Category Archives: Banana republic

Republican Rank-and-File Line Up Against Financial Regulation

Let us not kid ourselves that the Democratic party is also for the most part out to gut financial regulation.

The only reason that there is more space between Congressional Republicans and Democrats than usual is the pro-business, pro-bank “blue dog” wing of the Democratic party has gotten deservedly slaughtered in the last two Congressional elections for selling out what used to be the American middle class. So the more progressive-minded survivors are a bigger faction on a relative basis than they once were.

This Real News Network interview with Bill Black covers both a critical slice of the history of financial regulations (or more accurately, its rollback) as well as some of the current dynamics.

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Dealing With Mass Killings in America: Funding Our Children, Not Our Wars

As mass killings become more common in the US, law enforcement agents fixate on and unduly publicize cases with jihadist links. As this post describes, that serves as an excuse for even more intensive surveillance.

Yet as Mark Ames described in one of the first works on these rampages, in his book “Going Postal,” there were no obvious similarities among the perps. They weren’t all, or even often, isolated losers. They did not typically come from broken homes. They were generally of above average intelligence. Aside from being disproportionately male, the other common thread was that they had been bullied.

If Ames’ observations still hold true, the lack of distinctive demographic or behavioral predictors of those who go on rampages means that heightened surveillance is at best another form of security theater, and at worst an excuse for Stasi-like dossier-gethering.

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Greece Negotiations Already Starting to Look Wobbly

Silly me! I thought that given that the Greek government had prostrated itself and had complied with the creditor demand to pass legislation double-plus quickly or else, that the worst of the hurdles to getting the third bailout passed had been surmounted.

I should know better than that.

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