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Links 5/26/12

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Hoboken Homes Gone In 60 Minutes Signal U.S. Recovery: Mortgages Bloomberg

Ally Financial: Newly Released Letter Show Scope Of Possible Mortgage Screwups Huffington Post

Obama Campaign Proud of Bashing Teachers’ Unions Firedoglake

Romney Argues Big Spending Cuts Would Cause ‘Depression,’ Contrary To Tea Party Activists Huffington Post

Obama challenged in Arkansas primary Washington Post

Is Wikipedia Politically Biased?  Conversable Economist

Fresh Fears as EU Finalises Reform Plans CNBC

JPMorgan shakes up board risk committee FT

Russell Brand brings ‘consciousness’ (and comedy) to ‘Brand X’ LA Times (Why is this story included in links?  Hmmm…)

30 Famous People With Law Degrees Mental Floss

Students will be tracked via chips in IDs San Antonio Express-News

Facebook flop hurts small investors’ trust in stocks Reuters

What the hell is going on in Quebec? Boingboing

Jamie Dimon And The Legitimacy Of The Federal Reserve System Baseline Scenario

Fox sues Dish over ad-blocking feature; Dish fires back LA Times

* * *

D – 105 and counting. *

Lambert here:

Furious activity is no substitute for understanding. –H. H. Williams, Oakland, CA

Montreal. “The protesters raided their kitchens and took to the streets with everything but the sink. Pots, pans, colanders and wooden spoons were all part of the tintamarre that washed over the city’s east end in what may well have been the most peaceful demonstration in a week. [This would be Gene Sharp's Non-Violent Tactic of Protest and Persuasian #28, "Symbolic Sounds," as in Chile.] [A] large minority of the crowd were middle-aged. The 40-something woman brandishing a soup pot may well have been last night’s most quintessential demonstrator.” “Voters such as Mr. Robitaille give a hint at why the students’ lament tapped into a vein of discontent. ‘The increase for the students came at the same time we hear about all the corruption in Quebec,’ he said. ‘The government says there’s not enough money for education, but at the same time, government contracts for roadwork cost 35-per-cent more here. All these stories about collusion. It kind of makes me sick.” “And we understand that the best way for us to support students in Quebec is to actually challenge our own government.”

Open letter to police officers, sent from a retired colleague, on Bill 78: “You should show reservation and ask the authorization of the Supreme Court before implementing this law. You should announce that you will wait for the legality of this law to be confirmed BEFORE implementing it. … No one, no one, no one will ever reproach you for having been prudent.”

Let the pearl clutching begin! Toronto Grope and Flail, Margaret Wente: “Quebec’s tuition protesters are the Greeks of Canada.” Montreal Gazoo, Henry Aubin: “Montreal’s street drama is hurting the upcoming tourist season.” “‘Because I think it’s a very pitiful spectacle when our family squabbles are exposed at the Cannes international festival.’” Anarchopanda +1 fan! Il faut que ça change, eh?

AR. Wolfe (42% in primary ) denied delegates by Ds, files suit, asks court to order party to follow its own rules.

CO. A May 12 fundraiser, Rep. Mike Coffman R: “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America.” Reporter: “Who is the real Mike Coffman? .. [The] moderate guy we see on camera [or] the guy who was caught talking to donors behind closed doors”? Donor bloopers: Discrepancy between what pols tell donors (future employers) and what they tell voters. And see below at WI.

IA (Swing State). OHQ airs seven different teebee ads in past two months, so they don’t think the state is safe for them. Ds Boswell (IA-03) and Loebsack (IA-02) join Rs Latham (IA-04) and King (IA-05) in backing Keystone XL.

IL. Gotham is so shopworn.

MI (Swing State). Detroit’s unemployment rate 28 percent—”but it also has one of the most well-developed urban agriculture scenes in the country.”

MN. Mankato Free Press opposes Photo ID constitutional amendment.

