The Past Week(s): December 14-27, Recaps and Random Thoughts (“Heart” Series; Betty Currie Returns; “Money as Debt”; FDA Caves to Pressure, Antibiotics Back IN Food Animals as of 11/30)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve been busy over the last week with our “Heart” series (and there will be two pieces in the same vein over the New Year holiday) but here are a couple of items that have caught our eye recently.

***

In case you missed this: From the “you must be kidding department”:

Remember Betty Currie? Personal secretary to Bill Clinton who testified 5 times before a grand jury during the Lewinsky scandal?  With a lot of the Obama team former Clinton Administration officials, I guess this should be no surprise at this point.

Obama Team Has Forged Another Link With Clintons

Answering the phones these days for the co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition, John D. Podesta, is none other than Betty Currie.

Emerging from retirement in southern Maryland to volunteer at Obama headquarters, Ms. Currie was the personal secretary to President Bill Clinton, who became caught up in an independent counsel investigation into his trysts with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Since leaving the White House, Ms. Currie, 69, has shied from publicity and kept a low profile in Hollywood, Md., where she lives with her husband, Bob, and Socks, the presidential cat, which she took with her after Mr. Clinton left office.

Ms. Currie, who works with local nonprofit organizations and serves on the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary’s County, declined to discuss her work for Mr. Obama or her recent life, citing a transition office policy against volunteers giving interviews.

Compelled to testify to a grand jury five times about Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie is widely admired in Clinton circles for her loyalty and effectiveness.

Mr. Podesta, who was Mr. Clinton’s last White House chief of staff, said it was natural for him to call Ms. Currie back to service.

“Of course I asked her because in the 30 years we have worked together, I have never known anyone with more grace, dedication and public spirit than Betty,” he said. “And she has one mean Rolodex.”

Yup, that Rolodex must be something to see…along with all that grace, dedication and public spirit!  Wonder if Socks has any insights to offer about what’s going on in that transition team?

***

So, with the huge spending being planned by Team Obama, my mother is talking about the Depression a lot more.  Then there’s the concern over to whether to buy gold and silver or to get a Swiss bank account (Swiss francs reputedly offer a  stable hedge against the loss of the dollar’s value).

A Canadian visitor named Manuela suggested this animated video which explains what money is and how it is created in response to our discussion of  The History Channel’s recent program on “The Crash” (which was not the greatest).  (See “The Past Week: December 7-13” below.) It’s the sort of thing that anyone who doesn’t have a clue about the current financial crisis should see…

The film is by Paul Grignon and is called “Money as Debt” and you can see it here.

***

If you eat animal products, you might want to know this. Two days before Thanksgiving, the FDA REVERSED the ban on the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, including chickens, cattle, and pigs, effective November 30th.  As reported by the the non-profit American Association for Health Freedom:

FDA Reverses Its Order on Antibiotics in Animals

…In December 2007, a coalition of consumer, environmental, science, and humane groups known as Keep Antibiotics Working wrote to the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, urging further FDA action. Their letter presented evidence that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock contributed to the MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) epidemic in Europe, and showed that the effectiveness of antibiotics against deadly bacteria was questionable at best. They cited data that a new strain of MRSA bacteria in pigs was linked to 20% of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands and Canada, though there are insufficient studies to make that link in the U.S., where MRSA cases have recently surged. The coalition also estimated that 70% of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used as feed additives in chicken, pigs, and cattle.

This past summer the FDA instituted an order banning the off-label use of drugs in food-producing animals, while noting that the same family of drugs was important to treat disease in humans. This fall, the FDA echoed again the same sentiment, taking note of the increasing evidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle. But the FDA’s action met with harsh industry criticism. Pfizer argued that the drugs were essential for preventing disease in animals. Other groups, including the Animal Population Health Institute, the KS Health Department, the National Turkey Federation, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, also criticized the FDA’s ban, which was to go into effect on November 30.

So despite the mounting concern over antibiotic resistance—which is known to endanger human life—on November 25 the FDA revoked their earlier order, to the profound dismay of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition and researchers like Dr. Stuart Levy at Tufts University, who leads the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Dr. Levy has collected a considerable body of evidence to educate his colleagues and consumers about the dangers of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics both in humans and in animal use.

The AAHF is working with other groups to see reform of the FDA and has a petition up at ReformFDA.org.

