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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 12:36:59 PM EST
A New Breed of Republicans Resists the Fiscal Deal - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through Congress on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president's credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed equally and gently.

But times have changed, President George W. Bush is gone, and before the bill's final passage late Tuesday, House Republican leaders struggled all day to quell a revolt among caucus members who threatened to blow up a hard-fought compromise that they could have easily framed as a victory. Many House Republicans seemed determined to put themselves in a position to be blamed for sending the nation's economy into a potential tailspin under the weight of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

The latest internal party struggle on Capitol Hill surprised even Senate Republicans, who had voted overwhelmingly for a deal largely hashed out by their leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The bill passed the Senate, 89 to 8, at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, with only 5 of the chamber's 47 Republicans voting no



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
House G.O.P. Looks to a Round 2 Obama Hopes to Avoid - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's eyes narrowed late Tuesday as he looked into the cameras and warned Republicans that he had no intention of ever getting pulled into another negotiation over raising the nation's borrowing limit.

"I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they've already racked up through the laws that they passed," the president said, pausing to repeat himself. "We can't not pay bills that we've already incurred."

But it is not clear exactly how Mr. Obama can avoid engaging in just such a tug of war.

In the wake of the president's victory on taxes over the New Year's holiday, Republicans in Congress are betting that by refusing to unconditionally raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling, they can force Mr. Obama to the bargaining table on spending cuts and issues like reform of Medicare and Social Security.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:30:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obama can talk tough to cameras, but when the repugs come into sight he raises the white flag and gives them whatever they want.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:26:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chris Christie Erupts Over Boehner's Refusal To Vote On Relief For Sandy Victims | The New Civil Rights Movement

Chris Christie today erupted over Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner`s refusal to bring a bill to the floor for a vote that would deliver financial relief to victims of Superstorm Sandy, which hit New Jersey as Hurricane Sandy in October. The New Jersey governor labeled the House GOP leadership's actions "a dereliction of duty," and "inexcusable," via Twitter. The Governor will hold a press conference today at 2:00 PM ET today over the House's refusal later today, which you can watch live here. googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1352233393908-0');

House Republicans for weeks have been trying to slash 60 percent of the aid requested by President Obama for victims of the storm that killed over 253 people in seven countries and well over 100 people in the U.S. Sandy is responsible for an estimated $63 billion in damage, much of it in New Jersey and New York.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Markos himself said;-

There is nothing more bizarre than seeing Republicans who fuck people shocked that Republicans are fucking people.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks To Gerrymandering, Democrats Would Need To Win The Popular Vote By Over 7 Percent To Take Back The House | ThinkProgress
As of this writing, every single state except Hawai'i has finalized its vote totals for the 2012 House elections, and Democrats currently lead Republicans by 1,362,351 votes in the overall popular vote total. Democratic House candidates earned 49.15 percent of the popular vote, while Republicans earned only 48.03 percent -- meaning that the American people preferred a unified Democratic Congress over the divided Congress it actually got by more than a full percentage point. Nevertheless, thanks largely to partisan gerrymandering, Republicans have a solid House majority in the incoming 113th Congress.

A deeper dive into the vote totals reveals just how firmly gerrymandering entrenched Republican control of the House. If all House members are ranked in order from the Republican members who won by the widest margin down to the Democratic members who won by the widest margins, the 218th member on this list is Congressman-elect Robert Pittenger (R-NC). Thus, Pittenger was the "turning point" member of the incoming House. If every Republican who performed as well or worse than Pittenger had lost their race, Democrats would hold a one vote majority in the incoming House.

Pittenger won his race by more than six percentage points -- 51.78 percent to 45.65 percent.

The upshot of this is that if Democrats across the country had performed six percentage points better than they actually did last November, they still would have barely missed capturing a majority in the House of Representatives. In order to take control of the House, Democrats would have needed to win the 2012 election by 7.25 percentage points. That's significantly more than the Republican margin of victory in the 2010 GOP wave election (6.6 percent), and only slightly less than the margin of victory in the 2006 Democratic wave election (7.9 percent). If Democrats had won in 2012 by the same commanding 7.9 percent margin they achieved in 2006, they would still only have a bare 220-215 seat majority in the incoming House, assuming that these additional votes were distributed evenly throughout the country. That's how powerful the GOP's gerrymandered maps are; Democrats can win a Congressional election by nearly 8 points and still barely capture the House.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 03:24:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ain't democracy wonderful?

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 07:50:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It ain't democracy, it's politics. A whole other thing

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 03:29:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
60,000 killed in Syrian war, says UN | World news | The Guardian

At least 60,000 people have died in Syria's conflict, the UN human rights commissioner has said, citing an "exhaustive" study which has sharply increased the number of those believed killed.

Before the latest UN-commissioned survey it had been estimated that up to 45,000 people had perished during the conflict; the up-to-date calculation increases the death toll by a third.

