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HA! Mouse proof thead… 17 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements.

la louche!

Well what can I say… I instructed the barely month old mouse to come to life (and it sort of did.. off and on), fast as I could went rampaging online for a mouse… discovered that Amazon does not charge tax so went with that.. breathed a sigh of relief.. and then, still speeding, placed the Safeway order… It would be a big pain in the ass to be adrift without the standard monthly order in.

Anyway, in case it dies, a fresh thread is up… and lordy, what drama over nothing.

In other news… I have no fucking clue how many mice, the furred variety, I have.  (And they were suspiciously out of sight this morning as the mouse, accessory type, died… Some sort of familial shame? do you think?.. LOL)

But… have ordered the humane mice trapper… God knows I have them addicted to twice daily service of cut up potato bread, their fav.  How hard can it be to entice them by subterfuge into a nice, panoramic view, smorgasbord inside, plexiglas box?

They lost interest in the cheese.



1. CSTAR - 17 March 2009

Bonus maybe?

marisacat - 17 March 2009

I could dangle million dollar bills inside teh plexiglas box… engraved with King Rat..


No different than the other troubles..


2. wu ming - 17 March 2009

just count your blessings your keyboard didn’t go as well. my laptop’s keyboard/trackpad both went belly-up last weekend, ugh.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

well fortunately I use the most basic… and the last one seems to retain the letters on the keys longer than all the previous… which is something i suppose..

It really is irritating tho..

3. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Clusterfuck: Cuomo sends Barney Frank a letter… LOL

Full letter to Barney Frank below. Some highlights:

AIG now claims that it had no choice but to pay these sums because of the unalterable terms of the plan. However, had the federal government not bailed out AIG with billions in taxpayer funds, the firm likely would have gone bankrupt, and surely no payments would have been made out of the plan.

My Office has reviewed the legal opinion that AIG obtained from its own counsel, and it is not at all clear that these lawyers even considered the argument that it is only by the grace of American taxpayers that members of Financial Products even have jobs, let alone a pool of retention bonus money. I hope the Committee will take up this issue at its hearing tomorrow.

Furthermore, we know that AIG was able to bargain with its Financial Products employees since these employees have agreed to take salaries of $1 for 2009 in exchange for receiving their retention bonus packages. …

We have also now obtained the contracts under which AIG decided to make these payments.

The contracts shockingly contain a provision that required most individuals’ bonuses to be 100% of their 2007 bonuses. Thus, in the Spring of last year, AIG chose to lock in bonuses for 2008 at 2007 levels despite obvious signs that 2008 performance would be disastrous in comparison to the year before. My Office has thus begun to closely examine the circumstances under which the plan was created….

Somewhere or other yesterday I read that the UK has already opened fraud investigation against the AIGFP offices in London.

LOL Works for me.

4. BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009
5. liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009

You should bring that Benny and the (NY) Jet (lucid) thread forward. That was entertaining. 🙂

6. liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009

As for the thrift department, I thought your gov’t had an agency in charge of keeping things thrifty (or something). lol

7. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Boy, it’s champagne and birthday cake every day now over at Poltiico. They get to drag out all the old lines.. and just slap them around.

When did Obama know?


Fallout: Dems in Disarray over AIG.

carry on… ( I just don’t know why but the ditty from Three Blind Mice is running thru my head.. “see how they run” 😉

liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009

If Gibbs had half a clue, he would have known how to answer the question about when Obamalama knew but so far he, like the rest of the newly annointed ones, have thought they’re untouchable. They’re not Bushco after all, right? Nope. Sure aren’t. But they’re making a whole new set of huge mistakes that will cost them not too far down the line. Cracking jokes at the pressers is already wearing thin.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

fwiw.. this is the Mike Allen version.. I’ve not made it to Wapo. And NYT will just glide by.. wuld be my guess.


CSTAR - 17 March 2009

Maybe Ob is only now finding out that redemption of humanity is a sloppy business. Can get you nailed to a wall.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

I think his real problem is that he not very engaged.

But he will feel better soon! Tomorrow is a speech to a Town Hall, soft stumbling Q and A… easy peasy!… Arnold will stand with him in OC… stand tall with Terminator! Taking down movie sets!

Then off to Leno.. jokes and smokes..

Then home to the 4 mamas… then taping 60 Minutes.

that will keep him busy busy busy. It will all seem real and new and shiny again.

Almost like the GE.. and vamping and vanquishing poor [rich] Old Hillary and Dumb Old McC

8. marisacat - 17 March 2009

LOL I see Biden is attending the daily Economic Briefing.

No words.

9. diane - 17 March 2009

Obama May Widen Drone War Over Pakistan

Six times in the last two months, the new administration has used unmanned aircraft to strike at Taliban camps in the largely-ungoverned tribal wildlands on Pakistan. That could be just the start, however. New York Times reports that President Obama’s national security team is considering an expansion the target set, to include the Pakistani mainland. Specifically, they’re setting their sights around the city of Quetta, in Baluchistan.


Already, some counterinsurgency specialists warn, the unmanned attacks have been destabilizing to an already-fragile Pakistan government. “If we want to strengthen our friends and weaken our enemies in Pakistan, bombing Pakistani villages with unmanned drones is totally counterproductive,” influential counterinsurgency adviser David Kilcullen recently told Danger Room. And that was before the mass protests in Lahore, the standoff between Pakistan’s two leading politicians — and these new reports, the drone war may extend even further than before.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

Obama’s War.

To be blunt.

The poor sad sack sucking off the R teat Democrats. If they gave a flying hoo hoo about anything, one way to KEEP THEM BUSH’S WARS was to conduct hearings.

