Links 12/3/10

This has been a busy news week, and unfortunately I’ve also had more than the usual number of meetings. Hope to regroup and get some catchup material out over the next few days.

‘New form of life’ loves arsenic BBC

GM Confirms, Yes, We’re Losing Money on Every Volt We Build GreenCarReports

When it comes to Assange rape case, the Swedes are making it up as they go along Crikey (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck) and Arrest Warrant for “Sex Crimes” Against Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Is for “Sex Without a Condom”, NOT Non-Consensual Rape Using Force George Washington

WikiLeaks cables: The Afghans simply want to know who will be in charge Guardian (hat tip reader May S). The Guardian is the best one-stop shopping on Wikileaks thus far.

Wikileaks Exposes Complicity of the Press Gareth Porter, CounterPunch (hat tip Marshall Auerback)

Deaf to History’s Rhyme: Why President Obama is Failing Thomas Palley

Freezing Out Hope Paul Krugman, New York Times

Dick Cheney to be charged over Halliburton … in Nigeria? Rachel Rose Hartman (hat tip reader May S)

Andy Kroll, How the Oligarchs Took America Tom Englehardt

The corporate takeover of American schools Guardian (hat tip reader May S)

China- A Profiteers Bagunca (Mess) Russ Winter

Point of Purchase Bank Card Surcharges: Will They Help or Hurt Consumers?
Nathalie Martin, Credit Slips

Tiny Houses Popular in Aftermath Of Housing Crash Fox5. A tiny house sounds cute, but why not an apartment? They are more energy efficient by virtue of having fewer exposed walls.

ECB steps up push to calm markets Financial Times. The ECB is starting to act a lot more like the Fed.

Imminent Eurozone Default: How Likely? Simon Johnson. This is important, and I wanted to comment on it, but basically it says pretty much everyone has been snookered into misreading the latest eurozone spin.

Europe’s leaders recoil from unity Philip Stephens, Financial Times

Hangover theory and morality plays Steve Waldman

Cross Section of Rich Invested With the Fed New York Times

Goldman considers selling mortgage servicer Financial Times

Fed’s Delay on Release of Transcripts Will Be Reviewed by Issa Bloomberg (hat tip Tom Adams). Go Rep. Issa! Matt Stoller complained about this issue in his post on Wednesday.

Antidote du jour:
Picture 11

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  1. Jessica

    From Deaf to History’s Rhyme: Why President Obama is Failing Thomas Palley
    “President Obama’s fateful decision to go with Clintonomics meant the recession was interpreted as an extremely deep downturn rather than a crisis signaling the bankruptcy of the neoliberal paradigm that has ruled both Republicans and Democrats for thirty years.”

    Then what do we replace it with? I am sure we can come up with something, but I believe that right now, it is a competition between available neoliberal solutions that don’t work and solutions that will work but that do not exist yet – at least not as widely understood coherent positions. So there is a lot of acting like the drunk who looks under the street light for his keys even though he dropped them on the other side of the street because “that is where the light is”.

    To put it another way, the lack of clear, credible solutions makes it psychologically more difficult to face the depth of the problem.

    I think that many people will not let themselves see how deep the problems run until they see believable solutions. And that those of us working on those solutions (I just volunteered many of the writers and readers of this blog) will have to start putting together solutions before enough people are willing acknowledge the problem to create the possible backing to implement them or even consider them seriously.
    I would love to see this blog start examining what we should do. For example, what would a real solution to the mortgage securitization problems look like? What solutions would we like at least the blog reading public to be aware of in preparation for the day when the bankruptcy of current DemRep policies (“let them eat whole wheat sugar-free cake” vs. “eat sh*t”) becomes so obvious that there is an opening even for solutions that right now the elite is still able to keep out of polite discussion.

