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Good enough for a government job… ;) 26 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Viva La Revolucion!.
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A Christmas ornament filled with orange jelly. Alan notes: “What was cool was that the jelly held the pieces of the bulb together after the shot” ..   Picture: ALAN SAILER – a series at the Telegraph on high speed photography of air rifle pellet hitting soft or breakable objects

***

TAPPER: Okay.  And just one more, if you’ll indulge me.  This is –

GIBBS:  Mm-hmm.  Sure.

TAPPER — from Peter in Oregon.  He said, “I appreciate the efforts of the administration to fix the economy quickly.  However, why aren’t you giving the American public the chance to review these bills?  In your campaign, you promised we would have at least five days.”

GIBBS:  I believe, except for the stimulus bill — I’ll double-check on this –

TAPPER: Don’t — I don’t think you’ve been doing it.  I might be wrong, but I don’t –

GIBBS:  I’ll check.  I think a number of the bills have been up for five days.  I’ll get exactly — I think, in fact, a — on at least a couple of occasions, we’ve not signed bills when we would normally plan to, so that some of them could be reviewed.

TAPPER: So that is a commitment the president intends to uphold –

GIBBS:  Mm-hmm.  Mm-hmm.  (Affirmative.)

- jpt

All you can do is laugh… or snicker.

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Comments»

1. liberalcatnip - 26 March 2009

From a diary on the dkos wreck list:

He looks down on drug users, like white politicians looked down on african americans during segregation, so he feels that it is okay for the government to violate their human rights.

That is pathetic. I expected more from President Obama.

Surprise! (Yet another Obama supporter who wasn’t paying attention.)

marisacat - 26 March 2009

:lol:

HIS high holy drug use is OK. hmm. Same old same old, he is an authoritarian. He never said a consistent thing about MJ or drugs during the election, he always tailored it to where he was. Sign of a con!. We’re pigeons! We’re marks!

Reminds me to see what the media upchucked 24 hours after Emmalyn’s Medical MJ place was raided by the DEA here…

marisacat - 26 March 2009

From Local CBS5 news

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) ― One week after President Barack Obama’s top law enforcement official seemed to indicate the feds would no longer raid pot clubs, DEA agents busted a medical marijuana facility in San Francisco Wednesday night.

As agents carried large plastic containers of marijuana plants out of Emmalyn’s California Cannabis Clinic at 1597 Howard Street, a small crowd of protesters formed a gauntlet outside the door, booing the agents and chanting, “our medicine is marijuana … listen to Obama!”

DEA spokeswoman Casey McEnry told CBS 5 the documents regarding the raid are sealed, so the DEA was not able to give any details.

“Based on our investigation we believe there are not only violations of federal law, but state law as well,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams in a written statement. ….

Chanting for Obrama will do exactly jackshit. However, I did read that Wednesday was the day they would dispense free pot. Yup that probably did it.

There was also word around on local blogs last night that other Medical MJ dispensers shut immediately in the afternoon. Perhaps worried there might b a series of raids.

Who knows.

[K]ris Hermes, spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a national advocacy group for medical marijuana issues, wants the attorney general to explain the DEA’s actions.

“We’re shocked that after the Attorney General has made repeated statements that raids on California medical cannibis dispensaries would be suspended that we are seeing a continuation of that policy,” said Hermes.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

I caught a clip on the radio of him mocking the pot question. Asshole. The sheer amount of money and human wreckage cause by prohibition is staggering, and this authoritarian asshole thinks that serious questions/suggestions like that are only worthy of ridicule.

I’m so beyond sick of the people who run this country.

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

So if I understand this, Gibbs’ gooey center keeps his suit in one piece when the press starts taking shots?

marisacat - 26 March 2009

hmm I don’t think I had thought that far… I just thought.. hmmm electric blue Xmas ornament, crammed full of [ugh] orange jelly … [what is this?, jelly made from orange soda pop? Sounds like it] then whammo! The pellet hits… and the image goes, Kaboom!! With the sticky jelly still working the margins.

Seemed like the Obama Salame Hosanna Passion Play administration.

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

It does look very, very cool.

marisacat - 26 March 2009

I was very torn which photo to use, several were really great. And one was shooting a pellet into a TOMATO… the classic razzberry image.

I guess Ob and Gibbs and Geithner-child and others have hit their stride, they can mumble and stumble and smile along for a few months. What happens later on, who knows…

3. marisacat - 26 March 2009

Politico:

President Barack Obama plans to commit to sending 4,200 more troops and hundreds more civilians to Afghanistan in a speech at the White House on Friday morning, and also to embrace a new system of benchmarks to measure progress.

“He’s gone all in,” said an official briefed on the plan. “This is Obama’s war. He’s pushed all the chips to the center of the table.”

The 4,200 troops will be trainers to help expand the Afghan army. “We’ll see if we ultimately need to go beyond that,” the official said.

