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Weiner Roast

© Unknown
The Politics of Narcissism

In a year, will you remember, let alone care about, the Weiner roast? Unless something truly scandalous is further revealed (and you never know with politicians trying to hide something), New York Congressman Anthony Weiner will be campaigning for reelection.

In 2012, the incumbent will likely be glad-handing his constituency at a neighborhood supermarket or school. Each voter will pat the congressman on the back, ask discreetly, "How could you have done it?," and Weiner will shrug his shoulders in bewilderment, a chastened pol. His moment in the sex-scandal spotlight finally over.

After weeks of outright lying, stonewalling and dimwitted obfuscation, the good congressman finally coped to his illicit Twitter exchanges and more. He admitted that, over the past few years, he sent a series of "compromising" e-mails and photos to women he met online. He insists that he never had a sexual liaison with any of the women; none of them have contradicted his claim. He seems to have gotten off on risqué flirting.

And after weeks of media hounding, the congressman finally opted for the classic sinner's safety net. He's entered a rehab program to deal with his "addiction." In all likelihood, his two-week breather from the media spotlight will be sufficient for his sad story to be replaced by yet another media distraction, whether scandal, natural disaster or crime report.

(It remains to be seen whether Mrs. Weiner will follow in the well-worn footsteps of her mentor, Hillary Clinton, and stick with her man or join the late-Elizabeth Edwards or former SC Governor Mark Sanford's wife, Jenny Sanford, and say enough is enough.)

Comment: To learn more about psychopathy, see these Sott links:

What "Psychopath" Means; It is not quite what you may think

Psychopaths Among Us


Libya all about oil, or central banking?

Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank - this before they even had a government. Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:
I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.
Alex Newman wrote in the New American:
In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the "[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi."
Newman quoted CNBC senior editor John Carney, who asked, "Is this the first time a revolutionary group has created a central bank while it is still in the midst of fighting the entrenched political power? It certainly seems to indicate how extraordinarily powerful central bankers have become in our era."

An unofficial Libyan 'rebel' quote: "Well, we figured the rest of the world is having so much fun being shafted by banksters that our new Libya should join them too!"


US Housing Crisis Is Now Worse Than Great Depression

© Getty Images
It's official: The housing crisis that began in 2006 and has recently entered a double dip is now worse than the Great Depression.

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.

The news comes as the Federal Reserve considers whether the economy has regained enough strength to stand on its own and as unemployment remains at a still-elevated 9.1 percent, throwing into question whether the recovery is real.

"The sharp fall in house prices in the first quarter provided further confirmation that this housing crash has been larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression," Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, wrote in research for clients.

Bad Guys

Canada Will Extend Formal Recognition to Libyan Rebels as MPs Vote to Extend Mission 294-1

© The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird delivers a speech during the debate on the mission in Libya in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.
Parliament has formally extended Canada's military mission in Libya to the end of September as Ottawa endorsed the country's rebels as the true representatives of its people.

By an overwhelming 294-1 margin, MPs approved the extension Tuesday evening after an exhaustive day-long debate on Canada's involvement in the NATO-led, United Nations-sanctioned mission to protect civilians from dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's kicked off the debate by announcing a significant policy shift - recognizing the National Transitional Council of Libya, the key rebel organization fighting Gadhafi. He also announced additional aid funds to assist victims of sexual violence.

After the vote, Baird told reporters that he planned to meet soon with a Canadian-based member of the council. He moved to dispel any apprehension about the council, saying it represents "the best hope" for the future of the Libyan people.

"Whatever happens, they couldn't be any worse than Col. Gadhafi," said Baird.

Canada joins France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in formally recognizing the council.

In March, the House of Commons unanimously approved a three-month commitment of seven fighter jets, a warship, patrol planes and aerial tankers to help enforce a no-fly zone and arm's embargo on Libya.

Bad Guys

Nato refuses to rule out bombing ancient ruins in air strikes aimed at taking out Gaddafi

ancient ruins
© Alamy
Hiding place: Nato has refused to rule out bombing the UNESCO World Heritage site of Leptis Magna if Colonel Gaddafi is hiding weapons there.

Nato has refused to rule out bombing Libya's ancient Roman ruins if Colonel Gaddafi is using them to hide military equipment.

Rebels in the divided country claim the under-pressure Libyan leader could be hiding rocket launchers at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Leptis Magna - which is between the capital Tripoli and rebel-held Misrata.

Wing Commander Mike Bracken, a spokesman for Nato's Libya mission, said it would be a concern for the alliance if Gaddafi and his forces were to violate international law and hide themselves in such a location.

According to CNN, he said: 'If we were to take on any targets we would consider all risks.'

However, he said that Nato could not confirm rebel concerns that weapons might be placed at the heritage site.

