Links 10/20/12

Thanks for the concern about my inflamed finger. It is getting better. Someone suggested rubbing alcohol, and it never occurred to me that stuff might live up to its name.

Dolphins stay awake for 15 days by sleeping with one half of brain Daily Telegraph (Lambert). This test sounds really mean even though the dolphins handled with aplomb.

Twitter and Facebook ‘harming children’s development’ Telegraph

A tool to quantify consciousness? Nature

Young blood really is the key to youth New Scientist (Jeremy). Hhm, maybe Elizabeth Bathory was on to something….And I’m not clear on why they play act being mystified as to possible mechanisms. Telomeres seem like a possible culprit and they probably have other hypotheses.

UK experiences ‘weirdest’ weather BBC. I thought words like “weird” were acceptable scientific terms only in particle physics.


NRC Whistleblowers: Risk of Nuclear Melt-Down In U.S. Is Even HIGHER Than It Was at Fukushima George Washington

Crisis strains Hollande and Merkel’s unity Financial Times

Europe mistakes market lull for vote of confidence Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Eurofascist Watch

Op-Ed: Spain to ban photos or videos of police in action Digital Journal

Reported Golden Dawn Sightings Rattle Queens New York Times. Loyal NC readers may recall we wrote this story up in Links earlier in the week. The NYT report is condescending, as in it insinuates the anti Golden Dawn types might be paranoid, since the Times can’t locate an actual GD person. Of course, if a Northern reporter from a known-to-be-liberal paper wandered into a Mississippi town in the 1950s looking to find KKK members, do you think they’d get much cooperation from sympathizers? The article is also bizarrely sanctimonious: GD “is accused of being behind attacks…” when its role and methods in Greece are well documented. Another peculiar bit is the way an incident where a Golden Dawn member attacked a fellow parliamentarian (and the word typically used to describe the incident is typically “attack”) is minimized here by calling it a slapping and not mentioning that the victim was a woman. Moreover, in Greece, women are simply not attacked in public; the incident is far more shocking by Greek standards than Americans would realize. From one OWS correspondent:

We didn’t drive “Golden Dawn” out in person but for sure we deprived them of their safe havens through the publicity, which has been pretty much daily in the Greek-American paper (the Ethniko Kirika a.k.a. National Herald). It was all over the media in Greece. The mere appearance of the NYT reporters (almost two weeks ago now) turned certain GD sympathizers at the Greek cultural center into instant anti-fascists.

And another:

The EU is turning Greece into an open-air prison for the refugees created by American West Asian wars. The EU build a wall along the northern border, and patrols it, to prevent the majority, who really want to live in London or France, etc. from escaping Greece. The last time the country as seen such an influx was after the 1922 Asia Minor Catastrophe when the population of Athens quadrupled. Greece, unlike the US, is not set up to recieve immigrants, and this is ought to be treated as the international humanitarian crisis, and the EU crisis, that it is. Instead the immigration crisis with its neo-Nazi response — which the government ignores (did I say that the president is a known anti-Semite?)– plays into the hands of those enforcing neo-liberal austerity programs. I think that this is the proper context for GD, that their odious activities indirectly aid the German and French banks; that a genuine international humanitarian crisis is being misidentified as being solely a Greek problem; and the present Greek government is wearing blinders when it comes to GD.

Anti-Syrian security official among dead in Beirut car bomb attack Guardian

#Chalkupy Continues In Austin Kit O’Connell, Firedoglake (amateur socialist)

Hot Air from David Brooks on Clean Energy and Global Warming Dean Baker

Does the Romney Family Now Own Your e-Vote? TruthOut (Robert M)

Charles P. Pierce’s cynical defense of Obama VastLeft. A first class fisking.

Gun industry thrives under Obama administration despite warnings Associated Press

Obama on “The Daily Show”: A Gaffe is a Gaffe The New Yorker

Lauding Obama, Clinton Cites ‘Impatient’ Americans Associated Press. Lambert: Democrats can’t let go of “blame voters” trope.

Response to Daniel Ellsberg’s call for swing-state lefties to vote for Obama VastLeft (Lambert). Only because VastLeft is on a roll….

Unemployment rate drops in 41 states, including most swing states Washington Post

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Thoughts on the Anniversary of the Crash of 1987 Jesse

Google Insiders Bail Prior to Stock Plunge Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse)

Falling Revenue Dings Stocks Wall Street Journal

Treasuries now have the worst risk/return profile in decades Sober Look. But…. in deflation, cash and low risk bonds are the place to be. So there are scenarios under which Treasuries make perfect sense.

Bernanke’s faith in QE on shaky ground Financial Times

Irony alert!: Pending Supreme Court decision may breathe new life into SEC civil enforcement actions related to the financial crisis Thompson Reuters Securities Law blog (Deontos)

Media Interest in Greg Smith’s Book Goldman Sachs. Mark Ames: “A toolkit for tools.”

John Mack Says Wall Street Compensation Needs to Be ‘Squeezed’ Bloomberg

The price of admission: How patronage is damaging US universities Gillian Tett, Financial Times

In Which Richard Burton Discusses Poetry Paris Review (Lambert)

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 42 and counting*

Abundibot evidently told lies for the mere pleasure of it. Perhaps it was the only pleasure he knew. —Ursula LeGuin, City of Illusions

Since it’s Friday, I spent most of the day shopping for streamers, balloons, canapés, and champagne for the weekend’s coming soirées, plural, and so I’m going to grant myself the relief of writing about the zeitgeist once again. 

The definitive Democratic post-debate talking point is that Republicans are liars. The meme is everywhere, so requoting Kevin Baker in Harpers, since he runs the riff* better than most:

Caught in a lie, and a nasty and stupid one at that, he still did not back off, plunging on until he reached lows of demagoguery approached only in this campaign by . . . his running mate, Paul Ryan, in the last debate. Throughout the debate, Mr. Romney lied brazenly, without hesitation or compunction. He lied in big ways and small, lied cleverly and foolishly, lied as if he couldn’t help himself. Debating this man must feel like wrestling with a greased seal.

All good clean fun. But really, is it some sort of revelation that politicians lie? Some philosophers call lies “noble”; the Authorization to Use Military Force was thoroughly bipartisan and built on lies; children learn to lie between the ages of 2 and 4; and lying is a sign of intelligence. So why are Democrats — shocked, shocked! — clutching their pearls and heading for the fainting couch? What’s going on?

