Open Menu; feel free to add… just about anything you’d like


‘Addis Ababa’ by Jacob Freeze

(the last open menu is here.)

Barack Obama got himself that thar’ fast-track authority he’s been jonesin’ for; he signed the bills today.  The TAA amounted to $450 million to retrain workers who lose their jobs.

“The president said he believed that signing the legislation would be good for American workers and businesses and would give the United States a global competitive edge.”

He also said that the TAA funding might sound low, but training for flipping burgers and greeting folks at Wally World aren’t as expensive as selling loosies on the street.

No comments yet on Twitter; people seem not to be aware of it, including Global Trade Watch.

Israeli military escorts Gaza-bound aid flotilla flagship to port of Ashdod’

NYPD union slams police reform bills, calls city council unqualified’

“The reform measures going before the City Council on Monday include bills that would demand cops receive verbal or written consent prior to searching an individual without a warrant or probable cause. Another would imprison officers who use chokeholds, such as the one used in the death of Eric Garner last summer in Staten Island. The chokehold bill has enough support in the Council to pass, but it is opposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio since the maneuver is already discouraged by internal New York Police Department policy.

Yet a 2014 report by a city agency found there had been over 1,000 complaints of New York City police misconduct in recent years regarding officers’ use of chokeholds. NYPD’s patrol guidelines prohibit the restraining move, defined as “any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”

‘US supreme court refuses to let Texas close 10 abortion clinics’;  Justices rule 5-4 to grant emergency appeal from clinics that will for now prevent state from enforcing restrictions that would have caused clinics to close’

60 responses to “Open Menu; feel free to add… just about anything you’d like

  1. Jest a serial Lying DEM Reneger:

    AND, they’re The SAME LIES as used by Poppy Bush/Billary for NAFTA (presently known to Be DEAD WRONG).
    To do something with potential counterpunch:

    • i suppose it might work for house members, and nader’s suggested something similar. but zeese and flowers say it ain’t over (and i think it’s here they give the requisite time frames built into the bill. but as to this:

      “Kevin: It is worth noting that both Houses of Congress passed Fast Track trade authority with the minimum number of votes requires; 218 in the House and 60 in the Senate. We see this as choreographed corruptionas the Congress knew there was a populist revolt against the fast tracking these trade treaties and did not want one politician more than necessary to risk their political careers by voting for fast track.”

      but with fast track in place, just simple majorities are now required, and it’s hard to see how obama *doesn’t* get many votes. but i guess we will see come autumn, eh?

  2. I love those paintings, pastels, stylized artistic works by Jacob Freeze! Beautiful.

    All day I have been following the Greece story – there has been so much good writing on it. This is the last and most recent from Michael Hudson and homes in on Syriza’s strategy with respect to the banks:

    (I’m not understanding Yves’ strange and rather entangled descriptions – she is usually so straightforward and helpful. Perhaps she is afraid of the blow this could be to the financial edifice as we currently have endured it – it’s just been very hard to figure out.)

    • it’s a 5′ x 6′ mural, and i seem to remember he painted it on gesso, but that may be my imagination. hopefully he’ll stop by to set me straight. ;-) but do click on the painting so it gets its own page; you can see the diamonds and prisms all around her eyes and lips. breathtaking counterpoint to the granular, sandy muted tones of her clothing. you can almost feel the textures.

      it seems you liked that link so well ya done brung it thrice! ;-) yes, yves has been rather odd on this issue, almost as though she was so disturbed by the leaked troika ‘deal’ that her heart was hardened somehow. but i’m obviously just spit-ballin’. the evolving/devolving situation has been, of course, just made for armchair quarterbacking.

      when i get finished watering the garden, i’ll give you a link that i like a whole lot, but on the other thread.

  3. tonight, venus and jupiter are conjunct in the western sky less than half a degree apart; such a sight to behold. ‘A similar conjunction of Venus and Jupiter may have been what’s called the “Star of Bethlehem” in 3 to 2 BC.’

  4. Hello wendye,

    Just watched the last half of the live stream of candidate Sanders in Madison, WI speaking to a crowd of 10-13K people. Said all the right things for me from single-payer for all, to tuition free college for anyone who wishes to further their education, equality for women, strengthening unions, paid sick leave mandatory, redistribution of wealth back to labor, a $trilliion$ in a public infrastructure national jobs initiative, redefining “family values,” to what it should mean, and saying simply what the Republicans have done to the nation’s poor (from his position on the budget committee) to saying “we” can get it done and win this election. Almost 2 hours:

    Well, it was a nice diversion and I had not heard him speak for quite some time. Getting to the white house and then being able to do any of what he postulated are two different things.

