Links 8/11/12

Migrating geese avoid offshore wind farms, says study BBC

The pool of water under the Midwest is being sucked dry. The drought is making it worse Grist (Aquifer)

The Wall Street titans using Botox to erase stress lines caused by the global financial crisis Daily Mail (Lee S)

Police cameras quietly capture license plates, collect data Minneapolis StarTribune

The punks on trial for blaspheming Putin Financial Times

Hard landing for China as factory prices fall and deflation looms Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Germany Considers Holding EU Referendum Der Spiegel

Athens set to purge civil service Financial Times

British Regulators Plan Changes to Libor Oversight New York Times

Defense Motion Details Horrific Conditions Bradley Manning Was Subjected to at Quantico Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

The investor who saved Mugabe Mail & Guardian. (LeonovaBalletRusse, from Felix Salmon). Holy shit.

Provocative political ads draw attention in crowded media landscape Washington Post. Duh!

Mitt’s Veep Is Paul Ryan: NBC Firedoglake

Corporations are turning against Obama; support for Romney increases Gaius Publius

‘US political system hostile to American people’ RT (Aquifer)

CNN and Time Suspend Journalist After Admission of Plagiarism New York Times

Even patches of the holes in the safety net have holes Incidental Economist (Aquifer)

Feds: Authorities in Meridian, Miss. Violated Rights of Black Children ABC (Lisa Epstein)

Economists in Philly Fed Survey Lower Forecasts WSJ Economics Blog

CHART OF THE DAY: The Latest Foreclosure Data May Be A Bad Sign For The US Housing Recovery Clusterstock (furzy mouse)

Private banks try to become more exclusive Financial Times. Only the 0.1% need apply

Looterism mathbabe

Levin hits back on lack of Goldman charges Financial Times

Standard Chartered Said To Agree To N.Y. Monitor Demand Bloomberg. As if they have a choice? Trust me, SCB has NO leverage here.

Studies Show CEOs Not Subject to Same Rule of Law as You masaccio, Firedoglake. Now it’s official…

Down With Shareholder Value Joe Nocera

* * *

lambert here:

D – 28 and counting*

“I read the newspapers with lively interest. It is seldom that they are absolutely, point-blank wrong. That is the popular belief, but those who are in the know can usually discern an embryo of truth, a little grit of fact, like the core of a pearl, round which have been deposited the delicate layers of ornament.” –Evelyn Waugh, Scoop

Occupy. Thoughtcrime: “According to a copy of the warrant, agents were looking for black clothing, paint, sticks, flags, computers and cell phones, and ‘anti-government or anarchist literature.’” I’ve got black T-shirts. Also paint and sticks. Am I profiled yet? … Memphis: “Memphis police officers on Friday dismantled the Occupy Memphis encampment from a downtown plaza that served as the movement’s home for 10 months.”

AZ. Power lines: “The company behind SunZia, SouthWestern Power Group, would have you believe that the 16-story high transmission lines would primarily transmit renewable energy. However, every one of their many options for routing their transmission lines goes by a planned fossil-fuel plant in southeastern AZ.”

CA. Police blotter: “A witness in Mike Rios’ pimp-pander-rape preliminary hearing Friday, Aug. 10, testified that the school board member ran a prostitution business out of his Moreno Valley home — with prostitutes and his children present at the same time. The woman even cooked and cleaned for the children, she testified.”

CO. Fracking: “The Thompson Divide isn’t simply a little slice of Heaven in Western CO. It is the battle line between an industry focused on creating unmitigated profits with legislative protections under local, statewide, and national energy policy on our public lands, and the citizens, sustainable eco-industries, and eco-systems reliant on keeping these lands whole and preserved.”

FL. On the one hand: “Lisa [Epstein] is the only candidate who has demonstrated her willingness to expose fraud in the county land records. She has worked and will continue to work to expose fraudulent mortgage documents filed in the courts and in the county land records. Lisa will work to hold the banks, mortgage servicers and MERS accountable for their destruction of property chain-of-title.” … On the other: “Lisa Epstein, 49, is running against Bock. She is an earnest mortgage fraud activist and a longtime nurse, but her credentials do not stack up as serious qualifications to run the clerk and county comptroller’s office.” Ah. “Credentials.”

IA. Voting: “An IA Division of Criminal Investigation agent has been assigned to a two-year term in SoS Matt Schultz’s office to look into allegations of voter fraud, the R election chief’s top cause.”

MI. Voting: “[F]our aides to former long-shot GOP Presidential candidate and U.S. House Rep. Thaddeus McCotter [R] were indicted yesterday on dozens of criminal felony and misdemeanor election fraud charges for having turned in over 1,500 forged and falsified signatures in a ‘blatant’ and ‘disgraceful’ attempt, as the state’s Republican AG described it, to qualify the Congressman for this year’s ballot.” Yeah, but did they have photo IDs?

MS. Tinpot tyrants: “Officials in east MS operate a ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ that incarcerates students for disciplinary infractions as minor as dress code violations with a policy that affects mostly black and disabled children, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday.”

NC. DNCon: “Despite a government crackdown, low-fare bus companies with some of the worst safety records in the nation are still running to and from Charlotte every day.” So, if you’re travelling… DNCon: “[D] leaders announced deposits totaling $4.5 million at two community banks and a credit union, touting their commitment to small and minority-owned lenders. Yet they’re doing much more business with Bank of America: The share of convention money passing without fanfare through the nation’s second-largest lender could reach $65 million.

OH. Voting: “To use the [online change of address] service, you must provide four ‘identification keys’ that exactly match the Statewide Voter Registration Database, [SoS Jon] Husted said. Those are the voter’s last name, Ohio driver’s license number, last four digits of the Social Security number and the date of birth. Voters can still change their addresses by mailing in a form or visiting their local board of elections. ” Fortunately.

PA. Criminal elites: “Steal from your employees, do it openly and flagrantly, and your worst-case scenario is generally just a civil lawsuit. Best-case — and most likely — scenario: You get away scot-free. Theft is especially rampant in the low-income service sector — which also happens to be where the jobs are. The lack of either strong anti-wage-theft legislation or sufficient local or state resources dedicated to the issue has, some argue, made Philly a haven for predatory bosses looking to save on payroll. ”

VA. UVA putsch: “‘All are burdened by the state of the university in the aftermath of the crisis, because the crisis is not over,’ the alumni wrote. ‘It will not end until the board acknowledges publicly that UVa suffered a significant failure of corporate governance; and it will not end until Board members finally explain candidly, to satisfy common sense, what really motivated them to act so precipitously.'” Because we still don’t know what really happened, do we?

VT. Representative democracy: “Independent state Senate candidate Jeremy Hansen, running in Washington County, today demonstrated a sophisticated beta website where voters can comment, weigh pros and cons, and direct Hansen’s potential Statehouse vote. Hansen pledges, if elected, to make policy decisions solely based on his constituents’ online input.”

“The economy.” Normalization: “It’s really kind of a boring story. Hardly where we want our economy to be, but hardly slipping into catastrophe, either. It’s the kind of economy, sad to say, that we’ve all gotten used to.” What you mean, “we”?

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. David Dayen: “Ezra Klein, who has impeccable sources inside the Administration, makes a bet that [Catfood Commissioner Erskine] Bowles will succeed Tim Geithner as Treasury Secretary in an Obama second term. And, he would be there specifically to secure a deal along the lines of the grand bargain” (CB).

Outside Baseball. Obstructionism: “It seems pretty newsworthy for [Biden] to charge that seven members of the opposition confided to him that their party had adopted a comprehensive strategy to oppose literally everything the new President did.” So, faced with this intelligence, what did the Ds do? End the filibuster with the nuclear option? Of course not. It’s a two-fer: The Ds get to be do-nothings, and whine about it. … Red vs. Blue: “Much has been written about how the Web destroys local geography and local community (individual micro-targeting dominates now), but that theory ignores a larger reality. The vast array of outlets and opinions available on the Web, combined with the self-segregating Americans have done in the past few decades, which Patchwork Nation has documented, have in some ways led to greater differences at the community level.” … every year. Last year, everybody got sick.”

