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Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.  

Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here.  This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.  

Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.

Hey! Good Evening!

This evenings music features Colin Linden

Colin Linden - Smoke 'em all

there was supposed to be a kaboom

News and Opinion

Bolivia's Morales Calls for New Era of 'Peace and Unity' to Break Greed of Capitalism

The 'end of the world' it is not, says president of Bolivia, but rather an opportunity to dispose of 'capitalism's greed' and unite in happiness and unselfishness

Bolivian President Evo Morales is marking today's winter solstice and the much-discussed calendar date by celebrating a hopeful vision for a "new era of peace and love" in the world, one in which the spirit of community and respect for Mother Earth will win out over the greed induced by global capitalism.

In an open invitation to celebrate the day, Morales explained that "the Mayan calendar's  21 of December is the end of the non-time and the beginning of time. It is the end of the Macha and the beginning of the Pacha, the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood, it is the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism."

And continued, "The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a bio-centric life. It is the end of hatred and the beginning of love, the end of lies and beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness and the beginning of happiness, it is the end of division and the beginning of unity, and this is a theme to be developed. That is why we invite all of you, those of you who bet on mankind, we invite those who want to share their experiences for the benefit of mankind."

Morales, a champion of indigenous rights and himself a descendent of the Andean Aymara people, helped supplant the idea that the 2012 winter solstice marked the "end of times" or an "apocalypse" by clarifying that the lunar happening was simply an opportunity for spiritual renewal. Though auspicious for the Mayan people, most of the loud rhetoric clamoring about the "end of the world" is a Western invention, pushed by those who know little of the traditions or spirit of the indigenous people and their deeper history.

“End of the World”: Apocalypse or Shopocalypse? Reverend Billy on Consumerism and Climate Change

State of the Climate - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

November 2012 global temperatures were fifth highest on record

The globally-averaged temperature for November 2012 marked the fifth warmest November since record keeping began in 1880. November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average.

Senator Whitehouse Shouts Out the Fossil Free Divestment Campaign

"The public is ready for us to take action, but we’re not. We are - as I’ve said in previous speeches - sleepwalking.

We are sleepwalking through history and we must wake up. Awaken to our duties... Awaken to our responsibilities... Awaken to the plain facts that lay all around us if only we would open our eyes and see them.

The public has every reason to want to grab us and give us a good shake. We are sleepwalking through this era, lulled as we sleepwalk by the narcotic of corporate money - Corporate money out of the polluters and their allies. We are lulled by the narcotic of manufactured doubt, planted in a campaign of disinformation by those same polluters and allies. History is calling us, loud and clear. History is shouting in our ear. Yet we ignore the facts, we ignore our duties and we sleepwalk on. It is irresponsible and it is wrong."

NDAA Lawsuit Brief Filed By Children Of Japanese-Americans Interned During World War II

The children of Japanese-Americans whose internment during World War II was upheld by the infamous Supreme Court ruling Korematsu v. United States are stepping into a new legal battle over whether the military can indefinitely detain American citizens.

Writing that their parents "experienced first-hand the injustice resulting from a lack of searching judicial scrutiny," the children of Fred Korematsu and other Japanese-Americans who were interned filed a brief on Monday in support of a lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Critics say the law allows the military to lock Americans away without trial merely on suspicion of support for terrorist organizations.

"During WWII, President Roosevelt essentially issued the military a 'blank check,'" Korematsu's children wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief. The military's orders, "to which the Court uncritically deferred, culminated in the internment. In reviewing the NDAA’s new detention provision, the courts cannot afford to mimic the wartime Supreme Court’s failure."

The government says that law-abiding Americans have nothing to worry about, and that courts have no business intervening in the president's war powers. But for the children of Korematsu, those claims sound frighteningly similar.

During World War II, they said, the War Department fabricated evidence to paint all Japanese Americans as potential spies, and the Supreme Court failed to take a hard look at the government's facts. Earl Warren, who was the attorney general of California at the time and later went on to serve as chief justice of the court, said in his 1977 memoir he "deeply regretted" his support for that decision. Korematsu is not the sort of mistake the judiciary should make again, the brief's authors write.

New Report Sheds Light on Bin Laden Murder
Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering

The Economist this week describes the intensifying suffering of 75 million Iranian citizens as a result of the sanctions regime being imposed on them by the US and its allies:

"Six years ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of "smart" sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people—only with a regime that seemed bent on getting a nuclear bomb, or at least the capacity for making one. Yet, as sanctions have become increasingly punitive in the face of Iran's intransigence, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price.

