The Past Week: March 29-April 4, 2009 (Hugo Chavez Takes Over Food Producers, Sounds Off on the G-20; A Government Bailout Special; “The Reluctant Ones”

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

As the  G-20 circus brought out the whole gang in London, Hugo Chavez was doing his thing in Iran.

Chavez had this to say about the G-20 summit:

Venezuela’s Chavez: Capitalism Must End

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday ridiculed the G-20 summit’s attempts to deal with the global financial meltdown, saying that capitalism is in crisis and must end. Chavez criticized the G-20 nations’ pledges of more than a trillion dollars for lending to struggling countries at Thursday’s summit in London, calling it “the same medicine that’s killing the patient—a trillion dollars … more money for a bottomless pit.”

SNIP

The IMF and the World Bank are “tools of imperialism” and must be eliminated, Chavez said.

MORE

Well, he has a point…But does this mean that he’s no longer Obama’s “best buddy” since Obama is part of the Obama Borg?

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago, Chavez took steps to deal with Venezuela’s economy during this global economic crisis:

Chavez trims budget, adds debt to counter crisis

(SNIP)

Chavez, who won a referendum last month allowing him to stay in office as long as he keeps winning elections, is popular for spending oil revenues on health and education programs for the poor majority.

During 10 years in office he has nationalized much of Venezuela’s economy including major oil projects as part of his drive to build a socialist state.

On Saturday, he cut the 2009 budget by 6.7 percent to $72 billion, raised the minimum wage 20 percent and increased planned government financing to $16 billion from $5.6 billion. And he increased a sales tax to 12 percent from 9 percent.

(SNIP)

Economist Luis Vicente Leon described the package of measures as moderate but said the government was gambling crude prices would recover later this year.

“These are not truly deep measures, they don’t attack the fundamental problems of the economy,” Leon told Reuters.

Faced with Latin America’s highest inflation, Chavez has in recent weeks increased pressure on business to lower prices by taking over farms and rice mills and threatening to nationalize the country’s top private employer, which makes food and beer.

What do you think of that last part?  When does Obama go after the food supply?

***

The next two items courtesy Kenosha Marge:

johndeer-bailout

***

A couple of weeks ago we learned that Evan Bayh has put together a group of “pragmantic Democrats.”  Then there are the Blue Dogs:

Centrist Dems: Dogged If They Do, Dogged If They Don’t

By Froma Harrop

There’s trouble around the Democratic campfire. The party has the White House and solid congressional majorities. But what it doesn’t have is everyone on the same page, strumming the same chords, singing the same tune.

Liberals who kept the fires burning during the long Republican reign now fear that moderate Blue Dog Democrats will thwart their much-delayed dreams. Elected from purplish parts of America, the Blue Dogs are fiscal conservatives who regard expensive new programs with a wary eye.

What’s a liberal to do? First, recognize that the Blue Dogs are the reason Democrats have such nice majorities. They are why the dreams are even on the menu. Second, concede that the Reluctant Ones have a point.

(MORE)

“The Reluctant Ones”…has a certain ring to it, yes?

***

THE PAST WEEK

*By American Lassie

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 4, 2009) Spring Winds; Squirrel Wars; Bees Invade Feeder; Wounded Butterfly; Sunrise Over the Organs; Slick Lounges Around

Non-Stop Campaigning Here in NM-CD2 By Bill Richardson’s Hand-Picked Freshman Rep Harry Teague, Who’s Splitting His Votes Pro/Con on Obama Policies

Iowa Gone Wild With Nazi Reference at Public Hearing (Listen to the Audio) as New Yorkers in CD-20 Test Obama’s Popularity

Canada Follows the U.S. Terms for GM/Chrysler; Harper Still Worrying About the “Eased” ‘Buy-American’ Clause in Stimulus Package

Closing Out Women’s History Month With Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Ground-Breaking Molecular Paleontologist, and a Special T. Rex

*China, the Treasury, and Real Estate (As in the New World Trade Center); Cross-Pollination:The New America Foundation/Council of Foreign Relations

The Past Week: March 22-28, 2009 (A Split in Russian Political Forces as Putin Weakens; The Voice of Korea, North Korean Propaganda Outlet; G-20 Protests Begin; A Prescient Wish for a Bush Successor ca. 2006; X-Rated Google Earth)

Non-Stop Campaigning Here in NM-CD2 By Bill Richardson’s Hand-Picked Freshman Rep Harry Teague, Who’s Splitting His Votes Pro/Con on Obama Policies

~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

So, what’s your representative up to lately? Old buddy here in New Mexico CD-2, freshman representative Harry Teague, is in touch…a lot.

Last week I got another phone call about a meeting…this is the third event since he went to D.C. in January.

Today, I got a flyer…a big, glossy campaign flyer.  I’m wondering if all new Democratic reps are carrying on this continuous campaign.

The flyer is a 4 pager and features Teague’s “independent” thinking.  He voted for the stimulus package in February, but voted against the release of  “an additional $350 billion in bailout money for Wall Street.”  And he “lead the successful effort to stop a automatic 2010 pay raise for members of Congress. The latter two votes occurred in March.

You have to remember that CD-2 is a “conservative” district. That’s why Bill Richardson hand-picked Teague to run here.  He has many “Republican-lite” things in his business and local political career.  He’s owned an oil services business and was very popular with Republicans in Lea Country where he served as the top board chairman of the Lea County Board of Commisioners.

