The Watering Hole: Tuesday May 15th – Europe

A Storm is brewing over Europe in more than one sense…

There is the unsolved, so called debt crisis, which entangles Spain and Italy now and has, by all accounts all but devoured Greece already. 

The second one is a political storm. In France it has swept Sarkozy out of office, in the UK the Tories got to feel quite a blustery breeze. In Germany last weekend and the one before voters were giving Merkel’s austerity politics quite strong headwinds. Again, Greece is at the center of the disturbance. The last election brought a stiff breeze from the left, but some serious gusts from the right as well. The Captains of the coffin ship contemplate to test the waters again and that should bring a solid gale from the left and swipe them off board.

Then there’s the weather. It’s really gusty and nasty outside, so much for spring. Ugh.

No matter how it eventually ends, there is some turbulence ahead for sure.

This is our Open Thread. Talk about the Weather?


162 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday May 15th – Europe

  1. What puzzles me most about this “government debt” crapola is the simple fact that money is NOT a finite entity, it is, in effect and in fact, CREATED by governments. Back in the days when gold ruled, when gold was the basis of all wealth in one way or another, then money was indeed finite, limited in quantity by the amount of gold that existed. Such is no longer the case.

    So, what’s the rub? Why not just take the simple approach with government ridding itself of debt by creating more money, sufficient to pay it off? Or something close to that. Inflation? Yeah, ok, maybe, but how’s it worse for there to be ‘enough’ money out there for everyone rather than having a decreed finite amount that winds up in the hands of only a few, of the ‘wealthy’ 0.5%, give or take?

    Money is a human creation, designed to be a medium of exchange, a system available to equate the value in a common sense of, say, a hamburger with that of a walking stick or tote bag. And everything else, of course. Governments were assigned the right to create money because of the necessity that money be created, and not for any other reason. Particularly not to protect the rights and the wealth of the already wealthy, of the greedy, of the powerful, of the asshole-sector of the human species.

    Seems to me the European/global monetary problems are quickly solvable in one of two ways: create money, or rid the world of conservatives totally, completely, and everywhere. Personally, I favor the latter approach, but that’s just me.

    • Seems to me the European/global monetary problems are quickly solvable in one of two ways: create money, or rid the world of conservatives totally, completely, and everywhere. Personally, I favor the latter approach, but that’s just me. AYE!

      Another story on this

    • One cannot just “print money” with promiscuous abandon — doing so can cause some pretty catastrophic side-effects. On the other hand, the inflation-hysteria that is the centerpiece of thinking with the IMF, the World Bank, the Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB) is as viciously ideological as it can be. The reason they hate infalation is because debts remain a fixed number, but their value diminishes under the pressure of inflation.

  2. Is it time for the people of Europe to tell the money-changers to get the hell out of their temples?
    What sort of worldwide calamity would befall us if Greece just told the money-changers to shove it, and left the EU?

  3. Good morning, EV and frugal!

    I think we should send all of the conservatives to Somalia. Many of them would fit right in with the warlords and the pirates. With the American conservatives, it would be fun to see how ‘less government’ and ‘more entrepreneurship’ works out for ’em.

    • Absotively. The LAST thing that interests me in this life is monetary wealth. I’ve never sought it, never craved it; as my dad liked to say, “wealth is a waste. All anyone should ever need is ‘enough.'” Wealth, the pursuit thereof, is the direct cause of virtually every malady brought forth upon the earth by the human species, and the process of its accumulation by ‘the few’ is absolutely meaningless to ‘the many’ save for one salient fact: ‘The Many’ invariably suffer hardships which range from mild to severe simply because of the actions of ‘the few.’

      Sadly, the average-Joe ‘conservative’ is too stupid to figure that out, too dense to understand. If anyone has any doubts of that premise, simply reflect back on yesterday’s Watering Hole and Wayne’s thoughtful and content-laden tweets, esp. the responses he gets from the dumb asses that live among us. Conservatives, they call themselves.

      • Thank you, frugal. That’s kind of you to say.

        What most Conservatives are trying to “conserve” is not the life they have, but the life they vainly hope to one day have. (Oops, sounds like another tweet. :))

        I am in complete agreement with you about what your dad told you – wealth is a waste; “enough” is enough. Having more than enough is possibly fine for uncertain times, but even then there comes a point where you still have WAY more than you, or your children or your children’s children, will ever need in their lifetimes.

        Is there really anything wrong with taxing income above a certain level at 100%? Do people really think that if the government is going to take every penny you earn above one billion dollars (and that’s an arbitrary figure that can be increased each year, even by $100 million), that people will stop working and stop “innovating”? No one is saying anything about the government coming in and taking away everything you have over a billion dollars worth. I’m just saying
        that if raking in a billion dollars in one year is not enough to satisfy you, then maybe you’re just a little too greedy to be allowed so much “freedom”. Are people actually going to say, “I would go ahead with my brilliant invention idea, but it might earn me more than a billion dollars, and the government is going to take every penny of that extra income above a billion dollars, so I won’t bother.”?

        We need to stop encouraging greed. Donations to true charities that use it to help the poor, and not to add an extra wing to their already-outsized houses of worship, should be 100% deductible. If, after giving away even hundreds of millions of charitable donations you still have more than $1 billion in income (earned or unearned), then the government can tax all of it. I mean, come one! You still have one goddamn billion dollars left, and that’s just this year! Next year they could raise that limit to $1.1 billion, and $1.2 billion the year after that! Is a tax structure like that really going to discourage people from trying to become billionaires? I’d like someone to prove it to me if they think it will.

        • I couldn’t agree more. If some poor sot can’t make it on a billion, then let him eat cake, sotospeak. Far as I’m concerned, there could be a 110 percent tax rate on extreme wealth … that wouldn’t hurt the buggers either, and would add more to the kitty that pays to service mankind.

          Greed. Greed will ultimately destroy everything of value. Ironic, in a very real way.

  4. Juxtaposition can be hilarious, as evidenced on This page Where an article about “Giant sunspot aimed at Earth” has sandwiched in its middle, an ad titled “The End-Time is Here 2008 was God’s last warning, 2012 is economic collapse & WW III

  5. Gay Donor Pulls Support From Mitt Romney Over Gay Marriage, Asks For Money Back

    An openly gay Mitt Romney donor has decided to pull his support for the presumptive GOP nominee and instead support President Obama’s reelection bid, citing the former Massachusetts governor’s opposition to same-sex marriage as a dealbreaker.

    “I feel that I no longer wish to support your presidential campaign and ask you that you please return the maximum contribution that I gave to you last year,” Bill White wrote in a letter to Romney, according to a report by CNN. “You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer.”

    Somehow I find this a bit disingenuous. Prior to the “announcement” Obama was always way ahead of Romney in terms of support for gays. Of course maybe Romney was in favor of gay marriage at the moment the donor made his contribution.

  6. Authorities: 5 dead after shootings in Fla. – Yahoo! News

    PORT ST. JOHN, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say five people are dead after a shooting in Florida.The bodies were discovered Tuesday morning after a shooting in a Port St. John neighborhood. Port St. John is about 15 miles west of Cape Canaveral. The area is known as the “Space Coast” because it is the home of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, home of numerous famed shuttle launches.Brevard County Sheriff spokesman Andrew Walters says that he has no further details, but that there is no ongoing threat to the community.Walters says deputies are investigating the deaths as homicides.

    Anyone seen Zimmerman lately?

    • Yet another gun related tragedy.
      Odds are it’s either:
      Domestic violence related
      RWNJ related
      or yet another drug buy gone wrong incident.

  7. Bill Press mentioned that Jake Tapper might be talking to CNN about a job offer, so I began looking for a story on it.
    This was a link on the page. It’s too funny to not share.

    Fields Takes Fox to Titty City

    Anyone watching Fox News’s Neil Cavuto Wednesday afternoon was in for a real treat of exposed breasts. Free of charge. The star of the soft porn film, er show, was The Daily Caller‘s Michelle Fields, who decided to go on national TV with a large portion of her breasts jiggling out of her shirt.

  8. This was the main topic on the David Sirota Show today.

    Homeless Camping Ban: Denver City Council Passes City-Wide ‘Urban Camping’ Ban

    A controversial ordinance to ban “unauthorized” camping in the city of Denver–a measure that specifically targets homeless people sleeping on the streets and one that critics say simply criminalizes homelessness–was approved by the Denver City Council by a 9-4 vote Monday night.

