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‘Unleash us’

Maxine Waters wants to go after Obama over jobs:

U.S. House Rep. Maxine Waters is asking black voters who are struggling with an unemployment rate nearly twice the national average to “unleash” her and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus on President Obama.

The California Democrat, speaking at a raucous town hall in Detroit hosted by the CBC on Tuesday, said she doesn’t want to attack the president from his base unless the base gives her the go-ahead.

“If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us,” Waters said. “When you tell us it’s all right and you unleash us and you’re ready to have this conversation, we’re ready to have the conversation.”

Judging by the reaction of the audience, including someone yelling to Waters, “It’s all right,” the president will be hearing very soon from the congresswoman and her fellow caucus members.

Since Obama took office, he has resisted pressure from the CBC to create jobs programs specifically targeting blacks, saying that improving the entire economy will help all groups.

Good Huffington Post piece about how the defense industry is closing ranks to lobby against defense cuts. Apparently they’d much rather see cuts to Social Security and Medicare, but hey, who wouldn’t?

Significant budget cuts would undoubtedly require the Pentagon to dramatically reassess how it currently spends its money. But some critics say that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

The Pentagon has embarked on an unsustainable path of increased spending, with less and less to show for it, Wheeler said. And the primary culprit is new, expensive hardware.

“It’s not just that new hardware is more expensive, it’s that the new hardware is so expensive that we cannot afford to replace the inventory,” he said. “When you replace 600 $60 million dollar F-15s with 188 $400 million per-copy F-22s, you both shrink the force and you add to its costs,” he said.

The Pentagon has also dramatically increased its personnel costs — “not just on combat pay and enlistment and retention bonuses,” Wheeler said, but “on all sorts of political constituencies that were knocking on doors on Capitol Hill.”

“What we’ve been talking about here is a money party,” he said.

“Costs are always growing faster than budgets, and that creates a perpetual crisis,” said Chuck Spinney, a former military analyst for the Pentagon who criticized the budget process even when he was there. “And a budget crisis is good for business,” he said. “It creates extortionary pressure.”

But Spinney said legislators should resist any such pressure. For decades now, he pointed out, the Pentagon has been unable to audit its books and fully account for how it spends its money. Without that kind of information, Spinney said, “for Panetta to say this is going to cause a crisis is horse shit.”


Isn’t the real problem the fact that the president of the United States and his advisers have much more to worry about than bloggers?

You know, like “winning the future”? (Whoever dreamed that one up should be fired.)


Owner of a South Jersey bridal salon refuses to sell woman a wedding dress because she’s a lesbian.

At the Bank

Nice little color piece this morning about the Phillies fans who live in the neighborhood of Citizens Bank Park.

Class warfare

Now why do you suppose a right-wing billionaire is so invested in Michelle Rhee and the destruction of public education?

In his new book, Class Warfare, Steven Brill confirms that Michelle Rhee is being funded by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., is currently embroiled in a growing cell phone hacking scandal. Rhee’s mentor, Joel Klein, serves as Murdoch’s chief legal counsel. News Corp is the parent company of far-right FoxNews.

Last month Rhee refused to confirm or deny whether she and her front group had taken Murdoch money.

According to credible sources, Rhee took as much as $50M from Murdoch.

More songs about buildings and bikes

I was still a bit edgy three weeks after my bicycle was stolen. But then an ancient new wave song came on the radio and filled my head with groovy ironic art school vibes, and I knew “The Good Thing” must be just around the corner

My life is right

Big Star:

I can’t get it out of my head


What would you do with YOUR 12K?

According to a recent Brown University study, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.

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