Crosby, Stills, and Nash -- Southern Cross.[...]
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EUR Resurfaces, but Will it Stick this Time?The EUR has reemerged these past couple of trading days. Few analysts were anticipating such a rapid bounce-back in the value of the EUR by this time last week. Now, however, it seems as if this rise has left some feeling uneasy. Upward corrections to such a sustained downward movement are to be expected, analysts have repeatedly stated, but there is still a concern that these sharp swings represent instability, and have a number of investors worried as a result.Economic NewsUSD – USD Making Strong Gains against Exotic CurrenciesThe US Dollar has seen mixed results these past few days. Against its primary rival, the EUR, the greenback has been in a mild downward corrective pattern; falling back down to…
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Glenn Beck repeated discredited falsehoods about the Community Reinvestment Act and President Obama's Chicago house while baselessly suggesting that the Obama administration is aiding a troubled, "politically connected" Chicago-based bank. In fact, the White House has denied any involvement in helping the bank.
In describing variousalleged tangential connections between ShoreBank and Obama and hisadministration -- including that one bank official once worked with Obama'smother as well as the father of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner -- Becksuggested that the bank received new funding from private financialinstitutions because it is "politically connected" to Obama.
From the May 20 Dumb Money: HowOur Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, criticized the notionthat affordable housing initiatives caused the financial crisis, writing that"the notion that the Community Reinvestment Act is somehow responsible forpoor lending decisions is absurd" and that "lending money to poorpeople and minorities isn't inherently risky. There's plenty of evidence thatin fact it's not that risky at all." Gross further explained, "On theother hand, lending money recklessly to obscenely rich white guys ... can bereally risky. In fact, it's even more risky, since they have a lot moreborrowing capacity."
Beck tangentally linksbank official to Obama via Rezko. From the May 20 edition of Glenn Beck:
BECK:Then we have Howard Stanback. Here's Howie. He's another board member. Hi,Howard. Howard's a good guy. He's a -- wait a minute, he's a former board chairman ofthe Woods Foundation, which is weird. If I'm not mistaken, Obama and Bill Ayerswere also on the board of the Woods Foundation. Isn't -- I gotta check some ofthese facts out because you'd think -- oh, by the way, he was also employed --this can't be right. He was also employed by New Kenwood LLC, a real estatedevelopment co-owned by Alison Davis and Tony Rezko. Tony Rezko. Didn't he,like, give, like, an amazing deal on Barack Obama's house? This is gettinginteresting.
Obama received no specialdeal on his house or adjacent land. As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented,contrary to Beck's claim that Obama got "an amazing deal" from Rezkoon his house, Bloomberg News reported: "The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago homesaid the Illinois senator's $1.65 million bid 'was the best offer' and theydidn't cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacentland, according to e-mails between Obama's presidential campaign and theseller." The Obamas subsequently bought a portion of Rezko's lot, butthere is no evidence that they received an "amazing deal" on that purchase. According todocuments that were posted on the Obama campaign website, Obama paid Rezko$104,166 for the piece of property in question -- above its appraised value of$40,500, as Media Matters has repeatedly noted.
Tonight's excellent diaries have been rescued by dopper0189, Got a Grip, Louisiana 1976, shayera, and YatPundit, with ybruti as editor.
jotter has High Impact Diaries: May 19, 2010.
virgomusic has Top Comments - All I Ever Wanted Edition.
Feel free to suggest your own favorite diaries of the day, and use this as an open thread.
No, this is not proof of intelligent design. "Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first synthetic living cell. The researchers constructed a bacterium's "genetic software" and transplanted it into a host cell. The resulting microbe then looked and behaved like the species "dictated" by the synthetic DNA. The advance, published in Science, has been hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics say there are dangers posed by synthetic organisms. The researchers hope eventually to design bacterial cells that will produce medicines and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases. The team was led by Dr Craig Venter of the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Maryland and California. He and his colleagues had previously made a synthetic bacterial genome, and transplanted the genome of one bacterium into another. Now, the scientists have put both methods together, to create what they call a "synthetic cell", although only its genome is truly synthetic." PZ Myers has the biologist's perspective.
The "security failure" isn't the foiled terrorist plots; it's the illegal secret torture at Bagram. "US President Barack Obama's national intelligence director has resigned after a 16-month tenure marked by a series of security failures. Adm Dennis Blair said he had informed the president of his resignation, which goes into effect on Friday. His term of office saw the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day bomb plot and the failed Times Square bomb plot. He drew fire for the Christmas Day plot when he said special interrogation teams promised had not yet been formed. This was despite a decision to form the teams months earlier."