    This article and post from the DOJ is self-explanitory.

    Who’da guess the DOJ would actually come out and say it is the bigger surprise.

    I’m way behind on a lot of reading that just isn’t going to be done any time soon. Been picking spinach, peas, lettuces, garlic scapes are cut, sold or frozen for later use. Sweet corn, pop corn, beans and squash are coming along well. Very cool here so far, but getting plenty of rain. The time I put in last year reestablishing raspberries looks like it will pay off big time. Lots of blossoms and bees. All the best to you, always. Awesome reddish full moon earlier, huge as it cleared the tree line to the east.

  5. hey, nonquixote; nice to have you here. it sounds as though you must be meetin’ yourself comin’ and goin’. believe it or not, some days i know how that feels.

    but it’s great to know that the republicans have caused so much agony for the nation’s poor. ;-) but then…he’s already made it clear that he will support hillary (i mean whoever wins the D primary…)

    thanks for the antimedia link. i scanned it, but am too pooped to o it justice, but at least they kinda get it; we”l see how that translates, eh? no more rocket launchers or weaponized drones? oooof, sorry to be such a cynic, but words are one thing, deeds are another. this administration could halt the killings by police, or at least slow them waaaay down, if they wanted. and end mass black and dissident incarceration, yada yada…you know the drill.

    it’ll be interesting to see how far they carry the fbi investigations into the burnings of six more predominantly black churches since the cracker murders in the charleston AME church, won’t it? ah, there go again.. forget my rants (an typos), and sleep well. hope you can see the celestial show in the west tonight: the conjunction of jupiter and venus; absolutely breathtaking.


  6. I was fast asleep soon after my comment and missed the planetary light show. I’m at my best when I am motivated to do enough physically during the day to need to sleep.

    State-wide non-registered Dems are picking up on Bernie and appear to be signing on with his program. Too bad he has chosen to work within the party of which there are only 13K or fewer paid-up members in the state out of approximately 1.5M left leaning voters (walker recall totals, iirc), but who, never-the-less will be controlling the party, “candidate,” organizational outcomes or $upport. Coat-tail state legislative candidates reclaiming one house in state government here would be huge though, so turnout enthusiasm is to be appreciated.

    Have counted down the potential “growing season,” days as I look at the seed packets and we do sometimes get lucky with a very late seasonal first frost (and with global warming), though it got into the 40’s last night. ;)

    • i’d hoped that lemoyne might stop by and see your video and news up; he’s quite high on bernie. i do understand that in states like yours the Rs can be quite a bit worse than Ds.

      you should be able to see the two planets in the west even before full dark. here, the past two nights we had clouds in the west, dagnabbit. maybe tonight, as the begin to part from each other.

      oy, the season countdown already? here, climate change has caused the growing season to be pretty unpredictable. we used to have 90 days, but the past two years, perhaps and extra couple week on each end, although it’s hard to want to set out seedlings early.

      we had a major electrical storm last night, with thunder so magnificent it gave me mental images of rock mountains breaking apart. hardly ay rain, but at least it’s a bit cooler this mornin’.

  7. Is a Most Unusual Currency Reconstruction Necessary?

    When it comes to the usual “crazy” that continues to emanate on a weekly basis and where my vain attempt to add a tad of “satirical affliction” or an “affectation” by America’s stalwart political figures, I think it only appropriate to add to my version of America’s “crazy” given that today is Thursday and not Friday and thusly, I don’t “qualify” as a national figure. Thus, my non-entity status should a small wasted amount of your time among our dedicated Readers.

    Today, we have six different denominated bills in circulation, and the Department of the Treasury is desiring to “reconfigure” these bills as part of an overall “security” Revision when it comes to fake currency, especially when Mexico’s television industry shows the numerous pallets of “fake monies” that has originated from among the drug cartels and with these pallets sitting the basement storage facilities of most large and small banks in Mexico. And if I were to go back further into our history of say, thirty years ago, the “buzz” was that Iran had perfected the ‘doppleganger’ of all of America’s currency bills.
    Now, and “looking to the Future” I am more interested in how these bills will be utilized to increase “consumer demand” and thereby, ramping up our economy since the Job Creator’s have yet to fulfill their “historical” obligations according to the Capitalist Shenanigans posited by the political Right. Okay, maybe it’s a ‘cheap shot’ but my neighbors are still searching for employment.

    However, I am left, not with increased consumer demand, but with the expectation that adding a “do over” of our currency bills, will become an entertaining “moment” for all of us. Therefore, I will add the “seriousness” that this “entertainment” moment requires of me, from this ever-present and much-maligned Optimist.

