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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,647

Journal Archives

Detroit Free Press Endorsement: Top reasons to re-elect Obama

(Detroit Free Press) What’s the best case Barack Obama can make for re-election? Let’s start with the stunning record of accomplishments he has compiled over the last four years:

• General Motors and Chrysler are thriving — a long, long way from the edge of insolvency, which is where Obama found them on his first day in office. Bridge loans and managed bankruptcies turned them around, and stable growth followed soon after. Is there anything more important to people here in Michigan?

• The economy has grown jobs for the past 30 months, after hemorrhaging 4.9 million in 2009. The bleeding began to stop when Obama convinced Congress to authorize $831 billion in federal stimulus funds, and employment has grown, slowly but inexorably, since the beginning of 2010.

• The Affordable Care Act, a broad set of private-sector and government reforms, is bringing millions of formerly uninsured Americans under the umbrella of reliable health care. It’s a quantum leap forward that has bested both legislative and legal challenges.

• Of the two costly wars started during the Bush administration, one is over and the other winding down. Osama bin Laden and at least 14 other al-Qaida leaders are dead, and their terrorist network is in tatters. Meanwhile, Moammar Gadhafi, responsible for the deaths of more Americans than anyone except bin Laden, was deposed with U.S. help. Not since the fall of the Berlin Wall have the nation’s geopolitical fortunes improved so markedly. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20121028/OPINION01/121026117/Detroit-Free-Press-Endorsement-Top-reasons-to-re-elect-Obama-president?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Anti-Government Economic Orthodoxy

from Consortium News:

Anti-Government Economic Orthodoxy
October 27, 2012

Financial news network CNBC is dominated by correspondents and anchors who worship at the altar of the Market, preaching the right-wing theology of unrestrained capitalism and tightly constrained government. Amid that religious certainty, CNBC’s Becky Quick breezily mocks economist Paul Krugman, Beverly Bandler notes.

By Beverly Bandler

Becky Quick, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” thinks she knows more than Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, former Council of Economic Advisers chair Christina D. Romer and countless other eminent economists who have studied the New Deal and recession recovery data since the 1930s.

Quick, who joined CNBC in February 2001 after working for seven years for The Wall Street Journal, also believes she knows more than 320 economists who repudiated the right-wing budget-slashers in a statement from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for America Progress in March 2011. Quick, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rutgers (1993) and whose exposure to serious economics is unknown but appears limited, wrote in Fortune: “A call for frank talk about our debt from Bill Clinton (and me).”

In her Fortune piece, Quick is quick to dismiss Krugman’s concern about “deficit hysteria,” “fiscal scare tactics,” and the dangers of the “austerity budget.” In February 2010, for instance, Krugman presciently wrote:

“Thanks to deficit hysteria, Washington now has its priorities all wrong: all the talk is about how to shave a few billion dollars off government spending, while there’s hardly any willingness to tackle mass unemployment. Policy is headed in the wrong direction — and millions of Americans will pay the price.” .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/10/27/anti-government-economic-orthodoxy/

German politician smokes a fat one on live TV

from Der Spiegel:

Smoking a joint on live television is tough to deny. But that is the predicament that one German politician finds himself in after he took a drag off a joint during a late-night talk show on Thursday night. He says he didn't believe that it was real marijuana, but the show's host says it was.

US President Bill Clinton, famously, didn't inhale -- at least that's what he said. But even as most of the country assumed he was not being entirely forthcoming about his possible marijuana consumption, there was no way to check. There was no proof.

A German politician this week, however, is having a decidedly more difficult time with his denials. After all, Martin Lindner, the deputy head of the pro-business Free Democrats in parliament, appears to have taken a drag off a joint on live television.

On Thursday evening, Lindner was a guest on Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre's talk show, "Stuckrad Late Night," when the host produced what he said was a joint. Lindner grabbed it to have a sniff and suggested that it wasn't real. Barre urged him to test it -- which he then did on a balcony outside the studio, on camera. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/german-politician-under-fire-after-apparently-smoking-marijuana-on-tv-a-863664.html

NYT: Powerful Storm Systems Continue on Collision Course

Two powerful storm systems, led by Hurricane Sandy, continued on their collision course on Saturday morning, and with forecasts showing them likely to converge with potentially devastating effect somewhere along the Eastern Seaboard as early as Sunday evening, tens of millions of people began to make preparations as state and local authorities increased the urgency of their warnings.

Several states, including New York, declared states of emergency and urged residents to take precautions. In Philadelphia, the mayor called for voluntary evacuations of low-lying areas as did New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie.

At a news conference on Saturday morning, Mr. Christie said that residents could be without power for more than a week if the current forecasts are correct and he urged people not to dismiss the warnings.

