Links 11/14/12

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Three rare Sumatran tiger cubs born at Indonesia zoo PhysOrg

Thousands enjoy Australia eclipse BBC

Students and Soldiers: Captivating Stories from Montana Veterans PRX (diptherio)

Government surveillance ‘on the rise’ Guardian. Quelle surprise!

BRICS miracle over as world faces slump, warns top US forecaster Telegraph

The Globalization Of Cyberespionage Dark Reading

EU workers in austerity protests BBC

Europe hit by anti-austerity strikes Guardian

Spain Makes Progress on Repossessions Deal Amid Talks Bloomberg. In Spain, two foreclosure-related suicides plus protests pressured the government to intervene. A telling contrast with the US.

That Is An Ugly Industrial Production Number From Europe Clusterstock

Banks will always blow themselves up, regulator warns TelegraphNotice he calls for 17-20% capital levels.

The Petraeus scandal is in danger of eating the media, or at least crowding out the Great Betrayal.

David Petraeus: A Thrice-Failed Trainer? Marcy Wheeler. She has other good posts on this topic.

FBI’s abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation Glenn Greenwald


General Petraeus’ fatal flaw: not his affair, but the Afghan surge Guardian

Elite Democrats Act Like Losers masaccio, Firedoglake. I beg to differ: the Republicans let them go where they want to go. Elite Dems hate middle class and poor people. I’ve seen them talk about “middle class jobs” and you can tell they mean jobs for some sort of lower caste.

Chinese Rare Earth Mining Monopoly Threatens US Defense Technology OilPrice. Title is hardly news, but has updates on efforts to deal with China’s supply chokehold. I’d like to know how we got in this position. I recall as a kid reading how the DoD was worried about reliance on key materials that were in politically unstable parts of Africa. The DoD actually let this happens. So why is there no scrutiny about this mess?


For-Profit Colleges: A “Business Model” That Blew Up Wolf Richter

Fed vice-chair backs rates ‘threshold’ Financial Times

Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them White House. No, this is not Onion.

Economic Optimism Plunges In Post-Vote IBD/TIPP Poll Investors Business Daily (skippy). Will other confidence indexes follow?

You Fight With Bank Of America Over Bad Mortgages, Bank Of America Fights Back Dealbreaker (Richard Smith)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. fresno dan

    FBI’s abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation Glenn Greenwald

    “But, as unwarranted and invasive as this all is, there is some sweet justice in having the stars of America’s national security state destroyed by the very surveillance system which they implemented and over which they preside. As Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this morning: “Who knew the key to stopping the Surveillance State was to just wait until it got so big that it ate itself?”

    I’m afradid cynical dan has to set Mr. Timm straight – the law will be amended so that “important” people will be exempted.

    I also think of the law of unintended consequences – Fox has turned on Petraeus (he was covering for Obama donchasee), but if if turns out that Petraeus was really covering up CIA “enhanced interrogation” – well…Petraeus accodring to FOX will go back to being a hero…unless FOX decides that “enhanced interrogation” under Obama is bad, bad, bad…kinda like Massachusetts health care is good except when it is US health care…or sumthin…

    1. Jim Haygood

      Government power, comrades:

      Recovery [from Hurricane Sandy] has been slowest on Long Island, where roughly 90 percent of the authority’s 1.1 million customers lost power. As of Tuesday, more than 10,000 customers were still in the dark.

      The Long Island Power Authority, known as LIPA, reflects the shortcomings of the state’s quasi-independent public authorities, which are often criticized as a shadow government that resists scrutiny. Long Island is the only region of New York where the main electrical utility is run by the government.

      The authority has not had a permanent chief executive for two years. Five spots on the 15-member board are vacant, 3 of which are Mr. Cuomo’s to fill. The authority’s chairman, Howard E. Steinberg, has stayed on past an expired term. He was originally appointed by Gov. George E. Pataki, who left office almost six years ago.

      Four days before Hurricane Sandy would arrive, and trustees of the Long Island Power Authority gathered … discussion of the storm lasted just 39 seconds.

      Crikey, just imagine if the government ran our schools and health care … OH, WAIT!

      1. Klassy!

        Also from the article:
        (Cuomo) also revived a proposal that he made in his 2010 campaign to combine the authority with other state energy agencies, but has not ruled out privatizing the authority.

        “I don’t believe you can fix it,” he said. “I believe it has to be overhauled and you need a new system.”

        starve the beast.

      2. LucyLulu

        They had almost a million of their 1.1 million customers lose power, and all but 10,000 have had power restored, right? Is this bad? None of my past or current utility providers would have (or have in past) done better during a weather-related (hurricane, ice storm) multi-state outage. It’s a monumental effort that requires the help and coordination of many different groups outside the local utility company.

        1. Klassy!

          Having gone through a storm related power outage lately, I agree that the rate at which they’re restoring power does not seem incredibly slow to me. (I know, easy to say from my fully electrified home) In my city, those that are lucky enough to have municipal power fared much better than the rest of us.
          I do feel that work crews have been cut to the bone and until they hire more workers this sort of response will continue. But, it is (short term) cheaper for them to have less ground level workers and replace them with a few “communications specialist” whose job is issuing press releases that tell that they are doing everything in their power to respond and customers are no 1 and blah blah blah.
          Marketing and PR are the only thing that matter in this country any more. Just ask the good general:

          More so than any other leading military figure, Petraeus’ entire philosophy has been based on hiding the truth, on deception, on building a false image. “Perception” is key, he wrote in his 1987 Princeton dissertation: “What policymakers believe to have taken place in any particular case is what matters — more than what actually occurred.”

          Yes, it’s not what actually happens that matters — it’s what you can convince the public it thinks happened.

  2. D. Mathews

    I’m not aware of all the details, but reports such as this (which interestingly was released less than a week before the attack) would lead me to conclude that an unfortified combination consulate/CIA station in Benghazi was a huge blunder. The attack was foreseeable.

    1. George

      It included a ‘safe room’, but no means of avoiding smoke inhalation.

      Once again, crowd-sourced tactics overwhelm our brilliant military, CIA, … defense strategies.

  3. craazyman

    Hysteria Alert!

    apparently any bonehead can post a petition at White House.Gov and other boneheads can sign it.

    other petitions now posted are:

    “Impeach Obama” (302 signatures)
    “Legaize Crystal Fucking (sic) Weed” (364 signatures)

    One requests Pres. Obama attend a party or if scheduling conflicts, at least have a beer with somebody named Drew Curtis (522 signatures)

    and “Not Allow FDA to Regulate Premium Cigars” (37,274 signatures) that’s a lot of signaturs!

    Maybe we can come up with our own Petition, something like “Make the word Bankster an official U.S. word, which must be used during congressional debate and testimony describing any top executive at a TBTF financial institution” hahahah. I’d vote for that.

