Sunday Reads: Cleaning up and being taken to the cleaners…

Good Sunday Morning!

Well…did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep this morning?  I love when we fall behind, springing ahead is just to difficult for night owls like myself.

BP is in the news again…trying to clean up their greasy image, and it looks like they aren’t doing a good job of it.  BP’s bid to clean up its act dealt blow by revelations in Russia case | Business | The Observer

BP‘s attempt to rebuild its public image after the worst oil spill in US history has been dealt a blow by court documents showing it was willing to do a major deal with Russian billionaires whom it regarded as “crooks and thugs” to gain access to the country’s vast oil wealth.

The damaging allegations have come to light at a critical time for BP, which faces a criminal investigation by the US justice department while preparing to fight a massive legal case in New Orleans over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

North American rival Norex Petroleum is seeking $1bn damages in its case at the New York supreme court as it argues that BP and its Russian business partner, TNK, have benefited from oil assets that were seized in the late 1990s. Russia is important to BP – its joint-venture, TNK-BP, produces a quarter of its oil. At the heart of the dispute is the alleged misappropriation of the Yugraneft oilfield in Siberia, which Norex claims has generated $1bn in oil revenues in the past decade.

BP had a deal with Tyumen Oil (TNK), which was funded by a consortium, Alpha Access Renova (AAR), made up of the four richest businessmen in Russia.

A BP internal briefing, obtained by Norex and published through the New York court procedure, says: “Sources close to TNK believe [that the] local oil industry [has] been infested with criminal elements long before Alfa took over TNK.”

Some kind of organized criminal activity behind all this? Nah…/snark.

When BP formally teamed up with TNK, it asked for a clause to be written into the contract that would remove it from any liability in the event of a successful action by Norex. The Canadian company believes this is a “smoking gun”, as it says it shows BP realised that the Yugraneft field could resurface as an issue. Norex’s chairman, Alex Rotzang, said BP made a “deal with the devil” by striking the TNK deal in 2003.

An official spokesman for AAR declined to comment on the affair, while BP argued that there was “no merit” in the Norex suit and said it had moved to have it dismissed.

“The allegations made by Norex all involve conduct that predates the formation of TNK-BP and had nothing to do with BP,” said a spokesman from the oil company’s London head office. He went on to rubbish the idea of a “smoking gun” and said that the special clause was “to protect itself against exactly the kind of meritless claims Norex is bringing”.

The article ends by discussing the difficult time BP has had in cleaning up its reputation since the Gulf Macondo disaster. (Of course, as Dakinikat has posted time and time again, they haven’t done a good job of cleaning up the spill either.) Even with the Macondo well still leaking in the Gulf, BP has been approved by the Obama Administration for another deep water well in the Gulf of Mexico.

As if the main stream media not reporting the real story on the various Occupy protest throughout the nation was bad enough, now we have yet another rich luxury car running down Occupy protesters. This time in DC: Exclusive Video: #OccupyDC Protesters Hit by Driver…Who Police Let Go | Crooks and Liars

…the Occupiers chanted and “occupied” most exits while some of the attendees were at pre-scheduled free screening of Atlas Shugged. (No joke, inside they have a booth set up where you can literally put on a Reagan mask and have your picture taken. If this isn’t a metaphor for how the Right’s odd relationship with a President who tripled the national debt and yet still raised taxes almost every year he was in office – I don’t know what is.)

The worst thing to happen to the Koch-funded event attendees last night was that they had to get chanted at while walking a block to catch a cab or use the Metro inside the convention center. “If we made some rich guys use the Metro tonight – we won!” I overheard an Occupier say.

The opposite corner from where I was standing – a full block away – a silver Lexus sedan hit three protesters in the street. The reports were that he actually sped up “like he was playing chicken” according to eye witnesses. The video above is when the police let the driver go. Then the crowd became angry at the police. You can hear an Officer Walsh on the tape saying, “They shouldn’t have been in the street.” The Metro Police have said they released the driver because he had a green light. This contradicts the report or tweet from DC Councilman Tommy Wells who claimed the driver was apprehended blocks away and was in custody.

