Recent Items

Links 4/18/12

Posted on by

Rare Bay Bridge lightning strike captured on camera Yahoo (Lance)

Eric Kandel: Unconscious Decision Making Big Think (Aquifer)

Traffic pollution ‘costing lives’ BBC

Are Drugs Behind Dementia Epidemic? Consortium News (Aquifer). Holy moley.

8 Food Frauds on Your Shopping List Smart Money

Schmallenberg Virus: Scientists Say Spread Is “A Warning To Europe” International Business Times

About Julian Assange’s New Revolutionary Television Show Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

North Korea Breaks Off Nuclear Accord as Food Aid Halted Bloomberg

Owner of Disputed Asia Islands Ready to Talk Price With Tokyo Bloomberg

The Paranoid Style in Chinese Politics Minxin Pei, Project Syndicate

Details Emerge on Decisions Made by U.S. in China Scandal New York Times

Folks flee the ghost city MacroBusiness

UK ‘could become one of world’s biggest shale gas producers’ Telegraph

IMF: Global economic recovery fragile and risk of relapse high Guardian. Note this is not how Mr. Market read the report.

Hollande-Sarkozy dead heat predicted in first round of presidential election Guardian

Canadian approached for top BoE job Financial Times

Crisis to Suicide: How Many Have to Die Before We Kill the False Religion of Austerity? Lynn Parramore, Alternet

Supreme Court ruling supports generic drug makers AFP

Federal Reserve Officials Leave For Wall Street With Privileged Info Huffington Post

Regulators to Ease a Rule on Derivatives Dealers New York Times. The story includes a nausea-inducing discussion of the lobbying involved.

Investors rebuke Citi board over pay Financial Times

America: A workforce on the wane Financial Times

Bank of New York Mellon Order to Cease and Desist and Order of Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty Issued Upon Consent (Deontos) $6 million penalty for cheating on the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

Buffett Rule Fails to Advance in the Senate Dave Dayen, Firedoglake. Lambert points to the comments section….

Megacorps Are Not Overtaxed Lee Sheppard, Forbes

NAFTA and Free Trade Do Not Belong in the Same Sentence Dean Baker (John M)

The Curious Case Of Liquidity Traps And Missing Collateral – Part 1 Claus Vistesen, Credit Writedowns

Late Night FDL: Remember “Rathergate”? A Key Instigator Admits the Killian Memos Can’t be Debunked via the “Fonts” Argument Phoenix Woman, Firedoglake

THE ONE TRUE WANKER OF THE DECADE Atrios and this One for the Country from the same… (Lambert)

Antidote du jour (Barkis):

Print Friendly
Twitter14DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook2LinkedIn5Google+0bufferEmail

123 comments

  1. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Re: The One True Wanker of the Decade

    Breaking News! This Just In!

    Tom Friedman discusses war, healthcare, and Mitt Romney’s dog, with Wolf Blitzer.

    Friedman on War:

    1) If 100 secret wars are done the right way, great benefits can be achieved.
    (2) If 100 secret wars are done the wrong way, unimaginable disasters will result.
    (3) The Obama administration is doing 100 secret wars the wrong way, not the right way, on every level.
    (4) Given all of that, I support the waging of these 100 secret wars.

    Suck on this, Wolf.

    On Healthcare:

    1) Government-sponsored insurance is not even on the agenda and the public is led to believe that the Affordable Care Act and its guaranteed coverage is the solution we have long waited for.
    2) This illusion is based on the false dichotomy between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a bad joke, really.
    3) Obamacare is modeled on the Massachusetts health plan the origins of which trace back to the Heritage Foundation plan, implemented by then-Governor Mitt Romney. I’ll spare the irony.
    4) Given all of that, I support Obamacare.

    Suck on this, Wolf.

    Any questions?

    Wolf Blitzer: What’s your view on the Mitt Romney dog issue?

    1. Yearning to Learn

      I’m glad I’m not the only Friedman hater. Just today I was barfing after reading Friedman’s most recent terribly thought out apologia to the far right, pretending to be the “centrism” that he fakingly espouses.

      He wrote one sort of ok book that made sense during a massive worldwide credit bubble (The World is Flat) and hasn’t written a thing of interest since. Not only that, his World is Flat ideas only worked during a bubble.

      This is what I wrote to him on the NYT today, not 10 minutes ago (still waiting for “approval”. often my posts like this do NOT get approved by the censors).

      =====
      My NYT post: (to Friedman)

      I am continually confused at your willingness to cut entitlements but allow increases to our MILITARY budget. (It is NOT a “defense” budget, we haven’t used it for defense in centuries.)

      Am I to understand that we can bomb our way to prosperity? If only we had a few more drones, a few more Tanks, a few more Apache helicopters, THEN our infrastructure and economy would improve?

      Just because we are trapped in a hell of our own making does NOT mean our press must give them a free pass on their ever-increasing arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

      You pretend to be a centrist, just fighting for the average guy. But your talking points are cleverly hidden mantras from the right. Sure, throw us an ill-defined tax increase on the most wealthy… but mention nothing about defense cuts, repeatedly mention “entitlement” cuts (why don’t you call them what they are “EARNED benefits?”), and then suggest yet another Corporatist Wall Street Fat Cat as our future President as a COMPROMISE?

      here’s a trick question:
      Rank the following candidates as to who is most friendly to big business:
      Obama
      Romney
      Bloomberg.

      Ooops. A trick question. They are all 100% pro-corporatist. it’s 1959 Soviet Politburo all over again.

      Imagine if I wrote a column extolling the need for compromise and then suggested Ralph Nader.

    2. Fiesty

      Mitt’s dog caught a bad rash from pink slime burger.

      Mitt would not take him to vet because no health insurance. Not even in Massa…I can not spell that word.

      Mitt told him vets are for poor people.

      Who is this Wolf? He sounds scary.

    3. tom allen

      Multi-millionaire Tom Friedman thinks multi-billionaire Mike Bloomberg would be JUST the right sort of fellow to tell us how to tighten our belts, lower corporate taxes, and invest in the future. Friedman says Bloomberg would present a stark contrast to multi-billionaire Mitt Romney and multi-millionaire Barack Obama, who think we should tighten our belts, lower corporate taxes, and invest in the future.

      And yet Little Tommy Friedman wonders why he gets called the Wanker of the Decade.

      1. Procopius

        “And yet Little Tommy Friedman wonders why he gets called the Wanker of the Decade.” Do you really think so? I’d like to see him write a column expressing that. “Why do you hate me?” But I’ll bet he’ll pretend to shrug it off, say that he’s above that sort of thing, that it doesn’t deserve the dignity of a response. Meanwhile at night crying into his pillow, “Mommy, the other kids are mean to me.” Or maybe not. He’s a multimillionaire, after all. Probably he really doesn’t care what the serfs think of him. But then who does he write for? Whose adulation does he crave? Can he get any satisfaction?

  2. Jim Haygood

    Spanish journo Jose Onéto rips Argentina’s Christina K a new one:

    Cristina K: lunática, populista, patotera [hooligan] y mafiosa

    “Loony and populist” the Financial Times calls her, and “hooligan” (“I am a head of state and not a hooligan,” she herself wanted to emphasize in the speech in which she announced the expropriation of the 56 percent of YPF held by Repsol) she is described, indirectly, by many international analysts surprised by a decision of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner which plunged relations between Spain and Argentina back to the time of the Conquest, as acknowledged by the press in Argentina (the newspaper La Nación).

    Loony, populist, admirer of procedures and methods of the mafia and “patotera” (member of a gang or group that acts violently and almost outside the law), Cristina K has expropriated YPF, a subsidiary of Repsol, not merely to recover for the nation the oil newly discovered in vast quantities in the south, in Vaca Muerta ["Dead Cow"], but above all, to give the company to the group under the name of “La Campora,” founded, directed and controlled by her son Max, and which is redistributing the national wealth and power of the leading Argentine companies.

    They are young people under forty years old, graduates in economics or law, faithful to the doctrine of Néstor Kirchner, militants of the left, who now have as a point of reference their protector, Cristina K, the widow of Néstor. They entered the scene to plunder the Social Security funds of Argentina in 2008 (Anses). With the capital of the private pensions they nationalized, they manage economic resources sufficient to control half a hundred major companies.

    We’re speaking of key enterprises in the economic machinery of Argentina; among them, according to financial daily El Cronista, are Telecom, the banks Macro, Galicia and Francés, steelmaker Siderar, the food processor Molinos, Petrobras, Aluar, Consultatio, Gas Natural Ban, Transportadora, Gas del Sur, Transener, Endesa, Costanera, Camuzzi, Gas Pampeana and Cresud, the livestock producer of the Elsztain family.

    The economic mastermind of “Campora” is Axel Kicillof, a young friend of Max (the son of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez) who is deputy economy minister. Kicillof got himself, through the mediation of Max Fernandez Kirchner, also in control of Aerolíneas Argentinas (after the expulsion of the former Spanish owner Marsans), and was a privileged witness to the final offer of the government of Christina K to the president of Repsol, Antonio Brufau: “If you want 30 percent of YPF, you can keep 30 percent; if you don’t consent, you’ll get nada.” (version of the newspaper Clarín).

    And indeed, in this ultimatum that recalls the operating procedures of the finest Chicago mob, Repsol is left with nothing.

    Moreover, Cristina K and “Campora” have upped the ante and, coincidentally, have complained about some irregularities in Telefónica’s Argentine affiliate, which has been fined no more and no less than l9 million euros.

    http://www.republica.com/2012/04/17/cristina-k-lunatica-populista-patotera-y-mafiosa_480449/

    Neoredistributionism, comrades! If there’s a social need and the owners won’t hand over their wealth, just bust they head and take it! ‘Justicia,” as it were. And all within the family …

    1. Richard Kline

      Soo . . . where’s the problem, Jim? I’ve no sympathy for the Spaniards in this, who came in and looted—XXCUSEEE ME, bought numerous public Argentine assets far below market value in crony capitalist ventures in recent decades. These should have been reposessed some time since. One capitalist standing on the sovereign high ground heists another? Oh there’s a yawner. Jim, assets in the ground don’t ‘belong’ to anyone. The sovereign always has trump card, that’s part of the government game.

      Corporations have no rights, and no rights to profit. They have legal tolerances for their actions. Most should have those tolerances revoked as public nuisances. If that’s redistribution, let’s get on with it, sez I.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Always love your comments here, Richard. But what facts back up your assertion that the Spaniards bought assets “far below market value”? Evidence points to the opposite: assets were acquired at market value, and then regulated by price controls into near worthlessness, as inflation rose steeply while regulated prices stayed frozen. This is a gradual, invisible form of expropriation, like the nickel fare which wiped out New York’s original subway developers.

        An Argentine acquaintance from a formerly powerful family who lost most of their wealth in the 2001 crack-up is actually cheering on Cristina K. His theory is that Peronist gangsterism is about to hit the wall in a crisis so disastrous that it will be forever discredited. Then Argentina can finally become, as its late president Néstor Kirchner memorably promised in 2004, ‘un país serio’ [a serious country].

        As the president of Mexico (which is also getting shaken down via its 10 percent stake in Repsol) said yesterday, “We all need investment and nobody in their right mind invests in a country that expropriates investments … I fervently hope that Argentina will rectify this step.”

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/17/us-argentina-ypf-calderon-idUSBRE83G06R20120417

        Peronism is the crooked offspring of Mussolini’s syndicalism of the 1930s. Which goes to show that ultimately, the extreme left and the extreme right revert to the same mechanism of imposing social change: a cocked pistol held to the temple.

        1. ginnie nyc

          Haywood, what is it with your fixation on the President of Argentina? And your comparison of Peronism, and by association, President Kirchner, with Mussolini is solipsistic in the extreme. You clearly know little or nothing about the Mussolini regime – how it murdered political opponents and Italian Jews – and let a foreign power occupy Italy, install a crematorium, and commit massacres that are still being prosecuted. Doesn’t sound like Peronism to me.

          Please, lay off the one-note criticisms. We get you don’t like her policies.

          1. Aquifer

            What is his fixation? Hmmm, maybe this gives a clue …

            “An Argentine acquaintance from a formerly powerful family who lost most of their wealth in the 2001 crack-up ….”

            A friend’s ox got gored – that’ll do it everytime …

      2. Triollo

        Hey, if corporations are people, let them sue for defamation and conversion. Just like regular “people”.

        If the La Lunåtica can run the country better than the henchemen of the World Bank, more power to them.

        Maybe Argentina is the nationalist equivalent of the fruit vendor that set himself on fire?

    2. Commiemaniac

      Minerals in the ground belong to the People. Period. Wake up, this ain’t Atlas Shrugged.

      1. liberal

        Exactly. A company in an extractive industry should earn profit on the capital investment needed to extract, but the scarcity rent should go to the government, collecting it on behalf of the people.

    3. j.grmwd

      Talk about playing the man not the ball. And a lot of smoke, i.e. the Kirchners are mobsters, but no actual fire, i.e. actual evidence of misappropriation of state funds, bank accounts in the Cayman’s etc. As far as I can tell, with just a quick internet survey, the nefarious and vaguely mafia sounding “Campora” is a pro-Kirchner political youth group set up by the president’s son, not some nefarious private family trust taking over the Argentinian economy.

