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Links 8/17/12

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I’m still way off a normal sleep cycle, but I need to turn in, hence fewer than usual posts.

First Practical Maser (Microwave Laser) Is Built Scientific American (Lambert)

Google autocomplete reveals fattest, most racist and most boring U.S. states Daily Mail (Chuck L)

Will Nothing Slay the Ethanol Dragon? Reason (furzy mouse)

For Assange in Asylum, a Genteel Prison New York Times

Chinese non-performing loans start rising MacroBusiness

Pettis on Debt, Currency Wars, Commodity Prices and Capital Flight; China FDI Contracts 8.7% YoY, 8th Drop in 9 Months Michael Shedlock

Banks hand workers’ details to US South China Morning Press (Lambert)

India’s Maruti to restart riot-hit plant on Aug. 21 Reuters

Desperation in Spain: One Mayor’s Hunger Strike against Austerity Der Spiegel

A Waiting Game Golem XIV

More pharmacies decide to join boycott over EOPYY debt ekathimerini

Versus….Report Reveals Details of Insurer’s Sex Party Der Spiegel

Location, location, location Economist (furzy mouse). Global real estate with an interactive chart comparing prices since 1975.

July marked worst month for Army suicides Washington Post

Longer time to find new job, less pay for moms laid off during recession PhysOrg. Quelle surprise!

Uncertain uncertainty effects and the fiscal cliff FT Alphaville

Romney Says He Paid at Least 13% in Income Taxes New York Times. So my guess is he didn’t initially report his Swiss bank account prior to the years he released and had to refile

Realty Q&A: When your mortgage servicer changes MarketWatch

Insight: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac clamping down on banks Reuters (furzy mouse)

House bubble myopia: NY Fed edition MacroBusiness

On Prices, Narratives, and Market Efficiency Rajiv Sethi

Families of bomb victims sue StanChart Financial Times

* * *

lambert here:

D – 23 and counting*

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.” –Michel de Montaigne

Montreal. Carré rouge: “They have already taken down two education ministers, and seem likely to be able to claim credit for taking down a premier, and perhaps even his entire government. As the strike winds down students have much to feel proud about, not least their ability to mobilize global sentiment around the now universally relevant issue of austerity and neo-liberalism.” … Legacy parties: “[PQ leader] Pauline Marois’– refusal to take part in a leaders’ debate in English [is] a reminder to our beloved Anglos that French is the only official language here and if they want to understand what’s going on all they have to do is to learn the language. And if they don’t like it, we’ll close McGill and English hospitals. Stop your whining, pampered minority.”

Occupy. Noam Chomksy: “What do you think has Occupy achieved so far? “It achieved a lot, in two aspects. [1] It very significantly affected public sensibility and public discourse. The imagery of the one percent versus the 99 percent, that’s now standard discourse. And that’s not insignificant. [2] The Occupy movement spontaneously created communities of mutual support, mutual aid. The common kitchen, the libraries. These are maybe even more important.” … Occupy Charlotte: “The new ordinance defined camping on city property as a nuisance, and forbid tents and living accommodations being used for sleeping. ‘Camping’ was defined as sleeping or making preparations to sleep, or storing belongings. But after the ordinance passed, Occupy members had removed bedding from many of the tents. Police officers testified that they didn’t observe any bedding in the tent. They did say they saw art supplies, which prosecutors argued constituted storing personal belongings in the tent. But [Occupier] Brooks said the art supplies were donated and communally held.” And therefore not “personal belongings.” Interesting point.

CA. Corruption: “CA parks officials apparently used obscure payroll codes intended for wildfires and disasters such as Hurricane Katrina to turn vacation time into overtime pay for managers.” … Oakland: “[B]ecause for 2 years leading up to the Occupy Movement, folks from various ethnic backgrounds, and political persuasions and stripes found ways to work together and at the very least co-exist, as everyone pushed hard to get justice for Oscar Grant.” Takedown of horrible Times piece.

DC. Paging George Tiller: “[Family Research Council President Tony Perkins] I’m not saying that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for the shooting — Mr. Corkins is responsible for the shooting – they are responsible for creating an environment that led to yesterday’s shooting.”

FL. Lisa Epstein: “The final results show that Epstein garnered 27,001 votes, but ended up falling to incumbent Sharon Bock, 76%-24%.” … Lisa Epstein: “Epstein, 46, helped bring foreclosures to a halt in the fall of 2010 as a researcher and blogger uncovering so-called [??] ‘robo-signed’ documents.” … Teebee: “Three men in dark business suits fall to their hands and knees, grunting as they elbow pigs away from a filthy trough and literally sling mud in a frenzied, funny television spot [here] that a tea party-backed newcomer [Ted Yoho] used in the biggest political upset of this week’s FL primaries.”

GA. Public good: “Earlier this week, State School Superintendent John Barge came out against a proposed constitutional amendment for charter schools. If approved, the amendment would allow for the creation of a state body to approve charter schools over the objection of local school districts.”

MI. Ballot access fraud: “A review of the nominating petitions turned in for [disgraced U.S. Rep. Thaddeus] McCotter’s elections from 2002 through 2012 shows he did not have enough signatures to qualify to run in at least the 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections.”

LA. Corruption: “[Kenner businessman Bill] Mack pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, admitting he gave [Parish President Aaron] Broussard $66,000 over a four-year period in exchange for Broussard’s help in sending parish contracts to Mack’s telecommunications company. In return, Mack’s company received contracts collectively worth $40,000 from Jefferson Parish.”

NY. Negotiable affection: “[Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan] said that would keep a tight leash on prosecutors [on the Anna Gristina case], prohibiting them from introducing evidence about any bawdy acts and vowing to keep the trial focused on a single charge of promoting prostitution.” Translation: No black book. … Corruption: “[State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli] says Apple had an unfair advantage in the bidding process for the [Grand Central store] space thanks to help from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. According an audit by DiNapoli, the MTA worked with Apple for a year before issuing an RFP for the bidding on the space.”

OR. Great headlines of our time: “Hanna wants to put visit to topless bar behind him.” (Pay attention, Tampa conventioneers!)

PA. Public good: “The city council was alerted to [Angela] Prattis’s free lunches and ruled that if she continues to give away food next summer, she will need a variance or be fined $600 a day. The council says she needs a variance because she’s giving away meals in a residential area, which is a zoning violation. However, if Prattis gets a variance to distribute the food, the administrative fees would cost up to $1,000.” … Fracking: “A group of residents of Dimock PA have agreed to a settlement with Cabot Oil & Gas related to polluted water supplies blamed on nearby Marcellus Shale drilling operations. Terms of the deal were sparse because residents and the company were bound to a clause that prevents them from discussing details. My conversations reflected a group of plaintiffs who were conflicted, battle weary, and resigned to accept the deal on their attorney’s advice. The new offer did not include systems to restore their well water, which was a point of regret for some of them.”

