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In Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—and How We Can Improve the World Even More, Charles Kenny argues that Africans are seeing a much higher quality of life despite what their nations' gross domestic product measurements show. At The Nation, Eyal Press writes The Sarkozy-Stiglitz Commission's Quest to Get Beyond GDP

Consider the fact that between 1970 and 1999 the percentage of sub-Saharan Africans who can read and write doubled, from less than one-third of the adult population to two-thirds. Or that in northern Africa, life expectancy rose from forty-eight years in 1962 to sixty-nine in 2002. Across the continent, enrollment in primary education has surged, while infant mortality has fallen. Our image of African stagnation is closely tied to our fixation with GDP, Kenny suggests, producing a highly distorted picture of reality. “The biggest success of development has not been making people richer but, rather…making the things that really matter—things like health and education—cheaper and more widely available,” he contends.

There was a time not long ago when many mainstream economists and policy-makers would have rolled their eyes at such a claim. Far fewer are likely to do so today, thanks to the growing realization that, as economists Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean-Paul Fitoussi argue in another recent book, Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up, GDP is a deeply flawed indicator of well-being. Their book is a streamlined version of the final report produced by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which was created in 2008 by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to identify the limits of GDP and to outline new metrics that take things like education, gender equality and environmental sustainability into account.

More than a few policy-makers have taken note. In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister David Cameron recently directed the Office for National Statistics to conduct a nationwide survey asking citizens what they believe should be used to measure happiness, with the goal of formulating policy “focused not just on the bottom line, but on all those things that make life worthwhile.” In Germany, the Bundestag has established a commission on “Growth, Prosperity, Quality of Life” to develop a more holistic measure of progress. Reforms are under way in Italy, Australia, South Korea, Canada and the United States, where a project called State of the USA, supported by the National Academy of Sciences and numerous prominent foundations, has begun to track some alternative indicators of progress, which will eventually be accessible to citizens online.

• • • • •

At Daily Kos on this date in 2008:

[From an interview with Denis Hayes, who coordinated the first Earth Day in 1970.]

Denis Hayes
MB: If, for three minutes, you had the undivided attention of the man or woman who takes the oath of office January 20, 2009, what single piece of advice would you give him or her regarding environmental matters?

HAYES: Each President has six months to accomplish something. The challenge is to get something significant done and use that success to build momentum, rather than round onto the shoals the way the Clinton Health Care initiative did in 1993 -- leading directly to the loss of control of both houses of Congress in 1994. The towering environmental issue of our time is climate change. You should, in an utterly transparent effort, assign someone you trust completely to organize a task force to swiftly design -- with transparent public input -- a climate policy that will catapult America from global laggard to global leader in this vital field, within 30 days of taking office. The world needs to be reassured that America is back in the game.  

The core element should be an upstream cap and auction program -- regulating carbon not at the millions of places where it is burned but at the 2,000 places where it enters the economy -- oil fields, mine mouths, pipelines from Canada and Mexico, ports.  The number of carbon permits auctioned off should decrease by 3 percent per year, and they should not be "off-settable" by any action that does not stabilize carbon for geological time periods (i.e., planting a tree does not let you burn coal.) The (eventually very large) proceeds from the auction should be allocated in portions in ways that accelerate the transition to a super-efficient new energy economy powered by renewable energy sources. The long-term energy future will be dominated by direct solar electricity and base-load geothermal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  309,121 registered users on dKos now. (16+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!

    haroldbrenner
    Ndifor Ngwa
    MomOma
    loumom
    Xoch
    Ron Johnson
    musgrove74
    tater43
    BarthRosenthal
    mcgirk23


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #309,000: helloboy
    #309,100: yoursalesleads (hmm...)

    We've added 219 more users in the last three days.

    *Some of these new users have handles where they have two names separated by a number, or just a bunch of letters and numbers mashed together in the middle.  They seem to be foreign spammers trying to sell their shit here.  Though as some pointed out, if the number is a "4", they may be a fan of a candidate (i.e., John4Obama).


