Links 11/2/12

Hedgehog trapped in crisp packet in Weston-super-Mare BBC (Richard Smith). Only in England….

Coup at Environmental Journal? Inside Higher Ed (Aquifer)

The Eurozone’s Combined Manufacturing PMI Fell To 45.4 Clusterstock. Germany sucked too.

Coalition troubles in Athens FT Alphaville

Storm over ‘Lagarde list’ intensifies Financial Times and Greek journalist acquitted in Swiss account scandal Reuters (Richard Smith)

Storm porn:

Millions Stuck in Dark, Cold Wall Street Journal

Isolated and forgotten: NYC’s hard-hit Staten Island say help is slow to come … Fox News

Outrage In The Powerless Zone: A Dispatch From Downtown Manhattan Gothamist

NYC Subway Riders May Be Dealing With The Effects Of Hurricane Sandy For Years Clusterstock. FYI, we said this in our post today….and I was really hooked on reliable the trains were :-(

Dumpster divers swoop in to grab $40,000 worth of pricy fresh food New York Daily News

Outages Expose Carriers’ Backup Plans Wall Street Journal

Why Europe deserves your respect: They had first word on Hurricane Sandy Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Lambert)

A Crisis Foretold: Studies Warned New York Infrastructure Critically Threatened by Climate Change Democracy Now (Nikki)

Why Seas Are Rising Ahead of Predictions: Estimates of Rate of Future Sea-Level Rise May Be Too Low Science Daily (furzy mouse)

Economic Loss Estimate Is Now Up to $50 Billion New York Times.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath Reveals Massive Inequality Gap in New York City Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

Ads Pushing for Romney Victory Vary by Area on Abortion Issue Bloomberg

Roger Ailes Offered Bush Administration “Off the Record Help” in Private Note Gawker (Lambert)

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Obama Fadhel Kaboub, New Economic Perspectives

Ron Wyden Blocks Surveillance Bill That Is Barack Obama Priority Roll Call (Lambert)

Chart: Almost Every Obama Conspiracy Theory Ever Mother Jones (furzy mouse)

Revealed: the day Obama chose a strategy of silence on climate change Guardian

Ohio Supreme Court rules for homeowners in foreclosure case Cleveland Plain-Dealer

War on Facts: Republicans Complain About Nonpartisan Congressional Study on Tax Cuts for the Rich, Get It Taken Down David Dayen, Firedoglake

Barclays case shocks the energy market Financial Times. As much as cases like this are badly overdue, it also feeds perceptions that American regulators are only willing to get tough on non-US institutions (what about JP Morgan and silver markets??? Or as Matt Taibbi has pointed out, pretty much all the major US banks and municipal bid rigging?)

Little Federal Help for the Long-Term Unemployed New York Times

Low Rates Lure Yield Seekers Onto Thin Ice Bloomberg

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 55 and counting*

Can you help a fellow American down on his luck? — Fred C. Dobbs, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Montreal. Corruption: “A computer program that for years spat out wildly inflated estimates on public works contracts in Montreal is still being used by the city to help determine how much infrastructure projects should cost.” Gee, I’m trying to think if there are other computer systems under elite control in criminogenic environments….

AL. Abortion: “One of the photos in this article is human. One is an eleven week old elephant fetus. Can you spot the difference? If you can’t, should you be deciding these matters for everyone in the country? Think about it. Take all the time you need. ”

CA. Police state: “People who’ve e-mailed Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan over the past year about Occupy Oakland probably didn’t get much of a response. [H]e used a spam filter to dismiss messages sent to him with “Occupy Oakland” in the subject line/ Same goes for the phrases “stop the excessive police force,” “respect the press pass” or “police brutality.” [T]hose messages went straight into his junk mail folder, which he apparently never looked at. Because of those filters, Jordan missed e-mails from other city officials and a federal court monitor.” Never forget that police state functionaries aren’t necessarily smart or competent. … Charters: “‘With an unprecedented surge of cash from charter schools and their high-tech backers, normally low-profile school board campaigns have morphed into big-bucks contests to elect charter-friendly candidates and defeat their challengers. The six-figure spending by independent committees highlights the muscle of charter proponents in Santa Clara County, where the county Board of Education is rapidly approving charter schools that compete for students and funding with established public schools.”

DC. Occupy the Department of Veteran’s Affairs: “The Small group of veterans and their supporters who have been encamped in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs at, 810 Vermont Ave, in Washington, DC, just several hundred yards from the White House, have been battling it out with the with the V.A. since the beginning of October.”

FL. System D? “‘The still, that was just a science project,’ said a sheepish Mark Davis, 38, a friend who both men agree helped assemble the still out of an empty beer keg.”

GA. Occupy Athens: “‘There were a lot of anarchists and punks that thought there was going to be a revolution,’ [Chris Dowd, 37] said. ‘Then, when they realized there wasn’t going to be a revolution they left. Then there were a lot of mainstream liberals that came in, but a lot of them had work and other things going on.'” … Public good: “Dr. Todd Groce, President of the Georgia Historical Society: ‘This is not just about people doing historical research. The State Archives exist to allow the citizens to be able to have access to the information as to what is going on within their government.‘” Which would be why it’s on the chopping block!

IN. Mourdock: “The major party candidates in IN’s U.S. Senate race are pointing to sharp upticks in online contributions as evidence that R nominee Richard Mourdock’s recent controversial remarks about rape and abortion are increasing their grassroots support.”

MD. Enthusiasm: “Harriet, a phonebanker with MOCO Democrats, called my cell yesterday asking for money. I politely, calmly, said No, please take my name off this call list. She said, Sure, then asked me why, and I politely, calmly told her an abbreviated and profanity-free version of what I motherfucking yodel here. She sighed. You’re not the first.”

ME. Democrats: “‘The scariest thing for Ds is that this will be their second nominee for a major race who will come in with under 20 percent of the vote in two years,’ said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. ‘They have a lot to worry about.'” … Occupy Our Homes: ” Members of Occupy Maine are focusing their efforts on housing foreclosures. The newly formed Occupy Our Homes [here] is offering services that include general information, legal assistance, and fundraising. Some of the core activists involved participated in the occupation of Lincoln Park in Portland. [Another was from] Minneapolis, MN, where one of the first Occupy Our Homes groups was founded.” … Wind: “Staff at the state’s top environmental agency recommended the denial Thursday of an application to build a 14-turbine industrial wind site on Passadumkeag Mountain, saying the windmills would disrupt a “one-of-a-kind” view from Saponac Pond.”

MI. Referendum: “MI’s controversial emergency manager law appears to be in trouble with 43% of MI voters ready to scrap it and just 35% wanting to keep it, a Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) poll shows.”

MN. Occupy Homes: “‘It wasn’t an attorney, it wasn’t a loss mitigation specialist, it wasn’t a collection agent, it wasn’t a mortgage broker, it wasn’t even an executive — it was a social-media liaison,’ says Occupy organizer Anthony Newby. ‘They’re paying very close attention to this public narrative. What they haven’t figured out is how to combat it, how to effectively neutralize what’s becoming an outcry of public opinion around the country'” (good long form).

MT. Corruption: “The office of the Montana Commissioner on Political Practices was burglarized Wednesday night, police and office staffers said. [A spokesperson] said that the so-called ‘Colorado Documents’* that may contain sensitive information on 23 candidates in Montana, are in a secure location and are not missing” [*the “meth house” trove].

