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Links 8/18/12

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Burning Man Shopping: The Best Places To Buy Costumes In San Francisco Huffington Post. I think this is proof that whatever Burning Man was, it’s now just a tourist destination.

What The Hell: ‘Satan’ Makes Portentous Appearance During Local Weather Report Gawker

Senior Russia space official quits after loss of satellites Reuters

Saltwater in Mississippi Taints Drinking Supply Wall Street Journal

DNA data storage breaks records Nature (Lambert)

Twitter Changes Lead to Online Protests New York Times

C-Suite Slipping on Information Security, Study Finds CFO

Pussy Riot Trial: Feminist Punk Band Guilty Of Hooliganism, Motivated By Religious Hatred Huffington Post

Robin Hood mayor vows to occupy banks Financial Times

Will Israel attack Iran? – The voice of experience vs. an insider’s view Ha’aretz

TVWho: Gen. Wesley Clark Shocker on 9/11 “Policy Coup” WhoWhatWhy

Mitt Romney’s tax returns: the ‘voter fraud’ theory Guardian (don h)

Mitt’s 13% Tax Robert Reich

Premium Support Deserves Demonization, Actually Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (Carol B)

What Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan Would Mean for an Average Family Daily Finance (Carol B)

Paul Ryan’s plan for America is not credible Martin Wolf, Financial Times.

Late Night: A Weeklong Course in Self-Defense for Media Swopa, Firedoglake

Let’s Help #WikiLeaks Liberate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiating Text DailyKos (Robert N)

U.S. to revamp Fannie, Freddie bailout terms Washington Post and U.S. tightens reins on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Reuters

Why the prolonged economic slump? One word: Housing. BubbleMeter

PBC state attorney investigating county clerk’s evidence department; 3 workers suspended Palm Beach Post. So get a load of this: a mere three days after the primary for Clerk of Courts, the Palm Beach Post releases the story that three employees of the incumbent who won the primary, Pam Bock, are under criminal investigation for evidence allegedly disappearing from the evidence room. Notice it was a referral to the inspector general that forced Bock to act. Notice also that the employees were suspended on July 2, yet Bock didn’t publicize the fact. She claims that she was protecting the employees. Yeah, right. And the Palm Beach Post, which endorsed Bock for the election against Lisa Epstein, also appears to have squelched this wee bit of news.

Pyramid Insurance Harpers (Lambert)

Wells Fargo Is A Little Sorry That It Sold Securities It Knew Nothing About Dealbreaker (Deus Ex Macchaito)

Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny New York Times. This is disgraceful. The Feds are now using every excuse to beat up on Lawsky. And look at the ridiculous claim: “Oh, since Lawsky was SOOO MEAN to SCB, now all those other big foreign banks might not cooperate with us.” Cooperate? You think these banks might have engaged in money laundering and your assumption is they will play nice and be honest? Have you not heard of subpoenas?

Banker gets 9-month sentence for bribes Financial Times. So someone finally goes to jail. One guy.

Jury Finds MF Global Not Guilty masaccio, Firedoglake. You must read down to his quote from Fulmer and Knill.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 22 and counting*

CAPTAIN I am never known to quail / At the fury of a gale / And I’m never, never sick at sea! CHORUS What, never? CAPTAIN No, never! CHORUS What, never? CAPTAIN Hardly ever! CHORUS He’s hardly ever sick at sea! Then give three cheers, and one cheer more… – Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

Montreal. Carré rouge: “While some red squares will likely return to class, they have not suffered a defeat, at least not in the strict military sense of the term. On the contrary, they have won on many fronts. And contrary to some, I think it’s not over. In fact, it’s just the beginning…the next step.” Good piece. … Carré rouge: “It’s a rule of thumb for contract negotiations that just because you didn’t get your initial offer doesn’t mean you lost. Leverage is everything.”

Occupy. OccupyHomes: “Occupy Our Homes launched a national ad campaign this week aimed at inspiring beleaguered homeowners to battle foreclosure and eviction. The organization has created a foreclosure-resistance template and support network that it hopes borrowers will use to fight off repossession of their homes.” … OccupyTampa: “Occupy Tampa protesters will likely remain in place through the RNC. Code enforcement officials told council they have had to move slowly due to private property and First Amendment issues.Having cited Occupy Tampa on August 14, code enforcement gave the group 21 days to comply with the citation. That date is long after the RNC leaves town. ”

CO. Fracking: “Longmont residents this November will vote on whether or not to ban within city limits the oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking. Longmont is one of Colorado’s many home rule cities, where greater local authority is prized by residents and protected by the state constitution. ” (MR) … Fracking: “[GOV HICKENLOOPER:] We want to get to the point that we can convince Longmont there is sufficient flexibility in state rules in meeting the needs of local communities. [T]his is one case where there has to be a limit.” … More guns, please: “The University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are amending their student housing contracts, segregating students who possess a valid concealed-weapons carry permit.

CT. Zoning: “Officials in a CT town have settled a zoning dispute over a local girl’s 20-pound pet bunny after receiving calls and e-mails from across the country demanding that the rabbit be allowed to stay.”

GA. Tinpot tyrants: “Red & Black [UGA student newspaper non-student] publisher tackles reporter attempting to cover meeting between board, former staff.” Pix! (Context.)

IN. Dog whistling: “The billboard, reading ‘The Navy SEALs removed one threat to America… The voters must remove the other,’ has generated support from many. Others, though, don’t like it, and about 25 of the critics, converged Monday afternoon to protest. The demonstrators — who organized via Facebook and word of mouth — included Elkhart County Democrats, Occupy Elkhart activists and a candidate for a seat in the Indiana Senate, Democrat Jim Ball.”

LA. Home-grown: “A grainy picture is starting to emerge of the suspects involved in the shootings Thursday morning that claimed the lives of two St. John Parish sheriff’s deputies and injured two others. Authorities believe that [one] suspect, Kyle Joekel, 29 may have ties to a loose organization known as Posse Comitatus that generally doesn’t recognize authority above the level of county sheriff. ”

ME. Ron Paul: “Leading Maine Rs, including a national party committeewoman and the chair of Romney’s campaign in ME, filed a complaint with the party’s national committee asking it to disqualify the Ron Paul delegates and prohibit them from taking their seats at the national convention. [Paul] delegates filed a request for an injunction with Belfast Superior Court [to quash the complaint]. Other prominent RE Rs, including Gov. Paul LePage, have said the Paul delegates deserve to be seated.”

MI. Voting: “Election officials in Genessee County, MI have acknowledged failures by the county’s M-100 model optical-scan system, made by Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S), during its Aug. 7 primary.”

MN. Voting: “Securing Voter ID would require a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is no easy feat for the disabled.”

NJ. Police state: “A Bayonne man who called 911 because his car was on fire charges in a lawsuit that he was pepper-sprayed, knocked out cold, and arrested by police for no reason. And Jason Rios says he has the videotape to prove it.”

NY. Fracking: “‘The political blowback on [Cuomo's fracking plan] has been immense,’ said state Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, a D from Ithaca. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it in my 10 years in the state Assembly and 14 years as legislative chief of staff.’”

TN. Social Darwinism: “David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee [here], worries that too many people are on food stamps, and they are becoming dependent on government handouts. His solution, posted on his personal Facebook page, is to follow the advice of the National Park Service: ‘Do not feed the animals.’”

OH. Romney: “The counties that moved from President George W. Bush in 2004 to Obama in 2008, and the margin by which the [anti-ObamaCare] Health Care Freedom Amendment passed, include Hamilton (65 percent), Ottawa (66 percent), Sandusky (70 percent), Tuscarawas (67 percent), Wood (61 percent) and Lake, which is considered a Buckeye State bellwether. In Lake County, adjacent to Cleveland, Issue 3 passed with 70 percent of the vote.”

WI. Mass incarceration: “In 2011, for the first time,] the state budgeted more taxpayer dollars for prisons and correctional facilities than for the University of Wisconsin System.” ….Water: “The summer drought was good for one thing: It reduced the amount of manure and other phosphorus-laden material washing into area lakes.

WY. Extractive economy: “UR-Energy plans to use a process called in-situ mining in which a chemical solution is injected into underground uranium formations to yield a uranium-bearing solution that is pumped to the surface through hundreds of wells.”

Grand Bargain™-brand catfood. Bowles-Simpson: “Ryan was a pivotal figure in killing the 2010 Bowles-Simpson agreement, which R Romney now points to as a model for putting America’s fiscal house in order. The 18-member panel needed 14 votes to send a 10-year plan for trimming the debt to the U.S. Congress for a vote. As his party’s top member on the House Budget Committee, Ryan led a bloc of three House Rs who denied the additional votes needed. ” … Medicare: “But the ACA bars insurers who sell Medigap policies plans F and C from covering all of a seniors’ expenses that remain after Medicare pays the bills. Those two plans are the most popular Medigap policies precisely because they do cover almost all remaining expenses. Politicians on both sides supported this provision in the ACA, so there’s been little talk about it and therefore little press coverage. Millions of seniors will be surprised come 2015, when they learn their Medigap policies won’t cover as much. The rationale: Some health policy analysts believe consumers use too many medical services, and paying more out of pocket–having “more skin in the game”–will cause them to seek less healthcare.” That is, both legacy parties have already agreed in cuts. And will again.

Outside baseball. The empire: “The US military faces at least three existential threats.The first is that rising powers will devise ways to monkeywrench the baroque complexity of the US military machine. The second is that an ongoing revolution in military affairs will leave the entire massive arsenal of the US military as beside the point as all those British battleships were once the Second World War rolled around.The third is that the decline in fossil fuel supplies will make it impossible for the United States to maintain a way of war that consists of burning more petroleum than the other guy.” … Police state: “The [International Association of Chiefs of Police] ‘strongly discouraged’ agencies from equipping drones with weapons, saying the effectiveness of weapons is doubtful and would likely cause a public backlash against the technology.” … Medicare: “The key difference between Ds and Rs on Medicare is that Ds want to make Medicare less expensive by reducing health care prices on the provider side, and Republicans want to make Medicare less expensive by cutting off access to guaranteed benefits for people under 55 — by reducing access to health care.” But see above at Grand Bargain. … Public good: “After examining voluminous evidence from hearing transcripts, email correspondence, confidential memos, and reports from outside consultants, as well as many interviews, [the Times'] Abelson and Creswell concluded ‘unnecessary–even dangerous–procedures were taking place at some HCA hospitals, driving up costs and increasing profits.’” Bain is an HCA investor. ….

Jobs. Lucky duckies: “Unemployment rates rose in July from June in almost all U.S. states, including those where the presidential election fight is expected to be fiercest, according to data released on Friday by the Labor Department.”

The trail. Conventions: “Unlike in 2008, when counter-DNC antiwar demonstrations numbering in the hundreds were dwarfed by anti-RNC crowds over 10,000-strong in Saint Paul, Minn., this year much of the planned protest takes aim at both parties and their corporate underpinnings. Much of the ‘Hope’ from four years ago has long cleared up and the DNC and RNC protests look likely to share tone, relative size — anywhere between 2,000 to 15,000 protesters in each city — and even many participants. Protesters and legal observers expect to see the Miami Model [here] in full effect in both convention cities.” … Independents: “[T]he actual share of voters nationally who are up for grabs is probably between just 3 percent and 5 percent in this election, polling experts say. The Obama and Romney campaigns are expected to spend on the order of $2 billion, in part to try to sway this tiny share of the electorate.” … Medicare: “[T]wo FL polls conducted since Ryan’s selection suggest that voters who are 65 and older support Ryan and his budget plan more than younger voters do. A third FL poll released this week doesn’t include an age breakdown, but finds the state’s voters agreeing more with Ryan’s description of his budget and Medicare plan than with D criticisms that it would ‘end Medicare as we know it.’” Well, the Rs are for “two tier,” playing into a vicious “I’ve got mine” dynamic. But the Ds can’t counter with “we’re all in this together” because Obama’s for cuts, too. So why would the polls move? …

DNCon. Corruption: “[Greenpeace field organizer Monica Embrey ] noted that Duke had given an in-kind donation of $1 million worth of donated office space for the DNC in advance of the convention. ‘How is the DNC in the Duke building, and this isn’t lobbying?’ Embrey asked.”

