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Zed 13 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Israel/AIPAC.


A Grevy’s zebra approaches the hindquarters of two of its fellow zebras at the zoo in Frankfurt Main, Germany, 31 March 2008. Grevy’s originate from the savannahs of East Africa and are among the threatened animal species. [EPA/Arne Dedert]

Not so much tonight… but I did see this at Global Research, from Chossudovsky… on the armanents trade, military alliance and related issues between the US and Israel… since so much is in the news, the Sanger article (he was on Charlie Rose tonight, part 2 tomorrow night), Ha’aretz, the upcoming mil shipments.. and so on….  It’s chock full of tidbits..

Media Disinformation

The official statements and press reports are bogus. Israel and the US have always acted in close coordination. Washington does not “demand that Israel give them prior notice” of a military operation:

The report in Haaretz suggests that the Bush Administration was adamant and did not want the Israelis to attack Iran. In fact, the reports suggested that the US would shoot down Israeli planes, if they tried to attack Iran:

“Air-space authorization: An attack on Iran would apparently require passage through Iraqi air space. For this to occur, an air corridor would be needed that Israeli fighter jets could cross without being targeted by American planes or anti-aircraft missiles. The Americans also turned down this request. According to one account, to avoid the issue, the Americans told the Israelis to ask Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for permission, along the lines of “If you want, coordinate with him.” [Haaretz Nov 9, 2008]

This Israeli report is misleading. Israel is America’s ally. Military operations are closely coordinated. Israel does not act without Washington’s approval and the US does not shoot down the planes of its closest ally.

The Nature and Composition of  the Recent US Weapons Shipments to Israel

These unusually large shipments of ordinance would normally require Congressional approval.  To our knowledge, there is no public record of approval of the unusually large shipments of heavy “ammunition” to Israel.   …

And this, from Politico. Here’s hoping.

[S]enator Russ Feingold (D-WI) said he’s been informed that President Obama will support his proposed legislation to make public some opinions from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which issued some of the Bush Administration’s most sweeping claims of executive power. Obama also has promised to limit President Bush’s practice of using “signing statements” to amend legislation.

“Every day we get indications that they’re serious about reversing the abuses of the Constitution,” Feingold, a harsh Bush critic, told Politico. Feingold said Obama’s staff told him to expect executive orders rapidly reversing Bush policies on the interrogation and detention of terror suspects, and on keeping the records of past presidents secret. He declined to be more specific.

“I don’t know in what order or how fast” Obama’s executive orders could come, he said. “It’ll be important that a couple of them be done immediately, and I think they will be, to show there’s a strong break from the current policy.”

Chris Lu, executive director of Obama’s transition team, told supporters in a conference call earlier this month that Obama’s aides have “started developing executive orders that the pres elect is considering –not only ones the President-elect will sign after January 20, but also ones we will want to repeal.”

Obama aides didn’t respond to requests for more detail, but the president-elect campaigned against what he called Bush’s abuse of executive authority.   …

I get the feeling tho that nobody is sure of anything.  And not to say that Feingold will have anything to say if he is stiffed.

ms_xeno turned me on to David Caruso and Distant Ocean a few days ago.. and I realised tonight while at Tiny Revolution, I had been reading him second hand, there, without putting it all together.  In a comment thread he links to a pdf of an Hasbara handbook, for promoting and defending Israel on campus.  What a hoot.  It says (somewhere around page 26) not to accuse your opponent of anti semitism without seriousness and good reason.  HA!  They don’t read their own handbook.



1. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Juan Cole has up a post (sounds like more than one, too) on how street protests “irritate” him and he thinks opposing the AIPAC dominance in ousting congressional members who dare oppose Israel is more important. Again, WHY NOT BOTH?

The ”either or”, frankly rather repressive, reaction to protest always amazes me. Some see protest to be of value. Others think supporting Kucinich and the small (tiny microscopic) handful that speak out as valuable. Who’s stopping the congressional pushers? NOBODY. Go for it Professor – AND Dem party consultant – Cole.

2. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

LOL– I missed this..
After Made-off, Who in the fuck gives Trillion Dollar cart blanche
to a young smugster named Kashkari?
Speaker of the House Rahmitin Diaz?


Who’s Running TARP? You Might Not Wanna Know

Last week, Congress’s oversight panel for the TARP funds confirmed in a report that the Treasury Department essentially has no idea what banks have done with the astronomical sums they’ve been handed. As the New York Times reported back in October, many of those people are former execs at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street behemoth that used to be led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.


Most prominent among those is Neel Kashkari, the 35-year old former Goldman VP who was appointed by Paulson in October as the interim head of the Office of Financial Stability (OFS), which is in charge of implementing the bailout. Kashkari’s role is said by the Times to have “evolved” after Paulson changed the original bailout plan, so that Treasury would invest money directly in troubled banks.

An excellent quick clip – Kashkari and Dennis Kucinich :
“A level of racketeering on a scale we’ve never seen ”

In the hearings Kucinich noted our industrial capital base has been devastated to the point of a National Security emergency.
So when you’re hearing it from a good peacenik like Denny…

$684 TRILLION Dollars in derivatives out there. A “financial tsunami” was how Dennis put it. The Europeans get it. Certain Sectarians nominally based in the US went to war, went broke, and are looking for more.

3. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Spain- where a quarter million including its Prime Minister Zapatero protested Israel over the weekend-

Spain hit by public finance warning

By David Oakley in London and Victor Mallet in Madrid
Published: January 12 2009 18:01

The growing dangers for Europe’s sharply slowing economies were highlighted yesterday as Spain became the third eurozone country to be warned over its deteriorating public finances in the space of three days.

Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, said Spain’s top-notch triple A credit ratings could be downgraded because of pressure on its public finances after it entered what is likely to be a deep recession in the fourth quarter. On Friday, Greece and Ireland were also warned by the agency that their ratings could be downgraded as economic conditions worsen. The warning is likely to help drive up borrowing costs for those countries.

4. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Well a couple weeks ago Congress gave Kashkari a public roasting at hearings. But LOL I doubt he is going anywhere. Kiss that 350 Billion good bye is my thought. Or far too much of it. Some showy game about foreclosure, some showy this or that.. but with so many of the same Economics and Thievery 202 in charge.. wellllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

I am afraid we are in some big drain.

5. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Lenin has text of a statement circulating in GB for intellectuals, academics and artists against the war on Gaza. Hot button title, Israel Must Lose. That should stir the soup.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

of course, how does one “oppose AIPAC dominance” and make the perfessor happy?

By giving the donks money, of course.

Fuck that.

7. marisacat - 13 January 2009


8. marisacat - 13 January 2009

LOL btw His big idea is a PAC. A “pro America” PAC… he suggests calling it “America First” but commnters remind him of Lindbergh. ooops.

Just no words. None.

9. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Israel Must Lose.

They will. Digital deposits won’t save them. They have lost their international support, save the hung-over slobber of sots here.

10. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Old News- well, ALMOST….
The ballsy lede reflecting the ballsy claim waaaay back in Novem:

UBS finds ‘limited’ cases of tax fraud

UBS discovered a small number of tax-fraud cases as part of an investigation into whether the Swiss bank helped clients dodge American taxes, the bank chairman, Peter Kurer, said Thursday.

“Our investigations have uncovered a limited number of cases of tax fraud under both U.S. and Swiss law,” Kurer told shareholders at a special meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland…..

The U.S. Justice Department has argued that UBS, which is based in Zurich [Largest Swiss Bank] and has large operations in the United States, helped as many as 17,000 of its American clients evade

> $300 million a year in taxes <

through hidden offshore accounts. Kurer’s remarks contained no specifics about whether he disputed the American estimate, nor did he clarify what number of fraud cases he would regard as “limited.”

Raoul Weil, who oversaw UBS’s cross-border private banking operations until 2007, was indicted this month by a U.S. grand jury on a charge of conspiracy.

Other than, uh, Bernies shit surfacing..only a few Crickets since:

UBS Clients plan defences in tax evasion probe

Wealthy American clients of UBS are adopting different strategies to counter the threat of confidential data being handed over to a United States tax evasion probe.

Wealthy American clients of UBS are adopting different strategies to counter the threat of confidential data being handed over to a United States tax evasion probe.

The Swiss bank is under pressure to release records of suspected tax cheats. Some clients have hired lawyers to fight such a move while others appear willing to cut deals with the US tax agency.

End of December:

Swiss UBS bank pulled into Madoff scandal; FBI pushes probe
Dec 22, 2008, 19:38 GMT

Zurich/New York – The Swiss banking giant UBS, already hit hard by the global finance crisis, is facing new problems connected to the collapse of Bernard Madoff’s private US investment fund, the firm confirmed Monday.

UBS spokeswoman Tatiana Togni, answering a question about the involvement, said UBS had brokered access to the fund if clients asked for the contact, but did not directly recommend it.

{ So who would they be? The chosen able to “get in” with Bernie?}

She did not give details about the amount of capital involved.

Meanwhile, The Times has a piece today that reads like all parties are coming to happy resolution with Bernie, suggesting even a quick plea in the offing….

So who is this dude Raoul Weil?

11. marisacat - 13 January 2009


This is “liberal” (and perverted) Zionism

Those ostensible liberals (Zionists) want to remove the children from Gaza in order to kill their parents. How humane? Read:

“We appeal to the government of Israel to open the border-points with Gaza in order to allow for evacuation of children from the battle zone to a safe location, until they can be returned to their families with the cessation of hostilities.”

You know: I have always argued strongly in Arabic and English against analogies between Israel and Nazism and I have always argued against Arab invocations of the holocaust in describing Israeli terrorist murder of Palestinian civilians. I have been thinking all that through this week. (thanks anonymous)

Posted by As’ad at 10:55 PM

12. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

UBS Global Wealth Chairman
Raoul Weil Indicted

According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2007 Raoul Weil supervised the Swiss bank’s overseas activities that serviced some 20,000 US customers. The indictment alleges that by using encrypted laptops and other counter-surveillance techniques, Mr. Weil and his co-conspirators helped US customers conceal around 20 billion dollars in assets from the IRS. Mr. Weil apparently instructed fellow Swiss bankers to increase their cross-border activities knowing that such activity meant bankers would be violating US law.

One also has to wonder how much of the information detailed in the indictment of Mr. Raoul Weil came as a result of the cooperation of former UBS private banking executive, Bradley Birkenfeld. Reader comments and thoughts are welcome..

So who is this dude Bradley Birkenfeld? LOL

And on and on…not now tho…
time for meditation …
during a read of the indictment.. LOL.


13. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Cardinal Pio Laghi bit the dust.

[O]ne of the most contentious periods of Cardinal Laghi’s career was as papal nuncio to Argentina from 1974 to 1980, when thousands died in the military dictatorship’s so-called dirty war against those said to be domestic subversives.

