Links 11/8/12

More post election commentary:

‘Sad and Depressed’ CEOs See No Light at End of Partisan Impasse Bloomberg

Why the GOP Will Double Down on a Losing Strategy Michael Grunwald

Rove Biggest Super-PAC Loser, Trump Says Waste of Money Bloomberg. Proves my current pet peeve, that ad spend on TV is way way too high and on the Web is way too low relative to the pricing and ability to reach targeted audiences, but ad agencies and folks like Rove have incentives to keep pushing money at TV. So exit Rove? Not to worry, some fresh faced right winger who knows how to do social media will surface to suck up corporate political donor dough. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Romney Camp Retooling Campaign After Latest Setback Onion

One bit of cheer even I have to concede: we were spared having this man as Treasury secretary (Lisa Esptein)

Vote By Mail Clearly the Best Solution to Getting Hundreds of Millions of Americans to Vote Dave Dayen, Firedoglake


When quants tell stories Felix Salmon

Obama and progressives: what will liberals do with their big election victory? Glenn Greenwald, Guardian. His discussion of how lefties beat their fellows into selling out is an instant, albeit depressing, classic.

After Loss, the Fight to Label Modified Food Continues New York Times

Sandy Tries To Make Up For Devastation By Delivering A Stocked Bar To Neighborhood Consumerist

Man-Made Disasters Are Way Worse For The Stock Market Than Natural Disasters Clusterstock

Billionaire Rinehart Feuds With Fortune-Hunting Children Bloomberg

TEPCO Doubles Estimate for Fukushima Clean Up to $125 Billion OilPrice

Angst returns on German recession fears and US fiscal cliff Ambrose Evans-Prithcard, Telegraph

Laughable European forecasts MacroBusiness

Violent scenes as tens of thousands hold austerity protest in Athens Guardian

Appeals court rejects torture suit against Rumsfeld Reuters (Lambert)

Daniel Schwarcz on the Lack of Transparency in Insurance Consumer Protection Nathalie Martin, Credit Slips

If You Think Elizabeth Warren Is Going To Act Like A Junior Senator, Think Again Neil Barofsky, Clusterstock. I’m sure she’s shrewd tactically, she was known to be a tough bureaucratic infighter in academia and she did a very impressive job of getting the CFPB going. She has great administrative skills. What I question is what ends she will use them for. How far is she willing to buck the Administration, even on her pet issue of bank reform?

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. Judy C.

    TEPCO will learn hard way that the Fukushima clean-up will cost WAY more than $125 billion. Maybe $125 billion for each reactor that melted down. And then there is the subject of compensation to the farmers and residents of that area. They can never go back to their homes there.

    1. K Ackermann

      If they don’t get that spent fuel pool fully ssfe and secure, they will be paying the moving costs for the whole country to some other country.

    2. Antifa

      Fukushima is like the fable of King Midas, in reverse.

      With what material does one pick up a gigantic molten pool of nuclear fuel? With what material does one cover it over? Same answer for both questions — there is nothing that can come in contact with it and not melt.

      It’s only a matter of time before the fuel pool held aloft in Reactor Building Four gets knocked down by another 7+ earthquake and after that no human, no robot, no known metal or material science know of will be able to survive anywhere in the vicinity of the entire site.

      The other buildings will collapse in due course, since no one will be able to maintain them, and a growing pool of molten matter will spew radiation into the atmosphere and ocean for thousands of years.

      Fukushima won’t be cleaned up.

  2. Butch in Waukegan

    The morning after.

    Obama supporters’ hope for change just crashed into the wall of his real (as opposed to what they imagined) priorities. His administration was quick to send a message after Tuesday’s votes.

    Marijuana Legalization Victories Could Be Short-Lived

    The upside: the liquor industry, the prison industry, prison guard unions are grateful that the US (with 5% of the world’s population) will continue to have 25% of the world’s prisoners.

    1. Jim Haygood

      This past summer, an effort to dismantle the legal foundation of Bloomberg’s ‘stop and frisk’ abuses in NYC by decriminalizing cannabis was defeated in the New York State Senate, controlled since the 1930s by upstate Republicans whose districts include a disproportionate number of state prisons. This election might have changed the picture:

      Republicans currently hold 33 of the 62 seats in the Senate. On Tuesday, Democrats had clearly won 31 seats and Republicans 30 in a chamber that will grow to 63 seats next year because of redistricting.

