High Treason! Ron Paul, Kucinich, Bernard Kerik by William Mac (video)

Dandelion Salad

ThisWeekInTime

This Week in Time

http://www.thisweekintime.com

This week in time from November 5th to November 10th has been all about high treason.

Ron Paul raises 4.2 Million because of the gunpowder plot.

Kucinich wants to impeach Bush, but he needs to find the time in between making out with his really hot wife!

Bernard Kerik is somehow separate from all those whom he has been associated with like Rudy Giuliani.

see

Paul-Ron

Impeach

Kucinich-Dennis

Olbermann: Lock Up + My Way or the Highway + Falefel Fawta + Credo of Fear + Worst Person (videos)

Ex-Publisher’s Suit Plays a Giuliani-Kerik Angle h/t: CLG

Dennis Kucinich on Tucker (video)

Olbermann: Lock Up + My Way or the Highway + Falefel Fawta + Credo of Fear + Worst Person (videos)

Dandelion Salad

heathr234

November 13, 2007

Countdown: Falefel Fawta

Bill O’Reilly decided to attack Mark Cuban for financing the film Redacted. Keith gives his report on O’Reilly’s typical threatening tactics and phony crusades.

Lock Up, A History

Mark Cuban’s response to Bill O’Reilly charges and Bruce Fein weighs in to correct some of O’Reilly’s distorted historical references.

My Way or the Highway

President Bush wants his funding for the occupation in Iraq but anything that the Democrats want to spend money on is a bad thing. Keith gives his report on the cost of the war and the Democrats threat for no more funding until there is a troop withdrawal. Johnathon Alter weighs in.

Credo of Fear

Keith gives his report on Tom Tancredo’s latest fear mongering political campaign ad. Arianna Huffington weighs in.

Worst Person

And the winner is….Rep. Thad McCotter. Runners up Brent Bozell and Keith Olbermann.

see

Ex-Publisher’s Suit Plays a Giuliani-Kerik Angle h/t: CLG

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Impeachment & Health Care & More (videos)

Dandelion Salad

Kucinich2008

Sunday November 11, 2007 Elizabeth Kucinich arrived in Denver to attend the Colorado for Kucinich fundraiser brunch held at the Mercury Café. The Mercury Café is one of Denver’s alternative hotspots and has led the way in greening Denver by installing solar panels and wind turbines. The Mercury has been sponsoring bio diesel support groups, and owner Marilyn McGinnity is a great supporter of the Kucinich campaign.

The turn out was large and Kucinich was well received. Colorado4Kucinch organizers stressed the need to get Kucinich supporters out to the precinct caucus process which is held on February 5, 2008. Colorado does not hold a presidential preference primary. Campaign organizers urged members of the audience to remind their friends that December 5, 2007 is the deadline for registering to vote as a Democrat in order to be eligible to participate in the Democratic caucus process.

Paige Tompson introduced Elizabeth Kucinich who took the stage and gave a brief talk about the campaign and some key issues before saying she really wanted to hear from the audience, and answer any questions they may have about issues or the campaign.

Video by Mark Benner
Added: November 13, 2007

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Green Possibilities

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about the Prison Systems

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Nuclear Power and Iran

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Voting Integrity

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXKGlBlW32Q

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Universal Health Care

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about NASA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG6z0jg0TlM

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about Nuclear Power

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBLZm07cydc

Elizabeth Kucinich talks about NAFTA

Elizabeth Kucinich at the Mercury Café Denver Colorado

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEHbXa6QjLs

A Nation on borrowed time By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
11/12/07 “ICH

On Monday, Asian stock markets took another drubbing on fears that the credit squeeze which began in the United States would continue to worsen in the months ahead. Every index from Tokyo to Sidney fell sharply continuing the “self-reinforcing” vicious cycle of losses started last week on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 average fell 3.3%, India’s Sensex dropped 2.9%, Taiwan tumbled 3.5%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slumped a whopping 4.5%. The subprime tsunami is presently headed towards downtown Manhattan, where nervous traders are already hunkered-down in the trenches—ashen and wide-eyed– awaiting the opening bell. Local supermarkets reported an unexpected early–morning run on Valium and Tylenol. Good thinking.

Amid the deluge of bad news over the weekend; one story towers above all the others. The yen gained 1.5% against the dollar. (9% year-over-year) That means that Wall Street’s biggest swindle, the carry trade, is finally unwinding. The over-levered hedge funds will now be forced to sell their positions quickly before the interest-rate window slams shut and they’re stuck with humongous bets they cannot cover. The faltering yen is the grease that lubricates the guillotine. $1 trillion in low interest loans–which keeps the trading whirring along in US markets–is about to get a haircut. Cheap Japanese credit is the hidden flywheel in Hedgistan’s main-cylinder. Once it is removed, the industry will seize-up and clank to a halt. Fund managers can forget about the vacation rental in the Hamptons. It’ll be sloppy Joes and Schlitz Malt-liquor on Coney Island from here on out.

It’s easy to feel self-righteous when things turn out the way we anticipate. The markets deliver a type of impartial justice that we no longer expect from the courts or the government. When fundamentals are breached for too long, the market’s “terrible swift sword” quickly descends leaving the offending party in a pool of his own blood. Then, progressively, market-balance is restored.

