Links Thanksgiving Day

What Leading Progressives Are Thankful For New Deal 2.0

Let Loose the Coyotes? Chicago Embraces Rat-Hunting Predators Discover

German vandals target Street View opt-out homes BBC

Mistakes Still Prevalent in Hospital Care, Study Finds New York Times (hat tip reader Fred A)

WikiLeaks release to feature corruption among world leaders, governments Raw Story

Classified Papers Prove German Warnings to Bush Der Spiegel (hat tip reader Swedish Lex)

Ireland unveils austere €15bn budget to cut deficit Telegraph

A de facto nationalisation of the Irish banking sector FT Alphaville (hat tip reader Swedish Lex)

New foreign takeover controls on farms? Clayton Utz. A proposed Australian measure, but expect to see more of this sort of thing.

Anatomy of a journalistic smear job Glenn Greenwald

Goldman Sachs’s Tourre Facing New Claim in SEC Lawsuit Bloomberg

Elizabeth Warren Helped Shoot Down Bill That Would Have Sped Foreclosures, Calendar Shows Shahien Nasiripour, Huffington Post

Half of BP oil spill damages claims ‘inadequate’, says payout chief Guardian

Sarah Palin’s Presidential Strategy, and the Economy She Depends On Robert Reich

Linda Green Robo-Signing Shows Massive Document Fraud David Dayen, FireDogLake. This isn’t surprising. Robo signers, and their use of multiple hats, became official news with Jeffrey Stephan. We’re just getting a more complete list of the main perps.

Bank of America, GMAC Suspend Foreclosures in Maine Bloomberg (hat tip Lisa Epstein)

Ostrich Oversight? Michael Hirsh, National Journal

Antidote du jour (hat tip reader Thomas R)

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  1. attempter

    Re “progressive” thanksgiving:

    Man, what a schizoid range of stuff from the truly progressive to detachment to typical stupidity to outright hack bullshit.

    The Roosevelt Institute sure looks like it has focus!

    (I agree with Yves that the only part of the government which still functions at all is part of the judiciary, as was also true under Bush.

    But that’s under tremendous assault, from the rogue SCOTUS downward. Who can doubt if a bankster-legalizing foreclosuregate bill gets to the SCOTUS they’ll validate it, no matter how manifestly unconstitutional it is?)

    Re Google totalitarians:

    Germany seems appropriate for this. As one of their proud sons Robert Ley said, “the only private person in the Reich is someone who’s asleep.”

    It looks like that type is alive and well, and unfortunately everywhere, not just in Germany.

    That’s Google’s nightmare vision for us. What kind of sick mind would ever even conceive the idea of “street view”, other than for dystopic fiction? We see again the basic nihilism and totalitarianism of technophiles.

    I don’t know if Google actually put out these hits on these people, but in spirit they did by encouraging the fascist social environment. They’re morally culpable, and should be legally culpable.

    I’d call this enough to declare “street view” a public nuisance and shut it down.

  2. Ina Deaver

    I hate it when Robert Reich is right, and he’s so often right.

    And the hit piece on Tyner? Staggering.

    Interesting bunch of links here, Yves. Feeling concerned about where these trend lines all meet.

    1. Paul Repstock

      Yes Jack. I can see it now. The New Social Collective of Australia. I expect to hear much more from that mindset in many parts of the world.

      Having previously aided and abetted companies like ADM, Cargill, and Monsanto, these governments will suddenly find National interest in keeping productive lands out of the hands of the Asian Menace.

      In that whole thing I saw no mention of supporting the efforts of small scale independant producers.

  3. Skippy

    RE Robert Reich: sorry…seems to me like some ambitious young national socialist of yore and a dispossessed young crescent bloke full of ideals in the heart melding but…in the end its all about *the tool*. Some will think they can harness the passion such individuals tap at the ethnic/ideological_WELL_to their arms length advantage, the powerful believe they have remoteness as a result of smugness.

    Skippy…if it passes we will repeat, some will make more than profit, yet many will find balance sheet red for ever more.

    1. DownSouth


      I found the Reich piece to be lacking.

      Of course what would anyone expect from someone who held a cabinet-level position in the Clinton administration? These guys are too busy being “reasonable” to do anything that might be innovative or creative or threaten the corporate state. After all, horror of horrors, someone might accuse them of being a communist or something.

