Links 6/28/12

Flying out later today, so posts may be thin over the next 24 hours (several topics I’m keen to write about, but no guarantee I’ll get to them soon).

Issues in Scaling Civilization: The Monsters-from-the-Id Dilemma Civilization Systems (Chuck L)

Hey, Wait a Minute! The Chronicle (Lambert)

Dinosaurs Not Cold-Blooded In Theory That Flips Old View Bloomberg (Chuck L)

Glucose Deprivation Activates Feedback Loop That Kills Cancer Cells, Study Shows Science Daily (furzy mouse)

Campaigns to Track Voters with “Political Cookies” MIT Technology Review (Chuck L)

Parenting for the Elite Helaine Olen, Forbes

The Looting of China by the Kleptokapitalist Bourgeoisie Roaders Craig Tindale, Steve Keen’s Debtwatch

Chinese business to boost $US? MacroBusiness

EM growth doubts hit currencies Financial Times

Leaky pipes compound Delhi’s water crisis Tehelka (May S)

News Corp. Board Approves Split in Principle Wall Street Journal

Murdoch the magician is running out of tricks John Gapper, Financial Times

To Save the Euro, the Eurozone Governments Must Stand By Greece Marshall Auerback, New Economic Perspectives

Open letter to a good friend and colleague (who happened to become Greece’s Finance Minister yesterday…) Yanis Varoufakis

Merkel digs in heels over action on euro Financial Times

Top CIA Spy Accused of Being a Mafia Hitman Wired and Our Other Assassination Program: Mafia Hitmen Hidden from Congress Marcy Wheeler (Chuck L)

Brownian Motion and the Defense Budget Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Nukes Ready to Fly Clusterstock (furzy mouse)

Time to tighten the noose on Iran Robert McNally, Financial Times. Wow, I’ve seldom seen so much disinformation in a small package.

Strip club industry: More than Democrats, GOP conventioneers have been ‘our best customers’ Tampa Bay Times. So what’s your theory? Is it: 1. GOP members are richer and have more disposable income and therefore spend more often on indulgences like this? 2. Dems too acculturated by PCness to indulge as much as they’d like to? 3. Dems would rather just get laid and have less difficulty doing so (being less misogynistic than Rs)? Or do you have another theory? Note I am also assuming strip clubs are just strip clubs (in NYC, that’s the case, the bouncers will throw men out if they lay a hand on one of the performers).

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Inspects ‘Versailles’ Wall Street Journal (Paul Tioxon). OK, I am really old fashioned. I know this pales compared to stuff like the revolving door, but what is a Cabinet member doing using his office to promote a college buddy’s business venture?

Derivatives watchdog defends global reach Reuters (furzy mouse)

Stockton bankruptcy will make history; residents reeling Los Angeles Times (May S)

Stockton, California’s Bankruptcy Makes ‘Normal’ Cities Nervous Governing (May S)

This Week in Financial Not-Crime masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Beyond Spain and Cyprus, Europe’s Mightiest Banks Still Grapple With Crisis New York Times. Aargh! I caught a headline edit in progress! The original version was something like “Eurozone Riddled with Shaky Banks” to which I was going to comment: “It took this long for you to notice?” But as I clicked to the article proper, the had the current headline, and when I went back to the business section page, it had also changed there. Vegas Inc (Deontos)

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 73 and counting*

“The elite and lofty crowd who hold exalted office

are disgusted at the life of grief and bother that they suffer.

But when they consider the ones who, unlike them, are not the prisoners of high ambition–

the amazing thing is that they do not even reckon them as human.” –Omar Khayyam

Montreal. “Quebec’s waning student crisis is threatening to reignite [Aug. 17, the scheduled return date to school], with teachers becoming involved in the newest phase of the tuition battle. The attention of the province is shifting to now that large nightly student demonstrations have shrunk considerably. Bill 78: “An attempt to challenge Quebec’s controversial protest law has suffered a setback in court, as a judge refused Wednesday to grant a temporary suspension of certain provisions.” Kids these days: “Rather than judge them, we should rejoice.¬† We raised them better than we thought, and today they are the bearers of a change that is more than necessary.¬† Rather than treat them with condescension, we should be proud of them.” Father Michel Lessard: “We decided 40 years ago that education should be free and accessible to everyone. That’s what’s being attacked.” These things are fundamental Christian values.” Anglican Bishop Dennis Drainville: “what mobilized me to go marching with the students is Bill 78.” Bishop Dorylas Moreau: “Isn’t social peace more important than a struggle for power and endless protests?” Legacy parties: “In 1998, 90% of Quebeckers declared themselves members of the PQ or the PL. Today, no more than 43% do.” Media critique: “This is what happened to Jean Charest ‚ three [grassroots parody] versions of his video have appeared in the last hours and are currently making the rounds of social media.” If that’s happening here, I don’t know about it. Readers? Violence: “The students have also attempted to put forward a new relationship with violence. By their acts of civil disobedience, they have attempted to resist violence without reproducing its arbitrariness, its brutality and its authoritarianism. No matter what is said by the vast fear campaign presently at work in Quebec, the strikers have resisted the assaults of the forces of order and not the inverse. Their actions have aimed at institutions; they have aimed at ‘being liberated’ from violence, and not at reproducing it.” En: Public relations. Fr: strategie creative.

AZ. Initiative: “AZ SoS State Ken Bennett disqualified a 1-cent sales tax initiative…. saying language on the initiative circulated to voters didn’t match the version pre-filed with his office.” “The initiative’s campaign left off seven lines of text from the 774-line document.” Ann-Eve Pedersen, campaign chair: “We have a paperwork SNAFU.” “Pedersen says the group filed the correct copy electronically and complied with all requirements of the state Constitution. They have retained a former Arizona Supreme Court justice to represent them.” So, SNAFU, or not?

CA. “Officials said Tuesday that Stockton would become the nation’s largest city to seek protection under the U.S. bankruptcy code. Almost all who spoke to the council began with some version of: ‘I was born and raised here.’ … The most impassioned speakers argued on behalf of others, with the main rallying cry a plea to keep health insurance for retirees with illnesses.” No bailouts for altruists!

CO. Fires: “CO wildfires had consumed 181,426 acres by Wednesday afternoon” (maps). Climate: “The heat in CO is one ingredient that along with unusually dry conditions and strong winds is creating one of the worst wildfire seasons on record.” Fodder: “[M]any federal firefighters are temporary employees…. Under federal regulations, temporary employees of the Forest Service do not receive benefits. That means no health care and no retirement pension.” Just like the workers who fought to save Fukashima. Policy: “U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Col’s change of heart helped kill Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s amendment that would have dedicated more federal resources to fire prevention, especially in areas impacted by pine beetle infestation.” Swing state: “President Barack Obama plans to travel to the area on Friday to view the damage.”

FL. Privatization #FAIL: “FL will spend $47 billion this year hiring outsiders to provide goods and services for the state… [A] sample audit of the 24,000 state contracts at 33 different agencies found that 35 percent were flawed. News of the wierd: “Tests find only marijuana in face-chewer’s system.”

GA. Water: “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in documents released Tuesday that it has the legal ability to give metro Atlanta communities access to 705 million gallons of water per day from Lake Lanier on the Chattahoochee River to meet needs through 2030.”

IA. Development: “After failing to deliver on its promises, a Cedar Rapids company has agreed to pay back–with interest–a $250,000 loan the IA Economic Development Authority awarded last year. Solid reporting by a local journalist may have made the difference.”

LA. Corruption: “Michael McGrath Jr., a former mortgage bank chief who is serving a 14-year prison term for selling fraudulent credit union loans, helped Frank Fradella funnel a $50,000 payment to Nagin in June 2008.”

MD. Corruption: “jest: The national [mortgage] settlement is $26 billion, of which Maryland gets $1 billion. However, according to your own Maryland Foreclosure Fraud Task Force Report (see pg. 31), there was a $31 billion dollar economic loss in home values in the state of Maryland alone. Additionally, there was an additional $340 million dollars in lost in state and local tax revenue. Given this, where did the final settlement numbers come from? Doug Gansler (Douche-MD): Uh‚ *stutters, stammers, delays* Uh, give me the name of one person who was involved in a foreclosure or in a robo-signing case. jest: That’s not the issue. I simply want to know how a $31 billion dollar problem can have a $1 billion dollar resolution. Where did that number come from? Douche: *Uncomfortable laughter* Well, this is the first time people at these workshops have been unhappy to get free money! jest: I remember past lawsuits where people would get multi-million dollar judgements against McDonald’s because their coffee was too hot. People are getting foreclosed fradulently on by a computer program, MERS, and all they get is a $2,000 check? Where did that number come from?” Privatization: “Baltimore’s City Council recently voted to let companies place advertisements on fire trucks in an effort to cover infrastructure costs.”

MN. “I’ve copyrighted my image. If you use it I’ll sue you for infringement.” Alrighty then.

MT. Voting: “U.S. District Court Judge Charles Lovell refused to issue an injunction [sought by Rs] against the Montana law that makes it a crime for political parties to endorse candidates in judicial races.”

NC. DNCon: “The city of Concord was blind-sided Monday night by a decision to move the Democratic National Convention’s kickoff party to uptown Charlotte. [T]he time and tax money spent preparing for the Labor Day event is lost and will not be reimbursed.” If Mitt were nimble, he’d write Concord a check. He’s done it before. DNCon: “[The Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] has a message for his party’s candidates: Stay away from the Democratic National Convention in September.” Snark watch: “This always works. It’s always totally effective for a Democrat to run against other Democrats. … It makes you look all mavericky and complecticated, and it absolutely insulates you from criticism that you’re a babykilling gay-married who wept over Osama’s bullet-ridden corpse while listening to a dramatic reading of Rules for Radicals by Bill Ayers and Al Sharpton. In Chicago. Where you took the bus.”

NY. Fracking: “Talisman refused to meet with the [150 peacefully protesting] concerned residents, locking their doors and eventually calling law enforcement and refusing communication with event organizers.” Classy! Check the pictures. For this they called the cops? Fracking, corruption: “E-mails obtained from the state Department of Environmental Conservation by an environmental group show state officials gave details of a proposed permit and regulations for natural gas hydraulic fracturing to industry representatives before making those proposals public.” “Our fresh water has made this region ripe for agriculture, dairy farms and vineyards. Hydraulic fracturing would put an end to New York State as we know it.” 1%ers behaving badly: “But this year’s Fourth of July fireworks on the Hudson River will offer a new tier of premier viewing — a V.I.P. section in Hudson River Park where spaces will go for $200 a pop.” It’s a public park. Nominally. Awww: “An unemployed Brooklyn man missed a job interview Tuesday … was saving the life of a 9-month-old boy who was blown into the path of an oncoming subway train by a gust of high wind.”

OH. Campaign: “The OH arm of President Obama’s reelection campaign has produced a three-minute video to highlight Mitt Romney’s support for SB5,” later voted down in a referendum. I remember when the SB5 union guys were heading into Columbus for an SB5 Capitol protest, and passed Obama’s motorcade going the other direction. So don’t try to tell me. Fracking: “The greatest potential risk from fracking comes from the toxic chemicals used in the fluids that break apart geologic formations. SB 315 requires disclosure 60 days after the fluid has been used — in other words, disclosure after the potential damage is done. But it gets worse: drillers can claim that parts of the fluid recipe are proprietary and refuse to disclose them even to ODNR.”

TN. Ballot access: “Green Party members last month nominated 11 candidates in the wake of a February ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Joe Haynes, who ruled as unconstitutional sections in state law that have made it difficult for third-party candidates to appear on the ballot with their party affiliation.”

TX. Corruption: “Twelve boot camp instructors are being investigated for having illicit relationships with female trainees in San Antonio, a number that rivals a similar scandal at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in the mid-’90s.”

VA. UVA Hoo d’etat: “McDonnell said the barrage of criticism that Dragas has endured has been ‘unfortunate and counterproductive,’ but he said nothing about whether he would reappoint her.” Hmm… “Suzie McCarthy, the graduate student who organized the main Facebook page for Sullivan supporters and who helped organize the rallies on the Lawn, said the situation isn’t a simple one. She recalled hearing from a professor who turned down a job at another Virginia institution that would have doubled his salary, opting instead to stay at UVa. “That alone shows you there’s a different business mode. ‘We’re dealing with human capital; we’re dealing with relationships.'” Human capital?

VT. SIEU jumps into single payer VT battle, bypassing local organizations. (Translation: They’re a roach motel for progressive energy, just as in 2009.)

WI. John Doe investigation: “It’s possible that Russell [q.v.] knows too much about not only Walker’s former administration in Milwaukee County, but also about D players …. ” Apparently… If Russell doesn’t sing, Walker walks. But now, do both parties have the same interest? To bury the investigation? Badger State politics geeks please elucidate! “Co-operative living could help address Madison’s homelessness crisis, according to a community briefing hosted by the Affordable Housing Action Alliance Tuesday evening.” Corruption: “[Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (I-Manitowoc] said Tuesday they had not known the RNC was paying for the legal work [in a voter ID lawsuit]. Vos said he deliberately did not ask who was funding the effort to minimize any allegations that he was doing the bidding of outside interests.” Who does Vos think he is? Neil Bush?

Outside Baseball. “And there’s only 1,285 days until the Iowa caucus in 2016.”

Policy. Doug Henwood: “A source (who must remain anonymous) with excellent intelligence on SEIU tells me that [Fight For a Fair Economy]. is a ‘massively expensive boondoggle.’ The union is spending scores of millions of dollars on a campaign with no agenda, no organization building, no ‘metrics’ of success.” Fast & Furious: “Irony abounds when it comes to the Fast and Furious scandal. But the ultimate irony is this: Rs who support the NRA and its attempts to weaken gun laws are lambasting ATF agents for not seizing enough weapons — that, in this case, prosecutors deemed to be legal.” Massive takedown by Fortune (!). Read for detail. “At least four Ds say they will vote Thursday in favor of placing AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.” Petrostate: “I never cease to be amazed by the cluelessness of alternative energy advocates…. It’s as if the most important development in the energy economy of the past 40 years — the fracking revolution — had not happened at all. But it was totally unanticipated by the politicians, advocacy groups and other big thinkers who championed wind, solar and other alternatives.” Well, anticipated by whom? The Cheney Energy Task Force, say? Laffer was wrong: “[T]he nine states with the highest personal income taxes on residents outperformed or kept pace on average with the nine that don’t tax their residents’ incomes, according to a study of economic output, unemployment and household income by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Median household income declined an average 0.7 percent among the nine “high-rate” states, compared with a 3.5 percent drop in the nine states without such a levy.” Pentagon holds gay pride event. What next? Marxist pride? Moderate left wing reformist pride?

