Links 4/14/11

Antibiotic Resistance Spreads Rapidly Between Bacteria ScienceDaily (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

A single source for clean water and fuel New Scientist (hat tip reader Francois T)

Anybots Has An Army of Telepresence Robots Ready to Send Your Way! Singularity Hub (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Cambodian Government Stops Progress on Titanium Mine Care2

Huffington Post Is Target of Suit on Behalf of Bloggers New York Times

Did Sarah Palin Carry Out the Biggest Hoax in American Political History? Gawker. I do recall reading about this theory and regarded it as credible at the time.

Obama’s “bad negotiating” is actually shrewd negotiating Glenn Greenwald (hat tip reader Salviati)

House Progressives: End The Wars, Save The Economy TPM (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Tax Me, I’m Rich, Says Deep-Pocketed Group CommonDreams (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The Real Housewives of Wall Street Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone. We (and others) predicted TALF would be abused. But the degree of feeding at the trough is stunning nevertheless.

Report: Wall Street execs warn Boehner on debt ceiling brinksmanship Daily Kos (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

The Citigroup Rule Economics of Contempt


CMBS issuance update and the B-piece buyer problem FT Alphaville (hat tip Richard Smith)

Why Did U.S. Branches of Foreign Banks Borrow at the Discount Window during the Crisis? Federal Reserve Bank of New York (hat tip Richard Smith)

Senate panel slams Goldman in scathing crisis report Reuters. More on this later today. I’ve read a big chunk of the report, but even though there is some good detail, so far it does not open any new frontiers.

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-04-14 at 6.30.57 AM

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  1. dearieme

    “I do recall reading about this theory and regarded it as credible at the time.” But you still reject the notion that there’s something embarrassing on O’s birth certificate? How inconsistent.

    And, reluctant though I am to humour the born-in-Kenya brigade, at least they are concerned with Constitutional matters rather than private matters.

    And, by the by, I do dislike the use of “hoax” to describe what, if found to be true, would better be called a Lie and a Conspiracy. “Hoax” is much too mild a word.

    1. Semantics...

      I think the hoax was on us in 2008. The hoax was that she was a serious candidate, and that McCain was really trying and they wanted to win. No, that seems more and more like an act, the more I think about it.

      They wanted Obama to win so he could take the blame for all that had been set up over the last 30 years. How convenient. Then the ‘people’ would miss the chance to place blame correctly, but place it anyway, and whisk… they think this path somehow leads somewhere, and off they go towards more cliffs. I think there’s our real hoax, folks.


    2. Name (required)

      Unless and until Sarah Palin puts herself forward for a public position I have absolutely interest in her family and her private life. Should she do so her honesty and integrity will become a matter of public relevance and she should be prepared to defend and demonstrate them against all attacks and questions however sordid. It is the price to be paid by those who ask for public trust.

      As a non-American I am mildly amused by the furore over President Obama’s citizenship. To me it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was born an American citizen, but reading much of the commentary on Naked Capitalism and articles like Tabbi’s in ‘Rolling Stone’ makes be thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t.

  2. dearieme

    Is there no end to it? Now I’m wondering just how old O’s “grandmother” was when he was born.

    1. Dan Duncan

      Right now, we are in that boring, literal stage of these birthing narratives. Was Obama born in Kenya? Is Trig really Palin’s son? Yawn.

      But give these seeds their due time…

      Far off into the future, Obama’s multi-cultural disciples will actually reclaim the Kenya “birth” as their own.

      “And Messiah 2.0 was born in a manger on an international flight bound for the lands of the Wall Street Pharaohs. He was half-emerged while the flight was still over Kenya and the birth was completed in international air-space. He was a true bi-racial, global citizen demi-god.”

      Meanwhile, The Sisters of the of the Palin Nunnery will come forth with The Book of Sarah…

      “And the Great Prophet, Jerrizekiel Springer, had Sarah, Todd, Bristol and Levi on his Prophecy-Show. Here it was revealed that…‘Todd, you are NOT the father of this child.’ Whereupon Todd the Craftsman rushed across the stage towards Levi, seized the nearest chair and proceeded to break the nose of the intrepid prophet and concuss Levi in an Biblical-WWF-style display of rage.

