Monday, November 19, 2007

GIVE THANKS TO SCOTT McCELLAN: BUSH KNEW

On thanksgiving we were thankful to Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary, for revealing that Bush knew more than we were led to believe he knew ... in his new book "HE KNEW".

Jay Rosen of HuffPo says:
McClellan's specialty was not lying, or the traditional art of spin but what I have called "strategic non-communication." Lying we understand, spin we have to come to grasp. Non-communication we still do not appreciate; its purpose is to make executive power less legible. Only a stooge figure would be willing to suffer the very public humiliations that such a policy requires of the man in the briefing room.

McClellan was often described as "robotic" because he would mindlessly repeat some empty formula he had concocted in anticipation of reporters' questions. The point here was to underline how pointless it was even to ask questions of the Bush White House. And reporters got that point, though they missed the larger picture I am describing. Many times they wondered what they were doing there.

I will tell you: they were a constraint being made more absent with every exchange they had with the thick-headed and graceless McClellan. In this sense they were part of the Terror Presidency. The agenda was not to get the White House message out; it was not to explain the president's policies. At both of these (common sense) tasks McClellan was simply awful, his performance a non-starter. No, he was part of something larger and far more disturbing; and it would have been disturbing even to loyal Republicans if they had bothered to understand it.

The goal, I think, was to make the American presidency more opaque, so that no one could see in. No self-respecting man would take that job aware of what he was going to be asked to do. McClellan was unaware. He remains so. But he's not the only one.



"Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front." — G.K. Chesterton

Regarding prayer: When the tsunami hit, then the Breslan massacre, then Katrina -- not to mention the Iraq war -- I spent weeks praying for the children and innocent people lost. I felt so powerless, just praying. But then the thought came that there has actually been some healing as a result of all of our prayers. I live far away from these tragedies and these poor souls — and couldn't go to them, or abandon my children and join the Red Cross. But I could give, send money and pray. And in my heart I had the sure feeling that someone had been comforted and given hope. Maybe that is what God is – the silent, invisible transfer of love to another."

HOMELESS IN AMERICA
The other day I was walking the dog behind Trader Joe’s and I passed a shady alcove bordering the alley, in the center of which was a large tree. I peeked into the bushes, and saw a grocery bag. I thought this looked like a private place for a homeless person to rest, but just at that moment I glimpsed a pair of shoes, then bruised legs in camouflage pants standing behind the tree, inside the tree, as if they were hoping not to be seen, trying to blend in with the shrubs. I could hear the owner of this pair of legs trying desperately not to breathe. Was it a homeless person, or just someone who was trying to go to the bathroom in the bushes?

As I passed by, I shouted out: “God Bless you.” I kept walking, and then circled back. Realizing that I was holding in my hand two sticks of string cheese, I went back to the bush and offered it to the person hiding in the trees. “Would you like a piece of cheese? It’s wrapped in plastic, it has its own wrapper.” A woman’s voice rang out, “No, no thank you.” Then, the voice said: “You are so sweet.” I could see she was wearing glasses and had dark hair.

I walked away and said, “You are sweet too.”
Then I started crying… again. The same way I cried for our troops dying needlessly in Iraq, or during the Breslan school massacre in Chechnya, or on Sunday when our minister at church talked to us about the homeless people and how desperately sad they are. It has been dawning on me more and more how truly tragic it is to be homeless — and especially to be a homeless child. It is hard to even say this, but there are over one million homeless children in America.
Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to rest, no privacy for going to the bathroom — no safe, clean place to put one’s head, no soft pillow that is not infested with cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes or rats? Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to dress, to bathe, to do homework — or to bring friends home for ice cream? No place to sit and look your mother in the eyes while eating dinner or playing Monopoly. No dinner? God bless these poor lost little souls.

Los Angeles Times staff writer Anne-Marie O’Connor reports: Experts say that there are more homeless children in America than at any time since the Great Depression. About 40% of America's homeless are now women and their children - the fastest growing homeless group.

THE TAPESTRY: NEW ORLEANS

Imagine if the human pageant were just a tapestry — and God sees the complete picture on the finished side — but from our vantage point beneath, we only see dangling threads that keep disappearing as they are woven in and out. As people pass on, certain threads disappear because they are part of a grand stitch that completes a beautiful landscape on the other side. We can’t see the whole picture. We don't know the reason for death and suffering; we don't know what's on the other side, but I'm sure there are many mansions and colors — and the weave creates a majestic tapestry.
In this modern age, I still can’t comprehend why we — the most powerful and technologically advanced nation on the planet — could not deliver drinking water to our own suffering people in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. We couldn’t deliver water to babies and children who were dying of dehydration, heat stroke, hunger and toxic disease. We couldn’t do it on Monday, the day the storm subsided. And on Tuesday, the day the press arrived and showed people stranded on rooftops, President Bush was at an elegant golf resort in Arizona, holding a press conference. A13-year-old girl was found raped to death, her throat slit, inside a ladies room in the Superdome. There was no air conditioning, the sewer system had stopped, the toilets were overflowing, and a man jumped to his death inside the stadium from a second floor tier. What I find strange was that President Bush flew back in the dead of night to intervene in the Terry Schiavo matter, a private family matter that didn’t require government intervention — yet he did not feel the same urgency as he watched the devastating aftermath of Katrina unfold on his television screen. He couldn’t pull himself away from a party to help the dying souls in one of the worst natural disasters in United States history. Later he said, “ “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” He said this, even though a month earlier, he had been vigorously warned and shown footage of the devastating consequences of just such a breach.

I find it so strange that the president of the United States did not respond with any urgency to this tragedy of monumental proportions. He did not order troops or supplies to be sent in right away. Helicopter food drops could have been made immediately. Police and National Guard could have been parachuted in to restore order and protect the innocent. For four days people suffered without water. I don’t understand how we managed to drop thousands of anti-Sadaam pamphlets and parcels of food into Iraq in a matter of hours, but not to our own people in New Orleans. Someone said, “The president doesn’t have a heart for people’s suffering.”

The news footage of looting in New Orleans after Katrina gave certain right-wing pundits fuel for their bigotry. But couldn't they see that the economic system that created such a wide chasm between the "haves and the have-nots” actually created Les Miserables? A culture that constantly advertises salvation through Nintendo, i-Pods and Plasma TVs creates an insatiable craving for stuff. Yes looting is bad, but looting pension funds is worse. Looting votes through gerrymandering is worse. And to think the minimum wage is only $5.75 an hour, while Congress votes lifetime pensions for themselves into the six figures. Reaganomics and the trickle down theory did not work because of the greed of the corporate executives, who continue to take such a large slice of the pie they have to eliminate the actual workers. Ford and GM outsourced thousands of jobs to make their corporate owners wealthier. And churches are not tithing enough to support the needy. A society must take care of the “least among us.” Then we will see amazing things begin to happen. And I'm not talking about a welfare state, by the way.
Helping the poor is Christ’s most vital commandment. He is unequivocal about this. The more you give, the more you are doing the will of God according to Christ’s law to “take care of the least among you” thereby increasing the goodwill of the citizens. And it would actually make our country wealthier, because everyone would prosper. It’s a spiritual principle. It does not make for a stable economy or safe society to have such a large gap between the rich and poor. Tithing is a law of the universe that pays for itself triple-fold. If we are going to mix church and state, at least let it help people, not take away from them and give tax breaks only to the rich.

It’s Sunday and I’m standing in the kitchen peeling garlic for my son’s favorite pot roast. I turn on the radio to NPR and begin chopping onions, celery and carrots. I add the bay leaf to the broth and set it to simmer. As I listen to a broadcast describing the bodies floating in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, I become limp with heartache. I see the faces of these poor souls and the loved ones left behind whose grief is so deep, it seems they will never smile again. They are wading in death’s water or standing on its shore or climbing out of its rooftops. Arms outstretched, their faces frozen in horror and helplessness. They are so tired, trying to save the dead. But the ones drifting by do not fight the tide — for they are peacefully asleep.

The tears burn my eyes. My knees buckle, actually buckle and I slump over the sink. I am crying and praying. It’s a sudden jolt, like an electric shock and even though my eyes are over flowing with tears, I see something. During the Breslan school massacre, the genocide in the Sudan, the tsunami in Indonesia and all the hurricanes, wars and catastrophes — I have been praying without ceasing for weeks at a time. I have cried out to God in my house, silently in my car, until crying and praying have become one. And out of nowhere the thought comes to me that maybe my prayers have not been in vain. The thought comes that there has actually been some degree of healing as a result of all our prayers. I live far away from these dead poor souls — and cannot go to them, can’t abandon my children and join the Red Cross. But I can give. And in my heart I get the peaceful feeling that someone has been comforted, given hope, awakened. Maybe that is what God is – the silent, invisible transfer of love to another.

197 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving!

    What a totally adorable dog!

    I love dogs. What's better than dogs? I love them all: AKC, mutts, large, small, energetic, mellow, I would have 20 if I had the space and income to properly care for them.

    We have one. A very smart Lab who we found as a puppy running down a busy street with a tattered rope hanging from her neck. We ran 2 weeks of notices in the paper and put index cards up at PetsMart, but nobody called to claim Ginger.

    That was 11 years ago. I think we've given her a good life and our lives have been greatly enriched by her presence.

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  2. Great post, Lydia.

    God is love, and love is giving and caring for the least amongst us.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Lydia.

    The fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. Pray ithout ceasing.

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  3. "I think today the biggest threat to human rights and the rule of law is fear. Fear of being swamped by immigrants, fear of the 'other,' fear of being blown up by terrorists, fear of rogue states, fear of weapons of mass destruction. Fear is the antithesis of empathy. It destroys our shared understanding and our shared humanity because it converts the other into a threat. For most people, fear severely restricts the ability to reason, to challenge. Playing on people's fears allows political leaders to consolidate their own power, create false certainties and escape accountability."

    --Irene Zubaida Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International, in her presentation Oct. 25 as part of the Mitchell Lecture Series in the UB Law School.

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  4. GREAT post and nice picture...........my friends sister has a dog that looks just like yours.

    And taking care of the least of us is EXACTLY what we should be doing instead of making war and inspiring hatred and death around the world to enrich the greedy Neo Cons!

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  5. Lydia, why is there a picture of a muppet on the cover of the blog?

    lol

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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  6. I have a dog, (a Shepard) and three cat monsters.

    I have a house full-o-critters.

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  7. BARTLEBEE said...
    I have a dog, (a Shepard) and three cat monsters.

    I have a house full-o-critters."


    LOL.........you didnt strike me as the amimal type Bartlebe!

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  8. Christopher, Brother Tim, Mike, Bartlebee... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

    Love
    Lydia

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  9. Happy Thanksgiving, Lydia! Cute doggie!

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  10. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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  11. Mike said...

    LOL.........you didnt strike me as the amimal type Bartlebe!


    I've always had dogs. I used to work with K-9 dogs in my younger years, but thats another story.

    Not that I consider this a virtue, but I like dogs more than people.

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  12. BARTLEBEE said...
    Lydia, why is there a picture of a muppet on the cover of the blog?

    lol

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING"

    are you refering to that talking microphone?

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  13. No I'm talking about that furry muppet on this thread.

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  14. Happy Thanksgiving, Lydia, I hope you had a blessed day.

    Very poignant post. I too wonder why our country couldn't have helped the victims of Katrina. I can only feel that our country is going downhill so rapidly that we just can't be competent anymore, and that is sad.

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  15. Larry
    I hope you get this. I am having email problems again and can't send but can receive. I left you a reply on my site. Stay happy and in touch!

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  16. Ok Lydia, I hate to say this but this writers strike is crap.

    All they've done now is silence the voice of every major comedian and personality out there for a month now.

    When's it going to end? Whats so important that they needed to silence the voices of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Bill Maher...???????

    So they could get a raise?

    These are important times and those voices have been a bastion wall against an ever growing web of lies by the Bush administration and the neocons.

    All the writers strike has done is silence these important voices and thus helped take the pressure off the neocons.

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  17. Say what you will, but this writers strike has been the best gift the neocons have been given all year.

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  18. To the gutless chicken hawks of America,

    This is what YOUR cowardliness has caused;

    From, VetVoice

    Off To War Again. . .and Again and Again. . . .

    Well here I go. . .again. I am off for my war for my fifth tour in the "War on Terrorism". The average Vietnam vet served 365 days in country. In WWII the average soldier was deployed for two years. For this next deployment to Iraq I will spend 455 days in Iraq. As of now I have 36 months "in country". When (and if) I live through this next deployment I will have 51 months. That means I will have deployed for four years and three months total time deployed.

    Can someone tell me what the hell is going on? Why am I spending more time in war than my father and grandfather combined? I am not sure that the government or my country has my soldiers or my best interest's at heart. Not to mention my family who goes through hell every time I deploy.

    I have six soldiers who are not only stop-lossed but they are not being paid. That's right--they will be deploying with no pay. The Army has made sure that their orders for stop-loss were issued but somehow forgot to inform the finance department. Now they are fighting to pay bills, put food on their family's tables and buy the items they need for this deployment. I can't help but wonder what it's all about when one of these soldiers has to borrow money to buy diapers. Should all the NCOs' have to pool their money to pay an electric bill for a soldier?

    I recently redeployed from Afghanistan. Yes, I said recently (I don't even want to get into dwell time between deployments). I was at home on leave and I met up with an old friend and he was very cordial and asked how I was and what I was up to. I a said "Well I just got back from Afghanistan." He replies the same reply that has crushed me over and over since I have been back. "Really? Dude we still have troops over there?" Yes. Yes we do if you were wondering. I wonder if my friend's wife whose husband died in an ambush get's this question. I pray that she does not.

    Is this how blind America is? It has been my experience that if you do not have a direct investment in the war's (i.e. you have a family member in the service or you are profiting somehow how from the war) you tend to remain in this bubble that shields you from the realities of world events. Most people in this country are more worried about Brad and Angelina's adopted kids than the fact that I have spent four of my son's seven years in foreign deserts.

    I have always done what I said I would do and this deployment will be no different. I will go and I will lead my soldiers and lie to them, telling them that all of this is for a bigger picture. I am days from getting back on that plane to hell. Somebody tell me this is going to end. Somebody please give me some hope. Somebody tell me why I should ruck up and continue forward. Somebody tell me something. Anything. Lie to me if need be. It wouldn't be the first time. I just need something.


    This is what the cowardliness of the reichwing chicken hawks have reduced the US soldier to.

    More time in combat then WW2 or Vietnam Vets, with no relief from the college republican crowd of gutless chicken hawks and no plan to end the madness from the gutless chicken hawks they enable to continue this madness the Bushco Criminal Enterprise .....

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  19. I wonder if he is one of the phony soldiers

    Rush the gutless fat drug addicted lying gasbag chicken hawk draft dodger Limpballs was laughing about on his hate speech radio show?

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  20. vetvoice
    Only one person the decider is responsible for all this. I have sons in this. One just back from Iraq and another 5 months from Afghanistan getting ready to go to Iraq where he is an EOD leader.
    Nothing will sway Bush from his forever war agenda and nothing will make it worse than what he set in motion. I tell my sons to prepare because they are in it for the long haul and their are many wars to come and soon. This is still just beginning regardless of what side you are on or who says what and it is way beyond control.

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  21. BARTLEBEE said...
    Ok Lydia, I hate to say this but this writers strike is crap.

    All they've done now is silence the voice of every major comedian and personality out there for a month now.

    When's it going to end? Whats so important that they needed to silence the voices of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Bill Maher...???????

    So they could get a raise?