RNCon. Extremes meet: “[Christine O'Donnell] plans to host a debate between panelists from the Tea Party and Occupy movements.”

Green Party. Cynthia McKinney : “Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney won’t be on the ballot as a Green Party candidate for the 4th District congressional seat. Neither McKinney nor the Green Party presented any petititons to the Georgia Secretary of State’s (SOS) office that could have put her on the ballot.”

Libertarian Party. Gary Johnson: “I’m the only candidate that doesn’t want to bomb Iran, the only candidate that wants to get out of Afghanistan tomorrow and bring the troops home. I’m the only candidate advocating marriage equality as a constitutionally guaranteed right. I want to end the drug wars. … I’d like to repeal the Patriot Act. I’m the only candidate that is advocating a balanced budget now. And I’m the only candidate promising to advocate throwing out the entire federal tax system.”

Romney. Crony capitalism: “Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan decried ‘crony capitalism’ Friday, telling supporters Friday that connected Washington insiders would benefit if Obama is re-elected.” Which has the merit of being true, if not unique to Obama. … Ryan: “Paul Ryan is headed to a FL retirement community with his mother on Saturday to make his argument about the need to change Medicare for future generations. Ryan’s mother is in her late 70s. He’ll appear at The Villages [NC 2012-07-13].” … Ryan: “In the 24 hours after the news first broke Friday night, Google trends showed that the second most-popular shirt term associated with Paul Ryan was ‘shirtless.’” Hmmm … Crowds: “Twice, local politicians who introduced Mr. Ryan at rallies this week drew foot-stomping applause when they told crowds to circle Oct. 11 on their calenders, the date of the only vice-presidential debate.” Hmm. … Hispanics: “Romney was already polling at historically low numbers among Hispanic voters before his decision to name Ryan as his running mate. Now, Romney risks a total debacle among Hispanic voters that could cost him the election. Ryan strongly opposes a path to legal residence for the estimated 11-million undocumented U.S. residents.” … Social media: “Twitter users who followed Romney over that July weekend were probably fake, although it’s impossible to know who’s behind the spike.” Stupid (Romney) or evil (Obama dirty trick)? … Altercation: “During Darling’s remarks, the protester, Mary Hoglund, 83, of Appleton, interrupted the event to ask about Republican opposition to Planned Parenthood. A local Romney supporter began arguing with Hoglund, who then spit in her face. Hoglund was escorted out, and received medical attention for a scratch she received on her neck. Hoglund was taken away in an ambulance with what appeared to be minor injuries, including the scratch.”

Obama. Media: “The decision to grant interviews to People and ‘Entertainment Tonight’ after eight weeks without a news conference is proving to be a slight even the most high-profile, fair-minded White House reporters are not willing to suffer privately.” … Tax returns: “Obama campaign manager Jim Messina earlier on Friday said the Obama campaign would quit calling for Romney to release more of his tax records if the R released five years of his returns.” So the notional buried body is less than five years old? Romney refuses. … Community organizer: “He still walks the same streets here as his old acquaintance Barack Obama once did. That is about all they have in common anymore. At 50, Chicago activist Mark Allen lives with his parents, barely able to pay his bills. The head of a small, community-assistance organization[,] Allen shares his frustrations with other activists, including a young firebrand named Mark Carter who, within the past year, has formed a new political party, dubbed the Broke Party, part of a protest against the Obama administration and mainstream politics in general.” The Rs have never tackled Obama’s “community organizer” schtick. Not in 2008, not now. Point-shaving? … Medicare, AARP: “The nonpartisan AARP says Obamacare cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse, and strengthens guaranteed benefits,” the narrator says. “And the Ryan Plan? AARP says it would undermine the market power of Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors.”… AARP: “We were not aware of nor have any involvement with this campaign ad. AARP is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates.” Not really a rebuke. AARP is really in the insurance business, so I wonder what the deal is? … Sycophancy: “[BIDEN:] I’ve watched my friend [Obama] make the most difficult decisions almost any president, other than probably Roosevelt and Lincoln, have ever made, and I watched him never [what, never?] once put his political fortune ahead of what he thought was right for the country.” Probably?

* 22 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with coal tar derivatives on toast for everybody on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. That’s some catch.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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156 comments

  1. psychohistorian

    I guess I have to go back to sleep now, a banker is going to jail for 9 months so all must be well in the world……….not.

    1. Thorstein

      Poor banker Peterson is going to jail for bribing a Chinese official. If China had privately-financed elections like we do, he could have bribed the official legally, like we do.

  2. Richard Kline

    Wells Fargo Is a Little Sorry that It Sold Securities It Knew Nothing About. “We should have leveraged in into a synthetic CDO for far more profit, and issues of title would never have seen the light of day.”

  3. Richard Kline

    There is no competency test for a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Several elected presidents manifestly would have failed any such test—e.g. Harding and Dubya Bush—as would any number of elected Vice-Presidents. But by any real world evaluation, Mitt Romney’s decision to campaign for the Presidency while refusing to release selected tax returns on his income is, ipso facto, demonstration that he is _not_ competent to be President.

    Every nominated major party candidate in recent decades has released their tax returns. It is expected for a candidate to do so. When candidates have been hedged, they have taken real political hits and ultimately caved. Regardless of what is on Romney’s returns, and one presumes it must be damaging to him in some way for him to continue to refuse unredacted release, he had to have known FOR A CERTAINTY that if he campaigned for the presidencey he would take considerable political damage holding out his returns. And he has taken that damage. Nothing the Romney campaign has said or done with regard to Barack Obama in the entirety of the campaign so far has remotely injured Obama so much as Romney’s own refusal to release his returns has hurt himself. This issue has dominated campaign reporting in the mid-summer media window when undecides make up their minds. What % of the voters the issue has cost Romney is hard to say, but it has certainly robbed of him of any ability to go on the offensive against a sitting president, which by itself all but dooms his campaign.

    Romney’s decision to run while at the same time engaging in an inevitably self-damaging political course is a manifest decision that he’s just not competent to function as a high-level political executive. “What else is he going to go wiggy on?” one wonders. If Mitt Romney doesn’t care enough to do the minimum he needs to do to get elected, why do you want a self-imploder like that running the Federal government? Whether or not others articulate this just as I do hear, I suspect the core of this issue—”Is this guy for real above the neck???”—has sunk home to the electorate open to a decision about him otherwise.

      1. Richard Kline

        So Chris, what a thoroughly banal notion. NFW, nor did I the first time. It was patent leather exactly who he was, and I still can’t believe so many conned themselves over who Bo Prez would sell them short the hour the vote was legal. Probably write in for Mike Check, but I might go Green for Jill Stein if she rocks it through the autumn. I mean bro’, vote for those you want to win . . . .

        1. Lambert Strether

          W-e-e-l-l-l…. I understand the argument, but if you flip it over, I recall very well the case made in 2008 that Obama was qualified for President because of the superb campaign he ran.

          Further, it’s not about what happened; it’s about the narrative, which Romney really does not control. If the narrative had not been favorable to Obama, we’d be hearing, “Oh, he knew about Rezko (or some other fragrance wafting from Chicago) all along, he should never have run.” Or with Bush,”Oh, he knew he never served in the Texas Air National Guard, he should never have run.” (The Obama example is hypothetical, but nobody ever did come forward for the $10,000 Gary Trudeau offered to a witness who actually saw Bush serve.) Then again, neither Bush nor Obama were, in fact, qualified. So there you are.

          So to my mind the story is the headwinds Romney faces in the press.

          1. psychohistorian

            Lambert said: “So to my mind the story is the headwinds Romney faces in the press.”

            So if the press, owned and operated by the 1%, is able to convince the American public that not releasing ones taxes is not a mortal sin, will we start to see through the agnotology about the mind control power of the media?

            And then how do we create a 99% media? (other than our textual white noise here)

          2. Richard Kline

            So Lambert, I get the sense from responses that I didn’t manage to express myself clearly with the nontrivial point of my first comment. From the standpoint of _actual_ qualifications for the Presidency, the only person who might be described as well-qualified who has actually been elected in the last generation was George H. W. Bush, and given his performance we’re just as well off with the smooth naifs we’ve had otherwise.

            My point is _not_ that everybody running to be POTUS has some major skeleton in their closet big enough to bring them down. Doubtless most do. But comparing, say, Obama’s birth certificate or Dubya Bush’s faked military service to the situation Romney is in is fallacious. The latter two situations are not comparable to Romney’s, and that is essential to my point.

            Everyone, the public, the media, and the candidates themselves, expects that the opposing team will dig up any kind of dirt on a candidate they can and throw it on the rug under the lights. Because such actions are expected, _when the other side_ dishes on something, that something is significantly discounted. Not ignored, not harmless, but discounted. “That’s just part of the game,” folks say and think, and that’s so. Obama’s Chicago footsie is given a large pass by ‘his side,’ while the media, though it loves a buzz, takes an attitude of ‘it’s all a game’ too, and doesn’t often dig too hard. Furthermore, candidates wargame this stuff: they know anything on them is going to be hit by the other side, so they get their smokescreens going, line up their ‘experts,’ smoooth out their stories. And fake their way through, for the most part. Thus, having dirt in ones past isn’t disqualifying by itself. Moreover, how well a candidate responds to ‘mudslinging’ is a significant undertone in how the public assesses that candidate. Maybe the public comes away with doubts on a particular issue, but the impression left is, ‘the guy’gal can handle themself.’

            Romney’s situation is significantly different in kind. It is now an _expected_ procedure in campaigning for the Presidency that an individual WILL release their returns. It doesn’t matter that this is not a legal requirement, it has become a practical qualification for those running for the presidency. Maybe releasing ones birth certificate will become so in time, but it certainly isn’t now; the whole issue on that for BO came out of deep right field and struck most people not in the maniac 3% as cartoonish irrelevancy. With the release of one’s tax returns now a presumptive expectation, not do so inherently casts suspicion on an individual’s motivation. Having no credible explanation inherently hurts the public’s impression of a candidate’s performance. It isn’t ‘the other side’ slinging mud, though they may pile on. It isn’t ‘that darned media’ poking their nose in, it’s ‘that guy isn’t following “the rules”.’

            There was no way for Romney to glide by one this issue, it was going to come up in the campaign, especially given Romney’s wealth and history as a financial executive. It he thought that he’d get a pass because he always has in life, that’s a demonstration of political incompetence. What we really have is the public perception that ‘Romney’s not following the rules, the rich, privileged bastard.’ Romney was going to take a major hit if he chose to campaing and not release, and his decsion to do so _gives the clear impression of a lack of judgment_. THAT is the real problem. The issue itself is entirely separate to what the public learns from the candidate’s response, and it’s the _response_ which must be effective, engaging, and pretty decisive. And having chosen to campaign where he was sure to be served this pickle, Romeny hasn’t been able to eat it or make it go away. Yet he put _himself_ in that position. That’s not the media, that’s his misjudgment, and the more Romney flails regarding why he ‘won’t follow the rules,’ the less competent he makes himself appear in the eyes of the public. Obama knew he’d be attacked for his presumed race, his mixed parantage, his education, and his associations, because he always had been and he knew how the game was played; so he was ready. Romney put himself out there naked where he would sure to be inspected, and hasn’t had any kind of response that has counted. Judgment of that kind is disqualifying for many voters.

            This isn’t a headwind, is what I’m saying. It becomes a defining issue. And chosing to be defined by an issue one can only look remarkably bad on is judgment bad enough _in itself_ to merit disqualification. That is part of how ‘independents,’ really nonpartisans, make up their minds. It’s worth noting that Mitt has lost the independents, and is rather unlikely to get them back.

          3. Carla

            It’s not about qualifications, it’s not about the narrative, it’s about the SYSTEM. Until we (citizens) have an effect on the system, we (the country) will continue on our downward slide. Could a good showing for Jill Stein and the Greens provide a little bump in that road, enough to create a plateua where some rational steady-state (as opposed to growth) policies could at least be discussed? Or is it too late?

  4. Peter Pinguid Society

    Re: Jury Finds MF Global Not Guilty

    Excellent! ha ha ha

    And check out the big brain on Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess (reporters for the Dealbook blog at the NY Times:

    “But a lack of charges in the largest Wall Street blowup since 2008 is likely to fuel frustration with the government’s struggle to charge financial executives.”

    ha ha ha

    Yeah, the government’s struggling real hard to charge financial executives, but it’s just oh soooo hard!

    what effing morons, what a load of utter horsesh*t

    Listen, this stuff is not rocket science, it’s dirt simple. Corzine and MF Global are not guilty because they belong to the 0.01 percent.

    The rule of law does not apply to the 0.01. EVER, under no circumstances, NO MATTER WHAT so-called “crime” we commit.

    Even a f*cking cow can understand this. The only reason NY Times and NPR reporters pretend *never* to get it, is because we pay their sorry asses to never get it. Same as we bribe politicians not to investigate so-called “crimes”
    by the 0.01.

    Got it, you morons.

    Good. Now for all you millionaire muppets out there, get your checks ready for Jon Corzine’s new hedge fund, he feels really bad about what happened at MF Global, and promises never to steal all his clients money again.

    ha ha ha

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. Peter Pinguid Society

      This just in from Jon Corzine’s office: for any MF Global investors who still have a net worth of at least $1 million, (perhaps from money invested outside of MF Global?) and not counting the value of their home, or an annual salary of $200,000 (and this definition is not affected by the JOBS Act), Jon Corzine is offering a free breakfast at Denny’s where a Corzine representative will explain his new hedge fund’s global macro strategy.

      The management fee will be 4 percent per annum and the performance fee will be set at 50 percent of the fund’s profits.

      However the breakfast is free (no strings attached) and you can choose between a Jr. Grand Slam (Three silver dollar pancakes served with one egg, one bacon strip & one sausage link) or the Slam Dribbler (Four Pancake Puppies lined up at center court sitting on whipped cream with two bacon strips. Served with syrup and raspberry sauce for dipping.)

      Add a side to any breakfast for an additional charge.

      To sign up, please send an email to:

      jon dot corzine at Globalmacrostrategy dot com

  5. dearieme

    Dear God, Obama ran while refusing to release his birth certificate. Get a sense of proportion.

    1. Richard Kline

      So dearieme, old chap, you completely miss the point. [Unnecessary if humrous paragraph deleted here.]

      The issue I raised isn’t with Romney’s returns themselves; maybe they matter, maybe they don’t. My point is that absolutely everyone was going to be all over Mitt to release-or-credibly-explain. He hasn’t done either, or come close, or been able to stop the steady bleeding. This “are his fingers crossed behind his back or not” problem dogged him throughout the primaries and quite predictibly gets bigger and worse as he closes in on his party’s nomination. My point has to do with a) the strategic competence to run a presidential campaign, b) the media strategy to project an image to the national pulic, and above all c) with self-deluding wish-fulfillment fully in view in Romney’s decision to campaign without any functioning plan to deal with a), b), or this issue generally. By itself, the issue of his withholding his returns is secondary and may be minor. What Romney’s gormless fantasticism in planning reveals is his incapacity to deal with facts on the ground he doesn’t happen to like. And that is, by definition, so seriously worrying in a candidate for the presidency as to, in any sensible world, disqualify Romney from serious consideration.

      1. ohmyheck

        Well, Romney is not quite official as the nominee. The Republican Convention has yet to be held. I have no idea what, if anything, could happen at the convention. My thought is that if iRomney truly becomes obviously unelectable to the Party Bosses, they might just pull something off, and put forth a different candidate. Stranger things have happened…

      2. Lambert Strether

        See above on narrative.

        For myself, and I’m probably an outlier, it just seems like a case of “this is what rich guys do when they can.” It’s not a function of Romney per se; it’s a function of the class of which he is a member. If Theresa Heinz Kerry had been running, instead of of John Kerry, I would bet there would be just as many bodies buried in her tax returns as (presumably) there are in Romney’s.

        UPDATE On birtherism; I’m scratching my head on how the conservative apparat, who’ve been super-effective and feral for the last twenty years, managed to pick an issue that put a large percentage of their base into the crazy box; there are plenty of other features* of Obama’s sketchy bio that could have been assaulted. Maybe they’ve just been in power too long.

        NOTE * There seems to be a mindset, also exhibited in the fonts controversy of Bush’s TANG service that took down Dan Rather, that amateur examination of an electronic reproduction of a physical document can determine whether the physical document is real or not.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          “Amateur” examination lol.

          One doesn’t need to be an expert on computer generated images to figure out Obama’s birth certificate is fake.

          Do you have a link to an expert that claims it’s real?

          I have yet to see anyone be able to reproduce a digital file like the one Obama claimed for his birth certificate using any method that could be used to scan an original document.

          Why do you think Obama’s lawyers won’t even argue this point in court?

          It’s so fake it’s ridiculous.

          This is a skill that average Americans should have–to be able to analyze images, or at least be aware of how they are produced. It is very dangerous if we just accept what our media puts in front of us.

          1. Lambert Strether

            In the Bush TANG controversy, the right purported to be able to authenticate (or disauthenticate, if that’s a word) the Killian memos from a digital reproduction of a xerox. Ludicrous in the extreme. The analogy with the birthers is exact.

            Thanks for the invitation to enter birther hall of mirrors, but life is way too short.

            NOTE You’re right, I shouldn’t have said “amateurs.” I should have said “tendentious conspiracy theorists.” My bad.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            So you want to label all discussion of this issue as off limits as too crazy.

            But you can’t even discuss the basic facts upon which you render this judgment?

            Why do you think the media is associating Donald Trump and Joe Arapiao and Orly Taint (I’ve probably misspelled some names there) with those who question the veracity of Obama’s birth certificate? They are using tribal affiliation and authority to close off inquiry.

            Fact is the very day Obama released his birth certificate it was proved to be a fake and there hasn’t been any expert or amateur or anyone else that can explain the ‘layers’ in that digital image. One only needs a rudimentary understanding to use their own brain to figure out it’s fake.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s9StxsFllY

            But as you note, there are many other sketchy details about Obama’s past.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, the KEY point is Obama connection with CIA. BirthCert. a red herring, since the powers that be NEVER will allow this issue to be resolved.

          4. Walter Wit Man

            You’re right LBR, that is the main issue.

            But the birth certificate helps reveal that main issue, it’s not a red herring.

            The red herring is the way the right is being led on this issue. The focus on Kenya is the red herring. I don’t care if Obama was born in this country or not, I care about his background in general, other than I want our politicians to tell us their true background. But specifically I want to know if Obama and/or his family worked for ‘intelligence.’ This should be no secret operatives running for public office (and GHWB may be example of an active intelligence operative running for Congress).

            The communism angle and the ‘born in Kenya’ angle are red herrings for the right. That’s why you see such a focus on that from them, not about the intelligence background of Obama and his family.

            For instance, this Frank Davis that may be Obama’s real father, was a communist, but I suspect that he was working for the same people that Obama’s putative grandfather was working for and probably not a sincere communist.

          5. LeonovaBalletRusse

            WWM, same with Romney. CIA is rife with Mormon “missionaries” trained in foreign languages and cultures. HyperSecurityEmployment in Utah no coincidence.

            Can’t we assume that every Puppet Prez is CIA (MI5/6 Blud Brudders)?

          6. lambert strether

            Walter writes “So you want to label all discussion of this issue as off limits as too crazy.”

            Had I meant that, that is what I would have written.

            I wrote: “managed to pick an issue that put a large percentage of their base into the crazy box.” It has. Birtherism has never made it into the general population from the fever swamp of winger speculation and the CT boards. Obama’s transition from Occidental to Columbia has now transcripts. That assaults his credentialism/meritocracy (a big hott button in Obama’s creative class base). Obama’s community organizing cred is awfully iffy (another hot button in the same constituency). Rove is known for attacking strength. By going with birtherism, the conservatives didn’t do that. And they got themselves put in the crazy box. Bad tactics? Point shaving? Sclerotic party structure? I don’t know.

            I also wrote that I wasn’t going to follow you into the birther hall of mirrors. But have at it, and indulge yourself as you will.

          7. Andrea

            Obama’s birth certificate.

            (The doc that appears on the WH website as a full form BC. There are other strange versions on the net, a short form BC, etc. )

            What it is not: A digital document that attests to the existence of a BC, or an official digital version of a BC, versions which may incorporate some characteristics of the original, such as size, color, font type, lay-out, or not – it may look entirely different. Many countries, for convenience, have official digitals of that type, and their legal status varies, thus utility also, but is of course always weaker than the original or hand certified copies of the original. I mention this because in discussions of the doc. questions like this always pop up and create confusion.

            What it presents itself as: a scan of his BC, the original doc. It is supposed to be seen like a copy, similar to a photocopy (for other docs, sometimes sufficient, sometimes not, as all know.) In centuries past, a fac-simile, copy produced by another hand – here by machine.

            The WH endorsement or posting and press points etc. appear to give it the stamp of officialdom. In fact, the guarantee of officialdom can only come from the state of Hawaii, through whatever their procedures are. These might be hyper complicated or lax – that is of no importance. Attempts to prize that out of them have failed so far. Afaik.

            However, the digital WH BC (as the short digital BC) is not a straight or plain copy (photo, microfiche, photocopy, scan) but has been altered, as a background has been added – green hatches.

            It is easy to check that BCs in Hawaii were on white paper, no green background was present. Various justifications and explanations for the green have been put forth: security reasons, etc. So, we are supposed to understand that the doc. is an original doc, which has simply been superimposed on a new background – that does not affect the validity of the information given in it. However, Hawaii, to the best of my knowledge, does not have a standard digital BC form which is somewhat different from the original.

            I’m quite surprised that a community highly concerned with deed ownership, robo-signing and fake, inadequate, shoddy, documents and official procedures that regulate the documents in the case of the MERS scandal would be accepting (in public?) of a very strange document like Obama’s digital WH BC.

            Second, if we set aside the background, it is plain to even an uneducated eye that cares or dares to look, that the content – that is the semantic meaning, spelled out in letters, or text, are not original, but have been tampered with, transformed or constructed (actually from another document) – that is the analysis of pixels, colors, fonts, white spots, layers, etc. All that can’t be detailed here.

            I personally don’t see any reason to disbelieve Obama’s history, have no stake in the matter, am not a ‘birther’, but this document is a recent construction.

            Belief blinds one, I know. Some ppl swear by some ‘fake’ docs, others support other fabrications.

      3. Walter Wit Man

        You’re taking this at face value, which is a mistake.

        This is a big game. These jerks aren’t sincerely trying to win a campaign. They are actors playing a role.

        The whole tax records issue was designed to be an issue and both Obama and Romney are playing their parts exactly as scripted.

        Neither one is making a strategic “mistake.” They aren’t even using the same strategy we think they’re using. Their analysis doesn’t hinge on how best to win the campaign but rather how best to control the population.

      4. Walter Wit Man

        It will certainly get half of our [putative] voting population defending a 13% tax rate for the elite.

        The other half will get suckered into thinking Obama and the Democrats want to start taxing these people.

        All in all it will mean more focus on a fake fight. Obama promised to tax the rich the first time, in 2008, and punked the Democrat voters and he’s doing it again with an assist from Romney.

        It’s a fake wrestling match designed to give the elite what they want.

  6. Earth deathwatch

    Re: BLM issues environmental review of Wyoming uranium mine

    “The uranium mine would be located about 15 miles southwest of Bairoil in northeastern *Sweetwater County.* The site would consist of three contiguous mine units of 40-60 acres each. Each mine unit would have 600-700 wells.”

    Sweetwater County no more!

    1. just me

      WY. Extractive economy: “UR-Energy plans to use a process called in-situ mining in which a chemical solution is injected into underground uranium formations to yield a uranium-bearing solution that is pumped to the surface through hundreds of wells.”

      What could possibly go wrong?

  7. DP

    I don’t think real estate is the one thing that explains the lack of an economic recovery. Add debt and the long-term decline in real middle class income.

  8. Klassy!

    Palm Beach Post– so Lisa Epstein was a (well intentioned but “misguided”) unemployed nurse the other day and now she is a labor attorney?

  9. Klassy!

    Does anyone find shades of GWB’s National Guard record in the 13% tax story? I mean, do we really need to see Romney’s tax returns to make hay of his never paying less than 13%. Couldn’t the issue be that there is a very good chance that everything he did was legal and he’s still paying 13% on a bajillion dollars?
    It just reminds me of the “we have the records of a dental exam” to show that GWB completed his service in the National Guard! So? He shoed up for a damn dental exam?

