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Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.  

Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here.  This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.  

Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago bluesman Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers. Enjoy!

Smokey Smothers - You're Gonna Be Sorry

"Look at the tyranny of party -- at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty -- a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes -- and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master."

  -- Mark Twain

News and Opinion

Faux-Progressive Propaganda Alert

John Nichols spews faux-progressive propaganda.  He tells part of the truth.  He explains that in, as he puts it a, "Dollarocracy," the ideas that get put forward are the ideas that have big money behind them, like cutting Social Security.  He goes on to highlight the fact that austerity-loving-corporate-greedheads were able to get, "one of their own," Paul Ryan on a ballot to run for Veep to push their plans.  What Nichols (dishonestly in my view) fails to mention is that those austerity-loving-corporate-greedheads were going to win no matter what this election.  They already had a president who is promoting their agenda on the other ticket.  Guess what, they won!?!?

Democracy vs. Dollarocracy

"But I still think it gets down to this, and the president has said this to the Republicans: You want to do entitlement reform; I do too. I can produce entitlement reform and bring Democrats to the table, because I am a Democratic president. And so I’m ready to sit down with you and work out an approach."

  -- Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, a Democratic leader (!?!)

Detroit’s New Bankster Plutocracy

On March 14 [Michigan Governor Rick Snyder] appointed corporate bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr as Detroit’s “emergency manager.” ... Under Michigan’s neoliberal vanguard statute, the “Local Financial Stability and Choice Act,” Orr personally takes the place, and embodies all government powers, of Detroit’s local officials – including both the Mayor and the City Council.  The rationale for this extraordinary new form of local government is of course the claimed need to deal with a local financial emergency in the form of government debt obligations, budget deficits and cash flow crises.

This authoritarian, one-man-rule emergency manager “solution” for the systemic ills of capitalist deindustrialization, poverty, homelessness, regional race conflicts and decades of corporate neoliberal economic “development” was much criticized, and overturned by voters in a referendum, even before Snyder’s extreme application of the policy to Detroit. ... Only a few days before Orr’s public appointment (and only an hour or so before Orr’s name was leaked publicly), the business-friendly Mayor of Detroit, former NBA Hall of Famer Dave Bing reportedly announced that Orr’s giant, 2,400 lawyer firm of Jones Day – which prides itself on representing more than half the “Fortune 500” – would be hired as the city’s “restructuring council.”

To call this situation disturbing, where the pretext of Orr’s just-in-time resignation from Jones Day notwithstanding, the same law firm is effectively enjoying every conceivable opportunity for loot and plunder available to one serving simultaneously as attorney, client, and local government, is an understatement.  In the flood of corporate media ‘coverage’ of the largest city ever placed under such a one-man dictatorship, the truly shocking policy, ethical and legal implications of this extraordinary off-the-shelf government by a single corporate law firm have hardly been mentioned.

Jones Day now effectively controls Detroit thru its own retainer as counsel and its recently resigned partner as local dictator, subject only to the statutorily provided unlimited discretion of the Governor and his State Treasurer, with power to realign, restructure, redevelop, and dispose of 139 square miles of under-utilized (i.e., cheap) urban real estate and other assets on the busiest international border crossing in North America, in the middle of the world’s greatest fresh water resources, and not incidentally the home community of about 700,000 People.  The concerns raised by these facts go quite a bit beyond what lawyers usually talk about in terms of “ethics.”  This is a corporate power and money grab of historic dimensions, ably assisted by corporate media’s refusal to print or broadcast the truth, or to even acknowledge any of the plutocratic implications.

Youth Will Pay the Price of Austerity

What's happening is the focus on the debt and austerity is really a Trojan horse, and that Trojan horse is to reduce the size of government. So if you have austerity, what you're doing is reducing public spending on particular goods and services. And what that means is that there's more space for the private sector to dominate in the provision of these goods and services.

So I think ultimately the real goal is to reduce the reach of government and to privatize more of the economy. ...

If people can get services from the government, if they can get public support for food stamps and so on and so forth, they have less need to borrow from banks, for example. So when you have public lending, if you will, to the public, to households, then the households have less to rely on in terms of borrowing from the financial sector. So I think that, you know, much of this is related to shrinking the reach of government and to--you know, weakened workers are more pliant workers in the workplace. And so I think that there is a lot that's ideological behind it.

