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hmm A little more than “smoke rising” 15 February 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.
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Mohammed Salem, a Reuters photographer based in the Gaza Strip, won the second prize in the Spot News Singles category of the World Press Photo of the Year 2009 with this picture of smoke rising during Israel’s offensive in Gaza January 8, 2009.   [UK Independent]

A little more than “rising smoke” …in this pic. A spectacular picture of White Phosphorous over Gaza. The duality seems to play off the rising minarets.

*******

Speaking of aggression.. Spiegel has a short interview with Hans Blix on Iran:

hmm for some reason, either my system or Spiegel isn’t cooperating with “highlight”, to cut and paste…. but he states that Iran perceives a threat from the US, rather than Israel.  The offshore missiles, our carriers, and the possible covert ops inside Iran.  Blix also says Iran won’t just sit there and not respond to an attack.

Well, why would Iran not respond?  I would assume we are counting on it…….

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1. marisacat - 15 February 2010

No surprise Evan Bayh bid farewell to DC… :lol: …with wif and kittles surrounding him.

Seems likely he plans YET ANOTHER lackluster, sour milk run at the pretzelship.

gah.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

what ever makes a mess, I am FOR… :lol:

via Ben Smith

It would be something close to a nightmare scenario for Democrats: were D’Ippolito to qualify for the ballot, she would be the likely nominee and the party would be left to face the GOP with a political neophyte who said she is running in part to take on a party establishment she said practices “sexism with a big S.”

It’s precisely what Bayh had hoped to avoid. By disclosing his retirement one day before the filing deadline, the idea was that no Democrat would qualify for the primary ballot and the party’s state central committee could tap their favored candidate.

It was not possible to verify D’Ippolito’s claim about how many signatures she’s collected. To qualify for the statewide ballot in Indiana, candidates need 500 verified voter signatures from each of the state’s nine congressional districts.

But in the mad scramble following Bayh’s surprise decision, worried Democrats in Washington and Indianapolis were taking the prospect seriously.

“This would be a complete and unmitigated disaster,” said a leading Democrat in the state. “We’d be up shit’s creek.”

An Indiana party insider I spoke to today noted that the signature requirement is quite tough, and a safe candidate would have to have far more than 4,500, just to be safe.

But the process of throwing D’Ippolito off the ballot would provide an embarassing spectacle for the party and its candidate.

And in the meantime, Firedoglake’s doing a bit of organizing on her behalf.

One thing D’Ippolito is right about is the party and sexism.

mattes - 15 February 2010

Well, I wonder who AIPAC had lined up.

Interesting comment from
Goldman Goes Rogue – Special European Audit To Follow

http://baselinescenario.com/2010/02/14/goldman-goes-rogue-%E2%80%93-special-european-audit-to-follow/#comment-43660

Former Goldman exec Phil Murphy is now ambassador to Germany. He will no doubt ensure that the Europeans do nothing to harm the interests of the firm. http://germany.usembassy.gov/about/ambassador/

bill

What will Germany do??

marisacat - 15 February 2010

I’d be surprised if Germany did much.

mattes - 15 February 2010

2009: The Year Wall Devoured the US Government

It is almost always up to historians to locate watersheds in human history, to pinpoint that period of time when accumulated social and economic changes can no longer be denied, and it must be concluded that the society has entered a qualitatively new and different period. The beginnings and ends of eras are seldom recognized at the time they occur. Only by looking back do we gain the perspective to conclude that something world-shaking has happened.
2009 will, I believe, go down in history as the year that Wall Street – shorthand for the finance capitalist class – finally chewed up and swallowed whole the government of the United States.
snip
By the 1980s Wall Street was busily dismantling the manufacturing sector of the United States. Finance capital achieved total supremacy over the Democratic Party under President Bill Clinton, whose operatives abolished all effective controls on the mass manipulation of money. The bankers were now free to create bubbles so huge that when they finally burst, in September of 2008, it would require the full faith and credit of the United States to prevent utter collapse of the financial sector.
The job of reinflating the Wall Street bubble fell to President Barack Obama, whose executive branch joined with the Federal Reserve to put the entirety of the nation’s current and future wealth at the disposal of the bankster class.
snip

The picture that best explains the historical significance of the year 2009, is President Obama holding a teleconference with bankers who didn’t bother to show up for a meeting with him at the White House, in mid-December. Obama is pleading with them to at least pretend to act in the interest of the public whose national resources they have stolen. But the banksters see no need to pay even token respect to a president who is actually their servant.

http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/2009-year-wall-street-devoured-us-government

One wonders, how many other countries are hiding their books.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

Obama is pleading with them to at least pretend to act in the interest of the public

What a joke. when Obama is a fake. Himself. And worse, he knows very well who owns him.

mattes - 15 February 2010

Thought you’d like that.

