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To really understand Christmas, you need to be in the Third World, hot climate, where Christianity doesn’t exist. Life is just a normal day. Their religion’s calling out prayer, markets bustling as always, and you are working too…. Somewhere during that day, if you are an American, it hits you. Wow, its the 25th.. This is Christmas.

And so it was. No one knew who Jesus was. The Bible says that in his own way, God announced it. But if you were living in Bethlehem roughly 2000 years ago, it would be like what you see here before you today. Life as normal. Just like every other day…

And that is the beauty of Christmas. In your town, today, the child of the second coming could be born. You would never know. And that offers a clue to how God works… He works things in his own way….

And somehow, it works out…. Against all odds of the dice being thrown in multiple odds, it always lands the right way when it is needed…

After all your calls home, you report for duty in the hospital where you work, and from a room a newborn cries out. The question hits you. What if in two thousand years, everyone shall know his name? At first you scoff, he’s just another mid-eastern baby. But then, so was Jesus…..

It happened just like this… THAT is the mystery of Christmas…

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The Wall Street Journal quotes Citibank’s executives are preparing their investors for the worst!!!!!!!!!!!!

Receiving what is known as the doomsday scenario, a two step reduction in it’s bond rating,  Citibank is going to cost it’s investors billions…

It will suck their money right out of their accounts and right into the trashcan…  If you are invested in Citibank, kiss all your money goodbye..

But wait?

What about the Dodd-Frank Finance Reform Bill?  Doesn’t that kick in or something?

What happens is that under the Dodd Finance Reform Bill, Citibank is required, because it’s ratings are much more risky now, to have a higher amount in reserves than it does if it has a very high rating….

That money, has to come out of its profits.

So profit will be short by …. $4.7 billion for the required additional collateral for its holding company and its banking subsidiary….

$4.7 billion.

But wait a minute you should say.  Isn’t that a good thing, at least much better than would have happened under Republican leadership just over 5 years ago?  Shouldn’t a bad bank HAVE to keep more money in reserves than a good bank, so the chance of it failing, are decreased from extremely likely to zero?

One would think.  Unless of course you are one of these people.  Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney.  These six people believe the investors should get the $4.7 billion, and the federal government should bail out the banks when they fail…

This is what’s behind their opposition of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.  The only reason one would oppose it, is because it protects the financial solubility of the institution, instead of the investor.

If a bank fails and we lose our money, that is just too bad in their eyes.  But for them to lose their money, is unthinkable.

Yes, they are indeed ridiculous.

So in reality, thanks in part to the leadership of Michael Kaufman from Delaware,  when a bank engages risky behavior, it must put more into its reserves, taking it away from the investors.

This is only fair.  For when things get in order, and reserves can be dropped again, it is only the investors who get that bonus in one fell sweep.

So we can see in a nutshell, why when it comes to economic issues, we cannot let Republicans again have the reins of power…  They would dismantle this reform, just like they dismantled the original protections put in place since the 1930’s, and that dismantling, was  the sole cause of the meltdown that put all those American’s out of work…

So things are working as they should.  The bank was risky, and now  must pay the penalty.   What’s nice about having Democrats in charge, is that the penalty they payed, was to themselves….

Democrats are intelligent.

It is funny, … often the most profound statements are in an aside that the author slipped into the article…..

From the New York Times……

“He helped devise a strategy that called for his coalition to line up a strong array of legislative sponsors and supporters behind two similar laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate — and then to move them through the Congress quickly before possible opposition from tech companies could coalesce.”

Translated: how can we trick Congress into passing this law before the American People find out….

Wouldn’t it be nice if campaign contributions could ONLY come from individual donors who were actually human?

Nothing…….

If someone downloads a Hollywood movie or television series…. is that a loss of profit for a Movie studio?

They would like you to think so…

But most people download movies because they do not have the money to otherwise spend.

Therefore, they would never buy that product …. If it were not available, they would just do without…..

Today, everyone has access to a computer. There is no market for movies copyied on CD and sold on the black market. There is no money in downloaded movies. They are worthless entities…

What the availability of downloaded movies actually do, is to effectively market that product.

How often have you been in a group of strangers with time to kill and get stuck searching cable for a movie?

Do you trust the reviews, obviously slanted so you pick their product, or do you listen to other people and pick one that they have seen and say is good?

You know that answer.

One day soon it will be proven. The reason profits of movies studios and the entertainment industries are up, is because of the ability to “globally” upload movies on the internet…. More people now (or did) have access to “Hollywood” across this globe than ever before… Theoretically, even if one out of ten viewers later buys the product after testing it, that is a boon for movie moguls. Don’t ever think anyone in the Third World will buy without first testing.

Without such glowing reviews from our peers, when it comes to fluffy entertainment, …. we will prefer to spend our hard money on more worthwhile causes.

As a concerned citizen, I am beginning to accept that a boycott of Hollywood until charges against MegaUpload are dismissed … is exactly the precise action that is needed…..

After all, “Hollywood Jobs are at stake.”…..

Chris Dodd…

I used to admire him. I used to defend him… When Republicans lashed out at his Wall Street reform bill, I was right there, finger on the trigger, mowing them down……

But, the dude has since had a stroke and has sold out… In fact, quite a few Democrats have sold out…

In case you did not hear, Chris Dodd, who incidentally is now head of the most corrupt institution in America, the MPAA (Movie Pictures Association of America)…. went on Fox News…
(Fox News? ) to blast his fellow Democrats…….

“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,”

(Dude, Fox News just owned you; do you not know how often Republicans will play that very indicting clip IN EVERY DISTRICT this upcoming election cycle?)

Couple that with the threat made on Wednesday , that if Obama did not throw his full support behind the existing SOPA or PIPA bills currently up for vote, then Hollywood was withholding all their donations this time around…….. we begin to see the big picture…..

Washington is just stupid.

Allow me to qualify that…

Since the “boiling over” of frustration from August’s flub of a standard debt ceiling passage, the overload that gave the Occupy Movement immense credibility and resonance when it began it’s long drawn-out protest, normal everyday Americans are waking up to the notion that their government is totally corrupt, completely bought out, and not one damn bit interested in what they are experiencing or have to say……..

Then, on a day when their most trusted sources of knowledge (Internet) go black, Chris Dodd makes a blundering threat that confirms and amplifies EXACTLY about what Americans are concerned….

Their politicians are bought, sold, and paid for…….

SOPA And PIPA are symbols of a greater evil: The horrific evil that BIG BUSINESS is taking over the world… (That is an exaggeration, but then again, symbols always are) …

If Dodd truly, as he expressed in the NY Times Opinion Piece, wanted to turn things around and come to a more reasonable result, the approach he took is exactly how NOT to do it.

When people are concerned that the laws hurting them, are passed out of intimidation over campaign funding, to threaten politicians publicly with intimidation, is exactly how NOT to go……

So….

If Washington is broken, how do we fight back?

By boycotting Hollywood…. (Forget the distraction of the puppets; aim the snout of your rifle upwards at the hidden puppeteer.)

How is that possible?

Do not pay for movies.
Do not pay for television.
Do not pay for anything but independent artists.

Independent artists…btw, are really cool…..

Nerein me lifetime, would I be havin’ thought I`d be seein’ myself, on th’ side o’ swashbucklers…

The fine distinction between patriot an’ gentleman o’ fortune, simply depends on who owns th’ wealth….

Robin Hood be a gentleman o’ fortune o’ sorts. From th’ rich t’ th’ poor. An’ th’ wealthy estates hire a Sheriff t’ hunt th’ lad’s down like one….

Sir Drake, filled th’ coiffers o’ England`s treasury, yet attacked Spanish galleons flyin’ th’ Jolly Roger.

American Merchantmen, plundered British merchant ships plyin’ th’ Caribbean. Th’ British called them Swashbucklers.

Southerners plundered Northern ships. The’r counter-band supplied th’ Confederacy fer voyages…

So ye be seein’, when ye use th’ term Swashbuckler, ‘t implies that someone has taken what ye thought ye had already successfully plundered….

There be nay sweet trade on th’ internet. Thar be what them who think they own th’ starboards t’, think be sweet trade, but that definition be open t’ interpretation…..

You make a movie; ye sell tickets. Ye sell television starboards. Ye sell ‘t t’ Wal*mart… Ye be done..
If th’ internet be free, then ‘t needs t’ be completely free…

If ’tis illegal fer any government t’ determine what goes on inside a church, then ‘t needs t’ be illegal fer any government t’ decide what swabbies can an’ cannot be seein’ on th’ internet…..

