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Snow days in the city… 2 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose, WAR!.

Empire bldg from 15th St... reader photos NYT

The Empire State Building, as seen from 15th St. [Denny Tillman – Readers’ Photos of the Snow – NYT]

What does it all mean, now, I wonder.  Full text from the AP:

Secret anti-terror Bush memos made public by Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday released a long-secret legal document from 2001 in which the Bush administration claimed the military could search and seize terror suspects in the United States without warrants.

The legal memo was written about a month after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. It says constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure would not apply to terror suspects in the U.S., as long as the president or another high official authorized the action.  [It’s not illegal if the president does it!  Nixon – Frost interviews…  – Mcat]

Even after the Bush administration rescinded that legal analysis, the Justice Department refused to release its contents, prompting a standoff with congressional Democrats.

The memo was one of nine released Monday by the Obama administration.

Another memo showed that, within two weeks of Sept. 11, the administration was contemplating ways to use wiretaps without getting warrants.

The author of the search and seizure memo, John Yoo, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.  [I doubt he will bother… Mcat]

In that memo, Yoo wrote that the president could treat terrorist suspects in the United States like an invading foreign army. For instance, he said, the military would not have to get a warrant to storm a building to prevent terrorists from detonating a bomb.

Yoo also suggested that the government could put new restrictions on the press and speech, without spelling out what those might be.

“First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully,” Yoo wrote, adding later: “The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically.”

Geesh, why worry, they all comply quickly and quietly if our Age of Terror is invoked.  I was listening to Martha Raddatz of ABC News on the Ifill show Friday night.. and thinking back over the years… what a cheerful, hardworking little cheerleader for war she has been.  Always catching a clue and staying within bounds.

They are so dedicated to being part of the Washington Establishment.

So blessed.

Other than that… someone get the stock market a trampoline.



1. marisacat - 2 March 2009

Pepe Escobar on the land that sinks empires… he seems to think ObRama is too smart to go that way (he supported O, quite enthusiastically), even as Ob, quite relentlessly, does just that.

Obama’s problems are compounded by the fact that he is surrounded by people, such as Pentagon supremo Robert Gates
, that remain locked in “war on terror”/Long War mode. Vice President Joe Biden and special envoy to the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater Richard Holbrooke – not to mention General David “I’m positioning myself for 2012” Petraeus – are certified hawks. They will do everything in their power to steer the conclusions of the Afghanistan strategic policy review Obama is waiting for towards the Long War concept . [So shocked!, at the gambling! -Mcat]

No wonder that after de facto losing a war in Iraq to a bunch of “irregulars” with Kalashnikovs, the Pentagon is now terrified that NATO is about to lose the war in Afghanistan for good, thus proving to the whole world its absolute irrelevancy – and shattering once and for all the shaky pillar of US hegemony over Europe.

NATO is incompetent even at lying. A NATO report in January claimed that “only” 973 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2008, and “only 97” of these by NATO. This month a UN report confirmed that NATO was lying. According to the UN, at least 2,118 Afghan civilians were killed in 2008 – 828 of them by the US or NATO.

Everyone’s talking about US fighter jets and CIA Predator drones raising hell out of three secret Pakistani air bases – with Islamabad’s complicit silence. But nobody talks about the “humint”, or human intelligence, component of the US’s covert war in Afghanistan, conducted by what the New York Times defines, with spectacular hypocrisy, as “military units operating outside the normal chain of command”.

US special forces are part of this deadly mix. A recent UN report identifies these US commandos as the key culprits as far as the killing of Afghan civilians is concerned. Washington happens to identify similar outfits – if they operate under a different banner, or religion – as “terrorists”.

In the case of this new American breed, it’s fair to expect the Pentagon and the Washington establishment to sooner or later start calling them – in a sinister echo of recent Afghan past – “freedom fighters”.

Almost worse, PE says that Bacevich seems to feel the last hope is……… sit down, swallow liquids… SENATOR KERRY.

For Andrew Bacevich, professor of International Relations and History at Boston University, the last hope for sanity is represented by Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

2. marisacat - 2 March 2009

I feel we are trapped in some tinny music hall review. HMS Potomac… Gah.

[R]ush is accusing Democrats calling on Burris to resign — led by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin –of a double-standard, arguing that Ted Kennedy didn’t resign from the Senate after the Chappaquiddick scandal in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times.

“He hasn’t done anything that’s indictable,” said Rep. Bobby Rush, who added that many politicians calling for Burris to resign have “stalking horses” ready for test-runs for his seat.

Burris’ backers said other senators involved in far more unseemly conduct have not been asked to resign. Rush, who also is a minister, apparently referred to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) when he spoke of a politician who “drove off a bridge. People died.”

In a reference to Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Rush mentioned “a senator accused of misconduct in a men’s room.”

3. marisacat - 2 March 2009


[I]n sum, Buffett and much of the rest of humanity are just now coming around to Nouriel Robuini’s way of thinking, the economist known as “Dr. Doom” is upping the ante on his longstanding bearish views.

A year ago Roubini was forecasting an 18-month recession with a U-shaped recovery; now, he’s now expecting the downturn to last at least 24 months and possibly 36-months. He also sees rising risks of a Japanese-style L-shaped stagnation, i.e. a prolonged period with little or no economic growth.

“I was one of most bearish people [but] the economy has surprised the bears on the downside,” says Roubini of NYU’s Stern School and RGE Monitor. “What’s happening in the world now is scary.”

Indeed, while the U.S. economy contracted 6.2% in the fourth-quarter, Roubini’s main concern is economic activity in much of the rest of the world is in much worse shape. And while he is often critical of U.S. policymakers – including over the stimulus package, Fed policy and bank bailouts – Roubini says “the rest of the world is way behind the curve,” in terms of doing the “right things” to confront the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

4. marisacat - 2 March 2009

From a Bloomberg round up piece on the global drops today… and related.

‘Lost Hope’

Contracts to protect against a drop in the S&P 500 for two years cost $15,160 on the Chicago Board Options Exchange at the end of last week, compared with $6,875 in 2007, according to price-adjusted data compiled by Bloomberg. That shows traders expect the benchmark gauge for U.S. equities to fluctuate twice as much in the next two years as it has since 2000.

“There’s a real panic in the markets, with some people wanting to buy long-term insurance at any price,” said Peter Sorrentino, who helps manage $16 billion, including $130 million in options at Huntington Asset Advisors Inc. in Cincinnati. “People have lost hope.”

Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares lost $120 to $2,444. Berkshire, which owns stakes in companies from Coca-Cola Co. to American Express Co., posted a fifth-straight profit drop, the longest streak of quarterly declines in at least 17 years, on losses from derivative bets tied to stock markets. …

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 2 March 2009

Wow, if those four posts don’t convince you to get liquored up and go lie down in the snow to slowly freeze, nothing will.

marisacat - 2 March 2009

oh that made me laugh… Thank you!

yeah quite the day, the month, the quarter following the preceeding quarter, etc. Taken together, all bad.


It’s all BAAAAD.

Or as moiv emailed me once, she feels Obrama’s MO is to be able to say:



Madman in the Marketplace - 2 March 2009

Not too hard, though, because that wouldn’t be the “cool” Obama we’re all told he is.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 2 March 2009

I hate to admit it, but this Faux News take on Tweety saying “Oh God” when Jindal walked to the camera last week is pretty funny.

7. NYCO - 2 March 2009

You call that snow?!

Ah ha ha hah haaahahahah ha ha… pathetic Earthlings…

This is snow.

8. marisacat - 2 March 2009

well I was not thinking of Great Northern Snow Invasions. Shut down, all around, life lived indoors for days and days…storm and multiple ft of snow falling.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 2 March 2009
10. marisacat - 2 March 2009

Wonder who tipped them off to the hot buying prospect.

Provisional figures from the US Treasury department showed that Beijing was holding $99.5bn of shares in June 2008, up from $29bn in 2007. Two years ago, China only held $4bn in US equities, preferring to concentrate on Treasury bills.

However, economists said the latest figures suggested that China may have bought as much as $150bn of equities worldwide, or 7pc of its vast foreign exchange reserves.

Brad Setser, an economist with the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank, said the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), a branch of the Chinese central bank charged with looking after the foreign reserves, was responsible for the buying spree.

Last year, a Sunday Telegraph investigation revealed that SAFE had built holdings of £9bn in companies listed in London. The new figures suggest that SAFE has now become one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, although it is likely to have been badly burned by falling markets during the financial crisis.

The shift into riskier investments was the result of a power-struggle between China’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance, both of which wanted to show they were capable of managing China’s huge wealth. …

BooHooHooMan - 2 March 2009

LOL. Hillary LAST Year on China:

Clinton says U.S. debt to China threatens security

…..Clinton hopes to win Indiana’s Democratic nominating contest on May 6 in a bid to close the gap with Obama who leads in amassing delegates who determine the party’s nominee.

In her campaign remarks, she lamented China’s hold over the U.S. economy.

“We are so dependent upon decisions made in other countries’ capitals,” Clinton said, singling out China’s potential power over U.S. foreign policy decisions because of its financial leverage.

Clinton cited a discussion she had with a retired general who raised a “nightmare scenario” in which China threatened Taiwan and the U.S. president wanted to send ships toward the island to ward off Beijing.

“He said, ‘You know, suppose the Chinese decide that they’re going to go after Taiwan the way we see them, you know, with Tibet,’” Clinton said, describing the general’s remarks and referring to the recent unrest in Tibet.

“‘We start to move the fleet, and the Chinese say, ‘Fine. You do that, we will dump your dollars. We will flood the market. We will not buy any more of your debt.’”

[At the time May 2008- ] China currently holds about US$490 billion in U.S. Treasury securities and has foreign exchanges reserves totaling more than US$1.5 trillion.

Two Days Ago, Hillary on China,
-via the Good Ole Voice of America – LOL –

Clinton Urges China to Keep Buying US Debt.

LOL. She really is fabulous.

So China’s getting beat up on their US stock for now , a minor position compared to their vulnerability over US Treasuries and currency reserves – 0ver 2. 1 Trill combined…. Seems to me they’re going to need to dump our deadbeat paper – not that we won’t pay off, but it will be devalued. They want to pull cash now- needs at home and maneuverability in the bargain basement…Tricky biz tho- as large sharp moves quickly drive down the price of Treasuries they want to sell… and jacks the price of equities or better debt they’d like to buy …

No wonder Hill is doing our begging, tho, as the trend continues:
A little dated – 8 weeks ago via IHT- but still the trend–

U.S. debt is losing its appeal in China
By Keith Bradsher
Published: January 8, 2009

HONG KONG: China has bought more than $1 trillion in American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home – a shift that could pose some challenges to the U.S. government in the near future but eventually may even produce salutary effects on the world economy.

but eventually may even produce salutary effects on the world economy.

What?!? Noh!! The USA!USA!– eclipsed??!???? 💡

BooHooHooMan - 2 March 2009

Sorry , I missed a close link after
Clinton Urges China to Keep Buying US Debt

Spare some change?

BooHooHooMan - 2 March 2009

GOD BLESS YOU! Thank You! Thank You!

marisacat - 2 March 2009

No problem.. 😉

11. BooHooHooMan - 2 March 2009

Vatican hosts Darwin conference

Attendees not likely to survive.

12. marisacat - 2 March 2009
13. marisacat - 3 March 2009

In case diane stops around. NYT on Bono and tax issues. Pretty funny, read a certain way. NYT llinks to a Irish TImes article on the hoo haw.

14. NYCO - 3 March 2009

Oh, brother… Starbucks tries to transform itself

The food development team spent a year creating two breakfast sandwiches for the pairings. Although the eggs and cheese are mixed in huge vats, poured into tins, baked, frozen and shipped to distribution centers to be assembled, they wanted them to look freshly made to appeal to people who do not like fast-food outlets.

At first, the manufacturer that supplies Starbucks with egg patties came up with perfectly round eggs from a mold. Starbucks rejected them, asking for a more free-form mold to look more like the shape of a freshly cracked egg, said Lani Lindsey Sordello, Starbucks’s director for food and bakery. Starbucks’s food scientists mixed parmesan cheese with the egg to prevent the smell from seeping into the stores and overwhelming the smell of coffee.

Nothing like that down-home cookin’.

marisacat - 3 March 2009

oh that is flat out ridiculous. On the face of it. PLUS… my shopping street, Fillmore St here… has two Starbucks. One, small a few seats and little counter at the window never had the pretension to the “shop” area with mugs and whatever else, is attached to a market, on the side where the flowers and bakery si sold, has always seemed together. I think it’s smallness and limitations helped it…. another, the first one to open, sort of dumbly located in the middle of a block, has never, over many years, jelled. Never kept clean enough (and I am not that picky) the little “sideboards” with sugar and creamer, etc., often a mess.. and for a too extneded period of time in the 90s… their GRINDER was out of order. They also, clearly, were never never ever able to maintain any stability of staff. Considering the application was FIVE pages long (an emplyee told me) …. it boggles the mind.

To my eye, Starbucks was never a good model.

I also know what would go on Fillmore St… and i hope in the recession depression, one moves in. On a transit corner, of which there are a few….An old time breakfast joint. Open before 5 am (Financial District goes to work early, NYSE hours), close before lunch. Don’t over price it. Price omelettes by the egg… And nto a big deal to have a ”Green Breakfast”. Mushrooms and egg white omelet or whatever suits. Even keep separate pans, so never touched by butter…. None of this is a big deal… Old fashioned but well cooked food for everyone else. Plenty of superior line cooks out there, out of work. And, it’s a cash business.

15. marisacat - 3 March 2009

How bizaare.

Cologne Archive Building Collapses

The building housing Cologne’s municipal archive collapsed on Tuesday, bringing parts of some surrounding structures down with it. At least two people are missing. Some of the documents housed in the archive date back to the year 922.

16. marisacat - 3 March 2009

neue post…


……… 🙄 ………..

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