Links 7/9/12

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Dogs may protect babies from some infections: study AFP

Amazon ‘robo-pricing’ sparks fears Financial Times. Amazon could easily throw sand in the gears if it wanted to, say by limiting how frequently vendors could reprice their goods.

Still infected, 300,000 PCs to lose Internet access July 9 ars technica. Hope no NC readers among the casualties!

Shark Fin, Premium Booze Off The Menu For Cadres In Chinese City Bloomberg

Price Data Suggest Specter of Deflation in China New York Times

Japan’s Nuke Report Undercuts Itself With Cultural Copout Bloomberg

Egypt parliament ordered to return Guardian

European austerity returns MacroBusiness

Greece to sell four Airbus jets for $40 million Reuters

Tighter Control for Euro Banks Wall Street Journal. This may sound more positive than Munchau suggests in our post today but drawing up a plan and actually getting it ratified are two different matters.


Brussels to act over Libor scandal Financial Times

Wall Street’s link to Libor Robert Reich, Guardian

Lie-More As A Business Model Simon Johnson

Deutsche traders suspended in Libor inquiry Independent

Harlem Couple Branded ‘Professional Agitators’ in NYPD ‘Wanted’ Poster DNAInfo (martha r)

Mitt’s Gray Areas Paul Krugman

Sunday Late Night: Can he DO that? Teddy Partridge, Firedoglake

Employment Report Not Helpful Tim Duy

For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last Washington Post (Joe Costello)

Year to date fixed income asset class performance vs. volatility Sober Look

Oakland City Council Demands Debt-Swap Renegotiation With Goldman Sachs Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Lambert is dutifully working from Thailand, so I hope you are VERY appreciative!

D – 61 and counting*
We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.— Lord Palmerston

Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: “GREGORY: where are the jobs? PELOSI: they went away under George W. Bush GREGORY: when are they coming back? PELOSI: ask all the job creators with their big tax cuts.”

Occupy. Egypt: “Egypt’s Revolutionary Youth Coalition, which drew thousands to Cairo’s Tahrir Square last year until former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, officially announced its dissolution Saturday.” #NATGAT: Transcript of Chris Hedges speech (KL).

Montreal. Summer schedule: “As activists in Ontario prepare to bring Quebec’s struggle to their campuses this fall, they’ll get a chance to meet some of the architects [CLASSE] of the student strike, and build solidarity between movements in Ontario and Quebec, thanks to the Quebec-Ontario Student Solidarity Tour.” … Silent majority: “Bill 78 being still in effect, and forbidding all protests or picket lines preventing the return for the catch up session from going smoothly, the Quebec government can only hope that the student movement sets up impenetrable pickets in front of the college entrances, which will revive the climate of confrontation and disorder[, so] Jean Charest’s liberals can hope to win a fourth mandate on the theme of law and order.” … Zeitgest: “UQAM is holding the first-ever International Symposium on Zombies.” … Water, St Lawrence Seaway monitor: “Levels are critically low.”

FL. Demographics: “Century Village — the largest condo development in Broward County — is now 60 percent Democratic, down from 77 percent in 2002.”… Economy: “Floridians are earning less and taking more low-wage jobs than they were a year ago… FL trails only MN, NV and CT in wage decline.” … Die off: Tuberculosis uncontained in FL; 13 dead, 99 ill, as worst TB outbreak in 20 years kept secret. State rushes closure of its only TB hospital in Lantana.” 

IA. “[BRANSTAD:] Hard working IA taxpayers are accustomed to paying a significant amount for their health costs whether they’re working for a private sector business or a non-profit or, of course, if they’re self-employed they’re paying 100 percent. And for far too long the tax dollars of these hard working Iowans have gone to pay the entire cost for most of our state employees’ health care.” All must suffer!

KY. Water: “The water coming off the mine site is a dark, rusty orange color. It looks a little better at the drainage end, but the pond leaks, and it sometimes overflows. When it does, Raccoon Creek runs orange, sometimes for days.” … Water: “As a result of continuing high temperatures and limited rainfall, the Energy and Environment Cabinet Friday announced a water shortage watch for 27 counties in KY. A watch means the extreme weather has the ‘potential to threaten the normal availability of drinking water supply sources.'” 

LA. Katrina aftermath: “Cathryn asked for a couple of recipes that she had before she lost all hers to flooding in 2005. I think I found both of them.”

OH. Corruption: “The chairman of the Franklin County D Party has resigned amid investigations by county officials and the OH secretary of state’s office into payments made to a campaign fundraiser.”

NY. Fracking: “[Rs] argue that [fracking] will bring jobs. However, the counter-argument to that is that any jobs created would be temporary. The companies would come in, drill, extract their natural gas, than move on. The towns that are in favor of this though, said any economic impact, even a minimal one, would be welcome.” So, desperate localities are a win-win! Explains why no multitrillion bailouts for them, I guess…. Corruption: “Jordan-Elbridge School District’s tab for trying to remove two administrators hits $1.19 million, will grow” (Bob). Administrators, it seems, have functional tenure. … Debt: “[The city of Niagara Falls has] a new plan to draw college graduates by paying their student loans.”

