Daily Archive: 05/09/2013

May 09 2013

Around the Blogosphere

The main purpose our blogging is to communicate our ideas, opinions, and stories both fact and fiction. The best part about the the blogs is information that we might not find in our local news, even if we read it online. Sharing that information is important, especially if it educates, sparks conversation and new ideas. We have all found places that are our favorites that we read everyday, not everyone’s are the same. The Internet is a vast place. Unlike Punting the Pundits which focuses on opinion pieces mostly from the mainstream media and the larger news web sites, “Around the Blogosphere” will focus more on the medium to smaller blogs and articles written by some of the anonymous and not so anonymous writers and links to some of the smaller pieces that don’t make it to “Pundits” by Krugman, Baker, etc.

We encourage you to share your finds with us. It is important that we all stay as well informed as we can.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

This is an Open Thread.

At Voices on the Square, contributor Glinda gives us the latest bill by the House Republicans to screw workers:

From Gaius Publius all about big, bad corn at Americablog:

At his blog, Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman is trying to understand why the hedge funders are mad at Fed chair Ben Bernanke:

and on Japan’s break up with austerity:

Need a job? Lambert at Corrente wants to know if Hillary supporters can apply for it:

and the continuing saga of the horrors of the ObamaCare Clusterfuck:

Also at Corrente, libbyliberal:

At FDL Action, Jon Walker alerts us about more shortcomings of Obamacare:

At FDL’s The Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola reports on the FBI’s disregard of civil liberties and US drone policies:

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel, on why some people just can’t atop digging:

What Charles P. Pierce at Esquire’s Politics Blog said: On War Powers

and what Atrios said:

I’d love to be able to explain Benghazi to you all, but other than it has something to do with an Arkansas land deal gone bad I really have no idea.

May 09 2013

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”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Richard (RJ) Eskow; It’s a “Big Deal” When Red-state Senators Defy Obama on Social Security Cuts

At least three senators up for reelection in Republican-leaning states next year are defying President Obama by indicating they’ll refuse to support the White House’s Social Security cuts in any “Grand Bargain” on the budget. There are a number of reasons why this is important, including the fact that it may scuttle the chance (if there ever was one) for any deal. [..]

But these Red State senators understand that their political survival depends on rejecting this repellent, ill-advised, and mean-spirited benefit cut and tax hike.  They, not the cynical hacks in the cut-promoting “Gang of Six,” represent the true center. As the “Gang” members leave office and begin their well-paid corporate afterlives, the real center is taking shape before our very eyes.

Robert Sheer: Obama Did It For the Money

The love fest between Barack Obama and his top fundraiser Penny Pritzker that has led to her being nominated as Commerce secretary would not be so unseemly if they both just confessed that they did it for the money. Her money, not his, financed his rise to the White House from less promising days back in Chicago. [..]

But don’t sell the lady short; she wasn’t swept along on some kind of celebrity joyride. Pritzker, the billionaire heir to part of the Hyatt Hotels fortune, has long been first off an avaricious capitalist, and if she backed Obama, it wasn’t for his looks. Never one to rest on the laurels of her immense inherited wealth, Pritzker has always wanted more. That’s what drove her to run Superior Bank into the subprime housing swamp that drowned the institution’s homeowners and depositors alike before she emerged richer than before.

Dean Baker: Moody’s Gets Faddish on Public Pensions

The bond-rating agency Moody’s made itself famous for giving subprime mortgage backed securities triple-A ratings at the peak of the housing bubble. This made it easy for investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to sell these securities all around the world. And it allowed the housing bubble to grow ever bigger and more dangerous. And we know where that has left us.

Well, Moody’s is back. They announced plans to change the way they treat pension obligations in assessing state and local government debt.

Instead of accepting projections of pension fund returns based on the assets they hold, Moody’s wants to use a risk-free discount rate to assess pension fund liabilities. This will make public pensions seem much worse funded than the current method.

Jim Hightower: Corporate Cowards Divert Shareholder Funds into “Dark Money”

If corporations are people, as the Supreme Court pretends, they certainly are loudmouths, constantly telling us how great they are and spreading their names everywhere.

Amazingly, though, these corporate creatures have suddenly turned demure, insisting that they don’t want to draw any attention to themselves. That’s because, in this case, corporations are not selling, they’re buying – specifically, trying to buy public office for their pet political candidates by funneling millions of corporate dollars through such front groups as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In turn, the fronts use the money to air nasty attack ads that smear the opponents of the pro-corporate candidates.

Mike Lux: Federal Government Nation’s Biggest Creator of Low-Wage Jobs: Time for Obama to Act

There was a moving and powerful event this morning at Union Station in D.C. where low-wage workers for federal contractors, leaders of the faith community, and members of Congress all did a little preaching to President Obama. Their message could not have been clearer: It is time to finally to do something real to help low wage workers step out of poverty and into the middle class. [..]

Fast-food workers in New York City, Chicago, and other cities; Wal-Mart workers all over the country have as well; truck drivers that take goods in and out of our nation’s ports; and workers at companies who contract with the federal government: They are all organizing. To hear these workers’ stories about the terrible pay, lack of benefits, and the way they are treated by abusive employers inspires me to keep fighting on their behalf every day, but it also makes me wonder: Where is Barack Obama? Didn’t he get his start in politics fighting for these kinds of workers? Hasn’t he talked repeatedly about how he is going to fight for them? Hasn’t he quoted the scripture of his faith about looking out for the least of these and being our brothers and sisters’ keeper?

