The Past Week: December 7-13, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Blago in the Can and ON the Can; Obama License Plates in IL?; Reality-Based Black Commentary; Canada & the Auto Bailout; Live Blog of The History Channel on “Crash: The Next Great Depression?”– No Surprise, A Waste of Time; Ignored Science) (Updated 1X)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We haven’t really discussed the Blago case on this blog over the past week, but we have to chime in with a couple of bits about this case and other Obama-related insanity.  Both these nuggets come from our Chicago Correspondent Leslie.

First, CC Leslie gives us this bit from WBBM 780 in Chicago:

blago-on-toilet

Obama Senate Seat Listed On eBay

Posted: Wednesday, 10 December 2008 8:28AM

(WBBM/STNG) – Governor Blagojevich was unsuccessful at trying to sell the vacant Illinois Senate seat, federal prosecutors say.

But that hasn’t stopped other people from trying to seal the deal.

There are at least a dozen tongue-in-cheek offerings of President-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat on eBay.

The items up for bidding range from a replica of the state seal to photoshopped pictures of Governor Rod Blagojevich.

One of the created images shows him sitting on a toilet with graffiti on the wall around him. It’s a direct quote from the criminal complaint by federal prosecutors, reading “This seat will go to the highest (bleeping) bidder.”

(MORE)

A couple of days earlier, CC Leslie posted this comment at IA:

Leslie, on December 8th, 2008 at 2:47 PM Said: Edit Comment

This is sooo OT I hope you don’t all throw your hands up and bar me from commenting any more ………..

Today, on Radio News Chicago, the most recent crass report is that the State of Illinois (”Land of Lincoln”) is considering creating a license plate with “Land of Obama” or some such oddity because “there is such a HUGE demand” for those plates. And they will raise MILLIONS of $$ for the state !!

I guess with all the “Change” anticipated, we will have to change the way we identify ourselves here in the Obama-nation !

If I don’t buy one of those plates, will that make me racist? or a terrorist?

There are no more words.

Here’s the link to the Chicago SunTimes report:
I can’t stand much more of this…I feel a migraine coming on.
My suggestion to Leslie is to get out of Chicago if she values her health!!
***
Meanwhile, in the reality-based black community, Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford unloads a MASSIVE barrage of whoop-ass I-told-you-so” that shouldn’t be missed:

Obama’s ‘Center-Right’ Presidency: The Die is Cast

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Black folks desperately needed the Obama of their imaginings.”

We already know enough. There is no more mystery as to what makes Barack Obama tick. He is your garden variety “center-right” American politician, as rated by no less an authority than the New York Times – the folks who practically invented the standards by which one is located in the corporate political spectrum.

There are lots of political appointments to go before Obama’s roster is complete, but the heavy lifting is done. The ideological pillars of America’s first Black presidency have been planted wholly within the parameters of governance allowed by big capital and the imperial military. Obama’s “transition” is more accurately seen as a “continuity” of rule by the lords of finance capital and their protective screen of warriors and spies. The Obama regime, still incomplete, already wreaks of filthy rich thieves and gore-covered war criminals.

Obama’s “national security” and economic lineup is an infinity of ugliness, more repulsive than I could have imagined back in the summer of 2003, when Obama’s rise to glory was about to begin. The supremely talented actor/state senator’s capacity for obfuscation; his refusal to take a firm position on any subject of real controversy; his transparently false denials of fealty to the corporate Democratic Leadership Council, which had publicly claimed him – all this should have marked Obama as bad news for Black America. But his was a fatally attractive package, like the shiny little cluster bomblets that kids pick up in places like Afghanistan.

“The ideological pillars of America’s first Black presidency have been planted wholly within the parameters of governance by finance capital and the imperial military.”

My colleagues and I were most fearful of the effect Obama’s corporate-rigged explosion onto the national scene would have on the Black polity – both the masses and leadership circles. Obama’s phony progressivism didn’t fool us for a second – although we yearned as much as other African Americans for the appearance of a Great Black Hope. Obama wasn’t “The One,” no matter what Oprah said. Rather, he became a menace to Black folks’ collective mental health.

