Why the Fed May Never Do All of QE2

Today, please welcome our first guest astrologer, Elizabeth Gregory. Elizabeth is a well-known financial astrologer. Time permitting, she may occasionally check in on the discussion during the next few days.

Why the Fed May Never Do All of QE2

by Elizabeth Gregory

The Fed has issued an official time table for the purchase of: “$600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011, a pace of about $75 billion per month.”

There is another time table~a cosmic one~that strongly suggests those purchases may never be fully implemented, and could wind down significantly sooner ~possibly as early as the end of the first quarter.

That may seem difficult to comprehend as the Fed launches the program with a generous purchase of $100 billion in its first month. But it is always difficult to see the end of a bubble when we are in the midst of one, to loosely paraphrase a famous former Fed Chairman.

Viewed through the longer-term lens of astrology, however, this bubble does have a finite shelf life and a termination date.

We are presently navigating the final and most grotesque phase of the liquidity explosion that began when Uranus entered Pisces, March 10th, 2003. Eight years later, almost to the day, Uranus makes its final exit from Neptune’s sign, March 11th, 2011. [Note: Since it takes Uranus 84 years to travel around the Sun, it normally spends 7 years in a sign, but that can vary due to retrograde motion.]

The singular significance of Uranus entering Pisces ~the sign that Neptune rules~ was that Neptune, itself, had correspondingly been in Aquarius ~the sign Uranus rules~ since 1998. When two planets travel simultaneously through one another’s signs, it sets up a condition that astrologers call mutual reception. Think of it as cross breeding. When the pairing involves two of the strangest and most eccentric planets in our solar system, their bizarre offspring can radically destabilize the natural order of things..

So we had Uranus, the rule breaker, entering the watery realm of Neptune, where he encountered vast oceans of liquidity, even as Neptune was exploring the Uranian toy store of novelty and new inventions.

Soon we were celebrating “creative financing” that sent housing on a parabolic death shot to the Moon.

Those “zero down” or 125% and negative amortization mortgages may now reside in history’s house of horrors but they were only the first phase of this rocket ride that is now harnessing the booster power of Jupiter. Also known as the ‘great benefic,’ Jupiter can be a bit too generous at times, encouraging people to overextend and take undue risks. Traditional astrology gave Jupiter dual rulerships over Pisces ~ where he is currently traveling in tandem with Uranus ~ and Sagittarius, the sign of the speculator, which is where Ben Bernanke’s Sun resides.

No wonder “Helicopter Ben” is intent on inflating the greatest liquidity bubble of all time just as Uranus and Jupiter race toward their final collision on the 4th of January. That could well signal the peak of this liquidity experiment because Jupiter will exit Pisces January 22nd, reducing the strength of the tide well before Uranus severs its link to Neptune by exiting the sign in early March.

A world ever oblivious to these cosmic forces may attribute an early end of QE2 to the rising chorus of public distrust and newly acquired subpoena power of incoming House Committee Chairman Ron Paul; or, in the most mundane of scenarios, to the simple fact that the economy really does start to show signs of accelerating growth after the final Saturn-Jupiter opposition at the end of March [3/28/11].


  1. will says:


    This is a refreshing and marvelous change-up for your StarlightNews.com.

    And a big hello and thumbs-up to your contributing astrologer and author, Elizabeth Gregory. I found this article most interesting and with very creative and unique insights. I particularly enjoyed the fleshing-out of attributes of Uranus and Neptune; very nice!

    Thanks so very much for this, Nancy and Elizabeth.

  2. Prabhata says:

    Do you prefer to be called Elizabeth or Ms. Gregory?
    This is good stuff.
    Those who saved instead of leveraging will be punished with any massive printing of dollars. If the Fed cannot finish Q2, its tools are very limited to help an economy that’s stuck in the doldrums at best. If congress doesn’t help the economy, then we might be heading into more economic hardships.

    We see that Europe is having a difficult time with the euro, and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Europe will go back to their own currencies. Maybe the hidden energy of Pluto in Capricorn is that of breaking up institutions or government economic systems, e.g. currency. We see that a few representatives in Washington want to give the states the ability to nullify federal laws. Any amendment giving the states that right would mean the break up of the U.S. federation, imo.

  3. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks to Will and Prabhata for your warm and gracious welcome, and to Nancy for this opportunity to share ideas with the wonderfully perceptive folks who frequent this site.

    “Elizabeth” works just fine, but thanks so much for asking.

    A Pluto in Capricorn breakup of the EU seems an all to real possibility, Parabhata, but there appears to be an interim step that could take place: namely, the idea of a “Northern” and “Southern” Euro which surfaced in this week’s financial news.

    Any thoughts about that possibility ?

  4. Prabhata says:

    there appears to be an interim step that could take place: namely, the idea of a “Northern” and “Southern” Euro which surfaced in this week’s financial news.

    Any thoughts about that possibility ?

    Welcome Elizabeth,

    Breaking up the euro into two currencies, one for the industrialized nations, like Germany and France, Sweden, etc., and another for the developing nations would give more flexibility to the euro. As a European friend of mine puts it: “Greece has olive oil”. That’s the crux of of the euro dilemma. The PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) don’t have the economic strength to support the bonds that cover their deficit.

    Here in the U.S. there’s a hidden currency problem because, although there are great differences between California and Alabama, and we’re transferring wealth from the rich states to poorer states, people feel burdened by Washington taxes and laws. I don’t see a currency for every state, as it used to be, but more governing freedom for states might be necessary. The one size fits all edicts from Washington are fueling discontent.

  5. DPH says:

    A warm welcome to you, Elizabeth. What an interesting post… lots of food for thought!

  6. Prabhata says:


    Do you see any economic downturn like we had in the 30s? Below is the reason I’m concerned.
    A few months ago, I heard Nassim Taleb, who wrote the book
    The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,
    that the U.S. was one U.S. Treasury offering from disaster. By that he meant that if the U.S. Treasury had an offering and nobody bought (an improbable event, but not with the deficit we’re accumulating), that we would be facing a catastrophe.

    That comment has stuck in my mind, and I keep looking at the stars, especially Uranus for signs of the “black swan”. On October 29, 1929, 9:30 EST, Uranus was 8Aries22, and Pluto was transiting Cancer. Knowing that Uranus will be squaring Pluto in 2013 and Uranus will be transiting a susceptible point for the market makes me uneasy.

  7. Shadowhawk says:

    An excellent article by Eric Francis at Planet Waves with insight into Assange’s chart (included)


  8. Prabhata says:

    ‪Alan Grayson: Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Federal Reserve?‬

    TARP was too small and in the end could not save the melting banks. The Fed dumped trillions into the banking system. I”m looking forward to Rep. Ron Paul looking into the Fed.

    ‪Matt Stoller: End this fed at Naked Capitalism

    In 1989, Bill Greider published a remarkable book called ‘The Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country’ in which he described how Fed officials were the real decision-makers in the American political order. Shielded by the argument of ‘political independence’, most politicians wouldn’t and still won’t dare interfere with the workings of our economic structure, even though the Constitution clearly mandates that the monetary system is the province of Congress. The dramatic and overt coordination of this ‘independent’ central bank with the executive branch and the banking sector, and its flouting of Congressional and public scrutiny, have removed its institutional legitimacy.
    Like most American institutions, the Fed has shrouded itself in myth, with self-serving officials discussing the immaculate design of the central bank, untouchable, secretive, an autocratic and technocratic adult in the world of democratic children. But the Fed, and specifically the people who run it, are responsible for declining wages, for de-industrialization, for bubbles, and for the systemic corruption of American capital markets. Take this passage from Greider’s masterpiece, on the inflation battles of the early 1980s:
    When White House officials congratulated themselves on how swiftly inflation was declining, Volcker pulled out his card on union wages and warned them not to be too optimistic. Until labor got the message and surrendered on its wage demands, the underlying rate of inflation would continue to push prices upward – and collide with the stringent reality imposed by the Fed’s money policy.
    Here was the Federal Reserve Chair, a Democrat, carrying around union wage stats in his pocket so he would know whether he was driving worker pay down fast enough. If you want to understand the poverty of the debate on financial reform, the idea that Volcker was ‘the hero’ of the reform side should illustrate it.

  9. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    It’s certainly going to be interesting to see just how much leverage Rep. Ron Paul will be able to exert over the Fed when he launches his “witch hunt.” Anyone interested in calculating the odds that it’s Chairman winds up in Contempt of Congress ? Or that the Fed has to hold at least one of its 2011 meetings by teleconference so he can participate from his jail cell ?

    [You are allowed to check Bernanke’s chart before placing those bets .]

    Seriously, I’m dearly fond of Helicopter Ben, and even feel a bit protective toward the little guy who just found himself in the wrong job at the wrong time…. but Uranus is stationing as I write, making irreverent humor irresistible [wink].

    Uranus gets far enough into Aries to square the USA Venus for the first time next April-May, so maybe that’s when we will need to hold our collective breaths around Treasury auctions.

    Meanwhile, here is a wonderfully scary video to contemplate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N8gJSMoOJc

  10. Pat C says:

    Welcome Elizabeth. Thanks for such a clear writing of a complicated situation.

    It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  11. Prabhata says:

    Thank you for that video. Wow, that’s a real currency war that would scare the heebee jeebees of the Dalai Lama. :) It doesn’t sound like you see a black swan on the horizon. That’s good.

    I’ve checked Ben’s chart, (Sun – Jupiter opposition and Uranus – Chiron opposition), and the end of 2011 seems more stressful than April, imo.

    2011 (my rudimentary analysis)
    Moon nodes will visit his Natal Sun and Jupiter opposition at end of July (this might bring out mistakes Ben made), and transiting Saturn will square his natal Uranus and Neptune in the last quarter of the year. I’m going to hope it’s a garden variety S&P 500 drop.

    I really appreciate your views. Thank you and please gives us a heads up if your star gazing gives you a new insight.

  12. kiwi says:

    Thanks Elizabeth for an interesting article – but …. Question:
    What is QE2? – coming from a commonwealth country my mind automatically goes to the British Queen – but I know that cannot be what is meant – LOL.

  13. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks so much, Pat C, for your kind words. The “clarity” people have commented on is most likely the result of having written for a group of traders at a subscription site over the past two years. They know almost no astrology, so I’ve had to find ways of making things easy to understand.

    They say “we teach that which we most need to learn,” and in this case, I’ve discovered making things very simple really has deepened my own understanding over time, so it’s great to get your feedback, and realize this kind of writing is also appreciated by the astrologically astute. :-)

    Prabhata, thank you for your thoughts on Ben’s chart. Black Swan’s are not easy to predict. Just because I don’t see one doesn’t mean I don’t worry about it, and I certainly respect Taleb’s thought that we are but one failed Fed auction away from Armageddon.

    Kiwi ! I loved your question because you don’t have to be a British subject to be confused by QE2. A treasured astrologer friend, who lives in Brooklyn, NY, had the same reaction when he first saw my QE2 piece.

    You see, the QE2 docks in Brooklyn, and there was a lot of press when the old QE2 sailed for the last time from that port, so my friend’s first thought when he saw that acronym was that it referred to an ocean liner !!

    It actually means “quantitative easing,” a form of pure madness in which the Fed is buying up the government’s own debt as a way of forcing huge liquidity injections into our system. [If anyone has a more sophisticated definition, please do elaborate.] That quote about buying up $600 billion of long-term treasuries is straight from the Fed’s press release announcing the program.

    From your name, I somehow suspect your “commonwealth country” may be New Zealand or Australia ?

  14. clymela says:

    Elizabeth-thank you for your visit to Starlight News. I appreciate your “simplicity” of words although there is little simplicity in your understanding.
    I am dizzy with the confusion of these days and horrified by the folk like Ron Paul who hate Social Security, public education and of course are totally opposed to public health coverage. So far as we stumble closer and closer to disaster the leaders we have before us seem to point to ever crueler attitudes towards the “middle class”, the ordinary folk who do not run things only pay for things.

  15. Pat C says:

    Elizabeth, yes! Throughout my career I have found that my words are most valuable when they can be understood, and to translate technical language to plain speaking, it takes more effort, and makes me smarter in the long run. I thank you so much for your effort to do just that. You succeeded! ;-)

  16. Pat C says:

    What we’re seeing today is just the latest battle in the war that’s been going on since the Enlightenment, of the bosses against the common man. The bosses are very comfortable with feudalism. To them, we are peasants who have forgotten our places.

  17. Pat C says:


    Rep. Mike Michaud: I Will “Do Whatever I Can to Defeat” Obama’s NAFTA-Style Korea Trade Deal


    “We had what I thought was a productive meeting just a few weeks ago at the White House on changes we’d like to see in the agreement. At the time, we told the President that we believe the agreement as it exists now has several fundamental problems that go beyond the issues with beef and autos.

    “But after talking to Ambassador Kirk today, I learned that these concerns were not addressed. I had hoped for more from this White House, which campaigned on a need to change the way we negotiate trade agreements so that they truly benefit American workers and businesses. The deal reached today, while beneficial to the auto industry, falls far short of that goal.

    “Moving forward, I will continue to reach out to the Administration and work with them, especially on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But when it comes to this deal, I will work with allies on Capitol Hill to do whatever I can to defeat it.

    On November 18, Michaud led a White House meeting with President Obama where he and his fellow HTWG members outlined changes that they would like to see in the deal, including: protecting workers’ rights and reducing off-shoring through the clarification and enforcement of labor standards; promoting U.S. manufacturing through reciprocity, targeted tariff reduction and increased export opportunities for small and medium manufactures; and providing U.S. economic sustainability through trade deficit reduction, financial crisis prevention and consumption-production balance.

  18. chry says:


    This is a must read – why I left America and the truth
    behind how other countries take care of the people-
    re unemployment.

    For me the bigger question is why so many people
    vote against their best interests- Has America become a country of victims?

  19. Prabhata says:

    Bernie Sanders: There is a war going on in this country – the super rich against the rest of us.

    Pat C,
    Krugman has also highlighted the class struggle going on. When one looks at the whole world, it’s not just the U.S. middle class that’s is fighting for its existence. I would hope that we use the word “struggle” and not war. I think that war will come if the people in Washington don’t help the 99 percent who is hurting.

    a href=”http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/04/class-and-social-security/”>Class And Social Security

    After that column, Karl Smith takes issue and says that Krugman was “crass” for highlighting the class division. Krugman responds:

    Krugman: Not crass, class

  20. Prabhata says:

    First link to Krugman’s

    Class And Social Security

    :oops: Maybe it works this time.

  21. Prabhata says:

    What we’re seeing today is just the latest battle in the war that’s been going on since the Enlightenment, of the bosses against the common man. The bosses are very comfortable with feudalism. To them, we are peasants who have forgotten our places.

    Pat C,
    Amen. But we have the numbers. And unlike the feudal times when only the monks knew what was going on as recorders of history, we communicate worldwide.

  22. clymela says:

    I have always heard that one reason why Social Security has been so popular is that it is not means tested: one pays into the system while earning a salary and then one draws down on that when one is disabled or old.
    Getting an agreement to means test will make Social Security another welfare program and therefore all the easier to get rid of. I think that is what Simon meant with
    the “small people” words.

  23. Prabhata says:

    I agree. Whatever means a person has, should not be a test of making a claim. The test should be whether one paid into the system.
    Social Security is an insurance, and should be seen as such. If I die, I get nothing. If I live to collect, I collect. It’s that simple. Initially SS was not a disability insurance and that part was added into the system because SS funds were fat at the time. It should have been additional deductions or a separate system, but the government wanted to cover people who were left with no resources to support themselves when they were disabled.

    If allowed, politicians will misuse funds. It’s their nature.

  24. B.A. says:

    Kiwi, re QE2 what is it, here is a delightful piece which has been making the rounds of the internet. It is actually quite good, and answers your question:


  25. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks B.A. for posting that wonderful video.
    Last night I was thinking about adding it to my response, but held back, and was delighted to see someone else thought of it.

    Thanks again to all: Pat C, Will, DPH, Prabhata, and Clymela for your warm welcomes.

    Today I’ve done a lot of thinking about what it is that makes astrology so comforting, and realized it’s because it gives us an opportunity to see the forces that are shaping events, instead of being trapped in the illusion of samsara, where we just react to them.

    So I’m going to talk about the energy that is acting on us all collectively right now, at this moment, and throughout this coming week.

    Sure we have a Uranus station, and that is supposed to be a high energy, happy, inspirational sort of vibe. So why is there this very heavy feeling, of almost dread and foreboding ?

    Well, it just happens we also have the first of two dismal Mercury-Pluto conjunctions in Capricorn, with the North Node not that far behind. By virtue of Mercury’s station at 5.51 Capricorn Friday morning, we are stuck in this very serious ~the bills are coming due ~ sort of vibe for eight long days, until Mercury makes the retrograde hit of that conjunction to Pluto next Monday night, 12/13.

    [Of course we also get Mercury conjunct Mars and Mars conjunct Pluto at virtually the same time, so by next Monday night, we may have no time left to be depressed about minor matters like finances since the whole world could be exploding. ~A little poetic license never hurts, but who really knows in these tenuous times.]

