Links 8/27/13

Obama source predicts Summers will be named Fed chief soon CNBC. So that’s what they consider a successful trial balloon, ay? This is just a power play, proof to the funders that nobody is beholden to those dreaded liberals.

Under Obama, Little Progress on High-Level Jobs for Women NYT. See above. Fitting that the Summers-to-Fed confirmation leaks out on Women’s Equality Day.

The Lucky Break That Could Land Larry Summers at the Fed Businessweek

US Treasury to Hit Debt Limit in Mid-October WSJ

College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day Bloomberg


Transcript of Kerry Remarks: Chemical Attacks a “Moral Obscenity” WSJ. Best read aloud with war drums played in 4/4 time.

Obama orders release of report justifying Syria strike CBS News

U.N. team headed to site of alleged chemical attack comes under sniper fire, turns back Washington Post

Boehner aide: Obama must consult with Congress on Syria The Hill

Questions for President Obama — Before He Pulls the Trigger on Syria Andrew Bacevich

Hamptons McMansions Herald a Return of Excess NYT

In post-crisis investigations, Morgan Stanley stands alone Fortune

Banks, economists and politicians: just follow the money Simon Wren Lewis. “The single most effective way of avoiding another financial crisis is to reduce the political influence of the banking sector.”

We’re all Still Hostages to the Big Banks Anat Admati, NYT. Missed this one yesterday.

Rethinking Investment Risk MIT News

Insight: Trades from 1990s come back to haunt Wall Street Reuters

CFPB Announces New Additions to Leadership Team Look at #3. Maybe it’s hard to recruit new talent, but a consumer protection agency hiring someone directly from JPMorgan Chase is like the FBI holding a career fair for the mob.

Blavatnik wins $50m in JPMorgan lawsuit FT

Pinching Pensions to Keep Wall Street Fat and Happy Dean Baker, Truthout

War on Leaks Is Pitting Journalist v. Journalist David Carr

How to Invent a Misleading Statistic Media Matters

Durable-Goods Orders Drop 7.3% WSJ

LPS: Mortgage Delinquency Rate Decreases in July Calculated Risk. Properties 90 days-plus delinquent actually went up.

For Laid-Off Older Workers, Age Bias Is Pervasive NYT

We Are All Connected Dave Johnson

Study Shines Light on Tremors and Fracking WSJ

16 things Buzzfeed doesn’t know about the ocean Science Sushi

Peak Water in the American West Peter Gleick

Navalny Shakes Up Moscow Mayor Campaign AP

MN Judge Refuses To Throw Out Case Against Citizen Recording Police, EMS Techdirt (h/t clindeberg)

Zurich introduces “drive-in” sex BBC

Pastafarian Wins The Right To Wear A Colander On His Head In Driver’s License Pic Austinist

Antidote du jour is my Boston terrier, Stella, who celebrated her 11th birthday on National Dog Day on Monday.

stella resize

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


    1. stanley n joe

      Sorry I forgot your birthday babe. You are beautiful. Stellaaaa! You are so beautiful to me.

  1. from Mexico

    @ Transcript of Kerry Remarks: Chemical Attacks a “Moral Obscenity”

    Kerry claims to speak for justice.

    But is Kerry’s moral outrage over Syria, with little more than a raised eyebrow over Egypt, equal justice?

    Is the US government’s continued funding of the Egyptian government, after it masacred hundreds of innocent protesters, just?

    Is leading the United States into war with Syria, when we know so little about what actually happened on the ground there, just?

    Was the Iraq War, which was justified on the same quality of information that we have inside Syria, just?

    Is sending drones to the four corners of the earth to kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children, just?

    Is allowing someone who would do such things, letting that person self-appoint himself as arbiter of what it is and isn’t just, is that justice?

    1. XO

      We have made a major investment in a for-profit military industry and all of its vertical and horizontal market components. It can sit and rust, or it can be put to “productive” use. Those with a stake will mine this for all it’s worth — justice be damned.

      What will we do if Syria falls into the “wrong” hands?

      Who gives a shit — there are no “right” hands.

      1. Tom Allen

        Hence the current US Middle East policy — keep the Arab countries in a constant state of civil war, fighting one another so they don’t team up against Israel and the West, or join forces with Iran. Sure, it costs a few hundred thousand lives, but not OUR lives, so it’s all good. Bleh.

        1. rich

          Syria: Another Western War Crime in the Making

          Monday, 26. August 2013
          The West Knows Only One Rule- “Might is Right!”

          Washington and its British and French puppet governments are poised to yet again reveal their criminality. The image of the West as War Criminal is not a propaganda image created by the West’s enemies, but the portrait that the West has painted of itself.

          The UK Independent reports that over this past week-end Obama, Cameron, and Hollande agreed to launch cruise missile attacks against the Syrian government within two weeks despite the lack of any authorization from the UN and despite the absence of any evidence in behalf of Washington’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the Washington-backed “rebels”, largely US supported external forces, seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.

          Indeed, one reason for the rush to war is to prevent the UN inspection that Washington knows would disprove its claim and possibly implicate Washington in the false flag attack by the “rebels,” who assembled a large number of children into one area to be chemically murdered with the blame pinned by Washington on the Syrian government.

          Another reason for the rush to war is that Cameron, the UK prime minister, wants to get the war going before the British parliament can block him for providing cover for Obama’s war crimes the way that Tony Blair provided cover for George W. Bush, for which Blair was duly rewarded. What does Cameron care about Syrian lives when he can leave office into the waiting arms of a $50 million fortune.

          The Syrian government, knowing that it is not responsible for the chemical weapons incident, has agreed for the UN to send in chemical inspectors to determine the substance used and the method of delivery. However, Washington has declared that it is “too late” for UN inspectors and that Washington accepts the self-serving claim of the al Qaeda affiliated “rebels” that the Syrian government attacked civilians with chemical weapons.

          What is the West’s real agenda? This is the unasked and unanswered question. Clearly, the US, UK, and French governments, which have displayed continuously their support for dictatorial regimes that serve their purposes, are not the least disturbed by dictatorships. They brand Assad a dictator as a means of demonizing him for the ill-informed Western masses. But Washington, UK, and France support any number of dictatorial regimes, such as the ones in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and now the military dictatorship in Egypt that is ruthlessly killing Egyptians without any Western government speaking of invading Egypt for “killing its own people.”

          Clearly also, the forthcoming Western attack on Syria has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing “freedom and democracy” to Syria any more than freedom and democracy were reasons for the attacks on Iraq and Libya, neither of which gained any “freedom and democracy.”

