Links 10/12/12

Billions required to save nature BBC

PayPal Joined the Party Amy Schmitz, Credit Slips. In a bad way.

Anonymous declares war on WikiLeaks in retaliation for “paywall” ars technica

Lawyers for Julian Assange & WikiLeaks Seek Details on Justice Department’s Criminal Investigation Kevin Gosztola, Firedoglake

In praise of … Julia Gillard Guardian. This is an editorial, not an op ed.

What happens when national income falls? MacroBusiness

Top German Economists Say Greece Is Lost Der Spiegel

Schäuble and Lagarde clash over austerity Financial Times

Turkey accuses Russia of supplying Syria with munitions Guardian (Roland)

Seven Royal Marines arrested on suspicion of murder in Afghanistan Telegraph

Sanctions Against Iranian Banks is Economic Warfare Real News Network

Geithner has phone friend at BlackRock Financial Times

Triumph of the Wrong? Paul Krugman, New York Times

Missing Mitt in Iowa Financial Times (Richard Smith)

Children and Grandchilden Do Not Pay for Budget Deficits, They Get Interest on the Bonds Dean Baker

Tent City Rising: Occupy Austin Attempts New Encampments (#OATX Birthday, UPDATED) Kit OConnell, Firedoglake

Many Retailers Balk at Card-Fee Settlement Wall Street Journal

We’ve Gotten To The Bottom Of The Mysterious Jobless Claims Report! Clusterstock

The latest pickup in state and local government jobs is not sustainable Sober Look

Economists See Slow 2013 Growth Wall Street Journal

Mission elapsed time: T + 34 and counting*

“The problems of the real world are primarily those you are left with when you refuse to apply their effective solutions.” –Edsger W. Dijkstra

Walmart. Respect: “OUR Walmart [Organization United for Respect at Walmart] does not claim to be a union; it does not seek formal recognition from either the NLRB or even from Wal-Mart. But it does seek to give effective voice to those Wal-Mart associates willing to join. I met four of them when they came to a writing workshop at UC Santa Barbara. They were working-class folks with all the insecurities, bills, family problems, and job issues faced by millions of retail and service workers. And they were incredibly brave, because they were determined to tell their story, to explain why their work life at Wal-Mart was so often punctuated by a series of humiliations, petty and grand, that they found intolerable. Joining OUR Walmart was a gamble they were willing to take” (good explainer). … Money: “Most Walmart employees can’t afford to strike for any extended period of time either, and Greg, Charlene and William [Fletcher] will be back at work in the lead up to Black Friday. ‘Walmart doesn’t pay us enough to give us any kind of savings,’ William explains. ‘I’m sure it’s by design.'” … Jobs: “Each new Walmart store hires, on average, 450 workers, and since the recession, 5,000 to 6,000 applicants have been vying for one of those jobs. That means just 7.5 to 9 percent of hopefuls will get hired. By these numbers, Walmart today is more competitive than the Ivy League.” And no legacies! … Walmart at 50: “The America Walmart helped to create isn’t working for most of us” (the corporate site). … Corruption: “[A]lthough Walmart claims to be monitoring its factories’ compliance with environmental and labor rules, its auditing system is plagued by corruption.” Shocker! … Corruption: “Meredith Boucher, a former [Winsor, Ontario] Walmart assistant manager in Canada, was awarded $1.49 million after suing for mistreatment in the workplace/” … Pressure works: “Walmart employees will now be able to get heart, spine and transplant surgeries at six of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals at no cost, the world’s largest retailer announced Thursday.” Right, right, but what have you done for us lately? And it would be better if warehouse work didn’t wreak your spine in the first place, eh?

FL. Voting: “From Key West to Pensacola, thousands of absentee or mail ballots were discarded in the Aug. 14 statewide primary because voters overlooked a requirement that they sign the envelope containing their ballot, even though the instructions conspicuously remind voters to do it.” … Crowds: “‘Don’t boo, vote!’ Obama said quickly. The crowd exploded with applause. By the end of the speech, Obama turned the phrase into a call and response. Obama: ‘Don’t boo … ‘ Crowd: ‘… Vote!'” Truly spontaneous and/or great advance work.