TX. Pipelines: “[Tar Sands Blockade], a coalition of Texas landowners and activists will attempt to physically halt [Keystone XL's] construction. Led by veteran climate justice organizers, participants ranging from environmentalists to Tea Partiers are preparing to lock arms for a sustained nonviolent civil disobedience campaign, beginning perhaps as early as this week.” I’ve seen the same environmentalist/Tea Partier alliance here in ME on East-West Corridor issues. … Public good: “[Carthage High School] Bulldog Stadium will have the largest Jumbotron screen of any high school in TX.” Cost: $750,000. Size: a small house. … Public good: “in its 2011 session, the Texas Legislature cut the state’s family planning program by two-thirds. Lawmakers were quite clear about their motivation: They hoped to drive abortion providers out of business. In fact, of the more than 60 clinics that have closed across Texas, only 12 were run by Planned Parenthood. Dozens of other clinics unconnected to Planned Parenthood nonetheless lost state funds and have closed. The number of organizations that help poor women plan pregnancy has shrunk by almost half. The defunct providers cluster primarily in remote areas, where communities are too poor to share costs with clinics.”

VA. UVa: “In the background [at the BOV retreat] was the summer’s crisis when President Teresa A. Sullivan was ousted, then reinstated amid a public uproar. But the topic wasn’t directly addressed.” And we still don’t know the story. … UVa: “[President Kathleen] Sullivan said [at the BoV retreat] that, at some point, the university will have to find a way to concretely show the benefits of its immersive, residential experience over other models of education. “I believe all those [benefits] are true, but as a social scientist I have to tell you, I haven’t seen it quantified.” Exactly what the VCs say. … Constitution Party: “[Virgil] Goode is pulling fully 9% of VA’s vote, according to a mid-July Public Policy Polling survey, leaving Obama ahead of Romney 49% to 35%.”… Money: “[Virginian Public Access Project] has taken Open Secrets’s data and made it simple to search for VA-specific information.”

WA. Ballot access: “On August 15, the WA state Libertarian Party filed a lawsuitarguing that the SoS is illegally treating the R Party as a qualified party.”

WI. Corruption: “A secret ["John Doe"] probe into those around Gov. Scott Walker has continued after the June 5 recall election and expanded beyond Milwaukee County and into state government, new records show.” … The left: “A little-noticed liberal group made a big impact in Tuesday’s D legislative primaries in Milwaukee, ousting two longtime incumbents with attacks on their left and likely ensuring that no strongly anti-abortion Democrats will remain in the Legislature when it returns next year.”

Outside baseball. Class warfare: “[W]hen both are taken into account, income is a far stronger determinant of influence over policy outcomes than is education .” Media critique: “Since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double-digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news.” … Media critique: “First reader to prove to me that WSJ is genuinely interested in Bill Clinton’s thoughts on [Medicare] vouchers [q.v.] gets a complete set of Whitewater: From the Editorial Pages of the Wall Street Journal Vols. 1-5.” … Privatization: “Spoiler alert: The charters do not enroll the same students; do not on average have higher scores than nearby district schools; and typically spend more money than district schools.” … Fracking: “The Obama administration issued proposed rules in May that would require reporting on fracking chemicals, but only after drilling is complete.” … Fracking: “[T]he amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years. Government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.” … Water: “While the USDA predicts a 3 to 5 percent increase on everything from cereal to steak, some economists believe [drought-related] price hikes will come closer to 10 percent.”

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Media critique: “Both candidates ‘are using their direct messaging mainly as a way to push their message out’ rather than interact. Rarely did either candidate reply to, comment or ‘retweet’ something from a citizen or anyone else outside the campaign.” … Blowback, Ezra Klein: “Paul Ryan being named to the R ticket [is] all part of Barack Obama’s campaign plan — a plan that’s working better than his strategists could have hoped. It could also backfire more disastrously than they have ever imagined. [I]f Obama loses, Rs will have won the presidency with a mandate to enact a deeply conservative agenda.” Feh. IBGYBG. Silly Ezra believes the legacy parties are responsive to the electorate.

RNCon. WWF-ness: “Convention speakers [include] former D Rep. Artur Davis, a co-chairman of President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.” … Police state: “After the 2008 RNC in St. Paul, Minn., many residents said they were surprised their city looked like a ‘police state.’” But now they wouldn’t be! … Camping: “Protesters who have set up a camp dubbed ‘Romneyville’ in a restricted area near the site where the Republican National Convention will be held later this month in Tampa can stop worrying about being evicted.”

The trail. Point-shaving scandal: “I don’t really get the sense that Ds are taking these assaults on voting seriously; if they did, they would have gotten off their rears after the 2000 election and demanded some uniform standards and real changes, like voting on the weekends instead of on a Tuesday, or same-day voter registration, or universal voter registration, or paper ballots.” …. Lesser evilism: “A D friend of mine heard me say some true but unpleasant things about the ACA.She said she agreed, but that we should be careful NOT to report any of those things until after November 6, because it would give ammunition to the other side. Think hard.If you have to lie to others or yourself to support a party, there’s a problem.” …. Unlikely voters: “Two-thirds of the unlikely voters say they voted four years ago, backing Obama by more than 2-1″ (USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll). … Registration drive: “‘We have largely preserved the huge gains we built in 2007 and 2008 and increased our advantage in some areas, while Rs have failed to make significant gains despite having the primary to themselves this year,’ [Obama] campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said.” … Oppo, in real time: “Teams of transcribers and researchers on the Romney and Obama teams — for the actual campaigns and the SuperPACs supporting them — live for a verbal slip, an awkward phrase, a sentence that can be parsed, facts that can be distorted or tortured.”

Romney. Budget: “‘I’m not sure of that [when the Romney budget would balance] myself, actually,’ [Ed Gillespie] told CNN. ‘I’m sure it’s on our website.’” Ouch. … Bain: [Bain's] fundamental flaw, at least according to the math, is that they took lots of risk, use immense leverage, and charged enormous fees, for performance that was more or less the same as indexing.”Ouch. … Ryan: “After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.” Ouch. … Ryan: “While being vetted by Romney’s campaign, Ryan amended two years of his financial disclosure statements to add an income-producing trust worth between $1 million and $5 million that he previously neglected to report.” Ouch. … Union busting: “Bain’s management team at Key recognised that a union would be a problem – particularly because Bain was ready to sell Key. There followed an unlawful attempt by Mr Andrews and Key management, in the words of District Court judge Roger Foley, “to stamp out any cockpit crew members’ union before it could come into being.” Ouch.

Obama. Michelle: “My father worked at the city water plant his entire life; that was pretty much the only job he had.” Also a Daley precinct captain. Is handling the walking around money a job? … Ticked off small businesspeople: “Obama’s State Fair visit on Monday night took him to the Bud Tent which is operated by a Republican, too. The beer vendor has complained that he lost $25,000 because his venue had been in a zone cordoned off by the Secret Service for the president’s visit, preventing new customers from getting in to buy beer.” This keeps happening. …. Tinpot tyrants: “Aides tried to edit media pool reports [!!] for any potential landmines even hovered at close range to eavesdrop on journalists’ conversations with attendees at Biden rallies” (compare). …. Snark watch: “TAPPER: The president the other day made three allusions to Mitt Romney putting his dog on his roof. Is that part of this ‘important policy debate’?” Romney a Pink Floyd fan?

