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It’s time to update Susie’s understandably skeptical post yesterday about Richard Trumka. Sounds like he’s tired of playing patty-cake with President Obama:

Richard Trumka, president of union giant AFL-CIO, delivered a scathing review of President Barack Obama at a press breakfast Thursday morning. He accused him of abandoning Democratic ideals and aligning himself with the conservative tea party.

‘This is a moment that working people and quite frankly history will judge President Obama on his presidency; will he commit all his energy and focus on bold solutions on the job crisis or will he continue to work with the Tea Party to offer cuts to middle class programs like Social Security all the while pretending the deficit is where our economic problems really lie,’ Trumka said, Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler reported.

Trumka sits on the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which ‘was created to provide non-partisan advice to the president on continuing to strengthen the nation’s economy and ensure the competitiveness of the United States,’ according to its website.

Trumpka told reporters that he had all but given up hope of the panel achieving any results.

‘I don’t know whether the commission’s making a difference or not…it’s a legitimate question whether that commission has done anything worthwhile,’ he said.

He threatened to withdraw the AFL-CIO’s attendance at the upcoming Democratic convention if the party didn’t shape up and offer solutions.

“If they don’t have a jobs program I think we’d better use our money doing other things,” he said.

PSA for Kitty Lovers

My son Sam just went back to his mom’s place for the rest of the summer, after spending two three-week stints down here. It was a successful visit in so many ways: he had an excellent time, he was introduced to New York City, he got to have a mohawk, and he FINALLY learned to love cats, making friends with my two furry friends Henry and Elvis.

I live in a pretty poor area of the city, and one area in which we are plagued is the multitude of feral cats. The task of catching and neutering every fertile female and male on the block is beyond my means (especially the females, which require a week to heal), so instead I keep an eye out for kittens and younger cats that can be (or are already) socialized. I’ve adopted out about three this way.

One of the more adventurous kittens showed up on my back porch during Sam’s visit, an orange tabby mix who’s clearly related to my Elvis, but with much shorter hair. I called my kid to the door. “Hey Sam, new kitty!” As the boy approached the screen I asked him, “What do you think we should call him?”

Sam took one look at the kitty and laughed. “His name is ‘Small-y’,” he said. And so he is.

Over the past two weeks, Smally’s learned to eat out of my hand, sits on my leg, and is getting more and more socialized every day.

And you know what?

Smally needs a home. If you live in Philly, let’s get in touch. I am happy to split the cost of his shots with you (at the Girard Animal Hospital, it’s only like $60.00). he won’t need to be neutered for another few months, and I’ll help with that too.

When it comes to describing the complacency of the Wall Street banksters, their disregard for the millions of people they defrauded and the ease with which they continue to push the right buttons in Washington in order to avoid restitution and prosecution… well, nobody does it better than Matt Taibbi.

Update on Susie

Susie was taken to the hospital early this morning for a possible heart attack and is being kept there for observation and testing until tomorrow morning.


Unfortunately, I don’t know anything more about this situation than you do. I have a text message into Susie, and I know others are attempting to contact her as well. More when there’s more.

Did fracking cause the earthquake?

For a long time, people have been pointing out a possible link between deep drilling and earthquakes. So yesterday I wondered the same thing:

According to geologists, it isn’t the fracking itself that is linked to earthquakes, but the re-injection of waste salt water (as much as 3 million gallons per well) deep into rock beds.

Braxton County West Virginia (160 miles from Mineral) has experienced a rash of freak earthquakes (eight in 2010) since fracking operations started there several years ago. According to geologists fracking also caused an outbreak of thousands of minor earthquakes in Arkansas (as many as two dozen in a single day). It’s also linked to freak earthquakes in Texas, western New York, Oklahoma and Blackpool, England (which had never recorded an earthquake before).

Industry scientists deny the link to earthquakes, arguing that energy companies have been fracking for nearly sixty years. However it’s only a dozen years ago that “slick-water fracks” were introduced. This form of fracking uses huge amounts of water mixed with sand and dozens of toxic chemicals like benzene, all of which is injected under extreme pressure to shatter the underground rock reservoir and release gas trapped in the rock pores. Not only does the practice utilize millions of gallons of freshwater per frack (taken from lakes, rivers, or municipal water supplies), the toxic chemicals mixed in the water to make it “slick” endanger groundwater aquifers and threaten to pollute nearby water-wells.

Horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracking (which extend fractures across several kilometres) were introduced in 2004.

Don’t kill the dream

DFA has a new ad they want to get on the air. Go check it out, and if you can, send them a few bucks to do so.


PW’s “Top 10 drug corners” is an important story because its underlying point is that it’s impossible to do any reporting — and, more importantly, policing — that would significantly discourage the sale and use of illegal drugs, especially where “neighborhood-sustaining jobs” have disappeared forever.

R.I.P. Joey Vento

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