Links 8/30/12

By Charles Davis

When firms pay CEOs more than Uncle Sam, the tax system is broken Los Angeles Times. A quarter of the top 100 CEOs earned more money last year than their companies paid in taxes. Two of those companies, Citigroup and AIG, were bailed out at taxpayer expense.

Mexican police attacked CIA officers, ambush likely: sources Reuters. The drug war isn’t a metaphor.

Bank of America hasn’t modified any mortgages so far under settlement Reuters

Condi Rice Can’t Name A Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure Think Progress. And the liberals at the Center for American Progress act like that’s a good thing.

Sugar found around sun-like star (furzy mouse)

Viral Vid ‘Gangnam Style’ Critiques Korea’s Extreme Inequality Open City Mag

A moving story “[T]he individual gripe is always the germ of systematic critique.” How workers at one moving company in New York City stood up to their bosses — and won.

Navy Seal account of Bin Laden raid contradicts White House claims Guardian

First Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Report Shows Preponderance of Mortgage Relief from Already-Popular Short Sales Firedoglake (Carol Boucher)

Second-quarter growth revised up, Fed still seen in play Reuters

Body parts found in auctioned Florida storage unit CNN

Citi To Pay $590 Million To Burned Shareholders In Toxic Asset Case Forbes

The New Deal Illusion Counterpunch (Tim Mason). Historian Gabriel Kolko argues the New Deal was less radical populism, more business-friendly reformism.

Fired Bell official’s lawsuit says city owes him $837,000 Los Angeles Times

“One of the highest paid officials in Bell, fired at the peak of the corruption investigation that included a search of his house, has sued the city for $837,000, including a payout for 329 unused sick and vacation days.”

At pivotal moment, Bernanke low on economic ammo Washington Post

How your phone can spy on you Al Jazeera

Two people removed from RNC after taunting black camera operator CNN

George Zimmerman granted new judge on grounds of bias at bail hearing Guardian

What the Business News Sounds Like to People Like Me BBC (via Youtube). Years before the Daily Show or the Colbert Report, there was Christopher Morris’ brilliant The Day Today.

* * *

lambert here:

D – 11 and counting*

“Things are always different than what they might be…If you wait for them to change, you will never do anything.”
― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

RNCon. Ryan, snark watch: “Fading Obama posters.”

Ron Paul: “A long stream of Paul’s backers from ME, OK, OR, AZ, and several other states protested the RNCon’s treatment of Paul and his supporters by walking out of the convention hall with chants of, ‘As Maine goes, so goes the nation!’” (wrap-up). … Ron Paul, NM delegate: “They’re criminals, and they’re crooks, and we want transparency.” True dat. … Ron Paul, OK delegate: “I wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney any more than I would vote for Obama. They’re both war mongers and elitists. There’s no difference. It’s two sides of the same coin. And nothing’s going to change.” True dat. Of course, things can always change for the worse.

Management problem: “The convention wanted people to Skype/ tweet/blog/ use social media….Except they didn’t provide any Internet service.” … Management problem: “The [bus transport] scheme involved taking everyone from one central location — the convention hall, to another central location — the parking lot at Raymond James Stadium, then to separate hotel locations. It broke down at every point in the process.” … Losing the political class, Chris Christie: “A prime-time belly-flop” (ha. “Belly.” Get it?) …. Losing the political class, David Chalian: “They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning.” Yahoo News fired him … Losing the political class, CNN: “Two people were removed from the RNCon Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, ‘This is how we feed animals.'” None of the individuals are identified. … Losing the political class: “I didn’t see many chocolate chips in the cookie they were baking.” … Didn’t build that: “[SHER VALENZUELA] told conventioneers: ‘We took a risk. We bet on the future. We started our own business. Fifteen years later we employ more than 70 people in our 70,000-square-foot factory.'” “[Her] business financed its huge factory with a $301,000 loan backed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The company has received $15.2 million in federal government contracts since 2001.” … Ann Romney reviewed: “She made one misstep, and mispronounced a word…she wanted to say ‘successful’ and she said ‘sexful.’ ” … Against the tide: “[ANN ROMNEY: ] It really is a message that would resonate well if they [Hispanics] could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the D machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community.” … Against the tide: “[JEBBIE: ] The conservative cause would be the governing philosophy as far as the eye could see … and that’s doable if we just stop acting stupid.” Na ga happen. … Thursday Mystery guest: Clint Eastwood? NOTE: I can’t bear to read the speech transcripts, and I have to take down a bathroom ceiling tomorrow. Make up your own jokes!