The Roman Catholic Church was accused of being complicit with the regime.

Responding in 1997 to criticism from relatives of those who had been “disappeared” by the regime, Cardinal Laghi said that “by the end of 1979, I was certain that the violation of human rights had become systematic and I condemned it,” the ANSA news agency reported. …

LOL he caught on at the end…………..

Friend f the Bushes, friend to Reagan… etc.

14. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Well Bon Voyage!- Cardinal Laffey

15. marisacat - 13 January 2009

From the Politco email – oh just call it a trillion, get it over with!

–Politico’s David Rogers: ‘[T]here were signs Monday that the bill’s price tag is growing closer to $850 billion rather than the $775 billion target that has been used most recently by the incoming administration….Included in that total is a package of $300 billion in tax cuts which the Obama camp is also refining.’

16. wu ming - 13 January 2009

getting some serious deja vous thumbing through that hasbara handbook. i wonder if they’ve got a full-on whackjob companion volume for the nooms out there.

the distinction between reasoned debate and scoring points was very well thought out.

17. marisacat - 13 January 2009

wu ming

that was the point the commenters at Tiny Revolution saw, how well drawn the “scoring points” was…

exhausting, the whole damned thing………

18. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Speaking of Hasbara.
Some ‘splainin needed out of the inbred in Crooklyn….

The Brooklyn DA has 9 separate Felony cases pending involving Orthodox Child Molestation tho 1000 other complaints are being investigated by NY Dem Assemblyman Dov Hikind-Orthodox too, LOL.

“Hikind!” -helluva name to investigate pederasty,no? .Just sayin.

Why not call Father Fannie O’Keigh?

Anyways, Details are within the streaming vidreported by WPIX Channel 11 6 weeks ago, interestingly a CW affiliate owned by CBS and Warner Bros.

19. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Max Blumenthal took cameras to the big rallies in NYC… wtih Big Dems in attendance. via Alternet, with commentary.

Then Paterson highlighted the anti-Semitism that has followed in the wake of Israel’s attack on Gaza, highlighting the beating of a teen-age girl in France. “This kind of anger and hatred spreads like a disease,” Paterson said, “and one thing I’ve always pointed out is there’s no place for hate in the Empire State.”

But hatred was plentiful at the rally Paterson addressed. Right in front of the stage, a man held a banner reading, “Islam Is A Death Cult.” Rally attendees described the people of Gaza to me as a “cancer,” called for Israel to “wipe them all out,” insisting, “They are forcing us to kill their children in order to defend our own children.” A young woman told me, “Those who die are suffering God’s wrath.” “They are not distinguishing between civilians and military, so why should we?” said a member of the group of messianic Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch group that flocked to the rally. …

Save us from teh fundies.

20. lucid - 13 January 2009

19 – that’s just foul…

21. CSTAR - 13 January 2009

The Susan Estrich article on http://www.realclearpolitics.com linked to in the previous thread is scandalous.

If you live in Los Angeles, as I do now, imagine San Diego being not only a different state, but a committed enemy whose official government has long been listed as a terrorist organization.

Taking the premise at face value (Hamas as an officially designated terrorist organization) what does that justify? Isolating an urban area of 1.5 million people, creating an internment camp with limited or no access to the outside world? Then bombing it, producing even more internal displacements and causing the deaths hundreds of innocent civilians? And carrying her thought experiments even further, within the context of southern California, does the existence of drug violence originating in Mexican gangs provide justification for a hypothetical aerial attack on densely populated Tijuana?

The following statement is outrageous

And I detest those who traffic in anti-Semitism and then seek to excuse their hatred of me by saying no, it isn’t Jews they hate. Just Israel. Liars.

What is the implication here? Her article goes far beyond any politically expedient gesture to a constituency. What shes says is vile, It is madness.

22. mattes - 13 January 2009

BHHM from your TPM link:

But less attention has been paid to another Goldman alum, Kendrick Wilson, who was brought in — after a personal call from his old Harvard Business School buddy, George W. Bush — to advise Paulson on how to fix the financial markets.

Paulson brought Wilson to Goldman in 1998 from Lazard Freres. Before that, Wilson was president of Ranieri & Co., which was established by Lew Ranieri. While at Solomon Brothers in the 1970s, Ranieri pioneered mortgage-backed securities, the exotic financial instruments that helped stoke the mortgage bubble. In other words, the man brought in to fend off a financial crisis appears to be a protege of one of the men who helped cause it.

Which links to this one:

Lewis S. Ranieri: Your Mortgage Was His Bond

The bond trader turned home loans into tradable securities
Joining Salomon Brothers’ new mortgage-trading desk in the late 1970s, the college dropout became the father of “securitization,” a word he coined for converting home loans into bonds that could be sold anywhere in the world. What Ranieri calls “the alchemy” lifted financial constraints on the American dream, created a template for cutting costs on everything from credit cards to Third World debt — and launched a multibillion-dollar industry.

Salomon and Bank of America Corp. (BAC ) developed the first private mortgage-backed securities (MBS) — bonds that pooled thousands of mortgages and passed homeowners’ payments through to investors — in 1977. Not a moment too soon: Skyrocketing interest rates were turning the business of savings and loans — funding long-term mortgages with short-term deposits — making it a financial death trap for banks just as the housing demands of maturing baby boomers began to surge.

Ranieri’s job was to sell those bonds — at a time when only 15 states recognized MBS as legal investments. With a trader’s nerve and a salesman’s persuasiveness, he did much more, creating the market to trade MBS and winning Washington lobbying battles to remove legal and tax barriers.


