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democracy1st's Journal
Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Fri Nov 26th 2010, 05:43 AM

The president faces a choice, Cornell West says. He can be a masterful, Machiavellian politician like Bill Clinton or a great transformative leader like Abraham Lincoln.
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Sun Apr 11th 2010, 05:59 AM

video starts @ :22

Creator of interactive unemployment map, "The Decline: The Geography of a Recession," LaToya Egwuekwe talks with CNN Your $$$ host Christine Roman.

The march of unemployment
by: Paul Rosenberg

Make no mistake, if the Democrats lose big in November, it will be because they failed to recognize the world they live in, the world so clearly and simply revealed by Ms. Egwuekwe's data presentation. And if they lose big, they will do so in the name of "pragmatism", "political realism", "post-partisanship", "consensus" and the like. They will lose spectacularly in the name of fighting against "polarization" and "ideological rigidity" and in the name of "mov beyond the tired debates between right and left," as President Obama said in announcing the resumption of off-shore oil drilling, "Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again."

In short, if they lose big in November, they will do it because they are utterly clueless, utterly indifferent to the suffering of tens of millions of Americans who put their faith in them. If the Democrats lose big in November, it will be because they totally deserved it for dereliction of duty.

Updated 03.27.10, The Decline: The Geography of a Recession by LaToya Egwuekwe (OFFICIAL)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 30 million people currently unemployed -- that's including those involuntarily working parttime and those who want a job, but have given up on trying to find one. In the face of the worst economic upheaval since the Great Depression, millions of Americans are hurting. "The Decline: The Geography of a Recession," as created by labor writer LaToya Egwuekwe, serves as a vivid representation of just how much. Watch the deteriorating transformation of the U.S. economy from January 2007 -- approximately one year before the start of the recession -- to the most recent unemployment data available today. Original link: sion.html. For more information, email
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Posted by democracy1st in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Apr 04th 2010, 05:26 PM
Dr. Jack Cassell, the Orlando urologist who put a sign on his door letting patients know he doesnít want to have to treat them if they are Obama/health care reform supporters, was on my radio show Friday night, but didnít seem to know much about the health care bill heís criticizing.

audio link:

Cassell: Hospice cuts in 2012ÖDoes the government want people to die slowly?
Colmes: Do you really think the government wants people dead?
Cassell: Well I think that theyíre cutting all supportive care, like nursing homes, ambulance servicesÖ
Colmes: What to you mean theyíre cutting nursing homes?
Cassell: Theyíre cutting nursing home reimbursements
Colmes: Isnít what theyíre cutting under the Medicare plan what was really double dipping; they were getting credits and they were getting to deduct them at the same time.
Cassell: Well you know, I canít tell you exactly what the deal is.
Colmes: If you canít tell us exactly what the deal is, why are you opposing it and fighting against it?
Cassell: Iím not the guy who wrote the plan.
Colmes: But if you donít know what the deal is why are you speaking out against something you donít know what the deal is?
Cassell: What I get online, just like any other American. What Iím supposed to understand about the bill should be available to me.
Colmes: It is; itís been online for a long time; itís also been all over the mediaÖ

In fact, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice praises much of the bill.

The health care bill is sweeping legislation in every sense, beginning with a ground-up transformation from an acute care-based, institutionally oriented health system to one that focuses on disease prevention and home and community-based care, the latter primarily through the billís inclusion of a program called the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act and significant expansions of Medicaid. As you may already know, the Florida Medicaid programís annual budget now surpasses the statewide education budget. If (and itís a BIG if) this CLASS act does what it says it will do, it could provide an opportunity for expansion of home health care services over time as changes are implemented and the cost savings that can be attributed to home health care versus institutional care are realized.

And while there was opposition to the House version of the bill, the version that was passed, the Senate version, is much more acceptable to the home health care and hospice community.

The original House legislation would have imposed deeper cuts in projected home health and hospice spending over the next 10 years (approximately $55 billion for home health and $10 billion for hospice). The Senate version which was approved last night is a kinder, gentler version of home health care cuts, taking effect in smaller doses and a later implementation date than the original House bill so that agencies could adapt their operations and care practices to the changes. /

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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Sat Mar 13th 2010, 12:38 AM

Full Report: /

READ the first part of the 2,200-page report

Lehman Bankruptcy: Bank's 'Accounting Gimmick,' Was Like 'A Drug,' Emails Show

The arcane "accounting gimmick" employed by Lehman Brothers as the firm failed in 2007 and 2008, was like "a drug" propelling the bank to conceal the true nature of its financial health, according to bankruptcy documents released yesterday.

