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    • Looks like Scottish Independence is a “No”
      The calls are coming in. Assuming they are correct, I think this vote is a mistake, and I note that having been given a clean vote to leave and a chance to live their own values, but having given in to fear; for me, at least, Scottish complaints about privatization of the NHS and other [...]
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Friday Morning News and Views

balloon001

Good morning Conflucians! You know it’s a slow news day when the top story on all the popular news sites is a about a six-year old boy who may or may not have helped his family fake a crisis in order to get on TV. The New York Times even had this story linked on its front page! Supposedly, the boy, Falcon Heene of Fort Collins, CO., had been carried off by a helium balloon, and there was a frantic search until the boy was found hiding in the attic of his parents’ house in fear of punishment. According to the NYT The Lede blog,

But on Thursday evening, after Falcon and his family appeared on CNN, the blogosphere was skeptical. The Internet — from social networking forums to comments on news media Web sites — came alive with suggestions that the balloon incident might have been staged.

Here is a clip from the family’s interview with Wolf Blitzer, filling in for Larry King last night:

The suspicions began after the family was interviewed on the CNN program “Larry King Live,” which was being hosted by Wolf Blitzer.

As law enforcement personnel searched frantically for the boy, Falcon Heene said he had heard people in the house calling his name, calling for him to come out. When asked on camera by his father, Richard Heene, why he hadn’t responded, the boy said, “You guys said we did this for the show.”

Richard Heene looked uncomfortable upon hearing the comment, but later in the program said he was “appalled” at any suggestion that the incident had been staged.

I can testify from personal experience that six-year-old boys are not very good at keeping secrets. We’ll have to wait and see how this thing plays out, I guess.

The New York Daily News has more lurid details on the “balloon boy” story:

The kind that chases storms for fun, volunteers for “Wife Swap,” and brags that their kids have no fear.

Amateur scientist Richard Heene and wife, Mayumi, were bucking convention long before the youngest of their three sons untethered a silver balloon and sparked panic across Colorado.

The 48-year-old dad has no formal science training but is obsessed with extreme weather and extraterrestrials and fantasizes about meeting “real aliens from outer space” on his MySpace page.

There is even more weird stuff about this family at the Denver Post

We didn’t know the Heenes were weather chasers (who slept in their clothes to be at the ready) or extraterrestrial chasers or, for that matter, ABC reality-TV chasers.

Or that ABC would describe the family for its “Wife Swap” audience this way: “Richard calls Mayumi his ‘ninja wife'; she maintains equipment, drives the storm-mobile, films tornadoes and waits with the kids while Richard . . . heads into the eye of the storm and launches rockets to measure magnetic forces. At home the family are as chaotic as a twister: The kids have no table manners and throw themselves around the house, and while Richard devotes every moment to his research, he expects Mayumi to cook, clean and run the house without any help.”

And here’s the LATEST BREATHLESS UPDATE: the balloon boy threw up twice in two different TV appearances! You’ll have to google it, because I’m afraid to link to AP stories.

In other child-rearing news, a six-month-old baby survived after falling onto subway tracks in Austrialia. You can watch the security camera video at the at the Guardian UK.

The CCTV footage shows a baby’s pram rolling off a train platform as the mother makes a desperate lunge to save her son, but she is too late and it tumbles on to the rails in front of an incoming train.

This heart-stopping scene happened yesterday at Ashburton station in Melbourne, Australia. But the story has a happy ending: the six-month-old baby survived with just a cut on his forehead, although the pram was dragged about 35 metres by the braking train.

Paramedic Jon Wright said the boy just “needed a feed and a nap”.

“Luckily, he was strapped into his pram at the time, which probably saved his life. I think the child’s extremely lucky,” Wright told the Herald Sun newspaper after the baby was taken to hospital with only minor injuries.

That will be quite a story to tell this lucky little boy when he gets a little older!

If you have kids to entertain this weekend, it sounds like the new movie based on Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are might be good for some safe thrills.

Politics

President Obama visited Dakinikat’s home base: New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. At Obama’s town hall the audience booed Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and the President defended him. Personally I can’t wait for Dakinikat’s in-person account of events. I sure hope she was able to get into the town hall meeting!

Reuters reports from New Orleans that Obama “fired back at critics” who say he hasn’t accomplished anything. Shades of George W., Obama announced that change is hard and big change is harder. Aww….poor baby. But hey, you wanted the job. Maybe you should get to work and do it.

