Friday Afternoon Open Thread

Who knew Anonymous' Barrett Brown had a sense of humor? His latest tweet:

Now my weed dealer won't come by because he's afraid of the damned Zetas. #OpCartel

Maybe he read my post calling him the latest drug war recruit and wants to assure people it's not true.

Congrats to Glenn Greenwald, whose new book, Liberty and Justice for Some, is now at #25 of the NY Times Bestseller List for Hardocover NonFiction.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Wall Street reforms, (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:11:14 PM EST
    lessons learned: keep regulators occupied.   Months before MF Global (MF) was known to be on the brink, federal regulators  tried to rein in the types of risky trades leading to the demise of the firm.  Jon Corzine, the CEO of MF, well-conected to the Obama administration, personally pressed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to stop plans for new regulations and the CFTC yielded to Corzine's superior knowledge and expertise.  

    MF told regulators, rather unimaginatively, that they were trying to "fix something that is not broken," adding that the firm was not aware of any firm that was unable to provide to their customers upon request any segregated funds.   Perhaps the clinching argument was MF's assurances to the federal regulators that the proposed rule could cripple the futures brokerage industry by hurting their profitability.  Meanwhile, MF is now in bankruptcy and the CFTC is hunting for $630 million in missing customer funds.

    Well, and did you see (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:44:58 PM EST
    Larry Summers explain that the housing market is damaging our ability to recover?  Sheer brilliance, who else could have noticed that had something to do with it. But I didn't really get the cure out of his words though his title claimed they were in there somewhere.  They were in there along with the command to watch the watch swing back and forth while Larry kept repeating, "must not return to regulation, the confidence fairy dies....must not return to regulation, the confidence fairy dies".

    I be so tired of my President and his insane in the membrane BFF.


    "Wall Street owns the country.... Money rules (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:59:20 PM EST
    ....John Boehner calls on the bankers, holds out his cup and offers them total obeisance from the House majority if only they fill it. Barack Obama criticizes bankers as "fat cats," then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person.

    That's now the norm, and they get away with it. The president has raised more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and private equity managers than any Republican candidate, including Mitt Romney. Inch by inch he has conceded ground to them while espousing populist rhetoric that his very actions betray.

    Let's name this for what it is: hypocrisy made worse, the further perversion of democracy. Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy--fewer than six degrees of separation from the spirit and tactics of Tony Soprano. link

    "and the banks-- (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:25:38 PM EST
    hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many banks created--are still the most powerful lobby. And they frankly own the place."   Senator Richard Durbin (D. Il)     4/29/09.  But that was then and this is now, right?

    Charles Pierce the other day... (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:52:38 PM EST
    First, Barack Obama hires the rancid flotsam of Wall Street to command the economic team tasked with salvaging the nation from what the equally rancid jetsam of Wall Street had done to it.
    Why Barack Obama chose to exhume this fossil and empower him again will baffle historians down through the ages.
    Barack Obama owns that report. It was his commission. In sum, the path to a complete sellout of Democratic values was there, if people wanted to follow it.
    Oh, holy mother of god, what a crock these people are. In the middle of the worst recession since the 1930's, with the country being told to accept nine-percent unemployment for the foreseeable future, and income inequality swamping the middle class, the responsible point of view among the leaders of both political parties is to "reform entitlements" until what's left is sticks and splinters because then, and only then, will the delicate, blessed "Markets" feel goody-good-good about themselves again. We are all Dow Jones. This kind of thing should end your political viability on the spot. It should get you deluged with produce every time you set foot out of your house. It should mark you lousy.
    If the Democrats sign on to a "Grand Bargain" like this one, there simply is no argument any more for their continued existence as a political party.

    -- The Big Sellout

    Something for Obama to Mullah over? (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:00:08 PM EST
    Taliban leader Mullah Omar called on his fighters to avoid killing civilians in a statement posted Friday on the Afghanistan hardline Islamists' website, SITE Intelligence reported.

    The US monitoring group said Omar "stressed that his fighters must maintain good relations with civilians and to avoid any action that may possibly harm them, and in turn, the people must also take measures to keep themselves safe from attacks."

    -- `Don't kill civilians,' Taliban leader tells fighters

    Walked through Civic Center plaza here (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:07:25 PM EST
    today.  Estimated 50 sworn city police officers on the perimeter, all wearing yellow slickers.  3 people in slickers inside the plaza next to a couple of U.S. flags fastened to rails by the steps.  So I asked, are you here because of those three people?  Yes.  So they won't pitch tents?  Yes, and for other reasons; plus, there are usually more occupiers--it's the weather.  Are you all sworn officers?  (Thought might be vol. citizen law enforcement.)  Yes.  Are there usually this many of you here?  Yes, and sometimes more.  

    On my return trip I saw more (maybe 50 occupiers alongside Civic Theatre (not in the actual plaza).  They had tarps and plastic sheeting.  (Rainy day--very unusual here.)  

    So I asked an officer if they had to take the tarps, etc. down at night.  He sd. I guess we're letting them keep up the tarps--for now.  At this point I noticed the law enforcement presence was greatly reduced.  Maybe I hit shift change.

    It is pretty nasty for here. And moi (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:58:19 PM EST
    is driving back downtown to hear symphony concert:  both Liszt piano concerti on one program.  

    How bad... (none / 0) (#40)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 08:35:03 PM EST
    are your Wolverines going to beat us tomorrow?  I'm thinking 3 touchdowns.  

    I didn't realize ISU beat Iowa. So three (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 12:56:37 AM EST
    touchdowns sounds about right.  But what do I know?  Nothing.  Heck, I didn't know til today Tebow has a beard!

    The Cyclones--mah. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 11:06:00 AM EST
    Losing to little brother in Ames isn't bad--its their bowl game, so they always get pumped up for that game.  Now, losing to Minnesota and subjecting Floyd of Rosedale to another year of being forced to eat lutefisk and paraded around at all the county fairs and parades like a common war criminal--that's bad.  

    They better be very angry today.  They're rolling out the red, white and blue Tiger Hawk on the helmet today.  Plus, it is at Kinnick and they're a different team there.  

    Beware the angry birds! I'm hoping for an upset as a birthday present.

    Brian Wilson of the Giants has a beard.  Tebust has peach fuzz...

    Go Hawks!


    Wilson looks like an Old Testament (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 11:48:19 AM EST

    How is your friend doing? (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:59:52 PM EST
    Fortunately California is moving ahead (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 08:16:33 PM EST
    re stem cells.  Hope all goes well.

    Thank you for updating (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:23:31 PM EST
    as I also have hoped to hear good news.

    And this is good as it gets for now -- there is something to be tried.  I have a friend who was given only a few months, with a brain cancer diagnosis, and he went into stem-cell tests and other stuff of some sort at a good teaching hospital.

    That was years ago. He has seen his son graduate from high school, and the way it's going, he'll see him get to and through another graduation, too.


    Very good news (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:01:07 PM EST
    If wines can have bad years (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:29:42 PM EST
    then so can we, I guess?

    Pretty Flippant... (none / 0) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:33:07 PM EST
     ...for someone who hold lives in his hands/computer.

    I bet there are plenty of souls not finding the humor in his tweet.

    Exposing these people is similar, but not the same as exposing anyone, be it a spy, or informant, or associates of a Cartel. He's knowingly putting people in harms way.  To me is simply playing their game, which is not for the squeamish.

    He played chicken and lost, actually posting the names will only guarantee their member's death and many more.  I would imagine he's trying to figure out how to back down without appearing weak.  Which doesn't seem plausible at this point.

    If the Cartels were so easily dissuaded they wouldn't be as powerful as they are.  I never really understood the whole threat, they leave human heads on the streets, this isn't Scarface where they prefer to remain anonymous, they want exposure.  Ditto for their advisories, dead people scare live people more than any threat.

    That being said, who is going to stand up to these clowns, in my mind there is only one way to break their backs, and we are no where near legalization of cocaine and opium.  Weed, somewhat closer, but that isn't their bread and butter.  Seems like sooner than later, they are going to control the State and then what, an actual war ?  We better hope and pray the Cartels never decide to make peace with each other...

