March 16, 2010 archive

Obama to veto intelligence budget if FBI Amerithrax case questioned.

No one is satisfied with the FBI investigation into the anthrax terrorism case following on the heels of 9/11.  Not Congress, not the National Academy of Sciences, not Lawrence Livermore Labs, not Sandia Labs, not the most prestigious scientific journal in the world, Nature, not Dr. Meryl Nass, not Glenn Greenwald, and not me.

Bush-hating Obama-bots, please explain why Obama wants to quash any new investigations into Amerithrax.  With such determination that he would deny funding to the entire intelligence budget.  Golly, I thought we were still in a state of national emergency concerning terrorism.    

The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2009, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.

Obama will take away funding from all intelligence agencies just to prevent this case from being further investigated.  Unprecedented transparency in government, my ass.

March 15 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama probably would veto legislation authorizing the next budget for U.S. intelligence agencies if it calls for a new investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks, an administration official said.

A proposed probe by the intelligence agencies’ inspector general “would undermine public confidence” in an FBI probe of the attacks “and unfairly cast doubt on its conclusions,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

And why the fuck is Peter Orzag of OMB even commenting on this?  No one can now claim that terrorism is a budgetary waste, not after we have re-committed ourselves to inordinately expensive Bush-era war policies and re-declared national emergency states.   Did Peter Orzag suddenly develop expert biological insights into bio-terrorism?

Maybe we can no longer afford “to keep Americans safe” from bio-terrorism, because of stupid wars and bailing out capitalist crooks.  If so, just say so.  We’ll understand.  We’ll buy some fucking duct-tape and plastic.

Nope, doesn’t smell like dead rats to me.  We’re officially back in “black helicopters” territory.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Timmy-Gate: Did Geithner Help Hide Lehman’s Fraud?

Timmy-Gate: Did Geithner Help Hide Lehman’s Fraud?   By L. Randall Wray

Timmy-Gate Takes a Turn For The Worse: Did Geithner Help Lehman Hide Accounting Tricks?

Just when you thought that nothing could stink more than Timothy Geithner’s handling of the AIG bailout, a new report details how Geithner’s New York Fed allowed Lehman Brothers to use an accounting gimmick to hide debt. The report, which runs to 2200 pages, was released by Anton Valukas, the court-appointed examiner. It actually makes the AIG bailout look tame by comparison. It is now crystal clear why Geithner’s Treasury as well as Bernanke’s Fed refuse to allow any light to shine on the massive cover-up underway.

Recall that the New York Fed arranged for AIG to pay one hundred cents on the dollar on bad debts to its counterparties-benefiting Goldman Sachs and a handful of other favored Wall Street firms. (see here) The purported reason is that Geithner so feared any negative repercussions resulting from debt write-downs that he wanted Uncle Sam to make sure that Wall Street banks could not lose on bad bets. Now we find that Geithner’s NYFed supported Lehman’s efforts to conceal the extent of its problems. (see here) Not only did the NYFed fail to blow the whistle on flagrant accounting tricks, it also helped to hide Lehman’s illiquid assets on the Fed’s balance sheet to make its position look better. Note that the NY Fed had increased its supervision to the point that it was going over Lehman’s books daily; further, it continued to take trash off the books of Lehman right up to the bitter end, helping to perpetuate the fraud that was designed to maintain the pretense that Lehman was not massively insolvent.

Late Night Open Thread

Chew on this and have at it. I am done with these so-called Liberal/Progressives who support this crap of a bill and are willing to sacrifice their principles for Obama.

Why I can’t support the HCR bill (Updated)

Arguably, healthcare reform has been the be-all and end-all of this website since June 2009. So we’re almost at a full calendar year now since the monumental moment when this teeny, tiny, little hope-shaped baby was given to Congress by the White House, and President Obama basically said, “Do something with this! Make me proud!”

Unfortunately, both Congress (both houses, with more blame being placed upon the Senate rather than the House) and the White House have managed to fuck it up beyond all recognition.

After months of debating, and rolling the facts over in my head, I simply cannot support this healthcare “reform” package. Essentially, I think it’s a crock of shit. Unless this bill can and will include a public option (or if Alan Grayson’s bill gains any traction), then please (PLEASE!) kill this motherfucking piece of crap!

Colorado you Rock!

HCR – Tiny whispered question in the dark.

This might be a short diary, and I hope you will forgive me.

You see, one thing bothers me.  Columbo style, you might say.  You might say it sticks in my craw.  Makes me scratch my head in puzzlement.  But in order for me to ask it in the most expansive possible fashion you might have to bear with me while I circle, apparently aimlessly, around to my question..

We see these problems in our country.  Some of these problems revolve around accountability, others account to a systemic shafting of the middle class, and still others revolve around political will.

