12/07/2010 archive

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Edwards

The Wheel Turns

Elizabeth Edwards has died just one day after the announcement that she had ended treatment for her recurring breast cancer.


May the Goddess guide her on her journey through the Summerlands. May her family and friends find Peace.

Blessed Be

The Edwards Family has requested that donations be made to The Wade Edwards Learing Lab in her honor. It is a non-profite organization founded as a memorial to the Edwards’ son, Wade, who died in 1996. The organization operates a free after school computer lab, sponsors scholarships and partners with other education organizations to provide greater services.

Payback: Bank That Froze WikiLeaks Funds Hacked

Posted to Youtube October 29, 2010 by user opPayback

Hackers take down website of bank that froze WikiLeaks funds

By Daniel Tencer, RawStory

Monday, December 6th, 2010

A group of Internet activists calling themselves Operation Payback have taken credit for shutting down the website of a bank that earlier Monday froze funds belonging to WikiLeaks.

Announcing its successful hack on a Twitter account, the group declared, “We will fire at anyone that tries to censor WikiLeaks.”

Earlier in the day, Swiss bank PostFinance issued a statement announcing that it had frozen 31,000 euro ($41,000 US) in an account set up as a legal defense fund for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The bank said it had frozen the account because, in opening it, Assange had claimed residency in Geneva.

“Assange cannot provide proof of residence in Switzerland and thus does not meet the criteria for a customer relationship with PostFinance,” the bank said.

As of Monday evening, the PostFinance website was unavailable.

Operation Payback also promised a hack attack on PayPal, the online payment service that last week cut off WikiLeaks, denying the group a major tool for collecting donations from supporters.

With the financial noose tightening around WikiLeaks even as a legal one tightens around its founder’s neck, Operation Payback has effectively declared war on the organizations working to hobble WikiLeaks.

“In these modern times, Internet access is fast becoming a basic human right,” the group says in a video posted to YouTube. “Just like any other basic human right, we believe it is wrong to infringe upon it.”

Korean Update

I know the story of the day is Obama’s spectacular cave on the Bush Tax Cuts for the Billionaires.  It is not by ANY DEFINITION a stimulus.

  1. Tax Cuts of any kind are the LEAST stimulative investments a government can make, in many cases producing negative returns.
  2. PEOPLE ARE ALREADY GETTING THIS MONEY!  This does nothing at all to introduce new Aggregate Demand.

Even the more charitable than I (and the CBO I might add) Paul Krugman estimates at best an improvement of 0.3 to 0.4% in unemployment.

But we can’t allow the new horrible to make us forget about the last horrible- that’s what they want to happen, so here’s an update on the horrible Korean Job Export “Free Trade” bill that got dumped on us Sunday, just two days ago.  My earlier piece is here.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

New York Times Editorial: The Tax Cut Endgame

We suppose it could have been worse. The deal could help to stimulate the weak economy. And if the Republicans had blocked an extension of unemployment benefits, as they were threatening to, millions of Americans would have suffered greatly.

But the country can’t afford to continue tax cuts for the rich indefinitely. And by kicking the issue down the road to 2012 – a presidential election year – it all but guarantees more craven politicking then.

Speaking on Monday evening, the president said that the deal would extend for two years all of the tax cuts, both those from the Bush years and those for low-income workers from last year’s stimulus law. Recently expired benefits for the long-term unemployed would also be extended for another 13 months.

In addition, the agreement includes a one-year cut in payroll taxes that will put a relatively modest, but much needed, $120 billion in workers’ pockets, and a year of bolstered write-offs for business investments.

On a decidedly sour note, Mr. Obama also said he had agreed to cut estate taxes even more than in the last year of the Bush administration. That is not compromise. It is capitulation.

Joan Walsh: Party time for Bush and Cheney!

Obama extends tax cuts for the rich that the GOP passed with chicanery and Cheney’s vote. How did we get here?

