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Links 5/8/12

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Update on Verizon woes: Service again down a lot. Big impact on my productivity (there will be a YS post later today, so do check back). I made noise. They issued a credit and are sending a tech later today, which suggests this is pretty bad.

Gaseous emissions from dinosaurs may have warmed prehistoric earth PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Dead Dolphins and Birds Cause Alarm in Peru New York Times :-(

More Than 40% of U.S. May Be Obese by 2030, Study Says Bloomberg. Wal-e is looking prescient.

Screening for breast cancer without X-rays: Lasers and sound merge in promising diagnostic technique Science Daily (Chuck L)

THE AVENGERS: IT’S, Y’KNOW, FOR KIDS! eXiled

Spain to spend billions on bank rescue Financial Times. Yowza, this is escalating quickly.

France simmers, Greece boils MacroBusiness

The Greek crisis will fast expose Mr Hollande Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Saving the Euro Will Require Banking Sector Reform Der Spiegel (Swedish Lex). They are saying this out loud? In Germany?

Is Iraq returning to authoritarianism? Financial Times

The American character Glenn Greenwald

The Failed American Voter Registration System Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Liberals Steer Outside Money to Grass-Roots Organizing New York Times (Joe Costello)

The Future of Ideological Conflict Steve Fuller, Project Syndicate. Remember, this is leading edge conventional wisdom.

US consumers flock to borrow Financial Times

US labour market on a knife-edge – stimulus is needed Bill Mitchell

The Cost of Getting Down Is Going Up Wall Street Journal

Lehman E-Mails Show Wall Street Arrogance Led to the Fall Bloomberg

Ally Said to Receive Treasury Assent on ResCap Bankruptcy Bloomberg

It’s All About the Fraud: Madoff, MF Global & Antonin Scalia Chris Whalen

Look Who’s Pushing Homeowners Off the Foreclosure Cliff Bloomberg (Lisa Epstein)

Longtime Queens Court Foreclosure Sales Monitor Forced Out For A Ridiculous Reason Village Voice (Andrea)

Affidavits Are Not a Substitute for Evidence of Debt Ownership Bob Lawless, Credit Slips

* * *

D – 123 and counting*
At the stroke of midnight in Washington, a drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and a head of a giant hyena crawls out of its bedroom window in the South Wing of the White House and leaps fifty feet down to the lawn…. — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

Gay marriage. Robama has said for the past year-and-a-half that his views on gay marriage are “evolving”. So no wonder 21 of the 44 questions at the last White House presser were on Robama’s [r]evolving view. (Especially since gay marriage is so far from being a left position that Joe “Bankrupty Bill” Biden, and Arne Duncan, who never met a school privatization scheme he didn’t like, are for it.) Pravda’s Chris Cilizza gives a prolix and elaborate eleventy-dimensional chessful strategerification on why Robama can’t find it in himself to do the right thing. But maybe it’s simple. Maybe Robama agrees with Rick Warren, and believes that gay people aren’t fully human. Meanwhile, big gay donors are withholding their campaign contributions over Robama’s refusal to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by Beltway bandits. So, donors, stop being passive aggressive and start being aggressive. The Green’s Jill Stein is for gay marriage and she needs a mere $100,000 to get Federal matching funds. Give her the money and make sure the Robama campaign knows you’ve got some place to go. That’ll get their attention at One Prudential Plaza. Here’s the link. Heck, the Greens are so small you can probably just use PayPal!

Treason flap. Obomney’s on the campaign trail in OH and a woman questions him. In part: “We have a president right now who [A] is operating outside the structure of our Constitution, and I do agree he [B] should be tried for treason.” The Ds then gleefully try to force Romney to throw the “extremist” woman under the bus (“rebuke” her), and the usual suspects clutch their pearls and head for the fainting couch (e.g., Andrew “I’m writing as bad as I can” Rosenthal). What’s interesting: All sides (including Obomney!) focus on the should ([B]) and not on the is ([A]). Pravda frames the flap like this: “Obomney silent when questioner says Obama should be ‘tried for treason.’”

And [B], the modal, is indeed absurd. Which enemy is Robama supposed to be giving aid and comfort to? Trans- and post-national banksters, sure, but everybody does that, and it’s a hundred to one the questioner means Islamo-Fascists anyhow. Which at the very least is a topic for another day, like the first of Never.

[A], however, the actual, is completely correct. Robama, just as Bush did and just as Obomney would do, is not governing constitutionally. Read Glenn Greenwald any day of the week. And because everybody’s doing it, nobody talks about it! (Reason, meanwhile, notes that the woman asked Obomney a follow-up on The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Which Obomney did not answer. Exactly as Robama would not answer, although probably in a more “thoughtful” and “nuanced” way.

Robama’s Julia ad. “Julia” (means “youthful”; ranks #30 on Babble baby names) on Social Security: She “receives monthly benefits that help her retire comfortably.” Pravda doesn’t parse that lawyerly wording to mean Grand Bargain™-brand catfood, but I sure do.

Gaslight watch. CIA thwarts ‘undetectable’ underwear bomb plot except it’s not a plot and was detected and the public was in no danger and no airport security measures will change. (Hmmm. Underwear. Will be worn on the outside so we can check.)

