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    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • The mystery of a Ukrainian army ‘defector’
      More from Robert Parry: As the U.S. government seeks to build its case blaming eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the evidence seems to be getting twisted to fit the preordained conclusion, including a curious explanation for why the troops suspected of firing the fateful missile may have […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • If China is with you, you are not isolated in the world
      The shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 has led to a vituperative barrage in the Western media (and social media), blaming Russia.  This barrage has been fomented, in large part, by the White House, which has been relentless. Many act as if Russia is horribly in the wrong, isolated, and alone. China’s Xinhua wrote this: [...]
  • Top Posts

Wednesday Morning News

Continuing our collaboration from yesterday, BostonBoomer has made an incredible contribution to today’s list of links!  This time though we’re mixing them up.

  • Is the U.S. Attorney case still going on? Who knew? Rove deposed in US attorney probe

    Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said
    . . . .
    “He was deposed today,” Conyers said in an interview. “That’s all I can tell you.”


  • US Senators have second thoughts on health benefits tax

    “It remains a significant option, but we’re looking at other options,” Conrad told reporters Tuesday. “When you go out and ask people across the country, their initial reaction is, they don’t like it.”


  • Bernie Sanders takes on Rahm Emanuel on health care.

    “I think that it is fair to say that there are a number of us who would not be voting for anything resembling a Baucus-type plan as we understand it right now,” the senator told the Huffington Post, referring to Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ effort at constructing a reform bill.


  • Howard Dean: Private Health Care Is Breaking Our Economy

    This is one of the many problems the Senate is now having. They are focused on anything but the American people. But the insurance companies will be fine. It won’t happen overnight, and they’ll make plenty of money. But this is not a matter of making the insurance companies happy. This is a matter of making the 72 percent of the people who want a public option happy, including the 50 percent of Republicans who want a public option.


  • Amadinejad waves away large insect during speech:
    Dark humor and shouts in response to Ahmadinejad speech (this definitely makes more sense AFTER watching the video!)


  • Obama says the US has “absolutely not” given Israel the go ahead to attack Iran’s nukes.

    However, he did defend his deputy, who was accused of being gaffe-prone by rivals during the 2008 presidential election campaign.”I think Vice-President Biden stated a categorical fact which is we can’t dictate to other countries what their security interests are,” Mr Obama added.

    We wonder where Biden will be going next? Siberia?


  • Reid slams door on second stimulus

    “A little less than 90 percent still needs to be put out to the American people, and we’re in the process of doing that. It’s going to move more quickly now. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no showing to me that another stimulus is needed,” Reid said emphatically.


  • Why the imp in your brain gets out

    Perverse impulses seem to arise when people focus intensely on avoiding specific errors or taboos. The theory is straightforward: to avoid blurting out that a colleague is a raging hypocrite, the brain must first imagine just that; the very presence of that catastrophic insult, in turn, increases the odds that the brain will spit it out.


  • Ahhh…. Dogs who can tell when their owner’s blood sugar gets too low or can detect cancer.

    Last year, researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast decided to investigate anecdotal reports from dog owners who said their pets warned them of hypoglycemic attacks.


  • Taibbi: New Secrecy Rule Lets Goldman Sachs Control Stock Prices Unmolested by Public Scrutiny

    “The NYSE announced that it will no longer be releasing its weekly program trading data,” Taibbi wrote in a blog posting. “This is quiet obviously a move designed to make it even more impossible to track what’s going on in the NYSE and shield, in particular, Goldman Sachs.”


  • The Man Who Crashed the World

    “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,” Obama said testily. “All right?”

    It’s unlikely that he actually did know what he was talking about, except in the broadest outlines. Nor, for that matter, did the people who had engineered the bailout. How could they? At no point did anyone from the U.S. Treasury or the U.S. Congress, or any of the various New York State authorities that had gotten involved, call them up, much less visit A.I.G.

    Inside the collapse of A.I.G.


  • Wildfires Are Linked to Global Warming — But Media Obscure the Relationship

    Early last summer, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that California’s fire season now lasts all 365 days of the year. At the time, nearly 2,000 separate wildfires were burning across the Golden State;
    . . .
    With one notable exception, from the San Francisco Chronicle, none of the coverage explored the possibility that the fire might be linked to climate change, despite ample evidence that such a link exists.


