Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: So We're Losing... But What Are We Winning If We Won? The 'Endgame' In Afghanistan

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceAugust 24 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: So We're Losing... But What Are We Winning If We Won? Focusing On The 'Endgame' In Afghanistan

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In The News: My Heart Be Still! The Pentagon tells the truth for the first time in as long as anyone can remember. Admiral Mullen comes out and says it. Things are deteriorating in Afghanistan and 25-50,000 additional troops (of unknown sourcing) are needed. (see: "More US troops to Afghanistan? Why Mullen won't answer" at the Christian Science Monitor) Which most likely won't make things 'better', but it'll sure raise the number of deaths and casualties for everyone involved.

Afghan Ballot By Donkey (2009)Meanwhile, Afghanistan's national 'elections' (term used loosely) are over with the main opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah claiming it was rigged but no one will know the 'results' for SIX WEEKS because the ballots are being brought in from the hinterlands by mule, donkey, and camel...

...even as the Talib carry through on their threat that the 'purple thumbs' of people participating in the elections will be removed.

In the commentary, Travus asks the question "What are we winning if we won?" The CIA World Factbook informs us (select the 'Economy' tab for a list of resources) of the resources, NOT the 'True Cost' of obtaining them. It's notable that Africa has a similar mix of extractive resources, and the Pentagon's shiny new command for the region, "AFRICOM" is seeing it's budget approximately doubled in the coming fiscal year if the military appropriations bill passes in it's current form. For instance, "The State Department budget... ...proposes raising the level of money provided to Kenya for the purchase of U.S. weaponry (alone) to $1 million—up from $250,000 in the current fiscal year" (source). More on AFRICOM Here, The Cost of Empire and here "AFRI(OIL)COM" at Foreign Policy In Focus.

A report ordered from the CIA FIVE YEARS AGO by a federal judge on interrogation, torture, and violations of the rules that were in place for those practices at the time has been delivered. It's been kept secret until now for reasons that may soon become quite clear to the American public... Criminal charges against CIA personnel may result from the report.

The report and appendices are HERE (Scribd embed, Javascript required)

As Obama disappears to Martha's Vineyard (which BTW, runs it's resort trade on Brazilian immigrant labor) for vacation he approves an order that future interrogations of high value detainees will be carried out by specially trained interrogation personnel operating under the rules of a panel run by the WHITE HOUSE. The CIA just lost most of their interrogation privileges.

The Cash for Clunkers program ends today at 5pm today with 174,000 cars exchanged.

The Deck IS Stacked!

From Dean Baker, economist at "Beat the Press"
The Federal Government Claims That Goldman Has Stock Manipulation Software

The NYT had a bizarre piece in which it reported on the FBI's arrest of a former Goldman Sachs employee because he allegedly stole software from Goldman Sachs which the article says a federal prosecutor claims: "could be used to 'unfairly manipulate' stock prices."

The article is peculiar because it focuses on the intellectual property issues between Goldman and a former employee who had worked on developing the software. It almost completely ignores the more basic issue that the federal government effectively claims that Goldman Sachs has software that can be used to manipulate stock prices. If the software can be used for illegal purposes, why is it more serious that a relatively low level employee has access to it than Goldman Sachs' top executives? (source)

...and Finally! Some GOOD financial News!
Clusterfuck Nation
Financial Crisis Called Off

By James Howard Kunstler
on August 24, 2009 7:49 AM

Whew, what a relief! Everybody from Ben Bernanke and a Who's Who of banking poobahs schmoozing it up in the heady vapors of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the dull scribes at The New York Times, toiling in their MC Escher hall of mirrors, to poor dim James Surowiecki over at The New Yorker, to - wonder of wonders! - the Green Shoots claque at the cable networks, to the assorted quants, grinds, nerds, pimps, factotums, catamites, and cretins in every office from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the International Monetary Fund - every man-Jack and woman-Jill around the levers of power and opinion weighed in last week with glad tidings that the world's capital finance system survived what turned out to be a mere protracted bout of heartburn and has been reborn as the Miracle Bull economy.

Our worries over. If you believe their bullshit. Which I don't.

All this goes to show is how completely the people in charge of things in the USA have lost their minds. They seem to think this mass exercise in pretend will resurrect the great march to the WalMarts, to the new car showrooms, and the cul-de-sac model houses, reignite another round of furious sprawl-building, salad-shooter importing, and no-doc liar-lending, not to mention the pawning off of innovative, securitized stinking-carp debt paper onto credulous pension funds in foreign lands where due diligence has never been heard of, renew the leveraged buying-out of zippy-looking businesses by smoothies who have no idea how to run them (and no real intention of doing it, anyway), resuscitate the construction of additional strip malls, new office park "capacity" and Big Box "power centers," restart the trade in granite countertops and home theaters, and pack the turnstiles of Walt Disney world...

...all this while turning Afghanistan into a neighborhood that Beaver Cleaver would be proud to call home.
[In Full @ Clusterfuck Nation]


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