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So now what?

UPDATE: Syria says it welcomes Russia’s offer.

After John Kerry gives Syria one week to turn over its chemical weapons, the Russians come back with this. We don’t know if this is enough to deter the U.S. from bombing Syria, but it certainly offers a respectable out to Obama:

MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday that his country has asked Syria to transfer control of its chemical weapons to international monitors in order to prevent a U.S. military strike.

Lavrov also called on Syria to sign and ratify the Convention on Chemical Weapons, which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons, including the nerve gas that the government of President Bashar al-Assad is accused of deploying outside Damascus last month, killing more than 1,400 civilians.

“We do not know whether Syria will agree to this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country will avoid strikes, we will immediately begin working with Damascus,” Lavrov said. “We call on the Syrian leadership not only to agree on a statement of storage of chemical weapons under international supervision, but also to their subsequent destruction.”

Lavrov spoke after meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in Moscow, and presenting him with the proposal. “We look forward to a quick and hopefully positive response,” Lavrov said.

Hours earlier, in London, Secretary of State John F. Kerry sketched out a similar scenario after being asked by a reporter whether there was anything that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could do to avoid an attack. “Sure, he could turn over every bit of his weapons to the international community within the next week, without delay,” Kerry said. “But he isn’t about to.”


Listen to how Shakespeare sounded 400 years ago:

Am I blue

Rita Coolidge has an amazing voice that was too often overshadowed by crappy production. Here she is with Les Paul:

Peace talks

So Assad has agreed to send negotiators to peace talks and it’s the rebels who refuse to attend — probably because they’re trying to draw the U.S. into the war on their side.

Hey, it’s working!


I guess because we’re so numb to the lies by now?

Suppressing the press

Put aside the rest of his character defects. The fact remains, if found guilty, this journalist-activist is going to serve more time FOR POSTING A LINK TO HACKED MATERIAL than the guy who actually did the hacking.

Hope and fucking change, everyone!

Because Mr. Brown has been closely aligned with Anonymous and various other online groups, some of whom view sowing mayhem as very much a part of their work, his version of journalism is tougher to pin down and, sometimes, tougher to defend.

But keep in mind that no one has accused Mr. Brown of playing a role in the actual stealing of the data, only of posting a link to the trove of documents.

Journalists from other news organizations link to stolen information frequently. Just last week, The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica collaborated on a significant article about the National Security Agency’s effort to defeat encryption technologies. The article was based on, and linked to, documents that were stolen by Edward J. Snowden, a private contractor working for the government who this summer leaked millions of pages of documents to the reporter Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian along with Barton Gellman of The Washington Post.

By trying to criminalize linking, the federal authorities in the Northern District of Texas — Mr. Brown lives in Dallas — are suggesting that to share information online is the same as possessing it or even stealing it. In the news release announcing the indictment, the United States attorney’s office explained, “By transferring and posting the hyperlink, Brown caused the data to be made available to other persons online, without the knowledge and authorization of Stratfor and the card holders.”

And the magnitude of the charges is confounding. Jeremy Hammond, a Chicago man who pleaded guilty to participating in the actual hacking of Stratfor in the first place, is facing a sentence of 10 years.

Humanitarian intervention

Is always the “bait” in the bait-and-switch. Just like the former Yugloslavia!

Warren: SCOTUS ‘too far right’


Our girl’s gonna get herself killed if she keeps giving speeches like this:

LOS ANGELES – Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka denounced the United States Supreme Court on Sunday as a right-wing panel that serves the interests of corporate America, previewing a theme that is likely to rise in prominence with the approach of the 2016 election.

On the opening day of the AFL-CIO’s convention, Warren – the highest-profile national Democrat to address the gathering here – warned attendees of a “corporate capture of the federal courts.”

In a speech that voiced a range of widely held frustrations on the left, Warren assailed the Court as an instrument of the wealthy that regularly sides with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She cited an academic study that called the current Supreme Court’s five conservative-leaning justices among the “top 10 most pro-corporate justices in half a century.”

“You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business,” Warren said, drawing murmurs from the crowd.

[…] Warren drew some of the loudest applause of her precisely worded, sharply enunciated speech with a statement of skepticism about upcoming trade deals – debates that may pit big labor and liberal members of the Senate against the Obama administration.

“Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig upcoming trade deals in their favor,” Warren said. “I’ve heard people actually say that [trade deals] have to be secret because if the American people knew what was going on, they would be opposed.”

She continued: “I believe that if people would be opposed to a particular trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not happen.”

If the overall tone of Warren’s speech was relatively grim – not the kind of podium-pounding, emotive address that brings crowds to their feet – she closed with a riff that drew a standing ovation, proclaiming to the audience the good news that they have an electoral mandate to enact their agenda.

“I am proud to stand with you, to march with you, to fight with you,” she said. “Our agenda is America’s agenda and if we fight for it, we win.”

Thanks to Colleen Kirby Attorney at Law.

He-man woman haters club


How insulting is this? All women are interchangeable, I guess:

The White House is considering nominating a top female official at the Treasury Department to fill one of the vacant seats at the Federal Reserve, according to two people familiar with the process, amid criticism over the role of women in the Obama administration.

As undersecretary for international affairs, Lael Brainard is one of the most highly ranked — and most visible — female members of President Obama’s economic team. Her name has long been circulated in the insular world of Fed watchers as a potential candidate to sit on the central bank’s influential board of governors.

But her conversations with the administration have ramped up recently, and she is seriously considering accepting the nomination, according to the two people, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel issues. The White House declined to comment.

Brainard’s nomination could help solve a public-relations problem for the White House, which has been assailed over the lack of women in premier posts. Obama is weighing whether to name Lawrence H. Summers, a close former adviser, to the top job at the Fed — a move that would mean passing over Janet Yellen, the vice chair at the central bank whom many once considered a shoo-in.

Lehman Brothers

So all a Wall Street banker has to do is deny that he knows what someone else says he knows, and the SEC folds? Oy:

Mr. Fuld’s role was harder to ferret out. Bart H. McDade, another Lehman executive, told Mr. Valukas that Mr. Fuld “was familiar with the term” Repo 105 and “knew about the accounting.” But Mr. Fuld told the S.E.C. that he had never heard of Repo 105, officials said, undermining a potential case. A lawyer for Mr. Fuld declined to comment.

The S.E.C. team also concluded that Repo 105 would not have been “material” to investors because the firm’s leverage ratio was trending downward regardless of Repo 105.

That conclusion set off a wave of dissent inside the S.E.C. Senior accountants and the head of the S.E.C. unit that oversaw corporate disclosures questioned the findings. Ms. Schapiro urged Mr. Canellos to keep digging.

But Mr. Canellos, a former federal prosecutor who is now the co-head of the S.E.C.’s enforcement unit, did not budge. Despite the political pressure, he told colleagues at one of the meetings, they could not bring a case if the evidence was lacking.

“Our job is to seek justice,” he said.

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