The trail. Polls: “Three polls released in the last 24 hours show Obama widening his lead over the [Romney] to as much as nine points. The surveys of registered voters, all conducted sometime between Aug. 2 and 8, also have Romney’s unfavorable ratings headed north. Two of the polls show his support among independents slipping.” … Polls: “Romney’s campaign is brushing off a series of polls that show Obama building a sizable lead nationally.” … Polls, Silver: “The balance of polling data has still been favorable to Obama over the past few weeks — but as I wrote yesterday, it’s very unlikely that there has been some sort of sea change in the race.” … Polls: “Here’s why many Rs think they’re in good shape — and many Ds agree: The GOP’s enthusiasm advantage, the economic drumbeat, money, and voter suppression.” … Polls: “Voter interviews also remain the best way to double-check the polls and pick up trends that may not have yet have registered in the surveys.”

Romney. Messaging: “So what has the Team Romney message been this past week? Welfare, Israel, negative Super PAC ads and Lech Walesa and the Pope. They’ve been all over the place.” … Tax return/Reid flap, Kos: “Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s dad sounds like the likely source.” … Tax return/Reid flap, Sargent: “But I just got off the phone with Huntsman. and he confirmed to me that he is not Reid’s source.” … Tax return/Reid flap, Chait: “Reid has a right to pass on a reasonably well-sourced rumor and throw the ball into Romney’s court.” … Veepstakes: “He enters what could be the final week of VP speculation. We’re in any-day mode with his running mate selection. And he’s at a point where the running-mate selection, which will change the subject from whatever’s being talked about, is going to be made when Romney’s behind [see The Trail supra], making it more defining than perhaps he ever wanted it to be.” … Veepstakes: “[T]he conservative drumbeat for Ryan has grown so overwhelming that it’s no longer even clear that Romney could turn Ryan down for an Incredibly Boring White Guy, even if he wants to. The Republican Party belongs to Ryan.”

Obama. Crowds: “About 4,200 people of all ages and colors spread across a green at Colorado College on Thursday in this conservative city for a rally with President Obama. Good crowds, especially compared with the hundreds that typically turn out to see Mitt Romney. But four years ago Mr. Obama often was drawing five-digit throngs.” …Unity pony: “Rich Beeson, the campaign’s political director, said the large number of non-Obama D delegates from states like AR and WV aren’t ‘even going to be allowed on the floor.'” … Unity pony: “Advisers to Obama are scripting a DNCon featuring several Rs [Arnold? Huntsman?!] in a prime-time appeal to independents — and planning a blistering portrayal of Mitt Romney as a heartless aristocrat who “would devastate the American middle class.” Bush? Cheney? John Yoo? Or Rs whose policies Obama didn’t implement?

* 28 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with North Caroline barbecue for everybody on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. There are 28 grams in an ounce.

* * *

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. MIWill

    re: Levin hits back on lack of Goldman charges

    Blah, blah. Chest thump. Update webpage. Nap.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Too bad packaging “shitty deals” and ripping faces off Muppets is not actually illegal; there’s a special loophole exemption for that on page 1762 of the Dodd-Frank bill. Unlike vampire squids, Muppets are not actually persons. Of course we don’t like this, but it’s not illegal, and unlike assassinating US citizens without trial, it is entirely beyond our control.

  2. Strangely Enough

    Treasury Sec. Bowles…

    And as Bowles assiduously worked to show off how bipartisan he was — lavishly complimenting Rep. Paul Ryan, for instance — the administration cooled on him in return.

    But next year is different.

    Serendipity. With a side of catfood.

    1. hermanas

      Serendipity;”I give you the next President of the United States.”
      Also, “hell or high water”. I guess it doesn’t get any better than this.

    1. Rex

      Ye gads! I despise that guy.

      (Only mentioned because most of the politicos I only dislike or feel sorry for.)

      1. Brindle

        Ryan owes it all to Ayn Rand….

        “It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.”

        1. craazyman

          what about Dr. Seuss?

          The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew are a bit antique by now, but they’d be good reads for the brighter staffers.

        2. Tim

          If you are an Ayn Rand acolyte, but you work for the Government, doesn’t that, by definition, make you a complete loser?

          1. Ms G

            Unless you’re working for government with the noble (cough) intention of disabling it to make it easier your fellow travelers “out there” to Shrug it Off!

          2. craazyman

            Wouldn’t the first moral responsibility of a true Rand disciple elected to or hired by government be to immediately resign and save taxpayer money?

            This could be a reason to vote for Mr. Romney and Mr. Rand (err, Ryan, sorry).

            If elected, they would promise the American people they’d set policy by example and immediately resign — refusing on moral grounds to contribute to the enlargment of government and impoverishment of the American people through taxation to pay their salaries.

            Maybe I’ll vote for them after all.

        3. spooz

          To me this looks like a play for the Libertarian vote. Romney is a poor substitute for Ron Paul, but they love Ryan.

          1. spooz

            I retract that opinion. Libertarians are less than thrilled with Ryan’s love of the military industrial complex, among other things. The only reason he is supported by the libertarian I live with is through the “at least they came up with a budget” argument against Obama

  3. Richard Kline

    Regarding the relation of corporate fraud and the use of lobbying to impede legal consequences, where once we had an econo-political system in the US that has now calcified into a klepto-electoral system. In the klepto-electoral system, of which the present election cycle is archetypal, the government doesn’t have to keep the economy functioning so long as the theft committed by wealthy oligarchis is sufficient to keep the wheels of the sham elections greast. Since the populace are too sheeplike to generate alternatives, to say nothing of resistance, Potemkin governance and loot-and-gut financial profiteering bootstrap each other to escape restraint of the legal system entirely.

    The klepto-electoral system . . . .

  4. Richard Kline

    With all due respect to lambert, this has never been a close election, and it will be effectively over several weeks before the conventions even open, let alone the nominal ‘campaign’ actually begins. Independents are what counts, the last time their minds are open are the beginning of August, and now that folks *arghh* have to actually think about who they _will_ vote for we see how the chips are falling.

    And Paul Ryan? *HAHAHAHAHAA* Is there a pick Mutt could actually make who would gain him _LESS_ outside the Repugnicant Party than Paul ‘Ironheart Ryan? Hard to think of one (and makes my head hurt too much to try). Then there’s the fact that Paul Ryan is so much more a charimatic TV grid-plot than Mutt Oummey that Mutt’s gonna look like the guy’s suitpocket handkerchief anytime the two are on stage together (which judging by the vast exten of Ryan’s ego won’t be any too often, he _doesn’t_ share a podium).

    And that right there in writing this involved more minutes of electoral contemplation than I have spare in the last five months _in toto_. Which judging by the goods on offer has been about five minutes too much investment. Good luck, folks, and buy yer earplugs early and often. Mike Check’s going Green and has got a little wager on whether these mooks pass the reality test and by how much . . . .

    1. Paul Tioxon

      The Mitt Romney who went to Poland is NOT the Mitt Romney that returned from abroad. Hitler’s Brain was transplanted into his body in a secret, underground 4th Reich Laboratory. He will meet up with The Boys From Brazil and declare Paul Ryan to be: “…Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” No, Mitt, forget the movie, this is real, Paul Ryan is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life! Now, say it again or we will shock you til you get it right!

    2. Lambert Strether

      If I have the sequence right…

      1. (July 20) Obama campaign “gives guidance” they’re going to assault Romney for his support of the Ryan plan. (“Guidance” is serious in DC.)

      2. But the assault on Ryan never happens, contradicting the “guidance.” Instead, we get the income taxes and yadda yadda yadda.

      3. (July 25) Unsourced Politico story says “operatives and key players” believe the fight over automatic cuts is going to blow up (that is, not in January, and not in the lame duck, but in the election).

      4. (July 32) Bill Keller jumps on board.

      5. (August 8) Obama signs law (passed by Senate July 26) giving him 30 days to report from him on how automatic budget cuts will be made in the absence of a budget deal

      6. (August 9) Obama (for the umpteenth time) signals willingness to cut (the “do not get enough credit” quote).

