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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) — Analysts predict U.S. Senate Republicans will continue to filibuster the most routine matters to try and derail Democrats and win seats this fall.

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This past year, Senate Republicans have used the filibuster — extended debate to block decisive votes — to make the “Senate dysfunctional” and prevent it from accomplishing even the most routine matters, said Mark Strand, the president of the Congressional Institute, a nonpartisan research group.

GOP using filibuster to paralyze Senate

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/02/14/GOP-using-filibuster-to-paralyze-Senate/UPI-86761266151207/

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Corker made clear that his agreement to work with Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who leads the Senate Banking Committee, would require President Barack Obama to make significant concessions to get his long-stalled financial reform proposal through the Senate.

Beyond reducing the Fed’s bank supervisory role, Corker said he could not support a standalone Consumer Financial Protection Agency, a top priority for Obama. In addition, Corker indicated he wouldn’t back the president’s call for mandatory limits on banks’ size and trading activities. And he suggested he was nearing agreement with Dodd on using bankruptcy laws to wind down large, failing companies, rather than the out-of-court resolution process Obama prefers.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-13/senate-s-corker-considers-reducing-fed-s-bank-oversight-role.html

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My Note –

So, the only way that the Republican Party will do anything different or allow any regulations to prevent the economic disaster we’ve already experienced at their hands and by their past decisions, is for the Democrats and Independents to simply agree with them to not do anything different than we have now. After the better part of the last thirty years running people’s lives into the ground and destroying the standing of the United States across the world, the Republican Party still wants to do things the same way.

I used to think there was something wrong with much of the leadership, including politicians, business leaders, bankers, stock brokers and power brokers getting liquored up at these events where their decisions were made that affected our lives. After seeing more of their ideas, I’ve come to the conclusion that we have been better off that they were liquored up before decisions were made.

Why should they change anything – the people in positions of money, power, politics, prestige and leadership like it the way it is. Every energy source that is inefficient serves their personal bank accounts and share dividend payments. Every obscene financial “anything goes” method allows them to profit personally and collectively. Every lobby that serves its own interests over those of the people in this nation along with every corporate or financial institution that fund them, manages to serve money to Republican policy makers and politicians as an unending stream of resources and money. Why should they do anything to serve the American people and our future or those interests of our nation?

I hate watching the Republican party and their cronies from leftover Barry Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and the Bush administrations decide to dance around Obama and the Democrats who have received our collective support by putting them into office. Stop wasting our time and using the financial resources of the Republican Party to destroy the United States and every remaining opportunity of our national prosperity, to get your way at our continuing expense. The abuse of authority, the undermining of budgets that would have provided safety to the American people in financial and economic matters, as well as stripping other agency budgets intended to serve the American people has gone on long enough at the hands of the Republican Party and their bastard banking buddies.

Haven’t the Republicans done enough damage already? Since they have all the money that they do, along with all the resources, all the opportunities, all the “friends”, and all the abilities to undermine any progress or change whatsoever as they are doing, why couldn’t these “leaders” and their networks of the prestigious do something to fix the brown grungy air over our cities? Why don’t they be the ones to create a new energy source that is the new breakthrough? In fact, why don’t they take the ideas, inventions and designs out of their closets and shelves and files that they’ve bought up and stalemated and shelved – to bring them out into our economic communities now? Why don’t they do that?

It is so completely disgusting to hear the same eight talking points of the Republican Party anytime any of them or their friends open their mouths and get air time. There isn’t a brain in their own heads apparently unless the Party and their thinktanks tell them what they think. It is a damn shame,

– cricketdiane

One of the primary reasons that our country now resembles a third world country in our cities across our entire economic spectrum is because the Republicans did things the way that they did.

They managed to destroy the eighth largest economy in the world in California and have succeeded in making over that state in their image of what things should be – from the land of prosperity – to have become the land of poverty and despair.

So, too the Republicans and the conservative caucus who hijacked the Republican Party since the days of Richard Nixon, have made over the country of the United States that we loved, into a wasteland of desolation, despair, poverty and destroyed communities, where over a third of our population withers away in prisons and institutions, while well over another 28% of our nation’s population is unemployed, underemployed, or without any employment or economic opportunities whatsoever.

And they’re still trying to drive us the rest of the way to hell?

To what purpose? They own everything already as it is – what more could they possibly need or want?

And, what right could they possibly have at this point to continue demanding their way while standing on the rest of us to get it?