Sheer tendentiousness, of course. But something perhaps larger and more interesting, as well. Let’s return to these remarks from Obama vs. Romney II:

“[ROMNEY: ] Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs… 

[OBAMA:] I think a lot of this campaign, maybe over the last four years, has been devoted to this notion that I think government creates jobs, that that somehow is the answer.”

Of course, government can and does create jobs, even if Romney denies it and Obama gets huffy and exasperated when accused of having told the truth. Actual reporter Dick Polman of the Inquirer:

FDR’s stimulus programs created some 15 million jobs. For instance: The Works Progress Administration put eight million people to work. (You have surely driven on roads and flown from airports built by WPA workers.) The Civilian Conservation Corps hired 2.7 million. The Civil Works Administration employed four million. The Public Works Administration created jobs for hundreds of thousands. (Perhaps you have enjoyed the PWA’s handiwork, such as the Lincoln Tunnel and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.)

Are Robama and Obomney lying? Surely not.** Nothing so simple. And what they are doing is what the Democratic charge of “lying” seems meant to distract from: They’re bullshitting.*** From Harry Frankfurt’s On Bullshit:

What Augustine calls “liars” and “real lies” are both rare and extraordinary. Everyone lies from time to time, but there are very few people to whom it would often (or even ever) occur to lie exclusively from a love of falsity or of deception [like Abundibot in the epigraph]. For most people, the fact that a statement is false constitutes in itself a reason, however weak and easily overridden, not to make the statement. For St. Augustine’s pure liar it is, on the contrary, a reason in favor of making it. For the bullshitter it is in itself neither a reason in favor nor a reason against. Both in lying and in telling the truth people are guided by their beliefs concerning the way things are. These guide them as they endeavor either to describe the world correctly or to describe it deceitfully. For this reason, telling lies does not tend to unfit a person for telling the truth in the same way that bullshitting tends to. Through excessive indulgence in the latter activity, which involves making assertions without paying attention to anything except what it suits one to say, a person’s normal habit of attending to the ways things are may become attenuated or lost. Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.

Even worse, or, if worse is better, better, Obomney and Robama are, in this instance, peddling identical — and easily and demonstrably refutable — bullshit that denies humane and life-saving polices like the WPA or a Jobs Guarantee to tens of millions of suffering American citizens.

And nobody in the political class is calling them on it. Isn’t that a remarkable state of affairs? It’s the most important election EVAH!

NOTE * And riff is what it is. When we come to cases, we find material like this: “Mr. Romney continued the Republican tactic of trying to rewrite the unemployment figures, claiming that the real rate should somehow be 10.7 percent, not 7.8.” NC readers who have been following Hugh’s work (archives) know that the disemployment rate, fairly considered, is even higher than the rate Romney quotes. But Baker isn’t lying, exactly, is he?

NOTE ** I don’t recall seeing any of the fact checkers setting the record straight on this. Readers?

NOTE *** I spell the word out completely as a term of art. Don’t try this at home because the spam filters will queue it.

* Slogan of the day: Long Live the Great Democratic Party!

* * *

Antidote du jour. Yes, this is for real, it’s a peacock spider (furzy mouse):

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  1. Synopticist

    All this “both sides are as bad as each other” stuff is getting really boring. They’re not.

    I’ve been a bit of a global political nerd for about 20 years, and in that time 2 politicians have stood out as being utterly dishonest- Silvio Berlusconi, and Binyamin Netanyahu. I’m not talking about being financially corrupt, but the frequency with which they lie, and the intensity of those lies. But then Mitt Romney appeared on the scene.

    And he’s blown those 2 liars out of the water. It’s not just the flip-flopping. Mitt lies like no-one else. His entire campaign strategy is based on lying about his opponent, his opponents record, and his own policies. It’s NOT normal, it’s NOT politics as usual, and it’s NOT standard dirty tactics stuff.

    Mitts campaign is the least honest campaign waged in the westernn world since the eighties at least. Other politicians use lies in campaiagns as a tactic. For Mitt, it’s a strategy. The whole meta-narrative is based on deciet.

    1. sleepy

      Are you saying that Obama with his 233 lies and his false narrative is better than Mitt with his 378 lies and his equally false narrative?

    2. Middle Seaman

      Netanyahu doesn’t lie; he is a rigid, right wing idiot. Lies aren’t the worst crimes of politicians. By the way Abbas is not much better.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I’m sorry you’re bored. Have you tried creative play activities?

      * * *

      Interestingly — and may I suggest that you give consideration to the idea of reading the post all the way to the end? — on “government creating jobs,” both candidates are, exactly and precisely, “as bad as each other,” as I show. The same goes for Obama’s signature domestic initiative, ObamaCare, which is functionally and identically equivalent to RomneyCare. That’s a pretty substantical swatch of domestic policy, yes? To be fair, the same doesn’t go for Bush’s signature domestic initiative, eliminating the Bill of Rights. Obama’s worse.

      However, high on most readers’ list of “boring” rhetorical techniques is straw manning. I did not, in fact, claim (and do not claim) that “both sides are as bad as each other”; I’m sure there will always be differences, even if vanishingly small, between the two. What I do claim is that both legacy parties form a single system, and that their duopoly needs to be broken up if there’s to be any hope of policy created with the public good in mind. Parties that cannot display adaptability and are unequal to the demands of their time will die, as is right, much as the Whig Party did before the Civil War.

      Finally, thank you for sharing your concern on the deceit and dishonesty of The Romney’s campaign. You give proof, if proof were needed, that a focus on lies is a distraction from the greater evil of bullshit.

      1. Synopticist

        Well Lambert, here’s a couple of differences.
        Obama’s Keynsian spending DID create jobs, whereas Mitt’s supply side, trickledown Reaganite economics will destroy them.

        Furthermore, Obamacare, imperfect as it may be, ACTUALLY EXISTS NATIONWIDE, while Romneycare exists only in Taxachusetts, and Romney himself has repudiated it.

        Oh, and Romney has surrounded himself with Bush era neo-cons, like America’s worst General since MacArthur, Tommy Franks.

        Maybe these things seem vanishingly small to you, we clearly differ. However, I do insist there’s a differernce between political bullshit, which is everyday, normal political bluff and bluster, and basing your entire campaign on dishonesty. Which is exactly what Romney is doing.

        “Everyone lies from time to time, but there are very few people to whom it would often (or even ever) occur to lie exclusively from a love of falsity or of deception”.

        Mitt’s one of these guys. Fortunatelly they’re very rare, even in plolitics.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          1. Income inequality increased more under Obama than Bush. So who’s the better implementer of trickle down?

          2. Obama has folded fast every time he’s put forward an initiative to increase taxes on upper income earners

          3. During the debt ceiling fight last year, Boehner at one point reduced the amount of cuts he was seeking, and it was Obama that was pushing for a larger amount of cuts, $4 trillion

          4. Obama had decided, before he took office, that cutting Medicare and Social Security were his top priorities once the economy was stabilized. Go track down his dinner with George Will.

        2. Lambert Strether

          I must have hit a nerve. Apparently, it’s impossible for a D operative or Obama apologist to recognize, admit, or even challenge the idea that bullsh*t is even more pernicious than lying.* So, instead, we get a lengthier and more vehement repetition of the original straw man.

          Proves my case, actually.

          But let me turn to the on-point, non-straw man responses. Oh, wait…

          NOTE * Rather, the poster redefines the term:

          which is everyday, normal political bluff and bluster,

          which is not what Frankfurt wrote. Proving my point again. Smarter Opologists, please.

        3. Doug Terpstra

          “Romney has surrounded himself with Bush era neo-cons”. And which of Obama’s appointments are better? “Are you [effing] retarded” Emanuel? JP Morgan’s Daley? Citigroup’s Jacob Lew? Tax-cheat Geithner? Corp lawyer Holder? Bernanke? Rubin? Summers? Dennis Ross? Greg Judd? Petraeus? Gates? Liz Fowler, former CEO of WellPoint (insurance racket) to oversee ObamaCare? Oil-man Salazar?

          Why is it people have trouble grasping the concept of the wolf masquerading in sheep’s clothing, the cloaked predator, or the serpent with the silver forked tongue?

          Lambert nailed it: Obama’s “bullsh*t is even more pernicious than lying.”

          1. Synopticist

            Bill Clinton is probably the most prolific bullshitter I’ve ever seen in politics. He had a fairly tortured relationship with the truth. But you kind of knew where you were with him.

            Mitt Romney, by contrast, is a total dishonest liar. He’s taken the act of political lying to a height unmatched since Nixon, perhaps earlier. People only know what he’s about because someone videoed him telling the truth to his fellow plutocrats.

            I’m not an apologist for Obama. I think he’s a vacous, over-promoted, centre-right pussy. If I lived in the US anywhere but a swing state, I’d vote Green.

            I find it wierd though, that large swathes of the American left have got something idiotic in common with the Village,
            MSM, corporate media whores- their blind addiction to the “both sides are as bad as each other” bullshit.

          2. Ms G

            “He’s taken the act of political lying to a height unmatched since Nixon, perhaps earlier.”

            As has been pointed out in discussions here at NC in the near and intermediate past, Nixon — whatever lies he may have told — has a record on social security and civil rights (not to mention healthcare — he was in favor of single payer!) that would place him so far to the left of today’s “progressive liberals” that he would slide into Socialist Party territory.

            You cliche’d (and apparently ignorant) reference to Nixon as a one-dimensional figure consisting of “lying” betrays you as someone who parrots pernicious Obama propaganda — whether deliberately or unconsciously, frankly, makes no difference.

          3. Doug Terpstra

            Syn, I don’t know which “MSM corporate media whores” you hear saying “’both sides are as bad as each other’”. What I read is the opposite, divisive nonsense theater that Obama is either an illegal alien Muslim commie, or from the Nation, Ellsberg, Solnit, Taibbi, etc., that sure, Obama is imperfect, but Romney and his theocons are so terrifying and retrograde that you should sell your soul at any price to support Obama. Don’t be a nitpicker, I read. What’s a little NDAA, drone assassinations, suspension of habeas corpus, rigged trade on steroids, amnesty for war crimes and rampant fraud, coups, illegal wars, and cat food for seniors, when he’s said good things about maybe letting the billionaires’ tax cuts expire someday, and he supports gay rights and contraceptives? Jeez, let’s be realistic. The perfect is the enemy of the good, and TINA.

            Like you, I do think there’s a big difference, but if I lived in a swing state I’d be tempted to vote for Romney because I sincerely believe Obama is the greater, clear and present danger to the remnant republic. He’s the quintessential wolf in sheep’s clothing, a charlatan and con, who, unlike Romney, can pass devastating law past a somnolent Congress and Supine Court. As it is I’ll vote for Dr. Stein, but I could never vote for Obama after the treachery of the last four years (beginning before his coronation).

            One of the ‘differences’ you cite is ObamaCare, in which the beneficial teasers have gone into effect, preceding the full-bore hammer to come in 2014. But the PPACA would be more aptly named ObamneyCare, or better yet, the “Death-Panel Profiteers Bailout Act”. Read Paul Craig Roberts analysis:

            “Obamneycare Converts Health Care Into Profits”

            “When Obama sold out his supporters to the insurance companies, Obama supporters lined up with the pretense that diverting Medicare money to private profits was an improvement over the current system. Obama supporters have now invested so much emotional capital in Obama’s assault on Medicare that they pretend there is some meaningful difference between Obamacare’s government subsidized private insurance policies and Romneycare’s government subsidized private medical insurance vouchers.”


          4. different clue

            I offer another name for Obamacare in case it is worthy of catching on. BORomneycare. Stands for Baucus Obama Romneycare.

      2. Carol Sterritt

        I liked your third paragraph quite a lot. Michael Collins refers to the duopoly of the two candidates as being “The One Big Money Party”

        Let’s face it, both these men are totally enthralled by the Billionaires’ ideas of how the world should be run, an dboth will follow that game plan completely. One difference between the two men is that Obama makes sure no one leaks the audio of him saying that he doesn’t ahve any use for 47% of us. But he doesn’t. He even let his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel refer to us as “retards.”

  2. Max424

    US Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz does not know that the President of the United States has take on the authority to kill United States citizens! Whenever he feels like it (which happens to be every Tuesday)!

    Is this even possible???


    If you don’t read Glenn Greenwald, then I’m guessing it’s because you don’t enjoy a good belly laugh, because when read the guy, I laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh, and then I laugh some more!

    Bbbbwwwwaaaaaaaeeewwwwoooohhh man, my tummy hurts.

    Note: This country is a JOKE. Not a farce, a farce implies there is intelligence at work somewhere, but a JOKE. A stupid, crass, ignorant JOKE.

    From now on, I call ALL Congressmen Vaudevillians, and ALL Senators Clowns.

    For instance: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democratic Vaudevillian from Florida, dropped a doozy today, and made me howl … or, the former Democratic Clown from Delaware, Joe Biden, has decided to join another former Democratic Clown, Barrack Obama, in the forming a comedy duo that will work the Beltway circuit.

    Will he take the role of Jerry Lewis, or Dean Martin? Only time will tell.

    1. sleepy

      Yes, after reading the article and the comments, I’m still not quite convinced that Wasserman really, actually, honestly doesn’t know about the killer side of Obama, as opposed to just not wanting to talk about it.

      But I am convinced that it’s entirely possible, and that possibility as you say can only result in what, previously unreached levels of despair? or, as you well put it, laughter at the vaudeville act?

      It goes without saying that the clowns have always been ruthlessly cynical, but now I have to remix it to add a hefty dose of garden variety stupid.

      1. Ned Ludd

        Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn’t know what Luke Rudkowski was referring to because he didn’t mention that the kill list targeted Muslims. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Note the look of confusion, followed by incredulity, in her eyes. She thought he was talking about a kill list targeting people, which sounded like a ridiculous conspiracy theory. In her mind, killing Muslims is different from killing people.

        If it sounds far-fetched that someone who is not clearly deranged or an obvious bigot can completely dehumanize another group of people without even even being aware of it, consider this:

        Still, in 1952, the first hint of a gathering storm of disapproval about Wilder’s work appeared on Nordstrom’s desk—a a letter from a reader deeply offended by two lines in the original published text from the opening chapter of Little House on the Prairie. “There the wild animals wandered and fed as though they were in a pasture that stretched much farther than a man could see, and there were no people. Only Indians lived there.

        Ursula Nordstrom, the publisher and editor in chief of juvenile books at Harper & Row, wrote back to the reader about the offensive lines. “Reading them now it seems unbelievable to me that you are the only person who has picked them up and written to us about them in twenty years since the book was published.”

        1. sleepy

          Good points.

          I was going to say that of course it’s not “far fetched” to dehumanize a group of people in order to kill them. That it’s the new normal.

          But as your reference indicates, it’s of course not new at all.

          It’s an old, old, old normal.

          1. mad as hell.

            She knows damn well what the kill list refers to.

            I’m sure Luke Russert will ask her again in their next interview.

            I’m also absolutely sure that after this election is over we will finally get going on solving our American problems.

  3. Kenneth Alonso

    European Fascist Watch should be altered to Rise of Tyrranies in Europe as the Communist ideologues take to the streets in Spain and Greece, threatening churches and those in the private sector, shouting down anyone with a different opinion.

    1. Goin' South

      This old canard? Let’s get positively 1930s and claim the anarchists are raping nuns.

      I have no particular love for Leninists, but you are promoting an especially odious variety of false equivalency.

      1. Kenneth Alonso

        I am in Spain. The press openly reports the actions occurring daily in the streets. Soviet banners are prominent in the demonstrations. The language of the demonstrators is that all their opponents are fascists. In the past few days their leaders have assaulted a parochial school as well as a church operated radio-television outlet. The party leaders of the old Spanish Communist party (now called the Plural Left) justify those actions. The recent demonstration of high school students and their Socialist parents organization (everything in Spain appears to be identified with the right or the left) against educational reforms expanded to support all left causes in play at the moment. The reforms they oppose are the imposition of homework, the ability to expel disruptive students, the cessation of repeating courses failed during the term, and the adjusting of university majors to be uniform with those of other European countries. Only “fascists” oppose those reforms per their language. Read the Spanish press. There are many outlets available on the internet.

    2. taunger

      Praise Jesus, someone is finally letting is loose against the Churches that keep threatening me with Hell, damnation, and a society devoid of critical thinking capacity or material philosophy.

  4. LeeAnne

    No-fly list strands man in on island in Hawaii By AUDREY McAVOY
    Associated Press
    Hawaii (AP)

    ‘… “It’s scary to know that something like this can happen in a free country. You’re not accused of any crime. You haven’t been contacted by anyone. No investigation has been done. No due process has taken place,” he said.’

    When are we going to stop calling it a free country?

    It’s actually heartbreaking to see people put in a position where they can’t face the truth about their own country. And commonplace. Loyalty to one’s country (see identity) is a hard thing to dislodge. Traitors are taking full advantage of that.

  5. Expat in Europe

    I follow your blog faithfully, but I’m rather put off by your naming a whole category of your links as “Eurofascist Watch”.

    Don’t you think there’s just as strong a case for calling a parallel, already existent category on your links page “Americofascist Watch”? Why discriminate?

    Does Europe deserve so much more scorn that only the nastiest words should be used? It’s not like I believe you’re someone who’d be afraid of a dawn visit by the men in black helicopters on your side of the pond.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Americofascist Watch? Here ya go:

      “On November 8th, our beloved Plaza de la República will witness the largest demonstration ever seen against the dictatorial government [of Argentina].”

      Under president Kristina Kirchner, Argentina is suffering the worst inflation in the western hemisphere, and the highest probability of sovereign default despite having shed two-thirds of its debt just eleven years ago.

      Thanks to Kirchner’s oppressive and corrupt micromanagement, Argentina now ranks globally in the bottom quintile in economic freedom, a distinction it shares with such notable achievers as North Korea, Burma, Iran, Libya, Chad and Zimbabwe. Economic freedom map:

      Fuera La Viuda Negra — out with the Black Widow!

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Expat, when those fighting for human rights in Greater Europe develop and make successful a website of the magnitude and power of Naked Capitalism, you can present the “Americofascist” category. Go ahead.

    3. Synopticist

      Golden Dawn is now the third most popular party in Greece. Most cops support them. The rightwing elites, who’ve always relied on the old school right parties to do their bidding, and recently threw in their lot with the New Democract party, may be starting to hedge their bets towards Golden Dawn.

      It’s getting scary.

    4. charles leseau

      I tend to think NC generally puts those who are ruining Europe in the same camp as those in the US – same motives, same or similar methods, power freaks and obscene money gluttons who plan on swindling just about everyone out of just about everything and imposing their will on the world in ultimately despotic fashion. I’m not sure there is ever any need for some question here whether anyone would place the US above Europe or where we need to fight ourselves over which is “more fascist” or even whether it matters to say one is more so than the other in light of the situation and apparent futures of both places.

      Maybe I’m wrong. But nearly every article about the horrors of the current US situaton is tagged “Banana Republic” though, which should tell you something about NC’s attitude towards the hucksters running the show here.