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Katie Melua's "Nine Million Bicycles".

  •  celebrating the 1500th post at the raisin! (18+ / 0-)

    by warning bronzo the clown that the raisin is always watching him...


    larger version

    I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

    by nonnie9999 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:31:56 PM PDT

    •  Hey, nonnie9999 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y, JeffW, nonnie9999

      May I ask you a question
      about your wonderful
      graphics posters?

      You said you use Adobe Photoshop?  

      Do you remember the old shocking Mad Magazine cover where the dorky hero a gun to a cute dog's head, with a title screaming, "If you don't buy this magazine, we will shoot this dog?"

      Yesterday this image
      blasted into my mind.

      Tom Tomorrow's charactors,
      showing Paul Ryan
      with a gun to the head
      of Uncle Sam.

      Who is tied up
      in a chair, bound
      with rags labeled
      with some witty,
      words.

      I know,
      kinda of edgy.
      And all animals lovers
      like me
      will be deeply offended.

      So I probably will not show it
      but, I'd like to draw it up.

      Probably easier for me
      to sketch by pencil,
      or charcoal,
      then digitize?

      Cheers
      HD

       

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:05:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I remember that, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, JeffW, nonnie9999

        it was National Lampoon, rather than Mad.

        The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

        by PSzymeczek on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:33:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, was it National Lampoon? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, nonnie9999

          Isn't  this exactly what you think of,
          when Paul Ryan, John Boehner,
          and his yet-to-be-indicted co-conspirators,
          threaten that they will not extend the debt-ceiling,
          unless we give into their terrorist demands?

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:43:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, you remember the guy that did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nonnie9999

            the Goldwater Nulear Vaporization commericial,
            with the little girl,
            with flower petals?

            Did he win an award,
            and become an admired human being?

            Or, has been put in prision?
            Rivled for his lack of empathy,
            and shocking exploitation of,
            emotionally violent images,
            for opportunitic purposes?

            I was just curious.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:50:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  it was (4+ / 0-)

            this one.  it just makes me sad.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:05:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, me too. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nonnie9999

              Luckily the image I want to talk to you about is Paul Ryan holding America hostage.

              It's doesn't even need to involve any weapons of violence, now that I think of it.  

              Just the Statue of Liberty, bound, and with a sack over her head, with Paul Ryan and his TeaBagger Extremists, John Boenher, and Rush Limbaugh, directing the bag job.

              Or have Uncle same, bound and gaged in a chair, while Paul Ryan, waves a TeaBagger Budget Slashing Manifesto, or something.  

              Remember, we our trying to achieve a noble purpose here.

              I get sad, every time I hear about the Holocaust, but, it's an important story to never forget.  

              These extremist Republicans will have real devastating consequences of several generations of Americans, if we do not stop them, and prevent the Democraty Party leaders jumping off the cliff with them.

              Hey here's another story idea for Tom Tomorrow.  

              The Thelma and Lious Dive Off the Cliff With |GOP and Dem leaders holding hands, shouting "BiPartisan Cooperation To Balance the Budget On the Backs of Poor People.

              Here's another graphic idea Nonnie9999.

              The American people, Uncle Sam, or the Statue of Liberty, or our elderly grandmother straddled like an ironing board across two saw horses, while the GOP, and centrist Democratic Accomadationalists throw heavy chunks of heavy blocks on grandma's back, while she sturggles not to collapse.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:27:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i'm a hostage to whatever images i can find (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog, JeffW

                yes, i can manipulate them to a degree, but it's not like drawing a cartoon where you can have everything wherever you imagine them being.

                I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

                by nonnie9999 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:32:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Do we know each other well enough that I (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nonnie9999

                  can innocently tease you a little?

                  Do you remember in the first Star Trek,
                  When Jim would ask McCoy impossible questions
                  and McCoy would say "Damnit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a darn engineer!"

                  I could accuse you of running this riff on me here, if you're not careful.

