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Just because it is silly… 13 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Divertissements.
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A Mini Cooper, decorated in green foliage with sunflower headlights and banana wheels, drives around the streets of Manila Picture: AFP/GETTY

and rather a lot seems grey and dark just now… For some reason I am getting strains of “Fly Me to the Moon” drifting thru my brain..

Here is a news flash.. I caught Adm Mullen on with Charlie Rose.  It was a struggle to pay attention as it was such miserable tripe

Then CR asked him why it would be different for us, than for other empires in Afghanistan.  Mullen replied that we were different in that we do not seek to occupy Afghanistan nor to run its government.

Could have fooled me.  8 years later.

***

Somehow or other, CR has transcripts back (or I had been fruitlessly searching several times before they were up)… he had Geithner on for the hour a couple nights ago.

In case you were wondering how we got to be where we are…

CHARLIE ROSE: What is surprising about this? And you said to me how fragile the system is, how fragile it had become.

TIM GEITHNER: Our system was not designed to sustain a shock, a crisis of this magnitude. It’s the tragic failure of financial regulation in this country. It was just not designed to tolerate anything of this magnitude.

The critical test of any financial system is how you deal with stress and shock, because you want a system that’s going to be strong and resilient enough to handle almost anything it could face. And this system didn’t meet that test, because we had a regulatory framework which was designed largely 90 years ago, and did not adapt to take account of these huge changes in the structure of our financial system.

hmm 90 years ago was 1919 (right?).  Just grazed right thru all of that Depression era regulation, FDR era “stuff”… sounds like that is what happened…

And this… we could not be in better hands.  He’s seen it all… just not ahead, lurking in the roadway.  Or so he says.

CHARLIE ROSE: What have you learned about this job that you didn’t recognize when you simply were a part of the triumvirate exercising policy in the previous administration?

TIM GEITHNER: You know, Charlie, I don’t know if you know this, but I spent most of my professional life in the treasury…

CHARLIE ROSE: I do.

TIM GEITHNER: … in an earlier period of time.

CHARLIE ROSE: And also worked for a fellow named Larry Summers at one point.

TIM GEITHNER: And a fellow names Bob Rubin.

CHARLIE ROSE: And Bob Rubin.

TIM GEITHNER: And a range of other secretaries since. So I had the great fortune at an early stage of life at working at one of the most competent, respected, effective arms of the government with terrific
people. And I’ve had a great sense of that point of the scope — full scope of responsibility of this job.

And I had a great privilege, again, of being in those jobs at a time of great crisis globally, too, and — and significant challenge to the United States, although the chance we face today are much more acute than
we faced then.  So I had the benefit of that basic exposure.

CHARLIE ROSE: Bear with me on this. You clearly did, but did you see this coming?

TIM GEITHNER: This crisis?

CHARLIE ROSE: Yes. Did you see that Citibank, which is — was under
your jurisdiction, as a New Yorker, was in deep trouble? Did Bob Rubin see they were in different trouble? Did a whole range of people, who had performed well in different circumstances, see what was going on?

TIM GEITHNER: Charlie, most people missed this, because — they
didn’t see — you know, it’s a hard thing to understand.

I think it probably was we had a long time where growth was becoming more stable. People became more optimistic of the future. They projected
that optimism in the future. And that created the conditions where people took more risks than they should have and they, frankly, didn’t pay enough
attention to the possibility that when this ended, came apart, that the consequences would be as damaging as they did.

Now, I spent almost every day from the first time I walked into the New York Fed about five years ago working with my colleagues in ways to try
to make the system stronger so we were going to be better able to withstand the kind of pressures that would come when this came apart. And we did
some very important, powerful things.

But many of those things didn’t have enough traction, and we share with, really, all parts of the financial oversight bodies here and around
the world, a deep responsibility for not having done more and a really deep obligation for trying to fix this quickly and putting in place the kind of
reforms to prevent this from happening again.

But I was like many of my colleagues: deeply worried about the boom in leverage and its possible consequences.

Not that it matters by now, of course.

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Comments»

1. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009

Pt. 1 of the Cramer interview

It’s three parts, plus they put up outtakes (which I haven’t watched yet).

As for the Geithner above, the problem isn’t the regulatory framework being old, or at least not JUST that, but the unraveling of that framework that Geithner’s mentor and other free-market zealots pushed through over the last 20 years.

marisacat - 13 March 2009

but the unraveling of that framework…

Yes agree.. from what I read it includes Carter, under whom law(s) on usuary were overturned. Quite aside from all that Reagan, GHW, Bill C and W did….

I thought Charlie had raised Glass-Steagall as part of one question, and recalled he (TG) glossed by it, but could nto find it in the transcript.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009

oh yes, Carter, Mr. good Baptist … allowing one of the things the Bible attacks several times through out that collection of fairy tales.

2. wu ming - 13 March 2009

noone who failed to see where things were going should be in charge of correcting for that collapse. it is mind boggling that geithner or summers has a job.

just like north korea, we respond to a system failure by redoubling our efforts at doing the same damn thing but harder, as if it wasn’t the system itself that broke.

should be interesting to see if obama decides to throw these guys to the wolves when it doesn’t work and the crowd wants blood.

marisacat - 13 March 2009

Can Geithner last… I have no idea… but this rides at the top of Clusterstock.. Blodget likes to rile up the animals, every day.

Geithner Seen As A Mistake, Steve Rattner The Fallback Plan

Juan Williams was on NPR saying that, as Geithner is perceived as weak, Summers emerges as the “senior voice”.

Either way, G, S or R, we are just so screwed.