  10. Klassy!

    I guess that would entail indicting the whole system when we know it is just a few bad apples, right?

    1. Richard Kline

      On what basis do you rationally conclude that ‘it’s only a few bad apples,’ when to the most cursory review the conclusion that it’s a corrupt system which corrupts those within it to varying degrees, in part or entire, is far better evidenced? [Just out of curiosity regarding what unsupported rhetorical inanity you're going to generate, my friend.]

        1. citalopram

          I didn’t, because your tone doesn’t carry through to text. Maybe nextime use a sarcasm tag?

          1. Lambert Strether

            There’s a vanishing possibility that “bad apples” is used other than ironically [Adding: Perhaps this is not true other than America?]

            * * *

            “You’re gonna have to study them, you’re gonna have to know them. They’re your friends.”

        2. Jessica

          Klassy,
          I got the sarcasm. But I’m from New York, so sarcasm is just about the default assumption.
          But you are correct. If two folks said they didn’t get that, there are many others who also didn’t but didn’t write.
          Sigh.
          There is an ongoing process of letting ourselves see just how corrupt things have become and different folks are at different stages of that process. And different folks read things differently depending on which phase of that process they are focusing on (which can be a phase they have already passed through but consider important for others).

          1. DANNYBOY

            Jessica,

            Yo! I’m from the Big Apple too (not the Rotten Apple they were just discussing)

            and guess what sis! My tribe is on to that corruption going around. Even did 30 on WS to get it.

            You feel me?

  11. Renodino

    Burning Man is now a law enforcement festival. They surround the encampment and shoot the fish in the barrel. Party goers have never been so obliging.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Doing research on other subjects I’ve suspected a connection w/ intelligence operations and Burning Man.

      But I think they want the drugs and other activities going on and don’t want to shut it down if they could. They may put on a big show of force and even arrest a few people . . . but the drugs and experimentation is probably controlled by the government.

  12. DANNYBOY

    Re: Deutsche Bank’s Business With Sanctioned Nations Under Scrutiny (NYT misses the point…again)

    But…Yves….You nailed it! SUBPOENAS

    Having ‘worked’ on a couple of these (on the Inside), I can spill the big beans to the NYT:

    “The cases against the five banks all included deferred prosecution agreements”, without subpoenas of criminal behaviour, you are just intentionally pissing in the wind. You got shit.

    So, to correct the NYT’s Big Miss Again:

    “Federal and state prosecutors are [NOT] investigating Deutsche Bank and several other global banks over accusations that they funneled billions of dollars through their American branches for Iran, Sudan and other sanctioned nations, according to law enforcement officials with [NO] knowledge of the cases.

    1. Ms G

      In any other case, Edith would have gotten her immunity deal about 2 minutes after her first interview and the subpoenas would have shot fast and furious.

      But as we all know, this was a Special Case (i.e. the prosecutors and their Boss were tied in with the target and the scheme). As in all Special Cases, DOJ getting Edith’s smoking gun testimony and issuing subpoenas to the Big Banks would have been “bad manners” — can’t you hear Holder and Breuer squeaking:

      “It’s just not cricket!”

      1. DANNYBOY

        The Scene: the prosecutors and their Boss sitting around -

        “Money Laundering, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!”

        The End

        1. Ms G

          Well, in this particular case (Corzine’s and Flowers’s MF Global, along with Dimon’s JPM) I would guess the repartie went more like this:

          “Segregated customer funds . . . didn’t Corzine just get us to not fix that rule . . . so it’s totally legal, right?”

          “Yeah, I think that was the whole point. Ok — I’m good with “no crimes here” then.”

          “Yeah, “segregated,” he he, he said “segregated” . . . ” (a la Beavis and Butthead)

          “Hey, Jamie fronted Corzine big bucks and he’s entitled to get the f** money back — segregate this.”

  13. jsmith

    Oh noes, P*ssy Riot is guilty. (sniffle, tear)

    Gee, as an American citizen opposed to the continued imperial fascist aggression waged on the part of my country against the world I can only hope for Alexai Navalny to be the next to be jailed.

    Who is Alexai Navalny?

    Well, judging from this NPR article, you’d think he was just some noble upstanding Russian blogger/patriot opposed to the evil, evil Putin.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/08/17/158985985/foreign-policy-pussy-riot-is-only-the-beginning

    However, doing a little research one will find that little Alexai was not only a Yale World Fellow but also the co-founder of an Russian “activist group” – DA! – that does indeed directly get money from the NED.

    Here’s a link to Navalny’s World Fellow profile citing his creation of DA!.

    http://www.yale.edu/worldfellows/fellows/navalny.html

    Here’s a link to the NED website that tells how much money was given to Navalny’s DA!:

    http://www.ned.org/publications/annual-reports/2007-annual-report/eurasia/description-of-2007-grants/russia

    Da! Youth Movement
    $43,716*
    To organize a series of debates between politicians, journalists, and civil society and cultural figures, covering a wide range of topics of particular interest to young people. Audience members will vote to choose the winner of each debate. The project’s web site will broadcast the debates across Russia and serve as a forum where people can continue to discuss the issues raised during the events.

    Here’s a great overview of Wall Street’s – including Navalny and other Western-backed stooges – involvement with the destabilization of Russia:

    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/wall-street-vs-russia.html

    “The first clue [about Navalny's Western-backing] comes to us from the London, Telegraph who afforded column space to a Mr. Michael Weiss of the Henry Jackson Society, providing a very robust defense for Navalny and his efforts to expose “corruption” during Russia’s election. And while Weiss does his best to fend off accusations that Navalny is indeed a foreign agent, calling such accusations “adorably old-fashioned,” he fails to point out that, again, the NGOs and poll monitors accusing Russia of rigging the elections, and whom “activists” like Navalny continuously cite as evidence, are all funded by the very US and European governments conducting the NATO military encirclement of Russia.

    The background of Weiss’ Henry Jackson Foundation should surprise no one. It’s corporate-sponsors include (page 18) Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, IBM, General Dynamics, State Farm, and Xerox, while “signatories” of its “statement of principles” include current and former members of the British Government, members of the corporate-financier sponsored Chatham House, and professors throughout British academia.

    International patrons include Neo-Con Max Boot – Michael Chertoff – Carl Gershman president of NED – Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold – FPI, Brookings Institution, and PNAC signatory Robert Kagan – Max Kampelman, also a PNAC signatory – Neo-Con William Kristol of the above mentioned FPI and also a PNAC signatory – Clifford May of the Neo-Con Foundations for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) – Neo-Con Richard Perle – former-NATO commander General Jack Sheehan – and Neo-Con warmonger James Woolsey, formally of the CIA and a leading proponent for war with Iran.”

    Hey Russian youth, get your голова out of your zhopa and quit being fascist pawns!

    1. jsmith

      If you’re bored this weekend check out in depth the Henry Jackson Foundation cited above.

      Oh, did I mention that’s it’s namesake is “Scoop” Jackson one of the neocon founding fathers?

      From Wikipedia:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Jackson#Criticism

      “In addition to Richard Perle, neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith were former Democratic aides to Jackson who, disillusioned with the Carter administration, supported Ronald Reagan and joined his administration in 1981, later becoming prominent foreign policy makers in the 21st-century Bush administration.”

      Ooops.

      It’s a foundation dedicated to “military medicine” and it’s annual report is just wonderful.

      http://www.hjf.org/about/annual-reports/annual-reports/hjf-2011-annual-report

      Both Senators Levin and McCain are on the Council of Directors and the contributors are a veritable who’s who of evil.

      Enjoy.

      1. jsmith

        Oops, my mistake.

        There’s actually an even MORE evil Henry Jackson group!

        The Henry Jackson Foundation – while committed to supporting the utilization/optimization of cannon fodder for America’s fascist wars of aggression is distinct from the Henry Jackson SOCIETY which was cited in the article above.

        Here’s there list of international patrons.

        http://henryjacksonsociety.org/about-the-society/international-patrons-2/

        The former head of the DHS is an “international” patron?

        Sweet.

        Thanks, Scoop!

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        jsmith, re link to annual report hjs – mercy, a Who’s Who and What’s What in the “Eugenics Movement.” Cue the Carolina Leadership, Rockefeller Foundation, Hitler, Dulles-Bush OSS-CIA.

        “The Constant Gardner” by John Le Carre – converted to film.

        “It’s a Wonderful World” isn’t it? See “Georgia Guidestones” on YouTube.

        Yes, Virginia, “THEY are psychopathic serial killers.”

    2. Jessica

      Jsmith,
      I disagree with your frequent insistence that anyone in Russia who has associations in the West that would be disqualifying if someone from the West had them can be fairly judged by those associations (not by their actual actions within Russia). I even more strongly disagree with what seems to be the implication that therefore, Putin is OK. I have seen this line of argument about Pussy Riot elsewhere and also in regards to Libya and Syria.
      I judge Pussy Riot by their actions in Russia, not by the Western associates they may have and not by the positions of ever anti-Putin force in Russia and outside. That some Western opposition to Putin is both hypocritical and simply inter-kleptocracy rivalry does not make Putin OK or make all his opponents bad.
      For me, the argument feels somewhat troll-like and for me (not speaking for anyone else), it reduces the credibility of everything you write.
      I mention this only because I did notice that some of the other things you write make sense, so I would miss something if I skipped over everything you post. Which I do do with some posters here. Mostly ones who are so more-oppositionist-than-thou that if they aren’t part of a paid effort at disruption, they should be.

      1. jsmith

        You’re abosuletly right!!

        We should also look kindly upon agent provacateurs here in the United States when they infiltrate and disrupt our protests right?

        I mean, even though they help get the heads of innocent people smashed and help land said innocent people in prison where they can rot for years they are out there protesting with us some of the time, right?

        Even though they represent the American police-state, they are marching along side of us kind of, right?

        Even though their motives are entirely antithetical to everything the protest is about we’ll just judge them by their actions, ok?

        Similarly, I guess the Al-Qaeda and Libyan foreign agents that the US and the West are actively supporting and giving weapons/money in Syria should just be judged on their actions right?

        It’s all for freedom, right?

        Concern trolling is indeed the lowest form of flattery – thanks – so save for it someone who’s stupid enough to fall for it or one of your AP American History study-group members.

      2. jsmith

        Adding:

        And to think that you have the temerity, stupidity and/or naivete after witnessing the very real war crimes, horror, death and destruction that similarly sponsored “color revolutions” have sparked around world – Georgia, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, etc – to tell us that we shouldn’t look askance upon Western-backed “activists” in Russia is insulting and – I believe – nearly criminal in its tacit acceptance of Western fascist war-mongering.

        Here’s some reading on “color revolutions” and how what they lead to:

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32261

        http://colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-do-you-escape-color-revolution.html

        1. jsmith

          Gee, ever wonder what it would be like to live in a country where foreign-backed agents have free reign to do whatever they like?

          A country where a foreign-backed “influence” has grown to such a degree that every single member of said country’s government is under the thrall of said foreign power?

          Look no further than the U.S. where Israeli foreign agents have carte blanch as concerns spying in the U.S. AND the most powerful lobby in the nation is one which looks after the welfare of Israel – AIPAC.

          Is this what I should wish upon Russia?

          That they have an American version of AIPAC that helps out the elite garbage here gain more control of the world’s wealth and resources in Asia?

          That we can/should try and destablize a nation that has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over just because some neocon a-holes want to lord it over everyone?

        2. Walter Wit Man

          I am resubmitting this post and taking out what I think was an offending link, so Lambert or whoever please delete any duplicates:

          Good analysis. I agree.

          But why has Russia been so easily duped?

          Why did Putin agree to allow the U.S. to attack Afghanistan? He plays up the drugs and terrorism issue but the Taliban were much more effective at controlling drugs. So Putin is using the War on Terrorism as an excuse as well.

          Afghanistan was attacked for “harboring” “criminals/terrorists” who have all been summarily executed or prosecuted or whatever. But the U.S. never charged bin Laden with the 9/11 attacks. The FBI said it didn’t have enough evidence. The U.S. had no right to attack Afghanistan and it set a horrible precedent for a country like Russia.

          It was in Russia’s interest to preserve the sovereign rights of weaker states.

          But Russia has allowed the U.S. to surge into the entire region. It is allowing the U.S. to supply itself and is allowing NATO to use its bases.