    These are important times and those voices have been a bastion wall against an ever growing web of lies by the Bush administration and the neocons.

    All the writers strike has done is silence these important voices and thus helped take the pressure off the neocons."


    Yeah, i certainly agree with you that this HAS taken alot of pressure off the Neo Cons......................AND I certainly miss John Stewart.

    But the writers have certainly got a raw deal and deserve a far bigger slice of the pie than they are getting as do the actors........I honestly dont know what would have been the best course of action at the present time............I would certainly LIKE to see the writers get a FAIR deal............but I agree this is a critical and dangerous time period, and i also think it would be beneficial for them to be getting their message out opposing the Neo Cons.

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  22. an average patriot said...
    vetvoice
    Only one person the decider is responsible for all this. I have sons in this. One just back from Iraq and another 5 months from Afghanistan getting ready to go to Iraq where he is an EOD leader.
    Nothing will sway Bush from his forever war agenda and nothing will make it worse than what he set in motion. I tell my sons to prepare because they are in it for the long haul and their are many wars to come and soon. This is still just beginning regardless of what side you are on or who says what and it is way beyond control.""

    I agree the Idiot "DECIDER" and his pack of Neo Con Fools are responsible for this...........and I have no doubt that, that SAME pack of fools want to attack Iran as well...............BUT NO ONE but the Volksturm the bottom feeding 25% of our nation buy their BS anymore if Bush attacks Iran without approval from Congress the repug Party is finished for good.........the economic disaster that would result from that would destroy the repugs who would "Own" both the war and the "Depression" WORSE than the GREAT DEPRESSION destroyed Herbert Hoover and the repug party for 40 years.

    As for Bush declaring martial law........i'm sure he would try...........but has ANYTHING these incomptent idiots ever done proven successful.......with the exception of destroying our country.

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  23. The Repug Party is like a throwback to the Wizard of Oz...............Bush is a Scarecrow that needs a Brain, Cheney is a Tinman without a heart, Ann Coulter is the Wicked witch of the East who needs a house to fall on her, and the rest of the repug party are cowardly lions and flying monkeys.

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  24. Mike said

    But the writers have certainly got a raw deal and deserve a far bigger slice of the pie than they are getting

    Yea? So does everyone. You think the guy breaking his back in a warehouse, or the old woman mopping the floor at Burger Kings getting a "good deal"?

    Everyones getting a raw deal Mike.

    Tell em to take a number and get in line.

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  25. Sorry. but thats just not a good enough excuse for why they've literally SHUT DOWN the mainstream political satire circuit.

    They've literally imposed a moratoreum on political humor.

    I'm sorry Mike, but something STINKS about this deal. Something stinks to high heaven. Why now? Bush is on the ropes, literally. So why shut them up now?

    If it had been a day or two, or even a week, I'd have said ok. But come on. Its like a freaking month now that they've completely shut down the poltical satire world, and saying they weren't getting a big enough slice of the pie just doesn't cut it, at least not with me.

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  26. I think its time Hollywood stop doing what its accusing the right wing of, that is "towing the party line".

    They need to take off the blinders and look closer at why this strike really came up. Find out who suggested it, and then find out who suggested it to him. I don't mean the bs we read about publically. I mean the behind closed doors meetings.

    Someones behind this writers strike, and whether they know it or not, it ain't the writers.

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  27. BARTLEBEE said...
    Mike said

    But the writers have certainly got a raw deal and deserve a far bigger slice of the pie than they are getting

    Yea? So does everyone. You think the guy breaking his back in a warehouse, or the old woman mopping the floor at Burger Kings getting a "good deal"?

    Everyones getting a raw deal Mike.

    Tell em to take a number and get in line."


    I agree with your frustration........I think the timing sucks too, like I said before.

    But not really knowing enough about this to make a truly educated erudite response..........i'm a little reluctant to stand in judgement of a man till i walk in his shoes..............in my younger years that guy breaking his back in a warehouse working 90 hour weeks was me........so i know all about getting crapped on by the corporate powers that be.

    Besides I believe Lydia said something to the effect that their contract comes up every 3 years or so...........i realize sticking together for the common good and/or a higher purpose is what we need right now...........but that may be tough to swallow for people struggling to feed their kids or getting deeper in debt to pay medical bills.

    AS for your theory that this strike was staged thats certainly possible i'll need to ponder that a little more over a beer, but i dont think it likely........Hollywood, writers as well as creative types are inherently predominantly liberal............sure the Media Conglomerates that own the studios are Reich Wing and they probably have enough re runs, old episodes and reality show crap to weather a strike better than the creative talent do........so sure this could be a good time for them to foment a strike if they could............BUT creative people are pretty sharp and intuitive and I think they would see through those contrived machinations pretty quick........The Reich Wing isnt too slick or subtle IMHO.

    Sorry if you think this is a weak answer........but thats all I can really say on this while trying to look at this from a broad perspective.

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  28. BARTLEBEE said...
    I think its time Hollywood stop doing what its accusing the right wing of, that is "towing the party line".

    They need to take off the blinders and look closer at why this strike really came up. Find out who suggested it, and then find out who suggested it to him. I don't mean the bs we read about publically. I mean the behind closed doors meetings.

    Someones behind this writers strike, and whether they know it or not, it ain't the writers."


    the ONLY way I can see this strike being staged is if the Media Conglomerates all colluded to force the issue KNOWING the writers would strike NOW in a election year!

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  29. No. Thats not the "only" way.

    You're forgetting the strike is called by the union leaders.

    If anyone got pressured, or bribed, it was likely at this level. The union leaders decide when to strike and they do it by majority vote if memory serves me right. Which means only a percentage of them would have to be enticed or coerced.

    But I do agree the Media conglomerates may have played a role. After all, with the new law saying that they can have their assets seized if its determined they are undermining efforts in Iraq, and since Bush has been accusing them of undermining efforts in Iraq with shows like the Daily Show, then yes, I could see pressure on them to hold out an play hardball.

    But the union decides when to call the strike.

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  30. Thats an interesting theory...........and bribery at the union level is certainly possible.........i'll have to consider that one a little longer.

    All I KNOW is I miss John Stewart and the Country NEEDS and misses him as well.

    I dont think this strike will be resolved ANYTIME soon and thats REAL bad news............unless your a Neo Con Fascist of course!

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  31. The Almighty Black Dog dwells within our walls, and he is the most lovable monster who ever existed. I miss him, a lot, whenever I am away from home, which is frequently these days.

    As for McClellan.... I am not convinced. He's been a happy liar for the moronic monkey throughout his career, not to mention a "good friend" of one Jeffy Gannon. There is more here than meets the eye; we just don't know what it is yet. Ricardo Sanchez, I believe, IS genuinely sorry about his part in things and really is trying to make them better.

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  32. JR, are you trying to imply that Scotty is just out to pimp and promote his book..................I found it curious that he backtracked and said Bush did not lie or try to mislead................if he was truly misled then the Neo Cons Obviously didnt trust him.........and if he wasnt to be trusted why would they tell him who knew what later.



    it doesnt add up to me either..............but if it gets people talking and examining the treason and lies all the better!

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  33. Mike said...
    I dont think this strike will be resolved ANYTIME soon


    I'm curious why you think that. I fear you may be right, but I'm curious why you think it won't be resolved soon.

    After all its costing the network hundreds of millions in sponsor revenue. The cost of a commercial on a new daily show episode is 10 times what they charge for a rerun.

    And the writers, the actors, everyones losing money. So why would they continue? Most strikes don't last more than a few weeks. Why would they drag this on?

    Anyway I'm glad you're taking a look at it cause I smell a rat.

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  34. As for Scotty,I could care less if he cuts a deal. If he wants to sing then let him sing like a canary.

    Like I always say we need whistleblowers, so it doesn't make since to go after people when the come out as long as they are offering critical and accurate information.

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  35. Yes Mike, I think it's all about pimping the book. Time will tell if I'm wrong, but I doubt I am.

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  36. BARTLEBEE said...
    Mike said...
    I dont think this strike will be resolved ANYTIME soon


    I'm curious why you think that. I fear you may be right, but I'm curious why you think it won't be resolved soon.

    After all its costing the network hundreds of millions in sponsor revenue. The cost of a commercial on a new daily show episode is 10 times what they charge for a rerun.

    And the writers, the actors, everyones losing money. So why would they continue? Most strikes don't last more than a few weeks. Why would they drag this on?

    Anyway I'm glad you're taking a look at it cause I smell a rat."


    I read up on this a little when the story first broke about the strike and one article I remember said the Media Conglomerates had been preparing for this for a long time and that they had compliled vast libraries of old shows, re-runs as well as developed reality shows to fill the void and that they were prepared to play hardball with the writers and were prepared for a long drawn out strike.

    And sure the Media conglomerates are losing a lot of advertising revenue..............BUT they are saving on production costs and salary.........while the writers and actors are just not getting paid.............so who do you think this strike is hurting more?

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  37. That thought crossed my mind as well JR!!!!!!!!!!

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  38. Mike said...
    so who do you think this strike is hurting more?


    Well thats pretty much relative but one things for sure.

    Its hurting LOTS of people. So whatever benefits the writers think they're going to get from this, lots and lots of people, right down to the studio janitor is getting hurt.

    I'm not against strikes when the situation calls for it, and I don't know, maybe it did, but I've read everything Lydia and everyone else has wrote about it and I just cannot seem to locate the sense of urgency that everyone else seems to ascribe to it.

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  39. But more important than the loss of income to so many people is the loss of attention and focus on the Bush administration by these political satirists.

    Could you imagine the field day Stewart and the gang would have had with the Scott Mclellan revelation?

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  40. Lydia,

    I said it in email, and I'll say it here: your heart is lovely, and your soul beautiful. Thank you.

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  41. bartlebee said...
    I'm not against strikes when the situation calls for it, and I don't know, maybe it did, but I've read everything Lydia and everyone else has wrote about it and I just cannot seem to locate the sense of urgency that everyone else seems to ascribe to it.


    http://themoderatevoice.com/entertainment/television/tv-shows/16215/hollwood-writers-strike-all-hollywood-writers-are-not-millionaires/#comment-105785

    Also, my comment: [I]magine it this way:

    Say you invent a product for the company you work for, and you negotiate a contract that says that you will get paid a royalty for every widget sold in x country. Your company has always sold only to country, and never dealt with anyone else, so you figure you’re on safe ground.

    Now imagine x country has a civil war, and divides into two countries, x1 and x2. Your company now says that, since x2 is a new country, your agreement is no longer valid for that country, and you are not entitled to royalties from there, meanwhile, they will continue to sell your widget in x2.

    Now let’s take this to the writers’ case, and say that everyone in x1 is gravitating and moving to x2, which basically screws you out of any royalties…effectively, this is what has happened to the WGA.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The only way this strike will end is when the ad copy writers go out in solidarity.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Carl, thank you so much. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Bartlebee said: "After all, with the new law saying that they can have their assets seized if its determined they are undermining efforts in Iraq..."

    First of all, please tell me more about this. I had no idea this was a new law. does that mean books against the war cannot be written either?

    *****

    I have some answers for you regarding the strike. I agree it is terrible timing, and is undermining our cause. But I don't think the union leaders thought about that. No one is as involved in the machinations of politics like we are. For example, most people look at me quizzically when I mention Ann Coulter's name (they have no idea who she is, they have no idea there is any corporate oligarchy in America; they are clueless and addicted to "Dancing with the Stars or American Idol.")

    We had Thanksgiving dinner with my son's father who writes the Letterman show and he is a veteran (wrote Johnny Carson's monologue, started writing when he was 17 for Sid Caesar) so he's still young... he said that this is a terrible strike but the most crucial one since television was invented.

    A whole new formula must be constructed for a whole new technology. Book writers and song writers get royalties for their work, but screenwriters have waited 20 years since the last promise by the conglomerates (networks) to figure out if there was a market for videocassettes. So they are angry and they are not thinking "why not wait just one more year because it's an election year?" They are not thinking like we do.

    They feel the time is now and if they work without a contract now, they will be set in stone to get zero for all the shows they create which will be played on this new technology.

    ReplyDelete
  45. But by the way, neither late-night show writers (such as Letterman, Leno) or soap writers have any stake in this strike. No one buys reruns of topical shows or soaps anyway. They are the ones suffering needlessly and should have a separate contract.

    In the last strike, Letterman writers continued working - everyone agreed it was okay for late-night show writers to work. This time the stakes are higher for the entire industry -- so they see it as "Now or never."

    Let's pray, put our collective energy out there. The conglomerates are already feeling the heat of all unions and the public against them. Their greed is unbelievable. In a way, this could be a short term pain, but a long term middle-class LABOR UNION gain for all of America.

    Someone has to stand up to the greedy corporations. Auto workers haven't been able to do it.

    But in every industry that is a creative industry such as designers, book authors or artists, they own their copyright. Why not creators of original programming? Why not the people who stay up all night writing the perfect joke or line -- that someone can replay with new Coke ads for years and years?

    Gilligan's Island and Bewitched writers and actors never received a dime and many died broke or were used up in syndication deals that made the producers rich. The producers had nothing to do with creating the show at all.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Lydia Cornell said...
    Bartlebee said: "After all, with the new law saying that they can have their assets seized if its determined they are undermining efforts in Iraq..."

    First of all, please tell me more about this. I had no idea this was a new law. does that mean books against the war cannot be written either?"

    Lydia, I talked about this pretty extensively this past summer..........I think this law was put forth primarly to put fear into the MSM for speaking the truth and opposing the Neo Cons.....................It was aimed at silencing people like John Stewart and Keith Olberman............and so far till this strike like Bartlebe pointed out it hasnt silenced anyone.

    Like I said unless things get ugly I think this Executive Order is aimed at the Media.........BUT if things were to get ugly and Bush and his Neo Cons needed money to fund the war because all our foreign creditors abandoned the dollar Bush could declare martial law and seize all liberals or people who oppose the wars assets and use it as confiscated war spoils to buy the loyalty and servives of his Blackwater Mercenaries..............All these Concentration Camps Blavckwater is building have to serve some purpose?

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  47. Carl, thats a GREAT description of whats going on!

    ReplyDelete
  48. BTW Lydia........I wouldnt worry about you getting your assets seized for whats in the book.

    If the Neo Cons were going to seize your assets NOW........they would have allready done so for what you guys say on the radio show.............right now the INTENT of this dispicable Executive Order is to intimidate the MSM people like Olberman and Stewart.

    That said if martial law were to be declared then all our assets are in danger of being seized..........Bush is spying on American citizens, building batabases of information on those that oppose the war and building concentration camps and issuing Executive orders like this in the dead of night for a reason..........make no mistake about that.........That is why he needs to be opposed...........these evil men are following the Nazi blueprint and gameplan for seizing power to a tee.........luckily thanks to men like Olberman and Stewart and the many bloggers oppsing them......things arent going as smooth as they did for Hitler!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Lydia Cornell said...


    First of all, please tell me more about this. I had no idea this was a new law. does that mean books against the war cannot be written either?


    The new law is an executive order issued by Bush in July 2007 entitled "Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq".

    You can read the actual EO here.
    READ THE EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE



    The order is broad and sweeping and gives the president a wide spread of criteria to base execute the order on.

    I wrote about it in August, talking about how media owners might be frightened that their corporations could literally be seized by the government if its decided that they are undermining efforts in Iraq.

    Now, here they are, a few months after the order was written, essentially siliencing ALL of their political satirists who have been working to end efforts in Iraq.

