26dems Homepage
Tech Advisory: This web page is best viewed in Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer version 7 and newer. You may have to upgrade Adobe Flashplayer if you experience problems. Report any problem to the webmaster.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nearly One Thousand People Protest Republican Meeting in Rancho Mirage

Reported by: KPSP Local 2 News Services
Email: news@kpsplocal2.com News Created: 1/30 2:00 pm
Last Update: 12:35 am

As wealthy, conservative business people met Sunday inside a Coachella Valley resort, members of a liberal political action and open access group rallied to complain that corporations were being given unfettered control of the nation.

Common Cause rented a hotel ballroom for about 350 activists to discuss the conservative political agenda being furthered by Charles Koch and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who own an oil conglomerate that is the largest privately-held corporation in the U.S. The brothers and their company, Koch Industries, are hosting an invitation-only strategy session in the Valley this weekend.
About 1,000 protesters then clustered on Bob Hope Drive's sidewalks near the Rancho Las Palmas resort, where the conservatives were meeting.

[Related: Check out more photos from the protest]

Signs read "Medicare for All,'' "Troops Home Now'' and "Tea Party Founded and Funded By The Kochs.'' Police wearing riot helmets and visors formed a cordon at the resort's gates, and the protestors responded by moving away, to the other side of Bob Hope Drive.

The protest was mostly peaceful, however, 25 people were taken into custody for trespassing.

"The arrested subjects were transported to a command post in close proximity to the protest site where two subjects with pre-existing medical conditions were released with a citation at the scene," said Lieutenant Jorge Pinon of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. "The remaining twenty- three subjects were transported to the Indio Jail where they were booked and released with a citation."

Nancy Pfotenhauer, a spokesperson for Kochk sent KPSP Local 2 News this statement:
"We are happy to be back in Palm Desert, which has been such a gracious host community for these conferences for the last eight years. This meeting brings together some of America's greatest philanthropists and job creators and who share a common belief that the current level of government spending in our nation is simply unsustainable. In 2011, we will see yet another increase in the federal deficit and by 2021 debt held by the public will double. The discussion over the next couple of days will focus on solutions to this and other pressing issues in our nation and on strategies to promote policies that will help grow our economy, foster free enterprise and create American jobs. We support the right of all Americans assemble in a peaceful and respectful way and to express their own point of view, and we hope that any protesters will respect this community and not inconvenience local residents."

The Koch brothers have funded the effort behind Citizens United, the challenge to federal campaign laws that prompted a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that corporations or other groups can secretly spend as much money on political efforts as they desire.

Continue reading here. 

Also read  Riot Police Guard Against Anti-Billionaire Protesters in Rancho Mirage. John Amato is on the scene

MSNBC: Rep. Kaptur - Let's Get Our Money Back from Goldman Sachs

Conversations with Great Minds with Ed Asner Part 1 & 2

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MSNBC: GOP Haunted By Big Spending, Corporate Favors

 Read  The Predator State by James K. Galbraith.

The Ryan Response and the Politics of Austerity

By Robert Creamer, Political organizer, strategist and author
Huffington Post
Posted: January 26, 2011 02:39 PM

The contrast between the values underlying President Obama's State of the Union Address and Representative Paul Ryan's Republican response could not have been more stark.

Ryan's response to the President's call that America win the future...was a demand that we return to the past.

His answer to Obama's appeal that we are "all in this together" was an unvarnished vision of "law of the jungle" social Darwinism.

He responded to the hope that we can succeed....with the fear that "America's best century will be considered the past century."

And from the political point of view - most telling - he responded to Obama's call that we invest in the future with what amounted to a call for austerity.

By framing the coming battle over national priorities as he did, President Obama set up a contrast with the Republicans that is a massive winner for Democrats and Progressives. By taking the bait, Representative Ryan sharpened the contrast.

The Republicans could not have chosen a better person to respond to the President - at least from the Democratic point of view.