I know they weren’t the best of friends when they left Washington, but I bet former President Bush and Dick Cheney at least had a phone call tonight congratulating one another on one of the great heists in history. In 2001, they knew they couldn’t make their budget-busting tax cuts for the rich permanent, so they agreed to phase them out in 2010, leaving the political consequences to another administration. Even with that chicanery, the Bush tax cuts were divisive enough that they required Cheney to cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. No problem. That’s how Republicans play: They reward their wealthy base.

Increasingly it seems, Democrats, too, reward the wealthy in their base, and ignore their much larger constituency of working and middle class voters, struggling in the economy destroyec by Bush and Cheney. President Obama’s compromise was a long time coming, telegraphed for months, but depressing nonetheless. The good news is that he got a little bit more for caving than some Democrats expected. It’s great that unemployment insurance may be extended 13 months; many Americans will appreciate a payroll tax cut, an extended Earned Income Tax Credit and the latest patch of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

E.J. Dionne, Jr.: Can Democrats “Up Their Game”?

Last week, I sat down with these Democrats who were defeated in November to get their sense of what the election means for the future and how the president should respond. Their observations were more revealing than the abstractions that conventional punditry typically invokes to explain what “the people” supposedly said.

They spoke just off the floor of the House shortly after it approved an extension of the Bush tax cuts only for families earning under $250,000 a year. This vote of principle was unfairly dismissed as “symbolic,” but Perriello said something that pointed to the opportunity Obama and the Democrats had kicked away.

“Why not up the game,” he asked, “instead of playing the same old game?” Perriello was in no mood to criticize his already beleaguered party. But his comment pointed to how it might have avoided a debilitating tax cut endgame.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Arrested In London

julianassange3 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in LondonStephen Webster writes this morning at RawStory that Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange has been arrested Tuesday morning by London Metropolitan police on a warrant out of Sweden:

The Guardian reports on a statement from Metropolitan police that “Assange, 39, was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant by appointment at a London police station at 9.30 a.m.

He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.”

Assange’s attorney says they plan to fight extradition to Sweden. A full extradition hearing is expected sometime in the next 21 days. If he is successfully taken to Sweden, the Guardian noted, he could also be legally vulnerable to extradition requests from other countries as well.

His attorneys were reportedly negotiating a sum for bail, but his freedom was not certain as Swedish rape laws make bail more difficult to obtain when the charge is rape.

Assange has reportedly recorded a video statement, set to be published online later Tuesday.

Sen. Mike Enzi’s ‘Pack of Lies’ vs. 9/11 Victims

The best people America has to offer have been getting sick and dying from their heroic efforts at the World Trad Center. As you can see from this recent Daily News front page, Mike Enzi is not the only Republican to tell the 9/11 first responders and heroes to drop dead.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that provides $3.2 billion for long-term health care for rescue and construction workers at Ground Zero, plus another $4.2 billion in compensation for others who were exposed to airborne toxins will be out of time once the Republicans control the House.

These heroes who answered the call for help on September 11, 2001 and the horrible weeks that followed have been pushing hard for justice before it is too late. After a barrage of local media coverage, multiple visits to Washington from Ground Zero worker, victim’s family members pleading with the Senate and a huge bipartisan effort from tri-state politicians, one Republican has signed on. The rest have voices disagreement with Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand’s method of financing healthcare for heroes. The cloture count is now at 59 and their big day in the Senate is tomorrow.  

Now that there is some hope for a bill named after an NYPD detective who died at age 34 of a respiratory disease attributed to participation in the rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center, Mike Enzi is working hard to stop the bill from going forward. His reasoning is that the nation has already given enough.

On This Day in History: December 7

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 7 is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 24 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1787, (In) Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.

Less than four months before, the Constitution was signed by 37 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, and, by the terms of the document, the Constitution would become binding once nine of the former 13 colonies had ratified the document. Delaware led the process, and on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making federal democracy the law of the land. Government under the U.S. Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.

Delaware  is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia’s first colonial governor, after whom (what is now called) Cape Henlopen was originally named.

Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is the second smallest state in area (after Rhode Island). Estimates in 2007 rank the population of Delaware as 45th in the nation, but 6th in population density, with more than 60% of the population in New Castle County. Delaware is divided into three counties. From north to south, these three counties are New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County has been more industrialized.

The state ranks second in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce and number of patents issued to companies or individuals per 1,000 workers. The history of the state’s economic and industrial development is closely tied to the impact of the Du Pont family, founders and scions of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Before its coastline was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, located near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the thirteen colonies participating in the American Revolution and on December 7, 1787, became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.

Delaware is the home state of Vice President Joseph Biden

Morning Shinbun Tuesday December 7

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Cancún summit: Rich countries accused over £30bn climate aid promise


FBI plant banned by mosque – because he was too extreme

Tax Deal Suggests New Path for Obama


MP’s numerous Russian restaurant partners aroused suspicions

Euro collapse ‘possible’ amid deepening divisions over bail-out

Middle East

US aided stifling of Iranian arms flow to Hamas

Ruling party sweeps Egypt’s vote


It’s a war zone out there

Al-Qaeda backs massive push in Swat


Ivory Coast’s Ouattara offers jobs to Gbagbo cabinet

African diplomats fearful of US-China relationships

9th Circuit judges explore narrow routes to reinstate gay marriage

U.S. appeals court appears to be seeking a way to restore same-sex marriage in California while avoiding a decision that would send Prop. 8 to the U.S Supreme Court.

By Maura Dolan and Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times

December 7, 2010, 12:18 a.m.

Federal appeals court judges Monday seemed headed toward a decision that could reinstate same-sex marriages in California while avoiding a ruling of national sweep that would invite U.S. Supreme Court action.

The judges explored at least two routes that could achieve that goal. One would be a ruling that California, having granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, could not take them away by popular vote.

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Prime Time

Broadcast- ugh.  According to Zap2it, The Ed Show where Rachel ought to be.

So I’m an old garbage bag put in the street, huh?… These are the worst years, I tell you. It’s going to happen to you. I’m afraid to look in a mirror. I’m afraid I’m gonna see an old lady with white hair, just like the old ladies in the park with little bundles and black shawls waiting for the coffin. I’m fifty-six years old. And what am I gonna do with myself? I’ve got strength in my hands. I want to clean. I want to cook. I want to make dinner for my children. Am I an old dog to lay near the fire till my eyes close? These are terrible years, Theresa, terrible years… It’s gonna happen to you. It’s gonna happen to you! What are you gonna do if Marty gets married? Huh? What are you gonna cook? Where’s all the children playing in all the rooms? Where’s the noise? It’s a curse to be a widow, a curse! What are you gonna do if Marty gets married? What are you gonna do?


New Dave finally.  He hosts Ray Romano and John Mellencamp.  Jon has Hugh Shelton, Stephen Garry Trudeau.  Alton does roasts, Crown and otherwise.  Conan hosts Nicole Kidman, Charlie Day, and Lauren Pritchard.

BoondocksIt’s a Black President, Huey Freeman (pivotal, a must see)

Suppose I tell you exactly what’s gonna happen to you. You’re gonna be back in television. Only it won’t be quite the same as it was before. There’ll be a reasonable cooling-off period and then somebody will say: “Why don’t we try him again in a inexpensive format. People’s memories aren’t too long.” And you know, in a way, he’ll be right. Some of the people will forget, and some of them won’t. Oh, you’ll have a show. Maybe not the best hour or, you know, top 10. Maybe not even in the top 35. But you’ll have a show. It just won’t be quite the same as it was before. Then a couple of new fellas will come along. And pretty soon, a lot of your fans will be flocking around them. And then one day, somebody’ll ask: “Whatever happened to, a, whatshisname? You know, the one who was so big. The number-one fella a couple of years ago. He was famous. How can we forget a name like that? Oh by the way, have you seen, a, Barry Mills? I think he’s the greatest thing since Will Rogers.”

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

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