* 23 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with tomatoes and mozzarella for everybody on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 23 is a number sacred to Eris, goddess of discord.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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81 comments

  1. M.InTheCity

    Re: NYT on Julian Assange – uh, they fail to mention (unlike the BBC of all places) that Mr. Assange has offered to be interviewd by the Swedish Prosecutor multiple times; including during his time at the Ecuadorian Embassy. There has never been a need for Mr. Assange to go to Sweden.

    Mind you I’m not discussing the accusations. I just find it odd that the prosecutor wouldn’t discuss this with Mr. Assange and was very insistant on having him come back to Sweden.

    1. Joe

      I think it’s odd that Sweden and Australia don’t just get together like the mature parliamentary democracies they’re supposed to be and create a memorandum to the effect that Assange won’t be onward-extradited to the US from Sweden. Another country may be willing to go down that path– seems as though, Ecuador has actually preemted any unopened US grand jury case– but it doesn’t have to be Sweden. It seems to me that the sexual allegations and the Wikipedia stuff can cleanly be separated, with the added benefit that the reputations of Sweden and Australia don’t have to suffer. I can’t really understand why something similar to this isn’t being done.

    2. Benedict@Large

      In foreign policy, nothing is ever as it seems. Consider …

      If the Brits were to “invade” the Ecuadorian embassey, every country that had unwanted MI6 agents would have a field day expelling them. It would be decades to rebuild British intelligence. Assange is not worth it. Yhe Brits know this, and so the threat is idle. So why make it?

      Assange asks Ecuador for asylum, claiming political persecution. Assange has a sort of/kind of evidence for this, which is generally not sufficient to be granted asylum. Proof is needed. The proof auddenly appears in the form of the Brit’s threats, which is CLEARLY political. Ecuador now has its proof, and moreover, to save face, they now MUST grant asylum. In other words, the Brits WANTED to dump Assange on someone, and Ecuador just happened to pop up.

      One more thing however. The Brits wouldn’t do this if it was going to piss the Swedes off. Which means they asked, and the Swedes said, HELL, YEAH, get rid of the boy!

      Neither the Brits nor the Swedes want anything to do with this anymore. The US got its little toe pee’d on, the two of them got caught up in the mess, and now they just want out of it. So it’s Bye-Bye, Senor Assange for them.

      1. Joe

        That’s a very interesting theory you have there Benedict.

        So, what does Assange want? And what does the US want? And what’s possible?

        What happens if Assange holds a presser in front of the Ecuadorian embassy on Sunday? Do the English tackle him to the ground and drag him off to Sweden? That would really put the torch to the belly of Swedish realpolitik, would it not?

        I also don’t think the Australian government, as much as it may want to, would be able to stand by, while one of it’s citizens is put through the Brad Manning treatment. David Hicks, much more of a terrorist than Assange, was arguably a not insignificant reason for political opinion turning against John Howard.

        Or does Assange bunker down in the Embassy. He can no doubt type ok, mind you, you may not want him around your secret documents…

        Is anyone looking good after this little scrap? Maybe New Zealand due to their stance on Kim Dotcom, except he’s arguably more criminal than Assange.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          THE FRAME: International Law: Ecuador’s DUTY, according to International Law, to provide asylum to the International Dissident Julian Assange, and the UK’s DUTY to abide by International Law.

          It has been suggested: that Mr. Assange become a citizen of Ecuador from within the Embassy (and that then he be made a diplomat of Ecuador, but that is another issue). If this act takes place, the new citizenship of Mr. Assange might be framed definitively as the most significant–and startling– International Human Rights Issue of C.21, especially for ECUADOR.

          Why? Because it is the first time in modern memory when a “Third World” country formerly oppressed by the Anglo-American Empire has been CALLED to provide ASYLUM to a “First World” Dissident sought by that Empire, and has ACCEPTED THE CALL with courage, and definitive resolve, if not “defiance.” ECUADOR has acted with DEFINITIVE RESOLVE: 1) to PROTECT an International Dissident to Anglo-American Imperil Policy and Abuse of Law, and 2) to PRESERVE the recognition Human Rights according to International Law, and to 3) ENFORCE ECUADOR’s sovereign right to ACT lawfully in this manner, within one of the “two stomachs” of the Beast of Anglo-American Empire: the Golden Idol of the RENTIER RELIGION of “Extraction Capitalism.”

          Human Rights Watch should put this case on their front burner, as should Christopher Stone, champion of Justice and new President of the Open Society Institute of New York, together with his people of the OSF Justice Initiative.

          The TRUTH in REALITY, which “everyone knows,” must be made CLEAR: IT IS the Anglo-American Empire, whose OVERT MILITARY “SECURITY” FORCE continues to be increased by President Barack Obama and Co.–by ad hoc “creation of the Law” (NDAA, etc.) by the establishment of the means to enforce such specious “Law”–which COVETS the bodily presence of Mr. Assange, in order to DO HIM HARM. How do we know this:

          Given the NDAA and other such “Laws” endowing the Unitary Executive Power of the Anglo-American Empire (by any name) to RULE THE WORLD BY THREAT OF SUMMARY EXECUTION of CAPTIVITY, TORTURE, AND/OR DEATH to anyone at all, there can be NO DOUBT that the ISSUE of the HUMAN RIGHTS of JULIAN ASSANGE, within this FRAME of MORTAL THREAT of the Unitary Executive Power expressed overtly by Unitary Executive “Law” in the U.S., TAKES PRECEDENCE over Sweden’s claim to Mr. Assange, over the “rape” charges.

          The Unitary Executive Power of the Anglo-American Empire has made their Imperial “Law” in the U.S. CLEAR: To wit, anyone, including U.S. citizens at large anywhere in the world, is subject to be arrested and incarcerated, tortured, and/or murdered without trial, at Guantanamo or at any (covert) place of CIA “extradition;” or fatally droned while on foot or within his/her shelter; without expressed cause, without counsel, and without recourse.

          THIS is the PREEMINENT INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE of the day: the RISK to LIFE, LIMB, and MIND of Mr. Assange from the said Anglo-American Empire, BECAUSE he ACTED as a political DISSIDENT: who “blew the whistle” on the crimes and expressed intention to commit crimes, and on the otherwise “embarrassing/compromising” communications of the “Empire” and its “Allies” mentioned above, through the WkiLeaks revelation of Anglo-American Imperial communications, over many decades of foul play.

          For this ACT, the Unitary Executive Power of the Empire seeks REVENGE, of this there can be no doubt, given the FRAME of reference above.

          Hence, it is he BOUNDEN DUTY of ECUADOR to answer the CALL of Mr. Assange, and of International Justice, to PROVIDE ASYLUM to Mr. Assange within its sovereign state Embassy in London. Further, it is the BOUNDED DUTY of the UK to permit ECUADOR to evacuate Mr. Assange from the UK without arrest, without interference, and certainly without harm.

          OTHERWISE, the UNITED KINGDOM is a de facto ROGUE STATE, within the FRAME of Internatiol Justice, GUILTY of a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY, acting in DEFIANCE of INTERNATIONAL LAW.

          APART from this FRAME, is the FRAME of the TYRNNY of Agents of the RENTIER RELIGION and its .01%DNA “High Priest” Idolators of its Golden Bull. Is it possible that Standard Chartered Bank did not receive the stiffest penalty possible from Benjamin Lawsky, because the Unitary Executive Power in the U.S. cut a “deal” with the City of London? Is JULIAN ASSANGE a HOSTAGE to the “right” of SCB to practice its purpose from the heart of New York City?

          WHO will get to the bottom of “la politique de Richelieu” in London? WHO will insist upon Mr. Assange’s safe passage to Ecuador, and who will provide his safe passage without fail?

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            The interview this morning via Democracy Now with the “London lawyer” of Julian Assange (www.democracynow.org) reveals how tense the situation is, which is likely to lead to a “long standoff” per Attorney Robinson. So, Questions:

            Does Mr. Assange have a “food taster?” Are “attendants” and “visitors” checked for radioactive poisons and “stealth poisons” (recall the Church committee’s inspection of the CIA gun that fired poisoned ice darts decades ago)?

            ECUADOR and the OAS ought to have a field day protecting Assange from the possible dastardly deeds of the Empire, especially those with “plausible deniability.” “ECUADOR FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE’–David v. Goliath.

          2. Susan the other

            Thanks Leonova, that was a good analysis. I agree Polonium is a sensible solution for the humiliated UK-US. Since leaks are their strategic weapons, they certainly can’t abide an independent leaker. But for all we know, he is not independent and the info he released was targeted, in fact it could have been planned. In any event, asylum is the only recourse for Assange now, unless he thinks he can survive a show trial. I really do not want to believe that this country, what’s left of it, would execute Assange, a civilian citizen of another country, for speaking truth to power. But I think they would do just that to save face – or pretend to save face. Whichever served their purpose better. I also liked your question about the obvious contradiction of the treatment of various disloyalties, i.e. SCB and Iran, etc. One thing that makes me uneasy is that it was Bolivia, albeit an earlier government of lunatics, who trapped and killed Che. And Equador is not as lefty these days as Bolivia. Not that that even matters. I worry for Assange because he has become a total pawn.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            You’re right. It is a preeminent human rights issue.

            It’s just the wrong case. If this case is actually controlled by the bad guys, then it spells trouble for this legal principle. Hell, I don’t need a magick mirror to tell me what the future holds in regard to these legal ‘niceties,’ I think is how the last administration put it. Oh no, it was the ‘quaint’ laws they didn’t want to follow, that’s it.

            Anyway, they are shocking and awing us and setting legal precedents. They love setting precedents with Democrats. Obama started out immediately expanding the justifications for the global war on the world. Obama has started at least two large scale wars in Syria and Libya too.

          4. Glenn Condell

            ‘it is the first time in modern memory when a “Third World” country formerly oppressed by the Anglo-American Empire has been CALLED to provide ASYLUM to a “First World” Dissident sought by that Empire’

            Very concise, a nutshell. A marker proving the world has turned.

            ‘I also don’t think the Australian government, as much as it may want to, would be able to stand by, while one of it’s citizens is put through the Brad Manning treatment.’

            I’m not so sanguine about that. They would wait for the outcry before any backtrack and I am not sure that outcry would be much more than a whimper in our famously free Murdoch-dominated press and it’s like-minded broadcast penumbra.

        2. Joe

          An article from the smh based on newly released consular documents titled: “US intends to chase Assange, cables show”, indicating that Australian politicians have been lying to the Australian public about the US’s intentions to charge and try Assange. So Assange was right. As usual, by the looks of things. [ http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-intends-to-chase-assange-cables-show-20120817-24e1l.html ]

          Very disappointing from an Australian perspective. Our politicians are a bunch of lying traitors. At least it’s starting to become clear who the enemy is.

          It might be time to kick all the mining finance to someone other than JPM. What are US financial criminals doing financing Australia’s mineral business for Asia anyway? And the US are going to put a base in WA. Can’t believe anyone on Aus thinks this is a good idea. I’d prefer Pine Gap to be bombed to the ground than have a US military base on my home soil.

          After screwing over South and Central America it’s time for the US to start on the Pacific and Australasia, perhaps? Friends like these, huh?

          Australian politicians _are_ acting like the “new white trash of Asia.”

        3. Joe

          The US administration has to be kidding when it seeks to blame Assange for the poor security systems the designed for their foreign affairs systems, doesn’t it?

          And then to come out and try to blame Assange for revealing the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians by US armed forces. This has to be a bad joke, right?

          And then to put political pressure on the likes of GB, Australia and Sweden? What is wrong with these people? Are there no sane people left in leadership positions in the US?

          I cannot believe the next US election is between Romney and Obama! The most powerful nation on the planet and the choice is between these two lightweights…

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Where did Assange reveal the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians by US armed forces?

            Are you referring to the footage of the helicopter gunships that opened fire on Iraqi civilians?

            Cause I remember the military saying there was nothing unlawful about it. I don’t remember anyone in either party complaining about any of the underlying facts.

            Are you referring to the footage of people having fun as they run over dead bodies or shoot people from the air?

            Cause that didn’t violate any rules.

            Are you referring to the fact the Americans don’t care for wounded children?

            Are you referring to the fact the video imply rules of engagement that allow them to shoot at pretty much anything?

            All within the rules.

            Do we even know what the rules of engagement were?

            Wikileaks never even revealed that.

            At most they showed us the rules of engagement allow them to shoot journalists around a suspected van and that they pretty much kill everything around a target and don’t help anyone they kill either accidentally or not.

            Some people found that to be horrible but we never found out what the full rules were and we never heard of the many other instances of wrongful killings. There was never anything significant to come from Wikileaks revelations. Wikileaks has only showed us a very small fraction of incidents, afaik.

      2. be vewy qwiet

        Crucial point, that the UK’s threat, tied asit is to US pressure, clinches the case for asylum. Reinforces Ray McGovern’s point: how did Assange get his ankle bracelet off, sneak past his watchers and get to the embassy? Did he disguise himself in funny-nose glasses?

      3. Walter Wit Man

        Good point. The threat certainly helped Assange’s legal case.

        I too suspect that Ecuador was chosen as a target and that the asylum claim was supported by the U.K. and the West. Hell, I suspect Assange is working with the West so I don’t think they chose Ecuador on a whim. I’ve seen people speculate other South American countries are next on Obama’s hit list, after the Middle East wars. Like Venezuela. Bush attempted a coup there recently and Obama supported the Honduran coup, most likely.

        The only question is whether Ecuador suspects that Assange is a mole and the asylum claim serves ulterior purposes.

    1. Jim Haygood

      A bit of unintentional irony from Wikipedia:

      In present day South Africa, 21 March is celebrated as a public holiday to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre [in 1960] and to celebrate South Africa’s democratic government enforcing equal human rights.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpeville_massacre

      The Sharpeville atrocity could be blamed on apartheid, pass laws, Verwoerd and the Nat party.

