Links 7/16/12

First Ever Videos of Snow Leopard Mother and Cubs in Dens Recorded in Mongolia Science Daily (JM).

How to find that perfect husband in college RedandBlack (Lee S)

The last gondolier of New York City BBC

Goldman Sachs and the $580 Million Black Hole New York Times. From my reading of this story, all the plaintiffs have to do is put the Goldman bankers on the stand. The disconnect is remarkable.

Food crisis fears as US corn soars Financial Times

Heat Leaves Ranchers a Stark Option: Sell New York Times. Wow, the cow in the photo looks skinny. Prepare to eat further down the food chain.

Deadly Poultry Virus Caused By Gene-Swapping Vaccines (JM)

Syria now in state of civil war, says Red Cross Guardian

Merkel Gives No Ground On Demands For Oversight In Debt Crisis Bloomberg

Europe’s banks face tougher demands Financial Times

Europe’s Bank Shifts View on Bond Losses Wall Street Journal

Britain flooded with ‘brand police’ to protect sponsors Independent (YY)

New security fears as Heathrow checks miss terror suspects Guardian (Lee S)

Olympic security farce: Now MI5 sacks systems experts after anti-terror supercomputer collapse Daily Mail (Lee S)

Pipelines bypassing Hormuz route open Financial Times

Wall Street banks step up oil trade role Financial Times Discussed here months ago

Was the petrol price rigged too? Telegraph


Deutsche Bank gets prosecution witness status in rate probe Reuters (Richard Smith)

Libor Scandal The Latest Front In War On Reality Peter Goodman, Huffington Post

Focus Shifts to Regulators in British Inquiry on Rate-Fixing New York Times

Missteps Doomed Barclays’ Leaders Wall Street Journal

No Bain, No Gain Paul Krugman

Democrats threaten to go over ‘fiscal cliff’ if GOP fails to raise taxes Washington Post

That Stench You Smell Is the Rotten Financial System masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B)

JPMorgan Blaming Marks On Traders Baffles Ex-Employees Bloomberg. This article is a stunner. It suggests that former JP Morgan executives have no clue as to how deficient the firm’s controls were (see today’s post by Michael Crimmins for more detail).

The shifting geography of global value chains: Implications for developing countries and trade policy VoxEU

Cold War – Hot Profits cmaukonen, Firedoglake

Only 23% of US Companies Plan to Hire in Next 6 Months; “Lights Out” Moment Coming Up Michael Shedlock. Holy shit, the decline since the last survey is large.

Fed fiddles as America slides back into recession Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. All the crappy PMI releases all over the world plus the weak jobs plus the inability to bail out the sinking Euroboat quickly enough leads me to conclude I have to start writing more about the state of the economy. It’s now getting that nasty inflection point feeling.

Documents Show Geithner’s Libor Recommendations Came Straight From Banks Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America Alternet (Lance)

* * *

lambert here:

D – 54 and counting*

“A new sheen of consummate professionalism.” — Patrick Bateman, American Psycho

Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: “GILLESPIE: Romney left to save the Olympics and America! GREGORY: so was he responsible for decisions made after 1999 or not? GILLESPIE: he retired retroactively! GREGORY: that’s hilarious GILLESPIE: that’s the best we’ve got” Adding, oh, man, I thought “retired retroactively” was bobblespeak, but Gillespie actually said it. No! You dinnit!

FL. TB outbreak: “Although state health officials maintain the outbreak is now mostly contained within the Jacksonville homeless, a state database obtained by The Palm Beach Post on Friday showed sick people with [TB strain] FL 046 have also popped up in 17 other Florida counties. About 23 percent of all FL 046 cases have occurred outside Duval County, analysis suggests, and most of those have been identified in the past two years.” … Voting: “In a victory for Republicans, the federal government has agreed to let FL use a law enforcement database to challenge people’s right to vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens. FL has agreed that it can challenge voters only if the state provides a “unique identifier,” such as an “alien number,” for each person in question. Alien numbers generally are assigned to foreigners living in the country legally, often with visas or other permits such as green cards. The DHS decision may affect places beyond FL, because CO and other states have asked for similar access to the federal database.” So FL doesn’t have the primary keys, but it’s going to try a match anyhow. Good luck with that. … Hmm: “At their annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, Ds seemed more fired up about beating Gov. Rick Scott in 2014 than in defeating Republican Mitt Romney in November.” … Corporate subsidies: “For people involved in the performing arts in Miami — as opposed to socialites and politicians who count names on bricks it was clear Miami could not support a gargantuan edifice while performing arts organizations struggled to find their footing at the same time. It was a foregone conclusion that the Performing Arsht Center would depend on billionaires and/or road shows of Cats!, the musical.”

GA. Mass incarceration: “‘One of every six inmates in state prisons is mentally ill, and the man who locks them up says that’s too many. I think it’s about time to decriminalize mental illness,” said Georgia Corrections Commissioner Brian Owens.” Blacks still at the back of the bus, then.