RNCon protests. Police state: “‘For weeks, the local news kept warning everyone about violent anarchists,’ said Mark Skogman. ‘People on the local council were so terrified about these violent anarchists coming in, they were talking about leaving the area. I finally calmed them down.’ Overkill is too mild a word to describe the contrast between the heavy security and the protests in Tampa, which have been peaceful, and somewhat muted by the weather.” … Crowds: “A loose federation of activists is engaging in a series of demonstrations and marches with daily themes of economic rights, human rights, the environment, and antiwar/peace. One of the largest gatherings drew about 400 on Tuesday to Centennial Park in historic Ybor City for a rally against what participants called Republican­ efforts to suppress voter turnout among the poor and minorities. As at every such event, scores of police and deputy sheriffs surrounded the proceedings.” From the Barcalounger: Occupy’s always been non-partisan; it’s not surprising few are investing in protesting against a party when the problem is the political system or even representative democracy as such. … Live blog: Excellent work from The Phoenix (Charles Pierce’s alma mater). During a march: “People in West Tampa coming out of their homes to cheer on Occupiers and curse Romney” (photo; photo). Interesting. …. Live blog: Excellent work at FDL. …. Puppets: “The city has banned sticks, strings and masks — the basic rudiments of puppeteering — during the convention. Police have been very clear that this was targeted at puppets specifically. Something about these colorful and media-genic objects really scares the authorities. Is it a fear of being upstaged? Or a fear of masses creatively building things together? Or a fear of recognizing themselves in the bits of paper held together by spit and string? ” … Puppets: Nathan of Food Not Bombs is a puppeteer. … Twitter: TPD is using twitter, just as the Surete in Montreal did.

Conventions. Media critique: “Privately, [media outlets] concede that their streaming Web videos draw extremely low traffic compared with their articles — for smaller news organizations, sometimes only a few hundred viewers at a time.” Because they’re harder to use, silly, and take a lot longer to watch than text does to read.

Occupy. Agents provocateurs: “Seven activists from Austin, Dallas, and Houston blocked the main entrance into the port by laying in the road and linking arms inside lockboxes which physically linked them together so that police cut them apart. The use of these instruments resulted in these seven being charged with [a felony], while others who merely linked arms and legs faced lesser misdemeanor charges. [An] undercover agent with the police department acquired the materials and built the ‘lockboxes’.”

CA. Tinpot tyrants: “The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating two officers who were allegedly caught on surveillance camera slamming a nurse on the ground twice — and then fist bumping afterward — during a recent traffic stop” (pictures).

CO. Handmaid’s Tale: “The CO (fetal) Personhood amendment was not approved for ballot, falling less than 4,000 signatures short.”

FL. Voting: “The order by U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle removes a provision that third-party groups registering new voters must turn in all voter forms within 48 hours or face fines of up to $1,000. ‘The crushing part of this law was the 48-hour return time,’ said Lee Rowland of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. ‘This order is a decisive victory.'” …. Voting: “Since a new set of state voting laws went into effect more than a year ago, the number of new Ds registering in Florida has all but disappeared.” … Corruption: “[E]xecutives at [Citizens Property Insurance, run by a board appointed by the governor and other elected officials,] have been living large at the same time they are asking hard-pressed Florida property owners to pay more for insurance.” …. Corruption: Rubio on Rivera and Sternad: “I only know what I’ve read in the press.” Hmm….

