Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SOME NEWS THAT’LL ROAST YOUR CHESTNUTS

Obama’s Greatest Betrayal: The Coming Sell-Out to the Super Rich and What it Means for the Rest of Us
Michael Hudson, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148857/obama%27s_greatest_betrayal%3A_the_coming_sell-out_to_the_super_rich_and_what_it_means_for_the_rest_of_us

We’re Losing Our Intelligence – How the Purge of True Dissent Has Starved Our Discourse
Chris Hedges, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148858/hedges%3A_we%27re_losing_our_intelligence_--_how_the_purge_of_true_dissent_has_starved_our_discourse

World Comparison Shows Sorry State of US Healthcare
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3200?akid=285.19616.1ErKFq&t=1

Not Everyone Agrees Deficit Is Major Problem
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3202?akid=285.19616.1ErKFq&t=5

Yvonne Yen Liu The Physical and Emotional Costs of Long-Term Unemployment
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3212?akid=285.19616.1ErKFq&t=25

Russell Mokhiber War Is a Drug
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3213?akid=285.19616.1ErKFq&t=27

Democracy Now! Headlines – Manufacturers of Full Body Scanners Increase Lobbying Effort
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/23/headlines#5
As the national debate over airport screening practices intensifies, little attention has paid to the increasing lobbying power the manufacturers of full body scanning machines have in Washington. USA Today reports L3 Communications has spent $4.3 million on lobbying, up from $2.1 million in 2005. L3 has sold nearly $40 million worth of machines to the federal government. Lobbyists for L3 have included Linda Daschle, the wife of former U.S. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. Meanwhile Rapiscan Systems has spent more than $270,000 on lobbying so far this year, compared with $80,000 five years earlier. The company made headlines last year when it hired former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff who has become a prominent proponent of body scanners. The CEO of Rapiscan’s parent company, Deepak Chopra, recently traveled with President Obama on his three-day trip to India.

Making the Impossible Possible: The Power of Community Spirit
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3183?akid=284.19616.Yz212e&t=1

Protecting People: A Progressive Alternative to Austerity
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3184?akid=284.19616.Yz212e&t=3

Medea Benjamin Protesters Say George Bush Library Should be a Pile of Rubble
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3192?akid=284.19616.Yz212e&t=20

Jobless Benefits About to Lapse As Senate Dems Mull Strategy
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3162?akid=280.19616.looCVV&t=7

Angry Left to Obama: Stop Caving on Agenda
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3164?akid=280.19616.looCVV&t=9

Kabul Is No Child's Playground
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3243?akid=287.19616.HGILYZ&t=7

Unemployment Extension Standoff 'A Crummy Deal For The American Public'
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3244?akid=287.19616.HGILYZ&t=9

Ralph Nader: Bush's Friend Barack
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3248?akid=287.19616.HGILYZ&t=17

Margaret Flowers: New Health Care Law Fails to Make the Grade
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3249?akid=287.19616.HGILYZ&t=19

Exposing the Insurance Industry’s Vast Conspiracy to Smear Michael Moore
Bill Berkowitz, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148950/exposing_the_insurance_industry%27s_vast_conspiracy_to_smear_michael_moore

More Profits at Corporate Top, More Pain on Jobless Bottom
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3261?akid=288.19616.KUOIMl&t=1

New York City Prepares for Nation's Largest Bike Share System
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3265?akid=288.19616.KUOIMl&t=9

Illness, Medical Bills 'Plunge Millions Into Poverty'
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3266?akid=288.19616.KUOIMl&t=11

Saturday, November 20, 2010

TGTSNBN Members Take Over Times Square
After Seeing New HP7 Film - Much To The
Delight of the Local Muggles


Hedwig chillin
with the
Duchess in
Times Square

Friday, November 19, 2010


Attended the 4th Annual Quidditch World Cup and it was held in NYC during the weekend of November 13/14. I was supporting NY Badassilisks [TGTSNBN]. Our NY team won 2 games out of 3 on Nov 13 to move to position #24 out of #50 teams.


Psycho-Babbling Obama
Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford
http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content%2Fpsycho-babbling-obama
Take Paul Krugman, of the New York Times, for example. People on the Left quote him a lot, which I find strange, since Krugman can talk about the political meltdown of 2008 for 45 minutes and never say the word “corporation” – as if corporations had nothing to do with the meltdown. But anyway, the liberal Krugman insists that Obama’s problem is, he tried to transcend partisan divisions, not understanding that sometimes one has to fight. That’s a recurring theme with Obama apologists, that Obama won’t fight. But Obama showed plenty of fight during the health care debate. He fought the left wing of his own party every step of the way, exiling single-payer supporters to the margins while he kissed Republican boodie and empowered Blue Dogs and DLCers. He didn’t just fight progressives, he stomped their butts into the dirt.

[Duchess Note: It’s been tough for third parties to break in, however, like abolition, the suffrage movement, labor movement, and civil rights movement. Let's face it, you have to start somewhere. These movements were not overnight sensations but rather took years of blood, sweat, and tears before gaining acceptance, momentum, and eventually success. If voters continue the lesser of two evils election strategy, things will get worse, not better. As we've seen over the last few years, the Democrats have ceased to give a crap about the poor and working classes who comprise over half this nation, as well as most of their voter base. They are enacting legislation Republicans always dreamed about but could never pull off. ]

Friday, November 12, 2010



Waiting for the subway at

7 Avenue in Brooklyn, NY

A LITTLE BIT OF NEWS TO ROCK THE WEEKEND

Howie Hawkins Saves Green Party, Loads Trucks
Nick Rizzo, Capital New York
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2010/11/748265/howie-hawkins-saves-green-party-loads-trucks

A Recipe for Fascism
Chris Hedges, TruthDig
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_recipe_for_fascism_20101108/

Obama’s Biggest Mistake: Selling Out to the Bankers
James Galbraith, New Deal
http://www.alternet.org/story/148770/obama%27s_biggest_mistake%3A_selling_out_to_the_bankers
The original sin of Obama’s presidency was to trust bank-friendly economists and Bush carryovers, whose primary goal was to protect their own past decisions and futures.

Van Jones: We Must Prepare for Battle
Adele Stan, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148764/van_jones%3A_we_must_prepare_for_battle

Bank of America is in Deep Trouble, and There May be Financial Disaster on the Horizon
Joshua Holland, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148817/bank_of_america_is_in_deep_trouble_and_there_is_financial_disaster_on_the_horizon

Word to the Fiscal Commission: Hands off Social Security
Terrance Heath, Blog for Our Future
http://www.alternet.org/story/148815/word_to_the_fiscal_commission%3A_hands_off_social_security

Déjà Vu? Echoes of Iraq as Hawks Push for Attack on Iran
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3055?akid=263.19616.nonlpY&t=2

Banks Get Big Bucks, Consumers Get Bupkis
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3056?akid=263.19616.nonlpY&t=4

Nomi Prins: Wall Street Wins Again
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3066?akid=263.19616.nonlpY&t=24

Mark Weisbrot: Democrats Could Fare Even Worse Next Time If They Don’t Fix Economy
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3067?akid=263.19616.nonlpY&t=26

Deficit Panel Proposal: Reduce Benefits, Up Retirement Age
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3076?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=2

Tens of Thousands in London Protest Student Austerity Measures, Fee Increases
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3077?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=4

Dean Baker: The Wall Street TARP Gang Wants to Take Away Your Social Security
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3086?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=22

Robert Naiman: McClatchy: Obama to Renege on Afghan Drawdown
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3087?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=24

Jim Hightower: Soft Landing for Bankers, Hard Times for Everyone Else
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3089?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=28

Jane Slaughter: Billionaire Launches Campaign to Slash Social Security
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3090?akid=266.19616.52i4wE&t=30

Thursday, November 11, 2010

They Just Declared War on Social Security
Message from “Democracy for America”

We knew this day was coming -- Today, the co-chairs of the Deficit Commission declared war on Social Security.

And it's not just Social Security they're going after. They're declaring war on Medicare, the National Park Service and PBS, too.

Well, the Deficit Commission doesn't speak for me -- or the vast majority of Americans -- and Congress needs to know it. Join me today and sign our pledge to Congress rejecting the Deficit Commission's right-wing attacks on Social Security.