NM. The Piper Malibu carrying Governor Martinez and her husband landed “gear up” at Santa Fe Airport because the non-professional pilot forgot to lower his landing gear again after one aborted landing due to high winds. “Of course her tirade against state executive aircraft got her into this position. All because of her right wing advisors. They could have killed her with their little mud slinging culture war against state owned airplanes.”

OK. Bloomberg headline: “Chesapeake’s directors enjoyed cozy deals,” “repeatedly failed to exercise independent oversight.” Directors including Former OK Gov Keating, current OSU Pres Hargis. Then there’s the employment of Keating’s son and daughter-in-law, gifts to OSU.

VT. Vermont wind proposals (a handy map).

WI (Swing State). How to print signs and funding cable ads for Barrett. DNC’s Wasserman Schultz on Barrett loss: “I think, honestly, there aren’t going to be any repercussions”. “When you’re facing $25 million or more in super-PAC funds, you need money”. Prima facie evidence Walker “divide and conquer” video contradicts sworn Walker’s House testimony. (Note: Video was Donor Blooper. See above at CO.)

Inside Baseball. Poll: The political consequences of financial stress. “Bill Clinton is super hot”! Savvy businessmenpersons! Swing counties in swing states: CO: Jefferson and Arapahoe (25% of total vote); VA: Henrico (Richmond suburbs), Loudon and Prince William (suburban Washington, D.C.), Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Ciit (20%).

Elizabeth Warren. Globe tosses gasoline on “Warren’s ethnic claims,” lights match.

Roboma vs. Obomney. Glenn Greenwald has a useful chart of legacy party faction brand identities (“candidates”) ranked by campaign contributions (“bribes”).

Green Party. Green Party Canada: Foreign investment a threat to oilsands: Green Party leader. Constitutional ballot access cases now under way in AL, CA, GA, IL, NM, NC, OH, PA, and TN.

Ron Paul. “They changed the locks at party headquarters and announced Thursday they could now focus on electing ‘genuine’ conservatives, leaving infighting behind.” The [libertarian] gentleman nodded thoughtfully, and told me I’d earned his vote. It was a great feeling for me, but it’s a terrible, terrible sign for the Republican Party.”

ZOMG!!! Teh Debt! “[OBAMA:] What he did not also tell you was that after inheriting a trillion-dollar deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law, so now I want to finish the job [gawd help us all]. So, in the long run, Keynes was dead too? “[ROMNEY:] If you take a trillion dollars for instance, out of the first year of the federal budget, that would shrink GDP over 5%. That is by definition throwing us into recession or depression. So I’m not going to do that, of course.” Wait, wait. Keynes is alive? And resurrected by Mitt Romney? (via)

Romney. “For the first time, neither party’s candidate is a white Protestant.” So Romney’s only technically white?

Obama. “‘I feel like they [OHQ] are overly relying on the have-nots out-voting the haves,’ said one well-known Democrat close to the campaign.” In a Washington Post/ABC News poll this week, nearly twice as many people said they were worse off financially under Obama than said they were better off. Obama runs much better with the college-educated white women than any other segment of the white electorate. Hence, Obama’s recent discovery of a war on women.

420. Booker tweets: “Drug war is a failure costing billions of tax dollars annually AND destroying lives, plus it has a glaring racial component @LibProgressive” True! And Booker’s timing is 1000% coincidental; see here at “Intercept!”… Don’t Barack that joint, my friend!

* 105 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with ashes and sackcloth on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 105: “Bus route of the Damned” in Montreal.

A la prochaine fois!

* * *

And the antidote…

 

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77 comments

    1. Paul Tioxon

      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/money/54163714-79/mers-title-mortgage-harvey.html.csp

      MERS is suing itself in Utah, where a homeowner beat them and cleared their entire mortgage off of title and claimed their property free and clear of any legally recognizable debt. Now MERS must sue itself in the process of overturning this court decision, since it was part of the error and omissions committed against itself.

      Does MERS have a fiduciary responsibility not to attack itself?

      1. LucyLulu

        It’s an interesting scenario.