The mother’s milk of politics. Soros gives a million to David Brock’s D oppo organization, American Bridge 21st Century. 360 degrees, eh Dave? (Oh, I’m sorry. Not oppo. “Election-oriented research“.) Soros also gives a million to a D organization for organizing the “grass roots,” America Votes. Come on. Who’s got that reflexivity mojo? D shills, or Occupy? Here’s Yahoo’s headline on their article about Conard: One percenter: Inequality good for U.S. That’s two Occupy memes right there: The 1%, and “income inequality” (or, in the vulgate, class warfare). That’s changing the discourse. The D “infrastructure” hasn’t accomplished in thirty years of cocktail wienies what Occupy did with sleeping bags and tents in six months. Why is that?

I think it’s time to let the “grass roots” metaphor die the death. The Lawn is an artificial construct fueled by petroleum, polluted by toxins, and fertilized with bags of rock trucked in from far away. The Lawn is square, a massive time sink, and it’s not even edible. And The Lawn is all about artificially inflating real estate values (“curb appeal”). We know how that movie ends. Soros is trying to build a better big box lawn care center. He should stop doing that. Stupid sod. And no, I don’t care about saving The American Prospect. I already spent all my money on a Robama commemorative plate.

Ron Paul. ME: Paul supporter: “It’s good to see a bunch of Republicans that aren’t only overly concerned with social issues.” Careful what you wish for. ID: Paul organizer: “I’ll do the scorched earth if I have to.” Plan is control the GOP state convention in June by winning hitherto obscure precinct committee races in May 15 primary. (ZOMG!! They’ve mastered the party rules! Who do they think they are? George McGovern?)

Obomney has 856 delegates. Paul has 84. However, at the convention, a majority of delegates in six states can suspend the rules at any time. Floor fight!

Greens. ME: Stein 7, Barr 6. Stein 16 for 16 in Green after winning contests in AK, ME, and RI.

Elite fraud. Financial fraud prosecutions by “Justice” are at 20-year lows, down 39 percent since 2003 (Bush), and one third of Clinton’s. Which is why neither party will talk about it: Everybody in on it, and it’s been going on for years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Ladies of negotiable affection. Columbian service providers have no terrorist links (unremarkable) and only nine of 12 were paid for their services (remarkable). Dania Londono Suarez has an hour-long interview on Columbian radio: “They could track me anywhere in the world that I go but they haven’t done so. If the Secret Service agents were idiots, imagine the investigators.” Then Saurez goes on The Today Show (nice get): “Very direct, I would say too direct.” That’s imperial entitlement talking.

Suarez is very aware, has a great laugh, makes the US interviewer look like a Beltway tween from a third-rate school (video), and should run for President of Columbia. Why not? (Rough parallels here and here.) So, yes, not doing Playboy is a smart move. Besides, the Playboy franchise is tired. Rather like the legacy parties, if it comes to that.

“The way they approached this, it seems obvious that they were used to doing it.” Which goes for a lot else, too, doesn’t it? Like the looting. Like the destruction of Constitutional government. Like everything else neither legacy party talks about: Everybody in on it, and it’s been going on for years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Matt Taibbi asks: Is this the most boring election ever? Taibbi’s seems to be the unconventional wisdom, but no, it’s not. Not at all.

– Horse race-related tips, links, hate mail to lambert

* 122 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with a lead balloon drop in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC.
Cross-posted to Corrente. An’ a one, an’ a two … Turn off the bubble machine

Antidote du jour (Debra K):

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79 comments

  1. dearieme

    “Is Iraq returning to authoritarianism?”

    No, no, no, it’s going to become the Switzerland of the Middle East.

    1. tom allen

      But they were servicing guys from the District of Columbia. So it was really a case of Colombian servicewomen servicing Columbian servicemen. Handjobs across the Americas, as it were.

  2. SR6719

    “First the flames burst out onto the scene, like some amusing special effect that was just part of the show. Some people had started, only all too soon, to applaud and shout “bravo”, when they suddenly realized, whether from the paleness in the faces around or from some whisper of fright – inaudible to the ear but perceptible to the soul – that indeed it was a real flame that had leapt up, a monster, an evil beast that was no joke at all. There were still a few however that didn’t grasp anything about the tiger that had brusquely pounced out into the world, and was now the master of the evening. The actors on the stage cried out and abandoned the artistic realm, at which point the public in turn began to scream. In the balconies, another sort of unworldly beast had reared its head: fear. Each passing moment seemed to give birth to new monsters.” – R. Walser

  3. Maju

    “Spain to spend billions in bank rescue”.

    Worst is that Bankia does not seem to need any rescue at all, because its paying €152 millions (50% of benefits) in dividends.

    Very bad as well is that there goes 25% of the budgetary cuts of €27 billions. Next what?!

    Sperpentic is that the (resigning) head of that bank is Rodrigo Rato, former IMF head.

    And also very surrealist is to watch the PM Rajoy speaking on TV “Galician-style”, always ambiguous up to the point of being pathetic, never declaring what he will do or what he will not.

    Can we have the unavoidable war already? Because really the management (of either major party) is so pathetic and useless and unable to muster a workable plan that the situation can only end in disintegration Yugoslavia-style.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From ‘The Failed American Voter Registration System’:

    In a form of a modern-day Jim Crow [felons] forfeit their ability to vote (among many other rights) in subsequent years. As we know, felon disenfranchisement disproportionately targets the African-American and Hispanic communities, particularly through the war on drugs, where this forfeiture of rights can result from wholly non-violent actions like possession.

    Michelle Alexander, an ACLU attorney, penned a book-length exposition of this thesis titled The New Jim Crow:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Crow-Michelle-Alexander/dp/1595586431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336477046&sr=8-1

    Alexander details how, in one of the pushbacks to the civil rights advances of the Sixties, Nixon and Agnew conceived the War on Drugs as a way to continue targeting minorities without invoking any explicit racial references.

