Daily Archive: 01/04/2011

Jan 04 2011

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”.

Robert Reich: The Big Lie

Republicans are telling Americans a big lie, and Obama and the Democrats are letting them. The Big Lie is that our economic problems are due to a government that’s too large, and therefore the solution is to shrink it.

The truth is our economic problems stem from the biggest concentration of income and wealth at the top since 1928, combined with stagnant incomes for most of the rest of us. The result: Americans no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going at full capacity. Since the debt bubble burst, most Americans have had to reduce their spending; they need to repay their debts, can’t borrow as before, and must save for retirement.

Joseph E. Stiglitz: Common Sense, Not Austerity, in 2011

New Year’s Hope against Hope

The time has come for New Year’s resolutions, a moment of reflection. When the last year hasn’t gone so well, it is a time for hope that the next year will be better.

For Europe and the United States, 2010 was a year of disappointment. It’s been three years since the bubble broke, and more than two since Lehman Brothers’ collapse. In 2009, we were pulled back from the brink of depression, and 2010 was supposed to be the year of transition: as the economy got back on its feet, stimulus spending could smoothly be brought down.

Growth, it was thought, might slow slightly in 2011, but it would be a minor bump on the way to robust recovery. We could then look back at the Great Recession as a bad dream; the market economy – supported by prudent government action – would have shown its resilience.

In fact, 2010 was a nightmare. The crises in Ireland and Greece called into question the euro’s viability and raised the prospect of a debt default. On both sides of the Atlantic, unemployment remained stubbornly high, at around 10%. Even though 10% of US households with mortgages had already lost their homes, the pace of foreclosures appeared to be increasing – or would have, were not it not for legal snafus that raised doubts about America’s vaunted “rule of law.”

Paul Krugman: Deep Hole Economics

If there’s one piece of economic wisdom I hope people will grasp this year, it’s this: Even though we may finally have stopped digging, we’re still near the bottom of a very deep hole.  

Why do I need to point this out? Because I’ve noticed many people overreacting to recent good economic news. What particularly concerns me is the risk of self-denying optimism – that is, I worry that policy makers will look at a few favorable economic indicators, decide that they no longer need to promote recovery, and take steps that send us sliding right back to the bottom.

So, about that good news: various economic indicators, ranging from relatively good holiday sales to new claims for unemployment insurance (which have finally fallen below 400,000 a week), suggest that the great post-bubble retrenchment may finally be ending.

Jan 04 2011

On This Day in History January 4

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.

January 4 is the fourth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 361 days remaining until the end of the year (362 in leap years).

On this day in 1987, Spanish guitar great Andres Segovia arrives in the United States for his final American tour. He died four months later in Madrid at the age of 94.

Segovia was hailed for bringing the Spanish guitar from relative obscurity to classical status. Born in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia–the original home of the guitar–Segovia studied the piano and cello as a child but soon became captivated with the guitar. Knowing of no advanced teachers of an instrument that was generally banished to the cafes, he taught himself and in 1909 gave his first public performance at the age of 15. To successfully render classical material, Segovia invented countless new techniques for the guitar, and by his first appearance in Paris in 1924, he was a virtuoso. His American debut came four years later in New York City.

Jan 04 2011

Six In The Morning

Texas Where Even The Innocent Are Guilty  



Texas man who spent 30 years in prison likely to have conviction quashed

An exoneration hearing for Cornelius Dupree Jr. is scheduled for Tuesday in Dallas. If his conviction is overturned, he would have spent more time wrongly imprisoned than any other DNA exoneree in Texas.

The district attorney’s office said on Monday it supports Dupree’s innocence claim.

Dupree was charged in 1979 with raping and robbing a 26-year-old woman and sentenced in 1980 to 75 years in prison for aggravated robbery.

He was released on parole in July. DNA test results came back 10 days after his release, excluding him as the rapist.

Jan 04 2011

Tags

Today is the six month anniversary of The Stars Hollow Gazette and while it’s not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things we could be doing worse.  We have an impressive array of Twitter followers (Facebook?  Pfui!) and a fair number of visits and page hits (not as grand as some, but better than others) and a panoply of content I’d compare to anyone’s.

Mostly favorably.

Anyway, I’ve personally posted some pieces that didn’t revolt me in retrospect and some which may merit future revisiting just to flaunt in my face how wrong and misguided I’ve been.

I’d like to make that as easy as possible without a kick ass search engine like jotter’s and so, since I haven’t written meta in a while, I’d like to talk to you today about Tags.

It gets Geeky below the fold.

Jan 04 2011

IOKIYAR: Providing Material Support for Terrorism

If a Democratic delegation did this, do you think that these right winger would be quiet? Would there be virtual crickets from the media? “Off with their heads!!!” would be the cry.

