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Links, 10/03/2012

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Voter registration slumps amid lack of enthusiasm for Obama and Romney The Guardian

New poll shows popularity of Greece’s Golden Dawn at 22 percent Digital Journal

Not From the Onion: Army Says ‘Social Network’ Use Is a Sign of Radicalism Wired

Obama Outspending Romney on TV Ads New York Times

White House widening covert war in North Africa Detroit Free Press

Fareed Zakaria and the Failure of Thought Leadership Boston Review

DHS ‘fusion centers’ portrayed as pools of ineptitude, civil liberties intrusions Washington Post

EU dog that didn’t bark begins to bite FT

Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth as Rich-Poor Gap Widened Bloomberg (Other people are starting to notice this…)

UN-led carbon market ‘close to collapse’ FT

Italy service sector shrinks at slower pace in September: PMI Reuters

Microsoft co-founder dings Windows 8 as ‘puzzling, confusing’ Computer World

Misconduct is the main cause of life-sciences retractions Nature

Debates Fail to Decide Elections Amid Myth of Kennedy-Nixon Bloomberg

Russia’s Lavrov says “reset” with U.S. cannot last forever Reuters

Why Doctors Hate Obamacare Huffington Post

The true reason US fears Iranian nukes: they can deter US attacks Glenn Greenwald

Reports of GOP Voter Registration Fraud Increase Truthout

Tea party holds ‘machine gun social’ to fund conservative candidates Raw Story

GOP Consultant: Koch Brothers Bought Ryan’s Nomination With $100 Million Promise National Memo

After Mortgage Settlement, Banks Continued Abusive Practice, California Monitor Says Huffington Post
* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 26 and counting*

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” –Eric Schmidt

CA. Water: “[Under Measure F,] biologists envisage a 100-150 year timeline before Hetch Hetchy would resemble the Yosemite Valley most of us know, and this is just one of the points being picked up by opponents of the measure. Why, they are asking, should we undertake a project which no one who is living will see through to its conclusion?” … Food: “As talks continue at city hall about amending Sacramento’s mobile food ordinances, the idea of food truck ‘pods’ is being explored as a possibility. These would be locations on private property where multiple mobile food vendors could operate simultaneously.” Been seeing a wavelet of food truck stories lately.

FL. Voting: “‘It was someone in a hurry to make a buck,” said Ann Bodenstein, Santa Rosa’s supervisor of elections [of now-fired R voter registration firm Strategic Allied Consulting]. She said the forms in her county appear to have been filled out by different people. Many were blatantly incorrect, including one that was signed recently for a 19-year-old who died six months ago.” Maybe the Rs will challenge the election results because their own firm corrupted the rolls? Whoa, how very meta! … Anti-Sex League: “The kind of sex I just described? You have to experience it to understand it, to understand the power and joy, the word-escaping orgasmic ecstasy of it all.” Merciful heavens, we can’t have that! … Privatization: “‘I can get through to Comcast quicker than I can get through to you,’ said commissioner Burt Aaronson, referring to the time customers were spending on hold, waiting to ask where their rides were.’ ‘It’s obvious to me and others that the new providers will save money by making [Palm Tran Connection] so undesirable that we will simply stay home,‘ said Allen Preston, a long-time Palm Tran critic.” (See NC 2012-07-09 for an identical story, in WI.)

IA. Polls: “Whereas a real poll is designed to collect data from respondents and measure opinions, a push-poll is all about spreading negative information about a political opponent to as many people as possible, under the deceptive guise of conducting a survey. [And] The survey also didn’t mention Hagenow’s repeated votes for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Whoever paid for the calls doesn’t believe that issue is going to swing voters. ”

IL. Unions: “Police dressed in riot gear arrested 17 peaceful protesters Monday as they sat in the middle of Centerpoint Drive blocking the Walmart warehouse entrance [in support of striking WalMart workers organized by Warehouse Workers for Justice. The police team, which one onlooker said resembled a paramilitary group, used a bullhorn to ask the group to disperse or risk arrest and 'chemical or less lethal munitions [LRAD] being deployed.’” Say, where’s “Michelle” on this? Or, for that matter, “Barack”?

KS. Plant closings: “Hallmark Cards Inc. will close its Topeka manufacturing plant and shed* about 300 jobs as it consolidates its Kansas operations at its remaining facilities in Lawrence and Leavenworth, the company announced Tuesday” [* I hate the "shed" trope].

MA. Warren-Brown debate: “The debate tonight. Massive crowd. UMass Lowell looked fabulous. Five years of Chancellor Meehan came together in a national event. It was major league. Bigger than Division 1 hockey, as much as I like hockey.” … Warren-Brown debate: “It was nasty and brutish and when the smoke cleared there was one clear loser in last night’s US Senate debate: moderator David Gregory.” …. Warren-Brown debate: Video. … Warren-Brown debate: “I was surprised Warren didn’t do more to tie Brown to Washington Rs. Fortunately for her, Brown did his own damage by naming Antonin Scalia as his idea of a model Supreme Court justice (after a lengthy pause that made him look like he was trying to remember the name of a justice — as one wag said to me, I think we can all agree that ‘Scott Brown’ and ‘lightning round’ don’t go well together).”

ME. Polls: “Angus King [I]‘s popularity with voters has taken a clear hit, but the independent former governor still holds a commanding lead [was 33%, now 22%] in the race to become ME’s next U.S. senator, according to a statewide poll conducted earlier this month for MaineToday Media” (the R poll).

MI. Jimmy Hoffa: “No human remains were found in a soil sample taken from underneath a Roseville shed on Friday, bringing no new clues to the 37-year search for the body of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.”

NV. Enthusiasm: “On University Nevada-Reno, not only is the Romney campaign a visible presence trying to register and woo young voters, so is the Koch-brothers backed Americans for Prosperity. I sat in on a meeting of Students for Obama and they were concerned about being out-hustled on campus. Older students, unaffiliated with either party, told me there was a noticeable lack of enthusiasm compared to four years ago — when Obama spoke on the campus quad.”

NY. Greens: “Ursula Rozum teamed up with fellow Green Party member, Greenwich Mayor David Doonan to push another major campaign initiative. Rozum called on her opponents to join her in supporting electoral reforms for a more unregimented voting system, one that allows representation for all parties.”

OH. Fracking: “On Oct. 1, the Yellow Springs Village Council voted 3-2 to adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the village. The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).” … Fracking: “A free class is being offered tonight to teach people how to research their own mineral rights. Concerned Citizens Ohio/Shalersville is conducting the class to teach people how to use their computers to access mineral rights leases that are part of the public record.” If there’s a MERS of fracking, civilization on the North American continent is doomed.