        To clarify. MERS was assigned in the quiet title action of the prior owner. That owner then sold the house and the new owner also has a MERS assignment. It’s the former MERS representation suing the new MERS, and there are various other parties named in the suit, e.g. title companies that act as trustees, servicers, MBS trustees, etc.

        MERS is claiming they were never notified of the quiet title action to defend their interest. Prior owner claims they had no duty to notify MERS as MERS is not holder or beneficiary of the note and has no standing. It will be interesting to see how the judge rules on this case. From the article it sounds like UT judges often rule against MERS.

  1. G3

    http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/05/25/obama-campaign-proud-of-bashing-teachers-unions/

    Testimony from a conservative confirms this :
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-25/romney-struggles-to-steal-bush-s-education-playbook.html
    “The Obama administration quite brilliantly captured many of the Republican positions on education, said Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

    Brilliant indeed. Just like how his team bragged about proving conservatives wrong as spending has gone way way down under him.

    1. LucyLulu

      I haven’t read either proposal but Chris Hayes discussed, among other things, both the Romney and Obama education proposals with a panel this am. The consensus was that the plans didn’t offer any new ideas and were essentially very similar to each other.

      Also discussed with a different panel was the “desired role of the capital markets”, and the irony was pointed out that somebody who has made all him money by leveraging large amounts of debt would be running on the platform of reducing our debt.

      1. G3

        Yes, only major difference between Obama and Romney’s ed deform plan with respect to K12 ed is vouchers. On higher ed, Obama is the lesser evil offering some regulation for for-profit universities and some piecemeal reform on student loans.

        Thanks for the heads up about Chris Hayes’ show. He represents the left most spectrum of allowed debates in our 2 -party Kabuki demcoracy.

        The irony about Romney – that is very rich. LoL.

  2. salvo

    are you kidding me?

    ““The most significant factor is the perception/reality that the Obama administration has leaned toward the ultra-left viewpoint on almost all issues.””

    1. curlydan

      from the WaPo article on why Obama was only getting 60% in some primaries.

      I thought that was a hoot, too. The only other reason cited was race.

      We at NC know the real reason is that O has been a tool of the 1%, but you’d never get that from WaPo.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Wolfe, who got ~40% in Arkansas, ran from the left. Catch the Ds advocating Medicare for All!

        So, somehow all those racists managed to put aside their hatred of hippies, socialism, and gawdlessness to vote for the guy. A remarkable achievement!

  3. CB

    So, what economic strata are we talking about in the Hoboken RE market? Not, I’m assuming the lower class, and probably not the midddle class, either.

    1. Tertium Squid

      2008: “Home builders says now is the time to buy!”
      2009: “Home builders says now is the time to buy!”
      2010: “Home builders says now is the time to buy!”
      2011: “Home builders says now is the time to buy!”
      2012: “Home builders says now is the time to buy!”

      Nothing new under the sun.

      1. CB

        I’m just guessing that inasmuch as some people will always have enough money to live comfortably no matter the general economic circumstances to the contrary, some of those people will buy homes and you can tell what economic strata are buying by pricing the homes that are selling.

      2. Jane

        Aided and abetted by the ‘National Association of People who will starve if you don’t buy a house’(aka the NAR)

  4. MIWill

    re: Students will be tracked

    “…using technology implanted in their student identification cards..”

    Nice word usage: Not inserted, Not embedded. Implanted.

    Also, the word student; should be SKU.

    1. Dave of Maryland

      There should be some way to defeat that. Crush, with a pair of pliers. Boil (in some sort of heat-proof plastic baggie, perhaps.) Microwave. Expose to very high magnetic field. Lemme see . . . taping it overnight to your car’s battery? All of the above?

      Gee, chancellor, I just don’t know what happened, why it’s not working anymore. Must be defective . . .

    2. LucyLulu

      Sure there’s a way to defeat it. It’s called a hammer. And it needs to be applied to every chip.