Continue reading here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vision: Ready or Not, Our Cheap Oil Economy Is Collapsing and We Need to Embrace High-Speed Rail

By Scott Thill
January 24, 2010

A conversation about high-speed rail's promise, fossil fuel's forsaken future and transforming our current nightmare of American transportation.
Photo Credit: eisenbahner via Flickr
U.S. High Speed Rail Association president and CEO Andy Kunz is no stranger to American sprawl and consumption. He was raised in Florida in a household in which every family member had a car and drove miles to get anywhere. But after studying urban planning and witnessing the fearsome waste behind America's impoverished suburban principles, which have only degraded more as crippling economic depressions and environmental catastrophes have taken hold, Kunz decided to evangelize high-speed rail as an oil-free solution to America's disastrous transportation. We talked by phone about high-speed rail's limitless promise, fossil fuel's forsaken future and transforming our current nightmare of American hyperconsumption and transportation back to its productive pre-WWII dream state.

Continue reading here.

A Frightening "Roadmap" for America in the Republican Rebuttal to the State of the Union

By Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Congresswoman from Illinois
Posted: January 24, 2011 10:48 AM

If part of you clings to that vision of an America where opportunity for all is possible or if you believe that it's time to take the somewhat tarnished American Dream out of cold storage, then be prepared to be deeply disappointed -- frightened even -- by Republican Representative Paul Ryan's response to President Obama's State of the Union Address. Ryan is the newly crowned Chairman of the House Budget Committee who was given control over how the House of Representatives allocates funding. His Republican colleagues voted in January to give him unilateral, unprecedented authority to set spending limits for everything from defense to education.

I served with Rep. Ryan on the 18 member Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and learned firsthand from the personally congenial Ryan just how dark his vision of America's future is for all but the super-rich.

There is no disagreement over the fact that our economy is still a mess, and though the signs of recovery are hopeful, too many friends and family members are out of work, losing their homes to foreclosure, and feeling insecure about the future.

Many people are mad about finding themselves in such uncomfortable circumstances, and who can blame them? They didn't make the mess, after all. They didn't spend our country into record deficits. They didn't start two wars on borrowed money, and they didn't decide to give huge tax cuts to the already hugely rich. They aren't Wall Street tycoons who gambled billions of dollars on bets that caused the near collapse of our economy. And they aren't Wall Street tycoons who are still raking in the unimaginably massive paychecks and bonuses, after being bailed out by the taxpayers.

We don't know exactly what Ryan will say in his response to the president. But we do know plenty about what this self-proclaimed budget hawk has already said. He laid it all out in a document he calls "A Roadmap for America's Future." In it was his simple plan for health care reform: destroy Medicare as we know it by giving seniors a fixed dollar voucher and sending them off to find an insurance company that will cover them. That's after raising the age of Medicare eligibility. He also revives the discredited idea of privatizing Social Security and raising the retirement age. Good luck, Grandma!

Taking Mom And Pop To The Cleaners: How The Small Business Lobby Hurts Small Business

By Zach Carter and Ryan Grim
Huffington Post
First Posted: 01/24/11 10:41 AM Updated: 01/24/11 11:44 AM

Throughout Wednesday's House floor debate over the repeal of President Barack Obama's signature health care overhaul, Republicans frequently claimed that the 2010 law will cost the U.S. economy 1.6 million jobs if it isn't rolled back. They were citing a statistic from an organization that -- on the surface -- is as unimpeachable a source in Washington as can be found: The National Federation of Independent Businesses, a lobbying heavyweight which dubs itself "The Voice of Small Business."

Yet for the past two years, the NFIB has been less an advocate for small businesses than an arm of the Republican Party. When the interests of the GOP and the needs of small firms have collided, the NFIB has repeatedly sided with Republicans, jeopardizing billions of dollars in credit, tax benefits and other federal subsidies that are critical to the small enterprises that form the backbone of the U.S. economy. Key legislative priorities for small businesses were delayed, diluted or abandoned -- including a major small-business bill -- while the NFIB spent its resources on legislative battles with only tangential connections to small firms, battling climate-change legislation, pushing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy or opposing a stimulus offering tens of billions in giveaways for, yes, small business.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NFIB's bigger brother of sorts, has received greater attention for its outright political warfare against Democrats. The NFIB has maintained a lower national profile, and is still routinely referred to in the media as "the small business lobby." But inside the Beltway, the NFIB's raw partisanship is increasingly isolating it from key policy circles, as lobby groups such as the National Small Business Association, the Main Street Alliance and others expand their influence among entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop enterprises.