The economy. Not hiring: “The No. 1 reason is that executives just don’t see the demand, but this is compounded by policymakers in Washington and Brussels dithering over taxes and government spending, according to Wall Street analysts.” If aggregate demand is the problem, shouldn’t it be a big issue in the campaign?

HCR. Ben Nelson issues threat: “If they strike down the mandate, the Supreme Court will be paving the way to a single-payer system, or back to the old broken health care system — neither of which are good for Nebraskans.” Prediction is hard: “I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow. ” Prep copy: “The U.S. Supreme Court, in a historic decision Thursday, struck down…”, “struck down part of”, “… upheld President Barack Obama’s signature legislation commonly known as “Obamacare.” Meta-spin, Romney: “If the law is rejected, Romney plans to argue… .If the law is upheld, Romney would argue…” Money: “The fundraising email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) appeared to promise that any related contributions would go to a ‘Healthcare Rapid Response Fund.'”

Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch. “Have you noticed that as the details of the tough budget reform proposed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles fade into memory, more politicians are embracing the plan developed by the chairs of the 2010 White House fiscal commission?”

The trail. Swing cities: “The five most politically sensitive cities — Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and Tampa — have performed better, with essentially flat [and not down] house prices in the year to April 2012.” Teebee: “Obama’s We’ve Heard It All Before claims the top spot, collecting 725,000 views. Doing Fine garnered 160,000 views.” Mother’s milk: “‘Many on the left were relatively blasé about the [Citizens United] threat — until WI made them wake up and say, ‘Holy cow, our democracy is at stake,’ said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. ‘Our hearts and soul were in this, we invested in this — our time, our money — and money and the Koch brothers won the day.’ Maybe. But these guys are all getting a cut of the rental stream, so of course they want more. Also, the PCCC? Puh-leeze.

Romney. Whining: “Mitt Romney campaign representatives will meet with WaPo today to seek a formal retraction of its June 21 report that Bain Capital invested in firms that specialized in outsourcing American jobs.” No retraction. Polling: “[Romney’s] a known name but an unknown person,” says NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D). “They just haven’t related to him.” Emerging narrative: “No details.” “Where are Mitt Romney’s details?” “A problem with specifics.” “Won’t take a position.” “Refusal to address major issues.” Of course, in 2008, policy detail was Obama’s stock in trade. Oh, wait… Anyhow, that narrative forces Romney into the loser’s corner, because how much detail is too much? Media headwinds!

Obama. Bus trip: “Obama’s two-day road trip through PA and OH, two key battleground states… kicks off July 5, a campaign official said.” Obama as Wilfrid Brimley: “Doing the right thing seems to be hard for everyone, except President Obama. He always seems to know the ‘right thing to do.’ Indeed, he uses his presidential remarks to instruct the American people on the right thing to do over and over again.” And a real barn-burner for donors from Michelle Obama at the Standard Club in Chicago. She mentions that her father was a city water plant employee, but not that he was a precinct caption for Daley I. I wonder why?

* 73 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with land crab on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. That time of year thou mayst in me behold….

* * *

Antidote du jour (Robert Oak). Story per News Lincoln County:

Oregon Coast Aquarium officials are trying to save a large tropical sea turtle that obviously took a wrong turn somewhere between the tropics and Oregon’s rather cool ocean waters. Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network’s Jim Rice said it appears that the male Green Sea Turtle may have found itself trapped inside a warm pocket of water, surrounding by colder water. Once the warm water dissipated, the turtle was exposed to much lower temperatures which caused it to go into a hibernation-like state. It could neither eat nor properly navigate to warmer water.

A tourist walking along Moolack Beach noticed the turtle and called authorities. Rice, along with others from the Oregon Coast Aquarium came out and improvised a rather creative turtle removing tactic as you can see in the photo. Upon arrival at the Aquarium, the turtle was immediately injected with fluids to hydrate it. They say once the turtle’s body temperature rises to a normal range it will receive anti-biotics. After that it can be transferred to a warm water rehabilitation facility.

Officials say they don’t know how sick the animal is. They’re waiting for it to warm up and take food. They say they can’t do an x-ray on the animal since his shell is so dense and thick. However they added “It would be great to have access to a CT scan.” They say there was no flipper or shell breakage and that it does not appear to be as severely compromised as other turtles they’ve rescued.

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  1. F. Beard

    re Glucose Deprivation Activates Feedback Loop That Kills Cancer Cells, Study Shows Science Daily (furzy mouse):

    Interesting! I was aware that fasting eliminates pre-cancerous cells. During a fast, the body switches over from glucose burning to metabolizing fat and a small amount of protein.

    1. scott

      Check out the Harper’s article from a few months back on fasting, if you haven’t. Supposedly it greatly increases the effecivness of chemotherapy, since the cancer cells are already stessed when the toxins hit them.

    2. Richard Kline

      Yes, and the amplifying metabolic disruption described gives a credible mechanism for organism-wide remission to occur as well. Rather than some assault on the functioning of a specific tumor, the glucose withdrawl makes the organism as a whole metabolically hostile to cancerous cells generally, and acceleratingly so. With the cancer cells more dependent upon glucose than healthy cells, the cancerous ones croak before the organism does.

      The model shown is functional and elegant. Let’s hope it’s equally accurate.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        In a fast, the digestive process shuts down and the body immediately cleans out the liver. It’s the liver that you want on your side. Herbalists have long known a stressed, but otherwise “healthy” liver to be the source of many problems.

        1. Dave of Maryland

          PS: In any medical treatment, drugs, chemo, etc., it’s the liver that gets hit first and hardest with what amount to toxins and poisons. What passes for medicine in the US is evil in nearly every respect, and now I see that we will be legally required to buy that crap.

          1. Procopius

            Err… you don’t think things through, do you? You will be required to have health insurance. Maybe you will have to pay for it out of pocket, maybe you will be lucky enough to have a job where your employer takes it out of your salary without you noticing. You will not be required to use it in ways you don’t want to. Of course you might have a stroke and be paralyzed and unable to speak and the medical personnel will make those decisions for you, but that’s not quite the same, is it? By the way, I live in Thailand where some traditional medicine is still practiced. Practically everybody prefers to go to Western-style doctors and hospitals.

  2. M.InThecity

    Lambert – I didn’t know about Michelle’s father. Huh. It all makes sense. Obama is neck deep with the Daley empire, so it goes to reason that that is how he met his wife. Meh.

  3. Max424

    re: strip clubs

    The GOP goes to strip clubs to see labor being perfectly exploited. It gets them hard.

    Note: The sheer nakedness of the women scares the shit of them, however. Also, and to their disappointment, they discover that strippers are quite often the exploiters, and not the exploitees.

    Needless to say, this can make for a rather up and down evening … for the GOP.

    1. rjs

      Yves asked: So what’s your theory?

      i would say 3. Dems would rather just get laid and have less difficulty doing so (being less misogynistic than Rs)?

      but dont think there’s anything personality type that perfectly correlates with political preferences…

      1. Max424

        It’s not a theory, at least not to me.