"On October 1st and 2nd Iran's rial lost more than 25% of its value against the dollar. Since the end of last year it has depreciated by over 80%, most of that in just the past month. Despite subsidies intended to help the poor, prices for staples, such as milk, bread, rice, yogurt and vegetables, have at least doubled since the beginning of the year. Chicken has become so scarce that when scant supplies become available they prompt riots. On October 3rd police in Tehran fired tear-gas at people demonstrating over the rial's collapse. The city's main bazaar closed because of the impossibility of quoting accurate prices. . . .

"Unemployment is thought to be around three times higher than the official rate of 12%, and millions of unskilled factory workers are on wages well below the official poverty line of 10m rials (about $300) a month."

Pervasive unemployment, inflation, medicine shortages, and even food riots have been reported elsewhere.

That sanctions on Muslim countries cause mass human suffering is not only inevitable but part of their design. In 2006, the senior Israeli official Dov Weisglass infamously described the purpose of his nation's blockade on Gaza with this candid admission: "'The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger." Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman justified the Iran sanctions regime this way: "Critics of sanctions argue that these measures will hurt the Iranian people. Quite frankly, we need to do just that."

Even more infamously, the beloved former Democratic Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - when asked in 1996 by 60 Minutes' Lesley Stahl about reports that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US-imposed sanctions on that country - stoically replied: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."

US Blocks UN Condemnation of Israeli Settlements

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks to release 1 million new documents

WikiLeaks is preparing to release more than a million documents next year, the controversial website's founder said Thursday.

Julian Assange did not provide details about their contents but said they "affect every country in the world."

Canada's First Nations protest heralds a new alliance

The grassroots IdleNoMore movement of aboriginal people offers a more sustainable future for all Canadians

Canada's placid winter surface has been broken by unprecedented protests by its aboriginal peoples. In just a few weeks, a small campaign launched against the Conservative government's budget bill by four aboriginal women has expanded and transformed into a season of discontent: a cultural and political resurgence.

It has seen rallies in dozens of cities, a disruption of legislature, blockades of major highways, drumming flash mobs in malls, a flurry of Twitter activity under the hashtag #IdleNoMore and a hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence, in a tepee minutes from Ottawa's parliament. Into her tenth day, Spence says she is "willing to die for her people" to get the prime minister, chiefs and Queen to discuss respect for historical treaties.

The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan has dismissed the escalating protest movement, saying "that's social media, so we'll just have to see where that goes." He told international media that relations with First Nations are "very good". If only that were the truth. What remains unspeakable in mainstream politics in Canada was recently uttered, in a moment of rare candour, by former Prime Minister Paul Martin:

"We have never admitted to ourselves that we were, and still are, a colonial power."
Canadians have often turned a blind eye, having been taught to see the rights of aboriginal peoples as a threat to their interests. Dare to restore sovereignty to the original inhabitants, the story goes, and Canadians will be hustled out of their jobs and off the land. Or more absurdly, onto the first ships back to Europe.

But here's the good news. Amidst a hugely popular national movement against tar sands tankers and pipelines that would cross aboriginal territories, Canadians are starting a different narrative: allying with First Nations that have strong legal rights, and a fierce attachment to their lands and waters, may, in fact, offer the surest chance of protecting the environment and climate. ... After all, who would Canadians rather control enormous swathes of rural, often pristine land : foreign corporations who see in it only dollar signs over the next financial quarter, or aboriginal communities whose commitment to its sustainability is multigenerational?

Student Movement Marks Radical Shift in Chilean Politics

Pelosi Says Chained CPI Would Strengthen Social Security

Republican craziness has stopped a deal from happening on the fiscal slope, and really nothing else. Because here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday on chained CPI, a benefit cut to Social Security recipients that happens to be regressive and more painful as people age:

Q: Members of your Caucus are organizing against the chained CPI that the President has put on the table in negotiations, is that something you can support in any deal at this point? I mean…

Leader Pelosi: Well, whatever the final arrangement is, we’ll have to have balance. So, we’ll see where that figures. But I’ve said to the Members: “express yourselves.” You know, speak out against, because I’m not thrilled with the President’s proposal, I mean, it is what it is in order to save the day. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll all identify with every aspect of it. So, they go forth with my blessing.

Q: Do you consider that a benefit cut?

