Links Independence Day

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Warring ants know their enemies BBC

Anonymous Launches A WikiLeaks For Hackers: HackerLeaks Forbes

I dream of weenie: My life as a female competitive eater Salon (hat tip reader Buzz Potamkin)

China’s Thirsty Problem Caixin

Euro zone warns Greeks on sovereignty and privatization Reuters (hat tip reader Valissa). In case you somehow had any doubt that Greece has been subjugated by bankers….

Greece Survives the Summer, Prognosis for Future Not So Hot Dave Dayen, FireDogLake

Women hold key to Strauss-Kahn comeback Financial Times

How Now-Shaky Case Against Strauss-Kahn Once Seemed So Solid New York Times

Recovery falters in finance but jobs flourish Financial Times

Sweeney has strong words for Christie NJ Star-Ledger. NJ politics get even uglier!

Tax Increases and Do They Ever Fire Headline Writers? Dean Baker

A Template for MBS Settlements and How Safety-and-Soundness Regulation Is Incompatible with Law Enforcement Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Corporate Cash Con Paul Krugman, New York Times

Obama’s Original Sin Frank Rich, New York (hat tip Robert G). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (yes, this is the Sydney Harbor Bridge….)

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  1. Thomas Barton, JD

    The New York article by Rich is emblematic of the delusion that President Obama is somehow a reluctant warrior for Wall Street moneyed interests and would love to free himself from their shackles.. I have become convinced that he was never anything but their wolf in yes we can sheep’s clothing.. Rich is fooling himself if he thinks america is not angry. We are angry and tired and dispirited simultaneously. Obama will feel the electorates wrath and any Republican will defeat him. The enormity of our nation’s suffering will be clear when the electorate annihilates his message in November 2012. I can only hope that the EU dark energy finance experiment will explode in 2 days or 2 weeks or 2 months..This will force huge losses in the US banks and Obama and Capitol Hill will bail them out someway and all this pretense that he can somehow rebalance himself and show his true colors for the America that he actually conned in 2008 will come to an end. Perhaps this will be the first time that someone like Dylan Ratigan can actually call on mainstream television for an early election in this ossified Republic. Rich should realize that New York city is only now beginning to feel the pain that the States of this Union have been feeling for 4 years. I believed that Obama was a real embodiment for change and I just as surely will vote for Romney in repudiation of Mr. Obama’s cynical and cruel villainy.

    1. David

      Yes, “cynical and cruel villainy” pretty much sums it up.
      A good friend once pointed out to me that she was suspicious of Obama from the very beginning because Obama never had anyone from his “community organizing” days speak out on his behalf. From that she concluded that he probably never really helped anyone when he had the job, which suggested he was either incompetent or just interested in having the post listed on his resume.

      1. Weiner Republic--massive inflation

        From the article:

        “Even Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, about the only bank chief not to be caught with a suspect balance sheet or a $1,400 office trash can, has taken to channeling Schwarzman”

        Not a suspect balance sheet??? JPM is, imo, among the best shorts in the entire financial sector at the moment. Am I missing something???

        “Geithner has pushed deficit reduction as a priority since before the inauguration, the Washington Post recently reported in an article greeted as a smoking gun by liberal bloggers.”

        This is pure drivel. Geithner did no such thing–nor, from what I can remember, did he emphasize this while at the NYFed.

    2. lambert strether

      I thought Obama wouldn’t be much different from Bush; he was, after all, Democrat. Wrong on both counts! Obama’s a lot worse than Bush, and he’s a conservative. I think I’ll go read the other orange blog now….

    3. PQS

      I agree. Rich wrote:
      “Americans are no longer as angry as they were in January 2009 so much as they are defeated, depressed, and jaded by the slow recovery and by four decades of raging inequality that tells them the deck is stacked no matter who’s in Washington.”

      What in the world does Frank Rich think propelled the “Tea Party” GOPers into office, other than racist anger? I would posit that there was plenty of garden-variety racism, but also a lot of simmering rage at work there, which was, of course, pumped up by the plutocrats into rage against the wrong targets. I consider the entire TP movement to be a lot of “WTF” transmuted into action.

      The primary reason that more Americans aren’t 150% pissed off enough to march in the streets is because they don’t know how badly they’ve been looted. (Thanks, Media and Oligarchs!) If they did, all of DC would be burnt to the ground, with Wall Street close behind. The other reason is because the Americans who are gainfully employed are trying desperately to hold on so they don’t end up homeless and in the streets.

    4. Tertium Squid

      The Rich article was garbage, particularly since it wasn’t really about Obama. The author spent an astonishing fraction of the piece bashing Romney as a plutocrat phony; I suppose he wanted Obama to benefit from the comparison, since he isn’t a plutocrat himself, and merely serves their purposes.