    So, here goes!

    Of these six bills, I want “three faces” on each bill. And as to the “three faces,” there must be a Native American “face” on each and done in an actualized acknowledgement that “genocide” did take place in North America or more bluntly, our Indigenous America. And second, the second ‘face’ must be of an African American and which signifies that slavery was pandemic in our nation, and men, wearing our nation’s uniform were killed in large numbers. Thus, a ‘double’ acknowledgement! And of course, the third “face” must be for the acknowledgement that “progressives” can only achieve Progress, if consideration is given to these past 60 years.
    Consequently, I would suggest that the late former First Lady, the “fistful” Roosevelt be recognized for her political smartness, first for having achieved President Truman’s appointment to the United Nations, and for actualized effort for having achieved a self-cooperating International Human Rights Declaration and which continues to “stand tall” given that the Geneva Conventions Agreement was laid to waste during these past dozen years by the Bush/Cheney Disaster.

    In closing, today’s public discussion on ‘reconstructing’ our national currency, does not adequately address our history or even accurately for those of us residing here in the Sonoran Desert.


    • well, if the black face were a two-fer, i’d go with obama, since he is part black *and* has ‘laid waste to the geneva conventions’ and has overseen and helped hijack more wealth upward than bush or the R’s ever did. ooopsie, guess that’d be a ‘three-fer’. ;-)

      but srsly, just like bernie sanders, you imagine that on war crimes and vulture capitalism in aid of the 1%, democrats are the good guys, somehow. i just don’t see it, and i say this as a former life-long operative/activist in the democratic party. i do know i used to cringe when i attended the annual ‘jefferson-jackson day’ dinners. wow, choosing a man who was a First American killer: brilliant. and jefferson was a slave owner; how quaint. (‘but they were freed after his death!!!, the legend has it.)

      but really, how about a black woman, especially an abolition and women’s rights activist, like sojourner truth, maybe?

  8. Wendy,
    Having three “faces” on a bill that includes a Native American woman, an African American woman who was obviously anti-slavery, and a European American woman representing the best of a better Democracy that has yet come, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, would be my Three “Faces” and that’s just for starters.


  9. lol. okay, but no white women! and really, who besides pocahantas, sacajawea, mmmm…. i forget the other one who aided colonizers…would it be, even if just ‘two faces’? wilma mankiller, or how about buffy? she has a new album out. the mohawk radicals have been touting this one: (‘idle no more’ as a suggestion/command):


    on edit: shucks; i forgot that she was born in canuckistan (canada, saskatechewan)

  10. Hey Wendy…

    Thanks for posting my picture! This was one of a couple of murals I painted way down south of the border five or six years ago, along with this little bruja from Oaxaca, and it turned intpo a very scary assignment.


    My much-delayed mural “Bruja” was unveiled last week with the rest of a major renovation of one those breezy old mansions constructed in Las Lomas way back in the Twenties for early grandees of the PRI, and while the guests slam down champagne and murmur appreciatively inside, I drift out to the street where my friend Miguel and the other chaffeurs and bodyguards are stomping around and singing snatches of pop tunes to keep themselves warm in the cool night air of the hills above Mexico City in the middle of February.

    “The boss says to me, if that crazy yanqui painter don’t finish my mural in time for the party, Miguel, you take him out to the farm for me and feed him to the hogs.”

    “But I like you, I don’t want to do this thing, so I say to the boss, It is very unlucky to kill a crazy man, worse luck to kill a painter, and to kill a crazy painter is as the curse of seven brujas.”

    “So the boss thinks it over for a little while, and then he says…”

    “Kill him anyway.”

    “Ha ha ha ha!”

    Our little mob of drivers and mercenaries laughs merrily and congratulates me and Miguel for our good luck that I finished the mural, and then they go back to singing and stomping around until a passing car slows down on Paseo de las Palmas and all of them suddenly fall silent, glaring into the headlights.

     photo r2_zpsehznhoag.jpg

  11. oh, jacob; what a charming vignette, you crazy yanqui painter! i’m pretty glad the boss didn’t feed ya to the hogs, ha h ha. ;-)

    la bruja is exquisite, and it’s an honor to have her here. so…she really is on a wall; is the woman from addis ababa as well? somehow i had the impression that her mural was…more transportable (i can’t think of the word i’m looking for).

    what medium, and even with the pointillistic technique, i’m left wondering how you created the diamond/prisms on the top one. bruja must be very large, too. she really bores right through one with those eyes of her, eh? did the man who’d commissioned it intend for her direct gaze to act as…a warning? whooosh.

