Monday, October 31, 2011

Enemy of the Week! III

There hasn't been a slam-dunk winner for Enemy of the Week, the usual suspects have all been flitting around on our radar screen, so it took Monday's news to put this weeks winner, the Palestinians!, over the top. There had been some desultory rocket firing and Israeli bombing last week, but it was UNESCO's nervy vote to admit them that put the Palestinians in the winners circle.

The administration was quick to point out that such an admission "would hurt the peace process", and so it would suspend contributions to UNESCO, whose radical mission is to "Encourages international peace and universal respect by promoting collaboration among nations".

Hurting the peace process is something we have difficulty getting our minds around, if the peace process isn't already dead and pushing up the daisies, it is so moribund the priest is hustling to finish the last rites before burial. President Drone and Clinton are fully aware of this, of course, but they can just make up tall tales about "hurting the process" and the ridiculous press will repeat them without blinking an eye.

So congratulations Palestinians, with UNESCO's support you are Blog Simple's Enemy of the Week!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Start it up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I am waiting

For Godot, for Christ, for any goddamn thing, just come to some fucking conclusion.

But no, the interminable and intractable wheelings and dealings amongst the Euro countries continues to seesaw from rumor driven hope to rumor driven despair, Merkel and Sarkozy are either lovey-dovey or snarling like feral gerbils, while talk of haircuts oscillates from a third to two thirds on a daily basis. So please stop, OK?

I fear not, the political weakness of the EU will only continue to grow. The demands made on the individual countries, as far as they are met, only weakens their economies further, thus raising more demands, etc.

The real danger is not economic breakdown, it is the political disintegration that is already at danger levels. Merkel, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Papendreus, Cameron are all cardboard leaders (like our own President Drone), they lack both vision and will. The door is being opened for virulent nationalism and strongman solutions, who else can stand up to the banks?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Enemy of the Week! II

Last weeks winner, Pakistan, looked like a shoo in for a repeat. Clinton, Petraeus, the new head of the Joint Chiefs, all trekked to Islamabad for some ritual bitch-slapping of our best friend/enemy and undoubtedly a good time was had by all, perhaps excluding the Pakistanis.

But the announcement by President Drone that all troops would be withdrawn from Iraq caused an uproar when it became known that the reason no troops were staying was because the Iraqis would not give them immunity. The nerve! Those ingrates! After all we've done for them! The chorus of recrimination was deafening, drowning out the Pakistan noise and pushing Iraq to the top of the heap.

Well done, Iraq, you are Blog Simple's Enemy of the Week! And remember, Iraq, reminded the surly Clinton, we've got troops right next door in Kuwait.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Make no mistake about it, to use the words of President Drone, despite the blathering bullshit coming from the White House, the obvious truth is that the US suffered a disastrous defeat in Iraq, only Vietnam was worse in the post WWII period. With Afghanistan soon to follow, the end of the Bush/Cheney strategy of massive military presence is over.

Obama's drone wars are certainly cheaper, but ineffective for anything but domestic politics. You can't make allies by just blowing things and people up as Libya will soon prove. As the economic breakdown continues, it too will fade into the background.

Part of the current posturing on Iran is related to the flip side of the US defeat in Iraq, Iran's victory. We can also speculate that the current meeting in Pakistan is to make sure they're on board with continued pressure on Iran, and not really about the 'Haqqani network'.

So now the US has a giant embassy in Baghdad with 16,000 employees and no military support. How long do you think that will last?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almost forty years ago

This description of the national security state certainly stands the test of time from almost forty years back. What has changed is that the national security state has mostly co-opted the press, Congress and the judiciary, and they now march to its orders compared to those days.

From The Best and the Brightest:
But arguments like this found little acceptance in those days, instead the Kennedy [Bush/Obama] Administration had been particularly aggressive in wanting to match the Communists [Terrorists] at new modern guerrilla and covert activities, and the lines between what a democracy could and could not do were more blurred in those years than others. These men, largely private, were functioning on a level different from the public policy of the United States, and years later when New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan read through the entire documentary history of the war, that history known as the Pentagon Papers, he would come away with one impression above all, which was that the government of the United States was not what he had thought it was; it was as if there were an inner U.S. government, what he called "a centralized state, far more powerful than anything else, for whom the enemy is not simply the Communists [Terrorists] but everything else, its own press, its own judiciary, its own Congress, foreign and friendly governments--all these are potentially antagonistic. It had survived and perpetuated itself," Sheehan continued, "often using the issue of anti-Communism [The War on Terror] as a weapon against the other branches of government and the press, and finally, it does not function necessarily for the benefit of the Republic but rather for its own ends, is own perpetuation; it has its own codes which are quite different from public codes. Secrecy was a way of protecting itself, not so much from threats by foreign governments, but from detection from its own population on charges of its own competence and wisdom." Each succeeding Administration, Sheehan noted, was careful once in office, not to expose the weaknesses of its predecessor. After all, essentially the same people were running the governments, they had continuity to each other, and each succeeding Administration found itself faced with virtually the same enemies. Thus the national security apparatus kept its continuity, and every outgoing President tended to rally to the side of each incumbent President.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


A Google search of the news today with 'Merkel Sarkozy' gives the following headlines, sorted by relevance:

Sarkozy, Merkel to meet ahead of EU summit 2 hours ago

Eurozone talks stalled: Sarkozy  10 minutes ago

French Fin Min: Merkel, Sarkozy To Announce New Greek Haircut On ...  4 days ago
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Merkel, Sarkozy Say Have Deal On European Banks  Oct 9, 2011
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EU Crisis Resolution on Sunday Uncertain: Analysts   6 hours ago
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Ireland Tells Merkel, Sarkozy to Fix Their Banks: Euro Credit  5 days ago
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Sarkozy to hold crisis talks in Frankfurt- sources   4 hours ago
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Pimco's Balls Says Merkel-Sarkozy Plan Isn't Signal to Buy ...  Oct 10, 2011
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Merkel-Sarkozy Divided on Default Threat to Banks: Euro Credit  Oct 7, 2011
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Merkel, Sarkozy to discuss eurozone debt crisis  Oct 10, 2011

Merkel/Sarkozy are a clown tag team par excellence. Whether they do it on purpose, or it just comes naturally, the results seem to flabbergast even the most jaded observers, including yours truly.