“We should not underestimate the impact of this storm,” he said. “We have to be prepared for the worst here.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/us/hurricane-sandy-on-collision-course-with-winter-storm.html?hp&_r=0

"Super storm" Sandy regains hurricane strength

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical cyclone Sandy revved back up to hurricane strength on Saturday as it churned toward the U.S. northeast coast where it threatens to become one of the worst storms in decades.

The late-season storm has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" by some weather watchers because it will combine elements of a tropical cyclone and a winter storm and is forecast to reach the U.S. coast close to Halloween.

Forecast models show it will have all the ingredients to morph into a so-called "super storm."

Governors in states along the U.S. East Coast declared emergencies on Friday, with officials urging residents to stock up on food, water and batteries. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/slow-moving-hurricane-sandy-marches-toward-east-coast-052518680.html

Density Toronto: Why the skyscrapers on steroids?

from the Toronto Star:

Wendy Gillis
Staff Reporter

Why are skyscrapers on steroids?

Toronto’s fascination with towering architecture is in stark relief in its inimitable and ever-changing skyline.

There, the iconic CN tower and lofty downtown office buildings are increasingly joined by glass and steel residential structures reaching upwards of 40 storeys.

But lately, developers and city builders have their heads even further in the clouds. Within just weeks, Toronto has seen five proposals for super skyscrapers that, if built, would be among the tallest in the country. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1278409--density-toronto-why-the-skyscrapers-on-steroids

A Miscellany of Buses

A Miscellany of Buses
Curitiba | 10/26/2012 6:59am |
Alex Vuocolo | Next American City

[font size="1"]Credit: John Ward on Flickr[/font]

The camel and the llama, distant cousins on the same taxonomic scale, emerged from history in vastly different niches: One in the thin atmosphere of the Andes Mountains and the other on the flat desert ranges of Africa and the Middle East. The bus, similarly, has split and molded into various forms as it has spread throughout the world. Like any evolutionary creature, the bus has changed based on both its own innate qualities and limitations and the conditions of its environment.

With this week’s Forefront story featuring Mexico City’s evolving bus rapid transit system, here we take a minute to look at a partial history of bus transit in general. These four examples, in particular, show its veering evolutionary paths, and the factors — autonomy, reliability, comfort — that have shaped it.

Electromote and the Trolleybus

If you look far enough back at any given technology, you begin to see that its features blend with other technologies close by on the family tree. This is the case with the Electromote, which is a mix of an electric trolley and the early horse-drawn bus. First presented to the German public in 1882 by inventor Ernst Werner Siemens (founder of the now-multinational electrical and telecommunications giant) on a 540-meter cobblestone test road, the Electromote was the first so-called trolleybus. Its carriage was bound to an overhead electrical line, but its wheels remained trackless.

It would be another 20 years before an electric trolleybus system was implemented on a commercial scale, and another half-century before becoming a prominent form of transportation. Still, the invention of the Electromote marked the beginning of a divergence which has defined the development of bus travel: Car-like autonomy versus a consistent source of energy and a set path. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://americancity.org/daily/entry/a-miscellany-of-buses

Keiser Report: No science behind economics, just voodoo

Published on Oct 27, 2012 by RussiaToday

In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss High Frequency Trading being declared 'beneficial' by a scientist working for the UK government while on the other side of the pond, a US regulator blames it for wild volatility and compares it to "Texas Hold 'Em—Time to Fold 'Em." They also In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to tax expert, Lee Sheppard, about High Frequency Trading, a Financial Transaction Tax and siphoning gasoline from a neighbor's gas tank and claiming to be a market maker.

Policing Privacy: Seattle police to deploy spy drones?

Published on Oct 27, 2012 by RussiaToday

The FAA has approved the Seattle police department to start using surveillance drones for law enforcement, but protesters are making it clear that they're willing to put up a fight. Trevor Timm, activist for the Electronic Frontier foundation, believes the drones will be used for all the wrong reasons.

Prop 34: Ex-Prison Warden Jeanne Woodford Backs California Measure to End Death Penalty

Published on Oct 25, 2012 by democracynow

Visit http://www.democracynow.org for the complete transcript, additional reports on this topic, and more information. Watch the independent, global news hour live weekdays 8-9am ET.

The former warden of San Quentin State Prison, Jeanne Woodford, joins us to discuss why she has come out in favor of Proposition 34, a ballot initiative to abolish the death penalty in California. Home to nearly a quarter of the nation's death row population and in a state coping with budget crisis, independent analysts estimate that getting rid of the death penalty could save California taxpayers $130 million annually. The latest polls show a narrow margin of Californians oppose Prop 34, and that significant percentages are still undecided. Since leaving San Quentin -- where she oversaw four executions, despite being personally opposed -- Woodford now serves as Executive Director of Death Penalty Focus of California, which educates the public about alternatives to the death penalty.

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