I am really really really losing hope.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

It’s pathetic.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

Speaking of which, Big Tentola regrets… (he links to his regret, posted yesterday) and highlights Digby, who, I guess, is feining regret.

Yeah I so buy it. Til they belly up to the bar ONCE AGAIN.

I took it easy on myself in my Is That All There Is? post yesterday. Digby, recounting essentially the same story, is a little harder on herself:

I feel ridiculous for having written that. Not because it was a fairly correct analysis of the dynamic. Anyone could have seen that. What’s embarrassing is the fact that I seemed so sure that the Democrats would change it. What a foolish miscalculation that was. Less than four years later, the “empty vessel of establishment bipartisan wishful thinking” is president. And my empty vessel of partisan wishful thinking — the Democratic party — is running for the hills.

The reality is Digby and I were more than a little hopey changey. Perhaps for different reasons than other folks, but just as naive in our own way. In related news, the 11 Dimensional Chess Brigade is back in full force. Good luck with that folks. …

At “11 Dimensional Chess Brigade is back in full force” he links to some splutter at Dkos.

NYCO - 15 February 2010

“11 Dimensional Chess Brigade” – heh. Glad someone finally came up with a term for it.

The one thing I came to loathe about online Dem netroots discussions was the ridiculous over-thinking (of which I was sometimes guilty myself). The political hero du jour was always diabolically clever — and of course, we were always living in Amazing Times and watching History get made… instead of the same old exploitative shit playing out, which it always was.

News flash: We’re entering the Dark Ages, which are by definition cold, dark and full of samey sameness. No future generations are going to wish they lived back in our time, unless they are geeky misfits who are into the political equivalent of Dungeons and Dragons.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

I remember being completely astonished when the Dkos hall monitors began to slap up threads about “Why I am a Democrat”.

jesus. Not even Athens, in the myths much less the reality, was what those loons dished out, thead after thread. It ws human drivel…………..

It was what it was, when it was a reluctant political partner. But I have given up any delusion there was much there… ever.

And now it is just greasy dish water. Clogged drains… broken spetic tank.. etc.

Too many of the little dwellers at Talk Left (and other places) were for Hillary. I STILL say, it was illusion ot be for one or the other. To think one was better than the other… the ONLY thing I could say for Hillary is she probably knew and acknowleged to whom she was sold out to… maybe a little more choice (cough) about it in her instance, in some cases.

Ob remains a minor fixer. The Clintons, corrupt mischief makers and sell outs.

Gee what a choice.

marisacat - 16 February 2010

a new post… (because this thread is all scrweed up, in terms of the posting order)

http://marisacat.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/tuesday-5/

…………..

ts - 15 February 2010

Keep closing those bank accounts at the big banks. Stop putting money into the 401k and use the money to pay off your mortgage early. Cut up the credit cards. Give up all unnecessary expenditures and live a simple life that you enjoy.

That’s usually how I do it. The banksters can play with somebody else’s money.

ts - 15 February 2010

We’re gonna have to add to your mantra: “Lie down, fall down, bail out and don’t run for re-election Democrats”

marisacat - 15 February 2010

yEs! Whatever makes a mess!

I LIKE it…….

ts - 15 February 2010

I’m gonna be paying attention to what this guy does after his term. If he ends up lobbying for any of the 14 corporations his wife is a board member of, I’m going to be so disappointed.

2. mattes - 15 February 2010

Hmmm.

Steinitz launches Israeli bonds on NYSE: “I am hopeful that this will be the beginning of an increasingly fruitful cooperation.”
02/15/2010 8:02 AM ET

Feb. 3–Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz yesterday rang the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as part of celebrations to mark the initiation of trading of Israeli sovereign bonds on the exchange.

Starting today, the first sovereign bond will be listed for trading. The $1.5 billion bond, issued in March 2009, bears 5.125 percent interest and matures on March 29, 2019. The bond will be listed on Bonds under the bond ticker symbol “ISRAEL 19″. The bond is already on the Luxemburg Stock Exchange.

http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.

Israel bonds in Fidelity Mutual Funds
by Edward Morin

Israel enforces the Occupation with equipment bought from the U.S. Instead of paying for it in cash, the State of Israel issues bonds in its own name. Third party investors buy this public debt, assuming its risk and collecting interest payments until the bonds mature.

Investors find these bonds extremely attractive because the U.S. government guarantees them against default through its Agency for International Development (AID).

