Links 7/21/12

“Goat Man” Hides Among Real Goats in Utah Gawker

In focus: Incredible raindrops on spiders Wired (Richard Smith)

Vast African water source found BBC

More Guns, More Equilibria EconoSpeak

What is wrong with people? Ed Harrison

Europe Staggered by New Round of Debt Crisis Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Ireland Bulldozes Ghost Estate In Life After Real Estate Bubble Bloomberg (Richard Smith). The pictures look sad. All this waste and Ireland broke.


The Federal Reserve And The Libor Scandal Simon Johnson (Laura C)

Libor Case Documents Show Timid Regulators New York Times

Libor rate-fixing amplified CDO losses, experts say Reuters (Richard S)

Israeli who performed self-immolation dies Aljazeera

Obama Administration Encourages Syrian Suicide Bombers Kabul Press (nathan)

Obama Wants $1 Billion for “Master Teachers Corps” Slate (furzy mouse)

Tax Loopholes Block Efforts to Close U.S. Deficit New York Times

Congressional insider trading ban might not apply to families CNN

Goldman Employee Struggles With Inability To Regularly Visit Summer Home Huffington Post


Retirees hit hard by foreclosures MarketWatch (Carol B). The NYT reported on this too, but this sad fact bears repeating, since conventional thinking is retirees are not suffering all that much from housing market tsuris.

JPMorgan Ordered to Identify Witness in Blavatnik Lawsuit Bloomberg (MBS Guy). A reminder as to why only a guy like Blavatnik (80th richest man in the world) can prevail against big banks. Look at the stonewalling by JPM.

Does Money Make Us Write Better? New York Review of Books. Wow, I can’t relate to the way he thinks about this question. But then again, I’ve never aspired to “being a writer,” just to writing well. There is a much simpler answer to his question: 1. Writing more makes you better, provided you can look at what you’ve written at least somewhat clinically. 2. A good editor helps but they are not very common.

America in denial: We’re number 29 (of 30) Paul Rosenberg, Aljazeera (Paul S). Today’s must read.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 49 and counting*

Q: Is war inevitable? A: In some form, yes. The state was organized in order to prosecute war; as long as we have states, we will have war. — Phillip Bobbitt

Occupy. Movie review: “[Revolution] is a social healing process and the resolution of violence between opposed social strata if it is successful. The occupation of Zuccotti Park was the beginning of such process rather than a declaration of war against those with privilege. The occupation gave many of us the support and confidence we needed in order to end the isolation we’ve felt obliged to impose upon ourselves in order to avoid the stigma, guilt, and shame that perpetually broke, debt-ridden people tend to experience from living in the most crassly materialistic society ever designed by human beings. The occupation of Zuccotti Park helped many of us feel less angry, less violent, and more like dignified human beings for the first time in our lives.” Well, there’s your problem.

AZ. Privatization: “A year after AZ began a nationally publicized effort to build its own border fence through private contributions, not a single fencepost has gone up.

CA. San Bernardino bankruptcy: “Bankruptcy law also does not allow for a court to force a city to change any voter-approved law, so a judge cannot impose changes on the City Charter or taxes in light of the provisions of Proposition 218, a 1996 state ballot measure requiring voter approval for local taxes.”

CO. Aurora shooting: Atlantic’s coverage. Detail on the suspect (Denver Post). “After graduation from UCR, Holmes took a part-time job at a nearby McDonald’s. ‘I felt bad for him because he studied so hard. My brother said he looked kind of down; he seemed depressed.'”. Just saying. Twitter timeline (from local teen). Detail on the suspect (AP). Shooting timeline, Aurora. Shooting timeline, US history. “Politicizing a tragedy”. Would “good guy” shooters have helped? No. Yes, answers gun trainer. Campaigns suspended. Candidate quotes.

FL. Public records: “The identity of students who submit complaints about teachers to public schools, including colleges and universities, are public records and must be disclosed to citizens, a FL appellate court ruled Thursday.” … Corruption: “According to the story, former [University of Miami] equipment manager Sean Allen – previously linked to rogue booster and convicted Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro – was used as an ‘off-the-books recruiter’ by Miami assistant coaches” with the direct knowledge of coach Al Golden.

ME. D Sen candidate Dill attempts to get the DSCC’s attention.