      What the hell is wrong with taking attendance the old-fashioned way? It isn’t that difficult. Or can they count on kids bringing their friends’ chip cards, who are playing hookie, to school for them to get counted as present (that’s what I’d have done, them dumped it in their locker, or maybe they could just leave the card in their locker 24/7…… in any case, the kids would figure out how to game the system). It’s a win-win. Students don’t get into trouble for skipping school and the schools get the money.

      The school’s official line is that the chips can only be read for a distance of 200 ft and therefore can not monitor students off school property. This is bs. The upgrade to monitor more remotely is trivial and wouldn’t require chip modification. How long before a “crisis” would arise where remote monitoring would be “needed”? Or are they being prepared as future model candidates for the private penal system.

      1. Alexandergeorge

        As I understand it, chips are little antannae that capture radio signals and return them based on their unique shape.
        Change that and the signal they return is garbage.

        The point of a nail tapped with a hammer or a few seconds in a microwave would alter them enough.

        Someone with more technical background care to comment on that?

    3. Lambert Strether

      I suppose subcutaneous is next. After all, the article says that one justification for the cards is that attendance figures are incentivized, and the cards are more accurate i.e. higher.

      Shooting chips into the kids necks would probably pay for itself!

  5. rjs

    The cost of Greece exiting the euro would be unmanageable and probably exceed the 1 trillion euros ($1.25 trillion) previously estimated by the Institute of International Finance, the group’s managing director said. The Washington-based IIF’s projection from earlier this year is “a bit dated now” and “probably on the low side,” Charles Dallara said in an interview in Rome today.

    The European Central Bank’s exposure to Greek liabilities is more than twice as big as the ECB’s capital, said Dallara, “The ECB will be insolvent” if Greece were to exit the euro, Dallara said. “Europe would have to first and foremost recapitalize its central bank.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-25/dallara-says-greek-euro-exit-may-exceeed-1-trillion-euros.html

    1. LucyLulu

      “The ECB will be insolvent” if Greece were to exit the euro, Dallara said.

      Hmmmm, who are the possible candidates to bail out the ECB?

  6. Ned Ludd

    It looks like Syriza is positioning itself to capitulate on the memorandum agreement.

    There were indications that Syriza could even be preparing to roll back its opposition to the second bailout as it comes closer to playing a role in government.

    Yannis Dragasakis, the party’s senior economic policymaker, said in an interview on Thursday that if Syriza came to power, it was not planning to legislate against the bailout. “We are looking at a political, not a legal, denunciation of the agreement,” he said.

    Why should anyone take them seriously if they won’t back up their political stands with legislation?

  7. taunger

    It seems NC has decided to take up my pet issue, wind development, a little more, so I’ll dive in.

    The opposition to wind development may have some valid points, but their narrow minded NIMBYism and failure to accept reality that efficiency alone will not contain the global warming crisis significantly undermine their arguments.

    Their brand of NIMBY is no less pernicious than others, founded largely upon property value concerns. I’ll grant that the noise may be annoying – but in the larger picture of our 21st century world, I believe a noise annoyance created by community owned or leased and carbon-free energy sources is a fair trade for society to ask over deadly coal mining or the industrial wasteland that is fracking.

    As for their answers to the energy problem, its usually efficiency and solar. Maybe you’ll hear nukes from some, but not up in Vermont, for sure. In any case, the solar answer is merely a reflection of the privileged NIMBY attitude, which requires real estate ownership to execute, and leaves the pollutants created in production far from the end site. And while I agree that efficiency is the best app, we still need to find ways to replace our coal, gas, and nuke generation.

    Its hard to site a coal or nuke plant responsibly. It is possible to do so with turbines, so long as we can accept our changing landscape (to think otherwise is delusional) and that the future inconveniences will be different than todays.

    1. LucyLulu

      I was channel surfing, can’t tell you which channel, but was watching a special on wind energy. They are testing out new turbines that use vertical instead of horizontally aligned turbines, sort of like eggbeaters. The benefit is that they can be spaced much closer because the wind they generate doesn’t interfere with each other and they can be operated at heights of only 30 ft. So, either they can be installed on small parcels of land or even on rooftops within cities or communities. Apparently, they are also significantly more efficient and better able to store energy. If they pan out as expected, it sounded very promising.