Meanwhile, a new Fox News Poll shows that only 43% of Americans would vote for President Obama if he were running today. And…surprise, surprise: Hillary Clinton is now more popular with Americans than Barack Obama.

A recent Gallup poll shows that President Obama’s favorable rating has dropped by 22 percent since he first took office in January—down from 78 percent to 56 percent. This is the lowest Obama’s favorable rating has been during his presidency.

Over the same period of time, Clinton’s popularity has dropped by only two percentage points—from 65 percent to 62 percent.

In other New Orleans news, Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish is in hot water for refusing to marry an interracial couple. This is the 21st Century, isn’t it?

However, Bardwell told Hammond’s Daily Star newspaper that he was concerned for the children who might be born of the relationship and that, in his experience, most interracial marriages don’t last.

“I’m not a racist,” Bardwell told the newspaper. “I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”

Bardwell, stressing that he couldn’t personally endorse the marriage, said his wife referred the couple to another justice of the peace.

Naaaah! He’s no racist. BTW, has anyone told Bardwell that the child of an interracial couple is President of United States?

Poll Finds Little Faith in New Jersey’s Candidates

But the decision facing New Jersey voters is startlingly bleak, the poll found. They do not like Mr. Corzine, think he has done a poor job and have little faith that he will revive the state’s ailing economy or gain control of soaring property taxes, the two issues they say they care about the most.

But the electorate is just as skeptical of Mr. Christie, who has been hit with a blizzard of Mr. Corzine’s attack ads but has failed to get across a positive message. Most voters think he has not explained his positions, and among those who offer an opinion of him, twice as many dislike him as like him. That suggests that Mr. Corzine’s TV ad campaign is working; he has spent more than $10 million, much of it on ads attacking Mr. Christie.

With the two campaigns slinging mud but inspiring scant hope, and an independent candidate, Christopher J. Daggett, seen as having little chance of victory, New Jerseyans are more supportive of the devil they know than the devil they don’t, according to the poll, taken Friday through Wednesday.

The Republicans are nervous about the upcoming release of a series of Bush administration memoirs. Henry Paulson, Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld will all be releasing books soon.

Today, President Obama will be in Houston “promoting community service” with George H. W. Bush.

The first President Bush (“Forty-one” to his admirers), for whom the school of government is named, bears responsibility for inviting his less-conservative successor to the campus. On Friday afternoon, Mr. Obama is to join Mr. Bush before an invitation-only audience of 2,500 at Rudder Auditorium to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ”Points of Light,” the presidential call to volunteer service.

“Surely everyone, almost everyone, anyhow, will take pride in a visit by a sitting president,” said George C. Edwards III, a distinguished professor of political science at the university.

For his part, Mr. Bush has been taking no chances. After a summer of contentious nationwide protests culminating in an outburst during a Congressional address, Mr. Bush issued a call for decorum on the front page of the student newspaper this week.

Acorn’s woes strain its ties to Democrats


Health Care Reform

Politico characterizes Obama’s sucking up to the health insurance lobbyists as “unlikely.”

Oh really? How come Conflucians weren’t surprised then? Morons.

At Huffpo: Who should pay for health insurance reform?

NYT: Another public option, but probably not for you

TPM: Pelosi comes out swinging for the public option

I won’t be holding my breath for the results of that story.

CBO Estimates House Health Bill at $905B or Less

Robert Parry on The Politics of the Public Option

The public option offers the only means for a reform to be quickly implemented and to demonstrate a beneficial effect for the people by 2010 and 2012. It has the potential for reducing costs, especially for small businesses and individuals who are now being soaked by private insurers or denied coverage.

After assessing the five pieces of legislation that have cleared different committees of Congress, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the nation would get the most savings on health-care costs from a public option tied to Medicare rates. Such a version, which is included in two of the House bills, would save an estimated $110 billion over 10 years.

A more modest public option in another House bill, which de-links the rates from Medicare and would require negotiations with health-care providers, would save an estimated $25 billion, the CBO says. By contrast, the co-op idea in Sen. Max Baucus’s Finance Committee bill would cost $6 billion to set up and would garner few if any savings.

