It's probably the last thing that anyone wants to think about now that we're a few years into this crisis. When the problems keep getting pushed out and political leadership fails to lead by implementing serious reform, we shouldn't expect anything other than another crisis. Forbes:
Speaking in Tokyo, he pointed to derivatives, the financial hairball of futures, options, and swaps in which nearly all the world's major banks are tangled up.
Estimates on the amount of derivatives out there worldwide vary. An oft-heard estimate is $600 trillion. That squares with Mobius' guess of 10 times the world's annual GDP. "Are the derivatives regulated?" asks Mobius. "No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes."
In other words, something along the lines of securitized mortgages is lurking out there, ready to trigger another crisis as in 2007-08.
Last month, the state Senate took up Brewer’s push to impeach Colleen Mathis, the chairwoman of Arizona’s independent bipartisan redistricting commission. Even Brewer herself couldn’t explain how Mathis had exhibited “neglect of duty and gross misconduct,” the only grounds for impeachment in Arizona. Indeed, Mathis’ only real “crime” appears to be that she led a commission which drew a new congressional map with more competitive districts than had existed previously.
However, justice prevailed tonight as the Arizona Supreme Court rebuffed Brewer and decided to reinstate Mathis to lead the commission:
The Arizona Supreme Court Thursday evening reinstated the chairwoman of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, rebuffing Gov. Jan Brewer’s unprecedented action earlier this month.
The ruling came less than three hours after the court heard arguments on the case, which revolved around the extent to which the commission is free of outside political interference.
The court decided the governor’s Nov. 1 removal letter to Colleen Coyle Mathis did not demonstrate “substantial neglect of duty, gross misconduct in office or inability to discharge the duties of office.”
Now Mathis and the commission will resume their duty to finalize Arizona’s new congressional district maps. As Daily Kos notes, the group “published draft congressional and legislative maps last month, and since then, the commissioners have been hearing public feedback and have indicated that they plan to make changes to the maps in response.”
Barring any more unconstitutional power grabs from Brewer, the commission will then be able to finalize the map in advance of next year’s election.
Democratic National Convention Committee Statement on Congressional Approval of Security Funds for City of Charlotte
CHARLOTTE—The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate today each voted to pass the final version of legislation containing a $50 million federal grant to the City of Charlotte for security funds related to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The legislation also includes a $50 million grant to the city of Tampa for the 2012 Republican National Convention—the same level of funding Denver and Minneapolis received for the political nominating conventions in 2008. The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk, who is expected to quickly sign it into law.
“We’re pleased that with bipartisan support in both chambers, Congress has approved funding for the City of Charlotte to provide security for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. We thank Mayors Foxx and Buckhorn, the leadership in both chambers of Congress and the Florida and North Carolina Congressional delegations for their work in securing these funds,” said DNCC Chief Executive Officer Steve Kerrigan.
“These much-needed funds will ensure that not only is this the most open and accessible convention in history, but a safe one, too. The security of the city’s residents and convention attendees is a top priority, and these funds give Charlotte the resources to get the job done. This convention is going to be about Americans coming together, and we invite all Charlotteans to come uptown to take part in the festivities.”
Both conventions have been designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security as National Special Security Events. This designation allows federal resources to be deployed to maintain the security necessary for the event and the area. Examples of other NSSEs include conventions, State of the Union addresses, Presidential Inaugurations, Super Bowls and the Academy Awards.
?Black Monday,? September 19, 1977, was the day 34 years ago when the shuttering of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube steel mill threw 5,000 steelworkers onto the streets of their decaying Midwestern hometown. No local, state or federal programs offered[...]
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Times like this, I wish I was a reporter and not just a humble blogger who was working near downtown and decided to walk over and check out the Occupation of City Hall.
[or more technically skilled and less tired. the rest of this post will appear soon]
City Councilman Luis Aponte introduced a resolution in support of allowing the Occupiers to stay in Burnside Park indefinitely and exercise their right to free speech. Word went out on the intertubes that Occupy would hold the General Assembly in City Hall and attend the City Council meeting.