The plan is at the heavier end of the spectrum of possibilities the White House considered, according to several top officials briefed on the plan.

A minimalist approach would have focused on counterterrorism and providing security past national elections later this year. An even more robust approach would have included a broader counterinsurgency campaign and an even longer and more idealistic commitment to the central government. ….

Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

He manages to disgust me more every day.

NYCO - 27 March 2009

My cousin’s 21-year-old son recently joined the Marines (very much against his family’s wishes) and he is being shipped out to Afghanistan shortly.

marisacat - 27 March 2009

oh NYCO… I am so sorry to hear that…

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

Taibbi: AIG Exec Whines About Public Anger, and Now We’re Supposed to Pity Him? Yeah, Right

DeSantis has a few major points. They include: 1) I had nothing to do with my boss Joe Cassano’s toxic credit default swaps portfolio, and only a handful of people in our unit did; 2) I didn’t even know anything about them; 3) I could have left AIG for a better job several times last year; 4) but I didn’t, staying out of a sense of duty to my poor, beleaguered firm, only to find out in the end that; 5) I would be betrayed by AIG senior management, who promised we would be rewarded for staying, but then went back on their word when they folded in highly cowardly fashion in the face of an angry and stupid populist mob.

I have a few responses to those points. They are 1) Bullshit; 2) bullshit; 3) bullshit, plus of course; 4) bullshit. Lastly, there is 5) Boo-Fucking-Hoo. You dog.

AIGFP only had 377 employees. Those 400-odd folks received almost $3.5 billion in compensation in the last seven years, a very large part of that money coming from the sale of credit default protection. Doing the math, that averages out to over $9 million of compensation per person.

Ask yourself this question: If your company made that much money, and the boss of the unit made almost $280 million in just a few years, exactly how likely is it that you wouldn’t know where that money was coming from?

Are we supposed to believe that Jake DeSantis knew nothing about Joe Cassano’s CDS deals? If your boss and the top guys in your firm were all making a killing selling anything at all — whether it was rubber kayaks, generic Levitra or credit default swaps — you really wouldn’t bother to find out what that thing they were selling was? You’d really just mind your own business, sit at your cubicle and put your faith in the guys up top to fill you in if there was something you needed to know?

This would be a believable claim for an employee of some other wing of AIG, a company with well over 100,000 employees. But DeSantis works for tiny, 377-person AIGFP, a unit that had only two offices — one in London and one in Greenwich, Conn.

And we’re talking about financial professionals, the most shameless group of tirelessly envious gossips ever to walk the face of the earth. The likelihood that Cassano would pull in $280 million for himself, and his equally greedy, hopelessly jealous employees wouldn’t know not only exactly how he made that money but every last ugly detail about his life — from what skank he’s sleeping with to what side of his trousers he hangs on — is almost zero.

5. lucid - 26 March 2009

Drat, was hoping they’d do band footage, but they didn’t. The Real World came to that IVAW benefit I threw last fall – roughly from minute 11 to minute 13. You can see my singer and drummer setting up the drum kit behind Anthony Swafford…

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 26 March 2009

More from the Taibbi:

But all of this is really secondary to the tone of DeSantis’ letter. He acts like he’s a victim because he didn’t get to keep his after-tax bonus of $742,006.40 in the middle of a global depression. And he really loses his fucking mind when he writes:

“None of us should be cheated of our payments any more than a plumber should be cheated after he has fixed the pipes but a careless electrician causes a fire that burns down the house.”

First of all, Jake, you asshole, no plumber in the world gets paid a $740,000 bonus, over and above his salary, just to keep plumbing. Second, try living on a plumber’s salary before you even think about comparing yourself to one; you’re inviting a pitchfork in the gut by even thinking along those lines. Third, Jake, if you were a plumber, and the electrician burned the house down — well, guess what? If you and that electrician worked for the same company, you actually wouldn’t get paid for that job.

Out in the real world, when your company burns a house down, you’re not getting paid by that client. It’s only on Wall Street, where the every-man-for-himself ethos is built into an insanely selfish and greed-addled compensation system, that people like you expect to get paid in a bubble — only there do people expect their performance bonuses no matter how much money the shareholders lose overall, no matter how many people get laid off after the hostile takeover, no matter how ill-considered the mortgages lent out by your division were.

You expect that money because you think it’s owed to you. But what money? The money is gone. Your boss, if not you, set it all afire. You want the money, but where exactly do you think it’s coming from?

Do you just not understand that that money now would have to come out of someone else’s pocket? That it would have to come from middle-class taxpayers, real plumbers, people who didn’t make millions over the years in equity and commodity trading?

Here’s the real problem with people like Jake DeSantis. Throughout this whole period, they never were able to connect the dots — to grasp the fact that when they skimmed a million here or a million there off the great rivers of capital that flowed through their offices, that that money came from somewhere, from someone. To them, it wasn’t someone else’s money, it was just money, and why shouldn’t they have it?

It’s remarkable that when DeSantis, in his letter, touts the reason he deserves his high compensation, all he can talk about is how much money he made: “The profitability of the businesses with which I was associated clearly supported my compensation.”

For a guy like this, his worth as a human being is wrapped up in buying a bag of beans for $10 and selling it for $11. He states this like it’s a law of nature: he was a good equities-and-commodities trader, therefore he should make a lot of money.

Only a person with a habitually overinflated sense of self-worth could think he deserves a $700,000 retention bonus, even if it has to be paid by taxpayers, when in reality no one “deserves” that much money. It may be that some people do get paid that much, but most people who make that much money have enough sense to realize their cushy lifestyles are an accident of fate, of birth, of class, not something that is “supported” by some unwritten natural law of compensation.

Hey Jake, it’s not like you were curing cancer. You were a fucking commodities trader. Thanks to a completely insane, horribly skewed set of societal values that puts a premium on greed and severely undervalues selflessness, communal spirit and intellectualism — values that make millionaires out of people like you and leave teachers and nurses, the people who raise your kids and clean your parents’ bedpans, comparatively penniless — you made a lot of money.

Good for you. Consider yourself lucky. But your company went belly-up and broke, almost certainly thanks in part to you, and now you don’t get your bonus.

So be a man and deal with it. The rest of us do, when we get bad breaks, and we’ve had a lot more of them than you. And stop whining. Jesus Christ.

7. marisacat - 26 March 2009

I laughed til I choked. Email message from Barbara Boxer.

BIG buildup:

Dear Friend:

Residents of Oakland and San Francisco will soon benefit from federal funds for “green” job training programs. One of the keys to fostering growth in the green sector is developing a well-trained, specialized workforce. These programs intend to train young people and re-entry workers

-in the emerging fields of

-solar installation,

-wind manufacturing and

-power generation,

-electric vehicle construction, and

-others that will foster a green economy. …

If you kept reading it was revealed that Oakland will get 285,000 dollars. And SF will get 238,000. It does go to existing Jobs initiatives with Green Jobs already a part of each …………..but still………..

Gosh so much. We are saved. And very very very very Green.

Overwhelmed.

8. marisacat - 26 March 2009

Lordy. Some snot nosed PA DA is going to:

As part of the five-week, 10-hour program Mr. Skumanick recommended, girls would

“[g]ain an understanding of how [their] actions were wrong,” “gain an understanding of what it means to be a girl in today’s society,” and “[i]dentify non-traditional societal and job roles.”

IOZ

9. marisacat - 26 March 2009

Life is so enlightening.. listening to one of the worst racists (host) on local call in radio… as he acts so shocked over the Moats story that came out today… DFW cops in a hospital parking lot/entrance.

(this is not to excuse Mixon, the cop killer in Oakland… a vicious killer and possibly a serial rapist, good thing he is gone, bad way to go.)

10. marisacat - 26 March 2009

you have to love the turgid congealing fuckball as it pulsates. And pulsates..

[T]his is the deal brokered by the current administration, with Obama’s hand-picked White House counsel, Gregory Craig, and his aides playing a “critical role,” as Newsweek reports. But while the venerable newsmag found time to address the ever-burning question of who “won” in the negotiations — Did Rove’s lawyers make the most concessions? Who’s on top of the Beltway food chain today? — they entirely omitted a very pertinent fact, reported by Glynn Wilson at the Locust Fork News-Journal: Obama’s White House Counsel is closely connected to Rove. Wilson writes:

In what appears to be a clear conflict of interest, Craig represented Rove in his recent book deal, while Craig’s law partner, close associate and mentor, Emmet Flood, is representing Bush in executive privilege matters before the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, where Bush administration officials have been charged with the political firings of U.S. attorneys for failing to act on orders to prosecute Democrats prior to elections. ….

LOL congealing is even closer than cosy.

[B]eyond the notion of “executive privilege,” the Obama-Rove deal upholds a principle far more important to our Beltway courtiers: their elevation above the law. While the proles are subjected to an ever-growing plethora of police powers and genuinely shocking levels of incarceration — often for profit — our intertwined elites cut special deals for each other to keep themselves living large, loose and at liberty. …

Chris Floyd.

11. marisacat - 27 March 2009

Gee.. A/V from TruthDig

The Nixon tapes have yielded untold, er, riches over the years, and here’s yet another nugget, featuring Nixon in a wide-ranging conversation with Bob Haldeman and John Erlichman on the subject of homosexuality.

The discussion begins with a dissection of an episode of “All in the Family” and then spins off to such topics as how homosexuality “destroyed the Greeks,” the Roman Empire and San Francisco.

