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Links 10/5/12

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Dwarf ‘vampire’ dinosaur was a plant eater BBC. Coming to a horror movie near you…

Extreme Energy Means an Extreme Planet Michael Klare, TomDispatch

FTC Releases Google Privacy Report – Minus The Juicy Details Security Ledger

An Indian flash crash FT Alphaville

How a rogue appeals court wrecked the patent system ars technica

Erdogan Made To Step Back From The Brink Moon of Alabama

Reuters Reporter’s Hit Job on a Recent Report on US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

National ‘virtual ID card’ scheme set for launch (Is there anything that could possibly go wrong?) Independent

Insurers, Some States and Co-op Plans Moving Forward with Obamacare Global Economic Intersection

MITT ROMNEY’S FATHER CALLED SUPPORTERS OF EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT “MORAL PERVERTS” Mark Ames, NSFW

The US presidential debates’ illusion of political choice Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Mister Rogers Gave A Timeless And Deeply Moving Defense Of PBS In 1969 Clusterstock (Dr. Kevin)

Cynthia McKinney On Leadership CounterPunch (Chuck L). Paul Craig Roberts is a bit sycophantic, but there’s still good stuff in this talk.

Does the F.B.I. Have an Informant Problem? Foreign Policy. Interesting even if from last month.

Wal-Mart workers on strike Salon (Lambert)

Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, The Presidential Debate, Social Security And The Upcoming Retirement Crisis Helaine Olen, Forbes. Read the health factoids.

Warren showed softer side to Wall Street behind the scenes as Obama aide The Hill. Boy, does this read like overcompensating.

Elizabeth Warren & LTV Steel Credit Slips

M Stanley chief warns on Wall St pay Financial Times. The comments so far are gratifyingly savage….and this is at the FT!

Despite Gains, Many Flee Stock Market Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Is Attracting A Dangerously High Portion Of Harvard MBAs Clusterstock

Liikanen is at least a step forward for EU banks Martin Wolf, Financial Times. A useful summary, and I particularly like having bankers paid in “bail-inable” instruments.

Monetary Mystification Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate (Richard Alford)

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 28 and counting*

“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.” –Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon

FL. Civic engagement: “Several nonprofit groups plan to distribute leaflets at local bank branches in downtown Orlando on Friday afternoon to educate bank employees about their rights should they choose to become ‘whistleblowers.’ The groups planning to “leaflet” downtown include Government Accountability Project, Home Defenders League and Occupy Wall Street.”

LA. Public relations: “Advertising! That’ll slow the murder rate for sure. And along the way, we’ll generate PR production jobs for the media-savvy “creative class” types we keep hearing are the future of the city.”

KY. Extractive economy: “A new study commissioned by the KY General Assembly paints a gloomy picture for the continued survival of two Western Kentucky aluminum smelters — Rio Tinto-Alcan at Sebree and Century Aluminum at Hawesville.”

MN. Police state: Wheelchair beating (video). Duluth PD: (218) 730-5400 

MT. Money: “On October 3, [the] U.S. District Court enjoined MT’s contribution limits for state office, which are $130 for legislature, and $500 for Governor/Lieutenant Governor. [I]t is clear that the basis is that the limits are too low.” …. Money: ” As state lawyers Thursday asked federal courts to temporarily block a ruling that wiped out Montana’s dollar limits on campaign donations, [t]he Gazette State Bureau obtained a recording of a voice mail from state Rep. Champ Edmunds, R-Missoula, in which he said donors have ‘a limited window’ to make donations ‘for any amount, for any candidate.’” Oink oink!

