Links 1/10/14

Cicero police: Only shoot coyotes as a last resort Syracuse.com (bob)

One benefit to this horrible cold snap: It could be killing invasive insects Grist

“Healthy” Restaurant Meals Can Be Even Worse For You Than Hitting The Drive-Through Consumerist

U.S. Government Purchases Millions of Potassium Iodide Pills to combat nuclear radiation from Fukushima Fallout raining down on the West Coast Bleeding Edge Blog (Deontos). We don’t know why HHS bought all these pills, but the assumption is plenty plausible.

Mother Nature Sends Oil Sector Strong Message Oil Price

FRENCH BANKERS: Bitcoin Has A Limited Future Agence France Presse

Transition, torpor and deflation Trading Floor (furzy mouse)

China Data Suggest Tepid Pickup in West Wall Street Journal

China overtakes US as largest goods trader Financial Times

Indian visa row diplomat leaves US BBC

US Embassy in Bangkok advises citizens to stock a two week supply of cash, food and medicine ThaiVisa (furzy mouse)

Economic Health: Has Greece Turned a Corner? Der Spiegel. How do you say “dead cat bounce” in German?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Obama Approves Releasing Classified Information to Attack Snowden for Leaking Classified Information Marcy Wheeler

Obama Readies Revamp of NSA Wall Street Journal

Obamacare Launch

ObamaCare in California CounterPunch (Carol B)

A health industry expert on ‘the fundamental problem with Obamacare’ Washington Post. Wow, the young Ezra is not carrying the Administration’s water on this one. Hah, and the source makes points we’ve made earlier, such as the goal is to get healthy people (which includes healthy middle aged people), not just young people (you can be young and still spend a lot on medical care).

The curious silence of libertarians on pot legalization Pruning Shears

Conspiring Against Someone Who Was Mean to Your Boss Is a Very Strange Thing to Do on Your Own Jon Walker, Firedoglake

15 Chris Christie Controversies You Missed Politico

Chris Christie was a ticking time bomb as a politician. It was only a matter of time before he blew up Guardian

AIPAC’s Fed Candidate Stanley Fischer on a Warpath Against Iran AntiWar (Bob H). Charming.

Bank of America employs 20 full-time social media spies, watches anarchists and occupy protesters PrivacySOS (Deontos)

Millionaire Oligarch Poses as Walmart Protester: Harasses Shoppers to Discredit/Mock Employees! Daily Kos (Teejay). Managed to miss this, but Peter Schiff, who has lost boatloads of money for his investors, deserves to be pilloried at every available opportunity.

US retailers warn on profits Financial Times

Deflationary Anecdotes From the Front Line; Simple Advice for Businesses Michael Shedlock

The six biggest Wall Street banks made $415 billion in 2013 Gawker

NY probes banks over early warning tips Financial Times

The Loopholes In The Volcker Rule Lee Sheppard, Forbes. Short version: even worse than you thought, presumably by design. But the details are telling.

A study of Financial Repression, part 4… Ultimately Unstable Ed Lambert, Angry Bear

Investors fear Fed rate-driven Treasury market shakeout Financial Times

More Students Subsidize Classmates’ Tuition Wall Street Journal

Eight Million Jobs Are Still Missing In America Huffington Post (Carol B)

Antidote du jour:

Cute pig

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82 comments

    1. Tom Allen

      “That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep *our side* in charge of the Surveillance State. We can’t let *them* take control of such awesome powers!”
      — Either of the two major US parties in 2016

    2. scraping_by

      Christie would make a very good Scary Clown. Along with Romney’s greed-is-good, and the Tea Baggers’ hick hatred of government, you get a bombastic bully putting his hate radio howling into practice.

      Or not. He’s snivelling big time, now that his threat posturing got turned into action. And he ran into someone.

      Note: he caravanned to Ft Lee to make the mayor do a perp walk and claim apology accepted. He parked his caravan on a main street for forty minutes causing another traffic jam. If my memory of Jersey traffic is accurate, that jam will certainly last for an hour and a half.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/10/nyregion/christie-brings-his-remorse-to-an-inconvenienced-borough.html?action=click&contentCollection=N.Y.%20%2F%20Region&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

    3. Glenn Condell

      Errr, no. It is the other way around. The NSA would have their hands on Christie, in fact I would bet my left nut they already have. That is the whole point (or at least the main reason) for NSA power – control.

