Links 6/9/12

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I’ll Have Another out of Belmont Stakes and bid for first Triple Crown in 34 years Guardian. Lee Sheppard, who is more of a horsewoman than I realized said I’ll Have Another wouldn’t win the Triple Crown before he was scratched.

CERN admits: Einstein was right – neutrinos don’t travel faster than light The Journal

Beneath Arctic ice, scientists find an ecosystem never imagined Christian Science Monitor (skippy)

New Property of Flames Sparks Advances in Technology Science Daily

Health Dangers in Your Hose: Are You Watering Your Garden With Endocrine Disruptors and Toxic Chemicals? Alternet (Aquifer)

Fatty food clampdown is hard to swallow Financial Times

Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech Atlantic

The Good Stuff — Episode 4: Fix it, don’t nix it! The Story of Stuff (Aquifer). A wee revolt against our disposable culture.

How France fell out of love with Minitel Independent

Lessons from the Battle of Midway Japan Times

Empty Tahrir Square underscores split between Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s revolutionaries McClatchy

Golden Dawn spokesman still eludes the police Ekathimerini

Moody’s tries to ruin our weekend, would have succeeded were it not already ruined FT Alphaville

German firms urge rejection of stability mechanism Irish Times

Playing Until the Germans Lose Their Nerve Der Spiegel

Moody’s threatens to downgrade Germany if Greece leaves Euro AFP

Obama takes more strident tone with Europe MarketWatch (Carol B). They certainly won’t listen, and I fail to see how this helps with a domestic audience.

Obama Was Pushed by Drug Industry, E-Mails Suggest New York Times (Ms. G). Ya think?

Obama hopes dim with results of economic missteps MarketWatch (Carol B)

How the Obama administration is making the US media its mouthpiece Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Pritzkers rid themselves of remaining Superior Bank debt Crains Chicago

Big Banks Brace for Downgrades Wall Street Journal

HAMP 2 is HERE – Some say it’s the best HAMP yet, and they’re probably right about that Martin Andelman

Servicers begin using HAMP for AG settlement relief Housing Wire. Gee, despite repeated denials that this was the plan

Mortgage investors call robo-signing settlement a ‘401(k) tax’ Housing Wire (Deontos)

Trustee Sees Customers Trampled at MF Global New York Times

* * *

Lambert here:

D – 91 and counting*

“Because you never asked. People like to be asked.” — Tip O’Neill’s Mrs. Cleary story

Montreal. “The familiar cling-clang of pots and pans heard every night in the streets of Montreal was heard last night in Berlin, as the casseroles protest went global.” Chloe Rogrigue, waitress, student at Dawson: “Are you worried about how any disruptions to F1 might affect your livelihood? I am kind of worried, but at the same time, not so much. They cancelled the free day, so I know that’s going to be a slower day. Some people are really not aware of what’s going on in Quebec right now, so I think there are still going to be a lot of tourists.” Think piece from Quebec: How ordinary people can get politicians to change the world using examples from Ontario anti-extractive economy efforts. “Employees of the École nationale de police du Québec have just completed a 24-hour strike.” “[Le Devoir] obtained confidential minutes of a technical committee meeting on the election of an advisory panel for the Directeur général des élections du Québec in which it was stated the Liberals did not want booths in any educational institutions.” CLAC: If it bleeds, it leads. Gorgeous pictures in the Atlantic (a few NSFW). Tonight, “didn’t seem to be very many identifiable protesters (50-100?) for a disproportionate amount of cops (100-200?) and a HUGE crowd of people standing about watching a show of police flexing. With the F1 crowd in the street and the police not wanting to attack festival goes, it was just really weird.” “Just a thought, but maybe what’s bad for #Montreal’s reputation is out of control cops beating people in the streets. #ggi #manifencours”

CA. “Nearly 900 homeless men and women have filed claims for reimbursement for bicycles, tents and other items seized by city police during raids of illegal campsites.” “[Derrick Gaines of San Bruno’s] killing is the latest in a spate of officer-involved shootings in the Bay Area, including two in Vallejo.”

CO. Fracking at the Erie Elementary School photo shoot. Farmer: “We’re on well water, so it’s a little disconcerting.” And read the comments.

