Links 8/9/13

Dolphin giving birth caught on camera – video Guardian

The serious side of child’s play Financial Times. A $450 an hour toddler coach

Drone delivers beer not bombs at S.Africa music festival PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Doctors Who Torture Accountability Project (Chuck L)

Is Cold Fusion Entering the Final Stages? OilPrice. Chuck L who sent this is an engineer, so I assume this is not completely crazy despite the horrible image cold fusion has.

Research shows cellphone use may not cause more car crashes PhysOrg (Chuck L). Another reason this may not be crazy is there was some research that showed reverse causality: the people who liked using cell phones a lot while driving tended to be more aggressive/reckless (rapid acceleration, deceleration, lane changes) when not using cell phones.

Is China Trapped in Deflation? Global Economic Intersection

China slowdown shows signs of abating Financial Times

Defend Europe, If You Still Dare Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Greek jobless rate at record high BBC (Lambert)

Russia’s Stimulus Plan: Open the Gulag Gates New York Times. Now I am sure this is an informative story, but notice the accomplishment of a twofer drive-by shooting in the headline. First the Grey Lady tells us Russia economy sucks (join the club!). Second, it remind us Russian has gulags (ooh, human rights abuses!). In other words, Russia is a Bad Place. Now Russia indeed probably is a Bad Place, but the New York Times appears to have developed a keener interest in telling us that since Snowden has taken up temporary residence there.

Egypt Cannot Possibly Use All Of Its US-Made Tanks ‘Short Of An Alien Invasion’ Clusterstock (May S)

As Foreign Fighters Flood Syria, Fears of a New Extremist Haven New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Encrypted email service thought used by Snowden shuts down Reuters (Francois T)

Silent Circle Preemptively Shuts Down Encrypted Email Service To Prevent NSA Spying TechCrunch. Ed Harrison: “Corporates were turning away from traditional cloud providers in droves. But the NSA has made it untenable for companies like this to be U.S. based.”

Edward Snowden’s Email Provider Shuts Down After Secret Court Battle Wired

Criminal defense lawyers demand access to secret DEA evidence Reuters

Connections Between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden And Barrett Brown—The War With The Security State WhoWhatWhy (Trevor)

Why believe anything the government says about the NSA? Gauis Publius, AmericaBlog

Edward Snowden helps France rediscover its own whistleblowers Xindex (Deontos)

Iowa state senator allegedly sought payments to back Ron Paul in 2012 Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Woes of Detroit Hurt Borrowing by Its Neighbors New York Times (May S)

Why Seniors Are Turning Against The GOP National Memo (furzy mouse)

The unemployment claims rate decline is slowing Walter Kurtz

Exclusive: U.S. steps up probe of JPMorgan over Bear mortgage bonds Reuters. As we predicted, the criminal investigation is focusing on the Bear unit, EMC.

JPMorgan Nears Settlement With SEC on London Whale Loss Bloomberg. SEC wants a confession, but it seems like a really itty bitty one will do.

Getting Big Banks Out of the Commodities Business Simon Johnson, New York Times

Regulator Steps Up Probe Into S&P Wall Street Journal. Lisa Epstein” It seems so ridiculous to post these articles.”

Cafe Impact: How To Tackle Thankless Social Change Dowser

From Suburb to City (Or Something Like It) in Leigh Gallagher’s ‘The End of the Suburbs’ NextCity (May S)

Antidote du jour:


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  1. Jim Haygood

    ‘Russia is a Bad Place’ … night before last I saw CNN on the monitor over the bar, comparing Putin straight-up to Hitler owing to Russia’s anti-gay laws. Much of the middle east, Africa and Caribbean is anti-gay too, but the MSM doesn’t equate their leaders to Hitler.

    CNN’s over-the-top drive-by shooting of Putin seems to be just standard media-whore stenography: all the news the White House thinks fit to print. As far as validity, one could just as well compare the chairs of the House and Senate Transportation committees to Hitler since, after all, da fuhrer was ‘good on highway funding.’

    Lots of Cold War nostalgia for toothless Boomers in gigging the Russian bear like the olden days. Hard to carry off though, when instead of Soviet missiles 90 miles off the coast in Cuba, Obamymandias’s drones are raking the Third World, sweeping off their handfuls and carloads of brown bodies every week.

    1. Brindle

      Yea, it’s not Putin who is giving orders to rain drone missiles down on poor people in multiple third world countries in the Middles East-East Asia and N. Africa.

      I don’t like Hitler analogies but Obama not anymore virtuous than Putin, generally speaking.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Re: “Toothless boomers.” Having bad teeth is a class marker; it strongly correlates with poverty and/or downward mobility. It’s much harder to “pass” for middle class with bad teeth, so not only one’s health but one’s job prospects, if any, are affected.

      Hence your witty contribution insults both the no-longer-young and the poor. Do you feel this two-fer is an effective rhetorical stance?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Toothless-ness is more likely a badge worn by the 99.99% due to processed foods, too much sugar, etc.

        I take that as a call, out of many, to stand up against the 0.01%.

      2. Jim Haygood

        It was meant to be self-deprecating, not taken literally.

        Sorry if I ruined your day.

        1. Lambert Strether

          No, my day is not ruined. “Toothless boomers like me” would do what you’re looking for. And my point on generational slicing is dead serious. It’s poison!

      3. craazyman

        Sense of humor anyone?

        I’d say this meme is getting a little long in the tooth. :)

        faaaaaak the machine ate my “that’s what implants are for” comment. It doesn’t have a sense of humor either.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I don’t have that problem, fortunately.

            ‘Where is your sense of humor?’

            ‘My dog ate it, Mrs. Robinson.’

          2. craazyman

            the link I posted down below is some weeerd faakkin juju. I’ll be curious to see if the dude turns up in church someplace, or if he’ll be like the proverbial lion-sized black cats that prowl on the edges fields at twilight and disappear — never to be found. That happens a lot in England for some reason.

      4. popolipo

        Not that it mitigates the personal indignity or pain, but this particular form of suffering is breaching class boundaries. It’s less of a class marker, even in affluent areas. Increasingly, it’s a symptom of America’s retrograde development, like stunting or rickets in the global south. US lifespans are shortening, too. At least we’re less inclined to jeer at that.

        More and more people have to face the fact that this is a basket-case wasteland under the heel of a predatory state. When CIA picked Obama as their puppet ruler, the first thing they did was tow him around Kenya like a float at the Macy’s parade. He needed to learn how neocolonial stongmen exploit patrimonial/patriarchal cultures. He learned airs and graces at Harvard but he didn’t get hired for that, he got hired to bring the third-world uggabugga.

    3. Jack Parsons

      TTR: the Teeth-to-Tattoo Ratio. An apocryphal medical term for, you guessed it, how many teeth v.s. how many tattoos. And a side note: people with a really low TTR often survive bodily insults that kill others.

  2. Steve Bannister

    Nice juxtaposition in today’s links of the “we’re doomed by carbon” story and the cold fusion one.

    The oil companies are acting just like the profit-maximizing companies they are: they will not change technologies until the costs are lower than hydrocarbons, and they will aggresively avoid pricing in the negative externality costs that would change the relative prices. They also have a vested interest in very centralized capital-intensive technologies to protect their monopoly rents.

    Given that, it is very difficult with the current set of alternatives to get the costs low enough. And political realities make it very difficult to tax carbon to the appropriate level or attack the monopolies.

    So, we need a major end run around the oil companies and their carbon-based business. The most immediate prospect seems to be cold fusion, or what scientists and inventors commonly now call low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). I follow this space closely; several inventor/entrepreneurs are making good progress toward commercialization. There is also interesting progress toward a theory, but lack of theory seldom stops inventors.

    This is only one of potentially many “new physics” sources of energy that promise abundant, very cheap, very clean, and distributed energy supplies. The oil companies could become dinosaurs.

