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    marye
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    Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.

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  • deadhead102
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    Deadheads For Bernie!

    Get on the boat! Health care with no deductibles, co-pays, etc. To any union members who think their negotiated health plan is better, if your employer doesn't have to pay for your health care, THEY CAN PAY YOU MORE!

  • marye
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    this topic
    is getting seriously unwieldy; please post in the new thread here: http://www.dead.net/forum/long-strange-and-trippy-still-more-current-events
  • Mike Edwards
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    With Six You Get Egg Roll
    > The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. Where this gets really interesting is that the US borrowed that trillion dollars from the People's Republic of China. Add to this the fact that most of the oil coming out of Iraq these days is headed, not for the US, but to Asia, and you've got yourself a real head-scratcher of a conclusion: the US borrowed a trillion dollars from the Chinese to secure their supply of oil?
  • Anna rRxia
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    10 Year Anniversary of the start of the Iraq War
    There are few people out there who believe this wasn't a war of personal animosity between Dubya and Hussein. All the evidence was forged or made up as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned. In a place where there was no AQ one came to be established in the chaos of war. The US was ill-prepared, thinking it would be a shorter term conflict and not committing enough resources to it. Not only that, the generals didn't conceive of the IEDs that would be used to blow up convoys. Thus, American soldiers didn't have the body armor they needed or the armored vehicles they needed. Soldiers didn't have the psychological preparation needed to fight an enemy without uniforms, melting into an innocent population, thus causing unbelievable psychological damage to the troops - suicides and PTSD were rampant in the front line troops. Some of them come home to become ticking time-bombs. The whole argument of "So what if there weren't weapons of mass destruction there, Hussein was a bad man who needed to be removed." doesn't hold water. There are a lot of bad dictators out there whom we don't regard as bad enough to go to war over. This war is the result of the neo-cons who were thoroughly disgraced -- people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld & Bush. These former leaders of the US don't even dare to travel to Britain as they may be arrested, to this day, as war criminals. Due to this war being the first one where contractors took a large percentage of low-level jobs there were relatively few casualties among US soldiers, about 4000. This should be compared to the most precise count of Iraqis killed, based partly on Wikki Leaks information, that shows that roughly 120,000 Iraqis were killed from all sources of violence, not just American or American hired, during the years of war 2003-2011. The cost of the war to America was roughly one trillion dollars. It was this indiscriminate killing by Americans and their civilian contractors that turned the Iraqi population against the US as the war progressed. The neo-cons are now widely regarded as short-sighted fools and part of an administration that allowed carnage and widespread economic suffering around the world to this day because of lax oversight of investment banks.
  • Anna rRxia
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    Their Walls are made of Cannonballs
    The recent spate of gun violence in upstate NY, about 200 miles to the West of me, is quite frightening. The Governor of that State passed the most strict gun controls in the nation and it seems to be of no avail. And that is because the genie is out of the bottle with no way to put the genie back. 250,000,000 guns on our streets will never be turned in again to any significant degree. This latest episode had an otherwise normal 64 year-old man shoot 4 people in a barbershop in Herkimer and then head across the river and shoot two more at a quick lube in Mohawk before returning to Herkimer and barricading himself in an abandoned building in the middle of downtown. He was fatally shot when he killed a police dog that was sent in by SWAT teams after a 24 hour stand-off. These things happening in small towns are very frightening to those of us who live in semi-rural America. I attribute a lot of these shootings not to people who are mentally unbalanced but to otherwise middle-class people who are slipping into poverty and feel that their lives are embarrassing and useless, on top of which they are continuously bombarded by news stories about Congress about to pull the social safety net out from under them. No subsidized housing, no food stamps, no medical care, no medicine, no social security check. This angst is felt by Millennial also who generally feel cheated that the good things 80% of the population experienced during their lives will not be there for them in a brave new world filled with crushing debt, global warming and helplessness in old age. On TV this morning I saw a commercial for Sig-Sauer Academy. It was cutting- edge gun-nut stuff. It showed people responding to being touched on the arm by quickly whipping out a pistol and emptying a clip into them. Being touched on the arm does not constitute a mortal threat and in more than 75% of the states in this country the person who kills such a person with a legally concealed handgun will go to jail for involuntary manslaughter at the very least.
  • Anna rRxia
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    Some corrections
    The Catholic Church's apology last year was for it's role during WWII, not for Cardinal Bergolio's conduct in Argentina. The Catholic church maintains still to this day that it's responsibility was to save Catholics during this time period. Upon reflection, Bergolio has been very outspoken about the responsibility of the rich to the poor. Indeed this is the central to the problems experienced during the time of the disappeared in South America. Bergolio had to know what was going on but he couldn't call a spade a spade or he could have ended up like the Archbishop of El Salvador: Assassinated. It was pointed out yesterday on MSNBC that this retirement of a pope and the election of the first pope outside of Europe in a strongly Catholic emerging continent is not an accident. The bottom line is more envelopes in the collection plate while a European oversees the "colored" pope so he doesn't run amok. At least the last pope gave up the trappings of power such as his red Prada shoes. Jon Stewart pointed out that he could always use those shoes to click his heels three times together and incant: "There is no place like Rome There is no place like Rome"
  • Anna rRxia
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    Furthur Bus
    I guess the Pranksters pulled a fast one on the Smithsonian or maybe a replica was part of the deal, but they drove a bus across the country to be placed in the Smithsonian in or around 1997. I welcome this project by the Kesey family to restore the original bus and certainly hope funds can be raised. Please keep us informed as I will certainly make a small donation to this part of history that could be preserved to at least 2065, the one hundred year anniversary of the Grateful Dead. It could be an attraction at a major festival of jam bands still belting it out and commemorating the scene and one of America's favorite bands. The venue should be UC Santa Cruz, where the archives are enshrined.