      In the two remaining races, Democrats were ahead: In the Poughkeepsie area, the Democrat, Terry W. Gipson, led Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Republican, by about 1,600 votes. In the new, 63rd district in the capital region, the Democrat, Cecilia F. Tkaczyk, led the Republican, George A. Amedore Jr., a state assemblyman, by about 140 votes.

      Republicans said they were optimistic that Mr. Amedore would win, saying he had an aggressive absentee-ballot operation. And they said they had not given up on Mr. Saland’s chances, either.

      Even if partisan control changes in the NY Senate, don’t be surprised if decriminalizing cannabis remains a low priority.

      Paying some humans to keep other humans in cages for non-crimes is ‘good bidness’ for both wings of the Depublicrat party.

      The Gulag is the health of the state!

      1. Nathanael

        The epochal fight over NYS State Senate Control will not be over this year. But keep an eye on 2014 and 2016 — the Republicans face demographic death in New York, and we’re going to knock them out eventually.

        During this intermediate period, there’s going to be an absurd amount of “housecleaning” of old, corrupt Democrats, a process which started last time Democrats won control of the State Senate.

        Once this is over, there will be serious jockeying for the new position of “second party” in New York. Working Families is the leading contender right now but it might not stay that way.

        Expect cannabis decriminalization to be passed during the intermediate period. Republicans might even vote for it in one of their desperate survival bids, but if not, it’ll be an easy “look, we did something” for the Democrats once they get into power.

        Deeper reforms are another matter and I wouldn’t expect them for a while, unless we get a great Governor through sheer luck.

        1. Aquifer

          WFP – from what i can tell, is just a sop for Dems, giving them another ballot line while giving its members the illusion they are “making a difference” – it isn’t really a functioning 3rd party with its own candidates – but correct me if I am wrong …

    2. kelley smith

      Not sure. California just reconsidered their “3 strikes” law to soften it and since they were the front runners on this many are sure to follow. That may mean less prisoners in jail on a long term basis.

  3. skippy

    When Polies and MSM gab about the upside of rodent / rat populations being reduced… ask for precise definition.

    Skippy… Nothing more old fashion – school, than allowing Nature to scrub perspective development sites… clean.

  4. Invient

    Should we be introducing instant run off ballot initiatives/ammendments for the 2014 ballots?

    Personally, it would make it easier to vote third party… The hope is it would make it easier for others to do so as well… 1% voted for third party this year.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      NC Link 8 Nov 2012 re “Third Party” Fraud of Gary Johnson: (Spoiler Wrench) —

      “IT AIN’T PRETTY” — but, still, no mention of the Romney-Mormon-Mexican-Utah connection to Mexican or “latino” connection to Gary Johnson Governor of New Mexico which might explain why Gary set up in Salt Lake City, Utah, site of Deep Security State.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        So, do the “Republican” Deep Security State Private Profiteers mean to “capture the Ultraconservative/Authoritarian Latino vote” through “religious” affiliation via Mormon Imperial and Roman Catholic Imperial Dynasties by any name (e.g. Walker-Bush ancestral religion, renewed w/ marriage with children of Jeb Bush and his Mexican wife)? Does this connect with Georgetown’s finest and the tradition of James Jesus Angleton (Mexican roots) and his Ultraconservative Uber Alles CIA?

          1. skippy

            Not only Interest, but… Debt. Debt used to be an intimate affair, where now its a global gang bang.

            skippy…. too many lovers, is not – always – a good thingy…

        1. Synopticist

          Doesn’t it seem more likelly they’re just siphonig off democrat votes, by emphasising weed and drones, rather than their no-holds barred hard right economics?

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Should we be introducing instant run off ballot initiatives/ammendments for the 2014 ballots?

      Here, Here! Absolutely!! There’s a pretty strong movement in this direction here in MN. It’s already been adopted for local elections in several municipalities, including the Twin Cities. Now that the DFL has full control of the state government for the first time since 1990, there’s a good chance it will pass.

      1. Nathanael

        Instant runoff is useles and entrenches the two-party system further. See Australia’s House of Commons for a real-world example. Or research the math behind it.