      7. (August 11) Trial balloon for Bowles at Treasury: Agenda, grand bargain.

      8. August 11: Romney announces Ryan as VP.

      * * *

      To me, there are two “bloopers” here: #1 and #8. #1: The Obama campaign gives guidance they’re going to go after Romney on Ryan, and then they don’t. They’re not shy, so why the change in timing? #8: The announcement is on a Saturday morning. During the Olympics. With the convention still weeks away (as FDL points out). What’s in it for Romney with the timing?

      * * *

      From the Barcalounger:

      My $0.02 (and prediction is hard, especially about the future): All this looks to me like what we would expect to see: Both campaigns are having their chains yanked by their 1% owners (and the same owners own both parties).

      For reasons I don’t understand, it looks to me 1% have moved up the timing and decided not to let the legacy parties finesse the election and make the cuts in the lame duck or in January. Rather, the 1% has decided to make securing a mandate for gutting the last of the New Deal what this election is about. (The maneuvers listed above look like getting the ducks lined up, especially Keller and Bowles). Because if you nominate Ryan, you nominate the Ryan Budget, and gutting the New Deal is what the Ryan budget is designed to do.

      The choice on offer will be which legacy party will, or will be perceived to, gut the New Deal less. And the 1% have also decided that Obama’s likely to do the job better (else why humiliate Romney with the Ryan timing?) Note here the key role played by career “progressives” running interference for Obama with the “lesser evil” argument. The report on budget cuts will display Obama’s approach, contrasted to Ryan’s. I’m sure the words “fiscal cliff” will be heard at lot.

      1. Susan the other

        And speaking of strategic politics, during all this noise from the Olympics and the American campaign trail, did anyone but me notice the timid, quiet little announcement that the office of Secretary of Treasury would now be a full member of the National Security Council? Go Timmy.

      2. Yearning to Learn

        well said Lambert.
        I agree.
        I have always felt that Obama was the Trojan Horse President. Only he can deliver the right wing neoliberal utopia, in a “Nixon goes to China” sort of way. A Republican would be eviscerated by the Left if they tried to gut SS or Medicare. A Republican would be castrated if they tried to shunt more wealth to the top.

        But Obama neuters the Left. If they make a peep then out comes Bachmann and Trump and Palin to remind us of what things COULD be like.

        Then Obama can push through his neoliberal corporatist agenda.

        This explains the horrendously weak Republican field. Who on Earth thinks that the Republican Primary was the best the R’s had to offer? No. Instead, they are the circus that ensures Obama’s victory. Their ridiculous plans are then used as “the other option” so that we swallow Obama’s piss and call it milk.

        If there ever was proof that our political process is not only undemocratic, but an absolute sham, I think this is it.

        1. Rek

          right on..liked your thinking on that. i would like to see change toward a system that restores the greenback republican concept of government issued money w/o private bankers loaning money into existence,creating all this debt. we also need to restore time limits on corporate charters and make all corporations serve the peoples intersts.– as long as there is a dictatorsip of the corporate capitalist banker military/industrial complex there can be no working class self-government.– only a revolutionary mass movement to create public corporations as schools of production and management will bring about changes that will lead,perhaps, to a new revolutionary outcome.– a sharp struggle will still need to be waged over the path forward,as some think freedom is found in service to their carnal needs, while others, like myself think liberation is found in the development of our intellects and a truthful social practice linked to self-disciplined and virtuous self-actualizations.

    3. tick tick tick tick

      Why now? The looting class needs to get their social-program looting demands nailed down before the economy blows so that the masses get skinned whether or not we throw the bums out and get new bums.

      The Dems see the impending crash. The Wurlitzer’s cranking up. That Salon article? Chait’s thing yesterday?

      Leonard mentions the PMI only to dismiss its “blips.” No concept of how indicators relate. Poor sad innumerate hack wouldn’t know a signal if it bit him on the ass. And Chait’s recovery looks “safe,” inside the parasitic statist propaganda bubble of TNR, CAP and their ilk. Chait swallows the phony economic bait hook, line and sinker. He looks at unemployment, a lagging indicator, and goes Whew, that was close. Like all state-approved left intellectuals, Chait is oblivious to leading and coincident indicators that show investment plummeting – investment, the most volatile factor, the one that drags you under.

      That carefully-cultivated blindspot is the linchpin of Obama’s campaign. We’re in a recession – ask ECRI, it’s their call. They won’t call it formally until the revisions come in but the process, the vicious circle, is blindingly obvious. Obama hopes to sneak in while everyone’s still parroting the denialist Big Lie. It just might work – unless the next bank blows up before November.

      But partisan propaganda is an excellent source of exploitable market inefficiencies. I made money off GOP dupes in ’08, and I’ll make money off Dem dupes in ’12.

    4. Yves Smith Post author


      Have to disagree with you here.

      1. Most “undecideds” make up their minds in the last 6 weeks. That’s pretty well documented.

      2. Despite running a Gawdawful campaign, Romney is polling within easy striking distance of Obama. And Obama has been doing a good deal of campaign ad spending, while Romney (and more important, the monster SuperPacs backing the Rs) are keeping their powder dry till after Labor Day

      3. The big reason Obama is doing so badly is the state of the economy. If it is perceived to be weakening in Sept-Oct, that would have a meaningful impact.

  5. JGordon

    Obama was only ever willing to lick the boots of corporations, while Romney is not only willing to lick boots but also throw in plenty of reach arounds.

    That was Obama’s real mistake: if he was going to sell out, he shouldn’t have been so half-assed about it.

  6. Goin' South

    Re: Lambert’s thoughtcrime link–

    Why such an effort across the country to go after “anarchists?” What have anarchists done other than break a few bank windows, and even then, a small minority of anarchists?

    Why aren’t the feds sending FBI informants into neo-Nazi groups? There’s a history of real violence toward other human beings. Why isn’t the radical Right, with its history of bombing and killing, under the microscope of some grand jury?

    Why is it that the feds target some dumb kids in Cleveland, ply them with booze and drugs, push an idea on them, provide the (fake) means and even pay for everything, but these same feds don’t have a clue that a White Power guy who’s been singing about his violent hate for years is about to actually go and blow some poor Sikhs away?

    The answer is the same as it was in the 60s when feds used tremendous resources against SDS and the BPP while letting the Mafia and the Klan run wild.

    1. Goin' South

      A nice partial answer to my own questions can be found in Amy Goodman’s interview of Matt Kenard, author of a book about our fine military heroes, a significant portion of whom are neo-Nazis and gang members:

      A portion:

      “I mean, this is across the United States. Every base has its problem with white supremacists because they are allowed to operate freely. It’s the natural reaction to a military brass which is just not concerned about this issue unless they’re presented with a national scandal like the Oak Creek massacre. And, I mean, [Milwaukee mass murderer] Page is not alone, this is what must be emphasized. During my investigations, I went down to Tampa, Florida, to interview a neo-Nazi veteran of Iraq, Forrest Fogarty. And his resume reads basically exactly the same as Page. He’s the lead singer of a neo-Nazi rock band, he’s a veteran, he’s also a member of the Hammerskin Nation, which is the most violent skinhead group in the country, much like Page. And what he told me about his experience in Iraq was instructive. He said, basically, the command knew about my radicalism. Of course they knew, they can see my tattoos. Fogarty was also — is also covered in tattoos. So, this is not a problem that’s specific to certain bases, although Fort Bragg has a very serious problem. It’s all over the United States. It was all over Iraq and it was all over Afghanistan.

      A point that must be made, too, is gangs is another huge issue, especially at the bases along the border with Mexico, because they’re involved in trafficking drugs, trafficking weapons, etc. And this is an issue, as well, which has got wide coverage. The Southern Poverty Law Center did important work in 2006 on this. Other groups have been doing it, active duty personnel. But, every time this issue has been raised, the U.S. military has targeted the person raising it. So, soldiers who have said, Look, my unit is riven with white supremacists or gang members, the military has demoted them, has kicked them out of the military. ”

      These guys are recruited to join our exalted military, but dress in black and break a bank window, and the feds will coming looking not only for you, but everyone you know.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      As jsmith links to below, they do the same for the right-wing groups.

