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Why didn’t we see anything about the Levin-Coburn report on Goldman Sachs on our teevees?

Austerity now!

You may have heard yesterday about how Standard and Poor’s, the same rating agency that took copious amounts of cash to cover up Big Shitpile, is now playing Chicken Little over the U.S. debt. I hope you’ve been reading me long enough to know this is all part of the big Austerity! dance:

At least one economist burst out laughing on hearing about the S&P announcement. “They did what?” exclaimed James Galbraith, a professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin, who formerly served as executive director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. “This is remarkable! It certainly will confirm the suspicions of those who have questioned S&P’s competence after its performance on the mortgage debacle.”
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Paul Ryan


Taxes are for the little people

Go take a look at these charts, print them out and hand them to your Fox News relatives at Easter dinner (or Pesach)! Fun will ensue!


I suspect Mother Nature at some point will simply hit the reset button on our foolishness:

So 780 million gallons later, we finally know what many of us suspected for years: The fracking process pumps deadly chemicals into the earth, which can contaminate wells and other drinking water sources.

Mr. Urbina reports that “…some ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, like salt and citric acid. Others were unexpected, like instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said.”

So, literally everything from instant coffee to benzene is in this stuff. And that’s just what we know so far. Now we’ll see the industry scramble to set up “voluntary” disclosures, in the hope of stalling Congress in its efforts to make the chemical disclosures mandatory. Honestly, are we being too hard on the drillers in demanding that they tell us what they’re injecting into our backyards? Is it too much to ask?

The problems tied to fracking continue to get worse – at least the problems we’re being told about. And we’ve noted before that the NYT coverage tends to ripple through the big regional and local news organizations across “Frackland.” So this new report will no doubt usher in at least another really bad week or two for the frackers.

I would add that, clearly, a spate of state and federal laws are being broken here – even with the Clean Water Act exemption – but nobody is ready to enforce anything. Yet.

Philly represent!

Our local chapter of USUncut shut down a BofA branch yesterday:


Has himself a little snit over the Chicago media.

Nothing to see here

Charitable funds from U.S. used to build illegal Israeli settlements. Whee!

Aren’t we shocked?

Oh look, it really was blood for oil!

Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.

The papers, revealed here for the first time, raise new questions over Britain’s involvement in the war, which had divided Tony Blair’s cabinet and was voted through only after his claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.

The documents were not offered as evidence in the ongoing Chilcot Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war. In March 2003, just before Britain went to war, Shell denounced reports that it had held talks with Downing Street about Iraqi oil as “highly inaccurate”. BP denied that it had any “strategic interest” in Iraq, while Tony Blair described “the oil conspiracy theory” as “the most absurd”.

But documents from October and November the previous year paint a very different picture.

Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being “locked out” of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Manic Monday

Boy, was it ever. The Bangles:

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