Links 4/4/11

Sea lions’ appetite for salmon has lawmakers out for blood McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Tablets to cure our smartphone sicknesses Lucy Kellaway, Financial Times

Vase owners fly to China to chase £53m buyer Independent (hat tip reader Buzz Potamkin)

Bahrain hardliners to put Shia MPs on trial Telegraph

Battling the Beast Alexander Cockburn, CounterPunch (hat tip reader bmeisen)

Japan race to find radiation leak path BBC

Governor of Fukushima and Mayor of Town Near Nuclear Reactors Slam Government Response to Nuclear Crisis George Washington. This is very pointed by Japanese standards.

Tsunami Video. This is the most comprehensive I’ve seen and gives a real sense of its scale and force.

38-meter-high tsunami triggered by March 11 quake: survey Kyodo News (hat tip Richard Smith)

German Banks Are Critical of Tough Standards for Stress Tests New York Times (hat tip Richard Smith)

2012: President Obama to Tell Supporters Monday That It’s On ABC. Another reminder that I need to emigrate.

The Truth, Still Inconvenient Paul Krugman, New York Times

Regulating the Shadow Banking System Perry Mehrling, INET

Retirement in the Liquidity Trap Tim Duy

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2011-04-04 at 5.38.13 AM

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  1. dearieme

    “he’s running for re-election and will file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission, …”: well, except the paperwork that people would really like to see.

      1. DownSouth

        There’s not a hair’s breadth difference between what Republicans and Democrats actually do when elected, so what else are they going to talk about? Sarah Palin’s hair-do?

        Since no substantive differences exist, they have to cook up some kind of stupid nonsense to “distinguish” themselves from the other party.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          I’m sorry. I understand you are disappointed that there is not enough difference. But there is obviously a difference, small as it may be.

          Clinton raised taxes on the top brackets. Bush II lowered them.

          Republican governors are trying to crush unions. Democrat governors are not.

          I could go on. And on. And on.

          These differences may not be enough for you, and that’s a perfectly acceptable opinion. You may also be of the opinion that there is no material difference in the things that are really important to you.

          But your assertion that there is no difference is not factually supported. Sorry.

          1. Rabid Cranky Troll

            But how meaningful are tax cuts vs tax raises? Most of the tax code is there to allow the super-rich to avoid having to pay taxes, no matter what the nominal tax rate is.

            It’s like the MSM-stoked fraudulent fight over stopping illegal immigrants vs immigrant rights. How come nobody ever suggests attacking the problem at the source and repealing NAFTA?

            Attitude towards Unions might be more meaningful but even here most unions completely suck – they’re hierarchical and the interests of the leadership diverges from that of the rank and file, they do not have the sense to hold the line at true working-class solidarity and instead make the mistake of adopting divisive in-union vs non-union stances, and do not have the wit and foresight to try and stop Ruling Class scams like Imperialism and war.

            So what good are these unions? All they seem to be is fluffers for the Democratic party, a party that is 100% beholden to the same people that own the Republican party – Wall Street and billionaires. Just another special interest group, interested only in securing for itself a slice of the pie, and screw all other workers or foreigners.

          2. DownSouth

            Let me use this as an opportunity to once again plug Scott Noble’s latest film, Lifting the Veil.

            This should be required viewing for all Americans because it, as Larry Pinkney says, “teaches everyone from the uninitiated to the most sophisticated the true nature of the American government…”

            The rich and the advantaged like yourself will survive even if they are taught to believe something different. But to teach the poor and the disadvantaged that they can ignore reality is more than mere silliness. It is a lie.

          3. nonclassical

            ..a Russ Feingold could-would make a difference. TRUTH is,
            Obama has sold out the American people-here’s the documentation-who’s telling the TRUTH, as truth is the issue, from Obama and Bushit:


            there is the actual video of, the campaign promises, completely broken. Wikileaks divulged Obama forged deal with Bushitters to not do transparency, oversight, accountability, for war crimes and more-makes Obama, legally, a war criminal himself. Look, I took an entire voting district to Obama, 2008.

