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November 30, 2009

Obama Enforced Trade Agreement - Jobs Already Returning

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

In September, President Obama Enforces Trade Law In China Tire Case!

President Obama signaled a new direction in America's trade policies by deciding to enforce the ITC's recommendation to impose tariffs on Chinese tire imports.

In November, Findlay's Cooper Tire will add 100 new jobs,

“Last year at this time we were worried about losing Cooper,” said Sehnert.

Now the company has announced a $10 million dollar investment in the plant, mostly in automation.

With the company's expansion comes the real good news for Findlay residents, 9.1% of whom are unemployed.

The plant will need to fill 100 new jobs.

“That's 100 more people working. That's 100 more people spending their money in our community, paying their bills, paying their taxes so it means a lot,” said Sehnert.

“Looks like business is picking up,” said Larry Williams, a sales forecaster at Cooper's Findlay headquarters.

The background is that China was flooding the US market with cheap tires, costing thousands of American jobs and forcing factories to close. Our agreement when China joined the WTO was that we could impose a tariff when "disruptions" occurred, and this was a disruption. President Bush refused to enforce trade agreements and we suffered 8 years of job loss and factory closings, but President Obama enforced it, and we are already seeing jobs return.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:05 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 29, 2009

My Heart Is Full Of The Pain Of Disco

So I roam in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:31 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

The Market

Can any libertarians out there please tell me how "the market" punished these executives for killing the companies and helping take the economy into collapse?

The top executives at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. cashed out almost $2.5 billion from their firms between 2000 and 2008, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

They took home billions while taking those companies down. Is that how "the market" punishes bad behavior?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:00 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

If Obama Doesn't Turn Left And Fast

Many Democrats are not going to show up and vote. That is all there is to it. Obama also has to start standing up for the people, demanding that Dems in the Senate start acting like Democrats, and doing so very publicly and loudly. If he doesn't do these tihngs people will cement the nearly-formed opinion that he doesn't care, is weak, wavers, etc.

Dems have to deliver. That means jobs - directly from the government and paying well. And delivering also means a "public option" for all of us. None of this ordering us to buy a bad product from evil corporations - or only letting a few people have the public option. That won't cut it.

Digby takes this a bit further, pointing out that the 2010 losses will be attributed to teh country "moving to the right" instead of the reality of people now showing up to vote because Obama and Congressional Democrats already are too far to the right.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:43 PM | Comments (4) | Link Cosmos

Signals Obama Could/Should Send?

This post originally appeared at Open Left.

Symbolism is very powerful, and great Presidents use it to set the tone of their Presidency. It is the "Bully Pulpit" because Presidents tell the people "this is the way it is now," then repeat the message and they act in ways that consistently reinforce it, until the message ripples out and people start acting accordingly.

FDR took office and signaled change. What could be more dramatic that his first 100 days? Message: The government will from now on be on the side of the People.

Reagan certainly signaled change. Message: The government will now be on the side of the wealthy. The rest of you are on your own.

Bush II certainly signaled change. People understood that we will be a country ruled by men, not laws. (And he meant men. Wealthy, white men.)

What has Obama signaled? What tone has he set? What actions have backed up his words? What new direction does the country understand we are following?

More below the fold.


Upon taking office, FDR had sent strong signals that we are a people in common and that where a weak government had benefited and enriched primary the wealthy a strong government will now protect and empower us all, prioritizing common social values over profits for a few. In his inaugural address he said,

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

FDR talked about the common good and interdependence on each other,

…we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective.

He said that government itself would directly hire people if that’s what it took to create jobs,

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. … It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.

Then he acted, beginning with his famous 100 days reinforcing the signals, strengthening the government and making it crystal clear that this government would be about protecting and employing the people. To build government and employ people his administration set up numerous “alphabet agencies” like the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Civil Works Administration (CWA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) and later the Work Projects Administration (WPA).

He raised taxes on the wealthy to help pay for his programs as well as to bring a more democratic approach to government. He made it clear we are a democratic one-person-one-vote, not a plutocratic one-dollar-one-vote country. Estate taxes in particular helped democratize the economy, provide some degree of equality of opportunity and reduce the great concentration of wealth among a few.

During the 1936 campaign he talked about the problems that had been caused by the extreme concentration of wealth, deriding “a concentration of property ownership in the hands of one or two percent of the population, a concentration unequaled in any great Nation since the days of the later Roman Empire.”

Then, in his second inaugural address, using the word “government” over and over, and praising it he made it clear that government, government and government were the solution to the problems the country faced:

Instinctively we recognized a deeper need—the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization. Repeated attempts at their solution without the aid of government had left us baffled and bewildered.

. . . A century and a half ago they established the Federal Government in order to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to the American people. Today we invoke those same powers of government to achieve the same objectives. Four years of new experience have not belied our historic instinct. They hold out the clear hope that government within communities, government within the separate States, and government of the United States can do the things the times require, without yielding its democracy. Our tasks in the last four years did not force democracy to take a holiday.

[. . .] We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country's interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

FDR made it clear that our government was of the people and that his government was on the side of the people.


When Ronald Reagan took office his administration sent out strong signals to the public making it crystal clear that the country was going to go in a new direction. Even with the House and Senate under Democratic control, Reagan signaled that government, long the protector of the people, would now be on the side of big business and the wealthy. In his inaugural address he called these protections “roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity.” He said taxation “penalizes successful achievement” and said public spending was “mortgaging … our children’s future.” He made it clear changes were coming and it was going to be done his way, using phrases like,

“We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding—we are going to begin to act, beginning today.

[. . .] And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles, there will be no compromise.”

He acted. An address is one thing, action is another. In August of that year PATCO, the air traffic controllers union, went on strike, giving Reagan an opportunity to reinforce the signals with very public actions. He fired the air traffic controllers and confirmed that the government was no longer going to stand up for working people.

And so began a series of cascading changes. His administration stopped enforcing labor laws and regulations as well as laws and regulations protecting consumers. His tax cuts on the highest incomes, combined with dramatic increases in payroll taxes, set the state for a new era of wealth concentration. His campaign for deregulation began an era of predatory capitalism that led to ever-larger corporations yielding ever-greater influence over the government, with the largest of course demanding rule changes that benefited them at the expense of smaller enterprises and the public.

"Government is the problem" is a profoundly anti-democratic statement. The alternative to rule by the people is rule by the few, and people got the message that the companies and wealthy are running things now. Reagan brought in an era of deregulation (removing public control over the actions of the big companies), tax cuts (definding democracy), government borrowing (making government obligated to the wealthy), and general large-company predatory domination that eventually led to the economic collapse of 2008.

Every chart you see, of ... anything ... alters direction dramatically in about 1981. This chart of strikes per 1000 workers, for example. Concentration of wealth. Working people's share of the benefits of the economy. National debt. You name it, whatever you are charting, that chart changes direction right around 1981.

Bush II


OK, I'll hold my nose and bring up a few. Right after taking office Bush suspended the "contractor responsibility" rule. This rule prevented companies from getting government contracts if they had been found guilty of defrauding the government, violating worker safety rules, or other crimes, rulebreaking, favoritism, etc. This was just one of thousands of actions that certainly signaled change and set a tone for what was to come.

And, of course, the whole hyper-partisan, non-compromise, with us or against us -- and you will experience bad things happening to you if you are against us.

Anyway, it was very clear under Bush II that the country was going in a direction and that's the way it is so shut up. I don't need to go into detail, we'd all rather just get it behind us.


Today Democrats have the Presidency, the House and a supermajority in the Senate. But since President Obama took office he has not sent strong signals - backed by consistent action - that the country is heading in a new direction, returning to a pre-Reagan era when government was on the side of the people and the law.

In the absence of such signals and actions his administration is now widely perceived as standing with Wall Street and the large corporations against Main Street and the people. The general feeling (right or wrong) is that they have failed to hold anyone from the lawless Bush administration accountable for ... anything ... right up to war crimes and torture. They failed to hold anyone in corporate America accountable for ... anything. They failed to make corporate America change ... anything.

The worst, most damaging thing? They didn't hold Wall Street accountable, make them start lending, or stop them from handing out huge bonuses with our money. This year's financial sector bonus pool is $140 billion, which is way more than enough to cover the most generous health care bill.

The good things that have done this year have not followed a narrative of change, or been done symbolically, consistently, publicly, loudly, dramatically and clearly. For example, the tariff slapped on Chinese tires was announced late on Friday night, Sept. 11.

What could Obama do? He could follow a clear narrative of change that makes everyone understand there is no question that the people and the law are in charge again. Here are some signals I would like to see President Obama send, backed by action, telling the country that We, the People are again in control:

I want to see some Democratic Senators publicly held accountable for going against Obama's agenda.

I want to see the government very publicly slap down a large company for illegally firing union organizers, polluting,

I want to see the government publicly prosecute a few companies for discriminating against (firing, pay differentials, etc.) people over 50 or because they are women or minorities. I'd like to see very public sting operations that catch these companies doing what we all know they are doing.

I'd like to see some Bush cronies held accountable for the corruption and lawbreaking that occurred. (And how about doing something for Gov. Siegelman and apologizing to him on behalf of the government?)

Actually I just want to see some damn laws enforced. A signal that we are returning to rule of law would tell the public that government is back on the side of the people. How many Bushies have been prosecuted for corruption? How many cronies have been asked to give the money back?

I could go on here, but I think I have made my point.

In the comments: What are some signals YOU would like to see Obama send, and actions to back them up. What can he do that lets people know that things really have changed?

(Yes, of course, fire Geithner and Summers, that just goes without saying.)

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:24 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 28, 2009

Thanks Dems -- 7 Million Start Losing Health Insurance Next Week

The COBRA subsidy runs out next week. 7 million Americans are receiving that subsidy so next week the first wave of them loses their health insurance.

Well, they don't technically lose their insurance, they just have to pay hundreds of dollars more than they have been paying. Of course, these are UNEMPLOYED people, so in reality this means they lose their insurance.

This is just one MORE thing the Democratic Congress and President haven't done for people. Oh, did I mention that Wall Street has a $140 billion bonus pool this year?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:41 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Name It "The Bush Debt Tax"

Christian_Dem_NY, a commenter over at Open Left has an idea,

... Enact a tax that applies ONLY to those that make $250,000 or more per year, and that only raises their top rate to 50% (which was the LOWEST rate under Reagan). Name that tax the "Bush Iraq Debt" tax, and use every penny from that tax to pay down the portion of the national debt that was created by Bush's war (with a built-in "self destruct" feature that makes the tax expire once Bush's war has been fully paid for). The teabaggers and Faux Noise and the rest of the right-wing noise machine will act as though Obama is the second coming of Stalin... but when grassroots Republicans get pissed off about the tax increase, they will look at that name "Bush Iraq Debt" tax and ask themselves: "Whom should I really blame for this tax? The man who spent the money to attack the wrong nation [Bush] or the man who just collected the money to get us out of debt [Obama]?"

This is an excellent idea. People do not know who is responsible for the massive deficits and debt. The Republicans are engineering them toward blaming Obama. So let's tell them in a way that makes a LOT of noise.

Dems in Congress can also submit bills named "Bush Bank Bailout Tax," the "Bush Tax Cut For The Rich Debt Tax," "Republican Borrowing Payoff Tax," "Republicans Moved Factories and Jobs To China And Borrowed Trillions Tax," etc. The Republicans will have a shitstorm and the resulting argument will reach all the way to regular people at the kitchen table.

All it takes is ONE Dem to introduce the bill and start the noise. Alan Grayson, for example?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:30 AM | Comments (8) | Link Cosmos

November 27, 2009

Emails Prove Global Warming Scam!

Have you heard about the emails?

The emails prove that the ice isn't really melting. Those ships that you saw in the news crossing the Arctic in the summer were actually photoshopped, according to one of the emails. As were the satellite photos that show the ice receding. All the people who work with the agencies that run the satellites and process the pictures are in on it. That's all in the emails.

Also the glaciers that you hear are melting, the emails show this is a big scam. What they did was set up a distortion field around the area, and when you go look at the glaciers, the field distorts your vision and makes it look like the ice is going away, when really there is more ice than ever.

And the storms and floods? Those are in newspapers. So obviously the liberals are behind this. Don't believe it. It isn't happening.

The ice isn't melting. Greenland has more ice than it ever had. Those pictures and videos of water running from the melting ice -- the emails talk about how they are piping water in from other place to make it look like there is water coming from melting ice, but there isn't. It's all just a trick to make you think that what you are seeing in front of your eyes is real.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:53 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

Blogging At Open Left

Remember, I'm blogging over at Open Left instead of here.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 25, 2009

Jobs In America

Manufacturing infrastructure:

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

I Am At Open Left Today

I'm sitting in for Chris Bowers over at Open Left today. I'll cross-post a few things here.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:00 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 24, 2009

Is Obama Losing You?

Go read Daily Kos: You are losing me, Mr. President.

Is Obama losing you?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:35 PM | Comments (2) | Link Cosmos

Credit Card Company Scams

Digby writes about a scam by Bank of America, where they switched the envelope to look like junk mail, so people threw it away, and they collect million upon millions in late fees. Credit Card Companies Are Using Dirty Tricks to Force Us to Pay Late Fees: Why Won't Congress Do Something?

It was clearly a sneaky trick. Yes, it's my responsibility to know when my bills are due, but I had been in the habit of putting the bill into the "to pay" file and paying it on the following Monday. It didn't occur to me that the bill would suddenly come in an envelope with no return address or label on it that didn't look like a bill and so I tossed it into a junk pile and didn't look at it right away.

And that's what people are dealing with all the time as consumers, with their health insurance, their credit cards, their mortgages, their pensions -- overwhelming complexity designed to trip them up and cost them money or deny them benefits to which they believed in good faith they were entitled. And its all perfectly legal -- or at least there's no visible accountability for it.

Chase ran a scam on me. I didn't realize it was a scam until I was talking with someone else and found out exactly the same thing happened to her. I had automatic payments set up. They stopped the automatic payments, and charged me late fees. And when I got them to reverse the late fee, they applied a fee reversal fee!

Here's the thing. Nothing is getting done about any of this big-corporate corruption! Democrats have a huge opportunity to demonstrate that they are on the side of regular people -- but just enough corrupt Democrats in the Senate are joining with the totally-corrupt Republicans to keep anything from getting done.

Digby writes,

I just don't get this. This is a populist moment and with the exception of a few liberal economists and professors and a couple of Democratic congressmen, the whole field is being left to the teabaggers. This populist fever doesn't just affect the rural working folks, it affects people in the big urban centers and the suburbs just as much. Everybody's getting screwed. Somebody needs to address that or the wrong people are going to be blamed.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 1:48 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Today's Housing Bubble Post - It Ain't Over

Have you noticed signs of "bubble mentality" in the housing market in your area? In my area the bubble is reignited by cheap credit and government subsidies. Just this week a relative told me that "housing prices will come back" because "housing always goes up." People are talking again about "snapping it up" and doing it "before you get priced out of the market." Low-end houses are getting dozens of offers above the asking price.

People have been trained to think that the way to get ahead is to buy real estate. You buy a house, after a while you use the equity you build up in that house to buy another. Either "trade up" or buy investment property. In my area most of the home sales are at the low end, are bought with cash, and are bought by investors who plan to rent the house out. (Even though rents are falling.)

People still don't get it that we were in a bubble. People don't get it that prices have not yet reverted to the mean.

Here is the hard news: The tulips will never be worth more than gold again. The "path to wealth" isn't real estate anymore.

And it isn't working. The Wall Street Journal this morning:

Even recent bargain hunters have been hit: 11% of borrowers who took out mortgages in 2009 already owe more than their home's value.

The bubble won't end until the bubble mentality ends. Until then a lot of people will only get hurt.

A house is a home, not an investment.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:35 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 23, 2009

Under The Government's Control

Apparently having any laws or regulations at all means that things are "under the control of the government."

P.S. Oh, and this is supposed to be a bad thing.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:49 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

NYTimes Get Debt Interest Very Wrong

From Payback Time - Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government - Series - NYTimes.com

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.
Just wrong.

According to the US Treasury, the interest on the debt was $451 billion in 2008. I'm not clear on the 2009 number yet, but it may actually be lower due to lower interest rates.

This changes the character of the entire NYTimes story, which claims interest could soar to over $700 billion "up from $202 billion." A climb from approx. $450-500 billion just doesn't sound as scary. The conclusions I guess we are supposed to draw are stop helping the unemployed, don't reform health care. (But of course ignore the $1 trillion military budget, more than the rest of the world combined spends.)

And by the way, this is the Reagan/Bush debt they are writing about. Obama has added very little to that.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:06 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 22, 2009

SNL Mocks Obama ... Except

This is really funny, except it was Bush, not Obama, who borrowed all that money from China, and who bailed out the banksters.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 5:45 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 19, 2009

My Op-Ed In SJ Merc News -- Tax The Rich

I have an op-ed in today's San Jose Mercury News: Opinion: Why America needs to go back to taxing the wealthy. Here is a bit of it:

While America has always been a place where a person could get rich, it used to be that you got rich a bit more slowly, and everyone benefited in the process. This is because we used to have very high tax rates at the top.

A person could do very well, but income that came in above a certain level was highly taxed and used to pay for the teachers, police, courts and roads that enabled businesses to thrive. Just how high were taxes? During America's "golden years" of 1951-1963, tax rates were over 90 percent on income over $400,000. Then through the 1960s and 70s, they were 70 percent on income above $200,000.

. . . Back when it took time to make a fortune, business people had to rely on the health of the greater community to nurture their own enterprises. They had to think and act long-term. They had to carefully build solid businesses that satisfied their customers. They had to hold on to workers because their experience was valuable.

The whole thing is on their site. Please go read it.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:02 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 18, 2009

My Landline

The Johnsons have two cell phones and a landline. Pretty much the only calls we get on the landline are telemarketing calls, but for some reason we keep it around.

It would be nice if the government kept a database of people who do not want to be called at home by telemarketers. Maybe they could call it a "Do Not Call List." People could get on this list, and the telemarketers would check the list before calling people, and not call the people who don't want to be called.

That would be so nice of something like that existed, because we get three or four telemarketing calls a day here.

Or, if it actually did exist (it does), it would be a fucking miracle if the government would fucking just enforce the law. It that too much to ask?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:47 PM | Comments (4) | Link Cosmos

The Problem With A Jobs Bill – And With Everything Else

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

The country needs a jobs program and needs it right now. Cash for Caulkers would be a good start. A new Civilian Conservation Corps would be another. But let's not allow a jobs program to cover over the need for real changes in the structure and core principles of our economy.

Yes, an effective jobs program can help people hold out a while longer - until necessary changes are made. It can make the unemployment rate will look better, for a while, and maybe the GDP will climb a little bit. But our low-wage, everything-to-the-top economy is not sustainable and needs to be redesigned and reregulated. The economy has to be changed so that it works for all of us, instead of just a few.

What if the government passes a jobs bill, and these new jobs follow the current American job model of paying too little with no benefits? What if the government uses contractors, as they now do for so many government functions, and the contractors “reduce costs” by paying very low wages and no benefits, sending the rest of the cash to a few at the top? Does it really help the economy and the country to provide a bunch of low-paying jobs with no benefits, and make a few wealthy executives even wealthier? Or suppose the government starts a massive infrastructure modernization project? Does it help the economy if they hire construction firms that pay as little as possible or use Chinese steel?

Even if a government jobs effort provides good-paying jobs with good benefits, this still won’t change the need to restructure the rest of our economy so that it, too, provides good pay and benefits to all of us instead of concentrating all wealth and income at the top.

As long as our economy is structured to pass everything up to a few at the top, stimulus can’t work well, jobs bills can't work well. Either can anything else. In the end things will just revert to the old ways and we'll need more bailouts, stimulus and jobs programs.

The problem is that there are two economies now. There is an economy for the top few and an economy for the rest of us. And this problem is global. The world’s economy is structured to send almost everything to a global top few.

Everything just goes to the top now. Companies are structured that way, jobs are structured that way, taxes are structured that way and now even our government is structured that way. Our economy has been turned into a machine that sends every dollar to an already-wealthy few. So efforts to stimulate economic recovery using traditional methods cannot work. It will just make a few at the top even richer.

We need a jobs bill because the economic system has broken down. We needed a stimulus package because the economic system has broken down. All the bailouts and jobs bills and stimulus are just one more stopgap effort to keep a broken system going, for the continued benfit of the few at the top. Changes must be made.

One barrier to fixing our broken economy problem is the structural corruption of our Congress. Every effort to help the people seems to get hijacked - and never mind working on the needed reregulating and restructuring. The recent extension of unemployment insurance, for example, included only $2.4 billion for the unemployed, but had more than $20 billion tacked on, going directly or indirectly to (owners of) big homebuilding companies. Another example, the health care reform bill is turning into a law ordering people to buy insurance from the big insurance companies. This year’s big stimulus package was watered down with even more tax cuts for the few, like getting rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The biggest example, of course, was last year’s financial sector bailout. Taxpayer dollars saved the asses of the companies that caused the collapse and are now serving up $140 billion for financial-sector bonuses but 10% unemployment for the rest of us!

If we want to get out of this mess we have to restructure and reregulate the whole system. We have to change the structure of our economy so that regular people receive the benefits. It is time. There is no more getting around it.

Next post: some of the structural problems that must be changed.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 1:32 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 17, 2009

COBRA Subsidy Expiring - Hundred Of Thousands Will Lose Insurance

In two weeks the first wave of unemployed who qualified for COBRA health insurance subsidies under the "stimulus plan" will start losing their health insurance, and Congress has not acted.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will start losing their health insurance each month as their COBRA subsidies expire.

Of course, these unemployed people can keep their insurance - if they can afford to pay the hundreds of dollars it will cost after the subsidy expires. In many cases the cost of COBRA insurance exceeds the amount a standard 2-week unemployment check.

Congress has an opportunity to give regular people a small, small bit of help here. Of course, they may be more interested in shoveling out more checks to the wealthy. Last week Congress extended unemployment benefits. The $2.4 billion cost was dwarfed by the $20 billion in checks going directly or indirectly to big corporations that was included in the bill - including a flat-out "gift" to big home building corporations.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:13 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 16, 2009

Washington Times Against Protectionism Before They Were For It

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

President Obama is visiting Asia, and is blasted over and over about America's supposedly "protectionist" policies.

"China on Monday accused the United States of increasing protectionism..."
Think about it, the country with the massive trade surplus accuses the country with the massive trade deficit of being "protectionist." Call it The Audacity Of Projection.

Our trade opponents have learned that all they have to do is shout the word “protectionist” and their American enablers will quickly run from doing anything that might help American companies and workers. But what happens later, when the consequences start hitting home? Do the "free trade" shouting, foreign-competition enablers take the blame and accept responsibility when Amercan dollars are spent overseas and American workers lose jobs and American factories close? Who could have known that they would point the finger at the President instead of themselves?

Here is what I am talking about:

On February 8, 2009, during the debate over the stimulus package, the conservative Washington Times joined the "free trade" chorus, denouncing the package's proposed "Buy American" requirements as the same kind of "protectionism" that conservative mythology says caused the Great Depression: EDITORIAL: How to cause a depression,

...Tucked within the economic stimulus bill the House passed last week was a clause requiring state and local public works agencies to buy American iron and steel for their reconstruction projects, and the Senate expanded it to all manufactured goods.

[. . .] The stimulus bill has a way to go before it reaches Mr. Obama's desk, but if strong "buy American" mandates are present at that time, he will have no choice but to veto the bill. Otherwise, he will be forever known as Barack H. (Hoover or Hawley) Obama.

Conservative free-traders got what they demanded. In response to these and other cries of “protectionism!” the Senate backed away from the Buy American clause, changing it to vague language requiring that the money be spent in ways consistent with existing treaties.

Since this wording gives the President some discretion in how the money is spent conservatives started demanding the President spend it ... outside of the country. For example, a Washington Times editorial on March 24, EDITORIAL: The Mexican-American War of 2009, ended by blasting President Obama for wanting American stimulus dollars to stimulate America's economy:

"Wasn't Mr. Obama going to be the "international" president who was going to get the rest of the world to love us? The path to improving relations does not involve destroying jobs in other countries as well as in our own."
So now it turns out that many stimulus dollars are being spent according to the wishes of the "free trade" conservatives, with money to purchase wind turbines creating jobs in Europe and China, and who could have known, the very same free-trade conservatives are JUST OUTRAGED that President Obama is sending American stimulus dollars out of the country! For example, a Washington Times editorial on November 13, EDITORIAL: Stimulus creates jobs in China, begins,
Of the $1 billion in clean-energy stimulus money spent since the beginning of September, $850 million has gone to foreign wind companies. It doesn't take a bunch of experts at a hastily planned "jobs summit" to discover this isn't the way to bolster employment in America.