    1. Danb

      A few months back Matt Stoller reviewed the book Carbon Democracy here at NC. A central point was how political power is connected to the source of energy a society uses. Thus the commitment to fossil fuels by politicians. Your comment about cheap energy being just on the horizon is a familiar one. I cannot predict cheap abundant renewable energy is impossible, but given the dire situation of modern society it’s -shall we say- cold comfort to tout cold fusion or any other promising source as if it’s only a matter of time -we’re running out of time. (Liquid fuels aren’t replaced by cold fusion and most renewables.) Several recent links (the one today on suburbia, for one) and Michael Klare’s featured article today are connected to peak oil, which occurred in 2005. Wealth does not produce oil, just the opposite. We’re entering degrowth as a natural entropic process that is producing catastrophic consequences for our present form of socioeconomic organization. Then there’s the current domination of neoliberalism, but it too will fall to entropy -the question is how much devastation it produces before it does.

      1. Saddam Smith

        This is the problem; the effects of untrammeled growth and the last hundred years or so of paying far to little attention to environmental issues mean that solutions to the energy problem are probably too late. We should have been retooling twenty years ago, but vested interest being vested interests have resulted in far too much institutional inertia. We could not be less prepared for the end of growth.

        It’s all natural in the end though; change is hard, profound change profoundly so…

      2. real

        i think death of neo liberalism will occur in stages which wont be seen by normal eye…it is just like middle class families have just one kid per couple,young men are afraid to marry because stringent anti male laws .The use of drugs,alcohol goes up…things look normal because they happen so slowly

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not necessarily anti-male, but I believe nature is mostly about balance, maybe not short term, but in the long run, you get some sort of equilibrium, balancing the interests of all the parties involved.

            So, the question is this: What are the advantages and disadvantages in women giving birth, instead of men

            It seems there is nothing to gain selfishly from that. Is it just a simple case of ‘someone has to do it?’

        1. reslez

          Marriage rates have gone down because of poverty and joblessness. I highly doubt “anti-male” laws have anything to do with it — anyone with a serious concern about this abhors marriage already.

      3. Steve Bannister

        Some observations. I believe general reduced/zero growth arguments are fallacious for these reasons:

        They are justified almost totally on reduced resource use, the main target being carbon-based energy which will continue to be used until a sufficiently cheaper source is found.

        Empirically, global mean GDP per capita is on a very low variance upward march; only a very major catastrophe would change the slope significantly. The world economy is likely to continue growing at current rates.

        Empirically, global fertility is close to plummeting. This means that by about mid-century it is increasingly plausible that global population will start declining. Population drives GDP, and therefore energy consumption and emission, levels.

        Morally, reducing growth were it even possible is wrong for the 2 billion or so souls still in poverty.

        So, we need to figure out how to survive as a species on our planet for another 50 years or so when resource demands will begin naturally decreasing.

        My research indicates “new physics” energy sources are likely to largely replace carbon-based techologies within a generation. I am guilty, though studiously so I believe, of being a technological optimist here.

        1. neo-realist

          Don’t you really mean resources rather than resource demand decreasing? It seems to me that insatiable resource demand will be the need that doesn’t automatically decrease but rather something that people will have no choice but to reinvent as the resources decrease. And it will be a gigantic struggle to change the demand zeitgeist amongst our spoiled big car loving west that won’t happen without some crime and violence along the way.

          1. Steve Bannister

            I mean resource demand decreasing. If you’re interested, one good way is to understand the Kaya identity, , which is useful to understand what drives resource demand. Empirically, population levels are the primary driver of global resource demand (not living standards) for the resources I have modeled, so if population levels are falling, resource demand will as well.

        2. Danb


          Yes, you are a technophile. But using the word “empirically” several times does not make things so. To wit, you write, “carbon-based energy which will continue to be used until a sufficiently cheaper source is found.” You assume the economy will keep humming along until humans solve the energy and other resource crises. The concept of net energy comes into play here in terms of energy that is not economically viable it to recover. Consider demand destruction and then system breakdowns as the outcomes of net energy decline. And the ecological and environmental disasters attached to continuing to use fracked fossil fuels I only mention.

          1. Steve Bannister

            I have done the modeling and that is why I use the word empirically. Forecasts are difficult, especially about the future, but I would put money on my forecast for GDP per capita rising given the extraordinary stability of the data (low variance). I carefully say that unless we have some really catastrophic event. Which could happen, but I just don’t see it. And my data set includes lots of disasters over 30+ years. If I am wrong demand destruction will occur.

