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European Salon de News, Discussion et Klatsch - 14 November

by dvx Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:44:24 PM EST

 A Daily Review Of International Online Media 


Europeans on this date in history:

1946 - death of Manuel de Falla, Spanish composer (b. 1876)

More here and here

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The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:44:54 PM EST
EU Parliament walks away from budget talks | Business | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

The European Parliament has refused to negotiate further on the 27-member bloc's 2013 budget. It criticized member states, saying they had failed to fund shortfalls which have been amassed in the course of this year.

The European Parliament refused to continue budget talks scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening. It said it was not willing to attend negotiations on the EU's financial framework because of its discontent with member states' handling of a required amendment to this year's budget.

"We know that programs as important as the European Social Fund, rural development aid, humanitarian aid and [the study-abroad program] Erasmus have been short of money for more than a month," the chair of the Budget Committee, Alain Lamassoure, said in a statement, complaining about member states not willing to foot the bill through a supplementary 2012 budget.

"Given the current impossibility in which member states find themselves to solve the problem of the outstanding balance, the European Parliament cannot continue negotiations on next year's budget," Lamassoure commented.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurogroup ministers split on next step for Greece | News | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

Eurozone finance ministers have not reached an agreement on the next tranche of bailout funds for Greece. The group is also split on whether or not to give the debt-ridden country an extended deadline for budget cuts.

Greece's international lenders - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - ended their meeting in Brussels on Monday without reaching a final agreement on the next batch of bailout aid for Greece.

The group also discussed a possible deadline extension of two years, from 2014 to 2016, for the country to reform its economy. The proposal was met with mixed reviews.

"The revised fiscal targets, as requested by the Greek government and supported by the troika, would be an appropriate adjustment for the further path of fiscal consolidation in view of recent economic developments," the Eurogroup said on Monday in Brussels.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:53:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurozone finance ministers have not reached an agreement on the next tranche of bailout funds for Greece. The group is also split on whether or not to give the debt-ridden country an extended deadline for budget cuts.

Let the corpse twist in the wind a little longer. Make sure there's no life left in it.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:06:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that's about the size of it. I guess they imagine there's some blood somewhere they haven't found

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reporter on inaccurate Newsnight film questioned by BIJ funding body | Media | guardian.co.uk

The chief reporter behind the disastrous Newsnight report that wrongly linked a former Tory peer with allegations of child sexual abuse was formally questioned on Monday by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's funding body.

Angus Stickler, the former BBC journalist who researched and fronted the Newsnight film on 2 November, was interviewed by the bureau's trustees in London.

He was asked to provider further information and return for questioning on Thursday.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has launched an urgent inquiry into the Newsnight film, which it says was "100% overseen by the BBC". The bureau's trustees, chaired by James Lee, hope to publish their report by Friday.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:53:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Retired bishop Peter Ball arrested on suspicion of child sex offences | World news | guardian.co.uk

Detectives investigating complaints of sexual abuse in the Church of England have arrested a retired bishop on suspicion of eight sexual offences against eight boys and young men ranging in age from 12 to early 20s.

Officers from the Sussex police serious crime directorate involved in a six-month investigation into historic allegations at the diocese of Chichester arrested the Rt Rev Peter Ball, former bishop of Lewes and later bishop of Gloucester, on Tuesday morning at his home address near Landport, Somerset.

Ball is thought to be the most senior figure in the church to be arrested in connection with a sex abuse investigation. The bishop, now 80, has connections to Prince Charles, whom he has described in the past as "a loyal friend".

Police also arrested a 67-year old retired priest at his home address near Haywards Heath on suspicion of two separate sexual offences against two teenage boys in East Sussex between 1981 and 1983.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Religion ... such a saintly business.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:07:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Well [..] we're not all like that. Say there's 200 million priests in the world, and 5% of them are paedophiles, that's still only 10 million."
- Father Ted - S02E07 - Rock-A-Hula Ted

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That quote reminds me of a recent article on a very wealthy suburban area where I live. The local High School was dubbed "Heroin High" by students after one of them overdosed. The local police chief called that an exaggeration and hyperbole. He said that surveys into drug use in the school showed that only 15% of the students had an addiction problem.
by Upstate NY on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 11:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, naturally the big scandal is that Newsnight believed one of the victims and named somebody who is innocent.

A lesser scandal is that children's homes up and down the country were used as smorgasbord counters by paedophiles for decades, almost certainly with the collusion of senior politicians or police.

fortunately the Daily Mail has shown the proper journalistic priority with a three page hit piece on the victim who dared to put himself forward to name names

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a horrifying way with words.

The Mail: Is there no depth to which ... what am I saying?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 05:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That'e entirely consistent with public morality in the UK.

Doing bad shit - only bad if you're caught. And sometimes not even then.

Revealing bad shit or mentioning that people in authority are doing bad shit - immensely evil, and must be punished immediately with the maximum severity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 07:27:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing special about the UK here, just look at Greece's swift arrest and prosecution of the journalist who published the Lagarde list after two years of government officials sitting on it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 10:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German newspaper FR files for insolvency | News | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

One of Germany's key newspapers the Frankfurter Rundschau has filed for insolvency after years of falling circulation. The left-liberal paper was one of the first granted a license by American occupiers in 1945.

Frankfurt's administrative court confirmed on Tuesday that it had appointed lawyer Frank Schmitt as interim insolvency administrator for the Frankfurter Rundschau (FR). Hours later its 487 employees were called to a meeting in Frankfurt.

The FR's circulation has shrunk a third in the past decade to 118,000 nationwide and on Tuesday its owners' consortium, the Print and Publishing House Frankfurt am Main GbmH, said despite investments in new facilities in Frankfurt further falloffs in advertising and print contracts were "no longer conceivable."

The Rundschau began to run into trouble in 2001 when it had 1,500 employees. Layoffs and outsourcing followed.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurogroup ministers split on next step for Greece | News | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

Eurozone finance ministers have not reached an agreement on the next tranche of bailout funds for Greece. The group is also split on whether or not to give the debt-ridden country an extended deadline for budget cuts.

Greece's international lenders - the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - ended their meeting in Brussels on Monday without reaching a final agreement on the next batch of bailout aid for Greece.

The group also discussed a possible deadline extension of two years, from 2014 to 2016, for the country to reform its economy. The proposal was met with mixed reviews.

"The revised fiscal targets, as requested by the Greek government and supported by the troika, would be an appropriate adjustment for the further path of fiscal consolidation in view of recent economic developments," the Eurogroup said on Monday in Brussels.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:10:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
November 13 edition.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 07:05:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Michael Pettis: Spain Will be Forced to Choose (Carnegie Endowment for Europe, November 13, 2012)
For many years, thanks partly to bad policies in Spain but mainly to aggressive attempts by Germany to achieve growth by forcing a trade surplus onto its European neighbors, Spain, and many other countries in Europe, ran enormous trade deficits. It is easy and popular to blame the greed of the Spanish and the stupidity of the government for the mess in which Spain has found itself, but the policies Germany put into place in the late 1990s guaranteed that Germany, a country that had run massive trade deficits in the 1990s, would run equally massive trade surpluses in the subsequent decade.

...

These deficits, as a matter of economic necessity, had to be financed with loans from Germany, leaving Spain with an enormous debt burden. Just as Spain could not run a trade deficit without borrowing from abroad, Spain can only repay its debt if runs a trade surplus. What is more, since rich Spaniards are taking enormous amounts of money out of the country in order to protect themselves from the debt crisis they know is coming, the Spanish trade surplus must be large enough to accommodate both flight capital and debt repayments.

...

But, and this is the key point, if Germany does not move quickly to reverse its trade surplus, Spain only has two other ways of creating a trade surplus in spite of German recalcitrance. One way requires that Spanish wages are forced down by many years of high unemployment. This will allow Spain to run a sufficiently large trade surplus. Part of the reason Spain can then run a trade surplus is that as wages drop relative to those of Germany, Spanish goods will become more competitive in the international markets. But the real reason why Spain will run a trade surplus after many years of unemployment is that Spanish workers will simply be unable to afford to buy much.

...

But both history and common sense teach us that the idea that after one or two more years of adjustment Spain will have resolved its debt problems and can bring unemployment down is nonsense. If Spain wants to continue along its current path, it must be prepared to suffer another five to ten years of extraordinarily high unemployment, an erosion of the productive capabilities of its economy, and rising political chaos.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Short, clear, comprehensible. Must-read.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:06:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the rest of us. And the recommended solution is ... the envelop please ...

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:13:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thy won't leave the euro, so the chaos will rise and eventually overwhelm them. But sadly, chaos rarely results in good outcomes

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:55:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Morning Newsbriefing: The art of pretending that there won't be OSI (14.11.2012)
Spiegel says everybody in Berlin knows that OSI is necessary for Greece, but want to avoid it for domestic reasons; A 50% OSI haircut would cost Germany €17.5bn; then the German government would miss its target to achieve a structural balance by 2014;Josef Ackermann says finance ministers only delay the inevitable; Wolfgang Schaeuble is ready to pool remaining three tranches into a single €45bn tranche;  which has to be voted through by the Bundestag; Kurt Lauk said optimal policy for Greece would be OSI in combination with structural reforms; the Greek government sold €4.06bn in one-month and three-month T-bills; enough to redeem the €5bn in bills that come due on Friday if one included already accepted €937bn bids; Alan Beattie says about the IMF-EU spat that someone will have to give in, weakening themselves and the troika unity; Werner Mussler says Schaeuble's game of smoked mirrors will not solve Greek crisis; There are strike actions against austerity throughout Europe today; Matthew Dalton points out that Spain is worse off than Greece when it comes to economic recovery; Greek government put first 2000 civil servants in redundance scheme; Italian  government cuts over 4000 jobs in its administration; Italy's new taxes worth 4% of GDP will lead to economic contraction of 2-2.5%, according to Francesco Giavazzi; Fabrizio Goria argues that Italy's increasing home bias in bond holdings risks a Japanese scenario;  Michael Pettis says if Germany does not reduce trade surpluses, Spain faces long wage depression inside eurozone; Bank of Portugal forecasts 1.6% recession 2013, higher than the 1% forecast of the finance ministry; Bank of Ireland first Irish bank to return to capital markets, raising €1bn; Francois Hollande, meanwhile, opted for the classic French presidential style  to defend his record.


I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:56:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beppe Grillo's Blog
Presentation by Paolo Becchi, Professor of the Philosophy of Law in the Faculty of Jurisprudence at the University of Genoa

"The forthcoming national elections will be crucial because the outcome will decide not just the "see saw" between the parliamentary majority and the opposition, but the fundamental political clash that is taking place: the one between the "Third Republic" that started off with Napolitano's "18 Brumaire" and the only authentic "revolutionary" force in the country: the MoVimento 5 Stelle {5 Star MoVement}. Whether or not they want to, this time the voters will be exercising "constituent" power. Whatever the outcome of the vote, they will be rewriting our Constitution. With the next election, what will be determined is the relationship between parliament and the government, the future of the idea of a "political party", the position of Italy in Europe and in the monetary union. And yet, the exercise of the vote can always be "manipulated" in some way. And the discussions of recent months - and, in particular, those taking place this week - about the modification of electoral laws that are revealing what is truly in the balance: how to prevent the rise of the 5 Star MoVement that, after the vote in Sicily, has established itself as the only political force able to resist the consecration of the "Third Republic". The recent statements of the President of the Senate, Schifani are a prime example: "I'm busy working on the electoral law for the citizens. I'm doing all I can as it's what so many people are asking for. We will get there. Otherwise Grillo will get not just 30%, but 80%".

...

This was perfectly explained by Casini: "We will be swept away [...]. If we leave the law as it is there'll be nothing easier than that those who get 30% of the vote to actually get 55% of the seats." After the "trickery of the Euro", here we have the "trickery of the electoral system ". Of electoral "trickery" we have illustrious precedents in our political history: from the Acerbo law in 1923 to the 1953 law that brought in the majority premium of 65%. Today, however, for the first time the mechanism of the "majority premium " is being used in a "negative" sense to prevent the Italian people from using their vote to express their disgust with the whole political system. The idea is to domesticate the elections, in fact, to supply a predetermined outcome: to supply a government that - whether or not it is led by Monti - will continue on the path of bloodletting that it has already begun." Paolo Becchi

i watched a 'debate' between the centre left primary contenders with some fairly sane candidates, prepared and competent sounding. the country's problems are too big for anything less than massive change however, and centre-left policies are too close to centre right policies to make that difference matter, and grapple with the issues.

the other big problem is that grillo paints with such a broad brush there is a risk some babies may go down the plughole along with the fetid bathwater that must be drained.

so either beppe needs to chill some and harness the voting power of those who want lefty change but who find 5* too extreme, but will show up to a. vote for a nicki vendola or a matteo renzi for example, both valid pols for normal times, or b. to protect the nation from the extreme right factions of the PDL, berlu's party, now headed by alfano, or the lega, unheaded by anyone, but still brimming with malignity and strong in the north.

luckily the right is in extreme disarray, still wiping berlu's egg off their collective face, as they all have been tainted by association in the public eye.

all italy's right wing forces on the same page would be a nightmare, even disorganised and cannibalising each other to get to the top of their respective dunghills they are ominous enough...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 04:40:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are the polls saying?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:04:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is sad that this still happens in our so called modern time and in a western country.

Woman 'denied a termination' dies in hospital - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 14, 2012

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, "this is a Catholic country".

She spent a further 2½ days "in agony" until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 06:16:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pregnant Woman Savita Halappanavar Dies In Ireland After Being Refused Abortion
@sjzara
Steve Zara
Islam accepts that abortion where the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy is justified. So, which faith is the more barbaric? November 14, 2012 2:53 am via TweetDeck Reply Retweet Favorite
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:05:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The hospital is now putting out self-serving justifications that the woman's life wasn't in danger until she was suddenly overwhelmed by infection, by which time it was too late to save her.

utter bullshit probably, but it's all the figleaf the fanatics need

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:58:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Telegraph [UK]: Sharon Bowles makes it onto shortlist for Bank of England Governor (14 November 2012)
Although still considered an outlier, the Liberal Democrat MEP was formerly interviewed last week by members of the Treasury and the Court of the Bank of England, and is still officially in the race alongside the favourite Paul Tucker.

The shortlist also includes Lord Burns, chairman of Santander UK; Sir John Vickers, chairman of the Indepedent Commission on Banking; and Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

...

Mr Tucker is widely favoured by senior City figures, according to an informal poll by the BBC. However, others are betting on Lord Burns, who was formerly Chief Economic Advisor and Permanant Secretary to the Treasury. "Lord Burns has all the qualifications, don't rule him out," said one source.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:26:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem here is that anyone who is establishment enough to get the job shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU reveals carbon-market reform package | EurActiv

The European Commission will try to shore up its battered carbon market today (14 November) with a structural report signalling a future squeeze on carbon credits to augment a planned  `backloading' or postponing of 900 million allowance auctions until 2019 and 2020.

The Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, said that although the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS) was delivering emissions reductions, a glut of allowances was holding back investments in energy efficiency and green technologies.

"We must not flood a market that is already oversupplied," she said. "Market operators must have clarity before year-end on this."

"At the same time, the Commission presents options for possible structural measures that can provide a sustainable solution to the surplus in the longer term," she added.

The Commission's report estimates an oversupply of up to 2 billion allowances that is unlikely to decline before 2020, and proposes several potential remedies:

  • Increasing the EU emission reduction target to 30% in 2020;
  • Permanently cancelling a number of allowances in Phase III (as of 2013);
  • Increasing the 1.74% annual decline in the cap on allowances that can be allocated to member states up to and beyond 2020;
  • Extending the scope of the Emissions Trading System, or ETS, to other sectors;
  • Limiting the use of international credits in the ETS;
  • Introducing discretionary price management mechanisms, such as a carbon price floor or reserve price.

Any of these options would require a new legislative proposal, accompanied by an impact assessment, a lengthy process.

But the report indicates that the ETS will be "critical" in driving low carbon investments and that it will need to play "an increased role" in the transition to a low carbon economy by 2050.



It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
tPortal: PM Milanovic: Residential property won't be taxed (14.11.2012)
"The primary aim is not to introduce a tax that exists in all EU countries, but to bring in some order and transparency", he said responding to queries put forward by MPs during Question Time in Parliament.

...

Milanovic added that the time had come for complicated and unpopular but vital decisions, in response to claims by HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko that the economic situation in Croatia was just getting worse and citizens were being impoverished.

Milanovic argued that the budget deficit had been reduced from 15 billion kuna last year to 10 billion this year and even though this may not be interesting to Croatian citizens it was vital to the country's financial stability.

This is what a Euro exchange rate peg does to you.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:01:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: European Parliament walks out of EU budget talks (14 November 2012)
Negotiations between the European Parliament and Council over the EU's 2013 budget broke down yesterday (13 November) when lawmakers walked out of the talks. The development doesn't bode well for next week's extraordinary EU summit for the 2014-2020 budget.

...

"EP negotiators will not attend the meeting with Council on the budget 2013 scheduled for tonight, because there is no agreement among the member states about a supplementary budget for the current year [2012]. These funds are needed for the European Union to respect its legal obligations, i.e. to pay for bills incurred for goods, works and services delivered," Schulz said.

In another statement, Alain Lamassoure, chairman of the Parliament's budget committee, said that given "the current impossibility in which [members states] find themselves to solve the problem of the 2012 outstanding balance, the European Parliament cannot continue the budgetary negotiation on the 2012 budget."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:15:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BlogActiv: Verhofstadt still N.1 choice to succeed Barroso (Georgi Gotev, 13/11/12)
... a survey EurActiv did together with Burson-Marsteller and was published today reveals that Verhofstadt is the personality most of our readers is likely to be appointed as next Commission President.

Verhofstadt tops the list with 9.1%, followed by Tony Blair ar 8.5% and Barroso (for a third term) at 8.2%.

...

Two high-profile liberals, Anders Fogh Rasmussen are candidates for top EU jobs. Rasmussen reportedly eyes Van Rompuy's job and Guy Vehofstadt is an obvious candidate for Commission President. What is now needed is a debate.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this percentages of "respondents from all corners of the EU policy making"?

Surely 8.5% of the EP wouldn't vote for the butcher of Notting Hill?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:48:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: Finance ministers divided over banking union plans (14 November 2012)
Finance ministers and officials from the bloc's 27 countries met in Brussels to attempt to advance talks on divisive questions such as the scope of the European Central Bank's cross-border supervisory powers, which would be a first step in a banking union.

