Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekend Update


South America continues rolling through the World Cup, Uruguay and Argentina advance, Chile and Brazil meet tomorrow...
  • This is some serious structural maladjustment shit right here: While calling for austerity in Greece and elsewhere, the IMF and World Bank approve "have pushed ahead with pay raises above the rate of inflation for thousands of workers". WaPo has the story.

  • More Jessica Jordan is a good thing. The Telegraph takes a look at their native beauty's new role as "Director for Development of Frontier Zones and Macroregions" in Bolivia. For background, check out El Duderino's profile of Jordan from awhile back. 

  • With the one year anniversary of the Honduran coup tomorrow, 27 US lawmakers sent a letter to Hillary Clinton concerning ongoing rights violations. The number of slain journos so far this year is 9, for those at home counting.

  • Earlier in the week, various places got nose deep in some stats on cocaine production in South America. Bottom line, the UN and US have very different numbers, Colombia is doing better, Peru much worse...down in one place, up in long are the suits really going to keep up this nonsense "war on drugs", seems like they "learn" the same lessons every few years or so.

  • The vultures are circling again after the latest round of debt swaps in Argentina.  Finance Minister Bodou says that that "a total of 92.4 per cent of the nearly $100bn on which the country defaulted in 2001 has been restructured after including the results of an earlier swap in 2005." But fear not, billionaire hedge fund managers and all around douchey-douche vulture funds are still bitching and moaning about evil Argentina.

  • The Huff Post is a wonderful place, but they need some better oversight. On Friday they let Nancy Soderberg use their space for pure propaganda without even identifying who she represents. Soderberg is the former US ambassador to the UN under Clinton (which the Huff Post says), but she also represents the American Task Force Argentina, a group led by vulture funds that has continually railed on and brought litigation against Argentina for the better part of the last decade. On Friday, she wrote:

    Last month, Argentina put forward its Global 2017 bond offering but the markets are not buying, forcing the government to extend its offer until June 22, a stunning vote of no confidence in the policies of President Kirchner. The international message to Argentina was loud and clear: No deeds, no prize. Investors don't trust you, or your policies. Looking over Argentina's record on financial responsibility, it's no wonder why.

    Nevermind that Argentina has reached an agreement with 92.4% of bondholders; these assholes bought in late for cheap and intend to reap massive profits no matter how they get 'em, and Nancy Soderberg has been enlisted to do their bidding. It's a shame the Huff Post allowed this without having her disclose her troubling ties.

  • Juan Forero in the WaPo takes a look at the daunting back log of human rights cases facing Colombia, and the implications for both Santos and the US. I know Maladjusted has ragged on Forero before, but he does a nice job of showing how the US support for Colombia despite the serious rights abuses has prevented improving relations with other countries in the hemisphere. Money quote:

    But Washington's closest ally in the region, Colombia, has been the source of the most serious cases of abuse before the commission, investigators familiar with the cases said. In all, the commission is evaluating 1,055 cases. Dozens of the cases of serious violations took place during Uribe's administration. 
  • Finally, as a follow up to this post from last night, and for a good laugh, a picture of the best mis-pic in recent memory...maybe even better than the old dusty farts at WaPo not knowing who Evo is, courtesy of The New York Times, via Howard Kurtz:

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