    1. ambrit

      Dear craazyman;
      Sure, any bonehead can do that. Still, where’s the Great Moderator when we need it? (I’m assuming ‘It’s’ an artificial entity, soon to be declared a ‘Legal Person,’ as a result of the upcoming SCOTUS ruling anet “HAL 2000 vs. MGM Inc.”) Seriously though, allowing such “Petitions” to continue association with the official White House website lends said petitions a weight and credence otherwise lacking. Would any self respecting Corporation allow the same? I personally know of a rant, in the company sponsored chat room, comparing a certain DIY Boxxstore to the dreaded Wal Mart, and with fairly well reasoned arguments, that was ‘disappeared’ a few days later. (No, not myself, alas.) Considering further, that ‘official’ websites can be viewed as expressions of the ‘official’ mindset, (or at the least, expressions of complimentary views,) the allowance of such “extreme” expressions of the “public will” should give one pause. Censorship? Yes. If full and free expression of views is the goal, establish a White House Play Room elsewhere on the site, and plainly mark it so. I enjoy fun and games, and love to play with a good joke. These jocularities, however, are large, and have teeth. (Something or other dentata, eh?)

      1. craazyman

        I wonder if any republican senators signed the Impeach Obama petition? I wonder if Sean Hannity did? Glad I don’t have a TV, every day I am glad.

        Cracking myself up.

        I think it’s a testament to our democracy that boneheads can put petitions up on White and sign them.

        I think even the Roman emporers used to tolerate political graffitti, so I don’t want to wax too sentimental.

        But if you want a good laugh, these petitions will do it. Here’s another White House petition on an issue of national importance:

        “endorse Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football,” for the 2012 Heisman Memorial Trophy Award.”

        c’mon Obama, where do you stand on Johnny Football? The American people need to know? bowhahahha hahahahahah

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do they have one that calls for ‘painting the White House pink or some other color(s)?’

          It’d be cool to have a ‘Not So Black And White House’ – as in, hey, the world is much more complex than you think.

          1. Bert_S

            I imagine they will wait until the first female president, then go with the pink White House. Not sure if they go with the “First Man” title for hubby, however. Too much fodder for late night TV, methinks.

            But looks like janet yellen will be Ben’s replacement, so pink money is on the way. Mine will be chinese pink money. They seem to be taking theirs more seriously lately.

          2. Valissa

            A pink white house? Eeeeuwwww…. gross!! I’ve never liked pink as color.. well it’s OK on some flowers. When we first bought our house the existing garden had about 75% pink flowering plants in different shades. I learned to how to garden real fast… now I’m down to about 5% pink, which is tolerable.

            When I tried to imagine a pink white house (after conquering my initial nausea) all I could think of was pepto-bismal pink… and I got nauseous about it all over again.

        2. different clue

          Democracy? It looks to me like a Free Speech Wall, in the spirit of Free Speech Zones.

          The Simpson-Obama Catfood Conspirators are working most diligently to keep Democracy out of the Lame Duck Congressional Catfood-Railroad deliberations and decisionating.

    2. Aquifer

      craazy – re the cigars, I’ll bet a lot of those signatures came from Congress. A couple of years ago they made a law that you couldn’t send cigarettes through the mail (no doubt passed to kill the NA cig business that wasn’t paying taxes on the cigs, though ostensibly to discourage smoking) BUT it was still legal to send cigars through the mail – and i figured that was because there was no way Congress would prevent itself from getting its lovely Cuban cigars …

  4. Yan


    Regarding the article about Spain, there have been more than 350.000 repossessions since the crisis broke (including all kinds of real estate, not just residential)…the deal they will try to reach is to change a law that our dear friends of the EU have ruled goes against European law. Also, current law in Spain allows for the bank to go after the debtors for the total amount of the debt, even after repossession if the sale of the house in auction does not make up for the whole amount, which it never does as it was those same banks that are now repossessing that valued the houses normally way above assumed value at the top of the boom. Also, this has become news because the woman in particular was a politician.

  5. LeeAnne

    The Petreaus kurfuffle is about our US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens; murdered in Benghazi, Libya by Islamic militants.

    The first try at pushing it off the front page was the official narrative about a film that insulted Middle East extremists to kill and riot. That narrative didn’t work. Rather, it backfired; fueling questions and speculation about the real facts that took on a life of its own in the media. So, hearings were scheduled at which Petreaus and our Secretary of State, Hillary, were required (we believed) to testify.

    Second try to get the story off the front page; sexcapades that are suddenly not OK among soldiers in the top ranks. That narrative is working. Swell, the only competition for media space being the sports pages. Au contraire; the stories are complimentary -sex and sports.

    Now, neither Petreaus nor Hillary are available for duty to the American people at these scheduled hearings. Surprise! Petreaus, missing in action (where is he when we need him?) supposedly because of his sex life; Hillary for a different story -needless to say.

    What is credible in the speculation about this murder is the role of American arms deals through Turkey, secret Obama prisons in Libya, and retaliation for Obama assassinations.

    It is this that the US has always been against; at least, officially; torture and assassination. Not only because it is taking the high ground for which the US is noted and now seen the world over as hypocritical in the extreme, but more pragmatically because retaliation for torture and assassinations is almost guaranteed and also very easy to do. Talk about encouraging ‘TERRORISM’ -they’re working hard.

    This secret government is not only criminal, tearing up our constitution since Reagan, Oliver North, Iran, Contras in arms for drugs; it is STUPID. THEY ARE STUPID and SICK.

    Check out the ‘family’ photos of Kelly, the lady said to have been harrassed by Petreaus’ girl friend.

    These people are nuts. She favors baby doll short night dresses for day time and cocktail parties; one photo in a light neutral color, the other event, in black.
    Says a lot.

    For an insight into Petreaus’ record and the ‘cult of the military’:

    1. jsmith

      Boo hoo, an American war criminal got “murdered” by the very terrorists he helped create…what a shame, I’m really broken up about it.

      No really.

      You somehow fail to grasp that ANYONE of a high enough level of power in the U.S. is “in on” and totally “down with” the American fascist empire or they wouldn’t have risen that high in the first place.

      Let’s save our sympathy for the truly innocent who we murder every day.

      Mr. Stevens – sniffle, tear – what a patriot.

      1. jsmith

        And here’s Mr. Steven’s best bud Mr. “Wackdoodle” McCain calling for a Watergate-style investigation in Benghazi.

        Gee, Mr. War Hero wouldn’t be using the death of his “best friend” to try and score political points, huh?

        One’s service to the fascist empire doesn’t appear to end at death, huh?

        Just ask Pat Tillman, eh?

        Although it appears that we generally agree, LeeAnne, I just want to say the following:

        As a common lowly U.S. citizen who harbors no ill-will or hatred towards any of the people we are murdering and who – like most unrepresented subjects of this fascist state – lacks the means by which to effectively help bring an end to said murder and war crimes I pose a few thoughts.

        Besides the millions of non-Americans already murdered, tortured, raped, imprisoned, displaced and bankrupted our leaders are already responsible for, do the actions of Mr. Stevens and the rest of his war criminal cohorts in Libya and beyond endanger the lives of common American citizens either through direct retributive violence or the violent machinations of our own government?


        Do the actions of Mr. Stevens and the rest of his war criminal cohorts in Libya and beyond lower the esteem people around the world have of me as a common American citizen?


        Do they further degrade universal conceptions of the Western world and humanity in general?


        Therefore – and these thoughts bring us right up against the brainwashing/programming that all of us Americans receive right from the womb and on through the rest of our lives:

        How should the rather helpless American citizen feel concerning terrorists we created turning on their “creators”?

        How should they feel about those spreading death and destruction supposedly in our name?

        Why do we seemingly not have the right to openly state in this country that if you are in involved in any way in these wholesale crimes against humanity then you deserve no sympathy, respect or adulation?

        Again, LeeAnne, we mostly agree, it’s just that I know that once the discourse – e.g., the current Benghazi incident – concerns itself with details and minutiae the criminal context surrounding the entire WOT/American empire is lost and that we know is the purpose of our seamless American propaganda superstructure.

        Got war crimes?


        1. psychohistorian

          I am telling people now that 98.5% of Americans voted against their best interests………….and I get these blank stares.

          Oh well, we have to start somewhere.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We grade everything in life.

            Tests should not be limited to teeange students only.

            Voters should be graded.

            For this election, I give it ‘fooled twice’ grade.

        2. LeeAnne

          i happen to think that running with the sex story on this blog with numerous links to it like any tabloid taking dictation from TPTB is the height of spreading disinformation intentionally. From my point of view spreadng disinformation is collaberation with the enemy 21st century style.

          I can’t see what it is we disagree with in this comment. I repeated the gyst of media coverage that’s there in the media to cover up whatever we should be talking about.

          Some talking about it followed worth discussing. Interesting. Thank you.

    2. Bev

      Condolences to Ambassador Steven’s family.

      I would like verification of the following.

      Embassy Killings in Libya, the Stench of CIA/Mossad “False Flag” (Updated)

      Real Intelligence Reports at Total Odds with Reported News

      by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

      Recent reports tying Coptic Christians to the “film” which was never the issue in the Middle East upheaval is an attempt by the same forces responsible for the Alexandria church bombings to bring about civil war between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.


      First of all as to the “film” or whatever. As news managed to get past the “controllers,” it became obvious that the “Israeli” director never existed and the film had been financed by a group out of Las Vegas in the casino business tied directly to the Romney campaign.

      This we know. You will see no reporting of this although the security around those funding the film and the quick “pounce” Romney made on Obama are enough to spark curiosity, if such a thing existed.

      Actual intelligence sources in Libya have told us the following:

      “The killings of the diplomats were done under the cover of the riots which had been orchestrated in advance over a series of days.

      Four color printed placards were ready to distribute prior to the Jones “stream-cast” and groups had been warned in advance to prepare for a “serious foreign threat.”

      The actual killings are said to have been done by a team of newly trained Special Forces from the United Arab Emirates working directly in conjunction with the Mossad.

      Crowds were being managed by French DGSE agents, seen by the dozen, and British security service personnel were present but their role was not clear.

      What is clear is that this was a carefully planned operation, orchestrating civil protests in order to facilitate the killing of American diplomats.”

      WHY NOW?

      The reasons for the entire operation are several. Two in particular are mentioned by analysts who actually observed some of the advance planning in both Egypt and Libya.

      There are more than two, however.

      Netanyahu wished to embarrass President Obama after receiving a “slight” over his upcoming visit to the US. Though Obama phoned Netanyahu, there will be no White House visit.

      Netanyahu and his US affiliates carefully orchestrated these terror acts with supporters of the Romney camp including the “donors” responsible for the production of the original film.

      CIA cooperation in an attack on American diplomats was arranged through Bush era intermediaries who manage contractor firms that are now tasked with all CIA “black ops”

      Netanyahu is very upset at the US for scaling back joint military operations and actually citing Israel, during secret briefings, as a potential threat to US forces.

      Netanyahu has been further emotionally destabilized by nearly violent confrontations with US Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, a close friend of President Obama’s.

      As more information comes available and we are able to provide additional verifications, all printed above carries “double” verification already, we will keep our readers informed.


      (Why is this not reported, investigated in a domestic paper?)

      Press TV: US military planned mutiny on the Bounty to topple Obama

      October 31st, 2012

      Admiral Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a “Seven Days in May” type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected.

      “His [Romney’s] real intent is to occupy Iraq and attack Iran. In the process, America intends on “neutralizing” the nuclear capability of Pakistan. This is the plan, it is known, not just in the Department of Defense, but by all intelligence agencies, the plotters have all been recognized, are all under surveillance and they have not been very careful.”

      The Obama administration has had American military, both on domestic and foreign bases on high alert since October 1. However, there has been no known terrorist enemy threatening the US. The enemy is called “domestic” but its origins are far from American.

      Today, Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was “fired” from his command of one of the three carrier battle groups back to Bremerton, Washington to face an investigation.

      It is impossible to adequately state how unusual this is and how serious.

      The Navy was clear that the charges had nothing to do with his personal conduct, no rape or sexual misconduct, no stolen money, no drug use, the things that usually bring down careers in the Navy, that and crashing ships into each other.

      Gaouette was sent back because the Secretary of Defense found him unfit for command, sent him across the world in the middle of one of the largest combat exercises in history, one both timed prior to an election and one at a critical location, near the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

      Gaouette commanded nearly one third of the Naval and air combat forces in the region.

      The decision was made based on a conversation with the Secretary of Defense who, at the end of the talk, believed Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a “Seven Days in May” type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected.

      This is not conjecture, dozens of key officers face firing, hundreds are under investigation, all with direct ties to extremist elements in the Republican Party and the Israeli lobby.

      Reports received are sourced at the highest levels of the Pentagon and indicate that the administration has been aware of these plans for months. It is not just the Obama administration. This happened before.

      much more, horrendous more
      (And, I left out the speculation and potential for another false flag had Romney won {having hired Bush’s 911 “national security” people} in order to accomplish those ends)

      1. jsmith

        Again, although it this is completey inside baseball most Americans would be interested in learning about the Jebsen Center, the neocon Hudson Institute and how our little Miss Broadwell “straddles” both!!

        Was the Petraeus affair a honeypot operation?

        While Broadwell’s current academic affiliation is with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, her previous post was deputy director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. The Center, according to its self-description, “distinguishes itself by a philosophy that maintains counter-terrorism should be predictive, preventive and preemptive, with the latter being a last resort.” Founded in 2005, the Jebsen Center was made possible by the generous donation of one Jan Henrik Jebsen, heir to the Norwegian shipping fortune, who gave $1.3 million to set it up. Jebsen, a former investment banker with Lazard Freres, is the principal of Gamma Applied Visions Group, an international octopus with tentacles all over the place: part arms dealer and weapons developer, part “green” energy company. As one might expect from someone who has so much of his multi-billion dollar fortune invested in making and selling armaments, Jebsen is on the board of directors of the distinctly warlike Hudson Institute, where Scooter Libby, Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, and practically every neocon you’ve ever heard of have found refuge.