Then again that old hack, corporate ATM and wind up doll, Biden, just wanders around representing us to the world.

Not that it matters.

marisacat - 13 March 2009

The comments are a scream!

OSweet said:

Mar. 13, 11:36 AM
Just wait until paper money comes out with Geithner’s name on it, and everyone starts penning beside it the words “tax cheat.”

Cthulhu fhtagn said:

Mar. 13, 9:14 AM

would Rattner take a bullet for Goldman?

No.

There ya go, he’s already ahead of the current incumbent.

And some poor loon toward the bottom thinks the Charlie Rose interview makes Geithner look GOOD.

Rock-a-by-babee-in-the-treetops..

3. BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

should be interesting to see if obama decides to throw these guys to the wolves when it doesn’t work and the crowd wants blood.

and the measures of crowd control invariably adopted.

Obama’s rise is also commentary on preference to embrace comfortable myth instead of dealing candidly w/r/t class, race, and religion…. how all are used…on our missions of conquest…

The guy is stunning.
Spectacular.
A Fraud.
Almost engineered for the job in times like these –
when rotted flesh peels so visibly from Establishment facade..

4. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Ob is very very busy reassuring the top CEOs. Sweep sweep

Richard Parsons, chairman of Citigroup Inc., implored the president to take on the role of “confidence-builder-in-chief,” after days of criticism in the news media that Mr. Obama has been too negative about the economy.

Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009

Maybe Obama can borrow some of Cramer’s sound effects to make his stock touting more exciting.

5. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Except for FDIC’s Sheila Bair on FOX, can it get WORSE?

State of the Union: Former VP Cheney, Rep. Sestak

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Corker, Rep. Frank, FDIC Chairman Bair, Mark Zandi, Austan Goolsbee

Meet the Press: Christina Romer, Rep. Cantor. Roundtable: Frum, Kay, Liesman, Smiley

This Week: NEC Chair Summers, Sen. McConnell

Face the Nation: NEC Chair Summers, Thomas Friedman

***

NOBODY should be forced to watch Summers and Friedman in the same cramped half hour. TORTURE! OR Summers and McConnell.

6. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Greider in The Nation… The Fed is broken and the crew (new and old) in DC are too fucking dumb and/or intimidated (by the Great Mysterious Fed) to know it.

And so we limp on.

Looking over the news, such as it is today, the message from DC (newly elected and appointed) is effectively broken. Summers flaps about in grease and Ob is just some mask slapped over the mess.

BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

Nice read. Greider references Jane D’Arista ( hadn’t heard of her) and suggested her current piece, via UMass -Setting an Agenda for Monetary Reform..

Jeebus. Teh Google revealed D’Arista nailing it in real time, on NewsHour with Gwen Iffill – back in November 1999 – literally right when it was going down- , – Graham Leech Bliley de-reg time, the imperative blowjob-for-blowjob swap -IMO- for Bill Clinton kweifing through the hummer of Impeachment…though the Dems would have done it anyways for the campaign cash– but a 90-8 vote coming out of the Sen? Bill handed out all sorts of shit to get it done. I remember THAT dog and pony show…-
[ A set of few links I DO have bookmarked! 😉 ]

…That shit Lott’s lotta slobber:

“”Mr. President, let me just take a moment at this time, if the Senator would allow me.

“When the history is written of this session of Congress, it will probably identify this piece of legislation as the single biggest achievement. ……It has been tried by Republicans, by Democrats in the Congress, House and Senate, administrations of both parties. It never quite occurred.

{LOL. Until Cliinnnnnnton!
– and the NEWWW Democrats!}

“I think it is appropriate we commend all of those who have been involved in this process for bringing us to this moment. This legislation is going to pass overwhelmingly. It is going to bring us into the modern era of financial services. It is going to allow us to be more equally competitive around the world.

“I think we should properly note what has happened…..

So for all those involved–I won’t begin at the top and go to the bottom— obviously Secretary Rubin was involved in earlier discussions; Alan Greenspan was involved; Secretary Summers has been involved. The administration did stay engaged when they could have said we are not going to talk anymore. Leaders in both the House and the Senate, the elected leadership, Democrats and Republicans on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the Capitol worked to make this happen.

“Let me say for the record–I know, because I watched it very carefully and had some meetings which, I think, helped give it some momentum, some impetus–it would not be where it is today, it would not have been achieved, without the leadership of the senior Senator from Texas, Mr. Gramm. He has done a masterful job. Many people said: It won’t happen. Many people said: He will kill it. I kept saying: No; you wait. He will make this happen through thick or thin. It will get done.

“It is being done. To take nothing away from all those involved–including the ranking member of the committee, Senator Sarbanes of Maryland, who was actively involved–I have to note, with a lot of appreciation and gratitude, the tremendous leadership of the Senator from Texas. I don’t think he can probably ever replicate this effort again. So I think that at this time we should express our appreciation because it is a monumental achievement.”

Or Gramm’s Statement on Financial Services Compromise
Praising Clinton’s Shits and their Shittery:

“I believe tonight that tonight we have done something worthy of being remembered. And part of that was because we were willing to put our suspicions of each other behind us and willing to hear other people out and recognized the possibility that maybe they were right and we were wrong.

“I want to thank the Treasury Department. I want to thank Gene Sperling. I want to thank Secretary Larry Summers. I don’t remember two senior officials working as intensely on anything as they did.

“This is a big moment I believe for our two banking committees and the Commerce Committee. Never in the time we’ve been here have these committees done something as important as we’ve done tonight. I’m proud, and I think every member has a right to be proud.”

Line. them. UP!
But Oh Noes! Not the Democrats! GMAFB.
Motherfuckers.