  • Mike Edwards
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    But Remember: Nothing Lasts
    At least one member of the Republican Party seems to have suffered a moment of clarity recently. Speaking at CPAC, Newt Gingrich observed that the Republican establishment is "mired in stupidity."
  • wilfredtjones
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    along with the impending return of twinkies...
    ...here's something else to flag down to this summer (well, this summer for the twinkies, next summer for the bus) the furthur bus!
  • Anna rRxia
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    War on the poor
    The Republicans have their guns squarely set on entitlement programs and they are going to get their way. The Koch brothers have set the agenda with their billions and the media has served up this steaming pile of offal like lap dogs. The social contract is about to be broken and for the baby boomers it looks as if those 55 older will be able to keep their Medicare and SS benefits while those under that age will have their benefits cut and delivered two years later. This is not ridiculous, it is a crime. Something needs to be pointed out here before this happens. The stinking mess created by lax regulation of investment banks by a Republican president resulted in massive bailouts that boosted the Federal deficit 1.45 trillion dollars in 2009. As of 2012, the Obama Administration has reduced that debt to 845 billion. The sky is not about to fall. We don't need to declare war on the poor by slashing entitlements and stabbing the middle class baby boomers in the back. This whole dance by Obama seems very well orchestrated. First the big deal of increasing taxes on the rich and then the Republicans refusing to budge an inch on the tax code, closing massive loopholes for special interests you could sail a ship through. Then Obama goes on a "charm offensive" which is nothing but a euphemism for caving on entitlements. Centrist Democrats suck. This rant is far from over. To be continued.
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Nuclear power! Carcinogenic cell phones! The Stanley Cup! and the usual parade of kids dancing and shaking their bones, politicians throwing stones, etc. Discuss.

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The real meat & bones of the movement is the ridiculous gap that widens all the time between Rich & Poor. While it has always been that way to a greater or lesser extent, here in the US we lead the world in trending. Though on this one we're trailing quite a few countries, like Tunisia. The chasm has simply become enormous between 1 of 5 Americans on food stamps and 1% owning 75% of the wealth. This is the result, since 1850 or so, between two parties who always win elections in the US. "Occupy" has definitely taken a stance that neither party has the balls to fix this problem and in fact both want the status-quo to continue. What has coalesced this age-old problem is right-wing rhetoric of "Class War" leveled at Obama along with the loss of home value and the social contract between owners and workers that is supposed to provide pension, health and social security benefits. These things are being appropriated by the 1%. The 1% as corporations are being given additional human rights by this Supreme Court. This is not helping the long-term unemployed (defined as more than 208 weeks of unemployment and having given up looking for a job.) Occupy is a word of action and this movement needs to be one of action that uses original ideas and social media and raises the necessary level of consciousness among all Americans. Then they need to Occupy the White House and return priorities towards helping people rather than using up as quickly as possible every chunk of the environment. History has always shown that when violence is used in such a movement it tends to prolong the conflict while nonviolence brings it to a premature end. If Occupy can remain nonviolent in a very disciplined way then they can more quickly reapportion the wealth. The health industry and doctors need to be forcibly put in their place as well as the military and grants for such things as the NEA and NPR must be put on auto-support, along with the more important stuff like kid's school lunches. Beyond that is further nationalization in the name of Eminent Domain. The US must lead the mass of humanity on this planet towards the conscious realization that allowing huge gaps (more than 25%) between the rich and poor only adds to the total of human misery. And there certainly isn't enough opportunity for those with the ability to cross the class boundary. It all must change but I fear it all too late.
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All the hippies knew and I think Grace Slick was an unearthly goddess back in 69
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Making their approval rating now 1%, the lowest of all time. The only reason given for the failure was that John Kerry talked too much. Now Congress has to to undo it's own law that would trigger a 3% cut in the military and 100% of every other program for people except cops and fireman. The cuts are supposed to start in 2013. I can't ever remember a presidential term where a president has has had to battle, almost single-handedly, a reinforced number of wound up conservatives so weirdly bent that they, through their radical actions, created a movement to redistribute the wealth. Who will fall first? Italy or Obama?
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Wolf Blitzer on CNN was truly frightening. Bachman, on the intelligence committee and subject to background briefings, pandered for votes so hard that she let slip a little news. Terrorists have attacked Pakistani nuclear storage sites 6 times, failing so far. Rick Perry continues to tell the world there should be no aid to Pakistan. Between the Pakistani shit and the Iranian shit these candidates are scaring people into believing there isn't three percent of pork in the military budget to easily cut. I can't stand Mitt Romney and he is the guy that sounds closest to the center, but still worshiping at the throne of Barry Goldwater. I really wish that the Democrats had a challenger in the early primary states. It would take the weird halo of quasi-truth off these clowns.
