Links 11/16/12

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The ABC Conjecture has not been proved mathbabe

John Michael Greer: If the Four Horsemen arrive, offer beer Chris Martensonn

Could NDAA be the Death of Biofuels in America? OilPrice

Xie vs Swan on Australia as Spain MacroBusiness

Pettis: Chinese want less commodities, more houses MacroBusiness

Taxpayers won’t recoup £66bn from bank rescue Independent (Richard Smith)

France rejects EU budget compromise Financial Times

‘1930s medicine pushes Europe into double-dip Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Hellenic Postbank to be split into good and bad side ekathimerini

‘Horrible Citizens’: The Life of Greece’s One Percent Der Speigel

Israel Mobilizes Troops as Hostilities Escalate Financial Times

David Simon: Media’s sex obsession is dangerous, destructive Salon. There’s a “the lady doth protest too much” quality about this piece. First, sadly, sex scandals have served to topple people who would better have been brought down on other issues, analogous to Al Capone being prosecuted for tax evasions rather than bootlegging. And many commentators, contra Simon, have taken an inventory of Petraeus’ record and pointed out numerous misdeeds. Second, It’s also not hard to infer that Obama knew the FBI had the goods on Petreaus months ago; his team though this was a trigger they could pull at any time, and quietly too, but the FBI admirer of Kelley upset the apple cart by going to Cantor. Third, l’affaire Monica derailed Clinton’s plans to reform Social Security. So the tawdry media uproar can have unexpected salutary effects.

The Fiscal “Cliff” and the Real Problem Joe Firestone, New Economic Perspectives

What the New President Should Consider Paul Volcker, New York Review of Books. Warning: the link has timed out on Safari and Firefox all night, so I have not read it. So you’ll have to tell me what you make of it.

Boogiemen and Clubs riverdaughter

Romney Blames Loss on Obama’s ‘Gifts’ to Minorities and Young Voters New York Times Caucus. Doug Smith writes:

At one point in the call, Romney said, “You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge.”

This illustrates the depth of ideology …. Romney considers this a ‘gift in exchange for votes’. Full stop. He in no way even can articulate an intellectual position (one he might disagree with) that this is a wise investment in people, a critical economic support for a consumer driven economy, a matter of social justice, and/or even an indirect means to put pressure on health care costs where it belongs: with the providers/insurers.

There Is No Crisis Atrios (Lambert). Please note the date…

BP to pay record £2.5bn criminal penalty over Gulf of Mexico oil spill Telegraph. Lest you forget, amounts as high as $20 billion were bandied about. No wonder they waited till after the election to announce this result.

Marx would have been proud of bankers Financial Times (Scott)

I’m Betting on Grover James Kwak

Erskine Bowles Says He Will Not Be The Next Treasury Secretary Clusterstock. Wow. Does this mean it’s going to be Larry Fink of Blackrock? Sorkin insisted it would be Jacob Lew.

Dead money: Cash has been piling up on companies’ balance-sheets since before the crisis Economist

US housing agency faces $13.5bn deficit Financial Times. Hhhm, the Times comes up with bigger numbers.

From the Suppression of Voters to the Suppression of Economic Analysis: Republicans are at War With Democracy in Defense of Oligarchy James Crotty, Triple Crisis

Energy, Production and Entropy Steve Keen

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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    1. LeeAnne

      The news of that assassination is horrifying. Its looking more and more like convergence of Israel and US tactics. Israel seems to take the lead in brutality and brazenness while the whole world watches; the US not far behind.

      1. Noe G

        The Isralis are just warming up. Romney lost, so Obama must be cornered by events… that “PROVE” we must enlarge the war against Muslims.

        Jews in media – {yes, Virginia] along with their Evangelical puppets – will be thumping for war on Iran.

        Writers for Homeland will be busy at work ‘proving to the American couch potato’ [my son in laws words, not mine]

        that Iran is the enemy… Israel and Jews are saintly in their goodness… and WE must pay and die for their sins.

        AGAIN.. and AGAIN… and AGAIN.

        And if we don’t like it.. we are drummed out of existence with charges of anti semitism. sound familiar?

        doofuses… to be played and manipulated.. and sent to the front lines to die for the chosen.

        1. Noe G

          Its time for the operatives here to contact the mods.. .and warn them that I am dangerous to their ‘fundraising’…

          that’s one ploy… then there is danger to reputation…

          Ahem… I mean we cannot seem to be tolerating this line of thinking. We all know Jews are above such claims of, well, “conspiracy” – it’s standard Goebbels propaganda…

          yada yada yada…. and they wring their hands and ask why everybody, in all cultures, past and present, finally says —ENOUGH !!

          1. citalopram

            I hear Stormfront is lovely this time of year. You can hear the birds and the jackboots. I’ve heard Don Black looks lovely in an SS uniform.

            Implicating a race of people for the sins of a few is stupid and foolish. Leave race out of it; judge them as individuals.

          2. ambrit

            Better yet, judge ‘them’ as a class. (I wish I could link to Pink Floyds “Us and Them” right now. The same old story…)

          3. Noe G

            JUDGE THEM AS INDIVIDUALS>>>> I knew that was coming.

            Standard fair when using collective nouns for the unchosen.

            Murderous Muslims? check!

            Ignorant Knuckledragging Christians? check

            Evil whitey? of course!

            but Solipsistic Jews? — what, we are to be judged ONLY as individuals… there are no characteristics shared by Jews?

            unless you mean talented, gifted, or chosen.

            Let’s start a thread on group characteristics… who thinks Alabama whites are rednecks? yeah, all of em.

            come on now.. we know you have favorites

          4. Noe G

            what about EVIL BANKSTERS?

            Devils of Wall St?

            you know you have favorites…

            everybody but Jews and Gays

            can be rounded up and branded – right?

          5. citalopram

            What about Jews who don’t support the financial oligarchy or the murderous State of Israel? What about those voices?

            @Ambrit – Judging as a class is fine, but we’re talking about a whole ethnic group, and as such that includes several classes.

        2. different clue

          The Rapturanian Evangelicals and the Armageddonite End Timers support Israel in order to get Israel exterminated in the War Of Armageddon so that Jesus can some again and rule for a Thousand Years.

          So who is who’s puppet here?

          1. Doug Terpstra

            That’s it in a nutshell, CUFI campaigning for the nuclear immolation orf Israel and the vaporization of all but 144K converted Jews in order to ensure their own exclusive salvation and a ticket directly to heaven wihtout dying — the essence of Churchianity.

        3. scraping_by

          On the one hand, the Anti-Semite slur is a useful tool against those who find Israel’s anti-Muslim policy vile and beneath contempt. See Cockburn and St. Clair’s The Politics of Anti-Semitism for a good run down.

          On the other, remember Israel is headed by a right-wing, neoliberal front minority government. Thousands marched against austerian changes to the social compact and common ownership. However, provoking a little backlash from the neighbors is a good distraction and supports a posture of innocent defenders.

          It’s true Jews of uncertain patriotism and Evangelical Christians lost in an alternate universe keep the US from acting in its own best interest. But the Israeli shit-stirring makes the MIC seem a reasonable expense, too. Danger is danger, especially when the faces in the photos are brownish. So a lot of interests converge to make killing semi-random groups of Muslim men, women, and children a mitzvah.

  1. LeeAnne

    “… And many commentators, contra Simon, have taken an inventory of Petraeus’ record and pointed out numerous misdeeds. Second, It’s also not hard to infer that Obama knew the FBI had the goods on Petreaus months ago; his team though this was a trigger they could pull at any time, and quietly too, but the FBI admirer of Kelley upset the apple cart by going to Cantor …”

    The American people and the Ambassador’s family must be told how and why under the protection of US security, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was murdered in Benghazi, Libya. CIA Director and retired General Petraeus is said to know the details. Petreaus was appointed head of CIA a year ago, thus presiding over the convergence of CIA and the military in Libya and Afghanistan where, according to an Atlantic article, more than 1,000 militants and civilians have been killed by drones -with no oversight.

    Why should anyone care about Petreaus’ sex life? No one would if the tabloids and White House press stanographers didn’t shout out that they should be concerned.

    And why should a blog such as this at NC be adding credibility to the importance of Petreaus’ sex life when it is the timing of his resignation; effectively interfering with scheduled hearings about the murder and pushing the issue of CIA militarization with no oversight off the front pages?

    1. Noe G

      Thank GOD extra marital sex is still verboten – or these monsters would be pedophiles and rapists, boinking small animals and torturing cats.

      It’s not as though we haven’t had this conversation at this web address.


      You don’t even become an operative withouth damning baggage that can put you away for life.

      There are no heroes in that business… only power hungry mad men and women who keep each other in check.

      How many threads have been devoted to the sickness of these agencies?

      Petraeus was fitted with a harness – and he broke protocol… probably knew something damning about the events of the last few weeks… and he became expendable… so the story breaks.

      Come on Naked readers… we are a bit more sophisticated than most readers. The sausage making of power in government requires these trip wires – at least in the eyes of the agencies.

      AGAIN – thank your lucky stars baggage still includes standard adultery and homosexuality. One can only imagine the baggage acquired in the Skull & Bones initiations.

      I suspect Tom Cruise gave us a bit of insight with Eyes Wide Open. Do not underestimate the evil at work to vet men and women for power slots.

      Why are we playing footsie on this subject when we all know better.

      O and company are coming of age. That’s all folks.

      1. cwaltz

        Do you actually know anyone in the CIA or are you just foaming at the mouth?

        While I understand that our foreign policy is full of garbage, I reject the idea that there aren’t good people in some of the organizations that comprise our government.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Do you actually know any good people at the CIA? Because I’m just foaming at the brain trying to understand how a “good person” could possibly work in an agency such as the CIA. Because “good people” spend so much time droning innocents, conducting torture and renditions, and such.

