Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 01, 2009

Links April 01 09

Please add your remarks and links of the day in the comments.

Posted by b on April 1, 2009 at 5:26 UTC | Permalink


Keeping Our Eyes on the Money

Although the government has committed almost 3 trillion dollars to rescuing the financial sector, testimony today revealed that 6 months after the start of TARP, basic oversight of the program is lacking (more here and here), including the failure to account for almost 80 billion dollars. Meanwhile, Congress wants to know more about the court-appointed AIG monitor, while Neal Wolin, who helped draft Gramm-Leach-Bliley, has replaced a former hedge fund manager to run TARP--raising more questions about who is overseeing the plans, and about how they are being administered.

To many embedded link, to post em, do check it out...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 1 2009 5:33 utc | 1

I've told my friend lizard, a few times, that Montana, has funk, but not much soul...

For those like myself, who grew up with much soul, this shit is vital to us; saw this at mefi, and thought I share it.

Happy Birthday Gil Scott-Heron !

April Fools Day, 2009 also means happy 60th birthday to one of my favorite musicians, Gil Scott-Heron (previously). From his popular early works like the heavily referenced "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", "Whitey On The Moon", and "The Bottle", to his continued productions and tours over the decades, he's had a few hurdles, but never stopped. For more on his life and music, here's a great documentary from a few years back (MLYT): pt. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Again, to many embedded links to post...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 1 2009 5:49 utc | 2

The Atlantic article quotes Netanyahu as saying of the Iranian leadership, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the entire world should start worrying, and that is what is happening in Iran.”

Remember that Israel is a state founded on a religious distinction between the Jews and everyone else. The governing coalition in Israel now contains ultra hard right fanatics as well as parties that believe absolutely in the divine accuracy of 4000 year old texts. These texts celebrate bloody conflicts with the enemies of Israel.

How ironic that Netanyahu's statement could stand if the final word 'Iran' was changed to 'Israel'.

Posted by: Maff | Apr 1 2009 6:41 utc | 3

Maff, by coincidence I actually highlighted the above paragraph to make a different point (yours is equally valid), namely, that after WWII Britain and the rest of European nations became pacifist because they were no longer threatened and demonized; in fact, they were actually protected by America from the subsequent potential Soviet threat.

In Iran´s case the nation has been threatened throughout its history, and the end of the U.S.-imposed Iraqi war was followed by increased sanctions, demonization and real threats of regime change. (I don´t like the regime either, but that´s not how I want it changed).

Netanyahu cannot have kept a straight face when comparing Britain´s and Iran´s respective post-war situations.

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 1 2009 7:44 utc | 4

An unhelpful discourse on Israel | Antony Loewenstein (h/t Sol Salbe)

Jeff Halber:

What should be the relationship of Diaspora Jewry to Israel? Whatever threat I represented to the organized Jewish community of Australia had less to do with Israel, I suspect, than with some damage I might to do to the idealized "Leon Uris" image of Israel which you hold onto so dearly. This might seem like a strange thing to say, but I do not believe that you in the Diaspora have internalized the fact that Israel is a foreign country as far from your idealized version as Australia is far from its image as kangaroo-land. Countries change, they evolve. What would Australia’s European founders think – even those who until very recently pursued a “White Australia” policy – if they were to see the multi-cultural country you have become? Well, almost 30% of Israeli citizens are not Jews, we may very well have permanently incorporated another four million Palestinians – the residents of the Occupied Territories – into our country and, to top it off, it’s clear by now that the vast majority of the world’s Jews are not going to emigrate to Israel. Those facts, plus the urgent need of Israel to make peace with its neighbors, mean something. They mean that Israel must change in ways Ben Gurion, Leon Uris and Mark Leibler never envisioned, even if that’s hard for you to accept.

Posted by: Colin | Apr 1 2009 7:47 utc | 5

Superb article in Haaretz, well worth reading. A free press is Israel´s sole saving grace. I wish we had such press freedom in Iran:

Gideon Levy / Has anyone in Israel asked why the Swedes hate us?

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 1 2009 7:51 utc | 6

Re: "Please Torch My Car"

Those 18-year-old cars are usually not much fun to drive behind. They'd gag a maggot on the puke wagon.

Posted by: tom | Apr 1 2009 9:13 utc | 7

from the bomb iran link

one aide said pointedly that Israeli time lines are now drawn in months, “not years.”

Haaretz poll: 54% of public dissatisfied with new government

lieberman is foreign minister? jesus.

There might also be concerns that Netanyahu selected a finance minister with no experience in economics - Yuval Steinitz.

Netanyahu recognized the trouble he was in for appointing Steinitz, and tried to minimize the damage. At the Knesset, he announced that he would be acting as a kind of super finance minister.

Will Netanyahu attack Iran?

Netanyahu is counting on Barack Obama, and on their meeting next month, where he will tell Obama that history will judge his presidency over the way he handles the Iranian nuclear program. The question is whether Netanyahu's abilities to be convincing and his sophisticated English will allow him to alter Obama's agenda: preventing Pakistan and its nuclear arms from falling into the hands of the Taliban and Al-Qaida, while trying to buy quiet from Iran. It is doubtful whether even an Israeli proposal to pull back from the Golan Heights and evacuate settlements in the West Bank will lead Obama to bomb Iran, or let Netanyahu order an attack. Israel will have to try to reach an understanding with Obama centered on dealing with Iran.

that's what this dangling of the golan heights is about eh? or any movement re palestine. this just makes my blood boil. i can't believe we would even consider making war w/ a country like iran over a puny little piece of shit racist war criminal israel. i am livid.

Posted by: annie | Apr 1 2009 10:19 utc | 8

From Justin Raimondo column on

It was a neocon moment: there they were, the organizers of the Foreign Policy Initiative, the new neoconservative think-tank – Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Robert Kagan, with Clifford May, Randy Scheunemann, and junior neocon James Kirchick in tow. It was the occasion of FPI’s first public event – their Washington coming out party, so to speak – and who should show up but I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. A more fitting symbol of the neoconservative tendency in American politics – its history, its methods, and its essential criminality – could hardly be conceived.

While John McCain was ostensibly the main attraction, the real focus of the conference was a celebration of the man who defeated him. As David Weigel put it, the FPI conference turned into a "Neocons for Obama" festival, as super-hawkish foreign policy maven Fred Kagan hailed President Obama’s Af-Pak offensive as the best thing since the Iraqi "surge": "He’s definitely saying no to pulling back. It was a gutsy and correct decision." Yet all is not rosy: "Kagan worried/predicted that Obama’s base would bristle at the plan, so ‘he will be counting on some significant amount of support from his political opponents.’"

"Neocons for Obama", cited in the article abowe.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 10:31 utc | 9

Jeremy Schahill, The logistical nightmare in Iraq.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 10:36 utc | 10

Pepe Escobar, The secrets of Obama's surge

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 10:45 utc | 11

Don't know if it's reliable, but the article contains many interesting informations: CFR unveils global governance agenda .

A very good article about Liberal Haws.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 11:06 utc | 13

And on the lighter side....

I think it's safe to say this babe didn't vote for Chavez.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Apr 1 2009 12:08 utc | 14

This is an exceptionally mature and well written article by Ahmadinejad´s press advisor. I couldn´t have written it any better myself. I personally interpret the message as a clear statement of positive intent by Iran:


Posted by: Parviz | Apr 1 2009 13:46 utc | 15

Has Washington lost Lebanon? (Part I).

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 13:49 utc | 16

Haaretz poll: 54% of Israeli public dissatisfied with new government.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 13:56 utc | 17

From Immanuel Wallerstein latest article:

The most striking aspect of this major commitment is how little enthusiasm it has evoked around the world. In the United States, it has been applauded by the remnants of the neo-cons and McCain. So far, other politicians and the press have been reserved. Iran, Russia, India, and China have not exactly jumped on the bandwagon. They are particularly cool about the idea of reconciliation with so-called moderate Taliban. And both the Guardian and McClatchy report that the Taliban themselves have reacted by creating unity within their hitherto divided ranks - presumably the opposite of what Obama is trying to achieve.