    She identifies police discretion (in deciding whom to stop), and Supreme Court decisions barring challenges of convictions based on alleged systemic discrimination, as the two main tools which make the Drug War so monstrously effective in convicting minorities on a grand scale, and then permanently marginalizing them. It’s not merely disenfranchisement: an ex-con faces serious employment, credit and housing discrimination as well.

    Before trooping to the polls this November, reflect that Mr. Hopey Changey never, but never, talks about the minority-packed Gulag archipelago that he and his attorney general run. Michelle Alexander attributes their eloquent silence to a de facto caste system, in which the ‘felon’ label puts convicts beyond the reach of civil rights concerns. I’d say, in Oreobama’s case, that his silence is a condition imposed by his masters for him to serve as their sock puppet.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Oh, but Obama did make cosmetic changes. Now, a black kid using black people cocaine only has to serve a sentence 20 times as long as the white kid using white person cocaine. It used to be 100 times or some shit like that.

      But Obama’s cool. Like the last two presidents, he got away with his felony drug use and doesn’t have to worry about pesky voter laws or laws that strip him of his student loans.

      Obama snorted cocaine up his nose and this was a felony. Not only did he not have to go to jail, but he gets to vote and go on to be president.

      Average black kids get thrown into a cage for decades and their lives, and their family’s lives, are ruined.

      Fuck this fascist system and fuck that fascist coke-head prick, Obama.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      I am underwhelmed with the author’s suggestions on how to fix these problems, which I found in a discussion here: http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/384/Michelle-Alexander-The-New-Jim-C-page07.html

      Here solutions sound a lot like broken promises of “change” and movement building that never seems to come to fruition:

      “No matter what you do, and no matter what form your contribution takes, it’s critically important to ensure that the work you are supporting is movement-building work – not mere reform work. I describe the difference between movement-building work and mere reform work in the last chapter. Of course we must seek concrete reforms. I provide a laundry list of important reforms that should be sought by advocates in chapter 6. But the WAY we seek reforms is more important that which reforms we seek. We are doing nothing more than “tinkering with the system,” if we fail to challenge the prevailing public consensus about race, crime, and who is “deserving” of our collective care and concern. In short, if the reform work is responding to political reality, rather than trying to change our social and political consciousness in profound ways, whatever reforms are won will be doomed to fail in the long run. The system adapts well to changes in legal rules.”

      Now I wonder if David Cole’s work suffers from the same failure to proscribe adequate remedies. The movement building sounds a lot like Barack Obama’s fake movement buildings. In his case it was literally a fake cover story to trick people into doing the exact opposite.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I am underwhelmed with the author’s suggestions on how to fix these problems, which I found in a discussion here: http://www.well.com/conf/inkwell.vue/topics/384/Michelle-Alexander-The-New-Jim-C-page07.html

      Her solutions sound a lot like the broken promises of “change” and movement building from Obama. Promises that never seem to come to fruition:

      “No matter what you do, and no matter what form your contribution takes, it’s critically important to ensure that the work you are supporting is movement-building work – not mere reform work. I describe the difference between movement-building work and mere reform work in the last chapter. Of course we must seek concrete reforms. I provide a laundry list of important reforms that should be sought by advocates in chapter 6. But the WAY we seek reforms is more important that which reforms we seek. We are doing nothing more than “tinkering with the system,” if we fail to challenge the prevailing public consensus about race, crime, and who is “deserving” of our collective care and concern. In short, if the reform work is responding to political reality, rather than trying to change our social and political consciousness in profound ways, whatever reforms are won will be doomed to fail in the long run. The system adapts well to changes in legal rules.”

      Now I wonder if David Cole’s work suffers from the same failure to prescribe adequate remedies. The movement building sounds a lot like Barack Obama’s fake movement buildings. In his case it was literally a fake cover story to trick people into doing the exact opposite.

    4. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JH, “diabolically clever.” Connect Nixon, CIA, Charles Colson “saved” for the “plantation” private prison-for-profit to “private equity” rackets.

      Don’t forget Bebe Rebozo.

  5. laughlinlvr

    “The Cost of Getting Down Is Going Up.” Funny, I was expecting the article to discuss something else entirely.

  6. tom allen

    Is it “Taps” for TAP? Aw, what a shame, if true.

    A good chuckle in EJ Dionne’s article, though. “an egalitarian brand of liberalism that honors the social contributions of a strong labor movement” is followed a paragraph later by “some of the best younger progressive writers now gracing us with their views. They include Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Jonathan Cohn, Kate Sheppard, Dana Goldstein, Laura Secor and Jonathan Chait.”

    Yes, often I remember reading Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and Jon Chait write about the importance of a strong labor movement. *crickets* But I guess they were too busy cheerleading the Iraq War early on to bother about labor’s decline.

  7. Keenan

    Yves:

    RE: Verizon

    If they’ve installed their FiOS lines near the vicinity of your building then running a fiber connection from the main line into your building shouldn’t present a problem for them. They want to sell up and I think they will pitch that as the “solution”. Keep us posted. Yesterday you mentioned grandfathered power. Do you mean “knob and tube” wiring? That old style wiring presents a fire hazard.

