When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, September 30, 2013

Why Are Ted Cruz and Tea Party Republicans Trying to "Save" Obamacare?

I try to spend as little time as possible on dysfunctional Washington these days, but I caught enough about Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Congressman trying to defund or delay Obamacare to wonder: "Why do they want to save Obamacare?" The fact that Obamacare is, in the words of one Democrat, "a slow moving train wreck" is, in my opinion, beyond dispute: 11 Pieces of Obamacare Conventional Wisdom That Shouldn’t Be So Conventional - Bloomberg; and

So why try to "save" it by delaying or "defunding" it temporarily? Just let the train wreck happen. Then fix it or repeal it. Until Obamacare goes into effect and proves it is a disaster, alienating Union members and other Democrat Party constituents, you will never get a bill through Congress fixing it or repealing it.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pathetic American Media

Pathetic American Media -- New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, et al --


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Jeremy Scahill on Obama supporters and their hate mail

Hate mail, a favorite tactic of Obama liberals --

Jeremy Scahill on His Documentary, ‘Dirty Wars’ - NYTimes.com: "“Most of my hate mail nowadays comes from liberals, not conservatives,” he said. This is because Mr. Scahill has also been an outspoken critic of President Obama. Specifically, he disapproves of what he describes as the administration’s efforts to “normalize and legitimize” targeted assassinations — drone-executed and otherwise — Special Operations raids and other covert military practices that blur the battle lines of the war on terrorism."


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chicago Murder Capital, Obama Says Nothing

Despite Obama's known penchant to thrust himself into racially-charged, local law-enforcement situations for his own selfish political gains, he has been strangely on African-American mass murders and gun violence occurring on an almost daily basis in his own hometown --

Violence Flares Anew on Chicago’s South Side - NYTimes.com: "The attack, which took place during a pickup basketball game, was the latest flare-up of street violence that has confounded city leaders. Chicago had more than 500 homicides in 2012 — more than any other city in the nation and about 80 more than New York, which has three times as many people."

Chicago passes NYC as US murder capital — RT USA: "Chicago, Illinois usurped New York City as the murder capital of America in 2012, according to a report released this week by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI published on Monday a crime statistics analysis for the previous calendar year in which it’s reported that the Windy City saw a surge in homicides during 2012 that boosted it above New York and other major metropolitan areas to become the bloodiest in the United States. According to the FBI report, Chicago was the site of more murders in 2012 than any other city, with its body count of 500 dwarfing NYC’s tally of only 419. In terms of population, however, Chicago has only a fraction of the people that New York does. The US Census Bureau has listed the number of Chicagoans at around 2.7 million — a meager number when compared to New York’s 8 million-plus."

What does this tell you about Obama as a leader?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Valuable public service, Leakers, Whistleblowers, Secrets

In Defense of Leakers: Snowden and Manning : The New Yorker: "We still don’t know for sure what will happen to Snowden or Manning: the former appears destined to a life of exile, for now, at least, in a repressive country; the latter, for many more years in a military jail. (He’s already been in custody for almost three years, including in solitary confinement for eleven months—a treatment that a senior United Nations official charged with investigating allegations of torture described as cruel and inhuman.) We do know that, at great cost to themselves and their families, Snowden and Manning have illuminated much that the authorities would have preferred to keep hidden, and that they have sparked a long overdue public debate about what the Times, in its editorial about the Manning verdict, justly described as “a national security apparatus that has metastasized into a vast and largely unchecked exercise of government secrecy and the overzealous prosecution of those who breach it.” In short, the two leakers have performed a valuable public service."


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Restricted Stock, Stock Options, Greed

Stock Option, Restricted Stock -- corporate management looking out for management, not shareholders --

How BlackBerry Handled Past Wealth - NYTimes.com: "Restricted stock grants, on the other hand, have less upside. They also have a continuing downside, because an executive holding such shares will stand to lose money as the stock price declines, even if it is already worth less than when it was issued. Some argue that does a better job of aligning executive interests with those of shareholders. In practice, companies tend to prefer options when they think the share price will rise, and restricted stock when they are not so confident. That is the way it worked at BlackBerry. The last large option grants to senior executives were made in October 2007. A year later, the stock price had peaked — at $148 in June 2008 — and was down to about $70. No options were granted. Instead, restricted stock units were issued."


Monday, September 23, 2013

Journalists, Propagandists, Mainstream Media


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The New York Times, Naive or Corrupt Propagandists?

