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Links 12/4/12

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Cave Fish, Draconectes Narinosus, Discovered On Vietnamese Island Huffington Post (Carol B)

How tall can a Lego tower get? BBC (Richard Smith)

Price gouging: It costs more to send a text message on Earth than from Mars ExtremeTech (Carol B)

Woman With Runny Nose Turns Out to Be Woman With Leaking Brain Fluid Gawker. !!!!!

Teens Dying From Sunbed Tanning Curb $5 Billion Industry Bloomberg

Loss of income caused by banks as bad as a ‘world war’, says BoE’s Andrew Haldane Telegraph. Haldane is not toning it down even though incoming boss Mark Carney has said he thinks nothing is wrong with having big banks, a clear disagreement with Haldane’s views. We’ll see if Haldane is simply making good use of his remaining time under Mervyn King and becomes more circumspect, or whether he keeps it up. I suspect the latter, and would further bet that Carney would not take it lying down.

Currency War Coming to Europe? Bruce Krasting

Europe’s temporary reprieve MacroBusiness

French economy buckles as car sales collapse Telegraph

Prosthetic Legs Placed Outside Of Greek Parliament Clusterstock

Morsi has left Egypt on the brink Mohamed ElBaradei, Financial Times

Iran claims capture of US drone Guardian

Top NSA Spying Chief: “If You Ever Get On Their Enemies List, Like Petraeus Did, Then You Can Be Drawn Into That Surveillance” George Washington

Progressive media claims they’ll be ‘tougher’ on Obama now Glenn Greenwald. “Tougher” = wet noodle lashing.

Catfood watch:

Fiscal Slope Negotiations in the Context of Current Expenditures and Current Receipts Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

The Debt Limit Is the Real Fiscal Cliff New York Times

Geithner: Social Security Should be Dealt with using a Separate Process Jon Walker, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Small business owners: Never mind taxes, don’t cut entitlements Daily Kos

The Social Dimension of Prosperity Dan Kervick, New Economics Perspectives

Buddhist Scholar Says Norquist Pledge Is Treason, Goes Viral Addicting Info (furzy mouse)

How the Coastline Became a Place to Put the Poor New York Times

JOURNALISM AS CRIMINAL VAGRANCY: CITY OF LA FINALLY CHARGES ME FOR REPORTING ON LAPD’S OCCUPY LA RAID Yasha Levine, NSFW

No Foreclosure for the Holidays? Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. I like Levitin, but he has a Scrooge attack.

Deflationary Trends in Consumer Credit Michael Shedlock

An instant banking classic, from Treasury Select Committee hearing on HBOS (Richard Smith): https://twitter.com/creditplumber/status/275673495713751040: “It would appear the ability to see risk is inversely proportional to the time spent trying to model it.”

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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63 comments

  1. fresno dan

    Progressive media claims they’ll be ‘tougher’ on Obama now Glenn Greenwald. “Tougher” = wet noodle lashing.

    Exactly right – the problem is that things once contested, such as using drones to kill people in countries we are not at war with merely by executive order, are now institutionalized under both dempubicans, and republicrats. Whistle blower protections are less, privacy is less, war making power is expanded.
    Oh, and with Syria we now know where all the Iraqi WMD went…yeah.

    1. Brindle

      Waiting for onslaught of wet noodles from Joan Walsh, Sam Stein, John Nichols…..just off the top of my head.

  2. Butch in Waukegan

    Bloomberg: China, S. Korea to Boost Use of Local Currencies in Trade

    “We expect several benefits, such as reduced foreign- exchange risk and transaction costs for companies,” according to the statement. Alleviating “external vulnerabilities due to decreased dependence on the major reserve currencies” is also a reason for pursuing the deal, it said.

    Send in the navy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The value of the dollar comes from the need to pay taxes.

      Even though every transaction there is just an exchange between a Chinese and a South Korean, ultimately the value derives from what happens in the US, with respect to the dollar. So, we probably need to tax people more here to make it more valuable for the Chinese and South Koreans.

    2. Susan the other

      Japan and India are contracting for currency swaps to stabilize their own currencies via the dollar. Huffpo. That’s why Geithner and Bernanke went to India in an unprecedented trip to arrange this stuff. It gave Japan an edge over China in the ensuing trade talks wherefrom china stormed out. Right? Please, someone explain how this stuff works.

  3. fresno dan

    An instant banking classic, from Treasury Select Committee hearing on HBOS (Richard Smith): https://twitter.com/creditplumber/status/275673495713751040: “It would appear the ability to see risk is inversely proportional to the time spent trying to model it.”

    and fresno dan’s corrollary: and even more inversely proportinal if you get ginormous bonuses for accepting liar loans and selling sh*tty MBS’s that you know are full of liar loans….

    1. ChrisPacific

      Or putting it another way:

      The truthfulness of claims that “we never saw the risk” is inversely proportional to the potential profit that can be made from lying.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From the Telegraph article on France:

    Eric Dor from the IESEG School of Business in Lille said France has clung too long to a high-tax dirigiste model – with state spending near 56pc of GDP – but has also made a hash of globalisation. “The Germans make top quality cars that export well to China and the BRICS while French cars are not fit for that market at all.”

    The International Monetary Fund said France is losing global export share at an disturbing rate and is too reliant on “low to medium-tech products that face competition from emerging economies”. It warned last month that the country risks slipping behind Spain and Italy as they grasp the nettle of reform.

    Efforts to lure foreign investors have not been helped by threats to nationalise ArcelorMittal’s steel operations in Lorraine, a move described by the French business lobby MEDEF as “simply scandalous”. “We’re encouraging the French in the belief that they live on a different planet from the rest of the world,” said the group’s president Laurence Parisot.

    Last time France had a doctrinaire socialist regime (under Mitterand in the early 1980s), the French franc lost almost half its value in four years, cushioning the blow of omnipresent state intervention.

    This time round under Hollande, France’s traditional safety valve of devaluation has been wired shut with the euro currency. Since something has to give, it’s the French economy, melting like a dish of ice cream in the microwave.

    Anyone who’s lived in France knows what comes next: millions of farmers, students and the petite bourgeoisie taking to the barricades, demanding that their dirigiste government ‘do something.’ Which is what got them in the fix they’re in now …

    1. Susan the other

      Or, what brought Europe/ France down is an underground infiltration of toxic mold which came up through every root in their garden. Toxic in the sense that it commandeered resources into profiteering; it did not add anything into the richness of the culture.

  5. JohnL

    ” Buddhist Scholar Says Norquist Pledge Is Treason, Goes Viral Addicting Info”

    Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman is also Uma’s dad.

  6. YesMaybe

    “Buddhist Scholar Says Norquist Pledge Is Treason, Goes Viral”

    Also: “Uma Thurman’s Dad Says Norquist Pledge Is Treason, Goes Viral”

    1. JohnL

      Just for grins I googled “Grover Norquist buddhist” and “Grover Norquist Uma”. The latter generates more links to articles about Robert Thurman’s video.

      If it gets people to check out the link it’s good I guess.

  7. JohnL

    ” How the Coastline Became a Place to Put the Poor”

    The same phenomenon blighted Long Branch and Asbury Park in NJ. And then eminent domain was used to move the same people out again as beachfront became desirable. Expect more of the same after Sandy.

  8. Jim A

    In a blog that deal with black swans and long tails, I can’t let that Lego story stand. The median fail strength is a worthless measure. Look the bottom 1,000 brick have a very similar force on each one. You don’t care when the Average brick fails, you care when the first brick fails. So you’re interested in something greater than a 99.99% confidence level.

    1. Jim A.

      And just to beat a dead horse, the greater the strength/weight ratio, the higher the confidence level has to be because more bricks are subjected to the highest forces.

  9. punchin judy

    As examples of ways to press for accountability, Greenwald gives demonstrations or primary challenges. The idea is to put pressure of some sort on the presidential puppet ruler of criminal capo John D. Bennett and his out-of-control Clandestine Service.

    Let’s think this through. Public assembly is criminalized and extrajudicially punished with torture and inhuman and degrading cruelty, as Yasha Levine documents in the link above. The Democratic party is a hierarchically-directed conduit for graft wielding the delegated authority of a state that is publicly committed to official impunity for crime. On behalf of a kleptocratic elite, Bennett rules by emergency decree, secret law, and the centrally-coordinated repression of a top secret continuity of operations plan.

    And this totalitarian state is going to yield to protest? To parliamentary procedure?! Yeah, right. There’s nothing here at home that can get Bennet’s Gestapo under control. It will take the whole world to rein him in. They’re on it: http://iccnow.org/?mod=getinvolved

    Robert Lady lost his swanky Hannibal Lector villa – that’s what scares them.

  10. diptherio

    Buddhist scholar, blinded by the Democrats maya (not that his argument about conflict of interest is off base, but he seems to think Obama and the Republicans are representing different interests).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Treason…sedition…

      Are we talking about arresting, what is it, 90%+ of the elected memebers of that party?

      Are we talking about banning that party?

      What is he saying?

      What if some group takes a pledge to be peaceful, to be non-violent always? How does it fit with the declaration of war and the Constitution?

  11. Herman Sniffles

    Great picture. I didn’t know that Jimmy Durante and W.C. Fields hung around together when they were children.

  12. matt

    Jean Bricmont on the the left and R2P:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/04/beware-the-anti-anti-war-left/print

    “Interventionism and European construction are both right-wing policies. One of them is linked to the American drive for world hegemony. The other is the framework supporting neoliberal economic policies and destruction of social protection. Paradoxically, both have been largely justified by “left-wing” ideas : human rights, internationalism, anti-racism and anti-nationalism. In both cases, a left that lost its way after the fall of the Soviet bloc has grasped at salvation by clinging to a “generous, humanitarian” discourse, which totally lacks any realistic analysis of the relationship of forces in the world. With such a left, the right hardly needs any ideology of its own; it can make do with human rights.”

    1. Jessica

      The left supporting what were formerly right-wing policies has happened so often, over so much of the first world that perhaps more than stupidity or intellectual exhaustion is involved. Perhaps even more than the effect of domestication by moneyed interests.
      Perhaps The Left now is primarily the political voice of a knowledge-creator/distributor class that has not yet taken full shape. A class that could be the independent driver of a genuinely flourishing economy but that right now functions as the enabler class for the predatory elite. A class that consistently sides with the elite against its historical allies in the classes that make things not knowledge.
      If this is so, then there would be a deep, unresolvable contradiction between the tawdry activities the class engages in and the potential that will continually pop up. And the attempt to ignore the tawdry current reality and to lay claim to the moral authority that the potential would deserve if it were realized, that attempt would mark The Left and be its actual main function.

  13. p78

    Genetic study uncovers the mistery of the origin of the European Gypsies: North-Western India.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/9719058/European-Roma-descended-from-Indian-untouchables-genetic-study-shows.html

    The study, which was published this month in the journal Nature, examined Y chromosomes in DNA samples to compare the genetic signatures of European Roma men with those of thousands of Indians from throughout the sub-continent.
    Scientists from Hyderabad’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology collaborated with colleagues in Estonia and Switzerland to compare more than 10,000 samples, including from members of 214 different Indian ethnic groups. They were analysed to match a South Asian Y chromosome type known as “haplogroup H1a1a-M82″, which passes down male bloodlines, with samples from Roma men in Europe.

    When the researchers overlaid the closest matches onto a genetic map of India, the highest density was in areas dominated by India’s “Doma”, “scheduled tribes and castes” –the low caste Dalits or Untouchables (Athinganos in Greek, hence Tzigeuner in German) who suffer widespread and generational discrimination and usually do society’s dirtiest jobs.

