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Wed Mar 25, 2009 at 02:17 PM PDT

Time For A Break From Politics

by BigDog04

[crossposted from Polcampaign]

Sometimes I find I have to get away from my constant immersion in politics and current affairs. Perhaps we all need a break and a peek into a culture not our own. For myself, I happen to love flamenco. It is passion personified.

Here I present two dances. The first is my personal favorite dancer, Juana Amaya, who I have seen in person 3 times. This video doesn't do justice to the passion she brings to the stage. Like Janice Joplin did so many years ago, she tears her heart out and throws it to the audience in a gesture of commitment and an offering of love.

This is true traditional Flamenco. The second is Eva Yerbabuena and is a slightly different style. That video is at Polcampaign.

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After listening to the hearing for hours yesterday via live streaming by MSNBC on the net,I can understand why those 'bonuses' are commonly misunderstood by both parties and the media. I misunderstood them too until I watched hours of the hearing.

As was finally explained by Mr. Liddy, in detail, late in the day,they were contracts to keep specific people on board for the specific task of unwinding their portfolio of derivatives thereby reducing the liability of AIG by doing so.

Each portfolio was different and overwhelmingly complicated. These specific people were the only one's that immediately understood the complicated nature of the book of business that they had personally built. [Later, you'll see how they saved the company, and us, $1.1 TRILLION.] [crossposted from Polcampaign]

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Has Twitter given us a better communications network for direct communication to politicians, journalists and people of influence? My answer is yes based on my experience at my account but here's my credentials first.

I thought when I joined Dailykos that my id number of 19K+ meant that I was the new kid on the block and had missed the party. For 2003 and early 2004 I had been buried in the Wes Clark to the extent I didn't rehab after two heart attacks during the campaign. After his campaign ended I  started The Political Dogfight to help fight the 2004 fight but sitting down this time. And I hadn't paid much attention to DK. Well, obviously the progressive community has exploded.

[more and Twitters influence on me...]

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(originally published 3 days ago at Polcampaign.comThis diary has be slightly edited)

McCain again today issued another of his snark filled, substance empty Top Ten lists. Of course no research went into anything beyond the funny sounding titles that he could easily be snarkish about.

I'm sick of the lack of data, the lack of research and the lack of public discussion going into the national efforts to find innovative solutions to our national and worldwide current crisis.

For god sake, let's start by have two hour round tables with experts on one subject per meeting, which would cover various subjects over time. Then let's broadcast that discussion live on all three major networks and the cable net.Dedicate each broadcast to some part of the issue. Take emails and tweets into the discussion. Leave the subject on the table for future sessions as new ideas are developed. Things cannot be solved in two hours. ( more real content follows)

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(an edited version crossposted from PolCampaign)
The countdown for the 2010 elections has already started. If the Congressional Districts aren't soon working on detailed written campaign plans, including district organization and analysis, largely done by volunteers in the absence of a candidate, the district won't be ready by the time they do find their candidate of choice.

Doing the numeric and demographic analysis, as well as district organization, is necessary to create a true foundation for a campaign plan that will gives the new candidate a starting point. Much of the campaign plan will not be finished until the candidate has come forward. Yet the basic work can be completed earlier. It is a complicated process yet absolutely necessary.

The clock is ticking.

Countdown to NJ GOP primary: 125 days
Countdown to VA Dem primary: 132 days
Countdown to Election Day 2009: 279 days
Countdown to Election Day 2010: 643 days

h/t to First Read for the countdown.


While others have posted on this subject with varying views, PolCampaign has posted both videos and the full transcript.

It seems to me, after watching both videos which cover about 12 minutes of a 20 minute interview, that there were subtle language changes that will have an impact in the Arab, Muslim and Persian world. Simply changing a few words can have that much importance.

The example that jumped out at me was Obama using the phrase, "Israel has always been a strong ally of the United States...". That has a significant difference in communication from the standard, " The United States is a firm ally of the state of Israel..."