    Anyway, we have protection through this week in the form of Venus sextiling first Pluto on Wednesday, and then Mercury right at Friday’s market close.

    So just for fun, let’s watch and see how we “feel” these energies. Will Venus keep our spirits up, or are we and the world going to descend into a Mercury-Pluto funk by Friday ?

    Looking forward to feedback of any type.


  26. Pat says:

    Wonderful article Elizabeth………….
    & Here’s how they kept their spirits up in 1928. Love the honky-tonk & vibratones!

    Idea came from Michael Lutin’s website but I went direct to You tube, hoping for fewer interupts…………..

  27. Pat C says:

    [Of course we also get Mercury conjunct Mars and Mars conjunct Pluto at virtually the same time, so by next Monday night, we may have no time left to be depressed about minor matters like finances since the whole world could be exploding. ~A little poetic license never hurts, but who really knows in these tenuous times.]

    Oh Elizabeth. More on this please? Pretty please??

  28. Pat C says:


    Pay Freeze Could Cripple Dodd-Frank


    Then you have a financial regulatory reform bill which is incredibly dependent on effective regulation at the federal level. There’s even a new agency, housed inside the Federal Reserve, charged with consumer financial protection. In order to stay a step ahead of the bankers and to comply with the law, this agency and the others overseeing the financial sector must hire more people (the SEC wants to hire 800 more employees to meet the requirements of Dodd-Frank), and be populated with the brightest and most incorruptible minds we can find, who know the tricks and traps that the bank lobbyists will seek as cover from the law. One of the problems we had in the past was that the regulators who weren’t captured by the finance lobby actually didn’t have the smarts to keep up with them as they ran their Wall Street casino. So you have to attract new talent which can narrow that gap.

    And as Barney Frank says, by instituting this pay freeze right now, you’re hamstringing the regulatory agencies which necessarily must get beefed up if the financial reform will take.

    More at the link….

  29. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Oh Pat, the music was perfect….That’s the spirit !

    The whole reason I launched into that little list of this week’s transits is that I just didn’t want to add to the negativity.

    Were I to talk about anything substantive…well, just listening to the Sunday morning talk shows now makes my physically ill. Intelligent adults are discussing whether to extend tax cuts we could not afford in the first place. Now we are broke, and going broker each and every minute, and they are talking about what color to paint those deck chairs on the Titanic !

    So the lyrics of that song and Candide’s decision to tend his own garden are my personal method of retaining a shred of sanity in a nation that has gone totally mad.

    As for next Monday night’s Mercury-Mars-Pluto melee, yes, it’s highly explosive, but it’s also the sort of energy that can propel markets higher if nothing really terrible happens.

    Wishing you a happy week,


  30. chry says:

    Enjoying your insights Elizabeth

    This is from the times just now- wall street advancing next year bonus’s as they are afraid
    that the tax extension will not happen

    do they know something we do not know


  31. Prabhata says:

    Calculated RIsk: Bernanke didn’t see the crisis coming

    And on the Fed at its worst:
    Pelley: Is there anything that you wish you’d done differently over these last two and a half years or so?

    Bernanke: Well, I wish I’d been omniscient and seen the crisis coming, the way you asked me about, I didn’t.
    Bernanke was flat out blind. Missing the housing bubble and inevitable financial impact was inexcusable. I criticized Bernanke repeatedly in 2005, 2006 and 2007 for not recognizing the serious problems with the economy. I ridiculed Bernanke’s 2005 piece in the WSJ: The Goldilocks Economy and wrote then that Bernanke was “channeling Coolidge’s [Dec 1928] monument to economic shortsightedness”.

    I accept that the Fed didn’t have the authority to investigate AIG, but its demise was due to insuring many unregulated risky hedge funds. Professor Bill Black, who was involved with the savings & loan fraud testified, what happened in 2008 was fraud and the the Fed failed to act.

    I believe Professor Black:

    Lehman’s failure is a story in large part of fraud. And it is fraud that begins at the absolute latest in 2001, and that is with their subprime and liars’ loan operations..

    Transcript: Bill Black Testimony on Lehman Bankruptcy

    The youtube video has been disabled because, uh-huh, violations of copyright laws.

  32. B.A. says:

    You are welcome, Elizabeth.

    Meantime, looks like we have to go to India for freedom of the press:


  33. Prabhata says:

    Excellent link. Thank you. I particularly like this section of the editorial:

    Earlier this year, President Barack Obama was ‘troubled’ by the cyber attacks on Google, which were said to originate in China, and wanted those responsible to face the consequences. The more freely information flows, the stronger society becomes, he had said during an earlier visit to China. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also strongly critical of Internet restrictions in China. Now the boot is on the other foot. Concern for free speech is nowhere in evidence as extra-legal methods are deployed to deny Americans their First Amendment rights.

    It’s called hypocrisy.

  34. B.A. says:

    Its professional lairs in the cloak of diplomacy… and it is using pressure on countries and companies and any means possible to shut this up, since they do not want the truth to come out.

    It is very bad unprincipled behavior, and also it is about the worst PR possible.

    It is going to be very hard going forward for the US to lecture anyone on press freedom and human rights from here on out… including the law professor in charge.

    IMHO he will be laughed at and despised.

  35. B.A. says:


    The true importance of Wikileaks — and the key to understanding the motivations and behavior of its founder — lies not in the contents of the latest document dump but in the technology that made it possible, which has already shown itself to be a potent weapon to undermine official lies and defend human rights. Since 1997, Assange has devoted a great deal of his time to inventing encryption systems that make it possible for human rights workers and others to protect and upload sensitive data. The importance of Assange’s efforts to human rights workers in the field were recognized last year by Amnesty International, which gave him its Media Award for the Wikileaks investigation The Cry of Blood – Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances, which documented the killing and disappearance of 500 young men in Kenya by the police, with the apparent connivance of the country’s political leadership.

    Yet the difficulties of documenting official murder in Kenya pale next to the task of penetrating the secret world that threatens to swallow up informed public discourse in this country about America’s wars. The 250,000 cables that Wikileaks published this month represent only a drop in the bucket that holds the estimated 16 million documents that are classified top secret by the federal government every year. According to a three-part investigative series by Dana Priest and William Arkin published earlier this year in The Washington Post, an estimated 854,000 people now hold top secret clearance – more than 1.5 times the population of Washington, D.C. “The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive,” the Post concluded, “that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”

    The result of this classification mania is the division of the public into two distinct groups: those who are privy to the actual conduct of American policy, but are forbidden to write or talk about it, and the uninformed public, which becomes easy prey for the official lies exposed in the Wikileaks documents: The failure of American counterinsurgency programs in Afghanistan, the involvement of China and North Korea in the Iranian nuclear program, the likely failure of attempts to separate Syria from Iran, the involvement of Iran in destabilizing Iraq, the anti-Western orientation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and other tenets of American foreign policy under both Bush and Obama.

    It is a fact of the current media landscape that the chilling effect of threatened legal action routinely stops reporters and editors from pursuing stories that might serve the public interest – and anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant or lying. Every honest reporter and editor in America knows that the fact that most news organizations are broke, combined with the increasing threat of aggressive legal action by deep-pocketed entities, private and public, has made it much harder for good reporters to do their jobs, and ripped a hole in the delicate fabric that holds our democracy together.

    The idea that Wikileaks is a threat to the traditional practice of reporting misses the point of what Assange and his co-workers have put together – a powerful tool that can help reporters circumvent the legal barriers that are making it hard for them to do their job. Even as he criticizes the evident failures of the mainstream press, Assange insists that Wikileaks should facilitate traditional reporting and analysis. “We’re the step before the first person (investigates),” he explained, when accepting Amnesty International’s award for exposing police killings in Kenya. “Then someone who is familiar with that material needs to step forward to investigate it and put it in political context. Once that is done, then it becomes of public interest.”

    Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press. The likely arrest of Assange in Britain on dubious Swedish sex crimes charges has nothing to do with the importance of the system he has built, and which the US government seems intent on destroying with tactics more appropriate to the Communist Party of China — pressuring Amazon to throw the site off their servers, and, one imagines by launching the powerful DDOS attacks that threatened to stop visitors from reading the pilfered cables.

    In a memorandum entitled “Transparency and Open Government” addressed to the heads of Federal departments and agencies and posted on WhiteHouse.gov, President Obama instructed that “Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.” The Administration would be wise to heed his words — and to remember how badly the vindictive prosecution of Daniel Ellsberg ended for the Nixon Administration. And American reporters, Pulitzer Prizes and all, should be ashamed for joining in the outraged chorus that defends a burgeoning secret world whose existence is a threat to democracy.

  36. Pat C says:


    Let’s Not Make a Deal

    Back in 2001, former President George W. Bush pulled a fast one. He wanted to enact an irresponsible tax cut, largely for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans. But there were Senate rules in place designed to prevent that kind of irresponsibility. So Mr. Bush evaded the rules by making the tax cut temporary, with the whole thing scheduled to expire on the last day of 2010.

    More at the link….

  37. Pat C says:

    I believe the “agreement” that has been in motion for some time, is to bring the standard of living down for the US, along with doing away with sovereignty for most of the free world It is a flat world that is sought for globalization.

    It won’t work.

  38. Pat C says:

    Hey remember when the Republicans kept of the chorus of “No one is above the law!”?


    The day that Barack Obama lied to me


    Here’s the thing: In a sense, I agree with the Obama’s administration’s actions here, in that it shouldn’t be Spain’s responsibility to determine whether American high-ranked officials committed crimes. It is America’s responsibility to determine whether high-ranking American officials committed crimes, and in that regard we have failed miserably as a nation. That failure took place largely under the presidency of Barack Obama. It is way officials as far away as Spain have to think about getting involved.

    The funny thing is that this sense of expediency, the lack of accountability, and one set of rules for the powerful and another set for everyone else, is now coming to permeate American society. It’s really not that important in the scheme of things, but tonight we see such a case in the world of sports — the NCAA largely looking the other way from a major infraction because it would screw up the big bucks for the BCS title game. Remember the hit-and-run driver in Colorado whose job with a hedge fund made him too important to be charged with a felony? And there’s not the time or the space (and note: this is cyberspace, which is infinite) to recount all the low-life scum on Wall Street who got away with it.

    Where on earth did people in America get this idea, that we only have a system of justice when it happens to be convenient? Maybe they got it from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and from a nation that looks at a president who invaded another country on bogus, trumped up pretenses and ordered illegal acts of torture – and sends him on a cross-country book tour with a multi-million-dollar reward? Actions have consequences, but so does inaction, and for all the right-wing clucking, the reality is that the failure of this country to hold a president and his aides accountable for things that were not “policy differences” but serious violations of the law is making America weaker, not stronger, as our moral fiber and our standing in the world slowly erodes.

    You know, there’s been all this talk recently — including on this blog — about “American exceptionalism.” Does anyone remember what Obama said when he was asked about this back in 2009:

    “I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution,in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.”

    Pretty words — but meaningless if working in the White House means you’re above “our body of law.” The breakdown of justice in this county is far from exceptional. In fact, it’s contemptible. And the lie that Barack Obama told in this building in Philadelphia is a big part of that.

    More at the link…

  39. Pat C says:

    Wall Street May Time Bonuses to Avoid Taxes

    With the Bush-era tax cuts in limbo, bank executives are calculating when to hold their bonus bonanza….


  40. clymela says:

    Pat C- I see things much as you do. Yes, the powers that be wanting a “flat world” the better to keep matters under control. I also agree that “they” will fail but how many of “us” will be piled up on the road side when this is over?
    My head spins over the talking heads repeatedly narrowing in on entitlements” as the problem that caused our predictament and never the tax rates and never the insane amount of resources squandered on military and I am not here referring to soldier pay-although the amounts of $$$ spent on private “security” is staggering and much more that is spent for the ordinary military-there must be many people from both sides who realize that they are being lied to. Many of the middle-class who diligently saved are now wiped out by Wall St so that the SSA promised and for which they paid is now needed no longer just a nice bonus.
    This is part of the type of negotiations I would expect with Mercury and Mars and the North Node right there with Pluto.
    I imagine that there are other countries where the “people” are really getting the stuffing kicked out-perhaps UK? I haven’t looked up the chart but I do know that UK is a Capricorn nation.

  41. Prabhata says:

    believe the “agreement” that has been in motion for some time, is to bring the standard of living down for the US, along with doing away with sovereignty for most of the free world It is a flat world that is sought for globalization.

    It won’t work.

    Pat C.
    I wish you were wrong. Because I saw the video back in October when Calculated risk had a link, I recognized the script.

    Watch the video, third on the web page, around 34:10
    Economist Martin Feldstein lays out the theater about the Republicans twisting Obama’s arm to extend the cuts for 2 years.

    On October 5, 2010, Budget Policy, Short-Term Recovery and Long-Term Growth attended by GS’s Jan Hatzius, Paul Krugman, and Harvard Economist Martin Feldstein

  42. Prabhata says:

    Pat C,
    It’s depressing. I don’t know when the script was written.

    Extend the Bush Tax Cuts—For Now
    Deficits are a real problem but the recovery is still too fragile to choke off growth with higher rates
    Mr. Feldstein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, is a professor at Harvard and a member of The Wall Street Journal’s board of contributors.

    This is not the time for a tax increase. But unless Congress acts, under current law the existing income tax rates will rise sharply at the beginning of next year. Congress should vote now to extend all of the current tax rates for two years, including the tax rates on dividends, interest and capital gains. Limiting the resulting tax-rate cuts to two years would reduce the projected future fiscal deficits. The sooner Congress acts, the stronger our prospects for continued economic recovery.

    In July Orzag says the same.

    In October, I put the link above, Feldstein says that come December, after the elections, Obama must claim that the “Republicans twisted his arm”.

    2 years must be some kind of magical number. Let’s see what happens in 2 years? Maybe the Republicans take over and can make the tax cuts permanent.

  43. Prabhata says:

    I forgot to mention that Feldstein wrote his editorial in May 2010
    The script for the extension was written early 2010? I don’t know. Maybe it was written when the Wall Street plutocrats supported Obama in 2007.

  44. Pat C says:

    clymela, hold the SCOTUS in the light.

    Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Wal-Mart Bias Case Appeal



    If nothing else, many pending class actions will slow or stop while litigants and courts await the decision in the case.
    “We are pleased that the Supreme Court has granted review in this important case,” Wal-Mart said in a statement. “The current confusion in class-action law is harmful for everyone — employers, employees, businesses of all types and sizes and the civil justice system. These are exceedingly important issues that reach far beyond this particular case.”
    Brad Seligman, the main lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a telephone interview after the court decision: “Wal-Mart has thrown up an extraordinarily broad number of issues, many of which, if the court seriously entertained, could very severely undermine many civil rights class actions. We welcome the court’s review of this limited issue, and we’re confident that the core of our action will go forward.”
    In their brief urging the justices to deny review, the plaintiffs had said Wal-Mart’s objection to class-action treatment boiled down to the enormous size of the class.
    “Petitioner returns repeatedly to the refrain that the certified class is very large, a fact that is indisputably true but legally irrelevant,” the brief said. “The class is large because Wal-Mart is the nation’s largest employer and manages its operations and employment practices in a highly uniform and centralized manner.”

    More at the link…

  45. Pat C says:

    Excellent links Prabhata. Thank you.

  46. Prabhata says:

    Pat C,
    It’s a game, and it’s rigged. I’m depressed.

  47. Pat C says:

    Newt Gingrich announced his candidacy for president today.

  48. Pat C says:

    It is Prabhata, and I can only say, it won’t work, but as clymela says, there will be suffering before they are done.

  49. Prabhata says:

    The beauty of Pluto is that it gives lots and lots of rope for those with dark motives to hang themselves, like Bernie Madoff. I’ve known since childhood that power, to be used correctly must come from the heart, and if it doesn’t, one is hoisted with one’s own petard.

  50. Connie says:

    just in time, a Dec 5th message from Matthew


    … some comfort & joy
    Merry Holly Daze!!

  51. Pat C says:


    O’Neill says Bush’s memoir misstates record on tax-cut talks

    Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said he directly told former President George W. Bush on several occasions that he didn’t support the administration’s tax cut proposals.

    O’Neill’s opposition to the tax cuts is no secret — he was fired in December 2002 for challenging the Bush White House on the tax-cut proposal.

    More at the link…

  52. Prabhata says:


    Euro Currency
    January 1, 1999
    12:01 AM
    Frankfurt, Germany

    I notice that transiting Saturn, Pluto and Uranus will aspect the euro’s natal Sun and Saturn.