Leader Pelosi: No, I don’t. I consider it a strengthening of Social Security. But that’s neither here nor there. There’s no use even discussing that because we don’t even know if we have a plan.

She’s right that we don’t know if there’s a plan. But it’s well worth discussing. Chained CPI is a benefit cut. If it were a technical adjustment that had the effect of raising net Social Security benefits, nobody would support it. In fact, an accurate technical adjustment, which accounted for the cost of living of actual seniors who spend far more a percentage of their budgets on medical treatment, WOULD raise net Social Security benefits, because their cost of living is simply higher than the average person by virtue of being sicker in old age.

And Robert Greenstein can make all the arguments he wants about the “protection of the vulnerable” through some birthday bump-up at age 85 (because the loss of money compounded from 65-85 doesn’t make life more difficult for seniors in the interim), but he and virtually nobody else points out the 50 other programs that rely on an inflation index for a cost of living adjustment or income-based eligibility. These include things like food stamps, Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, veteran’s benefits Supplemental Security Income, the Child Tax Credit and child nutrition programs. Nobody has come out and said that chained CPI will or will not apply to all of those programs (and they’ve been incredibly vague on whether it would apply to tax brackets, creating a regressive tax increase). But the reason to incorporate chained CPI into government planning is to reduce the federal government’s spending burden in the out years, and so I would imagine they’ll apply it to as many areas as possible. And the federal government doesn’t spend too much on non-tax expenditure social programs on the rich. Virtually all that money flows to the vulnerable; that’s why they qualify. And chained CPI would give them less across all those programs.

Liberals Back to Giving Obama a Pass

If I were to describe a president who escalated a cruelly pointless war, raised more than twice as much campaign money from large individual donors as from small ones (including more than $27 million from lawyers and lobbyists), engaged in widespread violations of civil liberties and the Constitution, and whose most vaunted legislative achievements were to protect banks and pave the way for transfers of large amounts of money from the public treasury to private insurance companies, you would probably assume I was talking about a right-wing Republican.

But I’m talking about President Obama, a Democrat, and more than a month after he defeated Mitt Romney for re-election, I remain mystified by the hysteria that took hold of liberals when it appeared, briefly, that he might lose. Liberal guilt over the president’s numerous broken pledges and his early passivity in dealing with a discredited Republican minority can partly explain the outraged tone of the American “left” whenever it got the chance to blast Romney.

At the same time, attacks on Obama from the far right provoked reflexive defenses from people disgusted by such idiotic paranoids as the “Birthers.” However, this doesn’t entirely account for the cravenly soft treatment accorded the incumbent over the past four years. And now that Obama appears poised to push substantial parts of Social Security and Medicare over the “fiscal cliff” — in exchange for a paltry, largely symbolic, increase in the top marginal income-tax rate — we might ask whether liberals will once again rise to Obama’s defense, no matter how indefensible his actions. ... These days liberals seem to flee confrontation with anyone who calls himself a Democrat. Thus we see virtually no primary challenges from the left, no threats to bolt the party, hardly any public protests, and no boycotts of the Democratic Party’s fundraising apparatus.

Struggling homeowners may lose critical tax break in fiscal cliff talks

Among the tax breaks at risk in the negotiations between the White House and Congress to avert the “fiscal cliff” is a measure aimed at helping struggling homeowners. ...

Since 2008, more than 800,000 homeowners have been allowed to sell their homes for less than they were worth, known as a short sale, through a government program. In other cases, banks have lowered the balance owed on mortgages to make the payments more affordable and to encourage homeowners not to walk away. ... In a short sale, the difference between what is owed on a mortgage and the price at which a homeowner is allowed to sell his or her home could be considered taxable income. The same is true when the principal balance of a mortgage is reduced.

That tax liability was waived under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, which expires at the end of this month.

Housing advocates say the loss of the tax break would not be fair to financially strapped homeowners who are hardly in a position to pay.

Number of veterans who die waiting for benefits claims skyrockets

After seven months of delay, the Department of Veterans Affairs finally approved World War II veteran James Alderson’s pension benefits last week.

But it was not a cause for celebration or relief for Alderson, whose life’s work was the farm supply store he founded near Chico after returning home from the Battle of the Bulge.

The 89-year-old veteran had died three months earlier in a Yuba City nursing home.

“My father was a very proud person,” Alderson’s son, Kale, said. “Whenever I saw him, he would ask if I’d heard from the VA and whether his money would hold up. It really took a toll on him.”

