Feed on


The NJ politicians who sided with Christie in the budget fight have lost the AFL-CIO endorsements.

The geniuses

David Atkins over at Digby’s place:

So in the midst of this giant selloff, where did the masters of the universe decide to put their money? Why, treasuries, of course:

Treasury bond yields are plunging to levels seen in the 1950s on concern the two-year recovery in the world’s largest economy is stalling.

Yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. notes are about 4.3 percentage points below the average over the past 49 years and almost where they were when President Dwight D. Eisenhower began his administration in 1953. The yield, which dropped to 2.40 percent today in New York, reached a record low of 2.04 percent in December 2008 during the global financial crisis…

“It’s signaling a flight to safety,” said Ethan Harris, head of developed-markets economic research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance Midday” with Tom Keene. “Even with the Treasury market as a weakened safe-haven market, it still gets the safe haven money.”

The S&P 500 fell 4.8 percent, dropping more than 10 percent drop from its April 29 peak. The MSCI All-Country World Index slid 4.3 percent. Oil plunged 6.2 percent to $86.27 a barrel as all 24 commodities tracked by the S&P GSCI Index declined. Gold futures retreated from a record.

Yes, the same treasuries that were supposed to be in horrible trouble because the ratings agencies said America was too far in debt to keep the yield on our treasuries at healthy levels. The same treasuries concern that led to the austerity bill that led to the market drop that led everyone to run to the only safe place left: treasuries. Brilliant.
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Schneiderman rocks

Oh yes, this is the kind of Democrat we like! More, please:

WASHINGTON — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked a state judge to reject a proposed $8.5 billion settlement agreement over soured loans between Bank of America and a group of investors, claiming in court documents that a separate bank representing the investors committed fraud for failing to ensure that the mortgage securities were created in accordance with state law and for failing to act in the investors’ best interest.

Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee representing the investors, “knowingly, repeatedly, and consistently” misled investors into thinking that the mortgage bonds were created properly, Schneiderman said in court documents. BNY Mellon also put its own interests before those of the investors it’s supposed to represent, he said.
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Yet another unforced error

By Obama!


This is just unbelievable. The pastor “didn’t see any cause for concern”? Here in Philadelphia, Catholic school teachers sign a contract that they won’t do anything that contradicts Catholic values.

I wonder if that pastor is saying he thinks bigotry is a Catholic value.

What is ALEC hiding?

You’ll remember that ALEC is the vehicle through which lobbyists write business-friendly legislation for elected Republican officials:

For the second time in two days, Center for Media and Democracy’s reporter Eric Carlson has been kicked out of the ALEC hotel. Eric flew down to New Orleans to cover the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting. After hearing from ALEC Board member and Ohio State Senator Bill Seitz that “there is nothing secret about it [ALEC],” Carlson was eager to attend ALEC workshops and interview state legislators about their priorities.

However, Carlson was denied press credentials Wednesday by ALEC’s PR firm and then kicked out by security as he sat writing on his computer in the Marriott lobby. Marriott denies that it was their security personnel and speculates that it could have been private security hired by ALEC. Marriott gave CMD assurances that as long as guests were not being disruptive anyone could sit in their lobby.

Today, Carlson was kicked out again and threatened with arrest apparently for the crime of Tweeting about sightings of corporate lobbyists and Heritage Foundation “experts” attending the ALEC meeting. Eric’s Twitter handle can be accessed here: http://twitter.com/#!/theericcarlson.

Carlson is part of the CMD team that brought ALEC to public attention in recent weeks with the release of the ALECexposed.org website, which lists over 800 ALEC model bills.

“What is ALEC hiding? Our reporter was simply doing his job Tweeting about ALEC corporate lobbyists and legislators as they walked by. Tweeting is apparently a crime in ALEC’s New Orleans,” said Mary Bottari Center for Media and Democracy.

The ALEC press policy says: “ALEC invites credentialed members of both traditional and online journalist [sic] to attend ALEC events.” No problem. CMD has been engaged in investigative reporting since 1993. We have covered and reported all sorts of conferences, domestic and international, events at the Wisconsin State Capital Building, the U.S. Congress and even the White House. The ALEC press policy also says: “Journalists may not register as media if their news outlet is funded by a think-tank, political party, lobbying organization, trade association or corporation. ALEC will not allow journalists to register as media for the purpose of writing a personal online blog.” Again no problem. CMD is not funded by any of these entities.

But when Carlson went to register for his ALEC press credentials, he was handed the press policy and told that ALEC did not allow “advocacy” organizations. Notably, the ALEC press policy does not mention advocacy organizations.

To read this post, you need to open this link in another tab, but don’t read it yet (I’ll blockquote below anyway for you lazier readers).

Once it’s open, please play this audio track (there’s no animation to watch) while you read.

[A]merica has the stupidest goddamn investors on the planet. For months they sat around cheering on the tea partiers and declaring solemnly that the federal budget was just like a household budget and we needed “real action” on the debt in order to build confidence in the economy. Then, suddenly, when they got it, they realized that what they really wanted wasn’t dumb slogans but actual policies that would help spur the recovery. And that means looser monetary policy and fiscal stimulus.

The Dow plummeted Wednesday, but rallied late in the day. Today the markets shit the bed.

Dow Jones: 11,383.68; -512.76 (-4.31%)

S&P500: 1,200.07; -60.27(-4.78%)

Nasdaq: 2,556.39; -136.68(-5.08%)

I’m writing this at 10:42 EST: three hours ago CNBC posted “Asia Dives as Growth Fears Hurt Risk Appetite”. As atrios likes to say, “Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!” I suspect the roller coaster that only goes down is not over yet. Checking back at google finance, all global markets are down. Double “Wheeeeeee!!!!!”

Of course, this would be a lot funnier if the butt of the joke was only the wealthy. Instead, we’re all going to take it in the can, and not in the nice consensual way either.

Ah well. At least we will have the bitter, taunting laughter of Nelson Muntz, a cartoon character, to keep us warm in our cardboard boxes under the bridge. Provided we have wi-fi.

Never found a girl

Daryl Hall with Booker T. Jones and Mayer Hawthorne:

Green onions

Booker T. Jones with Daryl Hall and Mayer Hawthorne:

Strange arrangement

Meyer Hawthorne with Daryl Hall:

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