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Monarch butterfly on a "Pooh" dahlia at Longwood Gardens. (Photo by joanneleon. Butterfly spotting by KBO. October 1, 2012)
Of course, we knew that this meant an attack on the union. The bosses intended gradually to get rid of us, employing in our place child labor and raw immigrant girls who would work for next to nothing.

― Rose Schneiderman

Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band - O Mary Don't You Weep
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News and Opinion

Homeowner Struggles Continue as Wall Street Profits Soar - JP Morgan profits, CEO pay at record high as homeowners continue to struggle

In a quarterly earnings report on Friday, Wall Street giant JP Morgan Chase announced it smashed previous records by posting $5.3 billion in profits for the third quarter—up 36 percent from the same period last year.

Talking about the enormous profit-surge, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said the housing market 'had turned the corner' and seemed to downplay recent investigations into fraud surrounding trading practices at the bank. ...

To date, no Wall Street bank or high level executives have been held to account for the reckless practices that cause the financial crisis in 2008. Still, speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event in Washington this week, Dimon derided the US government's recent (and to many observers mild) pursuit of Wall Street crimes and malpractice. ...

"I think the government should think twice before they punish business every single time things go wrong," Dimon said referring to the suit.

Dimon and Blankfein are pressuring and complaining.
Analysis: Lame hopes for a lame-duck Congress

The hope of just a month ago that the election result might produce a larger solution is fading, giving way to ever-greater uncertainty, which business leaders fear could do considerable economic damage by itself, before any formal deadline arrives.

"I just think it's terrible policy to allow it to get close," Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, told the Council on Foreign Relations think tank on Wednesday.
"It won't happen at midnight, December 31," Dimon said. "It's going to happen now and right after the election when people start to say, 'This is bad,' and they just start to make decisions at the margin. Don't hire. Don't build. Don't buy. Let's just wait and see. Well, that is a recession."

His fellow Wall Street CEO, Goldman Sach's Lloyd Blankfein, expressed similar sentiments on CNBC on Thursday.


"To the people who are most aware of the consequences, namely people like ourselves who are advisers to companies who have to live in the economy, we sure know what the consequence will be - and it will be awful," Blankfein said.

A very small fix that is little more than a delay has always been a strong possibility. But it is now increasingly discussed as inevitable.

Housing Has “Turned the Corner” – For Banks

So yes, for BANKS, housing has turned the corner. The refinance boom has inflated profits, and all of the artificial constructs on housing have stabilized prices – the 14 million vacant homes, many of them off the market; the scooping up of foreclosed properties by institutional investors paying cash, which is setting a market floor; the preferences on short sales over foreclosures and the facilitation of those short sales into the hands of investors. The foreclosure rate decline is an artifact of short sales, where the borrower still loses their home, and the lack of due process in non-judicial states, with the euphemism of “working through the backlog” used in place of “allowing illegal actions to continue.” By contrast, judicial foreclosure states and states with laws that force lenders to show actual proof of ownership are “creating a backlog” of long foreclosure timelines (this, paradoxically, is lowering the foreclosure stats, but nobody seems to like that).

Economists basically say, get used to 7% unemployment.
Economists See Slow 2013 Growth

"The general trend in the unemployment rate is lower, and this should continue to be true as long as the economy grows along the profile we project," said Joseph LaVorgna at Deutsche Bank. "However, the cumulative five-tenths decline over the past two months appears to be overdone."

This is a fairly long article and I can only excerpt a small part of it.  I wanted to highlight the same two questions that Glenn cited because, while watching the debate, I was very disturbed by the assumptions made, asserted as fact, in those two questions.  Neither assertion is really true.   It is insidious propaganda, in my opinion.  Do go and read Glenn's analysis in the article as well, since I have only really cited the questions here.  
Martha Raddatz and the Faux Objectivity of Journalists
Establishment journalists are creatures of a highly ideological world and often cause ideology to masquerade as neutral fact.

The highly questionable assumptions tacitly embedded in the questions Raddatz asked illustrate how this works, as does the questions she pointedly and predictably did not ask. Let's begin with Iran, where Raddatz posed a series of questions and made numerous observations that she undoubtedly believes are factual but which are laden with all sorts of ideological assumptions. First there is this:

RADDATZ: Let's move to Iran. I'd actually like to move to Iran, because there's really no bigger national security...

RYAN: Absolutely.

RADDATZ: ... this country is facing.

[ ... ]

Exactly the same is true of Raddatz's statements and questions about America's entitlement programs. Here is the "question" she asked to launch the discussion:

"Let's talk about Medicare and entitlements. Both Medicare and Social Security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process."

"Will benefits for Americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive?"

That Social Security is "going broke" - a core premise of her question - is, to put it as generously as possible, a claim that is dubious in the extreme. "Factually false" is more apt. This claim lies at the heart of the right-wing and neo-liberal quest to slash entitlement benefits for ordinary Americans - Ryan predictably responded by saying: "Absolutely. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts." - but the claim is baseless.

As the Pulitzer Prize winning former New York Times economics reporter David Cay Johnston has repeatedly explained, this is the primary demonstrable myth being used by the DC class - which largely does not need entitlements - to deceive ordinary Americans into believing that they must "sacrifice" the pittances on which they are now living [ ... ]

At Least 16 Dead Following Latest US Drone Attack in Pakistan - Second strike in 48 hours

In the second attack in as many days, a suspected US drone has killed up to 16 people and wounded 6 more in northwest Pakistan, according to CNN International.

The attack occurred in the Orakzai region near the Afghan border, an area repeatedly targeted by the US military. Though the Obama administration and CIA refuse to verify individual cross-border strikes by the unmanned drones, the ongoing program is well known.

Agence France-Presse, citing local officials, reports that four missiles were fired, and that most of the dead were Afghans.

The attack on Thursday follows a separate strike on Wednesday in North Waziristan which reportedly killed five people.

Amber Lyon reveals CNN lies and war propaganda

Hezbollah says it sent Iranian-built drone over Israel

The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah boasted Thursday that his Shiite militant group sent a sophisticated unmanned drone over Israel last week, saying the device was built by the Jewish state’s archfoe Iran.

Hassan Nasrallah’s acknowledgement of the drone which Israel shot down on October 6 came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed at Hezbollah and vowed to defend his country against further “threats.”

“A sophisticated reconnaissance aircraft was sent from Lebanese territory … and travelled hundreds of kilometres (miles) over the sea before crossing enemy lines and into occupied Palestine,” Nasrallah said on television.

“It overflew sensitive and important installations for dozens of kilometres until the enemy spotted it near (the nuclear site) Dimona,” Nasrallah added on Hezbollah’s television Al-Manar. He did not identify the installations.

Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web

Last Wednesday afternoon I called Michael Brutsch. He was at the office of the Texas financial services company where he works as a programmer and he was having a bad day. I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

The Evening Blues - 10-12-12

The thicket of excuses

Panetta Misses Underlying Problem with Cyberwhines

Bruce Springsteen - Erie Canal (Live in Belfast 21/11/06)


Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky

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