But it is all about graft and taking over manning the money chutes. Nothing else.

diane - 17 March 2009

Looks like full scale techno war on humanity..in the workforce and the undeclared war on the Middle East at large…

It always stuns me how the obsession with technolgy fails to receive much visible commentary…from any source….it’s one of the main reasons I dislike Gore..this unquestioned obsession with technology which is surely sucking up more energy than any other industry….The greatest truth which they’ll never admit, is that while they drive everyone to do all of their communicating and transactions, on a largely HACKED EXPOSED internet, they’re fully aware that there isn’t enough power to sustain that..the internet would likely implode if all of the citizens were on it…..yet DC seems aimed at cutting off elderly, rural (as they’ve done with the digital tv fraud, despite many of those people actually buying the new prescribed magik gadgetry) and millions in between who are so sick (many times physically: eyes, hands and stress, let alone EMFs) of 8 hours at work on a computer, they don’t have, or don’t want to use one at home..from what used to be the most simple transactions….without having to visit a fucking Library (if it hasn’t been closed down yet) to check their fucking bank balance………and fucking PAY to print out the proof of their transactions….

sick bot fucks they are

diane - 17 March 2009

..and then of course….there’s that remaining verdict on the EXPLOSION of EMFs..which in my humble opinion…is sure to be quite damning……………

10. marisacat - 17 March 2009

HA! Anybody cares, Tapper is a lot more detailed about the so called Time Line of what who when where in this miserable sage of nobody on deck.

Tho Mike Allen had one damning tidbit, Geithner, it would appear, dealt with cutting a deal with Liddy over the bonuses before the T dept legal looked it all over. Tapper writes it as though it was back and forth.. but that T Dept legals sorta decided to just agree with Liddy.

Send him home to mama. wether true or not.

So… when do we invade Mexico to make it safe from our gun runners?

11. marisacat - 17 March 2009

well… now you know they are worried about their asses.. which are hanging in the wind…

Senate passes pay freeze

Remember David Vitter’s omnibus amendment scrapping automatic pay raises in the Senate?

The one that was shot down to avoid a House-Senate conference failed so the $410 billion package could pass the House?

Well, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), fulfilled his promise to pass a standalone pay freeze just now on a quick unanimous voice vote, my colleague Manu Raju reports.

12. BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009


LOL. I thought you’d get a kick out of this. The OFA People are canvassing again for the economy. Be nice if they come around. Don’t treat them like The Witnesses.

Luv ya,

Kids. OFA = Obama for America. They are supposed to go door to door freakin everywhere spreading the Gospel of Ob. I feared for a while I was going to lose her. She and her girlfriends were semi swept up, did GOTV. LOL. I knew I was old when the she-gang was at the house and I said “Why don’t you girls get involved with something healthy like The Hell’s Angel’s or The Moonies? ”

And they didn’t have a clue what I was talking about….

marisacat - 17 March 2009

If this is any indication, they need a serious retool. They got too used to selling 15.00 Mugs bearing the likeness of Black Jesus.


marisacat - 17 March 2009

This is the one comment.. and it’s a good one.

When coordinating phone banks this past year I never met an OFA script I didn’t have to almost completely rewrite before giving to volunteers, and then with the additional instructions to please paraphrase as much as possible.

But then again that OFA has been rebooted around the idea of asking people to pledge to support our President, starting with the very people who busted their asses getting him the job, is a messaging strategy that was born to fail, and deserves to. OFA can do some good, but phone banks can’t be the key to whatever that good becomes. Nothing in grassroots political activity is harder to promote, staff, or enjoy.

What OFA needs is a Big Idea. Something so provocative that people are at least partially as drawn to it as people were to Obama. Without the inspirational pixie dust, OFA is in trouble.

BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009

And really,
what are they going to say at the door? To the old couple across the street who still gets the shit dunned out of them by Conectiv?
Patience is a Virus Virtue?
Offer to Explaaaaaaain why Obama this or Obama that …That
Heezgonna …he-gonna ….he wantsta…?!@??? 😯

Aside from the patented fund raising hook and sheepherding…
there is the human shield aspect to this, using and abusing the rosy cheeked goodness in people, particularly newbies and that desperate set of very old …

Old as dirt, defrauding rubes, but it pisses me off MORE with time…
Quite apart from excusing their lack of inquiry, I understand the motivation of older older people looking to spark something, looking for relief, to “believe” etc. the difficulty in arriving towards the end of their lives confronting the fact that all they ever worked for and their world view was mirage…And I understand it the very young, not in a position to know, lacking perspective and venturing on a path that would prove unnavigable. I was a registered Democrat. Hell.

But I have no use for people with the benefit of education and experience, with information at their fingertips in a flash who REFUSE to revise their world view , who buy buy buy into this shit out of plain, lazy ass comfort seeking. Thing is, they’re as likely to call for his head on a pike when the narcosis wears off and swing to the RW.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

using and abusing the rosy cheeked goodness in people, particularly newbies and that desperate set of very old …

which they are doing. And the return on the use and abuse is not low, not flat… it is a negative. The first half hour tonight on Charlie was depressing. Gretchen Morgensen, Greenberg the old head of AIG… Meredith Whitney… and one other who I did not know, an older financial analyst from.. ugh Forbes or Fortune, forget which. Geesh dark. Very dark.

Whitney said Obama administraton is not reaching out for help, at all. She was willing to be the most critical, the others just said,…. “they are saying nothing, and so we drift”.

Bad enough.

13. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Apparently the FBI is investigating the collaspe of AIG… was it market forces or … gasp! ws it timed skullduggery!

Crashing thunder sounds, off stage.

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Enter Lucid and his band, inexplicably discharged from a van in Jerusalem.
Accompanied by Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell. Arriving on the scene they come apon the Pope, who is about to ram his Crucifix in a Rabbi’s ass for hitting on Gaensweenie, as popsicle stick Jesus of The Rabbi Ass-bound speaks…

Opera, the AIG investigation, Billy Connolly, my verbosity…
it all comes together…
In an absurd CLUSTERFUCK. Why not?
I think it works. LOL.

lucid - 18 March 2009

LOL – I missed that plot twist last night… We’re playing tonight by the way – so good timing. Fortunately, Mitchell and pope Nazi won’t be in attendence – though I can’t say whether or not there will be rabbis there.

14. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Yes it is Insta[hack]
… and yes he links to NRO Schnauzer Land… but…


I GUESS IT’S TOO BAD NOBODY READ IT BEFORE IT PASSED, THEN: The Stimulus Bill Explicitly Guarantees Contractual Bonuses Executed Before February 11. Yeah, I know, I already mentioned this. But it’s a point worth making again — they rushed this stinker through, and now it’s biting them on the ass. Good.

15. marisacat - 18 March 2009

keep laughing.