What was Ranieri’s association with Moody’s and all the other rating agencies that rated these bonds triple A???

And then WHO started buying the default insurance without holding ownership of the bond? When did that start? Was it Moody’s and Ranieri’s people? Because they knew the loans would default?

23. marisacat - 13 January 2009


sorry! you got stuck in Moderation… out now… 8)

24. mattes - 13 January 2009

BHM…you are on a roll…can’t keep up.

25. catnip - 13 January 2009
26. marisacat - 13 January 2009

E Intifiada, http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10177.shtml :

JERUSALEM (IRIN) – The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) is concerned that waste water lagoons in the northern Gaza Strip could collapse due to the current fighting between Israel and Hamas.

“With Israel’s latest bombardment, there is a real risk that earth retention walls of a number of wastewater lagoons will break, releasing an estimated three million cubic meters of wastewater into the surrounding communities,” said Shaddad Attili, head of the PWA, in a statement on 12 January.

Attili said a lagoon collapsed in 2007 killing five people and displacing hundreds of families.

Majeda Alawneh, a spokeswoman for the PWA, told IRIN three of her staff in Gaza had been killed in the Israeli offensive which began on 27 December. “Two staff members were working in the waste water sector and one was on duty at a water well,” she said from the PWA’s Ramallah office. …

27. marisacat - 13 January 2009


And carrying her thought experiments even further, within the context of southern California, does the existence of drug violence originating in Mexican gangs provide justification for a hypothetical aerial attack on densely populated Tijuana?

exactly right, AFTER we penned them in from all sides and not only lobbed missiles and artillery shelling… but aerial bombing, shelling from the sea and ground assault forces, house to house fighting. AND we had colluded with Mexico to cut them off for years.

28. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

Max Blumenthal with vid at pro Israel rally in NY

Max Blumenthal is great – anyway you slice it – check out his parley with a women when he then refers to his own circumcision

The footage is hideous – Schumer and Patterson’s pandering to the kooky Jewfest that is the crowd…Houston – we got a problem.

29. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Tapper has some detail on the Geithner taxes issue (always luv how the Big Guys scam their taxes, if they can)

The tax issue, as I understand it, is that IMF employees receive W-2s as employees and are treated as if they were self-employed, so they do not have federal and state taxes withheld from their paychecks. As part of Geithner’s vetting, the Obama Transition Team discovered that he had not paid self-employment taxes in 2001 and 2002.

On Nov. 21, 2008, Geithner paid $25,970 in these overdue taxes plus interest — $2,364 and interest of $956 for 2001 and $16,812 and interest of $5838 for 2002 (Geithner had been notified in 2006 by the IRS that he owed self-employment taxes and interest for 2003 and 2004, after which he paid tax and interest totaling $17,230).

Which begs the question: If the IRS notified Geithner in 2006 that he owed self-employment taxes for his time at the IMF in 2003 and 2004, why did he not realize that those taxes should have applied to him in 2001 and 2002 as well? …

30. marisacat - 13 January 2009

LOL Lobbyists! til very recently!

By recusing Mr. Lynn from working on issues related to his lobbying work for Raytheon, and Mr. Corr from work dealing with tobacco, the Obama Transition Team insists it is abiding by the precise language of the pledge the candidate made on the subject, that “No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

When he was pursuing the Democratic nomination, Obama was broader in his anti-lobbyist pledges. ….

“I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won,” Mr. Obama said at his much-praised Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner speech three days later. “They have not funded my campaign, they will not get a job in my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

Mr. Obama changed that pledge, however, to the notion that lobbyists won’t “run” his White House.

mama! being PEBO is soooooo hard!

31. mattes - 13 January 2009

Orthodox Jewish Chabad-Lubavitch group…enablers of Settlements through their diamond businesses…

32. marisacat - 13 January 2009

I’m curious… are little kraant and snot-nosed denali still out there — fighting for the Obster?

Or did the checks stop? Maybe they have formed a transnational prayer circle for him.

33. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

“Support” Rallies distinctions WRT Orthodoxy, Zion, “Jews” per se

Very clear the Support Rallies are getting funded and pushed out the door quickly with the pols ready to show up where there’s a hint of cash..

But its wholly inserviceable now to speak of the problem being confined to the RW in Israel , or the Orthodoxy there or here , when such a broad swath of “the middle ” supports its militarism, then rallies around the Israeli flag. It is the same premise that legitimates the need to discredit and deny funds and support to the slop that is USA!USA! ” American” “Centrism” here.

We have a financially and militarily Armed “Jew” problem and an –
overwhelmingly ‘Christian” {and also gunsmokin’}
Ignorant “American” problem. So where’s the fracture point?
What makes the most sense? Go after it en block? Or attempt to cleave one off from the other?

$$$. Go after the money . The competition for money.
Fuck em off their money pile or create concerns of such.

Go. right at. that.
The same way intra- and extramural interests concerned about their patronage and influence diminishing here just LOVES the anti SA immigant shit ?
It’s all about waning strategic position, birthrates and lucre.

I couldn’t give a shit about either group in the following, but its pretty clear – over the short term certainly- that parochial Catholic interests are butting up against Jewish prerogatives in the US.
Not that the Catholic Bishops are altruistic: its about their power and $$$.

The calls, though, for some type of porous wall WRT to Immigration in the US is just a viewed-as-essential Wall to control the flow of cheap labor for intramural enterprise while denying political rights of the same:::: Same scam in Israel..