The problem is that there is ongoing costs of austerity and those aren't being figured in. And one of the reasons they aren't being calculated by those who are really driving this austerity agenda is that we tend to overly focus on the market and not really take into account the negative effects of austerity on social reproduction, on our ability to take care of our kids, on our ability to take care of ourselves, to reeducate ourselves. We aren't taking into consideration the effect on lost skills, people that are unemployed for a long time, all of which ultimately will be costly to business as well as to the individuals that are suffering this. But because we overly focus on the market, we really miss the social reproduction and care sector of the economy.

'Cyprus precedent set, will be repeated in bleeding Europe, America'

IMF sets terms of Cyprus bailout

The International Monetary Fund has demanded that Cyprus cut state pension costs and reform its welfare system as the price of a €1bn (£854m) loan to help bail out the stricken island.

The IMF's managing director, Christine Lagarde, said the poorest Cypriots would be protected from the worst of the cuts, but Cyprus must press ahead with measures to bring its annual state budget into surplus by 2018.

The deal, agreed in principle by the Cypriot government, provoked an immediate reaction from trade unions, which called on bank workers to strike over potential pension cuts. Officials from the Cyprus Union of Bank Employees called on bank staff in Nicosia to walk off their jobs at lunchtime on Thursday, and gather in a protest march towards the parliament.

NRA’s "School Shield" Call for Armed Guards Seen as Path to Further Criminalize Youth of Color

?We’ve got to stop moving in the way of militarization of our schools and making them prison-like environments, but instead get to the hard work. The hard work is the prevention. The hard work is putting more counselors. You know, we’re letting the NRA co-opt this conversation and actually get us off of the conversation of gun control and mental health, and instead they are giving us a plan that looks at how we put more police, more guns, fences around our schools, more cameras. That’s their answer, instead of getting at the root causes and fixing this problem over the long haul."

Monitoring Peaceful Demonstrations and Activists as a Matter of Policy

Government documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) through its FOIA records requests reveal that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency created after the September 11 attacks under the rubric of combating terrorism, conducts daily monitoring of peaceful, lawful protests as a matter of policy. ...

The new documents reveal DHS surveillance of protests in Asheville, NC; Tampa; Ft. Lauderdale; Jacksonville; Lansing, MI; Denver; Kansas City; Los Angeles; Boston; Dallas; Houston; Minneapolis; Miami; Jersey City; Phoenix; Lincoln, Nebraska; Chicago; Salt Lake City; Detroit and others.

In preparation for planned protests in New York City on October 15, 2011, the DHS documents show coordination between federal and local authorities to use New York City’s permitting scheme to frustrate, obstruct or stop free speech activities. ...

The documents show a Department of Homeland Security that appears obsessed with the question of whether any and all protests that are being surveilled receive media attention and coverage. Reporting within the DHS on media coverage of First Amendment protected activities, even in the smallest places, appears to be a routine part of DHS intelligence reports. None of the documents explain why media coverage of peaceful demonstrations is of interest to law enforcement or concerns “homeland security” in any way. ...

“This production of documents, like the FBI documents that the PCJF received in December 2012, is a window into the nationwide scope of DHS and FBI surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement. Taken together, the two sets of documents paint a disturbing picture of federal law enforcement agencies using their vast power in a systematic effort to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations. The federal agencies’ actions were not because Occupy represented a 'terrorist threat' or a 'criminal threat' but rather because it posed a significant grassroots political challenge to the status quo,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF.

text version of docs

pdf version of docs

"We do not spy on US citizens, just anti-government groups," says fusion center director

An official from an Arkansas State Fusion Center recently spoke to the press to clear up what he called "misconceptions" about what his office actually does, with depressingly hilarious results. ...

The Arkansas fusion center director, after having flatly denied that his office spies on US citizens, told the reporter the following:

"I do what I do because of what happened on 9/11," Davis says. "There's this urge and this feeling inside that you want to do something, and this is a perfect opportunity for me."

Davis says Arkansas hasn't collected much information about international plots, but they do focus on groups closer to home.

"We focus a little more on that, domestic terrorism and certain groups that are anti-government," he says. "We want to kind of take a look at that and receive that information."

So the fusion center does in fact spy on US citizens! Among them, "groups that are anti-government." ... Disliking the government isn't a crime. But that's not stopping many fusion centers from associating dissent with terrorism.
There's a silver lining in the sequester:
Budget Cuts Are Set to Hit U.S. Military’s Drone Fleet

For all the ongoing hype about the U.S. military’s arsenal of flying robots, they’re anything but safe from budget cuts. Pentagon officials anticipate spending significantly less on their surveillance and attack drones over the next several years, effectively ending the drone boom of the previous decade.