We knew that a mass hallucinatory phenomenon was about to occur, that would loosen many Black folks’ grips on reality no matter how often and loudly we warned that Barack Obama was a cynical corporate striver who encouraged whites to believe that his election would mark the end of Black politics as we have known it. (Take breath, here.) He was the anti-Jesse, the anti-Sharpton, a fraudulent peace candidate, an eager servant of the rich. We diligently provided evidence of Obama’s true political nature, and at every juncture before and during the primaries we were proven correct in our analysis. But no matter. African Americans’ pent up hunger to see a (pretty) Black face in the highest place, would not be denied. They desperately needed the Obama of their imaginings, and would draw and quarter anyone that questioned the senator’s sainthood.

Were Black folks “losing their damn minds,” as comedian David Alan Grier puts it on Comedy Central’s Chocolate News?

Yes, they were.

(MORE)

OUCH!
***
Even though the auto bailout package appears dead for now, the Canadian government apparently thinks something is going to be done “soon” and is also involved, trying to pre-emptively protect its own auto jobs. Stay tuned…

Federal government, Ontario agree on $3.3B auto bailout package

Deficit now ‘likely,’ finance minister acknowledges

Last Updated: Friday, December 12, 2008 | 9:31 PM ET

The federal government and Ontario have reached a deal to offer proportional funds to Canada’s auto industry if a proposed $14-billion US aid package is approved in Washington, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Toronto, Clement said the proposed aid to Canada’s ailing auto sector would amount to approximately 20 per cent of the U.S. proposal, or about $3.3 billion Cdn.

The U.S. bailout appeared to have died late Thursday night after hours of heated negotiations between lawmakers, representatives from automakers and unions. But lawmakers said they still hope an agreement on the Democratic- and White House-backed plan could be reached.

The Canadian subsidiaries of the Detroit Big Three automakers had asked Ottawa and Ontario for financial aid that could total as much as $6 billion.

Clement said the deal was contingent on GM, Ford and Chrysler working together with parts suppliers and unions for a long-term solution for their industry, as well as the American proposal going forward.

“Governments can decide to help, but these decisions will only be made in the best interests of the taxpayer,” Clement told reporters.

The minister also said the Canadian government expects U.S. President George W. Bush to announce something “very soon.”

“What we’re signalling here tonight, both the governments of Ontario and the government of Canada, is that we want to be part of the solution as well, and it will be commensurate with the production that takes place here in Canada,” Clement said.

The pre-emptive move by Ottawa and Ontario will make it harder for U.S. lawmakers to strike a deal that protects American jobs at the expense of Canadian ones, said veteran auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers.

(MORE)

***

After sitting through Greta’s hour on Blago-gate (which was a limited rundown, with very little dot-connecting), I decided to see how the History Channel covered the current financial crisis.

Live-blogging the History Channel …Saturday night 12/13

As  I put together this roundup, I’ve got one eye on the History Channel’s special, “Crash: The Next Great Depression?” which is contrasting the present financial crisis with the 1929 stock-market crash and the Great Depression which followed. The program has traced the ripple of the bad credit/loans and the boom and the bust.  Sort of.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have come and gone with nothing about Raines and the skulduggery there.  So far, I’ve heard Ronald Reagan on getting rid of regulation; how starting in 2000 Phil Gramm pushed for deregulation;  how Bill Clinton how kept Alan Greenspan on and urged the loosening of regulations; and how George Bush espoused the importance of home ownership. Then, onto about how people wanted a “change” after the 1929 crash just like now and how FDR along with the new Democratic majority in 1933 took action by announcing  the “New Deal”  and creating a “flurry” of new programs.  It’s now showing Barack Obama’s December 7 press conference unveiling a lot of “flashy” names and pushing for lots of stimulus.  In juxtaposition, Jerry Stiller is talking about how the  “whole country was lifted, happy days were here again” because of  the New Deal.  YES, Jerry Stiller.  The experts are talking about the first 100 days and the restructuring of the banks which included inspection of the banks and the creation of the FDIC.  And, yes, Henry Paulson is doing the same thing (??).  Now we see the Depression work programs and how Obama is proposing similar projects.  An expert talks about how government will be the driving force from now on. But we then hear how the New Deal didn’t solve the problem, that it was the war that brought the economy back to life and pre-crash levels.  There’s the hope that we won’t have a world war to solve the current predicament. Guess what the next ad is?–the Capital One credit card, after all the talk about the irresponsible credit spending of consumer at the start of the program.