Now, with Tom Daschle heading Health and Human Services, which encompasses the FDA, should we expect a reversal of this decision? From Daschle (and wife) who have had some ties through their lobbying activities that might point to other interests? See here for details.

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THE PAST WEEK

*By Grail Guardian

**Contribution by Chicago Correspondent Leslie

***By American Lassie

After “Aunt Benazir’s” Assassination, Fatima Bhutto Still Fighting to Reveal the Truth

6. The Heart of the Season: Celebrating the Season with Light…New Mexico Luminarias

*5. The Heart of the Season: Hats for Grail Mama and Friends Beyond Family

4. The Heart of the Season: A Dog’s Purpose and Justice for Karley and All Who Deserve It

3. The Heart of the Season: Weeping for the “Unnatural History” of Chimpanzees (Updated 2X)

2. The Heart of the Season: Birds of the Solstice and Signs (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Katie in the Christmas Tree by kenosha Marge

Winter Solstice, 1992: The Final Flight of a Soul by InsightAnalytical-GRL

1. The Heart of the Season: Wise Words from a Young Old Soul

Taking Our Power, Taking Our Lives: Women Under Threat (Updated 1X)

**Chicago Style Update…

Of Robots and Women and Our Current Life in the Village of Stepford (Antidote on the Way?)(A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Women, You’re About To Be Replaced By…a ROBOT! by InsightAnalytical-GRL

Women Will Never Be Equal by kenosha Marge

***On Reflection: These Are The Times That Try Men’s (and Women’s) Souls

W.A.M. Asks — Who Needs Christmas When You Can Worship “THE ONE”?

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)

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.

***

The Scanner-Politics 11/20/08 (CHANGE?? Daschle at HHS, His Wife and Lobbying; Organic Consumers Org. So Ticked at the Thought of Vilsack at Agriculture That Their Petition is Already Going Strong; Froma Harrop on “Palin’s Next Career Move” Will Raise Your Blood Pressure) (Updated 1X)

So, Tom Daschle is back as the presumed nominee for Health and Human Services. Oh, boy, I wonder if HIS spouse, Linda Hall Daschle will be publicly vetted a la Bill Clinton? If you read the article up at MSNBC, there’s some scurrying around already…

In fact, Daschle stayed in the capital city after his defeat, becoming a public policy adviser and member of the legislative and public policy group at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Daschle isn’t registered as a lobbyist. He advises clients on such issues as health care, financial services, taxes and trade, according to the firm’s Web site.

Health care interests, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth, are among the firm’s lobbying clients.

Wife has lobbying interests
One area of review of his appointment will be the lobbying connections of his wife, Linda Hall Daschle, who has worked mostly on behalf of airline-related companies over the years.

NBC also confirmed Wednesday that she will leave her job in a lobbying firm, where she has specialized in aviation and defense issues. She will reportedly go on to start her own public policy firm, where she will not lobby.

So Tom just advises, and doesn’t lobby.  OK.  And he’ll be overseing health care “reform.”  OK.

As for his wife, amazingly, the Washington Post doesn’t seem to have any articles about her to peruse.  Odd, considering she has had long career at the Federal Aviation Commission and as an aviation lobbyist…But USA Today still has a piece from 2001 titled “Daschle, lobbyist wife vow to keep careers separate“.

From the article:

Tom Daschle’s rise to the helm of the Senate spotlights an awkward fact of life for Washington’s power couples: When professional lives intertwine, ethical conflicts can follow.

The South Dakota Democrat’s wife, Linda, is a lobbyist who mostly represents airlines, aircraft makers and other aviation-related interests — all of which have a steady stream of issues before the Senate. As majority leader, Tom Daschle has the power to set the Senate’s agenda.

snip

One client that attracted attention because it was outside Daschle’s normal area of expertise was Schering-Plough, the pharmaceutical giant that sought unsuccessfully last year to extend the patent life of its allergy drug, Claritin. Several ethics groups said the lucrative lobbying arrangement smacked of buying special access.

Back in 2004 when Daschle was running for the Senate again, a blog named South Dakota Politics, which was keeping an eye on Daschle and his opponent, John Thune, took on Ms. Daschle’s lobbying interests and the connections to Senate actions.