        Much more…

      2. Neo-Realist

        Smells like the President has allies in the “apparatus” that are watching his back, sniffing out and neutralizing potential enemies.

  6. christofay

    The Bon Bons, isn’t that what the last king of France partying set was called? We should just assume that they’re all just chasing some nookie Dangerous Liasions style while spending our money. Those ladies in Tampa in another profession would be called groupies, “I just wanna be your love drone, baby, drone me all night looong.” As for the generals, thank god it isn’t WWII.

    As for the surveillance state, of course there are two tears of service. So far the only teerorists that they caught was that Elliot Spritzer guy, who they caught wicked fast.

    1. ohmyheck

      The information on the Iran-Contra-like arms running is intriguing. The problem I have with some of this is that according to some sources, there is no “consulate”, no “embassy” no nothing in Benghazi that is on any official government list. I could try to find that source.

      Benghazi compound sounds like it was run by the CIA and is/was a black-ops site. So, arms-running out of the site makes sense as to it’s function and why it existed.

      All the disinformation and smoke-and-mirrors seems to be stemming from the need to hide that fact. As CIA director, Petraeus would have known about this. That article puts all the blame for not protecting the Benghazi site on Obama. emptywheel website, which has factual information to back up it’s claims, doesn’t come to the same conclusion, and lays blame elsewhere. That article does not provide any proof as to what role Obama played in this at all, just alot of hair-on-fire, baseless finger-pointing.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Everything about US/Libya under at least the last two presidential administrations is one streaming war crime. Torture and rendition under Bush Cheney… illegal war through all of this under Obama. And an entirely lawless, corrupt legislative and judicial branch through it all.

        1. psychohistorian

          The iron fist of American empire is slipping out of the velvet glove.

          You mean to say that facility wasn’t a front for Peace Corp volunteers? /snark

          The global inherited don’t care as long as they control the money supply and since we let them, they have most of humanity by the balls.

          That said, their hold is a bit more tenuous and visible these days than expected. It seems that would point to either much tighter control or significant change. I don’t see the world facing this next Shock Doctrine event by the global inherited rich as just more mind numbing incrementalism.

  7. rob

    It is seriously strange,how hillary clintons name is not mentioned in association with the bengazi affair.
    she is the secretary of state. the head of the state dept…
    the ambassador and those protecting him… worked for her.
    these plans and lack thereof, were her JOB.regardless of the tangle in the weeds…
    hillary clinton should be pasted front and center….
    even if congress asks her questions…it is the media front that seems to be specifically NOT even talking about any blame put on her doorstep…She is the teflon donna..
    my guess is they were told not to make any headlines to be used against her run for president in 2016.

    1. Optimader

      Go to and find a consulate in Benghazi. You wont, nor is there a Benghazi consul, trade office et etc. the “consulTe” is adding up to be a local diplomatic cutout location to give cover to a CIA operation with the real security to the account of the CIA not the state dept. witness, of the 30 ppl evacuated, at least 23 were CIA employees. Stevens previous evenings dinner was with a Turk presumably to organize weapons shipments for Syrian rebels?

      Im geussin Petreaus is a deer in the headlights on this ongoing operation and h clinton is the vomiting cat backingup away from a situation the was not a state dept operation.

      1. ohmyheck

        Petraeus a deer in the headlights? Nope.

        “There’s also the intriguing detail that Hillary called Petraeus to make sure they were on the same page.

        At one point during the consulate siege, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned the CIA director (Petraeus) directly to seek assistance.


        At 5:41 p.m. Eastern time, Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Petraeus. She wanted to make sure the two agencies were on the same page.

        The timing of this would place it at 11:41 Benghazi time, just as the CIA team was leaving the Mission without Chris Stevens. But it is interesting that Hillary made that call.

        There are other details where the State timeline and CIA timeline conflict, notably as to the identity of the people who ran into the burning safe haven to look for Stevens’ body, with both agencies claiming their own people made heroic attempts to find Stevens.

        It looks like Petraeus would have answers to a lot of key questions, but he’d rather Morell give them.”

        Juan Cole mentioned that in 2009, Petraeus “boxed in” Obama, who didn’t want the Surge. (supposedly) If true, then this move on Petraeus, Death-by-Scandal, while Obama has known about it for months, was timed right after the election, for Obama’s conceivable dislike for Petraeus, if he indeed “boxed him in”.

        Hillary Clinton should be put front-and-center as well, though.

        1. optimader

          IMO, less so “intruiging” more so obvious? Why wouldnt HC call the CIA director to presumably tell him he owns it?? That is, assuming it was case of the CIA using the Dept of State as a cover to justify it’s smurfs in Benghazi..

          1. ohmyheck

            Quick reply—there are lots of links from today and yesterday, portraying Petraeus in less-than-favorable lights. I think Obama threw him under the bus with the sex scandal, because of what Petraeus did to Obama in 2009. This is Obama’s retaliation for what Petraeus did. I think Petraeus deserves it. But others might see it as Petraeus being the Fall Guy. Time will tell, or we may never know the truth. So it is simply a matter of opinion at this point. Cheers!

  8. Paul Tioxon

    Exiled on main street. This is a thinly veiled Rapture plea, so when all of the White Evangelists disappear from the face of the Earth, they will have been stripped of their citizenship, having enter the kingdom of god almighty. Of course, them leaving the USA for a far better place will be the exile. Can’t wait. Please Lord, take them all now, PLEASE! When god does the dirty work, at least it saves the taxpayers the bill from having Homeland Security deploy the jackboot of oppression.

  9. Steve Roberts

    Love the article “Elite Democrats Act Like Losers”. They act like losers for not holding their victory over the Republicans and rubbing their face in it? I guarantee you the same people that repost this all over Facebook will be the same people demanding the other side COMPROMISE on the Fiscal Cliff in late December. It’s hilarious that people think that’s the way to start negotiations.

    1. amateur socialist

      The comments on that piece reminded me of the two unbreakable rules of US Politics:

      1> Democrats cannot be seen with or favor the interests of poor people.
      2> Republicans cannot be seen with or favor the interests of explicit racists.

  10. Valissa

    I was pleasantly surprised to see Occupy Sandy getting some very positive press from the Weather Channel this morning. They ran a short segment on how Occupy Sandy was helping out with recovery efforts. Tried searching TWC website to find a link to share, but couldn’t find anything on it there.