The impending budget cuts are expected to affect each major funding source for the drones: the research and development accounts that keep new models coming online; the operations and maintenance accounts that keep current ones in the air; and the procurement accounts that keep the military purchasing them.

Already, the Pentagon is signaling that the boom times for drones are coming to an end, even as the robots remain one of the U.S.’s signature counterterrorism weapons.

And soon, people all over the world will be wearing silver linings:
The anti-drone hoodie that helps you beat Big Brother's spy in the sky

anti drone wearI am wearing a silver hoodie that stops just below the nipples. Or, if you prefer, a baggy crop-top with a hood. The piece – this is fashion, so it has to be a "piece" – is one of a kind, a prototype. It has wide square shoulders and an overzealous zip that does up right to the tip of my nose.

It does not, it's fair to say, make its wearer look especially cool. But that's not really what this hoodie is about. It has been designed to hide me from the thermal imaging systems of unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles – drones. And, as far as I can tell, it's working well.

"It's what I call anti-drone," explains designer Adam Harvey. "That's the sentiment. The material in the anti-drone clothing is made of silver, which is reflective to heat and makes the wearer invisible to thermal imaging."

The "anti-drone hoodie" was the central attraction of Harvey's Stealth Wear exhibition, which opened in central London in January, billed as a showcase for "counter-surveillance fashions"

Action Center

Revoke President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

On Tuesday, progressive campaigners Roots Action launched an online petition calling for the revocation of President Obama's 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

"President Obama has made perpetual war look more perpetual than ever," reads the petition, which the group plans to send to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. And continues: "Today, there are more U.S. troops in Afghanistan than when Obama took office. His presidency has widened the use of drones and other instruments of remote killing in several countries."

Human rights and peace advocates have long-contested the awarding of the esteemed peace prize to an individual who has been called "one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades" for his escalation of a widespread killer-drone campaign, prolonged wars in the Middle East, and enablement of prisoner abuse and indefinite detention.

Click here - Sign the petition
Tennessee Legislators Move To Kill Voucher Bill To Avoid Funds Going To Muslim School

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee seem intent on confirming the religious motivations behind the system this week in opposing vouchers because it has occurred to them that Muslim schools might be able to receive funding with Christian schools. They are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill unless they can find a way to deny it to Muslim schools — a suggestion that brings sectarian prejudices to the forefront of the debate.

State Sen. Jim Tracy (R) raised his “considerable concern” that tax dollars could go to schools that teach principles from the Quran . . . . as opposed to those schools that teach the principles from the Bible. ... He wants to amend the law to exclude Muslim schools — something that is not just an act of raw prejudice but completely unconstitutional.

The National Plutocracy Radio Network strikes again:
For NPR, Fracking Fight Is Between Farmers & Movie Stars

So many people believe fracking–a method of releasing oil or gas from rock–to be unsafe that hundreds of U.S. communities have voted to ban it. If you’re unsure how to feel about it, NPR would like to help with that.

The network–which receives funding from America's Natural Gas Alliance, a pro-fracking industry group–ran a report March 20 that began by explaining that despite "all the money coming out of the ground in some places," New York doesn’t allow fracking, which "causes landowners to feel they're being left behind." ...

Who stands between these hard-working people and money and jobs coming out of the ground? It’s "actor Mark Ruffalo," who is "one of many artists and celebrities who have embraced the anti-fracking fight." Landowners, we're told, "increasingly resent the antis, who they see as meddling outsiders who will never be convinced that fracking can be done safely." Rather than hear why they should be convinced, we hear from a resenter, a woman with "six kids, three mortgages and no health insurance," who wishes those people would "stay in Hollywood."

Nuclear Waste Site at Risk of Hydrogen Explosion, Report Warns

Tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation which sits on the Columbia River in Benton County, Washington face dangerous risk of hydrogen build up which could trigger an explosion of radioactive materials, a nuclear safety board announced on Monday. ...

The board expressed concern over the potential for hydrogen gas buildup within the underground tanks, particularly those "double wall" tanks which contain the highly radioactive material that was previously pumped out of leaking single-shell tanks.

Earlier this year, investigators found six single-shelled underground storage tanks leaking up to 1,000 gallons of radioactive sludge each year—a situation that noted theoretical physicist Michio Kaku called a "ticking time bomb."