      It isn’t a great dark behemoth servant awaiting a new master every four years, it’s a great dark behemoth master which periodically oversees the appointment of a general manager. It has its own masters to be sure, malefactors of great wealth and military power, who need a circus MC – Clinton, Bush, Obama, whoever – to distract the masses while they steal all the bread, including loaves as yet unbaked. He is given the range of carrots and sticks that he can use and may not ever be directly, personally threatened, but with most of the characters who make it that far, that is unlikely to be necessary anyway. They have skilfully and/or ruthlessly negotiated the Conveyor Beltway in order to get there, why would they suddenly get religion?

      The very fact that this got out to cruel Christie makes you wonder. Was it decided that the next Golden Boy had lost so much lustre that he had to be jettisoned? Who’s next? Fellow Koch satellite Scott Walker?

      1. JTFaraday

        Jettisoned? If he can survive in NJ–a test I think he’ll pass– then they just moved him to the head of the pack. I know it’s discombobulating, but get used to it.

  1. JLowe

    “U.S. Government Purchases Millions of Potassium Iodide Pills. . .” doesn’t rise to the level of news. If HHS or CDC are stockpiling potassium iodide, it’s in preparation for a future local emergency (14 million doses wouldn’t go very far and iodine radioisotopes have short half lives). The rad map doesn’t have a date or citation on it, and is inconsistent with RADNET monitoring data. Should we be treating this as credible?

    1. Dave of Maryland

      Forget Fukushima. There are three or four aging nuke plants within a hundred miles of the Philly-Baltimore area, to mention only where I live. Each bursting over with spent rods. Each one of them a ticking time bomb. Mostly identical in design to Fukushima.

      The question becomes, what’s the shelf-life of this potassium iodine stuff? Five years? Ten years? Forever? What does the IEA know that we don’t?

    2. direction

      Agreed, probably not newsworthy as well as not Fukushima related. When the initial Fukushima disaster was occurring, I did a ton of reading on what could be heading for the left coast and what was being monitored at the plant. KI is stocked for local events because of the short half-life of Iodine131. It’s more the cesium and strontium releases that are a problem people may encounter in seafood.

      For decent information, I recommend Woods Hole: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83397&tid=3622&cid=94989

      There’s a lot of “mythbusting” bad information on both sides. On the “no danger” side, there are claims that the government is monitoring air and water. As far as I can tell there are air quality monitoring stations all over but the water quality monitoring is for surface water (rainfall) not ocean water, and if you visit the EPA’s pages and search for your favorite isotopes, you may find that in many places surface water monitoring has been discontinued since the 90s.

      The article was all over the map. The purchase could just be a normal resupply, since KI has a shelflife.

      1. scraping_by

        It does get people thinking in terms of nuclear-health threat-precautionary measures. The only certain safety measure is to avoid the problem altogether and make decommisioning the national policy. The elephant in the room for the nuclear industry.

    3. LucyLulu

      No, the story isn’t credible, but it’s representative of the sheer crap that is passed as “news” when it comes to Fukushima. If one has no explanation, it’s okay to just make shit up and report it. It’s not plausible either as radioactive iodine has a half-life of 8 days or less, thus is no longer a threat to the Japanese, much less those on the West Coast.

      Those who guessed the purchase is for routine replacement of stock get to share the grand prize. The NRC is replacing expired stock for issuance to states with nuclear plants within 10 miles. They do this every six years.

      http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2014/01/09/going-shopping-to-replace-potassium-iodide-for-participating-states/

  2. Bridget

    On More Students Subsidize Classmates’ Tuition: they used to be known as DRKs (dumb rich kids). Don’t know what they’ll call them now.

  3. Cal

    “Obamacare in California”
    About those attempts to pay your premium:

    Make a printout of every email you send re payment pleas, record every telephone call and create an evidence folder.

    If you get hit by a bus and go to the hospital and get billed, sue the insurance provider in superior court and use your packet of evidence. Any hungry lawyers out here or legal clinics?

    1. scraping_by

      Plus, turn on your “return receipt” or “delivery status notification” options on your email program. Then download them on a regular basis.

      A little something I learned during my divorce.