    Right now the euro is under lots of pressure from the bond vigilantes. It would be very interesting if you shared your views with respect to the euro from 2011 – 2013

    Germany Reluctant to Expand Bailout Fund

    Here is the information for Germany’s PM

    Angela Merkel
    July 17, 1954
    5:45 PM CET
    Hamburg, Germany
    I got the information from:

  53. Pat C says:

    Indigenous Peruvians Win Appeal in Federal Human Rights and Environmental Lawsuit Against Occidental Petroleum for Contaminating Amazon Rainforest, Poisoning Communities


  54. Pat C says:


    Sierra Club Will Oppose Obama’s NAFTA-Style Free Trade Agreement


    The Sierra Club opposed the deal when it was negotiated by George Bush in 2007:

    “Like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Dominican Republic-Central America-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), the investment chapter of this agreement continues to promote off-shoring, and exposes our domestic environmental, zoning, health and other public interest policies to challenge by foreign investors in foreign tribunals. In addition, the procurement rules of this agreement jeopardize our democratically-determined federal and state procurement policies. This means that policies designed to promote clean energy use and reward environmentally-sustainable companies would be vulnerable to challenge in international trade tribunals, even if those policies were developed at the state and local levels.
    Those things haven’t changed. But labor secretaries like Hilda Solis have been calling around furiously, trying to get groups to stay quiet and refrain from criticizing the deal — threatening them when necessary, as in the case of the Steelworkers.”

    It takes guts to get out in front of this when the White House is trying to strong arm people while they take bows with the Chamber of Commerce and Jamie Dimon. High marks for the Sierra Club for showing leadership and being willing to do so.

    More at the link…

  55. Pat says:

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Obama, GOP reach deal on tax cuts
    Brushing past Democratic opposition, President Barack Obama announced agreement with Republicans Monday night to extend expiring tax cuts for all Americans, renew jobless benefits and grant a one-year reduction in Social Security taxes for millions.

    For the latest on this story, go to http://www.seattletimes.com
    but then did we expect anything different?

  56. lizzie says:

    Thank you for your great article Elizabeth Gregory.
    As a poster (Brian Walls) on huffington post recently wrote:

    “If there is a word that captures the true essence of the first decade of this century it is the word “FRAUD.” The size and scope of the crimes committed in the last 10 years seem to have increased exponentially.

    “The supreme court’s theft of the presidential election from Al Gore, the Worldcom and Enron bankruptcies, the California Energy Crisis (a massive fraud that led to another one: the recall of that states democratic Governor). Iraqi WMDs and the entire Iraq War itself. The ohio election results of 2004, voting machine fraud, and the US Attorneys firing scandal / politicization of the Justice Dept by Karl Rove (don’t forget his millions of deleted emails or the outing of Valerie Plame). We have an epidemic of mortgage Fraud, securities fraud, and foreclosure fraud. Bernie Madoff. Countrywide. AIG. Citigroup. TARP.

    “Is Obama himself a fraud, who fraudulently sold hope of “change you can believe in” to an american public SICK of fraud and desperate for that change? Bp’s oil spill and fraudulent lowballing of it’s size equals “environmental disaster fraud.” I could go on and on and on… I’m sure you could add many more to the list.

    “With rampant fraud and criminal activity surrounding us on all sides, is there anybody out there who still believes the official story of what will someday be known as the GREATEST FRAUD EVER PERPETRATED ON THE GLOBAL POPULATION – the legend, the icon, the leitmotif of this nasty young fraudulent century?” Brian Walls.

  57. Gypsi says:

    Good read – excellent article Elizabeth.

  58. Prabhata says:

    Thank you. I didn’t realize how we’ve been moving from one fraud to the next.

  59. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks so much for your comments Lizzie and Gypsi. I love your names !

    Prabhata, thanks for the Euro data. Currencies are not something I trade, so don’t do much with those charts, since I have to stay focused on the indices I actively trade during the week.

    But if you would like to contact me privately, I’ll be happy to give you the name and web site of an amazing trader who does track that stuff. He’s French Canadian and he’s awesome.

    Try this address it seems to be working best: Elizabethgregory77@gmail.com

    All the best,

  60. Prabhata says:

    Thank you for the offer. I happened to see a few stories about the euro, which prompted me to ask you about the euro, but I’m not a currency trader either.

  61. Pat C says:


    With Pressure on All Sides, White House Defends Tax Cut “Framework”

    Senior Administration officials tried to cast their deal on the Bush tax cuts in a positive light, even as forces on the left and right were mobilizing against it. The deal is so shaky that the White House officials and the President would only call it a “framework.” Several Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are already either simply opposed, or dedicated to mobilizing for defeat of the package, and the Senate Majority leader delivered a terse one-line statement only agreeing to discuss it with his colleagues. The biggest news here is that this deal isn’t done.

    More at the link…

  62. Pat C says:


    The End of Social Security

    President Obama and the Republicans will say that the payroll tax holiday is all about stimulating the economy. But don’t be fooled. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities,extending the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, is a much better, more targeted stimulus. See “Payroll Tax Holiday a Poor Stimulus Idea,” available at this link.

    And the Making Work Pay Tax Credit poses no threat to Social Security. The innocent-sounding payroll tax holiday, on the other hand, will lead inexorably to killing Social Security. Let me explain:

    More at the link….

  63. Pat says:

    OMG! Everywhere I turn, I smack into bat sh-t insane Repigs! Their illness is gone into critical ICU status! Unfortunately…………………………it is the only illness that proceeds to this point and is NOT TERMINAL!
    I thought I would try to dialogue with them in the Bangor Daily News, now that the paper has provided a link with e-mail notification of a reply. But you can’t reason with the now empowered insane!
    kate o’birne of Hudson Institute sees school lunches as the fault of criminally neglectful PARENTS?
    Try criminally neglectful politicians?
    live streaming
    Back to listening to Jack Hylton & The Best Things in Life Are Free!

  64. will says:

    From Carl Karas in “Responses”
    to Benign Retrograde Mercury

    “I think the uproar over Assange and WikiLeaks is overblown. He’s acting just like those hackers who, out of pride in their Tech prowess, over the course of time demonstrated security weaknesses which end up being corrected, without doing much damage in the process. The US diplomatic core is being shuffled around at the very moment. Information security issues are being looked into at Embassies everywhere. Many ‘logjams’ in world affairs will finally perhaps be broken up. A good analogy for a late degree Jupiter ruled Saj Mercury Retrograde Inferior Conjunction perhaps? Freedom of information can only ever be positive I believe.

    I think this might be a much more impactful Retrograde than you are predicting, with Mercury passing back and forth across the Cap/Cancer axis. The Total Lunar Eclipse which occurs during this Retro period, squaring Uranus/Jupiter, should grab our attention as well- the path of this Eclipse is aimed right at Los Angeles.”


    “Gary P Caton in “Comments” writes:
    December 7th, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Mercury Rx is ruler of the coming Total Lunar Eclipse in Gemini on the day of the Winter Solstice.

    Assange has the Nodes at the cross quarter points.

    The next Eclipse is at the Solstice points.

    I suspect this story will continue awhile.”

  65. Prabhata says:

    Democrats in Washington need to hear from the liberal base for a push back.
    I just called my representative in Washington (local phone lines) and stressed the following points:
    1 – the compromise is not a compromise, but a give away to the Republicans:
    A – The bush tax cuts for the super rich are bad for the deficit and do nothing for the economy.
    B – Destroying SS is what the Republicans have always wanted. Obama is defunding SS with the labor tax holiday.

    2 – Send the compromise back to the White House so that the president can act like a Democrat and negotiate in good faith.

    I’ve always found it easier to call the local number for representatives than the Washington phone line.

  66. Pat C says:

    How the US can now extradite Assange


    Now that Julian Assange is in custody of British authorities on a warrant for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, Obama administration officials may well be working behind the scenes to secure his extradition to the United States, an international criminal law expert tells Salon.

    More at the link…

  67. Pat C says:


    Hackers Attack, Take Down Site of Bank that Froze Assange Cash

  68. Pat C says:


    Angry Progressives Shut Down WH Phone Lines With Calls Protesting Tax Cut Cave

  69. Pat C says:


    Hacktivist group Anonymous hits sites that cut off WikiLeaks

    Distributed Denial of Service attacks targets companies ‘bowing to government pressure’

  70. Prahbata says:

    I just read Obama is promising to fight against the Bush tax cuts in 2012. :lol:

  71. Lunagardener says:


    Open letter: To Julia Gillard, re Julian Assange

    We wrote the letter below because we believe that Julian Assange is entitled to all the protections enshrined in the rule of law – and that the Australian Government has an obligation to ensure he receives them.

  72. DPH says:

    Godspeed, Elizabeth Edwards.

  73. Fe says:

    From The Mountain Astrologer:

    Birth Time for Julian Assange
    By Mary Plumb | December 7, 2010

    True to the spirit of the time (and the Uranus station), several days ago TMA received an (unsolicited) exact birth time for Julian Assange.

    Our source has requested anonymity, which we are respecting. Both Tem and I felt that the circumstances through which we got the information, and some other details, suggest that this is an authentic time. The source personally viewed, but was not able to make a copy of, Mr. Assange’s birth certificate. Because of ink that was a bit smeared, there is a question of whether the time of birth was 2:05 pm, 2:06 pm. or 2:08 pm on July 3, 1971, in Townsville, Queensland, Australia (19S09 146E48).

    I’ll just make a few quick comments, and open it up for you all to chime in with your fine ideas. What a story!

    Birth data for Julian Assange: July 3, 1971; 2:05 pm; Townsville, Queensland

    First of all, take a look at the chart for the solar arc directions that Tem noticed right away.

    Uranus is a big player in Mr. Assange’s birth chart (it squares the Sun) and has come precisely to the Ascendant.

    Mr. Assange’s MC/IC axis 6º12’ Leo/Aquarius; the U.S. nodal axis is 6º36’ Leo/Aquarius.

    Julian Assange has 17º08’ Scorpio rising. His co-rulers are Mars and Pluto. In the past few days, transiting Mars has been opposing natal Venus (ruler of 7th of open enemies) and squaring natal Pluto. His progressed Ascendant is 24º16’ Sag; Mars crossed that degree on November 29.

    His prenatal solar eclipse is 6º09’ Pisces; the Sibly progressed Moon is now 6º08’ Pisces (which of course, we can see without a birth time).

    The A*C*G map for 2:05 p.m. shows Pluto – IC through Sweden (but if done “in mundo” it shifts away from Sweden) and Sun line goes through London and Paris. Venus – IC runs through Washington, D.C.

    There’s lots more to say, and we look forward to your comments.

  74. clymela says:

    As I see things I thought that Obama made the best move in that he has gotten the extension of the unemployment benefits. I know that at the beginning I felt startled but being away from computer and the mass media today I was rather surprised to find that I agree with him.

  75. judigem says:

    Elizabeth Edwards b. July 3, 1949
    Julian Assange b. July 3, 1971

    Elizabeth Edwards dies Dec 7, 2010
    Assange arrested and denied bail Dec 7, 1010

  76. DPH says:

    Good to see you, judigem– I’ve missed your posts. What startling correlations between the E. Edwards and Assange dates.

  77. judigem says:

    Hi DPH…thanks, I’ve been stunned into silence by everything going on and then Elizabeth died….which I heard on the radio at 2PM PST while listening to Randi Rhodes explain Obama’s compromise. Also just looked up Edwards son Wade…born July 18 and died at age 16 on April 4, 1996. That date squares Elizabeths sun (and son’s death)….Edwards daughter Cate, the oldest, was born March 4…

  78. judigem says:

    As for the startling quality of seeing those dates of EE and JA…that’s what Geminis do….make connections…this one was completely an asteroid from outer space for me….

  79. Pat says:

    That was a good catch, Judi………..can you draw any comparisons to your own chart?

  80. Judigem says:

    Hi Pat….btw, thanks for sending me the Planet Waves article…and also, Elizabeth Edwards died at 10:15 AM in Chapel Hill, NC. (it said shortly after 10:15 am).

    My granddaughter has ascendant, south node at 6 Capricorn, so I am watching her….she is exhibiting strange ‘fears’…..

    As for Assange,
    My sense is that he is like the soldier who stands up to lead the troops in a primary assault ….some of them die in no time, some of them survive…

    I suspect he has a strong need to reveal secrets….as a core value.

    I have (re Assange’s chart) Scorpio rising also…although at 0 Scorpio, but my 5 Leo Pluto is on his nodal axis (and US Chart, too) but then everyone born in 1943/4 does have pluto there also, too…and my part of fortune is close to his progressed ascendant, while my ascendant is progressed to just short of 0 Capricorn. (It is painful to watch the nattering nabobs of futility come out of their lairs to rail against what he has accomplished and, fearfully, what he may accomplish in the future…)

    I suspect that Elizabeth was so emotionally damaged by her son Wade’s death that she just sank….combined with having children at age 48, and then at 50, probably had her hormones explode and overwhelm her….when in fact, she was trying to mend herself ….very very sad to be married and have children at a late date, and the finishing nail in her heart must have been John having the affair and the child. Her tests were quite severe.

  81. Judigem says:

    Neville Chamberlain’s name keeps coming to me….British Conservative politician who was Prime Minister of the UK 1937 to 1940. Do they still teach what he did to advance Hitler’s plan leading up to WWII?

    Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany. When Adolf Hitler continued his aggression, Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War.

    I believe one of the reasons why so many progressives and liberals are really PO’d is that appeasement never seems to work, historically speaking.

    I hope that Obama doesn’t appease us into disaster. I am listening to both sides of this argument…because the rethuglicans seem to be playing the role of pulling the wool over the eyes of a nation…and will continue their stated roll of saying no to any Obama legislation…they will act as Nazi Germany did to the Munich agreement. They’ve been laying this trap over and over….

  82. Prabhata says:

    Defiant Obama defends tax cuts, eyes 2012

    In face of criticism from many on the left of the Democratic Party, Obama passionately defended the deal that will see tax breaks extended for the wealthiest Americans saying his critics had to take a long-term view.

    Obama has demonstrated that he has fire in his belly and is willing to fight and defend his actions, but only if the left is in the receiving end.

  83. Prabhata says:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders reiterates vow to filibuster Obama’s tax rate extension plan

    “I intend to do everything that I can to defeat this proposal and bring back something which in fact protects the middle class and unemployed workers and not the wealthiest people in this country,” Sanders said. “I’m willing to anything and everything that I can to win this, including a filibuster.”

    It’s not the Democratic leaders or the Republicans who are the problem in passing the sell out compromise, but a few senators who still believe in fairness.

  84. Prabhata says:

    Secretary’s Remarks: The Passing of Elizabeth Edwards

    I am deeply saddened by the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. America has lost a passionate advocate for building a more humane and just society, for reforming our health care system, and for finding a cure for cancer once and for all. But the Edwards family and her legion of friends have lost so much more — a loving mother, constant guardian, and wise counselor. Our thoughts are with the Edwards family at this time, and with all those people across the country who met Elizabeth over the years and found an instant friend–someone who shared their experiences and offered empathy, understanding and hope. She made her mark on America, and she will not be forgotten.

  85. Prabhata says:

    The above are the words from Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton

  86. Prabhata says:

    Elizabeth Edwards was inspirational, and this link is a compendium of eulogies that speak of her standing in the political arena

    President, Others on Elizabeth Edwards’ Death

  87. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks so much for posting the link to this Robert P. Blaschke article on Mercury Rx in the fire signs, Pat.

    Blaschke is beyond awesome. Only he and Richard Nolle seem to take that close a look at orbital patterns. Lots of extremely useful stuff in there.

    My comments about the depressing combo of Mercury & Pluto in Capricorn still apply to the actual station we will hit this Friday, although it is vastly mitigated by the simultaneous Venus-Mercury sextile.

    What I’m waiting to see is just how dark the energies may get as the Venus influence fades and we enter the maelstrom of Mercury-Mars-Pluto in Capricorn next Monday night.


  88. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    P.S. Yeah for Bernie Sanders a rare and rapidly vanishing breed ~ the true liberal willing to fight for a cause….. R.I.P. [sniff, sniff]

  89. Prabhata says:

    Australia: US, Not WikiLeaks, Responsible for Leaks

    The Australian government on Wednesday blamed the United States, not the WikiLeaks founder, for the unauthorised release of about 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables and said
those who originally leaked the documents were legally liable.

    Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd also said the leaks raised questions over the “adequacy” of U.S. security over the cables. 
    “Mr (Julian) Assange is not himself responsible for the  unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the U.S.  diplomatic communications network,” Rudd told Reuters in an  interview. 
    “The Americans are responsible for that,” said Rudd, who had been described in one leaked U.S. cable as a “control freak”.

    more at the link

  90. kristl says:

    Elizabeth Edwards was a very likable person. I feel great empathy for her family. I think she made the world a better place while she was here.

  91. Pat C says:

    The Austrialian

    Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths – Julian Assange

  92. lizzie says:

    Swedish prosecutors website under cyber attack:)


    Huffingtonpost.com reporting that Mastercard is Down:)

    “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
    Obi-Wan Kenobi

  93. lizzie says:

    If only Thomas Jefferson were alive and in gov’t today:

    “There is not a truth existing which I fear… or would wish unknown to the whole world.” – Thomas Jefferson

  94. Pat C says:

    Great quotes lizzie!