3.17.09 — 9:21PM // link | RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (12)
Still More

Back when AIG operated on its own funds, it seems they had a different approach to employees who demanded their bonuses: fire them.

–Josh Marshall

He links to his own TPM Muckraker if anyone cares. HA!

16. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009
17. NYCO - 18 March 2009

17. Diane, I read an excellent commentary — buried in the comments of some blog — on the pushing of technology. The comment is here:

For 20 years the Silicon Valley money machine has wasted a huge amount of time and talent building nearly useless crap or building useful but economically inappropriate technology or building technology that sucks up money and can’t be avoided but does mainly harm. It has done this by selling a constantly updated narrative of hope: an addictive drip of “gee whiz” and “seems important”. And the narrative it has used is all self-referential in its justifications – kind of hermeneutic. For example: “obviously” (in the industry tale – its plausible promise to the world) – “obviously” it is a good thing to start turning cell-phones into a sensor-net that feeds privately owned centralized surveillance databases. It’s “gee whiz” because look what the owner of such a database can “sell back” to the people providing the data: traffic jams will be a thing of the past; climate scientists will get micro-climate monitoring data; parents can keep tabs on their children; etc. etc. The subtext is really something like “Hey, we’re tooled up to be ABLE to build that and to MAKE MONEY on it so, let’s explore the reasons why this is GOOD and DESIRABLE.” Wanna save the world? Buy a new phone!

In the 50s and 60s people read about flying cars and jet packs from magazines like Popular Mechanics. With such visions of a sleak, streamlined, auto and automat future ahead of them they were thrilled to embark on the long destruction of a roughly sustainable, largely agrarian economy and replace with Kunstler’s “happy motoring” suburbia. In the 90s and early naughts, the role was performed by the likes of Wired. Have you noticed the page count of Wired lately?

The opposite of the Valley’s “Wired” future is not collapse and I think that that’s where Kelly begins to make his mistake. People have stopped believing in his account of the future. They’ve stopped believing in a consumerist paradise in which mostly passive, recreation-oriented consumers exist on a treadmill of gobbling up the latest spew from the high tech industry. They’ve remembered concepts like victory gardens (Burpee is said to be having a great year), stockpiling, and hard-money savings.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who wonders what good all this handheld technology really is – all these gadgets and games that are going to revolutionize us into social superbeings. All I see is the world spinning toward another big fat war. It’s about not being a Luddite, it’s just about being someone who doesn’t give a flying f—.

Speaking of technology, has anyone noticed the big Twitter explosion? It’s as if a secretly implanted microchip went off in everyone and forced them to sign up for Twitter this week. Twitter used to be a sort of neat way to microblog from your phone about cool stuff you were seeing and doing on the road; now it’s become so nauseatingly self-referential that everyone I know (me included) is now unfollowing people.

This whole hysterical ramp-up of Twitterfication and social media (Facebook vs. Twitter… ooh!) reminds me a lot of the hysterical shopping frenzy we all were expected to go on after 9/11 – the previous shock to the system. Now that we’ve experienced another shock to the system – Dow 6666 – we’re all supposed to embrace social media really hard and everything will be all right. But it’s empty activity, just like the shopping and overconsumption was. Maybe we’re in for another grim eight years of dishonesty and frothy, bubblicious behavior… and then the bottom really falls out. Woe.

I really don’t want to go through the ’00s again… but we may not have a choice.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

Twitter astounds me.. I will go anywhere to infomration… but I don’t see aht I am going to get much from a back and forth of 140 characters. I really don’t.

One of the biggest cons was the “paperless office”. sigh. My law firm hired an IT woman in the early nineties, she sold herself on that ahd a 4 page resume (as I recall) on paper btw… LOL nto pesented on a disc of some sort. Sure, technology cna streamline SOME stuff. But the nature of a law firm depends on redundancies of resources and never being cut off from those resources (computers, electricity going down).

What a laugh it all was.

wu ming - 19 March 2009

twitter has its uses. namely, in a localized disaster or big event, you can get real-time accounts by people stuck in the middle of it. i followed the sichuan earthquake last year there, it was fascinating.

but as a social phenomenon, yeah, i don’t see the use or appeal.

marisacat - 19 March 2009

oh I agree.. and I am all for texting and related messaging. In the earthquake a few months ago in Southern California texting is what stayed up…

wu ming - 19 March 2009

texting is *very* useful in quakes, because the time it takes to send a text message is so small that it gets through an overloaded system. i checked in with my parents and a bunch of friends after an earthquake in taiwan several years ago, after spending 20 minutes unsuccessfully trying to get a call to go through. disaster preparedness 101 stuff, really.

18. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Snowmobile of death down!

Very impressive record of…crashing

“Air Force officials acknowledge that more than a third of their unmanned Predator spy planes — which are 27 feet long, powered by a high-performance snowmobile engine, and cost $4.5 million apiece — have crashed, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Posted by As’ad at 6:53 AM

19. lucid - 18 March 2009

LOL – I was just picking up lunch in the deli & the radio station they were tuned to was advertising California state bonds – as a great investment.

So, you’ve penetrated the NY radio market!

marisacat - 18 March 2009


I am pretty sure we HAD to advertise 2800 miles away… on the bi coastal game of it all… as adjacent states NV AZ Texas too!, etc are advertising INSIDE CA for businesses to move out of CA and, natch! to whatever state is advertising.

So I doubt they’d buy our bonds.

Yes please buy into us.. high state taxes, high retail tax, taxes on some foods, schools at 48th spot …only ahead of Utah and MS… and so on.

It’s a wild world out there…

Arnold spetn 5 years working hard to destroy what was left in the intervening years since Reagan… put in by Pete Wilson and the “oil patch boys”… and to this fucking day, nary a peep from the lower than snake shit state Democrats.

20. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Federal Reserve to Buy $300B of U.S. Govt. Debt in Another Attempt to Ease Recession [2:27 p.m. ET]

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Translation: Large Blocs want their money and are trying to Flee Treasuries…..

It’s akin to a new pace in this Foot race to the Door within the Holiest of Holies , the once attended Executive washrooms in the Bankers American Whorehouse.

