Links 11/7/12

Everyone at NC give Lambert big thanks for his election information curating and commentary! Links now looks, well, sort of naked without Campaign Coverage.

There is a ton of post election coverage, needless to say. A few interesting post mortems:

Romney Lost Race in Summer After Obama Redefined Resume Bloomberg

Mistakes haunt Romney campaign Financial Times

Destroyed by Total Capitalism America Has Already Lost Tuesday’s Election Der Spiegel (furzy mouse)

2012 marks demographic tipping point as ‘minority’ Americans reach majority Guardian. The WSJ agrees: Tough Loss Leaves GOP at a Crossroads

Wall Street Offers a Second Career for Former Politicians New York Times. This is why, despite the fact that Wall Street threw money at Romney, Obama is unlikely to put the screws on them.

Chrysler gives workers day off to vote after rhetorical war with Romney Raw Story (furzy mouse)

The Age Of Big Money In Politics Is Over Clusterstock. I’d not bet on that. From the expert on money in politics, Tom Ferguson, via e-mail, before results were in:

Formally and for the record, my prediction on Bloomberg yesterday was Obama would still win. But Romney is running slightly better than projections in a lot of places, just not strong enough to win. Looks to me that Florida is lost to him and with it, the election. He’d have to win everything else.

Bush 3 vs Bush 4 azizonomics

A Liberal Fantasy New York Times. That L word is really debased these days…but more important, notice the immediate turn to changing filibuster rules? Lambert’s call was this would be done to facilitate the Great Betrayal.

RECREATIONAL Marijuana Legalized In 2 States George Washington

Parrot in captivity manufactures tools, something not seen in the wild ars technica. Video of cockatoo in action. He knows what he’s doing.

Teardowns of iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD reveal differing business models TechWorld

Human trials for HIV/AIDS vaccine making steady progress University of Western Ontario

Chinese banks rush to lend in late October MacroBusiness

Hedge funds betting millions against Britain’s high street Telegraph

France steps onto the austerity path MacroBusiness

Debt crisis: German economic data is a ‘catastrophe’, say economists Telegraph

Economics must heed political risk Financial Times

Greece gripped by 48-hour austerity strikes Telegraph. The last image in the photo series shows a poster with a drachma crushing a euro coin.

Greece — democracy in the balance Golem XIV

More culls expected as investment banks cut Financial Times

Bureaucracy could Kill the U.S. Shale Gas Industry OilPrice. Don’t get me too hopeful.

USA Recession Odds: 100%? Cullen Roche (Scott). This comment throws a bit of water on the headline.

J.P. Morgan Nears SEC Settlement Wall Street Journal

Bloomberg Worried About Tim Geithner’s Ability To Put Food On The Table Dealbreaker

Antidote du jour (martha r):

Bonus antidotes from furzy mouse of the Dallas Arboretum:

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  1. Andrew not the Saint

    So it is Bush 3 and not Bush 4 after all. At any rate, you can always look forward to 2016 and Bush 5.

  2. craazyman

    Well, I knew in my heart one of them would have to win, and one of them did.

    But still, it hurts.

    A private equity sharpie on one side and an admittedly talented street hustler who knows how to get himself out in front of a crowd and call it a parade on the other. O Beautiful for Specious Lies, for Amber Waves of Gain / For purple mounds of misery across the Looted Plain / America America God’s Hid his Face from Thee / And drowned thy Good in Banksterhood from Sea to Shining Sea / da da de da. Not very clever, but it’s still early and the mind’s still numb from the spectacle.

    On a deeper level, this election is yet another call to sanity. A call to renew one’s attention on one’s own life, doing what what can to create and achieve within the confines of one’s own existence, and ignore these people as much as possible — until they come to town and tie up traffic, and then you have to take the subway and not the bus. It will be alot easier to ignore them now. Although without a TV, it’s pretty easy most of the time. It just takes discipline, and sometimes that is wanting.

    1. Jim Haygood

      I wanted my vote to count … so I didn’t!

      About 25% of the adult population (59 million out of 235 million) kept the Depublicrat duopoly’s 160-year winning streak going strong. The Stupid Party triumphed over the Evil Party … but next time, it’s the Evil Party’s turn again!

      Now we can all turn to the vital work of bayoneting the middle-class survivors.

      1. Noe G

        My thoughts exactly. I did NOT vote. I knew the turnout would be low… I’m still shocked by the realization that 1996 produced only 49.1% of the registered voters… for Clinton’s second term.

        I never knew voter participation fell below 50% – AND FOR BUBBA!!

        But since I’m an anarchist… I love the prospects.

        The GOPERS were up against initiatives… pot and gay marriage. The pot question doomed Romney in Colorado. I haven’t looked at the initiatives in Ohio and Va but the answer is in initiatives.

        THAT SAID>.. the Gopers will have to abandon the knuckle draggers.. and become LIBERTARIAN… they should have put up a entrepreneurial Ben or Jerry type.

        Next time – they will. THEN the Dems will have some trouble. Because I expect more votes for things like taking your passport if you owe the IRS.. yeah, that’ll play well.

        Next we watch the Democratic wet dreams — and the libertarian backlash. The libertarians can argue FREEDOM– not OUTSOURCE!

        So my non vote counted.. another death rattle for the BIG GOVERNMENT meanies after O adds skins to his robe.

        I hated them both, so there was no where for me to go.

        1. Noe G

          I did not mean to suggest Bubba received 49.1% of the votes.

          only 49.1% voted in 1996.. that means he won with only about 22% of registered voters.. or – do the math… a sliver of the population.

        2. Jim Haygood

          ‘The GOPERS were up against initiatives…’

          Don’t you mean GROPERS?

          Anyhoo, speaking of initiatives, Big Kali passed Proposition 30, raising its top marginal income tax rate from 9.3% to 13.3% — nearly as high as New York State’s ruinous 15.4% rate under Nelson Rockefeller.

          Naturally the teachers unions were all over this sickening display of untrammeled government greed.

          And it’s not as if their neighbors in Nevada and Washington (who pay NO state income tax) live any worse.

          Adios to Kalifornia!

          1. Noe G

            Class warfare is the new norm. Because even a lowly entrepreneur like me knows the playing field is not level.

            this retailer has been paying a premium to credit card processors for McDonalds [high risk] no signature sales under $20.

            this independent retailer has been paying premium rents to malls so now defunct ‘magnets’ like Anchor Blue pay only percentage rent.

            Every aspect of capitalism has been corrupted by those who already HAVE… against the rest of us.

            It’s not just about minimum wage and off shoring.. it’s about CRONY CAPITALISM… which must die.

            Until and unless the GOP reinvents itself as the party of SMALL BUSINESS and opportunity… it’s a goner.

            The senate losses in Indiana and Missouri speak to the changes that must happen in the GOP.. those solid RED states rejected AKIN and Mourdoch….

            The GOP must move beyond it’s corporate and religious masters… and then they can chip away at the new majority Dem party.

          2. TK21

            So you think California has been doing better these past few years, after it lowered taxes, than it did back when it had high taxes? Really?

          3. citalopram

            The rich and their boot-licking sycophants are such whiners. A less than 5 percent raise in their income taxes and they cry. They care nothing for anyone else around them, their community or their country. They only care about themselves. Assholes.

        3. cwaltz

          Virginia’s amendment was about outlawing eminent domain from a state standpoint and the second one gave legislators an extra week to carry out vetos.

    2. ambrit

      Dear craazyman;
      The numbness is a familiar friend lately. Personal enlightenment IS a lifetime pursuit. As for the discipline, I’m afraid that it will soon be enforced by folks in nifty black uniforms. Oh, wait, those are the guys, and gals, I see wandering around the DIY Boxxstore now and then, guns prominently displayed.

  3. bmeisen

    Geithner and Summers: Obama made his intentions clear shortly after winning in 2008. We should know pretty soon what Obama II will be like. I’m betting on lots of smoke and mirrors about global warning, an assistant Treasury secretary to replace Geithner, and a loud push to make sure that people waiting in line to vote get a tarpaulin overhead the next time.

    The status quo won because the system once again convinced vast numbers of Americans to vote against their own interests, and the system did so by using fear: fear that the other guy would win and if he did, then it would really be bad.

    Stein was my candidate. We should know soon if indeed Obama II is really better than Romney.