        It’s all part of my 12 Fundamental Laws of the Strip Club, each conclusion drawn from hundreds of hours of dedicated research.

        1. docG

          “So what’s your theory?”

          Democrats are better looking than Republicans, thus don’t need to go to strip clubs to observe (and interact with) naked ladies.

      2. Neo-Realist

        Maybe Dems are more into banging the female delegates? Whatever happens in (Name of Convention City) stays in (Name of Convention City).

    2. Richard Kline

      So Max424, I’m sympathetic to the capitalists exploiting labor thesis, but I don’t think it fully covers the territory; so to speak.

      Strip clubs aren’t about sex, really: they’re about power. “I give you money, and you grovel [or the equivalent].” More or less. They’re frequented by guys terrified about _actual_ sex (“It’s a sin . . . but not if I don’t touch it”) with a dim and largely misogynistic view of women. Repubs as women loathing sex-negativists? That fits ’em like a chastity device.

      Dems would rather just get laid, so they either ask or pay up. Pretty simple.

      1. bmeisen

        Strip clubs are properly categorized as pornography and cater broadly to the compulsive masturbator crowd, which makes up about 60% of the GOP -.

        1. Richard Kline

          Yes to a point I concur, bmeisen. But they’re _lousy_ pornography, and that is the aspect which makes interesting the consideration of who would favor them and why. The women are very seldom turned on, even then seldom indeed by their audience, said audience themselves can’t do anything sexual (in most juristictions), and one in the audience can’t even touch the women (in many clubs, and as standard in theindustry as a rule). What a downer! Who’d go for that? And PAY??!!! Well, only guys who never see attractive women naked any other way, for one. Mediocre porn—but a quality power trip with the boys. That’s worth paying for.

          And let’s not give the knock to masturbation, my friend. For the majority of the species, the orgasms are much better there from, so it has its place in the spice box.

      2. Richard Kline

        I’d add that voyeurism is not misogynistic per se. Particularly with a degree of psychological distance rather than interaction it can be liberating of ones attention and desire without engaging in negative consequences, for instance observing someone who is way out of your league, as it were, or who you wouldn’t actually want to have sex with for reasons diverse. The psychodynamics of private booths are quite different from more interactive club settings. Doing something ‘with the group’ in the latter is also a major motivation.

        People are so complex. Supposing Some Something intentionally designed this thing called homo sapiens sapiens, they ought to have their head examined . . . .

        1. Susan the other

          I’ve never been in a strip club but my impression is that they are very cave-like. So just a quick flashback: I wonder why the cave painters, who were so explicit in their portrayal of animals, never indulged in what we might consider as some good healthy porn. You’d think that that would be high on their agenda. So one explanation is men have evolved to require porn and strip clubs. Another Is that women were the cave painters. That also might mean women were hunters right alongside their men. Just thinkin.

      3. Max424

        Depends where the strip club is.

        In Canada, you’re allowed to touch. Matter of fact, you’re allowed to do a lot of things.

        The strippers are charge there, at least the smart ones are. I know a couple of millionaires, and several others in the making.

        The ones that make it, that last and cash in, are hardworking, dedicated professionals. Yes, many of them would rather be making big money doing something else, but a surprising percentage enjoy their work, take great pride in their work. The good ones know they’re good. They’ve perfected a craft.

        In Canada, exotic dancers are indeed exploited, by management. When they “punch in,” workers must pay the house between 40 and 100 dollars (American) for the right to rent nightly “floor” space. It’s 40 if their willing to do the grueling stage work, which most of them do, usually 5 or 6 routines that last on average 9 minutes (some good, some bad, some extraordinary), it’s 100 if they don’t.

        It’s an immigrant experience. I’d say roughly two/thirds of the young women working in Southern Ontario strip clubs are not native born. Of that, more than half hail from former East Bloc countries.

        These immigrants (especially the East Blockers), are for the most part, wise beyond their years. They’ve hardened themselves, programmed themselves, to think only strategically.

        They want citizenship in a better place. They want money, security. They want a decent mate (not necessarily male). Many want kids, to be suburban moms. They all want to live in a North American McMansion.

        I wish them all the best.

        Note: Yes, the one’s that can’t cut it are usually fucked. Immigrants get deported. Natives fall into prostitution. Crack is rampant. Evil men lurk. All the cliches hold true.

        It’s capitalism, at it’s finest.

        1. Richard Kline

          So Max424, yes, I didn’t even begin to discuss the employees, who are far more interesting in all respects than the clientele. As sex work goes, while it’s exploitative as most ‘contract work’ is designed to be, it’s safer in some respects, and the smart ones can build up their brand and make $$$. Entrepreneurs always get ahead. A woman of my acquaintance worked at and then managed a club for some years (which I never attended). Much more interesting than her clients . . . .

          1. Bev

            Authoritarians are 20-25% of the population, are all about power and domination, and 19-24% (95%-96% of authoritarians) are the extreme right–and self describe as hierarchical, amoral, Machiavellian, aggressive, comfortable with inequality, power-seeking.

            Power over everyone…not just women.


            Bob Altemeyer’s – The Authoritarians

            Whole Book (PDF version 1.35Mb)




            Sandusky scandal could make “Eyes Wide Shut” look like “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

            Jerry Sandusky Represents the Tip of a Deeply Disturbing Iceberg In U.S. Society

            by Legal Schnauzer

            Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts Friday night in perhaps the most high-profile child sexual abuse case in our nation’s history. But numerous signs indicate the Sandusky story is far from over, with ongoing investigations and multiple civil cases hinting that others are likely to become ensnared in a twisted tale of predation and abuse of power.

            Read more.



            June 25, 2012

            Jerry Sandusky Represents the Tip of a Deeply Disturbing Iceberg In U.S. Society

            Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts Friday night in perhaps the most high-profile child sexual abuse case in our nation’s history. But numerous signs indicate the Sandusky story is far from over, with ongoing investigations and multiple civil cases hinting that others are likely to become ensnared in a twisted tale of predation and abuse of power.

            Perhaps Americans now are ready to come to grips with a problem that should have been addressed when the Franklin Scandal emerged, with connections to the Reagan and Bush I White Houses, in the late 1980s and early ’90s. A cover up pushed the Franklin Scandal, and its tales of corporate and political elites using boys as sexual playthings, back into the darkness.

            Jerry Sandusky has been described as a “monster” in the wake of Friday night’s guilty verdicts. But he hardly is the only monster who preys on children while operating in powerful circles. And he had plenty of enablers along the way. Dave Zirin, of The Nation, puts it in perspective:

            America’s always been very good at forming a crowd ready to cheer a good hanging. The national fabric has been woven with witch trials, executions, torture, and now presidential kill lists and on it goes. We love to slay those we label as monsters. We are less vigilant about the people who allow the monsters to roam the countryside. They get to write books, give lectures and be guests on the late night talk show circuit. (See Rumsfeld, Donald.)

            There are many “Rumsfelds” in The People vs. Jerry Sandusky. During the trial, two facts kept appearing like a reoccurring malignancy. The first was something we already knew: that Jerry Sandusky’s God-like stature as defensive football guru at Penn State was his tool for both attracting children and winning the unquestioned trust of parents or guardians. The other stubborn fact is that people in positions of power at the university and in state politics smothered accusations as they swirled around Sandusky and his children’s charity, The Second Mile.