CT. “Joshua Nassi, the fired congressional campaign manager for [D] House Speaker Christopher Donovan, has been identified by sources as the third alleged co-conspirator mentioned in a federal affidavit about how thousands of dollars ended up in Donovan’s congressional campaign from hidden donors.”

FL. “We’re just not going to do [the voter purge],” said Leon County’s elections supervisor, Ion Sancho… ‘I’ve talked to many of the other supervisors and they agree.’ ‘The list is bad. And this is illegal’.” Crazy baldheads: “Investigators say Wyczlinski and 12 others were planning attacks against other groups, and preparing for an inevitable race war.”

IA. Restaurant owner of Romney visit: “I don’t care as much about the picture but at least let me meet the guy who I tore my place up for.” Except the quote (cited by Political Wire) doesn’t exist at the URL given, which includes “-biz-owner-in-council-bluffs-we-were-disrespected/,” implying quote did once exist. On tearing the place up: “[T]hey removed half his wife’s doll collection from a shelf to make the backdrop look appealing for a presidential candidate. The dolls were ‘thrown in the backroom.'” WTF? Romney’s royal progress? “Rev Keith Ratliff announced this week that he is resigning as president of the IA/NE branch … ‘due to the NAACP’s position and support of same sex marriage.'”

MI. “[P]etition drive to seek a referendum on MI’s controversial emergency financial manager law took another strange twist today as a state appeals court panel ruled that it should go on the ballot, then stayed its own order to poll the entire appellate bench on whether to review the issue further.” Weird. If the decision gives a reason to poll the entire bench, I can’t find it. Readers?

MT. If initiative CI-108 makes it to the November ballot and is passed, “it would define ‘personhood’ under the Montana Constitution as beginning at the moment of fertilization. So, fertilized eggs would be granted full rights and privileges delineated in the state constitution.” Like open carry?

NV. “The Culinary Union’s chief, expressing disappointment with Ds and a determination to focus on other priorities, said the union and its political organizers may, in effect, sit November out.” Heh.

NY. “[T]he movement to prevent shale gas development in NY started in June, 2008 with unanswered questions raised by local residents, planners and elected officials at town hall meetings.” Luke 10:37.

PA. “So the Scaife-funded Judicial Watch is defending legislation that came from the Scaife-supported ALEC while the Scaife-owned paper is both silent on those connections and yet still accuses the DOJ and the ACLU of being in ‘cohoots’.”

VA. “The spread in Ms. includes photos of the Mar 3 protest at the state Capitol [against the ultrasound bill] by hundreds of abortion-rights activists, 30 of whom were arrested by police in riot gear.”

WI. Athenae: “We weren’t a blended purple. We were oil and water. Shake us up as hard as you want, but we will eventually separate out along a clearly demarcated line.” Maybe. But see Rigcath at DK, of all places: “[Barret] didn’t just not have a clear, coherent ideological platform; he seemed to be relying entirely on Walker’s radicalism to make his case for him. Clearly this strategy isn’t working. It didn’t work for John Kerry in 2004 or Congressional Ds in 2010, and it didn’t work on Tuesday.” “People like to be asked.” “[T]he Doe probe is run by a retired judge from Waukesha who has publicly stated the probe is not a politically-motivated process.”

Inside Baseball. “On June 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, issued a short, thoughtless opinion in Libertarian Party v District of Columbia Board of Elections. It says that because the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 said that the U.S. Constitution does not require states to print write-in space on ballots, therefore it follows logically that if governments do allow write-in space, the same government can refuse to count them.” Romney speaks for his campaign; Obama uses more surrogates. Statistics, chart. “[Republican political groups] are relying on community banks that few Americans have heard of as they prepare to dole out cash at record speeds.” “You know what race does in this election?” an old Kennedy D I know is saying on Thursday. “It takes Mormonism off the board. Gone, goodbye. So there’s that. And here’s something else that works against the President. Romney’s not picking a bad vice-president. His pick might not be very exciting. But it’s not going to be Palin.” Of Corey Booker: “‘He’s dead to us,’ one ranking administration official said.” “[O]f those who disagree with [ObamaCare], only a third oppose it because it’s too liberal, while one in six oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough.” Could the one in six figure (16%) be a proxy for the size of the “third pole in American politics” today?

Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food Watch. Said Clinton: “I’m very sorry about what happened. I thought something had to be done on the ‘fiscal cliff’ before the election. Apparently nothing has to be done until the first of the year.” So who just decided nothing “had to be done”?

Jawbs. On the Bernanke: Atrios goes with evil (as the answer to the eternal question: “Are the elite stupid and/or evil.” Important milestone!

Let it be noted: FDR created the WPA and 8 million jobs by Executive Order. We’re still using WPA infrastructure today. Obama could do tomorrow what FDR did. He doesn’t because he doesn’t want to. The responsibility for that policy choice is squarely on Obama’s shoulders, and nowhere else.

Green Party. NY-24, Ursula Rozum: “We believe that the private job creators just aren’t getting it done. They’re sitting on $5 trillion in corporate cash and unrepatriated foreign profits and these business lobbies and their paid for politicians want more corporate tax cuts.”

Romney. Teebee ad: “Headwinds.” Ouch! (And ha!)

Obama. The normally astute Charles Pierce: “… [T]he sudden re-emergence of polite, but pointed, PUMA-ism…. If it weren’t for the concerted effort by people to roll back the stone from the tomb, the president wouldn’t have had to abandon his completely legitimate campaign criticism of Romney’s time at Bain Capital.” Huh? Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, and “sensitive” Ds are PUMA-ists? Rolling back what stone? Whose stone? Luke 24:2? WTF? Obama: “The notion that my [our, nominally] White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong and people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office.” So now Holder has to appoint two prosecutors, and the politics will be proving a negative: Prove the White House didn’t leak. The Rs didn’t manage to deke Clinton into trying to prove he didn’t get a blow job. Can’t anybody here play this game? I’d feel sorry for Holder, but then I’d have to feel bad for the ≥ miserable Alberto Gonzales.

“Doing Fine” flap. ABC: “Fundamentals– Was he right or wrong? Did he clarify quickly enough?” Fundamentals of what? Klein, even: “I don’t, for the life of me, understand why people get so excited over things like this.”

* 91 days ’til the Democratic National Convention feasts on rice and beans on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Ray Bradbury, at 91.

* * *

Antidote du jour (Timotheus):

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  1. barrisj

    For those readers of NC interested in the US Constitution and its fallibilities, particarly concerning “the unbound Executive”, there is an excellent interview with law scholar Sandy Levinson conducted by Scott Horton on his Atlantic blog regarding Levinson’s newest book, “Framed”:

    Framed: Six Questions for Sanford Levinson

    The American Constitution has been the subject, just as Thomas Jefferson predicted, of a great deal of “sanctimonious reverence,” especially from American politicians who make comments demonstrating they know little about it. But the Constitution has few more-dedicated critics than political scientist and law professor Sanford Levinson, who has offered the most thorough explanation yet of why it has effectively ceased to be an attractive model to other nations around the world. I put six questions to Levinson about his new book, Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance:

    From the perspective of 8 years of Cheney-Bush, and 4 years of Obama, encompassing the entirety of the “War on Terror”, troubling questions have been raised over “constitutional dictatorship” as a corollary of the “unitary executive”, and how there seems to be no effective institutional check on the “unbounded President”:

    6. You write, “If we assumed that the president has the power to initiate war, commandeer funds and resources for war, and conduct it at any time for any reason in any manner he pleases, he would be a constitutional dictator with respect to war.” Does the recent experience of the Libya campaign suggest that the president’s war-making powers are creeping toward constitutional dictatorship?

    Again, the answer can be given all too briefly: yes. One of the things I am trying to do, both in my writing and teaching, is to revive a serious discussion of the notion of “constitutional dictatorship”—the title of a brilliant and troubling book from 1948 by Clinton Rossiter. How could we assure effective decision-making authority by presidents, given the new actualities of nuclear weapons and the like, without sliding into authoritarian dictatorship or worse? This discussion goes back to ancient Rome, which Machiavelli and Rossiter both cited as an important template. Perhaps it is telling that that discussion seems to have died around the time of the Cuban missile crisis, which is surely the most dramatic and ominous example of presidential unilateralism in our lifetimes.

