Thursday, February 24, 2011
February 24 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: On The Sidelines - Maybe I'm Just Slowing Down But The News Seems Outside My Reactive Reach
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February 24 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: On The Sidelines - Maybe I'm Just Slowing Down But It Seems That Most News Today Is Outside My "Reactive Reach"
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In Libya, one of the army's generals in the Eastern part of the country has defected to the rebellion and tasked his troops and tanks to move on Tripoli.
It might also be noted that this:
"President Obama orders his national security team to consider "all options" against Libya in response to the violent crackdown against protesters"
...is really about the vested US national security interest in the Libyan refinery and oil infrastructure... NOT the harming of Libyan, or any other protesters. If the US government were interested in the welfare of the people in that area of the world (and elsewhere), they WOULD REMOVE THEIR SOLDIERS FROM IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN IMMEDIATELY!
Proof of that hypothesis:
U.S. oil soars as high as $100 on Libya unrestWhich brings us to this juncture in the decline of the US empire: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed down for a second straight session on Wednesday as Libya's violence sent oil prices briefly to $100 a barrel and tech shares sank, adding credence to calls for a market correction." In Full
(Reuters) - U.S. crude jumped to a 28-month high of $100 a barrel on Wednesday, as investors weighed the risk of Middle East unrest spreading from Libya to bigger exporters including Saudi Arabia.
The unrest has traders wondering when OPEC and its kingpin producer Saudi Arabia could boost oil output and stem the price surge. Saudi officials have said the kingdom, which holds the bulk of OPEC's spare production capacity, would act to make up for any major disruption.
"It is imperative the Saudis release some extra barrels into the market now to calm the situation, rather than simply trying to talk the price down," said Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global in New York.
Oil's surge fed worries about the impact of energy prices on the U.S. economy, dragging equities markets lower. In 2008, crude's advance to a record $147 a barrel cut demand and contributed to the deepest global economic downturn since World War Two... [In Full @ Reuters]
As the "Bottom Feeders" move in on the housing market, buying cheap distressed homes (foreclosures and 'short sales' accounted for 37% of the transactions and points towards more price declines) easily available throughout America, driving overall prices down and leaving the American 'stakeholder' with a little less 'stake' on their economic 'plate' even as the Libyans push for their own stake in their government's affairs.
There is a rumor that a deal has been cut in the Wisconsin capital labor stand-off. The unions have agreed to all pay cuts and benefit pay-in increases in return for the retention of collective bargaining. We'll see...
By the bye, it has been noted that the head of the Wisconsin state police union (who's members will not be affected by the contested bill in the legislature that's caused mass ongoing demonstrations) has said that he thinks his members would have no problem using force, but on the other hand, most of the union members voted for "the other guy" for Governor.
More to the point...
Police chief Noble Wray of Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday asked Republican Gov. Scott Walker to explain "very unsettling and troubling" comments made in what he thought was a private phone call.This pertinent question appeared in the Mainstream (capital "M") Washington Post:
Pranked by a gonzo journalist pretending to be conservative billionaire David Koch, Walker said on the 20-minute call that his administration considered planting "troublemakers" in the crowd of demonstrators opposing his budget, which curtails the collective bargaining rights of public employees."I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker's response, during his news conference yesterday, to the suggestion that his administration 'thought about' planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill," Wray said in a statement." I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members.""I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely,"Walker hinted in the call that he ultimately decided against planting "troublemakers" in the crowd. He joked to the Buffalo Beast's Ian Murphy, who he thought was Koch, that he may use a baseball bat in his office to go after the protesters.
Wray said he was "concerned" what Walker's remarks could signify, adding that it's his "responsibility" to "find out more about what was being considered by state leaders." [snigger]
[More at the WSJ... The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison]
How long can (Wisconsin governor) Scott Walker hold out?
Mother Jones's Andy Kroll has been doing some great reporting from Wisconsin, and he runs through four of the possible endgames here. They are:
1) The bill passes.
2) The collective-bargaining ban gets dropped.
3) A weird procedural effort to repackage the bill as "non-financial," which would mean the Senate Democrats don't need to be present.
4) The collective-bargaining ban gets pushed to the 2011-13 budget fight, which will happen in the spring.
The problem with trying to game out Gov. Scott Walker's negotiating style is that the guy doesn't seem like much of a negotiator.
Another politician would've taken the concrete concessions on pensions and health-care benefits, threatened to revisit the collective-bargaining ban in the spring if any of the unions failed to make the promised concessions and thrown himself a parade. But not Walker.
Instead, he's rejected every compromise that's been offered -- and his allies are starting to notice.
The State Journal (see the State Journal article above about Madison's police chif's newfound 'concern'... Maybe They're 'concerned' now too.), a paper that endorsed Walker, has advised him to take a deal. David Brooks has criticized him for an "unbalanced" approach to cuts. Andrew Sullivan, whose initial position was sympathy for Walker, has turned. And it's easy to imagine the prank-Koch call getting a lot of attention in Wisconsin and looking like one more piece of evidence that the governor is approaching this as an ideologue rather than just an executive. The first nonpartisan poll suggests Walker's position isn't as popular as he -- and many others -- initially thought.
A few days ago, the question was: How long can the Democrats hold out?
Increasingly, it's how long Walker can hold out... [In Full]
Meanwhile in Indiana which had a right-to-work bill pending in the legislature and the state's Democratic legislators bunking with their Wisconsin cohorts in Illinois, the governor saw what happened in Wisconsin and requested that his Republican forces in the legislature to drop it, which they did, but not before this little piece of political drama on the part of the FORMER Deputy Assistant State Attorney General happened:
Courtesy of Mother Jones timely expose' of the sociopathy that is inherent in the thought processes and behavior of the bureaucrats who run the American Police State that allows people who think "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." against "...demonstrators [who] were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." ... to actually have the power to do so.The first I saw of it went like this:
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:32 AM
Subject: CLASSWAR U.S.A.: Deputy Attorney-General of Indiana: "Use Live Ammunition" Against Wisconsin Protesters
By that time, this was already in progress
Then this happened.
About one working day, and he was out of there (most likely for simply not keeping his mouth shut about the fact of the matter).
A British court has ordered Julian Assange extradited to Sweden on a charge of "Rape", which in this case means he voluntarily did not wear a condom while having consensual sex (a charge only existent in Sweden)with a political groupie who is connected to the CIA via academic channels and the Cuban Ladies In White, a group having ties with the Cuban-American CIA terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Mr. Carriles arranged for the destruction of a Cuban airliner with a full complement of passengers and crew onboard in mid-flight a number of years ago. The decision has been appealed in the British court.
Whether WikiLeaks founder Assange will be extradited from Sweden to the US remains to be seen. There are no warrants for his arrest, but that didn't stop the US from imprisoning Bradley Manning for 6+ months and counting with no charges, on "National Insecurity" grounds.
Attorney General Holder has told the Republicans in the House that the DOJ will no longer go to court in defense of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. The Justice Department is entitled to do so whenever there is a finding via presidential powers that a law is unconstitutional... whether the law remains on the books or not. DOMA defines marriage as an act that can only occur between a man and woman. The DOJ will continue enforcing it, but will not defend it in court.
General William Caldwell, in charge of training Afghan troops, apparently created a military psyops operation to persuade visiting US Senators that the War on Afghanistan is a worthy waste of US resources and American soldier's lives, and further, "...when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators." It is ABSOLUTELY ILLEGAL for the US to officially propagandize it own citizens
From the Washington Post:
Lt. Col. Michael Holmes told reporter Michael Hastings that he was ordered by Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops, to perform psychological operations on visiting VIPs. When he refused, he was officially reprimanded.
The article says his unit was repeatedly pressured over a four-month period to assess how best to get Caldwell's message across to a host of visitors, including Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister; and a host of influential think tank analysts.
Caldwell sent a statement to Rolling Stone that "categorically denies the assertion that the command used an Information Operations Cell to influence Distinguished Visitors."
Hastings wrote the June 2010 article, "Runaway General," that led to the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, [More]
The last voyage for the Discovery Space Shuttle happens today. After it's flight to the International Space Station, Discovery will be trucked to the Smithsonian Institution and put on display.
In OTHER News:
The Christian Science Monitor asks a somewhat disturbing question...
"If a government shutdown (due to failure to pass the Continuing Resolution budget bill) occurs, what actually happens?"
By Gail Russell Chaddock, Staff writer
February 23, 2011
House and Senate leaders are more than $60 billion apart on how much to spend or borrow to pay for government after March 4, when the funding for the current fiscal year runs out. If no one blinks, Washington could be headed toward a shutdown – the 16th since Jimmy Carter was president.
Most shutdowns lasted fewer than three days. One of the most famous, the standoff between President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich over balancing the federal budget – lasted 21 days, from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996. That shutdown furloughed some 800,000 federal workers; delayed processing of visas, passports, and other government applications; suspended cleanup at 600 toxic waste sites; and closed national museums and monuments as well as 368 national park sites – a loss to some 9 million visitors and the airline and tourist industries that service them.
It was, as Republicans had predicted, a “train wreck,” but it hit them hardest. Americans blamed the Republican House more than Mr. Clinton for provoking the shutdown, by a margin greater than 2 to 1... [In Full]
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