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RICHARD KIM: You know, a couple dozen anarchist types organized the occupation of Wall Street, and then, within a few weeks, we have a global movement. So, I just wanted to ask you, why this? Why now? You know, what’s the sort of secret behind Occupy Wall Street’s success? MICHAEL MOORE: This is one of the most remarkable movements that I’ve seen in my lifetime, precisely because it really isn’t a movement in the traditional sense. And I think that it has succeeded because it hasn’t followed the old motifs that we’re used to, in terms of organizing. But it has its roots in all the good works that so many people have done for so many years, especially in the last 30 years since Reagan took office and the decline and destruction of the country, and essentially the world, began its modern-day disaster. I think that, you know, so many people have done so many good things, and we’ve always had different groups and different constituencies of people that have been able to rally behind different causes. But this, from what I’ve seen—and I’ve—like you said, I’ve been maybe a half a dozen or more of the different Occupy things. This thing has spread like wildfire. I mean, it is—I wish you could have been traveling with me the last few weeks. It has been the most uplifting, heartening thing to see: so many Americans of all stripes deciding that they’re just going to occupy. And they don’t have to call in to central command for permission. There are no dues to pay. There’s no leader to get permission from. There’s no meetings, subcommittee meetings, you know, all these things you have to go through. It literally is something as simple as some people in Fayetteville, Arkansas, just decide to create Occupy Fayetteville, and then 400 people show up. I was in Grass Valley, California, Nevada City, 400 people there. You don’t hear about any of these, because, well, the media either won’t or can’t cover it, because they’ve been so decimated themselves, in terms of reporters and bureaus that don’t exist anymore. So it would be impossible to kind of show the breadth and the scope of this movement. But it is—it is massive. It is building each week. And everybody feels that they have permission to be their own leader. And the reason why I think this works—I know a lot of people that say, "Well, you know, it’s got to get more organized. It’s got to have a plan. Or it’s got to—what’s the agenda? What’s the way forward here? What’s the next step?" You know, it’s enough right now that this movement just—first of all, it’s already had some important victories. It has alleviated despair in this country. It has—it has killed apathy. It has changed the conversation in a profound way. Seven, eight weeks ago, all we were listening to was about the debt ceiling and the deficit crisis, and [inaudible] nobody’s talking about that distraction any longer. They’re talking about the real issues now that are facing the majority of Americans: jobs, the fact that millions of homes are underwater, that 50 million people don’t have health insurance, we have 49 million living in poverty now, we have 40 million adults who cannot read and write above a fourth grade level, that are functional illiterates. That’s the nation that corporate America and the banks and Wall Street have created. And when somebody asked me the other day, "Well, who organized this? Who organized this movement?" I said, "Well, actually, Goldman Sachs organized it. Citibank organized it. BP organized it. They did—they did the organization." And I think that, you know, it’s—if you want to trace the current roots to this, somebody—I was being interviewed the other day. "Well, you know, at the end of your last movie, you were wrapping the crime scene tape around the Stock Exchange, and you called for this uprising." I said, "No. Yes, I did, but, you know, it’s not that. It’s not a magazine from Vancouver. It’s not—if you want to—if you really want to pin it down to somebody, I would thank Bradley Manning." And here’s why. A young man with a fruit stand in Tunis became very upset because he couldn’t figure out why he was just getting screwed and why he couldn’t make it. And he read a story, put out by WikiLeaks, that exposed how corrupt his government was. And he just couldn’t take it anymore, and he set himself on fire. That event, by giving his life to this, created the Arab Spring movement that went across the Middle East and then boomeranged back here to what has been going on in the fall here in North America. But if one courageous soldier hadn’t—allegedly—done what he had done, if he hadn’t done this, it—who knows? But it was already boiling just beneath the surface, and it just needed somebody to get it going. And thank God for you and your friends, who went down there on that first day, who endured the ridicule first, then the attacks, and then the attempts to co-opt. But they have held strong. And it’s not now—it’s not just the people who can camp out overnight. It’s 72 percent of the American public who say they want taxes raised on the rich. That’s never happened before in this country. It’s people taking their money out of Chase and Citibank and Wells Fargo and putting it in their credit unions. And it’s taken so many forms that—and it can’t be stopped. And it’s so great to watch Fox News and the others try to wrap their heads around it, because they can’t get their brain quite—like it can’t grab onto it, which is great. That’s what’s great. So, I’m a big supporter of it staying leaderless, with a lack of a certain amount of organization, that it remain in its free and open state. And thank God for all the young people who are willing to not take it anymore. And I’ve just been inspired by it, and I’m glad that I got to live to see what I believe, or hope, will be the beginning of the end of a very evil system that is unfair, and it’s unjust, and it’s not democratic. So, thank you.
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Partial total consciousness added to with the finishing touch. It is total consummation of the bliss and void. Don not fold, shred, spindle or mutilate. Lay way back into it. 100%
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The Pakistani's are going batshit about this errant raid. The US is scrambling for an explanation. They should have been able to avoid the Forts with a GPS. The Pakistani's are still pissed because we raided their country to snatch Bin Laden. They must have been getting some huge retainer for protecting the guy living next to their national military academy. So, they have already stopped the use of a base to stage Drones and two major (40%) re-supply routes that pass directly through the Khyber Pass. These things are important to the NATO forces. Shit happens in a war. The laddies need to be damn sure about the bosses order.
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“There’s one faction of Occupy that is very reform-minded — they want a repeal of Citizens United or a financial transactions tax,” said Richard Kim, executive editor of The Nation. “They don’t differ all that much from the left wing of the Democratic party.” Many people in the Occupy movement are already actively participating in “the system,” Kim said, noting that not all aspects of the movement were anarchists looking to bring down capitalism. That said, there are radical aspects of the Occupy effort that have taken hold in many cases and are now leading to confrontations with police, said Riehan Salam, a blogger with the National Review. “Suddenly, the movement becomes not about these larger economic inequality issues, but about the movement itself — about the right to protest in these particular ways,” he said. However the Occupy movement impacts the 2012 election, there will likely be long-term implications, Salam said. “Is there are smaller population of middle class, ex-college kids, who’ve been radicalized and who might actually go on to future kinds of social organizing and activism that could prove disruptive, destructive, or could prove quite productive in ways that we don’t fully understand,” Salam said. Yes -- Productive, a positive word. Positive words and images that the movement projects of it's goals right now will pay off in further growth. This movement will take some time to mature, but when it does it will be like Vietnam or President Obama's election. There is a maturation process. A fully matured movement will, unfortunately, bring over-reaction and repression.