            Life might soon get pretty uncomfortable for some of the “Rumsfelds” in the Sandusky story. And we suspect the nation now is going to be more likely to scrutinize other alleged monsters–and the “Rumsfelds” who allow them to operate. Let’s examine a few subcurrents in the big Sandusky picture:

            Did Sandusky pimp out boys for the sexual pleasure of corporate and political elites?

    3. curlydan

      I’ve long held that the best strip clubs in the U.S. are generally in the more conservative, Southern Baptist cities (e.g. Atlanta, Dallas, and at one point Houston) that will also have higher correlations with GOP members. For people in these cities, it’s a good place to do something that feels illicit, satisfies an unmet need, and removes them from the shackles of their cities’ public culture.

  4. timotheus

    Strip club theory: too obvious and universally true–right-wingers, who tend to be closer to the ruling elites, i.e. the rich, couldn’t care less about sexual behavior despite their political posturing. They take it as their due to be able to screw anything that moves when and how they like. But they simultaneously uphold the sexual mores that are required to keep the hoi polloi in line. In South America the big defenders of Catholic dogma are often the ones on their third or fourth wife (while opposing divorce), and the numbers of closet cases among them is hilariously huge. (A fun example: one of Pinochet’s spokesmen was known to bang office boys in the junta’s main bathroom.) Opus Dei parents slip off to Miami to get their daughters abortions, then hurry back to denounce baby-killers on the floor of the local congress. In short: sexual restrictions are for chumps and poor people.

    1. Jim Haygood

      A data point supporting your thesis: the ex-president of Paraguay, Fernando Lujo, who was impeached and removed last week. He was a Catholic bishop. When elected president in 2008, he named his sister Mercedes as first lady of Paraguay, since he was unmarried.

      Since then, Lujo has admitted to fathering children with two different women, and two others have filed paternity suits against him.

      Turn around your strip club analogy: what is it about ‘off limits’ men that so intrigues women? Every priest and pastor knows he’s going to be hit on by female congregants.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s the Dictatorship of Biology.

        One day, hopefully, men and women are paid equally, but even then, men will still be driven to ‘invest’ in women profitlessly many times in hope of one payoff.

    2. Steve Roberts

      GOP = gay Republicans are likely to hide their sexual identity and participate.

      DEM = openly gay Democrats aren’t likely to need to hide their sexuality to the same extent and aren’t pressured to participate. Plus there are considerably more gay Dems than Cons obviously.

      If 5% of the population is DEM & gay (arguable), and 30% of the population are Dem, of the Dem population at the convention, you could easily have 10% of the population at the DEM convention to be gay. I’m counting on the fact they didn’t count male strippers.

  5. Richard Kline

    In the Stockton coverage, it’s all talk about pensions, little print on the tax structure or on gross over-spending on public property at the height of the mega-bubble there and in the valley. In case y’all didn’t notice. We may eventually reach a municipal bankruptcy caused by actual pension obligations, but so far what we see are fiscal crises resulting from public authorities unwillingness over many years to fund pension obligations perfectly well known to them. Places received first world public service sectors by funding them significantly with the IOUs of later pensions over modest current salaries. Come the day it’s ‘We can’t pay.’ Who duped who is open to some debate, but the larger point is that the cities in question simply didn’t fund for what they promised to deliver put paid out too much as they went, and as things go now that doesn’t cut it.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      RK, isn’t there an obligation to fund the pension, per the contract? If so, are the “officials” governing the pension fund not liable for violating the terms of the contract? A suit for breach of contract must be brought against the “principals in office” over the life of the fund who were “in charge” of the fund’s functioning according to contract. The verdict in the U.S. for breach is either specific performance or sufficient remuneration. CLAW-BACK from the “principals in office” over the life of the contract is justice, for they were the AGENTS in charge of the fund at times certain. The “State” functions through human agency. Hence individual Agents are liable for events under their watch, not the “State.”

    2. Lambert Strether

      From a public policy standpoint (leaving aside the contracts the municipal authorities wittingly signed), wouldn’t it have made more sense to bail out the states and localities rather than the banksters? From the standpoint of aggregrate demand?

      * * *

      And as for pensions, maybe. It’s not clear to me why contracts with municipal workers are the first to go, and contracts with banksters are sacrosanct. Especially when the banksters are criminal parasites on the body politic.

      I mean, you’d think at least the banks could decrease what they claim they are owed by the amount they looted from those same municipalities by not paying title fees under MERS.

      1. Ms G

        “banks could decrease what they are owed” . . . just by tweaking the day’s interest rate (see Barclay’s story)! I mean it’s such a “voila” arrow in their quiver it is a wonder it has not been used. Well, not such a wonder.

  6. Claire

    “The poor man starves while they are grassing their royal mountain stags or shooting peasants and partridges in their purblind pomp of pelf and power” – James Joyce

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Claire, is “peasants” an intentional surprise? If so, how wickedly clever.

      1. Claire

        I thought I’d gotten it wrong too at first, so I double-checked, and “peasants” is how Joyce wrote it.

        1. Dave of Maryland

          Presumably Joyce started with pheasant – another bird – and was then inspired to drop the h.

  7. Richard Kline

    NYT: “Trading Losses at JP Morgan Could Rise to $9 Billion.” Which initial, though outside, analyses implied the trading position putatively taking losses couldn’t remotely involved _in and of itself_. I continue to harbor the hypothesis that the CPO unit at JippyMo had been taking major losses for some time (from mid 2011?? when real hedgies got creamed perhaps), which are only now being admitted to in a very partial manner. Just as with Lehman’s blowup, we don’t really know what was going on, and the regulators are feverishly throwing TARPs over everything that the public not see. All that is evident is that the size of the hole in the ground says somebody was lying and/or stealing for quite a long time before the fuse burnt to the charge.

  8. Ned Ludd

    In the story about Enrique “Ricky” Prado, the Mafia hit man who became chief of operations inside the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, this caught my eye.

    Prado was also reportedly put in charge of a “targeted assassination unit,” that was never put into operation. (The CIA shifted to drones.) But according to Wright, the CIA handed over its hit squad operation to Blackwater, now called Academi, as a way “to kill people with precision, without getting caught.”

    A few years back, Seymour Hersh revealed that there was an “executive assassination ring” that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Why would Cheney need his own assassination ring? What were they doing that the normal chain of command could not find out about?

    And now, within the C.I.A., a former hitman for a Miami drug trafficker ends up “supervising field offices on surveillance, rendition, or other missions, and making sure that logistics were in order, that personnel were in place.” He sets up a targeted assassination unit and then moves it to Blackwater.

    Having the executive branch create secret assassination units is a very scary development. Having one unit under the command of a former Mafia hitman, who then moved his unit to Blackwater, makes it even more dangerous to have these lawless units out there killing anyone “suspected” of crimes.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Ya know, a few years ago I’d have been shocked by this story. Now it seems normal and sensible. I mean, if you want somebody whacked, why not turn to the pros? I wonder if Obama’s “people” are from Chicago?

      1. Ned Ludd

        I was shocked back in 2009 when I found out about Cheney’s “executive assassination ring”. But now? These comments by a CNN columnist seem to reflect the attitude of many people in the United States:

        And sometimes the federal government deems it necessary to get its hands a little dirty in the hopes of achieving something we generally accept as good for the country…

        As for the innocent people who lost their lives? Collateral damage. That’s the uncomfortable backstory to this scandal. And there are likely other operations like it in our nation’s history that we don’t even have a clue about.

