If you can't field anyone, not one single person, who can seriously run for president, you're not a serious American political party, and you don't get to raise your voice at the table. Ilargi
Workers' World: Initial unemployment claims were up 17,000 at 361,000, as new claims have essentially leveled of over the last year. Over 2 million long-term unemployed former workers will run out of benefits on December 30th, officially becoming un-people', as Congress celebrates Christmas and the New Year.
Actions, Not Words: For four years and counting, Obama has worked to find a way to make premature and unnecessary cuts in Social Security and Medicare. Don't look at his words, he's a politician. Look at what he's done, especially the repeated and unnecessary concessions to the Republicans. It's not about the deficit, at least the chained-CPI COLA planned for Social Security, because the program is not a part of the deficit. So there must be some other explanation.
Care & Feeding: House Republicans, ever compassionate, are trying to cut the federal government's aid to those stricken by Superstorm Sandy to less than $24 billion, even though both NY and NJ each suffered far more losses than that and certainly more than the $60 billion being discussed in the Senate. According to the GOP, the US cannot afford to rebuild. They want to completely sever the relationship between the people and their government.
Piece Talks:Israel's increased building in East Jerusalem is clearly intended to prevent a two-state solution. The alternative is more conflict, more bombings, more deaths – and Netanyahu knows it.
Rationing Medical Care: Last year, 1 in 3 Americans skipped getting medical attention because they couldn't afford it. A decade ago it was only 19%. And it's not just the uninsured; 21% of those with Medicare/Medicaid forgo treatment due to cost.
Lights, Camera, Military Aid: As the US continues to build its defenses against China, it is undertaking ‘nascent steps’ to open up military ties with Myanmar. That usually means an arms deal. Will the US 'forget' the brutal human rights record of the military leadership? You betcha.
Dirty Laundry List: Conservatives who parade around talking about the sanctity of life and the abomination of abortion are uniformly in favor of: Gun violence, war, drone attacks, Torture. Executions, tainted food, poorly tested drugs, miner's deaths, mountaintop removal coal mining, global warming, corporate personhood, nuclear plants, unsafe workplaces, polluted air, polluted water, infrastructure collapses, lack of health care, poverty, starvation, natural disasters, global warming. Extinction.
Big Yawn: Half of sleeping pills' effect is the placebo effect.
On Site: So you go a US hospital and get the right surgical procedure done (20 times a week someone's not so lucky) on the right appendage (also missed 20 times a week. So far so good. Did they leave something extra behind when they closed up? (Yep, 39 times a week.) These totally preventable events lead to death 6.6% of the time and permanent injury 32.9% of the time. Take a buddy, it might help.
Clarification: Reports that American Electric Power – the country's largest coal customer – is being forced to close its coal-fired Big Sandy power plant because of “strict new environmental regulations” are absolutely not true. The 'new' regulations are the 40-year old Clean Air Act, and the expiration of the grandfathering that let AEP continue to pollute for decades. Celebrate.
You Can't Go Home Again: When the US wanted Diego Garcia as an outpost of the empire, Great Britain forcibly removed the 1,500 natives. After 40 years of trying to return to their homeland, the European Court of Rights has said they have no right to do so – at least none that could possibly prevail against the US.
Porn O'Graph: Chain, chain, chain...
The Parting Shot: