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“Moderates” 13 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, California / Pacific Coast, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, WAR!.
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Palestinians buy food at a street market in Rafah [AP via Telegraph]

Asia Times, Gaza: A pawn in the new ‘great game’

By Alastair Crooke

The thesis that literally “everything” must be done either to lever “moderates” into power, or prevent them from losing power – euphemistically called “supporting moderation” – lies at the heart of the Gaza crisis.

It is a narrative that has served Israel’s wider interests in garnering legitimacy for the Israeli campaign against Iran, and in dichotomizing the region into Westernized “moderates” and Islamist “extremists”.

Former British prime minister, and current Middle East envoy for the Quartet group of the United Nations, Tony Blair’s proselytizing around the world on this theme has been a huge asset for an Israel which aspires to become the leading member of a “moderate” bloc, rather than an isolated island in an increasingly Islamist Middle East. Yet Blair’s and other Quartet members’ attempts to fit this simplistic mechanical template over a complex Middle East, facing multiple struggles, has reduced the Palestinian crisis to being no more than a pawn in a bigger “game” of the existential global struggle against “extremism”.

I like this article, it strongly indicts the so called “civilised” people, the Europeans, the US and the Israelis…

This was to be achieved with the collaboration of Egypt and Saudi Arabia who were becoming increasingly fearful of the challenge from within their own domestic electorate and who were not adverse to seeing Hamas cornered in Gaza and “punished” by the Israelis. Stage one was to weaken Hamas; stage two to insert an armed international force into Gaza; and stage three was for Abbas’ British and United States-trained special forces to return to Gaza and resume control of the Gaza Strip. It is standard colonial technique.

Any psychologist, however, might have advised the European and US policymakers that putting one-and-a-half million Palestinians “on a diet”, as an earlier Israeli chief-of-staff to the Israeli prime minister described it, and shredding any plans or hopes that they may have had for their futures, does not make humans more docile or more moderate

Matched with the other sort of usual tactics.. all leading to moderation, of course.

As Gaza was squeezed to the point of desperation in the hope that its inhabitants would turn on Hamas, Britain and the US busied themselves in training a Palestinian “special forces” militia around Abbas. The force was used to suppress political activity by Hamas in the West Bank and to close down welfare and social organizations that are not aligned directly with Abbas. A policy of political “cleansing” of the West Bank, cloaked under the rhetoric of “building security institutions”, predictably has been met with an equivalent counter-reaction by Hamas in Gaza – exacerbating Palestinian divisions.

But such models, once generally accepted, force a deterministic interpretation that can blind its advocates to the real results of such narrow and rigid conceptualizing: a humbled Hamas was seen to be a blow to Hezbollah, which in turn represented a blow to Syria, which weakened Iran – all of which strengthens the “moderates” and makes Israel safer.

***

In other news about “moderates”… the BART cop, the one who shot Oscar Grant in the back, as he lay belly down on the floor at the BART station on New Year’s Eve, was picked up in Nevada on a fugitive arrest warrant from the Alameda Superior Court. The charge is homicide.

Johannes Mehserle, 27, of Lafayette, was taken into custody in Douglas County, Nevada, said Deputy Steve Velez of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest was also confirmed by David Chai, chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums.

Ron Dellums mayor of Oakland, MIA since election, has announced a 60 day revamp of government (and I am sure is frantically dialing DC, for a lift out, he has no wish to be “bothered” to do his job)… the BART board broke ranks, with a member calling for the resignation of the BART Chief of Police (such as he is, LOL) and the head of the BART board, saying what she (the BART board member) was told initially in the first days following the kill and what the various cell phone and camcorder videos and images  showed, when released a few days later, were two different things, that the CoP and BART head sought to basically cover up what had happened. Two days ago Jerry Brown sent a state prosecutor down to oversee… after saying it should be left to the local agencies.  And… stuff started to happen.

Also, it was not ”300 businesses” trashed the night the demonstration got out of hand, but 40 “or so”. I sort of doubted the 300 all along, as the response from Oakland PD was pretty quick, 25 or more cop cars, riot vehicles and 40 – 60 police on foot… bean bag “bullets” and tear gas.   300 businesses damaged, glass broken, etc., was not all that likely….

Not advocating for “loss of control” nor for ANSWER coalition types… but Oakland, BART, city and county leadership – mayor, DA, Oakland PD – no one was budging.  And no signs that they would budge.  At all.

****

UPDATE, 1:13 am Pacific Time

claudealbinoalligatorsf I had meant to throw something up earlier about Claude… and it slipped away from me … but he fits in here with the “moderates” anyway… 😉

Doesn’t he look “moderate”? Blends right in with his heated rock…   Then the Chronicle story on him reminded me… they called it his poor “whiddle pinky”.  His inamorata, Bonnie, bit him.  Apparently not an uncommon occurance.  Plus he bangs himself up pretty good, all on his own, being blind.

Instead of being black, his skin is a striking blonde, and without the pigment in his eyes he is almost blind.

As a result, he bumps into things – the walls of the tank, the broad glass visitor’s window beneath the swamp’s pool, or the basking rock that is equipped with a radiant heater underneath the surface to keep the rock warm and offers both Claude and Bonnie a place to repose between swims.

hmm I am thinking Claude needs some whiskers, as feelers.

claudespinky
.

That is, when they’re not competing for territory.

The other day, for instance, Bonnie was snoozing alone on the rock when Claude bumped her while trying to climb next to her. The result: the angry female alligator snapped at Claude and pierced his “right pinkie toe,” as Bart Shepherd, the curator of the Steinhart Aquarium, calls it.

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1. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Talk about juxtaposition… listening to Charlie Rose with Zwick, Weseltier, Schreiber… and others, chat about Defiance and the murderous brutality visited upon Jews.

Hey go for it. No time like NOW.

2. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Weseltier… on a tank coming from nowhere to attack the group that fled to the forest…

“And you think these people will never be left alone, they will always be hunted”.

Listen up Leon.

3. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Times Online

For Alon, a return to the action cannot come fast enough. “It feels good to be winning again, to show that we are still the strongest army in the world,” he said — a reference to the 2006 Lebanon war, when confidence in the country’s forces was badly shaken by its inability to stop Hezbollah’s rocket attacks. “It was important to go in and remind them what we can do. It’s the only way to get them to stop.”

4. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Greek Objections

“The US military has to had to cancel a planned shipment of munitions from a Greek port to a US warehouse in Israel due to objections from Athens, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.

“I think the Greek government had some issue with the offloading of some of that shipment in their country and so we are finding alternative means of getting that entire shipment to its proper destination in Israel,” spokesman Geoff Morrell told a news conference.” (thanks Sana)

Posted by As’ad at 2:21 PM

Don’t know if it could be in any way related, but a wealthy Greek shipping magnate (owns the ferries that go between Greece and So Italia) was kidnapped a few days ago.

5. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Mondo Weiss link

Press release:

Adam Shapiro, a human rights activist and documentary filmmaker, who is scheduled to speak tonight at a public Town Hall Meeting hosted by Revolution Books [7 pm, Society for Ethical Culture], has had death threats issued against him by the Jewish Defense Organization. In the threats, which were pasted to the Revolution Books window, Shapiro is named specifically as an enemy who should be eliminated.

[the Mondo Weiss link thread is very interesting]

6. mattes - 14 January 2009

Had to turn off Charlie…could not stomach anymore propaganda. It’s been non-stop on cable for at least a year. More so the last couple months….every movie and documentary know is airing.

Quite a network of influence.

7. mattes - 14 January 2009

was kidnapped a few days ago….interesting.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

thank you for the Crooke piece …

9. wu ming - 14 January 2009

some wicked satire on pakistani society by dawn, h/t chapati mystery

10. lucid - 14 January 2009

Last thread

a 15-year-old boy was shot near the city of Qalqiliya while throwing stones at a road used by soldiers and settlers. Palestinian officials said a settler had fired the fatal shot.

I think that just about sums up the second intifada.

11. mattes - 14 January 2009

A Russian naval task force led by aircraft carrier docks at Syrian port

The force, which includes the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, the Admiral Levchenko destroyer and the Nikolay Chiker salvage tug, was due to call in at the Syrian port of Tartus Monday, Jan. 12 after carrying out joint exercises with the Turkish navy last week.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the arrival of the Russian flotilla in wartime is unusual and especially significant given Syria’s role as one of the staunchest backers of Hamas which is embroiled in a war against Israel further down the coast in Gaza.

Our sources believe Moscow may be signaling its disapproval of Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5849

one by one…

Bolivia severs ties with Israel over Gaza
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3656275,00.html

12. mattes - 14 January 2009

I don’t think the Saudis are going along with this at least not Prince Saud Al-Faisal, I have been following his public statements:

Saudi Foreign Minister Holds Press Conference on Gaza Crisis

“It is the responsibility of the Security Council to work to end armed conflicts as soon as they arise, and the current conflict in Gaza should be no exception,” said Prince Saud at the press conference. “As the assault heads into its 13th day, the situation in Gaza has sparked a humanitarian travesty of great proportion and opened the door for more suffering. Yet, the Council has not taken any concrete action to carry out its responsibilities to end the hostilities.”

The Arab League presented a resolution to the UN Security Council that provides a framework to resolve the crisis. The resolution includes an immediate cease fire, the lifting of the siege, the opening of the crossings, the establishment of a monitoring mechanism, and the return to agreements previously entered into. Prince Saud asked his counterparts on the Security Council “to adopt these measures immediately.”

Last week the Kingdom launched “the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Campaign to Provide Humanitarian Relief to the Palestinian People in Gaza.” The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, initiated the fund with a donation of $8 million. The campaign has raised more than $44.5 million and is part of a broader humanitarian effort by the Kingdom to provide assistance to the Palestinian people during this difficult time.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Saudi-Foreign-Minister-Holds-iw-13998773.html

13. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Political Wire:

Update: Hot Air suspects Rush Limbaugh might also be at the dinner. (Hat tip: John Aravosis)

14. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Why so shocked honey babies? hmmm?? Did they like you know, think he had, like you know, personal POWER, or something? And if so, based ON WHAT THE FUCK? (embedded links to The Cable, the FP blog)

Members of Obama’s vast campaign foreign policy apparatus — reportedly including about 300 wonks — have been silent since the end of the campaigns on the grounds that being quoted might hurt your job prospects.

But with Clinton heading to the State Department, some of their grumbles are getting picked up by Foreign Policy, which reports that Obama loyalists are aghast to see Clintonites taking the key foreign policy spots.

An Obama advisor emails in a follow-up item, making this case: …

Americans who supported Obama because they believed in his foreign policy views will soon discover that the reality is “bait and switch.” This is not a good way to demonstrate the Obama administration’s foreign policy bona fides to the American public. …

….snip…

15. mattes - 14 January 2009

Marcat…makes my blood run cold.

16. catnip - 14 January 2009

Friedman’s revisionist history. Where to begin…?

14.

Obama loyalists are aghast to see Clintonites taking the key foreign policy spots.

“Obama loyalists” were off in their self-created, “blank slate” la la land while the primaries were going on. Sucks to be them.

I’m still seeing comments at the Big Orange Circus Tent by people saying Obamalama must not be criticized until after the inauguration.

17. catnip - 14 January 2009

I see that Greenwald ripped Friedman to shreds.

18. catnip - 14 January 2009

Not sure if you caught this post at FDL. It was lonked to be Greenwald. Doris Kearns Goodwin on Torture: “Leave Establishment Washington ALOOOONE!!!”

Considering the way she justifies “moving forward” (thus not prosecuting Bush et al for anything), I’m sure she’d be all for other criminals never being tried for anything either? That little murder? But that happened last week and we’re trying to move forward now!)

Sick and tired of these war crimes apologists and that includes Obama if he does nothing. (I’m not holding my breath).

19. marisacat - 14 January 2009

And here is a big clue to reality.. from the FP blog snip:

…This is not a good way to demonstrate the Obama administration’s foreign policy bona fides to the American public.

HE HAD NONE TO SELL. None to offer, none to demonstrate. Such smoke and mirrors. The backers and funders of ObRama are laughing. However, I think they are a little nervous that it is so threadbare so quick.

Meanwhile he met with the so called progressives today, Rich, Maddow, Dowd. What a laugh it all is.

There is also a piece at Politico that Geithner avoided reining in Citibank, in his position as FED NY. Despite being formally advised by various groups to do that very thing…

Sorta the fox chicken thing… putting him at Treasury??? You think? And Citi is looking so good these days. I am sure we all agree on that one! But Baucus, looking and sounding shakey, says we need a TSec “fast”. So we can die faster?

20. catnip - 14 January 2009

* “linked to by” Greenwald

brainfart

21. marisacat - 14 January 2009

18

I did miss that, thanks. Well 3 years ago when her son was in IRaq (he signed up following 9/11) on NIGHT PATROLS (as “leader” of course), she would literally chirp about it. What a damned stupid woman. And always was.

22. catnip - 14 January 2009

19. HE HAD NONE TO SELL.

Exactly. And when he did try to express what he might do, facing criticism, he flip-flopped.

I noticed last nite on CBC news here that they felt they had to do a little correction. Apparently last week they reported Obama’s concern about Palestinian citizen casualties. Last nite they (for some reason) decided they had to note that he was also concerned about Israeli casualties. I’d like to know who got to them.

23. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Cimment at Lenin:

“All governments lie. But disaster lies in wait for those countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.”
-IF Stone

Fitting that the quote should come from one of the earliest US critics of Zionism.

pauly | Homepage | 14 Jan, 16:48 | #

24. marisacat - 14 January 2009

hmm.. not that the ICC is worth anything..

The Palestinian death toll in the Gaza conflict climbed to more than 1,000 today after nearly three weeks of intensive Israeli bombing and fighting on the ground.

So far, 1,010 Palestinians have been killed, among them 315 children and 95 women, Dr Moawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza’s medical emergency services, told the Guardian. The number of injured after 19 days of fighting stood at 4,700, he said.

As Israeli troops fought on the outskirts of Gaza City after another night of heavy bombing and shelling, diplomatic efforts to end [blahblahblahlblah] ……..

With the death toll rising, Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, said his country had cut diplomatic relations with Israel. He called for Israeli leaders to face charges at the international criminal court.

The head of the international committee of the Red Cross described the situation in Gaza as “shocking” after visiting a hospital in the territory.

“I saw this dramatic humanitarian situation. There’s an increasing number of women and children being wounded and going to hospitals,” Jakob Kellenberger said later in Jerusalem, the AFP news agency reported ….

Barak fears that when Barack Obama assumes the US presidency on Tuesday he will demand an immediate Israeli ceasefire. Another risk was a tougher UN security council resolution – a resolution last week calling for a ceasefire was ignored as “unworkable” by Israel. ….

Or Obama will just talk about his daughters. “Tougher” UN resolution.. have to love that one!

25. catnip - 14 January 2009

24. Richard Falk, a special UN rapporteur for human rights (or some such title) was on CBC today talking about the possibility of war crimes charges against Israel which, if I get to it, will be the topic of my next blog post. I think I’ve finally gotten over my writer’s block/fatigue/crippling disgust with the US & Israel gov’ts to get back to blogging. (Well, not that the disgust ever actually goes away…)

26. catnip - 14 January 2009

24.

Barak fears that when Barack Obama assumes the US presidency on Tuesday he will demand an immediate Israeli ceasefire.

Oh I’m just sure he’s quaking in his murderous, blood-stained boots.

27. marisacat - 14 January 2009

hmm David Swanson on Conyers and on impeachment. And waffle city in congress/Conyers. gah. I think Conyers is long past it.. and may never have been up to much. Shaped by his times rather than his own personal moral imperative. Could be. Def there too long.

[J]ust as his new report maintains a pretended uncertainty as to whether crimes have been committed, his past reports and statements have maintained a pretended uncertainty as to whether impeachable offenses had been committed. Given that most of the offenses discussed are statutory crimes and that Conyers now admits to the impeachability of the guilty parties, the new pretense is shaky. But if, years from now, Conyers says that he has never wavered from his belief that Bush and Cheney were criminals, it will be appropriate to point out the novelty. Conyers continues:

Some ardent advocates of impeachment have labeled me a traitor – or worse – for declining to begin a formal impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee. While I reject that particular criticism, …

I recall suggesting that Conyers might have “sold-out”, after which most of his staff refused to speak to me. I’m sure someone did call him a traitor, and I can’t imagine what’s worse than that. Perhaps someone said that he was complicit in the death of 1.3 million Iraqis. That’s pretty bad. But that charge would not be baseless. We had a situation in which a majority of Americans wanted impeachment, a majority of Conyers’ constituents (including his wife) wanted impeachment, 100 cities passed resolutions demanding impeachment, impeachment resolutions were introduced and referred to the House Judiciary Committee, the chairman of that committee believed the offenses were “among the most impeachable in our nation’s history,” the charges included the launching of the war on Iraq, and the chairman refused to act. …snipwhippy…

28. mattes - 14 January 2009

A $1.2 Trillion Slush Fund: My Boss Grilled the Vice Chair of the Fed Yesterday

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/14/1159/24469/536/683915

We need to multitask to keep up.

29. marisacat - 14 January 2009

The frustration citizens felt with Chairman Conyers was amplified by the fact that he had a book in the bookstores (the print edition of his first report) that said on the top of the back cover “The Foundation for Possible Articles of Impeachment,” and a little further down had this quote “Before reading the report, I wouldn’t have expected to find myself thinking that such a course of action was either likely or possible; after reading the report, I don’t know why we would run the risk of not impeaching the man.”

The foreword to the book, by Liz Holtzman, said “Impeaching President Bush for lying to get us into a war will not only protect us from him, but also send an unmistakable message to future presidents: never again.”

And yet, when we asked Conyers’ staff about impeachment, they couldn’t be bothered. They were too busy writing the second book (the new report), at taxpayer expense.

30. marisacat - 14 January 2009
31. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Sderot Anti War alliance site

Sderot War Diary

Nomika Zion, Sderot, 8.1.09

“I talk with Sderot people and everyone’s cheeks are rosy again”, boasted Fuad on the war’s second day [Fuad is Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a long-time centrist Labor minister – Assaf]. “The heavier the blow we deliver – the more our hearts widen”.

Hey Fuad, not everyone. Even if I was the only one around Sderot feeling differently – and I am not – my voice should be heard.

Not in my name and not for me you went to war. The current bloodbath in Gaza is not in my name and not for my security. Destroyed homes, bombed schools, thousands of new refugees – are not in my name and not for my security. In Gaza there is no time for burial ceremonies now, the dead are put in refrigerators in twos, because there is no room. Here their bodies lay, policemen, children, and our nimble reporters play acrobatically with Hasbara strategies in view of “the images that speak for themselves”. Pray tell me, what is there to “explain”? [Hasbara literally means “explanation” – Assaf] What is there to explain? ….

32. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Martin Wolf Financial Times:

Last week, President-elect Barack Obama duly unveiled his American recovery and reinvestment plan. Its title was aptly chosen, for Mr Obama spoke, astonishingly, as if the policies of the rest of the world had no bearing on the fate of the US. He spoke, too, as if a large fiscal stimulus would be enough to restore prosperity. If that is what he believes, Mr Obama is in for a shock. The difficulties he confronts are much deeper and more global than that.

I have little doubt that his advisers are telling the president-elect just this. The points they are – or should be – pressing on him are these. ….

The cartoon accompanying depicts the whole earth about to roll over Obama, as he gives a speech. With his Office of the PE placard firmly attached to the podium. Or some placard with some seal.

Bingo.

33. catnip - 14 January 2009

28.

A $1.2 Trillion Slush Fund: My Boss Grilled the Vice Chair of the Fed Yesterday
by Matt Stoller
Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 11:14:17 AM PST

I’m working for Congressman Alan Grayson as his senior policy advisor.

Does that mean Stoller has stopped begging the netroots for $$ for his health care coverage? And how long has been working for Grayson?

34. catnip - 14 January 2009

Someone should stick Friedman in a small room with Finkelstein.

35. marisacat - 14 January 2009

hmm apparently Sully was invited to join in with the “progressives” who met with Obster today. Gah.

36. catnip - 14 January 2009

31.

In Gaza there is no time for burial ceremonies now,

And it doesn’t help that the IDF is bombing cemeteries.

37. marisacat - 14 January 2009

They managed to expand Schip

38. catnip - 14 January 2009

35. That says it all, doesn’t it?

39. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2009

FOR RELEASE:

Announced today, the newly revised
“Boycott All the Motherfuckers Campaign” is said now to include a ban on fettuccine and the use of electricity in the New York City Area.
In discussing plans over a luncheon pared down to a menu of crackers, navel lint, and water… 😉

11 Con Ed Supervisors Charged in Kickback Scheme

Eleven Consolidated Edison supervisors were arrested Wednesday on charges that they demanded more than $1 million in kickbacks since 2004 from a construction company on a number of jobs, in return for approving work that was never performed and guaranteeing faster payment for work that was performed.

The supervisors — 10 current employees and one former employee — approved invoices for work that was never performed, or guaranteed faster payment for work that was performed, in exchange for the kickbacks, federal prosecutors said. Besides money, some of the men demanded other payoffs, including tickets to a Giants-Dallas Cowboys football game, a BlackBerry Curve phone, a watch and sunglasses, the prosecutors said.

The arrests were made after employees from the construction company wore a tape recorder that captured nine of the defendants demanding bribes of $1,000 to $5,000. Two retired Con Ed employees also wore recording devices. In all, 51 meetings in which the defendants received $80,000 in bribes were recorded.

{Snip}

Some of the work took place at facilities run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, including in and around the World Trade Center site.

The defendants are Rocco Fassacesia and Paul Sanabria, construction managers; Abraham Panagi, Kevin Cook, James Coffin, Richard Giannetto, and Anthony Villano, senior specialists; Richard Zebler, Leonard Diroma, and Brendan Maher, chief construction inspectors; and Thomas Fetter, a recently retired construction representative.

LOL. Love the “peristent critic” shtick coming up here.
Says who?
His Press Release? His oversight?

Councilman Eric N. Gioia, a Queens Democrat who has been a persistent critic of the utility, said the arrests were more evidence that state regulators should not permit Con Edison to go forward with a proposed rate increase.

“It is outrageous to hear that supervisors who knew better were accepting kickbacks from a contractor, especially the one that was charged with cleaning up Lexington Avenue after the steam pipe explosion,” Mr. Gioia said. “This is what happens when you have a bloated monopoly that’s poorly managed.”

LOL- This guy, too.

Assemblyman Michael N. Gianaris, another Queens Democrat who has been critical of Con Ed, said in a statement: “While most Con Edison employees are hardworking, honest individuals, those who are not are thriving in the sprawling, unaccountable monopoly that is Con Edison. This is yet another glaring example of the need to reform this monopoly so that it will finally begin operating like a responsible corporate citizen.”