        And maybe it’s better for us not to be so nosy, not to know everything because, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie “A Few Good Men,” many of us won’t be able to handle the truth.

        Obama jokes about drones and a front page writer at Daily Kos jokes about waterboarding. The majority of liberal Democrats approve of Obama’s own unaccountable executive assassination ring, where the kills are made by robotic aircraft flying over foreign lands, and rescuers are killed in secondary strikes, a “war crime”.

        We are living in an authoritarian culture where the populace and the government have embraced violence, imperialism, and giving unchecked power to authorities. How do liberals respond?

        Let’s face it, I’m not going to be on the pointy end of a drone missile in the second Obama term. The first Mitt term? Can’t guarantee it.

        Vote self-interest. I am.

        Being a liberal means caring about yourself. If you are not on the pointy end of a drone, or the target of a secret assassination squad, why should you care?

      2. Dave of Maryland

        Why do you have to wonder? Isn’t it obvious by now that the fruit does not fall far from the tree?

        1. Dave of Maryland

          PS: Kenyan my ass. I should give you guys a lecture in professional fake ID’s, but for the sake of it, go talk to some retired FBI guy. Give him a lot of “what ifs.”

          And isn’t it creepy that the ONE LIVING PERSON who could vouch for this man’s identity happened to die the weekend before the election, with the man himself with her at the time?

    2. Neo-Realist

      Anybody who’s read about and researched the assassinations of King, Malcolm X, and the Kennedys would not be surprised in the least of these revelations of asssassination rings, teams, etc.

  9. Brent Musburger, Jr (news anchor)

    Breaking news! This just in!

    Still lacking a staff or office space, Eric Schneiderman’s Mortgage Non-Task Non-Force continues its non-investigation into mortgage fraud.

    Story developing…

  10. jsmith

    So, American banks launder billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and our intelligence agencies routinely employ mafia hitmen.

    Habeus corpus is a term in the history books and our President commits war crimes on a daily basis.

    Nah, this isn’t a society that needs to be dismantled.


    The best part though is how when confronted with said facts, the elite would say “Well, that’s just how the world works, dreamer.”


    Or is that just how the world of amoral cowards works?

    Regarding parenting of the elite:

    Elite parents, please see the above to understand what your children are really becoming a part of.

    Once kids really believe all the smoke you enabling breeders blow up your childrens’ asses, then you’re half-way there in creating your own sociopathic monsters.

    Hmmm, who’s going to tell the “best and the brightest” that what they’re doing is wrong, misguided, foolish, illegal, amoral and/or catastrophic?

    Gee, it wouldn’t behoove the elite to create a brood with said characterstics would it?

    Nah, I’m sure all those “tiger moms” are really nice, thoughtful and caring people and not the perpetuators of an ethos that spawns murderers, thieves and war criminals.

    No really, thanks for dumping your evil progeny on the rest.

    We find their inhuman accomplishments and rending of society quite charming.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jsmith, just wait till “it’s time” for mums & daddums to die, so that inheritance can pass to the rightful owners.

  11. Lambert Strether

    ObamaCare: SCOTUS maximally f*cks the 99%, services corporations with neo-liberal plan.

    The mandate forces people to enter the market and buy junk insurance, and is upheld.

    Medicaid would help those too poor for the market, and is struck down.*

    This is Bobbitt’s “market state” in action.

    NOTE * Not sure of that. At this point, it looks like the expansion is valid, but it can’t be enforced, i.e., states can’t be denied Medicaid funding if they refuse to participate. ScotusBlog, via its horrible Flash-based live blog tool, which prevents linking:

    Among other comments, Ginsburg bench statement says that “seven members of theCourt…buy the argument that prospective withholding of anticipated funds exceeds Congress’ spending power.” The remedy, Ginsburg says, is “to bar the withholding found impermissible, not to scrap the expansion altogether.” There are five votes for that.

    UPDATE The text of the opinion.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      An imminently predictable outcome from the corporate Supine Court. The upholding of Obama’s Death Panel Profiteer mandate falls squarely in the “quelle surprise” category.

      Despite two thirds of court watchers predicting a mandate strike-down, I told my wife we should buy a lottery ticket for the first time in years if it happened. We saved a dollar.

      1. Lambert Strether

        We’re old single payer advocates at Corrente. We picked the most cynical outcome, and called the shot correctly.

        * * *

        Now that Roberts has saved Obama’s bacon, will we still hear “ZOMG!!!! The Supreme Court!!!! from Obama Fans? (Yes, of course.)

        1. Walter Wit Man

          And all the memes going around about impeaching the Supreme Court over its Obamacare ruling will now be taken up by the Republicans.

          So I imagine it will reinvigorate Republicans. This was a great diversion no matter what–it was going to piss off one side or the other.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Comment by ‘redpill’ in a forum post:

            “The US Contitution was already dead, but this qualifies as necrophilia.”

      2. Claire

        I see that people are jumping up and down and cheering with signs that say things like: “Moving Forward: Protecting Our Healthcare” or “Yippee! We Love Obamacare!”.

        So large numbers of people have been brainwashed into believing one of two things: 1) a huge sellout to insurance companies and big pharma is the same thing as “protecting our healthcare” or 2) a huge sellout to insurance companies and Big Pharma is “socialism”

        Kind of like torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, countless acts of random murder, and degradation are the same as “bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East”.

        Instead of waving a sign that says “I Love Obamacare” why not jump up and down with a big sign that says “I’m a f*cking moron and you can do anything you want to me!”

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yeah. I saw that on yahoo. Corporate propaganda.

          Does this really represent reality? I don’t think so. Are these large numbers of people are a relatively small number of political professionals. After all, think of all the corporate lobbyists, paid party hacks, and Obama campaign staffers that can be convinced to show up. There seems to be no grassroots celebration I know of. No dancing in the streets in my neighborhood.

          Sure, places like Daily Kos will be glowing like they haven’t in years, but they are all true believers anyway.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          Indeed. George Orwell had no idea how much toxic propaganda people could swallow whole. But then, who could’ve imagined Big Brother becoming Big Bro’, a charismatic sociopath so unlike the sinister character in 1984. Barack Obama is the perfect dark horse Trojan Horse for the terrorist kleptocracy.

          As jsmith notes, this is the perfect formula for delivering Social Security to the tender mercies of Wall
          Street. Actually, anyone who has ever attempted to withdraw funds from a 401K for any reason already has a pretty good idea how that system will be structured; you’ll never see your “contributions” again if there’s anything they can do about it. It’s a reminder of the value of mattress money and gold coins—away from the clutching claws of the moneychangers.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            I read recently that Orwell was actually writing about 1948 (and simply transposed the last two numbers to get 1984). At the time he worked for the BBC which was already known as Big Brother. Surely Orwell knew the extent of BBC propaganda.

            We indeed already had a full scale controlled media at that point.

            Was Orwell one of the first fear-mongers? Was he there to terrorize us? Was his goal not to forestall this dystopian future but to shock us so that we were helpless to prevent it? Or to shock us into thinking this was going to happen in the future when it had already happened?