GA. Militia: “‘[The Fort Stewart group] were never on our radar screen,’ said Mark Potok, an expert on militia and hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. ‘You’d think the whole thing would be a joke except for that two people died and that they apparently spent $87,000 on guns.'” … Militia: “[S]everal agencies called into the investigation because of the accumulation of weapons — including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — made scant mention of any alleged assassination plot or government overthrow attempt. One official described it as a murder case and said no federal charges had been filed.” …. Militia, background from the hometown paper: The alleged ringleader, Isaac Aguigui, represented WA state in the American Legion Boys Nation 2008 session in Washington, D.C.”, and was interviewed by the FBI after buying 15 guns while home on leave, after his family dropped a dime. … Homeless meters: “The 2012 Leadership Macon class would like to put donation stations that resemble parking meters around the downtown area. The thinking goes that if one wants to really do something to help the homeless population, giving at a donation station is infinitely better than giving money to panhandlers. The money would be distributed to agencies that provide service to the homeless population.”

IA. RNCon: Excellent wrap-up. … Romney: “‘IA voters feel a lot of responsibility for launching Obama,’ the Romney staffer said. ‘And IA voters are having a very serious sense of buyer’s remorse.‘”

LA. Isacc: “Isaac has moved to position almost due west of New Orleans as it continues its slow jog to the northwest. Southeast LA and coastal MI still have another 18 hours or so of rain, strong wind gusts and coastal flooding concerns.” … Isaac: Pictures.

MI. Drought: “The USDA said Wednesday that all 83 counties are now classified as primary natural disaster areas because of drought and excessive heat conditions that began in March.”

OH. Corruption: “[Robert Lyden,] the former Mahoning County Sanitary Engineer who told investigators he used county equipment and county time to meet with a stripper that he paid for sex was forced out of his position because of a county investigation that found he steered contracts toward a New Springfield businessman convicted of several federal crimes, including bribing former U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant.” What “equipment”? …. Handmaid’s Tale: “A naked, severely burned woman with a strap around her neck arose from a rural eastern OH road, crying in agony, and threw herself toward a passing vehicle in a scene that was ‘something out of a horror show,’ the motorist told a newspaper.

OK. Ballot access: “OK state officials have acted to keep Gary Johnson off the ballot. On August 17, the Attorney General issued a 20-page opinion saying the State Board of Elections should disregard the action of the state officers of Americans Elect, who had nominated Gary Johnson for President. But, he kept this opinion a secret from the Americans Elect Party state officers.”

SC. Voting: “If the legislature offered a reward for [voter] identification cards, ‘it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon,’ [constituent Ed Koziol wrote. State Rep. Alan Clemmons responds: ‘Amen, Ed, thank you for your support.'”

VA. Sullivan speech: “One item that was not on the agenda for the faculty meeting was the no-confidence vote [in the Board] taken by the senate a week after Sullivan’s ouster.’We haven’t rescinded it,’ George Cohen, chair of the faculty senate, said.”

VT. Solid waste: “Green Mountain Compost is the only operation whose customers’ gardens have suffered ill effects from persistent herbicides.”

WI. Tinpot tyrants: “As the video clearly captures, Deputy Callies then turned around lunged at a woman who was videotaping his tirade. He forcibly reached for her camera, pushing himself into her. He grabbed the woman’s arm and ripped the camera phone out of her hand, giving no explanation. He then tore another supporter’s phone away in the exact same manner.” … Tinpot tyrants: “The ranks of the noonday singalong at the state Capitol swelled Tuesday after remarks by the new Capitol police chief that a crackdown on such protests was coming.” … Convention: “I may never have seen a happier delegation. They have the R National Chairman in Reinz Preibus. They have a Governor with a truly national profile in Scott Walker. They have an incumbent Republican Senator in Ron Johnson. They have a Republican senatorial candidate with even more impeccable Wisconsin credentials in Tommy Thompson. They have one of the Convention Co-Chairs, in long-serving national committeewoman Mary Buestrin. And last but not least, they have the R nominee for Vice President in Paul Ryan. All this in a state that last went Republican for President in 1984, when it was nearly impossible not to do so.” The recall was more uphill than many realized.

Outside baseball. Charters: “When any educator dares to challenge the conventional wisdom and say that our schools are not failing, they can expect to be excoriated by reformers. A reformer these days is someone who believes that the ‘system’ is obsolete and broken and must be handed over to private corporations.”

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Massive takedown, Black Agenda Report: “Rs and Ds, like Romney and Obama are of one mind on many more things than they disagree about.” … Closing Prayers: NYC’s Cardinal Dolan will deliver the closing prayer at both the RNCon and the DNCon. … Resource extraction: “‘Clean coal’ was always a myth and its death sealed the coal industry’s fate. But just as it was with tobacco, VA remains filled with apologists who know it’s easier to say what people want to hear and cash industry checks than to speak the truth. And Ds like Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are just as much a part of the problem as Republicans – they may vote the right way sometimes, but their pro-industry rhetoric supports the bipartisan smokescreen that hides the truth that coal-fired power plants are deadly, expensive, and outdated.” (From a D VA blog!)

Romney. Buyer’s remorse, Lynn Sweet: “R are showcasing what may be one of their most potent arguments to vote against President Barack Obama: Buyer’s remorse. ‘Everything that he promised he wasn’t going to do he did — and then some. And that to me is, sort of, unforgivable,’ said another man.” And he’s not wrong. … Flag of convenience: “Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.” Ouch.

Obama. Reddit: I am Barack Obama, President of the United States — AMA (self.IAmA) Transcript (AH). Jam tomorrow.

* 11 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with an airdrop of bottled water and C-rations for everyone on the floor of the Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. MA and TN have 11 electoral votes.

* * *

Antidote du jour: Baby otters!

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    1. Jim Haygood

      This is the trip — the best part — I really like:

      Listen to Mitt Romney speak, and see if you can notice what’s missing. This is a man who grew up in Michigan, went to college in California, walked door to door through the streets of southern France as a missionary and was a governor of Massachusetts, the home of perhaps the most instantly recognizable, heavily accented English this side of Edinburgh. Yet not a trace of any of these places is detectable in Romney’s diction. None of the people in any of those places bled in and left a mark on the man.

      Romney is a man from nowhere. In his post-regional attitude, he shares something with his campaign opponent, Barack Obama, whose background is a similarly jumbled pastiche of regionally nonspecific non-identity.

      Romney is a perfect representative of one side of the ominous cultural divide that will define the next generation, not just here in America but all over the world. That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world.

      Mitt Romney isn’t blue or red. He’s an archipelago man.

      Or a Gangnam man, if you will …

      1. Lambert Strether

        That is extremely acute.

        See this discussion of airline flight tropes for similar “tells.”

        They speak of what they know. They assume, for whatever reason, that our lives are the same as theirs, perhaps with a little less of this or that, like money. It’s not true. It’s radically false.

        1. hermanas

          Songwriters: LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAULHe’s a real nowhere Man,
          Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
          Making all his nowhere plans
          For nobody.
          Doesn’t kave a point of view,
          Knows not where he’s going to,
          Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
          Nowhere Man, please listen,
          You don’t know what you’re missing,
          Nowhere Man, the world is at your command.
          He’s as blind as he can be,
          Just sees what he wants to see,
          Nowhere Man can you see me at all?
          Doesn’t kave a point of view,
          Knows not where he’s going to,
          Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
          Nowhere Man, don’t worry,
          Take your time, don’t hurry,
          Leave it all ’till somebody else
          Lends you a hand.
          He’s a real Nowhere Man,
          Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
          Making all his nowhere plans
          For nobody.
          [ Lyrics

      2. Accrued Disinterest

        I have to strongly disagree. Romney’s vocal DNA is pure Utah Morman…that sort of humming tone, the paternizing timber to ever utterance, the holier than though countenance. Attend a Sunday LDS sacrement meeting anywhere and you’ll swamped with it. It’s something not purposefully taught, but unconciously learned by the male congregants.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Well, the LDS-ness sanded or abraded everything else way, then? Still “post-regional” (though I’d prefer something a bit more pointed, like “post-organic” or “post-organic” …

          * * *

          Incidentally, that trope of using “DNA” to refer to matters that are really institutional or cultural is all over the discourse like kudzu right now, and it gives me the creeps; the aristocratic and racist implications are obvious, no? As well as the treatment of corporations as if they were living. (“Corporations have DNA, my friend!”)

          1. Accrued Disinterest

            Nah, didn’t sand or abrade anything. It was edified early enough to withstand sanding and abrading from any future influence.

            Geez, what’s got your DNA in a twist today?

          2. Yves Smith

            I’ve hated the DNA thingie too. It’s bad business-speak (like “reaching out” which started in big corp land and has also gone mainstream) as in “it’s in our corporate DNA” which now that corps are people, has been creepily shortened into “it’s in our DNA”.

            But as someone who really is from nowhere (as in moved on average every 2 years during my childhood, max stay anywhere was 3 years), the accentless thingie doesn’t bother me (maybe because I was always on the wrong end of the local/tribal impulse). It’s a US version of people who speak BBC English. Although that analogy suggest that sort of colorless accent (it’s still American, just not more identifiable than that) sits better on newscasters than politicians.

      3. Doug Terpstra

        Right, and the key quote: “he shares something with his campaign opponent, Barack Obama, whose background is a similarly jumbled pastiche of regionally nonspecific non-identity.”

        Of course he shares much more than that with his Chicago-bred “opponent”, which is why this [s]election process positively reeks of fixative. Matt also writes, “If Romney pulls off this whopper, [debtmonger turned zealous austerian] you’ll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It’s almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.”

        Perhaps no one in history, Matt, but I can think of one other who pulled off a much bigger whopper (total-persona bait-and-switch) . . . very recently in fact.

      4. Ms G

        “Archipelago Man” = pitch perfect title for this newly visible category of non-citizen rulers.

        This also dovetails perfectly with the Loughren piece linked yesterday, re. the trans-national super rich with no skin in the nation’s (any nation’s) “game” except to strip it’s healh and strength.

      5. Ms G

        “Archipelago Man” = pitch perfect title for this newly visible category of non-citizen rulers.

        This also dovetails perfectly with the Loughren piece linked yesterday, re. the trans-national super rich with no skin in the nation’s (any nation’s) “game” except to strip it’s health and strength.

  1. Jessica

    The article by Gabriel Kolko on the New Deal was so weak that it actually has me wondering how much to trust his book on the Vietnam war (which I read and respected).
    Explaining the contemporary Democratic Party in terms of Hoover being intellectually brighter and a nicer guy than Roosevelt isn’t even stupid.
    There is far too much lazy analysis out there. The kind of analysis that finds some similarity between now and 2 decades ago or 8 decades ago, then says “see, nothing has changed”, and throws out that many decades of useful lessons.
    I wouldn’t waste my time (and yours {sorry}) except that I really expected more from Kolko.

    1. dearieme

      His main point, that popular beliefs about the Depression are silly caricatures, is surely right. That Hoover was by far FDR’s superior in intellect and character is also right. But he didn’t mention the one good thing FDR did (stop the bank runs) nor the one that holds most threat for the future: he reneged on US government debt in what was known abroad as the American Default. It’s rather sobering that he did this, got the preposterous Scotus to allow it, and yet the indoctrinated US public now has no idea what was done.

      1. Jessica

        He also skips straight from the 30s to now, jumping over the many purges of radicals from the acceptable left (particularly, but not only, in the 50s) and the role of liberals in defanging the left. And pretty much simplifies the entire history of the US in the 1930s to the IQs and personalities of two men. One really can not get much more superficial than that.
        And again, from Counterpunch and from Gabriel Kolko, I was really expecting something useful.

      2. reslez

        Gold is a barbarous relic. I will never understand the fascination. FDR did the right thing to devalue, we would have ended up in worse shape than Europe.

  2. Peter Pinguid Society

    Daily Kos schmucks like to refer to themselves as “progressives who support Obama”.

    What this means is they’re clueless retards who can barely wipe their ass. Morons who call themselves progressives while supporting the banksters and the 0.01 percent.

    Only your Kos reader is too f*cking stupid to see this. These people are so dumb they actually believe in Obama’s “good intentions” or his “lesser evilism”. Or whatever.

    ha ha ha…Silly silly Kos readers.

    And that’s fine with us, mate, Here at the Peter Pinguid Society we love clueless Kos morons. They help transfer wealth upwards, help keep us on top. By all means keep reading Kos, keep sending in those pro-Obama comments, the more clueless retards the more money we get to steal.