          1. citalopram

            Oh, I dunno. Sally the secretary surely is flying drones and killing innocents while she tries to put food on the table.

          2. ohmyheck

            But, but, but—–“ARGO”! (movie about the good guys at the CIA…of course, those were the good guys from way back in 1980, so there’s that.)

        2. Noe G

          I had a friend whose husband was former military – damaged goods from Vietnam… had a drinking and drug problem.

          She stayed with him hoping he would control his demons – but he had few employment prospects but for CIA work.

          She was a wealth of information on who and how people are drafted into that kind of work. ONE – they must have a trip wire… a GOOD one – that prevents anyone from straying from the reservation.

          She defined herself as a Navy brat- whole family was Norfolk society.. all Navy. And my ‘theory’ was commonplace understanding of the agencies.

          When that gay kid was hung on a fence – her husband called that night from Denver..and she said “OH my God, what have you done?”

          Clinton needed a gay victim.. and he got one. The president need not outline a strategy. All he needs to do is say “The country needs to understand what it means to be gay — the indignities.. the violence.. We can’t go forward until and unless that happens.”


          The courtesans send out the goonies… and VOILA – a gay boy is beaten to death.. ostensibly for hitting on straights in Wild West homophobiatown.

          Shepard was – um, collateral damage. Not unlike the boys at Pearl Harbor. of the Trade Center.

          these events mold public opinion. and operatives must be kept on a leash.

          Thank your lucky stars Petraeus was only an adulterer.. When that stops working … it’s more pedophiles and worse at the head of these agencies.. the trip wires are an institution.

          If you don’t think so.. you are quite naive.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          The .01% have such fun.
          The phallic worshippers have won.
          America the Beautiful is done.


    2. Brindle

      This piece from the Tampa Bay Times has a lot of interesting stuff on Jill Kelley.
      An area that is still mostly dark is what governments/contacts in the Mid-East was she in communication with?

      —“In late August, the Republican National Convention in Tampa served as the backdrop to a bizarre business meeting that showed how Kelley used her military connections to open doors off the base as well as on.

      Adam Victor, president of TransGas Development in New York, was in town to network and find business opportunities. Someone introduced him to Kelley, and the two spoke in a VIP section of the convention hall.

      Victor said Kelley described herself as a close friend to Petraeus, which impressed him. In fact, he said, Kelley told him she might help him with a coal gasification project in South Korea. She said she could gain him access to the highest levels of the South Korean government, Victor said.

      Kelley told him she was an honorary consul for South Korea, and Victor said she told him she had obtained the position with the help of Petraeus.

      Kelley and Victor later met in New York. Kelley mentioned her fee if any deal was brokered — $80 million. The fee was so unrealistic and excessive, Victor said, he immediately realized he was dealing with an amateur. He rejected it out of hand. He said Kelley then asked for a counter proposal. But Victor wasn’t biting.

      “It’s stupidity,” said Victor, who nonetheless said he liked Kelley. “It’s inexperience. I got annoyed because it was clear that I had wasted my time and money.”—

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Kelley became a de fact stealth [off the books] lobbyist. Like Clay Shaw and so many in “Bidness” she’s likely CIA herself [off the books]. Graham Greene could tell us How It Works, from Ochsner-Ferrie-Oswald-JFK-Rubenstein (“Ruby”), to Kelley & Co. in TAMPA: The Black Heart of the Matter.

    3. Susan the other

      Things are happening fast now. There’s a report that MI6 is already in place in Syria and will assassinate Ashad. The right wing Israelis have provoked the Palestinians, Hamas, Lebanon, even Egypt. These right on the heels of Benghazi which was a highly skilled act of war, forget terrorism. It took a war machine somewhere to pull that off. We’ll never be told about it. And it is wise to fear that in the confusion of opposing sides, someone will pull the trigger on Iran. So it all makes me remember Eisenhower and the Suez Canal incident in the 50s where our dear allies France and the UK disregarded our warning to stay the hell out; they instead went “all in” and thought we would save their bacon. But Eisenhower was smarter and far more disciplined than all of them combined. He refused and they were forced to retreat. Let’s hope Obama has that same discipline.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Sto;
        Comparing Obama to Eisenhower is a disservice to Eisenhower. At least Eisenhower actually did something for this country. (It’s a sad commentary when an old Cold Warrior is compared favourably to the Modern Messiah.)

        1. Susan the other

          Well Ambrit, I’m wishfully thinking today. Eisenhower is my hero too. I certainly do not want to denigrate him. I’m hoping Obama can absorb some wisdom.

          1. ambrit

            Dear Sto;
            Yeah, you rite cher. (I actually knew people who spoke like that once upon a time.)
            I fully understand the wishfully thinking part too. Unfortunately, the picture of Obama shaking hands with Boehner just up on the Yahoo news scroll gives me little hope. Someone or other recently described Obama as a poor kid, (though he never was really poor,) who has socialized to associate with the really wealthy among us. (Among us? As in “The Creature Walks Among Us?”) Less charitable characterizations come to mind.
            I’m beginning to think that America crossed the Rubicon with the passage of the Patriot Act.

      2. Synopticist

        The UK doesn’t want another ME entanglement in any way, shape or form. I doubt even the present govt are stupid enough to get too ambitous.
        We’re not phsically capable of intervening effectivelly anywhere except somehwere like the narrow Libyan coastal strip.
        We just don’t have big enough armed forces anymore, and there’s no super-strong pro-Israeli lobby a la the US.

        1. Susan the other

          I agree that the faction Obama must confront is right here in the USA. Mccain, Graham, Cantor, the loonies on the right including Armageddon romantics and people like the Mittster who have always wanted to just jet off to the celestial and leave us freeloaders to our own devices.

        2. Roland

          Haven’t you noticed that Cameron has been openly talking about waging war on Syria?

          Meanwhile France has formally recognized the Syrian rebel committee in Qatar.

    4. Наш Наш

      “The American people… must be told…” Oh, dear. Perhaps it’s time for we had that little talk about the birds & bees. Under precedent established at the agency’s inception, Petraeus knows his job is to lie. To Congress, under oath. Or else. Whether the administration made Petraeus DCI hoping for an ally there, or whether they did it with ill-disguised glee to chuck a bumptious asshole into the wood-chipper, the DCI’s imperative will be the same: lie.

      It would be useful to know whether the comical barechested FBI puke came from the black world. He came from somewhere to FBI pretty recently, as a counterterror guy. Our rebuttable presumption must be that CIA pulled the trigger on Petraeus using one of their own in the guise of a party loyalist. This would not be partisan, but purely bureaucratic bloodshed that encompasses Allen, Gaouette and others. Let us hope that the long knives also get perfidious kleptocrats Clinton, Biden, and Obama, because churn is your friend.

  2. ella

    “This illustrates the depth of ideology …. Romney considers this a ‘gift in exchange for votes’”

    And the entitlements of tax cuts, privatization, deregulation, and trickle down economics were what??? Oh, of course they were not gifts for the rich, they were punishments for the rich. How silly of me…

    1. Susan the other

      Yes and combine Romney’s stubborn sense of elite entitlement (or denial of guilt) with right wing republican authoritarian troglodyte tactics in Congress and you get outright suppression of the facts. Catch the article from Triple Crisis by James Crotty in Links today. We are not getting the facts. Congress strong-armed a Congressional Research Service report which disproved the whole trickle down theory and instead found that tax cuts and other social gifts to the rich and corporations did not help society, it just made the elites richer and produced more inequality. The report was taken off the web site! I remember hearing about it briefly here and then no follow up. Romney is vamping around making asinine comments, which he knows are asinine, just to raise the level of confusion enough to make some people quit listening. He’s a total whore.

      1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

        I really appreciate your comments. And I wonder
        if watching the US tv channel news is a pure waste
        of time. Are there any commendable commercial
        TV stations for their news coverage?

        1. different clue

          I have read that al Jazeerah news is liked by some, if you can get it on cable.

          And some of the PBS news special programs ( Frontline and so forth) are good. (And if that makes someone mad, then that makes me happy).

    2. Synopticist

      Romney was/is one of the biggest c*nts in the republican party, which is pretty full of them. Thank goodness enough sensible Americans didn’t fall for the NC “there both as bad as each other” line.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, the Grand Betrayal will go much smoother under a Neocon in progressive drag. And then we can continue to pursue peace and diplomacy in the Middle East without all the pointless resistance.

        The fiscal cliff divers had their Kumbaya meeting today, after which Nancy issued bungee cords to all consumers and investors, including her multi-millionaire investor hubby:

        “I was focusing on how we send a message of confidence to consumers, to the markets in the short run, too.”

        This vapid and vacuous statement inspired a 40-point rebound of confidence in the DOW today.

  3. DP

    “At one point in the call, Romney said, “You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge.””

    How does Romney think a family of four making $25-$35K per year is going to come up with $10K a year for healthcare, by living under a bridge to avoid rent for a place to live? By eating out of garbage cans? Has this alleged efficiency expert decided it’s more efficient for society to have people at this income level avoid doctors due to a lack of health insurance until they’re so sick they have to go to the emergency room? Or is he suggesting that people without health insurance or the funds to pay for medical care should do without medical care?

    In Romney’s world, if he cuts the tax rate on somebody like himself who is worth hundreds of millions from the whopping 13-14% rate he’s been paying, it’s about “job creation” and “entrepreneurship”. If a family of four gets free health care as part of the social safety net, it’s a giveaway to buy votes.

    I don’t know if Romney is just a clueless dolt who can’t think through something logically, or if he’s a sociopath, or both.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Actually, the really hilarious thing is that Romney may actually think of ObamaCare as “free health care” when it’s a scam to force people to purchase junk insurance for the health insurance companies, guaranteeing them a market in perpetuity. And even single payer is not “free.” It’s paid for with taxes (and due to its mysterious “single payer” nature, cuts out all the bloodsucking middlemen and grifters, saving $350 billion a year at least — free money for C*Os that both Robama and Obomney are cheerfully leaving on the table).

