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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,443

Journal Archives

Hillary Clinton Raises $28 Million in Third Quarter, Barely Beating Bernie Sanders

(Bloomberg) The Democratic money primary has turned into a battle of big ticket fundraisers versus online donations.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign raised $28 million during the third quarter, her campaign said Wednesday, bringing the fundraising haul since her April launch to $75 million. Clinton spent the final days of the quarter on a cross-country dash to headline events where tickets generally cost between $1,000 and $2,700.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, raised $25 million, his campaign said Wednesday. He held just a handful of fundraising events all quarter, instead building his war chest through hundreds of thousands of online donations. Since he launched his White House bid in the spring, his campaign said it has collected over 1 million individual contributions.

The latest quarter was never expected to be quite as strong for Clinton as her first, yet the total will be parsed as show of relative strength amid a summer of questions about her use of a private e-mail server while at the State Department.

“Thanks to our supporters, we are able to meet our goals and build an organization that can mobilize millions of voters to ensure Hillary Clinton is their fighter in the White House,” campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. .............(more)


An Awesome Look at Detroit Design City


An Awesome Look at Detroit Design City
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 1:21 PM

Hot off the presses, here’s a new timelapsey variant of Detroit, this one focused on the design community. I think it’s a really well done video. As with all things Detroit, one can’t escape the racial implications, and there are a preponderance of white faces. I wonder how this video will be perceived among longtimers. But as a marketing piece for Detroit, it is very effective.


Republicans and their propagandists have created a monster, now they can't get it back in the cage..

Will Mitch McConnell Be Resigning Next?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 00:00
By Robin Marty, Care2 | News Analysis

Last week, Tea Party members of Congress scored a coup at the announcement that Speaker of the House John Boehner would resign, effective at the end of October. Boehner, who long irritated the far right wing of the political body with his insistence that compromise must happen and that maybe grinding the federal government to a halt in order to get one's way isn't the best way to run a country, allegedly offered his resignation as an appeasement for getting a clean continuing resolution on the federal budget. But politicos also see the move as a way of avoiding being ousted from the Speakership, and a means of saving face, politically, too. The obvious question being, who is next on the chopping block?

The answer? It very well might be the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

McConnell, a longtime Republican senator from Kentucky, was quite lucky to make it back to Congress in 2014 in the first place. First challenged in a primary by the Tea Party faction, then duking it out in a close and highly contested general, McConnell promised the GOP he would be their champion should he win reelection, especially should the Republicans gain a majority in Senate and he be offered the leadership position.

Republicans got their wish on Election Day, with a majority in the Senate to match their majority in the House, and no doubt looked forward to a chance to push ahead a conservative agenda that would block the progressive policies favored by the White House. Instead, all they have seen so far is a lot of stalemates.

Viewing McConnell as just as much an impediment to true conservative governing as Boehner was, the GOP is now clamoring for the Majority Leader to step down next. The first calling for his resignation? Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon, who is a member of the Tea Party House caucus. ................(more)


Adéu Catalonia?

(Guardian UK) Separatists took control of Catalonia’s regional government in an election result that could plunge Spain into one of its deepest political crises of recent years, by forcing Madrid to confront an openly secessionist government at the helm of one of its wealthiest regions.

A record-breaking number of Catalans cast their vote in Sunday’s election, billed as a de facto referendum on independence. With more than 98% of the votes counted, the nationalist coalition Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) were projected to win 62 seats, while far-left pro-independence Popular Unity Candidacy, known in Spain as CUP, were set to gain 10 seats, meaning an alliance of the two parties could give secessionists an absolute majority in the region’s 135-seat parliament.

“We won,” said Catalan leaderArtur Mas i Gavarró, as a jubilant crowd waved estelada flags at a rally in Barcelona. “Today was a double victory – the yes side won, as did democracy.”

After attempts by Catalan leaders to hold a referendum on independence were blocked by the central government in Madrid, Mas sought to turn the elections into a de facto referendum, pledging to begin the process of breaking away from Spain if Junts pel Sí won a majority of seats.

