Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for December 23rd, 2009

True Bipartisanship

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 23, 2009

Seems that the preferred definition of ‘bipartisanship’ in DC is the one that means ‘progressives and moderates get screwed while corporatists win’. There have been some moves to change that lately.

First, there’s this:


Letter Sent To Committee in Advance of Thursday Hearing; Group Also Behind Effort to Audit Actions of Federal Reserve at Early Stages of Financial Crisis

WASHINGTON – In a letter to members of the Senate Banking Committee today, a coalition of liberal and conservative leaders, strategists, activists and public interest advocates called for a delay of the nomination of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to a second term.

The coalition includes Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, Campaign for Liberty president John Tate, Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Dean Baker and FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe.

Borosage said it’s simply astounding that the Banking Committee plans to vote on Bernake’s nomination for another term after only a couple of hours of desultory hearings with the chairman.

Now, there’s this:

Today, Grover Norquist and I are calling for an investigation into Rahm Emanuel’s activities at Freddie Mac, and the White House’s blocking of an Inspector General who would look into it.


Rahm Emanuel was appointed to the board of Freddie Mac in February of 2000 by Bill Clinton, after serving as White House political director where he was a vocal defender of Mr. Clinton during the Monica Lewinski matter.  He served there until leaving to run for Congress in 2001, which qualified him for $380,000 in stock and options and a $20,000 annual fee.

According to the Chicago Tribune, during his tenure the board was notified by executives of their plans to misstate the earnings of Freddie Mac:  “On Emanuel’s watch, the board was told by executives of a plan to use accounting tricks to mislead shareholders about outsize profits the government-chartered firm was then reaping from risky investments. The goal was to push earnings onto the books in future years, ensuring that Freddie Mac would appear profitable on paper for years to come and helping maximize annual bonuses for company brass.”  (3/5/2009)

The Tribune further reported that “during his brief time on the board, the company hatched a plan to enhance its political muscle. That scheme, also reviewed by the board, led to a record $3.8 million fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. Emanuel was the beneficiary of one of those parties after he left the board and ran in 2002 for a seat in Congress from the North Side of Chicago.”

Keep an eye on Fire Dog Lake for further developments.


Posted in Fire Dog Lake, Grover Norquist | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 23

Posted by Charles II on December 23, 2009

Anti-gay hate crimes surge in Honduras
(Photo is up at, along with text from the EU News Network. The photo’s source is unclear. The caption is Anti-gay Hate Crimes Surge in Honduras)
Update: Adrienne says to listen to Radio Progreso. I dialed in late to listen Felix Molina. Something about Lugo of Paraguay and a plot. Ismael Moreno is invited.

Via Magbana at HondurasOye, Joseph Shansky at UpsideDownWorld on the death squads.
Seven resistance congressmen were elected: Eleazar Alexander Juárez Sarabia (LP-Valle), Erik Rodríguez (LP-Lempira) Mario Segura (El Paraíso), Dennis Sánchez (Santa Barbara), Fredys Nájera (Olancho), Norma Haydee Calderón (Cortes) and Marvin Ponce (Francisco Morazán).

Lawyer Nectaly Rodezno, who was threatened with a pistol and beaten says the following:

It’s part of a real offensive against the Resistance, and they are using the same methodology as in the 1980s. The day on which they assassinated Walter Trochez, many other bodies appeared all over the city, exactly how it happened in those years, which is to say, they killed common criminals and took advantage [of the situation] to kill members of popular movements, disguising these political murders as if they had to do with criminal cases. They wanted the people to become accustomed to these crimes, so that they didn’t become aware that they were excercising a systematic repression against the members of the Resistance.

Gabriel Rios Mungia of Los Necios wrote the following about the younger members of the Resistance, who he says were previously “subdued by the hopes of consumerism.” It seems to me to capture an important point that most outsiders don’t get:

Only a few months ago “National Identity” was an indescribable paradigm of confusing dreams imposed by a pro-oligarchy civil society; the Copan ruins are more known in situ by foreigners than by nationals; the national soccer team built out from private owned clubs that deprive the majorities from access to sports leaving them with only expectation. Today the popular national identity is fully summarized in one word: Resistance.

Economies built around consumerism, especially around the consumption of imported products, produce a sense of loss of identity. A sense of nationality and community is displaced by a sense of living in a foreign country. Americans have gotten a taste of it with the flood tide of Chinese imports… but even more so when the nature of the products themselves are different than the native, when plastic and metal displace wood and ceramic. And even more so for indigenous cultures, which are in large measure based on an understanding that the earth is a living being who sustains us from her own substance, the concept generally referred to as Pachamama. (the identical concept is inherent in Christian communion, in which we feast on the food and drink of the earth as the flesh and blood of Christ). When the sense of community and nation is taken away, what fills it is often not benign. “Resistance” is certainly better than some of what can fill the emptiness, but it is a transitional, not an enduring principle of identity.

Channel 36: Mostly about Christmas food. Radio Globo: A government Minister of Security says that the police are penetrated by criminals and narcotraffickers. Police should have at least 6 years of education, wanted to raise it to nine years, with many having high school or college.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | Comments Off on Honduras Coup, Act VI, Day 23

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