Sunday, August 31, 2008

Latest interesting Palin

She was not vetted, if by vetted you mean research controversies and newspapers and ask other state politicians.

She thinks the founding fathers wrote the pledge of allegiance.

If by maverick you mean abusing your authority she and McCain are mavericks. McCain is Bush on steroids, picking appointments in a roll of the dice and in a fit of pique.

She was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. She campaigned for governor against the media calling small Alaskan villages nowhere and promoting the bridge. A major GOP talking point of her judgement during her nomination was that she supposedly opposed the bridge to nowhere.

Wow, another thing the GOP promoted was this devoted mother who has this child with Down's Syndrome she was raising. Why are these wild rumors springing up that she is not the mother of her last child? Andrew Sullivan wants easy answers for that one, it is not a smear. It seems perfectly clear that she is covering up for her 16-year-old unwed daughter giving birth. The small hospital seems to have no record of the governor giving birth on that day.

Will New Orleans rebuilt levees withstand a storm surge of up to 15 feet?

Newsweek asked the one in charge of the Big Easy levee system.

Jeff Masters: "If Gustav intensifies more than the NHC forecast is calling for, there is a significant threat of multiple levee failures in the New Orleans levee system resulting in flooding of portions of the city."

Oil Drum has the energy infrastructure expected damage as bad, but not catastrophic.

Port Fourchon likely will receive the worst conditions. Port Fourchon has been called America's energy hub and is where most of America's offshore oil is unloaded. The nearby LOOP is where most of the large oil tankers offload.

South Lafourche's hurricane-protection levee would likely be topped and quickly fail if Hurricane Gustav scores a direct hit on southern Terrebonne or Lafourche parishes as predicted, the parishes' levee chief says.

Desperation at WaMu Puts US Taxpayers at Risk

WAMU has been promoting some very good CD rates lately. There are a lot of Washington Mutual locations in Texas. Some have been promoting the high interest CDs with hand drawn signs. You might want to think for a minute about what that really means. Mike Shedlock says it is another example of death spiral financing.

Bush just said Saturday that there are "recent signs that our economy is beginning to improve."

What do the presidential candidates think about this?

John McCain recently declared that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong."

Obama: "for the Americans who’ve seen their jobs disappear, their personal incomes plunge, their home values plummet, and gas prices skyrocket, nothing could be further from the truth. " According to Bush's Bureau of Labor Statistics because of stagnant wages and growing inflation, workers are making less now than they were a decade ago. A full two terms of the GOP being in charge promoting their tax and economic policies and workers make less than ever.

An expanded article on these diverse reactions to our economy is at the conservative Republican PR branch office FOX NEWS.

Obama's new ad.

Louisiana DA delays and mistakes on child abuse case, 13-year-old girl dies

There is more information from Robert Nagle about this tragic case and the Justice System in Ascension Parish.

Keep an eye on Gustav - Weather Underground link

AND My friend Clif's model and notes..

Friday, August 29, 2008

Audience reverent, then roaring as Obama speaks

As Barack Obama spoke on Thursday night to a packed football stadium in Denver, the audience of some 75,000 people alternated between reverent silence and a roaring approval that shook the stands.

The crowd, many of whom arrived up to six hours before the speech, gave the Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency a 2-1/2 minute ovation as he took the stage to cap an evening of songs and speeches by politicians, celebrities and ordinary Americans.

Flanked by white columns, American flags and two huge television screens that projected his image to the packed stadium, Obama took 43 minutes to lay out his plan for an America under his leadership.

While the audience was almost completely silent during a video introduction of the first-term Illinois senator unknown to most Americans just a year ago, they came to life with chants of "Yes we can" and "Eight is enough" as Obama called for change after eight years of President George W. Bush's Republican presidency.
The speech - transcript. Hit Launch Video Player for the sights and sounds.

The AP(!) Obama transcended politics - note this plays into the GOP Obama as Messiah theme even while reporting on all the praises. Former Republican John Cole - All the news channels but FUX NEWS loved fantastic speech. David Brooks - bitter and sarcastic.

What else does the conservative AP write? Hoo-boy! Editor and Publisher catches them:
With rare exception, nearly all of the top commentators and reporters on the three cable news networks had hailed Obama's speech as something new and powerful, and filled with specifics, and predicted it would have a positive effect on his chances vs. John McCain. This hallelujah chorus included conservatives such as Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan and the longtime Republican David Gergen, as well as Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams. Buchanan called it the best and most important political convention speech he had ever heard, going back 48 years.

So Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, "It is analysis that strikes me as having born no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization.

"Charles Babington, find a new line of work."

Olberman even criticized the reporter on his time-keeping, noting that the article said the speech was 35 minutes long when it was, he said, actually 44 minutes long. A few minutes later, the AP copy showing up at news sites had been corrected to "44 minutes."

Even as Babington was hitting Obama for a lack of specifics, AP was transmitting a second piece by another reporter, Jim Drinkard, that offered a detailed look at seven specific policy proposals in the speech (and expressed doubts about all of them)

Obama backers have criticized the coverage of their candidate by the AP's Washington Bureau Chief, Ron Fournier, and other AP reporters, for several months. Fournier has denied any slant.
The populist Obama emerges from hiding.

Also, Al Gore, the man who should be president. He is being vindicated everyday about global climate change - Artic Ice on Track for Another All-Time Low.

How did Obama get this far? "No Drama" and learning from mistakes of other Democrats.

Ann Strieber on 'The Surge'

Lately there's been a great controversy about whether "the surge"—which sent 28,000 more troops into Iraq a year ago— has "worked" or not, with the US military and John McCain saying yes, it's been effective and critics of the war saying no, it hasn't been. But to me the whole question is a matter of words and is thus completely meaningless.

It's been proven that when you put a cop on every corner, you reduce crime, and that's what the surge is: the military equivalent of a cop on every corner. As long as they're in place, where they can be seen by the Iraqis who seem determined to blow each other up, there will be a reduction in suicide bombings and other attacks. As soon as they leave, the civil war will start up again. That's one reason that the Bush administration wanted to permanently station troops in Iraq, although Congress (and the Iraqis themselves!) quashed that idea. In this political season, we have to be aware of how well chosen words and phrases can muddy the truth. Just because something SOUNDS good, that doesn't make it a good idea.

