Links 5/14/12

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Dog Pulls Unconscious Owner From Train’s Path WCVB (Lambert)

Military dogs face being put down after service because of obscure law that makes it hard to adopt them Daily Mail (May S)

FBI Concerned About Bitcoin Usage Among Cybercriminals ThreatPost (Chris M)

Addiction Diagnoses May Rise Under Guideline Changes New York Times (Aquifer)

Cutbacks Hurt a State’s Response to Whooping Cough New York Times (Aquifer). Just wait until we have a real public health problem….

‘Attempted murder’ probe: anti-whaling skipper faces deportation Sydney Morning Herald (YY)

War Crimes Conviction – Malaysian Tribunal Finds Bush et al Guilty Siun, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Verizon refused to help police locate unconscious man unless they paid his phone bill Boing Boing (Barbara W)

Guatemala’s land grab and massacre Aljazeera (May S)

German Government to Oppose Fracking Der Spiegel (May S)

Greek Elections Loom as Key Bailout Opponent Defies Unity Bloomberg

Don’t bet on a European resolution MacroBusiness

The Great Debate©: How to Resolve the Euro Crisis Global Economic Intersection

Holdouts get paid, the rest can pray John Dizard, Financial Times

German voters reject austerity in key poll Financial Times (Joe Costello)

China’s ugly April MacroBusiness

How Right-Wing Extremists and Islamists Are the Same Der Spiegel (May S)

Israel warned of volatile situation as Palestinian hunger strikers near death Guardian (John B). In America, they’d be force fed, like geese.

Thaer Halahleh, dying, tells the daughter he’s never seen why he took a stand for human dignity Philip Weiss (John B). Today’s must read.

Graphic: Products of Slavery National Post (May S). Frustrating, this looks like a great piece of work and is hard to read.

Marissa Alexander Sentenced: Florida Mom Who Shot At Abusive Husband Gets 20 Years In Prison Huffington Post (Carol B)

Higher education tuition increases fueled by? Rdan, Angry Bear (Aquifer)

The Inflation of Life – Cost of Raising a Child Has Soared Yahoo (May S)

US inequality is getting worse Linda Beale, Angry Bear (Aquifer)

JPMorgan’s Loser Trade Shows Importance of Volcker Rule masaccio Firedoglake (Carol B)

JPMorgan Loss Claims Official Who Oversaw Trading Unit New York Times

Will J.P. Morgan Pay Up for the Ina Drew Mystery? Wall Street Journal (Tom A)

Pressure Builds on Dimon Wall Street Journal

Why We Regulate Paul Krugman, New York Times

JPMorgan made some $5bn on Friday using accounting magic called DVA SoberLook (Chris M)

* * *
D – 117 and counting*

In enterprise of martial kind, when there was any fighting,
He led his regiment from behind — he found it less exciting.
But when away his regiment ran, his place was at the fore, O —
That celebrated, cultivated, underrated nobleman, The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

— Gilbert & Sullivan, “In enterprise of martial kind,” The Gondoliers

Romney Liberty University speeh. Evangelical Christian Leaders Praise Romney. “Graduate Lindsey Burnette described Romney as ‘Christ-like'”. Stephen Jones, class of 2012 said, “I think the one thing that is going to be the glaring problem is going to be the deity of Jesus Christ. I think that, if you compare him to Obama, I think yes, we’ll side with him a lot better than we will Obama.”

Sabbath day gasbags. Meet the Press, the Bobblespeak Translations: “GREGORY: you said that crazy London trader was a tempest in a teapot and then he lost $2 billion DIMON: that’s true but in my defense I’m an idiot”. Obama on Dimon and Blankfein, February 10, 2010: “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen”. So I wonder if Obama’s position is evolving?

Gay Marriage feeding frenzy. Bush ’04 pollster: “This is not about a generational shift in attitudes, this is about people changing their thinking as they recognize their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian”. Obama ‘evolves,’ Romney ‘flip-flops’. Mission accomplished: “The campaign has seen another week elapse where the Obama economy was not front and center”. “Economy forgotten as controversy roils White House race”. Chicago boys: “For Obama, It’s About the Children”. Gag. Just like Rahm!

