Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Number of posts: 43,172
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& Aaron Schwartz
Half-way over, but very interesting.
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Apr 14, 2013, 10:20 PM (3 replies)
SLATE.COM LINK: http://doonesbury.slate.com
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Apr 14, 2013, 01:41 AM (8 replies)
Taibbi: Many Self-Congratulating Millionaires Aren't 'Self-Made,' But Actually Living Off Your Money
One thing that people need to realize about Wall Street and the financial system in general: many of the self-congratulating millionaires and billionaires you read about in the news aren't "self-made" in any real sense, but actually live either directly or indirectly off of your money. The quickest way to extreme wealth in this world is to attach oneself to giant piles of institutional money like public pension funds.
Dan Loeb, Hedge Fund King With Balls
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
13 April 13
- snip -
In other words, Loeb has been soliciting the retirement money of public workers, then turning right around and lobbying for those same workers to lose their benefits. He's essentially asking workers to pay for their own disenfranchisement (with Loeb getting his two-and-twenty cut, or whatever obscene percentage of their retirement monies he will charge as a fee). If that isn't the very definition of balls, I don't know what is.
- snip -
Weingarten quickly wrote back to shore up the meeting, letting Loeb know that there would be some other voices at the table. "A small group of pension fund trustees are interested in joining us," she wrote, "including two funds that are current clients of yours."
It seemed that representatives from New Jersey and Ohio, along with several groups from states like New York, Pennsylvania and California who had not yet invested with Loeb, wanted to meet with him personally to clarify his views on public pensions before making a decision about whether to invest (or, perhaps, disinvest).
After receiving this letter, Loeb suddenly changed his mind about wanting to meet. "Unfortunately, I am not free following my presentation as I have made a prior commitment and am then leaving for New York." He added:
I have learned that SFNY advocated a choice between the two types of plans, a recommendation favored by a majority of younger teachers. Beyond that, I'd be pretty useless in a discussion on such an esoteric copy, so I suggest that Ms. Weingarten discuss her concerns with either Michelle Rhee, the national director of Students First and a member of our board, Joel Klein, our Chairman, or Micah Lasher, our executive director.
This one doesn't need much of a translation. Yeah, I know you represent $800 billion, and that some of your members have already given me tons of cash, but I'm busy, so blow me.
- snip -
One thing that people need to realize about Wall Street and the financial system in general: many of the self-congratulating millionaires and billionaires you read about in the news aren't "self-made" in any real sense, but actually live either directly or indirectly off of your money. The quickest way to extreme wealth in this world is to attach oneself to giant piles of institutional money like public pension funds. The subprime mortgage crisis was fueled in large part by sociopathic hotshots from banks and hedge funds who convinced institutional investors - your corporate retirement fund, your public pension, your union - to buy crappy mortgage-backed securities.
Guys like Dan Loeb, they don't actually do anything, other than shave cuts off of other peoples' money. The psychological justification for taking such high fees is that they earn for their clients, but even that's debatable in some cases (AFT points out that some of Loeb's funds haven't even outperformed the S&P).
MUCH MORE AT LINK
Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Apr 13, 2013, 03:09 PM (15 replies)
The Lost Roles of Stephen Colbert
by Bradford Evans | April 11th, 2013
Before becoming a correspondent on The Daily Show (under original host Craig Kilborn) in 1997, Stephen Colbert spent a decade as a wildly funny performer at Second City Chicago who wasn't getting the amount of career attention he deserved, being passed over for numerous big jobs. The Daily Show was Colbert's big break, but it wasn't until Jon Stewart took over as host that Colbert and the show really started to hit their strides. After spending eight years on The Daily Show, Colbert was finally given his own series. There, he quickly proved he was capable of anchoring his own show and achieved national treasure status. Let's take a look back at some of Colbert's earlier career attempts that didn't work out, like auditioning for Saturday Night Live, writing movies, and serving as an on-air correspondent for Good Morning America:
1. Saturday Night Live (1992)
In a 2011 oral history of The Dana Carvey Show for GQ, Stephen Colbert revealed that he had tried out for SNL during a showcase for the show's writers and producers at Second City Chicago. Colbert, who was Steve Carell's Second City understudy at the time, recalls, "Robert Smigel had seen me perform at Second City when he was one of the people scouting for Saturday Night Live. When was Carvey? 1996? So that was in 1992 and I didn't get hired for SNL that time." While Colbert didn't get an SNL job, he did impress Robert Smigel, who tells GQ, "Colbert completely blew me away. I was all about the understudy. Like, 'Who's the understudy?'"
