Thursday, April 5, 2012

L'Internationale, Right Wing Elite Style

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is of course a Nobelized mind of nearly unmatched intelligence but all that sagacity usually made him keep his gloves on when handling right wing hysteria. He used to tentatively throw a "Disappointing" here, or a "Mr Ryan made a highly dubious assertion.." there. And that was as far as his frown went. But lately reading his latest op-ed was like finally watching him wake up to the sound of imminent disaster. Fascinating... Brilliant. Needed. But late, much too late.

Yes, Scott Walker attack of the Unions were a "power grab", the focus on tax relief to the ultimate rich through tax cut, tax holidays or trickle-down policies amount to a"corporate cash con" of national scope, and his "Oligarchy American Style" could have been written in 2008. Now the tides of radicalism in the Republican Party is so over the top that most of its member do not only embrace it but promote it in all media outlet with much vigor and foam at the mouth. It's like encountering 500 little Rush Limbaugh on every comment space of every country political websites all very high and all very angry. One could say that right wing spring madness is upon us -internationally.

Here in Canada, Stephen Harper is slashing in all that could be construe as a common cultural heritage with a jubilating efficiency and draconian cuts to the CBC/Radio-Canada  or in any department created for the protection of the public that could give Harper & friends a hard time with pesky legislation and scrutiny.  The Food Inspection Agency, Public Safety Canada, Transport Canada will all be affected for a grand total of more than 19000 jobs out of the door. So, more money to spend on useless jets and military posturing maybe?

Foreign Aid will now mean giving money to Canadian companies that establish themselves internationally and that offer foreign natives different "in-house training" programs. The money, Ottawa tout, will help "create jobs" in countries that need them the most. It almost makes sense. But nowhere is it mention the condition of these jobs, their salaries or the amount per workers that Canadian companies will pocket as pure profit as a gift from Harper & friends.

800 million in the2012 Canadian Budget will be taken from the poor and given to the richest of Canadian citizens under guise of tax cuts or frozen tax rates. The Conservatives, who at their heart are still the Reform Party, are now a Alberta private club affair: it's all steams a-head for oil, pipelines, mining, crude export tanker, gas and circumventing environmental hearing for a fast track from crude to pure cash for Energy investors. And prisons for kids. Promised are almost 300 million dollar in cuts to Correction Canada in the next 3 years but Harper won't build anything new. Guess we'll be calling those US private juvie prisons people soon...

And keep those private US Health Insurance phone numbers at the ready too. Your tax won't grow but all your private expenses will. Especially since Harper & Friends will cut 300 million per year to our Healthcare system. When Harper was only a mini Stockwell Day and the new tech guy for his Reform Party, he totally agree with the party's adherence to bankrupt the National Healthcare system and replace it with a two-tier private health insurance system. His Conservative Party is nothing like the party of Mulroney and Joe Clark  as much as the Republican Party of today has none of the restraint or moderation of the Republican Party under "Ike" Eisenhower.

The approach and grievances of the "build a firewall around Alberta" gang is transparent and did not change since Ernest Manning's day as the "soul" of the Social Credit Party Of Alberta:
-the demise of the National Energy Program that regulates prices,
-the dismantling of the Department of Indian Affairs,
-they were strongly against women right to choose in abortion cases,
-they opposed extending certain rights to homosexuals,
-they were against any immigration "designed to radically or suddenly alter the ethnic makeup of Canada"
-and they think that too much attention and power are given to Quebec and the rest of Eastern Canada.

Harper was a representative of that platform before the Canadian Alliance cannibalized what was left of the Conservative Party. I don't think anything he will do, now that he finally has a miraculous majority, will deviate much from that wish list of the Canadian Alliance Party/Reform Party/Social Credit Party.

 For certain projects public debate will be curtailed- which is ironic giving the new budget propensity  for vague wording and ambiguous itemization inexplicably free of charge ( about consultation of Aboriginal bands, “appropriate legislative and regulatory frameworks related to oil spills and emergency preparedness.”, the new "enhancement to governance and oversight framewok" for the CMHC )- which means we will probably need more of it.

EcoEnergy Programs are deleted, National Council on Welfare gone, the new "modernized" immigration system will be controlled by corporations for corporations...  after spending more than 12 million dollars on advertising on its promotion, the Jim Flaherty Budget was a right-wing hit love song promising that the best was yet to come.