PA. Fracking: “Credit people such as Vera Scroggins, an amateur videographer who lugs equipment over hill and dale, into town and country, recording municipal meetings, interviews with residents, and fracking spills that were beyond the wherewithal of the sparse professional reporting staff in rural northern PA, where the fledgling shale gas industry took root in 2009.” There are many Veras…. Fracking: “Activists from Marcellus Earth First! have erected a slash pile blockade and two tree sits blocking an access road to an EQT hydro-fracking site in Moshannon State Forest in Clearfield Co., Pa., halting drilling operations set to begin this week.” … Downward spiral: “In defiance of an injunction issued in Lackawanna County Court, hundreds of city employees will open their checks today to find they were paid only minimum wage for their work.”

TN. Excellent backgrounder on Highlander Folk School in Grundy County and the Civil Rights movement. 

TX. Legalization: “Texas Ds have joined … an ever-growing list of state political parties — who endorse decriminalization of pot.”

VA. Corruption: “But the perks that come with membership on the prestigious [UVA Board of Visitors] panel can make it seem more like a corporate board than volunteer duty.” … Corruption: “The current members of the board have given many millions of dollars to the university, and board members are in a unique position to align their gifts with the university’s needs.” Vice versa, surely?

WI. Privatization: “I Feel Like They’re Trying to Kill Me!” Citizen reaction to non-emergency medical care provider Logisticare. Much linky goodness. Check out the “call script” — this is “the market state” in action. … Privatization: “State agencies spent $363.8 million on private contractors — an increase of 26 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.” … Legacy parties: “I have heard too many leaders naysay contributions that are not directly related to elections. But we should embrace those who contribute to the push for progressive policies in other ways as partners and allies.”

HCR. Tax: “No amount of prodding, it seems, will get the White House to concede that the individual mandate tied to the health-care overhaul is, at bottom, a tax.” It’s only Constitutional under Congress’s taxing power. Alrighty then. …. “[DICK DURBIN:] Let’s get down to the bottom line here: Mitt Romney is the ObamaCare daddy.” Translation: Vote for Obama! He made Mitt Romney’s failed state plan a Federal law!

Jobs. In touch, like, totally: “Obama barely mentioned the latest jobs report in his first appearance after it was released. ‘It’ s still tough out there,’ he said.” “Out there.” Snark watch: “If there is anything we can be sure will remain weaker than the US labour market between now and November it is Mr Romney’s electoral skills.” … Righteous rant watch, Pierce: “The economy added 80,000 new jobs last month. That’s roughly 32,000 fewer people than will see Tennessee play Troy in Knoxville on the Saturday before election day this autumn. That is not a recovery. That is not even the hint of a gleam of a promise of a wish for a recovery. That is not even standing in one place. That is a constant, barely perceptible, but grinding backsliding of expectations and hopes and dreams and wishes that grow fainter by the day. The country is standing still, up to its knees is mud, and everything is receding. We are the United States of Tantalus, and the joke is not funny anymore.” So why vote for the comedians telling it? … Matthew Dowd: “I am beginning to get the feeling that voters are shrugging their shoulders about politicians, no longer believing that they can fix the economic problems.” Nice work, Grover.

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. Righteous rant watch, Riverdaughter: “WE have to take a haircut.  That is what the so-called Grand Bargain is all about, ladies and gentlemen.”

Outside Baseball. Word origins: “I believe the first use of ‘the bubble’ takes place on page 172 [of What It Takes], in reference to [Gary] Hart.” … Media critique: “The [ObamaCare] opinion will not appear on the website for a half-hour.  So everyone in the country not personally at 1 First St., NE in Washington, DC is completely dependent on the press to get the decision right.” And see at “arbitrage”…. Disenfranchisement, AP study: “The numbers suggest that the legitimate votes rejected by the laws are far more numerous than are the cases of fraud that advocates of the rules say [claim] they are trying to prevent. Thousands more votes could be in jeopardy for this November, when more states with larger populations are looking to have similar rules in place.” Classic Classic ratchet effect: Rs restrict the franchise, D’s do nothing to prevent, proceed make gestures of amelioration (and use the “issue” as a fundraising hook)…. Academic integrity: Fracking studies roundup. … Continuity of government: “And yet [succession] is something we take for granted today. Elections are fought fiercely, but they end. The results are rarely disputed, and basically never with violence. ” Hmm. If you have to mention it…

The trail. Obama protection detail in pictures…  Swing states: “In a swing state, you’re part of the presidential campaign,” says political scientist Darrell West, author of Air Wars. “Everywhere else, you’re outside.” …. Swing counties: “When President Barack Obama won CO four years ago, 30 percent of all votes cast in the state came from Arapahoe, Jefferson and Larimer counties (Obama won all three). And those counties boast one-third — 213,610 people — of all registered unaffiliated voters in Colorado.”