    2. Synopticist

      Romneys a hard right, Randian ideologue for whom anyone but the wealthy is a contemptible moocher and a parasite who can be lied to as long as its in their best interest. This conversation wasn’t public, remember, it was a telephone conference to his biggest donors. He was being HONEST TO THE PEOPLE HE THINKS MATTER.

      Romneys campaign was governed by these two perspectives and their interaction-
      1. Only the rich, or perhaps more generously, property and financial asset owning “producers” count, and the rest are parasites.
      2. The Mormon idea that it’s acceptable to lie under various circumstances, as long as its for the general good.

      That explains everything he’s ever said or done during his entire political career.

      1. Jill


        Yours and other posts about Romney are so interesting. For four years the lefties were frightened to call Obama to account for his actions, in part, by people saying–did you want McCain in office? So the next four years will be–did you want Romney in office?

        Mitt Romney is irrelevant except as a tool to frighten Obama supporters. I knew this would not end with Obama’s second term, Romney and other Republicans are too useful a tool to abandon.

        Still, Obama is president and I think this needs to be repeated many times. Lefties need to stop excusing atrocity after atrocity by their guy. They are cloaking Obama’s actions with their “Republicans are evil” fear mongering. How much longer will this tactic work?

        1. Synopticist

          Jill, I don’t like Obama, and i hold most of the democratic party in contempt. I’m not from the US anyway, i live in the UK.

          The reason I post about US politics is because I really fu*cking despise Romney and the the US hard right. Their entire worldview is based on a distortion of Christianity and social darwinism, fuelled by irresponsible media voices and funded by shameless plutocrats. Americans are nice people, but huge numbers of them vote for complete wackos.

          I honestly don’t think a lot of people postiing here realise just how unusual a situation this is. Conservative America is so far away from the global political mainstream.
          So hate on Obama all you like, and try to hold his feet to the fire if you can. I doubt it’ll work, because he’s basically a 1990s republican in a blue suit, but please don’t ignore how bad the alternative is. They’re F*CKING LOOPY.

          1. Aquifer

            Ths problem is that what needs to be garroted is not the loopy individuals but the deadly ideology and that continues under both parties – if the Reps are in “charge” of advancing the ideology at least some of the Dems feel obliged to form a “loyal opposition” – if the Dems are in charge, the same ideology proceeds apace – there IS no opposition – that is what Glenn Ford meant when he called Obama the more effective evil …

    3. Procopius

      The thing I can’t figure out, why did Romney push this program through in Massachusets, since he seems not to understand that his program was not significantly different from Obama’s program, and he seems not to understand why people need it. Did he think he was giving them gifts? Does he think that’s why Obama won, because that was his plan for winning? Also, took of course, is the fact that Romney is totally incapable of imagining what life must be like for people who are making $25-30,000 a year.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From Engadget:

    Those looking for the light at the end of the legal tunnel may want to take a seat: Apple and Samsung’s ongoing patent war just got a bit more crowded. Both sides are fighting to add hardware to their respective patent claims.

    The U.S. District Court in San Jose is approving these additions too, adding the iPhone 5 to Samsung’s claims and approving the Apple’s updated complaint to include the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III.

    More devices could be added, too — Judge Paul Grewal specifically warned Apple to “think twice” before opposing future amendments on Samsung’s part.

    AAPL has lost about 20% of its market cap since its lawsuit ‘victory’ over Samsung was announced in August.

    Since patent trolling is working so well, Apple has decided to up the ante.

    Apple’s ‘walled garden’ has morphed into an extortionate graveyard of proprietary technology.

    Buying Samsung and Nexus products is the best revenge against the corporate bully from Cupertino.

  5. Ron

    “The modern conservative movement was founded on a marriage of principle and pragmatism”

    No Kwak it is a toxic marriage between social conservative agenda which is still fighting the cultural wars aligned with the John Birch Society and the old solid Democratic Southern Dixiecrats which split from the Democratic Party after Johnson signed the Civil rights bill and now is the center for its political base.
    The Republican Party Platform going back to 1960,64 and 1980 doesn’t reflect the hyper social conservative agenda so apparent in today’s Republican platform and there belief that more Americans will somehow come to accept there world view beyond the American Bible Belt dooms the party to minority status.

  6. Lady Liberty

    Holder’s coming back

    Have you seen this story? Banker Math Meets the Justice Department’s CROOKS

    Report: Cronyism, political donations likely behind Obama, Holder failure to charge any bankers after 2008 financial meltdown

    1. Susan the other

      We can’t get rid of Holder fast enough. Now even Bloomberg is calling him out. He has got to go. I wish both he and timmy would be frog marched out the door.

      1. diptherio

        Well, regardless of source, the story itself seems right on-point with how most of us here feel about Obummer. The theorizing that the lack of criminal prosecutions of corporate heads might have something to do with campaign contributions and captured agencies is nothing new to most of us. On the whole, if it didn’t say DailyCaller on the top of the page, I might think it was a Democracy Now! piece.

        That said, there are some interesting claims in the article, that sound like total BS to me and that I can’t find sources for. Like this, for instance:

        “By the fall of 2011, Obama had collected more donations from Wall Street than any of the Republican candidates, and employees at Bain Capital had donated more than twice as much to Obama as they did to Romney, the firm’s founder,” GAI wrote in its report.

        If Bain Capital employees really did donate more to Obama than to Romney…wow. I think that would be a story worthy of a more reputable news agency than the Caller.

      2. different clue

        If Breitbart and Caller have run accurate stories in this particular case, we should thank Breitbart and Caller for these particular accurate stories. If indeed they are accurate.

          1. diptherio

            One interesting thing though, is that although it’s the Daily Caller dissing on Obama, which is to be expected whether warranted or not, they’re going after him for not being hard enough on white-collar crime, for not prosecuting the Jamie Dimons and Lloyd Blankfiends of the world! I mean, I can get a little excited that the right and the left both want perp-walks for banksters, right? This is like the Repub. primaries with everyone taking digs at R-money for being a vulture capitalist. Sure, it’s all politics, but it’s still encouraging ;)

  7. Aquifer

    The Volcker piece –

    !) we gotta fix the debt so we need a “bargain” including “entitlements”

    2) we really need to fix the process by which Pres. app.ts can be confirmed

    There you have it …

  8. Donald L. Anderson

    Re: “What the New President Should Consider Paul Volcker, New York Review of Books. Warning: the link has timed out on Safari and Firefox all night, so I have not read it. So you’ll have to tell me what you make of it.”

    It has a TERRIBLE omission. Where is the discussion of the need to free up revenue by stopping the War Department from spending TRILLIONS (yes TRILLIONS) on non-useful, non-protective wars?

    1. Susan the other

      Ron Paul is giving a black swan song even. He says the only way we can regain our rights and “stop the banks” is to secede. So libertarians in all 50 states have submitted petitions to secede. I don’t think the banksters will even notice.

  9. jsmith

    Interesting overview of Petraeus, Kelly and such.

    To summarize:

    It’s wingnut neocons in Benghazi, it’s wingnut neocons in the U.S. and agents of “Middle Eastern” governments who cavort with said wingnut neocons.

    Also, Jill Kelley is the key here – she’s definitely an agent of some sort – as she is up to her @ss in debt, went knocking door-to-door to make sure she could find a house next to the AFB and threw lavish parties for the military brass without a true pot to piss in.

    Which leads us to the question: why did Broadwell send the harassing emails, warning Allen off of Kelley and telling the latter to back off from Petraeus? The sex-obsessed American media is naturally focusing on the salacious aspects of L’affaire Petraeus, but the reality is that neither Petraeus nor Allen was likely romantically involved with the Lebanese spitfire. I would suggest it wasn’t jealousy that motivated Broadwell, it was a desire to protect her lover – and Gen. Allen – from falling into a trap: instead, she set if off by her actions. This wasn’t a love triangle – it was a failed counterintelligence operation, and the end of a tragic love story in which the beloved was unknowingly betrayed by her lover.


    I would note that at both ends of the twin scandals roiling official Washington – Benghazi and the Petraeus affair – we find similar catalytic elements of a definitely neoconnish complexion. At the Benghazi end, we have the Blue Mountain/Eclipse Group/Duane Clarridge connection, and on the Petreaus side we have the Humphries/Kelley/Cantor cabal, with hints of involvement by a certain “Middle Eastern government” thrown in for good measure.

    It’s good that these guys are getting some press, though.

    1. jsmith

      Interesting that Jill Kelley’s Wikipedia entry is being considered for deletion.

      Who would be clamoring for that?

      BTW, the only other notable Wikipedia deletion case which I can remember was the that of Lori Klausutis of Joe Scarborough fame. The right wing made such a stink that her entry was gone in no time.

      (Read down to “Resignation and controversy” if interested.)

  10. LeeAnne

    What the New President Should Consider Paul Volcker, New York Review of Books.

    No mention of fraud, criminality, cronyism, Nafta and made by Americans in China crappy products (you can’t even buy a safety pin in this country that works), and our Constitution being shredded, although he has ‘concern’ about government not being trusted.

    It looks like Big Paul and Obama have the same speech writer, weak tea and staus quo, combining Social Security and Medicare into one and the same ‘entitlement’ prob lemm. ” … And of course, we do need to review the two big entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare, …”
    About midway through the essay Volker writes:

    ” …That is all background. My point here is that we should look ahead. Where is the solid ground upon which to build, to restore some clear sense of national interest and national purpose, to restore confidence in the political process and in government itself?”