...

Sweden flagged what it believes to be a fundamental flaw in the plan - that there is no acceptable way of allowing non-euro states to join the scheme on an equal footing with those using the currency. It raised the prospect of a laborious change to EU law to set up the system.

...

His concerns were echoed by Austria's finance minister, who said countries outside the euro that want to join the scheme needed to be put on a par with euro states. This will be difficult as bank supervision will be run by the ECB and it is answerable only to the 17 countries using the euro.




I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:54:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure I understand that bit. Why would you want to be part of the banking union and not the currency? Are there circumstances where that would be useful to a) the country b) the union?


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is all because our betters continue to insist that monetary policy and banking supervision should not interfere with each other, and don't actually care about or understand financial stability.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Always true.

But still, some countries not in the Euro are remarkably smug about having their own currency and doing great.

What do they think they can get access to if they are members of a banking union but not the currency?

Is this another trough to get your snout in like the CAP?


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:01:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For financial stability you need your own central bank functioning also as banking regulator, and a floating exchange rate.

I'm not sure it makes sense for countries outside the Euro to be in the Eurozone's banking union, but somehow they feel they need to be in it because the banking union would provide a bigger fiscal backstop to Eurozone banks, more credible than any a small non-Euro country can provide, and that might lead to a deposit flight.

But if you have a floating currency and your own central bank you don't necessarily have to worry about a speculative deposit flight as much as if you're in the same currency area, I don't think.

I suspect the issue is that many of these non-Euro countries are now enjoying their safe-haven status from the Euro crisis and they don't want to lose their speculative panic windfall if the Eurozone gets its act together.

(I realise this in not very coherent, I need to hone the analysis more)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 11:51:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Makes sense.
I wasn't buying that any non-Euro country was suggesting they "help out"/"share in the risk" for the good of Europe.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 12:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or everyone's banks are loaded up with Euro dominated debt and now frantically looking for someone who can make good their gambling losses.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:29:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Issue is that Swedish banks have affiliates in eurozone countries (the Baltics in particular) and want to know if the ECB could unwind these without Sweden having a say.

And the UK not wanting anything banking or financial decided outside London.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:22:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Number 6:
What do they think they can get access to if they are members of a banking union but not the currency?

Power. Don't you dare go decide something without us!

There was a notable fear of loss of power in Swedish elites when the people voted down the proposal to meet the criterias for joining. Maybe they will decide everything at those special eurozone-meetings. And maybe they will have delicious cookies which we will not get to eat. The horrors of being a minister locked out, like a commoner.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:15:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:45:18 PM EST
EU Parliament walks away from budget talks | Business | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

The European Parliament has refused to negotiate further on the 27-member bloc's 2013 budget. It criticized member states, saying they had failed to fund shortfalls which have been amassed in the course of this year.

The European Parliament refused to continue budget talks scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening. It said it was not willing to attend negotiations on the EU's financial framework because of its discontent with member states' handling of a required amendment to this year's budget.

"We know that programs as important as the European Social Fund, rural development aid, humanitarian aid and [the study-abroad program] Erasmus have been short of money for more than a month," the chair of the Budget Committee, Alain Lamassoure, said in a statement, complaining about member states not willing to foot the bill through a supplementary 2012 budget.

"Given the current impossibility in which member states find themselves to solve the problem of the outstanding balance, the European Parliament cannot continue negotiations on next year's budget," Lamassoure commented.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:44:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany set to mark record year for exporters | Business | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

Germany is on course to post new full-year records in its export and import statistics for 2012. Its two-day trade has risen despite the ongoing sovereign debt crisis affecting other parts of Europe.

Despite a weak phase of trade activities in Europe, Germany looks set to reach new export and import volume records throughout 2012, the Foreign Trade and Wholesale Association (BGA) reported in its latest outlook on Tuesday.

It predicted that exports in the current year would total over 1.1 trillion euros ($1.39 trillion), up 4 percent from last year's level. Imports were forecast to rise by 3 percent to a volume worth 929 billion euros, marking a 10 percent increase year-on-year.

BGA President Anton Börner admitted that trade could have been even stronger without the protracted euro area debt crisis, but added companies had been able, by and large, to compensate for losses in Europe with brisk business in the US and many emerging countries.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:44:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German investor confidence drops significantly | Business | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

Confidence of German investors in the short-term development of the domestic economy has taken a blow lately, says a fresh study by a prominent think tank shows. It suggests that Germany may slide into recession soon.

Investor confidence in Germany posted a marked fall in November amid wider concerns that Europe's economic powerhouse could run out of steam soon.

A closely-watched survey by the Mannheim-based Economic Research Institute (ZEW) showed its index gauging the mood among analysts and institutional investors had dropped from minus 11.5 points in October to minus 15.7 points in November. This ended two consecutive monthly gains and set the stage for a large number of economic sentiment studies to be released in the next few weeks.

"The signs of recession in many parts of the eurozone are having a mounting impact on investor confidence and exports," ZEW Chief Wolfgang Franz said in a statement.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Second gas price reporter raises concerns about market manipulation | Business | guardian.co.uk

A second price reporter from the gas industry has raised concerns about manipulation of wholesale energy markets, saying he saw suspect trading activity in the autumn of 2011.

Jason Torquato, who worked at ICIS Heren, said he was certain any manipulation of indices from the price-reporting agencies, such as ICIS, could "influence retail gas prices".

He said he had noted "half a dozen or a dozen" occasions that price differentials over the course of a year looked unusual, with one particularly marked case on 9 September 2011.

Torquato's claims come amid a growing political storm triggered by Guardian revelations that a first whistleblower, Seth Freedman, also from ICIS, had gone to the City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, with price-fixing claims centring on 28 September this year.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:48:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A comment from someone we know

Guardian - chris Cook - Energy pricing: the market is manipulation

The Guardian's investigation into the alleged "Libor-like" fixing of UK gas prices was doubly ironic for me. The first irony is that, as director of compliance and market supervision of the International Petroleum Exchange (now ICE Futures Europe) in the 1990s, I was heavily involved in the development and legal architecture of the gas-market contract that has now allegedly been manipulated.