In advance of the G20, this “Gentlemen, Don’t Panic” toilet paper shuffle gives why to a most undignified, en masse Pants at the Ankles run, looking for anything the but the spent roll and Obama Inaugural cocktail napkin that Geithner offers in hand. Tips will not be left. They’ll take his pillbox hat and ludicrously red monkey suit to wipe their asses, too.

As the Fed, -an institution with even less credibility- is floundering to prop up the U.S. Treasury, the “safest puh-lace to invest in the bwerld” – the Gibbs drawl from last week –

marisacat - 18 March 2009

Gibbs needs to be sent home t Alabama. Maybe they buy him some lips as a ‘Don’t let the door hit you’ gift.

21. mattes - 18 March 2009

You will need two aquariums…one for the boys and one for the girls….and wheel toys.

Good luck…

marisacat - 18 March 2009

ugh if you mean the mice.. this is not long term hospitality. I saw one during a very cold snap with hard cold driving rain… and was deluded… becasue a few years ago in a very dark cold winter, I had ONE mouse for about 6 weeks.. Spring came and he or she left on its own.

Which owrked for me.. I did nto have to DO anything OR … anything.

But ugh I seem to have a tiny family. Who knew. It was two weeks before they showed a multiplicty…

mattes - 18 March 2009

LOL….like I said good luck with that…..

marisacat - 18 March 2009

well I ordered humane mouse traps… plexiglas box, one way in no way out… etc… I live across from a park… so will take the prisoners there for release.

22. mattes - 18 March 2009

….#37, with what money? Recently printed? We should just quit paying them interest, they failed to protect the banking system.

23. marisacat - 18 March 2009

NOW it is a trillion. Plus… I can’t believe they ever considered a mere few billions. Even hundreds of billions. Where is the end.

Will buy $750 billion of government-guaranteed mortgage-backed securities, $300 billion of longer-term Treasury securities in next six months.

From The Page, they link to the NYT

it is a very depressing read. I heard Summers say on Sunday “we can print money as we have no inflation”..

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

LOL. I just finished my reply above , the Don’t Panic shimmy giving way to the mass Ministerial sprint…
Every pooper for himself!

24. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

CYA in progress:

But though some lawmakers did move to prevent bonuses in the stimulus bill last month, the final language actually makes an exception for pre-existing contracts, effectively exempting AIG.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, who originally proposed the executive compensation provision, said he did not include the exemption clause, which said new rules “shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009.”

In an interview with CNN, Dodd denied inserting that exemption at the 11th hour, and insisted he doesn’t know how it got there.

“When I wrote the language there was no such language like that,” Dodd told CNN Tuesday.

Multiple Senate Democratic leadership sources also deny knowing how the exemption got into the bill.

The mystery isn’t just how what was effectively a protection for AIG was put into the stimulus bill — it’s also how a provision intended to prevent AIG from giving executive bonuses, was taken out…

Keystone Kops come to mind.

25. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009
26. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Now Dodd is admitting on CNN (in a convoluted way, of course) that he and his staff DID make that modification in the legislation – saying the admin wanted it. BUSTED.

Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Big-time. The news traveled fast, to Yahoo Most Viewed: Dodd facing fresh political firestorm.

27. Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Spitzer seltzer, anyone? The Real AIG Scandal. It’s not the bonuses. It’s that AIG’s counterparties are getting paid back in full.

The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation.

28. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Dodd’s looking pretty slimy now. CNN played the tape of Dodd denying it yesterday after the reporter asked if he was doing a favour for AIG since he’s rcv’d the most lobbying money from that company.

liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Not “lobbying money”…donations.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

I think he and Murtha will fall. The conservatives have been slowly chronicling stuff about Dodd for months now. what a tangle. And falling popularity in CT…

Now that the names of AIG bonus takers is surfacing, supposedly three are tight with him. As the monies to Ob from AIG were all around yesterday, so too with Dodd, who was No 1. Ob was No 2 with 101,000.

May they all claw each other to death.

29. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Kuttner and Nader on with Amy

Kuttner says Geithner gone in 60 days, too big a liability. They will have to convince old Obber. Very creaky mind there, when in trouble. It was obvious during the primary AND the GE.

ROBERT KUTTNER: You know, the basic problem here is that Wall Street, despite having been totally disgraced by events, still has an enormous amount of power in the Obama administration, as much as in the Bush administration before it. If you look at the fine details of the latest Geithner scheme for trying to rescue the banks, it gives a tremendous amount of power to the least regulated, least transparent financial institutions in the whole system: private equity and hedge funds. It tries to bribe them to make another round of speculative bets on underwater assets. This is exactly backwards.

And I’m going to make a couple of predictions here. I think Geithner is probably gone within sixty days, because he has become a liability to the administration. And I think the real question is whether Obama and his political advisers are going to have the wit to realize that they hired the wrong team. [Bingo! they are nto swift, never were…Mcat]

There’s a whole other cast of people who are every bit as technically competent and brilliant as Larry Summers or Tim Geithner who believe that you need a Reconstruction Finance Corporation that would take control of these entities and put auditors who work for the US government inside them and sort out what’s really going on on their balance sheets, break them into manageable pieces, figure out how much of the loss the taxpayer takes, how much of the loss the bondholder takes, and get the financial system up and running again.

And what’s really interesting is that the people who have espoused this view run the gamut from Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz and Nouriel Roubini—that’s predictable, although Roubini is not particularly a progressive, he’s just very knowledgeable—but then you’ve got Republican conservatives, you’ve got the American Enterprise Institute. Alex Pollock, their expert on this, testified the other day that the TARP is completely flawed as a strategy for fixing this; you need a Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The conservative president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Thomas Hoenig, gave a terrific speech on why an RFC is the only way to go. A guy named Rodgin Cohen, who was a lawyer for the very Wall Street investment banks that are negotiating with Geithner, whose name was briefly floated as Deputy Treasury Secretary, he’s in favor of an RFC.

So I think you’re going to see this view crystallizing, that TARP is a completely flawed approach. And don’t forget that the money that is being used to bail out AIG is TARP money. The whole approach of letting the same culprits who created this mess keep their jobs and throw money at them and use speculators to bet on the distressed securities is just catastrophic. And the only good thing about the AIG mess is it’s shedding a spotlight on the fact that this is a political failure, and maybe now some people will start understanding that it’s a substantive failure, as well.