    “…Virtually every day we read of polls about the president’s popularity, or the ups and downs of the Republican contenders during the recent election. The poll that concerns me is different, and much more challenging. …”

    “ … Do you trust your government to do the right thing most of the time?” …four out of five Americans don’t instinctively trust our own government to do the “right thing” even half of the time…”

    I have to admit to reading only 3/4 down the page. Its just more of the same. I’m an admirer of Paul Volker, but this confinced me he is just stale; an argument for retirement at a certain age. Its just impossible, sadly, to bring anything to the table generations after your peak other than a pincipled attitude based on morality sharpened with age -called wisdom. Leave the details to someone else.

    1. Susan the other

      The MMT Varoufakis-Auerback clip yesterday was interesting. About Volcker, Varoufakis said that in 1971 when the US could no longer recycle its surpluses to create global growth (which it had been doing since 1945 but had gone dry due to all the added expense of the VN war, etc.) it was Paul Volcker who stepped up and said “Well then we’ll recycle other countries’ surpluses.” And it was also Volcker who raised interest rates to 13% in the 80s to tame inflation. I always thought that trade deficit operation was Robert Rubin’s trick – buying China’s products and selling China our treauries. How was it again that Clinton balanced the deficit? I gotta say I don’t think any of them know what they are doing. If they do, they’ve never explained it. See Steve Keen’s new model, Links today.

      1. different clue

        Higher tax rates at all levels. Also pretending that the Social Security FICA PREpayments coming in ever since 1983 were somehow part of the “general budget” and “tax revenues” so as to lie about the size of the deficit. (Or am I wrong about that second part?)

      2. reslez

        According to the MMT paradigm, Clinton balanced the budget by over-taxing the private sector. We continued to run a trade deficit with the rest of the world meanwhile, so the federal government’s surplus could only be generated by the private sector digging itself deeper in debt. Which it did with a vengeance.

  11. JSmithereens

    “Hamas leader assassinated in the middle of truce negotiations.”
    Wow, isn’t that the TRUTH?!
    TRUTH always wins.

    So the European Union’s foreign policy chief who traditionally attacks Israel for its policies was wrong to say: “The rocket attacks by Hamas and other factions in Gaza which began this current crisis are totally unacceptable for any government and must stop”?

    1. On Saturday before the peace-loving Hamas leader was killed an Iranian-made anti-tank guided-missile fired from Gaza struck an IDF jeep across the border wounding four soldiers, two very seriously. An act of peaceful negotiations no doubt.
    2. On Nov 10 the Palestinians shot 35 rockets on Israeli towns.
    On Nov 11 the Palestinians shot 64 rockets on Israeli towns.
    On Nov 12 the Palestinians shot 21 rockets on Israeli towns.
    These numbers do not include tens of mortar shells the Palestinians shot on Israeli towns.
    3. In Oct, an attack using explosives against an IDF armored personnel carrier, wounded a company commander, and another attack with explosives.
    On Thursday, November 8, an IDF engineering force located a number of powerful explosive devices ready for detonation by the border fence.

    Now you will say that the peace loving person you are crying over was never involved in kidnapping across the border, was not involved in the rocket firing, and was not in charge of exporting long-range missiles and other arms from Iran. This guy was also admired by the PLO for his gentle diplomacy as he killed the representatives of the Palestinian Authority.

    Of course, it is only Israel who has an interest in lighting up the Mid East, not the Emir of Qatar who just visited Gaza or the Iranians and Syria.
    Hamas is the embodiment of women rights, freedom of speech and peace on earth.

    Such an astute objective sense of observation JSmith.
    No doubt, a reliable source of info, a self-defined enlightened liberal on this website.

    1. Hugh

      You forgot the brutal 45 year occupation/blockade and apartheid policies the Palestinians tricked the Israelis into so they would have cover to fire a few missiles at them.

      As I asked yesterday, if Israelis or Americans were subjected to the conditions under which Palestinians have lived for decades, what seriously do you think their response would be?

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Israel always asks, “who started it?” To which Patrick Higgins at Counterpunch gives the painfully-obvious, self-evident answer, describing conditions in the world’s largest open concentration camp / prison:

      The blockade of Gaza is one form the violence of Israel’s [murderous] settler-colonialism has taken … [as Iraq proved,] sanctions are horrifyingly violent. … One report by the United Nations has declared that it will become “unlivable” by 2020 if present conditions continue. Under these conditions, perpetual and vicious, rockets—made with the few materials to which access is possible—are resistance symbols, declarations of struggle, promises that Israel’s violence will not be accepted by Gaza, despite the military power of the forces arranged against it.

      In summation, those who observe the violence in Palestine and feel compelled to scream to Palestinians about the necessity of recognizing Israel’s right to exist either cannot or will not recognize murderous settler-colonialism.

      How about that question: Does Israel have a right to exist?

      Israel cannot ever be extricated from “the murderous settler-colonialism in which it has been engaged since its foundation … the Palestinian right of return continues to be denied and Israel’s racist system built on paranoia over demographics continues its violence. In that case, the answer to the question of whether Israel has a right to exist is as easy as the answer to the question of whether murderous settler-colonialism has a right to exist.

      That is answer is no.


      Not a chance.

      Hear, hear, Mr. Higgins! Case closed, open and shut.

      1. DougDoug

        Of course, one could ask the new Egyptian government why is it keeping the […] blockade on Gaza if they can simply open the gates and remove the soldiers?
        One might also be brave enough to ask the Hashemites and oppressed Palestinian majority in Jordan whether they would mind opening the border to the West Bank?

        One might imagine a situation whereby Hamas would unilaterally declare a state in Gaza and build the socio-economic foundations for prosperity and coexistence while reconciling with the PLO after having killed their own.
        Could Hamas use the gas they found at sea to develop businesses and boost higher education?
        Would it be possible for them to declare that they are interested in signing a peace agreement rather than declaring that they want to kill all Jews? (a Hamas minister just repeated this today on Al Jazeera, but he did not mean to act upon it, of course.)

        Per Hugh remarks earlier: History matters. It helps clarify motives, cause and effect, prospects for compromise, upholding of a peace agenda, etc.
        Did Israel reject the partition plan? Did Israel start the 48 war? Were there no military and guerrilla attacks on Israel before the 67 war (or for that matter before the State of Israel was even established)? Was the PLO formed only after ‘the occupation’ began? Did Israel also start the 73 war? Did the war in Lebanon begin across the international border due to Israeli rockets fired on Lebanese cities, or vice versa? Can a solution be offered while the corrupt regimes in the region are afraid of democratization and rise of a middle class following normalization and open borders? Can peace be achieved if school books dehumanize the other? (which school books? which media outlets?) Is targeting civilians an effective method to resolve conflict? Do two wrongs make a right?
        While Israel as made multiple peace offers to the Palestinians, could you please point me to the ones made by Hamas?

        Having said that, this should not be a blame game.
        Both Palestinians and Israelis will have to find a way to coexist.
        To do so, they will have to change both their political attitudes and their practices. Otherwise, they will both keep losing.

        1. jsmith

          The citing of the Higgins’ article must have set off some sort of alert, huh?

          No, the crimes against the Palestinian people should DEFINITELY be a blame game.

          Israel is a genocidal apartheid regime that is guilty of innumerable war crimes against the Palestinian people.


          As to the rest of your horsesh!t:

          You think that Israel is actually going to let the Palestinians develop gas fields when the Israelis won’t even let them FISH in those very same waters?!!

          Also, why should the Jordanians or anyone else be responsible for the wholesale genocide and displacement of the Palestinian people as perpetrated by – hello? – THE ISRAELIS?

          And always with the Egyptians, why don’t they do this, why don’t they do that…

          I mean, I guess since the Israelis made the Palestinians pay for the Holocaust there is precedent for other peoples having to pay for the crimes of a 3rd party, eh?

          Let’s just call it even, eh?

          Egypt, Jordan, Syria et al please find a solution as to the consequences of the war crimes we Israelis continue to commit – yawn – we’re too busy being a “democracy”.

          Pathetic and disgusting.

        2. Doug Terpstra

          There are billion$ of reasons Egypt has not opened the gates … YET. But blood money and pressure may be inadequate in the end. From today’s WSJ link:

          U.S. efforts to calm the situation depend largely on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, analysts said … On Thursday, Mr. Morsi ordered Egypt’s prime minister to lead a delegation into Gaza on Friday, Egyptian state television reported. The visit would pose an unprecedented challenge to Israel, perhaps forcing it to scale back its military operations while the delegation is there. Mr. Morsi’s activist response to Israeli-Palestinian violence marks a stark reversal from the more hands-off policies of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

          President Barack Obama and administration officials have been in contact with leaders of Israel and Egypt—staunchly supporting Israel’s operation while pressing the Egyptians to rein in Hamas, officials said.

          Let’s hope Morsi has the courage to bite the hand that bribes him.

        3. Doug Terpstra

          A tragicomic scarecrow straw man: “… whereby Hamas would unilaterally declare a state in Gaza and build the socio-economic foundations for prosperity and coexistence.”

          Yes! Exactly! Why didn’t the Warsaw ghetto simply declare itself a state too? And for that matter why didn’t Auschwitz declare its independence and build the foundations for prosperity. My goodness, the final solution is just so stunningly simple isn’t it?!

          But yeah, now’s not the time for finger-pointing; let’s not get into the blame game; mistakes were made; we all did it … Are you bucking for a job on Dennis Ross’ team? You’ve got all the qualifications.

      1. Hugh

        It amazes me how many people think 45 years of brutal occupation, blockade, theft of resources, and apartheid count for nothing.

        As for Dougdoug, standard hasbara misdirection. Point the finger everywhere else, except at Israel. Or equate Hamas’ minscule military capability with Israel supplied with the latest American weaponry and possessing 100-200 nuclear weapons.

        And still my question remains unanswered. What would Israelis and Americans do if they were subjected to the same brutal conditions the Palestinians have lived under for decades? Give an honest answer to that, and we can talk. Otherwise you are just blowing smoke.

