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Number of posts: 2
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Posts by Pat Garofalo:
With the New Hampshire primary now secured by Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential candidates are setting their sights on South Carolina, the nation’s first southern primary. And in one big respect, South Carolina is significantly different from the two states that preceded it in casting votes for the GOP nominee: its high school graduation rate is far lower.
In 2010, New Hampshire had the ninth highest high school graduation rate in the country at 83.3 percent. Caucus state Iowa was third, with 86.4 percent. South Carolina, however, is 49th, at 61.9 percent.
Yesterday, Jefferson County, Alabama, filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, the final step in a sordid tale involving sewers, credit swaps, and some of the nation’s biggest banks. The bankruptcy became necessary “after an agreement among elected officials and investors to refinance $3.1 billion in sewer bonds fell apart.”
The swap deal that sunk Jefferson County was crafted by the mega-bank JP Morgan Chase (in concert with other banks, including Goldman Sachs). As Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi put it when describing JP Morgan’s actions in Jefferson County, “here you can see a trail that leads directly from a billion-dollar predatory swap deal cooked up at the highest levels of America’s biggest banks, across a vast fruited plain of bribes and felonies — ‘the price of doing business,’ as one JP Morgan banker says on tape.”
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In my first experience of euphoria, prelude to a bipolar life, I experienced an inspiration. It was exhilarating, profound, an insight that would not be possible in a normal frame of mind. I attempted without success to share this amazing revelation with others. Even my loved ones dismissed it as an example of my frame of mind that they would rather forget. One cannot blame them. If a saint walks into a prison and spreads a little happiness, he won’t be perceived as a saint, more like a ‘decent bloke.’ I am not ‘a nutcase’, but that is how people perceive Read on →
Those hosting last year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte filed a report with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for items missing or stolen during the week long convention totaling nearly half a million dollars, according to Steve Harrison in today’s Charlotte Observer: "The Democratic National Convention Committee said it recently sent the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department a spreadsheet detailing $496,000 worth of missing equipment. CMPD created an incident report in May. "Among the missing items: MacBook Pro laptops, iPads, iPod Nanos, computer printers, and BlackBerrys. "'It’s commonplace for stuff to go missing," said Joseph Sandler, a Washington, D.C., attorney handling media calls about the issue for the D Read on →
There are many congressional districts where Democrats have nearly zero chance of winning anytime soon. The recent victory of the disgraced Mark Sanford in a South Carolina congressional race shows how safe a Republican seat can be. The difficulty of winning these seats, paradoxically, presents an important opportunity for Democrats. In the short run, the political battle in America is over who will hold the offices where laws get made. In the long run, the battle is over shaping the public consciousness that determines to whom the people will give power. For the latter purpose, Democrats in very red districts can make an Read on →
Could there be a more appropriate monument to the War in Terror than the wasteful and counterproductive prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base? At a cost of $4,360.00 a day per prisoner, it is among the most expensive lock-ups on the planet and surely the most expensive for inmates who are neither deposed heads of state nor leaders of defeated rebellions. (For that amount you could book a Premier Suite at the Ritz Carleton Central Park and still have a thousand dollars left over to pay for dinner!) The cost in international reputation cannot be calculated in dollars but there Read on →