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One of the most depraved abuses of power that I watched the Republicans and conservatives do was to steal funds and resources from the communities of aged, infirmed, disabled, sick, poor, impoverished populations, the weak and the vulnerable. By insisting that the faith-based charities and non-governmental organizations would serve these needs, the funds intended to give them a helping hand up were diverted to build golf courses, yachting clubs, and anything the aristocratic party hungered to have available to them.

Then, the conservatives and the Republican Party hijacked the donations given to these same charitable organizations across the country in countless communities and funneled them into underwriting conservative thinktanks instead, effectively bankrupting the resources intended to serve the needs of these populations in our country.

No longer was there a helping hand to get people on their feet and serve as a safety net for families and communities, because the conservative thinktanks and their lobbies have been taking hundreds of millions of dollars from each one where they could gain access. The only thing those charitably given donations were then able to do was to support the interests of the thinktanks and to pay their high salaried participants, their lobbyists, and their beautifully resourced buildings and offices.

The needs of our foodbanks, the needs of these vulnerable communities and the future of our nation was not the concern of the Republican Party nor of the conservatives when they chose to do this. Their only concern was to employ their rich friends, to force their viewpoints down our throats, to continue forcing more people out of our society and to enrich their own pockets both through the charitable donations they hijacked to their conservative thinktanks and by wholesale diverting public funds intended to serve those populations in need.

It was the Republicans that did steal from the food stamp programs, from school lunch programs intended to make our children strong, from the meals on wheels programs that were meant to keep our elderly and homebound citizens from starving, and from other programs so they could give the money to wealthy horse farms, race horse breeding farms and owners of thoroughbred horses.

Apparently, the same thinking caused those diversions of funds, that also placed the Republican’s and Presidents Bush’s family friend, “Brownie” who was a special member of the horse breeding community, to head up FEMA and leave American citizens to die in the streets of New Orleans after Katrina with pallets of bottled water pre-staged and sitting not even two miles away from them.

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By the hands and decisions of the Republican Party, hundreds of thousands of people across the United States have died from food poisoning, from faulty products that were not given appropriate oversight, and from drugs which should have never passed any genuine review for safety. Every year, over a hundred thousand people in the United States are being killed from these very things as a direct result of the Republican policy of removing money from agencies and from their investigative teams which were charged with keeping our food supply safe, our water supply safe, our products safe, our pharmaceuticals safe and with keeping preventable deaths and illness to an absolute minimum. Because they replaced every 26 inspectors with one, across every agency designed to insure our safety from dams and levees to food borne pathogens, the Republicans have managed to successfully kill more people than every war we’ve fought all combined.

Over many years, the Basel community and the International Financial Stability Forum told our financial regulators, Treasury Department members including the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, along with the President’s Financial Working Group that our financial system was over-leveraged, without adequate reserves, assets were overstated, credit default swaps represented a danger of potentially undermining the value of the monetary system, off-balance sheet accounting practices were a threat to the validity of the overall assets as stated and that creative valuations in accounting with no bearing in reality along with numerous other very basic facts needed to be addressed.

The analysis, possible solutions, ideas and the tangible data that supported them were given to the United States’ political and financial regulatory leadership over and over and over and over again several times a year, since about 1998 when meeting together. Each time the American leadership took the information back with them and met with the bankers, the hedge fund brokers and business leaders, financial institution CEOs and financiers. And each time, nothing happened of merit.

With increasing candor and stronger facts each year and at each meeting, the international community kept insisting that there was a serious financial threat to the sovereignty of the United States, to the Global economy and to all of our components whose foundations hinge upon the reality of these values and the accurate portrayal of their substance. And each time, up to and including in early 2008, the facts were brought back to New York and back to Washington, D.C., where the Republican Party, the conservatives, the US Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street and the bankers refused to allow any changes to be made whatsoever.

Those changes would’ve meant very little change in their riches and wealth but would’ve prevented the economic collapses that have destroyed entire generations of the US, her people and her communities and her future along with destroying economies throughout the world. The changes were stopped from being placed into practice by these same people in the financial and business communities supported by the Republican Party who now continue to bulwark against any changes. That isn’t rhetoric – that is fact.

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For decades, the Republicans and business leaders fought against publication of any facts that disagreed with their policy positions whether it had to do with climate change or the handling of FEMA resources during the aftermath of hurricanes and devastating floods or the fact that what had been Alaska’s brilliant, beautiful wildlife preserves have been turned into open pit mines. The Republican conservatives even pressured the American press and broadcast news to not use the word, “Recession” in order for the truth about the economic crisis to be withheld. Was that because they were so concerned about a panic? Or was it because that allowed them to get their money out safely while the rest of the country’s citizens lost their shirts (and their houses, and their retirement funds, and their kid’s education funds, and lost over half the value of their 401Ks, and whatever the amount of money they had sunk into investments and investment funds, etc., etc., etc.)?