Federal officials have thus far evaded any long term, sustainable clean up of the 56 million gallons of highly radioactive material currently held at the former Manhattan Project site.

The Trouble With Tar Sands

At Oil Spill Clean-Up in Arkansas, Exxon Running the Show, Not Federal Agencies

Thousands of barrels of oil from Alberta’s tar sands region – similar to the crude that might flow through the controversial Keystone XL project – spilled into a suburban Arkansas neighborhood on Friday. A 70-year-old pipeline owned by Exxon that runs from Patoka, Ill. to Nederland, Tex. ruptured and forced the evacuation of 22 homes. ...

The stakes are high and Exxon is running the show here, with federal agencies so far publicly invisible. The phone number of the command center in Mayflower goes to an ExxonMobil answering service based in Texas, and each day it is Exxon that distributes a unified command press release—which contains the logos of Exxon, Faulkner County and the city of Mayflower—with official updates on the progress of the clean-up.

As the clean-up operation for the oil spill enters its fifth day, it is still unclear how much oil has spilled. Exxon has said it is reacting as if 420,000-gallons had been spilled, though the EPA's estimate places the volume at 84,000 gallons so far.

Exxon would not reveal what their pipeline monitoring system recorded. These systems, standard in the industry, track the flow of oil from origin to destination and when a leak occurs, can provide an estimate of the amount of oil that has gone missing into the environment. A spokeswoman said the company is still calculating the amount of oil spilled.

Aerial Footage of Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill

Toxic and Tax Exempt

As the Obama Administration continues to ponder a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada has been assuring everyone of it’s safety. “Safety of the public and the environment is a top priority for TransCanada” their slick website reads. Any spill is deemed “unlikely”.

Hardly. Last year, there were 364 spills from pipelines that released about 54,000 barrels of oil and refined products. ... Companies that transport oil are required to pay into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, giving the government a pot of money for immediate spill responses. The Enbridge pipeline in Michigan and the Exxon pipeline in Arkansas, however, are exempt because these pipelines are not considered to be carrying “conventional oil”, despite the fact bitumen spills are more expensive and more dangerous.

In a January 2011 memorandum, the IRS determined that to generate revenues for the oil spill trust fund, Congress only intended to tax conventional crude, and not tar sands or other unconventional oils.  This exemption remains to this day, even though the United States moves billions of gallons of tar sands crude through its pipeline system every year. The trust fund is liable for tar sands oil spill cleanups without collecting any revenue from tar sands transport. If the fund goes broke,the American taxpayer foots the cleanup bill.

Sand Spill: Exxon off hook as US law says no 'oil' contamination in Arkansas

State Dept. Keystone XL Contractor ERM Also Green-Lighted Explosive, Faulty Peruvian Pipeline Project

Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the State Department consulting firm that claims TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline proposal is safe and sound, previously provided a similarly rosy approval for the expansion of a Peruvian natural gas project that has since racked up a disastrous track record.

On March 1, the U.S. State Department declared KXL's proposed northern half environmentally safe and sound in its draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), part of TransCanada's Presidential Permit application for the proposed tar sands pipeline. ...

An examination into the historical annals shows that ERM Group also green-lighted a major pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion project akin to KXL in Peru. The project in a nutshell: a 253-mile-long, 34-inch pipeline carries gas obtained from Peru's Camisea field - located partly in the Amazon rainforest with the pipeline snaking through the Andes Mountains - to Peru's west coast. From there, it's exported primarily to the U.S. and Mexico.

Camisea - described by Amazon Watch as the "most damaging project in the Amazon Basin" - has created a whole host of problems. These include displacing indigenous people, clear-cutting forests that serve as a key global carbon sink to make way for the project, and major pipeline spills, to name a few.

Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin'

Chemical Disasters, Agent Orange, and GMOs: Monsanto's Legacy Traced in Exposé

Chomsky: The Cruelty That Keeps Empires Alive

A Little Night Music

Smokey Smothers - I Got My Eyes On You

Smokey Smothers - I've Been Drinking Muddy Water

Smokey Smothers - I Ain't Gonna Be No Monkey Man No More

Smokey Smothers - I can't judge nobody

Smokey Smothers - Hello little school girl

Smokey Smothers - Black cat girl

Smokey Smothers - Blind and Dumb Man Blues

Smokey Smothers - Give It Back

Smokey Smothers - Things ain't what they used to be

Smokey Smothers - Twist with me Annie

Smokey Smothers - Honey, I ain't teasin'

It's National Pie Day!

