Swine flu’s positive impact in Mexico City
Or, the fewer Mexicans around the better.
A lighthearted look at the American tragedy
And the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place...Let me tell you something else, equally true, they own the White House, too.
But Clinton has decided to keep talking tough:
Washington’s current stand on North Korea has raised some concern in Seoul. After recent policy discussions in Washington, Moon Chung-in, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul, described the American attitude as “just like the first-term Bush administration.”Shin Nakyun, a South Korean lawmaker, who also attended the discussions, said: “Although they said they keep their door open for North Korea, I felt they were turning uniformly hard-line. They said there will be no carrots for the North.”
Over the weekend, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington would not be “blackmailed” by the North. The United States and its allies will “tighten the band around North Korea,” she said.When dealing with a nation that feels it has its back to the wall, and you do wish to encourage denuclearization, starting off with additional sanctions and tough talk is a bad strategy. Pushing North Korea risks much, and gains little.
Eight months after the interview, Mr. Kiriakou was hired as a paid consultant for ABC News. He resigned last month and now works for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.You've got to read the article, Bizarro World to the max.
Now comes the test of our democracy–will we close the door and walk away, or demand to know what’s been done in our name and hold those who guided any abuses to account for their misconduct? President Obama tells us there’s nothing to see here, just move along. But this will be a test of whether we have a citizenry worthy of that name.How is the citizenry to act, if not through their elected representatives? And how would Congress act, hearings, special committees, a special prosecutor? Or perhaps impeachment, DNI Blair and President Obama can now both be seen as accessories after the fact.
The military does not allow interviews with Guantanamo prisoners, saying to do so would violate the Geneva Conventions.Bonus! More free translations:
There's no discussion of the overall policy. Instead, there are specific programs that are announced, and from that, it's necessary to reason backwards to figure out what the goal must have been. It's like a "Jeopardy!" game. If this is the answer, what was the question? It's frustrating because without a clearly articulated goal and identified metrics to determine whether the goal is being accomplished, it's almost impossible to tell if a program is successful.On the other hand, not discussing the overall policy makes failure more difficult! Then, when asked if she could summarize what the TARP is supposed to do, she replies:
No. And neither is Treasury. Treasury has given us multiple contradictory explanations for what it's trying to accomplish.She finally goes on to ask for public support so that Treasury will be more forthcoming. But she doesn't say what form this public support should take, nor why Treasury should care even if they do. Congress is supposed to be the voice of the public, they set up the panel when they gave the $700bn. The fact that the panel can't force the information from Treasury, and that she accepted the job knowing that she had no power to force disclosure, means it's just a exercise in BS.
The doctrine of sovereign immunity exists in two forms—one protecting foreign sovereigns from suits in our courts on the grounds that such suits could interfere with or undermine our relations with those foreign sovereigns. The other protects the government against its citizens, based on the ancient notion that the “king can do no wrong” and therefore cannot be challenged in the courts save with his permission. This is a perfectly fine legal principle—for an absolute monarchy or a totalitarian dictatorship. Democracies, however, have different rules. First among them is the idea that the government is accountable to its citizens. Another important principle is that no right is created without a vehicle for its enforcement. But in its submission on Friday, the Obama Justice Department repudiated these two fundamental principles, instead raising high the banner of tyrannical government.Oddly enough, this 'raising high the banner of tyrannical government' has not yet been covered by the 'paper of record' (the NYT) as best I can tell using Google and the Times' own search engine. Perhaps they're waiting until after the mid-terms?
Not that, in general, there is a lack of effort to save things. We are making an effort to save financial institutions, which are the ultimate ephemera of industrial civilization, and are absolutely guaranteed to have no reason to continue into a future in which debt, denominated in future earnings that will be meager at best, and money, which will only hold its value for as long as it guarantees access to sources of pure, concentrated energy, all steadily dwindle to nothing. It is as if the doctors decided to only try to save persistent vegetative quadriplegics with terminal cancer, or if the environmentalists decided that the endangered species list only has room for one animal: the vampire bat. It would make much more sense to try to save small businesses, such as family businesses that serve local communities, because there is a good chance that they will find a use in the future, or at least facilitate the transition. Instead, we are squandering the remaining resources on the various dinosaurs of the industrial age.Ephemera is exactly right, there is nothing banks do that could not be done as well by others, or not done at all.
Third, the very biggest lie is that this is merely "rearranging" the counters within the moneyed classes. This is massive dumping of losses from the investing class onto taxpayers, many of whom have little in the way of retirement savings. The costs the average taxpayer is absorbing is well in excess of what his bank related investments.The Obama years are shaping up to be more horrifying than those of Bush, less arrogance, but more lies. The big squeeze now being applied to the American public was set up during the last eight years, but Obama will preside over its effects and consequences and he, as far as can be told so far, is fully on board.
The dishonesty of this crowd is just breathtaking. The Bushies were blatantly high handed, while Team Obama prefers the Big Lie and assumes we are all too dumb to see through it.
The U.S. military will reserve the "right of last resort" to take out threats inside Pakistan, but it would prefer to enable the Pakistani military to do the job itself, Gen. David Petraeus said Monday in an exclusive interview with FOX News.Pakistan, then, is in a position of 'limited sovereignty', and decisions made there are always subject to the veto of the U.S. military, ostensibly under the direction of the Commander in Chief, though one may have trouble discerning that from the conduct and statements of Gen. Petraeus.
The neo-Taliban plan to spread this chaos across Pakistan, Afghanistan and India though kidnappings and attacks on high-profile people. At the same time, the Taliban's Haqqani network will carry out suicide bombing missions in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan and the Kandahari clan will try to capture towns and villages in southwestern Afghanistan. The idea is that once the enemy's regular troops are sufficiently diverted, their convoys and bases will be attacked.He calls this new alignment the neo-Taliban. If he's right, this could be a year of decision, especially in Pakistan, and at least a much hotter war in Afghanistan. The accord that ended the long march, and kept the army on the sidelines came just in time to confront this growing menace to the state.