      Still, we should be grateful to Rich for giving us the best, most charitable view of Obama that is possible: an ineffectual and passionless effete who gives good talks and leaves the governing to others.

      Yeah, give ’em hell, Barry.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, Yves’ “must read” was cruel and unusual punishment. Frank Rich’s attempt to resurrect Obama was an ordeal to get through without retching; the gag reflex was quite insistent. I’ve generally found Rich to be likable and respectable, so I persisted just to see if he was really duped or might finally take Obama to task. Neither, as it turns out: it’s now abundantly clear that he’s an active and conscious part of the con.

        “Obama’s people”, Rich gushes, “(myself, yes, among them)” is quite the understatement. He wastes countless words taking down Romney, who can take himself down without help, (never even entertaining the idea that Mitt is the GOP’s best Obama opponent by design). He also spins the purportedly adversarial theater between Obama and Wall Street as genuine, when the drama has become so insultingly stilted.

        “He has come across as favoring the financial elite over the stranded middle class even if, in his heart of hearts, he does not.” Well, thank you, Frank, for looking into his soul for us. There’s just no way to give Rich a pass when he presumes to endorse Obama’s soul for us with so much damning evidence to the contrary (beyond economics, consider warmongering and immunity for torturers) and then tries to pass it off his unadulterated Neocon agenda as merely a problem of appearances or “passivity”. The Neocon Times and Frank Rich deserve each other.

  2. Mogden

    I voted for Obama hoping he would turn on the torturers. No joy on that score either.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham is credibly asserted to have been working for the CIA during the family’s years in Indonesia.

      Apparently Obama is a CIA test-tube baby, raised from birth to ascend to the presidency and unleash the CIA to conduct its own secret wars anywhere on the planet.

      Mission accomplished — yes we can! KABOOM!

  3. psychohistorian

    So, help me out here. It seems to me that perhaps potable water might be, in the long run if we live long enough, more important that many other resources that have all sorts of international markets and futures.

    I know that there are all sorts of local potable water legal structure and value but is there anything bubbling up or already exists as national, regional or international market for potable water?

    1. ambrit

      Mr Psychohistorian;
      Such large scale water resource issues are traditionally solved by force. Even the Los Angeles water war of the early Twentieth Century relied on expropriation and Eminent Domain rulings to ‘divert’ resources from the north to the south. And now, decades later, the ‘Valley’ and other inland regions suffer from soil degradation resulting from overuse of groundwater resources for not only urban needs, but profligate water use for ‘industrial’ agriculture. Just look up what an “Acre Foot of Water” is to a grower in the mid-west and mountain states. The sad state of the Ollagalla Aquafier is just one of many timebombs waiting to blow up in our breadbaskets.

      1. rd

        I think the Great Lakes governors have woken up to this recently with both the international pact with Canada and the the states not to divert water from the Great Lakes watershed (which is surprisingly small).

        It will take a couple of decades to play out, but the Rust Belt was developed because of fresh surface water and will be redeveloped again for the same reason. When used withing reason, it is a long-term sustainable resource unlike the Oglalla Aquifer.

      2. Susan

        Water engineering in the West has been like the road to hell. Have you read Cadillac Desert? Now most people agree it would be healthier for the Colorado to just blow up Hoover Dam. Talk about face from the 1950s. And depressingly, there is China with the opposite mind set building such massive dams, for electricity, that it increases the wobble in the earths spin.

        1. Cedric Regula

          Those of us south of the Hoover Dam are worried CO may start to develop its oil and gas shale, and then we all get poisoned by fracking fluid. But at least it hasn’t happen yet.

          I wasn’t aware China had any compunctions about building dams. They just do it and advise a million or so Chinese farmers it’s time to move to the big city. Eminent Domain at it’s finest!

          1. Susan

            Now is the time for us to firmly stop and reexamine some very basic things: Let us look at the need for natural gas. How can we eliminate 90% of that need? How can we conserve energy? Let us look at our use of electricity. Why do we need to light up the planet like an ember at night? The darkness is so beautiful. The cold is also very nice if you’ve got a good pair of long underwear. Let us clearly state that fracking is a crime of wanton destruction. It destroys our water supply. It achieves very little in return. And we don’t need it.

          2. Cedric Regula

            I think we can do much more conservation than we do know. And lighting the planet up at night so it looks like a beacon to hostile space aliens is at least a national security threat, IMHO.

            As far as what I use however, I’ve got my electric bill down to $35 in the months where I can do without heat(I have electric) and air, and $50 when I want to pamper myself. I’d have to learn long term meditation to reduce it much further.

            Then I’m patiently waiting for the day when I can turn in my 20/30mpg car that I drive 5000 miles a year for either a NG or electric car. Hoping the golf course will allow electric cars for golf carts.

            Other than that, I’m keeping an eye on technologies I could use to protect my better-than-caveman standard of living.