NY. Class consciousness: “Dozens of executives of companies that do business with city government are finding their way around strict limits on campaign contributions, raising nearly $1 million so far on behalf of prospective 2013 candidates for mayor. They are bundlers, intermediaries who deliver donations from multiple donors to a candidate running for office, and most come from the real estate industry. While the city’s campaign finance rules limit city contractors and lobbyists seeking government business to just $400 in contributions to any one candidate, no such restrictions apply to those who bundle other donors’ contributions.” … Meritocracy: “Very small numbers of black and Hispanic students are able to gain admission to the celebrated exam schools. At Stuyvesant High School, only 19 black students were admitted into an entering class of nearly 1,000.” … Police state: “The mayor’s official budget statement, filed earlier this year, shows that the NYPD expected to spend $154 million in 2012 on judgments and claims. For fiscal year 2013, now underway, the NYPD has budgeted $180 million for payouts. ‘[T]he city has a ticking time bomb for making payouts for police conduct,’ said Mark Taylor, an attorney who represents plaintiffs in police misconduct cases. Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled this week that the city is liable for hundreds of arrests the NYPD made during the Republican National Convention in 2004, opening up the possibility that plaintiffs could sue for false arrest and further exacerbate the problem.” …. Fracking: “To date, no one in the public or medical community has seen the DEC’s review of health impacts, nor has the Cuomo Administration shared details regarding who was involved in its development and execution.” … Fracking: “Political uncertainties aside, there are three major administrative pieces in play to NY’s fracking policy puzzle. One is a review on the environmental impacts of high volume hydraulic fracturing [the SGEIS]. The second piece — called rulemaking — is designed to produce regulations, and it’s to be built on the findings of the SGEIS. There is a Nov. 29th deadline to complete rulemaking. The third piece is a health review of fracking” (excellent explainer). =

OH. Christianism: ” Humanist and secular groups have joined the side of an OH school board in a court battle over the firing of a public school science teacher who kept a Bible on his desk and was accused of preaching religious beliefs in class.”=

TN. Subsidiarity: “U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Wednesday TVA could be destroyed if it remains under the federal government control and suggested that the region’s governors could be better overseers of the agency providing electricity to 9 million people in seven states.”=

PA. Corruption: “Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery County) called for a discharge petition on HR 520–a resolution that calls for an investigation into Gov. Corbett’s investigation of Jerry Sandusky. Rep. Briggs, who signed the resolution back in June, made a motion to bring the discharge resolution back into play to force a vote in the House tonight. A source on the scene tells PW that Rep. Sam Smith, the R Speaker of the House, simply refused to recognize Briggs, without explanation. Then the lights cut out, and ‘Republicans fled.’” … Gary Johson: “In a letter to [the] Philadelphia DA, [Gary] Johnson’s General Counsel alleges that an agent of the PA-GOP posed as an law enforcement official and attempted to bribe or intimidate witnesses.” … Food: “At a basement food pantry in suburban Pennsylvania, 2,000 pounds of food are given to roughly 160 families a week. The majority of families come from the Levittown neighbourhoods – an iconic planned suburb that once ushered in the era of a post-WWII American dream.”

TX. Jill Stein: “Jill Stein, Green Party’s presidential nominee, will be spending four days in TX trying to convince Texans to vote for her in the presidential race. Currently, there are 43 different Green Party candidates running for office in TX.”

WA. Strikes: “Workers for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s largest aircraft-fueling contractor marched with supporters to the company’s office Wednesday and threatened to strike over the suspension of a co-worker and safety concerns.”

WI. Crowds: “Several senior White House officials were on hand to watch the speech and revel in the turnout. Valerie Jarrett and David Plouffe both went up in a hydraulic lift to look over the crowd. Chief of Staff Jack Lew watched from the sidelines, beaming. After the speech, thousands lined the streets cheering and waving as the president’s motorcade sped through campus.” … Homeless: “Madison has made it harder lately for the homeless, the beggars, the alcoholics and others at the bottom rungs of society to find a place to dock. Earlier this year, the city cleared the de facto homeless encampment known as Occupy Madison and refused to find occupants a new site on city-owned land. Soglin’s bus-’em-back-out solution — “Greyhound therapy,” as he called it — is payback.” … Progressives: ” With the recall fight behind us, it feels great to move on to the prospect of a big win. But beware the next roller-coaster dip. Obama may win the election on the issue of defending Medicare and protecting the middle class — and then sign off on a bipartisan deal on deficit reduction that undermines Medicare and Social Security, makes deep cuts in other programs, and steers clear of the so-called fiscal cliff by pushing lower-income Americans right off the edge. Win or lose, we are going to have just as much work to do to defend those core values the Republicans ignore and the Democrats only seem to remember now and then.” Title of the article? “Wisconsin loves Obama after all.” Alrighty then.=