    1. Valissa

      Thanks for that Danish TV link, that was very well done!

      Please excuse some ethnic pride, as this topic is a bit OT for this blog…
      Denmark produce first shock of Euro 2012

      btw, thanks for highlighting the Headwinds ad. I thought that was great too. My eyes always glaze over when I get to the extended political notes (sorry Lambert, not a fan… I am on a political news austerity diet), so only check out stuff from that that other commenters react to.

      1. craazyman

        yeah, I’m too lazy and repulsed to read anything on politics so I just watch the debates when I feel like it.

        Last night I watched for a while and it was hilarious, as usual.

        They asked Robomney what a Robomney administration would do differently than an Oromna administration on the topic of interplanetary space travel.

        Oromna said: “Each year this great nation comes together on July 4 to celebrate our nation’s birth. And this July 4 when children across our country eat hot dogs at family cookouts and look to the skies to see fireworks, my administration will give them the opportunity to dream even higher. Beyond the fireworks are planets and beyond the planets are stars. And someday our scientists will build ships that will take Americans to those planets and stars — just like the Apollo rockets took our astronauts to the moon — (there weren’t M-dashes in the speech but I put them in here because I thought they should be in the text) and in my administration we will ensure, make not mistake, that American’s can dream again and see evidence, good evidence, that those dreams will become reality. Every American can dream that their grandchild, or great grandchild, may be the capitain or some scientist on the crew of a space ship to a nearby planet or star, and my administration will do everything we can, we will leave no stone unturned, to make the dreams Americans dream into realities.”

        1. Lambert Strether

          You’re making that up, right? Please tell me you’re making it up. “If elected as leader, I will use power like a drum, and leadership like a violin.”

          1. craazyman

            by the way I woke bolt upright and wide awake from some adrenalin shot at 4:48 a.m. after 7 hours of red red wine induced coma and there was nothing here new.

            Not even links. What are we supposed to do at 4:48 am until normal people wake up?

            Nothing ’till 11 am today. wtf? ;)

            Is Yves not paying the weekend crew or what? Or is this a case of “Lazy” Lambert or Matt “Snooze Alarm” Stoller’s handiwork? C’mon youze guys this is New Yawk already.

  2. Calvin

    About hoses. That’s a useful and welcome article.

    Another caution: beware of hoses that are “anti-bacterial”

    That means that the plastic is combined/embedded with/leaches pesticides.

    I searched for drinking water safe hoses and noticed that they were “anti-bacterial”…called the companies 800 number and talked to a nice lady who explained that the anti-bacterial chemicals [pesticide] was only on the outside to prevent mold”. Gee, just what I want to have coiled up in my organic vegetable patch. Searched for and found another brand of drinking water safe without the pesticides.

    Beware of the same chemicals in toothbrushes, dental
    picks, socks, underwear and other things meant to go directly in or on your body.

    1. different clue

      And what is the name of the brand of that pesticide-free hose? The more people know about it and buy it, the more rewarded the company will be for having decided to make it.
      So what is the name of the brand?

  3. J. Sterling

    Private job creators aren’t going to end the recession. They’re the ones who started it, by pulling their capital out of labor employment and into the equivalent of the underside of their mattresses.

    FDR had the right idea: if the rich won’t employ labor voluntarily, you end depression by making them do it, via progressive taxes and government employment. If they don’t like paying the taxes, they should start investing in Americans again.

  4. just me

    Re WPA infrastructure — had a friend who worked on a road crew here in San Diego’s back country. Her favorite road to maintain was the one by the WPA bridge on a hill curve on Old Hwy 8. She said they had engineered it so perfectly that when it rained it didn’t wash out and need repair like the newer stuff. The bridge is still fine, still in use.

    1. F. Beard

      Posner doesn’t mention banks. What is free market about about a government enforced/backed money cartel for private debts? Nothing? Exactly.

      1. Cap'n Magic

        Name me one successful true free market-based economy that accounts for 1% or more to World GDP that has survived to this day without a banking system to support it, let alone one that did not have some government support?