      Almost all domestic terrorism is as fake as international terrorism. And the actual acts of violence are probably mostly caused by the U.S. government itself.

      Our media and politicians are controlled and they are able to fool many people into thinking we are under constant attack.

      They do this to justify the police state and to scare us. The U.S. is the biggest terrorist organization in the world.

      It just paid al qaeda terrorists to hang a small boy in Syria, for instance.

      But you won’t hear about that. Nope. Instead we hear about the fake anarchists threat.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Okay, jsmith’s link, above, is not the link I thought it was. This is more the standard scare story as far as I can tell.

        I’m looking for the previous links I read about the Wisconsin shooter having served in the psy ops unit of the army and the history of the government secretly running these right-wing groups but can’t find it now.

    3. Up the Ante

      “Why is it that .. these same feds don’t have a clue that a White Power guy who’s been singing about his violent hate for years is about to actually go and blow some poor Sikhs away? ”

      They don’t want to appear to be ‘unpatriotic’ by opposing military psyops, while clients to ‘patriotism’ ?

      Saber rattle a funding cut and they disappear.

    1. scraping_by

      Yes. There was a perverse argument that putting Mitty in office would be safer for entitlements, since he could be shamed away from throwing granny out on the street.

      Never bought that myself. If the man had an ounce of shame (social conscience, fellow-feeling, Christian Virtue) he wouldn’t do what he’s already done. And politicians tend to do what they’ve done all their lives. Look at Barry’s fraud on progressives from high school on.

      Congressman Money Over People can put away that hope. Now, it’ll be Barry gutting the programs we’ve already paid for.

      1. CB

        “Barry’s fraud on progressives from high school on.” Links? Obama is obviously a superb gamesman, the perfection of talent and practice, but I’d like to see something more particular.

    2. leftover

      Yeah…the choices available from the ruling class boil down to: One uses lube. The other doesn’t.
      Either way…

    3. Robin Hood

      I guess I would go with Ron Paul as the #3 least worst pick.

      At least he would let the fiscal cliff fall heavily on defense spending as the automatic cuts do.

      And being a doddering old guy himself, he may be somewhat sensitive towards cutting SS, rather than just assuming corporations will welcome 70 year olds on their plump payrolls, or staff up with 80 year olds.

      He comes with a few cool bells & whistles, like the desire to have the Fed divulge more about their dealings with banks. Inquiring minds would like to know.

      The threat of libertarianism, smaller government and lower taxes may have been credible 30 years ago, but we needn’t really worry about that happening anymore.

      But someone is going to have to change their name in this election so the voters can keep straight who is who?!

      BTW: Isn’t Obama supposed to announce a running mate and perhaps telegraph a few key candidate names for his staff positions? I have a vague recollection of some french guy was under consideration, but I haven’t heard anything lately.

      Just ask’n. I’m not real fluent in this politico stuff.

    4. citalopram

      Sometimes when I’m alone and awake at night, I think that maybe we should be cheering on these cuts. Get on board and come in for the Big Win.

      Slash and burn baby.

      Then when things get desperate enough, maybe people will fight.

      Americans deserve it. Oh man do we deserve it.

    5. F. Beard

      Genius move by the 1%, really. Lambert Strether

      No, it’s insanity. The really rich don’t need the money and the wanna be rich are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. And remember, SS is mostly just sending out checks to old people. Where’s the big government in that?

      Oh, I see. You’re encouraging them to apply their wet tongues to the “3rd rail of politics”!

  7. Ep3

    Yves, with the announcement of Paul Ryan as romneys VP proves to me that this election this year is about who will get to destroy SS and Medicare. And us pawns and commoners get to choose who will do it to us. Do we want hard and fast without lube Romney? Or do we want slow and with a smile Obama, who tells us he will use lube?

    1. LucyLulu

      Did you realize all 4 nominations for pres/vp are members of the religious minority. It’s unprecedented.

      Yep. We’ve got two Catholics running for vp, and a Mormon and Muslim for president.

      (No, I don’t really believe Obama is a Muslim, or care if he is.)

  8. LucyLulu

    We still have unemployment over 9% here in NC. BofA and related are ’bout the only ones hiring around here, esp. living wage type jobs, ya know, legal type jobs. Craigslist is always looking for document reviewers, attorneys starting at like $40K, maybe even higher. Please don’t be mean to BofA and drive all the good jobs away. P.S. We need the cheap buses. Only the lawyers can afford the safe ones. No traffic problems here though. Like anybody can afford a car, duh…

  9. brian

    at the end of the day teabaggers are mostly old angry white folks driven in large part by race but they won’t want to give up THEIR entitlements for a medicare voucher cuz they EARNED theirs

    its those OTHERS who are the problem

    this is shaping up like 1964
    soon a little girl with a daisy add

    if Obama does begin the widen his lead look for money to be shifted to congressional races and wall street money to start doubling down

    1. neo-realist

      Re: Congressional Races–It seems to me that even if the dems throw more money at them, they will still be way behind the 8 ball in many of those races since they did not work hard from the get go to recruit really good people to run, a’ la Howard Dean 50 state strategy. Heck, as I believe Lambert made reference to earlier, the White House would be perfectly cool with the status quo or a little worse since it would give them an out for pushing any policies with a slightly progressive tint and allow them to continue to push republican lite policies.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I had the same thought a few days ago.

      Here is an interesting question (I might be giving away my next hot culinary idea here).

      Do you like

      a) hot dogs
      b) hot cats
      c) hot asses
      d) hot chicks

  10. Lambert Strether

    David Swanson writes:

    Of course not. What would move both of these reprehensible candidates away from deeper cuts to decent programs … is an independent movement that makes its minimum demand an absolute bar on any cuts to Social Security or Medicare whatsoever.

    If you don’t soon see progressive groups advancing that demand, expect bad times ahead, regardless of who wins the world’s worst reality drama.

    Well, I just got some spam from “Bold Progressives” (who actually did heckle Schneiderman at Netroots Nation, so that’s a start). Here it is:

    his is a major unforced error by Mitt Romney.

    It gives President Obama and Democrats a chance to draw a clear contrast in 2012 by promising not to cut one penny from Medicare or Social Security benefits. We can help them draw that contrast starting now.

    If Romney loses big in November, today’s news will have been the game changer. (Especially in states like Florida, where senior citizens know the importance of Medicare.)

    Chip in $3 to help us run online ads defining Paul Ryan for voters in states like Florida. Click here.

    So the words are “promising not to cut one penny” (which NC readers know doesn’t apply to Obama, or the Ds, at all). The money is in aid of the Obama campaign.

    So, at least from this one datapoint, “expect bad times ahead.”

    1. TK421

      I think that’s probably right, but I wonder which party will end up being wanting to cut those programs less. Remember, Obama and his team proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security first, which the Republicans turned down.

  11. Walter Wit Man

    That’s cute that Lambert is *concerned* about the fascists targeting Anarchists.

    Because I remember Lambert and gang conflating anarchists with violence and doing the fascists work for them.

    I remember Chris Hedges calling them a cancer.

    Is it any wonder they are being targeted for political removal? Being sent to prison?

    1. Lambert Strether

      Hedges was wrong. Black Bloc isn’t a cancer. It’s more like herpes; periodic messy flare-ups. The key is avoiding contact.

      Personally, I think that enabling agent provocateurs, not to mention polluting the discourse with oodles of tinfoil, does the fascists work for them, but people’s views can differ, I suppose. Perhaps I shouldn’t have posted the link at all!

      * * *

      I’ve been careful to distinguish between anarchists and Black bloc, as I’m sure you know, Walter. Or perhaps this isn’t the real Walter, but an actor. Who can know?

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Ha. Tin foil. Great joke.

        But aren’t you wearing the tin foil if you think I’m an imposter?

        Also, not fair that you get to edit your comments after you post.