        Now, *party-proportional representation* is what you need to be advocating for. One version is called “single transferrable vote”; they use it in Scotland. It looks similar to “instant runoff”, but it has very different results mathematically — it actually gives third parties a real chance. This is used in Australia’s *Senate*.

        1. CB

          Voting systems are a mathematician’s game. I looked around at the various common systems and it became obvious that a good grasp of the underlying mathematics is necessary. As is also the case in apportionment schemes, which turn out to be much more difficult because they have to account for historical patterns and groupings. Interesting field of study. Not my expertise, but I did note the caveat that any system can be gamed. The objective is to make cheating too difficult without making the system too complicated.

    3. Jonathan

      Interesting idea. I’d love to hear some winning strategies on how to make such a thing reality, but I also understand that attacking the very source of the duopoly’s lock on power in open court is only going to make their attacks more effective.

      1. Nathanael

        Establish party-proportional representation for boards, or approval voting for single-member offices, locally.

        It’s a hard fight even locally, but if people get used to it on the local level, that’s what makes it possible to use it on the national level.

    4. Paul Tioxon

      Run offs include, in the case the US Congress, the need for statewide congressional voting, not congressional district voting within states.

      New Congressional Voting Pln

      1. Eliminate all congressional boundaries and districts within the states.

      2. Hold congressional elections with the top vote getters going to congress. E.G. In Pennsylvania, with 19 allotted representatives based on decennial census, the top 19 vote getters go to congress. Out of a field of candidates, I get to vote for 19, from any party, or no party at all, as long as they get on the ballot.

      As a Philadelphian, I only get to vote for one congress person for my district, disenfranchising me from the rest of the state’s political power as a whole. Since I live my life as a whole, under the laws of the state and the federal government, I want as many of my allotted representatives as possible working in my interests. As it stands now, congressional districts serve only to preserve the cult of personality or job security of the one person who represents me and not the general policies that I want to see upheld over a lifetime.

      1. amateur socialist

        I love this idea. If voters in Dallas, Houston and Austin got to influence the makeup of the TX congressional delegation in proportion to our population TX would get purpler faster.

    5. Ray Duray

      Re: “Should we be introducing instant run off ballot initiatives/ammendments for the 2014 ballots?”

      I sincerely hope not. Here’s a comparable. In March, 2010 the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2009 went to “The Hurt Locker”, a small unimportant film but one that was among the most pro-military (waste) propaganda films produced since World War II. It won on the basis of IRV.

      Compare: Also in the running was the spectacular, technically marvelous, astonishingly well-written and popular 3-D film “Avatar” with a sensible message about the depravity of using war to expropriate entire planets for corporate plunder.

      Who won the Academy’s IRV voting? The wrong film. Obviously.

  5. fresno dan

    So all our problems are due to reverse racism.

    I read something interesting in Slate – Dukakis if he had gotten the same PERCENTAGE of women, minorities, etcetera that he had gotten in 1988 today, he would have won. You can look at that two ways – Blacks, women, gays, urbanites, etcetera vote for Obama because he is black, or you can use the data and see that blacks vote for Obama for the same reason they would have voted for Lincoln – its the policies!
    And maybe understand that most entitlements such as social secrurity are not dispensed based on race. But that would require understanding numbers and accepting reality…

    The 2 irrationalities is how long will it take white men to figure out republicans are not their friends, and the whole electoret to figure out that Wall street is killing the country.

    1. Noe G

      Entitlements would not be bankrupting the country if the MAKERS… the PRODUCERS… the whiners and gangsters hadn’t manipulated the system to take their MAKINGS off shore and sell em back to the populations they betrayed.

      And then they complain that minimum wage workers need assistance!!

      Nobody hates the GOP like the entrepreneurs they betrayed. I know too many men and women who bought into the GOP garbage only to find out it’s not the party of producers, but takers, –Welfare queens in suits.

      The GOP right used Government to increase market share, subsidize the ransacking of otherwise healthy start ups.. and destroy competition!

      The GOOP is the party of socialism – for the 1%

      1. Chris Rogers

        Noe Sir,

        Hate to break it to you old bean, but The Republicans and Democrats – or both parties leadership – are fully supportive of welfare for the hard pressed 1% – the rest of the nation can go fuck itself, unless of course if it turns a profit for one of the elites constituents parts – like medical insurers and ObamaCare.

        Obviously, those who actually require a hand up, get the Great Betrayal instead – Socialism for the 1%.

        Still, given 98.5% of those who voted on Tuesday voted legacy parties, all I can say is you gets what you deserve – no good whining now like Bill Black or Noam Chomsky, both of whom endorsed the Democrats – you had your chance, were warned and blew it – so evidently the majority support social welfare and Socialism for the Ruling Elite while they themselves stave or die painful deaths because they are denied access to medical attention.

        Well done USA, a Poster Child to all neoliberals globally.

        1. Noe

          I didn’t vote… for precisely the reasons you outline.

          The point of my comments is more about the grousing by the party of MAKERS .. about TAKERS… when the elites on both sides are clearly the takers.

          Point taken… but don’t blame me. I’m the anarchist who wants the vote to fall below 49% so we can claim NO MANDATE FOR ANY OF THE BASTARDS

          1. Nathanael

            Gaaaah. Always vote — there are always downticket races or ballot initiatives where it actually makes a difference.

            School board races have been critically important (thanks to creationists trying to take them over), for example.

          2. Aquifer

            Claiming “No mandate!” and $3.50 will get you a cup of coffee, maybe it’ll be even “fair trade” …

    2. JTFaraday

      “And maybe understand that most entitlements such as social secrurity are not dispensed based on race. But that would require understanding numbers and accepting reality.”

      Not directly, maybe, but you need employment and steady employment to accrue social security benefits, and employment is related to race.

      And do we really think they didn’t recognize that right from the start?

      It’s entirely possible that at least some of Obama’s voters don’t have so much to lose here as those who are more solidly middle class, by virtue of employment not birth, (which means the downwardly mobile may also find themselves scratching their heads).

      Hell, even Medicare isn’t cheap.

  6. Paul Walker

    So much for subjecting all sources or personal revenue including dividends and capital gains to FICA/Medicare let lone removing caps in regular income subject to FICA/Medicare.

      1. ambrit

        Dear CB;
        Too true. The case could be made that unearned income, (let’s argue about just what that means later, shall we,) should be taxed at a HIGHER rate.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If we are talking about interest income for those over 65 or 70, it should be lower, not higher.

          That ZIRP is newspeak. Its proper name is ‘Let’s starve grandpa and grandma interest rate policy.’ or LSGAGIRP.

          1. Nathanael

            Grandpas and grandmas living on interest from savings are very rare, and mostly rich.

            Nowadays most grandpas and grandmas rely on *Social Security* and *pensions*. There’s been a concerted attack on both lately, which must be fought.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It still hurts senior though if you are used to see that $150 a month interest income which is now reduced to $25.

          3. krys

            $150 a month income is below the lowest margin. i thought we were talking about higher taxes for income over the top margin.

        2. CB

          I’ve had a small potatoes portfolio yielding dvds and cap gains since about 1990. Over the years I’ve watched the tax rates on my miniscle pile drop and drop and drop and……. And my thought all along was SUCKERS. The middle class voted for the policies and politicians who effected this crap because they what, imagined they were going to become Scrooge McDucks diving into swimming pools of gold and silver coins?

          The beneficiaries of the “ownership society” Bush so easily sold to the suckers have always been, to use Bush’s own phrase, the haves and the have mores. Some middle class Fiddle Fudge, insurance company auditor, may eke out a celebratory two medium pizzas and sodas at Sal’s Pizza and Steaks on his annual savings, but the real dough goes to the people who save hundreds of thousands and millions. People whose savings are real money and real benefits: that darling pied-à-terre in Lucerne that needs major work but will be a wonderful vacation refuge. Another Maybach, perhaps. We’re talking spare no expense lifestyles, here, not a fistful of quarters in a Horn & Hardart automat. And the middle class has supported the con. I am incredulous. I mean, I benefitted, in a very small way, but, believe me, I would always have been far better off with a living wage and affordable medical care.

          I still find it hard to credit that people who get no benefit from the tax laws are such enthusiastic supporters of tax policies that siphon off their financial lifeblood. Say “tax reduction” and they swoon. They don’t understand that it’s not a tax reduction, it’s an allocation shift.

  7. Noe G

    I’ve been all over the conservative threads this morning trying to talk some sense into my former brethren.

    Parasites! Makers! Takers! we’re going to hell in a handbasket.