Glen Greenwald: Leading conservatives openly support a Terrorist group

Imagine if a group of leading American liberals met on foreign soil with — and expressed vocal support for — supporters of a terrorist group that had (a) a long history of hateful anti-American rhetoric, (b) an active role in both the takeover of a U.S. embassy and Saddam Hussein’s brutal 1991 repression of Iraqi Shiites, (c) extensive financial and military support from Saddam, (d) multiple acts of violence aimed at civilians, and (e) years of being designated a “Terrorist organization” by the U.S. under Presidents of both parties, a designation which is ongoing? The ensuing uproar and orgies of denunciation would be deafening.

But on December 23, a group of leading conservatives — including Rudy Giuliani and former Bush officials Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, and Fran Townsend — [Imagine if a group of leading American liberals met on foreign soil with — and expressed vocal support for — supporters of a terrorist group that had (a) a long history of hateful anti-American rhetoric, (b) an active role in both the takeover of a U.S. embassy and Saddam Hussein’s brutal 1991 repression of Iraqi Shiites, (c) extensive financial and military support from Saddam, (d) multiple acts of violence aimed at civilians, and (e) years of being designated a “Terrorist organization” by the U.S. under Presidents of both parties, a designation which is ongoing? The ensuing uproar and orgies of denunciation would be deafening.

But on December 23, a group of leading conservatives — including Rudy Giuliani and former Bush officials Michael Mukasey, Tom Ridge, and Fran Townsend — did exactly that. In Paris, of all places, they appeared at a forum organized by supporters of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) — a group declared by the U.S. since 1997 to be “terrorist organization” — and expressed wholesale support for that group. Worse — on foreign soil — they vehemently criticized their own country’s opposition to these Terrorists and specifically “demanded that Obama instead take the group off the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations and incorporate it into efforts to overturn the mullah-led government in Tehran.” In other words, they are calling on the U.S. to embrace this Saddam-supported, U.S.-hating Terrorist group and recruit them to help overthrow the government of Iran. To a foreign audience, Mukasey denounced his own country’s opposition to these Terrorists as “nothing less than an embarrassment.” did exactly that]. In Paris, of all places, they appeared at a forum organized by supporters of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK) — a group declared by the U.S. since 1997 to be “terrorist organization” — and expressed wholesale support for that group. Worse — on foreign soil — they vehemently criticized their own country’s opposition to these Terrorists and specifically “demanded that Obama instead take the [] group off the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations and incorporate it into efforts to overturn the mullah-led government in Tehran.” In other words, they are calling on the U.S. to embrace this Saddam-supported, U.S.-hating Terrorist group and recruit them to help overthrow the government of Iran. To a foreign audience, Mukasey denounced his own country’s opposition to these Terrorists as “nothing less than an embarrassment”

(emphasis mine)

The “richest” part of this is Fran Townsend’s involvement

Amazingly, Fran Townsend, on CNN, hailed the Supreme Court’s decision in Humanitarian Law — the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the DOJ’s view that one can be guilty of “material support for terrorism” simply by talking to or advocating for a Terrorist group — and enthusiastically agreed when Wolf Blitzer said, while interviewing her: “If you’re thinking about even voicing support for a terrorist group, don’t do it because the government can come down hard on you and the Supreme Court said the government has every right to do so.” Yet “voicing support for a terrorist group” is exactly what Townsend is now doing — and it makes her a criminal under the very Supreme Court ruling that she so gleefully praised.

(author’s emphasis)

Not that the Obama administration DOJ will notice. Look the other way

Jan 04 2011

Prime Time

Lots of premiers on Broadcast, none worth watching other than Robert E. Lee on American Experience.  LoDo is back (unfortunately).  So are Jon and Stephen (and there was much rejoicing).

You start running a respectable business and I won’t have to come in here and hassle you every night. You know what I mean? And I want the rest of you cowboys to know something, there’s a new sheriff in town. And his name is Reggie Hammond. So y’all be cool. Right on.

Later-

Dave hosts Brian Williams (ugh) and Paula Abdul.  Jon has Paul Giamatti, Stephen Ed Rendell.  Alton does Porterhouse and Pork Tenderloin.  Conan in repeats from 11/22.

You know what I am? I’m your worst fuckin’ nightmare, man. I’m a nigger with a badge which means I got permission to kick your fuckin’ ass whenever I feel like it!

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Jan 04 2011

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Mediators shuttle between I.Coast presidents to end crisis

by Christophe Koffi, AFP

56 mins ago

ABIDJAN (AFP) – African mediators Monday held “useful” talks with Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo, who is facing the threat of military action if he does not stand down in favour of his rival after disputed polls.

“We will return,” said Benin President Boni Yayi, standing alongside a smiling Gbagbo after around two hours of talks aimed at ending his deadly stand-off with the man the world says is president, Alassane Ouattara.

Yayi and the presidents of Sierra Leone and Cape Verde were in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan as mediators for the regional bloc ECOWAS for the second time in a week in a bid to end the bitter crisis.