We have a country in which a Democratic Senator backtracks endlessly on basic oversight regulation for people who potentially stole or defrauded the American Middle Class out of billions or perhaps trillions of dollars.  Yet this is the same country that will have bespectacled IRS Agents showing up at a car wash with threats and demands for 4 cents in back taxes.

(HT/Colorado Is the Shiznit).

We have a country in which the Attorney General’s Office of the United States of America will spend lawyers, briefs, and endless uncounted dollars making sure that two people with the same dangly bits can’t possibly join their lives together in a manner that might make them eligible for one cent of government benefits — benefits their taxes paid for.

Yet we have this SAME country where, when even supposedly “respected” mortgage companies defraud millions and millions of home owners, nothing, apparently can be done — our government, we are led to believe, is utterly helpless to hold them accountable.

We know that accountability does still exist in this country, for some people.

We know, for example, that if I were to go out, with a finger in my jacket, and hold up a liquor store for $50, I would be going to prison for a long long time.

Yet we have this country, that whispers, siren like in our ear — “Just be a BIGGER criminal.  Steal MORE.  Then they won’t put you in prison, they’ll promote you to Secretary of the Treasury.”

So, to my question .. I almost forgot!

Life and Death and Consciousness

I woke up very early this morning, as I usually do, had a cup of coffee and something to eat, read and replied to a few essays and comments here, and then again as I usually do, went back to bed and slept for an hour or so.

It’s become a habit for me to do this because I really enjoy the extremely lucid dreams I have while sleeping when I’m already rested and after eating.

The dreams I usually have at that time are so lucid they are literally worlds and realities indistinguishable in quality and “realness” from the world of daily life. I converse with people in them, can bang my knee against a wall, pet the cat, slam my fingers in a desk drawer, listen to music, in short they are experiential worlds as real as any other. As “this” one – the one we each find ourselves in at this moment.

Dreams, in other words, are real. They exist. They are as real as anything else.

So, “what is real”, or “what is reality”?  

Who knows?

Fraud at heart of financial meltdown.

Get a load of Senator Dodd’s executive summary of his own proposed financial reform package:

This legislation will not stop the next crisis from coming.

Thank you, Senator Dodd.  Well said.  Enjoy your gig on Wall Street.

Overnight Caption Contest

Where have you gone, Albert Einstein?

In a recent diary by Cassiodorus, one point of his in particular struck me:

Thus the comparison between the Great Depression and the current Great Recession falls flat, because the popular upheavals of the 1930s are only in evidence today among the least helpful segments of the population.  This of course is a major reason why we can expect no FDR-like President to save us from the…economic collapse…

…During the 1930s…intellectual figures such as John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, Kenneth Burke, and Richard Wright were actual socialists and not just mere liberals offering occasional plugs for John Kerry.

Another prominent socialist, albeit a bit later than the Depression, was Albert Einstein.  He was an all around brilliant man, someone whom I admire greatly.  And he wisely said this, although today it would probably be considered way too radical for anyone respectable to utter:

Iran Attack Coming?

A reporter with the Scotland Herald, Mr. Rob Edwards, is reporting that the U.S. may be gearing up for an attack on Iran.

According to the report, “A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Also, it is reported that among the cargo are “192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.”

Can this be true?  I’m very, VERY skeptical about this report for a few reasons.


David Swanson on state single payer movements, Kucinich, and ERISA

Check this out, it’s well worth it.  If you don’t want to watch, there’s a transcript at…

Very informative, he talks about PA single payer for a while, among other things.

Check out single payer for PA at

Story Untold

we are the world osho

So we lost, didn’t we.

Sure, there’s no HCR bill signed yet, but we know the game has been fixed and we’ve been sucker punched.

Bad enough to get screwed by the Republicans for so many years.  It’s irritating, very irritating to get screwed by who we thought were our fellow Democrats.

So this is being a US citizen in the year Twenty-Ten.


Even trying to be informed seems an impossible task, much less changing everything.

And to make it even more surreal, the very institutions, the members of which are riding a  high tide of obscene wealth and power, are also crumbling as I type this.

It’s chaotic!

So I look at these kids, these four kids who have wallked what they call the “Trail of Dreams.”

These are four undocumented kids who are demonstrating how they are coming out of the shadows (you know, those shadows that 12 million of our brothers and sisters live in, over 2 million of them children).


These are their names and a little P.R. information about them for the Trail of Dreams website.  First a joint statement by the four:

We are four students from Florida – Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Carlos Roa, and Juan Rodriguez – who were brought to the United States by our families when we were young. This is the only country we have known as home. We have the same hopes and dreams as other young people, and have worked hard to excel in school and contribute to our communities. But because of our immigration status, we’ve spent our childhoods in fear and hiding, unable to achieve our full potential. We walk in order to share our stories and to call on our leaders to fix the system that forces people like us into the shadows, stripping us of the opportunity to participate meaningfully in society.

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