    In other news, this story from Counterpunch…

    Delusions of the Liberal Intelligentsia: 10 Myths About Obama and the Democrats

  11. diptherio

    Thanks for reposting the Students and Soldiers link. I had a minor blog-gasm when I saw it :)

    On the BofA-MBIA fight: Matt Levine is a trip! I’m reading his article, thinking I know where he’s going and then, BAM, right at the last second, he turns it around. I’m thinking, those BOA a-holes, trying to collect insurance pay-outs on fraudulent MBS that they designed to fail, I hope they get their ass handed to them, but then he turns MBIA into the bad guys!

    Now, I’m not saying that MBIA is all lily-white or anything, but to read Levine giving BofA props in his last sentence for being willing to, “spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy securities to prove that they’re right on principle” was, well…weird. Right on principle? The guys who insured billions of dollars of crappy, fraudulent loans and who are now trying to buy their own insurance company in order to make sure that the claims on their bogus MBS get paid, despite the fact that doing so will likely bankrupt said insurance company? Principle? Who is he kidding?

    His recent article on GS and Blankfiend is similarly baffling.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Im not sure how to feel about the MBIA thing either. I hold a good number of muni’s that are insured by MBIA.

      On one hand, MBIA trying to keep it’s muni business alive, my bonds would still be insured. If BAC blows it up… who knows what’ll happen in bankruptcy.

      OTOH, this is MBIA’s fault. We’ve all known since 2008-9 that MBIA was a questionable concern. If BAC gets controling interest and does force payout on CDOs and MBIA fails to pay on any muni defaults, we bondholder will have someone else to sue… and BAC has deeper pockets (The Fed) than MBIA…

  12. diptherio

    “…allowing financial companies to blow themselves up, and then try and deal with the fall-out, may be – whether we like it or not – the reality of where we end up”–Michael Cohrs

    Wow…wow. I’m in shock. Did he really just say that?

    Scene: Outside Jim-bob’s trailer

    Jim-Bob: “Hey Mikey, Joey keeps gettin’ drunk and drivin’ his truck into houses and pedestrians and what not. What we gonna do about it?”

    Mikey Coors: “Well, letting Joey get drunk and cause all kinds of destruction and then dealing with it afterwards, whether we like it or not, is just what we’re gonna have to do from now on”

    Jim-Bob: “Are you fuckin’ nuts?!?”

    1. curlydan

      My reply to Bruce:
      Unfortunately for you, you will not see AMT abolished, but the Congresscritters will patch AMT as they have the past 10 or so years, so it will not hit 30M more taxpayers. The IRS does not start accepting e-filed returns until 1/22/2013, and if the patch is passed within 8 weeks of this timeline, the IRS is likely to not accept or process any AMT related returns until 8 weeks after passage of the patch so they can program their systems to be updated with current tax laws.

      Regarding Obama’s $1.6T extra revenue over the next decade, Kevin Drum gives a good breakdown on where that money is coming from. It won’t be from extending the reach of AMT, but it will be from a host of other sources (maybe like limiting your Sch A deductions to 28% instead of 35% if that’s your bracket). See the following link:

      The AMT is too good of a current revenue source for Congress to let go, but not patching it would bring out the pitchforks, so they won’t go down that route either.

  13. Max424

    A WAR NERD link. Lovin’ it.

    The Duchess of Marlboro was one lucky lady, eh? Not only did her husband command respect as the Bill Belichick of his time (Plutarch, Parallel Lives alert: the Duke of M, like “the Hooded Genius,” produced several long –and unprecedented– unbeaten streaks and was victorious in multiple Super Battles), but he was also apparently, a prolific if not heroic lover. As the Duchess succinctly attested:

    “The Duke returned from the wars today and pleasured me twice in his top boots.”

    What’s up with that? Did the Duke forget to shed his boots at halftime? Or did he put his tops back on, specifically, for session number two?

    I have this pair of Saucony Athletic Grays that are so comfortable, so perfectly worn in, I could wear them anywhere. But I don’t. For instance, I don’t don them when I enter the shower. That would be foolish.

    And I would never ever “pleasure” my beloved twice in an unspecified time frame sporting my super comfy Grays. Admittedly, once perhaps (on accident), but twice? Twice would be uncivilized.

    Besides, what inamorato in their right minds likes sweaty feet. Certainly not I, especially when their mine.

  14. charles sereno

    Thanks for alerting me to the latest from the War Nerd. Belisarius! A lot of good history here. Much better than that old “Connections” TV series, but of course it’s just in words.

  15. alex

    re: Chinese Rare Earth Mining Monopoly Threatens US Defense Technology … “The DoD actually let this happens.”

    That statement requires evidence. I don’t know the situation well enough to refute it, but the fact that the US “government” let this happens doesn’t necessarily mean that the DoD was happy about it, or that they had the power to stop it. Everybody talks about the DoD having excessive influence, but the Masters of the Universe wipe their feet on generals and admirals.

    Did the DoD also approve the sale of Magnequench? Is the DoD happy about GE transferring jet engine tech to China? (the last big weaknesses in Chinese military aircraft design/production). How about so much of our semiconductor production going offshore?

    Some naive folks thought Catch-22’s Milo Minderbinder was a fictional character, but he’s simply traded in his uniform for a bespoke suit.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Judo or Jujitsu move left is to call for world peace.

      Make all wars illegal, thus ensuring China has no military use for their rare earth materials.

      That’s turning a negative into a postive.

      1. alex

        Peace on Earth? Sounds like a good Christmas present if you know a realistic way to enforce it. Still doesn’t mean we won’t need rare earths.

    2. Bert_S

      Someone in the US Gov, including the president can block the sale of strategic companies to foreigners. My guess is that with Magnequench it probably flew under the radar, as it were.

      There are lots of rare earths, and they get used in all sorts of electronics (consumer electronics and probably military electronics too), but the app the Oil Drum article talks about that would be distressing to the DOD would be neodymium-iron-boron-dysprosium high performance magnets. These are used in servo motors which are used in many pointing and tracking systems – like fire control(tank gunner sights, Phalanx shipboard gattling gun defense), airborne guidance and radar, FLIR pods,missile guidance, and in the case of our beloved by the air force amraam missiles, they control the tail fins too.

      This type of magnet was invented by Magnequench in the mid eighties. We were involved with them because as an aerospace/defense mfg of servo motors, we were one of the larger customers of their sister division that made samarium-cobalt magnets. That was the material of choice back then in the price is no object market. They targeted us and our competitors as a good place to introduce the new magnet material because they intended to price it the same as smco5 in the beginning to amortize R&D, then longer term, since it was mostly iron, it had the potential to be much lower cost (nowadays they get used in headphones). The immediate benefit was is was 15%-20% more powerful.

      We evaluated the initial product and determined that it’s temperature stability wasn’t good enough over the operating range spec’ed by our customers. They went back to the lab and a year later returned and said “all fixed – we added trace amount of dysprosium to the mix”. We concurred it was now good enough and at that point would use it in new designs.