  8. bmeisen

    Dayan on voter reg:

    Refreshing to read an American political commentator who references other systems with equanimity. As Dayan notes, the US is the only major democracy that doesn’t have automatic voter registration. Basically 2 policy moves would go a long way to establishing responsible democracy in the US: legalize dope and require citizen registration. The first would end the war on drugs and the gravy train for gutter-lifestyles associated with it. The second would end the countries long anti-democratic tradition of voter suppression while ending the illegal immigration hysteria. Neither would require a constitutional ammendment.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      bmeisen, isn’t voting a legal requirement for all Australians? How far we are from this model of citizen participation in an open democracy.

      1. J. Sterling

        Not only that, but they’re required to turn up at the polls, unless they’ve voted by mail or named a proxy. They don’t have to choose a candidate if they really don’t want to (that would just encourage ballot spoiling) but they can’t get out of the effort of showing up.

        It doesn’t make Australia a utopia, but I bet it helps to stop the worst abuses of government.

        1. Maximilien

          Mandatory voting will only work if “None of the Above” is an option and voters’ selection of this option is counted, recorded, and published. (Imagine the embarrassment in officialdom when the winner is declared to be a Mr…..NOTA?)

          Otherwise, mandatory voting is merely a way to coerce citizens into participating in a political system which they may find irrelevant, unrepresentative, or downright corrupt.

  9. MacCruiskeen

    Re: Steve Fuller. Seems like sort of an odd idea coming from a guy who testified for the defense in Dover v. Kitzmiller.

  10. jsmith

    Regarding Greenwald:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.

    After reading Greenwald’s account of Zacharia’s sudden – really?! – realization that the post 9/11 security state is here to stay, I’m just going to offer the easiest way to combat this neo-fascism and all its trappings.

    Go to the source.

    The events of the 9/11 are the easiest way to prove that NONE of the security apparatus is needed, none of the wars are needed, none of the secrecy is needed, none of the torture and imprisonment are needed.

    None of it is needed because either those inside the US government either allowed the events of 9/11 to unfold or they made the events of 9/11 unfold.

    Concerning the security state, it’s really immaterial at this point – i.e., before an exhaustive investigation – which theory is correct because they both lead to the same conclusion.

    Our need for war, security, surveillance, torture and propaganda is based upon a lie – many actually – that started on that day.

    So, Glenn and Fareed if you’re honestly looking for a way to try and stop what is happening to this country, you’re going to have to “go there”.

    Disclaimer: I know I’m a one-song Sally at times concerning this issue but when I read “post 9/11 this” and “post 9/11 that” without ANY critical analysis of 9/11 itself it drives me up a wall.

    It’s analogous to discussing the Big Bang in physics.

    We are free to discuss and analyze any event AFTER the Big Bang but lack the theoretical wherewithal to speak to the event itself.

    Except in the case of 9/11 nothing theoretical is preventing such a discussion.

    It is glaring and it is our societal blind-spot.

    A blind-spot that our leaders have taken full advantage of for a decade now.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Think of the amount of work that went into keeping this subject taboo.

      It was people like Tom Friedman, Tony Blair, and the New York Times that really sold the “terror” wars to liberals, and it’s people like Glenn and Bill Maher and lefty blogs that are keeping questions about the official story at bay.

      Here’s Hillary Clinton admitting that the U.S. funded Al Qaeda and notice the first link in comments linking to a picture of “Osama” (if it really is a real person) and Brzezinski in the late 70s. http://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/tc7hc/hillary_clinton_admitted_that_the_us_created_the/

      Btw, in my year or so of study of the 9/11 attacks, I am now convinced that it was an inside job and was not merely a failure to stop the attacks.

      Most liberal blogs and pundits, including Glenn Greenwald (probably), are captured opposition.

      1. SR6719

        WWM: “Most liberal blogs and pundits, including Glenn Greenwald (probably), are captured opposition.”

        There’s no point cleaning house when the house is falling apart.

        This society operates like a constant appeal to mental restriction. Its best elements are foreign to it, and they’re rebelling against it. It seems like everything that is still alive lives against this society.

        Those who today fail to understand already expended all their strength yesterday trying not to understand.

        Time to abandon ship – not because it’s sinking, but in order to sink it.

    2. joel3000

      All I know is that the null hypothesis on 9/11 is implausible: the official story does not make sense, especially for WTC 7.

      Something else happened on 9/11. It isn’t our job to say what happened; it is our job to ask questions.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The truth that cannot speak its name: It was a murderous conspiracy, an “unthinkable” act of treason. So Greenwald “goes there.” Then what? Dead men tell no tales.

        “The Lesson” by poet Samuel Yellen, “New and Selected Poems” (Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1964).

        1. Neo-Realist

          More specifically, Greenwald’s journalism career with any paying establishment outfit is probably dead.

          Maybe he goes on the Rebuild the Dream medicine show tour with Van Jones to preach transparency in government.

    3. Mark BudWiser

      You’re wrong if you think the need started then.

      The need for the current round of 1984manship/Brazilification/Brave New World Order started after the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of the internet in the 1990s.

      Before that it was always there but it just wasn’t as in-your-face.

  11. Stephen V.

    A GREEK ECONOMIST on DNow yesterday:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/5/7/a_political_implosion_anti_austerity_parties

    [snipped]

    AMY GOODMAN: You mentioned the Nazi party in Greece, the rise of it. And also in France, you have Marine Le Pen, although she didn’t win, certainly rising in popularity.