    Iceland Emerged From Recession in 3rd Quarter

    Some comments from Paul Krugman:


  95. Pat C says:


    Tax Package Will Aid Nearly All, Especially Highest Earners

  96. lizzie says:

    Thanks Pat C…here’s another one and a great article:

    “It’s dangerous to be right when the government is wrong” – Voltaire

    Assange Represents 1st Worldwide Grass Roots Internet Rebellion:


  97. Gypsi says:

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

    The drama is there, the US security system is run by a hand-picked bunch of blundering idiots, mainly put in place by the chief blundering idiots from 2000 to 2008. and assange is making them look like the idiots they are. Got to enjoy the side show.

    Enjoying the astrology. My Saturn is at 6 capricorn, fortunately well aspected. I’ve been gloomy for a day or 2, but it is a familiar gloom. The kind that activates the trine from Saturn to Pluto to Mercury and reminds me I’m a writer. (when I’m not busy being everything else.) Fortunately I have a couple of weeks off, and the new pup only ate the network cable between the computers. I have a spare. She needs some training… Life is good.

  98. Davis L. says:

    Elizabeth Gregory:
    With all due respect, Bernie Sanders is NOT a Liberal. He is a Democratic Socialist. Although Liberals and Socialists share similiar views on a number of subjects, they also have some basic disagreements. Senator Sanders has spoken at many a DemSoc convention and declared his Socialist credentials. If I recall correctly, he leans toward “Market Socialism” AKA “Economic Democracy,” a philosophy emphasizing co-ops and employee owned businesses and corporations.

  99. Sharon says:

    For those who didn’t support Democrats in the Nov. election, or don’t support the Obama administration because they did not fit your idea(l) of what was liberal or progressive enough – this is what we get! When we don’t support and fight for those who represent us more than anyone else can or does, their power shrinks even more, they lose their clout and have to make more concessions! So some of this is our fault!

    “Voting for an Odious Tax Deal”

    The Democrats should vote for extending the income tax breaks, because this deal is the only one they are going to get.


  100. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Gypsi, thanks so much for the feedback, really appreciate it, especially from someone whose planets resonate with my own.

    This Mercury station forms a yod to my perfect Saturn-Pluto sextile, so it’s one of those learning opportunities where I’m waiting to see what the Universe has in store. So far this has not been all that terrible, but I think we really do have Venus to thank for that. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next couple of days.

  101. Prabhata says:

    John Boehner: I’d Support Obama’s Tax Cuts Package If I Had No Other Choice

    I beg to differ. One of the reasons I wanted Democrats who supported Obama these past two years defeated is to help Obama show his true colors. The tax deal is Obama’s baby created with the help of the Republicans long before the election, as I pointed out (Dec 6, 9:41 AM and Dec 6, 10:23 AM).

    At this point, it will be very painful for the middle class to have a tax increase, but it won’t be as painful as the tax increase that the rich will have. Let’s share the pain, as the cat commission wants. Let the taxes expire. That’s the right approach, not a sell out. I don’t have any doubt that the Republicans would come around and give the middle class the tax break to the middle class if that’s all that’s possible. Bohner said as much.

    Theater belongs on Broadway, not Washington D.C.

  102. B.A. says:

    Ellsberg on Wikileaks…  Interestingly, his site is down since posting this…  This says something about dissent hereabouts?

    Link (does not work at the time of this posting…).  Good that we have a constitutional law professor in charge, no?


    [Below is a news release put out by the Institute for Public Accuracy, co-signed by Daniel Ellsberg]

    Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

    WASHINGTON – December 7 – The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

    WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

    How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that’s right, Russia’s Pravda): “What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic … After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …”

    So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. … the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

    Odd, isn’t it, that it takes a Pravda commentator to drive home the point that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history. Most of our own media are demanding that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange be hunted down — with some of the more bloodthirsty politicians calling for his murder. The corporate-and-government dominated media are apprehensive over the challenge that WikiLeaks presents. Perhaps deep down they know, as Dickens put it, “There is nothing so strong … as the simple truth.”

    As part of their attempt to blacken WikiLeaks and Assange, pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange’s exposure of classified materials as very different from — and far less laudable than — what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad.” He continues: “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

    Motivation? WikiLeaks’ reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.” Rather than simply go with the flow, Manning wrote: “I want people to see the truth … because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public,” adding that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.

    There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange’s motives were any different. Granted, mothers are not the most impartial observers. Yet, given what we have seen of Assange’s behavior, there was the ring of truth in Assange’s mother’s recent remarks in an interview with an Australian newspaper. She put it this way: “Living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing. … He sees what he is doing as a good thing in the world, fighting baddies, if you like.”

    That may sound a bit quixotic, but Assange and his associates appear the opposite of benighted. Still, with the Pentagon PR man Geoff Morrell and even Attorney General Eric Holder making thinly disguised threats of extrajudicial steps, Assange may be in personal danger.

    The media: again, the media is key. No one has said it better than Monseñor Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago warned, “The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy.” Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.

    The big question is not whether Americans can “handle the truth.” We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions — an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

    So far, the question of whether Americans can “handle the truth” has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, “ground truth.”

    How to inform American citizens? As a step in that direction, on October 23 we “Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence” (see below) presented our annual award for integrity to Julian Assange. He accepted the honor “on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.” In presenting the award, we noted that many around the world are deeply indebted to truth-tellers like WikiLeaks and its sources.

    Here is a brief footnote: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other admirers of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. (For more, please see here.)

    Sam did speak truth to power on Vietnam, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a truth-teller exemplifying Sam Adams’ courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences. Previous recipients include:

    -Coleen Rowley of the FBI
    -Katharine Gun of British Intelligence
    -Sibel Edmonds of the FBI
    -Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
    -Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army
    -Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence
    -Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.)
    -Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

    “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.”
    – Luke 12:2-3

    The following former awardees and other associates have signed the above statement; some are available for interviews:

    A former government analyst, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. He was an admirer of Sam Adams when they were both working on Vietnam and in March 1968 disclosed to the New York Times some of Adams’ accurate analysis, helping head off reinforcement of 206,000 additional troops into South Vietnam and a widening of the war at that time to neighboring countries.

    Grevil, a former Danish intelligence analyst, was imprisoned for giving the Danish press documents showing that Denmark’s Prime Minister (now NATO Secretary General) disregarded warnings that there was no authentic evidence of WMD in Iraq; in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Gun is a former British government employee who faced two years imprisonment in England for leaking a U.S. intelligence memo before the invasion of Iraq. The memo indicated that the U.S. had mounted a spying “surge” against U.N. Security Council delegations in early 2003 in an effort to win approval for an Iraq war resolution. The leaked memo — published by the British newspaper The Observer on March 2, 2003 — was big news in parts of the world, but almost ignored in the United States. The U.S. government then failed to obtain a U.N. resolution approving war, but still proceeded with the invasion.

    MacMichael is a former CIA analyst. He resigned in the 1980s when he came to the conclusion that the CIA was slanting intelligence on Central America for political reasons. He is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

    McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

    Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was fired from his job when he objected to Uzbeks being tortured to gain “intelligence” on “terrorists.” Upon receiving his Sam Adams award, Murray said, “I would rather die than let someone be tortured in an attempt to give me some increment of security.” Observers have noted that Murray was subjected to similar character assassination techniques as Julian Assange is now encountering to discredit him.

    Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She recently co-wrote a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, “WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if? Frustrated investigators might have chosen to leak information that their superiors bottled up, perhaps averting the terrorism attacks.”

    Wilkerson, Col., U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who criticized what he called the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal.” See recent interviews

    For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
    Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

  103. Pat C says:

    Olberman’s special comment


    Elizabeth, I hope all goes well for you!

  104. barbk says:


    Thank you, thank you. The above post was so enlightening and so heartening.

    Pat C
    re: How U.S. can now extradite Assange. . .

    In March Uranus will reach 0 Aries, “Aries Point” – Political is Personal – and only 1 degree from the U.S. natal Nadir, home base.

    In the first week of January, Jupiter conjuncts Uranus while on his way to opposing the U.S Saturn (and squaring U.S. Sun) in March, while at the same time, transiting Saturn is conjuncting U.S. Saturn.

    In the last week of February, Jupiter will square Pluto at his most intense as he prepares to station retrograde in early April, a few days after a New Moon squaring the U.S. Sun.

    Transiting Neptune will finally move off of the U.S. natal Moon (the “people”) in mid February.

    Somewhere along the way, the total eclipse in the last degree of Gemini this month will have revealed more to the U.S. citizens about the secrets their government has kept from them. If Assange is brought to the U.S. there will surely be attempted rioting as his followers protest his detention. It could be what Nancy warned us of.

  105. B.A. says:

    Barbk, you are welcome.

  106. Prabhata says:

    Maybe it works

  107. Prabhata says:

    Please ignore 1:42 post
    I was trying something, and it didn’t work

  108. Prabhata says:

    It’s a rhetorical question: Why would Obama side with the Republicans on an issue that’s a loser for the Democrats?

    Obama’s Compromise on Extending Highest-Income Tax Cuts Unpopular in Poll

    Americans don’t approve of keeping the breaks for upper-income taxpayers that are part of the deal President Barack Obama brokered with congressional Republicans, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

  109. Pat C says:

    Uh huh…


    Larry Summers: If Tax Deal Goes Down There’s A ‘Significant Risk’ Of A Double Dip Recession

  110. Pat says:


    (Interesting that the last word in the URL is FALSE!)

    Wednesday, December 8th
    6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
    Listen Live Online
    The President will be talking with OFA supporters this Wednesday, starting live at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
    (audio may take a few seconds to start)
    Each state has an org………I going in!

  111. Sharon says:

    I don’t see it that way, Prabhata. If the Republicans didn’t win so big in the last election, Obama could stick to his guns and not give into them, as there would have been a chance for the vote to go his way. Now it will not, and he does not want to cause suffering to the middle classes a minute longer than necessary. This way there will at least also be a payroll tax cut. I just don’t think the President had a choice at this point. I think he had to grit his teeth and go along with the Republicans for the time being, and if the Democrats are smart, they will find a way to promote this to the middle class. As it is, the mistake this administration and legislature may have made is to concentrate on a health care bill (and one that has a lot of problems at that) instead of job creation. Only time will show if the health care legislation was a good idea. If Obama had taken the chance that the Republicans would cave in — and you seem to imply they would — there is also an equal or better chance that unemployed, foreclosed people would have suffered that much more, something you seem to think is not so bad. The Republicans will tie our hands after this year and make themselves look good via their “message.” Realistically, I can see Obama’s reason for taking this route. I think it took a lot of courage.

  112. will says:


    You’re wasting your fine mind and spirit -you’ve got a cabal of immature, destructive malcontents who have essentially hi-jacked StarlightNews and take a certain sadistic pleasure in attempting to erode the morale of the authentic Democrats and Progressives here.

    The good news, none of them will ever be in a position of power – but its galling to have to see the idiot-shit they post.

    And to think, these pinheads actually claim to have a working grasp of astrology, the art of divination that offers a much more cosmic, patient and wise view.

  113. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Thanks Pat, and Thank God for Keith.

    Let’s pray we get to keep him and the rest of CNBC ~that last bastion of truth and freedom ~ when COMCAST takes them over nest year. [ I’m not betting on it.]

  114. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    OMG….Well, now you know where I “live” during the week….. meant to write MSNBC….. lol

    and Yes, Comcast, an absolutely dreadful company, is going to take over both of them neXt year.

  115. Ardy says:

    As a non-American, I’m fascinated by this tax debate. My gut feeling is that the ‘compromise’ continues to open the door for an ‘independent’ or 3rd party wave – maybe, heaven help us, the Palin crowd – to argue that both Dems & Repubs are not to be trusted and to burst through in 2012.

  116. Gypsi says:

    MSNBC isn’t too bad, but I think AlterNet is the last bastion of free speech, and they could use some year-end donations. I send them what I can.

    My gut feeling on much of the political arena right now is that I have too many heavy transits running to really comprehend the big picture, so I just do the next right thing.

    I have Uranus squaring my Moon, ascendant, and soon to resume squaring my Venus, Pluto and Mercury 2 degrees from my Saturn, And Neptune and Chiron trining my Moon, sextiling my ascendant and my Mercury. I can’t see the forests for the heavy planet transits…

    But I still bother my senators on all ecological issues….Save the earth, we live here.

  117. Ardy says:

    Well, the world never ceases to surprise!

    Apparently the US engineered a ‘coup’ in Australia. The prime mover behind his own party’s replacement of the Aussie Prime Minister, Rudd, was ‘spying’ for the US.

    WikiLeaks outs America’s Aussie mole: Labor’s Mark Arbib named as embassy source

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/world/labor-ministers-named-in-wikileaks-cables/story-e6frfkyi-1225967938502#ixzz17ZkwQp1M

  118. Gypsi says:

    I just tried to go to wikileaks and got the unavailable message. I’ve been busy working, apparently I missed the proverbial boat.

  119. NEOBuckeye says:

    Pluto = The US Government/Illuminati/Corporate Masters/Bankers/Bush/Rockefeller/Rothschilds/etc.

    Uranus = WikiLeaks/Hackers/Pirates/The People, Awakened

    Witness the fight between WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, the hackers, the US government and megacorporations. With Uranus having gone direct, we are now getting a preview of the upcoming Uranus-Pluto Square. It won’t be exact until 2012, but it comes within one degree during July-August 2011.

    Watch what happens when Uranus returns to Aries for good in March. Things are about to really heat up. It’s only just beginning, folks.

  120. Ardy says:

    One final comment from me today, pertinent to economics & the way politicians responded to the economic crisis. Australia went ahead with a huge stimulus package, with cash sent to low & medium income individuals, along with massive government investment on infrastructure, mostly on capital works in schools across the nation.

    Maybe the Republicans & Tea Baggers will change their tune about government’s role …. nottttttttttt :D

    These are our latest jobs figures:

    ‘JOBS growth powered ahead again in November with the national unemployment rate dropping from 5.4 to 5.2 per cent.

    Total employment rose 54, 600, with 400 part-time jobs lost but the overall figure shows underlying confidence in the economy, despite a quiet period for growth in the past quarter.’

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/money/money-matters/australian-unemployment-rate-drops-to-52-per-cent/story-e6frfmd9-1225968330576#ixzz17aKD5miR

  121. Lorrie U. says:

    Sharon, I completely agree with your assessment of the barrel which the last election placed Obama over. You get the big picture: “If Obama had taken the chance that the Republicans would cave in…there is also an equal or better chance that unemployed, foreclosed people would have suffered that much more, something you seem to think is not so bad.” I really get the impression that Prabhata hates Obama as much as the repugs do and delights in seeing him brought to his knees.

    As Will succinctly pointed out, it’s a waste of your time to dialogue with such mundane minds, but it’s nice to know that there are still some posters here that can see with a higher mind.

  122. Lorrie U. says:

    Ardy – Thank you! “Australia went ahead with a huge stimulus package, with cash sent to low & medium income individuals, along with massive government investment on infrastructure, mostly on capital works in schools across the nation.”

    This is EXACTLY what Obama has been trying to get the country to understand and what he has been wanting to do, he has been preaching this approach from the outset. But, no, our screwed up right and left wing dingbats have tied his hands and our country with their insipid mindsets and agendas. Then they have the damned nerve to blame him for the failures.

    I am very glad for your country, but I am getting madder by the day at the idiots that live in this one!

  123. Elizabeth Gregory says:

    Fight the good fight, Gypsi !

    I’m also a passionate environmentalist, in fact, I’m almost a one issue voter, when it comes down to it.

    All it takes is endorsements from the Sierra Club, and League of Conservation Voters to get me to vote for that proverbial “yellow dog,” or in this case, perhaps we should make it a “green dog.”

  124. B.A. says:

    Paypal is down tonight… which is Ebays principal payment system…  No
    sense listing on Ebay if you will not get paid.

    Unlike the attacks on Master Card or Visa web site, this will hurt.

    Also see


    Open letter: To Julia Gillard, re Julian Assange

    JEFF SPARROW AND ELIZABETH O’SHEA reporting, Aust Broadcasting Co.

  125. Joyce says:

    I’m increasingly despondent with Starlight News. Far too many blabbermouths have taken over … it certainly isn’t the progressive/learning venue that I enjoyed in the past.

  126. clymela says:

    The “holiday on the payroll tax” which is 2% reduction on the SS tax. I don’t get why we are doing this and I do wonder if this won’t be used against folks such as myself who actually are drawing Social Security.
    I still think Obama did what he had to do in order to protect his “base” and I am confused to be disagreeing with ,say, Bernie Sanders or others of the extreme left. I believe that I am socialist but I know that most of the US citizens are not AND I know that most of the other citizens are totally “brain -washed” as we said in the 50’s. So.. this is why I am agreeing with Obama.

  127. Pat C says:

    As bad as it is, I could live with the capitulation on the Bush tax cuts. But the meddling with the payroll tax that is dedicated to funding Social Security? No. That I can’t live with.