          Russia has also sat back and done nothing except deliver empty objections while Iraq, Libya, and now Syria and Iran get whacked.

          The U.S. has now completely taken over the old Russian sphere of influence and all we hear from Putin is lame excuses. Sounds like another Democrat to me.

          And wasn’t Putin friendly with Yeltsin and other pro Western/Zionist Russians? Was it you that recommended Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine re Russia and South Africa?

          See also Project Hammer [google if interested]

          1. jsmith

            I can only guess why Putin would “allow” us to attack Afghanistan and why he has allowed the US/NATO to infiltrate those areas and those guesses are along the lines of 1) the political climate in Russia at the time (2001-3) wouldn’t allow Russia to get involved in any major foreign interventions 2) Russia was only just coming out of 10 years of economic disaster courtesy of the West so it wasn’t able to involve itself 3) hey, if the Yanks want to waste all of their time and resources on another boondoggle – especially one, we – Russia – tried already fine 4) at the end of the day the US will not have enough resources, money, political will, or patience to try and dominate a land mass so large/far away as the Central Asia 5) also at the end of the day we – Russia – have enough nukes and are willing to use them if anything ever gets to “far” out of control.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Putin definitely is opaque, and appears to be standing up for the Russian State vis-a-vis the Elite who looted “Russia” — keep in mind an interesting connection from the past: Stalin was from GEORGIA, NOT RUSSIA. History shows that there can be NO DOUBT: The Anglo-American Establishment exerts their eternal WILL that RUSSIA NEVER shall rise to the level required to pose a serious challenge the Despotic Dynastic Rule of the Anglo-American Establishment. This was the purpose of 9/11, when the “POLICY COUP” of the Bush Dynasty and PNAC was initiated with force (see NC link today to Gen. Clark’s address at WhoWhatWhy).

            It is clear that the Russian People see Putin as a staunch defense against this foe.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            jsmith, ALSO, maybe Putin is trying to avoid the fate of CIA “friends” before him: Noriega, Saddam Hussein, etc., etc., etc. It’s a one-way street, history shows.

          4. Mark P.

            Jsmith: “I can only guess why Putin would “allow” us to attack Afghanistan and why he has allowed the US/NATO to infiltrate those areas and those guesses are along the lines of 1) the political climate in Russia at the time (2001-3) wouldn’t allow Russia to get involved in any major foreign interventions.”

            Dear Jsmith (and Walter Wit Man, I suppose) –

            If you “can only guess” why Putin wouldn’t be too agitated about our Afghan adventure, and not notice that in fact Russia _was_ simultaneously involved in its own major foreign intervention called the Second Chechen War, which had a “Battle phase: 26 August 1999 – May 2000″ and “Insurgency phase: June 2000 – 16 April 2009″ — it officially continued almost a decade, in other words — then you have a remarkable gift for not paying attention.

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

            And since you didn’t notice this decade-long conflict, you certainly haven’t figured out that for Russia’s second Chechen outing to be successful where the first one wasn’t (and the Second Chechen War has been successful, essentially) it would require Russia, famous for centuries for its blunt military heavy-handededness –
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Chechen_War#Human_rights_and_war_crimes
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_prisoner_massacres
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_battalions

            – to be fairly heavy-handed in suppressing the Chechens this time, too.

            Russia was all these things, but also admirably adept this time. In turn, though, all that required the US and the West to tacitly cooperate with Putin by turning a blind eye and not publicizing Russian actions in Chechneya so they could get on with it. And we did. We rightly recognized that the Russians had very little choice in the matter, since Chechneya is on their border and the Chechens aren’t pussycats either –
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_school_hostage_crisis

            Indeed, among their distinctions, the Chechens have been the first nuclear terrorists (non-state division) with the Izmailova Park cesium incident–
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamil_Basayev

            Essentially, then, Putin spared us friction as we proceeded in Afghanistan etc., while we spared the Russians friction in Chechneya. The geopolitical calculus is so elementary that a ten-year-old could figure it out.

            But you couldn’t.

            So, to be sure, the Internet is full of fools and who knows? — I might be one. Still, you would do yourself a favor by sparing us your geopolitical fulminations since, given your inability to observe basic matters like the Second Chechen War, you are a geopolitical dunce.

          5. jsmith

            Mark P. that wouldn’t stand for Putin would it?

            Gee, your post sure isn’t a textbook example of numbers 11, 12 and possibly 13?

            http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/the-15-rules-of-internet-disinformation.html

            Nah, don’t worry about it, it’s not like we haven’t seen it all before.

            I mean, if I’m only 10 then are you a troll embryo?

            In any case, how else could you know exactly what Putin the man was thinking which is what we were talking about.

            Sure, we could talk in detail about Chechyna as we could have also dealt in more detail about the Russian oligarchic economy and the foreign actors present during the collapse of the USSR and on and on and on.

            In addition, I think Walt and I were generally talking about areas outside of the former USSR and how Putin has allowed Russian influence to wane outside of the former SSRs but real debate was never your intention.

            11, 12 and possibly 13.

            Just 3 numbers to remind you of what a small and sad troll that you are.

            No, no, really, you didn’t come off as a TOTAL d!ck just a partial hemi-d!ck or something.

            Oh, yeah and next time, make sure you post REALLY REALLY late so that I probably won’t read your response, kay?

            A little number of 11 to play us out:

            What?! Mark P. hasn’t read the latest edition of “How to Get Embarrassed on an Internet Forum” by Professor J. Smith?

            Well, obviously he must be a f*cking idiot who obviously doesn’t give a sh*t about being made to look an effing ahole online, huh?

            Spare us the sophomoric rants of Mark P. if he just is going to get his d*ck handed to him time and time again what with all of his stale troll-moves like 11, 12 and possibly 13.

            Yikes.

          6. Walter Wit Man

            Scuse me Mark P?

            I didn’t forget shit. I hadn’t forgotten the Chechyan wars and the [probably false flag] terror events in Russia. That’s what what I was referring to above when I said that Putin was using the “War on Terror” as a justification.

            Also, I had in mind the Russian war with Georgia in 2008.

            The Georgian war is actually the one piece of evidence that makes me doubt my current assumption that Putin is in the bag for the West.

            But alas, I doubt Russia would give up control over all of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia just for the Chechyan war. Plus, did they need to? I don’t remember many people in the U.S. wanting to do anything about it.

            Furthermore, Russia got a crappy deal. The U.S. concern about Russia retaking Chechyna is nothing compared to the Russian concern about losing the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. If this was the quid pro quo, it was a stupid quid pro quo.

            Plus, Russia is still giving things up after the deal is already done. Wasn’t this “deal” done years ago? Did Russia need to allow NATO to use its bases this year after Pakistan allegedly made it more difficult? Did they need to give the U.S. the green light in Central Asia? Did they need to preemptively sell Syria down the river by claiming they won’t help defend it?

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Thanks for filling us in on critical facts. I too suspected that this was some sort of Western operation, like most of the ‘Arab Spring’ has been. It does have many of the tell-tale signs.

      But the remedy for Russia is to charge them with espionage.

      Charging them with quality of life crimes and sending people to prison for years is an abuse of human rights.

      It’s no defense that the U.S./West is worse.

      Both Russia and the U.S. will use victim-less crimes, and especially property crimes, to selectively punish people for long periods of time.

      1. jsmith

        What, you think Putin is stupid?

        The PR and Navalny cases are shots across the bow to the Western-backed groups who – since a month – do indeed now have to register as “foreign agents” so that they will now be liable for espionage prosecution.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/21/us-russia-putin-ngos-idUSBRE86K05M20120721

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law which will tighten controls on civil rights groups funded from abroad, the his press office said on Saturday, a step opponents say is part of a campaign to suppress dissent.”

        Look, as a socialist who ideally would like to see an international uprising workers, I have to be a realist in this time of crisis and see that the only thing that can stop the US fascist wars of aggression is the return of a multipolar world, one in which there is a counterbalance – Russia and China – to the criminal US enterprise as it continues to murder and slaughter aroudn the globe.

        Would I like that Putin was a “nicer” guy?

        Sure.

        Do I really give a f*ck when viewing him as one of the few remaining obstacles to American fascism on the planet?

        No.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Hmm . . . my above comment is “awaiting moderation” . . .

          so excuse me if I repeat myself . . .

          What, you think Putin is stupid?

          No.

          I suspect he is complicit.

          Would I like that Putin was a “nicer” guy?

          Sure.

          Do I really give a f*ck when viewing him as one of the few remaining obstacles to American fascism on the planet?

          No.

          I agree that I’m not about to quibble with the harassing of agents provocateur or other insurgents under similar circumstances. For instance, the Syrian government appears to be acting with amazing restraint as far as the way it has conducted itself under foreign espionage and attack. Same with Iran really. Under the circumstances.

          But I think it’s dangerous to think Putin is the last hope against U.S. imperialism/hegemony.

          He’s clearly not going to do a thing. He just sold Syria down the river. He called Assad a dead man and said Russia will not lift a finger to defend its former ally against Western invasion.

          1. jsmith

            Again, we disagree on how much Putin is a real obstacle or not.

            I really don’t think the U.S. would be spending so much time, effort and money in supporting the destabilizing “democracy” groups in Russia if Putin was in the bag.

            Maybe he won’t defend Syria but I don’t think one could say that he’s thrown in the towel as concerns defending Russia and/or allowing Western hegemony over the region.

            For example, in South Ossetia no sooner had that NATO-backed horsesh*t started than the Russia army swooped in to quicly put a stop said horesh*t.

            To reiterate, I wish it were that Putin were Abe Freakin’ Lincoln but that’s obviously not the case.

            However, as it appears that the US fascists will only stop murdering and stealing until they meet some actual resistance – thanks again, Scoop Jackson! – I can only hope that Putin does pick his battles and helps bring the American war machine to a halt.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Again, we disagree on how much Putin is a real obstacle or not.

            Yep. That’s what we disagree on.

            For instance, you think the focus the U.S. and gang are putting on Russia and Putin indicates they view him as a threat. I once thought this but now I think that it is far more effective to control the opposition and to actually support them. Plus, I’ve seen many other instances of the use of controlled opposition within the U.S. that it doesn’t surprise me it is used internationally.

            It’s a very effective tactic. I believe they therefore use this tactic a lot.

            If you control both sides of the fight you’re guaranteed to win. So when I see that Putin and Russia never seem to mount a real threat to the Empire the most logical conclusion is that they don’t really oppose it.

          3. jsmith

            The reasons I don’t believe Putin is in the bag – although buying up both oppositional sides is an effective and well-worn tactic – is that, what does he have to gain from all of this?

            Russia is replete with natural resources and doesn’t ever have to worry about running out of energy like the West.

            In addition, it controls the fuel supply of much of Europe.

            Also, with increaingly stronger ties to China, Russia must certainly see that they are poised to be on the upswing as concerns the reshifting of global order – at the very least if the US keeps threatening China Russia could expect to enjoy a larger gains in their markets.

            Basically, becoming the West’s b*tch is a lose/lose for Putin.

            Why consciously accept a subservient position to the US when one holds all the cards?

            There are more than enough oligarchs in Russia to fatten his wallet if that is what he wanted so why deal with American idiot-elites and aholes like George W. Bush calling him Pootie Poot and other such aholery?

            Again, neither of us really know but I do believe he’s been biding his time and waiting for the US to keep overextending itself into collapse.

          4. ctct

            to anyone…

            i don’t think putin is doing anything but trying to establish a foundation… for a new hegemony.. for russia… and what else would be rational? he may be a super-rich oligarch, himself, at this point; but eh, so what? he isn’t young enough and poor enough to become a fucking tool… goddamnit- it does get annoying to both hear/read the complaints of ‘humanitarians’ and ‘pragmatists’ about russian tyranny… very reminiscent of when i was growing up
            … neutralization is the best policy

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          jsmith, I really appreciate your thinking, research, and steady contributions to knowledge and potential frames at NC, even though I rarely comment on them.

  14. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT article on Deutsche Bank:

    U.S. prosecutors worry that foreign banks and regulators will no longer readily cooperate in turning over valuable transaction data that reveal the parties behind the global movement of tainted money, according to the federal and state prosecutors who were not authorized to publicly discuss the investigations.