        1. F. Beard

          Asset-backed money is a great invention but the ethical way to implement it is with common-stock – not private counterfeiting for the sake of the banks and the so-called “credit-worthy.”

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Posner is like a guru. I remember him being presented as the father of law and economics. I assumed either Obama or Bush would make him a supreme.

      But I’m sick of this svengali on high. Like with Bush v. Gore he gets to take the middle road and seem like he’s above it all, but really he’s just pushing the same destructive neoliberalism the rest of them are. He’s like a Tom Friedman of the legal world.

      It’s like his job is to apologize for capitalism but make sure we stick with capitalism. Isn’t he cute.

      1. marian

        Posner’s a hoot. He spent years bashing ‘liberal’ economists from the bench and in his opinions. Then comes the crash and he announces that economists have no idea how the economy works so he decides to read Keynes…for the first time.

        Surprise! You can read about it here. “How I Became a Keynesian’

  5. just me

    Re the IA restaurant owner and the Romney visit — reminds me of funny Instagram I saw the other day:

    “It looks like a lens flare, but it’s Obama coming to Beverly Hills. Like Glinda.”

    Ah, visitations.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      If you have a presidential campaign coming to the heartland for a photo op and they want to HIDE your kitsch, then you have too much kitsch.

      I mean this is why they go to local eateries in Iowa–to have the candidate hobnob with regular people.

      I’m sure the owners will get a nice picture and nice letter and it will be hanging on the wall with all the other crap and it will all be forgotten in a year.

  6. JTFaraday

    re: greenwald

    “The tactic driving all of this is as obvious as it is disturbing. Each of these election year leaks depicts Obama as a tough, hands-on, unflinching commander-in-chief: ruthlessly slaying America’s enemies and keeping us all safe. They simultaneously portray him as a deep moral and intellectual leader, profoundly grappling with the “writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas”, as he decides in secret who will live and die and which countries will be targeted with American aggression.”

    No it doesn’t. It portrays him as a profoundly immoral and corrupt dictator who suspends every effort of modern political thought directed at social responsibility and public accountability in order to indulge in the whims of personal rule.

    What’s disturbing is that they think there is an audience for this.

    1. just me

      “depicts” and “portrays” = national security theater.

      Done better elsewhere — Harry Shearer on his Le Show radio program last week did a Father Knows Best episode that started with Kitten/Sasha breaking in on father Obama and John Brennan going over their kill list: With laugh track.

      Spoiler alert!

      Now, Daddy needs to get back to his kill list, Kitten. And a certain princess needs to go to bed.

      Okay. But Daddy?


      Am I on your kill list?


      Oh, sweetheart. Not unless you’re a young man of military age in a failed state. (laughter) You’re not one of thooose, are you?

      Uh uh.

      Give me a kiss.

      Goodnight, Daddy.

      (close music, applause)

    2. Walter Wit Man

      It’s mindfucking. It’s literally a psychological operation to desensitize Americans to the violence their government is committing. It’s planned. It’s organized.

      They are purposely showing off their brutality to shock us. Then they all pretend like it’s normal.

      So we have the shock of the president drone assassinating American citizens as well as civilians in other countries, like Pakistan and Yemen. Clearly this crosses legal and ethical boundaries. Yet the media and politicians pretend like this is normal and humane.

      It’s intended to desensitize us. They need to show us these brutal images. It’s more effective than hiding it.

      Then when good liberal Democrats still put the Obama 2012 bumper sticker on their Prius they are reinforcing the message in society that mass murder and assassination is perfectly normal.

      1. CB

        Is there any such thing as a good liberal Democrat? I think there are some mutual exclusives in there.

  7. SR6719

    Topic: “Tear gas refreshes the army of bondholders… Goldman Sachs rules the world”

    For what it’s worth, here’s a few remarks on British art historian T.J. Clark’s recent article: “For a Left with no future”.

    In a long article for New Left Review, T.J. Clark discusses the situation facing “the left in the old capitalist heartland — the left in Europe”, and (quoting the author) “by “left”, he means a root-and-branch opposition to capitalism”.