    1. DanB

      We start, I think, with grasping the connections between energy, economy and finance. This leads to the core of American & economic mythology: that perpetual growth is natural. A cursory examination of ecological science illustrates how economic expansion is made possible by exhaustive resource exploitation. If you run low on resources the extant system will change and that change will show up in economic and financial turmoil. Running parallel/interacting with ecological forces are the corruption of our institutions, existential anxiety to preserve the present to ward off fear of death, and the financial and economic debacle pursuing growth as oil production peaked has wrought.

      What we do first is recognize the problem, then the answers come from a new paradigm. Attempting to restart growth, no matter how honest, compassionate or bright you are, is now contrary to thermodynamic and biophysical constraints underlying our crisis of sustainability.

      1. Jessica

        I would agree that if we remain within the current economic system, the exhaustion of easy energy supplies will make continued growth impossible. Therefore, globally either we all become somewhat poor or some of us can be rich and most of us desperately poor.
        I think though that the deeper crisis we face is about the need to transition to rules designed for an economy centered on immaterial production. For the past few decades, the economy has increasingly centered on production of knowledge (in the broadest sense from advanced technology to the latest Lady Gaga song) but our rules are built for material technology.
        Unleashing the knowledge-centered economy would allow us to replace crude fossil fuel with sophisticated brainpower. This is a transition at least as great as that from feudalism to modern capitalism and possibly as great as the transition from hunting-gathering bands to settled agriculture. So it will take a while. And much effort.

        1. craazyman

          I was thinking how weird it would be if people eventually reverted back to tee-pees and animal skins and wood fires. Having taken technology all the way it could go, realizing that there is nothing there, after a point, other than awareness itself. And then they would go back to the tee-pees and back to animal skins and fires, with a heightened sense of the catastrophe of imagination run wild, and with a more rareified sense of the awareness of awareness, like a conisseur of sentience. Joining a completed circle over milleniums of time and again making art by drawing animals on the walls of caves. It could happen! Maybe it has already, a few times. And all the artifacts are ground up into dust, except a few fossils that nobody has found yet. ha ha ha. It makes sense to me. I’m sure someone in Hollywood already has a script in some file cabinet, along these lines. It would make a good B-Movie.

    2. Give Sympathize Control

      “For example, what would a real solution to the mortgage securitization problems look like?”

      As a naive ignoramus, it has always amazed me that something that is in many instances literally thick on the ground, in most instances generates no income for the owner but instead expenses, and is something we all need should cost so much in the first place. If houses were priced so that people could afford to buy one without signing their lives away for 30 years (or more), there would be no need for mortgages and thus no mortgage securitization problems.

      To fix the mess we have, it would been far better to have taken the $12 trillion we’ve thrown down the financial centers’ black holes and used it to shore up FDIC (save the depositors), endow various social safety nets (if the AAA rated investment for the widows and orphans is really a toxic heap or empty box, I’d rather bail out the widows and orphans directly and not via the crooks who rooked them in the first place), hire a lot more people for the FBI’s white collar fraud and racketeering outfits, and then let the chips fall where they may. “Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.”

      But before anything like that could happen, we need quite a few other things. The first thing to try is to get a “none of the above” or “vote of no confidence” option on the ballot for all political races. Because for all the talk about how boycotting elections really shows popular discontent, it overlooks the fact that in our current system somebody still wins even if only one person turns out. Until we can say no and have it stick, things will continue their downward spiral.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Astute analysis for a self-deprecating “ignoramus”. You got my vote for Fed chairman … but … then again, it’s become self-evident that Americans would do better with a chimpanzee in that chair.

        It’s striking, breathtaking, to imagine what we could have done with $12-trillion instead of shoveling it into banksters’ black-hole vaults and inflating food and energy costs for “the unwashed”. For starters a ‘mere’ $15.6-trillion (30% more), taxpayers could have bought every single house in America, all 130 million houses from sea to shining sea, for their median value of $120,000—no mortgages, no foreclosures(!).

