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Showing posts from April 26, 2009

Ralph Nader: Obama “Indecisiveness” in Chrysler Bankruptcy Leaves “Everything Up in the Air”

Blurb from Democracy Now! --
President Obama forced Chrysler into federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday so it could form an alliance with Italian carmaker Fiat. Chrysler hopes to sell its core assets–including the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands–into a new company that would be owned by the US government, Fiat, and the company’s workers.With Thursday’s filing, Chrysler became the first major American automaker to seek bankruptcy protection since Studebaker did so in 1933.The arrangement came after an intensive round of White House-sponsored negotiations among the Treasury Department, the union and Chrysler’s executives and creditors.Speaking from the White House, President Obama said the partnership will save 30,000 jobs at Chrysler but criticized the role of some hedge funds as “speculators” who pushed the automaker into bankruptcy.Chrysler now moves into U.S. Bankruptcy Court which must approve the deal. But a group of about 20 Chrysler lenders are set to challenge the bankruptcy…

Bob Dylan, Together Through Life

Another classic, possibly better than any album since the mid-'70s. Plenty of blues, which suits his ravaged voice well, with some South-of-the-Border flavoring. Some very strange chord progressions, like in "Life is Hard" -- at least to these musically untrained ears!

All but one of the songs' lyrics were co-written with Robert Hunter, the Dead's lyricist. All music by Dylan, with Willie Dixon on one tune. Some accordion from Los Lobos; some guitar from the Heartbreakers; same insanely good rhythm section. They rock.

There's none of the slightly canned flavor of the last album, Modern Times, and it achieves a strange, timeless glory in every song, some of which are as good as any he's written.

Dig it.

Where's My Change? Ralph Nader

“No more fine print; no more confusing terms and conditions.” This is what Barack Obama told a White House gathering of leading credit card issuers this week.

Right afterward, President Obama told the press that “there has to be strong and reliable protections for consumers, protections that ban unfair rate increases and forbid abusive fees and penalties.”

This soaring rhetoric places a heavy burden on Mr. Obama to stand up to the giant power of the credit card bosses and their monetized allies on Capitol Hill. Yet he has shown little interest in re-instating a Presidential consumer advisor as did Lyndon Johnson with the formidable Betty Furness and as did Jimmy Carter with the legendary Esther Peterson.

Deep recession times are tough for the nation’s over 200 million consumers. Still, no consumer voice in the White House, though consumer groups asked Mr. Obama to move promptly on this tiny advocacy office months ago.

The corporate chieftains have easy access to the White House and the ne…