    On the one hand, this article seems to be well written, the author is widely read and, for instance, discussing how the left is immobilized, he quotes people like Nietzsche, A.C. Bradley, William Hazlitt, Walter Benjamin, and so forth…

    On the other hand, approaching this from my working-class background and my unconditional distrust of “culture”, I get the impression “something is happening here but you don’t know what it is do you, Mr. Jones?” (Bob Dylan)

    But, to be fair, this article has its moments, as in the following long excerpt:

    “Is this pessimism? Well, yes. But… How are we meant to understand the arrival of real ruination in the order of global finance (‘This sucker could go down’, as George Bush told his cabinet in September 2008) and the almost complete failure of left responses to it to resonate beyond the ranks of the faithful?

    “It is a bitter moment….The silence of the left in Greece, for example – its inability to present a programme outlining an actual, persuasive default economic policy, a year-by-year vision of what would be involved in taking “the Argentine road”— is indicative. And in no way is this meant as a sneer.

    When and if a national economy enters into crisis in the present interlocking global order, what has anyone to say — in any non-laughable detail — about ‘socialism in one country’ or even ‘partly detached pseudo-nation-state non-finance-capital-driven capitalism’? (Is the left going to join the Eurosceptics on their long march? Or put its faith in the proletariat of Guangdong?)

    The question of capitalism — precisely because the system itself is once again posing (agonizing over) the question, and therefore its true enormity emerges from behind the shadow play of parties — has to be bracketed. It cannot be made political. The left should turn its attention to what can.

    It is difficult to think historically about the present crisis, even in general terms — comparisons with 1929 seem not to help — and therefore to get the measure of its mixture of chaos and rappel à l’ordre. Tear gas refreshes the army of bondholders; the Greek for General Strike is on everyone’s lips; Goldman Sachs rules the world.”

    1. JTFaraday

      “he present form of the politics of ressentiment—the egalitarianism of our time—is the Tea Party. In what framework, then, could inequality and injustice be made again the object of a politics? This is a question that, seriously posed, brings on vertigo.”

      I know a few people, older people, who think they are of the Tea Party, although I wouldn’t characterize them in this way and so I would hesitate to overgeneralize.

      However, the grotesque and nihilistic will to tear everyone else down in order to establish some hypothesized equality-in-misery that we see in Stoller’s recent threads on Scott Walker’s Wisconsin– all while leaving the original cause of that misery completely untouched in the form of the neoliberal “nomenklatura” (to borrow a term from one of our local rightist trolls)– is indeed a thing to behold.

      1. SR6719

        JTFaraday: “will to tear everyone else down…all while leaving the original cause of that misery completely untouched…is indeed a thing to behold.”

        Despite everything, the majority of Americans still have this unfortunate respect for the ruling class, and a tendency to believe everything they’re told.

        And so the elites treat us like obedient children, or even like retarded children.

        That the propaganda is working so well, after all we’ve been through, is very discouraging.

  8. JTFaraday

    Well, Lagerfeld’s cat has nothing on this cat. (Including the indignities department! lol)

  9. Susan the other

    Wonderful post Yves. Fix It! leading to which tells you how to fix everything under the sun that is fixable. I would certainly sign any petition that demanded environmental green standards to include a clause that all manufactured items be repairable. Who can contest the truth that if you cannot fix it you cannot own it… So, how exactly can the banks fix themselves. Please refresh my memory.

    I thought Stuff was a little hard on recycling. There isn’t much you can do to fix food containers and other plastic and paper packaging. Which are the bulk of the new Pacific Garbage Continent. Nor is there an alternative to the proper recycling of toxic household products. Etc.

    1. Aquifer

      Packaging is a real bear – but sometimes you can fix plastic bags with tape! :) At the very least, it should be required that all packaging is compostable or recyclable ….

      It should be possible to buy everything in bulk and bring your own bag to put it in …

      I am a big fan of fixing things (maybe that comes from my upbringing and training, wherein “fixing up” people was the whole point :)) – seems to me a good meme to propagate would be “see how OLD my stuff is – I have kept it going for X years!”

  10. SR6719

    The Hedge Fund guy

    Jim Kempner tries selling a Cy Twombly to a Hedge Fund guy.

    Jim: Everything you want in a Twombly is in this picture.

    Hedge Fund guy: Like?

