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A Message to Joe Biden

I received an email from the Barack Obama campaign this morning - specifically addressed as if it was from Vice President Joe Biden - asking if I'd be willing to send in $5 for a chance at a drawing to enable 5 people to have dinner with the President.

I had to decline.

As folks may realize from the two diaries currently on the Rec list by shannika and stonedoubt, jobs are a big issue right now; the economy as a whole, of course, is a huge issue. And if you read a little into stonedoubt's diary, you'll find a comment from me that explains my response to Joe indirectly: I'm closing my business.

Below the fold is the short, simple text of what I sent back. I realize it will never be seen by Vice President Biden, or the President. I know it will likely never be read by anyone in Congress or in a position to pass along my simple response.

Nonetheless, I felt better sending it. No histrionics, no propaganda - just a simple statement and plea.

Make the jump if you'd like to read it, and perhaps add your own comment.

Namaste.

 

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Maddow on the Republican Obstruction to Recovery: The Nation Recoils in Horror

Two Maddow embeds - one below the fold. Both well worth watching and sharing. Today's Republican "leadership" is not what they proclaim themselves to be - and their actions (and inaction) speak louder than their words. And are horrifying to the average American, and to the American dream.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy.

 

And if you think that's not encouraging...It gets worse. Rachel breaks it down after the jump.

 

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"Scaling the Edge" (Crowdsourcing funds for good causes through micro-philanthropy)

Interesting project & premise. Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2011-06-20 02:09:14 -0400. - GH

Reposted from Dailykos - there are still a number of #NN11 registrations claimable per the detail below for EPM readers.

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

Rather than attend NN11 this year (I live in Australia), last Saturday I attended an Australian, what one could describe as a progressive conference, called Gathering 11.

This was a group of about 150 individuals who’d come together to listen to keynote speakers, workshop & brainstorm ideas (an excellent format called World Café ), network & connect with one another around the big issues facing us today. Much like what Netroots Nation is all about. The statement which most resonated with me, as much of the discussion was that our existing way of doing things is not working for a lot of people, was “Ignore the Core, Scale the Edge”.

In other words, if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen.

The question for me however, (& I’m sure many others) was how?

 

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Excellent video by Change to Win: "The End of the American Dream?"

This video was shown at Netroots Nation this morning. I only caught the last 2/3 of it online, but realized it was an effective overview of our current situation:

Please pass it around, and remember to thank the folks at Change to Win when you have a chance.

Thank you.

 

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Crown Prince of The Thieves Guild - Bank of America Hindered Federal Investigation

Via the Huffington Post,

NEW YORK -- Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, "significantly hindered" a federal investigation into the firm's faulty foreclosure practices on potentially billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-backed loans, a federal auditor told an Arizona court.

The bank withheld key documents and data, prevented investigators from interviewing bank employees or asking certain questions, and was slow to provide information, according to a June 1 declaration by William W. Nixon, a fraud examiner and assistant regional inspector general for audit for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general's office.

Read the full story by Shahien Nasiripour.

The Bank of America has been playing a significant role in mortgage foreclosure fraud and obstructing investigations into their role in the whole mess.

They've become too big, and serve as a double-edged example of what happens when deregulation permits "too big to fail" behemoths to drive roughshod over our economic foundations.

Take your business elsewhere, if you can, when you can. Avoid servicing any members of the Thieves Guild, and call for re-regulating Wall Street and the banks.

Let's get our financial house in order by bringing order - and justice, accountability and due diligence - back to the forefront.

 

Hat-tip to lordrag of Delphi Forums for the heads-up.

 

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Open Thread - ANONYMOUS: 'Phase 1 Initiated' War Against The NWO System

I am probably slow, but I did not watch the film, "'V' for Vendetta," until well after its debut in 2006.  The film popularized the Guy Fawkes masks increasingly adopted by fans of the collective of online activists known as Anonymous.

Several events of early 2011 finally put Anonymous onto my radar screen after their advocacy of  Wikileaks and Julian Assange led Aaron Barr, the former CEO of cybersecurity consultant, HBGary Federal, to plan exposure of their members' identities as a way to publicize the social network-analytic capabilities of his firm.

Keeping It Short

Did I say "short"?

Maybe I meant "dwarfish."  All I could think of, as I watched the seven Republican hopefuls "debate" in New Hampshire, was of Doc (Ron Paul), Grumpy (Newt  Gingrich), Happy (Mitt Romney), Sleepy (Tim Pawlenty), Bashful (Rick Santorum), Sneezy (Herman Cain), and Dopey (Michele Bachmann).

Oh yes, and about the format, part of which makes them all so small.  The New York Times, in an editorial, calls the mash-up "full of historical error, economic obfuscation, avoidance of hard truths and even outright bigotry."  That it was, but that it was meant to be.  The ability to delve deeply into a topic, to consider anything of any real size or importance, has long been stripped from televised American presidential debates in favor of the show.  We've even reduced it to the level of the "reality" show, trotting out so-called 'average citizens' to ask questions.

Michael Collins: Obama Embraces The Money Party

Michael Collins

It's time for Plan B. The White House is about to be sold to the same people who bought it in 2008. The front page of today's New York Times says it all. President Obama is on the hunt for campaign cash and the Wall Street crowd represents his main target. After all, he and his "good friend Tim" (Geithner) delivered in the biggest way possible. Obama must be thinking that it's payback time! Pony up fellas.

This much is clear. There will be no federal prosecutions of Wall Street crooks for the 2008 financial collapse, no day of judgment for massive mortgage fraud before, during and after the housing bubble, and no representation for the people the in the White House, no matter who wins in 2012. Populist rhetoric will guarantee a place on the no-fly list for any who stray from the new party line.