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This is,partially, what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago. Banks were freezing up in Europe because the US banks wouldn't lend to them, even on an overnight term. That would have brought Europe to a standstill the same way it happened in the US. Fortunately, the US, world and Central European banks have agreed to engage in "swaps" in which they loan dollars for Euros. There is far more faith in the dollar than in the Euro these days. So, Europe can go about it's business as usual. But this is only one part of the problem. The analogy is like putting gas in your car that is falling apart. The falling apart part is the massive sovereign debt in the Euro-zone. Without the harsh reforms being called for by the Germans and French this is nothing but rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The same countries are hollering for a Gestapo to police the Euro-zone economies so that nothing like this can happen again. A question remains -- the European bankers were loathe to start these swaps and the fact they did means they saw something really bad on the immediate horizon and felt the immediate need to act -- perhaps a large bank about to collapse. The oligarchs in Russia have moved 70 billion dollars out of Russia and the Chinese economy has slowed. There is no where in the world that is safe and the 1% are moving their money to wherever it is temporarily safe. If the Euro collapses it would be the same as the dollar collapsing. It would be a contagion that would effect the entire planet, leading to such things as a revolution in China. Don't believe the jolly proclamations of those wqho say it is going to be all right. It isn't. The same way it isn't when you borrow too much on the credit cards and can't even make the minimum payments from your weekly paycheck.
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The following tone is a reference tone of 700 cycles, recorded 10dB below operating level
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The Chinese depend on their GDP to grow by 8% a year or better to avoid social unrest. Their GDP grew at a rate of 8% this year with the US & European economy on the skids. The Chinese are teetering on the edge. The way the Chinese value their currency has artificially propped up their economy. If they allowed the Renimbi to float freely on the currency market it is very sure that their economy would slow as Chinese products become more expensive and better paid Chinese workers buy imported luxury (and mostly other) goods from the Western countries. Of course, the Chinese are not about to shoot themselves in the foot by doing this. However, with the economy lousy in the US and Europe, there is a chance that both of these large economic blocks may bring the Chinese below that vital 8% plus GDP line, causing what may be the break-up of China, which could contract and allow Tibet freedom. Or, at the least,self autonomy. Rangzen! Freedom for the Land Of Snows!
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wouldn't THAT be interesting... not that I'm wishing economic collapse on the world, but breaking up monoliths, I tend to like that.
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If you value your right to vote, you need to look at our interactive report on how it's being threatened -- and believe me, you will be amazed by some of the stuff in there. Then, sign on to fight back: http://www.protectingthevote.org Here's why: In at least 40 states, Republicans have introduced laws that would make voting more difficult for everyone -- particularly minorities and young voters. Coincidence? Of course not. It's all for partisan gain. GOP leaders have said it themselves: They do better when fewer people show up to vote. That's right: Right here in America, some people are actually trying to make sure fewer people show up at the polls next year. This is an issue that Democrats have always fought for -- bringing more people into the electoral process. It's central to who we are. That's why we're jumping to action right now -- and our vigilant voter protection team is on the case, digging in on these suppression efforts every day. Check out our report now. When you do, you'll see that some of these new laws are downright absurd. You can vote with a gun license in Texas, but not a student ID. In some states, even a Veterans ID card wouldn't be sufficient photo identification to vote. Republicans are trying to justify their suppression efforts by claiming "voter impersonation" is rampant, but here's what's funny: Between 2001 and 2007, there were just nine possible occurrences of voter impersonation. (During that same period, 352 people were killed by lightning, and there were more than 32,000 reports of UFO sightings.) Republican lawmakers have already rammed through laws like these in Wisconsin and Florida, and given that they currently control both chambers in 24 other state legislatures -- nearly all of which also have Republican governors -- I'll bet they're thinking they're going to keep getting away with this. They're banking on you not doing anything about it. Let's show them that's a bad assumption to make -- and that we're just getting started fighting this. Here's how we can beat this: First, we spread the word about these laws, so that we're poised to fight them -- one ballot initiative, one state legislature at a time. Second, we compound our on-the-ground efforts to register and educate new voters in all 50 states. Because here's something we know: One of the best ways to thwart any voter suppression efforts is going to be by making 2012 the largest turnout ever -- even larger than 2008. Sound like something you want to be a part of? Learn more, and sign on to join us now. Because this isn't about Democrats and Republicans. It's not about red states versus blue states. It's about a fundamental right that should transcend the politics that some of our own representatives are foisting on our democracy. We're slapping that down right now, and that starts with a massive showing of support from people like you. Read our report, add your name, and stay tuned: http://www.protectingthevote.org
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I am temporarily moving to a key swing state to work for Barak Obama after the first of the year. I believe he has done a better than average job of turning around the ship of state. Yes, he has done some things that many liberals do not like but politics is the art of compromise, which seems to be lost on the Republicans. While the Republicans came into office in January of 2001 with the dumber, more stupid Bush they inherited a BUDGET SURPLUS. Then they left the candy store unattended in the financial industry and another generation of the 1% made their power play and sunk the entire world economy to this very day, where it is still teetering. Obama is not responsible for the debt debacle. Obama Care was a much needed reform to stop the health insurance companies from running amok. Obama got us out of Iraq and is now drawing down troops in Afghanistan. Is everything he is doing correct? No. But many of the vital legislative bills he has proposed have been shot down by Republicans who have no ideas except take the rules out of the financial industry again and don't tax business and rich people. They are the obstructionist party of NO, NO, NO. We need 4 more years of an honest, decent man who is trying like hell to put this country back to work after the Repubs. bailed out the banks 7.7 trillion dollars (the revised figure from the Federal Reserve) fully half our current national debt of 15 trillion dollars. If you live in a swing state your vote will be very important this year. Please vote for Obama.