    4. ginnie nyc

      It should be noted that this article is from republica.com, a web newspaper based in SPAIN, and that might affect the tenor of their argument, don’t you think?

  3. ep3

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/04/17/barney-frank-obamacare-was-a-mistake/

    yves, i think the best way to destroy a movement (the progressive movement in this case) is from the inside out. Mr. “liberal” barney frank saying what a mistake obamacare is! It’s like taking the wind out of the sales.
    The money quote:
    “says Frank, “When you try to extend health care to people who don’t have it, people who have it and are on the whole satisfied with it get nervous.””

    1. Richard Kline

      ” . . . [T]aking the wind out of the sales.” Friend, you spoke FAR more truly than you knew. Obamacare is _all_ about sales, and there are numerous windy arguments of more stink than substance in the pro column. Nothing progressive at all about Obamacare, adn the faster it rots out for single payer the better. Couldn’t care less who helps it to that end . . . .

      1. Lambert Strether

        The beauty part is that Ryan wants to make Medicare a “public option.” Thanks, “progressives”!

        * * *

        A clearer example of Robama vs. Obomney would be hard to find.

  4. bmeisen

    Are Drugs behind …

    Listening to American friends and relatives tossing tips around the table on the right prescription drugs has been an shocking. There is something wrong going on here …

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      @ Drugs causing dementia:

      This seems to me to be a very important article for mental health providers….and it points to other articles and research that I haven’t read, but I have always felt that the widespread prescribing of drugs as a first response to so many emotional difficulties, is wrong headed.

      The absolute worst example in my practice was a psychiatrist describing a “case” of an 18 month old for whom he prescribed drugs for her “bipolar disorder” !

      This was a civilian child psychiatrist who was respected in the military hospital where I also worked as a civilian. I had no more respect for him after hearing that.

      Also: my sister was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 30 (the most typical age at which this dx appears). She is still taking meds, and needs them, as when she goes off of them completely, she becomes psychotic.

      However, she has also been so overprescribed with multiple meds that she could hardly function.

    2. petridish

      IATROGENIC (physician or treatment induced) is a concept that should be front and center in any discussion of the effectiveness or cost of American “healthcare.”

      As an aside, I am looking for a ghost writer for my new novel. It involves the destruction of the “priveleged” class through overconsumption of technologically “innovative” “healthcare.” Spoiler alert: the undertreated “poor” inherit the earth.

    3. p78

      There is an economic advantage (in terms of obtaining Medicaid assistance) in having your child diagnosed with atention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD).

      1. ginnie nyc

        Sadly, this is true. Many of my African-American home attendants have had their children given this label, or ‘Oppositional Defiance Disorder’. There’s a lot of pseudo-intervention, and some money thrown around, but the problematic behaviors do not alter, and the real problems – unstable, underfunded household (despite often-absent mother working 2+ jobs)- remain. The prescription drugs are just added on top of the non-prescription.

  5. rjs

    re: America: A workforce on the wane

    only 58.5% of the population is now employed, compared with 64.6% of us at the peak early in the last decade…the number of people ‘not in the labor force’ is now at an all time high of 87,897,000; these people dont count in the unemployment rate…

    …& dont tell me they all retired or went back to school…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There are also lots of independent contractors who might be working at 58.5% capacity now instead of 64.6% capacity before.

    1. JTFaraday

      Yeah, but that’s almost too easy. At the end of the day, “Wanker of the decade” could be Atrios himself. It doesn’t look like he’s updated his blogroll in 10 years, which is probably not immaterial.

        1. JTFaraday

          Well, I guess the blogroll an artifact of an earlier era in blogging, but it might also be a sign that the blogger hasn’t updated their reading list or tossed any new data into their brainbox either, suggesting the blogger is likewise an artifact of an earlier era in blogging– and politics.

          Which sounds about right to me but maybe if he’s too deep inside it, he doesn’t see it.

          1. JTFaraday

            In fact, to take another “too easy” crack at it, Atrios and most of his blogroll should name Obama “Wanker of the decade,” because it’s Obama who (possibly definitively) ended their reign.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            I haven’t read Atrios in years and remain blissfully unaware of the dramatic calling-out-of-wankers brouhaha, but if I were to associate a blogger with a blogroll that was really important, Atrios comes to mind.

            Maybe his was one of the first blogrolls I used to find other blogs, or something . . . .

            Circa 2005?

          3. JTFaraday

            okay, okay. So it’s a good thing he hasn’t rolled with the changes and updated it– it just became an historically significant document. Epitaph of an era.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems that today’s liberals/progressives are tomorrow’s conservatives/reactionaries.

      ‘We are communists today (or the 40′s/50′s), KMT tomorrow (or 2012)’ – they probably say that in Vietnam, China and many other places.

    2. Susan the other

      In 1944 FDR looked at China, knowing we would win the war, and anticipated it would take 50 years to make China a working economy. In 1949, the State Department was in panic mode. That quote could have just as easily been referring to Taiwan and Chaing as China and Mao. And the ghost cities really aren’t that different from massive ghost condo projects in Spain, and all of Michigan generally.

      1. Up the Ante

        Reading that White Paper you become aware that China’s intractable problems were already well known, certainly to FDR.

          1. Up the Ante

            I’d read the hardcopy from an academic library. It can be slow reading at times but if you’re truly looking for their sense of the country of China at that period of time it’s worth the effort.

            Academic libraries are almost sure to have it.

          2. another guy named David

            Teh Google sez:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Acheson#The_White_Paper_Defense
            “The document known officially as United States Relations with China with Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949 …”

            http://www.amazon.com/The-China-White-Paper-August/dp/0804706085

            Links to fully viewable online copies are here:
            http://catalog.hathitrust.org/api/volumes/oclc/260593.html

            (which I admit was not easy to find, and I still haven’t found a totally free downloadable PDF version)

  6. Up the Ante

    NAFTA and Free Trade Do Not Belong in the Same Sentence

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/nafta-and-free-trade-do-not-belong-in-the-same-sentence?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+beat_the_press+%28Beat+the+Press%29

    The first comment, written by JSeydl reminded me of the “strangeness” mentioned by the personna-troll YY, that of Corzine writing himself an impromptu parachute check on customer assets, then claiming the assets “vaporized”,

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/links-41712.html#comment-693242

    “..then suing the fireworks company for not manufacturing fireworks that are safe to ignite in garages — and then winning the lawsuit. ”

    Will the Auditors soon sue the regulators for holding their feet to the fire ?

