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Links 9/20/12

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Nothing like having an official Bad Day. First, super duper tech problems (I don’t want to bore you, and this should never have happened in the first place). Then I get sent a message from someone I know well (friend and writer on finance and economics) who sends an e-mail that he got from a Congressional staffer with a Newsweek cover image of Niall Ferguson touting Mussolini as a job creator. They and I were taken in by a spoof. I suppose the three of us can rationalize it that reality had gotten so bad that what ought to be recognizable as parody looks like the real deal. And to add insult to injury, the post I wrote was actually pretty good. Major oopsie.

Crows Understand Cause and Effect, Even When the Cause is Hidden Discover Magazine (Robert M). Crows are cool.

Smirnoff Parties With RFID RFID Journal

The New MakerBot Replicator Might Just Change Your World Wired. This does have super duper geek factor. Bye bye Pearl River, and for that matter, quite a lot of low end manufacture (what does this to to Wal-Mart, heh heh heh?). A lot of that was offshored, so Americans may not suffer the job losses much. Wake me when it can copy fine ceramics in ceramic materials, or a damned good fake.

a correction Kip W (Lambert). From last month, but a classic of sorts.

Your memory is like the telephone game—Each time you recall an event, your brain distorts it Medical Xpress (Robert M)

Beyond the Brain Wilson Quarterly (Robert M). A must read.

Oil tumbles as Saudis offer more supply Financial Times

China’s thermal power output is shrinking MacroBusiness

Japanese Exports Sink 3rd Month; Flash China Manufacturing PMI Shows Output down at Sharpest Rate in Ten Months Michael Shedlock

Japan launches QE8 as 20-year slump drags on Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

China Versus Japan: Shooting War, Economic War or War of Words? George Washington

Want To Buy An Irish Castle? Now’s Your Chance! Gadling (Carol B)

Firedoglake, Daily Kos, ACLU and Other SOPA Critics Blocked By U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Jane Hamsher

Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win Robert Reich

New Study: No Evidence That High-End Tax Cuts Help the Economy Off the Charts. I can’t believe any one think this needs to be said, but clearly it does, so here’s the data.

Has US economy bottomed out? Census suggests yes Associated Press. Chief skeptic moi: “It does not look like they’ve parsed this against the size of various age cohorts. What if this just has to do with relative size of population of 23 v 24 v. 25 v. 26 etc year olds? Is this mainly a function of the progress of the echo boom?” Reply from Lambert: “I thought that if they were looking for bright spots from the Census, they really had to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, to mix metaphors horribly.”

U.S. oil boom comes with tradeoffs and an ugly underbelly McClatchy

New York Public Library Dials Back Plan to Move Books WSJ Metropolis (Mrs G.) Wow, one of the rare times a bad idea loses.

Black Says Bank Regulators Are Still `Too Relaxed’ Bloomberg (Marc C)

‘Another World Is Happening’ – Occupy Wall Street Anniversary Interview David DeGraw

US bank regulator warns of QE3 risks Financial Times

Bank of America Ramps Up Job Cuts Wall Street Journal. Wellie, QE3 sure hasn’t produced any optimism about the economy in Charlotte.

Student Loans: Debt for Life BusinessWeek

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 13 and counting*

When I sally forth to seek my pray I help myself in a royal way / I sink a few more ships, it’s true, than a well-bred monarch ought to do. –Gilbert & Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance

Chicago teacher’s strike. Solidarity: “KAREN LEWIS: [T]here’s something to be said when people are bootlegging your T-shirts, you know? AMY GOODMAN: You’re talking about the red T-shirts. KAREN LEWIS: Oh, yes. AMY GOODMAN: And they’re going to wear them back in the schools today. KAREN LEWIS: Oh, yes. We told everybody, walk together. Meet each other in the parking lot and walk together as a union back into the buildings.” … The contract: “Guaranteed textbooks in the first day of class.” Hurting the kids, oh yeah (Corey Robin). … The contract: “[O]ne of the signs carried by striking teachers told it all. It said ‘Our working conditions are your child’s learning conditions.’” … The contract: “Why read the contract? Two words: Parking meters” (heh). … Privatization: “[T]he biggest threat that lies ahead for the teachers is that Rahm Emanuel will continue closing schools and opening non-union charters. Given that he controls the school board, and given that he has a low opinion of public education, watch for continued privatization in Chicago” (Diane Ravitch).

Occupy. Public relations: “[Occupy Redlands] discovered that if they wanted to hear Malcolm Harris talk about anarchism and the 99%, they’d have to pay him a $5,000 speaking fee. Not including travel and hotel expenses. They also must have been surprised to learn that Malcolm Harris has ‘earned the reputation of being the Naomi Klein of the 21st Century’.” I thought Naomi Klein was the Naomi Klein of the 21st Century. Oldthink, I guess.

AK. Public goods: “‘Happy Socialist Money Grab Day, Alaska! ‘ It’s $878, if you’ve been wondering.[W]e’re really just good ol’ socialists. It’s called the “owner state” concept, which means the resources of the state are owned by the commons, and the Constitution of AK requires that they be developed in the best interest of the people.”

CA. Corruption: “Emails show that Oakland’s city administrator sought to redact portions of the Frazier Report that included strong criticisms of the police department and its handling of Occupy Oakland.” … Voting: “CA this week became the 11th US state to offer online voting registration. The website went live on Wednesday, and within its first 12 hours, saw more than 3,000 new registrations. … Mass incarceration: “Sixty inmates were involved in a riot at New Folsom Prison today that left one inmate with a gunshot wound from a correctional officer’s rifle and 12 more inmates with injuries.”