        I am proud of my skepticism of our government, media, and politicians and have adopted this approach after careful study and consideration. So I welcome your ridicule.

        And, your theories are not any less *tin foily* than mine on this subject. You claim most of the ‘direct actions’ (usu. misdemeanor property crimes) are done by agents provocateurs . . . a government conspiracy in other words. I only think some of these actions are done by agents provocateurs . . . like the May Day protests in San Francisco for e.g.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Yeah, too bad WP doesn’t have a preview function but c’est la vie.

          Thanks for withdrawing the accusation that I’m doing the fascist’s work for them. Oh, wait….

        2. Lambert Strether

          Of course, you have no links to show (a) that I equate Black bloc and anarchism or (b) that I say “most” black blockers are cops (your next lie). What I have say is that black bloc tactics make black blockers and cops indistinguishable, thereby facilitiating agent provocateurs.

          Are you sure you’re not an actor or part of a psy-ops operation? The real Walter can’t be happy this fake Walter is making stuff up.

          1. Up the Ante

            “The real Walter can’t be happy this fake Walter is making stuff up. ”

            Are you implying the federal judges had a ‘spirit’ which survived their ‘removals’, and that their present ‘stand-ins’ are spoofing their characters’ relation to the Constitution, that there is a competition between ‘the spirits’ and the spoofers as they make a mockery of the law ?


  12. jsmith

    Could the moderator please just tell us that we cannot post any information that runs contrary to the official Pussy Riot storyline on this site?

    Or should I insist and keep trying to post links to information which I’m sure many here would find interesting?


    1. jsmith

      Thanks for allowing this:

      Please see Mike Whitney’s account of the utter fooey that is the PR phenomenon here:

      For further information detailing how the Western-backed groups like the NED are using the PR silliness to further their aims see this:

      For an expose on the “band” PR which didn’t even play music up until late 2011, please see this:

      Here’s what the NED has to say about Pussy Riot:

      And here’s a report in which leaders of the various “Russian oppostion” groups as featured directly above are seen paying a nice welcoming visit to the new US Russian ambassador earlier this year.

      1. YesMaybe

        I posted this about the Mike Whitney article, but since your comment got deleted and replaced with this one, it ended up at the bottom by itself. So I’m reposting it here where it makes more sense:

        ‘Very good article. Except for this bit: “The truth is Putin kicked ass. But what does that prove? It proves that the Russian people are either very gullible or that the western media is just spreading more lies. So which is it?”

        My guess is it’s both. As I understand it, Putin hasn’t cracked down on the oligarchs (and isn’t he himself an oligarch?), but rather just on the ones which were in his way. Correct me if I’m wrong.’

      2. spooz

        Huh. So Counterpunch “radical muckraking” posts are okay, but the two posts where I linked to Chris Whalen’s libertarian nonsense on Zerohedge died in moderation. Censorship?

    2. Goin' South

      It’s probably not censorship per se. I’ve found that this site does not take kindly to any HTML in comments, so I just post the raw link without any tags.

      Otherwise, you end up in endless moderation.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Comments with lots of links tend to get flagged by the spam filter. Throw in the word “pussy,” and the comment is almost guaranteed to get queued for review, just as a comment with the word “viagra” and a lot of links would get queued.

      The filter is smart enough (though that’s not very smart) to detect repeat attempts, so I’m guessing that once a user is flagged, comments with the same trigger words (“pussy,” again) are seen as the spammer’s attempt to game the system, and are also queued, even if links are not present.

      So, I approved the comment with links, deleted the dupe, and cleaned up the thread by deleting the non-link comments as well.

      So, no censorship.

      1. jsmith

        Yeah, I hate to throw around the word “censorship” when none is intended.

        Sorry about that.

        The problem was that I was not receiving the standard “Your comment is awaiting moderation” which usually happens when something is triggered to that end.

        Even when I was posting without links and the word “pussy”, I was still blocked out of the thread and getting no reply.

        Thus, the multiple posts that now have all shown up at the same time of which you are free to delete the later ones containing no links if you’d like to clean up the thread.

        Again, really not intentional.

        I guess it really never occurred to me that someone would spam NC with “pron” links so I didn’t figure that out.

        Thanks for understanding and no I don’t really feel that NC is beholden to the Material Girl – completely.

      2. Susan the other

        Pussy Single-Payer; Pussy legalized drugs; Pussy Freeze Nukes; Pussy Use the Military to Clean Up the Oceans; Pussy Sanction Monsanto; Pussy Impeach Holder; Pussy Get Your Shit Together.

  13. Ms G

    Re The Investor who Saved Mugabe — Och-Ziff.

    Holy Shit is right. And the guy is on the Board of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Does bailing out (and owning) an bankrupt African state chief (Mugabe no less) qualify as Robin Hood charitable work?

    1. Susan the other

      The Investors Who Saved Mugabe is from the Guardian and has Greg Palast written all over it. Love him. But the article left me wondering exactly who OchZiff is, and then who OZ Mgmt is (by the first 2 letters it is OchZiff also). Not clarified however. Don’t love that. Something tells me we have seen the enemy and he is us.

      Also, just to note: The Mugabe govt’s objective seems to be the “development of resources in the Republic of Congo. Hmmm. That’s several hundred miles north, no? So, some old entrenched interests in South African mining (Canada and England as in Anglo American) are pushing to profit from the Congo. And also, the Republic of Congo has been recruited by the UK to become a member of the “Commonwealth of Nations.” What exactly is a commonwealth of nations? Is it a clever imperialist end run around democracy perhaps?

      1. Up the Ante

        “What exactly is a [ ‘border’ in Africa ]? Is it a clever imperialist end run around [‘]democracy[‘] perhaps? ”

        that may have fixed it for ‘ya

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Sto, anent the “commonwealth of nations” see numerous references to this euphemism for the hubristic “British Imperial Federation” sprung from the mind of “The Round Table” in Carroll Quigley’s “THE ANGLO-AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT: from Rhodes to Cliveden” — quoted below (all CAPS mine):

        “The second important propaganda effort of the Milner Group in the period after 1909 was *The Round Table*. This was part of an effort by the circle of the Milner Group to accomplish for the whole Empire what they had just done for South Africa. The leaders were Philip Kerr in London, as secretary of the London group, and LIONEL CURTIS throughout the world, as ORGANIZING SECRETARY FOR THE WHOLE MOVEMENT. … [p. 117]

        “[wrote CURTIS after a walk in Canada in 1909:] So far I had thought of self-government as a Western institution, which was and would always remain peculiar to the peoples of Europe. . . . It was from that moment that I first began to think of ‘the Government of each by each and of all by al’ not merely as a principle of Western life, but rather of ALL human life, as the goal to which all human societies must tend. It was from that moment that I began to think of the British Commonwealth [the British Empire and Dominions] as the greatest instrument ever devised for enabling that principle to be realized, not merely for the children of Europe, but for ALL races and kindreds and peoples and tongues. And it is for that reason that I have ceased to speak of the British Empire and called the book in which I published my views *The Commonwealth of Nations*.” [p. 118]

        “During the period 1911-1913, as we have said, CURTIS was busy in England with the reports from the Round Table Groups in the Dominions in reply to his printed memorandum. … CURTIS drafted a joint report, which was printed and circulated as each section was completed. It soon became clear that there was no real agreement within the groups and that IMPERIAL FEDERATION was NOT POPULAR in the Dominions. This was a bitter pill to the Group, especially to CURTIS, but he continued to work for several years more. … he summed up the results in a speech in Toronto in October 1913. He decided to draw up four reports as follows: (a) the existing situation; (b) a system involving complete independence for the Dominons; (c) a plan to SECURE UNITY OF FOREIGN RELATIONS by each Dominion’s following POLICY INDEPENDENT FROM BUT PARALLEL to that of BRITAIN itself; (d) a plan to REDUCE THE UNITED KINGDOM TO A DOMINION and CREATE A NEW IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT OVER ALL THE DOMINIONS. Since the last was what CURTIS wanted, he decided to write that report himself and allow supporters of the other three to write theirs…. [p. 125]