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I am "channeling" my dad right now, and saying "Here Here!!" Nah he's be slapping his knee and saying "right on" I think no president has had it harder, just out of spite, than Obama-blocked every time he turns around from the right, and critisized from the left. And he IS a decent man!
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I'm glad your old man would have approved. As it was, mine was a die-hard Republican who loved to read Ayn Rand! Wear a Barak Obama button starting the first of the year and let people know you're open to political discussion. It's our political process and we are damn lucky to have it. Vote Nobody For President, like Wavy Gravy, but VOTE!
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Does anybody think that Putin's party is really going to lose today's election in Russia, despite the 1st quarter of votes counted show the party losing points?
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Russian voters have dealt Vladimir Putin's ruling party a heavy blow by cutting its parliamentary majority in an election that showed growing unease with his domination of the country as he prepares to reclaim the presidency. Incomplete results showed Putin's United Russia was struggling even to win 50% of the votes, compared with more than 64% four years ago. Opposition parties said even that outcome had been inflated by fraud.
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...where the people can enact any law they want has now run amok and become thew tools of big corporations like Amazon.com, who don't want the State of California to charge them sales tax. Any monied interest could get anything passed in the State. Why hasn't any geared up to rescind the odious "Proposition" that has caused California's budget woes? I actually worked for a ballot initiative in the State of California.
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but we also got medical marijuana ahead of everybody else too. I favor getting rid of corporate personhood, not the initiative process, thanks.
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Excellent documentary film "The Interrupters - How To Stop A Riot". Tells the surprising story of three dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they themselves once perpetrated. These 'interrupters' intervene in conflicts before the incidents explode into violence. Their work and their insights are closely entwined with their own personal journeys, which, as each of them points out, defy easy characterisation. Shot over the course of a year by acclaimed filmmaker Steve James, it is a vivid portrayal of a city under siege from spiralling violence, including the brutal murder of Derrion Albert, a Chicago high-school student whose death was caught on videotape. These wonderful human beings, part of the CeaseFire campaign, are truly extraordinary. They deserve as much support as you can give them. http://ceasefirechicago.org/ on a different note, interesting to see footage of Barack Obama's various condemnations on the Libyan & Syrian governments together with the police crackdown on protesters. something about protecting it's own people and their human rights. mmmmmmmm........ we know the police's hands are kinda tied. risk losing a job in a spiraling economic climate? arrested? worse? but would be nice to see some of them express their discontent together with their fellow communities. at the very least, treat protesters respectfully. as that retired Philadelphian Captain Ray Lewis said, we are supposed to protect people's rights, not squash them. i hear laughing all around me for some strange reason....
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I am generally in favor of ballot initiatives because it's a last resort for people to make law or get a law changed. But when 4 out of 5 of the ballot initiatives favor the monied interests then, on balance, the people of California are just subject to more corporate control. If corporations really didn't like a ballot initiative they could throw money at defeating it and, if not, do another ballot initiative repealing the one they don't like. Corporate person-hood has to go, no doubt.
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If I understand your question correctly you are asking why don't the cops and the agents of repression join the side of the righteous? Some do. Most don't. In Tienanmen Square the Chinese were afraid of just such a mutiny and brought in troops of different culture from thousands of miles away, who wouldn't have any sympathy. In nonviolent theory there has to be a catalyst where the ruling regime shows itself be so barbaric that the police and army is ordered to kill hundreds and even thousands of innocent civilians, which include (not always) unarmed women and children. Then we also have the private thug paramilitaries which are much less well trained but can be easily put on the payroll in this bad economy. The Pinkertons are such an example. It was interesting to see how the cops handles the Occupy Wall St. movement. They used kid gloves (for the most part) as opposed to those IMF and G8 protests.
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well i wasn't really posing any questions, just musing a little.i'm sure that if the protesting continues, that paid thugs (if they haven't already), will infiltrate the campaign and create chaos and violence, giving the police a "legitimate" reason to crack down mighty hard. the footage so far has been rather appalling; releasing pepper spray like graffiti paint, hurling citizens over barriers like tossed trash, corralling bodies like an NFL defense squad. but i'm deeply concerned that this prolonged "stagnation" of protest is heading towards cracks and disintegration. paying those with less-than-nothing, who don't give the proverbial, to create trouble and strife inside the campaign, is exceedingly easy to do. having watched footage and reports from many different news channels, i don't think i've seen one response from government officials or, for that matter, God forbid, Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama. Ol' Hilary seems to think it's more important to criticise Russia's voting system (the pot calling the kettle black), and Obama has the Arab league to placate and snuggle with (his hand forced or not). whats happening in Syria is happening in the U.S. and Iran does not pose a threat with Nuclear weapons. yes, they're hurting their own people and violence and oppression in any situation is disgusting and should never be tolerated but we have that in our own countries too (a good example being that documentary i mentioned; does anyone outside of those Chicago suburbs know or care? i wasn't aware until i saw it). drone killings in Pakistan is neither big nor clever either. where have we gone so wrong that 20 or 30 or 50 dead bodies is glanced over in the papers and considered just "regrettable", not "vomit-inducing" or "soul-scrapingly hateful and sickening to the very core"? but, i'm still mighty positive about the recent Occupy happenings. i haven't been able to catch every update, but can anyone tell me if there is a concerted effort to link the protests with boycotts of the corporations so loathed? the news channels don't seem to be showing anything (or indeed connecting any dots). it is very hard to body-swerve everything as these companies have their hands in many cookie jars without us knowing, but the obvious ones, surely, should be highlighted with banners, soundbites and sloganeering. there needs to be a mass, advertised effort, to stop purchasing or using these corporations. a list that is repeatedly held up for the cameras to see that names and shames those involved. no consumer, no power after all. the jamband community also has a responsibility, avoiding Clear Channel and Live Nation and the like. easier said than done when you want to dance and spin to your favourite band after a hard week's toil but you can't have one without the other. making excuses and justifications is no different to religious fundamentalism and "morally condoned murder". all it does is perpetuate. but don't think i'm removed from all this; that i'm not involved in furthering said atrocities and suffering. i am. and i feel shameful about it. but we know in our hearts whats right. we just have to try harder, thats all and dump all unnecessary baggage over the side of this bloated balloon. easier said than done my friends, easier said than done. just don't stop trying.