      “And it was in this ratings gold Moment-of-Mayhem that Sarah–over the sobs of heart-stricken Bristol–further revealed that she was, in fact, a virgin.

      “Awe and wonder overtook the crowd and there was a period of reconciliation…whereupon the Virgin Sarah was whisked to the Prophet Oprah to discuss the pros and cons virgin birthing.” (Sarah 4:14)

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Obama was born in Chicago. He is a fake ID through & through. Since becoming president he has routinely been blackmailed for fun & profit: Hillary, to get the Secretary of State. Gates, to keep his job. The poor Chief Justice seems to have had the man’s real name running through his head when he had to look the man in the eye & speak some other name. He gagged. You would, too.

        Since the FBI had this worked out ages & ages ago, I wonder. Has anyone filed to get Obama’s FBI records? Can you do that? Or will it just go on, circulating privately in DC?

  3. rbm411

    Can’t the rich just send in their money to the Government rather than run around posturing about how they want to be taxed more? ….. I thought so. Tell them to shut up and just pay voluntarily.

    And on the Palin item, how far is this blog going to slip. I used to think it was serious. Now, let’s start putting items up about our Manchurian Candidate that was elected President.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      It’s amazing how oblivious people can be to their own moronic ideas.

      The issue is about free riding, relative consumption and shared sacrifice.

      It is ludicrous to suggest that it is equivalent to just send in the money and “pay voluntarily.” It shows your lack of knowledge and lack of thought. I mean, really, do you ever sit back and wonder how stupid and ignorant you actually are vis-a-vis other people? You do accept on some level that you don’t have the answer to every question, right? I mean, you can’t even get the simple things right, do you see that yet?

      It is unbelievable the stuff that people are willing to write down in the unintentional quest to embarrass themselves as much as possible.

      1. rbm411

        Anonymous Jones:

        Your answer, with all of its vitriol and name calling and complete inability to see sarcasm and disgust, shows exactly the kind of response the third rate degree from whatever correspondence school you went to prepared you to give.

  4. Richard Kline

    Irrespective of her putative pregnancy, Sarah Palin _IS_ a hoax, and yes, she is the largest hoax in American history. She is the limbless attraction in the main ring of the ‘bread and circuses’ strategy of the oligarchy, the “Run a howling clown out there while we clean out the safe deposit boxes back in town” kind of hoax. This is what you can pull off when you own the media, the propagation of gross hoaxes.

    To avoid such hoaxes, all that is really required is working bullshit detector. But the substantial majority in this here country pulled out the batteries in theirs long ago to power a few more hours of run time from their PEP devices (Personal Electronic Pacifiers) . . . .

    1. Paul in TO

      As an outsider, I find the degree of nuttiness generated around Palin to be puzzling in the very least, but hatred and contempt have a long history in driving people’s political beliefs so I guess a certain amount should be expected no matter who the candidate is.

      Still, I am curious as to how Palin of all people ends up being part of the “strategy of the oligarchy”. Surely, the one thing that Palin actually represents is that a national cadidate can come from outside the “oligarchy”. You could put Bush, Obama or Clinton firmly within your oligarchy, but Palin? Come on. You’re just getting too used to using words that sound vaguely conspiratorial that simply don’t apply. As a citizen of Canada and the UK (and for many years a “permanent resident” of the US) I can say without fear that a candidate like Palin could never emerge in either of those countries because whatever passes for an oligarchy (and especially the chattering classes) would never allow it. The few grassroots politicians to emerge in Canada have been purely regional in scope, pilleried like Palin and for the most part disappeared without a trace. That may be good or bad depending on your view — and Palin may be the devil incarnate or a breath of fresh air — but candidates like her are simply not part of any oligarchy that I can conceive.

      And by the way, if there is an oligarchy running the US, they’re doing a really poor job of it.

      1. Leviathan

        Bravo!! On all points.

        I’d just like to add that the personal invective against Palin, while extreme and borderline pathological, was one thing. She has presidential ambitions and is patently unqualified.

