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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:24:28 PM EST
BBC News - Belgium swears in new government headed by Elio Di Rupo

Belgium has sworn in a new government, ending a record-breaking 541 days of political deadlock.

New Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in by King Albert II at the royal palace along with his 12 cabinet ministers and six secretaries of state.

Mr Di Rupo, a French-speaking Socialist, took the oath of office in French, Dutch and German - reflecting language sensitivities in the country.

The Europe crisis is thought to have spurred politicians to find a solution.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Belgium is doomed

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:51:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - France and Germany stand by eurozone plan

France and Germany have reaffirmed their commitment to reform the eurozone, after ratings agency Standard and Poor's put most of the zone on "credit watch" over debt crisis fears.

The two countries said proposals for a treaty change agreed on Monday would reinforce governance of the eurozone.

They said their priority was to press ahead with the proposals.

S&P's move means six countries with top AAA ratings would have a 50% chance of seeing their ratings downgraded.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MPs demand reform of secretive lobbying system - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

The Government faced calls today  from both Tory and Labour MPs to reform Britain's secretive lobbying system in the wake of revelations in The Independent.

This morning we published details of how Bell Pottinger boasted about its access to the heart of Government to journalists posing as potential clients.

The revelations have increased pressure for the Government to introduce a statutory register of lobbyists.

Conservative backbencher Jesse Norman said that the latest disclosures reaffirmed his view that lobbying was a "canker on the body politic".



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:40:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea, yea, yea....not. They will order a committee to make recommendations which everyone will want to be on, not just because they will be seen as keen to make things happen, but they know they will be expensively bribed resisted.

then when the dust has died down they can go back to normal, trebles all round

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:55:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oooooh ... somebody using the "bribed" word ... I'm tingling.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:46:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
David Cameron to demand EU 'safeguards' - Europe - World - The Independent

David Cameron warned tonight that he will block plans for a new EU Treaty unless European leaders agree to a list of British demands.

The Prime Minister insisted that if eurozone countries want to use the "institutions of Europe" to rescue the single currency, they will have to back a number of "British safeguards" in return.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel renewed calls for reform of the treaty after emergency talks in Paris yesterday.

The aim would be to allow far tougher rules and sanctions governing the eurozone in future to reassure markets about the euro's long-term stability.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mr Cameron thinks he can hold the Eurozone to ransom.

The correct response to that threat includes the phrase "... and the horse you rode in on".

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 05:44:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Faisal Islam (faisalislam) on Twitter
So here is the euro plan. It's EFSF RIP.... Instead it's over to fast tracked ESM, European STability Mechanism in mid 2012...

2. Presuming Treaty changes get passed through by March 2012. Then the ESM will be allowed to act as a bank...

3. And if Treaty passed, the ECB will consider the fiscal compact met, and be willing to effectively leverage the ESM. Hey presto. Bazooka.

4. Problems: Ireland referendum, and I suppose Denmark. Brussels invoking various protocols and articles to get round need for referenda

5. The ESM vote in the Bundestag is going to be a helluva ride. That will be off the fence time for Germany. Could topple government.

Yes, as @MattTempest reminded me it's protocol 12 that Brussels is looking at. And, I'm told article 126 and article 136 of the Treaty



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Vote demos clash with Moscow police - Europe - World - The Independent

Demonstrators trying to hold a second day of protests against vote fraud in Russia's parliamentary elections have clashed with police in Moscow.

Hundreds of officers blocked off Triumphal Square, then began chasing about 100 demonstrators, seizing some and throwing them into police vehicles.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party saw a significant drop in support in Sunday's election but it will still have a majority in parliament. Opponents say even that watered-down victory was due to massive vote fraud.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:51:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police face years of public disorder, former Met chief warns | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Britain faces years of public disorder fuelled by the economic crisis, with police battling to keep control of the streets, a former Scotland Yard chief has warned.

Lord Stevens made his warning at the launch of an independent commission into the future of policing, which has been set up by Labour as it tries to outflank the government on law and order.

Labour says the Tory-led government rebuffed its calls for a royal commission into policing, so it effectively set up its own.

Stevens, the last commissioner of the Metropolitan police to complete his term in office, warned the government not to be "insulting" or "arrogant" in dismissing the work of the panel of academics and former police chiefs that he will chair.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:53:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If/when the police lose control, the tories will simply call in the army and start shooting. I suspect that's what a significant minority of them want to do already.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:59:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seeing the same thing worldwide. WW III is on, except previous WWs pitted state vs. state, this one has wealthy/corps/govt.s/military/police vs. the rest of us. The only thing we have is vast numbers, they've got the important resources and mentality of murderers.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radical eurozone shakeup could see Brussels get austerity powers | Business | The Guardian

The European commission could be empowered to impose austerity measures on eurozone countries that are being bailed out, usurping the functions of government in countries such as Greece, Ireland, or Portugal.

Bailed-out countries could also be stripped of their voting rights in the European Union, under radical proposals that have been circulating at the highest level in Brussels before this week's crucial EU summit on the sovereign debt crisis.

A confidential paper for EU leaders by the EU council president, Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the summit on Thursday and Friday, said eurobonds or the pooling of eurozone debt would be a powerful tool in resolving the crisis, despite fierce German resistance to the idea.

It called for "more intrusive control of national budgetary policies by the EU" and laid out various options for enforcing fiscal discipline supra-nationally.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:55:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The European commission could be empowered to impose austerity measures on eurozone countries that are being bailed out, usurping the functions of government in countries such as Greece, Ireland, or Portugal.

So they swap economic instability for political instability, while letting the most toxic forms of nationalism out of the box.  The stupity is breathtaking.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 09:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Swap? More like combine.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:13:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The drift seems to be an effort to model the EU on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I wonder how that will work out.
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:08:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Our leaders should avoid Sarajevo ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Civil liberties pledge 'abandoned' | News

The Government's promise to reverse the erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion has been "unfulfilled, if not abandoned altogether", experts say.

Despite the Government's initial commitments, in reality their changes "have resulted in the police having greater, often summary and arbitrary powers over the individual and less accountability for their actions", the criminal justice experts warned.

And bringing in directly elected police and crime commissioners (PCCs) to replace police authorities from next year could lead to a "passing of the buck" between the commissioners and chief constables when concerns arise, they added.

Writing in Criminal Justice Matters, guest editors professors Lee Bridges and Ed Cape said: "It's as if the Government's commitment to 'fundamental human freedoms' is one that implies its own freedom from due process and the rule of law."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 08:58:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurointelligence Daily Briefing: EFSF and ESM may run concurrently
Eurozone officials are currently discussing plans to double the firepower of the rescue umbrella by allowing the EFSF and ESM to run concurrently; Herman van Rompuy wants to restrain the treaty amendments to a simple change in the Protocol 12 on excessive deficits; he hopes that this would allow a fast-track procedure that would not require a convention or national ratification processes; but the strategy raises complex legal issues, and it seems that only a small subset of Angela Merkel's and Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal can be squeezed into such a procedure; Britain asks for an end to QMV on financial services as a quid-pro-quo for its acceptance of a treaty change, but the German government may not accept this deal; S&P has now threatened to downgrade the EFSF, after attaching a negative outlook to the six AAA-rated eurozone members, as well as the rest of the eurozone; Norbert Gaillard believes that the S&P downgrade threat will ultimately make Germany more co-operative; Fabrizio Saccomani hints at ECB action to counter the liquidity crisis;he also says that credit conditions in Italy might deteriorate, but this would stop short of a credit crunch; the Greek parliament approves the 2012 budget; Francois Fillon rules out yet another austerity plan;FT Deutschland says that Jens Weidmann is going to play a critical role in the next few days in shaping the ECB's response to the crisis; the SPD party congress settles for a moderate set of policies, but raises doubts about Peer Steinbrück's chances to become Merkel's challenger; Bild provides a comprehensive list of anti-German outbursts in the European media; Martin Wolf, meanwhile, says a fiscal package cannot solve a current account crisis.


tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 06:47:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
allowing the EFSF and ESM to run concurrently

Or even better : privatize them so that they can compete with each other.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 11:10:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 ECONOMY & FINANCE 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:24:54 PM EST
Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy: Firm Wins Approval To End Largest Bankruptcy In U.S. History

NEW YORK - Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc on Tuesday won court approval for its reorganization plan, allowing it to end the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and a major trigger of the 2008 global financial crisis.