It is a legitimate question -- Exhibit #1:

The SEC Flacks Paint Lehman’s Looters as the Victims of a “Political” SEC | The Big Picture: " . . . Cannelos and the SEC flacks now have the chutzpah to try to spin one of the SEC’s worst enforcement failures into a morality play in which Cannelos is the hero precisely because he refused to hold Lehman’s looters accountable for their violations and allowed them to walk away wealthy with the proceeds of numerous insider fraud schemes.  The villain becomes Ms. Schapiro who is reimagined as a would-be unethical official who tried to sue the poor, innocent Lehman officers for “political” reasons but was blocked from doing so by Cannelos’ selfless valor and dedication to “justice.”  It is an odd form of “justice” in which the most elite frauds became wealthy by scams that caused a $11 trillion loss to American households and cost over 10 million Americans their jobs and avoid all accountability for their frauds.  But that is Cannelos’ definition of “justice” and the NYT reporters are so credulous that they have become the propagandists for Cannelos and Lehman’s looters." (read more at the link above)

"All the News That's Fit to Print" -- LOL!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Big Divide, Harvard Business School

The BIG divide? It's not gender, it's not race, it's not ethnicity or religious background.-- it's "class" (a/k/a "money") and very few are willing to talk about it --

Class Is Seen Dividing Harvard Business School - NYTimes.com: "Many of the school’s top donors and alumni are members of the same ultramoneyed culture that some students criticize. And because many students attend business school in the specific hope of building a network of influential contacts, they tend to fear offending anyone, especially wealthy classmates who might one day provide connections and financing.
“The No. 1 thing you should take away from the comments section on this post is that no one is putting their real name,” one member of the class of 2013 wrote on nytimes.com, citing fear that strong opinions “could limit future options.”" (read more at link above)


Friday, September 20, 2013

Small Business Owners, Vacations, Obama

Small Business Owners Pick Sales Over Sun and Fun - ABC News: "Scott Yates isn't planning a real break anytime soon because he's still in the process of building BlogMutt, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that provides content for blogs. Yates did go away for two weeks early in the summer, but spent almost the entire time working. He took one day off to go to a wedding and another day only because he was in an area where there was no Internet connection. "It was not a time away from work," says Yates, co-owner of BlogMutt, "It doesn't really count." BlogMutt coordinates between 3,000 writers and clients who have websites but not enough time to keep a blog going. The company is in its second year, and revenue is up 600 percent. The staff of four is still creating processes to help the company handle its increasing workload. If Yates or his business partner took vacations at this point, he says the company's growth would be slow."

'If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."--Barack Obama (July 13, 2012)  See also: Obama’s vacations and golfing by the numbers - Yahoo! News


Thursday, September 19, 2013

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times

I missed publishing this a few weeks ago, but couldn't just let it go -- don't you love it when even Fox News finally figures out what is going on -- of course they have to go to the Washington Post to get the story --

NSA reportedly broke privacy rules thousands of times | Fox News: "The National Security Agency has overstepped its authority and broken privacy rules thousands of times every year since being given new surveillance powers by Congress in 2008, The Washington Post reported citing an internal audit and other secret documents. The documents, which the Post claims it received earlier this summer from NSA leaker Edward Snowden, detail how the controversial agency has crossed the line many times over in its collection of massive amounts of data from around the world."


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Al Jazeera America destined for failure

Al Jazeera America has adopted a formula for failure: Cable TV only (no live video stream, no live YouTube, no live embeddable video stream), tired old re-treads for on-air "talent" -- no wonder these fools over-paid Al Gore for his "worthless" Current TV -- a fool and his money soon part ways! Contrast this with the hip and cool RT America (with Abby Martin et al) which is available not only on Cable TV, as well as live video streaming on the internet, and as embedded channel on other websites, (it also has YouTube channel for replays).

Al Jazeera America launches, but will Americans watch? - CBS News: " . . . . The birth of Al Jazeera America was made by possible by its parent company's deal in January to buy Current TV, a cable channel previously belonging to Al Gore, for an estimated $500 million. The transaction was immediately controversial. As soon as the sale of Current TV became public, Time Warner Cable (TWC) announced it would drop the station. Cablevision quickly followed suit. Yet even without the two cable distributors carrying its content, Al Jazeera America will still be available in roughly 48 million cable-connected households in the U.S. . . ."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Whistleblowers, Manning Sentence, Snowden, Lessons Learned

NSA, and the rest of the US national security bureaucracy, can't help but trip over itself, repeatedly --

Bradley Manning's Sentence, David Miranda's Detention: Two Scandals : The New Yorker: "The lesson that Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, seems to have drawn from the prosecutions of Manning and others is that, if you have something you think people should know, take as many files as you can and leave the country. It also places the deterrent in the wrong place. What combination of over-classification and security bureaucracy requires almost five million people in this country to have security clearances—almost a million and a half with top-secret clearance, which is what Manning had, or higher? That’s also why Snowden, a private contractor, saw what he did."


