Links 7/16/11

Body Scanners Improperly Added by TSA: Court Bloomberg

Julian Assange in Press Conference after His Extradition Appeal Hearing FireDogLake

House Hampers a Law on Light Bulbs New York Times

Saying ‘Maybe’ to Drugs Acceler8tor (hat tip reader Sugar Hush)

Food and Water Mark Thoma

The CIA’s Secret Sites in Somalia The Nation

NATO’s Debacle in Libya Andrew Cockburn, CounterPunch (hat tip reader Carol B)

Rupert Murdoch’s bloody Friday as Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton quit Guardian

Murdoch faces prolonged inquiries in US Financial Times

You’re right, Mr Murdoch, saying sorry is not enough Independent

Empire’s dynastic roots threatened Guardian

Les Hinton sacrificed, but the worst is yet to come for News Corp Guardian. FBI ask – did News Corp offer money for access to 9/11 victims’ relatives’ phone records?

Banks’ stress test pass rate under fire Financial Times. Ahem, this simply makes it official that “stress test” is NewSpeak.

Taking the R out of “Shrill”: Krugman exhibits, endorses ratchet effect Lambert Strether

As a Watchdog Starves, Wall Street Is Tossed a Bone New York Times. Um, this has been going on since the Clinton era.

Regulators Are Said to Weigh Softer Derivatives Rules New York Times

Why Amazon’s tax-free landscape needs bulldozing Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times

Dexia suit: DB securitized mortgages it sued originators over Reuters (hat tip reader D

Investing in a world of austerity Ed Harrison

The new “Let them eat cake!” David Sirota, Salon (hat tip reader appointmetotheboard)

Antidote du jour:

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          1. ambrit

            Dear CR;
            Oh my! Parlour games! As in, the kind of parlour where you hear the tinkly sound of Ragtime Piano while the banker drags you upstairs for some ‘mortgage modification.’
            Really now though, that Perambulating Pachyderm seems to be saying; “I’m fed up with this insanity! Let’s see what the Eohippi on the other end of the waterhole are doing.”

    1. Valissa

      An elephant by any other name… personally I like elephants better than donkeys, and don’t care for either as totems of political parties. How about repubs as Toads and dems as Chameleons?

  1. attempter

    I guess that completes my indictment of Thugman.

    I’ve listed his many crimes many times, and I always added the prediction that in the end he’d come around to supporting the gutting of SS and Medicare. His sycophants, unable to rebut the charges on his already-committed crimes, would often latch onto that prediction – “Call me when he actually does that.”

    Well, there’s the phone to your conscience, if you have one, ringing. Can we finally dump this pig? And if so, does that finally convince you that all elites are pigs, and that elites as such have to be dumped?

    1. Keeper of the knaves

      It doesn’t convince me at all. I will need proof beyond a reasonable doubt that each new elite pundit that is paraded before us is just as bad as Krugman. Then I will put aside everything I learned and go through the exact same thing with the next one.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Lambert said it well:

      “America’s favorite Nobelist endorses President Fuck You’s betrayals on Social Security and Medicare because they show how ‘crazy’ the Rs are. Dear Lord. Leave aside Obama’s cynical and manipulative decision to put millions of elders, working people, and the poor in fear…”

      Indeed, the Nobel war criminal seizes power the classic way, with fear as his chief weapon. Whether it’s fear of the lunatics of the tea party, who will destroy the safety net if Obama doesn’t agree to unravel first, or a new front in nuclear Pakistan, in Yemen or in Libya, in this stage act he is the only one standing between us and catastrophe. There is nothing to fear but a lack of terror.

      Obama is practically taking lines from John Hurt in “V for Vendetta”, leader of a cowardly government that attacks its own people to concentrate and maintain absolute power.

      Who knew that this particularly “Halfling”, Obama, would prove utterly inadequate in his role as ring bearer. When he seized the ring of power, he morphed into a soulless ring wraith before our eyes. He makes Hoover look like a saint. History will not be kind to him.

      1. Glenn Condell

        But will history solve the riddle – Weakest Leader of All Time, or Greatest Grifter of All Time?

        Or, First Robot POTUS.

    3. wunsacon

      Yves, Attempter, Lambert Strether, did you read what Krugman wrote?

      I read Krugman’s post and don’t see any point where Krugman “endorses President Fuck You’s betrayals on Social Security and Medicare”. Please point out what I’m missing.