          – See more at:

          1. Crazy Horse

            “What is the West’s real agenda? This is the unasked and unanswered question”

            Let’s try:

            1- Break the Russian Gazprom monopoly on gas supplies to Western Europe. As it stands Russia has Europe by the short hairs, with the ability to determine price by turning down the supply valve at will. Qatar is the key domino in this play, with huge supplies of natural gas lacking only a pipeline through a Syria controlled by a compliant puppet government. Follow the money and you will find heavy financial involvement from Qatar in fomenting and financing the Syrian revolt, including recruiting Al-Quaeda mercenaries to join the effort. And behind them, American weapons and clandestine support.

            The Syrian civil war mobilizes generations of sectarian hatred and decades of legitimate grievances against an entrenched dictator, but the background, as with most wars is the power game of control over money and energy. The conflict is in many ways a proxy war being fought between the US and Russia. Why the US instead of the EU? Because war is what we do with our trillion dollar per year military, thousand overseas military bases, fleets of drones and cruise missiles, and 87% market share in the world arms trade. And the US has decades of experience in creating false flag attacks to justify its intended actions.

            2- Divert attention away from any possibility of slowing the growth of the Orwellian surveillance state and give the puppet national media a new theme to parrot.

            3- Allow Obama to demonstrate that he is a macho man after being humiliated by Putin’s refusal to serve up Snowden bound, gagged and ready for the torture rack.

            4- Give the masses something to watch on the TV after they’ve tired of watching Miley Cyrus wiggle her ass.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Be interesting to see if Gazprom/Putin team makes any counter-moves in this game.

              Not impossible theory – someone is lusting after the Syrian president’s wife, just like the Chinese prosecutor lusting after Bo’s wife.

          2. from Mexico

            Here is a PBS interview which gives a good overview of the situation and where Jeffrey White states the neocon case for going to war in Syria:

            JEFFREY WHITE: Sure. It’s messy. Syria is an incredibly complex, difficult problem to analyze, to fix, to do anything about.

            I acknowledge all of those things. But here’s the other side of that story is, if we don’t do anything, what are we going to get?

            If we don’t get ourselves involved, we’re going to get a situation where the regime either fights on against the rebels for a long time, as more people die and more disruption, more Iranian influence, more Hezbollah influence, or we’re going to get a regime victory.

            And does anyone in their right mind want a regime victory in this situation, a regime that’s killed upwards of 100,000 people, which is supported by the enemies of the United States? Is that what we want? If there isn’t effective intervention on the side of the rebels, that’s very likely what we’re going to get.

            The regime is winning right now. That needs to be changed. And U.S. intervention could do that.


            John J. Mearsheimer, who hails from the Realist School, counters as follows:

            JOHN MEARSHEIMER: We have no strategic interest in what happens in Syria. It is not a vital national interest that is at stake here. And, furthermore, when you look at the different strategies that we might employ to try to fix this problem, it’s quite clear that none of them work. And most of them will just make a bad situation even worse.

            JOHN MEARSHEIMER: Most people thought that we could go into Iraq, win a quick and decisive victory and get out quickly. But that proved to be wrong. And if you look at our track record over the past 12 years in Iraq and Libya and in Afghanistan and even in Egypt, it’s hard to believe that anybody would think at this point in time that we could go in and fix the problem in Syria, which is at least as messy as those four other countries, if not messier.

            And I want to make two points. First of all, there’s no question, as Gen. Dempsey makes clear in his letter, that we have the military capability to shift the balance of power and topple Assad. There’s no question about that. But we cannot go in with a light footprint.

            We would have to go in with a lot of military force, because Assad is backed by Iran, the Russians and Hezbollah. He has a lot of cards to play. And he will be tough to take down. So, we would have to go in, in a big way. That’s point number one.

            Point number two is toppling him is the easy part. The hard part comes when we have to put the country together and create a stable system so that we can get out. This is exactly the problem that we faced in Iraq. There wasn’t much difficulty knocking off Saddam Hussein. The military part of the story is the easy part.

            What comes afterwards, the political problem, that’s when the trouble starts. And when you look at a country like Syria and you see the centrifugal forces at play in that country, you see how badly fractured the opposition groups are, it’s hard to see how this story has a happy ending.

            JOHN MEARSHEIMER: We lived with the Assad regime for 43 years. So there’s no reason we couldn’t live with the Assad regime for another 43 years. The idea that it’s a strategic threat to the United States, I do not believe is a serious argument.

              1. from Mexico

                The Realist school operates in the tradition of key classical realists, notably the marxisant historian E. H. Carr, Hans Morgenthau, and the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

                As Duncan Bell explains, while once exercising a powerful influence on US foreign policy, the fortunes of realism have been mixed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which the neoconservatives in the Reagan administration claimed sole credit for, forcing the realists onto the back-foot since the 1990s:

                A sense of optimism pervaded public political debate. Globalization was purportedly transforming the international order, and the final triumph of democratic capitalism, even the ‘end of history’, was proclaimed. In this ‘new world order’, realism was seen as morally bankrupt and intellectually flawed, its adherents defending, whether implicitly or explicitly, a world of cynical great power politics. It belonged to another, more primitive age. Yet the optimism soon faded. Genocide in Rwanda, vicious ethnic conflict in Somalia, East Timor, and the former Yugoslavia, and then, at the dawn of the new millennium, 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, all illustrated the continuing vitality of state power and the horrors of political violence. The gross inequalities generated by neo-liberal capitalism exposed the dark side of globalization. Realism was partly rehabilitated, albeit in a more pluralistic form. Meanwhile, the consistent realist hostility to the Iraq War rekindled interest in the normative dimensions of realism.


    2. petridish

      The cognitive dissonance is DEAFENING. We have all seen this movie before, and that includes Bashar al-Assad.

      He is a western trained physician, for godsakes. A “good friend” to Hilary Clinton and “her husband.” He undoubtedly can read the writing on the wall.

      And so he decides to gratuitously lob some “chemical weapons” at his “own people,” innocent women and children of course, and make sure there is video to be endlessly played and demogogued by sanctimonious putzes like the ever somber, serious and MORAL John Kerry.

      GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

      This episode has the unmistakable stink of false flag PR. It’s already being used to justify the failing stock market. I have no doubt it will figure prominently in justifying the failure of Obamacare.

      Military action is a time-honored strategy for reviving the reputations of weak, ineffective American presidents. Nothing cures failure like riding to the rescue of gassed innocents in far-off, un-Christian deserts.

      It was ever thus, and it will be thus again.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        Richard M. Nixon, in order to hasten the withdrawal of troops in Viet Nam, widens the war by the Cambodian Incursion. The peace candidate’s secret plan included secret bombings in ever more countries than the one he was trying to lead us out of, with peace and honor and law and order for all!

        “… at that time I warned that if I concluded that increased enemy activity in any of these areas endangered the lives of Americans remaining in Vietnam, I would not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation. Despite that warning, North Vietnam has increased its military aggression in all these areas, and particularly in Cambodia.

        After full consultation with the National Security Council, Ambassador Bunker, General Abrams and my other advisors, I have concluded that the actions of the enemy in the last 10 days clearly endanger the lives of Americans who are in Vietnam now and would constitute an unacceptable risk to those who will be there after withdrawal of another 150,000. To protect our men who are in Vietnam, and to guarantee the continued success of our withdrawal and Vietnamization program, I have concluded that the time has come for action.”

        ……. “My fellow Americans, we live in an age of anarchy, both abroad and at home. We see mindless attacks on all the great institutions which have been created by free civilizations in the last 500 years. Even here in the United States, great universities are being systematically destroyed. ”

        In the evening of April 30th, 1970, Nixon announced the Parrot’s Beak Operation. By May 4th, 1970, anarchy on the US college campuses was met with National Guard shootings and 4 dead at Kent State. The Nixon Doctrine of replacing boots on the ground with aerial bombings to contain enemy aggression was a military, political and humanitarian disaster. Dead is Dead. Whether shot directly by American Infantry on the ground, face to face or blasted to pieces by the largest bombing campaign in war history from B-52s. Obama is finally getting us out of a Middle East ground war that is longer than Viet Nam, more costly and as much a disaster as Nixon prolonged under the thinly veiled lie of de-escalation and ground troop withdrawal. Obama will only travel in Nixon’s well worn footpath of lies and death by even firing a single missile into the god damn mess called the Syrian Civil War. Obama can only add our hands to the list of murderers of civilians while not having any effect whatsoever on the conflict. A cynical PR campaign to satisfy some moral authority emanating from blood lust driven right wing war hawks, hand wringing liberals or cynical officials needing a prop behind them to show they are very serious men and women of public note who think gravely about the future of democracy and America’s strength in the world order? Is that all that is propping up this demand for action? We already have so much blood on our hands that our returning soldiers choke in their nightmares over what they have done and seen. This is Russia’s horror show, we don’t need to prove anything to the world other than to say for once, enough is enough, we will not donate our sword and shields to the slaughter. President Obama, put aside the money you have would spent bombing and sending in special opps and send in humanitarian aid when the war is over to heal the sick and rebuild the society. Let the Syrians remember America for that instead of being one the gang of nations that joined in its dismemeberment.

        1. dearieme

          Obama said that the use of chemical weapons was his “red line”: he mustn’t lose face over that remark. So this will be The War of Obama’s Face.

          1. petridish

            It’s coincidence, I suppose, that the “red line” so specifically drawn was so publicly crossed and so vividly documented.

            FWIW, the American people are not buying it. Overwhelmingly. Unfortunately, it’s not worth much.

            1. Klassy!

              Complete with small child imploring Obama to become involved. Saw that this morning. Can this get any more stage managed?

            2. Crazy Horse

              Democracy In Action

              Only 9% of Americans support Obama’s war against Syria.
              Military strikes near certain within days.

              “A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has finally found something that Americans like even less than Congress: the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria. Only 9 percent of respondents said that the Obama administration should intervene militarily in Syria; a RealClearPolitics poll average finds Congress has a 15 percent approval rating, making the country’s most hated political body almost twice as popular.” Washington Post today

                1. Carla

                  That’s really funny. Americans ARE getting a root canal and a colonscopy every day, and paying the bills for them, too, Syria or no Syria, thank you very much.

                  Of course Americans do not want to go to war in Syria, anymore than we want our kids’ job choices to be between part-time Wal-mart or full-time military deployment in a war zone. We don’t want to strike Syria anymore than we want to support the lavish lifestyles of the 1% with our pitiful earnings and our food stamps.

                  Hey, head’s up: in Cleveland, a frigging bus pass costs $85 a month. Chump change to a middle class professional, but a week or 10-days supply of food for the families of people who actually have to ride the bus.

                  Okay, I digress. The point is: Americans don’t HAVE a choice between a root canal or a colonscopy or attacking Syria. We get them all. And we pay for them all. In blood and premature death. And the band plays on…

        2. petridish

          “Dead is Dead.” Most assuredly.

          The morning shows, specifically the “great” Martha Raddatz, have taken great pains to say that Assad will not be targeted. His ouster would leave the dreaded political “vacuum.” He is to be “punished.”

          Apparently this horrible punishment will take the form of killing, with American bombs, those he was unable to poison.

          It is maddening.

          1. Bill the Psychologist

            Martha Raddatz is a totally captured “journalist” asset of the DoD, and has been for some time. She has never published a report critical of our involvment in war, to my knowledge.

      2. Jagger

        Well at least we will stop talking about the NSA for a few weeks because live in a very dangerous world and we are fighting the Syrians.

      3. Tom Denman

        Exactly, petridish.

        What I want to know is if the “evidence” of Assad’s use of chemical weapons is so compelling why aren’t Kerry, Biden, and Company leading with it?

        Instead they aggressively use the communications strategy of repeatedly asserting and insisting (e.g. Mr. Biden’s “there is no doubt who is responsible for this heinous….”) in order to shock and awe the American public into acquiescing to a military intervention opinion polls clearly demonstrate it to be opposed to.

        The Administration will show us something soon, after the decision has been taken. Until then it’s a case of ‘The White House says it’s so and you’d better believe it’s so.’ Where did we hear that before?

        Every day a little more of Mr. Obama’s benign mask flakes away to reveal a snarling Dick Cheney.

    3. Jim Haygood

      As Obama plots his latest and greatest war crimes, his morphing into the ghost of Dick Cheney nears completion, even as Saddam’s WMDs have turned into Assad’s WMDs.

      Why can’t the Syrian monster see the merit of using ‘surgical’ weapons like his moral exemplar Obama, to kill only dozens at a time instead of hundreds? It’s night and day in terms of morality, that’s for sure!

      ‘In a column in The Times newspaper, former UK PM Tony Blair has written that if the West does not intervene to support freedom and democracy in Egypt and Syria, the Middle East will face catastrophe.’

