Flamingos use ‘make-up’ Telegraph
Bat disease threatens ecological catastrophe Independent (hat tip reader May S)
The psychopathic parrot who’s ruining my life (and it’s all my feather-brained children’s fault) Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S). This story is so peculiar it’s probably true.
Verizon Wireless pays FCC $25M for years of false data charges Washington Post
Johann Hari: Protest works. Just look at the proof Independent (hat tip reader May S)
Say No or Surrender: Progressives Seek to Close “Enthusiasm Gap” for Evil Chris Floyd
David Brooks Tells Us the Unemployed Are Really Concerned About Values Dean Baker
The Post Election GOP War on Financial Reform Mike Konczal
Still plenty to play for on the Dodd-Frank bill Gillian Tett
Morgan Stanley: Shorting The Dollar Is A Crowded Trade Just Asking To Be Squeezed Cluserstock
Banks ‘Want to Sit Down’ With States to Discuss Foreclosures Bloomberg
Credit Markets: Ballot measures put muni bond holders on edge MarketWatch
Antidote du jour:
Banks ‘Want to Sit Down’ With States to Discuss Foreclosures
And, added to the ‘cost effective and more efficient’ benefit of working with colleagues; it could save your life, reputation and career and be necessary to truly represent the interests of the people.
Don’t forget the Elliot Spitzer factor; a popularly elected Governor, he was down and out within a few days after the fix by the MSM was in -and lucky to be alive.
Joining forces and acting together is the only way the states are going to put some fear into the bankster tyrants in and out of government, in and out of the US..
“This story is so peculiar it’s probably true.”
Actually, pretty tame, as parrot stories go. :-)
Is that koala admiring his dick?
The Floyd piece lays bare Obama’s fundamental vileness.
But Obama is tireless in his protection of tyranny. He seeks to defend it from any and all challenges, small or great. It would be the easiest thing in the world to simply step back and let this case be heard in court, let it be argued on its own merits and decided accordingly. It would not require some harsh denunciation of his predecessors, since he finds such things so distasteful. It would not require him to support his predecessors. It would not require the White House to do anything at all except to let justice takes its course.
It’s demonstrably a lie that Obama ever once was constrained by circumstances in doing anything he’s ever done.
It’s clear enough that where he’s passive, like in his refusal to undertake a jobs program, his passivity is the result of his criminal pro-corporate agenda.
But his evil is most starkly manifest in cases like his aggressive championing of torture, his proclamation of his right to murder American citizens at his own decree, his proactive assault on civil liberties, or his unilateral executive push to gut Social Security, all of which are 100% voluntary, chosen, assertive actions.
That’s the core Obama, the real Obama.
The Hedges quote gets to the essence of liberal worthlessness and pointlessness.
The liberal class, like the déclassé French aristocracy, has no real function within the power elite. And the rising right-wing populists, correctly, ask why liberals should be tolerated when their rhetoric bears no relation to reality and their presence has no influence on power.
Even the banks or Pentagon, worthless and destructive as they are, at least dispose of power, organize power.
But the liberals are pure parasites even given the corporate premise. They serve no purpose – tea party-type pseudo-populism looks like the astroturfing wave going forward. That’s part of why Obama and the Democratic establishment have such open contempt for the liberals – they know liberals serve no power purpose and cannot constitute a “base”. So the Democratic party is desperately trying to eke out a living as pure technocratic corporate flunkies. But there’s far too much populist energy in America for that to work. The banks know that, which is why, after some hesitation, they’ve decided to dump the Dems and go all in for the revamped tea-inflected Republicans.
So that’s another reason for my prognostication that no matter what happens, corporate liberals have no future. They’re conceptually obsolete and utterly enervated, rotten, and decadent in their personnel, such that they could never assert themselves the moment the system casts them out.
Hedges’ allusion to Tocqueville and the parallel with the 18th century French aristocracy is precise in that sense.
But there is a way for true citizens to fight. As the Hari post describes, citizen action always has a chance to succeed, if some people are only willing to do it, and keep working at it.
It would have seemed like a preposterous statement of science fiction. But it happened. It happened in one lifetime. Why? Not because the people in power spontaneously realized that millennia of persecuting gay people had been wrong, but because determined ordinary citizens banded together and demanded justice.