    I'm confused by your comment (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 02:49:45 PM EST
    didn't Anon threaten to publish names unless the Zetas released some captives? And didn't the Zetas then release those captives? Sounds to me like Anon played chicken and won...

    That's what I thought, too (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by sj on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:19:13 PM EST
    Of course I could be missing something, but I don't think so...

    I Did Not Know Anyone Was Released (none / 0) (#7)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:31:14 PM EST
    Hmmm, scratch the comment.

    I don't know man... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:18:32 PM EST
    in a sense I guess Anonymous or just this guy might be if they exposed double-agents/informants.etc., but I think I side more with Police & Thieves putting people in harm's way, and people putting themselves in harm's way dealing with the law and/or the cartels...though I understand they sometimes do so at the barrel of a gun.

    It's a toughie...


    Any Kindle owner (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:25:08 PM EST
    that has used the Kindle version of TalkLeft?

    Not a total non sequitur.   I thought about when I pre-ordered the Kindle version of Glen's book.

    Also, yes I know about Amazon's treatment of employees this summer, but the Kindle edition doesn't factor in to that, right?

    Love my Kindle & thinking about the Fire (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by lynnerkat on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:46:59 PM EST
    I get Talk Left, FDL and a few other blogs on mt Kindle. I can't figure out how to get to the comments tho- Nice to be able to read it at work when it's blocked by the company I work for.

    My d-i-l just got the Kindle Fire (none / 0) (#45)
    by Towanda on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:27:28 PM EST
    for a gift, as she has to travel a lot and reads a lot.  So I'm watching, asthe Fire seems to have what I have been wanting in many ways -- but books still cost so much, for fast readers like me.

    So I'm also watching the Kindle libraries evolve.  Amazon just announced its Kindle library service -- but it's by subscription at $80 per year for only one book a month.  Forget it.


    Really can't beat the public library. (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by oculus on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 12:45:02 AM EST
    we need a TL (none / 0) (#6)
    by CST on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:27:51 PM EST
    nerd to write an "app" for it.

    Android of course.  Free too :)

    Any programmers with free time avid TL readers???


    App? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:33:38 PM EST
    F*ck that, we need a print edition, other than me printing out a Jeralyn or BTD long post & links to read away from a radiation source.

    You computer geeks and your toys...I love ya but you guys scare me.  Long live quasi-Luddites:)


    at least i still read real books (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by CST on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:01:34 PM EST
    unlike some commenters with their fancy kindle-doo-hickeys.

    Although I'm starting to see a trend here.  Both of my parents have now made the kindle/ipad switch.  Neither one of them has a smart phone.

    If TL were a print edition we would never see your lovely comments.  There is something special about going on a blog complaining about "computer geeks" :)


    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:28:07 PM EST
    For both you, CST, and kdog!

    BTW, Mr. Zorba, who may be more of a Luddite than I am, was just given an iPhone from his work (they decided that it was time to upgrade his cellphone, which he used seldom, if ever).  He has become fascinated with the iPhone, playing with it a whole lot.  Oh, no!  He's gone over to the Dark Side!   ;-)

    (I still have a "stupid phone," though.)


    my mother's (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:35:44 PM EST
    ipad also came from work.  Her boss decided that she needed one to keep up with all the email, etc... on the go, and a phone is just too small for her "advanced" eyes.  

    Of course, she also happens to be the boss ;)


    Well played... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:23:45 PM EST
    the internet truly arrived when even quasi-luddites got down. And I must admit the youtube jukebox is pretty nifty.

    And I've discovered with some fellow degens that friendly gambling on actor credit over/unders on imdb is a hoot.

    If not for Talkleft though, I could kick easy.


    it's only 99 cents (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:58:51 PM EST
    for the Kindle subscription to TalkLeft. I wonder if it lets you comment?

    I don't know how to make a mobile version of TalkLeft. And it would cost me too much money to hire someone to do it. It's not as simple as if TL were on wordpress. Maybe someone with that know-how would volunteer to do it, but I'm not sure we have many techies here.


    Jeralyn, you can apparently make (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:55:29 PM EST
    mobile apps of Talkleft with Conduit, free. I've been thinking of doing it for my site, but my list of things to do keeps getting longer and longer... ;-)

    andgarden advised me to set up (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:01:28 PM EST
    TalkLeft RSS to my Blackberry.  Works great and, yes, if I open the diary, I can read all the comments and add my 2 cents worth.  

    Do you get a portion of that? (none / 0) (#62)
    by sj on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 04:02:11 PM EST
    I'd feel much better about the monthly subscription if you get a residual.  I don't know about commenting there -- I've already rubbed off some of the letters on the keypad due to word games.  (I love word scrambles)

    I don't know if any of you follow (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:32:23 PM EST
    the American Extremists comics at Vast Left's place, but, seriuosly, the guy just nails the issues in three or four short lines.

    Here's a link to the website, along with a link to the archive where you can scroll from the most current one, back to previous ones.

    You won't be disappointed.


    Anne, thanks so much for putting in a good word... (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by vastleft on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 06:11:25 AM EST
    ... about my talking-heads comic strip!

    It was my pleasure, vast - (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Anne on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 09:58:15 AM EST
    can't tell you how excited I was for you to see American Extemists appear in Glenn Greenwald's posts, and to see you officially on his blogroll.

    I continue to be impressed by how, on a daily basis, you can express so much substance in such a succinct way.


    I made it especially difficult by... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by vastleft on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 10:22:29 AM EST
    ... choosing such a big, chunky font. So, concision is indeed a huge challenge.

    On the other hand, using the same graphic day after day has a certain efficiency to it. :)

    On the third hand, coming up with a unique title for each day's strip turns out to be fairly time-consuming. Probably not time well spent, because with nearly 150 strips posted so far, I don't think anyone's said a peep yea or nay about the titles. I think my personal favorite title was "Hegelian vs. Predator."


    Thanks (none / 0) (#10)
    by sj on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 03:59:48 PM EST
    Plus it led me to this lovely little essay from Ian Welsh:

    What passes for smart on the Greek Debt Crisis


    I am of two minds (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:49:05 PM EST
    about the situation in Greece.  On the one hand, the government is and has been enormously  corrupt and complicit, and the banks have been hugely predatory- no question about it.  And they are definitely asking the Greek people to take the major hit, as opposed to the big banks.  I'm also thinking that, would it be so bad if the Greeks went back to the drachma, defaulted like Iceland, and went their own way?  On the other hand, I happen to know, from friends and relatives in Greece, that it has long been a major Greek "thing" to avoid paying their taxes- that's always been a huge problem in Greece.  They want the benefits, but they don't want to pay for them.  So I don't know the answer.  I suspect that the best answer for the people of Greece, ultimately, is to default, exit the Eurozone, tighten their belts for a bit, but then they also need to start paying their taxes, in a fair-minded system.  And they need to elect a government that is even-handed and not corrupt.

    Kinda (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Amiss on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 12:31:03 AM EST
    reminds me of our gov't and the way we are being done.

    Sometimes You Can't Win (none / 0) (#14)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:30:30 PM EST
    From early reports of Bill Clinton's book:

    "Clinton also suggests, obliquely, that Obama's criticism of Wall Street has been too harsh and counterproductive. The 42nd president periodically surfaces with cheerful tips on how he managed the economy and offers these observations in his book entitled "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy." The Washington Post obtained a copy of the book prior to its publication."

    Not to worry (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:47:54 PM EST
    According to International Business Times all that criticism was bull$hit....and Jon Corzine could be relied upon to "communicate" to the Street how the President really feels about all of them....all warm and fuzzy.

    So (none / 0) (#16)
    by sj on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:38:09 PM EST
    Are you transferring your fixation from Obama to Clinton?

    This is fun! (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 04:57:29 PM EST
    More from the Clinton book:

    Clinton maintains that  Obama could have averted this summer's politically damaging debt ceiling standoff if he'd pushed for for an increase when Democrats controlled Congress, or through a unilateral show of executive power.

    Instead, he says, the deal brokered with Republicans does little to address unemployment or curb long-term debt, leaving Obama with a "tough hand to play" in the months ahead.  

    Clinton also says Obama and Democrats could now be more effective in making their case for higher taxes on wealthier Americans by not emphasizing the class divide.


    Clinton says he and Vice President Joe Biden personally pushed Democratic activists to develop a unified set of talking points on the Recovery Act, auto bailout and financial regulatory reform - all to no avail.

    "We couldn't persuade the decision makers to do so," Clinton said.

    "Fun?" (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by christinep on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 05:10:56 PM EST
    While I always prefer reading the book than the come-on & juxtaposed snippets....

    Well, maybe you are saying that the "fun" comes in trying to play off/divide Democrats or something like that?  But then, the Repubs are having such a pure fun time tearing each other up for all to see everyday...kinda like a mud-wrestling melange.


    Fun (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 07:57:52 PM EST
    As in, like ABG, anyone can take selected excerpts from a review of a book or quotes and make any argument you want to make.

    Thanks for proving my point.


    I got your point (none / 0) (#51)
    by sj on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 02:47:03 AM EST
    Agree far better to read the book (none / 0) (#28)
    by brodie on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 06:31:22 PM EST
    than rely on the MSM to accurately report what he wrote.  Though I agree if he is somewhat disparaging of the Ds pitiful messaging in 2010, and on the way O appeared passive and ineffectual in the debt ceiling ridiculousness.

    That said, I don't like the looks of Bill in that book cover pic -- he looks photoshopped  and that three-piece suit almost shouts out Wall Street.  In fact he looks more like Clark Clifford.


    For kdog (none / 0) (#41)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 08:51:08 PM EST
    Some pre-Band rarities.  Canadian Squares.

    Enjoy my friend.

    Err, make that Canadian Squires. (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:00:16 PM EST
    Herpty derp.

    My man MileHi... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 09:09:50 AM EST
    Gracias hombre...thats how you start a day off!

    I've heard "He Don't Love You..." before as a bonus track on a Band compilation...the rest are new joys.

    "Leave Me Alone" got that Bo Diddly beat...nice riffin' by Robbie.

    One good turn deserve another...are you familar with a Little Feat rarity by the name of "Rat Faced Dog"?

    Don't drink whiskey,
    don't drink wiiiiiine.
    I'm a smokin' fool,
    that's all I do.


    Glad you enjoyed it! (none / 0) (#59)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 11:19:30 AM EST
    Did have a nice raw, rockabilly feel to it.

    I'll check out the Little Feat track after I'm done scaring the neighbors (watching the Hawks game).  


    Very nice. (none / 0) (#63)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 10:26:04 PM EST
    Although that picture creeped me out a little.  

    OK, now that we've covered something old, its on to something new--or at least from this century.

    If this doesn't make you want to find your sticks (I know you got some lying around!) and pound the crap out of something, then...well...check your pulse, 'cause you ain't alive.  

    Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3  Amphetamine


    Right with ya there... (none / 0) (#64)
    by kdog on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 06:38:54 AM EST
    saw Mr. Wynn and his Miracle 3 live one time performing The Dream Syndicate's classic "Medicine Show" album...they hit us with 'Amphetamine' in the encore...it is a heart pumper.

    Perfect to geek me up for some football with the fellas!  


    Been checking news reports (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Nov 04, 2011 at 09:47:58 PM EST
    to see if and when the missing money at MF Global turns up.  In spite of spokespersons for MF Global saying that nothing is missing as far as they can tell, the money is still missing.  They did think for a minute today that maybe they had found it at JPMorgan Chase, but nope.

    In legitimate investing news... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 09:37:40 AM EST
    it's Breeders Cup day kids!

    Going for a price with Drosselmeyer in the Classic...Uncle Mo will be beat.

    The ghetto burb syndicate will have a Pick 6 in play, Goldikova the lone single in the turf mile...the french mare retires in style, the lock of the day.

    Lovin' Hansen in the Juvie too...I'm a sucker for a fast grey.  Watch that colt go wire to wire.

    Just don't bet the milk money, no bailouts in this game:)

    where's the meet? (none / 0) (#60)
    by DFLer on Sat Nov 05, 2011 at 11:33:52 AM EST