CT. Voting: “A recount was held, which ended up as a tie. Then it was discovered that one absentee ballot had never been counted because, while the ballot was still sealed, someone wrote “deceased” on the outer envelope. But, it turns out that voter is not dead. She is a 91-year-old woman living in a nursing home. Her ballot, which still hasn’t been opened, will presumably decide the race, unless possibly she voted for the third candidate on the ballot, or possibly she left that office blank.”

LA. Governance: “If someone calls your office with a pothole growing and growing, what do you do?” Photos!

FL. Air war: “Every single ad spot in key markets (like Orlando, for example) has been bought up– TV, radio, even Google!” Saturation bombing. Worked in Vietnam! Oh, wait…. Disemployment: “When reporters questioned Scott about the unemployment rate Tuesday, the governor became elusive and dismissive. The labor-participation rate has fallen to 60 percent, the lowest since 1986.” … Incomes: “Figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau show three Central FL counties fared worse than the state’s overall 14.6 percent decline in median household income. In Osceola County, Central FL’s hardest-hit, median income plunged 22% from 2007 to 2011. Orange County came next, falling nearly 19%, followed by Volusia County with a 16% drop.”

GA. Immigration: “Nearly 600 city and county government agencies across GA face losing access to tens of millions of dollars in state loans and grants for not using E-Verify to confirm newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States.”

IA. Energy: “Siemens has notified Fort Madison that it will lay off 407 of the 660 workers at [its] blade manufacturing plant Siemens said the layoff is in response to uncertainties surrounding the wind industry with the pending expiration of the production tax credit Dec. 31. No action is expected by congress until after the November election.” Hey, who needs wind when we’ve got fracking?

MI. Snark watch: “This is the ‘Party of Lincoln’ the same way the Honda Odyssey is the ‘Car of Homer’.” Ouch!

NC. Disemployment: “With her car broken down and two children at home, Kimberly White, 39, made a 26-mile trip recently on her daughter’s mountain bike to pass in an application when a  job opening popped up several miles from town. Her unemployment insurance ran out two weeks ago.”

NY. Fracking: “In the suit [Environmental Working Group] contends that the Cuomo administration failed to honor EWG’s request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law for full disclosure of public records showing communications between the governor and six other senior officials and about two-dozen representatives of the oil and natural gas industry. These contacts occurred during the critical period between Jan. 1, 2011 and March 6 of this year, when industry representatives were striving to influence environmental regulators charged with drafting a 1,500-page plan that would govern future drilling.”

OH. Foreclosure: “More than 400,000 OH homeowners have been foreclosed on since 2007, with the state’s eight urban cores being hit hardest. The spike in foreclosures has led to massive neighborhood blight, vacant properties and community disinvestment. Those maintaining their homes have seen a huge decline in value, leaving 529,834 Ohio homeowners underwater on their mortgages. That figure is roughly one quarter of all homeowners in the state.” Awesome post. … Fracking: “Youngstown Mayor Chuck Sammarone said vacant home demolition is the number one problem he hears from the public. However, it takes money to tear down houses, money the city doesn’t have. So, the city administration wants to generate more revenue by leasing city-owned land to the oil and gas companies. Many don’t agree with the mayor, and some of them showed up at the city council. One person was dragged out by security and charged with disorderly conduct. Several years ago, OHd took the authority to issue or reject drilling permits away from local municipalities, Sammarone said. Nothing stops the state from letting oil and gas companies drill on city-owned land right now.”

OR. Coal: “Portland’s City Council voted 3-0 Wednesday to oppose coal trains running through town until the Army Corps of Engineers fully evaluates the impacts of exporting coal to Asia through the Northwest.”

PA. Mass incarceration: “Philadelphia spends more on prisons – $231 million last fiscal year – than it does on libraries, parks, Council, the District Attorney’s Office, the Board of Ethics and Licenses & Inspections. Combined.”

SC. Mass incarceration: “Inmates at a maximum security prison in SC used illegal cell phones to guide rescuers to a guard who was being held hostage in the facility.”

VA. Wretched excess: “It happened last week at Patriot High School in Nokesville, a suburb of Washington, D.C. As part of an invitation to a fall dance, a student arranged for a Customs pilot to fly over the school and drop a stuffed teddy bear onto the football field.” Huh? How did the student “arrange” that?

Unions. Sickout and work-to-rule? “American Airlines and American Eagle say they will cancel 300 flights this week to cope with a high number of pilots reporting sick and an increase in maintenance reports filed by crews.”

The trail. Polls: “A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Swing States, completed Monday night, shows Romney lagging President Obama by only 2 percentage points, 48%-46%, well within the survey’s margin of error and a point closer than their contest last month. The survey also finds more voters open to changing their minds than the conventional wisdom holds — and a surge in enthusiasm by Democrats.”

Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food watch. Bankruptcy: “Social security is only bankrupt to the extent that our political leaders lose the will to invest in a decent retirement for American workers.” Lord Eschaton in USA Today (!!).

Tbe trail. Debates: “Free & Equal announced that Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, and Virgil Goode have each agreed to participate in a presidential debate on October 23, Tuesday, at 8 p.m. central time.” … Debates: “The [Commission on Presidential Debates] said that the six 15-minute topic segments for the first debate [Oct 3] are: The Economy – I, II, III; Health Care; The Role of Government; Governing. The topics were selected by PBS’s Jim Lehrer.” … Fast and Furious: “The DOJ’s internal watchdog faulted 14 federal agents and prosecutors on Wednesday for the botched anti-gun-trafficking effort known as “Operation Fast and Furious” but cleared Attorney General Eric Holder of any wrongdoing.  The highest-ranking person criticized, Lanny Breuer, the assistant AG in charge of criminal prosecutions, has been ‘admonished,’ said a department official.” Well done, Lanny!

Democrats. Voting: “Why do you think there isn’t more public outrage about the Rs attempting to crush democracy? Greg Palast: Because Ds are in on it, too. In NM, a solid D state where Latinos are half the citizenry, Bush carried the state and the GOP has the governor’s mansion. Why? Because the Hispanic D elite of that state don’t want no poor folk voting. When I called the SoS, Becky Vigil-Giron, to ask why, in one poor Hispanic precinct, there was not a single vote for president recorded, she told me that, ‘Those people can’t make up their minds.’”

The Romney. That secret video: Date discrepancy? (Note: This is a stone D blog. Kudos to Electablog for raising an issue potentially against party interest.) … The Kerry parallel: “Romney isn’t as far behind now as Kerry was at this same point.  Kerry did end up erasing his deficit, or at least most of it. The key moment for him came  when he and Bush met for their first debate. Almost overnight, it was a race again.” …  Lettterman: “Letterman says he doesn’t hate Romney for going on Leno’s NBC show. Says Letterman: ‘I mean, why hate a guy who’s suffered through that?’”

The Obama. Letterman: “Obama, who was the only guest on Tuesday’s ‘Late Show With David Letterman,’ received  a standing ovation as he walked onto the stage.”

* Slogan of the day: The twenty-first century will be the century of The Obama!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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98 comments

    1. Dan Steely III from Yokohama

      The question asked in the post has been already been answered by others- see context. Why ask why?

      Question: If this is some sort of Rovian Ratfuck(tm) then at what point will the rMONEY master campaigner reach back and remove the shiny object from his already reamed assh*le? Or are the Ratfuckers so good and secretive that the rMONEY campaign doesn’t know they are being secretly Ratfucked? (Ratfucked means the tape is a doctored fake as opposed to just secretly recorded. Now if someone doped the candidate and then secretly recorded the results, that would be a Ratfuck.)

      Observation: Hardcore conspiracy theorists need to consider that the Rovian Ratfuckers(tm) may be inserting shiny objects into the orfices of the rMONEY campaign to benefit their real master, aka The Great Kenyan Imposter.

      Alternate explanation: The video is a fake, and while it is a little bit of a shock at first, the rMONEY campaign has decided that it actually enjoys shiny objects in their orifices, and leaves them in there to enjoy. Does this explain why candidate rMONEY sometimes inappropriate grins? Who has the wireless remote? Does candidate rMONEY need to share the joy with the staffers?

      1. Nathanael

        What’s going on is that the Republican leaders of the 1980s and before (Lee Atwater, etc.) spun a bunch of bullshit for the proles. However, the people currently running the Republican Party *actually believe the bullshit*.

        So, Romney really did say everything in that video, *because he is a very ignorant man*.

        It is a very serious impediment if you start believing your own cynical propaganda. This impediment is one which most Republican elected officials now have.

  1. craazyman

    wow. that is a pretty bad day. sitting up here on Cape Cod at Dunkin Donuts because I lost my smartphone in the sand and it’s amazing there hasn’t been one shark attack up here all week long. not one. the only reason I can think of is it’s too cold for swimming and nobody’s in the water. the sharks are there, in hoards, just waiting for somebody to slip up. they only eat the seals for hordourves (however you spell it).

    Even if Mr. Ferguson didn’t tout Mussolini as a job creator, somebody out there who gets their name in the press probably does. So go ahead and run the post anyway and we can insert whoever’s name we want into the place where Mr. Ferguson’s name used to be. What difference does it make if the post itself is good? Truth is more profound than mere facts.

      1. Cletus

        It’s “hors d’ oeuvres.”

        Fred Sanford, a.k.a: Redd Fox pronounced it as “horse d’ ovaries.”

        Just thought you should know.

    1. Bert_S

      Hi craazy,

      Agreed that Newsweek will run the story, once they can find someone to attribute it too. Especially since the artwork is done already and probably wasn’t copyrighted by those dumb spoof guys.

      Sorry to hear about the smartphone. You might try calling your local Homeland Security office (using a payphone, I imagine) and ask if they can give you it’s GPS coordinates. Or better yet, have them give you a call when you are back on the beach. This is when a custom ring tone comes in handy.

      I suppose seals do look like slim pickin’s at the beach nowadays. Enjoy yourself anyway.

      Sincerely,
      BS

    2. citalopram

      I lost the keys to my mercedes, and couldn’t go down the my local Starbucks for my daily 5 dollar drink. My wife told me to use the Toyota. Ew!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re obviously from the 99.99%, and not a real 0.01%er.

        You know they don’t use keys. They rely on finger id or retina id.

        1. ambrit

          Dear MLTPB;
          Hold it just a minute son! Real .001%rs would have drivers, most of them can’t pronounce those furrin words, to handle the keys etc. And Cape Cod??? Shouldn’t you be down in the Caymans keeping an eye on your ‘investments?’
          Grovelingly yours,
          A

  2. Lloyd C. Bankster

    Brad Delong said in a recent post: “I wish I had 1/3 of Ezra Klein’s brain”.

    And then he added (and this part has been translated into Pirate speak, for added emphasis):

    Brad DeLong: “If he [Ezra Klein] keeps thinkin’ an’ writin’ like this, I dasn’t care if he thinks o’ hisself as a porcupine – in fact, I would become one too…”

    What an effing moron.

    Hey Brad,

    Whenever Princess (my wife’s Shih Tzu) gets dingle berries on her ass hairs, I call Ezra Klein to come over and lick her butt clean.

    I usually give him 1 dollar for gas money, but since you have less than 1/3 of the retard Ezra Klein’s brain, how’s about taking on this job for 25 cents?

    1. Lloyd C. Bankster

      Just adding…

      Who’d a thunk, looks like even Mark Ames agrees with the old bankster on the uselessness of Brad and Ezra, proving once again, the enemy of my enemy is my friend…

      In an email to Yves last year, posted on NC, he wrote:

      “And these progressive comment-gnomes are more concerned with hurting Ezra’s and Brad’s feelers? Agh.

      The basic fundamental problem – what scares these rotted progressives – is the possibility that everyone might not be friends at the end of the day. That means more to corrupt frauds than anything. So really, this focus on etiquette over existential debate shows a complete lack of seriousness – they should get the f*ck out of the debate and go back to some activity more suited to their tastes–mountain biking or blogging about food or whatever it is these “progressives” really care about.”

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/06/delong-illustrates-why-we-should-be-scared-of-economists.html#comment-417205

  3. JTFaraday

    “Newsweek cover image of Niall Ferguson touting Mussolini as a job creator. They and I were taken in by a spoof. I suppose the three of us can rationalize it that reality had gotten so bad that what ought to be recognizable as parody looks like the real deal.”

    Well, I can see how people might get taken in. Given the not infrequent “Hitler as job creator” comments I’ve seen, it seems to be going around.

    Then there’s the China Envy, which I also don’t understand.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Well, he was, wasn’t he?

      Why are we not allowed to mention that fact?

      Don’t people like Krugman talk about how America’s military spending provides jobs and that’s a good thing?

      Why has this part of National Socialism been written out of history? Can’t we discuss the “good” as well as the “bad”? Didn’t the West compete ideologically with the National Socialists and wasn’t one of these competitions about how easily they got their economies out of the Great Depression and the jobs they provide?

      1. ginnie nyc

        Walter, I hope you are joking.

        if you really think Hitler was a “job creator”, you are misinformed. Military build-up before the Sudentenland invasion, and the subsequent war, was a temporary bump. Near-universal conscription created a terrible employment vacuum, which was alleviated by slave and prisoner-of-war labor on a massive scale. A war-machine economy staffed by enslaved labor is not exactly a praiseworthy economic model, now is it?

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Do you have any facts or figures that break down employment figures by year? Does it break down ‘slave labor’ with other laborers? How was the German worker treated, say compared to the typical American worker?

          Because in my cursory look (which nevertheless goes well beyond what even most American journalists or historians have conducted, it seems), it looks like Germany got out of the Great Depression before the allied nations did. And they did it based on government spending and ‘jobs programs’, like with the Autobahn and Volkswagen.

          Of course there was substantial Western capitalist investment in Germany as well, from what I understand. I won’t bother citing the few sources I’ve seen because I admit I have yet to see an authoritative accounting of this history. Seems like we get a lot more emotion and propaganda than we do facts.

          The NAZIs could have been both evil and job creators, no? And my impression is that these jobs were not primarily slave labor jobs, no more than the U.S. economy relied on ‘slave labor’ from the Japanese concentration camps or prison laborers, for instance (not to mention blacks). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. economy relied more on slave labor than NAZI Germany did (at least before the war–the European economies were crushed after years of war and then relied increasingly on slave labor–including the Americans after WWII ended in places like Poland).

          We need more facts and less propaganda. Knee jerk emotionalism trying to cover up the facts raises huge red flags for me.

          1. JTFaraday

            The whole problem with the “Yes, X was a fascist dictator, but they were a huge ‘job creator’” meme is that it prioritizes the enlistment of the populace in wage labor as a value that trumps all other values.

            By all means, seek to discover whether Germans– but not Poles and not the German socialist political enemy, that was the first to populate the camps– were free agents exercising their free will as human beings and citizens of Germany, eagerly snapping up “jobs” with the regime.

            Knock yourself out. Although I’m not sure why a person as ideologically motivated as yourself thinks the “fascist dictator X was a great ‘job creator’” meme is a good advertisement for fiscal policy in the US in 2012.

          2. JTFaraday

            “The whole problem with the “Yes, X was a fascist dictator, but they were a huge ‘job creator’” meme is that it prioritizes the enlistment of the populace in wage labor as a value that trumps all other values.”

            Needless to day, I don’t hold this view or I would just smile benignly on everyone working in the housing bubble including its financial architects, regardless of whatever they did or still do, and shriek “but look at all those jahhhhhbs.”

            Get some perspective.

    2. Mark P.

      Talking of the rise of fascism, Jesse had a great post this morning about “Karl Polanyi On Liberal Economics and the Rise of Fascism”

      ‘Hobbes had argued the need for a despot because men were like beasts; Townsend insisted that they were actually beasts and that, precisely for that reason, only a minimum of government was required.

      ‘From this novel point of view, a free society could be regarded as consisting of two races: property owners and laborers. The number of the latter was limited by the amount of food; and as long as property was safe, hunger would drive them to work. No magistrates were necessary as hunger was a better disciplinarian than the magistrate…

      ‘The biological nature of man appeared as the given foundation of a society that was not of a political order. Thus it came to pass that economists presently relinquished Adam Smith’s humanistic foundations, and incorporated those of Townsend…Economic society had emerged as distinct from the political state.’

      Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, 1944

      That’s just the beginning. Go read the whole thing here –

      http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2012/09/karl-polanyi-on-liberal-economics-and.html

      1. JTFaraday

        “The biological nature of man appeared as the given foundation of a society that was not of a political order…”

        In the post-war period, both St. Hannah Arendt and the political theorist Sheldon Wolin (author of the recent book on “inverted totalitarianism”), posited that in contrast to the way we’ve traditionally viewed the political in modernity– as the retrieval of classical political thought, realized in the democratic revolutions– moderns instead substituted “the social” and the economic for the political.

        I’ve been looking at just this theme of “natural necessity” in Arendt, and found that in arguing that capitalism and liberal states were forged in the fire together, Polanyi dealt with this whole complex of ideas as well, in 1944, about a decade or so prior to Arendt and Wolin.

        Thus, he is next up on my reading list. Thanks for the link!

  4. Jim Haygood

    “They made a convincing argument that because [NYPL] is the most democratically accessible of the great research libraries of the world that a big ingredient to its success is fast access to the millions of items in our collection,” Dr. Marx said. “Physical books are not going away.”

    They aren’t. But nevertheless, having internet access to texts from one’s own home is an enormous convenience. For instance, one no longer needs to visit the library to research historical newspapers, if one has Proquest access. And the searchability of online data makes research far faster.

    Google has millions of books digitized, but a lawsuit which has yet to be settled continues to block unfettered access to Google’s digital treasure trove.

    Certainly the interests of copyright holders need to be protected. But forcing researchers to use horse-and-buggy methods when digital documents are available sabotages progress. Abusively long copyright terms in the U.S. enormously complicate reaching a digital book settlement.

    1. Ms G

      Keeping books at NYPL is not preventing or diminishing internet access to digitized material.

      The issue here is that a group of NYPL trustees wanted to turn a research library into a “fabulous showcase” (direct quote) for some bizzarre reason and when faced with protest from the intended users of the research library (researchers), found $8 million dollars (voila!) to add storage space ON SITE for most (not all) the books that were headed to Princeton.

      Not sure how the Google copyright lawsuit enters into the specific matter of preserving the NYPL as a first rate research library.

      1. ginnie nyc

        Ms. G, you are correct. Though I must say NYPL has already moved a boatload of science publications to Princeton. In my two-bit job as an engineering researcher, several books I ordered from the main branch were digitally transferred to me from a princeton.edu address.

        I think the $8 million merely keeps a part of the SIBL collection in New York.

        1. Ms G

          Yes, Ginnie, absolutely right. The $8million that Abby and her husband “found” to keep books at NYPL neither prevented previous transfers of books to Princeton, nor over another million that are slated to be sent there. You’d think if Trustees can find $8 million lying around for some of the books, they could find another few million to keep the rest of the books there too. But somehow I don’t think that’s the priority. I think that the same interests that are pushing “online education” with no real teachers are also behind efforts to destroy hard copies of primary sources using the excuse of “digitalization.” There have already been issues with the accuracy of digitized versions of primary sources . . . as in, the digital copy did not match the original, etc.

          I feel fortunate to have been to university at a time when hunting for treasures in the stacks, finding what you were looking for and discovering great books you did not know existed was how I conducted my studies. Holding original books in your hands to guide research and learning is an experience enriching in ways reading digitized copy on a computer can never replace.

  5. financial matters

    US bank regulator warns of QE3 risks Financial Times

    “It is alarming that CEOs of some financial firms fail to grasp why they are trusted so little nor appreciate the reputational damage they caused their industry,” Mr Hoenig said. “They fail to appreciate how in so many ways it seems that the game is fixed in favour of a privileged few.”

    The regulator mentioned “one large bank [that] is advertising its celebration of 200 years in business” and that has been rescued by the US government four times – likely a reference to Citigroup – as an example of how large banks continue to benefit from taxpayer support while other businesses are left to struggle to succeed or expand.”"

    Nice to see such straightforward talk by an FDIC director and former Fed policy maker.

  6. JTFaraday

    re: New Study: No Evidence That High-End Tax Cuts Help the Economy Off the Charts. “I can’t believe any one think this needs to be said, but clearly it does, so here’s the data.”

    I doesn’t matter how many times it get said. Even Bruce Bartlett has been persuaded by the data that “trickle down” is largely a myth.

    But so long as the upper middle class and white collar males who hate welfare are still looking for their tax cuts, they will disregard the whole question of evidence and continue to propagandize in favor of high end tax cuts alongside the very wealthy.

    Given that our government only does the bidding of the very wealthy, this probably seems like not a bad way to get something they want done.

    1. Ms G

      The chief architect of “trickle down,” Regan’s budget director David Stockman, has just published a book admitting that “trickle down” does not work.

      Since “trickle down” has been definitively exposed as a political myth propagated to justify structuring the economy to benefit the .01%, there is absolutely no excuse for its further touting by political officials, their economic assistants, or the media.

      Note that the phrase itself has fallen out of common use, and is being replaced with things like “shared sacrifice,” “TBTF,” and [fill in the blanks]. Reminiscent of how Private Equity started out being called “Asset Stripping” (1970s), then “Leveraged Buyouts” (1980s-1990s) and now the sterile and uninformative “Private Equity.”

      1. Ms G

        Adding: Another trope that has replaced the debunked “trickle down” ideology: “Job creators” (defined as 1%’ers who have to be showered in taxpayer money in order to deign to throw crumbs (trickles thereof) to the “non job creators”.)

      2. JTFaraday

        My point is that interest politics is frequently impervious to evidence. So long as there is a constituency that wants their taxes cuts, we can probably expect them to continue to ignore data about the broader economy while attaching themselves to the faction that they expect to deliver it to them.

        I agree that this is ones’ personal interest narrowly construed, but that’s exactly how a lot of people function.

        1. Ms G

          Along the lines of your thinking, I’m not sure that, historically at least, politics and evidence have ever intersected except at the juncture of selecting fragments of evidence to bolster policies . . . Not saying this is a positive.

          1. Bert_S

            I’m not trying to accuse you of willful understatement, but political science and economics are now one and the same thing.

  7. rjs

    you’ll be pleased to know your post about ferguson touting Mussolini as a job creator was picked up & republished elsewhere on the web…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have a question, or maybe it’s a koan.

      Who creates job creators?

      And who creates job-creators-creators?

      And who creates job-creators-creators-creators?

      1. ambrit

        Dear MLTPB;
        Do job creators have Buddha essence?
        (I asked our neighbors dog, but he couldn’t come up with a good answer.) The hummingbirds are swarming today, the sound of their wings driving away thoughts of mortality. Sitting on the front porch swing; a wonderful sunset.

  8. Ms G

    Humbly adding a Link.

    Italy’s highest court upholds convictions of 23 Americans (current and former CIA operatives) for kidnapping and other aid to the “extraordinary rendition” (to Aviano Air Base in Italy) of terror suspects. Also awards damages to renditioned prisoner and his wife. Lead prosecutor praises ruling as establishing that “extraordinary rendition” is “incompatible with democracy.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/20/italy-rendition-convictions-americans

  9. jjmacjohnson

    Bye-Bye Pearl River? That machine is so out of reach for the average person! Just for the machine let alone what you need to actually make things. I see this as a way for the super rich to even ditch the rest of man kind further. Or have their own sweat shops in their gated communities!

    Toys for the elite.

  10. Jonathan Dean

    I don’t agree with much he writes, but I hope an apology has gone out to Niall Ferguson over this. Not good from a Naked Capitalism credibility standpoint, but then neither is the McArdle post. Perhaps the site is attempting to run too fast and needs to slow down a little?

    1. Lloyd C. Bankster

      Yeah, Yves should definitely apologize to Niall, she mighta had his widdle fweelins.

      Like when that leftie reviewer Mishra reviewed Ferguson’s book Civilization in the London Review of Books and lumped Ferguson in with those writers who had a knack for writing “white people’s histories”

      Then noted that Ferguson “sounds like the Europeans described by V.S. Naipaul – the grandson of indentured labourers – in A Bend in the River, who “wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else”, but also “wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves.” ,

      Ferguson’s response was to demand an apology, then threaten to sue him for writing the review, and he closed by saying “I am, I repeat, owed an apology.”

      Hell yeah, what bankster worthy of the name doesn’t want a statue in honor of the good things we done for the slaves!

      We bankers love Niall. He’s one of our favorite guest speakers at Banker Conferences, and we cheer and applaud when he comes up with gems such as the following:

      “Unlike most of the previous writers who have remarked on this, I have no objection in principle to an American empire. Indeed, a part of my argument is that many parts of the world would benefit from a period of American rule.”

      from the introduction to Ferguson’s book, Colossus (2004) Niall Ferguson

      Right on, Niall !! Every country should be so lucky as Iraq and benefit from American rule, with the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands, and additional perks including torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, what’s not to like…

      Hey, I’ve got a better idea than Yves apologizin’ to Niall.

      How ’bout every NC commenter offer up their own personal statement of apology!

      Then, if you’re lucky, maybe my good buddy Niall won’t write back and to say he gonna sue yo ass!

      ha ha ha

      1. Bert_S

        I got a better idea. I’m worried I won’t know for sure how many dickheads I need to apologize to, so I’m gonna buy a big “whiteboard” and write “I’m Sorry” 100 times on it assuming I can re-use it whenever necessary.

      2. Working Class Nero

        V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River is a masterpiece of post-colonial literature but Edward Said and others of his ilk put him in the same category as Niall Ferguson as an apologist for colonialism.

        You should really use the entire quote to get the true gist of what Naipaul was trying to say:

        Those of us who had been in that part of Africa before the Europeans had never lied about ourselves. Not because we were more moral. We didn’t lie because we never assessed ourselves and didn’t think there was anything for us to lie about; we were people who simply did what we did.

        But the Europeans could do one thing and say something quite different; and they could act in this way because they had an idea of what they owed to their civilization. It was their great advantage over us. The Europeans wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else; but at the same time they wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves. Being an intelligent and energetic people, at the peak of their powers, they could express both sides of their civilization; and they got both the slaves and the statues.

        It kind of reminds me of current American immigration policy, where Right-wing bourgeois Americans want that cheap semi-slave labour but at the same time Left-wing bourgeois Americans want statues put up to themselves for being such good sports by letting a few “dream” valedictorian spawn of these semi-slaves get citizenship.

  11. Bert_S

    “Japan launches QE8 as 20-year slump drags on”

    Once again Asians flaunt their superior math skills. Ben says he won’t count past 3.

  12. Screen cap this

    “I suppose the three of us can rationalize it that reality had gotten so bad that what ought to be recognizable as parody looks like the real deal.”

    See, the answer couldn’t be “I made a serious error in judgement that nakes me look very foolish.”

    1. RalphR

      No, the serious error in judgment is that legitimate media outlets have anything to do with Ferguson.

      And who made you manners police? Yves told one on herself. That is more than she had to do.

  13. kevinearick

    Ever notice pelicans maintan there distance from human critters and will attack particularly stupid humans?

      1. barrisj

        Having just watched a documentary on PBS about this particular bird, it is the Australian pelican, which congregates in coastal areas, or freshwater lakes in the interior of that continent. A fascinating story about the relationship of bird to environment, and its adaptability to human contact.

          1. Valissa

            Not an expert birder, but I got out my Peterson Field Guide and today’s antidote looks just like the illustration of the springtime adult Brown Pelican/Pelecanus occidentalis(the dark ruff on the back of the neck turns white for winter). I also searched on images of the Australian pelican and it looks quite different from the photo here.

          2. barrisj

            Actually, the Brown may be correct, as I mistook the pink visible in the photo for its billpouch, which in the Australian pelican is vividly pink. Not so in today’s Antidote du jour pic.

    1. CB

      Well worth reading. Another data point in the mountain of evidence that enforcement is defunct: nobody is afraid of consequences.

  14. Garrett Pace

    Beyond the Brain, and schizophrenia.

    Wonderful article, but this made me smile:

    “She did not drink, at least not much, and she did not use drugs, if you did not count marijuana.”

  15. CaitlinO

    Crows are smart which is different than cool. Here in Dallas suburbia-land they seem to have learned which days people put out their garbage and come by on those days in droves. If your garbage is in a plastic bag, they’ll rip it open, strewing refuse everywhere and eating what they find. If the garbage can lid is on but not locked, many have learned how to tip it off and help themselves to what they find inside.

    Not cool, very smart.