        But that “she hates us and will kill us all if we let her” mentality is washing onto other Republicans now, like Paul Ryan (why does he hate poor people?) and seems to be a new low for Dem rhetoric.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Beside the industrial movie ‘Manufacturing Consent,’ there is, I think, a corresponding agricultural film called, ‘Harvesting Dissent’ or ‘Sowing Discord.’

          I wonder if Netflix has that?

      2. kevin de bruxelles

        You are taking Richard’s statement in too direct a fashion and if you instead switch to an indirect frame then you will understand that what he is saying makes a lot of sense. Palin is in fact, as you say would be the case in Canada, just a regional politician who is laughed at by the chattering classes. The oligarchs-that-be will never hand her any sort of real power. But serve them she did, at least in the 2008 election, but in an indirect way. Her candidacy helped assure that the oligarch’s main man, Barrack Obama, would eventually get elected. For in Sarah Palin they found both the only candidate in America with less experience than Obama and one of the only women in the country that could convince moderate women, pissed off about Hillary, that gender was not in fact the most important aspect of a candidate. But even with Palin on the ticket it took months of hard work by her and McCain to mess things up enough for Obama to start climbing in the polls. That, and a conveniently timed financial crisis. She continues to provoke hate in many people and protective urges in others, and in doing so she helps keep the two party system meaningful. After all, who could risk voting for a third party if that meant putting Palin’s finger on the nuclear button? And in doing so this ensures that the oligarchs can continue to chip away at the middle and working classes, hiding behind the hope and change of Mr. Obama.

        1. Alex

          You seriously think that the “oligarchs that be” favored Obama over Clinton by putting Palin forward?

          1. kevin de bruxelles

            No, not that they favored Obama over Clinton, either of those two clowns would have worked. What I said was that they favored Obama (or Clinton) over McCain. They know most liberals are more than happy to trade some feel-good racial (or gender in CLinton’s case) symbolism in return for many not so feel-good economic concessions — and so far the oligarchs have been proven correct.

    2. YankeeFrank

      Obama was clearly a manchurian candidate for the oligarchs. He dissipated the furor of the public at wall street and the plutocrats by making most believe these crooks would be handled properly once hopey-changey was elected. It was an effective move. I do wonder though the tone he will take during his reelection bid. He really can’t go back to the style he used last time, it would be too jarring and would come across as insincere and even comical. His only hope is the lackluster opposition. I predict turnout will be at an all-time low in 2012.

  5. Zachary Pruckowski

    Palin-birtherism has the factual problem that Bristol’s kid was born in late December of 2008, meaning that having given a mid-April birth (8.5 months earlier) would be pushing the timing pretty hard – unless Tripp was born very premature, it would mean that Bristol got pregnant right after Trig’s birth (if Trig was born to Bristol more than a few days earlier, why would Palin have claimed to have gone into labor during her speech?) Until theorists can solve that giant pothole, it’s not really a coherent theory.

    It also doesn’t really matter if Palin birtherism is true. If it’s false, then that means Palin actually had the poor judgement to GET ON A PLANE WHILE IN LABOR not once, but TWICE.

    1. Ina Deaver

      Well, she is pretty much the queen of staggeringly bad judgment. But I think that the scenario is more easily explained by something else: they were hoping that she was miscarrying.

      If you work from that assumption, the remainder of the narrative of her behavior surrounding the labor makes perfect sense.

      1. Leviathan

        That’s a really loathesome comment. Read it again, this time out loud. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

        Palin is a very ambitious woman. She did what she felt was necessary during a tough election, and that included taking risks at the tail end of a pregnancy. If she were a liberal politician people like you would applaud her as “gutsy” and a true feminist. But poor judgment does not equal hatred of your unborn child. People would do well to not mix the two up.

        Republicans hated Clinton so much it made them crazy and destabilized the country. Democrats are coming down with the same derangement disorder (mixed with snarling contempt for the “great unwashed”). It is not a hopeful sign for the future of our troubled republic.

        1. Leviathan

          I’ll just add that as a woman in her 40s, if Palin DID think she was miscarrying she would not have wanted to risk bleeding to death on a plane.

          Do you know how stupid that comment was?