            We will go 3rd party 2012. The LIES must stop!

          4. Puggy1999

            YEah, Bush spent 1 trillion. OBAMA SPENT 3.5 TRILLION DOLLARS.. Yes you are right there is quite a bit of difference between the two parties.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Just as we have a right brain and a left brain, we have both a little Republican and a little Democrat in each of us.

          In fact, you can’t live without one or the other.

          No one is 100% liberal 100% of the time or 100% conservative 100% of the time.

          The right brain doesn’t make fun of nor war on the left brain, and vice versa.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            By the way, it’s unhealthy to use only one side of your brain and not the other half nor to suppress the the existence of any one half.

    1. Cedric Regula

      It is official. It has been tweeted. No turning back now.

      From official Presidential Tweet Socket:

      “Today, we’re filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign. Say that you’re in.”

      So this is not some sort of hoax.

      Elsewhere, so as not to be outdone and also highlight the some inherent limitations in the Tweet character limitation, the MSM takes up the task of covering the horse race. Too much bandwidth devoted to other depressing stuff anyway.

      A poll by Farleigh Dickinson university has the President outperforming most competitors except for Mike Huckabee, with whom he is locked in a dead heat: “The president steamrolls former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin by a 20-point margin, 54%-34%. The president also wins easily – 48%-34% – over the only major Republican to have formed an exploratory committee for the 2012 election, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. And the president handily beats the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, by 15 points, 52%-37%. The president runs even with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 46%-46% and about even with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 44%-43%.”

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t understand politics so well, and probably should leave all commentary to those that do. But when I start typing something, there is always a little inertia that builds up, and then more words just unavoidably dribble out onto my computer screen.

      In this case the dribbles don’t seem to answer anything in particular, but just indicate a certain amount of confusion.

      Like how does the Republican Party, after such clear support for the deliciously decadent banking sector, actually enjoy the strongest support from their Bible thumper/moral majority wing?

      Sure they may think Clinton started it with signing all the banking deregulation in 90s, and Obama was the one that saved the industry from going straight to hell.

      So they may have a point. But still….

      P.S. Perhaps they are hoping for a Gutenberg Bible printing jobs/stimulus program? That may be it.

  2. Cocomaan

    Good Asia Times article on the deal struck between Saudi Arabia and the US, making the Bahrain intervention by the former and the Libyan intervention by the latter possible.

    “You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a “yes” vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya – the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973″

    I’m not usually one for the anonymous tips, but this hypocrisy over Libya, Bahrain and Yemen makes this kind of conclusion all to easy to arrive at.

  3. herman sniffles

    The salmon are endangered, the sea lions aren’t. Pretty simple equation, really.

  4. curlydan

    from Tim Duy article: “I think Fisher thinks he can help savers by lifting short-term rates. I suspect that is temporary help at best – it would undermine the recovery and force the Fed right back to a zero-rate stance.”

    It certainly would undermine the banks’ recovery, but I think Duy’s views of the benefits of lower rates are too orthodox. I think Fisher is using the good saver as an example of a good, long-term economic actor, and higher rates would reward the saver and other prudent participants in our economy.

  5. Anonymous Comment

    Regarding the “Regulating Shadow Banking” article, some thoughts:

    It’s appropriate this article comes on the day of Yves’ prank. Part of the problem with all this is that some at the top of this conversation live in fear for their family’s lives. It makes for awkward communication.

    Bottom line is that too much of the market was allowed to go ‘grey’. Where one person would overlook something, and the next person overlooked that because they have their own ‘something’ and the next and the next…. like the shampoo commercial from the 70’s.

    Pretty soon 70% of everybody needs a grey market in order to meet their 5Y plan. As an aggregate this massive amount of ‘grey’ has [nearly] brought it all down. It’s true. What is a fool to do?

    Willing to consider.

  6. nonclassical

    the ONLY ethical position Obama can take at this point is
    “LBJ” refusal to accept if nominated, refusal to serve…

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