  4. D. Mathews

    Speaking of elections, Puerto Ricans just voted out of office (by a hair) the incumbent Republican-aligned statehood-seeking and austerity-loving governor. The island also held a highly controversial consultation/plebiscite on the future of our relations with the United States … which … was … …. a joke:

    The upcoming plebiscite excludes the possibility of voting for either “enhancing” Commonwealth or “None of the above”. Rather, the two-round plebiscite first asks voters whether they want to continue under the “present territorial relationship,” a term designed to evoke what some consider a colonialist legacy. Subsequently, on the same ballot, voters must choose between “non-territorial options.” These options include statehood, independence, and free association, a form of independence that has been termed by ballot drafters as “sovereign Commonwealth” to confuse Commonwealth supporters. This is tantamount to asking Americans during the 1992 Presidential election: “Womanizing Governor of Arkansas: Yes or No?” and then making them choose between the “non-womanizer options,” George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot.

  5. LeeAnne

    ditto craazyman on ignoring these people until they tie up traffic in the city.

    Senator Elizabeth Warren. I love the sound of it. Senator Elizabeth Warren from the great state of Massachusetts. Congratulations! Its great to have something in this election to be happy about this morning.

    Congratulations to you Yves -for supporting the winner from the start.

      1. LeeAnne

        Thanks. That was chilling. Deficit hawk anyone? I wasn’t paying too much attention so I didn’t get the point during her campaigning where her true loyalties became obvious. But others on this blog sure did, like IOTB Warren. Once a political outsider becomes an insider, expect a 180 turn. So, now I’m back to craazyman -ignoring the whole bunch of them until they tie up traffic in the city. It really makes me feel something akin to nausea.

        Politics as usual is acceptable until the criminals take over ocmpletely. Then you’re just another criminal.

      2. Valissa

        Warren is an attractive and intelligent women, and had this been a few years ago (before I started being a more crticial thinker about politics and power) I would have voted for her too. But she was put into this position by Obama & co., and so I could NOT support her despite her charisma and likeability. I don’t support Obama and have never voted for him, so how could I support someone who is basically an Obama crony appointment and popular member of the elite establishment and who will function as a typical member of the neoliberal elite?

        Thank the goddess that election season is pretty much over, hurray! I’m also grateful not to have to scroll past all of Lmabert’s political links every day. I know he worked hard at them, but I would have preferred he put them on his own blog (with a link here at NC) so I didn’t have to see them here.

        Yesterday I grudgingly and dutifully voted for a bunch of people I don’t like very much based on various practical strategies of no real consequence… because the truth is I don’t like anything about politicians except as fodder for satire, parody, humor and cartoons. If it wasn’t for the state referendum issues, I would have skipped voting altogether. But I was glad to see the medical marijuana referendum pass in MA!

        1. amateur socialist

          An “Obama crony appointment….” That had to be validated by MA voters despite a serious lack of support from the Democratic party establishment, at least early on. I suspect many voters in MA would reject that characterization and correctly.

          1. Valissa

            Yes, of course she was validated by the MA voters. But she had HUGE support from the Dem establishment at the national level, despite some local MA politicians supporting Brown. Also, all my liberal friends and their friends have been gaga about Warren from the get go, much more so than for Coakley. After all this is a BLUE STATE. The 2010 special election came at a time when Obama’s popularity was low, but this time the Dems had a more charismatic and telegenic candidate (like Obama is) so once Warren got visibility at the Dem convention it was pretty much a done deal that she would win.

          2. Valissa

            Also there is her funding, which was hugely from big money out of state indicating support from the national elite. To be clear, it does not bother me that she was elected as I no longer get emotionally worked up about politics or who wins elections (I let go of that in 2008, and good riddance!). I am a realist about politics and the current dominance of the neoliberal paradigm. And Liz Warren fits in very well with Obama and his crew.

          3. Aquifer

            She raised red flags even in her primary debate – the fact that she chose to run as a Dem signals her willingness to depend on them for support – ergo she will be given just so much chain to run out on – she has already indicated Obama support – even after he screwed her on the CFPB appt – indicating she can be snowed by Mr. Smoothie. If necessary they will jerk her chain – and she will heel, i.e if she wants to keep feeding off the Dem teat …

            Don’t misunderstand – i think she is fundamentally a pretty good soul – but she is not a prog champ – wait and see …

          4. Valissa

            Aquifer, do you really believe any politician is going to be a prog (or any other kind of) champion once they become part of the establishment? I tried that whole more-and-better Democrats thing, and that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped… and then I finally remembered Sociology 101 and read some more history and got realisitc about things like money, power and the establishment membership.

            In terms of 3rd parties, I’d like to see more of them for one simple reason… power dilution… the more parties the less centralized power and authority. But I think if any 3rd party finally got into power the way the Dems are now, they would end up as the establishment themselves and it would once again be “new boss same as the old boss” (ala Orwell’s Animal Farm).

            According the the poly-sci books I’ve read, change happens in the culture first and then finally poltiics recognizes that. So if people truly want to make change in the world, they have to start at home and in the their communities (various local resilienceand relocalization movements), and be much more conscious about the culture you co-create with those in your environment.

          5. Aquifer

            Yeah, Valissa, hang me for a fool, but i do believe there are some real folks out there who are not bought and for whom, if they did eventually have a price, it would have to be for a hell of a lot more that these present schmucks are going for – more, maybe, than TPTB are willing to pay – like world peace or something rather large like that …

            I know the consensus is that everyone has a price – but we do seem to have a habit of picking schmucks for whom the price is pitifully low …

            I have to believe it – it is the only thing that makes it worthwhile to get out of bed in the morning (by noon, anyway …) If there are nonesuch, then what is the point – if all of us would sell each of us for a price – IS there really a point to it all? But here’s the kicker – it is not infrequently the expectations of others that determines which of our wolves we feed – so if my expectations can give one good meal to the good wolf, then I am bound to hang in there …

            No guarantee, of course – expecting much from Obama didn’t work, but IMO, that’s because there was no basis for those expectations in the first place; one does have to have SOME grounds for expecting good – but if they are there, ISTM it IS a good idea to do so …

            I do think it will be interesting to see what Warren does, e.g., but I don’t think there are sufficient grounds for high expectations …

            I would have expected much from Stein in office – but we will not be able to determine my “level of fool” in that case, unfortunately …

      3. Myshkin

        @ wbgone (and others on these strings)

        I looked at your link regarding E. Warren and like most of the other posters on this site you hear what you want to hear not what is said. She said nothing about about SS and Medicare, she mentioned deficits and revenue, reading into that, that she has designs on joining Pete Peterson and the Simpson-Bowles gang is a journey into fantasy land.

        There are other ways of tackling the deficit, raising taxes on the top 10% and going after defense spending and I suspect that is what Warren has in mind.

        This site has managed to turn into a disturbing mirror
        of the fervent haters of the Tea Party, a fanatacism that brooks no compromise, well here’s a news flash, politics is about compromise, what you’re expecting is not of this less than perfect world. There are comments suggesting N. Chomsky is afraid and a sell out, you either know not of which you speak or you are right wing trolls or just hopelessly naive.

        People who have been disappointed by a politician here in the US, as we all have, and have taken to cynicism like a duck to water, have not absorbed the experience to justify such an philosophy of abnegation; not having suffered truly abysmal governance, a kind that we here in the US can barely imagine. The poor people in those miserable countries, governed by corrupt dictators, militias and secret police, often pay with their blood for a chance to vote. What I’m hearing from the posters here is the whine of privileged children who have been disappointed once or twice.

        The site itself is a good source of information but I think people commenting here might at least attempt a return to the real world, you are out in wing nut land. Give E. Warren a fair hearing, you lose all credibility when you post a clip that does not contain a shred of evidence to support the point you are making.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Robert Fitch, in a speech to the Harlem Tenants Association right after Obama’s 2008 victory, explained long form and very articulately why compromise is a bad strategy for the left. It runs to a full third of his speech, and I suggest you read it before advocating “pragmatism” and “compromise.” And historically, labor was far more effective in winning gains and social protections for the working classes when it was outside the political system, representing a radical threat on the left, than when it was tamed by bringint it into the political process.

          From my post on Fitch:

          Fitch gave his remarkable speech before an unlikely audience at an unlikely time: the Harlem Tenants Association in November 2008, hard on the heels of Obama’s electrifying presidential win. The first part contains his prescient prediction: that Obama’s Third Way stance, that we all need to put our differences aside and get along, was tantamount to advocating the interests of the wealthy, since they seldom give anything to the have-nots without a fight.