Monday, September 16, 2013

Winklevoss Twins Revenge: Summers withdraws from Fed chair consideration

What goes around, comes around -- (if you don't know about the Larry Summers-Winklevoss Twins connection go here) --

Former Obama aide Summers withdraws from Fed chair consideration | Reuters: "Word that the president was leaning toward nominating Summers over Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen elicited an unprecedented amount of controversy for a potential nominee to run the U.S. central bank. Four Democratic senators on the Senate Banking Committee were expected to vote against him if nominated by the president. Summers said that the storm around his possible nomination pointed to a difficult confirmation process that could hurt the president's economic agenda and the institution, and decided to pull back. "I have reluctantly concluded that any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious and would not serve the interest of the Federal Reserve, the administration or, ultimately, the interests of the nation's ongoing economic recovery," Summers said in a letter to Obama."

And to just think what could have been. LOL.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

US, Russia, solve the Syria problem, peacefully

Now that wasn't so hard, was it? No need for warships, cruise missiles, tomahawk missiles, rampaging self-righteous rants from the President and Secretary of State, and other idiocy and lunacy emanating from the White House, K Street, Capitol Hill, and the warmongering propagandists in the mainstream media --

U.S., Russia Agree on Plan on Syrian Chemical Weapons - WSJ.com: "The U.S. and Russia agreed Saturday on a broad framework for Syria to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons by the first half of next year. Moscow and Washington are demanding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad provide a complete declaration of his country's chemical weapons stockpiles to the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by next Friday. The U.S.-Russian agreement calls for inspectors from the chemical-weapons organization to be granted "immediate and unfettered" access to Syrian chemical-weapons sites, which the U.S. believes number as many as 45. Under the framework, the organization would complete its initial on-site inspections by November, and would destroy much of Syria's production equipment."

As John Lennon said, "Give Peace a Chance."


Saturday, September 14, 2013

David Miranda was carrying password for secret files?

David Miranda was carrying password for secret files on piece of paper - Telegraph: "“Much of the material is encrypted. However, among the unencrypted documents ... was a piece of paper that included the password for decrypting one of the encypted files on the external hard drive recovered from the claimant."

What were they (Greenwald et al) thinking? This sounds like some of security practices of the National Stupid Agency (NSA) f/k/a National Security Agency. But, wait -- maybe the Telegraph is fibbing --

Time will tell.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Reasons you don't want to live in China

10 reasons you don't want to live in China- MSN Money: - here's an excerpt -

Pollution - "From the pervasive pollution to the rampant corruption, quality of life in the world's second-largest economy leaves much to be desired." Rampant Corruption - To be sure, China isn't the only country rife with corruption. The U.S. certainly has seen its fair share of unethical behavior on the part of its leaders and the lobbyists who have their ears. But corruption is endemic throughout China, and it's now in the spotlight under the presidential crusade. Heavy government interference and control - One Chinese legal activist told PBS NewsHour that while he hopes the country's people can fight back and bring change, the Chinese Communist Party "still wants to control everything."


Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Struggle for Growth, Not Just China

Jeremy Grantham has been telling us this -- and he's not alone --

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Stabilization or Stagnation? Expect Downward Surprise: "Not Just China - The struggle for growth same applies to nearly every country on the planet for a multitude of reasons: 
  •  Excess debt 
  • Poor demographics 
  • Tapering 
  • Unwinding of leverage 
  • Unwinding of carry trades 
  • Higher interest rates 
  • Reversion to the mean on corporate profits" (read more at link above)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Money for Nothing, Inside the Federal Reserve (video trailer)

Opening in New York and Washington, DC, this Friday

Money For Nothing - Trailer from Liberty Street Films on Vimeo.
MONEY FOR NOTHING: Inside the Federal Reserve is an independent, non-partisan documentary film that examines our central bank from the inside out - in a critical yet balanced way.

To learn more, please visit www.MoneyForNothingTheMovie.org


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Obama wants the US to help Al Qaeda slaughter Syrian Christians

UPDATE below* 

Obama's Syrian Insanity continues --

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: U.S. Going to Kill Syrians to Show Syria that Killing Syrians is Wrong: "Quote of the day goes to Abby Martin who says "We're killing Syrians to Show Syria that Killing Syrians is Wrong. I just cannot wrap my head around that". George Galloway (member of the UK Parliament) responded . . . "The next time you see President Obama happy clapping in a Christian church, tell him that Al Qaeda slaughtered the Christian people of Syria literally, their necks and throats cut, heads sawed off, the Christian churches on fire at the hands of Al Qaeda, paid for and armed by the United States of America."" (read more and watch video at links above)

and more Obama insanity . . .