7. mattes - 13 March 2009

Can someone explain why Goldman is being protected? It’s at $98.00.

marisacat - 13 March 2009

Thoroughly comingled – with the government. The liability to excuse GS and Citibank/others is all thru any critical argument/article about who is (and has been) running the country. Ob’s not clean either. Barely in DC and a very high puller of Financial Services, and in particular GS, money. He addressed the Goldman Sachs annual conflab in both 2007 AND 2008.

BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

LOL. I had occasion at work to literally rub shoulders with someone who preened: “You know, I worked on Governor Corzine after the crash.”

I dead panned: Why?

Their laughter, I’m sure, was from assuming I was one of the club, a Republican tax loather from Jersey.

8. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Democracy Now!:

El Salvador Holds National Elections Amidst Renewed GOP Threats Against Electing FMLN *

Two Republican lawmakers have issued threats over the outcome of Sunday’s national elections in El Salvador.

On Thursday, Republican Congress members Trent Franks of Arizona and Dan Burton of Indiana said Salvadorans living in the US could lose their immigration status and the right to send remittances home if the leftist FMLN party wins the vote.

Polls indicate the FMLN will beat the right-wing ARENA party, which has long had close ties to Washington.

BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

Maybe Markos can open up a few slots for his relatives

9. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Don’t worry! Be Happy! The Market is UP UP UP for the week! Really!

[T]he biggest worry we hear from investors these days is “did I miss the bottom?”

Perhaps. But keep in mind that you’ve missed the bottom before, and we got right back down there and lower. In the final week in November, the Dow gained 9.73%. It gave up all those gains and more this year. So relax, friends. Enjoy your weekend.

And Citibank is issuing signing bonuses. In the Millions of dollars. Really! As one commenter says, it all sounds so familiar.

10. BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

Whatever this means …and how it plays out –
-or not- in practice..

Switzerland eases banking secrecy

Switzerland, the world’s largest offshore financial centre, has agreed to accept concessions on bank secrecy.

However, while it will now abide by international rules on bank data sharing, it said it would only respond to “concrete and justified” requests.

Switzerland’s announcement comes after it had risked being added to a global blacklist of uncooperative tax havens.

It is estimated that Switzerland’s banks hold $2 trillion (£1.4tn) of global wealth held abroad.

OECD talks

It reached its agreement overnight with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which sets rules on the sharing of bank data to try and crack down on offshore tax evasion.

This is the first time it has agreed to sign up to the OECD rules, having previously stated that it would compromise its long-standing banking secrecy principles.

Andorra, Liechtenstein, Austria and Luxembourg have also just agreed to sign up to the OECD rules.

All had come under increasing pressure to reform their banking sectors.

Andorra and Liechtenstein, along with Monaco, are currently on the OECD blacklist of “uncooperative tax havens”. ……

Besides much of the money has already been moved out.
While talks of constructive “settlements” continue, as do the construction of settlements, quite literally, on Palestinian Land.

Well.
At least housing starts are up somewhere.
Good to know some people prosper, no?

BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

Of course-
the Papists in Monaco are going to do quite well.
Benny16 just might get new shoes for his Holy Land visit afterall…

We are just. drowning. in. it.

11. mattes - 13 March 2009

OCTOBER 31, 2005

The Mad Man Of Wall Street

With money he earned working as a researcher for law professor Alan M. Dershowitz, and as a miserable summer intern at the Manhattan law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Cramer started dabbling in obscure stocks such as Standard Press Steel, American Agronomics, and Bobbie Brooks. “Nothing but oil was working,” says Cramer. Still, he felt the market was on the cusp of a big rally, and he maxed out his academic loans to raise money to invest.

As his brokerage account swelled, so did Cramer’s obsession with the market. He started leaving stock tips on his answering machine every Sunday night. He recalls, “I was like, ‘Hi, this is Jim Cramer. I’m not here right now. Take a look at PEOPLExpress, which has a good business model…”‘ Dershowitz urged him to register as an investment adviser. Cramer agreed, but says back then he never considered himself more than an amateur with a knack for making money.

ENTER MARTIN PERETZ, editor of The New Republic and Harvard professor, who approached Cramer out of the blue with a $500,000 check. Peretz, who would later co-found TheStreet.com with Cramer and invest in his hedge fund, had been profiting from tips on the answering machine for months (after initially calling to ask him to write a book review), and wanted Cramer to run his money. “He seemed to know very deeply so many stocks,” says Peretz, who would prove loyal. “At one point, I was down $80,000 and he didn’t give up on me,” says Cramer.

Cramer made Peretz $150,000 in two years. He parlayed his record into a three-year stint as a broker to the ultra-rich at Goldman. Then he spent nearly 14 years at his hedge fund, opened in 1987, where he routinely took home $10 million a year and more.

More…http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_44/b3957001.htm

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009
13. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009

Eight Dem Senators Defend the Right to Filibuster Climate Change

But a cap-and-trade climate bill is almost certain to be filibustered by Republicans — and in a letter delivered to the Senate Budget Committee yesterday, eight Democratic senators joined 25 Republicans to defend the GOP’s right to set a 60-vote margin for passing emissions limits.

“We oppose using the budget process to expedite passage of climate legislation,” the senators, including eight centrist Democrats, wrote in their missive.

Using the procedure of budget reconciliation, which would allow a climate change measure to become law with 50 votes while preventing filibusters, “would circumvent normal Senate practice and would be inconsistent with the administration’s goals of bipartisanship, cooperation, and openness,” the 33 senators wrote.