Since the co-op would offer minimal competition, the health-insurance industry doesn’t object to it but is dead set against the public option. The reason is obvious: many of those projected savings would come out of the industry’s bottom line.

Economy

With $1 Billion Loss, Bank of America Misses Its Forecast

Bonuses Put Goldman in Public Relations Bind

Halliburton 3Q Profit Falls 61% On Falling Revenue

GE Profit Exceeds Estimates, Aided by Cost Reductions

SEC enforcement division hires Goldman Sachs Alumnus as CEO

So what else is new? Another fox watching another henhouse….

At Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith: MSM Reporting as Propaganda

The press has been on a downslope for at least a decade, as a result of strained budgets and vastly more effective government and business spin control (and it was already pretty good at that, see the BBC series, The Century of the Self, via Google video, for a real eye-opener). I met a reporter who had been overseas for six years, opening an important foreign office for the Wall Street Journal. He was stunned when he came back in 1999 to see how much reporting had changed in his absence. He said it was impossible to get to the bottom of most stories in a normal news cycle because companies had become very sophisticated in controlling their message and access.

I couldn’t tell immediately, but one of my friends remarked in 2000 that the reporting was increasingly reminiscent of what she had grown up with in communist Poland. The state of the US media became evident to me when I lived in Australia during the run-up and the first two years of the Gulf War. I would regularly e-mail people in the States about stories I thought were important and I suspected might not be getting much play in the US. My correspondents were media junkies. 85% of the time, a story that had gotten widespread coverage in Australia appeared not to have been released in the US. And the other 15%, it didn’t get much attention (for instance, buried in the middle of the first section of the New York Times). And remember, Australia was an ally and sent troops to the Iraq.

It’s an excellent post!

World News

Pakistan attack kills at least 50


Pakistan Attacks Show Tightening of Militant Links


Strong quake off Indonesia’s Java, no tsunami alert

U.N. Rights Body Endorses Gaza War Crimes Report

What is holding up progress in climate talks?

Bomb kills four US troops in Afghanistan

Sci/Tech

Google Online Bookstore Fuels eReader War

Google revealed its intention to launch an online bookstore dubbed Google Editions sometime in early 2010. Google plans to open for business with about 500,000 available titles from a variety of publishers. The new service will provide ebooks in a browser-centric, eReader-agnostic manner that will muddy the eReader water even more than it is today….

This is a whole new offering from Google that will create an online bookstore to go head-to-head with Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s online presence. Preliminary details on Google Editions suggest that Google plans to share the revenue from online book sales with the publishers. Books sold directly through Google Editions would pay out 63 percent to the publisher, with Google keeping the other 37 percent.

I guess I’ll continue holding off on buying a Kindle.

NASA finds ‘space ribbon’ at solar system’s edge

“We have discovered an arc-shaped ribbon of high-pressure material that looks to be piled-up material from the Sun,” says team member Herbert Funsten. “The IBEX maps and the discovery of the ribbon are completely different from what we thought it should look like. We were expecting tie-dye and instead found noodle soup.”

Brain speed reads using just one part
Broca’s area involved in both reading and speaking words

…patients with epilepsy are giving researchers split-second insight into language processing in Broca’s area. Three people with epilepsy had a rare surgery to implant electrodes in their brains. The surgery allows doctors to pinpoint the source of seizures and treat the condition while sparing parts of the brain that control language, vision and other important processes. The patients gave permission for Ned Sahin of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and his colleagues to measure activity in their brains during pre-surgery tests.

Those measurements showed that Broca’s area is able to do more than scientists had thought, including executing all steps from reading to speaking. The area recognizes words within 200 milliseconds of a person seeing them. Then it takes only another 120 milliseconds to mentally change the tense of a verb or make a noun singular or plural. By 450 milliseconds after first seeing a word, the brain is ready to silently articulate it.

(Hope you don’t mind my including a little bit of language research–it’s my main area of interest in psych.)

Rivers polluted with Tamiflu could help a resistant flu strain develop in birds

Giant snakes warming to U.S. climes

Some were pets whose bodies and appetites apparently got too big for their owners to support. Most are probably descendants of released pets. Today, thousands of really big non-native snakes — we’re talking boa constrictors, anacondas and pythons — slither wild in southern Florida. And there’s nothing holding them in the Sunshine State. Which is why a report that was released today contends they pose moderate to high ecological threats to states on three U.S. coasts.

Indeed, the homelands of these snakes share climatic features with large portions of the United States — territory currently inhabited by some 120 million Americans. Based on comparisons of the temperatures, rainfall and land cover found in the snakes’ native range, it’s possible that these slithering behemoths could stake claims to territory as far north as coastal Delaware and Oregon. Or so Gordon Rodda and Robert Reed of the U.S. Geological Survey observe in a 300-page assessment. As North America’s climate warms, the two predict, these invaders might even expand that range — by the end of this century becoming permanent residents of the Midwest.

Yikes!

Global Warming Opens New Arctic Shipping Lane

Northeast Passage through the Arctic slashes time and money for mariners and could be a boom for Russia. But it raises concerns about ice loss induced by global warming.

Podcast of the day: Explaining Science with Substance and Style

Interview with Randy Olson, author of Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style I found it really interesting.

HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!!!!!!

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78 Responses

  1. Wow, hell of a round up this a.m.!

    Thoughts on balloon boy, someone needs to check up on these kids officially, something really off about these guys. On the other hand, Jon and Kate oughta be feeling pretty good about their parenting now. Sheesh.

    Off to read.

    • Oh good. Glad to see I have some company.

      • Great article on the media, I believe that is why there is so much anger out here, you can’t keep telling people how much better things are when they know damn well that they aren’t.

  2. Hey, where is everybody? I know its a slow news day, but I did find some interesting stuff.

    • I know. It’s been a really slow week. Lots of regulars are MIA.

      BTW, great roundup! Happy Friday BB.

    • One of the best morning reports, BB. Lots of interesting links. As to the foreign press, I’ve been reading the British papers ever since the early Bush years, when it was clear that our corporate-owned press was only interested in stenography.

      The head of an SEC investigative office is a 29-year old former Goldman Sachs employee? Have we returned to the Bush years? Weren’t all of Bush’s puppies coming out of Regent? Now it’s puppies out of Goldman Sachs. Pathetic.

    • Hey BB, I’m actually in Boston! First time I could check in here in about 2 weeks, though, cause of travel.

      Back to Australia tomorrow but it sure has been great being live for the news over the past month.

      I watched the balloon flight in horror yesterday – was initially glad the boy was okay but then was pissed off that he didn’t say anything about his whereabouts and all that effort was put into getting to the balloon.

  3. The parents seem ‘kooky’ but not a bad ‘kooky’. I will be surprised if they planned this. I think the kid hid and then fell asleep. He is only 6, that is what 6 year olds do. I think the media should put some of their investigative reporting skills on the real issues facing the nation and the world. We can leave this story to People Magazine.

    • Why did Heene have a balloon tethered with a knot that a 6 year old could slip? Kids can be sneaky little devils, speaking as one who was, but that struck me as off from the start.

      As for doing it for the “show”, out of the mouths of babes.

    • Yeah, they sound kind of fun, actually.

      “Mayumi” is a very traditional Tagalog name you rarely hear these days unless the family is either very old-fashioned or very patriotic.

    • I kinda agree with Honora. I don’t know if they made it up or not but I have a 6 year old and very often he melds the past and the present together, or brings in elements of conversations he overheard. Since they had been on a show – it may not be that far fatched that while they are on another show that he would recall it or mix it all up.

    • These people are bad kooky.

      Check out the YouTube video with the Heene kids rapping about being ‘Not Pussified.’ If you suffer through their very bad rap, you’ll catch such wonderful kid-friendly terms like ‘fagg0t’, ‘ass’ and ‘dick’.

      • Sadly even if they get in some trouble for the obvious stunt, I still smell a reality TV show for them.

        • You’re probably right.

          Hopefully the cameras can record the desperately-needed visits from Colorado’s Child Welfare Division of the Office of Children, Youth and Family Services.

      • Thank you, New Orleans for setting the record straight.
        Dad Heene gives me the heebie jeeebies.

      • These kids look like nightmares and it is clear their parents instill very little if any discipline on these children not to act out. The boys are too young to understand that their parents are using their bad behavior to gain fame and fortune. A family who goes on Wife Swap and is okay with their children enduring that kind of experience TWICE are media whores plain and simple.

  4. Noooo! I just bought a damn Kindle!

    • and it is amazing, even if Amazon DID release the global version that I actually need not 3 weeks after the purchase. : (

      • I admit, I’m tempted, especially since they lowered the price.

