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dogknob

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Member since: Tue Jun 16, 2009, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 2,102

Journal Archives

Hillary Clinton Is Whitewashing the Financial Catastrophe

 She has a plan that she claims will reform Wall Street—but she’s deflecting responsibility from old friends and donors in the industry.

http://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clinton-is-whitewashing-the-financial-catastrophe/

 Candidate Clinton is essentially whitewashing the financial catastrophe. She has produced a clumsy rewrite of what caused the 2008 collapse, one that conveniently leaves her husband out of the story. He was the president who legislated the predicate for Wall Street’s meltdown. Hillary Clinton’s redefinition of the reform problem deflects the blame from Wall Street’s most powerful institutions, like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, and instead fingers less celebrated players that failed. In roundabout fashion, Hillary Clinton sounds like she is assuring old friends and donors in the financial sector that, if she becomes president, she will not come after them.

The seminal event that sowed financial disaster was the repeal of the New Deal’s Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which had separated banking into different realms: investment banks, which organize capital investors for risk-taking ventures; and deposit-holding banks, which serve people as borrowers and lenders. That law’s repeal, a great victory for Wall Street, was delivered by Bill Clinton in 1999, assisted by the Federal Reserve and the financial sector’s armies of lobbyists. The “universal banking model” was saluted as a modernizing reform that liberated traditional banks to participate directly and indirectly in long-prohibited and vastly more profitable risk-taking.

Exotic financial instruments like derivatives and credit-default swaps flourished, enabling old-line bankers to share in the fun and profit on an awesome scale. The banks invented “guarantees” against loss and sold them to both companies and market players. The fast-expanding financial sector claimed a larger and larger share of the economy (and still does) at the expense of the real economy of producers and consumers. The interconnectedness across market sectors created the illusion of safety. When illusions failed, these connected guarantees became the dragnet that drove panic in every direction. Ultimately, the federal government had to rescue everyone, foreign and domestic, to stop the bleeding.

Yet Hillary Clinton asserts in her Times op-ed that repeal of Glass-Steagall had nothing to do with it. She claims that Glass-Steagall would not have limited the reckless behavior of institutions like Lehman Brothers or insurance giant AIG, which were not traditional banks. Her argument amounts to facile evasion that ignores the interconnected exposures. The Federal Reserve spent $180 billion bailing out AIG so AIG could pay back Goldman Sachs and other banks. If the Fed hadn’t acted and had allowed AIG to fail, the banks would have gone down too.


More at link: http://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clinton-is-whitewashing-the-financial-catastrophe/

Ads are one thing. Ads with autoplay audio have no place on DU.

Is this a "feature" of the new server?

I know it's not Flash because I have my browser set to "always ask" before running any Flash.

If it's going to be a new "thing" around here to allow HTMLS5/JS autoplay audio in ads here, then ceeya!

NYT: How ‘South Park’ Perfectly Captures Our Era of Outrage

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/arts/television/south-park-sketches-grander-satire-themes.html


And where past “South Park” satires once looked at single issues, this season is sketching something like a grand — if messy — unified theory of anger, inequality and disillusionment in 2015 America.

Even as the p.c. wars rage, the town of South Park is being gentrified: It’s attracted a Whole Foods and built Sodosopa (South of Downtown South Park), an enclave of hipster eateries and condos built literally around the house of the dirt-poor McCormick family. The townspeople are delighted, until they realize many of them can’t afford to join the few, the smug, the artisanal. Under the town’s chichi new facade is a familiar slurry of resentment (of the privileged, of immigrants, of elites) and fear (of terrorism, of crime, of economically falling).

And all that, in the “South Park” worldview, drives people to a self-pitying narcissism that extends to politics but also goes beyond it. In the season’s darkest episode, “Safe Space,” the townspeople assign a single child to filter every negative comment from their social media, to protect their self-esteem from all manner of “-shaming.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/arts/television/south-park-sketches-grander-satire-themes.html

My widdle snowfwake bwain is melting!

Isis was quick to understand a truth the West must now confront -- EDIT: Now with fun WWI MAP!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-a-borderless-world-the-days-when-we-could-fight-foreign-wars-and-be-safe-at-home-may-be-long-a6741146.html

The bloody repercussions of the borders that the British and French diplomats, Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot, drew in secret during the First World War – originally giving Syria, Mount Lebanon and northern Iraq to the French, and Palestine, Transjordan and the rest of Iraq to the British – are known to every Arab, Christian and Muslim and, indeed, every Jew in the region. They eviscerated the governorates of the old dying Ottoman empire and created artificial nations in which borders, watchtowers and hills of sand separated tribes, families and peoples. They were an Anglo-French colonial production.

The same night that I saw the early Isis video, I happened to be visiting the Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt. “The end of Sykes-Picot!” he roared at me. “Rubbish,” I snorted. But of course, I was wrong and Jumblatt was right. He had spotted at once how Isis captured symbolically – but with almost breathtaking speed – what so many Arabs had sought for almost exactly 100 years: the unravelling of the fake borders with which the victors of the First World War – largely the British and the French – had divided the Arab people. It was our colonial construction – not just the frontiers we imposed upon them, but the administrations and the false democracies that we fraudulently thrust upon them, the mandates and trusteeships which allowed us to rule them – that poisoned their lives. Colin Powell claimed just such a trusteeship for Iraq's oil prior to the illegal Anglo-American invasion of 2003.