ND. Voting: “[ND] is the only [state] with no voter registration. Ds are imagining buses of ineligible voters streaming to polling places, particularly arriviste oil-field workers in the booming northwest corner of the state who could cast affidavit ballots even if not they’re not permanent North Dakota residents.”

NJ. Christie 2016! “Governor Christie has a particular loathing for NJ Transit. His [first] budget cut $300 million from NJ Transit, causing fares to skyrocket and improvements to be cut. Instead, Christie’s administration gave $300 million to the developers of a white elephant shopping mall extravaganza in the Meadowlands. Those developers lost their shirts in 2008 before they could finish the mall that nobody wanted. This is the same governor who yells at teachers and makes the rest of us feel like parasites. He belongs to the party that cut back unemployment bennies for people in this state by 26 weeks. Let’s not make a hero out of Christie.” … Voting: “‘I’d like to have the polling places powered up for next Tuesday,’ Christie told reporters. ‘I’m not yet to the point where I know whether we’re going to be able to do that or we’re not going to be able to do that.'”

NM. Police state: “A state motor transportation police officer Tased a 10-year-old student during a school career fair in May in Tularosa, causing him to black out, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy’s family. Officer Christopher Webb pointed the stun gun at the boy after the boy made a joke and said, ‘Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.’” An accident. Not systemically, though.

NY. Ursula Rozum: “Even though the [R donor] Graces’ contributions would more than triple the amount of money she has to spend in the last week of the campaign, [Green candidate Ursula] Rozum decided not to keep them. She held a press conference Thursday to announce that she would give the money to charity. ‘It’s rare that I have thousands of dollars to give to organizations that I like,‘ she said.” We will be hearing more from Rozum. … Hurricane Sandy: “The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) is using one of its exhibits to provide the community with free cell phone charging. Working with environmental group Times Up, MoRUS has set up OWS bike generators on Avenue C between 9th and 10th Street. For the past two days, volunteer riders have been pedaling as crowds of people gather to charge up their cell phones.” … Hurricane Sandy: “I was told that 70 percent of people living in public housing down there, which someone estimated was 15,000–20,000 people, are without power. Keep in mind that this community is already highly marginalized–far from services, with peeling paint and poor management, where people in at least one building last year went three months without stoves and were told to cook on hot plates instead” (this is a good post about how to serve). … Hurricane Sandy: “Two days after Hurricane Sandy, the situation in the storm-stricken Rockaways and other southern Queens neighborhoods is getting worse in terms of the need for basic supplies and aid. Anger is growing that the government relief agencies have been slow to deal with the problems. ‘People are saying, there’s no National Guard, no Red Cross, no FEMA, they were elsewhere, but they weren’t here,’ [resident Dan] Mundy says. ‘This is a long term thing. They say 4 to 5 days for the power, but I think it’ll be 7 to 10, and then you have to check it’s safe, and then deal with the oil burners and the structural damage. Right now, we need a FEMA tent, food, hot showers'” (AH). … Hurricane Sandy: “As the days without power drag on for an estimated 600,000 New York City residents, hot showers and charged cell phones aren’t the only comforts missing in their lives. They’re also without heat.” … Hurricane Sandy: “‘We just saw all these people in the [Met Food] Dumpster. This isn’t a trash can. This is a heap of food,’ [NYU student Ilana Breen] said showing off a $7.49 bottle of organic vanilla chai she found. ‘We don’t have any power. I have this book bag and we are going to come back with a suitcase.'”

OH. Hurricane Sandy: “FirstEnergy reports that around 100,000 customers were still in the dark before dawn Thursday, with most of the outages concentrated in Cleveland and the western suburbs. The utility says it hopes to have most of it restored by the end of the weekend.” … Voting: “The 6th U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Wednesday put on hold a lower court’s ruling that said provisional ballots cast not just in the wrong precinct but in the wrong polling location altogether must still be counted.”

PA. Fracking: “The PA Department of Environmental Protection has created incomplete lab reports and used them to dismiss complaints that Marcellus Shale gas development operations have contaminated residential water supplies and made people sick, according to court documents and other sources.” … Fracking: “Toxic fracking wastewater is often stored in open air pits close to homes. Pursuant to the Clean Water Act, these facilities are required to prepare, amend and implement spill prevention plans. But, the NRDC reports [that the EPA] visited 120 oil and gas development sites and found 105 were out of compliance with the law. ‘This is all increasingly terrifying as Sandy bore down on the Marcellus region, where there are many open pits filled with fracking and related waste. Because the oil and gas industry is also exempt from our hazardous waste laws, no one knows exactly how dangerous the waste at any particular site might be,’ says [Amy Mall of the NRDC].” … The Romney: “‘Every sign points to a head-fake,’ said Keegan Gibson, the editor of ‘If they were responding to the underlying nature of the race, they would have gone up here a few weeks ago.'”

TN. Voting: “The TN Supreme Court Thursday ordered state and local election officials to accept Memphis’ library photo identification cards for voting purposes in Tuesday’s general election provided the voter is properly registered.”

TX. Women’s health: “Texas health commissioner Kyle Janek said Wednesday that errors in a state-crafted database intended to help women find reproductive health care providers are “a real problem.”

VA. Strategic hate management: “Wow. These are actual Romney supporters? I mean, they’re just (pick one or more adjectives): a) hateful; b) bigoted; c) nuts; d) clueless; e) brain dead; f) ignorant; g) rabid. It’s astounding, but there are tens of millions of people like this in our country. Sometimes I wonder how we ever make any progress at all. Ugh, I feel like I need a long, hot shower. More to the point, we can NOT let these people win; can you imagine what they’d do to this country? So do whatever you can possibly do in the next 4 days to elect Democrats across the board. Thanks.” Yes, I’m aware that strategic hate management is practiced by both legacy parties.

USVI. Warren Mosler: Interview here starts 16:04; Mosler is a candidate for USVI Representative.

WI. Occupy: “On Saturday, about a dozen people — most of them homeless — set up tents on the 800 block of East Washington Avenue, near the former Occupy Madison site.”] … The Obama: “Obama will wrap up his reelection campaign with a rally in Madison on Monday, November 5, the day before Election Day. It will be his second trip to town in a month. The AP reports that Bruce Springsteen will be performing at the rally.” Obama will be reprising his support for unions in the Walker recall campaign. Oh, wait….

Outside baseball. Utilities: “Energy consultant Steve Mitnick argued that more of those crews should have been on each company’s payroll in the first place, instead of called in from other states. “Those guys from MO, they don’t know the neighborhoods of NJ.'” … Where it hurts: “Intel has revealed new details about its plan to exclude organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation from its corporate giving, a move that could cost some Boy Scout troops thousands of dollars in donations. Meanwhile, [Zach Wahls of Scouts for Equality] whose campaign helped pressure Intel into announcing the plan has turned his attention to UPS, another of the Scouts’ corporate backers.”

The trail. Tipping point: “OH remains the tipping-point state in the forecast, the one that [Obama] him over the top to 270 electoral votes. There, [he] leads by 2.6%, which should convert to a victory about 80% of the time.Romney is not in a position to tolerate any movement in Mr. Obama’s favor given how close we are to the finish line” (Nate Silver). The dead woman/live boy scenario (as it has been all along). … The racist card: “[T]he well-read pro-Obama blog Balloon-Juice went far beyond legitimate, aggressive critique. Based on that article, the blog publicly smeared Stoller as a racist without the slightest basis [here] (Glenn Greenwald). [Par for the course with Obama’s thought police in the blogosphere. –lambert] … Media critique: “Like, some people say that Barack Obama will win re-election, while others say that his opponent, Mitt Romney, will prevail! WHO ARE WE TO TRUST?” … Swing states: “WaPo’s Chris Cillizza said today that he considers IA only the eighth-closest state (after CO, FL, VA, WI, NH, OH, and NC)” (via). … Voting: “Thomas Rymer, a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said the group will abide by election laws after officials in those states warned about possible criminal prosecution if the observers came within hundreds of feet of polling places. ‘The U.S., as a participating state and founding member of the OSCE, has made certain commitments to allow international observers,’ he said. ‘That said, our observers aren’t there to interfere.'” … Voting: “[T]he ability of voters to vote at all — presuming polling places are not flooded and voters are able to get to them — is imperiled by states such as VA, PN, WV, MD, NJ, NC and even OH, all of which force all, or some of their voters to vote on systems which simply do not work if they do not have power. While most of those states require a small percentage of emergency paper ballots be made available at the precincts, that number is unlikely to be enough in the event that voting machines are unavailable all day at the polls on November 6th. Moreover, battery backups on the electronic touch-screen systems are unreliable at best and, even when working, can only be counted on for a small number of hours.”

The Romney. Jeep flap: “For Ohioans targeted by Romney’s misleading rhetoric, the [Toledo Blade] confuses more than it clarifies.” … Air war: “The ads [one on Jeep] raise the possibility that the Romney campaign is employing a tactic that poses a crucial challenge to the press: attempting to win over late-deciding swing voters who have not been following the race with false and even previously debunked messages.”

The Obama. Colin Powell endorsement: Video. Because vials of anthrax! … Bloomberg endorsement: “[A]nd over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks.” While turning the country into a petro-state… … Economist endorsement: “[T]his newspaper would stick with the devil it knows.”

* Slogan of the day: The Wishes of Workers, Peasants and Soldiers in Their Hundreds of Millions Have Come True!

* * *

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. Ms G

    In Mayor Bloomberg’s NYC the Marathon takes precedence over people.

    Mayor Bloomberg arranges for three diesel powered generators for the NYC Marathon Tent. These generators produce 800 kilowatts of power — enough to power 400 homes in ravaged area of NYC.

    A Council member asked Office of Emergency Management for a generator to run pumps to get water to stranded seniors: OEM tells her “there are other priorities.”

    This is not “like” France at the end of Louis XVIth reign — it IS France at the end of Louis XVIth reign.

    1. Ms G

      Adding: Apparently the generators are owned by the NYC Runner’s Club (not the City). Bloomberg’s Philanthropy gives hundreds of milliions of dollars — can he afford a few generators for NYC residents?

      As well: Mayor Bloomberg is authorizing the diversion of NYPD, FDNY and EMT resources from aiding Sandy-battered residents to perform NYC Marathon duty. (Priorities, Priorities, Priorities).

      1. Aquifer

        That’s amazing – you can’t make this stuff up – no matter how cynical i am, i am perpetually reminded it is never enough – no wonder Bloomberg endorses Obama – sociopaths of a feather ….

        They must have be taking lessons from the Bush best celler – “How to (Mis)Behave in a Hurricane”….

    2. Leviathan

      The new mantra: “Let them run marathons” will not officially replace the old pro-cake formula (too fattening).

      The larger question, of course, as the bipartisan love fest swells to a rapturous climax on Tuesday (be still my foolish heart!) is this: what if FEMA, the NY and NYC governments’ responses to this storm is not much better than Brownie et al in New Orleans? But, shorn of the dead bodies and breakdown in order, this one appears much much better…And based on this impression, Obama gets the bump he needs to put him over the top?

      Could be the luckiest SOB in the nation’s history.

  2. Ms G

    NY Times on the “controversy” surrounding the mayor’s decision to hold the NYC Marathon in the midst of New York City’s near-Katrina.

    Staten Island, arguably the most devastated of all NYC’s areas, remains the starting point for the Marathon. Here is an apt comment from one of the NYT’s readers (comments are up to 477 as of now):


    With all due respect, many of the posters here are simply not aware of the facts on the ground. Staten Island, where the marathon begins, has been more devastated than any other part of New York City. Hundreds of homes have been washed away. People have died. Survivors are cold, dirty and hungry. To provide water and hot meals to recreational runners when so many locals are suffering is, to put it baldly, morally wrong.

    1. Rosie Ruse

      Regarding the Marathon:

      Sunday’s NYC Marathon a go…Everything is back to normal citizen runners, move along

      Disclaimer: If you decide to participate, AND: slip on any garbage or debris, fall into any flooded subway tunnels, or even, trip over any corpses, we will, of course, NOT be responsible for your safety!

    2. Aquifer

      I hope NYC residents – if they can find some soggy cardboard, will line the course with appropriate signs so the national/international media can get a load of what’s going on… Hope OWS shows up ……

  3. TK21

    “the well-read pro-Obama blog Balloon-Juice went far beyond legitimate, aggressive critique. Based on that article, the blog publicly smeared Stoller as a racist without the slightest basis”

    There are some truly vile people at that place. At least they’ll get the government they deserve for the next four years. Too bad we’ll get the government they deserve too.

    1. ohmyheck

      You want Nasty? These folks are the right-wing, Authoritarian, Obama Psycho-phant Worshippers, many of whom found Daily Kos too liberal and not psycho-phanty enough.

      Pot Meet Kettle, Mirror, Mirror…all of it. Fascinating psychological study material there.

      1. Synopticist

        I look at that site for 5 minutes sometimes, as a corrective for when the NC purity absolutists start getting on my nerves.

        They really are TOTAL believers, It’s like a cult. Or, worse still, they’re like republicans.

        1. ana

          Gee, I thought that when NC gets on your nerves with its finicky annoying principles, you could always look forward to that low-fat shit sandwich you picked from the table d’hôte menu of Chez Elections, and think about how finger-lickin’ good it’s going to be when you eat it next Tuesday, and what a discriminating gourmand you are for passing up the southern-fried shit sandwich with cheese.

          1. Synopticist

            Something along those lines ana, certainly.
            I do acknowledge that the sandwich has shit in it, but thats all there is to eat, and the other ones worse.

            The thing is, this is a rerun for me of the type of arguments I was having here in the UK, 2 and a half years ago. Just before the last election I was trying hard to persuade poeple on various left and liberal sites that the tories were going to be worse than the previous Labour government, and there WAS a difference between them, and that it was worth voting for that minor difference.

            Most people were convinced I was wrong, and that there was no point in bothering to vote for the more leftwing party. in fact, many argued, Labour was worse.

            Well Ana, you dont find too many leftist Brits making that same argument now.
            They know now there’s a difference between them alright. Maybe it’s not huge, but we’re watching our precious socialist health service being chopped up and sold to American health companies at an ever increasing pace, our welfare state is under sustained and ideologically driven assault, while we’re governed by incompetent offspring of the genetically privileged. Who also happen to be in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch. So thats our REALLY sh*tty sandwich.

            If an extra few percent of those who say they support Labour now had eaten the LESS sh*tty sandwich in 2010, we’d still have a grim situation. Britain woulod be run by most of the same politicians who failed to regulate and then bailed out the banks and quaffed freelly at the neo-con kool-aid. But in their defence, they’re mostly vaguelly to the left of centre, were trying to tackle tax havens, are funded largelly by trades unions and believe in re-disribution and an activist, healthy state. So sh*t, but not totally sh\t. The lesser sh*t sandwich.

            We wouldn’t be ruled by people who hate the very idea of a progressive society, who are funded mostly by financial interests and private health companies, and who are destroying the welfare state while cutting taxes for the rich because they’re hard right ideologues.

            It doesn’t take a electoral genius to see a similar dynamic in the US. Obama’s a prick frankly, but Romney is one of the biggest lying c*nts to ever run for office, and one of them’s winning it.

  4. Bill

    That Blue Virginia site is really disturbing, but it’s completely true. I grew up here in VA, and live here now, and I can go outside and see and talk to a^^holes like the young man is interviewing. It is now and always has been a cesspool of racism, homophobia and religious bigotry, with the exception of Northern VA which is very different from here in Eastern VA because it’s much more cosmopolitan due to the influence of DC.

    1. nobody

      “As Jimbo the newsstand owner here says, ‘They are losers who cannot cut it in the greatest society on earth. Darwin was right. Gandhi was wrong. Tough shit!’ This is the same guy who once advised me to ‘Always kick a man when he is down; it gives him incentive to get up.’ I sometimes think it was the meanest thing in hell that made America’s little working class towns such as Winchester.”


      “If your high school dropout daddy busted his ass for small bucks and never read a book in his life and your mama was a textile mill worker, chances are you are not going to be recruited by Yale Skull and Bones and grow up to be president of the United States, regardless of our national mythology to that effect. You are going to be pulling an eight-buck-an-hour shift work someplace and praying for enough overtime to make the heating bill. A worker.

      “The political left once supported these workers, stood on the lines taking its beatings at the plant gates alongside them. Now, comfortably ensconced in the middle class, the American left sees the same working whites as warmongering bigots, happy pawns of the empire. That is writing working folks off too cheaply, and it begs the question of how they came to be that way — if they truly are. To cast them as a source of our deep national political problems is ridiculous. They are a symptom of the problems, and they may be making it worse because they are easily manipulated, or because they cannot tell an original idea from a beer fart. But they are not the root cause by any means. The left should take its cues from Malcolm X…”

      1. Klassy!

        What does it say about these dembots that they are so eager to kick those at the very bottom?
        And speaking of Malcom X, if I remember correctly from my reading of his autobiography (very long time ago) he had some harsh words to say about the racism of the north.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Oh, I get that. I don’t have a solution. What I object to is the Huis clos nature of the discourse. Both sides are clearly trapped in a Hell of their own making, because that’s what hate creates, and especially industrially created, strategically managed hate. Unfortunately or fortunately, as the case may be, a 50% plus one victory for the Ds the linked-to site supports will do nothing for or with the 50% minus one with the Rs the linked-to site does not support.

      I know I sound like the Unity Pony loons in the 2008 primary, but I’m trying not to. Take the East-West Corridor up here. Both the hippies and the “Don’t Tread on Me” crowd are vehemently against it. The Corridor will probably go through unless both those factions can collaborate, in however a “porcupines making love” fashion. I find, for example, that a lot of “right wing loons” are in fact very sound on organic gardening, food, local food sovereignty, and the corruption of the supply chain by rentiers. I at least got one interlocutor to give consideration to single payer, on the basis that it was something small government should do, after we got rid of the empire.

      I’m not under illusions about the deeply creepy nature of the the Rs this D opposes, but I can’t see the answer being that the Ds should become equivalently creepy, although with different forms of creepiness.

      1. ohmyheck

        THAT is dah bomb. Prettyplease admins, put that in the links tomorrow. I hope everyone watches that video. Truth. Out.

      2. Aquifer

        Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up – Wow – boy are we screwed ….

        Especially the “pacifists” – who actually really don’t care that folks are getting blown away – they have “other reasons” for supporting him …

        1. Ms G

          Yes! Don’t you love those “pacifists”? They do look like they went to college (Smith, maybe?). How do you get a B.A. in anything with that level of muddlement in your brain?

  5. Stephanie

    Hello, hello….
    kinda frustrating to type in “” and be brought to 9/28. It always takes a little extra doing to get to the current day. Any chance you can fix that?

    1. craazyman

      some people would pay a large sum of money to go back to 9/28 and have a second chance at October. But I suppose everybody would have to go back all at once. If you’re there by yourself it wouldn’t work.

        1. craazyman

          oh boy. this is gonna be tricky. if you’re there, you can’t trust anybody. the fairies may have taken you back as part of some experiment and even the people around you might be fakes.

          the only sure way to know is find a sunrise/sunset calendar and see when the sun sets for 9/28 last year. It should have set this year about the same time, within a few minutes anyway. you have to see it set on the horizon for yourself, if you ask anyone they might be a fake and lie to your face.

          I wouldn’t ask anyone what the date is either. If you give any cause for suspicion you might be stuck there, always one month behind. I wouldn’t even trust the date on the newspaper.

          Let me know what you see and we’ll take if from there. If it really is 9/28, I have a few other ideas we can try to get you back. We may need a voodoo shaman to do some juju wuwu dancing in a trance state with an acorn and a deer antler. That’ll work, so don’t panic, but no point doing that if you’re really here in 11/2 and you’re just confused.

          1. aletheia33

            ok i haven’t told anyone my suspicions as i do not want to get stuck. it’s cloudy here right now so i’m not sure if the sunset check is going to work. plus that can be faked too right?

            …actually now i think i probably am really in 11/2 and have been a little confused. but it’s going to be 11/3 really soon. what can i do about that one craazyman?

            …actually now i suspect again i’m still in 9/28 and i may need that shaman rescue after all. meanwhile, have i missed anything?

  6. HealthyBabyClinic

    Re Romney and fetal survival…

    “Roundup has long been a top-selling weed killer. But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.”

    What is Romney’s position on something that not only kills tens of thousands of babies in utero but prevents women from having children?
    That is the genetically modified foods, [GMOS], that people have no idea they are eating because the lack of labeling.
    Genetically modified corn has a built in pesticide in every kernel. The corn is registered as a pesticide with the EPA. Plus it is sprayed with an herbicide, Roundup, that has been shown to cause miscarriage and promote infertility.

    Also, the process of using bacteria and viruses to smuggle cross-species genes into the DNA of soy used in formula, creates novel proteins and unknown epigenetic effects.

    Do you think Romney will come out against GMO infanticide?

    In addition, children suffer life threatening allergies because of GMOs. If you have children this short video explains the mechanism by which this happens and how to avoid it.

    If you live in California, please vote Yes on Proposition 37 Tuesday to label genetically modified food so that expectant mothers–and anyone else–can avoid it.

    1. Diogenes

      Though you were a crank, then googled this:

      The study, “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec”, was published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. The authors, Aziz Aris and Samuel Leblanc, examined the blood of 30 pregnant women and 39 nonpregnant women. All births associated with the study were considered normal; babies were at normal birth weights and considered healthy.