“The economy”. 4%: On the supposed insanity of Romney’s aspirational “new normal” of 4% unemployment, see 15 U.S.C. §1022a (b) at “… 4 per centum among individuals aged sixteen …” (hat tip beowulf). R video: “When you graduate from college, it’s hard to find a job”. Title: “Don’t make bad choices.” Like in 2008? College Republicans, who sponsored the video, tell the or at least some truth. Incroyable.

Julia (Obama campaign’s composite cartoon woman). Q: Is Julia gay? A: Sure, if that’s expedient. D’oh. A more interesting question: Is Julia an atheist? Quelle horreur!

Robama. Betty White says she favors on presidential candidate in 2012: Obama. Obama winning investors by 49%-38% against Romney in poll. Newsweek cover: Obama ‘first gay president’. (Oh, come on. Anybody remember “This is what a feminist looks like”? No?) And Obama’s To Do list is the most pissant list of pathetic policy proposals since “school uniforms.”

“The narrow path to victory”. Let’s make an electoral map of Romney’s narrow path to victory! Key assumption: The political map is stable, like a Flash graphic. “The political map can shift sharply between elections, even those featuring incumbents, as it did between 1976 and 1980 and between 1988 and 1992”. To be fair, I suppose it’s a good deal cheaper to have some new media grad to do an interactive map than it is to do actual reporting. (And see request to readers below.)

WI recall (swing state). 10 burning questions, answers about WI recall elections. Barrett (D): “[Walker] has had 16 months to divide and conquer this state. I will end the civil war that he started”. More than 600,000 Rs came out to vote for Walker even though had no real threat. The “civil war” ends how, exactly? Jobs, maybe, since R Walker promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs by 2015, and so far has created 5,600. But Barrett taking the Unity Pony out for a drag? I don’t think so. Meanwhile, the national Ds are going to help by “educating and registering” voters. I know that GOTV is important, but… Hey, I know Ilya Sheyman‘s people! Should we give them a call?

CO (swing state). Erie, CO passes a gas drilling moratorium. And check out this FB logo from Longmont, CO ROAR (hat tip alert reader MR). Neither Robama nor Obomney (pro-Keystone, pro-fracking) have anything to say about local opposition to resource extraction. It’s off the table! “Let’s start drilling again,” said Erich Feigel, chair of the Broomfield County Rs. “Stop this nonsense with windmills and solar power. It doesn’t work”. Meanwhile, just in case anybody thinks the Ds are any less delusional than Feigel, the Obama campaign adds “clean coal” to its website after R beat down. “Clean coal.” “Military intelligence.” “Living dead.”

AZ (swing state). “Some attendees said they heard Paul supporters chanting outside that Mitt Romney is “the white Obama”.

Ladies of negotiable affection. Hilariously, the DHS Senate Hearings will be chaired by Al Gore[genuflects]’s choice for VP, Joe Lieberman. Key signals in Lieberman’s carefully crafted statement: “… what happened at Cartagena …. the Colombian scandal … that nothing like this …”. Translation: The exception, not the rule. A one time thing. A few bad apples. Not. “The way they approached this, it seems obvious that they were used to doing it, because people who do this for the first time are very shy”. Look, who you gonna believe? Joe Lieberman or Dania Londono Suarez?

Ron Paul. “Physical confrontation” between Paul and Romney supporters at OK R state convention. Paul supporter Lukus Collins: “I would find that pretty difficult (to vote for Romney). You know, I don’t see a lot of difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama,” Collins said. Houston Chronicle: Nice Paul wrap-up in . Salon: “Ron Paul’s Chaos Threat.” Reach me my pearls, I’m a headin’ for the faintin’ couch!

Libertarian Party Libertarian Party nominates Gary Johnson, Jim Gray. Johnson is a former NM governor (R), and one of America’s highest ranking elected officials to advocate legalizing marijuana. But that’s off the table!

Occupy. An LTE from the The Calvert Recorder in southern MD: “The overall message of the Occupy protests, if there is only one thing to say, is what has been said by the dissident for centuries: That a different world is possible”. Amen.

* 117 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with ‘Smores toasted on flaming piles of confetti and straw hats on the floor of Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Cross-posted to Corrente. The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).