      They had patents on the process and also probably the materials. But these would have expired by now, so I would say the problem currently is lack of any discovery/mining outside of china.

      I think the key elements are neodymium, dysprosium, and probably still samarium, since there is no adequate replacement for all of these. Also, much of the stuff in the current military arsenal was shipped with samarium cobalt vintage motors.

      1. alex

        Bert_S: My guess is that with Magnequench it probably flew under the radar

        I doubt it – there was a big stink about Magnequench.

        Bert_S: They had patents on the process and also probably the materials. But these would have expired by now, so I would say the problem currently is lack of any discovery/mining outside of china.

        Patents, schmatents. Do you really think they’d stop a Chinese defense contractor? And I’m sure Magnequench had been making improvements and developments since the 1980’s. Most importantly of all, the had _expertise_, the sort of honest-to-goodness know-how that can only be embodied in people actually using it. All too often it’s forgotten how important that is. I could read a book about how to build a dam, but given my lack of experience, I wouldn’t stand downstream.

        1. Bert_S

          I mean there are no patents blocking an American (or Japanese) magnet mfg from making the magnets, if they could get the raw rare earths. I also think they could probably figure out how to make them, so we don’t have to. Besides, we used TDK(Japan) as a samarium cobalt magnet source too, and they had their plant in the USofA back them.

          So if Americans forgot how to do everything besides make CDS and bad mortgages, the Japs could still save our butts.

          1. alex

            Bert_S: if they could get the raw rare earths

            The Mountain Pass mine will reopen soon, and that supplies neodymium. Not sure about dysprosium or hardtopronounceium.

            Bert_S: I also think they could probably figure out how to make them

            I’m sure, but do we have to first shoot ourselves in the foot and then repair the damage? Neither Magnequench nor rare earths in general are the be-all and end-all of technology, defense or otherwise. But even in a big country like the US, if it shoots itself in the foot enough times it might start to hurt.

            Or am I preaching to the choir?

          2. Bert_S

            “Or am I preaching to the choir?”

            After having three careers exported to Asia, I decided God intended me to retire.

          1. Bert_S

            Ok, one more thing to add to the list of dumb things dumbo did.

            But the article did say Hitachi was a second source, and having a second source is all you need to know to get an MBA.

            Come to think of it, both TDK and Crucible were hard at work on their own version of neo-iron back in the 80s and I did approve Crucible’s version. Don’t know if these places are still around.

            Actually, this article says Magnequench only had two programs, a cruise missile and JDAM. These would be high volume, but in terms of the number programs they would be just the tip of the iceberg. Or maybe everyone stopped designing new stuff when I exited the industry(more possible than it sounds) and all the stuff is still samarium-cobalt, which means we really need a samarium mine.

  16. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

    Re: cyberespionage

    About 2 monts ago, I installed the Wireshark
    capture utility on my Linux box.

    This program captures and logs all packets of data
    on the local network, meaning Linux Box, Windows 7 laptop,
    and a WiFi (wireless + wired access) router.

    I was amazed at all the weird traffic.
    I turned off the laptop with Windows 7.
    I put tin foil over the WiFi router,
    so wireless was negated, allowing only
    wired (Ethernet) connections between my
    Linux box and the wireless and/or wired router.

    Then, the captured traffic went almost silent (what
    I wanted) …

    Those guys might have been probing the local
    area network here, through some magic
    unknown to me.

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      Actually, some traffic might be “harmless”
      automated traffic related to GeoIp applications on
      the Web. But I wanted minimal traffic.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Are you saying from your little sample that wired connections are more secure, that somehow bad stuff is getting in via your wireless router? I happen to use wired connections @ home out of general cussedness (old router that works just fine…..and funky grandfathered power that fried past wireless modems. New ones may deal with it better, but I’m not wasting my time trying until I have to).

      1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

        I now have a Cisco Linksys E2000 router.
        Picture and description at PCMag:,2817,2365551,00.asp

        One thing people often neglect to do is to set
        a password for wireless access, or leave the
        default password. With those weak measures, so-called
        piggybacking, illegal “borrowing” can be done
        say from a car parked across the street.

        I had a strong password and also WPA2 encryption
        which scrambles data sent “over-the-air” in
        bits and bytes as 2 to 5 GHz radio-waves.


        There was also (and still is, according to the laptop
        graphical user interface) a “guest login”, whatever
        that is. In my opinion, the default setting
        for a wireless router should be to disable
        “guest login access”. I’d have to look on the
        Windows CD for router setup to figure out what
        “guest login access” amounts to.

        The router has what amounts to small antennas
        inside it. The router can only be configured
        through a PC connected to the router. The
        router doesn’t seem to have an “Off” button
        for wireless access.

        The documentation is not terribly good.
        Once the router stopped working, and I talked
        to someone with a foreign accent on the phone
        to fix the router. When I logged in wired by the
        laptop, the access password was now a random
        password that I hadn’t chosen. I suppose the
        call to support initiated a change-password

        My assessment is that routers with no wireless
        access are safer, but wifi connections are
        convenient. My Linux Box has a wired cable
        connection to the router and Security Enhanced Linux
        or SELinux, designed by the NSA.

        The Windows laptop is now often used by me or
        visitors with a wireless connectionto the router.

        The newer wireless routers (say from 2010 onwards)
        are 802.11n capable, the latest standard:

        As I said, documentation about “what’s under the
        hood” is not strong, and the manufacturers seem
        more interested in spending on marketing.

        I have confidence in WPA2 encryption. But the
        way the password for wireless access was reset
        from a long way away when I called support isn’t
        a well-documented process. Also, “guest” wireless
        network isn’t well documented.

        Still, I’d say wrapping tin foil to block the
        wireless connections to a wifi-capable router
        is for the paranoid, at least for the time being.

  17. kevinearick

    Replicating Masters & Slaves

    Time and time again, Ohio determines who sits in the oval office, but keep arguing with me until it’s too late, because what I am saying doesn’t comport with the assumption outlining the box you live in…Do you really think the forces carrying Obama and Boehner are different? You want the virus to reproduce itself to death before it can hop to the next host.

    Back in the day, my family didn’t torch black niggers; it set fire to black men that stood up, and the white men that abetted them. The current process of reproductive control, with the advent of computers, is a little more elaborate, but don’t fool yourself; you are looking at the derivative of the derivative of the derivative, of the master/slave, something-for-nothing economy, in every sizable city.

    The US didn’t win WWII because the eunuch virus was in charge following the Great Depression, and it didn’t ‘lose’ Vietnam because men were in charge, after AC was replaced with DC. The CIA no longer supports the military. The military supports the CIA. It’s all about the digitized, dematerialized multi-national corporations now, and you are no more important to them than a lab rat in a drug experiment.

    That is why labor does what it does, regardless of the government flavor of the day. You go ahead and change all the laws you want. By the time Congress gets done twisting and turning, you will simply have been delayed yet another political cycle. The law follows behavior, not the other way around.