Andy Serwer, Editor of Fortune Magazine* and one of the often-quoted experts, opines that we learned a lot from the 1930’s and how important it is to pump money into the system. Banks, auto industry bailouts in the face of accelerating  job loses, no lending, pressure on non-bank auto loans, credit cards…But, we can’t go back to the highly-regulated system created in the 30’s by FDR — we have to make the current system “better.”   Last word, it’s bad but won’t turn into the next Great Depression, even though all the scary music sure makes it seem that way.  I guess FAITH will overcome…

So, that’s it.  Great job..NOT!  NOT ONE WORD about the politics behind the bad loans, the lack oversight and the Democrats’ culpability. What there seemed to be was a not-s0-subtle link created between FDR and Obama.  There’s also the message from one of the “experts” that government is going to take over the driving force of job creation and the economy.  We even get the “change” message. We see a smiling Obama…the image of all that “happy days are here again” stuff…

There you have it. The incomplete and subtly biased by omission, “in-depth reporting” from the History Channel.  Just enough to make an unsuspecting viewer think he or she is getting the full story, while all it is is a rehash of the spin being shipped out on a daily basis by the media. Served up nice and clean.  All neat and tidy for the arrival of Barack Obama.  It’s all gonna be OK, even though one guy who actually runs a plumbing supply place seems to think there will be a greater challenge in 2009 as current orders drop and promised government contracts are on hold or just drying up..  But the expert says not to worry, government will take over.

Frankly, I’m sticking with the plumbing supply guy.  (What is it about plumbers this year??)

(*Fortune Magazine: Part of Time, Inc, which in turn is part of Time Warner, which also controls AOL, HBO, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Time Warner Investments, and Time Warner Global Media Group.  Feeling better now???)

***

Earlier this week we discussed the “healthcare reform” push started by the Obama Transition Team (see post listed below). We’re wondering how the concerns raised by the folks at The American Association for Health Freedom will be addressed under an Obama healthcare team headed by a lobbyist (Tom Daschle) and in light of  the “positive response” by Ted Kennedy to the insurance industry writing up their own proposals, just the way Big Pharma wrote the Medicare Part D legislation.

What Happened to the Promise to Save This Nation Billions in Healthcare Costs?

One of the biggest clinical trials ever organized by our federal government indicated that generic medication for high blood pressure in use since the 1950s worked better than the newer drugs costing more than twenty times more. Yet Dr. Curt Fuberg, the chair of the $130 million ALLHAT trial, resigned in frustration in August 2004, citing the lack of effort put into diseeminating “the ALLHAT message.”

A similar situation has existed since the 1997 publication of the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) research study at Harvard. DASH emphasized a diet rich in potassium-containing foods such as fruits and vegetables, and more physical activity; these approaches, they found, could lower blood pressure in up to 90% of hypertensive patients without medication. Yet this too has fallen on deaf ears.

(SNIP)

The money spent on the direct-to-consumer drug ads that dominate the American media is dwarfed by the $21 billion dollars spent annually to sway doctors prescribing habits. Dr. Jerome Kassirer, professor of medicine at both Yale and Tufts and former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, describes conventional physicians as paid prostitutes for drug manufacturers.

It has progressed to the point that the standard treatment offered by international physicians after a patient suffers a heart attack—high doses of fish oil—is ignored or even rejected in the U.S. Here, prescriptions and procedures dominate cardiac care, and heart blockage is viewed as a plumbing or structural abnormality. Yet science has proven that patients do not live longer or better when heart disease is addressed by surgically opening or bypassing closed arteries.

As Arizona psychiatrist Ed Gogek wrote in the Buffalo News, the new Surgeon General should back alternative medicine. Dr. Gogek indicates that the public is far ahead of medical experts and politicians on alternative medicine. Isn’t it time they caught up?

A related article at the site is also worth a look; see The Science of Prevention.

