Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Bad headline, especially for those who have mother issues

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Written by LeisureGuy

27 August 2014 at 1:31 pm

Posted in NY Times

Emblematic encounter in Ferguson MO

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A perfect example, self-contained and well presented (because actually recorded in progress). This is the root of the problems.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 August 2014 at 11:33 am

Posted in Law Enforcement, Media

Paul Krugman was snookered—or snookered us

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Very interesting post by Pam Martens and Russ Martens at Wall Street on Parade:

Two weeks ago, Paul Krugman used some expensive media real estate to write a propaganda piece on the unsupportable proposition that the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in 2010 is “a success story” and that its bank wind-down program known as Ordinary Liquidation Authority has put an end to “bailing out the bankers.”

Wall Street On Parade took Krugman to taskover this fanciful ode to accomplishments by the President the day after his piece ran in the New York Times’ opinion pages and suggested he do proper research on this subject before opining in the future. That was the morning of August 5.

By late in the afternoon of August 5, Krugman had a reality smack-down on his Dodd-Frank success fairy tale by two Federal regulators. Every major media outlet was running with the news that eleven of the biggest banks in the country, including the mega Wall Street banks, had just had their wind-down plans (known as living wills) rejected by the Federal Reserve and FDIC for not being credible or rational. The eleven banks are: Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street and UBS.

Yesterday, Krugman’s Dodd-Frank fantasy lost further credibility when Senator Elizabeth Warren released a letter that she and eleven of her Congressional colleagues had sent to the Federal Reserve, warning that one of its Dodd-Frank proposed rules “invites the same sort of backdoor bailout we witnessed five years ago.”

To refresh any forgetful minds at the Fed over its unprecedented hubris in connecting a giant feeding tube to Wall Street during the last financial crisis, the Senators and Congressional Reps wrote:

During the financial crisis, the Board invoked its emergency lending authority for the first time in 75 years. The scope of the Board’s program was staggering. Between 2007 and 2009, the Board’s emergency lending facilities provided over $23 trillion in loans to large domestic and foreign financial institutions.

These loans were another bailout in all but name. Of the nearly $9 trillion the Board provided through its largest facility – the Primary Dealer Credit Facility – over two-thirds went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. Those institutions and others had access to the Board’s credit facilities for an average of 22 months. And the interest rates the Board offered were typically very low – in many cases, under 1%.

Think about this for a moment. Citigroup was insolvent during the crisis – as Federal insiders have now acknowledged in books and media interviews. In an efficient market system, Citigroup would not have been able to borrow at all, much less at a rate for a AAA-borrower of less than 1 percent. The Federal Reserve is forbidden from making loans to insolvent institutions – but it did it anyway.

Contrast the Fed’s largess to serial miscreants like Citigroup against homeowners at the time whose credit was flawed but they had a job and were still paying their bills.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

19 August 2014 at 5:27 pm

Ten things about Ferguson to keep in mind

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This seems important. Don Hazen, Terrell Starr, Steven Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva of AlterNet report at AlteNet:

Ten days after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death by officer Darren Wilson, police and protestors continue to face off in the city of Ferguson. Last night’s protests broke into chaos [3] as riot police descended on the streets of the city in an attempt to disperse protestors.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard, allegedly without alerting [4] the White House. The first Humvees have left the National Guard base, according to reports from the scene highlighted in the Guardian.  [5]

As the tense situation on the ground quickly evolves, here are 10 things you should know:

1. National Guard trained in fighting protesters

The Missouri National Guard troops being sent into Ferguson are military police, which, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), have studied the Occupy protests and demonstrations that followed George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the Trayvon Martin murder trial. These soldiers are now trained to deal with “crowd control measures, understanding protester tactics, incident management, and operating inside an area contaminated with chemical and biological hazards,” FEMA said, in a chillingly bland report [6] on its website touting the anti-protester training that military police now receive.

“We serve as a force multiplier during a natural disaster or civil unrest,” a platoon leader and deputy sheriff who completed the training said. “We have experienced protest from the Occupy Movement and, most recently, from the Zimmerman trial. This training makes us all more proficient MP soldier[s] and helps us communicate more effectively with local law enforcement.”

The photos on FEMA’s site show the military police practicing with protesters who are sitting down in the street and shows MPs cutting through plastic pipes that some protesters have used to chain themselves to each other. One can only imagine how military police, whose main training is designed for overseas war zones, will fare in Ferguson, where the underlying issues are institutional racism and police brutality.

2. Autopsy report: Why so many bullets?

It’s not clear how many bullets were fired by Officer Darren Wilson, and whether he fired his gun while he was still in his car.

But according to a private autopsy report, Michael Brown was hit by six bullets. Four hit him on the right arm, and two hit him in the head. Some of the bullets created several entry points.  . .

Continue reading.

I for one am very glad that UN Observers will be on the ground in Ferguson to attempt to ensure that human rights are respected.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 1:35 pm

Something big is brewing when you read something like this in a NY Times story

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From a report by David Carr in the NY Times.For context, read the story to which this is a parenthesis:

(In one bit of irony in the aftermath of the events on Wednesday, President Obama said, “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their job and report to the American people what they see on the ground.” This from an administration that has aggressively sought to block reporting and in some instances criminalize it.)

And you can see here how Twitter exploded.

And do read the story at that first link. It’s an important account of events that show how we’re headed.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 12:40 pm

Try to act surprised: More homicides are reported in states where you can ‘Stand Your Ground,’ report finds

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Sarah Ferris reports the finding in the Washington Post.

It reminds me of this anecdote:

Alexander the Great’s father, Philip II of Macedon, once threatened the Spartans by saying, “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city,” to which the Laconians replied with the appropriately laconic message, “If,” which prompted him to drop the matter.

And from the article:

The task force advises states with the laws to repeal them if they “desire to reduce their overall homicide rates” or “desire to reduce or eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.” The report is based on more than a decade of empirical evidence and interviews with 70 witnesses across the country conducted over the course of a year.

“If.”

But they don’t, which is why the laws were passed in the first place. The article’s concluding paragraph:

“This law is on shaky ground because it exacerbates the tension that already exists between persons and classes who are different from us and individuals with whom we have strained relationships,” Rev. Leonard Leach, a Baptist minister in Texas, told the task force. “It perpetuates a foolish bravado of those who feel a bold security when they have a gun in their hand.”

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2014 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Law, Law Enforcement, Media

Good post from Paul Krugman giving a well-deserved kudos to the Public Editor of the NY Times

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Krugman posts:

The Times’s public editor weighs in on the sliming of Rick Perlstein, and concludes:

So I’m with the critics. The Times article amplified a damaging accusation of plagiarism without establishing its validity and doing so in a way that is transparent to the reader. The standard has to be higher.

Read at the two links, the latter first. It’s at least a blow struck in favor of good journalism.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 August 2014 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Books, NY Times

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