    We could steal another $500 trillion and your Kos retard here would still be engaging in an endless debate with your Kos retard there, how to wipe their ass, or how the big bad Schneiderman’s gonna catch himself a bankster….. yessiree, should be happening any day now… ha ha ha


    But there’s only one thing, while driving that Prius or that do-gooder hybrid with the Obama 2012 sticker, Kos readers sometimes forget their place in society, they forget they really are peasants and have a tendency to tailgate members of the aristocracy.

    Here’s what happened to one Kos reader who forgot his place.

    He was so busy reading Kos with the Kossack app on his iPhone, so busy texting another Kossack, “the God emperor Obie One said this”, or “the big bad Schneiderman’s gonna catch hisself a bankster, oh yairs, that’s right, dude, any day now, just you wait”” …. that he didn’t realize he was tailgating a member of the 0.01.

    Let this be a warning to the rest of you Kossacks. Go on and and have your fun reading Kos and fiddling with your tiny peckers, but don’t ever forget your place.

    Don’t ever tailgate the 0.01 percent!

    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

    1. Synopticist

      Yeah, whatever Peter.

      The thing thats missing from your analysis is the fact that useless Obama’s opponents are the most putrid, lying, despicable rightwing sh*trags on planet earth. Him and they are the only 2 realistic choices. Life sucks.

      1. Peter Pinguid Society

        Synopticist: “Obama’s opponents are the most putrid, lying, despicable rightwing sh*trags on planet earth.”

        100 percent correct, Synopticist, but that’s all part of our strategy.

        If Obama’s opponents were not putrid, lying despicable, etc, then there’s a danger people might see through the “lesser evil” argument and come to agree with Emma Goldman’s statement: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

        She was also 100 percent correct. If voting changed anything then we *would* have to make it illegal. But so far there’s no sign of the public catching on to this scam so there’s no danger we’ll have to make voting illegal anytime soon.

        So by all means we encourage you to keep voting for either the D or the R, or whatever, and engage in vigorous, spirited debates in support of one side or the other. It’s not like it’s going to change anything.

        We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        J, Ryan speaks the language of “American Defiance” to make losers feel “power.”

  3. skippy

    Flipping great… “former Navy Seal writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen.” – link

    So now a’murica has its own Andy Mcnab…. barf… retch…

    Skippy… great gift for fathers day… eh… hear son it a gripping read… we got the bad guys… hearts and minds… sigh…

    1. Lambert Strether

      Heh. For some definition of “organic,” no doubt. (Check out the VT link on compost today…)

      Actually, with respect to abundance, I’m far more in the horticulture camp than the agriculture camp. Horticulture promises fantastic yield. Agriculture promises fantastic surplus, with priests, accountants, granaries… Also too cats, so there’s an upside. (McCluhan-esque probes, to be taken with a dose of salts…)

      1. Jessica

        Would horticulture (as opposed to agriculture) be adequate for anything like our current global population density? For even 10% of that? Has it ever been?
        I mean those as actual questions, not snark.

        1. Jessica

          By the way, it is my fond hope that when we finally shift to a knowledge-centered (not blood, sweat and tears centered, nor land centered, nor capital centered) economy, it will look more like egalitarian hunter-gatherer society.

      2. different clue

        Horticulture requires close and careful effort with such attention to detail that one horticulturist can only hortimanage a fraction of the land area that one agriculturist can agrimanage. But that just means that we would need millions of hortimanagers to hortimanage an overall-large amount of land.

        And where might we find these millions or in fact tens of millions of potential fine-grained hortimanagers already in place and just needing to be taught and trained? Suburbia! The much maligned suburbia where a hundred million people already live semi-densely scattered over America’s best formerly-agricultural land. Well, the land is still there and still fertile, and now it is full of houses and people. And those people could all become horticulturists. David Holmgren (Bill Mollison’s collaborator in founding Permaculture) has written an article about that.

        We could call the permacultured suburbs of the future by the name Permaburbia. Or better yet, Suburbistan . . . to indicate the death of the Suburban Dream and the birth of a New Peasant Survivalism. From Suburbanites . . . to Suburbistanis.