      That would be the same Tony Blair who slaughtered thousands in Iraq based on false claims of WMDs, and has yet to face justice in The Hague for his premeditated crimes against humanity? THAT Tony Blair?

      F*** it all, let me out of this goddamned freak show.

      1. petridish


        What goddamn dictionary are these people using???

        The definition of “freak show” has, however, not yet changed, and describes the current situation perfectly.

      2. El Guapo

        There is not a more loathsome and despicable human being on the planet than Tony Blair. And that includes the likes of Obummer and Bush.

      3. Synopticist

        Intervene in Syria in favour of democracy? There aren’t any democrats in Syria FFS. What a f*ckin bad joke that man is. To think I once admired and campaigned for the pimp.

        It really does smell bad, when William Hague says that there’s no point in the inspectors looking at the site of the massacre after 5 days because the evidence will have been degraded and possibly doctored .

        No doubt some chemical will be hard to detect, but with the forensic science we have these days, that’s just such transparent bullsh*t. Especially as they were original let into the country to look at a site of an attack that took place 5 MONTHS ago!

        And the MSM are just swallowing it whole, even though the commonest reaction is to call it a false flag. The veil is thinning to an alarming extent now.

        1. Gareth

          The most disturbing and unreported development is that the US and Al-Qaeda are allies in the war against Syria. Our soldiers are even training and equipping the jihadists at bases in Jordon. It kind of puts the whole GWOT meme into the proper perspective, as complete bullshit.

          1. Synopticist

            Yup. Allies in Syria, while they’re fighting us in Afghanistan.

            And fear of al qaeda was the only possible justification for the NSA total surveillance state. Now it turns out they’re not so scary after all.

          2. Crazy Horse

            Gareth, that’s just part of the Great Game. If anyone is surprised they should brush up on their underground history.

            Think how useful Al-Qaeda was when we funded (founded?) them through Bush’s business associates the Bin Laden family to provide a counterpoint to the Soviets in Afghanistan. And on September 11 when they provided flight-school drop outs to pilot passenger airliners into the Twin Towers and disguise the controlled demolitions that brought the buildings down. Without their help it might have taken years more to achieve the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security State. Now once again they come to our aid to provide diversion from the brief spurt of outrage over the Orwellization of electronic communication.

      4. Lidia

        Q In 2007, the Boston Globe asked candidates running for president to answer a series of written questions, and one was in the context of Iran: Does the President have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use of force authorization from Congress? Candidate Obama said, “The President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” Does the President still agree with that?

        (Read the rest… essentially, no)

        Q And then finally, British Prime Minister David Cameron is recalling Parliament this week. There’s going to be a motion put forward on Thursday, a vote on authorizing the British response. Is it fair to say that President Obama is not going to recall Congress to seek some type of similar measure before proceeding?

        MR. CARNEY: Well, let me just make a broad statement. Obviously, this is a different country with a different form of government. There is —

        Nauseating. The country under monarchy will take a vote. The democratic republic will not. Carter is right: we no longer have a functioning democracy.

    4. Doug Terpstra

      On the heels of glaring US hypocrisy in the Egyptian massacre, a real “moral obscenity”, Senator John Kerry Powell offers another stark reminder to never again vote D or R. Vietnam war protester cum warmonger, Senator John Kerry has degenerated into a good soldier for empire. Did the NSA catch him with a goat on his lap?

      As with Powell’s disgraceful act at the UN, “evidence” will now be fabricated, photoshopped, and fixed around a predetermined policy—another illegal, aggressive war, in humanitarian guise (will we find “rape rooms” and babies thrown from incubators?). But this need only be a cursory and amateur fix. There is little need to manufacture consent since the NSA’s illegal spying and blackmail has rendered American public opinion all but irrelevant. They can inflict their will with smug impunity (…until they can’t). offers a convincing counterpoint to the usual propaganda, showing again that Syria’s purported role makes no logical sense in either the timing of the chemical attack (as the UN arrives) or in strategic/tactical value, when al-Qaeda-linked opposition is outmatched and relegated only to al-Qaeda-inspired guerilla terrorism.

      The evidence of Israeli involvement is also interesting, more than hinting at Obama’s puppet status, that this is yet another war for Israel and a prelude to the main event, Iran:

      Q4 Interviewer: The Syrian government claims a strong link between Israel and the terrorists. How can you explain this? It is commonly perceived that the extremist Islamists loathe Israel and become hysterical upon hearing its name.

      President al-Assad: If this was the case, why is it then that when we strike the terrorists at the frontier, Israel strikes at our forces to alleviate the pressure off of them? Why, when we blockade them into an area does Israel let them through their barricades so they can come round and re-attack from another direction? Why has Israel carried out direct strikes against the Syrian Army on more than one occasion in recent months? So clearly this perception is inaccurate. It is Israel who has publically declared its cooperation with these terrorists and treated them in Israeli hospitals. If these terrorist groups were indeed hostile to Israel and hysterical even on the mention of the word as you mention, why have they fought the Soviet Union, Syria and Egypt, whilst never carrying out a single strike against Israel? Who originally created these terrorist groups? These groups were initially created in the early 80’s by the United States and the West, with Saudi funding, to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. So logically speaking, how could such groups manufactured by the US and the West ever strike Israel!

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Never again vote D or R.’

        Amen, bro.

        It’s the very least any self-respecting human being can do.

      1. Synopticist

        Ah yes, arm the famous “moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition”. I’ve an even better idea. Lets arm the elements that love English Morris Dancing and drink ale singing “hey nonny nonny noo” while waving around red hankies. Lets give THOSE guys weapons. There are about as many of them as there are “moderate elements”.

        1. punchnrun

          Did it ever occur to these clowns that the way to stop a war might not be to use the same methods as are used to start and make a war? I think it was at about this stage that Jesus wept.

    5. jrs

      In the world yet unborn – people like Manning lecture us on moral responsibilities (iow people who have actually got some) and people like Kerry, pimping for war on ever falser looking flags, are behind bars.

  2. Joe

    Re: For Laid-Off Older Workers, Age Bias Is Pervasive NYT

    The point of the article seems to be more sheep scaring to drive them into the pen for the Obummercare shearing this fall. They just happen to point out that the subject of the article, John Fugazzie, had a heart attack and now owes $171,000 in medical bills.

    The New York Times has no shame. It will be informative to see if they keep up the drumbeat of fear until the ACA launches.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Age bias – If you don’t trust what those over 30 say, you will find out yorself when you are not young and arrogant anymore.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They discovered a million-years+ toothless skull of a hominid in the 40s in Dmanisi whose tooth sockets were filled in by bone.