The second painful irony is that in 2000 the Guardian published detailed allegations made by me on very similar micro-manipulation of the International Petroleum Exchange's Brent futures contract-settlement prices. This systemic manipulation was so pervasive that traders referred to the on-exchange profits they made at the expense of the manipulators - who profited "off-exchange" - as "grab a grand".



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:21:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you want to find out who really has an interest in rigging the market, ask who benefits from medium- and long-term high commodity prices: it's the producers, stupid. From De Beers' diamond hoarding to coffee-grower cartels, if the history of commodity markets tells us anything it's that if producers can find leverage to support commodity prices, they will.

As always, cui bono. (Actually links to "follow the money," hadn't noticed that before.)

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:23:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A comment from someone we know

Guardian - chris Cook - Energy pricing: the market is manipulation

The Guardian's investigation into the alleged "Libor-like" fixing of UK gas prices was doubly ironic for me. The first irony is that, as director of compliance and market supervision of the International Petroleum Exchange (now ICE Futures Europe) in the 1990s, I was heavily involved in the development and legal architecture of the gas-market contract that has now allegedly been manipulated.

The second painful irony is that in 2000 the Guardian published detailed allegations made by me on very similar micro-manipulation of the International Petroleum Exchange's Brent futures contract-settlement prices. This systemic manipulation was so pervasive that traders referred to the on-exchange profits they made at the expense of the manipulators - who profited "off-exchange" - as "grab a grand".



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Insider Mulls Suicide as Health Care Tipping Wave Grows - Bloomberg

The markets are awash in insider trading, and the health- care industry has been particularly hard-hit. Health-care businesses offer illegal traders more opportunities to profit than the finance and technology sectors that have traditionally been prime victims of insiders who leaked confidential data about earnings or deals.

Health companies can live or die on the results of drug trials, which stretch for years before regulators make decisions that can trigger hundreds of millions of dollars in profits or losses. And the industry has undergone significant consolidation, leading to several multibillion-dollar mergers. Health Industry

The lineup of accused health-industry insider traders illustrates how widespread the illegal practice has become: chief executive officers, hedge fund traders, bankers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, a retired Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) pilot, a film producer and a member of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame have been charged or sued by regulators. It has touched the Food and Drug Administration and large health-care companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Abbott Laboratories. (ABT)

"Health care is particularly attractive to criminals because so much turns on the government regulatory approval," said Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for Maryland, whose office helped prosecute the FDA case. "If you have a pending application for a new drug, the difference between yes and no on approvals can be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:00:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Credit-Fueled U.S. Car Sales May Need Help From Incomes - Bloomberg

A rebound in U.S. auto sales has been buoyed by the return of easy lending, even to borrowers with flawed credit histories. Some economists question whether the gains can be sustained without a boost in hiring.

Auto loans were up 5.5 percent in the second quarter from the same time last year, with riskier buyers accounting for 43.9 percent of the total, up from 42 percent in 2008, according to Experian Plc. (EXPN) By contrast, hourly wages for non-managers climbed 1.1 percent on average over the past 12 months, the least since records began in 1965, Labor Department figures show.

The financing spigot opened as Federal Reserve efforts to keep interest rates low prompted investors to pour money into securities backed by subprime car loans in search of higher returns, giving the auto industry and the economic expansion a lift. That may no longer be enough to fuel purchases as wages are held back by a pool of 12.3 million unemployed Americans.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:00:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ECB Counters Germany on Supervisor's Oversight of Banks - Bloomberg

European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said a common bank supervisor under its control would need power over all euro-area institutions, countering Germany's push to limit central oversight to systemically important firms.

The ECB must be able to assert control over all banks in participating countries, even if the system is set up "in a very decentralized way," Constancio told EU finance chiefs in Brussels today. Speaking to reporters, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble advocated the curbs on its authority.

"We would be against any kind of two-tier system in this respect," Constancio said during public debate. The Frankfurt- based ECB wants "to retain some powers and right of initiative in the center of the single supervisory mechanism" to deal with imbalances that threaten financial and economic stability.

EU leaders agreed in June and October to move forward with common ECB-led bank supervision to separate financial-sector risks from sovereign debt troubles, with the goal of agreeing on a political framework by Jan. 1. If a common supervisor is set up next year, it would open the door for the euro area's firewall fund to offer direct aid to banks.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fung Global Institute: Dealing with Unknown Unknowns (ANDREW SHENG, 9 November 2012)
After agonising over this problem myself, I came to the personal conclusion that the key lay in the way we thought about global issues. Most economists, including myself, were taught the neoclassical general equilibrium model. This assumed that perfect information, a frictionless world and basically an ideal model (like Humpty Dumpty) would naturally revert back to stable equilibrium when it is slightly out of kilter.

We now know that this simple model was the foundation of most of the current econometric and asset valuation models in use today for policy formulation, risk management and asset pricing. Unfortunately, we were lulled by this "ideal world" and could not think out of the box about a world that is full of unknown unknowns and black swans. The result was disaster myopia.  

Indeed, mainstream economics training led us to go always for "first best" and therefore most economic advice sought for ideal policies that in practical terms were impractical to implement or nigh impossible in political terms. In this world of specialist knowledge, where we know more and more about less and less, common sense is not very common.

The "problem" is why "the best minds" didn't see the crisis coming. I think Mr Sheng may have a flawed perception of who "the best minds" in economics are, for some people did see it coming. They just weren't using "mainstream economics" "first best" models.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 07:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See also: The brightest minds can be so dumb in particular circumstances (Bill Mitchell's billyblog, September 17, 2012)

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:22:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a remarkable FT editorial: A Spanish tragedy (November 12, 2012)
Large-scale repossessions have widespread social and economic costs. Homelessness is not only an individual drama. It also costs the state. Empty houses do not just make a neighbourhood less lively. They also lower the price of nearby properties, producing a self-reinforcing spiral.

...

As for private sector banks, the industry's association on Monday announced a voluntary moratorium in cases of extreme hardship. This is welcome. But experience has shown that, without state pressure, it may achieve little. After all, a previously agreed voluntary code on limiting foreclosures had been mainly ignored. The government should therefore demand regular updates on how any moratorium is implemented.

...