        2. Zachary Pruckowski

          “She did what she felt was necessary during a tough election, and that included taking risks at the tail end of a pregnancy”

          While I generally agree with you, remember that the timeframe here is April 2008 – Palin was 2 years away from a reelection vote, and 4 months away from being nominated as Republican VP candidate. There was no tough election, it was just a monumentally stupid risk.

        3. liberal

          “She did what she felt was necessary during a tough election, and that included taking risks at the tail end of a pregnancy.”

          Garbage. She could have just given birth there instead of flying back to Alaska.

      2. Zachary Pruckowski

        “they were hoping that she was miscarrying”

        She was 7 months pregnant by the time she even told people she was pregnant. If she really wanted to get rid of the kid, she could have gotten an abortion at 9 weeks (or whenever she found out about the Downs) and no-one would be any the wiser. Yes she’s pro-life, but it’s silly to say she was morally opposed to the abortion but not morally opposed to deliberately miscarrying.

        In addition to being offensive, your comment is also illogical.

      3. gmanedit

        I’m sorry people are beating up on you. My friend who worked for an ob/gyn said the same thing at the time. An abortion may be out of the question, but a miscarriage is God’s will.

        1. Mighty Booosh

          Needed the baby to keep Todd from leaving her for the Wasilla masseuse/friend of the family from church.

          Snowbilly logic is convoluted and nonsensical unless you have stayed home sick to watch soap operas. Then it makes perfect sense.

    2. kevin de bruxelles

      You are correct that the if dates of Trig’s birth (April 18th) and Tripp’s (December 27th) are true then this pretty much kills the theory that Sarah Palin (SP) faked the first pregnancy to cover up for Bristol because Bristol could not possibly then have another baby eight months later.

      My pet theory at the time (maybe 5% possibility of being correct) was that the April 18th date was bullshit. First of all it assumes that in reaction to SP finding out that Bristol was pregnant, she concocted a plan to fake a pregnancy to cover up this shame. That seems a little bit of overkill. The standard way of dealing with this would have been for Bristol to quietly have the child and then give it up for adoption. After all for a healthy white child it would be easy to find adoptive parents. A home birth with a discreet family doctor in January would have kept things quiet and private. The problem arose when in fact the child was not healthy; it had Down’s Syndrome. There was no way Bristol and Levy could afford to raise a child with special needs. When it became clear that Trig would survive then at that point SP would have decided to both adopt the baby herself and put on a public display of being pregnant for a few weeks. The famous mad dash back to Alaska could have been provoked by any number of reasons.

      Bristol, upset at “losing” her baby and rebelling against her parents, went right back to work at getting pregnant again. And in fact this child turned out to be a political blessing as it wiped out the theories that SP faked her pregnancy.

      It’s a long shot for sure.

  6. Jim Haygood

    ‘Representatives from the 77-member House Progressive Caucus gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to roll out their plan to cut the deficit and put the budget back into balance. Their simple solution: pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, install a public option for health care, raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations and voila, America is fixed.’

    How many of these 77 soi-disant ‘progressives’ actually voted against the ‘must pass’ special appropriations for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Not more than a handful, as I recall.

    There is one and only one way to stop foreign wars, and it begins with the U.S. House of Representatives refusing to fund them. All else is idle chatter.

    It’s been amply demonstrated that even 100% tax rates (i.e., total confiscation of incomes) would not fix the profound insolvency of the entitlement state. So these ‘progressive’ big-government poseurs are not only NOT antiwar (except in terms of empty sloganeering), they’re economically illiterate as well.

    The troops will come home when their paychecks bounce. End of story.

  7. skippy

    He said it was not just the centre of gravity of economic activity that was moving to Asia — the weight of financial assets was also shifting.

    “The rise of China, and, very likely, India, is a transformative event for the global economy,” he said.

    “Unless something pretty major goes wrong, we are likely to see much more of this trend for quite a long time yet.”

    Based on the Chinese government seeking annual economic growth of seven percent, China’s weight in the global economy would surpass the euro area in five years, and approach the US within a decade, Stevens added. —Glenn Stevens—

    Skippy…He also said paraphrasing…those that throw free money around can only expect something wrong to happen sooner or later…roflol!

    PS. Paul in TO said, “And by the way, if there is an oligarchy running the US, they’re doing a really poor job of it.”