        That says nothing about investing in smart, wealth-generating investments in new urbanism, light, high-speed rail, wind, solar, algae fuel, smart grids, wind-sail shipping, green manufacturing, etc., etc., maybe even new bridge-shelters for the burgeoning homeless. Instead with perversely-twisted priorities, we “invest” in decade-long, illegal wars for oil and Israel, re-inflating casino assets and dollar-destruction, as well as new tax cuts for billionaires … all at a time where wealth disparity is the most extreme in US and world history. Ours is an asylum of manifest madness.

        Hark! They’re coming to take me away!

  2. Jim Haygood

    From the ‘tiny house’ article:

    ‘Tiny houses can be hooked up to public utilities and are equipped with several basic amenities, such as a kitchen, bathroom and lofted sleeping area.’

    Technically true, but legally? Jay Shafer’s tiny house, pictured in the article, is mounted on wheels — legally speaking, a mobile home.

    At least in the status-conscious northeast, zoning severely restricts where mobile homes can be located. Some existing mobile home parks are grandfathered in, but very few towns are allowing new ones.

    Ultimately zoning — such as 5-acre minimum lot sizes — is part and parcel of the oversized-house phenomenon. This ‘Nineties boom’ concept is becoming ill-suited to a poorer, downsized America.

  3. Ignim Brites

    PK laments the President’s freeze of Federal pay. Just another instance of liberal political tone-deafness. The failure of the Dems tax policy arises from a failure to of aggression towards the wealthy. The real case to be made against the wealthy is that the dividend, capital gains, corporate, and payroll tax privileges are unfair. But Dems and their academic shills won’t make this case because most are in fact beneficiaries. Until Dems are willing to say, “If it is good enough for capital, it is good enough for labor”, there will be no progress. One nation, one people, one tax.

  4. sgray

    finally – officials going after the fees

    December 02, 2010 03:00 PM
    Showdown: Massachusetts Official To Pursue Mortgage Reassignment Fees From MERS
    5 commentsBy Susie Madrak
    This certainly cheered me up. Because no matter how much the politicians may try to cover up all the legal problems with MERS, this guy’s right — and he’s going to get that money:

    The gigantic mortgage database owned by the nations largest banks may have run afoul of Massachusetts strict property recordation filing laws, according to the elected Recorder of Deeds for the South Essex district of the state.

    In an exclusive interview with CNBC, John O’Brien explained why he sent a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley requesting an investigation into Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, Inc.

    “It’s a basic issue of fairness. MERS says that if you are a member of their club, you can avoid fees on assignments of mortgages forever. Those are fees that everyone else pays,” O’Brien said. “I’ve never before heard of a private company that has attempted to unilaterally take over such a public function as property recordation. Imagine if someone tried to do this with drivers licenses.”

    O’Brien has asked Coakley to investigate whether MERS may owe fees for recordation it has avoided. He is taking this very seriously.

    “I intend to pursue this as vigorously as the banks pursue a consumer who doesn’t pay a fee. If you don’t pay them, they’ll pursue you to the gates of Hell,” he said.

    O’Brien, who was named “Public Official of the Year in 2000 by the National Association of County Recorders Election Officials and Clerks, is unimpressed by MERS’s official response to his request for an investigation.

    “Massachusetts has very clear cut rules. Recordation is not optional. It’s mandatory. It cannot be avoided,” he said.

    MERS argues that it is saving recordation offices and homebuyers money by reducing paperwork and fees. It says that homeowners would be “directly or indirectly” responsible for paying the assignment fees if not for MERS.

  5. moopheus

    “A tiny house sounds cute, but why not an apartment?”

    The problem with apartment walls is that on the other side is another apartment. And probably above you and below you as well. Which would be fine if they were empty, but usually they are occupied by neighbors. Who run around and yell at each other and slam doors and crank their tvs and stereos up and fill the hallways with smoke because they don’t know how to use a damn frying pan and they also apparently don’t know how to properly hook up the washing machine they have even though it’s not allowed in the lease so that it overflows and leaks into your kitchen. And will the landlord ever come by and fix the damn hole in your kitchen ceiling where the plaster rotted away from water damage?