    Occupy Denver added this:

    The Denver Police claim that this bill will be selectively enforced. What that means, literally, is that if they don’t like where you are, who you are, or what you stand for, then you might be arrested. We remember when the Patriot Act was passed, we were told that it would only apply to terrorists, now petty NSA surveillance, TSA strip-searches, and the death of habeas corpus are an accepted reality to all Americans.

    This sounds like a two-fer for the elites. They ‘sweep the homeless under someone else’s rug’, and at the same time, gain a weapon to use against future protests by Occupy and other groups they don’t like. I wonder if this is an ALEC-sponsored law?

    • No one in the media is honest enough to do that since they are the ones benefitting from the tax cuts…

    • The GOP didn’t mismanage the economy into the deepest abyss since the Great Depression. The economic crisis simply happened, in a vacuum, and Obama did nothing to stop or ease it. What’s more, he made things worse, with government spending and an explosion of debt. Right?

      It’s an Etch-A-Sketch moment for the GOP: After Obama’s first budget, the Republican wingnuts immediately blamed all the pre-existing debt and all the future debt on the president in office barely a month. They require amnesia from the public.

      • I had to argue with my next door neighbor that the 2009 fiscal year budget was passed under Bush, and started on Oct.1, 2008. That was the budget on which all the continuing resolutions were based, when the Republicans blocked Obama from getting a budget through Congress. Then TARP and the American Recovery Act was added to that 2009 FY deficit, but neither was Obama’s fault that they had to be passed.
        Obama didn’t really add any debt to Bush’s budgets, the lack of jobs lowered revenues, and made up the difference.

        • I had to inform a local that the end of interest rate subsidies for new student loans was part of a law passed in 2007 to provide a temporary subsidy for 5 years. He was certain it was part of “Obamacare”. It might be easier if we compiled a master list of the big lies of the right, stuff like “Obama has spent more money than all other presidents combined”, rebutted them with facts, and kept copies on hand to pass out to our neighbors.

          • You are assuming they can read…? If it contradicts Faux Facts, you can be sure that they’ll believe Faux before facts.

    • Two unfinded wars, BushitCo Tax cuts for the 1%, public sector job slashing, all directly related to the Bush’s Great Recession (or Mild Depression)

  9. Michael Crowley (NYT) unloads on Mitt’s “foreign policy”:

    “I’m not sure that anyone knows if the candidate has a strong view of his own”

    “Romney is surrounded by foreign policy experts frustrated enough with him to feed the Times a negative story, to the point of implying that Romney doesn’t thoroughly understand or possibly even even care much about foreign affairs. (“Romney doesn’t want to really engage these issues until he is in office,” one adviser confides to Sanger.)”

      • When I was in middle school, we moved to a house that had a bomb shelter in the backyard. It was kinda creepy. 1 foot thick cement walls and a metal trap door attached to a cement plug and a rope. I’m pretty sure that the door would not have provided much protection and the rope would not have outlasted a radiation blast, but there it was in the backyard.

    • Nobody I knew was even remotely worried about all that stuff. Small towns, I guess, have some advantages. At least they did back then. No mass panic, no fear, just get up in the morning and go to school or work, come home for supper and do your schtick. Two big words, though: No Fear. No one I knew was scared of anything. Of course, I’m talking about the late fifties, but still, it was after Sputnik, Kruschev was the Soviet HMFIC, Castro was in Cuba, then in 60 JFK was elected but still no fear, no mass panic. Lots seems to have gone wrong since those good old days.

      • I blame former Lewis Powell. He wrote a memorandum for the US Chamber of Commerce (often called The Powell Manifesto) outlining how the RW needed to try to change the public’s mind through the use of faux-think thanks, RW media, op-eds and other such nonsense. He was rewarded for his efforts with a Supreme Court appointment from Nixon. They’ve been following that long-term strategy playbook ever since.

  10. There’s something to badmoodman’s idea about the Romney windsock (above). I’ve been googling, and can’t find any sort of windsock with Romney’s name on it — in any form.

    I have no idea how to make a windsock, and I certainly don’t have the resources to work one up, but maybe a bumpersticker? It would be cheaper to make and get people to buy it, which would mean a wider distribution.

    I think the Liberal Store will make bumperstickers, but I’m not sure about that.

    Are any of you artistically able enough to do a take on Romney’s logo, changing the spelling to RMoney and adding something like “Whichever way the wind blows” underneath?

    If I’m off my rocker, just tell me. I can take it. 🙂

    • The Liberal Store does custom stickers!

      We will make a sticker with any words you want! Just give us the full details, exact wording, color choices, etc. At the $10 price we’ll spend about 15 minutes creating it, and send you one. If your desires are beyond what we can do in 15 minutes, we’ll email you a guess at how much more it would cost. If we have all that we need, we’ll get the sticker made and in the mail the next day. Most of these stickers are 10 inches by 3 inches or 4 inches by 5 inches, depending on the wording you select. We’ll only do Liberal ideas. Additional copies of the same design will cost you $2 each. But if you ask for 20 or more, we’ll drop the price to $1 each. Type your exact text in the box below, followed by enough details that we can make exactly what you seek.

      • That’s too much money. There are printers that will print you bumper stickers cheaper than that. The important thing is the design, provide your own design and there’s no question about who owns it. This place will give you 1000 3×9 bumperstickers for $370.52

      • I think you can go to your local Office Max and buy bumper sticker makers for the computer. you just put it into your own printer and voila’ – I’ve seen iron on transfers there as well. Probably $10 for a package of bumper sticker size printoouts with a sticky back.

    • Lessee, RMoney’s logo has to incorporate a vulture, dollar signs in the corners, Janus, the two faced Roman god staring at an empty shuttered factory in the center.

    • A windsock is just a tube of fabric, no big deal to make but probably available from manufacturers of flags and windsocks with sports logos that attach to a car window. Initial set up cost for your design.

      Handheld toy windsock with design requires stick to be effective. Pain in the ass to deal with.

      Windsock design on bumpersticker probably best bang for buck and if being done as money maker there are multiple marketing channel possibilities. Copywrite it. Get out of the rocker and keep those creative juices flowing.

      I need a nap!

  11. If you’ve got a rooftop and a pair of lungs, shout THIS .
    GOP plan cuts social programs to protect Pentagon. You can’t trust a RepubliCON to keep their word. They are trying to backtrack on the sequester deal they made at the budget brink last year.
    The President has said he’ll veto it, and he should be hammering the snot out of them over this.

  12. What a football match. Relegation Fortuna Düsseldorf -Hertha BSC Berlin. Fans must have misunderstodd, stormed the field two minutes too early, one stole the penalty spot and made off with a piece of the field. Well, not quite along the rules, but highly entertaining.

    • Back in 2005, the day after I defended my dissertation, I caught a plane to Ireland where I was scheduled to deliver a paper some days in advance (I also wanted to spend some time exploring Dublin, so I went early and stayed late.) One of the places I explored was what I came to call an “Irish Sports Bar.” “Sports Bar” because there were at least 4 flat-screen TV’s hung about the place showing games all the time. “Irish” because the building was this vaulted-ceiling Edwardian interior that was 100+ years old.

      There I came to discover “Gaelic Football,” a cross between rugby, soccer, and back-alley mugging. I asked the bartender about it, and he offered a few words of insight I’ll not share since I cannot immitate an Irish brough with ASCII. (Buy a couple of drinks in person, and I’ll get there.)

      One of the things I learned about Gaelic Football is that if you run up to another player and cold-cock him with an elbow strike to the jaw, THAT is worth a penalty.

      The other thing I learned is that, if you run up to another player and cold-cock him with an elbow strike to the jaw, the player struck does not really mind because he then gets the penalty kick. The point scored on that kick was the deciding point in the game.

      God, I miss Dublin …

  13. In the New Hampshire legislature today, Republican State Representative Steve Vaillancourt was tossed from the chamber for shouting “Sieg Heil” and waving — or not waving — his hand in a Nazi salute. Vaillancourt was objecting to limitations on debate over a voter ID bill.

    The chamber then formed an apology committee to help him regret his mistake. From the local Concord Patch:

    “As I was saying before, I cannot apologize for anything I did not do,” Vaillancourt said. “But I do apologize for using two German words, which I understand has negative ramifications when three Latin words would have been better. I will never use a German word again.”

    As Vaillancourt received a smattering of applause and returned to his seat, the committee huddled with O’Brien and determined that the apology wasn’t acceptable.