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absolutely TigerLilly.i wonder how much footage that story will get around the world; some? none? less than nothing? it sure is hard right now to stay positive. suicide bombings in Afghanistan. another earthquake in Fukushima releasing yet more radiation into the water. reports of Tsunami funds being used to finance Japanese whaling operations. that drone killing in Pakistan. the plight of Honduran lobster fishermen risking paralysis and death without any governmental support, while we pay stupid money to dine to our heart's content. the worrying trend of Chinese children being abducted and sold into slavery. the plight of hundreds of children in Burundi, locked up for years without trial in adult prisons, among some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. the appalling gang violence in Trinidad resulting in a murder, on average, every 17 hours. the effect of controversial emergency legislation on Australia's Aboriginal population. the dark side of India's booming economy, where more than 60,000 children go missing every year, as many are kidnapped into domestic slavery for the growing middle class and businesses, and others are kidnapped for ransom by those desperate to share some of the country's new wealth. we all have our worries and anxieties. our hurt and our pain. deep and consuming despair will not help our brothers and sisters on this planet, but let us all focus this holiday season on others who have so little when we have so much.
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Despite the cheerful Christmas light displays that festoon my neighborhood it's still so very hard to get into the Holiday spirit. It used the particular suffering of the materialists who had to give gifts up their usual standard or better each year. Now it is even more poignant for those who have little of nothing to give this year. Better to focus on the spirit of the season however you define it as long as it's not year-to-year sales levels.
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Although it would be to expensive for the Netherlands to go back to the guilder, a very large majority wish to go back to national currencies. There will be large meetings starting today thru tomorrow on the details of a plan to save the Euro. The focus will be standards for Euro-countries finances to measure up to and not just Greek bashing. The likelihood is that these talks will not be the final failure themselves, just another step along the way until the Dutch (or some other) pull their finger out of the dike. There is a proposal for the Fed to buy up all the outstanding sovereign debt in the Eurozone, but I assume SecTres. Geithner might mavbe something to say about that while Bernanke cowers in a corner somewhere. Of course, the US is no longer a disinterested party in this matter. As the Euro goes, so goes the contagion around the world
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these forecast posts on the EC from you Gonzo, cuz they irk me. Will just read other things you post-and I DO agree with you that am not feeling in the slightest festive this year either.
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Disagreement that strong? Or is the issue too much to think about? I know I don't live there but I stay caught up on the hard core financial news, such as what the Dutch have been saying.
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well let me start over, will confess last :) Like I had said before, perhaps I am naive, but so much is at stake that I hope they can work it out. Ms. Merkel is surely trying hard, and while I am ordinarily NOT a fan of hers, I'm crossing my fingers for her on this one, cuz she's hanging tough. I am sure that YOU, Gonzo are checking international sources, but I have seen that many Americans are getting their facts from the NY Post, which I see merely as pointing fingers to distract from their own crisis. Kinda like "hey look over THERE" distraction, and have read many "factual reports" which are completely contradictory to what I read in Der Spiegel, or hear on our news. The confession is that my new job, for which I have been patiently waiting for, and living in a shithole situation (we JUST got the venture capital we need to start) will be in jeopardy, or at least a lot more difficult, should the Euro unravel. That would kill my life-hope and so I have to hope. And last, (stupid reason I know) but I just LIKE the Euro, and the idea of the European Community, and I wish it to work out.
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A top secret U drone doing a mission over Iran was hacked by the Chinese into a landing that was almost intact in Iran. The Iranians are expected to give the drone to the Chinese as soon as they have examined it.
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regarding the euro, i think it's important not to fall into the habit that the likes of 24 hour news coverage has instigated; the need to fill time with any possible angle to keep the cameras rolling.it leaves reportage wide open for all kinds of musings, speculations and dead-ends, that a couple days or a week down the line, really don't add up to much more than the humming of traffic outside the window and then the inevitable gentle evaporation into the aether. we just have to wait and see what happens. remember, it took nearly 8 years to agree terms on the euro in the first place, so a quick fix is unlikely.
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Jonapi! totally agree with both points.1.) wait and see (sick of gloom and doom predictions when we are not fortune-tellers) and 2.) no quick fix
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Though, as I mentioned, I am not watching the TV news. My sources are usually the BBC and NPR the NYT and others of that rank. Not saying I'm always right, far from it. But I am amazed at how much comes out correct. Lilly has it right, she just shouldn't read my posts about what is trending in the Eurozone if it's painful. I hope all her dreams come true. I wish a few of mine would.
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hey gonz, please don't think i was taking a pop at your posts.i didn't mean that you were getting facts and figures wrong; it's more a case of, at this early stage, all refractions from the prism could lead to a myriad of possible solutions and theories. it can all become quite exhausting, without any real sense of getting to a destination. which isn't to say, don't talk about it, more, don't be surprised if it washes over some of us without getting us wet. that sure was a poor couple of paragraphs! my apologies! hopefully you know what i mean.