    Sadly, they seem to have been hit really hard by West Nile this year. Their numbers are way down and I’ve seen numerous bodies on the roadside since spring.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Another convention wisdom gone to the seed – calling someone a bird brain is not necessarily an insult.

        It could be a compliment.

    1. Klassy!

      I spied an enormous crow in a tree attempting to crack a nut. After the crow saw me (aided by my shouting “Hi Crow!” (Yes, I know– pretty dorky) he picked up his nut and carried it to the lake. He dropped it in the water and then worked on cracking it. I had to think he may have been attempting to soften it.
      My husband read a book about them. Apparently they hold grudges. That seems pretty cool to me.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My cat knows cause and effect as well.

        She knows when she whines (cause), I will feed her (effect).

        So, the syllogism goes like this:

        Every time I whine, I get food.
        I whine now
        Here comes food!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            She seems to be capable of that, at least short term.

            I suspect some crow DNA in her family tree.

            Maybe some ancestor cat had too much fun.

  16. Mel

    “Beyond the Brain, and schizophrenia.”

    So R.D.Laing could be back in style:

    _Sanity, Madness and the Family_, R.D.Laing and A.Esterson
    _The Divided Self_, R.D.Laing
    _The Voice of Experience_, R.D.Laing

    Probably won’t go undiluted. We’d expect twenty more years of other peoples’ research to contain updates to anybody’s early conceptualizing.

  17. matter of time

    Regarding 3d printing.
    Allways believed that change in our current economic and political reality will happen not only because of human desire for good, but because of a new industrial revolution to complement it.

    “all modern things have always exited
    thay have just been waiting for the right moment”.

    Bjork

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Similarly, I have always wondered thus:

      All ideas have always existed
      They are just waiting for the right moments.

      Thus, it matters not who proposes an idea, when its time has come. Don’t shoot the messenger.

      And so it goes also with respect to the ontology of opinions – they exist and have always existed in their own world. For example, maybe your boyfriend is a bad driver; then it doesn’t matter whether you or someone else says it or not. That opinion is already in existence.

  18. Walter Wit Man

    Good link to the Fred Klonsky post on reading the Chicago teachers’ contract.

    I had forgotten about the privatization of Chicago’s parking meters and see that they are now in the habit of billing the City for hypothetical losses: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/07/02/parking-meter-firm-threatens-mediation-over-bill-sent-to-city/

    Here’s a description of the original deal:

    As Chicagoans know all too well, the city in late 2008, under former Mayor Richard M. Daley, all but gave to private investors one of the public’s crown jewels: Future parking-meter revenues went for a fraction of their value, on grossly one-sided terms. The private investors installed high-tech meters that take credit cards. They raised parking rates that had fallen to below-market levels — rates the Daley administration was too timid to raise on its own. The investors also paid $1.15 billion, most of which City Hall spent to fill immediate budget shortfalls.

    In exchange, the Morgan Stanley-led partnership got the meter revenues. And how: Over its lifetime, according to the investors’ own projection, the contract will pay them $11.6 billion. They’re not required to share the loot with the city. And there’s no simple way to shorten the excessive duration of the contract. Some deal. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-17/news/ct-edit-parking-0617-jm-20120617_1_parking-meters-parking-meter-meter-revenues

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Good question. But I fear worker pensions (like teachers, ahem) would also be ‘voided’ in a bankruptcy.

        If bankruptcy law differentiated between worker pensions and parking meter contracts (or judges interpreted current law that way), then maybe it would be a good option.

        As is, I see this as cover for Rahm and Daley et al. to pass over the public spoils to their rich friends. TBTB love the pretense of a legal fight so that it will make it seem like Rahm had no choice but to pay off the bankers. Notice the big fund set aside to earn interest to pay for contingencies, I guess was the purpose (?). . . . I bet that gets gobbled up easily by these bills, already amounting to $50 million. Plus, the City has already put money back in the “reserve!” So the bankers will, in essence, be taking back part of the $1 Billion they gave the City in the original deal (in addition to making tens of Billions over the 75 years):

        To put that in context, here’s a brief reminder of what the city got for leasing the meters: $1.15 billion overall, with about $400 million meant to go into a reserve fund that would, at (a perhaps generous rate of) five-percent interest, bring in $20 million a year, more or less the revenues the meters brought in on a yearly basis before they were leased. This was supposed to be the consolation prize, as Gene Saffold explained at the time—while we were lacking political will to raise the rates to what Chicago Parking Meters did (bringing in $45.6 million in 2009, $82.8 million in 2011), the returns from interest would at least more or less cover the revenues that the meters collected without a rate hike. By political math, it was a wash, replacing the pain of raising rates with the frictionless beauty of compound interest.

        And it didn’t happen. As of April last year:

        Thanks to more money coming in than anticipated, the city will put $50 million back into an account created when Mayor Richard Daley leased Chicago’s parking meters.

        Even with that bit of good financial news, the city expects to have only about $125 million left in that reserve fund at the end of this year, less than three years after it signed the 75-year lease that came with a one-time payment of $1.15 billion.

        The balance at the end of last year was $98 million. So the city expected about $20 million a year from reserve-fund interest on a $400 million balance. At $98 million, five-percent interest is only $4.9 million. (In 2010, the year the city earned the most interest on the revenue replacement fund, it got $10 million.) They’re primitive back-of-the-envelope calculations, but it suggests the replacement money Chicago Parking Meters claims the city owes could easily outstrip the revenue-replacement interest the city receives, should the city lose its case for 2010 or 2011. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/May-2012/The-Parking-Meter-Lease-And-Non-Compete-Clauses-Rear-Their-Heads-Again/

        1. ambrit

          Dear WWM;
          I think Paul Newmans character in “Cool Hand Luke” had the right idea about parking meters in general.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Thanks for this link. A succinct, specific reminder.