Ray Barrett; The War on Terror Is Over…But Osama Bin Laden Won.

High in the mountains of Afghanistan many moons before 9/11, Osama Bin Laden told the British journalist Robert Fisk exactly what he sought to achieve through his murderous crusade against Uncle Sam.

  “I pray to God that he will permit us to turn the United States into a shadow of itself,” he said. [..]

With the al-Qaeda leader dead, the “War on Terror” morphed into a global “drone war”, and home-grown terrorism now the dominant US national security threat, history can begin to evaluate Bin Laden and his more esoteric aims. Thus, when it comes to the United States, were his prayers answered? Did he enjoy a measure of success in his quest to debase the nation?

May 09 2013

Gays are not equal members of the Democratic family.

Jim Wallis of Sojourners stabs gays in back on immigration reform

by John Aravosis, Americablog

5/9/2013 1:24am

At least we can thank Jim Wallis for confirming our worst fears, and making it official.

This legislation isn’t “comprehensive immigration reform.”  It’s not intended to address the problems American families face with immigration.  It’s not intended to make things more fair.  It’s intended to help Republicans with their Latino problem, and the rest of America be damned.

Call it the “Rubio 2016″ Act, since apparently no one is permitted to benefit from immigration reform unless Marco Rubio is wooing their votes for his presidential run in four years.  Could the Democrats be any more gullible, thinking the GOP is doing us a favor by maybe kinda sorta supporting a bill they’re actually desperate to have.

I had warned weeks ago that the fix was in, and that the professional left in town didn’t want gay Americans to benefit from immigration reform.  And Jim Wallis just proved it.  He didn’t go out on a limb, and repudiate decades of civil rights work, in order to help Richard Land.  He did it to help the mainstream progressive groups and Democratic politicians, his silent allies in this betrayal.

It’s clear in 2013 that gay Americans are not an equal member of the Democratic coalition. We’re fools.  The Democrats use us for our money, and as a foil to make Republicans look intolerant to suburban moms and youth.  And it’s increasingly looking like Latino and immigration groups used us to rally our community’s support for legislation that we’re apparently too embarrassing to even be included in.

In my nearly 30 years in Washington, DC, I’ve never seen a community invited to be a partner of a coalition that finds them so utterly icky.  It’s the old Groucho Marx joke in reverse: We only care to help the club that can’t stomach us.

Vote with your feet.  Vote with your voice.  Vote with your fingers.  Vote with your eyeballs.  Vote with your vote.

Vote with your money.

Punishment is the only language these assholes understand.

May 09 2013

The Most Busted Name In News

Do CNN’s Split-Screen Anchors Hate Each Other? Also, Jodi Arias Guilty

Philip Bump, The Atlantic Wire

May 8, 2013

In a Phoenix courthouse late Wednesday afternoon, Jodi Arias was found guilty of murder, as covered extensively by CNN’s multiple anchors, all of whom were standing fairly near one another, as they were the day before, rather inexplicably. It’s one of the more interesting mysteries that has occurred in the southwestern city in recent history: Why won’t Nancy Grace just walk over to be interviewed by Ashleigh Banfield?

As was the case on Tuesday, Banfield is clearly just out of the shot that’s picturing Grace.

What’s strange, though, is that other people are able to walk over to Banfield to be interviewed. Here, she turns to another person standing next to her.

There are a few options for why Grace didn’t do so. At the time of the Arias verdict, Grace was also anchoring CNN’s Headline News. It’s unclear if she was at the time that Banfield was speaking with her, but it may have been too cumbersome to remove her microphone, etc., and simply head down the street. (Requests for comment from CNN were not returned.) It is also possible that Grace has a contractual stipulation that mandates she not appear on-screen with another CNN personality; we frankly don’t watch her enough to know. A third possibility is that there was some sort of physical obstruction that we couldn’t see. Maybe a force field.

Previously, on CNN.

WATCH: CNN Anchor Bullies Amanda Knox Over Rumors Of ‘Sexual Deviance’

By Aviva Shen, ThinkProgress

May 8, 2013 at 7:32 pm

When Amanda Knox was accused of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007, the prosecution and the Italian media helped fuel baseless but titillating rumors that Knox was a sex fiend who killed Kercher for refusing to participate in an orgy. On Tuesday night, Chris Cuomo attempted to bully and shame the 25-year-old with his own theories about her sex life.

Cuomo peppered Knox with invasive questions about her sexual preferences, demanding to know if she was hiding “freaky sexual things.”

As Knox became more agitated and appeared to be on the verge of tears, Cuomo continued to insist that someone must have told the prosecution that Knox had a secret kinky sex life, even asserting, “you’re a freak!”

May 09 2013

On This Day In History May 9

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.

Click on images to enlarge

May 9 is the 129th day of the year (130th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 236 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1860, James Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, is born in Scotland.

Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (included in The ), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, a “fairy play” about this ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. This play quickly overshadowed his previous work and although he continued to write successfully, it became his best-known work, credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon previously. Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them.

Peter Pan

The classic Peter Pan starring Mary Martin. This is the 1960 version for NBC. Has been very limited in its showing. The DVD is long out of print and expensive to own.