Over the weekend Deutsche Bank announced that losses from “securitized” subprime mortgages were likely to reach $400 billion. The news sparked a sell-off in the Asian markets where investors have become increasingly eager to pare down their holdings of US equities and dollar-backed assets. Overnight, the greenback has become the leper at the birthday party; everyone is steering clear for fear of contagion. Foreign central banks are looking for any opportunity to dump their stockpiles of dollars in a manner that doesn’t disrupt their economies or the global financial system. Their intentions may be prudent—even honorable—but it won’t forestall the inevitable blow-off of USDs that is likely to commence as soon as the financial giants reveal the real size of their losses. New regulations have been put in place that will require the banks to provide “market prices” for their assets. This will expose the degree to which they are under-capitalized. When word gets out that the banking system is underwater; there’ll be a run on the dollar.

On Sunday, the AFP reported that the Group of Seven richest nations (G7) is considering direct “intervention” in the dollar’s decline to prevent a “disorderly correction”.

“It is not too early contemplating the risk of coordinated interventions by the G7,” said Stephen Jen and Charles St-Arnaud of investment bank Morgan Stanley. “History shows that multilateral, coordinated interventions have been key in establishing turning points in multi-year trends in major currencies in the past three decades.”

So now, the ailing greenback is being offered crutches just to keep it from tipping over? How pathetic is that?

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson reiterated the same tired mantra, “A strong dollar is in our nation’s interest and should be based on economic fundamentals.”

Paulson needs to retire. He’s simply not up to the task. The problems facing the markets, the dollar and global economy will take more than his bland fabrications to resolve.

According to Bloomberg News: “More than $350 billion of collateralized debt obligations comprising asset-backed securities may become ‘distressed’ because of credit rating downgrades.”

What’s clear is that the situation is getting worse, not better. Honesty must at least be considered as one of many options, although the Treasury Dept avoids that choice like the plague. Eventually, the public will have to be told about what is going on or there could be social turmoil. Is that what Bush and Paulson want; more mayhem?

Last week, the Financial Times reported: “In recent days, investors have been presented with a stream of high-profile signs that sentiment in the financial world is deteriorating. However, deep in one esoteric corner of finance, another, little-known set of numbers is provoking growing concern. So-called correlation – a concept that shows how slices of complex pools of credit derivatives trade relative to each other – has been moving in unusual ways… ‘What we are seeing in the synthetic [derivative] markets is that there is a serious fear of systemic risk,’ says Michael Hampden-Turner, credit strategist at Citigroup. ‘This is not just about price correlation within the collateralized debt obligation market, but about a potential rise in default correlation and asset correlation.’ …Until recently, traders often tended to assume that there was relatively little correlation between different chunks of debt, because they thought that the biggest risk to the world was idiosyncratic in nature – meaning that while one company, say, might suddenly default, it was unlikely that numerous companies would default at the same time. However, some regulators have been warning for some time that in times of stress correlation does not always behave as traders might expect.”

The multi-trillion dollar derivatives industry—which has never been tested in down-market conditions—is now moving sideways. No one really knows what this means except that the most-opaque and volatile debt-instruments are now threatening to unravel triggering a cascade of unanticipated defaults and a colossal loss of market capitalization. Credit default swaps (CDS) are rarely thrashed out in market commentary. They are counterparty options which provide hedging against the prospect of default. They are, in fact, a financial Sirocco which is steadily gathering strength as foreclosures mount and mortgage-backed bonds continue to implode. As the Financial Times suggests, the gale-force gusts from this monster should be sweeping through the Wall Street trading pits in the very near future knocking down everything in its path.

There are also new developments on the sale of “marked to model” CDOs—the red-haired stepchild of the new structured finance paradigm. “The trustee of a $1.5 billion collateralized debt obligation managed by State Street Global Advisors has started selling assets, apparently starting a process of liquidation,” Standard and Poor’s said. The sale is a red flag for the other holders of $1.5 trillion of CDOs who’ve been waiting for market conditions to change before they try to sell their mortgage-backed bonds. The liquidation will assign a “market price” to these complex structured investment vehicles. If the price at auction is mere pennies on the dollar, then the banks, pension funds, and insurance companies will have write down their losses of add to their reserves to cover their weakening assets. Simply put, the State Street sale could turn out to be doomsday for a number of under-capitalized investment banks. Their revenues are already down; this would be the last wooden stake to the heart.

Finally, Greg Noland, at Prudent Bear.com reports on the “looming disaster” at Fannie Mae where, the best-known Government Sponsored Entity (GSE) has entered into the current housing slump with a “Book of Business of mortgages, MBS and other credit guarantees of $2.7 trillion” which is backed by a measly “$39.9 billion of Shareholder’s Equity”.

That’s all?!?

As Noland opines, “A devastating housing bust will bankrupt the mortgage insurers, while the solvency of their derivatives counterparties going forward will be in doubt in any number of scenarios. The GSEs are now integrally linked to what I expect to be Credit insurance’s and “structured finance’s” astonishing downfall.”

Amen.