        That Jeremy Grantham . . . he wants “the planet” to survive as his personal Grand Manor with all of us as his neo-organic Plantation Slaves. Can the rest of us do anything in the meantime to prevent Grantham or all the other Granthams from being the people to get away with owning the future by investing in it? The food you can always grow is the food you will never need to buy from Grantham. There are already long-standing storm-centers of research into Organic Farming being conducted by the Rodale Center and others. There has also been a longstanding tradition of Dissident Agronomy surviving for several decades at the underground samizdat level and re-emerging lately. One can read about it in Acres USA, which can be googled.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      E, sounds like a three-fer for O&G .01% profiteers and their .99% Agents:

      1. Profiteers get U.S. Gas for Export @ International “Market” or better;

      2. Profiteers pollute land/air, so people must move or die;

      3. Yield to 1%DNA is “Greater Lebensraum” @ pennies on the petrodollar.

      Arkansas is becoming Petrochem Colonial Louisiana! Other States now in line for Global Shock Doctrine treatment. We all have the “resource curse” now. Call it “Creative Destruction” for “Maximum Efficiency” of the Global Equilibration of the 99% to Profit the Global .01% and their .99% Agency.

      Hot Dang!

  4. Jim Haygood

    U. of Cape Town researchers claim to have found a single-dose cure for malaria:

    Call me skeptical — the tone of the article is rather immoderate, considering its lack of substantial references — but let’s hope it’s true.

    Effective malaria control could do for Africa what air conditioning did for the U.S. South — let it bloom.

  5. JTFaraday

    re: WI. Tinpot tyrants… All this in a state that last went Republican for President in 1984, when it was nearly impossible not to do so.

    According in an interview on MSNBC last night, Wisconsin co-thugs Scott Walker and Paul Ryan grew up together on the same street. I did not know that.

  6. briansays

    CEO salaries
    besides the banksters @ citi and aig bailed out by public money
    consider the private health insurance cabal with the public required to overpay for their crappy product as they killed off the one true competition, a public option

  7. barrisj

    This just in – Fed Court strikes down Texas “anti-voting fraud” photo ID law.

    One should think that the three-judge ruling would apply to many of the other states that have introduced such regressive and discriminatory laws as well. Whether it will have any effect on 2012 elections is questionable, as no doubt an appeal will be made, and a stay of this ruling will be pursued concomitantly.

  8. Peter Pinguid Society

    Re: At a Pivotal Moment, Bernanke low on economic ammo

    Wow, check out the big brain on WaPo reporter Zachary A. Goldfarb: “Gee Ezra, it sure looks like Bernanke’s running low on ammo, how’s he gonna save the banks this time, er, I mean, save the economy…?”

    Don’t fret your little head over this, Zach, old sport. If the Bernank tool ever runs out of ammo, we’ll replace his ass with another tool who will find a way to get more ammo.

    Problem solved.


    We are the Peter Pinguid Society, we are the 0.01 percent.

  9. Hugh

    “Condi Rice Can’t Name A Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure Think Progress. And the liberals at the Center for American Progress act like that’s a good thing.”

    Very funny and very true. Of course, Republicans criticize Obama on the domestic side even though as with foreign policy he has been governing to the right of Bush having embraced and expanded on Bush’s policies.

  10. Ms G

    Latest on MF Global. Battle of the Trustees (but really a battle of the JP Morgan/Hedge Fund “creditors” versus the jipped account holders).

    Giddens (trustee for the brokerage) made an agreement with the customers’ group that’s suing to get back $1.6 mill of missing “segregated” funds where Giddens agrees (1) to share documents with the plaintiffs and (2) that any recovered proceeds go first to make plaintiff-customers whole, and what’s left, to the company.

    Freeh (trustee for Holding Co., basically charged with paying back JP Morgan and Hedge Funds), is irate and files a motion objecting, claiming that Giddens can’t put customers over the “estate” of the brokerage, can’t give them documents, and the agreement does not “properly incentivize the customers to litigate fully [????].”

    Freeh’s been saying he’s sure 100% will be recovered (on the one hand), but also now saying that any recovered $$ must go FIRST to the brokerage (not customers) because while “some” of the recovery may belong to the customers, “other” may belong to the estate and, besides, it’s the Brokerage that should figure out how to divvy up the recovery (cough, cough, cough).