So here he is “splitting the difference” to appeal to both the Obama/Democratic crowd and the conservative Republicans here.

Around the time of the stimulus package debate in February, ads were running on the radio against Teague.  Looks like the Obama crowd is trying to “re-create Teague with the March votes against a couple of other Obama initiatives.

So, has anybody else been getting this sort of material in the mail or the invitations to meet their rep on a regular basis?

Here are the inside pages of the flyer with the blurbs about the “split” votes.

First the “stimulus” vote:

The stimulus vote...

The stimulus vote...

Then, the “anti” votes…

The "anti" votes...

The "anti" votes...

The last page of the flyer is all about “staying in touch.”  There’s the 888 number for The Harry Helpline,” an invitation to sign up for “Harry in Your Hometown Updates” and a list of his office…one in D.C. and 5 in the district.

Looks like there’s a full-court press here to keep Teague around for awhile…

***

More on Harry Teague, his Republican ties, and the machinations of Bill Richardson:

“Harry T. and the Chamber of Secrets” co-starring Oil and Republicans–Screenplay by Bill Richardson [Subtitle: The Behind-the-Scenes Adventures of Bill R., Harry Teague and the NM CD-02 Democratic Primary] (April 29, 2008)

DCCC Money Now in NM-CD2 for Richardson’s Guy HarryTeague…Where Were They When the Progressive Ran Last Time?? (The One Who Got 40% of the Vote, Then Was Shoved out of the Dem Primary the Race in 2008?) (June 22, 2008)

Mexico Plans World’s Third Largest Seaport, Will Impact U.S. Ports on West Coast; Citigroup to Help Finance? (Updated 1X More on TARP $$ Going Overseas)

~~By InsightAnalytical–GRL

Breaking News…as I finish up this post Wednesday night (3/22) , I’ve just watched Dennis Kucinich with Greta on On the Record discussing the revelation that Citicgroup took part of its TARP bailout money and made deals with Chinese and Dubai companies, in effect, sending our money overseas.  The links are not up as of now, but I’ll post what I find tomorrow. In the meantime…read what follows and see if you don’t ask the questions we’ve been asking here at IA over the last few days…

***

Yesterday I mused about what’s going on in Canada and its ties to the U.S. financial crisis and a couple of days ago, American Lassie wrote about the North American Community.  Earlier, IA took a look at a possible U.S. role Mexico and today, I’m looking at Mexico again, specifically about a certain plan that has been brewing for quite awhile and which seems about to take off.

About a week ago I opened the Albuquerque Journal’s Business Outlook section and found a full page story entitled “Planned Seaport to be the third largest in the world”.  (The link is working as I write this, but because the ABQ Journal is behind a wall and available to subscribers-only, I don’t know for how long.  http://www.abqjournal.com/biz/0294376619biz03-02-09.htm)

The seaport, called Punta Colonet, will be built here:

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy REMAX)

Punta Colonet (Photo courtesy RE/MAX)

(More information on the location, including maps, at the end of this post)

A word about the columnist.  Back in 2003, Jerry Pacheco was running Gov. Bill Richardson’s newly-formed office dealing with Mexican trade (see press release at the end of this post). And here’s a bit more detail:

Pacheco is a recognized expert in Mexican affairs and has extensive business experience throughout Mexico. He established and ran the state’s first foreign trade office in Mexico City during the early 1990s, and is a syndicated columnist with regular international columns appearing in El Paso Inc., Ser Empresario magazine and most recently in the Albuquerque Journal.

Which brings us back to the ABQ Journal article in question…written by the guy in the know…

Planned seaport to be third largest in world

Albuquerque Journal–> By Jerry Pacheco
For the Journal
Punta

Colonet is a small Mexican Pacific coastal village located approximately 150 miles south of Tijuana in Baja California. Historically, this area’s economy has relied on agriculture and tourism. For the past five years, excitement and speculation has centered on Punta Colonet, as the Mexican government has announced that it will build a new Pacific seaport at this site.

The scope of the project is enormous by world standards. According to Mexican government reports, the port will be designed to handle six million containers annually at final build-out. In terms of processing volume, it will be larger than the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined. When completed, the site is projected to encompass an area of more than 27,000 acres, or slightly more than 42 square miles. It will be the third largest seaport in the world, behind only Singapore and Hong Kong. It is estimated that between 90,000 and 200,000 people, a small city, will be needed to operate the port facilities.


Punta Colonet is Mexico’s attempt to claim a larger share of the billions of dollars in merchandise shipments between North America and Asia, which are coming through ports farther north. It is estimated that this aggressive project will cost close to $2 billion in its initial phase, with a final build-out estimate of up to $6 billion. Multiple sources of public and private monies will need to be accessed. Citicorp has been meeting with high-level Mexican officials to discuss participating in the financing of this project.

SNIP

In the current world economic recession, many people question the timing for Punta Colonet. Previously, the capacity and the ability of the mature U.S. West Coast ports to handle increasing ocean cargo was a major concern, but the volume at the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports has recently decreased by up to 30 percent because of the economic crisis, and the capacity issue has become less important. Many people, particularly players in the U.S. and California, are worried that bringing such a large port on line would further depress and dilute the ocean cargo business.


SNIP

Punta Colonet has been designed to begin construction in 2012 or 2013, with completion around 2020, and had developed a strong momentum. However, in mid-January of this year, Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation Secretary, Luis Tellez, for the second time issued a postponement of the construction bidding process. At that point, it was announced that the global financial crisis had put the brakes on the project, but by the end of January the Mexican government announced it would begin administering the registration for proposals in April, with the actual process to accept these proposals scheduled for June.