    Good! It’s about time that the obnoxious, megalomaniacal attempt to enforce U.S. laws globally met with a bit of foreign resistance.

    Like any nation, Iran has a right to trade, and other nations in the region, such as Japan, need its energy.

    U.S. attempts to stifle Iran’s exports resemble Frank Roosevelt’s economic sanctions on Japan during 1939 to 1941, which were intended to and did goad it into a war with the U.S.

    The Israel lobby wants war with Iran, and U.S. economic sanctions are intended to provoke it. To cheer on enforcement of those sanctions, while failing to oppose the bad intent behind them, is to miss the forest for the trees.

    Banks are realizing that loose cannons like Lawsky are unique to the United States, with its warped exceptionalist notion that it can and should rule the world. There is now a strong incentive to create a credible, non-politicized global currency to get free of the U.S. dollar and the extraterritorial U.S. law enforcement that goes with it. Meanwhile, gold will do in a pinch.

    1. Ms G

      A DOJ that is incapable of building a case unless they have an insider’s cooperation is either (1) incompetent, (2) lazy, or (3) entirely captured. My sense is that we have (3) with (1) and (2) as underlying qualitites that are swept under the carpet of (3).

      1. Ms G

        Adding. Meanwhile, it is a bit hypocritical for DOJ to whine about Lawsky gumming up the DOJ’s ability to get cooperation from banks when you consider DOJ’s failure to grant immunity to Edith, which would immediately have triggered her (no doubt devastating to MFG) cooperation.

        So for the NYT (among so many other selective reports) to act like the scribe for DOJ’s Lament while failing to point out its hypocrisy is just, once again, shabby journalism.

        1. DANNYBOY

          Ms G,

          The prosecutors TRIP OVER THEMSELVES to get the evidence to the banks. THAT IS THEIR GOLD. THAT THEY CAN TRADE FOR A GOOOOOD JOB.

          The competing is SHARP-ELBOWED…to SELL YOU OUT.

          ‘wISH IT WEREN’T SO.

          P.S. Anyone, but me, ever been in one of these? The only dangerous prosecutor is one who is losing to his FELLOW PROSECUTERS.

        2. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Ms G, ain’t you heard? BBC now determines “news” at the NYT. This goes beyond Committee of 300 stealth status. Now, it’s in our faces: “Reich IV Rules New York: WASPS Trump Jews in the Rotten Apple.”

          “Paging Benjamin Lawsky STAT.”

          (Connect StanChart with Hostage Julian Assange in London, just for fun.)

      2. DANNYBOY

        Ms G,

        Don’t get me started!

        3 Sins. Wish it were so. So quaint. So pure.

        How about them prosecutors, huh!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Jim,

      We have discussed this AT LENGTH. You refuse to get it.

      The reason the US has purview (in short and simplified form) is these banks ALL are using dollar clearing services for these transactions. Those are ultimately backstopped by the Fed (Swift, Chips could NOT exist ex a central bank standing behind the daily netting). The big transactions might also have been executed over Fedwire.

      That is why we can make this our business.

    1. ohmyheck

      That is an excellent link. Thank you! I like his writing style, and he writes in laymens’ terms, which helps people like me, and the people I pass around information to.

      Great comments as well!

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      biransays, the banksters: “How ya gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?” HFT looting via compound derivatives by any name and any scheme is just SOOOOOOOOH much more lucrative than “boring banking” in The Real Economy.

    3. VietnamVet

      Another thanks for the link. “A Waiting Game” is the first clear explanation of the continuing Western economic doldrums. The Elite will never voluntarily take a haircut of their bad debt. Banks are hording taxpayer monies and waiting to spend it in the coming fire sales in austerity wracked nations in Europe and North America. The sell off of Greece will be our fate.

      The US election is a tragic farce. Paul Ryan’s banner reads “Protect & Strengthen Medicare.” The January plunge off the Fiscal Cliff, austerity cuts and a GOP balanced budget all assure that Medicare will cease to exist as an employee/company funded government program for the elderly. The “Big Lie” lives on.

  15. Eureka Springs

    Why do we need to know line by line specifics of Romney’s tax returns? We already know Romney is rich… and many of the despicable ways he acquired the money and how he keeps it. And we know both kleptocratic parties have absolutely no problem with the myriad ways (PE, tax plays, foreign bank accounts etc. etc.) people play this game.

    Reminds me of so any Dems and other lefty’s arguing over the (citizens united decision) suggesting we need to know every private penny contributed to parties and campaigns rather than the insisting we really need to end the bribe based political and electoral system entirely.

    Just when I think I could care less about the entire D vs. R campaign season… it’s the so-called middle and left which find the same old lows and wallow in it…. leaving me more disgusted with myself for falling for it for so long.

    1. jsmith

      Exactly.

      Unfortunately, the insistence on the detailed examination of every issue is meant to continuously distract the brainwashed and disinformed American citizen from being able to take a step back, look at the overall picture and realize just how bad the situation is.

      For example, George Washington’s thread about the Z-word from last night.

      What’s the point of even arguing anymore about which Israeli is a Z**nist and which really isn’t and on and on when the fact of the matter is that no matter WHAT Israel believes or doesn’t has no bearing on them being a genocidal apartheid state.

      None.

      That’s the facts, Jack.

      Does it matter how much Romney made when it’s a fact that he’s an rich elite ahole?

      No.

      Should a person wonder – but just how much of an ahole is he?

      No.

      The same type of examination and “inquiry” psychically helped “wash” away the war crimes of the continuing WOT in the minds of the American populace by presenting ameliorating/attenuating “sides” of the “debate” so that after a while the issue of war crimes is swallowed up a child-issues concerning anything and everything under the sun except the original issue of war crimes.

      Did the torture produce results?

      Are other countries helping torture?

      Who’s really in charge?

      Is it a few bad apples?

      On and on until the issue dies.

      Americans really need to stop listening to the sh*tbox, understand that they ALREADY know way more than they need to know about just how bad things are and begin to take a stand.

    1. DANNYBOY

      He’s like a subpoena machine!

      Bank I worked in kept a box full of ‘em somewhere.

      Now, where did we put that f- ‘in box?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Burning Man, shoppping, touristy.

    The leisure/entertainment sector of corporate 0.01% is also working on making Occupy touristy, one supposes.

    ‘How cute, that tent!. Daddy, I want one just like that at the souvenir shop.’

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Alert to NC readers/providers from a WITNESS: please connect dots:

    The NC Link today to the WhoWhatWhy website brings us to the FORA.tv clip of Four-Star General Wesley Clark’s address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco on October 3, 2007, which is General Clark’s effective testimony that a “POLICY COUP” was SET in the year 1991 “to destroy seven countries [in the Middle East] in five years.” He affirms that the PLAN for the POLICY COUP was SET under President George W. Bush, by “Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the PNAC [group].”

    Please view clip via NC link listed above, or click on link below:
    http://whowhatwhy.com/2012/08/10/tvwho-gen-wesley-clark-shocker-on-911-policy-coup/

    This “POLICY COUP” was effectuated by the complex “Event” we call “9/11.”

    Please CONNECT the information revealed above with that in the article posted at WhoWhatWhy, via link below:

    http://whowhatwhy.com/2011/09/22/saudi-royal-ties-to-911-hijackers-via-florida-saudi-family-0/
    – “Saudi Royal Ties to 9/11 Hijackers Via Florida Saudi Family?” by Russ Baker on Sep 22, 2011.

    To my knowledge, no one yet has made the LOUISIANA CONNECTION to 9/11. So hear goes:

    After 9/11, I reported what I had witnessed before 9/11 and after 9/11 in the Lakeside Shopping Center complex in Metairie, LA (suburb of New Orleans) to an Intelligence agent in the Kenner Police Department, and later divulged this and more yet to:
    Rand A. Wintermute
    Lieutenant Commander
    U.S. Coast Guard District Eight
    MTSA Support Coordinator
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    U.S. Coast Guard,
    who led me to make my official statement to an Intelligence agent within his Department.

    Below is what I recall telling them, with perhaps additional “pieces of the puzzle” I have discovered since then:

    During the time that I was employed as a salesman at Lakeside Shopping Mall, I spent most lunch hours in the Mall’s promenade. There, before 9/11, I was a witness to a peculiar activity: two Middle Eastern men (one short, one quite tall) in deep conversation while walking up and down the promenade. I observed them at length, until all of a sudden the shorter one glared at me with such intensity that I was frightened. Being a trained actress, I quickly adapted my demeanor to display that I was no threat to them, merely a dumb broad “people-watching.”

    After 9/11, I saw the face of this shorter of two men featured in published photographs of the “Hijackers of 9/11.” Quite soon after, I phoned the FBI and reported this over the telephone, as I requested an interview face-to-face with someone from the FBI. I was dismissed with contempt.

    After 9/11, I never saw the tall man again, but I observed several times in the Starbucks within the Lakeside Shopping Mall complex, a small group of Middle Eastern men speaking Arabic together in low tones. From their words and demeanor, it was clear that the group deferred to a man who was a professor/instructor at a major NOLA university (Tulane or Loyola, it seemed). Sensing a certain menace from this group, and remembering 9/11, as soon as possible I went to the Kenner Police Station–not far from a formerly active Mosque in Metaire–and reported what I had witnessed in the Mall and at Starbucks to an Intelligence agent who met me there. In addition, I told him about the suspicious activity I had witnessed at the “Middle Eastern” manned kiosks in Lakeside Mall. Moreover, I told him that I had seen a curious sight on Veterans Blvd. close to Lakeside Shopping Center: several cardboard cartons spilling contents of white powder, just lying there in traffic.

    I noticed later in the Starbucks mentioned above that cameras had been installed, and that the Middle Eastern Arabic speakers were not present at the time they had been before.

    I reported all of the above to Lieutenant Commander Wintermute one day in 2003, at a shop where I was working as a salesman on Royal Street in New Orleans, after I had spent some time visiting with him. He responded immediately, and asked me to make an official statement to an Intelligence agent in the heart of New Orleans. This I did.

    Since then, in my “internal” and “comment” communications on the Internet, I have referred to several manifestations of the “Saudi-New Orleans” connection, which I came to know through privy communication with New Orleanians I have known quite well. I have called attention to the connection between the Saudi kingdom and Curtis & Davis Architects, from their base on Magazine Street, when John Bernard was the Specifications writer for grand projects in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia in the 1970′s. I have let it be known that there was an active homosexual ring in New Orleans, treated to a lavish lifestyle by a notorious homosexual Prince of the House of Saud, and that a special connection existed between him and certain denizens of Royal Street.

    Now, I make a conjecture, because of my work in “brokerage” and temp work in banking in New Orleans from 1980-1982. Because of the conversations to which I was privy while immersed in this insider “EliteMoneyWorld” I propose that such key players as Peyton Bush, the First National Bank of Commerce that became Bank One, the Bush Dynasty, and BigOil agents at every level (Shell, Texaco, Exxon, Halliburton, etc.), and BigBrokerage houses at every level, and with the Purvis dynasts of BigInsurance; also the Reily – Ochsner “Conservative” connection with Lee Harvey Oswald (see “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” on YouTube), Clay Shaw (CIA) of the ITM, the Jesuits of New Orleans and Manresa of St. James Parish; the Sarpy [Sarpi] Dynasty, former President of Tulane Eamon Kelly, and other Knights of Malta who dictate policy from Louisiana; all appear to be DEEPLY, albeit COVERTLY, connected with the Bush Dynasty-Wisner OSS-Dulles/Bush CIA, and all of the nefarious plots deriving from this connection, going back to the Wisdom/Zemurray United Fruit-CIA connection that connects with Doris Zemurray Stone’s provision of the connection between Costa Rica and Tulane University. (The official residence of the President of Tulane University is the former Zemurray manse on St. Charles Avenue, to put the cherry on top). You will recall that Judge John Minor Wisdom was rewarded by President Eisenhower for pushing through “integration of public schools” in New Orleans, even as Wisdom’s family and his Elite “church family” at Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Avenue sent their own children to Elite Private Schools. Well, “noblesse oblige.”