Add your name now - http://www.democracyforamerica.com/activities/412?t=e1

The Co-Chairs of the Commission released their proposal today. One member of the commission referred to the plan as "a good start". It's our job to make sure they know it's Dead on Arrival. Here's a quick sample of just some of what they're calling for:

Cut Social Security benefits
Raise the retirement age
Cut funding to the National Park Service
Cut funding to PBS

When we say that the Deficit Commission doesn't speak for the vast majority of Americans, we have the numbers to back it up.

On Election Day, Democracy for America polled voters nationwide and when asked about Social Security only four percent supported making cuts to Social Security. Over half support eliminating the Social Security tax cap for income over $106,000 a year and 31 percent said they wouldn't change anything at all.

Let me say that again so Congress gets the message -- We polled the exact same people who voted to put Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives and 85 percent of voters don't want any cuts to Social Security.

This might be the only thing that 85 percent of Americans can agree on. Help make sure Congress gets the message.

Call on Congress to reject the Deficit Commission's recommendations now -- http://www.democracyforamerica.com/activities/412?t=e1

When we asked DFA members what we needed to work on after the election, the answer was loud and clear -- Stand up for Social Security. And we are. Join us today and tell Congress to reject the Deficit Commission.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

JUST SOME THOUGHTS ON VOTING AND NOVEMBER 2ND

I voted on Election Day, November 2nd, and as always, I placed my precious votes with candidates whom I felt "best" represent my views and values. I walked out of that voting area with a clear conscious. To say that voting Democrat all the way, and no third party, is the correct way, well, I’m sorry, but I disagree. To say that I should not vote for what I believe in, well, that is just un-American. Because we ALL have the right to vote for whom WE want. You vote for whom you want, and I’ll vote for who I want. [Some friends, co-workers and acquaintances have tried to nag me into voting for a party who more and more does NOT represent me, but doing so would make a farce out of voting.] To be so disrespectful as to say that I should throw away my own views, my own feelings, my own values just to get Democrats into office when I do NOT feel confident NOR have faith in the majority of them, I would feel absolutely disgusted with myself. We need to smash the two-party duo-poly that along with the corporate elites, military/industrial complex AND ultra rich controls our country! Let's make OUR OWN REAL change! We The People can do it!

MORE NEWS FOR YOUR WEEKEND VIEWING PLEASURE

Remarks by Bill Moyers at the 40th Anniversary of Common Cause
Bill Moyers, PDA
http://pdamerica.org/articles/alliances/2010-10-12-13-01-00-alliances.php

The Phantom Left
Chris Hedges, TruthDig
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_phantom_left_20101031/

How Obama Lost His Voice, and How He Can Get it Back
Marshall Ganz, LA Times
http://www.alternet.org/story/148741/how_obama_lost_his_voice%2C_and_how_he_can_get_it_back

In U.S. 14% Rely on Food Stamps
Sara Murray, WSJ Blog
[Duchess Note: New York state percent of population on food stamps is 14.7%]
http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/11/04/some-14-of-us-uses-food-stamps/

Vermont’s Great Green Election Day Victory – Kick out the Nuclear Plant
Harvey Wasserman, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/story/148755/vermont%27s_great_green_election_day_victory_--_kick_out_the_nuclear_plant

If Olbermann’s Donations are Bad, What About GE’s?
http://www.alternet.org/story/148763/if_olbermann%27s_donations_are_bad%2C_what_about_ge%27s

The More Money You Make the More Likely You’ll Vote Republican
Lynn Parramore, New Deal
Despite what you might hear about Tea Party Populism, one thing is indisputable. The bigger your salary, the more likely you were to cast a ballot for the GOP.
http://www.alternet.org/story/148746/the_more_money_you_make_the_more_likely_you%27ll_vote_republican

Greedy Bankers Are Like Coke Fiends
Tony Schwartz, AlterNet
It would be wonderful if the people responsible for the financial crisis learned lessons from the worldwide havoc and suffering they helped to prompt. Don’t hold your breath.
http://www.alternet.org/story/148749/greedy_bankers_are_like_coke_fiends