Smigel ended up hiring Colbert as a cast member and writer for The Dana Carvey Show a few years later. When ABC canceled Carvey Show, Colbert briefly served as a writer on SNL in the fall of 1996. He even managed to make it on camera in small parts in a few sketches (like in the commercial parody below)...
Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Apr 13, 2013, 02:55 AM (5 replies)
Source: CBS News
Rehtaeh Parsons Update: "Anonymous" says teen's alleged rapists "will be held accountable"
April 11, 2013
Facebook (CBS) - The internet activist group Anonymous is vowing to bring "justice" to the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, a Canada teen who hanged herself after reportedly never emotionally recovering from an alleged rape by four teenage boys, according to a statement released by the group.
The statement says Anonymous has confirmed the identities of two of the four alleged rapists and they are currently working on identifying the others.
The group is asking the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Nova Scotia, where the alleged crime took place, to take "immediate legal action against the individuals in question."
"We encourage you to act fast. If we were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them," the statement reads.
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57579103-504083/rehtaeh-parsons-update-anonymous-says-teens-alleged-rapists-will-be-held-accountable
Posted by Hissyspit | Thu Apr 11, 2013, 03:45 PM (25 replies)
Monday, April 8, 2013
The Ironic Lady: Margaret Thatcher, Supposed Champion of Freedom and Democracy, and Her Dictator Friends
Margaret Thatcher died Monday, April 8, 2013, at the age of 87. Predictably, there is no dearth of hagiographic profiles of the former British Prime Minister in the mainstream press and scathing vitriol elsewhere. But while The Economist hails Thatcher for her "willingness to stand up to tyranny" and Barack Obama calls her "one of the great champions of freedom and liberty," it should be remembered that, throughout her career, Thatcher was a staunch supporter of many of the world's most brutal regimes, propping up and arming war criminals and dictators in service to Western imperialism, anti-Communism and neoliberal hegemony.
Throughout the 1980s, Thatcher's government backed Iraq during its war against Iran, funneling weapons and equipment to Saddam Hussein in contravention of both international law and British policy, all the way up until Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. She even sent Christmas cards to both Saddam and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi in 1981.
- snip -
Over the years of her leadership, Thatcher routinely commended Mubarak for his "courage" and "strength." In 1985, at a banquet in Cairo, she said she "admire particularly, Mr. President, the leadership which you personally...have shown." Five years later, while hosting Mubarak and his wife at No. 10 Downing Street, Thatcher declared, "You are among our very favourite visitors because we all know you as particularly good and close friends of this country, as we are of Egypt," and once again
expressed her admiration for the Egyptian president, this time for his "incredible energy."
- snip -
Thatcher was a steadfast defender of Augusto Pinochet, whose unspeakably brutal dictatorship of torture and repression terrorized Chile from 1973 to 1990. She visited Pinochet in 1999 during his house arrest in England, saying that her country "owed" him "a great debt" of gratitude for his help during the 1982 Falklands War.
Without any sense of irony, Thatcher added, "I'm also very much aware that it is you who brought democracy to Chile."
MORE AT LINK - REALLY LONG LIST
Posted by Hissyspit | Thu Apr 11, 2013, 02:25 PM (0 replies)
Source: Associated Press
Uruguay lawmakers vote to legalize gay marriage
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM
Updated today at 7:07 PM
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's lawmakers have voted to legalize gay marriage.
Their vote makes Uruguay the third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws making marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals. In all, 11 other nations around the world have already taken this step.
The law was backed by 71 of the senators in the 92-seat legislature in Wednesday's vote.
The "marriage equality project" was already approved by ample majorities in both houses, but senators made some changes requiring a final vote by the deputies.
President Jose Mujica's ruling Broad Front majority is expected to put the law into effect within 10 days.