    The diversion of Social Security payroll taxes in this manner was originally a Republican/AEI proposal that Democrats had the good sense to reject out of hand because they understood what it was really designed to do. This is the anlage, the zygote from which great harm will grow. And I believe the president knows this, and means for it to be this way. It is an assault on the very foundations of Social Security, the dedicated funding stream which has never before been redirected by any president or any congress. Roosevelt set it up that way for a reason, and we will all rue the day that this precedent was set if this awful proposal passes.

  128. Sharon says:

    Will and Laurie, thank you for the support and the validation. I see some people here wanting to fight for our principles, a good thing, except when people’s lives and well being stand to lose. It’s a huge responsibility being the leader of a country because the buck stops there.

    I did not realize that the proposed payroll tax cut undermines funding social security — a hot-button issue for most people — so I would have to learn more before supporting it.

    Just watched CNN and noticed that the House Democrats won’t vote on the tax proposals in the form they are being presented. They are especially angry the President made the deal without consulting them. Democrats taking a stand will get noticed and it may be an unintended (or intended?) result of the meeting Obama had. No matter how much success they do or don’t have, making a big fuss will get the principles and the issues noticed more than a few speeches have done, so I hope they make a big fuss.

    I know where the President is coming from and I don’t disagree but maybe this deal still needs to and can be ironed out a little more? Negotiation is a strange thing. Stale mates happen and people suffer and who gets blamed? The current leaders. And who gets voted in? Those who will hurt them even more. And the President knows this very well because it just happened.

    Wikileaks is a very mixed bag. That’s always been the case for the Freedom of Speech Amendment, hasn’t it? Where does freedom and truth become destructive and a breach of ethics and morality? I marched against the Viet Nam War and “hated pigs” and didn’t trust anyone over 30, and smoked some pot and tried a few more drugs, but I didn’t join the SDS or become a chronic drug user or addict – that was just a little too radical. I think that protesters need to know where to draw the line and that Arrange has gone just a little too far, with threats of going farther.

    I’m watching those protests in England and thinking, yep, wait till Uranus goes into Aries. The world is sure going to change. I’m beginning to understand how those people over 30 felt when my generation got going.

  129. Pat C says:

    Assange’s ‘poison pill’ file impossible to stop, expert says

    Whatever you call the file Julian Assange has threatened to release if he’s imprisoned or dies or WikiLeaks is destroyed, it’s impossible to stop.

    More at the link…


  130. Judigem says:

    Assange’s accuser who is a CIA agent, also, has left Sweden for Israel/Palestinian area and is no longer co operating with Swedes….

  131. Pat C says:


    Anna Ardin, Julian Assange Rape Accuser, May Have Ceased Pursuing Claims

  132. Pat C says:

    X post!! :oops:

  133. Judigem says:

    Apparently all of O’s advisers now are ex Clintonites.

    Perhaps the deja vu all over again is finally kicking into the consciousnesses of the people. This deal sounded good until you look at the stuff slipped into it which the House members surely had no idea about (according to Jim Clyburn) and wasn’t in the original meeting they had last Sunday. Extending the unemployment insurance is a cynical hostage taking by unscrupulous rightwingers en masse. May they rot in hell. Which is surely where we are going if this scoundrel’s compromise goes thru as it is written now.

  134. Judigem says:

    Pat C…the poison pill is the release of all of the bank of america documents.

    A.P. Giannini is undoubtedly spinning in his grave…his beloved bank has been taken over by thieves and scoundrels (as has the rest of the civilized world, it seems). A.P. set up a wooden plank a few days after the ’06 earthquake in downtown destroyed SF, after taking his wagons on down to San Mateo where his bank was still standing, and setting up a way for people to get their money to live on….on their signatures.

    BTW, SF’ers might remember that major obfuscation went on with the sale of Bof A to the North Carolina bank…the biggest player in the deal, the PRESIDENT of the bank, lied about the fact that the merger would leave the headquarters in SF. It didn’t….so beware of people in high places telling you ‘trust me’….

  135. Judigem says:

    That should read: taking his wagons down to San Mateo and coming back with funds to disperse in SF (the wooden plank was the countertop!)to the people in dire need of funds.

  136. Pat C says:

    Wow, Judi, and all, apparently Obama gave the thugs more than they ever asked for in the deal!!


  137. Judigem says:

    You know, why is Assange the target when the NYTimes, Der Spiegel and the Guardian UK already was publishing these cables?

    And I wonder how they are going to be able to plug the leaks….when hackers can pretty much go everywhere. Brave New World we live in. Or as Maher says, New Rules…..

  138. Judigem says:

    Yep….for weeks now I’ve had not only the image of Neville Chamberlain on my mind (Keith O must have read my mind, he came up with the same vision….hahahah) but of the famous repeating October yearly Peanuts sunday cartoon where little Lucy (the GOP) is holding the football and telling Charlie Brown (the dems) to kick, she’ll hold the ball for him….right…..and of course, she grabs it away at the last moment, and he ends up on his ass….and then he falls for it the next year, too…after assurances from Lucy that she won’t do it again.

    Like in 2012????

  139. Judigem says:

    Lorrie U. I am one of the ‘left wing dingbats’ and proud of it. This president is trying to do his best, but can ill conceal his dislike for his own base, speaks GOP-ese to diss people who want him to fight more and maybe COMPROMISE WITH HIS OWN PARTY BEFORE GIVING AWAY THE STORE TO THE PARTY OF NO.

  140. Judigem says:

    Pat C….did you read the Hillary’s plumber unit story: she seems to be doing the right thing, although I am not sure what they will do….telegrams and leather diplomatic pounches?

    “Underscoring the importance of confidentiality in diplomacy, Clinton went on to assure the nation and the world that the State Department would do everything in its power to prevent future leaks. “I have directed that specific actions be taken at the State Department, in addition to new security safeguards at the Department of Defense and elsewhere, to protect State Department information so that this kind of breach cannot and does not happen again.”

  141. Judigem says:

    I also believe the Dems are making a concerted effort to have the Repubs take the responsibility for all of this….which they should. They are the ones blocking it all….they should bear the brunt. Just saying….many people will sell themselves out too easily because of the fear of the consequences….

    But what about the consequences of this deficit to our grandchildren, not to mention opening the door to dismantle social security????? And the unemployment benefits are not going to help the 99ers who are at the end (by law) of their extensions….and still…as KO says, WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

  142. Judigem says:

    Also, just to set the record straight, Obama has misstated history of Social Security more than once….saying it was a widows and children’s fund….it was not, it was for working wage earners….not until 1939 was the wives and children benefit added.

  143. Judigem says:

    David Corn | Obama-GOP Tax Deal: A Win for Politics, Not Policy
    David Corn, Politics Daily
    David Corn begins: “Okay, tea partiers, is this what you really wanted? Republicans holding middle-class taxpayers and unemployed Americans hostage so the well-to-do get budget-busting tax cuts that will be less efficient in generating jobs than other economic initiatives?”

  144. Judigem says:

    Tax Cut Plan Will Gut Poor

    The Bush tax cut extension will cut a break for the biggest earners. But since the money has to come from somewhere, in this provision, the poor will suffer. According to the New York Times, the plan will relieve almost all income brackets except those individuals making less than $20,000, and families earning under $40,000––who will see a hike. The Times:

    The proposal does not include an extension of Mr. Obama’s signature tax cut, the Making Work Pay credit, which provided a credit of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for families of low and moderate income. Instead, the plan creates a one-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes, which are generally levied on the first $106,800 of income. For an individual earning $110,000, that provision would reduce payroll taxes by $2,136. http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/?id=384543&t=

  145. clymela says:

    Reading everyone and considering that Neptune and Chiron are on the US Moon is it possible that Obama is truly monstrous and has been faking everything all along and he is truly a conservative with the intention of destroying social Security?
    WOW I am totally messed up now-I don’t know who to believe.

  146. Pat C says:


  147. Prabhata says:

    I also believe the Dems are making a concerted effort to have the Repubs take the responsibility for all of this….which they should.

    I agree. The compromise was a Republican give away to the rich plan that needed a strong push back. Like I told my representative: Let the Republicans go before the American people and defend their tax cut for the rich, and to send the compromise back to the WH. The Democrats in congress must have heard enough of us, because that’s what’s happened. Let the Republicans take responsibility for the rich give away.

    Today I’ve now called my representative to say: thank you.It’s very important that when a representative hears our calls, they get an approval.

    If the Democrats start acting like Democrats, maybe I’ll embrace them again. I do hope we have two parties in Washington.

  148. Prabhata says:

    Everything I’ve read about the tax compromise from independent voices, such as Calculated Risk, and other economic academics, says it’s a bad deal. Here is an example of what happens when fairness is not part of the agenda. From McClatchy:

    Under Obama’s deal, taxes will rise for some low-income workers

    WASHINGTON — The tax deal struck this week between the White House and congressional leaders has a little bit for most taxpayers in the country. But some of the nation’s poorest workers will actually end up worse off.
    The president’s proposal, struck in a deal with congressional Republicans, would lower the Social Security taxes on all workers in the nation by 2 percentage points.
    At the same time, the proposal eliminates the “Making Work Pay” tax credit that was originally part of President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package and reduced Americans’ taxes by up to $400 for an individual or $800 for a couple.
    When comparing the Social Security reduction versus the current tax credit, middle- and upper-income Americans will fare far better under the new proposal. But some lower-income workers won’t.
    he break-even point is $20,000 for an individual and $40,000 for a couple. All other things being equal, make less than those figures in a year, and your taxes will go up come Jan. 1, 2011. Make more and they’ll go down.
    “It’s disappointing,” said Michael Linden, the associate director for tax and budget policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. “These are people working really hard … We’re asking minimum wage workers to pay slightly more in taxes.”

  149. Judigem says:

    Clymela, you know, you’ve seen me post long enough to know that i don’t hate Obama or think he is monstrous, but I’ve always said he is way conservative for a Dem. I still say that ….only more. There is a time and a place for that, but what always concerned me (from my psychic level) is ‘who is behind him and what is their agenda’. He was PICKED by a group of people to become president.

    Where is the money…etc. I have always been concerned by some of his language, especially towards the left, which makes me think this is a real divide in him….he seems to really hate us.

  150. Judigem says:

    Prabhata…yes, this is a big betrayal. Even my pendulum guides said not to trust him. It is a HUGE blow. But then, it seems to be the fate of many dems, progressives, liberals and socialists to have these huge disappointments.

    Pat C said there was rioting in London over the fact that the board of guvs there raised college tuitions by triple. 1968 anyone???? (a convenient 42 years ago?

  151. Judigem says:

    huffpo headline:
    After Obama’s ‘Shellacking,’ The Clinton Crew Takes Over


    and Keith’s rant on the tax deal

  152. Prabhata says:

    I’m no psychic, I wish I were, but I do read people beyond what they say, and I’m rarely wrong.

    I watched Olbermann, I liked this part the best:

    “It is not disloyalty to the Democratic party to tell a Democratic president he is wrong.

    We need to do more of that. Support when the politician is representing us correctly, and hold the politician accountable when he’s wrong. Democracy demands as much from each one of us.

  153. Prabhata says:

    Repeal of DADT failed to pass by 3 votes in the senate.

  154. Ardy says:

    ‘… is it possible that Obama is truly monstrous and has been faking everything all along and he is truly a conservative with the intention of destroying social Security?…’

    With all due respect, I would say …. no.

  155. Gypsi says:

    Obama has Neptune rising, and a few people on here might remember that during the primaries, I said I distrusted that aspect. Now I did vote for Obama, in the primaries and in the general election, but not with the wholehearted faith that many were busy expressing. I’m a pragmatic cynic, he was the apparent lesser of evils. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Hillary had just been in the halls a bit too long. Now it appears, perhaps Obama has as well, OR we can’t see what he’s doing, with that magician’s sleight of hand planet near his ascendant.

  156. Ardy says:

    Republicans Block U.S. Health Aid for 9/11 Workers


    ‘Don’t ask’ repeal fails in Senate


    Supporters Ponder Next Move As DREAM Act Fades


    I guess I understand it’s all about Obama all the time …. but why no negative comments about the B’s who take these actions.

  157. clymela says:

    Judigem-as I wrote earlier I really thought that Obama did what he had to do but now that I have heard the details I am 180 from where I was. I agree that he does seem to hate us and this is what confuses me; we are the heart and soul of the Democratic party.
    Ardy-I sure hope that you are right and that I am just foaming at the mouth.

  158. Prabhata says:

    It was kabuki theater after all. I should have known it.

    WH, lawmakers clear way for tax cut bill passage

    WASHINGTON – The White House and key lawmakers in both parties cleared the way Thursday night for swift Senate action to avert a Jan. 1 spike in income taxes for nearly all Americans, agreeing to also renew expiring breaks for ethanol and other forms of alternative energy.
    even though House Democrats voted Thursday not to allow it to reach the floor without changes to scale back tax relief for the rich.

  159. blaze says:

    Sharon: Enjoyed your post above. I also am looking forward to Uranus moving into Aries. Let the games begin!

  160. Teresa Hill says:


    Thank you so much for the Robert Creamer article. It’s the first thing I’ve read that makes the deal make sense to me.

  161. pam says:

    But all of this is happening on a mercury station I believe. How will that effect anything that might gets passed?
    Will it all then have to get redone after the retrograde?

    And my two bits: I was not an original Obama supporter as I knew he was much more a centrist than a liberal and I expected him to govern more from the center than anywhere at all near the left. But this capitulation to hostage takers – this selling out of most Americans to a bunch of bullies as if – if he makes this big compromise they won’t pull him right back to the brink again – no he’s lost me – I understood what he had to do to get healthcare passed. I saw it as a small step when a giant one is needed – but still a step in the right direction and one he could get through congress and get the ball rolling. But this isn’t anything near any step in any good direction- this continues the idea that taxes are evil that the rich reserve special privileges and on and on with all the very distasteful details in this compromise. And not negotiating with his own party!!! What the f**k was that about!!!

  162. Judigem says:

    Hey Teresa, and Pam, I, too wonder about the mercury retro/station, etc…I have to take a better look at that, because I personally think they should let the damn tax cuts expire.

    I was reading the comments in one of the newer articles on huffpo and found this:

    Ive taken an informal poll within my community (roughly 40 people). We are very a very grassroots community midtown USA with some rural folks.

    8 who receive unemployme­nt say — let it expire no matter how fearful that is
    13 who receive some sort of education break say — let it expire
    All 40 say let our taxes go up January 1st

    but do not let the rich get out of paying their fair share!

    I personally found it interestin­g. I dont think anyone in DC has a clue.

  163. Vera says:

    Carl Boudreau’s Astrology Blog

    ……A new moral outrage, a new grimly self-righteous determination is emerging. People will be inclined to say more, risk more, do more, and sacrifice more to get results.

    This grim, gut-level determination will generate hard work, not always well-directed or productive. It will manifest in hot tempers and heated, potentially violent confrontations. The tone will be one of “Damn the consequences, full speed ahead.”

    This explosive vibe will be pervasive, penetrating into every corner of our public and private lives.
    The determination will come from deep within us and be very contagious….

  164. Judigem says:

    Mercury is retro as of now, and will go direct on 12/29….I wonder, will those last two days see a flury of rewriting????

  165. Judigem says:

    Vera, boy does Boudreau describe the energy well! But it is about time we had some big dose of moral outrage….

  166. Prabhata says:

    do not let the rich get out of paying their fair share!

    The tax cuts that are going to the working class is big in terms of the budget, but small individually. If I spread one million dollars to one million people, is money, but it’s only $1.00

    Let the tax cuts expire. It’s about fairness, but more important it’s the message. It says that the Democrats are willing to fight the deficit, fairness, and that they will not be blackmailed.

  167. Pat C says:


    $500 Million to Keep Cheney Out of Jail?

    Apparently, Halliburton is in negotiations with the Nigerian government to craft a plea deal that would keep Dick Cheney out of jail. (h/t scribe)

    “Halliburton is planning to make a plea bargain in former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney’s corruption case, Nigerian officials told GlobalPost.


    Halliburton is in talks with Nigerian officials to make a plea bargain in the case, said Femi Babafemi, spokesman for Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the agency which has pressed the charges against Cheney.

    “The companies are asking for a plea bargain, we are reviewing their request, we are talking with them, but we have not gone far with the talks yet,” Babafemi told GlobalPost.

    Although Babafemi did not give further details, other sources within the agency said the plea bargain might involve a $500 million settlement.


    Cheney and three other top executives could face sentences of three years in a Nigerian prison if convicted of the charges in the 16-count indictment, said Babafemi.

    More at the link….

  168. Pat C says:


    TARP Funds for Legal Services for Foreclosure Victims Blocked By Treasury

    The Treasury Department should demand that banks stop the rush to foreclose, and having effective representation for borrowers goes a long way toward that. But when given the option to allow TARP funds to be used for legal aid for foreclosure victims, the Treasury blocked it.

  169. Pat C says:

    If the WikiLeaks saga were a comic book, it would be starting to look a lot like the Justice League of America vs. the League of Supervillians—or maybe it’s more like Star Wars, with the plucky rebel alliance up against the might of the Empire.