The October 26, 2004 entry is particularly interesting (note–the Roll Call article is no longer available):

Roll Call reports brouhaha surrounding Linda Daschle

Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, has a report today headlined “GOP Makes Issue of Daschle’s Wife.” Excerpt:

The Thune campaign took out a full-page ad in Saturday’s Argus Leader, the newspaper of Sioux Falls, that excerpted a report filed with the Senate Office of Public Records showing Linda Daschle’s name on the form for her firm’s lobbying on behalf of Schering-Plough. At the time the company was seeking a patent extension on its anti-allergy drug, Claritin.Noting that the company paid $470,000 to Daschle’s firm, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, the Thune ad ends with the line: “Only one candidate has personally profited from big drug companies. That candidate is Tom Daschle.”

The South Dakota Republican Party also sent out a four-page mailer that went after Linda Daschle’s lobbying for airlines that benefited from a post-Sept. 11, 2001, bailout supported by Sen. Daschle and all Congressional leaders as well as by Thune himself.

Thune’s aides stayed on the offensive Monday, suggesting their attacks were based on stories from mainstream or left-leaning publications such as The Washington Monthly, Slate and L.A. Weekly. Dick Wadhams, Thune’s campaign manager, said the “clear conflict of interest Linda Daschle” is involved in was first aired “long before this campaign started.”

“There is literally only one candidate in this race who has personally profited from pharmaceutical companies,” Wadhams reiterated.

It should be noted that Thune’s print ad criticizing Daschle for personally profiting from pharmaceutical companies came AFTER Daschle began running television ads last Wednesday lying about Thune lobbying for “big drug companies.” In reality, Thune only lobbies for South Dakota companies.

It’s interesting to observe that the first candidate to bring up the issues of lobbying and abortion in television ads has been Daschle, not Thune.

Daschle lost in 2004, and this information apparently turned off enough voters to “make it so.”  This and that big house that’s pictured on the blog and his declaration as D.C. as his place of residence (dubbed “Mansiongate”)…and the lie about Thune’s lobbying. That latter point alone qualifies him for a job with the Obama camp….

According to OpenSecrets.org, Ms. Daschle has apparently continued her relationship with Baker, Donelson et al.  If you want to see a boatload of connections, however, check out Muckety‘s extensive relationship maps.  (Play around with these and be sure to pass the mouse over the wheel of connections to get the full information. Click on Baker, Donelson, then at the bottom click on “47 lobby firm”).  And, yes, you’ll see hospitals and health outfits galore, Howard Baker, Lamar Alexander, etc. etc.–it’s so jam-packed you can’t even see all of them…until you click on individual firm names and you see even more! It’s very interesting!

This info isn’t the most up-to-date and I couldn’t find anything about Ms. Daschle’s recent activities.

But the point is, even if nothing happened with the Daschles and Senate business, there should be scrutiny. And, if there is scrutiny, there might be a bit of unpleasantness for the newly-minted “ethical” standards of the Obama crowd. Of course, Ms. Daschle is leaving her current firm to create her own public policy outfit now.  Are you reassured yet? And all those contacts of Tom’s and his new post gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling!

***

On the subject of health, the Organic Consumers Association has been up in arms about the possible appointment of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Seems Vilsack is no friend of organic foods.  The organic foods industry is growing quickly so you’d think consumers would see some more positive steps taken to enhance a healthy food supply.  OOPS!!!!!

Tell President-Elect Obama: NO Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture

Tell President-Elect Obama: No to Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture

It has been widely reported that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is being considered for the Secretary of Agriculture position in the Obama Administration. Vilsack is no friend of organic food and farming and his appointment would represent a major disappointment for the Organic Consumers Association and its members. But there is still time to make your voice heard.

1) Contact the office of President-Elect Obama and urge him to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture that reflects your organic values

2) Call office of President-Elect Obama at 202-540-3000 and make sure your concerns about Vilsack be heard.

3) Sign the OCA’s petition below to President-Elect Obama and urge him to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture that is supportive of organic food and farming.

(MORE)


I guess I have to ask, how’s all this CHANGE hitting you, Obamacrats?

By the way, I’ve added my name to that petition.  The Obama crowd hasn’t even taken office yet and I’m already sending in petitions….SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!!

***

Another thing that is STILL not changing is the Sarah Palin bashing. When I saw this screed in Wednesday’s edition of the local rag, I went ballistic.  Have had “agita” ever since.  Where the F*CK does this woman come from?  And since when did Palin express any interest whatsoever in taking the path upward via a Senate seat? More insults abound. Froma Harrop repeats every snide comment about clothes and the “real thoughts” of the Republican talk show guests that she can muster. Never a mention of the the 57 states or location of the Great Lakes according to Obama, by the way.