Their meetings always seem to end in agreement, the markets get euphoric, and then a few days later there goes Sarkozy, off to another meeting with Merkel. He just left his wife in childbirth to scamper on down to Frankfurt to meet with her again.

The only thing that's clear is that no one has any idea what they're doing except the Greeks, who would like to get the hands on all these finance ministers and heads of state and tear them into little bitty pieces.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Checkbook ready!

The FDIC is bitching and moaning as B of A is transferring $53 trillion in toxic derivatives from the holding company and Merrill Lynch to the bank proper which is, of course, guaranteed by the FDIC, at least for the $1 trillion in deposits there.

But Bernanke and the Fed are all on board. Since the Fed doesn't have the nerve right now to print up more green, it looks like Congress will be forced to cover some of the losses with tax dollars, via the FDIC. That might kick the can down the road for another few months or so.

If an FDIC bailout is necessary, we will await the Congressional tea party and the GOP candidates reaction with some relish, anticipating moments of sparkling humor.


The farewell from the NYT restaurant reviewer gives a glimpse of the mindset of the paper:
All criticism is argument. Mine has been from the start that restaurants are culture, and that there is no better perch from which to examine our shared values and beliefs, behavior and attitudes, than a seat in a restaurant dining room, observing life’s pageant in the presence of food and drink.
Our shared values and beliefs are evidently on display at restaurants that most (99%?) people cannot afford, and probably wouldn't go to even if they could? Only if you're so far up The Village's asshole all you can see is its shit.

Mr. Sifton will undoubtedly continue with his attitudes at his new post as an editor on the national desk of his crappy newspaper.

UPDATE: Also, David Brooks probably eats at those restaurants. He definitely shares in those values, beliefs, behavior and attitudes. Fuckers.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Enemy of the Week!

America's enemies are as numberless as the missiles President Drone fires at the brown people of the world. There are old established enemies, Iran, Syria, al Qaida et. al., sometime enemies and sometime friends, Pakistan, China, France, Russia, and there are new enemies you never heard of until now, like the Lord's Resistance Army.

One can identify and track President Drone's must faithful supporters, as you could with President G. W. (Feckless Leader) Bush, with the dexterity in which they jump on the current enemy as the 'worst enemy ever', and their enthusiastic will to do 'whatever it takes' (such as launch missiles from drones).

So, as a service to the world and a way to pump out an easy post weekly, Blog Simple has a new feature: ENEMY OF THE WEEK!, that will help you know who to hate most, and who is likely to get bombed next.

Our week 1 enemy of the week is: drum roll.....

Pakistan! Yes Pakistan is now allowing our boys in Afghanistan to be rocket attacked from Pakistan, possibly with the assistance of... Pakistan! We would start drone strikes against Pakistan, except we are already striking Pakistan with drones, so we will continue to strike Pakistan with drones, at least.

Last weeks winner, Iran!, who unfortunately for them started their plotting before Blog Simple rolled out its new exciting feature, came in a strong second.

Last week:
Iran! For try to blow up the Saudi Arabian ambassador and much of Washington and New York using used car salesmen and Mexican drug cartels.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am not moving

Good stuff!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A new wrinkle

The latest amazing terror attack that never will be, Iranian funded Mexican drug cartel assassins/bombers certainly moves the goalposts in the Terrorist of the Month sweepstakes sponsored by the justice department.

Mainly, replacing al-Qaida with Iran makes the stakes a lot higher, and puts it into a larger international arena. The Mexican angle, as absurd as it seems, creates a triangle that can draw more funds to the 'drug war', and puts Iran back in the spotlight, while still keeping the domestic terrorism drum rolling. Trifecta!

Apart from that, the FBI/Justice Department MO is pretty much sticking with the tried and true. Plotter (someone who has already has problems with the law) meets up (inadvertently!) with undercover agent/snitch. When arrested he tells all, and will undoubtedly plead guilty so that no uncomfortable facts will ever need to be quashed by national security claims. It will dominate the headlines for at least a few more days, and provoke deep discussions on NPR and PBS with talking heads from Brookings or AIE who will laud Holder and demand stern action against Iran.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A long time

The new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen (USMC) to CBS:
"Well, the plan is to win. The plan is to be successful. And so, while some folks might hear that we're departing in 2014 as a result of the Lisbon Conference and the process of transition, we're actually going to be here for a long time," Allen said.
Is Allen making the policy, or is this the word of the administration as well? After all, they put out the 2014 date. If not, we can be sympathetic to the general as the White House strategy or plan, beyond getting elected, is pretty much a mystery. Just as there was no justification for the 'surge', there is no justification for the draw down. All the war is doing is pissing off all the Afghans it is not slaughtering yet, while transferring big buck to the defense industries.

The general must know that "the plan is to win" is not a plan at all, though the idiots at CBS didn't think it worth a follow-up. Perhaps President Drone doesn't know it, but then Barack Obama couldn't plan his way out of a paper bag. Day to day pretty much sums up his administration and his leadership.