IA. Legitimacy crisis: “[RANDI SHANNON, former R candidate: ‘With the abandonment of The Republic, and especially following 1871, the abuses of the UNITED STATES CORPORATION heaped upon the American People and the Peoples of the International Community have been inestimable and unconscionable.'” So, internal secession. Remarkable, but less remarkable than LIBOR, MERS, HAMP, TARP? Hard to say. … Solid waste: “With no public debate, the Marion City Council in May hired Cedar Rapids consulting firm Latham & Associates to conduct a feasibility study into creating a municipal [trash-to-energy] utility.” … Solid waste: “By those figures, a Marion [trash-to-energy] plant would either be much more efficient than any currently planned, if it is to provide all the city’s power. Or it would require more trash than the 300 tons a day now planned.” Lots more trucks on the streets from out of town.

IL. Lynn Sweet on Jesse Jackson, Jr.: “It’s very premature to write off the political career of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.)–at an undisclosed location getting treated for a serious “mood disorder.” He has $246,625 in his political warchest as of June 30–a virtually unknown GOP opponent running in a heavily D district with no political cash and a savvy top political strategist–his wife.”

MT. Media critique: Franklin Center/Montana Watchdog event not transparent, but provides good technical tips.

NY. Tinpot tyrants: “‘We’ve got the camera out, and that’s when they called for backup. That’s when eight police ninjas came out of nowhere.’ Hess allegedly was beaten down to the surface of the platform, and the cuffs were then slapped on both.” All for dancing on a subway platform! … Out of rehab: “[D]isgraced former congressman [Anthony Weiner] — who’s sitting on a $4.5 million campaign war chest — is mulling a bid for citywide office next year and “seriously considering” a mayoral run, multiple sources told The Post.

OH. Privatization: “The Ohio Virtual Academy is making lots of money. And why not? It has a teacher student ratio of 51:1 even though the state pays it for a ratio of 15:1. Only 10% of its state funding went to teachers, and they cleared a profit of 31.5%. What a cool business!” … Voting: “The Ohio secretary of state has trimmed early in-person voting in the state’s biggest county.”

PA. Privatization: “Federal agents executed a series of search warrants today at PA [charter] Cyber School offices in Beaver County and several other locations in PA and OH.” … Sandusky: “[I]n light of the shameful conduct of Penn State’s leadership, revealed Thursday in the Freeh report, the NCAA must use its authority to do what’s needed now: Shut down the Nittany Lions football program.” Just the one? … Then again: “Football is all they have. Without it, State College is just plain fricking boring and they’ll be left to competitive cow tipping.”

TN. Austerity: “Taft [Youth Center] also was selected to close because plans were already in the works to expand a nearby adult prison in Bledsoe County.”

TX. Public goods: “[T]he southern TX city decided to turn the [abandoned Wal-Mart] into its new public library. And not just any public library neither: Upon its completion, the McAllen Public Library became the largest single-story library in the United States. … Registration by first-time patrons went up by 23% in the first library’s first month of operation.” …. Corruption: “Twelve male drill instructors have come under scrutiny for sexual misconduct with female Air Force members during training at Lackland in San Antonio, TX, where all incoming airmen and airwomen attend boot camp.” … Water: “But the expansions come at a time when TX is facing critical questions about the availability of water and power. The crippling drought, which has abated but not ended, forced a Formosa Plastics facility along the coast in Point Comfort to temporarily adjust to receiving as much as 20 percent less water from a nearby lake as its level receded. Chemical plants need vast amounts of water for cooling and cleaning.”

VA. Zeitgeist watch: “LIBOR is a very important stick of data. My second mortgage is pegged to it. Can anyone spell “F R E E M A R K E T?” A moderate, civic-minded blog with sponsors. Title of the post: “The desperate need for financial regulation.” Not on the table.

WI. Extractive economy, Walker’s iron mine: “Gogebic Taconite never performed experimental drilling necessary to determine how much waste rock will be left behind when iron ore is removed. It’s impossible without those tests to know exactly what is under the earth’s surface, Philip Fauble, mining coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said.”

ObamaCare. The mandate: “Obama used the word ‘tax’ to describe the health care mandate under his reforms, a departure from his prior etymological stance that it is a penalty.” Etymological. Bring your own parser!

Media critique. Ancient history: “There is something editors used to say to reporters new to a beat: ‘If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.'”

Outside baseball. Zeitgeist watch: “[RICHARD POSNER:] I’ve become less conservative since the Rs started becoming goofy.” Since 1964, then? … Voting: “The stricter laws, like those that require photo identification, seem to decrease turnout by about 2 percent as a share of the registered voter population. … I estimate [PA’s law] would reduce Obama’s margin against Romney by a net of 1.2 percentage points.” … Privatization: “‘The longer the House delays reforming the Postal Service, the more likely it is that nothing happens,’ said Art Sackler of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, a group that represents the private-sector mailing industry.'” Good.