    The researchers believe the descendants of today’s Roma gypsies in Europe began their westward exodus first to fight in wars in what is today Punjab between 1001 and 1026 on the promise of a promotion in caste status.

    Joseph Jones of the Gypsy Council said early photographs show British gypsies with Indian facial features and styles of dress until 100 years ago (…) and that their common heritage should be accepted now by newer Indian communities in Britain.

  14. Doug Terpstra

    GOP “I pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist and to the kleptocracy for which he stands, one plutocracy above God …”

    “I … do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the pledge to Grover against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion … So help me God.”

  15. Lambert Strether

    If you define “middle class” as those who came out of the depression unmolested by the banksters, whether by skill, luck, or being supremely “deserving”…. That is Obama’s core constituency.

    Which has a lot of implications for fiscal policy since (a) government is like a household and (b) the middle class are now those who successfully made their payments, because everybody else got stomped on and went under.

    To a first approximation….

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Text messaging from Mars.

    If we keep sending probes to Mars, along with whatever pollutants/contaminants, looking for life, eventually there will be life there.

    And we will then discover life on Mars.

  17. Valissa

    Excellent interview! Budding Business: Is Marijuana the Next Big Commodity to Invest In? http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/breakout/budding-business-marijuana-next-big-commodity-invest-151359110.html

    The text portion only gives a few highlights of the interview, and is poorly written. Highly recommend watching the full 7 minute interview as there are many interesting subtopics, plus the tone of the conversation itself is very telling of the state of the trend. What’s fascinating to me is how this is an example of the business market is helping to drive the trend towards legalization. The gov’t is so addicted to its Drug War, it will be interesting to see if marijuana business interests will become strong enough to successfully challenge that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps the Don can settle the dispute between the privatized prison industry and this budding industry.

        1. Maximilien

          Sure glad I live in British Columbia where, although possession and cultivation of cannabis is technically illegal, our enlightened authorities have decided to “Just Say No” to enforcement of unpopular marijuana laws. As a result, we have developed a quality product (BC Bud) and a thriving export market for it (primarily the western United States):

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

          We spend pennies on prisons and make bucks from “Bud”. What a deal!

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Banning tanning salons to save teens.

    It will cost jobs but that’s the right thing to do.

    Another idea for protecting kids – add an extra period for organic farming at all schools (or maybe just replace PE with it). Kids can then eat nothing but organic at school, in addition to getting an hands-on lesson in hard work and physical labor. Who knows, it might save schools money…

  19. Kurt Sperry

    JOURNALISM AS CRIMINAL VAGRANCY: CITY OF LA FINALLY CHARGES ME FOR REPORTING ON LAPD’S OCCUPY LA RAID Yasha Levine, NSFW

    Gets me,”Sorry, this is a subscriber-only Dispatch. You must be logged in to view it.”

    The people publishing this piece don’t want me (or presumably anyone else) to read it. Could we please stop having links to content that is unavailable, paywalled, or requires submitting to a email collecting honeypot to access?

    If you really think walled off content is actually worth us reading you can generally find a source link that has republished it on the honest, open internet by googling a sentence from towards the end of the piece in quotes– this to prevent the common practice of republishers providing only the opening paragraph to trick the searcher into clicking on the SE link thinking they will be able to read the entire piece. If we humor these publishers of restricted content by playing along it will only encourage them and others.

    1. Tiresias

      I concur. Giving links to articles behind paywalls – most commonly the ‘Financial Times’ in NC – is pointless.

      1. dearieme

        For the FT, copy the title of the article, paste it into your Google search bar and run it. You get through to the article.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Why not then just post the url that google provides users to access the content rather than a link that runs head on into a paywall/registration wall? I know it’s not always that simple– for NYT content one can simply open the link in an incognito window and not bring the tracking cookie the NYT plants counting down how many articles of theirs one has read whereas doing the same in FT calls up the wall.

          More broadly, content hidden behind access barriers is, far more often than not, no better than similar content in the open and often worse. In fact, professional journalists are by their very nature money driven. They have to be paid or baby don’t get no new pair of shoes. This makes them really vulnerable to corruption of their work process; they are placed in the awkward position of having to balance reporting truth against how that might affect their ability to receive continuing paychecks. Look at the MSM, where journalism is putatively at its professional zenith and the renumerations are greatest. Look at the utter dreck and vapid conventionalist propaganda that richly renumerative process outputs. You can almost invariably find far higher quality reportage being written by the better unpaid bloggers who aren’t constrained by the integrity killing pressures that pros labor under. American professional journalism is 99% crap– either puerile intellectually contentless infotainment, rolling over humiliating and pissing itself flattery for the elite or outright deliberate misinformation to keep the reader in the dark. As PPS so aptly described them here (paraphrasing), ‘cum buckets for the 1%’. Paywalls are a good tipoff that whomever is publishing are mostly about the money– and that’s a good tipoff that they are writing for the highest bidder rather than to the highest journalistic standard.

          It turns out the best intel is almost always open source and whores will tell you anything you want to hear– once they get paid. They’re “just trying to make a living” too. Caveat emptor. Or just don’t buy it.

        2. Tiresias

          Perhaps I could, but that would be cheating. If the FT thinks only those who are willing to pay for its wisdom should receive it what right have I to steal it?

          1. ambrit

            Dear Cricket;
            I tell those most perplexed customers I deal with at the DIY Boxxstore that “advice is free, I make my money on the parts you buy to use that advice.” Plus, look what happened to poor old Prometheus when he stole some fire from the Gods!

      1. Tiresias

        Yelling and screaming? I was merely suggesting that putting links to articles behind a paywall was a waste if time. If you’ve paid for a subscription presumably you’ll see it whether or not NC links to it. If you haven’t paid for a subscription clicking on the link is an irritating waste of time.

        Personally I just don’t bother clicking on any link to a source I know from experience might be behind a paywall, but each to his own.

  20. Susan the other

    Links today were good, especially Adam Levitin’s scroogie analysis of the FHFA, Freddie and Fanny. Amoral organizations if they ever existed. To wit: “Is it going to be numbers or morals…? Why is relief needed in the first place?… Well, that’s a silly question – relief is needed so that people can spend for Christmas!! Keep those corporations twitching. Actually no one should ever be foreclosed on if the underlying claims are based on LAYERS OF FRAUD. This is the real reason “servicers” are unwilling to do the material analysis which might serve to justify foreclosure – There is no such material evidence, in fact the evidence is in favor of homeowners. Only the homeowners (by simple possession) are the legal owners and parties of interest. Because all the clever banksters, are fraudsters. Fraudsters plain and simple. There is no other word for them. They have no interest to foreclose, they have no note, no allonge and no title. So when Adam says “Either this (christmas foreclosure hiatus) is about serving taxpayer dollars, or it isn’t,” He’s right on. Ah, but its Christmas…. chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

  21. skippy

    Report: Number of young adults out of school, work hits half-century high

    Nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor working, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report warns of a future of chronic unemployment due to a continuing failure to educate and train America’s youth in needed skills.

    The most recent “Kids Count” report, one of the most widely cited surveys of how youth fare in the United States, found that young people aged 16 to 24 are facing serious barriers to successful careers as youth unemployment has reached its highest level since World War II. Only about half of young people in that age group held jobs in 2011, according to the report, titled “Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity.”

    The employment rate for teens between the ages of 16 and 19 has fallen 42 percent over the last decade: 2.2 million teens and 4.3 million young adults aged 20 to 24 are neither working nor in school. Of those without school or work, 21 percent — or 1.4 million — are young parents.

    The report is published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one of the largest private charitable organizations in the U.S. devoted to improving the lives of children. huffingtonpost.com

    2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book

    National and state-by-state data on key indicators of child well-being.

    http://datacenter.kidscount.org/DataBook/2012/

    skippy… you can let yourself down, your country, but, when its kids… well don’t go getting old… because you will reap the results. Go Team Education for Profit!!!

