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Europe Freaks, Egypt Votes, Amnesty Condemns Extra Judicial Killings. The Fed: Getting Away With It, Mary Richardson Kennedy

May 24th, 2012 - by:

Tomorrow, Friday: News Dissector Radio, PRN.fm, 1-2 PM

In Case You Missed It, Real News Carries My Essay: Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way….

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News Blues

AJE: EU summit ends with Greek warning - Europe

•News Republic: Europe Solves Nothing

Fluent: 'Obama touts American exceptionalism, wars’ end in Air Force speech'

•The Real Race for Money: Obama fundraises hard as super-PACs boost Romney's cash

•Yahoo News: Man in custody implicates himself in Etan Patz death

The New York City police commissioner says a man in custody has implicated himself in the death of Etan Patz, the boy whose disappearance 33 years ago sparked the movement to put the faces of missing children on milk cartons.

Elections in Egypt

Center For Public Accuracy: Seif Da'Na is an associate professor of sociology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside specializing in the Mideast and North Africa comments: "The Egyptian presidential election are being held today and tomorrow, with a highly possible run-off on June 16 and 17, is a significant step in Egypt’s political and democratic transformation. However, the multi-candidate presidential election, including two high ranking officials of the ousted Mubarak regime (Ahmad Shafiq, former prime minister, and Amr Mousa, former foreign minister and secretary general of the League of Arab States) might not put an end to the control of the SCAF [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces].

“The new president will have to take on serious challenges from day one (regional, economic, political, and administrative, etc.) but the president faces the ambiguity of his role and limits of his power. The new constitution has not been drafted and SCAF will still hold the real power. It is unlikely that the presidential election will put an end to the ongoing protests in Egypt, as long as people realize that SCAF is still the real ruler of Egypt and that their demands have to be negotiated in the street.”

•Africa: Political leaders ‘learn little’ from North African uprisings

Cape Town (South Africa) — Spurred by popular uprisings in North Africa, pressure to respect the human rights of all Africans is growing across the continent, but political leaders are standing in the way, says the internationally-respected lobby group, Amnesty International.

•Raw Story: Amnesty criticizes U.S. for ‘unlawful’ bin Laden raid

•Guardian: African asylum seekers injured in Tel Aviv race riots

Violence breaks out after inflammatory speeches as protesters join politicians to demonstrate against rising Israeli immigration

WhoWhatWhy.com: Burying the “Lockerbie Bomber”—And the Truth

Everyone’s in a hurry to say goodbye to the “Lockerbie bomber,” the man convicted of bombing Pan Am 103. But a closer look is warranted—as usual—when the stakes are so high. Was Libya really behind the atrocity, or was some other country or element involved?

•Foreclosure amnesia — California distressed inventory still larger than non-distressed properties. 
Wed, 23 May 2012

People suffer from a sort of amnesia when it comes to the economy. For example, the low mortgage rates are now used as the major reason to buy in spite of weak employment reports, major budget deficits, and lower incomes for younger Americans. In other words, the major reason to buy today is the low interest rate. But even 10 years ago, the 30 year fixed rate mortgage was at 7 percent or nearly twice as high as the current rate. The entire housing market is being held up by a string and that string is the artificially low rates.

Wisconsin Recall Update: John Nichols: Failure to focus on labor rights hurts Dems

With the release last week of the Marquette University Law School poll that had Scott Walker leading Tom Barrett by a 50-44 margin, Walker’s most naive enthusiasts expressed delight while Barrett’s supporters panicked.

Both were wrong.

In the latest Marquette Poll, almost half of the 600 likely voters surveyed identified as conservatives, while 30 percent identified as moderates and 20 percent identified as liberals.

But the pattern of exit polls conducted in major elections over the past decade suggests that the accurate breakdown is far different. One of Wisconsin’s savviest number crunchers, Jud Lounsbury, notes that “if we average the last three exit polls in Wisconsin (2006, 2008 and 2010), we find that the actual breakdown of the Wisconsin electorate is 22.7 percent liberal, 46.7 percent moderate, and 31 percent conservative.”
But there’s an even more significant divergence in the new Marquette poll.

The previous Marquette poll, which showed a dead heat between Walker and Barrett, found that 43 percent of those identified as conservatives, while 32 percent identified as moderates and 22 percent as liberals.

In other words, the new poll upped the number of conservatives interviewed — those most likely to support Walker — by five percentage points while it reduced the percentage of liberals polled — those most likely to vote for Barrett — by two points.

When we figure in the slight shift among moderates toward Barrett in the newer poll, the divergence in sample groups (upping the conservative percentage while reducing the liberal percentage) accounts for the entire boost in Walker’s number and the entire drop in Barrett’s number.

