Monday, May 14, 2012

Last Call

The Kroog's possible worst-case endgame scenario for Greece/Spain/France doesn't exactly fill me with joy and happiness.  In fact, it scares the crap out of me.  The unquenchable Greek Fire, as I have been documenting here for years now, may finally consume the world economy.  It looks like this:

1. Greek euro exit, very possibly next month.

2. Huge withdrawals from Spanish and Italian banks, as depositors try to move their money to Germany.

3a. Maybe, just possibly, de facto controls, with banks forbidden to transfer deposits out of country and limits on cash withdrawals.

3b. Alternatively, or maybe in tandem, huge draws on ECB credit to keep the banks from collapsing.

4a. Germany has a choice. Accept huge indirect public claims on Italy and Spain, plus a drastic revision of strategy — basically, to give Spain in particular any hope you need both guarantees on its debt to hold borrowing costs down and a higher eurozone inflation target to make relative price adjustment possible; or:

4b. End of the euro.

And we’re talking about months, not years, for this to play out.

Once we hit step one there on this road, the rest falls apart very, very quickly.   Massive bank runs in Spain and Italy will not be isolated to just those two countries, but Ireland, Portugal, and who know how many others.  The EU would have to step in and the result would be trying to stand athwart a flash flood of debt yelling "What's all this then?"  It's unknown if Greece will even be able to make its May 15th bond payment.  If Greece misses it, all bets are off.

Mass European chaos at the height of the US election season, in the July-October timeframe.  Our economy would not exactly remain unscathed.  The largest factor in the elections may be completely out of the President's control.

By the way, as Digby points out, California's economy is larger than that of Spain.  They're facing a $16 billion shortfall and the answer there will almost certainly be more crippling austerity.

A sobering thought indeed.  And it all starts with Greece.

Four Kids Strapped To Hood And Taken On Drunken Joyride... BY PARENTS

And today's kid story is brought to you from Fort Wayne, Indiana:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Two Fort Wayne parents have been charged after police said they drove their car with their four children strapped to the hood Monday.

Jessica Clark, 29, and Aaron Stefanski, 29, were both charged with neglect of a dependent.
That's right, strapped to the hood.  After a stop at a liquor store.  They were stopped by a U.S. Marshal after he noticed the children strapped.  To the hood.  Of a moving car driven by two drunk idiots.

The good news is they are relocated at this time, pending an investigation.  Now, I just have to believe people this dumb have to have left clues that will lead investigators down the rabbit hole of their personal insanity.  Foster parents may not be ideal, but I have a hard time believing this is an isolated incident, so perhaps the children will be relieved to be safe.

Strapped to the hood of a car.  And I read about this on Mother's Day, after a touching article about mothers who miss their children, mothers who know how to appreciate the lives they have created.

Google+ And YouTube Introduce Hangouts On Air

Thank you, Lifehacker.  This is why I love you so.

Google+ Hangouts, our favorite free video chatting service, is rolling out the ability to broadcast your Hangouts live and save them directly to YouTube with "Hangouts on Air."
A handful of content creators have been testing out the service for the last several weeks, and it is just now beginning to roll out to the public. Setup couldn't be simpler: just check the box to broadcast the Hangout before you begin, confirm your YouTube credentials, and start recording. Your Hangout will start broadcasting live on your Google+ page, YouTube Channel, and any site where you embedded the live player.
This has major implications, including letting people publish their own little productions with live interaction from friends.  It will give millions of creative people a way to collaborate.  Our communication can be preserved, from business meetings to chats to complete video series.

Simple but awesome.

Cop Kicks Pregnant Woman, Forcing C-Section

A Georgia police officer is under criminal investigation for allegedly kicking a woman who was nearly nine months pregnant in the stomach, WSB-TV reports. Raven Dozier told the station that DeKalb County Officer Jerad Wheeler kicked her in the stomach while she was trying to help calm down her brother who was arguing with police.
"I was upset because I couldn't believe an officer would kick me, with my child in my stomach," Raven Dozier told the station.
Dozier later filed a complaint with the DeKalb police department's internal affairs unit, but it was never investigated. At the time, four supervisors and an internal affairs detective signed off that Wheeler's use of force met police policy, according to WSB-TV.
Dozier was charged with obstruction of an officer. Police later dropped the charge. Two weeks after the kick, she had an emergency C-section. Baby Levi is doing well.
It's going to be hard to defend this one.  It's hard to imagine his excuse of not being able to tell she was pregnant will hold up.  The fact that they did not investigate her complaint and yet it was ruled legitimate is another major problem.  Charging her with obstruction seems like a hedge bet, something to negotiate with if they need a "you scratch my back" solution.

