Thursday, May 16, 2013

New York Times Articles Briefly Analyzed on March 15/16th, 2013 + Good Track


Just an FYI, the New York Times and Washington Post are typically the leaders in thought and opinion on issues in the United States and frequently influence TV and the world. So, a quick look at their front page.


The first article is a PrObama whitewash of the IRS being used to target conservative and patriot groups for investigation because of their political beliefs and affiliations which is a significant threat to free speech and like the targeting of people and groups critical of government actions in communist and fascist countries by their government agencies. I'm not saying that what is in this article isn't happening. That's not what I mean.

I'm saying this is an extree-somber article that makes this seem like a bigger deal than it is of letting the IRS off easy and in particular the head "acting chief" who is being forced out and then testifying before a House committee. There really should be criminal charges for this type of mass institutional harassment of citizens by a government agency obviously know by many. But, this "New York Times Article" helps us think that the IRS is being punished enough by having its' head step down when he'll probably get a big-time job with some firm he used to help regulate at the IRS to back-channel deals with them and more and make millions.

Heck, just check how Obama is portrayed in the picture to elicit sympathy for the toll this is taking on him.

Now, that's just some stuff I can think of to think of off the dome, plus I have a feeling that things like this:

“Lois Lerner lied to me,” said Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who helped initiate the Congressional investigation of the I.R.S.  

Are going to be changed or quietly scrubbed in favor of softer sells of the same ideas in updated versions.

We'll see, or not, then maybe forget. So, we should get some context for it all to interpret it in better ways.


Acting Chief of I.R.S. Forced Out Over Tea Party Targeting

Drew Angerer for The New York Times

President Obama arrived in the East Room of the White House to announce that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service had resigned at his request.
WASHINGTON — President Obama announced Wednesday night that the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service had been ousted after disclosures that the agency gave special scrutiny to conservative groups. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., meanwhile, warned top I.R.S. officials that a Justice Department inquiry would examine any false statements to see if they constituted a crime.

Speaking in the White House’s formal East Room, Mr. Obama said Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew had asked for and accepted the resignation of the acting commissioner, Steven Miller, who as deputy commissioner was aware of the agency’s efforts to demand more information from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status in early 2012.

“Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” Mr. Obama said. “It should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is the I.R.S. has to operate with absolute integrity.”
Mr. Miller, who told agency employees that he would leave the administration in early June, is scheduled to testify Friday before the House Ways and Means Committee in the first of a series of hearings on the I.R.S. activities.
The president acted as his administration broadly stepped up pressure on the I.R.S. — and sought to insulate itself from the outcry over the agency’s conduct. Mr. Obama spoke to reporters after an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Lew and his deputy, Neil Wolin, who will be responsible for carrying out the president’s orders to install safeguards to prevent a similar effort. 




The next is some nonsense about how to spin the Benghazi stand-out and Americans-killed fiasco and what "talking points" to put out argued about by the White House and CIA like it's some sort of controversy they got caught in, or how to spin it to us, which makes it both normal to do it and to hide doing it. Just wonderful.

The notoriously secret Obama White House, like many others before it, probably only released these emails to make it seem like it was coming clean on how it wanted to spin this fiasco to admit to this "father figure" telling the country what it needs to hear and how role more publicly, plus get their followers the proper way to spin the Benghazi fiasco, give their spin-master PR people more credit, separate themselves from poorer spin-masters even when many people just want to cheer how their chosen political side lies to everyone and so on. Regardless, it looks like utter rubbish that passes for wise comment and distracts from the criminal folly. A bit. However, as long as we understand what this stuff means then we can minimize its impact on us.


Early E-Mails on Benghazi Show Internal Divisions

WASHINGTON — E-mails released by the White House on Wednesday revealed a fierce internal jostling over the government’s official talking points in the aftermath of last September’s attack in Benghazi, Libya, not only between the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency, but at the highest levels of the C.I.A.

The 100 pages of e-mails showed a disagreement between David H. Petraeus, then the director of the C.I.A., and his deputy, Michael J. Morell, over how much to disclose in the talking points, which were used by Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, in television appearances days after the attack.

Mr. Morell, administration officials said, deleted a reference in the draft version of the talking points to C.I.A. warnings of extremist threats in Libya, which State Department officials objected to because they feared it would reflect badly on them.

Mr. Morell, officials said, acted on his own and not in response to pressure from the State Department. But when the final draft of the talking points was sent to Mr. Petraeus, he dismissed them, saying “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this,” adding that the heavily scrubbed account would not satisfy the House Democrat who had requested it.




Finally, for now, this is one mind-bogglingly long and confusing article about how Big Banksters are not going to have their $700 trillion in derivatives trading, which some like venerable intellectual Webster Tarpley estimate is actually $1.6 quadrillion, regulated quite as strictly as initially understood and reported. It's got twists and turns and minor bit-players and major ones interspersed to make an interesting narrative, but in reality this is just a minor characterization of them in context in an article and probably has little relevance to their lives, their activities and influence and the operations of the banks and other institutions benefiting from their control over how much they get regulated themselves. Once again, a New York Times mind-massage that you're supposed to swallow and quote if you're smart to give the Big Banks a Big Break once again. 

Does anybody really still question their influence and the need for people to focus on them and mitigate it by now? This should be obvious to anyone, but if this article doesn't make you think so, then simply ask why. 

Big Banks Get Break in Rules to Limit Risks

Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 
Simon Newman/ReutersGary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

9:33 p.m. | Updated

Under pressure from Wall Street lobbyists, federal regulators have agreed to soften a rule intended to rein in the banking industry’s domination of a risky market.

The changes to the rule, which will be announced on Thursday, could effectively empower a few big banks to continue controlling the derivatives market, a main culprit in the financial crisis.

The $700 trillion market for derivatives — contracts that derive their value from an underlying asset like a bond or an interest rate — allow companies to either speculate in the markets or protect against risk.

It is a lucrative business that, until now, has operated in the shadows of Wall Street rather than in the light of public exchanges. Just five banks hold more than 90 percent of all derivatives contracts.

Yet allowing such a large and important market to operate as a private club came under fire in 2008.

Derivatives contracts pushed the insurance giant American International Group to the brink of collapse before it was rescued by the government.

In the aftermath of the crisis, regulators initially planned to force asset managers like Vanguard and Pimco to contact at least five banks when seeking a price for a derivatives contract, a requirement intended to bolster competition among the banks. Now, according to officials briefed on the matter, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has agreed to lower the standard to two banks.

About 15 months from now, the officials said, the standard will automatically rise to three banks. And under the trading commission’s new rule, wide swaths of derivatives trading must shift from privately negotiated deals to regulated trading platforms that resemble exchanges.

Mark Wetjen, a Democratic commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 
C.F.T.C.Mark Wetjen, a Democratic commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Bart Chilton, a Democratic commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 
Hiroko Masuike/The New York TimesBart Chilton, a Democratic commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

But critics worry that the banks gained enough flexibility under the plan that it hews too closely to the “precrisis status.”

“The rule is really on the edge of returning to the old, opaque way of doing business,” said Marcus Stanley, the policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a group that supports new rules for Wall Street.




Check out how people can empower each other and your option(s)...




FYI, this is pretty good, not awesome, but certainly likeable and worth a listen for a fresh and clean feeling.


Drake raps about last summer’s tragic Toronto shooting on Snoop Lion’s new song, “No Guns Allowed”


The tragic Danzig BBQ shootings happened just weeks before Toronto’s Caribana festival and Drake’s OVO Fest, prompting the latter to bring in outside help with dozens of paid duty police officers and outsourced metal detectors. But even then, Drizzy was mum on the shootings.

Until now.

On Snoop Lion’s new track, the Major Lazer produced “No Guns Allowed,” Drake references the victims by name.

“Bullets do not chose the victim, it’s the shooter that picks ‘em,” he raps. “Dedicate this to Shyanne and Josh and pour something out for the lives that they stole”

Check out the song below. Even if Snoop’s Jamaican accent is a little off putting, having his daughter Cori B. sing the hook, Drake on the guest verse and the Police’s Stewart Copeland on percussion gives it a real chilled, summertime communal vibe, even if it’s likely snowing as you read this. [via NOW]