Saturday, December 11, 2010

President Clinton Back in the White House, Fielding Questions

at an impromptu press conference after meeting privately with Obama.

And Obama, the current president, leaves in the middle of the press conference to attend a Christmas party (or go see his wife, whatever).

And as usual, Drudge Report has the best photo and title:

What was he thinking?

When Obama said he got to go attend another Christmas Party, the only person who did a courtesy giggle was Clinton. But Obama stayed on. As Clinton droned on and on for more than 7 minutes, Obama got increasingly impatient but he continued to stay. 7 minutes 45 seconds into the press conference, President Clinton started to field the questions from the reporters. Obama continued to look on Clinton as if to say "Oh just shut up."

Clinton may be an attention hog, but he is also a much better and more engaging speaker than Obama, and unlike Obama, Clinton knows what he is talking about and he can speak without teleprompters and he can answer questions. When he talks, he talks, not lectures like Obama. He connects with the reporters. It looks like Obama got jealous and left the stage in a huff, after standing next to Clinton for 10 minutes.

Thin-skinned and amateurish, I have to say, not to mention lazy. MSNBC called Obama as he looked on Clinton, after he declared he would have to leave for a party "a demoted beauty queen. "

And Clinton, hardly missing the beat and not even seeing Obama off, continued to field questions on the tight credit situation, party politics, structural deficit, "principled compromise" (sorely lacking ever since Obama became the president) for another 20 minutes. He was clearly enjoying the occasion.

Here's the press conference vid. It is 33-minute long. I ended up watching all of it, and found myself wishing Clinton were at the White House. I suspect many of the reporters there wished the same thing. When he said "I care about my country and want this economy to get going again", it was more believable than the current occupant of the White House.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

"We're gonna either row or sink. I want us to row."

I do too, even though I probably don't agree with any of the Clinton's ideas or positions.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

UK Student Protesters to Prince Charles and His Wife: "Off With Their Heads!"

UK students protesting the university fee hike attacked the Rolls Royce Phantom VI carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, who was in a state of shock. The protesters threw paint at the car, and smashed the rear window.

Towards the end of the video, someone started to chant "Off with their heads! Off with their heads!"

Well, the last time a royal lost his head was in 1649, when Charles I was executed.

Silver Keisers Issued to "Crash J.P.Morgan, Buy Silver" Campaign

A one-ounce silver coin bears an image of Max Keiser.

From's official press release:

Bid Bullion releases its limited edition silver bullion to commemorate Max Keiser and his efforts in increasing the prices of silver.
, a new penny auction selling precious metals at pennies on the dollar, has released a limited edition silver bullion by the name of the Silver Keiser.

This move couldn’t have been taken at a better time. On November 11th, 2010, Max Keiser, a finance critic and former stockbroker, told the listeners of the Alex Jones show that they should start “Google Bombing” the term “Crash JP Morgan, Buy Silver” to increase the rankings of pages that aimed at exposing the obvious short in the paper silver market.

Keiser and Jones’ underground campaign was met with a worldwide success, and went viral. As a result, the value of silver increased more than 8% in value thus far and continues to rise. According to Keiser, people’s efforts should only cease when silver is finally sold for its true value, which is $500 per physical ounce.

With such a historical event unraveling before the whole world, Bid Bullion decided to release the limited edition Silver Keiser. Jeremey Hillsdon, Bid Bullion’s co‐founder said, “We wanted to help capture the moment by commemorating Keiser's life's achievements thus far, by creating a piece of history.” Aside from thanking Keiser for his efforts, the Keiser Silver will help remove 171,250 ounces of physical silver from the global markets and place them in people’s reach.

Bid Bullion has created 25,000 units in 1/10, ¼, ½, 1 ounce and 5 ounce rounds. Each of these has the picture of Max Keiser engraved into its fine, flawless surface, and has the quotes "Global Insurrection Against Corporate Occupation" and also "Crash Banksters, Buy Silver". In addition, each bullion will be marked with its related weight, the dates 2010/2011, and .999 Fine Silver to add more value for silver investors and collectors.

Silver Keisers will be available in the first week of January, according to the above press release. Spot silver is trading at $28.75 today. One year ago it was $17. Two years ago it was $10.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Did You Know That House Passed DREAM Act Today?

while we were distracted with fireworks like:

TSA "love pats" and naked scanner scandals
Federal Reserve bailout details
FBI raiding hedge funds for insider trading

The bill, a pet project of progressive Dems for nearly a decade, will allow illegal aliens (read Hispanics) to remain permanently and legally in the US.

The Hill reports:

House lawmakers on Wednesday passed legislation allowing illegal immigrant students to remain permanently and legally in the United States.

The DREAM Act — a top priority of Democrats in both Congress and the White House — was approved by a tally of 216 to 198. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote in favor of the bill, while 38 Democrats voted against it.

The bill now moves to the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure Thursday morning. The proposal's success is much less likely in the upper chamber, where a GOP filibuster will require 60 votes for passage. The Senate shot down a similar measure in 2007, and most of the opponents at the time haven't changed their positions over the last three years.

First introduced in 2001, the House legislation extends conditional legal status for five years to those illegal aliens who:

• Were younger than 16 when they entered the country

• Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years

• Have a degree from a U.S. high school, or the equivalent

Beneficiaries can apply for an additional five years of conditional nonimmigrant status if they've completed at least two years of higher education or military service. Afterward, they could apply for permanent legal status.

In the Senate, Harry is ready with not just one but FOUR versions of the bill, S.3827, S.3962, S.3963, and S.3992 , and the Senate will vote on Thursday 11:00AM. I wonder which one, though.

I wonder why illegal Hispanics would want to become permanent residents. They can and do receive government subsidies and benefits as "undocumented immigrants". Permanent residents, on the other hand, cannot receive such taxpayer-funded benefits, although it is possible, even probable, that there are many loopholes for the "minority" permanent residents to continue to receive government subsidies.

This is just ridiculous, pushing the major bills like this during the lame-duck session, with Congressmen and Senators who lost in the November election voting on the bill that will gravely affect Americans.

Let me guess... Congress will pass the climate bill to fight global warming and Obama will sign the bill on Christmas Eve, on his way to another Hawaiian vacation.

"Operation Payback" Takes Down Visa and Mastercard Sites

Well, you wanted a cyber war, Mr. Obama. Now you've got it. Good luck to you.

"Operation Payback" took down the website of Mastercard, and then proceeded to do the same at Visa's website. It was successful in less than a minute. The entity behind "Operations Payback" didn't like it when Mastercard and Visa did the bidding of the government and stopped processing donations to WikiLeaks.

Paypal froze the WikiLeaks account under the government pressure, preventing WikiLeaks from receiving donations.

And yet another popular Internet site has caved in to the government's demand and removed the user behind "Operation Payback": Twitter.

Ah, the futility of the action by Twitter, and they should know it. Now you can follow "Operation Payback" again, on Twitter, at these accounts:


Let's see, the next thing that Obama the cyber warrior (with Senator Rockefeller in tow) may do is to demand that Twitter hand over the information of the followers of "Operation Payback" and WikiLeaks, and harass them as "terrorists" and "traitors".

Doesn't seem odd to you that the ruling class and their wannabes are all up in arms against WikiLeaks and its founder over a bunch of diplomatic cables many of which, many say, are no more than petty gossips, childish temper tantrums? Absolutely nothing happened when WikiLeaks leaked the war documents.

Isn't it ironic that the companies who must depend on free flow of information in the cyberspace - Amazon, Twitter, Paypal, Facebook - cave in to the government pressure very easily and curtail that freedom (and the First Amendment, by the way)?

UK's Guardian had a poll on December 5, asking readers "Would you donate to WikiLeaks if you could?" The result?

86.7% YES
13.3% no

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Denninger: You're Paying Your Mortgage - WHY?

so Karl Denninger at Market Ticker, who has been on top of the "foreclosuregate", asks, as he describes a lawsuit in Texas in which Bank of America is accused of trying to collect on the fully-paid mortgage.

I fully agree with his shouting and screaming in bold letters and capital letters. But alas, none of that matters in non-judicial states where even the real estate attorneys tell you to forget it (unless you are financially able to retain them), and it is unlikely to change any time soon. And the big national banks like Bank of America and J.P.Morgan Chase, acting as the loan servicer or the trustee of the mortgage trust, keep pocketing the houses that they have no title to, as government regulators look the other way.

Now, Denninger's shouting and screaming:

Now comes this lawsuit out of Texas alleging that Bank of America not only tried to collect on a PAID IN FULL mortgage but refused to listen to the fact that it had been paid in full and in fact threatened that the owners were "going to lose their home."

These banks all claim there is no "real problem" with securitization, there are no pernicious issues with paperwork not being in order, it's all on the up and up, yet we continue to see filings like this, and these filings - extreme measures, lawsuits even - come only after reasonable attempts to communicate with these institutions and resolve problems are met with STONEWALLING and games - even when, as is alleged here, there is evidence that the loan in question was paid in full and discharged!

Had enough yet?

This is all "minor paperwork errors" and "nobody has lost their home" (or been unjustly harassed, dunned and threatened for money they do not owe, right?)






IMF's Strauss-Kahn Wants Eurozone Growth, and Doesn't Want Eurozone Growth

It must be the translation, I hope.

According to AP, Director General of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in Greece Tuesday:

there was a need "to have something more dynamic, which is something where the center of the eurozone will be stronger because you can't have a single currency and not have at the same time a coordinated economic policy. And that's the big weakness."


Now, can you figure out what the hell he meant? Did he speak Greek? Did he speak French? Did AP use Google translation? What am I missing?

Julian Assange: Don't Shoot the Messenger

His Op-Ed piece appeared on The Australian, just as he surrendered to the UK police for not wearing a condom in a consensual sex with a radical feminist in Sweden who's been campaigning for making an unprotected consensual sex a "rape" in that PC country.

The governments in the US and Europe are all up in arms over the leaks this time of the US diplomatic cables which make their elites look like bumbling idiots in the eyes of the governed (the rest of us). Australia is closing the entire post office that receives WikiLeaks mails.

Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths
(Julian Assange, 12/08/2010 The Australian)

WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.

IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.

If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.

WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain's The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.

Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be "taken out" by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be "hunted down like Osama bin Laden", a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a "transnational threat" and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister's office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.

And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Julia Gillard and her government. The powers of the Australian government appear to be fully at the disposal of the US as to whether to cancel my Australian passport, or to spy on or harass WikiLeaks supporters. The Australian Attorney-General is doing everything he can to help a US investigation clearly directed at framing Australian citizens and shipping them to the US.

Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.

We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn't want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.

Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.

Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: "You'll risk lives! National security! You'll endanger troops!" Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can't be both. Which is it?

It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.

But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:

► The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.

► King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran.

► Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran's nuclear program stopped by any means available.

► Britain's Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect "US interests".

► Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

► The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.

In the meantime, people are calling for the boycott of (here's one from Justin Raymondo), and hackers around the world are rallying behind Assange.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pan-European Bank Run Tomorrow?

I wonder if they are still serious about doing it.

The simple plan - to withdraw money from your bank account - was hatched first in France, then spread to Germany, the Netherlands, UK, and Greece.

If anything, it will be no more than a symbolic gesture, a middle finger to the European banks who are being bailed out by the European taxpayers (and the US and Japan and the rest of the world, via the IMF). But is there any chance of actually causing bank runs in Europe?

Well, it might. Why? Because the European banks remain much more leveraged than the US banks. 1 euro taken out of the deposit (liability) may impact the banks' assets much more.

Here are two charts that shows the potential vulnerability of the European banks vis a vis the US banks. The first one is from Zero Hedge's November 1st article on the topic. The second one is from Wall Street Journal's July 15 article. They are both pretty much self-explanatory.

(Just a reminder: the GDP of the US and the GDP of EU are about the same, $14 trillion. Japan's GDP is about $5 trillion.)