Indeed, the 11 U.S. wind farms that received stimulus money from the Treasury have imported 695 of the 982 wind turbines to be installed, creating 4,500 jobs overseas. That's far more overseas work than the stimulus money has created in the United States.

Yes, how DARE they not require that American stimulus dollars be spent in America! This from the very same Washington Times editors who earlier in the year demanded exactly that.

Who could have known that conservatives would attack President Obama for the consequences of giving in to conservative demands??!! The Washington Times was against protectionism before they were for it. Call it The Audacity Of Hypocrisy.

The lesson to be learned here is to stop listening to these conservative, "free trade" clowns. They are only interested in making the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us and will say whatever advances that goal. We should start just doing what is right for the country, our workers, our factories, our companies and our jobs.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:30 PM | Comments (3) | Link Cosmos

Record Deficit Was Bush's Last Budget

Everyone thinks this huge deficit is Obama's doing. For example, a letter in today's San Jose Mercury News,

Deficit story should have been Page 1

The brief Associated Press story "October federal deficit is a record'' (Page 9A, Nov. 13) should have been front-page news. And the headline should have read, "2009 federal deficit triples!" I used my calculator to figure that Obama's $1.42 trillion annual deficit is three times Bush's $462 billion. The fact that the deficit for just the month of October 2009 is a record $176.4 billion is a clear signal that Obama's strategy is not working. We need to stop the insane spending and start to prime the pump of small business if we are to create jobs.

This was Bush's last budget. A spending year that ends before January 21 can't be the responsibility of a President who was only in office 9 months when the budget year wrapped up.

Obama's only contribution to this deficit was that some, and only some, of the stimulus package had started to kick in.

A lengthy analysis showed that Obama's policies contributed at most 7% to this deficit.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:46 AM | Comments (2) | Link Cosmos

November 14, 2009

How The Rich Get Richer

Paul Rosenberg nails it: Open Left:: The "Entitlement Problem": Racing ourselves to the bottom

But to a very large extent, the culture wars are a war of constructed tribal identity, fronting for elite corporate interests, and their primary historical achievement has been to transform an economy of broadly-shared growth into one of stagnation and diminished prospects for the many. The various issues that are involved are far less significant in the long run than this overarching effect in terms of the upward redistribution of wealth, power, opportunity and possibility.

Please go read it.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:59 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

NBC Nightly News Leads With Promo of Palin's Book

In the intro to tonite's NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, led with "Sarah Palin's Book, you can't get it yet, but we've got it."

The second segment of the "news" broadcast was entirely Palin and her book. It started with all the "buzz' about the book, just a huge puff piece, calling it a "juicy political tell-all. The book names names and exposes what really happens in the back rooms of a national political campaign." Holt even held the book up to show to the audience! Then the segment went through different reasons to buy the book... Holt even letting the audience know that she has a bus tour coming up.

You just can't buy advertising like that! Someone will get footage up so you can see this amazing "news" report.

You might remember that on October 11 NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt John Harwood had a story claiming the White House views supporters of gay rights, etc. as the "internet left fringe" and "those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult."

Palin's book is published by a company owned by ... Rupert Murdoch, NBC's competitor. But when it comes to promoting the far right, they're all on the same page.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:40 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

The Public Purpose Of Banking

Food for thought: Attention Lloyd Blankfein: The Public Purpose of Banking,

... WHO controls the banks is ultimately less important than HOW we control the banks’ activities. Oversight is all very nice, but at times it pays to get back to first principles. What on earth is the public purpose of these things? [emphasis added]

[. . .] Newsflash: the public purpose of banking is NOT to provide profits per se to shareholders. Rather, the provision of the ability to earn profits is only a tool used to support the attendant public purpose.

WHY do we have corporations in the first place? Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:47 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 13, 2009

Bush's Last Budget - Blame Shifted To Obama

Bush's last budget year wrapped up last month, leaving us a deficit of over $1.4 trillion. But everyone blames Obama because the right's noise machine has repeated over and over that Obama is "spending" -- and no one shows up to explain the truth.

A New York times analysis of this deficit reported,

Mr. Obama’s main contribution to the deficit is his extension of several Bush policies, like the Iraq war and tax cuts for households making less than $250,000. Such policies — together with the Wall Street bailout, which was signed by Mr. Bush and supported by Mr. Obama — account for 20 percent of the swing.

About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

Only 7 percent of the deficit comes from Obama's stimulus, which was made necessary by conservative policies.

Even so, conservative outlets like Drudge Report Politico repeat the propaganda. Politico, for example writes this today, After spending binge, White House says it will focus on deficits,

On the practical side, Obama has spent more money on new programs in nine months than Bill Clinton did in eight years, pushing the annual deficit to $1.4 trillion. This leaves little room for big spending initiatives.
Thsi is just a lie, and these are smart people who know this is just a lie. But they also know it doesn't matter. What they can get the public to believe is what matters.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:20 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 11, 2009

Do Taxes Slow The Economy?

On the NewsHour the moderator just said "new taxes slows down the economy at a time when people are hurting." This is in a discussion of how to fix state budgets. The panelist responds, "That's exactly right."

This is just absolute nonsense. This shows what happens when something is repeated over and over and over and becomes "conventional wisdom." This is the old "taxes take money out of the economy" argument.

There is no historical data that shows this. In fact history shows exactly the opposite. The periods of high growth are the periods when we tax at the top and use them money to build and maintain infrastructure, educate people, provide jobs, raise wages. And that is intuitively obvious. The idea that taxes "take money out" is just nonsense because the money doesn't just go away, it gets used for productive purposes. The only economy that taxes "take money out of is the economy of the Cayman Islands" and they're doing just fine.

We have a situation where income and wealth are concentrated at the very top as never before. States are laying off tens of thousands of people. And to make things worse, the national government is not applying enough stimulus to create jobs because people are worried that the deficit is too high - because taxes are too low.

Obviously the solution to this problem is to impose a very high tax rate on the top few who have been enjoying all of the benefits of the economy since Reagan cut the taxes and started the cycle that led to the collapse we are in.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 5:23 PM | Comments (3) | Link Cosmos

Why Chinese Goods Cost Less

This is what "externalizing" pollution costs looks like: Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China | ChinaHush

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:37 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

$140 Billion for Bonuses, Zero for America’s Future

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

Here is another story about Wall Street’s war on the real economy.

US Steel was planning to invest $1 billion in building an environmentally-friendly new “coke battery” plant in Clairton, PA. The new battery would dramatically reduce the emissions used in the process, and use the gases to produce electricity. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

The strategic investment would build two new coke batteries at Clairton, install top-flight environmental controls and add a cogeneration plant that would make electricity from gas produced by coke-making, which will help power all three U.S. Steel sites.

Another Post-gazette story explains,

Coke is a baked coal that is used to fuel blast furnaces at the company's Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock and U.S. Steel's other North American operations. The Clairton plant can produce 4.7 million tons of coke annually and just under 1 million tons are consumed at the Braddock plant.

U.S. Steel broke ground on the project on October 22, 2008. Along came the financial crisis, and financing for the plant dried up. They had to suspend work in April, 2009. U.S. Steel puts hold on $1B Clairton project.

U.S. Steel is suspending indefinitely the $1 billion modernization of its Clairton coke plant, a massive, multi-year project that was expected to create more than 600 construction jobs.

The Pittsburgh steel producer said it was forced to make the "difficult but necessary decision" because of the economic slowdown that has prompted it to lay off about 7,000 union workers in recent months.

When the financial crisis hit, George W. Bush and Henry Paulson came up with – and Congress approved – the massive bailout scheme that has rewarded Wall Street for the actions that collapsed the economy. We gave the financial sector of the economy – commonly called “Wall Street” – hundreds of billions of direct dollars and trillions in guarantees, supposedly to fix the credit crisis and get the financial sector working again as the sector of the economy that provides financing for projects like the US Steel Clairton Coke Battery.

This is November and US Steel still has not found financing at reasonable rates to get back to work building this plant. They need $1 billion and this project is good for America's industrial capability, workers and environment. But, apparently, Wall Street needs to pay out $140 billion in bonuses this year, speculate on life insurance plans, do “flash trading” on stocks, etc. instead.

What Wall Street Is Supposed To Be Doing

Wall Street and the financial economy are supposed to be to supporting the real economy by playing the role of middleman, connecting sources of money with companies needing that money to allocate capital where it is needed. This is supposed to be a constructive process that helps We, the People fund innovative startup companies, build factories and schools,allocate capital for company expansion and fund other large-scale projects that require a pooling of resources and dilution of risk. That is their essential role in the economy.

But there is a problem with the way Wall Street has been and is operating. Instead of playing a background role supporting the real economy Wall Street has been dominating the economy, influencing the government and running quick-buck schemes, creating bubbles, speculating up prices on commodities and generally running wild. Before the financial meltdown Wall Street was not allocating capital productively, it was allocating capital destructively. In the companies-as-buy/sell-commodities posts I have been exploring how Wall Street's practices has been destroying companies, eliminating jobs and generally wrecking our economy while making a very few vastly wealthy. The company-buyout game turns good companies into debt-ridden, job-shedding shells. The greed-based drive for ever-higher returns tries to destroy companies like Costco because they are “overly generous” to their customers and employees. Wall Street has turned into a machine that grinds up jobs and communities, forcing wage cuts, dehumanization of workplaces, and corruption of our democracy.

When the financial sector broke down as a result of quick-buck risky investments (that didn’t allocate capital), massive leveraging (that didn’t allocate capital), Ponzi-like scams (that didn’t allocate capital), outright but not-yet-prosecuted fraud (that didn’t allocate capital), etc., our government stepped in to rescue the sector. But instead of fixing the system, Wall Street still is not allocating capital where it is needed. They are, however, taking huge profits and giving out huge bonuses.

Let’s make finance the servant of the real economy again, rather than its master. Let's invest our money in our industry, not bailouts and bonuses for a few. There are so many incentives for Wall Street to destroy factories, etc, and so few incentives to build the economy. Let's develop a strategy to build a new, sustainable economy that respects the environment and us as workers, customers and citizens. Let's develop a national economic/industrial strategy/policy -- call it what you want -- so our country has a plan to create jobs, invest in research and development and solve our problems. Other countries do this but our policy and strategy is to not have a policy and strategy and just let things continue in the wrong directions. I'm tired of that. What about you?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:46 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 10, 2009

How Wall Street bought Tim Geithner

I just came across this: How Wall Street bought Tim Geithner -- DailyFinance.

Have you ever wondered why Wall Street was able to get $23.7 trillion from the federal government after making some bad bets that wiped out $30 trillion in stock market value worldwide and helped throw 15.1 million people out of work?

. . . This brings us to a report by Bloomberg which reveals that aides to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner earned millions of dollars from Goldman Sachs Group (GS), Citigroup (C), and other Wall Street financial powerhouses.

Go read. Wall Street firms were shoveling vast amounts of cash to pepole who are now Geithner's aides. Obama has to fire Geithner and the entire Wall Street crowd around him because of the appearance of corruption - actual or not. This crowd is destroying public trust in government.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:51 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Climate Denial and the Chamber

In James Boyce: Chamber Me This. some guy named James Boyce writes about the head of the Chamber of Commerce and their climate-denial efforts to prevent us from reducing CO2 emissions.

Did you know that Tom Donahue, head of the Chamber of Commerce, is on the Board of Union Pacific, which hauls coal, and prevents Board members from taking positions that conflict with the company's interests? James writes that Donahue got a million dollars from them.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:58 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 9, 2009

Online Agreement Scam

Have you ever been required to click that you agree to an agreement before you can register a domain name, use software, etc?

This is a scam.