    YANIS VAROUFAKIS: The ultra right does not need to win in order to gain power. The fact that they are rising in influence on the streets and in parliament is sufficient to inflict a major blow on democracy, to color the whole complexion of democracy. Let me give you a very simple example. Only two weeks ago, the Socialist minister of public order introduced compulsory HIV tests on paperless migrant prostitutes, which were carried out by means of force, police brutality, and then their photographs were published in newspapers and on websites, official government websites. And all that was in order to demonstrate that you don’t need to elect Nazis if you can elect me. When Nazis manage to influence the agenda in that way, they don’t need to be in government.

    AMY GOODMAN: The ultra-nationalist, far-right Golden Dawn says it will start by forcing immigrants out of Greece after exit polls show it would pass into parliament for the first time since the end of a military dictatorship in 1974.

    REPORTER: What will be the first measure change?

    NIKOLAOS MICHALOLIAKOS: All the illegal immigration out! Out of my country! Out of my home!

    AMY GOODMAN: So he wants legal and illegal immigrants, Golden Dawn.

    YANIS VAROUFAKIS: He’s a Nazi. He wants a Kristallnacht against anyone that doesn’t look Greek, whatever that means.

    AMY GOODMAN: Final comments on the significance of the elections in Greece and France?

    YANIS VAROUFAKIS: It just goes to show that, just like after 1929, when you start with a Wall Street collapse, which then spreads throughout the breadth and width of the world capitalist economies, similarly, after 2008, we have an economic crisis that shook the foundations of the eurozone. The eurozone was never designed to sustain such a great financial crisis, and the eurozone now is unraveling. The political class, just like in the 1930s, has failed spectacularly to mount a response to this economic crisis, and now there is a political implosion. Whether the fragmented opposition to the idiocy, which passes as economic policy in Europe, is going to find a common voice in order to stop the rot and put an end to the rise of the Nazis is something that we’re going to have to wait and see.

    1. PQS

      I heard that exchange too.

      All I could think of was how the RW in America has been calling the shots for oh, about 20 years.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Such is the fractal nature of humanity – within any 99% slice, there is always a 1%.

      So Germans think Greece entered the Eurozone illegally (thanks Goldman) and Greeks want illegals out.

      You want Mexicans out and they probably want those illegals from further south out.

      The same with China. People want illegal Chinese out and they want their illegals out of China…maybe not the factory owners , but I am sure the proletariats feel the way.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        MyLess, very good fractal framing. That’s why you can’t get rid of the 1% — it’s always embedded in the whole, like a cancer node, metastasizing on schedule.

  12. Neo-Realist

    I’ll be easier to take the Green Party seriously if they started to organize on a grass roots level and started running candidates on the local and state level–Attorney General, Mayor, City Council, State Senator, and Congress. So that they can better educate the public to their populist positions in opposition to the status quo hacks from the two parties. I think its the only way they can connect with the critical masses to get their support to become a serious lever of political power in America.

    To me, throwing your vote behind a Ralph Nader or a Jill Stein when their party has not done enough of the hard work to connect with the people and win power on the local and state level (why didn’t the Greens do that in 2001?) which in turn would mainstream and increase their appeal of such candidates on a national level is ultimately a oppositional vote of anger that accomplishes nothing.

    You might as well leave the Presidential slate blank…or write in Pat Paulsen, R.I.P.

    1. Mark BudWiser

      I will write in “neo-realist, the one who comments on NC” until the Green party meets all your demands.

    2. Aquifer

      They ARE and have been running candidates on local and state levels – they run into the same problems on those levels as a they do on the national one – including lack of coverage … And when they do get coverage, it is of the dismissive or “spoiler” variety. If you don’t know of them, maybe you just haven’t looked. Frankly methinks yours is another of those “until someone else fully forms, funds and publicizes a 3rd party, i am not going to bother – hand it to me on a silver platter, and then maybe I’ll consider it …” arguments which is emblematic of why the duopoly, rotten as it is, persists in power …

  13. Dan

    Obesity?
    How many more hundrds of reasons do you need to eat organic food?

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/64032/title/Pesticide_in_womb_may_promote_obesity,_study_finds

    Pesticide in womb may promote obesity, study finds
    DDT breakdown product appears to be an ‘obesogen,’ but only in youngsters of normal-weight moms

    One-quarter of babies born to women who had relatively high concentrations of a DDT-breakdown product in their blood grew unusually fast for at least the first year of life, a study finds. Not only is this prevalence of accelerated growth unusually high, but it’s also a worrisome trend since such rapid growth during early infancy has — in other studies — put children on track to become obese.

    Affected babies in the new study weighed no more than normal at birth, so growth in the womb was unaffected. Their moms were also normal weight — which is significant because babies born to overweight and obese women sometimes undergo rapid growth

    1. Dan

      In case some corpora twit comes up with
      “they don’t use DDT in the U.S. anymore”

      It’s on plenty of imported stuff from Mexico.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      This makes the Global 1% monopoly on produce a two-fer: the only produce available to us is from Mexico, Chile, etc., unless we farm or frequent Farmers’ Markets (not likely in any ghetto). The result: the 1% profit, the 99% sicken and die. It’s the “free trade” Global Food Plan on the British East India model, with “Opium Wars” on the side.

  14. Dave of Maryland

    Note to our host: Your Verzion woes sound interesting. Back in the 1990′s I ran a bookstore in Ventura, CA, with the name “Astrology” in it. As a mail-order bookstore, I had an 800 number that was national. (Same number I still have.) One day in 1995, I think, someone phoned and said he had phoned 1-800-555-1212 and asked for my number, given my store by name, and was told there was no listing.