    Its highly suspicious.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Lydia said...
    A whole new formula must be constructed for a whole new technology. Book writers and song writers get royalties for their work, but


    Yea? And you think NOW is the time to do all that?

    You think now, when we need our political satirists the most is a time to silence them?

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  51. Lydia said...

    but screenwriters have waited 20 years since the last promise by the conglomerates (networks) to figure out if there was a market for videocassettes.

    Well then it seems they could have waited one more year.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Lydia said..
    . So they are angry and they are not thinking "why not wait just one more year because it's an election year?" They are not thinking like we do.


    Well if they've been angry for 20 years it seems they could have lived with it a little bit longer.

    Sorry Lydia, but none of that cuts it with me. You are acting as an apologist for the writers union because you're in the business, and I understand that, but the timing of this makes it fairly clear to me that the union leaders did not make this decision on their own.

    Some of them were "gotten to".

    I am fairly certain of that.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Lydia said..

    They feel the time is now

    No, I think someone else felt the time was now for them.

    It doesn't take all of them you know. One or two comprimised union leaders, plants, etc, and some pressure spread around and walla.

    Strike.

    This ain't rocket science folks.

    The Mafia has been pressuring unions on when and when not to strike since we first had unions.

    Its simple, straight forward, and works almost everytime.

    Its hard to believe that I'm the only one thinking this.

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  54. Lydia said...

    This time the stakes are higher for the entire industry


    Thats right.

    This time we've got the ability of a President to act without public scrutiny on the table. We've got the President, getting ready to attack Iran, and already behind the 8 Ball in the public eye.

    Bush can't take much more public ridicule and remain in office.

    So yes, theres a lot at stake.

    A hell of a lot.

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  55. Lydia said...

    Why not creators of original programming? Why not the people who stay up all night writing the perfect joke or line -- that someone can replay with new Coke ads for years and years?


    I'm not questioning or challenging their rights in these matters, or that they are getting a raw deal.

    But Lydia.

    EVERYONES getting a raw deal.

    You think the janitors of this country are getting a "good deal"?

    You think the 60 year old woman working the fry line at Burger King is getting a "good deal"?

    You think she's getting fair wages for the miserable work she does every day?

    Everyones got it rough, and everyones getting robbed.

    But not everyone has the power the comedy writers posses in this country, to hold a bright light on the Bush administration, and illuminate to the masses the corruption he is spreading each and every day.

    The biggest threat to Bush's popularity in this country are the comedy writers. They can descimate him. Castrate him. Turn him into the laughing stock of the nation, and turn those in the public not already against it, against the war.

    And now, thanks to this strike, they've been silenced, and the guys like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Letterman are not helping young people to see the corruption of the Bush administration every night.

    The bulk of young people in this country get their information from these shows.

    Now all thats been effectively squashed.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Mike said...
    Mike said...
    BTW Lydia........I wouldnt worry about you getting your assets seized for whats in the book.

    If the Neo Cons were going to seize your assets NOW........they would have allready done so for what you guys say on the radio show.............



    The law was just written in July Mike. And it won't be executed against small individuals like Lydia or you and me anyway.

    At first.

    It will be employed against media moguls, who have some real wealth to lose.

    Which is why I think this writers strike was choriagraphed, by the media moguls, to give the president a chance to wrap it up in Iraq without the constant badgering from guys like Jon Stewart, and Colbert.

    I am guessing the White House contacted a few of these media giants and reminded them of July's Executive Order and how they were "treading lightly" in that area.


    Media moguls in turn tightened their fists, became unreasonable and rigid, unwilling to negotiate, knowing it would push a strike, while at the same time key union leaders were either pressured, or bribed, to call for the strike now.

    The fact that its going on this long, only further supports this theory.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Read the Executive Order
    "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" HERE
    , on the WHITE HOUSE's own homepage.

    :|

    Listen to me folks. I'm not making this up, and its not just a wild idea I came up with.

    I've been silent on it up until now, because I didn't want to believe it.

    But now, that the strikes went on for a month with no end in sight, and NO ONE'S TALKING ABOUT IT MUCH in the PRESS, I just cannot be silent on it any longer.

    To me, its clear what this is about. To me its clear that this was a well staged and ocordinated effort to silence the strongest and loudest voices out there.

    And its working like a charm.

    ReplyDelete
  58. And if you think I'm wrong, then ask yourself one question.

    WHY did Bush write that law in July?

    WHY? Do you think he just did it for the hell of it?

    That order was written for a REASON.

    And when I first read it I was waiting to see why they wrote it.

    And now, just a few months later, I think I have my answer.

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  59. And to be honest Lydia, I hope I'm right, that is that they WERE "pressured".

    Because if they weren't, then this strike shows an unprecedented apathy for their own country, and all the people who are suffering in Iraq now because of it.

    You don't stop in the middle of the championship match to discuss compensation.

    You do that before, or after, the fight.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Read the Executive Order, and then ask yourself, "WHY did Bush write this".

    WHY.

    Who did he intend to use it on, or leverage it against?

    Ask yourself those questions people, AFTER reading the Executive Order, and you'll see what I see.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Pay particular attention to line item B,

    B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq

    Then, think back on recent statements made by the President and the White House staff, that people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert with their caustic satire, are actually "undermining" efforts in Iraq.

    Then look at this clause;

    (iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

    ReplyDelete
  62. He who has ears to hear, let him hear

    ReplyDelete
  63. Bartlebe said "I am guessing the White House contacted a few of these media giants and reminded them of July's Executive Order and how they were "treading lightly" in that area.


    Media moguls in turn tightened their fists, became unreasonable and rigid, unwilling to negotiate, knowing it would push a strike, while at the same time key union leaders were either pressured, or bribed, to call for the strike now.

    The fact that its going on this long, only further supports this theory."


    Hey didnt I say this was a possibility last night?

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  64. I'm afraid I have to take issue with a few of the points that are being made about the strike.

    First off, they can't "wait another year" if the contract is up now. Most union contracts have provisions in them keeping walkouts or strikes from happening while a contract is in place.

    Second off, while nobody wants strikes to happen ... I say better now when neither of the two candidates have been determined than 9 months from now when we're heading into the election itself. If Stewart and Colbert are doing reruns, that's fine from a political standpoint ... it's not like the current news has changed all THAT much. Bush is still dumb, Cheney is still evil, the war is still wrong, and the old jokes are still relevant. If it has to happen, now is much better than later.

    Third off, what happens now may very well help determine what happens when other union contracts are up -- like mine for instance. And yours. And theirs.

    ReplyDelete
  65. BARTLEBEE said...
    Mike said...
    Mike said...
    BTW Lydia........I wouldnt worry about you getting your assets seized for whats in the book.

    If the Neo Cons were going to seize your assets NOW........they would have allready done so for what you guys say on the radio show.............


    The law was just written in July Mike. And it won't be executed against small individuals like Lydia or you and me anyway.

    At first.

    It will be employed against media moguls, who have some real wealth to lose.

    Which is why I think this writers strike was choriagraphed, by the media moguls, to give the president a chance to wrap it up in Iraq without the constant badgering from guys like Jon Stewart, and Colbert.

    I am guessing the White House contacted a few of these media giants and reminded them of July's Executive Order and how they were "treading lightly" in that area.


    Media moguls in turn tightened their fists, became unreasonable and rigid, unwilling to negotiate, knowing it would push a strike, while at the same time key union leaders were either pressured, or bribed, to call for the strike now.

    The fact that its going on this long, only further supports this theory."


    I KNOW VERY WELL when the law was written.........I was the one that told YOU and many of the others in here about in in July..........and I have said from day one after reading it that it is intended to inspire fear in the Media moguls so they tow the party line and worry about getting their assets seized...........that said at this point in the game I dont know if they would actually seize someone capable of fighting back's assets, because that could alert people to how far we have fallen as a country and how deep the roots of facism truly are.

    As for little people like us...............I never said we have to worry NOW..........go back and read what i have said from today back to July when this EXecutive Order was released........I said Bush could use this power to confiscate assets from liberals and ANYONE who opposes him............THINK ABOUT THIS, he is spying on American citizens for a reason, and building huge concentration camps for a reason...........if Japan, China, Saudi Arabia et al stop loaning us money to fund Bush's 1.6 TRILLION dollar war of folly the money to buy the loyalty of his Blackwater thugs and Mercs as well as buy the oil to fund the war machine has to come from somewhere and the only place is confiscated assets from Americans and Confiscated war spoils just as Hitler and the Nazi's did.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Mike said...

    Hey didnt I say this was a possibility last night?


    Didn't say you didn't.

    I was responding to Lydia.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Well I disagree MCH. While I agree that it could be worse were we closer to the election, right now is really even more critical than the elections.

    Bush and Cheney are shooting for Iran, because they know impeachment is drawing near.

    Scott Mclellans book excerpt leak, (which you can bet was provided to the White House long before it was provided to the public) is DEVASTATING.

    Its the kind of thing that can lead to impeachment hearings and criminal investigations.

    Having an insider come out after all thats been said, and just say "uhh, yea, they were lying", is just devastating for the Bush administration. And so are other things going on right now.

    And easily as significant, Bush has just last month dropped down to 24 percent approval, which is a number everyone on the left was waiting for, and on the right, was fearing.

    Why 24? Because 24 percent was Nixon's approval rating when he was impeached by the House and resigned in 1974.

    Bush is now actually fallen below 24 percent in some polls. So impeachment is becoming more viable in the minds of the public. In fact, people are talking about it on the news shows, something that wasn't a topic of discussion a year back.

    Impeachment and Grand Jury's are what Bush and Cheney are facing, and they know it.

    And while shutting down the political satirists might not help enough to keep it from happening, no one can argue it sure doesn't hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Mike said...

    I KNOW VERY WELL when the law was written.........I was the one that told YOU and many of the others in here about in in July..........

    I don't remember hearing it from you, but if I did, fine. I am fairly sure I first heard it on TP but where I heard its moot.

    I am not trying to be argumentative here, I'm trying to get my point across.

    Are you saying you agree with me?

    Are you saying the writers strike needs to end and now?

    Are you saying you agree that the writers strike may be the result of a well choriagraphed ploy by the White House to silence their loudest critics?

    Because I've heard you say other things with regards to the strike.

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  69. Because I think the writers strike is hurting this country, much more than what its doing to peoples wallets.

    I think its not what it appears to be on the surface.

    I've gotten a sharp nose for these guy's signature, and I see their signature written all over the writers strike.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Bartlebe said "I am not trying to be argumentative here, I'm trying to get my point across.

    Are you saying you agree with me?

    Are you saying the writers strike needs to end and now?

    Are you saying you agree that the writers strike may be the result of a well choriagraphed ploy by the White House to silence their loudest critics?

    Because I've heard you say other things with regards to the strike."


    I'm saying just what I said last night, that what you are saying is certainly possible and i'm going to have to look into this much more throughly.

    I'm not discounting what your saying I just am a little skeptical that a bastion of liberalism like writers and actors could be so easily duped by the Reich Wingers........its certainly possible but they arent the smartest or slickest guys out there you would think SOMEONE would catch on or be aware it was choreographed if that was the case.........I mean writers and actors are usually pretty insightful and Neo Cons are usually pretty transparent.

    But the Media moguls Bribing union leaders to collude on fomenting a strike is certainly possible.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Mike said...

    I'm saying just what I said last night, that what you are saying is certainly possible and i'm going to have to look into this much more throughly

    Ok then why are you yelling at me?

    I was just responding to Lydia's post to me.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Mike said...

    I just am a little skeptical that a bastion of liberalism like writers and actors could be so easily duped by the Reich Wingers


    Why?

    An entire country was.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Mike said...

    its certainly possible but they arent the smartest or slickest guys out there you would think SOMEONE would catch on or be aware it was choreographed if that was the case.........I

    "SOMEONE" has.

    :|

    I"m "someone".

    ReplyDelete
  74. You're right about them not being the "smartest or the slickest" out there, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  75. The writers and actors are just players on the stage, not the directors of this strike, or more importantly, the authors.

    If this was done, it was done at a high level, and in secret. Even though the right wing is inept, they do have a knack for decieving the masses and getting done whatever it is they want to get done.

    I think its safe to say, that the loudest and most widely heard critics of the Bush administration in the country, has been Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

    And now, thanks to the Strike, they've been completely and effectively silenced.

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  76. Happy belated Thanksgiving to all here.

    Lydia an excellent post. I live in a pert of town where there are many homeless and I see these things very regularly.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I know its a stretch for a lot of people but think about it.

    In July, Bush orders the Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq which permits the Government to seize the property of anyone determined to be “undermining stabilization efforts in Iraq”.

    The order is broad and sweeping, and essentially leaves it at the discretion of the President what constitutes “undermining stabilization efforts”.

    When the order came out, the first question I asked is why? Who’s it for? Bush doens’t write laws he ’s not intending on using so obviously there was a reason for this order.

    Then, a few months later, the Hollywood writers strike and the voices of the war’s loudest and most widely heard critics are silenced.

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  78. I think the White House pressured media moguls to shut down Colbert and Stewart, and others like Maher and even Letterman.

    We’ve all heard Bush say recently that guys like Stewart and Colbert are undermining efforts in Iraq. They say they’re hurting the efforts there, which opens the door for this law to be leveraged against the media moguls, who have so much to lose, to shut down the anti-war shows so that “stabilization efforts can have a chance to work”.

    I know it will sound batty to some (Mike excluded:) people, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see what I see.

    Bush didn’t write that order just to write it.

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  79. Another Bush enabler bites the dust;

    Labor Party Wins Big in Australia

    Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

    Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.

    Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.


    Pretty soon it will be just Barney, Pickles and the stupidest F*&^ER to ever darken the White House, and I hear Barney has been callin' the dog pound to see if they do mercy missions.

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  80. I wonder what Rupie Murdoch is gonna do, his own country doesn't believe the crap sky news, (that's Australian for Fox Noise) spews, and next year if the polls are any indication, the reichwimg here will have no better an election then they did in 2006.
    Must suck to

    ReplyDelete
  81. Here is a Prime example of the truthiness of what the reichwing means by the "economy is going great";

    Twilight Zone buying power

    "Suppose you put US$500,000 into a money market account earning 4% a year back on November 7, 2002. Compounded daily, you'd have US$610,694.69 as of yesterday."

    "But wait! Over that same five years, the dollar has lost another 28% of its purchasing power. So, what one dollar bought in 2002, will only buy US$0.72 worth of goods and services today."

    "So that US$610,694.69 in savings that you accumulated and thought you protected so wisely in a money market fund? Well it will only purchase US$439,700 worth of goods and services - 28% less than you thought!"

    It's a frightening Twilight Zone moment when you realize that you started with US$500,000 in buying power, and you ended up with, after waiting five long years, with only US$439,700 in buying power! That's US$60,300 LESS than what you started with!

    And that is before you pay the capital gains/income taxes on the phantom "gains" on that additional US$110,694.69 in account value, turning your total real loss in buying power into a bigger, much bigger net loss! Hahahaha!

    Mogambo sez: Everyone has lost their minds in their desperation to keep the markets up until at least December 31, so that taxes are fixed in amount, bonuses are paid, money is made, and end-of-year account statements do not tell a shocking tale of horrifying loss and financial terror to trusting investors.


    A very good explanation of why the "goberment of bush" HIDES the real inflation rates.

    Because if people understood they were losing every year they wouldn't accept the lies and spin of the reichwing at all.