As news organizations pore through the 2,200 pages of documents released by Anton Valukas, the examiner in charge of sifting through the most expensive bankruptcy in history, new details have surfaced about possible criminal actions by Lehman executives.

An executive referred to by Lehman execs as the firm's "balance sheet" czar -- who later went on to become the firm's COO -- likely had knowledge of the firm's highly creative accounting maneuvers, notes The New York Times.

At the center of the controversy is a technique called "Repo 105," under which Lehman was able to move $50 billion off of its balance sheet in the second quarter of 2008 alone, MarketWatch reports. Here's more from Market Watch:

Repo 105 is essentially a type of secured loan and is booked that way in the accounts -- leading to an increase in both assets and liabilities.

Lehman's trick was to use a clause in the accounting rules to classify the deal as a sale, even though it was still obliged to repurchase the assets at a later date. That meant the assets disappeared from the balance sheet, and it could use the cash it received to temporarily pay down other liabilities.... was crucial for maintaining the group's credit rating as rating agencies and investors began to focus more on leverage and demanded lower risk.

Geithner: European Reforms Would Harm U.S. Interests

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has cautioned the European Commission about its latest attempts at financial regulation, warning that American banks, hedge funds and private equity funds would be discriminated against by the proposed rules.

In a letter to Michel Barnier, Europe's new Commissioner for Internal Market, Geithner expressed concern over the directive's "third country" provision, which would restrict European investment in non-European funds, the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal report.

Geithner joins British officials and Canadian investors in his criticism of the measure. The U.K. has argued that the reforms are tantamount to protectionism, and British Financial Services Secretary Paul Myners -- who recently accused Europe of "regulatory hypochondria," according to the WSJ -- has urged the EU to "eschew regulation for its own sake." And the Institutional Limited Partners Association, a Canada-based group representing private-equity investors, also sent a letter to Barnier expressing similar concerns
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Sat Mar 13th 2010, 12:31 AM /
March 12, 2010 CNN

(Bloomberg) -- Pfizer Inc. agreed to a $1.2 billion criminal fine, the largest in U.S. history, and a felony plea by a subsidiary to close an investigation into what government lawyers described as fraudulent marketing of drugs.

The fine, over sales practices for a painkiller since pulled from the market, makes up the biggest single share of a record $2.3 billion settlement, announced today, between the U.S. Justice Department and New York-based Pfizer. The deal includes $1 billion in civil penalties, the largest non-criminal fraud case against a drugmaker, the department said.

Pfizer, the worldís largest drugmaker, entered into a five- year integrity agreement with the Health and Human Services Department as well. The government pays for medicines through several health programs and joined the investigation after private whistleblowers filed lawsuits in three states. The criminal case revolved around allegations that the painkiller Bextra and three other medicines were promoted for uses other than those approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Thu Mar 11th 2010, 12:27 AM /

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement about the ongoing war in Afghanistan:

ďThe Washington Post reports that nearly one billion dollars per year in cash, suspected to include U.S. aid, opium receipts or both, is moving from Afghanistan to Dubai, where friends and family of Afghanistanís President Karzai have multimillion dollar villas.

ďDubai real estate deals and a number of crooked enterprises connected to the Karzai family have created crony capitalism in a country awash with U.S. cash and U.S. blood.

ďNearly 1000 U.S. soldiers have died. And for what? Hundreds of billions spent. And for what? To make Afghanistan safe for crooks, drug dealers and crony capitalism?

ďNext Thursday, I will bring a privileged resolution to this House so that Congress can claim our constitutional right to end this war and to bring our troops home. Please support the resolution.Ē

Kucinich will introduce the resolution on Thursday, March 4, 2010. It is expected that the resolution will be taken up for consideration on the following Wednesday, March 10, 2010 and that the debate will be subject to a rule providing for three hours of debate.
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Wed Mar 03rd 2010, 12:12 AM

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow - Epic take-down of Sen. Orrin Hatch and the Washington Post
The entire segment can be seen here:

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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Tue Mar 02nd 2010, 01:45 AM

Sen Franken talks unemployment benefits! /
March 01, 2010 C-SPAN /

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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Thu Feb 25th 2010, 03:01 PM

Rachel Maddow To Obama - Ignore Medicare For All and the Public option 'at your very grave peril'
The entire segment can be seen here:

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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Wed Feb 17th 2010, 09:29 PM

Political Analyst Rachel Maddow to Deliver 2010 Commencement Address at Smith College

Rachel Maddow will deliver the commencement address at Smith College this spring, and the student reaction at the all-women's college couldn't have been more positive.