  • Alec Baldwin interested in congressional run

    “I’ll put it this way,” he told the magazine. “The desire is there; that’s one component. The other component is opportunity.”


  • Remembering the funny Al Franken. I’ve loved Al since his days doing The Franken & Davis show on Saturday Night Live. I’ll never forget when he broadcast “LIVE” from the first Gulf War with a satellite dish taped to his head!

  • You won’t want to miss this! Be sure to set your alarms. . . . Today is 123456789 Day!

    Plenty on Facebook and Twitter are spreading reminders or cluing others in. Rainn Wilson, the actor who plays Dwight on “The Office,” tweeted about it, and on Facebook, pages popped up commemorating the date. Jon Everett, a 23-year-old University of Texas at Austin employee, created a Facebook page about the date with more than 600 Facebook users R.S.V.P.-ing yes to his “two-second celebration.”


  • Researchers: Social Security Numbers Can Be Guessed

    The Social Security number’s first three digits — called the “area number” — is issued according to the Zip code of the mailing address provided in the application form. The fourth and fifth digits — known as the “group number” — transition slowly, and often remain constant over several years for a given region. The last four digits are assigned sequentially.

    As a result, SSNs assigned in the same state to applicants born on consecutive days are likely to contain the same first four or five digits, particularly in states with smaller populations and rates of birth.

    THAT’s easy enough to test. . . Just find someone with the same birthday as you and see how close your SSNs are (My experience?  2 digits off).


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63 Responses

  1. Good morning everyone! It’s dark and gloomy in the Boston area again. We had two glorious days, and then went back to rain and thunderstorms yesterday. But we did have two days that almost felt like summer! At least it’s not in the 50s anymore.

  2. could you send some of that dark and gloomy down my way boston were going to hit over 100 with no rain in site

    • Wouldn’t it be great if we could put our two temps together and each take an average of them?

  3. Okay, these are amazing links. Too good! How am I supposed to get anything done around here?

    • Thanks, britgirls! (BostonBoomer contributed most of them)

    • Excellent point, Britgirls – I’ve got so much to do – off to a conference for the next three days – but this is just all too good!

    • Hey, what happened to my comment about the greatness of this post? :(

      • Joanelle,

        This happened one time before. Do you have an AOL address? If so, sometimes you can end up with the same IP address as someone who was banned. I’ll try to figure it out.

      • OK, that isn’t the problem. Please just keep speaking up if your comments disappear. We’ll try to get them out quickly, but we’re a little understaffed right at the moment.

    • And I’m supposed to be prepping for another in my long series of meetings in DC. Now I’m knee deep in reading news. How could you? :-)

  4. Arminadinnerjacket needs to get Obama to show him how to properly deal with that pesky bug:

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2009/06/widow-of-murdered-fly-seeks-white-house-apology-shit.html

    • HOW could I forget that? (giggling)

      • For some reason that I’madinnerjacket story really struck me funny. It just seems so amazing that the Iranian protesters can still have a sense of humor after all they have been through.

  5. >>>> At no point did anyone from the U.S. Treasury or the U.S. Congress, or any of the various New York State authorities that had gotten involved, call them up, much less visit A.I.G.

    Wow! that SEEMS to be a bombshell.
    Wonder how Obamacrats will defend it?!

    • Probably by attacking Sarah Palin.

      • That’s always a possibility, of course. More likely, they will do what they always do–point fingers at Obama’s minions and then rationalize that Obama must not have known about it, because “he would never allow something like that to happen.”

    • by saying he inherited the problem and besides presidentin is hard work.

  6. Excellent selection of articles this morning, TC team. Sadly, most of those articles confirm what we already knew: the pigs at the financial trough just can’t stop eating, whether those pigs are in the public sector or the private sector.

    • Don’t you think all of this could be a game? His poll numbers were high when he was giving money to corporations. This could be away to continue to do nothing substantial with health care reform. The insurance corporations don’t want single payer but they do want everyone to be forced to have coverage. They’ll make a lot of money. I am suspicious of all of this manipulation. The MSM corporate media try to make people continue to think that they need health insurance as opposed to health care reform. I don’t trust any of this stuff and Obama is a friend to the corporate wonks. He has to convince the Obots that he is really trying to do what they want but the time just isn’t right for this. More smoke and mirrors!