      This time round is more problematical, with the ANC ruling …

      1. Doug Terpstra

        In “The Shock Doctrine”, chpt 10, “Democracy Born in Chains”, Naomi Klein describes at length how Mandela was captured and the ANC extorted, corrupted and co-opted by the Washington Consensus. A story depressingly familiar to the rape of Russia.

        Since the ANC’s election sweep in 1994, “something happened to convince the party hierarchy that is could not use its grassroots prestige to reclaim and redistribute the country’s stolen wealth. So rather than meeting in the middle between California and the Congo, the ANC adopted policies that exploded both inequality and crime to such a degree that South Africa’s divide is now closer to Beverly Hills and Baghdad. . . Politically, its people have the right to vote . . . yet economically, South Africa has surpassed Brazil as the most unequal society in the world.”

        (2007) “. . . since 1990, the year Mandela left prison, the average life expectancy for South Africans has dropped by thirteen years.”

        Mandela’s right hand, Thabo Mbeki, studied in England, “breathing the fumes of Thatcherism”. “Mbeki convinced Mandela that what was needed was a definitive break with the past. The ANC needed a completely new economic plan — something bold, something shocking, something that would communicate in the broad, dramatic strokes the market understood, that the ANC was ready to embrace the Washington consensus. . . The economist Stephen Gelb, who took part in drafting the new program, admitted that ‘this was “reform from above” with a vengeance . . .”

        On the increased privatization of mining, “. . . not only did the ANC reneg on Mandela’s original pledge of ‘the nationalization of the mines, banks and monopoly industry’ but because of the debt, it was doing the opposite — selling off national assets to make good on the debts of its oppressors.”

    2. Klassy!

      “Police commissioner Riah Phiyega said officers had only fired when the machete wielding protesters surged through their lines of defense, past officers firing rubber bullets and stun grenades.

      “This is no time for finger pointing,” Ms. Phiyega said in a news conference. “It is a time for us to mourn the sad and black moment we experienced as a country.”

      Look forward.

      1. skippy

        A better angle…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxpArGI83fY

        This was in my book, an L shaped ambush, they were channeled into the killing zone by the vehicles and non lethal armaments. An empty clip event, non judicial punishment.

        Skippy… this was done in full view of family, co workers and friends on a adjoining hill side.

  2. Mackey Chandler

    Ethanol doesn’t make any sense? It makes perfect sense as a food weapon. Once the people of third world nations are hungry and angry you can bring their governments to heel with aid or overthrow them much easier. The current drought probably had the mechanics of this doing a happy dance. If they piled the corn in the open and burned it, which was what was done with farm products in the Great Depression, there would be a great outcry. But these bright boys found a way for us to pay them to burn it, even if it gives us crap mileage and corrodes our fuel systems.

    1. rob

      don’t blame ethanol.blame the agriconglomerates who pushed for using corn to make it.and even that is a ruse…
      really,most corn is used as a feed stock.as a food stock,corn isn’t the best thing to feed cattle and other animals who have evolved grazing on grains.The starch in the corn,gives them gas.(this leads to methane eruptions of a potent greenhouse gas)Now,if you remove that starch(soak it and let it steep)you are left with a class a feed. AND you have the starch,which is what you need to make ethanol….this could be done locally in an elegant way. letting farmers farm corn, ethanol producers get to make ethanol, and farmers get to use the feed stock.. that is supplying two industries with the same harvested corn…the problem with this seems to be that for the agriconglomerates to sell the feed/destarched corn,they need to dry it.. this takes a lot of energy,making the equation not so profitable… where as if there were suppliers in all the localities, they could keep it wet and use it immediately…the idea doesn’t fit the corporate model, so to the world it doesn’;t exist…but it could

      1. Paul Tioxon

        #11 : THOU SHALT NOT IMMANENTIZE THE ESCHATON WITHOUT PRIOR, WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION FROM THE OLD MAN IN THE MOUNTAIN.

        Oh yea, I almost forgot. The swann has come to the lake.

    1. tom allen

      “In conception, Mom and Dad each contribute 23 chromosomes to the fœtus. DNA, the carrier of the genetic information, has bonding irregularities every 23rd Angstrom. Aleister Crowley, in his Cabalistic Dictionary, defines 23 as the number of “life” or “a thread”, hauntingly suggestive of the DNA life-script. On the other hand, 23 has many links with termination: in telegraphers’ code, 23 means “bust” or “break the line”, and Hexagram 23 in I Ching means “breaking apart”. Sidney Carton is the 23rd man guillotined in the old stage productions of A Tale of Two Cities. (A few lexicographers believe this is the origin of the mysterious slang expression “23 Skiddoo!”.)” — Robert Anton Wilson, “The 23 Phenomenon”

      http://www.forteantimes.com/features/commentary/396/the_23_phenomenon.html

  3. Jackrabbit

    After Obama ‘got’ Osama, Yves asked if that would make him a shoo-in for re-election.

    So I couldn’t help but to notice this:

    Former Navy SEAL Team Six Commander Says Special Ops Assault on Obama Is Just Beginning

    Quelle Surpise?

    1. cwaltz

      Not really…..first, I would be willing to bet money his formerness works in a defense industry related field. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that they don’t want the money taken away from defense and their best hope of that is to defeat Obama and elect the guys promising to spend more on blowing up the world despite deficits.

      1. cwaltz

        Oh, I take it back upon further review Mr Zinke is being ironic and playing politics(pot meet kettle). He is presently a Republican Senator in the state of Montana.

        Mr. Zinke has likened himself as an advocate for those serving. I’d be more inclined to offer that he is a coduit for those that are opposed to losing money and not having th funding to blow up the world 300 times over. And I say that as someone whose husband served with Teams 1 and 3 as a a communicator(he was an ET.)

  4. Paul Tioxon

    Mitt Romney’s tax scandal. Since Mitt is part of the larger set of American business and foreign entities, by virtue of his off shore tax shelter, that pay ZERO US FEDERAL INCOME TAX, should come as a small wonder.

    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08957.pdf

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-4342535.html

    “Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.

    The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

    Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO’s estimate.

    “It’s shameful that so many corporations make big profits and pay nothing to support our country,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who asked for the GAO study with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

    An outside tax expert, Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, said increasing numbers of limited liability corporations and so-called “S” corporations pay taxes under individual tax codes.

    “Half of all business income in the United States now ends up going through the individual tax code,” Edwards said.

    The GAO study did not investigate why corporations weren’t paying federal income taxes or corporate taxes and it did not identify any corporations by name. It said companies may escape paying such taxes due to operating losses or because of tax credits.

    More than 38,000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1.2 million U.S. companies paid no income tax, the GAO said. Combined, the companies had $2.5 trillion in sales. About 25 percent of the U.S. corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations, meaning they had at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in receipts.”