That’s true, KC Fed chief broke with the gameplan a couple weeks ago.

30. marisacat - 18 March 2009

well I knew about GS and about Allstate… however………….

Later Update: Some more about Liddy. He was on the board of Goldman Sachs before becoming AIG’s CEO. Before that, he was CEO of Allstate from 1999-2006.

And this I didn’t know: He was CFO under Donald Rumsfeld at Searle back in the 1980s when Rummy was CEO.

–David Kurtz

Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Dum-dee-dum-dum . . . dum-dee-dum-dum DUMMMMM!

Another indispensable connection, no doubt.

BTW – Among the questions Spitzer wants answered (link above @ comment 50) – “in public, and under oath” as he takes pains to say – are these:

What did Goldman, and all the other counterparties, know about AIG’s financial condition at the time they executed the swaps or other contracts? Had they done adequate due diligence to see whether they were buying real protection? And why shouldn’t they bear a percentage of the risk of failure of their own counterparty?

What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and AIG? Didn’t they almost merge a few years ago but did not because Goldman couldn’t get its arms around the black box that is AIG? If that is true, why should Goldman get bailed out? After all, they should have known as well as anybody that a big part of AIG’s business model was not to pay on insurance it had issued.

Why weren’t the counterparties immediately and fully disclosed?

marisacat - 18 March 2009

I don’t see that happening tho. Even when the funneling of monies thru AIG was released, last week I guess…

I think the WH is going to nudge itself as little as possible and (in their minds) just work on making all the future bank and other bail outs go over.

hence all the PR scheisse coming down… from Leno to pre empting American Idol next Tuesday for special Ob message.

I don’t think it is going to work.

Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Oh I don’t think the WH is going to nudge itself either!

Just holding out hope that a few million outraged citizens, a handful of savvy (and/or scared) informants, and one or two or three eager AGs will keep tugging on the dirtiest threads in the warp, and woof!

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 March 2009

Who owns Colorado’s rainwater?

Reporting from Denver — Every time it rains here, Kris Holstrom knowingly breaks the law.

Holstrom’s violation is the fancifully painted 55-gallon buckets underneath the gutters of her farmhouse on a mesa 15 miles from the resort town of Telluride. The barrels catch rain and snowmelt, which Holstrom uses to irrigate the small vegetable garden she and her husband maintain.

But according to the state of Colorado, the rain that falls on Holstrom’s property is not hers to keep. It should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow unimpeded into surrounding creeks and streams, the law states, to become the property of farmers, ranchers, developers and water agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways.

What Holstrom does is called rainwater harvesting. It’s a practice that dates back to the dawn of civilization, and is increasingly in vogue among environmentalists and others who pursue sustainable lifestyles. They collect varying amounts of water, depending on the rainfall and the vessels they collect it in. The only risk involved is losing it to evaporation. Or running afoul of Western states’ water laws.

Those laws, some of them more than a century old, have governed the development of the region since pioneer days.

“If you try to collect rainwater, well, that water really belongs to someone else,” said Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress. “We get into a very detailed accounting on every little drop.”

This country is insane.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

CA… 20% of the water goes for residential use… city and co human use… 80% goes for Ag…

I am fairly saving of water… just never broke habits from the 70s… but I know it is all a joke. Up against that use for ag

wu ming - 19 March 2009

i’m not as sure on those #s, the 80% for ag may be from the federal water project, not necessarily all the water in the state.

wu ming - 19 March 2009

nope, you were right, i checked it out, and the ratio’s about 50% for environment and natural river flows, 40% for ag and 10% for urban, which would be 80-20 if you left the water in the rivers and lakes out. i stand corrected.

marisacat - 19 March 2009

well obviously I don’t know.. I just have read that figure, with no sourcing that I recall or noted, over some years.. and from different sorts of commentaters on water usage allocation in the state.

I have zero science base.. no math base.. along with a few other things; so I rely on sensing that I am reading honest evaluations.

Hansen who turned Gore on to the environment (oil patch baby, tobacco etc, let’s nto forget… nwo of course he is a VC big boy… LOL) says that over the years, we have cut electrical usage by 50% because we manage to maintain a level, despite growth. So I kind of run with that, as a marker. But honestly I have zip zero clue… I just grit my teeth and decide to trust Hansen

and so on. 🙄

wu ming - 19 March 2009

well, colorado is, anyway. most other western states allow you to capture rainwater. i hooked up a barrel to my drains last year, filled it up with a weekend’s worth of rain.

32. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Judge rules Merrill Jynch hs to release names of bonus (or whatever it was) recipients…

BTW, I read a few days ago that Goldman has been [cough] making “loans” to its people, in “these hard times”…

LOL loans that will be forgiven I would bet.

Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Woo-hoo! Chalk one up for Andy-boy! Clawwwwwwing back that “shroud,” for starters!

Mr. Cuomo praised the ruling. “Today’s decision in the Bank of America case is a victory for taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “Let the sun shine in. Justice Fried’s decision will now lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding the $3.6 billion in premature bonuses Merrill Lynch rushed out in early December. Taxpayers demand and deserve transparency and now they will finally get it.”

Hope the info is tendered quickly – article says possibly as early as tomorrow – and explodes. It’s Bonfire of the Vanities time! Throw another gang of crooks on the barbie!

Other signs of hopey-change (or at least potentially intelligent life) today:
Holder sez the DEA will only go after major MJ distributors in violation of federal and state law . . . .

John Walker Lindh is losing some of his extra-special fetters
Feds to ease restrictions on ‘American Taliban’.


The Obama administration on Wednesday formally endorsed a U.N. statement calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, a measure that former President George W. Bush had refused to sign.

33. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Fed rescue goes to 1.2 trillion.

Can I get a bid of 1.5 ???

34. Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

More octopus news!

Rare Fossil Octopuses Found

What most surprised Fuchs and his colleagues Giacomo Bracchi and Robert Weis was how similar the specimens are to modern octopus. “These things are 95 million years old, yet one of the fossils is almost indistinguishable from living species,” Fuchs said.
This provides important evolutionary information, revealing much earlier origins of modern octopuses and their characteristic eight-legged body-plan, Fuchs said.

