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When he was good

From Rod Stewart’s first solo album (1969), released not long after he broke with the great guitarist Jeff Beck. This was before Stewart stopped singing songs about working-class characters and turned into a Hollywood poof (“Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”). More here.

Katrina and Black History Month

The disastrous storm’s devastation of poor black sections of New Orleans sparked creation of ColorOfChange, dedicated to the rebuilding of Gulf Coast communities.

It’s all here, at the only news source you can really trust!

With the most Trusted Name in Fake Internet News… your friend and mine… the man with the plan, the flower of the hour of power in a sexy shower…

AP TICKER! [makes fake applause noises]

Naomi Wolf’s Madonna crush

The Material Girl “is that forbidden thing, the Nietzschean creative woman,” Wolf writes. Poor Friedrich must be spinning in his grave… More here.

Cantor strikes again

My question when I see stories like this is how one of the slimiest creatures in the GOP’s reptile house can win a majority of votes in an honest election, even in a conservative Congressional district:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) faced criticism on Wednesday for introducing a version of the STOCK Act which many said had severely weakened the legislation.

“Rep. Cantor has opposed the STOCK Act from the start and his bill reflects that,” said Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “The majority leader is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is trying to take credit for finally responding to an issue that has outraged Americans, while
behind closed doors he has taken the side of Wall Street and neutered the tough Senate bill.”

In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 93 to 3 last week to approve the STOCK Act.

The bill prohibits lawmakers and their staff from trading stocks based on information they learn during congressional briefings and related work, among others things. It corrects the ambiguity in existing laws by empowering the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to ensure that members of Congress and their staff can be held accountable for illegally trading on non-public information.

Cantor’s version of the legislation, however, did not include provisions that require registration by political intelligence consultants, strip pension benefits from corrupt members of Congress and close loopholes in the nation’s anti-corruption laws.

Uh, no

Seriously?

The White House is “all talk, no action” on moving toward compromise, said Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “There has been a lot of talk in the last couple days about compromise, but it sounds to us like a way to turn down the heat, to placate people without doing anything in particular,” Picarello said. “We’re not going to do anything until this is fixed.”

That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for “good Catholic business people who can’t in good conscience cooperate with this.”

Picking and choosing

Isn’t it interesting, how Republicans pick and choose which moral positions they decide they want to support? Too bad they don’t knuckle under to pressure from the Catholic church on policies like this – and that the church doesn’t work quite as strenuously to push social justice issues as it does with those having to do with reproduction:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been quietly lobbying Congress to keep extended unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless. It’s common for faith groups to lobby Congress on economic issues. Catholics, however, are better known politically for their strong opposition to abortion.

On Monday, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives urging them to focus on the economic security of workers at year’s end.

“When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families,” Blaire wrote. “Therefore, I strongly urge you and your colleagues to find effective ways to assure continuing Unemployment Insurance and Emergency Unemployment Compensation to protect jobless workers and their families.”

Democrats and Republicans are battling over legislation that would reauthorize federal unemployment insurance for people who exhaust six months of state benefits. Since 2008 the federal government has provided extra weeks of benefits, eventually totaling 73 in some states. Democrats have said they want to keep the extra weeks, while Republicans have pushed a plan to cut extended compensation down to 33 weeks. Both sides say want a reauthorization; without an agreement of some kind, as many as 1.8 million workers will be left hanging in January.

Blaire’s letter doesn’t specifically endorse either approach, though it does note that the average jobless spell duration topped 10 months in November.

Rev. Paul Sherry, director of the Washington office of a religious labor advocacy nonprofit known as Interfaith Worker Justice, said his group opposed the Republican approach, which in addition to shortening benefits would allow states to drug test the jobless.

Diet soda

It’s bad for a lot of reasons (bone health is another) but this is a pretty good reason to switch to water:

Diet soda may seem to be a healthier alternative to calorie-laden regular soda, but a new study shows that people who regularly drink diet soft drinks may be putting their hearts at risk.

Those who drank diet soda on a daily basis were at an increased risk of experiencing stroke, heart attack and death due to these conditions, according to the study.

“Our results suggest a potential association between daily diet soft drink consumption and vascular outcomes,” study researcher Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said in a statement.
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Clint, how could you?

The GOP strategist was offended, and it shows

High-level Republican propagandists are still suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance resulting from the Chrysler ad, shown during the Super Bowl, in which Clint Eastwood — a hero of Ronald Reagan — praises the Detroit auto industry and Americans workers for fighting hard to recover from the collapse of the economy in 2008.

From Raw Story.com:

“They almost lost everything,” Eastwood says [in the ad]. “But we all pulled together. Now Motor City is fighting again.”

“How do we come from behind? How do we come together? And how do we win?” the actor asks. “Detroit’s showing us it can be done. And what’s true about them, is true about all of us. This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again and when we do, the world is going to hear the roar of our engines. Yeah, it’s halftime, America, and our second half is about to begin…”

Fox News host Jon Scott on Monday told Rove that Democrats were celebrating the ad as evidence of the effectiveness of President Barack Obama’s bold decision to bailout the auto companies instead of letting them go under.

“This is a sign of what happens when you have government getting in bed with big business like the bailout of the auto companies,” Rove complained. “The leadership of the auto companies feel they need to do something to repay their political patrons.”

“I was, frankly, offended by it,” he added. “I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood. I thought it was an extremely well-done ad, but it is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics. And the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.”

This was another reminder that Fox News, and people such as Rove and Eric Cantor, would say or do almost anything not only to discredit Obama but also to wreck any initiatives that might result in even a slight economic upturn. To hell with suffering Americans — gotta think about winning those 2012 elections.

Nudge nudge, wink wink

I am so sick of this guy and his cynicism:

President Obama has message for Wall St. — I will not demonize you, just Mitt Romney and his ties to you.

That assurance was conveyed by Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina in a private meeting with nervous Democratic donors from the financial services industry, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

Messina met with some of Obama’s biggest backers this week at the members only Core Club in Manhattan, where he was questioned about the increasingly populist tone of the President’s reelection campaign.

The campaign chief responded that Mitt Romney was the target — not the private equity industry that enriched the former Massachusetts governor, two people who were at the meeting told the news wire.

Obama has yet to directly attack Romney, the struggling GOP front runner.

But he has indicated that economic fairness for middle class Americans and raising taxes on rich people like Romney are central themes of his campaign.

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