  4. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: AIPAC’s Fed Candidate Stanley Fischer

    With regard to dual citizenship:

    The 1940 Nationality Act

    Section 401 (e) of the 1940 Nationality Act provides that a U.S. citizen, whether by birth or naturalization, “shall lose his [U.S.] nationality by…voting in a political election in a foreign state.”

    This law was tested many times. In 1958, for instance, an American citizen named Perez voted in a Mexican election. The case went to the Supreme Court, where the majority opinion held that Perez must lose his American nationality. The court said Congress could provide for expatriation as a reasonable way of preventing embarrassment to the United States in its foreign relations.

    But then something very odd happened.

    In 1967 an American Jew, Beys Afroyim received an exemption that set a precedent exclusively for American Jews. Afroyim, born in Poland in 1895, emigrated to America in 1912, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1926. In 1950, aged 55, he emigrated to Israel and became an Israeli citizen. In 1951 Afroyim voted in an Israeli Knesset election and in five political elections that followed. So, by all standards he lost his American citizenship — right? Wrong.

    After living in Israel for a decade, Afroyim wished to return to New York. In 1960, he asked the U.S. Consulate in Haifa for an American passport. The Department of State refused the application, invoking section 401 (e) of the Nationality Act — the same ruling that had stripped the American citizen named Perez of his U.S. citizenship.

    Attorneys acting for Afroyim took his case to a Washington, DC District Court, which upheld the law. Then his attorneys appealed to the Court of Appeals. This court also upheld the law. The attorneys for Afroyim then moved the case on to the Supreme Court. Here, with Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, Lyndon Johnson’s former attorney and one of the most powerful Jewish Americans, casting the swing vote, the court voted five to four in favor of Afroyim. The court held that the U.S. government had no right to “rob” Afroyim of his American citizenship!

    The court, reversing its previous judgment as regards the Mexican American, ruled that Afroyim had not shown “intent” to lose citizenship by voting in Israeli elections. Huh?

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/we-are-all-vittorio-arrigoni/list-of-politicians-with-israeli-dual-citizenship-/175479365845092

    The link contains an interesting list of Israeli-American dual citizens who have influenced, and continue to exert considerable influence over American policies.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Hey this sounds fun. Maybe we can make a list of Irish-Catholic Americans who have strong influence in politics. What about Episcopal-British Americans? Ooh, and what about Lutheran-Swedish Americans? Oh wait, I know, we really need a list of Wasp-British Americans who have strong influence…

      …nah, its just no fun unless we can tap into a deep-seated, nasty and vicious historical hatred.

        1. Sammy Maudlin

          Oh, I know the answer! Ummm… Is it “was declared unconstitutional along with all other laws providing for the involuntary expatriation of American citizens in 1968?”

          Yessssss!!!

      1. susan the other

        The history of the state of Israel is at the root of the history of US foreign relations in the middle east. Beginning in 1948 under Truman. It is true that the Israelis have their own nationalistic agenda, which we do not always back, but Israel has always been our loyal friend (bombing an occasional navy warship excepted). Israel lives by our support and cannot survive without it. I’m wondering if we have just handed them off to the Saudis for the support they need and what the Saudis will ask in return. The middle east has never been more confusing. But Stanley Fischer, with his clear conflict of interest, shouldn’t be an opportunistic promoter of austerity for some. That part is enough to prevent him from being the second seat at the Fed.

        1. optimader

          “Israel has always been our loyal friend”
          “friends” is a pretty damned mercurial notion when it comes to national interest. Not very long ago Israel and Iran were “friends”. http://mondediplo.com/2009/02/05iran

          Zionists in Israel advance an agenda they perceive to be in their own National interests. They correctly understand their perception of the Israeli National interest is preeminent and those of the United States are irrelevant, except for their implication for the advancement/continuity of the Zionist regime that rules Israel.

          Unilaterally, their are elements in the United States, in government service and private sector that serve the interests of the Zionist regime in Israel above the interests of the United States.

          People who confuse this dynamic as “friendship” simply don’t understand the relationship, nor do they understand the concept of National interests.

          Individuals have “friends”. Friends are individual people attached to another by affection or esteem and may be of the same nation, party, or group. I have friends in other countries, this does not extrapolate to a mutual “friendship” of our Countries.

