Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:07 pm

Ah, um, is Obama quitting? He does a press conference, brings on Bill Clinton and let's him take over. Pretends to go to a Christmas party and let's Clinton play President again.

Now we know how the Bob Rubin works, so it is no surprise that Clinton supports the disgusting tax deal. The main point is that the tax cuts just will not work.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:13 pm

(my appologies to the rest of you, this is the me that you see only when confronted with the extreme stupidity of posts like Frank's latest*)

Frank

Do you realize what you and your stupid political purity are about ready to do to millions of people like my brother!

He has been out of work for about 2 months now. He worked as a flooring company sales rep, selling flooring to major construction companies. His daughter has a case of poriasis so bad that she's taking cancer medications to take care of it. His wife recently had to spend some time in a hospital because of a serious health need.

If you and the fucking Repukeblicans have it your way, these good people, and millions like them are gonna be so deep in the debt shitpile. They will be lucky to beable to make it to the top of the pile, let alone get out of debt. Lets not even think about the rise in homlessness and the attendent crime rate rise and a whole lot of other serious shit.

Nope, let's just make sure that our political position is pure. Who really gives a shit about the poor and the working class. The Right only cares about you if you don't really need the help and the Left only cares about you once you are beyond their help. No one wants to suck it up and do the tough job of figuring out just what needs to be done. And there isn't a damned person alive in America who wants to take on some serious giving up of stuff.

I'm sorry to be so damned harsh, but I'm getting scared about my nation. You are just one cog in a wheel I doubt will ever get spinning again!

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:35 pm

Is Lori blaming me for her brother? The tax bill will hurt your brother, you get that, right? Reagan cut taxes for eight years, wages stagnated. Clinton raised taxes slightly but kept rates still pretty low for the rich, wages stagnated, it led to the housing bubble.

Where do I get this stuff? Two NOBLE PRIZE WINNING economists--Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. Dean Baker also signs off on the Frank plan.

We are all scared Lori, especially me. Robert Reich just called out Clinton on the HuffingtonPost.

When you cut taxes on the top you have less revenue. That revenue has to be made up. They make it up by slashing needed programs and by cutting entitlements. The rich will use their tax cuts as a go-ahead to outsource more jobs and speculate on foreign currency. Jobs will be cut, we will suffer, a third world economy will be around the corner. Expect shantie towns within ten years.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:09 pm

Frank

If calling you and your ilk on the extreme BULLSHIT you want the American public to believe blaming, then I'm proudly guilty as charged. And if you noticed I did blame a lot more than you. The Democrats and other progressive parties are just as guilty as you are, if not a bit more.

Obama said it himself, make sure the middle class and poor aren't hurt and then go after the dipshits that have the wealth. What part of that can't you understand.

I don't understand why people like you, and most of 'em are in Congress, cannot see that the BEST was done for the most people. While we may not like all of what went down, we have to understand that any other plan would have came to a worse fate. This is not the time for ideological purity. That should have been done from the beginning of the administration, and it wasn't. So, we get what we got. And now you want to complain about what happened, when you could have been so much more effective if you'd have gotten up and done it much earlier.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby RocRizzo » Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:47 pm

Okay, let me chime in here.
It's simply not true that the Middle Class and the poor will benefit from the RepubliCON/Obama tax plan. It's basically the Bush tax plan warmed over.
The typical RepubliCON line, is that if you don't give tax cuts to the rich, they will not create jobs, and small businesses will be hurt too, and will not hire. First of all, it's not the rich, or small businesses that create jobs, it's demand. When there is a demand for goods and services, there is a need to employ more people to create those goods and services, and thus, jobs are created.

If you put the money in the hands of the Middle Class, and the poor, they would buy more stuff, more necessities, and create that demand. When the rich get tax cuts, they invest the money, and do not spend it. Why should they create jobs, if there is no demand for goods and services?