For now, the stock market may slip the noose, but tomorrow could be different. The subprime orgy of endless credit expansion, speculative frenzy and murky accounting wizardry has generated a system-wide crisis. The financial apparatus has thrown a rod and is in dire need of repair. At the same time, the big-hand continues to edge ever-closer to midnight. We’re on borrowed time. The dollar is flagging, the banks are floundering, the consumer is upside-down, and Greenspan’s trillion-dollar “easy-credit” dirigible is crashing to earth.

The only thing looking up is oil futures. And they’ll be denominated in euros soon enough.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The free market vs. global health by Jason Tockman

Dandelion Salad

by Jason Tockman
Global Research, November 13, 2007
stwr.net

When the global economy settled into the Chicago School of Economics’ visible hands in the early 1980s, the health sector was by no means exempted. The face of health services and health policy was deeply impacted, and over subsequent years would swap the comprehensive Alma Ata ‘health for all’ idealism of 1978 for a narrower focus on the health intervention for small number of diseases. The shift in health policy exemplified the era’s general migration from Keynesian social democracy and corporatist development to the anti-development market hegemony of the Washington Consensus. The de-articulation of the State in the area of health care, replaced by the primacy of the market and privatization of the sector, would have profound impacts on those living in the most extreme conditions of poverty around the world.

The move from social democratic to neoliberal strategies for health governance represented not merely an unfortunate retreat by the global community in terms of its willingness to confront one of the world’s most vital development concerns, but also a regression into the logic of self-interest rooted in a quasi-religious faith in Adam Smith’s invisible hand. However, the reason that the free market’s hand cannot be seen probably has less to do with invisibility, and more with its absence. That is to say market principles cannot be trusted to distribute health services, as they are rendered inaccessible to some of the people who most need them. It is only through deliberative action by social forces, employing a redistributionist agenda, that universal access to health care could conceivably be realized.

Global health governance in two acts

Two distinct periods mark the contemporary thinking and practice of global health governance. The first, stretching from the end of the second World War to 1980, is rooted in the Keynesian or social democratic idea that one of the essential roles of the state is to strive to meet the needs of society. In terms of health, this meant the expansion of government-funded programs with the ambitious but generally elusive goal of universal coverage. However, with the onset of the 1980s debt crises and debilitating inflation rates, ‘developing’ countries of the world warmed to the Washington Consensus doctrine of an austere State in which the priority of balancing financial accounts left little room for ambitious health programs. Following the advice of the international financial institutions and the U.S. Treasury Department, most of the world accepted the neoliberal framework, swallowing the bitter pill of shock treatment as a necessary evil on the road to stability. One of those shocks would turn out to be access to health care by those living in poverty.

With the adoption of the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, global health governance within the United Nations, and subsequently the World Health Organization (WHO), advanced toward a framework of universality, egalitarianism and multilateralism. The Declaration ambitiously set a deadline (now long passed) to achieve a benchmark in global health: “the attainment by all peoples of the world by the year 2000 of a level of health that will permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life.” The Alma Ata agenda included the concept that health is a human right, and affirmed that States and the international community have a responsibility to provide comprehensive primary health care, complemented by health initiatives undertaken at the family and community level.

In the early 1980s, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) oversaw the implementation of neoliberalism around the world. Public health joined other social services in being recast within a market framework. Across the Third World, frayed but tangible social safety nets were replaced by things somewhat less concrete than nets: ideas and promises, framed in a model presented as the only remaining option. The ‘end of history’ had arrived, and with it the foremost question of political economy had been settled: the State should adopt a subservient economic role to let the market do its job. One of the tenets of the new consensus was the efficient provision of social services, which included an opening for the private sector into what was previously, in many instances, principally or entirely a public domain; the incorporation of competition into the provision of social services; and the application of user fees. Under the new framework, the commitment to primary health care was stripped bare, replaced by a much more limited strategy that sought to address a narrow range of health interventions while ignoring the broader health context.

By the early 1990s, many began to question the uneven economic outcomes that accompanied the neoliberal framework. The World Bank initiated a series of programs to address issues of equity, such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt reduction initiative and micro-credit lending, which provided some relief to impoverished countries and people while maintaining its free market approach and continued conditionality. In its 1993 World Development Report, “Investing in Health”, the Bank advocating for open competition between public and private health care service providers, the elimination of protections for domestic suppliers, and reduced government spending on high-cost, tertiary medical facilities and training. The State’s focus should be on providing low-cost clinics for essential services and maintaining health policy frameworks in which both the public and private sector can operate side-by-side. Such an approach, they argued, represents a practical strategy for confronting the scarcity of health resources. Competition among suppliers of health services will reduce the cost of service, improving access and the ability to deliver health care to a broader segment of the population, the Bank reasoned.

By 2000, the global health agenda was centered on private-public partnerships and stakeholder participation, maintaining the limited role for the State. This theme of a circumscribed State was also the centerpiece in the ascendant power of the third pillar of neoliberalism, the World Trade Organization (WTO). To the present day, privatization and market principles continue to occupy the centre of the global health agenda, under the purview of the WTO, international financial institutions and aid agencies.

Challenging the neoliberal order

Critics of the neoliberal approach to health have leveled their guns at privatization, arguing that social services like health are a public good that must remain in public hands. The development of a separate, private health regime, explains the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the BC Health Coalition, leads to two-tiered provisioning and draws financial resources away from the public system and into the private realm. With the development of a private system, profit-motivated providers begin to practice ‘cream-skimming’, the attendance to easy-to-treat patients, thereby minimizing risk while maximizing income, and for recruiting talented physicians away from public service into the private sector since they are typically able to offer them higher salaries. Such a dichotomy inevitably reinforces existing social inequalities and de-valorizes the public system, potentially rendering it unsustainable.

