470 BCE painting on the tomb of a diver
In short, Members of Congress: if you can, just pass the President's bill on middle-class taxes, and, if you can, eliminate the domestic sequester. Then, please go home. Enjoy the holidays. Come back in January prepared to extend unemployment insurance, to phase out the payroll tax holiday gradually, to restore stable funding to necessary programs and to start dealing with our real problems: jobs, foreclosures, infrastructure and climate change.
-- James K. Galbraith
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News and Opinion
Doesn't mention the kinds of cuts he himself has put on the table and needs to get honest about the rest of his deal plans.
Obama: "Fiscal cliff" would be "a Scrooge Christmas"
HATFIELD, PA. Shifting the arguments for his tax cut plan into holiday mode, President Obama said Friday it would be "like a lump of coal you get for Christmas," if Congress doesn't act to extend middle class tax cuts on his terms.
"That's a Scrooge Christmas," said Mr. Obama of the possibility that Americans will have to pay more in income taxes starting January 1.
Addressing workers at the Rodon Group factory that makes Tinkertoy, Lincoln Logs and K'nex Angry Birds building sets[...]
"In Washington's nothing's easy," he told his audience at the toy company. "So there's gonna be some prolonged negotiations and all of us are gonna have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen."
He again urged like-minded Americans to write, phone and tweet their members of Congress to go along with the president's plan.
Chicagoans to Erect Tent City Against "Fiscal Cliff" Austerity Negotiations #durbinville
In what might well become a model for popular resistance to the 1%'s "Fiscal Cliff" austerity negotiations happening now in Washington D.C., activists in Chicago are planning a shantytown encampment of Federal Plaza -- a tangible portent of exactly where austerity is taking us.As part of the ongoing “fiscal cliff” discussions, Senator Durbin is negotiating behind our backs to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – cuts that could create depression-era conditions for millions of Americans who’ve paid for and earned support from these vital programs.
Join us on December 6th at noon to tell Senator Durbin that we won't go back! On December 6, we're building a Durbinville Shantytown encampment at the Federal Building to symbolize the dire consequences these cuts could have, and fight to preserve these essential programs. Join us! And bring a tent!
The “Fiscal Cliff” Fraud
Behind the orchestrated wrangling between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans over averting the supposed catastrophe of automatic tax increases and budget cuts due to take effect January 1, the details of plans to impose unprecedented cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are being worked out behind the backs of the American people.
'Fix the Debt': How 1%ers Build a Mass Movement for Millionaires
The Fixers: How Fix the Debt Won Over Wall Street and Built a Fiscal Cliff Army
Fix the Debt prefers to keep its behind-the-scenes operations under wraps. Most on-the-record comments are a mishmash of platitudes about shared sacrifice and working together for the good of the country. But interviews with a number of organizers and CEO council members point to a massive networking effort among one-percenters — one that relies on strategically exploiting existing business relationships and appealing to patriotic and economic instincts.
The roots of the movement were planted last September, at a series of private dinners held at the home of Virginia Senator Mark Warner, and hosted by Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. In attendance were budget experts like Alice Rivlin and politically active CEOs including David Cote of Honeywell and Mark Bertolini of Aetna. MacGuineas, a longtime Peterson ally, told the CEOs that their help — along with the support of small-business leaders and private citizens — could help steer the conversation about the deficit in a way that could essentially save the economy from Washington’s gridlock.
When Fix the Debt was officially launched in July, it had a working budget of about $3 million, and the most visible talking heads were the group's centrist political figures: Simpson, Bowles, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, and former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg. MacGuineas was the official spokesperson. But that changed as Cote, Bertolini, and other early organizers like BlackRock chief Larry Fink began reaching out to their fellow business titans, setting up small lunches and dinner meetings, and bringing new recruits into the fold. Executives recruited their friends, board members, and clients, who then dug into their own networks on the group's behalf. “CEO Tools” were given to members to use in pitching the Fix the Debt platform, including sample letters to employees and Powerpoint decks to “communicate the debt story in a visual way.”
A vast and powerful fund-raising machine emerged. Cote and other non-bank CEOs targeted their peers in the Fortune 500, while Simpson and Bowles leaned on their various political and corporate connections (Bowles, a board member of Morgan Stanley, is said to have gotten the bank’s CEO, James Gorman, in the mix). Steven Rattner and James B. Lee, Jr., it was decided, would head up the Wall Street push.
Report: Israeli spy satellites spot Iranian ship being loaded with rockets for Gaza
According to Sunday Times, cargo may include Fajr-5 rockets and Shahab-3 ballistic missiles; Israeli source: Despite cease-fire deal, we will attack any Gaza-bound arms shipment. By Haaretz | Nov.25, 2012
The cargo would travel via the Red Sea, Sudan and Egypt, following a well-established route used by Iran to smuggle arms into Gaza, the Times reported.
“We believe that Iranian warships anchored in Eritrea will accompany the weapons ship as soon as it enters the Red Sea,” an Israeli source told the Times.
“Regardless of the cease-fire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it,” an Israeli defense source told the Times.
Brzezinski: US won't follow Israel like a stupid mule
Published on Nov 29, 2012
Leading US strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski rejects Israeli pressure to form American national security policy by beating the drum for war on Iran. Washington would not blindly follow Tel-Aviv if Israel chooses to unilaterally strike Iran, he said
U.S. condemns Israel's settlement expansion plan in Jerusalem, West Bank
White House says decision to build 3,000 new homes in settlements is 'counterproductive'; Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat condemns move, says Israel is 'defying the whole international community.'
The U.S on Friday condemned the Israeli decision to build 3,000 new homes in the settlements, which came as a response to the UN vote to upgrade Palestine's status to a non-member observer state.
[Yes Men] Followed and Surveilled by Global Intelligence Company Stratfor
Published on Nov 29, 2012
Luke Rudkowski got a chance to speak with Andy Bichlbaum, 1/2 of the Yes Men, at a press conference for hacktivist Jeremy Hammond. Andy is an artist, activist, film maker, and the co-creator of the infamous Yes Men. The December 2011 hack of Stratfor reveled that Andy was being followed and surveilled by Stratfor at the request of Dow Chemical for his work with the Yes Men to support the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.
Occupy Sandy: A Human Response to the New Realities of Climate Changefake NYPD Drones signs read: "Always Watching" and "Drones: Protection When You Least Expect It." 56 charges! Talk about an overreaction! Hope the judge throws it out.
If you missed last night's guerilla premiere of academy-award nominated director Josh Fox's new film "Occupy Sandy: A Human Response to the New Realities of Climate Change," you can watch it in its entirety[...].
The study found that the mixture of oil and dispersant can create a mixture 52 times more toxic than the oil itself.
“There is a synergistic interaction between crude oil and the dispersant that makes it more toxic,” said study co-author and Georgia Tech biologist Terry Snell.
PHEW: NYPD Arrests Man Who Allegedly Put Up Posters Making Fun Of NYPD
In the months since they appeared we had plumb forgotten about those funny fake NYPD drone ads that popped up around town to commemorate the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. But the NYPD sure didn't.
Attia was charged with "56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny possession of stolen property and weapons possession after allegedly having an unloaded .22-caliber revolver under his bed at his Manhattan apartment when he was arrested early Wednesday."
"What a great use of NYPD resources," he told us in an email dripping in sarcasm. "The city is much safer now that this dangerous thought-provoking artist has been apprehended."
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
The Band - The Shape I'm In - Vancouver 1983
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky