Archive for January 2nd, 2009

Report: Caroline Kennedy will assume Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat

Published: Friday January 2, 2009

President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline will join the United States Senate in 2009, sources close to NY Governor David Paterson have told the Associated Press.

However, the governor jokingly told the New York Times Thursday, “It ain’t nothin’ till I calls it.”

“Meantime, despite early reservations, New York state’s most powerful legislative leader tells the New York Post he’ll support Kennedy,” said AP. “State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he’ll work for her election.”

The rumblings of coming confirmation arrive shortly after Kennedy came under for for, like, not, um, interviewing very well.

Kennedy’s press interviews — the first after the scion of America’s most famous political dynasty made it known that she was seeking out the New York seat to be vacated when Hillary Clinton is confirmed secretary of state — drew ridicule from pundits, newspapers and bloggers.


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200,000 Retail Stores to Close This Year

This Christmas season was like something right out of a fairy tale for some shoppers. Reported bargains were astounding. Unfortunately, for retailers with too many stores and not enough customers, this holiday season was horrible. Expect to see a flurry of bankruptcies in 2009. Associated Press reports:

The most dramatic pullback in consumer spending in decades could transform the retail landscape, as thousands of stores and whole malls close down. And analysts expect prolonged woes in the industry as the dramatic changes in shopping behavior could linger for another two or three years amid worries about the deteriorating economy and rising layoffs. …

A number of stores couldn’t even make it to Christmas. … The survival prospects for many more stores are dimming as more sales data come in about the crucial holiday shopping season ….

About 160,000 stores will have closed this year and 200,000 more could close next year, said Burt P. Flickinger iii, managing director of consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. That would be the industry’s biggest contraction in 35 years. Flickinger expects 2,000 to 3,000 malls to close in March and April.

AlixPartners, a turnaround consulting firm, predicts that 25.8 percent of 182 major retailers it tracks are facing major financial distress or will face a significant risk of filing for bankruptcy next year or in 2010—the highest level in the 10 years that the firm has been compiling the figures. That compares with the 4 percent to 7 percent that it predicted would face financial woes in the previous two years.

Bloomberg reported that despite steep discounts, U.S. retail store traffic fell during what may be “the worst holiday-shopping season in four decades.”

But retail outlets are just one industry facing cutbacks. A bankruptcy wave is on its way. 2009 could easily be the toughest job market in a generation.

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Republicans Are Not Quite Right In The Head

Notice the constantly shifting realities. Republicans, when confronted with an indisputable fact, simply create different “facts.” It’s not that we’re in the grip of a worldwide recession and the numbers of unemployed people are tapping out the state unemployment funds, it’s that that government workers are simply wasting the money!

It seems the good governor is often mentioned as a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2012. I predict at the very least, this particular flavor of libertarian wingnut will go far with his visionary thinking:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just hours before the unemployment benefits fund was to run out in South Carolina, the state with the nation’s third-highest jobless rate, Gov. Mark Sanford relented Wednesday and agreed to apply for a $146 million federal loan to shore it up, after weeks of refusing to do so.

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina announcing Wednesday that he had applied for the $146 million federal loan that would ensure continued unemployment benefits in the state.

The governor’s position had drawn rebukes even from fellow Republicans in the Legislature, one of whom denounced Mr. Sanford as “heartless,” and from newspaper editorial pages. On Wednesday, The State, the daily newspaper here in Columbia, accused the governor of playing “chicken with the lives of the 77,000” who are unemployed in South Carolina.


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The Kinks- All Day And All Of The Night

The Kinks- You Really Got Me

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Blagojevich Could Be Impeached Next Week

Via: Huffington Post/ Associated Press |   January 2, 2009 01:41 PM

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich could be impeached as early as next week.

The Illinois House has changed its schedule and will meet several days next week.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the chamber may vote on a recommendation from the special committee studying whether Blagojevich should be impeached.

It would take a simple majority vote for the House to impeach — which basically means accusing him of misconduct.