Socialist Workers Party. “[T]he Socialist Workers Party regained qualified party status in FL. ….  The ticket expects to appear on the ballot in CO, FL, IA, LA, MN, NJ, and WA. That would be the fewest number of states that the Socialist Workers Party has been on the ballot for President since 1956.”

Robama vs. Obomney watch. 1%-ers behaving badly: “A New York City [Romney donor] a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote [for now] — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact. We’ve got the message.” First, how did Romney’s advance team let a reporter get near a funder? Second, and of course, Obama is hurting them — wounding them, some mortally; see Pierce above. Which doesn’t imply that Romney will help.

Romney. Veepstakes: “T-Paw could help with the ‘Mitt is not a robot’ campaign since, by winger standards, he’s seems to be a fairly nice guy.” … Boehner: “This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies.” Or not…

Obama. Swing counties: “‘It is much more detailed and systematic than last time, and each turf is much smaller,’ says Jill Wildenberg, a veteran volunteer from 2008 who has returned for the 2012 election.” Visionary minimalism: Win on a few swing counties in a few swing states. …. Populism bad: “Mr. Obama and his allies are testing the proposition that they can avoid tripping over the line into a full-tilt [purely rhetorical] attack on the wealthy and still make an aggressive case that Mr. Romney’s success came at the expense of American workers and that the Republican Party is doing the bidding of its wealthy benefactors.” … Tickets required: “[A]t the four events in OH, the crowds were small, enthusiastic and loyal, with a ticket required for entrance.” … Advance team #FAIL: “The man who introduced Barack Obama in Poland [OH] on Friday was found by a judge to have violated “trade secrets” from a previous employer and owes $515,218 to that company.” … Advance team win: “[Romney supporter Richard Brysac of Parma [(77) attempted to hush] protester Al Neal of Canton, who attended with a handful of members of a group called Fight for Fair Economy Ohio, by emptying a bottle of water into the 25-year-old union worker’s mouth.” FWIW, Neal’s group is an SIEU-funded D front co-opting Occupy 99% trade dress. 

* 61 days ’til the Democratic National Convention ends with assorted regional specialties on the floor of the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC. Yankees great Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961.

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Dave of Maryland

    The TB crisis is only a crisis for the system of medicine employed. Other systems will give other results. There are in fact many other systems, almost all of them superior, not to mention cheaper. I should be huffy and say we have to save people’s lives, but in fact no one in America cares about human life.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Why? All other systems of medicine are either illegal, or severely frowned upon. But here are some references:

        Nicholas Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, as well as his English Physitian [sic].

        Joseph Blabgrave’s Astrological Practice of Physick.

        Richard Saunders’s The Astrological Judgement and Practice of Physick. Particularly well-thought of by Ben Franklin, who in fact named his Almanac after him, but looking at my copy, it needs translation from medieval gibberish.

        The Smith’s Family Physician. Simply superb.

        Brother Aloysius, The Healer’s Herbal. He gives a dozen different formulas and proceeds all of them with this:

        The best remedies for tuberculosis are hardening the body through cold water and walking in the fresh air. No consumptive will recover unless he hardens himself, stays in the fresh air and takes exercise. Aloysius was a Dutch monk, he wrote in the 1890’s, when these sorts of ailments were common. He was a student of Monseigneur Kneipp, who was an advocate of rapid, cold baths, a system still in use today.

        The school of Eclectic Medicine, of Philadelphia, defunct for nearly a century, would have great ideas in their archives.

        Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is known in America as acupuncture and Chinese herbalism. This was a system promoted by Chairman Mao, it was deliberately stripped of anything fancy. The better practitioners are slowly restoring much.

        Ayurvedic is the traditional form of Indian medicine and is highly effective, if very little known outside of India.

        And while I’m here, your astrological chart, combined with the chart for the time of the malady, is a 100% complete and accurate diagnostic tool. This has been known for 20 centuries. Without it, even the best doctors merely guess as to what the symptoms mean. With these two charts, diagnosis is instantaneous, complete and accurate. I had heard these claims before, from H.L. Cornell and Luke Broughton and Culpeper and Blagrave and others but until my wife came down with a severe and baffling eye infection a year ago, I did not realize how powerful astrological medicine really was.

        My wife did not have an eye problem. She had a liver problem that manifested in her left eye – precisely as the initial charts said, if I had only known to READ THEM. Clean up the liver, the eye would respond, and did. After 15 months, Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore (18 miles down the road) has still not made a diagnosis. Merely a best guess. (Which, by the way, is wrong.) They have been trying to make a general rule, but cannot, as the circumstances, as clearly shown in the charts themselves, are completely unique. Imagine a system of medicine so strong that it can instantly diagnose completely unique cases, and not even strain to do so!