For Once I’d like to see a plain ole lede.
Dago Mafia Goombata Busted At Electrical Powerhouse Day Jobs-

~~~*Shocking!*~~~

40. catnip - 14 January 2009

Oooo…a deliberate snub?

Paul Krugman, who Obama’s willing to hear out on economic issues, was invited, but didn’t attend.

And, if Sully’s a “liberal”, I’ll boycott cheesecake.

Hmmm…I don’t see kos’ name there…wtf?

hehe

41. catnip - 14 January 2009

For those keeping score, Nortel declared bankruptcy today.

42. catnip - 14 January 2009

Creating more of a legal mess in Gitmo: Omar Khadr Trial in Limbo

43. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2009

LOL re Stoller/ Alan Grayson

Grayson upsets incumbent in Florida | JTA – Jewish & Israel News

Democrat Alan Grayson defeated a four-term incumbent to to win a … John Adler of New Jersey and Jared Polis of Colorado as new Jewish House members. …
jta.org/news/article/2008/11/06/1000821/grayson-upsets-incumbent-in-florida – 42k –

“Senior Policy Advisor”…On WHAT? LOL.
He’s going to have that kid blogging his Puff-Piece Ass off
sucking up ever donation he can.

44. marisacat - 14 January 2009

The Geithner tax mess is a bigger mess, he did not even turn over the IMF funds issued to him for their share of his withholding amounts. He kept it and banked it.

AND IMF kept a full time person on the payroll to assist their staff with these issues. That while many international firms’ staffs have issues of compliance, historically IMF staff do not, they pay up.. Geesh. WTF…

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

Harper’s Index looks back on the Bush Years.

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
47. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
48. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Sorry! BHHM at 39… the comment lanquished in Moderation.. it has now been saved!

8)

49. marisacat - 14 January 2009

omigd… the NBC evening news said that NORTEL had sold as high as 1,200 dollars. And now is at………………………..

ELEVEN CENTS.

50. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Obama plans a regimen of “permanent campaign”. So much change. I am dizzy with the speed of the change! And the Boston.com Political Intelligence post gets around to my own pet peeve (of a long list!)

[L]ike Bush, Obama has given his top political strategist, David Axelrod, the job of senior adviser, the same title Bush gave Karl Rove at the outset of his administration. (Transition officials did not respond to a request for comment.) Bush administration critics have long alleged that, under Rove’s guidance, the White House political office improperly used government resources to advance Republican interests. The White House and Rove have denied any such misuse.

In September, Obama’s opponent, John McCain, said that he would abolish the White House Office of Political Affairs and relocate its functions to the Republican National Committee. “I think we’ve got to have a White House that is without politics,” he said.

The next month, a draft report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recommended “that Congress develop legislation to eliminate the White House Office of Political Affairs.” The committee, then led by representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, added: “If this is not politically feasible, Congress should adopt reforms to ensure that the office serves the interests of the taxpayer rather than the political party of the president.” …snipwhippy…

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

“The Congressional Black Caucus is out of the anti-war business.”

Only two members of the Congressional Black Caucus mustered the courage to oppose a House Resolution in support of Israel’s savage assault on Gaza, last week. An additional seven CBC members sought cover by voting “present.” The remaining 30 Black lawmakers (the delegates from Washington, DC and the Virgin Islands cannot vote on the House floor) gave their assent to a statement that could have been written by the Israeli government – and probably was.

The Resolution, similar to one passed by the Senate on a voice vote, is a blanket condemnation of Hamas, the political party that won Palestinian Authority elections three years ago, and which Israeli leaders vow to “destroy” before leaving Gaza. The destruction of a mass political party requires massive civilian deaths. Destroying Hamas in Gaza is like stamping out Democrats in The Bronx – with 1.4 million people, about the same size as the Palestinian enclave. The document blames Hamas for “the breaking of the ‘calm’ and for subsequent civilian casualties in Gaza.” In other words, Israel is absolved for all the men, women and children it has burned, eviscerated, blasted into dust, sliced in pieces or melted like wax.

In addition to the usual nonsense about the U.S. maintaining an “unwavering commitment to the…State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state (as if a settler state based on race-ethnicity can be democratic) with secure borders (Israel is the only state in the world that refuses to say where its borders are), the Resolution invokes the United Nations and its Charter (Israel is the unchallenged world champion violator of UN Resolutions, dating from shortly after its declaration of independence, in 1948).

“Israel was racist South Africa’s closest ally, godfather to its nuclear bomb project.”

Could it be that Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Milwaukee’s Gwen Moore are the only Black Caucus members who remember that Israel was racist South Africa’s closest ally, the apartheid regime’s hi-tech weapons quartermaster and godfather to its nuclear bomb project? Do the seven members that voted “present” – Donna Edwards (MD), Keith Ellison (MN), Hank Johnson (GA), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Donald Payne (NJ), Diane Watson (CA) – believe that by refusing to take a position on Israeli crimes against humanity in Gaza, they somehow salvage the Caucus’s claim to be the “conscience of the Congress?”

My rep stood up … I need to send her a thank you.

52. marisacat - 14 January 2009

I think they will be disbanding the CBC in any case. Might as well. As fully corporatised and sold out as the rest.

End of story. Hail Obster.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

Let Gaza Live! by Cynthia McKinney

Ms. McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate, delivers the following remarks in Washington, D.C., January 10. She was among the passengers on the medical relief boat Dignity that was rammed by Israeli warships while on a mission to Gaza, December 30.

We don’t see the images. They are neatly censored from our view in this country. But everywhere else around the world the carnage that is Gaza is being seen and the people are revolted by what they see.

They see dead babies, decapitated bodies, defenseless relief workers killed. Maimed men, makeshift morgues, mortified mothers.

They see exploding white phosphorus shells, cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions.

They see what is reportedly the world’s fourth most powerful military using all of its power against a defenseless people.

In fact, they are witnesses to 15 days of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

They see Hugo Chavez expel Venezuela’s Israeli Ambassador and they see lawmakers in Ecuador condemn Israel’s actions, calling for an investigation into Israel’s crimes against humanity.

And despite the obvious facts of an Israeli-sponsored terror campaign against Palestinians in Gaza, a piece of territory roughly twice the size of the District of Columbia, they see the U.S. Congress support a resolution totally supporting Israel, even though Israel is in violation of U.S. and international law.

They see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, swaggering in insult to black America by initially refusing to seat Roland Burris from Illinois in the Senate, yet that same Reid cowers before the pro-Israel lobby, and they wonder why.

And sadly, they see the U.S. President-elect, who roared onto the scene like a lion, remain as quiet as a lamb in the face of the utter inhumanity of Israel’s actions, and they wonder why.

And then, they see us. Gathered here in front of the White House, reaffirming our own humanity, and that of millions of people around the world, including in Israel, who disagree with this death and destruction. The tears of the Palestinians roll down our cheeks, even as we bury our own victims of police murder.

A new day is coming in U.S. politics. We will use the power of our vote to change U.S. policy. We will no longer check our values at the door and support politicians and political parties that fail to deliver.

Not one more bomb to Israel.

In defense of humanity, we will not give up and we will win.

I wish she was right, but I don’t see sanity gaining ground in this country anytime soon.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

BAR is on fire today:

Black Reagan

Barack Obama just loves Ronald Reagan, the late president but still idolized leader of the American right wing. During his campaign for the presidency Obama famously said that unlike Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton didn’t transform the country in a fundamental way. At the time he was in the thick of his primary battle against Hillary Clinton and the remark was perceived mainly as a dig against his opponent and her husband. When he later said that he would have a foreign policy like Ronald Reagan, it was seen as an attempt to get the votes of rural “Reagan Democrats” in the Pennsylvania primary. It is now clear that Obama’s paeans to Reagan were not mere vote getting efforts or jabs at the Clintons. Barack Obama has proven himself to be a true believer in the Reagan revolution.