So when I read Krugman finally calls US conservatives "fraudulent""phonies", it fun and heartwarming. But when he calls their policies "wishful thinking", we all have to stop smiling. There is nothing funny or left to chance here. The right wing forces are not the Three Stooges. There is in all countries caught in the grip of a conservative administration a very deliberate, a carefully calibrated, a very thoughtful process of dismantling 80 years of social democracy economical policy that relied on the citizen as a emancipated agent in a union of equals to transform that same citizen as a pure economical assignee- from citizen to consumer, from a protector of national good and commonwealth to a producer and consumer of goods, period. The government that must be "drown like a baby in a bathtub" to paraphrase a conservative policy maker, is to be no more concern by its citizens than ...a bathtub by a drowning baby.

The "economic growth" of the world 2% rich elite is what is sought after with austerity measures from now on. Everything else must be paid for at the most expensive price by you... while you drown in debt. The right wing motto never was prosperity for all. Too bad millions will lose much before they will ever figure it out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crazy Brits Make for Interesting TV: Sherlock and Black Mirror

Sherlock & Black Mirror
I don't know exactly what's in those pints but whatever it is, keep it coming!

I already spilled my guts about my total infatuation with The BBC ONE Sherlock revival. Smart, charming, quick witted, cute like a slightly deranged poodle and- in the first season at least- openly gay, he was one hell of a success on my screen time list. Watching the show set up Sherlock and Watson explosive chemistry was akin to an intoxicating head rush. Like it's main protagonist, the show's writers trusted the viewers to jump and follow the stories without missing a beat and asking pointless question - and of course, they did. Those who knew the Conan Doyle canon by heart were treated to little inside jokes, while the others were just so grateful to be totally in the thrall of such masterfully controlled script writing and engaging acting that they just savored the experience and tagged along, smiling just like Holmes (sometimes more) all the way.

So Season 2 was a bit of a disappointment when a Sherlock in love started to save devilish dominatrix in distress in film noir settings and when everybody and his senile mom could easily suspect what was wrong with the savaged darkened marshlands of the Hound of Baskervilles.The wit had dulled, the scripts were of the written on a corner of a pub napkin variety, the famous Holmes/Watson banter, that magical tit for tat chemistry, falling flat most of the time... One  could appreciate Russell Tovey's cameo that brought  Georges from Being Human to fight his inner demons and some potentially ironic werewolves as a moment deserving a chuckle or two no more. But where the two first installments of this season stand lacking in finesse and human connections, the last episode made up for it in suspense. Though a bit teary and obvious in its emotional contrivance, it all came down to a duel of Masters, with a hair-raisingly creepy Moriarty exceeding our expectation as super villain to the point where we as viewers cannot tell illusion from reality and neither can Watson. In another word, the head rush was back and we could see that, for the creators of Sherlock, the best was undeniably still yet to come.
(Source: machomachi)

Daniel Kaluuya gave the same maladapted warmth that made him such a joy to watch in The Fades to his prisoner in Black Mirror. Describe as an "hybrid of The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected ", but focused on how new technologies affects aspects of our humanity. Writer Charlie Brook's Black Mirror travels the usual road of sci-fi dystopian  fantasies: uncomfortable arrangements are made with the truth and the devil inside our institutions and individual souls. The opening episode was a playing for shock affair with a pig, the prime minister and a lot of youtube. If it sounds like a schoolboy ideas of a dirty joke it's because it basically is. But what saved the whole enterprise and made it worthwhile despite the usual rehash about our voyeuristic instinct was the often straight to the heart criticism of  the actual state of our 5th estate. Little shards of truth rarely make a complete picture, scraps of details on camera with a voice over is not news. But that is what we get stuck with while trying to reconstruct the world around us, politically or otherwise.  And nothing, not even art, can really help us make sense of it but immediacy, Charlie Brooke seem to tell us. We see, we feel, we forget and grow older, colder, faster.