34. marisacat - 13 January 2009

well everyone counts on the “USA purse” as the Vatican calls it. I just don’t think you can go after businesses, products, franchises and money based on surname.

Boycott should be looked into (see NKlein, etc) but not in the scatter shot way that that Boycott Israel site does it. That is just an agitation site. IMO. They have to narrow it, with forensic financials.

Figure out who is worth boycotting. Figure out who gives mega money to Israel, who is a business partner of Israel (why! The USA! USA!)… and so on.

It’s not like I am giving up Nathan’s or Hebrew National dogs (really really not!) ’til I know more. As a capsulation.

35. mattes - 13 January 2009

kraant and snot-nosed denali..don’t think so.

36. marisacat - 13 January 2009


I don’t think he was being truthful in ’96… either. But what a laugh. And he signed it. But surely it was a staffer. And remember, he’s from Hawai’i. Just barely heard of Chicago and Mayor Daley. Etc.

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
38. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Big PhRMA: Crying Wolf Again

Drug companies were rated the third most profitable industry in the U.S. in 2007 by Fortune magazine. In 2007 alone, the top 12 drug makers reaped combined profits of $78,600,000,000 (billion). The industry’s most profitable member, Novartis, netted $11,900,000,000 (billion) in 2007, 67 percent more than in 2006. Pharmaceutical companies have plenty of revenues to cover R&D for a very long time.

In 2004, drug makers spent, on average, nearly one-third (32 percent) of their revenues on marketing, administration and advertising, compared with less than half as much (14 percent) on all R&D. With total industry revenue approaching an estimated $285 billion, that means more than $90 billion a year is spent on marketing, compared to about $40 billion is spent on R&D. And even some of the expenses they count as R&D are payments to doctors to conduct unnecessary clinical trials that are aimed not at research findings, but getting more patients on the latest more expensive medicines before they are FDA approved.

39. marisacat - 13 January 2009


The right wing and pro Israel (and I assume Israeli actors) have gone after the photographer, brother of the child.. they say he worked for Hamas… which is entirely possible. And may be meaningless… AND they have gone after Mads Gilbert (who I read last night is now back in Norway after 10 days straight in that hosptial) saying he is a Marxist who supported 9/11 and supports Hamas.

It could all be true. Does nto change the war crimes.

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

IIRC, Dov Hikind is a serious wackjob.

From his wiki page (which jives w/ my memories of him on the NYC media):

Racial profiling

Dov Hikind has a unique viewpoint concerning random bag searches by the New York Police Department (NYPD), which were implemented in 2004 to find illegal contraband inside the bags and containers of subways riders. Dov Hikind urged the New York Police Department to implement a policy of racial profiling, which would search individuals who appear to come from Middle Eastern or Muslim backgrounds. He defends this policy on the grounds that it would work far more effectively to combat terrorism than that of the current policy, which uses random bag searches. (Searches based on racial profiling have been called racist and demeaning by civil rights groups. The NYPD released a statement against Hikind’s proposal of racial profiling for terrorists). He believes that the terrorist profile (that of Arab-American Muslims) should be targeted as it is the one currently engaged in terrorism in current world events.

Subway security

He was responsible for bringing the allocation of $1.2 million in a project that helped to provide 120 closed-circuit television cameras to nine subway stations along the D, F, and N lines. These funds, which would provide lavish camera security in contrast to many other stations in the five boroughs, were granted because the neighborhoods they were installed in, that being Borough Park, Midwood, Kensington, and Parkville, all had large Jewish populations, which he claimed were “being targeted” by terrorists.[4] Hikind encouraged politicians to do the same in other subway stations, which now lag behind those of his community. A New York Times article [5]revealed that the M.T.A granted close to $600 million in funds for security to stations in New York City in late 2002; however, only a small fraction of it had been used productively by 2005.[5]

If you want to live in a racist police state, move to fucking Israel.


As a child of Holocaust survivors, Hikind considers their experiences to be an important component of his Zionist views. Hikind was a follower of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Jewish Defense League and knew Rabbi Kahane very well, and is active in right-wing Jewish causes. Among his early activities were demonstrations demanding the right to emigrate for Soviet and Syrian Jews. In the summer of 2005, Hikind visited the settlements of Gush Katif to express his concern for the residents who were slated to be expelled from their homes. In the summer of 2006, along with a group of fellow legislators and community leaders, Hikind visited northern Israeli communities during the time of the Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israel. He and his group spent the time there distributing funds and material aid.

United Nations

Hikind is part of a group of New York state legislators that has consistently blocked plans to renovate United Nations headquarters, calling the UN anti-American and anti-Israel.[9] In spite of such calls, the UN recently announced that it will undergo a $1 billion dollar makeover.[10][11][12][13]

Same-sex marriage

After voting against a same-sex marriage bill in the New York State, Hikind paralleled same-sex marriage to incest. While many Democratic officials do not oppose same-sex marriages, Hikind maintained that, “If we authorize gay marriage in the state of New York, those who want to live and love incestuously will be five steps closer to achieving their goals as well.”[14]

I’m so sick of religious nuts.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
42. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

“my parents had a moyel slash my penis!”

I love when Blumenthal does these things.

Oh, and fuck Schumer, claiming that a state terror tactic (the phone calls) is HUMANITARIAN.

43. CSTAR - 13 January 2009

Re 42 It was particularly revolting to hear Schumer claim that “sending text messages” was humanitarian. Do these people have any sense of awareness of what they say?

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

An immigration focus skews our national law-enforcement priorities

The above video is of a mother of two children getting caught up in one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s racial-profiling “sweeps” of suspected illegal immigrants. The woman was pulled over for outstanding parking tickets but was taken away by deputies when she couldn’t produce proof of citizenship. Her two children, meanwhile, were left behind in their car.

45. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

I seeing a problem with targetted boycotts tho – that centralized is too easily neutralized…too easily committeeized, ethicised with notions equating individual cash denial with violence… and hardly timely or getting to the intertwined nature of the domestic politics. Consequently, I’m for more diffuse methods and agitation for them as a strategic value and think concentrated tactics bring a present opportunity cost greater than the prospective results are worth.

The central drawback is, as always, the tag of being considered preposterous or nakedly anti Semitic, or pushing the reactionaries further right. What has prevented it thus far? Nothing.

46. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Woolsey backs Panetta……………………………………………… he’s got something up at HuffPo on it.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
48. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Oh, this is too funny:

More GOP Fail

The Republicans—who had just finally won control of the State House for the first time in 40+ years – were suppose to elect their Speaker of the House today. And failed!

Anaxamander has the details in his/her diary. The Tennessee State House has 50 Republicans and 49 Democrats. Well, Rep. Kent Williams (R-TN) got the support of all 49 Democrats plus his own vote to put himself in the Speaker’s chair.


In the last election, a bunch of belligerent right-wing radicals tried to bully Rep. Williams (a moderate) into taking far-right stands—going so far as to threaten boycotts on his family business, etc.

Well, Rep. Williams had had enough of bullies and blowhards destroying the Republican Party from within. And the Democrats knew it. So the Democrats approached Rep. Williams about being the new House Speaker.

Rep. Williams said, “yes,” and history was made, just minutes ago.


The GOP was promising all sorts of abortion votes, 2nd amendment votes, anti-immigrant votes, anti-gay votes, etc. – your basic nightmare right-wing nutjobs run amuck scenario. Not so fast!!

49. marisacat - 13 January 2009

LOL And the breakthru Speaker in Texas is a Republican. jewish non christian.. and even the Progressive States group sent out an email, that it was a breakthru. Away from the nutter Texas Dems and Republicans.

50. mattes - 13 January 2009

Dinner with conservatives

The president-elect tonight is having dinner with some ideological adversaries: four of the most widely-read conservative columnists.
IS this a JOKE:

He’s dining at the Chevy Chase home of Washington Post columnist George Will with the Post’s Charles Krauthammer and the New York Times’s David Brooks and William Kristol. All three wrote, at times, both kind and scathing things about Obama, though Kristol in particular pushed sharp attack lines against him in the waning days of the race.

By Ben Smith 07:31 PM

51. BooHooHooMan - 13 January 2009

A great expository snip from Mark LeVine in al Jazeera
But, Just when Levine was doing so well…
At the end?
Not so much hope there for BarackO The Messiah, bud.
Interesting italicized update to his piece, WRT the UK


Who will save Israel from herself?

Israelis are clearly incapable. Their addiction as a society to the illusion of violence-as-power has reached the level of collective mental illness.

As Haaretz reporter Yossi Melman described it on January 10, “Israel has created an image of itself of a madman that has lost it”.

Not Palestinians, too many of whom have fallen prey to the same condition.

Not the Middle East Quartet, the European Union, the United Nations, or the Arab League, all of whom are utterly powerless to influence Israeli policy.

Not the organised Jewish leadership in the US and Europe, who are even more blind to what is happening than most Israelis, who at least allow internal debate about the wisdom of their government’s policies.

Not the growing progressive Jewish community, which will need years to achieve enough social and political power to challenge the status quo.

And not senior American politicians and policy-makers who are either unwilling to risk alienating American Jewish voters, or have been so brainwashed by the constant barrage of propaganda put out by the “Israel Lobby” that they are incapable of reaching an independent judgment about the conflict.

During the US presidential race, Barack Obama was ridiculed for being a messiah-like figure. The idea does not sound so funny now. It is hard to imagine anyone less saving Israel, the Palestinians, and the world from another four years of mindless violence.

Update: In a further challenge to the democratic process in Israel, on January 12, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Central Elections Committee had voted overwhelmingly to bar Arab-led parties from participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Also, there are reports that the claim that extremist Muslims are using the internet to collect names and addresses of prominent British Jews in order to attack them, might in fact have been a hoax.

Mark LeVine is a professor of Middle East history at the University of California, Irvine, and is the author of Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam and the soon to be published An Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Al Jazeera.

“The Messiah” Levine refers to in Barack Obama took a 100,000 volunteers to leverage a Billion bucks and close to 70 million votes. Who needs a middleman?

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Jay Rosen

It’s easily the most useful diagram I’ve found for understanding the practice of journalism in the United States, and the hidden politics of that practice. You can draw it by hand right now. Take a sheet of paper and make a big circle in the middle. In the center of that circle draw a smaller one to create a doughnut shape. Label the doughnut hole “sphere of consensus.” Call the middle region “sphere of legitimate debate,” and the outer region “sphere of deviance.”

That’s the entire model. Now you have a way to understand why it’s so unproductive to argue with journalists about the deep politics of their work. They don’t know about this freakin’ diagram! Here it is in its original form, from the 1986 book The Uncensored War by press scholar Daniel C. Hallin. Hallin felt he needed something more supple—and truthful—than calcified notions like objectivity and “opinions are confined to the editorial page.” So he came up with this diagram.