    As the U.S. government and a variety of corporations, such as Visa (V) and PayPal (EBAY), keep up the pressure on the document-leaking organization that they see as a traitor and a scofflaw, a rough alliance of supporters have taken it upon themselves to wage a cyberwar in WikiLeaks’ defense by attacking the websites of those and other companies. .. …


  170. starlight says:

    Hi everyone! I am back from a lovely 4-day vacation in Puerto Rico. We haven’t done anything like this since our honeymoon over 20 years ago. I even managed a near total news blackout as part of my escape. I will be working on catching up with the blog (and the news) for much of today interspersed with several appointments. But I did want to mention a couple of things:

    The absolute paralysis right now with a sense of dire repercussions if nothing gets done would seem to reflect the Mercury station (stuckness of legislation and communication) conjunct Pluto (dire threats). Also, Obama’s sense of a need to compromise what he feels he really wants to do would seem to match his progressed Ascendant square to natal Saturn which is just about exact. Circumstances, exigencies (Saturn) forcing constriction on his ability to move forward with his agenda.

    It looks like all hell will break loose on Monday and Tuesday when Mars joins Mercury and Pluto, and the Moon on Tuesday moves to square them. There should be some movement, since Mercury is on the move again, albeit retrograde. It is likely to be a reworking of the tax bill with maybe a few additions (hopefully) of the more enlightened alternative energy subsidies.

    But let us not forget Saturn will be square to the Congress Sun from the 13th to the 28th. So it will be tough and slow with lots of bruised feelings. We might even see them return after Christmas to another Mercury station and maybe get something passed on the 31st just as Mercury begins to go forward again.

  171. Pat C says:

    I’m so glad you did that Nancy! I hope you are rested and refreshed, and that the food was spectacular!



    Obama is dealing away FDR’s legacy

    Cutting the payroll tax could boost the economy now — and it could also destroy Social Security later

  172. Noelle says:

    Thank you, Nancy, for the “return to sanity” I know I can always count on you for that.

    I used to sepnd a lot of time in Puerto Rico. I’m so glad you had a nice 4 days there.

  173. Judigem says:

    Starlight, I have to laugh….you spent a lovely 4 day vacation in total news blackout during one of the most intense news cycles in recent memory….rioting on all fronts didn’t touch you at all!!!! hahahahah…..

    Pat C….Mark Fiore just nailed it…!

    I have found this period very very liberating….perhaps being a liberal, that is apt. Looking at Merc Rx, it also seems appropriate to revisit the ‘framework’ of this ‘agreement’ between the repubs and O….leaving out the dems was a tactical minefield when Pluto and Mars and South Node are all in play with Merc Rx…I think the WH needs a political astrologer….

  174. Nancy, what are your thoughts about the Obama we thought we knew (as well as we could) not being the Obama that is here and now? I recall you saying his chart is being hit hard now and that may account for some of this but it just feels like things are really *not at all* what they seem.

    I am keeping my head down for a while, I think. Reading all the discord on every freaking blog is hard on my heart. And it pulls me down into a “Why even bother?” vibe. And sadly, that’s a vibe I can get to totally on my own.

    Thanks to those shining the light here and not going into doomsday mode.

  175. Judigem says:

    I should mention that the liberation I feel may be because I have Uranus at 5 Gemini, so …..quincunx to Pluto/Mars (rulers of my chart) and Merc seems to be something I am enjoying right now. I think the last 2 days of this month WILL include a huge wave of ‘get it done’ energy. I believe that the right things will be done….

  176. Judigem says:

    Gloom and doomsday? I haven’t seen that….I see the liberation from political correctness and obfuscation and outright blackmail….not gloom and doom.

    This is merc. retro when things which have been wrought in basic wrongness needs to be revisited and reworked…and you can’t do that without pointing out what went wrong. Gloom and doom? how about reality? although not everyone finds reality their cup of tea….

  177. angellight says:

    Mysticalchick: I am also trying to keep the faith in the Obama I thought I knew. I keep aksing my intuition to give some light on the matter. One, I keep getting that somehow this battle had to go on, so as to put light on the negativity of greed in the Republican party in regards to tax cuts for the rich that are not needed and only hurt 2) If nothing is done by January, things are going to get a whole lot worse for people — seriously! The Repugnants have no heart and we will be in a serious gridlock about many matters and a whole lot of things are going to be cut without having any gain for the people. Keep the faith. I am!

  178. Judigem, I think I dwell in reality just fine, thankyou and I don’t appreciate the pointed comment.

    In my opinion (and only mine), people are very happy to bitch and moan and I know it feels like we are all helpless cogs. And we might be. But mostly, it feels ranty to me. Like there’s some juice we all get from getting up in arms over this.

    I’d like to see some ideas, solutions, something that isn’t “woe is us, we iz screwed” kind of thing.

  179. Noelle says:

    Angellight, I’m with you 100%. Sometimes you have to take what you can get even though it’s not what yu want.

  180. Judigem says:

    Going back to Carl Boudreau’s blog which was posted above, there is an interesting part on the 12/21 total lunar eclipse and its effects, including being within a 1/2 degree of the galactic center and also conjuncting the midpoint (opening of the doors of perception) of the mercury retrograde. I always mark that day which comes 3-4 times a year as important spiritual realization time. This one ought to be a real opening !

  181. Judigem says:

    Mystical Chick, I was not saying that to you specifically, sorry you took it that way…but this is a time in which reality is biting big time…and what people are characterizing (once again, the dems get all the blame, even by Obama) as bitching and moaning is actually the realization of being conned….repeatedly. That is the reality.

    I have been here before…perhaps you haven’t…I’ve been out of work many many times until quite desparate, and no one in government has come to save me with unemployment benefits. I am freelance…and since all the money I saved for my retirement has disappeared in various brilliant scams over the last 20 years (the Reagan/Bush fall out and last recession of 1990), I want to see what is once again being touted as ‘the saving grace’ being proposed. It doesn’t pass the smell test at all. It is another giveaway….and the defense of it is all about how pissy and moany the dems are???? give me a break.

  182. Judigem says:

    Pat C….I viewed what you posted on the Irishman telling it like it is….YEHHHHH! that was refreshing!!!! and relates quite well to my experiences of the last 20-30 years…

  183. Pat C says:

    You know, when people were posting important events during the Bush administration no one complained. This is important to anyone connecting dots astrologically and mundanely. I post on the internet to spread the word. I read on the internet to keep up, and to learn.

    We all are better if we get a grip and hang on to that. From there, we can project what we want.


    Obama is dealing away FDR’s legacy
    Cutting the payroll tax could boost the economy now — and it could also destroy Social Security later

  184. Pat C says:

    Judi, we really need more of that from people.

  185. Judigem says:

    signed Sherrod Brown’s letter. As Keith O said the other night, it is not a crime or a sign of disrespect to disagree with your president ….

  186. Pat C says:

    Bernie Sanders is live on C Span filibustering the DEAL.

  187. Judigem says:

    Pat, My cousin just told me never to send her Fiore stuff again….

    another friend just said ‘who would you vote for if not Obama’ over the tax cut thing…what does THAT have to do with anything? and then I realized that I have never been a member of the ‘my country right or wrong’ club, which includes ‘my party, my president, etc’ club….or ‘my family’, either.

  188. angellight says:

    Pulled this off Dailykos blogger:

    A comment worth sharing:

    Ladies and gentlemen, we are seeing history in the making here. Regardless of whether Bernie and Sherrod ultimately succeed, there is an enormous civics lesson happening in front of our eyes here. We are seeing that incredibly rare event: what responsible governing looks like. — flitedocnm

  189. Prabhata says:

    Re: London riots,
    Pat C, thank you for the Rachel Maddow video. I knew about the demonstrations, but I didn’t go beyond the headlines. Something is happening as we get closer to the Uranus-Pluto square in 2012.

  190. Judigem says:

    angellight, exactly!!!!

    Prabhata, also, Rachel’s 2 part segment on the Uganda Kill the Gays bill / C Street fundamentalism segments are just brilliant. Talk about a civics lesson…and talk about Pluto digging deep to find truth.

  191. Pat C says:

    Be sure to remind your cousin that Social Security is not an entitlement, that she paid for it, and the conversation is being changed once again to rename it to something they can take.

    We’ll see where all this goes, and how the aspects play out, but disconnecting seems very unwise to me.

  192. Judigem says:

    It’s official: Ron Paul to lead House Federal Reserve oversight


  193. Prabhata says:

    the fact of having a right to something : full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered | you should be fully aware of your legal entitlements.
    • the amount to which a person has a right : annual leave entitlement.
    Pat C,
    I have no problem with the word “entitlement”. When I pay home insurance, and I’m entitled to get payment on my claim if there’s a fire. I paid SS tax, and my employer matched my payment to the government, and if I live to collect, I’m entitled to receive money. If I die, I’m not entitled. It’s an insurance.

    Welfare and medicaid are not entitlements. The health care reform was set up to ensure that the government would not get involved, so it won’t be an entitlement. Most stuff from the government is not an entitlement, but medicare and Social Security are entitlements.

    We also hear Republicans debase the U.S. Treasuries that the SS fund holds as I.O.U.s
    Well, all U.S. Treasuries are I.O.U.s, and the fact that the U.S. government spent the money is alright too. All money that Japan, China and other investors lend to the U.S. government when it issues U.S. Treasuries is spent on whatever the government wants. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the government has to make the bond holder whole.

    The government bailed out AIG, and it wasn’t something the government had to do. SS is also an insurance. Losing money does not mean that the government can be off the hook, not unless the U.S. government files bankruptcy, in which another matter.

  194. Judigem says:

    The GOP changed the conversation 30 years ago by changing all the languaging of that which was accepted as ‘facts’ and triumphed …. and they just keep moving the ball with that language…Thomas Frank wrote a couple of books about that (What’s the matter with Kansas? is the one from a decade ago).

    Social Security is an insurance program. Any other language like ‘entitlement’ is a way of disenfranchising people….not because the word isn’t accurate, but because the common usage of it started under Reagan was to disenfranchise people with language.

  195. angellight says:

    The Incessant Whining of Liberals on these Tax Cuts

    By now you’ve heard from liberals/progressives across the country about the latest “cave in” by President Obama on the Bush Tax Cuts. I’ll be honest. I’m shocked. Not by the perceived “cave in” but rather by the utter lack of grip people bitching have on reality. Yes…bitching. I realize that some on the Left hate to be called out about their whining but truth be told, I’m tired of it. Not because I’m an Obama Stan but rather because when you hold up even the dimmest light to the complaints, you still see how much bullshit it really is. Also I don’t like sitting by watching as one person takes all the blame when the real culprit sits back and points fingers at their scapegoat.

    Complaint #1: Republicans got everything and we got nothing”

    Ridiculously over the top complaint. The deal is: 2 year extension of the Bush Tax Cuts (for all income levels including the rich), extension of unemployment benefits for 13 months, Payroll tax cut and extensions of some tax credits from the stimulus. If that’s “getting nothing” then I need some liberals to look up the definition of ‘nothing.’ Republicans want the tax cuts permanent. This doesn’t make them permanent. It gives the President 2 years and hopefully in 2012, the elections will swing his way and he’ll have more Democrats on his side to do what he wants to do. This deal, while it does have some things Democrats don’t like gets things that Democrats haven’t been able to get in 2 years. Just last month Democrats voted to extend unemployment benefits and COULDN’T GET 100% OF THEIR OWN CAUCUS to vote for them. This takes care of that.

    If you look at the deal we got, we are getting the bulk of the money being allocated. President obama made a bad situation into something that will help middle class familes. This opportunity will not happen with a more conservative Caucus in the January.

    Complaint #2

    “The President should just pass the middle class tax cuts”

    First, a civics lesson: The President can’t pass anything. He’s the executive branch, not the legislative. The White House can work with Congress and help write get certain things into bills but at the end of the day, it’s only Senators and House of Representative members who get votes. If you’re wondering why Democrats don’t “just pass the middle class tax cuts” that’s easy. THEY DON’T HAVE THE VOTES.

    Yeah, I guess President Obama isn’t a ‘LEADER” cause he can’t get 60 votes out of 53. He sent a middle class tax cut to the Senate/House to be voted on. It failed in the SENATE 53-37. Well who voted against it? The same CONSERVADEMS who has continued to be a THORN in Obama’s side since being elected.



  196. angellight says:

    JudiGem: I am liking this “civic’s lesson” for the world to see, as it is not putting a good spot light on the Republicans — just the opposite.

  197. Judigem says:

    Angellight, it is also doing what Rachel Maddow said…blaming the dems as usual….and all the time, by the pundits that be. Only action will speak louder than all the words. Should we take bets on the winners and losers in this fight? It is interesting that yet again the ‘fear factor’ was introduced by those who want the deal to pass…always a warning sign.
    a comment I read on Obama’s background:
    You can’t spend time on the faculty of U of Chicago and come out completely free and clear of their right wing dogma.

  198. Prabhata says:

    I just called Boxer and Feinstein to support Senator Sander filibuster.

  199. Prabhata says:

    Re: entitlement
    Actually I remember Carter using the word “entitlements”. He had gone through the budget, and after cutting everywhere, he said that what was left were entitlements that he could not touch.

    I think if someone were to use the word, I would agree and remind them what the word means. The same with I.O.U.s I’ll say all bonds are I.O.U.s

  200. Pat C says:

    The problem is that most people do not understand the word entitlement as something that is owed. They think of it as a favor that was bestowed on the citizens. There needs to be a better word that is used in day to day conversation to make it clear what SS, actually is.

  201. Judigem says:

    this is yet another line from Carl Boudreau’s astrological page…

    “But eclipses also have a profound psychological and spiritual dimension. Eclipses usually come in pairs. Lunar eclipses, like this one, blocks ego and foregrounds the influence of our higher selves. Solar eclipses obstruct the influence of our higher selves and foregrounds our ego.”

    So we are now going to experience how powerful blocking our egos so that our higher selves can come through can be…this is a learning experience from which wisdom can come, not an ego experience….that was during the solar eclipse in June. We are ENDING the ego projection and entering 6 months in which higher selves should be projecting forward. I hope.

  202. Judigem says:

    Prabhata, good on calling about Sanders….

    So the use of ‘entitlements’ has gone on longer than Reagan. It always pissed me off…..but never heard it used perjoritively until Reagan and his fight against the mythological black welfare queen who was going to strangle america….

  203. clymela says:

    Well YES Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown are men to respect and admire and I want to say that I am getting a wonderful history/civics lesson by being part of this blog- what wonderful minds and consciousness right here for free.
    I now do understand what the trouble is and perhaps Obama is not pure Trojan Horse but Judigem you hit “it “with the comment you passed on to us: that one cannot be involved with the University of Chicago without picking up some of the right-wing spirit so dominant there.
    By the way MSNBC just showed an image of Clinton,Bush and Obama together! Was that someones weird attempt to help us feel more solid, not afraid that we are coming apart at the seams?

  204. starlight says:

    Mystical Chick – I am also disheartened by all the discord. I see it as the national depression (emotional) that is coming with the Saturn transit square to US Sun and conjunct US Saturn. We are barely past the first crossing. Put another way, it is the depression that comes with an inability or unwillingness to move on to the next phase of our collective development. That means we are struggling against letting go of some of our old concepts and embracing some new ones that are more appropriate to the times. We clearly need to shift to an alternative fuel economy, a wiser tax policy, and a stronger educational system to name a few things. But every change demands we let go of something and there is always some group who will resist the change. This is Saturn on US Sun/Saturn. Wait until Uranus and Pluto hit US Sun and Saturn (2014). We won’t be able to avoid the changes then.

    As for how I see Obama, I think he is working to get the US economy back on track in the short term and sees this tax plan as having a good bit of stimulus in it, despite the 200 billion of tax cuts for the rich which are pretty useless and he sees as the price for the rest. He also realizes we will have a double dip if the legislation doesn’t pass. We could keep wrangling with Republicans over it in the next session, but that could take months and be a disaster for the economy. I continue to trust his understanding of things and not get distracted.

    I also see him as having a Jupiter and Saturn in his 12th house, with Jupiter ruling the 11th house of working in groups. I think he does a lot of backroom dealing that we don’t hear about. What we see as capitulation may, in fact, be his pragmatic side that has already had many hidden back room discussions and can see exactly how much he can get. He is not much of one for pretending just for show.

    And finally, in the composite chart between Obama and the US, the Moon is 15Aries17 and Neptune is 15Libra31, currently being hit by Saturn from November 28 through December 12. And what are we seeing? Disillusionment (Saturn) with the person who gave us hope and inspired us (Neptune/Moon composite). This aspect will come back during the first half of March just before some kind of crisis hits, by my reckoning, in late March.

  205. Prabhata says:

    I’m learning all kinds of stuff listening to Senator Sanders. He’s fun to listen to. Right now he’s talking about trains, and how they’ve gone backwards. :) :) :)

  206. starlight says:

    Ray McGovern: the Fourth Estate is Dead



    Traditional lines of communication between the people and the press have fallen into such disrepair in America that a whole new approach is necessary to challenge the military-industrial-governmental complex, according to a former CIA analyst sympathetic to WikiLeaks.

