Sunday morning mish-mash

Legal Insurrection argues compellingly that, even though Journolist was exposed and, presumably, disbanded, the MSM is stilling using the same playbook.

Well, maybe not quite.  Very peculiarly (and practically minutes before the DNC in political time), the New York Times is running an article about Valerie Jarrett, identifying her as the most powerful person in Washington, and identifying the president as an isolated, insular figure who looks to her first on all things, both practical and ideological.  The Times article never mentions Dick Cheney, but the article makes it seem as if Jarrett is what Dick Cheney never was — the Machiavellian power behind the Oval Office chair.  In other words, when Obama tweeted the post-Eastwood picture of himself in a chair, maybe it should have been the back of Valerie Jarrett’s head we saw.

Of course, I may be misreading this.  I see it as a slap to Obama that he’s portrayed as a weak puppet in the hands of a powerful Leftist puppet master.  For the disappointed masses on the Left, however, who believe Obama is a centrist, maybe this is the dog whistle they need, ensuring them that the centrist is in thrall to a true believer.  The implication would be that, in a second term, the puppet master can go full throttle.  It’s not the puppet who matters, it’s the puppet master.

In the continuing peculiar world that is Obama’s America, what was once a nasty sexual slur, one that managed to insult both blacks and whites, is now a campaign slogan.

If you’re looking for a non-typical movie to watch this Labor Day weekend, Machine Gun Preacher might be just the ticket (although I understand it’s a bit violent).

On the lighter side, is this the next Macarena?  This song, by Michel Telo, is apparently taking Latin America and Europe by storm, but it seems to me to lack the frenetic urgency that drove the Macarena to iconic status:

I happen to be incredibly fond of Brazilian music, so it works for me, but I wonder how far it will go generally in America. Speaking of Brazilian music, here’s one of my favorites:

Please consider this an Open Thread.

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  • JKB

    Maggie’s Farm post this video of economic principles explained.  It is one of the funniest things I’ve seen.  But very to the core of economics.



    Here it is in all it’s gory details. None of it good. The final report due mid-October. The fact is that the contents have been released in the midst of conventions or summer vacations when few are paying attention. Sorry, for the long post (cut and paste job).
    August 2012

    The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out.

    Ben Bernanke (pictured to the right), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning.

    What was revealed in the audit was startling:

    $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious – the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

    To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

    In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.
    “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”- Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
    When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.

    Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses will eventually plunder the world economy.

    The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows..
    Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
    Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
    Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
    Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
    Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
    Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
    Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
    Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
    JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
    Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
    UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
    Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
    Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
    Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
    BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
    and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places

    US Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    FULL PDF on GAO server. 

  • JKB

    Excellent lecture by Milton Friedman.  ‘Myths that Conceal Reality’


    It’s 52 minutes but well worth the time and very of the moment with the start of the DNC.  But also apropos to the higher ed bubble.  He has choice and to the point words on Obamacare.

    The myths he covers are: the Robber Barons, The cause of the Great Depression, That government programs arise from need (rather than lobbying), The Free Lunch, and the Robin Hood  

  • stanley

    Re Sadie’s post of the “audit” of the Fed and saying that it must be a problem if the Repubs and Dems and an admitted socialist want the Fed audited, I would say: This is a LOT of currency. Do you mean to say that Congress did not realize, over all of these years, that this give away and destruction of American wealth was occurring? $16 trillion just slid out of the country without anyone knowing until this “audit”? Beam me up Scotty we gotta get out of here.


    As a footnote to my post, I shared the email with a trusted family friend who is a well-regarded money manager. The firm deals exclusively with multi-million dollar accounts/foundations (New York and Boca, if you get my drift) with a little question: WHEN DO I PANIC? The family friend is aware that I lived on a fixed income and frugally and let me add that the friend also shares my conservative values and voting habits. Below an edited response to my question.

    It is not time to panic although if you are in the stock market perhaps you should think about getting out. At least for a while. I am afraid Nobama will be reelected and that should doom our economy for the next few years. And Europe? What a basket case. They have truly run out of other people’s money. Any scenario I can think of for Europe is a disaster. But they have given new meaning to kick the can down the road and so the crisis will linger and linger until ….well….. it doesn’t.     



  • JKB

    So I was trying to get a picture of an empty meeting room at the Whitehouse.  I was going to caption it “The President’s Job Council”

    Anyway, google had one of the Cabinet room.  I clicked through only to discover the Whitehouse webcams.

    White House Web Cam – Live 

    But I’m a little creeped out they have a webcam in the restroom 

  • JKB

    Oops, I didn’t read the site close enough.  It’s a spoof.  But I wonder why it seemed so wrong but oh so possible of this Whitehouse?

  • Mike Devx

    Clint Eastwood’s Greatest Sin: 

    “I would just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen.Something that I think is very important.  It is that, you, we— we own this country.     We — we own it.  It is not you owning it, and notpoliticians owning it.  Politicians are employees of ours.”

  • Mike Devx

    More recent stories note that the TSA is expanding its reach.

    One can only hope that the TSA executes its policies fairly, and doesn’t target people based on political persuasion.
    Some excerpts:

    > This illustrates how the TSA’s presence at public events which have nothing to do with transportation is becoming normalized as the federal agency’s bloated budget greases the skids for thousands upon thousands of unannounced checkpoints across the country.
    Ron Paul and his family were detained and interrogated by TSA agents after the RNC last week as TSA officials ludicrously insinuated that Paul, his family and his campaign staff could be a threat to Mitt Romney, who “might be nearby.”
    TSA workers were also present at a recent Paul Ryan political event in The Villages, Florida, where the screeners conducted invasive bag searches as well as pat downs.

    Ron Paul and his family, detained and interrogated?

    I don’t like any of this and I want it stopped.  

    If the TSA has that many extra personnel and that much extra money, that they can branch out from airports into “thousands upon thousands of unannounced checkpoints across the country”, well perhaps they need to cut their workforce.  And perhaps we need to demand that they cut their budget.  They have no business seeking to turn our great country into “TSA CheckPoints USA”.  


    Mike Devx
    “One can only hope that the TSA executes its policies fairly…”

    I don’t think they’re taking no or maybe for an answer with “executes” being the operative word.

    Documents reveal that The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ordered over 1,400 pounds of super high-powered explosives through the (TSA) Transportation Safety Administration set to be delivered on August 31st. The news comes just after it was reported that the DHS had purchased over 1.2 billion rounds of hollow point bullets and a wide assortment of riot gear. The new explosives purchase, as highlighted by mainstream news service Government Security News, consists of 1,400 pounds worth of high density ammonium nitrate and A-5 Flake RDX explosives.

    Read more:     

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  • Ymarsakar

    Mike Devx, civilian security force as powerful as the US military. We all knew it was coming. At least, those with their heads out of the sand.


  • Ymarsakar

    “And perhaps we need to demand that they cut their budget.”

    I would demand that something else be cuff off instead. And for those that know me, they would have a reasonably accurate way to guess what that would be.


    Candidate Obama:

    “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    I should have added the quote to my post #10.     


  • Ymarsakar

    Neither Stalin, German, or Italian leaders relied on the military to enforce their totalitarian order at home. It was always… some other people, coincidentally.