Links 11/12/12

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Famous bear bandit is killed Adirondack Daily Enterprise (bob)

Fla woman charged after dead animals found in home Associated Press (Lisa Epstein) :-(

Aunt Pythia’s advice mathbabe

Japan’s economy shrinks annualised 3.5% Financial Times

Competitiveness will not save the euro Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

Debt crisis: Greece passes tough budget in bid to unlock vital aid Telegraph

Hanging in quiet desperation is (becoming) the Greek way Yanis Varoufakis

Venice hit by floods – in pictures Guardian

Catfood watch:

White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner Obtained by Bob Woodward Press Pass (nathan)

Hawks and Hypocrites Paul Krugman, New York Times

Don’t fear fiscal cliff, says Democrat Financial Times

Dems, GOP fight brewing over curbing filibusters Associated Press

Sunday Late Night: Why Did DiFi Reverse Course on Petraeus Resignation? Teddy Partridge, Firedoglake

U.S. Asks New York Landlords for Vacant Apartments to House Displaced Families New York Times. From gsimi:

I can’t imagine any real movement from area landlords in this regard. Most already refuse federal Section 8 vouchers, so that over half expire before they can be used (60 days); it’s become a churning operation.

Management theory was hijacked in the 80s. We’re still suffering the fallout Guardian

Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots Wall Street Journal

Banks should fear ominous new rulings in Fannie/Freddie MBS cases Alison Frankel (Reuters)

Administration Housing Policy in a Second Term Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Veterans Day and a caution against a cult of the military Guardian

Franklin D. Roosevelt Letter Criticizing Democratic Party and Declining 1940 Democratic Party Nomination Michael Moore. Today’s must read.

Some Personal Thoughts Ian Welsh. Another must read, an an important contrast with the one above.

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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      1. David Lentini

        Thanks. The original link started working for me. I think the article can also be paired nicely withe Guardian story about the Chicago School’s destruction of corporate goverance. Chris Hedges’s column in today Truthdig also brings out similar points.

        1. spooz

          Appreciate the link, I posted the first paragraph of it on a zerohedge comment on a Mises guest post on Why Obama Got Reelected. It was nice to be able to provide the uninformed with some proof that not all liberals think alike, even if it makes me the Marxist over there.

        2. bmeisen

          Welsh is taking it pretty hard – you know a lot of those disappointing folks are just doing too many drugs and/or drinking too much.

          My impression of American lefties (as well as righties) is that most of them work hard and drive all over the place while doing so. Many smoke dope and drink way too much with regularity. A chunk are intimate with a breathtaking range of pharmaceuticals.

          Acknowledging this provides a new perspective on the “War on Drugs”. Like the banksters sub-prime sting, the War on Drugs worked beyond the dreams of its instigators. It facilitated greater control of and profiteering from the importation of banned narcotics as well as the incarceration for long periods of a politically dangerous population. And it cultivated a felicitous degree of paranoia and instability from the viewpoint of recreational drug use and abuse among the broader population. This led to dysfunction, especially with regard to political organization.

      2. Klassy!

        It’s funny depressing because it’s true!
        As for the product of your environment– I made the observation to an Obamabot that I’m not totally comfortable judging some rich a-hole as I can’t say that I know what I would be like if I was born in a rich person’s bubble. Their response? “Something about their certainty of always having “compassion for the poor”. Funny thing is, from their various comments and actions my suspicion is that this person does not really have much “compassion for the poor”.

        1. YouDon'tSay?

          It’s like Hedges often says. The elite liberals definitely have compassion for the idea of the poor, just not so much for the actual poor in the form of actual people. Funny what all that ivory tower learnin’ gets ya.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Error establishing a database connection

      It’s not a bad URL, the database is unable to answer queries.

  1. JTFaraday

    “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $30 billion request would exceed the roughly $12 billion in FEMA disaster aid currently available in Washington without action from Congress, where there is likely to be strong opposition to additional spending.”

    This ought to be interesting, (and that’s just NY).

    Meanwhile, he has all these plans to “modernize” the legacy power and fuel delivery systems in NY–OMG! odd-even gas rationing!– but not a peep about incorporating alternative, cleaner sources of power and energy.

    1. Neo-Realist

      The lack of interest in alternative energy is probably explained by Andrew’s need to seek funds for his 2016 presidential campaign from the fracking cabal.

  2. pygmy-marmoset love

    Horny midget David Petraeus leads a charmed life even in disgrace. He gets to be famous for his 3″ uncut sinker instead of his war crimes in Tarok Kolachie, If he worked for Germany’s Gestapo instead of ours he would swing for his breach of Hague Convention (IV) Article 23(g). Kelley and Broadwell are the homewreckers but it’s him who wrecks homes in breach of Rome Statute Articles 8.b.i and xiii. Go figure.

  3. gatopeich

    Thanks for the link to “Veterans Day and a caution against a cult of the military Guardian”.

    Every year I assist eyes wide open to this sanctification of War.

    What makes me (even more) sick is the moral contradiction involved.


    1. psychohistorian

      Think of the contradiction in the fact that more US military committed suicide than died as casualties this year, so far, I think it was reported.

      So are we doing better or worse? Ask that of the Obamabots and watch their heads explode.

  4. TimR

    Following up to yesterday’s responses on my question re: Michael Hudson’s comment – “The neoliberals whom he appointed as a majority on the Simpson-Bowles Commission already have inflated their trial balloon claiming that the government must balance the budget by slashing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not by restoring progressive taxation.”

    LeeAnne, MyLessThanPrimeBeef and LucyLulu wrote to the effect that (quoting from MLTPB’s concise phrasing):

    “We want progressive taxation to end wealth inequality, i.e.for its own sake.

    If it funds Social Security, Medicare, etc, all the better (and I believe it does).”

    So my question still basically remains, since these commenters and Hudson seem to disagree with Stephanie Kelton, Mosler, et al on How Things Work. Is it NOT the case that the federal government (given political will) can fund anything it wants to regardless of tax revenues? i.e. it can run deficits without fear of creditors because it can issue bonds in whatever amount is required, and those bonds will be purchased by the Fed if need be, in effect “printing money” (since the Fed creates the “money” to buy those bonds on a keyboard, if need be.)

    Does Hudson really think progressive taxation is needed to “balance the budget”, or is that just a concession to the limited political reality he’s operating in? i.e. he knows he can’t make an argument so far outside most peoples’ field of vision as MMT?

    I can see how progressive taxation might be said to fund SS, Medicare, etc. *without adding dollars to the money supply* – i.e. it creates (in effect) a transfer of dollars between players in a closed system – as opposed to funding them simply through governmental fiat. But I don’t know if that’s relevant to Hudson favoring it or not.

    On a related note on MMT, a general question I have is whether Kelton, Mosler, et al would say that it is being practiced now, in effect, but obscured by a lot of misguided conventional economics wisdom? Or whether it is not actually in play now, not even at a buried level of the system? I thought it was the former, but Hudson’s comment throws me off. Maybe I’m asking in the wrong place, I’m not sure if NC is more of a secondary outpost of MMT, not really as concerned with it as say New Economic Perspectives. I just haven’t gotten in the habit of visiting that site, or I might be asking this there.

    athena1 says:
    “I could be wrong, but I think Hudson believes the deficit/debt falls under “debts that can’t be paid, won’t be paid”? So, yeah, progressive taxation just to lessen the power of the neoliberal oligarchs.”

    My understanding is (and I could be wrong too) that that saying would apply to private sector debts, or states that don’t control their currency, rather than a sovereign currency issuer that can pay any debt conceivable (outside of perhaps some Borges type thought experiment.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Tim, I don’t have any answers for you, but I like posts like this. It’s conducive to learning by asking questions and clarifications. Get a little back and forth going.

      1. TimR

        Well thanks… I guess I have to just keep reading until I stumble on things though, since asking directly (as seen here..) obviously doesn’t guarantee answers. Ah well.

    2. Mary Bess

      Isn’t the question of taxes primarily a fairness issue. Why should working people pay 30% of their income to the government while Mitt pays less than half of that?

  5. Justin Boland

    What is the goal of the fundraising? Just operational costs for the blog or is there a larger goal? I ask because while I value the links and discourse here, it’s one of many firehoses I try to drink from. If there’s a plan to synthesize more, to increase information and reduce redundancy & noise, I would happily donate more than the token $10 I’ll throw in for hosting bills.

  6. Klassy!

    Woodward document. Wow. There it is laid bare. I guess the real goodie is corporate tax reductions. I would like to say the WH is giving the store away but that was accomplished a long time ago. You could say that they’re going to give the store away and pay them to take the merchandise. That still isn’t going far enough.
    So we have this little sideshow on raising marginal tax rates for personal income and the Republicans would be silly not to concede the debate here.

    1. Klassy!

      The comments are amazing. Did I say amazing? I meant “predictable”. Quite a few are under the impression that this deal was proffered by the Republicans to the White House.
      And then there’s the usual crank talking about SNAP and something called an ObamaPhone.

    2. Noe

      Only Democrats can cut entitlements. That was the plan.

      Who opened the immigration gates? Reagan.

      Take a look back over the years – both parties betray their mandates – routinely.

      That’s part of the Obomney swindle.

      Calling all Jacobins… time to break out the portable guillotines.

        1. ambrit

          Dear Bob;
          Since it’s the wealthy we’re contemplating giving the chop to, I’d suggest we approach Cartiers. They’ve often been the driving force behind mob apps.

    3. diptherio

      I just love that Oil and Gas R&D only takes a .2% hit, while SSI (civilian retirement) and TriCare take upwards of 30%! Gee, wonder who spent more on lobbyists?

        1. craazyman

          maybe the zipper is stuck.

          rather than posting too many cartoons maybe you should be hard at work reading the IMF research paper on The Chicago Plan.

          Part 2 starts with this wonderful quotation:

          “The monetary historian Alexander Del Mar (1895) writes: ‘As a rule political economists do not take the trouble to study the history of money; it is much easier to imagine it and to deduce the principles of this imaginary knowledge.’

          I read that and just thought “Wow, that is EXACTLY how I think about nearly everything.”

          Nevertheless, I still believe it can be a succesful method.

          One needs refinement to distinguish between the ring of truth and the noise of illusion as the mental images and lines of thought fly by. But it can be done and you can avoid lots and lots of tedium. QED

          1. Valissa

            The Chicago Plan, eek! Are you posting from the Bardo again?

            For those of you who don’t want to take the time to read a lot of books on either economics or history of money, there is an article from The Onion that explains all about money and the imagination… and yeah, I know I’ve posted it before but it’s been a while.

            U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion,2912/

            This revelation, it seems, has been forgotten once again.

            Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. — Sir Winston Churchill

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think that’s still a little too much work though.

            Instead of imagining it and then deducing the principals of the imagined knowledge, it’s easier to just also imagine you have deduced the principals as well.

            That’s to say, let your imagination go all the way.

          3. spooz

            I finally got around to reading it after a Mises hack’s analysis of it on zerohedge left me thoroughly confused. He had one commenter there thinking they wouldn’t be able to buy big macs anymore. Here is his response after my patiently trying to explain to him (including copying quotes from the IMF paper by hand because I don’t have a pdf translator)that he was misinformed:

            “You are soooo pathetic…such a loser… And you? What side do you represent? And the IMF guys? what side do they represent? There are no sides. There’s only logic and deductive reasoning. And if these guys at the IMF want to make you believe that an asset that can only be used to repay loans will be as liquid as reserves in the money stock, I have a bridge I’d love to sell to you!”

            At which point, I gave up. I won’t provide the link, ZH links leave my comments in the dead zone.

            I like TCP a lot. I could see some combination of TCP and Keen’s debt jubilee possibly being a way out, but of course it would destroy the banksters, so what chance is there?

          4. Valissa

            Did a search on that Del Mar quote, and found another great quote from that guy…

            “Lexington and Concord were trivial acts of resistance which chiefly concerned those who took part in them and which might have been forgiven; but the creation and circulation of bills of credit by revolutionary assemblies in Massachusetts and Philadelphia, were the acts of a whole people and coming as they did upon the heels of the strenuous efforts made by the Crown to suppress paper money in America, they constituted acts of defiance to contemptuous and insulting to the Crown that forgiveness was thereafter impossible…Thus the bills of credit of this era, which ignorance and prejudice have attempted to belittle into the mere instruments of a reckless financial policy, were really the standard of the Revolution. They were more than this: they were the Revolution itself.”

            Today’s post at the same blog is full of great info

            Today is the 13th anniversary of the Financial Services Modernization Act, aka Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

          5. craazyman

            well that is an interesting quote indeed about money & the American reovlution. I was just kidding about too many cartoons. I wish I could draw well enough to do good cartoons. It’s not easy. I studied live drawing from a model and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including my version of advanced math, which really wasn’t all that advanced. The math was easy compared to drawing. with the math you can think of concepts sequentially within a larger ordered framework, laying down, with the drawing it’s simultaneous concepts within a very complex larger ordered framework sitting up. I’ll stop there. haha

          6. ChrisPacific

            Imagining stuff and deducing principles from it is known as mathematics. The imaginary stuff is called axioms and all the rest is called theorems, lemmas, propositions etc.

            Economists differ from mathematicians in that they think their axioms describe reality (mathematicians don’t really care one way or the other – that’s what scientists are for). They also differ in that their deductions are more likely to be wrong (see Steve Keen’s work on the subject).

            Economists differ from scientists (who also believe their axioms describe reality) in how they react when their models are observed to be inconsistent with reality. Scientists take this to mean that either the models or the underlying axioms are flawed, and work on coming up with better ones. Economists take it to mean that reality is flawed, and work on changing it bring it more closely into compliance with their model.

          7. Valissa

            true, but Imagining stuff and deducing principles from it is known as theology too. Meditation and trance (which can be induced by prayer) activate the imagination such that humans create systems of knowledge based on their experience (or based on what they thought their experience should have been;) ). There is more than one epistemological viewpoint on the nature of knowledge.

  7. rjs

    emailed comments from a vet on the grand bargain:

    I knew this was coming. Easier for a liberal, “caring” leader to take away safety nets (already paid for) than for a conservative like Romney. Not that either one is actually liberal or conservative in reality. Nobody is talking about cutting down the number of drones. Us useless eaters are disposable. It’s got a catchy name “Grand Bargain.” Grand bargain for the elite they mean.

    PS They are talking about cutting the drug discount in Tri-Care. Most people don’t know that’s about the only benefit left in Tri-Care now, once you are on Medicare. Fortunately we don’t take any prescription drugs, but many retired military people do rely on them to stay alive, and they rely on the Tri-Care discount. So we have lower SS rates than most civilians based on lower pay than most civilians, and now they will take more for Medicare out of our pitiful SS. I’m lucky in that I have a 7th Day Adventist doctor who will take us because it’s part of their religion. They even have a free clinic here. St. Mary doctors won’t take us with only Medicare and Tri-Care. They will only do tests if we are referred. If you go on the VA clinic program they have here after they closed the VA Hospital, if you have an emergency and go to a local hospital, they won’t pay for that. You have to go to another city and that’s often impossible in the winter. So that’s only good for people who are totally without any assets any way.

    It hit me the wrong way that he phrased Tri-Care as “sacred.” Like it’s a sacred cow. It should be sacred. It’s like they are trying to say it’s some kind of frill. It’s their part of a contract and they are reneging on it. It’s like just going into a private bank account and taking your savings. It may be starting with us, but it will be the same for everyone, I fear.

    1. YouDon'tSay?

      Of course it will happen to everyone eventually. We military retirees are just the low hanging fruit, being a relatively small demographic and having been conditioned throughout our careers to “salute smartly and soldier on.” Rest assured though, once they violate that trust sufficiently that the rank and file finally wakes up to the little shell game they’re running, the ramparts will come down. And it won’t be pretty when it does. Why else all the overt public ass-kissing, which costs them nothing, and gains them everything politically by allowing chicken-hawk pols to grab face time with uniformed members that they otherwise wouldn’t give the time of day to? It’s a nice racket while it lasts. Pray that it doesn’t much longer.

      1. YouDon'tSay?

        Let me add, disregard the General Officer cohort. They were all self-serving professional ass-kissers and sellouts their whole careers anyway, pretty much by definition. They especially should have special place reserved for them at the gallows.

    1. Klassy!

      They go together because we can see that Obama is bent on reducing corporate income taxes– the very same taxes that work to reduce monopoly power.

    2. diptherio

      thanks for the monopoly link. fascinating…and I’m not even a gamer (although my little sis did consistently kick my heiny at monopoly when we were growing up, but only because she would raid the bank when I had to pee).

    3. docg

      Munchau on competitiveness:

      “. . . why do we always focus on competitiveness? . . . A cut in unit labour costs is only a gain if you achieve it but nobody else does. Once you advocate it as a policy for everyone in the eurozone, you end up in a zero-sum game. We cannot all devalue at the same time. If we are saying that the eurozone should reduce unit labour costs to the level of Germany, why do we think that Germany will not do the same?”

      He’s right, of course, up to a point. But as with most economists he’s seeing the problem from on high, so his views express what one could call “trickle down” economic theory. From where I sit, and from where the vast majority of the world’s working people sit, it’s not at all difficult to see how “a cut in unit labor costs,” if advocated “as a policy for everyone,” is not at all a “zero sum game,” but a very smart policy indeed — assuming you are not an economist but the CEO of a large corporation. Or a small shopkeeper for that matter.

      In the blunt language of the non-economist: the less you have to pay your workers, the more you get to keep for yourself. No zero sum game there, but, in the light of what we’re hearing from Eurozone pundits these days, a monumental swindle. Munchau and other of his ilk need to refocus their attention from competition between nations, and businesses, which certainly makes little sense, to a situation where workers are being forced to compete with one another, and on the most ruthless terms, which makes a great deal of sense — if you a member of that hallowed 1 percent:

      “So thanks to the “unrestricted free market” in human exploitation worldwide, European workers (along with American workers, of course) are in effect being told, in no uncertain terms, to literally enslave themselves. Otherwise, how can they compete with all the billions of submissive wage slaves of the “developing” world?” (from Mole in the Ground )

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        At the highest level, at the most profitable level, it’s cooperation, not competition.

        That’s the reason you see economic summits, secret societies, annual gatherings of the global 0.01%, etc.

        We should learn to extend the concept, cooperation, to all levels, i.e. to the 99.99%.