    I duplicated his effort and confirmed that my listing had mysteriously disappeared, even though I was paying for a real 800 number.

    I phoned PacTel and asked if they could help. My 800 listing was shortly restored, and to my surprise, I was given a bonus of free local service for six months, unasked. I still have the documentation.

    My father worked for Southwestern Bell in Kansas and like any other company, it was made up of individuals, some of whom sometimes got into mischief. My father always said to never presume that someone wasn’t listening, and this when we lived in a very small town in Kansas in the mid 1960′s.

    In my case I presume Pac Tel ran their own check, found they, or someone associated with them, were guilty as hell and gave me a cheap bribe to buy me off. I was okay with that. A century ago astrologers were so badly harassed that many of them went by code names. Even today, most major astrology companies use clever dodges, such as AFA, ISAR, NCGR, AFAN, Kepler, Matrix, Solar Fire, ASI, UAC, Astrolabe, Earthwalk, ACS, etc. All astrology.

    For myself, I decided to call a spade a spade and put the word Astrology in my business name, right from the start, in 1993. As a result, I am pleased to report that harassment is in fact rare, and that I am guilty of suspecting it far more often than it actually happens. And this despite Pat Robertson’s best efforts!

    But I’ve still had the usual, unrelated problems. I got good at fixing them. Phone tech support, wind your way through dead ends, wrong people, strange disconnections and at least half a dozen different numbers and you may, if you’re lucky, end up with a technician who knows his job.

    What’s this? I see your postage meter has been set that you can only make one-cent deposits. Gee, that’s strange. Here, let me reset it for you. There. All fixed now. – Gee, thanks!

    In this case, you don’t want to talk to a supervisor. You want to find an innocent who isn’t aware that some hostile exec has put a hex on your service. Because if they gave you goodies, somebody probably did.

      1. Synopticist

        And the same goes for those heretical mormons, followers of a false prophet.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Yes, yes, exercise and more fiber in your diet will make you a healthier dog.

    Wait, that’s for me?!?!

  16. craazyman

    And now a question for both candidates. On November 6 one of you will be elected president. What can you say to the American people tonight so they will be able to tell which one of you it was. Mr. Obomney, we’ll start with you.

    Thank you. On November 6, Americans face a decision of whether to move forward or ahead. If my opponent wins, we’ll move ahead. If I win, we’ll move forward. No longer can this nation afford not to move. Or else it will be pushed backward, and we cannot afford to move backwards. We’re out of money. And the future is forward, not backward. There may be some who would say it is sideways, but I’m here to tell you that’s not an option. Make no mistake, mark my words, there is no future sideways. I will put a line in the sand, and I will tell Congress that there is no alternative but to move forward. And if somebody tries to tell you there’s no difference between moving ahead and moving forward, then we . . . I mean I . . . I have some news for them. They will be left behind. I think my time is up.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I guess the theme is the first 4 years was getting out of a ditch and now we are finally moving forward . . . .

      woooohooooo

      put on your seat belts.

      1. Maximilien

        Romney: “My fellow Americans, I ask you, do you choose to be led by a mere man, or by God? My faith tells me that God reveals His will to the Prophet of my church, currently the esteemed Thomas S. Monson.
        Prophet Monson has undertaken to reveal God’s will to me as your President-elect. I in turn promise you infallible leadership, inspired by the very word of God! Does it get any better than that? Vote for me…I mean God…I mean me.

      1. chitown2020

        It’s easy to move on when you are a band of thieves and murderers with no conscience who got caught but never went to prison…

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    LS, Obama’ views on gay marriage “evolving” – Brother Preacherman says “No.”

  18. mario

    The Greek development is the most fascinating as they are the first in line. I was expecting the nature to take its caurse, and it will.

  19. a crude interest

    Regarding underware bombs and TSA undies-on-the outside dictates; a few campaign contributions from the tighty-whitey lobby and it’ll die a swift and well deserved death.

    1. Valissa

      Thanks for the inspiration :)

      The wife explains http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/dre2433l.jpg

      Another way to detect the threat http://www.tobytoons.com/td/files/toons/2010/20100105_underwear.jpg

      The power of branding, part 1 http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_LxHYD_8IsV4/S0lt7qbwZQI/AAAAAAAAALE/8LQpqQHkOsM/s400/FRUIT-OF-THE-LOOMING.jpg

      The power of branding, part 2 http://steelturman.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451bab869e20120a781598e970b-800wi

      And now for something completely different http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/gri/lowres/grin918l.jpg

    2. chitown2020

      A bunch of aging men in tidy whities and old women in granny panties ought to fix them. We will throw in some depends for good measure.

  20. p78

    http://news.yahoo.com/frances-hollande-may-roll-back-spending-promises-135829880.html

    France’s Hollande may roll back spending promises

    “[...]“There are certainly deficits, things hidden in the shadows,” Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Socialists’ parliamentary leader and a candidate for prime minister, said of the audit. “We will discover the reality and strike a balance between fostering growth and making the necessary efforts to reduce the debt.”
    Those close to Hollande are now urging him to use the review by the country’s top audit body, the Cour des comptes, as a justification for lowering his growth forecasts for the euro zone’s No.2 economy, widely seen as too optimistic.
    Advisors are pressing him to pare back spending in certain areas, particularly the deficit-ridden social security system, and to raise taxes by eliminating widespread exemptions and raising the CSG welfare charge on income and capital revenues.
    “There are holes in the program on the spending side and we will be obliged to take action,” said one long-standing advisor, who asked not to be identified.
    The situation is delicate for Hollande after he promised change to voters tired of unemployment running at 12-year high of nearly 10 percent and talk of spending cuts.