    So far no one has answered my charge that the 30% hispanic vote and takeover… is a GOP invention. Reagan’s amnesty was the seed corn for the cultural takeover of the SW

    Multi national masters of the GOP wanted the cheap help and the leverage against you and me.

    NOW – they are pandering to the xenophobic base [myself included – because we are about to be swamped with the problems of the south]

    Pundits are wailing about welfare queens, and parasites without a mention of GE – paying NO TAXES… offshoring their MAKINGS… then selling them back to the people they betrayed!!

    And anybody remember Western Pacific Airlines? the wealth creators of the right… working for United Airlines in Denver… saw the IPO of WesPac as an opportunity to crush competition in Colorado.

    the founder saw it as a way to cash in on his hard work after starting an airline based on the Southwest Model that offered cheap flights to Aspen as well as Denver!!

    The heresy did not go unpunished.

    Carl Icahn raided the company… borrowed against it’s assets after stealing the cash… then bankrupted the operation. [Romney without the plaid pants and toothy smile]

    These guys are gangsters… and predators. And although I couldn’t bring myself to vote O … I will not cast a vote for the party of 1%… they are evil.

    And their followers are dutifully blaming Mexicans and blacks this morning… assholes.

  8. CB

    I am under the impression that the people who buy media get a percentage. True? If so, big outlays are in their best interests. The bigger the better.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I didn’t want to go into it, but that’s first order. Placing TV is big expenditures per ad, so easy and lots of dough. But I also believe ad agencies (not sure for folks like Rove) take a higher % of the development of the “creative”, that is the spot itself. It looks small relative to the total but it ads a lot to their compensation.

      Now how much can you charge for the “creative” on an internet ad, even one of those obnoxious ones?

      1. CB

        And if you can’t charge much for “creative” and the money to buy the web space is small, OMG, you have to work like crazy to make anything! No, no, won’t do.

  9. Chris Rogers

    The Glenn Greenwald bullshite really is most annoying – although not surprised at all to find it in The Guardian, who like much of the UK’s and Western Europe’s press seem bewitched by the stench wafting off Obama.

    To put it bluntly, evidently Mr. Greenwald has been inhaling too much of Obama’s hopium – indeed, I’m surprised Obama is not being investigated by the DEA on this issue!

    However, I also posted a rather long post on The Guardian in relation to another travesty of an article posted by Ewen MacAskill, which was more pigs swill – here’s my post in full:

    “I find it incredulous that the European media, and in particular The Guardian, keep portraying the Democrat Party and the US President, Obama, as liberals when the opposite is the case.

    If the media are referring to the Democratic leadership and its President as neoliberals, well yes, i’d tend to agree.

    If the media are referring to the Democrats and their President as neoconservatives, then again I would agree – but to claim that the Democrat’s are either liberal, or for that matter left of centre or left leaning is complete and utter bollocks.

    Perhaps if some of the posters and actually some of the authors of this tripe could bother to get out of their wheelchairs and take a peek around multiple blogs across America, particularly well known sites such as Naked Capitalism, their misinformed opinion may be corrected.

    Here are a few facts, the Democrat Party as it is composed today is neither liberal, left of centre or progressive, it is a conservative institution that follows a neoliberal economic policy and neoconservative foreign policy – this testament is highlighted by the fact that under Obama’s leadership the power and wealth of the US ruling elite – the so called 1% – has increased greatly under his first term whilst that of the majority, including African American’s, has actually dropped further, with wealth inequality greater now than under Bush Junior.

    Obama has also undermined US civil liberties further than Bush and takes great pleasure in signing off on death warrants on a daily basis – his so called ‘Drone Policy’ – he has blood on his hands and yet holds a Nobel Peace Prize – such is the esteem he is held by, by the Global elite.

    The election in a nutshell was a farce, whereby the US electorate was offered no real choice, rather it came down to the lesser of two evils and liberals and left of centre types fell for it – among them Noam Chomsky.

    So, let me summarise, during his first term Obama and the Democrats failed to address the serious economic crisis that is afflicting the USA – Dodd Franks being a travesty, Obamacare, far from being a progressive piece of legislation that expand health care, actually benefits the Insurers rather the US population as a whole – Obama as amassed more power within the Executive branch than Bush and passed legislation that undermines civil liberties to a greater degree than the Patriot Act – and still commentators on these boards claim Obama is a liberal – try telling that to the Occupy Wall Street Movement, whistle blowers and the hundreds of innocent civilians killed in overseas lands as the US continues its War on Terror.