But in the 15 million Merits episode, the metaphors grow smaller and more focused. If you've seen THX 1138 or read Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood or H.G. Wells' The Sleeper Awakes, the elements here are nothing new. Daniel Kaluuya's gentle geek persona and the frail, touching voice of Jessica Brown-Findley from Downtown Abbey are reality TV fodder and passive prisoners to a rat wheel of a place that feel horrifyingly familiar. All we can hope is that no marketing exec will ever tie our eyesight to  search engine optimization and pay per click porn - ever.  The episode is a slick stylish affair, all in drab modernist grey blueish tone and glacial steel. Rupert Everett, playing the X-Factor "bitchy" judge with evident delectation,  makes the girl's Juliette innocence a rating gimmick and the guy's Romeo angry resentment a ticket to a bigger, emptier cell. Nothing new here then, but a sick feeling that the walls are coming closer and the screens bigger.

Friday, March 30, 2012

New TV, Old Tropes: A Review of "Hell on Wheels"

Hell on Wheels
It's no Deadwood, but at least it's trying.

Rewriting history is fun. Heroes become villains, villains heroes. One can tell much about where the wind is blowing politically just by watching TV rewriting history, myths and legends.
In the news we expect it, of course. However  fantasy, sci-fi or historical dramas - even  animes and kiddy shows - contain more concrete and accurate political analysis than any Meet the Press right now. And westerns in particular usually lay it thickly like it is.

Westerns give the creators of the shows and its audience the opportunity to start a-fresh, to create the country from the ground up, to their presumed image, all gloves off.
Women are then girls, Natives are Savages and Black people are finally bought and sold again as easily as Kleenex boxes and all is right with the world as God meant it, amen. If  it seems to you like you can recognize by smell just a whiff of the stuff from which GOP's erotic dreams are made, you have the gist of it.

With such a comforting (for some) but reactionary setting, what type of hero do we introduce? One who comfort the rest of the protagonists in their way or one who challenge them? Usually, for demographic sake, creators tends to go with the Loner: available (dead wife means the female audience can always dream of Mr. Strong Silent Type), righteous (vengeance fantasy is good for the slightly frustrated male audience), but sensitively receptive (the "loves me some natives and Blacks are people too as long as I'm still the hero and get the girl" syndrome). Here - everybody's happy!

Deadwood followed the same principles - Timothy Olyphant was eye candy with a soul and a gun. And all things to all men.

So what made that show different? The muddy realistic setting for one, that made for the TV western what Taxi Driver night shots did for New York. And Ian McShane - who could be the Oliver Reed of our time if not for the sad fact that he is not completely insane. And last but not least, great writing based on magnificent little vignettes in characters studies of Calamity Jane, Wild Bill, Wyatt Earp, E.B. Farnum, Mr. Wu, etc... Weary scarred individuals, cruel mob bosses and lonely eccentrics creating slowly but surely the basis for our modern world.

So, what about Hell on Wheels?

Strong silent loner? Check.
Muddy hellhole? Check
Church settlement scene that is an exact knock off of Deadwood's? Check
Non veroled, healthy as an ox prostitutes? Check

Colm Meany, despite his name, might look just too damn decent for a dark villain of first grade manipulative savage capitalism gone unchecked - not an oily old snake like Cy Tolliver, nor a brutal megalomaniac with a twisted tender heart as Al Swearengen.

But, on the other hand, Hell's scope of study of politics might be less restrained to a small town in the making and incorporates the whole land from sea to shining sea.

Also, the law is not our friend anymore. The Swede is a fascinating creature of pure logic. More than a Norwegian, he is the stereotype of the perfect German soldier of some old WWII movie: efficient, loyal, cunning, cold and distant to the point of being slightly psychopatic. But actor Christopher Heyerdahl infuse him silently with enough of a scarred humane quality that we are always enjoying his company and can't wait to see what he'll do next to surprise us.

Lily Bell is a satisfactory heroine. Without going all out Ripley, in dire circumstances she kills to survive and acquire the aura of a survivor that won't get fooled again. Her coldness gives her backbone and we can only root for her as she plays Doc Durant as much as he tries to play her. Unfortunately, it also makes her just plain cold. So our prayers go to the prostitutes.

But my favorites are Joseph Black Moon and Mr Ferguson. Keeping a minimum of self-respect when playing a character that is a member of a minority in our times is a major feat. Long gone are the scripts letting a character like a long lean gentle but stern and unarmed Sidney Poitier could insist loud and clear that is name is Mr Tibbs, period.