The trail. Disaffected Ds: “Parry interviewed Sam Brown, a prominent progressive of that time who served as Eugene McCarthy’s Youth Coordinator. … Today, Sam Brown ‘is not proud’ of the fact that in 1968 he ‘cast his ballot for a minor third-party candidate as a throwaway vote.’ He sees his action as a de facto assist to Nixon’s campaign.” Shorter: “You have no place to go.” Shortest: TINA. In fact, the Ds should heed the lessons of inequity aversion. But they won’t, as this post shows. … Ancient history from What It Takes: “Just a bunch of guys, pushed along by another bunch of guys, who are busy inventing the science of modern campaign warfare.” … Ancient history from The Selling of the President: “[Nixon] refused to look at himself, even on a newscast. He refused to use a teleprompter, no matter how long the speech. Television was just one more slick trick and he was a poor boy from the West.” (The notion that a teleprompter equals unethical artifice would be lost on Obama and, to a slightly lesser extent, Romney).”

Green party. An actual report from the Green Party convention. … “‘[JILL STEIN:] We are in it to win it, but we’re also in it to build it, and those are both wins in my book,’ Stein, 62, said in an interview before her acceptance speech at the convention.” … “[JILL STEIN:] I’m now practicing political medicine because politics is the mother of all illnesses.” … Slate: “But the best thing the Greens have going for them is that Nader seems to have moved on. … There’s no other evidence that they’re strong, at all.” Ouch!

Robama vs. Obomney watch. … Obama goes PoMo: “That is his argument and you don’t hear me complaining about him making that argument, because if I was in his shoes I’d be making the same argument.” The meta! It b-u-r-n-n-n-s!!!

Romney. Terrible coverage: “The candidate appeared to be helping his son and some of his grandkids prepare for a bike ride.” … Press picks the loser: “Mitt Romney blasted off message in hot summer.” So who says? The press. That’s the story. … Candidate from Richistan: “And so now Romney’s just utterly flummoxed by this insistence that he act like he’s somehow not an insanely rich douchebag. It’s the equal opposite to what happened to Kerry, with the added benefit that in this case it’s true: Your strength is now your weakness. Kerry was a war hero; now we’re going to take that away from him. Romney was wealthy and successful, and now that’s his downfall.” Axelrove! (Also hubris, hamartia, and nemesis) … Dynastic wealth: “[Romney] has made hundreds of millions of dollars in part because he has structured most of his income in ways that enable him to pay the least amount of taxes possible. These tools are, theoretically, available to anyone, but, in practice, are available only to those with tens of thousands of dollars to spend every year on tax-and-estate planning.” … Tax returns: Will, Dowd, Kristol throw Romney under the bus. … Nobody likes him: “A Washington Post/ABC News poll this past week found that just 38% of Romney supporters said their vote would primarily be for him, as opposed to 57% who said their support was actually a vote against Mr. Obama. That finding is in line with a number of other recent polls, including a June survey by the Pew Research Center. Since 1988, no other incumbent or challenger has had a similarly low portion of affirmative support heading into November.” … Snark watch, Matt Taibbi: “He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair.” As opposed to a drone strike.

Obama. Obama to unemployed: Drop dead. “If you’re willing to work hard, then you can find a job that supports a family. ” Wowsers. I guess that 8% nominal disemployment, the loss of homes, the health effects and excess deaths, the suicides, that’s all because the peasants are lazy. … Doubleplusgood doublethink: “[OBAMA:] I think most Americans figure if you’re the chairman, CEO and president of a company that you are responsible for what that company does.” However, most Americans are not supposed to figure if you’re the party leader, greatest orator of your time, and Preznit of the United States that you are responsible for 8% unemployment or a gargantuan orgy of looting by a criminal class of banksters or a coming double-dip depression because Bain.

Bain flap. Doubling down: “[OBAMA:] No, we won’t be apologizing. Sometimes these games are played during political campaigns. Understand what the issues are here: Mr Romney claims he’s Mr. Fix-it for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience.” True! … However, as Stoller points out discussing ‘they’re your quotes, sir’ and IMNSHO 100% correctly, framing the only national expression of the people’s sovereignty as a game is “cynicism as art,” the act of a “narcissistic sociopath.” So those are your choices, legacy party fans: A bot from Richistan, or Patrick Bateman. Well done, all.

* 54 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with Philly cheese steaks and wooter ice on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. CA has 54 + 1 (55) electoral votes. I’ve been looking forward to an actual, useful political number, and unfortunately it happened on my day off!

* * *

Antidote du jour (martha r):

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  1. Middle Seaman

    “A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic” comes from Wikipedia. Insurrection is “a violent uprising against an authority or government.” Syria is clearly in the latter.

    NGOs and others play fast and loose with political terms. They contribute to confusion, ignorance and hate. Many in Syria fight the cruel Assad regime. That is an uprising.

  2. zappa crappa fu

    Amber nailed that diseased Southern sorority culture with big sisters teaching performative gender to little sisters. But that kind of imprinting is hard to escape. Bet you Amber winds up with a useless overpriced Darden MBA, evaluating woman interviewees on their makeup (No, really. Empirical fact. That is what they actually do in the workplace. No guy could be a bigger pig than this.) The only solution is to raze the Southern universities, burn the sororities and frats, and sow plutonium into the earth.

    1. Expat

      Exactly! I have observed for decades that Republicans practice in public office whatever scoundrelly behaviour they have been performing in the boardroom. You don’t need to pierce the corporate veil — they do it in front of you!