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Teachers: “For most teachers, their pension plan is their only retirement subsidy, since nearly all of them cannot receive Social Security benefits.” … Lame duck: “First, senators would come to an agreement on a deficit reduction target — likely to be around $4 trillion over 10 years — to be reached through revenue raised by an overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes [cuts] to social programs like Medicare and Social Security, and cuts to federal programs.” … Stupid and/or evil: “[When Obama said 'I suspect that on Social Security we've got a somewhat similar position'] I was dumbfounded,” said [Roger Hickey of CAF]. ‘He could have said, ‘Let’s see if we agree on Social Security, I’m not in favor of cutting benefits, I’m not in favor of privatizing like you and your running mate have advocated.’” (Dear Lord. Obama put Social Security in play in the 2008 Iowa primaries, has floated “compromises” that raise eligibility and cut benefits, and — ably serviced by Pete Peterson — set up the Catfood Commission when the Senate wouldn’t. How could anybody with the sentience of a flatworm be “dumbfounded”?)

Outside baseball. Getting it: “I was reading Atlas Shrugged when the power went out. That’s when the roof collapsed, and my cell went dark, and I could hear the weirdly high-pitched screams of those trapped people that sounded like music from hell itself. Anyway, it gave me some time to think about things. You know what? I believe America is great, because we fight for individual liberty. But we’re also great when we pull together and help each other out. That’s an important aspect of our national character too. It’s what I just realized three or four hours ago, when I ran out of potable water.” …. Relocalization: “Perhaps good government doesn’t scale. Maybe it can only take place at the community level. If that is so, then devolving federal powers — including taxation — to the local level is a matter of survival.” … Relocalization: “[D]espite its roots in the peak oil movement, and although premised fairly overtly on the implosion of the global economy and the failure of nation-state institutions, the Transition Network remains obdurately disinclined to focus on the problem of violence. This is surprising. The re-emergence of famine in Western countries combined with a failure of state institutions would certainly result in appalling violence between individuals and communities.” … Charters: “And the L.A. Times found [Won't Back Down] ‘So shamelessly manipulative and hopelessly bogus it will make you bite your tongue in regret and despair.’” Well, there’s a lot of that going around. … Legalization: “[PAT ROBERTSON: ] ‘I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol.’”

The trail. Exit polls: “[T]his year’s election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections. Here is a list of the states that will be excluded from coverage: AK, AR, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, KY, LA, NE, ND, OK, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV and WY.” … Exit polls: “That would seem to be an invitation to fraud in those states, since Exit Polls have traditionally served as a helpful check and balance against fraudulent or simply inaccurate election results, particularly for the almost 100% unverified election results that the media now counts on to report results in all 50 states. Those results come from often-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulators used across the entire country.” As Brad says: “Privatized voting.” … Leading the election returns? “The Court’s perceived stamp of approval for the ACA led some Americans to switch their minds about it, leading to a small increase in approval of the law following the decision.” … Americans Elect: “According to the Americans Elect Mission Report, published this year, the organization spent $1,157,723 for ballot access in 2010, and $10,158,324 in 2011. Those total $11,316,047. The report does not have the 2012 figure.” … They have no place to go: “According to a study by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, [in] the ten states where the study was conducted, only 4.57 percent of the money spent on political advertising was directed at Latinos. In TX alone, 23% of all registered voters are Latino.”

The debates. Jill Stein: “As our nation’s first Green president, my mandate won’t be just to ‘create new jobs.’ My mandate, if elected, will be to end mass unemployment once and for all. I will do this in my first term through a Green New Deal.” … Krugman: “[T]here was Capillary Man once again. I really don’t know what this is about.” Point shaving? … Stop The Spirit of Zossen 2.0: “Last night, Romney came across as someone doing a well rehearsed offering roadshow. He was selling. As they say in the movie, “Always be closing” (indeed; NSFW. Does Romney remind anybody else of Alec Baldwin?) … Lynn Sweet: “I asked Obama campaign spokesman Jen Psaki why the [no mention of the 47%]. Said Psaki, ‘99 percent of the country knows about it. [T]he goal was not to come in and do a check list of complaints.’” Huh? … First Draft: “If ____ got out there on stage and p*ssed on the podium ______ strategists would be ringing up ____ and all these other fu*cks pointing out how strong the stream was and how ____ couldn’t whizz like that if ______ tried” [slightly abstracted]. … Bleeding Heartland: “I’ve talked to a bunch of rank-and-file Democrats today who are deeply concerned about Obama’s debate performance. Interestingly, a couple of them said that their friend or spouse who only listened to the debate, like I did, also didn’t feel Obama did that badly. His body language must have been atrocious.” … The Howler: “The first twenty minutes of last night’s debate was a virtual rerun of the first twenty minutes of the first Bush-Gore debate.” … Zinger: “[One] line from Romney on [education] seemed to stand out, though. Two different [Wal-Mart Moms] reiterated Romney’s line to Obama about spending money on green jobs that could have hired teachers: “You put $90 billion into green jobs. And I — look, I’m all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have hired two million teachers. $90 billion.” … Triumphalism: Heh.

Green Party. Jill Stein: “Oddly enough, Dr. Stein’s sentiment that maybe less trading would be a good thing is in line with the sentiments of some of my border line Tea Party friends” (serial interview with Stein in Forbes, of all places).

The Romney. Percentages: “[ROMNEY:] Well, clearly in a campaign, with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong. And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100% and that’s been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100%.” Hard to imagine Obama not bringing this up in the debate was anything other than a pulled punch. Especially since both candidates agree on cutting Social Security. Although not, to be fair, Big Bird.

The Obama. Rope-a-dope? “The heart of Obama’s new message with less than five weeks to go: Romney is a liar.” Takes one to know one? … Air war: “Two days before Election Day, a movie detailing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will air on the National Geographic Channel. The film is being distributed by the Weinstein Company, owned by a Harvey Weinstein, a major backer of [the Obama] campaign.” It’s going to be hard to top whacking OBL for 2016. Maybe barbecue one of his kids? … Chicago way: “David Lowery says he believes he was threatened during a phone conversation with Louis Raymond, the Illinois political director for Obama for America. Lowery says he doesn’t personally support the president because he’s not addressing issues important to the black community. He said he was explaining that to Raymond when the Obama campaign official told him, ‘You know what? I know everything about you.’ Lowery says Raymond added, ‘We’ve been watching you, and since you don’t support Obama, we’ll deal with you,’ before hanging up. Lowery filed a report with the Oak Forest police report, he says, ‘in case something happens.’” Well, at least it was just a phone call. Instead of a dead fish.

* Slogan of the day: Raise Higher the Banner of The Obama’s Thought on Children’s Television!

* * *

Antidote du jour. Reader Lance N, who had to put his cat who had cancer down earlier this week, sent this:

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53 comments

  1. Mark P.

    Informative post and comments at the OIL DRUM on liquid natural gas (LNG), which has its own pros and cons, and is a rather more separate beast to oil than non-experts like Michael Klare (linked to above via Tomgram) treat it as.

    “The Cold Facts About a Hot Commodity: LNG”

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9526

    1. Klare fan

      Michael Klare is THE expert on the oil industry, having studied it for years. Liquified natural gas production is not an “alternative” to petroleum, it is inseparable from it.

      Your link beautifully explains why the well-educated public will agree with Dr. Klare that “The truth is this: there is just one possible golden age for U.S. (or any other kind of) energy and it would be based on a major push to produce breakthroughs in climate-friendly renewables, especially wind, solar, geothermal, wave, and tidal power.”

      1. Mark P.

        I beg to differ. Klare has no physics or technology training. From his own bio –

        ‘Michael Klare, Five College professor of peace and world security studies, and director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), holds a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of the Union Institute. He has written widely on U.S. military policy, international peace and security affairs, the global arms trade, and global resource politics.’

        http://www.hampshire.edu/faculty/mklare.htm

        Lacking scientific and technological expertise, Klare — like yourself — is constrained to view natural gas through the lens of his specialty: the oil industry and the geopolitical situation as both have historically existed. That’s not entirely worthless, because it’s going to be many of the same players out there.

        But it’s not science, either, and the future is going to look different than the past. The real-world physics and mechanics of NG capture, treatment, handling and transport are very different, in ways that the Oil Drum post usefully brings home to anybody who bothers to read it. The future is not going to look like the past.

        And, incidentally, I probably take a more pessimistic near-term view regarding global climate change than do you. Do a search, for instance, on some of the increasing numbers of patents for potential extraction technologies of Arctic methane deposits — it might be informative.

    1. Richard Kline

      In prison, tho! “We wanna retrial, my client was nowhere near the scene of the slime.”