Now we'll get some interchangeable ex rapper or another mumbles his few lines and get thrown out of our collective memory just as fast by a continuous chain of bizarrely bad decisions, crude thinking, incompetence or just open idiocy... But here is Common all gentle manner and grave present voice, his dignity intact in the Wild West. In this world, he becomes it's moral center. No angelism, just a Rorschach test of their obsession with power, guilt and displacement. Since Common can act and can make a character grow by giving him an inner life, he will not stay as a simple projection of a race relation simile. If he does, the responsibility will squarely fall on the writers" shoulders.

And finally here is Black Moon with Johnny Depp's Dead Man haircut and scenes after scene of self-loathing angst and childish self effacement. The last time I saw a First Nation aboriginal smile freely on TV without the chapel of any stereotype was in North of 60 and Northern Exposure in the 90's. Again, the writers need to break free and give Black Moon a presence that can enrich the whole show.

The railroad in itself is a character in Hell on Wheels, like a bloodline or an old aunt with bizarre presents.It is undeniably a symbol of what was to come to and become of the Great Far West. But good stories are more than symbols, not less. And I think the writers of Hell on Wheels have what it take to let his hero and stories make a stand about what exactly they intend to built out of all the mud.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New TV, Old Tropes: A Review of "TOUCH"

See Ken & Barbie laugh, see Ken & Barbie cry!
See them fight evil monsters from Mars and kiss and have babies!
Sometimes creating new TV seems as easy as dressing old stories in new clothes.

If you look hard - or like for most shows,  not that hard- you can still see Mary Taylor Moore, the Lone Ranger, Marcus Welby, MD or Hill Street Blues underneath all those Jimmy Choo's ecologically responsible leather pumps and electric blue moire shirts. The Jeffersons "antics" are recycled daily on black sitcoms and our new "girl power" is all about singing and dancing and twirling in great looking clothes - with or without magical drama.

So I usually skip TV nowadays like I skip politics. Better for my overall health and brain capacities. But bright moving pictures have their attractive forces, some even call it culture, others entertainment or calling out to our voyeuristic nature.  I however am just dying to see how TV execs juggled and weave yesterday's successful ideas with today's superficial seasonings...  Let see...

Touch: I'm happy that Kieffer Sutherland is back on TV in a show that will give him more to do than torture and kill bad guys while screaming about it. Time that he flexes his emotional muscles for a change. But Touch is just too much of it. Even Touch by an Angel was less emotive or preoccupied with spiritual pandering and more restrained. All this talk of "destiny" sound like an echo reverberating from old "Heroes" episodes. But the superpowers here are replaced by the combined  abilities of super-serendipity and ultra-synchronicity.
Managing so that the random addition of actions at the four corners of the world make sense beautifully in less than 60 minutes is the whole point of the show.
That kid may well be Jack Bauer's descendant after all...
With the obligatory unnerving soft smiled boy genius, mean incompetent if for once beautiful black woman, 911 references and a terrorist cell of Arabic descent. Danny Glover lends his credibility and generous empathy to this affair to not much purpose.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Avatar: The Bald One Not the Blue One


Despite being butchered by Hollywood studios and getting its name ripped-off by Mr. "King of the World" Cameron (a genius nonetheless when he shut up and shoot movies), one of the best American animated show will finally come back!

As you can see in the trailer, they splurged and it shows: the action and animation are none plus and the creators (Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko) usual humour is intact. So more fun for us.

Unfortunately, no sign of boomerang, Sokka, Katara and my favourite, Zuko. Well Appa appears and Aang is now a revered statue. Hopes he appears in animated flesh during the new series but if we maybe lose old friends we seem to gain a cool, mighty new one...

So one we won't miss given the dearth of good shows of any type on what's left of TV land. There's HBO and then there's Barbies movies for adults (even though True Blood does belong to the latter...)

Anyway: The Last Airbender: the Legend of Korra, 2 seasons of 12 and 14 episodes with no starting date yet announced. Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer

Politics in the Ruins

I was over and out.  I was burned and discourage. Cain, Romney, Perry, Gingrich!!!! Obama becoming a ghost, a revolution thwarted and drown in an overabundance of futile insipid information. Harper donning faked glasses and being re-elected with a majority. Jack Layton dying, brave and so close to his goal...