I am willing to bet that no human has ever read one of these agreements -- and the companies requiring you to agree know this. For example I just renewed a domain name at Network Solutions. Click through to see the agreement and tell me if you believe that any human, anywhere, including any human at Network Solutions, has ever read through to the end of this agreement:

Service Agreement

The service agreement you are viewing provides terms and conditions relevant to the products/services you are purchasing. To view a consolidated version of the service agreement, containing the terms and conditions for all products/services sold by Network Solutions at this site, click here.
General Provisions (Sections 1 - 30)

* Domain Names (nsWebAddress) - Schedule A, B, C1-C12, E, F, G


This is Service Agreement Version Number 8.2

1. INTRODUCTION. In this Service Agreement ("Agreement"), "you" and "your" refer to each customer ("Customer") and its agents, including each person listed in your account information as being associated with your account, and "we", "us" and "our" refer collectively to Network Solutions, LLC and its wholly-owned subsidiaries ("Network Solutions"). This Agreement explains our obligations to you, and your obligations to us in relation to the Network Solutions service(s) you purchase. By purchasing or otherwise applying for Network Solutions service(s), you agree to establish an account with us for such services. When you use your account or permit someone else to use your account to purchase or otherwise acquire access to additional Network Solutions service(s) or to modify or cancel your Network Solutions service(s) (even if we were not notified of such authorization), this Agreement as amended covers any such service or actions. Additionally, you agree that each person listed in your account information as being associated with your account for any services provided to you (including, but not limited to, domain name registration services) is your agent with full authority to act on your behalf with respect to such services in accordance with the permissions granted, and that the Primary Contact and Account Administrative Contact for your account shall have the authority, without limitation, to terminate, transfer (where transfer is permitted by the Agreement), or modify such services or your account information, or purchase additional services. Any acceptance of your application(s) or requests for our services and the performance of our services will occur at our offices in Herndon, Virginia, the location of our principal places of business. Except as otherwise expressly set forth in this Agreement, you agree that if you list, directly or by default, Network Solutions as a contact for your account and/or any of the services in your account, we have the right, without notice, to remove our name and/or information from any such account or service and to replace the same with the name and/or information provided by you for any other contact associated with that account or service.

2. VARIOUS SERVICES. Sections 1 through 30 apply to any and all Network Solutions services that you purchase, whether purchased separately or as a part of a complete solution or package bundle. The terms and conditions set forth in the Schedules of this Agreement apply only to customers who have purchased the Network Solutions services referenced in those Schedules. In the event of any inconsistency between the terms of Sections 1 through 30 and the terms of the Schedules, the terms of the Schedules shall control with regard to the applicable Network Solutions service. IMPORTANT NOTICE CONCERNING SERVICES THAT ARE COMBINED TOGETHER AS A PART OF A BUSINESS SOLUTION: If you purchase Network Solutions services that are sold together as a "bundled" package (e.g., you select nsSpace™ that includes both a domain name (nsWebAddress™) and a Network Solutions Website builder or other services, as opposed to your purchasing such services separately), termination of any part of the services will result in termination of all Network Solutions services provided as part of the bundled package. Please see Section 10(d) of this Agreement for more information. You acknowledge and agree that some or all of the services you purchase or receive from us may be provided by one or more vendors, contractors or affiliates selected by Network Solutions in its sole discretion. As a part of your Services, Network Solutions may provide you access to third party functionality, including, but not limited to applications, widgets, RSS and other types of news, event and industry feeds, calculators, recommended copy, forms and templates that are incorporated or are offered as a part of one or more of the Services ("Third Party Functionality"). Network Solutions does not control such Third Party Functionality and is therefore not liable for any issues of any kind relating to the Third Party Functionality. Network Solutions reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to terminate, suspend, cancel or alter your access to Third Party Functionality at any time.

3. FEES, PAYMENT AND TERM OF SERVICE. As consideration for the services you purchased, you agree to pay Network Solutions the applicable service(s) fees set forth on our Website at the time of your selection, or, if applicable, upon receipt of your invoice from Network Solutions. All fees are due immediately and are non-refundable, except as otherwise expressly noted in one or more of the Schedules to this Agreement or as such fees are billed by Network Solutions under an invoice to a Customer that expressly permits payment for Services by a Customer within thirty (30) days after Network Solutions has sent the Customer such invoice ("Net-30 Customers"). Network Solutions may require a Customer to successfully complete a credit application prior to such Customer qualifying to become a Net-30 Customer. Customers who purchase Service(s) through outbound telemarketing and request cancellation of Service(s) within ten (10) days of purchase are entitled to a refund of all fees. If you qualify, we may extend payment terms to you under our Business Account Credit Program. Network Solutions will charge you a processing fee if you terminate or cancel any package prior to the completion of any limited money-back guarantee time period for that package or service (the "Processing Fee"). A Processing Fee of $29.95 will be charged for the cancellation of any one-year annual hosting, ecommerce, or Website design package. The Processing Fees for cancellation of multi-year packages will be: $24.95 per year for two-year packages, $19.95 per year for three-year packages, $14.95 per year for five-year packages and $9.95 per year for ten-year packages. Unless otherwise specified herein or on our Website, each Network Solutions service is for a one-year initial term and renewable thereafter for successive one to ten-year terms, as set forth during the renewal process. Any renewal of your services with us is subject to our then current terms and conditions, including, but not limited to, successful completion of any applicable authentication procedure, and payment of all applicable service fees at the time of renewal and in the case of domain name re-registration, the domain name registry's acceptance of your domain name registration. Except with respect to service to which you subscribe on a monthly basis, we will endeavor to provide you notice prior to the renewal of your services at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the renewal date. Additional payment terms may apply to the Network Solutions services you purchase, as set forth in the applicable Schedules to this Agreement. Pricing for services, renewals, and product upgrades and add-ons may vary based upon the date of your purchase. We may provide you with an opportunity to "opt in" to our automatic renewal process in accordance with the instructions (and subject to your agreement to the terms and conditions pertaining to that process) on our Website. You agree that if you use of our auto-renew service, we will attempt to renew your service approximately sixty (60) days prior to its expiration , for the same term then-currently in place for the service, and at the then-current price for the service. You acknowledge and agree that the renewal price may be higher or lower than the price you paid for the then-current term of the service, and that we are authorized to charge your credit card or other payment method (such as PayPal®) on file for the renewal of the service(s). In any event, you are solely responsible for the credit card or payment information you provide to Network Solutions and must promptly inform Network Solutions of any changes thereto (e.g., change of expiration date or account number). In addition, you are solely responsible for ensuring the services are renewed. Network Solutions shall have no liability to you or any third party in connection with the renewal as described herein, including, but not limited to, any failure or errors in renewing the services. In order to process a renewal under our auto-renew service, we may use third-party vendors for the purpose of updating the expiration date and account number of your credit card or payment method on file. Such third-party vendors maintain relationships with various credit card issuers and may be able to provide us with the updated expiration date and account number for your credit card by comparing the information we have on file with the information the third-party has on file. By selecting our auto-renew service, you acknowledge and agree that we may share your credit card or other payment method information with such a third-party vendor for the purpose of obtaining any update to your credit card expiration date, account number, or payment account. You agree to pay all value added, sales and other taxes (other than taxes based on Network Solutions income) related to Network Solutions services or payments made by you hereunder. All payments of fees for Network Solutions services s hall be made in U.S. dollars. Set up fees, if any, will become payable on the applicable effective date for the applicable Network Solutions services. All sums due and payable that remain unpaid after any applicable cure period herein will accrue interest as a late charge of 1.5% per month or the maximum amount allowed by law, whichever is less. In the event of non-payment by a Net-30 Customer on any amount of any invoice, Network Solutions reserves the right to refer such invoice and Net-30 Customer to a collection agency in order for Network Solutions to secure payment on the invoice. Network Solutions may terminate any or all of the Services of a Net-30 Customer who fails to pay an invoice in a timely fashion. Network Solutions may charge a late fee(s) to Net-30 Customers for late payment of an invoice or a reinstatement fee(s) to Net-30 Customers who wish to reinstate Service(s) that have been terminated due to non-payment.

4. ACCURATE INFORMATION. You agree to: (1) provide certain true, current, complete and accurate information about you as required by the application process; and (2) maintain and update according to our modification procedures the information you provided to us when purchasing our services as needed to keep it current, complete and accurate. We rely on this information to send you important information and notices regarding your account and our services. You agree that Network Solutions (itself or through its third party service providers) is authorized, but not obligated, to use Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certified software and/or the National Change of Address program (and/or such other systems or programs as may be recognized by the United States Postal Service or other international postal authority for updating and/or standardizing address information) to change any address information associated with your account (e.g., registrant address, billing contact address, etc.), and you agree that Network Solutions may use and rely upon any such changed address information for all purposes in connection with your account (including the sending of invoices and other important account information) as though such changes had been made directly by you.

5. PRIVACY. Our privacy statement, (a) for Websites and/or value added services purchased through www.netsolwebsites.com is located on our Website at http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/privacy-policy.jsp and is incorporated herein by reference, as it is applicable to such Website purchases (other services purchased through www.netsolwebsites.com, including, but not limited to, domain name registrations, are covered by the privacy statement set forth on our Web site at http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/privacy-policy.jsp), (b) for Network Solutions services purchased through www.mycomputer.com is located on our Website at http://www.mycomputer.com/agreements/privacy_policy.html and is incorporated herein by reference for all such Network Solutions services, and (d) for all other Network Solutions services is located on our Website at http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/privacy-policy.jsp and is incorporated herein by reference for all such Network Solutions services. The applicable privacy statement sets forth your and our rights and responsibilities with regard to your personal information. You agree that we, in our sole discretion, may modify our privacy statement. We will post such revised statement on our Website at least thirty (30) calendar days before it becomes effective. You agree that, by using our services after modifications to the privacy statement become effective, you have agreed to these modifications. You acknowledge that if you do not agree to any such modification, you may terminate this Agreement. We will not refund any fees paid by you if you terminate your Agreement with us except as otherwise expressly provided in one or more of the Schedules attached hereto. We will not process the personal data that we collect from you in a way incompatible with the purposes and other limitations described in our privacy statement. You represent and warrant that you have provided notice to, and obtained consent from, any third party individuals whose personal data you supply to us as part of our services with regard to: (i) the purposes for which such third party's personal data has been collected, (ii) the intended recipients or categories of recipients of the third party's personal data, (iii) which parts of the third party's data are obligatory and which parts, if any, are voluntary; and (iv) how the third party can access and, if necessary, rectify the data held about them. You further agree to provide such notice and obtain such consent with regard to any third party personal data you supply to us in the future. We are not responsible for any consequences resulting from your failure to provide notice or receive consent from such individuals nor for your providing outdated, incomplete or inaccurate information.

6. OWNERSHIP. Except as otherwise set forth herein, all right, title and interest in and to all, (i) registered and unregistered trademarks, service marks and logos; (ii) patents, patent applications, and patentable ideas, inventions, and/or improvements; (iii) trade secrets, proprietary information, and know-how; (iv) all divisions, continuations, reissues, renewals, and extensions thereof now existing or hereafter filed, issued, or acquired; (v) registered and unregistered copyrights including, without limitation, any forms, images, audiovisual displays, text, software and (vi) all other intellectual property, proprietary rights or other rights related to intangible property which are used, developed, comprising, embodied in, or practiced in connection with any of the Network Solutions services identified herein ("Network Solutions Intellectual Property Rights") are owned by Network Solutions or its licensors, and you agree to make no claim of interest in or ownership of any such Network Solutions Intellectual Property Rights. You acknowledge that no title to the Network Solutions Intellectual Property Rights is transferred to you, and that you do not obtain any rights, express or implied, in the Network Solutions or its licensors' service, other than the rights expressly granted in this Agreement. To the extent that you create any Derivative Work (any work that is based upon one or more preexisting versions of a work provided to you, such as an enhancement or modification, revision, translation, abridgement, condensation, expansion, collection, compilation or any other form in which such preexisting works may be recast, transformed or adapted) such Derivative Work shall be owned by Network Solutions and all right, title and interest in and to each such Derivative Work shall automatically vest in Network Solutions. Network Solutions shall have no obligation to grant you any right in any such Derivative Work.