My point of reference was the 2003 Providence City Council resolution against the Iraq War, and based on that I expected a large crowd and a peaceful session.
So I was surprised to find just a couple of dozen people assembled in Burnside Park, under umbrellas, holding a planning session by the fountain. There were rotating speakers, representing the different working groups that work out details and bring proposals to the whole Occupation. There were calls for volunteers for staying by the tents for safety during the City Hall action, for speaking with the police and the press. For standing by the door to City Hall and making sure it was kept open.
Ashley and Annie Rose explained the hand signals, the process, and the philosophy. ‘This is not a leaderless movement, this is a movement of leaders.’ And, ‘this is not planning for the movement, this is the movement.’
The amazing this is– it was working. The mood was peaceful, civil, determined.
How sad. Nice blockbuster of a story by Ken Vogel at Politico. It seem that James O'Keefe, the guy who did the Acorn sting and the NPR sting (and selectively edited the videos to portray things not quite as they were) is apparently watching his empire fall apart around him. Former colleagues are dissing him to Politico. Lawsuits are being threatened all over the place (amongst themselves). And funds aren't quite pouring in. It's a heartwarming tale, read it.
A preview for this past week's episode of How to Make It in America, which imparted the timeless wisdom: "Don't you think that comes at a price?"
I couldn't get to work this morning, because of the attempt by the OccupyWallStreet demonstrators to actually occupy Wall Street. (See "Nearly 200 OWS Protesters Arrested in Clashes with Police.") As I've mentioned, the company I work for, although having nothing to do with the financial-services industry, has for several years now been housed in the epicenter of Manhattan's Financial District, in the building that adjoins (and is part of the same security zone as) the New York Stock Exchange on the block of Broad Street between Wall Street and Exchange Place.
Yesterday our office manager passed on a memo from the building management warning about problematic access this morning but assuring us that efforts would be made to ensure that, however cumbersomely, access would be possible for workers in those buildings from both the Wall Street and the Exchange Place sides. (Even in "normal" times -- which is to say "normal" post-9/11 times -- we have to pass through one of those check points to get into the buildings, where we go through airport-style security every time we enter.) We were warned that we might have to show our IDs extra times, and advised to allow extra time, and I did that, and I still couldn't figure out how to get anywhere near the Exchange Place checkpoint.
I thought I was being smart taking the "southerly" route, even though it meant taking the longer subway route via the no. 1 train. I had allowed enough extra time that it was still 10 or 15 minutes before nine when I got off the train, but approaching Broadway I saw that large crowds had already gathered. I couldn't see any possible access to Exchange Place from the Broadway side, so (and this apparently was my mistake) I headed south -- the enormous block to Beaver Street -- and then headed over to Broad, but it was clearly no go from there, and I couldn't even get access to anybody official-looking to ask how the daredevil feat I wanted to attempt might be accomplished.
So I continued along the "southern perimeter" of the occupying police forces' blockade, and managed to get as far north as Exchange Place on William Street, but still I saw no access or anyone to ask. So I headed another block east to Hanover Street, where at least (at last!) I found 10 or 12 cops not doing anything that I could see, and I asked if they could confirm that there was no way to gain entry, which they quite jovially confirmed. I guess they thought it was a game. One cop said, "Call in sick." I was kind of steamed but know better than to try to mix it up with New York's Formerly Finest, and just shot back, "I'm not sick."
I thought maybe I had overthunk the situation by trying to approach from the south side; maybe the access was only being provided from the Wall Street side, but I've had enough experience of that approach during the OWS era to doubt that I could have gotten anywhere near Wall Street, even if I could have figured out how to circle around to the northern approach from where I was. So I headed back toward the subway -- at this point my only practical transit option, and by this time (9:15 or so) found it an accomplishment just to retrace the ground I'd covered 20-25 minutes earlier.
The total round trip took about 2½ hours, and I can't say it was a total waste. I got some reading done in my current New Yorker and New York Review of Books issues -- notably Calvin Trillin's characteristically delightful "My Repertoire" in the Food Issue of The New Yorker and a really informative NYRB piece about Qatar (lots of stuff about which I had no idea). Also, I ate the peanut-butter sandwich that I had packed for my lunch.