By yoking itself to the GOP, the NFIB is employing a strategy routinely embraced by the Chamber on one side of the aisle and labor unions on the other. The strategy makes sense for labor and major corporations in that their competing interests neatly fit atop the platforms of their respective parties. It makes less sense for U.S. small businesses, whose interests are often served by either party.

Democrats who deal with the NFIB regularly, even those on the business-friendly end of the spectrum, find it extremely difficult to get any traction with the group. In an interview, Senate Small Business Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.) fully extended her arm to the right to demonstrate just where on the spectrum the NFIB positions itself. "The small-business lobby is a broad coalition that ranges, I guess, from the right, by the NFIB, the Chamber of Commerce coming -- still right, but closer to the center -- and then you have more of your progressive and left-leaning small business groups," she said.

For a thorough analysis of how the small business lobby became part of the Republican party 
continue reading here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The President, Christina-Taylor Green, and the Real State of the Union

 By Arianna Huffington
 Huffington Post
Posted: January 18, 2011 08:57 PM

President Obama used his remarkable speech last week in Tucson not just as a vehicle for healing and catharsis, but also as a challenge to all of us. He made it clear there was no connection between the tragedy and the politics that preceded it, but made a point of drawing a direct connection between the shooting and the politics that should come after it. "Sudden loss causes us to look backward," the president said, "but it also forces us to look forward; to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us."
And in his State of the Union address next week, he has an opportunity to build on the foundation he laid down in Tucson.

There was a theme woven through the Tucson speech -- the theme, as the president defined it, of "what, beyond prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward." It was at its most powerful when the president focused on the youngest victim, nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.

He painted a vivid picture of her: dancer, gymnast, swimmer, "A" student, member of her school's student council, volunteer for a charity that helps less-privileged kids, and the only girl on her Little League team.

Obama's challenge to the country was to "live up to her expectations," declaring that he wants an America "as good as she imagined it."

In that spirit, wouldn't the way to honor Christina and her "gentle, happy spirit" be to care enough for all the nine-year-old little girls -- for all the children -- that are still alive but trapped in lives of quiet desperation, homeless, hungry, enrolled in dysfunctional schools, living in inner cities where random violence is a daily occurrence?

The statistics tell a depressing tale:

Continue reading here.

American Competitiveness, and the President's New Relationship with American Business

By Robert Reich Fmr. Secretary of Labor; Professor at Berkeley; Author, Aftershock: 'The Next Economy and America's Future'
Huffington Post
Posted: January 22, 2011 11:18 AM

Whenever you hear a business executive or politician use the term "American competitiveness," watch your wallet. Few terms in public discourse have gone so directly from obscurity to meaninglessness without any intervening period of coherence.

President Obama just appointed Jeffry Immelt, GE's CEO, to head his outside panel of economic advisors, replacing Paul Volcker. According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Immelt has "agreed to work through what makes our country more competitive."

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post announcing his acceptance, Immelt wrote "there is nothing inevitable about America's declining manufacturing competitiveness if we work together to reverse it."

But what's American "competitiveness" and how do you measure it? Here are some different definitions:

  • It's American exports. Okay, but the easiest way for American companies to increase their exports from the US is for their American-made products to become cheaper internationally. And for them to reduce the price of their American-made stuff they have to cut their costs of production in here. Their biggest cost is their payrolls. So it follows that the simplest way for them to become more "competitive" is to cut their payrolls -- either by substituting software and automated machinery for their US workers, or getting (or forcing) their US workers to accept wage and benefit cuts.
  • It's net exports. Another way to think about American "competitiveness" is the balance of trade -- how much we import from abroad versus how much they import from us. The easiest and most direct way to improve the trade balance is to coax the value of the dollar down relative to foreign currencies (the Fed's current strategy for flooding the economy with money could have this effect). The result is everything we make becomes cheaper to the rest of the world. But even if other nations were willing to let this happen (doubtful; we'd probably have a currency war instead as they tried to coax down the value of their currencies in response), we'd pay a high price. Everything the rest of the world makes would become more expensive for us.
  • It's the profits of American-based companies. In case you haven't noticed, the profits of American corporations are soaring. That's largely because sales from their foreign-based operations are booming (especially in China, Brazil, and India). It's also because they've cut their costs of production in the US (see the first item above). American-based companies have become global -- making and selling all over the world -- so their profitability has little or nothing to do with the number and quality of jobs here in the US. In fact, it may be inversely related.
  • It's the number and quality of American jobs. This is my preferred definition, but on this measure we're doing terribly badly. Most Americans are imprisoned in a terrible trade-off -- they can get a job, but only one that pays considerably less than the one they used to have, or they can face unemployment or insecure contract work. The only sure way to improve the quality of jobs over the long term is to build the productivity of American workers and the US overall, which means major investments in education, infrastructure, and basic R&D. But it's far from clear American corporations and their executives will pay the taxes needed to make these investments. And the only sure way to improve the number of jobs is to give the vast middle and working classes of America sufficient purchasing power to get the economy going again. But here again, it's far from clear American corporations and their executives will be willing to push for a more progressive tax code, along with wage subsidies, that would put more money into average workers' pockets.
It's politically important for President Obama, as for any president, to be available to American business, and to avoid the moniker of being "anti-business." But the president must not be seduced into believing -- and must not allow the public to be similarly seduced into thinking -- that the well-being of American business is synonymous with the well-being of Americans.
Click here

Robert Reich is the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future, now in bookstores. This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.

The Disappearance of Keith Olbermann

By Robert Parry
Consortium News
January 22, 2011

Keith Olbermann’s abrupt departure from MSNBC should be another wake-up call to American progressives about the fragile foothold that liberal-oriented fare now has for only a few hours on one corporate cable network.

Though Olbermann hosted MSNBC’s top-rated news show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” he disappeared from the network with only the briefest of good-byes. Certainly, the callous treatment of Olbermann by the MSNBC brass would never be replicated by Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing Fox News toward its media stars.

At Fox News, the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have far greater leeway to pitch right-wing ideas and even to organize pro-Republican political events. Last November, Olbermann was suspended for two days for making donations to three Democratic candidates, including Arizona’s Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson.

Now, with Olbermann’s permanent departure on Friday, the remainder of MSNBC’s liberal evening line-up, which also includes Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell (who will fill Olbermann’s 8 p.m. slot), must face the reality that any sustained friction with management could mean the bum’s rush for them, too.

The liberal hosts also must remember that MSNBC experimented with liberal-oriented programming only after all other programming strategies, including trying to out-Fox Fox, had failed – and only after it became clear that President George W. Bush’s popularity was slipping.

In nearly eight years at “Countdown,” Olbermann was the brave soul who charted the course for other mainstream media types to be even mildly critical of Bush. Olbermann modeled his style after legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow, who stood up to excesses by communist-hunting Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, even borrowing Murrow’s close: “Good night, good luck.”

But MSNBC’s parent company, General Electric, never seemed comfortable with Olbermann’s role as critic of the Bush administration, nor with the sniping between Olbermann and his Fox News rival, O’Reilly, who retaliated by attacking corporate GE on his widely watched show.

Continue Reading here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Evidence of an American Plutocracy: The Larry Summers Story

By Matthew Skomarovsky  |  LittleSis | Op-Ed
Larry Summers. (Photo: E.T. Studhalter / World Economic Forum)
Monday 10 January 2011

“So here is the evidence for an American plutocracy of a narrow and discrete but hardly harmless sort. Wall Street seduced the economics profession not through overt corruption, but by aligning the incentives of economists with its own. It was very easy for academic economists to move from universities to central banks to hedge funds — a tightly knit world in which everyone shared the same views about the self-regulating and beneficial effects of open capital markets. The alliance was enormously profitable for everyone: The academics got big consulting fees, and Wall Street got legitimacy. And it has kept the system going despite the enormous policy failures it has generated, not to exclude the recent crisis.”