Smith College president Carol T. Christ announced the news to a gathering of students. As she continued to hint that it was Maddow, describing the chosen speaker as a Stanford graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, a political analyst, and a TV host, the crowd cheered louder and louder as they collectively realized it was Maddow.

Maddow, who lives in Massachusetts when not filming her show in New York, will address the college's graduating class on May 16.

She will also receive an honorary degree.
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Thu Feb 11th 2010, 12:15 AM

Alan Grayson interviewed by Big Ed.

Congressman Alan Grayson
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Wed Feb 03rd 2010, 03:09 AM

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) humbles John McCain for holding up NLRB nominee Craig Becker
Visit: /

Craig Becker HELP Hearing Semi-Live Blog


McCain: I want NAMís letters and letters from 600 other organizations included.

McCain: Do you provide support to ACORN?

becker: No, never.

McCain: Did you work with SEIU to obtain representation for home health care workers with Gov Blagojevich?

Becker: I provided counsel to SEIU Local and met with Blagoís staff and once with Blago himself about home health care organizing. My recommendations dealt with technicalities in legislation for organizing these workers.

McCain: They needed your expertise.

Becker: Iíve done this in other states including CA. I have expertise.

McCain: How many cases involving SEIU would you have to recuse yourself?

Becker: Difficult, but SEIU is rarely party to board proceedings.

McCain: What about NUHW cases?

Becker: I have not been involved with that matter.

McCain: But you worked for SEIU

Becker: Yes, but I wasnít involved.

McCain: Would you recuse yourself?

Becker: This is something I considered when looking at the nomination. This led to ethics agreement under which circumstances I would recuse myself in which SEIU is a party for two years. I would consider future questions after those 2 years with the ethics board and recuse myself if necessary.

McCain: Itís not complicated, it reads I would recuse myself after 2 years with SEIU issues. There seems to be several youíd have to recuse yourself often.

Becker: I will abide by that pledge. And if there are other issues that people have I would consider recusing myself if people brought it up.

McCain: Thatís not good enough. If your past employer is involved, you should recuse yourself.

Hatch: Can I submit my questions? I have to leave.

Merkeley asking now. To be honest, softballs about sharing stories. Iím multi taskingÖ.

Becker now talking about the management attorneys who support his nomination.

FRANKEN! Thanks for coming to this unusual, unique hearing. Iím a member of 4 labor unions, donít know how many others are. I appreciate how important this area of the law is.

Most people who are nominated to the NLRB have either represented workers, or management.

Becker: Yes, itís a divided bar.

Franken: Enziís staffer represented management for his entire career. Itís not unusual for someone whoís represented labor to be nominated to the NLRB.

Becker: Correct

Franken: This whole thing about the SEIU, itís happened before. If they represented a firm, they could recuse themselves if a former client appears before the board. Nothing unusual there. You answered some 200 questions, right?

Becker: Yes

Franken: How long did they have to answer the questions?

Becker: I donít know, but thereís been a back and forth since the spring. Whoever had questions had months to submit them to you.

Franken: This is an unusual hearing. Iím new the Senate, but itís unique. Only other board hearing was for a chair. This wasat the insistence of one member who held your nomination. Did that member submit any questions to you?

Becker: No.

Franken: Really. He, or she (ed: McCain) didnít submit any questions over all those months. Huh. /

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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Sat Jan 30th 2010, 10:00 AM

Democracy Now! EXCLUSIVE: Blackwaters Youngest Victim 2 of 4

Democracy Now! EXCLUSIVE: Blackwaters Youngest Victim 3 of 4

Democracy Now! EXCLUSIVE: Blackwaters Youngest Victim 4 of 4

EXCLUSIVEBlackwaters Youngest Victim: Father of 9 Year-Old Killed in Nisour Square Gives Most Detailed Account of Massacre to Date

Today a Democracy Now! exclusive report from Jeremy Scahill about a nine year old boy, shot in the head and killed by Blackwater in the infamous Nisour Square massacre. His father, who is suing the private military contractor, provides the most detailed eyewitness account of the massacre to date. Scahill has conducted an in-depth investigation of the massacre and of nine-year old Ali Kinanis death. He files an exclusive report with Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films.