***

UPDATE:

CNN is owned by AOLTimeWarner… For more info on media incest, visit the Columbia Journalism Review. According to an archived article there, The History Channel is owned by The Walt Disney Company, GE, and Hearst.  Figures!!!! So that’s where the fairy tales come from…

***

Finally, a busy week in the garden harvesting loads of mustard and collards. Today, I did the final cleanup of all the pots I used to grow peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes on the patio. This involved taking off the bark mulch and bagging it, putting the dead plants into the composter, bagging up the potting soil to use in the spring, washing out all the pots and lugging them all into the garage. I use only clay pots from Italy to grown vegetables in and they do last a lot longer if they’re protected from the winter extremes. I also cleaned out the glazed pots I use for flowers.  It was a big job that I kept putting off, but with milder temperatures today, it was now or never.

***
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11 Responses

  1. Amen on the History Channel production. What a piece of tripe. Sigh.

  2. IA,
    I agree with CC Leslie – “I can’t stand much more of this…I feel a migraine coming on”. I”ve had a constant migraine for weeks now and I don’t see any let up, and I”m not even in Chicago.

    Thank you for the article on Glen Ford. I especially liked the actor/state senator description, phoney progressivism, and the “menace to Black folks” collective mental health”. Add to that the kool-aid drinking white folks who are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Prozac, anyone?

    David Alan Grier was on the “Huckabee” show last night. Dec 13th. A repeat is worth a look-see. Sun.Dec 14th at 8pm on Fox News cable network.

    I didn’t see Greta on Blogo, nor did I see the History Channel Special (real migraine), so thanks for the run-down. We can always depend on you to keep us informed.

    “Government will be the driving force from now on” IMO this is what was planned from the beginning. Socialism, anyone?

    And Alan Greenspan and Henry Paulson are both poison to me. And you can add Ben Bernanke to the mix.

    I won’t even touch the health care issue. It triples my migraine to go near it. Talk about sending the fox to guard the hen house. eeeeeeeek !!

  3. Love the Blago pic!

    Re: Andy Serwer – you forgot one of his “credits”; Andy was also the financial analyst on CNN’s morning news for several years. That qualification alone ought to tell you how credible he is.

    I’ve found in the past year that the History Channel is more interested in debunking alternative versions of history (anything that doesn’t jive with the text books) than showing actual events or digging into their causes and effects. I watch with a much more skeptical eye, and less frequency these days. Not surprised by the vapid sales job you described.

    The article from the Black Agenda Report was very reassuring for me. It serves to remind me that not every black person in this nation walked off the end of that proverbially short pier in a Kool-Aid induced stupor, despite frequent observations that would support the contrary. It’s terrible, but there are so many blacks I encounter outside the blogosphere that know absolutely nothing about Obama out there that you begin to wonder. I thank God for the many blacks that are PUMAs, and people like the BAR that help keep my sanity when it comes to race. Why is it that Obama seems so intent on creating a race war in this country? Never mind – rhetorical question. It’s all about the money.

    As far as so-called “health care” in this country, repeat the last line from the paragraph above. There’s no money in America being healthy. And there’s no profit in Americans having enough money to live a comfortable life style until death. If you’ve managed to save a few dollars, we’ll come up with a way to take it from you and make you live out the rest of your joyless your days in a cramped, 3 room apartment scraping together pennies at the end of the month until the government check comes again to rescue you. How many readers here know someone over the age of 60 that makes at least 1 visit to a “health care professional” a week, maybe more? Wow! That’s a lot of hands! The treatment of seniors in this country is reprehensible, and I have a feeling it’s going to get much worse before it gets better. Of course, the next problem that raises is the following generation spending all their savings to support their impoverished parents during their medically extended lives. And when it comes to be our generation’s time to stop caring for ourselves, who will be there for us? Why the same idiots that brought us Barack Obama and the magical Chicago Politics Crime Syndicate! We are soooo screwed when we get older, that it might just be the kinder thing to polish us off quickly in the re-education camps. See? Obama really loves us!

  4. Good info, Grail! Since I don’t watch CNN, I didn’t know about the Serwer ties to that outfit…I know Fortune links to CNN Money…I have to see if CNN is owned by the same crowd!