        When the war broke out in 1914, the reports were not yet finished, so it was decided to print the four sections already sent out, with a concluding chapter. A thousand copies of this, with the title *Project of a COMMONWEALTH*, were distributed among the groups. Then a popular volume on the subject, with the title *The Problem of the COMMONWEALTH* and CURTIS’s name as editor, was published (May 1916). Two months later, the earlier work (*Project*) was published under the title *THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS*, again with CURTIS named as editor. THUS APPEARED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PUBLIC THE NAME WHICH THE BRITISH EMPIRE WAS TO ASSUME THIRTY-TWO YEARS LATER. [pp. 125-126]

        “The idea for FEDERATION OF THE EMPIRE was not original with the Round Table Group, although their writings would indicate that they sometimes thought so. The FEDERATION which they envisaged had been worked out in detail by persons close to the CECIL BLOC and was accepted by MILNER and RHODES as their OWN CHIEF GOAL IN LIFE. [p. 127]

        “The ORIGINAL impulse for IMPERIAL FEDERATION arose within the LIBERAL PARTY [of “free trade” infamy] as a reaction against the Little England doctrines that were triumphant in England before 1868. The original MOVEMENT came from men like JOHN STUART MILL (whose arguments in support of the EMPIRE are just like CURTIS’s) and EARL GREY (who was Colonial Secretary under RUSSELL in 1946-1852). [p. 127]

        This MOVEMENT resulted in the founding of the Royal Colonial Society (now the ROYAL EMPIRE SOCIETY) in 1868, and, as a kind of subsidiary of this, the IMPERIAL FEDERATION LEAGUE in 1884. [p. 127]

        “The funeral oration of Pericles became their POLITICAL COVENANT WITH DESTINY. Duty to the state and loyalty to one’s fellow citizens became the chief values of life. But, realizing that the jewel of Hellenism was destroyed by its inability to organize any political unit larger than a single city, the MILNER GROUP saw the necessity of POLITICAL ORGANIZATION IN ORDER TO INSURE THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF FREEDOM AND HIGHER ETHICAL VALUES and hoped to be able to PRESERVE THE VALUES OF THEIR DAY BY ORGANIZING THE WHOLE WORLD AROUND THE BRITISH EMPIRE./CURTIS puts this quite clearly in *THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS* (1916), … [p. 133]

        “Lionel CURTIS, in his writings, makes perfectly clear both his conviction that character is acquired by training rather than innate ability and his insistence on tolerance in personal contact between members of different races. In his *COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS* (1916) he says: ‘ENGLISH SUCCESS IN PLANTING NORTH AMERICA and the comparative failure of their rivals must, in fact, be traced to the respective merits not of breed but of institutions’ … [p. 135]

        “In ENGLAND [from 1938] the BASIC PROPAGANDA WORK was done through *THE ROUND TABLE* and LIONEL CURTIS, while in the UNITED STATES it was done through the RHODES SCHOLARSHIP organiziation, especially through Clarence Sterit and Frank Aydelotte. In England, CURTIS wrote a series of books and articles ADVOCATING A NEW FEDERAL ORGANIZATION built around the ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES. The chief work of this nature was *CIVITAS DEI*, which appeared in three volumes in 1934-1937. A one-volume edition was issued in 1938, with the title *THE COMMONWEALTH OF GOD*. The first two volumes of this work are nothing more than a REHASH AND EXPANSION of the older work *THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS* (1916)” [p. 282]

        Susan, do you sense the GRANDIOSITY of British Imperial ambitions? Do you think that “Finance” is exempt from this GRANDIOSE Imperial scheme?

  14. dcblogger

    “Rich Beeson, the campaign’s political director, said the large number of non-Obama D delegates from states like AR and WV aren’t ‘even going to be allowed on the floor.’”

    On what grounds? If someone has been elected by his local party to be a delagate to the convention, on what grounds can you keep them out of the convention?

    1. Valissa

      The quote doesn’t say they won’t be allowed in the convention, just not allowed on the ‘floor’. In other words they’ll be kept out of the main action, and in some way corralled or prevented from having certain levels of access or kept away from the cameras. This is just a continuation of the authoritarian trend which was so obvious in the 2008 convention. Protestors have been corralled away from both major party conventions in recent years.

      1. Valissa

        Democracy is supposed to be messy and fractious. One clue to the current state of our democracy is how afraid TPTB are of this normal process.

  15. craazyman

    This dude Mr. Zakaria and plagiarism — what a nothingburger that is.

    How many ways can you say: 1998 came after 1997 which came after 1996, which in turn (you may not be surpised by now if you can count), came after 1995.

    I guess you can sort of re-arrange the syntax to be polite, which he seems to have done. At least he has a sense of modesty.

    If he’d plagiarized me, that would crack me up! I’d say “Dude! you’ve got an open mind! You’re not just a smiling media-robot-man of the Educated Savage Race of Political Word Wankers.”

    I say “Go for it, any of you Word Wankers. Plagiarize me and don’t even attribute. I couldn’t care less.” I don’t read you anyway or even watch you on TV. What difference does it really make? None.

  16. ohmyheck

    LOLZ! Mitt introduces his new running mate as “the next PRESIDENT of the United States”….

    (with video, for added value)

    Maybe this election season will be far more entertaining than previously thought. A Romney Gaff-of-the-Day, always to be blamed on “Teh Evul Liberal Media” by Repubs. Which will be bought by those unable to grasp that “kill the messenger” is not a valid critique.

    I found this at #RomneyShambles twitter feed.Unfortunately, there are to be found there, those who are still buying the “lesser of two evils” BS. Gack.

  17. Ms G

    Update on Standard Charter “Affaire.”

    NYT article serves as mouthpiece of the “nothing to see here” Federal Law Enforcement contingent, describes panicked banks calling in a frenzy. The best bits in the article — Feds were on the verge of Shutting the Whole Thing Down because they Saw Nothing Illegal. DOJ is where meritorious financial fraud cases go to Die. It is now official.

    Quotes here:

    The banks are not the only ones caught off guard. The Justice Department, which is investigating Standard Chartered, was on the verge of concluding that virtually all of the bank’s transactions with Iran complied with the law, according to current and former authorities, who, like others interviewed on the matter, declined to be identified.

    At meetings over the last couple of weeks, the officials said, momentum was building to not pursue a criminal case against the bank. Also helping Standard Chartered’s cause, the officials said, was the bank’s genuine cooperation with authorities. It has been providing data on years of transactions to the authorities since 2010.

    “There was not much there there,” one of the officials said.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Under the title ‘New York Declares War on Iran,’ Justin Raimondo has published a delicious takedown of the lawless Lawsky. Excerpt:

      While speaking truth to power is not the sort of thing one expects the executive of a leading bank to indulge in, we’ll take it where we can find it. Here‘s the Group Director of the Standard Chartered Bank responding to the charges, leveled by New York State bank regulator Ben Lawsky, that SCB was involved in financial dealings with Iran to the tune of $250 billion:

      “You f—king Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with the Iranians?”

      This, by the way, is cited in the complaint filed by the state of New York: Lawsky apparently thought it was incriminating enough to include. There is plenty of evidence this case has little to do with the sanctions, and more to do with bank protectionism: SCB is a British bank, and the city of New York is now engaged in a strenuous campaign to lure the high finance crowd away from London and back to the Big Rotten Apple. The Group Manager, who goes unnamed in the complaint, is asking the right question, which apparently Señor Lawsky isn’t prepared to answer – so I will.

      We think we’re the center of the world: that’s what “American exceptionalism” is all about.

      New Yorkers are world-famous for their pushiness, and their brazen rudeness, not to mention the delusion that their own city is the center of the known universe. Isn’t it high time we non-New Yorkers pushed back? To paraphrase that SCB official:

      “You f—king New Yorkers. Who are you to drag us, the rest of the country, into yet another unjustified destructive and costly war in the Middle East?”

      If Cuomo, Lasky, and Silber want war with Iran, let them send the New York state National Guard over there and leave the rest of us out of it.

