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Levitation? Flotation? 24 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy, Lie Down Fall Down Dems.
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Pope Benedict XVI reacts as he loses his skullcap, blown off by a gust of wind, during his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. At right, the hand of the pontiff’s personal secretary Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, trying to catch it [AP]

Oh surely it’s  a miracle!

fwiw

After the deepening global downturn dragged down the stocks of U.S. companies outside the financial sector Monday, the spreading nervousness then sent the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo 2.6 percent lower by late morning, nearing the 26-year low it had hit on Oct. 27.

The drop in Asian markets followed Monday’s steep decline in the Dow Jones industrial index, which ended the day 3.4 percent lower, while the broader S&P 500 fell 3.5 percent.

And don’t miss the description, “death spiral”…

“Why have emerging markets outperformed?” asked Michael Hartnett andMichael Penn, emerging markets strategists at Merrill Lynch in a note to clients on Tuesday. “Because excess positioning in emerging markets has vanished, emerging markets banks continue to outperform, policy ease has been big and Chinese growth expectations have stopped falling. But the death spiral in U.S. financials still threatens to take emerging markets back to the old lows.”

The Straits Times index in Singapore dropped 2.2 percent, and stocks in Australia fell 1.3 percent, both also falling near or below the lows of last autumn as the financial downturn accelerated.

The Kospi in South Korea dropped 3.7 percent, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 3.5 percent and stocks in Shanghai eased 1.4 percent – though in all three cases, the markets are well above last October’s lows.

***

I dunno… looks to me Sir Allen can give lessons in that old bugaboo, bi-partisanship.  Clusterstock picked up on this in WSJ… just a tease as the bulk of the article is behind sub wall:

A fund of hedge funds run by two members of Vice President Joe Biden’s family was marketed exclusively by companies controlled by Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, who is facing Securities and Exchange Commission accusations of engaging in an $8 billion fraud.

The $50 million fund was jointly branded between the Bidens’ Paradigm Global Advisors LLC and a Stanford Financial Group entity and was known as the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund. Stanford-related companies marketed the fund to investors and also invested about $2.7 million of their own money in the fund, according to a lawyer for Paradigm. …

Clusterstock added this line from the text behind the wall.. In case you were wondering if “family” are Bidens far away and long ago.  Oh no.

Paradigm Global Advisors is owned through a holding company by the vice president’s son, Hunter, and Joe Biden’s brother, James.”

Just remember!  Joe is the poorest senator! Obama has never been to Chicago!  Soon he’ll say he’s never been to Washington DC!  Just watch.

LOL.

***

Riding right at the top of Clusterstock is an article on the Monday Slide… with this opening line:

The Good News… We are all losing hope.

And then:

Other good news: We barely heard the term “bottoming process” at all on CNBC today, which means that, perhaps, the bulls have lost all hope. That may or may not be a sign of a bottom.

Charlie Rose has on John Mack of Morgan Stanley… Couple of N Carolina boys shoring each other up, is all I see.

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Comments»

1. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Well. Unlike Benny 16, At least Biden has unequivocal support for Israel. LOL. And the WASPy high explosive making DuPont Family, who were smart enough to ditch Rome centuries ago.

So He’ll be okay. Survival Musts for the Catholic Footman of Delaware.

Frankly, if it weren’t for the demi-Royal Family system the proles have come to luuuuv, and if the PTB had a choice between a perpetual heart transplants for Cheney or brain transplants for Biden, hands down Biden would get the go, vital organ that he is….with his patented
“Joe B’s So Slap Glad to See Ya, Bud” Avuncularity shtick to sell the slop.

Not to mention the Wimmens Pander.

Such a Good and Loyal Servant, MIC Joe.

2. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Citi at 1.90/share yesterday? The Rockefeller’s and Walter Wriston’s old bank—LOL. And USB is going to roll over and die here shortly…

But It seems to me, a lot of Mom and Pop ain’t with the Program, thus the slow walk on the Banks. They’re supposed to panic, sell the rest of their Mutual Funds and individual accounts on the cheap, not just say ‘Fuck It’ and ride out their positions….
You know, actually that “Going in for the Long Haul” and
“Sound Funamentals” crap. LOL. It was supposed to be Bullshit! LOL.

Forget the CNBC commentary smokescreen- It’s all to induce panic and commision generating selling of value- The money manipulators want nationalization of the banks for a number of reasons…

1. It will cover the loot that was pinched and is now largely in Treasuries and Gold via off shore havens..

2. It will create last ditch panic selling in equities, a push to liquidity, now that Banks are “safe again” for Average Joe,

3. Stocks will become even cheaper and more scary scary scary, inducing every last Mom and Pop to jump out of their stakeholding Mutual Funds.

But the long tail of little investers aren’t all wagging with the dog. And those who remain as stakeholders in “tanked” funds will be a pesky lot.

Mutual funds are experiencing net inflows of money now.
In equities, too. So, If the Masters of the Universe are going to pull this off and maintain discipline in the pack, they need to move quickly to further tank the markets and the banks.

Then, as a global lot of little people with an enormous amount of capital when aggregated finally does freak out, – and every last fool shifts their money into Treasuries, the big money will short the bond market and BUY
in toto-
Every Last Bit of productive capacity on Earth. For Nothing. Run-off Pensioning Fools be damned.

I saw this little blip, from a guy who’s running Putnam, a shit with the hard sell…anecdotal, but you can almost see the play being called

Cash flows into mutual funds

Recently released Investment Company Institute data shows there were three strong multibillion-dollar inflow weeks in January, with just one outflow week, with the trend continuing through the early weeks of February. The mutual-fund industry as a whole hasn’t seen a net-inflow month since last June, according to ICI data.

“You’re starting to see positive signs,” said Reynolds, head of Boston’s Putnam Investments.

But Reynolds, the former Fidelity executive who joined Putnam last year, warned that any recovery is tenuous as long as the nation’s banking system is still semi-paralyzed by toxic assets from the subprime-mortgage fiasco.

“The whole key (to recovery) is to fix the banking system,” Reynold said.

Reynolds, who’s been shaking up Putnam since his arrival, picked up yet another well-known financial veteran yesterday, with former Fidelity fund manager David Glancy joining Putnam.

As for Fidelity, the Boston financial giant said yesterday said it actually saw a net inflow of money into its equities funds last month.

The only thing that is fucking with their plans, IS distrust. Looks like they overdid it with the Shock and Awe of Disaster Capitalism. Whoops!
To the point that people are too numb TO panic anymore. LOL.
So Bravo, People! Hooray for not giving a fuck anymore!

The other thing they haven’t counted on is people AREN’T going to be easily goaded into consuming shit for consumption’s sake for a good long while. Retail consumers and investors alike aren’t getting with the program, at least for now…So, the vital thing for the PTB, Activity, ANY Activity, is the very thing denied them…No wonder their lackeys are all deer-in-the=headlights , waiting for instructions to proceed..

So Now, in the global game of Who Blinks First, the Titty Tit Titans are faced with shuttering their operations…it wasn’t supposed to go THAT way…Not even among the extractive industries here in the U.S.

Bravo to the Gob-Smacked!

3. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Citi is not the Old Rocky/ Morgan venture, obviously..
I meant to note JPMorgan / Chase – the Rockefellers old bank fell 39% with link .

On Chase, via LA Times:

The market reacted positively to the news overall: JPMorgan’s shares, which fell 39 cents to $19.51 in regular trading, rose to $20.65 in after-hours activity.

So the only fell how much? The market reacted positively?
Just swimming in bullshit. LOL.

4. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Make that Backfloating in Bullshit. LOL.
From the same LAT piece.

Hilarious quotation from JP Morgan Chase:

“Our reason for accepting TARP capital still holds — namely to help stabilize the banking system and economy,” Dimon said.

Could you imagine? If someone seeking assistance said:

Oh, the Welfare? We want it namely to help stabilize the banking system and economy.”

Or to shore up their liquidity position…

Gotta love it. The fuckin balls-off insanity of it all. LOL.

I’m out gotta to go to work for a morning few….

5. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Chase off 39 cents NOT 39 PERCENT. LOL. I was laughing all the way to the quote about Chase taking the TARP money, you know “just to help out”…Sorry, Chase Investors. LOL. Anyways, a very good indicia I’m long at the keyboard and need to run for a few hours of honest work…

While the work is still there, and I’m still honest.
Hard to say how long either will last. LOL :D

6. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

De-cap-itation of di Capo di tutti i capi catholica?

It’s Eggy Benedict – the Soft-Boiled Pontiff – revealed!

7. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Bummer about this: NASA global warming satellite lands in ocean.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A rocket carrying a NASA global warming satellite splashed into the ocean near Antarctica early Tuesday after a failed launch.

(Ripe for sabotage theories, eh wot?)

8. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

{ BHHM, having hacked into Vatican Press Office over lunch…}

Vatican Admits Shooting Down NASA Satellite With Papal Skullcap.

9. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Well I read the other day that China gov officials are claiming responsibility for the rains in China, after a long long long dry spell. They claim they shot missiles into the clouds and seeded them with rain.

So they are busy looking heavenward, shall we say….

***

Sorry you languished in Mod Pod for a while IB… just woke up…

10. marisacat - 24 February 2009

oops I mean rains in BEIJING.. not the whole of China.

whew! Just a slight difference there… 8O

11. marisacat - 24 February 2009

TPM Muckraker is on it! It’s “a bit iffy”!!

02.24.09 — 11:24AM // link |

Sounds a Bit Iffy

Biden’s son and brother ran hedge fund exclusively marketed by Sir Allen Stanford. From what we can tell, Sir Allen’s tie to the fund started after Biden’s son active management role ended. But we’re digging a little further to see what the details are.

–Josh Marshall

12. marisacat - 24 February 2009

They finally make Dennis Ross official… via Ben Smith

Three envoys, three titles

The State Department, finally, announced the appointment of Dennis Ross, with the title “Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for The Gulf and Southwest Asia.”

Ross’s portfolio seems , technically at least, keep him from stepping on George Mitchell’s toes in Israel and Palestine, not that he won’t have his hands ful with Iran and its neighbors, broadly defined. That the portfolio doesn’t mention Iran may have as much to do with the administration’s concerns about seeming eager to reach out to Ahmadinejad as anything else.

One quirk that reveals how carefully the appointments of three top advisors, Ross, Mitchell, and Richard Holbrooke have been structured and negotiated: The three men all have different titles.

Ross is a Special Advisor; Mitchell is a Special Envoy; and Holbrooke is a Special Representative.

13. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

How flattering. To be quoted by a linkbaiting, spam bot, jack-off broker.

14. marisacat - 24 February 2009

TPM Muckraker ahs more of the blocked WSJ article on Biden and SIR Allen… LOL

You don’t want to be TOO hasty now.

The fund terminated its relationship with Mr. Stanford’s companies after the SEC filed civil charges against them last week, Mr. LoPresti said.

15. marisacat - 24 February 2009

BTW Muckraker has a 10 year timeline on Stanford. LOL

2006

– The SEC’s Fort Worth office opens an investigation into Stanford’s business, but is asked by another agency to “stand down,” and complies. (Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who chairs the House Domestic Policy subcommittee, asked late last week that the agency turn over documents related to that sequence of events.)

16. marisacat - 24 February 2009

13 I sent it to Spamola Land.

17. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Article in Wired on quants ..

I would not even know what “quants” were but aemd posted an report on them many months ago (the quants get together occasionally, probably as only they know what the hell they are talking about, and it was a report in a meeting of quants).

[F]or five years, Li’s formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

Then the model fell apart. Cracks started appearing early on, when financial markets began behaving in ways that users of Li’s formula hadn’t expected. The cracks became full-fledged canyons in 2008—when ruptures in the financial system’s foundation swallowed up trillions of dollars and put the survival of the global banking system in serious peril.

David X. Li, it’s safe to say, won’t be getting that Nobel anytime soon. One result of the collapse has been the end of financial economics as something to be celebrated rather than feared. And Li’s Gaussian copula formula will go down in history as instrumental in causing the unfathomable losses that brought the world financial system to its knees. …

18. marisacat - 24 February 2009

A little more from Wired:

The damage was foreseeable and, in fact, foreseen. In 1998, before Li had even invented his copula function, Paul Wilmott wrote that “the correlations between financial quantities are notoriously unstable.” Wilmott, a quantitative-finance consultant and lecturer, argued that no theory should be built on such unpredictable parameters. And he wasn’t alone. During the boom years, everybody could reel off reasons why the Gaussian copula function wasn’t perfect. Li’s approach made no allowance for unpredictability: It assumed that correlation was a constant rather than something mercurial. Investment banks would regularly phone Stanford’s Duffie and ask him to come in and talk to them about exactly what Li’s copula was. Every time, he would warn them that it was not suitable for use in risk management or valuation.

In hindsight, ignoring those warnings looks foolhardy. But at the time, it was easy. Banks dismissed them, partly because the managers empowered to apply the brakes didn’t understand the arguments between various arms of the quant universe. Besides, they were making too much money to stop. …

19. BooHooHooMan - 24 February 2009

Ouch, that inverse
Delawarean Feel Your Pain To Be Cash Strapped BackSlap:

The [Biden] fund…
terminated its relationship with Mr. Stanford’s companies

after the SEC filed civil charges against them last week“”

Last fuckin week?

Popcorn!

And on the “Gaussian Copula” theory of “the quants”
Sounded Great!
Anything with the Latin root word for “Fuck” in it – had to be good.
LOL. What will they think of next?
{ furious handwaving}
When the Fellatio Coordinate reaches the point of Onanist Equilibrium?

What to do? What to do?
Buy? Sell? To yourself if necessary!?

Not enough Popcorn –
or, appparently, enough lotion and lather in the world…

20. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Lubing the collapse. Gonna be so many obits for whatever it was that was. Or was not.

21. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Mouthpiece Sanger in the NYT…

[H]is aides say this is no moment for the lofty idealism of the inaugural address, 35 long days and roughly a thousand Dow Jones points ago. His task is to be at once reassuring and realistic, or, as one of Mr. Obama’s economic advisers said over the weekend, “to convince the country we’ve finally pulled the ripcord on the parachute, even if we can’t tell you how long we fall or where we land.” …

Anyway… 6 Pacific, 9 Eastern. 8) Be there or… be elsewhere…

22. catnip - 24 February 2009

I’m not exactly sure what this is about but I think it’s worth linking to, nonetheless. :)

23. catnip - 24 February 2009
24. marisacat - 24 February 2009

LOL

[G]ibbs told the aides that the president broke bread with major news anchors this afternoon, depicting himself as “Dr. Obama” (as Katie Couric put it) and the nation as a patient in need of a positive diagnosis. …

25. marisacat - 24 February 2009

San Francisco Chronicle is shutting down.

I guess for a couple of years it has been talked about that it might go fully online. But no……………GONE, or will be. They jsut announced it.

26. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Yikes.

SF Chron website story right now: Hearst seeks changes at Chronicle

(02-24) 14:30 PST NEW YORK — The Hearst Corp. today announced an effort to reverse the deepening operating losses of its San Francisco Chronicle by seeking near-term cost savings that would include “significant” cuts to both union and non-union staff.

In a posted statement, Hearst said if the savings cannot be accomplished “quickly” the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle. The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said.

Frank J. Vega, chairman and publisher of the Chronicle, said, “It’s just a fact of life that we need to live within our means as a newspaper – and we have not for years.”

Vega said plans remain on track for the June 29 transition to new presses owned and operated by Canadian-based Transcontinental Inc., which will give the Chronicle industry-leading color reproduction.

If the reductions can be accomplished, Vega said, “We are optimistic that we can emerge from this tough cycle with a healthy and vibrant Chronicle.”

More at the link.

27. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

SF Chron link and quote in mod, I think.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

catnip – Guess who’s coming to Oilberta?

George Bush embarks on lucrative international speaking tour.

29. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

NOLA Times-Picayune report on the Mardi Gras shooting. Comment thread isn’t pretty, to say the least.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Speaking of great moments in Catholicism: Nazi row bishop leaves Argentina

A British Catholic bishop embroiled in a row over Holocaust denial has flown out of Argentina days after being told to leave the country.

Richard Williamson was asked to leave Argentina, where he had been living, after he refused to retract his denial of the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

The row hugely embarrassed the Vatican which had only recently lifted an excommunication order on the bishop.

He took a British Airways plane bound for London from Buenos Aires.

Wearing dark glasses and a cap, Bishop Williamson was swiftly moved through the Argentine capital’s Ezeiza airport, accompanied by two men.

Local TV showed the bishop raising a clenched fist to a reporter’s face, then pushing him into a pole with his shoulder as he moved past, the Associated Press news agency said.

31. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Ooh – a bishop with a clenched fist! Sexy beast!

32. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

diane at 25, last thread – Just FYI on the (2009) tax break for the first $2400 in unemployment benefits – it’s slightly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I have to say. Keeping 100% of the unemployment weekly benefit (tax exempt) for a few weeks beats either (a) having 10% withheld against fed taxes, or (b) not opting for any withholding but worrying about owing that 10% back to the feds the following April (on top of your other worries, whatever they may be, at the time). I saw a link indicating that some advocates were lobbying for a 2-year tax exemption on unemployment income, but the way things are heading at the moment, that idea must have brown-shorted all involved. Depending on the maximum weekly benefit in your state, the stim provision will probably exempt about 4-10 weeks’ worth of benefits per person. (In the linked article from Nov 08, the highest possible weekly benefit was in Mass, at $900/week, and the lowest was Miss, at $210/week.)

Here’s a pretty plain-talk article on how other provisions in the bill affect people at various income levels, small businesses, etc., from an Arizona state perspective (where the weekly benefit is $240): Economic Stimulus Plan: What’s in It for You? (Arizona Republic, 2/23/09)

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

31 – I hope he lubed it up for the poor altar boy first.

34. marisacat - 24 February 2009

IB

sorry! Out of Moderation… 8)

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009
36. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Thanks!

Madman – I hope he gets lots of press attention in London, too.
How the mitered have fallen, reduced to “dark glasses and a cap.”

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009
38. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

37 – Woot! What a riot!
:)

39. marisacat - 24 February 2009

They vetted the prayers tho. We are so dripping in public religion.

[I]nterviews with former White House aides and official presidential archivists going back to the Carter administration turn up no evidence of similar programs, though some of Ronald Reagan’s events featured invocations from clergy from a variety of religious traditions. The Reagan White House appears to have received copies of the invocations after they were delivered, as opposed to before, according to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library archivist Lisa Jones.

“If a similar thing had been done by President Bush’s White House, I guarantee you there would have been a lot of people crying foul,” says Bill Wichterman, deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison under President George W. Bush. “Democrats can do this with immunity, but when Republicans do it, it becomes controversial.”

The Obama administration may have skirted controversy by scheduling the invocations to be delivered before the president arrives at the events—and before national cable network cameras start rolling. “Having prayers in places like Indiana where public prayers are commonplace would help the president,” says John Green of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. “Whereas seeing it on national TV would cause controversy because there are places where these things are less popular.”

The Obama White House declined to comment about the program, other than to say that it has “been standard since the campaign,” according to spokeswoman Jen Psaki. So far, the names of those delivering invocations have appeared on the official presidential schedules that the White House distributes to the press. Culp is described in a press schedule as “a well-respected faith leader in the community.”

But many church/state experts are unfamiliar with the program. “The only thing worse than having these prayers in the first place is to have them vetted, because it entangles the White House in core theological matters,” Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said upon learning of the Obama invocations. …

40. marisacat - 24 February 2009
41. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

No way I believe the Bushites didn’t preview their preachers. Cripes, at one point they were requiring ordinary rally-goers to submit essays for review before they would isse them tickets to his campaign events!

What’s that expression? Oh yeah! Fuck them all.

De-cap, de-frock dem all!

Before I forget again, Mcat – Montreal Olympics were in 1976, and indeed, some of the facilities (including an arena called The Big O, aka the Big Owe) were construction and fiscal disasters, unready in time for the Games, and mostly dysfunctional and/or underutilized in the aftermath. Wiki info on the stadium is here – see “Continuing Problems” section for many slapstick details involving funky roof design, orange Kevlar, crumbling concrete, baseball embarrassments, and rain. The Velodrome, on the other hand, had an interesting overhaul in the 90s – now it’s the Montreal Biodome, which I’ve not yet visited, but I’m told is very cool.

But if you were in the city in 1970, perhaps what you saw were some sad leftover pavilions (called “Man and His World”) from the (otherwise, wildly successful) 1967 World’s Fair? That site had years of surrealistic decline before various makeovers (including cannibalization for one of the Olympic events), but I think parts of it have ultimately had a comeback as park and entertainment complexes, a Grand Prix racetrack, and a casino.

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Just in case legalization passes in CA and you need one quickly: Homemade Bongs

Or in case Michael Phelps stops by.

43. marisacat - 24 February 2009

I would suspect OBster doing whatever vetting Bush did… esp in his 2004 campaign. To be frank. Certainly explains why it has all tipped over to revival tent. And then some, esp as political rally.

It ALL should cease. No frocks no smocks no imams no rabbis no white face protestants and no overdressed Catholics. Etc.

***

I was there early 70s… as I recall.

44. marisacat - 24 February 2009

42

hmm last I heard Phelps is joining GUILIANI (and similari shmoes) in a heavily advertised soemthing or other. They have booked the Cow Palace here. Yes it gets cows, til recently. And used to get Ringling Bros.

Good place for that sort.

45. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

For those opting out of the preznidential proceedings, here is the
Antarctic page with Penguin-Cam at the Montreal Biodome, for your amusement.

46. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Good place for that sort.

Snort!

47. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

I think one of my nephews would really appreciate that Lego bong.

(As for myself, never really got the hang of either Legos or bongs, now that I think of it.)

Here comes the prez.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Chris Floyd

The drumbeat for an attack on Iran — pounded by American and Israeli militarists, and their multitude of sycophants — never ceases. At times it blends into the background noise of other events that surface to dominate the howling cacaphony of the corporate media bubble, but it never goes away. Very weighty factions in the American power structure, and their Israeli allies, are strongly committed to making such an attack happen, and they continue to press their agenda — patiently, relentlessly — no matter who is temporarily managing the empire.

In recent days, they have upped the volume, bringing the issue back to the fore. As many others have pointed out (most notably Arthur Silber, in this powerful piece), the warmongers have seized on an unremarkable report by the International Atomic Energy Agency noting that it had underestimated the amount of enriched uranium at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The IAEA said this kind of undercounting was not uncommon in dealing with nascent nuclear programs. And in any case, the undercounted uranium was not missing or “hidden;” it was there, in plain sight, open to international inspectors — who, in the due course of a thorough inspection, found it and added it to the total.

The IAEA also reported the fact that Iran has deliberately slowed the pace of its nuclear enrichment program, leaving it even further away from developing a nuclear weapon — if, in fact, it were developing a nuclear weapon, which both the IAEA and the U.S. intelligence appartus says it is not. In short, the IAEA report was good news that could have provided a clear and fruitful opening to any administration seeking a “new approach” to Iran.

But none of this mattered to the warmongers, who immediately seized upon the drums that are always at their command in the higher reaches of the national media.

Lots of good blockquotes, closes with:

Note what is being said here. The United States is declaring its intent to prevent Iran from taking its “nuclear program” to fruition. Rice, following Bush, is careful not to say “nuclear weapons program,” because Washington’s own intelligence agencies affirm there is no evidence for such a thing. But, as Arthur Silber noted, this doesn’t matter. The very notion of Iran having a nuclear program of any kind is now the issue — an issue justifying “enhanced pressures.” And considering that the United States is already maintaining a near-complete economic and diplomatic blockade of Iran — and killing Iranians with terrorist attacks — what could those “enhanced pressures” be, other than overt military action? As the saying goes, there is not a sliver of daylight between the Bush and Obama position on this point.

The Bush Administration said it was willing to contemplate and if need be countenance war if Iran continued to pursue its treaty-sanctioned, internationally inspected nuclear energy program. The Obama Administration has just said the same thing — even after Iran had slowed its nuclear energy program as a gesture toward the “new approach” that Obama mentioned in the campaign. Obama has appointed a secretary of state who publicly vowed to “obliterate” Iran — and its 70 million human beings — if Tehran launched an attack on Israel. He has now given this secretary of state a special envoy who is one of the fiercest anti-Iran hawks in Washington.

As Stephen Kinzer notes, Obama has just made the task of shaping a peaceful relationship with Iran well-nigh impossible. A cynic might suspect that this was his intention all along.

But let us not be cynical in the still-blazing dawn of our new era. Let us give the new president every benefit of the doubt, and say that he is indeed committed to a peaceful relationship with Iran — as long as Iran capitulates to all of America’s demands, gratefully accepts American hegemony and cheerfully countenances America’s blowing up and beheading of its citizens.

Yea, Teh One just walked in!!!! Changey goodness just bursting off the screen … Maddow and Keith squealing in orgasms, Tweety frantically jerking off while flogging himself with his rosary.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

47 – I like the festive candy cane bong.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009
51. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Talk about church! Biden and Pelosi are doing aerobic leaps from their front-and-center pew already!

Deep knee bends!

52. marisacat - 24 February 2009

”nobody messes wid joey the b”’

it is gagworthy.

53. catnip - 24 February 2009

catnip – Guess who’s coming to Oilberta?

And me, without a ride to go and protest.

54. catnip - 24 February 2009

The trifecta of the spineless – right there on my screen.

55. catnip - 24 February 2009

What’s up with Nancy’s outfit? Apres ski or what?

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009
57. catnip - 24 February 2009

Or maybe that’s a cheerleader outfit.

She’s popping up more often than the gopher in Caddy Shack.

58. catnip - 24 February 2009

He’s pushing charter schools?

59. marisacat - 24 February 2009

pray for the fall of a televised Rome. I can’t think of anything lese to say.

She is more than a joke and Biden is finally announed to the world as some made guy.

60. marisacat - 24 February 2009

58

he always has….

61. catnip - 24 February 2009

This is all quite fluffy, isn’t it?

62. catnip - 24 February 2009

60. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to his stand on charter schools.

59. Biden is finally announed to the world as some made guy.

lol…just kiss his ring

63. catnip - 24 February 2009

Food fight!!

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

58 – gotta funnel all that promised money to his pet ministers somehow, don’t he?

Fucking lecturing bullshit from rich people with nannies and au pairs about how people are supposed to raise their children …

65. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Have to agree the gopher was probably better dressed.

66. catnip - 24 February 2009

I get the feeling this is going to end with a loud rendition of Happy Days are Here Again.

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Have to agree the gopher was probably better dressed.

If she pops up out of her chair and starts dancing to Kenny Loggins I’m turning it off.

68. catnip - 24 February 2009

He’s pulling more macho cowboy bullshit that Bush did. I didn’t think that was even possible.

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Unless Bill Murray shows up with his license to kill gophers …

70. catnip - 24 February 2009

64. 58 – gotta funnel all that promised money to his pet ministers somehow, don’t he?

Aha! That makes sense.

65. Have to agree the gopher was probably better dressed.
:D

71. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

I think Joe should adopt the nickname “Bidey.”

By day, he’s a laughably toothy, bumbling, run-o-the-mill, shameless Beltway politician with a hummmmmmmble background, but by night, he’s This That and The Other Important Thing, Cartoon Hero and Champion of the Underdog!

72. marisacat - 24 February 2009

60. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to his stand on charter schools.

he shifted around a lot in his speeches, depending on whom he was before. but it seems/seemed clear he is for it. A willing participant in the slow destruction of public ed (which is getting a good jump in the RecessionDepression)…

…and Mrs O went to a charter school in Chicago.

It sorta added up.

73. marisacat - 24 February 2009

I am sstarting to think she saw Meryl Streep wearing a mouse color at the A Awards… and was overly influenced.

A bad choice. It also looks like winter robe. To be blunt.

74. catnip - 24 February 2009

Darn. I just missed the folksy anecdote.

(I was hiding under my table after he scared me with all of his thunder-talk).

75. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

This America Does Not Torture! line is really turning into the global version of it depends on what the definition of is, is.

These are tense times, no doubt.

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

yea … we’ll spend more money on killing people! woo hoo!!

77. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

child used as a political prop … CHECK!

78. catnip - 24 February 2009

A Very Merry Un-State of the Union to you too!

79. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Oh lucid: SO Sorry! I just found this loping into Moderation, a full day after you posted it!

Submitted on 2009/02/23 at 11:49pm

Something I wrote:

What do the ghosts say,
When you are numb?
Is there a ghost dance?
Tayi, taya.

Shake out the ghosts?
Live again?
Toss shoes o’er soil,
Shape a tale?

We tire of elder wisdom
Supposing acquiescence.
The shame of apologies
is our want for inheritance.

So we seethe,
A merger here,
A genocide there
– the pitter-patter of our ghosts,
While Shangri-La
Loses its continence,
Like Pompeii.

And we, in honor of elders,
Take pistols to our heads.
Because when it all comes home,
The magnitude of the loss pales
To the magnitude of the crime.

And when those ghosts do rise,
They will surely strangle
The life from our limbs.

Shake out the ghosts.
Wake up the ghost
Dance.

* source material from Patti

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

We tire of elder wisdom
Supposing acquiescence.
The shame of apologies
is our want for inheritance.

Amen …

81. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009
82. marisacat - 24 February 2009

Madman… one of lucid’s best. No wonder WP held on to it for a day… ;)

83. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Beautiful, lucid.

84. marisacat - 24 February 2009

LOL via Tapper. Of course Joey did nto know yet how much Nan would jump up and down.

At Capitol, Biden Feeling Great Because He ‘Doesn’t Have to Do Anything’

February 24, 2009 8:54 PM

ABC News Capitol Hill producer Dean Norland reports:

Vice President Biden just walked in to Statuary Hall with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on his way to the chamber.

Reporter: “Mr Vice President, how are you feeling tonight?”

Biden: “Feeling great, cause I don’t have to do anything.”

Big smiles and…scene.

– jpt

85. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

I hope he stops in and sees that it was recovered … it’s really great.

I could hear squalling angry feedback of guitar as I read it. And weeping through the anger.

86. marisacat - 24 February 2009

So.. I am guessing not bound for HHS?

Tuesday, Feb. 24 2009 @ 5:31AM

Gov. Phil Bredesen says he may turn down more than $140 million in federal stimulus money to expand unemployment benefits. That would put our Democratic governor right there in the good company of Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Alaska’s Sarah Palin in refusing this money.

They say it comes with too many strings attached, requiring states to change their laws to expand coverage to more low-wage and part-time workers who have lost their jobs. It amounts to an unfunded mandate, that bugaboo of governors everywhere. Once the stimulus money disappears in a couple of years, states might have to raise business taxes a little bit (oh nooooo!) to pay for an expanded program to help laid-off workers feed their families.

“We are evaluating this piece of money, whether it makes sense for us to take it,” Bredesen says. “We may well be one of the states that say we can’t take on that portion of it.”

What will the Big DC Dems do… they have just loved their Bredesen for years. Big Red State Guy and all that.

87. marisacat - 24 February 2009

85

I will drop him an email…

88. catnip - 24 February 2009

Oh, bummer. I missed Jindal.

(GOP: We’ll see your young black guy and raise you a brown one.)

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

did anybody watch the Jindahl? I decided to test the new earphones I ordered on the iPod rather than suffer through it.

The Koss Porta Pro still sounds amazing, all these years after they were first introduced, especially for portable ‘phones. Screw those frakkin’ ear buds everybody uses now.

90. lucid - 24 February 2009

Thanks guys. :) It was intended to be one of those start with another persons words and then blend them into your words sort of things.

Watched the genuflecting aristocrats this evening… so now dropping out of high school is unpatriotic. sheesh

Must say though that Jindal’s response was simply stunning. I mean really, Katrina is the example of why government is bad?

91. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Give Obama more time on Iraq? While how many die?

We were at a vigil in downtown Milwaukee last week when a young man stopped to say, with a rueful smile, “Can’t you give him a little time?”

He was referring to the sign a couple of students were holding, calling for an end to “Obama’s occupations.”

The vast majority of the people at that vigil voted for Barack Obama. There may have been a few Green votes. I’d bet my bottom dollar there weren’t any McCain backers in the crowd.

So, should we be patient?

I pointed out to the young man that while it’s true Obama’s only been in office a month, that’s been enough time for him to decide to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, he’s waffled on his campaign pledge to bring US troops home from Iraq in 16 months. And the report today is that he is leaning toward a 19-month withdrawal.

What’s three more months when you’ve already been there for six years?

Not much in the grand scheme of things, right?

92. marisacat - 24 February 2009

I sent lucid an email with a clip of the thread…

93. catnip - 24 February 2009

90. so now dropping out of high school is unpatriotic. sheesh

Not only that – it sounded like Obamalama is going to hunt each kid down personally.

94. marisacat - 24 February 2009

90

Watched the genuflecting aristocrats this evening… so now dropping out of high school is unpatriotic. sheesh

wasn’t that stunning?

He better figure out a way to wear that flag pinned to his skin. It would only be appropriate.

95. marisacat - 24 February 2009

And of course the whole thing is a big fucking JOKE.

They only talk about education as it strings the rubes along. They have NEVER CARED – at the Federal level and only with some passing interest locally.. And certainly not since Reagan started the blow for ruination of education, out here in CA. Took 40 years but we now are just ahead of Utah and MS.

96. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

it sounded like Obamalama is going to hunt each kid down personally.

Well, the cannon fodder needs to be replenished, and so many of our killing machines have computers and shit in them.

97. catnip - 24 February 2009

Obama’s Supporters Take to the Small Screen (and tell some fibs that Obama repeated tonite.)

98. marisacat - 24 February 2009

I watched Jindal. Just another smiling lying pol. Homilies and family stories… No wonder he wants to be Pretzeldent.

99. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

hey lucid, I thought of a title for your poem/song. You could call it Revenants.

100. lucid - 24 February 2009

95 – I’m amazed we actually had such a good public school system for such a long time. I definitely was there in its waning days, but hey, I got a very good public school education. I feel really sorry for the kids there now – criminalized, brutalized and taught to accept mediocrity.

101. marisacat - 24 February 2009

97

The whole damned thing is murky as hell. Just one example:

he problem, though, is that the ad’s on-screen text reads “tax cuts for 95% of Americans,” omitting any reference to employment status. That’s wrong. The tax credit is only available to workers — so retirees or those who are unemployed would not realize the benefit. A Tax Policy Center analysis found that a more modest 75.5% of tax filers would benefit.

But a friend found a Reuters (UK version!) report that indicates a one time payment this year to SS recipients (such as myself) who normally don’t pay tax (the formula is subtract half of your income and if the net is below 25K you don’t pay Federal income tax).

It is such a mess and so variously reported that I decided to call Nancy’s local office. I will say she has very good constituent services.

What a fucking mess.

102. lucid - 24 February 2009

99 – yes that would be an excellent image for the title. Thanx. One of these days maybe I’ll cobble together a little collection. Don’t have enough yet, given that I only churn ‘em out about twice a month and at least 40% probably don’t measure up.

103. marisacat - 24 February 2009

100

lucid… I am convinced the turning point was integration.

It is openly admitted that the big CA anti tax, low tax, no tax bullshite (Prop 13 from ’78 and all that arises from it) that mostly rises from winger land in S Diego but finds a home in many districts… is all about gutting the public sphere post integration.

104. lucid - 24 February 2009

103 – that actually makes a lot of sense given that the people who back all of that shit are unabashedly racist.

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

I agree … it was integration. Whites took their school system and civil systems and went home, then decided to just toss the whole thing in the trash heap for fear of being forced to share.

106. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Pwoggies are all excited: President Obama was electrifying!

That was an incredible speech. I was glued to the TV as he wrapped his arms around America and offered up the hope and courage this country so desperately needs.

Jeebus.

107. marisacat - 24 February 2009

he wrapped his arms around America and offered up the hope and courage

Daddy O.

Of course I think he is more Daddy Yo Yo.

108. marisacat - 24 February 2009

My mother took it further. She believed the concerted destruction of passenger rail in this country (of which Amtrak is a pale dependent child) was due to integration as well.

Not saying that stock cars and carrying shipments and bills of lading rather than passenger rail is not easier… but still. the argument can be made.

109. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

IOZ:

Glenn Beck’s original shtick was fairly ordinary for the talk-radio/cable-news formats: a regular-guy everyman, Joe Six-Pack, if you will, thoroughly unendowed with rhetorical gifts, genially befuddled by the actions of The Government. Gee whiz things just weren’t the way they usedta be, etc. But somewhere along the way, the fillings in his molars began picking up transmissions from Betelgeuse, and now he spends most of his time explaining how the Messcans are attempting to immanentize the Eschaton and that the Baby Jesus inscribed the Constitution on seven tablets of gold and buried them on Mt. Vernon where Joseph Smith discovered them in the year 1492.

110. marisacat - 24 February 2009

think IOZ has ti well in hand.

And it spreads however anyone needs it. I heard an argument tonight that Civil Marriage is NOT what the founders intended. It is NOT what America was “founded upon”.

Whew.

111. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

$250 one-time rebate to SS and SSDI recipients, by early June, I think I read.

Re unemployed above, I forgot to mention +$25/week – by end of March, according to NYS, and retroactive to March 1st – to all, if Schumer prevails (go Chuckie, for a change) and states with shithead governors can’t opt out.

http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/top_democrats_put_pressure_on.html

112. marisacat - 24 February 2009

That was it IB.. thanks. Well on the other, I hope Chuckie comes thru.

the 250 is specifically denied to people who are unable to report above 3k in income, such as SSI, which is awarded to those with so little or no work history as to be ineligible for SS or SSDI.

Of course I think they should get the 250 as well. God knows it will be SPENT.

113. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 February 2009

Gnarls Barkley – “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul”

Not for any reason … it just came up on my shuffle. Thought I’d share.

114. catnip - 24 February 2009

$250 one-time rebate to SS and SSDI recipients, by early June, I think I read.

That’s it? Well, whoop dee do. That won’t exactly get you a new teevee, mcat. (Not much of one, anyway.)

115. marisacat - 24 February 2009

gnu post

LINK

……….. :roll: ………….

116. catnip - 24 February 2009

lol…”The most important person tonite was the person who was jumping up and down like a high school cheerleader behind the president – Nancy Pelosi”. Quote by that conservative Ed guy, CNN political analyst.

See? I’m not the only one who saw the cheerleader thing going on there. Biden should have heaved her onto his shoulders in the middle to make the picture complete.

117. marisacat - 24 February 2009

114

No but a small one for the kitchen. Maybe. I may not put a TV there again.. I used to get up on hot ngihts and sit in thekitchen and have ice cream… or cofee and toast in the winter and watch tv… but I don’t do that anymore…. Might just put a CD/radio player in there…

118. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

God knows it will be SPENT.

For crying out loud, fuck yes. If everyone agrees that at this point, that is the fucking point. Jumper cables, etc.

Sorry, Schumer link clinked above. But here’s the gist.

119. wu ming - 24 February 2009

agreed on public education (the whole public social services, really) being primarily about integration and the great society’s inclusion of blacks and latinos in the new deal, but rail i think was more about making sure that a rail strike couldn’t be used to shut the country down. that a lot of the unionized rail workers were black was icing on the cake, but it’s more about general strikes IMO

120. Intermittent Bystander - 24 February 2009

Gnarly video!

121. marisacat - 24 February 2009

hmm i had not thought abuot a big strike on the rail roads. Good point.

122. wu ming - 24 February 2009

much better for the capitalists to have a nation of scabs happily driving their own vehicles to and from, although i suppose a freight rail union could still grind things to a halt. right now the longshoremen are the last remnant of the old industrial unions capable of bringing the country to its knees.

123. wu ming - 24 February 2009

eisenhower sold the highways as a national security thing, after all. while rail lines hauling nukes and other military hardware could be blocked by soviet bombing of rail lines (as ike did to the germans in WW2), i suspect a fear of uppity rail unions blocking same through strikes was one major cold war red scare reason as well.

124. marisacat - 24 February 2009

I am holding out for a General Strike on the West Coast…. if the economy continues a downward spiral, if the wars grind on…

we shall see.

New thread…:

LOL


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