  7. Lambert Strether

    On Rathergate, here’s the gist as some us saw it at the time (c. 2007 – 2008) for those who came in late. It’s an interesting example of a dis- and misinformation campaign, and a complicated one (at least complicated for those of use who don’t do this sort of thing for a living. Sorry for the length, but it’s an important piece of almost forgotten history.

    This, on backstory, summarized in June 2008 in the context of another disinformation campaign:

    1. Bush was in a lot of trouble in the 2004 election because he couldn’t actually prove that he’d fulfilled his service obligations to the Texas Air National Guard [TANG]in the VietNam years. (Paul Lukasiak had him dead to rights on payroll records, I believe.)

    2. Dan Rather and Mary Mapes of CBS went with an alternative path to the story, using for their source one Dan Killian, who supplied them with xerox copies of National Guard memos purporting to prove that Bush did not serve.

    3. CBS authenticated the signature on the memo, but not the memos themselves, and ran with the story.

    4. When the memos were published online, the Freepers had a held a humongous wankfest, since the memos were typed in a serif font — they claimed Times Roman — and, as they claimed, there were no typewriters with serifs in the period in question. (As a sidelight, the serif story made it from the blog of one “Buckhead” — who turned out to be a member of the Federalist Society and a voting machine expert (!) — to FOX in a single news cycle.)

    5. For our purposes here, the authenticity issue is a sidelight: I myself owned an IBM typewriter with serifs during the time period in question; the freepers were “analyzing” a JPG of a xerox of an original, and the resolution is so poor that the font might not have been Times Roman; and other experts, promptly vilified by hordes of freepers, determined the memos were authentic.

    6. What is important, is the outcome, a lovely Rovian bankshot, whose “logic” went: This memo on Bush AWOL is discredited, therefore all questions on Bush AWOL are discredited.

    7. And indeed the story died, and Mapes and Rather were punished.

    And this on the memos themselves, from September 2007:

    1. Let’s remember that the TANG [Texas Air National Guard] story made it all the way from an obscure blogger (one “Buckhead,” who turned out to be a Federalist Society member and voting machine expert (!!) from Atlanta) to FOX news in a single news cycle. That stinks of yet another orchestrated disinformation campaign, to me.

    2. I never bought into the “word processing” theory at the time because, back in the early 70s, I myself owned an IBM typewriter that justified type and had serifed fonts. And all the “experts” who testified against the authenticity of the memo had never physically examined it, which is a violation of professional ethics for graphologists. (Not to excuse CBS for only verifying the signature, even though the memo itself was a multi-generation xerox.) Finally, IRRC, the memos had a ragged baseline with letters out of alignment, much more characteristic of produced by mechanical means rather than by a digital system like a word processor (see below). Sure, anything can be PhotoShopped, but the wingers didn’t frame the argument that way, and in any case only physical examination of the documents could resolve that. (That we were arguing about fake documents using online reproductions that could, themselves, be faked, merely added to the surreality of the episode.)

    3. Nobody disputed the underlying facts in the Killian memos that Rather went with. In fact, the secretary on the base at the time, when interviewed, didn’t remember the memo, but vouched for the accuracy of the memo’s content. And there is plenty of other evidence that Bush didn’t complete his service, must obviously that nobody ever came forward to claim the $10,000 reward that Gary Trudeau offered for a witness who saw him do it.

    4. The real tragedy is that Rather went with Killian, an impeachable witness, instead of connecting to Paul Lukasiak of the blogosphere, who did serious work with the TANG payroll records (below), which showed, using evidence that was in now way controvertible, that Bush was paid for TANG work that he didn’t perform.

    What this post adds is:

    5. The reason that internal corporate politics at CBS would work to take Rather down.

    As regards the authenticity of the memos themselves. I’m left with two possibilities:

    A. The memos were authentic in both content and medium (see above comment on serifs), but that corporate politics and the compressed time frame imposed by the winger assault prevented that from happening. (They “hung tough” for two weeks, but IIRC made no further examinations of the memos. That sounds like corporate politics to me; the denial of resources.)

    B. The memos were authentic in content, but not in medium. This would be a classic Rovian bankshot of deliberately planting TRUE information in a form that could be discredited.

    In retrospect, as far as the truth goes, the fact that Gary Trudeau offered a $10,000 reward for anybody who actually witnessed Bush doing his TANG service, and nobody came forward to claim it, looms large.

    As far as mis- and disinformation campaigns, it’s the TANG/Killian memos episode is textbook case that should be studied in legacy party staff college, were there such a thing. The birthers making pronouncements of authenticity on the basis of digital images are the heirs of whoever (Bruce Bartlett, I think) orchestrated the Killian affair.

    And from the 30,000 foot level, the question of “What is authentic?”in the digital era — the issue of discernment — is a very important one. How many YouTubes do we really know the provenance of? How about tweets? How about tweets in contested areas like Iran, or Occupy? One would hope that corporate branding would be an answer to the question digital authenticity, but after a few decades worth of false and/or fake stories — the WMDs (“Suck on this,” Tom), Wen Ho, the whole Whitewater mishagoss — that’s clearly not so.

    TROLL PROPHYLACTIC I can see the birthers and the truthers coming. This comment is about discernment. It is about methodology. It is not about buildings collapsing, but how one assesses the evidence that they did. Ditto for Kenya, Zapruder, etc.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The troll prophylactic warning was unnecessary. Basically “birthers” and “truthers” have come to different conclusions than you may have, it doesn’t mean they haven’t considered the evidence or that their discernment of the evidence is suspect.

      In fact, in general, those that question the official story of the 9/11 attacks or Obama’s background are MORE willing to discuss evidence than those that dismiss these people as “birthers” and “truthers”. The people that heap scorn on those that ask questions are the ones that are failing to use discerning logic and to consider all the evidence.

      That being said, here’s my take:

      Dan Rather is a perp. Period.

      As my comment the other day showed, Dan Rather viewed the Zapruder film a few days after the events on Nov. 22, 1963, and incorrectly described the contents of that film. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/does-the-2012-presidential-election-matter.html#comment-689799 Actually, he got most of the details correct, and in hindsight I realize he must have viewed the film numerous times and took good notes. But, he got one major critical fact wrong–he claimed the president lurched forward after the shot to the head. This was false, as we could all see after 1975 when the Zapruder film was first shown to the public.

      Obviously, Rather’s lie helped sell the official one assassin theory from the school book depository. The only innocent explanation for Rather’s error would be if the perps doctored the film after Rather saw it. But again, they must have done a great job because Rather got many other small details right except this one, plus there are other reasons I won’t go into why it is unlikely that the perps faked a head shot from the front.