      Rock on, Justin! Let’s help Lawsky end up with nothin’ but a pie in his looter face.

      1. Ms G

        Don’t forget Lawsky “jump started” his legal career as a lawyer for Sen. Chuck Schumer . . . enough said.

  18. jsmith

    I mean, I understand the site doesn’t want to cross Madonna and all of the other luminaries who’ve been called up to garner further support for this farce – sorry – reistance against evil, evil Putin and his minions of death-eaters.

    Don’t worry: they just had a dashedly funny segment on Pussy Riot on “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” so I’m sure Americans now know all they need to about said subject.

    I mean, I understand people not wanting to cross Madonna and all of the other luminaries who’ve been called up to garner further support for this farce – sorry – reistance against evil, evil Putin and his minions of death-eaters so I’ll take a break from trying to show post links as to how:

    (I do have the links but just can’t seem to post them for the last 4 days.)

    a) Alexey Navalny who was called as a defense witness in the PR trial was a Yale World Fellow and started the DA! oppostion group which is DIRECTLY funded by the NED and which openly has admitted as such.

    b) how members of Pussy Riot have been with other activist groups such as Voina for years – members of the group are either married to or have dated Voina members – which have a proud history of committing public acts that are blatantly and purposefully illegal not just anti-Putin.

    Here are some of Voina highlights:

    “Since its formation in presumably 2008 Voina has staged in public a succession of extreme actions described as performance art. These have included the painting of a male phallus on a St. Petersburg Bridge, the staging of a public orgy at the Timiryazev Museum in Moscow involving nudity and (apparently) full penetrative sex (Tolokonnikova was a participant though heavily pregnant), the throwing of live cats at the staff of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, the overturning of police cars apparently on one occasion with a policeman inside, the firebombing of property with petrol bombs, the staged hanging of an immigrant and a homosexual in a supermarket, the projection of a skull and crossbones onto the building housing the Russian government, the spilling of large live cockroaches onto the stomach of a pregnant member of the group (Tolokonnikova again) and the theft of a frozen chicken from a supermarket, which was stuffed up the vagina of one of the women members (apparently Maria Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova apparently was also present).”

    c) that Pussy Riot didn’t even play music much less consider themselves a punk band until late 2011.

    d) what Pussy Riot did in the church violated Russian law with an – gasp! – actually look at the Russian statutes.

    e) how oppositoin groups like Strategy 31, GOLOS and the Moscow Helsinki group were all photographed paying their respects to the new US Russian ambassador earlier this year.

    f) how the NED’s statement concerning Pussy Riot actually quotes people from the above said “oppositon groups” which they help fund.

    But I guess Pussy – giggle – Riot is really a case for Bono, Madonna and the rest of the Rock Justice Brigade!!

    Don’t worry kids, it’ll be all right!

    Just remember: Putin…bad!!!

    1. Robin Hood

      The frozen chicken thing doesn’t sound funny at all. In fact, it sounds more like something Putin would do?

    2. Lambert Strether

      Your comment had a ton of links and the word “pussy.” Can you think of a reason why a spam filter might flag that? I dug it out of the queue, approved it, and cleaned up the thread. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to offend Madonna. Get a grip.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      I have remarkably few moderation filters. And moderation means someone will eventually look at it and decide whether to approve it or not.

      Barry Ritholtz, by contrast, moderates EVERY SINGLE COMMENT and also edits them. He happens to have the highest traffic site in this space. So you have no basis for getting pissy.

      Complaining about how I run this site gives you troll points. Keep it up and you will be banned. I don’t take well to this sort of bitching and moaning.

      1. spooz

        Ritholtz just posted an explanation for his editorial policy, paraphrasing Jack Nicholson:

        “Go sell crazy elsewhere, we are not buying.”

        I admit to being banned from a website (pixel gazing Denninger’s Market Ticker) for calling Trump a teabagger. Now THERE’S a guy who controls the message, which of course he has every right to do since its his blog.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I think TBogg needs to get out more. That’s not a very well-written post, consisting as it does of tribally appropriate snark only — and generally TBogg writes a lot better than that. Some kind of disturbance in the force.

  19. kevinearick

    Cult Countdown Update

    In case you are not quite on the same page, your ac composite key runs relatively perpendicular to the dc tumblers, in time, allowing your elevator to run on time, employing it as fuel. Orbit rail to rail, with the herd on the way to slaughter, but with momentum from another dimension.

    How fluid is the market? Can you outlast the impulse of the market-maker to manipulate the market? Have you disabled the market-maker’s exit contingency? When may you expect market-maker recognition? How many iterations do you require to build the necessary torque?

    As you can now see in the aftermath of CAN and Ag, you are not alone. How are treasuries working for you? What does prime on the US dollar look like?

    Rocket science is not required to cut socialism down. Just get out of the way and be about your business, building the bridge to your family’s future. The sunk costs required to do the job are everywhere. The robots have to keep up with peer economic activity, in the race to the bottom, or the top depending upon your perspective. Don’t ride the clutch; you are going to need those gears to get out.

    Emotion is all about creative destruction, doing the wrong thing repeatedly, until it’s the right thing. Let gravity do its job. The objective is not artificial, to design a computer to be as stupid as the product coming out of Harvard. Any set of dc computers may be banded together to replace the university system:

    It’s not what you know; it’s who you know;
    Please your cohort;
    Pretend you have something to acquire;
    Inter-marry as necessary to target acquisitions;
    Leverage your resources to steal more;
    Say “knowledge is power” as you step on the dead soldiers;
    Make law to consolidate your gains;
    Pay others to breed on stupid, or not to breed if necessary;
    If you don’t understand something, smother it;
    Climb the ladder of failure;
    Anxiously wait to be stepped upon;
    Protect the ladder diagram.

    Surprise, surprise, the deferred payments on the capital appreciation bonds come due with no funding, to coincide with demographic collapse, while taxes are raised on a collapsing tax base subsidized by the Fed, with claw backs on social security to top it off. Don’t make payments until you are dead and gone. What do you suppose QE inversion is going to look like?

    WALL street is a cult environment;
    “cults are about money” and they lead their followers to the cliff every time;
    Organizations become cults with increasing gravity;
    The socialist state is a pyramid of cults;
    Why does this surprise anyone?
    Do your really think a cult can change direction once the ponzi collapses?
    The zombies are all in.
    Don’t get between them and the cliff edge, unless you have sufficient lift-off;
    Can you reach sufficient escape velocity with gold?

    It’s a sh-show; it’s all a sh-show, staged by cross-dressing chameleons. Bathe the critters in water and turn it up to boil, in the boiler room, EVERY F-ING TIME. The lizard wants you on its turf. Let it think you are there and turn the heat up on itself, trying to boil you in vain. Go to any business school; the name of the game is maximum debt leverage.

    Society is a cultural centrifuge, designed to distill character in the few, not the many. Don’t enter a track expecting to alter its fundamental character. You adjust centrifuge dynamics by raising your children thoughtfully, which requires fortitude, which is the point of travel, to complete and extend the circuit.

    Point to any location in your History book and show me when politics was not a cult. Take a look at the de-programming guide for the cult algorithm. Surprise, surprise, all the symptoms match. F-ing druids always fight a fire with a bigger fire. How do you set a backfire line? How does nature employ fire?

    Write as many laws as you like. Wall Street feeds upon the unintended consequences. The symptoms so-addressed are the sh-show. Go forth and multiply, in the birth canal of nations, against the current pulling the others up the Wailing Wall.

    Physician, heal thyself, or argue with me, as I alter the current. What does the President have to respond with, but more debt, more Wall Street, more make-work, more economic activity, more sh-show, designed to separate the gold digger from the gold? If you can buy gold with a credit card and discard the bill, what does that tell you about the outcome ahead for all the participants?

    Are you beyond the Fed edge? Do not look back. Pull out your knife, cut the strings, and get on with your life. What’s standing in the Fed’s way now is nature. You want your children to aspire, to be something more than a bit actor in the sh-show, and they learn by example.