Budget reconciliation was used by George W. Bush and congressional Republicans to prevent Democrats from stalling both the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. The opposition of nearly one-half of the Senate, however, means that President Obama’s party will have little room to use the tactic as successfully as Bush’s supporters did.

No reason to blockquote the list of assholes … it’s the usual suspects.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009

A friend sent me this pretty good diary over at dkos: How FDR and Harry Hopkins dealt with bad governors

15. BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

Lieberman open to reunion with Democrats

You know what I think? Nah – forget it. LOL.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 March 2009
marisacat - 13 March 2009

well… LOCAL NBC news here is loving it…

Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

Rachel Maddow didn’t get the memo.

17. BooHooHooMan - 13 March 2009

US reassures China over assets

The White House has reassured China that its $2 trillion stockpile of US investments are safe, despite the global economic crisis.

Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for Barack Obama, the US president, said on Friday: “There’s no safer investment in the world than in the United States.”

Unless of course you LIVE in the United States.
Or are, you know, an American with money.

18. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Too too funny.. just hearing that the NYSE took the “closing bell” on the road. To celebrate FOUR DAYS on an UP UP UP trajectory.

They did it at the Houston Rodeo.

So perfect.

19. diane - 13 March 2009

Breaking the Taboo on Israel’s Spying Efforts on the United States

”….Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S….

….

Israel’s spying on the U.S., however, is a matter of public record, and neither conspiracy nor theory is needed to present the evidence. When the FBI produces its annual report to Congress concerning “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage,” Israel and its intelligence services often feature prominently as a threat second only to China. In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains “an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States.” A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion….

….

….According to CQ, “One effective espionage tool is forming joint partnerships with U.S. companies to supply software and other technology products to U.S. government agencies.”

Best-selling author James Bamford now adds another twist in this history of infiltration in a book published last October, “The Shadow Factory,” which forms the latest installment in his trilogy of investigations into the super-secret National Security Agency….The NSA touches on every facet of U.S. communications, its mega-computers secretly filtering “millions of phone calls and e-mails” every hour of operation….. “There is now the capacity,” he writes of the NSA’s tentacular reach into the private lives of Americans, “to make tyranny total.”

Much less has been reported about the high-tech Israeli wiretapping firms that service U.S. telecommunications companies, primarily AT&T and Verizon, whose networks serve as the chief conduits for NSA surveillance. [Oh..and thanks again Obama!] Even less is known about the links between those Israeli companies and the Israeli intelligence services. But what Bamford suggests in his book accords with the history of Israeli spying in the U.S.: Through joint partnerships with U.S. telecoms, Israel may be a shadow arm of surveillance among the tentacles of the NSA. [this reminded me of Gloria Naylor’s book “1996”, who despite winning a National Book Award, seems to have ‘given up’ writing after 1996 was published] In other words, when the NSA violates constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure to vacuum up the contents of your telephone conversations and e-mail traffic, the Israeli intelligence services may be gathering it up too — a kind of mirror tap that is effectively a two-government-in-one violation.

….

By the mid-1990s, Israeli wiretap firms would arrive in the U.S. in a big way. The key to the kingdom was the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act] (CALEA), which was Congress’ solution for wiretapping in the digital age….

AT&T and Verizon, which together manage as much as 90 percent of the nation’s communications traffic, contracted with Israeli firms in order to comply with CALEA. AT&T employed the services of Narus Inc., which was founded in Israel in 1997. It was Narus technology that AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein, a 22-year technician with the company, famously unveiled in a 2006 affidavit that described the operations in AT&T’s secret tapping room at its San Francisco facilities. (Klein’s affidavit formed the gravamen of a lawsuit against AT&T mounted by the Electronic Freedom Foundation, but the lawsuit died when Congress passed the telecom immunity bill last year.) According to Klein, the Narus supercomputer, the STA 6400, was “known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets.” The Narus system, which was maintained by Narus technicans, also provided a real-time mirror image of all data streaming through AT&T routers, an image to be rerouted into the computers of the NSA.

According to Jim Bamford, who cites knowledgeable sources, Verizon’s eavesdropping program is run by a competing Israeli firm called Verint, a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, which was founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer in 1984. Incorporated in New York and Tel Aviv, Comverse is effectively an arm of the Israeli government: 50 percent of its R&D costs are reimbursed by the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Verint technology deployed throughout Verizon’s network, known as STAR-GATE, boasts an array of Orwellian capabilities. “With STAR-GATE, service providers can access communications on virtually any type of network,” according to the company’s literature. …. A Verint spinoff firm, PerSay, takes the tap to the next stage, deploying “advanced voice mining,” which singles out “a target’s voice within a large volume of intercepted calls, regardless of the conversation content or method of communication.” Verint’s interception systems have gone global since the late 1990s, and sales in 2006 reached $374 million (a doubling of its revenues over 2003). More than 5,000 organizations — mostly intelligence services and police units — in at least 100 countries today use Verint technology.

…….”

long article, well worth the read…

20. marisacat - 13 March 2009

Nancy is on with Charlie Rose.. and making no sense. At all. She is extruding some drivel about Obama’s integrity and the “oneness” of his policies.

Lordy. Can’t wait for the transcript on this drool.

21. diane - 13 March 2009

Priced Out of Shelter; The Decline of Affordable Housing

“The United States has never achieved national goals in creation of affordable housing.”