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  82. And the us consumer is about tapped out with no sub-prime and cheap equity loans to fuel their buying crap to put into a storage unit;

    The coming consumer crunch

    It's been a glorious run for the consumer. In the past 25 years, Americans have kept shopping through good times and bad. In every quarter except one since 1981, consumer spending rose over the previous year, adjusted for inflation. The exception was the first quarter of 1991, and even then the decrease was a mild 0.4% dip.

    The main fuel for the spending was easy access to credit. Banks and other financial institutions were willing to lend households ever increasing amounts of money. Any particular individual might default, but in the aggregate, loans to consumers were viewed as low-risk and profitable.

    The subprime crisis, however, marks the beginning of the end for the long consumer borrow-and-buy boom. The financial sector, wrestling with hundreds of billions in losses, can no longer treat consumers as a safe bet. Already, standards for real estate lending have been raised, including those for jumbo mortgages for high-end houses. Credit cards are still widely available, but it may only be a matter of time before issuers get tougher.

    What comes next could be scary—the largest pullback in consumer spending in decades, perhaps as much as $200 billion to $300 billion, or 2%-3% of personal income. Reduced access to credit will combine with falling real estate values to hit poor and rich alike.
    [..]
    Not everyone thinks American shoppers are tapped out. Consumers have about $4 trillion in unused borrowing capacity on their credit cards, enough to keep spending afloat, points out Stuart A. Feldstein, president of SMR Research in Hackettstown, N.J., which studies consumer loan markets.


    Ilargi says: We find that last statement both mind-warping and re-assuring. Re-assuring, because it confirms that there is no longer a taboo in the US on admitting that there is no money left. The difference between the money you make and what you borrow has faded and gone. All you have to do to pretend you are a player is pay 15%+ in interest. Mind-warping, because, well, we know where this inevitably goes.

    ***************************************

    Basically an admission the party is over get ready for the bill for payment due, which many do not have .

    With the out sourced industrial base, and trillions of dollars of debt both public and private, that payment due bill is gonna HURT.

    Too bad Georgie has spent money like a drunken sailor on crack.

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  83. And here's another insteresting Tidbit Lydia. According to the LA Times, Producers and Writers began talks in July.

    The Executive Order Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq, was issued in July.

    Another coinkydink.

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  84. I realize a contract had ended, but it was a 3 year contract, not the agreement struck back in 1988.

    They could have agreed to extend the contract or come to some sort of temporary addendum, but for some reason, the producers were being unusally rigid and unyeilding. I mean, they have to know that they're going to have to provide royalties for new media as its developed. Its a legal matter they're not going to be able to avoid.

    But for some reason, they won't give an inch. They're making BILLIONS, but they won't give an inch.

    Its as if they wanted to force a strike.

    ReplyDelete
  85. The timing of Bush's Executive order, the impact its having on the bad press his way, and the fact that July was probably about the time Scott Mclellan informed Bush of his book excerpt essentially indicting the Oval Office, coupled with the producers being so unreasonably rigid and unbending all cast some serious questions on this strike that didn't need to happen, and that no one wanted, except of course the White House, who is the only demograph benefiting from it.

    ReplyDelete
  86. And if I'm right, then chances are this is not a single act, but the first in a series of covert behind the scenes attempts to silence the more public of the anti-war critics.

    ReplyDelete
  87. :|

    Great. Have I become unpopular again?

    ReplyDelete
  88. The credit card "bubble' is starting to worry the large banks who make a good portion of their money from bilking their customers, now they are breaking the law to hound the people who are bankrupt;

    Bank of America, Capital One, Chase and Discover Caught Actively Working to Undermine Bankruptcy Laws.

    When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you’ll receive a nasty mark on your credit report for the next decade, but the plus side is that you get to get rid of all of your unsecured debts. It’s not as easy to get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy anymore due to recent legislation that was bought and paid for by the banking industry. In most cases you’ll have to pay back some part of your debt under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. The banks weren’t happy with just forcing almost everyone into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which they have to repay all of their debts through a payment plan and are now going after people who already filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and trying to collect on debts which have been legally bankrupted away.

    Business Week recently ran a story entitled “Prisoners of Debt” in which they reported that a group of banks, collection agencies and even credit bureaus were working together to undermine bankruptcy law. They found that Capital One, Bank of America, Chase, and Discover were all ignoring existing bankruptcy laws, whether by accident or on purpose, and selling debts illegally to collection agencies so that the collection agencies could go after you and try to collect the bankrupted debt. There was recently a court case in which a Chase lawyer testified to a judge that bankrupted debts are sold all the time in the industry.

    The article in Business Week stated that the banks public relations arms said that these actions were an “unintentional mistake,” but let’s look at the facts. Multiple banks have neglected to wipe out people’s debt when they file for bankruptcy and then sell the debt off to a collection agency so they can collect the money. The credit bureaus then help by listing debts on your credit reports, even though they are not valid. There’s a clear financial gain for banks and debts and collectors to flaunt the law like this and since there’s been a clear pattern across a number of different companies with a large number of consumers who have filed bankruptcy, it’s very difficult for these banks to pass off these actions as an “unintentional mistake.”

    If you’ve found yourself the victim of banks and debt collectors who are trying to collect bankrupted debts, contact the banks y phone and in writing and try to get them to update the status of your debts which are legally expired. If that fails, your best bet is to go back to the bankruptcy court where you filed and present the matter before the judge.


    Nice first they get the reichwing criminals in congress to gut the laws so most people can't use chapter 7, then those who can still do they IGNORE the very law they wrote for the reichwing criminals in congress.

    Wanna bet by next summer we hear about millions who can't pay either their mortgages or bloated credit card bills?

    Where are crusty, doltron, freedom fart and tiny the lying welsh to trumpet the "great economy" about now? (proly trying to figger out how to pay the bills now that neo-con central hasn't been paying up real good as of late.)

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  89. On Nov. 25, 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

    Too bad bush's "poppy" pardoned all these criminals, but you never hear the reichwing screeching about that one do you?

    Republican reichwing criminal cronyism it is an epidemic on our nation's fabric which might just prove terminal.

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  90. Bartlebee - I wrote a comment in depth asking you to please get your theory out to all the blogs you can -- including TP and the new Letterman Writers site - and now I can't find the comment anywhere. this is weird. I know I posted it.

    I have to admit to you that I, too, immediately thought the same thing you are saying, and actually mentioned it on our radio show (since we have no new Letterman or Leno jokes to broadcast, as Doug Basham usually plays the late-night comedy soundbites every morning.)
    I mentioned that this might be a plot, but was laughed out of the room.

    But now that you lay out the case so eloquently, I think it's a possiblity.

    Yesterday, I told you that we were warned of a strike in July as my agent was telling us "There's the possibility of a strike so the networks are panicked and stockpiling scripts." We all knew they were in pre-talks before the contract was up in october.

    I posted this, and now it has disappeared.

    Very strange.

    Anyway, PLEASE get your theory out (the one you posted in comment section above, where you lay it out so well) and spread this idea so we can get the writers back to work.

    Hurry!

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  91. New Australian PM Rudd will Withdraw Combat Troops from Iraq

    Another one bites the dust. World politics is littered with the political corpses of rightwing leaders who bucked their own public to join in George W. Bush's wars and misadventures. Spain, Italy, Poland, and in a way the UK are all object lessons in this regard. Now John Howard of Australia has joined their number Australia's new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has pledged to withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq (Australia has about 500 more non-combat troops doing development work in Iraq, and it is not clear what will now be done with them). Rudd will also sign the Kyoto Treaty on fighting global warming.Rudd speaks Chinese and will stake out a new geopolitical position for Australia, while attempting to retain good or at least correct relations with Washington (next year this time that will likely be easier). Rudd's deputy prime minister is a woman (a first), and his team includes a rock star, former Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett.

    Hey, I want a government in the US that looks like this-- pro labor, against foreign military adventures, afraid of global warming, the leader speaks an Asia language, and a rock star is on the team.


    I like Midnight oil, it's cool that the Australian Government can move forward, hopefully we will get that chance next November, but if Shillery gets the democratic nomination, we won't be able to.(Forget the repubes, they all wanna be bush the second.)

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  92. Lydia Cornell said...
    Bartlebee - I wrote a comment in depth asking you to please get your theory out to all the blogs you can -- including TP and the new Letterman Writers site - and now I can't find the comment anywhere. this is weird. I know I posted it.


    That is weird. I never saw it.

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  93. Lydia Cornell;

    Anyway, PLEASE get your theory out (the one you posted in comment section above, where you lay it out so well) and spread this idea so we can get the writers back to work.


    ok, I've been spamming TP with it for a few days now. I'll check out the Letterman site you're talking about. Do you have a link?

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  94. Lydia said...

    Yesterday, I told you that we were warned of a strike in July as my agent was telling us "There's the possibility of a strike so the networks are panicked and stockpiling scripts.

    And July is when Bush issued the executive order enabling him to seize assets of those he deems are working to undermine efforts in Iraq.

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  95. Of course you're in a better position to get the word out then I am Lydia. I don't have access to the kind of people you do not being an actor myself.

    If I'm write however, its going to take a lot to do anything about it. After all, if producers and owners are scared of having their assets seized they're not likely to back down. They don't have to do anything special, just refuse to play ball with the writers Guild representatives.

    Just pick one item that they know is a deal breaker, and stonewall on it.

    In this case it was the residuals on new media. They know they can't get away without paying it eventually. But stonewalling now makes sure the strike goes on.

    What needs to happen is a short 1 year contract to carry everyone over until a deal can be hammered out.

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  96. Bartlebee
    I have been following your conversations and agree this has been another timely problem to take our attention off the Bush crises.
    With that said now that the middle east talks are getting ready to be held I bet this will all be settled now so Bush can highlight his success. However the talks will fail like everything Bush touches.

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  97. Bartlebe said "What needs to happen is a short 1 year contract to carry everyone over until a deal can be hammered out."


    I agree completely!

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  98. Australia's Kevin Rudd just said he will have a MUCH closer relationship with a Democratic Presidential Administration in America..............Guess NO ONE likes Bush and his pack of Neo Con Facists!

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  99. Well we should know more on wether the Media Conglomerates want to be reasonable and settle the strike or keep it going soon...........they are set to resume talks tomorrow.

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  100. I am not sure if thats the right group Mike.

    The talks that are set to resume tomorrow are I think just with the Broadway theatre producers and the stage hands, who were also striking.

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  101. Hillary Clinton's Husband Said to Be Offering Up His Diplomatic Services to Broker Far West Peace Accord
    I am hearing it on good authority from a highly reputable source that none other than former President Bill Clinton -- long a friend of the entertainment industry -- has let it be known to intimates that he would make himself available to help break the Writers Guild of America strike impasse with the studios that at the moment has no new talks planned.

    "He could absolutely serve as a modern-day Lew Wasserman," the source confirmed. "Bill Clinton is uniquely positioned because he doesn't need anything from this. It would strictly be about bringing the sides together. I'd say the only possible deal-breaker could be if his wife's team somehow feels that it may be perceived as a negative for her Presidential campaign, but I don't really see how it could."

    To be sure, the former President couldn't do any harm to a situation that's grown about as chilly as these things get. At the moment, it's all about sniping and potshots and ego and the race to hold the higher moral ground. So far, that ground remains pretty much barren, with no fresh growth (in the way of meaningful discussion) in sight.

    It leads to another question that's already being asked with increasing volume -- namely, where is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in all of this? He has obviously made a decision to stay out of the picture -- but why? He's in the rare position of being both a high-level politician and a Hollywood superstar. And this strike quite clearly stands to have a major negative economic impact on his state. Weird that he should be so resolutely committed to staying on the sidelines.

    But if a guy like Clinton -- who nearly was able to broker peace in the Middle East, you may remember -- can be enlisted to try to get WGA president Patric Verrone and AMPTP chief negotiator Nicholas Counter to join hands and sing "Kumbaya" together, it seems like a no-brainer to let him try to bring quasi-harmony back to our little town. I can see the placard now: "All We Are Say-ing...Is Give Bill a Chance."

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  102. Think about that one for a minute..............it sure would make Shillery look good particularly to the Hollywood crowd if her husband could broker a deal to end the strike.

    Most of the corporate powers that be who were behind GWB now support Hillary..........what better way to help their people than to play hardball and create a strike that takes the heat off of GWB and his war of choice in Iraq for a few months and then make the Clintons the good guy heros alligned it would appear with both Hollywood and the working class........it would sure help Shilleries campaign.

    Now let me just say I always liked and respected BILL Clinton and he "may" be just doing this out of the goodness of his heart to help.........but this could very well be contrived like Bartlebe is saying.........only even More contrived.

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  103. BARTLEBEE said...
    And if I'm right, then chances are this is not a single act, but the first in a series of covert behind the scenes attempts to silence the more public of the anti-war critics."

    I've thought about your theory long and hard the last 24 or so hours and i'll post my thoughts in detail sometime tonight............but in the meantime I just wanted to say the above paragraph has me curious...........if correct it lends a great deal of plausibility to your theory..........but i'll bounce my thoughts off you later.

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  104. Bill Clinton is a great man and a giant of his time. He can do a lot of good here.

    Now the question you have to ask yourself is why a former President is getting involved in a hollywood comedy writers strike.

    Could it be that Bill see's what we see?

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  105. I'm going to tell you why I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around your theory, in the hopes that you can possibly point out something I might have overlooked or vice versa.... ...I'm not trying to piss in your oatmeal here, like I said before I certainly think your theory is possible, but after some thought I dont think it is that probable .............unless as you said before this is the first step in a facist agenda.coup to seize powere and declare martial law........THEN a corporate alliance between the facist government and the MSM to squash the voices of dissent makesw perfect sense.

    The Reasons I cant buy into this is

    1) In an election year with a lame duck president and his party of fascism and corporatocracy clearly on the ropes it makes ABSOLUTELY NO strategic sense to risk shining the spotlight on the issue of egalitarianism vs the greed of the corportate powers that be.........I think the repugs would have MORE to lose by this strike showing the unfettered power the Media conglomerates and corporate powers that be have aquired at the expense of and over the working class.......the risk of polarizing this election into one party for the corporate robber barrons and the other for the working class is a far bigger risk than the late night talk shows railing on then for the remainder of this lame duck presidents term.

    2) It appears reasonable to conclude that the Media Conglomerates figure NOW is the perfect time to play hardball and try to flex their corporate muscle over the working class..........they have developed a ton of cheap reality shows to plug in to the holes in their lineups, and they have a huge library of repeats to air and when they do, they save production costs and salary costs while the writers and actots just dont get paid a salary. Secondly What better time to have this litigated than when the Supreme Court is probably as Reich Wing as it has EVER been or probably will EVER be, and while GWB still has his cronny federal judges and anti-trust cronnies at the FCC, SEC etc....in place to side with the corrate powers that be. Lydia also mentioned that the writers contracts only come up every 3 years so i can see why they are taking a stand as well.

    3) The Neo Cons in my mind just havent proven themselves competent enough to pull this massive of a conspiracy off.............they may have deceived half of our nation by linking Iraq to 9/11 but EVERYTHING they have ever done has been transparent as can be to me.........pulling off a conspiracy this large would be in my mind of the same magnitude as them knowing about 9/11 and allowing it to happen........the only difference I dont believe they would be skilled or smart enough to pull this off without ANYONE noticing phone calls, secret meetings, overhearing payoffs, thinking certain actions odd etc.........with 9/11 there would be a blood oath of silence because being caught would mean execution for treason for something like fomenting a strike i just cant believe that not a single solitary person would not see or hear something suspicious.Like I said writers and actors are smart and insightful peopl, I just cant buy that not a single solitary person could see through this if it were contrived as you lay out..........it seems to me that this is what it appears to be the corporate elite flexing their muscles and trying to steal more of the pie from the working class.