Read more: http://www.wfaa.com/news/world/202407221.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Apr 10, 2013, 08:20 PM (4 replies)
UN/IRAQ: IRAQ SENDS LETTER PRE-EMPTIVELY TAKING ISSUE WITH THE SECRETARY'S FEBRUARY 5 PRESENTATION
Date:2003 February 6, 00:21 (Thursday) Canonical ID:03USUNNEWYORK298_a
Original Classification:UNCLASSIFIED Current Classification:UNCLASSIFIED
Handling Restrictions:-- Not Assigned -- Character Count:4562
Executive Order:-- Not Assigned -- Locator:TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:IZ - Iraq | PARM - Political Affairs--Arms Controls and Disarmament | PREL - Political Affairs--External Political Relations | UNSC - UN Security Council Concepts:-- Not Assigned --
Enclosure:-- Not Assigned -- Type:TE
Office Origin:-- N/A or Blank --
Office Action:-- N/A or Blank -- Archive Status:-- Not Assigned --
From:United Nations (New York) Markings:-- Not Assigned --
To:Central Intelligence Agency | Defense Intelligence Agency | Department of Defense | Department of State | Iraq Iraq Collective | Joint Chiefs of Staff | National Security Council | United Nations Security Council | White House
ISSUE WITH THE SECRETARY'S FEBRUARY 5 PRESENTATION
1. (U) IRAQI FM NAJI SABRI SUBMITTED THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO
THE SECURITY COUNCIL (S/2003/132), CONCERNING THE U.S.
PRESENTATION TO THE COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 5. THE FULL TEXT OF
THE LETTER FOLLOWS IN PARA 2.
2. (U) BEGIN TEXT.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAS
CALLED FOR A MEETING OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON 5 FEBRUARY
2003 AT WHICH UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL
WILL PRESENT WHAT HAS BEEN DUBBED "EVIDENCE OF IRAQ'S
POSSESSION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION."
THIS PLAY-ACTING HAS BECOME TRANSPARENT AFTER THE SUBMISSION
BY THE UNITED STATES OF MORE THAN ONE REPORT FILLED WITH
ALLEGATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS DEVOID OF ANY EVIDENCE TO
SUBSTANTIATE THEM, SUCH AS THE REPORT ANNEXED TO THE SPEECH
OF UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BUSH BEFORE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ON 12 SEPTEMBER 2002, ENTITLED "A DECADE OF DECEPTION AND
DEFIANCE," AND THE REPORT OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
(CIA) OF OCTOBER 2002, ENTITLED "IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION PROGRAMS." IN BOTH THOSE REPORTS, THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION ACCUSED IRAQ OF DEVELOPING WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION AT MORE THAN 50 SITES. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
TONY BLAIR HAS PLAYED A SUPPORTING ROLE IN THIS REGARD,
PUBLISHING A SIMILAR REPORT IN OCTOBER 2002 IN WHICH HE
CLAIMED THAT THERE EXISTED SPECIFIC SITES IN IRAQ AT WHICH
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION WERE BEING DEVELOPED.
AFTER IRAQ ACCEPTED THE RETURN OF THE INSPECTORS ON 16
SEPTEMBER 2002 AND AGREED TO DEAL WITH SECURITY COUNCIL
RESOLUTION 1441 (2002), THE UNITED NATIONS MONITORING,
VERIFICATION AND INSPECTION COMMISSION (UNMOVIC) AND THE
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) WERE REQUESTED TO
ACCORD PRIORITY, IN RESUMING INSPECTIONS, TO SITES ALLEGED BY
THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN TO BE DEVELOPING WEAPONS OF
MASS DESTRUCTION PROGRAMMES.
INSPECTION WORK BEGAN ON 27 NOVEMBER 2002. AFTER TWO MONTHS
OF INTENSIVE INSPECTIONS INVOLVING THE USE OF
STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT FOR DETECTING ANY PROSCRIBED
NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY AND THE ANALYSIS OF
WATER, SOIL AND AIR SAMPLES ALL OVER IRAQ DURING 518 TOURS OF
INSPECTION COMPRISING ALL THE SITES THAT WERE THE OBJECT OF
PRESIDENT BUSH'S AND PRIME MINISTER BLAIR'S ACCUSATIONS, AS
WELL AS NUMEROUS OTHER SITES, INCLUDING RESIDENTIAL QUARTERS
IN IRAQI CITIES, THE REPORT OF MESSRS. BLIX AND ELBARADEI,
SUBMITTED TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON 27 JANUARY 2003,
SUBSTANTIATED IRAQ'S DECLARATIONS AND CONSEQUENTLY CONFIRMED
THAT THE REPORTS OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND PRIME MINISTER BLAIR
WERE DEVOID OF TRUTH AND HAD BEEN DRAFTED IN ORDER TO DISTORT
THE PICTURE OF IRAQ AND CREATE PRETEXTS FOR AGGRESSION
AGAINST IRAQ AND AGAINST THE REGION AS A WHOLE.