                  But, of course, I say this only in jest.

                  In fact, I'm not even the kind of fellow that would mention something like this, even in jest.

                  Let me cancel the whole idea.

                  ;-)

                  No, wait, I changed my mind.  "Make it so!"  

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:44:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The temptation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, nonnie9999

        would be to use this meme,
        to demolish the Teabaggers,
        and extremist GOP.

        Paul Ryan is a terrorist,
        holding Americans hostage,
        threatening to cause us all
        great harm
        unless we enact their
        insane demands.

        We cannot negotiate
        with terrorists, folks!

        Once, you give in,
        they will do it over and over.

        No American could stand by
        and watch our President,
        and all of America
        be humuliated by appear
        to give into these
        extreme, dangerous,
        and damaging demands!

        It is an outrage,
        IMO,
        that any America
        would make such threats
        against our president,
        nation, and all Americans.

        Give us a clean bill, now, Congress.

        You jeapordize our nations credit,
        the stability of the global financial system,
        damage to our reputation,
        weaking of the presidency, etc.

        Give us a clean bill
        raising the debt ceiling
        until after the 2012 election.

        Don't give into a single demand,
        Mr. President.

        Stand up to these extremist Republicans.

        And, the nation will rally beyond,
        like nothing we've ever seen before.

        Finally, a leader will to fight for the comman man, and the common good, against the "corporate beings" that seem to have taken over our economic and political systems.

        The epic battle.

        .....

        So Nonnie, you see where we could go with this?

        Branding Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, et.al. as the extremist opportunists that would threaten our country, like terrorists, in order to gain political advantage.

        It's almost too powerful not to do?

        And, its a picture of a dog, not an actual dog.

        I know,
        I know,
        emotionally violent images and metaphors
        so we might be equally
        guilty, of insensitivities
        to the subjective experiences of others.

        But, the Mad Magazine cover
        is part of our collective history.

        And, we are artists untilizing
        our constitutionally protected,
        "artistic lisence, and free speech
        to achieve a greater non-violent
        evolution of our social systems
        to be wiser and more compassionate.

        And,
        could  we not,
        should we not,
        depict the ugly reality
        of what the Republicans
        are trying to do to our nation
        in real-life, folks!

        Even as we speak,
        Extremist terrorists
        like Paul Ryan are,
        metaphorically,
        holding a gun to our nation.

        Threatening,
        not to raise the debt-ceiling,
        immediately,
        unless we slash
        social programs
        for the working man,
        the poor,
        the needy,
        the disable,
        the elderly,
        and retired,
        children,
        teachers,
        EMTs,
        police officer,
        and,
        all other Americans.

        Unless,
        we slash
        eduction,
        the EPA,
        the  United Nations,
        assistence to world CDC operations.

        This is crazy.
        This harms our national security.

        If these weren't congress people,
        they'd already be in Guantanamo,
        being tortured to find out who else
        is in this crazy consipiracy.

        Do you see what I'm asking you,
        Nonie9999?

        This last bit,
        was just to illustrate
        the thought-stream
        scenario
        the Paul Ryan
        holding-the-gun-to-America's-head"
        cartoon would symbolize.

        I'm getting tired of all of this
        oppression of the minority,
        crap

        Let's slam them down
        here on the debt ceiling
        by exposing their
        disloyalty to this country.

        Then, we can have Tom Tomorrow make cartoon
        of President Obama handing the 78 Teabagger Freshmen congresspeople their private parts, in a formalhyde jar, saying to the cartoon images of the 78,
        "OK, you can go back to your seats, now,
        I'll call on you if I need you later."

        What do you think?

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:38:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, Nonnie9999, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nonnie9999

          my other question was
          since you have all of the perfect skills
          to do this image,
          would you like to do it
          as a joint creative project?