The election is over, it's a new year and it's time to work on real change in new ways... and it's National Pie Day.  This seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about our new site and to start getting people signed up.  

Come on over and sign up so that we can send you announcements about the site, the launch, and information about participating in our public beta testing.

Why is National Pie Day the perfect opportunity to tell you more about us?  Well you'll see why very soon.  So what are you waiting for?!   Head on over now and be one of the first!

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Team DFH.


If there are entitlement cuts...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is the anti-drone hoodie (7+ / 0-)

    a replacement for the tin foil hat?

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:24:07 PM PDT

    •  probably depends on where you live... (8+ / 0-)

      if you live in pakistan, yemen, mali, somalia, etc., it might be a totally useful thing if indeed it works as advertized.  

      locations where the fashion accessory becomes a survival device are subject to change without notice, eh?

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:27:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  rotfl. n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:14:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (7+ / 0-)

      Drone assassinations actually do occur... so it's not so far fetched or paranoid to want some protection for those who have been targeted, especially those who were innocent victims of what is being investigated as war crimes.

      Tin foil hats on the other hand...:

      The concept of wearing a tin foil hat for protection from such threats has become a popular stereotype and term of derision; the phrase serves as a byword for paranoia, persecutory delusions and belief in conspiracy theories.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:34:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really hilarious (6+ / 0-)

      those drone strikes.

      Living Under Drones

      Sadaullah Wazir, teenager, former student from the village of Machi Khel in Mir Ali, North Waziristan, was severely injured in a September 2009 drone strike on his grandfather’s home.[1] Sadaullah has filed a complaint before the UN Human Rights Council.[2]

      “Before the drone strikes started, my life was very good. I used to go to school and I used to be quite busy with that, but after the drone strikes, I stopped going to school now. I was happy because I thought I would become a doctor.” Sadaullah recalled, “Two missiles [were] fired at our hujra and three people died. My cousin and I were injured. We didn’t hear the missile at all and then it was there.” He further explained, “[The last thing I remembered was that] we had just broken our fast where we had eaten and just prayed. . . .We were having tea and just eating a bit and then there were missiles. . . . When I gained consciousness, there was a bandage on my eye. I didn’t know what had happened to my eye and I could only see from one.” Sadaullah lost both of his legs and one of his eyes in the attack. He informed us, “Before [the strike], my life was normal and very good because I could go anywhere and do anything. But now I am not able to do that because I have to stay inside. . . . Sometimes I have really bad headaches. . . . [and] if I walk too much [on my prosthetic legs], my legs hurt a lot. [Drones have] drastically affected life [in our area].”

      Waleed Shiraz, 22, was pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and taking various foreign language courses before he became disabled.[3]

      “My father was asleep in the hujra as usual after a normal day, and I was studying nearby. . . . I had liked studying in the hujra, because it is peaceful and quiet. There was nothing different about our routine in the prior week.” Waleed recounted the subsequent sequence of events. “[When we got hit], [m]y father’s body was scattered in pieces and he died immediately, but I was unconscious for three to four days. . . . [Since then], I am disabled. My legs have become so weak and skinny that I am not able to walk anymore. . . . It has also affected my back. I used to like playing cricket, but I cannot do it anymore because I cannot run.”

      “I have two younger brothers, who are both unemployed, and I don’t have a father and I am disabled. I have been completely ruined. . . . [My brothers] can’t go to school, because I can’t afford to support them, buying their books, and paying their fees. They are home most of the day and they are very conscious of the fact that drones are hovering over them. [The presence of drones] intimidates them.”

      “If the drones had not become routine and my father had not died and I hadn’t lost my leg, today I would have completed my MA in Political Science.” Waleed explained, “I can’t dream of going back to college.”

      Really fucking hilarious.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:52:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I want to know is (4+ / 0-)

      do they come in case lots?

      What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

      by Words In Action on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Evenin' joe. (5+ / 0-)

    Bisbee AZ, the coolest little town in Baja, made DemocracyNow! today. Here's an account from one of our Baja Arizona Kossacks ☛ Bisbee - First City in Arizona to Honor Civil Unions

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:39:37 PM PDT

  •  So they went after the pensions in Cyprus (6+ / 0-)

    after all?

    I thought that Angela Merkel said that the pensions should not be part of the deal?  Of course that was the deal where Cyprus came up with the $5.6 billion.  Merkel said the pensions could not be part of that.  Was this because she had some compassion or was it because the pensions were to be part of the coercion plan in exchange for the bailout funds?  Looks that way.

    It's just amazing to watch this happening over and over again.  

    Who is next?  Italy has an election coming up.

    In Greece, Papandreou resigned and Papademos stepped in to do the bailout work.  Didn't stay around for long, as I suspect the new Cypriot president will not either.  

    After a week of political turmoil and negotiations between parties triggered by Papandreou's resignation, Papademos was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece on 11 November 2011, unveiling his provisional Cabinet shortly afterwards.[11] The other two parliamentary parties, the Communist Party and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), had refused Papandreou's invitation to participate in the government.[12] The provisional government also marks the first time that the far-right has played a part in any Greek government since the fall of the military junta in 1974.[13]

    Papademos stated that his government's primary task would be to facilitate the financial bailout from the European Union - which was provided on the condition that severe budget austerity be implemented - and to lead the country until elections could be held. Papademos also stated that his sole priority as Prime Minister would be to try and keep Greece within the Eurozone.[14]

    In Cyprus, the Troika hit the brand new president, supposedly catching him off guard, with the demands for the bailout crisis.

    Now Italy will have a new government coming in. Are they next?  Their economy is huge compared to Cyprus and Greece.  What about France?

    It's just amazing to watch this happening.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:39:58 PM PDT

    •  evening joanne... (6+ / 0-)

      i would imagine that merkel's concern with pensions was directed at a domestic market in germany that she cannot afford to offend in an election cycle.

      even if merkel was serious about preserving pensions, certainly the confiscation of savings would disproportionately affect pensioners who tend to have savings that they need to live off of and have no ability to replace those funds by working.  so merkel's statements in my view are somewhat disingenuous at best.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:50:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's getting close to the Vatterland. (5+ / 0-)

      It seems the Dutch have a problem of their own.

      It's a heavy burden, especially for Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the new head of the Euro Group, and now finds himself in the unexpected role of being both a watchdog for the monetary union and a crisis candidate.

      Even €46 billion in austerity measures are apparently not enough to remain within the EU debt limit. Although Dijsselbloem has announced another €4.3 billion in cuts in public service and healthcare, they will only take effect in 2014.

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 08:00:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's A Man's of my favorite vids (5+ / 0-)

    of all time...just look at the joy and pride in James Brown's face when Pavarotti sings his song.  This video makes my grin from ear to ear every time I watch it.

    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:27:31 PM PDT

  •  Smokey Brothers??? I thought you meant Smothers (3+ / 0-)


    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:40:23 PM PDT

  •  What has happened to the Rule of law? (8+ / 0-)

    These are comments from a thread in the diary today from Bernie Sanders entitled "Too Big To Jail." These are right at the top and several are nested comments.

    I put the title of the in bold. At the end I will give the link to the diary.

    They are in response to the lack of prosecution of banksters.

    it's much worse than that
    The massive obvious frauds that were committed can not be allowed to be swept under the rug like Bush war crimes. The government that allows this has declared itself to be lacking authority for governing.
    Worse than damaging the economy... (14+ / 0-)
    ...They have damaged the legitimacy of the Rule of Law, or at least the AG's subsequent actions have.  
    Establishes 2 classes of citizens (7+ / 0-)
    Those who you will prosecute and those you won't.  Unbelievable in a country that claims to be based on equality.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    Unbelieveable... (5+ / 0-)
    ...And exceedingly dangerous.  

    The primary thing that keeps the populace in line and cooperating with law and the State in general is, well, consent to be governed.  Part of -that- comes from the supposed (and now betrayed) egality of the Rule of Law -- that it applies to all equally, high and low.  Now, that's never been truly the case, but nowadays it's more false than ever.

    When the State loses the consent of the governed, the only way to keep the populace in line is with force, and that's not sustainable in a country of this size and with this kind of land-area.  And this level of public armament.

    Personally, I would say that this is -- literally -- the biggest threat to the Union since the civil war.  We haven't gotten there yet -- not quite -- but all signs point to the fact that we're walking down that road again.  

    Worse than that, even.... (1+ / 0-)
    HSBC knowingly laundered money for Mexican drug cartels, Iran, and terrorist organizations. Enabling those organizations means people die.
    Here is the link
  •  I hope Mark Ruffalo (4+ / 0-)

    has a hoodie.

    What's the point of letting neoliberals into the tent when neoliberalism is burning down the campground?

    by Words In Action on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:54:42 PM PDT

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