          One theory is that he survived with the help of others in his clan.

          They did that – mutual aid.

          The Neanderthals did that, in Shanidar.

          But we don’t.

          Maybe we do – it’s ‘I will give you money but you have to give me your soul to my religion.’ or ‘You may borrow but I am going to charge you interest as you are a foreigner (foreign to what?)’

          1. F. Beard

            Why must you beg or borrow in the first place? Something wrong with your belief system? Where’s your humility to admit that something may be wrong with it?

            BTW, your version of sharing would make sure that those who don’t contribute get an equal share. So where’s the incentive to ditch defective belief systems with that?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If you want to borrow an idea, you shouldn’t have to pay any interest to, say, your preacher or a shaman, whether foreign or not, as long as you get his/her permission.

              As for people not wanting to work, you wont find in Nature vegetables or insects that don’t want to work. So, why should humans be any different?

              Are you a species-ist?

              You don’t believe Potato was created in the image of its Potato God?

              1. F. Beard

                If you want to borrow an idea, you shouldn’t have to pay any interest to, say, your preacher or a shaman, whether foreign or not, as long as you get his/her permission.

                Permission?! They would likely have stoned you to death for your potato comment!

                And who are you to say what should or should not be? Exactly.

                  1. F. Beard

                    Lucky for you this is an age of Grace.

                    You should take advantage of it. It won’t last forever and may be ending soon.

                    Or how many Creators do you think there are?

                    1. skippy

                      Zero…. as I am not a servant to anyone or thing save the finite… just trying navigate this shite show* that was constructed before my arrival.

                      skippy… ignorance from antiquity carried forth regardless of countervailing evidence.

                    2. skippy

                      “It was appropriate for the time and place.”- berado

                      skippy… so much hate echos, yet, space and time bring all possibility… wistful… berado??? such the the sacrifice of human flesh? Morality has to come from some where… Right?

                  2. craazyman

                    Everybody must get stoned!

                    Those are the instructions above the gate of the Holy Temple of the Heavens. No rocks needed. But you can bring a case of Bud. Bwaaaaaaak

            2. subgenius

              …and this from a North American god-botherer…

              Really – you ___________s need to learn to parse prose properly.

                1. subgenius

                  Ignore me…been dealing with __________s all day (week) and was lashing out. My bad. My apologies.

  3. XO

    Summers as Fed Chair. Oy.

    Maybe he’ll screw up and finally get something right, but I doubt it.

    Get ready for the further undermining of the middle class.

    On a side note: Summers is always remembered, partly, for the gross losses he realized in the “Harvard Corporation’s” financial portfolio. I’d like to know who ended up holding that money. For Summers, personally, either outcome — loss or gain — could benefit him immensely, but only one outcome enriches the banking class.

    The circle of butt-sniffers remains unbroken.

    1. Goin' South

      So a question drawing from two of today’s stories:

      Who’s dumber? The would-be real estate tycoon who shells out $35,000 for Donald Trump University? Of the progressive lover of peace and justice who votes–maybe twice!!!–for Obama?

      Morris Berman has it right. Schneiderman, Trump, Obama, Summers. Everywhere you look in America: flim-flam men.

  4. Yonatan

    A prediction – Navalny is to Russia as Obama is to the US and Blair was to the UK.

    I hope for the sake of the Russian people there never comes a chance to test this hypothesis.

    1. ambrit

      Hey now! Ain’t you heard? This is the post-industrial economy! We now specialize in non-durable goods.
      (I should know. Since I moved over to ‘retail,’ I’ve had to take the smoke Management blows up my a– and turn it into hot air to flim flam the customers with!)

  5. gibby the fifth

    There is an excellent article on the next Fed chair in Thursday’s Asian edition of the FT. Written by Ed Truman, a fellow of the Peterson Institute and a division director of the Fed for 20 years, he suggests that the Fed has not reviewed its performance up to and after the recent crisis. It needs that review – NC readers are well aware of the Fed’s failings – which almost certainly cannot be carried out by an insider. Hence the article’s title, the new Fed chair should not be one of the usual suspects.

  6. rich

    The 5% recovery: Why most are still in recession

    For those in the top 5 percent, the recovery has been pretty good.

    As for the other 95 percent, well … maybe not so much.

    Post-financial crisis wealth disparity has been well-chronicled.

    The conclusion isn’t pretty:

    Huge leaps in the income and wealth of the top 5 percent mask the decline of income and wealth of the bottom 95 percent. Average all wealth and income and it appears that the economy is expanding to the benefit of all, when it fact only the top 5 percent have escaped the recession; the recession never ended for the bottom 95 percent.

    And there’s more:
    An even better way to create an illusory expansion is to simply not measure trends that would reveal a deepening recession. For example, what percentage of student loans are purposefully taken out as a substitute for income, i.e. used to pay basic living expenses rather than education? Anecdotally, there is plentiful evidence that a great many people are signing up for one class at the local community college in order to get a student loan to live on.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We are a long way from the Socratic method where you just gave your teacher whatever you had, goat milk, eggs, etc.

      Instead, we have student loans.

      1. ambrit

        Dear MLTPB;
        In one very ‘fundamental’ way, the modern educational industrial complex is a perfect analogue for the Classical Ancient Greek pedagogy. They both seem to have a penchant for buggery.

    2. Bob

      Anecdotally, I work as a therapist of sorts with very poor families in the rural south. Several of those I work with have decided to enroll in courses in order to secure student loans to live on. And none of them have any intention of ever repaying them.

      Adittionaly, many of my clients (about 40%) make some portion of their income from grabbing medicaid funded pharmaceuticals and selling them on the street. Some make monthly runs to major cities. I assure you, if these sorts of things are happening here they are happening all over the states.

  7. fresno dan

    And this is where the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Government comes in. Without useful idiots like the collaborator, John McCain, there would be no war in Syria. Without the Right’s fetishization of the military and the police — who must do what civilian authorities tell them to do, and if those duly elected authorities are leftists, tough luck — there would not only be no war in Syria, or Libya, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, there would be no war on the streets of our American cities. Indeed, it’s time to retire this whole idiotic “war on” trope — the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Women, the War on Terror — and restore both the military and the civilian police to their rightful places in society: outwardly directed, against enemies both foreign and domestic, and not against Ham Sandwich Nation, where every day, we all either become criminals, or get treated like one.

    If you go far enough right, you end up LEFT.