      I would love to know what the Union leadership (veal pen?) said to the teachers in order to justify giving up on the main complaint… Shock Doctor Rahm can and will still shut public schools down entirely… replacing them with Charters. What where all those other ‘gains’ worth since they must know they will lose their school/jobs entirely?

      1. Walter Wit Man

        What should be scary is that this seems to be the start of a pattern. The Democratic leadership is coming after public schools and teachers and putting them on the defensive.

    2. ginnie nyc

      Yes, and Bloomberg wants to do the same thing here in New York City. He gets quite pettish if the union involved challenges his authority to do so unilaterally.

  19. Gepap

    That link about the Romney video is utter nonsense. Anyone who has watched the whole video would understand why the question asked was nonsense.

    I know this blog hates Obama as much as Romney, but linking to stupid links like that that only give the worse of the worse more ammunition isn’t going to do any good.

  20. just me

    When I sally forth to seek my pray I help myself in a royal way / I sink a few more ships, it’s true, than a well-bred monarch ought to do.

    Prey, methinks.

    1. Nathanael

      Keynesian policies work for fascists, for democrats, for Communists, for monarchists, even for feudalists.

      To point out that they work, period, that this is actual scientific fact, is not to “support fascist economic policy”.

  21. Valissa

    re: Beyond the Brain

    Great link, thanks for posting!

    This line… The third reason for the pushback against the biomedical approach is that a cadre of psychiatric epidemiologists and anthropologists has made clear that culture really matters. reminded me of fascinating book I read on that subject…

    Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche, by Ethan Watters

    However, psychobabble does lend itself well to satire…

    Newborn Loses Faith In Humanity After Record 6 Days http://www.theonion.com/articles/newborn-loses-faith-in-humanity-after-record-6-day,29588/

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Recalling an event distorts it link.

    That’s very interesting.

    So, if you keep recalling putting one dollar into the piggybank that alreay had a dollar in it, thereby resulting in 2 dollars in the piggybank, eventually you get 2.2 dollars?

    Keep recalling 1 + 1 = 2 makes you recall eventually that 1 + 1 = 2.2?

    Is that the finding after repeated recalls of its research data?

  23. nihil obstet

    Niall Ferguson touting Mussolini as a job creator is eminently believable. In his PBS documentary The Ascent of Money, he praised Pinochet’s coup against the democratically elected Allende, because Pinochet then made neoliberal economic reforms which Ferguson views as successful. He specifically states that he regards the economic benefits as worth the political repression. This was not a spoof. Pinochet and Mussolini, fellow capitalist heroes!

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A bit of good news.

    Checks worth $2.5 billion in the mail for Madoff victims.

    Google that.

    Once again, it shows going after bad bankers is stimulating for the economy, assuming the money will be spent.

    No need to print more.

    No need to allow yourself to be falsely painted as needing free money or bailout money. It’s your money in the first place.

  25. kevinearick

    civil marriage, the clintons comes to mind. machev didn’t care for the middle class derivatives of capital and government for a reason, depravity.

    you never noticed the irrational mating rituals at univerrsity, or considered why they exist?

    power (black hole) couple?

    examine the root.

    do you really think bill and/or hillary, and/or their like (obamas), could compete with you in a fair contest?

    consider what happens when the dead weight is removed.

    “elite” incest is no accident.

    have you ever walked across harvard?

    notice the married critters consulting both sides of the isle?

  26. mvw

    ILLEGAL CEO’S DRIVING DOWN CEO COMPENSATION A new trend is taking place in the world of big business, and for some shareholders and employees it is a Godsend, and for the increasingly hard hit legal CEO’s it is a disaster. A trend is developing among some of the largest Fortune 500 companies, a trend that is sweeping the business world… Illegal CEO’s. Yes, this is no misprint, these are people that are here illegally (from Latin America, Asia, Europe) but have very good college educations and work really hard, much harder than the average legal CEO. One large company recently hired an individual that they are paying $275,000 per year… His predecessor was “pulling down” in excess of $21,000,000. He has upped the stock price of the company 36% in his first year. He flies and visits all the company divisions 3 times per year, as opposed to his predecessor who visited all of them in 3 years. I talked to one recently deposed CEO, he told me in a disturbed tone (the slight smell of alcohol on his breath) ” This has got to stop, you know I had a house in the south of France, a house in Tuscany, a 600 foot yacht, and a beautiful 23 year old wife ( he was 56) The illegal CEO’s are “cleaned up” by the company boards, they are given new names, and identities (legalized) with the limitless funds available from these mega corporations. When talking to another ex-CEO who was at his wit’s end, he said ” We legal CEO’s must stand together and fight this trend, I recently talked to a friend of mine, and we are seriously considering a Union.”…….OK, OK WE CAN ALL DREAM Can’t we?

  27. Nathanael

    WHOA WHOA WHOA.

    ATRIOS got a piece into USA Today?

    Brilliant. I have said before (not here) that Atrios is the most important figure in the replacement/reform of the media. He is, in a certain sense, the future of most news: the man who can make simple, true ideas (like, we should reduce unemployment by paying people to do stuff) clear and pithy.

    If he’s actually making inroads into the USA-Today-reading market, we’re winning.

  28. bulfinch

    So, you shot from the hip on that one…don’t sweat it. I was duped, too, and I’m skeptical by default. That it’s not always easy to discern travesty from the latest blueprint-for-destruction is no reflection on your credulity — more a statement on how truly dithered the lines dividing reality from absurdity have become. Kinda like how Spinal Tap came across like a Ken Burns documentary for arena rockers like Van Halen.

    I confess, I dug up a cached version of your takedwon, (I was annoyed at the time by the idea that Newsweek’s legal team had threatened NC with litigation or something), and it’s really a shame; you were in excellent form. I suggest keeping it as a parts machine for future productions!

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