I love politics. It's where we can create and shape the future. It is a fact that one wants it or not. Those who think we can live without it are actually the one being shaped - by events they hope are out of their control. Being passive is choice in itself.

What I see now is a deep transformation of our society into a constant war zone. We have enemies everywhere and 2 generations of children who do not know what living in a time of peace and diversity of point of view can be like. Our principal resources are canalized into weapons and the military. Helping those in need is now seen as a taxing childish pipe dream. Debt controls our lives and the institutions who should  serves citizens now serves corporate citizens who give back nothing but the prospect of minimum wage for most. Extremist views are now normalized, police are using sound cannon for crowd control and cataloging protests' participants...

So yeah, for a year, I unplugged.

I'm back because some of you left me messages- a midst the usual spam fest- that were heartwarming and fun. I'm back because I just love beautiful stuff and like to share them with you. I'm back because being shell shock by the "New World Order" is not an excuse big enough for giving up.

So, without further ado, let me shut up and blog away...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hey, Democrats, I'm with the Stuffed Bear...

Thanks ndintenfass. At YouTube, of course...

The 'BenBernanke' and us: How Our Tax Money Still Lined Goldman Sach's Back Pockets

Masses, educate thyself on the mystery of the Fed and how our tax money  find its way, unimpeded as we speak, to the people that are still laughing on their way to the bank at lonely Bernie Madoff: Goldman Sachs. Wait! They own the bank!

I understand we have to spend. I know that deflation is a wicked, slow, vicious spiraling down the tube of an economy. I'm totally for monetary measure that ease credit lending to small businesses and individuals (if the different banks and creditors involve decides one day to lend again, which they haven't done yet, sitting instead on enormous mass of liquidity. Probably waiting for the Repug to take power before opening the floodgates again, all the while giving credit to the party of 'No, hell, no!') And please, taxes for the middle class are lower now than before.

So, of course, take this video with a grain of salt. Some of the most debilitated elements from the anarchist fringe of the tea drinker party repeat those same talking point memo item as religious truth and reason enough to take down the government.

But, still : Goldman Sachs!!!! Anyway you put it, we are royally screwed...

All the same, a very funny 5 minutes of your time. It all starts by a beautiful day of quantitative easing...

Letter to Obama: Please Read, Mr. President, About What Will Be Done on Your Watch...

I do see your need, Mr. President,  to not let the crazies run the asylum and to resist the lowering of the public debate to the basest level where Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Rove, O'Reilly, Politico, half of the AP and 'new bestselling author' Bush are thriving but resisting alone won't change the debate.

There is a communication vacuum in the Democrat's camp. First, because the right-wing media are owning and shaping every debates, but also because the democrats themselves are scared of their own message. They are afraid of the political price to pay to embrace a socially responsible agenda. They do not even make a concerted effort to redefine or repackage those ideas into more palatable fare to the scared right wing extremists.

Nonetheless, one thing is certain, when we said change, we did not mean 'Kiss up to every republican shill, shady economists or fraudulent health care industry's lobbyists you met.' It meant: 'For once, let there be somebody on Capitol Hill that fights for us instead of his private club buddies.' It meant: 'You have a blank check and ammunition: now fight!'

Unfortunately, we discovered that we did not elect a fighter nor a leader but a Master of Compromises. Patient, earnest, hardworking, Mr. Smith has finally arrived in Washington. What irony! The Nobel Peace Prize WAS indeed well deserved. Anybody facing the horde of foaming at the mouth two-headed monsters created by this new bizarre Republican/Tea Party hybrid and who still tries to create equitable, level-handed solutions through sane, reasonable dialogue do deserve it.

There's very little time left to combat all the lies by omissions, insinuations or pure fabrications of the Murdoch/Aile/Koch brothers Tribe however: time to forget the Peace Prize and get dirty.

When the Republicans will get back at the trough, guess who's going to get blame for every single mess? Who will be left standing but emptied, chewed and spit out? You and us, both.

Your only friends left then, Mr. President, are the one who elected you. We might sound unreasonable to you. Socially conscious. Progressive even. But wait and see and compare with the rest. Wait and see who's ready to lend you a hand. And who's too busy selling everything from the chandelier to the crystal cup to the highest bidder to even look at you drowning.