  12. Just popped in to read and say “Hi”, wendy! Missing you over at FDL (Missing quite a lot of people, actually…sigh…)

    • mornin’, jane 24; nice to see you. i don’t really know what to say about the condition fdl’s condition is in now. step by step they seem to have made the wrong choices over the past couple years, but that’s only one cranky woman’s opinion, of course. add disqus into the mix: well, let’s say i’ll never get an account.

      but do come any time you feel the urge; we are small, but we are mighty! or something…

      • Thank you wendy. Thinking that I may very well be spending some reading time here and maybe squeaking up now and again.

        • we’ll enjoy your doing so, jane24. let me say, though, that some folks get mighty irked at my (ahem) rather strong opinions from time to time, and don’t come back. ;-)

  13. Here’s a welcome change of pace!

    And welcome, jane24! This is a healing site for all us recovering addicts of one sort or another. An eclectic mix, if I may say so (and I do too much but shutting up for now, I promise!)

    • well, USian cops need to be told that, too, eh? and yes, we are a motley crew, but your phrase is much more generous. ;-)

      lol, jacob freeze, but what’s crazy is that on some select issues, he is actually almost a radical leftist, or something like that. end the fed, cut the military budget, end the wars, etc.

      but my msn email provider page says that donald duck trump says he’s gonna be the next prez. woooot!

  14. “…but the clamor for reform is growing louder both in the states and in the Congress, where a bill introduced in both houses, the FAIR Act, would restrict, but not eliminate, civil asset forfeiture. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is the Senate sponsor.”

    Rand Paul, Left-Wing Hero!

    What next? Will the ghost of Barry Goldwater return to the Senate?


    A thought provoking article. I had wondered why Russia, instead of abstaining as other countries did on the UN resolution, actually vetoed it.

  16. Moral Monday March – Winston-Salem – Our Selma July 13, 2015
    Greeting the opening of the Voter ID trial in federal court.

    Chris Reeves, Daily Kos: Sometimes Words Fail: Winston-Salem Voter March – Photo Diary – High Bandwidth

  17. nice shot from above showing more folks marching. hilarious seeing KOS banners. were you able to go by chance? i reckon you did, given your phrase ‘our selma’. ;-)

    i’ll add:

    New Horizons probe flies past Pluto nine years after leaving Earth’ (for the info, not so much the video)

    • From the Twitterverse today:

      Anyone wondering how Disney got there first? #askNASA— darrin cappe (@Rheostaticslive) July 14, 2015


      I was at the Natural History Museum Planetarium last night — with hundreds and hundreds of others — to witness the live feed from NASA as word came that the New Horizons spacecraft had done its job and all was “nominal.” The cheers went up at Johns Hopkins and all over creation including Albuquerque, and I confess to a little thrill at that moment. How many space adventures like this one have we been witness to in the last 50+ years? So many, yet each one is a thrill.

      There much remembrance of Clyde Tombaugh (Pluto’s discoverer) last night too, including a short film about him that was included in the NASA feed and anecdotes from people like Larry Crumpler who knew him in New Mexico (where he wound up after WWII).

      Of course there were the grouches who were disappointed that no new pictures came with the news that the New Horizons had done its job and was just fine, thankyouverymuch. The new pictures, they say, will be released this mornings some time…

      Bated breath!

      • well now, *that disney got there first* answers the question of ‘who will buy the parthenon, eh? ;-)

        oh, i’m so glad you went to the program, but srsly, i’d prolly have hoped to see some of the new photos they say will have ten times the resolution than any before. and it’s another red planet, with other colors and everything!

        i just checked at nasa, and they’re not up yet, but here’s their twitter thang. i ♥ pluto, lol.

  18. Here in the Sonoran Desert, the “awards” are now forthcoming for Donald Trump.

    To wit, Colonel (A Self-Awarded Title, not Klink-linked) Trump for his evident silliness.

    And, the ‘better for it’ title of El “Chapo” Trump for his expressed admiration for the People of Mexico.


    • well, now; i was about to say that according to a headline i’d seen…that he admires them for being lazy, incompetent, and drug-dealing thugs..or something. but aha! i had to google ‘el chapo’, and found he’s allegedly made a death threat to the man whose name i will not utter. ;-)

  19. I was not feeling well and did not go. The Kos crowd had around 20 there from around the state. On this remember Bernice Johnson Reagon’s quote on coalitions. If they are not uncomfortable they are yet too small. You need to enlarge them. And after all the Moral Monday movement is a project of the NC NAACP. Count was 6000 people. No direct action on this one, just a show of numbers of black and white people to the court hearing the Voter ID challenge.

    Here is some enlightening history about our local 1% during the 1950s and 1960s, including some “progressive” lights like Luther Hodges (a true New Deal Democrat with the same limits as FDR).

    David Neal, Scalawag: Hiding in Plain Sight

    But segregation then was no more natural than is the systemic racial inequality that persists today – an inequality the Patriots helped to maintain. This reality is obscured by today’s vogue for color-blind language, the American inclination to see individual choice as paramount, and our tendency to ignore history. Conservatives tend to see those in poverty through racially tinted lenses of culture and individual choice. The result is a trend of blaming poor people for their poverty, of ascribing moral failings to Blacks who live in areas of urban, concentrated poverty. But it was not the result of individual choices that resulted in highly segregated urban ghettos. It was not a “culture of poverty” that that kept the vast majority of African Americans in North Carolina from living in neighborhoods with appreciating home values or from working at anything but the lowest paying jobs, largely in fields that were intentionally exempt from New Deal programs such as Social Security and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Federal law and state industrial policy provided ladders of opportunity for poor Whites to make their way into the middle class throughout the first three quarters of the 20th century. But for those few African Americans who could find a precarious perch in the middle class, their exclusion from those policies made it difficult to pass assets on to their children. And yet the result—Black neighborhoods that suffer disproportionate, concentrated poverty—is viewed by many as a consequence of laziness and poor choices. What is overlooked are the deliberate choices made by White lawmakers to entrench unequal opportunities.

    A young lawyer discovers the past about his great-grandfather, who was among other things a mayor of Greensboro NC. Most white Southerners who come out the other side as progressives go through this sort of painful enlightenment. It is a hard process even if your ancestors never were anywhere near the 1%. Harder is some respects because they left fewer records and no records of their own sentiments about it all.

    • zounds; neal’s piece is that recent? good on him and the courage spiked by his moral compass. ‘citizens league’ and ‘patriot league’ do have some hell is dark behind those oh, so benign names.

      thank you. and i’m sorry that you were feeling poorly and couldn’t attend. yes, the children in the photos were so dear.


    Pluto pictures: Nasa reveals first high-resolution images of surface

    ‘Mission culminates in images of former ninth planet that show mountain ranges of ice and suggest surface has recently been ‘paved over’ by geological activity’ Guardian photos with detailed explanations.

    (I like that they’re calling it a planet…) ;-)

  21. Nancy A. Youssef of the Daily Beast has quite a report on the US Army and antrhax. “Pentagon blames anthrax fiasco on no one”.

    Does the US have a secret bioweapons program that is contrary to the treaties that it has signed? That is something one must ask when there now are 40 times the number of clearances for anthrax that there where when the Amerithrax attack occurred. Rogue or authorized? Deep state?

  22. Quite an interesting Monday.
    1. The UN Security Council approved the P5+1 Iran agreement unanimously. No US veto or abstention. The nations not named the United States can now watch as the IAEA and Iran get to work on implementing Iran’s commitments and as IAEA certifies each milestone, those nations can restore trade with Iran. Airbus is already gearing up.

    The businesses in the country named the United States are out of luck until the Congress gives the President the authority to end US sanctions.

    Interesting how that one worked out. Wonder if Congress notices.

    2. The Cuban embassy opened in Washington DC and Cuba wants Guantanamo back. Kerry says “No way”. This could be fun. Start the popcorn.

    3. The aftershocks of #blacklivesmatter direct action against Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders (the only Presidential candidates at Netroots Nation 2015) continue in the progressive blogs. My take: candidates who live in perpetual bubbles are easily blindsided when confronted with an urgent issue not of their script (such as extrajudicial killing of people of color). O’Malley’s hoof-in-mouth: “White lives matter. All lives matter”. Sanders’s hoof-in-mouth: “Should I leave?” Subtext: I’ve got a stump speech here; I can’t possibly go spontaneous or the media will kill me; trust me; I hear you; listen for future rhetoric. Telling judgment on the political class and how Netroots Nation has so far failed its original purpose of injecting progressive ideas into Democratic politics. Both Hillary and Obama were miffed by the aggressive questioning of them. Now politicians use access extortion to limit tough questioning. And NN folds in order to have big names on the program.