      1. Ray Duray

        Hi Lucy,

        I’ve been following the developments in the wind power industry for a few years now. The egg-beater idea is one whose popularity peaked about 5 years ago. The physics are simple and compelling. Most utility grade wind turbines today are using 80 meter towers with 50 meter blades. This gets the generator up into a much more powerful stream of wind than is available at 10 meters above ground level. Most of these 80/50 turbines are rated at 2.5 Mw. The little eggbeaters are rated in the low Kw range. The difference is night-and-day in terms of effectiveness. While the eggbeater might be useful in certain off-grid situations, for the most part zoning laws and NIMBYism will prevent them from ever becoming an industry standard.

    2. YesMaybe

      Two points:

      1. Clearly, whether the noise is acceptable depends on the level and type of noise. I can’t speak from personal experience, but I read an article a while back from someone who lived in a town near a wind-farm that made it seem like it wasn’t just an annoyance.

      2. The crux of the matter is we need to move beyond the delusion that we’re going to maintain current energy consumption (much less increase it). The question isn’t whether and how we replace coal and gas (we won’t). The question is whether and how we survive the down-ramp which is coming.

    3. F. Beard

      I believe a noise annoyance created by community owned or leased and carbon-free energy sources is a fair trade for society to ask over deadly coal mining … taunger

      Haha! How you Greenies tie yourself in knots! You’re willing to accept known noise pollution over an increase in CO2 – plant food?!

      Solar is another story – MN uses it herself and it will soon be much more practical, I’d bet.

      But screw the bird-chopping noise makers, I say.

      1. F. Beard

        But I guess with windmills rich Greenies can move away from the noise pollution and use the electricity in their nice quite homes somewhere else.

    4. Lambert Strether

      Not so much wind as such. It seems that all of these energy project, whether wind, or pipelines, or fracking, or even trash to energy, are causing a lot of political ferment at he local level and yet, for some odd reason, they’re not getting any national coverage and they’re not integrated. So we’ve got these three themes in domestic politics: The legacy parties and their party competitors, occupations, which are non- or even anti-party, and these anti-____ efforts, which (like the food movement) seems to be as much about local sovereignty as anything else. Very fluid and dynamic!

    5. Lidia

      Why aren’t people encouraged to put small eggbeater turbines on their homes? Then you don’t have all the issues with bird-kill, viewsheds, and transmission (and its associated loss).

      I read something horrible about animals getting fried just by induction, over the transmission cables from these wind farms.

      I get the feeling that these big wind projects are boondoggl-y like shale gas…

        1. Aquifer

          Nah, he just got punched by a Dem who called him a “spoiler”, but he ain’t backin’ down …..

    1. neo-realist

      Give me some green in a down ticket race and I’ll be glad to vote for him or her–WA state?

  8. J. Sterling

    Is somebody paying for “research” that shows Wikipedia leans left, in order to work the ref to the right? That’s what Fox News was intended to do to news media.

  9. Eureka Springs

    Regarding the Arkansas primary. Wolfe received several days front page coverage in the only state wide newspaper owned by a hard right wing billionaire, Walter Hussman. It was classic Murdoch/ Rovian propaganda shenanigans. All that said, I have no sympathy for the aristocrats, I mean Democrats.

    Bottom line to me is roughly six percent of AR Registered voters showed up and cast a vote for Obama, same for Romney. Roughly twenty one percent of registered voters showed up to vote at all. If any good news can be found while remaining inside the two party box, calling it like a sporting event… that, imo, would be the fact even the large segment of hard right wingers in this southern state gave the Santorum Gingrich wingnuts very, very few votes.

    After I cast my first ever Republican vote for Ron Paul I realized:

    As a kid Carter made me think I would be a Democrat for the rest of my life.
    Clinton and Gore taught me to vote Green.
    Kerry taught me not to bother voting at all.
    Obama taught me to vote Republican (in a primary without a left choice).