Even when Obama announced that his stimulus plan will include a $3,000 tax cut for businesses, his cultists say that we should just give him a chance, a chance to back up the bus and roll over us again. Hopefully Democrats like Senator Tom Harkin will remain vigilant and keep speaking up for the common good. Harkin and a few other democrats were actually paying attention to the Obama economic proposals and weren’t pleased by what they witnessed. “I am a little concerned by the way that Mr. Summers and others are going at this in that, to me, it still looks like a little more of this trickle-down, if we just put it in at the top, it’s going to trickle down.”

“Trickle down” was a Reagan era buzzword that meant theft of public resources. The concept was that if those who already have a lot were to get even more, some of the lucre would trickle down upon the rest of us. It worked fine for the wealthy but thirty years later, working people have not recovered from the effects of the Reagan era.

Ronald Reagan successfully dismantled government programs that no other president dared to touch. He was called the great communicator because of his ability to convince white Americans to act against their own economic interests. His apocryphal tales of black “welfare queens” led an already racist nation to decide that government was the problem in their lives when it is actually the only means of protection from larceny committed by wealthy individuals and big corporations.

Not only is Obama promising tax cuts for businesses, but he is repeating the Reagan mantra about “reforming” Social Security and Medicare or cutting their rate of growth. Proposals to cut back on entitlements are dangerous and ought to be vehemently opposed. Entitlements are the only safety net that Americans have. Pension plans are available to an ever smaller group of workers, health benefits are lost when jobs are lost, and 401K accounts shrink along with the stock market.

Despite being ignorant about so much that effects their lives, Americans know that entitlements are their last hope for a decent life in old age. The only significant defeat for the Bush administration was the failure to privatize Social Security. It was the moment when Americans spoke up and forced Congress to prevent a Bush initiative from coming to fruition. If Barack Obama successfully tampers with Social Security and Medicare, which Bush was unable to do, then progressives who excuse Obama are worse than useless. They are traitors too.

55. catnip - 14 January 2009

How’s your weather, MitM?

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

Hi catnip!

You can’t call this frigid nightmare “weather” … it’s currently 5 degrees with a wind chill of minus 15. Tonight down to minus 10. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 1, wind chill down to minus 30.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
58. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

one in moderation, I think.

59. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Lenin comment.. I know I have read who Friedman is married to… but can’t think now. Well like everyone else, they are poorer now. Not that it matters (ntim)

Yeah–Thomas Friedman is short-listed for the “dumbest man alive” prize.

One good thing is that in the recent downswing he’s lost hundreds of millions of dollars,( his wife’s money.)

Yusef | 14 Jan, 22:24 | #

60. marisacat - 14 January 2009

got it out…………… sorry!

I was foraging up at the front of the house.. I leave bags of non perishable no need to refrigerate items from the grocery deliveries up there… saves making the grocery deliveries more of a massive chore than they are… 😉

61. catnip - 14 January 2009
62. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

No problem!

just found this nightmare: Daft ‘Bama

63. catnip - 14 January 2009

56. Luckily (for a change this winter), we’re on the other side of this huge cold front you guys have. Still, it was -10C today.

Get thee a toque!

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

But He’s Good On Health Care, Right?

Franken’s always been awful in this area, and it’s obvious that he has little problem with shipping more cluster bombs and Apache helicopters to “our ally Israel.” Oh sure, there’s the scripted palaver about a two-state settlement (i.e. walled-off Palestinian Bantustans), and a few crocodile tears shed over Palestinian dead. But Franken’s overall position is clear. Enjoy him, libs. He’s what you wanted.

65. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2009

That Lanny Breuer Nomination for Criminal Division AG is a fucking disaster.
Absolutely a Slam the Door Shut nom:

From Covington Bio:

Representative Matters

* Representing the Special Litigation Committee of the Hewlett Packard Board of Directors.
* Representing a Lieutenant Governor in a case brought by the public integrity section of the Department of Justice.
* Representing the former Minister of Atomic Energy for Russian Presidents Yeltsin and Putin in a case alleging theft of tens of millions of dollars.

Previous Experience

* Special Counsel to President Clinton (1997 to 1999). Mr. Breuer represented President Clinton and the White House staff in the presidential impeachment hearings and trial, independent counsel investigations, a Justice Department task force investigation, and numerous congressional oversight investigations.
* Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan (1985 to 1989)

Holder will be working for him.

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

A toque? And cover up this beautiful head of hair?

67. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2009

Fiddlesticks- I forgot- Breuer was Sandy Bergers boy too in the Classified Doc smuggle imbroglio..LOL.
You Just gotta laugh: Slam that door SHUT!

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
69. marisacat - 14 January 2009

64

Or, they will try ot say what they said about Casey (and was not true) he supports unions!

70. mattes - 14 January 2009

Melamine scare redux: now it’s Soy and organic chicken

This cheap Chinese soy meal was delivered to 127 “organic” chicken farms in France. Nobody yet knows how many organic chicken farms in the U.S., Canada, U.K. or Australia might also be feeding their chickens toxic levels of melamine….The truth is, nobody knows if meats sold in the U.S. are free of melamine because nobody has tested the meat!

http://www.bloggernews.net/119404

…can’t we grow our own food??

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

what took them so long?

Google Maps Gets a Public Transit Layer

No NYC yet …

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
73. marisacat - 14 January 2009

The Holy Church of Espresso.

74. BooHooHooMan - 14 January 2009

We’ve got big trouble. (5+ / 0-)

This current Israeli action has animated anti-Zionism and inflamed the undercurrent of anti-Semitism shrouded within it.

I am seriously considering going elsewhere politically.

I can’t really see going to the Republicans because I do not believe in them, but I am certain I no longer believe in progressivism as a movement.

I think it might be time to give up my Democratic party affiliation… it’s getting close to that, anyway.

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” – Bertrand Russell

by Karmafish on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:44:55 PM PST

[BHHM here–So why doesn’t the next vociferous poster bounce his Bad KarmaFish Ass off the Blog committed to “Electing More and Better Democrat’s” ? ..
And who before my wondering eyes should appear..??::::

*
Oh C’mon (10+ / 0-)

Do you see anything widespread in the Democratic party?

[BHHM here, again LMAO at the next line ..Irony much?]

Don’t conflate diaries on DKos that tend to attract much of the same cast of characters with the entire Democratic party.

And like Luntz said, many of the biggest asshats on DKos haven’t even been in the US.

“Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else.” Paul Krugman

by DHinMI on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:48:41 PM PST

I understand, (3+ / 0-)

but I wonder how long it will be before left anti-Zionism makes its way into the mainstream?

How long?

Two years?

Five?

by Karmafish on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:50:26 PM PST

[BHoo X3– Oh hopefully SOONER Hon.
Maybe when this next guy Ceasar decides..]

Unlike You, I Haven’t Made Up My Mind… (3+ / 0-)

…that it will.

by DHinMI on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:52:05 PM PST

[ Parent ]
o
We’re watching it happen. n.t (2+ / 0-)

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” – Bertrand Russell

by Karmafish on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 09:52:55 PM PST

{Snip}
The influence is taking place (3+ / 0-)

over time and you can see it in how this community is reacting.

Daily Kos was never welcome toward anti-Semites, or any other racists.

But when you see diary after diary after diary castigating Israel, you have to wonder.

Much of that criticism, particularly in the comments, is not about the war, but about the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” – Bertrand Russell

by Karmafish on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:45:53 PM PST