Then the state Senate would hold a trial to determine if the governor is guilty. A conviction there requires a two-thirds majority.

Blagojevich was arrested last month on federal corruption charges.

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Reaping Bush’s Whirlwind….

It’s no secret that a nasty rumor has been swirling through Washington DC for months. What is it you may ask ? Well it’s right below the surface but it’s on everyone’s lips. There has been talk about it for awhile now that the FED Bank, The US Treasury and the White House have been propping up the Economy until George Bush leaves office.

The hints are everywhere. From Troops being recalled for possible domestic duty, to the War College openly talking about Civil War, to a Russian professor predicting the brake-up of the United States by 2010, to Joe Biden and Colin Powell both warning about an “EVENT” to occur early into Obama’s Presidency. Something that will test Obama.

So what is George Bush and Dick Cheney planning for their final revenge against the American people ? Well it’s as easy a letting it all fall apart  just before President Elect Obama takes the oath of office.

No sir, there won’t be a Republican in sight to see Obama take the oath!

The preparations are still going on, but Republicans are already planning on heading out of town for the big day.

While millions descend on Washington for the historic Inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan. 20, some Republicans see it as an occasion to get out of town.”

A parting New Years gift from the Bush Administration or is this the tip off to GOPers to get out of town before George Bush’s Financial 911 hammer comes down ?

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Sudhan @14:55 CET

by Ralph Nader | CommonDreams, Jan 1, 2009

Dear George W. Bush,

Cong. Barney Frank said recently that Barack Obama’s declaration that “there is only one president at a time” over-estimated the number. He was referring to the economic crisis. But where are you on the Gaza crisis where the civilian population of Gaza, its civil servants and public facilities are being massacred and destroyed respectively by U.S built F-16s and U.S. built helicopter gunships.

The deliberate suspension of your power to stop this terrorizing of 1.5 million people, mostly refugees, blockaded for months by air, sea and land in their tiny slice of land, is in cowardly contrast to the position taken by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. That year he single handedly stopped the British, French and Israeli aircraft attack against Egypt during the Suez Canal dispute.

Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater then the casualties incurred by Israelis. But why should anyone be surprised at your blanket support for Israel’s attack given what you have done to a far greater number of civilians in Iraq and now in Afghanistan?

Confirmed visual reports show that Israeli warplanes and warships have destroyed or severely damaged police stations, homes, hospitals, pharmacies, mosques, fishing boats, and a range of public facilities providing electricity and other necessities.

Why should this trouble you at all? It violates international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter. You too have repeatedly violated international law and committed serious constitutional transgressions.

Then there is the matter of the Israeli government blocking imports of critical medicines, equipment such as dialysis machines, fuel, food, water, spare parts and electricity at varying intensities for almost two years. The depleted UN aid mission there has called this illegal blockade a humanitarian crisis especially devastating to children, the aged and the infirm. Chronic malnutrition among children is rising rapidly. UN rations support eighty percent of this impoverished population.

How do these incontrovertible facts affect you? Do you have any empathy or what you have called Christian charity?

What would a vastly shrunken Texas turned in an encircled Gulag do up against the 4th most powerful military in the world? Would these embattled Texans be spending their time chopping wood?

Gideon Levy, the veteran Israeli columnist for Ha’aretz, called the Israeli attack a “brutal and violent operation” far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south. He added: “The diplomatic efforts were just in the beginning, and I believe we could have got to a new truce without this bloodshed…..to send dozens of jets to bomb a total helpless civilian society with hundreds of bombs-just today, they were burying five sisters. I mean, this is unheard of. This cannot go on like this. And this has nothing to do with self-defense or with retaliation even. It went out of proportion, exactly like two-and-a-half years ago in Lebanon.”

Apparently, thousands of Israelis, including some army reservists, who have demonstrated against this destruction of Gaza agree with Mr. Levy. However, their courageous stands have not reached the mass media in the U.S. whose own reporters cannot even get into Gaza due to Israeli prohibitions on the international press.

Continued >>

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