          And if you don’t think we are suffering from bad governance, I suggest you go read the Der Spiegel post in Links and reconsider your view. Do you get much outside the US? Anyone who spends much time in other advanced economies would have trouble missing America’s relative decline over the last decade. We are the only advanced economy showing falling educational attainment. We have the highest infant mortality of any advanced economy, health care costs pretty much double that of any advanced economy on a per capita basis with worse outcomes, and just passed “reforms” that will only make matters worse. We have slow and overpriced broadband (Charles Ferguson sees this as a huge international competitiveness issue). We have a president who is pro fracking when that both endangers our water supply (and potable water is actually the scarcest natural resource world wide) and probably makes global warming worse too (via methane releases). I could easily add to the list. But you insist we pretend everything is fine and get in line behind our fearless leaders who are failing us.

          We won’t get better until we demand better. You may be willing to be part of the problem by going along with a lousy status quo, but I’m not.

          1. Myshkin

            Sorry for reposting this, I’m having trouble with your obstreperous web site, it doesn’t follow orders.

            I read the Fitch piece some time ago and found it prescient, I may have got it from your link, if so I thank you for it, its why I read NC. I thought it so good I’ve sent it to friends.

            I’m well aware that the country is in the grasp of friendly fascism, that the corporations are playing us like rubes in a company town and many of us are collaborating in our own exploitation. How else explain the idolatory of Steve Jobs and those who worship at the altar of Apple. I know about the broadand issue, about Monsanto and seed patenting and many other dystopian, corporate nightmares. The novel Cloud Atlas may be a fair map for our future if we do not act effectively. The question is how to act effectively.

            I can not accept the delusional statements of NC commenters that N. Chomsky would support Obama out of fear or that E. Warren said anything in that video that suggested she was in league with Simpson Bowles. These postings suggest a loss of connectivity with reality, not unlike the Tea Party, whose passionate hate blinds them into a fabrication of alternative versions of acutal events.

            I suspect Fitch would have voted for Obama in 2012 and then worked to separate him from his corporate captors. I suppose that each perception of what is real is debatable but that string of happy NC cynics was just a little too much to stomach.

            I read Der Spiegel, Haaretz, Counterpunch, Asia Times and a range of other sites. Enough to know that we do not live in a world that happily accomodates democracy. In most parts of the world blood is spilled when governments change. Those who advocate opting out of voting are misguided, voting for Jill Stein is fine but those who are unable to comprehend that voting for Obama in swing states may be a reasonable option are the naifs.

            You and I and many of your readers have figured out that something has gone very wrong, yet we are still able to organize and vote. That is not the state of affairs in many other countries where they pay a much greater price for what we dismiss as of marginal value.

            Good luck, I’ll keep reading, thanks for your work.

  6. fresno dan

    Mistakes haunt Romney campaign Financial Times
    “Mr Romney, the co-founder of Bain Capital, the private equity firm, was never able to shake the Democratic party charge that he was part of the privileged one per cent of Americans who live by other rules than the struggling middle class. He was too often seen as a super-wealthy opportunist without deeply held views”

    I don’t think he was “painted” that way – Romney is that way. The fact remains that both Romney and Obama remain socialists and plutocrats for the 1% – no prosecutions in the embarrassing corruption that has occurred in our society (robosigning – which is forgery on a cosmic scale, and not one meaningful prosecution of a bank executive).
    A nation not of equality under the laws, but a nation that says that lawlessness is ok if net worth is over 1 billion. That is Romney’s deeply, deeply held belief.
    A republican party that now believes that 1 + 1 equals 8 or 9, and it could equal 100 or 200 if only we would lower taxes on the rich, and by the way, the taxes the people who are not rich pay…those aren’t really taxes.

  7. Eclair

    I miss Lambert’s Roundup. Perhaps he could be prevailed upon to do a daily countdown to some other major event. The “fiscal cliff,” for example.

    After a well-deserved rest, of course.

  8. Marty Heyman

    I will sorely miss Lambert’s wonderful summaries! They covered WAY more than just the election blather and it was ALL appreciated. Hopefully, after a few days/weeks off, Lambert will pick up his deeper review again. I’m hooked.

  9. ex-PFC Chuck

    This is why, despite the fact that Wall Street threw money at Romney, Obama is unlikely to put the screws on them.

    It was amusing to watch the discussion on MSNBC immediately after the presidential race was called for Obama. The bloviators, especially Schultz (I think that’s his name), waxed eloquent about how now Obama would be free to do all the things he couldn’t do in his first term, especially with regard to the financial fiasco. Charlie Brown, meet Lucy.

    1. Jonathan

      Sometimes funding the opponent is just a warning to the incumbent to remember who they work for.

      Experiment in progress: With so much money going to the GOP from O’s Wall Street constituency yet so many votes going to anti-authoritarian ballot questions, to which pole is the Democratic Party going to tack?

    2. curlydan

      Yes, the post-victory TV analysis was woeful and left me crying out for anyone left-wing to be invited.

      Unfortunately, even the bits of Democracy Now post-victory coverage I heard this morning were disappointing. Laura Flanders was basking in “victory” while the inside scoop from the administration signals how they want a quick Grand Bargain. We all know what that means: concessions by the President to get a “deal”.

    3. citalopram

      They have their chips on both parties. They win no matter who is in office. Sure, there’s the token liberal in Sanders, but they’re in the minority and can’t really do anything effective anyway.

  10. Brindle

    Looking at the Ohio results, county by county, Romney did poorly in traditional strong GOP counties in mostly rural small-town south-central and southern Ohio.

    These counties are modest to low income areas and also have relatively few African-Americans.

    It appears that Romney’s dissing of the 47% was a very effective point that swayed many voters who usually would lean vote GOP.

    1. Noe G

      The country was not up for a corporate raider in plaid golf pants. I said this from the beginning.

      A Ben & Jerry type gop entrepreneur is next up.

      And a thorough housecleaning of anti abortion, fracking DEA types. The GOP has no chance of increasing its market share with the knuckle draggers.

      This is a libertarian opportunity. Obama isn’t going to save me from TSA dykes groping my granddaughter.

      My money sez the NEW IMPROVED GOP will argue FREEDOM – not OUTSOURCE in the coming elections.

      In two years… watch for a knife fight for the SENATE, with entrepreneurial types leading the way.

      I love it.

    2. Valissa

      My guess is that his Mormonism and obvious elitism worked against him in Ohio (and elsehwere) more than a single stupid comment he made.

      1. curlydan

        And an issue with the whole 47% comment is that most people who are in that 47% don’t realize it. They are still working and getting federal taxes taken out of their paychecks, but they get all that federal income tax withholding (with the exception of Soc Sec and Medicare/Medicaid) back as a refund at tax time. So their federal tax liability may be zero, but it doesn’t feel like that especially when they view their paychecks.

        The comment probably re-inforced many people’s views of Romney as a greedy b*st#rd but probably didn’t sway many of the 47% from their current preferences.

        1. Mike

          Agreed. I think that that most of the people who voted for Romney didn’t think he was talking about them.

        2. reslez

          That and the fact the “47%” only looks at income tax and nothing else.

          It doesn’t count SSI/Medicare withholding which these workers see deducted from every paycheck, with no refunds or deductions, ever. Meanwhile the rich get to skip SSI withholding scot-free after they hit $106k in income. The median wage is $26k.

          It also doesn’t count the countless other taxes, fees, and rents the “little people” pay every single day. 47% is a disgusting lie.

  11. leftover

    After a well deserved rest for an incredible job, here’s hoping Lambert’s Links, which were always more than just election oriented, can find their way back to NC in one form or another.

    But…Thank You Lambert for such outstanding work here.
    Nicely done.

  12. JTFaraday

    re: Bloomberg Worried About Tim Geithner’s Ability To Put Food On The Table, Dealbreaker

    “many are wondering what will be next for TG. Despite having spent the majority of his career in public service and giving the impression that he has no desire to work for Wall Street, Bloomberg is thinking that with the albatross that is his unsellable Larchmont house around his neck, a family, and college tuition to pay, Geithner may not have a choice.”

    Such solicitude for Geithner’s household budget.