            Sun Power has their solar cell effy up to 24% now. They are expensive, but I just saw a press release where they said they plan a 50% price cut soon. So maybe solar will be a good way to go around here someday soon.

            Then there is some neat new passive membrane water purification stuff coming out. Could be used for salt water or very dirty water.

            My only concern (for myself – the rest of you up north are screwed) is that the government causes me to become too broke when it comes time to buy all this cool stuff and build my 21st Century Man Cave.

          3. Psychoanalystus

            Hey Susan & Cedric Regula,

            Would you kindly cut back on the happy talk a bit? You’re making me depressed… :)

      3. Psychoanalystus

        Don’t worry about it, my friend. My sources tell me Monsanto just finished developing new GMO seeds that don’t need any water… just 100% Libyan oil.

  4. David


    Was that photo of the Harbor Bridge taken from the big,
    cylindrical shaped apartment tower at Miller’s Point ?
    I have never been inside, but I have been told it has a funky interior.

  5. Weiner Republic--massive inflation

    “I dream of weenie: My life as a female competitive eater ”

    Sounds like a better porn title than a headline for competitive eating (hot dogs, I mean…)

      1. ambrit

        Mr Regula;
        Theory 1: You hadn’t encaffeinated yourself sufficiently when you typed that post.
        Theory 2: You are not a Barbera Eden fan.
        Theory 3: You are a Troll for ‘Waist Management Inc.’
        Theory 4: You have gone Green.
        Happy Fourth, ex-subjects of His Majesty.

        1. Cedric Regula

          Oh. Haha. That would be “waistline”.

          I’ve always thought Barbera Eden was hot. Ever since I was 10 years old.

  6. scraping_by

    M. Strauss-Khan has two ways to go. He can either continue his tenative motions toward true and fair he began during his last days on the IMF job, becoming low speed bump to legal looting, or he can shut up and go along, as an overdressed droid in the service of the wealthy.

    Since the porn slur is the preferred weapon of the right wing, he probably meant a few of those mild objections to banker rapacity that appeared in the MSM just before the police made him do the perp walk. Now, having learned from a little demonstration of how easy it is to arrange a pussy bomb, he can follow Spitzer and admit his error and go on to get a job grovelling to right wing liars on cable news, or he can get stiff-necked like Edwards and find how far American law can go to railroad true leftists.

    My guess is that he’ll remain leftist in name only, just like most European socialists. I fear from the ease of getting out of jail, he’s learned his lesson and will be a good little front for the kleptocrats. On that basis, he’s got a chance at the top.

      1. Cynthia


        The more I read about this rape case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the more I’ve come to believe that he wasn’t a victim of the banksters’ attempt to entrap him in a honeypot scheme in order to prevent him from imposing much-needed austerity measures on them. I have instead come to believe that he was simply a victim of a chambermaid’s attempt to cry rape in order to milk him of his enormous wealth. The banksters have mastered the art of crime, so had they employed a chambermaid or some other honeypot to entrap Dominique Strauss-Kahn, believe me, they would have made sure that her rape case against him was airtight. They would have made sure that she didn’t have a shady or questionable past and that she would never communicate to anybody, be it by cellphone or email, that money is what motivated her to file rap charges against Strauss-Kahn.

        This is what happens when society such as ours rewards fraudsters at the top: a message is sent to those at the bottom that they too will be rewarded for being fraudsters. So whenever bankers and other people of enormous wealth get away with fraud, which seems to be happening more and more often these days, a message is being sent to the working poor, including hotel chambermaids, that they too can getting away with fraud. The chambermaid, in this case, was merely emulating the banksters. So it seems to me that since the banksters profited from committing fraud, the chambermaid believed that she would have no trouble doing it as well.

        1. ambrit

          Mz Cynthia;
          Looks good on paper, but have you re-read the history of the Watergate Breakin? This was the top predator in the U.S. Bureaucracy, who ended up assigning a ‘delicate’ task to the gang that couldn’t lie straight. I was living in Miami then, and the joke on the street was; “He hired boys from Alpha 66 to do something? No wonder he’s in deep s—!” One of the hallmarks of dirty dealing in the West is ‘plausable deniability.’ Do anything questionable at arms length. That’s where the trouble starts. You often end up relying on boys and girls who talk a good game. The rest is silence…

        2. Cedric Regula

          That’s how it rings to me. If it was in fact a “stick ’em up”, the whole thing seems too dumb and amateurish to be a plan of anyone with a few brains.

          1. Valissa

            Never underestimate the power of Murphy’s Law

            This whole game could simply be an intra-elite battle for power and nothing else. Doubt we’ll ever know for sure. But people are sure having fun with projecting good and evil on the various cast of characters depending on their own biases. It’s a real life political soap opera. Stay tuned for the next episode!