    2. JTFaraday

      On a similar topic, I made the mistake clicking on another Alternet article on the sidebar, about catty columnist and internet criticism of celebrity weight.

      Certainly been around awhile, but the cattiness and the active participation of the celebrity watching public on-line seems to be a growing phenomenon.

      Perhaps another instance the mushrooming general nastiness of a population under pressure. If you’re privileged to sell your looks– or if you have a job, period– you should be “flawless” no?

      Flawless in the sense of total conformity to some socially constituted norm, because these are certainly all beautiful women.

      1. JTFaraday

        I recently saw “Bad Teacher” and a running theme through the whole movie was how Cameron Diaz needs new boobs.

    3. Greg Taylor

      Little wonder the value attached to marriage/meaningful relationships among college students is approaching zero when the ridicule associated with them hasn’t subsided in 30+ years.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        GT, such an culture as ours: when 10-yr. old girls go down on guys in the Catholic School playground in order “to be popular.”

  3. Bruce Post

    Gillespie’s comment that Romney “retired retroactively” generated this thought: You might say that George W. Bush was “elected retroactively.”

  4. recourse to rebellion

    Holy crap. “Peoples of the International Community.” Shannon knows exactly what she’s doing. Peoples, plural, is straight out of the cultural-rights corpus of treaty law. And speaking for the international community? That’s a direct reference to legal duties this state bears and institutional oversight it accepts under customary and conventional international law. The so-called progressive movement sits on their thumbs* while the right picks up the lethalest weapon, human rights and rule of law, and puts a center-mass grouping in our crooked illegitimate undead state.

    * c.f. Progressive Democrats of America, who mumble about “basic human rights.” There’s no such thing. There’s core human rights. PDA uses this meaningless “basic” qualifier to exclude economic rights, in accordance with the Dem party line.

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Krugman on NO BAIN NO GAIN: Is it just me, or is PK, an economist no less, actually showing some real politik insight? Just as pain is weakness leaving your body, Bain is jobs leaving our nation. His campaign is more of the stupefying parade of bourgeoisie business types who bask in the whine that the government should be more like a business! From Meg Whitman to Bloomberg, business follows the cost cutting procedure of cutting out Mr In Between, it’s disintermediation with a vengeance. Why buy the pols when you can buy the office? And sit in it yrself just to make sure things are done absolutely the way you want. You know, just can’t find good help anymore to preside over the liquidation of American Democracy.

    2. LeeAnne

      On Clinton’s visit to Egypt:

      ‘Clinton “stressed the importance of protecting the rights of all Egyptians, including women and minorities”.’

      IOW: keep your mind off economics and the disparity of wealth and work opportunity.

      For the right, the favorite take your mind off economics its too complicated for you non-issue is the elimination of the right to medically competant legal abortion more commonly referred to by them as being ‘in favor of abortion.’ -you slut (implied, of course).

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      rtr, so are We the People under U.S. Constitutional Law or British Imperial Maritime Law?

  5. Eureka Springs

    Although I am loathe to get into it, I need to ask a question on this bane of all our existence.

    Isn’t the mechanism of Bain (looting companies before the very remnants of their fixtures and the jobs are exported) a direct result of both parties embrace of free trade agreements over the last few decades?

    Is there any reason to think Democrats, their policy / actions, are somehow now or ever have been above all of this?

    1. left-right

      “Isn’t the mechanism of Bain (looting companies before the very remnants of their fixtures and the jobs are exported) a direct result of both parties embrace of free trade agreements over the last few decades?”

      short answer, yes.

      In every other Western, industrialized country, the platform of the current Democratic Party would squarely equal the “conservative” party in that country.

      The 2012 election is between an 80’s-Republican and a 90’s Republican.

      Now whether you should vote for Obama because “he’s the lesser of two evils” is an ethical dilemma only you can answer to your own satisfaction.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ES, by your leave, “loath to” is what you mean to say. “loathe” is not.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Up, “rural” Americans have been in hopeless grief a long time: “METHLAND.”

      Chris Hedges shows/tells how bad it is in his new book with graphic illustrations by a pro–“graphic novel” format that even EveryAmerican can read. This gives new meaning to “Classic Comics.”

  6. Up the Ante

    The Garbage Barge in Tow
    Protecting Our Globalisation Masters

    “Geithner: Add a second USD LIBOR fixing for the U.S. market. The BBA should consider adding a second USD fixing to capture rates for transactions that occur when the US market is active.

    Banks: Changing the time of the fixing, or adding a second fixing that occurs when US-based sources of dollar funding are active. ”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Please note: “Recommendations for enhancing the credibility of LIBOR” — the “credibility” of LIBOR is what Geithner sought. He did not seek the rectification of the “problem” of the corruption of LIBOR. What a hedge!

      But isn’t “hedging” what they do night and day, in every aspect of their duplicitous lives?

      1. Up the Ante

        One of the more entertaining things they do is affect a groundedness, as if defrauding everything, lol, that moves leaves one grounded.