3.) In the sphere of deviance we find “political actors and views which journalists and the political mainstream of society reject as unworthy of being heard.” As in the sphere of consensus, neutrality isn’t the watchword here; journalists maintain order by either keeping the deviant out of the news entirely or identifying it within the news frame as unacceptable, radical, or just plain impossible. The press “plays the role of exposing, condemning, or excluding from the public agenda” the deviant view, says Hallin. It “marks out and defends the limits of acceptable political conduct.”

Anyone whose views lie within the sphere of deviance—as defined by journalists—will experience the press as an opponent in the struggle for recognition. If you don’t think separation of church and state is such a good idea; if you do think a single payer system is the way to go; if you dissent from the “lockstep behavior of both major American political parties when it comes to Israel” (Glenn Greenwald) chances are you will never find your views reflected in the news. It’s not that there’s a one-sided debate; there’s no debate.

I would argue that “separation of church and state” is now UNACCEPTABLE … witness PEBO’s embrace of the Office of Church Enrichment … but anyway:

The three spheres are not really separate; they create one another, like the public and private do. The boundaries between regions are semi-porous and impermanent. Things can move out of one sphere and into another—that’s what political and cultural change is, if you think about it—but when they do shift there is often no announcement. One day David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network shows up on Meet the Press, but Amy Goodman of Democracy Now never does.

This can be confusing. Of course, the producers of Meet the Press could say in a press release, “We decided that Pat Robertson’s CBN is now to be placed within the sphere of legitimate debate because… ” but then they would have to complete the “because” in a plausible way and very often they cannot. (“Amy Goodman, we decided, does not qualify for this show because…”) This gap between what journalists actually do as they arrange the scene of politics, and the portion they can explain or defend publicly—the difference between making news and making sense—is responsible for a lot of the anger and bad feeling projected at the political press by various constituencies that notice these moves and question them.

Within the sphere of legitimate debate there is some variance. Journalists behave differently if the issue is closer to the doughnut hole than they do when it is nearer the edge. The closer they think they are to the unquestioned core of consensus, the more plausible it is to present a single view as the only view, which is a variant on the old saw about American foreign policy: “Politics stops at the water’s edge.” (Atrios: “I’ve long noticed a tendency of the American press to take the side of official US policy when covering foreign affairs.”)

Why is this bad?

That journalists affirm and enforce the sphere of consensus, consign ideas and actors to the sphere of deviance, and decide when the shift is made from one to another— none of this is in their official job description. You won’t find it taught in J-school, either. It’s an intrinsic part of what they do, but not a natural part of how they think or talk about their job. Which means they often do it badly. Their “sphere placement” decisions can be arbitrary, automatic, inflected with fear, or excessively narrow-minded. Worse than that, these decisions are often invisible to the people making them, and so we cannot argue with those people. It’s like trying to complain to your kid’s teacher about the values the child is learning in school when the teacher insists that the school does not teach values.

When (with some exceptions) political journalists failed properly to examine George W. Bush’s case for war in Iraq, they were making a category mistake. They treated Bush’s plan as part of the sphere of consensus. But even when Congress supports it, a case for war can never be removed from legitimate debate. That’s just a bad idea. Mentally placing the war’s opponents in the sphere of deviance was another category error. In politics, when people screw up like that, we can replace them: throw the bums out! we say. But the First Amendment says we cannot do that to people in the press. The bums stay. And later they are free to say: we didn’t screw up at all, as David Gregory, now host of Meet the Press, did say to his enduring shame.

How can that happen? Well, one of the problems with our political press is that its reference group for establishing the “ground” of consensus is the insiders: the professional political class in Washington. It then offers that consensus to the country as if it were the country’s own, when it’s not, necessarily. This erodes confidence in a way that may be invisible to journalists behaving as insiders themselves. And it gives the opening to Jon Stewart and his kind to exploit that gap I talked about between making news and making sense.

The whole thing is very interesting.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

50 – why don’t the dems understand that cuddling with these people WILL NOT PROTECT THEM?!?

The right is their enemy, they are fighting a one-sided culture way, and the ONLY way to deal them is to avoid, deride and crush them.

Morons … so hard to understand how “professional” politicians are so fucking bad at it.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
55. marisacat - 13 January 2009

One day David Brody of Christian Broadcasting Network shows up on Meet the Press, but Amy Goodman of Democracy Now never does.



Yeah but…

But even when Congress supports it, a case for war can never be removed from legitimate debate. That’s just a bad idea. Mentally placing the war’s opponents in the sphere of deviance was another category error.

NONE of that will change. For war or other major fuck ups… Becasue we have courtiers.. not reporters. She may be [one of the] most egregious but she is classic… Andrea Mitchell covered for Bush (and Condi) for years… she made the transtiion to covering for ObRama seamlessly. No blinking. No blood transfusion.


56. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

55- Becasue we have courtiers.. not reporters.

Rosen is always a little to optimistic that things can be changed, though I guess as a professor at a J-school training new reporters, he kinda probably needs to have that outlook to keep going to work every day.

57. marisacat - 13 January 2009

well I do think there are good reporters and journalists. But the EDITORS and Owners and Publishers and corporate interests get in the way (I realise this is not breaking nooz)………. and the likes of Mrs Greenspan get the megaphones for national “reporting” as they are at the castle anyway.

And so ………….on and so forth.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

57 – oh, that is very true.

59. mattes - 13 January 2009


googling “Starbucks-Israeli settlements,” revealed a goldmine of information.

