Town Hall Meeting

30 Nov 2010

NY Times Admits Running Story By Govt Before Publishing

Filed under: — Al @ 11:56 am

This is outright proof the US news media is mainly interested in protecting power and the powerful. It is somewhat shocking to see Executive Editor Bill Keller openly admit to running their wikileaks stories past the US government to see if THEY think something is too damaging before publishing them. Truly startling, see the interview below. I really like Carne Ross’ immediate reaction to Keller’s confession. Glenn Greenwald has a great article about the coverage of yesterday’s wikileaks story.

18 Nov 2010

The Millionaires Club

Filed under: — Al @ 12:04 pm

I knew the Senate was called “the millionaires club,” but it looks like the House is becoming its own millionaires club too.

Study: Lawmakers’ Personal Wealth Increased 16% in 2008

A new study shows members of Congress saw a boost in personal wealth as the U.S. economy suffered the worst of the economic recession. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, lawmakers’ personal wealth increased an average 16 percent between 2008 and 2009. The number of millionaires rose to 261, nearly half the total members of Congress. The median wealth of a House member topped $765,000, while the average for a senator was more than $2.3 million.

That [number of millionaires] compares to about 1 percent of Americans who lay claim to the same lofty fiscal status.

When averaging lawmakers’ minimum and maximum potential wealth for 2009, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tops the list with holdings exceeding $303.5 million. Issa is followed by a fellow Californian, Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), with $293.4 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) places third at $238.8 million.

The most popular investment among congressional members reads as a who’s who list of the most powerful corporate political forces in Washington, D.C. — companies that each spend millions, if not tens of millions of dollars each year lobbying federal officials. Many of them likewise donate millions of dollars to federal candidates each election cycle through their top employees and political action committees.

With 82 current members of Congress invested, General Electric tops this list. It’s followed by Bank of America (63), Cisco Systems (61), Proctor & Gamble (61) and Microsoft (54).

Read the entire article here

15 Nov 2010

Common Sense Solutions Really Means Dumb it Down

Filed under: — Al @ 1:38 pm

Matt Taibbi’s latest articles on the Tea Party and the Financial Collapse have been excellent, this short article gives a flavor of his good work.

“By rallying behind dingbats like Palin and Michele Bachmann — the Minnesota congresswoman who thought the movie Aladdin promoted witchcraft and insisted global warming wasn’t a threat because “carbon dioxide is natural” — the Tea Party has made anti-intellectualism itself a rallying cry.”

“…her primary complaint with the deeply flawed reform bill sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank was that it would “end free checking accounts.”

I thought 8 years of Dubya would have been enough simplicity for the century…based on the recent election, apparently a bunch of voting Americans want more of it. Sigh. Turnout appears to be about 40%, according to a GMU website.

Read the whole article here.

Taibbi’s latest on the foreclosure debacle can be found here.

03 Nov 2010

Post Election Analysis

Filed under: — Al @ 5:07 pm

Oddly I think I’m more pissed off California Prop 19 (Legalize It!) failed than anything because that would have had a direct and pretty immediate positive impact on all of us by shrinking the prisons. Here is a good analysis on what happened by Glenn Greenwald who is an excellent writer and thinker.

Pundit sloth: Blaming the left
By Glenn Greenwald

Ten minutes was the absolute maximum I could endure of any one television news outlet last night without having to switch channels in the futile search for something more bearable, but almost every time I had MNSBC on, there was Lawrence O’Donnell trying to blame “the Left” and “liberalism” for the Democrats’ political woes. Alan Grayson’s loss was proof that outspoken liberalism fails. Blanche Lincoln’s loss was the fault of the Left for mounting a serious primary challenge against her. Russ Feingold’s defeat proved that voters reject liberalism in favor of conservatism, etc. etc. It sounded as though he was reading from some crusty script jointly prepared in 1995 by The New Republic, Lanny Davis and the DLC.

There are so many obvious reasons why this “analysis” is false: Grayson represents a highly conservative district that hadn’t been Democratic for decades before he won in 2008 and he made serious mistakes during the campaign; Lincoln was behind the GOP challenger by more than 20 points back in January, before Bill Halter even announced his candidacy; Feingold was far from a conventional liberal, having repeatedly opposed his own party on multiple issues, and he ran in a
state saddled with a Democratic governor who was unpopular in the extreme. Beyond that, numerous liberals who were alleged to be in serious electoral trouble kept their seats: Barney Frank, John Dingell, Rush Holt, Raul Grijalva, and many others. But there’s one glaring, steadfastly ignored fact destroying O’Donnell’s attempt — which is merely the standard pundit storyline that has been baking for months and will now be served en masse — to blame The Left and declare liberalism dead. It’s this little inconvenient fact:

Read the Rest Here

I only have this video to add, maybe this explains it all better. All you wacky liberals “HAVE MEDDLED WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE…AND YOU…WILL…ATONE!”

Network is such a good film, despite its not so subtle way of making Arabs seems scary. It’s funny because I can see Howard Beale (the one being yelled at) as Pelosi or Obama at the end of election day yesterday, and I can also see him as a Tea Bagger upstart like Rand Paul the day he is sworn in.

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