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Links 9/27/12

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Sorry for the thinness of my own posts. I could give you yet another litany of woes, but I think that has gotten old. So let us leave it at I wish it were otherwise. And there has been a big uptick in reader donations in the last few weeks, and I am also behind on thank-yous, so please be patient!

Nazi-Acquired Buddha Statue Came From Space LiveScience (Lambert)

Scientists: No to Genetically Modified Crops, Yes to Paradigm Shift Common Dreams (Aquifer)

Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users’ most intimate moments ars techica (Carol B)

Valve hardware hacker makes DIY see-through rocket engine ExtremeTech (Carol B)

Download, print, fire: gun rights initiative harnesses 3D technology Guardian (Aquifer). Ooh, literally a killer app.

Mid-plate earthquake a product of tension between India, Australia ars techica (Carol B)

Honey Boo Boo: Dwarf Tossing for the Reality Show Age Helaine Olen, Forbes

Euro Can Bear Fewer Members as Czech Leader Calls Greeks Victims Bloomberg

Spain’s crisis flares again as AAA club scuppers bank rescue deal Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Remember That Spanish Cop Who Got Dropkicked? This Crystal Clear Video Is Way More Intense Clusterstock

Europe gets that crisis feeling again Financial Times. OK, three weeks ago pretty much everyone was hailing Draghi as having fixed the crisis for good, or at least buying a lot of breathing room, depending on what the commentator’s take on the ability of Eurocrats to move towards putting a fiscal union and common bank regulatory apparatus in place. By contrast, we wrote:

So while Draghi may have achieved what many commentators see as a firm defense, what he has constructed is the economic equivalent of a Maginot line. While it could be an effective bulwark against financial market attacks, it remains vulnerable to political and legal outflanking.

Horrifying, Graphic Video of Iranian Leader Savagely Abusing Jews George Washington

Condemning ourselves to the Eureopean doom loop MacroBusiness

South African Platinum Miners Win Pay Raise Real News Network (Aquifer)

Ralph Nader: President Obama’s a ‘war criminal’ Politico (Jim Haywood)

This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close Matt Taibbi

Wall Street Places Its Election Bets Harpers (Lee S)

Paul Ryan vs. The Stench Politico (furzy mouse)

These Folks are Soooo Clever . . . New Economic Perspectives

Fed action triggers fear of new currency wars Financial Times. Ahem, this comes days after what Ambrose Evans Pritchard called Japan’s QE8.

Bill would place parks at the whim of pols Philly.com (Lambert). The new enclosure movement.

Labor Income Dropped Off the Cliff Starting in 2000 Dave Dayen, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Deploying Shock Troops Against Blog Posts Barry Ritholtz

Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Market 20 Times Global GDP Real News Network. The problem with focusing on the notional is the numbers are completely nuts. What is a bigger tell is even the economic exposure #s are so large that (as we’ve discussed) there is not enough impeccable collateral around for counterparties. And that’s been a problem for quite a while. Why the authorities sit on their hands on this is beyond me.

Beyond Wall St., Curbs on High-Speed Trades Proceed New York Times (furzy mouse)

Venture firms see signs of rebirth in life sciences Reuters (Aquifer). The difference between biotech and high tech is how long it takes you to find out you’ve lost all your money.

Fix a Bond, Build a Bridge, Help Taxpayers and Investors Bloomberg

THE LIE FACTORY New Yorker (Lee S)

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 20 and counting*

Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex. — Frank Zappa

AZ. Tucson: “[Progressive Democrats of America] Tucson has sponsored or partnered with others to support public events related to the People’s Budget 1,2,3 (as opposed to the military-industrial complex’s budget), union busting, single payer healthcare, public banking, open primaries, clean elections and the end of Citizens’ United, job creation by promoting local business, the Robin Hood Tax, corporate personhood, the Occupy movement, immigration reform and the end of SB1070, and other Main Street issues.” Single payer — instead of the so-called “public option,” a roach motel for progressive energy — is always a good litmus test for seriousness.

CA. Municipal bankruptcy: “Atwater’s City Council is set to vote Oct. 3 on a fiscal emergency declaration that would permit it to follow other California cities — Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes — into bankruptcy court. The median household income in 2010 was $42,226, 19 percent below the national average of $51,914. The median household income in 2010 was $42,226, 19 percent below the national average of $51,914. Unemployment surged to 21 percent.” But no bailouts for Atwater!

FL. Voting: “The R Party of FL is dumping [Strategic Allied Consultants of Glen Allen, VA after Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher flagged 106 'questionable' registration applications turned in by the contractor this month. Bucher asked the state attorney's office to review the applications because she said her staff had questions about similar-looking signatures, missing information and wrong addresses on the forms." … Foreclosures: "Florida saw a 26 percent increase in foreclosure filings last month compared with August 2011, as banks now past the robosigning crisis have begun to file early stage foreclosure again." … Voting: "The 73-year-old Caragan, who moved to the United States in 1970 from the Philippines, said when she was living in Norfolk, Va. more than 35 years ago, she renewed her driver's license and registered to vote at the same time, without realizing it was illegal. 'Of course we're going to vote," [her husband] said. ‘We both have voter registration cards.’” Tactically, the D apparatchik talking point that there were no documented instances of voter fraud (as opposed to election fraud) was always dumb, because in a country this size there will always be a few examples of literally anything.

GA. Tinpot tyrants: “”I was upset, so, I was like, you know, I told you that it was covered under food stamps, you know, so, there was no need for all of this, you know, and [the Kroger Manager] said, ‘Well excuse me that I work for a living and don’t rely on food stamps like you,’ [Cindy] Nerger said. Nerger spends 12 hours on dialysis every day. She’s been on the waiting list for a kidney transplant for five years. She’s the caregiver for the grandmother who raised her.” Rule #1… 

IN. Fracking: “A billion-dollar nitrogen fertilizer facility is proposed for Spencer County. The new ammonia plant for OVR will be the first entirely new facility of its type to be constructed in America by a U.S.-based firm in more than a quarter-century. The project is made economically viable by a recent decrease in natural gas prices due to domestic shale gas development.”

IL. Youth: “There are 138,000 fewer people signed up to vote in the 18-to-34-year-old group than [Chicago] ended up with four years ago, election officials said:”

MA. Corruption: “Federal indictments yesterday allege that city police officer P.J. Lopez made arrangements with a tow company to have cars he ticketed towed in exchange for a ‘stream of benefits,’ including a $4,000 snow plow.” Second-world problem…

MI. Missing persons: “Police will be taking soil core samples at a home in Roseville on Friday in search of the remains of missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.”

MT. Public goods: “The Missoula City Council has been a testament to ['the Problem of Others'] lately, as they consider ways to address what Councilman Bob Jaffe called the ‘hundred-year-old problem’ of owners having to pay for sidewalks in front of their properties. Those sidewalks belong to the city, but Missoula law requires owners to pay for their installation and repair.”

NY. Ladies of negotiable affection: “Anna Gristina today pleaded guilty to a single count of promoting prostitution in exchange for six months in prison. Prosecutor Linehan told [the Judge] they were unable to find any evidence to substantiate Gristina’s claims that she had protection from law enforcement [incroyable!]. Her plea deprives New York of a trial offering a rare glimpse into what the DA’s Office described as a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring catering to some of the richest men in the world.” And we had such expectations…. 

PA. Fracking: “Analy­sis from a Penn State researcher shows nat­ural gas drilling has gen­er­ated more than $160 mil­lion in roy­al­ties for landown­ers in Brad­ford County alone. Of course, the roy­al­ties slow down when drilling slows down, and Bradford’s extrac­tion rate have dipped as nat­ural gas prices have plum­meted. ‘As gas prices were head­ing toward a 10-year low in April, Chesa­peake began rein­ter­pret­ing in its favor thou­sands of con­tracts [Bloomberg]‘.” … Fracking: “Sunoco Inc and private equity firm Carlyle Group LP reached a deal to save and expand [Philadelphia Energy Solutions] the largest U.S. East Coast refinery, capitalizing on the nation’s shale boom. Sunoco will retain a minority stake and Carlyle will be in charge of daily operations. Traders for Wall Street titan JPMorgan Chase & Co will handle crude supplies and fuel sales” (PT) Carlyle Group, eh? Too bad that Iraq play didn’t work out so well. But now that Jippy Mo is involved, what could go wrong? … Fracking: “Sunoco announced Wednesday that its shuttered Marcus Hook refinery will be reborn as a facility to process Marcellus Shale natural-gas products, fueling new construction and new traffic through the Delaware River port” (PT). (This is a second Philly refinery.) … Fracking: “Range Resources, based in Fort Worth, TX, says in the release Wednesday that it has signed a 15-year agreement with Sunoco Logistics Partners, L.P. to ship propane and ethane to the former Marcus Hook refinery site, starting in late 2014.” … Fracking: “A tanker carrying 4,600 gallons of fracking wastewater has spilled its load near a storm drain that empties into Pine Creek, a popular fishing spot in Lycoming County.” … Voting: “It’s all about the money. Forget the arguments about voter suppression, this is all about forcing D candidates and the D Party to spend money and time on making sure people have ID” [slaps forehead].

TX. Handmaid’s Tale: “As a result of the funding cuts, 53 out of 240 clinics that have received public funding to provide family planning have closed, and 38 have reduced service hours, according to the report. In addition, the report states, many clinics are now charging for services that were previously free, raising prices for other services and restricting access to more effective methods of contraception that are more expensive.”

VA. Police state: “Delma Towler [(83)] dialed 911 to report a burglary but when police arrived, one officer killed her outside her home in Altavista.” This keeps happening: NC 2012-0925; NC 08-18-2012

WA. Curation: “Seattle artist Hjylimar Hinn has now made 20 “braille docents” for King Tut. Visitors who don’t see can instead run their fingers over the ‘maps,’ gaining a different sort of understanding.”

WI. Mining: “Stephen Donohue, of the Wisconsin Mining Association, said the state doesn’t need to relax environmental standards to draw in mining investment However, vague and difficult to interpret regulations need to go including the so-called ‘moratorium’ on issuing permits for mining sulfide ore bodies and rules on storing waste rock tailings.” That moratorium doesn’t sound vague to me…

Fracking. NOTE: I’ve been filing tracking stories under individual states because there seemed to be few truly national stories. Now there are starting to be. … Water: “The industry reports we are working with only tell us what [volume of water] industry says it has used, and that only when they have filed a Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Product Component Information Disclosure. [I]n PA only 54 percent of wells had filed such a disclosure. There is a lack of complete data to work with because some states either do not require disclose, or they have not strictly enforced any such regulations.” … Leaser’s remorse: “47% of respondents in the ‘new shale’ states of PA and NY, who have rented out their land, said they wouldn’t repeat the experience. Meanwhile, 48 per cent said they would advise family and friends against leasing their land for ‘fracking’, a process which blasts sand, chemicals and water into shale rocks to release the oil and gasthey contain.” Money isn’t everything.

Outside baseball. Bill Moyers: Submit questions for Live Chat October 1. … Education: “[In his CBS interview (here) Obama] lauded the idea of merit pay, paying teachers more if the test scores of their students go up (and firing them if they don’t). No one has told him that it failed in Nashville in 2010, it failed in New York City in 2010, it failed in Chicago last year. Yet his administration has allocated $1 billion for more merit pay. Why doesn’t someone tell him?” If only the Czar knew? … Education: “Someone needs to launch an investigation into what combination of crimes, dares, alcoholic binges and lapses in judgment got Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal into [Won't Back Down,] a set of right-wing anti-union talking points disguised (with very limited success) as a mainstream motion-picture-type product.” …. Police state: “Yeah, I wanted to find out how to file a complaint against an officer. I just want to find out how you do it. Do you guys have a form or something that I could take with me” (video). … Fourth Amendment: “My own sense is that, given the Supreme Court’s systematic gutting of the Fourth Amendment in recent decades, SCOTUS will probably say [in Missouri v. McNeely that] warrantless blood draws are constitutional.” … More guns, please: “The US Constitution guaranteed white men, the only citizens at the time, the right to own guns so they could be drafted into slave patrols and militias to steal land from local natives.” Original intent!

Robama vs. Obomney. Rove vs. Carville: “In an hour-long exchange [at the state Chamber of Business and Industry annual dinner] that drifted into both wonky disagreement and unintelligibly Cajun-accented verbal jousting, the top political aide to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s chief political strategist had the crowd laughing repeatedly.” So who was the joke on?

The trail. In the bag: Indicator. (Readers, more like this?) So, don’t throw away your vote on a legacy party. Vote for an emergent party for better choices in 2016! … Polls: “Survey after survey of key swing states, including the two crucial contests in OH and FL, continue to show [Obama] pulling slowly but surely ahead of Romney. So much so, that Obama’s campaign is apparently urging its staff to avoid overconfidence. ‘If we have to issue horse blinders to everyone on our campaign staff, we will,’ [the president's campaign press secretary, Jen Psaki] explained. … Swing state Keynesianism: “Putting a finer point on the matter, one longtime Ohio GOP strategist called Obama’s advantage on the auto bailout ‘a kick in the balls’ for the Romney campaign.”

Libertarian Party. Gary Johnson: “Jesse Ventura has made a campaign ad for Gary Johnson. Ventura asks viewers to telephone the Commission on Presidential Debates and request more inclusive invitations” (video).

Green Party. Jobs guarantee: “At its peak, the WPA employed over 3 million men and women who would’ve otherwise been jobless. The idea was that taxpayers should get something out of helping the unemployed. The Green Party’s Stein has a similar suggestion, and comments: ‘If you don’t have work, you’d go to an employment office, not an unemployment office, and you’d get a job, not sit home, depressed, with a check.’ (Aquifer). Strange times when Instapundit cites to FDR (“When I hike in the Smokies, it’s often on trails that were built by the CCC — and of course [!!] we’re still using many of the buildings and bridges that the WPA built. “) and The Greatest Orator Of Our Time can’t mention FDR without immediately adding a Reagan-esque qualifier.

The Romney. Message, I care: “Campaigning in OH on Wednesday, Romney told NBC News that he understands Americans’ lives and the challenges they face. In citing the MA health care law, he said, ‘Don’t forget, I got everybody in my state insured.’ While Romney has vowed to repeal and replace Obamacare, he has not offered specifics for replacement legislation.” First, health insurance isn’t health care. Second, only Obama could turn passing RomneyCare into a winner, and only Romney could turn passing ObamaCare into a loser. … Message, I care: “[ROMNEY: I’ve been across the country. My heart aches for the people I’ve seen. There are so many people in our country that are hurting right now. I want to help them. I know what it takes to get an economy going again and creating jobs.” On the principle of maximum tragedy, suppose that he does care, but doesn’t know. Unlike Obama, who does know, and doesn’t care. … Message, I care: “[ROMNEY: You can be extraordinarily eloquent and describe all the wonderful things you can do. But when you cut through the words, you can look at the record. And when you can see policies that have not created jobs America needs, then you know it’s time to choose a new leader.” Well, “then” seems a little iffy. … Point shaving: “[ROMNEY: Frankly at this early stage, polls go up, polls go down.” As Goddard points out, the election is 41 days away. If Romney is really this clueless, how many other $250 squillionaires are just like him? Interesting thought. … Parsing: “Presidential elections are decided in the first-person plural and the second person. Anyone operating in the third person is in trouble.” Good post. … Losing the political class: “When Roger Simon wrote in Politico Wednesday that Paul Ryan’s new nickname for Mitt Romney is ‘Stench,’ a number of news outlets — from MSNBC to Mediaite — took it seriously.” Well, I quoted the Nooners riff without comment. Granted, it’s hard to tell what’s satire and what’s not, any more.

The Obama. OFA: “Anyways, Barry caught me at a particularly sensitive moment. I miss you guys and have him call me if you can…we just need to talk some stuff through. I hope the dinner goes well. Again, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it. I’m just not feeling ready yet.” … Razor thin margin: “But when one of the candidates is Mitt Romney, the race shouldn’t be close. You’ll hear differently in the coming weeks from the news media, which will spend a lot of time scratching its figurative beard while it argues that a 54-46 split, or however this thing ends up (and they’ll call anything above 53% for Obama a rout, I would guess), is evidence that the system is broken. But what we probably should be wondering is why it was ever close at all” (Matt Taibbi).

* Slogan of the day: Carry out The Obama’s behests and carry the middle class incrementalist cause through to the end!

NOTE Hat tip for Zappa epigraph to RdG.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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103 comments

  1. Richard Kline

    The LiveScience leader is one of the best I have ever encounered in any context. I didn’t read the linked content—it could only be a let-down! : ) Maybe ‘idol’ would have been the maraschino on the sundae, but really what a wonderful image.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      “Quadrillion,” not “quadrant in.” Gotta do a better job of proofreading now that I’m using dictation software.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Excerpt from the Ambrose E-P article in the Telegraph:

    The ECB says it will not buy Spanish bonds until the country requests an ESM rescue and signs a “memorandum” giving up fiscal sovereignty.

    Mr Rajoy said he will decide when he learns the exact terms … Madrid is gambling that a reform package and a tough Budget to be unveiled this week will suffice without further conditions.

    Yet the German and Finnish parliaments must vote on each ESM rescue. They are certain to demand tougher terms.

    ‘Conditionality’ is axiomatic when large sums of aid are doled out. The politics of the creditor countries demand it, not to mention common sense.

    One hopes that the blessed Ambrose is taking a flyer when he claims that ‘Madrid is gambling that a reform package and a tough budget will suffice.’ After all, Spain already asked for 100 billion euros in late June. So now it’s only a question of how tough the terms are gonna be.

    By continuing to whistle past the graveyard, Spain only undermines confidence with its reluctant, incremental and tardy disclosure of bad news. Here is one of Spain’s reactions to the Sep. 25 ‘Helsinki manifesto’ of Germany, Netherlands and Finland (which, in retrospect, may prove to have been the eurozone’s ‘Lehman moment’):

    “For Spain, direct bank recapitalisation is not a priority. If the debt was to go up by 4%, that would be perfectly manageable as it would remain below European Union average,” said a spokesman for the Economy Ministry.

    http://www.euractiv.com/euro-finance/germans-finns-dutch-unravel-eu-p-news-515027

    My reaction to such a goofball statement would be to sell Spain till the pips squeak — its leaders are in Lala land.

  3. Ned Ludd

    Support for torturing prisoners “captured in the fight against terrorism” rose from 27% in October 2007 to 41% in August 2012. Opposition to torture plummeted, from 53% to 34%.

    So I had the pollsters ask some of the exact same questions in the exact same way that appeared in a January 2005 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll, the most detailed pre-Obama poll on interrogation techniques that I could find. It turns out that Americans don’t just like the general idea of torture more now. They like specific torture techniques more too.

    Naked chaining — support: 18% (2005) → 30% (2012); oppose: 79% → 51%
    Waterboarding — support: 16% → 25%; oppose: 82% → 55%
    Assassination — support: 65% → 69%; oppose: 33% → 12%

    At the end of the article, the author discusses the role that entertainment might play in the increased support for torture. Stories are how we pass culture from one generation to the next and this generation grew up watching their television and movie heroes torturing and killing bad guys (not just in spy movies but also in police shows). The concept of mercy is mocked and ridiculed – modern heroes show no mercy. The law just gets in the way of the modern hero. “Before the 9/11 attacks, torture was almost always depicted in television and movies as something that bad guys did. That’s not true anymore.”

    1. Ned Ludd

      A related comment by Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was apprehended by the U.S. government and sent to Syria to be interrogated and tortured:

      Violence they commit against us is terrorism. Violence we commit against them is heroism. #DoubleStandard

      Rudy Giuliani was explicit about this back in 2007, when asked whether waterboarding is torture: “It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.”

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Great comment on the desensitization of our culture and how Obama got Americans to support torture.

        But I have doubts about the Arer case. Are you aware of any other allegations of torture by the Syrian government?

        My instinct is that the U.S. created/concocted this incident to incriminate Syria. I suspect they did the same thing with Libya. It seems like the U.S. would not incriminate itself by admitting to send prisoners for torture but I think the U.S. did precisely this to make it seem like Libya and Syria were violating the law.

        Why wasn’t Arar held longer than a few months? If he was really sent to be tortured why did Syria let him go and claim they didn’t have any evidence of wrongdoing?

        Isn’t it possible that the U.S. told Syria it had a terrorist and wanted to restart ties with Syria so Syria was willing to take the prisoner and then found out that the guy didn’t do anything so they let him go and then he lied and claimed to be tortured?

        Arer was given millions of dollars and now is a celebrity and he was only in prison for a few months.

        1. JEHR

          First, WWM, learn to spell Arar’s name correctly.

          Second, your whole piece reads like a satire; for instance, “Are you aware of any other allegations of torture by the Syrian government?” (See: http://www.shrc.org/data/aspx/d7/1097.aspx )

          Third, your arguments are specious and not well researched.

          As a Canadian, I am glad that Arar obtained compensation for illegal actions and torture that was set in motion by two countries–Canada and the United States.

          Please read about the Canadian Commission of Inquiry about the Arar case so that you will be well-informed before you make any more rash statements ( http://www.irpp.org/pm/archive/pmvol9no1.pdf )

          1. Walter Wit Man

            How were my comments about Arar not well informed? Have I misstated any critical facts?

            The allegation of torture comes from the testimony of one person, the alleged victim himself, Mr. Arar. There are no physical marks of torture on his body, afaik. There is no other eyewitness testimony. The Syrian government denies it tortured him and claims it released him after determining he was innocent.

            Why wouldn’t they have held him for longer than one year if the goal was simply to torture him? What motivation did the Syrian government have? Why would they release him to the West only so they could be accused of torture?

            On the other hand, the fascist warmongering countries of Canada and the U.S. had motivation to encourage this lie. This incident is the sole “proof” offered to the West of the current Syrian ‘regime’s’ past crimes. This case is why liberals are baying for the blood of innocent Syrians right now! Even Glenn Greenwald is encouraging war by promoting this story!

            So maybe you can fill me in on this evil regime since you claim to be so knowledgeable. What other allegations of torture have been leveled against Syria (before the current psy ops that is)? What ‘anti-regime’ person has been tortured? All the evidence that Syria is a brutal regime that tortures appears to come from this one case. Hell, there is probably a case of torture this bad every day in America–even if you take Arar at his word!

            Also, I agree with you that victims of torture deserve compensation. But paying a person compensation for telling a false story is also possible. It happens all the time in court rooms all over the country . . . a government witness has been paid by the government and is giving testimony favorable to the government.

          2. Walter Wit Man

            Oh, I see, you are showing your cards: vague claims by “Amnesty International.

            Who is engaging in satire now?

            Might as well cite U.S. Congressional hearings about Iraqis taking babies out of incubators or how Al Qaeda is on the march across the world.

            Better yet, I’m sure Hillary has some super secret info on all this that she can’t show us so we should just take her word for it.

            Wait, Hillary and Amnesty International aren’t working anymore, I know, let’s try Wikileaks! The suckers will probably eat that up!

          3. different clue

            In theory, one could perform torture without leaving physical marks. Waterboarding, electric shock, etc. Also, extreme sensory deprivation/ sleep deprivation can turn the brain-mind system into a self-torturing device. So lack of physical marks would not be proof of absence of torture if the torture were modern and sophisticated.

            I could imagine using various combinations of various drugs for torture.

  4. fresno dan

    “The fact that Barack Obama needed a Himalayan mountain range of cash and some rather extreme last-minute incompetence on Romney’s part to pull safely ahead in this race is what really speaks to the brokenness of this system”
    This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close Matt Taibbi

    If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it
    Mark Twain

    1. alex

      Reading Taibbi gets boring. It’s like watching the All Stars vs. the Little League: he always hits a homer.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, but targeting Romney is like shooting drugged fish in a barrel. It’s a shame Matt employs such entertaining talent to hit a slow-pitch homer for the more effective evil. Is the veal pen just too cushy to even mention non-duoploy alternatives, not even while noting they are not remotely viable?

        This [s]election charade and the MSM collusion in it are truly surreal.

        1. Aquifer

          Coming from the medical profession, i can attest to the fact that “viability” has a great deal to do with how much support one gets – if one wants to increase viability, one supports it …

          How “viable” Stein’s candidacy is is up to us. Stein and the GP have carried the heavy load of getting on the ballot, now all we have to do is pull the lever, or, we can choose to pull the plug, but if we do the latter, we can’t expect to be taken seriously when we say we want better pols than what we have …

          Claiming non viability isn’t terribly useful, unless of course one wants to promote it …

        2. alex

          “targeting Romney is like shooting drugged fish in a barrel. It’s a shame Matt employs such entertaining talent to hit a slow-pitch homer for the more effective evil”

          Taibbi says that it’s barely worth his time to criticize Romney and the R’s. Hence his article is far more of a criticism of Obama and the D’s. As he wrote:

          the rank incompetence of the Democratic Party, which would have this and every other election for the next half century sewn up if they were a little less money-hungry and tried just a little harder to represent their ostensible constituents

          1. Ms G

            Unfortunately Taibbi downshifted to the “Incompetence of the Democrats” meme, which is the en vogue figleaf to hide the highly competent and deliberate series of anti-people policies and actions that Obama has taken since his first day in office. Others have alluded to most items on this list throughout the comments, and most NC readers are familiar with the ugly litany, so I won’t repeat here.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I am thinking about yesterday’s link regarding the half life of facts, or in this case, quotes.

          More likely though, is the recall distortion effect – either with respect to human memory or quotes. The more a quote is recalled, or cited, or transmitted, the more distorted it becomes.

      1. alex

        Pretty much any clever thing that was said in the latter 19th or very early 20th century has been attributed to Mark Twain. That includes at least one case in which Twain bent over backwards to point out that he was quoting someone else.

        To add my own 2 cents, as cynical as Twain was, it does sound more like Goldman.

        1. different clue

          Considering how hard the R party has been working to make voting illegal for some groups of people, the R party certainly seems to feel that voting on the part of those targeted-for-suppression groups of people could in deed “change things”. It appears to be a chance the R party does not wish to take.

          Certainly at state and substate levels voting could still “change things”. We have several initiative items on the upcoming Michigan ballot which will certainly “change things” depending which way they go. I myself won’t settle for a hip, cool, groovy, and with-it cynicism about the change possibilities of voting as such. It depends on the level, the subject, and the choices.

    2. different clue

      Maybe it is just the computer I use, but . . . every time I look at Rolling Stone’s Taibblog lately, the whole left side is cut off badly enough that I cannot quite guess what all the words on the left side might be. It makes trying to read it frustrating enough that I just surrender anymore.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      That’s a truly astonishing and appalling video exposing the banality of evil, in under two minutes. “Crisis initiation” or war by false-flag pretext is cavalierly presented by a CFR Israeli lobbyist as a pragmatic, realpolitik solution — a final solution to the Iranian problem.

