Coming to America (Repost from 8/2/14)

 "[w]e have taken every precaution that we know and that our colleagues at the C.D.C. know to ensure that there is no spread of Ebola,” he said.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, agreed that the patients posed little risk to others. And he added: “These are American citizens. American citizens have a right of return. I certainly hope people’s fear doesn’t trump their compassion.”
We Got Our Best Guys On It
"[I]n one episode last month, at least 62 Center for Disease Control employees may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after potentially infectious samples were sent to laboratories unequipped to handle them. Employees not wearing protective gear worked with bacteria that were supposed to have been killed but may not have been. All were offered a vaccine and antibiotics, and the agency said it believed no one was in danger.
In a second accident, disclosed Friday, a C.D.C. lab accidentally contaminated a relatively benign flu sample with a dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain that has killed 386 people since 2003. Fortunately, a United States Agriculture Department laboratory realized that the strain was more dangerous than expected and alerted the C.D.C.
In addition to those mistakes, Dr. Frieden also announced Friday that two of six vials of smallpox recently found stored in a National Institutes of Health laboratory since 1954 contained live virus capable of infecting people.
All the samples will be destroyed as soon as the genomes of the virus in them can be sequenced. The N.I.H. will scour its freezers and storerooms for other dangerous material, he said.
“These events revealed totally unacceptable behavior,” Dr. Frieden said. “They should never have happened. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over this, and I’m working on it until the issue is resolved.”
The anthrax and flu labs will remain closed until new procedures are imposed, Dr. Frieden said. For the flu lab, that will be finished in time for vaccine preparation for next winter’s flu season, he said.
We Got Our Best Guys On It


Demokracy in Action

WASHINGTON — In his first year in office, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. put new limits on when the government could dismiss lawsuits in the name of protecting national security. Now, in what he has said is likely his final year, Mr. Holder has claimed broad authority to do just that in a case unlike any other.

The invocation of the state secrets privilege in Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis's lawsuit against United Against Nuclear Iran is unusual because the U.S. Government is not a party to the litigation, but is insisting that allowing the suit between the private parties to proceed any further will jeopardize American secrets that must be kept under wraps
In general, a private group would not be expected to have classified information. However, UANI's leadership has long been populated by former senior officials of the U.S. Government who would have been privy to such information at one time. The group is currently headed by former Bush State Department official Mark Wallace and former Obama arms control adviser Gary Samore.
After President Barack Obama took office, the Justice Department pledged to rein in the use of the state secrets privilege, which many Democrats accused President George W. Bush of overusing. After a review of the policy, Holder pledged to be sparing in its use and to explore ways to limit a case over secrecy concerns rather than dismissing it outright. However, the government's filings in the Restis case say doing that would be impossible.




US Economic Recovery: Part XXI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are more anxious about the economy now than they were right after the Great Recession ended despite stock market gains, falling unemployment and growth moving closer to full health.
Seventy-one percent of Americans say they think the recession exerted a permanent drag on the economy, according to a survey being released Thursday by Rutgers University. By contrast, in November 2009, five months after the recession officially ended, the Rutgers researchers found that only 49 percent thought the downturn would have lasting damage


US Economic Recovery: Part XX

July, 2010:
Machinery maker Caterpillar's second-quarter earnings surged 91 percent, helped by gains in sales of its equipment for industries like mining, infrastructure and energy.
Caterpillar is an industrial bellwether, so its earnings show that the recovery may have some steam.

Today. August 20th, 2014:
"[I]n October 2008, the month after Lehman failed and the Great Recession started, industrial bellwether Caterpillar underwent a series of 19 consecutive, record, declines in Global dealer retail sales
as of July 2014, that record is no longer valid, because starting with a -1% drop in Global retail sales in December 2012, CAT has now posted a new record of 20 consecutive global dealer retail sales declines, after a -9% Y/Y print for the month of July.



We Must Remain Vigilant in Safeguarding Press Freedoms

"[I]n a news conference Monday at the White House, the President also said freedoms of assembly and the press must be “vigilantly safeguarded”

"[I]'ve  been in several conflict zones: I was in the civil war regions in Georgia, the Gaza strip, illegally visited the Kaliningrad region when travel to the Soviet Union was still strictly prohibited for westerners, I've been in Iraq, Vietnam and in China, I've met Cuba dissidents. But to be arrested and yelled at and be rudely treated by police? For that I had to travel to Ferguson and St. Louis in the United States of America."

"The New York Times reporter James Risen, who faces jail over his refusal to reveal a source and testify against a former CIA agent accused of leaking secrets, has called President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation”.


US Economic Recovery: Part IXX


Barack W. Obushma

Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations were made by U.S. Government officials who claimed that a highly secretive relationship existed between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the radical Islamist militant organization Al-Qaeda from 1992 to 2003.

"The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no "collaborative relationship" between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration's main justifications for the war in Iraq."

"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.

The U.S. government's total debt in 2001 was $5.8 trillion

Today, ISIS holds a fair amount of territory in both Iraq and Syria — a mass roughly the size of Belgium. One ISIS map, from 2006, shows its ambitions stopping there — though interestingly overlapping a lot of oil fields:

"President Obama said on Saturday that the airstrikes and humanitarian assistance drops he ordered last week in Iraq could go on for months, preparing Americans for an extended military presence."

Current U.S. government's total debt is $17.7 trillion


US Economice Recovery: Part XVIII

After making fighting income inequality an early focus of his second term, President Obama has largely abandoned talk of the subject.
I Am The Black Mascot of Wall Street



US Economic Recovery: Part XVII

December 20, 2012:
"The U.S. Treasury’s plan to sell its remaining 32 percent stake in General Motors Co. is a leap forward for the Obama administration’s effort to end a $418 billion bailout program that in four years was transformed from a political albatross to a winning campaign issue."

May 21, 2014:
WASHINGTON — Members of President Obama's auto team that led the restructuring of General Motors five years ago said Wednesday they knew nothing at the time about an ignition-switch defect that has led the company to recall 2.6 million vehicles this year.

June 6, 2014:
"[A]nd the bottom line, and why this entire bailout farce is now beyond simply criminal and purely ridiculous: as of this moment, GM has recalled more than double the number of cars it sold in all of 2013, or, another way of putting it, more than the total number of cars it sold in 2013 AND 2012 combined.

Today. July 23, 2014:
General Motors Co on Wednesday announced six recalls covering 717,950 vehicles in the United States for varying reasons, although none were related to ignition switch issues.
Vehicles involved in the recalls announced Wednesday have been linked to two crashes and three injuries, but no deaths, GM said.



US Embassy in Berlin Last Night


Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed to fly at 33,000 feet, two thousand feet lower than the original flight plan and forced MH17 to skim closely to the prohibited air zone —
which is 32,000 feet, according to Europe’s aviation authority Eurocontrol

MH17 flight took a route 300 miles to the north of its usual path:
"But Mr Mark said: "I can only tell you as a commercial pilot myself that if we had been routed that way, with what's been going on in the Ukraine and the Russian border over the last few weeks and months, I would never have accepted that route.
"I went into the FlightAware system, which we all use these days to see where airplanes started and where they tracked, and I looked back at the last two weeks' worth of MH17 flights, which was this one. "And the flight today tracked very, very much further north into the Ukraine than the other previous flights did ... there were MH17 versions that were 300 miles south of where this one was."
Records of recent MH17 flights on the FlightAware appear to bear out Mr Mark's claim, with earlier flights significantly further south than the flight that crashed.

[Twitter feed of Spanish ATC supposedly debunked, but a military escort for a civilian flight diverted over a war zone isn't unusual or unheard of]
MOSCOW, July 18, /ITAR-TASS/. Two Ukrainian fighters were following the passenger Boeing-777 of Malaysian Airlines several minutes before the crash, Russia’s television Channel One said on Friday, citing a tweet made a Spanish air traffic controller of Kiev’s airport Borispol.
According to the Spanish air traffic controller, two Ukrainian fighters had been seen near the Malaysian jet three minutes before it disappeared from radars.
This information is confirmed by eyewitnesses in the Donetsk region who saw Ukrainian warplanes near the passenger jet. They say they heard sounds of powerful blasts and saw a Ukraine warplane shortly before the crash.

Casus belli. The fog of war.
Remember the Maine, the second Gulf of Tonkin incident, Sadaam is buying yellow cake to nuke the free world, and now MH17. The EU has been slow in following the US in tightening of sanctions against Russia. MH17 was used by the Ukrainian government as bait, a lure to be shot down by pro-Russian factions in the hopes of galvanizing Europe and increasing sanctions against Russia, increase weapon sales to the Ukraine and to win this latest round of the propaganda battle.






Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, referencing the Congressional Budget Office's long-term budget projections, told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today that under current policies the federal government’s deficits “will rise to unsustainable levels.”


"[B]ernanke told the National Bureau of Economic Research that because unemployment remains high and inflation is below the Fed’s target, the policies are still necessary. He also said the economy is being held back by higher taxes and federal spending cuts.
“If you put all of that together, you can only conclude that highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what is needed for the U.S. economy,” Bernanke said

"The Fed needs to drive down borrowing rates because the economy isn't growing fast enough to reduce high unemployment, Bernanke said in a speech to the Economic Club of Indiana. The unemployment rate is 8.1 percent.
Low rates could also help shrink the federal budget deficit by easing the government's borrowing costs and generating tax revenue from stronger growth, Bernanke argued.



Somewhere Between a Supplicant and a Yapping Dog

"[P]rior to her trip last week, Merkel and her staff insisted that one had to look at things pragmatically. No matter how loudly Berlin protested, the Americans would have ignored it because they know that Germany is dependent on them, Merkel advisors argue. "We were somewhere between being a supplicant and a yapping dog," says one Chancellery official. Now, Merkel would seem to have chosen her preferred role: as a supplicant."



VP Biden Heads to the Ukraine to Help Strengthen Their Economy

Vice President Biden during a campaign stop in Ohio in 2012

(Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will meet with Ukraine's acting president, Oleksander Turchinov, and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk during a visit to Kiev on Tuesday, the White House said on Sunday.
Biden will "discuss the international community's efforts to help stabilize and strengthen Ukraine's economy and to assist Ukraine in moving forward on constitutional reform, decentralization, anti-corruption efforts, and free and fair presidential elections on May 25th,"
Hide Your Women Ukraine



Amerika: Land of the Precariat

"In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a Proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence.

2009-2012: Uneven recovery from the Great Recession

From 2009 to 2012, average real income per family grew modestly by

6.0% (Table 1). Most of the gains happened in the last year when average

incomes grew by 4.6% from 2011 to 2012.

However, the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by

31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012.

Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years

of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated

from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from

2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while

bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to

full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.

Over time period noted above:



Minneapolis Fed Chief Warns Inflation is too Low

Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota warned Tuesday in a Rochester speech that said the central bank is not fulfilling its duties." Below-target inflation signals the "significant problem" in the U.S. economy, Kocherlakota said: "Resources are being wasted."

Beef prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. and aren't expected to come down any time soon.
"We've seen strong prices before but nothing this extreme," said Dennis Smith, a commodities broker for Archer Financial Services in Chicago. "This is really new territory."

The New Improved Ukraine

"[P]resident Barack Obama called the deal a “major step forward” that will “meet the needs of Ukrainian people over the long term.”
"Instead, the IMF recipe hinges on cuts to subsidies and social services and a floating exchange rate that will sink purchasing power even further. Kiev has already started to implement all of these measures. According to economists, the result will be growing poverty, reduced social benefits and an extended recession.
In the first “prior action” for the IMF loan, Ukraine’s state-controlled natural gas provider Naftogaz raised its subsidized gas prices for consumers by 50 percent starting May 1. (Gas and heating prices will increase by 120 percent over the next four years, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said last week.) According to Kiselyov, even more painful will be the accompanying 40 percent gas price hike for local heating companies. Starting on July 1, this will raise the average cost of heating a standard fifty-square-meter apartment from about 200 hryvnia to 280 hryvnia (from $18 to $25) per month. It’s a significant hit, considering that the average monthly wage in Ukraine is only about 3,150 hryvnia ($275), more than half of which typically goes toward food, Kiselyov said.


When Enforcement Goes to the Penthouse, Good Manners are Paramount

Comments by James Kidney. Former trial attorney for the SEC.

"[T]he SEC has become an agency that polices the broken windows on the street level and rarely goes to the penthouse floors,”
“On the rare occasions when enforcement does go to the penthouse, good manners are paramount. 
My superiors were more focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service than on bringing difficult cases. The agency’s penalties have become at most a tollbooth on the bankster turnpike.”
“I have had bosses, and bosses of my bosses, whose names we all know, who made little secret that they were here to punch their ticket. They mouthed serious regard for the mission of the commission, but their actions were tentative and fearful in many instances.”



[O]bama’s position is irrelevant, notes Professor Cohen. "While Washington is insisting that Russia invaded Crimea, the facts indicate that Russia was acting according the law."
“What’s happening inside Ukraine is scary and it can provoke a war, a horrible war."

 Stephen F. Cohen. Professor emeritus at New York University and Princeton University


Quality Issues?

"[C]harbonneau said Lowe’s quit buying Denver Global’s premier product – a $3,000 Raven hybrid gas-electric lawn tractor/generator- because of quality issues



December 26, 2008

via Google translate:
Under the new U.S. President Barack Obama in the Crimea will be implemented scenario of armed conflict.  "It is the American scenario, and under Obama the probability is much higher than under McCain,"
"It became clear when it was announced that what people will represent the Obama team. These are people whose professional registration - Wall Street. These people are engaged in a technology called" technologies of controlled chaos. "
"The first time the Ukrainians may be neglected by the United States, as Obama will be busy with internal problems the United States. But in the long term efforts of the U.S. Obama will resume his authority in Europe, and in the long term, the new U.S. administration will pay particular attention to Ukraine, which could be a counterbalance to Russia in the region, and in the future - even counterbalance the old Europe example of modern Poland. "
Obama Begins the Third World War in the Crimea



Cambodia's largest export industry is facing its biggest crisis, with garment workers and security forces engaged in a series of ongoing clashes. One recent protest left five people dead and scores injured.
The violence comes after weeks of political and labour unrest crippled Cambodia's garment industry.




The Wrong Nigga To Fuck wit

This video reportedly shows far-right members of the Ukrainian parliament beating up the CEO of one of the country's state TV channels and forcing him to resign his post.



"In recent years, because of the benign prevailing climate and attractive scenery, a substantial colony of retirees, including many from the United States and Canada, has established itself on the lake's shore, particularly in the town of Ajijic, Jalisco, located just west of the city of Chapala."

May 9, 2012
"Police on Wednesday morning recovered the bodies, some of them dismembered, of at least 10 people stuffed into two small SUVs near the highway connected Guadalajara with the American and Canadian expatriate havens on the shores of Lake Chapala."

December 2, 2013
An official in Mexico's federal government says the total number of bodies found in mass graves in western Mexico is 64.
He says authorities finished searching the graves Saturday. He says many of the remains had been bound or gagged and some showed signs of torture.
The official spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case
The graves are in La Barca, a town in a remote area by Lake Chapala

February 10, 2014
Edward Kular, 84, and Nina Discombe, 72, were found dead Sunday by their gardener in a pool of blood in the living room of their home, Mexican authorities said.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican officials have discovered hundreds of skeletal remains scattered on ranches in a stretch of towns along the U.S.-Mexico border as they carried out a wide search to locate missing people.
Coahuila state prosecutors' spokesman Jesus Carranza said Monday that the remains were burned and extremely hard to identify.News of the grisly finds came at the same time 12 bodies were unearthed from clandestine graves in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero and about two months after 67 bodies were found in western Mexico. Such discoveries remain common despite government claims that the number of killings has gone down in the past year.


Smedley D. Butler - A Man Ahead of His Time

From 1935:
"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
"It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labour before the nation's manhood can be conscripted. … Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our steel companies and our munitions makers and our ship-builders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get"



"Tomorrow, I will direct the Treasury to create a new way for working Americans to start their own retirement savings: MyRA. It's a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg. MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in."

Ben's buying less debt, who knows what China's doing. Sell US debt to the proles. Let the interest rate blow up on them.


Davos to Focus on Income Inequality

IMF’s Lagarde warns wealth gap is not a recipe for stability and sustainability

"A few magnums of Bollinger, some finger food and before long your Davos party bill is $90,000."