    Obviously overwhelming landslide proportions of registered voters all demonstrated a no-vote by refusing to participate at all or actual vote of extreme no confidence in anyone on the ballot. I have a sneaking suspicion much could be said about most primary results around the nation. Why on earth aren’t more people reporting the numbers this way? Want an end to the duopoly.. then give the overwhelming majority of citizens a voice when reporting on these kinds of results. Show them they are already out of the box… only a few more moves needed to end this quagmire!

      1. Alex

        America’s not going to vote for a Jewish woman president, even if she can do calculus.

        We’ve seen what a disaster Feinstein and Boxer have been.

        1. Aquifer

          ALEX, is that you? i thought your sponsors were bailing?

          In any case, Feinstein and Boxer are both Dems, so what do you expect as far as disasters …. and their elections are proof that voters will vote for Jewish women in sufficient numbers ….

          So what else ya got?

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Want an end to the duopoly … then give the overwhelming majority of citizens a voice when reporting on these kinds of results.’

      A couple of ways exist to do it. One is to include an explicit NOTA (None of the Above) option on every ballot. Another is to use the Russian system, in which the winning candidate MUST get 50% of the eligible vote; otherwise a new election is held.

      Of course, not until peasants with pitchforks march the streets with heads on pikes would our Depublicrat permanent government grant such a boon.

      The current ‘rotten borough’ electoral regime, in which roughly one quarter of eligible adults constitute the plurality which elects Tweedledum over Tweedledee, serves their interests just fine.

      Personally, I do not render service to politicians, even to the extent of lifting one pinkie finger to rotate a little lever on a voting machine. I am however willing to elevate a middle finger in their general direction, as this gesture can be conveniently performed in the course of one’s daily routine without having to wait in line at a ‘polling place.’ My vote goes to ‘Efamol.’

      1. Lambert Strether

        The problem with not voting is that it reinforces the conventional “apathy” narrative (which can prevent “the rest of us” from seeing how numerous we are).

        So, one can:

        1. Vote third party

        2. Write in a candidate (or “Mike Check”)

        3. Mutilate your ballot

        I believe that all these methods are counted.

        1. F. Beard

          Agree! Make the effort to show you’re not apathetic but angry!

          Btw, the Austrians, besides being for a fascist gold standard, are also anti-democracy and even pro-monarchy. They support vote boycotts which should make anyone suspicious.

        2. Eureka Springs

          That’s why I voted for Paul and then took a second shower before lunch. I think not voting can and should be reported by fine people such as yourself the same way you would account numbers (refusals) in a general strike.

          To completely ignore 70 to 80 percent refusal to participate is to belittle a massive number of people who are as ready as you and me for some representation. And as Jim points out… as few as 6 percent having the power to keep the duopoly in legitimacy.

          1. Francois T

            To completely ignore 70 to 80 percent refusal to participate is to belittle a massive number of people who are as ready as you and me for some representation.

            In a democracy, absentees are always wrong.

          2. Aquifer

            ES,

            Methinks that most folks don’t participate because they (rightly) perceive that it won’t make a pinpoints worth of difference in their lives whether a D or R is elected AND they have been brainwashed into believing TINA. If they thought, felt, there was someone available who offered some reason for them to get off their couches and pull his/her lever they would do so …..

            So that is the mission – let folks know that there is someone who speaks to their needs and that someone can win if they just get to the polls ….

    2. Lambert Strether

      Well, the Rs gave money to the PA Greens, IIRC. The Greens were stupid to take it, but it doesn’t mean they’re R shills. I hate to quote TPM, but the claim is that Wolfe ran to Obama’s left (and how hard could that be?):

      Wolfe’s positions are even [sic] further to the left of the president. On his campaign website, he argues that Obama has been “dominated” by “the Pentagon, Wall Street, and corporations.” He calls for reform, “not war and austerity.” Wolfe called the stimulus a “good start” that ultimately “wasn’t enough” in the Wikinews interview. Wolfe has one pledged delegate so far in Arkansas, 78-year-old Bill Conway, who says he supports Wolfe because of his strong stance against Wall Street.

