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Links, 10/02/2012

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NY sues JPMorgan over Bear Stearns mortgage securities Reuters

NY Mortgage Suit Against JPMorgan Could be Model For Future Cases CNBC

New York Attorney General MBS Suit Credit Slips

JPMorgan Chase Lawsuit: New York Attorney General’s Suit Is First For Task Force Huffington Post

Boeing Members Reject Labor Contract by Wide Margin CNBC

Doctor Visits Dropping, New Census Figures Show New York Times

Chinese government ‘hacks into White House office in charge of the nuclear launch codes’ Daily Mail

Senate Leaders at Work on Plan to Avert Mandatory Cuts New York Times

Hedge Fund Returns Worsen: Is ‘Enormous Unraveling’ Near CNBC

Wary Americans saving more, even as government encourages risk Washington Post

Telling People to Leave Finance Mathbabe

Google Passes Microsoft’s Market Value as PC Loses to Web Bloomberg

A Public Service Reminder: Simpson-Bowles Is Terrible Paul Krugman

Shift by Cuomo on Gas Drilling Prompts Both Anger and Praise NY Times

High frequency trading: how it happened, what’s wrong with it, and what we should do Mathbabe

CDC on Obesity: Public Health or Politics? Medpage Today

Study linking GM maize to cancer must be taken seriously by regulators The Guardian

Education Profiteering; Wall Street’s Next Big Thing? The Real News

Apple Maps: By the “big data” short hairs Patrick Durusau

Eric Hobsbawm obituary The Guardian

You’re Either With Us Or Against Us L’Hote

Signposts of Democracy: How Americans Get Taught About the Political System They Have Firedoglake

Cracks in the Pipeline System: Whistleblower Sounds Alarm over Flawed Weld Inspections The Tyee

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 25 and counting*

“I’ll tell you what happened: I just ran out of bullshit. Am I still on the air? I really don’t know any other way to say it other than I just ran out of bullshit.” –Howard Beale, Network

Montreal. Corruption: “Lino Zambito is continuing his testimony at the Charbonneau Commission on Monday, leading with the outright allegation that after 2005, 3% of every contract was given directly to Union Montreal” (the Mayor’s party).

FL. Corruption: “‘I specifically saw a golf cart with young ladies drive by [at a FL R fundraiser], the extent of why they were there I did not specifically know,”‘ Johnson said. ‘But I could presume they were prostitutes.’” See, there’s your problem: Golf carts. … Swing state Keynsianism: “About one-fourth of the nation’s new jobs last month were created in FL, a hopeful sign that the stricken state will slowly resume its customary role as an engine for economic growth over the next four years.” … Amendment 5: “Amendment 5 would change the Constitution to say that the Senate has to confirm state Supreme Court nominees. If passed, it would also allow the Legislature to repeal any court decision with only a majority. Right now, the legislature needs a supermajority.”

LA. Bribery: “Flood control work generates a ton of local income. It creates jobs. Channeling a larger share of the federal share of drilling income into the local area, you give residents a reason not to oppose continued drilling.”

KS. Mass incarceration: “”Don’t Drop the Soap,” a new, adult-themed board game based on life in prison, is being sold out of the KS governor’s mansion.”

MA. Elizabeth Warren: “Wagging his finger at Warren [Brown] said, ‘Professor Warren claimed that she was a Native American, a person of color, and as you can see, she’s not.’ Clearly, Brown has not met many Cherokee or he never would have made that statement. Among the many Cherokee I know personally there is great diversity in the way they look, from very dark to very fair skin, black to blond and even red hair — even blue eyes.” … Elizabeth Warren: “Only 29% of likely voters in our poll say they would prefer to see Rs in control [of the Senate]; 58% say they would prefer to see Ds continue to run the Senate.” … Debate: “But both may have bungled the last question question of the night. They were asked whether Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine should keep his job after the team suffered one of its worst seasons in history. Warren’s response? Give the guy another year. Brown declined to take a position.”

MI. Unions: “Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers risked jail time and the loss of their job Monday evening as they ignored a federal court order to return to work and continued a strike outside the wastewater treatment plant in southwest Detroit. Members of AFSCME Local 207, who began the strike Sunday, even defied Al Garrett, president of the umbrella AFSCME Council 25, who asked them to return to work.” … Money: “But [Deborah Carley and William Rollstin] are likely to get some name recognition [in the election for Oakland County circuit judge] on the strength of a $1-million-plus TV ad buy placed by a couple of opaque, VA-based outfits called Americans for Job Security and the Judicial Crisis Network.”

NY. Fracking: “[O]n Friday, state environmental officials said they would restart the regulatory rule-making process, requiring them to repeat a number of formal steps, including holding a public hearing, and almost certainly pushing a decision into next year.” (Times (!), though in N.Y./Region). Bloomberg version. … Fracking: “[B]rokers say many [Catskills] listings are languishing. The prospect that New York State will open the region to fracking has spooked potential buyers.” …. Fracking: “[T]he policy decisions and industry reaction must be considered in the context of a glut in the natural gas market that has reduced prices, lowered the amounts of lease payments and royalties to landowners, and eased political pressure to move quickly in New York. Natural gas prices move in cycles with demand, so that could change.”

OH. Voting: “However, OH’s county Job and Family Services offices — where low-income Ohioans go for benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare — have quietly registered more than 500,000 Ohio voters since 2010.”

PA. Legalization: “‘We’ve come to a point where you can grow your own medicine,” [Julie Holland' said'" (at Penn's Psychedemia conference in Philly). … Police state: "Shocking video of Philadelphia cop punching woman in the face during Puerto Rican Day parade." What's shocking about it? It's Philly!