—Francis Fukuyama, The American Interest, January 2011

Larry Summers’ path to the Obama administration, and his record within it, are symptomatic of a new American plutocracy, and his new job at Harvard will keep the gears of corruption greased.

Summers rose to power under the protective wing of Wall Street and Democratic Party mogul Robert Rubin. He aggressively advanced Rubin’s program of financial deregulation and faithfully rescued his cronies when deregulation went wrong. Despite the economic catastrophes these policies have contributed to, Summers and other Rubinites have continued their political ascendancy in recent years, filling top positions in the Obama administration.
To be released March 8; Preorder at Amazon.com

Continue Reading Here

For more information on the powerful documentary Inside Job click here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rep. Grijalva Speaks Against Health Care Repeal

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Invokes Tucson Hero's Plea To Defend Health Care Reform

By Nick Wing
The Huffington Post 
First Posted: 01/19/11 12:29 PM Updated: 01/19/11 02:06 PM

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a close friend of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and one of the most outspoken legislators regarding the tragedy in Arizona, said Wednesday that one of the heroes of the shooting in Tucson was opposed to the House GOP's effort to repeal health care reform, and that others should stand with her in resistance to the measure.

"Normally I would step to a microphone like this and tell a story about the impact that decision might have on a constituent in my district," Wasserman Schultz said at a press briefing, according to Talking Points Memo. "Instead what I'm going to do is share with you what Pat Maisch -- who was the hero who dropped the second magazine out of the gunman's hand during the tragedy in Tucson -- what she planned to say to Gabby Giffords when she was waiting on line to talk to her."

Wasserman Schultz explained that Maisch had told her she wanted to see the health care overhaul signed into law last year maintained, and asked the Democratic congresswoman to do everything she could to ensure that it was given a chance to be fully implemented. She also lamented what she saw as the aggressive tone that Republicans had adopted in combatting the legislation, TPM reports.

"Heed the words of Pat Maisch, heed the words of millions needing health care," Wasserman Schultz said in defense of health care reform on the floor of the House later Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times.

A House vote on the Republican repeal legislation is expected later Wednesday.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MSNBC The Last Word: MLK On Civility, the Means Toward Justice

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, January 16, 2011

NYTimes: No one Listened to Gabrielle Giffords

New York Times
Published: January 15, 2011

OF the many truths in President Obama’s powerful Tucson speech, none was more indisputable than his statement that no one can know what is in a killer’s mind. So why have we spent so much time debating exactly that?

The answer is classic American denial. It was easier to endlessly parse Jared Lee Loughner’s lunatic library — did he favor “The Communist Manifesto” or Ayn Rand? — than confront the larger and harsher snapshot of our current landscape that emerged after his massacre. A week on, that denial is becoming even more entrenched. As soon as the president left the podium Wednesday night, we started shifting into our familiar spin-dry post-tragedy cycle of the modern era — speedy “closure,” followed by a return to business as usual, followed by national amnesia.

If we learn nothing from this tragedy, we are back where we started. And where we started was with two years of accelerating political violence — actual violence, not to be confused with violent language — that struck fear into many, not the least of whom was Gabrielle Giffords.

Continue reading here.

Uncloaking the Kochs

Progressives to ‘uncloak’ the secret financers behind
the Tea party

By Nathan Diebenow
Sunday, January 16th, 2011 -- 8:35 pm

 Progressive and liberal activists are planning at the end of the month to confront the secretive billionaire family that finances the so-called Tea party movement and a host of other right-wing causes and institutions.

"Our government is supposed to be of, by and for the people. So are you ready to take it back?" an invitation for the "Uncloaking the Kochs" event asked.