NY. Fracking: “Elected Officials to Protect New York — representing more than 440 local elected officials from 52 counties across NY — released a letter spearheaded by Southern Tier elected officials detailing concerns they have about fracking. They noted the review of fracking is still missing not only a comprehensive health impact assessment but also thorough socioeconomic impact and cumulative environmental impact assessments. Leases are long-term and multigenerational. A house built in 1940 might be on land that was signed over to an unknown leaseholder years ago, and the current homeowner may not realize that the mineral rights were never his.”

PA. Voting: “A judge ruled Tuesday that a PA law requiring voters to produce photo identification at the polls cannot take effect for the November election.” … Best headline EVAH: “Cop Who Sucker-Punched Woman Teaches ‘Violence Prevention’ To Teens.” … Public schools: “[T]he survey estimates the second year of tight funding resulted in nearly 4,200 positions eliminated or left vacant in 2012-13, following the loss of 14,590 positions in 2011-12, for a total of 18,790.” Bailouts are for banks, not schools! … Legalization: “Tuesday’s act of civil disobedience [at 4:20] was held on the 75th anniversary of the arrest of Samuel Caldwell and Moses Baca, who were busted on Oct. 2, 1937, shortly after the passage of the federal Marijuana Tax Act. ‘The only difference between Bush, Clinton and Obama and the young black men who get caught with this amount of pot is that they were caught’” (PT). There’s a lot of that going around.

TX. Giants in those days: “[BOB BULLOCK to lobbyists: ] The state of TX has gone as far as it can go without additional revenue, and I am going to take a little chunk out of each of your asses and put a tax bill together. If you whine, I’m going to take a big chunk out of your asses. So you just decide what you want.” … Fracking: “Researchers have established a link between the uptick in earthquakes in TX and the use of disposal wells to store fluid from hydraulic fracturing. The link is well-illustrated in the Dallas area records, which show only one quake before 2008 when oil and gas fracking began increasing, and 49 since then.” … Privatization: “Liberty County’s entire local economy is centered on incarceration, but the jail, which was full last year, has now lost most of its contract inmates in the wake of scandals and as of September 1st was just 39% occupied. But the empty jail hasn’t just cost them contract income, they actually must pay the private prison contractor a 15% premium because the jail population fell below 150 inmates.” Couldn’t happen to a nicer mercenary police state.

VA. Coal: “The report also repeats past complaints that [Alpha Natural Resources] twisted around routing of the Virginia share of the 116-mile Coalfield Expressway in WV and southwest VA. [Normally,] roads follow valleys because it is easier and cheaper to build this way. But Alpha kicked in with a ‘coal synergy’ idea in the usual ‘Public Private Partnership’ mode that Richmond’s politicians love so well. The expressway now will go over tops of mountains to better access coal seams. [Alpha] will be able to get to coal on land condemned by the state for the road.” … Uranium: “‘In general the conventional uranium mining and milling industry has been an extremely unstable and disruptive industry that has left behind significant environmental damage,’ [Thomas Michael Power, a University of Montana economist] said” in response to an industry-funded study from George Mason.

WA. More guns, please: “More than a dozen bullets flew in Seattle’s Central District Monday shortly before midnight, but there were so many bullet holes in the house already that cops are unsure which were made during that night’s gunfight.” … Unions: “The day after a resounding rejection of Boeing’s initial contract offer to its engineers and technical professionals, the company made three immediate concessions and signaled a softer approach to the union as talks resumed.”

WI. Angels: “A survey released early this year showed that 15.9 percent of all angel investments nationally took place in the Upper Midwest, a share exceeded only by tech-rich California. Wisconsin itself is home to more than two-dozen angel networks, funds and other early stage groups, with total investments of more than $61 million in 2011, compared with less than $2 million in 2003.” (See NC 2012-07-09 for an identical story in WI).

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Fiscal cliff watch: “But leadership is not endorsing any ideas being floated by members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight, a group searching for the elusive grand deficit bargain. Lawmakers and aides say that real negotiations on how to deal with the fiscal cliff can’t begin until after voters decide who will control the White House and Congress next year.”

The trail. Voting: “Romney’s campaign has sent letters to election officials in WI, MI and VT demanding that the deadline for receiving ballots from military and overseas voters be extended.” … Polls: ” Like I said, no reason to believe that private polls are better or worse on methodological grounds, but every reason to believe that private pollsters will pick and choose which polls they share with you.” … The new normal: “The U.S. economy has been recovering, agonizingly slowly, for three years. Voters want desperately to see faster growth, but they’re adjusting to the slow lane, and they increasingly believe that Washington can’t help. This is the simple reality of life after the Great Recession. But Mitt Romney hasn’t adapted to it, and that’s why President Obama appears on track to become the first president in 70 years to win reelection with unemployment over 8 percent.” Then again, decreasing life expectancy will increase the actuarial soundness of Social Security. Cloud, silver lining, etc.

The debates. Emergent parties: “We will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party” (Aquifer). … Live coverage Wednesday: Democracy NowVast Left (twitter). …The challenger: “My expectation is that Romney will do reasonably well with independent voters and move some polling to his advantage at least initially. But after a few days, if he doesn’t meet the bar of [the media, the press, and the various and many pundits], the multiplier effect of the media conversation will tamp down any movement” (Matthew Dowd). Exactly like Gore “sighing.” Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose. … The incumbent: “‘[Obama] almost needs to channel his inner Muhammad Ali by being the ultimate counterpuncher,” [Chris Lehane] said. ‘But I think you’ll see him take a similar tone to the one he exhibited at the convention, a modulated aggressiveness.’”

The RomneyRomney crop art.

The Obama. Oppo: “But the real smoking gun is whether the Obama administration was warned in advance that al-Qaeda was planning an attack. A number of Israeli newspapers have suggested that Washington was warned as early as September 4.” Smoking guns aren’t “whether.” That said, the Telegraph has been (oddly) favorable to Obama, so blog post is a shift. And stories often get planted in the British press in the hopes they migrate across the pond. And note the Israeli sourcing. All of which suggests that Romney’s Libyan escapade might have been strategically sensible though tactically hamfisted. Wonder if this will come up in the debates? … Oppo: “[BOBBY RUSH: ] [Obama] and others knocked his predecessor Senator Alice Palmer off the ballot.” The Rs are running with Alice Palmer in October?! Once again, a fundamental lack of seriousness. … Oppo: “‘The only thing that comes out of [the Drudge video of Obama at Hampton University] is, I believe, what everyone knows is when the president gets off of script, gets off of his teleprompter, you see a different type of president,” [Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)] said. ‘We saw that just recently in Virginia when he got off script…and started talking about small business owners ‘didn’t build that’ and he had to retract that and make better hay of it.’” When the only sane comment comes from Allen West, you know the country’s in terrible trouble.

* Slogan of the day: From The Obama, to The Obama!

* * *

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122 comments

  1. JTFaraday

    Whoa. A few more pictures like that one and you’ll even have me believing dinosaurs walked the earth alongside Jesus.

      1. alex

        “the crocodile was shot and killed by an animal control officer in Zimbabwe after it had attacked and killed a number of fully grown cows”

        What do you you shoot a croc that size with, an RPG?

        And it’s good for the locals that cows are a bigger, and presumably more satisfying, snack than people. Makes me wonder if they keep cattle for food or protection. Personally I’m glad that the biggest thing in my part of the world is bears.

      2. alex

        The article debunked the idea that the croc was 20+ feet. It’s a perspective trick. The thing is probably only about 15 feet. That would make me feel so much better if I ran into it.

        Sincerely,
        A Wuss from Temperate Climes

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Still, when you are that size, you are ‘too big not to fail’ as you become a menace to smaller things around you.

            It’s like traffic accidents – they are more likely to result from different drivers at different speeds than everyone going at the same high or low speed.

            And so too, you will have tensions when billionaires and 99.99%ers have to share the same eco-niche. Things run smoother if we are all billionaires or all 99.99%ers.

          2. Garrett Pace

            There is something charming about the ideal that the garbage man and the neurosurgeon should carry the same dignity in their community, and have the same privileges for themselves and their children. After all, both perform crucial services for their community. Unfortunately, even in the most progressive and communistic societies, it doesn’t work out that way.

        1. ZygmuntFraud

          Yes, I respect crocodiles, seriously. There’s this video at Youtube of an elephant mother and calf fighting off a croc that bit the mother elephant’s trunk. The calf sits down on the croc and mother and calf escape …

          The version I found today is slow-motion with background music, unlike the version I saw months ago :-(

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbaCQ-l6KOA

  2. Rebecca Soul Twit

    Rebecca (more progressive than thou) Soul Twit here.

    Exterminate all the brutes!

    Cut off their heads and their hands! Flog them, rape the natives, burn down their villages, and bring me human hands as trophies to show that no bullets have been wasted.

    Cut off the heads of the men and hang them on the village palisades, also their sexual members and hang all the women and children on the palisade in the form of a cross.

    Whip the natives with bull whips made of hippopatamus hide.

    Bring me baskets of severed hands and lay them at my feet!

    Just don’t mess with my vagina!

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Yeah, Rebecca! “O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing! [and "complaining", "bitching" and "kvetching"] Compared to you, Eeyore sounds like a Teletubby.”

      “Look, Obama does bad things and I deplore them, though not with a lot of fuss, since they’re hardly a surprise. He sometimes also does not-bad things … There are bad things and they are bad. There are good things and they are good, even though the bad things are bad.”

      “You could argue that to vote for Obama is to vote for the killing of children, or that to vote for him is to vote for the protection for other children or even killing fewer children. Virtually all U.S. presidents have called down death upon their fellow human beings. It is an immoral system.”

      Hardly a surprise, and we all do it, so no one is to blame. Anyway, there is no alternative!

  3. LeeAnne

    Then again, decreasing life expectancy will increase the actuarial soundness of Social Security. Cloud, silver lining, etc.

    … and what stocks will benefit from the result of this civilized boom in elder care efficiency?

  4. Ms G

    WA — Unions: “The day after a resounding rejection of Boeing’s initial contract offer to its engineers and technical professionals, the company made three immediate concessions and signaled a softer approach to the union as talks resumed.”

    Push-back works. Lesson learned here?

      1. Ms G

        Aw, Lambert say it ain’t so. And here I was diligently cultivating my dwindling store of optimism. It’s a tough job being awake and holding a beginner’s mind these days.

  5. Ms G

    The new normal: “The U.S. economy has been recovering, agonizingly slowly, for three years. Voters want desperately to see faster growth, but they’re adjusting to the slow lane, and they increasingly believe that Washington can’t help. This is the simple reality of life after the Great Recession. But Mitt Romney hasn’t adapted to it, and that’s why President Obama appears on track to become the first president in 70 years to win reelection with unemployment over 8 percent.”

    New Trope Watch (We are all Drivers): The 99% are being Normalized out of the HOV lane and into the slow lane. But will there be any lanes with Minimum speed limits (like in Florida)?

    1. citalopram

      Government could help, they just to refuse to do what is politically necessary in order to remedy the situation. Obama would be FDR II had he led the charge to try and fix it, and then hung his critics in the media spotlight.

      Politicians like the people they represent are cowards.

      1. Ms G

        But Gov is not. And has no intention of doing so. So the woulda/coulda/shoulda is way past its academic shelf life. Pay closer attention. It is not chocolate cake, but it’s real.

  6. Ms G

    “‘[Obama] almost needs to channel his inner Muhammad Ali by being the ultimate counterpuncher,” [Chris Lehane] said. ‘But I think you’ll see him take a similar tone to the one he exhibited at the convention, a modulated aggressiveness.’”

    Another Trope in the Making? Obama “Modulated Agressiveness” was always a Shadow Boxer. Not the “Aggressive Counterpuncher” he cracked himself up to be. He never even intended to Step Inside the Real Ring, for pity’s sake.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Here’s a trope in the making. Excerpt from a Bloomberg hagiography of Newark NJ mayor Cory Booker:

      “He actually does attract people of all political stripes,” Joseph Shenker [chairman of Sullivan and Cromwell law firm] says.

      Nobody expects Booker’s ambitions to end in Newark.

      “From the day I met him, I thought he would be our first black president, but I was wrong,” says Whitney Tilson, who co-founded both New York-based hedge fund T2 Partners LLC and Democrats for Education Reform, which advocates for charter schools and higher standards in public classrooms. “He’ll be our second.”

      Booker says he’ll decide early next year whether to challenge Republican Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey’s 2013 gubernatorial race.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-03/newark-s-booker-lures-wall-street-millions-to-city-few-have-seen.html

      The subliminal emotional manipulation goes like this. First you’re thinking, ‘Wow, this guy is such a superstar, and I’m catching on early to the Next Big Thing in politics.’

      Then you realize that fawning articles like this don’t just happen by accident. A talented PR flack wrote the draft and handed it to a journo who could take full credit for it after light editing (which for Bloomberg’s house style, involves scrambling the paragraph order to fragment the narrative thread).

      Finally, with rising discomfort, you recognize the parallels to the mysterious ascent of Barack Obama, who was propelled with unprecedented rapidity from the Illinois Senate (1996) to the U.S. Senate (2004) to U.S. president (2008).

      Who are the power elite who created candidate Obama, and why do they imagine they can get away with it again? The article contains plenty of portentous clues.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        It reminds me a bit of Operation Trust. The subliminal message might be:
        “True Liberals trust a socially-left [pro-abortion, pro-LGBT marriage, pro-women's-ascension-to-power], Black, successful in business, former mayor; I’m from Cromwell Perkins & Sullivan, and I do.”

        Operation Trust:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_Operation

    2. alex

      Ms G: [Obama] never even intended to Step Inside the Real Ring

      Nor does he need to. He’s fighting a marshmallow. How could the Republicans be any more tone deaf than nominating Gordon Gekko when the economy is in the toilet? Are they even trying? Hoover could have won against Romney.

      1. Ms G

        Well, at least Hoover had a slogan to put “a chicken in every pot” (at least according to the musical Annie). :)

      2. Ms G

        Also the marshmallow didn’t show up til late in his fr***n first term (Obama’s). So it’s only relevant in a situationist sense to these past 12 months. As we well know by now, Obama never intended to get into the ring to fight hard for the 99% because he was a trojan horse for the .01%. Sorry about the clunky sentences but, there it is.

        1. alex

          Here’s a conspiracy theory I can believe: Romney is a sacrificial lamb for the 0.01%. By running he guarantees that Obama will win. Take one for the team, Mitt.

          1. Valissa

            Yup, that’s been obvious from the get go. That’s why I spend very little time reading about the current prez campaign and have zero interest in the debates. Actually I haven’t watched a political debate in 5 years. It’s a very inefficient and unpleasant way to collect info on candidates, IMO.

          2. Bert_S

            Yup. Debates are a waste of time.Someone will report on the funny stuff next day and you can catch it then.

          3. Ms G

            You are on to something. The only guys who get inside the ring are the ones thrown in there by ObotBama (and his handlers) to get waxed — and no gloves, dentures, nothing. Prize fights.

  7. Brindle

    RE: OH. Fracking:

    Hopefully this will become a trend—creation of Bill of Rights for communities

    –”Yellow Springs is the first municipality in the state of Ohio to enact a local Bill of Rights and protect those rights by prohibiting shale gas drilling and fracking and the ensuing injection wells. The first of its kind in Ohio local law asserts the fundamental rights of residents to clean air and water, and to protect the rights of nature.”

    http://ecowatch.org/2012/yellow-springs-bans-fracking/

  8. Ms G

    Humbly adding a link to Lambert’s NY Report. In a Society organized by and for the Looters, no crumb is small enough to be left uncollected (by the .01%). New report reveals that not all the people collecting Unemployment Benefits are lazy, shiftless, no-accounts. That class of unwasheds has been joined by a contingent of, yes, millionaires — who apparently (on average) collected checks for no less than 1 year! You can never have enough running-around cash or “mad money”!

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/class_welfare_1JZCNMRVkdlw70LghP2yaJ

    1. Jim Haygood

      Often the children of millionaires can’t keep jobs because of indiscipline, cavalier attitude, narcotics binges and the like. Thus they collect unemployment after a brief stint at working, while daddy pulls in fat distributions from his law partnership and mom carries on with her carriage trade interior decorating consultancy.

      The parents of a young toff of my acquaintance, who’d just earned his masters degree at an elite school, were outraged when he was succeeded in his job at a coffee roasting plant by a grunt who hadn’t even finished high school. They ranted on indignantly against the social scourge of ‘discrimination against the overqualified.’ But finally they rationalized the slight with a bit of humor.

      ‘Young Phil was fired for double perking,’ they claimed improbably.

      1. Ms G

        Jim — is this a true story? If it is (“double perking”) then reality is so much scarier than Steven King’s world.

    2. MLS

      Just to clarify this argument a bit:

      Unemployment insurance is just that – insurance – that an employer pays into by withholding a small portion of a worker’s paycheck. Very much like FICA or SS taxes. As such, the worker that pays into UI has every right to draw from that for up to 6 months when they are terminated from their job, regardless of household income or personal net worth. It was their money to begin with. Extended UI is an entitlement from the federal government, and there is absolutely no reason why anyone with the means of $1 million in household income should be drawing. That is outright abuse of the system.

      1. Ms G

        Not sure why the 6 months is ok, but the extension is “unacceptable.” My comment was more focused on a certain irony in the context of loud and vicious attacks on the “entitlement system” that is throwing the country “off the fiscal cliff”, which “entitlement system” is (in the Cat Food .01% Narrative narrative) is a massive trough for shiftless, loser, good for nothing leeches who just don’t have what it takes to be Horatio (and Horatia) Algers.

        I’d be delighted to hear these UI-collecting millionaires get out in public and cop to the truth. A Looter is not only obsessed with collecting every available crumb; a Looter also suffers from profound narcissistic cognitive dissonance.

        1. MLS

          The first 6 months of UI are funded from the worker’s own paycheck. That is, the employer withholds money out of the worker’s paycheck and pays it into the UI trust fund for the workers benefit. It is forced savings for the worker’s benefit should they lose their job. Employees are paying for something and they have a right to receive it. The program is administered largely by each state under broad guidelines set by the federal government.

          After 6 months workers are no longer eligible for UI at the state level and would have to apply for extended unemployment compensation (EUC), which is a federal program. The difference is there is no set-aside trust fund that is funded with a worker’s wages, it comes from general tax revenues.

          Six months is OK because that is the worker using up what he/she was forced to save from their own paycheck. It’s simply money they earned through wages and it’s rightfully theirs. We should not go down the road of withholding part of someone’s agreed-upon paycheck as insurance only to confiscate it because they live in a high-income household. This is functionally no different that someone paying into an insurance policy only to have the insurance company say, “Hey, too bad. You have lots of wealth so you don’t really need this policy, we’ll just keep your money.” only it’s the state government doing the deed.

          After 6 months, they’re abusing the privilege of EUC where ALL taxpayers are footing the bill. They are not taking from set-aside savings that they themselves created (with help from state governments). That to me is unacceptable when they come a from a household with substantial means.

          1. Ms G

            “… set-aside savings that they themselves created. ” One definition of Social Security and Medicare. Yet we have Simpson-Bowles. Again, my post was meant to highlight certain inconsistencies in how money paid in by all working Americans is getting characterized by “fiscal cliff” criers. I evidently did not do a great job of explaining this.

  9. The Learned OBOT dog

    The Learned OBOT Dog am I, well-Up on ev’rything from drone killin’, illegal war, Torture, or unprosecuted crime. Ev’rything from Fleas Unto King Obie’s Mon-og-am-eye,

    NDAA, Jump-ing Beans or Flying Machines, police states or frackin’. And did I mention Torture? Persian Princes, Polish Blintzes, Chinamen’s Geo-mancy

    I support Financial Fraud for the 0.01 but aus-ter-i-ty for the masses.

    I quote enough of the Classickal Stuff To set your Ears a-throb, Offshore drillin’ tax free for BP and I can Work logarith-mick Versed Sines Withal, within me Nob…

    Only nothin’ Ministerial, please, Or I’m apt to lose m’ Job

    As, the Learned OBOT Dog, to-ni-ight!

    1. Ms G

      This is good. A good start. With some tweaking to the meter you could set it to Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Little Buttercup” (HMS Pinafore)!

    2. The Learned OBOT dog

      But please do not come to the Learned OBOT dog to tell me America is like all the other Empires, that it’s mission is not to educate and liberate but to plunder and control. Wrong! That may having been true under Bush but no longer, ‘Tis after all the Age of Obama, rrrf?

      1. Valissa

        You’ve inspired me to find cartoons on propaganda…

        It helps that the MSM is under control http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000111042/polls_propaganda_2209_790398_answer_10_xlarge.jpeg

        A variation of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/D/O/propaganda_questions.jpg

        Modern update of classic WWII propaganda, Part 1 http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/G/O/propaganda_homelandsecurity.jpg

        Modern update of classic WWII propaganda, Part 2 http://lanejordan.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/wwiii_1.jpg

        Remember http://www.savagechickens.com/images/chickenpropaganda.jpg

        1. alex

          re: Modern update of classic WWII propaganda, Part 2

          In WWII “loose lips sink ships” wasn’t propaganda, it was an important warning. Modern practice is another story.

          1. Valissa

            Depends on how you define propaganda. Just because something is propaganda doesn’t mean it’s wrong or a bad idea. The goal of propaganda is to influence attitudes. This can be done with more or less noble intention. For instance the “Keep American Beautiful” campaign spearheaded by Lady Bird Johnson (IIRC) is an example of positive propaganda.

            Back in the ’80s I worked at MITRE and therefore was required to have at least a basic secret clearance. I had to have one at another job too but that was in a non-secure location so very different work environment. At MITRE there were good security practices propaganda posters everywhere in the building. Yes, they were a good reminder system, but it was also really creepy to me…. except for my favorite security poster that had a photo of a cat trying to get into a file cabinet and said something about the danger of spies creeping in on little cat feet. That one always made me laugh.

      2. Ms G

        Oh, this inspired another idea — adapting an OBOTdog riff to “Age of Aquarius” (HAIR)! One rff? Two rffs? Zero rffs?

    3. Fiesty

      You smell like a real a-hole, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

      How did you get sentient? GMO dogfood? I thought it was pink slime in my case.

      I just got an e-mail from Mitt’s dog, snoopy, and he says he wouldn’t vote for your Master either, even tho Mitt did get him registered in Ohio and Florida.

      And cut it out with the “ruff ruff” stuff. That was soooo last year.

      1. Ms G

        Thank you for your comment. Your comment is very important to us. Please do not hesitate to comment again.

        1. ZygmuntFraud

          It’s Ok for 3rd-party supporters to be doubting Thomasses. (As with “provocation”, Camus citation) . There are “thought bullies”, it seems to me. Anyway, that is what I think.

          1. Ms G

            ZF — thanks, actually. Fiesty’s clever post actually went right over my head – and I reacted like a finely-tuned Bot. Progress, not perfection.

            @ Fiestt: Big Amends. Peace.

          2. Fiesty

            I already assumed you got mixed up who I was talking to in these long threads.

            I shoulda started my comment

            @The Learned OBOT dog. Hello Canine A-Hole.

            I’m just glad I don’t have to call myself Fiesty dog. That sounds sooo Hollywood. Or Snoop Dog, for that matter. How confusing is that? Actually, my friend Mitt’s dog, snoopy’s real name is Snoopy VIII, but he says he prefers snoopy, same as his Great^8 ancestor. Interesting story there too, I might add. Maybe tell it later sometime, but right now I gotta go find a fire hydrant to pee on.

            Chow

          3. ZygmuntFraud

            To Ms. G: Pretty soon, the Farm will have deployed remotely controlled (thought-injection) “Manchurian canine forces”.

            These are intended to go behind enemy or suspect lines. The task-force will regroup when Marco says so.

            ——For Official Use Only=====S-NOFORN-Beta—————

          4. Ms G

            @Zyggy Fraud. This is a bit frightening for prime time on a week night. Shouldn’t you be posting things like this around Midnight, around the same time the Rocky Horror Picture Show used to play in the East Village on Fridays and Saturdays?

            :)

  10. Valissa

    re: UN-led carbon market ‘close to collapse’

    The FT ran an article about this last November saying similar things. From my research notes here are some related articles on the unpleasant side effects of carbon trading.

    World Bank’s Carbon Trade Fiasco http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/15-world-banks-carbon-trade-fiasco/

    A book review… Carbon Trading – How it works and why it fails http://www.tni.org/tnibook/carbon-trading-how-it-works-and-why-it-fails

    An example of a business model based on carbon credits… doesn’t seem like such a good idea now.
    Fighting Water-Borne Disease In Africa, And Making Millions In The Process http://www.fastcompany.com/1749253/fighting-water-borne-disease-africa-and-making-millions-process

    The Great Collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange http://21stcenturywire.com/2010/08/27/the-great-collapse-of-the-chicago-climate-exchange/

    1. Valissa

      If you don’t have time to read all those links… here’s are some cartoons…

      Thank goodness for carbon trading http://www.naturalnews.com/cartoons/Carbon_Trading_600.jpg

      Carbon Offsets explained http://scottthong.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/carbon_neutral.jpg?w=440

      Carbon trading, a personal solution http://www.env-econ.net/images/2007/05/22/envecon.jpg

      A plan that’s full of smoke http://www.toonpool.com/user/589/files/carbon_trading_110895.jpg

      This is probably true http://www.inkcinct.com.au/web-pages/cartoons/past/2009/2009-340–insult-and-carbon-trading-schemes.gif

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That feature is still not available on Google translate, which is still stuck in the Stone Age, I am afraid.

        How hard can it be to add a translator for English to a cat language, for example?

  11. jsmith

    Regarding the Zakaria piece:

    Am I really supposed to believe that someone, somewhere doesn’t – like the author of the piece – understand that Zakaria is just one of the many well-paid professional propagandists that inhabit our media?

    I mean the author sure wastes a lot of ink and thought seemingly wrestling with the issue of whether Zakaria is more of a journalist or academic with the author rounding out his expose with an allusion to Plato(?!!).

    Let’s see: does any sane person think Ann Coulter should receive $20,000 for giving a speech?

    http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2011/09/ann_coulter_0906

    Sarah Palin: $75,000?

    http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-palin-speaking-fees

    George W. Bush has made more than $15 million from speaking fees since leaving office at $100,000 – $150,000 a pop!

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-05-22/news/29592566_1_bush-and-reagan-george-w-bush-fees

    Have any of the paid speakers (or anyone for that matter) – including Zakaria – every had a thought worth that much money?

    Have they EVER said anything outside of the establishment philosophical tract?

    Have they EVER said anything that doesn’t completely and wholeheartedly endorse the status quo aka neoliberal fascism?

    No.

    Thus, it’s only the effectiveness of the propaganda that keeps people believing that this ISN’T a system of payback and graft, a clever and aboveboard way of rewarding the elite parrots for a job well done – whatever political stripe they may be.

    Need a “liberal” to give you the establishment line? Call Zakaria.

    Need a hip libertarian to soft sell the establishment line? Call McArdle.

    Need a former president to lend the establishment line some “cred”? Call the Big Dog.

    Once you cut through their individual schticks they are – get ready now – ALL THE SAME!!!

    Seriously, if you ever find yourself actually debating/ruminating on the points made by politician or their lackies just remember this:

    If Bristol Palin was getting between $15,000 to $30,000 for a speaking engagement, what does the person you’re listening to stand to make from Obama on down?

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2010/05/18/bristol-palin-gets-15000-to-30000-in-speaking-fees/

    It is NOT discourse that you are hearing.

    It is NOT the honest airing of debate and thought.

    It is a well-financed facimile meant to make all of us believe that the “serious” people are “seriously debating” the “serious issues” of our time.

    1. alex

      jsmith: it’s only the effectiveness of the propaganda that keeps people believing that this ISN’T a system of payback and graft

      How many people do you know that don’t believe this is a system of payback and graft? I can’t think of any.

      Like the USSR, it isn’t necessary that people actually believe all the propaganda, just that alternative points of view not be “legitimized” by being expressed in open and “serious” forums.

      1. jsmith

        “How many people do you know that don’t believe this is a system of payback and graft? I can’t think of any.”

        Actually I know a lot of people who don’t seem cognizant of this fact but even more who do know it but STILL get sucked into the propaganda miasma – it really is that effective.

        Yeah, Obama/Romney who cares but I’ll still watch the debates…

        Yeah, the election will have zero effect on my life but I do love the CNN holograms on election night….

        Yeah, these people are talking out of their @sses but that was a good point Carville made….

        Take the HFT/bot manipulated markets – please – in all their falsity.

        Again, many people also know that the today’s markets are computer-generated chimerical representations of economic reality yet many of those very same people still follow the numbers and the “analysis” of the CNBC robots because – well – that’s what we’re given to watch and – boy – those CNBC babes are lookers!

        We have to come to the point where everyone, everytime when confronted with spokespersons for the establishment need call “Bullsh!t” and not engage with these professional propagandists who are very well paid and very well trained to “keep the conversation” going.

        Even if you’re arguing against what the establishment is saying but you’re still arguing WITH an establishment person, you’re still engaging with the establishment superstructure on THEIR level.

        To a person these people should be mocked, ridiculed and ignored whenever possible, anything so that they aren’t allowed to “keep the [horsesh!t] conversation going.”

        The “reality” they have meticulously constructed and handsomely fund is their most potent and powerful weapon as it has a tentacle designed for the neck of each individual no matter how seemingly savvy one may appear to be.

        Oh, and anyone too savvy is obviously “not serious” and/or a “nut”.

        1. Aquifer

          So, if you ARE going to watch the debates, why not watch them on the DN livestream so you can actually hear another point of view?

          1. ZygmuntFraud

            Yes, I remember that now: Wednesday evening. With the other candidates at Democracy Now in studio, it sounds at least 10 times better, more interesting (but I’m from Canada, for full disclosure).

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps I misunderstood.

      I thought free speech meant you didn’t charge people to hear you speak.

    3. David

      You can rant about how Zakaria is a propagandist and compare him to Ann Coulter, or you can take his commitment to discourse seriously (Harvard Ph.D., Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, TIME, CNN, Washington Post, forums) and show that his work and his speaking arrangements fall short of the standards he should hold for himself and we should hold for him. I took the latter course.

      Fred Hiatt’s response is the orthodoxy in journalism. To claim that journalists or media commentators not accept any speaking fees at all (an easy way to avoid problems) is crazy talk. I’m trying to change that.

  12. anon y'mouse

    on the Army believing social network use is evidence of radicalism, i give you the DSM V whose symptoms are so vague that most of those who read the entries will walk away convinced that at least half of the maladies described apply to themselves, and probably everyone else they know as well.

    it’s called casting such a broad net that, if necessary they can lock you up for anything or nothing at all. they’ve been doing it to street people under the catch-all of ‘vagrancy’ for a long time now.

  13. Eureka Springs

    This wont be a debate.

    

It’s Obamneycare. A right to profit, not a human right. The most expensive, least humane, worst health system in the developed world.
    
I have all my quotes prescreened before media publishes them, No, I do!

    We both want to cut Medicare and Social Security.

    We both want to privatize/charter American schools.

    We both want to lie about real un/disemployment numbers and only see austerity measures as a sure fire way to keep people un/disemployed… or if they must work… working for less and less.

    We both want more free trade agreements.
    
I want more humanitarian bombing all around the world and to murder or torture, imprison americans without charge, trial or conviction…. and so do you! How dare you!