7. EXCLUSIVE REMEDY; TIME LIMITATION ON FILING ANY CLAIM. YOU AGREE THAT OUR ENTIRE LIABILITY, AND YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, IN LAW, IN EQUITY, OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO ANY NETWORK SOLUTIONS SERVICE(S) PROVIDED UNDER THIS AGREEMENT AND/OR FOR ANY BREACH OF THIS AGREEMENT IS SOLELY LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR SUCH SERVICE(S) DURING THE TERM OF THIS AGREEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL NETWORK SOLUTIONS, ITS LICENSORS AND CONTRACTORS (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THIRD PARTIES PROVIDING SERVICES AS PART OF THE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FOR WEBSITES FROM NETWORK SOLUTIONS) BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF NETWORK SOLUTIONS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. TO THE EXTENT THAT A STATE DOES NOT PERMIT THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AS SET FORTH HEREIN NETWORK SOLUTIONS'S LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW IN SUCH STATES. Network Solutions and its licensors and contractors disclaim any and all loss or liability resulting from, but not limited to: (1) loss or liability resulting from access delays or access interruptions; (2) loss or liability resulting from data non-delivery or data mis-delivery; (3) loss or liability resulting from acts of God; (4) loss or liability resulting from the unauthorized use or misuse of your account number, password or security authentication option; (5) loss or liability resulting from errors, omissions, or misstatements in any and all information or service(s) provided under this agreement; (6) loss or liability relating to the deletion of or failure to store email messages; (7) loss or liability resulting from the development or interruption of your Website or your Network Solutions Website; (8) loss or liability from your inability to use our email service, Website manager service or any component of the subscription service (for websites from Network Solutions); (9) loss or liability that you may incur in connection with our processing of your application for our services, our processing of any authorized modification to your domain name record or your agent's failure to pay any fees, including the initial registration fee or re-registration fee; (10) loss or liability as a result of the application of our dispute policy; or (11) loss or liability relating to limitations, incompatibilities, defects, or other problems inherent in xml, xkms, or any other standard not under Network Solutions sole control. YOU AGREE THAT REGARDLESS OF ANY STATUTE OR LAW TO THE CONTRARY, ANY CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT OR ANY OF OUR SERVICES MUST BE FILED WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR AFTER SUCH CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION AROSE OR SUCH CLAIM SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED.


9. INDEMNITY. You agree to release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless Network Solutions and any of our (or their) contractors, agents, employees, officers, directors, shareholders, affiliates and assigns from all liabilities, claims, damages, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses, relating to or arising out of (a) this Agreement or the breach of your warranties, representations and obligations under this Agreement, (b) the Network Solutions services or your use of such services, including without limitation infringement or dilution by you, or someone else using our service(s) from your computer, (c) any intellectual property or other proprietary right of any person or entity, (d) a violation of any of our operating rules or policies relating to the service(s) provided, (e) any information or data you supplied to Network Solutions, including, without limitation, any misrepresentation in your application, if applicable, (f) the inclusion of metatags or other elements in any website created for you or by you via the Network Solutions services, or (g) any information, material, or services available on your licensed Network Solutions Website . When we are threatened with suit or sued by a third party, we may seek written assurances from you concerning your promise to indemnify us. Such assurances may, without limitation, be in the form of a deposit of money by you to us or our representatives to cover our fees and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorneys' fees, in any such suit or threat of suit. Your failure to provide such assurances may be considered by us to be a material breach of this Agreement. We shall have the right to participate in any defense by you of a third-party claim related to your use of any of the Network Solutions services, with counsel of our choice. We shall reasonably cooperate in the defense at your request and expense. You shall have sole responsibility to defend us against any claim, but you must receive our prior written consent regarding any related settlement. The terms of this paragraph will survive any termination or cancellation of this Agreement.


a. By You. You may terminate this Agreement upon at least thirty (30) days written notice to Network Solutions for any reason.

b. By Us. We may terminate this Agreement or any part of the Network Solutions services at any time in the event you breach any obligation hereunder, fail to respond within ten (10) calendar days to an inquiry from us concerning the accuracy or completeness of the information referred to in Section 4 of this Agreement, if we determine in our sole discretion that you have violated the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy, which is located on our Website at http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/aup.jsp and is incorporated herein and made part of this Agreement by reference, or upon thirty (30) days prior written notice if we terminate or significantly alter a product or service offering.

c. Effect of Termination. Except as otherwise expressly set forth herein or on our Website, Network Solutions will cease charging your credit card, if applicable, for any monthly service fees as of the expiration of the monthly billing cycle in which the termination is effective. Unless otherwise specified in writing by Network Solutions, you will not receive any refund for payments already made by you as of the date of termination, and, you may incur additional fees (in the case of a monthly or annual subscription being paid over time, as provided in various Schedules below). If termination of this Agreement is due to your default hereunder, you shall bear all costs of such termination, including any reasonable costs Network Solutions incurs in closing your account. You agree to pay any and all costs incurred by Network Solutions in enforcing your compliance with this Section. Upon termination, you shall destroy any copy of the materials licensed to you hereunder and referenced herein. You agree that upon termination or discontinuance for any reason, we may delete all information related to you on the Network Solutions service, if applicable. In addition to the terms set forth herein, certain Network Solutions services may have additional terms regarding termination, which are set forth in the applicable Schedule.

d. Effect of Termination of Solutions or Bundled Services. In addition to the terms set forth in subsection 10(c) above, if you purchase Network Solutions services which are sold together as a solution or bundled package of Services, any termination relating to such solution will terminate all Network Solutions services included in such bundle. For instance, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, any domain name (nsWebAddress™) registered with or maintained by Network Solutions under this Agreement (but not including any domain names you may have registered, either with Network Solutions or a third-party registrar, separately and not as part of a bundled service may be cancelled and may thereafter be available for registration by another party. You acknowledge and agree that upon any termination or cancellation of your bundled services or solution the terms and conditions regarding transfer of expired domain names as described in this Service Agreement, Schedule A, paragraph 14 may apply. Upon the effective date of termination, Network Solutions will no longer provide the solution or bundled Services to you, any licenses granted you shall immediately terminate, and you shall cease using such services immediately; provided, however, that we may, in our sole discretion and subject to your agreeing to be bound by the applicable agreement(s) and to pay the applicable fees, allow you to convert certain services included in the bundled services to stand alone services. Should you or we cancel or terminate your Services at any time prior to the completion of the one-year term, such cancellation or termination may result in an early termination fee charged to your account.

e. If you breach any term of this Agreement including, but not limited to, this terms of any Schedule, Network Solutions may, in its sole and exclusive discretion, suspend or terminate your Services immediately and without notice to you. Service Fees may continue to accrue on suspended accounts and you will continue to remain responsible for the payment of any Service Fees that accrue during the period of suspension.

11. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES. You agree and warrant that: (i) neither your registration nor use of the any of the Network Solutions services nor the manner in which you intend to use such Network Solutions Services will directly or indirectly infringe the legal rights of a third party, (ii) you have all requisite power and authority to execute this Agreement and to perform your obligations hereunder, (iii) you have selected the necessary security option(s) for your domain name registration record, (iv) you are of legal age to enter into this Agreement (or you are at least 13 years of age and have your parents' permission to apply for services hereunder); and (vi) you agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

12. MODIFICATIONS TO AGREEMENT. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, you agree during the term of this Agreement, that we may: (1) revise the terms and conditions of this Agreement; and/or (2) change part of the Services provided under this Agreement at any time. Any such revision or change will be binding and effective 30 days after posting of the revised Agreement or change to the service(s) on Network Solutions Websites, or upon notification to you by email or United States mail. You agree to periodically review our Websites, including the current version of this Agreement available on our Websites, to be aware of any such revisions. If you do not agree with any revision to the Agreement, you may terminate this Agreement at any time by providing us with notice. Notice of your termination will be effective on receipt and processing by us. Any fees paid by you if you terminate your Agreement with us are nonrefundable, except as expressly noted otherwise in one or more of the Schedules to this Agreement, but you will not incur any additional fees. By continuing to use Network Solutions Services after any revision to this Agreement or change in service(s), you agree to abide by and be bound by any such revisions or changes. We are not bound by nor should you rely on any representation by (i) any agent, representative or employee of any third party that you may use to apply for our services; or in (ii) information posted on our Website of a general informational nature. No employee, contractor, agent or representative of Network Solutions is authorized to alter or amend the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

13. ACCOUNT ACCESS. To access or use the Network Solutions services or to modify your account, you may be required to establish an account and obtain a login name, account number, password and/or passphrase. You authorize us to process any and all account transactions initiated through the use of your password and/or passphrase. You are solely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and passphrase. You must immediately notify us of any unauthorized use of your password or passphrase, and you are responsible for any unauthorized activities, charges and/or liabilities made through your password or passphrase. In no event will we be liable for the unauthorized use or misuse of your login name, account number, password or passphrase. You agree that we may log off any account that is inactive for an extended period of time.

14. AGENTS. You agree that, if your agent, (e.g., your Primary Contact or Account Administrative Contact, Internet Service Provider, employee) purchased our service(s) on your behalf, you are nonetheless bound as a principal by all terms and conditions herein, including the domain name dispute policy. Your continued use of our services ratifies any unauthorized actions of your agent. By using your login name, account number or password, or otherwise purporting to act on your behalf, your agent certifies that he or she is authorized to apply for our services on your behalf, that he or she is authorized to bind you to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, that he or she has apprised you of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and that he or she is otherwise authorized to act on your behalf. In addition, you are responsible for any errors made by your agent.

15. OTHER POLICIES. In addition to the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement, the purchase of services may make other Network Solutions Policies applicable to you and the use of our services. In making a purchase of our services, you agree to the terms set forth in these policies. Network Solutions reserves the right to make changes to these policies. You agree to periodically review the policies in our Terms of Use to be aware of any such revisions.

16. RIGHT OF REFUSAL. We, in our sole discretion, reserve the right to refuse to register your chosen domain name, issue you a digital certificate, or register you for other Network Solutions service(s), or to delete your chosen domain name within the first thirty (30) calendar days from receipt of your payment for such services. In the event we do not register your chosen domain name, issue you a digital certificate, or register you for other Network Solutions service(s), or we delete your chosen domain name or other Network Solutions service(s) within such thirty (30) calendar day period, we agree to refund any applicable fee(s) you have paid. You agree that we shall not be liable to you for loss or damages that may result from our refusal to register your chosen domain name, refusal to issue a digital certificate, the deletion of your chosen domain name or refusal to register you for other Network Solutions service(s).

17. NOTICES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS. (a) Except as expressly provided otherwise herein, all notices to Network Solutions shall be in writing and delivered via overnight courier or certified mail, return receipt requested to Network Solutions, LLC, Attention: Legal Department, 13861 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, Virginia 20171. All notices to you shall be delivered to your mailing address or email address as provided in your account information (as updated by you pursuant to this Agreement) or to any email address associated with your domain name registration(s) with Network Solutions. (b) You authorize us to contact you as our customer via telephone, at the number provided by you in your account information (as updated by you pursuant to this Agreement), which telephone number is incorporated herein by reference, email or postal mail regarding information that we deem is of potential interest to you. Notices and announcements may include commercial emails, telephone solicitations and other notices describing changes, upgrades, new products and services or other information pertaining to Internet security or to enhance your identity on the Internet and/or other relevant matters.

18. SEVERABILITY. You agree that the terms of this Agreement are severable. If any term or provision is declared invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, that term or provision will not affect the remainder of this Agreement; this Agreement will be deemed amended to the extent necessary to make this Agreement enforceable, valid and, to the maximum extent possible consistent with applicable law, consistent with the original intentions of the parties; and the remaining terms and provisions will remain in full force and effect.

19. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. You agree that this Agreement, the rules and policies incorporated by reference in this Agreement (including, without limitation, the dispute policy and the privacy statement) are the entire, complete and exclusive agreement between you and us regarding our services and supersede all prior agreements and understandings, whether written or oral, or whether established by custom, practice, policy or precedent, with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement, including, without limitation, any purchase order provided by you for the services.