I hate to disappoint Nixon (who is dead) but we are still here.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

featuring Nixon in a wide-ranging conversation with Bob Haldeman and John Erlichman on the subject of homosexuality.

Couldn’t they have just invited Hoover and Roy Cohn in to give them first-hand knowledge?

12. marisacat - 27 March 2009

Face the Nation: Obama

Meet The Press: Secretary Geithner, Sen. McCain

Fox News Sunday: Secretary Gates, Canadian PM Harper, Heritage Foundation President Feulner

This Week: Secretary Geithner. Roundtable: Matthew Dowd, Paul Krugman, George Will, Cokie Roberts

State of the Union: Sens. Conrad, McConnell, Rep. Spratt, Chip Reid, Ann Compton, Kevin Chappel

13. marisacat - 27 March 2009

Puavre petit Sully (via Ben Smith)

Sullivan’s dissent

Obama admirer Andrew Sullivan calls the president’s response to the marijuana questions yesterday “pathetic”:

The chuckle suggests a man of his generation. The dismissiveness toward the question of ending Prohibition as both a good in itself and a form of tax revenue is, however, depressing. His answer was a non-answer. I’m tired of having the Prohibition issue treated as if it’s trivial or a joke. It is neither. It is about freedom and it’s deadly serious. As for your online audience, Mr president, have you forgotten who got you elected?

14. Arcturus - 27 March 2009

The Demarest Factor: The Ethics of U.S. Department of Defense Funding for Academic Research in Mexico:

Kansas University Geography professors, Peter Herlihy and Jerome Dobson received the funding for their mapping project named the Bowman Expeditions from the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), located at the U.S. Army base, Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. The Mexican incarnation of the project is named “Mexico Indigena” and began mapping in 2005 in an indigenous region known as “La Husteca”, which is partially located in the state of San Luis Potosi, and then moved their operation to the state of Oaxaca amidst the statewide popular uprising of the APPO – Oaxacan People’s Popular Assembly, in 2006.

On the 14th of January, 2009, UNOSJO the Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juárez of Oaxaca, released a communique, in which the organization expresses concerns of BioPiracy in the Mexico Indigena mapping project, and claims that communities were deceived, having no idea that a primary funder of the project was the FMSO. UNOSJO cites a clear lack of transparency and additional suspicions of implications related to the US Army’s controversial Human Terrain Mapping System. Indeed there is very compelling evidence that the FMSO is engaging in what they themselves define as “Civil Information Management in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations.”

. . .

These FMSO essays, and Demarest’s text book on the matter, expose a very particular and sinister military ethic, attitude and strategy with regards to the control of large populations of poor people, indigenous people, and the disenfranchised in general. These specific attitudes include the systematic devaluation of any forms of indigenous self governance and self determination. Cultural identity as a whole is regarded as an impediment to prosperity. In particular, traditional forms of communal land usage and rights, or in Demarest’s words “informal land use”, is specifically cited as the primary impediment to progress, and security. In particular the Demarest essays cite that informal property ownership in either rural or urban settings is the breeding ground for criminal or insurrectionary activity.

. . .

The Bowman Expeditions, the Mexico Indigena mapping project, and the American Geographical Society are directly aiding the FMSO in the gathering of preemptive military intelligence, in violation of Mexico’s national sovereignty and indigenous autonomy. More importantly this type of intelligence gathering is a direct threat to the Mexican people’s personal and collective right to self determination. It is no coincidence whatsoever, that the Mexico Indigena team and the FMSO chose Oaxaca, Mexico as a “prototype” location for their Bowman Expeditions in the summer of 2006. They chose to map “informally owned” indigenous territories in a state amidst a popular social uprising with a very strong indigenous base.

The attitudes expressed in the seven FMSO essays attached to this article, and in Demarest’s book “GeoProperty”, clearly demonstrate a systematic devaluation of indigenous culture and identity, with a particular disdain demonstrated for indigenous or popular self determination, self sufficiency, self reliance, and more specifically self governance. Further more the FMSO shows a deliberate intention to segregate, marginalize, and criminalize large portions of human society simply because they are poor. To the FMSO it is imperative that territory and space occupied informally by the poor, be privatized and regulated in order for progress and security to be harvested. In the face of this military, political and economic strategy, it is no wonder that millions of indigenous and peasant farm workers, students, housewives, mothers, children, workers, and communities all over the world, are beginning to organize and train in a variety of different strategies for the self defense of their sovereignty, autonomy, territory, identity, and self determination.

marisacat - 27 March 2009

Sorry Arcturus… out of Moderation now…

Arcturus - 27 March 2009

y mas, from a John Stanton article, quoting from the indigenous org’s press release:

“UNOSJO began looking into the México Indígena Project. The investigation revealed that México Indígena forms a part of the Bowman Expeditions, a more extensive geographic research project backed and financed by the FMSO [US Army's Foreign Military Studies Organization], among other institutions. The FMSO inputs information into a global database that forms an integral part of the Human Terrain System (HTS), a United States Army counterinsurgency strategy designed by FMSO and applied within indigenous communities, among others. Since 2006 the Human Terrain System (HTS} has been employed with military purposes in both Afghanistan and Iraq and according to what we have been able to determine Bowman Expeditions are underway in Mexico, the Antilles, Colombia and Jordan.

