As I have previously shown, speculative derivatives (especially credit default swaps) are a primary cause of the economic crisis. And I have pointed out that (1) the giant banks will make a killing on carbon trading, (2) while the leading scientist crusading against global warming says it won’t work, and (3) there is a very high probability of massive fraud and insider trading in the carbon trading markets. Now, Bloomberg notes that the carbon trading scheme will be centered around derivatives…
Carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.5bn) mainly in Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.
Phi Beta Iota: The incoherent insanity of BOTH the left and the right, of both those in power and those without power, is cresting. While the Obama Administration does everything it can to emulate and extend the Constitutional violations of the Cheney-Bush regime, the far right is losing its mind completely. Below are two items, just a taste of what happens when gerbils learn to read and write.
It seems that Palin– the attractive, outdoors-loving “hockey mom”-is popular solely because of her personality, not any specific policy positions. Notes columnist Steve Chapman “Who needs policy? In her world – and the world of legions of conservatives who revere her – the persona is the policy. Palin is beloved because she’s (supposedly) just like ordinary people, which (supposedly) gives her a profound understanding of their needs.” When dissecting political cults of personality, it would seem that Palin has become the Republicans’ Obama–handsome, charming and a human comfort blanket for partisans.
Chuck Spinney Sends: The attached article, “Generals Open New Front in Washington,” by Pat Buchanan describes how the time honored practice of Versailles Groupthink is now closing in to circumscribe President Obama’s strategic options in Afghanistan and Pakistan, much as it did to Lyndon Johnson during Vietnam.
Note how the “strategic” options for Afghanistan are boiling down to a consensus view of an either/or decision. Either a large escalation of US ground forces or an escalation of destabilizing Predator attacks, particularly in Pakistan, or a compromise on some combination of the two. In all cases, there will be a large increase in the size of the Afghan Army. That questionable enterprise is taken as a given by the emerging consensus view. If Buchanan is right about this either/or choice … Obama is being set up big time by advisors, because, as near as I can tell, Obama has no access to outside or dissenting views. There is no third or fourth way, because there is no one in the role of George Ball to just say no (who LBJ ignored much to his chagrin), and there is no one on Capital Hill with political or military smarts or the stature to shape a third, more practical alternative.Continue reading “Journal: Chuck Spinney and Pat Buchanan on Groupthinking Apparat Moves to Finish Off Obama”
This summer the U.S. government has faced a deteriorating crisis in Afghanistan. Such crises tend to force policymakers to face up to the facile assumptions they have previously made. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s report to his civilian masters on the faltering counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan has caused President Barack Obama and his advisers to face up to their basic assumptions about U.S. objectives and strategies for perhaps the first time. Obama and his team seem very likely to conclude from this long overdue examination of first principles that it will be impractical for the U.S. to successfully implement a counterinsurgency campaign plan in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s assessment has unwittingly tossed the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency field manual into the shredder. McChrystal’s report is brutally honest about the troubles in Afghanistan.
Click on title above for complete article, below for Phi Beta Iota comment and links to three “fix” pieces.
We were surprised this morning to learn that Ray McGovern, a CIA veteran whose credibility we respect, is saying that Leon Panetta and Barack Obama may be treating CIA with kid gloves for fear of being assassinated by the “insider” CIA that itself fears criminal prosecution for the death of over 100 detainees in CIA custody. Food for thought. Read McGovern’s thoughts at The Media Consortium, “Ray McGovern Warns of ‘Two CIA’s.'”
There are two sides to this matter. How many CIA’s? Does CIA assassinate U.S. citizens including leaders?
Highlight: Jackie Salit and her organization, which assured the elections of both Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York City and Barack Obama by the thinnest margin that would not have been achieved without 19 million Independents, is seeking help from the public and all organizations interested in democracy, help in challenging Barack Obama to fill the two vacant seats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) with Independents or members of parties other than the two-party tyranny (our word, not hers). The FEC has six commissioners and historically has been a joint venture between the Republican and Democratic parties, excluding all others–just as the Presidential Debate Commission stolen from the League of Women Voters (LWV) excludes Independents and all others.
Passes the Smell Test & the Brain Test–But Only as a Preamble,
November 8, 2006
This book gets five stars from me because it is much more thoughtful and much less platitudinous than the standard run of the mill “getting to know me” books that every politician with any ambition puts out.
The author understands all the key points including how broken government is, how uncivil Congress is, how out of touch we are with reality. He understands that government does have important safety net roles to play, that education and investment in science & technology are the foundation for the future, and so on and so on. This down-to-earth yet explicit and integrated perspective puts him head and shoulders above the even the best of the best from the past.
Bottom line: this book confirms the author’s status as a first-rank leader (I don’t insult him with the lesser term of politician) of great promise. The promise is implicit in this book, not explicit.
Now I want to see a book that addresses the ten threats, twelve policies, and eight challengers, and how he proposes to create a common-sense trans-partisan government that ends the winner take all nature of both the Cabinet and the Congress, and integrates real world information with real world budgets to get us to where the Comtroller General of the USA, the Honorable David Walker, says we need to be: providing for the future.
A for effort. The first book finished elementary school. This book finishes high school. I wait with bated breath for the serious book with all the details.