The approval was granted by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck at a hearing in Manhattan. Lehman expects to begin payouts of an estimated $65 billion to creditors early next year.

Once the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank, Lehman is now a shell of its former self, having sold or closed many of its operations. Peck said Lehman may now proceed with its plan to wind down its remaining operations.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
George Osborne: dreaming of a White Christmas to fend off recession | Business | The Guardian

It's the time of year when children begin to hope for a flurry of snowflakes to add a festive backdrop to the Christmas build-up - and judging by this morning's grim news from retailers, they'll be pleased that temperatures have started to plummet too. But Steve Nickell, of the Office for Budget Responsibility, has suggested someone else who should be praying for a White Christmas: George Osborne.

Appearing before MPs on the Treasury select committee, Nickell pointed out that heavy snowfall at the end of the year - following last year's pattern - could mean a sharp downturn in GDP, followed by an automatic bounce-back as activity returns to normal in the new year.

The OBR, which announced its forecasts alongside the chancellor's autumn statement last week, is now predicting that growth will be broadly flat between now and next autumn. But with the eurozone crisis hammering confidence, negative growth (as economists oxymoronically call it) looks increasingly likely for October to December.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:55:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland, Italy and Greece face more cuts and tax rises | World news | The Guardian

Ireland faces more heavy cuts in public spending next year, with welfare and health departments taking the brunt of the pain under the country's latest austerity budget outlined on Monday.

The public expenditure and reform minister, Brendan Howlin, said spending would be cut by 2.7%, amounting to €1.4bn (£1.2bn) of reductions, in the first part of a budget which will continue with announcements on tax increases from the finance minister Michael Noonan on Tuesday.

The austerity measures come days before the critical EU summit on Friday which could force Ireland back to the ballot box in the new year. If a new treaty emerges from the meeting of EU leaders, the Fine Gael-Labour government would be obliged to hold a referendum under the Irish constitution. Given the unpopularity of the coalition's cost-cutting programme, there is no guarantee Ireland would endorse the treaty and a rejection could plunge the entire EU into further political and economic chaos.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Things That Never Happened In The History Of Macroeconomics   Krugman   NYT

Via Mark Thoma, David Warsh finally says what someone needed to say: Friedrich Hayek is not an important figure in the history of macroeconomics.

These days, you constantly see articles that make it seem as if there was a great debate in the 1930s between Keynes and Hayek, and that this debate has continued through the generations. As Warsh says, nothing like this happened. Hayek essentially made a fool of himself early in the Great Depression, and his ideas vanished from the professional discussion.

So why is his name invoked so much now? Because The Road to Serfdom struck a political chord with the American right, which adopted Hayek as a sort of mascot -- and retroactively inflated his role as an economic thinker. Warsh is even crueler about this than I would have been; he compares Hayek (or rather the "Hayek" invented by his admirers) to Rosie Ruiz, who claimed to have won the marathon, but actually took the subway to the finish line.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:58:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Marginal Revolution guys don't agree.

And they're quite grumpy about it.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:03:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grumpy, pompous, self-aggrandizing, irrational - you name it.
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:30:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And what do you think?

(I can't cope with reading MR today...)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:17:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was hoping someone else would do the thinking for me, to be honest. I'm working through a paint-fume-induced headache.

Check your e-mail.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:23:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are two posts of key interest this morn. HERE

one validates Migs:


The Schachtian approach reversed an even older tradition in central banking, according to which the central bank is the banker to the Government. The oldest central banks, those of England and Sweden were explicitly set up in order to manage the debts of their Governments. Nevertheless, the high German inflation during the early 1990s (in the wake of German unification) aroused sensibilities around the issue of inflation. The faulty institutional set-up was then validated by the extended period of falling and then low inflation since mid-1990s. Central bankers were not modest in claiming this as their achievement.
 The inadequate institutional arrangements are now fairly obvious and widely noted. The Eurozone has a central bank, without a Government, Governments without central banks, and banks without an effective lender of last of resort. With a regime of low inflation, now turning into deflation, the system has no mechanism for eliminating excessive debt in the economy.
The deficiencies of the Maastricht arrangements in the present situation are most apparent in the requirement to maintain the present debt to GDP ceiling. Virtually all the countries in the Eurozone are now (October 2011) in breach of that ceiling, including Germany, which has a government debt to GDP ratio of between 82 and 88 per cent. Thus all Governments are obliged to run fiscal surpluses until their debt to GDP ratios are reduced below the ceiling. The fiscal surpluses will of course cause reductions in GDP, unless off-set by trade surpluses or private sector investment. But those trade surpluses and private sector investment would have to exceed the fiscal surpluses for GDP to even begin to rise. Meanwhile actual private sector investment is falling and exacerbating the deflation in the Euro-zone. This illustrates the inappropriateness of the ceiling on government debt: attempts to realise that ceiling can only move the economies in the Euro-zone away from the ceiling, because GDP would start to fall well before governments would be allowed (under present rules) to cease deflating their economies.

The second paper is just as good.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2nd paper written by this guy"


* Stuart Holland formerly was a Member of the House of Commons and Shadow Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury. In his twenties he was personal adviser on European affairs to Harold Wilson, and gained the consent of Charles De Gaulle to the 2nd British application to join the EEC. He proposed the case for a New Messina Conference which was endorsed by Andreas Papandreou and François Mitterrand and led to the commitment to economic and social cohesion in the first revision of the Rome Treaty in the 1986 Single European Act. He proposed Union Bonds and a European Investment Fund in a 1993 report to Jacques Delors. As an adviser to António Guterres he recommended that the terms of reference of the European Investment Bank should include investments in health, education, urban renewal and environment, as well as green technology and innovation which has enabled the EIB to quadruple its total borrowing and investments since 1997 and to offer the potential to fulfil the aspirations of the EU for a European Economic Recovery Programme.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 05:14:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Kevin Drum presents his take on the "Euromess."

It's here

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 07:41:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that's excellent, thanks.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:46:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 WORLD 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:25:26 PM EST
At least 55 dead in Kabul suicide attack on Shia pilgrims | World news | The Guardian

At least 55 people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a crowded Kabul shrine on the most important day in the Shia calendar, raising fears that radical insurgent groups are attempting to unleash a sectarian war in Afghanistan.

Around 150 people were wounded when the bomb exploded amid a throng of worshippers, including women and children, who were hemmed in on a street between the Abul Fazl shrine and the Kabul river. A second bomb, which killed four people in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, also targeted pilgrims heading to a commemoration of the holy festival of Ashura.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:54:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emir dissolves Kuwait's parliament - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Kuwait's ruler has dissolved parliament and set the Gulf nation toward elections, citing "deteriorating conditions" amid an increasingly bitter political showdown over alleged high-level corruption.