In November 2008, the México Indígena Project completed the maps corresponding to Zapotec communities San Miguel Tiltepec and San Juan Yagila. Contrary to the often-mentioned promise of transparency, México Indígena created an English-only web page, a language that the participating communities do not understand. Before the communities received the work, said maps had already been published on the Internet. Furthermore, the communities were never informed that reports detailing the project would be handed over to the FMSO. In addition to publishing the maps, the México Indígena team created a database into which pertinent information was entered: community member names and the associated geographic location of their plot(s) of land, formal and informal use of the land, and other data that cannot be accessed via the Internet.

According to statements made by those heading the México Indígena research team, this type of map can be used in multiple ways. They did not specify, however, whether they would be employed for commercial, military or other purposes. Furthermore, as the maps are compatible with Google Earth, practically anyone can gain access to the information. Yet only community members can decipher information expressed in Zapotec (toponyms), unless, of course, one has the capacity to translate them, as in the case of FMSO linguistic specialists.”

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009
16. wu ming - 27 March 2009

is the contrast between the gigantic state funeral for the four slain cops, and the city of oakland’s indifference to oscar grant’s assassination making anyone else uneasy? not to take away from the tragedy of those cops getting killed out of the blue, but the difference makes it as clear as day who the state works for.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

the pics online looked positively fascist.

Most troubling is the tacit conflation of Oscar Grant with the shooter more recently … you can almost hear them saying “see how dangerous it is? OF COURSE we’re going to make a mistake or two.”

I expect the city gang that wears blue uniforms will be committing more killings and beatings in retaliation over the next several weeks.

marisacat - 27 March 2009

Today has been an awful day. Sad to say Mixon was horrid, an awful gift to the over all issue of who is in charge. A criminal and cop killer and most likely a rapist of a 12 year old (few details yet that he is actually a serial rapist, but entirely possible) the game is to make him into Oscar Grant.

The cops and the power fo the state literally shut down the East Bay freeways from 7:30 am to right abut now…. with some free passage during the funeral at Oracle arena. It’s a show of power, imo..

Arcturus - 27 March 2009

well, OPD did turn out – in riot gear – when the families & their supporters tried to conduct a previously scheduled/permitted march to city hall . . .

one of the officer’s families apparently requested that Oaklnad mayor Ron Dellums not speak at the event

good ole Jerry Brown did tho – heard a snippet of his speech on the news that took on ‘critics of OPD’ – that should go over well

Ali Abunimah (from Electronic Intifada) in a talk broadcast yesterday compared the reaction around the Oakland cop killings to when Israel took out the Gaza police academy’s graduating class . . .

marisacat - 27 March 2009

one of the officer’s families apparently requested that Oaklnad mayor Ron Dellums not speak at the event

I had the days events on, thru the day… and heard that. All I can say is however Dellums falls.. is fine iwth me. What a mess.

Basically it was a big politician day, an early event in the gubernatorial race.

Sickening mess all of it.

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

Moyers tonight

James Thindwa (he was one of the Republic Windows organizers and Fair Wage activist in Chicago) and William Grieder.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

a break from all the depressing stuff:

Cheeky British Kids Show

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009
20. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

Burned out on a Friday, so I put up new videos by Neko Case and Marianne Faithful COVERING Neko Case. Partly because I was sick of the comic panel I put up with that fake liberal Obama at the top of my blog, and partly just because without music, life would be an error. It’s one of the few things people do right.

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

not that the back-and-forth party bullshit matters, but this made me laugh:

Matt Taibbi: Guy He Saw Huffing Glue Out of Paper Bag Made More Sense Than Michelle Bachmann

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 March 2009

Fear and Loathing in Galt’s Gulch

It’s odd to hear all of the recent references to people “going Galt.” It’s odd because the idea of Galt and Rand’s philosophy are infantile at best.

If someone wants to “go Galt” then let them. It’s a case of “I’m mad, so I’m taking my toys and going home.” As I’ve heard others note, “graveyards are full of indispensable people.”

If you want to engage in the ultimate expression of individuality and disengage with society, or “go Galt,” then do it. Go Galt. But go all the way. Don’t take any half-measures. If you’re going to go Galt, then you’ll need to solve your own problems and get your own fuel for your vehicles, generate your own energy, grow your own food, and stop using the Internet. Because these are all luxuries created by collective effort, not a single individual. They were created for the purpose of collective/social benefit, to be enjoyed by society and enabled by the collective will of society, i.e., government.