  6. dearieme

    “in deflation, cash and low risk bonds are the place to be”: for the man in the street, is cash the better bet of the two?

  7. Middle Seaman

    Someone missed the idea behind Clinton’s and Elsberg’s support for Obama. Clinton doesn’t blame voters; he tries to convince them that the almost empty cup has water in it. Clinton knows better than most who Obama is; he knew it way before most. It’s Romney or Obama now and the choice is clear.

    Hell, even I will vote Obama and duck.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Of course Clinton blames voters. Here’s the full quote:

      “This shouldn’t be a race,” Clinton said. “The only reason it is, is because Americans are impatient on things not made before yesterday and they don’t understand why the economy* is not totally hunky-dory again.”

      Shorter Clinton: Who ya gonna believe? Me, or your lyin eyes?

      Classic Democratic tropes:

      1. Voters are stupid; D operatives are smart. (“They don’t understand).

      2. Voters are childish; D operatives are adult (“impatient on things”).

      Anybody who’s been out in the trenches dealing with Obama supporters, fans, and operatives will encounter these tropes over and over again. (And if they don’t work, “you’re a racist” gets deployed.)

      * * *

      Of course, NC readers will quickly bring to mind any of serveral reasons why “the economy” is and will continue to grind along on the bottom for most of us while continuing to enrich Clinton/Obnama/Romney’s funders and supporters:

      1. Obama drowned state and local government in the bathtub by not bailing them out (and bailing out the banksters). Uniquely for past recessions, state and local government employment declined,

      2. Obama refused to prosecute criminal banksters and in fact gave them more money and power. This has various dampening effects on animal spirits, including a loss of trust in contracts (essential for commercial activity) and small investors fleeing the stock market because they know it’s rigged.

      3. Aggregate demand is in the cr*apper and policy measures that would rebuild it are off the table.


      NOTE * Whenever you hear “the economy,” ask “whose economy”?

      1. Aquifer

        Lambert – to tell you the truth this attitude seems like a really easy slide from the one i see too often expressed toward those “right wing, gun totin’, fundamentalist, troglodytes” Once you adopt a superior condescending attitude toward one group of folks based on one’s own “rational, logical, enlightened” approach, it is all too easy to extend it to anyone who doesn’t toe one’s line …

        Just an observation …

        1. Ms G

          I read Lambert’s comment and I did not notice condescension towards any one or any group — I did note a series of specific (factually grounded) points that rebutted the claim of the other poster that “Clinton did not condescend to voters” and well summarized the condescending (imperious) attitude of legacy democratic operatives and politicians towards those of us who no longer “toe the line.”

          1. ZygmuntFraud

            I don’t take Bill Clinton seriously. That’s because he’s a fixture of the Democrat Party and so is Obama.

            I find it harder to dismiss out-of-hand Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, when they suggest progressives in swing states hold their noses and vote for Obama.

            I still think Obama’s really bad on fixing the banking system, and I expect as much of Romney ( == , equality , deuce).

            It was R. Senator McCain who came up with the line: “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb I*** ” after a song by the Beach Boys. Maybe the Republicans (in Congress) are dumber and keener to go to war than the Democrats …
            ( Advantage Obama ???)

            So far, Obama has signed a secret paper authorizing some help for the anti-Assad forces in Syria “when the time is right, if ever”.

            So, I’d watch H. Clinton and Obama on the Middle East till Elections. The politicians would like us to believe they know better than the voters what to do. I wish to resist that, and my philosophy is that on election day, voters pass Judgement over Their politicians and candidates. May the force be with Us when we casteth the Ballots! amen.

            Trying to figure out Mitt Romney, all I found was the gubernatorial candidates’ debate (for Massachusetts) from 2002. Both Mitt Romney and Dr J. Stein were participants.
            The one-hour video of the 2002 candidate for Governor debate is on youtube.

          2. Aquifer

            Ms G – that was rather mine as well, with an observation on how easy it is to get there once you start demonizing the “opposition” ….

          3. propertius

            It was R. Senator McCain who came up with the line: “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb I*** ” after a song by the Beach Boys.

            No, it wasn’t. The parody song dates from the hostage crisis, and was quite popular in military towns back then.

  8. leftover

    Re: Tweaking the spam filter…
    Nicely done today, Lambert. One of your best.
    That said, I would petition you folks to remove said term from the spam filter thingie. You being able to identify it and us not being able to use it sounds like…well…never mind.

    Anyway…nicely done…and thanks for the link to Frankfurt’s…work.

  9. joebhed

    As a swing state voter for Jill Stein, my main issue with the beloved Ellsberg was his failure to make some political hay by advising that Blue State progressives definitely vote their conscience.
    Most Americans are voting AGAINST the other candidate, and not for anybody.
    A nation, by definition, adrift.

    1. Aquifer

      You raise a very good point – by failing to encourage folks in “safe” states to vote for parties who are CLEARLY more sympatico with what Ellsburg claims are his principles, what would otherwise might be considered simply a plea for “pragmatism” becomes an out and out Dem cheer leading routine, no matter how he “protests too much” …

    2. propertius

      As a swing state voter who plans on voting for Stein, I’m amazed that anyone would believe that rewarding Obama’s bad behavior with a vote would do anything other than encourage him to be worse.

  10. Jackrabbit

    Third Party Presidential Debate

    Why isn’t this getting more publicity? (even here at NC!)

    And why is this all-inclusive debate being labeled as a “Third-party Debate”? Yes, Obama and Romney will likely NOT participate, but my understanding is that they were invited. That they may be contractually obligated to not participate in other debates is just laughable.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Per their agreements with the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the two legacy parties, they are contractually prevented from participating in any other debates.

    2. Valissa

      Thanks for the info! This blog is still mostly caught up in the traditional L-R paradigm in terms of it’s analysis, but I keep hoping it will evolve ;)

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      J, maybe we should start calling it “The Second Party” Debate, since the RD Unitary Party is the One-and-Only First Party? (others have made this point in their own words, also).

      Jill Stein and Lambert call it. The RD Unitary Party, the One-and-Only First Party is without a doubt the “Bullshit Party” coming and going.

    4. spooz

      Thanks for the heads up about the debate. Glad to see Johnson is participating along with Stein and the others. Looks like CSpan has not committed, but at least I can count on Russia Today and Al Jazeera to take enough interest in US third parties to provide a live feed.

  11. JTFaraday

    re: Charles P. Pierce’s cynical defense of Obama VastLeft. A first class fisking.

    I got up to

    “In the old days, liberals responded to such actions with shouts of “war pig” and the like. Now, we shout “triumphs!””

    And then I got bored.

    The hard truth is that most of the country including most “liberals” and most “progressives” really do have a view of the government as a kind of client state, with citizen and corporate clients, that really does not require active citizenship.

    Obama’s great failure is in not assuming the paternalistic role with reference to the nation’s citizen clients that FDR appears to have assumed 2 generations ago and which the public still associates with the D-Party, even though it is likely the case that FDR had more pressure leading him to do so than Obama, with his base of faithful O-bots and upper middle class neoliberal enablers, does today.

    We’re still catching up with this state of affairs, and with the fact that the devolution of once broadly functional welfare state capitalist governing institutions means anyone who doesn’t participate in active governance is going to get mowed down by it.

    The Republican base has a better sense of this than Democrats/ former Democrats, because they’ve been b****ing about activist governance since the 1960s, when the white boy political and economic premium became a real bone of social contention.

    Not surprisingly, they have a stronger hand in in the government today. Mitt Romney, the bureaucrat, says he wouldn’t reduce spending in a recession, but the bureaucrat stilled hired one of new Wisconsin brown shirts to be his running mate.

    This is not to excuse Obama. Obama should have known that, as far as voters were concerned, his role as the head of the D-Party was a paternalistic one and that any “make me do it” movement was not going to happen quick enough to make a hill of beans worth of difference during his first term in office, even should he have been so inclined.

    So, Obama can still be assigned responsibility for these entirely predictable results, just like I still blame Jacob Hacker for allegedly not knowing that the current government would completely rework his public option health insurance mandate.

    1. vastleft

      It appears that this is precisely to excuse Obama. Your recurring “then I got bored” trope aims to dissuade people from reading fiskings like this, which show how dishonest professional-left defenses of Obama prove to be if one looks at them closely.

      1. JTFaraday

        Dude, what can I say? You’re boring the living crap out of me!!!

        If your deep sense of bewildered betrayal leaves you feeling compelled to write repetitive so-called “fiskings like this” at least hire an eff-ing editor so we can get it over with already.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      JTF, Dr. Jill Stein has the mettle, audacity, and chops to play this role. To go through medical school and become a successful practicing physician when she did took a lot of courage, strength, tenacity, perseverance: CHARACTER.

      Dr. Stein’s running mate, Cheri Honakala, also has CHARACTER.

      Show me one male candidate running who holds a candle to Jill Stein, M.D.

      DR. JILL STEIN PRESIDENT 2012: IT’S TIME: OCCUPY the People’s U.S.A.

  12. Klassy!

    I watched the Obama interview yesterday. I didn’t pay much attention to his “gaffe” but I did play back the part where he blamed his “inability” to close Guantanamo on congress!

    1. Ms G

      This guy’s please of “inability” are pouring in at an unprecedented rate these days. It is a wonder that he is able to find his way around the White House and the Oval Office (which I am assuming he is “able” to do).

      The President Who Was Unable to Do Anything.

  13. Jim Haygood

    From the ‘Sober Look’ post on Treasuries:

    A 100 bp rate increase (dark blue) causes a much higher principal loss now than it did at any time in the past 40 years.

    Not quite. Taken together, the ‘1980s’ ‘1990s’ ‘2000s’ and ‘Today’ in the study represent under 32 years, not 40 years.

    This point is non-trivisl because we’ve been in a secular bond bull market since Sep. 1981, which accounts for all but 1-3/4 of the 32 years depicted in the chart. You can’t get much perspective on bonds by only studying a bull market period — just as a stock market analysis based only on the years 1982-2000 would (and did) produce wildly distorted notions of expected return.

    Stepping back for a wider view, from their lows of about 2 percent in 1946, Treasury yields have essentially round-tripped, rising to 12 percent in 1981 during a dismal 35-year bond bear market, and then returning to below where they started as of today.

    If Goldman Sachs had included analogous bar charts for Treasuries in the 1940s and 1950s, they would resemble the one for ‘Today.’

    But why would you want to share valuable info like that with muppets?

  14. lick my halo

    America’s secular saint Daniel Ellsberg tells us how we rage rage rage. Ellsberg thinks he’s a big-shot moral authority who we must listen to. Ellsberg herds us down the authorized party cattle chutes just like any Dem hack – but UN Charter Articles 41 and 48, Rome Statute Article 8.2.c.iv (and corresponding Hague Convention Article 23,) the CCPR and UDHR, and the Convention Against Torture? Ellsberg won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. Rule of law scares Dems like Ellsberg the way garlic scares vampires. Ellsberg’s not fit to wipe Benjamin Spock’s moldering ass. Ellsberg got his sniffles rifled from his shrink’s office. Spock got convicted. Then Spock stood up and said the war “violates the United Nations Charter, the Geneva accords and the United States’ promise to obey the laws of international conduct.”

    1. Lambert Strether

      Ellsberg to voters: “Try the veal!”

      * * *

      Seriously, on my bad or, possibly, good days I think “chute” is a little more than a metaphor; the elite think of us as animals, and herd and cull us in exactly the same way. In this campaign, the process is really obvious, and so “the cattle are spooked,” as it were.

  15. ohmyheck

    Ha! I love this Blog Title:

    Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy- Something to Read Until (Bush) Obama Gets Us All (Killed) Ponies

    Methinks I shall peruse that site more often…thanks.

  16. JohnL

    Picture in the BBC weird weather item is a view of Portsmouth from Portsdown Hill. Pretty much the view from the house I grew up in.

  17. Aquifer

    The problem i have with VL’s “takedown” of Ellsburg is that that is all it is … In the end VL sorta shrugs his/her (?) shoulders and says “Eh, it really doesn’t matter what you do anyway, it won’t matter – so vote or not, vote your conscience or not …”

    To tell you the truth i am not sure which I think is more damaging – the TINA or the IDMNH (it don’t matter no how). If it doesn’t matter then all bets are off and Ellsburg’s “logic” is just as useful as any other in guiding one’s action if one is disposed to vote and the only real opposition in this scenario comes from those who argue against voting at all ..

    ISTM that this is a problem that plagues the left – this ennui re, if not downright disdain for, voting. Because while we “Eh” away, the other side, whether DorR, is out there pushing – ironically the Siamese twins are the ones arguing most vociferously that their heads really are different in the sense that one’s vote really does matter, while the folks who would in fact choose something quite different from either, if, that is, they decided to choose at all, just say “Eh ..” The end result being that we keep winding up with the Siamese twins because, for some strange reason, “Eh” doesn’t seem to be a particularly motivating sentiment ….