OH. Privatization: “Of the 77 people in attendance Tuesday, 75 raised their hands to say they are against the governor’s idea of privatizing the 241-mile [Ohio Turnpike].” … Fracking: “When I found that essentially no government agency had the jurisdiction to protect public health and safety due to exemptions granted to the oil and gas industry, I figured it was my civic duty to advise the community. I wrote a letter to the editor for the first time in my life.”

PA. Abortion: “The [Abington Health and Holy Redeemer merger] plan is dead. Cause of death: the spiral of opposition to the elimination of abortion services at Abington. The demise of the merger is clearly a tribute to the tireless and impressive community opposition effort. The defeat of the merger was the fastest in their history of work on such issues.”

TN. Overton Window: “The center of gravity in TN politics has shifted so hard to the right that two dozen conservative R incumbents are under attack as moderate squishes and cowardly sell-outs in their own party’s primary elections for the state legislature.”

TX. Market state: “[Medicaid practitioners say that] an anonymous call to a fraud hotline or a computer-generated analysis of a handful of billing codes is enough to halt their financing… The majority of [payment holds] were ‘Credible Allegation of Fraud,’ or CAF, holds — a provision in the new federal health reform law that authorizes states to suspend Medicaid payments if allegations of fraud have an ‘indicia of reliability.'” Signature strikes. … Aurora shooting: “[Rep. Louie Gohmert R: W]th all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying a gun that could have stopped this guy more quickly?” Sigh. … Corruption: “Instructors and trainees [Lackland AFB] at the center of an Air Force sex scandal are under constant surveillance, a witness testified Thursday in the trial of an instructor facing rape and sexual assault charges.”

VA. Constitution party: “The PPP poll showed a potential disaster for Mitt Romney in Virginia: Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, a former R Congressman in VA, getting 9% of the vote. With Virgil included, Obama leads 49-35-9 with 7% undecided.”

VT. Solid waste: “Last week the Chittenden Solid Waste District recalled all of its Green Mountain Compost products sold on the retail market. … Laboratory tests showed trace amounts of the herbicides Clopyralid and Picloram in the products. Some garden plants were damaged by the chemicals. The district is conducting tests to determine the original source of the contamination.” Openly, I hope.

WI. Revealing metaphors: “[Gov] Walker saw fields would normally be bright green this time of year instead dotted with splotches of tan, yellow and brown. He said the ground looked like a big golf course with massive sand traps. He later commented that it looked like the green, tan and brown camouflage uniform.” Just saying. … Corruption: “The head of Milwaukee County’s office for disadvantaged business development was jailed Thursday, suspended from her county job and locked out of her county office.” … Privatized voting: “[L]ike so many other rural counties that voted strongly D in recent elections, Crawford County went for Walker by +100 votes. This was a curiosity that sent me to the County Clerk’s office in Prairie Du Chein, and I learned the election materials had already been send back to the machine vendor, Command Central, before the time prescribed by state statutes.” Not sure on the statistical analysis.

ObamaCare. OH pundit Suddes: “[Y]ou can forget R campaign vows to repeal [ObamaCare]. You may think Obamacare is about “health.” It’s really about who picks up the check. It’s likely that more Rs than Ds are OH hospital trustees. But either way, hospital trustees tend to have money. And political connections. And pride in “their” hospital. Hospitals and allied health businesses are huge Ohio employers.”

Jobs. Qu’ils mangent de la brioche: “Near-suicidal despair. That is what many Americans have earned from this recession.” That’s not a bug. It’s a feature. (GW is quite right.) … Razor thin margin: “The jobless rate climbed a 10th of a percentage point last month in MI, PA, CO, IA, NH and VA, the Labor Department said in a report released Friday.” … Leading the witness: “Representative John Carney, D [!!] of DE, asked [Bernanke], ‘The Fed is doing everything it can to address the unemployment part of your mandate, is that correct?'” One big happy! … Payroll tax: “The emerging consensus in the Senate Democratic Conference is that the payroll tax holiday should not be extended for another year, even though the economy is slowing. Ds are worried about the impact on Social Security.” Taxes do not fund spending!

Outside baseball. Post-constitututional government: “‘On at least one occasion,’ the intelligence shop has approved [!!] Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to say, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found that ‘minimization procedures’ used by the government while it was collecting intelligence were ‘unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.’ Minimization refers to how long the government may retain the surveillance data it collects.” “Approved?” “Approved”?! How come Issa can use the Speech and Debate clause, and Wyden wusses out? … Hmmm: “Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is delaying Senate consideration of the United Nations treaty on people with disabilities amid growing opposition from home-schooling advocates.”

The trail. Aurora shooting: “Be a little careful with polls you see over the next few days. Tragic events can sometimes bolster support for the incumbent president because of a rally-around-the-flag effect, but the impact is usually short-lasting.” … Winning the political class, or not: “Romney’s campaign isn’t winning many plaudits from the country’s political class, according to the latest National Journal Political Insiders Poll. [Then again, said] another Republican, ‘You don’t get to be president by winning July.’” … Money: Handy interactive on ad spending in presidential battleground states. … Money: “The biggest spending is yet to come in a presidential race that could hit an eye-popping $3 billion.” … Oppo: “It strains credulity that the firestorm of recent anti-Bain articles was entirely sparked by the journalistic equivalent of spontaneous combustion.” … Campaign ads, good read: “Political ads are too multifaceted to be labeled simply as negative or positive — and to conclude that one type is superior to the other.” … Not rehabiliated. Via Bush spokeshole: “[Bush is] still enjoying his time off the political stage and respectfully declined the invitation to go to Tampa.” Also too, Jebbie.

Romney. Dog not barking: “Despite outraising the president for the past two months, Mr. Romney cannot spend much of that money until he officially becomes the GOP nominee at the party’s national convention in late August.” The dead woman or live boy needs to come from Rove, then. Why hasn’t it? … Tax returns: “Tax experts have devised a different theory of how Mr Romney’s IRA grew exponentially [wish mine had!], and it involves a complex valuation of the securities that it held.” It would be irreponsible not to speculate! … Tax returns: “Obama has turned debate on taxes into a personal responsibility issue for Romney.” … Bain flap: “[Romney] drove the complex negotiations over his own large severance package. Indeed, by remaining CEO and sole shareholder, Romney held on to his leverage.” Quelle horreure! So, that big executive decision Lord Richistan has been holding out on us is his own severage package? That is the “elephant in the room”? … Snark watch: “The president campaigned in FL in 2008 and said he would help to make things better. And they’re not better. And you can only run on ‘hope and change’ once.” Ouch!

Obama. Hopey Change 2.0: “Obama for America,” a voice-over rumbles. “This year, we don’t have the budget for nuance.” … Hopey change 2.0: “[OBAMA:] If you still believe in me, and you stand up with me, and make phone calls and knock on doors and get out there and organize with me, we’re going to finish what we started in 2008.” I don’t know about you, but “finish what we started” doesn’t make it for me.

* 49 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with a swell feed of bushels of dried corn husks and dead locusts on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. The ’49ers gold rush. How appropriate.

Antidote du jour. Did someone give that raccoon a mullet?

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  1. Ned Ludd

    Democrats in the Senate are blocking transparency into the targeted killing program. Democrats don’t think Congress should even get to read the legal rationale behind the program.

    Things got a little crazy when the Senate Judiciary Committee FISA Amendment Markup turned to targeted killing.

    [Republican Senator] John Cornyn used the opportunity of this must-pass intelligence bill to propose an amendment to require the Administration to share its [legal] authorization for targeting killing. Cornyn rather modestly said that “I think all of troubled w/o further explanation” for the authority. [All quotes in this post are my inexact transcription] Chuck Grassley went further, saying something to the effect of “We [the Administration] has got a license to kill, and we don’t know about that license and we won’t get it until we legislate it.”

    But Democrats prevented Cornyn and Grassley from attaching legislation mandating the Administration share the authorization with Congress. […]

    This is a problem. Not only is it taking legislation to even get the Senate Intelligence Committee adequately briefed on this topic, but Democrats are using partisan obstruction to prevent the Judiciary Committee from learning enough to assess for themselves whether the targeted killing of a US citizen violates the Constitution.

    Democrats – the more effective evil.

    1. CaitlinO

      You’ve gotta love the understated condemnation in this quote from the judge in the Blavatnik case:

      “‘Industry practice’ in worldwide banking is not always necessarily synonymous with acceptable or sometimes even lawful banking practice,”

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NL, whatever happened to the Constitutional requirement that there be civilian oversight of the armed forces, and that only Congress can declare war? Is “targeted killing” by “Executive” fiat not war at its most essential?