    That being said your theory is certainly possible, and i may well be wrong..............I have to admit this would make semse if it were a first step towaqrd martial law because silencing the dissent is absoilutely neccessary to a coup to seize power.

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  106. Well looks like i'm the unpopular one today!

    Sorry Bartlebe and Lydia but I just don see the Neo Cons as anywhere near smart enough or competent enough to pull something like this off...........sure I wouldnt put it past them...........but I just think they are way too hamfisted and transparent to to pull something like this and get away with it!

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  107. bartlebee said...
    And here's another insteresting Tidbit Lydia. According to the LA Times, Producers and Writers began talks in July.

    The Executive Order Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq, was issued in July.


    Bart, maybe five people outside of Hollywood know there's a WGA strike going on.

    There's no "there" here. Sorry.

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  108. Lydia,

    The SAG/AFTRA contract is up next June and there are rumours of a strike already in the works which would include the WGA (west coast), and the DGA, as this article indicates:

    The film industry is anticipating a strike by SAG, the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw), and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The strike, which is currently scheduled for after June 2008, would stem from the current handling of royalties from the sale of films distributed through new media methods. This includes royalties earned from Internet distribution services such as iTunes, as well as DVD sales, neither of which are currently written into actors', writers', and directors' contracts. The strike date of June 2008 was chosen due to its coinciding with the expiration of several contracts between SAG and AMPTP.
    Production companies are bracing for the strike by accelerating production of films and television episodes, in an effort to stockpile enough material to continue regular film releases and TV schedules during the strike period. A list of 300 high-priority film projects is reportedly circulating around talent agencies in accordance with this effort. See the reported list here.

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  109. But like Lydia said I would post your theory on some other blogs.........if you are right getting people talking and thinking is the only way to get to the truth......maybe someone heard or saw something and their memory might be jogged by discussing this!

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  110. Carl, I wouldnt say NO ONE knows about the strike...........Quite a few people I know KNOW about it..........and I dont travel in Hollywood circles.

    Carl, I'd like to hear your take on Bartlebe's theory?

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  111. Wow, ThinkProg is actually saying what I have been saying ALL ALONG that Bush and the Neo Con Facists KNEW about 9/11 and allowed it to happen because it chimed nicely with their self serving agenda of overthrowing American hostile regimes in the oil rich Middle East and allowed them to get their claws into controlling the arab oil!

    I have seen polls that say as high as 2/3 of America thinks Bush allowed 9/11 to happen...........but the 62% at ThinkProg certainly sounds reasonable..............Bush has tried to stifle investigations and and questions from day one.................Now WHY would a man with NOTHING TO HIDE do that...............there has been nothing but Obstruction from the Bush Administraion for ANYONE trying to investigate 9/11...........I even heard Bush cut off funding for the investigation.

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  112. Come on Mike. Who do you post as in there? Are you RoS? Is that you?

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  113. Mike
    I just saw your comment and thought you might be intereted in this. this is old with tons of bach up that I will get if you want tomorrow. I am in the North East and preparing to shut down for the night.
    First you ever hear of perle Wurmser A clean break. Google it you'll be surprised. Anyway I just reiterated this to someone else.
    Polishifter
    I will guarantee you 9/11 was allowed to happen as Bush needed something to get the people rallyed behind him. 9/11 gave him that and the excuse to impliment the Patriot act and initiate his power grab.
    The latest example of that was another secret law passed this time allowing him to sieze the assets of anyone that hampers his war mongering plus a lot more just happened unbeknownst to most everyone.
    Anyway the excuse of going after so called terrorism got us into Afghanistan and from there he used the excuse of Saddam to get us into the middle east which was his original goal.
    His reason to stay there is not fghting terrorists as he says but to find the excuse to stay there until he can go after Iran and further this breakdown as was planned in 1996 pre Bush.
    Anyway he and Israel will have their desired new middle east order but they won't like it as the rest of the world will come to Iran's aid to go against the warmonger.

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  114. I actually havent gone to TP in 3-6 months before today.

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  115. You Know it Patriot............I have thought Bush allowed 9/11 ever since 2002 when he started using the Nazi tactics and rhetoric to seize power and push to invade and occupy Iraq...........I'll check that out.

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  116. Hey I think I just got insulted LOL............................................i'll leave with this parting shot if you cant defend your theory from a little FRIENDLY skepticism from a friend who says what your saying is POSSIBLE but not likely............goodluck pitching it to a hostile crowd!

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  117. I wasn't insulting you Mike.

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  118. Sorry if i misread your post!

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  119. By Ana Lee

    Every day CNBC features talking heads who drone on with the same platitude that there is fear in the market regarding the lack of transparency in the banks. "Lack of transparency" is really a euphemism for "bankrupt."

    Whether it is Citicorp, AIG, Fannie Mae, or your pension funds, all these large financial institutions own or guarantee trillions of dollars worth of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that contain subprime mortgages and other worthless collateral which people now realize are total scams. The most outrageous part of this drama is that the government will allow these investment bankers who dreamed up this financial engineering in the first place to receive millions of dollars each in the form of yearend bonuses for underwriting all this worthless paper.

    This latest boom and bust of not only subprime mortgages, but of all types of credit ranging from out-of-control consumer credit card issuance to rampant private equity acquisitions have created the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in modern history. None of the experts on television will ever admit to it because if the average American actually understood what has happened, social upheaval would probably ensue.

    Mark to model (as opposed to mark to market) is the method these large financial institutions value CDOs. They claim to use this method because the market for these securities has evaporated. To put it bluntly, valuing these things using "mark to market" is legalized stealing. If no one wants to buy a worthless piece of paper, it should be valued at ZERO-- not ten million or a hundred million or whatever arbitrary number they're currently using--because any other number is by definition inflated. The conflict of interest lies in the fact that the traders whose bonuses and jobs depend on making profits from trading these securities are the same people who price these securities. If they mark them to zero, not only will they not receive a bonus, they'll most likely be out of a job so they have every incentive to lie about the value of these securities. Auditors can't keep them honest because auditors just ensure that banks follow a checklist of procedures.

    Auditors have no way of verifying whether prices are inflated when each bank uses proprietary computer models to value these securities. But according to a friend of mine who is the head of risk management at a large British investment bank, these auditors don't even know how to ask the right questions.

    It is entirely possible that all of the U.S. banks are currently bankrupt. Just because Citicorp generates billions of dollars every day in revenue doesn't mean that it has any equity left. Between 2005 and 2007, over a quadrillion dollars of CDOs were underwritten. A one percent writedown would amount to at least a trillion dollars worth of losses. Most CDO analysts at the large investment banks have already publicly stated that they expect at least several hundred billion in writedowns, although to date, less than a hundred billion has been announced.

    My guess is that neither the Treasury nor the Fed has any idea what to do about this credit mess. Treasury Secretary Paulson has no risk management experience. He was a relationship banker, meaning he was just a plain old sales guy, who politically maneuvered his way to the top job at Goldman. Insiders say that he accepted the Treasury post knowing that he was soon to be ousted. At the Federal Reserve, nobody on the board of governors, including Bernanke, has any experience with these types of markets either. When I met with Gerald Corrigan, former New York Fed President and current Vice Chairman at Goldman Sachs in October 2006, I asked him why his Counterparty Risk report only addressed how to deal with operational risk and not credit risk. He confessed that risk managing CDOs was well over his head and added that no central banker had any idea what to do if things went wrong. So much for leadership at the top.

    Where do we go from here? I wish there would be an equitable solution possible, but I'm getting cynical in my old age. Realistically, I bet all the bankers will get to keep the hundreds of millions they all made selling and trading these securities while the rest of America face foreclosures and bankruptcies since politicians in Congress and elsewhere depend too heavily on Wall Street to get elected and to stay in power. I doubt Congress will never do the right thing and pass legislation that will demand more transparency in banks. They will never pass legislation for more regulation of financial services now that this industry is more than twenty percent of our economy. Most likely, the final chapter to this credit mess will end with taxpayers footing the bill should the government need to step in and bail out one or more of these large financial institutions. Meanwhile, the rich Wall Streeters will dream up the next innovative way to fleece the world again.

    U.S banks are broke: Another result of the Bush economy.

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  120. What would it be like to have a president who actually believes in strikes? Who believes in the rights of workers? Who also understands the danger of media consolidation? That was what became more clear to me watching a video of John Edwards marching on the picket line with striking Writers Guild of America members on Friday.

    It's a great privilege for me to be here with all of you today...to walk with you, to walk the lines with you...because what you represent and what you are standing for is to make sure that everybody in America gets a fair chance. we have to strengthen the union movement in America...it is the only way that we will ensure that these big corporate conglomerates don't take over the United States of America.

    Later, speaking to the press:

    The men and women who are part of the writers guild and are part of this strike, are actually the heart and soul of the creative effort. These men and women deserve a fair chance...these are people who work hard for a living....my party, the Democratic Party is supposed to represent the people, it's supposed to represent workers in America and we have to make sure their voices are heard...one of the things that we have a big problem with in America is the conglomeration and consolidation of the media.

    But, forget the words. It isn't just statements and words issued from afar, which get lost in the blizzard of information people get. It's the images that are burned into peoples' memories.

    The imagery of a presidential candidate walking and holding a picket sign is really powerful. If you are a non-union worker and you see a leading presidential candidate holding a sign and marching on a picket line it sends a message: striking for your basic rights at work is an American thing to do. Belonging to a union is an American thing to do. Marching with strikers is also the right political thing to do for a politician.

    Edwards supports the strikers: Where is anti-union Hillary.

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  121. (Hollywood Reporter) - At 10 a.m. Monday morning, union scribes and studio suits will touch gloves and resume their sparring over terms of a new film and TV contract.

    Industryites scoring this latest round of negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers hope the parties keep things sporting and avoid the bloody spectacle of 17 previous bargaining sessions. But things will swing on two key questions:

    * Will the parties pick up roughly where they left off November 4? That was their last bargaining session before the writers strike began November 5, and it featured a withdrawal of DVD demands by the guild as well as some give on new-media compensation by the studios.

    * How flexible will the WGA or the AMPTP prove on matters important to each other and the possibility for compromise?

    The guild and studios have implemented a press blackout on Monday's session, which will take place in an undisclosed location.

    A federal mediator who has joined the proceedings for the past few sessions surely had something to do with the press blackout. The move to a secret site for the talks seemed designed to discourage daily coverage by broadcast media, which had taken to parking its camera trucks outside WGA headquarters in the final days before the strike.

    PICKETS OUT IN FORCE

    Meanwhile, guild members will continue picketing activities on both coasts into a fourth week of the strike.

    The WGA West posted on its Web site that pickets should take up their usual sites at nine locations throughout Los Angeles today. The WGA East is planning a membership rally for Washington Square Park in New York on Tuesday.

    WGA brass believes that its picketing, rallies and other public pressure have forced management back to the bargaining table. It also appeared that AMPTP might have been surprised by the wide early support for the strike among TV showrunners, the producers who oversee series' day-to-day operations.

    Studios pressed the showrunners hard, with CBS Paramount Network TV and 20th Century Fox TV even threatening legal action against any who stayed off the job. But at least for the first week or two, showrunner support remained solid, with some such as Shonda Rhimes of ABC's "Private Practice" and Greg Daniels of NBC's "The Office" picketing their own shows.

    Having made their point, though, many showrunners are expected to head back to work to help with nonwriting chores on final episodes of strike-shortened series. Continued leverage from the writers' strike will hinge on how networks' replacement programming -- mostly reality shows -- does in the ratings and whether early signs of film-side disruptions broaden.

    Writer-director Craig Mazin ("Superhero!"), who maintains the well-followed ArtfulWriter blog, suggested last week that labor gains from the showrunners' support were limited.

    "The fact that they did what they did was individually brave and commendable," Mazin wrote. "But collectively, it was a high risk/low gain strategy."

    Another top showrunner recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the showrunner support was most helpful in the first week of the strike.

    "After that ... the truth is that we talked among ourselves, and almost every showrunner with any significant amount of post(production) work went quietly back to work," the writer-producer said.

    QUICK IMPACT

    Ivy Kagan Bierman, a labor consultant at the Loeb & Loeb law firm in Los Angeles, said that studios "had thought they could have kept more of their TV shows up and running" but that labor-side negotiators also felt increasing pressure to resume bargaining.

    "The WGA was certainly getting a lot of pressure from IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) in terms of its crew that was being kept out of work because of the shows that were shut down," Bierman said. "The economic impact came very quickly this time. So I think there was incentive on both sides (to return to bargaining) as both sides were feeling the damage."

    Talent agencies also have absorbed quick fallout from the strike.

    Eager to support their striking clients, agency reps have brought food and drink to picket lines. But top agents also maintained a running dialogue with studio execs in an effort to facilitate back-channel communications between the guild and management.

    Those efforts struck pay dirt when a November 16 afternoon gathering at the home of Bryan Lourd, a partner at agency CAA, led to an announcement later in the day that talks would resume Monday.

    With negotiations resuming, attention is likely to focus on how the squabbling parties will deal with the key issue of new-media compensation.

    The guild wants expanded pay for content reused over the Internet or mobile platforms and also for content originated on new-media platforms. The studios claim such distribution businesses are still fledgling and won't support major new pay structures.

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  122. Monday, November 26, 2007
    Tune in for United Hollywood Live!

    The next United Hollywood Live broadcast will be today, November 26th, from 12-1:30 p.m. Pacific (3-4:30 p.m. Eastern).

    Covering all aspects of the WGA strike, the interactive show will include interviews, live reports from the various picket lines and video clips.

    The show will air Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a podcast available immediately after each broadcast via the widget.

    And while United Hollywood Live is brought to you by writers, it's not just for writers.

    Fans and WGA supporters are encouraged to become a part of each broadcast via live IM chats, video feeds and phone calls to the studio. They can also embed the show on their sites with the code included on the widget.

    United Hollywood

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  123. Earlier this year, using the clout that only major broadcast networks seem capable of mustering, CBS News contacted the governments of all 50 states requesting their official records of death by suicide going back 12 years. They heard back from 45 of the 50. From the mountains of gathered information, they sifted out the suicides of those Americans who had served in the armed forces. What they discovered is that in 2005 alone -- and remember, this is just in 45 states -- there were at least 6,256 veteran suicides, 120 every week for a year and an average of 17 every day.

    This is how Bush takes care of the troops.

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  124. Negotiations resumed Sunday between striking Broadway stagehands and theater producers struggling to find a solution to their thorny, seemingly intractable labor dispute as theaters faced a third week of dark stages and mounting box-office losses.

    Resumption of the talks — after a week of no negotiating — had been announced the day before by Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the League of American Theatres and Producers, and were confirmed by the stagehands union.

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  125. Dozens of teens dressed in uniforms provided by the US Marines stand at attention in the gym of a Chicago public high school as a drill sergeant goes through a list of the day's do's and don'ts.

    Bring your books to class. Come for extra help if you need it. And wear your uniform with pride.

    "Young men, you think you can get a haircut and say I'm done for two or three weeks. WRONG," Sgt. Major Thomas Smith Jr. intones.

    "Young ladies. There's been no problem with your uniforms but there is a problem with your ties. Again, I will go through it again. Wear your ties when you come to my class."

    One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes -- including how to shoot a gun properly -- from retired veterans.

    That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme.

    Proponents of the junior reserve programs say they provide stability and a sense of purpose for troubled youth and help to instill values such as leadership and responsibility.