          Le't me write some text,
          telling the story of how Democrats
          rally to rebuild our winning 2008 coalition,
          by standing up to the Teabaggers'
          terrorist like demands,
          vastly over-reaching,
          their pre-summed, but non-existent
          mandate to dimattle off of the great contributions,
          made by New Deal, and Great Society programs.

          And, you, or Tom, our someone who wants to help with the graphics, draw up some cartoon charactors with me.

          PS  HoundDog isnt my real name,
          which is actually Sue Do Nyme
          HoundDog was just one of six charactors I created to tell a different story.  

          But, this one might be better.

          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:03:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i see where you're going (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoundDog, Murphoney, JeffW

            and i understand the concept, but i'm not sure i'm the person for the job.  i think it would work better as a cartoon, because a gun to someone's head is too stark in a photograph.  i know you mean for it to be stark, but i don't think i'd feel comfortable.  however, i might be able to work with the rethugs holding the country hostage.  i'll see what i can do.

            I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

            by nonnie9999 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:29:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, nonnie9999, I agree. I asked because I (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nonnie9999

              really wanted to know your opinion.

              I've head the same concern from the first moment, as you can see.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:37:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  if it's done as a cartoon... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                HoundDog, JeffW

                you have a lot more freedom when it comes to facial expression and background images.  it can be biting and funny at the same time as a cartoon.  it could be funny as a photographic image, too, but that would be as a photograph set up with a set, people, and costumes.  getting all those elements together as a photoshop would probably take me weeks, and it would still not be what i would want it to be.

                I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

                by nonnie9999 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:42:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yeah, I see you point. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nonnie9999

                  well, I was just brainstorming.

                  I could draw this with pencil, pens, or chalk, any number of ways,

                  But, I think I remember some cheap "Comic Factory" type software, that could probably save a lot of time, once I get by the learning curve.

                  There's a free app, out where you can put in a photo of someone and it will quickly stereotype it into a comic charactor, now.

                  Thanks for listening.

                  Sorry, to have had a creative moment in public.

                  It just sort of happened.

                  The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                  by HoundDog on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:50:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  So the John Galt Corporation... (16+ / 0-)

    seems to be responsible for criminally negligent homicide.  You'd think this was an Onion piece, but no.  It's real.  (h/t Balloon Juice)

    A prosecutor at the trial of three construction supervisors charged in the deaths of two firefighters at the former Deutsche Bank building told the jury on Monday that the defendants had “put profit over people,” a decision that led to the deaths and put the lives of hundreds of firefighters, inspectors and workers at risk.

    The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Brian J. Fields, laid out the government’s case in his opening statement on the first day of the trial, saying that it was “all about money” and that “the evidence will establish that defendants took that risk for money — they gambled with lives for money.”

    The three men, and the demolition contractor for which two of them worked, the John Galt Corporation, are charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

    What's more, the company has mob ties as well.  But I guess this is actually a good thing if you're an Ayn Rand sociopath.  Like a BJ commenter notes, those firefighters were probably unionized, and so Randian sociopaths would view them as nothing more than parasites on society.

  •  GDP is a macro performance measure and like (7+ / 0-)

    all macro indices,

    GDP takes no account of increasing inequality, pollution or damage to people's health and the environment.
    items more related to micro-scale effects and social costs. Think of how much damage is done in order to get to an epidemiological "tipping-point".

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above "Nous sommes un groupuscule" join the DAILY KOS UNIVERSITY "makes Beck U. and the Limbaugh Institute look like Romper Room"

    by annieli on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:41:37 PM PDT

    •  From an RFK speech in 1968 regarding GNP (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KLM, shaggies2009, Annalize5, JeffW
      Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

      What's the use of electing more Democrats if they're not better Democrats? Elect BETTER Democrats and the MORE will take care of itself.

      by MacJimi on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 11:35:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a riot: (14+ / 0-)

    Donald Trump goes to Iowa.

    When asked what his first act as President will be, he (eventually) replies:  "Impeach Barack Obama!"