    It seems to me that we have reached the point where the enrichment of neoliberal households at the expense of everyone else is plainly no longer a strictly “private” matter.

    I have some quibbles with this article–for one thing, it uncritically follows Adam Smith in referring to “the people who make up the state” not as citizens, but as “the working man.” But what I do like about it is the way it consistently goes after the relentlessly extractive, as opposed to productive, nature of the neoliberal political economy, as well as the role of the state in facilitating that extraction.


    As Geithner moves on, his career in the so-called “private” sector will make a nice Exhibit A.

      1. Chris Rogers

        its a great pity that James Kennedy confuses Joh Locke with that other great UK political theorist, Thomas Hobbes, for it is within Leviathan that we find Hobbes discussion on the State of Nature and man’s atavistic tendencies – “danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

        1. Chris Rogers

          That should state ‘John Locke’ and yes, I desperately require glasses – a matter I’ve ignored for two years but now I can’t even read a newspaper without a magnifying glass!!!!

          1. juliania

            Last night in a PBS broadcast Aspen speech, David Brooks asserted that classical Greek morality is different from Christian morality and the two are at war in us sad humans – and that’s not true either.

      2. Valissa

        Thanks for the link! I would like to see more of that sort of story here, along with a more diverse approach to economic thinking. Let’s hear more from some of the various “fringe” movements in economics that are trying to bring in a more sensible and heterodox approach, paying more attention to history, and political economy. Also less academese based on artifically constructed models and more plain language absed on real life would be nice as well.

        1. Valissa

          The one thing I didn’t like about The Dark Age of Money article was his use of the word fascism. I really dislike that word because it is so poorly defined and so often lobbed as a word grenade that I think it needs to be replaced.

          When you can label gov’ts or instituions as fascist and then use the same word to describe small nationalist movements such as Golden Dawn (where fascism=physical violence & thuggery), there is a “word” usage problem.

          Suggest reading this… Fascism
          Historians, political scientists and other scholars have long debated the exact nature of fascism. Each form of fascism is distinct, leaving many definitions too wide or narrow.

          1. Anon

            Perhaps, then, all users of the term “facism” should define it, as Kennedy does in the first paragraph of his story.

          2. Aquifer

            anon – THANX! – that’s a point i have been trying to make as well – if one wants to actually have a dialogue or debate one does need to define the actual terms of the discussion :) …

          3. Valissa

            Agreed on this! I’m just tired of all the Golden Dawn links posted here screaming fascism when what they really mean is tribalist thuggery. It is interesting that the MSM loves to throw the fascism word grenade at these small and fringe groups which are basically getting more powerful as a reaction to the austerity programs of the very elite who are themselves really the fascists.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think I am the only member in this fringe movement that I call ‘Profit Sharing Nation.’ (I apologize if it has been proposed before.)

          The idea is to say profit-sharing companies are not enough.

          Why not profit-sharing towns?

          Profit-sharing industries?

          Profit-sharing sectors?

          Profit-sharing counties?

          Profit-sharing states?

          Ultimately, then, we come to ‘profit-sharing nation.’

          Every quarter, we take the quarterly GDP, and divide that equally among all adults. You elimiate all salaries, profits, dividends, etc. Everyone lives off the GDP equally.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Brook Farm, something Phallanx, I recall, etc. – Thanks. It shows good ideas are out here already.

            We just have to say, let’s apply it to the whole nation.

        3. Aquifer

          I’ll drink to that – I’d like to see more stuff on Ecological Economics – Herman Daly, because it won’t matter if MMT is right and we can print all the money we want if MN pulls the rug out from under the whole shebang – there ARE limits, even if not monetary ones, that we had better pay attention to, and any economic “theory” that doesn’t recognize and adopt those limits as central tenets is not, IMO, worth the paper it’s printed on …

          1. Valissa

            Some of us here have asked for some ecological economics articles to be posted (other than the old time ones you caneasily find on the internet), but so far Yves does not seem to have pursued getting outside posters on that topic. It would also be nice to have some posts on new trends in finance and economics that are more reality based, if such writers exist.

            As several commenters have posted recently, the economics approach here at NC is not that far from the mainstream other than the MMT, though it is of course very well written and intelligently presented. When I first came here I knew almost nothing about that stuff so it was all new to me then, especially the critiqing and analysis. It was all very educational. But I’d like to learn more about the various alternative economic approaches and reading economics books makes me either ill or puts me in a trance state. Blog articles are much more digestible so I’d love to see this blog go in that direction more.

            But I can understand that may not fit with Yves plans for this blog… so if anyone knows of any interesting alternative economics blogs not mentioned in Yve’s Blog Roll please let me know.

          2. different clue

            Meanwhile commenters themselves can certainly name and link to ecological economics articles and people in comments. They can also name and rename and link and relink people like Kenneth Boulding, Ernst Schumacher, the people you just named yourself, Frederick Soddy, Charles Walters Jr., etc. etc.

            And do it every so often, to keep the referrences fresh.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘(T)he people who make up the state…’

      In many cases, the people are not the state, though making up the state.

      For example, in tobacco suits, you had ‘people vs. xxx.’ When the tobacco companies lost, and were fined, if the people were the plaintiffs, the money should have been split equally among all citizens, and not gone into general revenues or wherever it went.

      The same with traffic tickets. The money should be distributed to everyone in the area.

      If the government needs money, it needs the consent of the people through taxation with representation. All fines and settlement money in ‘people vs. xxx’ suits belong to the people and should not be re-routed, but immediately be forwarded to the people.

    2. curlydan

      Geithner started as a student/employee of Kissinger, and I suspect he may head down that road and “speechify” and consult with the high and mighty and pretend he is immune to the lure of Wall Street.

      Should be enough to pay the bills and eat chicken-breast lunches everyday.

  13. LeonovaBalletRusse

    The Dallas Arboretum looks like a movie set for “Dallas Oz.” Quite a fantasy of nature.

  14. Chris Rogers

    It never ceases to amaze me how the voting fodder keeps electing politicians who are diametrically opposed to their own beliefs, values and economic interests.

    As Adam Cuurtis has pointed out in ‘The Century of the Self’ and ‘The Power of Nightmares’ a majority of the electorates consciousness has been hijacked/brainwashed by some very unsavory characters to promote their personal interests above and beyond societies at large.

    This years Presidential election reminded one of the mass slaughter that occurred in the trenches during W.W.I when brave men slung themselves at an imagined enemy – indeed it took nearly 4 years of this open slaughter until British, Commonwealth and German troops – the ordinary rank and file began to rebel – the French were about 12 months ahead of this such was the slaughter at Verdun.

    The case has been made by many a progressive liberal and left of centre types that voting for Obama was like Turkey’s voting for Thanksgiving – and the invoked correctly the ‘Grand Bargain’ that has been constructed behind closed doors in Washington to slash and privatise what remains of your social safety net – drawing the conclusion that Obama did not deserve a vote, unless you resided in a swing state – in which case one had better vote for the lesser of two evils – this despite the fact its Obama with actual blood on his hands, Obama who lied his way to his first term and Obama, and not his predecessors, who constructed a socioeconomic model that benefits the already wealthy at the expense of the majority.

    Whilst Stoller, Walsh, Chomsky dare not say it, I trust the courage of ones convictions to defend what few gains remain – be it in the USA or UK – by uttering the unthinkable, i.e., denying Obama a second term by any means necessary even if this mean’t voting for our class enemy Romney.

    Whilst I was laughed at yesterday and on previous nights for daring to usher such advice, ones conviction remains that Romney was never actually mean’t to win the race, rather, he was a patsy giving the illusion of a democratic choice by forces beyond our control.

    Had the electorate in the swings states wizened up to this farce and voted with a moral conviction, that is to deny Obama their vote, things may have been different. For the fact remains, as witnessed by media reports, that Romney was ill prepared to take office should he actually have one – this fact alone would have purchased a minimum 6-9 months time for the marshalling of forces to fight the ‘Great Betrayal’ that has been struck in Washington – a betrayal that America’s first President of African descent – I will not call him ‘Black’ as that actually insults the African American Community – will lead as a duly elected Democratic President, one who cares not for his constituents.

    One hopes I’m being a drama queen, however all the evidence points to a betrayal on a massive scale – no wonder Obama and his Administration were against prosecuting neoliberal inspired fraud, for they are about to commit the greatest fraud of all, one against the vast majority of the US population.