MA. Warren/Brown: “The League of Conservation Voters, Americans for Tax Reform and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies have spent more than $1 million on robo-calls, direct mail and door-to-door canvassing in the last three weeks trying to influence what political strategists say is a pivotal race in the fight for control of the Senate.” Although both candidates pledged no outside money.

MD. Walmart: “Members of [Making Change at Walmart (here)] passed out leaflets both inside and outside the store. Store managers and associates asked them to leave several times and a Walmart associate stood at the main door taking the flyers away from employees and customers as they entered.”

ME. King/Summers/Dill debate: “[DILL (D): ‘My two opponents should put aside their bickering about money. It’s the one thing they both have in common.” Ouch, but she’s only running left because she’s out of the race.

MT. The tribes: “A group of American Indians from the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Fort Belknap reservations sued state and county election officials in federal court. The lack of satellite election offices on reservations, the plaintiffs allege, forces Indians to drive long distances to vote at the county seat, is discriminatory and denies Indians their voting and civil rights.”

NY. Green party: “[At Grandy debate, which the D didn’t attend, Green candidate Ursula] Rozum could win some name recognition and a new audience for her views. Buerkle and Maffei are so far tied in a rematch of the 2010 race, most polls show. Rozum is getting about 7%” (Bob).

OH. Voting: “The Sixth Circuit has decided SEIU v. Husted and NEOCH v. Husted in a single opinion. This is the most important decision in this election cycle. [T]he main point: it violates the Constitution (equal protection and due process) for the state of Ohio to fail to count ballots cast in the right location but in the wrong precinct solely because of poll worker error.” … The Romney: “With post-debate polls showing him within striking distance of Obama in the all-important swing state, Romney will spend four days this week in OH.”

TX. Keystone: “[T]wo reporters covering the protests for The New York Times were covering a protest on private land yesterday when they were handcuffed and detained by a security guard for TransCanada (the Canadian company behind the pipeline) and local police. The reporters were on the private land at the invitation of the landowner.”

WA. Police state: “Why was the only federally identified May Day vandal sentenced to time served (about a month) while people granted immunity from prosecution–[Leah-Lynn Plante] says government attorneys don’t dispute that she wasn’t even in Seattle on May Day–are looking down the barrel of 18 months in federal custody?”

Fracking. Exxon-funded (!) German study: “For now, the only fracking that should be allowed is exploratory wells [PDF] and single model demonstration projects–under extensive safety conditions–designed to define and optimize the state of the art, gain a greater understanding of the impacts of fracking, and test practices. Such efforts should only occur along with extensive in-depth dialogue with stakeholders and new statutory and planning structures.”

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood watch. Biden/Ryan debate: “Who won the debate? Billionaires, when Martha Raddatz said SS & Medicare are going bankrupt, and Biden didn’t argue” (DCB; the transcript; McClatchy fact check. It’s actually worse: Ryan said that’s an “indisputable fact,” and Biden shifted to snark about Palin instead of nailing him on it. So much for “flat guarantee” (NC 2012-08-16). Medicare, ditttoez).

Outside baseball. Charters: “Apparently audiences won’t pay to see a movie that demonizes teachers’ unions. Won’t Back Down had the worst opening weekend of any film in wide distribution (over 2,500 theaters) in the past 30 years.” … ‘What do you mean, “we”? “In a new, special-edition ‘Election Issue’ out today, Businessweek poses Reagan’s memorable question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? That, Peter Coy writes on page 72, “depends on the meaning of ‘we.'” Doesn’t it always?