One of the great engines of the current economic disaster was the relentless push by finance capital to inflate the price of real estate – and therefore, housing – to levels far in excess of what the average family could reasonably afford to pay. The United States has never achieved national goals in creation of affordable housing – not in a single year since the federal government began setting goals. The real estate industry has always seen to that. However, under the Bush administration, housing prices zoomed into the stratosphere, based on an unsustainable bubble of debt that has now burst catastrophically. Those who were barely able to find shelter for their families in the pre-Bush era found themselves in a truly desperate situation, even before the crash, as detailed in a new study issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Although most public policy attention has been directed at the plight of home owners, one-third of all Americans pay rent, including about half of low income households. Their options shrank dramatically during the years that George Bush was in office. The study shows that, by 2007, eight million rental households were paying more than half their income to the landlord and for utilities. Federal guidelines say that households should pay only 30 percent of income to keep a roof over their heads. And we’re not talking about families that foolishly splurge on housing. Two-thirds of those that pay more than half their income for rent are living at or below the federal poverty line. Because of the lack of affordable housing, these households have no other choice.

….”

22. BooHooHooMan - 14 March 2009

Featured Lede on this morning’s Washington Post.

Obama’s New Strategy: Blaming Bush for ‘Mess’

President sheds his former reluctance to fault predecessor for state of economy as GOP ramps up criticism that his policies are compounding crisis.

This may work.
Here let me try this.

Why that Fuckety Fuckin BUSH – POOF!- HOLY SHIDT!

A FUCKIN LEPRECHAUN and a Pot ‘O Gold!

It’s a MIRACLE, I Tellz Ya!

marisacat - 14 March 2009

So………. what “tone” did his DNA change?

LOL

BooHooHooMan - 14 March 2009

Poor Ob. Really Mixed metaphors here– clicking his glass slippers way too late gunnin’ for Shrub after the Pumpkin went….well, whatever happens Pumpkins after midnight at the Ball …’a’course that’s if the Pumpkin somehow rolled in from Cinderella, Ob was a sing songy Dorothy with salt of the Earth roots in Kansas, then led on a fanciful romp by a cast of characters in a manner that could only make sense if induced by HEAD TRAUMA. Given that, what the hell, throw in the Leprechauns and the Pot o Gold.

I must admit, it does have a certain logic. LOL.
Fuck, ya can make up ANYTHING as you go along these days.
And get a Cabinet Appointment out of it. LOL.

23. marisacat - 14 March 2009

hmm. LUV their petty cash sitch…it also says she has 17mil in the bnak… 🙄

Madoff appeals for bail and reveals wife’s huge fortune

* Andrew Clark in New York
* The Guardian, Saturday 14 March 2009

After barely 24 hours in prison, the Wall Street fraudster Bernard Madoff has launched an attempt to return to his Manhattan penthouse through an appeal for bail which discloses the true extent of his lavish lifestyle.

Documents filed by defence lawyers estimate that Madoff and his wife, Ruth, have assets worth between $823m and $826m (£589m to £591m) including four homes, four boats, a share in a private jet and a Steinway piano. To maintain their properties, they are burning through cash at a rate of $346,757 a month.

Sorkin says the judge’s description of Madoff as a “flight risk” is “clearly erroneous”, pointing out that he made no attempt at escaping during three months under house arrest even though he was “always cognisant of the fact that he would die in prison”.

Details of the couple’s wealth are unlikely to please Madoff’s victims. The financier has in effect been living off the proceeds of crime for nearly two decades, having admitted in court that he began operating his investment firm as a Ponzi scheme as far back as the early 1990s.

The couple’s flat on Manhattan’s upper east side is valued at $4m, while a house in the millionaires’ playground of the Hamptons is worth $1.58m. A Palm Beach getaway has a price tag of $2.46m and a property in the French resort of Antibes is pegged at $900,000. They keep a $7m yacht named Bull on a $1.5m boatslip near their house on the Côte d’Azur. Another boat, Sitting Bull, is worth $320,000 while a vessel in Florida described as a “Rybovich fishing boat” is valued at $2.2m.

Madoff’s lawyers say they need constant access to him so that he can help compensate his victims: “Mr Madoff’s contribution to this effort could be severely hampered, if not altogether eliminated, if he is remanded.”

Much debate has centred around what Madoff’s wife can legitimately keep. Most of the property is in her name and despite her husband’s change of fortunes, she continues to lease a BMW, has jewellery worth $2.6m and plays a $39,000 piano. …

Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

they are burning through cash at a rate of $346,757 a month.

Wow …

24. marisacat - 14 March 2009

If it’s Saturday, it must be “Food Safety Day”. Riding at near the top, at the NYT.

Obama Pledges to Improve Food Safety

By GARDINER HARRIS 6:01 AM ET

President Obama promised in a radio address to reorganize food-safety system, calling inadequate inspections “a hazard to the public health.”

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

Partial list of corporate lickspittles who are allowed to know what’s in the secret copyright treaty the Obama administration claims is a matter of “national security”

Remember yesterday’s post about how the Obama administration had refused to release the details of a secret copyright treaty because doing so would compromise “national security?” Well, it turns out that there are plenty of people who are cleared to be privy to this “sensitive” document — strangely, they all seem to work for giant copyright companies!

Of course, they’re allowed to know what’s in the treaty — but the public, activist groups, consumer rights groups, and the artists whom this treaty is supposed to protect are all forbidden from knowing what it says.

What an embarrassment for an administration that holds itself out as an end to the corrupt, business-as-usual beltway fandango.

Followed by a long list of corporate CEOs and lobbyists.

marisacat - 14 March 2009

the Obama administration had refused to release the details of a secret copyright treaty because doing so would compromise “national security?” Well, it turns out that there are plenty of people who are cleared to be privy to this “sensitive” document — strangely, they all seem to work for giant copyright companies!

pardon me while i BARF. I think only an antiquated teen-aged response is appropriate here. Because we are fully in HS with this approach to policy AND National Security. Or what passes for EITHER.

