomatic relations with the United States and rejects the judgments of U.S. courts, the “default judgment” was predictable.

Nevertheless, it is being used as another talking point for launching a war against Iran.

Beyond the exaggerations and falsehoods of this Iran-9/11 argument, it is also worth recalling how Iraqi “defectors” were deployed in the run-up to war with Iraq. American journalists and intelligence analysts were either duped or overwhelmed by the sheer number of these “walk-ins.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/02/iraniraq-defectors-and-disinformation/

Lakefront jogger critically injured by pit bulls: 'They wouldn't let the man go'

from the Chicago Tribune:

A 62-year-old man was critically injured this morning after he was attacked by what police described as two adult pit bull terriers while jogging along the lakefront in the South Shore neighborhood.

"They just wouldn't let the man go," said Stanley Lee, 35, who came to the victim's aid, trying to beat the dogs off with a baseball bat. The dogs didn't cease their attack until police shot them, he said.

The attack happened about 6 a.m. along a path in Rainbow Beach Park, 7715 S. South Shore Dr., police said.

The man was bitten by the two dogs over his entire body, including his legs, arms and face, police said. One of the dogs was chocolate brown and the other was white with dark spots, police said. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-jogger-critically-injured-in-attack-by-2-pit-bulls-on-lakefront-20120102,0,2942591.story

Push set for legal pot in Michigan

from the Detroit Metro Times:

Push set for legal pot in Michigan
Facing a law enforcement crusade, push to end cannabis prohibition gathers strength

By Curt Guyette
Published: January 2, 2012

That smoky aroma in the air — is it the scent of positive momentum, or simply that of high hopes doomed to be dashed?

News Hits is talking about the news that pro-marijuana activists are set to launch an effort to amend the state Constitution in an attempt to end prohibition of the drug in Michigan.

That's right, no middle-of-the-road decriminalization effort. Activists here have decided to get Michigan law enforcement completely out of the marijuana picture.

And if by chance New Year's Eve revelers are legally lighting up joints along with popping Champagne corks a year from now, we'd say the person most responsible for that will be state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who, along with some others in the law enforcement community, has made a crusade of going after medical marijuana patients, caregivers and dispensaries. ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/news/news-hits/push-set-for-legal-pot-in-michigan-1.1252168

Spreading Santorum: Slick Rick says President Obama should be anti-abortion because he's black

Dejavu all over again.....

No one was more surprised than Thomas Carpenito with the credit-card invitation that landed in his mailbox earlier this year.

The 27-year-old deli owner from White Plains, N.Y., had about $10,000 in old debts and a credit rating 200 points below "good." He recalled thinking the post office had delivered the letter to the wrong house.

Far from a mistake, the offer was part of a controversial and growing partnership between debt collectors and banks that profits both. To get the new credit card, Mr. Carpenito agreed to repay $400 on a seven-year-old debt that had expired under New York's statute of limitations.

"It was totally worth it," he said. Having no credit cards made Mr. Carpenito feel "like dirt," he said, especially when out on dates. His new credit card, stamped with the MasterCard Inc. logo, was offered by Jefferson Capital Systems LLC, the debt-collection arm of CompuCredit Holdings Corp., in Atlanta. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bringing-expired-debt-back-to-life.html

Impossibly Small and Over-Hyped Circus In Town

from CommonDreams:

01.02.12 - 2:25 PM
Impossibly Small and Over-Hyped Circus In Town

Reality Check: A total of 119,188 people - 4% of the population of Iowa, .04% of the U.S., and less than half as many as fit in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - took part in the last Iowa GOP caucuses. Another way to look at it: the Occupy protesters arrested at various caucus events are likely more representative than the people voting in them.


Jonathan Turley: The NDAA's Historic Assault on American Liberty

Published on Monday, January 2, 2012 by Jonathan Turley's Blog

The NDAA's Historic Assault on American Liberty
By signing into law the NDAA, the president has awarded the military extraordinary powers to detain US citizens without trial

by Jonathan Turley

President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.

Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely (see the text of the statement here).

Obama insisted that he signed the bill simply to keep funding for the troops. It was a continuation of the dishonest treatment of the issue by the White House since the law first came to light. As discussed earlier, the White House told citizens that the president would not sign the NDAA because of the provision. That spin ended after sponsor Senator Carl Levin (Democrat, Michigan) went to the floor and disclosed that it was the White House and insisted that there be no exception for citizens in the indefinite detention provision.

The latest claim is even more insulting. You do not "support our troops" by denying the principles for which they are fighting. They are not fighting to consolidate authoritarian powers in the president. The "American way of life" is defined by our constitution and specifically the bill of rights. Moreover, the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure. It is not the use but the right to use such powers that defines authoritarian systems. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/01/02-7