    But opponents say the programs divert critical resources from crumbling public schools and lead to a militarization of US society.

    "To call these young people child soldiers might be technically inaccurate, but it does reveal the truth of it," said Oscar Castro, a spokesman for the National Youth and Militarism Program, an advocacy group.

    Military recruiters already have the right to give presentations in public schools and to access databases with the contact information of all public school students whose parents do not remove their children from the list.

    But they don't have nearly the same impact as daily interaction with teachers and students in uniform, Castro said.

    While military officials say the junior reserve programs are not used as recruiting tools, about 30 to 50 percent of cadets eventually enlist, according to congressional testimony by the chiefs of staff of the various armed services in February 2000.

    This is particularly troubling given that the programs are concentrated in low-income and minority neighborhoods, said Sheena Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Chicago branch of the American Friends Service Committee which lobbies against the programs.

    "If you want to teach discipline and leadership then do it for everyone and don't make them wear (military) uniforms," Gibbs said. "Students (at regular schools) protest that they have to still share books but the military academy has laptops."

    At Chicago's Marine Military Math and Science Academy, the first public Marine academy in the nation and the fifth military academy run by the city's school district, it's easy to see how signing up for service would be a logical post-graduation step.

    The hallways are lined with prints depicting historic recruiting posters and great moments in military history, like the Battle of the Bulge. Teachers in uniform lead classes in military history, civics, health, and physical fitness.

    "The purpose of our school is to send all of our students to post-secondary education," principal Paul Stroh told AFP.

    "What's different about this school is we take the military model of discipline, structure and leadership and put it into a high school.

    "All of our students wear a uniform and all of our students are expected to be accountable for their actions."

    And every morning in formation, Sgt. Major Smith draws a line between the discipline and stability of the Marines and the chaos of the high-crime, low income neighborhood where most of the students live.

    "My elementary school was out of control. Everybody just did whatever they wanted," said Mariah Coleman, 14.

    "Here there's discipline, but there's freedom as well. Everybody just respects each other and we get respect from the teachers."

    Standing with her hands clasped firmly behind her back, Coleman wrinkles her nose at the thought of enlisting and explains that she wants to be a mathematician. She enrolled in the Marine academy because she thought it would help her get into college.

    And they say military rule isn't on the way.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Toupee neocon Trent Lott is resigning at the end of the year.

    Another worthless racist neocon bites the dust.

    ReplyDelete
  127. By Chris Hedges

    This column was originally published by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.

    Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.

    The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president, we will see the presidency controlled by two families for the last 24 years.

    Massive debt, much of it in the hands of the Chinese, keeps piling up as we fund absurd imperial projects and useless foreign wars. Democratic freedoms are diminished in the name of national security. And the erosion of basic services, from education to health care to public housing, has left tens of millions of citizens in despair. The displacement of genuine debate and civil and political discourse with the noise and glitter of public spectacle and entertainment has left us ignorant of the outside world, and blind to how it perceives us. We are fed trivia and celebrity gossip in place of news.

    An increasing number of voices, especially within the military, are speaking to this stark deterioration. They describe a political class that no longer knows how to separate personal gain from the common good, a class driving the nation into the ground.

    “There has been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of forces in Iraq, recently told the New York Times, adding that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”

    The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers’ rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country’s managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.

    Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire. Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent. Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.

    The United States has gone from being the world’s largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation’s infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits. Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.

    Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.

    The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.

    It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.

    It signals the twilight of our empire.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Mike here is 1996 text showing Cheney is behind the middle east breakdown titled A clean Break There are also many more reports and shows on the subject if you google it. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  129. Mike said...
    Carl, I wouldnt say NO ONE knows about the strike...........Quite a few people I know KNOW about it..........and I dont travel in Hollywood circles.

    Carl, I'd like to hear your take on Bartlebe's theory?


    You mean about the timing of the July announcement to coincide with the writer's strike?

    Nonsense, to be honest. I wouldn't even buy it if the strike had started the same day, which it didn't.

    ReplyDelete
  130. All due respect, Bart. Usually, I can at least follow your logic, but this one made no sense to me.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Well its not too complicated Carl.

    Look at the Executive Order.

    It was written at the same time the talk of the strike began.

    That order was written for a reason. It was NOT written for nothing.

    I suspected the moment I saw it, that it would be leveraged against media moguls and owners to get them to tone down anti-war rhetoric.

    Then suddenly they FORCE a strike.

    It seems pretty clear to me.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Larry,

    KlanTrent wants a piece of the highly lucrative lobbyist pie before the rules change, effectively locking him out from making millions.

    ReplyDelete
  133. The Executive Order, when you read it, looks like it was worded to go after corporations who support efforts that undermine our efforts in Iraq.

    You combine that with the rhetoric coming out of the White House in July, August and September, about how critics of the Iraq war are "undermining" the efforts there.

    You combine that with the unweilding rigidity of the producers and owners and its not hard to draw a line between the three.

    The owners seemed to almost want a strike, taking positions that were assured to commence one.

    Theres a reason they did that. You can say its money but come on. They have tons of it, and these guys were making them tons more.

    Not to mention that they knew they'd have concede sooner or later, if they expect to make any profit off these other mediums. The law will force them to compensate these writers sooner or later. They're just stonewalling, and costing themselves money in the process.

    So you have to ask yourself TWO questions.

    WHY are they stonewalling, and costing themselves money?

    WHY did Bush write that Executive Order?

    Ask those two questions, and you might see a teensy bit more plausibility in this theory.

    ReplyDelete
  134. an average patriot said...
    Mike here is 1996 text showing Cheney is behind the middle east breakdown titled A clean Break There are also many more reports and shows on the subject if you google it. Take care!"

    Thanks Patriot, that was an interesting article............While I KNEW all that stuff went on during Clintons presidency............I never actually read about it.

    These traitors NEED to be held accountable for treason!

    ReplyDelete
  135. Christopher said...
    Larry,

    KlanTrent wants a piece of the highly lucrative lobbyist pie before the rules change, effectively locking him out from making millions."


    Like I said yesterday Conservatism is dead we are going through a sea change shift towards the Progressive cause and that will only accelerate once the bad economic times start.

    What we are about to witness is very similar to the Great Depression where Conservatives were removed from the levers of power for almost 40 years..........the tide has turned and it will cleanse of of the repugs as well as the faux republicrays like Lieberman, Hillary Clinton, Gephardt, Pelosi, Reed, Hoyer etc.......and give us REAL Progressive choices like Edwards, Kucinich, Obama etc..

    I say By 2012 or 2016 at the latest we will have a Progressive government implementing another "New Deal" and the corporatists will be cut out like a cancerous tumor.

    I also think there will be huge opportunities in Progressive tv and radio programming as the media moves to give the public what it wants before they become obsolete.

    ReplyDelete
  136. BARTLEBEE said...
    The Executive Order, when you read it, looks like it was worded to go after corporations who support efforts that undermine our efforts in Iraq."


    I dont think ANYONE would disagree with what you are saying here..............Cowing the media was Bush's exact intention.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Basrtlebe said "WHY are they stonewalling, and costing themselves money?"

    I dont think they ARE stonewalling like i said yesterday I think they WANT this fight while Bush and his REich Wing cronnies are still in power because they think they can get a more favorable outcome than they will years down the road.

    As for the media actually acting like they are afraid of this law take a look at Olberman, he's still railing at the idiot "DECIDER" as hard as ever...........and I dont think i've ever seen Mathews going after the Bush Administration harder or more fired up excepy MAYBE after the Libby Commutation.

    I'm just not buying that the Media Conglomerates are stonewalling out of fear of Bush..........I think they think they are in the catbirds seat and waqnt this fight now rather than later!

    ReplyDelete
  138. Larry,

    Thanks for the tip.

    I've decided to run with it.

    H/T on my blog.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
  139. Nike said..
    I'm just not buying that the Media Conglomerates are stonewalling out of fear of Bush.

    Well I disagree.

    My entire premise is based on that. And its all tied to the Executive Order.

    And its quite plausible that this order was used to coerce them.

    One things for sure, Bush didn't write it for nothing.

    We already had laws giving him this authority to go after people who help terrorists. So why did he write this one? This one seems to go after corporations that support anti war activities... like late night talk show hosts for example.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Bart,

    There's a major flaw in your logic, however.

    The newswriters aren't the ones striking. This is why Olbermann is still on live, but Stewart and Colbert are forced to go to tapes.

    They've been talking about going out in sympathy, but they are not part of the WGA that's striking.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Bartlebe said "One things for sure, Bush didn't write it for nothing.

    We already had laws giving him this authority to go after people who help terrorists. So why did he write this one? This one seems to go after corporations that support anti war activities... like late night talk show hosts for example."

    Your absolutely right he didnt write it for "NOTHING" he used it to cow and intimidate the media Those were the EXACT words I used in July when this broke.

    Now consider these points Viacom owns Comedy Central, CBS and many other media properties, if they REALLY were afraid of having their assets seized by Bush would they be covering the Blackwater massacre and other things detrimental to Iraq..........Look at Chris Mathews, Matthews came out and said Cheney and Libby Contacted Russert and the head of the Network to get him to back off railing on Libby, Chenney and the Neo Cons they threatened to portray him as anti semetic and to cut off access to the White House if he didnt stop............dont you think if the heads of networks were leaning on talk show hosts, and reporters the story would get out. Olberman and Matthews are stil railing on the war and the Neo Cons.................they dont look very scared to me. Do you think if the media moguls were THAT worried about getting their assets seized they would work to get just the talk shows stopped but allow other news coverage that COULD potentially get their assets seized still happen?

    Look at the current elections the Media views themselves as bigger and more powerful than a president, they think they can determine who the next president is by who they give coverage to and how favorably or unfavorably they portray a candidate...........If they REALLY feared GWB was REALLY a threat to confiscate their assets they would move in a concerted effort to destroy him.

    Finally even a complete pompous fool like GWB doesnt enact power grabbing laws to use immediately............think about this one for a second, what do you think would happen if GWB just up and SEIZED a media conglomerate right now in November 2007.......Do you think he would get away with it.......I DONT, it would be the end of that SOB, we havent decended that far into the iron grip of facism ...YET!!!!!!

    Bush desired several things with this law, he wanted broad based sweeping powers to cow the media but he is ALSO thinking of his legacy he yearns for the days of 90% approval ratings when he had some respect and when Wolf Blitzer would play a Ta DA jingoistic musical war crescendo and GWB would swagger out to preach his nazi talk and people would actually applaud him and buy into his rhetoric..............AND for THAT to happen again he NEEDS fear and right now people are both numb to and sick and tired of the Iraq war. To get that fear he needs to attack Iran and then during the economic chaos he can declare martial law and seize the assets of any media conglomerate that doesnt march in lockstep of portraying the war favorably.

    See Bush needs the camaflage and fear generated by another war and either the total economic pain and chaos caused by a Depression/severe oil shock and/or martial law to get away with a fascist coup like seizing a Media empire........if people are terrified and worried about themselves they would not even focus on doing anything about Bush seizing a media conglomerate.

    And Sure the Executive order focuses on Iraq...........But Bush has made Mushy analogies and fuzzy logic to blur lines and give himself sweeping powers in the past.....for instance he has implied that because Congress gave him authority to attack Iraq or go after terrorists if another country is undermining efforts to stabilize Iraq or are a terorist organization he has a right to attack them..............Congress opened a door they shouldnt have when they declared the Iranian IRG a terrorist organization.

    Sure that executive order is aimed at cowing the media but his purpose was to use it after attacking Iran when he has camaflage to allow him to get away with his fascist/Nazi agenda.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Bush's intent is to stifle dissent from the MSM "IF" he attacks Iran!

    ReplyDelete
  143. Think about this, if Bush seized a media conglomerates assets NOW there would be riots, protests, and a huge public outcry.................Now if he did it under the camaflage of mass unemployment, economic chaos, fear, riots, violence, mass starvation, possibly martial law............and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL MASS FEAR then it would have a possibility of being successful.

    And Then it would also be successful in cowing the other media outlets into obediance and fealty so they would not meet the same fate...........thats how dictators rise to power they seize control of the media and utilize fear to seize more and more power.

    Its a timeless formula!

    ReplyDelete
  144. Carl said...
    Bart,

    There's a major flaw in your logic, however.

    The newswriters aren't the ones striking. This is why Olbermann is still on live, but Stewart and Colbert are forced to go to tapes.


    How is that a flaw in my logic?

    I never said ANYTHING about the "newswriters".

    I made my case quite clearly. Lydia read it, and she gets it.

    And in that case I never said anythng about the "newswriters".

    Bush's loudest and most widely heard critics are hands down guys like Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, Bill Maher, etc.

    Silencing those shows I said was the goal. I said nothing about newswriters.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Yes but if the Media owners are REALLY worried about having their assets seized why would they not silence or reign in at least the News people as well?

    ReplyDelete
  146. Mike said..
    Now consider these points Viacom owns Comedy Central, CBS and many other media properties, if they REALLY were afraid of having their assets seized by Bush would they be covering the Blackwater massacre and other things detrimental to Iraq..........Look at Chris Mathews, Matthews came out and said Cheney and Libby Contacted Russert and the head of the Network to get him to back off railing on Libby, Chenney and the Neo Cons they threatened to portray him as anti semetic and to cut off access to the White House if he didnt stop

    Once again news shows are not comedy shows. In most censorship crackdowns govts usually go for the Political Satirists FIRST.

    Matthews is reporting news, not gleefully mocking the Bush administration or the war in Iraq. It will take more steps to fully silence the news media, although no one in here can say that that hasn't been done to a degree already.

    But the fact is I said that this was just a "first step", in a series of behind the scenes crackdowns on critics of the Iraq war.

    If this was a "first step", then why would your logic conclude that "all steps" be employed immediately?

    ReplyDelete
  147. Mike said...
    Yes but if the Media owners are REALLY worried about having their assets seized why would they not silence or reign in at least the News people as well?


    As I said, this is a FIRST STEP.

    I said that yesterday.

    This isn't pre-war Nazi Germany, and we can't just shut down the Free Press.

    A Free Press is established as a cornerstone of the Constitution, and you cannot just stop the news.

    Comedy shows are not the NEWS. And you can't just shut down the news.

    It will take more behind the scenes work, and will require more SUBTLY, like limiting or controlling stories out of Iraq.

    And can you honestly say that the MSM has not been reporting lately that things are going "swimmingly" in Iraq?

    ReplyDelete
  148. Anyway as I said, this was a first step.

    Concluding that because steps 2, 3 and 4 have not yet been taken, that therefore step 1 has not occured is not logical.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Bartlebe said "But the fact is I said that this was just a "first step", in a series of behind the scenes crackdowns on critics of the Iraq war.

    If this was a "first step", then why would your logic conclude that "all steps" be employed immediately?"


    I said before that if you are right and this IS a first spep then that lends credence to your theory..........but we wont KNOW if this is a first step till other things actually occur.

    My logic is similar to the legal premise "what would a reasonable person do under those circumstances"

    And keeping that premise in mind I dont see a reasonable person saying "ok we are worried about getting our assets seized so we'll axe the comedy shows.........but we'll just live dangerously and take our chances with the News shows like Olberman and Matthews"

    I see what your saying about the political satire being the first casualty in power grabs but if fear of getting their assets seized was the prime motivation I think they would reign in the news just like they tried to do with Chris Matthews years ago..............see if they allready did that and the media fought back by leaking the story, then why wouldnt they do that again as well as attack Bush.

