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    • Refreshing Honesty About Bank Loans
      I actually appreciate this, from the HSBC AM Global Head of Responsible Investing, Stuart Kirk: “At a big bank like ours, what do people think the average loan length is?” he asked. “It is six years. What happens to the planet in year seven is actually irrelevant to our loan book. For coal, what happens in year seven is actually irrelevant.” That’s honesty. […]
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Secrecy and the Press: which came first?

Hillary’s emails at State might remain secret and away from prying eyes. Media freaks out accordingly.

Let’s see if I have this right. The media, such as the undead Andrea Mitchell, make a big stinking deal about everything Hillary Clinton does for 30 years, insisting it has the right, nay, the duty, to go through her underwear drawers looking for evidence of, of, well, nevermind that, when we find it, we’ll construct a narrative around it.

The undeads, prematurely decomposing before our very eyes, drag their target through many trials and tribulations, including scandals about billing records, scandals about friends who commit suicide, scandals about non-existent scandals about real estate investments that didn’t produce a generous ROI. The target has secrets that the undead is mindlessly driven to uncover. Secrets. “SSSEEEEEECCCCRRETS“, they sussurate as they stagger through the decades. Even as she outruns them, they manage to catch up, pounding on her door demanding SSEEEEEEEECRRRRRETTTS.

In the process, the target, being a live, sentient being, with the ability to learn and adapt to her environment, begins to understand that every interaction with the world can now be considered sustenance for the undead. So, she takes defensive measures and hides anything she doesn’t want taken out of context and twisted into some hideously misshapen, unrecognizable thing.

And now, the undead scream “Aha! We told you she was secretive!”

At this point, it shouldn’t be surprising if our protagonist rolls her eyes and ignores them.

***************************************************************************

Following up on what Peter Daou is exposing as the words that the right and the media use to describe Hillary (jeez, it sounds like something Newt Gingrich might have written in his infamous “Language: a Key Mechanism of Control” pamphlet. Wait. How do we know he didn’t write them?), I have assembled a similar list of words that the left uses.

The left will deny this (because it thinks rather highly of itself) but it is as prone to trigger words and propaganda techniques as the right. In the case of Hillary Clinton, there may be a certain segment of left purists who will not be satisfied with anything less than a knit-your-own-sandals, pacifistic, raw vegan, self-sacrificing type who grows her own GMO free biodegradable fuel source. Never mind that that kind of politician, if she even deigns to dip her little toe into such a filthy pursuit as politics, is completely unelectable. Hillary will never be able to meet the standards of these people.

But there is a vast segment in between them and, well, us, who are very vulnerable to anti-Clinton messaging. The former blogger Anglachel tentatively identified them as the “male grad student” demographic. These are the kiss ass sycophants who hope to make it up the career ladder by styling themselves as “creative class” and glomming on to disgruntled former Clinton administration officials or rivals. Many of them were too young to actually remember with accuracy what went on during the Clinton years when the GOP started flexing its muscle and went where few parties had gone before. Remember, it was Newt who shut down government back in 1995-96. Oh, you don’t remember? {{rolling eyes}}

Anyway, here are a list of words that this segment falls prey to with respect to the Clintons. For all I know, there are elements of the right invading comments sections of popular blogs and online newspapers, dropping these little rosebuds and then getting their colleagues to recommend the comments. That’s how they reach the top of the recommended comments list and convince other human herd animals that they have validity and should be emulated. This was a technique used to great success on DailyKos in 2008.

Here are the words:

inevitable, dynasty, entitled, war hawk, hawkishness, DLC, corporatist, insider, Wall Street candidate

urrrgghghhh! don’t those words just grate on your nerves??

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Wall Street trigger word is particularly funny because back in 2008 when Wall Street decided to back a candidate to save itself from the looming disaster it already saw coming, it didn’t pick Hillary. (Watch the creative classer’s head start to vibrate.) But never mind, Wall Street has always loved her (or so we are told) and now that it has let Obama go first (this is the most ridiculous rationalization I have ever heard), it will let Hillary go next. From what I can see, Wall Street, and its media minions, is not yet convinced it wants Hillary. We shall see.

Meanwhile, the undead remind me a lot of the courtiers of some medieval king, striving for status and hoping to not find their placecards below the salt.

Everything I know about politics I learned from Monty Python

From Life of Brian, the best political documentary ever made:

And so it goes…

The healthcare reform bill’s true name: The American Womens’ Catholic Conversion Bill

It’s worse than we thought.  Stateofdisbelief unpacks it for us on the Conscience Rule.

In the Chairman’s recent amendment (read: bribe for Nelson’s vote) here is what it says:

(A) IN GENERAL.–Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding– ‘(i) conscience protection; ‘(ii) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and ‘(iii) discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.

The current status of the conscience rules themselves are that in March of 2009 HHS posted a proposed rule change to withdraw all of the Bush changes.  Comments were due in April 09 (30 day period) but to date, no action is showing on the docket.  It’s as if they just put out the proposal and then dropped it.  Here is the register link.  You can click on the docket # to get the actions taken on the proposal.  http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=090000648090229f

Didja get that?  The Bush Conscience Rule is still in effect and Reid’s manager’s amendment keeps it safe.

That’s right.  At any point in time when you feel you might like to exercise your own conscience regarding birth control and other health care related to reproduction, a Catholic or religious fundamentalist can override your decision and substitute their own consciences.  And there won’t be a bloody thing you can do about it.

You will become an automatic Catholic or fundamentalist convert right there on the spot.

Obama did NOTHING to remove the Bush Conscience Rule.  In fact, he’s probably hoping no one would notice that he is appeasing the evangelicals and Catholics while eliminating the rights of other believers and non-believers to follow their own consciences.

And this is OK for Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Barbara Mikulski and others?  THAT is what they are voting for: involuntary conversion of American women to fundamentalist religious doctrine.

I haven’t heard these senators calling on Obama to rescind the Bush Conscience Rule right this very minute, have you?

Meanwhile, Protestants apparently only have the right to consult their own consciences in places ike Old Europe:

Inside joke

While we’re all waking up and getting our act together, this is an open thread.

You’ve got to REALLY hate the Romans

Some people say The Holy Grail was Monty Python’s greatest movie. Others, like myself, prefer Life of Brian. Still others totally do not get Monty Python at all and look at the other two groups with disdain and amusement.

But if there is a better parody of political movements than Life of Brian, and the ineffectiveness that results when people take themselves too seriously, I haven’t found it yet. Let’s go to the video:

We ARE the People’s Front of Judea and the Popular Front of Judea. But if we don’t start focusing on our real enemies, the Romans, we’re going to end up like the Judean People’s Front. Remember what happened to them? Ugly.

Wolf Nipple Chips! Get’em while they’re hot, they’re lovely.