    1. skippy

      Bonus video:

      The Mysterious Deaths of Nine Gulf Oil Spill Whistleblowers

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sFfkd1NYtkk#!

      skippy…. more good stuff@

      http://www.facebook.com/RealCoastalWarriors

      and

      http://onwingsofcare.org/protection-a-preservation/gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-2010/gulf-2012/334-20121202-slicks-macondo-area.html

      PS… Alaskan Exxon Valdez Oil Spill recipe

      rating 8.0

      Scale ingredients to servings
      1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
      1/4 oz Jagermeister® herbal liqueur
      1/2 oz Rumple Minze® peppermint liqueur

      Shake Curacao and Rumple Minze together, let chill and pour into a snifter. Layer the Jagermeister on top and drink like a shot.

      1. Splashoil

        Looks like Shell’s artic explorations are not passing the smell test. Here in Bellingham, WA Shell has been converting a surplus barge into a PR catastrophic response item. The highly touted containment dome was crushed like a beer can in calm water sea trials after they lost it and it sank.
        http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/12/03/shell-s-arctic-oil-spill-gear-crushed-beer-can-simple-test
        This information was pried from the government with a FOI request stone walled as long as possible.

      2. Howard Beale IV

        Leave out the curacao and that drink becomes a “Nazi From Hell”-and just as toxic.

        No mixing liquor’s for me-right now its Chartreuse on the rocks to shunt this cold that wants to take hold.

        1. skippy

          @Splashoil,

          Yeah saw that, the MBA boss must of pushed the – Optimize Key – on that design, submitted from the monkey gang, down in the bowels of “Temp – Off Shored” CAD Operators Dept.

          @Howard Beale IV,

          Cointreau on the rocks or a good cloudy German wheat beer… (Reinheitsgebot) purity matters in some things… eh… like the head tomorrow.

        2. ambrit

          When I was a tiddler and had a cold, Mum would give me a hot Rum and Orange.
          1 shot Barbados Rum
          4 to 6 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
          2 to 4 oz sugar water
          Mix and heat to a simmer. Let cool somewhat. Imbibe.

  22. kevinearick

    Economics 4 Laborers

    This is how the economy works, from the perspective of the people that work, physically transforming capital to adapt:

    I charge $125/hr to fix your elevator, because your landlord puts me in a line behind lower bidders that are incapable, trying to get me to compete with them. I charge for my time in line. On the flip side, when I raise my price with the landlord’s persistence, he calls the corporation, at $250/hr, to maintain control of the labor process. It’s an induction ponzi.

    For the most part, the union elevator mechanics cannot fix your elevator and keep their jobs, because, like you, they are not supposed to know what is inside that proprietary (arbitrary) computer (PLC). Like all other dc automation, all they can do is patch, with expensive gadgets and parts, which serve as bubble gum, tie wire, and duct tape. And every time they patch, your rent goes up, because it’s all about THE PRICE OF LABOR, to transform capital as required to adapt to changing conditions, and embedded capital naturally resists change up to a ratcheting threshold.

    When you start migrating up levels in the system, enterprise architecture, circular queues within queues, the price goes up. The middle class is not paid to understand what I am talking about, but the intelligent kids investing in their children’s future, with deferred income, do. I’m telling them how to turn their cars into elevators, which has substantial implications; that there is no point in getting started until middle class die off takes hold; and capital will destroy itself, because it cannot see beyond itself, with a the middle class positive feedback signal, which we have left relatively intact.

    I prefer to work on the old stuff, because I am an old-timer, but it’s in the kid’s interest to wipe the slate clean, hence the repetitious nature of empires. Intelligent kids don’t stand in line for the opportunity to give their work to the latest and greatest empire icon, which is why Apple is going the way of Microsoft.

    Explicit middle class democracy is a lottery ponzi, always has been. Only the dress changes, as capital tries to hide its increasingly nonperforming nature behind a growing nonperforming middle class, with a majority vote to enslave labor. Look at the data.