  7. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, Jill Stein is still HEDGING, for shame. Rule of thumb for realists:

    “FIRST go for what you want; THEN negotiate.” All else is for suckers, for losers — or for shills? Is Jill Stein just another shill for the Powah?

    Negotiating from the start is an Obama Minstrel Show tactic.

    Is Jill Stein saying she cannot get the “Tribe of JacobIsrael” vote to WIN? The FIRST obviously “AMERICAN Jewish” President of the U.S., and a WOMAN moreover? That the FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT of the U.S.A. would be American Jewish — is this not the WIN of the Century?

    Does Jill Stein, M.D. lack the mind, nerve, muscle, and sinew to STAND UP to the EXCLUSIVELY MALE ULTRACONSERVATIVE TYRANTS, the arch-oppressors of women, the High Priests and Criminal Machers of the Chabad Lubavich Hassidic Court CABAL, and its 99% Agency in AMERICA? Will the American Jewish voters really decline to vote en masse for this MIRACLE of POSSIBILITY in the ONE Nation State of the entire world that has WELCOMED “the Jews” since the American Colonial Era?

    Where would Abraham Joshua HESCHEL stand on this issue? Would he quake with fear, and bow in obedience to the Ultraconservative UltraOrthodox Despots who ARROGATE to themselves ALL “Jewish” right to self-determination in AMERICA in the Twenty-first Century? Do these LATTER DAY “JEWISH IMMIGRANTS” have the right to dictate policy and votes to ALL American Jews, including those descended from Colonial Era Citizens?


    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      What company does Jill Stein, M.D. keep? Does not every Prophet of Israel not warn us to SEPARATE ourselves from malefactors? Do not the Psalms warn us to SEPARATE ourselves from all who do damage to the reputation of the Tribes of JacobIsrael? Does the TORAH not warn us continually of the danger of departing from the Commandments brought by Moses? Did Moses himself not grieve over the constant peril that “some” wicked members of the Tribes would condemn all to loss and tragedy? Did Moses not behold this liability in Aaron’s leading of others to create and worship the golden calf? Did Samuel not grievously grant to the Tribes their “right” to have Kings rule over them, even as he recounted the ills to befall them because of this?

      Is JILL STEIN WORTHY of the Office of President in an Open Democracy at a time of Revolution of the Heart in C.21? Can she, WILL she STAND UP to the enemy within–the very Courtiers of Anti-Semitic .01% Global Fourth Reich “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII”?


      “THE PROPHETS” by Abraham J. Heschel (Philadelphia 2, Pa., The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1962)

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Recall: The “HOLY BOOK” of the Tribes of JacobIsrael is the “TORAH” – and NOT the Babylonian Talmud.

    2. Eureka Springs

      I’m not about to make excuses.. and I will vote either Green, Socialist or not at all across the board this year. As I like to say – if you are a D or R you are part of an ongoing criminal organization… not even for dog catcher!

      But the convention schedule itself linked here this weekend (and the Move To Amend process from the very beginning) smelled to high heaven like co-optation by Democrats. I suspect it’s both direct co-optation and migration of old Democrats who are genuinely disgusted but have not changed their failed ways along with changing parties. Just like what happened with OWS.

      Greens seem to be as shrill about the GOP as Dems… when it is Dems the Greens should both attack most of all and garner registrants/votes from, imo. If they want to play triangulation games at all.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        ES, dead on. There’s that word again: “shrill.”

        What’s up with Rocky Anderson?

      2. lambert strether

        I do recall something like “the Greens’ natural allies, the Democrats” in my travels through the Intertubes, but if anybody in the Greens believes that, they’re in terrible trouble.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          LS, you’re right. We don’t need any more “weak sisters” of any gender.

  8. Ransome

    The chicken vaccine story is a warning from Ma Nature. It is inevitable that scientists will contaminate our food supply with a GM toxin producing gene that jumps under unanticipated circumstances. If it’s a hormone disruptor it won’t take much and the action delayed for years.

  9. Jessica

    About “Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America”

    I basically agree with this argument and have made it myself before. There is one thing though that makes me wonder if this is more a result than a cause: most of the world seems to be moving in the same direction. In many of the countries that are still much more democratic, politically and economically, than America, everyone tells me that the direction of movement is toward more inequality. There are many nations that have slightly dismantled social safety nets that started out so much stronger than they ever were in America. So they are still stronger than Americas. But they are being slowly dismantled. (The Euro crisis has put this process into overdrive in the debt-slave countries.)
    Much of Latin America is more democratic now than in the 80s for sure. The ex-Soviet block had some loosening with the collapse of communism, but most of that opportunity was squandered (with lots of outside help). South Korea and Taiwan are more democratic now, in a meaningful way. Even Thailand is somewhat. (Speaking of callous aristocracies. Good manners among the ordinary folks is often a marker for a violent underbelly.)
    But among the economically developed nations, is there any that is moving in the direction of less inequality and stronger social support networks? If not, then something besides the shift within the US elite must be at work.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Jessica, here’s the Smoking Gun, the Universal Playbook, the new Mein Kampf:

      “NOBILITY and Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII: A Theme Illuminating American Social History” by the Jesuit-trained Pope Idolator, Plinieo Correa de Oliveira; with Foreword by the “Nobility” sycophant Morton C. Blackwell (Reagan’s minister of “education” and youth indoctrination, and Republican National Committeeman of Virginia (York, PA; Hamilton Press; The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property–a registered name of The Foundation for a Christian Civilization, Inc.; 1993). This brings the Old Confederates and the M-I Complex “Nobilities” into the FOLD of the Global “Holy Roman Reich IV” .01% “Nobility-Master Class” fold. This book required reading at University of Dallas, an Opus Dei stronghold in the Old Confederate South colony of BigOil and the Bush Dynasty for Russell’s YALE: Agents of the British “Crown” in America

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        And isn’t it a fact that the Big Machers of the EU are Opus Dei Elite Agents?