READERS: Again, here are the swing states: AZ, CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA and WI. I’m very interested in any local or state links you can send me from those states; original reporting, not wire services stuff. Now I have help with CO thanks to MR, but there are more!

* * *

Antidote du jour (May S). Background here.

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  1. F. Beard

    re Evangelical Christian Leaders Praise Romney.:


    (And they are not my leaders!)

    1. skippy

      Yes they are… you just don’t have a vote in gawd ville.

      Skippy… Seniority is the concept of a person or group of people being in charge or in command of another person or group. Gawd head vertical authoritarian personality type structure got you down (Fromm)? 4.000ish years…. hahahahahahahaha !!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about idiot meeting edifice, it all goes back to tool users… eh.

    2. Lambert Strether

      The word we evolved for this was “Christianist” — the -ist signifying the use of the Christian religion as a business model and/or a political tool (people like Rick Warren are both). Cf. Matthew 6:6, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them…”

    3. Tertium Squid


      I know! How any religious organization could actively support the violence, tyranny, assassinations, corruptions, obsessive secrecy and pervasive surveillance of our R/D duopoly is quite beyond me.

        1. Tertium Squid

          I appreciate that.

          In Missouri they used bullets to dispute with my ancestors. Words are no big deal.

          And anyway, I love talking about ideas and hope to disagree without being disagreeable. To me, whether I think I am right or not is no excuse to argue.

          From the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:28-29:

          And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.

          For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

          1. F. Beard

            The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable … James 3:17

            Notice that pure precedes peaceable.

          2. Tertium Squid

            I like James 3:18, too:

            And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

            Peace precedes the fruits of righteousness.

          3. F. Beard

            The translation I use says:

            And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18 (NASB)

            My interpretation is that the seed will produce righteousness in any case (cf: Isaiah 55:10-11 ) but that peaceful sowing will produce peace as well.

            OTOH, one can be peacefully wrong.

          4. Tertium Squid

            Interesting to reflect on the difference between the two versions – both small and potentially very significant.

            LDS are generally wedded to the KJV, mainly because Joseph Smith produced an “inspired” version that purports to correct some of the errors and omissions, and his changes were out of the King James Version Since then no other church leader has made any similar attempt with an updated text, so for better or worse the church is sticking with Tyndale et al.

            Idle curiosity: how does the mainstream Christian seeker for truth choose a Bible for themselves, anyway? What criteria are typically used in evaluating a translation and judging how well it matches “original intent”? Do people judge the text according to the doctrines they already adhere to, or do they rely on amazon reviews, or some other means?

            I suppose the ideal would be for everyone to learn Ancient Greek and Hebrew, though I see precious little progress in that area from any quarter…

          5. F. Beard

            I picked the NASB because it is supposed to be a word for word translation instead of thought for thought like the NIV.

            That said, one purpose of the Holy Spirit is to guide Christians into the truth as they read the Word of God so any decent translation should be adequate with His help IF one persists in reading it:

            So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32 New American Standard Bible (NASB) [emphasis added]

          6. Tertium Squid

            Thanks for the explanation.

            “That said, one purpose of the Holy Spirit is to guide Christians into the truth as they read the Word of God ”

            Amen. I’m glad there’s so much we agree upon. My sincere hope is that you preach that as loud and wide as you can as long as you have strength.

            When I witnessed to people in Brazil we would not ask them to take our words for anything, but to read the Book of Mormon and ask God to manifest to them that it was true.


          7. F. Beard

            and ask God to manifest to them that it was true. TS

            That’s not the way it works. The Bible must be read or heard before it can be believed much as any other book. Rather people should pray for God to reveal IF the Book of Mormon is true.

            But enuff lest we bore the others silly.

          8. Tertium Squid

            Ha ha – nobody’s on this thread anymore to be bored. They’re all whooping it up on Obama the Deceiver.

            As for “if vs that” – ask the Lord any way you want. Maybe I should have worded it differently. The actual text from the Book of Mormon agrees with you, though:

            “I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true…”

            With this promise:

            “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost”

      1. F. Beard

        The answer to your question is ignorance of the Bible:

        The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

        My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. Hosea 4:6 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    1. Bakasone

      No, German voters didn’t reject austerity, they love austerity. Mrs. Kraft, the old and new boss of Northrhine-Westphalia is everything but a revolutionary. She even looks like Merkel. Heading faster and faster for the brick wall, Germany will remain firmly on track.