      Reich expresses the priorities of someone who is more interested in winning elections or gaining political appointments than in bringing about substantive change. So the end result is that Reich comes off as an effete snob. It’s not so much what right-wing populists like Palin are doing, but what left-wing populists are not doing. Under the leadership of guys like Reich, the left has left the field wide open to the likes of Palin. Where’s the muscular movement of the left that might speak to working class people?

      1. purple

        Where’s the muscular movement of the left that might speak to working class people?

        There is none.

        Palin looks very strong as Republican candidate for president, her favs are 80% +. We might see a 3rd party Bloomberg in that case.

      2. Cynthia

        If Robert Reich is right about Sarah Palin being a threat to the Republican Establishment, then how does he explain why the mainstream media — which is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the political establishment, Republican and Democrat alike — continues to give her enormous amounts of airtime? He can’t explain this.

        This is why Sarah Palin is anything but a threat to the Republican Establishment. Despite selling herself as a right-wing populist, championing the common people against the evils of Big Government, she still makes it loud and clear that she is solidly pro-Wall Street, pro-War, and pro-Police State. All of these things make her a perfect tool for the Republican Establishment. And the only reason why she attacks a super-rich guy like George Soros is because he’s against the war on drugs, the police state’s biggest cash cow. And if he’s also against the war on terror, the war economy’s biggest cash cow, then she’ll have an even bigger reason to attack him.

      3. Toby

        Where’s the muscular movement of the left

        Is it just me, or did others think ‘sphincter’ reading those words?

        More seriously, I don’t care about left and right anymore. All of party politics—which is business, which is state, which is corporate, which is fascist (wasn’t that neat!)—and much else besides, badly needs an enema (to continue with the movement metaphor). But let’s get ‘We, the People’ the hell out of the way before that chock-full, cavernous orifice is deep-rinsed, because the stench will be toxic. I can already smell it from Berlin, and the hose hasn’t even been inserted yet.

      4. Hal Horvath

        Imagine being forced to choose between one’s own “right” or “left.” Thankfully, I find this entirely unnecessary.

        This dichotomy is one of the greatest illusions of our times.

        It was created in order to mobilize people to the various ends, not of their own origin.

        Sane people are “liberal” and “conservative” every day, and use their ‘left’ and ‘right’ routinely in balanced thought and action.

        1. DownSouth


          You can split hairs all you want over semantics, but working-class people have to live the hell that Clinton and Reich played such a key role in creating.

          Here’s a video that provides a befitting metaphor for the relationship the Democratic Party currently has with working-class people.

          “The President seems unable or unwilling to provide the clear narrative that explains what’s happened and what needs to be done,” Reich bemoans. What a crock of shit! When it comes to “clear narratives,” I think working-class people have about come to the same conclusion that that monkey fucking the skunk did: “I’ve had just about all this stinking son-of-a-bitch I can stand,” he wailed. I mean, really, if you want to impress me with your “clear narratives,” write me a fucking check.

          1. Toby


            the reality of the horror of poverty, the poison of broadening and increasingly entrenched divisions of wealth are not at issue here, nor is the total and irredeemable corruption of the entire body politic. Indeed it is this very reality that makes me, and I believe Hal too, want to reject the left/right dichotomy as a purposeful and well-sustained distraction. It is a very important part of the divide and conquer strategy that works so well. (And I’m 100% certain you are being told nothing new by me here.)

            Of course it is not the case that traditional left and right wing thinking are devoid of areas of tension. If that were so, divide and conquer would not work. It is more that the division, which is mired in a particular set of philosophies, might be transcended, or perhaps that the effort to do so might throw into relief new perspectives (‘nothing new under the sun’ is not true; once there were no humans, once there was no sun) at a time when it seems obvious that such are needed. I still believe we are in the midst of a systemic crisis whose origins are deeper than mere left/right dichotomies, and look therefore for formulations and perspectives that at least offer the chance of seeing past as much of the kabuki as possible.

            For a while now I have found systems and information theory very fruitful in this regard, as is post-scarcity or resource-based economics, both of which focus on the smooth and seamless ‘oneness’ of reality. It is the perception of division and separation itself that is being reformed, looked at anew. At least, that’s how I see it, as hippie-like as my view sounds. I believe culture is wrestling with this more and more intensely, in the bumpy and fractious way such transitions always happen. And though the devil is most certainly in the detail, detail which is lacking in this comment of mine, and though power attracts corruption and so on, the nature of reality and the pathways to health are not party-political.