    It is this fact, and this fact alone that saddens me and as the electorate prepares for its Thanksgiving dinner perhaps with hope in their hearts, it won’t be long after that they too realise this fundamental fact.

    I wish you all well in what will likely turn out economically to be four more years of economic crisis and stagnation brought to us by our neoliberal betters the world over.

    1. BobW

      “Had the electorate in the swings states wizened up to this farce…”

      Going to put my face in the dishwater and wizen up.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Perceptive analysis here. “Romney was never actually meant to win the race, rather, he was a patsy giving the illusion of a democratic choice by forces beyond our control.”

      Yup, the fix was in and the setup now begins.

      1. Synopticist

        Balls. The Koch brothers are crying their eyes out right now. Theres a few thousand plutocrats who are really pissed off.
        They are the true class enemies, and they don’t share your cynicism.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Yes, I feel just awful for those poor plutocrats in their unbearable suffering. Oh the humanity! Obama has been so terribly cruel toward them, it’s tantamount to torture, really. If not assassinated by drone missile, many will likely end up in the gulag at Guantanamo without trial. But that’s what Marxist Muslims do.

          Excuse me while I stew in my cynicism.

  15. Eureka Springs

    It’s nice, scanning my regular morning blog haunts (big and small) and find so little bravado among the victors this a.m. I rather suspect the third (100 million) of this country which keeps us all mired in the D vs R neoliberal duopoly know they effed up again.

    It’s like an entire nation just yelled “Hurt me, no, hurt ME!” and now, they all are braced for the pain they asked for.

    Invest in can openers… D vs R’s just increased the odds of catfood being your, or your kids last supper. The narcissism of tiny differences chior will now commence in arguing over how it tastes just like chicken.

  16. Chris Rogers

    Here’s a link to The Guardian’s Simon Tisdall’s take on the election – its totally at odds with my own take and reads more like fantasy – actually, I’m ashamed that none of Europe’s so-called liberal media highlighed to many shortcomings of Obama or highlighted the fact that he’s a paid-up neoliberal who espouses a neoconservative foreign policy – that he’s anti-liberal, anti-constitution and has a huge amount of blood on his hands – so much for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Anyway, here’s the link and US opinion welcome on it:

  17. MontanaMaven

    Arthur Silber: ” By participating in the election at all, you grant legitimacy to the process that will make one of these two men president. You thereby grant legitimacy to the system itself, to the State, and to all those actions you know with absolute certainty the State will take in the future.

    That is what your vote means, even if you vote for a third-party candidate. Perhaps you can do that, and still continue to live together with yourself.

    I cannot — and I will not.

    1. Aquifer

      Sorry – gotta call “baloney” on Silber’s take. ISTM that is only true if you are an anarchist and hate “state”, period.
      If you believe not only that a “state” can do some good, but that there are some necessary good things that require a “state”, then it seems to me one’s obligation is to see that we get a good state – and that means in part participating in the process by which we chose the reps who make up the wheels and cogs of the state apparatus …

      Voting 3rd party in no way means i condone what DnRs do with that aparatus, in fact it means i protest – not voting, a major form of silence, is what gives assent …

      i have said the choice is ballots or bullets – but i guess I must finesse that a bit – for those who choose neither, it sounds like the spectrum is buy a gun, plant a tomato, and help your neighbor if you know (s)he needs it – Have i got that right? Of course when the unchecked PTB continue to create a global situation where there are no (non-human) critters to shoot and your tomatoes die on the vine and your neighbors are in no shape to help …

      1. Chris Rogers

        I concur,

        Given the huge sacrifice and blood spilt in order that the majority could participate democratically with the governance of their nation it would be an insult to those individuals if we all suddenly stayed at home – actually, if all the electorate stayed at home their would be no legitimacy for the bullshite – however, given a minority still cast a vote, its important not to let legacy parties that have sold out their core constituents off the hook – so, fair play to Jill Stein and all who voted for have given no legitimacy whatsoever to this farce of an election.

        Democracy entails a real choice and fair play, and by fair play I do not endorse the mass hypnotising of an electorate by the media and corporate interests – PR spin is PR spin, facts are facts.

        1. juliania

          The election may well have been, on the face of what we are permitted to see, a farce – and I concur with Mr. Silber in that analysis – it’s like ‘Is Sandy a product of Global Warming?’ Hard to prove with all the parameters involved, but blatantly obvious when you step back and look at the big picture.

          But even with the fix being in, as some of us suspect it is, it is better to make the attempt – even if it is only the fixers who know in their hearts, along with each of us individually, we are who we are.

          They know. We stand up, and they know. That is very important. They won’t know if we don’t stand up, and they would like that very much.

          Above all, don’t diss the electorate. Keep the blame where it actually resides. The buck stops there.

        2. Mel

          Yeah, well. Shoulda started before the primaries. There’s hope for the place yet. People may still learn how to have real elections.

    2. TK21

      “You thereby grant legitimacy to the system itself”

      I disagree. Nothing can grant legitimacy to something illegitimate. Obama is a war criminal whether most Americans vote for him or not. The fact that I voted for Jill Stein for president does absolutely nothing to change this.

      1. MontanaMaven

        I posted this Silber piece because it was linked from this site to garner comments. I voted third party and did not vote for the other national races. This is the first time 30 some years that I did not vote for the Dems or the Republicans. I read the Silber piece finally this morning. His position in part comes from reading Hannah Arendt on the Third Reich and why people collaborated. It’s a very sobering read. Here’s an excerpt”
        “Acceptance of lesser evils is consciously used in conditioning the government officials as well as the population at large to the acceptance of evil as such. To give but one among many examples: the extermination of Jews was preceded by a very gradual sequence of anti-Jewish measures, each of which was accepted with the argument that refusal to cooperate would make things worse—until a stage was reached where nothing worse could possibly have happened.”

        Post election I feel neither sadness nor happiness. I spent the morning sending new gloves,socks, hats to Occupy Sandy along with a donation of money. This did give me some sense of action.

        I never considered not participating in the election. But I have started on a journey and really don’t know where it would lead me. So I keep gathering information and alternative ideas.

        1. Aquifer

          That’s an excellent quote to throw at all those LOTE purveyors, including, ISTM, folks like Ellsburg …

  18. Klassy!

    re: Big money in politics. Well, I’d say that we will probably see less emphasis on electoral politics and the growth of more direct to consumer (er, citizen) pr campaigns as well as cooptation of the media and our univerisities. Not that this isn’t happening now I just forsee a growth in it. The ROI is probably better. Heck, you don’t even need money sometimes–the granting of access to VIPs is enough for many in the media. The reflected glow is so warm!
    And there will be more non profits spreading the pro corporate gospel. They’re sprouting like weeds (not to malign weeds). I read a quote in my paper the other day from someone from something called and could only despair. Another one?
    This is one reason I feel that campaign finance reform is somethng of a false hope.

  19. Susan the other

    I can’t help thinking everything just went too smoothly. Elections have always been such a chaos of fear and loathing, why did this one sail through it all so easily? I switched back and forth between msnbc and fox news just for the contrast and there was hardly any. I fully expected Florida and Ohio to be stolen. And since those states hung on till the last minute I think they just didn’t dare do it. So I wanna know why? Did the Mittster drive a stake through Carl Rove’s heart? (We can only hope.) Carl’s behavior on Fox was so peculiar when Ohio came in, his hair was sticking out like bedhead and he was running around disgracefully trying to confirm his precinct estimates and the Sec. of State for Ohio said enough! and just went home and went to sleep. Too much. And when Ohio fell Florida also just went home and went to bed, without a final count. Bizarre. And I gotta say I was stunned by just how honest Romney’s concession speech was. Was the whole thing choreographed, she wondered.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I remember years ago, after losing an election, the disappointed talked about leaving the country.

    Now it seems, the disappointed have matured and we don’t hear them say they are leaving.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Hey, I still want to leave the country and actually tried (Oz 2002-2004). It is NOT easy! So just because I don’t talk about it after elections does not mean my sentiment has changed.

  21. Lambert Strether

    [lambert blushes modestly]

    To state the obvious, thanks to Yves. The Links are the heart of the franchise, so doing the countdown “below the fold” was rather like waltzing into the Louvre with a sketch for a painting under my arm, and having the curator tell me “Oh, yes, just hang that painting right up over there when you’re done with it. Next to those water lilies.” And then the painting turns out to have yards and yards of canvas….

