Happy Monday, everyone. This week's installment of LNMC's 50 State Strategy comes courtesy of C&L reader Steve L. The Railbenders (Denver) have quite a way with unpretentious country/rockabilly toetappers like "One Foot in the Grave". Enjoy!
Every Monday, C&L's Late Nite Music Club will feature an up-and-coming act from every state, alphabetically by state, as part of LNMC's 50 State Strategy. Know a band or artist that you think is the best in their state? Email suggestions to latenitemusicclub [at] gmail.com.
Programming note: My own posting is going to be light over the next 48 hours as I'm on travel to[...]
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April 14, 2009
Forex Traders Will Be Looking for Solid Evidence of Recovery
Trading was light and thin in the Forex markets today as some money centers in both Asia and Europe took an extra day off following the Easter holiday weekend. Those who decided to trade had their way…
Last week, Senate Guru dilligently traced the partisan makeup of the Minnesota Supreme Court -- which will be hearing Coleman's next appeal -- over at his site and then over the weekend Down With Tyranny noted that one of the court's justices,[...]
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Fascinating piece from Bloomberg on the little-understood "stress tests." According to Bloomberg:
"Regulators are using two economic scenarios for the tests. The first is a 'baseline' forecast of 8.4 percent unemployment and 2 percent economic contraction in 2009, followed by 2.1 percent economic growth and an 8.8 percent jobless rate in 2010. The other is a 'more adverse' scenario, with 8.9 percent unemployment and 3.3 percent contraction in 2009, followed by a 10.3 percent jobless rate and 0.5 percent growth in 2010."
Trouble is, the unemployment rate is already exceeding the "more adverse" scenario. Indeed, according to Calculated Risk "the baseline case is no longer useful...the more adverse case is the new baseline."
So if the "more adverse scenario" plays out again--and that's certainly a possibility--the banks are going to be in deep, deep trouble.
How bad is it going to be? Here's Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets in Arlington, Virginia:
“The bottom line is if the unemployment rate peaks at 10 percent these banks can make it through. But if it peaks closer to 12 percent, nobody makes it. Or very few people make it.”
Dana Perino joins Mark Penn at Burson-Marsteller.[...]
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Greg Sargent follows up with the White House on pending legislation regarding state secrets:
The White House is declining to say whether the Obama administration will support legislation introduced by Senate Democrats that would roll back the use of the "state secrets privilege," one of Bush’s most controversial legal tools....
The White House’s silence on the bill will give more fodder to critics who charge that Obama has broken a campaign promise to dramatically scale back use of the Bush legal maneuver and wants the latitude to use it himself. It also sets up a potential showdown with Senate Dems who continue to view the legislation as crucial to rolling back Bush-era abuses....
The legislation — which represented the consensus view of the Democratic Party a year ago — would drastically limit use of the state secrets privilege, which is the invocation of national security to justify government secrecy and get anti-government lawsuits tossed out of court. The bill was reintroduced this year by Senators Russ Feingold, Patrick Leahy, and Ted Kennedy in response to Obama’s use of the legal tool, with Feingold calling the need for the legislation "urgent."
Despite Obama’s campaign promise, the Obama Department of Justice has repeatedly invoked the state secrets privilege, most recently in a lawsuit against government warantless wiretapping, prompting many legal observers to conclude that Obama was mimicking Bush’s approach.
In response to my questions, a White House spokesperson declined to say whether the Obama administration would support the legislation. Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder said that he had ordered a comprehensive review of the state secrets doctrine, and promised a report on it in the "not too distant future."
Complicating matters a bit further, a couple of prominent members of the Obama administration, Secretary of State Clinton and Vice President Biden, were cosponsors of the Feingold/Leahy/Kennedy legislation. This legislative effort is becoming more critical. The previous Congress failed to assert itself against the unitary executive, leaving the door open for the abuses of the Bush administration and now the the very real likelihood that those abuses will go unanswered.
Congress's actions now will determine if the balance of power in our government will be permanently shifted in favor of the unitary executive. If it's not rolled back now, in the wake of the most disgusting and extreme abuses of power imaginable, it may never be.
Update: Ambinder has more:
They no-commented me last week, and they're stonewalling Greg Sargent this week: the White House refuses to say whether the President supports the State Secrets Protection Act in Congress. As a candidate, Obama supported the principles espoused in a similar piece of legislation, but he did not sign on to the bill as a cosponsor. My reporting leads me to believe that senior administration officials, including the White House counsel, Gregory Craig, oppose the current version of the legislation because they believe it would overturn an important, established precedent and weaken the ability of the president to protect national security....
Make no mistake: Obama will be rolling back the spirit, if not the fact, of a campaign promise by opposing this bill.
Is anyone besides me watching Dancing With the Stars or "24" tonight? If not, what are you watching?
This is an open thread.
I don't know how I managed not to see or hear about this atrocity. It must have been all the ecstasies over Obama's election to the Presidency that the news was drowned out. In fact, the murders were discovered some two weeks before. Someone over at Jack & Jill Politics linked the story update yesterday; of course, the Reichwing have been braying about this for all its been worth since November. Under oath during the preliminary hearing of the four black Marines charged with the killings, a top investigator who surveyed the murder scene confirmed that race was a factor in the murder of the Pietrzaks. The Marines were jealous and enraged that Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak had just married their sergeant and superior officer, Jan Pawel Pietrzak-- and refused to give them the time of day.
video details and more
"N----- Lover" was written on the wall near the master bedroom and on a bathroom mirror, Riverside County Homicide Investigator Benjamin Ramirez testified at a preliminary hearing, according to the News. But even more shocking, prosecutors say, is the fact that those responsible for the brutal homicide of the 24-year-old Marine and his 26-year-old wife are four Black fellow Marines.
Prosecutors allege that the Marines - Pvt. Emrys John, 18; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20; Pvt. Kesuan (Psycho) Sykes, 21 and Pvt. Kevin Cox, 20 - burst into the Pietrzak's home in Temecula, Calif., with shotguns, and tied up and tortured the couple. They also repeatedly raped Quiana, before John shot them both in the head, prosecutors say.
The victims' mothers wept during the two-day hearing.
"We're going to visit our children at the grave," Henryka Pietrzak-Varga of Bensonhurst said later. "That's all we have left after this."
Sometimes a light of reason shines through the pablum, confusion, and truthiness that so dominates the traditional media's editorial pages. And, sometimes that light requires us to blink, to sit back and conceive, as it might force us to question[...]
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