PERHAPS THIS FACT EXPLAINS THE URGENT REQUESTS ADDRESSED TO
STATES BY MESSRS. BLIX AND ELBARADEI TO PROVIDE UNMOVIC AND
IAEA WITH VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE OF ANY PROSCRIBED ACTIVITIES,
SUBSTANCES OR MATERIALS IN IRAQ AND THE INSISTENCE OF STATES
MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL THAT THOSE STATES WHICH ARE
ALLEGING THAT IRAQ IS DEVELOPING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
SUBMIT THEIR EVIDENCE TO UNMOVIC AND IAEA PURSUANT TO
PARAGRAPH 10 OF RESOLUTION 1441 (2002), WHICH READS,
"REQUESTS ALL MEMBER STATES TO GIVE FULL SUPPORT TO UNMOVIC
AND THE IAEA IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR MANDATES, INCLUDING BY
PROVIDING ANY INFORMATION RELATED TO PROHIBITED PROGRAMMES OR
OTHER ASPECTS OF THEIR MANDATES ..."
ON THE BASIS OF THE ABOVE TEXT, CONTAINED IN THE SECURITY
COUNCIL RESOLUTION, WE REQUEST THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED
STATES, THROUGH YOU, TO SUBMIT IMMEDIATELY ITS ALLEGED
EVIDENCE TO THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ENTRUSTED BY THE UNITED
NATIONS WITH VERIFYING SUCH ALLEGATIONS, NAMELY UNMOVIC (IF
THEY RELATE TO PROSCRIBED ACTIVITIES IN THE CHEMICAL,
BIOLOGICAL OR MISSILE FIELDS) OR IAEA (IF THEY RELATE TO
PROSCRIBED ACTIVITIES IN THE NUCLEAR FIELD), SO AS TO ENABLE
THE TWO ORGANIZATIONS TO BEGIN THEIR INVESTIGATIONS
IMMEDIATELY AND INFORM THE SECURITY COUNCIL AND THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH THOSE
ALLEGATIONS ARE CORRECT.
IN THIS CONNECTION, WE CAUTION AGAINST USING THE GENERAL
ASSEMBLY OR THE SECURITY COUNCIL AS FORUMS FOR SPREADING
FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND FABRICATED EVIDENCE IN OPEN DISREGARD
FOR THE MECHANISMS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Apr 9, 2013, 11:57 PM (60 replies)
Ashley Judd Responds To Secret Tape: ‘We Expected Nothing Less From Mitch McConnell And His Camp’
TOM KLUDT 2:27 PM EDT, TUESDAY APRIL 9, 2013
Actress Ashley Judd on Tuesday responded to an audio tape revealing an aide to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) discussing her history with depression and how it might be used in a campaign.
Judd, who announced last month that she won't be challenging Kentucky's senior senator in 2014, blasted McConnell in a statement read on MSNBC for being so flippant with regard to a "personal struggle such as depression."
"This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C," Judd said in the statement. "We expected nothing less from Mitch McConnell and his camp to take a personal struggle such as depression, which many Americans cope with on a daily basis, and turn it into a laughing matter."
McConnell's camp has asked the FBI to investigate the recordings of the secret meeting, which were obtained and reported on by David Corn of Mother Jones. Corn later countered the GOP charges, asserting that the audio wasn't the product of a "Watergate-style bugging operation" as some Republicans have contended.
Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/ashley-judd-responds-to-secret-tape-i-expect
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Apr 9, 2013, 03:31 PM (36 replies)
Judge rules Obama administration overlooked fracking risks in California mineral leases
By Rory Carroll
Tue Apr 9, 2013 1:11am EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A federal judge has ruled the Obama administration broke the law when it issued oil leases in central California without fully weighing the environmental impact of "fracking," a setback for companies seeking to exploit the region's enormous energy resources.
The decision, made public on Monday, effectively bars for the time being any drilling on two tracts of land comprising 2,500 acres leased for oil and gas development in 2011 by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (in Monterey County.
The tracts lie atop a massive bed of sedimentary rock known as the Monterey Shale Formation, estimated by the Energy Department to contain more than 15 billion barrels of oil, equal to 64 percent of the total U.S. shale oil reserves.
Most of that oil is not economically retrievable except by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a production-boosting technique in which large amounts of water, sand and chemicals are injected into shale formations to force hydrocarbon fuels to the surface.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE93803720130409
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Apr 9, 2013, 01:25 AM (8 replies)