    A tiny house on wheels sounds like a pretty good alternative, actually.

    1. IF

      I knew when I’ve read the original lines that Yves was anti-American again, maybe even European. I think that lot sizes and zoning are the main culprits of the current preferences. But the other issue is what you mention: shoddy construction. I have lived in apartments in Europe as well as the US. And the American apartments are by far noisier and more transparent to smell. The construction usually is often enough wood or panels, which *might* be ok for a single family house but is not in this context. This doesn’t have to be. The by far oldest towns in the US are apartment constructions made of rocks or adobe. They seem cozy to me (never slept in one though) and often have great view from their mesa or alcove. Prime real estate dedicated to the community.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’ve lived in perfectly nice apartments in New York with no noise problems, and trust me, I have lived in a LOT of apartments. If you are concerned about energy efficiency, which is the rationale for tiny houses (well that and cost), an apartment is hands down the winner.

  6. Jessica

    Deaf to History’s Rhyme: Why President Obama is Failing Thomas Palley

    Yes, well written and worth reading.
    I hypothesize that the reason why Obama is failing is that he is identified with the technocratic “non-ideological” elite. He sees his mission as being to end the free-booting plunder of the anti-intellectual, anti-rational Republicans and restore the rightful rule of the reasonable, dignified, rational technocracy. That the technocracy is part of the same elite that the free-booters also belong to and that the relationship between the technocracy and the rest of us needs to change are two thoughts that the true technocrat is incapable of thinking.

    By the way, the difference between Republicans and Democrats is between the undisciplined parts of the elite and the organized, rationalized elite (technocracy). This is why the difference is real, but can not be fundamental for us of the peasantry. The plundering Republicans offer to protect us from the overbearing technocrats and the technocratic Democrats offer to protect us from the undisciplined corporate plunderers. In this time of crisis, we need more than usual and the capacity of either wing of the elite to deliver is reduced.

    1. Ron

      Barry over at the Big Picture commented a while back that the political issue is not liberal vs conservative or Dem vs Rep but rather how our society has become over layered with corporate power which has filtered into every aspect of life.
      We see corporate power at the Federal, State and local political level while being blinded to its teaching at all layers of society,like gravity its very powerful and always functioning but as a society we don’t recognize its moment to moment power.

      The other issue is that modern life is like good candy. Its impossible to deny the day to day luxury that modern life has bestowed on most Americans and presenting anything less is challenging!

      1. Moopheus

        Yes, modern life is a cool, refreshing blend of Orwell, Huxley, and Mussolini. Three great tastes that go great together, except for that lingering disorienting nausea you may feel, like you’ve gotten on the wrong ride and the funhouse. (Okay, two not so great metaphors that didn’t go so great together.)

    2. Opir

      What passes for “technocrats” in this context is laughable. What we have here seems more like “warmed-over, largely unemotional Neoliberals.” as opposed to “radical, let’s assassinate democratically elected leaders who privatize their pension systems to show fealty to Lord Friedman Neoliberals.”

      “Technocratic” has become a code-word in the US for “split the difference, try to be above the fray and fail, bi-partisanship at any cost” spinelessness. It does not have to be that way.

    3. Externality

      Technocrats are never impartial; they just cloak their self-interested actions in rhetoric, byzantine decision making processes, (often deliberately and unnecessarily) complicated jargon, and tribalism. (Technocrats often come from and disproportionately benefit a few small demographic groups at the expense of the people that they are purportedly trying to help.) They simply enact their masters’ policies behind a facade of scientific legitimacy, just as religious leaders are often coopted to help legitimatize unpopular policies.

      Does the “technocratic” Federal Reserve benefit the American people or a cabal of international bankers and a small number of people who get rich off international banking? Does the “technocratic” IMF help developing countries or international bankers who made unwise loans to developing countries? Do technocratic “experts” urging the escalation of the drug war benefit the American people or the prison-industrial-government complex that benefits from it?