However, I think that the campaign of Hillary Clinton was derailed not so much by what she actually said but because every statement she made seemed like "politics as usual," and voters are really tired of that right now, since it seems to have gotten us embroiled in a war that most of us don't understand and that few of us want to be in, despite the fact that we all support our troops—all of them. I recently heard a report on the radio that said that the military will probably vote overwhelmingly for Obama because the people who are actually "on the ground" in Iraq can't figure out what the heck they're doing there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Radical Libertarian Confronts Radical NeoCon - update

Alex "9/11 was Bush conspiracy" Jones of Austin getting into it with Michelle "internment camps for all" Malkin in Denver.

Includes video of encounter.

Media disinfo or being typically clueless?


Suspicion of a false flag attack - I doubt it is media.

However, Dallas Morning News said Alex called for Malkin's murder - a lie. Audio: Malkin Entourage Admits Alex Jones Did Not Say “Kill Malkin”

ACLU charges protesters denied access to attorneys, forced to wear shackles, threatened and lied to by police in Denver.

Southeast Harris County Democrats

South East Harris County
Democratic Headquarters

Grand Opening !
Saturday, September 6
1:00 - 4:00 pm
4018 Fairmont Pkwy

Hamburgers & Hot Dogs will be served !!!

Master of Ceremonies
Commissioner Sylvia Garcia

Congressman Nick Lampson
Congressman Gene Green
Joe Jaworski
Adrian Garcia
Joel Redmond
Jeff Heintschel

more details to come...... mark your calendars today!!!

call the HQ at 281-993-3366 for more information

from Carl and Jeff Heintschel.

We Have a DNC Convention Report From a Local Delegate

Dear Fellow Caucus Attendees,

Back in June, I was elected to attend the National Convention. As many of you know, yesterday we officially nominated Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates of the Democratic Party. I cast my ballot for Barack Obama.

As of last night, I have uploaded to my website, my thoughts and experiences throughout this Convention. I would urge all of you to go to and read them for yourselves.

If you do not go read my notes, I would like you to know one thing from the Convention. We are a Unified Party. Despite what the media may tell you, our party is very unified and ready for the upcoming election. We will not stand four more years of Republican rule. The Hillary supporters are on board, fired up, and ready to go! So, please spread the word, and do not allow the mass media to pretend we are a weak force.

Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity,

Alexander Karjeker

Breaking! Did McCain and Obama miss the Texas deadline to be on the ballot?

Ballot Access News:
Section 192.031 of the Texas election code says that political parties must certify their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for the November ballot no later than 70 days before the general election. It says, “A political party is entitled to have the names of its nominees for president and vice-president placed on the ballot if before 5 p.m. of the 70th day before presidential election day, the party’s state chair signs and delivers to the secretary of state a written certification of the name’s of the party’s nominees for president and vice-president.”

This year, that deadline is August 26. UPDATE: At 2:30 pm Texas time, August 27, Kim Kizer of the Texas Secretary of State’s elections division says neither major party’s certification has been received in the Elections Division. The Executive Office of the Secretary of State refers all questions back to the Elections Division.
I think this might be somewhat important.

It looks like because they both won primaries in Texas Obama and McCain will be on the ballot. Except that Clinton won the primary vote even if she lost the delegate vote.... More on this as the lawyers get involved.

Thursday Night

Watch Barack’s speech with fellow Democrats!
Who: All Democrats and Democratic supporters!
When: 6 - 10 p.m. Thursday Aug. 28
Where: Bay Area Democratic HQ, 568 El Dorado at HWY 3 and El Dorado
Why: To celebrate history being made by the Democratic Party in '08
Join 75,000 cheering Democrats at Mile High Stadium in Denver and millions of great American Democrats across the country to celebrate Barack’s nomination!
Watch history being made and the beginning of the end of Republican rule.
Meet many Democratic candidates!
Special Guests !
Joe Jaworski – Candidate for State Senate District 11
Sherrie Matula – Candidate for House District 129
Laura Ewing – Candidate for State Board of Ed. Pos. 7
Enjoy stadium food - hot dogs, nachos, popcorn!
Meet your Democratic neighbors!

And on Friday, instead of lunch at Fuddruckers, come to the Bay Area Democratic Headquarters and eat lunch with your fellow Democrats in a pure, unadultrated Democratic environment! You can bring bring a lunch from home or JB's Chinese Cafe, Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, or anywhere. Regardless, come to your HQ at 568 El Dorado on Friday!!

from Doug.

I'm posting this here because I am busy Thursday night at the Hobbit Cafe in Houston - gary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic Party's Progressives Push For Influence With DNC and Obama

Progressives -- the term of art for the party's liberal wing -- contend, with some justification, that they have provided much of the fuel that could propel the party to win control of the White House and both houses of Congress for the first time in 16 years. They have contributed and raised large amounts of money, fired up their troops on the Internet, and generally are thrilled at the prospect of a Democratic sweep.

Yet they aren't sure the party they think they are leading to victory is really following them. Sen. Obama has been essentially nonideological in his campaign, has made much of his desire to reach across the ideological spectrum to Republicans, and spent several weeks this summer moving away from the left and toward the center on issues ranging from warrantless wiretaps to abortion to gun control.

More than that, liberals realize that if the party expands its control of the House and Senate, it may do so by electing moderate and conservative Democrats who vanquish sitting Republicans. Thus, while Democratic control in Congress could expand, liberal influence may not.

So the progressive wing of the party has gathered in Denver uncertain whether to celebrate or fight for its due.

Convention Watch


Come on by the Bay Area Democratic Headquarters each night during the Democratic convention to watch the speeches and crazy Democrats in hats! Your local Democratic Headquarters has put together a great TV projection system to watch the events uninterrupted by commercials. Go Bay Area New Democrats!

The HQ address is 568 El Dorado at the intersection with Hwy 3.

Be darn sure to come this Thursday night for the Launch the Vote, Obama Nomination Celebration at the HQ to watch Barack's historic speech in stadium style with hot dogs, natchos and popcorn!!

ALSO, bring a camera to get your photograph taken with our life-size, true to life Barack Obama!

HOUSTON VOTES has a lot of activities registering people to vote this weekend.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend and election season is in full swing. We have a number of sites and locations that need to be filled. We are counting on your help and support.