    I helped the rich in over a hundred trillion $ ways… we can’t afford to let you have a go. Sure we can.

    I never prosecuted a bankster or war criminal and neither will you.



    My name is Baritt Obomney and I wont debate this message.

http://obomney2012.com/

  14. briansays

    debate?
    meanwhile in cali
    dodgers sent packing last nite
    oakland a’s beat the texas rangers last night
    last game of the season today and they are tied

  15. Rebecca Soul Twit

    During the execution of the Luenn’chetuz, Rebecca Soul Twit reminded him that she had offered him a pony, and a last chance to stop his grousing.

    Then she moved to the south side of the esplanade to open the prison, releasing a group of prisoners composed of two women and one man.

    Now there was only one detainee behind the heavy iron bars.

    Clearing a passage through the crows, Rebecca Soul Twit led the three newcomers to the spot the dancers had just trampled, their hands bound in front of them.

    An anxious silence fell over the entire assembly, in anticipation of the tortures, the fettered trio was about to endure.

    Rebecca Soul Twit drew from her belt a mighty axe, its finely honed blade made of a strange wood that was as hard as steel.

    Several slaves had joined her to assist with the execution.

    While being held fast, the traitor to Obama named Gaiz-duh, was made to kneel, head bowed, while the two other convicts stood motionless.

    Rebecca Soul Twit said: “There are bad things and they are bad. There are good things and they are good, but you are traitor to Obama and that makes you a bad thing.”

    With both hands, Rebecca Soul Twit swung her axe and three times struck the traitor in the nape of the neck.

    With the third stroke, Gaiz-duh’s head rolled on the ground.

    The severed portion of the head had the solid, scarlet look of a butcher’s cut.

    “Kill fewer children, and there will be lesser evil!” said Rebecca Soul Twit.

    Now it was Mossem’s turn and the slaves placed before her a fiery brazier in which two long pokers with coarse wooden handles rested, their tips glowing red…..

      1. Peasant Pinguin Society

        Lambert,

        That depends…still waiting on Major Funding from sponsors…

        They said if it doesn’t arrive today, then surely tomorrow…

        1. Ms G

          PPS — I’m in for PPS and all of its franchises, so consider yourself funded effective immediately. Sincerely, Ms G

  16. Walter Wit Man

    Re the Golden Dawn party in Greece . . .

    The Western press is demonizing this party in order to confuse outsiders as to what is happening in Greece.

    We have the sensationalized and misleading reference to “stormtroopers” by the Interior Minister of the quisling government:

    Interior Minister Nikos Dendias reiterated in parliament that “We will not have stormtroopers in this country.”

    But this same Minister is implementing a similar immigration policy to the one Golden Dawn is promoting:

    Greek police say more than 1,600 illegal immigrants will be deported following a major crackdown in Athens in recent days. More than 6,000 people have been detained, though most were released.

    Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias defended the crackdown. He said Greece’s economic plight meant it could not afford an “invasion of immigrants”.

    He called the immigration issue a “bomb at the foundations of the society and of the state”.

    “Unless we create the proper structure to handle immigration, then we will fall apart,” he said.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19149566

    Greece has also been sensationally accused of putting immigrants in ‘camps’ as part of its efforts to control immigration:

    Greece opened its first purpose-built detention centre for illegal migrants on Sunday in Athens, a week before a national election where illegal immigration has emerged as a key issue.

    About 130,000 immigrants cross the country’s porous sea and land borders every year, the vast majority via Turkey, and the authorities are forced to release those who are arrested because of a lack of permanent housing.
    http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFBRE83S0GD20120429

    But of course Golden Dawn is the main party listed when we are told about these immigration policies in the West, but “Greece’s ruling Socialist PASOK and conservative rival New Democracy parties have also pledged to crack down on immigration to try to win over voters.”

    So basically Golden Dawn is being scapegoated by the press for the policies that the quisling fake “socialist” ruling party has adopted.

    And let’s be honest here. I would much rather go to a Greece detention center because they are being put in FEMA-style trailer units whereas America’s immigrants are put in horrendous prisons to await processing. Many of them spend years in these horrible conditions.

    Plus, Greece has a lot of work to do if it wants to keep up with Obama, who has deported over 1.4 million immigrants, more than any other president. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/08/27/obama-is-deporting-more-immigrants-than-bush-republicans-dont-think-thats-enough/

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The two main reasons for this propaganda are likely:

      1. To hide the fact Turkey, a NATO country and the West’s little bitch, is destabilizing the region by creating a highway of desperate people to be sent into Syria to fight and Greece to create economic chaos.

      2. To divide the opposition so that Greek citizens can’t use democratic means to change their situation. It’s no coincidence that Golden Dawn wants to stiff the bankers and get rid of the quislings running Greece for their outside creditors.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        It makes me smile knowing that I’ve hit a nerve and that you can only come up with a weak response like this.

        adding . . . that is indeed an irony about the tin foil! Tin foil is indeed a useful product and what if it’s the most economical protection from Big Brother? Would be funny. But I would say stick it notes are a close second when it comes to protection. Gotta cover up all those cameras, etc. on all those spying devices we are carrying around.

        Now we just need something or all the RFIDs–they’re even in candy bar wrappers now . . .

      2. Walter Wit Man

        And speaking of tin foily . . .

        Looks like the Reuters photo linked below has been altered or staged.

        Another look at the guard tower and guards from a Greek source (from a series of photos from >here), looks much different than the Reuters photo.

        The Reteurs photo makes it look like the guard is carrying an assault rifle and wearing cargo pants with maybe a bullet proof vest and a baseball cap. While the Greek sourced photos show the guards dressed in an older style police uniform without cargo pants, assault rifles, or vests. The have old style police belts with equipment that doesn’t appear in the Reuters photo.

        There is also a search light on the guard tower in the Reuters photo that I don’t see in the Greek source and the angle emphasizes the guard shack much more.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      I really shouldn’t have used the word “quisling” as that word choice may have been the product of the propaganda I saw over the years.

    3. Aquifer

      WWM -

      “I would much rather go to a Greece detention center because they are being put in FEMA-style trailer units whereas America’s immigrants are put in horrendous prisons to await processing.”

      Ah, seems to me you have fallen for the propaganda – FEMA trailers, with their formaldehyde soaked plywood – are much more fiendish instruments of torture ….

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Good point that sometimes being somewhat more “free” in an open camp (i.e. ‘concentration’, ‘detention’, or ‘refugee’ camp) can actually be worse for ones health.

