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My favourite by a country mile at the moment is Glenn Greenwald.  Quoted him a few times in threads, he's an ex-lawyer without any political alligience.  He's hammered Obama as much as he did Bush and blogs primarily to highlight the sorry state of journalism in america.  He's meticulous about referencing every point he makes and it's rare that you can disagree with the facts he presents so well.  Generally knocks out an in depth post per day.  Here's todays for example....

 

Gay issues, the "Fringe Left" and the liberal veal pen

 

Thousands of Americans marched in Washington yesterday to demand a fulfillment of Obama's long-stated and oft-repeated commitments on issues of gay equality, in what the NYT calls "the largest demonstration for gay rights here in nearly a decade."  That protest was preceded the day before by a virtual consensus 0f gay rights activists expressing extreme disappointment and frustration with Obama's speech to the Human Rights Campaign on Saturday night, where he merely repeated the same pledges he's been making for two years with no added specificity or time commitment.

 

About those protests, NBC's John Harwood "reported" the following last night:

 

Sure but if you look at the polling, Barack Obama is doing well with 90% or more of Democrats so the White House views this opposition as really part of the "internet left fringe" Lester. And for a sign of how seriously the White House does or doesn’t take this opposition, one adviser told me today those bloggers need to take off their pajamas, get dressed and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.

 

In the updates to her post about all of this last night, Pam Spaulding notes with exasperation the excuses and denials flying around everywhere, with all sorts of people expressing doubt that anyone in the Obama White House could possibly be capable of such an ugly sentiment, particularly in light of the President's clear, on-the-record commitment to gay equality.  As is true for all instances of reckless and petty uses of anonymity like this, it's impossible to know how reflective it is of administration sentiment generally -- was this a senior White House official or some obscure low-level aide --but how could anyone who has paid any attention at all to the way Washington functions be doubtful that this sentiment is pervasive or find this at all unusual?

 

Just this weekend, a "top gay Democrat close to Obama" was granted anonymity by Politico to dismiss administration critics on gay issues as "naive."  Just six weeks ago, an equally cowardly "senior White House adviser" hiding behind anonymity told told The Washington Post that the only people who cared about the public option in health care were "the left of the left" -- those same fringe, irrational extremists.  In June, an anonymous "friend of John Brennan's" told Jane Mayer in The New Yorker that the people who prevented Brennan's nomination as CIA Director (because of his support for some of the most radical Bush Terrorism policies) were nothing more than "a few Cheeto-eating people in the basement working in their underwear who write blogs."  Last year, "Democrats on the Hill" anonymously dismissed opposition to telecom immunity and warrantless eavesdropping as nothing more than a fringe issue being exploited by Chris Dodd for his presidential campaign, and then anonymously warned Dodd to abandon his left-wing obstructionism if he wanted to resume good standing in the Democratic caucus.  Can anyone miss the pattern here?

 

Every standard form of Washington behavior is on display here:  reporters like Harwood with absolutely no standards who grant anonymity to pass along playground insults.  Obama officials -- part of the Most Transparent Administration Ever -- who seem incapable of speaking about anything without cowardly hiding behind anonymity, even for on-the-record briefings.  Snide, Fox-News-mimicking dismissals from the Democratic establishment of any discontent or criticism of the President as coming from the fringe, Far Left.  And particular disdain for any instruments -- blogs, marches and  protests -- which the White House cannot control, which exist independent of the tightly coordinated, Rahm-dominated "veal pen" messaging system to which so many leading progressive organizations have meekly submitted themselves in order to ensure their own continued access, funding and future career options within the Democratic establishment.

 

The only thing remarkable about the comments Harwood passed on is that anyone would be surprised by them.  In that regard, the furor over Obama's complete inaction on gay issues vividly illustrates the same elements that shape political controversies in virtually every area -- from war to civil liberties to health care and beyond:

 

  • Pretty words and inspiring pageantry from the President, accompanied by endless inaction or contradictory policies;
     
     
  • Hordes of people who believe in their heart of hearts that the administration is led by such a nice, just and likable man that it couldn't possibly be guilty of anything worse than a little benign political calculation (just as the evangelical, Texas-swaggering Bush did for Red State loyalists, the urbane, charming and highly intelligent Obama possesses all the cultural markers of a good and decent person for Blue State loyalists, and thus simply can't be capable of anything malicious or destructive -- there's a reason Bill Maher tried to remind liberals:  "He's your president, not your boyfriend");   
     
     
     
  • Organizations (exemplified by the truly dreadful HRC) that suck funding out of progressives and serve as liberal validators of administration conduct whose overaching devotion is to the Democratic Party and the administration rather than the causes they claim to promote (fortunately, civil liberties groups are the exception, as they have remained steadfast, unapologetic, independent and principled in harshly criticizing Obama); and, 
     
     
     
  • Deeply personalized scorn directed at those who try to hold Democrats and the Obama administration accountable -- since they're the ones who control all branches of government with huge majorities -- rather than devote all their energies to the cheap and easy partisan task of ridiculing and blaming a marginalized, impotent conservative movement which is a small minority and currently wields no power in Washington.
    I have no idea who the person is who said this to Harwood or how influential or obscure s/he might be, but whoever it is, that person is anything but unusual or aberrational.  Quite the opposite.

 

 

It's often forgotten or obscured, but the central political fact now is that the Democratic Party controls everything in Washington -- from the branches of government to favors doled out to lobbyists to the policies that Congress and the President enact.  Wars that are fought and bills that are or are not passed and policies that are maintained are, by definition, Democratic policies.  The dreaded Right can't dictate or stop anything.  That's the burden of having massive majorities in all areas -- everything that happens is the result of what the Democratic Party does, and that's why the divisions and conflicts that truly matter are ones with the party itself.  The "right v. left" and even "Democrat v. GOP" drama is a distracting and largely irrelevant food fight.  It's the Democrats who have won the last two elections by large margins and wield all the power, and increasingly the defining conflict is between those whose overarching allegiance is to the Party itself and Obama and ends in themselves, and those who see those things as mere means to more important ends.

 

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/

 

 

 

My other favourite at the moment is Matt Taibbi.  He's mainly interested in the financial fuck up at the moment.  He's gone after Goldman Sachs like a dog after a bone during the whole thing and been very informative.  He does shorter posts a few times a week and has a more in depth Rolling Stone article each month.  Goldman Sachs hate his guts because while the major networks run stories about bailout funds being repaid, he gets the facts...

 

It was inevitable that the same people who pushed through the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street would come out later on and tell us what a great idea theirs turned out to be, in retrospect and under the light of evidentiary examination. And we’re getting that now, with a pair of reports, the above one in the New York Times and another in the Financial Times, telling us the bailout is working because the government has made some money on TARP. They came to this conclusion by quoting Fed officials, who apparently calculated how much interest the Fed earned on TARP investments above what it would have earned on T-bills. The amount so far, according to these worthy gentlemen: $14 billion.

 

This is sort of like calculating the returns on a mutual fund by only counting the stocks in the fund that have gone up. Forgetting for a moment that TARP is only slightly relevant in the entire bailout scheme — more on that in a moment — the TARP calculations are a joke, apparently leaving out huge future losses from AIG and Citigroup and others in the red. Since only a small portion of the debt has been put down by the best borrowers, and since the borrowers in the worst shape haven’t retired their obligations yet, it’s crazy to make any conclusions about TARP, pure sophistry. Moreover, a think tank set up to analyze TARP, Ethisphere, calculated in June that TARP was still $148 billion down overall, a debt of over $1200 per American. To start talking about what a success TARP is now is beyond meaningless.

 

The other reason for that is that it’s only a tiny sliver of the whole bailout picture. The real burden carried by the government and the Fed comes from the various anonymous bailout facilities — the TALF, the PPIP, the Maiden Lanes, and so on. The losses from the Fed’s purchase of distressed/crap Bear Stearns assets (Maiden Lane I) and AIG assets (MaidenLanes II and III) alone were as recently as late July calculated in the $8.6 billion range, and even that number is very conservative. Then there’s the trillion or so dollars that the Fed used on buying up mortgage-backed securities and Treasuries; we don’t know what their market value is now. And there are untold trillions more the Fed has loaned out in the last 18 months and which we are not likely to find out much about, unless the recent court ruling green-lighting Bloomberg’s FOIA request for those records actually goes through.

 

In light of all this, the Fed’s decision to brag publicly about a few loans that are actually performing is sort of scary — it speaks to a level of intellectual desperation and magical-thinking unusual even for a banker in the subprime/MBS era. Don’t be surprised if you hear more of this sort of thing in the coming years.

 

 

http://trueslant.com/matttaibbi/

 

 

But I started the thread because I'm bored at work and want more to read.  Who would you recommend?  I know the above are a bit dry, I'm interested in anything, Music, sport, comedy...whatever.

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But I started the thread because I'm bored at work and want more to read.  Who would you recommend?  I know the above are a bit dry, I'm interested in anything, Music, sport, comedy...whatever.

 

Have you read any of Patrick Byrne/Judd Bagley's blog at deepcapture.com?  Worth a look if you're interested in financial & political shenanigans.

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But I started the thread because I'm bored at work and want more to read.  Who would you recommend?  I know the above are a bit dry, I'm interested in anything, Music, sport, comedy...whatever.

 

Have you read any of Patrick Byrne/Judd Bagley's blog at deepcapture.com?  Worth a look if you're interested in financial & political shenanigans.

 

First post I read...

 

Matt Taibbi has published a story in Rolling Stone magazine that nobody should miss. It’s not yet available on-line, so you’ll have to pick it up at the newsstands, but here’s a quick summary.

 

Taibbi writes:

 

“On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody – nobody knows who – made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half of their value in nine days or less. It was madness – “like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets,” according to one financial analyst.”

 

Bear’s stock would have to drop by more than half in a matter of days for the mystery figure to make a profit. And that is what happened.

 

As Taibbi explains, “the very next day, March 12, Bear went into a free fall…Whoever bought those options on March 11th woke up on the morning of March 17th having made 159 times his money, or roughly $270 million. This trader was either the luckiest guy in the world, the smartest son of a bitch ever or…Or what?”

 

 

:laugh:

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Richard Herring does a post a day that's often funny.  You remember him from TMWRNJ when Greg Evigan investigated the occurunces of this spilling and falling out of cupboards.  He also does "The Collings and Herrin Podcast" with Andrew Collins once a week and is about to start a weekly podcast of his own recorded in front of a theatre audience.  It's called "As It Occurs To Me"....

 

Am I am nerd?

 

I mean, I've joked about it in the past, but that was just a crazy comedy character I played. Pretending to be a bit nerdish and obsessive for your entertainment. Obviously in reality I am really, really, really, really cool. Really cool. Cooooolio.

 

Yes that cool.

 

But last night I was in the dressing room at a gig and TV's Stephen Merchant was on. I had just been watching the first few episodes of Season 3 "The Office: An American Workplace" and couldn't help myself from telling him how brilliant it was. Like a comedy fan boy rather than a professional equal. He took it all with good grace, as he is an extremely nice man, but was it the kind of thing a nerd would do? I then started discussing Michael Palin's diaries with him before realising how I sounded. "I love comedy," I told Stephen, "It's my whole life. Even in my spare time, it's just comedy."

 

He laughed. But sardonically. Like a man aware of the tragic life unfolding in front of him. And possibly thinking of writing a sit-com character based on the idiot in front of him. Before realising that no one would ever believe that such a nerd existed. And that it wasn't even funny. Just pathetic.

 

Today I was being interviewed for the BBC "Imagine" by the legendary Alan Yentob about my obsession with Scrabble. I thought I was pretty cool for being specifically requested to be on this premier arts show. Finally I would get recognised as the uber-Fonz that I am. But only once the interview began and Yentob began questioning about how often I played the board game and looked astonished when I told him that there are days when I can play the game on my DS for up to four hours. Like playing a competitive computer game against a fictional pixilated opponent and gettng excited about it is somehow not cool. I also told him about the time I found myself playing Scrabble alone on my gameboy in a restaurant whilst wearing a Scrabble T shirt. Yentob looked smug and satisfied with the revelation. He didn't want me on this show to reveal to the world how hip and groovy I was. He wanted me on to demonstrate how dysfunctional I was. I am a nerd.

 

But on the positive side in the game I played against the other Scrabble nerds they had assembled for the programme I was easily the best. I was the only one to get a bingo (I played "earthier" - I hope they picked that up on camera and I also got "zittiest", but ridiculously that isn't a word). So at least that makes me the coolest person out of all the Scrabble nerds, because I have put the most time into playing the game and am better at it than all of them. Yup. It does. It makes me cool. Like Kool Keith. Except cooler.

 

http://www.richardherring.com/warmingup/warmingup.php?id=2535

 

I often think I'm quite cool.  I listen to the hip and the hop and I know who he means when he mentions Kool Keith and I drink beer in perbs and clerbs..... but then I catch myself posting on a football forum about which blogs are worth reading.  :undecided:

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http://emilykfarina.blogspot.com

 

Women's fashion. I can't get enough of it.

 

 

 

Very occassional innit?  I can't be waiting a week for my fashion fix.  That's why I use....

 

http://www.fashionstyleyou.co.uk/

 

:pow:

 

Hah is is occasional, but she's just a friend of my girlfriend, I'm just advertising :lol: She only started it about 2 months ago. No harm in spreading the word.

 

There are 1 or 2 men's fashion posts too!

 

The thing is, it's American, a place where men's fashion doesn't exist. You put the vaguest amount of effort into your appearance and you're immediately Justin Timberlake. At least at College age anyway.

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Guest lankybellwipe

Can I put a question to the guys?

 

If you were to select 3 random posts from both HF and myself to read, not knowing we were brothers, would you ever assume we were related? On a personal note, I would assume you'd think I was retarded!!

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Can I put a question to the guys?

 

If you were to select 3 random posts from both HF and myself to read, not knowing we were brothers, would you ever assume we were related? On a personal note, I would assume you'd think I was retarded!!

 

Yeah, but you're the clumsy one who kept walking into doors and falling on his head when he was young.

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Can I put a question to the guys?

 

If you were to select 3 random posts from both HF and myself to read, not knowing we were brothers, would you ever assume we were related? On a personal note, I would assume you'd think I was retarded!!

 

AND THAT!!

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Guest lankybellwipe

YOU'RE BROTHERS!

 

No need to tell us.

 

Oh and by the way Christopher, if you haven't seen my FB status, may I suggest you have a peek. The mentioned item has been cleansed and placed in the kitchen sink for further tests/binnment  :smitten:

 

Edit: previous status. I've updated because of the tragic news!

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YOU'RE BROTHERS!

 

No need to tell us.

 

Oh and by the way Christopher, if you haven't seen my FB status, may I suggest you have a peek. The mentioned item has been cleansed and placed in the kitchen sink for further tests/binnment  :smitten:

 

Edit: previous status. I've updated because of the tragic news!

 

You fucking monster.

 

Filthy beast.

 

Dirty boy.

 

And you put it in the sink you rotter?

 

A basic rule for you in future, once something has shit on it it goes in the toilet or in the outside bin.  Never under any circumstances should it be left in the sink.

 

I need a wire brush to scrub my eyes clean after reading that.

 

:facepalm:

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A basic rule for you in future, once something has shit on it it goes in the toilet or in the outside bin.  Never under any circumstances should it be left in the sink.

 

Arguably the funniest thing I've ever read.

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  • 9 months later...

 

Thanks MATE

 

I've just wasted 2 f***ing hours of my day on that blog. Giggling to myself randomly and generally feeling pathetic.

 

:thup:

 

Good linky.

 

:aww: Didn't see this but Aye, mint blog. Shame he never updates anymore. Anyway, that's not why I'm here.

 

Does anyone know what the best, most popular site for blogging? Looking for something free, clean and easy.

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Thanks MATE

 

I've just wasted 2 f***ing hours of my day on that blog. Giggling to myself randomly and generally feeling pathetic.

 

:thup:

 

Good linky.

 

:aww: Didn't see this but Aye, mint blog. Shame he never updates anymore. Anyway, that's not why I'm here.

 

Does anyone know what the best, most popular site for blogging? Looking for something free, clean and easy.

 

blogger (google)

 

I'm annoyed you reminded me about that god damn unfinished blog.

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