  2. Aquifer

    Don’t know why Reilly has such a problem with a financial transaction tax as a “sales tax” – NY has been doing it for over 100 years, as Stein mentions, however, it is rebating it back to the brokers and traders …. considering the amount of revenue involved, frankly it is a puzzlement to me why no one mentions this in blogs like this ….

    “Tax stocks, not socks!” sounds like a good idea to me, especially with winter coming up ….

  3. RT

    Glenn Greenwald in his recommendable article stated “One way to solve this problem would be to allow credible third-party candidates into the presidential debates and to give them more media coverage”.

    He somehow missed to point out that there was – for the first time – a special live broadcast (hosted by ‘Democracy Now!’) of an ‘expanded debate’ (including the Green Party’s and the Justice Party’s candidates). The internet channel on which I watched it counted up to 15,000 viewers.

    see Amy Goodman ‘Expand the Debate: This Is What Democracy Sounds Like’ here: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/expand_the_debate_this_is_what_democracy_sounds_like_20121004/

    1. Aquifer

      Although i suspect GG meant they should be allowed in the door and on the stage of the “official” debates, your point is well taken – another example of how “prog” bloggers of repute repeat that old “What we really need is, 3rd party, open debates, whatever” fill in the blank while failing to point out what is ALREADY out there ….

      So what IS it with these folks? Are they so woefully uninformed? Have they decided to dismiss these alternatives out of hand without even acknowledging their existence? And if so, why IS that? Because they really do not want to torpedo that wonderful TINA meme?

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        On that Amy Goodman show, before 9pm, someone exposed the “secret” two-party contracts, i.e. their existence although this seems little known. A “commisssion”/organization funded by Anheuser-Busch and other companies sets down the rules of the debate.
        The commissionners are high-ranking members within the R and D parties.

    1. Aquifer

      Hmmm, seems to me, both D/R participants were losers, both were liars and the winner, and truth teller, of that debate was the Green – but hey, that’s just my take ….

  4. whoops

    Know what’s the most interesting thing about the debates? Now that Obama has lost prestige and face, and is getting prepped to death under intensified pressure of humiliating public defeat, wouldn’t this be a great time for CIA to step up its Mideast provocations and inadvertently get a dogfight or firefight going? http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/10/erdogan-made-to-step-back-from-the-brink.html CIA used to sneak stuff like that past a distracted Jack Kennedy, too, before they whacked him.

    1. TK21

      You make it sound like Obama doesn’t want shooting and killing. He’s the one who chooses drone targets, after all, every tuesday. He’s the warmonger, everyone else is just following his orders.

    2. Nathanael

      The CIA is doing nothing of importance in the Middle East right now.

      History is actually happening which has little to do with the US. Erdogan is faced with a situation where he has few options; he’s been asking NATO and the UN to give him more options, but the Great Powers don’t want to intervene in Syria.

      Like any regional power faced with a blow-up on its border and a refugee crisis, he’s probably going to end up having to conquer Syria just to restore order and get the refugees out of Turkey proper. It’s an old story dating back thousands of years. Well, it was an Ottoman province; Turkey would probably manage Syria perfectly competently.

      Something similar is happening in Somalia, where Kenya has finally decided it has no choice but to take over southern Somalia. (In that case, if the US had just let the Islamic Courts Union run things, we would not be in this mess, but the US destabilized every government which began to get legitimacy. In Syria, Assad destabilized himself.)

    3. ZygmuntFraud

      There was an order/paper authorizing some form of US assistance to those opposing Assad in Syria some while back (several weeks). I picked it up somewehere but it wasn’t breaking news. Policy people have said repeatedly that part of the opposition is Al Qaeda-types.

      On understanding Shia and Sunna schools, I rec. this:
      Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution,Updated Edition: Nikki R. Keddie: 9780300121056.

  5. Jill

    Lance N.

    I am very sorry about your cat.

    Drone study: That is spoking the adminstraion and Obamabots. BBC did a program on it this A.M. It was interesting– who they interviewed, who they didn’t. What was left out. Did you know that as long as we’re in a just war, drones are fine? And you do believe we are in just wars, don’t you!!!