The other day in my "quick note on the Zuccotti Park blitzkrieg" I mentioned that Digby seemed to me to have already written the story before it happened, in her Aljazeera.com column "Militarising the police from Oakland to NYC." Here's the start of that piece:
What happens when a government builds a massive, unaccountable police apparatus to thwart infiltration by a foreign menace, only to see the society it's supposed to protect take to the streets for entirely different reasons?
It looks as though we may be about to find out. The Occupy protests have been mostly peaceful, with a few fairly dramatic exceptions. But the sight of a huge police presence in riot gear is always startling, and tactics that have been honed in Europe (such as "kettling") against anarchist actions have not been as common in the United States as elsewhere. More standard forms of crowd control, such as the aggressive use of pepper spray and "rubber" bullets have so far been the outer limits of the police use of force. But it is hardly the outer limits of the possibilities.
The US has actually been militarising much of its police agencies for the better part of three decades, mostly in the name of the drug war. But 9/11 put that programme on steroids.
The United States has never had fully militarised police before, armed with the kind of high-tech surveillance and weaponry that would never be allowed if the National Guard were called up in an emergency. And neither have we ever had such a malleable definition of what constitutes an emergency. At a time of increasing citizen unrest, it's a volatile combination.
Certainly the government seems to have been preparing for such confrontations for some time now.
Whether the people will accept high-tech "pain compliance" to "modify" dissent remains to be seen. If the attitude towards Tasers is any guide, many won't have a problem with it and "enhanced interrogation" of terrorist suspects has become, at best, a moral grey area for many in the US.
We have essentially normalised torture and created a high-tech police apparatus with more capability than any military in history. Human nature suggests that if you build it, they will use it.
Bloomberg and Wall Street may not like Occupy Wall Street, but they aren?t going to negotiate in any meaningful sense.
Why should they?
What are the consequences, for them, of not cooperating? They have to see some noisy people. Does it appreciably reduce their income? No. The men or women they get to sleep with? No. The amount of power they have over DC? No. Their actual physical safety, or the safety of those they care about? No.
For Occupy to be successful, on its own terms, will require shutting down Wall Street and probably all of NYC. There must be so many people on the street that it is impossible to arrest them all or to get rid of them without resorting to a lot more than a whiff of grapeshot. The elites must be be faced with a decision tree ?negotiate or lose a ton of money and be massively inconvenienced or shoot hundreds of thousands of people and build mass detention camps.? That will require two or three million people occupying New York City.
Remember, modern elites are trained to think in terms of cost-benefit analyses. If the cost to them of not giving in is less than the cost of not giving in, they won?t give in. It took trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street. They take home billions of dollars in personal bonuses. You must cost them, personally, more than that, for them to want to give in. . . .
Yosi (right) shows Ben and Cam his sky's-the-limit plans for the guys' cherished Crisp line -- oops, make that "Crisp by Yosi."
NANCY: You want my two cents, for whatever it's worth? License Crisp to Yosi.
BEN: Do you have our back?
NANCY: Listen, I know this feels really weird right now.
NANCY: But as soon as those checks start coming in, you're gonna feel a lot differently. Trust me.
BEN: It's not about the money.
NANCY: Yeah? Well, it should be. This is a business. Ben, do you know how many new brands I see crash and burn every day? You are being handed the keys to the kingdom. [Long beat.] Don't you think that comes at a price? [Emphasis added.]
Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are taking aim at corporate tax dodger Verizon, projecting a giant 99 percent logo onto the building:
Last week, Judge Franklin R. Theis placed a temporary retraining order on Kansas’s anti-abortion law mandating certain licensing regulations that threatens to shut down every abortion clinic in Kansas. The law was set to go into effect Monday, November 14. Kansas doctors achieved a temporary injunction in July that was set to expire on Monday. The court has yet to set a hearing date. The doctors claimed that the restrictive rules are “oppressive, unreasonable and arbitrary government interference that would significantly impair, if not altogether eliminate…their existing medical practice.”