This really PISSED ME OFF.  Some snippets:

Palin’s Next Career Move

…For many of us, the night terror of Palin being second in line to become president is gone. We can think straight again. And so can Republican leaders.

…The sands of the egg timer seem to be running out on Palin’s moment as a serious national political figure. Even in Alaska, the stars no longer line up in her favor.

Palin returns home at a time when falling oil prices have crimped any petro-state executive’s ability to spread the wealth and take credit for it. She and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have that in common.

Her divisive remarks during the campaign caused Democrats in Anchorage to doubt the sincerity of her seeming bipartisan approach to governing. They will be less docile. Face it: Palin has a snowball’s chance in Hawaii of recouping her formerly high approval ratings in Alaska.

…Her hope of staying in the big game was to become a U.S. senator.

…While Palin’s political prospects seem increasingly constrained, she has a cloudless future as an incendiary TV talk show host.

…For all her bashing of the East Coast and the media, Palin clearly loves being there and talking to them. Good use for a $5,000 Valentino jacket, alas.

As Captain Potter of M.A.S.H. used to say…..HORSE PUCKEY!!

***

UPDATE via Chicago Correspondent Leslie,  11/20/08 A.M.

Well, it seems our skepticism about Tom Daschle’s “non-lobbying” activities is being picked up in the media.

Daschle pick may test conflict-of-interest pledge

Ex-senator’s health care advising could force recusal on many issues

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of former Senator Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services posed new questions on Wednesday about how broadly the new administration would apply Mr. Obama’s campaign promises to limit potential conflicts of interest among his appointees.

At issue is Mr. Daschle’s work since leaving the Senate four years ago as a board member of the Mayo Clinic and a highly paid adviser to health care clients at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird.

In a detailed list of campaign promises, Mr. Obama pledged that “no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

MORE


Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

~~By Grail Guardian

Editor’s Note: Part 1 of “The Lineup” has been added to this post to make the information it contains easily available.–See the Part 1 for the comments to the original posting.–GRL

After Part 1 of this article was published, we received several requests/suggestions for more individuals to be included in the hit parade. As with Part 1, please circulate it to friends, family, co-workers, casual acquaintances, or anyone who needs to be educated about the truth the MSM has kept buried. And per a special request from reader Song, I would like to challenge each and every one of you to ask 10 people to vote against Barack Obama on November 4th.

The Lineup: Part 2

clip_image002Alexi Giannoulis: Became Illinois State Treasurer after Barack Obama vouched for him. He has been described as a “man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure”. Giannoulis “pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid,” Charles Hurt reported September 5, 2007, in the New York Post. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported, “Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael ‘Jaws’ Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.

“Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.” States Congresspedia

clip_image004Jim Johnson: Former Fannie Mae Chair that was hired to vet Vice Presidential candidates for the Obama Campaign. Johnson allegedly received $7 million from Countrywide Mortgage, one of the biggest players in the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. He received below market mortgage rates form the lender that Obama railed against personally:

“This is a company that is as responsible as any firm in the country for the housing crisis we’re facing today. When Countrywide Financial was sold a few months ago, its top two executives got a combined $19 million. These are the folks who are responsible for infecting the economy and helping to create a home foreclosure crisis….They get a $19 million bonus while people are at risk of losing their home. What’s wrong with this picture?”

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Emil Jones: President of the Illinois Senate and Obama’s political mentor. When in the State Senate, all of Obama’s accomplishments were in his 7th year. Jones was discovered to have handed Obama all these bills after being worked on by other legislators. Jones is credited with the statement “I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.” When asked who that might be, Jones replied “Barack Obama”.