The decision by the emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, came on Tuesday, less than a week after he named a new prime minister and parliamentary sessions were put on hold.

Elections must be held within 60 days, which could complicate plans by the US defence department to station thousands more of its soldiers in Kuwait as part of troop shifts around the region, following the US withdrawal from Iraq at the end of the month.

Kuwait's tensions have roots going back years before the Arab Spring protests, but opposition factions could be further emboldened by the current push for reforms around the region.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kinshasa tense ahead of DRC vote result - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - The winner of last week's presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is due to be named on Tuesday, stirring fears of new unrest in the conflict-prone country.

The latest result projections, announced early on Tuesday by the country's electoral commission, gave Joseph Kabila, the incumbent president, 46.4 per cent with votes from just over two-thirds of polling centres counted. His main rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, has 36.2 per cent.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:03:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The announcement of the results have been delayed 71 hours. Its believed in Kinshasa that there is massive vote fraud.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:54:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'Scores dead' in Syria after kidnappings - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Nearly 80 people have been killed in the central Syrian city of Homs following a series of kidnappings that began on Sunday, activists have said.

Activists and residents of several neighbourhoods said Sunni residents had been kidnapped by "shabiha," armed, mostly Alawite gangs that support the government.

An Alawite human rights activists, however, told Al Jazeera's Rula Amin that there were killings and kidnappings on both sides of the divide, with people too afraid to leave their homes.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US admits losing stealth drone held in Iran - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

US officials have acknowledged that the military lost control of one of its stealth drones while it was flying a mission over western Afghanistan.

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday that Iran's armed forces had shot down the RQ-170, known as the Sentinel, and are now in possession of it.

US officials rejected that claim, saying there were no indications the plane was shot down. In either case, officials said this would be the first Sentinel lost by the US.

The officials said they are concerned that Iranian authorities may now have an opportunity to acquire information about the classified surveillance drone programme.

"I think we're always concerned when there's an aircraft, whether it's manned or unmanned, that we lose, particularly in a place where we're not able to get to it,'' Navy Captain John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Monday.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:04:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US officials rejected that claim, saying there were no indications the plane was shot down.

"If [the DoD] had their way there'd be no aces in the history of air combat. Baron von Richthofen would just be this German guy who happened to be around a lot of the time when "equipment malfunctions" happened. But it's funny how those malfunctions seem to happen in places where the skies are full of those cool tracer tracks,"

- The War Nerd

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:19:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
India, Pakistan armies exchange fire on line-of-control in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- India and Pakistan armies exchanged fire on Line-of-Control (LoC), a de facto border dividing Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts, Monday night, officials said Tuesday.

The ceasefire violation took place along the LoC in frontier Poonch district, around 255 km northwest of Jammu city, the winter capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, at 21:45 p.m. local time.

Indian army spokesman said the ceasefire violation took place after Pakistani troopers resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian posts.

"Pakistani troops from a forward post fired several rockets and small arms on our posts in Poonch sector," the spokesman said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Republican presidential hopeful Gingrich enjoying solid lead in Iowa, S. Carolina

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has strong lead in the early-voting states of Iowa and South Carolina, new polls showed Tuesday.

Thirty-three percent of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers supported the former House Speaker as the party's nominee, well ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and congressman Ron Paul, who were tied at 18 percent, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Texas Governor Rick Perry ranked fourth with 11 percent of the votes, while congresswoman Michele Bachmann got 8 percent, former Senator Rick Santorum gained 7 percent and former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman received 2 percent.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:05:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there any Not-Romneys left to challenge Newt ? I know Palin has been talking up Santorum, but I don't think we're that frothy lucky.

So it looks like a straight fight between Romney and the Not-Romney aka Newt. And Newt will win. and then Obama will win.

But that last point was never really in question. What is important is who wins the house and Senate and that is really open at the moment.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:19:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering Obama's record, it's entirely possible that Newt will win.

Let's keep in mind that Obama in office has been very different to campaign Obama, so it's really not a given that Obama is going to run another stand-out campaign.

He's just as likely to be bipartisan and adopt Newt as VP.

(And that's not nearly as much of an exaggeration as I'd like it to be.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 05:26:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The other Not Romney's are Ron Paul and Rick Perry ~ its easy to count Rick Perry out, but he still has money, and could still play a spoiler role.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:56:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
West shall accept results of Egypt's elections: presidential candidate Moussa

DUBAI, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Amr Moussa, a front-runner for Egypt' s presidency, said Tuesday that no one shall fear the results of the first round of the parliamentary elections in Egypt where Islamist forces won around 60 percent of the votes.

"You cannot ask for democracy and afterwards criticize the result of democratically held elections," said Moussa, a former Mubarak-era foreign minister and secretary-general of the Arab League, at the ongoing 10th Summit of the Arab Thought Foundation in Dubai.

Egyptians voted for the first time after the revolution in February, with around two thirds of the eligible voters going to the ballot boxes. The first round of the parliamentary elections, which are held in steps until March 2012, revealed that the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the ultra-conservative Salafist's Nour Party may wield a two-thirds majority in parliament.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:06:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IDF soldiers arrested over link to 'price tag' attacks in West Bank - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Israel Defense Forces spokesman said on Tuesday that three soldier had been arrested Monday on suspicion of involvement in the recent `price tag' attacks in the West Bank, with two other soldiers arrested as well.

The suspect is a known West Bank activist, who was also recently investigated for forging an official document, in an unrelated case. He is linked to sabotaging IDF vehicles in the West Bank base of the Benyamin brigade, where he served up until two months prior to a price tag attack of the facility.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Barak, IDF Chief caught on tape joking about women, demand tape not be aired - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered reporters to refrain from publishing remarks made concerning female soldiers during a visit to an army drill in Israel's North on Tuesday.

The comments were made during a Golani Brigade drill, when, seemingly unaware that there were cameras in the vicinity, the two top officials - together with the commander of the Golani Brigade - joked about the issue of women serving in the army.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In line with expectations, Cain "suspending" his campaign has boosted Gingerich's numbers:

Top Three in a Gallup poll conducted Dec 1-5:

Gingrich:  37% (22)
Romney: 22% (21)
Undecided: 16%

The rest of the Clown Parade are below double digits.  Of interest is the polling for Perry (7%) and Bachmann (6%) which, when they dwindle to nothing and/or pull-out could pop Gingrich's numbers to as high as 50%.

Huntsman is still nowhere, running 1% support.

At the moment, Gingrich is in the driver's seat with Romney tagging behind.  With 28 days until the Iowa caucuses Mittens had best start rising in the polls to have a hope of winning this thing.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 04:20:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its too close to the primaries to pay much attention to national polling right now, as they will move based on early primary results.

On average, the NBC and Des Moines Register polls released Sunday had Gingrich 25, Romney and Paul each at 17. Nate Silver has discussed how safe an 8pt lead in Iowa is at this stage in the race.

You have to go back to 1980 to find a Republican that lost IA even though leading in the polls a month before, when Reagan was beaten by the better-organized Poppy Bush ... but then again, its only 1988 and 2008 that the lead was in single digits. On the Democratic side, there have been single digit leads one month out, and two of them had a come from behind winner.