Government, not individual ideas built the roads that allow for interstate commerce and the distribution of grain and produce from the heartland out across the country. Government money–taxpayer money–subsidized the construction of the power grid which distributes fuel and electricity to our cities and towns. And the creation of the Internet was funded by scientists intentionally working for the common good, funded by government research grants.

And even our constitution enshrines our collectivist goals by declaring that “We the People,” have engaged in this society with the explicit purpose of promoting the “general Welfare.” It says nothing about “We the People” forming our constitution to make more profits, to start a business, or maximize individual wealth.

23. marisacat - 27 March 2009

hmm Stop Me Before I Vote Again has a good post.. and a good pic. Hurry! Hurry Ob!.. catch up to the RULLY BIG PRETZEL SEAL. Catch up!

[P]rogress. Toward what? We never ask. It’s amazing how a word with no concrete content at all can have such a soothing, sedative effect. I suppose this is what people mean when they talk about “floating signifiers.”

We should all take a vow never to let these words pass in conversation without pulling the speaker up short. “‘Progressive?’ What the hell does that mean? Does it mean anti-war? No? Then fuck progress, and the jackass it rode in on.”

liberalcatnip - 27 March 2009

“‘Progressive?’ What the hell does that mean? Does it mean anti-war? No? Then fuck progress, and the jackass it rode in on.”

Amen to that. (And by jackass, I assume he means the Dems’ donkey?)

24. marisacat - 28 March 2009

Resurrection of flailing POTUS-Man-Child!

The Page leads with Karzai giving up his people to the drones and the bombing raids. Huzzah! http://thepage.time.com/

POTUS gets firm with the CEOs (expect tedious commercials soon, like ‘Obster got firm with Detroit’ of the primaries!)! Huzzah!

POTUS firm with the bank bosses (what DO they mean by FIRM? Is this pol-porn?)

AND they highlight the awkward FP fluff piece at the NYT on squeak speak fella at OMB. Orzsag. Huzzah! and more Huzzah!

Give the admin a big lift off, squish them into a phalanx of push up bras… into the week abroad coming up. 6 countries 4 days 8 speeches… pulpiteering on high.

Meanwhile the media diapers (and re-diapers!, no job too low!) the bunch of fucking idiots to dress them for their foreign trip. Ooo wowow.. all the way to TURKEY and ooo! Prague! Too.

Allahu akbar! I think he should take Mrs O with, all the way to turkey… and she can do an imitation of ululation..

What a fulminating fucking joke.

25. marisacat - 28 March 2009

I don’t even know who Robert Naiman is… but do these pussy footed pussy brained asshat liberals hear themselves? With the idiocy of “4 Questions on Afghanistan” ??? And a tone of beg and please and may i sir, all thru it???

2. Is the United States prepared to discuss its long-term intentions in Afghanistan?

As was previously the case in Iraq, it’s currently an article of dogma that you’re not allowed to say the words “timetable” or “timeline.” (Although Representatives Lee, Waters and Woolsey appear to have recently broken the taboo.) There’s no good reason for this situation to continue. In the case of Iraq, “timetable” moved from “unthinkable” to “commonplace” to “provision of signed agreement.”

Similarly, there’s been almost no discussion of “permanent military bases,” in contrast to Iraq, where critics of the war – Iraqi and American – put the Bush administration on the defensive, early and often, on this key point.

The sooner the idea of a total withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan at some point in the future becomes an allowed topic of discussion, the sooner greater space will open for negotiated solutions, since it is widely conceded that the most important motivation for the insurgencies is the presence of foreign troops. …

Get a clue. Dig one up if necessary, take radio transmissions via the fillings in the teeth if need be:

Its OVER. War is it. We are war.

Slap happy ELECTED idiots led by the military men and the corps run us. Into the ground.

26. marisacat - 28 March 2009

With Ob-literation pleasing the Kagans of the earth… AND Peter Bergen, we are so deep in the Neo Liberal mud we are well into Neo Con land. IMO.

IOZ slams the idiotic Peter Bergen Op ed. We are so fucking LOST.

Have we really invaded and occupied a nation halfway around the world in order to turn it into “the model of a somewhat stable Central Asian state”? Is that weasely goal worth one human life? I would risk a turned ankle or a sprained wrist for that goal. America: the mad doctor that prescribes amputation for a patch of eczema on the elbow.

27. ms_xeno - 28 March 2009

Madman and his friends just don’t get it.

After the glorious Galt Counter-Revolution, we, the unwashed and unlettered, will show up unasked at their gilded doors to build their roads, grow their food, service their internets and orally attend to their various perfect physical extremities. Free of charge.

‘Cause, you know, we’ll just be drawn to that scent of Randian Greatness like flies to shit. Or something.

Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

actually, I saw that would happen, but somehow I thought you, the great unwashed, would be carrying torches and pitchforks.

ms_xeno - 28 March 2009

Only to use upon each other, Market-kins. At the whim of the almighty overlords/ladies.

Giant vats of mud and/or gelatine for the event-stagings are optional.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

The Quiet Coup

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.

Click the chart above for a larger view

Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

Instead, the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. The banking-and-securities industry has become one of the top contributors to political campaigns, but at the peak of its influence, it did not have to buy favors the way, for example, the tobacco companies or military contractors might have to. Instead, it benefited from the fact that Washington insiders already believed that large financial institutions and free-flowing capital markets were crucial to America’s position in the world.

One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

These personal connections were multiplied many times over at the lower levels of the past three presidential administrations, strengthening the ties between Washington and Wall Street. It has become something of a tradition for Goldman Sachs employees to go into public service after they leave the firm. The flow of Goldman alumni—including Jon Corzine, now the governor of New Jersey, along with Rubin and Paulson—not only placed people with Wall Street’s worldview in the halls of power; it also helped create an image of Goldman (inside the Beltway, at least) as an institution that was itself almost a form of public service.

30. marisacat - 28 March 2009

AND STILL these shits run this thread bare dog and pony show.

I read a comment at TruthDig this am, forget which article… maybe Sheer on how fucked it is to still have these people running everythng.. and one comment was:

“Instead of voting fo the white slime ball in November, I voted for the black slime ball.”.

E bravo! Made it to the conclusion. If not the final act.

Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

and they’re only going to get slimier. Toward the conclusion of the Atlantic piece I linked:

Emerging-market countries have only a precarious hold on wealth, and are weaklings globally. When they get into trouble, they quite literally run out of money—or at least out of foreign currency, without which they cannot survive. They must make difficult decisions; ultimately, aggressive action is baked into the cake. But the U.S., of course, is the world’s most powerful nation, rich beyond measure, and blessed with the exorbitant privilege of paying its foreign debts in its own currency, which it can print. As a result, it could very well stumble along for years—as Japan did during its lost decade—never summoning the courage to do what it needs to do, and never really recovering. A clean break with the past—involving the takeover and cleanup of major banks—hardly looks like a sure thing right now. Certainly no one at the IMF can force it.

In my view, the U.S. faces two plausible scenarios. The first involves complicated bank-by-bank deals and a continual drumbeat of (repeated) bailouts, like the ones we saw in February with Citigroup and AIG. The administration will try to muddle through, and confusion will reign.

Boris Fyodorov, the late finance minister of Russia, struggled for much of the past 20 years against oligarchs, corruption, and abuse of authority in all its forms. He liked to say that confusion and chaos were very much in the interests of the powerful—letting them take things, legally and illegally, with impunity. When inflation is high, who can say what a piece of property is really worth? When the credit system is supported by byzantine government arrangements and backroom deals, how do you know that you aren’t being fleeced?

Our future could be one in which continued tumult feeds the looting of the financial system, and we talk more and more about exactly how our oligarchs became bandits and how the economy just can’t seem to get into gear.

The second scenario begins more bleakly, and might end that way too. But it does provide at least some hope that we’ll be shaken out of our torpor. It goes like this: the global economy continues to deteriorate, the banking system in east-central Europe collapses, and—because eastern Europe’s banks are mostly owned by western European banks—justifiable fears of government insolvency spread throughout the Continent. Creditors take further hits and confidence falls further. The Asian economies that export manufactured goods are devastated, and the commodity producers in Latin America and Africa are not much better off. A dramatic worsening of the global environment forces the U.S. economy, already staggering, down onto both knees. The baseline growth rates used in the administration’s current budget are increasingly seen as unrealistic, and the rosy “stress scenario” that the U.S. Treasury is currently using to evaluate banks’ balance sheets becomes a source of great embarrassment.

Under this kind of pressure, and faced with the prospect of a national and global collapse, minds may become more concentrated.

The conventional wisdom among the elite is still that the current slump “cannot be as bad as the Great Depression.” This view is wrong. What we face now could, in fact, be worse than the Great Depression—because the world is now so much more interconnected and because the banking sector is now so big. We face a synchronized downturn in almost all countries, a weakening of confidence among individuals and firms, and major problems for government finances. If our leadership wakes up to the potential consequences, we may yet see dramatic action on the banking system and a breaking of the old elite. Let us hope it is not then too late.

marisacat - 28 March 2009

ugh.. sorry for the delay Madman… while this languished in Moderation.. I was buttering the chicken for the oven… :oops:

Oh I don’t know, probably it was slam bam fuck you ma’am endless cop[ulation] on the screen yesterday… but it all looks very dark today…

Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

chicken is more important than reading about these rats.