TX. Pipelines: "These kids are protesting not for my property, not for anybody, any property owner. They're protesting to strictly save the earth. I mean, this pipeline is going to be pushing some very toxic products through," Cordova said. "I appreciate these kids for what they're trying to do, but I also - now that I'm here and this pipeline is right here, my house is probably 100 yards that way, it's kind of frightening."

VA. Uranium: "Leaders of the VA county that is home to one of the world's largest uranium deposits are set to debate the state's 30-year ban on the mining of the radioactive ore."

WA. Meat: "A family member later found Garner's dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure, but most of his remains had been consumed."

WI. Police state: "Holding up my press credentials while standing in front of the cops who had denied me access to the press conference (affinis).

Fracking. Polls: "56% of Americans said there needs to be more regulation of the technique, also called fracking, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24, down from 65% in March." … Class: "There is more to opposition of the gas industry in Northeastern PA than a minority of professional environmentalists or witless yahoos. There are business professionals, homeowners, parents, doctors, teachers and government leaders with deep-seated concerns for their health and quality of life." Not paging Lenin; but perhaps Madison.

Grand Bargain™ Catfood Watch. Krugman: "First, despite years of dire warnings from people like, well, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, we are not facing any kind of fiscal crisis." Which, like, totally explains why Obama set up the Erskine Bowles Commission after the Senate refused to.

Outside baseball. Cultural markers: "What Your Beer Says About Your Politics." Remember PBR? Good times. …. Redistribution: "Yet since Obama took office in January 2009, wealthy Americans have continued to pull away from the rest of society. In the aftermath of the recession, income inequality in the U.S. reached a new high in 2011, Census Bureau data show." ... Redistribution: ""It was shocking how tight he was going to be in retirement," [biillionaire Leon] Cooperman said. “He needed [oh?] four hundred thousand dollars a year to live on. He had a home in Florida, a home in New Jersey. He had certain habits [oh?] he wanted to continue to pursue. …. Privatization: “[B]y diverting large existing flows of money from the public to the private sector [education privatization] would create new profit-making ventures that could be capitalized and transformed into stocks, derivatives and leveraged securities. The pot has been sweetened by a 39 percent federal tax credit for financing charter school construction that can double an investor’s return in seven years. The prospect of new speculative opportunities could well recharge the animal spirits upon which Wall Street depends.”
… Health care: “‘Make no doubt,’ [MIT's Jonathan] Gruber says. ‘Romneycare was the model for Obamacare.’

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Hippie punching: “[T]he Che pedicure is not actually one of the available options, though surely in heaven we will all have our toenails painted camo green by El Jefe” (Rebecca Solnit). …. Manicheanism: “Tbogg might say that he hates conservatives more than anyone. But he sure hates Yves Smith more. That’s what his behavior tells you. That’s what his rhetoric tells you. People who say they hate conservatives start to sound like them at the merest hint of criticism.” … Lesser evilism: “ALICE WALKER, 2012: “One thing I can assure you of is this: I will never betray such pure hearts by voting for evil even if it were microscopic” (video; transcript).

The trail. October surprise: “I do find it interesting that I don’t see the normal fretting from online Dems about some sort of October surprise” (Eschaton). RNCon: “[T]his R convention suggested a party barricading itself against the world as well as the weather.” … DNCon: “What the acceptance speech didn’t do was answer the Ryan question: How would the next four years be different?” … The poor: “Since 2007, 10.4 million more Americans have seen their incomes fall below the federal poverty mark. Now over one in four Americans live either in poverty or near poverty, a number that has grown by 22.6% since 2007, far outpacing the growth even of the nation’s Latino population (14.3%), a demographic shift with significant electoral implications.” … Swing states: “.. the disparity between the state of the race nationally and in battleground states, where campaigning and advertising by the two candidates have been most intense and where the election will be decided. Nationally, the race is unmoved from early September, with 49% of likely voters saying they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and 47% saying they would vote for Romney. But 52% of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41% with Romney.” … Swing states: “A National Journal analysis of recent polling results across 11 states considered battlegrounds shows that in most of them, Obama is running considerably better than he is nationally among white women without a college education. Obama’s gains with these so-called ‘waitress moms‘ are especially pronounced in heartland battlegrounds like IA, OH, and WI. The powerful new Obama ad that airs the audio of Romney’s hidden-camera “47 percent” remarks, for instance, features three different images of working-class women, each of whom are shown without men present.” … Voting: “[T]he RNC insist[ed] that state parties, such as FL’s, hire [Strategic Allied Consulting, a] vendor that’s now under investigation for voter-registration fraud by the FL Department of Law Enforcement in as many as 10 counties involving at least 220 suspect forms.” … Horse race: “Romney has about as much chance of winning as an N.F.L. team does when it trails by a touchdown early in the fourth quarter; [he] has only about a 15 percent chance of winning. By this point next week, two of Mr. Romney’s best remaining opportunities to change the game [the first debate and the next jobs numbers] will have come and gone” (Nate Silver). … Horse race: “A strong majority of likely voters now expect President Obama to win a second term after an abrupt shift in perceptions about the state of the race, according to The Hill’s latest election poll. 50% of voters say the president and the Ds have run a better campaign, while only 41% give the nod to Romney and Republicans.” So meta!

The debates. Live coverage Wednesday: Democracy Now; Vast Left (twitter). … Boring: “Obama doesn’t need dramatic moments in this debate. In fact, boring probably would suit him just fine, for boring would leave the race pretty much as it is, with him in the lead.” … Contempt: “‘[Obama] is not a guy who can hide his contempt, and the only thing that can really hurt is if he’s smug and thinks he’s got this in the bag,” said a D close to the Obama campaign, echoing the sentiments of several other aides and advisers.” But he does have it in the bag. …Fake: “The 2012 Presidential (and Vice Presidential) Debates, a four-part miniseries…” (good explainer). … The challenger: “If Romney showed one thing in the primaries, it is that he can be ferocious when faced with the need to dispatch an opponent. Recall the pummeling Romney gave Newt Gingrich in a Jan. 26 debate before the Florida primary.” And: “Every mention of the number 47 will be a victory for Obama.” Haw. Especially since all numbers are equal to 47. … The challenger: “Romney is very strong as a debater but has also shown two repeated weaknesses: a thin command of policy details, and an awkwardness when taken by surprise” (James Fallows long-form) Huh?! If you don’t command the detail and you can’t improvise, you’re a mediocre debater at best. … The incumbent: “[E]very incumbent resists the prep work and reacts badly to being challenged. ‘Nobody on staff ever questions a president’s motives and nobody around him ever challenges him,’ [political scientist Samuel Popkin] said, contending there is very much an ‘emperor-has-no-clothes’ aspect for leaders who have spent four years sheltered in the protective presidential bubble and surrounded by sycophantic aides.”

Green Party. Jill Stein: Interview (audio). Good stuff, but I’d sure like some of the human element. Where are the stories?

The Romney. Newest oppo: “A police log report, published in the Natick Sun newspaper in 1981 and obtained by Blue Mass Group, calls into question a portion of Mitt Romney’s account of his arrest in 1981. When news of the arrest emerged during Romney’s 1994 Senate race, Romney told the Boston Globe that he was released after his arrest without having to post bail, but the police log suggests that that may not be true. The police log also says that Romney was charged with operating an unregistered motorboat. Previously, the only offense Romney was known to have been charged with was disorderly conduct.” Well, at least it wasn’t a golf cart… Older oppo: “Mitt Romney’s ’47%’ video has been viewed 2 million times more than his convention speech.” … Media critique: “The press is doing to Romney the same thing it did to John Kerry, and to Al Gore before him: Covering him as a loser. A weird loser. The contempt and pity for him as a candidate is almost palpable.”

The Obama. He’s turning into a sort of Cheshire Cat, isn’t he? Smile and all?

* Slogan of the day: Forging ahead courageously while following the great leader Romney!

* * *

And the antidote…

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117 comments

  1. Brindle

    Re: “Your Either With Us Or Against Us”

    FTW—”They are, in every sense, kept people, owned by a party and its leader, and they have given away every part of themselves that is capable of critical thought.”

    1. BinkyBear

      It must be nice to have such absolute moral clarity that one will prefer the greater evil over the lesser in order to declare oneself ideologically pure by abstention or futile gesture.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Oh, my … NOW they tell us!

    Spain’s banks face a capital shortfall that could climb to 105 billion euros ($135 billion), almost double the estimate the government provided last week, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

    The nation’s lenders may need infusions of 70 billion euros to 105 billion euros … Moody’s analysts wrote yesterday in a report. That compares with the 53.7 billion euro shortfall found last week after officials commissioned a stress test.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-01/spanish-banks-need-more-capital-than-tests-find-moody-s-says.html

    Evidently we have a leetle difference of opinion here. Who you gonna believe: a government which promised ‘no bailout’ as recently as a few months ago, or a rating agency which says that Spain’s rulers are a scared bunch of cornered rats? Well, here’s a clue:

    Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) — After Spain’s rescue of its banks and cash-strapped regions, the 2013 budget reveals a bailout of the power industry to cover 25 billion euros ($32 billion) of debt accumulated by the electricity system.

    Power companies such as Iberdrola SA and Gas Natural SDG SA booked more revenue than they received from their clients for most of the past decade — the difference between government-set prices for buyers and sellers — with the shortfall booked as receivables on their balance sheets.

    Spanish energy companies have recruited politicians from both main parties. Gas Natural has former Socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez on its board. Endesa SA’s owner Enel SpA has former Finance Minister Pedro Solbes. Solbes’s successor Elena Salgado joined Endesa Chile as a director this year. Iberdrola has Angel Acebes, who was Interior Minister alongside Rajoy in the last People’s Party administration.

    http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Spain-Adds-32-Billion-Power-System-Bailout-to-3908899.php#ixzz288qvXPiX

    Huh — a politically-connected regulated industry; cooked books: who could have imagined such an unfortunate result from a seemingly promising business-government partnership? You reckon Spain’s banking industry might follow its power industry’s accounting practices?

    Like politicians everywhere, Spain’s have concluded that the remedy is to bail out the malefactors with public funds, double down, and continue with the same model on a larger scale. That should do the trick! Realmente, confían en nosotros!

    1. uhhh

      actually this is the result of the Spanish government subsidizing electricity and gas tariffs – the utilities have to charge customers a subsidized rate with the promise that the government will make up the shortfall… the government has yet to pay the utilities the “subsidy” that the utilities already granted users so voila the issue.

  3. JAack

    I am disappointed with the reporting on the GM study by Seralini. To taint the scientists who criticise the study as establishment with ties to Monsanto et. al. is the same despicable tactic antivaxxers use when accusing MDs such as Paul Offit as pharmashills. Seralini´s response was underwhelming and failed to adress several points sufficiently. Just a few examples:

    - He still fails to publish the whole dataset, responding with the demanding MOnsanto to release al data on NK603. This is a red flag for cherry picked data, his rightfull demand against Monsanto´s data notwithstanding.

    - he failed to adress that no dose response was reported, a key element in a study like this

    - not controlling food intake in binge eating rats while overweight is a key factor elevating the probabilty for cancer is a absolut nono

    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-gm-corn-rat-study/

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/antivaccine-versus-anti-gmo-different-goals-same-methods/

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/09/24/bad-science-on-gmos-it-reminds-me-of-the-antivaccine-movement/

    1. JAck

      Here, let’s put some lil’ gene thingies in your liver. There! Doesn’t that feel better? Just sign this user agreement, here, because that DNA is proprietary to Monsanto, and if you grow a parasitic twin or something, we may exercise our rights to, ah harvest the lil fella. Just a formality.

      Monsanto: Better living through Teratogens!

  4. Ned Ludd

    Barry Commoner was one of the twentieth century’s most influential environmentalists. He was one of the first to warn about the dangers of greenhouse gases. His research into Strontium 90 and the global effects of radioactive fallout led to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. “The Atomic Energy Commission turned me into an environmentalist.” He died on Sunday at the age of 95.

    Like some other left-leaning dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.

    Having been grounded, as an undergraduate, in Marxist theory, he saw his main target as capitalist “systems of production” in industry, agriculture, energy and transportation that emphasized profits and technological progress with little regard for consequences…

    There is also a “Last Word” video containing excerpts from an interview conducted in 2006, videotaped to accompany the New York Times obituary.

  5. Ned Ludd

    In a followup to “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama,“ Conor Friedersdorf noted and emphasized this observation by deBoer: “For all the talk of ‘lesser evils,’ you are far more likely to find conventional liberals defending the drone program than speaking of it as evil at all.

    Friedersdorf received numerous emails from Muslim Americans who were uncomfortable with liberal priorities. Quoting one email:

    As a Muslim, when I hear my largely liberal co-workers talk about the election and the various reasons why Romney is no good, I wonder why they harp on such pointless stuff but don’t spare even a moment for the innocent people Obama is killing and terrorizing. And I try not to dwell on what that says about their subconscious view of the worth of Muslim lives.

  6. Ms G

    RE: KS. Mass incarceration: “”Don’t Drop the Soap,” a new, adult-themed board game based on life in prison, is being sold out of the KS governor’s mansion.”

    Great. “Normalizing” the soap bar in prison with pretend soap bars. Foaming the runway for voluntary participation in the real program offering fake soapbars to all who will enter the, er, special shower stalls. Worked so well in Germany circa 1940-1944. Not that anyone’s foily.

      1. Ms G

        Yes, Klassy! When they saw him move on from his first Lemonade Stand into the Prison Soap Bar game they were beside themselves with feeling of pride and vindication for all of the nurturing, tutoring and Mozart in the Crib they had endowed him with. He’s applying to Mensa too.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Kind of how the movie “Inglorious Bastards” normalized war crimes. In the movie Jewish American soldiers torture and murder defenseless German POWs who are not even accused of any war crimes. We are made to have sympathy for the “Nazi hunters” and to cheer on their war crimes as they bash in the heads of Germans with bats.

    1. Ms G

      This was in response to Lambert’s note re:

      LA. Bribery: “Flood control work generates a ton of local income. It creates jobs. Channeling a larger share of the federal share of drilling income into the local area, you give residents a reason not to oppose continued drilling.”

      (Shut ‘em up with a job that’ll kill ‘em. Two birds with one stone, and all that. Ha Ha. We are the .01%.)

  7. Ms G

    RE: NY Fracking: “[B]rokers say many [Catskills] listings are languishing. The prospect that New York State will pen the region to fracking has spooked potential buyers.”

    Coming up. NY State will be offering special deals to prospective purchasers of Catskills real estate to fix the problem of languishing listings in the area due to Spooking caused by misapprehensions about Fracking. The deals will involve promotional financing involving various combinations of terms including: 0% money down, 0%APR for the first 3 years (adjustment of interest payment after 3 years TBD), and 10 cases of bottled water at signing.

    1. Bert_S

      You do need a credit score of at least 600, and cannot have a bankruptcy within the last 3 years.

      You can flip the property after 3 months of operating data, however.

      1. Ms G

        @ Bert_S. You correctly describe the firsts tier of available options (the one that will end up in Triple A tranches sold to pension funds and 401(k)). There additional tiers, however, that will assist prospective homewners who may have inferior FICOs or bankruptcy or foreclosures in their recent past. We view these tiers as key to ensuring wide availability of homeownership to all Americans. We also predict that most loans will be made in Tiers 4 and 5, terms for which are in the process of being architected by our consultants. We expect that Tiers 3 to 5 will synergistically drive BB- to CCC+ rated securities that will offer very attractive yields to investors frustrated with ZIRP and, the frankly useless, performance of the equity markets.

        We are very encouraged by your early response.

  8. Ms G

    Outside Baseball. Privatization: “[B]y diverting large existing flows of money from the public to the private sector [education privatization] would create new profit-making ventures that could be capitalized and transformed into stocks, derivatives and leveraged securities. The pot has been sweetened by a 39 percent federal tax credit for financing charter school construction that can double an investor’s return in seven years. The prospect of new speculative opportunities could well recharge the animal spirits upon which Wall Street depends.”

    You have GOT to be f*****n’ Kidding me. (Repeat 10(x) times.)

    1. Ms G

      Well, this certainly confirms (underline, bold, capitalized) that when there is political will there is a money-distribution faucet available with infinite amounts of green water to nurture whatever the Political Will wishes to nurture.

      Juxtapose this infinite font of GovMoney available for Ed Privatization to the “Constraints Constraints” shriek of Cat-Food Commissioners. It’s really not that hard. Or hidden. In fact, it’s in plain view for All to see. Clearly the blindness is willful.

      1. Ms G

        Completing the Shriek: “Constraints! Cliff! Constraints! Cliff! Cat Food Good! Cliff! Cat Food! Constraints!”

      2. Bert_S

        Tax credits are incentives, but it will still take time to collect tuition from the little chillens, so the tax credit can be used immediately to shelter other income, like from the privitized jail, or the parking meters.

        1. Ms G

          You are right. That is the genius of tax credits. Cash upfront regardless of risk that the indebted peons (cough, students) might turn dead-beats. Sweeeet!

          1. Bert_S

            There is no such thing as deadbeats – only child labor laws – but fortunately we can send them to Viet Nam and have them work off years K thru whatever in a garment sweat shop. Beats getting drafted at 18. They’ll be just like their draft dodging hippie parents.

          2. Ms G

            Right again. When the students reach the point (around graduation time) when they realise they’ve been had, that offer to “voluntarily” join the army for immediate service in the Middle East will look awfully good — 3 squares and a roof, as long as they keep breathing.

      1. Ms G

        Ya, but watching it unfold is a whole other experience. Kinda like seeing the movie instead of the book. Something about lights down, a big screen full of giant colorful images, and the taste of popcorn and coca cola. :)

        1. Aquifer

          You are so right about that ….

          A couple of other things – that they can come right out and basically describe their market model of life in such a matter of fact manner means, ISTM, that either they do not question that this is, of course, “the way things do, and should, work” with no consideration of moral connotations necessary (that’s the “beauty of business”, ain’t it? no need for messy “moral” overlay) – OR they are so smug that they feel free to expound on their rip off because they figure we are powerless to change it …

          OTOH, this is useful – because if one of us “lefties” pointed out this “everything for sale” motif, we would be dismissed with a snort. This little quote is “from the horses mouth (or his other end …)” without being filtered through our “lefty, commie, prism” and might be a good one to use as a quick dirty test of someone’s political philosophy – if one shrugs and says “And your point is?” one is a conservative/neo-liberal. If one is outraged, as you indicate you are, then one may well be a progressive/lefty ….

    2. Eureka Springs

      This particular trail of shock doctrine tears leads back to lame duck Clinton years with something called New Market Tax credits. Evidently they were extended in the last year or so.

      Our children, derivatives of Wall Street. Hallowed be thy brain…..

  9. Ms G

    RE The challenger: “If Romney showed one thing in the primaries, it is that he can be ferocious when faced with the need to dispatch an opponent.

    Ya. Just like Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita. Or Sarpedon. Or even, heck, Alexander the Great.

      1. Ms G

        Leo’ — perhaps, but in any event, would be similar to the guy with the Kill List and the Drone Program.

  10. Ms G

    Re: Obama’s gains with these so-called ‘waitress moms‘ are especially pronounced in heartland battlegrounds like IA, OH, and WI. The powerful new Obama ad that airs the audio of Romney’s hidden-camera “47 percent” remarks, for instance, features three different images of working-class women, each of whom are shown without men present.”

    Step 1: Pick off the vulnerable who have nowhere else to go.

    Step 2: Make them yours, your Bots, for Evah.

    Step 3: Admire your handiwork as you stare into their glazed, adoring eyes, ready willing and able to Spread the Gospel of your Awesomeness. While remaining in a permanent state of drowning in penury.

    1. Ms G

      “… working-class women, each of whom are shown without men present.” So Obama will be pitching in with child support, alimony, day care costs, etc. Just confirming that’s part of the subliminal message. Uh-huh.

  11. JMD

    With all due respect to Schneiderman (ummm, none), JPM did the country a favor by bailing out Bear Stearns. Why doesn’t he go after some entities that still exist instead of a proverbial ‘knight in shining armor’? And if you’re going after the Bear, why not Ace, Jimmy Cayne, Warren Spector, Paul Friedman? They’re all out there, rolling in dough.

  12. René

    Culture in Decline | Episode #2 “Economics 101″ by Peter Joseph

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEC0GT_8l_I

    The topic of this show entitled “Economics 101″ deals with the subject of Economic Calculation, Market Rationale and its effects, along with considerations of the Scientific Principles of Sustainability.

    “Human capacity for attention is limited.
    It must be ceaselessly stimulated,
    spurred on by provocation.”

    - Albert Camus

    “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

    - Edward Paul Abbey

    1. Ms G

      Interesting link Rene, thanks.

      The Albert Camus quote wins the morning, so I’m reprinting it . . . because I can!

      “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

  13. craazyman

    Bad Advice

    Mathbabe’s life is too easy and happy to qualify her to give good advice.

    If you’re a pinhead quant/programmer, don’t leave finance unless you’ve got at least $1 million, free and clear of debt, invested hopefully in gold, silver and a diversified equity portfolio that isn’t going to blow up on you.

    You may hate your job and your life. You feel your precious hours drip like sand through the soporific hour glass of your unrequited pain, using your narrow mind to loot the public for your obscenely rich employer while you eat their $400,000 a year crumbs. This, to you, may represent an existential crisis. Is this all their is to life? You feel like Peggy Lee. Your spirit screams “NO!” There must be something more!

    Really?

    For you, this might be all there is. What else would you do? Write screen plays? Make movies? Travel? Start a horticulture business? Become a Saint? The saints had hard lives. Be careful.

    YOu’ll need at least a $1 million cushion to avoid becoming an anonymous and unhailed martyr nailed to the world’s wooden cross. Hang in there for now and suck it up. Because it will get real ugly when you wake up and face the morning with nowhere to go and nothing to do but look for another job — where you really might have to work. Not like now, where you don’t really have to do shit for $400G a year. Heaven can wait. :)

    1. Bert_S

      Ya. When you think about it, there are not a lotta math jobs around where your boss ignores whatever you do.

      1. craazyman

        Here’s the theme song Bert:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe9kKf7SHco

        Here’s the lyrics:

        Once when I was 28 years old, I had a job that paid $400,000 a year. I’ll I did was math. I could come and go whenver I pleased. Show up late or early. Nobody cared. As long as the money rolled in. And it always did. No matter what I did or did’t do. The government made sure of that. It printed the money we needed, and gave it to us. And then it came down to me. But after a while, I became depressed. When I won, somebody else lost. Somebody who couldn’t do the math. It was taken from them, and given to me. And I felt guilty, terribly guilt and I asked: Isn’t there more to life than this?