    1. vastleft

      I think the fundamental problems in our voter-side politics are truthiness, tribalism, and lack of empathy, which are highly interrelated.

      Sorry, but I don’t see a way out, until events reshuffle the deck, as will eventually happen on America’s present course.

      In the meantime, I encourage more truth-telling and less bullying.

      I find Ellsberg comes up disappointing on both measures, and in making my case, perhaps some 2L4O folks will be less cowed into voting against their consciences.

      The circumstances of this election do not make me feel entitled to tell them which of the options will best help them sleep at night or will tangibly lead to a superior result.

      1. Aquifer

        I agree with your “truthiness, tribalism, and lack of empathy” as being significant problems, but not the only biggies.

        This idea that “events will shuffle the deck” seems to relieve us of any responsibility to even attempt to choose the deck – we are to be passive players or “victims” in these events? Have we no hand in shaping these events? We seem to be counseled by so many with positions of influence on the Left in the media or the blogoshere – to adopt the “Eh” which becomes a self fulfilling prophecy – we have no influence because we are told we have none, we have no power because we are told we have none and hence do nothing to realize the potential of the power we do have …

        Why do you suppose TPTB spend so much on elections? It is not to get us to pick one of the duoploy over the other, but to make sure that we pick one of the duopoly, period …
        And they do that precisely by telling us TINA, over and over, and when those on the left essentially put up no real opposition to this when they say “Eh”, the duopoly wins …

        I realize that i am offering my own version of that BS “voting 3rd party is voting Rep” meme – but in this case, not putting up a sustained, spirited, can do resistance really is guaranteeing that the duopoly wins …

        So what are these “events” you speak about? And do we just sit by and watch them unfold, or blog about them, hoping there will be enough of us “left” to pick up the pieces?

        Just saying “NO” is not enough, no matter how cleverly we say it – it is time, way past time, to not only say “Yes” to something but to really mean it, work for it and, yes, vote for it …

        I am not an opinion maker, an influencer – as you are – so i do appreciate your taking time to respond to my post – that suggests to me that maybe “Eh” is up for discussion, maybe? :)

        1. vastleft

          If you have suggestions on actions one should take to bring positive change, rock on — please share them!

          I’ve spent untold hours encouraging people to think outside the duopoly box. But I’m not going to:

          1. Suddenly turn dishonest and tell people I have realistic hopes that their near-term 3rd-party votes or abstentions will positively impact anything

          2. Dismiss or badger people who have rationally looked at the bad / futile choices and come to a different conclusion on the right move to make on election day.

          What are these sea-change events, you ask? Who knows? But a country running on let-them-eat-cake elitism and non-stop murder of foreigners is liable to hit peak imperialism at some point, be it an American Spring, mega-Depression, or whatever. Me, I’m not a revolutionary. I don’t have a plan to foment radical change. If you’ve got one, good luck to you and the rest of us. I hope it’s a humane one.

          But radical change may well be in our future, and in preparation for it–and on general principles–I hope people will get right with truth and empathy. Damned if I how how to make that stick, but I think it’s worth promoting those as best one can.

          Personally, I’m saying “no” to the duopoly, forever, I imagine. And, for this election cycle, anyway, I’m saying “yes” to the Green ticket.

          Feel free to be disappointed in me for not taking some other tack in my voting plan or my message to those who are taking a different path.

          I’m flattered to be considered an influencer. Most days, my blog has infinitesimal traffic, and Yves and Lambert are among a tiny, tiny few that will link to an ex-Dem heretic like myself. (And for that, I thank them!)

          Finally, why would I not welcome a discussion, if it’s honest, thoughtful, and germane? What have you got?

          1. Aquifer

            Well i suppose i am one of the vanishing breed that actually think voting is important and that, as i said, one of the reasons we have what we have is because too many of us have adopted the “Eh” in which voting has been dismissed as a meaningful way to advance programs or policies for getting where we need to go and instead has been relegated to a team sport wherein the only thing that counts is the score or the “win” without paying much attention to what we have actually “won”…

            If we began to think about it seriously we would pay attention in ways that we haven’t for a long time – if we thought about it seriously more of us wouldn’t have turned tail and run away from a 3rd party because someone called us names – if we had taken it seriously we would have had different better DnR candidates by now because it would have been clear that, e.g. “I feel your pain” wasn’t good enough to make up for tossing our livelihoods away with ruinous trade agreements in the 90’s. If we had taken it seriously we wouldn’t have marched in Seattle then voted for free trader Gore, or marched in NY, DC and voted for pro war Kerry. If we had taken it seriously it wouldn’t have been enough that we were voting for a Smooth Black Guy named Obama …

            But we didn’t ….

            As for “realistic hopes” – I have been on my own “mission” to point out that “can’t win” is self defeating – that Stein, e.g., can win, she is on enough ballots – all she, all any candidate, needs is enough votes … If I don’t want a person to do something all i have to do is convince them their efforts are “futile” – I don’t even have to argue merits – In fact that is a good way to avoid having to argue merit. So mention “Stein” and, once she is dismissed as “can’t win”, her or her programs’ merits aren’t even discussed. We bitch because the MSM doesn’t cover them, but neither do we – instead we spend all our precious time and space talking about the duopoly – even if it is to condemn them, so at the end of the day all we are left with is TINA or “stay home” by default ….

            I am very glad you are voting for Stein – anybody here can tell you i have been pushing her relentlessly …. It just seems to me it would be nice if folks who bash the duopoly, the nay sayers, would spend at least as much time highlighting and yea saying the alternative. If you have done that, then I apologize …

            But when you describe considering a 3rd party being futile as a “rational” choice i must stand up and object, if for no other reason than i see it as fatally self defeating … As i have said here and elsewhere, i have seen patients walk out of a hospital who didn’t have a snowball’s chance when they came in – and they did because enough folks didn’t give a damn about the odds but kept fighting for them because the cause was worth it – Maybe it is a peculiarly medical thing, i don’t know – but folks are alive and well because enough others were not “rational” enough to quit ….

            I think i am coming from the same place as Stein – her description of the politics of fear producing what we are afraid of is right on, but next in line for producing the same is the politics of “Eh”, ISTM ….

            Now i don’t know how one tells about traffic – can you count how many people pull you up? I figure that for every person who comments there are a lot more who just read – but i don’t know how these silly machines work, let alone how to set something up as you have ….