Gingrich probably loses a point or two on bad organization, against two better organized campaigns, but the big question mark is whether he stumbles. I think if Gingrich has a stumble ~ likely in one of the three IA debates coming up ~ Ron Paul would be likely to pick up more support in the aftermath than Mitt Romney, so Mitt's path to the nomination is try to come second in Iowa and then win New Hampshire.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 09:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
National polling is useful for judging the overall appeal of a candidate to the various blocks and factions of a political party.  For example, in the latest Gallup Poll Gingrich gets support from Conservative white males 65+ years old.  This makes it easier to analyze (and predict) he should be doing better in Florida than Romney and - ta-dah! - he is and now it's possible to move on an predict Gingrich should be competitive in states where the average GOP primary voter is Conservative white males 65+ years old such as Minnesota - which Romney won in 2008 and Iowa, where the top and bottom tiers of counties also 'fit' and we see Gingrich polling at 43% when first and second choice are included.  With both of these one can start looking at states like South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Wyoming, & etc. etc. which also is a general 'fit' and start to suspect - with a medium range of accuracy - Gingrich should do well in those states, as well.

I agree the lack of organization is typically predictive of a candidate not doing very well when the voters actually vote.  However, there's nothing typical about this primary season.  Adding in the Tea Bagger revolts in 2010 and the "creeping normalcy" of the internet as a communication medium the old style of organization may not be a necessity in a primary campaign, usually dominated by activists and high information voters.  Romney has spent a lot of time and effort to grab endorsements in Florida and, from the polling, it hasn't done him a bit of good; it's conceivable the local "Romney" organizations will end-up ensuring Gingrich voters end-up voting.

It's a weird election.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:42:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Gingrich loses Iowa and New Hampshire, his current position in either the national polls or in the Florida polls won't mean squat. Each of the possible IA/NH outcomes mean quite different races after that:

Gingrich/Romney
Paul/Romney
Gingrich/Paul
Romney/Paul
Gingrich sweep
Romney sweep
Paul sweep
Other

Set Gingrich in IA at 50, Romney at 30, Paul at 10, other at 10%.

If Gingrich wins Iowa, say its 50% Romney, 30% Gingrich, 15% Paul, other at 5%:
Gingrich/Romney ~ 25%
Gingrich sweep ~ 15%
Gingrich/Paul ~ 5%
Other: 5%

If Romney wins Iowa, something has happened to derail Gingrich, so in NH make it 80% Romney, 10% Paul, 10% other:
Romney sweep: 20%
Romney/Paul: 2.5%
Other: 2.5%

If Paul wins Iowa, ditto Gingrich, but likely to pull a lot more crossover voting in NH, so put it 60% Romney, 30% Paul, 10% other:
Paul/Romney: 6%
Paul sweep: 3%
Other: 1%

So altogether, it could well be:
Gingrich/Romney 25%
Gingrich sweep 20%
Romney sweep 20%
Other: 18.5%
Romney/Paul 6%
Gingrich/Paul 5%
Paul sweep: 3%
Romney/Paul: 2.5%

Any of which means massively different campaigns in Nevada, South Carolina and Florida. Gingrich's current advantage with older voters and the greater tolerance of the Florida Republican electorate to less-than-massively-draconion immigration policy doesn't necessarily mean much if Gingrich came second in Iowa then fourth in New Hampshire.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, typo, that first Romney/Paul in the last list is Paul/Romney.

In terms of strategy, Paul was always a dark horse, but his prospects as equal-2nd in Iowa at this stage are much brighter than anyone would have thought, so its incumbent on him to attack Gingrich head-on, as he has already started doing, and as he will certainly continue in the debates. Given that Gingrich is the only speaker to have had a majority of his own part vote in support of imposing a massive ethics violation fine, who has since then sold his position on various issues out to the highest bidder, and is a serial adulterous promoter of "family values", there's ample ammunition for attacks.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:52:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Gingrich loses Iowa and New Hampshire, his current position in either the national polls or in the Florida polls won't mean squat. Each of the possible IA/NH outcomes mean quite different races ...

I agree.

Spent all together too much time yesterday compiling a list of primaries, when they happen, how many delegates (pledged/unpledged) they assign, how many delegates per month, & so on.

Just to give the monthly figures:

(Pledged/Unpledged)   ---- Running Total ----:

Jan - 87/28                    87 / 28
Feb - 140/79                   227 / 107
Mar - 774/234                 1,001 / 341
Apr - 234/95                  1,235 / 346
May - 243/35                  1,478 / 471
Jun - 304/35                  1,782 / 506

Needed to win nomination: 1,145

Super Tuesday (Mar 6) is the Biggie with 481/112.  Missouri has a primary on Feb 7 but delegates are actually assigned (won) during the state caucus on Mar 17.  (That's the way Missouri corruption politics is.  :-)  

Unless the environment changes, drastically, it is highly unlikely the GOP nominee will be chosen before the end of April.  And quite possibly not until the "mini-Super Tuesday" on June 5 when California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota have their primaries (264/35.)  

This primary election is a mess: the GOP has switched to a proportional delegate allocation, states, e.g., Florida, have been penalized 50% of their delegates for moving their primary date, Romney has to be considered the Front Runner by history measures and endorsements yet is running second, or even third, in most of the states for which we have some polling data, e.g., Florida, again, because the Most Likely GOP primary voter can't stand the guy, the current Not-Romney has more baggage than the USPS and GOP insiders can't stand the guy.

Meanwhile No-Hoper Ron Paul is sucking-up about 10% support, and the rest of the Clown Parade about 15% and 65% (more-or-less) of Most Likely GOP voters are saying they may change their minds.

Shorter: who the heck knows?  I ain't staking that claim.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 04:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing that changes as the primaries start to come in bunches is the amount of money needed to seriously contest them. That is where the early primaries play such a dominant winnowing role: setting the expectations of who the plausible nominees are, and the money starting to get heavily concentrated on just those candidates.

But the elimination of the late winner take all states from the Republican process and the absence of a threshold (the Democrats have a 15% threshold) means that someone like Paul with a distinct and dedicated base of support and someone like Rick Perry with access to a handful of massively wealthy donors could well hang on all through the process, looking for a kingmaker's position even after they lose hope of winning the nomination, and after Bachmann and Santorum are forced to withdraw for lack of funds to continue (and in Bachmann's case, the need to decide if she is going to try to hold her House seat).


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 05:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Hillary Rodham Clinton's address before the United Nations in Geneva will be remembered by history, with the Secretary of State unabashedly arguing to the world that LGBT rights are human rights."

See it here.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 11:28:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really, yet where was she during the long period when the Obama administration were dragging their feet on DOMA and even DADT.

Yes, the latter got repealed, but Obama always chooses the slowest, thorniest path for any legislation that will improve the situation for LGBT in the US, so they can hardly lecture the rest of the world from a position of virtue.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compared to the main progressive planks from Democratic Primary Obama, what's remarkable is rather how well LGBT rights have done.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 09:22:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank Luntz and the Battle Over Economic Freedom    Mike Konczal  New Deal 2.0

Occupy Wall Street has some conservatives running scared, leaving a window of opportunity to change the dialogue on what freedom really means. Last week, Republican strategist and wordsmith Frank Luntz shared his concerns about the Occupy movement with a group of Republican governors in Florida. "I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death... They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism." Chris Moody wrote a must-read article on the matter, including the ten dos and don'ts that Luntz suggested to his audience.