      1. Externality

        The year 10 A.D: (in Latin) “These goat entrails are unblemished and there is no foreign matter present. The God Mars supports the emperor’s plan. Let it be done for Mars, the emperor, and the greater glory of Rome”

        The year 1010 A.D. “The holy Scriptures, written in Latin that none of you serfs understand, support the King’s divine right to rule. You must obey him and his plans as you would obey God. You must sacrifice your money and life for the King in this to be rewarded in the next.”

        The year 2010 A.D. “This model, which uses twenty-two pages of partial differential equations, supports our conclusion when utilized in conjunction with our proprietary data set. Since our data set is protected intellectual property, you may not see it. However, our technocratic recommendation is that you follow the president’s plan as it is supported by our analysis.”

          1. Externality

            The methodology is the same. A self-appointed elite purports to guide society based on arcane theories and facts that only they and their supporters understand and have access to. The Federal Reserve not only acts like a cult, its building was designed to look like an Old Testament temple and overawe the simpletons who come to DC. (The Indian Treaty Room of the White House was similarly designed to overawe visiting Native American leaders.)

            Allowing an insular group of bankers to run a (democratic) country, based on their interpretation of data sets and models only they have access to, makes as much sense as allowing religious leaders to set policy based on their interpretation of ancient texts (or goat entrails).

          2. Externality

            Just as religions divide societies into “good” and “bad” groups, the Fed is picking “good” economic actors and “bad” economic actors. ZIRP and QE are intended to help the “good” bankers and debtors at the expense of the “bad” savers whose savings are being devalued.

            In a culture where consumption/materialism is the dominant religion, the Fed’s decisions as to wealth allocation do, in effect, act to judge who is worthy of and who is not.

        1. Externality

          n a culture where consumption/materialism is the dominant religion, the Fed’s decisions as to wealth allocation do, in effect, act to judge who is worthy of consumption and who is not.

  7. Michael Fiorillo

    Although it’s long overdue, I’m happy to see NC finally devote some coverage to the hostile takeover of the public schools by corporate profiteers, with the urban schools as the beachhead.

    This privateering is of a piece with the financial looting – and is being implemented and enabled by many of the same interests- that has brought us to our current sorry state.

    The privatization of education begins with mayoral control of school systems, which in the cities has meant denying parents the right to have any vote or say in their children’s education. In a particularly vicious irony, the same people who have stripped away the voting rights of minority parents are calling corporate education deform the “civil rights movement of out time.”

    This hostile takeover, which is accelerating, also entails the destruction of due process, fairness, seniority and professionalism within the educational labor markets, with senior teachers vilified and targeted, and untrained peace corps/missionary types indoctrinated into believing that a two-year stint polishing their resume in a public school will magically eliminate the inequalities that have plagued the schools and nation for decades.

  8. Fractal

    Just passing by today. Another good link is the Bloomberg item on the latest turmoil & alleged fraud at Kaplan University:

    The “former dean” was apparently only employed by Kaplan for a year or less but was there long enough to become a whistleblower against Kaplan. He is now the defendant in a criminal case (story gets sleazier by the second) and is defending in part by showing that Kaplan is retaliating against him for blowing the whistle on Kaplan’s fraud. WaPo stock dropped substantially in a recent period per Bloomberg. Awwwww

  9. Opir

    Regarding the “Oligarchs” article, and the issue of campaign finance reform. Many people (including myself) have thought a lot about this problem, but none of the solutions seems to satisfy two conditions: 1) it doesn’t completely destroy free speech, 2) it actually helps

    What kinds of things could be tried?

    More donor limits, matching funds, etc. None of this stops outside groups who have a vested interest in getting a candidate electing from spending huge sums on their behalf. If you try to limit that, it can be broken into multiple organizations who communicate clandestinely. Are we going to spend the time and resources trying to figure out who is gaming this and how? Even if we did, how successful would it likely be? These ideas and their variants seem hopeless.