Green Hopes Crushed as Climate Change Deniers Enter Congress
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2971?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=2

With All Eyes on Gulf, BP Alaska Facilities Still at Risk
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2972?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=4

Michael Kinsley US Is Not Greatest Country Ever
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2980?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=20

Matthew Rothschild Nov. 2: The Death Knell of Corporate Liberalism
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2981?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=22

Mary Bottari Obama Economic Team Passes Out the Kool-Aid
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2983?akid=244.19616.cXkCYI&t=26

Congrats to the NYS Greens!
I sincerely hope they will immediately begin to study districts/offices where they have the best potential to win, work to recruit potential candidates and begin fundraising for these elections now etc. The results below are from NY1's website:

Election Results for NYS Governor
X Andrew Cuomo Dem 2,532,447 61.52%
Carl Paladino GOP 1,399,235 33.99%
Howie Hawkins Grn 56,868 1.38%
Warren Redlich Lib 44,696 1.09%
Jimmy McMillan Oth 39,850 0.97%
Kristin Davis Oth 22,775 0.55%
Charles Barron Fre 20,717 0.5%

What’s Next
By Peace Action West

Even though I knew it was going to be a tough election, it’s still disappointing to face the reality of losing some wonderful allies and seeing opponents of our pro-peace agenda headed to Congress. As we work through these feelings of frustration, it is important to remember that you stepped up in the face of difficult odds—and you made a difference.

With your help, one of our staunchest allies, Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Raul Grijalva, appears poised to win in a very tight race with his dangerous right-wing opponent. Senate pro-peace leader Barbara Boxer fended off a difficult challenge, ensuring that we will have an ally who will work to hold the administration accountable to ending the war in Afghanistan.

The pro-peace congressional champions that we endorsed, including Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Pete Stark, and Keith Ellison, will continue to be outspoken advocates for peace and will work with us to make sure supporters of a smarter, saner foreign policy are heard in this Congress.

I am sorry to say that our challengers Bill Hedrick, Suzan DelBene, Steve Pougnet and Francine Busby were unable to defeat their opponents in tough races. They took on an incredibly difficult task—ousting incumbent Republicans in a wave election in which the GOP would eventually see a gain of more than 50 seats. Our candidates worked hard and did some amazing grassroots organizing that will lay the groundwork for a progressive base in conservative areas, and we are proud to have played a part in their campaigns.

Most importantly, we have our eyes on the issues. We are already thinking creatively about how to find opportunities despite the challenges of the new political landscape. We will use our power—the power you give us through your commitment and action—to push for priorities like an end to the war in Afghanistan, eliminating the threat of nuclear weapons, and a budget that reflects what is important to you and me. We will continue to mobilize and make our voices heard with resolve and commitment to a better vision for how we engage with the world.

Keep an eye on our blog for more detailed analysis of how the new Congress will affect our work on these key issues. Through good times and bad, we have persevered and grown in our sophistication and power, and will continue to grow, thanks to you. Thank you for all you do for peace.

Robert Reich The Republican Recipe for An Anemic Economy Through Election Day 2012
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3000?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=24

Neve Gordon Thought Crimes
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3001?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=26

Andy Worthington Obama's National Security Policy: The Death of Hope and Change
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3002?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=28

Robert Naiman A Progressive Primary to Push for Jobs and End the Wars
http://act.commondreams.org/go/3003?akid=245.19616.-JwIiT&t=30

Our Banana Republic
Nicholas Kristof, NY Times

In my reporting, I regularly travel to banana republics notorious for their inequality. In some of these plutocracies, the richest 1 percent of the population gobbles up 20 percent of the national pie.

But guess what? You no longer need to travel to distant and dangerous countries to observe such rapacious inequality. We now have it right here at home — and in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election, it may get worse.

The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

That’s the backdrop for one of the first big post-election fights in Washington — how far to extend the Bush tax cuts to the most affluent 2 percent of Americans. Both parties agree on extending tax cuts on the first $250,000 of incomes, even for billionaires. Republicans would also cut taxes above that.

