Posted: March 28, 2013 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: Barack Obama, morning reads, Republican politics, SCOTUS, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, Vagina | Tags: Airline horrors, airport weigh-ins, Breitbart, capital controls, Charles Pierce, Chief Justice John Roberts, Cyprus crisis, DOMA, Joan Walsh, journalistic ethics, marriage equality, Matthew Boyle, Racism, Rep. Steve King, Sasha and Malia Obama, Simon Johnson, Too big to fail banks |
Banks reopen in Cyprus and media jostle to get the best view – posted by Joe Parkinson (@JoeWSJ)
The banks have opened in Cyprus with controls on how much depositors can withdraw.
Joe Weisenthal posted updates at his Business Insider blog:
At 6:00 AM ET, banks in Cyprus reopened their doors for the first time since March 16.
Wall Street Journal’s Joe Parkinson reports that only eight people are being allowed in at a time at one Bank of Cyprus branch.
However, the crowds have been orderly.
Everyone is wondering whether there will be a huge run on the banks.
So far? Not yet.
This is likely due to a set of capital controls that have been imposed on the banks. Specifically, Cypriot depositors cannot withdraw more than 300 euros per day from any one bank. Also, checks cannot be cashed.
These controls will be in place for seven days.
See more Twitter updates and photos at the link. International Business Times has some details about the capital controls that are supposed to prevent bank runs. In addition to the withdrawal limit, depositors can’t cash checks unless they come from another country.
In the meantime, non-cash payments or money transfers are banned unless they are related to a number of conditions.
These conditions include commercial transactions, payroll, living expenses and tuition fees.
If commercials transactions are less than €5,000, there are no restrictions, but payments above this amount and up to €200,000 will be subject to a 24-hour decision making process, in order to determine whether the liquidity of the bank would be able to incur such a withdrawal.
Transfers for paying employees will also still be allowed but relevant documents would have to be presented in order to prove the money is being used to pay staff.
Transactions on credit or debit cards are also capped at €5,000 euros per month.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some large depositors seemingly had advance knowledge of what was going to happen in Cyprus and moved their money out of the country weeks before the crisis.
The chairman of the Committee for Institutions in the Cypriot Parliament, Deputy Dimitris Syllouris, said he had submitted a letter to the Central Bank of Cyprus demanding an investigation into account holders who moved large sums of cash out of the country in the weeks ahead of Cyprus’s chaotic bailout talks…
He said he had received information about individuals and businesses moving money out of Cyprus weeks ahead of the bailout deal—a move that wouldn’t be illegal but could imply that some depositors had warning that negotiations for a bailout could, for the first time in the financial crisis that has rattled the euro zone, take a cut out of regular bank deposits.
Asked whether his suspicions focused on one specific group of depositors, he said “politicians, all sorts of people, and bankers themselves are no better.”
Outflows from Cyprus were increasing from moderate levels from January until March 15, the officials said. Last week—especially after March 19, when the Cypriot Parliament rejected the first bailout deal that would have imposed a one-time levy on large deposits—the outflows under the central bank’s exemptions went up significantly, they said.
Several hundred million euros, but less than a billion euros, left the country despite the bank closures, according to one official.
At Bloomberg, Clive Crook says Cyprus’ Plan B is Still a Disaster.
The new deal has removed the craziest part of the agreement reached March 16 — the plan to default on deposit insurance. Let’s not dwell any further on that insanity. But the new plan still has features that, seen in any other context, would surely arouse surprise.
For instance, the so-called troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund wanted to be sure that the new debt Cyprus is about to take on will be sustainable — meaning, presumably, that Cyprus will be able to repay it. Yet, by writing down high- value deposits, the revised plan will also cause a sudden contraction of the Cypriot banking system, and thus of the whole Cypriot economy, which depends on banking to an unusual degree.
He concludes that,
Bailout fatigue says: “The Cypriots got themselves into this mess, and they should get themselves out. We’ll lend them a bit more, but only if we’re sure they’ll pay us back.” Cyprus didn’t get itself into this mess. It joined the euro system in 2008 with low public debt and a clean bill of health from EU governments (back then, not a word was said about shady Russians). Its banks are in trouble not because they accepted too many overseas deposits but because they bought too many Greek bonds — an investment sanctified by international banking rules (which called such investments riskless) that was destroyed by the EU’s ham-fisted resolution of Greece’s threatened default.
Europe’s sense of “we’re all in this together” seems to have evaporated entirely. Now one has to ask not merely what the euro is for, but what the EU itself is for.
Back in the U.S.A.,
Simon Johnson has an interesting post at the NYT’ “Explaining the Science of Everyday Life” blog: The Debate on Bank Size Is Over.
While bank lobbyists and some commentators are suddenly taken with the idea that an active debate is under way about whether to limit bank size in the United States, they are wrong. The debate is over; the decision to cap the size of the largest banks has been made. All that remains is to work out the details.
To grasp the new reality, think about the Cyprus debacle this month, the Senate budget resolution last week and Ben Bernanke’s revelation that — on too big to fail — “I agree with Elizabeth Warren 100 percent that it’s a real problem.”
Policy is rarely changed by ideas alone and, in isolation, even stunning events can sometimes have surprisingly little effect. What really moves the needle in terms of consensus among policy makers and the broader public opinion is when events combine with a new understanding of how the world works. Thanks to Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio; Senator Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and many other people who have worked hard over the last four years, we are ready to understand what finally defeated the argument that bank size does not matter: Cyprus.
I can’t briefly summarize the gist of Johnson’s piece, so if you’re following this story, please read the whole thing. Could he really be right about limits on “to big to fail or prosecute banks.” I sure hope so!
In other news,
Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted: July 31, 2012 | Author: JJ Lopez aka Minkoff Minx | Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, Crime, Diplomacy Nightmares, Mitt Romney, open thread, racism, SDB Evening News Reads, sports | Tags: Colbert, dog fighting, Florida, Hate Crime, Olympics, Rep. Steve King |
The word is Gold for the USA...so as I sit here tonight watching the events, of which I know the results…we will take a look at a few items making headlines tonight.
First some things that are upsetting to say the least. Warning, graphic images. GOP Rep. Steve King Defends Dog Fighting | ThinkProgress
If you believe that the United States should legalize dogfighting because we allow humans to fight, fear not. You’ve got an ally in the United States Congress.
During a tele-townhall late last week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) fielded a question about his opposition to animal rights and recently introduced legislation that would undermine local standards preventing animal torture. “It’s wrong to rate animals above human beings,” he told the questioner. To make his point, King argued that “there’s something wrong” for society to make it a “federal crime to watch animals fight” but “it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting.”
KING: When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that.
I mentioned this in the comments earlier but I want to put it up front. Florida Man Charged With Hate Crime Says He ‘Only Shot a N*gger’ | Video Cafe
Authorities in Port St. Joe, Florida say a man charged with a hate crime felt inconvenienced by his arrest because he had “only shot a n*gger.”
Walton Henry Butler, 59, was arrested by Gulf County Sheriff’s deputies on Monday night for shooting 32-year-old Everett Gant, who is black, in the head with a .22 caliber rifle.
According to a charging affidavit obtained by The Star, Butler had referred to Pamela Rogers’ child and other children at his apartment complex with racial slurs.
Gant was shot between the eyes when he went to Butler’s apartment to confront him over the remarks, the documents said. Butler allegedly closed his sliding glass door and left Gant bleeding on ground outside.
The suspect contacted 911 and had finished his dinner before Gulf County Sheriff Joe Nugent arrived.
Nugent recalled that Butler appeared “inconvenienced” by the arrest, saying that “he had only shot a n*gger.”
I am glad they got him and he is being charged with a hate crime.
This is something BB has written about all day, but it is still trending…
Mitt Romney aide’s gaffe exposes rift – Dylan Byers – POLITICO.com
Romney on Gaffes: It’s the Media’s Fault – Matthew Shelley – NationalJournal.com
Romney says press focusing on overseas stumbles to aid Obama – The Hill’s Video
Romney now seeking to introduce himself to voters – News – Boston.com
Drew Peterson trial is on, and today was the first day, and in opening statements Drew Peterson Lawyer Attacks Dead Wife Kathleen Savio – ABC News
Drew Peterson’s lawyer told the jury in his murder trial today that the woman he is accused of killing was bossy, lied, had a furious temper and went to therapy.
Lawyer Joel Brodsky, Peterson’s lead defense attorney, attacked the character of Kathleen Savio, Peterson’s third wife, in his opening statement. Brodsky’s opening argument was interrupted by objections from prosecutors, just as the prosecutor’s opening statement was marked by objections from Brodsky.
The contentious start to the trial foreshadows what is expected to be a battle over the prosecutor’s key evidence: comments that Savio made to others before she died in 2004, and comments that Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy Peterson made to people. Stacy Peterson has been missing since 2007.
Well, things are still flying on the moon…flags that is. Apollo Flags on the Moon Still Standing : Discovery News
Flags at the Olympics may come and go, but there’s one U.S. record that remains unchallenged. New images from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show all but one of the U.S. flags planted during the six Apollo missions to the lunar surface are still standing.
“I was a bit surprised that the flags survived the harsh ultraviolet light and temperatures of the lunar surface, but they did,” LRO researcher Mark Robinson posted on the project’s website.
“What they look like is another question,” he added.
Colbert Corrects Krauthammer’s Dressage Diss: It’s Not Hoity-Toity; It’s Frou-Frou! | Mediaite
Stephen Colbert — long cable television’s most ardent defender of the sport, neigh, the art of dressage — found himself once again defending the Olympic event.
This time, he found himself up against criticism by conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer.
I know tonight’s post is a little lame, but I am very distracted at the moment…this is an open post.
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Posted: May 23, 2012 | Author: JJ Lopez aka Minkoff Minx | Filed under: 2012 presidential campaign, Banksters, Barack Obama, corporate money, Democratic Politics, Drone Warfare, Elections, immigration, Lebanon, Middle East, morning reads, Paycheck Fairness Act, Psychopaths in charge, Republican politics, Saudi Arabia, science, Syria, U.S. Politics, War on Women, Women's Healthcare, Women's Rights, Yemen | Tags: al Qaeda, Bill Clinton, Cory Booker, GOP Women's Caucus, Koch, Rep. Steve King, Women’s Policy Committee |
Feeling a bit anxious today, I don’t know but something tells me this hormone patch isn’t working out so well. I think the hot flashes are way more bearable. So if I am a bit touchy you know why…
That said, let’s get on with the show!
First, I want to update you on Syria, yes…the killings are still going on. The newest fear is that Lebanon will become part of the battlefield. Syrian kidnapping of Lebanese pilgrims raises fears conflict will cross border
Syrian rebels kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shias and their Syrian driver in northern Syria on Tuesday, adding to fears that Lebanon is being drawn into the chaos next door, Syria’s state-run Sana news agency reported last night.
The victims were on their way home from a religious pilgrimage in Iran when rebels intercepted their vehicles in Syria’s Aleppo province. Women travelling in the group were released.
As the news of the kidnappings spread, residents of the southern suburbs of Beirut, a Shiite area, took to the streets and burned tyres and blocked roads in protest. The leader of Hezbollah, a strong ally of the Syrian regime, appealed for calm and warned his followers against revenge attacks targeting Syrians.
Then, there is this: Syria massacre survivor tells of killing of army defectors at Jebel al-Zawiya
Mohammed Rahman Sohail, an officer in the Free Syrian Army, says he believes he is the sole survivor of the Jebel al-Zawiya massacre in which 83 men were killed.
With all the election crap going on, a lot of the world news is being pushed aside, and it is only the middle of May…what will September be like!
Sticking with some world news, there is also escalating violence in Yemen:
A huge suicide bombing in the heart of Yemen
’s capital Monday left more than 100 people dead and hundreds wounded, stunning the country’s beleaguered government and delivering a stark setback to the American counterterrorism campaign against Al Qaeda
’s regional franchise, which has repeatedly tried to plant bombs on United States-bound jetliners.
The militant group, which goes by the name Ansar al Shariah, said in a Facebook post that the attack was aimed at Yemen’s defense minister and was intended to retaliate for the government campaign against Al Qaeda’s southern sanctuaries that began this month. The militants appear to be holding out and inflicting heavy losses on Yemen’s weak and divided army, despite a stepped-up United States campaign of drone strikes and military assistance.
Instability in Yemen has left the country facing a hunger catastrophe, with nearly half of people without enough food, aid groups have warned.
In a joint warning, a group of seven charities said 10 million Yemenis – 44% of the population – are undernourished, with 5 million requiring emergency aid.
Yemen has been shaken by pro-democracy protests, communal unrest in the north, and an Islamist conflict in the south.
I am going to move over to the US now, I have several links on the political front. We have had previous posts on all this stuff, lots of them…Boston Boomer
has kept up to date on all of Romney’s faults…and Dakinikat
has done the same with the economy and finance side of things.
The 24 Republican Congresswomen in the U.S. House announced
yesterday that they have joined to form the Women’s Policy Committee, a caucus aimed at “raising the profile of GOP women in their roles as lawmakers, highlighting their diverse achievements and providing a unique, unified voice on a wide range of critically important issues.”But a ThinkProgress review of their voting records shows that the two dozen women have been fairly consistent in their legislative opposition to women’s rights:
- Violence Against Women: Of the 24 women, 22 voted to rollback the Violence Against Women Act, backing a version of the bill that could violate the confidentiality of victims and that excluded protections for immigrants, LGBT people, and Native Americans.
- Access to contraception: 21 of the 24 co-sponsored the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act” to take away regulations enacted under Obamacare requiring most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans, without additional cost-sharing.
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Of the 15 Republican Congresswomen who were in the House at the time, all 15 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a law that helps women hold accountable employers who discriminate in the pay practices based on gender.
- Paycheck Fairness Act Act: 13 of those 15 also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would update the 1963 Equal Pay Act by closing many of its loopholes and strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination.
- Reproductive health: According to Planned Parenthood, 20 of the 24 GOP women earned a zero score, voting against reproductive health at every opportunity. The average score for the women was under 6 percent.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of the litter.”
King told the crowd in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he’s owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”
King suggested lazy immigrants should be avoided as well. “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet,” King said. “We’ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.” The liberal research group American Bridge captured the comments:
Video at the link. It makes me wonder… If Women=Livestock and Immigrants=Dogs, than what do Filthy Rich White GOP Men equal?
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire owners of of Koch Industries, are known as big spenders when it comes to lobbying and influencing public policy. Now, a new document filed with the IRS reveals how the Koch political machine funneled over $54.5 million in previously undisclosed funds to a litany of front groups designed to smear Democrats.
The disclosure suggests that a very wide variety of Republican groups active in the last major election, from pro-life organizations that ran ads on abortion to shadowy fronts that aired partisan commercials with the infamous Ground Zero Mosque conspiracy, have been highly dependent on Koch money. The document also reveals that the Koch’s political network spent much more on electing the current Congress than previously known.
Please read the entire article, this next paragraph should come as no surprise to you…
Sean Noble, a Republican consultant, was hired to help administer
the Koch war chest. According to Politico, Noble was part of a group of GOP operatives who met regularly with Karl Rove’s superPAC to target 120
House of Representatives races in 2010. The close coordination
in helping the Republican Party capture 63 seats in one of the biggest midterm election landslides in modern history.
Which brings me to a series of articles on the Democrats, the press and the members of the post-election politician club.
Think of the next three links like a sandwich…the first and third links are like the rye bread with those seeds that get stuck in-between your teeth and annoy the hell out of you… and the second link is the pastrami, you know it is bad
for your health, but you eat it anyway because well…you’ve been eating it on rye your whole entire life, what else are you gonna do?
Oh, and BTW, if you missed Dr. Dakinikat’s post
yesterday, go read it now…think of it as the appetizer, before that pastrami on rye.
Okay, for that top slice of bread, you know…the one that keeps sliding off when you put the sandwich down to take a bite of the pickle spear on the side. The Emerging Democratic Divide –
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker’s off-message criticism of the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s background at Bain Capital gave the campaign an untimely, unwanted headache this week. But more significantly, it exposed a tension that’s developing between the Democratic Party’s centrist wing and its more-outspoken liberal base—one that threatens to fester more openly if President Obama fails to win a second term.
Conversations with liberal activists and labor officials reveal an unmistakable hostility toward the pro-business, free-trade, free-market philosophy that was in vogue during the second half of the Clinton administration. Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, who tried to steer the Obama administration in a more centrist direction, is the subject of particular derision. Discussion of entitlement reforms, at the heart of the GOP governing agenda, is a nonstarter. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats are now nearly extinct on Capitol Hill.
“Centrist Direction,” I’ve said many times before that Obama has always seemed like right of center to me. I am so sick of the “centrist” label. In fact some of these Democrats sound more like Republicans from several decades back.
“There are not a lot of moderates left in the Democratic Party, and Cory is one of the few of them left,” said former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis of Alabama, an early Obama ally who has become increasingly estranged from the party. “I would like to think Cory speaks for a lot of voters in the Democratic Party, but sadly he doesn’t speak for a lot of Democratic operatives within the party. This isn’t Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party anymore.”
But Booker’s comments reflect an uncomfortable ideological divide within the elite elements of the Democratic coalition. As I wrote last month, wealthy voters made up a pivotal part of Obama’s winning coalition in 2008—not to mention contributing a good chunk of his campaign cash that cycle. But as Obama’s rhetoric has turned populist to capitalize on Romney’s biographical vulnerabilities, he has alienated some of those voters. Booker isn’t the only high-profile Democrat with Wall Street connections raising questions about the Obama campaign’s populist appeals. It follows similar criticisms from Obama auto adviser Steven Rattner, former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee, and JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, a past Obama donor and supporter. Meanwhile, Wall Street money has dried up, playing a role in the president’s less-than-imposing fundraising totals for the year.
Over the past generation, losing Democratic presidential campaigns have sparked soul-searching within the party. After Walter Mondale’s landslide defeat in 1984, centrist Democrats formed institutions, like the Democratic Leadership Council, to counter the influence of the old, liberal guard. The DLC later provided the governing fuel for Clinton’s presidency. A decade later, when John Kerry lost to George W. Bush, it sparked the rise of the liberal netroots, which played a key role in the Democratic takeover of Congress two years later. The party’s activist base currently is firmly in charge, but that could change quickly if things turn south.
With Obama at the helm of the party and broadly popular among Democratic voters, there’s little incentive for Democratic critics to openly take on a sitting president. The harsh reaction to Booker’s mild apostasy on Meet the Press, and his subsequent walk-backs, was proof positive of that. But if Obama loses to Romney after embracing a message advocated by the party’s liberal wing, don’t be surprised if the knives come out in force after the election.
Where’s the Beef? That salted cured beef? Bill Clinton’s $80 Million Payday, or Why Politicians Don’t Care That Much About Reelection « naked capitalism
“There was a kind of inflection point during the five-year period between 1997 and 2003 — the late Clinton and/or early Bush administration — when all the rules just went away. You went from a period, a regime, where people did have at least some concern about going to jail, to a point where everything is legal, and derivatives couldn’t be regulated at all and nobody went to jail for anything. And looking back I would say that this period definitely started under Clinton. You absolutely cannot blame this on George W. Bush.” – Charles Ferguson of Inside Job
“I never had any money until I got out of the White House, you know, but I’ve done reasonably well since then.” Bill Clinton
On December 21, 2000, as President, Bill Clinton signed a bill known as the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. This law ensured that derivatives could not be regulated, setting the stage for the financial crisis. Just two months later, on February 5, 2001, Clinton received $125,000 from Morgan Stanley, in the form of a payment for a speech Clinton gave for the company in New York City. A few weeks later, Credit Suisse also hired Clinton for a speech, at a $125,000 speaking fee, also in New York. It turns out, Bill Clinton could make a lot of money, for not very much work.
I look forward to the comments about this article…
Today, Clinton is worth something on the order of $80 million (probably much more, but we don’t really know), and these speeches have become a lucrative and consistent revenue stream for his family. Clinton spends his time offering policy advice, writing books, stumping for political candidates, and running a global foundation. He’s now a vegan. He makes money from books. But the speaking fee money stream keeps coming in, year after year, in larger and larger amounts.
Most activists and political operatives are under a delusion about American politics, which goes as follows. Politicians will do *anything* to get reelected, and they will pander, beg, borrow, lie, cheat and steal, just to stay in office. It’s all about their job.
This is 100% wrong. The dirty secret of American politics is that, for most politicians, getting elected is just not that important. What matters is post-election employment. It’s all about staying in the elite political class, which means being respected in a dense network of corporate-funded think tanks, high-powered law firms, banks, defense contractors, prestigious universities, and corporations. If you run a campaign based on populist themes, that’s a threat to your post-election employment prospects. This is why rising Democratic star and Newark Mayor Corey Booker reacted so strongly against criticism of private equity – he’s looking out for a potential client after his political career is over, or perhaps, during interludes between offices.
Read the rest and let’s discuss it below…
Liberal blogs have fallen in line to excoriate Newark Mayor Cory Booker for describing President Obama’s campaign attacks against Bain and Company as “nauseating.” Although Booker has tried to walk back his commentary, he still faces a lot of criticism, especially since rightwingers have used his comments as a weapon against the president’s campaign strategy.
For several reasons, I strongly support Cory Booker, and I condemn progressives who criticize him for his remarks. And as I explain below, I am especially troubled by a Think Progress article that seeks to raise questions about Booker by exposing campaign donations he received from Bain executives and other financial industry employees. Here is why I support Booker and disagree with Think Progress.
And that is all the world news and political stuff I have for you this morning.
Scientist say they have managed to turn patients’ own skin cells into healthy heart muscle in the lab.
Ultimately they hope this stem cell therapy could be used to treat heart failure patients.
As the transplanted cells are from the individual patient this could avoid the problem of tissue rejection, they told the European Heart Journal.
So what are you all reading about today?
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