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      There’s some important events happening today: another Brexit vote, and the Canadian federal election (whose results are not obvious), but we won’t know how either of those end till later, so let’s discuss some popular protests of massive size. In France the protests were sparked by an increase in diesel taxes. The demands included an […]
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Saturday: Stuff

Ivan Boesky: They dont bust them like they used to

Ivan Boesky: They don't bust them like they used to

I’m going to dinner in NYC this evening so I may miss part of the “Worst Music Video Awards” ceremony.  I have made my submission in the category of Worst International Music Video.  Myiq2xu has it.  It’s very promising.  Let’s just say that the disco era was not kind to India.

In the meantime, the economic crisis continues to slouch towards Gommorah.  Bill Moyers has an interview with William Black, senior regulator during the S&L crisis of the late 80’s.  It’s worth a listen because I get a sense that when Moyer’s asks Black whether he is disillusioned with Obama after having supported him last year, he is really expressing his own disillusionment.

I am disillusioned with Moyers.  His embrace of Obama seems to have been driven by his desire to fulfill Martin Luther King’s Dream than by any real sense of what might be good for America at this time and place.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am convinced on a daily basis that Obama’s victory in November has had a profound effect on African-Americans.  It is evident in everyday interactions demonstrated by a greater openness and friendliness that just wasn’t there prior to his election.  And if anything good can come out of Obama taking credit for the decades of work by more dedicated members of the Civil Rights Movement, then I guess we can console ourselves that it has done some good to heal the rift of race relations in this country.

But Moyers succumbed to a carefully planned assault.  Some young, testosterone poisoned males were targeted by misogynistic messages that allowed them to shuffle off the thin bandage our country had put on gender relations.  Some liberals were targeted with messages about corporatism and lobbying that linked Hillary with those two no-no’s inextricably.  They got under Moyers’ skin with civil rights.  Moyers came to Washington from Texas with the LBJ crowd.  I just finished listening to The Irregulars by Jennet Conant, about the British secret propaganda unit in Washington during WWII.  She covers  a lot of history regarding the liberal Texas establishment in wartime Washington.  In short, there were a lot of liberal, New Deal type of Democrats from Texas.  These were ruthless politicians but deeply sincere about liberal causes.  Moyers is from this stock.  He was a sitting duck.  More than this, he was just about the only truly credible, liberal journalist left to us on TV.  Capturing him was a prize.

Moyers is a cautionary tale.  We all have to be on our guard about who and what we listen to and how our emotions might be leveraged.  We all have triggers.  For example, that video that we posted last night of the Pakistani girl being beaten by the Taliban invoked in me the desire to bomb the whole no-man’s land of Waziristan back to the stone age.  Wherever the Taliban is, I want to hunt every one of those bastards down and cut their balls off.  The whole Taliban region should be made into a vast smoking crater and every Taliban mullah eliminated.  See where I’m going with this?

We don’t have to become as cold and detached as Michael Dukakis, but we need to sometimes pull back and think calmly about our intentions.  Maybe we need to question our sources.  Where did that video come from and why did it suddenly surface on YouTube?  Is it genuine or staged?  After all, we were suckered into the first Gulf War by a staged presentation in front of Congress by a well connected Kuwaiti girl who claimed to have personally witnessed dozens of premature Kuwaiti infants unceremoniously dumped out of their incubators by Iraqi soldiers.  Even as I was outraged at her testimony, the back of my mind wondered how Kuwait, a tiny country, managed to have so many premature infants in one hospital.

Now, the video in question looks authentic enough but until we know the answers to where it came from, I suggest we proceed with caution.  You never know who is trying to distract or for what reason.  If we’re not careful, we might end up stepping up and prolonging a war or take our eyes off the financial crisis ball.

Or end up electing a president whose only tangible asset was that he is black.


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52 Responses

  1. This really p*sses me off! Not only is he a sexist pig, he also confirms this Treasury Department’s priorities. Who does this bail out help the most???

    Financial Industry Paid Millions to Obama Aide

    WASHINGTON — Lawrence H. Summers, the top economic adviser to President Obama, earned more than $5 million last year from the hedge fund D. E. Shaw and collected $2.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street companies that received government bailout money, the White House disclosed Friday in releasing financial information about top officials.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/us/politics/04disclose.html

    • LOL! Well, *that’s* interesting. D. E. Shaw is a billionaire biologist. Aside from hedge funds, he has a subsidiary that writes some phenomenal molecular dynamics code. We are talking about huge calculations for which they have contracted with Intel to design custom chips and they run these calcuations on massive clusters with more than a thousand of their custom CPU’s. The code is called DESMOND. I think they even employ women chemists {{GASP!}} from top flight Ivy League schools to write some of the code, although I’m, sure that Larry would agree that they don’t do it quite as well as the guys. It’s typical of the research industry. Women don’t do anything nearly as well as men do.
      Even when they do.
      Anyway, molecular dynamics and hedge funds may sound like an odd couple but I promise you that it is a match made in heaven.
      Doesn’t surprise me a bit that Larry Summers is in the middle of it. They probably have the sensitivity of the market nailed down pretty well. They know where the weak spots are.

  2. “Some liberals were targeted with messages about corporatism and lobbying that linked Hillary with those two no-no’s inextricably.”

    The irony of that now is too much:

    The following recipients of President Obama’s bail out plan rank among his top 20 contributors to his 2008 presidential election campaign, according to Open Secrets:

    Goldman Sachs: $955,473

    Citigroup: $653,468

    JP Morgan Chase & Co.: $646,058

    Morgan Stanley: $485,823

    Three other banks that were significant contributors to Obama received money through AIG:

    Bank of America: $274,493

    Wachovia: $214,151

    AIG: $112,170

    Lehman Brothers, which did not survive long enough to join the list of banks leaching off the work of the American taxpayer, also gave the Obama campaign $276,088.

    Individuals identifying themselves as working for the banks above gave Barack Obama’s presidential campaign $3,617,724. In other words, more than 3.6 million reasons for the president to help focus the media’s glare on the relatively minuscule $165 million in AIG executive bonuses, and away from their $43.5 billion portion of $100 billion of taxpayer dollars the administration, by design or incompetence, filtered to other banks through AIG.

    • Oh, and we should continue to mention regularly that Jon corzine, who gave every fricking one of our NJ delegates to Obama even though he lost NJ by 10 points, was a Goldman Sachs former CEO who made a $400 million fortune when GS went public.
      I would have to be a fool to believe there was absolutely no connection or conflict of interest.
      I am no fool.

    • How is that possible?

      Obama got his 1$billion in campaign donations from small donors over the internet!

      (sips Kool-aid)

  3. We were manipulated into the Mexican-American War (Spot Controversy) the Spanish-American War (Remember the Maine!) WWI (by the British) Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin Incident) Kuwait and Iraq.

    • Read that book, The Irregulars. It’s fascinating. Also, there’s a lot of stuff on Roald Dahl in it. Almost the whole book is about Dahl. He and Ian Fleming were buddies and co-conspirators whose job during the war was to drag America into it. We went willingly enough but Dahl and Co. had a big hand in it.

      • A colleague recently lent me the book Pawns in the Game by William Guy Carr. Compared to other, more recent books I’ve read, although smaller in size, this seems to offer more information about the plan for a one world government.

        It’s footnotes and references to most of the source information and even a glossary was most helpful.

        It seems to be, to my mind, the best intro to the Globalist “one world” plan that I have read. Even though there are countless more recent books, this one gave more definitive answers with a clear in depth history.