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David Axelrod: Chicago political consultant and Chief Strategist and Media Advisor to Obama, Axelrod has worked on the campaigns of John Edwards, Deval Patrick, and Eliot Spitzer. He also owns ASK Public Strategies, a firm credited with mastering the tactic of “Astroturfing” or organizing a political effort and making it look like a grassroots effort. Wikipedia describes it as follows: “Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research.”

clip_image010Tom Daschle: Former Democratic Senate Majority and Minority leader who was voted out of office by South Dakotans despite his presitgious position. Daschle is now a nationa Co-Chair for the Obama campaign. According to Wikipedia: “On February 13, 2006, Daschle became one of two Democrats (with Rep. Jane Harman of California) to endorse a warrantless domestic surveillance program conducted under the authority of President George W. Bush by the National Security Agency (NSA).”

clip_image012Percy Sutton: This 87-year-old icon of the Civil Rights Movement recently recounted a story where he claimed he was asked to write a recommendation for Barack Obama to enter Harvard. Sutton’s quote follows:

“I was introduced to him by a friend who was raising money for him and the friend’s name was Dr Khalid al Mansour from Texas. He is the principle adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama. He wrote to me about him and his introduction was ‘there is a young man that has applied to Harvard and I know that you have a few friends left there because you used to go up there to speak, would you please write a letter in support of him?’ That’s before Obama decided to run. And he interjected the advice that Obama had passed the requirements, had taken, and passed, the requirements necessary to get into Harvard and become President of the Law Review. That’s before he ever ran for anything. I wrote a letter in support of him to my friends at Harvard saying to them I thought there was a genius that was going to be available and I surely hoped they would treat him kindly.”

clip_image014Khalid al Mansour/Donald Warden: The mysterious man Percy Sutton referred to in his interview is somewhat difficult to identify (a very common name in several countries). The al Mansour that is also known as Donald Warden has ties to both the radical Black Panthers and has served on the board of a bank in Nigeria that may have connections to money raised for Barack Obama. For more detail, I recommend the following 2 articles, and bear in mind again the caveat “follow the money”: (photo not readily available)

More at Texas Darlin’s blog:

Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al Mansour

Khalid al Mansour/Donald Warden: Obama Money Man in Nigeria?

The ACORN connection:

While not all directly associated with Barack Obama, these people formed the basis of his political philosophy and influenced him heavily, sometimes via theory, often via a strong organizational connection. Understanding who they are leads to a better understanding of the 2008 Presidential election.

clip_image016Saul Alinsky: Writing a brief overview of Alinsky is nearly impossible; so I strongly urge you do look into the varied sides of this man further. That being said, Alinsky was a radical and community organizer (sound familiar?) who started the movement that grew into the SDS and ACORN (among other groups). Perhaps his own words explain his ideas best:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Alinsky served as mentor to many (including Hillary Clinton, who is said to have studied him and then continued on her political career, and Barack Obama, who still uses his techniques on a daily basis in this election), and put the fear of God into just as many (he one traveled to Oakland, CA and the local politicos were so shaken that they actually passed a resolution to ban him from the city). His talent was for organizing the poor into powerful political forces that can combat government and replace it with Socialism. Barack Obama is said to have taken Alinsky training when he began his Community Organizer career in Chicago. To understand Saul Alinsky and his followers is to gain much insight into Obama.

clip_image018Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven: Columbia University radicals and creators of the so-called “Cloward-Piven strategy,” which called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants, beyond what the system could bear. The idea was that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism. This concept was used effectively in New York City, and was cited as one of the causes of the city’s financial collapse as welfare rolls jumped from 150,000 to over a million in just 10 years.

(Photo not readily available)

clip_image020Wade Rathke: The founder and chief organizer of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a group Obama has worked for and represented in lawsuits, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Rathke’s brother Dale was reported to have embezzled over $940,000 from ACORN and it’s affiliates, which Wade did not report to the full board and kept hidden for 8 years. ACORN is under investigation for voter registration fraud in 18 states, and past employees have admitted to simply making up names of supposed voters. Many consider ACORN to be a leftist extremist organization using the principles of Saul Alinsky and Cloward & Piven.

clip_image022George Wiley: Mentor of Wade Rathke, founder and leader of the radical ACORN, best know for his use of the Cloward & Piven strategy. Wiley is known as the Founder of the National Welfare Reform Organization, and as a pioneer of the radical “franchise” concept, now used by ACORN and other groups, which helps local activists quickly build local outlets of national activist organizations by using church groups and other pre-existing community groups.