Unlike vertebrate animals, octopuses lack a well-developed skeleton, which allows them to squeeze into spaces that a more robust animal could not.

“The more primitive relatives of octopuses had fleshy fins along their bodies. The new fossils are so well preserved that they show, like living octopus, that they didn’t have these structures,” Fuchs said.

This insight pushes back the origins of the modern octopus by tens of millions of years, he said.

If it ain’t broke, neither Gawd nor Darwin will fix it!

35. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

I’m blown away. I really am.
When even a shnoob like me saw this.
[Chart from NYT]

Fuck the US Financial Instruments.
This is major-major rebuke of U.S POLICY. From US RELEVANCE even in today’s moves…
We shit on everybody, as our shysters flat out fucked everybody, Our Government promoting it to coddle our rich and frothing at the mouth reactionaries in the ME. Now, Nobody is buying our bullshit. European Nations, ( hardly makes sense to speak of EU ) China and Russia want their money and aren’t going to throw legitimate resources after bad.
Oh well.
Should be interesting to see what Roubini and Krugman have to say.

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

We essentially devalued currency reserves in China and everywhere else. We just fucked EVERYBODY.

mattes - 18 March 2009

A lot here, I could just not get through it all:

Fucking Raping You to Death: The Real Fun Begins
[Update added at the end.]

Part I, sisters and brothers.

Now, we get to serious payback time for the ruling class. You don’t know what real pain is yet. It’s almost certain we’ll all find out very, very soon. Michael Hudson:

The Obama bank bailout is arranged much like an IMF loan to support the exchange rate of foreign currency, but with the Treasury supporting financial asset prices for U.S. banks and other financial institutions.


marisacat - 18 March 2009

I saw that when i was at NYT… I ahd to blnk a bit to take it in.

Reminds me that a few months ago moiv posted a graf of bank closures.

Very steady, then little uptick, little more, then the line shot straight to the sky. Like defenestraton UPWARDS. Suicidal float.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 March 2009

her family just announced that Natasha Richardson died.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

there has been some speculation out here that there may be a pre-existing condition.

All the baby ski slopes I have been on (and I never got further, very much the “it’s too cold!” or “I fell, I’m done” type) were such soft slopes, cleared of anything .. no rocks, no trees… that it is a wonder. The most damage I ever got was when I slide down and sat on the edge of an old fashioned wood ski.

Then they interviewed all sorts of people on the slopes wearing helmets.


CSTAR - 18 March 2009

I was very sorry to hear that. There was something that seemed very gentle about her.

37. NYCO - 18 March 2009

Natasha Richardson, rest in peace. For some reason her death makes me feel old. Maybe because I remember her from a lot of movies and TV back from the ’80s and ’90s when I was veddy into veddy British entertainment. I didn’t realize she was that young.

(yes, rest in peace from the ghoulish global deathwatch of the social media world…)

38. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

A few squibs from the Financial Times [UK] blog – last Fall…
I remembered the name and where I saw it…

The Unthinkable.

Posted by Tracy Alloway on Oct 27 08:03.

Signs of resistance to treasury issuance are causing Deutsche Bank analysts to think the “unthinkable” — Japan-style quantitative easing in the US.

Resistance to treasuries is something of a problem given that supply is about to shoot up —

And noted [what I thought, considering the source -{US!}] a head fake:

From a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco paper:

in strengthening the performance of the weakest Japanese banks, quantitative easing may have had the undesired impact of delaying structural reform.

IOW, “The Unthinkable” being the U.S. left with no other resort but to print money to buy in its own debt.? How could it be? Unnecessary. TBTF and all that –
It was interesting Confirmation indeed to follow the Financial Times discussion boards in the Fall…

A few weeks later Last Nov- after US denials did little to persuade European observers or their perception of “The Unthinkable” –

Fed capitulates: the central bank is broken
Posted by Sam Jones on Nov 06 10:24.

Or perhaps better, the entire banking system is broken.
{IOW, given the American Monkeys On Back view from Europe, Good Riddance, Yanks!- BHHM}

For it appears that the US Federal Reserve has given up on the idea of easing stress on interbank and wholesale lending and is resigned to being the central bank-come-market-maker of last, first and every resort.

For some time now there’s been a debate about the direction of the Fed’s policy. Would we see target rates come down further? Quantitative easing? [NewSpeak for Printing Money- BHHM]Massive T-Bill issuance in the open market?


How impotent? Consider the numbers: the Fed has an $800bn balance sheet to operate in a $50 trillion credit market. The only thing that gives it power is its ability to create monetary base, and in a liquidity trap, that power is useless.
The Fed’s move last night is the first big signal, then, that it will pursue a policy of quantitative easing.

LOL. I just heard on NPR that a retro WWll PR campaign , “Keep Calm And Carry On!” is now the rage in the UK.

39. NYCO - 18 March 2009

60. What’s insane is overbuilding in regions that don’t have enough water so that you can’t put out a rainbarrel, and then sticking to 19th laws.

NYCO - 18 March 2009

19th century laws…

40. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

That’s a shame. She probably had a tear in her carotid during whiplash, similar to the spectator killed after struck by a hockey puck. There is really is nothing that can be done without immediate craniotiomy to relieive pressure within the braincase. The swelling essentially crushes the spinal cord at the base of the skull, cutting off signaling to the heart. There is no place to go with the pressure without quickly removing skull. A skull fracture is actually preferable…

41. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Life is tough. What did Geithner know and when. Not that it matters… they all knew the screws were loose and it was a mess… for months. Geithner at the critical Fed for years, then on to the T…

Just my opinion.

TPMDC yesterday said the R in the House had formally opened an inquiry into the timeline …

There will be hearings. Just not on BushCheney. Nan and her table.. nice and clear, still. LOL

42. NYCO - 18 March 2009

22. How about this thread at the NYT… not a lot of happy campers among Obama’s army there. The vehemence is kind of surprising!

marisacat - 18 March 2009

LOL well he got 1300 slap happies in Costa Mesa this afternoon… no questions about AIG… but I have not seen the transcript yet… local report here called it “half revival meeting, half campaign stump”.