U.S. Desperately Tries to Justify Syrian War … After Everyone Agrees to a Peaceful Solution | Washington's Blog

Syria Intelligence Being Manipulated EVEN MORE than in Iraq War | Washington's BlogWhite House – Not U.S. Intelligence Agencies – Prepared Report about Syrian Chemical Weapons

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: "If Americans Could Read Classified Documents They'd Be Even More Against Syrian War" (quoting a US Congressman who has read the classified documents)

Tonight watch Charlie Rose interview Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on the Charlie Rose show (Bloomberg TV, Tuesday 8 pm ET and 10 pm ET)

*OK here's the UPDATE -- as of 7:51 am (EDT US) Sept 10, 2013 --
John Kerry makes an offhand “rhetorical” remark yesterday that the US would not bomb Syria if it gave up its chemical weapons, Russia runs with the offer, Syria accepts, France is writing the UN resolution, Obama gives in -- "Kerry touched off the discussion with an off-hand remark that Syria could only avert military action if it turned over its weapons within a week. Kerry and his aides afterward claimed the secretary was merely making a "rhetorical" point. But Russia's foreign minister formally proposed the idea to Syria, and the Assad government said it welcomed the plan. As the United Nations secretary-general and several U.S. allies gravitated toward the proposal, the Obama administration conceded that it would seriously consider it. Obama went further in his interview with Fox News. "I welcome the possibility of the development," he said. "We should explore and exhaust all avenues of diplomatic resolution to this."" Read more at Report: Syria accepts Russian chemical arms proposal and Obama backs off red line 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Bubbles, Financial Deregulation, Banks Gone Wild

Paul Krugman nails it --

This Age of Bubbles - NYTimes.com: " . . . the other obvious culprit is financial deregulation — not just in the United States but around the world, and including the removal of most controls on the international movement of capital. Banks gone wild were at the heart of the commercial real estate bubble of the 1980s and the housing bubble that burst in 2007. Cross-border flows of hot money were at the heart of the Asian crisis of 1997-98 and the crisis now erupting in emerging markets — and were central to the ongoing crisis in Europe, too. In short, the main lesson of this age of bubbles — a lesson that India, Brazil, and others are learning once again — is that when the financial industry is set loose to do its thing, it lurches from crisis to crisis."

Will we ever learn?


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Syria, Obama's Humiliating Defeat

Somewhere along the line, the Obama White House's incompetence, and lack of good judgment, got the better of the situation, and rather than stop and reassess (as most rational, responsible, sober-minded and competent adults would do), the Obama administration kept plunging ahead--losing friends, making enemies--and looking like a worse warmonger than even the Bush-Cheney regime. Heck, even the Pope has tried to put the brakes on this runaway train. If you are a friend of Barack Obama, I would suggest you contact him and tell him to withdraw his request to Congress for authorization to bomb Syria, and ask him to gracefully accept the wisdom of the American people that this is the wrong time, wrong place, and wrong way to use "American power." That would be a defeat but a respectful way past his missteps on Syria. Otherwise, he is headed for the most humiliating defeat of his Presidency, one which will not only permanently damage his Presidency, but the office he holds and the nation he serves, for years to come.

Obama Seeks Congressional Approval For Strikes While Insisting That He May Attack Regardless Of Lack Of Approval | JONATHAN TURLEY: "I have spoken to people at the Pentagon who have complained privately that there appears to be no adult supervision at the White House and that there is major opposition to this course in the military. The feeling is that Obama aides are drifting again into a war with wider implications and uncertain ends. What is left is utter confusion. You have a President who claims unchecked powers who wants to attack another nation." (read more at link above)

And I thought Valerie Jarrett was the adult supervision at the White House -- what happened?


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Abby Martin Debunks Syria War Propagandists (video)

Syria War Propagandists Debunked | Weapons of Mass Distraction - YouTube: Abby Martin dissects the establishment propaganda about Syria's chemical weapons and questions the interests driving the call for war. (published September 4, 2013)


Friday, September 6, 2013

Majority in US House Oppose Obama's Lunacy on Syria


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ted Cruz: US Is Not 'Al-Qaeda's Air Force'

Ted Cruz: US Is Not 'Al-Qaeda's Air Force': "On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz distilled the current debate over possible military action in Syria to its essential dilemma. While Syrian President Bashar Assad is certainly a ruthless dictator, the forces aligned against him are dominated by jihadis and elements of terrorist organizations. Cruz noted that Americans didn't enlist in the military to "serve as Al-Qaeda's Air Force.""