Control of the Senate. Emergent parties: “Recently, a poll of the MT U.S. Senate race showed these results: Tester (D. incumbent) 44%, Rehberg ® 42%, Cox (Libertarian) 8%, undecided 6%. A poll of the NV U.S. Senate race showed: Heller (R incumbent) 47%, Berkeley (D) 44%, Vanderbeek (Independent American) 4%, other or undecided 5%.”

Robama vs. Obomney watch. Health care: “‘[ROMNEY:] We don’t have a setting across this country where if you don’t have insurance, we just say to you, ‘Tough luck, you’re going to die when you have your heart attack.” (Except we do: “More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the US each year because they lack health insurance.” Unfortunately for the Ds, the ACA still leaves 30 million uninsured, so to nail Romney, the Ds would have to explain why they shoved those 30 million out of the life boat to die even if they did insure others. Should be interesting to watch!)

The trail. Swing states: “Are there reasonable explanations for the gap between national and state polls? [5.5% vs. 2.1% debate bounce for Romney. Here’s] a possibility. Campaigns might matter. There hasn’t been a campaign where the battleground states have endured so many advertisements for so long before the rest of the country even began to tune in. This was also a campaign where the conventional wisdom has long held that attacks on Romney did al ot of damage, especially in OH.” … Microtargeting: “Campaign aides for Romney and the RNC are excited because they believe their ability to locate demographic and issue blocs of sympathetic voters and turn them out — without accidentally pitching and turning out voters inclined to support Obama — has been refined to the point where it’s close to error-free. Beeson likened the campaign’s microtargeting to being able to isolate grains of sand, saying they have ‘never had the level of granularity we have now.’ Reminds me of GOTV trash talk in the Walker recall.”‘ … Voting: “Based on what the Prospect could glean from [True the Vote Attorney Brook] Akers and from state groups that claim a connection with True the Vote, it appears that the group could fall well short of its million-watcher goal.” …. Obama/Romney II: “Given that the debate will be a town hall, the format may be somewhat better for the president than the last debate. And [t]he press had an incentive before the first debate to report Romney as a winner in order to keep the race competitive. This time, though, much of the media may be inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt: After all, what’s better than a comeback story?” (Larry Sabato) … Overtime: “One Democratic operative said he considers preparations for legal challenges as important as get-out-the-vote efforts.”

Biden/Ryan debate. Taegan Goddard: “The vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan was one of the best debates I can remember. It was a great service to all Americans.” I must be too jaundiced (or not). … “Malarkey”: “Biden came out firing from the outset, and in characteristic fashion. He dismissed as ‘a bunch of malarkey’ Ryan’s first answer, which had tried to frame the September attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, as part of a broader ‘unraveling’ of Obama’s foreign policy.” Will be interesting to see if “malarkey” propagates. Will Obama use it? … Biden’s snickering: “Biden and Ryan were the two candidates on stage at Thursday’s vice presidential debate, but a third character emerged: Joe Biden’s laugh, which didn’t escape the notice of tweeting politicos.” … Biden’s snickering: “Biden’s chuckles, sighs and interruptions during the first and only vice presidential debate with Ryan, took off on the Internet during the debate.” Unlike Gore’s “sighing,” this actually happened and was noticed in real time, not days later. … Ezra Klein: ” I remember walking away from our first debate [Klein v. Ryan] somewhat confused. The deeper we drilled into the regulations in Ryan’s plan, the more they sounded like the very plans he was arguing against.” Tactically, Biden was good at cornering Ryan in just this way. Strategically, this is a function of the very narrow differences between the parties, not the skill of the debaters. … WSJ: “it’s not clear whether a fairly bloody draw will be enough to blunt Mr. Romney’s obvious momentum — or, on the other hand, be enough for him to pull even with the president in critical swing states where he still trails, if by reduced margins.” Discourse note: Qualifying (a**-covering) adverbs like “fairly” are a tell for insider and wannabe insider discourse. See Strunk, Rule #1. … Polls: “48% of voters who watched the vice presidential debate think that Ryan won the showdown, according to a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll conducted right after Thursday night’s faceoff. 44% say Biden was victorious. The R running mate’s four point advantage among a debate audience that was more R than the country as a whole is within the survey’s sampling error.”