Whatever the time frame, it appears that the Mexican government has decided to proceed with the Punta Colonet port. If the Santa Teresa region remains the preferred crossing point into the U.S. for this project, it could bring a slew of new economic development activities to the southern New Mexico-west Texas region (Paso del Norte region).

MORE

Now what is the first question that pops into your mind??  Citigroup gets bailout money, it’s share price drops to about $1, now they proclaim that they are profitable and the market soars on Tuesday, 3/10. I don’t know if all that is related to this port project, but you have to wonder at the very least: If the U.S. government is “funding” Citicorp, then does that mean the U.S. taxpayer will be building this port if the deal goes through??

Remember this story from just a couple of weeks ago?

Citigroup gets new rescue, U.S. may own 36 percent

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will boost its equity stake in Citigroup Inc to as much as 36 percent, bolstering the bank’s capital base in the latest emergency effort to save the banking giant.

SNIP

While the latest rescue does not inject more money into Citigroup, it gives the government more of a voting stake and far greater influence over the bank’s operations, short of outright nationalization. The White House said a higher U.S. stake will help achieve a “better outcome” for the bank.

“The government is the new boss,” said Mike Holland, the founder of money manager Holland & Co in New York. “Every major decision is something that is not going to come out of Park Avenue, but is going to come from Washington, D.C.”

New York-based Citigroup in October and November received $45 billion of taxpayer money, as well as a government backstop to cap losses on $300.8 billion of toxic assets. More than two-thirds of these assets related to mortgages and commercial real estate.

SNIP

Pandit has split Citigroup into two: Citicorp, which has retail banking and other businesses that Citigroup wants to keep, and Citi Holdings, which includes troubled or underperforming assets it wants to sell or wind down.

A higher government stake could complicate Citigroup’s ability to operate in some of the more than 100 countries where it has businesses. Bank executives downplayed speculation that Citigroup might shed all or part of its ownership of Grupo Financiero Banamex, Mexico’s second-largest bank.

“We’re not open to the idea of offloading assets that we really want to keep,” Edward “Ned” Kelly, head of global banking and Citi Alternative Investments, said in an interview. “Banamex is a very important property to us, and we are intent on retaining it and maximizing its value.”

MORE

(Here’s more analysis of the situation at Citigroup from John Batchelor at The Real Barack Obama blog.)

And here’s more background on Asian investors who are also wanting in.  There has been a lot of behind-the scene negotiations and “intrigue” in lining up financial partners with political connections in Mexico, according to Pacheco.  Here’s some background you might find interesting from The Free Trade Alliance based in San Antonio, Texas. From April, 6,2006:

A Deck of Chinese Cards

Mexican and US officials and businessmen are stepping up contacts with China and other Asian nations in high-stakes bids to expand economic relations. Trade missions from Baja California, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Texas all have recently flown to meetings and tours in the emerging global economic powerhouses of the Far East.

SNIP

Their eyes fixated on the expanding Chinese star, Mexican officials are now considering opening an eastern-oriented Pacific port in Baja California to help handle the burgeoning trade volume. Located about 150 miles south of the US-Mexico border, Punta Colonet is emerging as a possible super port. Carlos Jauregui, the executive director of the port of Ensenada said construction of the port could begin in 2008 and be completed by 2012. Jauregui estimated the facility could cost about $5 billion dollars to build, including a rail link to the United States.

And what about the implications for U.S. ports?

The Cunningham Report, which describes itself as “an information source for the trade and transportation industry” commented on 89/31/08:

Although folks at both the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach have downplayed the impact of the Punta Colonet project and noted that completion of the port would be years away, if it is developed, the Mexican port could at some point pose significant competition.

Also, from The Puget Sound Business Journal, August 29, 2008:

While Mexican planners hope the Mexican port will attract cargo from congested Southern California ports, that could have a domino effect in the Pacific Northwest.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma are launching a joint marketing agreement to convince cargo owners to shift cargo from Southern California to Puget Sound, but that effort might have less success if Southern California congestion eases because of the Mexican port.

Otherwise the proposed Mexican port probably won’t take away too much cargo from Puget Sound ports, except for import cargo destined for Mid-Atlantic states, said Doug Coates, principal for TransSystems Corp. in San Francisco.

Puget Sound ports already are losing some cargo to the new Prince Rupert Port Authority in British Columbia, as well as to expanded East Coast ports including the Port of Savannah, Georgia. In July the Port of Savannah announced its volumes had increased 15 percent over the last year, while the Port of Seattle’s volume dropped 8 percent in the first half of this year.

The Portland Business Journal reports that Port of Portland officials “aren’t particularly worried about heightened competition,” but their article includes this tidbit:

Doug Coates, principal for TranSystems Corp. in San Francisco, said one attraction of the Punta Colonet port might be the promise of lower longshore labor rates, and the possibility that the Mexican port would be buffered from any labor issues with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. While that union recently signed a new contract, owners of cargo plan far ahead to avoid the effects of union disturbances.

“The shippers are still worried about longshore unrest on the U.S. West Coast and what happens with agreements,” Coates said. “The carriers like the fact that it’s lower cost and more flexible labor.”

Do you hear the sound of American jobs going down the tubes as the new “community” here in North America takes shape?