        In America we are beset by medical quacks. Will we die of misplaced pride?

        TB is one of two medical killers. The others are STDs / VDs. STDs are in fact rampant among sexually active people. My own personal experience, from 30 years ago, was that 1 in 4 sexually active people were diseased. I doubt that figure has changed much.

        1. Dave of Maryland

          And you’re wondering why, if these methods are so good, that no one uses them? That’s a complex question, but there are two main threads in the answer:

          One, you’ve been suckered with money. Common, cheap herbs, skillfully used, will cure almost anything, but they’re cheap and full of dirt. Wouldn’t you much rather have these purified essences? They’re concentrated! They will work so much better! And the price! Well! You will not let price stand in the way of your health! That would be foolish! Regrettably, extracts come with more than just a high price. They are out-of-context and can harm. And drug serums are a long way from simple essences.

          The second part is the difference between city and country doctors. City doctors have books and schools and the law, but city people, in general, largely do not know how the natural world works, because it is alien to them. City doctors are faddish and although there are exceptions, poor at medicine. Always have been, always will be.

          Country doctors, who live in the country and know a few things about plants and animals, are skilled in country ways. In America, if you want a good doctor, find an Amish one.

          There is still a third part, which is what the French got from the Italian Renaissance, by comparison to what the Germans got. (Read the Wiki pages closely.) And what happened to both during the 30 Years War, when Germany was devastated and France untouched. The Enlightenment (so called) was a French reaction to German devastation. It was also a city-led repudiation of country life and country ways. I am summarizing much.

          The current medical mess has many ancient roots.

          1. Dan B

            Thanks so much, Dave. I ask because the current systems of medicine, public health and nursing and the higher level institutions that support them are unsustainable. I’m writing a series of article on the possibilities for health systems as the dominant political/economy slowly declines -or collapses. Visit “Health after Oil” if you’re interested.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I was just wondering about the Amish the other day.

            Do they believe in debt? Are there a lot of underwater farm owners in Lancaster county?

          3. Dave of Maryland

            The current system is indeed unsustainable, and every permutation built on it will fare no better. The system can only be restored by accepting some premise which, at this time, is considered false. (In other words, when you’ve tried all the possible solutions, try the impossible ones.)

            There are precisely two such “false premises.” One is Aristotle. The German version of the Renaissance embraced the ancient Greeks, but the Germans were wiped out in the 30 Years War. Leaving the French, who viewed the Renaissance from a linguistic and Latin point of view, and then wrapped that in monarchist dress and called it the Enlightenment.

            The other is Astrology. Because it strips the powerful of their power, it has always been condemned. The current “scientific” excuses merely replaced earlier religious ones. I’ve been using it for a quarter-century, but it was not until last year, with a wife suddenly and painfully blinded in her left eye, with the finest doctors in the country completely clueless (Johns Hopkins) that I realized just how powerful and exact astrology is. There is no serious medicine without astrology, the idea is not even imaginable.

            But you have to square this with city doctors who are ignorant but who write the laws. Every attempt at real medicine, since at least the 17th century, has failed for this reason alone.

          4. Dave of Maryland

            Re: Health After Oil, you seem to be dancing around the issues.

            There is no reason why Greece could not be immediately (well, okay, within 6 months) completely free of its current medical mess. It has a nice Mediterranean climate, it can easily and rapidly grow the essential herbs and plants necessary for medical treatment. It is the home of Aristotle and Hippocrates and so is already philosophically oriented.

            Back to the past! It is cheeky to suggest the Greeks study the Englishman, Culpeper (An English Physitian) as they doubtless have their own herbal traditions. If the question is, Can herbs cure the really tough stuff, go look at Aloysius, under breast cancer. He reported a cure (not a treatment) for a woman with a cancer that had eaten to the breastbone, using materials available to him in 1890. There are no excuses for not embracing what works. The past has been suppressed. You would be amazed at what a good Medieval doctor could do.

            The herbalists I have come across are doing good work, but only a fraction of what they could do with astrological orientation. For a treasure trove of what works, go Wiki Eclectic Medicine. It was a near-mainstream movement from the 19th century that very nearly became permanent.

          5. TimR

            I understand criticism of mainstream medicine, but why would astrological charts work so wonderfully? Maybe they do for all I know, but is there any rationale for it that would incline the skeptical to investigate further?

          1. Dave of Maryland

            Hello astro-skeptics,

            First, Carl Sagan was an ass. I won’t belabor that.

            Second, the traditional religious reason, that God didn’t want man to know, is superior to the scientific reason, that there is no way astrology could work. All we need to do is find the theory that works. I caution that if such a theory could be found, that Enlightenment science would very likely collapse in an instant. It is therefore essential that no theory be found, or that if a theory is found, that it be suppressed immediately.