            I do not support the institutional structure that led us to our current state, and would prefer a very different world. But that will not change either the data or the institutions, and show me a mechanism against the power elites that has a chance of succeding. So just trying to use a bit of logical pragmatic thinking here.

            1. MacCruiskeen

              “Forecasts are difficult, especially about the future,”

              Yes, that’s certainly true! Criswell himself could hardly have said it better.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is a possibility that reduced growth is not wrong for the 2 billion or so souls.

          All you have to do is distribute the wealth fairly…even with a reduced GDP.

          1. susan the other

            Right. And what about LENR technology itself being a classic growth industry which does not require the expansion of the economy like other forms of debt capitalism do. Just gotta pay off all those development expenses, but the savings in a cleaner environment and the extreme costs of alternative oil will make it look less like growth than simple progress. Cold fusion will require a shift from our old polluting ways to a new clean energy. So it’s a decline in the expensive bad by advance of the inexpensive good. Unless the twisters jump in and try to make it scarce. Commodify it. And financialize it.

          2. Pete

            Who gives a shit about the GDP, a senseless measure propped up by permanent aggressive war mongering, putting people in cages, and wall street gambling? There are plenty of ways to implement a little natural entropy without crushing the already crushed. Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of cancer. Walk away from the usurious, perpetual motion scheming global banksters and we’re half-way home.

              1. Pete

                Sorry MLTPB, that wasn’t directed at you. Just having a lash at growth religious speak in general.

        4. Kurt Sperry

          Technically feasible alternatives to hydrocarbon fossil fuels already exist. The biggest impediments to a transition to renewable energy aren’t technological or even economic but political. Solar alone could fill the void for much of the planet although the infrastructure investments and footprints required are sobering to consider. It’s possible cheaper alternatives based on over the horizon technologies may arise, though it’s probably not wise to count on that. It may thus not be necessary for the human race, and even those in modern relatively technologically developed countries, to have to adopt lifestyles with lower energy inputs.

          I see a lot of millenarian doom predictions put forth and that may be the future and these are always compelling to consider and appeal to people’s penchant for a dramatic narrative but the course of human history argues against that likelihood even though lots of big bad things will no doubt happen–just as they always have.

          Even if the apocalypse is at hand and we are destined for a return to the stone ages, we can still dance along the way:

          Tower of Power- Only So Much Oil in the Ground

    2. Paul Niemi

      We are not drawing conclusions from events to use “old physics” better. What lessons can be drawn to make nuclear energy safer after the disaster at Fukushima? It seems credible that zirconium alloy fuel rods are indeed not safer than the stainless steel rods they replaced back in the 1970s. After a stainless steel rod was known to have cracked and spilled a small amount of fuel pellets during a rapid ramp-up in power at a reactor in that decade, zirconium was used going forward. At Fukushima, when the zirconium rods overheated, hydrogen gas was produced which blew the roofs off the buildings. Did it also internally crack the containments? That that would not have happened if stainless rods were still used is the inference.

  3. armchair

    On cellphone use not being a factor for increased crashes, it is worth questioning the time frame of the data. Most roads in most cities are not stop-and-go after 9 p.m. Another point about the legislation is that it may not reduce crashes, but it makes it easier to assign responsibility for the crash. In other words, the legislation may not stop the crash, but it makes it easier to resolve the dispute over property damage, medical bills and fault.

    1. hunkerdown

      Another point about the legislation is that it may not reduce crashes, but it makes it easier to assign responsibility for the crash. In other words, the legislation may not stop the crash, but it makes it easier to resolve the dispute over property damage, medical bills and fault.

      Yet another instance of throwing profit at the insurance industry under the pretext of public health and safety?! Geez…

    1. NSA delenda est

      Thanks for that, hadn’t heard of it. Meantime, there’s still a bunch of mail hosts that the NSA pervs can’t peep on. It takes a bit of patience to set up but it’s worth it, because to defend our right to privacy we’re going to have to remake the internet ourselves, the same way duckduckgo supplanted google and no one even noticed.