    Jim: “Like….um…you see these squiggly doodles, and um, they’re packed with squiggly lines, and there’s a lot of those stuff, and um, esoteric stuff that, honestly, would only get in the way of your enjoyment.”

    1. ctcnt

      that was funny… mainly just the first part with the parking attendant…

      the rest was sleazy… reminds me of a professor i had (only a few years older than me) trying to explain the greatness of twombly-granted, that piece was very ‘simplistic’ compared to some of the weird squiggle-dirt apocalypses i’ve seen… but really, that was a pretty good summation of the confidence game from the point of view of the aspiring loser…

      1. SR6719

        Yeah, I also had an art professor who kept going on about the greatness of Twombly, although this was in a gallery, not a university setting.

        That Twombly’s work suspends and interrupts our inner monologue, Twombly’s insisting on a non-descriptive line, and so forth…. He was full of shit.

        Finally when he said “Twombly’s oeuvre is similar to Ezra Pound’s work”, I couldn’t take it anymore.

        My rule in life is never trust anyone who uses the word “oeuvre” in a conversation.

  11. Susan the other

    One more thought about Hollande v Merkel. Since Germany is so teutonic and suffers its burden passive-aggressively by upping the retirement age to 67 while France says hell no and lowers its retirement age to 60, what is a European Union to do? Well, for one thing, where a country like France does not have a birth rate to replace itself and so cannot fund its retirement entitlements, they should just use robots. Each corporation should employ a sufficient robot assembly line and pay the state for the privilege of replacing human workers by funding retirement and medical expenses. Each robot must pay a certain amount to the state. Each combine. Each computer search engine. Etc.

    1. Aquifer

      Perfect! Require companies to pay for the right to replace people with machines and give the money to the people! Otherwise who will buy the stuff the machines make, unless, of course, there will be a rule to pay the robots a “living” wage ….

    1. JTFaraday

      Oh my. And Lagerfeld’s cat is merely a “kept woman” with a 600 page poop diary, (that he thinks is funny).

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Revolt against our disposable culture.

    Only the 0.01% truly enjoy the disposable brain – they will hire another brain if the one they have is not good.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fatty food clampdown – it’s beyond paywall so I will make a general comment.

    What any adult does with his or her own body is nobody else’s business. Children – that’s different.

    1. Valissa

      WTF is going on with this food police trend and liberals, anyway. It’s generally accompanied by a holier-than-thou righteousness and much evangelizing. Why do so many liberals today act like the Protestant reformers of yesteryear? (for example, the story of Prohibition) You might even call it a belief that “food austerity”is the best approach for everyone.

      There’s no shortage of food police cartoons…

      Food police, Part 1

      Food police, Part 2

      Food police, Part 3

      Food psychology

      1. Valissa

        Because there are so many good food police cartoons…

        Stick’em up kid

        Cuckoo for what?

        The FDA to the rescue

        A revisded Most Wanted

        And now for something completely different

        1. Valissa

          In order to see that last cartoon you have to copy and paste the link, otherwise it’s blocked.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          I’ve got mixed thoughts. Thanks for the thought provoking links. This is one of those subjects that cartoons probably explain better.

          My conservative aunt went on a rant because of a proposed law in San Francisco to ban toys with unhealthy happy meals. You know, I get why people think this is micromanaging, and I don’t like government censorship, but we can’t forget how powerful marketing is on us. Not just our children, all of us. But children seem particularly susceptible.

          To me television advertising is a dangerous force. We’re tricked into letting these mindfuckers into our heads. The television is already a magick devise, and we look at it mesmerized.

          Advertising obviously works. That’s why they spend billions, if not trillions. It plants subliminal messages in our brains. Corporations, governments, and perps have long figured this stuff out.

          On the one hand I don’t want a strong government censorship of television, radio, etc., but I wouldn’t mind eliminating most advertising. It’s a fucking public nuisance. It really is appalling. I’m sick of it. I hate it. It’s everywhere. They are insidious. They simply deceive. They keep pushing us and pushing us seeing how many commercials we can take. To see how loud they can make the commercials. And ha, Congress is going to protect us from the loud commercials but it only got louder once Congress got involved.