    It is amazing to me, what with all our great success in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that anyone would doubt our ability to straighten Syria out (sarcasm)

  8. fresno dan

    MN Judge Refuses To Throw Out Case Against Citizen Recording Police, EMS Techdirt (h/t clindeberg)

    “And, while the disorderly conduct charge absolutely reeks of the police throwing feces at the wall to see what sticks, deputy Muellner ran away and retired to become former-deputy Muellner, with all of her benefits in place and without any formal inquiry into why she destroyed evidence so important that it was worth seizing private property.”

    This is the state of “law” today:
    taking a picture = obstruct
    seizing property to protect police misconduct = typical police conduct
    evidence = can be destroyed when it shows police misconduct
    Prosecutors = police never ever break the law. Also, see “evidence” for who we deign to investigate…
    Oversight of judges = judges can never ever be fired for being too stupid….cause we would lose most of them.

    1. realguy

      judges,lawyers and cops have been above law from very long time.
      In fact i have never seen a judge,lawyer being punished in any western country from last 40 yrs…
      judicial officials are considered to be purest of human beings,they never commit crime,they are considered righteous human beings and even above god…
      The western judicial system is highly biased against common man and is no different than russian/muslim justice system.
      BTW,women should not be afraid of being labeled as traitor and thrown in jail.The feminist laws made mockery of men’s basic rights and now it is your turn…try to enjoy benevolence of daddy govt..don’t blame men are pussies and cowards…you liked them to be obedient harmless dogs with ATM and that is what you got

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Citizens recording police?

      Where will this lead to – citizens recording the NSA?

  9. charles sereno

    One way to judge NC’s choice of Dave Dayen as a presenter — the quality of NC commenters in response. IMO, it’s been excellent. Troll count is down and so is diversionary hand-waving.

    1. Colinjames

      Yup, I’ve never seen so many people who get it, all in one place, without a single idiot in the mix. Love D Dayen. Love NC.

      Let’s add in the mix our hypocrisy on choice of weapons to demonize… Remind me again which country uses white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and cluster bombs? Which country gave Saddam chem weapons, and knew he would use them (as we just learned only yesterday)? And has anyone noticed there is not a single word in the press contemplating both the absence of congressional or UN authorization of force, as useless as those two things are? Is this a test run for complete unilateral presidential war making, and at what point do Russia and China see the writing on the wall? Are they just gonna sit back and watch as we tighten the noose around em? Asia pivot + knocking off Russian allies/partners, NATO and western-backed terror in central asia/ xinjiang= ? They won’t remain calm in the face of belligerence and provocation forever. This is crazy.

      1. Synopticist

        NC is the best site on the net, without exception. Brilliant.

        I agree with you on China and Russia too. They’re not just going to sit around watching their allies get taken down one by one. Eventually they’re going to respond in kind. And forcing Russia and China to get closer to Iran is f*ckin retarded.

      2. Klassy!

        I know. Why are chemical weapons the “line in the sand”. What makes them any worse than any other weapon?

        1. Lidia

          Kinda funny too, how plenty of people get killed with chemical assaults (pollution, radiation, non-food foods, fertilizer plants exploding, etc.) and somehow no one is ever called to account for any of that. Just business as usual.

      1. diane

        08/15/13 How the word ‘troll’ has been redefined by the powerful
        The word once had quite a specialised meaning, but it has now become a catch-all term to describe any behaviour that some editors or columnists deem inappropriate

        What particularly disturbs me is the way in which sections of the mainstream media and others in positions of power use the worst of what happens online to condemn all that happens online. One manifestation of this is the way in which the word “troll” has been appropriated by sections of the mainstream and redefined.

        The word once had quite a specialised meaning limited to a particular sort of disruptive behaviour, but it has now become a catch-all term to describe any behaviour that some journalists and editors deem inappropriate. Their responses to what they call “trolling” often seem less about combating abuse than reasserting their role as gatekeeper, to restore to themselves the right to decide who gets to speak in public and who doesn’t. It is what US academic Susan Herbst calls “the strategic use of civility”.

        (bolding mine)

  10. plerner

    CFPB Announces New Additions to Leadership Team – Re: your FBI comment, didn’t Whitey Bulger work for the FBI?

  11. Eureka Springs

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

    Where is the anti-war American left? Were they nearly always humanitarian bombers to begin with? Is Amy Goodman still drumming for war against Syria? I bet the farthest left guest she will have on this subject will be Juan always for war before occasionally after the fact pretending to be against it Cole.

    Profoundly sick society doesn’t come close to accurately describing our state of yo.

    1. real

      american left is busy cheering for nobel peace prize winner’s new war campaign for human rights..They revel in these wars…
      Just like a democrat,harry truman ordered first nuke to be dropped on men,women and children of japan…Obama will do the same..just give him time

      1. Anarcissie

        Things might develop in a complicated way in Syria. Syria is not Iraq. The Syrian regime is tougher, and has tougher friends, than Saddam Hussein did. It is also geographically closer to the U.S.’s satellites than Iraq. It seems like a risky place to play the game proposed.

        If Larry Summers is actually nominated for the Fed, is there not any possibility his record might be exposed in the Senate? A dirty fight over his appointment there could be delightfully damaging to both him and his leader.

        Disaster, catastrophe, beckon. Onward!

        1. Jim Haygood

          As Fed chairsatan, Larry Summers can be totally relied upon to finance our vital campaign for peace, freedom and democracy in Egypt and Syria.

          We are in safe hands, comrade.

    2. Strangely Enough

      “Where is the anti-war American left?”

      If those poll numbers are accurate (9% in favor), they are in the same place as the anti-war “right”: being ignored.

      “Humanitarian bombers” are Democrats, and should not be confused with, as they go to great to show they are not, leftists.

      I thought the Kucinich treatment was evidence enough of that.

  12. psychohistorian

    I think if we enter our self created war with Syria the rest of the world is going to say NO and we either start stupidly nuking folks or just maybe American empire will be stopped.

    I can only hope there are many others in the US protesting this immoral war with me if it starts.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Zurich, drive in sex.

    Well, we already have home-delivery/office-delivery sex.

    Another brilliant business idea: ‘$1.99 and you can have all the sex you want.’

    1. ambrit

      Yay! Let’s put the “Buff” back in buffet! “Would you like that with the ‘Special Sauce?'”

    2. hunkerdown

      “I need some coffee, is there a Starbucks around here?”
      “We don’t have time for a handjob”

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Rethink investment risk.

    If you go to a casino and you lose $0.50 each hand for 10,000 times, it’s low-volatility and therefore low risk.