This arrangement is unique because the U.S. guarantees the public debt of no other foreign government. Some experts believe the State of Israel is unlikely to ever redeem these bonds, so the guarantee may in effect be a gift paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

http://www.bridgenews.org/bridge_news/issue8backup/bonds

Bonded:

Half of the states in the US have invested in State of Israel bonds. Most recently, on December 8, 2009, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced a $20 million purchase from the state’s common retirement fund

In January 2009, the State of Illinois purchased $10 million worth of Israel bonds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Israel_Bonds

Bonds are giving over 5% return?

……….hmmmmmmm.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

whatta scam!

3. mattes - 15 February 2010

Hey, am I in spam?

marisacat - 15 February 2010

oops… :oops: SORRY!

Out now…

mattes - 15 February 2010

Thanks.

Boy so much to read today. Bankrupt countries and all.

This is interesting:

Space rock contains organic molecular feast

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8516319.stm

4. catnip - 15 February 2010
marisacat - 15 February 2010

we’re there for them… they just don’t get it

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

those two phosphorus shells look like two alien jelly fish attacking the city beneath.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

Don’t they? When bayprairie posted the first shot of them during Gaza war, from El Pais I think, that is exactly what I thought.

6. marisacat - 15 February 2010

ABC news tonight with a segment on how there is no snow in Vancouver…

All I can say is Head for the bars!

… they said something about spectators not allowed to view the snow boarding event, from the sides, for fear they would sink in the mud.

Yikes… if true.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

but wait, I thought the Snowpocalypse proved there WAS not global warming?

marisacat - 15 February 2010

ugh… whatever ti is all collapsing. Talk about working the margins and killing the goose and then the slicing off of the nose on the face……… etc.

I think global climate issues got all caught up on some mixed-up scam job Neo Liberal agenda. Basically.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

The $555,000 Student-Loan Burden

When Michelle Bisutti, a 41-year-old family practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, finished medical school in 2003, her student-loan debt amounted to roughly $250,000. Since then, it has ballooned to $555,000.

It is the result of her deferring loan payments while she completed her residency, default charges and relentlessly compounding interest rates. Among the charges: a single $53,870 fee for when her loan was turned over to a collection agency.

“Maybe half of it was my fault because I didn’t look at the fine print,” Dr. Bisutti says. “But this is just outrageous now.”

I really wish people would quit accepting fault for dishonest, complicated agreements because they didn’t or couldn’t hire a fucking lawyer for everything they sign.

But as tuitions rise, many people are borrowing heavily to pay their bills. Some no doubt view it as “good debt,” because an education can lead to a higher salary. But in practice, student loans are one of the most toxic debts, requiring extreme consumer caution and, as Dr. Bisutti learned, responsibility.

Unlike other kinds of debt, student loans can be particularly hard to wriggle out of. Homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments can hand over the keys to their house to their lender. Credit-card and even gambling debts can be discharged in bankruptcy. But ditching a student loan is virtually impossible, especially once a collection agency gets involved. Although lenders may trim payments, getting fees or principals waived seldom happens.

Yet many former students are trying. There is an estimated $730 billion in outstanding federal and private student-loan debt, says Mark Kantrowitz of FinAid.org, a Web site that tracks financial-aid issues—and only 40% of that debt is actively being repaid. The rest is in default, or in deferment, which means that payments and interest are halted, or in “forbearance,” which means payments are halted while interest accrues.

Although Dr. Bisutti’s debt load is unusual, her experience having problems repaying isn’t. Emmanuel Tellez’s mother is a laid-off factory worker, and $120 from her $300 unemployment checks is garnished to pay the federal PLUS student loan she took out for her son.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

ugh.. not that he means to do anythnign about it… but Rush today called it “indentured servitude”, when using Bismutti’s case..

Obviously I don’t “agree with Rush” but the assessment is right.

gah.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

of course, his hero Reagan first pushed through the changes in student loans that created the current system.

I fell into a lot of these traps back in the late 80s/early 90s (thankfully for nowhere near as much money). The games played with moving people’s loans from company to company, the default rules … it’s like financial quicksand.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

well I don’t think any of the Demcrats who followed did anything about it but make it worse. It was EDU-GAP who was responsible for much of the undeclared plane trips (and other goodies) that Daschle took. If we did not sell out the loan process, which should be very low cost loans thru government and no interest loans thru the schools and non profits, then we sold out every other part of education.

One of the most vital programs, to assist those who never went to college, but do have a HS degree, forget the name of it, starts with a ”P”… and Ob takes credit for shoring it up… is almost bereft of funds…

So many people on the take… I think the only battles in congress (and the WH) is who can service the corps better… get mmore cash up front.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

Oh, Clinton made it much, much worse.