One of the principal loci for global health debates in recent years is the patent protections codified within the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of the WTO. In the TRIPS Agreement, countries were restricted from providing patent-protected drugs, except through direct purchasing from the patent holder, including the development of generic alternatives. The impact of this language has been an incalculable number of deaths of people priced out of access to life saving medicines.

Various researchers have looked at the empirical effects of the expansion of global markets on health. In the southern India state of Kerala, Thankappan linked neoliberal reforms, including social sector expenditure reductions and the imposition of user fees, to a five-fold increase in health care costs, regressively affecting the poorest people of Kerala at a rate of 768% as compared to the richest, whose costs rose by only 254%. He also found a decrease in the quality of the public health system, as budgetary limitations affected the availability of supplies, including drugs. The Third World Network similarly documented the decreased usage of health facilities in four African countries after the introduction of health care user fees. Studies conducted by Janes in Mongolia found that the effect of privatization in the secondary and tertiary areas of the health system alongside a universal yet limited public system of primary care was that it created an uneven, fragmented system that denied access of care above the primary level to the vulnerable poor, and resulted in heightened maternal mortality among rural poor women. And in Latin America, Hershberg and Rosen argue that the reduction of state expenditures on public health and the shift of resources toward privatized health care shrank already inadequate and underfunded systems. A final area that has been impacted by neoliberal restructuring is that of government spending on social programs, including sanitation and health infrastructure. The reduction of public expenditures has for more than two decades been one of the conditions demanded of countries that sought loans from the IMF and World Bank. The result was described by Hong as a “drastic decline in [disease] control and prevention measures”. Chossudovsky has documented the linkage of budget cuts and the resurgence of deadly diseases including cholera, yellow fever and malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa; malaria and dengue in South America; malaria, tuberculosis and diarrhea in Vietnam; and the bubonic and pneumonic plague in India.

Among the voices calling for a new approach to global health governance, some posit that health services in ‘developing’ countries can be improved through piecemeal modifications to the present order, such as the relaxation of patent protections and the allocation of more resources toward health. The Third World Network and other groups based in the Global South, as well as many northern non-governmental organizations, more accurately contend that much deeper action is necessary, and that only through a wholesale abandonment of the neoliberal model can the structural root causes of poor health be addressed. At the foundation of neoliberalism is the belief that the State must assume a minimalist role, which is both inherently contradictory to equitable access to health and the process of development, and contrary to the 1978 commitment made by the majority of the world in Alma Ata.

Useful sources

1. Chossudovsky, M. (2003). The Globalisation of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, Global Research, Montreal. 2003.

2. Hershberg, E. and F. Rosen (2006) Latin America After Neoliberalism: Turning the Tide in the 21st Century? New York, NY: The New Press.

3. Hong, E. (2000). “Globalisation and the Impact on Health A Third World View.” Penang, Indonesia: Third World Network.

4. Janes, C., O. Chuluundorj, C. Hilliard, K. Rak and K. Janchiv (2006). “Poor medicine for poor people? Assessing the impact of neoliberal reform on health care equity in a post-socialist context.” Global Public Health, 1(1). Pp 5-30.

5. Katz, A. (2005). “Reappropriating Health for All, By and For the People, After 25 years of Neoliberal Capture”. Geneva, Switzerland: People’s Health Movement.

6. Priest, A., M. Rachlis and M. Cohen (2007). “Why Wait? Public Solutions to Cure Surgical Waitlists.” Vancouver, BC: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the BC Health Coalition.

7. Thomas, C. and M. Weber (2004). “The Politics of Global Health Governance: “The Politics of Global Health Governance: Whatever Happened to ‘Health for All by the Year 2000’?” Global Governance 10. Pp 187–205.

Global Research Articles by Jason Tockman
The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Jason Tockman, stwr.net, 2007
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7321

A Cold Rain: Excerpt from Neck Deep By Robert, Sam and Nat Parry

Dandelion Salad

By Robert, Sam and Nat Parry
Consortium News
November 13, 2007

Editor’s Note: On Saturday, Nov. 17, the three authors of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush will be appearing together for the first time at a book talk and signing. The event will be held at the new Busboys and Poets restaurant in the Shirlington Village section of Arlington, Virginia. [For the invitation, click here. For more details, click here.]

In anticipation of that talk, Consortiumnews.com is publishing the book’s opening chapter, which describes a dreary winter day almost seven years ago when the authors – Robert, Sam and Nat Parry – stood together witnessing an ominous turning point in American history:

The rain pelted down in icy-cold droplets, chilling both the protesters in soaked parkas and the well-dressed celebrants bent behind umbrellas to shield their furs and cashmere overcoats.

Drawn to this historic moment – a time of triumph for some and fury for others – the two opposing groups jostled and pushed their way through security checkpoints, joining the tens of thousands pressing against rows of riot police lining Pennsylvania Avenue.

