Monthly Archives: September 2007

Ahmadinejad Wins

From Sam Sedaei:

He knew that the city was home to over two million Jews, and that he would face massive protests. But that is precisely the martyr-like image that he was intending to create.

The president of Columbia’s criticisms of Ahmadinejad’s crimes before his speech was very constructive. But Bollinger did the cause of free speech and America’s image in the Middle East a great deal of disservice when he went on for almost 19 minutes name-calling Ahmadinejad before allowing him to speak and not really thanking him for accepting Columbia’s invitation to speak.

By keeping the focus on international issues, Columbia gave him an easy way to turn the conversation around time and again and criticize American policy.

Many Iranians hoped that Columbia would take this opportunity to keep the focus of questions on Iran’s brutal domestic policies. And yet, of the five or six questions that were asked, astonishingly, only one related to human rights

DoD Analyst Behind Pentagon Papers: ‘A Coup Has Occured’

Daniel Ellsberg:

Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first.

38% of FBI Watch List is Inaccurate

Just on CNN. The FBI’s terrorist watch list has 300,000 entries with 15,000 citizens. They get 100 calls a day and 65% of those are positive IDs. What they don’t say is what they are being identified for. The first audit of the system has been released – after how many years?

What I wonder is if this is the big list or does Homeland Security have a different list…?

Also absolutely no coverage of how it is nearly impossible to get yourself off the list. Or examples where IDs have led to abuse or harm to innocent civilians.

But as they tell me on CNN, ‘Even one mistake can mean lost lives.’


Glen Greenwald on Worthless Democrats

I love Glen. I want to be Glen. I wish I was as smart and awesome as Glen. He is close to reaching my heroes list:

The right-wing Republicans in Congress have an affinity with their base and share the same basic values. By very stark contrast, most (though certainly not all) Democrats in Congress — particularly the most influential and longest-serving ones in the Senate like [Dianne] Feinstein — have contempt for their base and share virtually none of their values.

Paul Krugman on the 4 Periods of Recent US Economic History

Kruggy has a new blog:

In fact, let me start this blog off with a chart that’s central to how I think about the big picture, the underlying story of what’s really going on in this country. The chart shows the share of the richest 10 percent of the American population in total income – an indicator that closely tracks many other measures of economic inequality – over the past 90 years, as estimated by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez. I’ve added labels indicating four key periods. These are: [continue reading]

Ayn Rand and the Fortune 500

Randroids abound:

[Atlas Shrugged] book attracted a coterie of fans, some of them top corporate executives, who dared not speak of its impact except in private. “I know from talking to a lot of Fortune 500 C.E.O.’s that ‘Atlas Shrugged’ has had a significant effect on their business decisions, even if they don’t agree with all of Ayn Rand’s ideas,” said John A. Allison, the chief executive of BB&T, one of the largest banks in the United States. One of Rand’s most famous devotees is Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, … Mr. Greenspan met Rand when he was 25 and working as an economic forecaster. She was already renowned as the author of “The Fountainhead,” a novel about an architect true to his principles. Mr. Greenspan had married a member of Rand’s inner circle, known as the Collective, that met every Saturday night in her New York apartment.

Belgium Ventures Towards Schism

From the NYT:

Radical Flemish separatists like Mr. Dewinter want to slice the country horizontally along ethnic and economic lines: to the north, their beloved Flanders — where Dutch (known locally as Flemish) is spoken and money is increasingly made — and to the south, French-speaking Wallonia, where a kind of provincial snobbery was once polished to a fine sheen and where today old factories dominate the gray landscape.

A Brief History of the Republican Majority

Jonathan Chait with an excerpt of his book The Big Con:

I have this problem. Whenever I try to explain what’s happening in American politics-I mean, what’s really happening-I wind up sounding a bit like an unhinged conspiracy theorist. … So please give let me a chance to explain myself when I tell you the following: American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists, some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane.

Why Rent? Median Incomes Don’t Support Median Home Prices

From E-Finance Directory:

Now is perhaps the best time in US history to be a renter. You are far better off paying high rents for the next few years than buying a home and watching your equity disappear while the market takes a freefall. The home prices that we are seeing today are artificial and not sustainable. This is because home prices have deviated from the fundamental formula that has always ruled the real estate market. Nationally, median home prices increased by nearly 50 percent in the last decade. The median income, on the other hand, has gone up 10 percent in the last ten years–a very meager increase compared to the change in home prices.

Pope to Condi Rice: ‘Suck It’

Everybody’s favorite Nazi-pope told everybody’s favorite frustrated pianist:

Pope Benedict XVI refused a meeting request from Condoleezza Rice to meet this past August and discuss issues pertaining to Iraq and the Middle East in general. The first reason is that back in March 2003 — just before the Iraq war began — Rice met with a special papal envoy from Rome and told them that the Bush administration didn’t care about the views of the late Pope John Paul II on the immorality of its planned military actions in Iraq.