Okay, so there are some discrepancies in the story when it comes to whether the driver was in police custody…but remember, this is the second time a car, and let’s be honest…a luxury car, has run over protesters. The incident in Oakland involved a Mercedes…and that driver was also let go by the police, even when he tried to “drive away” from the scene of the “accident. “As far as the OccupyDC plow down…

The injuries are described by the Washington Post as “non-life threatening” but they were still taken away by ambulances. I’m not familiar with DC laws – but I’ve always been under the impression that when pedestrians are in the street they automatically have the right-of-way. I can understand the frustration of the demonstrators which led to at least two arrests last night.

Yeah, interesting…pedestrians vs. two tons of metallic 1% on wheels…guess we see just what percent matters to the cops.

Let’s move on to a new Wall Street investing trend that may be a mini follow-up to all those crappy bundled mortgages that hit the fan back in 2008.  ‘Buy Here Pay Here’ Auto Companies Assault Working Poor; Setting Up Another Economic Crisis | Crooks and Liars

Okay, here is the story, a reader sent an email to Kenneth Quinnell, one of the writers at C&L, describing a horrible experience with a vehicle repossession…that never should have happened in the first place. You can read the letter at that link above. Then Quinnell did some digging and found out the old “Buy Here Pay Here” car lots are getting lots of new investors…we are talking big banks, Toronto Dominion big…Check it out:

The details are even more disturbing. The wife’s illness included a brain tumor and the purpose of the extension was to deal with the illness, not out of any irresponsibility. On top of that, the account was not in default and the repo man was belligerent and entered locked and gated property without permission. Luckily — and no thanks to Chrysler — the reader’s wife is still alive and still fighting her illness

Others report similar experiences with cars financed through Chrysler Financial. Chrysler Financial was a recipient of a $1.5 billion bailout via the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2009. In 2010, Chrysler Financial was bought out and their name was changed to TD Auto Finance. It isn’t clear if Chrysler Financial/TD Auto Finance is what is known as a “Buy Here Pay Here” company, but their repossession practices are in line with that emerging industry.

He goes on to cite a series of articles at the LA Times that are looking into the fast growing scheme. (Scheme is my word for this crap.)

Wall Street is investing heavily in the profitable industry:

Investor money is pouring into the industry from several sources, helping Buy Here Pay Here dealers expand their reach and raise their profile.

In addition to private equity firms such as Altamont, several payday lending chains are moving into Buy Here Pay Here and have acquired dealerships.

Stock investors are snatching up shares in Buy Here Pay Here chains and other publicly traded companies in the business. Two of the biggest, America’s Car-Mart Inc. and Credit Acceptance Corp., have seen big gains in their share prices this year, outpacing the market.

Buy Here Pay Here is also being boosted by one of the sophisticated financial strategies that drove the nation’s recent housing boom and bust: securitization.

Loans on decade-old clunkers are being bundled into securities, just as subprime mortgages were a few years ago. In the last two years, investors have bought more than $15 billion in subprime auto securities.

Although they’re backed mainly by installment contracts signed by people who can’t even qualify for a credit card, most of these bonds have been rated investment grade. Many have received the highest rating: AAA.

That’s because rating firms believe that with tens of thousands of loans lumped together, the securities are safe even if some of the loans prove worthless.

Some analysts worry that the rush to securitization could lead to careless lending by dealers eager to sell more loans, as happened with many mortgage-backed bonds.

“We think that investing in such companies is a ticking time bomb,” said Joe Keefe, chief executive of Pax World Management, which steers its investments into businesses it deems socially and environmentally responsible. “It has ethical as well as systemic risk implications.”

Wow, you know, Toronto Dominion, or TDBank is the largest bank in Canada… TD Auto Finance is one of their many companies, or divisions. My husband used to work for TDWaterhouse before it became TDAmeritrade…they seem to have their fingers in all sorts of pies.

I just find it interesting that when it comes to the greedy Banksters, taking people’s homes illegally just wasn’t enough for them.

Yet another reason for the Occupy movement to press on and fight for the 99%.

Just a few more links for you all this morning, Cuba is now prepared to Allow Buying and Selling of Property  (Uh…with a few restrictions.)

Cuba announced a new property law Thursday that promises to allow citizens and permanent residents to buy and sell real estate — the most significant market-oriented change yet approved by the government of Raúl Castro, and one that will probably reshape Cuba’s cities and conceptions of class.