    FDR: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    RNC: The only thing we have is fear.

    by smileycreek on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:44:25 PM PDT

  •  Indianapolis Winter Night, 1983 (5+ / 0-)

    Walking out the Army gate late
    on a snowy evening in early March
    Lumened streetlight halos in the holy snowfall
    Grace and quiet against the storm of young blood
    Houses quiet and sleepy soundless lawns
    A yellow warm door-glass leaks a private laugh
    Jump boots squeak and shush in icy rime
    To Californian eyes and ears and skin, a myth
    Like a fairy world enchanted by endless futures
    But then a pang of home and this time it's real
    And then flakes mingle with diamond tears.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. -Bertrand Russell

    by mftalbot on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:50:36 PM PDT

  •  Pimping my quake diary again (12+ / 0-)

    It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance. ~Elizabeth Taylor

    by GlowNZ on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:50:48 PM PDT

  •  this is a total effing disgrace! (10+ / 0-)
    Fresh questions are being raised about New Zealand's elite SAS soldiers and their role in detaining prisoners and then handing them on to other forces who may have tortured them.

    Metro magazine, published tomorrow, reveals three incidents - one in 2002 and two in 2010 - when the SAS took prisoners and handed them to other forces.

    In May 2002 the SAS led a mission in the village of Bande Timur, 80km west of Kandahar.

    According to Metro, it resulted in the deaths of at least three people, including a small child, and the arrest and torture of many others after the SAS handed 55 prisoners over to US forces.

    "They beat us very badly in prison," one of the prisoners, Abdul Wahid, told Metro.

    "They cut off our hair, and they shaved our beards and moustaches."

    Others said they were bound and hooded while dogs rushed at them in a threatening manner, paraded naked in front of Americans, and one was said to have been beaten so severely that he couldn't move his hands or legs, and ended up disabled and in a wheelchair.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...

    It is bad enough that people are dying of AIDS, but no one should die of ignorance. ~Elizabeth Taylor

    by GlowNZ on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:54:10 PM PDT

  •  Yesterday in Misrata, (9+ / 0-)

    one of the journalists killed was Chris Hondros, who worked for Getty Images.

    The Guardian has a slideshow of his work up -- from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Haiti, New Orleans, Monrovia.

    Of all the pictures I've seen since Junior Dubya started his misbegotten Mesopotamian misadventures, the one what has most haunted me is in this collection. I had no idea Hondros was the photog, and so I mourn his loss even more.

    You've likely seen it, a little girl in Iraq, screaming in shock and pain and fear, and splattered with the blood of her parents, shot by US troops after they didn't respond at a checkpoint. The date was sometime around 2004 or 2005.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 08:57:20 PM PDT

  •  Please help a Kossack facing homelessness! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, smileycreek, GlowNZ, Jeff Y


    Bevomav needs some help!

    Here's his diary, he'll be out of his apartment in only a few days and needs $400 to buy some time to get some V.A. help!

    send to paypal at tlewis186@yahoo.com

    Homeless

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:05:10 PM PDT

  •  Amartya Sen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    is one of my intellectual heroes.

    Reading that work did a lot to help me see and ask questions about what the point really is.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:13:41 PM PDT

    •  which work? (0+ / 0-)

      I read development as freedom...

      •  the first thing I ever read (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mnemosyne, etbnc

        of his was Poverty and Famines, read that in graduate school about 800 million years ago, but at the time the idea that famine wasn't a product of deprivation or lack as much as it was dissemination opened my mind to all sorts of  amazing possibilities.  After that I tried to read about him as much as I could to try and follow the directions his work went in.  

        Development as Freedom was another one of those "important reads" for me.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:30:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  6 Months to Act Every 8 Years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    change the Be, OLinda, riverlover

    Greatest system of government the universe will ever see.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:26:17 PM PDT

  •  He had to go and do it again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water

    Just when you think he'd finally outgrown his fatuous self-congratulatory "punch the hippies" "I'm not one of THOSE liberals" thing, Obama gave a town hall today, and couldn't resist doing it again, by mocking the straw man he himself invented that his critics on the left expected him to pass HCR in 2 months and solve all the world's problems by now. Great going, Obama, insult your base just as your approval numbers are at an all-time low and you're gearing up for reelection.

