Links 11/14/10

Walker killed and wife critically hurt in bull attack BBC

Cocaine, the perfect drug for a brittle and anxious Britain Guardian (hat tip reader May S)

Exclusive: Afghanistan – behind enemy lines Independent (hat tip reader May S)

Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich? Frank Rich, New York Times

One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012 Donald Schoen and Patrick Caddell, Washington Post. I don’t agree with a lot of this article (including the notion that Obama is capable of greatness, or that becoming a lame duck early enhances one’s authority). But this publication of a piece like this is telling.

political economy Joe Costello

The NYT’s Apocalypse: $1 Trillion a Year in Interest on the National Debt
Dean Baker

G20 shuns US on trade and currencies Financial Times

Fed’s Raskin says mortgage servicing business model needs reworking HousingWire (hat tip reader Barbara W)

Antidote du jour:

Picture 2

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  1. Jim Haygood

    From the WaPo essay on One Term Obama (a moniker I coined last year; nice that the MSM is finally catching on):

    ‘But if he is to bring Democrats and Republicans together …’

    WAIT! Stop right there! This is Old Paradigm Thinking. The ossified Depublicrat duopoly has ruled the nation for 150 years, and look where it got us.

    ‘Bringing Democrats and Republicans together’ is about as worthy a goal as ‘bringing General Motors and Chrysler together.’ In both instances, what you’d get is a braindead, uncompetitive dinosaur.

    As a symbiote on this dying political ecosystem, the Mainstream Media naturally will keep touting its capacity to reform, despite its entire raison d’être being to defend the dysfunctional status quo and the entrenched hammerlock of special interest lobbies.

    A steady diet of reading the NYT and the WaPo is the functional equivalent of losing ten IQ points. For all the cognitive damage it does, you’d be better off taking up cigarettes, booze and crack.

  2. KingBadger

    In Britain we’re all cokeheadians now. It’s all that spare cash we have from the extreme job security and super economy.

  3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Koko there doesn’t need cocaine to get through her day. But then, she’s not as sapiens as we humans.

  4. Eleanor

    The gorilla is so lovely. We need more gorillas and fewer rich people and economists. For that matter, we need more sharks and fewer rich people and economists.

    1. EmilianoZ

      And what creates demand? Good jobs (public or private I don’t care) and confidence in the future.

      1. Paul Repstock

        IDK whether you know it, but you answered your own question. Confidence in “a” future, creates good jobs.

        That is where all this mistrust bites us in the butt! If you have no faith that you will gain from it, why would you engage in activities which would create jobs?? Why would anyone take any risk or exert any effort if there was a high probability that circumstance and changing regulation would just take it all away.

        If you were to be very generous; that would be the single credible aspect of the banks’ reluctance to lend. Ofcourse, to grant that point you would need to ignore the small fact that the Banks are essentially being paid to distribute money, but are instead hoarding it.

      2. attempter

        The productive people create both demand and jobs. Not “business” (meaning business elites).

        The people do this not because of these elites, not with their help, but in spite of their existence.

        The only purpose of these elites is to then steal what’s produced. The purpose of conservatives and liberals, and both Washington parties, is to politically justify and enable this arrangement.

  5. Ignim Brites

    The crux of the Caddell, Schoen argument is: “Quite simply, given our political divisions and economic problems, governing and campaigning have become incompatible.” If that is the case, then it would make more sense to cancel the elections. But the elections will not be canceled. So if Obama were to announce he will not run for re-election, then the battle to replace him would be on in full force. And everyone would be waiting on the outcome of that battle, not to mention the battle for the Republican nomination.

    Caddell, Schoen aregue the “central campaign promise of 2008 [was] draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.” Well maybe. Did people really vote for Obama for that reason? This was just another way of saying the GWOT would be ended since that was the main manifestation of political division.

    1. East Coast Cynic

      I tend to take the recommendation of Schoen and Caddell with a grain of salt since they are on the Fox payroll playing the role of anti-democrat democrats. This needs to be seen more as another of a zillion attempts of right wing corporate media to undermine and destroy a democratic presidency.

    2. Mr. E

      Yes, they seem to be deep cover republicans and not democrats at all. What democrat would recommend giving up the Whitehouse?