    “The Fourth Estate is dead,” Ray McGovern, of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, told Raw Story in an exclusive interview. “The Fourth Estate in his country has been captured by government and corporations, the military-industrial complex, the intelligence apparatus. Captive! So, there is no Fourth Estate.”


    You know what Thomas Jefferson said? He said if we have to make a choice between having a government and having a press, I’ll go for the press every time. He understood that any government without a free press with resort to despotism.”

  207. Prabhata says:

    I think the media died when Pluto went through Sagittarius, but nothing good has replaced it. The internet has the potential, but it’s not there yet.

  208. Prabhata says:

    I think you might be right in that Reagan used the word in a pejorative manner. I guess I like the word “entitlement” and defend it because it conveys the nature of a claim to receive something.

    As a student, my daughter worked in a restaurant that served prepaid lunches to tourists. When my daughter took the order, that tourist (she was American visiting the Napa Valley) kept saying: “I just want what I’m entitled to”. That in a nutshell is Social Security, each claim receives what it’s entitled to.

  209. CarolDuhart says:

    Sorry to disagree with you, but I support the whole of the Obama Tax Compromise. Feed people now, not haggle over a 3% difference in tax rates, and don’t have people’s tax rates rise right now during the recession. This is something that can be revisited later in another Congress.

    If this deal goes through (I think it will) then at least the Repub Congress won’t be sending up something worse for 2 years, and by then there can be a real plan instead of simply letting the tax cuts expire with nothing to show for them.

  210. Pat C says:

    The payroll tax holiday is from the Republicans who want to end Social Security.

  211. Pat C says:

    Not one penny went into infrastructure.

  212. Judigem says:

    Bernie Sanders is telling it as it is, you can watch it online at CSpan…Carol, you need to watch it and get a different take in order to see the whole deal’s real impact. Sorry….these republicans have done to obama exactly what Mark Fiore portrayed in his cartoon video.

  213. Judigem says:

    Sanders just said that in the last few days 98% of the calls to his office have been 100% against this proposal.

  214. Prabhata says:

    The scariest part of the “compromise” is the Social Security tax holiday. Bernie Sanders is correct. Once the employers are allowed not to pay that labor tax for so long, there will be a huge push back to keep the holiday more permanent and it will be the end of Social Security. It’s a Republican Trojan Horse to destroy the FDR program. Democrats have always protected SS, and there should be a strong push back against giving the holiday.

  215. Prabhata says:

    CBC: Obama’s Tax Cuts Deal “Bad for African Americans,” “Hurts the Poor”

    The Congressional Black Caucus today said it is overwhelmingly opposed to President Obama’s proposed deal on tax cuts, with members criticizing the plan’s inclusion of an extension for high-income Bush-era tax cuts and an estate tax cut provision as a “bad deal for African Americans” and a scheme that “disproportionately hurts the poor.”
    At a press conference earlier today, Rep. Barbara Lee, the chairwoman of the CBC, emphasized the message she says she told Vice President Biden Wednesday that “the overwhelmingly majority of the Congressional Black Caucus members are opposed to the current tax plan.”

    More at ABC link

  216. Pat C says:

    There are fewer manufacturing jobs in the US than there were in April of 1941, and those workers earn less proportionately with fewer benefits then those workers earned then.

  217. Prabhata says:

    Senator Sanders Vermont: (802) 862-0697

    I just called Sanders office to let him know I’ve called and requested my two senators to support Senator Sanders. The assistant was very thankful.

  218. Judigem says:

    The figures and statistics which are being presented by Sanders about what has happened over 10 years is very very shocking.

    All of which is now ON RECORD in the Congression Record…!

  219. Pat C says:

    I find him very validating. They know all the things we have been saying. I love him.

  220. Pat C says:

    Mr Sanders goes to Washington.

  221. Judigem says:


    Obama has enabled this whether he knew it, wanted it or not….it has happened.

  222. Pat C says:


    Dear Senator Sanders,

    I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have been doing for the middle class and all the people of the United States. Your words are so validating for me. If the people of Vermont have elected you, I think I would enjoy living in Vermont.

    You are a brilliant and kind man.


  223. Prabhata says:

    There’s a media blackout on the story. I googled “Sanders filibuster” and there were few stories. Finally AP has a story and it doesn’t call it a filibuster:

    Vermont senator talks for hours against tax bill

  224. Pat C says:

    He is in his seventh hour.

  225. Prabhata says:

    I understand Thurmond has the record: 24 hours on the floor. LA Times:

    Under Rule XIX of the Senate, senators who have been recognized to speak may do so for as long as they wish, and cannot be forced to cede the floor or even interrupted without their consent, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    Sanders has twice deferred to his colleagues — for 45 minutes to Sherrod Brown (D- Ohio), and to Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for over a half hour.

    “I don’t know how I’m going to vote, but I’m not voting quietly,” Landrieu said.

    Even when he defers to a colleague, Sanders must remain standing on the floor. He also cannot eat — he hasn’t since arriving at the Capitol at 9 a.m. — but is permitted to take sips of water.

    the story says that Thurmond has the record on the floor, 24 hours.

  226. Pat C says:

    Sen. Sanders is still talking after about 8 hrs on a fillibuster on the greed and power of USA’s billionaires


  227. Judigem says:

    This is just phenominal….besides the Sanders phone # Prabhata supplied, here are the ones for Sen. DiFi :
    DC: 202 224 3841
    SF 415 393 0707

    Sen B Baxer
    (only SF 415 403 0100

  228. catsandmusic says:

    Gosh I love Bernie Sanders! Just sent off my note–thanks for the link, Pat C.

  229. Judigem says:

    Pat C. what is Salon saying?

  230. Starlight, thank you for the detailed analysis. I will remain hopeful knowing that there is plenty more to come.

    I love Senator Sanders – he is the very definition of true statesmanhood. A wonder to behold and I am very thankful he is willing to do this.

  231. Pat says:

    Actually Prabhata, I think the media was “murdered” back in the last degrees of Pluto in Scorpio, Dec. 1993, when it hit 26 & then 27 o sq. to Pallas the political warrior goddess @ 26, then the USA people’s moon @ 27o 3rd. house ( communications) from the 12th house…Neptune had been opposing the USA sun @13o cancer 7th, soon to oppose the USA Mercury, then the Vertex 26ocancer ( spiritual DC/horizon…..from the 1st house……
    In 1993, Clinton got the Family & Medical Leave Act through. BUT, not DADT! ( Fancy that, DADT was an issue back then! One, he was not happy with) We do go in circles…….cyclical! He then caved on NAFTA!
    12 years of Republican Administration had been sufficient time to set up the demise of the 4th estate! AND it has taken 17 years for us ( except for a few) to notice!

  232. Judigem says:

    Today was like combining Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Showdown at the OK Corral (or Obama Corral)…

    Best theater I’ve seen in literally years! The letters he read from the VTers who are suffering tremendously (having had a preview of same over the years from Pat in Maine) made me realize that I am not the only one who has eaten from the dented tin store….or the local food bank.

  233. Pat says:

    Perfect lead-in for me to brag a little!
    YES WE CAN!…….I went to the food pantry to pick up my monthly allotment yesterday. It is run by the SeaCoast Mission ( begun in the last century as boat traveling the islands of Maine on Sundays, to bring Sunday Service those who lived there.) They have given up the recycle shop ( to our dismay) to expand the food pantry……….31 people came for food this AM. Well run by a woman who was in my Master Gardener class a few years ago, who does a community garden on the property.
    Based on income last summer I was also given the monthly 30 lb Gov. surplus package. After 2 months I asked to be removed from the list! I collected 4.5 lb of corn flakes ( with corn syrup & GM I am certain!) that gave me a stomach ache!
    The canned peas & corn were high in sodium & I was prescribed an extra BP pill by my Dr. ( complete Med check up, 1st in 5 years happened then)
    I called the Gov. headquarters in VA.& voiced my complaints, then the Maine State office that handled the pkgs. I asked why, with that popular TV commercial about oatmeal lowering choelesterol, were they NOT giving out oatmeal?
    2 months later A widowed friend, described her pkg to me….IT CONTAINED quick cooking rolled OATS! I picked up my pkg yesterday & YES, OATS!
    JUST 2 phone calls backed up with knowledge of Alice Waters, Michael Pullen, & Michelle Obama, providing a knowledgable shpiele……….I made a change!!!
    Now I am working up some good food pantry recipes to share in the future, & as well voluteer to teach a kids art class at the Edge Center allied with the pantry.

  234. Shadowhawk says:

    Maybe this will help explain some of the difficult things going on


    From what I am being shown, December is a powerhouse month beginning with a Mercury retrograde period that started today, 12/10, and will be returning direct on the 30th. Shortly after we have the 12/12…the final galactic gateway portal of 2010 which is pushing us to complete all the spiritual lessons that the last 12 months scraped up for us. We also have a VERY powerful solstice on the 21st (when the sun closely aligns with the galactic center), and another famous eclipse sandwich….a full moon and total lunar eclipse on the same day as the solstice and a partial solar eclipse on January 4, 2011. Mixed in with that caffeinated cup of cosmic coffee are some major celestial & astrological happenings threatening to cauterize our past…whether we feel ready or not.



  235. Gypsi says:

    The figures and statistics which are being presented by Sanders about what has happened over 10 years is very very shocking.

    All of which is now ON RECORD in the Congression Record…!

    I love Bernie Sanders. I’ve sworn never to remarry, but I’d consider marrying him.

    I am not depressed. I was when the deal was first announced. Tax breaks with chinese blood money that our grandchildren will be paying back.

    I have not been eligible for unemployment in 11 years. I find work or I starve, I’m self-employed. The cupboard has gotten pretty bare, but I’ve gotten by. Most of the people I’ve talked to want to see this compromise die, on both sides. There may be a buckle down period, but artificial infusions of borrowed money to buy chinese made merchandise are not going to fix our economy… Jobs are.

    China will cheerfully loan us the money, as long as we keep allowing toys painted with lead and poison toothpaste in.

    And the payroll tax vacation on social security doesn’t apply to employers, only to employee’s half. I read the fine print.

    I love Bernie Sanders.

  236. Prabhata says:


    There’s lots of history re-write about the Clinton presidency. I don’t know why that is. But when I read that Clinton “caved” on NAFTA, my reaction is: what? I remember Perot campaigned against NAFTA, which was being negotiated at the time by H.W.B. Bill Clinton said during his campaign, always, that if he became president he would pass NAFTA. I believe I’m right on that.

    I looked it up, and sure enough. There’s not much of Clinton’s 1992 campaign on the internet, except what others have written, but Ill point to this PoliFact.com article to support my position:


    During the campaign, Bill Clinton said he would support NAFTA if elected, but would demand supplemental agreements to protect worker rights, the environment and sudden import surges. After Clinton won the presidency, his administration negotiated the side agreements and made NAFTA one of its top priorities. Vice President Al Gore memorably debated Ross Perot about NAFTA on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” Congress approved the agreements, and it was hailed as a major political victory for the new president.

  237. Prabhata says:

    BUT, not DADT! ( Fancy that, DADT was an issue back then!

    again let’s review history. Before Bill Clinton, gays were not allowed to serve in the military, and the military could ask if a person was gay. Bill Clinton ran on terminating the policy and allowing gays to serve. When as Commander in chief of the armed forces he changed the policy, the Democrats, under Nunn’s leadership were dead set against not allowing gays in the military and was going to pass a hard line bill against gays. Bill Clinton of course was against that bill, and to meet his promise half way, he agreed with the Democratic congress to allow gays in the military if they remained in the closet, but the military was not allowed to ask either. DADT was born and passed by a Democratic congress and Bill Clinton signed it.

    Before DADT, it was worse, but DADT was a bandaid that needs to come off now. Obama, like BC campaigned to allow gays in the military openly by throwing out DADT. It’s my view that Obama was given the repeal of DADT by the courts, but he decided to appeal.

  238. Pat C says:

    Judi, here you go.


    Bernie Sanders’ epic tax cut filibuster rant

    The senator brings government to a glorious halt with an extraordinary diatribe against U.S. economic policy


    And this…


    Bill Clinton seizes control of White House press room

  239. Prabhata says:

    I love Bernie Sanders too. I listened to most of his speech/rant about what is wrong with the tax cut for the rich. The press has totally dismissed him. Our system is so corrupt that I’m ready to throw in the towel.

  240. Prabhata says:

    Pat C,
    What happened at the WH was weird. Obama should not have left or should have seized the moment away from BC and sent him home.

  241. Prabhata says:

    I’m picking a portion of DADT from wikipedia because it gives a fair review of why and how DADT was put in place.

    Wikipedia: DADT

    In the 1970s, the gay and lesbian rights movement emerged in the U.S. and chose the anti-gay military policy as one of its main targets. Partially as a response to this movement, the Department of Defense issued a 1982 policy (DOD Directive 1332.14) stating that homosexuality was clearly incompatible with military service.[3] The policy garnered public scrutiny through the 1980s and 1990s, and it became a political issue in the 1992 U.S. presidential election with Bill Clinton and others citing the brutal murder of gay U.S. Navy petty officer Allen R. Schindler, Jr. After Bill Clinton won the presidency, Congress rushed to enact the existing gay ban policy into federal law, outflanking Clinton’s planned repeal effort. Clinton introduced Congressional legislation to overturn the ban, but it encountered intense scrutiny by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, members of Congress, and portions of the U.S. public. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” emerged as a compromise policy.[3]

    The Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993,[9] issued Defense Directive 1304.26, which directed that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation.[7] This is the policy now known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
    The full name of the policy at the time was “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue.” The “Don’t Ask” provision mandates that military or appointed officials will not ask about or require members to reveal their sexual orientation. The “Don’t Tell” states that a member may be discharged for claiming to be a homosexual or bisexual or making a statement indicating a tendency towards or intent to engage in homosexual activities. The “Don’t Pursue” establishes what is minimally required for an investigation to be initiated. A “Don’t Harass” provision was added to the policy later. It ensures that the military will not allow harassment or violence against service members for any reason.[3]
    In Congress, Democratic Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia led the contingent that favored maintaining the absolute ban on gays

  242. Vera says:


    sign the petition
    To the U.S. and other governments and corporations involved in the crackdown on WikiLeaks:

    We call on you to stop the crackdown on WikiLeaks and its partners immediately. We urge you to respect democratic principles and laws of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. If WikiLeaks and the journalists it works with have violated any laws they should be pursued in the courts with due process. They should not be subjected to an extra-judicial campaign of intimidation.

  243. angellight says:

    Sen Mary Landrieu voted for the Bush tax cuts and I believe was the vote that help to push it over the top. THis was pointed out on Rachel or either Keith’s show, so I do not now get why she is all hyped up about tax cuts she helped to put into law!

  244. Sharon says:

    What Mary Landrieu said in her speech was that at the time the tax cuts were voted in, we could well afford them due to the budget surplus. She voted for them because they were for everyone, not just the wealthy.

  245. Pat says:

    HAhaha……..Probhata! & all…Here is MY PERSONAL HISTORY! Lived it didn’t google it! And maybe the time has come to write & publish it.
    AND maybe this is REALLY why they did away with the draft after all……………………
    Right out of High School my husband joined the National Guard Reserve instead of going to Art College, where I was; ( being 1 yr ahead of my age group, educationally) He was to serve 6 months of basic training, attend monthly meetings, & 2 weeks every year of summer training, for I forget how long, was altered in any case, by the fact that he was called up to serve during the Cuban Missile crisis Oct. ’62, shortening the time by serving 9 months full time, until August 1963.
    I got pregnant & we married while he was stationed at Ft. Dix in 1957! He proving his manhood, I wanting to escape a dysfunctional home situation!
    He & another 3 Philly guys were stationed to a Kentucky unit, at Ft Stewart Ga. That tank unit is the very one Jessica Lynch & Lori Piestewas, which took a wrong turn going toward Bagdhad, belonged to. ( his basic training was done in El Paso @ FT. BLISS )
    ( Lynch started The Jessica Lynch Foundation in 2005 to honor her friend Lori who was killed, & got an ABC Extreme Makeover for Lori’s Native American parents & left behind children.)

    My husband was HARDLY a tank mechanic, so for the safety of the others, his Sargent assigned him to paint portraits of his & other’s wives. He was given a shack with a pot bellied stove to work in, unlimited credit at the Savanna Art Supply ( with a car & driver for the trip into town)
    Then they had him paint a mural in the mess hall, subject Kentucky Bluegrass country with horses….
    That was a rave success so next assignment..the Officer’s Mess……& what a cynical joke THAT was……He actually painted preening peacocks on the walls with pecky cypress white wash walls.
    THEY LOVED IT! There was a ribbon cutting ceremony, when we went back to Philly, the PR photos served well and we had a full time mural painting company that served well until this century…splitting off when we divorced & he went to Miami, I stayed in Philly, our son worked with both of us, & then on his own until 2003 or so.