The richest 0.1 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut of $61,000 from President Obama. They would get $370,000 from Republicans, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. And that provides only a modest economic stimulus, because the rich are less likely to spend their tax savings.

At a time of 9.6 percent unemployment, wouldn’t it make more sense to finance a jobs program? For example, the money could be used to avoid laying off teachers and undermining American schools.

Likewise, an obvious priority in the worst economic downturn in 70 years should be to extend unemployment insurance benefits, some of which will be curtailed soon unless Congress renews them. Or there’s the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which helps train and support workers who have lost their jobs because of foreign trade. It will no longer apply to service workers after Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes.

So we face a choice. Is our economic priority the jobless, or is it zillionaires?

And if Republicans are worried about long-term budget deficits, a reasonable concern, why are they insistent on two steps that nonpartisan economists say would worsen the deficits by more than $800 billion over a decade — cutting taxes for the most opulent, and repealing health care reform? What other programs would they cut to make up the lost $800 billion in revenue?

In weighing these issues, let’s remember that backdrop of America’s rising inequality. In the past, many of us acquiesced in discomfiting levels of inequality because we perceived a tradeoff between equity and economic growth. But there’s evidence that the levels of inequality we’ve now reached may actually suppress growth. A drop of inequality lubricates economic growth, but too much may gum it up.

Robert H. Frank of Cornell University, Adam Seth Levine of Vanderbilt University, and Oege Dijk of the European University Institute recently wrote a fascinating paper suggesting that inequality leads to more financial distress. They looked at census data for the 50 states and the 100 most populous counties in America, and found that places where inequality increased the most also endured the greatest surges in bankruptcies.

Here’s their explanation: When inequality rises, the richest rake in their winnings and buy even bigger mansions and fancier cars. Those a notch below then try to catch up, and end up depleting their savings or taking on more debt, making a financial crisis more likely. Another consequence the scholars found: Rising inequality also led to more divorces, presumably a byproduct of the strains of financial distress. Maybe I’m overly sentimental or romantic, but that pierces me. It’s a reminder that inequality isn’t just an economic issue but also a question of human dignity and happiness.

Mounting evidence suggests that losing a job or a home can rock our identity and savage our self-esteem. Forced moves wrench families from their schools and support networks. In short, inequality leaves people on the lower rungs feeling like hamsters on a wheel spinning ever faster, without hope or escape. Economic polarization also shatters our sense of national union and common purpose, fostering political polarization as well. So in this post-election landscape, let’s not aggravate income gaps that already would make a Latin American caudillo proud. To me, we’ve reached a banana republic point where our inequality has become both economically unhealthy and morally repugnant.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

NEWS FOR YOUR WEEKEND

Johnny Cash’s Daughter Calls John Boehner an “Asshat” for Exploiting Dad’s Name
Tana Ganeva, AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/314752/johnny_cash%27s_daughter_calls_john_boehner_an_%22asshat%22_for_exploiting_dad%27s_name/#paragraph6

US Bicycle Route System May Become a 50,000 Mile Interstate Reality
Winona Bateman, YES! Magazine
http://www.alternet.org/story/148713/us_bicycle_route_system_may_become_a_50%2C000_mile_interstate_reality

Bill Moyers: Shades of Howard Zinn: It's Okay If It's Impossible
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2948?akid=243.19616.aT3gLC&t=23

Malalai Joya: Elections Cannot Erase Injustice of the US Occupation of Afghanistan
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2961?akid=243.19616.aT3gLC&t=27

Robert Reich: Why Obama Should Learn the Lesson of 1936, not 1996
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2966?akid=243.19616.aT3gLC&t=37

George Monbiot: We've Been Conned. The Deal to Save the Natural World Never Happened
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2967?akid=243.19616.aT3gLC&t=39

Jim Hightower: Surprise! The People Speak
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2938?akid=241.19616.Oxq4OT&t=17

Stephen Zunes: My Support for Ralph Nader, Ten Years Later: Lessons Learned
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2939?akid=241.19616.Oxq4OT&t=19

Marjorie Cohn: Let's Rally to Restore Peace
http://act.commondreams.org/go/2942?akid=241.19616.Oxq4OT&t=25

[Duchess Note: More news coming your way … stay tuned]