          2. John L

            WWW yes he was writing about 1948, specifically Stalin and based in part on the way the latter sold out the Republicans in the Spanish civil war.

          3. Roland

            Orwell was indeed writing with Britain in mind. You could say that Nineteen Eighty-Four is the fermentation of his experiences in Catalonia during his time spent working for the BBC during the war years.

            But Orwell’s masterpiece is Animal Farm. The concluding sentence of that book perfectly describes today’s global capitalist convergence: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      3. Maximilien

        “imminently predictable outcome”

        Yes. So predictable. And so sad that it was so predictable.

        The only surprise was that it was Roberts who was chosen to side with the liberal justices and sacrifice his “free-market principles”. I thought Kennedy was going to be the fall-guy. As the sober voice of reason (chuckle, chuckle) that’s been his usual role.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Yeah, Roberts joined the liberals but did he deliver a death blow to the Commerce Clause while doing it?

          To me this is more evidence that this is an institutional decision (made by the fascist handlers of the Court). Just like all the 49/51 political races we have the Court used a heightened but fake sense of division within the Court to obscure their corporate agenda. It also helps the decision is a maze of complexity, like usual, and has all the usual feints toward principle.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            Actually, the commerce clause distinction I can live with. I don’t want congress “regulating” commerce by forcing me to buy shit.

            But it’s not like it matters anyway. In the 90s I thought this it was worth fighting over but now I realize Congress isn’t going to pass any good laws anyway and the Court will just come up with some other bullshit rationale to do what it wants anyway.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      The Court saves Democrats from having to cut Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion themselves. I expected at least year or two of fighting as the Republicans *pressured* the Democrats to cut the biggest ‘positive’ from Obamacare.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Okay, after a brief perusal it seems it will be the opposite of what I stated above–Medicaid expansion is allowed but the states do not get punished if they refuse to implement the expansion. So we will be subjected to more Obamacare health care debate as the Medicaid expansion debate goes to the individual states.

        Well, maybe. I guess some states have already refused to participate and there hasn’t been the vituperative debate that I imagined. I guess red states will decline the Medicaid expansion and blue states will go for it and states like Iowa will fight about it.

        Interesting that the Justices are acting like legislators (politicians) and debating the level of funding to the states. The right thinks its a huge burden to the state and the Obama fans on the court think there are plenty of funds for the states. This is the D v. R divide–and in typical fashion it’s a very narrow divide.

        But the fight over Medicaid will be over more than the Obamacare expansions. The states’ burden is increasing without the expansion and the 10% of the expansion that states will have to pay for in 2020 may be prohibitively expensive. In fact, there has been very little reporting on it but I get the idea that Medicaid has been cut a lot over the last few years at the state level.

        1. John L

          Red states will refuse to contribute but will still get their share of federal (mostly blue state) money. Another subsidy of red states by blue.

          1. Walter Wit Man

            I missed that wrinkle, how so?

            Don’t states get 100% of costs paid for those people that are added because of the expansion then in 2020 the states get 90%? So if they don’t participate they don’t get the funding for it?

            Or was *normal* Medicaid funding supposedly increased to all states because of Obamacare and so the states that don’t implement the expansion get a windfall? My impression is that states have also been cutting Medicaid the last few years.

    3. jsmith

      So, now the path for the privatization of Social Security is set.

      It soon will be ILLEGAL to not give your money to GS, JPM etc so that they can invest it for your retirement.

      This fascism must end.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Now it’s “legal” to be forced to buy a defective product; in this case, health insurance.

        After the crash and the looting, everybody knows the 401(k) is a defective product, so I imagine that will be next in line.

        1. Ms G

          The Finance Minister in India is getting the 401(k) defective product campaign rolling over there — huge “market”. He is very upset that Indians are just putting their savings into gold and that just has to be stopped because India is going to become the next retail-investing powerhouse of the WORLD. Doubling the tariff for importing gold hasn’t worked, so watch for an imminent decree from the Indian Government for an Obama-Style State-Mandate to buy a 401K from Chase, Citi, Deutsche, Barclays, BoFA, etc. etc. (How many meetings have those banks been “taking” with high level Indian gov’t officials since the US retail investor has wizened up and fled equity markets like the bubonic plague?)

          To which I can only offer a warning to the good Citizens of India: JUST SAY NO TO RETAIL INVESTING!

    4. Jim Haygood

      So a court consisting of eight senile old gigolos and a jowly shemale has found Odiobama’s odious insurance-cartel slave tax on our right to exist ‘constitutional.’

      At this point, probably the only event which would induce these servile black-robed flunkies to circumscribe unlimited executive power would be a gang of TSA goons smashing down the doors to their chambers, kicking them to the floor, jerking their pencil necks into pretzels with choke holds, and jamming a police baton up their rectums.

      But of course, the doddering geezer brigade serves a far more useful purpose by obsequiously rubber-stamping every successive assault on the constitution by the police state — from domestic spying, to the nullification of habeas corpus, to the executive murder of U.S. citizens. WHATEVAH! Liver-spotted paws clamped over their sunken eye sockets, these silver-haired monkeys see no evil.

      Today’s craven sellout confirms that the constitution is dead, and that Madison’s notion of a ‘separation of powers’ was a ludicrous, perhaps even malevolent, fantasy.

      Oh, and by the way — the poisoned legacy of his slave tax isn’t going to assure re-election for One Term Obama.

      1. barrisj

        Reading the dissenting opinions, this decision should put paid to the notion of Justice Kennedy being “the swing vote” on the Court. His intemperate rant channels Nino Scalia, and places Kennedy flush with the far-right contingent.
        Kennedy: Vaffanculo, Congress!

    5. LeonovaBalletRusse

      LS, dig deeper: SCOTUS has made new law: “It is legal to tax noncompliance.”

  12. Doug Terpstra

    I must admit to being wrong about JPM losses, so far. When Dimon fessed up to $2 billion, I said it was certain to be 5-10 times that much. My bad; it’s only $9 billion, just 4.5 times as much … so far.

    Is there any way to short a bankster’s honesty, a derivative or something? No one to take the other side?

    1. Ms G

      Good one Doug T. Well, as we know from the muni-bond cartel story there are plenty of dumb or corrupt local government officials who might step up to the plate as a Sucker Counterparty (for the right kickback, of course).

    1. F. Beard

      Yes, nice interview!

      Steve Keen says “Rising debt causes rising inequality …”

      So much for the benefits of credit creation. And it makes sense too, if credit creation is theft of purchasing power from the less “credit-worthy” to the more “”credit-worthy”.

  13. Jessica

    Glucose Deprivation Activates Feedback Loop That Kills Cancer Cells, Study Shows Science Daily (furzy mouse)

    Does anyone know if this might be connected with the extended life spans seen in animal experiments with low-calorie diets and with fasting?

    It would be nice if fasting one day were capable of inducing glucose deprivation and purging cancer cells before they develop far enough to be a problem. But I don’t know enough biology to know if that actually makes any sense or not.

    1. F. Beard

      Our bodies only have a day or two supply of glucose so a water-only fast does cause glucose deprivation.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Personally, low calorie diets sound good, though I imagine if you are Superman or Superwoman, you would need more.

      I suspect, this would mean, unless the design improves, to live long, one avoids being Superman/woman.

      1. F. Beard

        Actually, a 30 or 40 day water-only fast would turn most people into a “Super-Person” compared to their pre-fast selves.