The tax cuts for the rich cost us in debt, and because they are not buying goods and services, they do not create any demand. No demand, no jobs, but more debt. That debt is put on the Middle Class, as they pay the bulk of taxes, because they have fewer deductions, shelters, and general tax write offs than the rich. Part of the bill includes keeping taxes on dividends at 15%. Many rich people do not earn wages, they earn dividends. So someone who is collecting lots of money in dividends, is in the 15% bracket, where someone who earns only wages is in, say the 25% tax bracket. More of a percentage of the people making less money is going to pay the debt.

The rich also get more services from the government in just the roads that are federally funded, to transport goods across the country, than do working class people.

And let me not forget that the definition of a small business according to the RepbuliCONs is concerned, is quite different from what one might think.. Their definition of a small business is not the ma and pa store down the corner, but S Corporations, like Koch Industries. They are merely privately held companies. The CONs don't base their definition on the number of workers, they base it on the number of OWNERS, and whether the company is publicly traded.

All you have to do to get a good understanding of this is to follow the money.

And Obama is showing his true colors, letting Clinton, the best RepubliCON president I have known in my lifetime, the stage in that press conference yesterday.

Sanders/Kucinich '12!
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Sat Dec 11, 2010 9:36 pm

Roc -

Just yesterday my best bud NeoCon Jim and I came near to blows over the GOP/Obama plan. Now, rest assured that while I am swallowing my bile the entire time I agree with the Prez that it's the best compromise with the blackmailing wealthy Conservative front. Why is it nobody in the middle class Conservative ranks recognizes that it's the wealthy among them who keep insisting it's class warfare not to give the rich their due? (Truth: McConnell, Limbaugh, Beck, Boehner, etc, ALL fall into that wealthy category. "Give it to us, or NOBODY gets it!!!".)

(Blackmail, kiddies, pure and simple.)

Jim had used a number of tired memes, including the one where his boss would be forced to fire him if the tax rates changed.

While many of you can simply look up the entire exchange, being buddies of mine on FB, here is what I wrote back to Jim:


Unless your owners are paying themselves a NET $250K after expenses, in personal income, the taxes paid by the companies are not in question. And, as I noted, it would be reverting his tax rate to 1990s levels only on income -- personal -- above $250K. Corporate tax rates are not under debate.

The economy, BTW, in the 1990s was actually a much more stable and profitable time than were the 2000s.

The vast majority of economists note that trickle down economics are a failed concept. Even David Stockman, the man who essentially created the economic policy for Reagan, has disavowed their effectiveness. Tax breaks for the wealthy have not been shown to have any effect in creating new jobs.

What DOES create jobs are demand for products. Just handing money out doesn't do anything unless the money gets spent. For every dollar spent in unemployment benefits, it is immediately spent by the recipient -- as you should know -- and actually creates $2.50 in economic activity. Flat out statistic.

Tax breaks for middle and working classes also get spent in a much faster fashion. That is what creates demand for products and the need for companies to ramp up and hire. Investments in Wall Street don't. It's an economic fact.

Lastly, Class warfare? Really? It's already happening and the upper 2% have won. Check the statistics on real income growth between the middle and working classes and the top 2%. As a percentage of growth and a percentage of the actual GDP, the wealthy have increased their take by several points. The middle and working classes have lost ground during the same period.

I honestly cannot fathom the fervent support of tax extensions which do nothing to spur the economy, for people who have been taking a larger percentage of the national GDP as personal income, in a time when we cannot spend a fraction of the amount to pay for health costs for national heroes and send cash to people who need some support -- not a handout, support.

$130B which doesn't go into my pocket. Not into your pocket. Out of your kids' pockets, btw.

$130B to pay Rush and Glenn Beck and Mitch McConnell and the Koch Brothers and many others millions of dollars that they have historically shown they will NOT spend on spurring the economy.

Tell me. Are the wealthy really that needy, or are they picking your pocket?
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby RocRizzo » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:06 am

Barber,
Excellent job at explaining that, my friend. I could not have done it better.
"Understanding is a three-edged sword."

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:18 am

Thanks Roc -- Jim hasn't replied and hasn't brought it up in conversation. My wife's response was even more pointed than mine. He wisely may be dropping the subject.

BTW -- Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. Much appreciated! Glad you enjoyed the FoE gallery. I tried to take it down once. Until Harlan feigned sadness ("Ah, me").