The VA’s inability to pay benefits to veterans before they die is increasingly common, according to data obtained by The Bay Citizen. The data reveals, for the first time, that long wait times are contributing to tens of thousands of veterans being approved for disability benefits and pensions only after it is too late for the money to help them.

In the fiscal year that ended in September, the agency paid $437 million in retroactive benefits to the survivors of nearly 19,500 veterans who died waiting. The figures represent a dramatic increase from three years earlier, when the widows, parents and children of fewer than 6,400 veterans were paid $7.9 million on claims filed before their loved one’s death.

Why the US media ignored Murdoch's brazen bid to hijack the presidency

So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch's ultimate and most audacious attempt – thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance – to hijack America's democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.

In the American instance, Murdoch's goal seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election.

Thus in the spring of 2011 – less than 10 weeks before Murdoch's centrality to the hacking and politician-buying scandal enveloping his British newspapers was definitively revealed – Fox News' inventor and president, Roger Ailes, dispatched an emissary to Afghanistan to urge Petraeus to turn down President Obama's expected offer to become CIA director and, instead, run for the Republican nomination for president, with promises of being bankrolled by Murdoch. Ailes himself would resign as president of Fox News and run the campaign, according to the conversation between Petraeus and the emissary, K T McFarland, a Fox News on-air defense "analyst" and former spear carrier for national security principals in three Republican administrations.

All this was revealed in a tape recording of Petraeus's meeting with McFarland obtained by Bob Woodward, whose account of their discussion, accompanied online by audio of the tape, was published in the Washington Post – distressingly, in its style section, and not on page one, where it belonged – and, under the style logo, online on December 3.

Mosque arsonist tells court: ‘I only know what I hear on Fox News’

An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that “most Muslims are terrorists.” ...

Linn explained to the court that he had gotten “riled up” after watching Fox News.

“And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”

“Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,” Linn also reportedly told the judge. “Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”

New bill intends to end abusive bandwidth caps

Internet service providers who impose arbitrary data caps and fees on customers who supposedly access too much information are the targets of a new bill introduced Thursday by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The Data Cap Integrity Act (PDF) would charge the Federal Communications Commission with developing a standard for how ISPs can measure data usage and implement a rule which mandates all digital content be treated equally when utilizing that standard to create data caps. ...

Although carriers that use data caps, like AT&T and Comcast, insist they are necessary to keep the network operating smoothly, a study published last week by The New America Foundation found that they’ve only served to enhance profits and limit competition.

The study found that broadband providers have enjoyed increasing profits and decreasing costs, to the point where many are seeing “gross margins as high as 95 percent,” by some estimates. “For these companies, selling broadband packages even to the heaviest users is still quite profitable,” researchers wrote.

Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin'

Water Is Invaluable

Forecast: 13.1 percent to be jobless some time in US next year

Surveillance: NSA Overcollects Everyone's Info, but FBI Gaps Undercut Gun Background Checks

Fighting the NRA leadership means knowing who is in it

If the right to life is not respected, the others lack meaning

A Little Night Music

Colin Linden - Terraplane Blues

Colin James w/ Colin Linden - Limelight

Colin Linden - Southern Jumbo

Colin Linden - Big River

Colin Linden - Moon Follow Me Home

Colin Linden - From The Water

Colin Linden - Sugar Mine

When the Carnival Ends - Colin Linden

Colin Linden - Too Late To Holler

Colin Linden + Chris Thomas King - John Law Burned Down the Liquor Store

Colin Linden - Big Mouth


Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky

mood ring 1

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH and Canadian Kossacks.


So, it's 12-21-12... are we still here?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Love Colin James, thanks Joe! (6+ / 0-)

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:05:01 PM PST

  •  Good evening, Joe (6+ / 0-)

    Is it possible that Pelosi is dumber than who is in the White House? Even those in the White House knows it's a cut which is why they are falsely promising to mitigated it which is complete BS. I wonder f Biden is happy about being contradicted. Probably doesn't care as it's all bluster.

    Glad the ancestors of those in the Japanese internment camps are filing a lawsuit against the NDAA. Unlike some sycophants, their ancestors didn't have it so nice and have no lawyers to tell them somehow it will be "OK."

    Thank you, Joe shikspack.