  2. Foppe

    Re “Graphic: Products of Slavery National Post (May S).”

    How is it that the west is so squeaky clean? US prison labor isn’t forced labor? I love methodological double standards..

  3. DP

    I’d like to see one of those who claims that dogs are merely manipulators who care only about getting what they want explain what prompted the pit bull to risk its life to pull its owner away from an approaching train. Maybe it was a cunning calculation by the dog that if the owner got killed the dog wouldn’t get fed that night.

    1. F. Beard

      Remember that story about a man who tried to drown his dog with a large brick around its neck? The man fell overboard himself in the process and the dog saved him by towing him to shore with the large brick still attached!

    2. YankeeFrank

      Those are apparently the same people who claim that we are individual agents with no connection to each other in a dark and cold world. Libertarians, in other words. I really can’t stand the pseudo-scientific claptrap that passes for sociology amongst political factions. The cold-hearted factions are supposedly clear-eyed realists and others are simple sentimentalists who will get rubbed out when “the troubles” begin. And this all from a group of louts who, every day, ride along on the coattails of other people’s efforts without a glimmer of acknowledgement. What a sad cold world they live in. The real tragedy is how they demand we all live there.

    3. scraping_by

      Yankee Frank has the wider view on the story, and yes, it’s about larger issues than gushing over pets.

      Dogs are pack animals. The view humans as unfortunately shaped dogs, or see themselves as good looking humans. Their behaviors toward their people are as to members of their pack, group oriented and cooperative behavior that give them a survival advantage in the wild.

      In the current right wing atmosphere, this cooperation has to be recast as bargaining. Just saying that once a commitment is made, all choices have to follow that commitment, is way too emotional, Christian, family, gooey, Socialist, and irrational. It makes a wolf pack sound too much like a labor union. Homo economicus is self-centered, so Canis economicus must be, too.

      While instincts drive, they don’t rule. Especially in higher animals, there’s a larger role for choice. The claim humans, or dogs, are entirely instinctual has been around for a long time, but it isn’t true yet.

  4. Ned Ludd

    After 4-5 years of recession, 78% of Greeks are still willing to do “whatever possible” to keep themselves securely attached to their concrete shoes.

    The Kapa poll showed 78 percent of Greeks want the government to do whatever possible to keep Greece in the euro area…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Euro Area or the Euro Zone.

      Interesting they dont want to be a sovereign currency issuer.

      Wonder if they don’t trust that.

  5. SR6719

    Re: Thaer Halahleh, dying, tells the daughter he’s never seen why he took a stand for human dignity

    Speaking of hunger strikes…

    “Roughly 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike. Just over a week ago, one of them collapsed during his court hearing after going for sixty-six days without food…..

    “….Minors are especially vulnerable under martial law, as there is no real age of criminal responsibility. The youngest Palestinian child to be arrested to date is five-year-old Yahya al-Rishaq from Silwan, and a few weeks ago soldiers in Kufr Qaddoum tried to arrest two-year-old Mo’men Shteiwi, claiming they had spotted him with a slingshot….

    1. Glenn Condell

      Great to see Phil Weiss linked here. Yeoman service against his own grain in a noble cause, for years now. A mensch.

  6. alex

    re: Verizon refused to help police locate unconscious man unless they paid his phone bill

    If it had been an actual person instead of a corporate person (the operator doesn’t count since they were acting in the employ of a corporate person) I’m sure the police would have found some charge under Ohio law, like endangerment of human life by refusing to aid an investigation. And quite rightly so in such a case.

  7. Dave of Maryland

    The reaction to All Gay All the Time is becoming visceral. Precisely as both gays and Republicans are hoping it will.

    Gays are hoping they can bludgeon their way to power, because power is what they want. What they’ve always wanted. It should be clear by now that gays are in this for themselves alone.