Fuck all of them.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

:lol:
.
There you go…………………………………

marisacat - 15 February 2010

Moving right along:

The White House is considering endorsing a law that would allow the indefinite detention of some alleged terrorists without trial as part of efforts to break a logjam with Congress over President Barack Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday.

Last summer, White House officials said they had ruled out seeking a “preventive detention” statute as a way to deal with anti-terror detainees, saying the administration would hold any Guantanamo prisoners brought to the U.S. in criminal courts or under the general “law of war” principles permitting detention of enemy combatants.

However, speaking at a news conference in Greenville, S.C. Monday, Graham said the White House now seems open to a new law to lay out the standards for open-ended imprisonment of those alleged to be members of or fighters for Al Qaeda or the Taliban. ….

I think yesterday he gave a big fat kiss on the white ass of Bloooooooo Dogs and other conservatives, in being so happy ”Pay-Go” is back.

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

so much hopey changeyness we’re all choking on it.

CSTAR - 15 February 2010

Are you sure? I think Bill would be more than happy to oblige.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

”Pell Grant” is the name of the program.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010
9. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

IN PICTURES / Palestinian protesters dress as Avatar’s Na’vi

Protesters against Israel’s policies in the West Bank have added a colorful twist to demonstrations, painting themselves blue and posing as characters from the movie Avatar.

Pro-Palestinian participants in weekly demonstrators against the route of the separation fence in the village of Bil’in, and the takeover of Arab homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, have also donned long hair and loincloths to resemble the 10-foot blue-skinned Na’vi of Avatar.

The demonstrators compare the Palestinians to the Na’vi – an indigenous people on the moon Pandora who find themselves up against militarily superior foreign invaders who seek to oust them from their homes.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor

If we are to believe the G-7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full “forgiveness” of its foreign debt. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told Al Jazeera English, but “It’s time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt.” In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor–and it is we, in the West, who are deeply in arrears.

Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor are they merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms and agreements. Here, far too briefly, are highlights of the Haiti case.

marisacat - 15 February 2010

Maybe Bono and the ONE campaign can help.

Prayer at high noon in the devastated squares. Everybody can wear white and sing.

And so on…

[sorry, things look esp dark today for some reason]

Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

I know what you mean.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 February 2010

Fingerprinting children in day care “outrageous,” says ACLU

Sure, it’s about “saving money”:

A proposal to log low-income children in and out of child-care centers using biometric fingerprint technology drew fire from the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Monday.

Calling the plan introduced Monday by State Rep. Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee) an extreme reaction to fraud in the state’s subsidized child-care program, ACLU representatives vowed to fight the measure.

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin opposes treating our children – including poor children — like parts at an auto supply store or boxes of cereal at a grocery store,” Executive Director Christopher Ahmuty wrote in a press release.

The Rep. is puzzled by the opposition:

Honadel said a year is more than enough time to implement a new system. He circulated a bill Monday mandating the use of biometric technology and imposing a Jan. 2011 deadline for installation.

“It’s not like we’re asking too much,” he said. “This would be a great safety feature, too.”

Let’s just tattoo barcodes on the back of their necks and be done with it.

12. marisacat - 15 February 2010

Fortunately I just laugh now….

On Tuesday, President Obama will announce plans to break ground on two new nuclear reactors at a Southern Company plant in Burke, Georgia — the first new U.S. nuclear reactors since the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979.

The president will make the announcement at the IBEW Local Headquarters in Lanham, Md., where union members can learn applications that can be used in the construction of nuclear power plants.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Department of Enegery to issue loan guarantees “for projects that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or greenhouse gas emissions and employ new or significantly-improved technologies,” the White House official said, adding that it has been one of Energy Secretary Stephen Chu’s top priorities to allocate $18.5 billion under that authority.

The President has proposed tripling loan guarantees for nuclear-power plant construction to more than $54 billion in his FY2011 budget ….

:lol:

During his presidential campaign, then-Sen. Obama was a qualified supporter of new nukes.

“I think that nuclear power should be in the mix when it comes to energy,” he said as a candidate, adding “I don’t think it’s our optimal energy source because we haven’t figured out how to store the waste safely or recycle the waste.”

Last month the president announced the creation of a bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission to review policies for nuclear waste, led by former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., and the National Security Adviser to President George H.W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft.

Oh Lee Hamilton and Brent Scowcroft… everything is in good order. Those two old bimbos.

13. Tuesday… « Marisacat - 16 February 2010

[...] 2010/02/15 at 11:45pm [...]

14. marisacat - 16 February 2010

gnu…

LINK

…………………. 8O


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