    There is no longer doubt in my mind that New Orleans/Metairie Elite Network constitutes a Bush-Jesuit-FIRE-BigOil NODE in the “Neural Network” Closed Elite System of Global Organized Crime: the Fourth Reich, officially the Holy Roman Reich IV — the Private For-Profit Network of the .01%DNA of the western world, “protected” by the “Militant/Deadly” stealth, and brute force, of the Despotic Security Regime of the Anglo-American Establishment. There can be no doubt that the House of Saud is deeply embedded in this Establishment.

    Within the FRAME of the links above, I believe my conjecture makes sense. I suggest that an investigation into LOUISIANA’s “Conservative” movers and shakers past and present will bear strange fruit: VITAL CONNECTIONS among: the Bush Dynasty, the CIA, the Jesuits, the Rockefeller Dynasty, BigOil and Saudi Arabia, New Orleans, the Saudi Prince and his homosexual beneficiaries, the Elite “Unitary FIRE Sector, the assassinations of JFK, Robert Kennedy, MLK, Malcolm X, PNAC and 9/11, Hurricane Katrina/the Flood/Republican Coup.

    This be my testimony at NC on Saturday, 18 August 2005.

    Amen.
    LBR

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Edit: This be my testimony at NC on Saturday, 18 August 2012.

      Apologies, I still experience the trauma, the Shock and Awe, of 2005.

      Amen
      LBR

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Lambert, above I made a typing error on the middle initial. The business card of the intelligent, competent man in flesh with whom I dealt reads:

        Rand H. Wintermute
        Lieutenant Commander
        Marine Safety Division
        U.S. Coast Guard District Eight
        MTSA Support Coordinator
        U.S. Department of Homeland Security
        United States Coast Guard
        Coast Guard District Eight, Room 1341
        500 Poydras Street
        New Orleans, LA 70130-3396

        Other information on the card here withheld. You can take it from there.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            I never saw that before, Lambert. So, then, what’s the U.S. Coast Guard all about? Let’s see:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Law_Enforcement_Academy
            “The Maritime Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) is a United States Coast Guard school located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, South Carolina. It was created from the relocation and merger of the former Law Enforcement School at Yorktown, Virginia, and the former Boarding Team Member School at Petaluma, California.[1]”
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiralty_law (N.B. re Stamp Act; Jefferson vs. Hamilton and Adams: law of the land vs. law of the Nations [admiralty law], leading to the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution of the United States)
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_Dynasty (Peter Tang: FT columnist)
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_law_enforcement_agencies_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China (think London-HongKong: HSBC untouchable)
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritimes (This is why Acadians had to be burned, otherwise murdered, and deported out of this French stronghold, why the Quebequois can’t free themselves from Monarch’s Rule by Divine Right?)
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Administration (U.S.)
            CONNECT with:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Administration_of_Latvia (LATVIA! Michael Hudson please take note)
            CONNECT with:

            History shows whoever threatens British Imperial Naval Power is toast: e.g. Germany, Russia; and United States & British Maritime Power are One Force keeping the .01%DNA of the The Anglo-American Establishment Supreme, especially by Russell’s YALE, Skull and Bones, and “POPPY” for profit forever.

            So Lambert, this may be my last, old friend. You and Yves hold down the fort.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Lambert, and Charleston was the swell retirement hub of Navy (Maritime) Brass. The Atlantic connection to .01%DNA runs deeper than an Admiral’s deep sea locker. Deeper yet than “full fathom five.” And that’s WAY deep.

    2. craazyman

      LBR, that sounds like a monologue from a Tennessee Williams play. It sounds like something from A Streetcar Named Desire, in fact. You would probably make a very good Blanche Dubois.

      When you said you were hanging up your red shoes, I think everybody here thought you were about to die.

      But I guess you just had to take a piss or something, and now you’re back at the bar. :) I would bet Commander Wintermute did not know what to make of your testimony, and he may have thought you to be delusional. The attacks of 9-11 clearly had a profoundly shocking effect on us all. I happened to be several blocks away and heard the second airplane hit the tower, where I used to work on the 101st floor. I walked all the way home like a refugee — 5 miles — in a dazed state. Then I bought 6 Budweisers, drank them all one after the other and went to bed. That’s all I know.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        No. My fate. “The dancer is tired. But the Red Shoes are not tired.” They keep on dancing. (“The Red Shoes” film by Powell and Pressburger, from Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.) and I may be closer to death than you think.

        Lieut. Commander Wintermute took me dead seriously. i gave my official statement to an Intelligence agent within his domain on Poydras Street soon after our conversation.

        I DEFINITELY am no Blanche Dubois, far from it. But as Tennessee realized, real life in New Orleans is much stranger than fiction.

  18. Hugh

    The rich are not like us. Romney is entitled to be President because he is entitled. That’s what wealth does. It doesn’t matter if he is a grasping kleptocratic weasel. There are only two qualifications for being President in this country. One is to be rich. The other is to belong to the elite, who serve the rich and aspire to join them. That’s what kleptocracy is. Tax returns? Incoherent and failed policies? These are only blips on Mitt’s intellectual screen. He’s rich in a country ruled by the rich. What more can you want? What more do you deserve?

    As for Obama, he is the elite side of the equation. Just as entitled. Just as indifferent to the rest of us.

    The election is all and only about whose name will go on the looting for the next 4 years. That’s it. If you want to understand why they and the rest of our political and wealthy class act the way they do, why they seem to make unforced errors, why they don’t make even cursory moves that would burnish their image or God forbid actually solve a problem, it is that one word, entitlement. They are going through the election the same way a monarch would approach their coronation. It’s a ceremony. There is no cause and effect, no requirement for coherence, no need to make sense. Voters aren’t the deciders in this pageant. We’re the audience. The claimants are there because they are entitled to be there. They only seem to speak to us, a common mistake we make, but they really are speaking past us to their fellow rich and elites. And when the ceremony is over, we will have King Mitt or King Barack. Either way it will be the same. That’s the thing about ceremonies. They are not about change but validation of what already is.

    1. Lidia

      Why was everyone worried about Kennedy taking marching orders from the Pope, but nobody dares bring up the Mormons’ “White Horse” prophecy: that a certain anointed Mormon would accede to the presidency of the US in order to “save the Constitution”.

      It’s pretty clear Mitt thinks that he is the anointed one.
      Ann said that it was “his turn” (or “our turn”), which is an appalling enough statement in itself.

      Mittens is clearly pissed at having to answer questions from his “inferiors”. Don’t you cretins know that he is not only going to be POTUS but that he is going to be GOD OF HIS OWN PLANET!?!?!

      1. F. Beard

        Yep. I’m listening to Webster G. Tarpley right now.

        Dem Mormons, dey a pseudo-Christian cult.

        The Bible makes it clear there is ONLY one God and that there will never be another one:

        “You are My witnesses,” declares the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. Isaiah 43:10

        1. Lidia

          Yes, well, at the time of Kennedy vs. Nixon there weren’t blogs or the internet. The accusations and speculations took place in a larger public sphere.

  19. jsmith

    Russia and China cancel Syria meeting b/c – gasp! – NATO wasn’t going to attend anyway.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-501363_162-57495427/russia-cancels-meeting-meant-to-spur-syria-action/

    France’s foreign minister displays his diplomatic tact and calls for Assad to be “smashed fast”.

    Thank heavens, the “socialists” are in charge in France, eh? – nudge, wink.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/french-call-for-assad-to-be-smashed-fast-8057381.html

    Whew, it look like we’re only going to need 60,000 troops on the ground in Syria to capture their “chemical weapons” – nudge, wink – ow, my eye’s stuck.

    Don’t worry the chemical weapons will help pay for the operation, right?

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/16/syria-crisis-chemicalweapons-idINL2E8JG74320120816

      1. Ms G

        !!*$%!!!$$*

        Unitary Global Order spotted at the Hyper Local Level.

        As a NY State resident, I call “MOOO.”

        This is dreadful.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Ms. G, by the way, your “Unitary Global Order” IS the “Order” of the “Commonwealth”–the British Imperial Manifest Destiny cooked up by Cecil Rhodes & Co., The Milner Group and his Round Table.

            City of London (force of gold)- District of Columbia (force of arms)- Vatican City (force of religion) This is The Triumvirate Nest within Nations for the Imposition of the “Unitary Global Order” of the “Commonwealth of Nations” — RECALL Carroll Quigley’s “THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT: from Rhodes to Cliveden” — this is the Establishment served by Agent George H.W. Bush, Arch Traitor against We the People of the United States, once a sovereign nation.

          2. Ms G

            Apparently, especially in New York. Reich Soldat Bloomberg is a virulent Anglophile (Bermuda, London, Georgian decor at his NYC townhouse) etc. etc.

  20. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “New” at the Guardian link today confirms rag is a shameless shill for .01%DNA ruled by the Anglo-American Establishment & Co.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The Guardian succumbs to the ties that bind: the golden “fascie” of dynastic despots dealing death and Absolute Totalitarian Tyranny to “the rest” — the “One Ring to Rule Them All.” An organized crime ring, bien entendu.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/05/schleswig-holstein
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glücksburg_dynasty
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_realm

      Note well, Ms. G. — This is the root of the “Unitary Global Order” — enforced by Agents of The Triumvirate mentioned above, and of Tel Aviv for “good measure.”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Ms. G, you did see that the “Monarchy of Australia” and other Monarchies of the Commonwealth (former imperial Dominion) are ruled by a Monarch “by the Grace of God,” didn’t you? This is the old “Divine Right of Kings” still in effect today.

        1. skippy

          “Divine Right of Kings” – LBR

          The first name on their animal skin genealogy’s… are good reason to pause… you either love your creator or you don’t… eh.

          Skippy… Hay, was the american revolution nothing more than a hostile corporate take over? Monarch was on the table.

      2. Ms G

        Sigh, Leonova. I just wish there were a Unitary World Order of decent jobs, incomes and contentment for all human beings who breathe.

    1. Ms G

      This is bright news. EXILED is planting and watering good seeds of truth, and they are flowering and replanting themselves in wider and wider gardens.

      May this Butterfly Effect continue to flourish across the media planet and into many minds!

    2. Ms G

      Here are the NYT’s and NPR’s responses to requests for comment by the Observer in re EXILED’s profile of Davidson’s glaring conflicts of interest:

      NPR’s RESPONSE:

      “Adam reviews all his speaking engagements with his editors and we’re confident that none of them run counter to our ethical guidelines. Beyond that, we don’t have any further comment.“

      Translation: We have no ethical problem with our reporters (Davidson) shilling for our financial sponsors (Ally/GMAC).

      THE NYT’s RESPONSE:

      “We have discussed this situation with Adam and we’re confident that there has been no violation of our policies around speaking engagements and no conflict of interest.”

      Translation: (Same as for NPR/Planet Money). Or: “All the Shilling They Pay Us to Print.”

      WTF!

  21. Hugh

    Re Israel, you can look at the current saber rattling as a routine election year shakedown by Israeli leaders.

    Or as the bad cop role in ongoing negotiations with Iran.

    On the other hand, the Israeli political spectrum is one of the few more toxic and poisonous than our own. It sort of starts out far, far right and keeps going into weirder and more dangerous places. Netanyahu is a fascist, less on the economic side, although that’s there, and more on the militarist nation-state side. Fascists are relentless, opportunistic, and unpredictable. So Netanyahu could order an attack on Iran, regardless of the consequences, but more importantly he will never stop pushing for such an attack, whether it ever occurs or not.

    If you want a modus operandi for him, it would be more instructive to look at how he dismantled the Oslo Accords and cornered Arafat leaving him a prisoner in his own mostly bulldozed compound.

  22. scraping_by

    “…they have not suffered a defeat, at least not in the strict military sense of the term.”

    For the guerrilla army, survival is success. As long as they stay a decentralized group with recall procedures, they’re ready to hang around until they win. Good on ‘un.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      scraping_by, just so. Ref. Johnny Reb: Didn’t The South Rise Again on the back of the “NOBILITY and Analogous Tradiitional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII” with special help from the BushCIA Coup d’Etat in November 1963, the Neoconlib Putsch in “Economic” and The Shock Doctrine for the 1% Elites, the Southern Strategy of the “Republicans,” the Bush-Reagan Putsch, the Bush-Rubin-Clinton Putsch for De-regulation, the Bush Dynasty installation of the Anglo-American Reich IV enacted via PNAC’s “anti-Russia” agenda carried forward by Obama?

