CONTACT: taylore@marlboro.edu

AP Wire

September 9, 2009

Back to Blogging

"Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the equivalent of a Cleveland garage band calling itself The Beatles in Ohio ("We’ve pledged allegiance to Paul and Ringo," says lead vocalist)."
-Jeff Huber



July 26, 2009

Eliot Spitzer and Toure roleplay the bailout

This video is very good.  Best part is when Eliot Spitzer calls the Federal Reserve a Ponzi Scheme.


Also, this is an Washing Post op-ed on predatory lending Eliot Spitzer wrote one month before he was forced to resign after it was leaked to the press that he was the one millionth politician to sleep with a hooker.

Dennis Ross

Right at the start of the Iranian election turmoil, Dennis Ross left his job at the State Department and joined the National Security Council.  This is his new job (from the Washington Independent):
Dennis Ross will become Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Central Region with overall responsibility for the region.  He will work with Don Camp, Senior Director for South Asia, Lt. Gen. Doug Lute, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser and Coordinator for Afghanistan-Pakistan, Dan Shapiro, Senior Director for Near East and North Africa, and Puneet Talwar, Senior Director for the Gulf States, Iran and Iraq.
Also, everyone should read William Polk's recent Counterpunch post, which reminded me of Dennis "Israel's Lawyer" Ross:
"In the White House, I think it would be hard to find a worse choice than the new Special Assistant to the President, Dennis Ross. Three examples of his skill: a) in the early negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, when he was supposedly the honest broker, he took a more disruptive position than even the Israelis, apparently shocking even them; b) in the build-up to the Iranian elections he sponsored and organized a program to "electronically invade" Iran with destabilizing messages trying, more subtly to be sure than the 1953 CIA-MI6 coup, to "regime change" it."

Sarah Palin Copyedited

This is funny.

July 25, 2009

AIG

Michael Lewis has a new piece out in Vanity Fair on how A.I.G. managed to end up insuring so many subprime mortgages.
The article is called "The Man Who Crashed the World," and it is definitely worth a read.

Also, if you haven't read it yet, Matt Taibbi's scathing Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs, "The Great American Bubble Machine" is a must.  (And his vampire squid image seems to be a lasting one). 

Tel Aviv Twitters

I found this Counterpunch article by Jonthan Cook last week, but forget to post it.  It's called "Israel's Internet War," and it details the new Israeli "internet warfare team" that was allocated $150,000 in the current government budget.
"Mr Shturman, the deputy director of the ministry’s hasbara department, admitted his team would be working undercover.“Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the hasbara department of the Israeli foreign ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis,” he said. “They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the foreign ministry developed.
"The new team is expected to increase the ministry’s close coordination with a private advocacy group, giyus.org (Give Israel Your United Support). About 50,000 activists are reported to have downloaded a programme called Megaphone that sends an alert to their computers when an article critical of Israel is published. They are then supposed to bombard the site with comments supporting Israel."
I bring up again my previous post "Twitters impact inside Iran is zero," where i brought up the analysis done by Chartingstocks.net on the original Twitter posts that sparked the media idea of a "twitter revolution" in Iran.  Chartingstocks.net found (through unscientific methods) that the Jerusalem Post was the first media outlet to use twitter posts as legitimate news on the election.

True Crimes: The Untold Story behind the devastation of Iraq

I found this Nation Institute forum from 2008.  Seymour Hersh, Jeremy Scahill, Chris Hedges, and Lailia al-Arian having a freewheeling discussion of Iraq and American policy in general.  1 hr. 36 min.  Very much worth watching.


July 24, 2009

Nazis and the Mufti

Apparently Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's far-right foreign minister, is throwing out all the stops in trying to distract the world as Israel tears down more Palestinian homes and builds Israeli homes in their place.
According to Haaretz, "Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered diplomats to use an old photograph of a former Palestinian religious leader meeting Adolf Hitler to counter world criticism of a Jewish building plan for East Jerusalem.  Israeli officials said on Wednesday that Lieberman told Israeli ambassadors to circulate the 1941 shot in Berlin of the Nazi leader seated next to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the late mufti or top Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem."   
Daniel Luban writes on Jim Lobe's Blog that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, a powerful Washington lobby, has taken Lieberman's advice  and in a recent statement included the Mufti's Nazi ties (which certainly do exist) as a "disturbing" reason  why there should be no opposition to further Israeli colonies being built in East Jerusalem.

Pushing Back the Withdrawal Date

It is being reported that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is starting to waver on the December 31st, 2011 withdrawal date for all American soldiers in Iraq.  The status of force agreement signed in the waning days of Bush has a renegotiation clause at the end, and advisors like General Jack Keane want the U.S. military to never, ever give up its imperial garrisons in Iraq.  
What will be interesting to watch is the multiple forces working on al-Maliki, one from Washington and Tampa trying to pull the puppet strings, and one from Iraq wanting the Americans out.