The new rules go into effect on Nov. 10, according to Cuba’s state-run newspaper, and while some of the fine print is still being written, the law published on Thursday amounts to a major break from decades of socialist housing. For the first time since the early days of the revolution, buyers and sellers will be allowed to set home prices and move when they want. Transactions of various kinds, including sales, trades and gifts to relatives by Cubans who are emigrating, will no longer be subject to government approval, the new law says.

“To say that it’s huge is an understatement,” said Pedro Freyre, an expert in Cuban-American legal relations who teaches at Columbia Law School. “This is the foundation, this is how you build capitalism, by allowing the free trade of property.”

Cuban officials would disagree; they argue that they are carefully protecting socialism as they move toward economic reform, and the new law includes some provisions that seem aimed at controlling both speculation and the concentration of wealth. Owners will be limited to two homes (a residence and a vacation property) and financing must go through Cuba’s Central Bank, which will charge fees, which have not been determined. And a tax of 8 percent will be split by the buyer and seller.

Cuban Economist are hoping this new property law will jumpstart the island’s economy. Spurring renovations and in turn…jobs. Many Cubans are leery about the new law, and are worried it may leave them homeless.

Yet on the other hand, there are also significant social concerns. Mario Coyula, Havana’s director of urbanism and architecture in the 1970s and ’80s, said that wide-scale buying and selling would lead to a “huge rearrangement” in Havana and other cities as the wealthy move to better areas. He and others said it would inevitably exacerbate class conflict.

And because the island has a shortage of housing — with many families and even divorced couples continuing to live together for lack of a better option — critics say that any displacement could raise the prospect of homelessness. For example, if two families are sharing a home and one holds what currently amounts to Cuban title with limited rights, the new law says that the titleholder can sell and the tenant family will eventually have to move.

There are a lot of unknowns that come with property ownership in Cuba, it is going to be something to watch as the laws take hold. I’ll keep you posted on this.

From Minx’s Missing Link File:  Many of you know that I am a fiber artist, being a weaver and a spinner gives me a “connection” to a group of insects that also spin and weave…the spider. Here is one little spider that spins up a huge web, it is so cool: Tiny Spider Spins World’s Largest Spider Web | Geekosystem

While it may not be the biggest spider in the forests of Madagascar, the Darwin’s bark spider — so named as it was described 150 years after the publication of The Origins of Species — has a pretty big claim to fame. According to researchers, the 18mm spiders not only have the toughest thread, but use it to spin webs some 75 feet wide. This quite easily makes them the creators of the largest spider webs in the world. The process by which the tiny weavers go about their work is surprisingly straightforward.

The spider finds itself a river, and then a branch or a bush on the river’s bank. From there, it lets out a line of thread that is blown in the wind — hopefully across the river. Once it lands an anchor on the opposite bank, the spider reinforces this lengthy line of thread and begins spinning an orb web over the river itself.

Though scientists have now cracked how the webs are built, they still aren’t sure why the webs are built. During their observations, scientists wondered if perhaps the massive webs were for the catching of massive prey. But when nothing larger than a beetle or dragonfly materialized in the web, they decided to employ some experimental biology and simply threw larger prey at the web to see what would happen. Despite their highly scientific chucking, frogs and larger insects escaped the web unscathed.

I keep telling myself that my next tattoo is going to be a spider, spinning up a little nest of eggs…a mama spider.

Mama spider, with a big booty too!

Okay, I’m getting a bit loopy, let’s take a look at the last two links for you today.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  If anyone has ever watched wild birds hunt or work together to get food, you know that these birds are really clever creatures.  BBC Nature – Clever Eurasian jays plan for the future

Experiments with Eurasian jays have shown that the birds store food that they will want in the future – “planning” for their impending needs.

The study revealed that birds would stash more of the foods that they knew would be unavailable to them on forthcoming foraging trips.

Jays are not the first birds to show that they might have the capacity for what is known as “mental time travel”.

But previous claims that birds “plan” in this way have been controversial.

The findings are published in the journal Biology Letters.

Eurasian jay (c)

To find out if the jays thought about the future, the scientists exploited the birds’ habit of hiding or “caching” food for later.

The article details the studies results, fascinating.