    If you win $2 and then lose $1 and swing wildly like that but in general making more than losing (hypothetically of course, unless you are counting cards – even with four decks and constant reshuffling – or you are just really good), that’s high risk.

  15. Hugh

    Re Syria, there are no white hats. The country is majority Sunni but otherwise ethnically quite complex. Assad runs a brutal secular but also minority Alawite dictatorship. The opposition is dominated militarily by jihadis who have as little use for democracy as Assad and would likely be as brutal and far more incompetent in the basic running of the country. The local hegemon in the region, Israel, is a racist apartheid state that would prefer a weakened secularist like Assad in power to the alternative and has no problem with seeing Hezbollah fighters getting themselves killed by the Syrian opposition. The global hegemon is a kleptocratic empire that doesn’t do humanitarian interventions, has no particular strategic interests in the conflict, but finds the urge to intervene irresistible. It is the old imperial maxim that if there is not going to be any mass killing anywhere, unless we are involved. Regionally, the KSA and Gulf states are perfectly content to export their jihadi malcontents, who might otherwise aim their zeal against their own profoundly illegitimate and kleptocratic governments, to fight and die in Syria. Turkey under Erdogan and however you wish to categorize his Islamist leanings is more interested in the conflict than Turkey’s old secularist generals would have been. The danger in Lebanon is a fall back into another round of its own perennial civil war. France is the old colonial power in Syria and Lebanon. The UK, of course, remains in imperial lockstep with its successor.

    What we are currently seeing in the Middle East is a laboratory of failed statehood. Not every failed state is going to look like Somalia. Rather we are going to see states with illegitimate central governments unable to effectively control all of their own territory (except under conditions of extreme dictatorship), with factions comprising significant portions of the population intractably opposed to each other.

    It looks like this is the wave of the future. We are already seeing a band of instability stretching from the Atlantic to the borders of India. This is not some small, transitory event, and it will only get worse. The current problem of kleptocracy is not being addressed, and in one or two decades it will be overtaken by overpopulation, climate change, resource scarcity, and environmental degradation. As traumatic as the 20th century was with two world wars and a decades long Cold War, the 21st century looks to be an even harder century for humanity.

    1. charles sereno

      A lot of food for thought here. I pride myself in restraining my urge to pontificate, but hey, I’m a sinner too, so bear with me.
      “The global hegemon is a kleptocratic empire that doesn’t do humanitarian interventions, has no particular strategic interests in the conflict, but finds the urge to intervene irresistible.” (Hugh)
      First, I’d quibble about the hegemon having “no particular strategic interests in the conflict.” But that depends on how interests are defined.
      More important is this related quote:
      “What we are currently seeing in the Middle East is a laboratory of failed statehood. Not every failed state is going to look like Somalia. Rather we are going to see states with illegitimate central governments unable to effectively control all of their own territory (except under conditions of extreme dictatorship), with factions comprising significant portions of the population intractably opposed to each other.” (Hugh)
      That is indisputably an accurate description of the recent history in the region. I question whether the hegemon “finds the urge to intervene irresistible.” I think it has been a strategy. When all else fails, promote festering, internal conflicts in order to erode effective challenges. What could be more pathetic, for example, than the interminable dog and pony “peace process” shows? The unanticipated Tunisian uprising didn’t lure the hegemon into a premature show of force. In the end, outcomes there as well as in Egypt, Libya, and the salvage position in Iraq, itself, to cover a failed direct intervention — Sunnis and Shias bombing each other — has bought precious time. Egypt has been a masterpiece of “tweaking,” with Israel daring to be open about contacts with the new Egyptian savior and the status of the Rafah crossing. Up to the present, the “divide and (later) conquer” strategy has worked admirably in Syria. Albeit with no definite evidence, I see the impending resolution in the balance. The Executive together with most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are opposed to rogue elements of the shadow government who do have an itch to engage. I think sanity will prevail to avoid a greater tragedy.
      Doesn’t humor provide a salve to misery? The French seem to have reclaimed their title of “poodle” from the Brits although I suppose that will be contested!

  16. Hugh

    The only question about Summers is whether the Republicans will filibuster his nomination or not. Obama has shown for years now that he is a hardline conservative, and that all his “compromises” have been nothing more than pap for the rubes. He has been consistently anti-progressive throughout his Presidency. And he never gives up on his goals. So I can see him pushing Summers, despite the man’s whole career being nothing but a series of spectacular train wrecks. Afterall, isn’t that why he loved Geithner? And grand bargains and gutting Social Security? He has 3 years left to his Presidency and he will still be trying to destroy Social Security going out the door if he hasn’t already succeeded before. That is the kind of man Obama is. We tend to forget or sugarcoat just how deeply evil and nasty our leaders are.

    1. ambrit

      The great positive to Summers is his incompetence. We have entered that region of history where nothing less than a profound shock and subsequent dislocation will do any good. Say what you will, it took the Great Depression to bring about the New Deal and its’ follow ups. I fear it will take an equally great disaster to galvanize humanity into acting in its’ real best interests this time.

  17. Hugh

    Kerry 1970s jeans striking deep existentialist coolster pose, Buffalo Springfield playing somewhere in the background: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam?” Long meaningful silence.

    Kerry 2013 Senator Foghorn gone State Department, big money even bigger ego, answers: “Drones! Cruise missiles! No need to ask the question! Problem solved!” “Blurred Lines” playing somewhere.

    1. craazyboy

      I think it’s still too early to tell if we are going into Syria or not. Stock market down today – so very good chance Obama caves in and says he wasn’t serious about that. Remember, Larry Summers is still WH Econ Advisor.

      In fact, if you have some mad money in your trading account, I think maybe put it on a S&P500 ETF as a not too far out of the money bet that Obama launches some drones at the Syrian rebel villages as a way to goose the DOW back above 15,000. If he doesn’t, you can still hope for more QE from the Fed to repair the damage from this little presidential lack of judgment.

      More I think about it, this is sounding like a can’t lose trade!

  18. Alexa

    Happy Birthday, Stella.

    She’s adorable. From what I’ve read, the Boston Terrier is one of the few dog breeds which were mainly bred to be “companions.” Cool.

    And David, don’t forget a frozen “Frosty Paw” treat for her, in celebration!


  19. Alexa

    Jack Lew is pushing for a “Grand Bargain” on CNBC.

    Here’s an excerpt and a link.

    Obama not negotiating over debt limit

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew challenged Congress on Tuesday to raise the debt limit—telling CNBC that President Barack Obama will not negotiate over the issue. . . .