    There are Obama supporters who have no idea what Obama is doing. Then there are the ones who do. That’s who this article was written for-they need talking points for their own “conscience”.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I don’t know your baseline for “considerably.” Looks like a blip around around permanently high to me. I guess we’ll wait for the analysis to see where the numbers and the adjustments come from.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Well, whatever jobs there are are not good ones, as far as I understand. But what matters on this report is that the Obama campaign can now say:

        “The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009.”

        Since Obama took office.

  6. Jill

    Romney voters angry about people getting green jobs: Politics of desperation.

    People at Walmart work so hard for very little. No one is helping them. So the idea that they don’t get help and someone else is getting help makes them angry. That anger is twisted against them by someone like Romney. Legacy parties know how to nurse desperation in ordinary people, to make it work for them. It’s just disgusting.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Dwarf vampire dinosaur a plant eater?

    What about drones? Drones eat gas. Are they plant or animal eaters?

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Counting the unemployed.

    Why do they teach counting to 1st graders? The way they count unemployment, counting ‘seems’ like it should only be taught to candidates for Ph.D. in mathematics.

  9. Waking Up

    If you want to know how a real leader thinks, read the post “Cynthia McKinney on Leadership”. Excellent.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Well, watch the parking meters. In general, I deprecate the leader meme, because I think it’s toxic. Analytically, “Teh Leadership!” is so often at the analytical level of the sort of book one sees in the Business Section of airport bookstores. In fact, I suggest that the concept is so context-dependent as to be meaningless, and where it applies (as, granted, in many corporate cubes and in some parts of electorial politics) it only does so because the the context itself is so impoverished that only impoverished concepts are appropriate for it, rather like soil after a few seasons of monoculture.

      I far prefer just titles of office to “leader.” (“Community leaders called for calm.” Don’t they always?) For example, I don’t abominate Obama because he’s a bad leader, but because he’s a bad President.

      1. mac

        Community leaders, tend to be just those who jumped out in front and proclaimed themselves as leaders.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Greenwald’s debates’ illusion of political choice.

    Another illusion of choice – investment. Here, the invisible hand of the Dark Lord, instead of the invisible hand of the market, who manipulates interest rates to make people ‘choose’ what/where to invest, often destructive to themselves.

    “I am sorry, my Dark Lord, but your invisible hand is in my pocket, eliciting unwanted, illicit investment feelings in me. Please stop. I feel I am being violated.”

    1. Valissa

      The young Adam Smith at work http://greenewable.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/df1990-4051.gif

      Who believes in the Invisible Hand? http://greenewable.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/323.gif

      The true believers worship here http://www.hightowerlowdown.org/sites/hightowerlowdown.civicactions.net/files/images/cartoon_2005_jul.png

      The Invisible Hand and Marketing http://greenewable.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/slapped-by-the-invisible-hand.jpg

      And now for something completely different http://filipspagnoli.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-other-invisible-hand-cartoon.jpg

  11. be'emet

    dunno about Alec Baldwin. Warren Beatty as Bugsy )1991?)Siegal is the model from Central Casting.

  12. Rebecca Soul Twit Watch

    While visiting Islamabad earlier today, Rebecca Soul Twit informed the Muslim people they should stop grousing over Obama’s drone campaign in Pakistan.

    (Note: The strategy (documented by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism) consists of first killing people with drones, then targeting anyone who tries to rescue survivors or retrieve bodies, and finally launching a drone missile at anyone who survives the first and second attack as they gather at funerals to mourn the dead.)

    “Stop your whining and bitching”, Rebecca Soul Twit said, “stop acting like Eeyore in Teletubby” she told the mostly Muslim audience of those who have lost family members to a drone attack.

    And so the initial drone-fired missile maybe killed 20 civilians. Big f*cking deal. What do you people do? Are you grateful you weren’t among the 20 civilians and get on with your lives? Do you see a pile of horse manure and rejoice because there might be a pony underneath?

    Nope, you become gloomy gus, and b*tch and moan instead.

    And so you’re just asking for it, and should not complain about the missile fired at rescuer workers that kills another 50 civilians.

    And what do you people do then? Do you finally get the message and start looking for a pony under all that horsesh*t?

    No way! You cry and mourn and attend the funeral of Mamma Yasmin or Papa Muhammed or baby Syed, Malik, Shaikh, Khawaja, Pasha. Or whatever. And like that you’re just asking for it all over again. And the drone missile fired at these funeral whiners might get another 100 or more civilians. Big deal, they were offered a pony and turned it down.