            To be able to talk across the carefully constructed and maintained left/right divides, we need to couch our communications, and even thinking, in less oppositional modes, demand less adversarial discussion. Probably this is an impossible ask, especially in the US (I think instead there will be blood), but I often, as now, feel obliged to put that very request out there all the same.

      5. jonboinAR

        Many of the working class poor-or-nearly-so are white and the likes of Reich spend a lot of energy whenever they’re not showing open disdain for the gaucheness, the ignorance, the superstition and the supposed racism of these folk or patting the poor benighted dears on the head wondering why they gravitate more to Palin or any of the radio loudmouths who may poorly advocate their economic interests (or not at all) but who don’t openly despise them.

  4. rjs

    someone’s going to learn some lessons about unintended consequences re the coyotes…they’re a real problem in NE ohio; killing a number of puppies & cats; i had 6 of my cats taken by coyotes over the past 2 years…

    1. Avg John

      Just curios, how many cats do you have?

      And remember, some of us like coyotes better than cats. Why deny freedom loving coyotes their rights to live and flourish, just to promote the special interests of cats? It seems to me if these “fat cats” were doing their job, our cities wouldn’t be infested with rats.

      The way it stands now, the cats get fed, housed and pampered for basically doing nothing and the coyotes are oppressed and terrorized for just trying to survive.

      God loves coyotes too!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Good point.

        Bacteria, good and bad (by our Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens morality) and viruses are just living the way they know how. I am not sure Buddhists know this, as they go on killing living things they say they wouldn’t kill.

    2. KFritz

      Some cats adapt faster than others. When I lived @ 500 ft above sea level in the Oakland CA foothills, my 2 intelligent, survival oriented cats never spent much time in direct sunlight during the day. I wondered why. Until the day I saw a red-tailed hawk nail a gopher on the green belt of Highway 580. On another occasion and in a rougher neighborhood, I saw the friendlier of the 2 sense and dodge a sudden kick fr/ a young thug–just in time. Both died of natural causes.

      My cats always had a cat door as an escape. You may need to structure the environment so yours have some refuge.

      Fortunately or not, natural selection touches all of us.

    3. jonboinAR

      I’m sorry for your loss. I lost my cat to, I think, a bobcat. However, how many wild native birds do you think your cats have killed? I didn’t start feeding the birds outside until my cat was gone.

    1. jim

      There are similar videos created with the same cartoon characters used to smear apple iphones. I find it suprising the videos get so much attention.

      Some reason I think the videos created by a foreign country as a political tool.

  5. craazyman

    It’s a real looney gallery this morning. Lots of dark laughs, for sure . . .

    * * *

    @Robert Reich
    I think he wants to go bobsledding with Sarah Palin. I know I would, if she wasn’t married. Strange that someone that hot can be a grandmother. That’s kind of scary. Not sure what she’ll do if she ever does become president. All those angry lower middle class white people. She’ll have to put money in their pocket. Either with taxes on the rich, or government spending or with exports. None seems likely. Or she’ll have to force the big corporations to actually invest money in poor communities and pay their workers more, but that would be government meddling.

    She may want to go bobsledding after about a year in the oval office, and never come back.

    * * *

    @Spiegel & Iraq War
    I never thought the war was about oil. I always thought it was about St. George and the Dragon. I still do. The morphic fields are stronger than mammon. Much stronger. Why did Raphael paint his dragon brown as a piece of shit? He was a smart guy and a master of metaphor. LOL.

    * * *

    @the post on the 50 attorneys general

    Can’t figure this quote from the article:

    “The mortgage investors oppose eliminating the so-called dual track, in which homeowners can be facing foreclosure while being considered for a loan modification, Katopis said.

    “The dual track is a tool for avoiding foreclosures,” he said in a phone interview. “You have to hold people’s feet to the fire somehow.”

    Iowa’s Miller rejected that argument, saying “dual track is fundamentally a bad practice. It creates great anxiety and uncertainty for the homeowner. The problems in modifications have not been to get homeowners to agree.”

    I think the fire is up to their knees. and the flames are hitting their “tools”. Not sure what purpose a dual track serves, except to drive people into nervous breakdowns. Maybe it does. I don’t know. I rent.

    1. DownSouth

      craazyman said: “Not sure what she’ll do if she ever does become president.”

      Isn’t the answer obvious? She’ll do nothing, at least for the working class. She’s playing the same game as Obama: bait and switch.