        Scary stuff – and we really thought votes counted! 😕

  4. O.T. but does blog etiquette allow for a foreigner to participate? If so, I would like to (no actually I hate to) set you straight regarding the European view of BO: This trip of his is one ongoing lovefest. It is like a gigantic, perpetual global orgasm. The man can do no wrong.
    I can’t stand to neither watch or listen to him, but for a couple of days I have never the less tuned in to the German news during the Nato 60 years celebration. It made me physical ill. Not even Bush had that effect on me.
    What I saw from Germany was cheering, adoring crowds, interviews with people who were elated from getting just a glimpse of HIM in the car (somewhere in his mile long motorcade!) and people who found him astonishing, humorous, fantastic. And, wait for it … eloquent!
    On Thursday night there was a concert with the great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and ZDF had an interview with her. My German is a bit rusty, but what I understood was, that when her children heard, that she had been asked to perform for BO they told her, how great that was (does that sound familiar?). During the interview, she wore a special made T-shirt. Black with enourmous white letters that read : I (huge red shining heart) BARACK OBAMA! And mind you, she is a woman who has really accompliced something in her life! She had nothing but praise for this man, who she was sure will bring change to the World (!).
    The German newscasters were no less impressed. And these are serious people, grownups who look like, act and talk as such, very refreshing and admirable. They had nothing but absolute praise for BO. One believed he was “… der richtige Mann für Krisenzeite”, the right man in times of crisis, another spoke about his high social competence in interactions with other people. Called him a “Sehr Autentischer Type”. And: “He really listens. He doesn’t just pretend”! Doesn’t just pretend? To me he does nothing but. He is one perpetual pose.
    But you know what I noticed. The people love him, the press loves him – he turns his big fake grin on and off automatically and everybody is infatuated. But when he is with the other leaders, especially Angela Merkel (I don’t know much about German politics, but this woman I admire), he looks like a little insecure boy. He seems most comfortable with either adoring crowds or with other stupid bratboys e.g. the Italien PM embarrasment. They have so much in common.
    Another bubble I hate to burst: There was nothing but big smiles and happiness, when the Sarkozys greeted the Obamas. The two first ladies hugged and kissed and looked very comfortable and BO and Carla Bruni not kissing was absolutely no big deal. Big smiles all around. Sorry.

    • Foreigners are indeed welcomed. In fact, if we knew you were a foreigner before you commented, we might have set out to hunt you down and capture you.

    • BTW, I think that Obama is benefitting from the power of low expectations. After all, George Bush preceded him. Remember when he gave Angela Merkel a backrub? So, Obama keeps his hands to himself, mostly, and doesn’t eat with his mouth open. He’s smarter than Bush but doesn’t think in Hillary Clinton’s league at all.
      As for the smiles from Sarkozy and Bruni, you know as well as I do that the French are extremely diplomatic and photogenic. They are subtle killers with their bureaucracy.. But all is just lovely for the cameras. Even one on one, they are charming and amiable.

      • Thank you RD! I must admit, that to press the Submit button for the first time was rather daunting. Phew! Sweaty palms, pounding heart and shaky knees :-/ It “only” took me 15 months of reading this excellent blog to get the courage.
        As for Obama keeping his hands to himself, I absolutely disagree with you. His hands are all over EVERYBODY. Their arms, shoulders, backs. There actually was a spectacular incident, when he met with Angela Merkel last summer. At the photo-op where they shook hands, he placed his hand on her shoulder (arghhh), and somehow she managed to place her hand on his shoulder higher up, so that he had to let go. Then she leaned forward, looked up at him, and I don’t know how she did it, but she made him look smaller than her, even though she looked up at him.
        There is a reason for my admiration of this woman 😉

        • Angie makes O look like a boy in shorts! Would be nice to have a couple of more leaders with some class – I think Italy would not mind neither!

          Where are you based in Europe? I am in the UK.

          • I’m in DK. Natural born. Though I’m sure something went wrong back when (or is it back then?). I should have been a New Yorker.

        • Pip I personally welcome “foreigners” – our press will never tell us what is really going on “over there” so your input and your colleagues input is very valuable at this space! Thank you for your input

          • Joanelle it is actually very depressing. I feel like I am the only person in my country, who knows what really went on during your election. The press here and in our neighboring countries show the same footage (from AP most likely) and tell us what sounds like what Axelrod wants them to say. And they don’t even know, that they are being manipulated. I have contacted both the media and politicians to set the record straight, but their response have always been something like: Yeah, yeah whatever!

        • I personally welcome “foreigners” at this site as the American MSM doesn’t give us any valid input – so Thank you!

        • So you guy just got made head of the NATO, right? They think O rescued the situation as he called the Turkish. I loved Copenhagen and the Louisiana – just a bit expensive!