After taking the subway from Arlington, Virginia, the three of us joined the crowd crammed into a block of 13th Street, on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue, near the point where Inaugural parades bend in their grand procession from the U.S. Capitol, turn right at the foot of the U.S. Treasury and then veer left before passing in front of the White House.

To our right was a stone expanse called Freedom Plaza, where temporary viewing stands had been erected for invited guests. That corner is marked by a statue of Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, a Polish cavalryman and freedom fighter who joined the American Revolution and died at the battle of Savannah in 1779.

To our left stood a twelve-story building, with the red awnings of a CVS pharmacy on the ground level and rounded balconies of corporate offices on the floors above.

The elegantly attired Republicans squeezed their way through the angry crowd of drenched protesters to the VIP stands or to those rounded balconies, which offered protection from the rain and an unobstructed view of Pennsylvania Avenue below.

The Republicans had come to cheer the new U.S. President, George W. Bush, privileged scion of a powerful political family who nonetheless ended his gerunds by dropping the “g” to convey the populist image of a Texas wildcatter.

Bush was replacing President Bill Clinton, a Democrat who had survived an impeachment battle over a sexual dalliance with a former White House intern. To Bush supporters, the new President would bring back the warmly remembered propriety of his father, President George H.W. Bush.

One of George W. Bush’s biggest applause lines of Campaign 2000 was his vow to restore “honor and dignity” to the Oval Office.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Hillary’s Musharraf by Greg Palast

Dandelion Salad

by Greg Palast
Published November 12th, 2007

Mrs. Clinton’s forgotten fling with the Killer of Karachi

He was the other man in Hillary’s life. But it’s over now. Or is it?

You’ve seen all those creepy photos of George Bush rubbing up against Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf, the two of them grinning and giggling like they’re going to the senior prom. So it’s hard to remember that it was Hillary and Bill who brought Pervez to the dance in the first place.

How that happened, I’ll tell you in a moment.

But first, let’s get our facts straight about the man in the moustache. Musharraf, according to George Bush, The New York Times, NPR and the rest of press puppies is, “our ally in the War on Terror.” That’s like calling Carmine Gambino, “Our ally in the War on Crime.”

Musharraf’s the guy who helped the Taliban take power in Afghanistan in 1996. And, through his ISI, Pakistan’s own KGB, he is still giving the Taliban secret protection. And this is the same Musharraf who let Khalid Sheik Muhammed, Osama’s operations chief for the September 11 attack, hang out in Quetta, Pakistan, in the open, until Khalid embarrassed his host by giving a boastful interview to Al Jazeera television from his Pakistan hang-out.

And this is the same Musharraf who permitted his nation’s own Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, to sell nuclear do-it-yourself bomb kits to Libya and North Korea. When the story of the flea-market in fissionable materials was exposed, Musharraf (and Bush) both proclaimed their shock – shock! – over the bomb sales. Musharraf didn’t know? Sure. Those tons of lethal hardware must have been shipped by flying pig.

But, unlike Saddam and Osama, creations of Ronald Reagan’s and George Bush Sr.’s Frankenstein factories, Musharraf was a Clinton special.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Booty Shaking and Striking Ed Asner by Greg Palast

Dandelion Salad

by Greg Palast

Join Ed Asner on the picket lines and listen to him read from Palast’s Armed Madhouse as discussed today on the Bree Walker show.
Listen to it here.  Buy the ‘Live from the Armed Madhouse CD’ here.

Booty Shaking and Striking Ed Asner


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Peter Orszag Releases Study on Rising Cost of Health Care (video)

Dandelion Salad

NewAmericaFoundation

Health care costs present the largest fiscal challenge facing our country today. As Medicare and Medicaid spending rises steeply, and private sector costs continue to soar, a larger and larger percentage of America’s output will go towards paying for health care.

Dr. Peter Orszag, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, will release compelling and reliable data on how health care will affect the future of the United States budget. These new figures illustrate a growing tension between health care costs and the rest of the budget, a tension that is projected to increase dramatically in coming years.

Added: November 13, 2007

see

Cafferty File: 1.8 Million Vets Can’t Get Health Care (video)

Dennis Kucinich: NH Presidential Disability Forum (videos)

Redefining Universal Healthcare: What Consequences will this have on vulnerable workers with poor leadership? by Paul Donovan

Dennis Kucinich discusses his universal healthcare plan (video link)

Why Kucinich Is The Best Candidate (video; health care)

Clinton, Obama, Edwards on ‘the same page’ on health care reform, ‘the wrong page,’ says Kucinich

Biden Breaks Loose in AARP Democratic Debate (video) + Kucinich locked out of debate!

This Revolution Could Be Televised On Fox By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street
Nov. 13, 2007

Now even the New York Times is saying it. In an editorial on Oct. 20, the Times wrote, “Every now and then, we are tempted to double-check that the Democrats actually won control of Congress last year.” Noting how the Democratic House and Senate had rolled over and given the president permission to massively spy on Americans without showing any probable cause, the Times concluded, “It was bad enough having a one-party government when Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.”

There is no question about it. The Democrats, after persuading voters to hand over control of Congress to them last November, have been worse than failures. They have betrayed the trust of the voters.