Yup, that’s what makes him smile.

The comments in the NYT thread are a hoot. The faithful troops best gear up.

I just read the party is already plotting how to use him for the mid terms.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 March 2009

Limbaugh, Hannity and Glenn Beck are defending the bonuses.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

well I don’t know about Hannity and Beck, but the twist Rush has put on it (this week anyway) is that the binuses are a diversion (not that government should dare to tell corps anything anyway, LOL) AND the real issue is the counterparties… a la Spitzer.

Not that it matters.

And I agree, bonuses ARE diversion. But they sure have traction. Like golf shoes… 😉

CSTAR - 18 March 2009

I don’t like the bonuses too much myself…but I like this much better

We need to tax those bastards, take their businesses into public ownership, close their little tax loopholes, and criminalise their offshore havens. We ought to be resentful about it, too. And petty: let’s make them clean the toilets at Spar while we’re taking their shit. Enough with the gentrified conventions of bourgeois politics – I demand vengeance.

Ah, Talk like this takes me back to my youth..

44. Intermittent Bystander - 18 March 2009

Very sad news about Richardson.

45. marisacat - 18 March 2009

I am checking the death notices… so far very blank on what sort of accident. jsut that it was “minor”. They hauled out the Sonny Bono story here.. but he ran smack into a big tree at high speed. A tad different.


The Dodd story just gets worse. He did it “at the best of the admin”.. then it was done for a “Treasury official who wants to be nameless”.

LOL… listening to call in radio here and my, the people who felt Obrama promised them transparent government are kinda ticked.

meanwhile they not only closed streets to traffic in Costa Mesa, they cleared pedestrians from the sidewalks.

Salame ObRama.

liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

LOL… listening to call in radio here and my, the people who felt Obrama promised them transparent government are kinda ticked.

Excuse me while I feel a bit of schadenfraude as that halo begins to rust.

46. marisacat - 18 March 2009

HA! The little bits of greenback are hiding in CT it seems… or the laws, or the senator… or or or or or or.


BLITZER: We’re going to continue cover this discrepancy. Thanks very much — Dan Lothian.

Here’s another question — did AIG have to pay their employees the $165 million in these bonuses? AIG says they it was bound by a Connecticut law to pay them out.

Let’s bring in Abbi Tatton. She’s working this story. Connecticut? Why Connecticut?

ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, it’s because of this — an office park in Wilton, Connecticut. This is the headquarters of AIG’s Financial Products Unit. That is the unit that has been at the root of this company’s financials troubles. It’s also the unit whose executives have received those $165 million in bonuses.

And its Connecticut location, AIG lawyers have pointed to, is the reason why they were bound. They had to pay.

There’s a Connecticut law that states, “If an employer fails to pay an employee according to their contract, then such employee may recover twice the full amount.” Essentially, if AIG didn’t pay that $165 million, they could be sued for double, they could be sued for $330 million of U.S. taxpayer money.

Well, this argument is now being slammed in Connecticut. The Connecticut attorney general is calling it a joke of a justification. Lawmakers there are seeking to amend this law. And Wolf, you just heard from Dana Bash, meanwhile, that AIG’s CEO has said that he’s trying to recover some of this bonus money from the employees.

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Juicy. As Dodd squats in low 40% poll territory now.

{ looking for the salt shaker}

Peppy, timely, young for his age Dodd, 😉
Send him out on the Current Events Lecture circuit,
waxing forth to his clientele on Nuremberg and Pops.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

yeah he’s been slipping in the polls no questiion, think the R have him on tape that he did not read the Stumble Bill…… Ready made ad…

and my memory is vague but I thought at the time he wrote that book to try to extricate himself from slippage. Dad and Nuremberg… etc. But then Friend of Angelo, Countrywide… all sorts of little scams and whams from years n the banking committe… THEN the cottage in ireland. I think that was the killer. a third (?) house, again a beneficial buy in, thru the brother of someone who got a pardon from Clinton.

It is moutning up.

Next up: Rangel.. please let me not miss a moment of that take down. Barney is in their sites… (but I thought the Republican party was finished???? No?)

Works for me. By now I don’t care who goes. Or how. Just kick them out.

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Cottage in Ireland?

{Ireland, hmm, yah , well THAT …looking for the butter, now,
figuring what the hell, Popcorn Butter STEW. LOL. }

marisacat - 18 March 2009
BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009
liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

I hope Dodd’s pantry is well-stocked with Guinness. He’s going to need it.

47. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009
48. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

dkos FP diary:

Dodd says he reluctantly agreed to bonus provision change

by Jed Lewison
Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 07:40:08 PM PDT

Not the word “reluctantly”. It must suck when one of your so-called progressive heroes is going down in flames (that he lit!).

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Some decent dish on Dodd, his Mormon Trophy wif, her fam, real estate developer Pappy, her tenure at Ex-Im Bank for Clinton

Via ChiTrib- The Other Dodd

Another? LOL. Begins with their courtship…

Chris Dodd first noticed Jackie Clegg on the Senate floor one day about 20 years ago.

She was young and attractive, but the congressional aide was not about to get close with a U.S. senator.

“I was a staff person,” she said. “I was rather deferential.”

But Dodd had asked her boss, Utah Sen. Jake Garn, about her, and when Garn organized a charity ski event in Park City, Clegg, coincidentally, was designated as Dodd’s ski instructor.

Charity ski event? Whatever happened to a coffee can?
A hoagie sale? Fuck

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

LOL. Also, ever notice the stories where, “…She was young and attractive, but the congressional aide was not about to get close with a U.S. senator….”

And she always DOES? LMAO.

BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Same hot tub and blow in the limo territory as Ob’s blessed union. LOL. What a ritual. Make it available on a dedicated Political Pay per view Sex Channel for all I care, it’s just a joke all the machinations in the “news”.

49. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

The so-called progressives are scrambling at the top of the (w)rec(k) list.

This calls for a kid oakland kumbaya diary – stat.

50. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

and the Front Page of the Leading “Liberal” Blog?
with Democratic Strategist , Founder of the Dailykos…
GMAFB. Again with the MAMZ – Markos Moulitsas, DNC ass buffer,
dumbshit extraordinaire, maneuvering stool for Arlen Specter, snuggling up to Ed Rendell….