As Seth Ackerman pointed out, there's an entire industry around Democrats and liberals trying to get an edge on Luntz with even more carefully polled wordplay. However, by talking directly about the power of the 1 percent over our lives, the broken political process, burdensome debts, and a collapsed labor market, the Occupy movement has gotten Luntz's attention in a few short months. As Ackerman puts it:

For twenty or thirty years, Democratic politicians... have been paying what must amount to billions of dollars by now to consultants, pollsters, and think tank gurus to tell them how to talk to the public about inequality in some way that might spark sustained public engagement... Then the Occupy movement comes along and after two and a half months shifts the national consciousness so palpably that Republican governors are scrambling to ask their Rasputins how capitalism can be defended to their constituents back in Peoria.

Luntz suggests 10 sets of words, phrases, and concepts to abandon and has some easily defended ones to use instead. "Jobs" and "entrepreneur" are out. "Careers" and "job creators" are in. Many people across the spectrum are noticing that Luntz is suggesting a retreat from the word "capitalism," but few reference where he wants to retreat to:

1. Don't say `capitalism.'

"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either `economic freedom' or `free market,'" Luntz said. "The public...still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."

Luntz suggests retreating to "economic freedom" as an easily defensible phrase conservatives can use to describe the economic status quo. This is astute, as there's been a long, 30-year conservative project to locate freedom in the laissez-faire marketplace.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:26:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they can turn Friedrich Hayek into the hero of the great depression, why not promote Jessie James as the icon of 'economic freedom'?
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:56:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What will probably happen is that democrats will use Luntz as a guide on what to say and how to say it so they can more effectively support republican criticism.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... Democratic politicians no longer read the speeches of FDR. Otherwise switching to Economic Freedom would be stepping on the land mine if the Four Freedoms.

Unfortunately for Luntz, some in the 99% movement may indeed read the speeches of FDR.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 09:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
FDR was better than the alternatives and he did some things that definitely needed doing but he wasn't the Great Progressive© of myth and legend.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:46:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uhhm ... OK. ???

I'm not sure where I said anything along the lines of FDR being a Great Progressive. I was more referring to his effectiveness as a political propagandist.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 01:19:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah ... er .... um ....

And so you didn't.

BUT it's more empirical evidence supporting Pavlovian Reactions in the higher mammals!  Refuting the NCE premise of Rational Actors in a Rational Market.

Thus, my comment is of scientific interest and - by'golly - scientific importance.

(Or some BS like that.)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 01:33:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all suffer from Rorschachitis at times..

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 01:57:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. launches virtual embassy to Iran, so that Bachmann will really have something to shut down.
More than three decades after the bricks-and-mortar U.S. Embassy in Tehran was shuttered and diplomatic relations with Iran were severed following the Islamic revolution and hostage crisis, the Obama administration has opened a virtual embassy for Iran to encourage dialogue with the Iranian people.

The Web-based "embassy" went online Tuesday with versions in English and Farsi explaining why the administration has chosen a virtual diplomatic mission to further expand its effort to reach out to Iranians even as President Obama's attempts to engage the government in Tehran over its nuclear program have yet to succeed.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AG to Netanyahu: Bills targeting Israeli rights groups' funds are unconstitutional - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News
Proposed legislation to restrict foreign governments' donations to nongovernmental organizations is unconstitutional, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein warned this week, and if it passes the Knesset, he will not be prepared to defend it in the High Court of Justice.

"The attorney general's policy is to refrain as much as possible from declaring laws unconstitutional, out of respect for the legislative work of the cabinet and Knesset," Weinstein wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this weekend explaining his unusual decision. "But in light of the blatancy of the case before us, deviating from this policy is justified. What this means is that if these bills become law, I won't be able to defend them against the petitions that will be submitted to the High Court. That is what I intend to tell the Knesset, and afterward the Supreme Court."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:15:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING OFF THE PLANET 
 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:25:55 PM EST
India dampens Europe's hopes of a new climate change agreement | Environment | guardian.co.uk

India last night rejected a European roadmap to a new single, legally-binding agreement to revive the stuttering UN climate talks.

Using robust diplomatic language, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan challenged rich countries to ratify a second commitment period of the Kyoto protocol (KP), and pay what they had promised to developing countries before trying to negotiate a new deal.

The comments came ahead of a meeting between Europe, the Basic countries - India, China, Brazil and South Africa - and the US to try to win support for the EU's proposal to try to negotiate a new legally binding treaty by 2015 that would take effect in 2020.

China has been ambiguous on whether it will support the EU, while Brazil said it was still in discussions. South Africa's president referred to the roadmap in his speech but did not commit to it.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:56:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're all digging in to play their silly brinkmanship games, and they can't understand they've already fallen off the cliff. A pox on all their houses.
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:09:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BP accuses Halliburton of hiding evidence - Americas - Al Jazeera English

BP has accused Halliburton of intentionally destroying evidence to conceal the results of tests that showed that sub-standard cement work by the US company led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year.

In documents filed at a New Orleans federal court on Tuesday, BP asked a federal judge to sanction Halliburton Energy Services Inc, the oilfield services company's main business unit.

BP said Halliburton would not provide computer modelling evidence that their cement work on the Gulf of Mexico oil well that blew out last year was inadequate, and said the evidence on cement slurry testing went "inexplicably missing". 

"Halliburton's refusal has been unwavering, despite repeated BP discovery requests and a specific order from this court," the company said in court documents.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The pots calling the kettles black, while all of them are laughing up their sleeves - please pardon the mixed metaphors.
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:12:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A waste of waste - The Guardian


Why bury nuclear waste, when it could meet the world's energy needs?
[...]
As a result of shutting down its nuclear programme in response to green demands, Germany will produce an extra 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between now and 2020(1). That's almost as much as all the European savings resulting from the energy efficiency directive(2). Other countries are now heading the same way. These decisions are the result of an almost mediaevel misrepresentation of science and technology. For while the greens are right about most things, our views on nuclear power have been shaped by weapons-grade woo.
[...]
In his book Prescription for the Planet, the environmentalist Tom Blees explains the remarkable potential of integral fast reactors (IFRs)(11). These are nuclear power stations which can run on what old nuclear plants have left behind. Conventional nuclear power uses just 0.6% of the energy contained in the uranium that fuels it. Integral fast reactors can use almost all the rest.
[...]
The material being reprocessed never leaves the site: it remains within a sealed and remotely-operated recycling plant. Anyone trying to remove it would quickly die. By ensuring the fissile products are unusable, the IFR process reduces the risk of weapons proliferation. The plant operates at scarcely more than atmospheric pressure, so it can't blow its top. Better still, it could melt down only by breaking the laws of physics. If the fuel pins begin to overheat, their expansion stops the fission reaction. If, like the Fukushima plant, an IFR loses its power supply, it simply shuts down, without human agency.

I don't want to end up quoting the entire article -and I am unable to pass a qualified judgment on the technology, but there are plenty of references in the article.
Is anyone familiar with it?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 04:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liquid metal fast breeder reactors will likely engender enough debate to warrant a diary for the purpose.

To me, the telling point is that so many advocates spend significant effort at proving why renewables can't do the job. which of course is false, and renders the debate moot, given the uncertainties.

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

by Crazy Horse on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 05:59:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there is not a single word in the article against renewables. The article is written by George Monbiot -hardly a renewables opponent.

That renewables would "of course" do the job is a rather extraordinary claim when "the job" in the article is mostly getting rid of nuclear waste, with the nice side effect that you'd get a lot of energy in the process.

Even if "the job" were purely producing electricity, to say that "of course" renewables can produce 100% of the needs 100% of the time has the quality of brevity, but need not be consired the best constructed argument.

Even if we accepted that as self-evident fact, would they be able to do so with no drawbacks whatsoever (I don't mind having lots of wind turbines around but not everyone agrees, for instance) within the next 5 years? If not, they wouldn't make the debate moot at all.

Is anyone able to elaborate on the subject rather than going for bait and switch?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:03:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ask who will pay to build it and accept liability and you'll get a good idea about how foolproof it is. From the outset nuclear has been sold as too cheap to meter, and it's always been a lie.
Nuclear proponents either ignore alternatives or revile them, and love to focus on how bad coal is. Well duh. Fission is good for two things: boiling water (with insidious pollution at enormous public expense) and blowing people up.
by Andhakari on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:26:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... a thorium fuel cycle looks like it could get insured, and would also be a consumer of nuclear waste ... while the big advantage of a fast breeder reactor seems to be that in case of disaster we get to skip the explosive release of radioactive material and the threat of meltdown stages and go straight to long term radioactive site sitting unusable for generations on the landscape.

Advanced to solve a shortfall that is a policy choice rather than a necessity.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 09:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Monbiot had a change of heart sometime in the last year and published an article saying that there was a moral case for nuclear power.

This largely centres around the idea that in transitioning to renewables, an apparent capacity gap occurs around 2030 which can either be filled with fossil fuels or nuclear. I suspect he's been nobbled by some more-subtle-than-usual lobbying as he talks about renewables in a way which I think shows a strange bias towards the way we do things now as opposed to the way things are developing.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:40:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Monbiot had a change of heart sometime in the last year "

A change of heart regarding nuclear yes, not regarding renewables, which he still promotes.

"I suspect he's been nobbled by some more-subtle-than-usual lobbying"

Do you ever stop to wonder whether anyone may think differently from you without necessarily being the puppet of propaganda? Do you ever wonder whether Monbiot might actually have spent longer than you checking evidence on one of his pet subject?

Someone looks at evidence and changes his mind, surely that is a rare positive thing these days, whether or not he was correct in doing so.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:05:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you ever stop to wonder whether anyone may think differently from you without necessarily being the puppet of propaganda?

Sure, sometimes I just write it off to their stupidity, sometimes I put it down to the arrogance of intellect. Whatever, mostly I gave up expecting people to agree or think like me sometime before my age reached double figures.

As you and I have been around here a while, why do my limitations grate all of a sudden ?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:23:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear power as a transitional technology isn't an unpopular point of view with the technocratic faction around here.

However, since we've determined that it's not something that can be discussed fruitfully, it's not something that's discussed much.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, this is not bait and switch. I was not responding to monbiot, but to one of his main sources (yes, i began digging.)   HERE

Heavy emphasis upon why renewables can't carry the load. And yes, my argument has the benefit of brevity, and the current presence of reality undergirds how well it's constructed. Yes, 100%, 100% of the time, when renewables includes smart demand-side measures.

The drop in cost of PV is just one signal. No experts thought it would happen so quickly, though i was shown exactly how costs would come down while visiting a silicon cell factory in 1977. We wasted three decades.

And as far as transportation fuels? Ban the burning of fossils and see how fast the new technologies arrive.

But this is why i called for a diary. Fast breeders are promoted first as an energy source, with the side effect of eliminating waste, no matter what monbiot says.

PS. Who gives a shit that some people don't like to have windmills around. They are the ones who like to breath coal dust, or eat irradiated sushi. The facts are that most areas don't have enough wind, so wouldn't have windmills.

The real argument is simply, do you want a sustainable world or not. if yes, just get going to build out renewables, and the rest falls into place. prove me wrong?

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Yes, 100%, 100% of the time, when renewables includes smart demand-side measures."

I'm still intrigued as to what happens at night during a prolonged still period over most of Europe. Not a common occurence maybe, but one I have known several times in my adult life.

"We wasted three decades."

I sure won't dispute that, and am sincerely thankful that you never lost heart during all that time.

"The real argument is simply, do you want a sustainable world or not. if yes, just get going to build out renewables"

Well, surely you know that we all support that. I still haven't seen a credible rampup plan that credibly replaces everything within a decade though.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:11:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To your first question, storage.

The problem with nuclear for the transition is that I'm not sure I've seen a credible plan for rolling out new nukes in the necessary time period either.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A look at batteries and pump up storage.
Seems non trivial even if we cut the requirement by an order of magnitude. Which we probably can do.
by generic on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 11:57:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the nuclear idea is also built around nebulous technologies that are, at best, unproved.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Traditional pumped hydro and modular pumped hydro are storage at the margin, as, indeed, is consumption-shifting at the demand side.

The "zero order" is the portfolio effects allowed by a subcontinent wide loose grid of electricity superhighways ~ night falls at different times across the continent, the wind is often blowing one place when it is not blowing another, diurnal patterns of onshore and offshore wind are distinctive ~ even with just wind and solar, a European sub-continent-wide portfolio is far more stable than any individual national portfolio would be.

The first order storage is turning off conventional hydro when the volatile renewable power portfolio is producing to current consumption and ramping up conventional hydro when the volatile renewable power portfolio is producing below current consumption.

Another first order storage for scheduled load is biocoal, which can be stored in the form known as a "pile of the stuff" ... a renewable biomass feedstock for biocoal has a fixed annual budget, but the amount that can be deployed in a day is driven by generating capacity, with the annual budget determining how many generation days are available to supplement the volatile renewable portfolio. In a steady state, that is likely best converted to electricity with direct carbon fuel cells, but as a transition, existing coal thermal plants that are presently obsolete due to the need to refrain from CO2 emissions provide a massive per day back up capacity.

If the first order storage falls short, then the storage capacity of the dammed hydro can be stretched by conventional pumped hydro.

And then if that falls short, then the modular pumped hydro, or ammonia energy storage, or one of the other pure energy stores come into the frame. There is ample technical capacity in existing storage technologies to cope with any shortfall in the first order storage capacities, so which of those to use is an issue of which is the least cost per stored kW over the storage period typically required.

If all you need is sufficient storage capacity to cover the time required to bring biocoal thermal up from cold to generating (in this setting, you do not have thermal plants as "spinning reserve"), ammonia would seem appealing, since its main generation would be for petroleum-independent fertilizer feedstock with the stored power a diversion from output of a energy consumer that is in any event already one of your consumption-shifting electricity consumers ~ that's a big part of the promise of the newer solid-state ammonia production technologies, that in reducing the fixed cost of ammonia production, you reduce the requirement to run the production facilities 24/7 and you have an industry that is far better adapted to have excess capacity that is brought online and taken offline in reaction to smart-grid electricity pricing.

If you need longer term storage, modular pumped hydro is attractive ~ the limit of power stored per metric ton of water is determined by the rise, and while the rise is constrained with conventional pumped hydro to the original fall of the river that was dammed, the modular pumped hydro can take advantage of substantially higher rises, with the pipe and the upper reservoir entirely passive, and with all of the active equipment down by the lower reservoir down in the valley, where its easier to get to for maintenance.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 01:52:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - the current problem is that power cuts are likely regardless, for economic reasons rather than practical ones.

So the 'still night' problem has to be seen in the context of non-sustainable technology that still can't guarantee reliable power to all of the population.

During the last freeze in the UK it literally became impossible to buy heating oil, and gas stocks were getting close to the bone.

So it's false to imply that only renewables suffer from practical supply issues.

Now, you can argue that Good Nukes™ might solve some supply problems. But the history of nukes has been one of heavy subsidy and practical underperformance.

So it's reasonable to ask if giving similar subsidies to sustainables might not improve supply reliability, rather than degrade it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 10:23:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Political reasons, surely?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economics is politics by other means

- Migeru

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 07:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Well, surely you know that we all support that. I still haven't seen a credible rampup plan that credibly replaces everything within a decade though.

The credible plan is not a "credible plan," rather the evidence that the entire supply chain ramp up of wind and PV has already made. To do it ALL in a decade might take something in rather short supply around this globe, mainly visionary political willpower. China did it in 5 years (though it will take another 5 years to reach European quality standards.)

If you ask SKF (bearings) or Winergy (gearboxes) or The Switch (generators/full power controllers) if they could quadruple production in 6-8 years, they will tell you with the right political conditions, their answer would be yes. What they'v already accomplished gives the answer some weight.

(PS. Nuclear supply chain issues are much worse. Currently there are two forges worldwide capable of producing a modern single containment vessel, which would take some effort to expand to the necessary scale. Could they build 4-8 in China in the next six years? Probably. Probably not with uniform steel.)


I sure won't dispute that, and am sincerely thankful that you never lost heart during all that time.

Given the noticeably rising anger (sometimes unwarranted) of some of my comments in the past six months, i'm not certain i haven't already lost heart. I am aware of suffering huge depression for the past year.

Regarding Storage. If the idiocracies running the world spent half as much money on storage as they do chasing CCS, we wouldn't be having this debate. It's a whole lot simpler to compress air with nighttime wind and store it in empty gas wells or parliament buildings, for just one of the host of technologies ready at breakthrough stage.

Again, the energy solution is in the mix of so many technologies. And using the existence of already built conventional fuels as the transition period.

The decision for society is rather to face up to and admit the high costs of the externalities. Once that decision has been reached, game over, success. Until then, game on as we try to keep away from being trampled by dinosaur hooves, and crushed by dinosaur bodies falling over on us.

Society might also have to make some adjustments in lifestyle, but i'm not talking about wearing cardigans under our hoodies in the dark.

So yeah, my LP vinyl seems to be stuck on 100%, 100% of the time.

Ramp up plan? Bremerhaven.




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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 11:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 11:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gratuitous picture of the same turbines from below :)

Take heart, CH. Wind and offshore wind are mainstream now.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"China did it in 5 years (though it will take another 5 years to reach European quality standards.)"

What? Are you suggesting that all Chinese electricity production now comes from renewables? Or at least all baseload production?

I never heard any such claim and would be extremely surprised (thought thrilled, of course). If it's not the case, we're back to my question of how long to replace, at the very least, every single coal plant.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:48:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, wind production in China is only 1.5% of total, if you can rely on their stats. China is a long way from replacing coal, if they don't have to replace their population first.

I had meant that China built a huge renewable supply chain in 5 years. China went from 2.6 GW at the end of 2006 to over 52 GW middle of 2011. Which is really something.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 06:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cyrille:

I'm still intrigued as to what happens at night during a prolonged still period over most of Europe. Not a common occurence maybe, but one I have known several times in my adult life.

The same happens as when all the nuclear plants are shut down for safety reasons at the same time. (With half the Swedish reactors being off-line at the same time a couple of times, all does not look all the unprobable.)

Solar, wind, coal and nuclear are all base-load technologies - hydro, oil and gas are top-load technologies.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I understand it, this is the same idea that I came across for the first time some 20 years ago. The basic physics is sound, you put in neutrinos to change the isotope of the atoms, moving to a faster decaying path and collecting the energy instead of having it slowly decaying.

Though I must admit that I have not followed the topic closely, my impression is that the technical implementation has been harder then the physics, and that the bold ideas of using up waste has been replaced by newly mined isotopes. But I am open for correction here.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:43:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From here:

Thorium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soils; it is three times more abundant than tin in the Earth's crust and is about as common as lead.

[and later]

Present knowledge of the distribution of thorium resources is poor because of the relatively low-key exploration efforts arising out of insignificant demand.

Something may be "common" and still uneconomical to mine.  There's a whole bunch of gold in sea water and even at today's prices nobody has been foolish enough to try and extract it.

Further, I note the extensive use of the Future Tense in the Los Alamos Gee-Whiz page on Thorium Reactors as well as some out-right falsehoods [emphasis added:]

Because of no risk of proliferation or meltdown, thorium reactors can be made of almost any size.

NO risk?  

The thorium fuel cycle creates 233U, which, if separated from the reactor's fuel, can be used for making nuclear weapons.

[from the Wikipedia link]

And, once again, we see the nuke-power people are in half-truth/lying mode.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 01:06:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Found a bit on the status of development:

Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Generation IV reactors (Gen IV) are a set of theoretical nuclear reactor designs currently being researched. Most of these designs are generally not expected to be available for commercial construction before 2030. Current reactors in operation around the world are generally considered second- or third-generation systems, with most of the first-generation systems having been retired some time ago. Research into these reactor types was officially started by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) based on eight technology goals, including to improve nuclear safety, improve proliferation resistance, minimize waste and natural resource utilization, and decrease the cost to build and run such plants.

So it is still 20 years off (cue xkcd reference).

While on this topic, I would like to point out something else that often crops up among those entusiastic for this technology (I was one once):
Generation IV reactor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

100-300 times more energy yield from the same amount of nuclear fuel [4]

While true it is also misleading if the reader thinks "Woo-hoo, lots and lots of energy!" as this is not related to EROI.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 02:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks this discussion deserves a diary, as i said earlier. Though i wouldn't call wind and solar baseload, at least in the sense the industry understands it.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
M'kay.

European Tribune - The future promise of Energy amplifiers/ Thorium reactors/ 4th gen nuclear


Cyrille linked a Monbiot article in the Salon which caused some discussion, a lot on other things. In an attempt to refocus the discussion, here comes a diary.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 04:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, i meant it deserved a diary, not that you should put one up. Now we'll have to actually work some more. ;-)

Danke.

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 06:23:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I knew I had written neutrinos somewhere. I meant neutrons. Brain disconnect.

Good thing I am writing under a pseudonyme or my physics courses might be retroactively failed.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 03:27:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From 30 Years that Shook Physics by George Gamow:
The point is that Pauli called his protegé neutron which was all right since the particle called "neutron" today (the chargeless proton) had not yet been discovered. However, that name was not "copyrighted" since it was only used in private conversations and correspondence and never in print.  When, in 1932, James Chadwick proved the existence of a chargeless particle with a mass closely equal to that of a proton, he called it neutron in his paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. When Fermi, still being a professor in Rome, reported Chadwick's discovery at the weekly physics seminar, somebody from the audience asked whether "Chadwick's neutron" was the same as "Pauli's neutron". "No" answered Fermi (naturally speaking in Italian), "i neutroni di Chadwick sono grandi e pesanti, I neutroni di Pauli sono piccoli e leggeri, essi debbono essere chiamati neutrino".
(Gawd, isn't Google Books wondrous)

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 03:52:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death isn't your real name?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 04:47:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Internet, nobody knows you're not a horse.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 05:23:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how we crazy one-horn goats keep our cover.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Dec 8th, 2011 at 07:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 LIVING ON THE PLANET 
 Society, Culture, History, Information 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:26:23 PM EST
BBC News - Daniel Morgan family reject Theresa May police offer

The family of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan say Home Secretary Theresa May has offered an investigation into police failings.

However, the family said after meeting Mrs May that they are disappointed because they want a judicial inquiry.

Mr Morgan, 37, originally from Monmouthshire, was found with an axe in his head in a south London pub car park in 1987 but nobody has been convicted.

Four men were charged in 2008, but the case collapsed in March this year.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - French move to ban prostitution by punishing clients

France's parliament is to debate abolishing prostitution through a crackdown which would criminalise payment for sex.

The National Assembly will vote on a symbolic resolution drafted by a cross-party commission which, if successful, will be followed by a bill in January.

The resolution urges abolition at a time when "prostitution seems to be becoming routine in Europe".

Some campaigners reject the bill, advocating prostitutes' rights instead.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Muppets Are Communist, Fox Business Network Says

It ain't easy being green, but according to Fox Business, Kermit the Frog and his Muppet friends are reds.

Last week, on the network's "Follow the Money" program, host Eric Bolling went McCarthy on the new, Disney-released film, "The Muppets," insisting that its storyline featuring an evil oil baron made it the latest example of Hollywood's so-called liberal agenda.

Bolling, who took issue with the baron's name, Tex Richman, was joined by Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center, who was uninhibited with his criticism.

"It's amazing how far the left will go just to manipulate your kids, to convince them, give the anti-corporate message," he said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:35:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so was Jesus, throwing the moneychangers out of the Temple, helping people without expecting to be paid, healing the sick without insurance.

Damn, he even said he loved Peter, so he was a damn commie pinko faggot

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:43:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well they do have history, having already filmed that Communist Charles Dickens anti capitalist book, A christmas Carol which suggests that The rich should give money to the poor.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 08:05:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Woman denied food stamps kills self, shoots children | Reuters

(Reuters) - A woman in the border city of Laredo, Texas who was angry because she had been denied food stamps killed herself and shot and critically wounded her two children late on Monday, authorities said on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old woman entered the Texas Health and Human Services Commission office in downtown Laredo on Monday afternoon and demanded to speak to a supervisor, said investigator Joe Baeza of the Laredo Police Department.

The woman, whom he declined to identify, pulled out a handgun and started walking through the office, threatening several employees, he said



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My brother just told me that whole family (mother, father and child) jumped from the high building in Belgrade. Parents were in their 50s and both died. Boy is alive but in very serious condition. They lived in some kind of hostel actually for single military personnel where now live those ex military people from ex YU republics. They lived in a room of 15m2 and shared bathroom. They came there to live about 5 years ago. Father was on military pension. Well you can imagine how poor they were...
My brother is so angry because at the same time one can see all that scum, politicians in expensive designer suits and tinted cares with their personal drivers around the Belgrade not even having slightest idea how people manage to survive.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:24:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wall Street protesters to occupy foreclosed homes | World news | guardian.co.uk

Thousands of Occupy protesters across the US will occupy foreclosed homes today, in what organisers are describing as a "new frontier" for the movement.

In New York, Occupy Wall Street has teamed up with local activist groups to secretly occupy an empty home, and plan to hand the property over to a homeless family. Similar action is scheduled in more than 20 other cities.

Over the last month many occupations have been evicted from their encampments, as cities cracked down on demonstrations that had lasted for several weeks.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:53:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This hits the banks where it hurts by increasing the costs of extending and pretending while vividly illustrating the wastefulness of the current process which holds properties vacant while many of the evicted are homeless. And they will probably target vacancies belonging to TBTF TARP recipients.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 12:39:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the govt in the UK is trying to make it illegal to do that here.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 03:45:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Belt-tightening Greeks turn to starvation cookbook | World news | The Guardian

It's the ultimate belt-tightening handbook: No Meat? Push an aubergine through the grinder instead. Chew your food long enough for your stomach to feel full. And don't forget to sweep crumbs off your table and into a jar.

These are some of the tips Greeks used to survive the second world war occupation that have been collected in Starvation Recipes - a cookbook that has become a surprise hit as millions of Greeks struggle to make ends meet in a new era of hardship brought on by economic crisis.

In the grim years of the occupation, starving Athenians invented ways to stay alive, helped by daily advice columns in the capital's newspapers known as "survival guides."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China cracks down on microblogging rumours that are 'worse than cocaine' | World news | The Guardian

Online rumours are drugs that damage users and harm society, the Chinese state media have claimed, as officials step up attempts to rein in the country's hugely popular microblogs.

One commentary, published by the official Xinhua news agency, warns that while heroin and cocaine damage health, internet rumours are worse because they "poison the social environment and affect social order".

Another, on People's Daily Online, is titled: "Internet rumours are drugs: please resist and stay away from them." It calls for zero tolerance, suggests they "damage people and society" as narcotics do, and accuses rumour-mongers of having ulterior motives and "kidnapping public opinion".

The intensification of attacks on "rumours" emerged as officials said they had detained several people for spreading rumours online and amid increasing controls on microblogs, which have been urging users to register their real names and deleting accounts deemed to have crossed the line.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 03:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Schneier on Security: Security Problems with U.S. Cloud Providers

Invasive U.S. surveillance programs, either illegal like the NSA's wiretapping of AT&T phone lines or legal as authorized by the PATRIOT Act, are causing foreign companies to think twice about putting their data in U.S. cloud systems.

I think these are legitimate concerns. I don't trust the U.S. government, law or no law, not to spy on my data if it thought it was a good idea. The more interesting question is: which government should I trust instead?



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 04:05:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apple in e-book price-fixing probe | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News
The European Commission is investigating whether e-book publishers owned by Lagardere , Pearson Plc, News Corp and two other firms fixed prices with Apple Inc, blocking rivals and hurting consumers.

The decision by the European Commission to open an investigation on Tuesday followed raids on the companies in March this year.

US regulators are also looking into pricing deals imposed under an agency model in which publishers set the retail price. Antitrust rules forbid price-fixing agreements designed to shut out competitors or that could result in consumers paying more.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 08:59:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erectile dysfunction drugs limited to twice a month - Pulse

South Central Priorities Committee's MOBBB group, which covers PCTs in Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Berkshire East, Berkshire West and Buckinghamshire, is advising GPs to apply the limit to prescriptions for sildenafil (Viagra), varednafil and tadalifil.

Prescribing of medication for erectile dysfunction on the NHS is already subject to severe restrictions, with availability limited to patients with specific conditions including diabetes, multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer. PCTs insisted the new policy was `a recommendation to GPs', but LMC leaders raised concerns it was being presented to GPs as `edicts'.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 7th, 2011 at 09:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 PEOPLE AND KLATSCH 


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:26:58 PM EST
Sócrates obituary | Football | The Guardian

Sócrates - Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira - who has died after suffering an intestinal infection aged 57, was one of the most unlikely of Brazil's resplendent footballers. Bearded and seemingly indestructible, he stood 6ft 3in tall, once admitting: "I am an anti-athlete. I cannot deny myself certain lapses from the strict regime of a sportsman. You have to take me as I am."

He was, in fact, a formidable attacking midfielder, prominent in two World Cups in the 1980s, initially a centre forward but, for most of his international career, a dominating figure in every sense, in central midfield. He smoked incessantly, rather like Gérson, a previous general of the Brazilian midfield, he drank large quantities of beer, and if, eventually, such indulgences may have caught up with him, they never seem to have impinged on his extensive football career.

The first child of a self-educated father, who named three of his sons after Greek philosophers, Sócrates was born in Belém, the city on the banks of the Amazon estuary and capital of the north Brazilian state of Pará. But it was in Ribeirão Preto, 290km (180 miles) north-west of São Paulo, that Sócrates played with the Botafogo club (1974-78). The greater part of his career (1978-84) was spent with the Corinthians club of São Paulo.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Dec 6th, 2011 at 02:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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