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That's where I am, walking around acting like nothing is wrong while feeling that nothing is right. Makes me hunker down and hope that the storm passes without sweeping us off. When I get to that stage of feeling so incredibly powerless, that nothing I can do will make a bit of difference (and with 7 billion people running around, your "making a difference" odds get incredibly diluted), I tend to stop paying attention to the scary stuff. But it's all such a train wreck, it's hard not to watch, isn't it?
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That is totally normal, Dean. When it happens to me, I focus on what is right under my nose for a little while-try to solve problems that I can actually solve (like attacking filthy windows today) until mood is better to look at the big picture again. I think what you are mentioning must be absolutely human.
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My universe becomes confined to my own little space. Not uncommon at all, not an inappropriate response at all. There's just the danger of becoming so insulated from the world as a whole that the bad things get way worse because we become indifferent to them. An awful lot of people have suffered thoughout history because people like me stopped paying attention, failed to speak or act when it could have made a difference. That's my fear whenever I get like this. Of course, I get like this about every winter, so it could just be a lack of sunshine...
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No agreement was reached at the conference in Durban after 13 days. A lot of work was done to overhaul the Kyoto Protocols. Mainly, the poorer countries will have a different standard than the richer ones. The good news is that China and India will be included when any new treaty is voted on. The bad news is that the goals being laid out must be fully in process by 2020 if the rate of global warming is to be slowed enough to slow the change that is already being felt all over the world. Even that assumption is based on rosier assumptions. Perhaps we should put the negotiators on one of the Maldives Islands that are going under water (due to ocean levels rising) until they get their countries to sign on to tough new regulations, or let them die as the island goes under water. Sounds harsh, but the image would be starkly alarming.
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The Patriots looked just super-bowl bound with that offense. Brady connecting all over the field to receivers like Welker and The Gronk (Gronkowski) who had three TDs. Running attack is there at a high level also, so they are 10-3. Unfortunately, one-dimensional teams rarely make the 2nd round of the playoffs and with the Patriots practically holding tryouts for the secondary, they are just too injured to compete at play-off level. They could beat the Jets and clinch a bye and home-field advantage and it still wouldn't make a difference. Still, you got a love a winner and they are coming up winners almost every Sunday this regular season. High marks for Brady. He was having a bad day and people were missing some catches, but he doesn't flinch in the pocket or ever give up. 35 points on an off-day? They are monsters!
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i would agree with that too, gratefaldean & TL.it's easy to get swept up in the maelstrom, which usually means neglect on a level where you can make a difference. theres certainly nothing wrong with 'the big picture', but as we know all too well, that takes a long long time to rectify. we're not all in the position scientifically to cure cancer; most of our attempts would result in being as effective as sticking a band aid over it and crossing our fingers. but we can make changes on a smaller level; our diet, our health and passing this on to family and friends and colleagues. i'm a firm believer that change on a micro-level with have a much larger effect on the macro-level. changing things in your own community is a lot more beneficial than using those hours, days, months and years, being vocal about world poverty, or corporate greed or injustice. worrying and hurting, however deep felt and sincere will not help anyone unfortunately. which isn't to say these things shouldn't be discussed or that people should stay quiet, certainly not. but we must use our time effectively and influence our immediate surroundings so the positivity can spread. it is easy to get down at this time of year (hey, all year round in these times). but it's important to count our blessings and do the best we can. if we know we're trying our hardest than we reflect that towards other people. being positive becomes contagious. just one small action (donating some food or clothing to a homeless shelter; volunteering for a few days or even one day) is something concrete. you've made a difference, however small. thats a good thing. if it comes from the heart it will make the planet brighter.
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... does sound harsh to put the negotiators on one of the Maldives till they get it right, but once again gonzo you are thinking outside the box! Very funny thought though - would make a good movie. Are ya listening Al Gore?
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Jonapi! You said that so well!! Had a weekend of doing just that-counting my tiny blessings, and it felt really great. Amonst the weekend blessings was an amazing soccer game on Saturday night! El Classico-Real Madrid vs. my fave Barcelona boys. Real scored in the 1st 20 seconds of the game, which was shockingly awful, BUT Barca picked up their act, especially in the 2nd half, did what they do best; and won 3-1. Historical in that allegedly RM has never drawn nor lost a game that they started out ahead. This game was also crucial cuz it knocked RM out of 1st place in the Spanish league, at least for the moment. Was having such a good time, streaming this game in my living room that I had to go put on my flamenco shoes when it was over, and have a celebratory stomp all over my wooden floor, accompanied by Carmen Amaya on YouTube. Son was rolling his eyes, but was a lovely evening :D
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Mostly because the British refuse to be bound by new financial rules likely to be dominated by the Germans. In other words: Pride. Britain’s banks are drawing up contingency plans in case there is a disorderly break-up of the eurozone or exit of some countries from the single currency as the sovereign debt crisis rages on, a top UK regulator said yesterday. Andrew Bailey, deputy head of the Prudential Business Unit at the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), said UK banks do not have large exposures to the eurozone, but must plan for the worst. “We cannot be, and are not, complacent on this front,” Bailey said at a conference. “As you would expect, as supervisors we are very keen to see the banks plan for any disorderly consequence of the euro area crisis. “Good risk management means planning for unlikely but severe scenarios and this means that we must not ignore the prospect of a disorderly departure of some countries from the eurozone. “I offer no view on whether it will happen, but it must be within the realm of contingency planning,” he said. Bailey, who was chief cashier at the Bank of England, moved to the FSA as part of preparations for a shake-up of UK financial supervision from 2013. He will be deputy head of the new Prudential Regulation Authority which will be a subsidiary of the Bank. Bailey has already held talks with