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Topics - Michael Tee

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The French website ARRETESURIMAGES ("Freeze-Frame") reports on an open-mike gaffe that allowed a private conversation between Sarkozy and Obama to be played into a roomful of reporters, who then agreed amongst themselves to honour the conference's press rules and maintain silence over the incident.  The website is a continuation of a dropped TV show of the same name.  Two paragraphs from the website and my own half-assed translation follow:

Selon nos informations, les deux présidents ont laissé de côté toute retenue à propos du délicat dossier des relations israélo-palestiniennes. Obama a d'abord reproché à Sarkozy de ne pas l'avoir prévenu qu'il allait voter en faveur de l'adhésion de la Palestine à l'Unesco, alors que les Etats-Unis y étaient fermement opposés. La conversation a ensuite dérivé sur Benyamin Nétanyahou, le Premier ministre israélien. Sûrs de ne pas être entendus, les deux présidents se sont lâchés. "Je ne peux plus le voir, c'est un menteur", a lancé Sarkozy. "Tu en as marre de lui, mais moi, je dois traiter avec lui tous les jours !", a rétorqué Obama, qui a ensuite demandé à Sarkozy d'essayer de convaincre les Palestiniens de mettre la pédale douce sur leur demande d'adhésion à l'ONU.

We hear that the two presidents left aside all their entourage to discuss the sensitive matter of Israeli-Palestinian relations.  Obama first complained to Sarkozy that he had failed to warn him that he was going to vote in favour of the admission of Palestine to UNESCO, when the US was strongly opposed [to it.]  The conversation then turned to Benjamin Netanyah, the Israeli prime minister.  Believing themselves to be in a secure setting, the two Presidents let themselves go.  "I can't stand to look at him, he's a liar," Sarkozy began. "You are sick of him, but I've got to deal with him every day!" Obama replied,  and then asked Sarkozy to try to convince the Palestinians to go slow on their demand to be admitted to the UN.

. . . .

A notre connaissance, ces propos explosifs, dont l'existence ou la teneur nous ont été confirmés par plusieurs journalistes, ne sont pas parus dans la presse (mais ils ont été mentionnés en une phrase sur le blog d'Arnaud Leparmentier, du Monde). Les journalistes présents se sont en effet mis d'accord pour ne pas les exploiter : "Nous n'avons rien enregistré, et les utiliser revenait à reconnaître qu'on avait triché, explique l'un d'eux. De plus, cela aurait gravement mis en difficulté les personnes chargées de l'organisation." Un membre de la hiérarchie d'un média confirme :"Il y a eu des discussions entre les journalistes sur place, qui sont convenus de ne rien en faire. C'est un sujet un peu sensible : il est embêtant de ne pas faire état de ces informations, mais en même temps, nous sommes soumis à des règles déontologiques précises, et diffuser ces phrases revenait à les enfreindre."

As far as we know, these explosive words, which have been confirmed to us by several journalists, either literally or in substance, have not appeared in print (although they were referred to briefly in the blog of Arnaud Leparmentier, of Le Monde.)  The journalists who were present agreed amongst themselves not to take advantage [of the slip-up.]  "We didn't report any of those words and anyone who reported them [now] would be seen as cheating," explains one of them.  A media executive confirms:  "The journalists discussed this amongst themselves at the time, and agreed not to make anything out of it.  It's kind of a sensitive topic:  it sucks that we can't use the information, but at the same time, we agreed to a set of precise, if arbitrary, rules, and the publication of that conversation would amount to a breach of those rules."

3DHS / XO - re chickenshit vs chickenfeed
« on: November 06, 2011, 08:49:11 PM »
I forget which thread it was where you corrected me on the use of chickenshit for chickenfeed, but you were absolutely right and I forgot to thank you for it.


3DHS / Cain's numbers dropping after harassment complaints surface - poll
« on: November 06, 2011, 05:05:05 AM »
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, Herm the Perv's numbers are falling substantially since allegations of sexual harassment from three women have surfaced.  Looks like XO was right all along.  I'm not surprised either.  Stick a fork, etc.

All that follows is a single cut-and-paste of the entire article.