Both statements come out in the same place but they are very different.

Video's and full transcript, which is even more interesting, at PolCampaign.


While I never wanted to write this entry I'm compelled by the continuing problem of small service providers to failed campaigns being unable to get paid.

Fundraising is, of course, difficult at best. It is the single biggest campaign problem.

Yet when a campaign agrees to accept professional services that vendor must be paid. Period. When I have consulted with 'services in kind' it's understood that there's no money involved. But there have been many vendors, of many different types of services, that haven't been paid. That's unacceptable.

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While I can't say this any better than the video, the bank bailout has done the exact opposite of what was intended: it's put no money on Main St and done little to slow the foreclosure rate. Irony is sometimes the best way to express dissent.

This needs an Organizer to run with the concept of getting this, and other videos, on the air. Perhaps a 527 could be formed and be funded by the unions, credit unions and local banks. It would certainly be in their best interests.

I would tackle this myself, or if I could round up just a little group, but I've spent 5 years doing just this type of thing for campaigns and have hit the wall financially. Please...someone pick up the ball. I know how I don't have the resources any longer.


A Solution Unexplored

The Congress could have been in furious discussion with all the Wall Street firms and Banks that received hundred's of billions of dollars with the goal of forming a syndicate, as they routinely do, and bringing the needed credit facility/equity investment to Detroit. It is the lack of this credit/equity investment for the car makers, the dealers and the consumer that has lead us to the brink of a possible financial catastrophe.

Why wasn't the obvious move started in November? Why weren't the CEO's of these Wall Street firm's called to a meeting in Washington and slapped upside the head by all, repeat all, the leaders in Congress? I don't know.
Yet there is time between Jan. 20, 2009 and March 31, 2009 to accomplish that very task.

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The Car Czar. A person tasked with overseeing the intricate operations of the Big 3. The Car Czar. A person, very likely with no car experience, who is tasked with insisting that GM and Chrysler meet what is an unmeetable goal. A missed opportunity that could be revived by March 31, 2009 is presented at the end of this article.

Here's the definition of success according to senior administration sources published in Comcast Business Daily (ABC reporting):

The agreement spells out a strict definition of "viability," according to the official. The companies must have "positive net present value, including all present and future costs."

Break that down to financial reality and it means all the legacy costs plus operating expenses plus car sales to dealers must be in a 'positive net present value, including all present and future costs."

    (More on the Myth That Detroit only makes Gas Guzzlers on the flip)

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    On other forums including my own Political Dogfight. I've been fighting hard for an INVESTMENT in the auto industry. It isn't a popular stance in some places.

    There is an Urban Myth that the Big 3 aren't changing their product lines, that they don't get the crisis, that the UAW workers are overpaid and that the Big 3 have no vision for the future. I think that all a load of crap based on nothing other than 'conventional wisdom'. Which you can almost always bet is another load of crap.

    In these articles I try to remain fact based and well sourced. I don't find much of that in the discussion. The Congress certainly isn't listening to the testimony except for Chris Dodd and a few others.

    I am passionate on the topic as I watched the steel industry die from a very close view. I come from a USWA family Local 2869, now gone with Kaiser Steel. I watched with my family, including my uncle who was local president, as the entire industry collapsed. I refuse to stand by and see it again.

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     title=While all of us, or perhaps almost all of us, are grateful for the service of our soldiers, Marines, sailors, Air Force and Coast Guard we tend to forget that unlike other wars, women are on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan. No one will officially admit this reality. Yet it exists.

    They come home like any other soldier, either with their shield or on it. The number of female KIA is very small. Yet we have already learned from the overwhelming numbers seeking help from the VA system that a physical injury may be, counter intuitive as it may seem, to be easier to deal with than an injury to the physical brain and even worse an injury to the soul. For many there is a darkness that lurks just over the shoulder threatening to take over for a minute, an hour, a week or, horribly, a lifetime.


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