  8. Hugh

    The AP story on the filibuster is stupid. I have written about this before. Each House writes its own rules under Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings”. No Congress is bound by the actions of a previous Congress, and a new Congress (what we usually call a session) comes into being every 2 years after each cycle of Congressional elections. So when a new Senate sits for the first time, it is governed by regular parliamentary procedure, not the rules of the previous Senate. That means it conducts business by simple majority vote until it decides differently. The Democrats if they had been serious about change could have and should have dumped the filibuster in January 2009, but they didn’t. This should tell you all you need to know about Democrats and change.

    What is important to understand in the present situation is that Reid, who is in every way McConnell’s counterpart in general untrustworthiness, doesn’t want to get rid of the filibuster, only modify it. Nor is he going to end the system of holds, which isn’t even a rule, but a tradition.

    Even if the Senate Democrats were serious about change, its important to note that they would still have to work with the Republican House. The real reason that we are likely to see no or only slight change to the filibuster is not some fear that someday the Republicans could control the Senate. The Republican party, even more so than the Democrats, is falling apart into its evangelical, movement conservative factions on one side and the corporatists on the other, with libertarian and Tea Party types, depending on their priorities, spread between them. The real reason filibuster reform will be half-hearted at best is that it would make the controlling party responsible for its actions. No more could Senators hide behind the other party for passing crap legislation or failing to pass legislation important to their party base.

    1. Hugh

      strike “what we usually call a session”. Congresses are divided into first and second sessions, that is their first and second years.

    2. Valissa

      The real reason filibuster reform will be half-hearted at best is that it would make the controlling party responsible for its actions. No more could Senators hide behind the other party for passing crap legislation or failing to pass legislation important to their party base.

      Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner here!!!

      However on this point… Even if the Senate Democrats were serious about change… this presumes it is the role of the Senate to bring about change (reform). But that is NOT the role of the Senate. It was not ‘designed’ to bring about change easily, but rather the opposite to resist change, to slow down the pace of it. The US Senate has many similarities to the House of Lords (esp. in terms of ego and self-importance), and is an inherently conservative body of gov’t.

      I do not know why so many people expect to expect positive “change” or reform to come voluntarily from the gov’t (or the big corporations via gov’t regulations). That is illogical because big changes are RARE occurrences (history is what it is). Unless you are part of some elite group that can afford to give generous campaign contributions and/or hire lobbyists. IMO, change sometime starts with individuals and the groups they belong to and their willingness to push for it… but I think mostly change is triggered by natural or unnatural disasters, technology, and disturbingly often by the Law of Unintended Consequences (which often occurs when the gov’t or corporations finally do pass a bill).

  9. barrisj

    Very interesting bit of intelligence just put up on the Moon of Alabama blog where contributor “b” notes a confluence of stories beginning with Petraeus lover Paula Broadwell and a FoxNews report regarding possible confinement of Libyan “suspects” held at the CIA annex in Benghazi for “interrogation” by CIA contractors. Apparently, the Benghazi “annex” is a “black site” supposedly ordered closed by Obama’s Executive Order of 22 Jan 2009, but this EO referred to “CIA” sites, not those staffed by “contractors”. And so, the principal motivation for the attack on the consulate/annex by Libyan insurgents may well have been to free their comrades. Read this piece, as despite the original source (FoxNews) much is revealed about the American penchant for acute meddling in crisis-ridden areas of the Middle East and North Africa.

    A Black-Hole Prison in Benghazi
    As the Petraeus “All In” affair continues to unfold new revelations about the attack in Benghazi are the most interesting parts of it.

    On October 26 Petraeus lover Paula Broadwell gave a talk (video) at an alumni symposium. She pointed out that three Libyans were held at the CIA “annex” compound in Benghazi and that this was probably the reason why it was attacked. That was know due to a Foxnews report that was published earlier that day:

    According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans.

    Foxnews now stupidly asks if that Broadwell speech may have revealed classified information. But as Broadwell refereed to “the facts that came out today” she obviously had read the Foxnews report and just repeated its claims.

    “Black sites” have been and remain the stock-in-trade for the CIA and JSOC operatives throughout that part of the world, and no stinkin’ Executive Order is going to shut down that (for the US) very important adjunct to the “war on terror”, full stop. And whenever Americans are “inexpicably” capped by unknown assailants within the region, it’s a good bet that the action was in response to US dirty tricks and the like, although the MSM and government will tell us otherwise.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “Liability” cannot disappear. it must be retained by the Party of the First Part (the D/CIA, Defense, State, those of the *Silent Service*, the Commander in Chief), or transferred to the Party of the Second Part (the Contractor by any name).

      Which Party is liable therefore? Follow the money? isn’t there a record of all FR Note serial numbers? Even “oral contracts” are binding. Liability is concrete, and unless “release from liability” is expressed in the Contract, the Party of the First Part is liable for violating the Presidential Order and for whatever crimes this entailed.

    2. pariah games

      More Obama torture. Disappearance is a per se violation of the Convention Against Torture – ask the Committee Against Torture, while they’re drumming on the table waiting for the United States’ required Article 19 report which is now about a year overdue. Obama is the Torture President, NCS’s Chuckie Puppet. Obama’s atrocities are going to make the world forget the crimes of Bush. He’s plumbed new depths.

    3. Mortimer Snerd

      With all this flamboyant Topkapi Palace throat-slitting, it’s important to remember that there are still plenty of spooks and detailees around to stick an arm up Obama’s ass and work his mouth while drinking water. State, DHS, DoD, Treasury are riddled with NCS nosh. All this apparent disarray is perfectly consistent with a sharp turn to bloodier and more atrocious covert interference or war. The Dem dupes are convinced that this is one big Republican plot, an October Surprise swing-and-a-miss. In their fantasies, Petraeus and Broadwell are teaming up to fight for Obama’s honor like Matt Damon and Franke Potente only homelier. It’s quite poignant. Just watch how the death merchants get what they want.

  10. Hugh

    Krugman is as wrongheaded as ever. He does get it right that the fiscal cliff is not about deficit reduction but slashing the social safety net, but then he goes and blames it on all on those crazy Republicans in the form of Ryan and his followers. This is supposed to distract us from the fact that the only reason there is a “fiscal cliff” is because Democrats voted for one and a Democratic President signed it into law. But what is really rich is his contention that shredding the social safety net “would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever,” seeing as Obama is the principal author and instigator of the coming Great Betrayal. Krugman’s Democratic tribalism reduces him to the level of a propagandist giving cover to the very betrayal he says he is against.

    1. docg

      Right. So the 61,939,115 citizens who voted for Obama are just a bunch of clueless dupes, while the 424,789 who voted for Jill Stein are the ones who “really get it.” Lots of luck with that.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Certainly not all are clueless dupes: most were actively misinformed by MSM or terrorized by veal-pen propgandists like Krugman, but others simply lack any moral compass. Anyone aware of Obama’s assassination program, the multi-front drone wars, and his agressive defense of the NDAA fall in the latter category as war crimes accomplices.

        See barrisj’s comment and link directly above; see also Ian Welsh essay in links and also the Black Agenda report:

        “Doing Us Proud: Black America Has Lost Its Moral Compass” by Bruce Dixon

        1. JTFaraday

          “but others simply lack any moral compass.”

          We don’t raise people to have moral compasses around here. We raise them to “get jobs” and “have careers.” I’m not kidding about this. This is the only thing young people today are socialized to do. It’s the national religion.

          So Welsh’s lament should come as no surprise to any of us:

          “The error, in the end, was mine, I realize. I thought certain people were more than a product of their environment, more than a base need to do whatever it took to pay their bills and believe themselves still good people while doing so. I was wrong. The number is far fewer than I thought. Far, far fewer.

          The consequence of a debased class of influentials, which is what we are talking about, is a debased understanding of the world.”

          Part of the problem is that Americans’ only common moral framework is built around becoming economically independent so as not to be a drag on others. When that is the first and primary lens through which people view their activity and when it is or is posited as a necessity, it becomes possible to justify as “a necessity” all kinds of activities that another moral framework might challenge and condemn, because one is fulfilling one’s primary personal moral responsibility.

          Where people “see the light” on this and draw the line they won’t cross varies greatly. And then you still need an exit plan.

          Meanwhile it seems to me that we keep saying we should be propping that economic system up, along with its questionable and reductive value system, without fully admitting that it itself has produced massive cultural disorder.

          There’s no question in my mind, for example, that the housing bubble required the participation of hundreds of thousands of mortgage and real estate professionals across the country who had to know that what they were engaged in was not at all kosher and was going to end in tears.

          As long as it wasn’t them, that was okay. Because they’re just “doing their job.”

          1. Doug Terpstra

            The asylum inmates are trained to be their own jailers. It’s an excellent comment on expertly-cultivated moral relativism, on the boiling of frogs, whereby aggressive resource wars, explicit war crimes, the torching of the constitution, the complete revocation of the most fundamental legal and human rights can all be accepted as perfectly normal, and where organized murder and brutality are actually worshiped*. Your only real purpose and value lies in maximizing your utility by any and all means. And tolerance, no, unquestioned admiration of elite swindlers and politician prostitutes is required of every good American. It turns the stomach, unless you’ve swallowed the blue pill. Docg must have prescription-strength meds.

            *Witness the blasé, near-universal acceptance of the president’s well-publicized murder list, the gushing over Patraeus and the mourning of the loss of America’s greatest military mind. (Christiane Amanpour, please get a room for your autoerotic fantasies; don’t embarrass yourself on Twitter.)

      2. Hugh

        Nice erecting and demolishing of that strawman! So I guess by your logic if 5 people say 2 + 2 = 4 and a hundred say it equals 22, then we go with the hundred people, right?

        Anyone who votes for any Democrat or any Republican is being had. Opinion leaders like Krugman who still sell the idea that there is some difference between the two, that ordinary Americans aren’t going to be screwed either way, are just propagandists of the status quo. How many years is it going to take you to internalize this?

        Other than that what planet have you been vacationing on for the last 4 years? Obama tried to get the Cat Food Commission set up through the Congress. When that failed, he created it by Executive Order. When Bowles and Simpson couldn’t get what was a stacked commission to agree to slash entitlements and reward the rich with lower rates, they issued their own recommendations, which the whole of the commission still refused to endorse. Then Obama tried to put together his Grand Bargain a year ago. And now we know through Woodward that (gasp) Obama was totally OK with slashing the safety net and the lower tax rates. So yes, Virgina, whether it is one person or 60 million, if they thought Obama wasn’t going to betray them, then they have been had. I mean seriously how do you think the country got into the mess it’s in? Everyone knew what was happening and they voted for it anyway?

        1. docg

          “So I guess by your logic if 5 people say 2 + 2 = 4 and a hundred say it equals 22, then we go with the hundred people, right?”

          In a democracy, yes, that’s what we do, we go with the will of the majority.

          And of course you are right, 2 + 2 = 4 by any logic. That’s why Plato wanted a republic run by an educated elite and was opposed to democracy. Is that what YOU want?

          What you are failing to understand is that there is a huge difference between theory and politics. Theory is about being correct, politics is a lot more complicated than that. Theory is about proposing solutions that are in many cases impossible to achieve. Politics is about coming up with policies that can work in the real world. Politics is about strategy, planning, timing, risk taking, and, yes, compromise. Remember the moral of the story about the mice wanting to bell the cat: “it is easy to propose impossible solutions.”

          I write a lot on my blog about all sorts of things I see wrong with the world and wrong with the way our country is being run, and I’ve NEVER been easy on Obama. But I’ve never proposed impossible solutions, because 1. it’s a waste of time and 2. people like yourself are doing that all the time, it’s all over the place — even when I agree, and I often do, it’s repetitive and boring. I already know what’s about to be said, so why bother?

          If there were ever a party or a candidate with policies I agreed with 100%, I would certainly want to support them — but until they arrived at the point that they were ready, and the electorate was ready to embrace such policies, I would NOT vote for them. Because I’d be wasting my vote.

          1. Hugh

            If the ship of state is sinking, noticing that isn’t theory. It’s just fact. Not noticing it isn’t politics. It’s denial.

            Voting for Obama is a vote for his policies. To say you can do the first and not the second is a cop out. If you vote for the evil, greater, lesser, or more effective, you own it. I can understand why you might want to duck that responsibility, but it’s still yours. And it’s not purism, absolutism, or theory to point that out.

          2. docg

            “Voting for Obama is a vote for his policies.”

            I beg to differ. Each candidate has a portfolio of policies. It would be unrealistic to insist that every single one must meet with my approval. Also, there is no way of predicting what new policies might be required as new situations arise. In a representative democracy, we vote for a candidate, not a roster of policies.

          3. Hugh

            Still bobbing and weaving. You don’t want to take responsibility for your vote. Well, if you’re not, why should any of us take your choice seriously?

      3. TK421

        If numbers determine whether people are right or not, then the people who voted for Romney are only slightly more clueless than Obama’s voters, aren’t they? Since Romney got only a few million less votes than Obama.

      4. Lambert Strether

        Or the Democrats ran an extremely successful fear-driven campaign.

        * * *

        The straw man is just deeply silly. “A tiny band of crazed Lutherans going up against the Pope! [guffaw]” “Abolitionist wackoes, how many of them can there be? [snicker]

        Of course, a group isn’t right because it’s small, but many small groups have ultimately changed history.

      5. Howard Beale IV

        Yet lost in those who ‘feel good’ for voting for Stein or Johnsonn and show veiled or bare-faced contempt for those who tow the line, they manage to ignore the non-presidential pachyderm in the room-namely, the missing candidates from those same presidential parties for the Congress and Senate, ignoring the stark fist of reality that the legislative branch that is responsible for coughing up what the executive branch has to put ink to is conspicuous by their absence.

        1. different clue

          Good point there. How many of the so-called “Democratic” Senators are Simpson-Obama Catfood Conspirators? We will find out.

          1. Howard Beale IV

            My Sceintific Wild Assed Guess? 100%. Sadly, we don’t have rules/regulations in place where Congresscritters/Senators actually represent the scocio-economic makeup of the US populace.

            Perhaps it will indeed take a single crystallizing event to wake the sheeple to action-but the odds of that happening are somewhere between slim to none.

      6. different clue

        Any Obamavoters who hate SS/Mcare/Mcaide and who voted for Obama in hopes that he could pull a Nixon goes to China against them are certainly not dupes.

        But any Obamavoters who support SS/Mcare-caide and who voted for Obama thinking he would defend these things against their Republican enemies are indeed dupes, or marks,
        or information-deprived voters, or whatever the case may be.

        Anyone who voted third party one way or another is at least not such a mark as to have voted for CarnieBarry.

        We are the One Point Five Percent.

          1. TK21

            ” I voted for Obama and will never regret it. That does NOT mean I condone his actions”

            Of course it means that.

            And you might take a break from tearing up over the contempt liberals show rank-and-file Democrats and remember who called who “retarded” and who suggested who needed to be drug tested.

      7. Chris Rogers

        There’s an old saying in my country that goes like this: You can fool some of the people some of the time, you can fool some people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

        This applies to all those who voted Democrat, Republican and Third Party, and given only 1.5% of those that voted actually voted Third Party it would seem our masters are proficient at their trade – obviously with the exception of those who did not vote and those who failed to vote for the duopoly legacy parties.

        Hence, whilst a majority within the USA may be deluded, some folks certainly are not, and those that are not deluded are usually treated as either enemies or lunatics.

        The only problem with being aware of the great con is the feeling of impotence one gets in being able to change or challenge it – particularly given the low level of political discourse that exists both sides of the pond.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s getting a little chilly now. Seems like summer was here just last week but I see the courgar is wearing its new ‘cat’ cap, though the earflaps look to be a bit too small.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Woman charged with dead animals in her house.

    I could be wrong, and that happens more often than I like, but is that a shot across the bow for any meat-eater who keeps meat in his/her house?

  13. jsmith

    So, Netanyahu, Lieberman and their traitorous American friends – i.e., Adelson, AIPAC, et al – not to be deterred by having their man Mitt – yes, I know O’s is also largely their man – lose the election are ginning up a war in Syria.

    “Israel’s ‘Direct Hit’ on Syrian Artillery”

    Gee, all of this stray mortar fire sure is suspiciously provacative, eh?

    Here’s a nice essay on why peace is Israel’s worst nightmare and why they are ALWAYS going to be provocative.

    From the following link:

    “It is clearly in the best interests of Western corporate-financiers seeking to remain involved in the Middle East and reassert hegemony over the region, to keep this strategy of tension viable and as heated as possible. The policies of Israel are so ham-handedly provocative, it is surprising that more people do not see the truth behind them – that Israel’s heavy-handed belligerence is a calculated decision to keep the tension ratcheted up as high as possible. For what other reason could a nation-state want to deliberately, slowly, and systematically bulldoze the homes of impoverished men, women, and children? Self-preservation by eliminating it enemies? Or the perpetual creation of new enemies?”

    Also, more updates on what is increasingly looking like yet another Western-backed coup attempt in Argentina.

    Gee, one of largest media conglomerates is pushing for “freedom”, eh?

    Smell the democracy!

    1. Synopticist

      Jeez, the wealthy upper-middle and upper classes in Latin America have an even bigger sense of arrogant self-entitlement than they do in the States or Euope. They’re real parasitical SOBs.
      The western MSM invariably give them the pass, because they’re so charmingly like the journos’ upper-middle class friends back home. Only with their own vineyards. And they’re REFORMERS, so that musat make them good guys, right? And we can’t have nasty, populist left of centre leaders going around threatenning my new friends’ financial standing now, can we.

      They’re trying to bring down the elected govt supposedly because they dispute the official inflation figures, and they can’t buy Dollars with their untaxed Peso wealth.

      They’ve always managed to leverage their wealth through foreign exchange and currency manipulation during crises before, and they’re deeply pissed off thery’re not getting to do it this time round. Time for a revolt!!

      I wouldn’t be at all suprised if some semi-rogue, deniable CIA outfit is behind this, but those mothers are perfectly capable of attempting a coup all on their own.

      1. jsmith

        The Grupo Clarin angle is really interesting.

        About the Company Grupo Clarin is the largest media company in Argentina and a leading company in the cable television and Internet access, printing and publishing, and broadcasting and programming markets. Its cable television network is one of the largest in Latin America in term of subscribers, and is a leading broadband provider in Argentina. Its flagship newspaper –Diario Clarin– is one of the highest circulation newspapers in Latin America. Grupo Clarin is the largest producer of media content in Argentina, including news, sports and entertainment and reaches substantially all segments of the Argentine population in terms of wealth, geography and age.

        From the WaPost:

        Grupo Clarin executives said Tuesday that they plan to exhaust every legal means possible of defying the Argentine government’s Dec. 7 deadline for submitting plans to dismantle the media company that has become President Cristina Fernandez’s leading critic.


        Argentina’s congress passed a media reform law three years ago in the name of encouraging diversity in the country’s media industry. Supporters argued that putting too much power in the hands of a few private companies is harmful in a democracy. But Clarin executives argued Tuesday that in reality, the law was designed with one goal in mind: destroying the president’s leading critic.

        From Wikipedia:

        On 27 December 1999, The Clarín Group and Goldman Sachs, an American investment firm, subscribed an investment agreement where the consortium, managed by Goldman Sachs, made a direct investment in Clarín Group. The operation implied an increase of capital to the Clarin Group and the incorporation of Goldman Sachs as minority partner, with a participation of 18% of the stocks.

        Nah, GS wouldn’t be involved in bad shite would they?

        It gets even better.

        Kirchner attempted to force the widow of the former founder of Clarin to give up DNA samples of her two adopted children whom many think were the children of “disappeared” dissidents.

        Mrs. Noble was detained in December 2002 by order of Judge Roberto Marquevich following a lawsuit filed by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo alleging that the two infants she adopted in 1976, Marcela and Felipe, should submit DNA samples on the possibility that their biological parents may have been abducted by the last dictatorship during their Dirty War against dissidents.[7][8] Her request to deny the samples was ruled in her favor in June 2008, though the case remains in litigation. [9] On October 17, 2009, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner proposed the compulsory submission of DNA samples in cases related to crimes against humanity, in a move lauded by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, but excoriated by opposition figures as a political move against Mrs. Noble amid the controversies between Clarín and Kirchnerism that first arose in 2008.[10]

        Wow, Goldman Sachs, the IMF, media conglomerates, suspected orphans of war crimes victims…yeah, I think it’s safe to say there is lot of bad juju going on down there…

    2. different clue

      Of course if Syrian rebels want to bring Israel into the war to spread Syrian government forces thin, all they have to do is shell Israel from within Syria and let Israel say
      the Syrian government forces did it.

      I wonder how many of the Syrian shells landing just inside Turkey are being fired there by Syrian rebels to get an eager Turkey to say “Assad diddit!” and invade.

  14. docg

    Oops, posted this in the wrong place. So here it is again. My apologies.

    Munchau on competitiveness:

    “. . . why do we always focus on competitiveness? . . . A cut in unit labour costs is only a gain if you achieve it but nobody else does. Once you advocate it as a policy for everyone in the eurozone, you end up in a zero-sum game. We cannot all devalue at the same time. If we are saying that the eurozone should reduce unit labour costs to the level of Germany, why do we think that Germany will not do the same?”

    He’s right, of course, up to a point. But as with most economists he’s seeing the problem from on high, so his views express what one could call “trickle down” economic theory. From where I sit, and from where the vast majority of the world’s working people sit, it’s not at all difficult to see how “a cut in unit labor costs,” if advocated “as a policy for everyone,” is not at all a “zero sum game,” but a very smart policy indeed — assuming you are not an economist but the CEO of a large corporation. Or a small shopkeeper for that matter.

    In the blunt language of the non-economist: the less you have to pay your workers, the more you get to keep for yourself. No zero sum game there, but, in the light of what we’re hearing from Eurozone pundits these days, a monumental swindle. Munchau and other of his ilk need to refocus their attention from competition between nations, and businesses, which certainly makes little sense, to a situation where workers are being forced to compete with one another, and on the most ruthless terms, which makes a great deal of sense — if you a member of that hallowed 1 percent:

    “So thanks to the “unrestricted free market” in human exploitation worldwide, European workers (along with American workers, of course) are in effect being told, in no uncertain terms, to literally enslave themselves. Otherwise, how can they compete with all the billions of submissive wage slaves of the “developing” world?” (from Mole in the Ground )

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      docg says:
      “the less you have to pay your workers, the more you get to keep for yourself. No zero sum game there”

    2. jsmith


      It’s going to be a messy process determining who the “winners” of said competition will be:

      Unpaid interns
      Prison labor

      With such a strong field, I think it’s a bit too early to call.

        1. charles sereno

          We’ve all heard of vulture funds, bond vigilantes, deficit hawks, etc…
          On behalf of the 99%, I’m proposing — “productivity/labor cost mice.” Every time the ratio increases, we all squeak!

  15. Max424

    Erskine Bowles. Who names their kid Erskine? Who would do that to a kid? No wonder he grew up to be a tight, white, the huddled masses can eat shit, asshole.

    If Erskie* gets the Treasury nod, do you think Professor with the Conscience of Liberal will finally come to the understanding that Obama governs to the right of the far right governing administration that proceeded his?

    I’m going to make a prediction. I think he will. I think a Treasury Secretary Bowles will be the last straw for Paul Krugman, and he will blast Obama in a final column for the Hazy Lady, break Times policy and finish off his column –and a fine career– by issuing his first, and last, NYT expletive, “And that is why I quit, and why I say tonight as a reborn liberal, Obama, and this sellout rag, can go fuck themselves.”

    *Is that the diminutive, what your siblings call ya when you’re growing up? Hey Erskie, let’s apply the thumbscrews to Grammamma, see how long she holds up?

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Max, as a Thomas Wolfe character observes, the “Elite” have “last names for first names.” This is EliteDNA advertisement to “peers” of the Elite Establishment, especially meaningful in the Carolinas. Don’t forget the Walker-Bush Plantation in North Carolina and Yale-Duke Elite connections, and the “Family Name” as Elite Brand of Status: See How It Works:
      //Bowles was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina and is the son of Jessamine Woodward Boyce Bowles and the late Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles, Jr., a Democratic politician who once ran for Governor of North Carolina, in 1972, but lost. Siblings include Hargrove Bowles III, Mary Holland Bowles Blanton and the late Martha Thomas Bowles. //
      NOTE: The sister of Erskine Bowles bears “Holland” as her middle name:
      and his brother (first-born son) bears the names of his paternal grandfather:
      //Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles, Jr. (November 16, 1919 – September 7, 1986) was an influential Democratic politician and businessman, based in Greensboro, North Carolina.//
      POTENTIAL “Heritage” Scottish (Anglo, Presbyterian) connections:,_2nd_Baron_Erskine,_1st_Baron_Erskine
      //Established in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Synod of the South as an academy for men, Erskine College became the first four year, church-related college in South Carolina. It was named for Ebenezer Erskine, one of the founders of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and a pastor. Erskine had led a group of separatists from the Church of Scotland to found an Associate Presbytery. While the college has always employed a Professor of Divinity, in 1858 its theological branch became a distinct but affiliated school, the Erskine Theological Seminary.//
      “Deep DNA” for the “Deep State South.”

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Nah, Krugman is tightly-penned Nobel-stamped, establishment-grade veal. He’ll remain caged and milk-fed.

      Anyway, I think Obama can do even better with a grand, reach-across-the aisle gesture by appointing someone like Greg Mankiw, Mitt’s econ advisor, rigged-trade expert Robert Zoellick, or even Paul Wolfowitz. It could happen.

      Then Paul Krugman, Michael Moore, and Daily Kossacks would huff and protest, but eventually fall in line and convince us it might have been much worse with Jamie Dimon and Lord Blankfiend as Mitt’s possible picks.

  16. P.

    Yves & commentariat: what is your understanding of the legality of refusing Section 8 vouchers? From what I can find online it looks to be adjudicated at the county level in some states, which can enforce that landlords must accept Section 8. However, it also seems that the federal law does not require landlords to accept Section 8 vouchers. Does anyone have clarifying thoughts? The freedom from obligation of accepting Section 8 obviously has important social implications…

    1. ginnie nyc

      I cannot speak to enforcement re: landlord acceptance of Section 8 vouchers nationally.

      However, I do know that in NYC, there is a Department of Finance program known as J-51, which is “a tax incentive program for the renovation of multiple dwelling units” (i.e. apartment buildings). Under the former Comptroller Bill Thompson (the guy who almost beat Bloomberg while spending 1/35 the money), the city made it a requirement that any landlord participating in the J-51 program must accept Section 8 tenants – without restricions.

      Tens of thousands of buildings receive/received J-51 abatements. When a Section 8 tenant applies, they are told there are minimum income standards – which are commonly far above the average for Section 8.

      A large complex in the Bronx, which is divided into condos and rental apartments, is a J-51 beneficiary. The average rent for a one bedroom is $950. Section 8 will support one-bedroom rents up to $1200. Still, the complex will reject Section 8 applicants if their annual income is below $35,000. I am sure this is illegal. However, there apparently is no state or federal mechanism to enforce the law – outside of a lawsuit. Which naturally places the onus on the poor (working, elderly or disabled) tenant.

  17. Susan the other

    Yanis Varoufakis on Quiet Desperation. “All men lead lives of quiet desperation” Henry Davis Thoreau – unless it was an ancient Greek. I prefer the way Thoreau turned desperation into a strength and perfected the art of civil disobedience. I’d like to think this Greek suicide might have savored his own uselessness by asking himself and others: Feeling useless? Then why bother shopping? Voting? Participating in essential political control? I sympathize with all my useless soul mates, but I’d rather stir the shit. When they strip you of your ego, what’s left to lose? If they try to starve you, you can just barbeque them.

    1. Synopticist

      It would be nice if other companies did. Starbucks are particularly vulnerable though, because people can go somewhere else. It’s pretty hard to avoid companies like E-Bay, Google and Amazon.
      Still allowing foriegn monopolists to operate without paying tax, and pnalising local companies who are trying to compete with them as a result, proves Britian is “Open for Business”.

      1. different clue

        You can avoid Amazon by buying you books of choice at your independent bookdealer if you have one, or at worst at Barnes and Noble. Your independent bookdealer can even special order a book for you. The higher price is the price of keeping your money away from Amazon. Economic resistance.

        Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      So where is Spike Lee? Why no grand national media coverage of the plight of the poor after Hurricane Sandy on Mayor Bloomberg’s and Gov. Cuomo’s watch, the way there was after Hurricane Katrina on Mayor Nagin’s and Gov. Blanco’s watch?

  18. Fíréan

    Venice flooding is a regular occurance annually, can be hundred times a year, yet the depth of the flooing as increased sunstantially in more recent years.

    Construcion is taking place to build a barrier to control the flooding, the MOSE Project. I was watching a documentary , in english, just the other week as the USA east coast was flooding.

    Here’a link to aforementioned the documentary :

    And to a breif Wiki article, also in english language, on the MOSE Project:

    I’m sure that readers can find much more on the ‘net if the interest is there.

    1. Valissa

      Some years ago I saw a documentary on Venice (the NOVA special indicated in the Wiki article), and some discussion of the MOSE project, that was fascinating. The thing that most grabbed my attention about it is the fact that Venice is sinking and has been for a long time. Prior to the 1900’s a common way they dealt with that was by raising the floor/remodeling, or adding another story on top of building as needed. But after various historical preservation regulations were put in place in the last century that no longer became an option.

      The MOSE gating system is controversial with good reason (see “Controversy” section in Wiki article)… hope it works out for them.

  19. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Israel: 18 families control 60% corporate equity”
    Uploaded by TheRealNews on Jul 6, 2010
    Paul Jay interviews Shir Hever: “Economist, Alternative Information Center.” Before 1965, Israel was one of the most equal countries in the world (up with Denmark, Finland); by July 2010, it was the second most unequal (behind the U.S., ahead of Mexico). Wealth concentration in: Banking, Diamonds, Fertilizer, Arms, “Homeland Security” Products, Hi-tech. “No questions asked” of those bringing wealth into Israel, protected by universal non-extradition policy.

    1. Fíréan

      Texas secession petition 25,000 signature level has been exceeded, which means that the White House must respond. Will be interesting.

  20. JTFaraday

    My littlest niece says “hat” she pronounces it “‘at” and gives her head a little pat. She’s so cute.

    But she would call that ‘at “monkey,” (because everything with fur and a tail is a monkey). It’s the age, I guess.

  21. PQS

    I found the Guardian article on the decline of management very clarifying. Now I finally understand the idiocy of about 90% of my employers!

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