        Is that all their is?

        Is that all there is my friend? . . . . Then let’s keep looting.

        1. avg John

          crazyman, I’m curious being a Wall Street outsider. Why did you continue to work for someone else, and make millions or billions for them, if you could “do the math” and win for yourself? I’ve ran across articles from time to time about brilliant math PHd’s writing these trading programs that could “out think the markets”, but have never understood just exactly the nature of their work. And I’m not doubting they can do just that. Truth be told maybe computers have already taken control of the world, or Wall Street anyway. But why work for someone else if you know “the secret”.

          Is it a matter of takes money to make money? Access to necessary markets limited to big banks? Steep expensive investment in software and super computers for analyzing market data? Why didn’t you do the math for yourself?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think someone pointed out that if you buy gold only for its jewelry value, it would be much lower.

      I was thinking, that’s like a textbook you buy when you go to school. If you just buy it for its content, you would pay less too. But, since you can resell it, you don’t mind.

      For example, you pay $50 for a textbook but you can resell it for $30, the real content value to you is only $20. If you can’t resell it, you would probably buy it for only $20.

      Is that what is at play here? Maybe it’s jewelry value is only $2/oz. But you pay $1702 for it because you can resell it for $1700. Except gold retain its value better than textbooks.

  14. Jill

    In Ohio trying to get 3 party signs! Last week I e-mailed the local Libertarians for a Gary Johnson sign. I asked where I should pick one up. No response. Monday A.M. called and left the same query on the machine. No response. This is not my father’s Republican party! No, those people would have brought the sign out that afternoon and asked if they could put it in the yard for me! Our Libertarians becoming inefficient now that they’ve taken Federal campaign money? Is that would public mooching does to free enterprise?

    Green party-can’t contact them except through facebook. I won’t use facebook. The govt. can pay my internet bill if I must use facebook. Fortunately I know someone in this party so I will get one from him. But I have recieved no e-mails or mailings or calls as a registered Green to get that sign.

    I am using both signs. My yard is going to display a sign saying;, “There’s a choice, vote the rule of law”, and both candidate’s signs.

    But what is up with this complete lack of action? Are these serious parties?

      1. Jill

        Lambert,

        That’s what I’m going to do. I have to make the overarching sign anyway and will just make the yard signs as well.

        Still, I have worked on very small budget city council campaigns and volunteers would answer calls and do what it took. An e-mail to all of us on the Green e-mail list as to where to p.u. signs is not that much time/budget IMO.

        I can’t speak for the Libertarians. Their Congressional candidate appeared to have been threatened (not metaphorically) by the Republican candidate in 2010. My neighbors used to have Libertarian signs, but they’ve gone over to Republican ones. My Democratic neighbors don’t have any candidate signs out. They have important signs for the library, metroparks, etc.

          1. Valissa

            I have this old fashioned notion that prior political experience is important. Also have you gone to YouTube and listend to Jill Stein speak? My husband was trying to decide between Stein and JOhnson, and was leaning Stein until he saw her speak. He gives a lot of talks at tech conferences and he was appalled at how bad her public speaking skills are.

            Johnson is great on civil liberties, drug reform and anti-war and he’s sane (and culturally liberal). And most importantly he’s got 8 years as a governor. Like is VP choice too…, Judge Jim gray is pretty aamzing on the issue of drug reform – a an-military guy a real straight arrow type and while he was a judge and was sentencing drug cases he decided it was a rotten systen amd has been campiging for drug refrom since the ’90s.

            Suggest people spend some time at YouTube watching the various 3rd party politicos talk, how they come across, what kind of commercials they are putting out, etc. Since the MSM is not getting that news out there, ya gotta do your own research.

          2. Neo-Realist

            Johnson may be very with it on the civil liberties and the weed issues, but he is terrible on the safety net.

            If we judge pols on public speaking, why not vote for a great speechifier like Obama?

            Hitler was a very inspirational public speaker.

          3. Valissa

            Every candidate has their plusses and minusses. I know lots of folks here will vote for Stein, and I congratulate you all on voting 3rd party even though I won;t be voting for her. Also GJ is not as terrible on the social safety net as some liberals might think from what I’ve read. He’s not an ideological libertarian, he’s a pragmatic libertarian of convenience as far as I can tell. I like that about him too. Besides, no matter what candidate says to get people to vote for them, they will be highly constrained by current institutional norms.

            btw, don’t confuse me with a passionate supporter. I vote as part of my civic obligation, so I try and make some sort of decision within the constraints of reality. I’m not a fan grrl of any politician. I know my vote is very insignificant on the scale of things.

          4. Aquifer

            Valissa,

            Yeah, i have heard and seen (once live, and multiple times on video) her and have been impressed – she is, IMO, fierce, disciplined, incisive, knows her stuff and doesn’t take BS. Can she match O for “smoothness”, say? No, but content and manner have always been more important to me than form – and though Johnson may be good on some issues, methinks Stein has the whole picture. I would love to see both of them on a debate stage with the duopoly …

            I hear where you are coming from re “experience” but Johnson got his as a member of the duopoly, n’est pas? Would you have supported him as a Rep? Stein won’t bow to the “pragmatics” of being a Dem – too much integrity, seems to me, so i wonder about Johnson in that regard …. And i just can’t go with a Liber …. every (wo)man for him/her self? gutting safety nets? Not for me, thank you ….

            And of course, experience is as experience does ….

          5. Valissa

            If you are like Stein for your candidate and like how she speaks it makes sense for you to vote for her. Everyone needs to vote as they see fit, based on their own criteria, and how they see things. I support pluralism. I think it’s OK to disagree about candidates and what’s important and to be able to do that in a civil manner. I enjoy hearing everyone’s point of view, whether I agree with it or not… it’s generally educational to see how others think. Reminder, I am an ex-liberal, ex-democrat free range person with no allegiances so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m not supporting typical lefty stuff anymore. And I will keep attempting to stay civil when others attempt to criticise or chastise me in some way for not being a typical lefty anymore.

          6. Aquifer

            Valissa – i always ask folks why they support someone – it is always interesting to hear what is actually important to them when they pick a candidate. And i am an inveterate debater – can’t help it, in my genes, I guess – so i am never satisfied with a first level question but always want to probe the answer ….

            You are right, to each his/her own, I guess i just think there IS so much riding on what we do in those voting booths, but i realize that position is under siege …

    1. Aquifer

      I have some frustrations on that end as well – seems to me part of the problem is a tech one – without enough money to pay the fees that really high end tech folks would charge, one is left to depend on volunteers with whatever devices they can afford. It would be so great if Lefties with high end tech abilities who want to help the cause would volunteer – especially those who can do amazing things on a shoestring …

    1. Ms G

      Face palm. Thanks for the reminder LS. Adding that to my To Do List for today. S***, how can anyone keep up with everything needs doing?

  15. Ms G

    RE Robama vs. Obomney watch. Hippie punching: “[T]he Che pedicure is not actually one of the available options, though surely in heaven we will all have our toenails painted camo green by El Jefe” (Rebecca Solnit).

    Oh, Becky, you are so clever. You shoulda went to the Algonquin Roundtable.

    1. Jill

      Ms G,

      This screed interested me because it showed the Obama campaign is frightened of losing believers. I have seen much deeply felt and well argued reasons why it is wrong to vote for Obama. I think those arguments were effecting the believers. It then became necessary to ridicule (attach their strengths) people who made convincing arguments.

      I believe this is why her article came out on so many “liberal” sites at once. The troops needed to be reassured that killing children and other civilians doesn’t matter. It tells me there was doubt among the faithful. If enough people stop believing and see the emperor wears no clothes, his power ends.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Solnit’s insulting tirade of moral relativism appeared via TomDispatch (WTF?) on CommonDreams.org, where it triggered an unprecedented 700+ comments nearly all reassuringly forceful rebuttals and denunciations.

        Solnit’s most ridiculously inapt cliché: “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” Distilled: why must the “rancid left” quibble about war crimes, bailouts, abandonment of the constitution, expanded rigged trade, and amnesty for rampant fraud, when Obama has voiced such eloquent support for gay rights and free choice … even managed a few tepid policies? Why jeopardize that good with such “pernicious idealism”, “indiscriminate biliousness” and “bitching”? Indeed, we should make the world as she does “with generosity and kindness and style.”

        Well, call me a nitpicker. No sale.

        1. Hugh

          What is interesting about the Solnit rant is that it shows how, even in the crunch, Democrats think they can disrespect liberals and progressives even as they demand their votes. And they do this because so far they have gotten away with it.

          We need to keep reminding people: No one owns your vote, but you. You don’t owe your vote to anyone or any party. If they want your vote, they have to work for it. They have to give positive, substantial reasons for it. And that word “positive” is key. TINA, lesser evilism, making the perfect the enemy of the good, are all negative arguments.

          Neither Democrats nor Republicans have given me any reason to vote for them, and I will vote for none of them no matter how much the Solnits of this world howl in the wind.

    1. Valissa

      It’s too bad you have to buy them in bunches of 10. I was considering the possibly radical idea of posting the Baritt Obmoney sign in my yard with a Johnson/Gray sign on one side and a Stein/Honkala on the other. Vote any 3rd party for prez!

      1. Valissa

        And now some commentary on third parties by cartoonists…

        What the duopoly thinks http://www.realaspen.com/images/community/original/thirdparty–1.jpg

        Third parties as BS detectors http://www.sitnews.us/Columns/0508/052708_huffaker.gif

        The MSM point of view http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PZFmXHDKx28/TkhZeYh-ttI/AAAAAAAAKJY/zGyg-zU8N1c/s1600/AFP_20100531_Issue_22_p9_Third_Party_cartoon.jpg

        The view from the 3rd party http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/bbo/lowres/bbon269l.jpg

        1. Aquifer

          Mucho thanx for these!

          That is one thing i have found in too many lefty circles – a lack of a sense of humor. I keep prodding folks to do some cartoons, but no one is interested (wish i could draw … even my stick figures are inadequate!)

          1. Valissa

            I’m not sure it’s an exact linear correlation (and there are always individual exceptions), but I’ve observed that as partisanship increases sense-of-humor decreases, except in making fun of “the other.” My own political sense of humor way improved when I became anti-partisan and more detached from ideology, an unexpected side effect. Laughing about the absurdity of it all, is way more fun than crying about the state of the world. So that more than compensates for the shit I take for leaving the partisan fold :)

            btw, I will still be voting for more Dems than anything else on my MA ballot.

  16. briansays

    wednesday night
    Giants have clinched
    A’s have clinched
    but there may be more important TV especially in Cali where its over
    BEAT LA!!

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Education Profiteering: Wall Street’s Next Big Thing?

    It’s not already their big thing?

  18. Herman Sniffles

    Ok, I think I’ve got this GM sudy straight in my head now. It’s ok to continue eating rats, but we must all stop drinking Roundup.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is today’s antidote an environmentally friendly antidote?

    I mean, is today’s antidote made from recycled parts from previously used antidotes?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yeah, that does it, Matt, what gives with the rerun? And where do I go to get a refund for my all-too-rare and pathetically meager donation?

      I know, I know, “your comment is very important to us”.