    While still in Ga, another of the Philly boys also gay & married with 2 children, who was in the home decor field, had the idea to manufacture fancy headboards in their spare time. SO they bought 200 lbs of modeling clay set up a table under the pines, and proceeded to model the mold, to the great puzzlement of the Kentucky boys who were pretty rural redneck in their lifestyle! But ALL responded with respect & more than a little curiosity for the “ARTS.”
    The headboard shaped like a pineapple with diagonal ribs, leaves crowning it, and to be finished with ” purple satin” ( no less) between the diagonals………….languished in the other guys closet for years after…………..they couldn’t use it because the glue to hold the composition sawdust poured into the mold, contained formaldehyde, and last I heard was still emminating fumes!
    OK YOU heard it first here.paintings aren’t selling well in this economy, unlike those Nat Guard guys of the early 60’s the general populace DOESN”T appreciate art in that way…..

  246. Pat says:

    Oh gee, I hope my story entertained & enlightened enough to balance the bandwidth I have used.

  247. Pat C says:

    Big Media’s Guilt in Gary Webb’s Death – By Robert Parry


  248. angellight says:

    Sharon: Yeah, that is her line, except, she was the 50th vote and many others Dems did not vote for the tax cut.


  249. karen says:

    How very pertinent to your excellent post, Elizabeth……..


  250. clymela says:

    Pat C.-Gary Webb!! I remember that he had two TWO wounds to his head and the police said at the time that suicides often have to shoot themselves twice!! In the head!
    I too was totally baffled by Obama leaving Clinton on the stage. My reaction is that Obama was announcing that he is NOT the President. I have never never been so shocked in my life by a political move. What was that? You would have laughed if you could have seen me hopping around the apt with one sock on-we were preparing to go out.

  251. clymela says:

    Pat!! I just read your story. You never told me!! You rascal. I loved it. Thank you.

  252. Pat C says:

    “Anonymous” Defends Itself, Plans to Expose More Leaked Cables

    An excerpt from the press release is below.

    “Anonymous is not a group of hackers. We are average Interent Citizens ourselves and our motivation is a collective sense of being fed up with all the minor and major injustices we witness every day.

    We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. We also do not seek to attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon.

    Our current goal is to raise awareness about WikiLeaks and the underhanded methods employed by the above companies to impair WikiLeaks’ ability to function.”


  253. Gypsi says:

    Life is often stranger than fiction – thanks for sharing Pat

  254. Prabhata says:

    It’s a beautiful story. Personal stories more compelling. Thanks for allowing us to enjoy it.

  255. Prabhata says:

    You would have laughed if you could have seen me hopping around the apt with one sock on-we were preparing to go out.

    :lol: Clymela, I imagine it and it’s hilarious!

    I think POTUS was very worried about being late for MO, and he just didn’t think it through that he needed to tell the media to go home. That would have sent BC home too. It’s a media buzz because it was an odd moment.

  256. will says:

    Maybe POTUS isn’t a small-minded, narcissistic power grabber; maybe he’s secure enough in his own identity and position that he doesn’t need to have a freak-out ego-melt-down when a former president has a few moment of line-light behind the Presidential podium. Maybe it was PBO’s way of giving gratitude to FPBC for consulting with him.

    Obama is just not so petty and fiendish.

  257. Judigem says:

    Clymela, I hope Gary Webb’s story continues to be told. Shooting yourself in the head twice is a strange way to commit suicide. NOT….! He was on the CIA hit list, I am sure. I woman I know who worked with him on exposing the links between HUD and the CIA planting of drugs in HUD areas said….add him to the list of reporters and journalists who have died in suspicious circumstances….

  258. Prabhata says:

    I know someone who told me that he was personally aware of a high up military man, who after finishing his service, stayed as a government official (I won’t reveal his name, but most here would recognize it.) in Saigon during the Vietnam War who was deep in the drug business. My acquaintance told me that he found out because he reported the illicit business, only to be told to stop making waves. I was also told that most of the drugs that come into the country, even today, is through the top brass in the military.

    After that conversation, I understood something that never made sense. Individuals, like
    Willie Nelson,
    are caught, but those who bring tonnes of the stuff get away.

  259. Prabhata says:

    Another tidbit about that person that was involved in the drug business (may still be, who knows), is believed to be part of the intelligence unit of this country.

    I think that if Gary Webb perished due to his research, it may be that he got too close to something current. The drug business is ruthless and big business.

  260. Judigem says:

    Prabhata…heard the same story years ago about the Vietnam officer…but can’t remember the name.

    Gary definitely stepped into the ‘danger zone’….he broke that huge story about the CIA/drugs drops (to drive down property values in HUD neighborhoods which drove out the people, and then the property reverts to HUD….and they recycle. They did it all over the country, from LA to Philly. After the story broke in the Mercury News in San Jose, they retracted the story and fired Gary. He was blacklisted by all media….(shades of Assange right now)and he couldn’t get a job until he was hired by the state (he moved to Sacramento) to investigate state issues, which he did. Including T CA Highway Patrol racial profiling. He died before that came to court. Conveniently, don’t you think?

  261. Judigem says:


    Not surprisingly, political power has a way of following wealth. What that means is: you can’t understand how the rich seized control of American politics, and arguably American society, without understanding how a small group of Americans got so much money in the first place.

  262. Judigem says:

    projections of the end of empire; do they match astrological projections (my question)??


  263. connimac says:

    Thank you, starlight — and angellight, noelle, mysticalchick, and now Will for keeping the light a burnin’. I know that many would like to characterize this position as polyanna as opposed to what they see as “rational” approach. I would say instead that their immediate repudiation of the man we just elected suggests their belief that WE blew it when we elected him, WE chose wrong, and he’s let US down. Well, he told us from the beginning that he is not an ideologue, and the most pragmatic and realistic approach will be the one he takes. And…the people he’s most interested in helping are the middle income and the poor. His proposal does both, yet because the rich also receive benefits (undeserved) for a proscribed amount of time, those on our side are willing to shunt aside those who need this bill the most just so that their ideals are preserved totally intact. This is the old 6th ray approach to life of the Picean Age which is now leaving, and Obama is demonstrating the Aquarian approach which is one of synthesis. We know where he stands, the first two bills that went up for a vote were what he wanted and they were struck down for insufficient votes, so he took charge and negotiated what he could for the people HE speaks for, and those with their precious ideals will have to put PEOPLE before their tightly held ideals. He said he negotiated a framework which can be tweaked and refined (if the congress detaches from their bruised egos long enough to put in the best amendments their ideals can come up with). I still trust this man more than all the old one-sided politicians, pundits, and purists. He came to bring change, and nobody wants any part of it, unless it totally conforms to their idea of change. I’m now convinced that those who jump on everything he does with lightspeed never really believed in him to begin with. I hope I’m wrong though because he needs all the thinkers he can muster right now. You know, it takes a very secure and non- egotistical president to let a former president who also has a brilliant mind, share the podium in order to achieve what they both see as the common good.

  264. Judigem says:

    Connimac, apparently you also haven’t seen Bernie Sanders 8 1/2 hour speech on WHY it is being opposed.

  265. Judigem says:

    BTW…it is also the HOUSE which negotiates tax and spending bills NOT the president….he doesn’t go behind the back of the HOUSE and do that…the only area he has control over is FOREIGN POLICY. He just walked all over protocol.

  266. Judigem says:

    Prabhata, thanks for doing that research on Clinton and NAFTA….that was quite valuable to me. He has a masters from Oxford in International Relations….but I always figured what happened is that it got watered down. He got conned also.

  267. Judigem says:

    Article I of the Constitution vests all legislative power in Congress. The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process––legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate ratifies treaties and approves top presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills and initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides impeachment cases.

    The influence of Congress on the presidency has varied from period to period depending on factors such as congressional leadership, presidential political influence, historical circumstances such as war, and individual initiative by congresspersons.

  268. Prabhata says:

    Clinton Refuses to Leave White House
    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – It seemed like a good idea at the time.

    But twenty-four hours after former President Bill Clinton appeared at the White House to endorse President Obama’s tax plan, Mr. Obama is “still looking for the right way to ask him to leave,” an aide confirmed today.

  269. Prabhata says:

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” — Niels Bohr

    I only grabbed what I needed, and I just read that article in full. I think it’s okay to make mistakes on something that’s not tried before, like NAFTA, but if it’s tried, and then we find out that for some reason it’s not working, then it’s time to either change it, or get rid of it.

    What I find more interesting from that article is that Obama talked the talk. :)

  270. Prabhata says:

    House initiates revenue-raising bills and initiates


    I think that the tax cut for the rich, which is expected to be passed by the senate first, can slip through the cracks because it’s a decrease in taxation, not a revenue-raising bill.

  271. Judigem says:

    What I find more interesting from that article is that Obama talked the talk. :)

    I’m not quite sure what you mean?

    I should also mention that I am completely uninterested in trashing the Pres….I find that just not in accordance with sanity. What I do think we need is to look at the facts of what is happening….people get led down the garden path for many reasons, from Presidents to Peasants.

  272. Judigem says:

    Prabhata, did you hear that one of Borowitz’ headline pieces was published in the Middle East (can’t remember where) as fact???? They had no idea it was humor!

  273. Judigem says:

    Alternet is running a very long article on 4 scenarios for the decline of the american empire….


  274. Prabhata says:

    Re: Borowitz is like the Onion. I didn’t know the foreign press took it as a true report. That’s hilarious.

    Re: talking the talk
    What I mean is that PoliFact shined on Obama’s NAFTA position in the campaign vis a vis Hillary. Obama promised renegotiation of NAFTA, that promise seems to be forgotten. That’s what I mean by talking the talk. I would really like to see that agreement fixed. Mexicans have suffered the most, but we didn’t benefit so much either. In the end Ross Perot was proven right.

  275. Judigem says:

    I am reading all the Alternet stories, a little at a time, because it is so ominous…between the income inequality and what that means for 98% of America, and the foreign growth of nations like China and Russia and the Saudis, it looks like very bad juju coming. And maybe it is supposed to go this way….who knows?

  276. Pat C says:


    President Clinton had plan to privatize Social Security (nixed by the Lewinsky scandal). Now President Obama is turning to him to reassure the public about a deal that could lead to Social Security privatization.

  277. Prabhata says:

    Re: privatization of SS
    And I think, unlike the 401K, which are not mandatory, the privatized SS will be mandatory, like health care.
    C’est la vie

  278. Pat C says:


    The Obama Administration’s Financial-Fraud Stunt Backfires

    The press shows the feds’ numbers are phony and asks where the whales are.

    Boy, the Obama administration’s slapdash PR effort to show it’s cracking down on financial fraud sure looks to be failing—and getting some serious blowback.

    Jesse Eisinger has a column in today’s New York Times noting that the feds’ insider-trading investigation, while important, misses the bigger issue: prosecuting those who caused the crisis.

    The New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin called out Eric Holder’s Justice Department on Monday, noting that the 343 criminal defendants it said it’s prosecuting in a sweep it lamely calls Operation Broken Trust are small fry. No executive from the major corporations (like, oh, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Countrywide, Ameriquest, etc.) has yet been charged.

    Sorkin suggested that Operation Broken Trust (that name’s so awful I just have to repeat it) was at least partially smoke and mirrors….

  279. Pat C says:


    How Monica Lewinsky Saved Social Security: Clinton, Gingrich, Bowles and “The Pact”

  280. Pat C says:


    Why Bill Clinton’s Favorable View of Obama’s Tax Deal Should Be Disregarded – Robert Reich

  281. Judigem says:


    Bigger Role for Biden as Ground Shifts

    Now, at the halfway point of a first term in which Mr. Obama has mostly relied on the counsel of a tightly closed inner circle, Mr. Biden is taking a more prominent and influential role. With the departure of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff and Mr. Obama’s need to negotiate with Congressional Republicans if he is to advance his agenda, the president is increasingly using Mr. Biden as a multipurpose emissary while continuing to seek his counsel behind the scenes.

    (Looks like it was Biden who put that tax deal together)

    Robert Reich is someone I really like….and another friend of mine mentioned something tonight which I kept wanting to post and then would forget…

    Bill Clinton looks ILL….like he’s lost a lot of energy along with the pounds he’s lost. I hope he isn’t sick, but he sure looked it.

  282. Prabhata says:

    Pat C,
    I’m familiar with politicians’ spins. Unlike Bernie’s clear reasons as to why the tax cut for the rich is bad, BC’s spin could have made a Dervish dizzy.

  283. Judigem says:

    Pat C. I think this is so appropriate on the anniversary of Gary Webb’s death..thanks for posting it.


    If people want to know why certain of us here are so suspicious, and or, paranoid, it is because of stories like these. this connects the dots …..

  284. Judigem says:

    Prabhata, you would like the smirkingchimp story, I think…hint, hint

  285. Prabhata says:

    Thank you for the hint, hint. I need my tinfoil hat first. :)

    The Gary Webb story gives us a glimpse of how polluted our system has become. The media, the politicians in Washington, the Supreme Court, Wall Street and corporate America have become one unit protecting each other to subvert the system of check and balances in the U.S. Constitution.

  286. Prabhata says:

    The rich are spending part of their tax cut at Tiffany and Neiman Marcus, while the poor waits for the unemployment check to buy baby formula at Wal-Mart.

    Calculated Risk quotes WP

    At Tiffany’s, executives report that sales of their most expensive merchandise have grown by double digits. At Wal-Mart, executives point to shoppers flooding the stores at midnight every two weeks to buy baby formula the minute their unemployment checks hit their accounts. Neiman Marcus brought back $1.5 million fantasy gifts in its annual Christmas Wish Book. Family Dollar is making more room on its shelves for staples like groceries, the one category its customers reliably shop.

    “When you start to line up all the pieces, you see a story that starts to emerge,” said James Russo, vice president of global consumer insights for The Nielsen Co. “You kind of see this polarized Christmas.”

  287. Pat says:

    anniversary of Gary Webb’s death
    wondered why his name came up.
    S C article post, that was me Pat S.

  288. Pat C says:

    An Open Letter to the Left Establishment

    This letter is a call for active support of protest to Michael Moore, Norman Solomon, Katrina van den Heuvel, Michael Eric Dyson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Thomas Frank, Tom Hayden, Bill Fletcher Jr., Jesse Jackson Jr., and other high profile progressive supporters of the Obama electoral campaign.


    In this connection we would like to mention a specific protest: the civil disobedience action being planned by Veterans for Peace involving Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Joel Kovel, Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern, several armed service veterans and others to take place in front of the White House on Dec. 16th.

    Should you commit yourselves to backing this action and others sure to materialize in weeks and months ahead, what would otherwise be regarded as an emotional outburst of the “fringe left” will have a better chance of being seen as expressing the will of a substantial majority not only of the left, but of the American public at large. We believe that your support will help create the climate for larger and increasingly disruptive expressions of dissent – a development that is sorely needed and long overdue.

    We hope that we can count on you to exercise the leadership that is required of all of us in these desperate times.

    Best Regards,

  289. Pat C says:

    It would be a serious mistake to view Obama as merely being a bad negotiator or poor leader. So-called centrist Democrats are basically Republicans without the reactionary and beligerant Tea Party/Sara Palin rhetoric. Instead of calling them “moderate Democrats” they should be called moderate Republicans, because that is what they are.

    Obama is carrying out their agenda, and their agenda is his agenda. Progressives are marginalized both in the party base and in the Congress itself. The treatment of House Democrats is a prime example, as they were repeatedly treated as irrelevant and held hostage to the Senate and to Republican filibusters. And it was they who took the fall in November more than the Senate because of this, and because the party leadership refused to call the Republicans a single time on their filibusters.

  290. Prabhata says:

    Pat C,

    I’m weary of anyone taking my discontent and using it to advance an agenda that’s not clear to me. Who are these people who wrote the letter at protestobama? That letter speaks of the discontent, but not their agenda. Also, I believe that people must show their credentials.

    I’m an FDR Democrat who will never support a wolf in sheep clothing. I want to see a proven record. I firmly believe that the past of a person is the best indicator of their future. People don’t change. It’s possible to be double crossed by someone who has a record of honesty, but it’s very likely to be double crossed by a dishonest one. Just saying.

  291. Judigem says:

    Prabhata, you think the Gary Webb story is not real? Actually, a friend of mine knew him…conrresponded with him….that story is real. And the Iran Contra thing was real….

  292. Judigem says:

    Pat C….right on.

  293. Judigem says:

    Sorry, that should be TWO friends of mine knew Gary Webb….

  294. Judigem says:

    And one of them was an official with HUD….and her experience dovetailed with Gary’s….

  295. Judigem says:

    The tiffany’s story is why we have the kind of imbalanced world we live in. The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions….and lots of tiffany jewelry. Which eventually, as in south american banana republics, the very wealthy 10% who own 80% of the wealth have to buy from special stores which are protected by blast bunkers ….and they arrive where they are going in specially reinfored half million dollar mercedes with armed guards on all sides. Whatta life!

  296. Prabhata says:

    Prabhata, you think the Gary Webb story is not real?

    There must be a misunderstanding somewhere. I think the Gary Webb story is real.

    See my response, above, Dec 11, 10:38 PM