clip_image024Carl Davidson: Former President of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn (a precursor to the Weather Underground), Davidson is credited with organizing the 2002 Anti-War rally where Obama gave his infamous speech against the Iraq war. Davidson is a self-styled “progressive for Obama” according to his blog http://carldavidson.blogspot.com/

clip_image026Claire McCaskill: This Missouri Senator has supported Obama since her children shamed her into it in the beginning of 2008. McCaskill has been a vocal supporter, and her name was bandied about as a potential VP pick by Obama. She has been accused by ACORN workers in MO of using the organization to bring out new voters to support her instead of registering new voters or getting them to support a minimum wage bill as they were hired to do. The workers were all fired from ACORN after refusing to campaign for McCaskill.

clip_image028Herbert and Marion Sandler: A New York lawyer and Wall Street analyst that sold Golden West Financial (GDW), one of the largest savings and loans in the nation to Wachovia Bank just before their portfolio dragged the S & L under. Wachovia failed in the recent Wall Street crisis as a result of the high number of sub-prime mortgages it acquired in its $24 billion purchase of GDW. The Sandlers personally made billions (yes, that’s with a B), and went on to fund organizations like ACORN and the International Crisis Group, the staff of which is said to form the basis of the future State Department of an Obama Administration.

clip_image030Peter Lewis: Chairman of Progressive Insurance who along with George Soros gave $23 million to Moveon.org, and formed a group called The Democracy Alliance, both strong ACORN supporters. In 2004 he was one of the top donors to 527 groups promoting a far left agenda. Lewis describes himself as “half screwball, half businessman” and once showed up to a City Council meeting wearing a Lone Ranger outfit.

For a look at ACORN on video, see Uppity Woman’s post from 9/30/2008 “Video:Barack Obama and ‘Let’s Take Over The World” Acorn .'”

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Part 1–A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

~~By Grail Guardian

For months now, we’ve been reading and hearing from the Obama campaign that it’s not experience that matters for Barack Obama (whose paper-thin resume includes being a Community Organizer, Chair of the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and running for public office), but rather the excellent judgment that he displays. In light of the continued media frenzy favoring Obama and shielding him from public scrutiny, I decided that it would be timely to revisit that judgment in the form of the people Obama associates with professionally and personally (both past and present). I personally have been able to find few people that are close to the Illinois Senator that I would want anywhere near the Oval Office, but I’ll let you be the judge. I intend this article to be part of a much needed grassroots effort to educate those that only get their news from the Main Stream Media or do not follow politics closely, so feel free to link it, print it, e-mail it, or do whatever you need to do to get the word out (giving proper credit and/or links to Insight Analytical and myself is always appreciated). You can consider it an Obama 101 Picture Book Primer and a serious attempt to save this great nation.

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A Tiny Light in the Darkness…(Prof. Andrew J. Bacevich on Moyers, 8/15))

~~Posted by kenoshaMarge

One of the few news programs on television that I try to watch regularly is Bill Moyers Journal. I may not always agree but I am usually informed. Some no longer watch him because they believe he has been in the tank for Obama. I understand that and somewhat agree. Still I find many of his programs worthwhile and continue to watch them.

I’m somewhat picky so I decide which of his programs I will or will not watch. On the August the 8th one of his guests was columnist Bob Herbert. I find Clinton/bashing, Obama/loving columnists like Herbert loathsome and so I didn’t watch Moyers that night. Like I say, I’m picky. I’m willing to learn but not from someone with so little credibility as Herbert.

What I like most about the program is that it is not done in sound bites and talking points. That alone would make it worth a watch.

What the heck can you learn about anything in15-30 seconds? Obama good, Clinton evil, McCain old, very old, maverick and oh by the way; storm come, houses blow down. What the hell is this, media for 3 year olds? No, it can’t be because Sesame Street informed and taught the kiddies much better.

Moyers mostly aims for fair and honest. His aim is something off a little but whose aim is perfect? That he even tries is an accomplishment in itself.

Just because I don’t always agree with him doesn’t make him wrong, a liar, a fool or any other insult we seem to sling around with great frequency towards those that have the audacity to disagree with us. As adults it behooves us to allow that not everyone is going to agree with us on every subject all the time, even if we would prefer things that way. Echo chambers teach us nothing that we didn’t all ready know. If you prefer the sound of your own voice above all other things, echo away.

Friday, August 15 was a particularly interesting program for me. Moyers had only one guest, Andrew J. Bacevich. At the risk of making my ignorance abundantly clear, I had never heard of the man before. My loss.

The program went by too fast. If you didn’t see it this link will take you to PBS.org and the interview. It is well worth the watch.  http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html

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