  7. My comments aren’t showing up

  8. DK Obots are shocked that Obama has appointed a former Monsanto lobbyist to manage our food at the FDA.
    How many lobbyists does this make now that Obama has appointed to his “No lobbyist” administration?

    • I’m going to say it again. He’s just like Bush! Bush did the same thing. You know the energy hogs controlled our energy policy and we all know how that’s turned out!

  9. Much interesting stuff going on with the court case against the Russian IT guy who stole Goldman Sachs proprietary trading code.

    GS is arguing in open court that he should be held without bail, because of the risk that the code could be used to unfairly manipulate the markets (their words). Which of course makes one question why it is okay for THEM to have that type of code, if it can be used in such a way.

    Zero Hedge has been following it closely, lots of posts the last couple of days.

    http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/07/aleynikov-transcript.html#disqus_thread

    • P.S. Several commenters on Zerohedge have pointed out evidence that GS was very involved in manipulating (in their opinion) the price of crude to astronomical heights last year.

      Which brings me back to Hillary’s bold public statement just before the WV primary that she believed the oil market HAD been manipulated, and that she would, as president, have that thoroughly investigated by her DOJ and the SEC.

      Then BOOM – the DNC and the media ramp up the “get her out of the race at all costs” pressure. I still say that that one little statement in a mostly-ignored speech was the main reason why they went all-out on destroying her.

      • There were a number of those issues. Anther was when Hillary said she would like to stop using Blackwater and to that Obama said he would not only continue using Blackwater, but he would increase their numbers and duties. Those among some others were clear signals that he was an insider and would be happy to work with the powers behind the scenes. Whereas Hillary wanted to save the country from going down the toilet.

      • If GS was involved in manipulating the price of crude last year, then it seems as though they may have played a strong hand in blowing up the financial system right before the election. Based on the Vanity article, it seems as though GS may not have played fair with AIG (perhaps they knowingly set AIG up). If the article is accurate, the man who’s been given responsibility for crashing the world wasn’t happy with the amounts GS was demanding, but wasn’t allowed to fight them (he was paid a million dollars to do what? To consult? Or, perhaps to remain silent?)

        • AIG wasn’t even a tiny bit victim in all that happened. Not even a teenie, tiny bit.

      • We were so ripped off by the corrupt DNC and their handing the election to B0. You may be right about that particular comment being a catalyst to their actions. On the other hand, it’s been known for a long time that she acts with integrity and is really on the side of the people. Do you think the corporations were just beginning to see that they could really own the whole process at that time?

    • Obama made a joke about Russia selling Alaska to the US really cheaply. That doesn’t seem too tactful.

      • I’ll give him some wiggle room there. It’s hard to know how far you can go with humor in those situations, and that’s kind of funny to talk about. Oh I know, maybe Obama should have consulted with diplomatic and cultural experts first though. Oops, that’s right, that’s the sort of thing you’d do if you didn’t think you were jeebus. :-)

        • The Russians weren’t amused. It is a very sore point for them.

          • Isn’t that something of a signature with Obama … inappropriate “jokes”? Did he scratch his cheek while giving his funny little quip?

        • he is as much of a clod as bush was. He often goes to far with his jokes and they are rarely funny and almost always at someone else’s expense.

      • From the NY Times article, nobody is listening anyway.

        That is so funny to me – the guy doesn’t say anything very worthwhile, you know, he just SO charming! I guess the best way to handle obama is to not listen to anything he says. Then maybe he would have to get some work done.

    • Unlike in Germany, there wasn’t a FREE, concert, bear and links to prep the crowds of throngs of foreigners who couldn’t vote, but wanted to send the message to Americans that they wanted him. Oh, well, there goes the World Premier campaign down the drain…what is Teh One to do?!? :oop:

      I need some free coffee…

    • Mr. Obama used the speech, at the New Economic School, to declare that Russia and the United States “share common interests.”

      He sure is lazy. Rather than find something the Russian people could relate to, he just keeps using this ridiculously empty meme of we’re more alike than different. Has that worked anywhere yet? Can he please get some new material written for his tent revival tour.

      • Maybe he learned his diplomacy on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland.

    • Just saw how Obama was slapping away at Sarkozy’s back at the photo-op at the G8 meeting.

      And what’s with the two-hand handshake? (I’ve even seen Michelle do it!)