    I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

    by priceman on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:17:50 PM PST

    •  evening priceman... (5+ / 0-)

      i can't imagine what goes through pelosi's mind.  all i can say is that she's a real team player - too bad it's not the working people's team that she's playing for.  i have had little but contempt for her since she took justice for the bush torturers "off the table;" as far as i can see once you'll accept torture, there isn't much lower you can go.

      i hope that those affected by the korematsu decision can make enough of an impact that it causes people to think about what they are acquiescing to.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:25:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evening. "I am not a liberal". (7+ / 0-)

    Fuck that.
    How times change. Then again, not.  I remember reading about how the liberals were the great enablers during the Vietnam war as well.  I guess that's just the way it is.  

    U.S. policies are causing people to die and suffer in Iran.  Liberals think it's worth it evidently.
    Obama should give Madeleine Albright a medal or something.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:28:43 PM PST

  •  evening, joe (8+ / 0-)

    You're off for the holidays now, right?

    I didn't really pay much attention to the news today.

    Tonight I have the Ed Show on, Obama on his way to Hawaii, the house reps left last night I guess, and senate gone now- and that big so called "fiscal cliff" is looming.

    What a way to run a country, close down all the offices  and go off on holiday as a nation holds its breath.

    from the Harpers article.

    The current issue of The Nation recycles Borosage’s oddly innocent tone with a cover story titled “How to Save the Democratic Party” in which L. R. Runner correctly states the obvious:
    “Progressives and principled liberals need to face an essential truth: the Democratic Party, as now constituted, is no longer an agency for realizing their ideals.”
    Facing that truth is very painful.

    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

    by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:30:15 PM PST

  •  Evening Joe (5+ / 0-)

    Good to see you back.
    Joanneleon cooked a batch of chocolate chip cookies which I've been having for dinner - guess what I'm having for dessert.

  •  It's true tho, why are people surprised? (7+ / 0-)

    We were not only warned, we were told there would be tough choices.  What did people think the tough choices would be, on defense, on wars?  
    I remember about half way thru Obama's first term and when I and others threw around the words oligarchy, plutocracy, plutarcy and corporatocracy, not many argued and most seemed to agree.  'We gotta get the money out" they said, "Repeal Citizens United".   Then we had another election and evidently we have to have the same school lessons for this next term.

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:34:17 PM PST

    •  i'm not surprised any more... (6+ / 0-)

      though i do occasionally marvel at the mendacity of the politicians and the accommodating nature of the apologists.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:48:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?” (6+ / 0-)

        finished the Harpers article

        As Robert Caro’s latest installment of his Lyndon Johnson biography relates, a very regular, organization Democrat like Lyndon Johnson can makes good things happen if he puts his mind to it.

        When in the wake of the Kennedy assassination “wise” advisers told the new president to go slow on civil-rights reform — “that a President shouldn’t spend his time and power on lost causes, no matter how worthy those causes might be” —

        Johnson replied, “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”

        Today, we might ask what the hell are liberals for?

        Apparently, not a hell of a lot.

        I am going to have to find a new calling in life.

        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

        by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:55:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  At this point (7+ / 0-)

      (on chained CPI anyway) it's obvious to me that some are just doing their duty, throwing out the "it's not a cut!" talking points and Pelosi is using the same ones.   I don't know if they really believe that.  Just doing their duty.  

      You'll find the same people making that assertion and then there will be two, three, sometimes even eight or ten responses with people genuinely trying to explain, giving links and coming up with their own examples to help them understand, etc.  But then you find the same person in some other thread or some other diary just tossing out the "it's not a cut" talking point again to a fresh group of people who I assume they think might be convinced.  

      And these talking points are one of the things that make me think they are going to do this deal.  If this was a bluff or they did not intend to touch Social Security why would they bother to come up with the talking points?  And the other reason obviously is that Obama has been trying to get this Simpson Bowles crap done for a long time now and I think he expected that it wouldn't happen on the first try.  But it never dies, keeps coming back.  Last summer there were Dem muckety mucks out in the media saying that Simpson Bowles was the way to go, paving the way. They knew this was not going to be easy and would come up against fierce opposition.  I believe they have laid out plans and contingency plans and will keep at it until they do it.   The Fix the Debt Wall St and CEO crooks behind it really kind of showed their hand in the past couple of months and now it is much more obvious to more people who is behind it all.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:55:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Two things that seemed clear in the run-up to (4+ / 0-)

      2008 were that candidate Obama supported an over-strong military and that he had neoliberal economic tendencies.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:55:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I definitely picked up on (5+ / 0-)

        the neoliberal economic policies and was really worried about them. But after he got the nomination, he folded some of Clinton's and Edwards' policies into his own and started employing some populist ideas.  I remember after watching the nomination speech, feeling relieved.  