    My message for you today, said Rebecca Soul Twit, is get over it and stop weeping these big sad hot pony tears.

    1. TK21

      Besides, Obama has said that he favors letting gay people get married (although he hasn’t done anything about it). So surely the people of Pakistan agree that he gets to kill as many of them as he wants.

    2. Nathanael

      I’ve been trying to figure out the Pakistani politics here.

      What I’ve concluded is that there are major regional/ethnic/”racial” divides in Pakistan, and that as long as the US restricts its drone terrorism to the “unpopular” parts of the country, the Pakistani elites will let them do it. If the US starts unleashing drones in the parts of the country occupied by the dominant ethnic groups, then Pakistan will clamp down and throw the US out.

      1. Synopticist

        Pakistani politics is mental. It’s crazy wierdness all over. Most of the members of parliament for the supposedly more leftwing party, the PPP, are feudal aristocrats. The right are religious nationalists who control basically the entire media.
        Imran Khan, the former cricket captain turned new messiah, thinks he can abolish corruption within 100 days of getting elected. He’s leading the anti-drones campaign, and is the biggest cheerleader for the extreme mullahs, despite getting the support of most young, jeans wearing middleclass voters, with fashionable western haircuts anti-western views. They lead furious protests when drones kill militants, but don’t say a word when militants behead Pakistani soldiers. Sometimes they blame India, or Mossad/CIA.

        The people who are really in charge are the ISI, the secret services, who founded the Taliban, and helped them settle in the FATA, Pakistans tribal area, after they were thrown out of Afghanistan. For the most part, they acheived this by assasinating hundred, yes hundreds, of tribal leaders in the early 2000s. The whole pashtuniwallah, the duty to protect strangers, is a frankly a bit of a myth.

        90% plus of the country are 9-11 truffers. Mad conspiracy theories are totally mainstream. They’re taught in schools. Seriously.

        Pakistan has the worlds most dis-functional politics. It’s crazy, and it’s getting worse.

  13. Roland

    Moon of Alabama often has good stuff, but is missing the obvious movement towards war between Turkey and Syria. The official NATO communique scarcely calls for Turkish restraint:

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-4E979748-581C1549/natolive/news_90447.htm

    “In the spirit of indivisibility of security and solidarity deriving from the Washington Treaty, the Alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an Ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law.”

    And somehow Moon of Alabama claims that Erdogan got slapped?

    Today the Turkish parliament has extended the war mandate given to the government, now to include ground forces. Turkish bombardments of Syrian positions are ongoing. More armoured units are being deployed to the border area.

    Turks claim Syrians are still firing. More of those “mystery mortars.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19849748

    1. Nathanael

      Seven mortars over the border from Syria to Turkey — before the one which killed 5 Turkish civilians. Yes, they were probably accidents (the cities are nestled up right next to the international border) but that doesn’t really change the situation for Turkey.

      An airplane shot down (and Turkey has presented strong evidence that it wasn’t in Syrian airspace).

      This has been going on for a year. Turkey has over 100,000 Syrian refugees now.

      Turkey is being boxed into a position where invading and conquering Syria is the only reasonable option for it. Much like Syria did to Lebanon when the Lebanese Civil War started to spill over the border.

      If you look at what happened to Lebanon — Syrian invasion actually helped the situation — it seems clear that Turkish invasion can only be good for average Syrians.

    1. Nathanael

      But it’s a very important issue. “Bread and circuses” was how the Roman elites prevented the mob from rioting.

      The people who argue that we shouldn’t fund the circuses are basically asking to be guillotined.

    2. feds on the lam

      Cheerful thought: so as not to get despondent about the unstoppable psychopathic evilness of the United States government, it’s comforting to recall that international criminal law is for individual criminals, not states. When Robert Lady got convicted in the Abu Omar kidnapping case, the Italian government seized his villa in Asti and sold it, complete with his vintage wine collection, to top up the $1.33 million paid to Abu Omar in compensation. Boo hoo hoo hoo, huh? Pretty soon our intrepid baby-blasting drone pilots are gonna have to do their grand tour at Disney World, or else get nabbed.