His party fell six seats short of a majority on Sunday. But Mas vowed to push forward with independence. “We ask that the world recognise the victory of Catalonia and the victory of the yes,” he said. “We have won and that gives us an enormous strength to push this project forward.” .................(more)


Detroit's M-1 Rail Traveling Off-Wire with Liberty Modern Streetcars

Posted: 09/29/15

DETROIT — Detroit-based M-1 RAIL and Brookville Equipment Corporation (BROOKVILLE) agreed to terms on Friday, June 5 for the supply of six off-wire capable Liberty Modern Streetcars for the 3.3-mile Woodward Avenue line, set for delivery to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016, with a contract valued at $32 million.

The M-1 RAIL Liberty Modern Streetcars will travel without the aid of an overhead catenary system (OCS) for 60 percent of the 3.3 mile corridor. While operating off-wire, the streetcars will instead draw power from the vehicles’ onboard energy storage systems (OESS), which utilize 750-volt rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. In addition, the M-1 RAIL streetcars will access the vehicle maintenance facility without the use of OCS via a one-tenth of a mile of additional track.

“Selection of BROOKVILLE provides M-1 RAIL with a company that has experience constructing streetcars that best meet this project’s technological requirements and timeline,” said Paul Childs, chief operating officer for M-1 RAIL, in a release issued by the organization on June 8. “We are pleased to reach agreement with BROOKVILLE, a streetcar manufacturer that specializes in the advanced off-wire technology that will make our system a leader in this technology.”

The M-1 RAIL Liberty Modern Streetcars will measure 66.5 feet-long and include over 70 percent low-floor area, with seating for up to 32 passengers and an average of up to 125 total passengers. Running on standard 56.5-inch track gauge, the vehicles will utilize BROOKVILLE’s industry proven soft-ride trucks and be powered by four 99kW AC traction motors while travelling at speeds of up to 35 mph. ............(more)


Toronto: TTC Installs Bicycle Repair Facilities at 10 Subway Stations

TTC customers are now able to make minor repairs to their bicycles at select subway stations making it more convenient to complete the first mile/last mile of their trip. TTC Chair Josh Colle unveiled the new self-service bicycle repair stop at Davisville Station, additional stands will be located at 10 subway stations across the system. The pilot program will allow customers to complete minor bicycle repairs while commuting in Toronto.

Repair equipment will be secured by steel cables, and include, wrenches, Allen keys,screw drivers, a bike pump and wheel chock. All 10 bike repair stops will be in place by the end of September, meeting the TTC's third quarter Customer Charter commitment to provide customers with modern TTC stations and encourage cycling as a part of the daily commute.

The subway stations with repair stops were chosen based on a number of criteria, including: existing bike parking, number of bike trips taken in the surrounding area, bike routes and trails in the neighbourhood, and the physical space at the station. .........(more)


Frank Bruni: Hillary Clinton’s Pajama Party

By Frank Bruni, The New York Times

She had a law career, an ambitious agenda as first lady, an industrious stint in the Senate, those years and miles as secretary of state.

And it has come to this: In a bid to seem less stuffy and turn the page on a beleaguered (yet again) presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is chatting with Lena Dunham about the singer Lenny Kravitz’s penis.

You can watch the video yourself. It’s a jokey promotion for an interview of Clinton just published in a new newsletter that Dunham is putting out. You can also see a comedic sketch of Dunham’s arrival at Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn and the make-believe refusal of a Clinton gatekeeper to let her in. There’s even a cameo by Amy Schumer.

The interview itself covers Clinton’s biography and some serious terrain, including feminism and the relationship between African-Americans and the police.


But still I’m baffled. How can her response to charges that she’s too packaged and calculating be this packaged and calculated? And to counter her image as entrenched political royalty, why would she enlist stars whose presence merely emphasizes her pull with, and membership in, the glittery world of celebrity?

“Insane,” said one Democratic operative when I sought his reaction. ..................(more)


Chris Hedges with Abby Martin: War, Propaganda and the Enemy Within

Published on Sep 26, 2015

Abby Martin interviews Chris Hedges on American myths, war and revolt. Hedges explains the 'folly of Empire,' the dangers posed by right-wing extremism and the urgent need for a new system.

Chris Hedges is a former New York Times journalist and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is the author of several books including his most recent, "Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt." He publishes a weekly column on Truthdig.com and is the host of Days of Revolt, airing every Monday night on teleSUR english.

teleSUR's The Empire Files airs every Friday night at 10:00 EST / 7:00 PST. Watch live here: http://bit.ly/1kuU2Vi

Next Shoe to Drop on Stocks? Junk-Bond Meltdown Hits M&A

Next Shoe to Drop on Stocks? Junk-Bond Meltdown Hits M&A
by Wolf Richter • September 29, 2015

It’s not like stocks need any additional problems. But they’re getting them.