        But wtf right after the election, it was like he just threw off the cloak and it was Clinton all over again.  After all of the animosity between him and Clinton, and his seeming determination to downplay any of Clinton's successes, I was shocked to see the Clinton triangulator neoliberals on the scene.  I guess I was not paying enough attention to the people behind the curtain during his campaign or something.   I was not familiar with most of them.

        And on the wars, I was even more surprised. Yes, he talked about wars and dumb wars, considered Afghanistan not to be one of the dumb wars, and did talk a lot about Pakistan.  But I was blindsided by the warrior president that he became. I am still shocked by it.  Never saw that coming.  And neither did a lot of people, apparently, or he would not have been awarded the Peace prize.  

        During the primaries, he was sold as the peace candidate.  And now that seems so surreal.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:06:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, during that primary... (5+ / 0-)

          edwards was the only one of the three that really appealed at all to me since he seemed to be the only one that seemed to know that there are poor people and was concerned about issues of social equity.  i don't recognize someone as a democrat without that focus.  i had sincere doubts about edwards (he seemed less than completely genuine, but what politician does seem genuine?) but at least he talked like a democrat.  obama and clinton both talked like dlc candidates.

          i did think that obama would have been more resistant to starting more wars based upon his campaign rhetoric, but, he parsed pretty well and he is, as he says, a moderate republican.

          as far as i'm concerned the democrats haven't run a democratic candidate for president since mcgovern.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:16:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Never thought Edwards was sincere for a minute. (3+ / 0-)

            I believe his "2 Americas" was pandering bs designed to get all the votes from one of them.  But it could just be that I fucking despise most personal injury attorneys.

            "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

            by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:40:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, my expectations are generally low... (4+ / 0-)

              like i said, i had sincere doubts about whether he was genuine, but he was laying down markers that he could be held to - which is about as good as you can get with a candidate.  i'm glad he didnt' win, since it turned out that he was even more of a schmuck than i could ever have imagined, but i am sad that some of the issues that he was running on went away with him.

              i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

              by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:07:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I would have to agree with that (3+ / 0-)

            though I did not understand the wings of the party very well until the past 15 or so years.  But even the moderate Dems who we ran would not have touched Social Security, excepting Clinton.  That's another thing I was not aware of until more recently. I had no idea how much damage he had done until the 2000s.  

            In the tweets that I posted in today's WH diary, there is series by Jeremy Scahill.  He talks about diplomatic security.  He wrote that book on Blackwater, so he knows a lot about private security and Blackwater, etc.  He said that the whole privatization of diplomatic security (and probably more uses than that because he mentions Halliburton) was started under Clinton.  I always thought that was a Bush thing.  

            Which book was it, Naomi Klein? Jane Mayer?  It revealed that we were torturing during the Clinton years too.  When the Arab Spring started and after Mubarak stepped down, Suleiman stepped into his place briefly.  That's when a lot of information about Suleiman was coming out.   They called him the CIA's man in Egypt for rendition and torture.  So I was in the dark about that too.  I am pretty sure that if that was happening, Clinton would have to have been aware of it, or ordering it or at least approving it.  


            In exchange, we willfully paid little or no heed to the Egyptian dictatorship's abuse of human rights, despite its role in radicalizing such terrorists as Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's operational and strategic commander. In fact, our strategy of rendition in the wake of 9/11 -- sending terror suspects to other countries for interrogation -- took advantage of Egypt's torture cells. As Jane Mayer writes in her book, The Dark Side, and on The New Yorker magazine's "News Desk" blog, Omar Suleiman, Egypt's new vice president and the former head of the country's general intelligence service, was "the CIA's point man in Egypt for renditions." Former US Ambassador to Egypt Edward S. Walker, Jr., described Suleiman as "very bright, very realistic" and "not squeamish."

            One of those whose rendition Suleiman helped oversee was Al Qaeda suspect Ibn Sheik al-Libi, who told the CIA, according to a bipartisan report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that he was locked in a tiny cage for more than three days, then beaten because, at the behest of the United States, the Egyptians wanted him to say that Saddam Hussein was going to give Al Qaeda chemical and biological weapons. "They were killing me," he told journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn. "I had to tell them something," and so his coerced confession wound up in Colin Powell's now notorious address before the United Nations in February 2003, justifying war against Iraq.


            Yeah, so the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know.

            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:44:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Bill Richardson looked good for awhile (3+ / 0-)

            What happened with that FBI investigation (if I am remembering correctly) that made him quit running?