    4. Tyler Durden has a slew of articles about Saudi Arabia diplomacy with Russia (the two big oil giants) and comes up with the amazing narrative that Obama is pulling off some diplomatic moves in the Middle East. Interesting if true, but Durden is hit and miss with scoops. Nonetheless it is an objective reality that Syria cannot be brought to peace soon without the participation of Assad, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. But Saudi views of ISIL/ISIS/Daesh are still unclear; seeing it as an existential threat would mean that the Saudis might be interested in a deal that protects Sunni interests and restores stability. The other interesting report was that the Saudis were in Russia somehow in relation to their toning it down over the P5+1 Iran deal.

    5. Since the Iran deal is now mostly fait accompli and since the IDF has twice told Netanyahu that they will not attack Iran. maybe Bibi will grow quiet unless he is of use to his Republican allies in meddling in US politics.

    6. The KKK rally in Columbia SC over the weekend treated the residents of the state to a Nazi flag on the Statehouse steps. And some sports team hijinks; a counter-protester grabbed a KKK Confederate flag and ran away with it until police intervened. It go pretty testy there for a bit. One great pic on Twitter (whether photoshopped or no) shows a KKK guy in his Nazi bling, a black guy a foot taller approaching him; the KKK guy has a wet spot in his crotch.

    • well, lookie here. this is better than the msm home page. but you forgot: ‘robot shows signs of self-awareness’. (ruh-roh) ;-)

      i’d seen a lot of it, of course, but my mind just folds on isis/isil. i guess i don’t click into zero hedge very often, maybe for that reason?

      interesting though on the iran agreement; mr. wd read me some sentences that allowing a pipeline to send ga to europe was one of the costs. that tally with what you know?

      the NN seems to prove that there really isn’t any left…left. but even with bernie’s gaff, the BLM twittersphere seems to love him, even bassem masri, whose other key issue is gaza. can he not know? and yes, rebelutionary_z took the photo, lol. i confess when someone captioned on of those photos: “100 klansmen brandish 200 teeth’, i did laugh.

      added on edit: nope, i was wrong; he’d just retweeted the photo.

      but speaking of bibi, this sent shock waves from my toes to my head: ‘Israel, Greece sign status of forces agreement

      “Global terrorism is “also developing in our area, and is influencing the security situation in Europe as well. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism. Today it is directed against someone else, and tomorrow it reaches you,” he added.

      Kammenos said the “Greek people are very close to the people in Israel,” adding that military bilateral relations are good, and that both countries will continue to build on them through joint training. Terror – ism and jihad, he added, are not just in the Middle East, but are also present in the Balkans and Europe.

      Greece is within range of Iranian missiles, he added. “If one Iranian missile makes its way to the Mediterranean, this could be the end of states in this region,” the Greek defense minister said.”

      why, why, why?

  23. Of the moment, both need a friend, any friend. For all the talk about Iran, Greece’s immediate worry is a militarist Turkey and Israel’s is shutting down the annual Freedom Flotillas, which generally launch from Greek ports. The Greek dominance in shipping and small boats in that end of the Mediterranean comes from having lots of islands to integrate.

    Israel might see a political gambit in enlisting the European Mediterranean nations (Greece, Italy, Spain) as they get shoved out of the Eurozone.

    Everyone wants a pipeline to Europe. I wonder if some of the Saudi chat with Russia was about that Iran agreement provision. It is in Europe’s interest to have multiple suppliers. Iran is also now going full speed on the pipeline to Pakistan and other relationships with Pakistan.

    Nations do not have permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests.

    One is wondering whether the PtB have had enough of chaos for the moment. The sure are freaked out over China’s state-run stock market as if it operated like the private stock markets in the rest of the world. I wonder whose Chinese stock margin position is suddenly getting squeezed for payment?

    • Hmmmm. okay, i’m trying to see your point, esp. as someone wrote about frau merkel or herr schnauzer having essentially threatened tsipras with ‘the turks!’ but for a leftist coalition to publicly call out iran as a dangerous rogue state *and imply* that The Deal is a sham, and that iran might launch nuclear warheads is a huge mis-step to me. especially when they are now allied with a true rogue nation.

      does the greek in the street know about the memo? guess we’ll see, eh?

      didn’t tyler durden write a post or nine about the huge chinese stimulus? sorry to say that i haven’t followed it.

  24. Here’s an uplifting get-together posting from that little land down under:

    Bear in mind that this is late winter in that neck of the woods, and it has been a COLD one. Fun scrolling through the agenda, nonetheless. And by the way, the host of apparently has been requested to show up at the police station on Friday for a conversation about this and that, so all is not quiet on the Southern Front.


      • ha; that piece came in with the popular resistance newsletter this morning. of course we’ll all love this, bless his heart:

        “Greens trade spokesperson Russel Norman, who is taking part in the actions, told Radio New Zealand that such fears are unfounded.