      1. attempter

        Um, the part where he condemns Obama and his “deal” instead of the Republicans? Instead of implicitly endorsing Obama’s deal?

        1. wunsacon

          Isn’t that another subject, worthy of another article?

          I decided to read Krugman’s article and thought it made it’s point: Republican politicians are mostly extremists / nuts. Even Mish is saying Obama threw them a “fat pitch” and they’re refusing to swing.

          1. attempter

            Now you’re pretending he doesn’t have a long, copious evidence record? If that’s a subject for another article, where’s that article been all this time? Oh, I forgot, he never had time to write pieces condemning Obama’s policies because he was too busy explicitly supporting or, as in this case, implicitly supporting them.

            And you yourself admit his criminality, as you admit he attacks only Republicans for their crimes but not Democrats for their equal crimes. Policywise and probably in his conscious mind, Obama is a Republican, anyway. I defy Krugman or you or anyone to find daylight between Obama and the Republicans. But that’s meaningless to a pro-Democrat authoritarian follower.

          2. alex

            Fear not, attempter, come the Revolution you will have the honor of prosecuting Krugman for his crimes against ideological purity. Off with his head!

          3. attempter

            Alex, you’re such an idiot you don’t even understand what the sides are.


            Democracy vs. elitism.

            Civil society vs. neoliberalism.

            Citizen vs. criminal.

            Humanity vs. corporations.

            Krugman’s on the side of the enemy. Why would I want him to have “ideological zeal”, the way you moronically think? Nevertheless, as I already said, he has plenty of zeal. All too much of it.

      2. alex

        wunsacon: “Yves, Attempter, Lambert Strether, did you read what Krugman wrote?”

        It hardly matters. Amongst certain parties Krugman is regularly used as an example of someone who lacks sufficient ideological zeal.

    4. Cawley

      Wow! Maybe sometime you should read the words that are actually on the page instead of what the little voices in your head are screaming. At no point does Krugman endorse Obama’s concessions. He has a long history of writings opposing cuts to Social Security and has never called for cuts in Medicare benefits. I would ask for examples to the contrary but I’m afraid I would get a link to a post criticizing Romney as evidence that he supports bans on Medicare negotiating prices with drug companies.

    1. American Adolf

      Nice speculation, but if the guy who made 7 bln on 9/11 has done it, he’s done it for the money, not for Israel.

      Thanks for the link though, I’ve wonder why people don’t like to speculate like Alan Hart. One seldom hear such things.

  2. Jim

    That Salon article about leaving eye-popping receipts lying around, to “accidentally” reveal your spending, takes conspicuous consumption to new heights of conspicuousness. Thorstein Veblen would be proud.

    1. Keeper of the knaves

      By judiciously spending their money at venues that ruthlessly exploit their employees, they can avoid the undesirable consequences of “trickle down” such as creation of middle class jobs.

  3. Cedric Regula

    House Hampers a Law on Light Bulbs New York Times

    Oh, well. Back to reality.

    “The federal government has no right to tell me or any other citizen what type of light bulb to use at home,” said Representative Michael C. Burgess, Republican of Texas, who offered the measure as an amendment to a 2012 energy and water spending bill. The light-bulb provision was approved on a voice vote; later the House voted 219 to 196 to pass the energy bill.

    1. Just Tired

      As G W Bush would say, Congress does not have the brightest bulbs in the knife drawer.

      1. Keeper of the knaves

        GW Bush’s knife drawer is a walk in closet with numerous light fixtures and lighted display cases. Thus, the metaphor.

        1. Just Tired

          Why the hell would he need a “walk in closet”? All the brightest bulbs in Congress could fit in a shoebox. What kinda ‘Merican are y’all anyway?

  4. brian

    next week the House will take up the even more important issues of putting lead back into gasoline and allowing cigarettes to be advertsed on childrens television programs

      1. ambrit

        It’s all part of the bi-partisan drive to reduce expenses for Medicare and Medicade. Fewer people equalls less of a burden on the elites medical resources. Simple, easy, and profitable.

      2. optimader

        you prefer introducing more mercury in the enviornment w/ the proliferation of compact florecent bulbs??

        why do you hate the enviornment?

        1. ambrit

          Dear optimander;
          Beats the H— out of killing off all those animals to make tallow candles. However, your point is well taken. We really need all that mercury for extracting gold and silver from the ore to restore the Bimetallic Standard.

        2. alex

          “you prefer introducing more mercury in the enviornment w/ the proliferation of compact florecent bulbs??”