      So, regarding Rather’s role in Bush’s records . . . it’s my suspicion Rather was called into action one more time, to engage in disinformation. We don’t have all the facts so this is subject to change. But it seems to me that the document was faked (like Obama’s recent birth certificate). I haven’t checked into Lambert’s claim about the font not being recognizable, because that was compelling to me before.

      But it seems like this was either a trap that Rather fell into, or it was designed to blow up in his face. And it did. And that stopped all questions about Bush’s service and his past.

      Same thing with the Obama birth certificate issue. There is compelling evidence Obama was in the CIA (as well as his family), and what better distraction from Obama’s sketchy past accusing some crazy people (Orly Taint, as I remember people calling her, or the “birthers” or Joe Arapao, etc.). Notice too the people chosen to release this information–like the truth is given to questionable people so others discount this truthful information because of the source.

      Anyway, I agree that discernment of video and visual evidence is extremely important in today’s world. For instance, there is a lot of video fakery regarding Syria, and one needs basic skills in these methods to discern what the media is showing us.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        A side note:

        After viewing the version shown by Geraldo Rivera in 1975 (linked in my link above), I think this version best shows part of the device that Jackie may have used to simulate Kennedy’s head shot.

        For those that don’t know, the top theory imho is that the Kennedy assassination was a hoax, a faked event.

        Anyway, in the Geraldo version, shortly after the second shot Jackie whips her arms around JFK, and you can clearly see the rope/string she is holding in her hand and you can see it next to the president’s back. Jackie appears to be trying to pass the string from one hand to another, or “tying” them together. The later versions of this are not as clear. She later climbs on top of the trunk to maybe retrieve part of this devise that rolled onto the trunk, according to this theory.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Well, what’s the point of discerning the evidence if you aren’t going to use this analysis to come to conclusions or form theories, etc? Isn’t this the point of considering the evidence in the first place?

          Plus, you yourself put a theory forward. Only you get to come up with theories and your theories are backed up by “discerning” logic while other theories are put forward by “trolls” who believe buildings fell down without any consideration of the evidence? Hmmmmm. Doesn’t sound very discerning to me.

          This is the theory that you put forward: You claim that Rather was fired because he was reporting on a story that is likely true, as you evaluate the evidence. And you claim the evidence the documents was forged is not that strong, therefore they may be true documents, but in any case that’s a distraction. Right?

          I actually agree with your interpretation of the evidence re Bush not fulfilling his duty. The evidence appears to support this theory.

          Also, why is the fact Geraldo is showing the video important? This is who the perps decided to have release the video. Notice they waited 12 years and are releasing it at night, presumably because it shows gory content. This is a convenient excuse (gory content) for hiding this very important public information.

          Plus, as mentioned above, it’s common for leaks to be given to sketchy media outlets, like tabloids or Joe Arapao, etc. It’s very possible the truth is released to people like this so people like you can say, “don’t believe this crap, it’s on Geraldo!”

        2. Walter Wit Man

          I am indeed discussing method Lambert!

          One, I am using video analysis. I’m pointing to videos and asking people to review the evidence and make their own observations. I’m asking for further input. This is an analytical method used to discern the evidence. I fail to see how you can call this a “theory” rather than a method used to analyze evidence.

          Two, I am also discussing a method the perps use . . . withholding information under questionable claims of indecency, or whatever other excuses they had (that it was sold to Time, etc., so was in private hands).

          Then, they appeared to have a notable media personality they chose to view the video (which is suspicious) and he vouched for the official government position!

          The other “method” the perps may have used was to plant a fake document to discredit Rather. As you note, the debunking occurred very quickly so maybe this was staged.

          Evidently, “discernment” to you means agreeing with your interpretation of the evidence.

          1. Susan the other

            No one argued the possibility that Dan Rather was actually complicit. A distinct possibility. But we will never know. My position is fairly common still among the used and abused boomers: I think it is just fine that Little George avoided Vietnam because it was a debacle; but it is conversely awful that my husband and his hapless friends were sent there to fight an illegal and unjust fiasco.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Well, I for one am arguing Rather is complicit (or speculating may be a better term, b/c we don’t have enough info either way, and likely never will, as you point out). :) To me the simple fact that Rather began his career in the service of a conspiracy is very compelling evidence that he is a perp.

            I agree with your take on Bush’s service though. Still, it does highlight the different treatment for the children of the elite and people like your husband. Bush was privilege, he got to serve in an elite and relatively safe unit, and didn’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            I wouldn’t be surprised if W was CIA like his pappy.

            Maybe the Guard was his cover. So maybe all these people are doing ‘the right thing’ by lying to us all and faking documents. Maybe these forged documents were part of his cover story and now that the documents don’t stand up to scrutiny they invented the Dan Rather ‘scandal’ to cover this up.

            Or, maybe the perps concocted this whole thing to keep either Rather or W in line. Mabye the perps led Rather down the path of this story to remind Bush who’s in charge and to keep him in line (as with the other stories: Drunk Driving, Coke use).*

            It is not unheard of. Didn’t Hoover keep uncomfortable information on people?

            Or, actually, maybe this wasn’t putting Rather out to pasture, but was a promotion for Rather. Seems like some are rehabilitating him now!

            Plus, one added benefit is it prepared the public for questions about Obama’s records. When people hear about Donald Trump and questions of Obama’s birth certificates many progressives probably instantly discounted the information because of what happened with Bush’s documents.

            *Similarly, Obama admitted to using coke in the book Ayers wrote for him! How funny is that! They probably slipped it in there without Obama’s knowledge. Ha!

            I think this tactic may be common. The screen shot of the President and his gang at the moment of the Osama kill shot seems to be one of those ‘guilty knowledge’ communications.

          4. lambert strether

            @Walter Could you really just have said that “Rathergate” was orchestrated as preparation for the Obama birth certificate thing?

            NOTE Adding… My TROLL PROPHYLACTIC warning was not only completely necessary, it was completely ineffective.

          5. Walter Wit Man

            Oh yes I did Lambert. It’s out there! I went there!

            To be more precise, I doubt Rathergate was planned specifically in preparation for Obama, although that’s possible. I’m simply noticing that Rathergate helped preparing people for the Obama forgeries.
            This was probably not the primary motivation, but a residual benefit, maybe only discovered once Obama was chosen (although all our recent presidents seem to have spook backgrounds so maybe the perps knew there would be document issues and cover story issues with the future pres.).

            I”m actually now open to the possibility that someone like Obama was chosen by our elites back in the 90s or something. A couple of years ago I would have thought that impossible. But it’s kind of odd that a young Chicago lawyer was paid 6 figures to write a book he never ended up writing. It’s odd this same lawyer later had his autobiography ghost written by Bill Ayers, after getting paid from another publisher.