The Romney. Surge? “For the time being, however, Romney continues to rocket forward in our projections. The forecast model now gives him about a one-in-three chance of winning the Electoral College” (Nate Silver).

The Obama. Things you never want to hear your pollster say: “‘Polls will go up, polls will go down,’ campaign director of opinion research David Simas said.” And at the end of the day, one candidate wins!

* Slogan of the day: Victory Belongs To The Romney!

* * *

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Peasant Pinguin Society

    Great Moments in Fake Journalism.

    1917. World War I is dragging on and on….

    Brigadier General John Charteris (Chief Intelligence Officer of the British Expeditionary Force) liked to start off the day with a brandy and soda. This morning, with his entire face one broad grin, he is comparing two pictures captured from the Germans.

    The first picture shows the dead bodies of German soldiers being hauled away for burial behind the lines. The second picture depicts dead horses on their way to the factory where German ingenuity extracted soap and oil from the carcasses.

    After a second brandy and soda, General Chareris had his Eureka moment: he would simply change the caption of the two pictures.

    When his orderly arrived, he found the General singing and in very high spirits, while dexterously working away with shears and pasting the inscription “German cadavers on Their Way to the Soap Factory” under the picture of the dead German soldiers.

    Within twenty-four hours the picture was in the mail pouch for Shanghai, and within days these fake pictures would be spread around the world.

    On 25 April 1917, the weekly British humorous magazine Punch printed a cartoon entitled “Cannon-Fodder — and After,” which showed the Kaiser and a German recruit.

    Pointing out a window at a factory with smoking chimneys and the sign “Kadaververwertungsanstalt,” the Kaiser tells the young man: “And don’t forget that your Kaiser will find a use for you—alive or dead.”

    This served two purposes for London: it showed the inhumanity of the Germans in order to influence public opinion in the eyes of the world and it convinced the Chinese, who were devoted to the cult of the dead and therefore particularly horrified, to abandon their neutrality and to go to war on the side of the allies.

    1. Ms G

      Well crafted and grimly entertaining, as always, PPS. Echoes of Kubrik/Peter Sellers in there somewhere.

  2. Butch in Waukegan

    Fighting segregation, Chicago style;

    “Saying he was fed up with criticism of segregation in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced a “Race to Diversity” contest. The first neighborhood to desegregate itself will receive a $10,000 prize.”


    “The mayor’s aides said he initially liked the Englewood idea [of him moving there] because of the publicity potential. They said he voiced his willingness to live there “as long as it takes—a week, ten days.” But he balked at the suggestion that he also pull his three children out of the University of Chicago Lab School and send them to the local public school,”

      1. MontanaMaven

        Rahm: “I lifted myself up from affluence to greater affluence, so I think Englewood residents can lift themselves up.”

        Come on, this is from The Onion,right? Wow, that is some heavy lifting from affluence to greater affluence. Everybody sing now, “He’s not heavy, he’s my broker.”

      2. dSquib

        Just gets better…

        “Aides to the mayor later said Emanuel really did understand segregation’s role in the high rates of poverty, homicide, unemployment, and high school dropouts in many Chicago neighborhoods, and wanted to do something about it…”

        “But why??”, you ask. Because… because…


        “because such problems make it harder to attract business and tourism to Chicago.”

        Bingo! What a twit. Classic modern mayor though; cosmetic, initiative-obsessed, (big) business-friendly…

    1. tom allen

      Ha! And from later on in the satiric article:

      >>He also liked the contest idea because it put the onus on individuals rather than government. “I believe in personal responsibility,” the mayor said at the news conference. “I lifted myself up from affluence to greater affluence, so I think Englewood residents can lift themselves up.”

      >>The rules for Race to Diversity haven’t been finalized, but the mayor promised goals, benchmarks, mileposts, and efficiency standards.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Putting the Chicago Reader on my list. In general, I don’t have enough weeklies.

      * * *

      What an appalling story. These people think everything is for sale. It’s also “nudge theory” in action, visionary minimalism, and the market state.

      I mean, why not (say) give neighborhoods prizes for garbage collection or street cleaning, instead of actually doing it?

  3. LeeAnne

    The Treasury said: “The secretary [Geithner] routinely speaks with a broad range of stakeholders and market participants regarding domestic and international economic matters.” FT

    Drug prohibition policy dictatorship resides in the Treasury Department. Just a reminder lest y’all forget.

      1. LeeAnne

        Myth Busting

        “Operationally, the Fed is very much an agent of the government or as I often like to say – the other pocket in the same pair of pants as the US Treasury. But don’t take it from me. Take it from the Fed officials themselves:

        “The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve System have long enjoyed a close relationship, each helping the other to carry out certain statutory responsibilities. This relationship proved benefi cial during the 2008-09 fi nancial crisis, when the Treasury altered its cash management practices to facilitate the Fed’s dramatic expansion of credit to banks, primary dealers, and foreign central banks.

        …Understanding the relationship between Federal Reserve credit policy and Treasury cash management is important because the relationship illuminates an important but sometimes unappreciated interface between the Treasury and the Fed. It also underscores the symbiotic relationship between the two institutions, in which each assists the other in fulfilling its statutory responsibilities.”’

          1. LeeAnne

            Keywords: symbiotic relationship Fed US Treasury Timothy Geithner Hank Paulson Robert Rubin Sandy Weill minions Helicopter Ben Bernanke Goldman Sachs Blankfein George Schultz Pete Peterson Blackstone Carlyle Group George Bush .

  4. Brindle

    Grand Juries–(WA/Police State)

    —“The system has become, she said, “a constitutional bypass around the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, allowing the government access to evidence they wouldn’t otherwise have.”

    “It is also a useful tool to intimidate people, she said, creating a chilling effect on political activism. If simply knowing someone who might be suspected of political vandalism puts you at risk of a subpoena, a federal judge deciding some of your rights no longer apply, and 18 months in jail, it gives you a strong disincentive to associate with such people.”

    1. BondsOfSteel

      I can’t believe this isn’t getting more coverage.

      First of all, the crime was breaking windows during a political protest. Not exactly the crime of the century. To investigate this crime, the FBI has labeled the criminals “Terrorists” and have been conducting heavy handed midnight raids. Very chilling since this was politically related.

      Second, this girl going to prison wasn’t even at the protests. They are targeting her to testify simply because of her political beliefs and associations.

      I used to believe that the US didn’t have political prisoners :(

    2. Nathanael

      The US no longer has a justice system at all. That’s been made perfectly clear.

      We’re going to need a reform the scale of the French Revolution to get justice back.

      Should be…. interesting. And you know what they say about living in interesting times. Sigh.

      1. Procopius

        As a trivia addict and Sinophile I just wanted to point out that the thing about “living in interesting times” is NOT an ancient Chinese saying. I don’t remember the details, but its origin was traced to a science fiction story from the early 50s. Of course now everybody knows it so well that it’s instantly recognized as a curse, but it’s not Chinese. Just sayin’.

    1. Ms G

      Great stuff. Thanks for this. We need a lot more, everywhere. Images and Iconography — how the Church in the middle ages indoctrinated its people; how the 99% can reclaim reality from the Imagery-Drenched .01% regime.

  5. Kurt Sperry

    “It is thought investigators began a probe when the “code of silence” among Marines was broken by a witness to the alleged crime.”

    If your chosen profession has a “code of silence”, you are not an honest professional, you are a criminal gang member.