The Sunday, Jan. 30 event thrown by Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, aims to educate attendees in California on the Koch brothers who will be strategizing nearby with their mega-wealthy allies to win the 2012 elections. Afterwards, activists will rally in Rancho Mirage.

"We can't sit back while a few billionaires destroy the fragile fabric of democracy and the protections that are so necessary for the health of our society," Jodie Evans of CodePink told Alternet."It is time for the progressive community to gather together and say no more, and what better place than where the Koch brothers are plotting their next moves."

Panel discussions will feature Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary; Van Jones, founder of Green for All; Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine Law Dean; Lee Fang, Center for American Progress blogger and Koch Brothers expert; and DeAnn McEwen, co-president of the California Nurses Association.

Arizona Shooting: Words Have Meaning

By Marianne Williamson
Huffington Post
Posted: January 16, 2011 12:06 AM

According to "A Course in Miracles," all minds are joined. While it appears to the physical eye that I am here and you are over there, on the level of mind there is no place where you stop and I start. We are all affected by everyone else's thoughts, just as a butterfly flapping its wings near the South Pole affects the wind currents at the North Pole. When any wave moves, the entire ocean shifts.

So it's basically irrelevant whether Jared Loughner specifically related to the hate speech around him in some linear, causal way. Thoughts can go viral, as we have seen throughout history when group pathologies overcame the better angels of a people (Hitler's Germany was an example). And as it is written in The Course, "all thought creates form on some level." If enough hate-thought and hate-speech is present, it's almost inevitable that some hate-filled manifestation will emerge somewhere within that field of consciousness. Jared Loughner was swimming in the thought-forms and images of hate, as almost all of us are these days. And to an obviously deranged mind, violent thought forms are like gasoline to an already smoldering fire.

Continue reading here. 

Democracy Now Examines What's Behind Beck's Attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dangerous Right-Wing 'Victimhood'

By Robert Parry
Consortium News
January 10, 2011

The full story of the bloody Tucson, Arizona, rampage that killed six and grievously wounded a U.S. congresswoman has yet to be pieced together, but the tragedy reminds us of the risk to democracy from both violent political rhetoric and reckless exaggerations about “victimhood.”

Indeed, the wallowing in “victimhood,” especially among relatively privileged groups like white American Christian conservatives, can be particularly dangerous because these groups hold substantial political and media power. Thus, they are largely insulated from the consequences when some unstable individual carries out violence in reaction to their angry propaganda.

We saw this in 1995 when right-wing anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. Though some on the Left linked that terrorist act, which killed 168 people, to the hateful rants of right-wing radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, the mainstream Washington press corps quickly rallied to Limbaugh’s defense.

Similarly, within hours of the Tucson shooting, which left Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition with a bullet hole through her brain, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was out with a commentary establishing a defensive perimeter around former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had put Giffords’s district in a rifle’s crosshairs.

Like others on the Right, Palin also has favored violent rhetoric in discussing the need to strike back at Democrats who supported health-care reform during the last session of Congress, as Giffords had done. “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” Palin urged her followers.

While deeming Palin’s language and imagery “highly unfortunate” and “dumb,” Kurtz absolved Palin and other right-wingers of any responsibility for the Tucson slayings and termed any linkage a “sickening ritual of guilt by association.”

“It's a long stretch from such excessive language and symbols to holding a public official accountable for a murderer who opens fire on a political gathering and kills a half-dozen people, including a 9-year-old girl,” Kurtz wrote from his new perch at TheDailyBeast.com.

We can only imagine how different the reaction would have been if a Muslim political activist had made inflammatory comments toward members of Congress and one of those targets had been gunned down. The U.S. government would be devising novel legal theories to lock the Muslim up along with many of his friends.

Exploiting Victimhood

Continue reading here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gabby, Our Thoughts Are With You.

 Reposted January 9, 2010 from BlogforArizona
By Michael Bryan

Please share your prayers and thoughts for Gabby and her family in the comments, or you can go to Gabby's Facebook prayer page. Gabriel Zimmerman, who died in the attack, has a memorial Facebook page. Our tip line is open at BlogForArizona@gmail.com.