Sharps town Mall 7500 Bellaire (Sat Aug 30) 10-6

Save-a-lot Food store 6910 Capitol (Sat Aug 30 and Sun Aug 31) 10-6

Kroger 2300 Gessner (Sat Aug.30) 10-6

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Store (Sat Aug. 30) 10-6

Kroger Wirt/ Westview (Sat Aug. 30) 2-5

Fallas Padres 290/Bingle (Sat. Aug.30 and Sun. Aug.31) 10-6

Fallas Padres 45/Tidwell (Sat. Aug 30 and Sun. Aug 31) 10-6

Wal-Mart 3506 Hwy 6 (Sat. Aug 30 and Sun. Aug 31) 10-6

Wal-Mart 9460 W. Sam Houston (Sat. Aug.30) 10-6

25th Annual Labor Day Soccer Tournament Bear Creek Park (Sat-Mon) all day

Rock The Bayou Across from the Astrodome formerly Astro World (Fri-Mon) all day

We are meeting at the Pasadena Mall in front of Macy's at 10am for our weekly literature and registration card drop. We need your help and would like for you to please join the fun and work with us. This area has a significant amount of people who are not registered. We will be dropping literature and registration cards on their doors to motivate and inspire them to become registered and vote.


Click here to sign up for one.

Debra Bartoshevich - Doofus

Debra Bartoshevich is a former Clinton delegate from Waterford Wisconsin. When she saw Hillary was not getting the presidential nomination or the VP slot she angrily called the Republicans. She was used in a quickly made ad for McCain. She lost her status as a delegate for endorsing the Republican opponent.

In the GOP press conference she was hustled off the stage after revealing that she believed McCain did not support overturning Roe v. Wade. She was quoting an old 1999 position that McCain has now disavowed. McCain's current campaign page on "Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life" begins with the goal "Overturning Roe v. Wade" in big, bold letters. That is only one of 75 issues McCain has flip-flopped on.

What a doofus.

The future economy and first lady

A long excellent post in the New York Times Magazine about how Obama is approaching economic proposals - asking the experts.

Wired has another excellent article about electric cars and how Israel might be gasoline car free in ten years. Way to stick it to the Saudis. Interesting that the comments in The New Republic seem to show that TNR has succeeded in its new business plan - driving away non-Republican readers. Jay Leno also has some advice to American car makers - our butts are not getting smaller.

Michelle Obama's blockbuster speech.

DNC Convention - Day 1

Lyn Wall has a report from a delegate.

By far the best unbiased thoughtful coverage, including average citizen comments!, is on CSPAN. A distant second place is PBS with too much not really thoughtful pundit talk. CNN and MSNBC have almost all pundit talk and FOX NEWS has much worse pundits talking even more.

Many bloggers at convention.

Blogging from the big tent.

You2Gov. The Democracy for America blog has interesting posts.

Texas DNC Convention blog coverage links from Kuff.

What our local delegates are thinking - the view is not great.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Texas Roundup

It's Monday. Do you know what the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs and bloggers have been up to this week? Well, our weekly round-up will tell you. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

refinish69 explains why Travis County and Texas doesn't need another Keel at Doing My Part For The Left.

Two White guys in Houston want each others' jobs. Former Gov. Mark might run for for mayor, and current Mayor Bill may run for governor. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the Frick-and-Frack report.

Prepare yourself for a shock when you visit Bluedaze and see the BILLIONS in handouts given to Big Oil. TXsharon shows how these handouts, paid with our taxes, enable Big Oil to buy influence, work against our best interest, blatantly ignore laws and keep the US dependent on hydrocarbons rather than moving forward.

Mayor McSleaze at McBlogger wonders why, if Washington is broken as McThuselah's campaign says, McThuselah himself hasn't done something to fix it since he's been there more than, you know, 25 years.

The major media outlets may be arguing about whether experience, the war or the economy is the most important issue in this year's presidential election, but jobsanger says there is only one issue that matters , and it's not any of those three.

The Texas Cloverleaf exposes the plan by Congressman Michael Burgess and the Bush DOT to make I-35 from Dallas to Denton a toll road!

BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about WATER and what our fearless leaders plan to do about it: "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

Justin at AAA-Fund Blog wonders when Houston will find good leadership – in government, in corporations looking for good PR, anywhere – for recycling.

Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

Off the Kuff criticizes State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Rep. Frank Corte for their request for a ruling from AG Greg Abbott that the Lege can require cities to enforce federal immigration laws.

Texas Liberal says that he is not a bridge builder.

Before she took off for the DNC convention in Denver, and the Big Tent, Texas Kaos frontpager SCCS took a look at the state of the Central Texas Congressional races.

The rich get Visas while the poor were asked to self-deport notes CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chimse.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts about Perry, Dewhursts, and Craddick's new toll road plan, Texas GOP Leaders Want To Use Public Pension Funds To Build Corporate Toll Roads.

Vince from Capitol Annex takes a look at Republican State Representative candidate Van Brookshire's stupid press release about immigration and the incorrect facts he based it on.

North Texas Liberal shares a stunning tribute to Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, penned by a great friend of the late congresswoman.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


How unbiased is the news you are getting from the traditional media?

It has been over a decade since you could call the mainstream media "liberal" by any objective standard. Yet somehow the phrase "liberal media" is still ubiquitous among conservatives. Only in the last two years are the mainstream media beginning to notice that they are being attacked far more by the left than the right.

Michael Calderone at the right-wing leaning political site and Washington paper Politico blames the Internet. This is somewhat silly but he has a good overview.

What can you do about bias? There is a site I belong to called Skewz that asks readers to upload media article links and then its readers rate the degree of bias.

Asking readers to judge the bias of a story does run into its own problems. Some people do not rate the nuance of coverage but just the topic, even if the coverage of the topic is slanted. Some people have their own unique ways of rating - one person got very active adding articles all of which he rated far left or far right. Later he revealed that he thought that anything that supported America or had a conservative view of the consitution was absolutely right - "far right" - and those he thought didn't support America or traditional values or his conservative views was all wrong - "far left."

Still, an interesting site - Skewz and maybe a beginning of a way of dealing with bias in the news.

(You might call Skewz a Digg news site with an added feature of the bias rating of the links.)