For this a-coming group of 'concerned, fair, balanced, independent, true, patriotic, free enterprise-loving, papa, mama, baby, BS selling, dancing, Alaskan Bears' paid citizenry, bipartisanship means one thing only: 'Give all government funds to corporate interests. No strings attached.' The dialogue you yearn for is pretty much a one way street.

They are ready to do what they did best before: restructuring (read bankrupt) America. After selling the country's jobs and technology on the cheap to outside interests - incongruously strengthening and enlarging those nations' middle class all the while shrinking ours - they are now at the point of dismantling basic services.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the department of Education.... All will be hollowed out and the funds allocated to lawless, unsupervised private corporations. Costs will soars, the rich/poor divide widen. They see it as a 'business cycle'. The pendulum will swing while they drink champagne. We all can see it as madness.

I know it's hard for you to see that they do not care. Really, believe us,  they do not. But you do. So try not to play the role assign to you by their well funded think-thanks and believe in your own word: you can make a difference. 
You still can, Mr. President. But you do need to wake up and get some fighting Rambo-style help....

Insist on the words sanity, decency, common good. Keep on saying that you will fight for the middle class until your last breath. Put the tea drinkers on the defensive: they're not even sure why they are there themselves. Give Howard Dean a call, thank him for a fantastic BBC interview where he defended your position eloquently and forcefully. Give Krugman and Nouriel Rubini a call. Bernanke was wrong and they were right, there's not much more to be discussed here, really. Call Clinton - can't escape him, he's the oasis President between two Desert Storm campaigns- and the new DLC chairman, Harold Ford, tell them you won't go in the middle.  Nothing in the middle but dead possum. Triangulation satisfies no one but corporate interests. The 50 states strategy worked. It's now or never the time to be on the message in the party. Tell them that a parrot could do what the Republicans do: repeat, repeat, repeat until we hear nothing but their voices and all else is dwarfed.

Just repeat a different message: 'As for the Republicans attack on the middle class: the buck stops here!'

Oh, by the way, speaking of Truman: don't forget that China was behind North Korea in the 50's. they still are.

Good Luck, Mr. President. We still love you: who could replace you? Seriously, with Hillary gone, who can? Don't be a stranger: meet us on Huff Post.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Inverted Cannibalism: How the US is Eating its Young By Chris Hedge

We all have seen the signs, the strange discomfort is changing into outright disbelief, but not too many can argue now that everything is well in the Republic of Palin and Snookie.

The Right is doing its job all right but the Left is seen as impotent, even thought all the political capital in the world were thrown at it so as to shake up, shape up and reaffirm this thing called democracy in a society that should not shudder at the mere mention of empathy and that assuredly should regard compassion and justice as valuable human principles.

TruthDig Chris Hedge's talk on 'The Death of the Liberal Class' go further into the dissection of the disease that seems to erode all the Left's political endeavors.

An eye opener and a somber take on the history, as well as the uncertain future, of a broken republic.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More Stumble Upon News

  • Jobless Claims in U.S. Decreased 11,000 Last ...

    From the page: "Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level in three months, indicating companies are slowing the pace of firings.

    Jobless claims dropped by 11,000 to 445,000 in the week ended Oct. 2, the fewest since July 10, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected 455,000 new claims last week, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance decreased and those getting extended payments jumped. "
  • U.S. Companies Buy Back Stock Instead Of Investing...

    From the page: For months, companies have been sitting on the sidelines with record piles of cash, too nervous to spend. Now they're starting to deploy some of that money - not to hire workers or build factories, but to prop up their share prices.
    This Story

    Sitting on these unprecedented levels of cash, U.S. companies are buying back their own stock in droves. So far this year, firms have announced they will purchase $273 billion of their own shares, more than five times as much compared with this time last year, according to Birinyi Associates, a stock market research firm. But the rise in buybacks signals that many companies are still hesitant to spend their cash on the job-generating activities that could produce economic growth.
  • Goldman Sachs and the Economy -

    From the page: "Correlations in economic data that suggest higher credit helps cause higher growth are not worth much " if they fail to take into account future losses on bad credit. If G.D.P. were adjusted with provisions for future losses, G.D.P. growth would be lower during periods where credit grows very fast."
  • Senator sees hope for Obama-led tax code reform| Reuters

    Rated 05:35am 1 review politics
    From the page: "Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, the author with Republican Judd Gregg of the only bipartisan plan to overhaul the tax code, said he saw a sliver of light this week when Obama said he wanted to find ways to lower the corporate tax rate - a cornerstone of their plan.