    MITT ROMNEY IS A SYMPTOM OF A LARGER SCALE POLITICAL DOMINANCE THAT WILL BE ALL THE MORE EXPLICIT AND COMPLETE WITH AN INVESTMENT BANKER IN FORMAL CONTROL OF THE MECHANISM OF THE STATE. Just as the British Crown consolidated all power in the monarchy by internalizing the power of the church by appropriating all of the lands and wealth of the Roman Catholic Church and declaring the King, the head of the church and making the Church of England, the established religion of the state, so does capitalism reach its pinnacle by collapsing the nation state and market into a co-extensive unitary system of government by money. It has been, and still is known as capitalism.

    Our social relations are mediated by currency and those with the most currency and control of its circulation have all the political power they need to control everything else. The state as the power to diminish the quantity of wealth has to be controlled in its ability to tax. The mechanism of the state in its taxing authority is the countervailing force to profits. By controlling taxes and profits, a sound and complete capitalism has perfected its position. And Mitt Romney is the abstract concept of profits made flesh. Of course he has only one last place to go in order to make more money, and that is the White House, where he can cut even more taxes and give himself, and the larger set of the wealthy he is a part of, one last raise. The contribution of the divine right job CREATORS will not be taxes, but jobs which provide the rest of us with paychecks.

    1. Susan the other

      “Mitt Romney is the abstract concept of profits made flesh.” Indeed. And for him, Refalca is just so much future dog food. And the Romney-Ryan conjunction? Well we just learned from Rachel Maddow that Elliot Associates’ Elliot Management is a big time contributor to Ryan’s little personal empire. The same Elliot Mgmt mentioned above in GolemXIV as huge and extreme vulture fund “capitalists” just waiting for the Euro firesale. Hard to believe that Romney isn’t a close cousin to Elliot. Whereas the banksters are hoarding their money to accumulate a big enough stash to play derivatives and make a killing on shear volume, the vultures are hoarding their offshore money to make a firesale killing on the hapless misery of corporations. Great Men all, such movers and shakers….

  5. Dikaios Logos

    Yves,
    I’m not sure if I understand your comment about Romney’s Swiss bank account to mean that it is the only questionable thing in his taxes or the only embarrassing element in his taxes or something else.

    The statement “I always paid at least 13% in taxes.” is vague enough to be a Bill Clinton-style evasion, or at least something a deeply cynical criminal defense attorney would advise saying. The lack of specificity on paying of 13% of what and to whom smells foul. My guess is that to the extent the statement is truthful, it might reflect that ALL of his taxes (property, sales, gas, payroll, etc.) were always over 13% of his AGI and of course AGI is very squishy in the right hands.

    Big-time private equity guys are the most skilled operators in grabbing cash flows from others, constantly, and I do mean constantly, looking to gain any advantage. While the other stuff in the return may be legally defensible, exposing to the general public how these guys really run their financial affairs and become wealthy would almost certainly be a serious disaster. His returns are likely a mosaic of embarrassing revelations, not just one.

    1. Susan the other

      If Romney is so willing to give 10% of his income to charity why is he so against paying his taxes. Is his assumption that churches do a better job of attending to the needs of society than governments? Then one of the things that is missing in all of our tax accounting is a paper trail required of all churches and “charities” showing just how they accomplish this and proving they are not skimming and spending the money on new churches – a veritable and pious ponzi.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Surely there’s a difference between voluntary charitable giving (taxed or not) and the much-less-voluntary payment of taxes.

        Few would oppose taxation if it were voluntary.

        1. cwaltz

          Few would pay either. Our history is case in point. The first government of the US failed because of it’s inability to levy taxes.

    2. be'emet

      exactly. 13% of what? his real income, in IRA’s, and offshore devices, privately held corporations etc, is not reported at all, not even as $Zero. He’s right, we will not learn much from his tax returns, only how clever his is with the pittance that he can be made to report.

      1. Dikaios Logos

        I find the lack of specificity and qualifiers very troubling. I made a point of watching the video and the question is asked in such a vague way that the answer can be truthful while still be deceptive.

        And I’ve noted that both New York Times and The Washington Post did Mitt the service of filling ‘to the IRS’ or ‘in Federal income taxes’. Maybe I’ve missed something, but both strike me as almost perfect example of the reluctance of those organizations to actually report aggressively about the actions of the powerful.

    3. Garrett Pace

      Here’s the Dilbert guy’s opinion on Romney’s tax returns:

      “Most observers assume Romney’s taxes are in full compliance with the law and that his tax experts found clever ways to reduce his taxes as much as possible. In other words, Romney is smart, hires good people, plays within the rules, and believes in low taxes. That’s totally consistent with his campaign message. Obama’s genius is making all of that sound like financial pedophilia. It’s a brilliant political trap.”

      http://dilbert.com/blog/entry/a_presidents_real_job/

      I don’t suppose that Romney’s returns are “illegal”, though I don’t know of course. What’s significant about the tax returns of a wealthy man is in showing how much the tax code favors the wealthy.

      That’s the lesson that should be followed here, and that’s exactly the lesson that Obama CAN’T highlight, because it would annoy his superiors.

      1. DANNYBOY

        Buying tax code laws are the best investment in America. Instead of asking is someone has broken the law, ask “Has that someone bought the law”.

        Helps understand the Financial Crisis better. As a young man on the make, I even wrote a few. Brother-in-law too. Try it. It’s easy and profitable.

  6. Stephen Gardner

    Rajiv Sethi’s article is an interesting read but I found myself frustrated by the idea that predictability was defined so narrowly. One does not have to predict that date and time of Lehman’s failure or even which firm would fail. It is enough to say that when certain economic parameters are too high or low that the danger is high. No one questions medical science when doctors can’t predict the date and time of a heart attack for a patient with sky high blood pressure and cholesterol. No one blathers ‘who could have known’. Modern economists and their corporate enablers are like patients that want to keep up the steak and lobster dinners in the face of mortal danger.

  7. Kos

    Here at Kos we believe that every vote counts. If you’re on unemployment, welfare or food stamps, if you’re working for a miserable salary or your job has been outsourced, here at Kos we believe your vote still counts. You still matter to the system. So vote Obama, vote Democrat.

    If have a masters degree in engineering but your job has been out-sourced, and you find yourself working the 3rd shift at Burger King, here at Kos we believe you should get out there and vote Obama vote Democrat and put a stop to job outsourcing.

    If your house has been foreclosed and taken away from you, here at Kos we believe you need to vote Obama vote Democrat and put a stop to illegal foreclosures.

    If you’re upset by the endless wars and the endless financial manipulations of the military-industrial-banking complex, here at Kos we’ve given this matter a lot of thought and believe we have the answer: vote Democrat vote Obama.

    If you’re concerned about NDAA or the police becoming militarized with machine guns and armored vehicles, here at Kos we believe the solution is vote Obama vote Democrat.

    Vote for Obama and the Democrats if you want to stop those evil Republicans from more government suppression, more outsourcing of jobs, more bailouts for huge corporations and if you want to stop tax-funded bonuses for Wall Street criminals.

    And if you’re concerned about a lack of courage among academics or the fact that most of them are colluding with the criminal system by misleading borrowers and students, here at Kos we believe you must stand up and be counted, have the courage to vote Obama vote Democrat.