*
Yeah, (2+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
Karmafish, Everest42

and let’s see how much grassroots money they raise for the cause.

Cause that’s where the influence actually comes from, and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Even if they did, it wouldn’t amount to very much.

Before Obama, chop wood and carry water. After Obama, chop wood and carry water.

by CN on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 12:24:10 AM PST

[ Parent ]

____________________________________________________________

Well, at least the last smugster is frank about the pursestrings…
The thread proceeds from there quite openly discussing “the threat”…..DHinMI right in the middle of it trying to minimize the shift … I mean WTF else is he going to do? People noticeably aren’t buying the Zionist Jew Crap but he can’t afford to disappoint…What a little piss ant, Houle. …He clearly is already on, or bucking for a little cheese from someone’s payroll…He went on a tear through a number of Gaza Reality Diaries then moved on David Swansons (tho it was a crosspost on Impeachment)

Clearly being shut out of the better paying gigs,
Houle now has all of the employable utility of a 17 year old on a comment board: He’s actually competing in a labor market where people do it FOR FREE.

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
76. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
77. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

More detail on which laws might make phosphorus use in Gaza a war crime: Israel Accused of ‘War Crimes’ for Phosphorus Shells

Calls for an international war crimes investigation in Gaza are getting louder, especially over the issue of white phosphorus (WP) shells. A senior United Nations source tells the Guardian newspaper that they were compiling evidence of war crimes. The Israeli Defense Forces are pulling together counter-evidence — and standing by their use of WP. On Tuesday, the Israeli military spokesman said that it “wishes to reiterate that it uses weapons in compliance with international law, while strictly observing that they be used in accordance with the type of combat and its characteristics.”

White phosphorus was first used as a weapon by Fenian terrorists in the 19th century. Although it can be used as an incendiary, these days WP is more commonly used to produce smokescreens as it produces very thick white smoke. (A notable exception was in the 2004 action in Fallujah, where U.S. artillery carried out “shake and bake” fire missions using a mixture of WP and high explosive shells to drive insurgents out of cover and kill them.)

In Gaza, even the Red Cross accepts that the intention is probably to use WP to create smoke rather than to deliberately injure; the Associated Press quotes the ICRC’s Peter Herby as saying: “It’s not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it’s being used in any other way.”

WP causes terrible injuries, burning right through skin and flesh. It is not classed as a chemical weapon, and as Jason Sigger points out, WP smoke rounds are not classed as an incendiary weapon either. This is because the 1980 Geneva Protocol on Incendiary Weapons specifically does not cover “Munitions which may have incidental incendiary effects, such as illuminants, tracers, smoke or signaling systems.”

The weapons involved are likely to be U.S.-supplied M825A1 155mm artillery rounds, each of which scatters a hundred and sixteen wafers of WP-infused felt over a wide area. Using felt rather than pure WP ensures slower burning over several minutes rather than just a cloud of instant smoke that rapidly disappears. The M825A1 scatters its payload over an area between 150 and 250 meters in diameter.

So, by this logic, there are no incendiary weapons being used and no case to answer. However, the case put forward by Human Rights Watch and others is not that WP is an incendiary, but that its use “violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life.” This looks like a reference to a different treaty, the 1949 Geneva Protocol, which has a section on “General protection against effects of hostilities”:

(ii) take all feasible precautions in the choice of means and methods of attack with a view to avoiding, and in any event to minimizing, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects;

There are strong indications that the WP rounds are causing civilian injuries. The L.A. Times reported one dead and dozens injured in Southern Gaza by what appears to have been a white phosphorus attack. Witnesses describe a shell bursting and scattering burning objects: “One landed on Mayar, my baby daughter. It was like a block of fire, a piece of plastic on fire. When I knocked it off her, it exploded and out came this heavy white smoke with a very bad smell.”

78. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009

Interesting little bit at the end of a piece on the remake being made of The Prisoner:

For his part, McGoohan was, like his characters John Drake and Number Six, aghast at the creep of the surveillance state. His views on technology, weaponry and the panopticon were prophetic given current affairs. As he explained in a 1977 interview:

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy.

“We all live in a little Village,” McGoohan concluded in the same interview. “Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.”

Decades later, he has proven to have been correct not only about his time, but ours. Our 21st century panopticon stretches from reality TV all the way to the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay, and it will be interesting to see how the new Prisoner tackles issues like these.

79. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 January 2009
80. mattes - 14 January 2009

I was looking at the ticker on cable news, and could not believe what I was seeing…so I went to bloomberg and money, I think we are in serious trouble. What exactly are we suppose to do? I want a new monitor…and can’t seem to part with the money.

News:

Fed Wants ‘Comprehensive’ Plan to Cleanse U.S. Banks

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve’s top two officials urged a new effort to address the toxic assets held by financial companies, warning that they threaten to prevent banks from resuming lending to households and companies.

They called for the government to remove or insure the assets

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, said yesterday at a hearing that with “the larger banks having gotten money, we can advance to the smaller banks and community banks” in the second part of TARP.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aVS2KSR6X7r8&refer=economy

India’s Enron Puts Auditors Back Under Scrutiny (Update1)

The accounting scandal that imperils Satyam Computer Services Ltd., embroiled in India’s biggest corporate fraud investigation, is raising concerns about oversight of international companies that trade in the U.S.

Seven years after the implosion of Enron Corp. led to the dissolution of accounting firm Arthur Andersen, the Satyam case has put PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the U.S. regulator that oversees auditors in the spotlight. Hyderabad-based Satyam’s former chairman, Ramalinga Raju, was arrested last week after saying that he falsified accounts that went undetected for years.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aov_laRpSmno&refer=exclusive

Argentine Peso Worst Latin Currency on Devaluation

Argentina is starting to catch up with Brazil in devaluing its currency, helping Buenos Aires yarn maker Marcelo Prim at the risk of igniting inflation and a run on the nation’s banks.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=af6d4ia67W4s&refer=exclusive

State Pensions’ $865 Billion Loss Affects New Workers

State governments from Rhode Island to California have run up estimated pension-fund losses of $865.1 billion, forcing some to cut benefits for new hires.

Assets for 109 state funds declined 37 percent to $1.46 trillion over the 14 months ended Dec. 16, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of stocks fell 41 percent in the period.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=ahb6gcv6yWcs&refer=exclusive

Oil Slump Forces Rich Arab Countries to Run Deficits

Tumbling oil prices are forcing many of the richest Persian Gulf states to record budget deficits and limit a critical source of foreign investment for poorer Arab countries.

Central bank governors and finance ministers from the 22- member Arab League gathered in Kuwait City today for a week of meetings on the global financial crisis and Gulf efforts to create a single currency. The conference opened with a minute of silence for the more than 900 Palestinians killed in a 2 1/2-week Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=ai8ZshRIrB3E&refer=exclusive

Morgan Stanley-Citi Venture May See Challenge From ‘Breakaways’

Morgan Stanley’s joint venture with Citigroup Inc.’s Smith Barney will create the biggest group of financial advisers at a time when some investors and brokers are seeking independence from Wall Street titans.

The venture, which New York-based Morgan Stanley will control with a 51 percent stake, would employ 20,390 brokers in more than 1,000 branches. The new entity would surpass the 16,000-strong “thundering herd” of brokers at Merrill Lynch & Co., which was acquired by Bank of America Corp. on Jan. 2.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=axnBA8m6wuBE&refer=exclusive