The same lesson applies in the case of all struggles. Especially today’s definign struggle against neoliberal corporatism, where such large majorities already agree with basically rebellious ideas, but simply can’t comprehend how to act upon these ideas.
Indeed, Chris Floyd flays the Obama administration. It’s baffling that Obama would persist in waging Bush’s war against human rights and the constitution when there is nothing to gain politically. He constantly splits the difference and makes no difference at all or makes it worse.
Can’t he connect that to his plummeting approval or is he consolidating precedent toward some larger, sinister agenda? It makes little sense, except for the “briar patch” strategy Yves mentioned the other day. The GOP win provides a theatrical thicket of cover for the “reform” of Social Security and Medicare, and the relentless erosion of civil rights ensures there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. He can kill or imprison anyone of us for any reason at all.
Floyd quotes at length from Chris Hedges’ piece: The Failure of Liberal Opportunists”, notably “The liberal class, which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible, functioned traditionally as a safety valve … But the liberal class, in our age of neo-feudalism, is now powerless. It offers nothing but empty rhetoric … the Constitution and its guarantees of personal liberty are irrelevant.”
Floyd also notes that “The Democratic Party has become the enabler — and the eager, avid enactor — of the same sinister, inhumane, corrosive and murderous policies that liberals, progressives, dissenters, true patriots (call them what you will) once fought so hard to resist.”
On the “enthusiasm gap”, Floyd writes: “As Arthur Silber has said so many times, why do you support such things? Will you go on ‘making friends with evil’? Will you give your support to it yet again? Or, in Silber’s words: “Will you say, “No”?’ Will you, at last, say No to this bipartisan cycle of horror?”
Obama himself is a neoliberal corporatist by ideology and a status quo elitist by personality. And by now I’m convinced that in his mind he sees himself as a Republican. He’s also politically incompetent, although not as much so as the Democrats in general.
I say that because it’s clear that Obama despises the Democratic party. Not just the “progressives”, but the whole thing. So although he must personally want a second term, I don’t think he personally cares about the Party as a whole. It’s up to the Party to fight its own partisan warfare since they can’t look to their president for leadership or even concern. But they too are totally inept at fighting for their own political survival, because they too share that toxic mix of corporatism, technocracy, contempt for the people, and tactical incompetence.
(And they’re all totally deluded about what the Republicans really are. They think the Reps will willingly tolerate their existence as a permanent minority pseudo-opposition, the same way they’d want the Reps around to play that role.
Um, no. As the Reps already have demonstrated in Alabama, for example, they want the Democrats in prison, if not worse.)
That’s the only analysis which explains all the evidence and leaves no question unanswered.
Johann Hari’s point is excellent and worth anyone’s time. It is, furthermore, a capsule of the history of popular protest against state policy. The nut of the matter is this: you lose, you lose, you lose, you lose, they give up. As someone who has protested, and studied the process, it’s plain that one spends most of one’s time begin defeated. That’s painful, humiliating, and intimidating. One can’t expect typically, as in a battle, to get a clean shot at a clear win. What you do with protest is just what Hari discusses, you change the context, and that change moves the goalposts on your opponent, grounds out the current in their machine. The nonviolent resistance in Hungary in the 1860s (yes, that’s in the 19th century) is an excellent example. Communist rule in Russia and its dependencies didn’t fail because protestors ‘won’ but because most simply withdrew their cooperation to the point it suffocated. This is what I mean when I say, “Folks with an upside down mortagage with a major bank should simply stop paying.” They can’t foreclose you all because the valuation loss would destroy them. Don’t like your choices at the polls? Vote, but not for the Demublicans or the Republicrats, even if that means writing in, say, Al Yankovic.
Break the frame. Break the frame, and the air in the system leaks out. It’s a bitch; you get your hand cut, and you wish it was somebody else who stepped up to to it. But break the frame, dont’ but the story, don’t sit in front of the godbox consuming. There’s power not just in numbers but in noncompliance. Sit down on the bus and don’t get up . . . .