  14. Boehner: No debt ceiling increase without cuts –

    “When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase,” Boehner said Tuesday in a speech at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 fiscal summit. “This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance.”


    Last summer, Republicans held to the same standard in a show of brinksmanship that led to an 11th-hour deal, which included a plan to appoint a panel to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.


    Boehner said Republicans will not force the same brinksmanship,

    How’s the “insisting” part not going to lead to the “brinksmanship” part?

    • Unbelievable.

      And we continue to pollute the fresh water we have with fracking, tar sands oil drilling, etc.

      When will the water wars start…?

      • That was my thought too. Not unlike the thickness of our atmosphere. It looks like it goes a long way up but it really is just a thin skin around earth.

      • DoD is already looking at this — they are quite disturbed by the real prospects of global instability that AGW is bringing down upon us.

        For comparison purposes, if you take an average to medium sized desk globe (of the Earth), the atmosphere would be thinner than your average sheet of typing paper.

    • There was a case many years ago that typified how I feel about self defense.

      Two guys got in a bar fight. One guy pulled out his .25 caliber pistol and shot the other guy 6 times in the chest. Because .25 caliber pistols are very weak, and the guy who got shot was about 300 pounds, he was barely affected by the bullets. So? He went to his truck, grabbed a shovel, went back in the bar and killed the shooter with a single blow to the head. The guy with the shovel was sentenced to 20 years in prison because he left and came back.

      Call me old fashioned, but I think that one who has been shot 6 times has the right to do whatever he/she can in retaliation. I abhor violence but I would not hesitate to use deadly force against someone with a deadly weapon. In my opinion Trayvon Martin had the right to use any force he could muster as soon as he saw the gun. That’s why I could never be a lawyer and have devoted my life to avoiding fights.

      • Petelngh, do you have a source for that? There’s a standardized baseline predicated on mulit-decadal averages that has been in use for some time, and I’d be rather surprised by anyone choosing to abandon that standard.

          • Thanks. There is a the running multi-decadal average, which provides the most stable evidence of rise, but there is also a standard base-line of comparison against which that is compared. That centers back on the period from about 1950 to 1980. (There was a time from about 1935 to 1950 when that average dropped. But that is due to issues of land use and aeresol (mostly sulfate) polutions.)

            • You’re wlecome. I once tried to explain to a Reichwhiner, who was behaving a bit better than most, that airborne particulates actually held global warming in check until better scrubbers became available. So, of course, he then missed the point and crowed about how environmentalists were responsible for the sudden increase.

  15. Rebekah Brooks (former News Int. CEO) has been indicted on charges of ‘conspiracy to pervert the course of justice’, for allegedly concealing evidence from investigators.

  16. Scanning the Ed Show, a WayneASchneider tweet ten minutes into the show, while Byron Dorgan was on, followed by a Motivated in Ohio tweet. Leftside Annie was a few tweets later.

  17. You know, I didn’t really want to watch Eliot Spitzer after Current fired Olbermann, but his show is very relevant right now. As a former AG, he’s on top of the Wall Street beat, especially this Dimon/JP Morgan situation, as well as the phone-hacking case in the UK. I think he’s more relaxed and is doing a better show than he could at CNN. He knows the subject, and is well prepared, and gets great guests each night. It’s a shame Keith had to leave to get him a place on TV.

  18. I just heard that Chicago has a bacon festival every year. Fortunately it was April 14 this year so I missed it and it gets sold out fast. I figure Gummitch would definitely want to know.

  19. Nebraska Primary 100% precincts

    Romney 129,772 Votes 70.9%
    Santorum 25,613 Votes 14.0%
    Paul 18,222 Votes 9.9%
    Gingrich 9,540 Votes 5.2%

    Oregon Primary (R)

    60% of precincts reporting

    Romney 155,985 Votes 73.0%
    Paul 26,180 Votes 12.3%
    Santorum 19,385 Votes 9.1%
    Gingrich 12,060 Votes 5.6% FULL RESULTS MAP

    Nebraska U.S. Senate (R)

    100% of precincts reporting

    Bruning 69,115 Votes 35.9%
    Stenberg 36,145 Votes 18.8%
    Flynn 5,327 Votes 2.8%
    Zimmerman 1,577 Votes 0.8%
    Elander 1,273 Votes 0.7%

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s