  12. JGordon

    If NC is starting to post links to Chris Martenson and John Micheal Greer, maybe someone in there is starting to see the light.

  13. Susan the other

    Steve Keen is coming up with a spectacular model of economics which is based on the laws of thermodynamics. Way cool. Only Steve Keen would tackle this – it’s Minsky on steroids. A cyclical non-equilibrium economy using energy as the basis of the model of production. It’s the last Link today. Finally someone is looking at the physical environment, the limits to growth and the dead end of the capital v labor dynamic.

      1. Timothy Y. Fong

        Check out the old school Technocracy movement:

        “At the core of Scott’s vision was “an energy theory of value”. Since the basic measure common to the production of all goods and services was energy, he reasoned “that the sole scientific foundation for the monetary system was also energy”, and that by using an energy metric instead of a monetary metric (energy certificates or ‘energy accounting’) a more efficient design of society could be made”

        1. JohnL

          And the idea of replacing the dollar with the barrel of oil as a global unit of wealth is an example of that. Charts showing the price of gold in oil or vv likewise. makes a lot of sense.

        2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          Excuse me for not getting all bubbly over economics, but if we would pull in the new CAFE standard for car mileage from 2017 to some more immediate year, and as a consequence begin driving gas guzzlers off the road, then we wouldn’t have to wait until 2020 or 2030 for economists to propose the idea and back up the revelation with the Unified Thermo-Banking Econometrics Model.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I only know from my own work with the General Theory of Money that when you concentrate a massive amount of Money-Matter into a space the size of a pinhead, you get a Money-Blackhole, a sort of rupture in your Money-Continuum.

            It is believed by many that that a Money-Blackhole can lead the possessor of it into another realm…a more blissful realm.

            And many have tried or are still trying to achieve that.

          2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            You have a very valid observation there.

            The Unified Thermo-Banking Econometrics Model is still only a Classical-Newtonian approach to space-time. Undoubtedly inadequate once we have to deal with relativistic effects….or even mystical voodoo things craazy always warns of.

    1. heresy101

      Keen’s description of his model is what economics needs to develop. There are two areas that I question whether they are fully developed:

      1) His description of thermodynamics as covering the whole universe as a system.
      While that is ultimately true, thermodynamics can be analyzed by how the boundaries of the system are defined. A power plant or jet engine can obey all the laws of thermodynamics separate from the universe. Engineering systems much smaller than the universe have been questions on engineering exams for decades.

      2) While energy flows are the key element driving the system, that is just the “ability to do work” and nothing productive necessarily comes from energy (both potential and kinetic) flows.
      For instance, if a river flows down a valley the fish have a place to swim and entropy increases since the potential energy is dissipated flowing downhill. But if one were to take energy, labor, and capital (dead labor in Marx’s terms) to turn those into work to build a Hoover Dam, that system would capture the potential energy and turn it into electrical energy in the generators. That energy from outside the system (money, trucks, labor, etc) would do work to build the stored energy (water behind the dam)to create the new electrical energy flows that leave the Hoover Dam system to be able to do work elsewhere by lighting buildings, running motors, etc. It appears to me that work (both by humans and machines) need to be a fundamental part of the model.

      1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

        I guess it was refreshing to hear something besides “print money faster -> grow economy faster”.

        But I’m afraid that economists will confuse themselves even more with a thermo model of the world, hooked up to dysfunctional banks, no less.

        Wasn’t there a Woody Allen movie were Woody discovered the universe was expanding and would eventually cool to near absolute zero and he became quite depressed over this knowledge?

        I already know what the model will tell the world to do anyway. Long ago Japan decided to focus on being a semiconductor mfg. because this industry is low energy input and low waste output. They figured that out without a big comprehensive computer model. That would be the moral of the story, methinks. But then we know the whole world can’t be a semi plant, and we wouldn’t like it much if it was. Conversely, Greenspan pulled up a FRED chart of consumer debt during the 01-02 recession and decided a housing boom could fix that recession, if there was some way to get banks and F&F excited about making real estate loans…

        One thing you learn in engineering and software systems is often times it’s better to have a suite of small tools used for human decision support than try and integrate some behemoth that thinks for you. So the fact finding and decision making is what is important.

        1. Birch

          And the diesel for the equipment to build the damn is ancient stored solar energy, too. Even if people build the damn with shovels, they get they’re energy from… plants that capture the sun’s energy!

          People can redirect energy is a myriad of ways, but they can’t create a micro-jewel. The two forms of solar energy are: limited low-infinite amount sunlight, and variable flow-finite amount stored stuff.

          The key, as someone here said, is growth in development (smarter use of resources) rather than growth in throughput, which is what ‘growth’ means now. Throughput is the amount of low entropy resources entering the human system and returning to the broader ecosystem as high entropy waste. This is the kind of growth that physically can not continue forever.

          There is no cyclical economic system where we happily go about eating our own waste in perpetual motion. This was the big story-line flaw of the Matrix movie, and it sucks that we’re so duped we don’t even catch on. Of course the machines can grow people to feed themselves and more people to make more energy without any solar input. We do it all the time! not

          1. Aquifer

            “There is no cyclical economic system where we happily go about eating our own waste in perpetual motion.”

            Well, actually, I suggest there is – MN has been building on it successfully, not only recycling finite physical inputs but increasing complexity of systems with those same inputs, for about 4 billion years now. That is the most successful “economic” model yet devised and if Mr Keen can model that – he’s got a winner ….

            In any case, somebody had better model that because the system we have now is on a collision course with MN’s and, as we know, MN always bats last – so we had better learn to go with her flow or be flushed away – literally. At this point we seem to be the epitome of increasing entropy …

            But it is good to see something “non-human” being integrated into the system as if it actually mattered …

            I confess his jargon was a bit much for me – wonder how he fits with the likes of Herman Daly ,,,,

    2. jsmith

      Way back in 1980, Jeremy Rifkin wrote an interesting book – Entropy – about utilizing entropy as the basis for our understanding of most of social sciences.

      If you can find it, it’s a pretty interesting read that aligns pretty well with what Keen et al are saying.

      Not as scientific but with some nice insights.

      Here’s the publisher website:

      1. Birch

        I just finished reading Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen’s masterpiece “The Entropy Law and the Economic Process”, 1970. Keen’s talk there sounded like a beautiful summation of what Nicolas explored in detail. All the ideas Keen talked about were already fully formed in Nicolas’ work 42 years ago. That’s not to diminish Keen at all – I’m so glad he’s working on fully modelling the idea.

        The underlying idea is that economics is the human expression of the law of entropy. The two are related like gravity and ballistics.

        These aren’t new ideas. Frederick Soddy was on to them in the 30s, and Herman Daly has been promoting them since the 80s. Indeed, modern ‘economics’ is probably built around evading them.

        1. jsmith


          As I’m guessing you already know, Nicolas Georgescu-Roegen also wrote the afterword for the Rifkin book and is the source for much of Rifkin’s ideas in the book.

          Again, for anyone interested Rifkin’s Entropy might be an easier layperson wade into those waters.

    3. different clue

      Frederick Soddy did that decades ago. He wrote a book about his thoughts and findings called Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt: The Solution of the Economic Paradox. And Soddy was a Nobel Prizewinning Chemist, so he had some actual background in science and a scientific knowledge of thermodynamics and its laws. If Keen has the same, then Keen’s work will also be valuable, no doubt. Maybe Keen will even re-invent a better wheel than the one Soddy invented decades ago.

      Frederick Soddy’s book:,_Virtual_Wealth_and_Debt

      1. EconCCX

        Soddy’s the superior monetary economist as well, and that’s entirely apart from his insights about the foundation of economics in thermodynamics.

        Last I checked, Keen had not caught on about how repayment of a loan destroys credit money. The paper I cited on May 24 is no longer at its May address. So here’s something from his forum. Per Keen:

        [Repayment of loans] takes money out of circulation but does not destroy it. This is a point on which I happily differ from most modern Post-Keynesian economists and instead concur with Keynes: credit money circulates, it is not destroyed by loan repayment. The argument that repayment destroys money made no logical sense to me when I first heard it, and was treated as absurd when I discussed it with bank accountants as well. I’ll elaborate more fully on this in future lectures.

        Here’s the question I put up a few days ago, and this time I’ll stick my neck out with the answer:

        A bank deducts a $10/month service charge from a customer’s checking account. The customer now has $10 less. Does the bank have $10 more? No reserves seem to have been conveyed. No cash has changed hands. Where’s the bank’s ten dollars? Have monetary aggregates like M1 and M2 diminished as a result of this charge?

        The answer is: the money is nowhere. It has disappeared from the face of the earth. M1 and M2 have indeed diminished. Money has been destroyed. And if $10 doesn’t sound like much, how about the $35 fee for an overdraft? Lost to the customer, lost forever to the community, and not in the possession of the bank.
        You’re skeptical. If you believe the bank has that $10 or $35, can you describe what form it takes? An account with another bank? A reserve? A bond? Vault cash?

        Hint: the bank had better not have that money. Because if it did, it would have to be ahead $20 (or $70). Once from having the customer’s fee as an asset…and once from no longer owing that amount to her as a liability. But no, it collects only one time. Sure, the bank is worth more now as an institution, because its assets exceed its liabilities by $10 (or $35) more. But there’s that much less of the good stuff, the circulating medium of exchange, bank debt itself. Making it necessary for individuals, institutions and governments to go deeper into debt, borrowing to repay while interest and fees compound inexorably. The world Soddy feared we’d be in. The world we’re in. Owing to a terrible flaw in the engineering of money which the Minsky camp has yet to acknowledge.

        Credit money isn’t like marbles that move from hand to hand. It’s a series of obligations endlessly cancelling one another out, each cancellation typically ending in the destruction of credit money and the accumulation of debt.