So it's been up ever since.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:58 pm

Barber, I keep telling you to get Jim here so I can rake him over the coals. I might like him.

I still insist that Lori and her ILK admit that they think the enlightenment went to far, that we need social engineers, because people are just too dumb to control their own lives.

Make your case Lori. Liberal democracy goes too far! Give your case?

And don't say that you believe in it because I represent the mainstream enlightenment view that spawned the progressive reforms of the New Deal and the Great Society. Obama and Clinton both hate them.

-----------

Roc, high five!

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:01 pm

I am still confident that Obama will not indict Assange with the evil Espionage Act, started by the odious dirt bag Woodrow Wilson. If that happens even the New York Times and Bob Woodward could go to jail.

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby RocRizzo » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:27 pm

FrankChurch wrote:I am still confident that Obama will not indict Assange with the evil Espionage Act, started by the odious dirt bag Woodrow Wilson. If that happens even the New York Times and Bob Woodward could go to jail.


Nobody from the Times is going to jail. They are part of the elite upper crust, and will be able to get away with practically anything.

However, if he indicts Assange, he might as well indict me. As if his cronies are not already searching peace activists' homes and offices.
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/ ... ena-kagan/
Though I am not in that state. It'll be a matter of time till they get to the blog, whose calendar I edit.
I still don't care, as I have been on plenty of lists, going all the way back to the Viet Nam war.
And in case I haven't mentioned it, I'm already against the next war!
"Understanding is a three-edged sword."

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:45 pm

Guys, here's where I differ with you and Assange, and the assertion that this is protected by journalistic precedent. As I've written previously, the Guardian, New York Times, and other publications, are conducting legal reporting of illegally gotten information. That's legitimate. Wikileaks has received illegal material and is releasing it untouched. That's accessory to crime.

The difference between The Guardian and Wikileaks, for example, is that The Guardian is framing the story and information instead of simply posting it. Journalism is the practice of disseminating information and putting it into perspective. There is an "editorial" function in journalism that Wikileaks is not employing. That's the "skill" part of being a journalist. And yes, defying governmental authority is a time-honored tradition. But without that second part of "stolen information" -- that of framing the story and putting it into perspective -- it's not journalism, it's reposting.

For example, had Woodward and Bernstein simply put a transcript of the conversation they had with Deep Throat it would not have legal. They would have been little more than accessories to a crime. But by taking and framing it, adding other information, verifying the sources and ensuring that the information was accurate and legitimate, they acted in good faith. That's why the reporting they did is considered legendary.

Matt Tiabbi, perhaps the best investigative reporter in the US today, often gets explosive information and uses it as the basis for a full investigation and report. He doesn't just put up a transcript, a lot more goes into his articles.

Wikileaks is simply putting stuff up, with little regard even for content. It's no secret the vast majority of the items they posted are shrugs and yawns. No big deal, no big secret other than they were declared so by the government. But in addition, Wikileaks has used the memos as weapons to protect their interests. Unprofessional and unethical to use your information that way if you're a true reporter.

Had Wikileaks and Assange used the information to report on something -- not just releasing the documents unedited and uncommented upon -- they could be considered journalists. But the leaks themselves ARE the story as far as Assange is concerned, and the interpretation of the data released is being left to others...true and legitimate journalists.

Assange is producing a dog and pony show using stolen merchandise. The NY Times, The Guardian and others are doing the actual legwork.


I guess the second half of this is my surprise that you're both angry that the administration is trying to find legal ways to fight back. Of course they're fighting back. That's not only natural but it's actually in our national interest to do so. That either of you expected the administration to throw their hands in the air and utter a saddened "ah me" without a fight -- one based on "legal" prosecution, BTW -- is to me the shocking part of your above posts.