Gallup Poll - The Biden pick

Did no harm, may help with some Democrats.

Unrelated links

Obama's church lesson for Sunday - don't be cocky.

Homeland Security splits Vermont town.

The Democratic Party has grown strong during the Bush presidency.

Maureen Dowd: McCain is a long-tailed rat with a POW get-out-of-jail-free card.

Another poll - Obama steady with 6 point lead before the convention bounce.

Big Business Goes After Unions to Defeat Democrats and Workers.

Neocon whacko Bill Kristol doesn't watch the GOP debates, attacks Democrats for a "female glass ceiling."

Ideas - new NYT blog.

NYT: Housing Bust - California's Ground Zero.

New school mandates to correctly teach evolution as the organizing basis for life science has teachers on the front lines

Democratic office in Clear Lake Houston opens with talk about Biden. The 11 news web site has terrible ads.

McClatchy Media: Liberal Positions Make Strong Gains in Popularity as Democrats Lean Left.
"Government SHOULD do more, especially when you're spending tens of billions of dollars in Iraq protecting the interests of millionaires," said Rebecca Washington, a Democrat and an accountant from Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

"We've got to revoke the tax cuts for the wealthy," said Vicki Balzer, a Democrat and retired teacher from the Cleveland suburb of Berea. "We definitely need to do something more for the economically disadvantaged. . . . We've allowed big corporations to take millions for corporate leaders while workers get nothing."

Nationally, 40 percent of Democrats in the 2006 midterm elections called themselves liberal, the highest since the American National Election Studies program started asking in 1972.

At the same time, the number of Democrats who support a government safety net for the poor — such as guaranteeing food and shelter for the needy and spending to help them even if it means more debt — jumped by 14 percentage points from 1994 to 2007, according to the Pew Research Center.

Support for that safety net also rose by 15 points among independents and 9 points among Republicans.
Biden - a safe moderate choice. Link from Carl Whitmarsh.

Biden will help in Florida.

Clinton delegates are unhappy, but ready to move on

Senator John Cornyn professed to a group in Houston that Texas is a national model for improving access to health care, adding that he wants to make health care in America more like it is here in Texas. Among the 50 states, Texas has the highest rate of residents (one in four) without health insurance. 5.5 million Texans have no health insurance, three million more than voted for Cornyn in 2002

"John Cornyn's health care model is a system that has left over 5 million Texans without health care coverage," said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Hector Nieto. "The only thing big and bad about John Cornyn is the fact that his health care ideal serves only the big insurance companies and that's bad for Texans who see their insurance premiums rising and health care coverage shrinking."

Last year alone, Senator Cornyn voted six times against health insurance for Texas children. [Vote 307, 8/2/07; Vote 352, 9/27/07; Vote 353, 9/27/07; Vote 401, 10/31/07; Vote 402, 11/1/07; Vote 403, 11/1/07] At the time, Texas had over 1.4 million uninsured children - the highest number of any state. The legislation he voted against would have enabled insurance coverage for 584,000 uninsured children [Families USA Report 09/07; CRS and CMS data].

So-Called-Liberal-Media: Mark Halperin

Obama better be quiet or McCain will run attack ads, with video.

Kevin Drum, at his new site, expands on my reaction.

Mark Halperin gets most of his "political insight" from talking to Republican campaign operatives. It has long been noted this representative of the "liberal media" parrots whatever the Republicans want to have out there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama-Bayh? NO - Biden

Bumper sticker could indicate VP pick.

Texas liberal Democrats will be somewhat disappointed if true....

Update - Looks like Saturday for announcement. Obama campaign tells some that several print shops have different orders. Marc and others have questioned the attractiveness of that bumper sticker.

MSNBC reports Bayh and Kaine are out of the running.

Oliver impressed my Obama campaign yet again for their leak-proof ship.

Washington Post - Process of elimination leaves Biden. Secret Service deployed to Biden residence McCain lies about Obama's house

Under attack because McCain couldn't remember how many homes he has, his campaign produced their own attack advertisement. couldn't find any truth in it.
* The ad says Chicago power broker Tony Rezko got "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers." But there's no evidence of any connection to the Obama home purchase. The $14 million was to build apartments for low-income seniors. Obama wrote a letter supporting the "worthy" project, but both men say Rezko didn't ask for the letter.

* It says Rezko "purchased part of the property [Obama] couldn't afford." Rezko's wife did buy an adjoining tract but later sold the land at a profit. Obama paid market price for his home.

Democrats in Training

My nieces. After they learn to read they end their hero worship of Reagan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain: 'The Fundamentals of the Economy are Strong'

He's got nothing. McCain's running a Reagan sound bite campaign without Reagan's optimism and charisma.

Also - the latest example of the McCain campaign having to say McCain doesn't speak for the McCain campaign - we won't be stealing Colorado's water.

McCain is back to supporting a military draft, but he has flip-flopped on that before.

All links are to Think Progress, which may be the best quick summary of progressive news. This is like Memeorandum being the best quick source of the current blog controversies on both sides. It was slightly right biased on how much and in what position it placed conservative posts but has gotten better.

Current TV - People News

Burning Man 2008

Current News and Politics

Democratic National Convention

China and the Olympics

2008 Beijing Olympics



Barack Obama

Election 2008

Democratic Party

Current Viral Videos

Current TV is viewer TV

this n that

Bush's America - we now randomly brutalize people trying to visit America. The Bush regime will be known for turning America into an incompetent Nazi-like state. Fascism without the trains running on time as the corporate friends of politicians don't actually have to know what they are doing.

Andrew Sullivan has an astute observation. According to Bush McCain wasn't tortured. In fact, does McCain believe he was not tortured as he now approves of Bush's detention and interrogation policies? Or does he just feel we need to torture others like he was tortured?

Cafferty no likes McCain and Bush and is very vocal about it. CNN is interesting to watch when he is on.

CNN: Wholesale inflation saw prices rising over the past 12 months by 9.8 percent. Looks like the BLS fakery is breaking down. I think it will ease but remain high the rest of the year as Saudi Arabia and the oil companies/speculators try to keep oil prices low to help the GOP in November.

Back to School Lists at Wal-Mart are fake. Other stores lists also look suspect. Even though they have the name of the school it may include banned items, not include required items. Totally false advertising. Some attorney general should investigate this. Update - still fake.