Blackwater's Youngest Victim By Jeremy Scahill

Every detail of September 16, 2007, is burned in Mohammed Kinani's memory. Shortly after 9 am he was preparing to leave his house for work at his family's auto parts business in Baghdad when he got a call from his sister, Jenan, who asked him to pick her and her children up across town and bring them back to his home for a visit. The Kinanis are a tightknit Shiite family, and Mohammed often served as a chauffeur through Baghdad's dangerous streets to make such family gatherings possible.

Mohammed had just pulled away from his family's home in the Khadamiya neighborhood in his SUV. His youngest son, 9-year-old Ali, came tearing down the road after him, asking his father if he could accompany him. Mohammed told him to run along and play with his brothers and sister. But Ali, an energetic and determined kid, insisted. Mohammed gave in, and off the father and son went.

As Mohammed and Ali drove through Baghdad that hot and sunny Sunday, they passed a newly rebuilt park downtown. Ali gazed at the park and then turned to his father and asked, "Daddy, when are you gonna bring us here?"

"Next week," Mohammed replied. "If God wills it, son."

An accompanying slideshow of Ali Kinani, his family, and the Nisour massacre can be found here.
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Posted by democracy1st in Political Videos
Tue Jan 26th 2010, 03:37 AM

Cornel West's note to Obama, BBC News, January 20, 2010. /

One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision."
Currently the Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University, Dr. West burst onto the national scene in 1993 with his bestselling book, Race Matters, a searing analysis of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, selling more than half a million copies to date. In West?s long awaited life story, BROTHER WEST: Living and Loving Out Loud, he offers a compelling exploration of his heart behind the human mind. Themes include Faith, Family, Philosophy, Love and Service. Cornel West has published 19 other books and has edited 13 texts. West also offers commentary weekly on The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI (Public Radio International).

West was an influential force in developing the storyline for the popular Matrix movie trilogy and has served as its official spokesperson, as well as playing a recurring role in the final two films.

Dr. West graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and has a Ph.D. from Princeton.

Cornel West INTERVIEW: Don't Appoint Larry Summers As An Economic Adviser And Tell Me You're Progressive (VIDEO)

In an interview with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman, Dr. Cornel West discusses his long-awaited memoir "Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud." It's a great, wide-ranging conversation, definitely worth a full listen -- the two talk about West's childhood, the role of music in his life, the health care debate, and West's epic dispute with White House economic adviser -- then Harvard President -- Larry Summers.

"Larry Summers, I think, he had a long history of arrogance and relative ignorance about poor people's culture and working people's culture and so forth," West told Goodman. Their dispute began shortly after Summers was appointed President of Harvard, and ultimately led West to leave Harvard and join the faculty of Princeton. According to West, Summers accused him of canceling classes and called his interest in hip-hop an "embarrassment," among other slights.

West added that he was surprised when Obama selected Summers for his council of economic advisers:

I said, here's somebody who has no history whatsoever of sensitivity to poor people or working people, who had been supporting deregulation for a long time as a Clintonite, in the Clinton administration. What is going on here? Or has Obama already become so comfortable with the establishment that you had to have an economist who was legitimate to the establishment in order for him to get his regime off the ground? OK. I mean, if that's the kind of argument you have, then put it forward. But don't tell me you're a progressive, then, and generate that kind of support or major advisers speaking to you--speaking to you every day. Now, if he had Paul Krugman or Joseph Stiglitz or Sylvia Ann Hewitt, I'd say, "Hey, you got something going here. I think we've got a chance for some progressive policy that actually focuses on poor and working people."

But I do forgive Larry Summers for this reason: that I think we all ought to have joy in life, and you can only have joy when you overcome arrogance and open to your own ignorance, because you end up being smart and brainy, but suffering from spiritual malnutrition, emptiness of soul, you see.

The segment on Larry Summers starts around minute 43.
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