And is dear Lessig on the list (too bleary eyed to follow the link yet, first cup of tea)… the fellow only too happy to tell us his package moved for Ob (Cahrlie Rose a few weeks ago) and the Guru for Copyright in all his white clothed fey self. Til he abandoned it for Ob and his mission to cleanse congress of the horrid angst they feel at having to raise money and compromise their innat e goodness (not kidding on that one).

It is all jsut so weak

FFS is all I can say. (And some people at Boing Boing might remember when they were running around using “Hussein” as a middle name, while they are at it. Too late now tho!)

marisacat - 14 March 2009

The comments (some of them, 5 for one… 13 is a good little soviet German) at Boing Boing are interesting… and I am guessing the author of hte post, Doctorow, is not one of the BoingBoing Ob heavy supports from the primary and GE.

What a joke it all is.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

Doctorow tends toward that sort of socially liberal/internet anarchist/libertarian streak. He’s Canadian, IIRC.

The comment threads are usually a varied mix. One of the reasons I enjoy it. You get the artsy/maker/steampunk nerds, the uber-libertarian Ron Paul guys and the comicbook/science fiction bunch.

I like comment #36:

#36 posted by somnam , March 14, 2009 10:03 AM

Here, have a Hegelian interpretation of what’s happening:

Our new tools – computers and the internet – have augmented behaviour that flies in the face of copyright law. This has endangered the extant superstructure – existing copyright laws. And so those who benefit the most from the superstructure – the entertainment industry – wish to suppress this augmented social behaviour by augmenting the superstructure – new and more unreasonable copyright laws.

The prevalence of this social behaviour, however, renders the superstructure most likely unworkable on a large scale – it criminalises the majority. Whether both sides – the public and the entertainment industry – can come to a solution where the public act largely in the way they wish, silently flying the face of copyright law, and the entertainment industry gains augmented financial rewards seems unlikely, but not impossible.

The entertainment industry may, through these new laws, however, destroy their source of income: through losing the goodwill of their customers and quite possibly artists too; or through destroying their artists’ marketing, which more and more relies on illegal copying and distribution on the internet.

I believe the entertainment industry is eating itself.

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

It’s never gonna frakkin’ end: With Two Wars, U.S. Begins to Rethink an Old Doctrine

A senior Defense Department official involved in a strategy review now under way said the Pentagon was absorbing the lesson that the kinds of counterinsurgency campaigns likely to be part of some future wars would require more staying power than in past conflicts, like the first Iraq war in 1991 or the invasions of Grenada and Panama.

In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made it clear that the Pentagon was beginning to reconsider whether the old two-wars assumption “makes any sense in the 21st century” as a guide to planning, budgeting and weapons-buying.

The discussion is being prompted by a top-to-bottom strategy review that the Pentagon conducts every four years, as required by Congress and officially called the Quadrennial Defense Review. One question on the table for Pentagon planners is whether there is a way to reshape the armed forces to provide for more flexibility in tackling a wide range of conflicts.

Among other questions are the extent to which planning for conflicts should focus primarily on counterinsurgency wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what focus remains on well-equipped conventional adversaries like China and Iran, with which Navy vessels have clashed at sea.

Thomas Donnelly, a defense policy expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he believed that the Obama administration would be seeking to come up with “a multiwar, multioperation, multifront, walk-and-chew-gum construct.”

“We have to do many things simultaneously if our goal is to remain the ultimate guarantor of international security,” Mr. Donnelly said. “The hedge against a rising China requires a very different kind of force than fighting an irregular war in Afghanistan or invading Iraq or building partnership capacity in Africa.”

28. BooHooHooMan - 14 March 2009

Three Collide for a Dollar.

1. The Independent reports

Bailout money [ exiting UK] flowing abroad

Study casts doubt on the effectiveness of
Bank of England’s ‘quantitative easing’ policy

Much of the new money the Bank of England has “printed” to stimulate the UK economy is ending up abroad where it will be of no benefit to UK households and businesses, according to an analysis of the Bank’s “quantitative easing” programme.

The Bank is in the process of purchasing about £75bn of government securities, or gilts, over a three-month period, the first instalment of a massive £150bn programme. The Bank is effectively converting these government securities or gilts into cash and bank balances which, it is hoped, will be used to support lending and spending in the UK and boost the economy.

But City experts analysing the scheme for The Independent say large quantities of money will simply end up abroad because so many of the gilts are held by foreign investors. They fear that they will hoard the cash, which will be of no benefit to the British economy, or dump it in favour of safer currencies, which could cause a run on sterling. More than a third of gilts are owned by foreign entities, official statistics reveal, ….

2. OPEC moves to clamp down, seeks oil price rise at target between $75 and $100 Bucks a barrel. It traded on yesterday at $46.25/bbl.

Bloomberg-

OPEC to Push for Compliance With Cuts, Ministers Say

$75 Oil Wanted

There remains too much oil in the market, Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said today in Vienna.

Iran’s OPEC Governor, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, said in an interview yesterday that OPEC would need to cut production if it wants prices to rise quickly to between $75 and $100 a barrel. That price level seems to be the “collective opinion” of oil producers and companies, he said.

Saudi Arabia is “100 percent compliant” with the agreed cutbacks, which will help reduce the glut, al-Naimi said. Last year, Saudi King Abdullah and al-Naimi both said a fair oil price for producers, companies and consumers is about $75.

3. Which Brings us to a vulnerable Chavez. With Oil . As the desperate Leviathan Empire to the North ,the U.S., has nothing left but aggression.
We have a newer twist to Chavez the Commie!
The new angle, pushed with increasing volume, conflating Chavez as the Anti Semite Threat to Israel.

