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Recent Comments:

Actual quote: If I want, I take kiev in two weeks.

by Crazy Horse on
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Spiegel claims the Italian reports that Putin "threatened" barroso on saturday saying, "We could take Kiev in two weeks." We're in the hands of idiots and playground bullies.

(Don't know if anyone reported that comment, and its upshots at NATO.)

by Crazy Horse on
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by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on
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by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on
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Owen is the brightest bulb in Brit politics, has a nice communication style too. Articulate and hype-free. Earnest in just the right dosage. Too bad there's not a slew like him that clued in and ready to speak out intelligently for a better way.

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Economy and Finance
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This is simplistic. There was actually considerable fiscal consolidation in the US (if you include State level).

Of course, there was no hard money madness and there are very strong internal transfers, so imbalances are not so painful. But to just say "stimulus" ignores major factors going the other way.
Actually, that's a major reason why Europe did not fare so badly initially, but then got much the worst deal once its advantage in automatic stabilisers had receded.

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on
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Pressure Mounts for More Aggressive Stance Against Russia - SPIEGEL ONLINE

The official number is 25. That, according to the government, is how often German Chancellor Angela Merkel has spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the telephone since last November. But there are estimates and evidence to suggest that there have been closer to 35 such chats. All of the conversations focused on Ukraine. A breakthrough was never achieved.

Merkel's relations with Putin are considered to be closer than those enjoyed by most other Western leader with the Russian president. Yet positive outcomes from those ties have been nonexistent.

But this quickly (and not surprisingly from Spiegel) becomes pro-NATO pleading:

Pressure Mounts for More Aggressive Stance Against Russia - SPIEGEL ONLINE

No one within the EU or NATO is accusing Merkel of failing, but at the NATO summit this week, Merkel is likely to face some tough questions. Like why NATO partners should continue a dialogue with a man who often doesn't keep his word? And what happens if the constant tightening of sanctions doesn't make any impression on the Kremlin?

The crisis has reached the point the chancellor wanted to avoid all costs -- the point where military logic replaces diplomatic efforts. Putin appears to have gone even beyond this stage by allowing the deployment of Russian troops and their equipment into eastern Ukraine. Within NATO, pressure is growing on Merkel to change her approach.

Gung-ho! Let's have a SPIEGEL alert

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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Nato to create high-readiness force to counter Russian threat | World news | The Guardian

Nato is to create a 4,000-strong "spearhead" high-readiness force that can be deployed rapidly in eastern Europe and the Baltic states to help protect member nations against potential Russian aggression, according to Nato officials.

Leaders from the 28 Nato countries are expected to approve the plan at the alliance's summit in Wales when the Ukraine crisis tops the agenda on Friday.

The Nato secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the force, drawn on rotational basis from Nato allies, could be in action at "very, very short notice".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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Moscovici to be confirmed as Economic Affairs Commissioner | EurActiv

A EurActiv.fr source has confirmed that the position of Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs will return to France, following a report that appeared in Der Spiegel.

Pierre Moscovici's candidacy for the position of Commissioner for Economic Affairs should be accompanied by a post of Vice-President for the Economy, which Jean-Claude Juncker would confer upon Jyrki Katainen, known for his exemplary austerity budget.

"Juncker wanted to escape the problems of Barroso, who was always reproached for his obedience to Germany. (Since) the opposition of Angela Merkel to the nomination of France for the post of Economic Affairs was a bit too strong, he has chosen to assert himself," a European Commission source stated.

!!!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Economy and Finance
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EUobserver / Why America is recovering, but Europe is not - Part II

BRUSSELS - It is the differences in the way the United States and Europe tackled the global financial crisis that explain why the US economy is recovering, whereas the eurozone is in a lost decade. Why US crisis policies worked

In the United States, the global financial crisis was unleashed by real estate markets and the financial sector, which caused a dramatic contraction and massive mass unemployment.

But even as the Obama administration and the Congress initiated deleveraging and tried to repair the devastation of the subprime markets and the colossal excesses of the too-big-to-fail banks, Washington used substantial fiscal adjustment as a cushion.

The administration's stimulus package, which was later revised to $831 billion, included spending in infrastructure, health and energy, federal tax incentives, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions. It boosted innovation and supported competitiveness.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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EUobserver / Who is Tusk and what does he mean for the EU?
BRUSSELS - Quiet, pragmatic, tenacious - some compare Donald Tusk, the Polish prime minister and newly-chosen EU Council chief, to German chancellor Angela Merkel. But unlike her, he has "given up" on Moscow, with Russia relations set to make or break his EU tenure.

Tusk will take over the EU baton from Belgium's Herman Van Rompuy on 1 December.

He might stay for two and a half years or for five. But his fellow centre-right EU leaders have refused to give the job, a priori, to the centre left in 2017.

Opinion is divided on how he got the post.

For some, such as Charles Grant, the director of the London-based think tank, the Centre for European Reform (CER), the EU appointed a Pole as "a signal to Russia" it will not tolerate war-mongering in the east.

For others, such as Judy Dempsey, a Berlin-based analyst at the Carnegie Europe think tank, it was more to do with internal EU logarithms.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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In story: Start the Week Open Thread

Re: Start the Week Open Thread
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that's no bad thing. Especially if his predicition about the Scottish left comes to pass

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Start the Week Open Thread

Re: Start the Week Open Thread
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Guardian - Zoe Williams - Pessimism won't do. We need an energy revolution

The interesting thing about energy policy, as it comes into focus for the start of manifesto season, is that it gives each party the chance to be dreadful in its own unique way. The Conservatives are going with the line that bills are too high (they are), this is because of Labour's high taxes (it isn't), and can be rectified by "slashing green levies". This is their offer: it makes very little financial difference (an average of £50 a year) and no demands on energy companies except to simplify their bills. It looks like a lot of bluster about the "mess they inherited" paired with some ineffectual flapping.

In fact it isn't, it's an extremely bold statement; by casting green levies as expendable, they show they are not serious about transforming the energy market. They're not serious about renewables. They're not worried about carbon targets. They're not going to prioritise investment in green infrastructure. They're not 100% convinced that climate change is even happening, and - this bit is crucial - they're not going to do anything to undermine the market dominance of existing companies selling fossil fuels. Only alternatives will challenge the energy oligopoly, and alternatives need investment.

Bills will get simpler, going down this route. Ultimately, they will be simplified down to one line: "You don't need to know how much it is, loser, just pay it." In other words, this is strong, joined-up, pro-corporate policy, sacrificing both the customer and the future to profit, disguised as incompetent meddling.



by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Start the Week Open Thread

Re: Start the Week Open Thread
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They have heard all the dire macro-economic warnings - about the pound, the banks, the debt, the non-reliability of oil money. Set against the idea of making a clean break with Westminster politics and neoliberal economics, these are risks many of them are prepared to take.

...

The most coherent of the young people I spoke to understood the macro-economic risk. But they weighed it against two increasingly intolerable burdens: the inability of Scotland's relatively left-leaning electorate to influence Westminster; and the inability to budge Scottish Labour away from the free-market and pro-austerity policies associated with Brown and Darling.

What's not to like? There is an alternative, after all. Another interesting detail:
Even more traumatised will be Labour. The prospect of a majority Labour government at Westminster after 2016 will be remote. The party in Scotland will likely go into meltdown, with a Podemos-style left emerging among the pro-independence Labour camp, the Greens and the progressives around groups like Common Weal.
It appears Podemos has replaced Syriza in Paul Mason's imagination.

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on
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In story: Start the Week Open Thread

Re: Start the Week Open Thread
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Guardian - Paul Mason - Something incredible is happening in Scotland. And if the result is a yes vote the shock to the UK will be extreme

You could tell it was getting serious when Gordon Brown made friends with Alistair Darling; and when the Scottish Daily Mail began running doom headlines about the future of the Union. I don't know whether the narrowing of the poll lead for the no campaign was just a blip, but it doesn't feel like it.

Something incredible is happening in Scotland. The little pin badges - Yes or No - that people wear are sparking open conversation: in the pub, the swimming baths, the post office queue. An entire country of 5 million people is asking itself, sometimes quite vociferously, what it wants to be.

It's even more incredible if you consider the possible outcome. If enough people tick the yes box, then come 2016 the flag of Great Britain will have to go minus a whole colour.

Paul Mason explains why the gap is narrowing more quickly than the polls suggest and suggests a Yes vote is increasingly likely

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Start the Week Open Thread

Re: Start the Week Open Thread
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by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: Montebourg Bails Out

Re: Montebourg Bails Out
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To illustrate (with all the doubts on the measurement procedure)
Frequency of apparition of Keynes and Friedman through the ages

by Xavier in Paris on
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In story: Ultra-liquidity...

Re: Ultra-liquidity...
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Why invest when you can torture the poor?
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on
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In story: Weekend Open Thread

Israeli popular music
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Translation at the Forward.

by gk (gk) on
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The males in the post-Soviet Russia do not have many carreer options. And their life expectancy still dropping.
by das monde on
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The challenges are rolling the sublime direction. Might be convenient for some leadership.
by das monde on
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And Russians agitating within Ukraine (quite apart from the presence of Russian troops, the leaders of the separatists were Russian nationals until not long ago).

Merkel's failure would have been that she did not recognize these realities, but thought that Germany held a position strong enough to bring about a diplomatic arrangement at a higher level than facts on the ground. The latter are proving stubborn.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Living On The Planet
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Coasteering started when rock climbers grew tired of carrying and belaying ropes, life

FIFY

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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Yes.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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and yet, sadly, we do not seem to have the leadership capable of navigating such waters.

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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To what extent should she be held responsible for a failure when there are people within the EU and nato who are still agitating within Ukraine?

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Living Off The Planet
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Huge Reversal on Fracking In Pennsylvania

August 30th, 2014 by Tina Casey

Let's go out on a limb and say this is not a coincidence: just days after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection disclosed 243 cases of contamination from oil and gas drilling operations, a major drilling company has voluntarily dropped an attempt to force its operations upon unwilling property owners in the Utica shale formation.

The decision to back off is a huge deal because the company in question, Hilcorp Energy Company, would have been the first to use Pennsylvania's longstanding "forced pooling" law in a shale formation. So, that pretty much shuts the door on that.

Let us hope.


by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: 30-31 August 2014

Re: Living off the Planet
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It is a product comprising three specific humanized monoclonal antibodies. An industrial line that can produce the medicine in quantity could be useful for other monoclonal antibodies. If no such facility exists and industry is not moving to create one it would seem appropriate for the NIH to create such a facility. That done, developers could use that facility for other such medicines while finding a reason to keep the price to the users within bound - i.e. not $1,000/dose.

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Economy and Finance
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Boomer Wealth Dented by Mortgages Poses U.S. Risk - Bloomberg
A growing number of homeowners are reaching retirement age still owing money on their houses. The share of Americans 65 and older with mortgage debt rose to 30 percent in 2011 from 22 percent in 2001, according to a May analysis by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau based on the latest available figures. Loan balances also increased, with the median amount owed climbing to $79,000 from $43,400 after adjusting for inflation, the data showed.

The increase in mortgage debt may influence labor-force dynamics as some older Americans find they're unable to completely retire, needing extra cash to keep up monthly payments. It also diminishes home equity and wealth, making these households more susceptible to swings in the economy and curbing spending on things such as vacations and visits to grandchildren.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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In story: 1-2 Septembre 2014

Re: Living Off The Planet
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Thanks to fracking, there's something in the water in Pennsylvania | Grist

The DEP has released a list of 243 reports of drinking water contamination in Pennsylvania since the fracking boom first started in 2008. The DEP originally alluded to these incidents of contamination in January, but its specifics have not released until now.

From the Associated Press:

The problems listed in the documents include methane gas contamination, spills of wastewater and other pollutants, and wells that went dry or were otherwise undrinkable. Some of the problems were temporary, but the names of landowners were redacted, so it wasn't clear if the problems were resolved to their satisfaction. Other complaints are still being investigated.

The most incidences of contamination occurred in northeastern Pennsylvania, but they're widespread throughout the state.

Last month, Pennsylvania's auditor general issued a report detailing the extent to which the DEP is ill-equipped to properly regulate and monitor the exploding (no pun intended) natural gas industry in the state.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on
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News and Views

 1-2 Septembre 2014

by afew - Aug 31, 44 comments

Your take on today's news media

 30-31 August 2014

by DoDo - Aug 29, 60 comments

Your take on today's news media

 Start the Week Open Thread

by Helen - Sep 1, 5 comments

Get set.....GO!!

 Weekend Open Thread

by Helen - Aug 29, 21 comments

Here we are now, entertain us

Occasional Series
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