Banking crises have a human cost. The price paid by some has already been too high. Unless Madrid and the banks face up to the truth, this will only get higher.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 07:59:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:45:40 PM EST
Arabs and EU vow support for Syria opposition - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Arab League and European Union foreign ministers have pledged to support the Syrian opposition and welcomed recent steps to unite the various groups under a new, united banner, in order to facilitate a solution to the 20-month conflict.

"The ministers welcomed the formation of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces. They called on all opposition groups to adhere to the national coalition and on the national coalition to engage with all sections of Syrian society," said a statement issued at the close of the meeting held in Cairo on Tuesday.

Syria's divided opposition had come under pressure from Western powers to join forces and offer a single interlocutor during negotiations, in order to provide a single contact for international critics of the regime's efforts to stamp down the opposition since 2011.

The coalition brings together the Syrian National Council and other groups inside Syria.

France recognised the newly formed opposition coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people on Tuesday, the first Western country to do so.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Read the views of Ahmad Ma`adh Al-Khatib, the new leader of the exile Syrian opposition, who is supposed to lure Shi`ites and `Alawites into the opposition:

All those writings by him are taken from his official website, which will--I predict--undergo severe cosmetic surgery by tonight.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 07:38:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Israel and Gaza reach tacit truce - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have reached a tacit truce that could prevent a new war in the Gaza strip after five days of clashes.

The agreement, brokered by Egypt, was made on Monday night, with both sides warning that they would resume fighting if attacked again. 

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza's Hamas government, praised the main armed factions in the occupied Palestinian territory for agreeing to the truce.

"They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it," he said during an unannounced visit to a hospital to see wounded Palestinians.

Three Palestinian fighters and four civilians have been killed and 40 others wounded by Israeli fire since Saturday.

Eight Israeli civilians were injured by some of the 115 rockets fired from Gaza and four soldiers were wounded by the anti-tank missile that hit their jeep and fuelled the fighting.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Investigators start to open Arafat's grave | News | DW.DE | 13.11.2012

After years of speculation over what caused Yasser Arafat's death, an investigative committee has begun working to exhume the former Palestinian leader's body. Officials plan to test his remains for poison.

Workers in the West Bank city of Ramallah undertook the long-process of opening the Yasser Arafat's mausoleum (pictured) on Tuesday. They expect the exhumation to last for roughly two weeks because they intend to carry out the work by hand in order to avoid damaging the site, according to anonymous sources speaking to the news agencies dpa and AFP.

"It starts with the removal of stone and concrete and cutting the iron (framework) until they reach the soil that covers the body, which will not be removed until the arrival of the French prosecutors, Swiss experts and Russian investigators," the source affiliated with the investigative committee told dpa.

Investigators want to determine whether the late Arafat was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium. A delegation of French, Swiss and Russian experts are scheduled to arrive on November 26 to take and analyze samples.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:59:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right wingers careen into craziness to explain Obama's victory - latimes.com

President Obama's reelection has caused right-wingers to become completely unhinged. They are purple-faced and apoplectic, convinced that an ignorant horde of government-dependent social leeches has destroyed traditional America and banished God from the country.

The craziest comments came from certifiably loony celebrities. Gun-crazy rocker Ted Nugent tweeted that "Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters hav [sic] a president to destroy America," and  former Saturday Night Live goofball Victoria Jackson let loose a series of tweets, saying in part, "Thanks a lot, Christians, for not showing up. You disgust me... In the Good vs. Evil battle, today Evil won."

Egomaniacal rich guy Donald Trump simply called for a revolution.

PHOTOS: Top of the Ticket cartoons

Various tea party leaders, who thought they had already launched a pretty good revolution, could not fathom the election results. Cincinnati Tea Party President George Brunemann said, "The easy two-word answer for what happened Tuesday is: America died."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exclusive: Lee Atwater's Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy  The Nation

It has become, for liberals and leftists enraged by the way Republicans never suffer the consequences for turning electoral politics into a cesspool, a kind of smoking gun. The late, legendarily brutal campaign consultant Lee Atwater explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"--that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff, and you're getting so abstract. Now, you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.... "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."


Now, the same indefatigable researcher who brought us Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks, James Carter IV, has dug up the entire forty-two-minute interview from which that quote derives. Here, The Nation publishes it in its entirety for the very first time.


Celebrating more than forty years of "The Southern Strategy"? Worked great for Republicans until 2008.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm going to hold my breath till I turn blue ... and and ... I'll stomp my feet till I get my way.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:24:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... former Saturday Night Live goofball Victoria Jackson let loose a series of tweets,

Used to be a great looking babe ... now just a bitter fat old bag. Sad really.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand their disappointment. With Citizen's United they thought they were a shoe in with their deep pockets. Fraudulent voting machines and restrictive voting laws were suppose to be back-ups. Now they have to really shut down voting because the Dems are still good at looking people in the eye and faking like they give a damn about our problems. Repubs aren't capable of doing this.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:03:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why they needed Reagan.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:51:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Chinese Communist Party may fear reform more than corruption | McClatchy

BEIJING -- Even for a Chinese Communist Party known for its cognitive dissonance, a report delivered by General Secretary Hu Jintao last week was hard to reconcile. He warned that the state could collapse under the weight of corruption and lack of political integrity, but at the same time he signaled that reform should not be overly aggressive.

A weeklong party congress that began with that speech on Nov. 8 and draws to a close on Wednesday has suggested that although China's officials acknowledge a long list of domestic challenges, they intend to keep any changes tightly within their grasp.

The situation points to a predicament that frequently grows larger and harder to unwind for rulers of one-party systems - while recognizing that societal problems are worsening, they see no alternative other than the organization that helped create many of the complications in the first place.

"There's a commonly used phrase: Not reforming means to wait for death, reforming means to court death," said Zhang Lifan, a historian in Beijing who spent 21 years working at the state Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huff' Po': Advocates of Statehood for Puerto Rico declared a plebiscite victory, making headlines worldwide -- as far as Taiwan -- though the unusual mechanics of the ballot were largely ignored. Now the 61 percent vote for statehood is being more widely questioned.

MEXICO CITY -- A group of Latin American leaders declared Monday that votes by two U.S. states to legalize marijuana have important implications for efforts to quash drug smuggling, offering the first government reaction from a region increasingly frustrated with the U.S.-backed war on drugs. The declaration by the leaders of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica did not explicitly say they were considering weakening their governments' efforts against marijuana smuggling, but it strongly implied the votes last week in Colorado and Washington would make enforcement of marijuana bans more difficult.

