Links, 8/8/11

Our Dying Economy

Banks are slashing jobs. I guess giving all that free money to “job creators” didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.

If Dodd-Frank could do what it was supposed to, the Feds would be busy resolving Bank of America right now–before the many suits, objections to settlements, and put-back claims put it out of business w/the FDIC stuck holding the depositer’s bag.

Helicopter Ben Bernanke’s Chief International Advisor, Nathan Sheets, has done the bureaucratic equivalent of jumping off a sinking ship: leaving, with apparently no notice, the day before the FOMC meets, in the middle of a massive international crisis. He’s cashing out his vacation days so as to give a month’s notice without actually have to stick around.

Justice and Injustice

The Merit System Protection Board has upheld a decision by TSA to fire an air marshall who whistleblew that the government was cutting back air marshall coverage. This is another one of those cases where the government is punishing someone for leaking information that was not even classified (properly).

Our Dying Empire

A McClatchy report notes that the 30 Americans lost over the weekend were fighting in an area where locals, because they’re sick of our night raids, now sympathize with the Taliban. The same article notes that more than 50% of our night raids hit the right target–which is another way of saying almost 50% don’t hit the right target. Also, it seems we have lost track of the guy we thought was mediating peace talks with the Taliban, which is supposed to be the whole point of these attacks against the Taliban. Remind me again how this is helping us beat the fewer than 100 al Qaeda members in Afghanistan?

An Egyptian court fined Hosni Mubarak and two others for shutting down the InterToobz in a bid to stop protests earlier this year. They responded by saying that others–including the current head of the Army Council, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, that is running the country right now and longtime US ally Omar Suleiman–were involved in the decision. The judge wants to see the meeting notes to prove that. Those details may be very interesting, not least given the Egyptian military’s close ties to the US.

Carol Rosenberg reports that over half the detainees at Gitmo are choosing not to observe the Ramadan fast this year. The story also notes that we very thoughtfully switch to nighttime feeding schedule for those we force feed to prevent hunger strikes. I’m not sure we can make any conclusions about why prisoners are doing what they’re doing given that we talk about religiously observant forced feeding.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is back–with the scoop that the Osama bin Laden raid was sourced not to any detainee intelligence, but to a walk-in looking for the $25 million reward. (h/t CTuttle) Apparently, they were going to use a cover story of a drone strike, but the downed chopper made that impossible. I find the timing of this scoop–along with that of the of the New Yorker puff piece–interesting.

12 replies
  1. nomolos says:

    The banksters know full well that they can continue to take outrageous salaries and bonuses with impunity as this government is led by a pathetic little man only interested in his own welfare.

    One can only hope that the riots that started in the ME and that have spread through Spain to, now, London will reach the shores of this bollixed empire…maybe masses of people in the streets can tear down the edifices of greed and at the same time remove the so called leaders from their ivory towers. It is definitely time for the people to take over by whatever means necessary.

  2. prostratedragon says:

    Nathan Sheets: Ooooo-weee! Unless he’s had one of those personal issues by which we get rid of smart folks nowadays, hang on to your butts.

    The Guantanamo prisoners: Their declining to fast might be a bit disturbing. There’s what you definitely did not imply, but also there’s the fact that most of these customary observances are actually implemented leniently enough that those who would be hurt by trying to keep them —because of youth, age, health, or a need to sustain hard labor at an essential task, say— may modify or opt out without prejudice to their standing as good Muslims.

    No doubt the humanitarian visitors that go to the compound know about this, and will do what they can to take it up with the men.

  3. MadDog says:

    For those Michele Bachmann supporters whining about her Newsweek cover photo, uhmmm…what’s your point?

    And I hate to be the one to inform those Michele Bachmann supporters, but: You crazy too!

  4. jo6pac says:

    Thanks EW and Ctuttle I use stop TSTL back when good to have the writer back.

    Nathan Sheets
    Rats leaving the sinking ship, to much to hope any one goes to jail.

  5. rosalind says:

    missed this over the weekend: DOJ announced they will not be filing criminal charges against former execs of WAMU. DOJ insists:

    “Based upon its investigation, the Department of Justice has concluded that the evidence does not meet the exacting standards for criminal charges in connection with the bank’s failure.”

    “exacting standards”, now there’s a laugh line.

  6. bmaz says:

    @rosalind: Yeah, the mothercluckers could not find a crime on Jose freaking Rodriquez and the torture tape destruction either. So, take that with a rather large grain of Himalayan Pink Salt.

  7. rugger9 says:

    Regarding B of A: they are threatening foreclosure on my bro’s house after they sat on a payment for 18 days to ensure that a time limit was reached and a standard check could no longer be used [they now want certified funds] even though he has proof of delivery. This was while he was overseas on USG duty [he’s a CDR and a merchie], so the B of A claim that they’ve stopped abusing the military is as usual BS.

  8. P J Evans says:

    It sounds like it’s business as usual inside the beltway: help your corporate buddies, and the heck with everyone else. I don’t see anyone with any power changing their wicked ways anytime soon.

    (I saw a description the other day of Mr O, saying that he doesn’t have charisma, he has glamour. And, in the sense where glamour is a kind of spell, I think that’s right. Some people are more immune than others, and some are so entranced that they can’t see anything else but that glamour; the reality isn’t visible to them, even when others are going ‘where’s the clothes?’ as the watch the nobility march by in their birthday suits.)

  9. Jan Rooth says:

    While it’s entirely plausible, I don’t see how we’re to judge the reliability of this entirely anonymously sourced story regarding OBL’s killing.

  10. harpie says:

    I missed everything, yesterday and am just catching up. Yves Smith wrote a column at Glenn Greenwald‘s [he’s on vacation] in which she mentions the NYT article and discusses the issue in an historical context:
    Why are the big banks getting off scot-free?; 8/8/11

  11. Norwegian Shooter says:

    “interesting”?!? You can’t seriously believe that the cold spy (who hasn’t posted in over two years) has a hot scoop on the death of OBL, can you? That implicates not just the Pakistanis, but the Saudis too? Drop the cop out and ask to see some evidence.

    And the name isn’t a sick joke, I had it first.

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