          More mercury is released by burning the coal needed to generate the electricity for an incandescent than is contained in a CFL.

  5. Anonymous Jones

    I would hope that it has been obvious for a long time (of course it actually hasn’t) that AMZN was first and foremost a tax arb enabler.

    Of course, they have been fighting this war for over a decade and will continue to do so. AMZN has now built its coffers enough and its business model is changing enough that it’s not as significant as the tax arb once was but seriously, as a stand-alone, California would be the 8th largest economy in the world! It’s still real money we’re talking about.

    Why WalMart didn’t try to crush them long ago in the CA legislature is especially frustrating. I guess it’s sorta “poor form” to be upset over someone else cheating on taxes. The rich can only compete on other levels, I guess. Sorta sickening.

  6. nobody

    I am extremely happy to see progress towards overturning the atrocious lightbulb ban. I’m autistic and have sensory sensitivities, including to fluorescent lights. I am hardly alone. For many of us, Congress depriving us of access to incandescent bulbs is comparable to them banning hearing aid batteries without an adequate replacement. This is a serious disability rights issue and should be regarded as such. I’m really hoping the current efforts to overturn the light bulb ban gain more traction. If not, I hope somebody looks into finding grounds in the Americans with Disabilities Act for a lawsuit to block implementation of the planned phaseout.

    1. American Adolf

      Don’t be shocked, please read this excerpt
      from Declaration of War on the US by Adolf Hitler
      Dec 11th 1941:
      Roosevelt comes from a rich family and belongs to the class whose path is smoothed in the Democracy. I am the only child of a small, poor family and had to fight my way by work and industry.
      When the Great War came, Roosevelt occupied a position where he got to know only its pleasant consequences enjoyed by those who do business while others bleed. I was only one of those who carry out orders, as an ordinary soldier, and naturally returned from the war just as poor as I was in autumn of 1914. I shared the fate of millions, and Franklin Roosevelt only the fate of the so-called upper ten thousand.
      After the war Roosevelt tried his hand at financial speculation; he made profits out of the inflation, out of the misery of others, while I, together with many hundreds of thousands more, lay in hospitals. When Roosevelt finally stepped on the political stage with all the advantages of his class, I was unknown and fought for the resurrection of my people.
      When Roosevelt took his place at the head of the U.S.A., he was the candidate of a Capitalistic party which made use of him; when I became Chancellor of the German Reich, I was Fuehrer of the popular movement I had created. The powers behind Roosevelt were those powers I had fought at home. The Brains Trust were composed of people such as we had fought against in Germany as parasites and removed from public life.
      Yet there is something in common between us. Roosevelt took over a State in a very poor economic condition, and I took over a Reich faced with complete ruin, also thanks to Democracy. In the U.S.A. there were 13 million unemployed, and in Germany 7,000,000 part-time workers. The finances of both States were in a bad way, and ordinary economic life could hardly be maintained. A development then started in the U.S.A. and in the German Reich, which will make it easy for posterity to pass a verdict on the correctness of the theories.
      While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialistic leadership within the space of a few years; President Roosevelt did not succeed in bringing about even the slightest improvements in his own country. And yet this work must have been much easier in the U.S.A. where there lived scarcely fifteen people on a square kilometre, as against 140 in Germany.
      If such a country does not succeed in assuring economic prosperity, this must be a result either of the bad faith of its leaders in power, or of a total inefficiency on the part of the leading men. In scarcely five years, economic problems had been solved in Germany and unemployment had been overcome. During the same period, President Roosevelt had increased the State Debt of his country to an enormous extent, the decreased value of the dollar, had brought about a further disintegration of economic life, without diminishing the unemployment figures.
      All this is not surprising if one bears in mind that the men he had called to support him, or rather, the men who had called him, belonged to the Jewish element, whose interests are all for disintegration and never for order. While speculation was being fought in National Socialist Germany, it thrived astoundingly under the Roosevelt regime.

      1. aet

        From your quoted passage:

        “A development then started in the U.S.A. and in the German Reich, which will make it easy for posterity to pass a verdict on the correctness of the theories.\

        In that, and only that, he was correct.

      2. Philip Pilkington

        Eh… are you quoting Hitler’s war declaration sympathetically?

        Anyway, two interesting thing about the speech itself:

        (1) It illustrates how much of a reprehensible individual and what a pathetic leader Hitler really was. Look how he plays up his own misfortunes. Hitler always was a whiner. A pathetic loser. And it was this ‘victimology’ that led him to project his own misfortunes onto others — and ultimately blame the Jews.