It's a war crimes trial, not "Africa's Next Top Model." "War crimes prosecutors in The Hague say supermodel Naomi Campbell should be subpoenaed to testify at the trial of Liberia's ex-President Charles Taylor. They say Ms Campbell "was given rough diamonds" by Mr Taylor in 1997 at Nelson Mandela's house in South Africa. Mr Taylor is accused of using "blood diamonds" to fuel an insurgency in Sierra Leone that cost tens of thousands of lives. Ms Campbell had previously declined to provide testimony to prosecutors. "Ms Campbell's testimony is necessary as there is evidence that Ms Campbell was given rough diamonds by the accused (Mr Taylor) in September 1997," said a prosecution motion filed with the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Mr Taylor is accused of selling diamonds and buying weapons for Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, who were notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during the brutal 1991-2001 civil war."
Weren't we supposed to be done with the adolescent saber-rattling? "The US state department says there "will definitely be consequences" for North Korea following the sinking of a South Korean warship in March. The North is facing international condemnation after investigators blamed it for the sinking of the ship, in which 46 sailors died. Pyongyang has rejected the claim as a "fabrication" and threatened war if sanctions were imposed. China urged restraint and did not criticise the North. The report - by a team including experts from the US, Australia, Britain and Sweden - concluded that a torpedo had sunk the Cheonan corvette. The investigators said parts of the torpedo found on the sea floor had lettering that matched a North Korean design."
Shocked - shocked to find Big Oil criminals lying about their crimes. "BP has "fallen short" in providing data about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the US government has said, in its latest critical letter to the firm. The Obama administration said the British energy giant should act in a "transparent manner" and "promptly" make all information public. Earlier, BP said more oil than the 5,000 barrels a day it first estimated were gushing from the burst well. The spill has reached Louisiana and is threatening Florida and Cuba. The crude has been flowing since the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, leased by BP, exploded off the coast of Louisiana on 20 April and sank two days later. The Obama administration asked BP to make public all measurements of the growing leak, air and water quality samples, trajectories of underwater plumes and locations of dispersants."
Now this is a security problem. "Five paintings by Picasso, Matisse and other great artists have been stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, French officials say. The paintings are estimated to be worth just under 100m euros (?86m; $123m). They were taken overnight on Wednesday and reported missing early on Thursday, officials say. The museum, across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower, has been cordoned off by investigators. Security camera footage reportedly shows someone entering the museum through a window during the night. "This is a serious crime to the heritage of humanity," Christophe Girard, deputy culture secretary at the Paris Town Hall, told a news conference. The theft was committed by "one or more individuals who were obviously organised", Mr Girard said. He added that investigators were looking into how the museum's security system and several guards were outsmarted by the thief or thieves. Mr Girard put the value of the stolen paintings at just under 100m euros (?86m; $123m). They had earlier been estimated to be worth some 500m euros (?431m; $618m). The five missing paintings are Dove with Green Peas by Pablo Picasso (painted in 1911), Pastoral by Henri Matisse (1906), Olive Tree near l'Estaque by Georges Braque (1906), Woman with Fan by Amedeo Modigliani (1919) and Still Life with Candlestick by Fernand Leger (1922)."
We don't understand why anyone is still buying stocks at all. "US stocks have plummeted amid fears of contagion from the eurozone debt crisis and a pending vote on overhauling financial regulation. The Benchmark Dow Jones industrial average fell by 376 points - its largest one-day drop since February 2009. All major US markets were down: the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell by around 4%. Earlier, Germany's Dax index fell 2.02%, France's Cac 40 dropped 2.25%, and London's FTSE 100 closed 1.65% lower. An unexpected rise in US unemployment contributed to the New York stock exchange's decline, as did continued concern about the eurozone debt crisis and the latest protests in Greece. "A general strike in Greece is adding to jitters and raised concerns of violence similar to what occurred during the last strike in the country early this month," said Wells Fargo equity market strategist Scott Marcouiller. New figures showed unemployment benefits in the US rose to a three-month high of 471,000 last week. A fall in claimant numbers had been widely anticipated."