          But there are lots of conservatives and liberals that agree on the silliness of food rules that don’t allow people to process meat locally or have raw milk, etc. Many small farmers are prevented from operating by the fascist government and this is an issue that brings left and right together in many areas. So of course the Democrats are nowhere to be seen on the issue.

  14. Aquifer

    Hats off to the owners of I’ll Have Another for pulling the horse from the Belmont – the prospect of a Triple Crown winner must have provided a very powerful incentive to inject/drug the horse and run him ….

    1. john

      To be generous, one could say Adam Davidson comes off as naive and lacking historical perspective. He can’t push back because he doesn’t know enough to do so. But if you wanted to be harsh, you’d say he’s a useful idiot.

      I would like for Henwood to ask about Planet Money’s funding.

      I also would like for Henwood to have drawn the parallel between credit and, say, religion. To use Davidson’s phrase “on balance”, religion has been great for humanity — provided hope and morality in ways that are literally incalculable. But, when taken to extremes — e.g. the Spanish Inquisition — it’s absolutely horrific.

      1. Ms G

        Here’s hoping that Davidson is next on deck (or close) for the Yasha Levine S.H.A.M.E. project.

    2. Pat

      I gave up on Doug Henwood after his hitpiece on 911 Truthers – and everyone should give up on him too. He is basically a Yale lefty snob who pretends to be a Marxist but is really stuck in oldschool left vs right mode playing under Queensbury Rules and won’t accept anything that doesn’t conform to that perspective (much like Chomsky). He doesn’t understand that we are in a death fight where the Establishment/TPTB plays dirty almost all the time and has poisoned and coopted the former American left and left-of-middle.
      The Adam Davidson piece is typical – he tries to take him out, then sucks up to him and rehabilitates him by putting him on the show. Just a gentlemen’s disagreement, he says.

  15. Valissa

    R.I.P. Bob Welch…

    Former Fleetwood Mac Member Bob Welch Found Dead

    Sentimental Lady – Bob Welch

    My favorite Bob Welch song… Fleetwood Mac-Hypnotized (High Quality) 1973

    A possible interpretation of the lyrics here

  16. Hugh

    Not really a horse person but the Belmont is substantially different from the Derby and Preakness. At 1 1/2 miles, the Belmont is about endurance whereas the Derby 1 1/4 and the Preakness 1 3/16 is usually about which horse has the best stretch run. Put another way the Belmont is 550 yards longer than the Preakness. It takes a different kind of horse for each race, a very rare horse that can do both well.

  17. Z

    I know that Obama can create a new WPA by executive order, but he’d still have to go to Congress to get the funding for it, right?


    1. Walter Wit Man

      See my answer below.

      Tl;dr version: Maybe Obama can use TARP funds to create jobs? He can directly hire federal workers rather than contract jobs out. He can also reconfigure agency organization to promote jobs rather than other spending. He can also cast platinum coins and erase federal debt and deficits which will ease pressure on Congress to cut funding.

  18. Walter Wit Man

    Well, are the TARP funds still there? He can use those funds to hire people, right?

    I also imagine that instead of contracting jobs out, the administration could simply start hiring the jobs out. For instance, look at the military. It now contracts out many jobs it hired directly before.

    For instance, to put on my thinking cap . . . The president could create food service jobs for the military. He could implement a system of local food production for all military and federal jobs where food is provided. This would kick-start a more local food production system (which could be supported by other policy changes). Instead of these massive food corporations that the government contracts with, we could create good local jobs and change our food production system for the better. You know, the way they probably would have done it 100 years ago.

    Anyway, I picked the military because there is over a trillion dollars there?

    The president could “nationalize” lots of jobs by having the federal government directly hire rather than contract jobs out. Congress has already funded many of these agencies. I would imagine one would want the jobs to provide generous pay and benefits to be a true jobs program.

    Unfortunately, this policy is anathema to Democrats like Obama and this is why he says it’s off the table and you don’t hear any other Democrats pushing it.

    Of course Obama could also immediately strike platinum coins and erase the debt and pay off any future deficits:

    This would ease any pressure on Congress to cut funding.

  19. how to draw a cartoon person

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I genuinely thought you’d have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

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