Monday, July 6, 2015

Greece Given 24-Hour Deadline

Never a dull moment over there.

At the Guardian UK, "Eurozone struggles to find joint response to Greek referendum":

Heads of governments at odds as Germany and European commission let Greece stew while France, Italy and Spain are impatient for a deal.

Germany and France scrambled to avoid a major split over Greece on Monday evening as the eurozone delivered a damning verdict on Alexis Tsipras’s landslide referendum victory on Sunday and Angela Merkel demanded that the Greek prime minister put down new proposals to break the deadlock.

As concerns mount that Greek banks will run out of cash, and about the damage being inflicted on the country’s economy, hopes for a breakthrough faded. EU leaders voiced despair and descended into recrimination over how to respond to Sunday’s overwhelming rejection of eurozone austerity terms as the price for keeping Greece in the currency.

Tsipras, meanwhile, moved to insure himself against purported eurozone plots to topple him and force regime change by engineering a national consensus of the country’s five mainstream parties behind his negotiating strategy, focused on securing debt relief. Tsipras also sacrificed his controversial finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, in what was seen as a conciliatory signal towards Greece’s creditors.

In Paris, Chancellor Angela Merkel and President François Hollande tried to plot a common strategy after Greeks returned a resounding no to five years of eurozone-scripted austerity. The two leaders were trying to find a joint approach to the growing crisis ahead of an emergency eurozone summit on Tuesday to deal with the fallout.

But Merkel said there was no current basis for negotiating with the Greek side and called on Tsipras to make the next move.

As eurozone leaders prepared for today’s emergency summit in Brussels, the heads of government were at odds. France, Italy and Spain are impatient for a deal while Germany, the European commission and northern Europe seem content to let Greece stew and allow the euphoria following Sunday’s vote to give way to the sobering realities of bank closures, cash shortages and isolation.

Greek banks are to remain closed until Thursday at the earliest, it was announced, with ATM withdrawals rationed to €60 daily.

“The prospects of a happy resolution of this crisis are rapidly diminishing,” said the British chancellor, George Osborne, after speaking to some of the key policymakers. “If there is no signal from these meetings that Greece and the eurozone are ready to get around the table again, we can expect the financial situation in Greece to deteriorate rapidly.”

The commission had nothing positive at all to say about Sunday’s Greek referendum, while Germany’s increasingly hardline social democratic leader, Sigmar Gabriel, warned that Greece was on the brink of insolvency.

He accused Tsipras, the radical leftist prime minister who outmanoeuvred the rest of the eurozone with his plebiscite, of ruthlessly pursuing the Greek national interest at everyone else’s expense. His message suggested a Grexit was now inevitable as he stressed the need for EU humanitarian programmes to forestall social implosion in Greece.
Utterly amazing.

Still more.


Germany's Power Polarizes Europe

Yeah, which explains all the Angela Merkel Hitler paraphernalia.

At the Wall Street Journal, "The Continent’s most powerful country is grappling with its leadership role—and other nations are, too":
BERLIN—Under the glass Reichstag dome in Germany’s parliament last week, left-wing opposition leader Gregor Gysi lit into Chancellor Angela Merkel for saddling Greece with a staggering unemployment rate, devastating wage cuts, and “soup kitchens upon soup kitchens.”

The chancellor, sitting a few steps away with a blank expression on her face, scrolled through her smartphone.

Ms. Merkel’s power after a decade in office has become seemingly untouchable, both within Germany and across Europe. But with the “no” vote in Sunday’s Greek referendum on bailout terms posing the biggest challenge yet to decades of European integration, risks to the European project resulting from Germany’s rise as the Continent’s most powerful country are becoming clear.

On Friday, Spanish antiausterity leader Pablo Iglesias urged his countrymen: “We don’t want to be a German colony.” On Sunday, after Greece’s result became clear, Italian populist Beppe Grillo said, “Now Merkel and bankers will have food for thought.” On Monday, Ms. Merkel flew to Paris for crisis talks amid signs the French government was resisting Berlin’s hard line on Greece.

“What is happening now is a defeat for Germany, especially, far more than for any other country,” said Marcel Fratzscher, head of the German Institute for Economic Research, a leading Berlin think tank. “Germany has, at the end of the day, helped determine most of the European decisions of the last five years.”

Senior German officials, in private moments, marvel at the fact that their country, despite its weak military and inward-looking public, now has a greater impact on most European policy debates than Britain or France, and appears to wield more global influence that at any other time since World War II.

Berlin think-tank elites, diplomats and mainstream politicians generally see the rise of German power as a good thing. They describe the stability, patience and rules-based discipline of today’s German governance as what Europe needs in these turbulent times. Germany—with its export-dependent economy and history-stained national identity—has the most to lose from an unraveling of European integration and is focused on keeping the union strong, they say.

Ms. Merkel’s popularity at home has remained strong through the Greek crisis, holding about steady at 67% in a poll at the end of June. She now must weigh whether to offer additional carrots to Greece to keep the country in the euro and preserve the irreversibility of membership in the common currency—at the risk of political backlash at home and the ire of German fiscal hawks. Only 10% of Germans supported further concessions for Greece in another poll last week.

U.S. officials generally see German leadership as crucial geopolitically, praising Ms. Merkel’s push last year to get all 28 European Union countries to adopt sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. But across Europe, Germany’s power is also straining unity in the EU, an alliance forged as a partnership of equals that now is struggling to accommodate the swelling dominance of one member.

With every crisis in which Ms. Merkel acts as the Continent’s go-to problem solver, the message to many other Europeans is that for all the lip service about the common “European project,” it is the Germans and faceless bureaucrats in Brussels who run the show...
Power is the ultima ratio.

Still more.

Holly Williams Reports: Anxiety in Greece After 'No' Vote

More excellent coverage from Holly Williams in Athens, for CBS News, "Celebrations, anxiety after "no" vote in Greece."

Ferocious Debate Over San Francisco's Status as Sanctuary City

Following-up from earlier, "Kathryn Steinle Murder: San Francisco Sanctuary City Garnering Major National Media Attention."

Ah, not the best publicity for your city, but hey, the Dems are compassionate!

At CBS News San Francisco:



Euclid Tsakalótos Takes Over as New Greece Finance Minister

At Zero Hedge, "Meet New Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos."


Germany Sticks to Hard Line After Greece 'No' Vote

At the New York Times, "Germany Maintains a Hard Line on Greece Debt After Vote":
ATHENS — Germany maintained a hard line with Athens on Monday after Greek voters rejected Europe’s austerity policies in a referendum, intensifying pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to restart bailout talks and opening a rift with European countries that appeared more inclined now to consider softening the push for austerity.

As Mr. Tsipras changed his finance minister Monday and laid plans to restart bailout negotiations with creditors, however, it appeared the jubilation that followed the no vote in Greece could fade quickly as signs of financial collapse become more evident.

While the referendum may have lifted Mr. Tsipras’s popularity and bought some time to return to negotiations, Greek banks are almost out of cash and are expected to stay closed for at least several more days, analysts and people close to the situation in Greece said.

The government decided on Monday that a bank holiday scheduled to end Tuesday would now be extended through Wednesday, and a daily cap on A.T.M. withdrawals of 60 euros, about $66, in place since last week, could be tightened. An announcement was expected later in the day. Long lines formed again at cash machines in Athens on Monday as people continued to take out money in dribs and drabs.

The European Central Bank decided Monday to maintain emergency loans to Greek banks at about 89 billion euros, a level that keeps them from failing but will not prevent them from running out of cash they can issue to depositors within a few days.

Ominously, the central bank also said it would tighten requirements for collateral that Greek banks must post in return for loans. The decision means that, even if the European Central Bank decides to increase the lending limit, Greek banks might not have enough collateral needed to qualify for more emergency cash...
Continue reading.

Kathryn Steinle Murder: San Francisco Sanctuary City Garnering Major National Media Attention

Following-up from earlier, "Illegal Alien Francisco Sanchez Chose San Francisco for Its 'Sanctuary City' Policies."

Now here's Bret Baier, at Fox News:



CNN's also had non-stop coverage of the story, and I haven't even seen the evening news broadcasts yet. And watch Donald Trump's poll numbers. Leftists will be apoplectic.

PREVIOUSLY: "Kathryn Steinle, Vibrant 32-Year-Old San Francisco Woman, Murdered by Illegal Alien Suspect Francisco Sanchez," and "Deported 5 Times Previously, Illegal Alien Confesses to Murder of Kathryn Steinle at San Francisco's Pier 14."

Mona Hussein Obama Blames 'Right Wing' in Non-Apology for Death Threats Against CJ Pearson

Pathetic.


Out Magazine: The 'Lesbian-Led' U.S. Women's Team Defeats Japan in World Cup Final

For the left it's not enough for the women's team to win the tournament. It's has to be the "lesbian-led" women's team.

*SMH*

At Out Magazine:



Andrew O’Keefe, Drug-Addled Boston Leftist, Faces Federal Charges for Threatening President Obama

The dude's a long-haired drug-addled Boston hippie.

And his father said he was depressed and abusing drugs. Yeah, I'm sure the leftist MSM will be all over this.

At the North Attleborough Sun-Chronicle, "Mansfield man accused of threatening president had cache of weapons in his apartment, police say":
Police found last week a cache of swords and knives, a DVD on the use of cyanide and a testing kit from a local man who allegedly threatened to kill President Barack Obama, according to court records made public today.

The weapons were discovered in the West Village apartment of 26-year-old Andrew J. O’Keefe last Friday, after he allegedly sent a threatening message via the Internet to an FBI tip line, a police search warrant affidavit said.

“I’m planning to kill President Barack Obama and I’ve got a really good plan. Have the Secret Service give me a visit. I could use some company,” the message said, according to the affidavit filed by Mansfield Detective John Armstrong.

O’Keefe allegedly identified himself by his Social Security number in the spoken electronic message, Armstrong wrote.

Police and the Secret Service descended on O’Keefe’s third-story, two-bedroom loft at West Village, a large apartment complex off West Street, last Friday after receiving the threat.

They searched the apartment after a 1 1/2-hour standoff with O’Keefe before he surrendered without incident. About 10 residents in the apartment building at the time were evacuated.

Inside, police found O’Keefe’s apartment in disarray, with numerous knives and swords lying about and more of the same type of weapons in a duffle bag under a living room table.

Authorities say one of the weapons was a plastic buck knife that would go undetected through a metal detector.

In addition, police found a box of cigarette lighters, a cyanide testing kit with at least one test strip missing and a DVD on cyanide use, according to the affidavit.

Police seized a sword and dagger from his car, in addition to an air compressed electronic rifle and a GPS device.

Authorities also seized his computer, which is now in the custody of the Secret Service for examination.

A state police K-9 unit checked the apartment, but found no explosives.

A local fire department Hazmat team was called because of concerns about a “foggy” liquid in three large water bottles inside the apartment, but the team determined the unknown liquid was not hazardous, according to court records.

O’Keefe, who court records say has a bi-polar disorder, was arrested today on a warrant at Norwood Hospital, where he was due to be released after a psychological evaluation.

The warrant charges him with two counts of carrying a dangerous weapon.

He has not been charged yet with threatening the president, but remains under investigation by local police and the Secret Service.

His arraignment on the weapons charges in Attleboro District Court was postponed until Friday to allow a state psychologist to examine him.

His father Michael O’Keefe filed a petition asking the court for a substance abuse evaluation for his son and also told the court his son was depressed and abuses marijuana.

Andrew O’Keefe was supposed to be in court for a previous case in which he faces multiple counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon stemming from an arrest in November on Lindsey Street in North Attleboro.

In that case, police allege O’Keefe swung a 4-foot medieval sword when they arrived for a well-being check. Police say they had to hit O’Keefe with a Taser and a bean bag gun, according to court records.

O’Keefe pleaded innocent to the charges.
Yeah, the dude hangs out in the basement smoking marijuana, swinging his medieval battle sword, and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

A typical leftist loser.

Also at the Boston Globe:


So You Think Greece Can't Happen Here?

Think again.

From Michael Tanner, at the New York Post, "Think Greece can’t happen here? You’re wrong":
Most Americans look at the rerun of the Greek euro crisis with something between smug amusement and condescending disapproval. When will those profligate Greeks get their economic house in order and stop looking to others to bail them out?
But, should people living in glass economic houses really throw stones?

After all, just like Greece, the United States government has been living beyond its means, running up an enormous debt that will eventually need to be repaid.

True, our budget deficit this year will be lower than it has been, just $486 billion compared to $1.4 trillion as recently as 2009. But this is just a temporary respite. Within the next couple of years the deficit will start to rise again. By 2025, we will again face trillion-dollar shortfalls.

And even a $486 billion deficit adds to our ever growing debt. Our national debt currently approaches $18.2 trillion, roughly 101% of GDP. That’s right. We owe more than the value of all the goods and services produced in this country every year. It is as if your credit-card bills exceeded your entire pay check.

That’s not quite as bad as Greece, of course, whose debt exceeds 177% of their GDP. But it is worse than countries like France or Spain.

And give us time! Like Greece, the driving force behind our debt is the growing cost of entitlement programs for health care and retirement. If one includes future unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare, our real debt exceeds $90 trillion.

That’s more than five times our GDP. Greece is still in worse shape — their unfunded liabilities top 875% of GDP — but we’re gaining.

At the heart of Greece’s problems lies a government grown too big, too intrusive, and too expensive. The Greek government spent nearly half of the country’s GDP last year (49.3%), and that actually represents a decline from the 51.8% it averaged since 2006. The Greek’s may complain about austerity, but they’ve hardly practiced it.

Our government is far smaller than Greece’s today. Federal spending is just 20.5% of GDP. But, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s alternative fiscal scenario, that could rise to almost 34% by mid-century. Factoring in state and local government spending, which already accounts for roughly 14.4% of GDP, total government expenditure in the US could reach 48% to 50% in 2050, roughly Greek levels...
When America goes belly up, there'll be no one out there to bail us out. We're the top dog in the world economy, and likely will be for a long time. Frankly, our growing list of enemies around the world will be cheering America's collapse.

But continue reading.

Playboy's Miss July Kayla Rae Reid (VIDEO)

I love summer!

Watch, "Spend Some Time at the Beach With Miss July 2015 Kayla Rae Reid."

Democracy Now! Greece Rejects Austerity: 'Democracy Cannot Be Blackmailed' (VIDEO)

Professor Costas Panayotakis is the author of Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy (The Future of World Capitalism).

He's interview by communist Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!



And ICYMI, the take on Greece from the far-left, "Steve Randy Waldman on Greece Crisis."

Angels Surge in the Power Rankings!

The Angels scored over 30 runs in their sweep of the Rangers this weekend. It was astonishing. And folks are noticing.

At Sports Illustrated, "Power Rankings: Pirates up to No. 2, Angels, Cubs move into top 10":

It's been a dramatic turnaround for the Angels, who have ripped off wins in seven of their last eight games to pull to within three games of the Astros in the AL West and into first place in the wild card race. Despite the exit of general manager Jerry Dipoto after a reported power struggle with manager Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles went 5–1 last week, taking two of three from the Yankees in Anaheim before sweeping the Rangers in Texas.

It's been the offense carrying the Angels of late, especially against the Rangers. Los Angeles hitters battered Texas hurlers to the tune of 33 runs in three games, including a 13–0 rout on Saturday. The Angels' lineup is slowly showing signs of life beyond Mike Trout (a team-high 174 OPS+) and Albert Pujols (leading the club with 25 homers): Kole Calhoun tore opposing pitchers apart last week and has hit .308/.321/.654 in his last seven games, while Erick Aybar has hit a sterling .478 in his last 23 at-bats. Now the Angels need to get David Freese, C.J. Cron and Matt Joyce going as well.

Pumping for a Perry/Fiorina Ticket

One can hope.

I doubt the MSM ghouls would allow it. So it's not just an election. It's a battle against the whole of the corrupt national regressive establishment.

On Twitter:


Condoleezza Rice and Jenny Oaks Baker: 'Amazing Grace'

Via Tania Gail on Twitter.

So beautiful.



BONUS: At Twitchy, "She didn't build that: BET credits Vocalist-in-Chief for Condoleezza Rice's Amazing Grace duet."

The Greeks Say No

At WSJ, "Better a euro exit than the risk of antireform political contagion":
Despite the pain it presages, Sunday’s overwhelming “no” vote at least leaves little doubt about where the Greeks stand. Greeks have rejected Europe’s latest bailout offer even after experiencing a taste of the ugly potential consequences of doing so—capital controls, limited ATM withdrawals and a banking crisis. Now they will have to live with those consequences.

It’s true the Greeks were given two bad choices, but they still chose the worst. Europe was offering more money to forestall a crisis in return for pension cuts and other reforms. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claimed a “no” vote would help him extract better terms—by which he means even higher growth-killing taxes in return for fewer pension cuts. The Greeks chose the Tsipras ultimatum strategy, so they can’t blame the Germans for what comes next.

The big question now is whether German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Europeans will flinch. Mrs. Merkel has not wanted to be seen as driving Greece from the eurozone, and the referendum means that the Greeks will have driven themselves out, if that’s what happens in the coming weeks. Mr. Tsipras will claim he has a mandate to demand more European concessions, but that mandate ends at the Greek border. He has no open-ended claim on the other taxpayers of Europe.

Yet as the Greek government runs out of money this month, Mrs. Merkel and the European Central Bank will come under considerable pressure to bend. This pressure will increase if there are bread lines or violence in the streets.

Mr. Tsipras and his ministers will also try to use the leverage of their European Union membership. The EU typically operates by consensus, and the Syriza Party government is likely to play the spoiler on Russian sanctions and other policies until it gets its way. Greek ministers are already musing about letting Greece become a thoroughfare for migrants from Africa and the Middle East into the EU. Expect more nasty threats and political blackmail.

But if Mrs. Merkel and her allies cave to Mr. Tsipras, the costs will be even more severe. The message will be that Europe’s other debtor nations can also use political extortion to block pro-growth reform. Parties of the left in Italy, Portugal and Spain will have a new argument to make against the reforms that have begun to show some progress: Vote to reject the reforms that creditors demand, and the creditors will reward you anyway. This could doom the center-right Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy as it goes to the polls later this year.

This political contagion is a far greater threat to the integrity of the eurozone than is the immediate fallout from a Greek financial crisis or even a Greek exit from the currency bloc...
Still more.

Yeah, extortion about explains it, although I've got no love for the European Union's statist bureaucratic elites. It's all one big cluster over there.

Illegal Alien Francisco Sanchez Chose San Francisco for Its 'Sanctuary City' Policies

We should be having a national debate on this. It's racist not to be.

KGO-TV San Francisco interviewed Kathryn Steinle's confessed murderer, "EXCLUSIVE RAW VIDEO: SAN FRANCISCO PIER 14 SHOOTING SUSPECT SPEAKS."

And see Hot Air, "Illegal deported five times who shot woman: I came back to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city."

Plus, from ABC News, "San Francisco Shooter States He Chose City for Sanctuary Policies."

PREVIOUSLY: "Kathryn Steinle, Vibrant 32-Year-Old San Francisco Woman, Murdered by Illegal Alien Suspect Francisco Sanchez," and "Deported 5 Times Previously, Illegal Alien Confesses to Murder of Kathryn Steinle at San Francisco's Pier 14."

America Is Not Racist

From Katie Pavlich, at the Hill.


Freedom Playmates Rule 5

At Egotastic!, "PLAYBOY BUNNIES STRIP DOWN FOR FREEDOM."

BONUS: At Blazing Cat Fur, "Evening Photo and Vape Update."

Playboy photo MTMxMzEyMzA1NTY3NzQ2MDU4_zpskzkf1xiz.jpg

Soak Up Summer Savings at Amazon

Do some shopping, Shop Amazon Outdoor Toys & Games - Soak Up Summer Event.

Plus, some summer reading, A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to America's Age of Entitlement.

Carli Lloyd Interview on 'CBS This Morning'

She's awesome.

Watch, "World Cup MVP Carli Lloyd on 'surreal' and 'unbelievable moment'."

And ICYMI, "Carli Lloyd's 50-Yard Goal (VIDEO)."

Greek Banks to Remain Shut as Creditors Squeeze Funding and Leaders Prepare Statement on Day of Turmoil

Here's the latest at the Telegraph UK live blog, "Greece news live: Banks to remain shut for another two days as creditors squeeze country after No vote."

Turns out Fidel Castro sent a note to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, "Fidel Castro writes to PM Tsipras: Greek bravery 'has won admiration across Latin America'."

5 Reasons Our Lapdog Media Agreed to Hillary's Leash

From John Nolte, at Big Journalism:
Of all days, on the 4th of July, the anniversary of our nation’s founding through the audacious Declaration of Independence, like the stupid sheep they are, the American media agreed to be literally corralled and leashed by a powerful politician.

From the fomenting of race riots to the fabricating of evidence against a working class Hispanic man to literally bowing before President Obama, these liars, cheats, cowards, frauds, propagandists, and servants to power who disguise themselves as journalists, have time and again proven they are impervious to shame, even if it means protecting their own personal dignity.

Why in a Republic that guarantees the right of free association and a free and unfettered press, would representatives from the most powerful media institutions on the planet (among them, CNN and The New York Times), agree to be publicly humiliated by Hillary Clinton?

What is the mindset of lemmings. who not only willingly and publicly agree to be corralled within a leash, but who do not then and there rebel, as any good and self-respecting American would and should.

Unfortunately, these are easy questions to answer.

Don’t get me wrong, the answers are depressing, but there is no mystery here.
Keep reading.

Plus, "Sally Kohn: Clinton Rope Wrangling the Press 'Just Awful'."

Carli Lloyd's 50-Yard Goal (VIDEO)

At FIFA's YouTube page, "Women's World Cup TOP 10 GOALS: Carli Lloyd (USA v. Japan)."

Dang that's a thing of beauty, an exclamation point of American dominance.

Joe Scarborough's Epic Pro-America Rant

Via Free Beacon, "BEASTMODE: Joe Scarborough Goes on Epic Pro-America Rant."



Stormfront Founder Don Black Pictured Seated Next to Confederate Flag at New York Times Story on White Supremacists in the Internet Age

Nothing pisses off old Stogie at Saberpoint more than asking him why the Ku Klan Klan flies the Confederate flag. He threatened to ban me from his comments after I asked him about it at his blog.

From what I gather, the standard line, among Stogie and others, is that "only a small number" of people who support the Confederacy today are Klansman. By this time folks know how I feel about it. The heritage argument is fine so long as those advocating it don't completely discount (or lie about) the racist slaveholding foundations of the Confederacy. Stupidly alleging that the North was even more racist just doesn't cut it. Northerners long banned slavery above the Mason-Dixon line and by the 1850s they opposed expansion of slavery in the territories. Only Southerners sought to protect states' rights to own property in slaves. All the rest is bullshit, dumped by the Marxists and radical libertarians who hate the United States.

In any case, Stogie won't like this piece at the Old Gray Lady, but it is what it is, "White Supremacists Extend Their Reach Through Websites":

In late June, as much of the nation mourned the killing of nine parishioners in a Charleston, S.C., church, The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website, was busy posting articles on a different issue: black crime against white people. “Adolescent Ape Jailed for Murdering White Man Out of Boredom,” one headline blared.

And after Dylann Roof, a white 21-year-old high school dropout and the apparent author of a vitriolic anti-black diatribe, was arrested and charged with the killings, commenters on another white supremacist site, Stormfront.org, lamented something else: the possibility of the massacre’s leading to gun control. “Jews want the white man’s guns. End of story,” one person wrote from Utah.

In the wake of the church massacre, many white supremacist groups have rushed to disavow any link to Mr. Roof and any role in the murders. And while Mr. Roof appears to have been in contact with some white supremacists online, investigators say it does not appear that those people encouraged or assisted in the deadly shootings.

Still, the authorities say, Mr. Roof had clearly embraced their worldview. As investigators comb through the data streams of Mr. Roof’s electronic equipment, a four-page manifesto apparently written by him before the killings offers a virtual road map to modern-day white supremacy. It contains bitter complaints about black crime and immigration, espousing the virtues of segregation and debating the viability of an all-white enclave in the Pacific Northwest.

That manifesto has refocused attention on a shadowy movement that, for all its ideological connections to the white racists of the past, is more regionally diverse and sophisticated than its predecessors, experts say.

They say it is capable, through its robust online presence, of reaching an audience far wider than the small number of actual members attributed to it.

“There’s really not a lot out there as far as membership organizations,” said Don Black, who runs Stormfront.org. “But there is a huge number, I think more than ever, as far as people actively working in some way to promote our cause. Because they don’t have to join an organization now that we have this newfangled Internet.”

Experts dispute the number of movement supporters but agree about its efforts to modernize. While the virulent racism of old can still be found online, the movement today also includes more button-down websites run by white nationalism think tanks with vanity publishing units. Most of the best-known organizations also claim to have disavowed the violence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Richard B. Spencer, the 37-year-old president of the white nationalist National Policy Institute in Whitefish, Mont., embodies this new generation.

He holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and studied for a doctorate in history at Duke University. Now he runs an organization that produces papers on issues like racial differences in intelligence and the crime rate among Hispanic immigrants.

“America as it is currently constituted — and I don’t just mean the government; I mean America as constituted spiritually and ideologically — is the fundamental problem,” he said in an interview. “I don’t support and agree with much of anything America is doing in the world.”

But precisely because the movement is more atomized and has been rendered more anonymous by the Internet, law enforcement officials say it has become harder to track potentially violent lone-wolf terrorists who might draw inspiration from white supremacist sites without being actively involved in the organizations.

“White supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy — separate from any formalized group — which hampers warning efforts,” said a Department of Homeland Security report issued in 2009. The report came under fierce criticism from conservatives, who said it unfairly painted them as terrorists.

If the movement has a leading edge, it is Stormfront.org, an online discussion forum. With about 40,000 visitors a day, it is perhaps the most popular supremacist site in the world based on page views, with more than a million a month (a figure that includes repeat visitors).

Mr. Black, its 61-year-old proprietor, straddles the movement’s generational divide: a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama decades ago, he later ushered in the movement’s Internet era with Stormfront.org in 1995, and followed up with a two-hour weekday Internet radio show.

Stormfront’s website, operated by Mr. Black out of his home in West Palm Beach, Fla., features the slogan “White Pride World Wide.” It is primarily a chat room, with discussion threads that range from innocuous cooking tips to diatribes against gays, immigrants, Jews and blacks.

Mr. Black said he had broken from the Klan because it had a history of “random and senseless violence.” But he also said he could not rule out violent conflict as white people tried to promote what he called “our heritage, our values,” and attempted to realize the dream of a separate all-white enclave.

“I personally would like to see it play out peacefully,” he said. “Unfortunately I took too many history classes, and history is not filled with a lot of peace. America is becoming balkanized just like the Balkans; we are breaking apart because of Hispanics — particularly in the Southwest — and other races.”
More.

You can see the Confederate flag at the tweet embedded above, but it's very prominent at the photo accompanying the article.

It doesn't matter how many of these idiots pose with the flag. That's just going to ruin it for everyone else, all the "heritage buffs" and so forth, because it feeds into the most terrible associations people have with white supremacy. Unfortunately, Stogie and his ilk simply help the left and its attacks on conservatives. Indeed, Stogie's a leftist as far as I'm concerned, particularly in his postmodernist Derridean social constructionist relationship to the truth.

BONUS: "What the Left, and Sadly, Some Conservatives Just Do Not Grasp."

PREVIOUSLY: "Dylann Roof, Southern Democrat Throwback, is Drug-Addled 'Wannabe Emo Anarchist' with Androgynous Haircut," and "Crazy Emo-Prog Dylann Roof Doesn't Fit the Left's 'Right-Wing Racist White Supremacist' Narrative."

Steve Randy Waldman on Greece Crisis

At Interfluidity, a rather unorthodox take, "Greece":
Among creditors, a big catchphrase now is “moral hazard”. We cannot be too kind to Greece, we cannot forgive their debt with few string attached, because what kind of precedent would that set? If bad borrowers, other sovereigns, got the idea that they can overborrow without consequence, if Spanish and Portuguese populists perceive perhaps a better deal is on offer, they might demand that. They might continue to borrow and expect forgiveness, and where would it end except for the bankruptcy of the good Europeans who actually produce and save?

The nerve. The fucking nerve. Lenders, having been made nearly whole on their ill-conceived, profit-motivated punts, now fear that if anybody is nice to somebody who doesn’t deserve it, where will it end? I’d resort to that cliché about chutspa, the kid who murders his parents then seeks leniency ‘cuz he’s an orphan. But it’s really too cute for the occasion.

For the record, my sophisticated hard-working elite European interlocutors, the term moral hazard traditionally applies to creditors. It describes the hazard to the real economy that might result if investors fail to discriminate between valuable and not-so-valuable projects when they allocate society’s scarce resources as proxied by money claims. Lending to a corrupt, clientelist Greek state that squanders resources on activities unlikely to yield growth from which the debt could be serviced? That is precisely, exactly, what the term “moral hazard” exists to discourage. You did that. Yes, the Greek state was an unworthy and sometimes unscrupulous debtor. Newsflash: The world is full of unworthy and unscrupulous entities willing to take your money and call the transaction a “loan”. It always will be. That is why responsibility for, and the consequences of, extending credit badly must fall upon creditors, not debtors. There is one morality tale that says the debtor must repay, or she has sinned and must be punished. There is another morality tale that says the creditor must invest wisely, or she has stewarded resources poorly and must be punished. We get to choose which morality tale we most use to make sense of the world. We do, and surely should, use both to some degree. But if we emphasize the first story, we end up in a world full of bad loans, wasted resources, and people trapped in debtors’ prison, metaphorical or literal. If we emphasize the second story, we end up in a world where dumb expenditures are never financed in the first place.

But don’t the Greeks want to borrow more? Isn’t that what all the fuss is about right now? No. The Greeks need to borrow money now only because old loans are coming due that they have to pay, and they have been trying to come to an agreement about that, rather than raise a middle finger and walk away. The Greek state itself is not trying to expand its borrowing. Greece’s citizens and businesses would like to expand the country’s borrowing indirectly, by withdrawing Euros from Greek banks that the Greek banks won’t be able to come up with unless they are allowed to expand their borrowing from the ECB. That is, Greece’s citizens are in precisely the place France’s citizens and Germany’s citizens were in 2010, at risk that personal savings maintained as bank deposits will not be repaid. Something was worked out for French and German citizens. Other than resorting to the ethnonational stereotypes that European elites have now revived in polite company, what is the justification for a Greek schoolteacher losing her savings that wouldn’t have applied just as strongly to a French schoolteacher five years ago? Because Greeks are responsible, as individuals, for what the governments they elect do? Well, then I deserve to be killed for what my government has done in Iraq and elsewhere. Is that where we want to go?
No mention of Greece's ingloriously unsustainable welfare state, but RTWT FWIW.

Hani al-Sibai, Hate-Preacher Who Inspired Tunisia Beach Attack, Living in West London on £50,000 Benefits

Shaking my head once more.

Sucking off the teat of the British state, and then inspiring the murders of British citizens in Tunisia.

But oh! Davd Cameron, you don't want to alienate your peaceful Muslim. I'm sure the Tunisia murderer had nothing to do with Islam.

At London's Daily Mail, "Living here on £50,000 benefits, the hate preacher who inspired Tunisian beach killer: Cleric lives in five-bedroom home with wife and five children after thwarting deportation attempts for 15 years."

Holly Williams Reports from Athens on 'No' Vote for Greece

Watch, at CBS News, "Greece votes "no" on European bailout terms."

Women's World Cup Final: U.S. Defeats Japan, 5-2

At the Los Angeles Times:

For a time when she was younger, Carli Lloyd wasn't sure she belonged on the U.S. national team.

And just two weeks ago she wasn't sure where she fit into the U.S. attack in this Women's World Cup.

But on Sunday she finally found her place -- in the record books -- after scoring three goals in the first 16 minutes of the championship game, leading the U.S. to a convincing 5-2 win over Japan before an overwhemingly pro-American crowd of 53,341 at BC Place.

The five goals are the most scored by one team in a Women's World Cup final while for Lloyd the hat trick, the quickest ever by an American in a World Cup, gave her a tournament-best six goals -- the last three all game-winners. She earned the Golden Ball award as the outstanding player of the tournament.

Almost as important, the performance chased away the stubborn ghosts of 1999, which have haunted the U.S. women since they last won a World Cup.

"It's been a lot of years in between '99 and now. And I think it's time," said defender Christie Rampone, the only woman to play for both teams.

"I hope it's not compared to '99 anymore. I hope it's leading on to the next team that wins the World Cup," said Rampone, who made her 19th World Cup appearance in the closing minutes Sunday.

"That's the standard."

Lloyd might have set a new standard Sunday.

Her first two goals came on similar set pieces -- the first on a corner kick by Megan Rapinoe and the second on a free kick by Lauren Holiday. On both plays Lloyd started at the edge of the penalty area then charged into the box unmarked to recover loose balls on the edge of the goal, redirecting them into the net.

But her third goal was clearly the best of the tournament. As she dribbled toward midfield, Lloyd looked up to see Japanese keeper Ayumi Kaihori had strayed dangerously far from the goal line. So Lloyd fired a right-footed shot from 50 yards out.

Kaihori, backpedaling furiously, got the fingers of her right hand on the ball but that wasn't enough to stop it, with the ball hitting the turf, then kissing the left post before going in to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead...

Yanis Varoufakis Resigns

Well, you can see at the clip below that Varoufakis expected to work with the major EU sovereigns on a new bailout, but leaders in European capitals are bitter, and I guess the dude just didn't need the stress.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Resigns After Referendum":

ATHENS—Greece’s confrontational Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Monday said he would step down from his position to help Greece reach a deal with international creditors after the country rejected bailout terms in a referendum.

Since becoming finance minister with the left-wing Syriza led government at the end of January, Mr. Varoufakis has caused great irritation among his colleagues in the eurozone, repeatedly lecturing them on the failure of the region’s economic policies. A reshuffle of Greece’s negotiating team with lenders in April largely sidelined him after he had antagonized peers and was no longer seen as acceptable negotiating partner.

But he has remained an influential adviser to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and a leading advocate in taking a hard line against creditors in the belief that Germany and others will relent in their austerity demands rather than risk the break up of the euro.

“Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain ‘preference’ by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my... ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today,” he said in a statement issued by the ministry.

”I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum. And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” he added.
Also at London's Daily Mail, "Meltdown! EU crisis as Greece delivers resounding 'No' to crippling cuts and heads for euro exit... but Varoufakis QUITS after PM says his 'absence' will help negotiations."

Sunday, July 5, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter Ghouls Denounce 'New Jim Crow' System on 4th of July, Desecrate American Flag

Honestly, this new black radical activism is pretty bizarre.

In many respects, life has never been better for black Americans. But for the left's it's not about the gains America has made as a nation. It's about revolutionary agitation to bring down the system.

At Twitchy, "Woman who pulled down Confederate flag in ‘act of public art': Publicity stunt wasn’t publicity stunt."

And check Bree Newsome's tweet, which features protesters holding an upside down American flag with "Black Lives Matter" painted on it in black: "Protest happening now in Durham, NC. No such thing as freedom in a nation w/ mass incarceration & New Jim Crow."

That's just shameful.

And where's the media coverage of this horrific desecration of the flag? Meh. Crickets.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at Versace Show in Paris

Nice.

At London's Daily Mail, "Racy Huntington-Whiteley! Stunning Rosie leaves little to the imagination as she goes braless in sheer lingerie-style dress at Versace show in Paris."

Greece 'No' Vote Creates Huge Crisis for Europe's Leaders

At the Guardian UK, "Greek referendum no vote signals huge challenge to eurozone leaders":
Victory by Syriza party of 60% to 40% in polarising referendum presents nightmare for eurozone elites, particularly Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Greece delivered a landslide no vote to the eurozone’s terms for the country remaining in the single currency on Sunday night, unleashing a seismic political shift that could derail the European project. The verdict confronts the EU’s leadership with one of its most severe ­crises of confidence and leaves Greece facing potential financial collapse and exit from the euro.

In a polarising referendum called by the radical leftist government of Alexis Tsipras at only eight days notice, Greeks voted by more than 60% to 40% in support of the prime minister, spurning the extra austerity demanded mainly by Germany and the International Monetary Fund in return for an extension of bailout funds.

Tsipras said that Greece “has proved that democracy cannot be blackmailed; Greece has made a brave choice and one which will change the debate in Europe....

In a televised address on Sunday night, Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, said the no vote was a rejection of the “iron cage” of the eurozone. “Today’s no is a big yes to democratic Europe. A no to a vision of the eurozone as a boundless iron cage for its people. From tomorrow, Europe, whose heart tonight beats in Greece, starts healing its wounds, our wounds.”

The sweeping victory for Tsipras, who challenged the might of Germany, France, Italy and the rest of the eurozone, represented a nightmare for the mainstream elites of the EU. With Greek banks closed, withdrawals limited, capital controls in place and the country rapidly running out of cash, emergency action will be needed almost immediately to stem the likelihood of a banking collapse. But it is not clear whether the European Central Bank will maintain a liquidity lifeline to Greece and whether the creditor governments of the eurozone will sanction instant moves to salvage Greece’s crashing financial system...

Greece Considers Nuclear Options!

It's the financial nuclear options.

At Zero Hedge, "Greece Contemplates Nuclear Options: May Print Euros, Launch Parallel Currency, Nationalize Banks."

As Instapundit likes to say, "those Zero Hedge guys get a little overexcited," but in this case, I don't think so.

Anti-Austerity 'No' Campaign is Reminder of Greece's Anti-Nazi Resistance During World War II

Actually, I've been seeing these Angela Merkel Hitler Photoshops for years now, so this isn't that new.

It's interesting that Foreign Policy's going with it, though.

See, "For Greece, ‘Oxi’ Referendum Campaign Is Resonant of Anti-Nazi Resistance":

On Oct. 28, 1940, an emissary of Benito Mussolini’s wartime government went to see Greece’s dictatorial leader, Ioannis Metaxas, to deliver an ultimatum: succumb to occupation by Italian troops massed on the Albanian border or face a brutal invasion. Metaxas had a one-word answer — oxi, Greek for “no.”

Italian forces invaded, and humiliation followed for Mussolini’s men. Outnumbered Greek troops, assisted by British air support, bravely resisted the Italians, fighting them in the mountains and launching a counterattack that pushed into Albania. It was a brief moment of glory for the Greeks: an early, unexpected Allied land victory against Axis troops.

But it was not to last. Fearful that he had left Romanian oil fields exposed, Adolf Hitler delayed his invasion of Russia and sent his troops south to aid in the conquering of Greece and its eventual occupation. Greece’s wartime experience was a miserable one, marked by famine, hyperinflation, and left-wing guerrilla resistance to the brutal Nazi occupation.

Today, wartime history remains resonant in Greece, and the word oxi — pronounced och-hee — has become shorthand for the country’s spirit of defiance. Every year on Oct. 28, Greeks mark what has become known as Oxi Day.

Nowhere is the spirit of resistance more evident than in Greece’s current government, many of whose ministers are steeped in Marxist theory and trace their political history to the leftist partisans who fought Nazi occupation from the mountains...
Yes. "Steeped in Marxist theory, as if that's some kind of virtuous bonus, or something.

My Southern Heritage Will Not Be Shaken

Seen just now on Twitter:



And ICYMI: "Tampa Bay Rolling Rally for Confederate Flag (VIDEO)."

All Fall Down? Worst-Case Scenario for Global Economy Following Possible Greek Exit from the Euro

Oh boy.

It's drama day today. All day, heh.

From Daniel Altman, at Foreign Policy, "The Worst-Case Scenario for the Global Economy":
Let me start by saying that I have no idea what the worst-case scenario looks like, as indeed no one does. Because of unexpected events — black swans, unknown unknowns, or, to use the term of the moment, Knightian uncertainty — it’s impossible to know just how bad things could get in the global economy. But a few dominoes could fall that might make things very uncomfortable in the markets, and it’s worth considering what the world would look like then.

The most obvious risks are in the eurozone and China. If Greece defaults and eventually has to abandon the euro, the currency’s sheen of invulnerability will disappear. The impossible will have become possible, and investors will be forced to consider the fact that other countries — Portugal may be next in line — might someday exit the eurozone as well.

Uncertainty about the underlying value of the euro will increase dramatically. There will be no way to know what the euro or euro-denominated securities ought to be worth if the makeup of the eurozone itself is unpredictable. Central banks built up euros as a counterweight to dollars in their reserves for years; that trend, already in reverse, could turn into a swan dive. Onetime hopes of making the euro the primary currency for financing global trade have already evaporated, as the renminbi moved into second place behind the dollar two years ago.

All other things equal, though, Greece’s exit will make the euro more valuable. Countries with weaker fiscal positions and demand for securities only serve to dilute the strength of Germany, France, and the other euro stalwarts. But the appreciation of the euro could hurt exports from those same countries, eroding the scant economic growth they’ve been able to achieve — and they’re much more important to the global economy than Greece.

Now throw in the bursting stock-market bubble in China. Companies there have used high stock prices to pay off debt through new public offerings. But investors have borrowed hundreds of billions to finance their portfolios, pushing prices still higher. If the markets crash — and even a loosening of rules on margin trading hasn’t been able to stop their recent slide — free-spending companies will have garnered an undeserved measure of solidity at the expense of millions of Chinese households. Billions in private saving will have financed a raft of pointless projects, destroying wealth and distorting incentives at the same time.

The global implications will be equally bad. Many financial institutions have undoubtedly bet against the Chinese markets, but those that held onto Chinese securities will be forced to pull back the riskier assets in their portfolios. Any contagion of Greece’s problems in other less-creditworthy countries will be magnified. Meanwhile, Chinese investors will have to sell their holdings abroad to cover their margins and losses at home. Major markets will drop, except for the beneficiaries of the usual flight to safety.

Perhaps more importantly, Chinese demand for imports will also decline — not just because of the disappearance of wealth, but also because the dip in the markets will depress the value of the renminbi. Along with Australia, Hong Kong, and Mongolia, a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa send at least a quarter of their exports to China. So do Chile, both Koreas, Oman, and Turkmenistan.

For quite a few of these countries, a drop in exports will pose a difficult challenge...
Keep reading.

Updates from Athens: Niki Kitsantonis for the New York Times

Excellent real-time reporting from Niki Kitsantonis on Twitter:


Euro Drops as Greece Votes 'No' to Austerity Demands

At Bloomberg, "Greece ‘No’ Vote to Spark Haven Rush as Euro Slips With Aussie":
The first shock waves from Greek voters’ rejection of austerity were felt in the currency markets, with the euro down against major peers and Australia’s dollar sliding to a six-year low. Analysts are tipping a flight to safety, with Treasuries and German bunds to benefit.

The euro lost 1 percent to $1.1002 by 6:09 a.m. Sydney time, touching its weakest level since June 29. The currency slipped 1.7 percent against the yen and 0.9 percent versus the pound. The Aussie fell as much as 0.9 percent to 74.52 U.S. cents, the first time it’s broken 75 cents since 2009, as the referendum result dimmed the appeal of higher-yielding assets. The kiwi slipped 0.6 percent, even with China stepping up efforts to arrest a stock-market selloff at the weekend.

With more than half of the ballots counted, Greeks have voted 61 percent against austerity measures required to win another bailout package, according to results posted on the Interior Ministry’s website. The results mean Greece exiting the currency union is now the base-case scenario, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said. China suspended initial public offerings and brokerages pledged to buy shares in weekend measures aimed at halting the steepest plunge in local equities since 1992.

“This is a big surprise, the market definitely expected it was going to be close,” Clem Miller, an investments strategist at Wilmington Trust, which manages $20 billion, said by phone from Baltimore. “We’re going to see a lot of volatility and it wouldn’t surprise me if the euro’s down 2 percent or more. Everything’s going to get hit with the exception of safe-haven bonds.”
Notice how the U.S. dollar is one of the "safe havens." And not so much for the Chinese yuan.

Still more.

Black Mob Violence in Cincinnati on 4th of July (VIDEO)

Check out the Mad Jewess Woman, "Obama’s Rotten Sons Are TERRORIZING White Americans: Media FAILS to Name RACE of Attackers."

They always do. They always "conveniently" omit the race of the perps.

At the Cincinnati Enquirer, "Police respond to 'unruly' Fountain Square gathering."

Uh, you mean "unruly black" gathering?

More from WCPO Cincinnati Channel 9:



Devon Staples, 22-Year-Old Reveler from Maine, Dies After Launching Fireworks Mortar Tube on His Head

The family is now denying official reports, saying that Staples' death was a "freak accident."

But see AP's initial report, "Police: Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies":
CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A young man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, fatally injuring himself, authorities said Sunday.

Devon Staples and his friends had been drinking and setting off fireworks Saturday night in the backyard of a friend's home in the small eastern Maine city of Calais, said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. Staples, 22, of Calais, placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off, he said.

The firework exploded, killing Staples instantly, McCausland said.

His death is the first fireworks fatality in Maine since the state legalized fireworks on Jan. 1, 2012, authorities said.

Greece 'No' Voters Reject EU Bailout Deal, Begin Celebrations with Lead of 61 Percent

Amazing.

I'm gobsmacked. I expected a yes vote to get some credit flowing into the Greek economy, but no.

At the Telegraph UK, "Greek referendum results live: 'No' vote to Europe as Greeks choose to reject bail-out deal":
With nearly two-thirds of the vote counted, Greeks look to have given the 'Big No' with a 60pc majority against Europe's bail-out conditions.


Also at the Guardian UK, "Greek referendum: No vote on track for landslide victory - live updates."

More at London's Daily Mail, "Greece on the brink: No campaign races into a 20% lead as votes are counted in the country's bailout referendum leaving their place in the Eurozone in turmoil."

Could be rioting today. Expect updates.

12 Year-Old Conservative CJ Pearson's Family Threatened with Death

This is the kid who criticized Obama in a viral video, and who was forced to "take a break" from politics for the safety of his family.

This is the work of the left. The left is evil. Everything it touches is marked for death.

At Gateway Pundit, "12 Year-Old Conservative and Family Target of Death Threats After Criticizing Obama."

Here's the kid's video: "President Obama: Do you really love America?"

And on Twitter, "A leftist bully on Twitter - "Mona Hussein Obama" - threatened him and his family. That's what minions of tyrants do."

Puerto Rico Economy Hammered by High Minimum Wage Laws

Pretty fascinating.

A real case study in how the minimum wage hurts workers, to say nothing of the national (Puerto Rican) economy.

At WSJ, "Puerto Rico’s Pain Is Tied to U.S. Wages":


Puerto Rico’s long-simmering debt crisis owes much to an economy that has been shedding jobs for years. And blame for that, economists say, stems in part from how the island operates under the same wage rules as the more prosperous 50 states.

The commonwealth is subject to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, even though local income and productivity are significantly lower than in Mississippi, the poorest American state. The minimum wage in Puerto Rico is equal to 77% of per capita income, compared with 28% in the U.S. overall.

Roughly one-third of workers earned the minimum wage on the island in 2010, compared with just 16% for the U.S. mainland, according to a 2012 report by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. That report concluded the minimum wage contributed to a lack of jobs for lower-skilled workers, in part because businesses can relocate to lower-wage nearby countries.

These problems are laid bare in a report Puerto Rico’s government released Monday by Anne Krueger, a former top official at the International Monetary Fund. Puerto Rico’s economy, which has been in recession for nine years, has struggled to create jobs and has compensated by offering generous tax breaks to companies and income support to residents.

The upshot is Puerto Rico, with a debt load of more than $72 billion, is running short of cash to repay lenders and keep basic services operating.

The island’s lack of competitiveness can be seen in the scant growth of its low-skill and low-wage industries, such as tourism. The number of hotel beds on the island has changed little from the 1970s, and tourist arrivals are down over the past decade, according to the Krueger report.

“They have all the traits of a welfare state gone wrong,” said Arturo Porzecanski, professor of international economics at American University in Washington, D.C.

The minimum wage is also high relative to average worker productivity. A 2012 World Bank study judged that the ratio of Puerto Rico’s minimum wage to the value added per worker was nearly twice that for the Bahamas and Jamaica, and three times that of the U.S. mainland.

The Krueger report recommends that Congress allow Puerto Rico to set its wage below the federal minimum, which is now allowed for a handful of employers. The New York Fed, in its report, separately advised creating a separate “sub-minimum” wage for workers under the age of 25 that gradually increases to match the federal minimum after several years...
Continue reading.

'Revenge Drama' as U.S. Women's Soccer Team Faces Japan in #FIFAWWC Final

I'm merging "revenge" and "drama" from this morning's Los Angeles Times into a slogan for today's women's soccer match-up.

It's definitely a "revenge drama."

See, "A lot on the line in Women's World Cup final":
There is more at stake than mere global soccer supremacy when the U.S. and Japan meet in the Women's World Cup final Sunday.

For a generation of U.S. players, led by star forward Abby Wambach, the game will provide one last chance at a title that has eluded the Americans for 16 years.

For troubled goalkeeper Hope Solo, it will provide another opportunity for redemption following a year in which she has been in the news more for her legal problems than for her ability to prevent goals.

And for U.S. Soccer, a win would avenge a heartbreaking loss in the last World Cup final, when Japan twice rallied — once in regulation and once in overtime — before winning on penalty kicks.

Yet no matter the outcome of today's final, the big winner figures to be the sport. Once written off as a boring diversion for immigrants and young children, soccer is now drawing passionate interest across the U.S.

Tens of thousands of Americans — many dressed in the Stars and Stripes — flocked to Brazil for last summer's men's World Cup, buying more than 200,000 tickets. Only the host country bought more.

And those who couldn't travel to Brazil watched on TV, making it the most-viewed World Cup in U.S. history. The final match between Argentina and Germany was the highest-rated soccer match in U.S. history, with 29.2 million viewers tuning in. To put that number in context, the most recent NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers drew an average of 19.9 million viewers.

The Women's World Cup is doing nearly as well. Three of the Americans' first six games were sellouts, and two others were played in front of near-capacity crowds.

"I feel like we are building on what happened last year in the World Cup in terms of just the general population being exposed to the game, so it's important for us," said Jill Ellis, head coach of the U.S. "It continues to excite little girls who want to go out and kick a ball and think they can maybe be on the team and play in a World Cup."

Today's final is already oversold with SeatGeek, a major Web-based ticket agency, which called it the most expensive soccer match in North America since at least 2010.

More than $2.8 million worth of tickets are expected to change hands on the secondary market alone, and tickets for the final match are selling for more than $700...
More.

Donald Trump 'Divides' the GOP on Illegal Immigration

There is no "divide" in the GOP on immigration: with few exceptions, Republicans are soft-and-squishy and all down with John McCain-style "shamnesty" reform. Donald Trump is refreshing. Is he a crank on a host of issues? Sure. But he's so plain-talking he's capturing the grassroots populist hunger for change.

It's not hard.

Jake Tapper's CNN panel discussed it this morning, "Trump's comments divide GOP."

At the Los Angeles Times, "Donald Trump's comments on immigration complicate GOP's 'Latino problem'":
When Donald Trump disparaged Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug-runners during his presidential announcement, the slurs were initially dismissed as just another outrageous pronouncement from the blustery billionaire.

But as Latinos reel in anger and celebrities and corporate sponsors drop their associations with Trump, the Republican Party's other presidential hopefuls face an increasingly uncomfortable choice: engage with Trump and elevate his already high visibility, or stay silent and risk appearing to condone his statements. So far, most have said little, hoping the controversy will fade.

It's the latest Latino problem for the GOP, which will have great difficulty winning the White House if it fails to expand its overwhelmingly white base to include minorities. The problem will only worsen if Trump continues to do well enough in polls to qualify for the party's televised debates...
Plus, "Donald Trump comments still dominating the GOP debate, dividing the field":
More than two weeks after his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants attracted attention, Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican campaign debate and divide the candidates.

Initially, most Republican presidential hopefuls tried to ignore Trump. But as major corporations cut ties with him over his charge that some Mexican immigrants were "rapists," and as the issue continues to fill the airwaves of Spanish-language media, more candidates have spoken out, separating into two camps.

Those who hope to appeal to Latino voters, including the two Floridians in the race, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, as well as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have criticized Trump.

On the other side, several candidates who hope to consolidate support among conservative voters suspicious of immigration, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have defended Trump or avoided comment. A significant chunk of GOP voters have said in recent polls that they support Trump...
More.

Live Updates on Greece Referendum

The polls have closed, but Telegraph UK expects to update, here: "Greek Referendum Day results live: Voting set to close as banks teeter on the brink."



Also at the Guardian UK, "Greek referendum: Varoufakis says deal can be reached in 24hrs if vote is a 'No' – live," and WSJ, "Greek Referendum — Live."

I'll have updates throughout the day.

Angels Beat the Rangers 13-0

My boys are on a roll.

At the O.C. Register, "Santiago, Angels dominate Rangers in 13-0 triumph":
ARLINGTON, Texas – Hector Santiago had let two of the first four men he faced reach base, and he was up to 18 pitches already, facing a 2-0 count to the Texas Rangers’ hottest hitter, Mitch Moreland.

The left-hander stepped off the mound. He picked up some dirt, rubbed it along it his right forearm to gain some grip in the muggy conditions, and bore down. The next two pitches he delivered were splendid, sinkers right on the outside corner, one on top of the other, each leaving Moreland no choice but to take them for a called strike.

That didn’t get him out of the jam — Moreland fouled off the next four offerings in a row — but it showed Santiago had settled in. Finally, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, he threw another of the same sinker, Moreland grounded into an out, and the Rangers’ offense went kaput for the night.

In the latest of an improbable string of dominant starts that seem poised to send him to next week’s All-Star Game, Santiago finished seven scoreless innings as the Angels backed him with a torrent of offense in a 13-0 Independence Day rout of Texas.

For much of the night, it seemed the Angels could not stop scoring. They put up three runs in the second, one apiece in the third and fourth, six in the sixth and two in the eighth. Everybody had a hit except Mike Trout. Erick Aybar and C.J. Cron had three each, with six runs driven in by Cron alone. He homered, as did Kole Calhoun.

The Angels reached base 24 times in all, notching a season-high 17 hits. They went down in order only once. When batting with runners in scoring position, they recorded as many hits as outs.

In his first two at-bats, Erick Aybar singled and then doubled, stretching his hit streak to seven consecutive at-bats after his 5-for-5 day Friday. With a walk on Wednesday, Aybar had reached base in eight straight trips to the plate — half the all-time major-league record, held by Ted Williams. Bobby Grich owns the Angel record at 12, set in 1984. Aybar did eventually make an out.

Santiago struck out three and walked one in his seven innings, throwing 104 times. He used all his pitches, even the screwball, relying repeatedly on his improved breaking balls.

“He had really good life on his fastball,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He moved it around, mixed in a couple changeups, a couple breaking balls, really pitched ahead in the count most of the night.”

Alyssa Miller

Via TMZ:


Defining Deviancy Down

Yeah, well, it's onto polygamy and incestuous unions now. No seriously.