        3. Psychoanalystus

          >> he was simply a victim of a chambermaid’s attempt to cry rape in order to milk him of his enormous wealth <<

          I don't know about that. I thought blackmail works best if you don't involve the police.

    1. doom

      Edwards, a true leftist? The Edwards who voted for the Patriot Act and for GLB? That Edwards?

  7. Valissa

    Bwahahahaha… the plot thickens… Strauss-Kahn has more problems. I had wondered if Tristane Banon would eventually bring her case forward.

    French Writer Will Take Strauss-Kahn to Court on Attempted Rape Charge

    Here is an article from last month that discusses this in more detail.

    Smoke and Fire: Why France Was Silent About Strauss-Kahn’s Womanizing,8599,2072209,00.html#ixzz1MjS7wAcq

    1. craazyman

      It’s a mystery to me what case this woman has. DSK tried to muscle off her pants then backed down when she smacked him?

      If this dude was the local electrician, I doubt there’d be a case at all. He’d just go out of business. ha ha.

      Where do all these women come from? The Ministry of Indignation? They have their own club, I suppose.

      Having said that, I certainly don’t believe any woman should be roughly handled that way and it’s not a form of behavior for which I have any respect at all. It’s not womanizing, it’s just sick stuff. If he wants to be a womanizer, he has to do it hands-off. In fact, if he’s really a womanizer, he has to arrange it so they start it. He has to get them so entranced that they lose all self-awareness. But not self-consciousness. They need to know what they’re doing. And he needs to get them to the point where they’re muscling off his pants. And he has to faintly resist, just to make it more artistic.

      This approach might net him 3 or 4 per year, if he’s lucky. It’s the difference between bait fishing in a stocked bass pond and fly fishing upstream and dry for wild trout. You have to have some appreciation for the artistry part of the experience. But he does have the Big Alpha Male thing going for him, which (let’s be honest) a lot of women drool over a lot more than they should.

      I’m just not sure how this sort of thing belongs in a courtroom.

      It seems like it belongs in a Moliere play, where it probably is, somewhere.

      1. Valissa

        Is doubt this is about the courtroom drama, so much as it is his reputation, prestige and political future in France. As an elite, to some extent he depends upon the good will of the people. Regardless of what happens legally, this diminshes his political power significantly.

        Strauss-Kahn and Berlusconi are both experiencing the clash of the more recent feminist view of how a man should treat women, versus an older often romanticized cultural machismo and seduction gambit. I wish both men a speedy downfall :)

      2. Psychoanalystus

        >> he does have the Big Alpha Male thing going for him <<

        What Big Alpha Male? A guy his age probably pops in Viagras like Tic-Tacs.

  8. Susan

    Sounds like Jean Claude Juncker is preaching to the disgruntled choir. The Ossies are still smarting from being the poor cousins of the Wessies. But Germany did pay a fortune to get East Germany back and they were determined to make it work financially. I really don’t think this exclusively domestic German example translates to a justification for Germany damanding their money back from Greece. After all they loaned it to Greece knowing, somewhere in the recesses of their accounting (since they are so anal retentive about things like this), that Greece was not the best bet. Two different sovereign situations. Juncker is just exposing himself for the politician he is. And to further point this out, Finance Min. Schaeuble stated unequivocally that Berlin is preparing for a Greek Default. Its all PR.

  9. Paul Tioxon



    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yes, Happy Independence Day! How fresh and pertinent this decaration remains for us after 235 years:

      “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them to another, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separataion…”

      God bless humankind!

  10. skippy

    Apocalypse Watch…Diamonds moving at almost 25ish% per week, quotes lasting only 2 days, whats left to pump and dump in the commodity sector lol.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn…as a citizen of the Global Roman Class, it is his prerogative to do as he wishes with a slave, unless the knives are out, other wise she would have got the treatment.

    Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are dead…lets play a game:

    Skippy…side note, don’t invite Bruce Kras]ting to your BBQ or any other event. Instead of crying into his drink like a used up shlep should, he goes after the guests.

  11. Antipodeus

    Dearest Yves,
    Re.: “Antidote du jour (yes, this is the Sydney Harbor Bridge….)”

    Phew! For a fleeting moment I suspected that ‘someone’ was attempting to expropriate our magnificent Aussie fireworks for partisan domestic purposes. I should have known better from an Oz-ophile like Yves. [Consider myself slapped on the wrist!] But Yves, that shot doesn’t even appear to be from a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. A vastly greater range is available at, say, HERE:

    For example:

    Thanks, Yves — keep up the great work!
    A Skippy fan.

  12. Antipodeus


    And Good Luck with that Second American Revolution … we’re all waiting with baited-breath (and popcorn!)

    [Pssst … Have you told them about our COMPULSORY voting, yet? ;=)) ]

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