It has been said that proverbs are the wisdom of nations and one of the most common is that a criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.
Former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton is to arrive in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, on Sunday, November 1 according to the erstwhile head of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and self-styled prime minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci.
The occasion of Clinton’s visit, his first since Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in February of 2008 – a violation of international law and United Nations Resolution 1244 directly resulting from Clinton’s acts of a decade ago – is to attend the official unveiling of a statue dedicated to himself.
Economic recovery in review. The Dow’s up, but why are Main Street Americans still reeling from last year’s economic collapse? With Americans still facing rising unemployment, foreclosures, and declining property values, renowned economist James K. Galbraith on whether we’ve averted another crisis and how to get help for the middle class.
Bill Moyers interviews political commentator and Salon.com blogger Glenn Greenwald. In part one of this three part web exclusive interview, Greenwald explains what it means that President Karzai’s brother — believed to be involved in the drug trade — has been receiving payments from the CIA.
Here is the bad news from the House of Representatives with a timeline for the most massive bailout ever — the bailout of the private for-profit insurance industries. Looks like they have until 2018 to make all the money they can.
Based on this, I think we should tell liberal Democrats to dump health reform NOW or we will dump Democrats. No bill at all is better than a bailout of the private insurance industry at taxpayer expense.
Prepared by the Committees
on Ways & Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor October
29, 2009 1
America’s Affordable (HAR HAR HAR — THE JOKE’S ON YOU, MR TAXPAYER) Health
Choices (OH YEAH, YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHICH DANGEROUS INSURANCE PRODUCT YOU ARE FORCED TO BUY) Act
INSURANCE MARKET REFORMS
ENDS HEALTH INSURANCE
RESCISSIONS: Prohibits abusive
practices whereby health insurance companies rescind existing health insurance
policies when a person gets sick as a way of avoiding covering the costs of
enrollees’ health care needs.
NEW LIMITS ON PRE-EXISTING
CONDITION EXCLUSIONS: Prior to the
bill’s complete prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions beginning in
2013, reduces the window that plans can look back for pre-existing conditions
from 6 months to 30 days and shortens the period that plans may exclude
coverage of certain benefits. It also prohibits insurers from limiting or
denying coverage based on acts stemming from domestic violence.
On October 29, 2009, House Democratic leaders unveiled the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962. The three panels with jurisdiction over health policy in the House have been working together as one committee to develop a single bill that fulfills President Obama’s goals of reducing health care costs, protecting and increasing consumers’ choices, and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) sent a letter Comptroller of the Currency, Mr. John Dugan, requesting an investigation of the effect on consumer credit scores of some bank practices in advance of the enactment of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act.
Consumer credit scores, originally developed to measure a consumer’s creditworthiness, have become much more influential in a consumer’s life. Credit scores are now used in writing insurance policies and even in determining employability. Kucinich is concerned that some practices, such as charging “inactivity fees” for unused credit, have the potential to damage consumer credit scores.
Last week, Molly Corso, a freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, Georgia, got in touch with me regarding rumors that the Georgian government was considering accepting a number of cleared prisoners from Guantánamo, in connection with an article that was published this week. In September, in an interview with Fox News, President Mikheil Saakashvili explained that Georgia was “absolutely” willing to host prisoners from Guantánamo. “You know, whatever we can do to help America in its war on terror, we will do,” he said.
A packed house hears a left-wing critique of Obama
With the Tsai Performance Center filled to its 500-seat capacity, many in the audience remembered when that hall was named Hayden, the University was in turmoil, and Howard Zinn was both lightning rod and radical catalyst.
“They’re all in this for war,” he said. “That’s what we call bipartisanship.” Those surprised or disappointed are those who “exaggerated expectations, romanticized him, idealized him. Obama is a Democratic Party politician. I know that sounds demeaning. It is.”
“There’s an enormous weight left over by the Bush administration,” Zinn said. “Unfortunately, he has done nothing to begin to lift that weight.” Change can happen only by grassroots protest strong enough to move entrenched interests.
Linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky criticizes right-wing media outlets, which he describes as delivering a message of paranoia and economic populism comparable to Nazis during the Weimar Republic. “There were people with real grievances,” says Chomsky. “The Nazis gave them an answer.”
World-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky has been pushing change in language, politics and culture for decades. The controversial expert on modern language explains why “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.” – Commonwealth Club of California
Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics and philosophy at MIT, is the author of numerous books on U.S. foreign policy, including American Power and the New Mandarins, Political Economy of Human Rights (two volumes, written with Edward Herman), Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, and Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World. His most recent books are Failed States and Perilous Power.
John Pilger recalls the stricken society he found in Cambodia in 1979 which he described in his epic dispatches and documentary, Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia He reminds us that the Pol Pot horror emerged from the bombing ordered by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and that Cambodia was again “punished” when its liberators came from the wrong side of the cold war and the Thatcher government send special forces to train the Khmer Rouge in exile
The aircraft flew low, following the Mekong River west from Vietnam. Once over Cambodia, what we saw silenced all of us on board. There appeared to be nobody, no movement, not even an animal, as if the great population of Asia had stopped at the border.
Whole villages were empty. Chairs and beds, pots and mats lay in the street, a car on its side, a bent bicycle. Behind fallen power lines lay or sat a single human shadow; it did not move. From the paddies, lines of tall wild grass followed straight lines. Fertilised by the remains of thousands upon thousands of men, women and children, these marked common graves in a nation where as many as two million people, or more than a quarter of the population, were “missing”.
John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country.
Senate Democrats are a dogged bunch. And they’re not easily deterred from their primary duty of kowtowing the big banks. Case in point, the first-time home-buyer tax credit, the controversial bill which provides an $8,000 tax credit (re: subsidy) for new home buyers. Changes in the bill, will provide a $6,500 credit to homeowners “earning up to $250,000 for couples” if they have lived in their home for five years.
The Senate is pressing ahead with the bill despite overwhelming disapproval from liberal and conservative economists. Their main objection? It’s a waste of money. The Brookings Institute estimates that the $8,000 credit costs taxpayers $43,000 per home. This is based on the fact that 85% of the nearly 2 million buyers were planning to buy a home anyway. The new add-ons to the bill mean that its final costs will be much greater than originally anticipated.
Watching Obama salute a coffin at Dover Air Force Base with all the pomp and circumstance of US Military worship filled me with disgust and sorrow.
Disgust because the White House PR apparatus went into full swing to find a family that would allow their loved ones’ coffin to be photographed in a scene that reminded me of George Bush’s landing on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier on May 2, 2003 wearing a pilot’s suit and a codpiece.
Why did Obama do this? To soften the blow, of sending more troops, for a gullible public that wants to believe someone like Obama could give a crap about the cannon fodder he condemns to pointless death?