    He's probably going to win. I just wish it was with just a bit more class.

    As the saying goes, Repubs fear their base, Dems despise them.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:33:56 PM PDT

    •  great (0+ / 0-)

      a new talking point for the pony punchers.

      "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

      by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 11:43:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He knows he's full of it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stolen water

        He just can't resist the cheap and easy shot. I just wish he'd do it more often with the other side, that actually deserves it, and stop patting himself on the back for being so "savvy". He's not. He's just really good at faking it.

        It's painful to see a smart person be so dishonest.

        "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

        by kovie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 11:54:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and today on The Last Word (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, squarewheel, basquebob

    with Lawrence O'Donnell, he had Alice Rivlin on to talk about the deficit and asked her whether it could be lowered without raising taxes. Instead of answering his question, she went on an unchallenged monologue about how it was all because of entitlements, and how they'd have to be cut to lower the deficit. No mention of Bush's tax cuts for the rich, Medicare D, Medicare Advantage, or his two wars. Just how the old and disabled had to "sacrifice".

    I can't believe he didn't challenge her on it. He can be a suckup sometimes.

    I think he needs to have Glenn Greenwald on again. Time for another ass-kicking.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:38:06 PM PDT

  •  speaking of Earth Day, (5+ / 0-)

    be sure to look at the Google doodle on their home page, and to mouse over the little critters.

    Very clever, and may even make more aware some people who wouldn't otherwise notice.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 09:57:44 PM PDT

  •  When Trump wins the presidency, how much (0+ / 0-)

    do you think you'll have to drop in the Oval Office before he comps you the Lincoln Bedroom?

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:01:30 PM PDT

  •  Upping the kinetic military action in Libya (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    squarewheel, OLinda

    Obama OKs use of armed drones in Libya

    Absolutely reassuring comments from Marine Gen. Cartwright:

    “What they will bring that is unique to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions,” Cartwright said. “They are uniquely suited for urban areas.”

    Urban areas. Where there's civilians and schools and shopping centers and stuff, right?

    He added, “It’s very difficult to pick friend from foe.”

    Orly? Cos back in March, Obama didn't seem to this would be an issue.

    "So a vehicle like the Predator that can get down lower and can get IDs better helps us."

    Yeah, cos the US military wouldn't want to "mistakenly" shoot any more Reuters journalists or anything, now would you? Especially seeing they haven't yet got Assange locked up in some dark, undisclosed hole.

    It's so nice that this far into this not-war kinetic military action that they want to be sure to kill the right people.  

  •  GDP and other macro-indicators (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, basquebob

    I've long thought that the numbers coming out of Wall St. at the end of each day are not the best indicators of the economic health of the nation.  The fat cats would have us believe that what happens with the Dow Jones and the S & P are of paramount importance.  I'd rather know how our children are doing in school, how much topsoil is left in the midwest, and whether or not our water and air are fit to consume.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 10:35:58 PM PDT

  •  to keep up on the latest (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ejoanna, change the Be, Annalize5, JeffW

    of the arab uprisings, please click to follow
    witnessing revolution.

    "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

    by stolen water on Thu Apr 21, 2011 at 11:29:32 PM PDT

  •  LA: BicLAvia 2011, Angelenos take back Streets/420 (0+ / 0-)

    http://vimeo.com/...  [give it time to buffer, it's vimeo, videos are higher res over there]

    this was just a couple weeks ago in LA, where they shut down streets for bikers/pedestrians.