The Times article resorts to irony right out of the gate:

"Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend." New York Times, June 13

Truthout - New Documents Claim Intelligence Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe

Jeffrey Kaye continues lifting the veil on 9-11 intelligence failures with a new article at Truthout. The Unclassified FOIA Response attached to the article is an absolute must read. The FOIA Response was the result of a 2006 complaint to the DoD Inspector General filed by a former intelligence officer known only as IRONMAN.

EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe
By Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold, Truthout, June 13, 2011
Attachments - Unclassified FOIA Response

The last page of the FOIA Response holds particular interest for me.

(U) [unclassified] My motivation for this complaint is multi-faceted. I do believe that knowledge of the work done by DO5 would add to DoD's understanding of its role in the events leading up to 9/11 and how to avoid future attacks. For this reason, and other more personal reasons, I believe that DO5's work, when I am certain that that information is not and has not been classified since 9/11, and I do want to see myself cleared of that false accusation. In addition, I and the deputy of that team, [redacted] especially carried the burden of knowledge of how close DoD came to bin Laden and perhaps being able to reduce the number of lives lost on 9/11. I do not want that burden any longer. [redacted] [redacted] and I discussed this issue the last time we spoke. He remains the longest missing man in Iraq in this war, and I want, one day, to be able to explain to his children what their father foresaw.

The former deputy of the Asymmetric threat Division and still the longest missing man in Iraq is Kirk von Ackermann. The complicated and contentious history of the company he worked for in Iraq, Ultra Services, was featured in a 2006 article at ePluribus Media.

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Rare Heat Burst in Wichita Kansas

The year 2011 has been filled with unusual weather events across these United States. We have seen a historical blizzard, incredible flooding, record breaking heat and some of the most destructive and deadliest tornadoes ever seen. This past week the city of Wichita, Kansas experienced a very rare weather event known as a "heat burst."

Consider the following from Jason Samenow's Washington Post Capital Weather Gang blog:

Since June began, no doubt the 1400-plus new heat records set across the U.S. have impressed. But consider the following: between midnight and 1 a.m. Thursday morning, the temperature in Wichita, Kansas spiked from 81 and 101 degrees. Yes- the temperature ROSE 20 degrees in one hour in the middle of the night, passing the century mark. To the north, across the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, there were some remarkable - though not nearly as dramatic - temperature declines.

What happened in Wichita is known as a heat burst, a relatively rare phenomenon. At the website TheWeatherPrediction.com, meteorologist Jeff Haby describes what a heat burst is and how it develops. Here’s a short excerpt that captures the essence of it:

A heat burst is a downdraft of hot and dry air that typically occurs in the evening or overnight hours. . . . Heat bursts usually happen in the evening or at night after thunderstorms are ending. Thus, a thunderstorm has a vital role. Two other characteristics are that the air must start its descent from fairly high up and the environmental air aloft needs to be very dry.

Arizona is burning.

For those who haven't heard anything about it yet, Arizona is burning.

From Seattle PI,

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — Smoke from a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona that has claimed more than 30 homes and forced nearly 10,000 people to flee has officials worried about serious health impacts to residents and firefighters as tiny particles of soot in the air reached "astronomical" levels.

Read more: Full article.

This is the second-largest fire in Arizona history (so far), according to the article. And it's not the only one currently ablaze in the state:

Firefighters are battling another major wildfire in far southeastern Arizona, also near the New Mexico line. The so-called Horseshoe Two blaze burned through 211 square miles or 135,000 acres of brush and timber since it started in early May. The fire has destroyed 23 structures but caused no serious injuries. It was 45 percent contained late Friday and fire officials hope to have it fully contained by late June.

Read more: Full Article.

I can't imagine what it would be like to speak of dealing with an ongoing natural disaster in terms of "months" before it could be contained or mitigated. Well...ok, strike that. There's similar scale concepts - tho far different types of impacts and longer durations - when looking at unnatural disasters like Fukushimasee also and even longer-term consequences when considering the impact of anthropomorphic climate disruption.1, 2

And yes, there are those who have wondered if the AZ wildfires are linked to climate disruption, and while they can't prove it, they can show earlier predictors that reinforce indications that it might/could be related - and that there would be more, bigger incidents yet to come.

Not a very reassuring thought, with all those billions currently being spent in order to cripple any attempt to directly admit to and deal with the problem from a national public policy perspective.

 

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ProtectOurElections.org Formally Calls On DOJ And FBI To Investigate Justice Clarence Thomas And Virginia Thomas Dealings

New Financial Disclosure Form Raises More Troubling Questions

For Immediate Release

Contact: Naomi Seligman, 310.617.4577

Washington, DC— In light of new financial disclosures provided Justice Clarence Thomas, ProtectOurElections.org today sent a letter to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Public Integrity Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) urging that they investigate information recently revealed in Thomas’ 2010 Financial Disclosure Form.

ProtectOurElections.org has previously sent several letters to the FBI and DOJ alleging improper conduct by Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia. Those allegations are:

First, Justice Thomas falsified 20 years of judicial financial disclosure forms by denying that his wife had income sources; second, he engaged in judicial corruption by receiving $100,000 in support from Citizens United during his nomination and then ruling in favor of Citizens United in 2010 without disclosing that fact or disqualifying himself; and third, he apparently conspired with his wife in a form of "judicial insider trading" by providing her with information about the result of the Court's decision in Citizens United prior to its issuance, which she then used to launch a new company to take financial advantage of that decision to benefit her and her husband.

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