    "The fact that the president has put it on the table so early I think is a huge deal," Wyden told a packed room of tax lawyers, experts and aides to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss the Wyden-Gregg plan."
  • BBC News - UN condemned over 'appalling' Haiti...

    Rated 05:27am 1 review politics
    From the page: "UN condemned over 'appalling' Haiti earthquake camps
    A girl stands next to tents destroyed by heavy rains in Port-au-Prince on 25 September The report says camps for displaced Haitians are squalid and close to anarchy

    A US charity has issued a damning criticism of efforts by the UN to help those made homeless by the devastating quake in Haiti almost 10 months ago.

    The group, Refugees International, says the UN bodies in charge of camps for displaced Haitians are inexperienced, dysfunctional and lack translators"
  • Poor healthcare may shorten American lives: study -...

    Rated 05:25am 1 review politics
    From the page: "Americans die sooner than citizens of a dozen other developed nations and the usual suspects -- obesity, traffic accidents and a high murder rate -- are not to blame, researchers reported on Thursday.

    Instead, poor healthcare may be to blame, the team at Columbia University in New York reported."
  • Ted Hughes Poem Details Sylvia Plaths Suicide : NPR

    Rated 05:15am 1 review poetry
    A previously unseen poem by Ted Hughes that details the painful moments surrounding the suicide of his wife Sylvia Plath is being published by The New Statesman on Thursday, the magazine said.

    Hughes, an English poet laureate, and Plath, his American wife, are considered among the 20th century's greatest poets. Their doomed marriage inspired some of their best work and has been the focus of endless fascination.
  • Measuring global poverty: Whose problem now? | The Economist

    'The thesis was true in 1990: then, over 90% of the worldâ€s poor lived in the worldâ€s poorest places. But it looks out of date now. Andy Sumner of Britainâ€s Institute of Development Studies* reckons that almost three-quarters of the 1.3 billion-odd people existing below the $1.25 a day poverty line now live in middle-income countries. Only a quarter live in the poorest states (mostly in Africa). '

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Stumbled Upon News Briefs

    Rated 08:49am 0 reviews politics From the page: ""In a plutonomy there is no such animal as 'the U.S. consumer' or 'the UK consumer,' or indeed the 'Russian consumer.' There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the 'no-rich,' the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie." The Citigroup analysts speculated that a plutonomic world economy could be driven by the spending of the worlds rich minority, whose ranks are "swelling from globalized enclaves in the emerging world."

    The data support their analysis. According to Moodys Analytics, the top 5 percent of American earners are responsible for 35 percent of consumer spending, while the bottom 80 percent engage in only 39.5 percent of consumer outlays."
  • Big-name companies to help colleges train workers -...
    Rated 07:53am 1 review politics
    Big-name companies to help colleges train workers - Yahoo! News From the page: "Tuesday's community college summit is considered a consolation prize for community colleges, which had been slated to receive $10 billion in federal money for job training, building projects and initiatives to graduate more students.

    But by the time an overhaul of the federal student loan program had made its way through Congress, all that remained for community colleges was $2 billion over four years for job training.

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    On Tuesday the Natural Disaster Unit (NDU) said four more villages were affected and the death toll had risen to four. Six people were known to be missing.

    Many others were suffering from burns and eye irritation caused by the lead and other highly corrosive elements"
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    Controversy over campaign advisers who work as lobbyists for foreign or domestic interests can often blight national political campaigns. At least five of McCain's aides quit his presidential campaign because of their lobbying activities."
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  • Op-Ed Columnist - Fear and Favor -
    Op-Ed Columnist - Fear and Favor - ''As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn't currently holding office and isn't named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News. ''

  • Op-Ed Columnist - That's Where the Money Is -
    Op-Ed Columnist - That's Where the Money Is - ''The U.S. is in terrible shape right now because far too much influence has been ceded to the financial and corporate elites who have used that influence to game the system and reap rewards that are almost unimaginable. Ordinary working Americans have been left far behind, gasping and on their knees. ''

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