Life adapts. It is not stated, but it can be inferred that a bat researcher brought the fungus to America and introduced it to the East Coast brown bat population. Scientists now know the cause and they are developing solutions. The Little Brown Bats have had local populations decimated, but if the remaining bats can be protected, or resistant individuals discovered, the bat population will recover. If these measures fail, then the fungus will either wipe out the entire population or individuals resistant to it will survive and propagate because they will be the only ones who can reproduce. There will be more food for the survivors as well. The farmers will have to muddle along in the meantime with more pests eating their crops until the bats recover.
And regarding parrots, I once roomed with three other people, one of whom let her parrot free. In five months, the entire interior woodwork of the place was destroyed, and any personal possessions left in the open shattered. Given a year, the place would have been rendered a guttend shell, by one parrot. I moved out, not for that reason, but with scant regret. ‘Psychotic’ is a designation I would typically reserve for those with a cerebral cortex possessing a forebrain, but I would make an exemption so as to include parrots.
“Banks ‘Want to Sit Down’ With States to Discuss Foreclosures”
What is there to discuss? The only question bankers are interested to know is “How much will it cost us to make the problem go away?”
Why should the AGs even want to discuss anything but a surrender?
One in 34 Americans did not earn any money last year. Horrifying analysis of the trend.
Also, this looks funny:
Adventures of an Unemployed Man (Graphic Novel)
MotherJones has an excerpt:
The villains are awesome: Stern Bear, Stanley Morgan, Lemur Brothers, the Golden Sack, the Thumb…
A couple of siren-songstresses, I’m-Moody and Being Poor Is Standard.
The Dwarves on Capitol Mountain.
Monster Dog who eats mortgage notes.
Bazooka Boy who tries to save a burning house by a dam.
Being Poor is Standard is **brilliant**.
The Fed’s new QE makes Andy Xie prolific. His latest post is addressed to emerging economies such as Brazil. He argues that they must use any means necessary to protect themselves from the inflow of hot dollars unleashed by the Fed.
“First, emerging economies must stop hot money by any means. Forget about free market dogma. This is literally a life-and-death situation. In three months, the market may start to talk about QE 3 by the Fed. The hot money will likely double or triple from here. Financial markets like to say that government interventions are not effective in the end. This is nonsense. A sovereign country can do whatever it wishes, including throwing people in jail and confiscating foreign investment.”
I don’t think there is a ship called QE3.
They simply refurbished QE2.
“Foreclosures have historically been a state issue, but several industry observers said there has to be a national standard governing the process.
“It just screams out for it,” said L. Richard Fischer, a partner with the law firm Morrison & Foerster. …
Some said national bank preemption, which does not currently cover foreclosures, should be applied. Under the law, nationally chartered banks do not have to follow state laws that significantly interfere with the business of banking. That test has already been met, Fischer said.
“There is no question that the existence of all of these state foreclosure laws significantly interferes with the exercise of the banks,” he said.”
Morrison and Foerster is known as “MoFo” for a reason.
I’ve sorta been following what’s going on in Mexico for a little while, and sometimes throw in a comment here with a link to stuff that seems important.
This isn’t a geopolitics blog but as evidenced in the daily links YS has a wide range of interest.
I’d like to call attention to an event that might not be covered as prominently in US media as, say, the shooting death of southern Arizona rancher Robert Krentz.
Today Federal Police apparently shot José Darío Álvarez Orrantia, a university student, during a demonstration in Ciudad Juarez.
It’s looking more and more that, as in Afghanistan, the US is in Mexico supporting a regime/economy that depends on trafficking illicit drugs and is corrupt from top to bottom.
What will be the consequences?
Staff, “Balean federales a estudiante de UACJ”
RT[…] ¿Cuál será la bala que derrame el vaso? #juarez #mty #reynosa #tampico #durango #torreón #michoacan #chihuahua #nl #mexicorojo
What will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back?
RT[…] Federales que enfrentan manifestaciones pero se hacen a un lado y se empinan cuando pasan los convoys del Chapo #CDJuarez #MexicoRojo
Federales confront civil demonstrations but allow El Chapo’s traffic to pass.
What do we have for entertainment?
Cops kickin’ gypsies on the pavement.
The Clash, “Magnificent Seven”
Sundog, Chris Floyd has a devastating piece on Mexico. Alas, the shock doctrine is migrating north.
“Manufacturing Mayhem in Mexico: From Nixon to NAFTA and Beyond”