Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama's rules deflate lobbyists as he leads by example

Under the recently issued Obama administration rules (which some were hoping wouldn't appear) lobbyists seeking an administration member's time to discuss a "Recovery Act" project must submit their requests in writing to be posted online... Openness will restore confidence - both here and abroad - that the U.S. now practices what we preach on economic and moral issues. Economic viability will come only through repudiating the unfounded faith many Republicans have exhibited in trickle-down voodoo and unregulated capitalism, paired with self-serving definitions of sound-bite terms such as educational choice. We need a return to an ethic of service, work, and strong family values such as the first family demonstrates. It's so good to have a President who walks the walk despite tough times.

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Oakland Parkway Theater Closes Today: Evicted By Landlord

The landlord of the Parkway Theater at 18th Street and Park Blvd in Oakland evicted the Parkway Theater after severely raising the rent. It's last day was today, March 22nd, 2009, but the theater can be saved.

As an employee reports in this video, the closure was fast; the employees got the notice just four days ago, giving them little time to make adjustments and throwing lives into chaos. Apparently, the theater just had not drawn a lot of people -- or at least enough to pay the rent -- to maintain itself. In the words of the persons I talked to -- some on the video -- the movie house was not showing what the public wanted to see.

I think a larger issue was marketing, or the lack of it. A new approach should include having ways that bloggers can put a Parkway widget on their blogs. Also having the Parkway on as many social networks -- like Twitter -- as possible would really keep its name out there.

The bottom line is the place Kyle and Catherine Fisher raised $140,000 to start in 1996 and opened the following year can be saved. But the landlord has to really have a different strategy and be more a part of the business than it appears they are not. A closed Parkway is a blight on that neighborhood at a time when people need reasons to feel good about what's happening in their lives.

As Michael Cabon over at "An Oakland Citizen" points out, the Parkway has been an interesting place. (You have to read his post.)

It's watch time. Which business institution will fall next? Which landlord will prove not to realize that there's not a lot of money out there and thus can't increase rents?

Will the Parkway employees find other means of work? Will the City of Oakland, which just purchased a $7 million building with redevelopment funds step in?

The Parkway was a friend to then-Oakland Councilmember John Russo, who's now City Attorney. They even named a sandwich after him for his support of the facility. (It's not on the menu anymore.) Will Russo step in?

So many questions, which only mean that this whole issue is far from...closed.

Suzzane Agasi , Founder of Talks

Suzanne Agasi is founder of the popular ClothingSwap events. Here she talks about, well, ClothingSwap and what it is. Visit the site at

10 Lessons We've Learned From Games

To play any kind of game, you've got to go through some kind of learning process. The A button jumps. The trigger shoots. WASD moves around. Once you understand that, you can better blast, smash, and drop kick your way through whatever challenges a game throws at you.

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Psycho-Thriller ‘Blank’ Premieres For Free on BitTorrent

Today a brand new movie has premiered but this is not the usual Hollywood-style launch. ‘Blank’, described as an intense psycho-thriller by director Rick L. Winters, will debut on DVD but you can get it for free on BitTorrent too - with the blessing of the entire cast and crew.

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Facebook Copying FriendFeed, Which Originally Copied Twitter

Facebook is counting on the same relative inertia that Twitter has so carefully cultivated. The calculation is that 175 million people are less likely to move away from something than they are to wait and see what is going to happen.

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Social Web sites face transparency questions

Properly balancing the interests of various constituencies — and retaining their loyalty, perhaps through improved channels of communications — will prove key to whether the sites can grow into vibrant, moneymaking operations for years to come.

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U.S. Postal Service to Offer 150,000 Buyouts

Battered by the economy, the post office is offering early retirement to 150,000 workers, cutting management and closing offices, the agency said Friday. The Postal Service lost $2.8 billion last year and is facing even larger losses this year, despite a rate increase — to 44 cents for first-class mail — scheduled to take effect May 11.

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India has 'proof' of Pakistan role in Mumbai attacks

India's government says it has "overwhelming evidence" that "official agencies" of Pakistan were involved in the Islamist militant attacks on Mumbai that left 165 people dead.Home Minister P. Chidambaram also accused Pakistan in a TV interview to be aired Sunday of doing nothing to dismantle "the infrastructure of terrorism" on its soil amid height

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Coming Soon: Declassified Bush-Era Torture Memos

Over objections from the U.S. intelligence community, the White House is moving to declassify—and publicly release—three internal memos that will lay out, for the first time, details of the "enhanced" interrogation techniques approved by the Bush administration for use against "high value" Qaeda detainees.

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A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World

Across the Muslim world, a new generation of activists, bloggers and preachers is discovering ways to synthesize Islam and modernity

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Police kill man holding box cutter, THEN DELETE VIDEO OF IT

More than 50 people witnessed the shooting. Some say there was no need for police to pull the trigger. Luis Zamor, who witnessed the scene said "Police are supposed to come out and arrest the guy, stop the guy, but he just come straight out and shoot the guy.

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Mom Given Ticket While Reviving Her Dying Son

Batkin incurred the ticket by illegally stopping her car on the pavement to resuscitate her son. To make matters worse, Batkin said, the Richmond Council's parking office later refused to rescind the ticket even after she explained what had happened.

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Internet Explorer 8: How not to launch a new browser

Explorer 8 shapes up to be a complete train wreck as far as customer adoption is concerned.

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More Women Needing Cash Go from Jobless to Topless

As a bartender and trainer at a national restaurant chain, Rebecca Brown earned a couple thousand dollars in a really good week. Now, as a dancer at Chicago's Pink Monkey gentleman's club, she makes almost that much in one good night.

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People running Bank of America are "a bunch of idiots."

So says Virginia Hammerness. But Hammerness is not just another angry stockholder. Her grandfather was A.P. Giannini, the founder of Bank of America... A Time When Bankers Were Heroes to Public.

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Breaking : 17 Are Dead in Plane Crash in Montana

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says 17 people are dead in a plane crash in Montana.

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Obama fires back at Cheney on 60 Minutes

Dick Cheney and the anti-terror policies of the Bush years have not "made us safer," according to President Barack Obama. -=W/ VIDEO=-

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One in four government websites illegal (UK)

One in four Government databases are illegal under human rights or data protection and should be scrapped immediately, a panel of experts have warned.

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