Helleborus. Scott Arboretum. March, 2013. Photo by joanneleon.
AC/DC - Highway To Hell
News and Opinion
Hell No! No Grand Bargain blogathon starts today at 10!
Obama’s Social Security Cuts Are Our Wake-Up Call
No jobs. No growth. Falling income. Unaffordable colleges. A dying middle class. Young people without hope. The greatest economic inequality in modern history.
And yet, in the midst of the Long Depression, we’re told that President Obama intends to cuts Social Security.
According to reports, the new presidential budget proposal will also include job-killing spending cuts and a Medicare cost hike that will increasingly affect the middle class with every passing year.
The president says this isn’t his “ideal plan,” but he doesn’t say what his ideal plan would look like – and he certainly isn’t fighting for a better one. He also claims his budget offers “tough reforms,” which rings of self-satisfaction rather than sorrow.
Death of 1,000 Cuts: Our Lousy Economy Is Already Slashing Social Security BenefitsYeah, it's just all politics. Buncha DFHes picking on us!
Death of 1,000 Cuts
The stock market may be hitting record highs, but the real-world economy is in ongoing misery. (We call it “The Long Depression.”) Here’s what we’re experiencing:
There are no jobs in sight. All the key indicators – The “U6” measurement of un- and under-employed workers, labor force participation figures, and other indicators – are at or near record levels.
Even the “good” jobs reports leave us well below the kind of private-sector hiring we would need to keep up with growth in the workforce and reduce real unemployment at a reasonable pace. And we just had a very bad jobs report.
The jobs we are getting are trending much more heavily toward low-paying, unskilled jobs. Government jobs are good jobs, but the President’s budget cuts those.
Wages are at record lows. Workers’ wages hit new lows last year, and the trend line isn’t pointing the right way.
The Political War on the NYPD
New York's top cop Ray Kelly on fighting crime and fighting off critics of a basic police tool: stopping suspicious characters and checking for weapons.
The liberal candidates—there is no other kind in these parts—are whacking with particular gusto at a police tactic called "stop-and-frisk." The practice involves stopping people who behave suspiciously, questioning them and, if they appear to present a threat, frisking them to see if they're carrying a weapon. The accusation is that this age-old police tactic unfairly targets minorities.
Surveying the current Democratic candidates, Mr. Kelly explains their basic campaign strategy: "You suck up to a special-interest advocacy group." One such group is the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is suing the NYPD in federal court to stop stop-and-frisk.
In some local media outlets, the recording was presented as evidence of racial profiling. "They are hellbent on finding anything they can wrong with the department," says Mr. Kelly of his press critics.
'She was doing what she loved': Young diplomat among 6 Americans killed in Afghanistan
Family, friends and State Department colleagues on Sunday were mourning the first death of an American diplomat on duty since Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11 last year.
Anne Smedinghoff, 25, was one of five Americans killed in a car bomb attack on Saturday in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday. Three of the dead were U.S. service members and the fifth a civilian employee of the Defense Department, Kerry said.
Kerry mourns 'selfless, idealistic' US diplomat
At a news conference with Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, Kerry described Smedinghoff as "a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge."
"Anne and those with her," Kerry said, "were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help."
Kerry said Smedinghoff "was met by a cowardly terrorist determined to bring darkness and death to total strangers. These are the challenges that our citizens face, not just in Afghanistan but in many dangerous parts of the world — where a nihilism, an empty approach, is willing to take life rather than give it."
11 Afghan Children Among Dead in Latest US/NATO BombingOh man...
Civilians 'killed when an air strike hit their houses'
At least ten children are among the dead in eastern Afghanistan, according to officials in the country, following a NATO bombing overnight.
"Eleven children and a woman were killed when an air strike hit their houses," said Wasefullah Wasefi, a spokeperson for the governor of Kunar province, where the attack took place.
In total, reporting on Sunday indicated that more than two dozen people were killed in the latest example of civilian casualties in the ongoing US war in Afghanistan.
Blogathon starts today!
DailyKos Blogathon -- Week of April 8th
(All times are Eastern, diaries published by the Pushing back at the Grand Bargain group)
Monday, April 8
10:00 a.m. Roger Fox
12:00 noon eXtina
2:00 p.m. joanneleon (An Yves Smith article republished with permission)
4:00 p.m. Horace Boothroyd III
6:00 p.m. slinkerwink
8:00 p.m. joedemocrat
Tuesday, April 9
Wednesday, April 10
Thursday, April 11
Friday April 12
1. Call your senators and representatives and tell them "Hell No!" with a priority on contacting senators. U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find email contact information here
2. Contact the White House and tell them "Hell No!". Switchboard: 202-456-1414. Email contact page is here.
3. Petitions. There are a number of petitions available. Choose from the following or preferably sign them all.
a. White House petition calling for no cuts to Social Security.
4. Social Media. Share this diary and promote this blogathon on Facebook and Google+ using the buttons at the top of the diary. Send this out on Twitter and add the hashtags #HellNo and #NoGrandBargain.
April Days of Action Against Drones
APRIL DAYS OF ACTION 2013 – A National Uprising to Stop Drone Spying and Killing
April 4 – 6: Drone Manufacturing
Organizers around the country are encouraged to identify drone manufacturing facilities in their regions and organize demonstrations, teach-ins and other actions calling for an end to drone attacks and an end to the manufacture of weaponized and surveillance drones. Coordinator – Joe Scarry – email@example.com
April 16- 18: Drone Research/Training
Organizers around the country are encouraged to identify colleges and universities in their regions doing drone research and/or training of drone pilots and to call for an end to research and training related to drone warfare. Coordinator – Marge Van Cleef – firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27 – 28: Drone Bases
Organizers around the country will be encouraged to organize protests at drone bases in their regions. People will be encouraged also to participate in demonstrations planned during this period at the Reaper drone base at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse, NY.
Coordinator – Dave Soumis – email@example.com
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
The Guardian has more on the air strike in Afghanistanguardian.co.uk/world/2013/apr…— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 7, 2013
All that BS from Petraeus over years that he didn't want to run for office. And it was BS, he had political handlers: my.firedoglake.com/jimwhite/2011/…— Jim White (@JimWhiteGNV) April 8, 2013
It begins. Headline from a Tea Party newsletter: "Obama budget to target retirement accounts."— David Dayen (@ddayen) April 7, 2013
In email, Sen Harkin (who chairs committee of jurisdiction) writes "If anything, the Social Security benefit should be increased, not cut."— David Dayen (@ddayen) April 7, 2013
Hearing rumour that rare form of Sati exists in neoliberal ruling class where all followers must jump on the funeral pyre w the Devil Queen.— Michael Richmond (@Sisyphusa) April 8, 2013
@blakezeff SPECs? Come on. We call them Neoliberals everywhere else in the world. Get on with it.— Daniel Wright (@DanSWright) April 8, 2013
RT @price_laborecon: Happy Grand Bargain Monday! Celebrate by punching yourself in the face!— phillip anderson (@phillipanderson) April 8, 2013
Grand Bargain = (Obama to GOP) I will take money from Seniors living check to check, hand to mouth if you (GOP) will come back and talk.— Jack Wade (@jackwadeshow) April 8, 2013
Chained CPI/Grand Bargain defenders who don't acknowledge the retirement security crisis don't deserve to be taken seriously. #NoSocSecCuts— Mike Conrad (@mikeconrad1) April 6, 2013
#RW is smiling: "We’re beginning to set the stage for the grand bargain,” the South Carolina Republican said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”— Harvey J Kaye (@harveyjkaye) April 8, 2013
Hell! by James Brown