    3. Sufferin' Succotash

      What would make even more sense than canceling the elections would be, in Bertold Brecht’s words, canceling the people.

  6. KFritz

    Re: BBC Bull Article

    The article seems to contradict itself. It reports that the couple were on ‘path.’ A public path? The article also states they were in a ‘livestock field.’ Do GB public paths go thru pastures? Pastures w/ bulls? No farmer in his right mind would keep a bull in a public access area. There’s a REASON that bulls had rings in their noses. (Do they still? 40 yrs away.) Pound for pound, rams and billy-goats are just as dangerous. Fortunately, they’re smaller.

    If these people were trespassing in a bull enclosure, they’re not entitled to a penny. They’re an object lesson. Shame the farmer had to put his bull down.

    1. Sundog

      It would be so amazing for what Bruce Stirling likes to call Gothic High Tech to pull our asses out of the fire.

      Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have announced a breakthrough that could lead to break-even nuclear fusion reactions within 2-3 years. The goal of nuclear fusion research is to make energy from sea water, producing only the harmless gas helium as a result of the fusion reaction. It is the holy grail of clean, sustainable energy, the same process that powers our sun.

      Christine Lepisto, “Sandia Announces Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion Energy Generation”

      Long Now is on the case.

      Ed Moses, “Clean Fusion Power This Decade”

      And here’s a new communique from the shadowy realm of insurgent networks bent on passionately exploring a spectacularly exotic planet when as we all know they should be reading the Bible while saturating in Fox News ambiance.

      “The research [by Ren Sen Zeng and colleagues at South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou] is a milestone in our understanding of communication between plants,” says Suzanne Simard of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She points out that intensively farmed plants don’t have mycorrhizae. With access to ample fertiliser and water they do not bother to grow them. As a result, they may be missing out on health benefits.

      Together with Dan Durall of the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, Simard has shown that mycorrhizal networks can be enormous. Last year they found a network weaving its way through an entire Canadian forest, with each tree connected to dozens of its neighbours over distances of 30 metres (New Phytologist, vol 185, p 543).

      Michael Marshall, “Fungal threads are the internet of the plant world”

        1. Sundog

          But I and my neighbors walk our dogs past numerous bulls everyday, often within 20 yards or so, in a square-mile pasture.

          1. KFritz

            Based on my observation of bulls, rams, billy-goats before year 18, I wouldn’t, but…maybe this dog needs to learn a new trick or 2!

  7. KFritz

    Re: Costello’s Political Economy

    Costello seems to predict that the economic cycle of bubbles will bypass any inflationary stage. Any counter-predictions? Will there be a deflationary stage? Will we go straight to repudiation?

  8. LeeAnne

    Who Will Stand Up to the Superrich?

    They all wanted to enter public service to give back to the country that allowed them to prosper.

    They ALL ? did what?

  9. sglover

    Put the Caddell & Schoen article in a time capsule. It’s a valuable specimen of the brain-dead aimlessness of American “leadership”.

    I’d love to see Obama forced out — via a primary challenge from the left wing of his own party. This society desperately **needs** a revived and influential left. But the Caddell & Schoen “strategy” is simply retarded: By deliberately hobbling himself, Obama (who hasn’t exactly been reluctant to roll over for Republicans already) is somehow going to harvest cooperation and high-mindedness from a rabid GOP?!?!? Are Caddell & Schoen completely stupid or completely dishonest?

    I suspect the French are now showing us how the game needs to be played here on out. Our political institutions are almost wholly owned by the corporate oligarchy; what we’re seeing now is the completion of the acquisition. Street politics may be the only effective course. Unfortunately, Americans are too effectively atomized and cowed to even imagine anything like a general strike.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      “Are Caddell & Schoen completely stupid or completely dishonest?”

      I’d vote dishonest. Caddell & Schoen: “Obama can restore the promise of the election by forging a government of national unity, welcoming business leaders, Republicans and independents into the fold.”

      Yes, welcome those forlorn businessmen into the good shepherd’s fold at last. We’re all choked up. Obama’s noble sacrifice will finally calm the piranha tea-potters and scorpion ditto-heads to heal the nation’s divisions. What lofty and magnificent crockery!

      Frankly, I wish the man would just come out of the closet already and run for a second term on the GOP ticket.