A Muslim website had the most extensive information about Starbucks CEO Schultz: http://www.inminds.co.uk/boycott-starbucks.html

On this website, it notes an award given to Schultz is no longer listed on the Starbucks website: “In 1998 he was honored by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah with ‘The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award’ for his services to the Zionist state in ‘playing a key role in promoting close alliance between the United States and Israel.”

The Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah funds Israeli arms fairs…” The site adds that this listing was removed from Starbucks home page.”

The original page listing Howard Schultz Israel Award as an award for Starbucks can still be seen on their site.

The new page is shown below with no mention of the Israeli connection.”


60. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
61. marisacat - 13 January 2009

One good thing about Starbucks… lousy business practices over the years (not that the coffee was ever much good, but I did buy it as stop gap)… and now being hit, pretty much globally, by the recession.

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Wow, even the View’s resident winger can’t put up with Coulter’s crap.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Perrin on Schumer in the Blumenthal video:

Note how casually the language of terror is employed here. It reminds me of when Ed Koch called for the Israeli carpet bombing of the Bekaa Valley, but felt that the inhabitants there should be given 24 hours to flee before the bombs fell (as Mayor of New York, it was the least Koch could do). Of course, had Al-Qaida warned the workers at the World Trade Center on 9/10 what was coming the next morning, people like Schumer would’ve doubtless applauded the gesture. It’s how civilized people communicate.

64. marisacat - 13 January 2009

I just saw clips of it.. Well Coulter is reprehensible. And prehensile… too.

Not that I can stand anyone on that show by now………..

65. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Got this from IOZ… so not shocked.

The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

The findings ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media like NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” series. One attorney general was quick to criticize the group’s report.

The panel, the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, was charged with examining the extent of the threats children face on social networks like MySpace and Facebook, amid widespread fears that adults were using these popular Web sites to deceive and prey on children. ….

66. marisacat - 13 January 2009

He must be losing in the polls. One set, Ehud, and Tzipi veteran of killing cadres in Europe (UK Independent about 6 months ago), just phrase it a little diferently. Surely they can all get to gether on killing Palestinians. You know, unity…

The divisions between Israel’s senior politicians have been exposed as Benjamin Netanyahu, the opposition leader, said Hamas should be “removed” from the Gaza Strip.

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009
68. marisacat - 13 January 2009


At least three Palestinians in Gaza were shot dead yesterday after Israeli soldiers fired on a group of residents leaving their homes on orders from the military and waving white flags, according to testimony taken by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The testimony was rejected by the military after what it said was a preliminary investigation. ….

However, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli chief of staff, told Israeli MPs: “We have achieved a lot in hitting Hamas and its infrastructure … but there is still work ahead.” Israeli aircraft carried out 60 raids yesterday.

On the relatively peaceful West Bank, a Palestinian man was killed after he tried to grab a gun from an Israeli soldier in Hebron and 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.

Not the first report of civilians shot with a white flag, but it made it to a big print media outlet.

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 January 2009

Al Jazeera Releases Gaza Video Archive Under Creative Commons License

Al Jazeera is releasing 12 broadcast quality videos today shot in Gaza under Creative Commons’ least restrictive Attribution license. Each professionally recorded video has a detailed information page and is hosted on blip.tv allowing for easy downloads of the original files and integration into Miro. The value of this footage is best described by an International Herald Tribune/New York Times article describing the release:

In a conflict where the Western news media have been largely prevented from reporting from Gaza because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli military, Al Jazeera has had a distinct advantage. It was already there.

More importantly, the permissive CC-BY license means that the footage can be used by anyone including, rival broadcasters, documentary makers, and bloggers, so long as Al Jazeera is credited.

70. marisacat - 13 January 2009


Catholics who claim they have seen the Virgin Mary will be forced to remain silent about the apparitions until a team of psychologists, theologians, priests and exorcists have fully investigated their claims under new Vatican guidelines aimed at stamping out false claims of miracles. [stamp stamp! stamp stamp stamp!! –Mcat]

The Pope has instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition, to draw up a new handbook to help bishops snuff out an explosion of bogus heavenly apparitions. [snuff! snuff it out! –Mcat]

Benedict XVI plans to update the Vatican’s current rules on investigating apparitions to help distinguish between true and false claims of visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, messages, stigmata (the appearances of the five wounds of Christ), weeping and bleeding statues and Eucharistic miracles. ….

Soooooooooooo… people experiencing some sort of ecstatic hallucination will have it beaten out of them. ?? That’s how I see it…

Unless of course they are seeing Jesus and Mary in the still drying plaster of the bathroom wall and start charging for access. Not too much ecstasy there… 😆

All of B16’s visitations are true of course..

71. mattes - 13 January 2009
72. bayprairie - 13 January 2009

to lighten things up a little: ms magazine has a limited edition, historic commemorative poster as a benny if you subscribe for a year.

Special inaugural issue

73. CSTAR - 13 January 2009

70 J’ai pas vu ni Vierge ni verge.

74. marisacat - 13 January 2009

hmm Doesn’t Ms Mag claim Obster as some sort of feminist? IIRC they do… and that I had posted absolutely hilarious drivel from whatshername, to the effect that Obster and KNobster are great unheralded feminists. LA Times iirc.

Lordy. She left her brains with the CIA 40 years back. Steinem, that’s her name.

75. marisacat - 13 January 2009

Neue post…………


…………. 8) ……………..

76. marisacat - 14 January 2009



thanks for that, I made it over to read the comments from you and cometman… great article!

🙄 (we are so screwed)

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