      How can co-conspirators in all three branches be impeached? We live in a “Pathocracy,” Q.E.D.

      1. Ned Ludd

        …all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


        In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          NL, “Better to bear the ills we have/Than fly to those we know not of”???

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      FB, don’ This is another step toward patdowns everywhere, and martial law in all “places of assembly” from OWS, to movie theatres, to …

      1. Eureka Springs

        And all around the internetz liberals cheer. Stupid lemmings.

        When I join the NRA it will be because of (neo)liberal followers in denial of their own Shock Doctrine and mass pettiness. With each passing month that time consistently seems inevitable.

        And to think I would much rather have been a borderline pacifist.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          ES, did you catch the plethora of “need for gun control in U.S.” blogs?

          1. skippy

            I can sing it for you… This was a triumph. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction. Aperture Science We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us. Except the ones who are dead. But there’s no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake. And the Science gets done. And you make a neat gun. For the people who are still alive.

            skippy… weapons create fear… so… the solution is to get your own fear projector… diluting the mental state one feels…. from looking down the barrel of the other[s.

            PS. my wife uses ‘blood and bone’ boots et al, not all weapons are ballistic – kinetic thingy, fashion weaponized[???]… so many threats one must confront… don’t negotiate with terrorists of any stripe…. snicker…

          2. skippy

            Cough… ‘rag and bone’ boots


            What are the kids doing today?



            skippy… in case you missed it…

            3.1 Phillip Lim | Spring Summer 2012 Full Fashion Show | High Definition (Exclusive)


            PS. remember… one must be garish… even in the face of economic ruin… style points are important!

    2. Mel

      The tactical situation isn’t symmetrical. The defenders are required to hit one and only one person. The invader is required to hit anybody except one and only one person. Which is easier?

      When Gabrielle Giffords was shot, an armed citizen who arrived on the scene stated later that he was only a second-thought away from shooting the defender who disarmed the original gunman.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        A “second thought away” is the difference between a hero and a failure.

        So at a shootout a guy turns up with a gun but can’t make himself use it and then, after the smoke clears and people are dead and injured, castigates himself for not being bolder. That’s a coward. Guys who carry guns are cowards, every one of them. When real men carry guns, they treat them as tools and use them. Concealed carry are security blankets and worth as much.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      More guns would not have helped. The guy was wearing body armor in a dark crowded theater.

      The police responded in under a minute. The police station was only a block away.

      1. Mark P.

        A dark, crowded theater with action and loud noises — possibly including the sound of shots at that moment — coming from the movie being shown. Apparently, too, some people even initially thought the gunman was a promotional gimmick. Imagine a number of righteous gunman blasting away in “self-defense” in these circumstances!

  2. J Sterling

    On destroying Irish housing stock:
    “If nobody wants to live in them, then the most practical thing to do possibly will be to demolish what is there.”

    I suspect “they don’t want the houses” is a bit like “they don’t want the jobs,” and what’s going on is that the rent seekers are asking too high a price for the property. So they’re calling for shrinking the stock to raise the demand for the remaining properties. Capitalism destroying capital.

    (technically not capital, as not a means of production, but you know what I mean: propertism destroying property, to screw a higher profit from tenants competing for the remaining property)

    How many years before they start talking up a need for more houses again?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JS, just look at New Orleans after Katrina/Flood to see Friedman’s Shock Doctrine in action, from “education” to “real estate”–the model for the privatization of everything, in order to effect Absolute Dynastic Despotism of the 1% in the Homeland.

      1. sd

        Have you actually seen the blight of these empty developments? If the exterior of a building is not finished, once left to the elements, in most cases, it’s much more trouble and much more expensive to try and complete a building.

        Reykjavik, Iceland is still loaded with 1/2 built “viking” houses, too many with foundations with nothing but rusted rebar sticking out of crumbling cement slabs just waiting to impale some young child. A half finished office tower near one of the major shopping centers was just ordered finished or demolished.

        It’s about time states take action.

        There were over 10,000 uninhabitable houses in New Orleans after Katrina with caved in roofs, collapsed floors, leaning walls, etc. On the fifth anniversary, Mayor Landrieu said enough, if buildings are not in some state of repair or renovation, they need to be torn down.

  3. Ned Ludd

    The bank bailout would have been much more popular if it required bank executives to dress up like goats. They could have wandered the mountains of northern Utah until their contracts ran out.

    As a bonus, it sounds like wildlife research is for risk-takers, so they should have a great time!

    “People do some pretty out there things in the name of enjoying wildlife. But I’ve never had a report like this,” Douglass said. “There’s a saying we have among biologists — You don’t go far enough, you don’t get the data. You go too far, you don’t go home.”

  4. David Petraitis

    It has been my contention that the Congress, which made the discharge of student loans difficult in bankruptcy, did this to promote sub-prime loan origination which could then be securitized. The securities, backed by a federal law which makes default costly to the student, are then resold as high grade investments. The CFPB and Dept of Education published a study this week which makes similar contention:

    A cute quote from the press release:
    “Subprime-style lending went to college and now students are paying the price,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

    This is merely one more example of the financialization of a public good – in this case higher education.

  5. New Trailerpark Order

    These home skoolers really live up to their dumbshit trailer trash reputation. “the first time ever that the U.S. has ratified a treaty that obligates us to recognize economic, social and cultural entitlements as rights under domestic law.” ! Hey there, lil Jehosafat, for extra credit at homeskool, ask Uncle Dad about OAS Charter Chapter VII when he comes in to finger you goodnight.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NPO, this is part of the “privatization” of education, backed by “government.”

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        For example, for Roman Catholic governor of LA, Bobby Jindal, the “privatizing” of education means public money to “parochial” schools–Roman Catholic instructional institutions in LA. But other “Private Religious” instruction, including “home schooling,” surely awaits public largesse. Meanwhile, this “Republican” State enjoys devouring all the public money it can get.

        1. Milford

          Before anything else, excuse me with taking this particular thread off course, but my daughter’s computer is really loaded with pc virus, along with I am really leary allowing merely anyone into our family matters.I recently relocated to the neighborhood and was considering a several computer firms, searching for ones with really awesome endorsements.I was looking and came across this one provider. Could you tell me if you ever before have worked this company? The info is here A Plus Computer Support 2300 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. #101 West Palm Beach, FL, 33409 (561) 283-4034. Good watching out!

      2. Klassy!

        My personal bugaboos:
        The word “privatization”. We must come up with a new term– “lootification” perhaps?
        “insurgents”– I guess we know the problem with this word as used currently.

          1. enouf

            IMHO, (Realistically) there is *no* separation of Private and Public (anymore) — the Private (Corps) *own* the Public (Gov’t).

            I’d even go so far to say; The larger a “Corp” is, (private) – the more Power (and monopoly of the “market”) it is *granted* via the “State” (Gov’t/Public), which also just happens to have the ultimate Monopoly on Aggression – which it, in most times, unlawfully uses against the only true Sovereigns (WeThePeople: the ones that gave the State its Privileges!) – and together, *they* (Corps/Gov’t) have melded together into one humongous oppressive Beast — Initiating Force (or coercing us through the threat of violence) upon each of us, the Individual Sovereigns of the Land.

            We each/all need to understand the differences between a Right and a Privilege; Privileges can be taken away, whereas Rights cannot be infringed upon – I think if we can first define each ..and then draw clear distinct demarkations between the two (and come to agreement of the distinctions), from there, all other discourse can follow.


    2. Dave of Maryland

      I was public schooled. My daughter is home schooled, at the insistence of my wife, who was Ph.D. level. I was not far from it.

      I’ll take home-schooled idiots over public school cretins any day. Home schooled kids are notably more polite and better behaved than their schooled counterparts. I feel sorry for kids who spend their childhoods in those diseased, violence-ridden prisons.

      Home Schooling! It’s not just for the religious! And Thank God for that.

      There are networks of home schoolers in every town and county in the country. The majority of home school families have at least one at home parent.

      If the stay-at-home mommies were to study essential herbalism, their networking would quickly enable them to learn the ropes. A surprising number of herbs can be grown in containers. (I have half a dozen at the moment.) Five years down the road, the result would be a network of local herbal healers. Better medicine at a tiny fraction of current medical cost.

      There are two essential books, both available on Amazon:

      Culpeper’s Complete Herbal and English Physician, and,

      The Smith’s Family Physician. Both in public domain.

      Culpeper is also available as a free pdf download. (Smith ought to be.) I downloaded and printed it earlier this week. Take the assembled pages to Kinkos, they will bind it for cheap. You will use it forever.

      The health of your family – medicine itself – is in your hands. You can heal. You can cure. Home schoolers! You have already dropped out of the education charade. You can easily drop out of the medical farce.

      1. sd

        Just make sure that any college of your choice will accept home schooling for financial aid applications.

        State Universities often have certain restrictions on scholarships – limiting who can apply for larger ones.

      2. Procopius

        Anybody who thinks the decision to shoot somebody is easy has never served in the military or police forces. One reason cops generally don’t like having most of the citizens armed is that in greatly increases the probability that “innocent bystanders” get shot. I read the interview Dave Weigel had with the “gun safety trainer” and he was full of shit. His description of what an armed person should have done was straight out of a video game and ignored the actual conditions in the theater. The statement that “guys who carry guns are all cowards, every one of them” is offensive. I don’t believe that all soldiers or cops are heroes, but most of them are ordinary people overcoming their well-justified fear to do their duty as best they can.

  6. Ned Ludd

    Salon’s new CEO, Cindy Jeffers, is from The Huffington Post. It sounds like they plan to follow in The Huffington Post’s footsteps.

    Cindy is a proven master of online news strategy. Teaming with our editor in chief Kerry Lauerman — who has led Salon to consistent traffic growth since taking over in December 2010 – Salon will become more dynamic, ubiquitous and profitable. […]

    In addition to Cindy, another Huffington Post alum has joined us as the new vice president of sales. Matthew Sussberg, who comes to Salon directly from Wenner Media, is now leading Salon’s growing advertising department. The evolution of the news industry is deeply intertwined with the evolution of advertising and marketing – and nobody better understands how to achieve mutually beneficial results in both of these realms than Matthew. […]

    Welcome to a new era of Salon.

    Glenn Greenwald announced last week that he’s leaving Salon. He had initially talked last summer with The Guardian about joining them, but then resumed talks “a month or so ago” – right about the time that Salon hired their new CEO from The Huffington Post. I think Glenn realized that his articles would not be much of a fit for this “new era of Salon”. From Greenwald: “The Guardian offers the opportunity to reach a new audience, to further internationalize my readership, and to be re-invigorated by a different environment.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NL, the first to invent “AdZap” for YouTube and other Internet videos will be the next million/billionaire.

      1. Rex

        Does that have anything at all to do with Cindy Jeffers or Glenn Greenwald? Is this your playground? Must your every brain-fart flow through your fingers to grace us here?

        Your incessant blathering is getting tiresome.

        In the past, others who I thought had more consistently interesting contributions got throttled and disappeared.

        You sometimes add insightful comments, but geez, can’t you hold it until you really have something to add. I visualize your arm waving in the air, “Ooh, ooh, ooh, me, me!” You must have like 20-30% of the comment’s surface area. You’ve done enough! Have you no sense of restraint, sir, at long last? Have you NO sense of restraint?

        And I never even said this to Beard, because he stays focused on his clear (well to him, anyway) agenda.

        1. Rex

          For clarity,I should have started with a personal greeting.

          That was spewn at LeoneverBehealdRestraint.

  7. fresno dan

    What is wrong with people? Ed Harrison

    Is anyone going to do anything about it?

    The field hockey with the live rabbit or LIEbor?
    Actually, there is no distinction because both are eviel and neither will stop. Sure, that PARTICULAR scam will stop, but not general banking scams…we’ll just drive away…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The say Polo originated in Afghanistan, with severed head as the “ball.” The Great Game continues.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Isn’t the purpose of such vicious games to increase brutality and blood lust within the populations of the world?

  8. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Re “HUFFPO” NC Link today: two responses:

    Boycott Huffpo

    Investigate Assad family in New Orleans/Kenner

  9. neo-realist

    Re: Master Teacher Corps.

    What the White House and Congress could also consider doing is offering vastly reduced or free college tuition for people who graduate with math and science degrees and commit to teaching math and science for say 5 to 10 years in the most hard core inner city communities.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I rather they spend the money on recycling.

      Call it ‘Master Recyclers Corps.’

  10. craazyman

    Money would make me write better. If any filthy rich bored reader finds my comments in the peanut gallery of this blog to be stupid, trite and not worth the time to read, I promise I can make them much much better, if I can get money. For $10,000 I can make them pretty good. For $20,000 they’d be fantastic. For $30,000, I’ll make them magnificent, and attribute them to you. I will even sign your name! Your privacy is guaranteed. – Send yer money now to J. Cash, Reputational Literary Partners LLC, PO Box 7, Grenich, Conetticut

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are only serious writers writers?

      Are funny writers writers too? They say funny writers are funnier when they are irritated, not when they are wealthier.

  11. Max424

    Do you know what’s far more disturbing to me than young teens playing hockey with an innocent little bunny rabbit? The fact that the President of the United States can assassinate US citizens, not only with impunity, but with the hardy endorsement of all the major Beltway players, and practically nobody gives a shit.

    I ask the Average Joe all the time (ALL THE TIME), So, what do think about President Obama assuming the Kingly right to assassinate his subjects?

    And every time (EVERY TIME), I get the same type response, Get out of here with that, or, what planet did you descend from, or, where did you hear that, moonbeam?

    Where did moonbeam hear that? Moonbeam reads the informative fucking papers! Where else would moonbeam hear it?

    Read the fucking papers. It should be the daily headline in every paper throughout the land, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES ASSASSINATING US CITIZENS. But it isn’t.

    This country, this DEMOCRACY, is a joke.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      The progressives are mostly at fault.

      They pretended they were the main fighters against unjust war, torture, and war crimes, etc. So everyone is looking to them to raise a stink and stand up.

      But they’re sitting on their hands and playing stupid. So everyone else is also ignoring it.

      Some prime perps responsible for this state of affairs:

      Juan Cole
      Chris Hedges
      Angry Arab
      Josh Landis
      The Progressive Caucus

      I’m sure I’m missing many more from my list but these people are prime perps responsible for the fascist state of affairs.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Democracy Now
        The Nation

        per anonymous at Penny for Your Thoughts. And I think I mostly agree!


        Huffington Post

      2. Roland

        I don’t know why you threw “Angry Arab” (As’ad Abu-Khalil) on that list.

        Juan Cole is badly compromised, as shown by his disgusting apologetics for the Libyan War, but Angry Arab has never done any apologetics for wars, except for those waged by the Palestinians against Israel.

        As for Landis (, his blog was for a long time a rare and useful English-language resource for those interested in Syrian or Lebanese politics, until the civil war broke out in Syria. Since then, Landis’ desire to remain “relevant” among the foreign policy community in the USA has affected his selection of material for the blog. It’s still better than MSM, though.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Like Democracy Now and it took me a while to figure out why some of these people are perps.

          But Angry Arab most definitely belongs on the list. Same with Josh Landis. Both are lying about Syria, for instance.

  12. Ned Ludd

    The most revealing anecdotes are always buried in the middle of stories.

    Legislation by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, to end a tax deduction for the expense of moving business overseas fell to a Republican filibuster in the Senate this week.

    It would be easy to break the filibuster (and, as an aside, filibusters can be done away with altogether with a majority vote). Obama and the Democrats could relentlessly attack the Republicans for protecting tax breaks given to corporations that move jobs out of the U.S. The longer the filibuster went on, the more the Republicans’ poll numbers would circle the drain. They could do this all the way until November and destroy the Republican Party in a wipe-out.

    1. neo-realist

      Too many of the good people go a little sooner than they should.

      It should be pointed out that Cockburn also wrote for the Village Voice–He provided very insightful alternative perspectives on Foreign Affairs that you wouldn’t get from the NYT or the Big Three networks.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Cap’n, Cockburn went the way of Aaron Russo: “A time to live and a time to die.”

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  13. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NASDAQ reimburses Facebook IPO losers? More public to private transfers, thanks to Obama Unitary Executive Administration? Insiders MUST never take a loss!

    Link at Jesse’s Cafe Americain: Matieres a Reflection

  14. kevinearick

    It’s pretty simple.

    If Statey does something you don’t like, remove the tax base pump.

    When Statey behaves better, turn the pump back on.


    You care about direction, inductance and capacitance, and propulsion, voltage, current, and resistance, when you re-prime.

  15. JTFaraday

    re: Occupy. Movie review: …”more like dignified human beings for the first time in our lives.”

    “the media is already discussing latent Occupy themes in The Dark Knight Rises… It demonstrates… the tendency of the mainstream media to avoid talking about real social issues by talking about fictional portrayals of real social issues as if they were real social issues.”

    Too true.