    Republicans, on the other hand, are expertly channeling popular outrage (why are we talking about gays? why are we not talking about JOBS?) to successfully revive themselves. Take away the gays and all the R’s would have is the same tired abortion crap that’s gone nowhere for them, for the past 40 years. Give them gays and they’ll capture the Senate and the Presidency.

    Do gays care if they sacrifice the Dems? GO ASK A FEW OF THEM. And don’t be surprise when they reply that THEIR RIGHTS are MORE IMPORTANT than a mere political party. Ever hear of a suicide pact?

    It’s such a pile of nonsense that last Friday my acupuncturist, an elderly, native Chinese woman who was probably raised as a godless Chinese Communist – and probably still is – surprised me by asking what in the world was going on with the gays? We believe in Yin-Yang, she said. The idea of gay marriage was absurd.

    Gays are not going to get equal rights. They are going to get total war, and with the Republicans as the probable winners. This has the makings of a Shakespearean tragedy.

    1. Larry Headlund

      “It’s such a pile of nonsense that last Friday my acupuncturist, an elderly, native Chinese woman who was probably raised as a godless Chinese Communist – and probably still is – surprised me by asking what in the world was going on with the gays?”

      Thomas Freidman, is that you?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Here is a little Dao-math for our old lady friend:

        Yin x Yin = Yang

        Yang x Yang = Yang

        Yin x Yang = Yin

        Yang x Yin = Yin

    2. Eureka Springs

      Bless your heart… you really are locked into a two party pandors’a box. You do sound like a sports watcher… never willing to reject two bad teams or just turn off the TV… you just keep playing along.

      I wouldn’t care if there wasn’t systemic fail in our midst… and like a religious nut case I’m afraid your ilk will find the most comfort in taking the rest of us with you.

    3. tom allen

      Oh. So sorry. Should I step to the back of the bus? I’m certain my civil rights are negligible to your much more important concerns. I mean, it’s not as though:

      “There is a tide in the affairs of men.
      Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
      Omitted, all the voyage of their life
      Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
      On such a full sea are we now afloat,
      And we must take the current when it serves,
      Or lose our ventures.”

      I mean, why bother politicians while they’re campaigning? They’re far more likely to give you what you want AFTER you’ve given them your vote, right?

      *slams head on desk*

    4. Lambert Strether

      Well, we aren’t talking about the economy, right? So, mission accomplished! There’s X number of news cycles between now and Coronation Day. They must be used wisely!

    5. joel3000

      American democracy is nothing more than a heated debate about naughty bits.

      The 99% are probably in deep agreement about most things consequential except for the proper care and respect for our naughty bits. Is it any surprise that it is the only national political debate in play?

  8. ed

    FT reports Ally is going into bankruptcy. Trying to preserve tax payer bailout somehow????? Who gets haircuts? Any major pension funds?

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Not Ally (GMAC) propper… but their mortgage subsidary ResCap. Since ResCap has seperate bonds and is a different org, it can go bankrupt and it’s parent stay solvent.

      This is a long time comming. There was talk of ResCap going bankrupt before the goverment bailed out GMAC. Ally has been moving money to their subsidary for years.

  9. EmilianoZ

    The Germans are getting serious. Der Spiegel is calling for Greece to leave the euro:

    It clinically lays out the details of how the new old drachma would be reintroduced:

    “The introduction of the new, old currency will require detailed planning and execution. Money presses will have to produce the drachma notes. “The banks will have to close for a week until the new currency can be distributed,” predicts one of the senior EU officials, who spent months studying how other countries reformed their currencies.

    Experience has shown that, in such cases, police units are posted behind sandbags at bank branches. During the transition period, cash dispensers would only spit out €20 or €50 a day, so that customers could buy the bare minimum in daily necessities.

    The introduction of the new currency would begin with a sort of mandatory exchange period, during which the Greeks’ euro assets would be exchanged into drachmas at a fixed rate. Pensions and salaries would only be paid out in the new currency.”

    There are some other interesting pieces of information in the long article such as:

    “Sums of €100,000 to €150,000 are not uncommon for the purchase of a taxi license in Athens.”