  23. kevinearick

    Mutual of Omaha

    The global economy is contained, and nature is systematically taking out its power systems, which expect climate equilibrium, with increasing climate variability, as the global IC chip systematically reduces gravitational diversity, shorting the relativity circuit.

    Yes, gold will appreciate, relative to all the collapsing currencies, but its vale is already collapsing relative to those building real income streams, transforming nonperforming assets in the process. The robots are on Survivor Island, hoping to control the currency outcome. Do you see how a black hole operates now?

    If Congress creates X debt, which can never repay, which is Krugman’s assumption – government does not operate like a family, its budget is not constrained, it is God, which explains system symptomatic behavior, and Apple, along with all the other “bad” banks, is issued a digital cash surplus accordingly, what is that “cash” on the sideline, on survivor island worth? Why do you suppose Google hires out of secret service?

    Bring out those suitcases full of cash, show the cash, and then circulate it, with a dye, so the dumbest robot on the planet can watch.

    The DERIVATIVE feedback loop spine, with no reality check, is Facebook, California, Apple, Fed, JPM, and the FIRE up the circuit accelerates as the crisis is “managed.” Detroit was Greece. California is one of the largest economies n the planet. Forget Italy, Spain, and the Euro. Like Greece, California is holding a gun, fashioned by JPM, at the head of the Fed, which is now the taxpayer, and to which JPM is a leading partner.

    Step out of the way. Robot habit ensures the outcome. JPM doesn’t do anything. You pick up the ball, run it to the end zone, the field flips, JPM scores, and you get the ball back on your 20. You are surprised, but you go back, pick up the ball and run it to the end zone again, expecting a different outcome. Which is insane, JPM, you, or both? Build a real playing field and others will join you. Don’t join the robots, to work within the black hole, where the enemy of better, in a relatively closed system, is best. Practice with real talent.

    If the Fed so much as inches toward the necessary quantum bailout of CA, Apple will burn up. If it doesn’t, Apple will burn up. The only question is the path of the black hole’s center of gravity, not where it will be, but when it will be. It’s a wave, propagating along a mirror, between explicit and implicit ignition.

    That char shows you that VIX is an implicit ratchet. The Fed hides the real ratchet action, until it can’t, and POP, the “arms and legs” of another middle class event horizon get ripped off. You can terminate the pensions, or fire everyone and terminate the pensions. Look at the treasury fuse on fire, heading back to the Fed. Reorganizing the Fed is a ruse.

    We build the hydra ourselves, by choosing to avoid nature. Government offers you the choice of assistance, to the end of its own growth, through capital preservation, in a positive feedback loop, until it becomes a tyrant and ignites itself. The outcome depends upon how you fashion the fuel components as they are loaded during the process.

    Would you rather adapt to nature in any one of a relatively infinite number of ways, to increase natural diversity, or choose to follow the government edict with your vote, which is a race to the least common denominator of mutually perceived equal outcomes, on empire TV, an equal opportunity to win a completely artificial, rigged, lottery economy?

    Women are behind in time due to biological gravity, creating cognitive dissonance between the sexes, but both end up in the same place. The only question is which men and which women, distilled on opposite sides of a looking glass, filtered by false assumptions.

    The opposite of saying one thing and doing another, tying up resources, is doing one thing and saying another. What may you expect these people to do and say if you just do, or say? What is the effect on the explicit side as you build your implicit key?

    What does the empire see? What does nature see? What is happening to the chemistry? What is physics? On / in what time are you?

    There is no single answer. There is no single plan. There an infinite number of plans, from which you may originate, participate, and choose a path, on your journey, building the tree of life, from which death, the tree of knowledge, and rebirth, are the derivatives. The feedback loop to equilibrium depends upon the choices you make, or your attempt to avoid responsibility for choice, leaving it to others.

    The boomers built the greatest economic motor in History, and now we are destroying it. Pick up the pieces and run with them, or bitch and moan about not getting an equal share of the past. That is life and death.

    If for no more intelligent reason than to tell government, the boomers, us, to go f- ourselves, pick up the pieces, recast, and get on with your lives, in an economy of your own choosing. Parenting and is outcome, Democracy, are counter-intuitive, relative to watch you see on TV, and, increasingly, on the Internet.

    How are those Internet IPOs going in this iteration? What does that tell you about time?

    As it turns out, life is not a choice among presented options. To enjoy the prosperity of liberty, you must set your own course, and build your own bridge. Or, be a robot, like the hoarders trying to grab you about the neck and pull you down.

    You are the 1%, not Romney, Obama, or anyone they represent. Don’t wait until the Buffets, Gates, Dimons, or Soros types of the world, representing majorities manufactured to the purpose, pull the Pavlov bait and switch. Staying ahead of the curve, with the rights granted to you by God at birth, is far more effective than exerting increasing energy to catch the curve.

    Once you recognize the Pavlov switching system on the explicit side, you will also see that you are the generator, and NPV is a function of generational choices, as it should be. Place your meter where it belongs, in nature. Send your kids to public school to observe black hole operation, and lessons learned in nature, beyond your horizon. The implicit multiplexer is a trust fund, always well beyond the empire’s reach.

    Be patient, have your children, build your business, and place your faith in the unknown. God wins every time, which s WHY. Don’t rule yourself out and expect not to be ruled with an Iron Fist, Glove or no, increasingly beyond your reach.

    1. Lambert Strether

      So, they’re following the campaign, then? [rimshot, laughter]

      No, seriously, great link. I imagine there are plenty of people in the Nigerian delta who feel much the same.

  24. LeonovaBalletRusse

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2Po4lZ9LNw&feature=g-vrec

    “The Panama Deception with George Bush Sr.- CIA Controlled Noreiga, Drugs and Gun Smuggling Lies” — on YouTube.

    All lies/harm, all the time from the STILL living Master of International War Crimes, Master of Treason, Capo de’ Cap’ of Global Organized Crime to profit the .01% at the expense of We the People of the United States.

    The penalty for such high treason is “to be hanged by the neck until dead.” The penalty for ordering/committing International War Crimes is the same.

    Baldasar Garzon, where art thou?

  25. SubjectivObject

    What the Hell.

    That local news media hypes weather to create fear, all out of proportion to the real state of the weather.

    I lived through the hurricane Rita evacuation of Houston [short weeks after Katrina]. Truth of the matter is that when Rita made land fall, it was the THE best day in Houston since I have lived there. No traffic noise, even on main roads, you could safely bicycle anywhere, essentially NO cars on the road, you could hear the insects and birds, the wind in the trees, the only things open were the bars with hurricane parties, fabulous racer cloud scapes moving by, the impression of being in motion, low humidity, cool and breezy.

    But why was everyone gone?

    Media fomented hysteria. I watched it happen.

    Easilly a week before land fall, I had already reseved motel space in Johnson City in anticipation of leaving. I monitor the National Hurrican Weather Service website, and I got the hint of potential landfall at Houston significantly before the local media was reporting on it. My plan was to leave 3 days ahead of projected land fall.

    My wife thought I was nuts at the time.

    But I continued to monitor the NHC briefs. I had done this many times before, so there are certain things I noticed, like how the track vector can change from report to report. This time, the landfall track went progressively from west of Houston, to Houston. In other words, the tracking was consistently changing in a particular direction, and based on my previous experience, and based on the NHC “Discussion”s, It seemed likely that the track would overshoot Houston to the east. So that even by 4 days before landfall, I had decided to not leave, and my wife thought I was nuts about this too.

    Because everyone else was agitated to be leaving. About this time, the media machine had gone into full hysteria mode. In reaction, you could tell the population was freaking out. Watching the gratuitous media reportage of the hysteria and trauma as millions tried to leave at once was educating.

    I would read the NHC reportage the moment it was produced, and then watch the local media reportage. Now, the ONLY place local media will get their information feed for hurricanes IS the NHC. The contrast in the impression that each made was marked. The NHC was giving indications of the easward track of landfall and moderating strengths as the windfield interacted with land, while the media continued with their antagonistic reporting style, replete with all the crisis intensity, disturbing sounds, and animated fury. They continuously hyped that BIG ONE was pointed right at Houston, even after the landfall track was well east of Houston. Though I do not have a video record of such, it seems wholly likely that satan made a few appearances.

    The only reason millions of people were attempting to leave town was because the media pushed them to. And they continued their motivational fear reportage well past any prediction of a Houston landfall. In my mind, the media was criminally liable for lying. But in the aftermath, nothing was noticed, let alone said.

    Herd instinct is predominant in humans, and the psychology of it has long been researched and paid for by the manipulators. Satan, though, his apparency begs the question: What do you get when you cross an ages old mammal with a [recent] intellective brain? Herd instinct on one hand and cunning on the other appear to be well represented, but either are merely gambits for survival self interest, with nothing evolutionary forward there.

    1. Ms G

      Exactly the same thing happened in NYC last summer. I had never seen so many intelligent people reduced to panicked imbecility (stock up on tuna fish, flashlights, motors, batten down everything) as a result of Bloomberg’s Armageddon Alerts. They shut down the subway system for crying out loud!

      I follow the NOAA hurricane tracker too and it was clear 24 hours before the media-hyped “Hour of Doom” that the storm was going to “vector” clear and wide of NYC. (Different story upstate and Eastern PA.) It was a complete waste of time trying to point out to friends that the same data that officials were manipulating to announce Armageddon was telling us that there was no Armageddon coming. This says something about how media manipulation can so capture the perception of intelligent beings that they will disbelieve/ignore easy-to-grasp objective data while clinging to a media-delivered falsehood. Scary.

        1. Ms G

          Exactly. In my Not So Foily Opinion, the NYC Hurricane/Armageddon episode was a test-run (or excercise) to measure the then-current level of Populace Compliance. (The debrief must have been one heck of a back-slapping, high-fivin’ Glenfidditch party.)

          Of course, the NYPD response to OWS was still about a month away. We (the populace) had no idea just how sophisticated and brutal the militarized compliance apparatus had become behind the scenes, since 9/11.

      1. SubjectivObject

        All in all, mediated vetting of fear and complicity; yet another department of Monsters In Corporated.

      1. SubjectivObject

        During Ike, I sat on the balcony and watched it. It rates as one those fabulous weather “days” I’ve been fortunate to have encountered.

        By the time of Ike, I had decided that no matter what, there is zero reason to leave town. Even if the neighborhood gets messed up, damage to the house, at least one is there to deal directly with it. What with all the debris and other scattered infrastructure, it could be week(s) before one can get back to their house/residence. Leaving the premesis exposed and uncontrolled for that duration is a non starter.

        The ONLY reason to run from a hurricane is storm surge. The liklihoos of an Andrew scale/intensity event is extremely low. Prudent preparations are common sense. Natural selection works earlier without common sense.

  26. jpmist

    Re: Agency revamp:

    At the risk of being cynical I can’t quite figure out how the Obama administration is screwing up here by accelerating the rate at which both FNM and FMC shrink their assets to less than half of what they are now.

    The question that comes to mind is simply who exactly is going to step in and fill the mortgage fund void left by the Federal Agencies? The banks aren’t doing much now because their terms are less generous than before. Won’t the result of the Agency contraction simply make mortgage rates more expensive, which is the opposite of what the Obama administration wants?

    How exactly is FNM & FMC going to maintain it’s current level of payment to the Treasury at half it’s size? Isn’t the Obama administration jumping the gun timing this decision now just because the Agencies have had a few profitable quarters? Those profits came mainly because the Agencies are finally getting paid back by banks for their fraudulent mortgages. Once those bad mortgages are cleared out, the Agencies have to make their earnings off the spread, which currently isn’t all that profitable.

    I can’t help but wonder if this change isn’t a recognition that the Agencies were going to forever miss their preferred payments going forward and have to borrow to make them once the Agencies had cleared out all their bad loans with the banks. Now, when the Agencies miss, which they no doubt will, there won’t be a quarterly headline about it.

    One article I read predicted that the difference between MBS coupons and 30 year Treasury will shrink quite a bit as buyers recognize that the Treasury backing on Agencies is even more secure. I wonder if there will be an issue of scarcity as the overall amount of Agency MBS declines by 50% going forward and what that will do to their values? Seeing as how the Fed’s Operation Twist just put a whole lot of MBS on their books, doesn’t it seem interesting that they’ll now be able to sell them higher.

    There has to be another shoe to drop on this news because as is, it doesn’t make sense.

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