      But I suppose that would take all the drama out of the second act, for which both troupes are already rehearsing. In part two of Obama Theater, he will pretend to represent us while they pretend to pummel him scandalous partisan witch-hunts orchestrated to distract the flock from their fleecing. Radio cons will hurl their red-meat “socialist-Marxist” charges while Obama & company extend their open hand to end Social Security. We will “enjoy” two years of farcical investigations and diversionary scandals while Obama, the banksters and the generals laugh all the way through reelection, then more bailouts, and finally new wars with Yemen and Iran.

      1. sglover

        “I’d vote dishonest. Caddell & Schoen: ‘Obama can restore the promise of the election by forging a government of national unity, welcoming business leaders, Republicans and independents into the fold.'”

        Yeah, I was mightily amused by that idiotic remark myself. As if politicians somehow never, ever listen to business interests. Are Caddell & Schoen so oblivious that they’re unaware of Robert Rubin or Henry Paulson?!?! Shitheads.

  10. sherparick

    Caddell and Schoen are regulars on Roger Ailes Fox News and are well paid corporate schills and PR types. Caddell has not had a role in Democratic politics since the early eighties when he had his great falling out with Roger Schrum.

    Frankly, I find it strange that normally perceptive analysts and readers on this web fail to understand the dynamic of Movement Conservativism, and the personal business plan of its various participants. Yes, they like advancing their ideas, but they like even more getting rich. Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dick Armey, Grover Norquist, Ralph Reed, and Fox News all generate higher ratings and income with conflict with an arch fiend. Obama is the designated arch fiend for the next election cycle, and the investigations, to be followed by called for impeachment, will be the conflict that they will use to drive ratings. The sheer ferocity of the attack will bind the Left to Obama, just as they bound it to Clinton. Hence, I doubt that there will be a primary challenge against Obama.

    1. sglover

      “The sheer ferocity of the attack will bind the Left to Obama, just as they bound it to Clinton. Hence, I doubt that there will be a primary challenge against Obama.”

      Unfortunately, you’re probably right. Not least because there just isn’t that much talent remaining among the Dems, left or otherwise. It’s mainly because of that dwindling talent pool that Obama got as far as he did.

  11. Sundog

    This military strategy, seemingly borrowed from U.S. counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, may prove to be effective on a tactical level, but it is a poor choice for winning the peace in Mexico, if that’s the goal, in the context of the drug war, according to some observers.

    And that’s because it ignores the fact that what is happening in Mexico is not an insurgency (as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defined it earlier this year before backing away from the statement), but rather a battle for control of key markets critical to supporting a multi-hundred-billion-dollar business.

    There is no ideology (political or religious in source) to vanquish or to empower, in this case, but rather only equally ruthless, greedy “narco-corporations” to feed or starve as part of an all or nothing proposition. Unless you shut down the markets completely — and risk collapsing the Mexican economy — or legalize them by ending prohibition, you cannot stop the next Cardenas Guillen or “La Barbie” or “El Grande” from rolling the dice in the mercado negro.

    Bill Conroy
    “U.S.-Backed Assault on Mexican Narco-Celebrities Lacks Solid Plot”

  12. Paul Repstock

    As it is obvious that almost nobody seeks public office out of some altruist delusion, we have to assume that lust for power and wealth are the motivators. The ‘Public Trough’ is too small to ever accomodate more than one hungry snout at a time. Therefore, effectively quashing any serious attempt at bipartisan operations.

    Perhaps we should be greatful, otherwise they would just eat us faster.

    The rare bipartisan issues have invariably caused the commons great pain.

  13. Paul Repstock

    Britain to introduce new “happiness index”

    –Prime Minister David Cameron will ask the Office of National Statistics to prepare methods which will measure the “general wellbeing” despite reservations about the timing.–

    I suppose Mr. Cameron would like to introduce this at the lowest possible tide so that the’index’ can show positive results

  14. Easter Mcgunnis

    Hey there, long time lurker here with my first ever comment! My only daughter is getting married to her lovely mexican gentleman soon, and I’m tasked with preparing the wedding party! I thought enchiladas would be a nice finger food, so trying to find a good enchilada recipe. What do you think? Any other suggestions?? Anyway, thanks for your hard work as ever… I’ll try to comment a little more on future posts.

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