        “I’d just say to the U.S. Embassy, Auckland isn’t Ferguson and the police won’t be shooting people,” he said. “It’ll be a peaceful demonstration, they should just relax and maybe they should come along—they might learn something.”

        mr. wd read me a headline at NC the other day, and apparently yves smith was calling the tpp dead, but it does to be in some major trouble. public citizen’s global trade watch did a little calculating on some of CAFTA’s horrendous effects on citizens. whooosh.

  25. Nothing like a Friday morning read of comments section at the Guardian live blog of Tsipras’ resignation. New party formed by Syriza anti-bailouters doesn’t have charismatic leader – Varoufakis playing hard to get; staffer says he won’t run in snap election as Syriza candidate and so far he’s not joined the anti-bailouters. Hmm. (Neither has that lady parliamentarian who’s been so anti, another hmm.) Hasty pronouncements from EU folk that they knew this was coming, no surprise, program unaffected. Hmm, hmm, hmm.

    And then there’s the stock market. (I’ve run out of hmms, you will be glad to hear.) Time for another cup of coffee. (Oh, and I seem to be linked in here this morning without my usual acrobatics. Okay.)

  26. hmmm; good morning, juliania. i confess i’ve already forgotten some of names of the cast of characters already, but i do remember one or two women who were quite pissed at tsipris.

    i did see the news at the guardian yesterday, and stuck it in a comment on my most recent diary. i hadn’t checked further, so i’ll try to. i suppose there’s no date for the snap election yet? seems i remember that the protocols require x, y, z in timing.

    varoufakis is coy, but i reckon he doesn’t have much *positive* charisma to offer (can’t there be a spectrum implied in the word?). ;-)

    how odd, though; i’d thought i’d read that alexis’s resignation was called an impediment to enacting the reforms, thus further bailouts or MoUs or something. but i do seem to be a crap reader, in any event. hmmm. ;-)

  27. Greenville SC – Bernie Sanders rally at the TD Exhibition Center: The media counts 3000 in attendance. Sanders framed his economic message in two parts: (1) income inequality and (2) institutional racism. He goes on to Columbia this evening. Maybe some transcripts and reactions will be available soon. For the population of the area on track with numbers in Portland and Phoenix.

    • Another 2000-3000 in Columbia. Bernie Sanders speech on billionaires and how 14 of them in SC got a bump up this year and on healthcare and the failure of the legislature to pass extended Medicare. Pretty pedestrian but the crowd got excited. I suspect he will have a pool of 10,000 contacts by the end of the trip from which he can draw volunteers for the three big cities and the heart of black majority counties (Sumter). To win in the general election requires 1,225,000 votes over the 46 counties and four media markets of the state, which get 8 electoral votes. The South Carolina Democratic Party has 59 delegates and 4 alternates to the Philly Convention. Sanders getting most or all of that number changes the dynamics of the primary because South Carolina is the first Southern primary. Doing that with votes edging close to that 1,225,000 total sends a message of electability. That is what the campaigns are going to want to do as far as objectives. And that runs about 26,000 votes per county on average.

      The two reasons that electoral politics are not attractive to movements are (1) the risk of wasting time only to be co-opted; (2) the large effort involved in turning out those numbers just for one event with little promise of future action on the part of the people you mobilize. The absolute only thing that they are asked to do is vote, and then disappear until the next election. Spending 15 months of one’s life for that is not intuitively a promising means of revolution.

      • i dunno, darlin’. you might want to look at the comments at the end of the james boyd killers thread; it seems as though the co-optation has begun, at least from where i sit. your comments would have been appropriate on the now-dead (?) ‘hilarious’ thread; 2 commenters love ‘the bern’.

  28. By no means a crap reader, wendye – not with all the names in the Black Lives Matter movement you have had at your fingertips. Guardian commentary was quite good this time around, and one bit of information was that Yaroufakis actually was the most popular mp – got the most votes when elected. Of course that could have changed, but he resigned when Tsipras didn’t honor the Oxhi so I’d think that popularity remains intact. He didn’t say he wouldn’t run again, just not with Syriza.

    There will be a delay before the election because several lesser/big parties (I think just two and the new party split off from Syriza is the second one) have to try to form a government and each has three days in which to make the attempt. Then parliament shuts down and an interim government headed by an anti-bailout lady keeps the lights on. (She’s the next in line to do this, a different one from the lady currently in charge of the podium.)