    -----------------

    15,000 hit the streets in vancouver yesterday. Here's to hoping they mobilize enough voters in Canada to beat the conservatives in a couple of weeks. it's time for the harper era to end in Canada, before they institue U.S.- style drug war laws (mandatory minimum sentences, increased sentences for possession, and an overall fuckingi-up of public policy across all sectors]

    This year's 4/20 rally in Vancouver was arguably the largest in size and scope the city has ever seen. It was also the most political, with organizers and speakers focused on one important message: voting Stephen Harper and Conservatives out of power in the May 2 federal election.

    Organizers estimate that about 15,000 people crowded onto the grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery for the annual event, which happens in major cities around the world every April 20.

    4/20 is a celebration of cannabis culture, where peaceful citizens gather together and protest the drug war by getting high - by smoking, vaporizing, and eating or drinking a hell of a lot of cannabis and cannabis-infused goodies.

    I wish I could eat and drink cannabis instead of smoking it, or paying hundreds of dollars to buy a high-quality vaporizer. Goddamn the consequences of living in a society that reinvents the computer chip's capabilities every two years, but is 50 years behind on public cannabis policy.

    http://cannabisculture.com/...

    and goddamn the migraine that sidelined my attempts at celebrating yesterday, limiting me to very little toking and even less joking.

    4/21/2011: I survived the Great Gary Johnson Flame War.

    In completely unrelated news, my university transfer application was accepted for the Fall. Them thar drug felons are goin back to skool!

    Maybe I can join the school's chapter of Students for A Sensible Drug policy? Hmmm

    witness the GOPranos...rethugs....Paul Wolfowitz: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too."

    by change the Be on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 12:03:34 AM PDT

  •  I haven't been too caught up in the (0+ / 0-)

    meta wars. But I'm glad we heard from Kos today (now yesterday) on the Mojo, HR's v. uprates etc. I've noticed a change here, and I'm hoping we can work through it. But it's certainly helpful when the grownups take notice.

    Still, life isn't the result of an algorithm. A few tweaks on the back end won't prevent certain people from acting like idiots. Spouting crap that should not be HR'ed, but crap nonetheless.

    So, I'm NOT going to call for a moderator. Not MB, not anybody. Except yourself. Moderate yourselves.

    A friend of mine came up with the 1% doctrine long before Dick Cheney spoiled it. When a discussion became an argument, he could ask participants, "Is there at least a 1% chance that any of you are wrong?"

    The obvious answer being yes, then the obvious response was to get back to discussion. Let facts, not emotions be the guide. Interrogation, not accusation.

    Remember this. We can't see each other, hear the timber in each other's voices, interpret body language, immediately grasp the possibility of cultural difference, etc. We read written comments and respond to them in writing. On computers, through internets.

    The written word, for all its power, is powerless to convey some of these subtexts. I hope everybody can remember this in the moments when the indignation flares. There is at least a 1% chance that it might be better to walk away from the computer than to start or persist in a flame war.

    "We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil's bargain, and we got to get ourselves back to the garden." - Joni Mitchell

    by shaggies2009 on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 01:32:30 AM PDT

  •  Obama sends military to investigate high gas price (0+ / 0-)

    In a confabulation of headlines, Obama sends Predator drones to war in Libya, a large Middle East oil producing nation, in addition to the 200,000 troops and mercenaries US already is employing in war in the Middle East, the world's oil supply depot, while Obama announces he is going to "investigate" the rise in gas prices.

    Obama needs to connect the 1.2T dollar dots he spends on US military, the single largest consumer of oil, which is waging war in the Middle East oil fields.

    Ya think!!??

  •  Within 30 days ... (0+ / 0-)

    Hayes was right.  We (so many of us) knew he was right.  And, it went onto the shoals so much that it helped the Tea Party-ites gain dominion over the House of Representatives and too many State houses.

    And, thank you for highlighting Stiglitz/et al and the need to 'move beyond GDP'.  We measure what we can and what we can measure is, by definition, what matters. However, there is much that we do measure that we don't bother to take account of. Those statistics from Africa about education and life expectancy are telling when compared to GDP discussions.

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Fri Apr 22, 2011 at 06:58:06 AM PDT

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