    Like I said The Neo Cons are too hamfisted and transparent to pull off something like this without the story leaking and some people being aware of it.


    Like I said Your saying this could be step 1 to me is one of your most powerful arguments......BUT if that IS the case we wont KNOW till other steps provide evidence to confirm the theory...........and right now the evidence available tells me that your theory is "possible" but not likely.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Mike said...

    ..........but we wont KNOW if this is a first step till other things actually occur.


    Correction.

    YOU won't know if this is a first step till others things actually occur.

    I don't need it spelled out for me Mike. I can see it now. I could see it when the July Executive order broke, and I knew that something was up.

    And when the writers strike occured, and the owners FORCED a strike they should not have wanted, I knew what was happening.

    I understand and respect your decision to withhold judgement however I've made up my mind already.

    ReplyDelete
  151. In all your posts you have yet to explain why the owners and producers literally forced this strike.

    You haven't explained their unweilding rigidity on issues they know they will eventually lose on.

    And you haven't explained what the executive order was tasked for. Sure you said it was to "pressure media owners" but you haven't answered how, or when this was going to occur.

    No, the fact is you're right, it was to pressure media owners, but not at some hypothetical date down the road. Bush is out of office in a year. Its clear that THIS was the execution of the of the order. It WAS used to pressure media owners. Just not in an obvious way, but in a sneaky, covert way.

    Which is why its so hard for you to accept, and thats exactly how they wanted it.

    ReplyDelete
  152. The fact is the order was clearly written to pressure media owners, we both agree on that.

    And the order came out in July.

    And in July, the media owners decided to force a strike.

    They did it by taking a rigid and unreasonable position on media sales that they know is technically unlawful, and won't be held up in court down the road.

    So the Order designed to pressure media owners is issued in July.

    In July, the media owners force a strike.

    Seems pretty clear to me.

    ReplyDelete
  153. If what you are saying is true, then I expect you are equally as Adamant since this is a first step that Bush will attack Iran, declare martial law and cancel the elections and become a dictator..............because that is the ONLY place i can see a power grab like that going as it doesnt make sense to seize control of the media then just walk off into the sunset the next year without using that power to seize MORE power.

    One last thing dont you have even a little bit of doubt that with their popularity THIS Low the Neo Cons could prove competent and skillful enough to pull this off flawlessly with not a sould leaking anything or becoming aware of whats going on..............particularly when they have been such utter and complete failures at EVERTHING else they have ever done.

    ReplyDelete
  154. And as much as we all love to bash the intelligence of the neocons, the fact is they have gotten a LOT done.

    They've managed to seize the presidency of the United States, right under our very noses, not once, but twice.

    They've managed to convince the country to adopt the Pre-emptive War Doctrine of Nazi Germany, and they've been able to bypass the Constitution to spy on all Americans in their own country.

    I do not think it wise to underestimate them by disclaiming a strategy just because you don't think they can pull it off.

    They've pulled a LOT off over the last 7 years.

    A HELL of a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Bartlebe said "You haven't explained their unweilding rigidity on issues they know they will eventually lose on.

    And you haven't explained what the executive order was tasked for. Sure you said it was to "pressure media owners" but you haven't answered how, or when this was going to occur."

    Sure I have I said the Media Owners want to push the issue NOW while all the Bush cronnies are still in power in the Federal courts and the FCC, SEC etc....and while the Supreme Court is as Reich Wing as it has EVER been or will EVER be, I'm sure they KNOW they will never win on this issue..........BUT i'm also sure they feel they will get a MORE favorable ruling with the Bush cronnies in power..........and if Bush ever does become a dictator he could just rule in their favor.

    As for How or When this will occur I said when Bush attacks Iran and he can use the camaflage from the fear and chaos to ACTUALLY get away with seizing a media empire is when it will begin....................I said I think this is about paving the way to squashing opposition to the war AFTER he attacks IRAN.

    Because make no mistake there will be vehement opposition if bush attacks Iran!

    ReplyDelete
  156. Mike said...
    If what you are saying is true, then I expect you are equally as Adamant since this is a first step that Bush will attack Iran, declare martial law and cancel the elections and become a dictator..............


    Well that could be, but the one does not necessarily necessitate the other.

    Bush is shooting for victory in Iraq. He believes that the anti war critics are hurting that cause. So he wants to silence them, long enough to pull together some semblence of victory that he can declare.

    That doesn't mean he'll do all the other stuff you're saying and it doesn't mean he won't. The one does not necessitate the other.

    ReplyDelete
  157. BARTLEBEE said...
    And as much as we all love to bash the intelligence of the neocons, the fact is they have gotten a LOT done.

    They've managed to seize the presidency of the United States, right under our very noses, not once, but twice.

    They've managed to convince the country to adopt the Pre-emptive War Doctrine of Nazi Germany, and they've been able to bypass the Constitution to spy on all Americans in their own country.

    I do not think it wise to underestimate them by disclaiming a strategy just because you don't think they can pull it off.

    They've pulled a LOT off over the last 7 years.

    A HELL of a lot."


    The have deceived a lot of sheeple..............but they have been transparent as can be to me from day one!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if your theory is true.........this ewould be the first thing that went right over my head.

    ReplyDelete
  158. Bartlebe said "Bush is shooting for victory in Iraq. He believes that the anti war critics are hurting that cause. So he wants to silence them, long enough to pull together some semblence of victory that he can declare."

    Come on, now this I dont buy for a minute...........NO one could be that inbred stupid to actually believe that by stopping John Stewart from making jokes about the failure that Iraq will magically transform into a success.

    Bush cant be delusional enough to believe that the Iraqis will just up and stop fighting a civil war for power and control and stop trying to expell an occupying force because John Stewart isnt cracking jokes.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Mike said..

    Sure I have I said the Media Owners want to push the issue NOW while all the Bush cronnies are still in power in the Federal courts and the FCC, SEC etc....and while the Supreme Court is as Reich Wing as it has EVER been or will EVER be, I'm sure they KNOW they will never win on this issue..........BUT i'm also sure they feel they will get a MORE favorable ruling with the Bush cronnies in power..........and if Bush ever does become a dictator he could just rule in their favor.

    To what end? What "better deal" could Bush give them? A few pennies more on a DVD?

    Look, copyright laws have existed for a long time in this country and they already spell out that you can't sell someone elses work without compensating them. The Supreme Court would not be involved in this case.

    Its a matter for lawyers to hammer out details, but the fact is the media moguls will have to pay the writers at the end of the day. Thats a given.

    The fact is in JULY, the President issued the order.

    And in JULY, the media owners FORCED the Writers Guild to walk out of talks and commence a strike.

    And that is one glaring coincidence. And I've learned with Bush, that coincidences are usually not coincidental.

    ReplyDelete
  160. This Executive order is all about seizing more power just like EVERYTHING Bush has ever done!

    ReplyDelete
  161. Mike said..
    Bush cant be delusional enough to believe that the Iraqis will just up and stop fighting a civil war for power and control and stop trying to expell an occupying force because John Stewart isnt cracking jokes.

    Its Jon Stewart, and I never suggest that.

    Its the YOUNG PEOPLE in this country Bush is targeting. They're the ones who's support he needs. He needs them to enlist or join DHS or the FBI. Bush's biggest problem is he lost the young people.

    Nixon understood this phenomenon over the Viet Nam war, so he gave them the vote to win support.

    Bush needs the young people, the late teens, 20's and early 30's crowd. THEY'RE the ones who will fight his war.

    And he has completely lost the young people, primarly due to shows like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, which is the only source many of them get thier political information from.

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  162. You still havent addressed my point that Bush could NEVER get away with seizing a media conglomerate NOW............If people had to worry about feeding their kidsw or riots or soldiers entering their house under martial law..........THEN possibly he could.............I STILL say this Executive order is to take the heat off him IF he attacks Iran.

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  163. Your right Bush HAS lost the younger 20-30 year old generation and I dont think he'll EVER get them back.

    They say the political affiliation you have in your 20's you usually keep for life.........and the 20-30 year old demographic is firmly Progressive.........and they ALSO happen to be the largest generation since the Babyboomers!

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  164. Mike said...
    You still havent addressed my point that Bush could NEVER get away with seizing a media conglomerate NOW............If people had to worry about feeding their kidsw or riots or soldiers entering their house under martial law..........THEN possibly he could.............


    Sure I did. I said that it was pressure. I don't think they actually planned on seizing assets, just threatening to.

    If you're a media mogul and have got a couple billion dollars riding on the line, then you don't play games. This wouldn't have taken a lot. Just a quick call from some mid level White House staffer talking to a media underling, and the word goes out that Bush is focusing on them for undermining efforts in Iraq with shows like Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert.

    The Media Owners, not wanting to take a risk but at the same time, not wanting to just come out and censor their star TV hosts, decide on their own, to force a strike.

    They see that as a way of backing off the Bush administration without directly censoring their own talk show hosts

    Mike said...


    I STILL say this Executive order is to take the heat off him IF he attacks Iran.


    While that may have been in his mind down the road, thats just speculation. The order applies to people who are undermining efforts in IRAQ, not IRAN.

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  165. I could be wrong Mike, and this is after all just a theory, but I'm faily confident that I'm right.

    Of course the details about exactly how it occured I'm just speculating on, but that "something" occured that pressured media moguls to Stonewall the discussions and force a strike, is pretty clear to me.

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  166. As is the fact that that "something" is tied directly to the Executive Order issued in July.

    You know, I didn't arrive at this overnight. I sat on this for weeks, just watching stuff play out and although I knew what was going on I said nothing. But then I realized that although the strike just happened, they knew it was coming in July, the same time the Executive Order came out.

    That was the smoking gun for me.

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  167. you lay out a plausible theory.............particularly by saying this is a first step and it was designed to back off or placate the Bush Administration...........your example of how things could have went down is also plausible..........but that brings me back to the fact that its tough for me to believe something like this could have occured without SOME KIND of a leak implicating the Bush Administration.

    Like you said they may have been "effective" at pushing and implementing their self serving agenda but they have been (at least to me) hamfisted and completely transparent and ANYTHING but subtle and precise.

    The Neo Cons have as you haqve said used a broad sword or a sledgehammer when a scalpel was called for there have bgeen leaks every step of the way from their OWN agencies and people,,,,,,,,,WHY no leaks from the MSM NOW?

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  168. Twenty four hours after Barack Obama announced Oprah Winfrey would campaign for him, Hillary Clinton dropped the Babs Bomb.

    Camp Hillary today announced none other than Barbra Streisand endorsed the New York senator for president.

    If I were running for president, I think I would prefer Oprah's endorsement. Oprah is more than a superstar -- she's a force of nature and beloved.

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  169. For the Record go back to the late July archives......I thought that Executive Order was a BIG BIG deal back when NO ONE even Knew about it no less was talking about it.

    That Order is a Big step closer to fascism and dictatorship and it got virtually ZERO coverage.

    YOU just dont issue an order like that if you dont intend to use it!

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  170. I'm not a fan of either one Christopher.........but thats just me.

    cheap meaningless publicity is all it is.

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  171. Mike said..

    but that brings me back to the fact that its tough for me to believe something like this could have occured without SOME KIND of a leak implicating the Bush Administration.


    Why? You believe 911 was a conspiracy and you believe they're planning on freezing elections and Bush ordering martial law, yet nothing about thats been leaked.

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  172. I didn't pull this one out of my butt Mike. And I tried to stay silent on it, believing Lydia would be upset if I took a counter position to her strike posts.

    But she instead examined it and it began to make sense.

    Anyway I could be wrong. Its a theory, not a fact. I have no solid proof and I am merely drawing circumstantial parallels and making deductions based on reasonable logic.

    I could be wrong. Don't think I am but I won't rule that out. But until someone can offer me a real explantion for Bush's July order, and the Stonewalling by the producers and owners forcing a strike when a temporary agreement could have easily been hammered out, not to mention the writers guilds willingness to strike,(not the writers, the writers guild representatives) then its the only reasonable explanation I can come up with.

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  173. Either way one things for sure.

    It is helping silence the loudest anti war critics out there.

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  174. I'm not a fan of either one Christopher

    Oprah is a genuine force of nature and her word carries enormous weight with millions of people who tune in and watch her each day.

    If I were running and I had to choose between an endorsement from Barbra Streisand or Oprah Winfrey, I'd take Oprah in a heartbeat.

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  175. A novelty website is marketing a new toy figurine in the wake of this year's "toe-tapping" scandal involving Senator Larry Craig (R-ID).

    Craig was the subject of heavy ridicule and media scrutiny following the discovery of a guilty plea he lodged to a Minnesota court after his involvement in a gay sex sting at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June of this year. The culmination of years of anti-gay votes, along with public support for laws against same-sex couples and openly gay members of the military, the incident prompted Craig to announce plans to resign if his conviction could not be overturned.

    The conviction stood, and Craig changed his mind, instead opting to finish out his current term, with the tacit blessing of the Republican Party.

    Stupid.com, selling the talking toy for $34.99, notes that its limbs are bendable, enabling one to pose the miniature Larry Craig into any number of positions, including the now famous "wide stance" Craig referred to during his June consultation with a Minneapolis police officer.

    This belongs in every neocon stocking.

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  176. Get ready to be drafted:

    Defeating terrorism will require the use of more "soft power," with civilians contributing more in non-military areas like communication, economic assistance and political development, Pentagon chief Robert Gates said Monday.

    Gates called for the creation of new government organizations, including a permanent group of civilian experts with a wide range of expertise who could be sent abroad on short notice as a supplement to U.S. military efforts. And he urged more involvement by university and other private experts.

    "We must focus our energies beyond the guns and steel of the military, beyond just our brave soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen," he said in a speech at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. "We must also focus our energies on the other elements of national power that will be so crucial in the coming years."

    In other words Bush is going to force innocent citizens to partake in his war for oil scheme.

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  177. (Reuters) - U.S. troops killed five Iraqi civilians, including a child, in two separate shootings in the past two days, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

    On Monday, U.S. troops targeting al Qaeda fighters in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, opened fire on a vehicle which approached a roadblock at high speed. Two men inside ignored warnings to stop, a military statement said.

    A child was found wounded inside the vehicle but later died despite receiving medical treatment. A U.S. military spokesman later said the two men in the vehicle were civilians and were not armed.

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  178. Two Republican senators said that unless Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider pulling political or financial support for his government.

    The stern warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss Monday, are an indication that while GOP patience on the war has greatly increased this fall because of security gains made by the military, it isn't bottomless.

    "I do expect them to deliver," Graham, R-S.C., said in a phone interview upon returning from a Thanksgiving trip to Iraq. "What would happen for me if there's no progress on reconciliation after the first of the year, I would be looking at ways to invest our money into groups that can deliver."

    Of course we believe this lie.

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  179. (Reuters) - Nine people were killed when a suicide bomber posing as a shepherd attacked police north of Baghdad on Tuesday and U.S. soldiers killed at least six civilians in a spate of shootings, security officials said.

    Police at the Diyala province headquarters in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, said they were taken by surprise when the suicide bomber herded several sheep towards a checkpoint before detonating a belt packed with explosives.

    Didn't Bush claim his war was going well?

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  180. (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research) is selling up to 4.9 percent of itself for $7.5 billion to the Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi, giving the largest U.S. bank fresh capital as it wrestles with the subprime mortgage crisis and the resignation of its chief executive.

    The capital injection will shore up Citi's balance sheet, which has been hurt by some $6.8 billion of writedowns and losses in the third quarter, and the potential for another $11 billion in the fourth quarter.

