Here's the daily dose of the Rupert Murdoch business with K.O. and John Dean (more here, and the postmortem on the death of Sean Hoare, the former News of the World show business reporter who was the first named journalist to allege that Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, ruled that Hoare's death was "not suspicious" - hmmm)...
...and here's a little mid-week summer funk.
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Nice to see the campaign for the GOP nomination is going so well. Open thread below...
At the Danger Room, Spencer Ackerman writes, Petraeus? Commando Raids Killed Lots of Taliban. So?:
Ten dead or captured militants a day. That?s how many insurgents U.S. special operators nailed during David Petraeus? year-long command of the Afghanistan war, which officially ended Monday. About the only thing those commandos didn?t do is stabilize Afghanistan.
In the past year-plus in Afghanistan, elite commandos conducted a staggering 2,832 raids, resulting in the deaths or captures of 3,775 insurgents, Kimberly Dozier of the Associated Press reports. Petraeus? predecessor, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) chief, oversaw about the same number of raids, but with only 2,381 insurgents neutralized.
To put it in context: that?s more than six raids a day, every day, for two years. Or maybe at night: McChrystal?s JSOC successor, Vice. Adm. William McRaven told Congress more than half of them, 1700 in a year, occur in the dark. No wonder JSOC was able to kill bin Laden. It had a lot of practice.
Why the jump in kills and captures? The most obvious explanation is the spike in spy planes, drones, blimps and other intelligence assets that began filling the Afghan skies during McChrystal?s tenure and ensconced themselves there under Petraeus. [...]
Petraeus has boasted about the numbers of neutralized insurgents to anyone who?ll listen, and foreshadowed it since he arrived in Afghanistan by pointing to an increased raiding tempo. But the absolute most that can be said is that it appears for now to have stopped the growth of the insurgency, not made Afghanistan safer for its citizens.
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009:
Last week marked the sixty-fourth anniversary of one of the most controversial achievements of the human race: the birth of the atomic bomb. Regardless of your personal feelings about the effect of nuclear weaponry on the outcome of the Second World War, it is impossible to argue otherwise: once the nuclear genie was out of the bottle, the world was a completely different place.
One of the most fascinating symbols of the nuclear age is the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock", which:... conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm.
It was first used on the magazine's cover in 1947; the timeline is a qualitative indicator of our potential to destroy ourselves, and how various leaders have influenced that over the years.
Cut, cap and… baloney passed. Shocker, the Tea Party crazies are running the congressional asylum. Passing anything that has no chance of getting through the Senate, let alone a veto by Pres. Obama, is such a waste of energy. Watching some of[...]
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What the hell is in the water down there in Florida? If you are a parent in Florida you might want to keep an eye on your children.
I was reading about that kid that killed both of his parents and then threw a house party, and I kept thinking about the sad irony of it in relation to the Casey Anthony story.
Here, yet another child kills his parents down there and this time he (allegedly) throws a party with a bunch of his friends while their bodies was sitting in a bedroom in the house. Sick. And most of you believe that Casey Anthony did the same thing to her child. So instead of the parent killing the child, it's the child killing the parents this time. Either way, it's all pretty f%$#!d up.
I see that that the wingnuts down in D.C. voted to push through a ridiculous-- dead on arrival-- deficit reduction bill, today. Nice. Cut federal spending by six trillion dollars? I don't think so.
"Let me be clear. This is the compromise. This is the best plan out there," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, head of a conservative group inside the House known as the Republican Study Committee.
The legislation, dubbed "Cut, Cap and Balance" by supporters, would make an estimated $111 billion in immediate reductions and ensure that overall spending declined in the future in relation to the overall size of the economy.It also would require both houses of Congress to approve a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification."
Let's hope that there are some grown ups in the senate and that they can find some type of compromise. Those wingnuts are...well, nuts!
Finally, I see that Michele Bachmann is blaming the black man for the problems surrounding the floods in the Midwest. ( I swear we get blamed for everything.) It's a smart political move. It should help to unify her base around a common theme: bigotry.
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Introduced last September, Archie Comics? first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, has made the big time: He?s getting his own series![...]
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How can you not love a hip hop cut that loops Schoolhouse Rock's Three Is a Magic Number and JB's Funky Drummer, and samples from Eddie Murphy, Johnny Cash and Fiorello LaGuardia?!?!
Your contribution for the evening? All I ask for is...Positivity!
I often keep tabs on the weekly Chakin money flow indicator, especially when I’m expecting an intermediate degree correction. More often than not there will be a divergence in money flow at intermediate tops as smart money exits ahead of a correction.This indicator also diverged at the last two bull market tops. It is now showing a huge divergence that I think is probably indicative of a third cyclical bull market top forming.
Source: Gold Scents
Paul Krugman says that letting the bankers walk is a really big mistake -- and is a major factor in the recession:
Last fall, we learned that many mortgage lenders were engaging in illegal foreclosures. Most conspicuously, ?robo-signers? were attesting that banks had the required documentation to seize homes without checking to see whether they actually had the right to do so ? and in many cases they didn?t.
How widespread and serious were the abuses? The answer is that we don?t know. Nine months have passed since the robo-signing scandal broke, yet there still hasn?t been a serious investigation of its reach. That?s because states, suffering from severe budget troubles, lack the resources for a full investigation ? and federal officials, who do have the resources, have chosen not to use them.
Instead, these officials are pushing for a settlement with mortgage companies that, reports Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post, ?would broadly absolve the firms of wrongdoing in exchange for penalties reaching $30 billion and assurances that the firms will adhere to better practices.?
Why the rush to settle? As far as I can tell, there are two principal arguments being made for letting the banks off easy. The first is the claim that resolving the mortgage mess quickly is the key to getting the housing market back on its feet. The second, less explicitly stated, is the claim that getting tough with the banks would undermine broader prospects for recovery.
Neither of these arguments makes much sense.
The claim that removing the legal cloud over foreclosure would help the housing market ? in particular, that it would help support housing prices ? leaves me scratching my head. It would just accelerate foreclosures, and if more families were evicted from their homes, that would mean more homes offered for sale ? an increase in supply. An increase in the supply of a good usually pushes that good?s price down, not up. Why should the effect on housing go the opposite way?
You might point to the mortgage relief that would supposedly be extracted as part of the settlement. But if mortgage relief is that crucial, why isn?t the administration making a major push to reinvigorate its own Home Affordable Modification Program, which has spent only a small fraction of its money? Or if making that program actually work is hard, why should we believe that any program instituted as part of a mortgage-abuse settlement would work any better?
Sorry, but the case that letting banks off the hook would help the housing market just doesn?t hold together.
What about the argument that getting tough with the banks would threaten the overall economy? Here the question is: What?s holding the economy back?
It?s not the state of the banks. It?s true that fears about bank solvency disrupted financial markets in late 2008 and early 2009. But those markets have long since returned to normal, in large part because everyone now knows that banks will be bailed out if they get in trouble.
The big drag on the economy now is the overhang of household debt, largely created by the $5.6 trillion in mortgage debt that households took on during the bubble years. Serious mortgage relief could make a dent in that problem; a $30 billion settlement from the banks, even if it proved more effective than the government?s modification program, would not.
So when officials tell you that we must rush to settle with the banks for the sake of the economy, don?t believe them. We should do this right, and hold bankers accountable for their actions.
The House passed the dead-on-arrival Cut, Cap, and Balance Act a short time ago by a vote of 234-190.The theory -- still very much theoretical -- is that voting for this bill will give House Republicans political cover to go ahead and vote for a debt[...]
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