      Long term, we have to put a lot of NSA heads on sticks.

  4. efschumacher

    >From Suburbs to City:

    If you spend a lot of time walking, by and large your encounters with other people are pleasant and sociable. If you spend a lot of time driving, invariably your encounters with other vehicles are not pleasant.

    1. Ron

      If The Next City trend has legs hopefully American’s might embrace something other then a BMW or Chevy as the center of there life. My wife and I shocked our friends,family and even our new neighbors wondered how we could have left the Calif wine country to move back into the inner Bay. We currently live two blocks from downtown in a small city 15 minutes from Berkeley. The biggest problems facing this small city is funding the city’s service’s and the crushing load of auto’s,trucks and load motorcycles racing about but hopefully a small trend towards city living will emerge in the younger generation and reduce our auto dependence.

    1. Mark P.

      Pragmatically, it’s more difficult to ban, jam or shoot them all down than you might think. The powers-that-be are going to find that out.

      In the U.S., the FAA has already begun figuring that out and is backing as far away as possible from the responsibility of regulating drone use that’s been dumped on the agency by the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act, or FMRA, which is supposed to come into force in 2015.

  5. gag order

    from the lavabit site:

    “This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.
    Ladar Levison
    Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC”

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the Wired article:

      Reading between the lines, it’s reasonable to assume Levison has been fighting either a National Security Letter seeking customer information — which comes by default with a gag order — or a full-blown search or eavesdropping warrant.

      Court records show that, in June, Lavabit complied with a routine search warrant targeting a child pornography suspect in a federal case in Maryland. That suggests that Levison isn’t a privacy absolutist. Whatever compelled him to shut down now must have been exceptional.

      So is Levison going to have to exile himself from the U.S. as Snowden did, simply to avoid being arrested for discussing the subpoena or warrant he’s been served with?

      The U.S. constitution was a reaction to Star Chamber secret justice. But it’s back, bigger and badder than ever. Draw your own conclusions: this is anything but a trivial matter, as the furious official reaction to Snowden vividly illustrates.

  6. Butch in Waukegan

    Re The serious side of child’s play –

    Fitzgerald was right when he said “The rich are different than you and me.”

    Vanessa, who declines to give her last name, is one of a new breed of play date experts that help children prepare for admission to New York’s elite kindergartens. As part of the admission process to these schools that charge up to $40,000 a year, four-year-olds must attend a playgroup where they are tested by teachers for academic ability and their social and emotional IQ.

    When these kids reach adulthood, many of them will be paying $40,000 a year for psychotherapists and/or hookers.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      FWIW, one of my accomplishments was being expelled from kindergarten the first day. I suspect no amount of kiddie coaching would have changed that outcome.

  7. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    While nobody would be happier than I if cold fusion was real, it shows every sign of being an ongoing scam designed to fleece gullible investors.

    Nuclear power from thorium, in contrast, is a proven technology. Thorium is neither in short supply, nor is it controlled by unfriendly nations. China and India are already building these reactors, whose only disadvantage is that you can’t create weapons grade nuclear fuel with them.

    While I applaud research into fusion, cold or hot, it’s not *necessary* to solve our near to medium term energy problems.

  8. zephyrum

    Speaking as someone daily encountering bad drivers who are almost inevitably on their phone, the paper is obviously wrong.

    Note the cite: Driving Under the (Cellular) Influence (with Vikram Pathania), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

    It would have to be an economics journal; nobody else would pander with so little shame.

    1. NSA delenda est

      I humbly petition our white house puppet ruler to go fuck yourself.

      Pretending to rely on some elective figurehead only maintains the fiction of democracy. The only way to get what you want is go dark.

  9. barrisj

    Matt Taibbi weighs in on the BoA and JPMChase investigations:

    New Bank Investigations: Real Action, or More of the Same?
    A lot of interesting things happening on the white-collar enforcement front. Evil hedge fund SAC Capital and its villainous ruler Stevie Cohen were run through the gauntlet, Goldman Sachs patsy Fabulous Fab took a beating in civil court (I love the detail that emerged, that Goldman executives now call him “the poor kid”), and now, apparently, a pair of high-profile investigations have been launched against Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase for subprime mortgage fraud. The latter investigations seem to be designed to answer criticisms that nobody is going after the real doers of evil systemic crimes.