The top five craziest bonehead right smears of Obama

SMEAR #4: OBAMA EXERCISES TOO MUCH AND DOESN'T GORGE HIS FACE WITH FATTY, UNHEALTHY GOO! - extra bonus points because this was in the Wall Street Journal and spread to Town Hall and the Weekly Standard!

Democrats ignore a big winning issue - the environment. I have blasted Nick Lampson over this, everyone but the battiest wing-nuts wants a cleaner world and the Bush/GOP policies have been a disaster. The Republicans in the House and Senate have even prevented alternative fuel credits from being renewed.

Fay will boomerang back to the Gulf. My friend Clif's model predicted this.

Housing market - still falling. In Houston, prices rise to record but sales still declining. The news was very bad for the low end homes.
Sales for homes in the $80,000 to $150,000 range plunged 21.8 percent in July compared with the same month last year.

And the median price of a home in that segment — the largest in the local market — was down about 1 percent, according to the Realtors' report.

"That lower-end stuff is really suffering," said Michael Levitin, the association's chairman and principal of
Keep the heat on Obama by building the grassroots. McCain, Obama compete to be seen as friend of NASA.

AP calls Lieberman a "prick".

Mahablog: The GOP advantage - stupid is easy.

Monday, August 18, 2008


McSweeney's Edward's! the musical.

Rumors of a Biden VP announcement tomorrow.

Another McCain fallout from the values summit - McCain forgot he voted to confirm three judges he said he would never nominate.

Bush is leaving a $825 billion annual deficit for next year. It could go higher depending on what happens this fall.

Texas Progress Alliance Weekly Roundup

Intent on killing independent radio, American music labels find their latest victim

The SoundExchange, a consortium of music record license holders formed to extract royalties from broadcasters, will not compromise on the proposed retroactive royalty rates and Pandora says it will close soon. Despite being one of the most popular internet radio sites Pandora says it cannot make money under the rates. SoundExchange has put in place rate hikes for internet and satellite radio stations on a per user basis. Internet radio pays much higher fees. Broadcast radio stations will get the SoundExchange attention next.

Some journalists say this is not all SoundExchange's responsibility -
There's no doubt that SoundExchange has been strong-arming the Internet radio industry into oblivion. But most Internet radio stations like Pandora offer their services for free, or they offer accounts with more features at incredibly cheap prices. While some stations display ads on their website, Pandora hasn't done itself any favors by offering desktop clients and a wildly popular iPhone application (iTunes link) that rake in millions of users without so much as a single ad. Perhaps, for now, the "just build it and we'll figure out the business model later" approach won't be enough to save this experiment in new media.

Lies at Faith Town Hall?

I was impressed with Obama at the Saddleback Church presidential candidate event. He was thoughtful and humble and gave smart intelligent answers.

McCain came out and gave his best public performance this year. He seemed well-prepared and did not look tired and confused as has been the case in some public forums.

There were still McCain problems in that instead of having a conversation about important issues he played to the crowd and told stories he must have told hundred of times. Some of his responses seemed elitist - a rich person is someone who make several million a year. He seemed a bit too cocky and arrogant on some questions.

Now there are doubts about some of his performance. Did McCain know what questions were going to be asked? He was not in a "cone of silence" as was claimed in the debate. He wasn't even in the hall. The only people who say he didn't know the questions were campaign workers who have every reason to lie. Interesting media and Republican responses to the cone of silence doubts.

Some of the McCain stories seemed too pat, although he has repeated them often while campaigning. Now there are questions being raised about his most dramatic story - a guard who helped him and later secretly revealed he was a Christian. McCain never told that story for years. He told the story of a guard helping him but not that he revealed he was a Christian. But after he became an Alexander Solzhenitsyn fan he first told the story on the campaign trail in 1999. Solzhenitsyn has the same story of a secret Christian in a prison camp in "The Gulag Archipelago."

How much has McCain been lying? I don't know. I think McCain might simply be repeating a characteristic of his hero, Ronald Reagan. He was another old geezer who several times became confused about what had actually happened to him and stories he read or movies he saw or acted in.

Something not to watch as the campaign unfolds.

How wrong, how inaccurate, how often can Fox News be about the Obama campaign?

Pretty wrong, pretty damn often.

You might think they were not a source for news but Republican propaganda.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pentagon's Unmanned Spokesdrone Debuts

Pentagon's Unmanned Spokesdrone Completes First Press Conference Mission - The Onion

Was Bush falling down drunk at the Olympics?

Gawker has a collection of photographs that seem to answer that question with YES. Bush can't seem to quit embarrassing Texas.
The president doesn't have to consume actual alcohol to act like a bumbling fraternity president. Still, it's worth noting that Bush has been doing a funny/terrifying impersonation of a drunk president for all the press photographers at the Olympics. He's even got the red face thing down!
I normally like Oliver Stone movies. I will definitely see W.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Texas Round-Up for August 11, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it's time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up. The weekly round-up is complied from submissions made by TPA member blogs. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News writes about the one campaign the country club millionaire Republicans always run on - the Democrats are elitists.

The Truth About Texas Republicans, a new blogger-powered website designed to expose the real truth about GOP Texas legislators looks at the stuff State Reps. Dwayne Bohac, Betty Brown, John Davis, Bill Zedler and State Sen. Mike Jackson don't want you to see.

refinish69 was happy to introduce a real progressive Democrat to the readers of Doing My Part For The Left a few weeks ago but has to wonder how to describe Mike Skelly: Democrat or Republican Lite?

Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the Texas State Teacher's Association lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency for giving public funds to private institutions.

Irony Alert: Mary McDaniels, Manager - Pipeline Safety, Texas Railroad Commission, who lied on camera about the Atmos Energy gas pipeline couplings, spoke in Ft Worth about pipeline safety, inspections and regulations, for Chesapeake Energy's Barnett Shale pipeline, says TXsharon at Bluedaze.

Julie Pippert at MOMocrats asked, "Offshore drilling---whose issue is it anyway? The people's? Or the politician's?"

Women who enter the military know they may encounter danger along the way, just as their male counterparts do. Diarist Liberal Texas at Texas Kaos highlights an additional danger they face in Assault on Women in the Military, and calls on all of us to ensure that our fighting women are protected from sexual assault from the companions they should be able to trust.