        That, ladies and gentlemen, is what Soddy brought to the discussion. Today’s heterodox economists — Keen and Hudson among the best — are just getting their boots on.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A question I have is this.

          If a bank can create credit money just like that, does it matter to say some credit money is destroyed?

          Does it make a difference if it’s out of circulation or is destroyed when a bank can create it again without much effort?

          1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            The money transforms into “credit capacity” (my not yet patented term) and if it stays there a long time it means the bank is deleveraging.

          2. EconCCX


            That is to say, a theoretical construct which is no part of the money supply, and with which no one can pay a bill. Not even the bank.

          3. LeonovaBalletRusse

            H-Taxpayer, your observation is ominous indeed. What would Michael Hudson have to say about this? Did you just lift the lid off Pandora’s Box?

            Yves, did you see H-Taxpayer’s conclusion?

          4. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            You can borrow it to pay a bill, or probably repo it to another bank, but those are not my rules.

          5. EconCCX

            It’s an unmade deal. An unsigned contract. On nobody’s books. Unmeasurable. Where moments earlier a federally-guaranteed parcel of value circulated as a medium of exchange. You and I also have a credit score. It isn’t money.

            I think we’re in agreement, more or less.

          6. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            Yes, well, money and credit aren’t the same thing. I never would work for an employer that would pay me in credit.

            But money is grey, that’s why we have all those Ms, Mo,M1,M2,M3…

          7. EconCCX

            There’s nothing money about it. And it isn’t even credit. You called it “credit capacity.” The artist whose painting hangs on your wall suddenly dies. Your “credit capacity” goes up. But the painting remains on your wall, and the amount of money in circulation and your own cash position remain unchanged. Any measure of money.

            In this case, the bank had a liability to somebody, the bank worked off the liability, the bank ripped up the liability, rendering accountable money nonexistent. Boosting its own intangibles but destroying the common circulating medium of exchange: negotiable bank debt.

          8. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            In a world of fractional banking and clueless economists, I still intend to proceed with my plan to patent the term “credit capacity”. I plan to sell it to Steve Keen. It’s kinda like thermal capacity. And he may re-name his site to Thermal Watch. Heat maps and such…..

          9. Hypothetical_Taxpayer


            Your comment just appeared way up the thread, so I’m not real sure which conclusion you refer to, but to fill in a bit, this is not really big news that I broke. Post 2008 many econ types, most vocally Steve Keen all the way to most respectable Stiglitz, pointing out that econ models did not include credit or debt.

            I am only amazed at that omission.

        2. EconCCX

          Does it make a difference if it’s out of circulation or is destroyed when a bank can create it again without much effort? @MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To do so requires finding a new credit-worthy borrower and persuading him to indenture himself. Take a look at television and count the ads exhorting folks to go deeper into debt, in one or another guise. If a bank has uncollectible obligations, it will also have unpayable ones. Bernanke’s QE is a backstop. As it is, the nonbank sector’s debts compound and accumulate; the wherewithal to repay is destroyed at finance’s whim; and the repeal of Glass-Steagall eliminated much of banks’ incentives to lend prudently. Foreclosure and the capture of real-world assets is finance’s aim as well, not merely the collection of interest.

          God help the millennials, many of whom will never know a day out of debt. And neither austerity nor deficits nor jubilees nor trillion dollar coins will fix this. A new money form must co-exist with and eventually supplant the old.

        3. LeonovaBalletRusse

          EconCCX, this is indeed how “bankers” eat the world with impunity. How are “fees” of Telecomm companies and such entered (or not) into the double-entry bookkeeping system of formerly Standard Accounting?

          What you have described is theft, and on a grand scale it’s more than grand larceny. They “disappear” money in customer “demand deposit” accounts as “fees charged” and “remove money from the system” @ $20 x number UNKNOWN (because the “fee charged”–the debit from the customer account–is never credited to any “bank” account. Surely this is STEALTH FRAUD and intentional destruction of the “money supply” for cause. Does it lead to increased “sovereign state” borrowing from central banks by chance?

        4. different clue

          The other thing Soddy brought to the discussion is that money is NOT wealth. Money is ONLY money.

          If tomatos are $2.00 a pound, does that mean that “$2.00” and “a pound of tomatos” are the same thing as eachother? Really? Reaaaaaalllly? If I eat two one-dollar bills . . . cut them small, boil them for a while, chew them up and get them swallowed down . . . do I really derive the same nutritional benefit as what I would have derived from eating the one pound of tomatos? Really?
          Reaaallly? That difference between “munny” and wealth is the other thing Soddy wanted people to understand.

    4. JohnL

      The Steve Keen presentation is great stuff. He credits Robert Ayres ( with the application of thermodynamics to economies. Chemical engineers use mass and energy balances in modeling of systems, but are able to draw a box around the system and pull in energy from and push waste to the outside that box. These are the “externalities” which those of us outside the box see as mining, drilling, pumping, burning, and polluting. These guys are making the system box bigger – a whole country’s or the whole planet’s economy. When you do this the only true externality is solar energy. Suggestions to hold companies responsible for their environmental impact is an example of this kind of approach. This presentation shows how that’s grounded in the basic laws of physics. Ayres additionally suggests that the way forward might be to decouple growth from its thermaodynamic limits by treating growth as “better” rather than more. i.e. producing better quality products and services with less energy. Really good stuff.

      1. Lambert Strether

        I could be stepping into some macro skirmish… But that said, I find the starting point in Minsky and sector balances very re-assuring. It also seems to me that the larger, almost planetary frame that Keen provides is a key to the idea of “public purpose” that is so important to MMT. (After all, even if all energy does come from outside the system, in the form of sunlight, and even if, over the long term, it’s a long slide down to disorder, nonetheless we an evolve up the down staircase (as it were) for some time to come….

        1. JohnL

          A light bulb moment for me is realizing that this _is_ the way that economies work. Economists and politicians may convince themselves that the small piece of the economy that they’re studying – TBTF banks, the money supply, the stock market, whatever – plays by a different set of rules, but that’s because they’re leaving other things outside the box. Like saying a coal fired power station makes sense. It only does if you externalize the mining and the pollution. Once these are brought inside the box the economics are different.

          Just because main stream economists won’t give this stuff the time of day doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t use it as a way to visualize how the economy works to help us in our investing, financial decision making, and planning for the future.

          John Michael Greer has also stressed the near equivalence of energy consumption and what we like to call economic growth, and of ever increasing energy consumption with “progress”. Some sociologists rate the “development” of societies by their per capita energy consumption.

          Energy return on energy invested is another example of drawing the box around the system a little bigger, but still doesn’t include the pollution, CO2, etc.

          Living on an island focuses the mind, especially when considering sustainablity. Our energy, much of our food, and some of our water has to be brought in, our garbage has to be shipped out. From the perspective of the mainland, we consume resources and produce garbage, with maybe some good karma and art as a byproduct.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            JohnL says:
            “Like saying a coal fired power station makes sense. It only does if you externalize the mining and the pollution. Once these are brought inside the box the economics are different.”

            Did you just realize this? Were you born yesterday? Are you a physicist?

        2. tiebie66

          Yes, it will reinforce the “accounting” aspect of MMT (IMO a most valuable, but not sufficiently granular, part of MMT). On the other hand, it will be very painful for the “jobs guarantee” part since one cannot really guarantee efficiency that way, and if one presses ahead regardless, it will cause a lot more environmental (and ultimately social) harm than may occur in the absence of the jobs guarantee. It will also create pain for the “government can step in to counter falling aggregate demand” MMT view because falling aggregate demand may very well be needed to reduce energy waste. That is, falling aggregate demand may point to severe trouble trying to come close to break even (2nd law) and it should not be compensated for in the blind ways of government (if it can be compensated for at all).

          It is also worth realizing that we’ve known about entropy in another guise for a very long time: before the advent of the steam engine it was known as/embodied by ‘labor’ (animal or human). But recasting this in a more contemporary rigorous form as Keen and colleagues are doing will be very valuable.

          1. JTFaraday

            Any attempt to tie the question of how we organize society to an immutable law, be it putatively a “natural” or moral(istic) one, is brooking disaster because the most powerful elements in society always manage to use such immutability as the rationale for a social arrangement that benefits it and which it declares “inevitable.”

            This is exactly what we face now. We have a social darwinian order that is presented as “natural” and moral and inevitable and not to be challenged, because challenging the natural order of things is oxymoronic.

            Every time historical actors have attempted to deploy nature in the service of the common good, the attempt was subverted into a political justification of the privileges of the powerful.

            This is not not say we don’t labor under material constraints as a society–and I don’t care if Steve Keen is Tom Paine, Himself–but these cosmological metaphysical frameworks for organizing social life have got to go.

            It would be better to say there is no such thing as “economics” at all, than to say that economics and physics are one and the same thing and allow their priest craft to order your life.

          2. JTFaraday

            And I say this because you’re all already bringing in “the laws” of physics because you think you can deploy them in the way you wish to effect outcomes you want.

            But that’s a “political question,” to quote a favorite of these neo-orthodox economists, and you only control that if you control politics, which you don’t.

            The effect of importing natural laws into political scenario like that is to make the decisions arrived at by the deciders that much more immutable.

            I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

  14. Hugh

    Volcker is kind of your good cop kleptocrat. It’s important to remember that his high interest rate policies in the late 70s and early 80s were seminal in the construction of the kleptocracy that plagues us. His high interest rates resulted in the repeal of anti-usury laws in the 1980 Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act, and his war on inflation began a 30 year campaign by the Fed to target any increase in workers’ wages as inherently inflationary and to be suppressed. Volcker is often treated as an elder statesman, but the truth is he is more of an elder bankster.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re so right about the CPI being a disguised war on workers’ wages.

      MMT is better off fighting the false inflation war then to just say when there is inflation, they will tax more.

  15. kevinearick

    White Niggers, Multiplier Effects & Money

    Don’t bother with your WIKI definitions or spelling corrections. For those still incapable of reading, we have popped the assumption stack of corporate History off all the way to black Egypt, at the time of Rah, new empire same as the old empire, something-for-nothing consumption niggers competing to be top nigger. Relative to Buffet and Gates, government monopoly niggers, Obama is the butler.

    If you want to be an ambassador, you might want to read the job description before you put your money down. You get wine, caviar, and cheap company, the opportunity to pretend you are an important person before economic slaves lower in the pecking order than the ones here. You are buying a greater illusion of relative wealth disparity. You don’t get to be James Bond, despite all the encouragement from the people there.

    When the CIA operatives start acting funny, it means you crossed the line. You might want to blow up your car and change addresses. The CIA doesn’t have to put a bullet in your head anymore. All it has to do is nothing, because it ensures that the US citizen is the target, and the generals get decapitated. That is how far the US has sunk into the slime. Good thing Bush hired those guys, as scapegoats for Obama, for, for, for…

    If you allow the empire to define your language, which they all seek to do, you have lost the war before it has begun. The problem with the US economy is that the hypocrite US voter no longer earns moral authority in the world. New Jersey, Chris Christie, Hurricane Sandy; do you really want your children and grandchildren to be watching increasingly stupid re-makes of this sh-show?

    So, as government recedes from your location, you will be left with the nigger on the hill with bank, but he/she has pissed everyone with productive capacitry off, and cannot afford the escalating cost of police protection for long, absent the receding empire subsidies. Some people’s money is worth more than others. You don’t value currency from a +20X multiplier/producer the same as you do for a -20X consumer. The white nigger in Elma WA has hanger upon hanger of other people’s property he stole, legally, but he cannot afford 500 cops. My family tree is loaded with empire fruit, of empire knowledge.

    If you want to look at what is just around the corner, graph tax receipts adjusted by the price of gold relative to the US dollar over time. Gold never holds its value, but neither are we going back to US dollar hegemony. At reversion, currency conversion passes through the talent capable of holding the gates to renewed economic mobility.

    I know most of you have identified your gates and are orbitting. Be patient. We are going to blow all the gates simultaneously, relative to empire time constraints. You just make sure you hit them without delay. Your initial gate is the one that offers minimum and maximum profit probabilities at time of open, to equilibrium through the series relative to your time.

    The only things in life worth doing are those that have never been done before, solving problems no one else is a position to solve. High fences make good neighbors. Adjust your fences and teach your children to do the same.

    If the system still bars you, there is nothing wrong with collecting welfare. In fact, from an economic perspective, it’s relatively more profitable to others than working for a public, private, or non-profit corporation, all of which have large negative multiplier effects, because of the inherent stupidity of empires. The participants assume profit in make-work by choosing to accept the obviously positive misallocation feedback signals, in ponzi layers, applying anxiety electrical shock to themselves with increasing frequency. The faster they go, the faster they must go, devaluing the currency accordingly.

    But do something, anything productive that is of interest to you, and sooner or later it will become a business. Help a disabled person, clean the street, take care of an abandoned park, whatever. The empire crashes itself and rules you into its place at reversion, by process of eliminating reduction of peer groups. If you are a laborer, you don’t want to belong to the empire, regardless of payment, in monopoly money. Let it set your rate by averaging the pay of high and low niggers. That’s what empires are designed to do.

  16. Synopticist

    The Greek elites are something trully horrible. I wa slating Latin American elites the other day, but the Greek super-rich as every bit as bad. The greediest, most shameless in Europe. They claim to be patriotic, but not enough to pay any taxes.

    There’s a link in De Speigal article to another which claims that only 200 Greeks declared an income of over 500,000 Euros. Doctors are worst tax dodgers. Health care is supoposedly free, but if you need an operation, you have to hand over thousands of Euros to the surgical team. No bribes, no operation.

    Lawyers routinelly cheat.” A lawyer in Thessaloniki who wished to remain anonymous says it is really quite simple to cheat on taxes. “Until recently, there was a minimum fee of €300 for presenting a case in court. Big-shot lawyers would charge their clients thousands of euros, yet would only give a receipt for €300. I know of wealthy lawyers who have been in the business for 30 years who do not pay a single euro in taxes. Some of them even boast of getting tax returns…”

    Greek has a pretty ugly society in a lot of ways.

  17. Hugh

    Romney’s rationalizations are really just a repetition of his 47% rant, and show that yes, he really did mean all that.

    His point about healthcare is quite simply a lie. Health insurance is not healthcare. Most of the uninsured are going to be forced by the mandate to buy insurance. So they are out the premium and left with a policy most likely with high deductibles and copays administered by a predatory insurer. This will be a cash cow for insurance companies, not some super deluxe freebie for ordinary Americans.

    As for the poor, if they qualify, they already can get crappy Medicaid coverage. As for the Medicaid expansion, the Roberts decision put a spike in it, and many states have or are threatening to opt out of it. So those people will be caught between the mandate and Medicaid and left without insurance.

    Romney like so many in our elites is just an insufferably entitled kleptocratic as*hole. He’s the kind of guy who thought himself terribly ill used when the French put his like in a tumbril and sent them off for a neck trim in the 1790s. Trash companies, fire workers, gut their pensions, sell off the now garbage barge to unsuspecting investors, avoid every cent possible in taxes, and rather embrace you the lower classes resent you. Romney just can’t get his head around that. And that Robama and Obomney are a modern version of Tweedledum and Tweedledee should tell you everything you need to know about how very screwed up, and 1780s France, things are in this country.

  18. curlydan

    On the BP fine, hopefully there is at least one more mega-fine (maybe $21B) in the future: As David Dayen noted at FDL:
    “As one of the most profitable oil companies in the world, they can handle a $4.5 billion fine, and apparently there’s no fear of reputational risk from this. BP has reserves of $42 billion dedicated to the Gulf oil spill. They’ve already committed an estimated $7.8 billion for class action claims from individuals and businesses, and the $21 billion for Clean Water Act violations lurks in the distance.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      CD: “they can handle a $4.5 billion fine, and apparently there’s no fear of reputational risk from this”

      Must be a *British* thingy. Like the “Lord” accused of child sexual abuse in the BBC report: He can “handle” the Hush Money deposit into the poor bloke’s Swiss or Cayman account (or he can “handle” the dealer of the death threat to the “accuser”) , so that there’s no more “fear of reputational risk” –and here’s the kicker: He can collect the amount of the Hush Money and More in his libel suit against the BBC: it’s a two-fer! Oh, it’s nice to be one of the .01% Bloods protected by the owner of the Isle of Jersey. The .01% Blood message is clear: *Omerta* is the Sovereign Contract; whoever breaches this shall die.

      1. wbgonne

        “So if we know this, why didn’t we just take it all? And then go for a penalty?”

        I assume that’s a rhetorical question. If not, the answer is Joe Lieberman. Or the GOP. Or the Supreme Court. Or god. The answer certainly is NOT that Obama is Big Oil’s best friend evah.

      2. Antifa

        Why are we ‘settling’ with BP/Halliburton at all? What they did out in the Macondo region was drill at least five wells into and through a highly unstable geological layer of ancient salt deposits, fracturing the seal this salt layer provided over the oil deposits.

        They created a geological disaster zone where oil will slowly force its way up through the shattered salt overlay around their abandoned wells and leak into the Gulf for centuries if not millenia.

        The entire value in money of one thousand corporations as wealthy as British Petroleum could not begin to repay the damage done to the deep seabed out there near the Macondo site, nor — more importantly — restore it to what it was.

        The leaking will never stop. That’s why BP sold all its deepwater Gulf operations recently to a US firm and “got the hell out of Dodge.”

  19. Sundog

    This is a solid piece arguing for a much higher minimum wage, written by the publisher of The American Conservative.

    I had no idea that Australia’s minimum wage is $16.50. Combine that with universal access to health care at prevailing OECD rates of expenditure in terms of %GDP, and the median standard of living in the US would look pretty decent.

    Raising American Wages…by Raising American Wages

    By Ron Unz, The American Conservative

    1. Klassy!

      The problem is is that the article is too sensible. Anyway, our prez is already on the case… oh wait that is so 2008.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From Mathbabe:

    ‘…it does not constitute a proof if I’ve convinced only myself that something is true. It only constitutes a proof if I can readily convince my audience, i.e. other mathematicians, that something is true.’

    It seems then math is people-dependent. You need multiple living humans to say it’s true.

    What about its existence? Does it not exist without humans perceiving it?

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      The Platonic school maintains that mathematical
      objects like numbers really exist, for some sense
      of “really”.

      There are many philosophies, it’s very nuanced.

      I say mathematics exists in our minds, but the
      math thoughts and proofs can be buggy like a
      computer program with a bug. By sharing the
      mathematical ideas with other people, the thoughts,
      objects and proofs become less “buggy”.

      Maybe there’s more to mathematical existence
      than just as ideas in our minds. I don’t know.

        1. craazyman

          I sent a question to Math Babe’s Aunt Pythia’s advice column asking how high numbers go.

          I once counted all the way to 734 then fell asleep.

          I know they go higher than that, alot higher, but I’m not sure how high.

      1. craazyman

        if they are more than just in our minds, they would have to fit someplace. depending on how high they go, they either will or won’t fit, all at once. the universe may not be big enough to fit them all, so they’d have to stop going up at some point.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          craazy, George Cantor of Halle went insane trying to map infinity on a plane of points of infinitesimal division. Where does “number” begin or end?

          1. craazyman

            he was probly insane before he started thinking about it.

            remember, correlation is not causation. hahaha

            afer all, who but a nut job would waste their time on something so meaningless? Zeno took the same idea and made it into a joke. that seems right to me.

          2. craazyman

            as long as I’m thiking about this, we can also observe that Isaac Newton took the same idea and just assumed it for his own purposes because he needed it, but didn’t worry about what it meant “philosophically speaking”. that also works. it’s sort of artistic, actually.

        2. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          Proofs in mathematics can be checked by finite
          logic analysis, starting from a few axioms and
          rules of inference.
          That way, we can give a finitely long proof that
          there are infinitely many prime numbers:
          2, 3, 5, 7 and so on.

          A famous 19th century mathematician said or
          wrote: “God created the integers. All the rest
          is the work of man.”

          He didn’t believe in Georg Cantor’s theory
          of transfinite (more than one level of
          infinity) ordinal and cardinal numbers.

          Some set theorists think so-called “large cardinal”
          axioms are plausible. “Large cardinals” are/would
          be so big infinities that commonly accepted
          ZFC set-theory can’t prove they exist. But
          everyone accepts that a pre-requisite is that
          ZFC be consitent, i.e. doesn’t/can’t prove
          both “P” and not(P) , a contradiction.

          Some people aren’t so sure that ZFC is consistent,
          and that it just might be inconsistent. A proof
          that ZFC were inconsistent would force
          mathematicians to have a “long think” on revising
          the ZFC axioms and rules of inference.

        3. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          There’s at least one mathematician with a substantive record of peer-reviewed math articles to his credit, that basically believes that “infinite number of positive
          integers”: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, …
          is a sham.
          He has written that according to him, the whole universe
          is discrete, and has a large but finite number of
          parts (roughly). In other words, really really
          unending natural numbers is a misconception.

          I think his view is very much minority, especially
          given the bold and confident expression on
          the nature of things, per his written post/article.

          1. craazyman

            that’s exACLty what I was thinking.

            i was thinking if you counted every electron and proton and quark in the universe, it would still be a finite number. there would be nothing left to count

            , unless the universe itself is infinite. and if the universe is infinite, then there must be some big problem with our notions of space and time.

            that’s as far as I got with this topic, or ever will. :)

    2. different clue

      I hope this isn’t some kind of deconstructivationist underminement of the concept of truth, proof, and reality.

      I hope this isn’t part of a psy-war effort to sell the concept that there is no proof for global warming if people don’t accept the proof. If it is, then let the mathemystical deconstructavors who make this arguement go buy a beach house and live by the sea.

  21. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NC Link 16Nov12: “Energy, Production and Entropy Steve Keen”

    At first, it’s exciting, Economics according to the Laws of Thermodynamics is a brilliant idea for the “complex dynamic system” — then Keen shows his model and we see that he must be in Bed with BIS. Imagine this innovation: A Private Banking System connected with one or more “other” banking systems. Oh say, do you see that the Private Bank Gated Community–let’s call it *Mount Olympus* or *Valhalla* (maybe their DNA combined)–is at the center of the known world?

    Irving Fisher must be glowing with pride. Who says “I can’t get no satisfaction” Stoned? Can you wait to see this Commonwealth *Brit* tapped as White Knight of the Divine Global Economic Order, by his Solar Sovereign in Skirts?.

  22. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

    Bad joke …

    Question: What’s the difference between China and the US?

    Answer: China has one-party government, but the
    US has two-party government.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s antidote.

    They remind me of the masons of Inca who could carve stones to fit that tightly.

  24. spooz

    Dunno if referring to “the website” is a filterable offense…
    however, just thought I’d let you know zerohedge has a dude Yves Lamoureux posting as “Yves”. Today was his first zh post; the only other post I could find on the internet was a 2010 business insider post. Not that Yves is your trademark or anything, just thought there may be some confusion there since your blog is so popular.

    The zh “Yves” BI post from 9/2010 said the “Gold Bull” was quitting the rally and going long cash. His second post from today talks about hyperinflation, I think, based on the title.

      1. Max424

        Giggle on the rock head.

        Good use of the word jacquerie, though. And the link is a defense of Keynes, Assange, and debt jubilees in rebellious Ecuador,* which is all right by me.

        *Ecuador is one tough little bastard country (defiantly bucking the neo-liberal pogrom!). My mission this week is to learn more about em.

        1. Max424

          Note: When I think of Ecuador, if I ever have at all, I get mental picture of an overburdened llama hauling shit up (or down) a twisting mountain path.

          From the link, I now see coca leaves spilling out the sides of the llama’s packs, seeing as how cocaine production has been legalized in Bolivia.

          It’s a pretty mixed up picture, to be sure. It’s not just that Bolivia and Ecuador are completely different nations (hell, they’re not even adjacent), it’s the point that I have no clue whatsoever if llamas are used as beasts of burden.

          I don’t think they are, they’re too cute to be doing slave labor, but still, I have this image of them working their ass off up in the high country. Don’t know why.

  25. Miller-Modiggler

    The scale of extraordinary financial gifts to old white males dwarfs everything else…TARP and ZIRP, defense spending, farming subsidies, etc.

      1. Valissa

        Thank god it’s Pi day! Cartoons for the math literati…

        Savage chickens reflect on pi

        Classic “Dear Pi’ letter

        Picky, picky pi

        Riddle me this

        Finally, it is proven: Pi=Pie

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Speaking of chicken pi’s, what about (remember these are only jokes) Apple Jews (they like apples and/or Apple products), or can you speak Mandarin with a mandarin in your mouth?

        2. Aquifer

          I always thought pie are round until i heard pi are squared, but when you square a pi don’t you get a round? Or is that only if you get around tuit, whatever the hell that is …

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How about, how many consecutive times a person can bring peace to the world?

        Harder still, how many consecutive times can a committee tell, beforehand, a person will go on to bring world peace in the future?

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese want more houses.

    You could see it coming from a while back. Apparently cave dwellings that served Mao and his Long March survivors well are out of fashion these days. More Northern Chinese want above-ground dwellings – that means houses.

  27. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Lambert, Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert are the REAL married “Nick & Nora” of our time. With Sophia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” in mind, I think she is the right Director for the launch of the series of the high-spirited, hip Financial Detective Couple everyone loves. Imagine their adventures in London, Paris, New York, Milan, Venice, and OMG Bucharest or Riga!

    This tip is *in the Tao*, Lambert, the timing is perfect. Let’s see Max&Stacey put “Smiley’s People” to shame. America First! Let the Coppola Family’s North Beach and Italian Bohemian Vision ROCK the World of Anglo Low Sleaze in High Finance. Lambert, Sophia may accept a call from Maine.

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      I saw the video skit of the Exorcism of Blythe Masters.
      Reverend Billy’s line: “I’m a sinner.” was believable
      and comical.

  28. diptherio

    Regarding the Atrios article, There is no Crisis:
    I sometimes wonder if the Grand Canyon is not, in fact, a gargantuan memory-hole, and that is why we Americans seem to have zero temporal perspective or historical sense. We don’t remember what happened last week, much less in 2007. Each economic catastrophe, each natural disaster, each fallacious political claim, is reported, understood and experienced as totally isolated from all other things. Nothing is ever presented or thought of in historical context, but just as “another damn thing” that follows the damn thing that came just before it. The collective American psyche is like the headline scroll at the bottom of a 24 hour cable news channel; each event grabbing our attention for a few moments before disappearing off the right-hand side of the screen, to be immediately replaced be the next, unrelated event, the next random headline.

    We are absorbed by the crisis of the moment, totally immersed in the spin and narrative of this thing, right now, and then…down the memory-hole.

    1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

      That’s why I like long-form articles, as exemplified
      by Sy Hersch’s columns on National Security at
      the New Yorker.

      I’ve partly given up on media subsidized by

      I recently received the two most recent issues
      of the “New Left Review”, made in Britain.
      The authors are social scientists, historians,
      marxist economists, etc.

      There’s very often a very good historical
      perspective of “commonly received ideas”,
      debates and struggles.

      A selection of articles can be viewed on-line.
      An issue of NLR can be 160 pages long …

    2. Maximilien

      That’s why Gore Vidal called America “The United States of Amnesia”. He said that Americans weren’t stupid, just ignorant. And deliberately kept that way.

      In keeping with that, I suppose the memory of Vidal will soon disappear into the Grand Canyon, if it hasn’t already.

  29. Aquifer

    i am really glad to see a discussion of the idea of what we call the “economy” being, in truth, just a box inside the larger real “economy” called “the planet plus sun”. Any economic theory that encompasses less is just a REALLY flagrant example of the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness …

    I hope there will be not only further development of this concept but actual incorporation of it in every facet of our planning and politics …. It really does tie the whole shebang together …

    1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      The big problem is we have an atmosphere. If we could get rid of that, we could utilize unlimited solar energy!

  30. Charles Yaker

    With regard to NDAA does anybody wonder if any Members of the US Officer Corps will give thoaght to the following from their oath

    “I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; ”

    Or is that just too far out?

    1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

      There is some 80 year old general somewhere on the net (some gun site) advocating military coup based on supporting the constitution.

      But then I also read there is a 2008 Bush inspired law clarifying that the rank in file of the military is supposed to obey their immediate commandeers, whom in turn are supposed to obey the Commander In Chief.

      So no more interpreting Constitutional Law among the military !

      So we now need a WTF moment.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Today it’s all in terms of NATO: President is Commander to Secretary of Defense who gives orders to the “Combatant Commanders” — NATO is the Western Military and all Ports are now considered NATO Ports. The over-arching system for Shipping Merchant or Military (Government) is the NATO Port System. NATO serves the interests of the Global .01%DNA Sovereign Bloods/Haplotypes.

  31. Kim Kaufman

    “David Simon: Media’s sex obsession is dangerous, destructive ”

    I believe Eliot Spitzer said the way to bring down the banksters is to look at the sex and drugs on their expense accounts.

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