    I also hadn’t realized what a big cultural phenomenon this whole “Dark Knight” thing is. The first time it really hit my consciousness was a few weeks ago when my– seven year old– nephew asked me what my favorite “kid movie” was. I tell him “Finding Nemo” and he tells me “the Dark Knight.” Well, here we are.

    This article references a brouhaha at Rotten Tomatoes over rating the latest Dark Knight addition:

    “For millions, “The Dark Knight Rises” is just a movie (and, to this critic, a very good one). For a vocal contingent on the fringes, it’s much more — a film that has to be perfect for the world to make any sense at all.

    Earlier in the week, the popular movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes suspended user comments for “The Dark Knight Rises” because fans were directing multiple death threats and rape threats at critics who had dared to give the film less than a perfect grade. Reviewers like the Associated Press’s Christy Lemire and movie blogger Marshall Fine were promised physical extinction for daring to not like a movie that those posting the threats hadn’t even seen.”

    The Boston Globe columnist says, “don’t blame the movie.”

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Don’t. Believe. The. Hype.

      I mean this could be true, that death threats were issued, or that it is unusual for this forum, but it sure fits into the agenda of this broader Dark Night Psy Op.

      There are just too many of these cute little stories for me to believe this is true. And all these stories and planted rumors have come out so quickly! Like over the course of 36 hours or so! Sounds to me like they might be on a marketing schedule of some sort . . . and they won’t show us the numbers of how many tickets they’re showing . . . hmmm . . . out of respect. Yeah, okay.

      probably because they’re going to make beaucoup bucks.

      Look at their demographic. Under 40 year old males that will WANT to go to the movie now precisely because of all this hubbub. I bet it sets records. But call me a contrarian.

      Also, a friend who started reading these comics three decades ago told me a little about the mythology/ideology. Batman is more the “people’s” crime fighter, so TBTB send Superman in occasionally to keep him in line. But Batman is still basically pushing a right-wing vision.

      And of course the bad guys bring chaos and let people out of prison and arm them. Notice how this conditions the viewer to accept the premise that letting people out of jail is crazy. The solution is always MORE prison and police. More super heroes.

      Now arming prisoners is different. But the people who freed the 8 (!) prisoners from the Bastille were heroes.

      I’m curious to see the movie for “research” sake.

  16. Herman Sniffles

    Re Utah Goat Man

    I’ve heard that Mormons have trouble getting laid, but that’s just ridiculous.

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  17. Kim Kaufman

    “Hopey change 2.0: “[OBAMA:] If you still believe in me, and you stand up with me, and make phone calls and knock on doors and get out there and organize with me, we’re going to finish what we started in 2008.” I don’t know about you, but “finish what we started” doesn’t make it for me.

    “If you still believe in me…” is he trying to ignore his record and run as Peter Pan?

  18. affinis

    Regarding the link to “How Walker Stole The Recall Election” (under D49-WI)…. Though various touchscreen voting machines are potentially susceptible to hacking/malicious coding, I’m leery of these WI fraud claims. I’m a WI (Madison) resident. The results of the Walker vs Barrett recall election were very concordant with a slew of pre-election polls. Moreover, I canvassed for the Dems in the recalls, and I deliberately canvassed in rural and northern areas given the relative lack of Dem volunteer coverage there. The results of the recall elections seemed concordant with what I was seeing on the ground. And I’ll also comment that in many of the rural areas I traveled through, there were a grossly disproportionate percentage of Walker signs relative to Barrett signs. I tend to see the “Walker must have stolen the election” claim as a form of denial.
    The author of the article cites the results in Ferryville as an extreme aberration, given the contrast between the 2008 Obama vs McCain votes and the 2012 gubernatorial recall results, but Obama won in a Democratic wave election (and turnout is highest in Presidential elections, which somewhat favors Dems in WI). Moreover, statewide exit polling found a lot of people voting for Walker in the recall and planning to vote for Obama in the Presidential.
    Ferryville WI (143 registered voeters) vote totals
    2008 Presidential: Obama 82, McCain 35
    2010 Attorney General: Hassett (D) 43, Van Hollen (R) 42
    2010 Governor: Barrett (D) 45, Walker (R) 39
    2011 State Supreme Court: Kloppenburg 24, Prosser 25
    2012 Governor (recall): Barrett (D) 32, Walker (R) 54
    I don’t see an extreme aberration here.

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