  10. scraping_by

    RE: Facebook Faceplant

    Not too long ago, the idea that HFT made stock buying an act of insanity for retail investors was branded with the tinfoil hat. Now, everyone can see that if you can’t make 10,000 transactions in a second, you have no business in the stock exchange.

    The traditional shills and touts that used to rope in the marks are beside themselves. The tons of investment books, the hours of video, the seminars and speeches, all to get the money managers and individual wage earners into a buying mood, none of it matters when there’s that harsh a reality that must first be ignored. While they’re trying to present themselves as standing between the investors and the machines, it’s obvious the game’s leaving them out, too.

    A lot of the pushback came and comes from the HFT shops themselves. Since they’re just moving cash from one account to another, with a little erosion into their pockets along the way, they’re dependent long term on innocents from the financial management industry continuing to trickle in pension and insurance money into the whirl. One interesting way is commissioning academic papers that substitute the phrase “provide liquidity” for the verbs “buy” and “sell”. Makes for awkward reading, but it does run the search engines.

    The stock exchanges were always based on the lie of raising capital for business. Now, all the lies have grown threadbare.

  11. NDAA Double Down

    Here’s a thought. Don’t vote for anyone who takes your liberty away. Someone contact Van Jones, Bush can not be re-elected for a fourth term.

    1. Jim S

      Hah! I’ve been waiting to use that line, but nobody has asked me yet whether I’m going to vote for Obama or for Romney…

  12. john

    Wow. Looking forward to the Russell Brand show, Matt! A few years back his Fresh Air converted — I’ll see/read anything that guy does. How’d it end up on a Fox channel?!

  13. Herman Sniffles

    “Hoboken homes sold in 60 minutes”

    But they’re still dropping in Pine Island Florida!!!

  14. LucyLulu

    On a lighter note:

    The war on women continues. The top three spots on the NY Times bestseller list are occupied by the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” title is thought to be the most popular title in circulation at libraries nationwide ever. The trilogy is of questionable literary talent but is a steamy romance novel with sex scenes involving young virgins and handsome entrepreneurs playing with dominance/bondage themes that has found a wide audience among (lonely and bored, not necessarily single) middle-aged women.

    So what have they done in libraries around the country? Have they ordered more copies to accommodate the waiting lists that in Minneapolis is currently over 2000? No. Mitt-Bo is protecting the little ladies and banning the book in libraries in three states on the grounds that it doesn’t meet the criteria of good literature. Surprise, surprise, one is Wisconsin, the other two are GA and FL. Now women are having their access to literature policed! It might lead to wanting access to birth control or worse yet, a desire to perform unnatural acts in the privacy of their bedrooms.

  15. Susan the other

    The grim news is that China’s growth rate is really zero. The EU is going negative. The BRICs are shown to be vulnerable to global slowdown. Scotland has decided to leave the UK. The middle east is out of water except for hundred year floods. There is plenty of oil but nobody is using it. Apparently we are only suffering from peak use. Every sovereign central bank has an absurd balance sheet. And the extreme right in the US, led by that panderer Boehner, wants to cut spending as much as Obama.

    Who gave Romney the flashlight? Couldn’t believe my ears.

    1. F. Beard

      Who gave Romney the flashlight? Susan the other

      It makes sense. Who would understand money better than a rich Republican? Remember when Nixon said “We’re all Keynesians now”?

      But how to break it to the Republican masses that they have been deceived with the austerity calls? I know! “Yes, we’ll have austerity but not now. Later – when we can dupe the Democrats into advocating it.”

    1. Hugh

      NASA has completely fallen apart. We are talking NASA not being able to put together its own hardware based on 50 year old technology that it invented. How lame is that?