20. ASSIGNMENT AND RESALE. Except as otherwise set forth herein, your rights under this Agreement are not assignable or transferable. Any attempt by your creditors to obtain an interest in your rights under this Agreement, whether by attachment, levy, garnishment or otherwise, renders this Agreement voidable at our option. You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or otherwise exploit for any commercial purposes any of the services (or portion thereof) without Network Solutions prior express written consent.


a. You and Network Solutions agree that this Agreement and any disputes hereunder shall be governed in all respects by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America, excluding its conflict of laws rules. You and we each agree to submit to exclusive subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction and venue of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division for any disputes between you and Network Solutions under, arising out of, or related in any way to this Agreement (whether or not such disputes also involve other parties in addition to you and Network Solutions). If there is no jurisdiction in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, for any such disputes, you and we agree that exclusive jurisdiction and venue shall be in the courts of Fairfax County, Fairfax, Virginia.

b. The parties hereby waive any right to jury trial with respect to any action brought in connection with this Agreement.

c. The application of the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded.

22. AGREEMENT TO BE BOUND. By applying for a Network Solutions service(s) through our online application process or otherwise, or by using the service(s) provided by Network Solutions under this Agreement, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by all terms and conditions of this Agreement and documents incorporated by reference.

23. INDEPENDENT PARTIES. Neither party nor their employees, consultants, contractors or agents are agents, employees or joint ventures of the other party, and they do not have any authority to bind the other party by contract or otherwise to any obligation. Each party shall ensure that the foregoing persons shall not represent to the contrary, either expressly, implicitly, by appearance or otherwise.

24. WAIVER. No waiver of any provision of this Agreement shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by an authorized representative of Network Solutions. The remedies of Network Solutions under this Agreement shall be cumulative and not alternative, and the election of one remedy for a breach shall not preclude pursuit of other remedies. The failure of a party, at any time or from time to time, to require performance of any obligations of the other party hereunder shall not affect its right to enforce any provision of this Agreement at a subsequent time, and the waiver of any rights arising out of any breach shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights arising out of any prior or subsequent breach.

25. EXPORT RESTRICTIONS. You acknowledge and agree that you shall not import, export, or re-export directly or indirectly, any commodity, including your products incorporating or using any Network Solutions services in violation of the laws and regulations of any applicable jurisdiction.

26. U.S. Government Users. In the event any software is provided by Network Solutions to a U.S. Government User, the software and accompanying documentation which are used as part of the Network Solutions service are "commercial items," as such terms are defined at 48 C.F.R. 2.101 (Revised Oct 2002), consisting of "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," as such terms are used in 48 C.F.R. 12.212 (Revised Oct 2002) and is provided to the U.S. Government only as a commercial end item. Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212 and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202-1 through 227.7202-4 (Revised Oct 2002), all U.S. Government entities acquiring the use of the Service and accompanying documentation shall have only those rights set forth herein.

27. FORCE MAJEURE. Neither party shall be deemed in default hereunder, nor shall it hold the other party responsible for, any cessation, interruption or delay in the performance of its obligations hereunder due to causes beyond its control including, but not limited to: earthquake; flood; fire; storm; natural disaster; act of God; war; terrorism; armed conflict; labor strike; lockout; boycott; supplier failures, shortages, breaches, or delays; or any law, order regulation, direction, action or request of the government, including any federal, state and local governments having or claiming jurisdiction over Network Solutions, or of any department, agency, commission, bureau, corporation or other instrumentality of any federal, state, or local government, or of any civil or military authority; or any other cause or circumstance, whether of a similar or dissimilar nature to the foregoing, beyond the reasonable control of the affected party, provided that the party relying upon this section (i) shall have given the other party written notice thereof promptly and, in any event, within five (5) days of discovery thereof and (ii) shall take all steps reasonably necessary under the circumstances to mitigate the effects of the force majeure event upon which such notice is based; provided further, that in the event a force majeure event described in this Section extends for a period in excess of thirty (30) days in the aggregate, Network Solutions may immediately terminate this Agreement.

28. HEADINGS. The section headings appearing in this Agreement are inserted only as a matter of convenience and in no way define, limit, construe or describe the scope or extent of such section or in any way affect such section.

29. SURVIVAL. In the event this Agreement terminates as provided herein, Sections 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10(c), 10(d), 11, 14, 15, and 17 through 29 of this Agreement shall survive such expiration or termination.

30. AIRLINE FREQUENT FLYER MILES. Network Solutions may provide you with the opportunity to receive airline frequent flyer miles ("Miles") with select airlines as determined by Network Solutions, in its sole discretion from time to time, for qualifying purchases in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth on our Website. You acknowledge and agree that (a) any Miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable frequent flyer program, (b) all applicable taxes and fees related to such Miles and/or award travel are your responsibility, (c) in order to earn Miles for qualifying purchases the name on your Network Solutions account and the applicable frequent flyer account must match, (d) Network Solutions has your permission to provide your account information to the applicable airline granting any such Miles, (e) you will only be eligible to receive up to one hundred thousand (100,000) American Airlines® AAdvantage® Miles during a 12-month period if you are a U.S. entity or citizen or sixty thousand (60,000) American Airlines AAdvantage Miles during a 12-month period if you are a non-US entity or citizen, (f) you will only be eligible to receive up to fifty thousand (50,000) United® Mileage Plus® Miles during a 12-month period, (g) all Delta SkyMiles® credited to your Delta SkyMiles program account shall be standard miles and shall not count toward medallion or other elite status unless otherwise stated by Delta, (h) all US Airways® Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply, and (i) all claims related to or arising from uncredited Miles must be made within one (1) year of the date of any such qualifying purchase. Please allow 8-10 weeks for miles to be posted to the applicable frequent flyer account. Miles will be processed after two full months of service for Web Hosting transactions. You are eligible to earn Miles for qualifying purchases unless otherwise stated by the applicable airline frequent flyer program, your employer or other third party.

American Airlines and AAdvantage are registered marks of American Airlines, Inc.

American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage program at any time without notice. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage program, visit www.aa.com. United® and Mileage Plus® are registered trademarks of United Air Lines, Inc. United may change Mileage Plus program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the Mileage Plus program at any time and without notice. United, its subsidiaries, affiliates, and agents are not responsible for any products and services of other participating companies. For complete details about the Mileage Plus program, visit www.united.com. Network Solutions reserves the right to end or amend this program without notice.

SERVICE SPECIFIC TERMS: The following terms apply in addition to Sections 1 through 30 only if you have purchased the particular Service described or if the Service was purchased as part of a bundled solution:
Importing /legal/dynamic-service-domains.jsp


The terms in this Schedule apply to the registration and use of an nsWebAddress™ or domain name.

1. Security. Network Solutions does not guarantee the security of your domain name registration records, and you assume all risks that the password and/or passphrase you select may be compromised as a result of fraudulent, unauthorized or illegal activity.

2. Fees and Payment. Initial domain name registrations, and domain name registrations that have passed the registration agreement's anniversary date, must be in a paid status to transfer, delete, modify, or otherwise to request Network Solutions to affect the domain name record or to provide domain name services. Domain name registrations in an unpaid status are routinely deleted on a regular basis.

3. Transfers and Licensing of Use. You agree that you may not transfer your domain name registration to another domain name registrar during the first sixty (60) days from the effective date of your initial domain name registration with us. In addition, you agree that you may not transfer your domain registration to another domain name registrar for thirty (30) days after there has been a change in your Primary Contact information or WHOIS Administrative Contact information for your account(s). You may transfer your domain name registration to a third party of your choice, subject to the procedures and conditions found at: http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/static-service-agreement.jsp#rnca, incorporated herein by reference. Even if you license the use of our domain name registration services to a third party, you remain responsible for complying with all terms and conditions of this Agreement, and you accept liability for harm caused by such licensee's wrongful use of our domain name registration services, unless you promptly disclose the identity of such license upon request by any person who provides reasonable evidence of actionable harm.

4. Network Solutions' Disclosure of Certain Information. Subject to the requirements of our privacy statement, in order for us to comply the current rules and policies for the domain name system, you hereby grant to Network Solutions the right to disclose to third parties through an interactive publicly accessible registration database (such as WHOIS) the following mandatory information that you are required to provide when registering or reserving a domain name: (i) the domain name(s) registered by you; (ii) your name and postal address; (iii) the name(s), postal address(es), email address(es), voice telephone number and where available the fax number(s) of the technical, administrative and billing contacts for your domain name(s); (iv) the Internet protocol numbers of the primary nameserver and secondary nameserver(s) for such domain name(s); (v) the corresponding names of those nameservers; (vi) the original creation date of the registration; and (vii) the expiration date of the registration. If you are an individual who wishes to opt out of having your information displayed in the WHOIS database, you must choose the Private Registration service that is described in Schedule D to this Agreement. You consent to allow us to transmit this registration data to an ICANN approved or designated escrow agent who stores this information pursuant to ICANN requirements. You also grant to Network Solutions the right to make this information available in bulk form to third parties who agree not to use it to (a) allow, enable or otherwise support the transmission of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations via telephone, facsimile, or email (spam) or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that apply to our systems to register domain names.

5. Domain Name Dispute Policy. If you registered a domain name through us, you agree to be bound by our current domain name dispute policy that is incorporated herein and made a part of this Agreement by reference. The current version of the domain name dispute policy may be found at our Website: http://www.icann.org/dndr/udrp/policy.htm. In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions in this Agreement and those in the domain name dispute policy, the provisions of this Agreement shall prevail.

6. Domain Name Dispute Policy Modifications. You agree that we, in our sole discretion, may modify our dispute policy. We will post any such revised policy on our Website at least thirty (30) calendar days before it becomes effective. You agree that, by maintaining the reservation or registration of your domain name after modifications to the dispute policy become effective, you have agreed to these modifications. You acknowledge that if you do not agree to any such modification, you may terminate this Agreement. We will not refund any fees paid by you if you terminate your Agreement with us.

7. Domain Name Disputes Brought by Third Parties. You agree that, if your use of our domain name registration services is challenged by a third party, you will be subject to the provisions specified in our dispute policy in effect at the time of the dispute. For the adjudication of any disputes brought by a third party against you concerning or arising from your use of a domain name registered with us or your use of our domain name registration services, you (but not Network Solutions) agree to submit to subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction and venue of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division and the courts of your domicile. You agree that in the event a domain name dispute arises with any third party, you will indemnify and hold us harmless pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth below in this Agreement. If we are notified that a complaint has been filed with a judicial or administrative body regarding your use of our domain name registration services, you agree not to make any changes to your domain name record without our prior approval. We may not allow you to make changes to such domain name record until (i) we are directed to do so by the judicial or administrative body, or (ii) we receive notification by you and the other party contesting your registration and use of our domain name registration services that the dispute has been settled. Furthermore, you agree that if you are subject to litigation regarding your registration and use of our domain name registration services, we may deposit control of your domain name record into the registry of the judicial body by supplying a party with a registrar certificate from us. You agree that we will comply with all court orders, domestic or international, directed against you and/or the domain name registration.

8. No Guaranty. You agree that, by registration of your chosen domain name, such registration does not confer immunity from objection to either the registration or use of your domain name.

9. Revocation. You agree that we may suspend, cancel or transfer your services, including, but not limited to, domain name registration services in order to: (i) correct mistakes made by us, another registrar or the registry in registering your chosen domain name: (ii) to resolve a dispute under our domain name dispute policy: or (iii) to remedy an unauthorized change in the domain name account.

10. Survival. In the event the Agreement or this Schedule terminates, Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of this Schedule shall survive such expiration or termination.

11. Under Construction Page. You acknowledge and agree that any or all domain names that are (i) registered with Network Solutions, (ii) hosted on a Network Solutions domain name server, and (iii) do not otherwise resolve to an active Website, may resolve to an "under construction" or similar temporary Web page ("Under Construction Page"), and that Network Solutions may place on any such Under Construction Page promotions and advertisements for, and links to, Network Solutions' Website, Network Solutions product and service offerings, third-party Websites, third-party product and service offerings, and/or Internet search engines. You agree that Network Solutions may change the content and/or appearance of, or disable, any Under Construction Page at any time, in its sole discretion, and without prior notice. If for any reason, you do not want a domain name to resolve to the Under Construction Page described above, you may select an Under Construction Page that contains only Network Solutions branding and a domain name registration search box, as provided on our Website. You also agree that any domain name directory, sub-directory, file name or path (e.g. ) that does not resolve to an active web page on your Website being hosted by Network Solutions, may be used by Network Solutions to place a "parking" page, "under construction" page, or other temporary page that may include promotions and advertisements for, and links to, Network Solutions' Website, Network Solutions product and service offerings, third-party Websites, third-party product and service offerings, and/or Internet search engines. You agree that Network Solutions may change the content and/or appearance of, or disable any of these temporary pages at any time, in its sole discretion, and without prior notice.