      Paraphrase: “After all, we’ve been doing preventive war throughout our history, since the ethnic cleansing of redskin savages; what’s the big deal? Let’s finally be transparent about it.” (Turley’s leading freeze-frame photo is perfect — Shrug, shrug — disgusting in the extreme.)

      We have crossed a very strange line so openly dispensing with the American myth. It’s the same with the Patriot Act, the NDAA and the abandonment of habeas corpus. It’s the Obama administration bragging in the NYT about the drone assassination program, with Barack himself selecting murder targets every week. This is frighteningly Orwellian, but the most par-boiled frogs just don’t seem at all concerned.

      How do you combat such carelessly arrogant evil? Is it too Manichean to call it out as such?

    2. Valissa

      Great catch, thanks! Israel has certainly been acting recently like its trying to lure the US into war with Iran. With how much and what level of cooperation behind the scenes with the US military and defense folks is debatable. Even within our own military and defense departments there are different factions that have competing ideas about the best way forward for the empire. From what I’ve been able to discern so far, there seems little appetite for war with Iran for many financial and geopolitical reasons, but I expect there are some superhawks who have dreams of glory. The question is how much influence do they have at this time.

      Given that all military strategy statements are aired publicly for a reason I have to wonder why Clawson is “revealing” this at this particular time.

      “All warfare is based on deception.” -Sun Tzu

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s probably prudent not to commit to the Near East in order to have options in the Far East.

        Shooting might start at several possible locations along a certain part of the Pacific Rim.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          By the way, that aircraft carrier China got from Ukraine because they needed cash a few years ago, just became operational a couple of days ago.

          So, in addition to reducing their banana buying and not sending over tourists, the Middle Kingdom can impress the Filipinos with this very modern toy.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        But I think the open public endorsement of a false-flag war pretext in such a blasé way is new isn’t it? I think the Obama administration’s open bragging of the drone assassination program, and the president’s personal selection of target is also unprecedented.

        The criminal tactics are old, of course, but the brazen publicizing I think are new. I suspect this is a way to inure the public to the horror of the naked empire. It’s not a very big step now to war games in the coliseum.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      1964: “Dr. Strangelove” – Directed by Stanley Kubrick;
      1976: “Network” – Directed by Sidney Lumet;
      1982: “Missing” – Directed by Costa-Gavras.

      1. skippy

        May I add… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paths_of_Glory

        Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb.[1] Set during World War I, the film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, the commanding officer of French soldiers who refused to continue a suicidal attack. Dax attempts to defend them against a charge of cowardice in a court-martial.

        Cobb’s novel had no title when it was finished, so the publisher held a contest. The winning entry came from the ninth stanza of the famous Thomas Gray poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”.[2]
        “The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
        And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
        Awaits alike th’inevitable hour.
        The paths of glory lead but to the grave.”
        The book was a minor success when published in 1935, retelling the true-life affair of four French soldiers who were executed to set an example to the rest of the troops. The novel was adapted to stage the same year by Sidney Howard, where it played on Broadway as Paths of Glory.[3] The play was a flop because of its harsh anti-war scenes that alienated the audience; Howard was a WWI veteran and wanted to show the horrors of war.[3] Nonetheless, convinced that the novel should be made into a film, Howard wrote, “It seems to me that our motion picture industry must feel something of a sacred obligation to make the picture.”[3] Fulfilling Howard’s “sacred obligation”, Stanley Kubrick decided to adapt it to the screen after he remembered reading the book when he was younger. Kubrick and his partners purchased the film rights from Cobb’s widow for $10,000.
        Paths of Glory is based loosely on the true story of four French soldiers during World War I, under General Géraud Réveilhac, executed for mutiny in Souain, France; their families sued, and while the executions were ruled unfair, two of the families received one franc each, while the others received nothing. The novel is about the French execution of innocent men to strengthen others’ resolve to fight. The French Army did carry out military executions for cowardice, as did all the other major participants. However, a significant point in the film is the practice of selecting individuals at random and executing them as a punishment for the sins of the whole group. This is similar to the Roman practice of decimation, which was rarely used by the French Army in World War I.[4]

        Fear and Desire

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_and_Desire

        Fear and Desire opens with an off-screen narrator (actor David Allen) who tells the audience:
        There is a war in this forest. Not a war that has been fought, nor one that will be, but any war. And the enemies who struggle here do not exist unless we call them into being. This forest then, and all that happens now is outside history. Only the unchanging shapes of fear and doubt and death are from our world. These soldiers that you see keep our language and our time, but have no other country but the mind.[2]
        The story is set during a war between two unidentified countries. An airplane carrying four soldiers from one country has crashed six miles behind enemy lines. The soldiers come upon a river and build a raft, hoping they can use the waterway to reach their battalion. As they are building their raft, they are approached by a young peasant girl who does not speak their language. The soldiers apprehend the girl and bind her to a tree with their belts. One of the soldiers is mentally disturbed. He is left behind to guard the girl but when she escapes he fatally shoots her while shouting about William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. A second soldier persuades the commander to take the raft for a solo voyage in connection with a plan to kill an enemy general at a nearby base. The remaining two soldiers successfully infiltrate the base. They locate and kill the general and one of his aides – only to discover the dead men looked exactly like them.[3]

        Skippy… a suit case of money… blowing in the wind… viewed from the wrong side of a fence…

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Thanks skippy; yes, “Paths of Glory” is really a fine gift to us. Re more tragic absurdity:

            “War in the Pacific” (Isn’t this the film with two guys fighting to the death as “enemies” on a Pacific island because they didn’t know that the war had ended?)

            “Gallipoli” – Directed by Peter Weir (more on the order of “Barbara Ann”)

    4. different clue

      Maybe openly discussing it is a way to give the US authorities a way to take countermeasure against efforts to force us into that war. Perhaps it is a how-to-stop-it mislabelled in plain sight as a how-to-force-it discussion.

      And even if it isn’t, our governators are certainly free to use it that way. If they don’t, perhaps it is because they choose not to.

  5. René

    To see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the rabbis and Jesse Ventura with the Jimmy Hendrix shirt is heartwarming. My personal opinion.

    1. Bill

      Just the first page of the Taibbi piece tells more pure truth than I could find in a year in the MSM. Thanks for all the good info you have here every day.

    2. vernon

      Agree. Great link “Horrifying, Graphic Video of Iranian Leader Savagely Abusing Jews”. What many people don’t realize is that Islam has been traditionally tolerant of all religions established prior to the prophet Mohammed (Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity etc.). Whereas Islam has been intolerant of religions established after the prophet Mohammed (Bahai for an example) and those that try to proselytize their non-Islamic faiths. As an atheist, I don’t subscribe to any religion but I don’t find Islam any more intolerant that the other Abrahamic religions and in certain periods of history, it has been more tolerant.