    To keep his promise to balance the budget by 2017, Hollande wants to find 100 billion euros: half from new revenues and half from limiting growth in public spending to 1.1 percent per year – a small cut once inflation is taken into account.
    But his plans are based on optimistic growth assumptions of 1.7 percent of GDP next year, rising to an average 2.5 percent after 2013. France’s trend growth rate for the last 20 years has been 1.6 percent, and economists expect that to dip to 0.9 percent this year. “The Court is not going to find any big holes in government finances because national accounting in France is very serious, but the problem will be the growth: the forecasts are too optimistic,” said the second advisor.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/08/francois-hollande-germany-france

    François Hollande, and why the Germans can rest easy

    “[...]Michel Sapin, Hollande’s key economics aide and possible finance minister, told German diplomats in Paris eurobonds were not the answer to the euro crisis, especially if a big enough firewall was in place in the form of the eurozone’s bailout fund.
    “On eurobonds, Sapin was clearly sceptical,” said a memo to Berlin from the German embassy in Paris, obtained by the Guardian.
    Sapin also ruled out big spending programmes: in attempting to reform the French economy, Hollande would opt for supply-side measures of the kind Berlin advocates every day.
    “It’s absolutely essential to generate growth, but this can only be done through supply-side measures and no longer through state spending programmes,” the Hollande team told the German diplomats.
    Hollande has outlined four policy areas in his push to restart Europe’s growth engine:
    -increasing the role of the European Investment Bank,
    -using the EU budget to try to combat recession,
    -using both these vehicles to underwrite big infrastructure projects on a European scale – broadband, green technology, railways and the like – and
    -allowing the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund to operate as a bank so that it can tap funds from the European Central Bank.

    Such a deal would allow Hollande to claim that his growth agenda is delivering something, while enabling Merkel to emphasise that her “fiscal pact” compelling budgetary rigour across the eurozone is sacrosanct.”

    1. Anon

      Clive Crook has gone full-court mental over Hollande’s election:

      Hollande Must Betray His Supporters to Save Them

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-08/hollande-must-betray-his-supporters-to-save-them.html

      Opening salvo:

      French voters are deluding themselves if they think the man they just elected president offers a viable alternative to the departing Nicolas Sarkozy.

      Francois Hollande’s socialist program is inoperable. Let’s hope he understands that. If he doesn’t already, he soon will.

      Then, this gem, which translates as If Hollande is not Sarkozy, Merkel will have to burn the village in order to save it:

      If Hollande tries to disinter the French socialist project, the gruesome results would strengthen the conviction of German chancellor Angela Merkel that brutal austerity is the only way for the euro area to overcome its problems. The situation would then go from bad to worse, and the stresses on the EU itself would be enormous. But if Hollande can pivot in time to a milder program of coordinated fiscal moderation, high but not punitive taxes, and long-term control of public spending — policies not that different from his predecessor’s — Merkel and the Germans may choose to bend.

  21. kevinearick

    Junior Seau & the Peter Pan Economy

    In high school, the quarterback that got the college scholarship was Someone’s kid, not the best. Money provides temporary relief for anxiety, in a positive feedback loop, hence Mr. Seau’s condition, rolling concussions in exchange for $30M, with increasing concussions for decreasing income once the empire example was transmitted. By all means, have your baby in a hospital, packed with the most high-strung, anxiety-ridden people on the planet and learn to feed it processed food at its will, instead of mother’s milk in tune with the planet’s economy.

    Individuals are abandoning the current empire in droves. Otherwise, the cops would not be losing their pensions, the municipalities would not be stiffing the banks, and the hedge funds would not be carrying Apple. If you step aside and prosper separate from the divide and conquer empire, it will implode of its own weight. To the extent you need more gravity, give it some green shoots. Adjust your position relative to the empire black hole, of its income event horizon black holes.

    If you want to protest in the face of an insecure cop “earning” $250k in salary, benefits, side jobs, and free loans, who has no skills to support that income, go ahead, but don’t expect a happy outcome. They exist to protect and serve the empire status quo for the manufactured majority, not liberty for the individual. Only the US Supreme Court is charged with liberty and its perch rests on Harvard and beyond, best business practice, supporting non-performing legacy mythology with the consumption of new family formation.

    The empire is a wave of History. Throwing your body at it is not intelligent; mobilization is. Discriminate accordingly and let the robots fight discrimination on the way to their least common denominator. Don’t waste your time in line with the robots waiting for a State job filling the empire’s holes with cold patch, or betting when the next vehicle will lose its alignment. Create the data; don’t interpret the interpretation of robots. When in Rome, be a robot, or don’t be in Rome. Evolution, perception, is all about intelligent discrimination.

    My goal is not agreement. My primary market is intelligent kids surrounded by robots, and my secondary market is those with the means and awakening to support their efforts to transform the necessary assets. My tertiary market is global military units, reminding them that all “thought leaders” accurately represent the robots, and if war breaks out there are no rules or boundaries, the big cities are expendable, electronics are subject to backlash, and Congress in no way represents the root of American spirit. No existing government is on your side; they all live in TVland.

    Your value to the planet rests upon that which is unique. Everything else ends up being clawed back to the quantum DNA churn pool. Learn to think for yourself, to place your unique talent in a negative symbiotic feedback loop, to eliminate anxiety.