The shutterin’ down o’ MegaUpload, has stopped all file sharin’ across th’ globe. That be good fer Hollywood. But as Gingrich aptly expresses… Why ortin’ ta th’ world suffer fer Hollywood`s greed?

Think about ‘t… I cannot find ou’ what Spain be doin’ t’ augment th’ problem o’ excess wind energy, on accoun’ o’ MegaUpload be nay functionin’.

`Tis surreal… Better t’ go Bollywood, then Hollywood….

(assistance wi’ translation handled by syddware.com)

I’ve always admired Chris Dodd, former Senator from Connecticut, in fact once praised him here on these pages…..

But something happened to change all that… He has gotten too old to lead, and is now being led with a ring in his nose being pulled by corporate powers who raised cash for his campaigns…. Basically he sold his name out for a pension.. by joining the MPAA.

I saw where Chris Dodd had called the blackout of the internet a “dangerous stunt”… I thought I was reading a news release from a Senate.gov website until I got to the bottom of the page… It was from the Motion Picture Association of America.

And not to bash Dodd too hard, because I could see how easily it could happen, even to someone like me… especially on a day I had a migraine and was just trying to get the minimum I had to do, to get home, lie down, take Advil, put on Ben-Gay, and sleep…..

One of my big financiers comes up, saying “can we have you sign this, Sir?” I glance over it, and it seems to makes sense, why should we shut down the entire internet over one measly bill in Congress? Sure, I’ll sign on, now get out of my face.

And so, we see sublined under the headline, that Dodd called the blackout a silly stunt…

Here is the caveat.

It totally destroyed any credibility that Dodd once had… It shows that the sickness, that corruption where any value for sale, as seeped into even a good man….

Chris Dodd. How could you support SOPA’s permanent fettering of the internet, one that would require YouTube to go off line, and yet call a one day protest that fetters the internet, … a stunt?

Do you not understand the word hypocrisy?

The sands have shifted. Chris Dodd is now standing under the approaching dune. Had he lived back on April 19th, 1775, it appears quite likely in his old age, he would have called the militia that hastily gathered on Lexington Green, another dangerous “stunt” as well.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Just heard Obama speak on the floor of the Senate to urge lawmakers to do something to save Main Street…

Although he quoted Roosevelt, it was his own words that we should remember….

But while there’s plenty of blame to go around — and many in Washington and Wall Street who deserve it — all of us — all of us have a responsibility to solve this crisis, because it affects the financial well-being of every single American.

There will be time to punish those who set this fire, but now is not the time to argue about how it got set, or did the neighbor sleep in his bed, or leave the stove on. Right now we want to put out that fire, and now’s the time for us to come together and do that.

When the House of Representatives failed to act on Monday, we saw the single largest decline in the stock market in two decades.

Over $1 trillion of wealth was lost by the time the markets closed. And it wasn’t just the wealth of a few CEOs or Wall Street executives.

The 401(k)s and retirement accounts of millions became smaller. The state pension funds of teachers and government employees lost billions upon billions of dollars. Hard-working Americans who invested their nest egg to watch it grow saw it diminish and in some cases disappear.

Gee, those last words sound vaguely familiar….

Obama then used his “bully pulpit” to get the critical message out to Americans highly concerned over giving one man unlimited power…(“Hello, This is Mr. Paulsen…. I’d like to open a new Swiss Bank account…. Could you take an initial deposit of say… $250 billion dollars?”)

And, finally, I said that, if American taxpayers are financing this solution, then they have to be treated like investors. They should get every penny of their tax dollars back once the economy recovers.

Now, this last part is important, because it’s been the most misunderstood and poorly communicated part of this plan. This is not a plan to just hand over $700 billion of taxpayer money to a few banks.

If this is managed correctly — and that’s an important “if” — we will hopefully get most or all of our money back and possibly even turn a profit on the government’s intervention, every penny of which will go directly back to the American people.

He finished with saying..

We’re all going to need to pull our weight, because now, more than ever, we are all in this together.

Now, that’s part of what this crisis has taught us, that, in the end of the day, there’s no real separation between Wall Street and Main Street. There’s only the road we’re traveling on as Americans.

And we will rise or fall on that journey as one nation and as one people.

I know that many Americans are feeling anxiety right now about their jobs, about their homes, about their life savings. But I also know this, that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. We always have.