      I see it as another effect of kleptocracy. We know how to rebuild and replace the nation’s infrastructure, but just knowing doesn’t fill any potholes. The resources that should be there for everything from jobs to healthcare to education, retirement, infrastructure, and yes, even NASA have been siphoned off to feed our insatiable elites. SpaceX is portrayed as a victory for private enterprise but it is actually another illustration of failed government and the devastating effects of decades of looting.

      1. scraping_by

        Privatization = kleptocracy = privatization. Time and again, the various levels of government have grown the expertise and capability to provide public needs and wants, only to have antigovernment terrorists sabotage these going concerns in favor of private gain or public deficit.

        And it’s no new thing. This July, there’s going to be the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the the Pacific Railroad Act. Lincoln, the railroad lawyer, rushed this through during the Civil War because the Union Army had created a Military Railroad that could have built and operated the transcontinental railroad for the government at a fraction of the cost of the most generous giveaway in our national history.

        History doesn’t repeat, but sometimes the same damn things happen.

    2. Aquifer

      Will Gingrich be on the next flight”

      “To the moon, Alice!” (for those of us old enough to remember the Cramdens …)

    1. Valissa

      Penn Jillette’s 2012 pick: Gary Johnson http://www.politico.com/blogs/click/2012/05/penn-jillettes-pick-gary-johnson-124450.html
      But he’s “not gonna win,” Hannity contested. “So isn’t that a half a vote for Obama?” “I believe that voting for the lesser of two evils in game theory will always leads to more evil,” Jillette replied. “…If you actually believe that Romney is a fabulous candidate, then you should vote for him, I don’t. Most of the stuff I disagree with Obama on I also disagree with Romney on.”

  16. Hugh

    I think that wikipedia is largely neutral on Democrats and Republicans is more an indictment than an accolade. Re political figures, it lists birth dates, death dates, and offices held, but it’s overall treatment is one dimensional. The defense of wikipedia is always that it is what it is and it is not meant to be definitive, but in a kleptocracy what that translates into is not calling the criminals the crooks they are, which is a tacit legitimation of them.

  17. Francois T

    Re: Is Wikipedia Politically Biased?

    Wrong question! The correct one should be: “Why do I perceive in Wikipedia, a bias that goes against my own?”

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I’d like to see a list of the R vs D words/phrases they checked. Is the article about how “French Fries” is more commonly used over “Freedom Fries”?

      I suspect it’s really a bias of Truth over Truthiness.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        If you want the real dirt in Wiki, go straight to the talk pages. For more, you hit the archives.

        Wiki is encyclopedist. Which, right from the start (roughly 1660) have had a slanted point of view and a tendency to suppress anything they did not like, or, more often, failed to understand. Encyclopedias are pro-urban, anti-rural. This analysis can be taken further (Wiki French Renaissance, then German Renaissance and read closely), and is not flattering. Essentially, the pro-Greek German culture got clobbered in the 30 Years War, leaving the pro-Roman Parisians standing. Who, in their authoritarian Louis XIV majesty gave us the Enlightenment, the Encyclopedia and everything that’s come since.

  18. p78

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18219795

    “Nazi war criminal Klaas Carel Faber dies in Germany
    Dutch-born Nazi war criminal Klaas Carel Faber has died in Germany at the age of 90.
    Faber, who served in an SS unit, was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre list of most-wanted Nazi criminals.
    He was sentenced to death in 1947 for the deaths of 22 Jews at the Westerbork transit camp. His term was later commuted to life.
    Faber had lived as a free man in Germany despite several attempts to try or extradite him.
    Germany refused his extradition on the grounds that he was a German citizen.”

  19. tiebie66

    Also at HuffPo –

    Christine Lagarde On Greece: IMF Chief Has More Sympathy For Poor African Children

    Greeks “should also help themselves collectively” by paying their taxes, she said.

    Does anyone have numbers? I read somewhere that the shipping industry, which is massive in Greece, is exempt from taxation.
    What is the revenue shortfall given the potential income under realistic tax rates? In other words, to what extent is Greece’s wound self-inflicted?

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