On Monday, junk bonds suffered their worst sell-off since October 6, 2011, according to S&P Capital IQ LCD’s index of “high-yield flow names.” The index is comprised of large junk-rated companies, including Charter Communications, Chrysler, Dish Network, Dollar Tree, First Data, Reynolds Group, Rite Aid, Sprint, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

The average bid plunged 246 basis points from 94.44 cents on the dollar to 91.98. The worst plunge and the worst level since that infamous October 6, 2011, when a flare-up of the euro debt crisis wreaked havoc in the global markets. The average yield jumped to 8.62%. Almost all of the components of the index were in the red. LCD:

This time around, declines are linked to ongoing concerns about global economic growth and the commodities crunch, with the latter, in particular, forever defining the state of play for late 2015. The decrease builds on a 186 bps retreat on Thursday, for a net-432 bps decline week over week, and it follows negative observations more mildly in the prior three readings, for a decline of 578 bps dating back four weeks.

It was the day when the index crashed through the oil-panic-low of December 16, 2014. But this time, the sell-off is broader. Today, there was a tepid uptick, not the violent bounce seen the day after October 6, 2011.

Here’s how the junk-bond debacle bleeds into stocks. Part of the fuel that powered stocks to such vertiginous heights over the last few years was the M&A boom. Companies bid for each other with huge premiums over the already inflated stock prices. These deals were mostly funded with shares, of which companies could print an unlimited amount, and with debt, of which even over-indebted junk-rated companies could issue nearly unlimited amounts, thanks to the Fed’s policies that drove yield investors to near-insanity. ................(more)


Three Exceptional Facts About America: It’s Safe to Be Paranoid in the U.S.

from TomDispatch:

Three Exceptional Facts About America
It’s Safe to Be Paranoid in the U.S.

By Tom Engelhardt

Given the cluttered landscape of the last 14 years, can you even faintly remember the moment when the Berlin Wall came down, the Cold War ended in a stunned silence of shock and triumph in Washington, Eastern Europe was freed, Germany unified, and the Soviet Union vanished from the face of the Earth? At that epochal moment, six centuries of imperial rivalries ended. Only one mighty power was left.

There hadn’t been a moment like it in historical memory: a single “hyperpower” with a military force beyond compare looming over a planet without rivals. Under the circumstances, what couldn’t Washington hope for? The eternal domination of the Middle East and all that oil? A planetary Pax Americana for generations to come? Why not? After all, not even the Romans and the British at the height of their empires had experienced a world quite like this one.

Now, leap a quarter of a century to the present and note the rising tide of paranoia in this country and the litany of predictions of doom and disaster. Consider the extremity of fear and gloom in the party of Ronald “It’s Morning Again in America” Reagan in what are called “debates” among its presidential candidates, and it’s hard not to imagine that we aren't at the precipice of the decline and fall of just about everything. The American Century? So much sawdust on the floor of history.

If, however, you look at the country that its top politicians can now hardly mention without defensively wielding the words “exceptional” or “indispensable,” the truly exceptional thing is this: as a great power, the United States still stands alone on planet Earth and Americans can exhibit all the paranoia they want in remarkable safety and security.


Exceptional Fact #1: Failure Is Success, or the U.S. Remains the Sole Superpower

If you were to isolate the single most striking, if little discussed, aspect of American foreign policy in the first 15 years of this century, it might be that Washington’s inability to apply its power successfully just about anywhere confirms that very power; in other words, failure is a marker of success. Let me explain.

In the post-9/11 years, American power in various highly militarized forms has been let loose repeatedly across a vast swath of the planet from the Chinese border to deep in Africa -- and nowhere in those 14 years, despite dreams of glory and global dominion, has the U.S. succeeded in any of its strategic goals. That should qualify as exceptional in itself. After all, what are the odds that, in all that time, nothing should turn out as planned or positively by Washington’s standards? It could not win its war in Afghanistan; nor its two wars, one ongoing, in Iraq; nor has it had success in its present one in Syria; it failed to cow Iran; its intervention in Libya proved catastrophic; its various special ops and drone campaigns in Yemen have led to chaos in that country; and so, as novelist Kurt Vonnegut used to say, it goes. ...............(more)


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