  6. Judge Judy

    My heroine!
    Victims of grand-jury extortion ought to be invoking CCPR Article 17, their right to be free of government attacks on their privacy and reputation, and CCPR Article 22, their right to freedom of association with others. The judicial circle-jerk of US grand jury abuse is a good opportunity for defensive enforcement of binding human rights law. Meanwhile grand jurors ought to be nullifying the work of hack federal Clouseaus and pig-ignorant affirmative-action disasters like Richard A. Jones. Can’t somebody teach the poor dumb shit what a right is? It’s only a five-letter word.

    1. Nathanael

      It’s also worth demanding repeatedly that the grand jury hearings be sealed against the prosecutor.

      Allowing the prosecutor to see grand jury hearings is directly contrary to common law and the entire principles behind the invention of grand juries. If I were in this position, I would be saying, “I will talk to the grand jury, I will not talk to the prosecutor. Get these records sealed against the prosecutor and then we can talk.”

  7. Hugh

    Krugman the Democratic tribalist pointing his finger at those crazy Republicans and lying for Obama again:

    “If Mr. Obama wins, he’ll presumably go back to pushing for modest stimulus, aiming to convert the gradual recovery that seems to be under way into a more rapid return to full employment.”

    First, Obama, the author of the Bowles-Simpson Cat Food Commission, is the biggest supporter of austerity out there. But just look at all the mealy-mouthed qualification in that Krugman statement: “presumably” meaning he doesn’t know, “go back to” as in Obama isn’t doing it now”, “pushing for” as opposed to doing, “modest stimulus” as in ineffective or just theater for the rubes, “aiming to convert” it can’t even just convert, “gradual recovery” recovery for whom?, “that seems to be under way” Krugman can’t even bring himself to say “is underway”. What mush.

    1. kevinearick

      Funny, the housing recovery just stepped on San Fran, and its foot is going through the floor. Phoenix; have you been to Phoenix? Krugman is backtracking, like everyone else, that has seen the cliff and doesn’t like the looks of the jump required.

      Margin, margin, margin, who has the margin?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I thought someone told me this year, year 2012, has been designated the ‘Fool Me Once Shame On You’ year.

    3. Nathanael

      The difference between Obama and the Republicans is significant; was it Warren Celli who described it as “ordinary evil” vs. “Xtrevilism”?

      Obama knows that the people need to be given bread and circuses.

      The Republicans don’t know this.

      Make of that what you will.

  8. kevinearick

    not to worry, the US Navy, like everyone else is about to get a wake up call…For the empire, the world is flat…The lord is my employer; I shall never be out of work…

    Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the world of the wicked,
    nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
    He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water,
    that yields its fruit IN ITS SEASON.
    In all that he does, he prospers.

    Humanity is an instrument, in a feedback loop. Act, to threshold, and you make or break the circuit, at will. Only those witout sin have free will. Set your distance and time jumps accordingly. Temporary measures in the economy of redemption is the rope.

    1. kevinearick

      what, the obfuscation, the make-work proliferation, or what a lousy rag the economist has become?

    2. lambert strether

      “Financial firms should of course be held to account when they do wrong [hem hem ***clears throat*** hem hem].”

      If The Economist were an American “newspaper,” I’d have said “*** cough ***” but these guys are Brits, so when I want to conjure the production of a huge honkin glob of ironic phlegm, I’ve got to be a little classier.

      * * *

      Thank for the link. I read all the way to the end. Of course, the writer also confuses “doing wrong” but “breaking the friggin law,” but that’s a comment for another day…

    1. Ms G

      This is an appalling development documenting yet again the exemption from laws (criminal, civil) that the JPMs and JPM thugs enjoy at the expense of their victims and in contrast with similarly situated defendants who happen not to be part of the .01% Club.

      I hope the cabby’s lawyers are taking this as the laying down of the gauntlet and planning to mount an aggressive and noisy campaign to demand the investigative files of the Stamford PD and a statement as to why the charges against William Bryan Jennings have been “nolle’d.”