Although the party clearly has the power to end the Iraq War by simply refusing to approve funds for continuing the mayhem and madness, it has instead given the president every dollar he’s asked for to continue it, and then some. Although every leading Democrat admits that the president has been torturing the Constitution, not one member has submitted a bill calling for the president’s impeachment, and the one bill submitted calling for Cheney’s impeachment, submitted by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, has been pushed off on a siding by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her gang of “leaders.” More recently in the Senate, where 41 Democrats could stop any presidential appointment, 53 Democrats instead approved a new attorney general, Michael Mukasey, who refuses to say waterboarding is torture and illegal, and who, even worse, says that in his view the president has the power to ignore laws passed by the Congress.

I would go the Times one step further. There is no need to check to see if Democrats won control of Congress. It doesn’t matter. The Democrats have simply ceased to be an opposition party. The party of Franklin D. Roosevelt is now simply a collection of incumbent hacks who are looking to their own re-election, and who stand for nothing.

So what is to be done?

Various left-leaning activist organizations, like Democrats for America and Progressive Democrats of America, and pseudo-progressive organizations like Move-On and DailyKos, argue that liberal Democrats need to work within the party to elect more progressive candidates and party officials. But this strategy is doomed for several reasons. First of all, the leadership of the Democratic Party doesn’t want real liberals or, heaven-forefend, lefties. It wants candidates who can appeal to the corporations that bankroll both parties. And second, the leadership undermines those liberals who do have a chance of replacing the hacks who currently hold Democratic seats in Congress.

As I have written before, we have seen more than 50 years of betrayal of liberal and left voters and their issues by the Democratic Party, and despite the efforts of would-be reformers, the situation has been getting worse, not better.

The answer, I submit, is to tell Democratic incumbents and party officials that we’ve finally had it. We are not going to be ignored or walked over or taken for granted any longer.

How to do this? By mass resignations from the Democratic Party, at which it is made crystal clear that there are two reasons for the actions: Congress isn’t stopping the war funding, and Congress isn’t initiating impeachment hearings.

I am proposing that left and progressive organizations, civil rights groups, Church groups, anti-war coalitions, labor unions and other progressive and liberal groups start organizing mass actions that involve marches to the local board of elections or voter registrar’s office, for collective de-registration from the Democratic Party. Here in Philadelphia, we could have a mass march from Independence Hall to the Board of Elections, for example.

This is a strategy that would hit the Democratic Party leadership like a bucket of ice water—or a brick–in the face.

The beauty of the idea is that it will garner enormous press coverage, even if the numbers are relatively small. Thanks to the overall pro-Republican bias of the media, news outlets like AP, CNN and especially Fox TV, will find the idea of Democratic activists marching on voter offices and quitting the Democratic Party irresistible. And as other groups across the country see these protest actions, they will want to join in.

In no time, Democratic incumbents in Congress, at the DNC, and in city halls and Democratic clubs across the country will see their most loyal voting base eroding.

If that should happen, they will be in a panic. Just watch how fast they start impeachment hearings and stop passing war funding appropriation bills!

Now whenever I’ve suggested this scheme, after the wild applause subsides, there are always those who raise the question about voting for progressive candidates in primaries, and about electing progressives to party office. I agree these are important steps, and that they should be attempted, but mass party quitting doesn’t preclude doing them.

In many states, first of all (CA, NH, VA, MA, and SC, for instance), you don’t need to be registered in a party to vote in that party’s primary. But even in those states like my own Pennsylvania, where you do need to be registered in a party to vote in its primary, it is an easy thing to re-register in time to qualify for the primary. Just check with your voter registrar and learn the deadline. Then, after you’ve voted, just quit again. The same for party caucuses. Those who are elected to positions like county committeeperson should stay in the party, where they can try (good luck!) to make change.

The important thing is those mass quit events.

The other thing I hear is the argument that people should not be just urged to quit; they should be urged to join a third party.

I disagree. As soon as you start trying to get agreement about joining a third party, you are introducing division into a movement that should be narrowly focused on the two issues of getting the Democrats, now, to end funding for the war and to initiate impeachment hearings. Anything else is a diversion.

Besides, getting significant numbers of progressive-minded people to cut their ties to the Democratic Party offers the potential of creating a new base out of which a genuine mass party of the left might come. The first step though, is for all of us, who have been tethered to the Democratic Party for most of our adult lives, to cut the leash.

If desperate Democratic officials respond by according us the same attention and support that they regularly accord to hedge fund managers and health insurance companies, if they meet our demands to end the war and defend the Constitution, so be it. Maybe we will back them in November ‘08.

If they don’t, then we’re free to go somewhere else, or to found a new party.

One thing is clear: If we don’t do this, we will no longer live in a democratic state. We will live in a one-party state.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at This Can’t Be Happening!

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Abbas and Peres call for peace

Dandelion Salad

Al Jazeera English
Nov. 13, 2007

Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, and Mahmoud Abbas, his Palestinian counterpart, have addressed Turkey’s parliament in Ankara, strongly advocating a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The address by Peres was the first by an Israeli president before the legislature of a Muslim country.

The address by Peres was the first by an Israeli president before the legislature of a Muslim country.

Both leaders on Tuesday expressed optimism that an upcoming peace conference in the US would help thaw conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

“We may be saying different prayers but our eyes are turned toward the same sky and toward the same vision for the Middle East,” Peres said.