      When and if she gets in, she will do exactly as Obama, which is to carry water for the corporate overlords.

      1. craazyman

        south I was cracking myself up imagining up some possible Saturday Night Live skits if Sarah (I’ll call her Sarah because I think she’s hot and I kind of like her) ever becomes president.

        I’m seeing a set with, say, Tina Fey back as Sarah, and other cast playing international dignitaries at a White House formal party. And Mr. Palin is in the corner — about 8 feet tall in a lumberjack shirt and beard — with a pile of logs and wood ax on his shoulder — silent like a wood grizzly bear statue.

        And the guests are looking quizzically at him while conversing with Sarah about some stupid international problem and then you hear this big “Whaammm!” and wood chips fly everwhere.

        And then Mr. Palin is in a downward blow position with his axe ripped into a log, frozen again like a statue.

        After everybody jumps, with drinks and ordurves (sp?) spilled on their clothes, Sarah smiles slyly and says “He doesn’t say much, but he knows how to work his axe!”

        Boowhaha ahahah ahaha ahahahahah ahahah a h!!!!!!

        I think it could work. LOL. Or maybe I just crack myself up too easily. ha ha ha.

        Yours truly
        Professer DT Tremens, GED, NFL, AA

        P.S. You may well be right about the corporate water carrying. I’m not sure the thinking of these presidential candidates is all that subtle though. I wonder if it’s just a big high hard one for the oval office — with all the details to be worked out by staff on the way and after the fact. But another bait and switch like this last one and I think we may well have anarchy here in this country. Although to be honest, I think we’ll muddle through somehow. I’m not sure how, but I still think we’ll muddle through.

        1. Cedric Regula

          I’m hoping Angelina Jolie and Jessica Simpson run on the independent ticket because I don’t think Sarah is that hot.

          I have no idea what they will do in the oval office either, but maybe they will run on wardrobe malfunctions and at least spare us all the lies.

        2. Paul Repstock

          Heehee..again you make me split my sides..Bimbo??..For me the term suggests someone much more ..umm..photogenic..:)

          Besides…some of us prefer to have…more cerebral…shall we say ‘After the fact’..stimulation.

          If my wife boots me..(She does get tired of my pontificating on all subjects)..I will contact you for the position.

          1. LeeAnne

            Too late Paul -I’m spoken for. i on the ball beatya to it. In the be-careful-what-you-wish-for department, if I could share myself, your half would be a 37-year-old. Not that I want to dampen anyone’s fantasies; I’m still pretty hot, but not very accommodating to the preferences of others …

            Wishing you a continuing fine Thanksgiving Day with your current spouse,


    2. attempter

      The dual track is part of the basic scam. For example, the purpose of the HAMP wasn’t to modify mortgages (if it had been, the servicers would not have been put in charge of it). It was to induce debtors to refrain from walking away and extract more payments from them, before the bank lowers the boom.

      That’s why Treasury wrote into it a provision that once you’re in the HAMP, the bank can foreclose at will with no further notice or appeal.

      The whole thing was consumer fraud perpetrated by the government itself. Treasury admitted as much this past summer.

      So the same is likely to be true of any bank-run pseudo-modification program. They want to dupe the payments out of the sucker while being poised to foreclose the moment they decide the time is right.

  6. Jessica

    Re: “Mistakes Still Prevalent in Hospital Care, Study Finds”
    The fact that the pattern of our being unable to even begin to correct an obvious problem appears even in hospitals suggests that we have a society-wide problem with feedback. Not just a matter of a few fraudsters in one industry for a few years or even of one bad industry or of the wrong faction being in charge of the government, but of the entire society.

    Here is my theory about the cause: We are reaching the limits of a system based on current levels of competition and antagonism. Things have become so complex that only a shift to more cooperation and less coercion will work. That may seem impossible. But what we have now features far more cooperation and far less coercion that the Soviet Union for example. Which is why we may be facing a crisis but the Soviet Union is 20-years dead.
    But now these higher levels of cooperation have enabled us to construct an economy and society so complex that they in turn require us to make a fundamental shift to greater levels of cooperation.

    1. DanB

      One conceptual lens through which to understand what is taking place in our culture is that of a loss of complexity due to a decline in cheap and abundant energy plus the diminishing returns of increasing complexity to solve problems. Hospitals are perhaps the most complex, socially and technologically, organizations we have -and they consume great amounts of energy. Our choice is to recognize we cannot sustain this level of complexity or nature reduces it for us -with the powerful intervening to perpetuate their privileges as in bank bailouts.