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        YALE’s Holy Roman Imperial Faculty Puppet rose to the height of mischief at the University of Dallas. Connect the dots with Roman Catholic Imperial servant of “God and Man at Yale,” William Buckley, Jr., and recall the fascist, racist heart of the Ultraconservative “Revolution” with him as High Priest. Then connect with George W. Bush’s invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to be the moral arbiter for all Americans, as Bush the Decider ushered America officially into obsequious serfdom to the .01% + .99% Agency of the Global Holy Roman Reich IV–the “New World Order” of his father’s CIA implementation.

  10. briansays

    of course corn soars
    all that fast cheap money zimbabwe ben “loaned” to his bankster friends to restart the economy??
    they bought futures
    just like they did before with oil

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      corn as fuel: “Working Farmer” patronage for votes, Huge Payday to BigAgChem.

  11. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, “wooter ice” – don’tcha mean “Hooter ice?” Southern Comfort.

    As for Romney the BAIN of our existence, did he refuse to take the loot for Bain’s Extraction Capitalism, while he was enthroned in Salt Lake City to likely cover up those “Olympic Committee” crimes by his Mormon brother bishops?

  12. LeeAnne

    Mr. Berzofsky, too, testified in his deposition that the Goldman Four did a “great job.”

    Even though Dragon lost everything?
    Goldman Sachs and the $580 Million Black Hole New York Times

    We’re God

    “Yes,” Mr. Berzofsky said. He was given several opportunities to clarify. And then he was asked one more time — the fact that the Bakers and Dragon’s shareholders lost everything doesn’t affect your opinion?

    “Correct,” Mr. Berzofsky responded. “We guided them to a completed transaction.”

    -the patient died

  13. sleepy

    The drought here in north Iowa has been brutal.

    Since August 1st of last year, we’ve had 16 inches of rain (normal is 33) and 18 inches of snow–equals 1.8 inches of rain equivalent (normal snowfall is 40 inches).

    So, less than 18 inches of rainfall in a year, only slightly more than Los Angeles on average.

  14. rich

    Banking Is a Criminal Industry Because Its Crimes Go Unpunished

    Just another month in financial services. Is it unusual? No, it’s not. If we go back just a little further, we have UBS, HSBC, Julius Baer, and other banks actively marketing tax evasion services to wealthy U.S. and European citizens. We have senior executives of several banks (including JP Morgan Chase and UBS) strongly suspecting that Bernard Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, but deciding to make money from him rather than turn him in. And then, of course, we have the financial crisis and everything that led to it. As I show in great detail in my book Predator Nation, we now possess overwhelming evidence of massive securities fraud, accounting fraud, perjury, and criminal Sarbanes-Oxley violations by mortgage lenders, investment banks, and credit insurers (including senior executives of Countrywide, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, AIG, and Lehman Brothers) during the housing bubble that caused the financial crisis. If we go back to the late 1990s, we have the massively fraudulent hyping of Internet stocks, and several banks (including Merrill Lynch and Citigroup) actively aiding Enron in committing its frauds.

    So, July 2012 really isn’t abnormal at all. The reason for this is very simple. Over the past two decades, the financial services industry has become a pervasively unethical and highly criminal industry, with massive fraud tolerated or even encouraged by senior management. But how did that happen?

    Well, deregulation helped, of course. But something else was far more important. It is the one critical factor that unites all of the episodes cited above, including those of this month. This critical unifying factor is the total number of criminal prosecutions of major firms and senior executives as a result of all of these crimes combined.

    And what is that number?

    Consider the Obama administration’s choices for the four most important positions in financial sector law enforcement. The attorney general (Eric Holder) and the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division (Lanny Breuer) both come to us from Covington & Burling, a law firm that represents and lobbies for most of the major banks and their industry associations; indeed Breuer was co-head of its white collar criminal defense practice, and represented the Moody’s rating agency in the Enron case. Mary Schapiro, the head of the SEC, spent the housing bubble in charge of FINRA, the investment banking industry’s “self-regulator,” which gave her a $9 million severance for a job well done. And her head of enforcement, perhaps most stunningly of all, is Robert Khuzami, who was general counsel for Deutsche Bank’s North American business during the entire bubble. So zero prosecutions isn’t much of a surprise, really.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      rich, William K. Black the Patriot Mensch “tol’ that hound dog and tol’ that hound dog.”

  15. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yves, Telegraph: Roger Bootle on “Euro Break-up” – No. Just because he won the Prize doesn’t mean he bags the prime catch.

    Again: Kaletsky-Das Euro Finesse * Keen’s’s Debt Jubilee (modified OK) * Hudson JUST New Economics State-to-State-to-Region-to-Nation-State-to-Continent-to-World.

    Bootle adjustment: Luxembourg “Neutral” like Switzerland (buffer) between “Berlin Metropole EU” Bloc and “Paris Metropole EU” Bloc — permitting “Other Nation-States to CHOOSE the Alliance they wish to join, for whatever reason; permitting them to choose “Neutral” status also (like Lichtenstein?). Balance of payments to be co-ordinated WITH STOPS; currency exchange to be balanced WITH STOPS. BRUSSELS should become a “Central EU Metropole” for Just Currency Exchange among the EU Blocs and Neutral States. “BELGIUM” should be divided between “Flemish” and “Waloonie” Nation-States–with the “Flemish” State joining the “Berlin EU Bloc” and the “Waloonie” State joining the “Paris EU Bloc.” It is possible that the most JUST currency solution for the EU-at-large would be the use of the Fr. Franc and the D-Mark locally within each Bloc, convertible instantly via Brussels into “NewEuro” for TRADE and EXCHANGE with “outsiders.” And so on, with Justice ever in mind.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Hudson’s JUST New Economic systems-systems-system entails STOPS to force “reflection” and “wisdom” as it were, at every critical “boundary” from “the known” unto “the known unknowns” unto the “unknown unknowns.” A JUST New Economics shall require Responsible/Liable Agents at every STOP (Stop Loss).

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Moreover, shouldn’t AUSTRIA be given the choice of joining the Prussian Bloc or the Frankish Bloc? Which would Hungary and Poland choose?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        To take it further, should there be three EU Blocs? a Triangulated Balance of Powers in C.21?

  16. Susan the other

    VoxEu. Peter Draper. Shifting Geography of Global Value Chains. This was a difficult read as the topic and vocabulary are unfamiliar. The determination of globalists to devise a fair system of trade. One based on value chains. The necessity to get rid of Preferential Trade Arrangements (PTAs) – good luck with that effort, it will fail. And the screaming need for trade rules and investment rules. Good luck with that one too. Globalists are looking at a field of study they call the Political Economy, guidance for the evolution of global trade within a geographical framework of value chains – I assume we’re talking about regionalized value added chains. How is the map going to be redrawn? Interestingly he says: 1 value chains need to get shorter geographically because oil and transportation destroy profitability (that’s good); 2 demand for resources is going to be a problem because national interests will get in the way of fair trade; 3 the Yuan is going to appreciate significantly – in spite of China’s high productivity (which is code for high unemployment); 4. technology competition will remain in a white-hot race; and 5. only southern markets will expand. I think I hear him saying national interests will have to take a backseat to regional value chains. TPP anyone? Political economies that supercede national interests. New economies cause new politics.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Susan, to talk “fair” we need to talk ELIMINATION of MONOPOLY of vertically integrated chains of profit centers.

      1. Susan the other

        That is a good point. My guess is that China won’t listen as her productivity is so astronomical that her ships ply the ocean in search of peddlers. But this article does reflect the new relationship between Japan and China. And China investing in what appears to be a big port in Myanmar with a road across Cambodia to what looked like Saigon. Weird. Must be an oil play.

  17. Susan the other

    Also wondering about what’s behind the Saudi pipeline. F.T. They plan to transport Iraqi oil and avoid the Straight of Hormuz. So, I’m guessing everything is in place to carry out the Iran plan. Whatever it is. I remember the last incarnation of a pipeline was to be from the Caspian thru Afghanistan. Remember Cheney’s “carpet of gold or carpet of bombs” offer? Guess that didn’t work out. And why not a word about Caspian oil? The northeast corner of Iraq is so close you can almost touch the Caspian, and Teheran. It is as if we are determined, along with NATO, to physically control oil.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      So for whom will shocked Americans cast their vote? Can it be that TINA to Obamney? Is Jill Stein a Mensch or a mouse? What’s up with Rocky Anderson?

  18. They didn't leave me a choice

    Speaking of olympics farce:

    So, to reiterate, Exxon Mobil now officially sponsors the olympic games: Visit the site for the newest pictures of naked underaged children.

    When will these idiot lawyers learn, the internet doesn’t take well to being told that one of its basic functions is illegal. I hope they enjoy their streisand effect to its maximum extent.

  19. Hugh

    Re jobs, I pointed out a couple of times here that with June’s job report we needed to look pass the seasonally adjusted numbers. If we do and concentrate on the seasonally unadjusted numbers, hiring for the rest of the year except for a possible spike at Christmas is largely done.

    Re security at the Olympics, it is an important aspect of kleptocracy that it is completely predatory. Outside of looting, it could not organize a two car parade. It’s telling that while some footsoldiers are being sacked, the head of MI5 and the Home Secretary still have their jobs. One of the last vestiges of empire was the ability to put on a good show. Apparently the British government can’t even do that anymore.

    Re was the gasoline price rigged too, I think most people in the US have known for a long time that gasoline prices are manipulated, which is why it is so odd that they think that oil markets aren’t, that it is all about supply and demand or Peak Oil. The truth is that oil prices have been manipulated by the big financial players since 2004.

    Apparently, Krugman only does two kinds of columns: wonkish where he talks economics, throwing out a few liberal phrases before coming solidly down on the Establishment side which is looting us, and wankish, where he talks politics, donning the robes of a Democratic tribalist. That’s your choice wankish or wonkish, but BS either way. We are, I think, way beyond the point of expecting Krugman to act honestly or to ever see the light. He is an Establishment man all the way, that is he works for the looters.

    If he wants to say that Romney is a greedy, two-faced, corporatist, fine. But that means nothing, and is even deceptive, if he does not go on to point out what a greedy, two-faced corporatist Obama is.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    For those aspiring Olympic judges, as far as the degree of difficulty is concerned for our bankster friends, which is harder:

    1 rigging LIBOR
    2 rigging oil
    3 rigging Treasuries
    4 rigging an election


  21. curlydan

    So Ambrose Pritchard seems to want QE3 with this version buying bonds from pension and life insurance companies to expanding the Fed’s balance sheet and get 5% nomial GDP growth.

    I thought QE1 could be argued as a mild success since it may have helped keep the mortgage market afloat for a few key months. QE2 seemed like a non-event that only expanded the Fed’s balance sheet.

    Can someone explain how QE3 as advocated by Pritchard would do anything but increase inflation and devalue the dollar (and put more pressure on the Euro to devalue even more)? I suppose it could help people pay off their mortgages faster, but that’s all I see.

    1. F. Beard

      Some argue that bond buying by the Fed is DEFLATIONARY since it deprives the private sector of interest payments. I suppose the rational is that the pension funds, insurance funds, etc. would take the cash and reinvest it and thus stimulate the economy. But what good would that do when we already have overcapacity relative to aggregate demand?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If that were the case, to avoid deflation, the Fed should be engaged in bond selling.

      2. curlydan

        thanks. so maybe pensions and insurance cos sell their bonds and re-invest in real estate or the stock market. It still seems like a weak stimulus. It’s like the Fed is sitting there with all its supposed muscle trying to keep the S&P levitating well above 1,100 to 1,200.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Probably not much.

      Give people free mint to pay off debt is only slightly better

      A little better than that, and probably more morale in a wider sense, is to give that free money for all to buy health insurance.

      It does nothing about the inefficiencies of the corrupt health care system though (nor does the money to pay debt scheme do much about the corrupt finance sector). If fact, it might benefit the status quo even more

      In any case, free money for health care before free money for paying debt.

      And if money is no object, then free money for a trip to the Moon as well for all.

      1. F. Beard

        For a supposed free thinker, you sound like a conservative.

        You remind me of those “non-conformists” who always seem to “non-conform” in the same way.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s not about conforming or not conforming.

          Ideas are there whether they are mentioned or not.

          As for conservatism, if you pay attention, you will see most people have a left brain and a right brain.

          Don’t deny yourself.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    Why look for that perfect husband in college when you can get a more perfect ( perfecter?) man at work on Wall Street if you van just wait a little longer?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        ROBERTO UNGER, this is your moment. Carpe diem. BE consigliere to Jill Stein. How do you know you will be alive this time next year?

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          The Revolution of the Heart in America, Prof. Unger! Carpe diem! This UNIQUE opportunity in real time NEVER shall come again.

  23. Stephen Malagodi

    “framing the only national expression of the people’s sovereignty as a game is “cynicism as art,” the act of a “narcissistic sociopath.””

    wait… does Stoller really believe that the Presidential election is “the only nation expression of the people’s sovereignty”? … really? what does either the election of the President or the Presidency itself have to do with “the people’s sovereignty”?

    somebody show this to me in the Constitution, or the Federalist Papers, or the judicial record, or anywhere in the historical record of this country.

  24. Fíréan

    The links section is over stretching itself, imho.

    What use to have a reasonable balance between the serious and the novel now has too much to wade through to find the serious topics. As a long time reader i wished to make that note and give some feedback, after having restrained oneself for some weeks from commenting on the matter.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Thanks for the feedback (I didn’t have time to write a short letter so I wrote a long one). One the other hand, ya know, the pointillism is adding up to at least three huge stories that aren’t covered on a concentrated, daily basis anywhere else, so far as I know: (1) the anti-fracking movement; (2) corruption at the state and local level; and (3) voting, ballot access, and emergent parties. These are all big stories squarely in the political economy sights of this blog….

  25. Foppe

    HSBC also found to be laundering money for the cartels. However, they have now (after doing so for at least 7-8 years) decided to stop doing so:

    The bank said in its statement that it changed its senior management last year and has made changes to strengthen its compliance with rules to prevent money laundering.

    “We … recognize that our controls could and should have been stronger and more effective in order to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour,” the statement said.

    Levin also blasted the federal agency supervising the bank’s US operations, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He said the agency “tolerated” HSBC’s weak controls against money laundering for years.

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