• Propagandee commented on the blog post Priorities

    2011-12-22 08:17:25View | Delete

    The payroll tax bill sent by House Republicans to the U.S. Senate included two polluter poison pills, the Keystone XL provision for the oil industry and Boiler MACT KOCH BROTHERS language to protect toxic coal pollution. In an underreported move, the Senate stripped the coal poison pill. Now GOP members of the House are “committed” to put coal back in the Christmas stocking.

    Fixed it fer ya.

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post The Escape Pods are being assembled

    2011-12-06 08:40:30View | Delete

    Given that the ratings agencies are paid by the same people they regulate, sounds like their best off-world bet is Ferenginar, home world of the Ferengi:

    …They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals. They are also known for their business acumen and for exploiting females.

    Their home planet, Ferenginar, is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisors (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a “Blessed Exchequer” in hopes of entering the “Divine Treasury” upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the “Vault of Eternal Destitution”…

  • What, you’re afraid that if someone reported a pubic hair on it they’d be accused of a high tec lynching?

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post The Questionable Balance Sheet Of Dexia Bank

    2011-10-05 17:39:35View | Delete

    They’re trying to stay out of jail

    I’ll say. As did the Prez, in so many words:

    Arrayed around a long mahogany table in the White House state dining room last week, the CEOs of the most powerful financial institutions in the world offered several explanations for paying high salaries to their employees — and, by extension, to themselves.

    “These are complicated companies,” one CEO said. Offered another: “We’re competing for talent on an international market.”

    But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”

    “My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

    Heh. We can only hope that Obama remembers that sentiment and turns it into a real, actionable campaign theme and rallies the populace accordingly.

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post The Questionable Balance Sheet Of Dexia Bank

    2011-10-05 09:59:08View | Delete

    Through July 10, 2010 (nearly 2 years later), Dexia had hit up the Fed for some $159b in total.

    See here.

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post The Questionable Balance Sheet Of Dexia Bank

    2011-10-05 09:35:41View | Delete

    Lest we forget, Dexia was the biggest borrower from the Fed’s trough during the bailout:

    Belgian bank Dexia was biggest borrower from Federal Reserve discount window
    Dexia, one of Belgium’s biggest banks, proved the biggest borrower from the Federal Reserve’s discount window in the week of the financial crisis that saw record demand for the facility.

    At the height of the financial meltdown, on October 24, 2008, Dexia’s New York branch was used to borrow $31.5bn (£19.6bn). The total borrowing from all banks during that week climbed to $111bn, according to lending data released by the central bank on Thursday.

  • Okay.

    SO who has standing to sue on this basis in the German justice system?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Swimming pool story referred to above.

    Satellite photos catch Greek tax-evaders

    Posted by Cory Doctorow on Tuesday, May 4th at 10:18pm

    As the nation of Greece teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, its tax authorities are taking aim at Greece’s notorious tax-evading rich elite. Using satellite photos, the tax authority examined the claim of the residents of Athens’s wealthy suburbs and discovered that, rather than the 324 swimming pools claimed by the locals, there were 16,974 of them.

    The cheating is often quite bold. When tax authorities recently surveyed the returns of 150 doctors with offices in the trendy Athens neighborhood of Kolonaki, where Prada and Chanel stores can be found, more than half had claimed an income of less than $40,000. Thirty-four of them claimed less than $13,300, a figure that exempted them from paying any taxes at all.
    Such incomes defy belief, said Ilias Plaskovitis, the general secretary of the Finance Ministry, who has been in charge of revamping the country’s tax laws. “You need more than that to pay your rent in that neighborhood,” he said.

    He said there were only a few thousand citizens in this country of 11 million who last year declared an income of more than $132,000. Yet signs of wealth abound.

    “There are many people with a house, with a cottage in the country, with two cars and maybe a small boat who claim they are earning 12,000 euros a year,” Mr. Plaskovitis said, which is about $15,900. “You cannot heat this house or buy the gas for the car with that kind of income.”

  • The NY Times’ lead story in its dead tree version today explores the political dilemma Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkle. And in its business section, the top three stories deal with various aspects of the crisis, including an account of the IMF’s chief attempts to “correct” reports of an internal IMF document that states that Europe’s banks are woefully short of capital– something like a quarter trillion dollars worth.

    A few months before the whole Greek debt thing exploded, I remember reading an account of flyover photos of rich Greek neighborhoods, and how many unregistered and therefor untaxed swimming pools there were. And how much less money there was in the Greek treasury as a result of the rich avoiding paying their fair share of property taxes. Kinda puts the whole austerity frame of the moral scolds in another light.

    I’d love to see a chart that tracks the decline in income taxes of the wealthy with the rise of sovereign debt; and the social unrest that results when the demands of the bond vigilantes take precedent over other means of reducing that debt, like creating jobs for the unemployed.

  • Propagandee commented on the diary post The Threat and the Picture That May End Obama’s Presidency by Scarecrow.

    2011-08-03 21:58:03View | Delete

    The hostages in that case were the ’99ers– individuals whose unemployment insurance were running out. The other reason given for making the deal was a 2% reduction in people’s weekly/monthly payroll tax– money that would have otherwise gone into the social security trust fund but acted as “a backdoor stimulus”, which most people barely even [...]

  • Propagandee commented on the diary post The Threat and the Picture That May End Obama’s Presidency by Scarecrow.

    2011-08-03 20:40:26View | Delete

    Had a good friend who during the Vietnam War was Marine Corp Commandant General Greene’s Adjutant General (i.e. his top lawyer). Told me that LBJ had tasked all the service heads to report back to him what it would take to win in Vietnam. My guy said 550,000 troops minimum, no guarantee. I don’t recall [...]

  • Propagandee commented on the diary post CNN Interviews on Debt Deal: Knaves, Thieves and Liars by Scarecrow.

    2011-07-31 08:51:47View | Delete

    For those interested in documenting the history behind Obama’s corporatist agenda, Washingtons Blog does a good job of it here.

  • A simply analogy is that Government has gone to a restaurant, has already ordered, received its meal and eaten half of it. Not raising the debt ceiling would be as if Congress, after eating most of the meal, decided to run out of the restaurant without paying the tab.

    I tire of this weak analogy.

    The situation is more like a tenant who has run up a year’s worth of utility bills but decides he’d rather burn down the house than pay up.

  • Nate Silver on the growing odds of a default:

  • Good one! Had to look it up:

    A limited hangout, or partial hangout, is a public relations or propaganda technique that involves the release of previously hidden information in order to prevent a greater exposure of more important details. It takes the form of deception, misdirection, or coverup often associated with intelligence agencies involving a release or “mea culpa” type of confession of only part of a set of previously hidden sensitive information, that establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be “coming clean” and acting with integrity; but in actuality, by withholding key facts, is protecting a deeper operation and those who could be exposed if the whole truth came out. In effect, if an array of offenses or misdeeds is suspected, this confession admits to a lesser offense while covering up the greater ones.
    A limited hangout typically is a response to lower the pressure felt from inquisitive investigators pursuing clues that threaten to expose everything, and the disclosure is often combined with red herrings or propaganda elements that lead to false trails, distractions, or ideological disinformation; thus allowing covert or criminal elements to continue in their improper activities.

    Victor Marchetti wrote: “A ‘limited hangout’ is spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting – sometimes even volunteering – some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.

  • How long before we hear James Murdoch, in response to allegations from Colin Myler, former editor of The News of the World, and Tom Crone, former News International legal manager, that Murdoch was “mistaken” in his testimony to the parliamentary panel about his level of knowledge of the content of the Geoffrey Taylor emails, utter a variation of former Nixon press secretary Ron Ziegler’s immortal line:

    “This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative.” (April 17, 1973, retracting previous statements that had been revealed to be false.)

  • Propagandee commented on the diary post If Clarence Thomas were a Democorat, he’d already be gone by oldionus.

    2011-06-25 07:42:58View | Delete

    Sometimes I wonder if the motivation of many right wingers isn’t some sort of deep seated desire for vengeance, as hateful and destructive as their actions (and words) are. Certainly there’s almost never a hint of any sense of responsibility to the public as a whole, or that the laws and morés of society apply to [...]

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post Flood of Rumors along the Missouri River

    2011-06-18 12:33:24View | Delete

    A local NE TV news channel, Pacifica radio’s Robert Knight, and Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen weigh in.

  • Propagandee commented on the blog post Mitt Romney and the Wages of Bipartisanship

    2011-05-22 16:01:52View | Delete

    Is compassionate conservatism a discredited term?

    Ask W.

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