    You’re right about the History Channel. Right after the Crash program, they had one on the symbolism of the dollar bill and the Free Masons. After laying out all the facts, they did a complete turnaround and said, No, there can’t be any real influence by the Free Masons and their secretive society!
    LOL! (“I’ve found in the past year that the History Channel is more interested in debunking alternative versions of history (anything that doesn’t jive with the text books) than showing actual events or digging into their causes and effects. I watch with a much more skeptical eye, and less frequency these days. Not surprised by the vapid sales job you described.”)

    They do it all the time! I’ve got to see the Underground Cities show tomorrow…about what went on underneath the Coliseum! Sex, lies, and videotape…maybe Madonna will make an appearance?? They way the focus on certain aspects of historical discussion even undermines real historians when they do appear….

    Healthcare…HAH~~~~~the business of health is the real interest…

  5. GRL,

    I don’t watch CNN anymore, but a few years ago I did and good ‘ol Andy was there every morning with Miles Obrien and Soledad Obrien telling it like they want it to be… Then they switched all the personnel for a younger, sexier set of talking heads that could barely get the words out, nonetheless understand them, which was my first clue that thing had changed. Next thing I knew, I was seeing Donna Brazile do her Obama-supporting/I’m an undeclared superdelegate act and it wasn’t long before the rest of the heads started with the talking points and I stopped watching. I find it so amusing that CNN has since inserted a Katie Couric wanna-be ( now there’s a career goal, huh?) into their prime-time news slot to informucate us all how Barack is going to save us from showers of locusts and other deadly plagues, as well as cure tooth decay.(Campbell Brown’s resume prior to becoming the CNN gender apologist consisted of being the weekend anchor of the Today Show, and I believe a ground-breaking interview of Donald Trump’s hairpiece on how Rosie O’Donnell is actually the anti-Christ and all lesbians should be burned at the stake at the earliest possible convenience.)

    Ok, enough of the morning snark. Or not…

  6. Couldn’t agree more Grail and Grl. There is no money to be made in healthy folks.

    I am one of those folks that lives from SS check to SS check. Lucky for me I don’t make many trips to the doctor’s office. I have managed to stay relatively healthy through diet and exercise and a few supplements.

    I hesitate to go to a doctor because every one I know in my age group is on multiple medications that I believe, in many cases, are simply not necessary. I don’t trust a doctor to refrain from giving me medications that I don’t need, don’t want, can’t afford and may even in the long run be harmful. Not the way I used to feel about the medical profession but it is what they have come, in many if not most cases, to deserves.

    I quite honestly believe that poverty has kept me from being one of those over medicated people. Lucky to be poor? What a hoot!

    Disclaimer here folks, I am not talking about people who genuinely need medications and who have ethical doctors that prescribe what they need. I am talking about medical people who are little better than pimps for the drug companies.

  7. So much to read and watch…..so little time 🙂

    All I can say is I truly despise obama and anything obama…..bush pulled the string the started much of the unraveling of the U.S. as we knew it….obama will finish the job. Anyone else remember democracy?

  8. Modern medicine is fine when it comes to the mechanical things, its seems….surgery has gotten so much more advanced…
    but the drugs….oh, the drugs…another story…

  9. Paul Grignon’s 47-minute animated presentation of “Money as Debt” came to mind as I read in your post about the next depression – no kidding, eh? (yes, yes, I’m Canadian…)

    You can google the film, but here’s a link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279

  10. Thanks, Manuela!!

  11. Manuela,

    Although I am leery of using any links these days, I couldn’t resist yours because accounting and finance used to be my field, and the title drew me in.

    IMO it can all be traced back to the writing of “The Federal Reserve Act of 1913”.

    The introductory quote by Woodrow Wilson, former U.S. President was very interesting, because it was due to Woodrow Wilson and his friend Edward Mandell House that the Act was written and passed by Congress. The draft was written, between 1907 and 1910 at Jekyll Island, Georgia by a team of international bankers.

    And now we hear rumors that the Ben Bernanke might be able to work something out for the automobile industry.

    Pretty soon everything will be owned by the government and we will have to have the universal ID card to do any business at all.

    This enormous debt being racked up is greazing the slide to socialism.

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