            About five years ago I grew tired of this debate and set about to find a physical explanation. It took a long time, because, in the end, I found astrology to be upside down and backwards. It’s a system that works well enough for astrologers, but not for anyone else. In this, astrology is no different from any other scientific discipline, which invariably sets their own rules and ignores the carping of outsiders. (Don’t get me started on astronomy!)

            The secret to Astrology is that the signs of the zodiac do not rain down upon us from constellations of stars far far away.

            The signs of the zodiac are in fact the twelve-fold nature of the earth itself. They radiate OUT from the CENTER.

            In support of this is the latest scientific discovery that there is a single, gigantic crystal at the center of the earth. It is believed to be a six-sided crystal.

            If there is a crystal at the center of the earth, there is very likely a crystal at the center of every planetary body.

            So would a six-sided crystal account for the twelve signs of the zodiac? Yes. There are six faces. There are six edges. There are six male signs and six female signs (or six positive, six negative, six light, six dark, six of this, six of that, whatever).

            Astrology then becomes the study of the interaction of planetary crystals.

            Well, same objection as always: How can Mars possibly influence the Earth?

            Which is a flimsy objection. First off, the planets are more than big enough, more than close enough, to have exactly that kind of influence upon each other. It’s not that Mars impacts me directly (well, it does), but that Mars and the Earth interact and the Earth radiates the net change into everything that crawls upon the planet. Since I am made of the Earth’s physical clay, then as a tiny sample of the Earth itself, it can exactly be said that that Mars influences me directly.

            Are there examples of this? Yes. Uranus was discovered by accident in 1781, but its orbit was a problem. It was clearly being influenced by some other, more distant planet. Which led to the discovery of Neptune in 1841, if memory serves. This was before the use of photographic plates, by the way.

            But the presence of Neptune did not explain everything. There is still some unknown force which disturbs the orbit of Uranus. Realize that Uranus and Neptune are almost never as close to each other as either is to the EARTH. The distances are that vast. Jupiter and Saturn are each bigger than Uranus and Neptune combined, yet somehow have no such impact. The solar system is full of such paradoxes.

            With the primary zodiacal forces inside the earth itself, with these changing moment to moment from the ceaseless motion of the Earth, Moon and other planets, the net result is a constantly changing energy environment. You can think of the result precisely the same way you think of the weather, only personalized to your own unique vibration.

            I forgot vibration. Because the Earth vibrates astrologically, and because that vibration changes minute by minute, then whenever something breaks in two, those two pieces will take on (or be significantly influenced by) the prevailing vibration as of that moment. And that’s birth, and that’s why it’s important.

            So what happens when the Earth produces a vibration that is incompatible with yours? You have an accident or fall ill or both. There is literally no choice whatever about this, which is why astrologers often feel the world is fated and why the religious objection, that God does not want you to know, is superior to the “scientific” objection, which is merely the result of laziness.

            It is also true the Earth itself reacts to its own vibrations and produces plants and animals in harmony with it. So when you get sick, you READ YOUR ASTROLOGICAL CHART to DETERMINE WHAT THE PROBLEM REALLY IS and then APPLY KNOWN REMEDIES to RETURN TO HEALTH. It is that tight a structure. Conventional medicine, by contrast, is guesswork at best.

            And, by the way, if you were curious, the astrologer B.V. Raman, writing in the early 1990’s, predicted World War III starting in the summer of 2000. (He had previously predicted WWII, his grandfather B.S. Rao had predicted WWI. In this, they scooped western astrologers.) It seems as if Raman picked up on the Republican convention in 2000, the nomination of G.W. Bush being the defining moment.

            Since we can see the vibrations marching down the road in front of us (like a malevolent weather pattern: The Old Farmers, by the way) you will not be surprised the better astrologers predicted the current financial mess, and believe it will continue to around 2020, which I fear is as far as anyone has dared to look. Right now, there is a very precise Pluto-Uranus square going on, the first of about seven over the next several years. Which is to say that things are about to get a lot worse.

            Astrology was suppressed, always will be suppressed, because it strips the powerful of their power. One way or another, no intelligent person ignores astrology.

            My apologies to Yves for the length of this.

  2. Up the Ante

    The most important result found in the report is that the earthquake, not the tsunami, was the fatal blow to the reactors.

    “the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency — housed in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which also promotes Japan’s nuclear industry — has contributed to numerous deadly incidents and near-misses. .. NISA resisted the commission’s inquiry, ”
    “Tepco still refuses to turn over video footage of conference calls ”

    NISA can only be seen as a full-blown conspirator with TEPCO, and as this and all other aspects of the disaster have been covered in their minutiae on ex-SKF,, and Fukushima Diary, now is the time for Lambert to re-examine his claim they aren’t ‘reliable sources’. The most deadly incident NISA has “contributed” to is the radiation spread and its presence in their food supply.

    Bloomberg has balanced the Fukushima Commission’s “copout” with its own.
    “Japan is hardly the only country where safety regulations are poorly enforced and old-boy networks protect industry interests. Witness the 2006 Sago mine explosion in the U.S., ”
    Instead of mentioning the NRC’s culture of safety ‘lapses’ it instead takes a shot at the EPA ? NRC has written NISA’s book on lapse handling.