Larry Summers, the Fed, Continuity?

"Summers the Shiftless - Continuity is the last thing we need." -- Paul Krugman (see below)

Summers the Shiftless - NYTimes.com:"Now, we can hope that if Summers actually does get the job, he’ll realize the problem — and realize that he needs to pull his own version of what Abe has pulled off in Japan, saying and doing things that shock people into realizing that he isn’t going to be the conventional-wisdom guy they expected. And this is, in fact, my advice to Summers if he is the guy: don’t spend your first few months being mild-mannered and winning friends. What this economy needs is a monetary shock — and if you don’t do it right away, you probably won’t get a second chance." -- Paul Krugman (read more at link above)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why Princeton and Every University Inc Should Pay Taxes

We are fast approaching the day when all tax expenditures, give-aways, exemptions, special "breaks" etc., will be repealed in the interest of a cleaner, simpler, fair, and honest tax code -- something the US hasn't had in a long time --

James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley: Why Shouldn't Princeton Pay Taxes? - WSJ.com: "T-shirts are only the tip of the iceberg. Universities make money from the television rights to athletic events, music performances, cafes, alumni vacation tours and more. As a former top administrator at Emory University put it to Jennifer Washburn in her book "University Inc.": "At the time I got into academia, most people believed they were doing what they were doing—generating ideas and discoveries—because of the public good. . . . Now, when you go look at university business plans, as they are called, students are seen as clients, parents are seen as customers. The question has now become, 'What is going to sell?' ""


Monday, September 2, 2013

Obama, Syria, Nevermind

Obama has obviously done a 180, much to the chagrin of his mainstream media shills who had been beating war drums all last week, but his effort to "save face" and have Congress back Syria action may be nothing more than an act (the proposal Obama sent to Congress is DOA -- dead on arrival -- see below). Assuming no one in Assad's forces is stupid enough to use poison gas between now and then, Syria will be forgotten in less than three weeks -- of course there will be some momentary gnashing of teeth and finger-pointing, but the bottom line is: 1) Americans do not want the US government going around the world trying to "right every wrong;" 2) every time the US government jumps into a situation in the Middle East, it makes a bad situation worse (Iraq, etc.); 3) no patriotic American wants to help Al-Qaeda which forms part of the opposition to Syria's government (the enemy of my enemy is my friend -- Josef Stalin murdered millions of Russians but Churchill and Roosevelt supported Stalin in World War II); 4) there is credible evidence that both sides in Syria have used gas; 5) Lobbing a few missiles into Syria will not make things "better" but in fact probably make things worse, setting off attacks on Israel, etc.

CURL: Obama's 2014 calculation: Let's have a war - Washington Times: "Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency. The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the congressional vote won’t be an embarrassment for the president, as all the talking heads are still parroting. A loss would be a double win. First, because a “No” vote would allow the foreign policy neophyte to walk away from his blundering “red line” declaration on chemical weapons (“I wanted to go in, but Congress said no”)..."

Syria resolution will be ‘a very tough sell’ in Congress, lawmakers say - The Washington Post"Leading lawmakers dealt bipartisan rejection Sunday to President Obama’s request to strike Syrian military targets, saying the best hope for congressional approval would be to narrow the scope of the resolution. From the Democratic dean of the Senate to tea party Republicans in their second terms, lawmakers said the White House’s initial request to use force against Syria will be rewritten in the coming days to try to shore up support in a skeptical Congress. But some veteran lawmakers expressed doubt that even the new use-of-force resolution would win approval, particularly in the House."


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Obama, Surveillance State, Crisis on the Left

Three articles say it all --

NSA Analysts Intentionally Abused Spying Powers Multiple Times - Bloomberg: "Some National Security Agency analysts deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade, contradicting Obama administration officials’ and lawmakers’ statements that no willful violations occurred." (read more at link above)

Lavabit founder: 'My own tax dollars are being used to spy on me' | World news | theguardian.com: "The Obama administration has created a surveillance state on a scale not seen since senator Joe McCarthy's infamous 1950s crackdown on suspected communists, according to the tech executive caught up in crossfire between the NSA and whistleblower Edward Snowden. "We are entering a time of state-sponsored intrusion into our privacy that we haven't seen since the McCarthy era. And it's on a much broader scale," Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, told the Guardian. The email service was used by Snowden and is now at the center of a potentially historic legal battle over privacy rights in the digital age..." (more at link above)

As a Democrat, I am disgusted with President Obama | Jeff Jarvis | theguardian.com: "What are you thinking, Mr President? Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?" (more at link above)


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects