Links 11/04/2012

In-Sync Brain Waves Hold Memory of Objects Just Seen Science Daily

Sandy’s Blackouts Leave 2.5M Customers Lacking Power Bloomberg

Sandy forces New York to consider all options in effort to make city safe Guardian

@macfathom on Hurricane Sandy (MS)

FEMA has 9,106 disaster assistance employees. Only 770 get federal health insurance WaPo 

Why is the left defending Obama? Matt Stoller, Salon 

Why vote? Interfluidity

Nov. 2: For Romney to Win, State Polls Must Be Statistically Biased Nate Silver, Times

A Bet is a Tax on Bullshit Marginal Revolution

Ohio provisional ballot voting order criticized AP

Why Romney Will Win Ohio National Review. For future reference.

Obama Camp: We’re Kicking Butt. Really! Josh Marshall, TPM

Max Keiser: ‘Barack Obama is clueless. Mitt Romney will bankrupt the country’ Independent

What It Will Take for Barack Obama to Become the Next FDR Jack Balkin, Atlantic. Also too ponies. I love ponies!!!!!

Stockton, California: ‘This economy is garbage’ Guardian

The Forgotten Long-Term Unemployed Times. The new normal.

Fractured Recovery Divides the Region Times

Payroll Growth Shows U.S. Labor Market Healing Before Election Bloomberg. Category error: Markets do not “heal” because they are not living things.

More Jobs, Lousy Wages, and the Desertion of Non-College White Men From the Democratic Party Robert Reich

One Safety Net That Needs to Shrink Gretchen Morgenson, Times. You’ll never guess which one! Clue: Neither candidate mentioned it.

The Revolving Door Spins, the “Consumer” Bureau’s Mortgage Servicing Rules Stink Abigail Caplovitz Field

PDL Vote Plummets by 75% as Parties are Humbled Corriere dellla Sera. Italian election results.

Voters in Sicily give comic the last laugh FT

SYRIZA Still Leads New Democracy in Polls Greek Reporter

No arts in the English baccalaureate could kill Britain’s creative economy, say top arts figures Independent

Mining Companies Swarm to Finland’s Far North Der Spiegel

Conflict-of-interest concerns raised as Obama races to implement health reform The Hill

Q&A: The Price of Paying Attention Big Picture

Reducing/Reinforcing Confirmation Bias in TM Interfaces Another Word for It. Disfluency disrupts confirmation bias.

US National Archives Has Blocked Searches for ‘WikiLeaks’ FDL

Mexican Cartels Enslave Engineers to Build Radio Network Wired

Revealed: How ‘domination fetish sheet’ and concerned neighbors led to arrest of alleged Zumba prostitute Daily Mail. Life in a small town!

How It Could Happen, Part Five: Dissolution The Archdruid Report

Antidote du jour:

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. financial matters–stiglitz?utm_source=MadMimi&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Project+Syndicate+October+2012+Newsletter&utm_campaign=20121018_m113720958_Project+Syndicate+October+2012+Newsletter&utm_term=_22Mitt+Romney_27s+Fair+Share_22


    Mitt Romney’s Fair Share

    Conservative politicians in the US underestimate the importance of publicly provided education, technology, and infrastructure. Economies in which government provides these public goods perform far better than those in which it does not.

    But public goods must be paid for, and it is imperative that everyone pays their fair share. While there may be disagreement about what that entails, those at the top of the income distribution who pay 15% of their reported income (money accruing in tax shelters in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens may not be reported to US authorities) clearly are not paying their fair share.

    There is an old adage that a fish rots from the head. If presidents and those around them do not pay their fair share of taxes, how can we expect that anyone else will? And if no one does, how can we expect to finance the public goods that we need?

    Yet, increasingly, Americans are coming to believe that their economic system is unfair; and the tax system is emblematic of that sense of injustice.
    But Romney has not chosen to do so. He evidently does not recognize that a system that taxes speculation at a lower rate than hard work distorts the economy. Indeed, much of the money that accrues to those at the top is what economists call rents, which arise not from increasing the size of the economic pie, but from grabbing a larger slice of the existing pie.

    Those at the top include a disproportionate number of monopolists who increase their income by restricting production and engaging in anti-competitive practices; CEOs who exploit deficiencies in corporate-governance laws to grab a larger share of corporate revenues for themselves (leaving less for workers); and bankers who have engaged in predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices (often targeting poor and middle-class households). It is perhaps no accident that rent-seeking and inequality have increased as top tax rates have fallen, regulations have been eviscerated, and enforcement of existing rules has been weakened: the opportunity and returns from rent-seeking have increased.

    But, even more important, tax avoidance on Romney’s scale undermines belief in the system’s fundamental fairness, and thus weakens the bonds that hold a society together

    1. Ned Ludd

      The link to the article was enough. Copying arbitrary paragraphs from the article, while adding no thoughts of your own, makes you little better than a spammer.

      1. Anon

        That’s unfair. Moreover, selected text is in itself a personal opinion. If you need to see all the nuances of the poster’s position, reading the original reference will provide a sufficient base for inference.

        1. Bev

          Does anyone have contacts at ABC who allegedly have had this story for 18 months. We need to know if true before the election (because with Romney’s family/financial ties to unverifiable e-voting machines in swing states…he wins those states dishonestly, and it looks like the media is helping him to do so.):

          Another article from veterans today and it’s a doozy. Is it true:

          Romney Leaks: Drugs, Blood Diamonds and a Cuban Mistress (Updated)

          November 1st, 2012 | Posted by Gordon Duff

          FBI, CIA and Foreign Intelligence Agencies “Leak” Romney Files
          (See Addendum for updated critical material)

          by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

          It started with a photograph. Mitt Romney in Cuba with a woman named “Maria XXXXX,” (also known as…Maria Perez, Jane Maria Perez, Jane Mary Swift, Maria Andropolun or Maria Anapolov)_ Cuban mother, Russian father. The year, 1999, a flight to Vera Cruz, then on to Havana.

          The source, a top level FBI official managing counter-narcotics in Mexico, along with L3 Communications, gained access to the Romney file held by Mexican intelligence.


          The information below is the result of years of investigation including two years undercover, inside of one of Mexico’s biggest drug cartels. Files include wire taps, documents, photographs, including documents from Cuban intelligence which include photos and recordings, secured at extreme risk.

          Romney, spying for Cuba and Russia, Romney running terrorism in Africa, this is what the FBI, CIA and the files state. Documents outline several meetings between Romney and Castro. FBI officials now indicate that Romney’s travels were done under diplomatic passport supplied by the KGB.

          Notes in the “Romney File” indicate the following: Based on the number of trips to Cuba and reports from our intelligence sources there, Romney was considered a top intelligence asset for Cuban and Soviet/Russian intelligence.

          His psychopathic and narcissistic personality disorders tied to gambling addiction and obsession with physical security (physical cowardice) made him, not only easy to manage but highly motivated to use his strong ties in Washington to access whatever intelligence his handlers desired. Romney’s “world view” is that he sees himself as a molder of world history, above “ordinary people” and obsessed with power and personal safety.

          Nothing here is new to anyone but the public. The media had been approached to run this story.

          ABC has it and is sitting on it, the US government has all the documents, only the public has been kept in the dark, kept from one of the larger coverups in the past couple of years.

          We have so many, one can’t use the term “major” without risk of overstatement.

          The story begins at Harvard and ends in South Africa, drug money, blood diamonds, spying for Cuba and Russia, a story offered to ABC News, a story documented to Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers and Harold Simmons, warning them, a warning they chose to ignore. They were told they were supporting an organized crime figure, told by unimpeachable sources.

          Video Largely Confirmed by FBI and CIA

          YouTube – Veterans Today –

          What I was told began at Harvard, Romney was a couple of years behind Carlos Salinas, former president of Mexico, now in exile, whose father established the drug cartels.

          While at Harvard, I am told, the two established a “clandestine relationship” to build a money laundering empire, using Panama, Cuba, banks around the world, servicing the network of cartels the Salinas family controlled. Over the years, meetings would occur in Miami, Guatemala and Honduras that we know of, others, we haven’t documented.

          This is the official biography of Carlos Salinas, the “sugar coated” version of Romney’s long time associate, one of many of this ilk Bain Capital is the financial arm of all crime “south of the border.”


          Our FBI source says that Bain Capital was established to protect the former front company, Bain & Company.

          Operations would be managed from Panama, banking from Switzerland and the Caymans but client meetings would be held in Cuba.

          Here, Russian and Cuban intelligence set Romney up with a mistress, “Maria,” who was also his “handler.”

          We are told Romney has been in and out of Cuba constantly. Thus, nobody should know Latin America and its value than Romney. He sure knows China well. Now we know he also knows Russia, not just well but “very well.”

          Romney has had repeated personal audiences with Castro, we are told. From his profile: “Romney is a compulsive gambler…”

          According to our FBI source, top level counter-narcotics, Romney helped run narcotics trafficking through Mexico into the United States. He also continued to work directly with Cuban and Russian intelligence, a relationship they say is “ongoing.”


          With this short briefing is a stack of files, communications intercepts, surveillance reports, statements by undercover informants, one of which, an FBI agent, I spoke with for two hours.

          When no US Attorney agreed to prosecute, the files and this information were leaked, initially to ABC. They said they were prepared to do a “special” on this “as soon as the election was over.” That was 18 months ago they have had files and met with the agents involved, under full secrecy.


          There is an African end of this story. A CIA agent named “Tony,” working South Africa, part of a team of agents there, all Mormons, contacted a professional associates of mine. (an intelligence agency director)

          South Africa is my “turf” also.

          “Tony” as he called himself was working with a US law firm and was tasked with investing $120 billion in drug profits, maybe from Afghanistan, in South Africa. He told our representatives he was looking for mining properties worth more than $200 million each.



          Some of Gordon Duff’s recent articles:

          Press TV: US military planned mutiny on the Bounty to topple Obama

          October 31st, 2012 | Posted by Gordon Duff

          Admiral Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a “Seven Days in May” type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected.

          “His [Romney’s] real intent is to occupy Iraq and attack Iran. In the process, America intends on “neutralizing” the nuclear capability of Pakistan. This is the plan, it is known, not just in the Department of Defense, but by all intelligence agencies, the plotters have all been recognized, are all under surveillance and they have not been very careful.”

          The Obama administration has had American military, both on domestic and foreign bases on high alert since October 1. However, there has been no known terrorist enemy threatening the US. The enemy is called “domestic” but its origins are far from American.

          Today, Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette was “fired” from his command of one of the three carrier battle groups back to Bremerton, Washington to face an investigation.

          It is impossible to adequately state how unusual this is and how serious.

          The Navy was clear that the charges had nothing to do with his personal conduct, no rape or sexual misconduct, no stolen money, no drug use, the things that usually bring down careers in the Navy, that and crashing ships into each other.

          Gaouette was sent back because the Secretary of Defense found him unfit for command, sent him across the world in the middle of one of the largest combat exercises in history, one both timed prior to an election and one at a critical location, near the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

          Gaouette commanded nearly one third of the Naval and air combat forces in the region.

          The decision was made based on a conversation with the Secretary of Defense who, at the end of the talk, believed Gaouette was part of a group of military officers who have been under suspicion for planning a “Seven Days in May” type overthrow of the US government if President Obama is re-elected.

          This is not conjecture, dozens of key officers face firing, hundreds are under investigation, all with direct ties to extremist elements in the Republican Party and the Israeli lobby.

          Reports received are sourced at the highest levels of the Pentagon and indicate that the administration has been aware of these plans for months. It is not just the Obama administration. This happened before.


          Step one – Benghazi

          Those involved in the plot, those outside the military, are those who are spreading “conspiracy theory” rumors about US complicity or malfeasance in the handling of the murder of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens.

          Today, CIA Director, General Petraeus clearly stated that the CIA had received no requests for help. A month ago, the State Department also made it clear, the attack was military, well coordinated and that no forces were available capable of making a difference.

          In fact, the “conspiracy theorists,” those attempting to use their wild theories in order to implement an “October Surprise” are directly aligned with those who planned and executed the attack.


          This is the role of the controlled press in terror operations, providing “deception and cover.”



          Romney’s owned right wing Clear Channel has tried to exploit Benghazi for political gain. However, if Romney’s people did more than that…we need to know. And, because he has financial interests/control in in e-voting machines in most of the swing states, and has hired Bush’s 911 “national security” people, the following seems consistent with his “lack” of character:


          Obama’s solution to the above via links at Naked Capitalism:

          Obama’s New Libyan Defense Chief: Bush’s Paul Wolfowitz, on Benghazi

          by John Walcott


          1. Synopticist

            The Obama campaign has a deep cover, counter-wingnut operation going there.
            They know they can’t prevent loopy conspiracy theories about their guy, the extreme rightwing crazies will always come up with something, but they can use the same techniques against Romney.

            So non-partisan, conspiracy loving, basement dwelling, cheeto stuffing males in their twenties are offered a different idiotic conspiracy theory to the mainstream “Obama planned Benghazi”, and are exposed to a “Romney planned Benghazi” narrative also. Who knows, maybe a few ignorant slobs will decide to vote democrat rather than republican as a result.

            Besides, that whole Muhammed video may well have been cooked up to cause some sh*t in the middle east for Obama just before the election.

          2. propertius

            “Veterans Today”, huh? Publisher of such influential, unbiased, carefully researched pieces as:

            1500%-too-Jewish Supreme Court: “US belongs to Israel”

            Judaism: A Threat to Humanity

            Al-Qaeda operates on behalf of Israel, West (Press TV)

            Mini-Neutron Bombs: A Major Piece of the 9/11 Puzzle

            UFO War: Chinese and US Navy off San Francisco

            Yup, there’s a reliable source.

          3. Bev

            As for the list you give…I raise you…magic underwear.

            Because as regards fantastical thinking:


            The Source of Romney’s Lying
            By Robert Parry

            But what has attracted very little media attention is the question: why does Romney lie?



            Wanted to add the following:


            “It was something else, putting together one link in the diamonds, terrorism, money, narcotics trade which, working with Bain, the Bush family, Mormon groups in the CIA and the Mossad, meant to take over all of Africa.”

            BAIN and AFRICAN TERROR

            Blood Diamonds

            There is an African end of this story. A CIA agent named “Tony,” working South Africa, part of a team of agents there, all Mormons, contacted a professional associates of mine. (an intelligence agency director)

            South Africa is my “turf” also.

            “Tony” as he called himself was working with a US law firm and was tasked with investing $120 billion in drug profits, maybe from Afghanistan, in South Africa. He told our representatives he was looking for mining properties worth more than $200 million each.

            “Tony” met, not just with us, but with dozens of other groups in South Africa. Tony is, what we call in the spy business, “burned.” Tony’s group works with UNITA, a terrorist organization, sometimes supported by North Korea, Israel, the US and China. The former Angolan revolutionary organization is now “for hire,” and “terrorism on demand” with a reach that covers a dozen nations.

            Their task, as South African intelligence indicates, is to buy up South Africa and take over the rest of Southern Africa through running terrorist groups out of the DRC or Democratic Republic of the Congo. On their list is Kenya and other nations.

            Their method of operation is to finance themselves with blood diamonds, sent through agents to Tel Aviv, money to be handled by Bain Capital/Romney, then to China where arms are purchased and shipped to terrorists in Africa, “Al Qaeda, Boko Harum and UNITA.

            The details of the deal were set up a month ago. Currently, UNITA is having difficulty coming up with their end, the $1.2 billion a year in diamonds they promised.

            On the Israeli end, Romney, while traveling there with Las Vegas casino boss, Sheldon Adelson, met with diamond traders at what was supposed to be a/an (illegal) fundraiser.

            It was something else, putting together one link in the diamonds, terrorism, money, narcotics trade which, working with Bain, the Bush family, Mormon groups in the CIA and the Mossad, meant to take over all of Africa.

          4. Bev

            Wanted to add to Naked Capitalism’s post which comes up high on google’s list-to give update.

            “We can no longer accept the government under these circumstances, the money in politics, the rule by special interest, the war for profit and the imposed third world slavery that the American people are expecting their grandchildren to face.

            Obama doesn’t get off the hook. He is now free to do all those thing he promised.”

            – Gordon Duff, Senior Editor Veterans Today


            The runway has been cleared for Obama to keep his promises. We need to keep up with the pressure to make sure he does.

            Meanwhile, the voters won.

            I thank everyone here and the election integrity people and Veterans Today whose insider contributors provided background information so important to the public.

            Post election Update:


            Romney, Landslide Loser Refuses Timely Concession

            GOP Retains Control in the House, Dems Sweep Senate

            …by Gordon Duff, Senior Editor

            America does some really dumb things but running an organized crime boss for president, and a bumbling wimp of one at that, this had gone too far.

            What we can tell you is that the senior active and retired intelligence and top law enforcement and DOJ professionals, the drug enforcement officers, they are the ones that beat Romney, not the Obama campaign.

            They wouldn’t allow Romney to turn America into something even worse than the seemingly hopeless mess we have now and moved.

            Probably the worst scam in the entire election was the accusations made by a few stooges, some former military, sold out to organized crime, that accused the president of murdering an ambassador in order to try to lose the election.

            Add to that a phony corporate media who never attempted to dig out who paid for ex-CIA Rev. Terry Jones’ all day Muslim rant webcast that cost millions of dollars.

            This was a smoking gun that the whole thing was the expected October surprise, and took us only a day to find out who all was involved. Data mining is a wonderful thing.

            These stories need to be kept and whenever one of these phony military fatass types tries to cash in, they need to be shut down. Veterans Today’s archives are backed up on proxy servers off shore and can never be ‘disappeared’, hacked or firebombed.

            Then we have Hannity, Dick Morris, George Will, Newt, and, don’t forget poor Sheldon “Kiss of Death” Adelson who thought he bought five states for Romney and got none.

            Then we can see how well the Israel lobby did, New York is solidly Obama and, as of this writing, Florida is in play, a state that was supposed to be solid Romney territory with his Cuban connections.

            Oops, we forget. Romney got burned for his Castro meetings.

            The other upside is that the Israel lobby is now where it belongs, toothless, its massive influx of illegal cash into race after race and voters in almost ever case went the other way.

            Cuba, the recent revelations, burned Romney more than we suspected. We ran the story, pushed to do so at the last minute but didn’t think it would get solid distribution.

            We were wrong. We simply published, others put it in the hands of key political figures and squashed Romney’s backing in several key political and ethnic groups.

            Our intel friends were busy in more areas also.

            They leaked Romney’s ties to blood diamonds, money laundering, his ties to Castro and the cartels in Mexico and Columbia.

            They even leaked his mistress, a Russian/Cuban spy name Maria Perez Andropov.

            A few days before the election, what may actually be the best we have, a flawed lot I admit, but including key members of our military, moved on Romney and Netanyahu and, and, and…


            We can no longer accept the government under these circumstances, the money in politics, the rule by special interest, the war for profit and the imposed third world slavery that the American people are expecting their grandchildren to face.

            Obama doesn’t get off the hook. He is now free to do all those thing he promised.


            The fun followup will be the wild conspiracy mongering that has already begun on Fox News, claiming ACORN and the Black Panthers rigged the election.

            It is a reasonable estimate, not without some backing, that 5 million votes were flipped to Romney through software hacking, ballot box stuffing and simply destroying ballots.

            He still lost big.


            …here…despite the fact we are the largest active veterans group and, by miles the most politically effective, we continue to be minimized.

            Veterans don’t need cigarettes, booze and bingo. Americans don’t need a police state. If government doesn’t want to hear the unpleasant truth, it can change or we will find a way of removing it. We didn’t take down the criminal cabal around Romney and his Bush associates by ourselves but we were a third of that effort, done without one cent of fund raising.

            We had Americans with us. Again, my thanks to all that stood with us at VT, numbers I would never have imagined. I am humbled. Please post all election conspiracy theories in the comment section.


            And, and another update, go to site for working links:


            Score one (at last) for the Election Integrity movement!

            Late last night, after Obama took Ohio, Karl Rove was on Fox News, doggedly refusing to concede. He insisted that Ohio was still in play, as Romney was going to win in Hamilton County—where the votes were “counted” on machines made and maintained by Hart InterCivic, a company effectively controlled by Romney’s family. (The same machines were also used in Williams County.)

            So it’s not surprising that the GOP’s Lord Voldemort foresaw an “upset victory” in that county. It is surprising that he said it on Fox News, and when the game was obviously lost, so that a sudden Romney “victory” in Ohio would have seemed especially suspicious—even in the eyes of Rove’s old allies on Fox News (or those not in the loop).

            To those of us with vivid memories of Election Nights 2000 and 2004, it was a creepy moment—and things got even creepier when Brad Friedman reported that the website of the Ohio SoS had suddenly gone down, which had also happened at that very hour eight years before; and when it had come back on, Kerry, who had been ahead, was now behind. And—horribly—the rest was history.

            But that didn’t happen this time, as Rove had obviously lost control—of himself (his recklessness in mouthing off like that was staggering), and, infinitely more important, of his well-oiled, fabulously subsidized election-theft machine. For all his plans, and all the preparations made by Ohio SoS Jon Husted (among others), Rove was clearly overruled on this Election Day, as cooler heads prevailed.

            The fact is that, this time, yet another late-night “upset victory” would have been too risky—for the US press had finally done its job, enough to make a lot of people conscious of what’s happened to our voting system, and, therefore,of what could happen to let Romney “win.”

            The honor roll includes, among many others, Harper’s (for publishing Victoria Collier’s brilliant overview), the Atlantic, Esquire, the Christian Science Monitor, Forbes (which came out with a killer piece about Ohio’s voting system early on Election Day), Huffington Post, and even DailyKos (which had been fervently denialist since 2004).

            This time, such organs, and others, played up news that most of them would once have buried or ignored—especially the news of what was happening in Ohio, broken by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis in the Columbus Free Press, and carried even by such unlikely outlets as Fox 19 in Cincinnati.

            In short, our work online was finally resonating through the mainstream press—not the New York Times or CNN, of course, but others numerous and respectable enough to give some traction to the questions we’ve been raising for so many years. Thus the old smear of “conspiracy theory” finally sounded not like common sense but like the mere ad hominem evasion that it’s really always been; and so those few who used that smear this time were shot to pieces for it.

            When NBC’s Chuck Todd compared concerns about e-voting to “birther garbage,” Brad Friedman cleaned his clock, with a devastating catalogue of proven instances of fraud that didn’t just expose the ignorance of NBC’s so-called “elections expert,” but which can now be used by anyone who wants to fight for fair elections.

            And, as usual, that tired old slur came not just from the corporate media but, even louder, from the left—ThinkProgress and Alternet both coming out with marvelously stupid pieces whose effect, potentially, is so destructive that Karl Rove himself might just as well have written them. (In its error-riddled item calling the Hart InterCivic story “FALSE,” used Alternet as a source.) And yet the dozens of smart, angry comments posted in response to those outrageous screeds make clear that leftist pundits can no longer get away with laughing off this all-important fight for real elections in America.

            It’s time to put an end to such complacent jeering; because people need to know—and want to know—what’s happened here, and what they can do about it. That growing public interest is the reason why our work has finally broken through, with Brad, Victoria, Bob, Gerry and Harvey Wasserman, Jonathan Simon, Sally Castleman, Richard Charnin, Michael Collins, Greg Palast, Bev Harris, John Ennis, Sheila Parks, Paul Lehto, Marta Steele and so many others (and please do forgive me if I didn’t name you here—I’m really tired!) finally seeing, if not their names in lights, their vital findings resonating through the public sphere. In my own case, that broad public interest recently came home to me when my half-hour interview with Heather Wokusch on MNN (NYC’s public access channel) instantly went viral up on YouTube, getting over 80,000 hits in just four days.

            And it’s because our work has reached so many people that it’s not just we ourselves who spread the word, but countless others who aren’t activists. As Rove and his confederates mulled their options yesterday, who knows how much they fretted over that explosive bit of video posted by “centralpavoter,” showing that an ES&S iVotronic e-voting machine had repeatedly flipped his Obama vote to Romney? (The Raleigh Telegram reported that the same thing was happening on machines in North Carolina.) The fact that it went viral—vividly disproving the GOP’s propaganda claimsthat Democrats were somehow flipping Romney votes—had to help decide them not to rip off this election after all.

            So while this day after is a thrilling time for Democrats, it is a moment of rare triumph for those fighting for legitimate elections in America. We’re feeling this elation not because Barack Obama won, but because we’ve helped prevent the right from pulling off another “win” despite the will of the electorate. And—despite that Democratic sweep—we will keep up this fight to realize American democracy itself, which must be saved not only from Karl Rove, the Kochs and Sheldon Adelson, but from the long joint grip of both the parties, and the money flooding through them.



            From Victoria Collier:


            The awareness of potential GOP vote rigging was unprecedented leading up to the 2012 November election, and it made a difference. Many within the election integrity movement – Progressives, Libertarians and even Republicans – did not believe that Mitt Romney could win in honest elections.

            Election Day 2012 did see break-downs of electronic voting machines all across the country, enormous lines in African-American districts, and we will probably end up tallying millions of likely-Democratic votes lost in voter roll purges, discarded ballots, and other votes lost to GOP robo-calling and other dirty tricks.

            Which means that, as in 2008, it’s likely that Democratic wins are much larger than officially recorded.

            But the alarms had been sounded presidential vote-rigging was unprecedented and MILLIONS of eyes were on Ohio and Florida.

            Though we still have a task in front of us – instituting election reform; clean elections, the end of corporate campaign financing, and transparent vote counting – we must count this election in many ways as a victory for our movement.

            Victoria Collier

            Also at

      2. different clue

        False. A link to an article is often NOT enough. Selected paragraphs offer a taste of the material which may lead some readers to click a link to “read the rest”.

        I have cutpasted bits from linked-to articles myself sometimes, and I will do so again sometimes.

      3. old.frt

        The copy-paste function is necessary since many items are removed without notice.
        Not every source stores all items for more than a few days.

    2. financial matters

      Meant as more of a comment on how we are being ruled by the 1% who have their own interests in mind and the destructiveness of economic rents.

      In today’s environment I don’t think the adjective conservative needs to be added.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        fm, the matter of “rents” was nailed by Veblen and Michael Hudson. Who can presume to improve on the thinking and writing of Michael Hudson, non-pareil?

        But then his base of operation is in Kansas City. Do New Yorkers even know where that is, even though a Federal Reserve Bank exists in K.C., Flyover?

    3. Aquifer

      Thank you for that – I especially liked the part; “…much of the money that accrues to those at the top is what economists call rents, which arise not from increasing the size of the economic pie, but from grabbing a larger slice of the existing pie.”

      A good definition of “rents” which, for word, for the uninitiated, used to thinking of it in terms of apying the landlord which isn’t an “unreasonable” thing to do, doesn’t sound so terrible until you define it this way – ISTM that is a key – denotations are one thing, necessary to keep folks on the “same page” to start, but connotations are what pique folks interest and fire them up to keep reading your book to see how it ends. So healthcare boards became “death panels” and we’re off to the races. If “rents” become “greed” or “theft” so much the better … then maybe we can get folks attention to actually deal with “rent seekers” who sound pretty blah until one thinks of them as “greedy bastards stealing milk from the babies”

      1. Aquifer

        Damn – I do wish there was an “edit” option so you can go back and fix it when you see your spelling is screwed up and your fingers wandered off when you weren’t looking …

    4. Susan the other

      Thanks FM. I like Stiglitz too. He says ” The market economy could not work if every contract had to be enforced through legal action.” Clearly we need consensus and cooperation. Otherwise it is almost the definition of anarchy – and that is almost the state we have been given by the neocon/libs. I woke up from my nap to the Drifters singing Under the Boardwalk. I just wish we could turn the clock back. But now the best thing is to look honestly at what we need to do and how to do it.

      In the late 50s, we told the Russians, about the same time the Drifters were singing, that if Russia wanted to trade with us they would have to manufacture things we wanted to buy. So now we need to use that philosophy to create a Green Democratic Economy.

  2. cgg

    Look at Spain less money for Education and 23,7% of young people between 15 and 29 yer old don not work or are pursuing any studies. So USA don´t forget EDUCATION.

    1. Noe G

      At last. People are talking about what I’ve observed since O’s inauguration.

      O is NOT a progressive, not a liberal. He talks like one, but his policies have always aimed at a sort of bi-partisan utopia – retaining Gates, naming Geithner, and conducting a surge in the wars AFTER taking the Peace Prize. [especially galling]

      I’ve always asked – and never received an adequate explanationi for why gopers hate him so much – YES< he behaves like a petty dictator – but so did Bush/Cheney.

      YES, he has expanded executive powers, but so did Bush.

      There has never been a rational explanation for the vicseral hatred of the man, but for his supporters.

      My own family is divided – half voted O and hate him. Half voted McCain and hate O as well. But they stumble when asked why. They just do. Always did.

      I hate him because he betrayed me. My vote for O was date rape. That's why he deserves to lose BIG TIME… just like Bush deserved prison. [or worse]

      Without consequences, candidates like O will present themsevles as a savior – I think he wanted to be a Solomon type peace maker between the parties.. but he never got any credit for betraying the progressives in his own party.

      THEN, he extends an olive branch to gays and illegals… ignoring the big white middle that gave him a chance. They didn't want more war. The middle wanted Wall st prosecution, and bank reform. ANY REFORM!

      O has a tin ear if nothing else. He pandered to the right, got ZERO credit for it… and then tossed a bone to the gays and illegals – making the independents furious.

      Tin ear syndrome.

      I think Romney will win because the RIGHT REALLY HATES OBama – they are motivated to get out the vote. The left, hates Republicans, wanted a champion – and got a mule for Wall st and the war machine.

      1. Mel

        GOPers hating him has nothing to do with policies or ideas. The GOP is the Authoritarian Party. Their primary allegiance is to their own hierarchy. O is in a competing hierarchy, and that makes him the enemy.

        Kurt Vonnegut mentioned sometime back in the ’70s (in something collected in _Wampeters, Foma & Granfaloons_): America has two political parties — the Winners and the Losers — and two fake political parties, which are run by the Winners to fill air time during election campaigns, and what not. The fake parties are known by traditional names, but you could accurately call them the Authoritarian Party, and the Popular Front.

        1. different clue

          Somewhere in his book Palm Sunday, in an essay titled In A Manner Which Must Shame God Himself, Vonnegut described his presence at some kind of social party-gathering of famous media and etc. establishment figures. Some called themselves Democrats and some called themselves Republicans.
          “And whether one was a Democrat or a Republican was considered some kind of hilarious accident which no one felt forced to explain”.

          Are there D/R party members that is not true for? I think so. But at least on the D side, Ds of conviction will have to abandon the D Party en masse, or figure out how to conquer and purge and disinfect it from within, or go down with it as it sinks.

      2. Synopticist

        “I think he wanted to be a Solomon type peace maker between the parties.. but he never got any credit for betraying the progressives in his own party.”
        Yeah, spot on.
        He also totally underestimated the snense of entitlement among the financial elite. It didn’t matter that he bailed them out and protected them from the mob when he could easilly have put himself at the fromt of that mob. They wanted unstinting praise and adoration.

        Once he critisised them and mentioned corporate jets, that was it-he was forever a hated class enemy and quasi communist.

        1. Valissa

          IMO, Obama’s motives are pretty simple and basic. He wants to be rich and successful and powerful (like many do) and he has done everything in his ability to accomplish those goals. And that includes pretending to castigate the financial elite who brought him into power to began with, if that’s what he needs to do to get re-elected. Look up the Pritzker family, and you’ll see the folks who got him started in Chicago and who he wanted to impress (his stint as a ‘community organizer’ was a resume builder and nothing more). That’s BIG money, early on… and let’s not forget his grandmother, that sent him to a posh private school, was a banker. He wants to be one of them. I’ve seen no evidence he feels he serves the ‘public good.’ Obama wants to be one of the financial elite and he is political game player par excellence. Sure, he may have an image of himself as a Solomon-like peacemaker… or maybe he’s just playing Mr. Cool and people are projecting more substance than than on him. In many ways, Obama’s upbringing was quite priviledged and he is a classic social climber. I don’t think he’s a bad person so much as limited by who he is.

          1. Stan Musical

            Hear hear. It’s perhaps a small detail, but the montage of 100 photos of him standing with celebs at the Guggenheim (Whitney?) and flashing the _exact_ same smile 100 times was one sign to me that he was an expert dissembler.

            He has had the gift of not hiding that he’s a centrist (i.e. an old-school blue-dog D like Clinton or a 70’s Republican) while getting progressives, i.e. anyone left of that, to believe his hope and change schtick.

            So this time it’s just “forward.” Meaning four more years of sleeping with the 1% while we wait at home for the bacon?

            Fool me once, shame on you…

  3. citalopram

    “Low interest rates wipe out savers and devastate middle-class workers. The banksters have orchestrated this wealth transference of trillions, from the poor to the very wealthy. At the expense of everybody who isn’t at the top.”

    This is called digging your own grave. The globalists are so drunk on their own arrogance they can’t see the writing on the wall.

    1. different clue

      Umm . . . here is where my “optimism” fails me. What writing is the OverClass supposed to see upon what wall? If their goal is the ultimate extermination of 6 billion or more people so that only they and their valued slaves and retainers survive, how do they lose from the ongoing mass povertization?

      The only way the OverClass will fall is if it is torn down by hands reaching up from below.

        1. different clue

          Their actions appear to reveal an unspoken wish to achieve the death of 5 or 6 billion people as long as they can make it look like a series of rolling accidents. A studied effort to prevent the addressing of global warming would appear to be part of an effort to foster a future environment in which several billion people will find physical bio-survival to be not possible anymore, for example. The ongoing massive use of antibiotics in animal confinement agriculture in order to foster antibiotic-immune pathogens which might then, with any luck, become megadeath human plagues immune to those same antibiotics would appear to be another example.

  4. citalopram

    “Why is the left voting for Obama?”

    Who are these leftists? I’m a leftist, a radical and won’t be voting for Obama, much less voting at all. The entire left is not voting for Obama.

  5. wbgonne

    Re: Matt Stoller:

    “Why is the left defending Obama?”

    1. Whipped Dog Syndrome. The American Left is so used to being abused, insulted and ignored that many of us simply accept this fate.

    2. Race. If Obama were white he would never get away with what he has. Obama’s race has neutered the opposition both from traditional Liberals and African-American leaders. Clinton also governed as a Conservative but Clinton was president when Conservatism was ascendant.

    More broadly, the most recent historical analogue to Obama’s presidency is Richard Nixon, who took office as a Republican at the zenith of liberal power. Nixon, therefore, governed in many ways as a Liberal. He had no choice because the political and cultural forces were so firmly entrenched in Liberalism and Nixon never had the strong support of the American People.

    Obama became president at an inflection point, too: but it was AFTER the decline of Conservatism was well under way as the Bush presidency had driven home the bankruptcy of Modern Conservatism. In that sense, FDR is a better analogue. Obama was swept into power with the strongest mandate for fundamental change that any president has had since FDR. Obama squandered all that. I believe that is because Obama is a master deceiver who hides his ideological neoliberalism behind his skin color and his rhetorical gifts.

    What can we expect from Obama’s second term? Far worse than the first, I fear. When the Democratic President announces that his main second term priority is cutting the already meager social safety net — at a time of vast suffering, skyrocketing economic inequality and the dissolution of the Middle Class — the next four years look very grim indeed.

    Fortunately, I think a strong Leftist resistance will emerge during Obama’s second term. If it succeeds, it will reform the Democratic Party or send it into the dustbin of history which is the fate it has richly earned thanks, in large part, to Barack Obama.

    1. Noe G

      I don’t think O is a master deceiver. I think he had/has a tin ear. Bad advice. Bad strategy made him look like a fraud, when he wanted to be Gandhi.

      Tin ear syndrome. I still vote vote for him again.

      And should Romney win and govern as a tool for Wall St and multi national profits… he’ll be a goner as well.

      Actually, I think R will govern from the middle. AGAIN, these guys want to see monuments to themselves – as heroes, peacemakers, and reformers.

      I expect a Romney administration to be much like his Mass governorship. Setting him up for the same revulsion by the right, we see toward O from the left.

      1. wbgonne

        “I don’t think O is a master deceiver. I think he had/has a tin ear. Bad advice. Bad strategy made him look like a fraud, when he wanted to be Gandhi.”

        That was once a plausible argument. I don’t think it is any longer. Have you read Suskind’s book or Barofsky’s book? You may find them illuminating.

        1. Noe G

          No I haven’t. Could you give me a synopsis? I don’t read political non fiction anymore… it’s too depressing.

          1. different clue

            Blogger Riverdaughter has given synopses of these books at her blog called The Confluence. I don’t have the time right now to find the exact links to the exact synopsis articles, but they are there.

            Oh lookie, here’s a linkie . .

            And here’s another . .

    2. Ed

      The country got really lucky with FDR. Take a look sometime at who the alternative candidates were for the Democratic nomination that year, or who his Vice President was (Roosevelt was nearly assasinated just before taking office). And there wasn’t that much in FDR’s record prior to taking office to suggest something like the New Deal.

      In a sense, though Roosevelt betrayed the Democratic Party as much as Obama was. The Democrats were more the conservative, small government party before 1932, they were sort of the party of small town oligarchs and big city machines. From that perspective, the effect of Clinton and Obama has been to return the party to its roots.

      1. Noe G

        WELL – FDR certainly betrayed the men who died at Pearl Harbor.

        He sacrificed those boys to Japan, in a classic false flag operation [See James Bamford’s Body of Secrets]

        Oil embargo on Japan, taunted them into a response, then held back any defense of Pearl Harbor, knowing a hit on our ships would craft favorable opinion for entering the war.

        Just like 9/11, the Reichstag fire, and countless other ‘operations’ meant to mold public opinion… at the expense of native sons and daughters.

        Sorry… FDR should have been tried for treason and hung, just like Bush Cheney… and hell, Even clinton with his phoney baloney OKC operation… I’m sick of media and insiders who know the facts of these operations and remain silent — waiting for THEIR turn to manufacture EVENTS to suit their purposes and goals.

        They should all have gone to a firing squad.

        1. Jonathan

          One could argue that the last president who shouldn’t have been hung for treason was shot precisely for not being a traitor.

      2. RanDomino

        Anyone would have done it, because they were forced to. There was a genuine threat of farmers and workers joining the Communists and launching a revolution. A small chance, but a chance nonetheless; and far too high of a chance for the capitalists to accept. The New Deal was revolution insurance. If we want something like that to happen again, we have to make a serious threat again… but this time recognize that it’s just a trick meant to disorient us (buying time for the dismantling of unions since the 70s), and ignore it and follow through.

        1. different clue

          And different people and groups will have to start doing different things in different ways without waiting for the ego boost of “everyone else” joining their one certain particular group and way. A hundred different theory groups trying a hundred different approaches will offer measurable comparisons of what works for what.

    3. Pokey

      Romney will carry Louisiana, so I can vote for someone that I would like to see elected, but has no chance. My son in Virginia will vote for Obama because we can’t stand more Scalitos on the Court. Anyone who doesn’t think this matters has no appreciation for 2000 and is hopelessly naïve.

        1. Pokey

          Gore won Florida or would have without the biased Republican Court even with that asshat Nader putting the worst president in history in office. I’ll stick with naive or maybe deluded.

          1. wbgonne

            I hate to break this you you but Obama is now the Worst President In History, dethroning the president he was elected to repudiate by adopting the very same calamitous policies he was elected to change. When one considers Obama’s grand opportunity coupled with the “fierce urgency of now” (remember that one?), Obama has squandered what history may well reveal as America’s last real chance to right its ship. It doesn’t much worse than that.

        2. Synopticist

          Sure, and similar numbers of Gore voters in Florida were republicans.

          Being an eternal oppositionist means you never have to take responsibilty for you political choices…

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            No, being a Democrat means always blaming others for problems you yourself create.

            I mean, come on. 13.5% of all Democrats in FL vote for Bush, and you’re still blaming Nader? Do they have mirrors where you come from?

          2. different clue

            ( To Lambert Strether, actually). Those 13% of FL Dems who voted for Bush didn’t vote for Bush because Gore wasn’t liberal enough for them. They did it because he was alREADy TOO liberal for them. So what was Gore and the Dems supposed to do about those Dems for Bush? Get more Bushly conservative?

            Gore’s lack of an unstealable numbers advantage came from illegal black-voter disfranchisment in FL and a profoundly stupid butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, I believek, which tricked over a hundred thousand wanna-Gore voters into voting for Buchanan instead. Those two voter-drains brought Gore’s winnable numbers to the realm of plausible stealability. And that’s where Nader came in, maybe. How many of Nader’s voters would not have voted otherwise at all? As agains how many of them would have voted for Gore otherwise? Has anyone done the studies? But Nader’s sole and only intention was to try to get Gore to lose Florida. I remember Nader and especially Nader’s son saying that exact thing in interviews. They focused their “defeat Gore” effort exactly on the few states which were so close that Gore might be defeated by a Nader effort to get Bush elected for Nader’s own peculiar mix of Infantile Leninism and personal spite. So when Mr. Strether accuses the Dems of “not looking in the mirror” I think Mr. Strether is in fact projecting his own inability to look in the mirror himself at the motives and possible effects that Nader and all his Naderite RepubliGreen supporters/voters sought to have on the election. Accusations against Dems for “not looking in the mirror” are meant to cover up and displace the Naderite RepubliGreens’ own refusal to “look in the mirror”.

            Such projection and displacement will continue hiding behind such diversions as “those FL DemVoters for Bush”, as if the GoreDems were supposed to be able to do something about THAT . . . unless Strether is retro-advocating that Gore should have run as George Wallace 2.0, with all the liberal defections THAT would have caused.

            None of that diminishes my vast gratitude for Mr. Strether’s work on this blog, which is a whole separate stand-alone achievement; entirely undiminished by his still-unapologised-for support for the NaderBush Conspiracy to defeat Gore in order to elect Bush. When it still would have made a real difference which one of them became President.

      1. different clue

        If the DemSenators really wanted Scalitos kept off the court, the DemSenators would keep them off the court. The DemSenators want 2,3, many more Scalitos on the court. In the meantime, the DemSenators are happy to blackmail us into voting Obama with the extortionate threat of the Scalitos a Romney will put on the court. Well . . . that is a threat I will live with.

          1. different clue

            I wish the DemParty could be shrunken down to a core of Red Gingriches who respect Gingrich/Delay’s methods and believe in putting those methods to use to “burn down the House” and “burn down the Senate too” until they (Red Gingrich Democrats) can take the House and Senate over and push through a liberadical semisocialist agenda with Red Gingrich methods.

            I don’t know if any such Democrats exist, though. They are raised to be nice liberals, I suppose. And nice liberals don’t try to “beat the eyes out of their enemies’s faces with the clawed end of a claw hammer” . . . not even figuratively speaking. But that is the only approach by which we can possibly hope to save ourselves by crushing our enemies . . . non-violently of course, and within the letter of the law.

            Meanwhile, ordinary people might try figuring out how to wage vast massive leaderless campaigns of economic resistance and rebellion and sabotage . . . targetted extermicotts, etc. ((An “extermicott” is a boycott desiged to exTERminate the target rather than modify the target’s behavior. Does anyone think Monsanto’s behavior could ever be “modified”? We have a better chance of exterminating Monsanto from existence and wiping Monsanto off the face of the earth . . than getting Monsanto to change its behavior with polite boycotts, for example)). )

  6. Jump? Yessir! How high?

    What a surprise, the National Archives is censoring Wikileaks. Obama installed a CIA puke, Sheryl Shenberger, as the Archives’ declassification commissar. She’s also busily shredding the papers that tell how CIA whacked JFK.

    This is utterly predictable, as Obama has proven himself as CIA’s most compliant puppet ruler ever. He bows and scrapes to Brennan as the drone-murder death squad figurehead, the CIA’s homegrown Billy Joya. That’s why Romney has to work so hard acting like a psycho. Obama gives John Bennet so many Altoid blowjobs that it’s hard to get the old buzzard interested.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      If your account is correct, Shenberger is guilty of TREASON and of the crime of “destruction of evidence” likely on the TipTop Secret order of George H.W. CIA Bush filtered through Puppet Obama. She is guilty of TREASON–like her Masters–but she is *small fry* enough to Swing for Them, don’t you think?

      ARREST her. Bring the Executioner. Let her be “an example” to small fry everywhere.

    2. wunsacon

      What’s the theory for the CIA whacking JFK? Anger over Bay of Pigs, JFK’s decision not to greenlight Operation Northwoods, and such…and generally not wage enough war against perceived enemies? Was this effectively a military coup? Did military control stop or merely suffer a setback with the Church Committee hearings? Did military control continue with Iran-Contra-Reagan, CIA-director-then-president-Bush-Sr., and drone-president-Obama?

      Yes, I could read various theories and construct my own. Just would like to hear a little more of your thoughts. :-) TIA.

      1. different clue

        Here’s the website of someone (retired Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty) who thinks and writes about that subject among others . .

        Here’s the blog of blogger Jeff Wells, called Rigorous Intuition 2.0. He has sorted his blogposts by “subject area” and one of those “subject areas” is called Assassinations. Meaning of Kennedy, King, Kennedy, and some other figures. Here is just a sample webpost . .

    3. jumpyessirhowhigh?

      The weight of evidence is overwhelming,

      CIA whacked JFK. But why? Seems Kennedy was threatening pacific settlement of disputes, as required by the UN Charter, supreme law of the land. Peace was a threat to the 1st-strike biz.

      The most interesting wrinkle is Chomsky’s point that JFK eventually gave the CIA almost everything they wanted, including undeclared war on Cuba, just ten days before he got whacked. CIA murdered him not as a problem but as a mildly insubordinate foot-dragger.

      Since William Pepper points out (in An Act of State) that JFK’s next two presidential successors were in the room when the execution decision was finalized, clearly the coup was pour encourager les autres.

      The coup required subsequent minor adjustments like the assassination of MLK and RFK, Nixon’s ouster (Russ Baker), honey traps for series of reformers, and the bloodless coup of 2000. But I wouldn’t call it a military coup,

  7. leftover

    Re: Stoller (and Greenwald)…
    They’re surprised at Democrats calling Obama critics racist? It’s been common practice since the man took office. I’m more surprised that they’re surprised. I thought they paid closer attention. And I’m even more surprised they would pay any attention to Balloon Juice.

    Re: Category error…
    Markets do not “heal” but yet Neoliberalism (i.e. the lack of health insurance) kills?

    Re: Racing toward ObamaCare…
    Republicans voicing concern about uneven playing fields…conflicts of interest…lack of transparency…illustrates clearly the bunkum that is American bourgeois political theater.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Maybe Romney as President can teach every poor-middle White Republican the lesson they deserve: “Shock and Awe” that Rich White Republicans don’t give a damn about them, except as “digits” for exploitation.

        1. ohmyheck

          It doesn’t seem that “White Republicans” learned their lesson from Bush II, so I don’t see why they would all of the sudden learn it from Romney. They get their lessons from Faux News, and Number 1 Lesson is called “Shift the Blame”.

          Obamabots have mastered this one as well. “60 Senators! Congress won’t let him!”…blahblahblah…

  8. Anon

    Max hits the global mainstream, lol. (And what the hell was Stacey doing in bed with Angus Deayton? The mind boggles.)

    Before his RT gig, his regular spot, Truth About Markets, was making waves via independent London radio station, Resonance 104.4 FM, where it is still running currently, on repeat.

  9. Brindle

    The New Yorkers editorial endorsement of Obama is drenched in simplification and straw-men–“fantastical expectations”. Notice how the killing of Muslim civilians (drones) is deemed a minor point in comparison with the accomplishments of this great man:

    —“Perhaps inevitably, the President has disappointed some of his most ardent supporters. Part of their disappointment is a reflection of the fantastical expectations that attached to him.
    Some, quite reasonably, are disappointed in his policy failures (on Guantánamo, climate change, and gun control); others question the morality of the persistent use of predator drones.
    And, of course, 2012 offers nothing like the ecstasy of taking part in a historical advance: the reëlection of the first African-American President does not inspire the same level of communal pride.
    But the reëlection of a President who has been progressive, competent, rational, decent, and, at times, visionary is a serious matter.
    The President has achieved a run of ambitious legislative, social, and foreign-policy successes that relieved a large measure of the human suffering and national shame inflicted by the Bush Administration. Obama has renewed the honor of the office he holds.—”

    Read more

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s fascinating to watch the doublethink in action. First, we have “fantastical expecations” being over-rated, then we have “the ecstasy of taking part in a historical advance.” I suppose true ecstasy isn’t fantastical? Anyhow, some us came near that ecstasy, and there were definitely “expectations” that had nothing to do with historical advance.”

      I’d been reading the New Yorker my whole life, because my parents did. I gave it up when they lost their midns over Obama and I hvane’t regretted it.

    2. 320 square feet

      Guess I’ll vote for Obama! The New Yorker convinced me! The clincher was their closely-reasoned argument that Convention Against Torture Article 1 regarding acquiescence of a public official to torture, is just a big crock of shit, and that Hague Convention (IV) Articles 23(c) and (h) are dumb stupid crap. Also when they logically proved Rome Standard Article 8.2.c.iv prohibiting wilful killing of noncombatants and combatants rendered hors de combat by detention, and the universal-jurisdiction law that corresponds to it, that’s malarkey, like my hero Joe Biden (D/Bolgia of the usurers) would say. Also that monocle guy makes me feel all sophisticated and upscale, almost like I’m rich and not a pathetic dupe.

  10. Valissa

    Election season is almost over… in the meantime, some cartoons
    Which came first

    The benefits of technology

    Ain’t it the truth

    How conveeeeenient

    Only a few more days

    1. JEHR

      Thanks for the cartoons–the only antidote that works. I especially like the Change one. I never thought I would hear either Hope or Change again during the election! Guess I was wrong.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s all relative.

        With respect to certain things, some wanted change 4 yrs ago but not now. Some didn’t want change then but are for change now. And still others who wanted change then and still are looking for change now.

        1. Valissa

          The correct way to ask Obama for change

          Strategic political change

          Institutions and change

          Change, as instituted from the top

          “I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.” — Aldous Huxley

      2. Chris Rogers

        Never did any one offer so much hope and change only to piss on the parade himself – this sums up Obama and really is enough to make one wretch.

        God, even Romney’s on the koolaid and hopium – what next Santa Clause and his reindeer.

        Never have so many lies and deceits been cast as by Obama and Romney, they are intent on setting records, records of deception that is – worse than the UK’s Liberal Democrats and that really is saying something!!!!!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s a three-player game (not ignoring the other parties, but for the purpose of our discussion here, the three are Obama, Romney and the American voters), and when the two candidiates both lose, we win; though the more likely outcome is that they will both win (for their 0.01% backers) and we will lose.

    2. craazyman

      two more days and we’re out of HELL.

      I hate politics. I hate it! I hate hearing about it, I hate reading about it, I hate talking about it. I hate analyzing it. Whenever I see a politician, I run the other way. Or at least walk really fast.

      Politics reaches a sublime crescendo of stupidity that makes a doorknob look like Einstein himself. The doorknob even sounds like Einstein, comparatively speaking.

      Oh well. I admit it’s my problem, not the world’s problem. That’s what the NFL is there for.

      1. Valissa

        I think Zappa has it right… “Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.” — Frank Zappa

        “Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell


        “The typical citizen drops down to a lower level of mental performance as soon as he enters the political field. He argues and analyzes in a way which he would readily recognize as infantile within the sphere of his real interests. He becomes primitive again.” — Joseph Schumpeter

  11. Chris Rogers

    Re; Matt Stoller, Salon.

    First, Matt you do a good jobs deconstructing Obama – Derrida would be proud of you – cuts through the BS associated with Obama and phoney-Democrats he surrounds himself with, or those that offer a defence for the un-defendable.

    Second, whilst many of my own posts over the past few months have focused on support for Third Party candidates, notably Jill Stein of The Green’s – I cannot help but differ from your conclusion/ advice that progressive and left of centre elements of the electorate vote Third Party, had the race been less open and Obama was a sure win, then yes, I’d have supported your stance.

    However, given the lame duck nature of Obama and the closeness in the polls, this despite the Republican’s putting a ticket together worse than 2008’s election, I now firmly believe that the correct way for those to vote in swing states is actually to cast their ballot in favour of Romney – this hopefully may well send a pretty strong message to the Democrat hierarchy that enough is enough – voting Third Party will not do this as it will not deny the Presidency to Obama.

    In a nutshell, the argument is simple, a vote for Obama and win for Obama guarantees the destruction of what remains of the USA’s social welfare safety net – this is acknowledged by most political commentators and will form the basis of Obama’s second term.

    How much wiser for swing state progressives and left of centre supporters to cast a vote in favour of Romney, for with Romney in the Whitehouse Democrat’s on Capitol Hill would be more likely to undermine any attempts by Romney to dismantle the Welfare State – if swing voters vote Third Party, effectively you are signing your own death warrants.

    So Matt, please re-evaluate your stance, like you I despise what the Republican’s have become and certainly could never bring myself to vote Democrat given their addiction to neoliberal economic policies and further erosion of civil liberties.

    First thing first is deny Obama – a Romney Presidency could not be any worse than Obama and certainly the Democrats would never allow him to destroy the Welfare State – they will rollover and allow Obama to do it though.

    A tough choice, but this is what tactical voting is all about, but the primacy must be to stop Obama getting the keys to the Whitehouse again.

      1. Chris Rogers

        My loyalty has never been in question, as all my posts on this site will uphold – I am loyal to Socialist causes, specifically the maintenance of the social safety net, a universal health care system, respect for civil liberties and curtailment of power of corporates, fat cats and lobbyists – you can’t have a more just and egalitarian society by removing all welfare gains made since FDR – gains Obama will remove.

        Perhaps if you had read my post carefully, you’d note that I’m advising those who believe in maintaining what remains of your welfare sate to vote for Romney, rather than for a Third Party Candidate or Obama – much as I detest the Republicans and Romney – the fact is, only Obama can deliver the huge cuts in Welfare that the ruling elite desire – why else do you think Romney was chosen to run for President, he’s bloody well mean’t to lose so Obama and his cronies in Washington – with Republican support can take a meat cleaver to what remains of your civilised nation – this certainly is not good for the average Joe, the unemployed or those on low income, i.e., the working class, never mind the Middle Class.

        Most commentators across the blogosphere are confident that the Democrat’s will try and undermine Romney on Capitol Hill much as the Republicans have done with Obama – with Obama in charge its goodbye welfare state – my God look what he did with health care and financial reform – if he was a Democrat with progressive ideals and stringent belief in civil liberties do you honestly believe I’d be suggesting persons in swing states vote Romney – they are both as bad as each other, Third Way parties are no where near gain traction to undermine the Washington consensus, hence, one way to derail the plan is to actually elect Romney and can can assure you his election would come as no greater surprise than to himself – why the hell heck did he chose someone worse than Palin for VP unless he expected not to take the Whitehouse – forget the theatrics, the money’s always been on Obama and Obama is more dangerous than Romney – or have I missed something over the past 4 years of his Presidency and lies he told whilst seeking office in the Primaries.

        Sometimes we have to make horrible choices, voting Romney is terrible, voting Obama is just madness given the known facts about him – do you really think his next term will be different from his first!!!!!!!!!

        1. dale pues

          I don’t understand this:

          “…why else do you think Romney was chosen to run for President, he’s bloody well mean’t to lose…”

          Well, it seems they’ve spent an awful lot of money just to lose. Also, what of the down ticket races? Won’t repubs suffer from a Romney loss?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I would also suggest that to keep repeating to oneself ‘Oh Bummer’ is not the way to go through life and that if you are fooled once, no shame on you but if you are fooled twice, by the same guy/thing/corporation/situation, it’s shame on you.

    2. Aquifer

      We need to keep the duopoly from getting the keys again – this destruction of the safety net is a bipartisan affair. And if they don’t get there this time, they will the next – the only way to save it is to throw the bums out – that will take a few cycles, but in the meantime the best way is to scare the crap out of them and the ONLY way to do that is to go 3rd party in as big a way as possible – Nader’s 3% is not what elected Bush but it was big enough to throw the Dem squelch machine into overdrive – he had to be nipped in the bud lickety split – As long as they can do that – scare folks away from the only real challengers to the duopoly out there, they win and their agenda will inexorably proceed … And you can take THAT to the bank, along with everything else ….

      And now, out to put up some signs ….

    3. different clue

      This approach might work best if one votes for Democrats downticket while voting for Romney at the top of the ticket. If Romney and the downticket Democrats win, this would give the downticket Democrats one last chance to lock Romney’s grid and constipate the LegisFecal Excretion Process in Washington to a dead stop.
      If one feels one can’t trust “the Democrats” generically to lock Romney’s grid, then can distinctions still be made between New Deal Nostalgia Democrats and Catfood Democrats?
      Durbin is clearly a Catfood Democrat, for example. But is Stabenow and the 27 other DemSenators who signed the Dont’ Touch Social Security letter trustworthy to actually shut the Senate down during the Lame Duck Session and for Romney’s first term? It is a chance I will be taking here in Michigan by voting for Stabenow and Dingell. I may be voting for Anderson instead of Romney because Romney (and Ryan) may be “just too awful” for me to vote for.

        1. different clue

          How could I vote against our beloved Dingellsaurus paleocraticus? I can’t and I won’t.

          I will vote against the evil Mr. Moroun though. That’s the one thing I and our esteemed Governor agree on.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The forgotton long-term unemployed.

    I think that’s the aim of ‘Growth’-Through-Amnesia.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Mexican Cartels Enslave Engineers.

    I bet they enslsve those slave through force, instead of giving those engineers loans they can’t afford. The latter would have been the smart way to go about it and would have brought less notoriety.

  14. abelenkpe

    Why does the left vote for Obama again?

    Because voting for the right in this election is a vote to take a woman’s right to choose away, to potentially stack the supreme court in favor of republicans for generations to come, to push back any advances in civil rights, to give corporations even more leeway to rip off consumers and pressure workers into excepting less pay and benefits, who punish immigrants while letting corporations that exploit them off the hook. Only those with nothing to lose can delude themselves into thinking the candidates are the same and justify to themselves making our country worse for minorities and women. And to you I say fuck you for being so callous, self centered and uncaring.

    1. Dan

      You seem pretty callous and uncaring about all the defenseless civilians he routinely murders with his flying murder drones.

      I don’t vote for war criminals, full stop.

    2. Chris Rogers

      You talk of a ‘woman’s right to choose and Romney packing the Supreme Court with more rightwing lunatics – I already consider your Supreme Court a utter farce and though Wade Vrs Roe was part of civil liberties – something Obama has undermined more in one term in office than Bush did in two – and that’s saying something given the draconian Patriot Act.

      As for the remainder of your tirade, given Obama is a corporate stooge who has under his tenure to allow the 1% to get richer at the expense of the 99% – the way you portray matters is that you had some kind of leftist progressive in the Whitehouse for these last 4 years, or someone who’s not actually Obama.

      The best thing for the USA presently is for Romney to win – do you really think he’ll over rule Wade/Roe – do you think the Democrat’s will allow him to dismantle what remains of your welfare safety net and do you really believe he can make the Supreme Court more rightwing/neoliberal than it already is?

      The fact is Obama is the rights/ neoliberals fig leaf in the Whitehouse , he’s brought and paid for, a patsy for all that is wrong with the USA – if he was actually opposed to it and stated he was opposed, one perhaps could respect him, that he’s a proven liar who has done more to promote rightwing/ neoliberal interests than the Republicans speaks volumes.

      This election is a farce, none of the real issues have been addressed by either legacy Party and you talk about a woman’s right to choose – I think you’d better focus on a right to a roof over your head, food in your belly and basic education, nevermind bringing abortion into the debate.

      If you support the killing of innocent civilians in overseas countries right and proper, fair dues. Me I don’t, its none of my business what a woman does with her body – nor should it be anyone else’s right. However, start with the fundamentals first like respect for the law and civil liberties, before advancing singular causes that were settled in the 1960’s.

      I can assure you four more years of Obama will be a disaster for the average Joe in the USA – thing’s will probably be bad under Romney, but at least he too will be seen as a lame duck President waiting to get ousted in 2016 by either a decent progressive from the Democrat’s or deceptive Republican who was too scarred to take on Obama this time – Romney actually is the Patsy, so surprise the buggers who got him where he is by making him president – hopefully, after 4 years of another lunatic in the Whitehouse much of the electorate may actually want some real change for a change, rather than platitudes and deceit.

      1. Synopticist

        “do you really think he’ll over rule Wade/Roe”
        He’ll do his utmost to restrict abortion.

        “do you think the Democrat’s will allow him to dismantle what remains of your welfare safety net”
        Yes, they’re mostly pussies, and would love to show they’re the grown-ups who are capable of cuddly bi-partisanship.

        “and do you really believe he can make the Supreme Court more rightwing/neoliberal than it already?”
        Huh? Of course.

        “…Romney, but at least he too will be seen as a lame duck President waiting to get ousted in 2016 by either a decent progressive from the Democrat’s or deceptive Republican…”

        Seen by who? Why would he be a lame duck after winning the most expensive, longest and closelly fought election ever? He’ll govern to the right, or he’d get primaried by the teabaggers. And what makes you think the dems would put up a proper left-leaning progressive? Theyll move into the “centre” ground vacated by the right, that’s inexorable political logic, not give Elizebeth Warren a go.

    3. ginnie nyc

      Wow. Where to begin. I’m not up to fine-pointed analysis today. Suffice it to say, if you think any of the evils you project will occur only under Romney, and have NOT been occurring under Obama, or part of an ongoing erosion under both parties for the past 30 years – well, I don’t know where you’ve been living. You must be a hermit.

      Every damned one of the problems you cite has gotten much worse under your preferred candidate.

      Anyone who votes for Obama is not a leftist. Period. In my opinion.

    4. wbgonne

      I think this Obot perfectly demonstrates the rot at the core the Obama Democratic Party. If you don’t vote for Obama, fuck you. Nevermind Obama’s abominable policies on [climate change, energy, civil rights, authoritarianism, transparency, militarism, income inequality, wealth inequality, gun control, drug prohibition, taxation, corporate regulation, bankster prosecutions] everything. If you don’t vote for Obama, fuck you. Nevermind that Obama is BRAGGING that he intends to attack the social safety net that is the flimsy foundation for the collapsing American Middle Class. If you don’t vote for Obama, fuck you. Nevermind that Obama is the more effective evil, not the lesser evil. If you don’t vote for Obama, fuck you. That about says it all. Well, you know what? Fuck you right back.

      1. Jonathan

        As someone whose identity escapes me recently said, the Democratic Party is just the Republican Party of twelve years previous. Which means the self-delusion, mendacity, desperate appeal for one-sided solidarity with fantasy, the purge of moderates and any to the left of them, and the censorship of anything off-message is finally ripe.

    5. charles leseau

      I like how all of your reasons for voting for Obama are akin to blackmail, i.e. threats reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney instead of actual reasons to vote for Obama.

    6. RanDomino

      You know, if all of you anti-Obama leftists would organize (no, not as part of the farcical green party) someone might actually give a damn what you think.

      1. nobody


        You know, although we weren’t all leftists, last fall we peacefully assembled and did start organizing, and what happened?

        With the complicity of the Obama administration, we were (and continue to be) shot with bean bag rounds and rubber bullets, beaten, bullied, brutally assaulted, bones broken, teeth chipped or knocked out, choked, pepper-sprayed, tear-gassed, sexually assaulted as a matter of deliberate strategy, kidnapped without cause off of the streets and sidewalks and out of public parks, arrested in the thousands (in the majority of cases for nothing, nothing…), falsely imprisoned, denied medical care while in custody with serious injuries, tortured, taunted, threatened, entrapped in FBI-initiated plots targeting the most marginal and vulnerable, intensively surveilled, dehumanized by media propaganda (when not whitewashed out of existence), classified as terrorists and targeted by DHS and other alphabet soup agencies, invaded in our homes (if we have them) by paramilitary SWAT teams pointing guns and throwing flash-bang grenades in search of political literature and black clothing, thrown into the American gulag that at this point exceeds Stalin’s gulag at its maximum size both in terms of absolute numbers and in terms of percentage of population…

    7. Yves Smith

      You are simply wrong about Obama and I suggest you get on top of facts.

      Sotomayor has rendered decisions against a woman’s right to abortions in the past. The notion that Obama regards a woman’s right to choose as an important consideration in his Supreme Court nominations is simply untrue. You have been conned.

    8. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, Obama signed Executive Order 13535, which incorporates the Hyde Amendment into the ACA. When pressed, Obama supporters argue this was necessary to pass the law (true only if you accept the filibuster (which the Ds are now vaguely thinking of doing away with, four years late)). Which would be fine, if Obaam supporters would be willing to agree that they’re perfectly happy throwing poor women under the bus for larger policy objectives.

      It’s the same thing with the poor. The permanently high DISemployment under Obama is terrible for them. Obama has the money to spend on housing help for the foreclosed and won’t do it. Mass incarceration is also terrible for the poor, and Obama hasn’t decreased it and had increased marijuana enforcement. Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than any other President in history. And on and on and on.

      So, please, take your crocodile tears for the poor and women and shove it.

    9. different clue

      I have to assume you support Obama to take away my Social Security that I have been PREpaying for ever since 1983?

      You god damned fucking piece of shit bastard. Fuck you, god damn you, and fuck you again for voting for Obama.

    10. Aquifer

      See, here’s the problem – the left has been voting for Dems for some time now because somewhere along the line they thought that that stuff you cite was what the Dems actually stood for – and maybe at one time they did, but they haven’t for a long time – this is not your father’s, nor you grandfather’s, as the case may be, Dem party and hasn’t been for some time.

      You’re right, if they really stood for all that stuff you might be able to make at least somewhat of a case – but they don’t – it’s all lip service, dutifully spouted to keep folks like you on their “team” – they have proven that so at least since the days of Clinton with welfare “reform” and that “free trade” crap and the repeal of anything that had a chance of keeping banks from going vampire …

      You just haven’t been paying attention and you really need to – your and your kids future depends on it. If you do like all that stuff you cite you are much better off voting Green …

      1. different clue

        Or Socialist or Working Families Party or Social Democrat Party or Democratic Socialists of America Party or Justice Party or maybe even Caucus of Labor Committees. Anything but Dog Shit Obama and his Dog Shitobamacrat Party.

    1. craazyman

      That is good, LBR. Plain, calm, clear and simple. Like it should be but never is.

      I’m not sure political journalism necessarily has to be unctuously stupid — although it might seem so since that’s the nature of its subject and one might assume that versimilitude alone would force the writer’s hand, even if the writer isn’t a degenerately ambitious self-promotional hack — but I guess as with most things, integrity joined with even a modest grip on the craft of language can render it plainly and calmly and say what it is in a way that an honest, sober clear-headed man or woman would respect.

      I can only imagine how inept a nut-wing government would eventually get, with everything trusted to the efficient hand of “private enterprise”. It would be an invisible hand indeed, in a pinch. no pun intended.

      I wonder what a market-clearing price is for a rescue when you’re on your roof and the waters rage around you. There could be a bidding war if there’s a bunch of you! You against your neighbors with the chopper hovering until the market clears. Somebody has to lose. Oh well. It’s the market and the market’s always right.

      1. Aquifer

        Craazy – It has seemed to me for some time that we just need to give the invisible hand a very visible finger ….

  15. Carl

    Whites abandoning the Democrats?

    From the Reich article:
    “But Republicans have offered white non-college males the scapegoats of racism and immigration — blaming, directly or indirectly, blacks and Latinos”….
    Whites are not blind, they know that they are being ignored and cast aside by both Democratic policy and philosophy.

    What do you tell a 25 year old White guy that is barred from any public hiring or union job because they are looking for “people of color and women to fill the jobs”?
    “This position is reserved for a women”.”Women and minorities encouraged to apply”.
    “Bilingual a plus…” in other words,”Don’t waste your time applying for this job White Boy…”

    The ubiquiitous affirmative action hirelings have now been kicked upstairs into the mid level management and hiring positions. “That White motherfuckah thinks I’m going to hire him?? Wooeeeee!…No way!”

    Promotions in jobs are based on the content of your melanin not your character or abilities.

    The building trades were once a great way for anyone to make a decent living. Of course in most urban areas, those jobs are now filled by $10 an hour illegals picked up in a Home Depot parking lot. The Money they make being mostly sent back home to Central America and thus not circulating and recirculating in our local economies to our detriment.

    The Democratic Party has dug their grave with their multicultural mantra mouths and now they lament why White Men are defecting to the party of dumb and dumber?

    This White Boy is going to vote for Gary Johnson. I encourage all the other Whites to do the same just to send a message to the two party duopololy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Nice false flag ploy, first time commenter “Carl.” Now the good Democrat can come in and smear the site as racists, as is typical of Obama operatives when they’ve got nuthin. 10, 9, 8 …. Not that I’m foily.

    2. citalopram

      The Dem party dug their own grave by following the neoliberal paradigm. They kicked FDR our and installed Friedman in his place.

    3. Carl

      I’m the poster. I meant everything that I said out of experience and seeing others go through it for the last forty years. You guys just can’t think outside of your dogmatic little boxes can you? FYI, I gave a couple thousand to Obama…bad investment advice I know. He’s got California locked up as far as electoral college so my Johnson vote, I might go for Stein, is a safe bet for Obama.

      The very people, White males between say 35 and above, that the Democrats need to restore a unionized Middle Class have been, at least in urban areas, alienated from the Democratic Party by the stuff I mentioned above.

      A vote for Romney is a bigger and faster vote for their destructon I know. We can’t go on voting for the lessor of two evils forever. If you want someone’s participation, someone’s votes and someone’s money, you include them and don’t do the calculus of which minority group is worth more votes than another and discard the majority. If you do, you eat the consequences which will be toxic for all.

      So what action am I suggesting to get the White males back in the fold? First of all, if you are going to promote a White man, make sure that it’s NOT an almost universally despised creep like Gavin Newsom, the “what do we do with him now” Lt. Governor of California. Second, stop the mouth mantra of multiculturalism. If I had a buck for every time I’ve heard “diversity” “multiculturalism” “people of color”, I could buy a house. Guys react to slogans, that’s why advertising works. Guys react against slogans and language too. Resentment builds, then seeths and unfortunately the first charlatan to come along who sounds a bit better gets the vote.
      You want a Democratic Party for all people? Don’t make it lopsided with certain people only. Of course, even more important would be some real policy shifts toward true progressivism. But that’s a different topic.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        Yes, because the Democratic (or Republican) Party and its power elite behind the curtains are not white and male enough. Yeah.

        Sorry for taking the bait.

    1. Synopticist

      Her charge, “conspiracy to pervert the course of justice” is coming up in september next year. She’ll very likelly do at leeast a year or two in jail.

      It’s pretty unlikelly they were lovers, it’s more about the undue closeness between them (Cameron was at school, Eton, with Brooks husband).

      The irony is, when Cameron became tory leader, he at first deliberatelly kept his distance from the Murdoch press. Then he ended up making a Faustian pact with them, allying himself totally with Murdochs’priorities, cutting the BBCs budget and favouring his bid to get complete control of Sky. Now there’s a constant drip, drip, drip of bad news for him, and he ‘s managed to alienate the other newspaper groups.

  16. anon y'mouse

    how much money will be spent investigating and prosecuting a bunch of adults who engaged in consensual sex while transferring cash amongst themselves?

    sounds like Maine needs to prioritize their expenditures better, and grow beyond the Salem witch trials.

  17. wunsacon

    This site looks interesting:

    RepRap is humanity’s first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine.

    RepRap takes the form of a free desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Since many parts of RepRap are made from plastic and RepRap prints those parts, RepRap self-replicates by making a kit of itself – a kit that anyone can assemble given time and materials. It also means that – if you’ve got a RepRap – you can print lots of useful stuff, and you can print another RepRap for a friend…

    1. different clue

      As long as the plastic feedstock supply holds out and as long as the power to run the RepRap holds out and as long as the computer chipdriven technosystem and all its supply chains hold out. If any one of them breaks down or goes away, then the RepRap becomes an inert desktop paperweight.

      1. wunsacon

        We only need sources of energy and means to exploit them. With that, everything else is … inevitable.

  18. Bev

    I would like confirmation of the above. Preferably from ABC who has had enough time to further research this.



    Romney’s family and friends buying/investing in e-voting machine companies to steal his election.

    Buying/investing in right wing hate radio, Clear Channel, to spew lies and division and backup a win on non-evidential e-voting and tabulating machines.

    Hiring Bush’s 911 “national security” people to do what again.

    All the above is true and reason alone to disqualify him outright.


    As for the list you give…I raise you…magic underwear.

    Because as regards fantastical thinking:

    The Source of Romney’s Lying
    By Robert Parry

    But what has attracted very little media attention is the question: why does Romney lie?

    There have been some suggestions that Romney’s mendacity is an outgrowth of his business experience as a corporate takeover artist who tells investors and other stakeholders pretty much anything to close a deal. But that misses the reality of the business world where a reputation as a chronic liar can be lethal to long-term success.
    No, Romney’s lying — most recently revealed in his false claim about General Motors and Chrysler shifting U.S. auto jobs to China — appears connected to something deeper in his personality, psyche or life experience.

    One theory is that Romney is consumed by a blind ambition, obsessed with claiming the office of President that was denied his father because he was too honest while his Republican rival, Richard Nixon, was anything but. Another possibility is that Romney has surrendered whatever ethics he had to the longstanding Republican political strategy of winning at all cost, ironically a playbook inherited from Nixon. [See Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative.]

    A third possible explanation is tied to Romney’s Mormon religion which was founded in the 19th Century by a notorious conman, Joseph Smith Jr., who as a youth used a “seer stone” to advise people where to hunt for buried treasure. He later expanded on his supposed visions to start his own religion, Mormonism.

    Smith, aided by a few collaborators, created the Book of Mormon which Smith claimed was delivered to him in 1827 by an angel Moroni via golden plates buried in upstate New York. Smith supposedly translated the plates, which told a truly unbelievable tale about ancient Israelites coming to the Americas. Smith’s golden plates, which supposedly contained a form of Egyptian writing that he alone could translate, then conveniently disappeared, making it impossible to verify Smith’s fantastical story, at least from the alleged text on the plates.

    Archaeologists and scientists have since noted that the Book of Mormon is full of assertions about animals, plants, architecture and technologies that didn’t exist in the Americas prior to the European arrival. Scholars note, too, that there are no linguistic or DNA links between Native Americans and people of the ancient Near East.

    Still, after the Book of Mormon was published, Smith was on a roll, drawing converts from a U.S. population caught up in the religious fervor of the so-called Second Great Awakening. Smith then went a step further, pretending to translate some actual Egyptian hieroglyphics from old papyri. Smith claimed the papyri represented the writings of Israelite patriarch Abraham himself. The “translation” became the Book of Abraham.

    Decades later, however, that bogus claim collapsed when scholars became more proficient at translating hieroglyphics and revealed Smith’s papyri to be nothing more than routine Egyptian funeral instructions.

    Despite the traditional Mormon narrative portraying Smith and the early Mormons as victims of religious bigotry, many of the controversies that followed Smith to his death in 1844 — at the hands of an angry mob in Illinois — related to his scamming local residents out of money and his insistence on an intolerant theocracy with him in charge.


    Romney also is not just some rank-and-file Mormon following the faith of his parents and enjoying the church’s rituals. Rather, he is a former church bishop who comes from Mormon “royalty” with ancestors dating back to the earliest followers of Joseph Smith, including Parley Pratt and Miles Romney, the church’s first architect.

    As a member of that “royalty,” Romney has benefited both in his business and political life from the concentration of Mormon wealth under the control of church leaders in Salt Lake City, Utah. While average Mormons often tithe to the church and get few non-religious benefits in return, the “royalty” are well-placed for the church’s powerful support derived from holdings worth tens of billions of dollars.

    So, Romney’s fealty to the church and its insistence that Joseph Smith be viewed as a holy prophet, not a mendacious conman, is not simply a matter of true faith, but one of financial and political advantage. Of course, as with anyone, it’s impossible to know where Romney’s religious convictions end and his career aggrandizement begins.


    The difference with Mormonism and other newer religions is that the origins of their holy writings and the motives of their founders can be more fully researched and explained. Mormon scholars have accessed the church’s archives and some have led the way in exposing the early deceptions used by Smith and other church founders.

    For instance, Joseph Smith’s “Book of Abraham” — supposedly “translated” by Smith in 1835 — was debunked by both Mormon and secular scholars after remnants of Smith’s papyri were discovered and could be actually translated due to the improved understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics that evolved through the 19 th Century.

    Virtually everything that Smith claimed about the papyri was false. The documents make no reference to Abraham and were dated some 1,500 years after Abraham’s supposed life. According to scholars, the papyri recounted funeral practices of Egypt in the period of about the First Century BC.

    Smith’s apologists have been left to defend his fraudulent depiction of the papyri by claiming that Smith’s translation was by revelation, not by determining what the hieroglyphics literally said — or that he possibly saw meanings embedded in the text that would be invisible to everyone else.

    Yet, for a religion dependent on Smith’s honesty, such as when he claimed to have discovered the golden plates containing the Book of Mormon and other items that subsequently went magically missing, the empirical debunking of the one set of Smith’s documents that have survived, the papyri used for the “Book of Abraham,” is devastating as clear proof of Smith’s fraudulent practices.

    [For a moving personal account of a Mormon woman facing up to the truth about her religion, see Kay Burningham’s An American Fraud.]

    Relevance of a Religion

    So, as sensitive as religious beliefs can be, Romney’s Mormon faith has relevance to the American electorate in several ways. First, does he really believe the discredited and ludicrous claims by Mormon founder Joseph Smith?

    It’s true that people can separate some of the tenets of their religions from their day-to-day lives, like fundamentalist Christians who embrace a literal reading of the Bible but work successfully in scientific fields. However, gullibility or magical thinking in a U.S. President can be dangerous, either in his dealings with foreign leaders or in his control of the devastating American military arsenal, including nuclear weapons.

    Before entrusting the nuclear codes to one person, the American people might want to know whether the person is grounded in the real world.

    Second, if Romney is not a true-believer and is not someone who accepts Smith’s absurdities as real, then is Romney simply an opportunist who follows the Mormon religion because its connections have proved advantageous to him? While viewing Romney as an opportunist might be more reassuring than thinking of him as a fantasist, it doesn’t reflect well on him either.

    Third, assuming again that Romney understands the true history of Joseph Smith’s successful fraud, does Romney’s appreciation of Smith as a consummate conman help explain Romney proclivity to lie with such confidence? After all, if your religion enshrines a liar of Smith’s caliber as one of history’s greatest men, a prophet whose religion allows its current leaders to literally speak with God, then your view of lying might well be skewed.

    Thus, it makes sense that Romney would experience little or no shame when he makes claims that are patently untrue. After all, they are no more false than Joseph Smith’s stories about disappearing golden plates and his translation of the “Book of Abraham.”

    So, knowing that the ends can justify the means, Romney would have no reason to think twice when he lies, such as when he claimed not to have seen an attack ad against Republican rival Newt Gingrich and then went on to describe its contents. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen was so impressed by the coolness of Romney’s lying that he devoted a column to praising Romney’s skill.

    “Among the attributes I most envy in a public man (or woman) is the ability to lie,” Cohen wrote. “If that ability is coupled with no sense of humor, you have the sort of man who can be a successful football coach, a CEO or, when you come right down to it, a presidential candidate. Such a man is Mitt Romney.” [See’s “Mitt Romney: Professional Liar.”]

    Romney showed off those skills again and again as the campaign progressed, including when he framed his nominating convention around a gross misrepresentation of Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote and a false claim that Obama had gutted the work requirement for welfare. [See’s “Finally, Fact-Checking Romney’s Lie.”]


    However, for whatever reason, Mitt Romney has learned that lying works — and that it is no cause for shame. Indeed, lying has become one of his defining characteristics, which American voters might want to consider as they cast their ballots on Nov. 6.

    1. different clue

      And that is part of what makes me find Romney “too awful to vote for” no matter how tactitionally strategeric a vote for Romney might be.

    2. Garrett Pace

      Latter-day Saints such as myself are going to disagree with the interpretations and conclusions in that article.

      For me, I do not intend to vote for Romney. I find him very dishonest.

  19. Crazy Horse

    Animal Farm:

    Welcome to the feed lot, folks.

    On one side of the trough we have a skinny Ass, leader of the Rope-A-Dope party. He’s the consummate liar, his silver tongue never ceasing to babble about all the good things he hopes to change for you while doing the exact opposite for the benefit of his masters. He has a whole team of underlings whose job it is to shovel the Hopium that continually flows from his Ass onto the Sheeple milling about below.

    No other politician in the history of this country has been as successful in facilitating financial fraud and exterminating the rule of law.

    Millions of families thrown out of their homes on the basis of fraudulent mortgage deeds lumped into fraudulent securities using the fraudulent title transfer system called MERS with not a single prosecution brought by the Ass’s department of Injustice. His favorite fund raiser Jon Corzine walks off with a billion dollars of customer money while Justice turns a blind eye. Massive subsidies for criminal medical insurance companies disguised as a health care system. Trillions of dollars in payouts to the Bankster Cabal that bought his election, all financed by layering debt onto the public account. His personal assassin drones scan the globe searching for real and imagined enemies in defiance of all international law, sowing terror among enemies and any women or children who happen to be nearby. He continues to expand the permanent warfare state envisioned by his predecessor, turning every campaign promise on its head while the imperial army sucks a trillion dollars per year out of the productive economy.

    And on the other side of the trough we have a giant beast with a ridiculously long nose. (The better to snarf up your last penny, my dear) This beast heads an organization that proudly calls itself The Party of Greed. Its supporters are legion, implanted at birth with a microchip that turns any rational thought on its head. For their Supreme Leader they have chosen one of their own— a cyborg incapable of even pretending to know what life is like for the inferior beings upon which his financial wealth rests. He has an unusual characteristic for a politician —the inability to lie all the time. On a regular basis he says exactly what he believes — you know, “I don’t give a s**t about the inferior classes” or “hardly any of my annual income is from speaking engagements– its actually less than 400k.”

    Compared to his opponent the Ass, he has a great advantage because his career success was built upon understanding how the Business of America works. Finance your fledgling vulture capital company by laundering money for Salvadorian death squads. Use the blood capital to take over productive American companies that need money to expand, strip mine their assets and borrow more than they are really worth, transfer the borrowed funds to your own account as management fees, bankrupt the company, fire all the workers, ship the jobs off to China were the workers are all 14 year old girls dreaming of earning enough to afford a stuffed teddy bear, and hide the profits in an unlisted Cayman bank account to avoid US taxes. Then enter public service by arranging for 1.5 billion dollars of federal taxpayer money to be funneled into your home state to fund the most grossly overpriced Winter Olympic Games in history.

    If the elephant wins will he be able to match the Ass‘s success in driving America to ruin? It’s a tall order, but he’s certainly the right cyborg for the job.

  20. Hugh

    Came late. It looks like both parties have their noise machines turned on high. Most voters for either of the candidates of the two legacy parties have not or refuse to compare the candidate’s rhetoric, to their actions, to the results of these actions. They are voting for an image they have in their own mind of a party and a candidate that quite simply does not exist.

  21. tiebie66

    O vs. R? It’s all so irrelevant, yet people seem to be unable to just distance themselves from it and vote -now- with an eye on events 20 years ahead. Getting caught up in the debate and thus perpetuating it…
    I’d say (but can’t) to vote for whomever has not held office before to break the cycle.

  22. RP

    Don’t know if people have been reading the textbook-only useful idiot Mattyglesias and his support for price gouging of gasoline in the NY/NJ area as a SOLUTION to the problem of gasoline distribution…

    I thought this was a bad idea and emblematic of the neoliberal textbook-only reality-free economic arguments that he and his friends like Adam Davidson (don’t they look suspiciously like fat bearded nerdy brothers!?).

    Matty’s in the same league here as Glen Hubbard and other apologists for the Big Bankers who have a convenient theory for each awful pro-Big Bank neoliberal policy. These theories, as proven by the recent Financial Crisis, fail when they touch reality because, among other things, they assume that the market will sort things out, cheating included (reality however suggests that cheaters prosper!)

    This story isn’t about price gouging but does suggest that in times of high demand and tight supply, cheating is going to happen (here cheating that is dangerous and illegal) even without the added pressure of price gouging.

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