Why is it so many people these days seem to think that "Free Speech" means that there are NO consequences or responses to what it is you have actually said???
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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby RocRizzo » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:02 pm

Barber,
Though I understand your point about journalistic precedent, I don't believe that Wikileaks fits this mold. It's not a journalistic site, per se, it's a wiki site, whose purpose it to expose secrets from governments around the planet. Be that as it may, there are many sources on this site, and from what I can see, many editors (at least that's the concept behind a wiki). In the past Assange, has, in fact edited material from his sources. For example, there is a lot of stuff on the site, where names were blacked out. I believe that the reason for not blocking names in this case was that many of the names were people in power. People in high places, often have many things revealed about them, that they would prefer hidden, even in legitimate news outlets. This could be the reason why he revealed these names.
I have heard, on the mainstream media, that Assange put lives of troops in jeopardy. What a line of bull. Many of these "leaks" read like something out of the Enquirer. Gossip, that should be taken with a grain of salt. If there were legitimate concerns that were revealed, and they were put out by people in power, so be it. Sometimes it is good to see raw data, and draw one's own conclusions, but to say that our troops are at risk, is a stretch, because no troops names were mentioned. I didn't see any actions of troops by name in the files, but then again, I didn't read all of them.
I understand what other investigative journalists do when they distill the information from their sources, and give us the whole story. They basically spoon feed us the facts they want to stress, and show justification for their points. There are times where, rather than see all the sources edited, I, personally want to see the raw data, so that I can see whether the reporter is, in fact, giving us the whole story, and not just the part of the story that s/he wants to know. Though this may pose some risk, in our free society, there should be no fear for the person who reveals such secrets, should they be true. The Constitution states, rather clearly, that there shall be no law to block free speech, and press, as well as other things. Though Assange might be guilty in some other country, I don't believe that there is grounds for prosecution in the US, because of this First Amendment right.

On another point, in your work with the Guardian, was it with the Guardian US, or UK? The reason I ask is because I have a good friend who was editor of the Guardian US, back in the 70s and 80s. As a matter of fact, I edit an activist calendar, which is part of his newsletter that he sends out to several thousand people between NYC and Albany.
"Understanding is a three-edged sword."

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby RocRizzo » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:54 am

Glen Greenwald, whom I respect as a journalist, has a take on the Wikileaks debacle.
It seems that the mainstream media is at again. Lies, and more lies about what actually happened.
Leave it to Glen to find out, and report back to us.
Read it here: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn ... index.html

Here it is in the nutshell, as told here, on the Guardian UK: http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/si1 ... &cat=world

"In times when big business and governments attempt to monitor and control everything, there is a need as never before for an internet that remains a free and universal form of communication. WikiLeaks' chief crime has been to speak truth to power. What is at stake is nothing less than the freedom of the internet. All the rest is a sideshow distracting attention from the real battle that is being fought. We should all keep focus on the true target."
"Understanding is a three-edged sword."

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Re: Frank Church's news corner, the sequel.

Postby Moderator » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:50 pm

Roc -
I'm not sure where I misled you. I never worked for or with The Guardian. I was a journalism major at USC, but never worked a professional gig in that capacity.

You nail my issue with Wikileaks directly. As you point out, very few of the released memos have anything of real news value. Wikileaks essentially released a bunch of things as if to say "looky what we can do!". Publishing a bunch of stolen documents just to demonstrate that you can do so isn't journalism, and deserves none of the protections that profession is given in the Constitution.

Like you I like to see the actual documents -- but for me it has to be as part of a much larger framework of investigation. Otherwise too much is left to conjecture about the importance and meaning. This is a fundamental function of a good press. Just putting the docs out there is lazy and ineffective. If, for example, the Pentagon Papers were simply put in the Washington Post without any kind of reporting it would have been an irresponsible act. We deserve the input of a professional journalist -- or team of them in this case -- so that we can understand the importance and validity of the release. Otherwise it's just chaff.

Simply putting the memos online does nothing to help the understanding of the documents. To their credit the news organizations who received the leaks understood this and provided the framework for the information they got. WHY is something important? WHO said or wrote it? HOW does this impact international relations? WHAT is the purpose behind the leaks? If you don't answer those questions, you're not reporting. In this way, Wikileaks is not protected by journalistic rights, and therefore is as guilty of disseminating stolen information as is the person who actually hacked and downloaded them to Wikileak's servers.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.


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