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Ground Zero

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

The Commodity Market Wipeout

There is a systemic and fundamental change going on in the global economy and it's time to pay attention.
With our economy and financial media engineered toward consumption, falling commodity prices generally don't register for most Americans. However, there are significant shocks from a collapsing commodity market that need to be recognized as non-negligible.

On Human Rights

"No one is free when others are oppressed."

I wrote a diary in 2010 over at DKOS on Human Rights. It got little to no interest. What interest there was concerned a perceived slight against Transgendered persons. Two years later I re-wrote that diary, adding to, and subtracting from the first one in hopes that folks would finally hear me. It didn't fly then either.

I am going to try again here.


in this place or in any other place
may there come abundant peace
grace, lovingkindness, and compassion
long life
ample sustenance, and salvation

may there be abundant peace from heaven
and good life
satisfaction, help, comfort, refuge
healing, redemption, forgiveness, atonement
relief, and salvation

The ongoing housing crisis just keeps getting worse

In December 2013, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, gave this warning:

"We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known."

Few paid attention to the warning, and of those who did, even fewer would have guessed that the crisis had only just started.

Who will Obama choose to run the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, ISIS or al-Qaeda?

There has been a lot of talk amongst the chattering classes lately about Obama looking the other way as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar have been supporting the local al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria against the Assad government. For a long period of time American arms "accidentally" flowed freely into the hands of the radical Islamist jihadis of al-Qaeda and ISIS. Then the "journalism" outlets started to get on board with the program.

It comes out now that Obama has specifically encouraged his "vetted moderates" to cooperate more closely with the Islamists:

The ways in which the economy never recovered from 2008

The headline economic numbers are far better now than in 2008-2009. The unemployment rate, the GDP, the national deficit, the stock market, etc. have all improved.

Yet many of us can't shake the feeling that things are still stuck in 2008. Well, you aren't crazy.
Many areas of the economy have never recovered from the 2008, and some are even worse today.

Les Beastiables Cartoon Friday: Presidential Candidate Mike Houndabee!

Les Beastiables ("Les Bez"): Beasties say the darnedest things!

Today's Beastiable is Presidential candidate Mike Houndabee. He has said a lot of narrow-minded things, but what he has said about marriage equality was beastly enough that he has earned his turn as one of Les Beastiables. Which I summarize thusly:

NOTE FOR NEW READERS: This series features a new Les Beastiables cartoon every Friday afternoon/evening here at caucus99percent. We indulge in a little Franglish because the French are tres classy. But I digresse.

For a short course in serious information, please join me below the break. As always, you'll be able to "cleanse your palate" with a cute photo before you leave.

Wow, Bernie in the Appalachians

Jaw dropping enthusiasm

When I clicked online to Bernie's kick-off site and looked at the rallies planned in these venerable old mountains, my jaw literally dropped and a gasp of air joined my exploding smile.

"My god, this area is deep red." There exist no Democratic representation in DC from any of these isolated areas where the streams flow swift and most livings are made by toiling on the land.

The BLM versus White Progressive Skirmish--aka Primary Wars Redux

I don't have much time so I'm going to be brief. This was meant to be a comment in another diary on the subject at the GOS, but I've decided to put this out here on its own.

This all, to me, seems as it's a Sanders versus Clinton proxy war, with genuine anger and sympathy for the fucked up situation that Sommer Foster had to deal with. I feel horrible for the bullying that she had to endure. No one should have to endure that. No one.

Wikileaks reveals US used NSA in effort to suppress revelations about CIA torture and renditions

Yesterday Wikileaks published documentation of NSA spying on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier along with a list of 20 targets in the German Foreign Ministry.

One of the documents is an NSA intercept of Steinmeier's communications after Steinmeier met his US counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

According to the intercept, Steinmeier "seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."

The visit occurred in the context of an escalating and ongoing scandal in Europe over clandestine "rendition flights" conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using the airspace and airport facilities of cooperating European countries, in which it was alleged by leading news publications that European citizens and residents had been abducted outside of any legal process and taken to secret "black site" prisons, where they could be tortured with impunity. After the scandal emerged, European governments defied their publics, continuing to cooperate with the United States while denying all knowledge of rendition flights. These denials relied heavily on the insistence of European governments that they had received confidential "diplomatic assurances" from the United States that nothing illegal was taking place. It was subsequently shown in numerous court proceedings and commissions of inquiry that the activity was illegal.

Republican Benghazi obsession yielding evidence of Hillary Clinton's lies and manipulations driving the destruction of Libya

David Mizner has an article up at Jacobin magazine that really needs some attention from the progressive media.

It's time to stop making fun of Donald Trump

Comedians love him. Donald Trump is practically a caricature of himself. He's so rediculous he should be an asterisk in the polling results.

Yet Trump leads all Republicans in the polls. Not just one poll, not just one state, and not just one week. Why?
Most people write it off as a fluke. It's not sustainable. It's just a temporary embarrassing moment in American politics.

Les Beastiables Cartoon Friday: Presidential Candidate Scott Weaselker!

Les Beastiables ("Les Bez"): Beasties say the darnedest things!

Today's Beastiable is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has now announced his candidacy for the Presidency. He has said many beastly things, as admirably reported by Daily Kos' esteemed Puddytat. Thus, now that he has announced, he has earned his turn as one of Les Beastiables.

Scott Weaselker Final.png

NOTE FOR NEW READERS: This series features a new Les Beastiables cartoon every Friday afternoon here at caucus99percent. We indulge in a little Franglish because the French are tres classy. But I digresse.

For serious source information, please join me below for the squirming of beasties on the hot seat. Then you'll be able to "cleanse your palate" with a cute photo before you leave.

The agony of Fallujah

Americans are intimately familiar with the city of Fallujah. It's where the Sunni resistance to the occupation of Iraq was born, and where nearly 100 American soldiers lost their lives in the bloodiest battle of the Iraq War. More than 1,500 civilians were killed and over 70,000 buildings were destroyed in those battles.

Wash Post anonymous source says Greece threatened militarily during negotiations

I found this nugget (which I retitled) inside a Wapo article:

Report: Greek leader threatened with military hostilities

Greece’s dire financial straits meant it had scant leverage to push back against some of its creditors’ most onerous demands. ...

The moves are fostering a deep sense of resentment among Tsipras’s allies and a conviction that Europeans sought to humiliate him. During a pivotal meeting with Merkel, French President François Hollande and European Council President Donald Tusk, Tsipras at one point received a thinly veiled threat that if he walked away and left the euro, Greece risked going it alone geopolitically, too.

According to two officials in Brussels with knowledge of the exchange, the specter was raised of aggression from Turkey — a neighboring nation viewed in Greece as a historic antagonist.

Islamic terrorists almost killed us all on July 4th

Are you sufficiently terrified? Unless you are currently cowering under your bed and praying to whatever diety you think can help you, then you aren't terrified enough.
If you don't believe me then you weren't watching cable news in the days leading up to Independence Day.