    Perhaps the timing of the bloomberg editors is lockstepped with the LIBOR handling, will bloomberg “sweepingly [indict] “the ingrained conventions of banking culture,” effectively letting individual culprits off the hook” by not calling on the Justice Dept. to name individuals ?

    Here’s a puzzle for you, what is the “sediment” that’s so radioactive?,

  3. F. Beard

    At issue are the largely invisible but profoundly influential three-digit credit scores that help determine who can buy a car, finance a college education or own a home. The scores are based on consumers’ financial history from

    Credit creation is THEFT. Otherwise the poor and other [historically blacks and other minorities- see “Redlining”] less than “credit-worthy” folks would be able to get ahead by saving.

    1. F. Beard

      the above is re: For black Americans, financial damage from subprime implosion is likely to last Washington Post (Joe Costello)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        THEFT is against the Eighth Commandment. Should the regulations of it not be rendered unto caesar?

    2. ambrit

      Dear Beard;
      The Dreaded Credit Scores pop up all over the place, it seems. Some employers do a credit history check on prospective employees now. If I were handling large amounts of money, I could see it. But for simple office jobs? Looks like just another strategy of exclusion to me. The definition of “Underclass” keeps getting wider and wider. The poor, and now ‘newly middle’ class black population is just the canary in the coal mine. If we don’t stand together with them now, we’ll stand together with them in the future, up against some nameless Homeland Security execution wall.

      1. F. Beard

        Yep, it’s the banks against the rest of us.

        Removing the cancer that is banking will require care but it is eminently doable.

      2. ohmyheck

        Major health insurance companies do credit checks on prospective customers. “You can’t have insurance unless we know you can pay”? Beats me…

        1. Eureka Springs

          I love being held to digital “spiritless” account by corporations and their politicians who are both looting us all and likely insolvent themselves.

          The should all be merged into one entity called GITMO Finance – We don’t water-board yet, because we don’t have to.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Dear ambrit, what about SAT scores for those interested in learning?

        I can understand the need for kids interested in career moves, where even a defetive graduate (though no single college/university has ever recalled a defective graduate to my knowledge) might wreck the machine, sorry, the economy, but why should they look at SAT scores for those simply interested in learning?

        1. ambrit

          Dear MLTPB;
          As I see it, SAT scores correlate nicely with a persons ability to navigate the current socio-political power structure. Tests, after all, are only as good predicters as the underlying biases of the test makers. Hard science may have a special dispensation, as, when faced with a particularly dense and opionated ‘expert’ on plumbing at my job, I’ll opine; “They haven’t repealed the laws of physics recently, have they?” (I have been remonstrated with by management for this.) Mathematics is the ‘gold standard’ in this regard. As my old Calculus teacher used to remark; “You either know it or you don’t.” Alas, I didn’t.
          As an added bonus, SAT scores allow university acceptance functionarys to ‘streamline’ the process. Less hard work for them. Also leads to a higher proportion of middle and upper middle class students, who, incidentally, can more easily ‘afford’ the bloated fees.
          Finally, SAT tests are a sure fire way for ‘connected’ folks to make easy money. Everyone from private tutors to the test makers themselves rake off a part of this “Golden Pi(e).”
          PS. I did very well myself on the SAT’s, and still ended up a plumber. So, tests don’t predict everything, do they. Just ask the kids in any American middle and high school when the grade advancement tests come around. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a stastically signifigant rate of teen suicide linked to the test regieme. Just look to Japan, (where their philosophical religeous culture seems to make suicide less abhorrent,) for an example.

    1. ambrit

      Dear K.A.;
      Nothing this bunch does is surprising anymore. They are like a bunch of De Sade characters. “100 Days of Wall Street” anyone?
      But, as De Sades class learned to their sorrow, the fury of a mob transcends anything the Scabrous Scribbler could dream up.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      K, indicated in the Bloomberg post is what Georgians know: that Atlanta is “Wall Street in the Deep South.” This might explain the placement of The Georgia Guidestones New Covenant of the .01%.

    3. Up the Ante

      I’ve commented here some time ago on the pay cut Shapiro took going from FINRA to the SEC.

      “(To make matters worse, Mary Schapiro, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was previously head of Finra, whose board awarded her a $9 million bonus when she left that post in January 2009.) ”
      At FINRA she was the corrupt cop, if the conduct in the article is indicative.

      “Merrill’s attorney, sensed that he was losing the case and repeatedly “exploded at the panel,” ”
      His ‘quality of life’ was being threatened.