  20. Hugh

    I see lambert caught Krugman’s hypocrisy in his Grand Bargain category.

    Krugman thinks Simpson-Bowles is “terrible” but continues to support its creator (by Presidential Executive Order) and biggest backer Barack Obama.

    Note too how Krugman calls it Simpson-Bowles putting the Republican co-chair’s name first rather than what has become the standard reference (other than Cat Food Commission) of Bowles-Simpson.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Also note that “Obamacare represents an extension of the New Deal legacy.”

      They are taking no chances on Obama’s reselection, even though it looks like a foregone conclusion. In an earlier “Public Service Reminder” on the same day, PK studiously avoided any mention at all of Obama’s authorship of the S-B Cat Food Commission, writing instead:

      “… inside the Beltway Simpson and Bowles have become sacred figures. But the people doing that elevation are the same people who told us that Paul Ryan was the answer to our fiscal prayers.”

      For such revisionism and Orwellian misdirection, Krugman retains his high ranking in the cushy veal pen. High-class prostitution pays very well indeed.

      1. Ms G

        “Obamacare represents an extension of the New Deal legacy.” Puhhleeeeze. I don’t have a PhD in New Deal programs, but I have never come across any that involved Roosevelt ordering impoverished and unemployed victims of the Depression buy overpriced defective products from private insurance companies, banks, or any other FIRE sector.

        Thank you for highlighting this assertion. That is an inexcusable falsehood — even for PK. Apparently he didn’t know much about money and finance, so maybe he also doesn’t know much about either FDR or Obamacare and he either makes up facts or gets them from unreliable sources.

    2. Neo-Realist

      If Krugman left the veal pen of democratic politics and opposed the President’s re-election and supported a third party candidate, he’d lose the book deals, the speaking engagements, and his columns in the NYT. He’d be left with writing for blogs like Alternot and Common Delusions.

      1. Aquifer

        Alternot and Common Delusions? OK where can i find those sites?

        If you are referring to Alternet and Common Dreams, i hate to burst your bubble, but if he started supporting 3rd parties he wouldn’t be welcome by the site owners there either – all these “prog” sites are singing in the same choir … Though the commenters are another story ….

        Hedges is about the only one who kept his place when he supported Nader in the , but he stuck out like a sore thumb …

    3. different clue

      I have tried calling it the Simpson-Obama Catfood Commission to see if that name catches on.

  21. Ms G

    RE: PA Police State: Police state: “Shocking video of Philadelphia cop punching woman in the face during Puerto Rican Day parade.” What’s shocking about it? It’s Philly!

    “What’s shocking about it? [omit last sentence.]” Fixed it.

  22. Rebecca Soul Twit

    Rebecca Soul Twit

    Like, Ok. So a few o dem mooslims got clipped by bugged up friendlies I mean…. no duh.

    And Obama friendlies zapped the market, with the usual collateral so’s they’re loadin’ up the dead wagon with mooslim women and kids, no duh. That’s not perfect but still it’s so bitchin and tubular, what’s the prob, Rob?

    So they sent the night patrol into Mooslim City, no duh.

    Bitchin’ hardcore mooslim bugland, backed up some Special Ops doing a Guantanamo run on terrorperp suspects.

    Why so gloomy ya lefties, I’m LMAO. Banging down doors, barrel in the face of some shrieking mooslim bug-woman, children scuttling in the dark like rats, the perp calling down an airstrike from Allah on our heads. You know the jangle.

    Take A Chill Pill, ya leftie whiners, don’t go all Gandhi on us, you know the drill, like ya know, whatcha gonna do? Not vote big O coz he sendin’ in da drones and killin’ de mooslim terrorperp left and right.

    The man’s doin’ this for yo ass, ya w*nkers. Baby-nuke bunkerbusters, and killin’ his ass a whole heap o’ terroperps. The big O is so wicked hot, no duh, and he got a bodacious bod, and Michele’s outfit, totally bitchin’ …..so whatcha gonna do, not vote the big O coz he comin’ down real hard on the terroperps.

    That totally bites, ya gloomy leftie whiners where’s the beef, dude, take a chill pill, get over it, listen to soul sista Rebecca and vote the superbad big bad O, yo, he be so toooh-tally bitchin’ coz Rebecca Soul Twit she say so.

  23. Aquifer

    Site seems to be workin’ pretty good, right now – will have to dig out my squirrel jokes :)

  24. Hugh

    Re October surprises, I hate to predict job report numbers. I would just note that last year, jobs increased 202,000 in September. There’s a lot of going back to school stuff going on that the seasonally adjusted numbers continue to pick up on. However, U-3 unemployment was almost unchanged, decreasing by only 23,000.

  25. Jill

    “I have a grand goal, and that is to counter the Republican right…”

    So I take it that, at a minimum, Ms. Solnit/wit 1. doesn’t support wars of empire 2. doesn’t support drone killing of civilians, 3. doesn’t like austerity and finacial fraud as national fiscal policies, 4. doesn’t like the NDAA, 5. doesn’t like it that the most poor and sick women can’t get coverage for abortions, 6. does want single payer health care 7. is against torture and renditions 8. doesn’t want off shore drilling and in shore fracking 9. wants immediate action on climate change 10. does not support the police state 11. supports full employment

    If that isn’t what she means, then what are the things that do matter to her?

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hedge fund returns worsen, near enormous unraveling.

    Are they really the 0.01%? The article makes it look like these guys are just the 99.99% of the 0.01%.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      obot – clip: The USO in Viet Nam: a far cry from the early days of USO largesse, under the direction of Thomas Dewey then … Prescott Bush (yes, a finger in every war-profit pie).

  27. Jeff N

    re: beer/politics – I stopped drinking in 2003 and started on Zoloft several years later (for anxiety). I suspect there’s a message about my politics there. :)

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