        • I love it. But it’s hard to read out in public — everybody wants to look at it! The only thing that is kind of a drag is that if you are not necessarily wanting to read best-sellers (and I usually don’t), you should probably make sure that Amazon has a decent selection of your preferred genre before you throw the $ down.

  5. http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/bill-shields-most-banks-from-review/

    Will the people of Mass please get rid of Barney Frank. The rest of the country can not afford him. He just continues to damage the economic welfare of the average citizen.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • Only the people in his district can get rid of him. I have no say in the matter.

    • Glad you brought this up, helenk. Barney’s idea of oversight is to make sure that the same type of dangerous derivatives that caused trouble before have no regulation in future. Tell me again why we thought the Dems would be better….

  6. The kid got nauseous on Good Morning, America, and the parents were so clueless that Diane Sawyer actually had to suggest that one of them go with him to the bathroom. You’d think they’d have called a stop to the TV interviews right them. They didn’t; they were on the Today Show after that, and the kid barfed on the air.

    These people make the Gosselins look like responsible parents.

    • lol! and ” octopus” mom as well! …and those parents that made their 7 year old daughter fly cross country years ago? Poor thing went down in a storm ( with the father in the back ) and the mother went on air saying her daughter was doing what she loved….WTF??

      • OMG, paper doll, that the was the first thing I thought of, yesterday, right down to the mother’s quote about “doing what she loved.”
        Apparently, her daughter loved dying.
        Better parents, please.

  7. Out there in B0botland, they have a hard time with Hillary being more popular than Obama – the primary started all over again!
    And my thoughts on another war – that Obama valiantly and personally fights …against Fox:

    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/obamas-war-with-fox/

  8. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/6346120/The-lunatic-single-handedly-taking-on-the-US-agricultural-system.html

    This seems like going back to the old ways of farming and a healthier way . I know most small farms are gone in this country. Yesterday I went to the supermarket and a container of 6 tomatoes was $ 4.99. That is just crazy.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  9. http://politicalwire.com/archives/2009/10/16/corzine_slightly_ahead_in_new_poll.html

    Up to yesterday all the polls had Corzine behind.
    Please state voters give the country a break and have a Daggett for NJ and a Admiral Joe for Pa.
    The rest of the country really needs the message sent to the DC swampland.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  10. http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/ges-profit-fell-44-in-quarter/

    I guess propaganda does not pay. I see they are trying to get rid of NBC the national barack corp.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

  11. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/oct/16/obama-isnt-helping

    This is a very interesting article. It points out some things I did not think about. Backtrack does not seem to do anything to make anything better anywhere.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • Thanks. Not only not better, but worse:

      After nine months in office, Obama has a clear track record as a global player. Again and again, US negotiators have chosen not to strengthen international laws and protocols but to weaken them, often leading other rich countries in a race to the bottom.

  12. Thanks, bb – a major line-up.

    The fame seeking parent who wants to meet ETs while his wife carries the ball at home, may get all the fame he wants. He could be a tipping point for reality fame seekers. He could be forever known as reality gone wrong. Perhaps he didn’t put his children at risk in a balloon, but he has publicly embarrassed and stressed out one son. Further investigation may reveal additional neglect, exploitation and/or endangerment. Or maybe he’ll just get a gig as “Husband gone star crazed.”

  13. http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/jjmnolte/2009/10/15/leaked-memo-reveals-the-white-house-has-control-of-your-television-set/

    Since many people do not read or have access to a computer and get their info from tv only, this is not a good thing.

    It will be interesting to watch and see how many times the buzzwords come up next week.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • I saw last night in Flashforward: a woman who’s vision was that she was being drown and she deserved it, goes to the priest and asks how to atone for something she didn’t do yet. He gives her some brochures for volunteering – which I thought at the time very strange.

  14. Obama signs over 7.5 billion to the Pakistan military. Some reports are that they didn’t even want it.

    http://www.ptinews.com/news/333547_Obama-signs-into-law-USD-7-5-billion-Pak-aid-bill

    • Lord, like they’ll get it….who knows who’s getting it really . It could take a U turn into Switzerland for all we’ll ever know.

  15. Where the Wild Things Are might be good for some safe thrills
    Actually when interviewed they make it clear the movie is not for kids but for adults. Apparently it’s very sad and may not be appropriate for young children.