    Let’s clean up all this corruption in academia!

    If you weren’t too happy about the staged death of Bin Laden, then vote Democrat and vote Obama to prevent this type of thing from happening again.

    If you’re unemployed or your children are unemployed, here at Kos we believe you should consider joining the armed forces and encourage your children to join the armed forces in order to kill and maim foreigners and help to generate profits for the oil companies, weapon manufacturers and banks.

    Finally, to address one of the current topics being discussed in another thread, if you’re worried about the SEC’s plan to circumvent the public comment process for issuing rules under the JOBS Act, or if you’re concerned this will only lead to more fraud, then here at Kos we believe the only way to put an end to this fraud is vote Obama vote Democrat.

    Here at Kos we take pride in our discerning intellect and our ability to analyze current events. After much careful thought and reflection, this has led us to the following critical insight which can be summarized in four words and that we would like to share with you: Democrats good, Republicans bad.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      How bad are the Republicans?

      Kos: Paul,I’m glad you asked that question. Due to your ingenious take down of not only Mitt Romney, but the entire capitalist superstructure of tax avoidance, I would like to add some more ammo. In our never ending battle of good, Democrats, against evil, Republicans, did you know that many of the the Fortune 500 top companies pay ZERO, ’0′, THAT’S RIGHT, nada, in federal income taxes? I betcha’ didn’t!!

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/04/09/1081956/-Two-dozen-Fortune-500-companies-paid-no-corporate-income-taxes-in-2011

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/06/01/how-our-largest-corporations-made-170-billion-during-great-recession-and-paid-no-taxes/

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Kos and his ilk are shills for the 1%, Brand Democrat.

      Same with Booman and Digby and Atrios and almost all the other “progressive” bloggers.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Out of curiosity I went to see what Booman was up to . . . [I wonder if any non perps still comment on his site--you have to be a pretty big loser to continue getting suckered by Booman]

        Booman is promoting a “deal” that Jim Messina has proposed between Romney and Obama.

        They want Romney to release all his tax records in exchange for Obama not mentioning it anymore, or something. Well, that’s lame.

        Let’s do the deal that Wayne Allen Root, the former Libertarian candidate for VP, proposes: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/obama%E2%80%99s-college-classmate-the-obama-scandal-is-at-columbia/

        He was Obama’s ‘classmate’ at Columbia and he wants Obama to release his academic material. Also, Obama could release his true birth certificate instead of a copy, as well as show someone his *odd* social security history.

        Good subject Booman! Let’s make a deal. These two criminals parties can slug it out over the relative complicity of their candidates.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yeah, good call there. A well deserved target.

          I never thought of myself as a guy with *grudges* but hey, the internet has ‘empowered me’ [probably tricked me] to use y’all as my counselor, so here’s my main progressive perp list:

          Booman
          Digby
          Kos
          Juan Cole
          Balloon Juice
          Kevin Drum
          Atrios

          These are the obnoxious perps (and I’m probably missing some important targets though). And I hate to admit I have fallen for [some of] their tricks at one point or another, which may explain my anger (see e.g. Booman and Digby).

          Digby, Kevin Drum and Atrios are included because they and their ilk are guilty of at least intellectual dishonesty by running interference for the Democrats. Booman and Kos are unapologetic partisans involved in deceit and spin.

          Others are less obvious perps and that’s where it gets interesting . . .

        1. Walter Wit Man

          That’s right. Atrios and Digby are much more subtle manipulators. They are more devious and therefore much more effective than the obvious hacks like Kos and Booman.

          See ‘The Great Obamacare Swindle and the Progressives Whose Bark Wasn’t Heard’ for an example. Or the progressive blogosphere from 2008 on.

          The progressive blogosphere and the hacks that led it were a huge gift to the fascist Democrat party.

          It took masterful work by people like Atrios and Digby to sucker “progressives” into voting Nazi. Look how many people are justifying one Nazi over the other. It’s obscene that “progressives” think they’re the good guys. The subtle progressive blog manipulators have had a big impact the last 5 years or so. But I sense it changing and people getting a bit wiser . . .

  8. walt

    Yves: “I’m still way off a normal sleep cycle, but I need to turn in….”

    Perhaps your “normal” is not right for you: listen to your body.

  9. Bagehot by-the-Bay

    Romney was director of union-busting small airline; Bain profited :

    “The anti-union activities in this case are not merely unfair labour practices as Key argues, but blatant, grievous, wilful, deliberate and repeated violations of the Railway Labour Act,” Roger Foley, federal judge for the District of Nevada, wrote in 1992, in a case brought by two Key pilots.

  10. Bagehot by-the-Bay

    Yves:
    Another open question is whether Romney properly reported his Swiss account to Treasury (FBAR, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, Form TD F 90-22.1). This infrequently-enforced rule has been around forever.

  11. skippy

    Now where are we going to vacation when all the luxury islands are rioting?

    Ousted Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed detained by riot police in a shop amid protests in the capital
    Bizarre footage shows former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed being led away by police from a shop in Male amid violent protests in the capital.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/maldives/9071328/Ousted-Maldives-president-Mohamed-Nasheed-detained-by-riot-police-in-a-shop-amid-protests-in-the-capital.html

    Skippy… funnily enough, family was there and stuck upon a roof for 4 hours, then a fellow footy dad is over there on a surfari… lmao… the natives are restless… eh.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Thanks for the link.

      Interesting.

      Very strategically important country. Tiny little islands in the middle of the sea.

      Methinks it must be connected to the ‘Arab Spring’ and other geopolitical intrigue going on globally.

  12. barrisj

    Ian Welsh points us to some history regarding the UK and extradition…mainly the way the British government danced around Spain’s request to extradite the murderous dictator Pinochet to face human-rights violations charges. Despite Britain’s highest court ruling that Pinochet had no immunity to prosecution, the Blair govt. eventually accepted the position that Pinochet was “too ill” to stand trial, and allowed him to return to Chile, end of story.

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/pinochet-had-opponents-raped-by-dogs-and-britain-wouldnt-extradite-him/

    1. Walter Wit Man

      They are messing with us. They are showing us there is no law but for the sheer power of the U.S. The U.S. is God. The Supreme arbiter of justice in this World. The U.S. is uniquely qualified to render judgment and use it’s force to kill people.

      Just look at the consensus Obama has ushered in. He brags about the extrajudicial murder of people. Osama bin Laden was never charged with a crime for the 9/11 attacks yet Obama brags about whacking him when he could have arrested him and tried him. Obama brags about attacking countries we have not declared war on. The whole World is the “battle field.” Obama has death squads that roam the world. He arrests people without trial or due process. There is no law the U.S. is subject to. The U.S. is committing acts of war right now in Syria. An ancient and sovereign country.

      And members of the Democrat and Republican parties have jointly decided to ignore this reality. Democrats and Republicans are literally sick in the head. How sick can you be to support a party that advocates this? I know many good people that have been fooled into beoming Nazis and it simply amazes me they have been so bamboozled.