      So it pleased me to no end to see how Putin would have nothing of Obama taking the lead and gesturing him, the host, to sit down. Putin, looking irritated (or maybe just Russian, lol), sort of dismissively pointed to where Obama could sit at their mutual morning tea, before seating himself.

      (I know. Not much. But I’ll take what I can get, lol.)

  10. Lots of interesting reading this morning.

    The economic blogs have some pretty good stuff too.

    This one caught my eye:

    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/07/more-evidence-of-foreclosure-backlog.html

    “The foreclosures are coming. The foreclosures are coming!”

    • I saw that, and it’s true. Meanwhile, Obama runs around saying “we’ve stabilized the housing market”. He and his cronies are living in LaLa land. They are either delusional, or more likely, trying to convince the public to run out and buy houses with money they don’t have, now that the “crisis is over”.

      If the job losses continue, the foreclosures will keep on coming. People can’t make house payments with no jobs, and there is a big chunk of the populace out there hanging on by their fingernails. No jobs in the near future, and the next wave of foreclosures will come, like night follows day.

    • Good comment on that link:

      The whole notion of “green shoots” was driven primarily by the foreclosure moratoriums.

      It bought the govt time, and they did nothing with that time but bail out the bankers.

    • yes, Hillary told us this would happen and suggested many good idea’s about how to fix the economy. But instead we got the guy who like bush said he would appoint smarter people than him to advise him.
      Problem is he doesn’t know who the smart people are.

      • That’s because everytime someone says, “this person is smarter than you and can help fix the economy,” Obama says, “naw, no one is smarter than me.”

  11. Obama’s approval index has dropped to -5.

    32% strongly approve, 37% strongly disapprove. That’s not very good.

  12. Shocker! They’re NOT swooning over Obama in Russia? They obviously must be raaaaaaaycist! (as laid out in paragraph 6):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/08/world/europe/08russia.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    • I loved this quote from a student:


      “We don’t really understand why Obama is such a star,” said Kirill Zagorodnov, 25, one of the graduates. “It’s a question of trust, how he behaves, how he positions himself, that typical charisma, which in Russia is often parodied. Russians really are not accustomed to it. It is like he is trying to manipulate the public.”

      Ya THINK??? Be very afraid, USA, about competing on the global stage in the coming years. Evidently Russia is actually teaching critical thinking to their college students, as opposed to hopium bong hit technique. I predict they’ll surpass us in the next 2 decades.

      • That’s a very insightful comment, WMCB. Because, really, critical thinking, seems to be AWOL right now, especially but not exclusively, among our college and grad students.
        I blame LNCB.

        • Oh, our educational system from top to bottom has for years now taught data, but has not taught kids to think. Data changes over time, but the ability to think does not.

          A country full of people who can think will always have the advantage over those who have merely learned a lot of stuff.

          • The most important thing I learned in school ever was simply how to think and learn on my own. If we can’t teach kids that, and it appears we are not currently, we are lost.

          • I taught my kids critical thinking — the educational system is so dreadful in that area. So, those of us who have the skill need to keep it alive and teach it to those around us….doesn’t matter what age. I’m currently trying to teach it to my 53 year old cousin and her kids. :)

    • Well actually britgirls, I heard an expert (whom I trust) in Russian affairs, tell that the older generations are very hostile towards people of colour. Russia apparently has its own ra¢ial issues regarding dark skinned people from – forgot where. :shameful smilie:

      Have never heard about it before. Will have to look it up.

  13. i don’t care what color bo is he is just a fraud.

  14. Yes we camp!

    http://tinyurl.com/m3lyyh

    Maybe people living in tent cities in the US should try to send this same message to their President.

    • Heh, that reminds me of a skit on The Colbert Report:

      “Don’t think of it as foreclosure. It’s camping … permanently.”

  15. I Just got a book in the mail called ” how to do (just about everything) right the first time.
    It has a chapter about health care.
    If you dial 211 or go to http://www.211.org it is a place for community services in 41 states. You can get info on
    medical information lines
    home heath care
    support for older Americans and persons with disabilities
    crisis intervention services
    support groups
    adult day care
    counseling
    rehabilitation
    health insurance programs
    transportation services

    Maybe some of you already knew about this but I did not and i hope this helps some other people

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  16. OT:

    Am I the only one having trouble posting here? I reset the page and again my comments disappeared.

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