    At the other end, we could just ban all political advertising AND campaigning, and simply have a government funded web site/cable TV network to give the candidates the ability to: articulate their positions and credentials, debate, and describe their platform. This might be more successful, but free speech is essentially in the woodchipper with this. No good. What about banning ads around campaign time? This seems like it would simply push the ads out earlier, and force candidates to create cults of personality/be celebrities even MORE than they are now.

    It seems to me that we should simply forget about trying to fix the election process and perhaps try a federal law that allows any politician to be recalled at any time. Period. No one is immune. This is, as one would suspect, not a silver bullet by any means. A fickle, sometimes ignorant, reactionary electorate could wind up taking out very good politicians who haven’t been given enough time to allow their policies to work or who have been thrust in to an environment so bad that there’s no way they could fix things fast enough to make everybody/enough people happy. Still, it seems like it could be better than what we have now; it may be worth a try.

    1. Jojo

      I’ve long advocated for a recall provision for Federal elected officials.

      But this would require a constitutional amendment. What do you think the odds are that Congress would embrace such an amendment? [roflol]

  10. mk

    The Gulf of Mexico is Dying
    Posted on December 1, 2010 by concernedcitizensofflorida

    A Special Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spill

    By Dr. Tom Termotto

    It is with deep regret that we publish this report. We do not take this responsibility lightly, as the consequences of the following observations are of such great import and have such far-reaching ramifications for the entire planet. Truly, the fate of the oceans of the world hangs in the balance, as does the future of humankind.
    Author’s Note: This short reality check was made possible by BK Lim, Geohazards Specialist, whose research and analysis of the BP Gulf Oil Spill has proved invaluable to ferreting out the truth of this unprecedented environmental devastation. BK provided figures 137-06 and 136-3, including the commentary, which only an experienced and highly skilled geohazards expert could furnish with authority. He is also responsible for most of the articles/essays referred to and linked to in this post.

  11. adsf

    Darrell Issa is as corrupt as they come. Ed Roski is trying to build a nfl stadium in the corrupt City of Industry (City of Greed Unfortunately, this stadium will butt up against the nearby residential cities of Walnut and Diamond Bar. When walnut sued under the CEQA environmental protection act due to an inadequate environmental impact report, Roski paid Issa (whose district is nowhere near the site) to lead the charge to exempt his project from CEQA, setting up a disastrous precedent. Arnold later signed the exemption.

    Rooting for Issa is like rooting for one thug in a ring of many thugs.

    1. KFritz

      Good point about Issa. He was behind the real, actual media lynching of Gray Davis (unlike Justice Thomas’s “how dare you criticize ME” moment).
      But like a broken clock, Issa is by default occasionally right about something.

  12. LeeAnne

    Assange, Wikileaks and Interpol

    We don’t often hear about the activities of Interpol. Their priorities need to be questioned along with the political right and the Pentagon whose computers have been reportedly loaded up with child pornography – no investigations – no penalties –no journalism. The subject seems to be synonymous with the Western criminal power structure.

    Which is why Wikileaks and copy cats sure to come are required for the disgruntled as heroes in the war against the gangster power structure.
    Two can play the same game of surveillance.

    Its sickening, this use of pornography by twisted souls on the right to smear whomever they choose to finger -and Sweden -that land of liberalism; alerting us that anywhere in the world where Central Banks rule, is enemy territory in their war against the people of the Western world now that they’ve TAPPED them OUT and gone on to greener pastures in the East.

    Chertoff’s imagination in full swing with his voyeurism at the airports is too disgusting to contemplate. Such an imagination – Michael the naked body scanners Chertoff – always did came across as a pervert. Look at the toys he’s playing with now.