    Citi is paying a high price for the capital injection by selling mandatory convertible securities to Abu Dhabi which pay a fixed coupon of 11 percent. That is above the average yield on U.S. junk bonds, which is 9.4 percent according to Merrill Lynch data.

    The Bush economic plan: Selling America to foreign enemies.

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  181. Come on, now this I dont buy for a minute...........NO one could be that inbred stupid to actually believe that by stopping John Stewart from making jokes about the failure that Iraq will magically transform into a success.

    Actually, the anecdotal evidence says he really is that delusional.

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  182. Christopher - agree about Oprah
    Jolly Roger - who is delusional? Are you referring to Bush or John Stewart?

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  183. Larry said...
    (Reuters) - U.S. troops killed five Iraqi civilians, including a child, in two separate shootings in the past two days, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

    On Monday, U.S. troops targeting al Qaeda fighters in Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, opened fire on a vehicle which approached a roadblock at high speed. Two men inside ignored warnings to stop, a military statement said.

    A child was found wounded inside the vehicle but later died despite receiving medical treatment. A U.S. military spokesman later said the two men in the vehicle were civilians and were not armed.

    THIS IS HORRIBLE!!

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  184. I'm glad McClellan has turned on Bush. Unfortunately I don't think it will mean anything. So many of Bush's former henchmen have written tell-all books, and yet where has it gotten us? That F$#!#@% is still in the White House.

    Who Hijacked Our Country

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  185. For making us sit through a picture of Scott McLellan, Lydia, you owe us a bikini photo of yourself... :-D

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  186. BARTLEBEE said...
    Silencing those shows I said was the goal. I said nothing about newswriters.


    There are easier ways than calling a writer's strike to shut them down, Bart. Start a protest against their advertisers seems to be a far more logical and reasonable way of handling this, and it doesn't cost Bush a red cent of credibility.

    I think you're overheating a little here.

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  187. Jolly Roger - who is delusional? Are you referring to Bush or John Stewart?

    Why the moronic monkey, of course. He never hears anything but what he wants to hear, so he could persuade himself of anything.

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  188. The federal official helming a probe into potentially illegal partisan political activities conducted by Karl Rove and other White House officials is himself the focus of a federal investigation.

    Scott Bloch, the Bush-appointed head of the US Office of Special Counsel, is under investigation for the alleged improper deletion of emails on office computers, The Wall Street Journal's John R. Wilke reports.

    "Recently, investigators learned that Mr. Bloch erased all the files on his office personal computer late last year," writes Wilke. "They are now trying to determine whether the deletions were improper or part of a cover-up, lawyers close to the case said." The inspector general of the Office of Personnel Management is examining the case at the urging of the White House.

    The Special Counsel is also under scrutiny for claims that he used his position to retaliate against other employees, and that he "dismissed whistleblower cases without adequate examination." Investigation began in that case in 2005.

    The Journal reports that Bloch called the tech support service Geeks on Call for help deleting computer files instead of using his agency's own in-house computer technicians. That company "dispatched a technician in one of its signature PT Cruiser wagons," according to Wilke, who adds that Bloch confirms contacting Geeks on Call but maintains it was part of an effort to "eradicate a virus that had seized control of his computer."

    "Mr. Bloch had his computer's hard disk completely cleansed using a 'seven-level' wipe: a thorough scrubbing that conforms to Defense Department data-security standards," the report continues, describing a process which makes it "nearly impossible for forensics experts to restore the data later. Technicians were also directed to erase laptops used by Bloch's former political deputies, Wilke adds.

    "Geeks on Call visited Mr. Bloch's government office in a nondescript office building on M Street in Washington twice, on Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2006," according the paper's review of a company receipt. "The total charge was $1,149, paid with an agency credit card, the receipt shows. The receipt says a seven-level wipe was performed but doesn't mention any computer virus."

    The manager of the Geeks on Call franchise involved told the Journal that the so-called seven-level wipe was not a typical remedy for a computer virus. "We don't do a seven-level wipe for a virus," he said.

    Maybe Geeks on Call will bring down Rove.

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  189. Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips
    As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records.

    The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.

    At the time, the mayor’s office refused to explain the accounting to city auditors, citing “security.”

    The Hamptons visits resulted in hotel, gas and other costs for Giuliani’s New York Police Department security detail.

    Another Republican making taxpayers fot the bill for his extra-marital affairs.

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  190. (AP)If you’re planning to vote in Virginia’s February Republican presidential primary, be prepared to sign an oath swearing your Republican loyalty.

    The State Board of Elections on Monday approved a state Republican Party request to require all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they’ll vote for the party’s presidential nominee next fall.

    There’s no practical way to enforce the oath. Virginia doesn’t require voters to register by party, and for years the state’s Republicans have fretted that Democrats might meddle in their open primaries.

    Virginia Democrats aren’t seeking such an oath for their presidential primary, which is held the same day — February 12th.

    Just like Republicans to dictate how someone will vote.

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  191. By Maureen Dowd

    Condi doesn’t want to be Iraq.

    She wants to be a Palestinian state. It has a far more hopeful ring to it, legacy-wise.

    The Most Powerful Woman in the History of the World, as President Bush calls her, is a very orderly person.

    Like her boss, she loves schedules and routines and hates disruptions. As a child, she was elected “president” of her family, a position that allowed her to dictate the organizational details of family trips, according to “Condoleezza Rice: An American Life,” a new biography by The Times’s Elisabeth Bumiller.

    As an adult, Condi was worried about taking the job of top diplomat because it would mean traveling and being away from her things and habits.

    So it is telling that in Annapolis she is running such a seat-of-the-pants operation, which seems designed to rescue the images of a secretary of state and president who have spent more time working out in the gym than working on the peace process.

    W. couldn’t be bothered to stay in Annapolis and try to belatedly push things along and guide Israel with a firmer hand.

    After subverting diplomacy in his first term, now W. does drive-by diplomacy, taking a playboy approach to peace. He wants to look like he’s taking the problem of an Israeli-Palestinian treaty seriously when his true motivation is more cynical: pacifying the Arab coalition and holding it together so that he can blunt Iran’s sway.

    When they invaded Iraq rather than working on the Palestine problem, W. and Condi helped spur the greater Iranian influence, Islamic extremism and anti-American sentiment that they are now desperately trying to quell.

    Condi has compared trying to broker deals in the Middle East to “Groundhog Day.” An Annapolis-inspired breakthrough would be thrilling, but it will be tough for Madame Secretary to turn around her reputation after so many instances of Mideast malpractice.

    The tight-as-a-tick team of W. and Condi have been consistently culturally obtuse on the Middle East, even with a pricey worldwide operation designed to keep them in the loop.

    First, Condi missed the scorching significance of the August 2001 presidential daily brief headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” “An explosive title on a nonexplosive piece,” as she later dismissively described it.

    Then she and W. failed to fathom that if Iraq went wrong, Iran would benefit.

    When Brent Scowcroft, who lured the young Soviet expert from Stanford to the Bush 1 national security staff, wrote a Wall Street Journal piece before the Iraq war titled “Don’t Attack Saddam,” she didn’t call him to explore his reasoning. She scolded him for publicly disagreeing with W. Scowcroft confided to friends that he was mystified by Rice. She enabled Bush’s bellicosity rather than putting a brake on it.

    “He told me several times, ‘I don’t understand how my lady, my baby, my disciple, has changed so much,’ ” a senior European diplomat told Bumiller.

    Condi and W. were both underwhelmed by the C.I.A.’s presentation of its case on Iraq’s W.M.D.’s on Dec. 21, 2002. Yet, only days later, Bumiller reports, Rice and W. were alone in the Oval Office when he surprised her by asking her point blank about the war: “Do you think we should do this?”

    “Yes,” she told the president.

    That’s not statesmanship. It’s sycophancy.

    She let Rummy waltz away with the occupation and only got back some control after he’d made a historic hash of it.

    It took her too long to push back on Rummy’s absurd turf-war tricks, like reading or doodling while she was talking, or dropping a Defense Department document on the conference table as Rice was leading a discussion on a different topic so that he could steal the agenda.

    W.’s former chief of staff Andy Card told Bumiller that Rummy was “a little bit old-school” and “a little bit sexist” in his dealings with Rice.

    Not to mention a little bit crazy.

    In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon and many civilians died, including children, Condi and W. drew Arab and U.N. ire for not forcing Ehud Olmert to broker a cease-fire faster.

    That same year, in another instance of spectacular willful ignorance, she was blindsided by the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections.

    As she described it to Bumiller, she went upstairs at 5 a.m. the morning after the Palestinian elections in 2006 to the gym in her Watergate apartment to exercise on her elliptical machine. She saw the news crawl reporting the Hamas victory.

    “I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right,’ ” she said. She kept exercising for awhile but finally got off the elliptical trainer and called the State Department. “I said, ‘What happened in the Palestinian elections?’ and they said, ‘Oh, Hamas won.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness! Hamas won?’ ”

    When she couldn’t reach the State Department official on the ground in the Palestinian territories, she did what any loyal Bushie would do: She got back on the elliptical.

    “I thought, might as well finish exercising,” Rice told Bumiller. “It’s going to be a really long day.” It was one of the few times she was prescient on the Middle East.

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  192. Carl said...


    There are easier ways than calling a writer's strike to shut them down, Bart. Start a protest against their advertisers seems to be a far more logical and reasonable way of handling this, and it doesn't cost Bush a red cent of credibility.

    I think you're overheating a little here.


    Well I'm not sure what you mean by overheating, but back at you.

    As for "easier ways", easier for who? Who would start a protest? The White House would hire protestors? What are you talking about?

    I'm talking about a LAW, that was WRITTEN IN JULY, that APPEARS to be written to threaten large media owners for anti war efforts that Bush feels may be "undermining progress" in Iraq.

    That LAW was written for a reason.

    I didn't know WHAT reason at the time, but it was clear it was targeting media moguls and producers, etc. That is what I first summised, not even knowing about the writers strike at the time.

    NOW I find out that in July is when the owners and writers first decided that a strike was probably coming.

    If the media owners, producers, etc were notified IN JULY, that certain shows were deemed by the govt to have content that could be considered undermining stabilization efforts in Iraq, then these owners may have been warned to curb whatever specifics that was spelled out in the warning. The warning could have been delivered through many means and or parties. It could have been subtle, it could have been blunt. One things for sure, YOU and I won't hear about it, because since it involved national security, which the war in Iraq does, it would likely have been classified. In other words, the govt contacts you, says "stop doing this or that oh and by the way, if you tell anyone we had this discussion you will be guilty of treason... have a nice day"

    Now, IF that occured, which is highly probable because Bush issues these orders in a knee-jerk fashion, usually when he needs to do something. That means the something he needs to do that the order facilitates he'll probably do within days of issuing the order.

    That means the White House or some way down the line silent 3rd party contacted whoever they contacted to warn them that this order was now in effect, in July.

    Which is when the owners decided that forcing a strike would be the best way to drag out the issue until Iraq either stabilizes, or collapses. They may have just saw it as a way to buy time. After all, we'll be going into rerun season in couple of months anyway which will buy more time.

    Theres a very plausible connection between the July decision to strike, and the July issuing of an order that appears to have been written to pressure media owners to curtail their anti-war rhetoric

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  193. A Good Idea: Senator Dodd Moves to Fix Disastrous Bankruptcy Bill of 2005

    Senate Banking Chairman Christopher J. Dodd said Wednesday that he plans to introduce legislation soon that would rewrite portions of the bankruptcy code.

    His package will include provisions to change the treatment of mortgage debt to help struggling property owners hold on to their homes. A statement from the Connecticut Democrat said the measure also would “seek to undo the most pernicious aspects of the recent bankruptcy legislation that was passed in 2005.”

    The proposal would allow judges to consider debtors’ “individual circumstances” in determining their ability to pay off their debts. It also would ensure that medical debts can always be discharged in bankruptcy.

    Dodd, a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination, said in a statement that he had opposed the 2005 law, which made it harder for consumers to wipe out their debts and gain a fresh start by filing for bankruptcy protection.

    “Most often, individuals are forced into bankruptcy by a devastating medical event or the loss of a job,” Dodd said. “Our bankruptcy laws should not punish these vulnerable members of our society.”

    In response to problems in the subprime mortgage market, Dodd’s proposal, like those introduced by other lawmakers in both chambers, would allow bankruptcy courts to modify the terms of home mortgages during bankruptcy proceedings, something prohibited under current law.

    Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are threatened with foreclosure, as their adjustable rate mortgages reset to higher monthly payments from an initial low teaser rate.

    It's about time.

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  194. San Diego County’s district attorney has a program called Project 100% that is intended to reduce welfare fraud. Applicants for welfare benefits are visited by law enforcement agents, who show up unannounced and examine the family’s home, including the insides of cabinets and closets. Applicants who refuse to let the agents in are generally denied benefits.

    The program does not meet the standards set out by the Fourth Amendment. For a search to be reasonable, there generally must be some kind of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These searches are done in the homes of people who have merely applied for welfare and have done nothing to arouse suspicion.

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, rejected a challenge brought by welfare recipients. In ruling that the program does not violate the Constitution, the majority made the bizarre assertion that the home visits are not “searches.”

    The Supreme Court has long held that when the government intrudes on a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy, it is a search for purposes of the Fourth Amendment. It is a fun-house mirrors version of constitutional analysis for a court to say that government agents are not conducting a search when they show up unannounced in a person’s home and rifle through her bedroom dresser.

    Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for himself and six other Ninth Circuit judges who voted to reconsider the case, got it right. The majority decision upholding Project 100%, Judge Pregerson wrote, “strikes an unprecedented blow at the core of Fourth Amendment protections.” These dissenters rightly dismissed the majority’s assertion that the home visits were voluntary, noting that welfare applicants were not told they could withhold consent, and that they risked dire consequences if they resisted.

    The dissenting judges called the case “an assault on the poor,” which it is. It would be a mistake, however, to take consolation in the fact that only poor people’s privacy rights were at stake. When the government is allowed to show up unannounced without a warrant and search people’s homes, it is bad news for all of us

    Another phase of the Bush dictatorship.

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  195. Prominent Mississippi trial attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, the brother-in-law of outgoing GOP Sen. Trent Lott, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges that he and four other men tried to bribe a Mississippi state court judge.

    According to the 13-page indictment, Scruggs and three other attorneys -- including Lott's nephew Zach -- attempted to bribe Mississippi Third Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey with at least $40,000 in cash.

    Lackey was assigned to hear a lawsuit in which Scruggs' firm was named as a defendant in a dispute involving $26.5 million in attorneys' fees stemming from a court settlement with State Farm Insurance over Hurricane Katrina claims.

    The indictment alleges that the bribe was intended to resolve the case in Scruggs' and his firm's favor. Also charged was Sidney A. Backstrom, an attorney at Scruggs' firm; Timothy R. Balducci, a New Albany, Miss., laywer; and former State Auditor Steven A. Patterson, an employee of Balducci's law firm.

    Those Repugs just can't stop being criminals.

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  196. NEW THREAD IS UP.

    Conservative icon PAT BUCHANAN guests on our show tomorrow and we will grill him.

    His riveting new book, "DAY OF RECKONING: How Hubris, Ideology and Greed are Tearing America Apart"

    He completely blasts Bush and the neocons, as a true Progressive would.

    Is he turning to the Progressive side? This should be an amazing interview.

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  197. Bart,

    See, you call up Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and John Gibson, and you mention to them the unAmerican activities and how you'd like them to use their pulpits to shut these shows down.

    It works, and it's very effective.

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