The Narcosphere: Baruch Vega, a long-time CIA operative, has raised a red flag over the incoming president of Mexico's decision to employ the former head of the Colombian National Police, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, as his security advisor in the war on drugs. "I do not think Naranjo will be running a war against drugs," Vega contends. "He will be running a war to protect Mexican drug traffickers."

LAHT: TEGUCIGALPA - Five Honduran police were killed Monday when one of their colleagues opened fire inside a precinct house in the Caribbean port city of La Ceiba, authorities said.

MercoPress: A World Bank report released Tuesday found that Latin America and the Caribbean registered a 50% jump in the number of people joining the middle class during the last decade, which was called by economists an historic achievement for a region long exposed to wealth inequality.


"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:04:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:46:01 PM EST
US can become world's biggest oil producer in a decade, says IEA | Environment | The Guardian

The US can shed its longstanding dependence on Saudi Arabian oil within the next decade, redrawing the world's political systems and potentially leading to runaway global warming.

In a report released on Monday, the world's foremost energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA), said the US would benefit from so-called unconventional sources of oil and gas, including shale gas and shale oil, derived from fracking - blasting dense rocks apart to release the fossil fuels trapped within.

These sources could fuel the US's energy independence, and make the country the world's biggest oil producer by 2017. But, if pursued with vigour, they would also lead to huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions that would put hopes of curbing dangerous climate change beyond reach.

If this happens, more than 90% of oil and gas from the Middle East could be sold to Asia, and chiefly to rapidly developing countries such as China, within the same timeframe, the IEA predicted.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:58:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of that shale oil is in Canada. So, if I was living in Calgary right now, I'd be worried

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 03:32:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mountain gorilla numbers rise by 10% | Environment | guardian.co.uk

The world's population of mountain gorillas has increased by more than 10% in two years, new census figures show.

A survey carried out in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable national park and released by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority has found that numbers of the critically endangered species, Gorilla beringei beringei, have risen from an estimated 786 in 2010 to 880 today.

Threats to the mountain gorilla - including war, habitat destruction and disease - were once thought to be so severe that the species could become extinct by the end of the 20th century, but the population has increased significantly in the last 30 years.

Drew McVey, species programme manager at WWF-UK, who supported the census as part of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, said he believed the latest increase was due to conservation efforts that had successfully engaged the local community.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tainted Water in California Farmworker Communities - NYTimes.com

SEVILLE, Calif. -- Like most children, the students at Stone Corral Elementary School here rejoice when the bell rings for recess and delight in christening a classroom pet

But while growing up in this impoverished agricultural community of numbered roads and lush citrus orchards, young people have learned a harsh life lesson: "No tomes el agua!" -- "Don't drink the water!"

Seville, with a population of about 300, is one of dozens of predominantly Latino unincorporated communities in the Central Valley plagued for decades by contaminated drinking water. It is the grim result of more than half a century in which chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides and other substances have infiltrated aquifers, seeping into the groundwater and eventually into the tap. An estimated 20 percent of small public water systems in Tulare County are unable to meet safe nitrate levels, according to a United Nations representative.

In farmworker communities like Seville, a place of rusty rural mailboxes and backyard roosters where the average yearly income is $14,000, residents like Rebecca Quintana pay double for water: both for the tap water they use only to shower and wash clothes, and for the five-gallon bottles they must buy weekly for drinking, cooking and brushing their teeth.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:06:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
a place of rusty rural mailboxes and backyard roosters

This is what you call drive-by journalism.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 02:21:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just a guess ... this is a Repub area.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:29:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High exposure to food-borne toxins: Preschool children particularly vulnerable to compounds linked to cancer, other conditions

ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2012) -- In a sobering study published in the journal Environmental Health, researchers at UC Davis and UCLA measured food-borne toxin exposure in children and adults by pinpointing foods with high levels of toxic compounds and determining how much of these foods were consumed. The researchers found that family members in the study, and preschool children in particular, are at high risk for exposure to arsenic, dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), dioxins and acrylamide. These compounds have been linked to cancer, developmental disabilities, birth defects and other conditions. However, the study also points to dietary modifications that could mitigate risk.

"Contaminants get into our food in a variety of ways," said study principal investigator Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor and chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis. "They can be chemicals that have nothing to do with the food or byproducts from processing. We wanted to understand the dietary pathway pesticides, metals and other toxins take to get into the body."

Researchers assessed risk by comparing toxin consumption to established benchmarks for cancer risk and non-cancer health risks. All 364 children in the study (207 preschool children between two and seven and 157 school-age children between five and seven) exceeded cancer benchmarks for arsenic, dieldrin, DDE and dioxins. In addition, more than 95 percent of preschool children exceeded non-cancer risk levels for acrylamide, a cooking byproduct often found in processed foods like potato and tortilla chips. Pesticide exposure was particularly high in tomatoes, peaches, apples, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, dairy, pears, green beans and celery.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:10:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

What they say about the photo:


Let's do this in America. So we can go live in the future with Europe.

Thanks to Truth Beckons.

Europe's first "solar tunnel" is providing power to 4000 high-speed trains running between Paris and Amsterdam annually.

The 3.6-kilometer (2.2-mile) tunnel, built to protect trains from falling trees as they pass through an ancient forest near Antwerp, is covered with solar cells and could generate 3.3 MWh of electricity annually.

Is this real? if so, why haven't we heard? If not, why doesn't the EP use this photoshop shop?

Seriously, we would have heard, no?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:26:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just google 'solar tunnel'.

Europe's first solar powered train tunnel goes live on (June 7th 2011)

The train ride from Paris to Amsterdam may not be the most scenic of European railway routes, but it's the only one capable of harnessing the awesome power of the Sun -- for two miles, at least. Yesterday, engineers in Belgium officially switched on Europe's first solar-powered train tunnel, spanning a 2.1-mile stretch of the rail line connecting the City of Lights to Mokum. The installation's 16,000 solar panels will be used to provide 50 percent of the energy needed to power nearby Antwerp Central Station and to provide extra juice for both high-speed and traditional trains. Originally developed to help protect travelers from falling trees in an ancient forest, the project is expected to produce up to 3.3MWh 3,300 megawatts hours per year, while decreasing annual CO2 emissions by about 2,400 tons. Speed past the break for some aerial footage of the artery, along with a brief PR from Enfinity -- the Belgian renewable energy company that helped bring it to life.

Update: According to the AFP, the tunnel will produce 3,300 megawatts hours per year.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:42:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EurActiv: Wind power growth to slow, pick up after 2020
The growth of wind power generation is likely to slow over the next few years, hit by cutbacks in the budget subsidies in the United States and Europe that have driven 15 years of construction, says a report published today (14 November).

Held back by a struggling world economy and the failure to create commercial conditions which stimulate more green investment, the report by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International expected growth of wind power would not accelerate again until after 2020.

...

"Absent a new means for putting a global price on carbon, new demand growth in the OECD borne on a strong economic recovery, or some other unforeseen development, the industry's rate of growth will slow substantially in the coming few years," the report said.

On the global price of carbon, see this parallel thread.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Europe is mostly stable around 10 GW built per year. The problem is the US, which went from 5GW two years ago to 12GW or so this year and will fall back to 2GW in 2013 due to horribly unstable regulations.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:25:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:46:18 PM EST
Yellow fever kills 107 in Sudan's Darfur area - Africa - Al Jazeera English

A yellow fever outbreak in Sudan's Darfur region has killed 107 people in the last six weeks, the World Health Organisation reported, warning that the disease could spread all over the country.

The number of deaths from the outbreak is steadily rising, and Sudan is working on an emergency vaccination drive, WHO said on Tuesday. 

Officials reported last week that 67 people had died in the outbreak.

There is no medicinal cure for yellow fever, which is spread by mosquitoes. Doctors treat the main symptoms - dehydration, fever, bleeding and vomiting - and wait for the viral infection to pass.

As part of the emergency response programme, 2.4 million doses of the yellow fever vaccine are scheduled to arrive in the Sudanese capital next week, Dr. Anshu Banerjee of the WHO office in Sudan told AP.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:59:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prescription deaths: Many overdose on drugs prescribed by a doctor - latimes.com

These six people died of drug overdoses within a span of 18 months. But according to coroners' records, that was not all they had in common. Bottles of prescription medications found at the scene of each death bore the name of the same doctor: Van H. Vu.

After Finnila died, coroner's investigators called Vu to learn about his patient's medical history and why he had given him prescriptions for powerful medications, including the painkiller hydrocodone.

Investigators left half a dozen messages. Vu never called back, coroner's records state.

Over the next four years, 10 more of his patients died of overdoses, the records show. In nine of those cases, painkillers Vu had prescribed for them were found at the scene.

Vu, a pain specialist in Huntington Beach, described himself as a conscientious, caring physician. He declined to comment on individual cases, citing confidentiality laws, but he said he treats many "very, very difficult patients" whose chronic pain is sometimes complicated by substance abuse and depression, anxiety or other mental illness.

"Every single day, I try to do the best I can for every single patient," he said in an interview. "I can't control what they do once they leave my office."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:06:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why Men Like Petraeus Risk It All to Cheat: Scientific American

An admitted affair has crumbled the career of CIA Director David Petraeus, prompting the evergreen question: Why do people with so much to lose risk it all for sex?

In the last few years alone, several public figures, from former Rep. Anthony Weiner to action star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have admitted to straying from their marital vows. In Petraeus' case, a miscalculation of risk may have contributed to the decision to cheat, psychologists say.

"People tend to underestimate how quickly small risks mount up" because of repeated exposure to those risks, said Baruch Fischhoff, a professor of social and decision science at Carnegie Mellon University. "You do something once and you get away with it -- certain things you're probably going to get away with -- but you keep doing them often enough, eventually the risk gets pretty high."

Even so, men can become blind to risk at the sight of an attractive woman, and from an evolutionary perspective, cheating can be a positive mechanism for ensuring gene survival, regardless of risk, scientists say.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do people with so much to lose risk it all for sex?

Because there's no substantial consequence. Falling on your sword used to mean just that. What this asshole did is quit his job so he has more time to bang the ladies. Oh, he suffers so.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:33:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, millions of years of evolution versus millennia/centuries of "civilisation"?

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 01:46:36 PM EST
John Allen-Jill Kelley Emails Were 'Flirtatious': Senior Defense Official

WASHINGTON -- The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus' downfall widened Tuesday with word the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is under investigation for thousands of alleged "inappropriate communications" with another woman involved in the case. Some of the material was "flirtatious," an official said.

Even as the FBI prepared a timeline for Congress about the investigation that brought to light Petraeus' extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that the Pentagon had begun an internal investigation into emails between Gen. John Allen and a Florida woman involved in the case.

Some of the 20,000-plus pages of documents and emails between Allen and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley were "flirtatious," according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case publicly. It wasn't immediately clear who wrote the flirtatious notes - Allen, Kelley or both.

Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has now been put on hold, as the scandal seemed certain to ensnare another acclaimed military figure.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:08:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Murder Suspect John McAfee: I'm Innocent | Threat Level | Wired.com

As Belizean police combed the property of expat antivirus pioneer John McAfee Sunday afternoon, McAfee was closer than they could have known. He'd seen them coming, and says he hid -- burying himself in the sand with a cardboard box over his head so he could breathe. "It was extraordinarily uncomfortable," he says, in an exclusive interview with Wired. "But they will kill me if they find me."

McAfee, 67, is wanted for questioning in connection with a murder discovered Sunday morning in Belize. Convinced that he'll be killed if he's taken into custody for questioning, the millionaire antivirus pioneer has gone into hiding somewhere in the Central American nation, where he moved in 2008 to retire. Starting at 10:30 this morning, Belize time, he has been calling to tell me his side of the story.

The homicide victim is McAfee's neighbor, Gregory Faull, a 52-year-old American expatriate, who, like McAfee, lives on Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize. According to police, Faull was found face up in a pool of blood with a single gunshot wound to the back of his head. Authorities found a single Luger brand 9mm expended shell at the scene.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 04:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for the very nice Manuel de Falla piece, featuring flamenco dancer and castanets soloist Lucero Tena!
by sgr2 on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 12:33:29 PM EST


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