    Of course polls are being touted that say Tsipras will win, just like they were touted that the Yes vote would win the referendum, so I’d say his goose is cooked if the same people who came out to vote then do so again – how happy do you think those folk are that he ignored their mandate? (But then, what do I know – they could be just ready to follow wherever he leads.) Varoufakis wasn’t.

    • thank you for correcting my misapprehension as to varoufakis’s popularity, and filling in the other details, as well. it will be mega-illuminating to see how it all plays out. waiting is, i guess. i’d stuck these tweets on the ‘art’ diary:

      the refugee crisis is boiling over, too.

      p.s. i resemble my favorite sign of the movement: “please stop making us remember so many names!”

  29. Thanks wendye. Here’s an update that’ll at least apprise us of some of the names of players – short enough I hope it’s okay to give the entire piece:
    Ioanna Zikakou:
    Greek Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou met with Panayiotis Lafazanis, leader of the newly-formed political party Popular Unity, on August 22 in her office. The two politicians had a conversation in front of the reporters waiting outside the office, where Konstantopoulou expressed her opinion that the government decided to resign surreptitiously, without informing the Parliament.

    She also spoke negatively about the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who chose to side with the Greek Prime Minister and not reveal the latter’s plan. Konstantopoulou added the country’s lenders are blackmailing the country, while they appear to have been informed about the government’s intentions before the Greek Parliament.

    Panagiotis Lafazanis stated that the purpose of his visit was to inform the president about the formation of the new parliamentary group. The Popular Unity leader also added that the government’s practices have turned the constitution into scrap of paper.

    After the meeting, Konstantopoulou did not announce if she would be moving in the same direction as Lafazanis. However, both politicians spoke against Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his decision to close the Greek Parliament, but also against Pavlopoulos, noting that he failed to comply with the official procedures.

    Greek Government about Parliament President: “She behaves like a dictator – It was a wrong choice.”

    “The Greek Parliament President is behaving like a dictator, she thinks that she is the institutional center of the Greek government, but she was simply a wrong choice.”

    With these words the SYRIZA-led Greek government has signed its definitive rupture with Greek Parliament President Zoi Konstantopoulou. This is a first for Greece since no government has ever spoken publically against the parliament president, who is proposed by the prime minister personally.

    – See more at:

  30. heh; cover a lot of bases it indeed does. channeling thoughts and opinions from ‘a manchurian candidate’ to ‘one who believes deep in his soul that he should fail’ runs the table’.

    i’d read their bild polling; can’t say i’fd trust it, but popular unity and other parties were compared to tsipris himself. odd to me. let me know when you think we may want an open thread on greece; i’ve also been reading yani’s twitter account, but some of the ‘discarded documents’ were too much for me.

    i may read his link to ‘what happened in china?’ link, though.

  31. The Greek Reporter says Zoi is about to form her own party. Ho, I guess Yanis could do that too. They might just squeeze everybody else out , do you think?

    • is Zoi the rather more fierce one of the two women you’d mentioned recently? i’m easily confused by greek names. it seems that alexis will give an interview tonight, ‘ahead of the snap election’.

      i keep reading here and there that Popular Unity will make promises impossible to keep. was that in your link above? and not just yves smith on yanis, with another post up trying to make a grexit a dead.damned.letter.

  32. Yes, she’s definitely the fierce one, wendye. I just saw a photo of the interim prime minister, and she does look a bit elderly. I’m with you on the names – hard to remember, so I’m better with first names.

    Yesterday I went to Yanis’ site and read his speech to the French folk out in the field in the rain – he describes his ‘plan of action’ in this interview at the Aussie ABC:

    I’m puzzled by Singer’s final comment – “. . .almost certainly guilty of treason. . .” played it back several times and I don’t know if it’s a joke or a nasty stab, not being cognizant of Aussie humor – if it is that, it’s wry indeed. Haven’t looked at Yves yet, but from what Yanis is saying here he’s got a long road ahead, and hard to call that treason unless treason against the presently constituted EU. (Not a long interview and it comes at the beginning of the link.)

  33. Straying slightly from the sphynxian Greek election scenario, here’s a short quote from one of the very good financial articles at counterpunch for the weekend, “Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises”:

    ” . . . The reason, I would speculate, that Mr. Bernanke persisted with the ‘global savings glut’ thesis is that it deflected culpability away from the Federal Reserve for the serial calamities it is both contributing to and overseeing. And the ‘global savings glut’ is once again being used to deflect culpability away from Central Bank policies. There is nothing like seeing the bomb that one has helped construct beginning to go off to focus the mind on strategies of plausible deniability . . . ‘

    Well said, Mr. Urie!

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