            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

            by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:07:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  blindsided me too (4+ / 0-)
          But I was blindsided by the warrior president that he became. I am still shocked by it.  Never saw that coming.  And neither did a lot of people, apparently, or he would not have been awarded the Peace prize.

          Kind of makes the Peace prize meaningless, doesn't it?

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

          by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:05:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I remember feeling that every popular idea Edwards (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack, enhydra lutris

          had was one that Obama would be pushing within a week.
          That plus the filibuster promise on FISA gave me a bad feeling, but like many other people that I knew I wanted NO more Clinton crap and I felt at least he wouldn't be a sell out to the 1 % like Bill Clinton,then he gets in office and loads up on Clinton people AND Bush's people.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:16:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, enhydra lutris

        was the most war promoting speech ever given, even war criminal Henry Kissinger did not speak FOR wars and of course it was all lies from a war monger...BUT at least he didn't openly speak for wars.

        without the ants the rainforest dies

        by aliasalias on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:08:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey there EBers (5+ / 0-)

    Loooong day.  A little Canadian blues works for me right now.

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:47:25 PM PST

    •  evening cw... (5+ / 0-)

      good to see you, i had a couple of long days this week trying to wind up some things before the holiday break.  i am delighted that this week is over, too.

      put your feet up and have a great evening!

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:54:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you really a wingnut? ;) (4+ / 0-)

      I just spent a few hours with my formerly sane friends who have become the wing nuttiest of the tea party.

      It is becoming painful keeping a friendship going when our world views differ so widely.

      The nation sure did divide up into 2 teams that do not seem to be able to get together.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:05:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Virginia (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, joe shikspack, joanneleon

        I'm really a wingnut.  No hate, no bible, no gun, no tea party.  Just kind of old school "don't want the government to try to solve problems they were never designed, and aren't competent enough, to solve" kind of conservative.  I love dKos for the interaction, writing, passion, etc.  I don't come here to argue politics, so I don't post anything contrary to the sites expressed goals.  This is your house, and I respect that.

        "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

        by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:19:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's completely welcome here... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          civil wingnut, joanneleon, allenjo

          i think that we've come to a point as a society where the labels aren't working for us anymore.  i've been finding lately that i have become so far left (not that i have changed my beliefs or positions) lately that i increasingly have little in common politically with obama democrats.


          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:44:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think there is a lot of common ground (4+ / 0-)

          on a number of issues.  Some of the divisions are so unnecessary.  I do believe that the 1% prefer to keep people divided and that it is encouraged via the media.  

          It's a shame that the common ground is not used more effectively.  

          Do you think that over time there will be more moderate conservatives?  I used to know a lot of reasonable conservatives.  I actually still do but it seems like they are way in the minority.  

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:48:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really think there are more moderate (4+ / 0-)

            conservatives (especially on social issues) then it appears.  What I call the "loud" right gets all the press; evangelical hard-cores, 'merica morons, nationalistic chickenhawks.  My professional associates and my clients seem to come in 3 groups:  small group of hard core left, small group of hard core right, and a huge number of politically indifferent moderates.  Seems like all the noise comes from the extremes.  Both sides eat it up and respond with a passion, but they're the only ones listening.

            "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

            by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:04:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I posted this elsewhere (5+ / 0-)

              in response to part of a comment below.

              This is what I am seeing happening in our country today and I don't know how we stop it, with a complicit congress and president..........


              The 1% now believe they have control

              No fear of unions, socialism no longer a threat, like years back when we had so much manufacturing in this country, so they keep pushing and pushing the 99%, more money, more power, crowding us out in every direction.

              That is why there is such concerted effort to destroy the unions, the last of what is left of them in this nation, why we have all the trade agreements, sending the jobs out of this country. No more advertisements proudly proclaiming "Made in America."

              The 1% want us left with nothing. They want a nation of peasants -that is their goal, and congress is complicit in those goals -  that is why the safety nets have to go, and the president has started that, as this first SS cut is just the start of dismantling those, starting down that slippery slope with the first shot fired.

              It is like when the USSR fell, nothing to stop the USA from taking over as the world power. There is no country able to stand up to this one, our MIC is so huge, we are untouchable, few dare cross this country.

              Our country suffers due to the horrific expense of maintaining this vast military complex. There just is not enough money, and we all lose out to the MIC, which must be maintained at all costs, those 5,000 military bases. Congress has decided that maintaining that MIC, being a world power is more important that taking care of this country needs and its people's needs.