    The Chase case apparently involves a criminal investigation, which is indeed interesting. The company admitted as much yesterday, saying federal investigators out West have “preliminarily concluded” that Chase brazenly violated securities laws when it sold subprime mortgage-backed instruments in 2005-2007.

    But I’m skeptical it will turn into a real criminal investigation. All of the stories that broke in the last day or two noted the same detail, that Chase has beefed up its estimates for litigation/settlement costs:

    As the investigations drag on, the bank is racking up significant legal costs. To help cushion against potentially hefty payouts to the authorities, JPMorgan recorded a $678 million expense for additional litigation reserves in the second quarter, up from $323 million in the same period a year ago, according to the filing on Wednesday.

    The bank also estimated it could incur up to $6.8 billion in losses beyond its reserves, nearly $1 billion more than the first quarter of the year.
    But to me, these investigations will be meaningless unless one of two things happens, once they reach the inevitable stage of concluding painstakingly-crafted settlements with the inevitable teams of high-priced lawyers for the offending firms:

    1) Someone goes to jail.

    2) The company is ordered to break itself up into smaller pieces.

    Taibbi cites an example of how federal prosecutors and courts “get tough” with certain miscreants, fining and jailing a fellow in MS for “food-stamp fraud”…brilliant! Now THAT’S getting your priorities right, Holder! BTW, even “scapegoat” Fabulous Fab won’t do jail-time, just pay the fine (guess who’ll front the money for THAT?), and probably face a lifetime ban from the securities industry.
    I don’t understand that if the Feds can have sent off to the slammer the likes of Fastow, Skilling, Kopper, et al, for the Enron scam, and Bernie Ebbers for the WorldCom fraud, why all these contemporary fraudsters simply are asked to pay a fine and carry on? What has changed? Surely not the nature of the crime.

  10. oliverks

    So many articles about the “End of the Suburb” bases their premise on peak oil (rising energy costs).

    The problem with this assertion is that it doesn’t hold up. You can already lease a decent electric commute car for $199 a month (unlimited miles because you really can only do 160 miles a day). With companies starting to offer charging stations (in SV at least), the cost per mile travelled is actually dropping.

    So with current tech, if you are within 30-40 miles, even without recharge stations at work, you are not locked out of the suburbs.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My idea (before someone tells me it has already been proposed) is to generate solar energy on the Moon, store it in batteries in space along our annual route around the Sun so that we can pick up as we orbit by.

      1. ambrit

        Dear MLTPB;
        Good idea, but it’s easier to generate it at Spacedustrial Parks set up at the trailing Trojan points within the Earth Moon system and beam it down to Earth as microwaves. Receiving stations can be sited in out of the way places and the energy fed into the local electric grid. The access to the grid problem is the main stumbling block to the rapid expansion of Wind power, industrial scale that is. Also a potential problem is the effect of the microwave beams on the atmosphere it passes through on its’ way to the ground. Will the microwave beams heat up the vapours in the column of air they pass through enough to generate technogenic weather? Ah, if only it all were as simple as the third grade science books portrayed. (Since, the last time I looked, most MSM ‘product’ is geared to the third grade reading and comprehension level, this is not a trivial problem.)

  11. susan the other

    Reuters. On Bear-EMC and JPMChase. It is over the sale of MBS (bundled by?) by EMC to JPM as Trustee for pensioners in California from 2005-2007? Confusing details. Bear and JPM were joined at the hip leading up to the crash. Isn’t that why JPM bought Bear for pennies on the dollar? So the US prosecutors in California investigating these sales said Bear-EMC/JPM violated securities laws in these offerings in the rush of financing that “created the housing bubble.” And now poor Jamie Dimon is trying to restore JPM’s reputation…. but didn’t Obama say it was immoral but not illegal? Should a president make those kinds of statements; doesn’t that make him an accomplice? Isn’t it obstruction of justice?