“If there is peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the occupation of Arab lands ends, Israel will also live in a sea of peace, security and stability in the Middle East,” Abbas said.

Continued…

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Treason of the Mainstream Democrats by R.W. Behan

Dandelion Salad

by Richard W. Behan
Atlantic Free Press
Sunday, 11 November 2007

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

— Article III, Section 3, United States Constitution

The mainstream Democrats—represented, say, by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden, and Christopher Dodd—have not levied war against the United States. Their treason lies instead in committing the second offense: they adhere to enemies of the country, giving them aid and comfort.

The enemies are President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. Like no other president and vice president in history, these men attacked their country.

It was not our geography George Bush and Richard Cheney invaded. Instead they abandoned and subverted the bedrock institution of our Constitutional democracy: the rule of law. By word and deed, Mr. Bush repeatedly and arrogantly sets himself above the law, claiming obedience to be a matter of Presidential choice. Mr. Cheney orchestrates, coaches, applauds and iterates.

This cannot stand if the country we know and cherish is to survive. George Bush and Richard Cheney are literally enemies of the state; long before now and by any measure of Constitutional justice they should have been impeached and removed from office.

Abjectly, continuously, and stubbornly refusing to hold them accountable, however, the mainstream Democrats adhere to this criminal president and vice president: nothing they have asked for has been denied, no barriers placed in their way. That is giving them aid and comfort, and that is treason.

George Bush and Richard Cheney took the country to war illegally, with a deliberate, carefully designed and executed package of fear-mongering propaganda: lies, distortions, and deceptions. No informed citizen entertains the slightest doubt about this.

Lying to the people and the Congress was the most despicable violation of the rule of law by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, but many more followed: torturing prisoners, denying habeas corpus, spying on U.S. citizens, nullifying new laws with “signing statements,” and so on and on. The litany of impeachable offenses is long and painful, but the so-called “War on Terror,” these men insist, makes all of it acceptable, even necessary.

Nearly six years have elapsed since the Bush Administration first defeated the rule of law. For most of these years a Republican Congress saw fit not to intervene, or even to question this behavior, so effective was the Administration’s propaganda campaign, and so firm were the bonds of partisanship. But now the mainstream Democrats control the Congress.

Also during these six years the truth emerged, and now we can see the “War on Terror” truly for what it is—an overarching mega-lie: an untruth of such unimaginable scope and magnitude it recalibrates for an entire nation the perception of reality. (Aryan supremacy was the mega-lie of Nazi Germany.)

No one should be surprised that the threat of terrorism has increased, not diminished, since 9/11: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not even remotely intended to combat it.

We know the Bush Administration, when it took office, was indifferent to terrorism, brushing aside explicit warnings about al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden; we know the President was planning instead, at least six months before 9/11, to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq; we know of a National Security Council memorandum dated February 3, 2001 speaking about the “capture of new and existing oil and gas fields” in Iraq; we have acquired with a lawsuit the maps of Iraqi oil fields Vice President Cheney’s “Energy Task Force” was studying a month later; we have learned how the privatized structure of Iraq’s postwar oil industry was designed by the Bush Administration a year before the war began; we know the Administration was negotiating pipeline rights-of-way with the Taliban, unsuccessfully, until five weeks before 9/11; we know the final threat to them was a “carpet of bombs”; we are aware of President Bush twice refusing offers from the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden, before and after the carpet of bombs was unleashed; we’ve read of the five “mega-bases” in Iraq, to house 100,000 troops for as long as 50 years; we’ve learned the U.S. Embassy compound under construction in Baghdad will be ten times larger than any other in the world; and we know Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, Royal Dutch/Shell, and British Petroleum/Amoco are poised to claim immense profits from 81% of Iraq’s undeveloped oil fields.

Are these the activities and outcomes of a “War on Terror?”

We also know President Bush, a month before 9/11 in August of 2001, notified the governments of Pakistan and India he would launch a military mission into Afghanistan “before the end of October.”

Between the dates of the President’s announcement and his order to attack, the Trade Towers and the Pentagon were struck by the hijacked airliners. Seizing in a heartbeat this spectacular opportunity to disguise and launch the preplanned invasions, the Bush Administration concocted the mega-lie, and the “War on Terror” was born.

The “War on Terror” is a conscious and ingenious masquerade for the geostrategic pursuit and control of Middle Eastern oil and gas resources. The facts place this beyond dispute. Mr. Bush’s claim of “taking the fight directly to the terrorists…and the states that harbor them” was yet one more intentional deception, as subsequent events fully demonstrated. In Afghanistan the state was overthrown instead of apprehending the terrorists—Osama bin Laden remains at large—and in Iraq, when we invaded, there were no terrorists at all. But today both “states” are fitted with puppet governments and dotted with permanent U.S. military bases in close proximity to their hydrocarbon assets.

Only the Bush Administration continues to natter about a bogus “War on Terror.” Others are more candid:

o Republican Senator Senator Charles Hagel: “People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.” (Speaking at Catholic University, 9/24/07)

o Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in his book The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

o Democratic Senator Jon Tester: “We’re still fighting a war in Iraq and people who are honest about it will admit we’re there over oil.” (Associated Press, 9/24/07)

o General John Abizaid, retired CENTCOM commander: “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.” (Speaking at Stanford University, 10/13/07)

The criminal fraudulence of the “War on Terror” is fully documented (see http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/63632/), but the contemporary press has been derelict in failing to expose the mega-lie and publicize it. The mainstream Democrats are equally derelict in ignoring it.