    As part their budget-reduction strategy, Republicans have been trying to repeal and defund the president’s health-care law. But Lew said the White House won’t accept any delay or defunding of Obamacare.

    Last week, Boehner took one of the fall budget fights with Democrats off the table—saying he plans to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September. He has urged lawmakers to pass a “short-term” bill that maintains sharp automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, to keep the government funded for two months past the Oct. 1 deadline.

    The president has tried to reach across the aisle in every way on budget issues, Lew asserted, saying the sequester must be replaced with balanced policies to deficit reduction. . . .

    “As we get to the end of the year, we think that without the headwinds of additional federal cuts, the economy should pickup a notch again,” he said.

    The president is “prepared to do tough things on entitlement programs,” Lew said. “But those tough actions … require balance in terms of revenue, both for fairness and because for economic results.”

    Lew made it clear the White House wants tax increases as part of the discussion. “We’ve pressed very hard for the kinds of agreements that would do both spending reform, entitlement reform and tax reform.”

    On the issue of corporate tax reform, Lew said he sees ideas from Democrats and Republicans that indicate progress can be made.

    “[But] on the individual side, it’s a little more complicated because it is intrinsically connected to the larger fiscal policy conversation,” Lew said. “Without additional revenues, I don’t see a path toward comprehensive tax reform.”

    —By CNBC’s Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC. CNBC’s Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood and Reuters contributed to this report.

    1. anon y'mouse

      “progress” in this regard means everyone is agreed that the gangbang will happen. they just have yet to work out who gets which end first.

  20. ScottS

    The NY Times’ name server registration has been hacked. If you look up the IP address for “” you get:
    Non-authoritative answer: canonical name =

    That 141 address geolocates to somewhere inside Russia. It will forward you to, which also has the same IP address:
    Non-authoritative answer:

    Which purports to be the Syrian Electronic Army. Their server doesn’t respond, virtually begging the question: did they DDoS themselves by hacking the NY Times’ name server? Or is the US now blocking access to

    So this is our first taste of electronic warfare.

    BTW, I wouldn’t visit anything in this post, or the NY Times links in the original post.

    1. psychohistorian

      I think the electronic war has been going on for a few years, at least. I have asked before if anyone involved in it will write a history of what is going on behind the scenes that we only see as slowness or temporary outage.

      I am one of the few that has DSL instead of (is Comcast everywhere?) coax broadband. One of the things I have noticed in the past 6 months or so is that my DSL router keeps rebooting. I thought at first that the router was dying but have swapped it out and the reboots still happen. It is my read of this that while NAT protects me from most attempts of intrusion, CenturyLink (who bought Qwest who wouldn’t play nice with the NSA)has to let some control codes pass through as part of its management process and the hard reset is one of them.

      I will take the occasional reset in exchange for not having to have and maintain a firewall.

      Any other techies seeing the invisible cyber war going on?

      1. skippy

        Yep on the reboot, on DSL too, w/massive lag spikes. Backup is external with zero connectivity, run one old lappy with Honey pot – updates scanned before installing in other comps but, the rest are seriously walled off to the point of running two different OS on the one Mothership.

        1. psychohistorian

          I had a development laptop with VM that I used as a honey pot for a while but since it got stolen I am naked behind NAT.

          That said, I was told by a CIA agent in 2004 to not say bad things about our then pres on international calls so intrusion is not my worry much and I am ready to be a martyr to structural change in our world……I finally learned how to breathe and let it all go……

          Be well skippy!

      2. hunkerdown

        I will take the occasional reset in exchange for not having to have and maintain a firewall

        Oh, dear. If your DSL router does not already have even the most basic firewall/NAT functionality built-in and enabled, you may as well have your provider take the front door off your house too.

        That said, typical default firewall/NAT functionality, preconfigured to pass no data from outside unless it has seen a corresponding request from inside, is adequate for most home users.

        Moral: Trust no wire your finger can’t touch all the way from one end to the other.

        1. psychohistorian

          I don’t believe you read my comment and besides I have not encountered DSL service provided without NAT, have you?

  21. barrisj

    Chas. Pierce reminds us that the use of CBW by nations at war is not always a US “red line”, as the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s showed, and explored in this article from Foreign Policy:

    Our Chemical Romance
    In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent. The intelligence included imagery and maps about Iranian troop movements, as well as the locations of Iranian logistics facilities and details about Iranian air defenses. The Iraqis used mustard gas and sarin prior to four major offensives in early 1988 that relied on U.S. satellite imagery, maps, and other intelligence. These attacks helped to tilt the war in Iraq’s favor and bring Iran to the negotiating table, and they ensured that the Reagan administration’s long-standing policy of securing an Iraqi victory would succeed. But they were also the last in a series of chemical strikes stretching back several years that the Reagan administration knew about and didn’t disclose. U.S. officials have long denied acquiescing to Iraqi chemical attacks, insisting that Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.
    In contrast to today’s wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein’s widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.,0

    A “moral duty” to rain Tomahawk missiles upon Syrian cities?
    Sweet Jaysus!

    1. from Mexico

      A poll released this evening from the UK shows

      The public remain overwhelmingly opposed to British troops being sent into Syria, but more importantly the poll also asked specifically about whether people would support a missile attack on Syria. 50% of people would oppose this course of action, 25% would support it. Even Tories are against missile strikes by 45-33%.

      US and British leaders disdain the values, opinions, attitudes and beliefs of the people, holding them in utter contempt. That is one of the most disturbing factors of this entire affair.

      1. skippy

        Populism vs. Corporatism

        skippy… the owners always win that conversation, its codified in Red Letter Natural Law thingy.

  22. POTUS strange-fruit watch

    Article 8 bis

    Crime of aggression

    1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime of aggression” means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

    2. For the purpose of paragraph 1, “act of aggression” means the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:

    (a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;

    (b) Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State;

    (c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;

    (d) An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air fleets of another State;

    (e) The use of armed forces of one State which are within the territory of another State with the agreement of the receiving State, in contravention of the conditions provided for in the agreement or any extension of their presence in such territory beyond the termination of the agreement;

    (f) The action of a State in allowing its territory, which it has placed at the disposal of another State, to be used by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression against a third State;

    (g) The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein.

    [Per UNGA Res. 94(I) “treat as a matter of primary importance plans for the formulation, in the context of a general codification of offences against the peace and security of mankind, or of an International Criminal Code, of the principles recognized in the Charter of the Nürnberg Tribunal and in the judgment of the Tribunal.”]

  23. lambert strether

    General Wesley Clark: “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

    Because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”

    So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    So, I guess they’re just working their way down the list…

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