Flap’s Links and Comments for April 18th on 06:22

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for April 18th from 06:22 to 06:53:

  • Koch Derangement syndrome: Contango Confusion – The basic problem with a site like Think Progress is that its "reporters," ill-informed, uneducated, inexperienced amateurs like Lee Fang, try to write about subjects of which they have no understanding. Worse yet, they slander the very people who do understand those topics–the people who produce products and make our economy go.

    There is another level of irony here. Koch Industries is a classic example of an American company that doesn't just push paper, but actually makes products. Its business is production, not "speculation." Think Progress, on the other hand, is funded by one of the world's most successful speculators: George Soros. Soros has made billions by manipulating markets, without ever producing anything. He is the definitive speculator and market manipulator (in particular, currency markets) of the 20th century. If Soros bothered to read what his minion Lee Fang wrote, he no doubt would burst out in laughter at Fang's ignorance. But that, apparently, doesn't bother Soros. He is happy to promote ignorance as long as it advances his own selfish political interests.

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    Read it all as Power Line blog fisks Lee Fang of Think Progress

  • Koch Derangement Syndrome: De-Fanging Think Progress’ Attack Dog – The name Lee Fang is far from a household name. However, from his perch at the Soros-funded think tank Center for American Progress, Fang has the dubious distinction of promulgating questionable Koch Industries political conspiracies perhaps more than any other person.

    Along the way, Fang has made a laughable number of errors in his reporting on Koch. However, he might have outdone himself with his latest piece on the Kochs' supposedly manipulative oil speculation practices. Over at Powerline, they have thoroughly dissected Fang's article and the level of ignorance exposed is breathtaking. I encourage you to read the whole Powerline post as it gets into quite a lot of detail about commodity speculation, but this addendum to the post should give you a general feel for how bad it it is:

    I wrote the book on manipulation (The Law, Economics, and Public Policy of Market Power Manipulation, Kluwer, 1996). I've also published 10 scholarly articles in economics journals and law reviews on the subject. My next book (Structural Models of Commodity Price Dynamics, Cambridge UP, forthcoming) is all about the determinants of contango, backwardation, storage, etc. Based on 25 years of scholarly research and market experience, I can say that Fang the Farcical knows not the first thing about either manipulation or commodities pricing. You would think that Soros could have found a junior assistant trader to teach Fang the basics. But then there wouldn't have been a story, would there?

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    Koch DerangementSyndrome indeed

  • Card Check: California Moves To Force Unionization On Workers Via Intimidation & Coercive Tactics – In recent weeks, the California state Senate passed legislation on a party-line vote that would eliminate the secret ballot in union organizing elections for farm workers.  The legislation, SB 104 by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, would allow farm workers to form a collective bargaining union through a majority sign up – essentially instituting “card check” at the state level.  And of course, Big Labor is ecstatic, trying to portray the vote in the state Senate as a victory for workers.  But sometimes the truth just slips out and the real intentions are revealed.  A key strategist for the farm workers union in California was quoted as saying, “this is about power.”

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    Read it all

Flap’s Links and Comments for March 30th on 18:06

Posted Posted in Pinboard Links

These are my links for March 30th from 18:06 to 18:20:

  • Budget Negotiators Reach Tentative Deal To Avert Government Shutdown – Sources tell me that  budget negotiators on Capitol Hill have tentatively agreed on a deal that would involve at least $33 billion in spending cuts from this year’s budget.  That’s $23 billion dollars more than Democrats have previously agreed to in short-term continuing resolutions, and $28 billion less than Republicans previously passed in the House.

    Members of the House Appropriations Committee will begin discussing how to hit that number with their Senate counterparts as soon as tonight, and Vice President Biden is heading to Capitol Hill for a 6pm meeting with the Senate Democratic leadership.

    The deal could still fall apart over the composition of the cuts, or policy “riders” previously passed by the House. These include issues like de-funding Planned Parenthood and President Obama’s health care legislation.  It’s also not clear that this compromise will fly with rank-and-file House Republicans, which means that the $33 billion goal could still climb by a few billion.  But this is most significant progress since the beginning of negotiations.

    Update: Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Speaker of the House, tells me "“There is no agreement on a number for the spending cuts. Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.”

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    OK for this year but only with a balance budget amendment.

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as ‘The Governator’ – He’s been a famous body builder. He’s been a killer cyborg from the future. He’s been Governor of California. And now, in this week’s exclusive cover scoop, Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his plans for the next phase of his extraordinary career: He’s going be a cartoon superhero, known as The Governator. “When I ran for governor back in 2003 and I started hearing people talking about ‘the Governator,’ I thought the word was so cool,” Schwarzenegger, 63, tells EW in his first press interview since leaving office last January. (Watch an EW-exclusive video of Schwarzenegger talking about the project.) “The word Governator combined two worlds: the world of politics and the movie world. And [this cartoon] brings everything together. It combines the governor, the Terminator, the bodybuilding world, the True Lies…” 
    The animated TV show and comic book, being co-developed by no less a superhero authority than Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee (pictured, right), won’t be out until next year,…

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    Hope the cartoon ends up better than his Governorship which was horrible.

  • Barack Obama authorizes secret help for Libya rebels – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

    Obama signed the order, known as a presidential "finding", within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

    Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a necessary legal step before such action can take place but does not mean that it will.

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    Read it all.

  • Barack Obama’s jaw-dropping hypocrisy on energy – McConnell gave a speech on the Senate floor this morning that including these zingers:

    Over the past two years, the administration has undertaken what can only be described as a war on American energy. It’s cancelled dozens of drilling leases. It’s declared a moratorium on drilling off the Gulf Coast. It’s increased permit fees. It has prolonged public comment periods. In short, it’s done just about everything it can to keep our own energy sector from growing. As a result, thousands of U.S. workers have lost their jobs, as companies have been forced to look elsewhere for a better business climate.

    Consider this: just three of the areas we could tap in Alaska are thought to hold enough oil to replace our crude imports from the Persian Gulf for nearly 65 years. So the problem isn’t that we need to look elsewhere for our energy. The problem is that Democrats don’t want us to use the energy we have. It’s enough to make you wonder whether anybody in the White House has driven by a gas station lately.

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    Well, at least he made a speech on energy – finally.

    The Democrats will do nothing to end American dependence on foreign oil by domestic exploration and drilling.