    “First of all, say officials in Brussels, Greece would have to introduce capital controls. Well-heeled Greeks are already believed to have moved €250 billion abroad”

    1. Pat

      Greece officially has foreign debt of 400-500 billion Euros. Unofficially, the amount that the Greek government owes to foreign and domestic creditors is about a trillion Euros.
      Greece currently has income of tax revenue of 21 billion Euro annually. Its Expenditures are 17 Billion, with the rest 4 Billion, plus borrowings, going to pay interest.
      Greece couldn’t pay off its debt in 100 or even 200 years.
      I realize this Spiegel article is propaganda meant to condition the Germans to the idea of throwing Greece to the dogs, but on the other hand the Greek situation really is insoluble. They should just go back to the drachma and renounce ALL sovereign debt and try to recapture the 200 billion held in Swiss banks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When faced with another insoluble problem, one ancient Greek, a Macedonian warrior, son of the most powerful god he knew, just cut the Gordian knot with his sword.

        What happened after that? He became Great.

        Cut it!

    1. SR6719

      “Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs.” ― Guy Debord

  10. p78

    Expect many negative news about Hungary in the next weeks… The govt. tried to slap a transaction tax on Austrian-, Belgian- and Italian-owned Hungarian banks:

    BUDAPEST, May 10 (Reuters) – Hungary’s planned new financial transaction tax is entirely unacceptable for banks in its present form and violates an earlier agreement with the government, the chief of the country’s Banking Association told Reuters on Thursday.

    Hungary hopes to meet its budget targets and avoid losing out on the EU’s development funds by replacing controversial crisis taxes on banks and energy firms with longer-term taxes on the same sectors, it announced on Wednesday.

    The government, without consultation with the country’s banks, approved a measure to raise an annual 130 billion forints ($578.74 million) from a new financial transaction tax, which will have to be paid by banks performing the transactions.

    This would come on top of an earlier big windfall tax on banks, charged between 2010 and 2012, which the government agreed to halve in 2013 and which had triggered protests from the country’s banks and which experts said hurt lending.

    Mihaly Patai, who is also Chief Executive of the Hungarian unit of Italy’s UniCredit, said banks would aim for a compromise with the government in order to limit next year’s extra tax burden to around 60 billion forints ($267.11 million), as agreed with the government late last year. “The leaders of the Bank Association were completely taken aback by this slap in the face, the government’s decision yesterday,” Patai said in an interview.
    Patai said the increased tax burden would hurt bank lending and economic growth.[…]

    “The fact that instead of 50 percent our taxes will amount to 150 percent (of the 2012 level), this took us entirely by surprise and made the measure practically unacceptable for us.”
    Patai said the government invited the Bank Association for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, where banks agreed to hold talks with the government on the plan. The government approved the new measure the next day, which is now awaiting parliament approval.

    “This is a rather peculiar interpretation of fair play, which I cannot accept,” Patai said.
    He said during talks banks would propose that the windfall tax be phased out completely in 2013, and that the transaction tax payments should be capped in order to avoid overtaxing big financial transactions, especially by corporations.

    “I think these two things are indispensable: both the abolition of the special bank tax and the… introduction of an upper limit (on tax payments) in the system, especially for corporate clients. “I don’t want them to withdraw this, it would be impossible. It has to be modified, in a way that the burden on banks in 2013 is about the same as what we agreed on December 15, roughly 60 billion forints.”

    Hungary’s biggest banks include Austrian lender Erste, Belgium’s KBC and central Europe’s biggest independent lender OTP.

  11. Stephen V.

    Re: Graeber’s *Debt, the 1st 5,000 Years*–full review is online

    [snipped from the conclusion]
    The prospect of systemic crack-up makes it urgent for new movements of the left to imagine what ‘larger structures’ might govern the credit system of a society retaining its complexity and scale even as it demotes bankers to the level of ordinary citizens. Some readers of Debt have surmised that Graeber opposes all forms of impersonal economic relationship, on the basis of his warm accounts of neighbourly credit relations or the Islamic bazaar with its ‘handshake deals’, as well as his denunciation of a credit system, articulated through laws and defended by violence, that exempts debt obligations and the value of money from the sort of continuous revision typical of humane dealings among equals. In response, Graeber has said that he is not ‘against impersonal relations, or all impersonal exchange relations’, which must in some degree characterise ‘any complex society’. There is no reason to doubt him. Yet the spirit of the Occupy movement has so far been defined by what Graeber, in Direct Action: An Ethnography, described as the – mainly anarchist – theory and practice of ‘direct action’, or what is now often called ‘prefigurative politics’. In this ethos, ‘means and ends become, effectively, indistinguishable; a way of actively engaging with the world to bring about change, in which the form of the action … is itself a model for the change one wishes to bring about.’