        (2) However, the speech also indicates that Hitler’s fiscal deficits were FAR more effective than Roosevelt’s. Sad to say, I know, but Hitler was a ten-times more effective economic leader than FDR.

        1. optimader

          “While an unprecedented revival of economic life, culture and art took place in Germany under National Socialistic leadership within the space of a few years”

          due to a wholesale resource allocation to domestic military infrastructure ( includeing propaganda…errr call it art).

          Frankly, what could be more inflationary than Hiltler’s investment allocation in what is by definition a non-wealth creating GDP sector -consumables designed for destruction??

          Interesting historical quote tho.. and yes, what a bloody whiner! jeeze…

          1. Philip Pilkington

            Nazi Germany didn’t experience substantial inflation. That occurred in the 1920s (while there was considerably less government employment).

            I know your ‘theories’ say that inflation would occur. But I’d suggest you look at the facts of the matter before you ‘assume’ what might or might not happen.

            Then build your theories out of empirical data.

          2. Cedric Regula

            Let me guess. Hitler didn’t allow wage-price spirals? Hitler discovered gold in France? Hitler used taxes to drain money out of the system and control inflation?

            All of the above?

          3. Skippy

            Can’t help myself…And he was in bed with the same wall st international finance miscreants were still fending off…became / was what he decried.

            Skippy…funny how that always happens…eh.

          4. ambrit

            Dear skippy;
            Bloody good point that. The accountant for the early NASDAP did publish that pamphlet linking Der Furher to Wall Street financiers. Then he mysteriously dies.

  7. Thomas Barton, JD

    Those vaunted light bulbs are extremely expensive for persons on fixed incomes. In my experience they do not last nearly as long as advertised particularly in a lamp fitting that has a glass jacket designed to encompass an incandascent bulb that by its nature is extremely heat tolerant. The real tragedy is that these Compact Fluorescents are not being forced off the market because they are much costlier, less durable and much less long lasting than LEDs. Oh I know the technology for LEDs is impossible to bring a simple white light for another 4 to 6 years. Real advances in this gilded age are always 4 to 6 to 20 years away while we spend $20billion a year on bringing airconditioning to the 2 hideously wasteful wars in the Middle East, Oh , Im sorry I mean “SouthWestAsia.”

    1. alex

      “Those vaunted light bulbs are extremely expensive for persons on fixed incomes.”

      Those CFL’s really do save money, though how much depends on the cost of electricity where you live (it’s pricey where I am). Other factors including how much you use heat or AC, since the “waste heat” from incandescents will help warm a house (albeit with at best half the efficiency of a home heating system), which helps when it’s cold but greatly increases electricity usage when AC is running.

      Nevertheless I think the incandescent bulb ban would have been premature and needlessly specific (more seeming green than being green). The big killer of CFL’s is turning them on and off frequently. Because of that I still use incandescents in places like the bathroom and hallway, where the lights are frequently turned on and off.

      “Oh I know the technology for LEDs is impossible to bring a simple white light for another 4 to 6 years. Real advances in this gilded age are always 4 to 6 to 20 years away …”

      It’s hardly as though there’s a conspiracy to keep cost-effective LED’s off the market. In one of those rare examples of true capitalism at work, companies are investing fortunes to develop them. I saw a 65W equivalent fixture (not just bulb) in the store yesterday for $35. Still kind of pricey, but maybe I’ll put one in the bathroom since I have to do some work there anyway.

  8. Externality

    The Obama administration convinced the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse its order that the Pentagon stop enforcing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. DADT is back in force.

    The Obama administration won a court decision allowing it to keep the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays and lesbians serving in the military in place while a ruling overturning the law is appealed.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco reversed its July 6 decision that granted a request by the Log Cabin Republicans to block further enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The group, which filed the suit to overturn the law, promotes equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    For ten (10) days, DADT was gone and the Republic still stands.

  9. wunsacon


    >> Now you’re pretending he doesn’t have a long, copious evidence record? If that’s a subject for another article, where’s that article been all this time

    *That* Krugman article doesn’t say he endorses cutting OASDI. So, why not cite one where he does?

    I don’t know Krugman’s record like you do. When making the accusation Lambert makes (and which you agree with), it would help people like me (who don’t read Krugman) if you would supply links that support what you say. Especially since you say he has a “record”, that should be easy right?

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