Yeh well.
I first saw this on HuffPo though CNN is all over it on the short take.

Cuba, Venezuela May Host Russian Bombers

MOSCOW — A Russian Air Force chief said Saturday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has offered an island as a temporary base for strategic Russian bombers, the Interfax news agency reported.

The chief of staff of Russia’s long range aviation, Maj. Gen. Anatoly Zhikharev, also said Cuba could be used to base the aircraft, Interfax reported.

The Kremlin, however, said the situation was hypothetical.

“The military is speaking about technical possibilities, that’s all,” Alexei Pavlov, a Kremlin official, told The Associated Press. “If there will be a development of the situation, then we can comment,” he said.

All of these moves can be seen as bargaining positions for the G20. As if Collapse and possible food riots abroad might be a game 🙄

Frankly I think it’s over, – we’re toxic, discredited.
The factors are evident and will render the G20 Summit virtually DOA.
IMO , “Bargaining Position” or not, nobody is going to “follow” our lead certainly not OPEC on Oil prices..or Russia and China putting up with a lecture on “responsibility” from the U.S.. The only country really vulnerable to More loss at the hands of US unilateralism is Venezuala. And Hugo has already developed alliances with Russia China and Iran…

The Problem –
no exponential notation function to quantify here, as our Problems go-
the problem, for all of the jeering at Joe Lunch Bucket believing in American Exceptionalism /Manifest Destiny ….
U.S. “Leadership” believes it too. Even knowing it’s an unsustainable crock. They’re entranced with their own TBTF Bullshit that it will somehow Last.

As near as I can figure it, Jr. High Schoolers waiting for the bus are more likely to be engaged in yet ANOTHERHemispheric-if- not-World War for this insanity as anything else the future might hold…

29. diane - 14 March 2009

Go on Stu Piddy, they deserve every bit of your scorn:

”….And that’s what Obama is doing. He’s letting the banks solve their own problems. They know what they are doing, they don’t need anyone to look over their shoulder by having government creating even more rules and regulations that simply hamper their ability to act in the best interest of their customers.

Deals are being done with drug companies, Merck and Shering Plough [Pfizer & Wyeth, Roche & Genentech, ULTIMATELY – Google & all of them………….galaxy-wide!……one big pharma co soon, very….]. Lots of firepower in that sector. That’s good merger news. That creates a monopoly on optimism.

What are the put calls telling us? Joe and Jane on the street are down, but the analysts…the people who really know, are optimistic, get back in that Market Now!

These bits of good news, the stock market shooting up, our drones returning safely after obliterating apartment complexes containing terrorists and terrorist sympathizers and children who would undoubtedly grow up as terrorists are the kinds of good news Americans have been waiting for.

We are on our way BACK!

Look out world! “

30. diane - 14 March 2009

as this, deserved every bit of Stu Piddy’s scorn:Slum Dog Millionaire. A Movie About Exploitation of Children, That Exploits Children.

31. diane - 14 March 2009

…looks like maybe denali has been put under a fine light up at the “free speech zone”

who knows who’s good or bad anymore…but I have to say……I found denali and kraant ( whose prior posting histories, I was/am totally unfamiliar with) a constant bewildering (appearing to be shadowing was my initial unsolicited gut instinct) presence when I first started posting at peeder’s “interesting” “site.”

I saved all of my diaries from that site (including comments), before I quickly signed off, overwriting the diaries, but leaving the comments…one day maybe I’ll go back over them…

32. diane - 14 March 2009

48 (currently, to my knowledge)

…then again, I’ve certainly shadowed person’s who’s postings clicked with me…but that’s not the feeling I had………..

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni’lin

13th Friday 2009, Ni’lin Village: An American citizen has been critically injured in the village of Ni’lin after Israeli forces shot him in the head with a tear-gas canister.

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson is unconscious and has been bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in his forehead where he was struck by the canister. He is currently being operated on.

marisacat - 14 March 2009

mattes had a diary on that

It was briefly mentioned on our news last night, as he comes from around here (Oakland I think). It sounds like he is brain damaged… a frontal lobotomy from the IDF.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

Obama says investors should have ‘absolute confidence’ in soundness of US, says no G-20 split

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday downplayed divisions between the U.S. and Europe over how to tackle the world’s financial crisis and said China should have “absolute confidence” that its sizable investments in the United States are safe.

In a conversation focused heavily on the economy, Obama met in the Oval Office with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. It was the latest in a series of talks the president has had with his counterparts around the world before a pair of international meetings where the economic crisis will dominate.

Both leaders will attend the Group of 20 countries summit in London on April 2, and the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad in mid-April.

Obama said the notion that the U.S. and Europe are already taking sides, with America pushing for more stimulus spending and European nations favoring tighter regulation of the financial industry, is a “phony debate.”

“I can’t be clearer in saying that there are no sides,” Obama told reporters after the meeting. He said a full range of approaches, including stimulus spending such as his own recently enacted $787 billion package, and financial regulation, are needed to help revive the global economy.

Financial regulation “is front and center” among the issues he wants to deal with, he said.

“In my mind, at least, there is no conflict or contradiction between the positions of the G-20 countries and how we’re going to be moving forward,” Obama said, adding that differences in details were being worked out. “I expect to have a productive meeting.”

marisacat - 14 March 2009

“I can’t be clearer in saying that there are no sides,”

Except there are… and if we are high handed or arrogant at the meeting (sin’t wunderkind Geithner there now?, for pre meetings or somethig?) the UK and continental press will be only TOO happy to tell of the differences.