We foisted kings upon the Arabs – we engineered a 96 per cent referendum in favour of the Hashemite King Faisal in Iraq in 1922 – and then provided them with generals and dictators. The people of Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt – which had been invaded by the British in the 19th century – were subsequently blessed with mendacious governments, brutal policemen, lying newspapers and fake elections. Mubarak even scored Faisal's epic 96 per cent election victory all over again. For the Arabs, “democracy” did not mean freedom of speech and freedom to elect their own leaders; it referred to the “democratic” Western nations that continued to support the cruel dictators who oppressed them.


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-in-a-borderless-world-the-days-when-we-could-fight-foreign-wars-and-be-safe-at-home-may-be-long-a6741146.html

EDIT: Map of Sykes-Picot plan in my comment below (#3).

You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia

Excerpt from part 1: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity -- a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

There is nothing here that separates Wahhabism from ISIS. The rift would emerge only later: from the subsequent institutionalization of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab's doctrine of "One Ruler, One Authority, One Mosque" -- these three pillars being taken respectively to refer to the Saudi king, the absolute authority of official Wahhabism, and its control of "the word" (i.e. the mosque).

It is this rift -- the ISIS denial of these three pillars on which the whole of Sunni authority presently rests -- makes ISIS, which in all other respects conforms to Wahhabism, a deep threat to Saudi Arabia.


Excerpt from part 2: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-aim-saudi-arabia_b_5748744.html

In a sense, Philby may be said to be "godfather" to this momentous pact by which the Saudi leadership would use its clout to "manage" Sunni Islam on behalf of western objectives (containing socialism, Ba'athism, Nasserism, Soviet influence, Iran, etc.) -- and in return, the West would acquiesce to Saudi Arabia's soft-power Wahhabisation of the Islamic ummah (with its concomitant destruction of Islam's intellectual traditions and diversity and its sowing of deep divisions within the Muslim world).

As a result -- from then until now -- British and American policy has been bound to Saudi aims (as tightly as to their own ones), and has been heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia for direction in pursuing its course in the Middle East.

In political and financial terms, the Saud-Philby strategy has been an astonishing success (if taken on its own, cynical, self-serving terms). But it was always rooted in British and American intellectual obtuseness: the refusal to see the dangerous "gene" within the Wahhabist project, its latent potential to mutate, at any time, back into its original a bloody, puritan strain. In any event, this has just happened: ISIS is it.

TONIGHT! Who will be the next...



Big .png of logo for your use:

Donation Purgatory?

I live in Orange County, CA (near Camp Pendleton/San Onofre) and I've got a twin bed, dresser and office chair (all in good condition) that I am trying (present tense, still searching) to donate, preferably to DAV or an affiliate (screw the Salvation Army, their overpriced thrift shops, and their fundie indoctrination masquerading as drug rehab).

So far I am having trouble even finding anyone to talk to about this. I'm no Google dummy -- there's plenty of websites, but all of the places I have seen thus far don't have an easy way to schedule a pick-up (I don't have a suitable vehicle) or a way to speak with anyone directly.

Anyone with ideas? Experience?

If I have to rent a truck, this stuff's going to the landfill, which would be a shame.

When the only place you can see Gone With the Wind is in some museum in NYC...

... then maybe I will believe that we are actually giving the confederacy an appropriate heave-ho from our culture.

Maybe GWTW can replace Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story at the Paley Center for Media.

Here's one word for "white privilege" that might piss many of you off...

Marijuana.

"I started to see the culture in Nevada City as kind of a . . . a Never-Neverland. It's this place where there's enough capital because of the marijuana industry for people to do what they want most of the time. To be able to fund their art project, or their traveling lifestyle, or their social justice project, or their community projects . . . a beautiful house, or a homesteading project, or a farm that they want to have. What I saw after I read the book was that it's not a free and clear benefit for these people that are profiting off of this industry. The Prison-Industrial Complex isn't just the stockholders that want to build a private prison. It's not just the guards that are employed by those prisons. It's not just the people in the justice system who make their living off of prosecuting people. The Prison-Industrial Complex that is riding on the drug laws has created this abundant opportunity for people to . . . to grow weed. And I think people either don't know, or don't see, or don't want to know or see that that's the industry they're involved in. They don't want to see that for them to be able to make $200 a pound trimming, someone somewhere is paying a pretty high price. They're paying with their life or their freedoms."


http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/24318-a-bitter-harvest-california-marijuana-and-the-new-jim-crow

How about a slow-lane for the FCC? Got it!

No TollWeb!

Ars-Technica: Web host gives FCC a 28.8Kbps slow lane in net neutrality protest
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/web-host-gives-fcc-a-28-8kbps-slow-lane-in-net-neutrality-protest/

Daily Kos: In the ultimate Net Neutrality protest, web host throttles FCC connections
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/05/09/1298152/-In-the-ultimate-Net-Neutrality-protest-web-host-throttles-FCC-connections

How to throttle the FCC to dialup speed on your own website:
https://gist.github.com/m1/e5f1f190ba309b500f0a
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