The revised estimate came as it was reported that dozens had been killed on Wednesday after a government war plane bombed people queuing at a petrol station in a suburb of Damascus.

According to the UN report, almost three-quarters of those listed as killed on both sides of the conflict were men. Estimating casualties is a notoriously difficult process in the midst of an ongoing war, but in this case the UN says it has established the name, place and date of death of each of those it says it has counted.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Many killed' in Syria fuel station airstrike - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

A Syrian warplane has destroyed a petrol station near Damascus, killing and wounding dozens of people and igniting a huge fire in what could be one of the bloodiest attacks in weeks during the 22-month civil war.

Activists on Wednesday said a single Russian-built MiG fighter fired a missile that hit the station, setting off an inferno in the eastern suburb of Mleiha. Black smoke was seen billowing from the site.

An amateur video posted online showed charred bodies and gruesome carnage at the scene.

Mohammed Saeed, an activist who visited the area, said the missile struck as drivers waited in line with their cars at the station.

Syria has been facing a fuel crisis, and people often wait for hours to get petrol.

"Many of the people who were there were killed,'' Saeed said via Skype. "Body parts could be seen on the ground".

He said the missile fired by the plane caused a crater a metre deep.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:31:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bolivia aims to join Mercosur trade bloc - Features - Al Jazeera English
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - To go down fighting in the Andean Community (CAN), with a combined market of 92 million consumers, or move up to the big leagues of Mercosur, with 275 million? This was the dilemma faced by Bolivia's foreign trade strategists when it came to pursuing full membership in the bloc formed by its neighbours to the south.

The contrast is remarkable: last year, Bolivia's exports to its partners in CAN - Colombia, Ecuador and Peru - totalled $774m, resulting in a trade surplus of $88m.

In the meantime, Bolivia purchased $2.427bn in goods from the countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), while its sales to the bloc - excluding the main export, natural gas - were a mere $232m, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics.

It should be kept in mind, as well, that these figures refer to trade with the founding members of Mercosur - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay - and do not include Venezuela, which did not become a full member until mid-year.


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:35:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
India rapists 'tried to run over victim' - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English

The gang of rapists, who brutally assaulted a 23-year old  woman on a bus in New Delhi last month, had tried to run her over with the vehicle after the attack, according to reports which cite a grisly police account of the incident.

The victim's boyfriend, who was beaten up and thrown off the bus after the woman had been repeatedly raped, managed to pull her to safety just in time, police are set to allege in a 1,000-page charge sheet to be presented in court on Thursday.

"The woman and her friend were stripped and thrown out of the bus," The Indian Express reported. "Her friend pulled her away when he saw the bus reversing to run her over."

 

 India rape survivor's long wait for justice

The victim, a medical student, died from her injuries in a Singapore hospital on Saturday after a 13-day struggle to survive injuries so grievous that her intestines had to be removed.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:35:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Venezuela VP says Chavez 'conscious' - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Venezuela's vice-president has said that President Hugo Chavez, who underwent surgery for cancer in Cuba for a fourth time, is "completely conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state". 

In a televised interview in Cuba, Maduro said he had met Chavez twice and that the president seemed to have "the same strength as always". 

Maduro's comments came amid rumours, some of which circulated online, that Chavez's health had deteriorated and that he was in coma. 

"All the time we've been hoping for his positive evolution. Sometimes he has had light improvements, sometimes stationary situations," Maduro said in the prerecorded interview, which was broadcast on Tuesday night by the Caracas-based television network Telesur. 

"I was able to see him twice, converse with him. He's totally conscious of the complexity of his post-operative state and he expressly asked us ... to keep the nation informed always, always with the truth, as hard as it may be in certain circumstances," said Maduro who was handpicked by the president before he travelled for Cuba for his latest round of surgery. 



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
CAR rebels halt advance on capital - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Rebels in Central African Republic have said they have halted their advance on the capital, Bangui, and would participate in dialogue, as head of regional African forces warned them against making further moves.

The announcement on Wednesday gave only a limited reprieve for President Francois Bozize as the rebels told Reuters news agency they might insist on his removal in the negotiations in Gabon's capital Libreville.

"I have asked our forces not to move their positions starting today because we want to enter talks in Libreville for a political solution," Eric Massi, rebel spokesman, told Reuters by telephone from Paris.

"I am in discussion with our partners to come up with proposals to end the crisis, but one solution could be a political transition that excludes Bozize," he said.

On Wednesday, the commander of the regional African force, FOMAC, warned rebels against any attempt to take Damara, the last strategic town between them and the country's capital Bangui.

"Let it be clear, we will not give up Damara," General Jean-Felix Akaga said.

"If the rebels attack Damara that would amount to a declaration of war and would mean that they have decided to engage the 10 central African states," he told reporters in Bangui.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 at 02:36:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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