<a href=”PA-Sen: Gov. Rendell pledges support for Dem candidate
by kos
Wed Mar 18, 2009 at 07:04:04 PM PDT

It shouldn’t be news when the Democratic Governor of a Democratic state pledges to support the Democratic candidate in the 2010 Senate election, but with Rendell, it is.

In 2004, Rendell shut down his state’s party machine in order to protect Sen. Arlen Specter’s reelection campaign, hangin Democratin nominee Joe Hoeffel out to dry.

Yeh. And Rendell as Chairman of the DNC starved the Dem Challenger in PA to Santorum, Ron Klink, back in 2000. Ed had a walk against the Republicans in 2002 and was elected Governor.

“””It shouldn’t be news… but with Rendell, it is.””
And it came in the blast email.
Infantile turd eater for treat-treats.

MAMZ should look like lubed orifice he is when the EFCA goes down at the hands of all the fucksteaks he’s basted as “Progressives”: Tester, Warner, McCaskill, etc. But nooooo, Arlen Spector will save the day. How Pathetic, along with the scheisse about Rendell.
What cockaMAMZ crap.

Not a word from Orange-Baby-Poo-Face either, on the effect that the bailout smash and grab having is having in PA, how the Fumo conviction and in-state anger over Dem payola has cast an entirely different dynamic on 2010. Quite simply, Moulitsas is talkin shit: Rendell is going to see Arlen elected as long as Arlen draws breath, and Spector is about as likely to hop on the Democratic sinking ship as Markos is going to dunk as an All Pro center in the NBA.

So stick with the piano, the Lawrence Welk “studies set”, Markos.

LOL. The Democratic Kissafuckin Death is when Rendell pledges to work FOR the Party.

51. BooHooHooMan - 18 March 2009

Here’s the correct link to MAMZ on PA

Sorry. I’m out.

52. marisacat - 18 March 2009

Clusterstuck stays Dodd returned the 103K he got in 2008 from AIG. hmm frm a dozen execs… hmmm ?

But what about PapaBama. He got 101,000.

PS… Dodd got that money from execs at the FP division.

OK that does it, everybody off the cliff to the shoals below.

53. marisacat - 18 March 2009

We’re hitting hour 5 here on local call in…. of disillusionment, at the least.. and some despair. Incredulity. Quite a few are well aware that Geithner was at NY Fed and was in the plans with Paulson. hmm they ask why did Obama not know.

The 1.2 trillion has really hit people. No one seems to give a hoot he is gamboling about in So Cal chatting up the folkes.

More important, will he lose the American Idol voters next Tuesday.. when his speech preempts AI.

Who knows. Who cares.

liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

AI is canceled that nite, FYI.

Big rush on tomatoes to throw at the teevee. Get yours now!

54. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Okay. I’m starting a pool for how long Geithner has left. He’s obviously toast. I pick March 31.

Treasury Learned of AIG Bonuses Earlier Than Claimed

Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG’s impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is 10 days before Treasury staffers say they first learned “full details” of the bonus plan, and three days before the Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG.

marisacat - 18 March 2009

I have no idea what the reaction might be but there are bonuses (or whatever) coming up, and in the news, for Fannie and Freddie. Mostly the reports mention around 600K but I have read a few were over 1 million.

They have spread a lot of “campaign” cash around congress too, for years, even as all of these companies lost money.


55. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Meanwhile, in one of those odd countries where free people actually take the opportunity to use their democratic rights: New nationwide strike hits France

marisacat - 18 March 2009

Speaking of: I was just looking at pics of a sit in in Harbin China… laid off distillery workers…

liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

At huge risk to their lives, no doubt.

wu ming - 19 March 2009

people are fucking tough up there, it’s china’s equivalent of the rust belt. oil fields, heavy industry, all declining. edgy place, and cold as all hell in the winter.

56. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

A surge with a twist in Afghanistan – throwing civilians to the wolves.

57. liberalcatnip - 18 March 2009

Oops. US Army Confirms Israeli Nukes

The Army has let slip one of the worst-kept secrets in the world — that Israel has the bomb.

Officially, the United States has a policy of “ambiguity” regarding Israel’s nuclear capability. Essentially, it has played a game by which it neither acknowledges nor denies that Israel is a nuclear power.

But a Defense Department study completed last year offers what may be the first time in a unclassified report that Israel is a nuclear power. On page 37 of the U.S. Joint Forces Command report, the Army includes Israel within “a growing arc of nuclear powers running from Israel in the west through an emerging Iran to Pakistan, India, and on to China, North Korea, and Russia in the east.”

The single reference is far more than the U.S. usually would state publicly about Israel, even though the world knew Israel to be a nuclear power years before former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu went public with facts on its weapons program in 1986.

Several years later investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published “The Samson Option,” detailing Israel’s strategy of massive nuclear retaliation against Arab states in the event it felt its very existence was threatened. Israel’s nuclear arsenal has been estimated to range from 200 to 400 warheads.

Yet Israel has refused to confirm or deny it’s nuclear capabilities, and the U.S. has gone along with the charade.

As recently as Feb. 9 President Barack Obama ducked the question when asked pointedly by White House correspondent Helen Thomas whether he knew of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons. Keeping the blinders on is necessary politically in order to avoid a policy confrontation with Israel.

By law, the U.S. would have to cease providing billions of dollars in foreign aid to Israel if it determined the country had a nuclear weapons program. That’s because the so-called Symington Amendment, passed in 1976, bars assistance to countries developing technology for nuclear weapons proliferation.

Given the U.S.’s long history of selective blindness when it comes to Israeli nukes, it’s unlikely that the Joint Operating Environment 2008 report compiled by the Army amount to much more than a minor faux pas.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in a March 8 article on the report, observed: “It is virtually unheard of for a senior military commander, while in office, to refer to Israel’s nuclear status. In December 2006, during his confirmation hearings as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates referred to Israel as one of the powers seen by Iran as surrounding it with nuclear weapons. But once in office, Gates refused to repeat this allusion to Israel, noting that when he used it he was ‘a private citizen.’ “

Liars. The lot of them.

58. marisacat - 19 March 2009

neue post


………….. 😯 …………..

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