          Nations have Allies with mutual interests, these alliances vary from long term stability to a short term convenience. History is scattered with examples of both cases.

          Confusing the two, “Allies with mutual National interests” and “Friends” is a premeditated and cultivated ambiguity.

    2. Sammy Maudlin

      “The court, reversing its previous judgment as regards the Mexican American, ruled that Afroyim had not shown ‘intent’ to lose citizenship by voting in Israeli elections. Huh?”

      Whoa, easy on the armchair lawyerin’, there Katnis!

      If you read the opinion (a suggested exercise should one want to comment upon it), you’ll see that the Court did not “revers[e] its previous judgment” based on some kind of factual discrepancy involving whether Mr. Afroyim “intended” to renounce his citizenship while Mr. Perez did not. The entire statute was thrown out and a ban on any similar statutes was unequivocally imposed.

      In Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967), the Supreme Court declared section 401 (e) of the Nationality Act unconstitutional. The law was narrowly upheld (5-4) in Perez v. Brownell, 356 U.S. 44 (1958), and only over a very strident dissent by Chief Justice Warren. In the intervening ten years, the Perez decision received a large amount of scrutiny from commentators and other courts, and was a source of “controversy and confusion.” Afroyim, 387 U.S. at 255-56. In that time, the Supreme Court regularly declared unconstitutional other Congressional attempts to codify grounds for involuntary expatriation. Id. at 255.

      In Afroyim, the Court declared that, under our Constitution, Congress had no right to enact ANY law providing for the involuntary expatriation of a citizen. Id. at 257. “The Constitution, of course, grants Congress no express power to strip people of their citizenship, whether in the exercise of the implied power to regulate foreign affairs or in the exercise of any specifically granted power.” Id. Not just those of Israeli dual citizens as you imply.

      You suppose this just may have been a wise decision by the Court and not an element of some grand conspiracy? Take a look at these words and tell me it’s not a good thing the Afroyim case went the way it did considering today’s political climes:

      “The very nature of our free government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship.”

      Id. at 268.

      By the way, since you so helpfully pointed out that a Jewish Justice “cast the deciding vote,” I’ll point out that the opinion was authored by a former member of the KKK. Perhaps naked antisemitism is the website you are looking for.

  5. diptherio

    Re: Bank of America employs 20 full-time social media spies, watches anarchists and occupy protesters –PrivacySOS

    The story is much worse than the headline makes it sound. Of course BOA hires people to keep an eye on those who want to interfere with their crimes…er, business…no news there. But check out the lead sentence from the story:

    “Bank of America works with fusion centers, the FBI, state and local police, and campus security to monitor public protest in the United States, newly disclosed documents confirm.”

    So the story here is not really about BOA, but rather about the fact that our Federal agencies are assisting private corporations in monitoring (and possibly disrupting?) constitutionally protected activities. This is about where your tax dollars are going (helping corporate criminals defend themselves from justice), not about BOA hiring a couple people to keep an eye on twitter.

    “The documents returned in the records request pertain specifically to police preparations for the Million Mask March in Seattle, Washington. According to the documents, the protestors, many of whom identify as anarchists, set out to oppose “the corporate control of all aspects of our daily lives,” and “the use and expansion of the FBI, DHS, NSA and other government agencies for the sole purpose of silencing free speech, and treating us like terrorists.” Little did the activists know that ‘homeland security’ agencies were busy monitoring their protest preparations, in cooperation with one of the most powerful banks in the country.”

    Talk about a misleading headline…

    1. MikeNY

      You do NOT want to get between a plutocrat and his plunder. The FBI and US security apparatus clearly know who butters their bread…

    2. Ulysses

      This is why we need to struggle against the combination of state and corporate power. Libertarians who only worry about the former, and “progressives” who only fight some instances of the latter, are playing the kleptocrats’ game.

  6. Jim Haygood

    From the article ‘AIPAC’s Fed candidate Stanley Fischer …’ :

    ‘Before the Reagan administration, most U.S. aid to Israel took the form of loans that had to be repaid with interest. After the input of Fischer’s team, subsequent U.S. aid was delivered in the form of outright grants paid directly from the U.S. Treasury – never to be repaid or conditioned when Israel took actions the U.S. opposed.’

    Not mentioned is that Israel joined the OECD club of developed nations in 2010, begging the question of why one rich country should be demanding aid from another rich country at all. Since Israel neither needs nor deserves U.S. aid, AIPAC probably just uses the annual vote on the $3 billion giveaway as a litmus test of Congressional loyalty.

    Conversely, appointing an open dual citizen to the Fed board is so contemptuous that it probably would bolster the campaign to audit, and eventually abolish, this egregious bankster cartel with a nine-ton-elephant lack-of-diversity problem among its top leadership.

    1. psychohistorian

      DIVERSITY? You want diversity at the helm of the control engine of the class system?

      How much Hopium you been smoking?

      And don’t you know that the litmus test of Congressional loyalty to AIPAC is the reaffirmation of changing the US motto from Out of many, one to In Gawd we trust which is done regularly.

      Next thing you are going to start asking about is ongoing inheritance at the top end of the rich scale…………OOOOOOGGGGAAAABBBUUUUUGGGAAAAA!!! Don’t go there.

    1. Jess

      Love your screen name. If I ever change mine, maybe I’ll use Stringer Bell or Avon Barksdale. Ir what was the name of that cockamamie Polish Police Captain who had the hard-on for the head of the Longshoreman’s Union over the stained glass window?

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    Last night, Rachel Maddow laid out an alternate theory of Christie’s motivation for punishing Fort Lee.

    It involves a dispute over New Jersey Supreme Court nominations/confirmations that has been ongoing for several years, which apparently came to a head the day before the “time for some traffic problems” e-mail was written.

    Maddow’s quest for an alternate explanation was predicated on Christie’s claim that the Fort Lee mayor wasn’t even “on his radar,” and the mayor’s apparent confirmation of that fact.

    According to Maddow, retribution was acually sought against the democratic leader of the New Jersey senate who represents Fort Lee and not the mayor.

    The link includes an article and a video. The video lays out the case in much more detail.

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/the-heart-the-scandal

    It’s an interesting idea since the current explanation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    1. optimader

      Is CC so stupid as to organize such a venial “punishment” that certainly would adversely affect his own State’s commerce as well? mmm..haven’t taken the time to study him much, but i’m guessing no, he doesn’t strike me as that naïvely stupid. (On the other hand, politicians never fail to disappoint.)
      Do Governor’s staffs include dim bulb but loyal ciphers that do dumb stuff w/ things in their sphere of control in the mistaken notion that it will help preserve their positions into another successful election cycle? Of course all of them do, and some more than others. I shudder to think what’s on autopilot in (IL) Gov. Quinn’s staff..

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        No, no, it’s not stupidity. It’s the arrogance allele. That’s located on the blind ambition chromosome.

        Or is it the blind ambition allele on the arrogance chromosome?

        Wait, maybe it’s the Bariatric Surgery Nutritional Deficiency Syndrome.

        Whatever, I forget. But I’m SURE it’s something like that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I saw an article yesterday about everyone in Norway being a millionaire, thanks to oil…didn’t actually read it. Perhaps it was an average number, not actually every Norwegian.

      In any case, Norway would be a good emigration destination.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I saw an article yesterday about everyone in Norway being a millionaire, thanks to oil…didn’t actually read it. Perhaps it was an average number, not actually every Norwegian.

      In any case, Norway would be a good emigration destination. Let them worry about illegal American immigrants.

  8. fresno dan

    http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/27/how-the-content-industry-almost-killed-blockbuster-and-netflix/

    “The Supreme Court is able to take very few cases. For example in 2009, 1.1 percent of petitions for certiorari were granted, and of these approximately 70 percent are cases where there is a conflict among different courts (here there was no conflict). But in 1982, the Supreme Court granted certiorari and agreed to hear the case.

    After an oral hearing, the justices took a vote internally, and originally only one of them was persuaded to keep the VCR as legal (but after discussion, the number of justices in favor of the VCR would eventually increase to four).

    With five votes in favor of affirming the previous ruling the Betamax (VCR) was to be illegal in the United States (see Justice Blackmun’s papers).

    But then, something even more unusual happened – which is why we have the VCR and subsequent technologies: The Supreme Court decided for both sides to re-argue a portion of the case. Under the Burger Court (when he was Chief Justice), this only happened in 2.6 percent of the cases that received oral argument. In the re-argument of the case, a crucial vote switched sides, which resulted in a 5-4 decision in favor of Sony. The VCR was legal. There would be no injunction barring its sale.”

    It seems unbelievable that there would have been no video rental industry, no vcr, no dvd, and no streaming. It also shows how much effort business puts into trying to keep a monopoly.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Horrible cold snap killing invasive insects…

    Alternatively, it could mean only the strongest invasive insects survive.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Evolution and the fittest survive.

      Period X: Planet went through a cold snap, only those who could take it survived.

      Period X+1: Planet went through a hot spell, only those who could withstand it survived.

      Period X+2: Who survived? One imagines only those who could live in both a cold and a hot environment.

      So, if the world goes through alternatively a left-leaning period and then a right-leaning period, one would also imagine only those who are both for the left and for the right would survive (or plus some really hardcore left and really hardcore right, perhaps)

      Basically, it would mean everything today should be good at all environments…unless you forgot what brought you here in the first place, so that some who first survived the cold, evolved later to lose that while acquiring an ability to live in a hot climate.

      1. Emma

        Evolution and the fittest?
        Perhaps it only successfully happens today with short-term thinking and clients’ money as a Hedge Fund Manager confirms:
        “It’s sad to see Long-Term Thinking go. Everyone in my field knows Long-Term was right. With our own money, we think years out in the future. But with clients’ money, I have three months to be correct, or I’m out of a job.” Shaking his head, he continued: “The dirtiest secret in finance is that few of us are incentivized to do what’s right. Your [superannuation fund] probably has a time horizon measured in decades. But you pay me based on how I perform against my peers every 90 days. It’s such a joke.”
        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/motley-fool/rip-longterm-thinking-18002014-20140110-30ld7.html#ixzz2q3thkhWT:
        RIP Long-Term Thinking: 1800-2014

    2. optimader

      Both.
      file under: Survival of the fittest. Expect a smaller but incredibly pissed off new crop of Spartan killer bees

    3. bob

      I heard one of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs is to get them cold enough. In NYC, they were going the other way, raising the temps of infested buildings/apts above 100 degress F.

      Why not just open the windows for a day or two?

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Students subsidizing classmates’ tuition.

    Is it that non-oil-users and non-oil-producers subsidizing oil-users and oil-producers? How much should Norway and other rich oil nations share their wealth to clean up the planet? Should there be a global tax on OPEC?

  11. DakotabornKansan

    The joy of pigs…

    “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” – Winston Churchill

    Some of our favorite stories told by late mother, who grew up on a farm in South Dakota, were about her pet pig Johanna. She described Johanna, who grew from being the runt of a litter to a very large hog, as affectionate and smart.

    Pigs are considered by animal experts to be more trainable than dogs. Pigs outperform chimpanzees on some tests of cognitive prowess.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/science/10angier.html?_r=0

    “Farm animals feel pleasure and sadness, excitement and resentment, depression, fear and pain. They are far more aware and intelligent than we ever imagined … they are individuals in their own right.” – Jane Goodall

    It is a cruel trick of nature that endowed pigs with intelligence and then subjects them to the unspeakable misery and violence that befalls most pigs…total confinement, electric prods, the smell of fear.

    1. Bunk McNulty

      I get my pork from a local couple here in Appalachia. I look the pig in the eye and remind him that while he’s smart, he’s not as smart as I am. Because he knows and I know that if the situation were reversed, we’d be having the same conversation.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      ALL HAIL ARNOLD ZIFFEL

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCp3s7eH2mo

      ” Arnold could write his name, change channels on a television set, play the piano, drink with a straw, deliver letters and newspapers, play cricket with a bat while predicting weather with his curly tail. He attended school while carrying a lunch box in his mouth. Arnold was the main contributor to the success of the show and its ratings. He received thousands of fan letters and made guest appearances on “What’s My Line” and “The Joey Bishop Show.” Arnold toured 4-H clubs and schools across America while being the recipient of a Patsy Award, an annual honor bestowed to animal actors by the American Humane Society.”

      http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=14282158

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China – largest goods trader.

    One way to that title is just through purely the number of people you have, and one more hidden bias towards more population and more ‘GDP.’

    1. susan the other

      I’ve been wondering if, since the meltdown at Fukushima and the increased radiation levels across half of the US, including the farm states, if we have not made a pact with China to be the new bread basket. We sold them our home grown chickens to process and sell back to us; we sold them pig farms lock stock and snout; we kept secret their ban on west coast fish, etc. If that is the case, if the realization of what an extreme disaster Fukushima really is has prompted our government to take this kind of defensive action, then all the gloomy stuff about China going into recession is foolish. Then again, they should already be buying up all sorts of Caterpillar equipment and John Deere equipment. That would be a good way for China to provide adequate employment for 1.3 billion disgsruntled workers, no? And what about us? What should we do to provide social equity? Besides randomly distribute stores of postasium iodide.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Deflation anecdotes.

    Years ago, a pair of shoes lasting 3 years: $40.00

    Today, a pair of shoes lasting 6 months – $20.00.

    Oh my god, deflation is coming!

    I think I prefer that ‘expensive’ pre-70’s American made tractor that will last a long, long time.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Oops! There goes another $90 million …

    The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture. Because of time constraints, CMS is awarding the Accenture contract on a sole-source basis, according to the person familiar with the decision.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-administration-to-end-contract-with-cgi-federal-company-behind-healthcaregov/2014/01/10/001eb05a-719e-11e3-8b3f-b1666705ca3b_story.html

    ————

    Chicago values, comrades: it’s honest graft.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I prefer to think of it as a government, capable of printing as much money as it desires, spending only a tiny bit here to stimulate the economy.

      Why only a tiny bit? Perhaps to whet your appetite.

  15. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Yves, really? The Pruning Shears article on libertarians and marijuana? That’s worthy of consideration here? A half dozen individuals or groups don’t say anything and the blogger can therefore extrapolate that to “libertarian silence?”

    Fine.

    Me – libertarian.
    Marijuana legalization – WHOOO-HOOOOO!!!!

    Could be much much better, but it’s a start.

    There. Maybe Mr. Tarbrush or whatever his name is will retract his doofery, since there’s been libertarian “noise” on a major (and truly awesome) blog… :-)

    1. bob

      Me- libertarian hater
      Not one Koch funded PR group could say anything positive about CO law change?

      It’s not even a start. The libertarians have huge war chests full of money from billionaire, tax deductible, donations. As the post points out, not one of those groups is using any of that money to celebrate the victory.

      Tin foil- They don’t want the victory, they want the issue right where it is- to use it. If they make any headway, they lose the only friendly PR talking point they have. Feeding grandma cat food doesn’t score as well in polls.

      Libertarian®- Status quo ante with bong hits, brah!

    2. Lambert Strether

      It would be easy to refute Pruning Shears simply by providing link, given that I can only assume you’re familiar with the libertarian oeuvre. Since you do not do what would be easy to do were your claim true, I assume your claim is not true.

  16. Foy

    Re: A study of Financial Repression, part 4… Ultimately Unstable…

    Professor Michael Pettis’ book The Great Rebalancing is an excellent read on this topic for anyone wanting a detailed explanation of how Germany and China generated their huge trade surpluses by suppressing household consumption through financial suppression which subsidises the investment and tradable goods sectors. And why China has to rebalance (its domestic consumption levels in 2010 were 34% of GDP after being 40% in 2005), most countries are around mid 60% to low 70%.

    China was actually trying to rectify that imbalance in 2007 but then GFC happened, so not exactly a whole lot of success there. And as he says, to use one of Yves”s phrases, we have seen this movie before and know how it ends…Japan 1980s, Brazil 1960s, Asian Tigers 1990s. In 2007 China’s trade surplus as a % of GDP was the highest recorded in anywhere in 100 years. Maybe the Australian house prices will finally pop when China rebalances either voluntarily for is forced to…don’t think it’s going to be pretty for us Aussies

    1. Foy

      I should add often developing countries can have low consumption levels for a while to grow investment and generate exports but usually consumption is still around 50% of GDP (eg Asian Tigers), but that’s nothing like what China has now…

  17. JTFaraday

    “To be sure, lots of politicians are thin-skinned. But Christie is different, with his almost complete lack of impulse control.”

    Yes, well. Christie has been amply rewarded for that style, as have a number of Teahadists. One suspects this is what it takes to win the Republican nomination these days.

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