Cain's favorability drops after accusations: poll

2:44am EST
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Allegations that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed women in the 1990s have begun to damage his bid for the White House, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.
The poll showed the percentage of Republicans who view Cain favorably dropped 9 percentage points, to 57 percent from 66 percent a week ago.
Among all registered voters, Cain's favorability declined 5 percentage points, to 32 percent from 37 percent.
The survey represents the first evidence that sexual harassment claims dating from Cain's time as head of the National Restaurant Association have taken a toll on his presidential campaign.
A majority of respondents, 53 percent, believe sexual harassment allegations against Cain are true despite his denials. Republicans were less likely to believe they are true, with 39 percent thinking they are accurate.
"The most striking thing is that Herman Cain is actually seeing a fairly substantial decline in favorability ratings toward him particularly among Republicans," said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson.
The 65-year-old Cain, a former pizza company executive with no experience in political office, has been running neck and neck with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for the lead in polls of Republicans considering who will be the nominee to face Democratic President Barack Obama next year.
At least three women have accused Cain of sexual harassment from his time as the restaurant industry's top lobbyist. Cain has given conflicting accounts of the cases since the news broke a week ago by news website Politico. He insists the claims were baseless and that he was wrongfully accused.
But a woman who received a cash settlement from the restaurant association in response to her harassment claim rejected Cain's denials on Friday. She said through her lawyer that she was the victim of a "series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances" by Cain in 1999.
The allegations have received wide attention. The Reuters/Ipsos poll found more than 80 percent of respondents have heard of them. Republicans are the most aware, at 88 percent, while independents the least aware, at 64 percent.
Four in 10 respondents said this issue had made them less favorable toward Cain. About one in three Republicans, or 35 percent, said the controversy had made them less favorable toward Cain.
Jackson said it may well be that the wave of support that carried the conservative Cain to the top of the Republican field was now cresting.
"I think he is probably cresting now. I think this week, last week, were sort of the high-water mark," he said.
The poll found that Romney, who is more a candidate of the Republican establishment, has a favorability among Republican voters of 63 percent, while rival Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is viewed favorably by 47 percent.
Ipsos conducted the poll of 1,007 adults on Friday and Saturday by interviewing individuals via a U.S. online household panel.
Since it was an online poll, typical margins of error do not apply. Despite that, various recognized methods were used to select as representative a sample as possible and weigh the results.
If it were a traditional random survey, it would have a margin of error of between plus 4.4 percent and plus 5.1 percentage points. That figure varies because some participants dropped out of the video portion of the survey. (Editing by Alistair Bell, Philip Barbara and Greg McCune)

3DHS / So remind me again - - WHO exactly does "Washington" work for?
« on: October 29, 2011, 01:33:51 PM »
from today's


CNN Poll Shows Overwhelming US Opposition to Afghan War
Majority See Afghanistan as the Next Vietnam
by Jason Ditz, October 28, 2011

A new CNN/ORC International Poll shows that the opposition to the US occupation of Afghanistan has grown to a record high, with 63 percent of the American public now firmly opposed to the conflict and only 34 percent still supportive.

CNN was quick to point out that the poll did not indicate regret for the 2001 invasion, saying the survey still showed a small majority believing it was “not a mistake” to invade in the wake of 9/11.

But the open-ended nature of the war and its repeated escalation has destroyed public opinion, and another question showed a solid majority of 58 percent of Americans believe Afghanistan has turned into another Vietnam.

The latest poll shows opposition that tops the previous record, in December 2010. Early in 2011 US officials began claiming major progress was being made in the war, and while those claims of progress are still coming in it is clear that people no longer believe the claims.

3DHS / Occupy Oakland! Dispersed in Brutal Police Attack
« on: October 26, 2011, 06:19:46 PM »
Oakland police first cleared media and cameras and then attacked the protestors with batons, rubber bullets and flash grenades wantonly destroying as much of their personal property as they could by slashing tents with boxcutters and similar destructive actions.

The Oakland demo was one of the most openly Revolutionary and class-conscious events that I've ever seen in the US.  CU4 posted a great video in another thread where the demonstrators spoke openly of the Revolution and the class war.  They seemed to be way more advanced in their views than the Occupy Wall Street! people.

As I predicted, the elite are giving the movement time to self-destruct, and if it doesn't, we can expect to see escalating media attacks and then police and National Guard violence up to and including the level of murder reached at Kent State in 1970.  The Man likes to show a genial face, but behind it, he doesn't fool around.  Fuck with the bull and you get the horn.

3DHS / Totally Corrupt America - Paul Craig Roberts
« on: October 25, 2011, 07:29:53 AM »

The article "Totally Corrupt America" by a former high-ranking Reagan Administration Treasury official, Paul Craig Roberts, is essentially a review of a new book (Reckless Endangerment, by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner) exposing the corruption and fraud that led to the financial collapse of 2008, dealing specifically with the fraudulent issue of mortgage-backed securities (the securitization of bundled sub-prime mortgage loans) by a desperate financial institution on the verge of collapse (Long-Term Capital Holdings) and the amazingly lucrative marketing of them by about 15 major Wall Street financial institutions, acting in concert with corrupt bond-rating agencies (primarily Standard & Poor) who assigned a triple-A rating to what were effectively shit bonds. 

The essential criminality at the heart of American capitalism is so pervasive that Roberts, in his article, didn't even bother to mention the criminality and fraud at the point-of-origin of the shit bonds, where the primary lenders had figured out how to make a profit (by bundled re-sales) of the piles of worthless debt they were accumulating and were paying up-front commissions to any mortgage broker able to bring a warm body into their office to sign a mortgage loan agreement that they had obviously no hope in hell of every repaying.

What was particularly egregious about the whole racket was that the Wall Street institutions were selling what they knew to be shit to their own investor clients while betting against them through the novel financial instruments known as  credit default swaps ("CDS.")   CDS were invented by Wall Street and the insurance industry to create an insurance policy that avoided all the rules and regulations covering the issuance of insurance policies at the time - - effectively, a CDS was a bet against  a mortgage backed security, which Wall Street knew for sure, despite its "triple-A" rating, was bound to fail because the mortgages making it up would never be repaid by the poor dumb schmucks who had signed them.  The CDS, which were made available by insurance giants like AIG International for a ridiculously low price, could then be traded themselves in a secondary "over the counter" or "OTC" market.

The above part of the story was already fairly well known from other sources before the publication of Reckless Endangerment.  It certainly renders laughable the conservative claim that the whole crisis was caused by the easing of lending restrictions on home mortgages (portrayed by conservatives as more "interference" in private business, rather than less) and ignoring completely the criminality and fraud of the point-of-origin lenders making loans they knew would never be repaid, the mortgage brokers who brought the deadbeats to the point-of-origin lenders, the Wall Street hucksters who bundled and sold the shit as triple-A to their own investor clients, the rating agencies who rated them and of the insurance industry which issued what were effectively policies of insurance against their default, known as CDS.

Where Reckless Endangerment breaks new ground is in the story of how Wall Street and its corrupted politicians and political appointees were able to sabotage whatever legislative or administrative attempts were made to stop what were obvious frauds and abusive practices. 

The article illustrates how Standard & Poor (a rating agency) was able to block the State of Georgia from legislating an end to predatory home mortgage lending by killing an Act (the Georgia Fair Lending Act) which could have served as a model for other state legislation. 

It further indicates how Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, both Secretaries of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration, together with the SEC and the head of the Federal Reserve, were able to block the efforts of Brooksley Born, head of the CFTC (the Federal Commodities and Futures Trading Commission) to regulate the over the counter ("OTC") trade in mortgage-backed securities, which was then virtually unregulated.   Roberts doesn't devote much space to the Brooksley Born story, and I recommend further reference to her biography in Wikipedia, which gives a pretty good account of her struggles with Rubin, Summers and other powerful Wall Streeters embedded in the Clinton administration and her eventual defeat at their hands.  In fact, without the Wikipedia article, Roberts references to her in his article are basically meaningless.

3DHS / 53 Ghaddafi fighters found massacred in Sirte hotel
« on: October 24, 2011, 03:01:51 PM »

yes, gee, too bad, guess it has to be that way to pave the way for real freedom and democracy

I know what!!!  Let's have an INVESTIGATION.   We can investigate this thing till the cows come home and nobody's even gonna remember any of this shit in about a couple of days.  Certainly not the MSM.

Here you have a country (USA. France, Italy, doesn't really matter, call it an ALLIANCE - - call it NATO - - in which presumably the USA retains some minor influence) an ALLIANCE, which invades Libya, overthrows the Libyan government, installs a band of "rag-tag guerrilla fighters" who could have accomplished absolutely zero without NATO support - - and then takes no responsibility whatsoever for the massacres and atrocities that follow. 

It's a bizarre world where your President and his Sec of State take the credit for the overthrow and the murder and deny any responsibility for the end result.

Why not just totally abandon the ludicrous pretence that the USA is still "a nation of laws?"  It's a nation of fucking OUTlaws.

3DHS / The Death of the American Republic
« on: October 24, 2011, 02:49:19 PM »


Very good article by Dr. Brian Phillips.  The open defiance of the Constitution in regard to the power of Congress to declare war was a long-standing open sore on the body of the Republic.  The article goes into the Patriot Act powers to obtain warrantless searches of the records of US citizens in which it is a crime to even report to the citizen of the government's invasion of his privacy.  But the line was really passed with the executive branch's murder of American citizens without bringing any charges against them, let alone trying and convicting them in a proper court of law.  The article goes on to describe the level of public support that these unconstitutional actions have received from the public and it's absolutely astonishing.  That the executive and legislative branches have shat all over the Constitution is more or less to be expected - - the lack of public outcry (IMHO, solely the result of media consolidation under corporate control) is the real death-knell.

That was the gist of the article, but I think everyone should read it.  It's really the end of an era.

Interesting comment by Al Sharpton on the Daily Show yesterday.  When asked what the OWS! could possibly accomplish, Sharpton answered that they had already changed the national conversation.  Meaning that:

 - a few months ago, nobody (in the two parties) was talking much about jobs and making ends meet; the GOP had set the national conversation and it focused on deficit reduction.   As the Occupy! movement gained traction, the national conversation (Sharpton says) has moved off the guidelines set for it by the GOP and both parties are talking about the issues important to the occupy! movement, not to the GOP.

 - the initial GOP attack dogs (Cantor, attacking the "mobs" et al.) were called off or muted, and Romney apparently has even made noises about how he too is concerned about the 99%.

As a testament to the power of the Occupy! movement, this is impressive.  Romney or any other top-tier GOP leader, IMHO, hasn't a chance in hell of attracting any Occupy! people, but to the extent that the Democrats can succeed in pulling Occupy! into their orbit, this would be the death of the Occupy! movement and of the new approach they are taking to the failure of capitalism. 

The first Occupy Wall Street! people seemed to have a good instinctive grasp of the class war and its relevance to the current mess that the country finds itself in, not only at the symptomatic level, but at the root-cause level.  In some areas, Oakland for example, the class-war perspective is front-and-centre, embraced without fear or apology and seems to form the basis of the day to day strategic planning.  (Thanks again, CU4, for that exceptional video!)  But ANY class-war perspective will inevitably be lost if the Democrats succeed in their attempts to co-opt this movement.

Of course, in the perspective of the class war, changing the "national conversation" from deficit reduction to jobs and homes doesn't seem like much of an advance, but given the perspectives of the demonstrators themselves (or at least, the most politically advanced of their leaders) any discussion of jobs will inevitably expose the roots of the class-war origins of the problem and has at least the potential to expose millions of the demonstrators to basic Marxist-Leninist theory in the most practical of all settings, the ruling class' inability to provide a true account of the loss of American jobs in non-class-war terms.


don't even know why I bother to post it. 

the comments in this group will range from Fuck the whole God-damn bunch a them! to He was probably a terrorist too! to That's war!

It's tough to be an atheist in a world like this.  Because a religious man could at least take comfort in the thought that there will be payback but an atheist just has to come to grips with the idea that "The bastards will get away with it - - again!"

what a sad world

3DHS / The Occupation Manifesto - Thanks, CU4!!!
« on: October 18, 2011, 01:36:08 AM »

letters to the author from readers . . .

from Cindy (last name withheld)

<<“I voted two times for Ralph Nader during W’s reign. I did so because all my life I had voted for the “lesser of two” candidates. For the first time I found myself voting for someone I absolutely believed in, a true friend and representative of the citizen….

<<I have since come to realize that the answer no longer lies with politicians. The future lies with citizen movements like Occupy Wall Street and active involvement in maintaining democracy. Politicians, with very few exceptions, are a lying breed, telling whatever you want to hear to get elected, then spending the first half of their term patronizing you … and then spending the second half of the term whoring for more money…. The system is wrong, from top down….”>>

I get a sense that this is what is motivating the Occupy! crowd.  If this mood holds till Nov. 2012, Obama will be finished and good riddance to him.  He took his base for granted and now they just might be walking out on him.

3DHS / KvH - a columnist who really understands Occupy! strategy . . .
« on: October 16, 2011, 03:38:18 PM »
. . .  and understands where the biggest danger (co-optation) to it lies!

 - she gets the folly of taking these complaints to Washington, as if Washington people weren't the paid errand-boys of the Street

 - she's hopeful (more hopeful than I, frankly) that the Democrats will sit up and listen (or, as she puts it, will go where the energy is)

-  she senses the grass-roots power of the movement, in contrast with the Astroturf roots of the Tea Party

Good article all around, but IMHO, kind of naively hoping that the political system will respond via movement inside the "two-party" system, whereas I really think that's just not gonna happen.  The only "movement" you'll see from that system is more "progressive talk" from Obama, similar to the last fine performance he gave just before the 2008 elections, followed by a second round of sell-outs once the "danger" of the elections is past.

Unfortunately I believe that the real proponents of change will have to act completely outside the "two-party" system and its phony quadrennial election charades, or be doomed to an endless circle of hope and betrayal.  At some point, they HAVE to learn the lesson of "Fool me once . . . " or get fucked in the ass over and over again.

Let me know what you think about it, please.

3DHS / From the sublime to the ludicrous
« on: October 14, 2011, 11:48:40 AM »
President Hypocrite, who doesn't hesitate to assassinate even his own citizens anywhere on earth, is upset at a phony plot, allegedly by Iran to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the US, and is demanding "punitive action" against Iran.  Well, maybe it really IS just a fake exercise to take the spotlight off the Occupy Wall Street! uprising.  A new little war ought to be a good distraction.  It'll only cost a few trillion bucks a a couple million lives, so what the hell, anything's possible. 

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