By the way, RE/MAX  Baja Realty is gearing up to sell  property with the proposed port as a selling point and their contact form is already up and working:

Welcome to Baja California’s Official website  for the largest Mexican public works project ever.

The purpose of Colonet Real Estate website is to bring information about the new project developing in Baja California, prices of all the possible property’s for sale and questions referring to Punta Colonet.

***

MAPS and More Information on Punta Colonet

Maps, Major Ports – US/Mexico Border Transportation Planning – FHWA.

Wikipedia Article on the Punta Colonet Area, port, and detailed map

More Background Information on Border Ties

Frontera Norte Sur, published by New Mexico State University (2006 edition)  Section of interest:

Banks Leap Across Borders

Given the green light by the Federal Reserve Board, a Mexican bank has finalized its majority-ownership purchase of the Texas-based Inter National Bank (INB). Luis Pena Kegel, director general of the Banorte Financial Group, said the INB will use its base from the city of McAllen on the Texas-Mexico border to expand into other regions of the United States.

“With this operation, Banorte has the intention of getting closer to families and businesses on both sides of the border with innovative financial products that nobody else is offering,” Pena said in an interview with the Mexico City daily La Jornada.

MORE

***

UPDATE  3/13/09

Thanks to America Lassie for this link which has the video of the hearing mentioned by Kucinich on Greta:

http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090312104802.aspx

‘Nightly News’ Perplexed by TARP-Recipients Lending to Foreign Countries

NBC correspondent Lisa Myers investigates banking titans that made overseas loans in wake of congressional hearing.

***

BACKGROUND on Jerry Pacheco, ABQ Journal columnist

Press Release from the State of New Mexico re: Jerry Pacheco

http://www.nmpartnership.com/press-releases/article.php?id=970&title=Pacheco+Heads+New+Mexican+Affairs+and+Trade+Division

Return to press release archive

Friday Jun 13, 2003

Pacheco Heads New Mexican Affairs and Trade Division

Contact: Cathy Ann Connelly: 505-476-3747
Santa Teresa, New Mexico – As part of Governor Bill Richardson’s efforts to improve commercial trade with Mexico, Jerry Pacheco, formerly deputy secretary for New Mexico Economic Development Department, is now director of the new Mexican Affairs and Trade Division. This office was created by the State Legislature to better oversee and coordinate the activities of the New Mexico Border Authority, New Mexico Economic Development Department, and the New Mexico-Chihuahua Commission.

Based in Santa Teresa, Pacheco believes the new office is a major, positive step toward increasing the trade and infrastructure interface with all Mexican states.

“State Senator Mary Kay Papen carried the bill that created this new entity, and it is one that will further our agenda of improving productive trade with Mexico,” said Pacheco.

New Mexico’s trade with Mexico is already a mainstay of the state’s existing economy to the tune of $106 million annually — particularly important in the southern part of the state. But although New Mexico shares a border with Mexico, the state is still ranked 39th out of all the states in the U.S. when it comes to its amount of business over the border.

MORE

***

RELATED POSTS:

What’s Going On North of the Border: The Canadian Economy and Stimulus Plan

THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

The Past Week: February 8-14, 2009 (Saturday Night Hard HR1 News; Chicago News [“Racial” Comments; Obama Ally Alexi Giannoulis]; “Roots Camp”; Bill Clinton Shills for the DCCC; New Sprouts in the Late Winter Garden)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. I couldn’t do last week’s roundup, but have caught up with the posts from the missing week in the list at the end.

***

Saturday Night, Date Night…Last night FOX News decided to do some in-depth reporting on the “stimulus package” covering the health care issue among others.  Where were they last week?  I bet the ratings were HUGE on Saturday night as they rolled this information out…information that was all over the sane blogs the past few days…

***

Chicago Correspondent Leslie has come up with a couple of nuggets about what’s going on in Chi Town with regard to the local buzz about their pride and joy, Obama. She writes about Friday’s local news:

Of course,  now that The One has begun his descent into ratings hell, we are now hearing news “reports” about “negative and possibly threatening racial comments” being made by northwest side (of Chicago) police on the phone to an FBI agent.  But of course, there is only circumstantial evidence to substantiate these reports.

So I ask, Why. are. they. reporting. this. on. Prime.Time.News. on the local stations?

I promise this was just now reported. JUST NOW.

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/police-obama-threat.html

*shaking my head*

Also from Leslie  and on a more sinister note is this story from the Chicago Reader by Ling Ma about the state treasurer of Illinois, who has ties to Obama.  As Leslie says, it captures the “heart and soul” of Chicago politics, where “They scratch each other’s back. Oh, but they care about the little guy…(snark)!”

Broadway Bank is owned by the family of Alexi Giannoulis, Illinois state treasurer and a political ally of Barack Obama. Giannoulis was the bank officer who approved the loan to Loren Billings.

The full story is fascinating  just on the basis of the story about holography and what is described as the last holography museum in the U.S.  But what really is disturbing is how this elderly woman was cajoled into taking out a loan by “friends” at Giannoulis’  Broadway Bank and how her life may be ruined. Obama’s friends in Chicago really know how to do this sort of thing well…

***

Have you noticed the unfolding of the Obama machine in your neighborhood?  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen it in a few different forms.

First, I got this email for some reason:

Last week we witnessed something incredible as President Obama was sworn in. In his Inaugural Address, he talked about hope, change, and shared responsibility in his moving Inaugural Address. Now it’s time for each of us to take responsibility for turning hope into change through action.

RootsCamp is a great place to get started! RootsCamp is a progressive gathering where you’ll meet great people, debrief the 2008 election cycle, and get energized for the legislative session and what’s next for Colorado.  Best of all its FREE, thanks to the wonderful sponsors.

Join us in Denver this Saturday, January 31st for a great opportunity to learn, share, and get active.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet with other community organizers, progressive organizations and find ways to plug in and volunteer.

For more information and to RSVP, click on the following link:
http://www.progressnowaction.org/RootsCamp09

We’re excited to build on President Obama’s dream for America and the only way to make it happen is by getting involved.  Sign up for RootsCamp today.
Can’t wait to see you on the 31st!

Cheers,
Brittney Wilburn
Outreach Director
ProgressNow Colorado Education

“ROOTS CAMP”…has a certain ring to it…like “Boot Camp”???  Can’t you see all the “youth” marching around?  “EDUCATION”? As in “re-education”?

Just before the same weekend, I started getting calls from newly-elected CD-1 Rep. Harry Teague (Richardson’s chosen one) urging me to attend a “town gathering” on the Saturday, January 31st.  I didn’t get one call–I got 3 calls within the span of about a day and a half.

Then, in the Albuquerque Journal last week, I saw a big ad seeking “input” at a meeting on the subject of  “neighborhood/community stabilization.”

The vise is beginning to close in on us…

***

To top off this barrage of Barack, there was this mailer I got this week from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)!!  Did you get yours?  I only dropped my affiliation with the Democratic Party 7 months ago, but they won’t leave any stone unturned, I guess!

Most annoying thing about this:  It’s from BILL CLINTON.  “Your 2009 membership card and a special message from Bill Clinton” is emblazoned on the envelope and to the left of this is a see-through “window” showing my membership card with a picture of a smiling Barack Obama staring at me!

Inside, the letter has a big “Bill Clinton” on the masthead with this inspiring text below:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

2009 is going to be an amazing year in the life of our nation – and you helped set the stage for it.

I’m so proud of the way Hillary our herself  heart and soul into helping Barack Obama and so many Democratic candidates this year.

(SNIP)

You and I both know that Barack Obama is an exceptional leader. And, by acting now to join the DCCC, you can make sure he has the support he needs in Congress and America.

(Drivel continues)

I want you to know that I sure didn’t “help set the stage” for the crap that’s going on in D.C. !! The odd thing is that the letter is dated January and was done before the Inauguration.  Someone’s timing was off…of maybe this little gem got stuck in the local post office, which is notorious for late delivery of a lot of mail.  Or maybe the Pony Express was down a rider…

Anyway, I will send them a little love note on their stamp in lieu of a donation. In light of what has gone down with HR 1, the “stimulus package,” the DCCC deserves a kick in the ass, not more money! (They “urgently” need gifts of at least $35…in their dreams!)  I’m supposed to remember that “TOGETHER WE MADE HISTORY!”…I’m sure we’ll be getting that reminder constantly for the next 4 long years.

***

This week in the high-desert garden:  The arugula and mustard is going to seed and I harvested the last of the broccoli side shoots. I planted some lettuce and mescalin which is coming up now.  I have to start pruning the grape vines which are now showing white fuzzy buds.  The peach tree in the warm corner of of the yard is already to bursting into pink flowers.  I’m planning to take out this tree as it just is not the right spot for a peach tree!  We still have lots of cold weather ahead and refuse to cover the thing like I have in the past.  The tree on the side of the house is just starting to show swelling buds which is more on the right schedule. Even the fig has tinges of green at the buds.  The chives and parsley are growing nicely and the dill is coming back with new growth.  I have to set up the trellises so I can start training the two newer grape vines. So, I’m really getting psyched to get out there and start the new spring/summer gardening year!  A few weeks ago the change in the sun started so that my indoor basil, parsley and oregano at the window really started taking off, too!

THE PAST WEEK (Actually 2 Weeks, Since We Couldn’t Do a Roundup Last Sunday)

*By American Lassie

**By Grail Guardian

***By Kenosha Marge

See What’s In the Stimulus Bill That Will Be Signed Into Law; Listen to W.A.M. Radio This Weekend to Find Out MORE…(UPDATED 1X: Corrected link to Show)

UPDATE: HOUSE PASSES HR1; SENATE VOTES LATER TODAY ON HR 1 STIMULUS PACKAGE!! SIGN THE PETITION! (More SHOCKING Info on What’s in Bill & More on the Way [Hidden Agenda]; Listen to W.A.M. Radio This Weekend for More Info)

*Lawrence Summers Needs to Study Up on Some Women’s History–Here’s a Short Course He Should Take

Health Links: Alternatives to Mainstream Medicine re: Cancer and Other Diseases; Stem Cell Research Clinic

Hidden Health Care Provisions in the “Stimulus Package”: the Ghost of Daschle Lives On and Will Haunt Us All, Especially Seniors…This is BAD NEWS!! (Link to Bill Language Here)

AP Analyzes Obama:He’s FED UP With Protests About the Stimulus Plan…Too F*cking Bad!!

The Scanner-Politics 2/9/2009 (Future Palin “Problem”; Tracking What They’re Doing in D.C.; Useful Healthcare Info for Escaping the Grip of Mainstream Medicine [Re: Cancer and Degenerative Diseases])

**We’ve Lost a Noble Warrior, But Will Not Give UP the Fight! In Memoriam: Marlene C. Utz

More Good News for Women: Synthetic, Prescription HRT Shrinks the Brain

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-NY: “Fighting Dem”? Or Just Blowing Smoke for the Folks Back Home? (Guess…)

***Empowered or Powerless? Hillary in the Box…

Celebrate the Exit of Tom Daschle with a Smattering of Smiles….

Happy Prairie Dog Day!! (Updated 1X–Peekie Boo Prairie Dog Sees Shadow [Pic]

The Past Week: January 25-31, 2009 (Two Ex-Presidents Acting Like Misogynistic Jerks; Coins; Grammy Awards Sound Truck Stops by for a Visit [Pics!])

Bill Richardson at Commerce: Scary

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

With the hoopla about Hillary Clinton as the nominee for Secretary of State, the nomination of Bill Richardson at Commerce seems anti-climactic to many.  I decided to check out what the Department of Commerce really encompasses and was in for a real education. The various tentacles that reach out from Commerce are something to behold…and, I think, will provide Richardson with a whole lot of ways to make mischief.

As a New Mexico resident, I have to admit that I can’t stand this duplicitous jerk.  Much of my disgust involves his push for the spaceport project and the way he foisted it off on the public. Tops on my list is the way he barred citizens from attending his sales job at a meeting for parents and kids at a public school.  Police were called to assist in shoving away people from the general pubic who wanted to get in to hear what the deal was (See “Rules” article below.)

Of course, there’s all the water he carried for Obama here in NM after stabbing Hillary Clinton in the back (the “Judas” incident as described by James Carville).  Ultimately, Richardson ticked off a lot of Democratic legislators in Santa Fe with his machinations. [See Let Me Tell You About Bill Richardson and “RICHARDSON’S RULES”… AND Bill Richardson’s Star is Falling with a BIG THUD (Not on VP Shortlist, State Legislators FED UP with Him)].

And then there’s the maneuvering he did on behalf of Harry Teague, newly elected to the House from CD-2. For all the ties between Richardson, Teague, and Republican Steve Pearce, see  “Harry T. and the Chamber of Secrets” co-starring Oil and Republicans–Screenplay by Bill Richardson [Subtitle: The Behind-the-Scenes Adventures of Bill R., Harry Teague and the NM CD-02 Democratic Primary].

And then there’s Richardson’s ties to an “ACORN”-like group (Part II: NM AG, “Gutsy Gary” King, Fighting for Transparency re: Non-Profits Like the League of Young Voters and ACORN).

Now, take a peek the Department of Commerce website.

Look at the list of areas on the left and click through and see what each encompasses. Richardson’s new fiefdom deals with everything from telecommunications to Iraq reconstruction to minority business, industry and security, and economic analysis, just to touch the surface.

Putting Richardson in charge of this department gives him a playground that might not have the high public profile of Clinton at State…but, in my opinion, there’s a heck of a lot of ways that Richardson may prove to be more powerful…and more quietly and under the radar…than Hillary Clinton will be in the long run.

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Here’s one of my pieces on Richardson’s role in the Obama visit here on Memorial Day this past May, which also includes a discussion of a foreign policy faux pas by Richardson. (Search the site for several more part in the series I did on the visit.)

Obama to Visit Site of Bataan Memorial Death March on Memorial Day…To Repair Dumb Comment Damage? (Or…To Straighten Out Foreign Policy Mix-up with Bill Richardson?)

Richardson may not have gotten State, but he’s bounced back just fine by grabbing Commerce.

Attention NeoProgs: You DID NOT Defeat the PUMAs!

~~By Grail Guardian

Enough already! It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the mythical “post-racial” election that would change the world, purify acid rain, halt all crime, turn all hate into love, make rainbows appear simultaneously and permanently in the sky over every nation, end global warming, part the seas, cause God’s light to shine upon us, and make the Unity Pony the universally accepted mascot of the globe – yet still it persists! By it, I mean the gloating, the taunting, the childish harassment across the Blogosphere, the never-ending threats, and of course the omnipresent misogyny alternating between Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

Our own GRL posted a smattering of the nasty comments we’ve had here at InsightAnalytical earlier this week. The site has been in forced moderation ever since the election due to the attacks of the Oborg and threats promising to shut the site down (and GRL informs me that at least one of our “regular” trolls has been permanently banned due to abuse). In this same article, reader Leslie reports that she is still beset by combative co-workers trying to cure her of her “wicked ways”. The joy is not isolated to IA, however. A recent check at Not Your Sweetie showed someone artfully calling themselves “PUMA FAIL” asking:

“How’s that McCain landslide going?”

more than 10 weeks after the article was originally posted. Useful? I think not. Unprovoked? Most assuredly (note that the comment is preceded by 2 links to probama sites). Isolated? Hardly. At Texas Darlin’s blog, commenter Jennifer Boucher went way beyond the acceptable [Strong Language Warning!]:

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! HOW IS HAVING BARACK OBAMA AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT GOING TO FUCK UP AND RUIN LIVES AND/OR THIS COUNTRY!!! HAVE YOU BEEN FUCKIN’ BLIND FOR THE PAST EIGHT FUCKIN’ YEARS!! LOOK AT THE FUCKIN’ MESS THAT BUSH HAS MADE! HOW ABOUT THE JOB HE HAS DONE! THE ENTIRE WORLD FREAKIN’ HATES US, THE ECONOMY IS HORRIBLE, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. DID YOU ENJOY PAYING OVER $4 A GALLON FOR GAS? DO YOU ENJOY PAYING HIGH HEALTH CARE COSTS? HIGH GROCERY BILLS? HOW ABOUT NOT HAVING A FREAKIN’ JOB! MCCAIN WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO FIX THIS MESS! HE’S OUT OF TOUCH WITH WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE AN AVERAGE AMERICAN, HE HAS SEVEN FREAKIN’ HOUSES FOR ONE THING! BARACK OBAMA DIDN’T GROW UP WITH A SILVER SPOON UP HIS FUCKIN’ ASS, AND HE’LL WORK HARD FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN! THIS WHOLE FUCKIN’ BULLSHIT ABOUT BARACK BEING A TERROIST, AND HIS MIDDLE NAME IS HUSSEIN IS RIDICULOUS!!! SO WHY DON’T YOU STOP WASTING YOUR FUCKING TIME PUTTING UP THESE FUCKING WEBSITES! WHY DON’T YOU WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE AND OPEN UP YOUR FUCKING EYES WHY DON’T YOU, AND SEE WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON!!

Of course, I could go on with the examples, but you get the drift. They’re still bitter, they’re still hostile, and they’re still blaming the PUMA movement for…uh, gee – I guess for Obama winning the election? Nope. In fact, they’re still insisting that PUMAs don’t exist. To wit, blogger LastPlaneOut:

Nice try, but PUMAs are done.

They never existed.

I have spent every day of the last 5 months thwarting Darragh’s Legion of Lost Typists.

Every prowl she organized, I got there first. I warned the media and the politicos that you were coming for them. I helped Roland Martin at CNN duck you. I telegraphed your email swarms to every targeted delegate and superdelegate at Denver. I have an inbox full of “Thank you” letters from PUMA targets who listened to me and dumped your message swarms into unused voicemail accounts and fax machines in the utility closet. I have fought you on the HuffingtonPost, US News and a dozen other media outlets. I have blocked your disinformation at every turn, bombed your YouTube videos, pretended to be your friend in Denver and spoofed you in a thousand ways.

There aren’t 18 million of you, as tonight’s election proves. Hell, there doesn’t seem to be ANY of you, based on the vote. You’ve been living a fantasy.

Tonight, I am — like Lou Gehrig — the happiest man on the face of the earth,

Bravo, President Barack Hussein Obama.

And good luck, PUMAs, at whatever the hell it is you plan on doing now, at the fringes of American politics.

The conventional wisdom indicates that if we don’t exist we wouldn’t get bothered or even referred to anymore, right? Alas, there is no wisdom in the Oborg. Their attacks continue unabated. Not just against PUMAs, but, of course against, all women. And their favorite 2, of course, Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Hillary Clinton. This week’s Roundup mentions perennially perky “joke” CBS News anchor Katie Couric’s advice to Palin:

I think she should keep her head down, work really hard and learn about governing. But I’m not anyone to give advice to anyone about anything.”

No one seems to be mentioning that Couric could stand to learn something about journalism. Meanwhile, Politico snipes Palin for being more interesting to the press than her fellow Governors at a meeting last week:

While her other governors diagnosed the GOP woes that led to their second consecutive electoral thrashing and plotted a way out of the political wilderness, Sarah Palin did neither.
Two events were added to the annual Republican Governors Association meeting especially for the Alaska governor and former vice presidential nominee, but her objectives were unclear and her message, mixed. For somebody who is now seen as a prominent leader in the GOP and perhaps the party’s instant-front-runner for the 2012 presidential race, it was a less than auspicious return to the Lower 48.

Of course the big news making Obot heads explode was the offer to Senator Hillary Clinton to be Obama’s Secretary of State. At the Huffington Post writer Nico Pitney couldn’t disguise his disdain for the possibility, noting that Team Obama had to create an argument for him to swallow the news and that:

The offer shows that the Obama team is, in fact, serious about bringing all types of political officials — former foes included — into its governing tent. During the Democratic primary, Clinton was often accused by aides to Obama of inflating or over-dramatizing her foreign policy experience.

Enthusiastic HuffPo commenter BeltwayBette showed her support for party unity as follows:

HRC, in spite of huge efforts to pump up her foreign service credentials, which flopped on the tarmac you know where — is not qualitied for SOS.
HRC is not a team player, never has been. As we recall, she allegedly flopped the health plan Bill gave her because no one In DC could or would work with her.
HRC is same ole,same ole — and still too personally ambitious for the presidency to belong to her — or to the latest Clinton to be floated for the POTUS – Chelsea Clinton. The Dynasty refuses to die.
HRC, whose talking points against Sen.Obama fed the McCain campaign for almost two years — will have the power to undermine the man for whom it is said she felt only great contempt . .
BUT this is still only a rumor. I personally wish that President Elect Obama would put a sock in his leaks. And that he would show some loyalty to those who fought so hard for him — like the man HRC’s surrogate Carville villified for his Obama endorsement — Bill Richardson.
In 2012,we may need BR again.

So, to paraphrase the probable future Chair of the DNC Donna Brazile, why not Stop the Hate? No one appears to be immune to the bilious attacks. The Oborg even seems to be defying their beloved leader in opposing his Secretary of State offer to Clinton. The only answer I can offer is that these demented animals need somewhere to channel all the hatred they amassed during the past 2 years. You cannot be that bitter and vitriolic for that long and then suddenly stop. That probably means I should have some tolerance and compassion for these poor tortured troglodytes, but I can no longer muster any empathy or understanding. Instead, I offer the Oborg this thought:

You did not defeat the PUMA movement on November 4th!

You read that right! You couldn’t do it. McCain/Plain was defeated by our old nemesis, the NeoCons. The facts support it; they stayed home in droves! The supposed legions of new registered Democrats (courtesy of ACORN) never materialized. The other voters that never materialized were the Conservatives. According to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza (yet another h/t to Not Your Sweetie):

much of the Republicans’ permanent political class has concluded that electing Sen. John McCain as president would have amounted to applying a Band-Aid to a gaping wound. Given the state of the party — bereft of a signature new idea and without many fresh faces — plenty of Republican operatives have come to subscribe to what I’d call the Ra’s al Ghul theory of rebuilding: Ghul, a villain in the movie “Batman Begins,” advocates destroying the city of Gotham to rebuild it from the ground up. “It is beyond saving and must be allowed to die,” he says — a sentiment echoed by many Republicans these days, who argue that hitting rock bottom was the only way to allow new faces and ideas to emerge.

What’s more, the final numbers seem to indicate that had Hillary Clinton been the Democratic candidate, she would have slaughtered John McCain according to CBS:

As voters left the polls on Election Day, many were asked how they would have voted if the election match-up were between Hillary Clinton and John McCain rather than Barack Obama and McCain. 52 percent said they would have backed the former Democratic candidate; 41 percent would have voted for McCain, wider than Obama’s 7-point margin over McCain.

Snip

While 85% of Obama voters said they would have voted for Clinton had she been the Democratic candidate, 13% would not have supported her including 6% who said they would have backed McCain and 7% who said they would not have voted. (Emphasis mine)

In short, one man can be considered responsible for Barack Obama’s victory: George W. Bush

The Washington Post concludes that:

…a look at this year’s political atmospherics suggests that the environment was so badly poisoned that no Republican — not Mitt Romney, not Mike Huckabee, not even the potential future GOP savior, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — could have beaten Obama on Nov. 4.

Why not? Three words (and a middle initial): President George W. Bush.

snip

Enter Palin, who was embraced with a bear hug by the party’s conservative base. All of a sudden, cultural conservatives were thrilled at the chance to put “one of their own” in the White House. In fact, of the 60 percent of voters who told exit pollsters that McCain’s choice of Palin was a “factor” in their final decision, the Arizona senator won 56 percent to 43 percent.

For skittish conservatives looking for more evidence that McCain understood their needs and concerns, Palin did the trick. It’s hard to imagine conservatives rallying to McCain — even to the relatively limited extent that they did — without Palin on the ticket. And without the base, McCain’s loss could have been far worse.

So what’s my point? Well, it’s threefold:

1) An admittedly immature STFU to the Oborg

2) To establish that we PUMAs did our part to defeat Barack Obama

3) To remind PUMAs everywhere that we forgot who we should have been fighting and debunk an old adage: the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.

It’s time to start ignoring the Obots and realizing how ineffectual they have become. We still have work to do.

THE SCANNER-Politics, 11/06/08: NM Elections; PUMA Integrity; LA Times Crapola on Post-Racial Promise; Class; Movie–“Rope”

Note: We are on moderation for awhile so that we may have a hassle-free community.

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Here in NM-CD2 Bill Richardson worked his magic and Harry Teague, the oil guy was elected. The seat usually goes Republican, but Teague is chummy with Republicans like Steve Pearce, who lost the Senate race. Teague and Pearce are in the same line of business and from the same locale. Teague headed a board of some sort in Lea County and was beloved by Republican members. Enough said.  Money came into this race this time, whereas last time, the ex-pastor Al Kissling was not part of the club and he got nothing…except well over 30% of the vote against Pearce.  This time around, he was shut out of the primary.

I wrote extensively about Teague earlier so do a Search of the blog for the gory details…

Tom Udall never set foot down here in Southern NM, except for a closed fundraiser with the money people.  Thank you, Tom Udall!

I did not vote for either of these people because of, in the case of Teague, his past history and close money connections to Richardson and because, in the case of Udall, his slighting of this part of the state.

Locally, the Democrats pretty much took it all except a couple of offices.  My local incumbent state rep returns to Santa Fe and will be joined by a another newly elected Democrat.

I haven’t check the NM political blogs, so I don’t know what the scuttlebutt is on Richardson as a potential Secretary of State. Let him go.  He pulled a few “Obama” tricks down here and I won’t miss him if he goes. Maybe he’ll get lost somewhere in the Middle East and will never be heard from again…

By the way, the problems with absentee ballots not arriving has been forgotten. The local rag reported that voting went smoothly, no problems…Down the memory hole…

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I have to say I really enjoyed Edge of Forever’s (Not Your Sweetie) take on the election and the indications that she hasn’t dropped the mantle of the PUMA.  The little graphic which says “Don’t Follow the Crowd, Stay True to Yourself” at the link captures my feeling completely. I believe in keeping my INTEGRITY, which means we’re going to keep eyeing everything hurled at us from DC with great suspicion.  Edge is one my FAVORITES–maybe because I’m a Jersey girl who grew up about 10 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.  I think we share a common attitude…

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Question of the day: How far down do the expectations get “dialed down,” Pelosi??  As far down as when you “took impeachment off the table” when you took the House in 2006? When you didn’t lift a finger to change Medicare Part D as Kennedy had vowed from the Senate side?  When you let Karl Rove get off without answering the subpoenas the Judiciary Committee had voted to issue? Reality is going to bite a lot of Obamacrats in the butt…

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