Planetary exploration going on without NASA. "Japan has sent a sophisticated probe to Venus study its atmosphere in unprecedented detail. The Akatsuki orbiter was put on a path to the inner-world by an H-IIA rocket launched from the Tanegashima spaceport in the south of the country. The vehicle left its pad at precisely 2158 GMT (0658 local time Friday). Akatsuki will arrive at Venus in December. Key goals include finding definitive evidence for lightning and for active volcanoes. It was the H-IIA's second attempt at a launch. A previous effort earlier in the week was aborted because of a thick covering of cloud at the Tanegashima facility. Thursday's get-away, by contrast, was made into a bright sky. The 53m-high rocket climbed south-east over the Pacific Ocean, its lift-off timed to the second to make sure Atkatsuki picked up the correct trajectory to make it out to Venus."
Yet another correlation-without-cause autism link. "Researchers have discovered that where you used to live could affect your child's chances of being autistic by up to five times. The study looked at children whose mother had moved to the UK from outside Europe. It showed an increased risk of autism in children whose parents had migrated from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia, the UK researchers said. The greatest risk was for the Caribbean group, the BBC World Service reported. Speaking on Health Check, Dr Daphne Keen, from St. George's Hospital London, said while the findings show a clear link between immigration and autism - they could not determine exactly why this was the case."
Ooo! We want to play! We know where this is going! We'll take Pithy Populist Bumper Stickers for 500 Alex! And the answer is "If Phoenix wants Colorado's water, piss on 'em" Arizona's xenophobic racial profiling mandate came screaming back to the fore yesterday when an Arizona electric utility regulator suggested that Angelinos who want to boycott Arizona because of the new anto-immigrant law should turn off their lights, because a lot of southern California's electricity comes from Arizona.
Connection found between dementia and where we carry our extra weight Those who carry their extra weight around their midsections are more likely to develop Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia than people who are more proportioned. The researchers measured Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference and scans that measured abdominal fat. The results showed that as BMI increased, brain volume decereased,
This is our kind of joint venture - the kind that assures that Tesla Motors doesn't go the way of the EV-1 "Tesla Motors is partnering with Toyota to make electric cars at a defunct auto plant in California in a deal that is expected to create thousands of jobs, the two companies announced Thursday. ... Part of the deal will involve Toyota purchasing $50 million of Tesla's common stock, the companies said in a joint statement. ... "Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla," said Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk. "We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota's legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.""
It's Google's world, the rest of us just live in it "Saying it will "change the future of television," Google on Thursday rolled out Google TV -- the internet giant's venture into web-TV integration. ... The application, run by Google's Android operating system, lets users search for content from their television, DVR and the web. ... "Here we are folks -- the multimillion-channel TV," said Google project director Rishi Chandra during a two-hour keynote on Google's Android operating system at the company's annual I/O conference in San Francisco, California.""
We know without a doubt that the "C" in "CNN" doesn't stand for "Classy" "CNN.com published a story today on Rima Fakih, the Muslim Lebanese-American woman who was just crowned Miss USA, mentioning that some neocon bloggers (namely Debbie Schlussel) have called her a supporter of Hezbollah, which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization. ... The headline: "Miss USA: Muslim Trailblazer Or Hezbollah Spy?""
Prisons go green First they do it for the money - recycling trash can save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year over having it trucked away to a landfill, and growing food on-site in organic gardens tended by inmates provides higher quality nutrition and reduces the carbon footprint of the meals consumed by prisoners. Prisoners who participate in the green initiatives gain training in green jobs that will make them more employable once released from prison, and hopefully that will lower the recidivism rate and keep some prisoners out of the revolving prison doors.
Kinko's never struck us as a hotbed of revolutionary fervor. Not even the one at Berkley. But then again we don't think like paranoid totalitarians, either "The authorities have identified a new threat to political stability in the restive region of Tibet: photocopiers. Fearful that Tibetans might mass-copy incendiary material, public security officials intend to more tightly control printing and photocopying shops, according to reports from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. ... A regulation now in the works will require the operators of printing and photocopying shops to obtain a new permit from the government, the Lhasa Evening News reported this month. They will also be required to take down identifying information about their clients and the specific documents printed or copied, the newspaper said."
(Hat tip, Crooks and Liars.)
We understand why Barack and Michelle Obama made Ghana their first stop on the African continent.When you touch down in Accra (or anywhere in Ghana), you are greeted with the word akwaaba or...visit us at www.borderjumpers.org[...]
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