In other words, there is good reason to conclude that the race remains a dead heat — despite the fact that, in the period immediately prior to the latest round of Marquette polling, Walker outspent Barrett by roughly 25-1.

Robert Parry: What Really Happened At Watergate

•The Atlantic: The Sad 6 Days of Facebook

Robert Weissman, Public Citizen: Learning from Facebook

Whether or not you’re an investor, it’s important to grasp the significance of what’s happened with the Facebook initial public offering (IPO).

In the few days since its IPO, Facebook’s stock price has fallen almost 20 percent amidst news that underwriters led by Morgan Stanley and perhaps Facebook itself shared negative assessments of the company only with big, institutional investors — not with the broader investing public.

It’s going to take some time to suss out exactly what happened with the Facebook IPO, but step back and consider the broader implications. They are staggering.

The most hyped IPO in history has turned into a debacle marred by insider dealing. It’s no exaggeration to say the whole world was watching — and still the decks were stacked against average investors.

This is remarkable commentary on the untrustworthiness of Wall Street. If anyone had any doubts, it shows the utter folly in relying on Wall Street to police itself.

•Reuters: Facebook: The List of Incompetents – Murphy’s Law

It’s going to be a long time before the various lawsuits shake themselves out, but one thing’s already clear with respect to the Facebook IPO: absolutely no one has come out of it looking good. It’s worth going down the List of Incompetence here, because regardless of whether any of this was illegal, there are a lot of extremely well-compensated people who, to use a technical term, screwed the pooch on this one.

U.S. APPROACHES TO FINANCIAL REGULATION ARE INCOMPLETE AND INADEQUATE, NEW LEVY ECONOMICS INSTITUTE STUDY SAYS

Until Regulation Reforms Incorporate Hyman Minsky’s Theory that Instability Is an Inherent Part of the Financial System, They Will Fail to Head Off Future Crises

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Analyzing U.S. policy responses to the global financial crisis over the past five years, chiefly the Dodd-Frank Act, a new paper from the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College argues that the approach has been incomplete and inadequate, very much like the “piecemeal” and “patchwork” pattern of reform that Hyman Minsky cautioned against in his 1986 book Stabilizing an Unstable Economy.

“As Minsky emphasized, you cannot adequately design regulations that increase the stability of financial markets if you do not have a theory of financial instability,” write Senior Scholar Jan Kregel and President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou in their new paper, “Building Effective Regulation Requires a Theory of Financial Instability.” “If the ‘normal’ precludes instability, except as a random ad hoc event, regulation will always be dealing with ad hoc events that are unlikely to occur again. As a result, the regulations will be powerless to prevent future instability.”

Matt Stoller: Naked Capitalism: Over 99% of Federal Reserve Bank Enforcement Actions Are Resolved Without Admission of Guilt

In a hearing last week titled “Examining the Settlement Practices of U.S. Financial Regulators”, various regulators tried to justify their practice of settling with financial firms and not requiring them to admit wrongdoing. In that hearing, Federal Reserve General Counsel Scott Alvarez, stated that only seven of the roughly one thousand enforcement actions taken in the last decade were resolved without consent.

The vast majority of the Federal Reserve’s formal enforcement actions are resolved upon consent, which is fully consistent with the goal of resolving supervisory concerns with bank management quickly and firmly. In crafting enforcement actions that are entered by consent, the Federal Reserve typically sets out summary recitations of the relevant facts in “Whereas” clause provisions; however, like our fellow banking regulators, it has not been our practice to require formal admissions to the misconduct addressed in our enforcement orders given the remedial nature of our enforcement program. Requiring admission of fact and legal conclusions as a condition of entering into a consent action is likely to have a deleterious effect on our supervisory efforts by causing more institutions and individuals to challenge the requested relief in contested administrative proceedings, which typically takes years to reach final resolution, and which could delay implemenatation of necessary corrective action.

In other words, the Federal Reserve will only punish banks who break the rules if those banks consent to punishment. This attitude is pervasive among all regulators.

Other News

•US Condemns Wikileaks for Hacking And Then Boasts of Hacking Yemeni Sites

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The State Department has launched a different sort of raid against al-Qaida – hacking into al-Qaida websites in Yemen. In a rare public admission of the covert cyber war against extremists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says cyber experts based at the State Department hacked Yemeni tribal websites,

•Fluent: ‘TV Presenter: Piers Morgan Told Me How to Hack’

•New Media Scandal on the Right: ‘De Borchgrave’s work goes offline’ on Fluent News. Here is the link:

•BBC: Iran nuclear talks to extend to second, extra day

New Record On Mt Everest

Tamae Watanabe, who 10 years ago became the oldest woman in the world to summit Mount Everest, has broken her own record, reaching its 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak for the second time at the age of 73. Everest has been scaled by some 3,700 climbers since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first climbed it in 1953. The oldest person to successfully make the dangerous climb is a Nepalese man, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who did so in 2008 at the age of 76.