  12. charles sereno

    Obamer News Conference (Dribs and Drabs): We went forward, thinking that oversight by the great second branch of government, the Congress,…(or the third branch?)…but the American people absolutely need to know what their contributions have accomplished. Well, how’s the War on Terror going? Not yet completely concluded. But let me tell you, we’re going to get them. And we’ll also defend Americans under attack from Cancer, which, I tell you, no doubt about it, and I make no apologies, there are some that may disagree. Again I’m confident that reason will prevail. Maybe not 100%. We’re never going to get that. For example, Social Security. But, let’s do something about it. Let’s all work together to solve these problems and ficks them!

    1. optimader

      Did BHO dust off his “we need to have a national conversation on ******** ” (fill in the blank)?

      As usual, his no ownership third person White Noise (no pun intended for the ethnically sensitive reader).

      “…How’s that conversation coming? The federal government is still trying to get its hands on Snowden, and not because they’d like him to moderate a panel…”

      1. charles serenoc

        Call me crazy but don’t you think Obama is a dead, rather than lame, duck? I never thought he was the 2nd coming of Demosthenes, but his recent performances are a couple magnitudes lower. He talks and looks scared because he’s not a dummy like W. He should’ve looked before he leaped into the job. I wonder who the acting CEO of the US PolitBureau is.

        1. ambrit

          Mr. sereno;
          Acting head of the US PolitBureau isn’t the person we want. His or her henchmen are the ones to worry about. Sort of like the scene in “Beckett” where Peter O’Toole wearily sighs; “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” The rest is History.
          A quick reread of Feynmans appendix to the Challenger Disaster Report is in order. That blessed man understood how systems take on a life of their own, becoming beholden to no one. The NSA is no different. Hannah Arendts “Eichmann in Jerusalem” is also required reading to understand this worm eating at the heart of America.

  13. rich

    The True Experts on Poverty

    He had the perfect opportunity to do just that at a recent House Budget Committee hearing, “War on Poverty: A Progress Report,” which he chaired. California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee requested that Chairman Ryan allow Tianna Gaines-Turner — a mother and anti-poverty activist who has struggled with poverty and homelessness — to testify.

    But Chairman Ryan balked.

    “Ranking Member Van Hollen previously selected a witness to testify, and I won’t be able to make further additions to the witness list,” he wrote in a letter to Congresswoman Lee.

    But the Chairman could have made additions to the witness list had he truly wanted to, he simply chose not to. He did, however, permit Gaines-Turner to submit written testimony.

    The only problem with that is that written testimony normally sees about as much light of day as that old t-shirt with all of the holes that you keep in the back of your bottom drawer — the one you might take out again some day to workout in provided that no one you know is within ten miles of you.

    Had the Chairman included Gaines-Turner at the hearing, this is what the American people would have learned:

    Gaines-Turner and her husband both work and have three children — a nine-year-old son on the honor roll in 4th grade, and five-year-old twins who are entering kindergarten. All three of her children suffer from epilepsy and moderate to severe asthma.

    She earns $10 an hour working part-time for a childcare provider, and her husband earns $8 an hour working the deli counter at a grocery store. They aren’t offered health insurance through work, and earn too much to qualify for medical assistance. She, too, suffers from asthma and writes that she “currently can’t afford to get an inhaler.”

  14. charles sereno

    Backbreaking News: Unconfirmed reports are circulating that cleaning ladies at JP Morgan’s London and New York offices are under criminal investigation for insider trading.

    1. Optimader

      Damn.. That was meant for you lambert, the blog reply randomization algorithm is trying to spoil my fun!

      Deutches world news is having its fun w BHO/NSA tonight

  15. Winston Smith

    “Connections Between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden and Barrett Brown—The War With the Security State”

    They forget Kurt Sonnefeld, also fighting successfully against extradition from Argentina (8-month-long fight) and of course WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in London, and Aaron Swartz somewhere unknown.

    Snowden has chosen pretty quick and choose Russia. Not that it’s a good place generally, but good for his aim : out of the long reach of the security state.

    I wonder where are the 22-hours footage Kurt Sonnefeld made on 9/11 as an official FEMA cameraman ? As he said on PressTV, they made him to suspicious, and wanted to go to some professionals for explanation.

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