Britain’s banks, saying lenders needed little prompting, but the lack of a mechanism for a eurozone country to exit the currency made things more complicated. “We have been talking to them already and we will be talking to them again and asking questions,” Bailey added. “There is no roadmap out there that says this is how it happens,” Bailey said, There is already rigorous testing of systems going on, including for a possible eurozone break-up, as part of an ongoing risk management process that has stepped up considerably in recent years, bankers said last week. Banks are constantly testing their capital, liquidity and operations, such as payments systems, for risks and as the eurozone break-up threat has risen, that feeds into the checks. Bank of England monetary policy committee member David Miles, said the eurozone crisis was already having a substantial impact on Britain by pushing up funding costs for banks and companies. He echoed Bailey’s view that UK lenders were in a relatively strong position. “But nonetheless they get sucked into some of the funding difficulties and that’s already happened over the last four or five months,” Miles told the Yorkshire Post newspaper yesterday. Scott Roger, a senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, said there was “phenomenal” scope for contagion risk across financial markets but there are few signs that regulators are coordinating even as the eurozone crisis deepens. “National regulators still have a national champions view approach to banking,” he said. A number of British firms, including budget airline easyJet and the world’s biggest caterer Compass Group have said they have discussed or put in place contingency plans to deal with any collapse in the euro but many are reluctant to give details, perhaps reflecting the fact that there is little many of them can do. Their best insurance policies are natural hedges in the form of the broadest possible customer base and exposure to the biggest possible basket of different currencies – not something a company can change in a hurry. “One of the great strengths of Compass is that we don’t have an over-dependency on just one or two clients, we have 40,000 clients across the world,” chief executive Richard Cousins said earlier this week. James Hickman, managing director at foreign exchange firm Caxton FX, said he strongly believed that countries would start to drop out of the eurozone, with Greece looking like a good first bet. “Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in infrastructure, which enables us to adapt swiftly to any changes. For example, if Greece were to drop out of the euro today, we could very quickly add the drachma to our list of tradeable currencies,” he told Reuters. “No-one can provide a definitive answer about what is going to happen to the euro and that’s why we need to be prepared for any given situation.” Bailey said the resilience of UK banks had improved substantially since the 2007-2009 near meltdown of the global financial system. “Today, UK banks are not front-and-centre of the problem,” Bailey said. The current phase of the crisis has not singled out UK banks as they do not have large direct exposures to the vulnerable eurozone countries. UK banks were also forced to build up liquidity buffers ahead of the new Basel III global bank rules that take effect from 2013. Bailey signalled flexibility on their use in the current stressed times for funding markets as policymakers want banks to continue lending to an already stumbling economy.
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yeah, i saw those highlights TL!! great to see Barcelona deliver the goods!noticed that Guardiola played a completely different team during the week and won something like 5-0!!! does that mean they can play two matches with two different squads at the same time and still conquer?!!! they're in Japan now at the Club World Cup; Kashiwa Reysol (Japan) are also doing well and are in the semi-finals. they are managed by former Brazilian player Nelsinho Baptista (of Santos, also in the competition). to see them play Barcelona in the final would be fantastic! our faves vs. your faves!!! sangria vs. sake! rice wine to win!!!
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European Union leaders banded together Friday to back tighter budget policing in a desperate bid to save the eurozone, with Britain left isolated after it vetoed a new EU treaty. After years of foot-dragging on deepening integration, 26 of the 27 EU states signaled their willingness to join a "new fiscal compact" to resolve the crisis threatening to crack apart the monetary union. But the deal came with a heavy political price when non-euro Britain resisted a Franco-German drive to enshrine new budget rules in a modified EU treaty. "The British were already not in the euro, and in that respect, we are used to this situation," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel said she was "very pleased" most had agreed on the pact, which includes plans to impose near-automatic sanctions on debt and deficit delinquents. "We have learned from the mistakes of the past," she said as EU leaders wrapped up two days of marathon talks. Some leaders hope the pact will convince the European Central Bank to drop its reluctance to use its full arsenal against the crisis after ECB president Mario Draghi called for a "new fiscal compact" last week. Draghi dubbed the summit decisions a "very good outcome" for the eurozone. Many analysts see the ECB, with its power to print money, as the single currency's best hope after eurozone leaders struggled to boost the firepower of their bailout fund to one trillion euros ($1.3 trillion). The 17 eurozone countries signed up to the pact while nine other EU nations "indicated the possibility to take part in this process" after consulting their parliaments, EU leaders said in a statement. Hungary had originally voiced reluctance, while Sweden and the Czech Republic were undecided. The new deal, to be adopted by March through an intergovernmental agreement, was put to the entire 27-nation bloc in the interests of maintaining unity. "Except for one, all are considering participation," said EU president Herman Van Rompuy. "It is unfortunate that we missed the chance to have a full-fledged treaty change, but having said that we will make the best of it."
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Newt Gingrich is surging in the presidential polls, but his campaign organization has not caught up — making it possible he’ll miss Wednesday’s deadline to file enough signatures to even appear on Ohio’s primary ballot. Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker whose once-moribund presidential campaign has been resurrected in the polls in recent weeks, already missed the deadline for Missouri’s ballot. With several other state deadlines looming this month, his campaign is showing growing pains as it strives to meet them. “We are going to give it our damnedest. We are going to do everything in our capacity to meet this deadline,” Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammand said of the Ohio deadline. “As far as the next deadline, we’re on pace for everything else.” Gingrich backers said the campaign could mount a write-in effort in Ohio if need be. But missing that state’s 4 p.m. Wednesday deadline would be the latest embarrassment for Mr. Gingrich’s organization.
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You have to bet $700 to win $500 if you bet on Obama. Nobody else is even close to those odds. Unless the economy, ecology gets in the way, Obama is going to win walking away. I sure hope that is a good thing.