    2. juan


      This may relate to your earlier post:

      The U.S. has been in long run decline….
      Social and physical infrastructure underfunded
      for decades
      in the interest of raising the avg rate of profit
      [not earnings]
      Our first postwar brush with official austerity began
      during the 1970s and is mentioned explicitly in the minn. fed’s 1974 annual report.

      Where we are today is -consequence of reactions to- capital’s needs, above all a higher avg -rate- of profit. Well, other than stem the steep decline of late 1960s-mid 1970s, it’s not worked and given the greater capital deepening you mention, will not work in the future.

      So yes, more cooperation [particularly economic democracy in the work place and a shifting to small state socialism].


      1. Jessica

        Yes, those are excellent starting points. I also have the sense that the changes required go even deeper than that. May look fairly different from that. That they are to some degree answers to earlier questions that have been superseded.
        Although those are a good first approximation for something we won’t know until we start making it.

    3. Lyle

      See the checklist manefesto by Gwande. It points out that the first dc-3 crashed because there was no checklist so the aviation industry invented the concept. The medical industry seems to be reluctant to adopt the concept. Some surgeons have adopted the concept but not the day to day work. He points out with the complexity today its easy to overlook items using just mental checklists, just as the first DC-3 pilot did. Likewise it has been suggested (and the law is 1/2 way there) that standard treatment protocols be adopted, and then we add a provision that if the hospital/physician follows the accepted protocol, then it is by definition not mal-practice. This would push the protocols, and reduce the effort spend on mal-practice suits.

  7. Jessica

    This blog is one of the many things I am thankful for today. Yves and her other main posters for setting it up, those whose postings make the comment section worth reading, the broader culture that allows such open discussion, the technology that facilitates it, and all those who in their many different ways work for the freedom that is the foundation of all of it.
    Thank you

  8. LeeAnne

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    A crow mothering a kitty. Amazing and charming. I don’t think I want to know the end of this story.

  9. eric anderson

    I was inspired this year by returning to read George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789.

    Lincoln’s was good, too.

    I am thankful for these past leaders. I am despairing about our current crop.

    I am also thankful that so few listen to Robert B. Reich anymore. He trots out the same old cliché about populists playing on animosity to blacks, seemingly oblivious to Palin-supported Florida Representative Allen West, who will become a new member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Reich is certainly right about animosity toward intellectuals. Obama’s brain trust, inexperienced in the private sector world most of us must cope with, certainly have brought us unworkable, ineffective, and impractical solutions that are failing spectacularly. It depends on the academic in question. Obama called on Paul Volker, a highly intelligent man who had some actual experience and success in dealing with economic and banking crises, but he was ignored and sidelined. Palin’s populists aren’t hostile to smart people who have actually achieved something apart from giving good speeches and writing books.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      Hear, hear! Let’s not follow those who are “intellectual” or “elite” or whose intelligence is measured in polysyllabic words or university degrees but rather those who deal in facts and logic and understand the persuasive power of the truth, as complex as it may be. We should all read more Lincoln. I have the Library of America’s collections of his speeches and writings, and they are never a waste of time. What an amazing man.

      Happy Thanksgiving to all!

      What a great blog.

  10. KFritz

    Re:Gulf & Feinberg

    The ‘fein’ print @ the end of the article shows that Feinberg is (how to phrase this?) a scabrous, Establishment hack. Because the victims (really…VICTIMS) skirt taxes, and are marginal & unassimilated, they get zilch. Because they don’t have an army of attorneys, people like Feinberg, they’re shut out of the process. The type of people Obama appoints show he’s an Establishmentarian. Everything he did before achieving membership was mere prologue.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    In the futre, when vegetarian turkeys rule the world, on this day, they will pardon a lucky Homo Not-So-Sapiens Not-So-Sapiens from this science-addicted jungle of ours and release him into the wild.

  12. jaundist

    uTorrent is fired up and waiting for the document dump from our gummint via Wikileaks. Transparency at the airport is one thing but our boy Obama and his predecessors may not enjoy having their junk touched on this one. Que sera, sera.

  13. Ted K

    Is it just me or does it seem to be a little dark to show a crow on a holiday associated with turkey?? Pay special attention to the size of the bird if you’re eating at Yves’ house tonight.

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