          • You know, I’m SO fed up with this Head of Nato stuff. For weeks the media has been going on ad nauseum(SP.?): was he a candidate or wasn’t he? And he, our PM, has continually repeated that no he was not a candidate. Until suddenly Thursday, alas he was after all!
            His new title is General Secretary, and as a political commentator dismissingly said: He goes from being a General of a whole country to being the insignificant Secretary of an organization.
            I honestly don’t know about O’s influence in that decision.
            And yes, Louisiana IS beautiful. And the story behind is interesting.

        • I’m glad you decided to join in. Welcome, Pips! I hope we hear lots more from you.

          • Thank you so much Boomer! Aw, shucks this is fun! I feel like I know you, and now you even “speak” to me!
            BB can I just say my heart goes out to you. I know exactly what you ment, when in an earlier thread, you talked about how you felt when long time commenters followed the posters that left.

    • I agree with you that Germans seem to be a bit too much in love with O, but it is due to the press. But there are some critical voices as well but it is actually not v PC to criticize BO. Surprisingly some critique has come from the German magazine ‘Spiegel’ rather a left leaning magazine. I am a bit schocked that AS Mutter is so pro-BO. She is quite special , I actually met her once in an elevator of hotel.

      http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,617224,00.html

      • I agree with you vivienne about Mutter. I could barely stand to listen to her. But isn’t it strange, that so many grown-ups are told by their offsprings how to react to BO?

        • Just let me say: Mutter is AMAZING. When I met her she was soo nice and we had a brief chat abt what it is like to spend the whole day on high heels! She is drop dead gorgeous – well, I supposed she also plays quite well the violin! I actually have a recoding of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with her and Karajan.

          • As a graphic designer at a magazine, I once made a lay out with ASM. As she always plays with bare arms and shoulders, I suggested the title: There is nothing between me and my violin. They didn’t accept that. I don’t think they knew the Calvin Klein ads.

    • Hi, Pips – welcome!

    • My Anne-Sophie Mutter albums are going in the garbage right now.

  5. This piece in today’s WaPo sure seems to have some KoolAid swillers finally gagging. More room is going to be needed under the bus, such as:

    Atrios

    And Jane Hamsher.

    If you click to Hamsher’s piece, make sure to read the comments.

  6. Just get used to the fact that he will be president for the next 8 years. He is so inspiring and the greatest president evah. Only the bitter ones refuse to acknowledge it.

  7. Good point about the sources — yes, that — plus the attack Washington plus the “gird your loins” plus this NK deal?

    Weirder yesterday was that bow.

    Weirder still is M. Moore post Farenheit fame, no? The way he is acting, huh. To those of us on the west coast there have not been problems with racism post the 60’s so it’s very hard to understand what that might look like in other places. To me that is why this whole campaign was so effing bogus.

    I’ve thought a great deal about the symbolism since seeing Moore’s film. Moyer’s gen would be “guilty” — when I was doing art groups I had a Black woman who literally would not participate with “White women” — so, I purposefully set up a well rounded mixed group for her. It was when I was seeing some seniors. She was 79 at the time. She was one of my fav clients.

    Whatever “wounds” are in the grandparents or parents get carried forward as part of the family myth. In therapy we use a “genogram” to take a look at the family system — usually over three generations to see what is going on as a backdrop for the family mythology.

    ps: note to MIQ. There is something up with the G and their browser Chrome — plus the Cadie deal — also something called “cloud computing” — I’m not sure about it but I read that the Chrome wasn’t allowing any Apple things or something. In the last three days the G no linger is sending referrals in WP.

    NQ had something up last night we should read about 3 stories down — I can’t help wondering oif this is part of the Chrome/G deal — given how the G censored during the election for a couple of blogs I read back then — and how it helped with that “bubble sort” deal for guess who — well?

    One never knows which technobot might be doing what. I was thinking MIQ and maybe Cannon could get the scoop….

    hugs–

    have fun in NY……..

    see if you notice a diff in G referrals?

  8. Sorry OT

    Please! Someone point me to a link of YouTube video from The Confluence showing the rampant sexism Hillary endured during the primary. It was an excellent compilation.