EJC: 1000s of students protest media in Mexico

Thousands of university students marched through central Mexico City on Wednesday to protest media coverage that they say favors the candidate of the former ruling party in upcoming presidential elections. The students say newspapers and television stations are tilting their coverage toward Enrique Pena Nieto, who is leading polls by double digits ahead of the July 1 vote. Many of the students were from the elite Iberoamerican University, where a May 11 appearance by Pena Nieto set off a rare wave of protests by young people against a return to the presidency of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which ruled Mexico for 70 years before it was voted out in 2000.

•HP: Rob Kall, Occupy Eye Review of The Avengers

•Portside: American Airlines Rejects Female Passenger Because Political Pro-
Choice T-Shirt is “Inappropriate”

Yesterday I attended a meeting of pro-choice colleagues working to
ensure women throughout this country get safe, compassionate
abortion care. Today, I received an email from one of those
colleagues, detailing the ordeal through which she was put by
American Airlines on her flights home. They actually forced her to
miss her connecting flight and demanded she change her top. The
reason? Her politically salient pro-choice t-shirt was offensive
to the flight crew.

That sign said: “If I wanted the government in my womb, I’d fuck a
senator.”The t-shirt is the now-popularized version of a sign held
by Oklahoma state senator Judy McIntyre (D) at a pro-choice rally
in early March to protest Oklahoma’s so-called personhood law,
which in conferring the rights of a living, breathing person on a
fertilized egg denies all rights of personhood of women, full

Kerry Kennedy On Mary Richardson Kennedy

Like millions of Americans, Mary suffered from depression. She had it for as long as I knew her, and as it reared up in high school, college and beyond, she fought it back, for a day, a week, a month. These last 6 years or more, she fought it as hard as she knew how.

But that disease was not Mary herself. She was deeply Catholic, and she was an angel. And like the archangel Michael, who battled Satan when he tried to take over Heaven, Mary fought back the demons who were trying to invade the Paradise of her very being. She fought with everything she had. And I think God said to her “Mary, you have been my warrior on the front lines for too long, you have fought valiantly, and now I am bringing you home.”

Let’s not forget they were only demons, not Mary herself, and it’s everything else about Mary that is important, and for me, will abide. She was an angel, a gift from the Heavens. So let’s not remember her for her despair, but let’s take inspiration from her determination to heal the woundedness in herself and in those she loved.

And let’s live our lives, remembering hers, with tenderness towards one another and affirmation for our feelings, and go forth with compassion, exhilaration, laughter and joy.’

RIP: Paul Fussell

NYT: Paul Fussell, the wide-ranging, stingingly opinionated literary scholar and cultural critic whose admiration for Samuel Johnson, Kingsley Amis and the Boy Scout Handbook and his withering scorn for the romanticization of war, the predominance of television and much of American society were dispensed in more than 20 books, died on Wednesday in Medford, Ore. He was 88.

•Gotcha: Mike Occupies Airspace, is Busted

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is rich, and New Yorkers often forgive him for it. His rarefied life of weekend homes in Bermuda and private jet flights to Paris has not stopped him from earning the votes of constituents who give him credit for competence and leadership.

But being a billionaire is one thing, and breaking the rules another. So it was on Wednesday that Mr. Bloomberg, an experienced pilot, found himself under fire after he was discovered flying his private helicopter where he was not supposed to.

An amateur video, filmed by an annoyed Manhattanite and broadcast Tuesday on WABC-TV, showed the mayor landing and taking off several times over the weekend from the East 34th Street helipad, where trips on Saturday and Sunday have been expressly banned for more than a decade.

On Wednesday, a City Hall spokesman said Mr. Bloomberg would not be flying from the helipad on weekends any longer

•Guardian: How Us Prisons Gouge Inmates

Thanks for being here. Help us spread the word about the Newsdissector.net blog. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org. Follow Me On Twitter at DissectorEvents.

Note from City Lights Press

Thank you so much for posting your podcast interview with O’Connor. We included this interview on our website: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100981880&fa=RelatedPress.

I am an editorial intern here at City Lights Publishing, and it would be fantastic if you could include a reciprocal link on your site. If you could include it in the following section of your piece (http://prn.fm/2012/05/18/news-dissector-051812/) : “With Rory O’Connor, author of Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media Are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Bramds and Killing Traditional Media (City Lights).” We would appreciate it if you could create a reciprocal link on the section reading, “(City Lights),” so that it directs the reader to the following: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100981880&fa=description .