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He can talk about the credit system.

      I’m more interested in another question – should the law of supply demand subjugate human labor?

      Should humanity itself obey the law of supply and demand?

      Your time is priceless.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You can actually prove it mathematically in 4 lines, if you dint want to just assert the claim.

  12. Susan the other

    Timmy (craven little Timmy) was the one who told us to be patient because the wheels of justice turn slowly. Obama didn’t have the courage to step up to the podium and say that one. We know this because he had all sorts of courage to promise us dreams, and his courage disappeared when it came to securitization fraud. They even blacked out Paul Volcker – Paul Volkker – on Charlie Rose when he started to talk about securitization fraud. Nobody can even utter the F word these days. But everybody knows it happened. So my guess is fraud, specifically securitization fraud, is the achilles heel of the Obama administration. His fate is sealed. If he pursues the prosecution of this fraud and nails ’em, there will be a long difficult period of adjustment to “capitalism” and all of its selective advantages in this country. If he pretends it isn’t fraud at all (as he has been doing) it will devour both him and the entire country. Either way Obama now loses.

    I’ve also been thinking that another thing going on is a showdown between our gangster capitalism and Europe’s socialist capitalism, not much better if any. I’m pretty sure we are losing this standoff too because they are far more organized. They are more organized because they first identify the problem and then the solution. We just do theater of the absurd. Or theater of the retarded.

    And one more thing which Obama brought us: Austerity. It’s the A word. Nobody ever says we are suffering some imposed fiscal (irrational) austerity but we most definitely are. It is disguised as ZIRP but behind the zirping is a careful calculation to save the rich by squeezing every last drop of inflation from the middle class by crashing the housing “bubble.” Hmmm. Why not just provide jobs? Or crash the military bubble? Each citizen of this country has a right to a job. But ZIRP is a clever stealthy tool. It also keeps the stock market with all of its last-century corporations from crashing.

    Hope and Change is not hope and change if it comes at a glacial pace. Then its just another form of erosion. A very insidious form. Obama’s time is over. He missed his opportunity to be a good leader, to protect trust and good faith, and move the country out of this awful mess and into the future. He has done nothing.

    1. John L

      STO, while I agree with the sentiment of pretty much all you write, in practice things may work out differently. “They” are not going to prosecute each other for fraud. They’ve scapegoated Madoff, may yet throw Corzine in jail, and may stand aside while Dimon throws himself under the bus, but that’s all you’re going to get.

      An analogy for you. The US is the Titanic, and Obama took over as captain right after it hit the iceberg. There are not enough lifeboats for everybody. This – the whole election campaign, gays, grinding wheels of justice – is all about keeping us distracted while the first class passengers make their escape. And austerity? They’re just emptying our pockets on the way out.

      “Each citizen of this country has a right to a job.” I wish. And who is to provide them? The jobs are not coming back. Any attempt to rebuild the economy the way it was is only going to make it more like it is now and will only play into the wallets of the 1%. We need a new model for society that uses less energy and resources and has people working to improve each others standards of living, not just those of the 1%. The answer is not coming from Obama or anyone else in DC.

      Book for you: Strongly recommended.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Higher Education Increases…

    Should they charge finance-majors more?

    How about charging pre-meds more than English majors as the latter are expected to earn much less than the former?

    That should put a price tag on knowledge.

    For those majoring in “hedge funding,” I suggest the schools ask for a percentage cut of their future earnings. It’s called “realistic modeling.”. You can call it ‘Early Start.’

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China’s ugly April.

    Here is a chance to test the Monthly Cockroach Hypothesis – if you see a cockroach this month, you are likely to see another next month.

    When we see an adorable one, it will be our antidote.

    1. Keith

      I saw a cockroach last week. It was 3 AM and there was no way that I was going to deal with that…

      Thanks for hypothesis.

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