12. Requests to Change Registrar; Transfers Generally. You agree that Network Solutions may deny any request to transfer a domain name registration that is otherwise capable of transfer to another registrar where you fail to respond appropriately to a transfer confirmation request from Network Solutions. Furthermore, you acknowledge and agree that pursuant to applicable policies adopted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") related to the transfer of domain names it is possible for your domain name to be transferred to another registrar even though the transfer has not actually been approved by you, and you agree that we shall not be liable to you for any such unauthorized transfers. You also acknowledge and agree that we cannot control and shall not be liable to you for the actions of third parties, including but not limited to registry operators, in connection with a domain name transfer, or a reversal of or refusal to reverse a domain name transfer, whether or not the transfer was approved by you.

13. Domain Protect. You agree that we may, but are not obligated to, place your domain name registration in a Domain Protect status to prevent unauthorized transfers of your domain name registration, as described on our Website. You acknowledge and agree that in order to transfer a domain name registration that is in a Domain Protect status, you may first have to access the account manager tool on our Website and remove the domain name registration from Domain Protect status.

14. Grace Period; IP Address Changes; Renewal and Transfer of Expired Domain Names on Your Behalf. You agree that we may, but are not obligated to, allow you to renew your domain name registration services after the domain name expiration date has passed. You agree that after the expiration date of the domain name registration and before it is deleted or renewed, we may direct the domain name to an IP address designated by us, including, without limitation, to an IP address which hosts a parking, under construction or other temporary page that may include promotions and advertisements for, and links to, Network Solutions' Website, Network Solutions product and service offerings, third-party Websites, third-party product and service offerings, and/or Internet search engines, and you agree that we may place our contact information in the WHOIS output for the expired domain name. Should you not renew the domain name during any applicable grace period, you agree that unless you notify us to the contrary we may, in our sole discretion, renew and transfer the domain name to Network Solutions or a third party on your behalf (such a transaction is hereinafter referred to as a "Direct Transfer"), and your failure to so notify us after the domain name expiration date shall constitute your consent to such a Direct Transfer. In the event we are able to identify such a third party (the "Direct Transfer Customer") and effectuate such a Direct Transfer, we will notify you via email after the transaction is completed ("Direct Transfer Notification"). Additionally, you will be eligible to receive a portion of the funds received by us as a result of a Direct Transfer of the domain name, as follows: (i) if you registered the domain name with Network Solutions directly through our Website, you will be eligible to receive twenty percent (20%) of the Net Proceeds received by us from our third party vendor as a result of a Direct Transfer; and (ii) if you registered the domain name with Network Solutions through a third party agent (such as your ISP, for example), you will be eligible to receive fifteen percent (15%) of the Net Proceeds received by us from our third party vendor as a result of a Direct Transfer. You acknowledge and agree that the Direct Transfer process may be facilitated through a single Direct Transfer Customer, or through a brief auction involving multiple parties who are interested in the domain name. For purposes of this paragraph, "Net Proceeds" shall mean the total fees paid to us by our third party vendor as a result of a Direct Transfer, less any registry fees, credit card charge-backs, processing and check fees, and other costs or fees associated with the Direct Transfer of the domain name. You agree that we shall have no obligation to pay you, and you shall have no right to receive, any percentage of the Net Proceeds unless, within ninety (90) days after the date of our Direct Transfer Notification, you first provide us with the name, address and related information requested by us (including, but not limited to, a Form W-9, if applicable) in our Direct Transfer Notification. We cannot guarantee, and we make no representation or promise, that any Direct Transfer will occur with respect to any particular domain name. You also agree that in the event your domain name services are terminated by us pursuant to this Agreement, we may transfer your domain name registration to Network Solutions or a third party, without any liability to you or obligation to compensate you in connection therewith.

15. New Customers through a Backorder Service. If you are registering a domain name through a backorder service and that domain name was registered with, and not yet deleted by, Network Solutions at the time of your purchase, you acknowledge and agree that the term of your registration will be for a period of one year from the original expiration date for the domain name immediately prior to your purchase, as the registration is the result of a Direct Transfer (defined above). If you are registering a domain name through a backorder service and the domain name was not registered with Network Solutions at the time of your purchase but was deleted by the applicable top-level domain registry at the time of your purchase, you acknowledge and agree that the term of your registration will be for a period of one year from the date it is initially registered with Network Solutions by the provider of the backorder service.

16. Registration of Premium Resale Domain Names. Premium Resale Domain Names are registered to third party registrants and are made available to you for registration through the Network Solutions storefront. Network Solutions makes no representations or warranties regarding the Premium Resale Domain Names displayed on its storefront and you agree that any dispute that may arise from any registration of a Premium Resale Domain Name shall be directed toward the registrant who has listed the Premium Resale Domain Name on our storefront for purchase. You further agree that Network Solutions shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to the Premium Resale Domain Name registered by you and that the Exclusive Remedy and Indemnity provisions in Sections 7 and 8 of these General Terms shall apply to your registration. If you are registering a Premium Resale Domain Name through our storefront, you acknowledge and agree that the term of your registration will be for a period of one year from the original expiration date for the domain name, as your registration is the result of a transfer from the previous registrant. The registration of a Premium Resale Domains Name may be cancelled only under certain circumstances and within 5 business days from the date of purchase. If you cancel during the 5 day period, you will be charged a processing fee.

17. Sharing of Information. You also acknowledge and agree that Network Solutions will share with each applicable domain name registry which provides Country Code Top Level Domains ("ccTLDs") or Generic Top Level Domains ("gTLDs") services, certain information submitted by you in your application(s) for our services, as required by our agreement(s) with the applicable registry or to provide the services you have applied for. You also acknowledge and consent to the use, copying, distribution, publication, modification and other processing of your personal data by the applicable registry and its designees and agents in connection with the applicable registry's service obligations to us or third parties, or as otherwise deemed necessary by the registry to fulfill the registry's service obligations to us or any third party.

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Posted by Dave Johnson at 5:26 PM | Comments (5) | Link Cosmos

Why Public Option Or No Bill

In other countries the government's exist for the public good. The understand that health care is a human right, and provides health insurance, paid for by taxing companies and the wealthy.

America's health care "reform" bill solves the problem of people not having health insurance - and insurance companies dropping people as soon as they get sick, or refusing to pay for necessary treatments - by ordering everyone to buy insurance.

The "public option" make this slightly easier to swallow. At least you are not being ordered to buy the product of the companies that robbed and cheated us.

This news article explains the ideology behind this "reform" plan. House health bill unacceptable to many in Senate,

In the Senate, the stumbling block is the idea of the government competing with private insurers. Liberals may have to swallow hard and accept a deal without a public plan to keep the legislation alive. As in the House, the compromise appears to be to the right of the political spectrum.

If "liberals" swallow hard and accept this, it is the end of the Democratic Party.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:14 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 5, 2009

Fort Hood Shootings

I'm waiting and seeing. I see that right-wing blogs are in an intense anti-Muslim hate frenzy.

This is a terrible tragedy.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:52 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

Modify Filibuster

Republicans are blocking everything, Dems seem unable to do anything. Here is a really good idea for changing the rules.

Of course, the weak Dem leadership won' want to rock the boat. They prefer "bipartisanship" with extremists over actually getting things done for the people.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:25 AM | Comments (3) | Link Cosmos

November 4, 2009

Business For Clean Energy

ABCE: American Businesses For Clean Energy

American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE) is a forum for leading U.S. businesses to register their support for swift Congressional action on clean energy and climate legislation.*

The ABCE mission is simple: Demonstrate large and small business support for Congressional enactment of clean energy and climate legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ABCE initiative is open to any company or business association that supports Congressional enactment of clean energy and climate legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By joining this initiative, your company makes a public statement urging Congress to act.

*ABCE does not evaluate specific policy proposals, and therefore does not express support for or opposition to any particular legislation or legislative elements.

American Businesses for Clean Energy

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:26 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

Digby Digby

Digny writes about The Most Important Election In The History Of The World | OurFuture.org

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Act Like Democrats

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California.

There are a few lessons to take away from last night's elections. The main one is that Democrats should act like Democrats if they want Democrats to show up and vote. Low-turnout elections are base elections: you have to turn out your base or you will lose.

Virginia: The Democrat didn't act like a Democrat and Democrats didn't show up and vote. Deeds told people he was against having a public option in the health care reform bill! He went so far as to say that he would take Virginia out of the public option! So why would any Democrats want to show up and vote for that? Meanwhile the Republican comes out of the Pat Robertson religious-right machine, and they did show up and vote.

New York: Democrats won a seat that has been Republican for over 100 years. The far-right takeover of the Republicans is an opportunity. Democrats should be working in every single district in the country because no "solid" Republican seat is safe anymore.

New Jersey: Independents voted Republican and Dems didn't turn out. I have no idea yet why this happened and need to see the exit polling. The Democrat previously had been Chairman of Goldman Sachs, and that may well have been a significant factor.

Maine: This was a terrible disappointment. The national Democratic Party didn't help. The OFA organization didn't help and even asked their members in Maine to come to New Jersey. Democrats had best not expect any fundraising success from LGBT after this.

Click through to Speak Out California.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:05 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

Dems Didn't Vote

The other day I had a post, Creigh Deeds Tells Dems Not To Vote. Well, they didn't.

People are dying because of the health care situation. Get off your butts and pass a good health care bill, and then start doing things that inspire Democrats to show up and vote. Like the Employee Free Choice Act.

You can start by holding the Bush administration and Wall Street accountable for what they did. I you can't even prosecture torture, why should anyone vote for you?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:53 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Wall Street's War Against the Real Economy & We, the People

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

At a meeting with bloggers before last week's Building The New Economy conference, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka talked about how we have developed two economies, one real and one financial. As he said, originally the financial sector was designed to support the real economy by providing capital as needed for building manufacturing facilities, public infrastructure, etc. But in recent decades the power of Wall Street has twisted that relationship until the real economy now feeds the financial economy.

As I have been writing about, for decades the real economy has been "financialized" by the Wall Street types -- sold off piece by piece providing short term profits for a very few. We lost more than 50,000 manufacturing facilities in just the last decade! If you sell your house you might have some cash in your own pocket for a while but your family doesn't have a place to live and the present state of our economy demonstrates the long term cost of this kind of short-term thinking: a few Wall Street types have a bunch of cash and the rest of us don't have an economy anymore.

As each factory closes and its jobs are eliminated the companies that supplied machines, parts and supplies also go away. The effect on those of us still employed (for now) has been profound as we work longer hours for less pay and fewer benefits with ever-higher stress levels. A few get ever richer, the rest of us have ever-lower standards of living and quality of life. And our country's ability to bounce back becomes ever more compromised.

Along with others at CAF I have been exploring how We, the People became the servants of Wall Street and what to do about it. The post Companies As Buy-And-Sell Commodities - Workers, Customers and Country As Costs laid out the pattern of company buyouts and takeovers since Reagan. Here is the company-buyout pattern that has turned into a machine with no human concerns:

buying up good companies, shedding and outsourcing the workers, cutting their pay and benefits, outsourcing and cheapening the product or service, fleecing and mistreating the customers, closing the offices and factories and running up debt.

The post Caught In A Machine That Grinds Us Up talked about the incentives that created this inhuman machine:

I have described here a destructive, unsustainable system that creates company- and society-breaking machines. These exist because of the economic and social incentives that our government has set up and we allow to stay in place. Breaking unions, stealing pensions, outsourcing jobs and squeezing customers all depend on government not enforcing laws and regulations – especially labor, consumer and environmental rules. …

Certainly there is no incentive at the top to stop this. This system helps a wealthy few get ever wealthier and not feel the consequences. The people who do this are celebrated as "successful." And if they don’t like the resulting devastation to the economy, community, country and world they can just hop into their private jet or yacht to retire to their private island or tax haven.

This is conservative economics and the long-term consequences. Since Reagan supposedly stopped government from "picking winners and losers" our government has indeed been picking winners and losers with Wall Street winning and the rest of us losing. This brought about a concentration of wealth so severe that a very few now control almost all of the wealth of the country.