The result ultimately has been a continuous parade involving Republican-created debacles of human tragedy across the United States and throughout  the world from their same gross incompetence, manipulated choices intended to serve their own enrichment, bad decisions, misunderstandings of the bigger picture, out and out ignorance, contempt for the people they were elected to serve, and their choices to make investments in propaganda, rhetoric and controlled perception over actual facts.

The single greatest problem with propaganda, perception manipulation, “rhetoric” and “framing the facts” is that it does not make it so. Sooner or later, it becomes clear that the “Emperor has no clothes” and that rhetoric or not – that clearly does convey the reality backed up by the facts.

No matter how many times, the Republican Party screams about and mocks the idea of global warming and climate change, no matter how much they dissuade, harass and harangue the public citizens about it, no matter if they believe it is real or not and no matter how much money they spend to discredit and invalidate any facts offered about it – if it is the fact that global warming and climate change is occurring, then no amount of rhetoric will change that reality we will be suffering.

The only thing that their insistence on propaganda and perception control has done is to have cheated us all of time and resources that could have been used to do something constructive about it. And, perhaps doing it that way, bought time for Republicans, and their business friends to continue profiting while destroying the opportunities for most of us to survive.

How many billions of dollars have the Republican politicians, conservative thinktanks and “moral majority” conservatives spent to tell the American people what to think about climate change and what not to think?

How many billions have they spent for lobbyists and specialized public relations firms to explain to us what we are to think about the safety of our food supply, even while E.Coli have been found in a multitude of products and people killed by the mishandling of meats that allowed it to be processed into our hamburgers and vegetables and peanut butter and what all else?

How many billions of dollars have they spent and hours of airtime and manhours to cover every public outlet possible to make sure we can all repeat their Republican and conservative “talking points” – whatever eight talking points of the moment it may be?

The American aristocracy must think that acid rain doesn’t affect them when they are skiing in the Alps, and that the pretty beaches where they enjoy their time won’t be where the crude oil spills will get in their way. The arsenic and chromium in the water where they live, probably magically disappears as long as they don’t believe it is there.

If the Republican Party conservatives don’t think five feet of snow “blizzarding” in Washington, D.C. is a strong indication of climate changes that are occurring, then the conservative Republicans can feel free to mock the idea of global warming but it really won’t matter much – it is what it is. And, if they think their peanut butter is safe . . .

– cricketdiane

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Some people working to make positive change (probably) –

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

The annual conferences in Long Beach and Oxford bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

On TED.com, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 500 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/5

The TED Conference in Long Beach, California was held February 9 – 13, 2010.

TED Global will be held in Oxford, UK

July 12-16, 2010

TED Global
Technology, Entertainment, Design

Long Beach, Calif
Feb 9 – 13, 2010
(just happened)

“Ideas Worth Spreading”

18 minute talks – roundtable discussions – conference
TEDx events throughout the year – independently of the TED official conference

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TEDGlobal 2010 Registration

Headlines remind us daily of the political, economic and environmental woes facing the planet. But behind the scenes lie an amazing array of new ideas, new science, new technology, new social and political thinking, new art and a new understanding of who we are. When you put it all together, an entirely more hopeful view of the future emerges.

Register »

A few things to know about TEDGlobal registration:

* Only a limited number of TED registrations are available each year; they’re granted at the discretion of the TED team based on a broad set of criteria aimed at ensuring a rich and stimulating exchange of ideas among a diverse group of peers.
* We ask that you take the essay questions on the registration form very seriously; they’re the key tool we have for understanding

http://www.ted.com/registration/tedglobal2010

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My Note –

All that having been said, the secret to real, genuine, ultimate freedom is this – neither the man who works with his hands nor the man who works with the money is the upper echelon. They are equals. That is the basis of the real freedom that is the foundation of America. The democracy and equality that America has gone around the world to instill are based upon that fact. The freedom of equals to participate in our society strengthens the fiber of it and supports immeasurable wealth and prosperity for all.

Real freedom is the absolute knowledge that regardless of how things seem or what people may believe, the truth is that we are all equals. The power of the United States of America exists within me, even if there were none left, and the power of the United States of America exists within you, even if I and no other were left, and the power of our freedom and equality endures forever among all the peoples of the world. The power of all we have been and all we can be in our nation exists within each of us, individually and collectively.

– cricketdiane, 02-14-10

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