Updated [1/8] 4:18pm: Congresswoman Giffords is in the ICU at UMC in critical condition, having survived her would-be assassin's bullet to her head. Her parents and her husband Mark are with her.

Updated [1/8] 9:42pm:
The names of those killed in the attack are: Judge John Roll, 63; Dorthy Murray, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; Christina Greene, 9; Phyllis Scheck, 79; and Gabe Zimmerman, 30.

Updated 1/9 11:42: 20
people were wounded in the attack; the death toll remains at 6. According the FBI Director Mueller, who is currently in Tucson, Loughner will be indicted on Federal aggravated assault and murder charges this afternoon. It has not been decided whether Loughner will face terrorism charges. Gabby remains in critical condition. Information from her doctors indicate that the most dangerous aspect of the injury is the swelling of the brain along the path of the bullet. The left top of her skull has been removed to ameliorate brain tissue damage due to swelling. The 9 mm bullet passed the entire length of her brain along the left hemisphere from back to front. This type of injury is rarely survivable, so the mere fact that she survived into and through surgery is a very good sign. Her prognosis is hopeful, but it is not certain that she will live, nor what the long-term effects of her injury will be. Please, keep her and her family in your thoughts.

Follow the latest developments throughout the Arizona and national media with The Arizona Donkey Feed for a real-time view of the unfolding story.

New posts will continue to appear below this one.

Gabby Giffords: A Few Words

By Alan Grayson, Former U.S. Congressman from Florida's 8th District
Huffington Post
January 8, 2011 06:27 PM

A reporter called me a little while ago, and told me that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been shot at a public event. She is in critical condition.

I'm going to let others comment on what this means for America. I just want to say what it means to me.

Gabrielle Giffords and I served together on the House Committee on Science and Technology. She was the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and I was a member of that subcommittee. Her D.C. office was one floor above mine.

I saw Gabby dozens, if not hundreds of times, during our two years together. And nearly every time that I can remember, she was smiling.

Gabby is one of the most cheerful, charming and engaging people I have ever known. She's always looking on the bright side. She has something good to say about pretty much everyone. Bad news never lays a glove on her. She loves life, and all the people in it.

No matter what is going on in your life, after fifteen minutes with Gabby, you'll feel that you can touch the stars.

Everyone knew that Gabby would have a tough race in 2010. (She actually won with 49% of the vote.) But I always thought that if each of her constituents could spend that fifteen minutes with her, and see what she is really like, then she would win with 99.9% of the vote. (Same thing about Harry Teague of New Mexico, who lost, and a few others that I could name.) You would want her as your Congressman, because you would want her as your friend.

I know nothing about the man who shot Gabby, and what was going through his mind when he did this. But I will tell you this -- if he shot Gabby out of hatred, then it wasn't Gabby he was shooting, but rather some cartoon version of her, drawn by her political opposition. Because there is no way -- no way -- that anyone who really knows Gabby could hate her or hurt her. She is a kind, gentle soul.

My heart goes out to Mark Kelly, Gabby's husband, and the many, many people who love her. Gabby, we don't want to lose you. Please stay here with us.

Special Comment: Violence and Threat of Violence Have No Place in Our Democracy

Olbermann: After Previous Attack on District Office, Gabrielle Giffords Called for Restraint on Heated Rhetoric

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ed Show: Greenwald's Videos Show that Public Workers Are Being Unjustly Demonized For Wall Street Led Debacle


Wall Street Fat-Cats Flip Public Service Workers the Bird

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hardball: HealthCare Top Political "Lie" of the Year

 Check out the Truthout story that features an interview with former Healthcare Insurance PR Exec Wendell Potter as the Republicans continue to spin HealthCare in a campaign to repeal "Obamacare"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Real News: Higher Taxes on Top 1% Equals Higher Productivity

More at The Real News

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009) and of The Myth of Aid (1971). ISLET engages in research regarding domestic and international finance, national income and balance-sheet accounting with regard to real estate, and the economic history of the ancient Near East. Michael acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.