Links 6/29/09

‘Oldest musical instrument’ found BBC

Sex feels the credit squeeze in Nevada Independent

How To Save The Newspapers, Vol. XII: Outlaw Linking TechCrunch

Obama is choosing to be weak Clive Crook, Financial Times. Crook is measured but the substance of the article is damning.

Pecora Whirling Robert Knutter, Huffington Post

A Tangled Policy Web Tim Duy

Translators Wanted at LinkedIn. The Pay? $0 an Hour New York Times

Wary Banks Hobble Toxic-Asset Plan Wall Street Journal. Readers may recall we were skeptical that this would get done.

China’s Dependency Ratio: As Good As It Gets Paul Kedrosky

Japanese Industrial Production Jumps, But Still Down 30% YoY EconomiPic Data

Antidote du jour. Do not try this at home, although I must admit Duma made cheetahs seem like great pets. Hat tip reader Eric: :

Sharing a bed with your furry friend has taken on a whole new meaning for Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen.

The sanctuary worker shares her South African home with not one but FOUR orphaned cheetahs, five lions and two tigers.

Forty-six-year-old Riana said: ‘I love them all. But they’re a handful.’

More pictures and text here.

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  1. Ina Pickle

    The FT piece is an example of why I bother reading FT, and have given up on WSJ, NYT, and Bloomberg.

    "Damning" is the right word. The previous administration squandered laws and rights purchased in blood during some of the most expensive crises this world has known (eg, the Geneva Conventions). Although this administration has a crisis to work from, it has shown no interest in putting it to good use at the expense of alienating the oligarchy. It's status quo for us all, as that status quo slides inevitably into poverty and desperation.

  2. LeeAnne

    Obama is choosing to be weak Clive Crook, Financial Times.

    I enjoyed Mr. Clark's article, articulate and interesting on Obama's political style as well as accurate, until the statement on Obama's choice of advisers that stands out as a gratuitous bit of right wing political propaganda and the real point of the article:

    "… Mr Obama has impeccable taste in advisers: he has scooped up many of the country’s pre-eminent experts in almost every area of public policy."

    Does 'almost' and 'many' as in 'many of the country’s pre-eminent experts in almost every area' exonerate Mr. Clark and FT?

    Mr. Clark strikes the perfect balance for the right wing position in praise of the corporate finance guys in charge of the American oligopoly while damning Obama, its titular head.

  3. REL

    I find that Mr. Crook is suffering from the same disease that appears to afflict most of the U.S. media. He is evaluating Obama based on what Obama says, instead of what he does.

    Almost all of the legislation that Obama has supported since becoming President has been an exercise in consolidating power, both political and financial, rather than accomplishing any particular goal. Once viewed through this prism, it is easy to explain why all of the bills are flawed — they use a pretext to accomplish the goal of consolidating power, instead of their stated goals.

    A better article would be: "Obama chooses to act in his own self-interest rather than that of the country."

  4. Francois

    Clive Crook's article reflect perfectly the sinking feeling I've experienced for a while.

    While the solutions to our current woes require bold action and the necessary stepping on powerful toes, President Obama navigates the middle ground with one dominant feature: do not chip away at the power of the special interests groups in any meaningful way.

    Bought and paid for, like Congress.

  5. Hugh

    "a healthcare transformation that asks nobody to pay more taxes or behave any differently – because that is what voters want"

    Actually most voters would like single payer universal healthcare but this is the one option that is being kept off the table. It may cost less and be more workable but insurance companies, the medical industry, and Big Pharma refuse to relinguish their stranglehold on American healthcare and politicians.

    For the rest, I stopped supporting Obama back in July 2008 when he reneged on his pledge to filibuster the FISA Amendments Act which retroactively immunized telecoms for participating in domestic spying programs under Bush and which legalized a lot of the rationales for ongoing spying of this kind. Still I deliberated a long time before starting a scandals list on him. It currently has some 60 items although I have not yet decided where to put it on the net. In comparison, I did a Bush scandals list which is on the net and had 400 entries. But so far Obama has been amazingly consistent. He gives a good speech. He proposes weak legislation representing a whole tradition of failed ideas (from the Bush and Clinton Administrations) and in Congress this is further diluted to the legislative equivalent of weak gruel. When he does act decisively as with bailing out the financial industry without fixing or reforming it, it is the most wrongheaded decision imaginable. He is by no means as bad as Bush, at least not yet, but he is still pretty awful.

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