,,,,

Let us unite in banishing fear. Together we cannot fail. We cannot fail, not now, not tomorrow, not next year. This is a nation that’s faced down war and depression, great challenges and great threats.

And at each and every moment, we have risen to meet up these challenges, not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans, with resolve and with confidence, with that fundamental belief that, here in America, our destiny is not written for us, it’s written by us.

And that’s who we are. And that’s the country I know we can be right now.

If you were looking for a leader, you found one.

Whoever wins the White House will need bipartisanship to move Congress off its ass.  Like it or not, someone playing the center against the two parties benefits America better than a very strong political profile, where everyone is in lockstep, and a single agenda is pursued.

How do I know this?

Because the latter is what we have had the last 8 years, whereas the former, is what we had during the last six years of the previous administration.  America has tumbled downhill during the last eight years, and has done so from from its peak which was achieved during the previous six…

So how does one find bipartisanship?  One looks for one who works with the other side, (sort of the opposite of what McCain says he would do with Syria and Iran if elected)…  In this capacity Biden brings tremendous resources to the table….

In a report by David Broder, mentioned on a lot of blogs recently,  we see how Biden and Senator Lugar (a Republican), have kept a Senatorial committee running smoothly, irregardless of who is in charge, based on the composition of the Senate at a certain point in time.

These two professionals work together and their inter meshing has created a haven from the rife partisanship that often interrupts committee proceedings and makes a fool of our legislative branch. Consequently the entire committee has taken on the professional decorum exhibited by its two leaders, each of different parties.

Wise choices, but possible long shots for positions within the inner sanctum, both may not be in their spots next year.. Luger could be Secretary of State, for McCain or Obama, a man Luger recruited for foreign relations and a vocal admirer. Biden could be VP, based on rumblings still going on in Iowa’s aftermath…….. Both have run for the highest office, both work well together….

It is in this spirit of bipartisanship that Obama surprised progressives when he made his controversial decision to weigh in on the compromise hammered within the House which destroys our freedom of unreasonable search and seizure. Hat’s off to Delaware Dem for taking the issue dead on. Although initially disappointed, after reflection, I think this decision proves that Obama truly is the real thing. It has been several years since we have actually had a thinker in the White House. Obama sent a signal that he will approach every idea with an open mind.

His decision surprised me. Honestly, I didn’t think he would chose that route.. But with both the FISA bill and his recent choice to refuse public funding, Obama has made two correct decisions required for achieving his vision of long term benefits to this nation, and he has calmed the center and right at the same time. Even though it must have rankled every grain of his fiber, when his “Lawrence of Arabia” moment arrived and he was forced to make a decision between his personal attachment, and what was best to keep the country together, he chose the latter and pulled the trugger.

I know from experience ….that is very hard to do… But Obama did it, and my estimation of him just jumped off the scale… even though as a progressive I am opposed to what he did…vehemently. This guy’s got guts in the right places..

Totally unlike the current administration, who measures guts by holding on to an untenable position against 70, then 80, then 90, then 99 percent of the voting population, this guy measures guts by meeting with the other side, moving both sides to the center, finally hammering out an agreement, and then moving forward. Instead of repeated stalemates with which we have grown so accustomed, we get movement. And just by knowing that our country is headed by a rational and pragmatic individual, I feel safer that my basic rights will be protected in the future, despite the FISA decision, than I did when all security positions were hired, vetted, and staffed by kooks and partisan yokels….

It is in no way a perfect arrangement. I preferred that the telecoms squeal on the deal Cheney forced upon them and illuminate the criminal activities when and where they occurred, That won’t happen, and Obama is the reason it won’t.

A presidential candidate this shrewd will require a second in command solid and able enough to garnish considerable respect from the Senate floor. Biden and Dodd are two Democrats that meet that criteria. Lugar, Hagel are two from the other side who do as well. Instead of a party hack, (as one could certainly consider Cheney), Obama, by picking someone who embodies Democratic values, but respects the opinions of the other side, will be invaluable when the time comes to make the change forward that all America so desperately wants.

A year ago the idea of a Obama/Biden ticket would be preposterous. For those still embittered by conflict politics, it may still seem so.

But, Obama has shown us that even Progressives are just another scion of the political spectrum…..Tangible results are what matter. This country could use a few good men like these In fact the entire world would benefit from the spirit of bipartisanship exemplified by these few men. For each time America is unhealthy, so goes the world……