WhosPlayin used to think John McCain was worthy of respect, even if wrong on issues. But mocking conservation and lying about Obama raising taxes show who John McCain really is.

jobsanger thinks Democrats should let Clinton's backers have their vote at the convention, and believes Barack Obama has a chance to win Texas this November.

Neil at Texas Liberal talks about AIDS and African Americans.

Due to the purchase of McBlogger by a rival blogging firm, the regular writers are on strike. This week, we'd like to introduce you to a new McBlogger, Rose Petal.

North Texas Liberal remarks on John McCain's anti-Obama ad comparing the Democratic nominee to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, and also includes Hilton's response ad. Still waiting on Britney's energy policy...

Off the Kuff takes a look at The Queue behind KBH for her maybe-to-be-abandoned Senate seat.

YaGottaLoveIt of South Texas Chisme urges Barack Obama to have a fundraiser for money that stays in Texas while urging Hillary Clinton to campaign for Rick Noriega in South Texas.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the Williamson County DA's unwillingness to test DNA evidence in a almost 30 year old unsolved murder, Lawsuit Filed Against County For New DNA, Fingerprint Tests.

Tropical Storm Edouard was more like a decent rainstorm, but that didn't stop the media -- old as well as new, including madcap reporter/Congressman John Culberson -- from building it up to a height it could no more sustain than its winds. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the roundup of the hyperventilating in Houston.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is concerned about the economy "Purses Tighten, Small Business Suffers, Families Budget"

nytexan at BlueBloggin points out, as the Gerogia Russia war continues and Bush plays with U.S. athletes at the Olympics, Could The U.S. Get Pulled Into Georgia’s War?

XicanoPwr discusses the immigration survey that was sent presidential candidates Obama and McCain put together by The Sanctuary, a web base grassroots community of pro-migrant, human rights, and civil-rights bloggers.

Have You Been Barack Rolled?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shady Contributions and questionable donors for McCain and Crist

Jihan Nassar, a homemaker in Corona, Calif., is listed as a $500 donor to the campaign of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. But she insists she never gave a dime.

''I can't make any donations, financially,'' Nassar said Friday. "We never made any donations, sir. I have no idea what you are talking about.''

Nassar and her husband, Waleed, are among more than three dozen California donors listed as giving to Crist's campaign on June 19, 2006 -- donations bundled by a controversial Delray Beach defense contractor now under scrutiny for contributions to GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

On Thursday, the McCain campaign said it would return $50,000 in donations tied to businessman Harry Sargeant III, finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party and a college buddy of Crist's. Sargeant has said the California donors were solicited by a business partner, Mustafa Abu Naba'a, a Jordanian with an apartment in Miami-Dade, records show....

Sargeant is a partner with Abu Naba'a in International Oil Trading Co., a Boca Raton firm with Defense Department contracts to ship oil to the military in Iraq. Federal records show the company received $601 million in the 2007 budget year.

In June, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., head of a congressional oversight committee, sent a letter to Sargeant seeking records in a probe of alleged overcharging of the military for fuel costs.

Sargeant and Abu Naba'a have also been accused of fraud by the brother-in-law of the king of Jordan, who filed a lawsuit in West Palm Beach in April saying the pair cut him out of the Pentagon contracts after he helped them secure the deal. - McClatchy Washington News

Friday, August 08, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards:

John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time. - More on Daily Kos.

Hurrah for Rachel Maddow!

What's remarkable about Maddow's ascension is not its velocity--Hurricane Katrina made Anderson Cooper in less than a week--but the shifts in media it may demarcate. Maddow is one of the few left-liberal women to bust open the world of TV punditry, which has made icons of right-wing commentators like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. Unlike her beautiful, bilious conservative female counterparts or the cocksure boys-on-the-bus analysts, however, Maddow didn't get here by bluster and bravado but with a combination of crisp thinking and galumphing good cheer. Remarkably, this season's discovery isn't a glossy matinee idol or a smooth-talking partisan hack but a PhD Rhodes scholar lesbian policy wonk who started as a prison AIDS activist.

All of which raises a crucial question: does Maddow's unlikely success, reliant on her ability to defy cliché and categorization at every turn, signal a move in punditry away from the thuggish and the angry and toward the lucid and sophisticated? Or has her powerful charisma and canny career management allowed her to break the rules--without actually breaking a mold? - The Nation
Sent by Carl Whitmarsh.

"I'm totally gay for Rachel Maddow."

Why we fight for America

My nieces who are in Korea right now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Paris Hilton Runs Against The Oldest Celebrity

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

As usual, the Daily Howler is mainly right

McCain's campaign against Obama isn't really about race - it is about running the same theme the GOP runs against every Democratic presidential candidate while throwing in a few images for the racists.

The objective of the media campaign the GOP wages in national elections, their meta-campaign, is to portray all the Democrats as elitists. Kerry was an elitist, Edwards was an elitist who liked to pretend he was for the poor, Dean was an elitist with an uncontrollable temper, Gore was an elitist who exaggerated, etc.

The only one this GOP PR campaign didn't work on was Bill Clinton, it just couldn't fit a good ol' boy from the wrong side of the tracks in the South. Bill just became a dishonest skirt chaser in the GOP narrative. He was also the one that won.

It is amazing they pull this same campaign just about every time. McCain is the multimillionaire with a dozen homes and $540 shoes while Obama just got done paying off his student loans but Obama is the elitist. Obama worked for years for below median income wages to get poor people better jobs and housing. Obama was raised by a single parent who struggled to make ends meet and middle class grandparents who pushed for scholarships to get him in good schools but according to the spin Obama is the elitist. This is because the GOP and their media allies build up any story that plays up the Democratic elitist myth.

What meta-campaign should the Democrats run against McCain? One likely to stick is "Doesn't McCain look tired?" "Is he doing all right?" I doubt that the Obama campaign will run with it. Democrats don't go in for that type of meta-campaign the Republicans usually win with. There is one other narrative shaping up - that McCain will reverse his position on everything to get elected.

These media narratives are how our press corps works, not just the product of the GOP spinners. This makes it much harder to fight. It also makes it more likely the meta-campaign against McCain will come from the media this year and not directly from the Obama campaign.