    3. helllooo

      One working hypothesis is that starvation in general restricts the growth of blood vessels (antiangiogenesis), which in turn decreases nutrition of body cells (including cancer cells).

      There are studies that suggest one daily baby aspirin mimics (slightly) this antiangiogenesis property and helps slow the metastization of cancer cells.

      The best evidence of the benefits of a calorie/sugar restricted diet comes from UW-Madison and calorie restriction of monkeys.

      see also this BBC Horizon episode, living to 100.

      In short, eat mostly plants, not too much.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Scaling civilization.

    Scalers beware – too much of anything could be harmful.

    For example, water is essential but too much, it can kill you.

  15. Joe Rebholz

    Regarding Tom Crowl’s “Issues in Scaling Civilizations …”:

    Tom, respectfully, you are going down a dead end path. You are making certain fundamental assumptions that are wrong. In particular about nature, “relating to our nature as a social species”.

    Human nature is not fixed. It is evolving as our culture is evolving. Moreover nature is not fixed. It is evolving. Everything is evolving.

    Your dilemma’s are distractions. A dilemma is only a problem that we don’t know how to solve yet; or a problem we can’t solve in our current framework. The prisoner’s dilemma and all its variations and expansions is a total waste of time. And speaking of “natural” is anything more unnatural than its original formulation? How totally contrived! Human interactions do not follow rigid rule type games (except in sports).

    Back to “Human nature is not fixed”: Human nature is a function of our biology and our culture. Simplistically our biology changes as our genes change (genetic evolution) and our culture changes as our memes change (memetic evolution). Genetic evolution is much slower now than memetic (cultural) evolution. Less simplistically genetic evolution and memetic evolution and our environmental evolution each influences the others. Truly, everything is connected.

    Individual and community (culture) are inseparable in both principle and in practice. An individual human is unknowable, indescribable without reference to her culture. And a culture or community is unknowable and indescribable without reference to the human individuals in it.

    There is way more cooperation in the world than there is conflict. Yet our present culture sees conflict, greed, individual self interest as dominant and promotes these over cooperation to such an extent that cooperation becomes almost invisible. Thus your dilemma’s (altruism “paradox”, prisoner’s dilemma, monster from the id, etc.) are not just unproductive but actively reinforce the invisibility of cooperation.

    We can change individual psychology and our cultures through what we teach children and adults through all our methods of acculturation so that greed and laziness and individual self interest are decreased (not eliminated) and so that the methods and importance of cooperation are given an increased and realistic emphasis. Human nature is not fixed. And we can change it. We’re doing it all the time. We just have to change it in the right direction.

  16. financial matters

    Would be great to see the Feds support states’ Medicaid programs as well as they support the TBTF..

    From a 5/10 op-ed piece in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. It seems emblematic of the pervasive problems of trying to deal with a public budget such as kicking the can down the road, using accounting tricks, nobody wanting to make tough choices and political gridlock.. It has to do with a late night session last night trying to balance the Minnesota budget…

    “”(It increased the school payment delay imposed last year from $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion and offered only a claim against any future state surpluses to put the payments back on schedule””

    “”The agreements most disappointing omission was its failure to seize an opportunity presented by the new federal health reform law to bring $1.4 billion in new money to Minnesota in the next three years.

    That much was available for moving 100,000 of the state’s poorest citizens from state-funded health care programs to Medicaid, a 43-year old program financed with a 50-50 state-federal match. The move had much to recommend it: the creation or preservation of 21,000 private-sector health care jobs; improved access to health care services for a needy population; a reduction in the uncompensated care costs that are often passed on to people with private insurance, and an ability to apply cost-containment strategies to a bigger share of the health care market.

    To make the switch to Medicaid, Minnesota’s costs for the affected population would have increased $188 million over three years.

    The offer ought to have been seen as too good to pass up. But in the words of one gubernatorial candidate this would imply “opting into Obamacare” ”


    As an additional example of political gridlock and the difficulty in healthcare reform, the American Medical Assn weekly newsletter this week (5/10) had an article dealing with Wellpoint Blue Cross’s recent 40% rate increase coming just when it looked like health care reform may pass. The state of California found numerous errors in Wellpoint’s justification for this increase.

    About half of the states do not require regulatory approval of health care plan premium increases. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is encouraging states that do not require this to do so.

    The reply from the governor of Indiana “When we feel the need for advice about health care costs, we won’t start with the people who just passed this disastrously expensive and backward federal legislation.”

    As of Sept. 23, under the health system reform law, federal regulators would be allowed to reject rate increases deemed unreasonable, and insurers’ individual plans must spend at least 80% of the money they take in on actual medical care.

  17. Susan the other

    Advice from Yanis to Yanni, the new finance minister, who was the dude who did the currency swaps to get Greece into the EZ in the first place: Turn down any more debt money being funneled by the ECB et al. thru Greece and back to its creditors; demand a moratorium on present debt and repayment; offer the EZ Greek banks as collateral assuming that after the recession they will again be worth something; push for growth investment from the EU investment funds; and effectively refuse to leave the EU because you cannot be thrown out. No mention of Germany’s demand that there be a fiscal union, a banking union, before any concessions or investments are made. Why are they having this stand off? I can understand Germany’s position – they are financially as ruined as Greece. So why doesn’t Greece join Germany in demanding a fiscal-banking union? (Or is Varoufakis doing this under cover when he suggests Greece sacrifice its banks as collateral under the assumption that when the recession is over the EZ authorities can sell of the shares and restore their former position?) What exactly is the deeper politics here? Just nationalism?

  18. n

    MORE republicans go to strip clubs because 1) they are scandal-proof. anything like that a dem does can be a scandal. republicans can walk down the street wacking off in diapers and wetsuits as long as they vote against teh gay etc. 2) they figure out how to write it off. see (1).

  19. F. Beard

    For those who believe in evolution, fasting can be considered as “survival of the fittest” at the cellular level. The body essentially says: “All those who wish to be burned up for energy take one step forward” at which time all the healthy cells take one step backwards.

  20. Lambert Strether

    Nice LIBOR wrap-up at CJR:

    “We’re clean, but we’re dirty-clean, rather than clean-clean,” the CFTC said that the Barclays employee stated. It added that the bankers’ association representative responded: “No one’s clean-clean.”

    Nope. So why aren’t any CEOs in jail? (Does anybody know what the word in Italian is for those big cages they keep mafiosi in during trials?

  21. just me

    Nevada homeowners class action lawsuit dismissed against LPS robosigning. :-(

    From the Nevada robosigning article:

    Separately, U.S. District Judge James Mahan on June 21 dismissed a homeowners’ class-action lawsuit filed against LPS and other companies involved in the foreclosure process locally.

    That suit was based on the same robosigning allegations as are alleged in Masto’s lawsuit filed on behalf of the state.

    Mahan said in his ruling that while the class-action suit sought to void allegedly fraudulent foreclosure actions, most of the homeowner plaintiffs had not had their homes foreclosed on so the suit was premature for them.

    Mahan also ruled that alleged violations of the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices act couldn’t be asserted by the homeowners in the suit.

    He ruled that’s because the act applies to the sale of goods and services, but not real property transactions.

    Does that make sense, that you have to wait to be foreclosed on to sue about robosigning, when the mortgage fraud settlement is such a fail?

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