    So, you are a university administrator, and your salary depends entirely upon revenue, like all public, private and non-profit enterprises, because the law is designed to shift consumer costs onto producers, creating the something-for-nothing consumer economy. You want to maximize your budget, preferably with an inelastic ratcheting mechanism.

    I prove to you that I can fix the elevators the corporations that designed, built and installed them cannot, even though they build the PLC architecture running the economy. I charge you $125/hr and do things my way, to maximize system profit, which you don’t like because you cannot fathom why anyone would want to reduce the budget. Once the elevators are running again, you call the corporations back, and they send out the corporate certified union elevator mechanics again, at $250/hr, to maximize the elevator budget.

    Pretty soon the elevators stop running again. You call and I give you a quote of $750/hr, because now we are talking about enterprise level correction; I’m not going through this bullsh- more than once. Now, you are walking up and down stairs, attempting in vain to get your economy running again, with increasing tax rates and a collapsing tax base adjusted for the associated monetary expansion. Your cost transparency is accelerating exponentially. Surprise, surprise.

    If you want a $10/hr herd or a $250/hr nigger, don’t call me. Call the rocket scientists in Washington DC.

  18. Externality

    The mainstream media has largely ignored the effect of Libertarians and other third-party candidates on last week’s election. It would appear that the Libertarian Party helped deny the Republicans two Senate seats, two House seats, and at least one state senate seat.

    In Montana, for example, Democratic incumbent Jon Tester narrowly retained his Senate seat despite a well-funded challenge by neoconservative Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg. Libertarian Party candidate Dan Cox received 31,502 votes, 6.54% of the total and nearly twice as many votes as separated the two legacy party candidates. Several local media articles as well as numerous Internet posts credit Cox with helping Senator Tester win reelection.

    Montana residents concerned about civil rights were outraged by Rehberg’s sponsoring pending legislation that would give the Department of Homeland Security sweeping new powers over federal parks, other federal lands, and Native American tribes within 100 miles of an international border. He also voted, in 2001, to pass the original Patriot Act. During his terms in the House, Rehberg traditionally ignored the 5-7% of conservatives who voted Libertarian rather than support his neoconservative agenda; during the last few weeks of the campaign he tried and failed to convince them to support him over both Cox and (Wall Street-funded) Senator Tester. And so he lost.

    Libertarians also hurt the two rapes-are-planned-by-jesus Republicans who were running for the Senate: Richard Mourdock of Indiana and Todd Akin of Missouri.

    In Indiana, for example, Libertarian Party candidate Andy Horning received 161,412 votes, which works out to 6.31% of the votes cast and 101% of the difference between the two legacy party candidates.

    In Missouri, a Libertarian candidate who stated that he “promise[d] to keep the Republicans out of your bedroom and the Democrats out of your wallet” received 164,990 votes, or 6.1% of the total. This was not, however, enough to affect the outcome.

    It also appears that the Libertarians may have also cost the Republicans two (federal) House seats (#1 and #9) in Arizona and a state senate seat in Colorado. In both Arizona House races, the Libertarian candidate received approximately twice as many votes as separated the two legacy party candidates.

    From what I have read, many of the Libertarian votes in these states came from disaffected Republicans who are tired of the Republican establishment and donors backing candidates who are obsessed with the Christian god, waging endless wars, expanding the national security state, and proving their devotion to the people of Israel. These voters want lower taxes, smaller government, the right to own firearms, and the ability to travel unmolested, and not endless Crusades, religiosity, moralizing, and subservience to AIPAC. Others were Republicans and independents who supported Dr. Ron Paul and were appalled by the shameful way he and his supporters were treated by the Republican establishment.

    1. Externality

      Three other races for the US House of Representatives also went to the Dems after the Libertarian candidate won more votes than separated the two legacy parties:

      In MA-6, Democratic Congressman John Tierney received 48% of the vote, Republican Richard Tisei received 47%, and Libertarian Daniel Fishman 4%

      In UT-4, Democratic candidate Jim Matheson received 49.3%, Republican candidate Mia B. Love received 48.1%, and Libertarian candidate Jim Vein 2.6%.

      In NH-1, Democratic candidate Carol Shea-Porter received 49.7%, Republican incumbent Frank Guinta received 46%, and Libertarian Brendan Kelly received 4.3%

  19. jsmith

    Looks like Israel won’t be deterred in starting another war.

    I’m sure this has nothing to do with the exhumation of Arafat’s body which began yesterday and which is going to tested for poison, right?

    Go to the below link for the BBC story plus the super-kewel video of said assassination released by the super-awesome IAF.

    November 14, 2012 “BBC” — The head of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari, has been killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City.

    He and another senior Hamas official died when the car they were travelling in was hit.

    It appears to have been the first step of an Israeli operation against militant groups in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

    A series of air strikes are now being reported across Gaza.

    1. jsmith

      Ahh, but not to worry if the traitorous piece of garbage Jane Harman is appointed head of the CIA!

      Wait, wasn’t she caught on tape advocating for Israeli/AIPAC espionage participants caught stealing classified documents for Israel?


      According to reports, Harman allegedly told the Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two top officials for the powerful Israel lobby organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

      In return, the suspected Israeli agent (who may have been a dual-citizen American) reportedly pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman was already the ranking Democrat on the committee.

      At the end of the conversation, Harman reportedly said: “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

  20. Max424

    My must read. Chris Martenson talks with The Archdruid about Peak Empire, legionnaires traversing the Pyrennes to sack the tar sands, and home crafted beer. Doesn’t get any better.

    Note: If you understand that the people –let’s lump them together and call them neo-liberals– who run the planet are insane, and you also grasp that fracking for oil is a HUMILIATION, a sign of abject and consummate desperation, even more pathetic than turning one-third* of your primary food crop into a supremely shitty form of gasoline, then almost everything becomes predictable.

    It’s like you can make a list, call it The Future, and check off one by one, each frenzied, last ditch effort –and the propaganda campaigns that proceed and then coincide with them.

    *Soon to be 50%, by Congressional mandate.

    Note: The biggest bubble out there is not shale gas, it’s Madness.

  21. lambert strether

    It sure is odd there’s a major sex scandal sucking up all the bandwidth in our famously free press at the same time the legacy parties are planning to gut the last of the New Deal.

    1. scraping_by

      True dat. Up to now, a pussy bomb was to blow up anyone with populist rhetoric, or worse, actions. Which is not General your-views-are-mny-views.

  22. Hugh

    I can see the logic behind using Petraeus’ affair to scuttle closer looks into what was going on in Libya. But I don’t think the Obama Administration had a clue as to what a can of worms it was going to turn into. I think they thought it was going to be short and sweet, a three-day wonder that would disappear without a trace, not the ever-expanding sleazy soap opera it has become.

    The result is that the cult of the military is taking an unexpected hit. I mean how can you run an effective cult of the military if the picture in the public’s mind is a cartoon of Petraeus with pants around his ankles banging away at the buxom flavor of the month military groupie?

    It doesn’t help that so much of the terminology lends itself to double entendres. Broadwell was embedded with Petraeus in Afghanistan. He was a natural for the CIA since he was so in, indeed All In, to undercover work, covert affairs, and special ops, a real hands on guy.

    Our elites cultivate an aura, however false, of superiority. It insulates them from accountabiliy from the proles. But that protection evaporates when they appear ridiculous. So no one among the powers that be are thanking Petraeus for this mess that reflects so badly on them all.

    Even in terms of the Beltway, this fiasco is having unintended consequences. Allen the US commander in Afghanistan was being moved to NATO to shore up support for the war in Afghanistan, but that has been all shot to hell. He was supposed to go as the tough no nonsense Marine, now he is damaged goods, the cluck who sent, not 5 or 6, or ten or twenty, but thousands of emails to a Tampa bimbo who seems to have had a singular number of “Platonic” relations going with top military men. It is all remarkably sloppy and stupid and self-indulgent, the very opposite of the image of professionalism the powers that be like to project around themselves.

    It is almost impossible to get people really to key in on how deeply criminal Obama is, our elites are. There is always this presumption that they are fundamentally like us, that they can’t possibly be that bad. This is the only redeeming lesson that I can see in the Petraeus affair. It shows that yes, they are that shallow and stupid. Petraeus is not a bad apple. He’s the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      … and then, almost magically, the story evaporated from the MSM like raindrops on a Scottsdale sidewalk.

  23. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking news! This just In!

    General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the nation’s highest-ranking military office, was taken into custody earlier today, after having sexual intercourse with Doodle, a 21-month-old miniature donkey. A local farmer notified the police after the suspect was spotted “up against the rear of the donkey” with his pants down.

    The General stated that his genitals “may have come in contact with the donkey’s rear end by accident, and his semen may have splattered inside the donkey by accident.”

    Story developing…

  24. Hugh

    Europe is imploding. We continue our slow descent. The BRIC and China/Asia, with their export driven economies, will have no one to export to and may fare even worse than we do. It is all rather Apocalyptic and reminds me of the Yeats poem “The Second Coming”.

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    We are talking about very large systems. They can run on inertia for quite a while, but at some point, they grind to a stop and their very size breaks them apart. All this is avoidable, but it is very much like global warming. Nothing will be done until it is too late.

  25. briansays

    in the face of all the above chaos two items to provide assurance that something is right in the world

    the rolling stones release a new album

    dungeness crab season opens in sf friday

  26. Peter Pinguid Society

    Speaking on behalf of the Peter Pinguid Society, we’d like to thank everyone who did their duty by voting in the Presidential election.

    This message is approved by:

    Carnegie Corporation of New York
    Hunt Alternatives Fund
    Open Society Institute
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Morgan Stanley
    Deutsche Bank Group
    Soros Fund Management LLC
    McKinsey & Company
    Ford Foundation
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    The Rockefeller Foundation
    Government of the United Arab Emirates
    Carnegie Corporation of New York
    Rockefeller Brothers Fund
    Bank of America
    Goldman Sachs
    Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
    Jacob Rothschild
    Nathaniel Rothschild
    Standard Chartered Bank
    Temasek Holdings Limited

    But did you really think we’d let the voting masses influence our agenda?

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

  27. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, Yves, HOT:
    //Broadwell was trying to protect General Petraeus and Ambassador Stevens from an FBI Division 5 Israeli Mossad instigated email hacking attack against General Petraeus and Stevens as Petraeus and Stevens and other patriotic members of the U.S. military were compiling “smoking gun evidence” concerning the criminal money laundering activity of the Bush-Clinton-Cheney Crime Family Syndicate’s Omega Fund.

    /Note: The Omega Fund has accrued massive profits from the illegal rigging of the LIBOR rate tied to Barclays Bank of England, UBS Switzerland and Citibank of New York.” — Tom Heneghan //

  28. skippy

    Shoe drop?

    Housing Agency Close to Exhausting Reserves

    The Federal Housing Administration is expected to report this week it could exhaust its reserves because of rising mortgage delinquencies, according to people familiar with the agency’s finances, a development that could result in the agency needing to draw on taxpayer funding for the first time in its 78-year history.

    Such a report would likely set off a political fight over the government’s role in housing, as it raises the prospect of billions of dollars being added to the U.S. government’s effort to stabilize the hard-hit sector in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which already includes $137 billion spent to bail out Fannie Mae FNMA +3.00% and Freddie Mac FMCC +4.10% . Together with Fannie and Freddie, federal agencies are backing nearly nine in 10 new mortgages.

    The New Deal-era FHA, which doesn’t actually make loans but instead insures lenders against losses, has played a critical role helping the housing market by backing mortgages of borrowers who make down payments of as little as 3.5%—loans that most private lenders won’t originate without a government guarantee. The FHA accounted for one third of loans used to purchase homes last year among owner occupants.

    Though the agency guarantees fewer mortgages than either Fannie or Freddie, it now has more seriously delinquent loans than either of the mortgage-finance giants. Overall, the FHA insured nearly 739,000 loans that were 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure at the end of September, an increase of more than 100,000 loans from a year ago. That represents about 9.6% of its $1.08 trillion in mortgages guaranteed.

    The FHA’s annual audit estimates how much money the agency would need to pay off all claims on projected losses, against how much it has in reserves. Last year, that buffer stood at $1.2 billion, representing around 0.12% of its loan guarantees. Federal law requires the agency to stay above a 2% level, which it breached three years ago.

    skippy… shelter as a commodity… barf…

    1. Bert_S

      At least MMTers know it’s not really hard money….and the government doesn’t need to cut “entitlements” so it can guarantee bad bank loans…mortgage, car, student and whatever…

        1. Bert_S

          Gov accounting is loony-er than you may know. Loan guarantees are not counted towards the National Debt because they are not spending. But there is some liability, as we are seeing with the up until now “implicit” USG backing of F&F mortgages. But there is nowhere on the books to put this liability, which makes it like invisible “money candy” the pols can hand out. Quite popular, and it sells GM cars too!

          Then along comes loony from the other side – Pete Orzag (Peterson puppet), for instance, when he was CBO Director told congress they needed to add 100% of F&F loans and MBS (about $6 trillion, IIRC) to the National Debt. But that would only make sense if they were writing off to zero all the loans F&F had ! Neither thing happened. I guess they decided if they take losses, it goes on the National Debt.

          Whew. Coulda been worse! Like the hypothetical taxpayer takes a 100% loss and the banks still refuse mortgage mods, and who knows what happens to MBS. Go into 30 year slumber at the Fed? You gotta watch these guys closely!

          1. skippy

            I always dumb it down too… its soft money for the lender and hard money for the debtors… but… some day in the twain they shall meet.

            skippy… I want to be – very far away – from that ground zero….

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