So, where will we probably be six months from now? There will be more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and the U.S. commanders will probably say that the 21,000 Obama is sending are not enough. There will be further withdrawals of NATO troops from there - a repeat of the Iraq scenario. There will be further, perhaps more extensive, bombings in Pakistan, and consequently even more intensive anti-American sentiments throughout the country. The Pakistani government will not be moving against the Taliban for at least three reasons. The still very influential ISI component of the Pakistani army actually supports the Taliban. The rest of the army is conflicted and in any case probably too weak to do the job. The government will not really press them to do more because it will only thereby strengthen its main rival party which opposes such action and the result may be another army coup.

In short, the "clear and focused goal" that Obama proposes - "to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future" - will probably be further than ever from accomplishment. The question is what can Obama do then? He can "stay the course" (shades of Rumsfeld in Iraq), constantly escalate the troop commitment, while changing the local political leadership (shades of Kennedy/Johnson and Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam), or he can turn tail and pull out (as the United States finally did in Vietnam). He is not going to be cheered for any of these choices.

I have the impression that Obama thinks that his speech left him some wiggle room. I think he will find out rather how few choices he will have that are palatable. I think therefore he made a big, probably irreparable, mistake.

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 14:04 utc | 18

andrew, thanks for #12. Miliband´s comments are a strong indication of a U.S.-British desire for rapprochement with Iran.

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 1 2009 14:09 utc | 19

War pigs

b, thanks! Great read, but I am saddened when I read the comments from the dumb and dumbers who think war is the only answer...

Posted by: DavidS | Apr 1 2009 14:45 utc | 21

In light of my recent post on Buba Bandar, this is an interesting read... note: rushed for time can't link my Bandar Bush has disappeared link...

Bandar Bush the Black Ops Bagman

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Apr 1 2009 15:48 utc | 22


It's also safe to say that Miss Venezuela, the reigning Beauty Queen of the Universe, along with her bosom buddy, Miss USA are not only two of the biggest bimbos on the planet, but both of them must get into BD/SM big time. No doubt that they would get their jollies by playing as a pair of dominatrix wardens doing dirty things to bad brown boys in orange jumpsuits.

Posted by: Cynthia | Apr 1 2009 16:04 utc | 23

Ex-Saudi envoy Prince Bandar 'disappears'

For Uncle $cam...

Good read, makes a kook think...

Posted by: DavidS | Apr 1 2009 16:08 utc | 24

Two very good articles from Asia Times:
Israel muddies US-Iran momentum
Israel rushes to India's defense

Posted by: andrew | Apr 1 2009 16:54 utc | 25

@13 Binger was not a banker but an old-time industrial haute bourgeois from the days of the big conglomerates, and his Robina Foundation's other gifts are more consistent with UDHR-derived human rights than with global economic integration. His generation of Republicans was more sympathetic to Wilsonian idealism and his heirs look philanthropically green as is the fashion nowadays. I don't think this is quite the sinister cabal it's made out to be. It seems like auspicious pushback against the right's horror of international law.

Posted by: ...---... | Apr 1 2009 17:04 utc | 26

now we have racist goon and Israeli FM showing Israel's true ugly face to the world.

maybe now even the dimmest of bulbs will see that Israel doesn't want peace if it means they have to stop stealing and give back some of what they stole.

Posted by: ran | Apr 1 2009 18:00 utc | 27

What the WH live blogger for Iowa Healthcare Forum DIDN'T blog about.

Can you say "single payer," boys and girls?

Lambert at Corrente catches what didn't make it into the WH blog on the event.

Uh oh. Transparency trashing! Someone's soaping the window of transparency at the White House!

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 1 2009 18:38 utc | 28

The U.S. and Iran agree on a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear issue and praise the IAEA. What a change from the Bush-Putin and Rice-Lavrov confrontations:

Text of US-Russia statement on nuclear arms

Posted by: Parviz | Apr 1 2009 20:21 utc | 29

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