        The blankets filled with smallpox given to American Indians when they were put in concentration camps may be the best example. We also have the recent examples of Hatian refugees suffering in camps because of disease and the toxic FEMA trailers you mention.

        This is what it looks like to await deportation in America.

        And this is what it looks like to await deportation in Greece for some immigrants. Those that can’t be provided housing are released, whereas in America no one is released, they are simply imprisoned.

        Both groups are caged until they are deported. Let’s have at it. Let’s compare the conditions. What do the detained eat each day. How much exercise. Are there toxins on those tents in the Greek camp? They look less toxic as they appear to be natural material.

        Here’s where some asylum seekers are housed in Australia. I see the similar buildings as those used in Greece and there also appears to be a cage/fence surrounding it (probably with spots for guard). Maybe the press takes a close-up photo of the living units or a far-away photo of the complex if its a pro-Western government like Australia but takes tightly cropped pictures of people standing in front of a fence with a guard tower when it’s a country on the hit list, like Greece. Here’s a wider view of the new Greek detention facility.

        Who knows what is going on in UK detention centers.

        Of course Amnesty International can’t be trusted as it is obviously ignoring the most egregious violator of immigrant rights: the U.S., and focusing all its energy on Greece who is being picked on by its creditors/owners (the U.S. et al.).

        Now where is it that Assange is hanging out while he clears up his issues?

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Ignore the part about toxins in tents. I found two images of tent camps–one purported Greek and one Australian–but then I wasn’t sure where the image of the Greek “tent” came from so I didn’t include them.

          Now I see that the new Greek facility is similar to trailers but I haven’t found a good photo or description of them.

  17. Lambert Strether

    Here’s the money quote on the hitherto ignored Conason piece:

    What [Stone] has written amounts to a gleeful felony indictment of everyone involved. Will any of them demand a retraction or even issue a denial?

    Simple answers to simple questions: No.

  18. Garrett Pace

    Potential debate questions by New Yorker journalists. A grab bag of safe establishment topics:

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/10/the-new-yorkers-debate-questions-domestic-edition.html

    Nothing about kill lists, whistleblowers, foreign entanglements, privacy or the Constitution.

    Though there’s this bit of desperate fantasy chaining brilliance:

    “If you are reëlected, you will not have to spend the next four years worrying about reëlection. How would you use that moral luxury, so to speak, to make tough and potentially unpopular but courageous decisions on behalf of America’s long-term prosperity and regeneration?”

  19. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thanks for the link, Matt.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-02/top-1-got-93-of-income-growth-as-rich-poor-gap-widened.html

    In turn links to:

    http://go.bloomberg.com/multimedia/americas-growing-income-gap-shows-two-recoveries-in-action/

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-03/no-joy-on-wall-street-as-biggest-banks-earn-63-billion.html

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-03/u-s-mortgage-prepayment-rate-reaches-highest-level-since-2005.html

    Nice net interest margin for the banks. Of course, corporate insiders are also realizing huge gains by exercising their stock options with the stock market now back up near the 2000 and 2007 highs on QE and those low, low interest rates… sweet!!… and bonus season is comin’ right up, corporate cowboys and cowgirls!

    Keeps the minions line dancing though, no?… and punishes those evil savers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Right now, those evil, retired savers are free to choose between

      1) joining the action inside the casino

      or

      2) eating less and buying less medical care.

  20. Hugh

    “Lawmakers and aides say that real negotiations on how to deal with the fiscal cliff can’t begin until after voters decide who will control the White House and Congress next year”

    Translation: They don’t want to do anything as long as voters could hold them accountable. Once they are safely re-elected, they can, and will, act with impunity.

    I found the article about the Top 1% Got 93% of Income Growth frustrating. Sites like this one and many of us have been pushing this issue for some time, but whom does the article’s author go to but a retired airline CEO with a miniscule blog. The 93% figure comes from the Saez study but as far as I can see the author didn’t bother even to contact him.

    The author does quote Stiglitz, but let’s be clear: Stiglitz is every bit as Establishment as Krugman, just not as party affiliated. His statement ““We’re all in the same boat,” Stiglitz said. “If our economy doesn’t go well, the 1 percent will suffer” is simply false, unless he’s thinking lampposts. We saw how much the rich suffered after the 2008 meltdown. They got the 93% of the gains in 2010 that Saez documents.

    I suppose it is something that an article like this showed up in our kleptocracy enabling media, but unless there are many more and offering real solutions, this is nothing more than a blip on the screen. There and gone.

  21. juliania

    I’m curious about the first link. I did go to the Guardian politics site but couldn’t find anything about voter registration slumping, and when I searched only came up with an article about Hispanic registration. Am I not seeing the forest for the trees? ( I didn’t look in all the articles.)

    I can certainly understand why this would be so, but would urge those not registering to consider alternate candidates. And watch Amy Goodman’s democracynow.org tonight (8:30 EST) – she’ll have a couple of them ‘participating’ in the first debate.

  22. Hugh

    Re Zakaria, if he had not been caught plagiarizing, his speaking fees and conflicts of interest would not have come up at all. Why people in his position plagiarize a specific person has always been a puzzle to me. I mean they have been regurgitating/plagiarizing the Conventional Wisdom their entire careers. Indeed that is their career and they have been extremely well compensated and successful doing it. Zakaria has been doing this kind of thing for 20 years. He could do it in his sleep. He probably has been doing most of it in his sleep. So why commit some stupid, likely to be caught, plagiarism now?

    There are two things to keep in mind about Zakaria being paid up to $75,000 for a one hour talk. The first is that this reflects his media stardom. The second is that it is a payoff. And it’s not just a payoff to Zakaria personally but an enticing message to journalists everywhere about the benefits of “going along to get along.”

    1. craazyman

      and the third is: somebody has waaay too much money to spend on speakers.

      they should do something else with it, like get better wine for the dinner.

      and if it’s a rubber-chicken sort of event, at least do something creative so the meat doesn’t gleam like somebody’s yellow bugger there on the plate.

      you can do a lot with $75,000 that people will actually remember. haha

  23. juneau

    This HuffPo article focuses on one data point in a survey of 133k physicians of whom 3k responded (a 3 percent response rate, enormous self selection bias) by Jackson Coker.

    Only 20 percent of respondents thought tort reform was important.

    0.6 percent of all doctors surveyed. This does not seem representative to me. I know many physicians who like universal health coverage more than tort reform.

Comments are closed.