    Hearing on Freeh’s motion coming up soon.

    1. Ms G

      Erratum #2: A Hearing is set Sept. 5th on Trustee Giddens’ Request to Cooperate with Plaintiffs, to which Trustee Freeh has filed an objection. (I.e., Giddens has to get Judge’s approval to go forward with cooperation with the plaintiffs, and Freeh has a problem with that.)

  11. Jessica

    About “Sugar found around sun-like star”
    Just imagine how much we are going to be able to do when we shift the creativity and energy and funding that now goes into the military and the finance sector and put it to good use.

  12. jacksmith

    “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” – Patrick Henry

    What a brilliant ruling by the United States Supreme Court on the affordable health care act (Obamacare). Stunningly brilliant in my humble opinion. I could not have ask for a better ruling on a potentially catastrophic healthcare act than We The People Of The United States received from our Supreme Court.

    If the court had upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the commerce clause it would have meant the catastrophic loss of the most precious thing we own. Our individual liberty. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Supreme Court.

    There is no mandate to buy private for-profit health insurance. There is only a nominal tax on income eligible individuals who don’t have health insurance. This is a HUGE! difference. And I suspect that tax may be subject to constitutional challenge as it ripens.

    This is a critically important distinction. Because under the commerce clause individuals would have been compelled to support the most costly, dangerous, unethical, morally repugnant, and defective type of health insurance you can have. For-profit health insurance, and the for-profit proxies called private non-profits and co-ops.

    Equally impressive in the courts ruling was the majorities willingness to throw out the whole law if the court could not find a way to sever the individual mandate under the commerce clause from the rest of the act. Bravo! Supreme Court.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court we now have an opportunity to fix our healthcare crisis the right way. Without the obscene delusion that Washington can get away with forcing Americans to buy a costly, dangerous and highly defective private product (for-profit health insurance).

    During the passage of ACA/Obamacare some politicians said that the ACA was better than nothing. But the truth was that until the Supreme Court fixed it the ACA/Obamacare was worse than nothing at all. It would have meant the catastrophic loss of your precious liberty for the false promise and illusion of healthcare security under the deadly and costly for-profit healthcare system that dominates American healthcare.

    As everyone knows now. The fix for our healthcare crisis is a single payer system (Medicare for all) like the rest of the developed world has. Or a robust Public Option choice available to everyone on day one that can quickly lead to a single payer system.

    Talk of privatizing/profiteering from Medicare or social security is highly corrupt and Crazy! talk. And you should cut the political throats of any politicians giving lip service to such an asinine idea. Medicare should be expanded, not privatized or eliminated.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for-profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. The ACA/Obamacare will not fix that.

    The for-profit medical industrial complex has already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    To all of you who have fought so hard to do the kind and right thing for your fellow human beings at a time of our greatest needs I applaud you. Be proud of your-self.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

  13. barrisj

    Without spending hours checking all the links on NC, perhaps this Rolling Stone article on Bain/Mittster escaped a citation:

    The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney
    Government documents prove the candidate’s mythology is just that

    itt Romney likes to say he won’t “apologize” for his success in business. But what he never says is “thank you” – to the American people – for the federal bailout of Bain & Company that made so much of his outsize wealth possible.

    According to the candidate’s mythology, Romney took leave of his duties at the private equity firm Bain Capital in 1990 and rode in on a white horse to lead a swift restructuring of Bain & Company, preventing the collapse of the consulting firm where his career began. When The Boston Globe reported on the rescue at the time of his Senate run against Ted Kennedy, campaign aides spun Romney as the wizard behind a “long-shot miracle,” bragging that he had “saved bank depositors all over the country $30 million when he saved Bain & Company.”

    In fact, government documents on the bailout obtained by Rolling Stone show that the legend crafted by Romney is basically a lie. The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

    [Read more:]

    “We built it!” WTF? No, Mitt, corporate welfare built it!

  14. B. Traven

    “Propitious tradewinds bent their antennae, Towards the western world’s mysterious rim” – José-Maria de Heredia

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