There were already grumblings from Germany months ago that we cause to many of these booms to busts.. or whatever engineered crashes are.

35. marisacat - 14 March 2009

hmmm Mr Kevin Philips lightly regrets (he voted for Ob) and goes thru why, on the financial side. The update in a few months shuld be interesting.

From the close:

This doesn’t quite seem like “real” change. Indeed, that may be because voters (including many grassroots Democrats) haven’t fully grasped a different, underlying upheaval. In 2007-2008, Wall Streeters shifted a solid majority of the financial sector’s campaign contributions from the Republicans to the Democrats. Obama himself outdrew GOP rival John McCain by $11 million to $8 million, and Congressional Democrats also led. According to the Nation magazine, a progressive beacon, “all told, Democrats netted $68 million in campaign funds from Wall Street.” (“Dollars for Donkeys,” The Nation, September 1, 2008). Arguably, this represents a latter day consummation of the old late 1990s strategy of Bill Clinton, Bob Rubin and Rahm Emanuel of pulling Wall Street and its donors into a Democratic alliance.

In the very different circumstances of 2009, however, this dalliance could prove fatal, especially if it tempts the White House into financial sector relief measures that work for Wall Street but not for the national economy or the American people.

36. diane - 14 March 2009

…ohhh.too funny

had logged off quite awhile ago…and have been lazing around pondering over a large can of Miller’s Genuine and thinking about renting La Vie en Rose for my older ro and I to watch on his “TV” (no longer “TV”..and who the fuck cares?) vcr, dvd thingy…there is (was?) also a wonderful Iranian singer, I want to say her name is Parin, who reminds me of Edith Piaf……………………………….

..all of a sudden popped in my mind that I could rearrange “denali”s name…who’m I earlier posted about…and come up with the name I used on another “interesting site”: DianeL…..and it seems strange to me how that never occurred to me before……………..but then again…I don’t normally spend my time rearranging other folks names…for what?

don’t find much,…actually I don’t find anything,…. in common with denali……………

interesting how that works…………………and no, not sayin anything was intentional…highly likely the name was chosen for Denali National Park (though not sayin it absolutely wasn’t either)……………just sharing my thoughts and really trying to be honest despite my fears of being held in ridicule…I think we all have an ego, ….otherwise ……

jus sayin………yes, I am pondering my navel…….navels, are rather interesting after all, aren’t they?

;0)

37. diane - 14 March 2009

55 (currrently…)

…re Edith Piaf …thank you for that memory Miss Devore…hugs to ya hon!

38. diane - 14 March 2009

..thank you so much melvin…(and Laura! “Finnegans Wake” (intelligence-free, with added pictures) ) I so needed to hear this this from another person braving this creepy, techno, human men and wimmen are GODS and GODESSASs, world:

Well the Islaic world does have it’s Teh Crazy, (4.00 / 1)
from the Taleban blowing up ancient cultural treasures to fatwas against yoga to the general repression of women and the active persecution of gays, including beheadings etc. So it’s not that I’m in love with every manifestatin of Islamic culture, some of which is sick and horrible at this moment in history.
The problem is then using this to paint Islam itself, in the same way that Christianity is commonly painted in the blog world by a bunch of idiots that I no longer even expect to know better.

These idiots, here, there, and everywhere else, blame all the horrors of human history on whatever semi dominant religion of the time. As if there were some alternative world in which none of them would have happened, because . . . . ? Well that’s where it rather breaks down. Christianity is a horror! Here’s a clue for you: the pagan ancient world wasn’t exactly a picnic either.

Eh, and so on. The stove is crying out to me for some reason.

Tell your congressman to cosponsor H.R. 980

by: melvin[1] @ Sat Mar 14, 2009 at 17:13:13 PM CDT

[1] Haven’t seen any recent architecture like that, have weeeeeeeee? certainly not from the self satisifed “geniuses” in the US, or Israel………

…to the kitchen….gonna make some chicken soup………………….

39. BooHooHooMan - 14 March 2009

Maybe the Israel Weingarten conviction is going to get national coverage this week … I hadn’t heard he was slammed the day before Bernie till today, crickets for coverage in Jersey since the charges firs surfaced. No talking circles around that Rabbi to survive, tho..

Buuuuut….

–!!!Brrrreaking!!! on the Front Page of WaPo:

Girl Who Escapes Certain Death

Resourceful teen talks circles around the Nazis to survive after the murders of family, friends. -Steve Luxenberg

Let’s see Bernie already Plead..No Gaza this week – I Think.
Chas Freeman White House Nomination sabatoged…
And it’s Food Safety Saturday, right?

So , What gives with “The Latest!™” on the Holocaust & Atrocity front?
Shouldn’t The Latest in Atrocity Newsⓒ be a little more up to date?
You know, for weekend coverage when people have a chance for think and have a few things settle in?

Ah, the perpetual victim beat is surviving news org cutbacks well.
It’s stock in trade shit, like Rabbi Weingarten who also used his trial as quite the sociopathic parting shot to his brave kids and ex who came forward and testified.

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 March 2009

Reflections on the latest dead cat bounce or bear market sucker’s rally

And indeed, as predicted, in the last week another bear market rally has started in earnest; the latest rally is just a dead cat bounce. Let us explain next in much detail why this is another bear market rally…

41. marisacat - 14 March 2009

Pakistan’s main opposition leader, former PM Nawaz Sharif, is placed under house arrest ahead of a planned protest march on Islamabad.

For more details: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

42. marisacat - 15 March 2009

gnu post…

LINK

…………. 🙄 ……………….


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