    2. JurisV

      Lambert … Didn’t you mean “Dan Bartlett” as Bush’s operative? Bruce Bartlett is a sane conservative economist.

      Other than that minor nit, a pretty good summary of that whole fiasco.

      In addition, that election season also featured another manufactured dis-information campaign out of Texas: the Swift-Boating of John Kerry. Coincidence?

    3. Walter Wit Man

      Re whether the documents were forged or not:

      “Now, another voice – a credible voice – has entered the debate. Killian’s secretary, Marian Carr Knox, describes herself as Killian’s “right hand” during much of the 1970s.

      She flew to New York Wednesday afternoon to tell 60 Minutes that she believes the documents we obtained are not authentic.

      But there’s yet another confusing twist to this story. She told Correspondent Dan Rather that she believes what the documents actually say is exactly as we reported.”

      http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500164_162-643768.html

      So Knox claims she didn’t type the documents, but she typed documents similar to these documents. Knox seems to be the person best suited to comment on the authenticity of the documents.

    4. Procopius

      OK, I’ve got two personal memories.

      1. In 1955-6, while I was in the Air Force, I was sent to learn Mandarin Chinese at the Yale Institute for Far Eastern Languages (program was a left-over from the WWII Army Special Languages Program). In their office they had an IBM Selectric Typewriter which they used to prepare textbooks using special “type golf balls” that had the symbols needed to write the sounds of Chinese in Latin letters. I was told this was one of the earliest IBM Selectrics for which IBM had developed a special type ball.

      2. When I was assigned to duty at The Pentagon in 1973 my Commanding Officer’s secretary had an old IBM Executive typewriter. This was a model with a carbon tape ribbon and serif proportional type. It had either two or three space bars to allow the typist to properly space wider or narrower to produce right-justified text. It required extensive training to use, which no one had, but it sure produced pretty letters.

      Now, based on these memories I’ve wondered for years why nobody went to IBM’s typewriter/office machinery department and asked them about what equipment they had available during the time period involved. I also remember a device called a “word processor” which may have been produced by IBM where the material was typed in, and was visible in a one-line plasma display on the front, and printed the line justified right. Given that the document was a xerox copy of a copy of… they might not have been able to positively identify the type of machine used, but IBM had some pretty nice machined out there and the Texas Air National Guard almost certainly had some of them.

      Or maybe somebody DID check with IBM and other manufacturers of office machinery. I remember another machine from that time period, which looked like a typewriter but used a “daisy wheel” instead of the IBM “golf ball.” If any of those avenues were explored they must not have turned up anything interesting, or else the results got buried.

    1. Lambert Strether

      No. Rather was discredited because he ran a story on CBS News that would have destroyed Bush’s presidency — the memos that showed that Bush didn’t perform his duties in the Texas Air National Guard.

      See comment above on discernment. These two claims that you make are classic problems in discernment.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Does discernment simply mean seeing things your way?

        How is the above commenter not using evidence to discern the true motivation of the perps?

        I actually agree with your reading of the motive, btw.

        But, it doesn’t mean that comment isn’t discerning. He assumes the same basic facts as you, but has a wrinkle on the motive.

        Your theory better matches the evidence imho, but we could be wrong and figuring out the motive relies less on discerning particular pieces of evidence but rather being able to look at the big picture. It’s totally reasonable to suspect that this whole drama was concocted to take Rather down for some other reason. In fact, Bush shrugged off scandals about his past in previous elections and while I agree with you the perps may have been worried this story would end his reelection it’s totally possible it wasn’t really that big of a danger to Bush.

        1. Up the Ante

          Lambert is trying to purge from his memory that he even suggested a 9-11 conspiracy as large as the Manhattan Project was possible. I assume that’s what he means by “truthers” showing up soon.

          :)

          1. Walter Wit Man

            See. That’s discerning logic right there–which Lambert has in spades.

            Conspiracies are commonplace. That’s basically what security clearances are, eh? One group of privileged people are banding together to make secret decisions and coming up with rules on how to keep the information from their peers. They take oaths promising to do certain things and keep other things secret and face sever consequences. The law of secrecy trumps most other laws.

            The Manhattan Project is a good example of this commonplace conspiracy.

            And they don’t even keep these modern Manhattan Projects secret–if they even kept that stuff secret in the first place. The truth is out there. Ironically, it’s on the internet, despite the conventional wisdom to the contrary!*The truth is simply hogtied and muzzled. The perps have learned its impossible to keep the truth bottled up forever so its better to introduce or manage the truth themselves.

          2. Up the Ante

            I have no troubles with making discernments.

            Your reply is good, Walt. Every right-wing agencies’ wish list was satisfied and discernment tells me that was significant.

            Japan lacks ‘source integrity’ in energy supply. They’ve known it, we’ve known it, they were supposed to be capable enough to not let it cut their island in half.

            They also lack funding ‘source integrity’, and they know our reflection in that mirror is the same as theirs, shared g’nights as each runs from their own people.

            Talk of re-starting their reactors is insane. Discernment will occur when they decide on that.

          3. lambert strether

            I hate to break it to you, but “a conspiracy as big as the world” was irony. That’s the problem with lack of discernment: No boundaries. So you end up with ideas like every person shown on national television is an actor or, worse, a replicant (I’m a bit hazy on the detail for that one, and I don’t feel like going back for the link.)

          4. Walter Wit Man

            Tis a slippery slope indeed.

            And Lambert has already slipped down it–hasn’t he accused Obama of being a Manchurian candidate? Talk about a serious conspiracy theory.

            I suppose he’s going to claim that was irony too.

          5. Up the Ante

            “So you end up with ideas like every person shown on national television is an actor or, worse, a replicant ..”

            Or everyone in the military is super-disgruntled, has had ALL their buttons pushed Serially to the point of madness, kind of like Germany responded with ? No? didn’t happen? they don’t have that much contempt for ‘civilians’, aren’t encouraged to over-develop it ??

            In full disclosure on what you call Rathergate, I’d noted it at the time and filed it under RepubOperative/Rove, paying no more attention to it.

            Not blowing their horns, it is too easy to underestimate the amount of info these media orgs have at their disposal, and viewed it as perfectly exemlary of Rove at work.

            Lambert’s response to rolling Manhattan Project conspiracies, haha,

            http://sircolby.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Gnat-Man.jpg

        2. lambert strether

          No, it doesn’t. I’ve been at this for awhile, and I blogged a good deal on this story. Point being that in the two summaries are based on the work I did at the time, which was evidence-based (as far as a story can be that when it’s happening live). Of course, when people can’t do that, they have recourse to the usual sophistries.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            What’s your opinion of Ms. Knox’s claims the documents were NOT authentic?

            She was the secretary that supposedly typed the documents so shouldn’t she know best if they are real?

            Funny how you skip over this important factual detail.

        3. lambert strether

          You’re confusing imputed motive with causality. There are many highly motivated actors in the world, not all of whom act on their motives, and not all of whom succeed when they act. And the set of motivated actors is smaller than the set of actors whose motives are imputed to them, no?

      2. Up the Ante

        Acknowledging your material on Killian, was unaware of it. There is one thing I sensed in Rather quite some time ago. He is aware of, he discerns, the continuity of conspiracies.

  8. MacCruiskeen

    Re: Are Drugs Behind Dementia Epidemic?

    What a crappy article. Horribly overblown rhetoric without presenting any actual evidence (just presenting the work of a journalist as having “absolutely proven” a medical statement). Then we get to this:

    (For Whitaker’s essay, plus other pertinent information about his books, click here. An excellent long interview with Dr Joseph Mercola can be heard by clicking here.)

    You want to make a credible claim? Getting into bed with the world’s number one promoter of quack medicine is not the way to do it.

    1. LucyLulu

      I seem to recall reading something about discernment and methodology?

      Has the incidence of dementia increased, unrelated to people living longer (the incidence of cancer has also skyrocketed, at least in part due to longer lifespans)? Why are we also seeing higher numbers of ADHD and autism in children, including those who have never been medicated? Why does the US have the highest rate of illicit drug use, mental illness, and incarceration of any industrialized nation? Could it be something else in our society that is making people sick…… e.g. cultural stressors, environmental pollutants, toxins in food? Or a combination of several factors?

      1. Its Sound Pollution

        On this hypothetical planet, the aliens have two mouths. The Upper Mouth rotates, the Lower Mouth does not. The aliens synchronize both mouths to speak. Speech is difficult, but has shaped learning and the shared knowledge and intelligence of the race.

        This speech “impediment” has made it impossible for the aliens to even conceptualize a lie!

        Humans are going to fix that.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/books/review/book-review-embassytown-by-china-mieville.html?_r=1
        ________________________________________________

        Language is the principal theme of “Embassytown,” a particularly deep-thinking entry in a tradition of using the speculative resources of science fiction to address how language shapes culture and society. Miéville joins Jack Vance, Robert Heinlein, Ursula K. Le Guin, Suzette Haden Elgin, Samuel Delany and others in this project. The drama of “Embassytown” develops as the Ariekei learn to lie and are beset by violent addiction to a new kind of speech. The resulting plague sends waves of change pulsing through the semi-sentient buildings and machinery of their city — an inspired Miévillean touch, grotesquely original (addicted houses try to grow ears) and yet also strikingly familiar to anybody who’s spent time in a neighborhood in steep decline.

        1. Up the Ante

          “Embassytown”, that’s like the troll lab ?

          “the aliens have two mouths. The Upper Mouth rotates, the Lower Mouth does not. The aliens synchronize both mouths to speak. ”

          Giving craazyman a run for his money with “The Secret Sauce”, is it ?

  9. wunsacon

    Regarding fonts and such, there’s a far more serious problem: if you present any originals “as is”, you risk exposing your anonymous source(s).

    That goes not only for the font details (size, proportion, spacing) but for the phrasing in the content.

    1. Lambert Strether

      This was a public document, a bureaucratic record, not a private note. And both Killian and Mapes were already fully exposed: The story was covered on CBS!

      * * *

      I grant that in the general case, you’re raising an issue to consider, but not in this case.

  10. Lambert Strether

    The Secret Service and ladies of negotiable affection story continues to expand. Couple of thoughts: (a) Just like DSK, “why now?”* since as it did turn out with DSK, the behavior was a pervasive pattern, and that looks likely to be true with the Secret Service as well (“wheels up” parties and all); and more importantly (b) if the Republicans don’t figure out some Rovian way to make use of this, the election’s just not serious.**

    NOTE * Though it could be random; sometimes a story is just too juicy not to run; even the media have to eat, after all.

    NOTE ** Making the arbitrary assumption that the election is serious. After all, McCain could have swiftboated Obama easily with Rezko or Obama’s actually rather dodgy record as a community organizer. So what held the Republicans back? Scruples? Or lack of seriousness?

        1. Procopius

          I’m pretty sure Terry Pratchett used both, though in different books. I love that whole Discworld series. And somebody in a comment further up the line mentioned Jack Vance — what a master of delightful anachronistic/unexpected language.

      1. Captain Kirk

        Mine too. This limited resource thing you have in this century can be a little fun at times…if you don’t have to take it too seriously.

        But aren’t you really making progress here? Remember JFK used to keep Marilyn Monroe all to himself.

        Shouldn’t Democrates pat themselves on the back a bit for making “trickle down” work?

        Give that a little thought, hmm?

  11. LeeAnne

    Facts? The facts of the Dan Rather firing are irrelevant. Investigative reporting does not belong on TV or any MSM -just give us punditry, thank you -with more or less acting skill -with a little spin and color on the talking points handed to you. You can conform, quit or be fired in disgrace as long as we, corporatist controlled media are in charge. And, we are very practiced at the guaranteed career killer waiting for you if you don’t conform. Any story against you we cook up will be repeated until your name just fades away.

    Is there one investigative reporter left on TV or any corporatist owned media?

  12. Susan the other

    Dean Baker on NAFTA. That is the trouble with globalization. It is selective. It can never work.

  13. b.

    “By focusing his rhetoric on the Buffett tax, Mr. Obama is fumbling his best chance to win a mandate for intelligent reform — reform, moreover, that ought to be the centerpiece of a second term.”

    Wanking by the Best Of Them indeed. The Buffett tax debate is intended by its namesake and by Obama to head off any actual tax increase – let alone reform – so the fumbling is Big O taking a dive. On live TV, no less.

  14. financial matters

    Bank of New York Mellon Order to Cease and Desist and Order of Assessment of a Civil Money Penalty Issued Upon Consent (Deontos) $6 million penalty for cheating on the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility

    This looks like a nice start to try and address the money market problem. This facility was created to try and counter ‘breaking the buck’ which is another thing that get’s people’s attention, ie slowly losing money that is sitting in their money market funds. (Of course you can also lose that money quickly, ie MF Global)

    The problem it deals with is the collateral that backs up these money market funds which is still surely very much overated. We might get more info on that from part 2 here….