Some thoughts on the emerging personal narratives from a reporter covering the campaigns.
If the campaign consultants have their way, 90 days from now roughly half of the electorate will think that John McCain is an angry, nasty and bitter old man. The other half will think that Barack Obama is an egotistical, feckless and immature dilettante.

Our Wonderful FBI and DoJ

All of this information we have indicating the FBI and the Department of Justice found the anthrax killer is coming from leaks to the press, the same type of leaks that previously named someone else as the source. There are many holes in this story as Greenwald writes.

Oil Company Management Chipping in for McCain

It turns out these massive campaign donations occur right after McCain does a major flip-flop and calls for lifting the ban on offshore drilling. Offshore drilling will do little to benefit American gasoline consumers but will greatly increase profits to American oil companies. McCain also called for cutting large oil company taxes $4 billion. American Hess management has given so much so quickly there are now questions about the legality of some of the political donations. A Hess office manager and her husband, an Amtrak worker, each chipped in $28,000 apiece. The office manager and her husband likely make less than $100,000 annually. TPM Election Central has this story.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Weekly Texas Progressive Blog Round-Up for August 4, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Weekly Round-Up.

Last week on Bluedaze , Big Oil threatened TXsharon. In "Big Oil" Threatens Harm to My "Lovelies" and Me she calls out the abuser and includes a new PR plan that will save Chesapeake Energy millions of dollars and help clean up Big Oil's act.

Mike Thomas of Rhetoric & Rhythm is critical of a campaign to knock off Blue Dog Democrats , even if it means electing Republicans, all in an effort to punish Democrats for failing to hew the line on certain progressive issues.

refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left has always heard that What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas or does it for Pete Sessions?

Burnt Orange Report went on strike last week to raise $1000 for Chris Bell's State Senate campaign. 12 hours later, 15 donors raised $1,075 for Bell and the BOR team is back to blogging.

jobsanger opines about the lack of Democratic leadership from Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Pelosi: Where's The Leadership?, and lets us know the Nanny State is alive and well in The "Nanny State" Strikes Again.

The Texas Cloverleaf is on a strike for change! Help raise money for selected candidates. What do we want? Donations! When do we need them? Now!

Texas Liberal suggests that life is like a harbor where ships come and go.

Off the Kuff calculates how many eligible but unregistered voters there are in Harris County, and compares it to 2004.

Obama came to Houston but only for a few high-dollar fundraisers in River Oaks, a trend sadly that is repetitive of past Democratic presidential nominees. PDiddie at
Brains and Eggs
had the report, and the total take was $1.5 mill.

Mean Rachel gets a response from Rep. Elliott Naishtat to her modest proposal from last week, and at dinner discovers just how unwired the Yankee in the Texas House really is.

Over at TexasKaos, lightseeker makesthe case for a Republican straight ticket ballot, for the Democratic slate (with Video)! It may be the only way to save the Republican Party from its present delusional masters!

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders which will come first - the death of the Republican Party or a full blown police state. CBT, ever the optimist, predicts the former.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones is going to run for U.S. Senate if and when Kay Bailey Hutchison vacates her seat to run for Governor.

Aimlessness at WhosPlayin got one too many email forwards about "Why Men are Republicans", and decided to retort with "Why Men Prefer Democrats".

McBlogger takes a
look at the ability of DHS to snoop on you. And you thought the FISA stuff was bad...

BossKitty at TruthHugger wonders about "What is Adrenarche and Why Are America’s Services Sexually Immature"

McCain Vs. McCain

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Hurricane or Tropical Storm Edouard post for Houston and other stuff here.

I've added the likely November political results based on the latest polls to the left. I think 538 has a better methodology but they don't have a widget. Based on 538's calculations Obama has a 10% of carrying Texas right now which seems about right.

Will Congress bail out Detroit?

Should it?

I predict at least one airline and one car company and several big banks won't survive for long.

What are the criteria for government loans and bailouts? The Federal Reserve already took the lead in bailing out very large Wall Street speculators with Congress following for Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Nearly all the Republicans like to socialize the losses and privatize the profits and half the Democrats or more usually go along with this.

How much should the bozos in Detroit be rewarded compared to the crooks on Wall Street?

From Friday, here is some financial analysis from our local bonddad blogger covering the extent of Detroit's problems in the stock market.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Battle Ground Democrats Meeting in Deer Park

The 2008 General Election of the United States of America is almost upon us; if you have been biding your time, waiting for the right moment to step into the fray, that moment has arrived.

The Battleground Democrats
will hold the first meeting of this election cycle this coming Thursday, August 7, at 7:00 PM. We meet in Room # 11 of the Deer Park Community Center, 610 E. San Augustine St. (near City Hall).

Items on the agenda will include the following:
1) Holding elections for club officers.
2) Beginning the formulation of our volunteer database.
3) A likely visit by our current United States Congressman, Nick Lampson.

If you are someone who cares how the upcoming general election might turn out, this is your opportunity to make a real difference. Volunteer opportunities will arise continuously over the next three months. If you are not in our database of volunteers, you will miss out. If you have any desire to serve in a leadership roll in the Battleground Democrats club, I promise you, a place will be made for you. If you would like to meet your personal representative in the United States House of Representatives and hear him speak, this is your opportunity.

I urge everyone to attend who can. And bring your friends.

Gene Hayman

Latest McCain Ad of Obama as 'Uppity Negro'

Can't get more uppity than being Moses or the Mesiah. McCain's series of ads and soundbites from spokesmen to the media dismissing Obama as a celebrity is a little audacious coming from coming from a guy, who, since 2000, has gotten more screen time than the rest of congress combined.

McCain's biggest ad buy links Obama to rich, blonde, young, white girls
, both of whom have supported Bush. The real Britney. David Gergen knows what the McCain ads mean. Anyone from the South knows, ask Harold Ford.

Andrew Sullivan:
Instead of actually fighting on the core questions - how do we get out of Iraq with the least damage? how do we get past carbon-based energy? how do we tackle al Qaeda's new base in Pakistan and within the nuclear-armed Pakistani government? how will we reduce the massive debt bequeathed us by the Bush-Rove GOP? how do we restore the Geneva Conventions? - we are debating people's cultural insecurities and food choices.