Penis Pump

Weinergate: Caught in the Net Confessions of a US Politician

© unknown
Anthony Weiner
In the aftermath of Anthony Weiner's rambling, tearful press conference at the Sheraton Hotel, the immediate question was not whether the New York Congressman could survive in office, but how long he could hold on.

That his career was over was taken for granted, following the bizarre, half-hour long public therapy session, in which he owned up to sending pictures of himself in his underwear, in varying states of arousal, to six different women.

"Over the past few years, I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online," he admitted. He apologised to his wife, his supporters and everyone he had misled in a series of brazen denials since the first image surfaced. "I don't do drugs, I was not drinking, that wasn't the cause of this. This was me doing a dumb thing, and doing it repeatedly, and then lying about it."

Although he refused to resign, saying his constituents would have the last word, he looked like a beaten man as he stalked from the room, pursued by a Fox News reporter persistently asking: "Were you fully erect?"

A fortnight ago, Weiner was a strong candidate for Mayor of New York in 2013. He is now a pariah, a political casualty thrown under the bus by his party. Leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi, formerly Speaker of the House, has called for an ethics committee investigation into his conduct. Colleagues have rushed to condemn him, putting pressure on him to stand down.

Bad Guys

Israel police train for mass Palestinian protests

© AFP/File, Ahmad Gharabli
A Palestinian youth is detained by Israeli border police during clashes outside Jerusalem in May
Hundreds of Israeli police are taking part in a training exercise in preparation for potentially large-scale Palestinian protests in September, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.

"There's an exercise that the police are carrying out... in order to deal with public order, maintaining public order, and dealing with widespread disturbances," spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP.

"Several hundred police officers are taking part in that, and it is leading up to the forthcoming months ... meaning September."

The Palestinian leadership plans to seek UN recognition and membership in September in a move Israeli security officials fear could be accompanied by widespread Palestinian protests.


Anonymous vows to attack Federal Reserve

Blames bankers for impoverishing millions

Infamous hacktivist collective Anonymous has served notice that it intends to attack the websites of the Federal Reserve.

The campaign - likely to take the form of denial of service attacks and possibly sit-ins - is in protest at the Federal Reserve's role in the global financial crisis, misuse of US taxpayer funds and supposed role in driving millions worldwide into poverty. The planned cyber-assault is timed to coincide with Flag Day, 14 June.

Hacktivists have christened the campaign Operation Empire State Rebellion. Anonymous is calling for the cyber-protests to continue until Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps down, as explained in a video-manifesto.

Eye 1

Janet Napolitano Visits NYU Law School to Discuss Need For Citizen Spies

Janet Napolitano
© unknown
Janet Napolitano
We have to get to a place where every part of our society is cognizant of the kinds of threats that are out there, and empowered to take some common sense steps to counter that." -- Janet Napolitano

Homeland Security head, Janet Napolitano, continued her campus tour in a recent stop at NYU Law School where she gave a speech about the state of security as we approach the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and following the announced death of Osama bin Laden.

In the video below Napolitano lays out a sweeping surveillance agenda that includes citizen spies who have a mission of "shared responsibility" to thwart "Core" al-Qaeda, foreign groups "inspired by" al-Qaeda, as well as domestic "extremist" groups, which apparently include an increasing number of plots by U.S. citizens. She added that "there is no single portrait" of today's potential terrorist, citing recruiting tactics "including Hip Hop videos, if you can imagine that." And, naturally, cyberspace. Each of the four key ways that she stated as critical to Homeland Security's mission will widen the Stasi-style network of unpaid employees of the State virtually deputized to spy on their neighbor in the private and public sector and issue reports to the DHS federal security matrix.

Bad Guys

The Billion Dollar War? Libyan Campaign Breaks Pentagon Estimates Costing U.S. Taxpayers $2 Million a Day

Allies meet in Abu Dhabi to discuss post Gaddafi future The cost of the U.S. campaign in Libya is set to exceed the $750 million Pentagon estimate set out in March, according to a leaked Department of Defence Memo.

The 'eyes-only' DoD dossier said the U.S. had already spent $664 million in Libya by mid-May - a running cost of $60 million a month since the bombing began in March.

At the current rate of spending, the U.S. will have to shell out at least an extra $274 million till the end of the current 90 day no fly zone extension period - brining total expenditure to a minimum of $938 million.

The news came as donors pledged more than $1.3 billion dollars to help support Libya's main opposition group, after countries backing NATO's military mission there met to prepare for the post-Moammar Gadhafi era.
© The Associated Press
Costs: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates speaks during a media conference today. He is under pressure to stump up for the cost of operations in Libya

Defiant: The Libyan people are stronger than NATO's attacks, Libyan leader Muamer Gaddafi, said earlier this week