    I believe River Daughter posted it not too very long ago. Thank you!

    • Well guess what. My favorite that I bookmarked was a 9 minute compilation of the media and now that I’ve looked again, the audio has been disabled. Also, the DNC Fractured Fairy Tales that was an excellent YT has also been audio disabled.

      I’ll see if I can find something else.

  9. BTW, got an email from the San Antonio Teaparty organizers, and it’s somewhat encouraging. I’m not sure if you all have heard, but Glenn Beck is coming here to the teaparty, so the response is becoming massive. (I think the fact that San Antonio had a way cool video helped: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXGrQ9uiLSo)

    The organizers have been ADAMANT that this remain a non-partisan event. In the email today, they stressed that No sitting politician or people seeking political office will have the microphone at our rally. They’ve done a good job of insisting it’s about the voice of the people, and not letting the politicians glom onto it and hijack it to campaign for themselves.

    Yes, it’s still mostly conservatives organizing, but a few of them state outright that they are pragmatists, who want neither huge unresponsive govt, nor for govt to disappear. Mostly they want BOTH parties to stop doing whatever the hell they want, and listen to us. I am hoping that despite the fact that I’m sure there will be wingnut dittoheads in abundance, they can keep the focus where it needs to be.

    • Crap. Meant to close my bold tag after the “no sitting politicians” line. Help?

      • I fixed it. I hope I bolded the right thing.

        • Thanks. Yes, that was the right part. I think they saw that some teaparties were having Republican governors, etc speak, and became alarmed.

          Can’t speak for nationwide, but it appears the organizers here are trying hard for it not to be a “right vs. left” event. Good for them.

    • Sounds exciting – hopefully the “parties” will hear the people – but after reading Pawns in the Game I’m doubtful 😦

    • It sounds exciting – and if I hadn’t read Pawns in the Game I’d be more hopeful of their hearing the “people” 😦

  10. RD, I send you a mail a couple of days ago. April 1. It wasn’t an Aprils fool thing 🙂

    • pips: I haven’t caught up with my mail recently. I promise to do it asap.

  11. Hmmm 😕 how’d that happen???

  12. Anyone read Glen Greenwald’s blog this morning?
    It is an eye-opener, he was on Bill Moyers last night.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/04/summers/index.html

  13. That Moyers video is amazing.

  14. I rarely get to comment since I’m usually reading the day’s posts late at night before going to bed, so am jumping on to this post as quick as I can! 🙂 Let me just say that I admire everyone in this community and wonder how the heck you all manage to write such thoughtful posts and keep up with the running comments while holding down important jobs and raising families and refinishing basements, etc., etc., etc.!

    RD: Interesting theory about Moyers’ motivation for drinking the kool-aid. I used to admire him but had to stop watching after he gave his program to Rev. Wright t excuse and sanitize his r@c!st rantings. If Moyers is feeling any remorse, I hope it haunts him.

    Also, as a fellow Garden Stater, I have absolutely no use for Corzine, either.

  15. This is a long post about why Sarah Palin is hated so much by some many, both left and right. While I don’t agree with everything in it, it’s fundamentally sound.

    http://mkfreeberg.webloggin.com/why-they-hate-sarah-palin-so-much/

    There’s some things in there that might cause head explosions for some liberal faux-feminists though.

  16. Whew.

    I had no idea I hated white men that much. Nice of him to tell me. 😉

    Still, Palin is in a unique spot in the next election, particularly if she keeps her visibility up and gets ready for the Couric ambush.

  17. We tend to forget that the guy in Our White House is more WHITE than black according to the genealogists, not African American according to definition and a complete contradiction between his real life and his made up life.

    And it certainly isn’t flattering to realize that about 70 years ago the world was enamored with another con artist who mesmerized them with “eloquent” speeches by telling them what they wanted to hear. Same “hope and change”, same pointing out of “the enemy” who brought about economic despair. Same delusions of grandeur.

    Are we doomed to repeat history because of a “teen idol” obsession with a U. S. leader who genuflected to a foreign King? Who knows where that mistake will “lead” us.

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