  16. I’m sitting in the local STS. My car has no power steering. It feels very expensive. Not good.

    • Ah, the old STS auto centers. Knew them well. Fingers crossed that it’s not so expensive.

    • Have you checked the power steering fluid level. Sometimes it’s just a matter of topping it up.

      • Yep, first thing the mechanic tried. You should see the chromatographic separation patter of fluids on the wet asphalt. Breathtakingly beautiful in its despair.
        It is a broken power steering pump and leaky hoses. Car Talk says I have gotten off easy. Replacing the rack and pinion system requires a home equity loan according to them. As it is, it will be a hand crafted Christmas. Whoops! Pardon me. My adolescent agnostic neo-paganist wants to celebrate Solstice this year. I just hope I can reuse the decorations.

    • The power steering in my mom’s l988 Oldmobile Cutlass broke last month. One of the connective hoses had disingetrated. The mechanic down on Loiza Street in Santurce, Puerto Rico fixed it for $169.

  17. Meanwhile, a new Fox News Poll shows that only 43% of Americans would vote for President Obama if he were running today. And…surprise, surprise: Hillary Clinton is now more popular with Americans than Barack Obama
    Hey, it’s just like in the primaries when Hillary actually won. What, me still pissed.

  18. Yep, need new pump and hoses. Rough estimate is $700. Wonderful.

  19. Well, duh.. Thanks Alan Greenspan. Always two years behind.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJ8HPmNUfchg

  20. from the link to Naked Capitalism re the MSM

    The creator of the public relations industry, Edward Bernays, was the nephew of Freud and set about to use the subconscious to shape public opinion. His books included This Business of Propaganda and Manipulating Public Opinion. But it doesn’t fit our self image of being masters of our own view to recognize that we might be swayed.

    In his classic, Influence: The Art of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini describes how salesmen can adeptly use social conditioning and norms to elicit favorable responses. Cialdini, a social psychologist, notes that even though he is aware of these techniques, he is unable to resist them.

    I would so love it if Confluence could do a few posts on spin and social conditioning, or failing that a book review once a week .

    • Bostonboomer is the gal for you! She’s the one who has the inside track on psychology.

    • 0bama’s team knows all about the “Art of Persuasion” — with AxelsnotRove as the master manipulator on the selling the product called 0bama.

      This stuff is basic psychology — appealing to human’s primitive side (lizard brain) and fear of being alone — plus the fight or flight response. 0bama reads words and he is the perfect model for these crooks.

      The packaging of the 0bama “message” is the same model used by the hell-fire and brimstone preachers — and I am (thankfully) immune. At some point in the future behavior scientists will be examining the 0bot/0bama — mass manipulation in great detail. What was a laboratory model or just restricted to insane religiosity is now being used on a massive scale — it is everywhere. I no longer watch TV or listen to the radio because the 0bama message is so thick.

      Not surprising that Goldman Sachs is doing so well under an 0bamanation administration — I’m thinking that 0bama is a creation of G-S. This is based on which Corporations are winning under the 0bambam reign.

  21. NEW YORK – Stocks fell sharply early Friday after disappointing earnings reports from Bank of America Corp. and General Electric Co.

    …Well it was fun while it lasted. Note to media: scrap those” happy days are here again” graphics, stat.

    reminded investors that business and consumers are still struggling to pay off their debts.

    Wow I think we peons are finally being noticed!

  22. Wow!

    What! A! Round up!

    Hillary Clinton penned an op-ed today in Berlin’s Top newspaper “Der Tagesspiegel”

    • Sometimes I wonder how she makes it through the day without smacking some European Obot upside the head.

      • LOL!

        The fascination w/ BO is no longer what it used to be here in Europe. Many people are disappointed with his right tilt.

      • You have to remember that that Swedish journalist who made a wad of money betting that Obama would win the Peace prize, was betting 50 to 1. Those were the odds Swedish bookmakers were giving.

        BTW he bet because he noticed that the line-up for the Gala concert in December was made up of BO’s favorite showpeople. (so much for the last minute decision…)

        http://www.thelocal.se/22570/20091009/

  23. http://www.maniacworld.com/hand-from-above.html

    What ever ad agency thought of this , they are good. What a great way to get attention.

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

    PUMAS,BUBBAS, EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

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