  14. kevinearick

    Capital vs. middle class welfare is not a choice for labor; labor has no interest in a ponzi demographic lottery reduction system, which is why it does not collect the derivative, non-performing capital, why it is so far ahead in time, and why the empire black hole is so strong. Time is not money; time is much more valuable. Labor needs no favor from capital or the middle class.

    Quality of Life vs. Jobs for Robots

    Well, well. The stack is popped.
    At bottom, Admiral Pansy,
    Caught in his own net,
    Vainly debasing currencies, State by state,
    Stealing from every man, woman, and child,
    In a shrinking border of borders,
    Between waters, false assumptions all.

    Nothing worse than a false flag,
    Missioning hypocrite Christians,
    Training whores to collect slaves in queues.
    From the family law civil zoo they come,
    Normalized to sell out their own,
    Of, by and for the New new order,
    Mealy mouth Virginia politicians,
    Making bigger and bigger promises; Aloha.

    San Diego, Gibraltar, sewer’s end,
    Expanding promises on contracting revenue,
    Sailors face down in their vomit,
    Middle class thrown under the train,
    Capital, generations removed from providence,
    Demographic cliff at continent’s end.
    Navy Senator, a piece of discarded gum,
    Traveling shoe to shoe, to president.

    USSNavy, fox guarding the hens.
    World leaders as puppets,
    In on MADness from the beginning,
    Liquidation through global trade,
    Mutually assured embezzlers,
    Fleeing to one another’s country.
    Global trade collapses; PMs rise.

    Who wants to be Hawaii,
    Servants to useless capital expansion,
    Increasingly corrupt middle class unions,
    Enemies to their own race,
    Choking their own,
    With empire family values?

    Nothing quality cannot fix,
    Only you, the individual, can create,
    Escaping corporate gravity,
    With kindness of strangers,
    Enemies of State,
    FIRE assumptions expunging liberty.

    Delay, delay, back of the queue
    Their own always in front of the line,
    Increasing pressure on decreasing volume,
    Arbitrary, capricious, and malicious,
    Dc gatekeeper nodes sinking costs,
    In a war of attrition.

    Popularized education propaganda;
    Labor requires govt largesse;
    Positive empire feedback,
    In a digitally closed system.
    Labor extends the border fulcrum,
    Stepping off to ignite FIRE,
    In its own shortening.

    Capital and middle class rule of law,
    False assumptions perceived as order,
    Labor alternating disorder,
    Beyond empire perception,
    With incremental sight & quantum anti-sight,
    Currency deflation into non-performing inflation,
    The almighty rehypothecating ATM.

    Middle class running to capital,
    With stolen secrets from labor,
    All jobs to china, under the HR boot,
    Viral demographic expansion to crash,
    Fixed capital replacing mobile humans.
    If Nuremberg is not a defense,
    What is Volcker’s excuse?

    Gravitron collapse of middle class,
    Suffragettes all, seeking equality,
    Themselves always first in line,
    Admiral Flynn, tights and all,
    In the bird’s nest, wingless.
    One man, one woman, under God,
    Makes and breaks the empire,
    Check mate, reasoning soul.

    Govt of, by and for delay trapping of power.
    Tell it what you cannot,
    Acquire the intermediary skill,
    See the unseen for yourself.
    Who am I to choose Admiral;
    The guy that delivers propulsion?
    Who is interviewing who,
    And to what end?

    The girl risks all,
    Applying for non-existent jobs,
    HR busy work and empire fantasies,
    The clothes on her back,
    Walking leagues to the next appointment,
    Foot prints in the sand,
    The anti-sign to all signs.

    Only your own, self as enemy,
    In a world of vacuous souls,
    Rushes by at the speed of empire,
    In a hurry to get nowhere,
    Ignoring at will,
    False flags, everywhere.

    Social condition is a function of family decisions embedded in DNA over time, which is why the only way out is kindness of a stranger, the point of which is to re-learn discernment: “when both the privileges and disqualifications of class have been abolished and men have shattered the bonds which hold them immobile, the idea of progress comes naturally into each man’s mind and all men want to quit their former social position.”

  15. Hugh

    Just wanted to point out that Glenn Greenwald is following in the footsteps of lambert’s Rombama/Obomney meme.

  16. Lance N

    Wow! I’m touched. Among my people we have a tradition of memorial haiku:

    Hey, where’s my food thief?
    I’m here eating on the couch!
    Cherry blossoms fall.

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