It's really hard to imagine any action on her part that would warrant such violence.  At this point, we must allow the possibility that a reason could exist, but it would have to be legendary.

Church Sues For Negative Reviews

When Julie Anne Smith and her family severed ties with the Beaverton Grace Bible Church a few years ago, she said, former friends acted like the Oregon mother and her family were complete strangers.
“If I went to Costco or any place in town, if I ran into somebody, they would turn their heads and walk the other way,” Smith told ABC affiliate KATU-TV in Portland.  “All we did was asked questions. We just raised concerns. There’s no sin in that.”
Smith may have lost her former friends, but she said she never imagined she and her daughter be hit with a $500,000 lawsuit for defamation for speaking her mind on the Internet. Three other commenters who criticized the church were also named in the suit.
“You will be fine at this church if you never question the elders or pastor,” Smith wrote on  Sept. 29, 2011, one of many online reviews she wrote critical of the church, according to court documents.
The comments given in the article don't show anything that seems over the line of free speech and opinion.  There were no accusations of criminal behavior or grossly twisted facts that amount to a smear campaign.  In fact, the controlling behavior she describes (the word "cult" was never used but fits the bill nicely) is creepy.  It's also completely in line with some cult-churches I have witnessed.

To sue her for such an inflated amount, not even to remove the comments, demonstrates a punitive and controlling nature.  I wish her the best of luck, but nowadays common sense is not the rule.  Follow-ups coming as they are released.

We Respect You, Just Not Enough To Let You Marry

GOP party chairman Reince Priebus would like you to know that LGBT Americans are respected members of American society, unless the little bastards decide to get married.

"People in this country, no matter straight or gay, deserve dignity and respect. However, that doesn't mean it carries on to marriage," Priebus said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Although Priebus said he supports equal rights for gay Americans, including fair treatment in the workplace and hospital visitations, he pushed back against the suggestion that same-sex marriage falls in the same "civil rights" category.

"I don't think it's a matter of civil rights. I think it's just a matter of whether or not we're going to adhere to something that's been historical and religious and legal in this country for many, many years," Priebus said. "I mean, marriage has to have a definition, and we just happen to believe it's between a man and woman."

He also sought to contrast Jim Crow laws, which enforced segregation, with bans on same-sex marriage, a comparison some have made following the president's announcement Wednesday that he now supports such unions.

"I think there's a big difference between people that have been murdered and everything else that has come with Jim Crow, than marriage between a man and man and a woman and a woman," he said.

Right.  Because it's not a civil rights issue at all, it's just putting those filthy gays in their place.  Gays by the way in American history have never been killed or driven to suicide unlike African-Americans under Jim Crow laws. Never, ever.  Nope.

And half a century ago the definition of marriage was between people of the same race only.  The GOP just happened to believe that then.  And if you give them the opportunity, why they'll make sure all of us have no choice but to believe same-sex marriage is evil.

It'll be in the US Constitution.

Wright Between The Eyes

Remember, the GOP wants to talk about the economy.  Or so they say.  Since of course they can't actually win by talking about the economy, Rev. Jeremiah Wright is now back thanks to our friends at the New York FOX News Post.  And surprise, it's our old friend Edward Klein again.

Man, the media ate me alive,” Wright told me when we met in his office at Chicago’s Kwame Nkrumah Academy. “After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”

“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.
“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”

“He offered you money?”

“Not directly,” Wright said. “He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me.”

“How much money did he offer you?”

“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.

“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”

“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.

“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’

Then Obama apparently had Wright killed, and reanimated him as a zombie with his Obamacare witch doctor powers right after Bill Clinton called him an amateur and showed how how REAL Kenyan witch doctor reanimate things.

So, since nobody actually has proof of this, it's cool.  We'll just assume the President is the most evil human being in history based on the word of a guy who writes political slashfic for a living.  Way to go, New York Post.  The goofballs running this story look like numbskulls, but not as bad as the folks who figure this will sink the President in the end.  Because that worked so well in 2008.

The only thing they can't stand more than a black man in the White House is the thought of him winning a second term.


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