    The Curious Case Of Liquidity Traps And Missing Collateral – Part 1 Claus Vistesen, Credit Writedowns

  15. Hugh

    I have to take exception with the whole idea of biggest wanker of the last decade. The mainstream media is nothing but a propaganda tool filled with propaganda tools. They produce a wall of noise, and that wall full of sound and fury signifying nothing depends on its second and third tier players as much as it does on its “stars”. Now that Herbert is gone from the Times, who there isn’t a wanker. Krugman? We take apart his wankery all the time at this site. If the Times is bad how much worse is the WaPo or the largely vacuous HuffPo? And if print media is bad, what about the networks and cable? Until it got old, I used to watch cable news just for laughs and count up how many lies, distortions, and other instances of journalistic malpractice they could cram into 5 minutes.

    So I look around and ask are the goofs on CNBC that much worse than the quacks on CNN? Is the Democratic corporatist spin of MSNBC that much different than the Republican corporatist spin of Fox News? ABC News trends a little bit more Republican than CBS and NBC but otherwise they are indistiguishably Establishment and vapid. And their public counterparts: PBS and NPR? often referred to as Pure BS and Nice Polite Republicans and/or National Propaganda Radio. The NewsHour mistakes being boring for being serious, and the Conventional Wisdom for analysis. Or what about a complete suck up like Charlie Rose? Or Frontline pulling its punches? Bill Moyers may be the last honest newsman in America but it’s hard to redeem a whole industry on the basis of one person, especially when he’s in his seventies.

    But of course wankery is not confined to the media, just look at Barney Frank, for example, and then expand you view to our political elites, indeed our elites in general. You will see wankery everywhere, although you will also increasingly see the deeper criminality behind it.

    My criticism here is perhaps similar to the one I make about kleptocracy, that kleptocracy is not criminality in an otherwise sound system but criminality that pervades the system, that is the system. Wankery in media for me makes it sound like a few bad actors in an otherwise healthy media, not media as it is a distractive, propaganda tool of our looting elites. And it understates the problem because the same systemic rot is to be found in all elite controlled structures.

    1. tom allen

      Everything you wrote is accurate, of course, and well-known. So why laugh at the powers that be when we should be screaming obscenities?

      The people in the kleptocratic media/government/industrial complex consider themselves to be Very Serious Indeed. After all, they have the power — the guns, the money, the lawyers. They can demand anything from the population — except respect.

      It really irks them to be mocked. To rule a world that not only despises them, but snickers at them openly. And the angrier they get, the louder we laugh, until quite soon the whole system collapses under the weight of its own absurdity.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Folks Flee The Ghost City.

    I thought there were no people in the ghost city in the first place.

    It would be news if ghosts are fleeing the ghost city.

    1. Aquifer

      They are looking in the wrong place – it has all migrated to the Wash-WallSt corridor ….

    2. Roland

      I have to admit, even as an erstwhile fan of Big Science, I’ve been cheering every piece of bad news about “Dark Matter.”

      They’re also running out of places to find the Higgs Boson. LOL.

      This would be a wonderful time if both the Big Bang and the Standard Model bit the dust. Maybe that’s what was meant when 2012 was said to be the year the world ends.

  17. barrisj

    Re: CITI investors send “message” to BofD on Pandit’s pay package…unfortunately for Vikram, he can’t justify his existence at CITI by claiming to “do God’s work”, as Blankfein owns that felicitous turn of phrase. How about “doing Shiva’s work” as a fallback? Or, perhaps Lakshmi?

  18. KFritz

    Re: Buffet Rule

    Has anyone ever calculated how much money would be raised if FICA/Social Security tax for ‘citizens’ who earn more than $106,000 per year were taxed at full rate instead of 3% for earnings over 106K?

  19. Wendy

    I think we should be leary of culture of fear articles, which are designed to divert very real angers and frustrations into non-issues. Diversion, sleight of hand. An attempt to coerce us to quit worrying our pretty heads about stuff we can’t do anything, like lack of meaningful reportage, and lack of meaningful choice at the ballot box, into things we can control, but which are ultimately meaningless.
    This concerns the food fakery article – there is literally not one shred of quantification of how often “food fakery” occurs – if it’s 1 time per year, or 10 or 100, is this latest culture-of-fear installment worth our attention? I don’t think so.
    The author’s sole, sad attempt to quantify how often this occurs is to say, vaguely, only that “there is little data on the frequency of food fakery, ” but wait – “experts say there’s growing awareness of the problem.” So???
    Love ya, Yves, and all you do, but this one is a questionable rec.

  20. Craig

    Food frauds? The biggest is “natural”…what does that mean exactly? Who certifies it? Answer: nobody.

    “Natural Flavors” is another con. If the food contains for example lemon, it will say “Contains lemon”. If it contains a synthesized chemical that is close or identical to lemon it will say “Natural flavors”.

    A ballot proposition that will be on this falls ballot in California will require the labeling of genetically modified food and will prohibit the labeling of any processed food as “natural”. If you are a Californian please vote for the labeling. The Monsantos, cargills and other food giants are going to fight for their lives with all manner of untruths such as “the committe for lower food prices says vote no…” They did this in Oregon and narrowly defeated a labeling law there.

    http://www.labelgmos.org/

    The biggest fraud of all is genetic manipulation for the profits of corporate America. They earn, you pay for it with allegies, declining health and the destruction of local agriculture. Oh, you want peer reviewed studies to back that up I suppose? Here you go:

    http://www.nongmoproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/GM-Crops-just-the-science.pdf

    Here’s a video you can listen to if you don’t want to read studies…

    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/

  21. Sundog

    Hokay, here’s yet another grimly entertaining case study in the decline of American soft power (corporate governance? appropriate disclosure to investors?) and the depravity of our elites (that would be both McClendon and his well-compensated apologists.

    Anna Driver and Brian Grow, Special Report: Chesapeake CEO took $1.1 billion in shrouded personal loans

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/18/us-chesapeake-mcclendon-loans-idUSBRE83H0GA20120418

    “If he hasn’t had to put up any of his own money, how is that alignment” of McClendon and Chesapeake’s interests, asked Mark Hanson, an analyst with Morningstar in Chicago.

    1. Sundog

      As with a mortgage on a residential home, state law requires that ownership rights to physical property be recorded with county clerks.

      Reuters found McClendon’s loan agreements by following the trail of well and land lease transfers from Chesapeake to three companies that list McClendon as their corporate representative, according to state deed records.

      Eh? No MERs equivalent is yet obfuscating such property rights? Career opportunity, folks.

        1. Confused Investor

          BTW, I’ve been hearing for about at least 15 years now that Chess-no-peak management are a bunch of crooks.

          don’t know why that doesn’t change.

Comments are closed.