The slow collapse of conservatism as a coherent governing philosophy is not unrelated to this. If you never want to fight campaigns on policy, why bother crafting any?
Andrew also agreed with me on how bad and unbelievable McCain's campaign has been lately - "McCain's main moves these past two weeks have been either childish or disgusting, and both times he has signaled he didn't really believe his own message."

What is really going on -
McCain's aggressive strategy is a deliberate and well-thought-out ploy. It was developed and implemented by a coterie of advisers brought in last month who are protégés of the Republican political guru Karl Rove. Schmidt, who learnt his trade with Rove, heads the group and is now guiding the campaign.

The strategy is intended to turn McCain's ailing presidential bid around and give it a firm focus: one mostly fixed on attacking Obama. Schmidt and others believe they can do to Obama what the Republicans did to John Kerry in 2004.

Steve Schmidt is known as 'The Bullet'. Part of that is to do with his bald-headed appearance, but it is also as much to do with his hyper-aggressive political style.
McCain was losing and the GOP saw no chance to catch Obama on an issues campaign. So they turned to the Karl Rove disciples and started the smears to bring down the Democrat. This is really no different than most GOP presidential campaigns. A surprise this time is the reaction to McCain abandoning his principles and promises of a clean issues campaign with some conservatives in the media showing their disgust with this.

Andrea Mitchell, iconic conservative Republican Mrs Alan Greenspan, cannot hide her disgust now when she talks to the McCain campaign. This reaction is also coming through from the other former supporters of McCain in the media. On one McCain advertisement and his campaign talking points she stated it was "completely wrong, factually wrong." Really, the media need to learn to just say this is a pack of lies and they are liars.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Tricky Dismal Economics

The reason the US isn't officially in a recession? The little noticed inflation adjustment to the GDP. Nice to know that officially inflation was only 1.1% last quarter. A higher realistic inflation number would have knocked out the weak official growth. "Payrolls have contracted every month this year and are expected to register another dip when the Labor Department releases the July employment report today." Wouldn't be prudent to have an official recession right now before the election, would it? How many items did you notice being over 1% higher last quarter?

Wal-Mart instructs workers it would be bad if they vote Democratic. The Democrats would make it easier to unionize which would be counter to everything Wal-Mart stand for.
The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union,'" said a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. "I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote," she said....

Twelve years ago, 98% of Wal-Mart's political donations went to Republicans. Now, as the Democrats seem poised to gain control in Washington, 48% of its $2.2 million in political contributions go to Democrats and 52% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks political giving.
Wal-Mart denies allegations, may be on thin ice.

Think Progress had this response: "It should be no surprise that Wal-Mart would stretch the limits of the law in an attempt to deny their workers' rights and kill the Employee Free Choice Act. The company knows what all union workers know: workers in unions earn 29 percent higher wages on average, are 62 percent more likely to have employer health coverage, and four times more likely to have a pension."

How long a bad market for labor? - Mandel wonders. Last time the downturn in jobs was two years.
This morning’s employment report shows the unemployment rate now up to 5.7%, while the private sector lost 76K jobs. Outside of health and social assistance, the loss was 110K.
Jobless rate highest in four years, employers cut jobs for seventh month.

Economic models predict clear Obama win in November

GM's spectacular $15.5 billion loss.

Citigroup and others threatened with state and federal lawsuits over fraudulent auction rate security sales.

Consumer Federation of America: U.S. Oil Drilling Increases Exxon Record Profits Without Decreasing Consumer Costs
The U.S. Department of Energy has analyzed the amount of resources that might be found in off limits areas and concluded that there is not enough there to significantly change the world price. It estimates a decrease of less than three cents per gallon of gasoline ten years from now....

Exxon Mobil cannot absorb all of the money it is making now. Exxon Mobil spent 46 percent more money buying its stock back in the first half of this year ($18.2 billion) than it did on exploration and capital expenditures ($12.5 billion).
HOUSTON CHRONICLE: Politicians fume as Exxon profits soar to U.S. record
"They tell us they want to do more domestic production," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "They tell us they need to drill offshore. They tell us that they can find oil on the mainland. And what do they do with their profits? They buy back stock, simply to increase their share price."

Ken Cohen, the company's vice president of public affairs, repeatedly told reporters the company would increase domestic production if Congress would lift its ban on drilling in areas that have been off-limits for more than 25 years.

"We want to do more," Cohen said. "Congress needs to give us access."

Democrats argue that producers already hold 68 million acres of federal lands on which they are not producing oil or gas....

Exxon Mobil said its decrease in production stemmed largely from its decision last year to walk away from its Venezuela operations rather than agree to terms giving majority control to that country's government-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela. Other factors included a Nigerian labor strike and lower entitlements under production-sharing contracts with other countries.
The real budget deficit is $789 billion if you include the war and the borrowing from the Social Security fund.

NYT - The hidden employment secret - cut to part time jobs.
The number of Americans who have seen their full-time jobs chopped to part time because of weak business has swelled to more than 3.7 million — the largest figure since the government began tracking such data more than half a century ago.
Bush Calls for New Highway Tolls, More Private Funding of Roads

What Hugely Profitable Energy Company could be behind denying global climate change?
WHEN the tobacco industry was feeling the heat from scientists who showed that smoking caused cancer, it took decisive action.

It engaged in a decades-long public relations campaign to undermine the medical research and discredit the scientists. The aim was not to prove tobacco harmless but to cast doubt on the science.

In May this year, the multibillion-dollar oil giant Exxon-Mobil acknowledged that it had been doing something similar. It announced that it would cease funding nine groups that had fuelled a global campaign to deny climate change....

The funding of an array of think tanks and institutes that house climate sceptics and deniers also worried Britain's premier scientific body, the Royal Society. It found that in 2005 Exxon distributed nearly $3 million to 39 groups that "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence that greenhouse gases are driving climate change".
For the fourth time this summer alone, Senate Republicans blocked any consideration of extending renewable energy tax credits. The Congressional GOP held a fake PR rump session of Congress to protest not giving more concessions to oil companies.

Congress and Federal Reserve rescuing those financial institutions that caused the mess with tax payer dollars. Bailing Out the Bad Guys.

Radio Nation - Naomi Klein asks if the economy is at risk, or if it's really capitalism?

The Last Hurrah of the American Banking System.

Bloomberg: U.S. Recession May Have Begun in Last Quarter of 2007