      Murdering people without due process and you are bragging about how “tough” Obama looks compared to the meany Republicans? Really? How do you explain this to your children? Muslims are bad people and don’t deserve human rights? The president is always right and when we’re at war we just have to trust him? Extrajudicial murder is okay when Obama does it?

      1. DANNYBOY

        Walter,

        Just as you have, I’ve observed this descent into fascism. The most telling comment was from my aged aunt: “I have never seen the country in such foul state”.

        So, we know where we are.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          I have family members that switched to Democrat from Republican after Obama.

          They told me as if I was supposed to be impressed. As if this means we share some values.

          But I am not impressed. Sure, that’s great you embrace some boundaries to our fascist reality. But it’s too little too late. Plus, you’re falling for the same scam run by the same devious group of fascists. They’re just selling a different brand of poison–Democrat.

  13. angelina

    Being in favor of women’s health and reproductive rights is extremism here in Wisconsin now apparently. Why, that poli sci professor from the UW-La Crosse (known far and wide for its scholars)says so! It’s interesting how, when the Democratic Party gets its butt in gear behind its candidates, it’s a huge deal. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal:known for having its head firmly up the backside of the ALEC-sponsored WI GOP.

  14. Susan the other

    One more thing: The Reuters piece on Fanny and Freddy getting tough with the banks and forcing buybacks of defaulted mortgages that do not/did not meet FF’s standards. In my compulsive effort to tie up the loose ends I think I see a connection between this article and the recent standoff between Timmy and deMarco which was over write downs on underwater mortgages which had not yet failed. (But Timmy knows they will.) This would make FF take the loss because they are the current interest holder. FF would rather push the banks to buy back all the dreck. So Timmy is pissed enough to speed up the liquidation of FF by five years. 20% faster that previously announced. Why? According to Reuters the GSEs have been patiently allowing the banks extra time to come up with the missing documents! What a circus! My guess is that the “missing docs” are allonges, assignments, mortgages and the notes themselves which are rumored to be shredded. Because the banks are trying to stick F and F with the impossible situation of foreclosing on a property they do not own because the banks intentionally destroyed the title and the docs, probably so they could pledge (or rehypothecate as the City of London would put it – and that’s where it happened) many times over. I’m still wondering, if the banks are so insolvent, where did all that money go?

    1. safety guy

      I almost had a heart attact.

      First, she is using a chainsaw without any clothes on. Second, her hair is not pulled back, it could end up tangled in the saw.

      She did have safety glasses, which is one positive.

      Please, cut down crosses safely.

  15. RobM

    Yves or Lambert, I’m not sure who edits links

    In your opinion you believe Rmoney amended his tax returns to take into account his Swiss bank account, “Romney Says He Paid at Least 13% in Income Taxes New York Times. So my guess is he didn’t initially report his Swiss bank account prior to the years he released and had to refile
    Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/08/links-81712.html#8P4mbrvAVesBlVE0.99

    Does this mean you believe Rmoney took advantage of the 2009 amenesty plan offered by the IRS?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese non-performing loans.

    How do they correlate with non-performing comrades, non-performing Confusican scholars, non-performing parents and non-performing spouses?

  17. Hugh

    The Assange affair has from the start been a vendetta by the US government and its allies against Assange and Wikileaks.

    It’s important to remember that Assange has not been charged with anything. An arrest warrant was issued by a fill in prosecutor pursuant to an investigation into sexual misconduct. This was rescinded by the regular prosecutor on review with only lesser charges potentially under consideration. Then lo and behold the warrant was re-issued by the chief of prosecutions, and the investigation restarted as a rape investigation. This screamed political interference. And this is backed up by Sweden’s refusal to question Assange while he was in Britain. The government clearly wanted Assange physically in Sweden and under its control.

    Then there is the whole story of Britain honoring an arrest warrant and moving to extradition even though no charges had ever been filed in Sweden against Assange, which normally would be a pre-condition for such a warrant. And too, there is the fact that in Britain the accusations against Assange if the underlying events had happened there would not have amounted to very much.

    We have these ideas of Sweden being full of freeloving hippies and Britain with high-minded impartial judges. But both have shown their authoritarian stripes in this affair. Consider too how over the top it is for Britain to threaten Ecuador with violating its sovereignty and seizing Assange from the Ecuadorean embassy.

    And look at what the US has done: DOS attacks against Wikileaks, pushing it out of Amazon’s cloud, getting lapdog organizations like PayPal and Visa to not process money going to Wikileaks. This in addition to calls for Assange’s assassination by conservative pundits and politicians, or his arrest for treason (whacky when you consider he is Australian), or as a spy under the almost never used Espionage Act. While the US has been zealous in investigating cyber crimes, it tellingly did nothing about those against Wikileaks.

    Then, there is the whole episode about Assange’s lieutenant Domscheit-Berg. Domscheit-Berg sabotages Wikileaks, eventually deletes the files he has stolen “to protect the sources”, proposes a new, better Wikileaks without all that old Assange influence, Open Leaks, so actually he isn’t a rat and a turncoat, etc. Of course, Open Leaks beyond the announcement never appears. And he tops it off marrying the Director of Governmental Affairs for Microsoft Germany and rides off into the cyber sunset.

    Finally, remember this persecution by the powers that be, kleptocrats all, came about because of the release of the US government cables, which were so secret they were on a system to which hundreds of thousands of people, including some foreign governments, had access. So really everyone in the elites, both here and abroad, who wanted to knew about this stuff did. The only people who weren’t supposed to know were the public, the 99%.

    I mean you can’t make this stuff up.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      I mean you can’t make this stuff up.

      Ha.

      But in fact this stuff is likely all made up. Imho.

      You left a great summary. I think it shows bad cops throwing chairs against the wall trying to intimidate the suspect (while Visa and Paypal pretend to get strong armed).

      Which is one of the main rationales behind the operation. They are shocking and awing us. And setting precedents.

      They are scaring people into doing anything similar to what Assange is alleged to be doing. And then it’s a real honeypot for whistle blowers that may be getting set up.

      What’s scary/interesting is that they are allowing themselves to be seen for who they really are. More so than ever before. As you imply, Wikileaks/Assange/Manning an incredible story. Too incredible. Sexual intrigue, international conspiracies, weird internet nerds, etc.

      What are the odds?

      And look what power they are claiming. Total and ultimate global power.

    2. Jackrabbit

      Didn’t they also warn people not to read published cables because they were still regarded as classified by the State Dept?!?!

      1. Hugh

        Yes and I should have added US efforts to get hold of twitter accounts of Wikileaks supporters. And of course if we add in Manning: his harsh demeaning treatment by military authorities amounting to torture and the harassment of his supporters, like having their electronics seized without warrant whenever they return to the US.

        It is only when we look at all these efforts together that it really comes across how out of control this whole Assange/Wikileaks/Manning witchhunt is. And this all happened under Obama, not Cheney or Bush or those “crazy” Republicans.

  18. Fifi

    Yves,

    A naive question regarding StanChart.

    Why did they clear their client-level transactions through their NY subsidiary? Can’t they settle in net between depositories without going through the US for client-level stuff?

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