31. BooHooHooMan - 28 March 2009

In between donning the political push-up bra,
I see the Obamasudshlapper is courtside, havin a brau….
All jockstrap fratboy with the tie on the door, but not for Leno.
{ You see that? It was awesome, dude!} :roll:

Fuck elections.

We should have plebiscite by purple herbie.
One Big National Towel Snapping, Titty Twisting Survivor Sendoff.

We had a coach back in the day, bright as hell,
and we were always suffering disembowelment of one sort or other by some St. Caligula this, or some Saint Vald’s “The Ramrodding Impalers” that,

Anyway’s,
coach finally had these hopeful words of encouragement to offer:

You guy’s head towards their bonecrushers
one. more. time. expecting to get out alive-

~I’m gonna run you over with the Ice Cream Truck.

Ah, Coach…the last time I saw him he said the War is A Disaster,
Bush blows, and the Democrats are selling us down the river…
And this was the guy they wouldn’t permit to teach because he wasn’t Catholic. I should look him up see what he has to say about Obama and Wall Street..

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009

Greider: Obama’s Economic Plan: A Version of the Monopoly Game, But No One Loses

President Obama has invented a new board game for Wall Street money guys to play that promises to be a lot of fun. It’s very much like the regular Monopoly game that kids play — only better — because this one uses real money, provided courtesy of the taxpayers. The best thing about Obama’s game is nobody loses. Usually, the winner in Monopoly is the one who winds up with the most money. In the Obama version, the losers get any losses back from the government at the end of the game. The president has promised.

The guy is a genius. He located these two whiz kids — Tim and Larry — who are smarter than God about financial matters. President Obama commanded the advisors to solve the financial mess, raise the zombie banks from the dead and start the good times rolling again. This game is what they came up with. It’s a very complicated game and not everyone can understand it. But the Wall Street titans smell hope. For this Monopoly set has no “Go to Jail” card in the deck.

Only adults are allowed to play this game. It is much too complicated for ordinary citizens so sophisticated financiers are needed to do such tricky deals. But Americans at large can have fun watching the action and rooting for various participants. The contest will be a welcome distraction from other anxieties. Who is going to accumulate the tallest stack? It’s like Monopoly Olympics for the grand masters of the universe. Will Warren Buffett take a seat at the table? Bill Gross, the PIMCO bond king, is salivating at the prospect of double-digit returns and says Obama’s game is “win-win-win.” Can billionaire George Soros resist such an opportunity? Will legendary traders at Goldman Sachs square off against James A. Baker III’s Carlyle Group with its oil-rich Arab backers? What a kick that these famous people will be playing with our money.

But, remember, this is not about a few shrewd players accumulating more wealth. It’s about saving the country. Everybody will want to do their part. Obama has shown them the way.

Probably there are some naysayers in the public who won’t get it. They will whine about the odd ways in which winners always seem to get another chance in US capitalism to win again. Some people will look around them and complain that things do not seem to be improving in their neighborhood. They will attack our president personally, try to undermine his authority.

President Obama can charm them out of their anger. He might say, “Hey, guys, lighten up. It’s only a game.”

33. BooHooHooMan - 28 March 2009

Great thread.
{waves to Xee}

I’m heading out…

34. NYCO - 28 March 2009

Call the President! People are not buying enough swag for their houses any more!

Werner Braun, president of the Carpet and Rug Institute, said that when the housing rebound happens Dalton will see the impact almost immediately…

The group is pushing members of Congress for a home refurbishing tax credit that would give people an incentive to buy carpet and other furnishings. There’s been no legislation yet but Braun said lawmakers have been receptive to the idea.

P-BRA, the Pottery Barn Restoration Act, coming to a Home Depot near you.

ms_xeno - 28 March 2009

Braun should cut to the chase and just offer to subsidize everyone’s rental deposits.

Like, Dude, whatever happened to letting the Holy Market correct itself ? Bootstraps, Davy Crockett and the Alamo, Pearl Harbor…

Blah blah blah… :/

35. NYCO - 28 March 2009

whoops, forgot the link. (Sorry, I was just so excited over this… I’ve wanted a flokati for such a long time.)

marisacat - 28 March 2009

oh that made me laugh!

Well Mr Carpet and Rug needs to know who to call… we are inundated here with ads and infomercials because apparently there is an additional write off via Stumble Bill for insulated windows… (I have nothing against it)… gah.

36. marisacat - 28 March 2009

If we are all quasi serfs of Israel… can’t we at least get 20 lbs of free Jaffa oranges a year out of the deal? (see diary by mattes)

37. marisacat - 28 March 2009

Lovely.. apparently Obrama Salame Hosanna people are using “RE EDUCATE” for our ”work” in Afpak. Something to do with hearts and minds — and guts and limbs blown to bits.

ObMao.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 March 2009
39. marisacat - 28 March 2009

a sorta something thread…

LINK

………… :roll: …………..


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