      At SEC she is the ‘good cop’.
      “Then, Gormly sent a “whistle-blower” letter to the SEC, describing the situation. She hasn’t heard back. “

  4. recourse to rebellion

    “shrugging their shoulders about politicians, no longer believing they can fix the economic problems”

    Textbook propaganda from Dowd. With “Shrugging their shoulders,” he substitutes indifference (or maybe the official euphemism, apathy) for the public’s mounting revulsion and rage. With “politicians,” he diverts attention from the institutional rot and capacity demolition in all federal branches and all levels of government. With “economic problems,” he abstracts and obscures the state’s collapse into corruption, commercial predation, repression, rights derogation and official impunity.

    See, this is how you prop up a state that cannot justify its existence.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Well, naturally. But it’s a question of which page of the propaganda textbook he’s flipping to.

      In this case, it’s the “10% DISemployent is the new normal” page. (That’s what the “shrug” implies.) Been saying it myself for years so I’m glad Dowd caught up. How people assume agency on this issue is another matter. I wouldn’t go to Dowd for that.

      1. ambrit

        Dear citalopram;
        Walk down any inner city or older close in suburb street during the day and have a chat with the boys and girls hanging out on the porch or stoop because they don’t have anywhere else to go and I’ll guarantee you rage aplenty. It’s an inchoate feeling of helplessness and fear that drives much of this cultures ‘irrational’ behavior. That and the relentless barrage of corporate advertising telling you that you’re only as good as what you own. When you’re out of work and can’t afford the latest and greatest gadget you most definitely try to overcompensate. This is fertile ground for ideologues, of both extremes.
        The rage is there. Pray that you don’t wind up on the wrong end of it.

  5. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Liebor: Bob Diamond guilty of TREASON? His American citizenship (+passport) should be revoked immediately, based on evidence:

    Details revealed in ZH today in: “The Liebor Land: What the BoE Said” show that Diamond acted against the interests of the United States of America, by acting in collusion with Tucker for the interests of the British “government.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Does this not demonstrate the liability to the U.S.A. of bankers, politicians, others “of power” who hold “dual citizinship?” Loyalty to one’s nation-state is “ambiguous” to say the least, and may well lead to treason.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Edit: “and dual citizenship may well lead to treason.” Might the very purpose of dual citizenship not be to facilitate treason against the U.S. while holding “back-up” citizenship in another State?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You have good days and you have bad days, even for non-monetary sovereigns.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Petridish, thanks for clicking through to that appalling story. It shows everything that’s wrong with privatization and everything that was right with the government administered/volunteer delivered program that replaced it.

      A completely cynical and moreover lethal maneuver being replicated all across the country right now.

      Of course, if Obama had bailed out the states and localities, instead of the big banks this would not be happening. Then again, it’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

  6. YesMaybe

    ‘5.08pm: Tucker’s starting to look a bit ruffled.

    One of the MPs points out that in Diamond’s note he told Tucker that not all banks were providing quotes at the levels that represented real transactions. To which Tucker is reported to have said, “Oh, that would be worse.”

    Tucker says he believed Diamond meant those banks just didn’t have to borrow and that when they came to borrow they would have to pay a higher rate.

    5.07pm: Tucker says he was not aware of allegations of dishonesty in Libor.’


  7. SR6719

    Questions From a Worker Who Reads

    Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
    In the books you will find the names of kings.
    Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
    And Babylon, many times demolished
    Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
    of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?
    Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
    Did the masons go? Great Rome
    Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
    Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song
    Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
    The night the ocean engulfed it
    The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

    The young Alexander conquered India.
    Was he alone?
    Caesar beat the Gauls.
    Did he not have even a cook with him?

    Philip of Spain wept when his armada
    Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
    Frederick the Second won the Seven Year’s War. Who
    Else won it?

    Every page a victory.
    Who cooked the feast for the victors?
    Every ten years a great man?
    Who paid the bill?

    So many reports.
    So many questions.

    Bertolt Brecht

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The African/Caribbean American Slaves built “Historic Savannah,” of which the Oglethorpe Club low-class “Elite” membership is so proud, as they bask in reverie of “better days,” served still by their “Darkies” in bondage.

  8. jsmith

    Regarding the minimum wage being forced on city workers in Scranton:

    1) What the f*ck does it mean for a U.S. city, county or state to declare bankruptcy? How can that even be possible when we print our own currency in the U.S?

    Answer: it’s not possible and if you believe any of this fascist horsesh*t you’re an effing idiot.

    2) In better days, the mayor would have had his house burned to the ground with none of the needed city workers showing up because they couldn’t pay for gas.

    1. citalopram

      The Federal Government WILL NOT bail out the states. States cannot print their own money, and they cannot borrow anymore. This is all done by design to force states to sell off their assets at fire sale prices.

      It’s called austerity.

  9. Hugh

    Re jobs, 80,000 jobs seasonally adjusted is just a made up number. It really makes no sense to describe it has either up or down. It’s just a normalized line drawn through the seasonal pattern of job creation and loss. It is not real people gaining or losing real jobs. Real job creation peaks about this time of year and again toward the end of the year. Think summer and Christmas. Seasonally unadjusted numbers are where people actually live. The bad news is that something like 5/6 of the job creation that will occur this year has already occurred, in the real world where most of us live.

  10. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yves, here’s a racket that may interest you. This is the anticipated consequence of “free trade competition” in Energy Enron Style:

    A “natural gas” retail customer in the State of Georgia is the victim of a “free trade energy” racket. The customer is obliged to sign onto a one-year contract with the gas pipeline company (a monopoly, from Kerr-McGee to El Paso ownership) and a “servicer” of one’s choice. The customer may use gas for heat in the COLDEST months of a Georgia winter (maybe December through March), and use NONE after that. But the customer PAYS–each and every month for twelve months–the monopoly “AGLC Base Charge” for the pipe in the ground @ $15.31, PLUS the “servicer” Customer Charge @ $9.99 (even if no service ever exacted), PLUS tax. This is so, EVEN if the CCF used is ZERO (0).

    If the service of the retail customer is cut off for “non-payment” because of emergency or dire poverty, the ENTIRE ANNUAL PRICE to the customer of the OWNER of the pipe in the ground and of the OWNER of the “service” is EXTRACTED from the retail customer.

    This is what “free-market/free-trade” MEANS in Georgia.

    1. jsmith

      Gee, the interface for that machine sure looks like the video games kids play right now?

      Probably just a coincidence, right, drone pilots?

        1. jsmith

          The American public – and the younger generations especially – quickly has to get to the point where they realize that EVERYTHING they see, hear, play and watch is part of a vast propaganda system that inevitably WILL take its toll on their psyches.

          All of it.

          If someone’s making money off of it, you can bet it’s propagandistic shite in America and has an alterior motive beyond entertainment.

          I know you and many others realize all that but even paying savvy attention to the more intricate/interesting details of the propagandosphere I have come to believe is “staring into the abyss” a bit too long at times.

          Better to recognize that it’s all shite and turn it off than come under its thrall in any way no matter how “fascinating” and “deep” the levels go.

          1. Up the Ante

            “Better to recognize that it’s all shite and turn it off than come under its thrall in any way no matter how “fascinating” ”

            Better yet to recognize its “thrall” is transitory by nature.

  11. skippy

    From foreclosure to rent or was there to start with, but, the result is the same. See: Major rent strike against millionaire slumlord catches fire in Brooklyn

    The electrical box in the basement of multifamily brownstone on 46th Street in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, looks like a middle-school science fair project gone horribly wrong. The door to the box is ajar and a cheap plastic fan, positioned only inches from the fuses, desperately tries to keep the wiring from catching fire when it sparks and overheats, plunging the building’s 51 apartments into darkness and threatening to set the entire structure ablaze.

    “Last night was so bad, the lights were going on and off every ten minutes,” said 20-year-old Riccey Trelles, a recent college graduate who lives with her family on the first floor. “It was pitch-black; I couldn’t see the person across from me.”

    Despite the darkness, Trelles was up until almost two a.m. making posters and banners for the following day’s protest to expose her building’s slumlord, Orazio Petito, and implore city officials to intervene in a case of housing violations that tenants are now describing as human rights abuses.

    Skippy… should rentiers live with their charges, within arms reach, spiting distance?

  12. LeonovaBalletRusse

    nightcap: “THE FRENCH REVOLUTION” – DVD ISBN: 0-7670-7889-6
    Produced for the History Channel by PARTISAN PICTURES, narrated by EDWARD HERRMANN – with featurette: “The Making of the French Revolution”
    Copyright 2005 by A&E Television Networks –

  13. Walter Wit Man

    Obama signs obtuse executive order re our communication system.

    I’m sure Obama fans and authoritarians everywhere will tell us there is nothing to worry about.

    They’re spying on all our phone calls and emails and have secret courts to get wiretaps and indeed, Obama is doing a record number of wiretaps, among many other things (think Poindexter and Total Information Awareness).

    Yet that’s not enough. They need yet another super-structure of obfuscation to protect our “communication systems” in the name of “national security.”

    Uh no. Bullshit.

    Why are good liberals voting for this Nazi Obama again? Oh yeah, the other Nazi guy is going to do similar stuff . . . but at least then liberals will pretend to get mad so I hope Nazi #2 wins so we can get a little honesty around here.

    1. Up the Ante

      If “communication systems” are vulnerable then they’ve allowed them to be so.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Up the Ante;
        Who are “they” in this scenario? The internet companies? Didn’t Microsoft help build the Great Firewall of China? The communication companies? Didn’t AT&T help enable the switching system taps for the NSA? The banks and credit unions? Don’t the banks routinely forward information about our financial transactions to the IRS? Want to try regular use of an open cypher for your private communications over the web? Watch how long it takes the Feds to track you down and call you in for a ‘discussion.’
        This game is, was, and probably always will be rigged. Living as a free man or woman is a dangerous and strenuous undertaking. Worth it though. Well worth it.

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