Failing to hold President Bush accountable for his crimes constitutes the most profound obstruction of justice. And failing to contradict his hideous mega-lie clearly reinforces the President’s hand: the mainstream Democrats are now accomplices.

The damage done by the Democrats’ treason is equally great in prospect. Without exposing the lie of the war in Iraq and acting upon the exposure, there is no credible and reliable way to stop the Administration’s insane intention of attacking Iran. The proffered rationales—and the fraudulence—are identical, as the Democrats stride toward complicity in yet another illegal and immoral war.

Why can’t the mainstream Democrats speak sublime truth to demonic power? Doing so, they claim, would be too “divisive” and jeopardize the party’s success in next year’s election.

This strategy is politically suicidal. A Democratic sweep in 2008 grows dimmer every day.

The rank-and-file Republicans who continue to believe Mr. Bush’s lies about the “war on terror” will not vote for a Democrat. The rank-and-file Democrats who see through the lies are increasingly enraged by the insipid waffling of their mainstream candidates. And roughly half the American people don’t bother to vote at all, repelled by the tawdry attack ads and negativity of bitterly partisan, superficial, sophomoric, and issue-avoidance politicking.

If the mainstream Democrats do nothing to change this, they will wind up where they’re headed—disappointed and defeated in 2008—and they will deserve it. Only by exposing and acting on the truth about the war can they change any Republican minds, regain the support of disenchanted Democrats, and attract the politically inert, indifferent Americans. A new style of politics needs badly to be engaged, one that is dedicated not merely to winning elections, but to a genuine concern for truth, for justice, for the rule of law, and for integrity in public service.

The most direct and honorable way of invoking such a style is by impeaching George Bush and Richard Cheney. Never in our history have the high crimes and misdemeanors been so flagrant, and the people of our country know it.

Yes, Congressman Kucinich sought with a “member’s privilege” motion to initiate an impeachment proceeding on the floor of the House of Representatives. But Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer moved immediately to kill the initiative, only to be thwarted by a Republican trick. Finally Nancy Pelosi, desperate to avoid a floor debate, managed to have the matter referred to the Judiciary Committee—where Chairman John Conyers has been sitting on the original bill since last April. The giving of aid and comfort to the enemies will, seemingly, continue.

But the mainstream Democrats now face a carpe diem moment of truly historic measure: if they choose, they can foreswear their treason. It was a majority, bipartisan vote that sent the impeachment bill to Judiciary, and that is all the political cover the Democrats need to take the next courageous and necessary step.

For the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of the integrity of the Congress, for the sake of the country’s future, and incidentally for the sake of a potential Democratic victory in 2008, the politics of truth and justice must be showcased. The Judiciary Committtee must hold hearings immediately, to see if impeachment is in fact warranted—and polls say the greater part of the country thinks it is.

If the mainstream Democrats will not do this, if their treason continues, then decent and thinking citizens everywhere—concerned patriots all—can only weep for their country.

Richard W. Behan lives and writes on Lopez Island, off the northwest coast of Washington state. He is working on his next book, To Provide Against Invasions: Corporate Dominion and America’s Derelict Democracy. He can be reached at rwbehan@rockisland.com. (This essay is deliberately not copyrighted: it may be reproduced without restriction.)

see

Impeach

MP says Kelly’s 2003 death not suicide By Michael Holden

Dandelion Salad

By Michael Holden
Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:16pm GMT

LONDON (Reuters) – A former U.N. weapons inspector, whose death caused one of the biggest crises of Tony Blair’s premiership, did not commit suicide as official accounts state, an MP claims in a new book.

David Kelly was found dead in woods near his home in July 2003, just days after it was revealed that he was the source for a BBC report that said Blair’s government had deliberately “sexed-up” intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq.

News of the death rocked Blair and his government, with critics saying Kelly’s identity had been made public in order to discredit the BBC’s story.

The Ministry of Defence had confirmed to reporters that Kelly was the BBC’s source and the mild-mannered microbiologist was then subjected to a high-profile mauling by a parliamentary committee two days before his death.

Continued…

h/t: CLG

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see
Blair ‘knew Iraq had no WMD’ By David Cracknell

Media Disinformation regarding the Death of David Kelly by Xymphora

Weapons Expert Dr David Kelly was Murdered by Norman Baker

Did two hired assassins snatch weapons inspector David Kelly? by Norman Baker

Senate Judiciary Poised to Pass Total Information Awareness Bill by Elliot D. Cohen (Action Alert)

Go to:

then click Key Bills in Congress on the left-hand side, then enter the bill’s number (S. 2248) in the two boxes given, then write your Senators how you feel about this bill. Here’s another link: S. 2248. ~ Lo

Dandelion Salad

by Elliot D. Cohen
After Downing Street
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION

Amid public outcry, in 2003, Congress defunded the Bush Administration’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, a massive Orwellian technology-driven surveillance and data mining initiative. Now, it is attempting to pass through the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 (S. 2248), a bill that would affectively give legal standing and retroactive legal immunity to a major component of this project.

Continue reading