      1. Ms G

        Propertius and Lambert:

        I anticipate that Still-Fri**in’-Mayor-Bloomberg will buy the guy a revolver (with his personal, Bloomberg Foundation, money, and an engraved dedication) and give it to him next time they bump into each other at a JPM Charity Fundraiser as a Token of Valor from the Peter Pinguid Society. (Mike’s thing about guns is really only about the wrong people having them, as we know by now.)

        Any guesses what the engraved message will be?

      2. Ms G

        Yes, it really is too bad the cabby didn’t have more than his bare hands to fend off Jennings Bryan. Karma might put Mr. JB in a Stand Your Ground state one of these days — given his evident propensity for getting wasted and behaving badly, he might just wander onto somebody’s private lawn.

  9. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, just saw an ad for “The Christian Real Estate Network” on Alternet.

    “It’s beginning to look a lot like Kristall, everywhere I go.”

  10. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Will miracles never cease?

    “There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics” – Yasha Levine — 12 Oct 2012

    “It’s awarded by Sweden’s central bank, foisted among the five real prizewinners, often to economists for the 1% — and the surviving Nobel family is strongly against it.”


    //”Members of the Nobel family are among the harshest, most persistent critics of the economics prize, and members of the family have repeatedly called for the prize to be abolished or renamed. In 2001, on the 100th anniversery of the Nobel Prizes, four family members published a letter in the Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, arguing that the economics prize degrades and cheapens the real Nobel Prizes. . . .”//

    How to explain the conferring of the Authentically “Nobel Peace Prize” to the “European Union,” a contrived “Economic Union” with Political Pretensions? Is this not the apotheosis of a EURO-PERVERSION Squared and Crowned?

    1. Max424

      I play pool in an 8-ball league where players get trophies and patches for –more or less– just showing up.

      Well I’m a nominal Buddhist, and as such, I refuse to accept trophies and patches (or bobbles and trinkets and tinny cymbals). Instead, I give my trophies and patches to a friend of mind, who believes that if you can publicly display enough of these things, people will think you’re a good player.

      (He’s even been know to change the name plates on the trophies, replace mine with his, to make it appear more authentic. Smart lad).

      Pretty much the same deal with the Nobel Prize for Economics I think. Just conjure up a prize, and then have someone award it to you, knowing that you will award them one in kind, when their time comes.

      Basically, just hand the fuckers out to everyone.

  11. Max424

    Is the US economy in recession?

    I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but no, not quite yet!

    Great chart, but I would take umbrage with Charles Hugh Smith calling my people, the “Keynesians’ Cargo Cult.”

    “Borrow and blow,” he says, “borrow and blow, squawk!”

    Who said borrow?* Who said squawk?

    The bottom line is, the fiscal stimulus, small as it was, worked (“real growth” line going up in 2009). But as it wore off, the fiscally constrained states began to impose local austerity, and 50 local austerities equals nationwide austerity (“real growth” line at present going down, down, down).

    Note: Keynes is the most misunderstood figure in the history of figures. And I’ll say this to my dying day, Keynes was NOT a Keynesian.

    *Borrow? Why would we borrow and impose that fictional burden on our children, and the children of our children’s children?

    Does the Fed borrow? Fuck no. The Fed lends money –that it creates, at zero percent interest– to everybody but the United States, including and especially, the austerity packing states that comprise the United States.

  12. bob

    “Tactically, Biden was good at cornering Ryan in just this way. Strategically, this is a function of the very narrow differences between the parties, not the skill of the debaters.”

    That statment is complete nonsense, in that truthy sounding way.

    Wanted- Box of hammers that can string important sounding words and phrases into truthy sounding propagada.

    Let’s take toolbox at his word. The strategy of Mr. Biden was to point out how little difference there was between the two peole? A strategy is put into play by a person or group of persons, not a “writer” seeking some holy sounding ephiphiny.

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