Cash-Strapped Technology Small-Caps Hold Patent Sales

Small-cap technology companies from Silicon Valley to Israel, struggling to raise enough money to survive amid the credit crisis, are selling prized patents to stay in business.

VocalTec Communications Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Ido Gur said he needed to sell 15 of the Israeli company’s 22 inventions to raise money to market its main Internet phone software.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=a6qvnf68pqCA&refer=exclusive

Billionaires Burn Israeli Savers on N.Y., U.K. Deals

Israeli pension funds helped diamond mogul Lev Leviev snap up Manhattan real estate, including the former New York Times building, in 2007. Now they’re sharing in his losses as property prices plunge, dragging down the value of corporate bonds that backed the deals.

Fellow billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva has the same problem after the foray by his Delek Real Estate Ltd. into British property and roadside restaurants helped force its bonds down 73 percent. Pension funds and individual investors lost about 20 billion shekels ($5.1 billion), or a quarter of what they had invested in corporate bonds, as yields fell in the four months to November.

Now, under threat of a strike by Israel’s biggest union over pension losses, the government is proposing a bailout to help close the savings gap for people near retirement age. Concern that some companies could be wiped out helped drag the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange TA-25 Index down 44 percent in the past year.

“These real estate tycoons imported the global financial crisis to Israel,” said Gill Beeri, managing director of Ramat Gan, Israel-based Ayalon Financial Solutions Ltd. Its Smadar fund lost 14.1 percent in the first 11 months of last year. “There’s increased concern that these companies may default.”

Israel is the latest country to suffer from the collapse of the U.S. subprime mortgage market, which led to an economic crisis in Iceland, currency devaluations in Russia and street protests in Greece and Kuwait. There may be more fallout as the economies of the U.S., Japan and the countries of the European Union contract in 2009.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=aawaWZBTZNQE&refer=exclusive

Job losses

The hemorrhaging of American jobs accelerated at a record pace at the end of 2008, bringing the year’s total job losses to 2.6 million or the highest level in more than six decades.

The economy has lost more than 2.5 million jobs in the current recession, which began in December 2007, far surpassing the previous two recessions, and just below the 2.7 million jobs lost in the 1981-1982 recession, which had the deepest unemployment in the 70-year history of the report.
http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/09/news/economy/jobs_december/index.htm

Weak outlook for jobs, GDP in 2009
UCLA report expects 2 million jobs lost, four straight quarters of GDP decline.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The nation is expected to lose 2 million jobs in 2009 and undergo economic contraction through the first half of the year, according to a widely watched report released Thursday.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/11/news/economy/anderson_forecast/index.htm

What is going to happen?

81. catnip - 14 January 2009

66. A toque? And cover up this beautiful head of hair?

You have hair? Do you have a shovel too by any chance?

82. catnip - 14 January 2009

72. So THIS is the source of my problem!

[insert snide remark here]

83. catnip - 14 January 2009

This just in! Your new wallpaper.

(Note the extremely obvious lapel pin.)

84. catnip - 14 January 2009

Oh merde:

We’re Not Ready

by BooMan
Thu Jan 15th, 2009 at 12:33:17 AM EST

I think it is obvious that rank and file Democrats have no idea how much power they have. What’s less obvious is that the elected Democrats cannot yet fathom how much power they have. For at least 14 years Democrats have been toiling in the minority trying to come up with policy prescriptions that could pass in Tom DeLay’s House and Bill Frist’s Senate. They put in all this work and now we can pass the fruit of their labors. Too many progressives want to pass the legislation they came up with in a GOP-dominated era because that’s what they’ve been working on for a decade or more. This is totally understandable. But the problem is that we have the votes to pass much better stuff than any of these thinktanks ever dreamed of passing over the last decade-plus.

We’ve entered a progressive era but most of the hard work by wonks was thought through in a Republican era. Don’t worry. We’ll learn. But actual progress will be slower than it should be becauce we were not prepared.

Yup. That must be it!

(What a tool.)

85. marisacat - 14 January 2009

Sorry!

EVERYBODY out out of Moderation… catnip, mattes, Madman and BHHM…

Sorry for the delay!

86. marisacat - 14 January 2009

thinktanks? He thinks that that is who thought up the legislation the Dems are sitting on?

Excavate the brain and replace with cotton wool. He will thnk better.

87. catnip - 14 January 2009

Can we get room service when we’re stuck in moderation? I couldn’t find a menu…

88. catnip - 14 January 2009

(And that mattes sure is a parteh animal!)

89. marisacat - 14 January 2009

mattes

What is going to happen?

And if you read the Wolf article linked up thread from the FT (up at comment # 32), Bambi is clueless.

Oh we are in deep deep trouble. We are so screwed.

90. marisacat - 14 January 2009

87

see the white courtesy phone catnip… 😆

91. marisacat - 15 January 2009

Via BHHM, the comment exchange between Karmafish and DHinMI:

Much of that criticism, particularly in the comments, is not about the war, but about the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

Welllllllllllllllll. It may b a non PC question but it is not a BANNED question. Tho the US and ISrael with the assistance of the UN has tried to make it a purely racist question and to label it globally as anti semitic.

It’s a sixty plus year mess to carve out Israel and the US to decide to make of it a “girlfriend”, as I understand the diplomatic community as short hand used to, at least, refer to the relationship.

The whole thng is rife with problems. WIth weapons to back up the mistake.

92. catnip - 15 January 2009

90. see the white courtesy phone catnip…

No courtesy for the black folks! Racist! Anti-semite! (Just thought I’d throw that last one in there too. :D)

93. catnip - 15 January 2009

A new dkos poll has Obamalama’s approval rating at 67%. Isn’t that around where Bush started out too?

94. marisacat - 15 January 2009

hmm I don’t remember where Bush was as he went nto office. I cuaght Chuck Todd on NBC news tonight (imo he is too in the tank for Obster) but the new polling has several tiers to it (aside from luv polls on Dkos)… and in the question about “like him and his policies” it drops to 55% approval.

IMO and I may be wrong, he is going to have a very rough first year, but the second year…. and it leads into midterms… could be a very broken merry go round ride. AND there are some financial analysts starting to be too cheery (for no reason!) about second half of 09… which will only increase unhappiness.

95. catnip - 15 January 2009

I haven’t heard any economists/financial types say that the economic crisis will do anything but perhaps get worse all through 2009.

I guess we’ll have to see how the new Clinton administration handles the economy. (Like Obama has any control besides his big veto threat? And what a fool he is. Congress already threw $350 billion into the Twilight Zone and he wants to double that amount?)

I think his entire term will be rocky.

96. marisacat - 15 January 2009

I caught one financial advisor today trying to say that the latter half of 09 would be better… and read of one that is trying to say she sees “the green shoots of recovery” already.

I mean.. that is just spinning pink unicorns.

97. marisacat - 15 January 2009

LOL I think he is expecting to be lauded as Jesus the Savior of Mankind.. with some sort of in the tank recovery at some point.

He is going to be very very very very very disappointed.

98. marisacat - 15 January 2009

Gnu post…………

LINK

…………………… 😆 😆 😆 ………………….

99. marisacat - 15 January 2009

i Knew I saw the “green shoots” somewhere.. it is a UK minister. LOL She did get slammed, thankfully.

Just cruel and DESPERATE.. on the part of government..

100. wu ming - 15 January 2009

there might be a sucker’s bounce, but i expect that 2010 will be fucking grim. among other things, any slight recovery will increase oil consumption, which will drive the gas prices back up, given the fact that global oil production continues to plateau. heck, mexico may well be done exporting oil by 2010 (if not next year, the cantarell field’s production numbers are falling very fast).

what matters politically more than whether the economy’s getting better, IMO, is how people perceive the government, whether they think obama and congress are at least doing what they can. if, by some miracle, they actually passed a halfway decent healthcare plan that people could actually see some help from, it could help them deal with the macroeconomic fallout.

my guess is they don’t, but then americans are a very deeply gullible people. if they bought reagan and bush, they may well buy obama.


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