    1. springtime for obama

      Finally, somebody who’s willing to consider, not which candidate sucks less, but whether the candidate is acceptable to any civilized human being. Dem dupes are demanding I vote for a guy who shts on Article 12 of the Convention Against Torture; on the wilful killing provisions of Hague Convention (IV) and the Rome Statute; and on the UN Charter prohibition on use or threat of force. The head of a state that does those things is legally hostis humani generis, enemy of all mankind. When good Germans backed an enemy of all mankind, the victorious allies said to their captives, no hard feelings, but we’re going to crush your nuts now. When Japanese swore fealty to a state that breached international law (Convention (III) Relative to the Opening of Hostilities) we nuked their civilian population. That was the rationale – hey, that’s what you get for breaking the law. So the current electoral question is not, Are you a (D) or (R), or informed or ignorant, the question is, Are you a human being or an animal? Dem swine are now openly deriding criticism of illegal drone strikes. When a free-for-all starts and we catch people like that, we crush their nuts or burn the skin off them in droves. That’s the way the world works, for dehumanized animals like (D) and (R) loyalists. The parties are not free associations – they are delegated authorities of the state (so says the Supreme Court.) It’s important to remember where the state and its parties are taking us.

    2. spooz

      The lousy health care compromise, with Obama making back room deals with Big Pharma, was the first hint at his character. But it was the NDAA empowered imperial presidency has revealed exactly how dangerous a Democratic president can be.
      I’ll vote third party, a vote for 3rd party is a vote against the Duopoly!, and hope that over time more people will do the same. Reading the Atlantic piece has me thinking I’ll probably support Gary Johnson, since he seems to be the most vocal about the post 9/11 trend of loss of liberties and misuse of executive power. Obama made that issue front and center for me too.
      What I really hope for is a Third Party that can bridge the gap between libertarians and progressives who are willing to question their dogma. The libertarians need to give up their aversion to taxes in a time when low taxes have created economic royalists and the progressives need to back off on support for public unions, for starters. I want to believe there are enough people with integrity left who could put aside differences and come together for Rule of Law. There seems no other chance for a third party.

          1. Valissa

            I decided to vote for Gary Johnson too. He’s pro civil liberties, pro drug law reform, anti war among other things. Of course, like all politicians his stated policy positions while running for election are highly unlikely to be enacted in office due to the power of the status quo in all these areas. But ya gotta have some reason to vote for somebody.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            spooz and Valissa, this is a very worthwhile conversation. Dig deeper. Let’s build the base for the best alternative to the Duopoly, the Janus Trojan Horse.

  6. leftover

    You said the magic words…Single Payer! (Or is it Roach Motel? Anyway……)
    Studying “how consumers behave in real-world decision situations with a complex, ambiguous structure [of health insurance coverage options] and high stakes,” The National Bureau of Economic Research finds over 90 percent of purchasers of the Medicare Part D drug plans fail to choose the plans that are best for themselves.
    Don McCanne MD at PNHP:

    The last sentence from “Conclusions” in their [NBER] paper: “Our results then do not support the proposition that consumers can make and benefit from good choices in private health insurance markets, and direct health care resources to their best use.”

    This is really important. Inserting very expensive, profoundly wasteful insurer administrative intermediaries into the system under the guise of choice – choices that cannot be made on a rational basis, choices that are all worse than a single, comprehensive publicly-administered plan would be – is the ultimate of reckless decisions made by the policy community and the politicians that they work for.

    News from The Roach Motel: The Democrats’ Market-friendly Health-Care Alternative…or…Obamacare…

    Our alternative is to allow the market to set many prices for medical goods and then to change payment and reimbursement methods so that physicians and hospitals have the incentive to keep patients healthy. This is neither government nor insurer rationing. It is a market-friendly approach that empowers health providers to re-engineer how they care for patients.
    Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Neera Tanden and Donald Berwick/The Wall Street Journal

    Don McCanne:
    “…utter nonsense.”

    More Democratic Party Wisdom from The Leader of the Free World…not that leader…silly…:

    “There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents.”

    Not even “Whoopsie?”

  7. citalopram

    A comment from the Rolling Stone piece:

    “Matt Taibbi?

    Well, other than the fact that he is an ultra priveleged hypocrite (Concord Academy- ultra expensive prep school; Bard College- ultra expensive College), a crappy Hunter Thompson wanna-be, a socialist, anti Jewish, with daddy being a big time msm reporter with NBC– well, at least he’s not in a rock band (yet).

    He should be forced to mate with the insufferable Rachel Maddow thereby creating a species so repulsive as to be banished to another galaxy.”

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

  8. Lambert Strether

    My favorite Hunter Thompson quote (and note the formal perfection of the “who, what, where, when, why” lead):

    (AOP) — Aboard the U.S.S. Crazy Horse: Somewhere in the Pacific (Sept. 25) — The entire 3465-man crew of this newest American aircraft carrier is in violent mourning today, after five crewmen including the Captain were diced up like pineapple meat in a brawl with the Heroin Police at the neutral port of Hong See. Dr. Bloor, the ship’s chaplain, presided over tense funeral services at dawn on the flight deck. The 4th Fleet Service Choir sang “Tom Thumb’s Blues” … and then, while the ship’s bells tolled frantically, the remains of the five were set afire in a gourd and hurled into the Pacific by a hooded officer known only as “The Commander.”

    Shortly after the services ended, the crewmen fell to fighting among themselves and all communications with the ship were severed for an indefinite period. Official spokesmen at 4th Fleet Headquarters on Guam said the Navy had “no comment” on the situation, pending the results of a top-level investigation by a team of civilian specialists headed by former New Orleans district attorney James Garrison.

    They were giants in those days. But let’s be fair: Taibbi hasn’t had Thompson’s advantages….

  9. ZygmuntFraud

    Thanks to Yves Smith and others for today’s great links. I had a look at the Barry Ritholtz Blog Link. In a reply, `relishketcrehup’ posted a link to a Web-page called “The Gentleperson’s Guide To Forum Spies” at:

    http://cryptome.org/2012/07/gent-forum-spies.htm

    The G.P.G.T.F.S. (or GPGTFS) has a first Section which assumes the dark side can derail the moderators, or that there are no moderators. Like here at NC with Buddha-nature yoga-minded moderator(s), the Five or Six techniques in Section 1 can’t work.

    At the G.P.G.T.F.S. , Section 2 is much more promising for any ambitious forum-derailer: “Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation” from Number 1, “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” which amounts to sequestering all evil things out of public view, to Number 25. Rule number 25 is very dramatic: “Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.” (!!)

    The G.P.G.T.F.S. continues with two or three additional sections. It (the Guide) can probably help to build some sort of immune system to fight disinformation.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Outer Space Buddha.

    Interesting that this Vaisrava appears to be bearded (and looks to be a Byzantine monk or something) and his name means, in Chinese per Wiki, the deity who hears much.

    In that sense, it would not be surprising if Himmler had it at one time and perhaps FICO should think about acquiring it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think a partial cure is not a cure.

      In fact, it might make things even worse.

      So, if you are taking antibiotics, make sure you finish the prescription.

      A complete cure in this case is single payer.

  11. Susan the other

    If we dared go to war with Iran we would have done it long before now. We have interfered with every other oil rich country in the Middle East and Africa but we have only danced around Iran. Yes we did send Saddam Hussein there, where angels fear to tread, with his guns blazing. Looney is right. But we are not looney. Nor is Israel. There is a long list of contraindications for war with Iran. What we are doing is gaining control of production and distribution of oil. Iran is preventing us from achieving the level of control we want because they won’t give us their oil. So we are making noises that are sure to damage our credibility – which is why we have Israel actually do the news releases. We are grasping for a bargaining chip. But we really don’t have one. I can’t imagine Iran making concessions to us as long as Russia and China are on their side, no matter how long our embargo lasts. Maybe Russia and China will also hit hard times and things will get so bad with Iran’s economy that they will do some deals with us. Kind of like Cuba. Which makes me wonder if gaining control of oil was the reason we threw the world into a depression.

    1. Eureka Springs

      All excellent points, but we (Israel/US) are conducting acts of war already. Stuxnet and drones, assassinations of scientists to name a few recent instances. Plus the MEK story, clearly we are up to no good there. And, imo, the abuse/initiation of sanctions. Starving people, denying them medicines and so on.

      I know little, but doubt we are heading towards ground war… That doesn’t mean war, massive terror and chaos by US/Israel on so many levels isn’t and wont happen.

      It’s who we are and what we do.

  12. Garrett Pace

    A portentious beginning to President Obama’s UN address today:

    “I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech. Yet in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond.”

    https://www.adr.com/Markets/GlobalNewsStory?docID=1-DN20120925009711-4NKL73EI4075QUD0IOVAFS2S4E

    Wow – “the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.” And yet the treatment of Bradley Manning and a host of other whistleblowers demonstrates that notion to be alive and well in the US military and Executive Branch.

    This rises to the level of self parody.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Spain held a news conference about its budget today, and it’s more of the same:

    [Spain] said tax revenue would be higher than originally budgeted in 2012 — partly due to a hike in value-added tax (VAT) — and would grow by 3.8 percent next year from this year.

    Central government spending would be cut by 7.3 percent while revenue would rise 4 percent in 2013 including a big leap in VAT income.

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/09/27/business/27reuters-spain-budget-reforms.html?hp

    If you believe this projection, I’ve got a big block of Facebook stock to sell you.

    Spain will be lucky to achieve even flat revenues in 2013. And cutting central government spending by 7.3 is flat-out impossible without making the revenue comparison go negative.

    Politicians and math repel each other like vampires and silver crosses.

  14. ScottS

    Re: Mid-plate earthquake a product of tension between India, Australia ars techica (Carol B)

    I didn’t even know they were angry with each other!

  15. Cowar in Chief

    Wood County Sherriff’s Department use of “pain compliance tactics that included sustained chokeholds, violent arm-twisting, pepper spray, and multiple uses of Tasers, all while blockaders were in handcuffs,” a breach of Convention Against Torture Article 16, according to specific guidance of the US review panel of the Committee Against Torture. Is Cowardly Scumbag Corporate Puppet Barack Obama going to investigate the torture as required by the Convention, supreme law of the land? Or is he going to knuckle under to his pipeline donors once again? We all know he’s scared shitless of the CIA torturers. Is he also too scared of the Kochs to fulfil his oath of office? Obama’s scared of the Committee Against Torture too, he’s stalling the US review that’s going on right now. We’ve never had such a coward for a president.

      1. different clue

        One need not vote for Stein to vote against Obama. For some of us (or maybe just me) the memory of Nader versus Gore and McGaw versus Wellstone is still too hatefilled and embittering. But in that case there are other choices for some of us ( or maybe just me). There is Rocky Anderson, that guy from New Mexico, a few Socialist parties here and there, or even leaving the “president” line blank. For those who have “had enough” and want to cast a “burn it all down” vote, Lyndon LaRouche may still be on some ballots. I don’t know. Maybe. But the point is that we need not give up and vote for Obama. There are choices.

    1. Aquifer

      Solnit –

      “Look, Obama does bad things and I deplore them, though not with a lot of fuss, since they’re hardly a surprise.”

      So the measure of how much of a fuss one should make is not the degree of awfulness of the action but the amount of surprise it causes – hmmm, interesting new moral metric …

      “If I vote for a Democrat, I do so in the hopes that fewer people will suffer, not in the belief that that option will eliminate suffering or bring us to anywhere near my goals …..”

      So lets see, I’ll pick Obama because i think he will only cause 1,000,00X damage, whereas Romney will cause 1,000,000x + 1. And i don’t have any illusion he will get us anywhere near where i think we need to be ….

      And anyone who wants any better from these guys is a whiny purist …

      Methinks Lambert could have a good time with this one …

      This is why we are where we are …. the extraordinary poverty of Dem politics is distilled right here …

      And the ironic aspect of all this is her excuse – the Right is soooo extreme, ANYTHING she thinks is less so is preferable, completely ignoring that politics got so extreme in that direction because there was no strong countervailing force from the left – a trend she seems quite content to continue ….

      You are right, as in correct, this piece really is a bit of a jaw dropper, at least, if not an emesis inducer …

    2. Valissa

      This sort of tripe is served to every election. I can’t decide which is worse, how boring and predictable it is orhow insulting it is. I no longer read rotted tripe like this… there are many more educational and interesting things in the world.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        I think it’s Lao Tze who wrote in the TaoDeChing: “Who understands does not preach; Who preaches does not understand.”
        I browsed about twenty-five pages of Solnit’s book “As Eve Said to the Serpent -On Landscape, Gender, and Art”, and was not overly impressed. She mentions Descartes and Newton in the chapter about the A-bomb and physics. She writes that Newton “laid down the principles of classical physics”. That’s inaccurate, because electricity and magnetism is part of classical physics, culminating with Maxwell’s equations in the late 1800′s. Newton basically contributed little to electro-magnetism.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Worse yet, Solnit’s disdainful screed first appeared at TomDispatch. Very disappointing.

      She begins her false equivalencies in such a lofty heights:

      ‘Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, you might as do it with generosity and kindness and style.’

      … and she then proceeds to her churlish rant of moral relativism by “brushing away the flies” of the “rancid sector of the far left . . . stop your grousing!” … and “bitching” and “complaining” under this “pile of bile” and “indiscriminate biliousness”; “the pernicious idealism that wants the world to be perfect and is disgruntled that it isn’t”.

      She dismisses principled denouncement of ‘lesser’-evilism as “complaining”, “defeatism”, “premature surrender or an excuse for not really doing much”. “Despair is also a form of dismissiveness, a way of saying that you already know what will happen and nothing can be done, or that the differences don’t matter, or that nothing but the impossibly perfect is acceptable. If you’re privileged you can then go home and watch bad TV or reinforce your grumpiness with equally grumpy friends.”

      So for the perceived benefits for the 12% LGBT community her “generosity and kindness and style” turns into nothing but an obnoxious and offensive endorsement of war crimes, drone murders, and illegal coups; a defense of the shredding of the constitution, of the wholesale violation of human rights; of blanket amnesty for financial fraud; rigged trade pacts and the subversion of national sovereignty; of welfare for the sickcare rackets, and support for the coming austerity and destruction of Social Security. But we of the “rancid left”, by demanding “perfection”, i.e. a return to the rule of law, morality and basic decency, are the “enemy” of all the good that that Obama has done.

      Tom Engelhardt, what were you paid to give this woman a soapbox?

      1. different clue

        The only realistic hope there is for defeating Obama is that the 18 or so million people who voted for Hillary Clinton all through the primaries still harbor such a deep and burning hatred in their hearts and such a Hunter S. Thompsonion lust for blood-vengeance that they will each of them, all of them, withhold their votes from Obama at the very least. No one else can make them do that. Only they can choose to do that.

        Sometimes Revenge is the very highest goal there is. I hope that 18 million Clinton supporters all think so.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Garrett Pace, make that “the Left is lying itself in knots” and see the latest blog from Paul Craig Roberts (link chez Jesse’s Cafe: “Matieres…”) re our nation of liars and liar-lovers.

    1. Valissa

      You inspired me to search for relevant quotes :) I didn’t have much luck finding qutoes on “optics” so I settled for “illusions.”

      Official truths are often powerful illusions. — – John Pilger

      Saying you have a political solution is like saying you can write a pop song that’s going to stay at the top of the list forever. I don’t have many illusions about this, but I’m not cynical about it. — – Bruce Sterling

      The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions. — Robert Wilson Lynd

      Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth. — – Ludwig Boerne

      Show me a man who claims he is objective and I’ll show you a man with illusions. — Henry R. Luce

      Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur [The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.]

        1. Valissa

          OMG the truth is finally out… Netanyahu is the latest incarnation of Wile E. Coyote… doesn’t bode well for his imagined success.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      This is the salute TO the Fuhrer, NOT OF the Fuhrer. See Hitler in the “receptive/passive” NAZI (Roman Imperial) salute. The idolatrous superiors and inferiors salute the Fuhrer with the outgoing, active “Sieg Heil (Caesar)!”

      Who is the Fuhrer on the “receiving” end? Is the new NAZI Caesar in the audience? or “hidden” among the “Top Out of Sight” (Fussell: “Class”)? Is his salute for the Fuhrer in Tel Aviv? In the City? in Westminster? in Kennebunkport?

  16. LeonovaBalletRusse

    http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-09-27/will-israel-blow-something-and-falsely-blame-it-iran

    In the blog above, the video mentioned earlier today at NC re the “need” for a new “false flag attack” is embedded within a larger frame. The blog is worth reading in entirety, as the whole conveys the urgent need to ARREST these war criminals engaging in a “Conspiracy” to engage in “Pre-Emptive War” — they are “War Criminals” according to the Nuremberg Tribunals, and they are “Terrorists” plotting to force the American People to “go to war”/declare war against Iran. And this, at the behest of whatever Absolute Dictator/Fuhrer that Bibi Netaniahu was seen to salute with the NAZI (Roman Imperial) Salute in conjunction with his United Nations address (this salute captured in photos, and an NC commentator provided the link to the photos.

    ARREST and detain these “Terrorists/War Criminals” OPENLY plotting to cause/perform some violent act of grave damage–again!–to Americans on American soil, in order to “get their way.” This is PNAC going for the last country on their Hit List. So is Heinz Kissinger the Fuhrer that Bibi salutes?

  17. different clue

    Where realistic hope is scarce, the article on some scientists debunking the whole web of excuses for GMO farm crops offers a bit of hope. What can ordinary people do to dodge incoming GMO fire in the meantime?

    Some people can grow some of their own food from No GMO seeds. Where to find seed companies who at least make an effort to provide such seeds? Here is a whole list of seed companies who have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and are offering nonGMO seeds.
    http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=261

    Even people who can’t grow any of their own food can still buy their food IF they still have a job and a steady paystream . . . which many people still do. Are there any info-resources for such people about what foods and croptypes are GMO-free? A brief googlesearch presents a very scattered and fragmented picture. Googling phrases like GMO Watch and GMO free food leads to partial sites which may be a start. Also, anything Certified Organic certainly uses zero GMOs, although trace contamination of targeted crop types is probably ubiquitious and unavoidable by now. But if the economic-warfare-goal is to withhold revenue from the GMO hustlers, avoiding and rejecting anything using deliberately-on-purpose GMO inputs at least keeps one’s money away from The Enemy. (Since Japan supposedly outlaws the import of GMO soybeans into Japan, any soybean product imported from Japan should in theory be GMO-free.)

    Perhaps snappy little slogans for GMO-free should be invented for maximum brain-impact and public memorability.
    Phrases like Mr. CleanGenes and FrankenFree . . . as well as
    the phrase “Safe Seed Pledge” referrenced above.

  18. different clue

    About supporting Single Payer or Nothing as a test of political seriousness . . . I suspect people presuming to impose that as a test of seriousness merely want to construct “Single Payer or Nothing!” as a stage upon which to strut their Superior Sincerity Stuff.

    Big Insura certainly considered Free Choice Personal Medicare Buy-In to be dangerous enough to their private profit products that they instructed their Senators and their President to kill it as well. If I were to see an opportunity to push Free Choice Medicare Buy-in For Everyone into forcible existence over Big Insura’s hateful obstruction, I would take that opportunity. But then I would rather get results than get attention even if the Superior Seriosity Stuff-Strutters choose to mock me for it from their custom-constructed stuff-strutting stage of Single Payer or Nothing.

  19. p78

    Re: Posts succeeding too fast for me.
    If I am allowed a suggestion:
    During the weekend, could you list at the top of the page, under “Recent Items”, a list of all the past (last) week’s articles, please?

  20. Kim Kaufman

    re Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users’ most intimate moments ars techica (Carol B)

    I immediately put a band-aid over the webcam in my netbook when I bought it. Just in case…

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