    I also need to thank the NC readership, who were quite insistent that the initial editorial design be improved to their satisfaction, whereupon it was improved.

    So, I hope, au revoir

    1. Susan the other

      Thank you tons, Lambert. And no talk about seeing you later… See you often, I hope. We still got a lot to discuss here.

      1. Susan the other

        Did I ever tell you and Yves and everyone who contributes here that I love this place because it is like a Wm. Saroyan play? Everybody of every stripe comes here and says astonishing and insightful things. It’s the best bar in town. So when do we send in our suspended donations?

  22. Dr. Brian Oblivion

    Thanks Lambert! Thanks to your obsessive coverage and high density link barrages I managed to survive this election cycle without huffing paint, gasoline and other volatile solvents.

    So, like the three little kittens, I hope we have finally seen the last of our Mittens.

  23. b.

    “Notice the immediate turn to changing filibuster rules? Lambert’s call was this would be done to facilitate the Great Betrayal.”

    I am assuming the theory is that this is done not to prevent a filibuster of the Great Betrayal, but to diffuse the blame. If filibuster is no longer an option, then no Democrit can be blamed for not delivering one when it mattered.

    Surely nobody thinks that a filibuster would actually happen either way?

    1. Aquifer

      Frankly, i must confess i am a bit puzzled about why eliminating the filibuster would be useful in facilitating the Grand Bargain – if both DnRs want it in sufficient numbers, then it is filibuster proof — In fact, wouldn’t it look bad for the Dems if conceivably this GB could be stopped by a filibuster threat and the Dems removed that threat?

      Oh yeah – Bernie Sanders – but they just let him yak for awhile, then went on with business …

      So what am i missing ….

      1. Lambert Strether

        IIRC Sanders had around 24 Senators in his block. An old fashioned filibuster where they bring in the cots would be great theatre and would probably win. So the Democratic leadership is heading that off.

        1. Aquifer

          Nobody helped Sanders in his filibuster – all he got out of it was his book – I do not think the Dems would want to filibuster the Grand Bargain – unless you think that Warren, e.g., is for real in this respect – that would be a good way to find out ,,,,

          Of course with the filibuster out of the way, they could allow a certain number, those at most risk and under pressure, to vote NO – but i do not think they will change the filibuster rule – we’ll see …..

  24. Ron

    The South once the sold Democrat conservative base went Republican so what we are seeing today is not a traditional political contest between Republicans and Democrats rather a fight between two wings of the Democrat Party and on a National level the reform wing is clearly winning.
    The Republican Party may at some point either become a minority bible belt party or seek to re brand itself dropping the social conservatives and attempt to build its base with independents and moderate Democrats. Calif once a solid Republican state is probably a model for what the GOP can expect if it continues along its current political path.

  25. Aquifer

    Thanx, Lambert, for being about the only one out there to cover GP politics as an actual part of the political scene – I suspect you know how rare that is …

    One has to wonder just how long good folks are going to bother putting themselves through all the crap they go through and all the calumny they receive to give folks the choice they say they want and then reject when it is offered to them ….

    The irony is that, as in “Send in the Clowns” – “Just when i stopped opening doors, finally knowing the one that i wanted was yours, making my entrance again with my usual flair, sure of my lines – no one was there … “, eventually no one will be there to pick up the mantle …

  26. Ron

    Four Supreme court members are in there mid to late 70’s.
    76,76,79,77 its possible that none will retire during the next 4 years or somebody makes a surprise exit.

  27. Henry

    If minorities are now a majority, does that mean that Whites can get affirmative action rights as minorities?
    Do Whites now get minority status?

    1. Aquifer

      Sorry, Henry, but i think it just means that whites are now the biggest minority. where once they were an absolute majority, – we are now a “minority nation” wherein no one ethnic or “racial” (what a crock that is) group constitutes a majority – but you raise an interesting issue, it will BE interesting to see how some will manipulate that …

  28. abprosper

    Its not demography that did Mitt in. White are still 70% of the population. However many Whites voted against him and many more who like myself either eschew both parties or like others do not trust him for religious reasons (not me) or economic ones chose not to vote.

    Popular vote wise, it was also quite close.

  29. wbgonne

    Re: EWarren and Obama’s Great Betrayal. I just called Warren’s campaign office and asked the very nice woman who answered to urge Warren to OPPOSE any attempts to cut the social safety net, even if they come from Obama.

    Can’t hurt.


    1. Aquifer

      You’re right (as in correct) wb, it couldn’t hoit, but I suspect she is already being schooled by her elder Sen “brothers” on how to write some very nice letters to folks like yourself telling you how “of course she will defend SS/Med” – shucks, the Dems have this down to a science – but what she would mean by “defend”, as defined by her party, and what you mean, are, i suspect, in 2 entirely different dictionaries ….

      1. wbgonne

        Also moderately encouraged by this:

        ” “This is about helping to strengthen and rebuild our middle class, our working families and doing whatever it takes to make that happen,” she said during a five-minute press conference. “We’re facing a $16 trillion deficit,” she said, apparently referring to the total national debt. “I look at that deficit and I think of my little grandson, he’s 2 years old. If we don’t do something, he’s the one that’s going to pay the price.” Warren continued to include the middle class in her responses to questions from reporters, and also alluded to the president’s proposed changes in taxes for the wealthy. “We have to say that those who make it big have to pay a fair share,’’ she said. Warren then made a couple of suggestion on how to reduce the deficit. She listed agriculture subsidies as one area of possible spending cuts, and said that the money that went to fund the wars can go to pay it down.”

        1. Aquifer

          She’s bought the “kids are gonna pay if we don’t fix this deficit” routine – so her idea of “helping the middle class” will wind up being acceptance of Obama’s GB as the LOTE – ie, the alternative is worse. She may have her ideas but will she hold up O’s GB to get them, anymore than Kucinich held up Obamacare to get single payer?

          wb, I hope you are correct, i really do, but …

      1. Aquifer

        Oh no – by how much?

        I should have suspected, or my inbox would have been full of “we won!” stuff from OCA …

        1. wbgonne

          “Companies like Monsanto and The Hershey Co. contributed to what was eventually a $44 million windfall for “No on Prop 37,” while proponents were only able to raise $7.3 million, reports California Watch. Still, despite the lopsided campaign funding power, voting on Prop 37 was relatively close. As of this story’s publish time (98.5 percent of precincts reporting), Prop 37 was able to gain 47 percent of California’s vote.”

          1. Aquifer

            Thanx … i think :)

            But hey 47% is pretty damn good, considering the money spent by the AHs making this sh**, methinks they are sneaking up on it – like gay marriage, it’ll take a few tries –

          2. TK21

            I think you’re right, Aquifer. I also think this will require some time for education, as I don’t imagine many voters have a familiarity with issues like genetics and their role in the food supply.

          3. different clue

            The GMO industry GMOs crops that are wind or insect pollinated in order to spread bioactive frankengene fallout all over the agrosystem. The GMO industry plan is to taint every soybean plant on earth with some detectable amount of GMO sequences, to taint every cornplant on earth with some detectable amount of GMO sequences, to taint every alfalfa plant on earth with some detectable amount of GMO sequences, and so on.

            The goal is to exploint the Organic Community’s Purity Purism against the Organic Community. As testing gets better the testers will be able to detect one frankengene in a million genes, and then one frankengene in a billion genes, and then one frankengene in a trillion genes. The Organic Input Buyers will then of course refuse to buy any crop from an Organic Grower whose harvested crop has one frankengene per trillion normal genes. The Organic Grower will go out of bussiness, and then all the Organic Growers will go out of bussiness, and then the Organic Buyers will go out of bussiness, and the Organic Agriculture Sector will be successfully exterminated. That is the Long Game which the GMO industry is playing.

            Maybe the Organic Community should re-think its Purity Purism. Maybe the Organic Community should decide how much presence of frankengenes proves deliberate use, and how little proves accidental contamination. Maybe the Organic Community should continue to buy and sell Organic Food with unavoidable frankengene contamination because every single piece of targeted food will have frankengene contamination in it. Maybe they should boldly label it ” contains X per cent of unwanted unavoidable forced contamination with Monsanto’s Frankengene X or Syngenta’s Frankengene Y or Bayer’s Frankengene Z”. Boldly use that word “conTAMinAtion” and “conTAMinAted”. Make the buying public hate the GMO companies for frankengene-contaminating every soybean and corn kernel on earth, and lead the buying public to want to see Monsanto and Syngenta and Bayer and the rest exterminated from existence and wiped off the face of the earth as companies . . . including the permanent disemployment of every FrankenNazi Scientist who works for these companies.

            Carry the battle to the heart of the enemy.

  30. Garrett Pace

    I notice that current vote counts are about 10-11 million less than 2008.

    Also, I am horrified that (according to current tallies) second-party candidates got only about 1.52% of the vote. It was 1.48% in 2008. This sort of incremental progress will give us a legitimate third-party electoral revolt in the days of our great-grandchildren.

    On the plus side, Utah’s Sarah Palin – the one-time mayor of a sleepy exurband bedroom community – was defeated by a moderate Democrat, though it costs the US House of Representatives having its first female black Representative.

    Rather a notable triumph for Matheson, who’s been a thorn in the side of Utah Republicans for the past decade – the GOP gerrymandered the heck out of the district map, quadrisecting the state’s main blue stronghold and giving Democrats no comfortable play to get Matheson elected.

    1. TK21

      I don’t mean to nitpick, but I think you mean “first REPUBLICAN black woman in the House of Representatives.” The H of R currently has 8 or 9 black women and at least as many in the past. So don’t feel bad if you thought this was a missed milestone.

  31. Max424

    If I was the parrot, I would ask the “nice” lady, to please slip the cashew through the fence. And if she didn’t comply, I would charm her, give her the old Maxi razzle-dazzle.

    Granted, I’m a lazy feathers, but really, the bill and tool approach looks like way too much work.

    Note: I hate to say it, but the potential is there for the parrot to be brutally tortured. Not physically. I mean, the bird is not going to be pinned down by the wings and then drowned and resuscitated, drowned and resuscitated. At least I hope not.

    But certainly the threshold for damaging psychological abuse has nearly been crossed. If the cashew should be kept, mostly, just out of reach, we would be looking at an enhanced interrogation procedure very much akin to sleep deprivation, I think.

    Forced perpetual insomnia would drive any human stark raving mad, and if I was the parrot, and I was only getting the dreamy cashew at a rate of say, one out twenty (using the frustrating beak and stick technique!), for sure, that would drive me bat shit insane.

  32. Valissa

    Prostitution – Old profession, new debate

    The truth about prostitution

    A fun scandal was had by all… … err… well.. almost all…

    On the importance of the condom

  33. Fíréan

    My congratulations to Angus King ; took the Democrat vote without letting in the Republicans, took it all near enough and he’s now Independent Senator Angus King for Maine.

    I’m not hundred per cent sure what you stand for Mr.King but thank you for showing them that it’s not, as Olympia Snowe conplained previous about her own party, “my way or the highway”.

  34. BillR

    The Age Of Big Money In Politics Is Over?

    Bull. In California, a ten to one money advantage for Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Nestle, Coca-cola, Pepsico and other purveyors of genetically modified garbage over the grass roots campaign to label genetically modified food.

    One company, Monsanto, donated over a million dollars more than the entire Yes on 37 labeling campaign budget combined.

    Got cancer?,autism?,Crohn’s Disease?, obesigens?, acid-reflux?, colitis?, gluten-sesitivity?
    You got GMOs in your diet.

    In spite of that money advantage and the MSM being universally against the peoples right to know what they are eating, the labeling proposition still almost won with 47% of the vote.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s more work to keep track of which sections are organic and which sections are toxic when one grocery-shops.

      Eating has never been so dangerous to one’s health.

      1. citalopram

        I think some of this organic stuff is a scam. For instance, at my local grocery store they always have green organic bananas. The non-organic bananas are always ripe, so you’re essentially forced into buying the green ones if you don’t want to eat them right away.

        1. different clue

          If I liked bananas I would respond by buying some green organic ones to ripen and also some nonorganic ripe ones to eat while waiting for the green ones to ripen. When I began eating the ripened green ones, I would buy some more green ones to be ripe when I had eaten all the ripened green ones, and so on. A rolling relay of green-to-ripe bananas.

  35. Susan the other

    Just don’t want it to get lost in a post-election fog: “Bureaucratic Meddling” re fracking obstacles. That naughty BLM, protecting the drinking water, imposing rules and regs; interfacing with the EPA. Well, the government is just so behind the times the frackers are going to go off the reservation. Frackers are going to deal with private landholders. So Question: Do private landholders answer to EPA regulations? Well, yes they do. And evidence of harm to drinking water is not a particularly high bar. But obviously the frackers are frantic because time is money and each and every one of them submitted the low bid.

  36. Brindle

    Obama Needs To Embrace Repubs?

    This is the predictable beltway take on Obama’s new term.

    —“He needs to do something dramatic to reset the atmosphere and in a dramatic way demonstrate that he is very serious about finding bipartisan solutions,” said David Boren, a former senator who now serves as the president of the University of Oklahoma and as a co-chairman of the president’s intelligence advisory board.

    Mr. Boren suggested that Mr. Obama appoint “a unity cabinet” bringing together Republicans and Democrats.—

    David Boren btw, likely had foreknowledge of the impending 9/11 attacks.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Right on cue, the market is tanking — down over 2%. Foreclosures too can now resume in earnest, and Benjamin Shalom can slow down the printing presses a bit. Now that the Trojan war-horse remains firmly in place, there is really very little need for further pretense.

      Instead, we must renew the fierce urgency of now for austerity as the dire fiscal cliff becomes all important. A new financial crisis can underscore that as the MSM quickly shifts focus on having everyone come together to get things done for the American people. The Skynet Disposition Matrix will now proceed with vigor.

      1. Valissa

        Ahhh…. The dream of unity…

        How realistic is it?

        Unity, artistically expressed

        The joys of political unity, part 1

        The joys of political unity, part 2

          1. skippy

            Cough… Your – ***pony*** – was a re-branded, digitized, sub prime, sliced and diced, spaghettized, venturi mask HFT, variant of “Charlie the Unicorn”.

            Skippy… Melted three heads and directed them to Naked Capitalism today, not 10 min ago. Poor blokes down at paint store, Val Spar is doing the savvy – PE Business Thingy – on an old Australian company. I think they had a momentary psychotic fit when I splained the model and one started gibbering, laughing, eye-rolling in head, next the other two joined in.

            PS. I won’t give you a pony, but, I can offer you my hand… Thanks for your efforts Mr. Strether!!!! Onward to some where[!!!???]

  37. Doug Terpstra

    Romney was Obama’s perfect insurance policy; the outcome was never in doubt. What is disappointing is how the duopoly has so completely captured the electorate. Only 1.5 percent for third party alternatives shows how wholly PT Barnum “misunderestimated” the population.

    Speaking of incurable suckers, David Firestone’s “Liberal Fantasy” is exemplary.

    “Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will be one of the strongest voices in support of Mr. Obama’s policies, and may even push the president leftward.”

    That delusion and the prospect of ending the filibuster as a opening for progressive policy reveals how utterly blind the Media veal pen is to Obama’s real agenda, even after four years of nothing but bait and switch. Lambert is soooo prescient about the opening for Grand Bargain brand Catfood.

    1. Aquifer

      Wait – i’m a little confused (what else is new ..) Warren is going to support Obama or push him left – which is it? Can’t be both …. Methinks poor Liz is gonna get snookered – she’s a pretty good debater, so she will be useful in selling the admin’s positions – guess that’s what O and crowd were salivating over – but if she is as smart as she appears, it will, at some point, have to occur to her that she is being used – wonder how long that will take …

    2. different clue

      What!? . . . wait . . . is that all? ALL the third parties toGETHer got only a coLLECTive TOtal of 1.5%? Green AND Justice AND Socialist AND Social Democrat AND Natural Law Party AND Libertarian AND Constitution Party together got 1.5%?

      Well then . . . ” We! Are! the One Point Five Per Cent!”

  38. KFritz

    Re: Spiegel Article

    In terms of the big picture, Herr Augstein paints a pretty accurate picture of the US malaise, but also includes at least 2 howlers.

    First, there’s his turn of phrase, “everything that distinguishes the West: science and logic, reason and moderation, even simple decency.” This from a native of the country that launched a savage attack on the rest of “The West” just over 70 years ago. His level of historical amnesia rivals any American.

    NC readers must wonder about his assertion that Europe’s metaphorical financial house is so much sounder than that of the US. Memo to Jakob: watch what happens when Greece finally accedes to the inevitable and exits the Euro/EMU.

    1. different clue

      One hopes they “leave ugly”. One hopes they “burn down the Euro”. Revenge! Revenge!

    2. different clue

      Well, if the article is right, its right. It has to hurt hearing it from Germany, but Germany has done decades of good credible work democratizing and de-fascistifying itself, I believe. Of course, if other people know better, I will stand correctible on that point.

  39. MontanaMaven

    “Couterpunch” needs help. From a letter I got. When most of the progressive gliterrati, from The Nation, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Moore to Rebecca Solnit and Bill McKibben, turned tail and began frantically urging their readers to swallow their bile and support Obama, CounterPunch stood firm. And we’ve paid a savage price. We’ve lost big donors. We’ve lost subscribers. We’ve been rejected by liberal foundations. But we didn’t back down. We’ve never backed down. And you can count on us not to back down now that Obama and his neoliberal claque are returning for another four years of budget cuts, bailouts and kill lists. But we need your help. Now.”

    1. Valissa

      Thanks for posting this… I donated today because it’s important to support those groups who dare go against the establishment.

      1. athena1

        I REALLY want to know who the donors and foundations are. I do think there’s some sort of “controlled opposition” thing going on here. Maybe, at least.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This has been going on from the beginning of the Obama administration, the kneecapping of anyone on the left that refuses to follow Administration messaging. Most leftie groups get a significant proportion of their funding either from big foundations (think Ford Foundation) or big individual Dem donors.

          1. athena1


            Also, while I’ve got your ear, my new thing, Atheism plus, is in counterpunch today!

            I don’t think the author really gets it that inequality research has been a hot button issue for skeptics for years and years, tho. Or that everyone at A+ is walking on eggshells, not wanting to reignite the pro vs anti Obama left wars. Either way, economic literacy is CRUCIAL to making an informed decision about politics and the Dem party, I think.

            So, Atheism Plus really really really needs the participation of the economically literate folds here. We’re currently not in the veal pen, but I have to wonder if that might change soon. Money does weird stuff to people’s heads.

          2. Aquifer

            Athena – So why should “economic literacy” be tied to atheism? What’s the point? Sounds kinda Randian to me …

        2. athena1

          @Aquifer, the the mental muscles that led me here are the same ones that let me know homeopathy is bunk. Also, I’m currently very close to trying to demand that atheism plus rebrand as skepticism plus. (I know plenty of very smart, intelligent theists.)
          The difference between us and Randians is that “we” have morals. Randian elites appear to be a merry band of fairly intelligent sociopaths. The followers are generally not too bright. And, they’re bigots. (Smart bigots are fairly rare IME.)

  40. Hugh

    You know if Romney had won the election, someone would have written an article “Obama Campaign Haunted by Mistakes”. This ignores that Romney who isn’t quite up to par with a ham sandwich nearly beat Obama “the master campaigner” in the popular vote and who knows with a few hundred thousand strategically re-arranged might have been able to win the electoral vote as well.

    Just as all campaign coverage pays no or glancing attention to the issues and quickly devolves into an obsession with the “horse race”, these post-mortems are just as predictable. Obama ran a lackluster campaign, had a terrible record, and barely eked out a victory, but hey, he was the winner so Romney was not the loser, but necessarily, a loser, a mope.

    I had to laugh as last night Brian Williams talked about what a devastating blow this loss must be for Romney sort of ignoring that Romney has $200 million to console his poor sweet soul with. The homeowner losing his/her home, the unemployed with benefits running out or already run out, they should be so lucky to have Romney’s problems.

    Anyway, we are into the post mortem phase now. There will be a few pieces about whether the media failed to cover the issues. And then there will be the self-congratulatory pushback, that amounts to a paper in Oxnard did an article on global warming so yes, the media really did pay attention to the important issues. There will be a few articles about voter suppression, the unreliability of electronic voting machines, and the insanity of the electoral college, and then it will all be Thanksgiving and the holidays, and it all will be forgotten, as it is every 4 years.

  41. athena1

    Can someone give me a MMT 101 lesson?

    I was just re-reading this:

    “But, von Hayek continued, “You see, one of Reagan’s advisers told me why the president has permitted that to happen, which makes the matter partly excusable: Reagan thinks it is impossible to persuade Congress that expenditures must be reduced unless one creates deficits so large that absolutely everyone becomes convinced that no more money can be spent.”

    Thus, the economist said, Reagan “hopes to persuade Congress of the necessity of spending reductions by means of an immense deficit.”


    Does this mean there’s a lot of full on con artistry going on with the whole bond vigilante thing?

      1. athena1

        Thanks, and ha! I was just asking that author questions at FDL yesterday! But…I still think I need a bit more spoonfeeding.

        Ok, like, that quote from Bill Clinton about “a bunch of f***ing bond traders”? Does this mean it looks like Clinton fell for the con?

        1. Susan the other

          Steve Keen (Prof Econ in Australia who analyzes debt and economics) thinks that it was because of Clinton’s surplus that private debt took off and it was then private debt that was intractable as it rose too fast to be absorbed into the economy. If it had been government debt, stimulating the economy for infrastructure or education or whatever, it would not have caused a problem because governments can and should spend their way out of a recession.

          Clinton was just caught on camera making casual comments about how the first thing to do is “fix the budget” after the election. He doesn’t seem to understand much of anything except “arithmetic.” He also doesn’t seem to understand he is not the president.

          1. athena1

            So, did Clinton fall for Taibbi’s “the long con”?
            (I’m not asking you to be psychic, btw…just asking what it looks like to you going off that quote about “a bunch of f***ing bond traders.”)

  42. ginnie nyc

    Thanks, Lambert, for all your electoral work. I hope you will consider doing something similar in the future, say re: Catfood Bargain.

    Right now you should put up your feet.

  43. Myshkin

    I read the Fitch piece some time ago and found it prescient, I may have got it from your link, if so I thank you for it, its why I read NC. I thought it so good I’ve sent it to friends.

    I’m well aware that the country is in the grasp of friendly fascism, that the corporations are playing us like rubes in a company town and many of us are collaborating in our own exploitation. How else explain the idolatory of Steve Jobs and those who worship at the altar of Apple. I know about the broadand issue, about Monsanto and seed patenting and many other dystopian, corporate nightmares. The novel Cloud Atlas may be a fair map for our future if we do not act effectively. The question is how to act effectively.

    I can not accept the delusional statements of NC commenters that N. Chomsky would support Obama out of fear or that E. Warren said anything in that video that suggested she was in league with Simpson Bowles. These postings suggest a loss of connectivity with reality, not unlike the Tea Party, whose passionate hate blinds them into a fabrication of alternative versions of acutal events.

    I suspect Fitch would have voted for Obama in 2012 and then worked to separate him from his corporate captors. I suppose that each perception of what is real is debatable but that string of happy NC cynics was just a little too much to stomach.

    I read Der Spiegel, Haaretz, Counterpunch, Asia Times and a range of other sites. Enough to know that we do not live in a world that happily accomodates democracy. In most parts of the world blood is spilled when governments change. Those who advocate opting out of voting are misguided, voting for Jill Stein is fine but those who are unable to comprehend that voting for Obama in swing states may be a reasonable option are the naifs.

    You and I and many of your readers have figured out that something has gone very wrong, yet we are still able to organize and vote. That is not the state of affairs in many other countries where they pay a much greater price for what we dismiss as of marginal value.

    Good luck, I’ll keep reading, thanks for your work.

  44. athena1

    I just saw this from the election liveblog:

    “Why didn’t Obama cross the road?

    From your white and privileged vantage point I guess that road is pretty important, but when teenage girls are dying from back alley abortions after Romney is elected, pardon me if I don’t give a rat’s a** about that road.”

    I SWEAR TO GOD I’m being/feeling targeted over here.

  45. athena1

    Please please please unmoderate my comments, here. I’m one of the good guys, I promise. I R not CIA for realz.

  46. athena1

    LeonovaBalletRusse says:
    November 6, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Will Rebecca feel vindicated if her guy wins?

    athena1 says:
    November 8, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Oh, WOW!
    Are you talking about Rebecca Watson?


    And yes, I think that commenter WAS talking about Rebecca Watson.

Comments are closed.