Over and over again we see the consequences of conservative economics and Wall Street domination: Short-term profits for a very few with devastating long-term consequences for the rest of us.

We see these consequences now as the economy supposedly enters “recovery” – Wall Street is reaping vast profits and paying astonishing bonuses – enabled by taxpayer dollars – while the taxpayers themselves face loss of houses, raises or jobs, pensions, health care, etc. Gains for a few at the expense of the rest of us.

Wall Street vs Costco

Just as with the private equity game, Wall Street and market ideology has been at war with any part of our economy that benefits customers or workers. For example, in 2005 the NY Times took a look at Wall Street’s war against Costco, How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart. The complaint? Costco treats its customers and workers well. The article quotes one after another Wall Street “analyst” complaining that Costco is “altruistic” or “overly generous.” One makes it clear, saying the company “could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden.” In their eyes a business serving customers or employees is wrong. From the article,

Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco's customers but to its workers as well.

Costco's average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam's Club. And Costco's health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

The head of Costco explained that they take a longer-term view:

Mr. Sinegal, whose father was a coal miner and steelworker, gave a simple explanation. "On Wall Street, they're in the business of making money between now and next Thursday," he said. "I don't say that with any bitterness, but we can't take that view. We want to build a company that will still be here 50 and 60 years from now."

And how does he do for himself?

Despite Costco's impressive record, Mr. Sinegal's salary is just $350,000, although he also received a $200,000 bonus last year. That puts him at less than 10 percent of many other chief executives, though Costco ranks 29th in revenue among all American companies.

"I've been very well rewarded," said Mr. Sinegal, who is worth more than $150 million thanks to his Costco stock holdings.

So in 2005 Wall Street’s short-term view of how Costco should operate was to squeeze the workers, cheapen the products, fleece the customers and grossly overpay the CEO. Costco did none of that, and now it is 2009 – the long term. How is Costco doing? I looked over their annual report and they are going just fine. According to The Motley Fool,

The retailer of pianos, coffins, and, yes, 30-pound jars of mayonnaise -- along with hundreds of other goods in bulk -- has managed to continue growing during the recession, impressively avoiding any layoffs in the process.

By the way, last year Sinegal’s salary was still $350,000. And a week ago US News and World Report wrote about Sinegal that he still “has a habit, which sometimes irks stockholders and almost certainly annoys his competitors, of taking excellent care of his employees.”

So Costco, a real company, was under attack from Wall Street for providing actual service to customers and actual pay and benefits to employees who were actually in the United States. And Costco came out OK through the 2008 financial crisis and aftermath.

But then, what we call Wall Street came out of this OK as well. Thanks to their stranglehold on our political and economic systems Wall Street came out of all this enriched and emboldened, using taxpayer dollars to pay bonuses and increase their lobbying. Many of the individuals who might have looted and destroyed companies and communities are rich and gone, others are still collecting bonuses. As far as the public sees, few of them have faced negative consequences for what they did -- virtually guaranteeing that such activities will continue.


What lesson should we take away from this? Costco is a rare exception to the new rules. How many companies can get away with ignoring the demands of Wall Street that they cheapen the products, squeeze the employees and drain their surrounding communities? Why do we allow a system that enriches a very few in the short term while harming the rest of us, and how do we change this? Why do we tolerate IBG-YBG, the "I'll be gone - you'll be gone" take-the-money-and-run attitude that understands that there are no consequences when you take as much as you can from everyone else?

Now that Wall Street and short-term, unsustainable profit-taking have brought us to inevitable collapse, where do we go from here? Well obviously too-big-to-fail is just too big and that is a starting point. We were forced by their size to bail out these institutions, actually making them even bigger, and now they use our money to lobby against taxpayer interests, lobby for more bailout dollars, lobby against compensation curbs and taxes, lobby against politicians who want to change things, against rules to protect consumers, and anything that might change the short-term destructive approach. Using our dollars to do this - did I mention? We should break them up, like England is doing. But our government is, for whatever reasons, not doing so.

The recent Building The New Economy conference provided some guidelines that we can follow as we look for paths out of this. Take a look at the blog posts from conference participants that try to tackle these questions. (There is also a highlights video and should be more video when available.) The themes from the conference included the need for the Obama administration to develop a national industrial/economic policy, a rebalancing of trade, increasing the manufacturing that we do IN the U.S., a new emphasis on increasing research and development, modernizing and maintaining our infrastructure, an infrastructure bank to finance public projects, improving education and access to education including vocational education, and passing the financial reforms currently before Congress.

And how about using taxpayer stimulus dollars to actually stimulate OUR economy?

So how do we reign in Wall Street? Leave a comment.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:29 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 3, 2009

Working At The Polls

I am working at the polls today. Not a single voter yet...

Update - 8:45am - still no voters. Not one.

Update - We had a flurry of two voters at around 9:15am.

Update - 3:30pm - nine voters so far today. A few people dropped off their absentee ballots.

Final Update - Total of 12 voters on the machines, six absentee drop-offs and one vote on paper but somehow she took the ballot home with her.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:36 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

One Year Since Election

Of course President Obama hasn't been in office for a year, but everyone seems to be doing "first year" wrapups because the election was a year ago... So here is mine. I'll have a longer post on "signals" later.

Everyone is disappointed. It seems like nothing has changed at all. Of course a few things have changed but it really doesn't feel at all like We, the People have regained power.

The Stimulus: Obama gave away a good stimulus "hoping to attract" Republican votes, and then didn't get any. He didn't trade it away for actual votes, he traded it away in advance. Brilliant negotiating tactic that set the stage for everything since. So we got tax cuts instead of actual stimulus like public transportation and significant help for states. And, of course, now he is blamed for the stimulus not doing enough.

Health Care: Perhaps the best example of No Change is health care. Instead of "reform" we face a situation where the government is going to order all of us to start paying the big insurance companies whether we want to or not, no matter how much it costs us. After not even paying lip service to providing Medicare-for-All, Obama has now backed off the public option as well. And his insistence that it not "cost" much hampers our ability to have good health care. He should have ordered Congress to stay in session before the summer recess -- he has that power.

The Bailouts and the Bonuses: Even though the bailouts happened under Bush, President Obama was in a position to do something about the bonuses, and chose not to. Imagine Reagan or Bush letting anything stop them from making a clear symbolic point. I'm not saying that Obama should have just violated the law, but there was a lot he could have done but didn't. He paid lip service and little else. And why are the bailed-out banks allowed to lobby? He should cut that off right now.

Goldman Sachs: WTF is that about? This weird appearance that Goldman Sachs gives the orders to the Treasury Department is undermining public trust. Why this favoritism of the huge banks over the small banks and businesses around the country?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:39 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Fight Clean Energy Smears

Take a look at Fight Clean Energy Smears!

The site looks at the smears and front groups that are working to keep good climate policy from passing.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:09 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

November 2, 2009

Corporate Money In Elections -- What To Expect

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

The Supreme Court may decide as soon as tomorrow on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case involving a corporate-funded anti-Hillary smear ad. It is likely the conservative-dominated activist court will overturn precedent and rule in favor of removing restrictions on corporate spending in elections, with terrible consequences. The 5-4 ruling will say that large companies injecting vast sums to sway election results is “free speech.” Imagine, vocal cords on a Cayman Islands post office box!

Common Cause has a report out, titled, Corporate Democracy: Potential fallout from a Supreme Court decision on Citizens United. "Lifting the ban on corporate political spending could unleash a flood of money into the political system and further diminish the public’s voice," the report says.

Really, imagine regular people trying to run for office while competing with the massive aggregated financial power of the biggest corporations. And imagine what will happen to anyone who dares to try to go up against their interests when they are able to openly spend any amount needed to get their way. I have come up with some examples of what to expect:

- The cost of running for office – any office – will increase exponentially. Even local campaigns will cost millions of dollars, as big corporations install their chosen representatives. Even locally powerful businesses will join the game, with car dealers paying to get local ordinances passed prohibiting new competitors, etc.

- A member of Congress considers voting against a special tax break for a certain very large corporation – or a law outlawing their competitors – which would bring the company $30 billion. The company lets that representative know they are prepared to spend a measly $200 million on a challenger in the next election, or for them if they vote the right way. How do you think that representative will vote -- and if they do the right thing how long do you expenct them to keep their seat?

- A huge oil company will certainly spend a measly $100 million to install a hand-picked board of county supervisors that will let them put a refinery in the middle of an organic farming or sensitive environmental region.

- Why wouldn't agribusiness spend a mere $1 billion installing legislators who vote to rescind food labeling requirements and food safety regulations?

- How long will it take before laws against monopolies, polluting the environment, etc. are repealed? Each election cycle will see corporate-backed candidates further consolidating the power and financial resources of a very few largest companies.

- Health insurance companies will pay Congress to pass a law ordering everyone to buy their product. Oh wait …

This is about the biggest corporations remaining dominant, using government power to channel tax dollars their way, while hampering competition -- especially from smaller, less powerful companies. The conservatives on the Court are there thanks to decades of spending by the biggest corporations that swayed public opinion in favor of big-corporation-supporting policies and politicians. We are seeing the results of these so-called “conservative” policies all around us as we lose our houses, raises, jobs and pensions while a select few grow ever richer.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of this tomorrow it will be the big payoff, forever consolidating big-corporate control of the country and economy and effectively ending what was left of American democracy.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:25 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Today Is The Grayson Money-Bomb

Reward Good Behavior:

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:57 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Today's Bubble Post -- Fed Blowing Up HUGE Asset Bubble

This is an important read, to understand the bug crash that is building up: Mother of all carry trades faces an inevitable bust,

Since March there has been a massive rally in all sorts of risky assets – equities, oil, energy and commodity prices – a narrowing of high-yield and high-grade credit spreads, and an even bigger rally in emerging market asset classes (their stocks, bonds and currencies). At the same time, the dollar has weakened sharply , while government bond yields have gently increased but stayed low and stable.

[. . .] Investors who are shorting the US dollar to buy on a highly leveraged basis higher-yielding assets and other global assets are not just borrowing at zero interest rates in dollar terms; they are borrowing at very negative interest rates – as low as negative 10 or 20 per cent annualised – as the fall in the US dollar leads to massive capital gains on short dollar positions.

. . . Yet, at the same time, the perceived riskiness of individual asset classes is declining as volatility is diminished due to the Fed’s policy of buying everything in sight – witness its proposed $1,800bn (£1,000bn, €1,200bn) purchase of Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities (bonds guaranteed by a government-sponsored enterprise such as Fannie Mae) and agency debt. By effectively reducing the volatility of individual asset classes, making them behave the same way, there is now little diversification across markets – the VAR again looks low.

So the combined effect of the Fed policy of a zero Fed funds rate, quantitative easing and massive purchase of long-term debt instruments is seemingly making the world safe – for now – for the mother of all carry trades and mother of all highly leveraged global asset bubbles.

Essentially the Fed is giving out free money, while forcing the dollar down. (A lower dollar is a good thing for American manufacturing.) At the same time they are guaranteeing a price for assets. They are forcing the financial sector to make huge profits.

The problem is that the financial sector is doing this with huge leverage again, borrowing on top of borrowing, which is the kind of massive risk that led to last year's crash. It is inevitable that the bubble will pop, and maybe soon. At the same time, they have guaranteed that the too-bigger-to-fail banks will be bailed out.

So get ready for another round.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:37 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

Rich-Guy Populism -- Glenn Beck

Over at Commonweal Institute, Brad Reed has a great post: Glenn Beck Peddles Populism for Rich Guys,

The irony is that Beck is only really opposed to big government when Republicans aren’t controlling it. For instance, he has no issues with allowing the government to torture prisoners and is supportive of police brutality. And those big government bailouts of the financial industry that Beck rails against on a regular basis? Back when George W. Bush was president, Beck actually chided Congress for not giving more money to rescue the banks.

So Beck isn’t against big government. Rather, he’s opposed to government action that helps the poor at the expense of the rich. For instance, have you ever seen a conservative oppose tax cuts in any form? Well, Glenn Beck does, but only if they’re being given to poor people. Indeed, when economist Jeff Frankel appeared on Beck’s show to advocate giving tax cuts “to low-income, working Americans,” Beck compared him to Josef Stalin and accused him of trying to “redistribute the wealth.”

Go read, ans see what he says about Ayn Rand.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:57 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos