Jun 162013
 

I’m writing early, and it’s day 1.  A forecast heat wave looks like it will be far less severe than anticipated, so today will likely be the only hot day.  I have remained silent on Syria intervention, which I consider a mistake, because I’m wafting for specifics to which to respond.  For now, McConJob is still insane!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:00 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Think Progress: One week after conceding that it underestimated the negative impact of austerity measures in Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is condemning American lawmakers’ rapid turn to spending cuts. The fund’s analysts say that “an excessively rapid pace of fiscal deficit reduction” will cost the country between 1.25 and 1.75 percent points of GDP growth this year, and it now projects just 1.9 percent total growth for 2013.

The IMF notes that the wound is self-inflicted and offers three specific suggestions for salving it:

Repeal the sequester and adopt a more balanced and gradual pace of fiscal consolidation. […]

Raise the debt ceiling to avoid a severe shock to the United States and the global economy.

Adopt a comprehensive and back-loaded set of measures to restore long-run fiscal sustainability. […] New revenues could be raised through a reduction in tax exemptions and deductions, as well as though the introduction of a carbon tax and a value added tax. Spending measures would need to curb the growth in public health care and pension outlays.

The report also notes that sequestration’s damage will carry on past the near future and warns that its “arbitrary reductions in education, science, and infrastructure spending could also reduce medium-term potential growth.”

From this one might think that the Republican Party is ignorant with respect to the effects of their austerity programs. Think again. They know exactly what the effects are, and it’s intentional. Sabotaging the American people is sedition.

From Raw Story: Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

The employee statements were filed late last week in federal court in Boston as part of a multi-state class action suit brought on behalf of homeowners who sought to avoid foreclosure through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but say they had their cases botched by Bank of America.

Since the evidence is apparent, DOJ should be using it in a criminal complaint against the Banksters.

From The Hill: A recent briefing by senior intelligence officials on surveillance programs failed to attract even half of the Senate, showing the lack of enthusiasm in Congress for learning about classified security programs…

Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide.  [emphasis added]

What can I say? This is a national shame!

Cartoon:

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  16 Responses to “Open Thread–6/16/2013”

  1. Oh TomCat!  Each story here makes me so cross!  How can people behave in such a vile manner?! 

    I agree – the Repuglicons know exactly what they are doing and how they are sabotaging their own country – and yes, it is sedition!  As for the next two – ARRGGHHH!!! to both stories!

    "From Raw Story: Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

    "The employee statements were filed late last week in federal court in Boston as part of a multi-state class action suit brought on behalf of homeowners who sought to avoid foreclosure through the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) but say they had their cases botched by Bank of America.

    Since the evidence is apparent, DOJ should be using it in a criminal complaint against the Banksters.

    "From The Hill: A recent briefing by senior intelligence officials on surveillance programs failed to attract even half of the Senate, showing the lack of enthusiasm in Congress for learning about classified security programs…

    "…Only 47 of 100 senators attended the 2:30 briefing, leaving dozens of chairs in the secure meeting room empty as Clapper, Alexander and other senior officials told lawmakers about classified programs to monitor millions of telephone calls and broad swaths of Internet activity. The room on the lower level of the Capitol Visitor Center is large enough to fit the entire Senate membership, according to a Senate aide.  [emphasis added]" 

    God help the populace when they have elected such appalling, indifferent and callous lawmakers.

     

    • Pat, that is an eternal querstion.  It nakes little sense that the German people, one of the most cultured nations in the world at that time, could have accepted Nazi tyrrany, but they dod.

      Thanks and Amen!

  2. Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications

    Lots of distressing stuff here… :mrgreen:

  3. All distressing news, and I agree with you – the corporate run government is seditionist, but then what allegiance would any of them have to the country? Most of their millions are banked in other countries and we tax payers are giving tax exemptions and repossessed homes  – sequestration just doesn't disturb the 1%, nor does a little austerity upset the benefits they receive due to the cuts in government and taking away from the less advantaged will pay for their tax exemptions, so Wall Street and big corporations just watch the market give them bonuses – it's the GOP incentive program based on "compassion" – tough love – let them pull themselves up by their boot-straps – strategy!

    I do hope the DOJ brings about a case and the criminals get the justice they so deserve!

    Who says there's not a war against the classes!?

  4. 3:01  I thought they were ties — Father's Day and all, you know!

  5. It all starts with Day 1, TomCat.  Set a good example for your guys.

  6. Washington won't listen to the IMF because their campaign contributors are not being hurt by the sequester, and the more Americans are hurt under Obama's administration, the more likely a Republica will be elected President next term.

    Nothing new about Bank of America.  Our mortgage on our previous home was sold to them by our local bank.  We had an escrow account, they paid the taxes and insurance from it.  They cancelled our flood insurance and informed us that we had been removed from the flood plain.  Three months later, we had a flash flood, and all our documents were lost. No one and Bof A would replace the documents.  We had no grounds to fight them, no insurance to pay for the damages.  

     

    47 of 100 senators is pretty good attendance considering their work record.

  7. Puzzle — 4:15  I never could tie a tie!  I also was never good at sewing either!

    Think Progress — As has been said many times, the US does not have a spending problem, it has a political problem.  It has a fractured political system that allows ideological differences to take precedence over sound economic and social policies.  It has one party, the Republican/Teabagger, which is willing to sacrifice the entire country (and take the rest of the globe with it) just to make their point.  Trouble is, there is substantial evidence that its way does not work.

    The US, particularly the Republican/Teabaggers, will never agree to outside "interference" from the IMF because  of its belief in American exceptionalism.

    Raw Story — . . . and follow that criminal complaint and charges by some serious prison time for the executive.

    The Hill — The senators probably think, that with polls showing at least 60% of Americans OK with government surveillance, that they don't need to worry about it.  But question ; Who runs the store anyway?

    Cartoon — Well since the House has passed a bill to prevent the government from buying more ammunition, we'll likely see a private storm trooper force run by the Kochs etc.

    • I can tie, butg not sew.  Critgter Crunched so far!

      Perhaps the US does have a spending problem, bit it's not that we spend.  It's who benefits from the spending.

      Amen.

      Amen again!

      Answer with a question: why do you think the slelves are bare?

      No need.  They alreasy have thge GOP SS: Xe, formerly Blackwater.