  20. Hugh

    The Presidential campaigns have devolved as they always do into a horse race. This is largely by design. It takes attention away from the fact that the two major candidates are both deeply anti-99%, both corporatist, pro-rich, pro-banker, and both out to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    That Obama named Erskine Bowles as co-chair of the original Cat Food commission gave the game away from the start. Some of us have been saying this for years now. Obama never gives up on his corporatist, neoliberal agenda. Within a month of his inauguration, Obama had a conference on cutting Social Security. This got a lot of negative feedback and he shelved this issue to pursue selling out to the insurance and medical industries and cutting Medicare and Medicaid with Obamacare. But once that was out of the way, he came back with the stacked, pro-rich, pro-corporation, anti-Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Bowles-Simpson Cat Food commission. This succeeded not in enacting legislation but in getting the elites onboard with the sagacity of gutting the social safety net. This was followed in turn by the Grand Bargain talks which went nowhere over taxes not cuts. Then the Presidential campaign intervened. But once that is over, Obama, as he always does, will be back with another effort to slash the social programs whether Bowles is his enforcer or not.

    That Biden story about seven Republican friends confiding to him that they were going to pursue a strategy of obstruction is BS. I remember two weeks after the November 2008 election McConnell publicly stated in an interview that was his plan. Casting the story this way makes it sound as if this was some kind of big secret when it would have been dead obvious this was what was going to happen even if McConnell had not said a word. And as lambert points out, since Obama and the Democrats knew this was the Republican plan why didn’t they pre-empt it by doing away with the filibuster when they could? The answer is just as obvious. The filibuster gave Obama and the Democrats the cover they needed to pursue their anti-99% agenda.

    Re Fareed Zakaria, it always amazes me how entitled/braindead, or maybe just plain lazy, these Establshment types have to be to plagiarize. Seriously, how difficult is it to regurgitate the Conventional Wisdom, especially when that’s been their job for years? In some sense, they all plagiarize all the time because they all are working off the same script. Zakaria hasn’t had an original idea in years, perhaps ever. His brand is to deliver the received ideas of the Establishment with a certain tone. It is not, and has never been, to think. Even so, for a writer with even minimal skills it is easy in the extreme to simply cite an author and his/her work in passing, rephrase their ideas, minimally expand on them, and hey presto! you can appropriate their work with no charge of plagiarism. I can only think their celebrity status leaves them no time for day job of shilling.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      For the fixed horse race, Obama could not possibly have picked a better opposition candidate in Romney, but Romney-Ryan is the absolute dream team—the perfect foil to burnish his lesser-evil credentials. It’s now good-cop / bad cop theater for the next 12 weeks.

      IMHO, Obama has this selection locked, and all the polls and breathless predictions of a tight race are pure surround-sound noise. The fact is the PTB really must have Obama to negotiate putting seniors on a strict cat food diet, and that is their wettest of wet dreams. As Roger Dawson wrote in “The Secrets of Power Negotiating”, “When you get the gold out of their teeth, that’s not negotiating. That’s stealing. When you get the gold out of their teeth and they thank you for it, that’s negotiating.” Obama is the only candidate who can possibly achieve that with sufficient Democratic collusion. TINA, and no matter how much stock Benny and the Criminal Reserve have to buy from now to November, this is do or die time for them.

  21. Fiesty

    Hello people.

    Haven’t posted in awhile. I was over at Mitt’s dog’s house for summer vacation (tiny thing – you would think mitt could do better than that for his pooch!) and then Mitt “accidentally” stepped on my typing paw. Chriky did that hurt!

    But it’s all healed up now and Mitt’s dog just sent me the bio of the guy ahole Mitt picked to be President or Vice President, however you people do that. Mitt’s dog says Mitt gets confused about how that works all the time.

    But anyway, me and Mitt’s dog were howling uncontrollably over this bio and I was convulsing so bad I shot a crap clear across the room into Master’s coffee cup. Master was laughing so hard he just winked back at me and I didn’t even get punished for it!

    I’ve stopped shaking now so I thought I’d pass along the link.

    BTW: Who is the Ayn Rand chick everyone talks about anyway? Somebody famous?

    “He attended Craig High School in Janesville, where he was both prom king and voted “Biggest Brown Noser.” For much of his early life, Paul Davis Ryan was known as “P.D” to distinguish himself from his father. He switched to Paul when he went to college after tiring of explaining his name wasn’t ‘Petey.’ ”

    “He attended Miami University in Southwestern Ohio, where he studied political science and economics. While in college, he interned at Oscar Mayer, selling its products to grocery store meat managers. During a promotion for turkey bacon, Ryan once drove the company’s “Weinermobile,” a car shaped like a giant hot dog. “

      1. F. Beard

        You mean the Republicans hope to lose, secure in the knowledge that Obama won’t improve the economy?

        1. YesMaybe

          I think he meant more along the lines of the 1% telling Mitt to remember that its their campaign, not his.

          I saw an article on TNR (which I would never read otherwise, I only made an exception today to see what the ‘line’ on Ryan was) about how Mitt has accepted he’ll lose and wants to make it look like it was the right’s fault. But I don’t think any of these ideas make sense. If the 1% (or 0.01%) had decided that Romney will lose, how can we reconcile that with the Gaius Publius link today about how their political donations are as tilted towards Romney as they were towards Obama in 2012?

  22. YesMaybe

    Very good article. Except for this bit: “The truth is Putin kicked ass. But what does that prove? It proves that the Russian people are either very gullible or that the western media is just spreading more lies. So which is it?”

    My guess is it’s both. As I understand it, Putin hasn’t cracked down on the oligarchs (and isn’t he himself an oligarch?), but rather just on the ones which were in his way. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  23. emptyfull

    Oh God. Ryan. They are getting agressive, aren’t they? Are they banking on a major Crisis 2.0 happening before the election? A sort of classic shock doctrine tactic?

    It’s interesting to note that our politics are getting increasingly radical. Major socio-economic changes are coming as the crisis of neo-liberal capitalism continues. History’s wheels are starting to kick up dust again. In 2020 we’ll look back at 2010 like people in 1970 looked at 1960.

    So, does anyone here think the Obama camp will run a robust campaign to save the basic institutions of 20th-Century center-left governance (which are extremely popular! because who wants our mothers and fathers to die of hunger or be denied medical care?)? Or will it just be about letting us these institutions wither more slowly and gently?

    1. YesMaybe

      So, does anyone here think the Obama camp will run a robust campaign to save the basic institutions of 20th-Century center-left governance (which are extremely popular! because who wants our mothers and fathers to die of hunger or be denied medical care?)?

      I think any people who think that would have long ago stopped reading naked capitalism. It would involve too much cognitive dissonance for them, and it’s easier to just go back to dailykos or another fine democrat establishment.

      1. emptyfull

        Well, I come from a mainstream liberal Democratic background. There’s a part of me that still dreams of a less corrupt Democratic establishment. I can only hope (faintly) that strictly political considerations can make Obama move back towards the center left.

        Forgive me for occasional flights of fantasy…

    1. Robin Hood

      Thanks for that.

      Looks pretty complete, but I thought I’d like to toss in a little research on the Honorable VP’s Congressional District.

      This is not a put down on Janesville, WI – it is a pretty nice place. But we are talking about the fast track to Commander in Chief and Chief of the Economy here, so we should be a little careful, methinks.

      Here’s the training ground economy:

      The largest employers in the city are:[15]
      # Employer # of Employees
      1 Mercy Health System 3,687
      2 Janesville School District 1,368
      3 Rock County 1,172
      4 GHC Specialty Brands (Lab Safety Supply) 843
      5 Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club 535
      6 City of Janesville 505
      7 Blain’s Farm and Fleet 492
      8 Lemans 450
      9 J.P. Cullen & Sons 432
      10 Seneca Foods 415,_Wisconsin

      For those who don’t remember Ackroyd & Belushi in the Blues Brothers so well, “Rock County” is a jail, and Ackroyd’s character did time there.

      Trying to find some applicable youtube clips from the Blues Brothers, but no luck yet.

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