    The definition of oligarch is not omnipresent, it just means with enough money you can act like it, whether it works out in the long run or not…lol.

  8. Lilguy

    Meerkats are absolutely fascinating little critters!

    Thanks for the antidote.

    As for the birthplaces of Palin and Obama: Just another sign that American is being taken over by foreigners!

    Seriously, kids, get over it!

    1. Leviathan

      I think you meant to say lemurs.

      Wholly agree with your sentiment about birther mania. The world is crumbling and we’re squabbling about what shoes to wear.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not being a lemur, I can’t say this for sure, but that can’t be fun for them.

        It doens’t look that comfortable to me.

        1. Semantics...

          Looks plenty comfy for some of the back ones. I think the one in front is looking underneath because cousin Leon Lemur is saying he can’t handle the bottom any more and needs some air. Safety in numbers I guess.

  9. Francois T

    Re: The Real Housewives…

    A majority of comments on Sarah Palin and the birtherism while Christy Mack, whose only known qualification in high finance is being the wife of John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, get herself an investment house or some BS called Waterfall TALF Opportunity and receive a quarter of a billion dollars in bailout money from the corrupt Federal Reserve while millions of people lost their jobs and/or home and got stiffed and shafted by the banksters.

    Yup! The leites have absolutely NOTHING to fear in this country. All they have to do is throw a little distraction toy to the masses and voila! The heist will continue until there is nothing left.

    1. MichaelC

      I always get a chuckle from the contemptuous names they choose for these vehicles. TALF Opportunity, indeed.

  10. herman sniffles

    Obama’s birth shows up in Both Honolulu newspapers. So obviously his campaign people tracked down every single copy of these papers that exist in the world and changed them. This is the only theory that makes any sence, and of course it PROVES beyond a doubt that these people understood the extremely high liklihood that an African child born in Kenya in the 1960’s would become president of the United States. Otherwise why would they have made these changes? It’s all very simple if you just look at it rationally. Now as for SP, she has claimed that she knew this child had Downs Syndrome prior to the birth. She has also, as I understand it, made the statement that her decision not to terminate the pregnancey was made on religious grounds. Now I know this is going to offend some people – and I apologise in advance and will not be upset or surprised if this post is deleted – but it is very hard to avoid coming to the conclusion that this child is a Faith Based Retard.

    1. alex

      Not wanting to see your prediction go unrealized, I’ll say in all sincerity that I’m offended. But perhaps you should envy Trig, for ’tis better to be a retard than an ass.

    2. Semantics...

      I think you should be made aware of the little phrase/ old adage that all bloggers [IMO] should know, because it is especially relevant without body language:

      “What you mock, you become.”

      Meaning, most times, irony is missed and thought to be straight with gusto. As in the case with your comment. Bottom line… another phrase, this one of a more modern vintage:

      The tag is your friend.

      1. Semantics...

        I only bring this up to you, not to insult, but because intentionally-created confusion on this matter is why the subject that you mock continues to persist. So in a sense it seems you are sabotaging your own message. Just sayin.

  11. Semantics...

    Hahaha. Actually if you look closely at that crazy-looking lemur pile… It’s not random. It’s a series of 1 adult with one clinging baby and backed up into each other for warmth and safety.

    They’re all looking different ways so they can see intruders coming from any direction. So cute. I have never seen such a thing. The one in front’s head is down because it is sound asleep. zzzzz.

  12. Dean Sayers

    Suggestion: AJE:
    China’s interests in Gaddafi
    Huge oil and financial deals play major part in Beijing’s support for Libya’s despot and halt to foreign intervention.

    “Only three days before UN Resolution 1973 was voted on, Gaddafi met with the ambassadors of BRICS members China, Russia and India, and told them, according to the JANA news agency: “We are ready to bring Chinese and Indian companies to replace Western ones.” That may go a long way to explain the BRICS abstentions.

    “China has 50 large-scale projects in Libya, but still invests less than in Angola and Zambia. From a Libyan point of view, China is a major Gaddafi financial partner – the third-largest buyer of Libyan oil behind Italy and France, with the added bonus of following its world-famous “non-interventionism” policy.”

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