      The authors looked for:

      Glyphosate, brand name Roundup
      Gluphosinate, a broad-spectrum herbicide
      AMPA, aminomethyl phosphoric acid, a metabolite of glyphosate
      3-MMPA, 3-methylphosphinico propionic acid, a metabolite of gluphosinate
      Cry1Ab, the Bt toxin of gluphosinate—–”
      “The toxins designed into genetically modified crops are finding their way into the bloodstreams of all pregnant women and their fetuses. This shocking result belies the genetic modification industry’s claims that such toxins are destroyed by the digestive tracts of people who eat the animals fed these GMO crops. Obviously, that claim was based on nothing.”

      This is an update of an article featured in the movie

      I’m watching it now.

  7. Max424

    The First Rule of climate scientists at any major conference:

    1) You do not discuss the “methane problem”

    Why? Because it would be in bad taste. You would be showing, bad manners. You would be like a Kamikaze spitting his rice wine on the tarmac, declaring “My life is being wasted. The Emperor is just a man, and he can kiss my ass, but I will go just the same, for I can do no else.”

    Do you see? Pointless and uncouth, so why bring it up? Why point out the truth of things, if it causes others discomfort, especially if it doesn’t matter because the situation is completely hopeless?

    Climate change without the “methane problem” is difficult enough. The exponential function looms over everything. It’s that doubling thing. Temperatures double. Then they double again. There are feedback loops. Time elements to consider. In 100 short years (or 200 short years), the situation could be out of control, or God forbid, extinction-level catastrophic.

    It’s depressing, to be sure, but not in a horribly brutal way. One can think, “I will be gone, long before the end, and hopefully my grandchildren will be long gone too. And perhaps they’ll be smart, and not have kids, so someone down my DNA chain doesn’t see the worst of it.”

    “But 100 years is a long time! Enough time for world leaders to get their shit together, and even if they don’t, certainly more than enough of an interval for the techno-wizards to come up with a –geoengineered– solution!”

    Hope and miracles, the exponential function allows you that. But add the “methane problem” to climate change and you move beyond the exponential function and into tetration, a much darker place where change no longer doubles, but triples, quadruples, quintuples, and worse.

    And the time element? In tetration math, the distant future is no longer a point that you move slowly toward. Time races back at you. 100 years becomes 50, then it becomes 10, then it becomes 1, and then it is today.

    So you see? Why the First Rule was imposed? It would be rude to bring up the “methane problem.” Rude and uncivilized.

    And pointless.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      A couple years ago, I tried to create a scientific wager with my friends. Which comes first runaway climate change, or the Singularity?

      I proposed as that the first checkpoint would be either an ice free artic or the first sentient program. The consensus esitmate on both was mid-century.

      No one wanted the Singularity :( While Moore’s law is smooth, climate change is not. I wish there was an online prediction market that took long term bets…

      1. direction

        there are plenty of bookies in the UK that cover novelty bets and they work online now so go for it. In this case it would be interesting just to see where they set the odds. The only problem is that moment zero of the singularity is a definitive point in time but defining the moment where runaway climate change starts is rather fuzzy and part of a long term process, so good luck with that.

  8. leftover

    Re: MT Corruption…
    The link to the Gazette article returns an “Element not valid” error.
    Let’s try this one…
    Political practices reports apparent break-in

    In a related story…also in the Billings Gazette…
    Judge to sanction American Tradition Partnership

    A judge said Thursday that he will sanction American Tradition Partnership — at the center of several legal battles over Montana’s campaign laws — for failing to produce organizational records in a 2-year-old case where it is fighting allegations of illegal electioneering.

    American Tradition Partnership, formerly Western Tradition Partnership, is the group the Frontline exposé focuses upon.
    I wonder if the judge managed to get an actual physical address…not just a UPS postal box…Frontline couldn’t come up with one.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      ATP fits the set: Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the ubiquitous Public-Private Partnership (PPP): CIA made and delivered.

  9. Heretic

    Thoughts on Abortion

    Hello Lambert. This is concerning the paragraph below on Abortion/

    AL. Abortion: “One of the photos in this article is human. One is an eleven week old elephant fetus. Can you spot the difference? If you can’t, should you be deciding these matters for everyone in the country? Think about it. Take all the time you need. ”

    This argument which is used in being used to favor pro-choice is incorrect. It has a subtle implication that a fetus can be viewed as less than human. (since it is appears similar to an elephant fetus at 11 weeks gestation). However, every Human being must develop through this stage, so it is more objective to say that   
    being a fetus is part of the growth phase of a human life. We are no less human 1 minute before death (when we may be incapacitated and unconscious), 1 minute before birth, or at 11 weeks after conception.

    FYI… I do favour pro-choice in cases of very early stage gestation (ideally before the formation of the brain and spinal cord so that the little person cannot feel pain), or in medical emergencies, or cases of rape or incest.
    Late term abortions are an abomination and a willful disregard for the suffering inflicted on an innocent human life.
    We need better adoption and mother-to-be support systems and child welfare systems as well.

    It is a deficit of compassion, that our society does not care for the unborn, nor that we provide enough supports so that mothers do not need to choose abortion.

    1. Lambert Strether

      See the interesting article on glycophate above.

      I linked to the article because I thought it was an exemplary way to put the case. I don’t think that the debate as such is especially interesting any more except to those invested in either side of it. See threads above on glycophospate (sp) because I think that a more broad gauge notion of “compassion” is required.

      Stepping I think for the first time into this controversy, which no doubt is a terrible decision pragmatically, but groping toward an a-partisan theory of everything here–

      For example, the “pro-lifer”s are really “pro” only one life form, and (I would argue) privileging one phase of that life form over others (this is why the debate about what are in that frame edge cases all the way up from Roe v Wade will never be resolved; it is not resolvable).

      For example, the “pro-choicers” tend to project the “choices” they have onto everyone and assume they are universal. That is why, for example, it’s OK under Executive Order 13535 for ACA not to offer poor women choices that middle class women have. “It was the only way to get the bill passed!” Granting this arguendo, this is no longer about being pro-choice, but about making choices for others.

      So in terms of values, I don’t think I’m so much “pro-life” or “pro-choice” as “pro-creation” — heh heh heh — where the creator is, in essence, something like Gaia.

      1. Synopticist

        I could never understand how pro-lifers could favour capital punishment. It doesn’t logically fit to me, at least without a big dose of vindictiveness and social authoritarianism.

        On Romney running with a totally different abortion message in different areas of the same state………..

        Well, anyone still suprised by this guys mendacity?

        I’VE SAID IT BEFORE, AND I’LL KEEP SAYING IT. WILLARD ROMNEY IS UNIQUELLY DISHONEST. He’s not normal. Bush was normal, Obama was normal, Karl Rove’s tactics are a refinement of politically normal tactics. I would say its pathological, but that almost gives him a medical excuse.

        As a cynical election nerd, the idea of Romney’s “lie about everything, all the time” strategy actually succeeding terrorfies me. It’ll be copied everywhere.

        1. Garrett Pace

          “idea of Romney’s “lie about everything, all the time” strategy actually succeeding terrorfies me. It’ll be copied everywhere.”

          That is one heck of a proof-of-concept in the offing. The idea that nothing a politician says being held against them is pernicious towards the very idea of political discourse – i.e., actually thinking and talking and planning about what a community or nation should do in the future.

