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The Roundup for March 19, 2013

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Good evening, all.

International Developments

? “Blair Cornered on War Crimes in Iraq“.  Going back to the “Dodgy Dossier”, Curveball, etc.

? “Up to 60 people have been killed in a series of car and suicide bombings mainly in Shia areas in and around Iraq’s capital”.

? General Martin Dempsey, Chair, US Joint Chiefs of Staff, cautions against arming Syrian rebels, saying “About six months ago, we had a very opaque understanding of the opposition and now I could say it’s even more opaque. . . . I don’t think at this point I can see a military option that would create an understandable outcome.”

? Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is supporting “creating a no-fly zone in Syria and attacking President Bashar al-Assad’s air power and air defenses.”

? The Syrian government and the Syrian rebels are blaming each other for a chemical weapon attack.

? Latest estimate is 15,000 dead pigs in the Huangpu River near Shanghai.

International Finance

? “Cyprus [Parliament] votes to reject bailout plan that would make savers pay”.  56-0 vote.  More.

?  “France’s socialist government must step up its efforts to cut its big public spending bill and become more competitive to boost both its own and Europe’s faltering economy”.  The French people, who did not cause this mess, now must pay for it by suffering more?

? By mid-2014, “The European Central Bank will be granted sweeping powers to supervise all 6,000 banks operating in the 17-country bloc and will have the power directly to bail out troubled banks.” They’re calling this “democratic control of the financial sector” since the European Parliament will have an oversight role.

Money Matters USA

? “Charts: Bush Lowballed Us on Iraq by $6 Trillion”.

? “Democrat Bank Stooges Launch Bills to Permit Bailouts, Deregulate Derivatives”.  HR 992 would “expressly allow bailouts of our largest Wall Street banks.”  HR 677 would “impede legislation aimed at forcing the banks to break up.” HR 1003 would “neuter the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission]”.  Democrats in support:  HR 992 – James Himes (D-CT), Sean Maloney (D -NY); HR 677 – Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), David Scott (D-GA), Juan Vargas (D-CA); HR 1003 – David Scott (D-GA), Juan Vargas (D-CA).  Why are so many  Dems supporting HR 677?

? “SAC Capital Advisors will pay a record $616 million to settle two insider-trading lawsuits filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”  Federal investigations of both SAC and “its billionaire founder Steve A. Cohen” continue.  Former employees are cooperating.

? “Citigroup agrees $730m legal [class-action suit] settlement with investors” for misleading them about its “exposure to subprime mortgages and other high-risk securities between 2006 and 2008.”  Citi denied the claims, but settled to–*cough**cough*–“eliminate uncertainties.”

? According to a “recent Defense Department analysis . . .  there is limited use to training students on the F-35 fighter jet because it is still in development and substantially limited in capability.”

? “Army Carbine Program May Waste $1.8 Billion”.

? New construction permits “surged to their highest level since 2008, yet more evidence that the housing market recovery is gaining traction.”  And yet, “Homebuilder Confidence Loses More Ground in March”.

Politics USA

? Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) will place a hold on the nomination of Thomas Perez as Secretary of Labor.  Vitter’s all a-twitter about “Perez’s “spotty work related to the New Black Panther case” although Perez wasn’t involved in it.  “Myths And Facts About Labor Nominee Tom Perez”.

? Mary Jo White’s nomination to head the Securities and Exchange Commission passed the Senate Banking Committee (20-1).  Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also passed the Banking Committee (12-10, party-line vote).

? “[F]or the first time ever, . . . hackers attempted and almost succeeded at rigging a Miami [FL] primary vote, uncovering underlying security issues with the online voting systems of the future.” Democratic voters were targeted.

? A cop in Rahmbo’s Chicago pressed his hand so hard on a woman’s nose, repeatedly, that he fractured her face. She’s suing.  The cop, Glenn Evans, “has faced at least five other lawsuits as a Chicago police officer in the past.”  He’s been promoted, nonetheless.

Gun Corner

? Senate Majority Leader Harry “Leader” Reid (D-NV) has told Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that an assault weapons and high capacity magazines ban won’t be in “a broad package of new gun laws”.

? Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) has called for a separate floor vote on a high-capacity ammunition clip ban” after Sen. Harry “Leader” Reid (D-NV)’s action sidetracking the ban (see above).

? Defense Distributed’s founder, Cody Wilson, “is now a federally licensed gun manufacturer and dealer.”  Defense Distributed advocates “open-sourced 3-D printing of guns.”

Justice USA

? What’ll stop them?  No court order, according to the Obama administration, is needed to attach a GPS tracking device to a citizen’s vehicle–even though the US Supreme Court last year ruled that doing so violated the Constitution.

Women & Children

? Two teen-age females have been arrested for threatening the rape victim in the Steubenville, OH case.  Grand Jury investigation continues, also.

? Fascinating chart of linkages between the two Steubenville, OH rapists and local powers that be.

? Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) wants to “expand a weapons ban for perpetrators of domestic violence” since excluding “dating partners . . . is insufficient.”

Latin America

? “Amazon Indians [the Matsés]  from Peru and Brazil have joined together to stop a Canadian oil company [Pacific Rubiales] destroying their land and threatening the lives of uncontacted tribes.”

? “Venezuela’s Madura accuses U.S. of ‘plot’ to kill rival” Henrique Capriles, and thus trigger a coup.  He named “former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich“, both of whom “rejected the claim as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.” Yes, you’ve seen those names before (click on names for links).

? No joke:  “US early release of extradited drug traffickers ‘insulting’: Colombian Senator.”

? Colombia is deploying drones to protect oil pipelines owned by Ecopetrol from FARC attacks.  Colombia owns 88.5% of the company.  Their recent net income was $2 bn.

Mixed Bag

? Bright white Mars rock.

? Environmental & Treaty Rights Symposium: March 22nd, Minneapolis

Break Time

? United

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