Author: quiet Bill

Prominent Members of Chicago Black Community Confirm: those closest to Obama know there is no second term coming

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Kevin DuJan // Best of Hillbuzz, Featured Content


”œListen bud, there’s no second term nothing and they know as much,” a Think Squader told me between bites of his bodacious sandwich. ”œAll this is for show. Axelrod has already moved on but no one knows what to do and they’re kind of just limping around without a plan hoping those Romney people mess up or the media drags them across the finish line. But ain’t nobody in that top tier who thinks he’s going to win. It’s just not happening because they can’t fool people a second time”. Continue reading

Far From ”˜Junk,’ DNA Dark Matter Plays Crucial Role

Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy.

Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as ”œjunk” but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

The Five Reasons Why Romney/Ryan Must be Defeated in 2012 ”“ And Why Conservatives Should Hope They Are

Kurt Eichenwald | September 2

[hat tip Numerian from his thread]

The GOP must be stopped in 2012. The future of America’s ideals of democracy ”“ and of the Republican Party itself ”“ could well be at stake.

Contrary to how it might seem, I am not a partisan bomb thrower. Throughout most of my adulthood, I have been just as likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat ”“ in local, state and national contests. I have cast my ballot in presidential races for both Republicans and Democrats. But in the last four years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious and, more important, something wedded to the politics of fantasy and ignorance. It has rushed so far from its moorings that I cannot conceive of voting for members of this party until, hopefully, they pull themselves back from the precipice of self-destruction, paranoia and delusion.

Today, for Republicans, up is down and front is back. Lying has become so ingrained into the conservatives’ national dialogue that they are now dangerously demagogic or, worse, severely unhinged. Blind rage at the election of Barack Obama has wrecked a once great political party. Its leaders have made so many deals with the devil in their almost pathological obsession with unseating Obama that they have pushed the GOP into its own version of political hell ”“ unable to speak truths to their now-rabid and conspiracy-addled base and unable to right the party back onto a path of responsibility.

Only through the disinfectant of defeat can the Republicans, and the two party system, be preserved. And so, the campaign of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan must be consigned to the ash heap of history. Defeat must not only be decisive, it must be crippling. Here are five reasons why: … Continue reading

Valerie Jarrett is the Other Power in the West Wing

Jo Becker | Washington | September 1

NYT – President Obama was in a bind, and his chief of staff could not figure out how he had ended up there. Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church were up in arms last fall over a proposal to require employers to provide health insurance that covered birth control. But caving in to the church’s demands for a broad exemption in the name of religious liberty would pit the president against a crucial constituency, women’s groups, who saw the coverage as basic preventive care.

Worried about the political and legal implications, the chief of staff, William M. Daley, reached out to the proposal’s author, Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary. How, he wondered, had the White House been put in this situation with so little presidential input? ”œYou are way out there on a limb on this,” he recalls telling her.

”œIt was then made clear to me that, no, there were senior White House officials who had been involved and supported this,” said Mr. Daley, who left his post early this year.

What he did not realize was that while he was trying to put out what he considered a fire, the person fanning the flames was sitting just one flight up from him: Valerie Jarrett, the Obamas’ first friend, the proposal’s chief patron and a tenacious White House operator who would ultimately outmaneuver not only Mr. Daley but also the vice president in her effort to include the broadest possible contraception coverage in the administration’s health care overhaul.

A Chicagoan who helped Mr. Obama navigate his rise through that city’s aggressive politics, Ms. Jarrett came to Washington with no national experience. But her unmatched access to the Obamas has made her a driving force in some of the most significant domestic policy decisions of the president’s first term, her persuasive power only amplified by Mr. Obama’s insular management style. … Continue reading

The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney

Government documents prove the candidate’s mythology is just that

Tim Dickinson | August 29

Rolling Stone – Mitt Romney likes to say he won’t “apologize” for his success in business. But what he never says is “thank you” ”“ to the American people ”“ for the federal bailout of Bain & Company that made so much of his outsize wealth possible.

According to the candidate’s mythology, Romney took leave of his duties at the private equity firm Bain Capital in 1990 and rode in on a white horse to lead a swift restructuring of Bain & Company, preventing the collapse of the consulting firm where his career began. When The Boston Globe reported on the rescue at the time of his Senate run against Ted Kennedy, campaign aides spun Romney as the wizard behind a “long-shot miracle,” bragging that he had “saved bank depositors all over the country $30 million when he saved Bain & Company.”

In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. Continue reading

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The Priest Who Beat Pussy Riot: The Orthodox Point Man with the Kremlin

Simon Shuster | Moscow | August 20

TIME – The sentence and verdict against the feminist punk band is further evidence of the dangerous erosion of Russia’s constitutional separation of church and state.

… A few days before the verdict against Pussy Riot was announced, Chaplin met with me at his [Cathedral] base of operation in the center of Moscow
… [Archpriest Chaplin stated] ”œThe religious neutrality of the state is a fiction. It has no basis in reality.”
… ”œI think the West made a mistake when it tried to completely separate these spheres,” he said. ”œThey are completely inseparable. The same people act in the sphere of politics and the sphere of religion.” Continue reading

Zynga Shares Plunge on Fears of Social Gaming Fatigue

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) shares on Thursday plunged below $3–more than 70% below its initial public offering price–after its quarterly report indicated a severe slowdown in growth and raised questions about the prospects of a company built on the sale of virtual goods.

The San Francisco-based company blamed its disappointing results and outlook on platform changes by key partner Facebook Inc. (FB) as well as delays releasing newer games such as “The Ville” for slower top-line growth. Worse-than-expected performance from Draw Something, a mobile game Zynga acquired in March for a reported $200 million to $250 million, also hurt the company’s results and outlook.

However, some observers wondered whether Zynga’s issues go beyond that.

“We believe softness seen in Zynga’s various titles is suggesting general fatigue towards social games, in general,” said Arvind Bhatia, analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach.

Zynga provides free games like “FarmVille” and “Words With Friends,” mostly to Facebook users, and generates revenue through the sale of virtual goods. In the second quarter, Zynga’s “bookings”–the company’s metric for measuring sales of virtual goods–reached $302 million, down 8% from the first quarter and more than 10% below the expectations of most analysts.

Obama Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises

A critical document from President Barack Obama’s free trade negotiations with eight Pacific nations was leaked online early Wednesday morning, revealing that the administration intends to bestow radical new political powers upon multinational corporations, contradicting prior promises.

The leaked document has been posted on the website of Public Citizen, a long-time critic of the administration’s trade objectives. The new leak follows substantial controversy surrounding the secrecy of the talks, in which some members of Congress have complained they are not being given the same access to trade documents that corporate officials receive.

“The outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a written statement.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has been so incensed by the lack of access as to introduce legislation requiring further disclosure. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has gone so far as to leak a separate document from the talks on his website. Other Senators are considering writing a letter to Ron Kirk, the top trade negotiator under Obama, demanding more disclosure.

The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings.

…continued at link