Lastly, this article from the NY Times. I love this story about the sheep…check it out.

Sheep Lawn Mowers, and Other Go-Getters –

Randy Harris for The New York Times

In Ohio, Eddie Miller and two of his Jacob sheep, Panda and Nerd, walk to their truck after a mowing job. Customers pay $1 per sheep per day.

So Miller ties his sheep up in someone’s yard and they eat the grass and weeds.

IN this verdant lawn-filled college town, most people keep their lawn mowers tuned up by oiling the motor and sharpening the blades. Eddie Miller keeps his in shape with salt licks and shearing scissors.

Mr. Miller, 23, is the founder of Heritage Lawn Mowing, a company that rents out sheep — yes, sheep — as a landscaping aid. For a small fee, Mr. Miller, whose official job title is “shepherd,” brings his ovine squad to the yards of area homeowners, where the sheep spend anywhere from three hours to several days grazing on grass, weeds and dandelions.

The results, he said, are a win-win: the sheep eat free, saving him hundreds of dollars a month in food costs, and his clients get a freshly cut lawn, with none of the carbon emissions of a conventional gas-powered mower. (There are, of course, other emissions, which Mr. Miller said make for “all-natural fertilizer.”)

That just makes me smile…gotta love the sheep!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the reads this morning. For the next two weeks the SDB Evening News Reads will be posted between 6:30pm and 7:30pm EST. I’ll be busy painting and getting our new hovel in shape during the day, so its easier to post later in the day.

What are you all doing today? Catch ya later in the comments.

29 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Cleaning up and being taken to the cleaners…”

    • janicen says:

      Central Virginia, Oklahoma, WTF? Is there anyone who doubts that the practice of fracking is wreaking havoc on the environment?

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    I guess the Vatican isn’t the only one covering up sex abuse these days: If Jerry Sandusky allegations are true, Penn State and Joe Paterno deserve part of the blame – The Washington Post

    After what allegedly happened to “Victim 2,” a boy estimated to be 10 years old, in the same room where Penn State football players shower, it’s near impossible to keep reading the grand jury’s report. By “Victim 8,” numbness turns to anger.

    You want to scream at the traumatized graduate assistant coach in 2002 and janitor in 2000 who saw and didn’t stop it, according to the report released by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. You want to grab hold of and shake those who reported the crime only to their superiors, washed their hands of responsibility and then let it go, treating a kid’s life as if it were a football that slipped through their hands.

    Most of all, you want to have an audience with one of sports’ most endearing icons, Joe Paterno, Happy Valley’s homespun saint, and ask Joe Pa, repeatedly, “While you were regaling everyone with sappy tales about meeting your wife 50 years ago over ice cream at the local creamery in State College, Pa., did you have any idea what your longtime defensive coordinator was doing in the company of young boys?”

    That WaPo article is disturbing as it details some of the assaults.

    Paterno wasn’t charged, but if Sandusky is guilty, Paterno would be guilty — just as Penn State’s athletic director and a university vice president, who were charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse on Saturday, would be guilty.

    They would all be party to a worse crime than any crooked, pay-for-play booster at Miami, Ohio State or even SMU ever committed: guilty of protecting a program before a child.

    You can’t read the 23-page grand jury report and come to any other conclusion; Penn State football and its pristine reputation apparently superseded the alleged sexual assault of a young boy — perhaps as many as eight young boys — over 15 years by Sandusky.

    Joe Pa knew, if the charges are true.

    They all knew.

    And they never told police.

    Sandusky used a foundation he set up for kids to get at these boys: Child sex abuse charges rock Penn State – St. Petersburg Times

    An explosive sex abuse scandal and possible coverup rocked “Happy Valley” on Saturday when former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, once considered Joe Paterno’s heir apparent, was charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.

    Among the allegations was a 2002 incident in which a graduate assistant for the team said he saw Sandusky assault a boy in the shower at the Nittany Lions’ practice center.

    Sandusky retired in 1999 but continued to use the school’s facilities for his work with The Second Mile, a foundation he established to help at-risk kids.

    Penn State President issued a statement, bet you can guess on its contents.

    Penn State prez offers unconditional support to AD | CollegeFootballTalk

    Despite the damning accusations contained in the grand jury’s indictment — which can be read in its entirety HERE if you feel like making yourself sick to your stomach — Spanier is unequivocal in his support of Curley and Schultz.

    The allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly. Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance.

    With regard to the other presentments, I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support. I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.

    Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am confident the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately.

    Spanier’s name appears in the grand jury’s indictment of Sandusky, with it being determined that the president signed off on the course of action taken by Curley and Schultz in 2002 when they became aware of an alleged sexual encounter involving Sandusky and a minor male — in a shower of the school’s football building. The course of action taken by the two administrators did not involve alerting authorities to the alleged sexual encounter that was witnessed by a football grad assistant. Instead, Curley and Schultz told Sandusky that he was not to bring any more children from Second Mile — Sandusky’s charity — into the football building.

    Take a look at the Foundations website…disgusting!

    Since 1977, The Second Mile has followed the path of its founder, Jerry Sandusky, to help Pennsylvania’s children achieve their potential as individuals and community members by providing them with opportunities to develop self-esteem.

    Develop self-esteem by sexually assaulting them in the shower…

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      From the St. Pete Times link:

      Penn State president Graham Spanier called the allegations against Sandusky “troubling” but added that Curley and Schultz had his unconditional support.

      He predicted they will be exonerated.

      “Troubling” WTF?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I read about that last night. It’s horrible. But college sports brings in big money. Children are disposable in comparison in that world.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Just a couple more links to add:


    Eliot Spitzer on what OWS should do now. His is the wisest, most bullshit-free list of desiderata yet offered. Nothing here about being kind to animals or respecting mother nature or marijuana legalization or gay marriage or ending the federal reserve. This isn’t a laundry list; Spitzer gives us ECONOMICS ECONOMICS ECONOMICS. (Also publicity, publicity, publicity, which is, alas, a necessary part of the deal.)

    Schedule OWS rallies and events at the various State of the State addresses delivered by governors in the first week of the new year. Use the fact that most state media congregate to hear what is usually a rather plebian speech. Create another story for them to cover that day from the capitol.

    Call for a full rollback of the Bush tax cuts for all those above $1 million in annual income.

    Start a petition drive in every state demanding that the state municipal governments stop using Goldman Sachs for advice and underwriting until Goldman Sachs returns the $12.9 billion dollars it received, from the taxpayers, as a part of the AIG bailout.

    Better idea: Let’s not call for Goldman disinvestment as part of a we-want-our-money-back deal. That’s too limiting. Let’s call for Goldman disinvestment for the same reason a previous generation called for disinvestment from South Africa. Evil is evil.

    A roundup of Occupy protests –

    What started as the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York in September has spread across major cities worldwide as a call to action against unequal distribution of wealth.

    Here is a roundup of some of Saturday’s developments…

    Go to the CNN link for the arrest made after midnight last night.

    And lastly: Did a Social Security story go too far? – The Washington Post

    If I ever had doubts that Social Security is the proverbial third rail of American politics, they were dispelled this week by readers who criticized a front-page story last Sunday on the subject by Post economic policy reporter Lori Montgomery.


    • foxyladi14 says:

      excellent comment. 🙂

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Stand up and cheer for Eliot Spitzer. Yes, I know he mortally wounded himself with his sexual indiscretions, lost his opportunity to be a true political mover and shaker. But his voice and clear-sighted observations on the criminal financial web that has spread across the country, the world was not diminished.

      Btw, I read the first chapter of Greg Palast’s “Vulture’s Picnic.” Palast is the reporter who exposed the Goldman Sachs’ attack on the Poor People’s Credit Union in Lower Manhatten. I wrote to the Democracy Now coverage of that expose last week. Palast has a Hunter Thompson, gonzo journalism delivery. So, you have to prepare yourself for that. But it’s quite clear that from Palast’s viewpoint all the disasters we’ve witnessed over the last decade + are interconnected, a huge malicious web of corporate greed and as Spitzer indicates . . . evil.

      I’ve already decided this will be my Thanksgiving holiday read. And for e-readers, the book is available for Kindle use.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    That spider web is amazing!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I found this at Cannonfire. A report on the leadership (apparently they do have leaders) of OWS. It’s a little troubling, hope they can work things out.

  5. dm says:

    I always taught my kids to not play in traffic…and why are they bothering the Koch Brothers…last time I checked, it was a dude named Obama in the WH…I’ve read many reports on this incident, about how they held up a bus for over an hour because they wouldn’t move…what exactly are they trying to prove…if I were a passenger on that bus, I wouldn’t have been impressed. It’s one thing to protest…it’s another thing to endanger lives…I just don’t get it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      What are they trying to prove? They’re trying to get the government to wake up and do something about the worst economic inequality in U.S. history.

      Why are they “bothering” the Koch brothers? Are you joking?

      • ralphb says:

        Those were two questions that no serious informed person could ever ask with a straight face. But I doubt it was a joke, more like a talking point.;

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Why are they “bothering” the Koch brothers? Are you joking?

        BB, I think the last sentence in dm’s comment should answer that…

        …I just don’t get it.

        Whether it is a blatant denial, complete oblivion, or stupidity that brings about this kind of attitude I don’t know, but it is this kind of thought process that is giving Herman Cain those high approval numbers. And not just the Cain poll and support numbers, it is also the kind of stuff that brings about Fox News, 53%ers, Tea Parties and Koch Brothers. Among the “regular” people who do not “get it” there is complete acceptance in whatever the 1% tells them. Same goes for the folks who still believe that all the Planned Parenthood clinics being held to the same “standards” as big hospitals is about concern for the woman…it is Bull Shit.

        The ones running the show for the Tea Party and 1% and Fox News and Americans for Prosperity and all the other PACs and campaign money supporters and big banks and Wall St. (I got carried away, but you get the point.) Anyway… the ones who are pulling the strings are not dumb. They are very familiar with the unquestionable “faith” of the people they target. Just like the “revival preachers” their main concern is not your fellow man, it is what you can stick in your pocket. (Manipulation is key.)

        Nothing can sway the blind faithful…and that can also be said for the other side too…those like Beltway Bob who have the same tendencies…only theirs comes from a different part of their intellectual makeup. As you discussed in your post last night, about Klein’s enabler like devoted fetish towards Obama…(enabler like devoted fetish being my words) their oblivion comes from a different source. But the same is true about both, nothing can change there opinion.

        • dakinikat says:

          I’ve been completely amazed at the number of Hillary supporters and others that have basically put their brains on hold out of blind hatred of Obama. I have spent the last two years watching people who said they were liberals basically deny the existence of both racism and sexism in the world due to this blind hatred. These are the same people that said they were upset by the misogyny and sexism aimed at Hillary Clinton. Well, it appears to be a very narrow definition of intolerance of injustices to me. I’ve gotten to the point where I think there was a huge segment of those folks that are so blinded by what went on in 2008 that they are basically playing out right wing wet dreams. I’ve seen them support tea party protestors brandishing some of the most racist and antisemitic signs I’ve ever seen and justify bootstomping women. They’ve completely bought into the right wing propaganda machine that the Occupy movement supports Obama to the point that they are gleeful when women are raped and assaulted and when young adults are run over like something right out of Bonfire of the Vanities because they think it some how reflects on people that might support Obama. It’s insane! It’s beginning to make me rethink the memes about republican ratfuckers and racists in the ranks while what I thought we were protesting were legitimate complaints of sexism and political system gaming. I can’t explain how these people can now support obviously misogynist candidates (like Donald Trump or Herman Cain) and women that work against women. It’s awful and I can’t imagine Hillary or any one close to her approving blind hatred driving the spewing of right wing lies–especially after all the right wing noise machine like the Kochs did to the Clintons–or supporting this. I think Obama is one weak ass president who is a lousy leader but I’m not going to buy into the right wing noise machines lies because anger has overtaken my brain. After I saw a bunch of what I thought were normal people grab on to that airhead opportunist Palin I thought I’d see the rock bottom. Dismissing complaints of sexual harassment because it might benefit Obama or supporting Koch Brothers and Fox News lies because it’s aimed at Obama is just plain insane. Buddhists believe that anger is like a poison that eventually kills you and everything you do. Seeing women that call themselves women friendly turn on women who actually complained about sexual harassment, got a settlement, and are backed up by witnesses that have come forward that are even republican operatives is sad, sad, sad. It’s obvious that the Occupy movement wants to return our country to when it provided opportunity for all not wealth and power for a few. I am so thankful we pulled away from all of that and went independent last year. I’m going to continue to criticize Obama when it’s the right thing to do not out of some festering, blind hatred. There is none so blind as those who will not see.

          • dakinikat says:

            Fred Koch was a founder of the John Birch Society that tried to say Eisenhower was a communist. The Kochs are greedy right wing nuts. They should be forced to give up all their leases to federal land and all the other benefits they get from the federal government. If they hate the government so much, then why do they take so much money from it?

      • Peggy Sue says:

        Why are they bothering with the Koch Brothers?

        The whole idea of this movement is to shake the pillars of commerce and government, particularly those pillars that pretend that a corporatocacy has anything to do with democracy when, in fact, the corporate takeover of the country is in direct opposition to the very essence of a Democratic Republic. People like the Koch brothers have bought our legislative process. Wall St. itself has a strangle hold on the WH and directs the conversation through the corridors of power. Lobbyists have swarmed all over the present Super Committee attempting to buy influence and direct the vote, which ultimately will have enormous effects on all Americans.

        We, the American public, are not being represented. Our votes, our voices are drowned in the swamp of big money. The Koch brothers are right in the middle of this mess. This didn’t happen overnight. Obama’s Administration wasn’t the first to usher this disaster to the party. But it’s reached a critical mass now.

        That’s why OWS is bothering.

      • ralphb says:

        Dak, I saw that a lot later than you but I’m glad it finally soaked into my own brain. I wonder now if it was always more about business than anything else.

        • dakinikat says:

          I knew you were an old fashioned democrat who really had the values straight. Some of us had the insider track to what was going on and couldn’t stop it. I just got wound up being a focus of a lot of the anger for a time. I knew that once some of us weren’t running interference that the entire thing would shake out. I’m not throwing my values and good judgement out the window for hatred of one stupid politician. They either are right wingers to start out with or deranged from anger. I’m not playing either game because I’m not a masochist.

  6. northwestrain says:

    That spider web is a thing of beauty!

    Something in common — fiber artist. I’ve switched to a drop and/or supported spindle for very fine yarn.

    The cops/police in this country have a long history of supporting the very rich. Back in the early days of union organizing — cops were used to break up unions.

    Today the cops are trained under military rules — and everyone except for other cops are the enemy. Back when I was in college — college students were the enemy and cops threatened to shoot us for simply trying to attend classes.

    There may be a few good cops out there — but the longer they remain cops the more corrupt they become.

    And the Oakland cops are still rioting and beating up civilians — what it is with that pi**-ant city? I speak as someone who used to live next door to Oakland — it might have cleaned up a bit over the years but it is still a violent and dirty place.

  7. foxyladi14 says:

    my internal clock woke me up early 😆

  8. ralphb says:

    The New York Times Still Has Not Heard About the Recession

    Jeez, I really like Dean Baker.

    It is sometimes hard to get news about the economy over in the middle of New York City. Communications ain’t what they used to be. That is what readers might conclude from reading David Leonhardt’s piece telling us that our big problem is that the United States and governments in Europe have promised too much to their populations.

    Leonhardt tells us:

    “On the most basic level, affluent countries are facing sharply increasing claims on their resources even as those resources are growing less quickly than they once were.

    The increasing claims come from the aging of the population, while the slowing growth of available resources comes from a slowdown of economic expansion over the last generation.”

    David Leonhardt is an idiot!\

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Yup. That’s the spin that the monied interests want the populace to swallow hook, line and sinker. They can escape accountability by shifting the fault to the population: the seniors, the poor, the sick, the public worker, etc. Do we have to cut costs, fat and repetitive bureaucracy? No question. But we also need to point fingers and eliminate the criminal infestation of bloated financial firms, stop corporate malfeasance and greed and turn our attention to the future where everyone–bottom, middle, and top–actually have equal opportunity and voice.

      Btw, I picked up an amazing term last night surfing the web and reading about the GOP mindset. It actually shocked me at a time when I thought I was beyond shock:

      The treachery of compassion.

      I thought Glenn Beck had absurdity tied up when he said ’empathy’ was an evil word. But this takes the cake.