          Hopeful, perhaps, that he won’t (for example) drone-kill people even though he thinks that promising to do so will get him elected. But the whole thing is an exercise in paternalism and hostility towards voters and their very right to choose their future.

          “I could never understand how pro-lifers could favour capital punishment.”

          Or how about pro-choicers opposing it? I see smart people holding views that seem self-contradictory, all the time. Now what?

          1. Synopticist

            “Or how about pro-choicers opposing it? I see smart people holding views that seem self-contradictory, all the time. Now what?”

            Well, umm, yeah, maybe I suppose. I dunno.

        2. amateur socialist

          You’re sure he didn’t crib it from Berlusconi? He seems to have made a pretty good run with it.

          1. Synopticist

            Yeah, Berlusconi was an appalling liar, and he got away with it because he owned 90% of the media. Which he still does, of course. We shouldn’t speak of him as if he’s dead already. He could be PM by Christmas FFS.

            But his lies were (are?) essentially tactical, they were a by-product, for the most part, of his campaigning and governing, forced upon him by his business and sexual interests He’d end up in with a jail sentence if he ever stopped lying and lost power, right? Also, the Italian political miliue doesn’t exactly honour truth telling. As long as you look handsome and stylish while you’re telling massive porkies, thats kind of OK.
            Especially for Silvio, because he screwed all those women, made all that money, owned all those companies, pulled all those stunts, and was basically Mr Bella Figurra number f*cking one, with the biggest, hardest penis in the Meditaranean since world war two.
            So yeah, he was a total liar, but you have to hand it to the guy, he really was the shwizzle. Plus, he f*cked all those beautiful women. And they loved him, and all the guys wanted to be him. And he was great in bed.

            His downfall came when he was caught lying about paying for sex with a seventeen year old stripper. Not so f*cking cool now are you, Mr desperatelly lying to a policeman to get your underage, pay-by-the-hour girlfriend off a shoplifting charge, and then being blackmailed by her.

            Anyway, despite being a sleazy slimeball, Berlusconi has more class in the hairs of anus that Romney has in his entire brood of birthing tank grown clone offspring. And he’s a f*cking lying c*nt too.

          2. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Synopticist, must you reveal your gratuitously obscene Gangster core usually covered by your facade of semi-civility?

      2. Aquifer

        Well – OK fools rush in ….

        Thought line one – if God or MN had wanted/intended/planned/designed society to be the arbiters of what happens during those first 8 months or so of gestation – we would have been egg layers ….As it is that gestational period was left solely dependent on and inside the body of one female – it “belongs” to her, not her to it, is part of her, and she has the right to decide what to do about it – end of discussion … This means the female is “designed” to have an “inordinate” power over procreation and I think THAT is precisely the crux of the issue – males can’t/won’t accept that ..

        Thought line two – if abortion is murder – what kind is it? First degree, second degree? As it is usually planned, ironically forced to be “premeditated” by the increasingly restrictive laws of many states – one would have to call it first degree murder – so what is the penalty for first degree murder? Execution, life in prison? Has any one seen any law that makes abortion illegal, on the grounds that it is “murder” (what other grounds are there), that proposes punishing the mother, without whose planning and cooperation this “murder” could not have been committed? So what kind of “murder” is this in which the planner and accomplice is not punished? A strange “murder” indeed … Either treat this “crime” as the “murder” you name it, or stop calling it “murder” … They know damn well they can’t legislate as if it were real “murder” because the implications would be so clear that all but the real zealots would back down and a hell of a lot of support for this “pro-life” movement would melt away, ISTM …

        This whole thing frosts me no end – I have no problem with any religion trying to convince its female adherents that they are morally obliged to see a pregnancy all the way through, if you can convince her her soul depends on it i will not deny your right to try – but when you want to make a civil law that makes it illegal to choose otherwise – them’s fightin’ words ….

        I have seen it said that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament – a bit over the top maybe, but the point is made …

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Aquifer, it’s ALL about male control over the female *independent* body and mind, and it’s an old, old, story, older than the one told below:

          “THE HORRORS OF THE HALF-KNOWN LIFE: Male Attitudes Toward Women and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century America” by G.J. Barker Benfield (New York, Harper-Colophon Books 1977, Harper & Row, Publishers 1976.)

          Maybe this will shed light on why UltraConservative Christians of Texas convert to Islam, because “Christianity is not Conservative enough.” Their wives now are literally kept in purdah, and proud of it.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      H, that’s not all the study suggests. Read “Your Inner Fish” and know that humans are Mother Earth’s long experiment in natural selection. How many Americans are ready to hear, moreover, that the Human Male evolved from the Human Female? The study of the evolution of human genitalia, inter allia, proves it. Wait till the Fundamentalist Macho Zealots of every “religion” start contemplating this information!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Of course, long-era “natural selection” evolution is morphing into quick “Mr. Atomic” sudden evolution.

    3. reslez

      Late term abortions are an abomination

      For some reason, “pro-life” people feel the need to talk about late term abortions over and over and over. How much they hate them. How terrible they are.

      The truth is late term abortions are vanishingly rare.

      The overwhelming majority of people overwhelmingly agree that late term abortions are bad. The law already forbids late term abortions in almost all cases, but there are some exceptions.

      You see, “pro-life” people want to ban late term abortions for everyone, always, forever, while “pro-choice” people recognize that they are sometimes, unfortunately, medically necessary. Pregnancy is a contact sport. Things go wrong. Horribly wrong. Which is why the law has exceptions.

      So have fun with your talk of “abominations”, but recognize you’re lecturing absolutely no one.

      1. sd

        No one ever talks about the families who have a late term abortion. It’s a devastatingly emotional loss that lasts for years. It’s unbelievably cruel to impose hurdles in front of families facing the need for such a medical procedure as this. It’s out and out sadistic.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Low Rates Lure Yield Seekers Onto Thin Ice.

    That’s the Fed’s Third Mandate: Bring More Customers Into the Casino.

  11. joebhed

    My comment has to do with what is NOT in here, and what has been appallingly absent from these beloved NC pages.
    First, a link to the Evans-Pritchard article in the Telegraph that outline the IMF Research Paper called The Chicago Plan Revisited.

    Please have a read for an open-minded and open-ended discussion that we should ALL be joining.
    Also I provide a link to the Austrian site Cobden Center’s review of the same IMF paper.

    What we have here is the appearance of an overt attempt on the part of NC’s contributors to keep the supposed benefits of the CPR paper a mystery.
    This is very troubling to me as the IMF paper is the ONLY piece of analysis coming down the pike that purports to accomplish what the MMT call for, only with ACTUAL public money administration, and at the same time proposes a more Greenback-oriented methodology for Steve Keen’s so-called Debt Jubilee.
    Perhaps all of that is not worthy of intrusion into the preferred solutions of the day.

    The Evans-Pritchard article discusses the IMF paper within the context of the UK’s Positive Money proposal – something akin to the Kucinich Bill here in the states.
    May I observe this being yet another proposal for a monetary reform solution that is missing from the great NC discussion of progressive efforts to achieve a more egalitarian economic democracy.
    You know – the 99 Percent and all.

    Monetary Reform.
    Front and Center.

    Respectfully, Yves and friends.
    For the Money System Common

    1. Lambert Strether

      Well, it can’t be that “overt,” or I wouldn’t be able to say, as I am saying now, that I’ll check with my Austrian overlords on this little matter and get back to you. We’ll inform you of the time and the geographical coordinates for your audience when a response has been prepared. Wear a carnation so we’ll know you.

      * * *

      Seriously, it’s a big Internet and the site is run by a tiny crew. So WTF.

      1. joebhed

        Thanks, Lambert.
        But to be clear, the Austrian connotation goes well with the traditional MMT response to serious proposals for reforming the money system – that full-reserve banking is a throwback only to gold-buggers and commodity-seeking market anarchists.
        In point of fact, the Austrians find these reform proposals the only thing that could be worse than maintaining traditional Keynesian-based monetary operations, and OMG worse yet than these post-Keynesian proposals from today’s modern fiscalists.
        This is clearly the finding of the “All Power to the State – Money Madness at the IMF” Cobden posting.
        And that would be for good reason, as the IMF Research Paper stands fully consistent with Knapp’s State Theory of Money.

        While the Evans-Pritchard title conveys the ‘conjuring’ of a solution to the debt-saturation problem afoot in the global economy, this is most likely because it is somewhat spooky for that potentially auspicious body to be seen as ‘dethroning’ the international financialists from their power to create money.
        OK. Much ado about nothing.

        1. different clue

          I see you have a little picture of Frederick Soddy by your name. What do you like most about Frederick Soddy?

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      joebhed, this “Chicago Plan” putsch has been mentioned at NC, at least in Comments it has been.

  12. aletheia33

    MN. Occupy Homes:

    “Neither the jury trial nor the police raid ever materialized. Instead, with the help of Occupy and Minnesotans United for a Fair Economy, White purchased a tiny share in US Bank and snuck into the shareholders meeting on April 17 to confront CEO Richard Davis, who ultimately helped her with a loan modification after US Bank claimed for months that only Freddie Mac could do that.”

    interesting strategy.

      1. aletheia33

        and once again, thank you, tiny crew at NC, for keeping us informed of such. and my donation now sent. alas more modest than last year’s, as i’m now pouring as much as i can into my immediate “dirt” community (i/o/w those who share my global position) where it’s rather urgently needed right now.

        NC also provides a great exemplar of what it means to serve, for which thank you as well, o tiny crew. (deep bow)

    1. Aquifer

      It is interesting what can be accomplished when one can actually get to the “head man”. I suspect that is why the system is designed precisely to keep that from happening – all those call centers staffed with folks in foreign land who put up with all kinds of verbal abuse for pennies a day just to make sure the rightfully pissed off customers don’t get anywhere near the head honcho ….

      Like the paralytic who reportedly got his cure when his friends lowered him through the roof of the house a couple of thousand years ago… there is nothing new under the sun, only endless variations on a theme ….

  13. rich

    Country Club Sopranos

    American banks are on a massive crime spree. Obama and Romney hope you won’t notice.

    If they’d been common robbers, the bankers surely would have faced indictments. After all, their scams have run for years, their breadth and coordination breathtaking.

    But not a single boss went to jail. Some firms settled for just a fraction of what they’d stolen. Most have never admitted wrongdoing. And in the ethics-optional land known as Wall Street, many saw their stock prices rise.

    America’s country club set has forged its own replica of the Mafia — only bigger, broader and capable of unleashing far more damage on the U.S. economy.

    “Unquestionably, that’s true,” says Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey, whose career prosecuting organized crime runs all the way back to the Kennedy administration. “I was looking at stuff on Mulberry Street, and the real theft was on Wall Street…All of the people who ran the scams have their big houses and their airplanes, and they’re laughing — they got away with it.”

    The situation leaves Sam Antar with a sense of longing. He’s a former chief financial officer convicted of securities, mail and wire fraud.

    “My biggest mistake in life was that I committed my crimes in the 1980s,” he says. “If I committed them today, I wouldn’t even get house arrest. I’d just hire a good lawyer and pay a fine and I’d be free.”

  14. Timothy Y. Fong

    Regarding the cell phone coverage in emergencies and regulation: land lines have reliability because the federal government convinced the Bell System that land lines had to be able to handle a nuclear war. Hence, the landline system is dramatically overbuilt. In the old days, pay phones were set up to run on the most protected lines. So even in a disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane, you could still get through? Nowadays, good luck even finding a payphone. Welcome to your new, “flexible” world. But look, it’s “disruptive.”

    1. aletheia33

      there you go. dirt again.
      mix it with a little water, and you get a human being!
      but do note: to same thou shalt return.

  15. ginnie nyc

    Thanks for the link to Crispian, the junk-food hedgehog in Weston-super-Mare. I needed a laugh.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Ms G, do you suppose Bloomberg felt a little shudder of fear from his “ancestral memory” of Old Europe at its worst?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Isn’t it interesting that the Mayor’s “change of heart” re the Marathon was announced in print, not on TV like his earlier announcement in favor of keeping the Marathon in place? Did he feel he could not “save his face” on TV the second go-round?

      2. ginnie nyc

        Mrs. G: This is good. Sanitation workers were going to be diverted to cleaning up after the Marathon ended (an overnight job w/lots of overtime). Some garages complained through their shop stewards that they were not going to abandon the recovery work for the Marathon.

        There was dissension at many different levels.

  16. Glenn Condell

    I can’t decide whether it is puzzling or reassuring that the Ma Jones roundup of Obama conspiracy theories (most of which were news to me) fails to mention the letters C I and A in succession even once.

    Does this mean (a) that speculations about Obama’s post-college employment do not rise to the level of plausibility shared by those conspiracies that are listed, ie there really is nothing to see here, or (b) ‘move along, nothing to see here, except these cockamamie tinhat tall tales, ha ha ha’

    1. Valissa

      I have to admit I hadn’t bothered reading the MJ piece until I saw your comment. Those are all right wing conspiracy theories, as I had expected from a left wing rag, and the Obama as CIA tool is a left wing conspiracy theory, IMO.

      If anyone knows of any interesting news or blog sites that are moving beyond the left-right/lib-con paradigm, please let me know.

      1. Glenn Condell

        ‘and the Obama as CIA tool is a left wing conspiracy theory, IMO’

        Probably it is. Or it could be a CIA disinfo play. Or it could be true. Who knows?

        Forebodings about this sort of thing are hardly partisan. The point isn’t left/right, it’s not political in a party sense. If there was any glimmer of truth in such a suspicion about Obama, it would not point to lefty or Dem skulduggery, it would further buttress the case that a bipartisan (or rather non-partisan) power elite has control not only of the political, judicial and media levers, but the security and intelligence resources of the nation as well, and has melded these powers successfully enough to have planned a Janus-faced Presidency, one face turned toward the people in order to get in and the other doing the real work once there, of cementing the program.

        So he wouldn’t be a ‘tool’ so much as the ultimate insider, living with the sort of compartmentalisation and deceit that it seems to me would appeal to a person like him.

        Don’t you ever ask yourself how enemies of the 1% can be surveilled up the wazoo – Amy Goodman, PETA people, basically everyone except the elite are rabbits in that giant spotlight. Members of the ruling class by contrast are invisible, unless they clear their throat and pose a threat, like Eliot Spitzer, or are required as a sacrifice for the greater good like Fabrice Tourre.

        Does Jamie Dimon ever have his phone tapped? For that matter, does Obama? Is the practice of permitting intel operatives at the CIA and NSA to moonlight on Wall St a visible pointer to an invisible threat? Look at the Kyle Foggo/Cunningham/Abramoff capers and tell me that the security services don’t have people capable of collusion on this scale.

        The convergence of government (esp military and security) and industry (esp finance and media) is a definition of fascism. The shape of American fascism will follow different contours than the 30s exemplars; secrecy and the scope offered by technology takes the place of jackboots on the ground, at least for now.

        Suspecting the worst these days is not the tinfoil territory it once was. I would argue that assuming the worst about elite abuses and perversions of state power in order to entrench their control would score better if the truth could be ascertained, than assuming in the absence of ‘evidence’ that all is squeaky clean.

        Arriving at your own position on the balance of probability cannot rely on evidence – much of which it must be assumed is either suppressed or tainted. I ask myself two questions – can they? And then, would they?

        The man has been such a quisling it is only natural that questions arise.

        1. skippy

          Cough… Political Maupassant Americana yet ye have issues with Aussie minutia???

          Skippy… confused? or not…

        2. Valissa

          A thoughtful response Glenn, though perhaps you misunderstood mine. Of course all the things you mentioned about fascism, elite collusion, etc, are true… but none of those was mentioned by MJ. They were purposefully saying the more ridiculous sounding things, not the more sensible things you just mentioned. This is how the left consciously or unconsciously colludes in participating in the fascist duopoly game. Therefore I have finally concluded that “change” (however one projects one’s fantasies on that word) will not come from a political party or label or adopting the “correct” ideology/catechism.

          1. Valissa

            btw, IMO, calling something a conspiracy doesn’t mean that it’s a myth or untruth. A conspiracy theory can be factual/likely, untrue/unlikely or anywhere on the spectrum between those. I have become more and more fond of conspiracy theories (both likely & unlikely) as I have gotten older and studied more history, and learned how common conspiring is when it comes to money and power games. Even in the unlikely ones, the allegorical message can be very powerful.

          2. Glenn Condell

            ‘They were purposefully saying the more ridiculous sounding things, not the more sensible things you just mentioned.’

            I guess that was what bothered me.

            I sometimes read William Blum. Like George Carlin and Bill Hicks, Noam Chomsky and Arthur Silber, he strikes me as an incorruptible Jeremiah, generally lampooned when not ignored by his countrymen, but seeing much further and more deeply than they do, intuitively making connections that offend conventional wisdom but which end up proving prescient. In July he wrote this:

            Barack Obama, his mother, and the CIA

            In his autobiography, Dreams From My Fathers, Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as “a consulting house to multinational corporations” in New York City, and his functions as a “research assistant” and “financial writer”.

            Oddly, Obama doesn’t mention the name of his employer. However, a New York Times story of October 30, 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960.10

            The British journal, Lobster — which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters — has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji.11 In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls.12 After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington’s nuclear desires, was reinstated to power — R.S.K. Mara was Prime Minister or President of Fiji from 1970 to 2000, except for the one-month break in 1987.

            In his book, not only doesn’t Obama mention his employer’s name; he fails to say exactly when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left — including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)13 — it’s reasonable to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.

            Adding to the wonder is the fact that his mother, Ann Dunham, had been associated during the 1970s and 80s — as employee, consultant, grantee, or student — with at least five organizations with intimate CIA connections during the Cold War: The Ford Foundation, Agency for International Development (AID), the Asia Foundation, Development Alternatives, Inc., and the East-West Center of Hawaii.14 Much of this time she worked as an anthropologist in Indonesia and Hawaii, being in good position to gather intelligence about local communities.’


            Nothing to see there Mother J? Maybe there genuinely isn’t. Either way we outsiders will never know, which makes the standard drive-by sarcasm dealt to anyone who entertains any such theories easy. Mocking those seeking truths hidden from us is safely conformist and therefore pain-free and even self-aggrandising.

            Matt Taibbi, who I admire greatly, sometimes beats his chest to display his anti-tinhat credentials re Truthers in particular, and Jim Kunstler never tires of declaiming that he is ‘allergic to conspiracy theories’. Both, by limiting their potential to seek, are thereby limiting their potential to find. Doubt, an open mind is essential in the quest for truth (as Richard Feynman said it keeps ‘an open channel’ through which truth might emerge) Dogmatic anti-conspiracism (if that is a word) is just as toxic to veracity as strident but fact-free tinfoil declarations of secret skulduggery.

            So like you Valissa I have come round to being more open to apparently ‘out there’ speculations. In the absence of clarity, speculation is not just natural but necessary, and I would argue, prudent. I watched the Frankenheimer Manchurian Candidate again on Fox last night. The sense of politics as theatrical cover for unchecked secret power, and its parallel to today, was unnerving.

            I have said here before that I used to think that if I had to sum the America of my generation up in one word it would be ‘hypocrisy’ but that realy is just a tributary of the deeper characteristic, the most emblematic of the last few decades and almost certainly the dominant feature of the next few – secrecy.

  17. William

    progressives today and “These people”

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.


      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        A, we have “turned that around” — are you “not seeing the forest for the trees?”

  18. LeonovaBalletRusse

    “Watch Mitt Romney get in a heated exchange with a radio host from a radio interview in 2008 about where Jesus will reign and rule over the Earth for 1,000 years — in Jerusalem and Missouri. Romney displays deep familiarity with the thinking of a Mormon hermit-conspiracy theorist Cleon Skousen, who was also Glenn Beck’s great inspiration .”

    “Background from Prisoner Minister: “Mormons believe Jesus will return to earth in Independence, Missouri to begin a 1,000 year reign. They think Mormons will at that time become gods. But before the return of Jesus, they believe the United States will come to a constitutional crisis, on the verge of collapse. They believe America will be saved by a Mormon leader. The founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith, said, “The time will come when the destiny of the nation (USA) will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people (Mormons) will save it from destruction.” Their prophet Brigham Young said, “When the Kingdom of God bears rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter.” Mormons, also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), believe the Kingdom of God will arise from the rule of one man on earth, a political figure who will also be their spiritual leader. They believe there will be a one-world government ruled by this god-king. He will be a prophet and high priest of the Mormon faith, ruling the world from America.”//
    MORE at:

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Paul Craig Roberts links us to: — wherein is the quoted excerpt:

      //As I have written before: “the claim of a ‘right’ to dispense death arbitrarily — the claim that the State may murder anyone it chooses, whenever it desires — constitutes a separate category altogether, a category of which this particular claim is the sole unit. When death is unleashed, all possibility of action is ended forever.” For this reason — and it is the only reason required — it is not “perfectly rational and reasonable” to decide that “the evils of their candidate [Obama] are outweighed by the evils of the GOP candidate.”

      There is no evil beyond the claimed “right” to murder by arbitrary edict, to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime. If you support this particular evil — and if you vote for Obama, you support it — then you will support anything.//

      Clearly, a vote for Obama as President CANNOT be justified by We the People.
      A vote for Obama as President is a vote for Obama: Wanton Murderer in Chief.
      Those who vote for Obama as President are his Accomplices after the fact, and now before the fact.

      DR. JILL STEIN PRESIDENT 2012: WE the People WILL It NOW: for LIFE!

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