                 The goal posts of what the middle class is has been redefined by the wealthy and they don't want to give up anything especially some taxes because they are not part of the American community, they are of the 1% and 2% community that feeds off of the 98%.  Now I'm going to go tear out more clumps of my hair trying to wrap my mind around this whole concept.

              "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

              by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:27:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  No kidding (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, allenjo, aliasalias

        Family too.

        I'm still reeling from a family member's comment on Thanksgiving about how the children killed by drone attacks were just going to grow up to be terrorists anyway.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:43:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  my teabag friends I just wrote about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack, joanneleon

          want every muslin bombed off the face of the earth, the husband said bomb the whole middle east like we did Japan..........

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

          by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:21:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  don't tell him that there are muslims all over... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allenjo, joanneleon, aliasalias

            the world, lots of them outside of the middle east.

            i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

            by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:26:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  real muricans don't like brown skin people (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack, joanneleon

              "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

              by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:29:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  right after 9/11 the gas stations on the northside (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe shikspack

              of Fort Worth Tx. run by  anyone that LOOKED like they were from the ME were a different story and when I went in to pay for gas I was never thanked so much in a deferring manner and I sensed real fear.
               There were two stores in particular that recognized me and a some friends but even they were being overly polite. I cracked a couple of jokes and made small talk (weather, the Dallas Cowboys etc.) but they were very nervous and a few weeks later with all the right wing radio blasting away I started to see it as a lot more threatening to them.

              They (in the 2 stores I frequented) had run those stores for over 10 years that I knew of, cashed checks for friends, took some things in pawn for gas (and beer) ,gave some credit and were just all around good people.

              They left their businesses within weeks of the attacks on 9/11 and I lived in Nacogdoches at the time (coming to my hometown Ft. Worth frequently)so I'm not sure when they left but it was apparently right after one of the stations had been bombed within a month of the attacks.

              I also know some very conservative people that felt they were unfairly treated but most of them had the same flaw in their reasoning, they felt  these particular people were 'exceptions'.
              That's what I saw growing up with racists, even when they meet a person of color they really like they brand them as an exception to the rule and at the same time claim to not be racist because they have friends of color.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:52:48 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Does anybody know of any case where (7+ / 0-)

    sanctions that deprive children of food and medicine have ever forced the fat, rich leaders of a country to do anything?

    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:56:05 PM PST

  •  We still here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack, joanneleon, allenjo

    Smoke 'em all= some nice picking. I'm baking quiches, but will return

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:26:34 PM PST

  •  joe, that interview (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    civil wingnut, joe shikspack, allenjo

    on the Real News about the UN and Israeli settlements was excellent.  I watched that earlier today while taking a rest, and watched the Assange speech on RT.  Worth watching.

    We've got some mixed up muddled up shook up policy happenings on the Israeli settlements.

    I wonder if the pro Israel lobby is going to knock Hagel out of the running for Sec Defense.  

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 06:36:59 PM PST

    •  well, i find it unlikely... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that obama would cross the israel lobby, though the temptation to do so in the face of netanyahu's attempt to throw the election to romney must be pretty appealing.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:00:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's getting some pretty organized pushback. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack, joanneleon, Agathena

      And the campaign against doesn't really seem to have gained much traction in wingnutland.  I could be wrong but that's my take from what I'm seeing on some of the other (cough,cough) websites I frequent.

      "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

      by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:12:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I did some research on the Israel lobbying/pacs (4+ / 0-)

      They are as or more powerful than the NRA in DC, and have gotten rid of quite a few politicians that were not Pro-Israel.

      It's pretty disgusting when a foreign country has such a hand in our government and our reps are paid off or too scared to oppose them.

      I guess even more dangerous to America than the NRA.

      Sometime when you're bored, start checking into their long arm into our government, as its pretty amazing.

      And past the 3.2 billion, this year, the extra 700 million just given them, then the bribe by Obama last month of more money for their dome, and all the other extras, the military equipment and support.....on and on it goes.

      I was very pro-israel for years, but not any longer.

      They would easily drag us into a war, and this is one war weary nation that is crumbling financially also.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:22:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Enjoy your holidays everyone. (4+ / 0-)


    "Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary." George Washington

    by civil wingnut on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:47:01 PM PST

  •  Headed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe shikspack

    for bed. Night, all.  

    Peace on earth, good will to men (and women).

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:39:48 PM PST

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