    Now, with all these kids watching on empire TV reprogrammed for the purpose, they see a middle class placing me in a line, to stand in another line, to stand in another line as a homeless person, so it has plenty of jobs, to artificially drive up real estate prices for non-performing capital, to house replicating non-performing robots, in a big circle jerk, all hoping they will not be the next to go over the cliff.

    Labor walks in, and then out of capital black holes. Size and ignition depends upon position. The aggregate output gap is a function of the individual output gaps, the difference between proven potential to adapt and system resistance. Getting cheaper labor from China to move in the wrong direction, to prop up the middle class facade, faster, is not the solution; it’s the problem. The Obama administration running its operation through the veterans is understandable, but misguided. The US Navy doesn’t have a single admiral labor will accept.

    The taxman is suffering from income deferral, surprise, surprise. Capital always assumes that empires are forever, and it is always wrong. What Bernanke and Greenspan have done, under the Fed’s employment policy, is to turn humans into robots, fixed assets, so they cannot alter the status quo. What do you do with a factory full of robots that are obsolete?

  23. Hugh

    I think Glenn Greenwald’s piece reflects his own inability to break with the Democrats and those who support them.

    He speaks as if MSNBC was part of the progressive media. It’s not. It’s part of the corporate media. Its focus, as he points out, is support of Obama and the Democrats, or in other words, a corporatist entity backing a corporatist party and its candidate. “Progressive Democrat” is like “military intelligence” an oxymoron. In fact, it is an excellent way to distinguish faux progressives from the genuine article. Faux progressives fall into two groups, those who claim to be progressive but either A) strongly support or B) refuse to burn their bridges to the Democratic party.

    What Greenwald is really portraying here is the conflict between these two branches of faux progressives, with himself belonging firmly in the second. You can see this in his description of lesser evilism as “cogent and rational” and that despite its costs, it still has “benefits” and “one should be honest about both.”

    Greenwald thinks it’s not worth his time to rehash lesser evilism, but I will. Lesser evilism is all about convincing you to vote for someone who does not represent you and your views. It conveniently dodges the issue that your vote is yours. You own it. You owe it to nobody. If a candidate or party can’t give you good, positive (emphasis on the positive), substantial reasons to vote for them, they don’t want your vote, and you should not give it to them.

    Beyond this, the whole idea of lesser evilism as it plays out nowadays is a lie. What we have now are not greater and lesser evils, but evils which work together, which need each other, which are complementary and synergistic. There is nothing cogent and rational for a voter about this.

    What we are left with Greenwald is unconvincing. He won’t come out openly, break with the Democrats, and use his voice to create real opposition to them. So he ends up in the same place as those he criticizes. He is more critical of the Democrats than they are but ultimately is unwilling to hold them to account in any meaningful way, i.e. outright opposition.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hugh, he has gone “the way of all flesh.” Isn’t he getting older? Isn’t he better paid/protected/whatever at the Guardian? Is he looking forward to a comfortable retirement, having decided to get off the minefield and count the days? Was all of his hard fighting successful? Really, what else can he do? He’s tired.

  24. skippy

    Elizabeth Royte, The Nation Magazine, Author of “Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash” joins Thom Hartmann. Sticking to environmental horrors…

    Is fracking responsible for killing off an alarming number of livestock around the nation? Authors of a new report looked into 24 different case studies in six different states where hydraulic fracking is taking place, to find out why livestock is getting sick and dying. Their conclusion: it’s the fracking chemicals! For example in Louisiana, the study found 17 cows that died after being exposed to spilled fracking chemicals for only one hour. In central Pennsylvania, after 140 cattle were exposed to fracking chemicals, half died. And in western Pennsylvania, after a nearby pond used by pregnant cows was contaminated with fracking chemicals, half the calves born were dead. And if this is what fracking is doing to animals, what might it be doing to people?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPM4x_KNT2s&feature=share

    Skippy… Fracking… thank you DICK… the gift that keeps giving… that and securitized debt (the fracking of peoples future earnings… giggle).

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