    Anxiety is the prison and you are endowed with the key. If you sold it, you will need assistance, hence the standard marriage contract placing a premium on intelligent choice, to combine logic and emotion (lobe balance), which has withstood the empire test of time. The muppets are gearing up to escort me to the gallows again, same sh-show, different dress, attempting to short my future to theirs, with nothing but a 1 billion word manual, written by technical writers with no comprehension, to go by.

    If you must protest, mobilize at the US Supreme Court, under the 10th amendment, where your case belongs, or agree upon another constitution, now that the empire is embedded in the computer controller. It is not Congress or Administration or Bank that sold you out, and every empire computer must have a clock to catalogue its entries.

    Vote with your spirit, then your mind, and then your body. Any moron can have sex, although I am endlessly amazed at their difficulty; false assumptions are like porcupine needles. You love your children; you do not have sex with them. Where are you in the queue?

    You are a needle in a haystack, which the empire must find by process of elimination, and, under current civil law, your spouse may hand your children and you over to government at will. Common law is feudalism, plain and simple, and it’s always a cleric dressed in the robes of your own faith, playing the divide and conquer game learned from parents, that sells you out. Turnabout is fair play. Simply walk away from the area of regulation and allow the empire to feed itself, turning the tables on monetary policy for the kids to watch.

    The robots listen to their subconscious, instead of directing it, confirming each other in clicks to form a clock, in a circus of performing arts. The more intelligent you get, the more they stack the deck against you, in a positive feedback loop, until you step aside and allow gravity to do its job. A constitution is a jubilee, which lasts as long as individual character aggregating the result. Long term investors always build upon a timeless foundation.

    So, there I was, the boss pacing around the controller, with the inspector, electricians, firefighters, university officials, research doctors, and surgeons, all occupants, waiting for the outcome, playing heads-I-win-tails-you-lose, while I read through all 400 pages of the manual, looking for one arbitrary bit. My boss learned to love the sh-show when he had the account at Harvard. If you are following, read the notes left behind for the information relevant to you, to turn the building around the elevator.

    The system has many unique users, all with unique keys, that only the unique individual will recognize. Individuals that do not secure themselves are players that enjoy playing the bullying game. Secure yourself and get on with your work, and let the parents take care of the others, at the appropriate time. That’s what parents do. Resetting with the same deck and the same dealer doesn’t further your goal.

    Inflate the price, deflate the cost, raise the tax, and blame the demographic speculators. Rinse and repeat. Where has the Court placed you in the race for bankruptcy entitlement? Do you have Trump?

    Nothing grows in prison, especially children in a prison of prisons. Neither Obama nor Romney is completely clueless, but they are 6 of one, half dozen of the other, as is Congress and Bank. It’s that 4th horse that you want to keep your eye on. When the tyrant pulls common law out of his back pocket, it’s time to start assigning sunk cost to everything it touches.

    Take or leave that which is offered freely, but do not presume to judge unless you are prepared to be judged (always be prepared) yourself. Suicide is not the answer, but meeting your maker is.

    1. kevinearick

      Take a look at the justices on the Court. What are the odds it is not a scam / banana republic?

      1. chitown2020

        Those Justices should be elected not appointed. There should be term limits on all political offices or positions. Like Mayors of large cities like Chicago. The dem machine needs to die the rightful death it deserves.

  22. Hugh

    Maliki was never a democrat. He is a Dawa hardliner. He has been concentrating power in his hands since day one. It’s not that he is so much more skillful a politician. It’s that he is facing a discredited Sunni leadership on the one hand and on the other the Kurds who like no one and whom no one likes. And it’s not like these groups and their leaders are all that democratic either.

    The Der Spiegel piece on European bank reform is pretty vague about what those reforms would be. Raise reserve requirements, create a euro FDIC, loan directly to eurobanks, but a lot of this stuff seems more geared to making eurobanking more transnational and directed from Brussels, you know TBTFing it, then aimed at reducing their predatory activities.

  23. Abelenkpe

    “More Than 40% of U.S. May Be Obese by 2030, Study Says”

    Or we’ll all be starving struggling to get by in a post apocalyptic world after the human race is finished destroying the planet.

  24. propertius

    “Julia” does not mean “youthful”. It’s the feminine version of the Roman gens “Iulius”. It probably originally meant “descended from Jove”.

  25. psychoanalystus

    In medical news, here is a popular state-of-the-art treatment widely available to schizophrenia patients across the United States. The real “therapy” begins at minute 15 in the video.

    Please note how these highly trained mental health professionals were able to quickly diagnose complex conditions such as HSD (He’s on Something, Dude!), and immediately deliver their high quality medical services. As illustrated in the video, such services included (but may not be limited to) procedures such as: RTAHA, MBFB, MCR, FMCT, and last but not least, COMA.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/08/kelly-thomas-beating-video_n_1499771.html

    Medical Terminology Legend:
    RTAH = Repeated Tasering Around the Heart Area,
    MBFB = Multiple Broken Facial Bones,
    MCR = Multiple Cracked Ribs,
    FMCT = Fatal Mechanical Compression of the Thorax,
    COMA = Coma.

    PS — Rest assured, all these procedures are fully covered by Obamacare.

  26. LucyLulu

    More News on Gay Marriage

    N. Carolina today was the last southern state to pass legislation which limits marriage to a man and a woman. Amendment One also limits the benefits of any unions to legal male-female marriages including health benefits and police protection for domestic violence.

    1. psychoanalystus

      I didn’t realize the Taliban won in the last North Carolina elections. But now I know.

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