            I’ve got lots more – but i do realize that folks do indeed get bored … :)

            Thank you for the exchange!

      2. different clue

        There are state/regional/county/city/initiative/proposal/referrendum items on ballots which matter very much.

        Here in Michigan for example we will have 6 ballot proposals. Depending on whether some of them win or lose, Michigan governance will be changed one way or another way for real. For example, one of our proposals (whose number I forget) would prevent the Legislature from being able to raise taxes with short of less than a 2/3rds supermajority.
        If that passes, Michigan will become as ungovernable as California is becoming. For example, the proposal on cementing respect for Worker Organizing/Bargaining Rights into our constitution is important to workers and to their anti-workeritic enemies depending on which way it comes out.

        There is more to elections than which member of the Two Party Conspiracy against America becomes President.

        1. different clue

          And hey . . . there’s another acronym in case anybody wants to experiment with memelaunching it.

          The TPC against America. (the Two Party Conspiracy against America).

          1. different clue

            The last two words should be left complete rather than being acronymized . . . to avoid the very confusion you highlight. TCPAA is indeed the bussiness you link to. Whereas TCP against America “could” be a launchable meme if it appeals to enough people. (“TCP” stands for “Two Party Conspiracy” in this case. The TCP against America).

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Aquifer, the TINA-Prop is coming in an Anschluss. For example:

      “. . . yada yada yada . . .”
      Thank you, Herr Wilpert for your dispassionate assessment. GOOD JOB!!!

      Consider the source:

      “Gregory Wilpert is a freelance writer and adjunct professor of political science at Brooklyn College’s Graduate Center for Worker Education. He is the author of Changing Venezuela by Taking Power (Verso Books, 2007) and a member of the recently launched International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS, For a collection of his writing, see”

      [Oy, veh.]

  18. briansays

    i voted by mail several days ago and skipped the presidential box for the first time since 1972

    i am now free to focus on baseball

    How about those Giants!!!

  19. amateur socialist

    Appreciate highlighting another of Austin PDs shenanigans wrt Chalkupy. The insane over the top response of the city to these kids is a real stain on my adopted home town. I used to think Travis County wasn’t like the rest of TX, a little island of blue in a fugly red state.

    Tactics like this make me want to go buy a few hundred pounds of chalk with a credit card then wait to see if the cops show up to ask about it. Pointless probably but I like the idea of seeing how far they will push the absurdity of this position.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      a.s., Have you investigated the Top of the Pyramid in Administration at the University of Texas, Austin for full comprehension of How It Works?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      lorac, how about that Austrian (perhaps Bavarian, in any case “Low German”) accent in Australia? The Victorian Reich perseveres in the “British Imperial Commonwealth.”

  20. Ep3

    Yves, I was watching a western and started thinking about small towns and small town economies. This led me to think larger.
    What my thoughts were is that say you, me and our friend Obama are an economy. We each sell the other what we need. Our money flows pretty much equally between each. What happens when imbalance occurs? Say, obamas good/service increases in price 10% above the other of us 2. Now please keep in mind a few things that are necessary to make my thought work. One being in a small group prices must stay pretty close, or when if we were a big economy, like the US, prices can be different due to size. So when I sell my goods, I get my money. But when I buy from Obama, he gets 10% more than he pays out. So that quickly over time, terrible inequalities develope. Obama could potentially end up with all the money while we go broke.
    So how will our economy continue when Obama has all the money? One way, and this ties into my small town reference, “tourists” visit and spend their money in our economy. So this can start another cycle, until all that money Obama ends up with. The second possibility would be for us to expand our economy with another person called “govt”. This entity would then serve a different function. It would be the equalizer, that gets obamas money moving from him to other things.
    And that’s my point. Money, especially today, depends on the velocity of the currency. But when it parks in certain areas, it causes economic slumps. Govt keeps that money flowing, because money does better moving in the economy instead of under the mattress of some rich person.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Ep3, the question remains: Why are We the People of the U.S.A. still paying interest/gain to Private Bankers on Our Money?

  21. Ignim Brites

    Mish’s observations on the fabulous profits of Google
    insiders is the best evidence to date that the Bernankster’s wealth effect is taking hold — at least on the Peninsula.

  22. Hugh

    Starting with The Nation editorial, the liberal Democratic tribalists are coming out of the woodwork to push the conservative, pro-rich, corporatist, anti-progressive Obama across the finish line. To hell with them and the horse they rode in on.

    In Charlie Pierce’s case, I think he has confused “cynic” with “sycophant”. His piece certainly makes a lot more sense if you substitute “sycophant” where he uses the word “cynic”.

  23. skippy

    Ah the coronation of POTUS… the grandeur! Yet one must excuse his absent memory of – voters – after the spectacle.

    Then its time to get the Economy moving again, after the voters, have been – conditioned – properly.

    skippy… ummm… is Reality just a projection of/by power[?] and if so, is Power just an aggrandized delusion?

    If you can’t save a child, how can you save the species? They do grow up… eh.

  24. scraping_by

    From the New Yorker:

    “He heard Stewart use a distinctive and wonky-sounding phrase and instinctively recited a version of it back to him.”

    That’s an actual technique common in management meetings. It’s one of those wretched ‘active listening’ games taught in seminars for the up-and-coming. It turns into gross ass-kissing and groupthink.

    Supposedly, it compliments the person who said it first and validates them. Gives them a little glow and leaves them open for the stinger.

    I’ve heard of meetings where a novel phrase gets taken up and passed around the table like a party favor. And this is what much of middle management calls ‘productivity.’ Pah.

  25. Bet Mulligan

    Only Richard Burton could, on a black and white TV, make me tremble with awe and lust by reading from Hamlet.

  26. Lidia

    “Gun industry thrives under Obama administration despite warnings”

    Shouldn’t this read “Gun industry thrives under Obama administration DUE TO warnings”??

  27. tiebie66

    “To derive a numerical measure of consciousness, Boly and her colleagues pulsed subjects’ heads with a brief electromagnetic wave…”

    I always thought cell phone-using people were zombies. Now I realize they need constant electromagnetic pulses to stay conscious. Better not overdo it, though.

  28. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Yves, anent the above, note informative Comments to blog: esp. “Bank guy…” and “NewWorldOrange” who sounds like a great source for a sleuth of your integrity. Link:

    (The blog’s vidclip on “madness” in markets is so clear, anyone can follow it.)

    Don’t you think your followers would like to know more about the DTCC? What’s on the other side of this black hole?

Comments are closed.