    No wonder something like Palin is taken seriously as a potential presidential candidate; another manifestation of American sickness. We’re a joke to the rest of the world … and that is costing each and every American in credibility, respect, and ultimately, in our employment opportunities, education and standard of living.

    Pravda has more credibility than anything called journalism in this country:
    Opinion » Columnists
    Spankin’ Sarah Palin: A clown short of a circus

    I have already called Sarah Palin a pith-headed bimbo from the back of beyond, in this column. I shall now go one step further. By attacking the democratically elected President of the United States of America at a sensitive time in her country’s history, she shows the tact of a boorish drunkard bawling obscenities at a funeral.

    If Sarah Palin is not some kind of a massive political joke in the USA, wheeled out to liven up the political scene from time to time with nonsensical and pastiche (one hopes) displays of sheer and utter ignorance, then it is worrying. It is even more so if anyone other than a manic depressive suffering from a chronic lack of lithium takes this…female…seriously.

    Hockey Mum Sarah ex-Governess of Alaska is famous for her shrill shrieking style, displaying a pitifully shallow persona which one hopes is stage-managed to give the rest of the world a good chuckle at the Americans’ ability and unique quality to make fun of themselves, a real-life female version of Homer Simpson-cum-Belching Barney at Mo’s, giving us ever-more hilarious soundbites as she sets herself up as the dumbest woman on Earth.

    This ties in with reports in the media on polls approving and disapproving of the latest manifestation of Wikileak’s mission by – quess who? … the media; the media that’s been largely abandoned for their lying lack of credibility.

  13. Greg

    The Interfluidity article is a must read for everyone here “Hangover Theory and Morality Plays”.

    Read the two preceding posts and look at the comments as well in all. Over all some of the best reading in the last few months. Steve Waldmann has always been one of my favorites. Able to get at the crux of things very well. I especially like the way he was able in this article to show how Keynesians and Austrians are much more alike than is apparent.

    Check it out.

  14. EmilianoZ

    Re: wikileaks

    What strikes me is that the attacks on wikileaks are now more much more virulent than when Assange leaked documents about the wars. For some reason the government find those civilian dispatches, some bordering on gossip, much more damaging than revelations on its war crimes. Strange.

    1. Externality

      The crackdown came after Wikileaks announced that it was going to start releasing documents from a major American bank, likely Bank of America.

      The elites do not care about the military. Henry Kissinger, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and who regularly meets with and advises Obama, openly views the US military expendable. “In [General Alexander] Haig’s presence, Kissinger referred pointedly to military men as ‘dumb, stupid animals to be used’ as pawns for foreign policy.” — Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein, The Final Days, p. 208 The people who volunteer for the Army, mostly rural and southern Whites, and poor urbanites of color, are viewed with contempt by the DC elites.

      The second tranche, the diplomatic cables, largely befitted Israel while denigrating Russia, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The discredited neo-conservatives and Israeli-firsters will benefit immensely from these leaks in the months to come.

      The next tranche, relating to the bankers, is what has the elites scared. They were willing to ignore massive opposition to TARP, debase the dollar, and suspend the rule of law to protect the bankers. The efforts to shut down Wikileaks, led by Senator Lieberman, is small potatos compared to what was originally done on the bankers’ behalf.

  15. LeeAnne


    Not so strange when you consider how heavily dependent TPTB are on image control.

    The need to project superiority and entitlement is paramount in the power game. Entitlement is the only thing inherited or taught in the Ivy League that can’t be learned from a book.

    Just look at the epitome whereof I speak –– Bush besotted with privilege. Like a domesticated monkey, they made him President of the U Nited States for God’s sake.

  16. LeeAnne

    well, will ya look at this. Just happened to drop in on Denninger and saw this:

    Government warning against LOOKING at Wikileaks. A warning to state department employees and students against LOOKING at CLASSIFIED information on their own computers by those who may wish employment rein the future.

    fear fear fear they’re watching us on our computers.

    When are we going to put a stop to this? Old HOwdy Doodie is on the prowl.

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