    The worse thing about Obama and the Democrats is that it is they and not the Republicans who will put the final nail into the coffin of what remains of the US welfare safety net – the so called ‘Great Betrayal’ or ‘Grand Bargain’ as its known in Washington continues apace – a backroom deal between Democrats and Republicans hatched in Washington’s corridors of power.

    So, on genuflection, I can assure you that had Romney won the US election, the Great Betrayal would have been delayed by maybe 12 months – thus allowing opponents to Marshall their forces, as it stands, right after Thanksgiving we are going to see the real ‘sell out ‘ Obama, the Obama who makes life easy for the 1% and difficult for the majority.

    Obviously, such home truths have received scant attention in the UK and European media – particularly here in The Guardian – still what should I expect from a paper that support the Great Betrayal of the UK electorate with its continued support for the Liberal Democrat’s – this despite its knowledge of ‘The Orange Book’, contents therein and and authors of the tripe.

    Well done The Guardian and hope you love having blood on your hands via your loyal support for Obama, the Murderer-in-Chief of the USA.

    my posts on this subject matter can be seen on Naked capitalism’s website together with numerous posts from actual leftist and progressive forces within the USA.”

    1. Noe G

      my thoughts exactly.

      the xenophobic right calls O a muslim [oooh] and socialist [wha?] and anti American.

      The right has never given O credit for betraying his campaign promises… never gave him credit for his bipartisan appointments..

      the right should have loved this guy.. a regular lawn jockey for their wall st cronies! They outfited O in a red coat, lantern and high black boots to entertain the 1% in his new white house.

      1. Jonathan

        The adversarial stance is just a role, like lawyers do: arguing nearly to fisticuffs in court and going out for a friendly lunch afterward.

        As we have seen, it is in both parties’ long-term interest to keep the riff-raff well away from the levers of power. Throwing a few contests is a small price to pay to maintain the parties’ long-term positions as power brokers. I believe the “rape caucus” was really caricature aimed at enforcing party discipline on the so-called left. Consider it a returned favor for Kucinich and other just-barely-left Democrats bringing the Tea Party back into line as a caucus instead of a party.

    2. patricia

      Chris, Greenwald has said a few times that he calls them “liberals” because that’s the commonly understood term for this particular group. He criticizes them because he thinks they aren’t. Moreover, if you read his past articles, you will find that he has been disgusted by Obama’s actions, as he was towards Bush before that.

      When Greenwald was at Salon, he had Yves guest-blog.

      1. Chris Rogers


        i was actually being critical of Greenwald’s current post in The Guardian, and The Guardian’s coverage itself – or lack thereof – of the US Presidential election.

        My posts today are critical, highly critical about those, be they Chomsky, Stoller, Moore, Walsh, Bill Black who voted Democrat in the election, this despite knowing full well about Obama and what Obama’s second terms offers.

        Indeed, a more honest man would have stuck to his principles, which in this election mean’t denying a second term in office for Obama, even if this mean’t a Faustian bargain with your conscious by voting tactically for Romney.

        I never brought into the notion of the lesser of two evils, rather, I believe the Democrats and Obama need punishing for the betrayals perpetrated against the American people.

        Here are the facts, Obama and Romney are cut from the same cloth, so how can one be a lesser evil than the other – indeed, it was Obama who run with blood on his hands, Romney is just a crook, a very big crook, but certainly no murderer – although obviously, if given the chance he’d have followed in Bushes and Obama’s foot steps.

        The fact remains, neither the Republicans or the Democrats are fit to represent the US people, their leaderships only represent themselves.

        And please don’t accuse me of being a Romney or Republican stooge, my advice from when Romney won the Republican nomination was for voters to vote Jill Stein, however, given Stein’s lack of support and closeness of the election, my other bit of advice was for electors in swing states to punish Obama – they could then have punished Romney in 2014 and 2016 – its all about tactics and principles, but its no use complaining if the bastard doing the damage you actually voted for!!!!

        1. patricia

          I largely agree with you. I was only clarifying that Greenwald gave no indication that he voted for Obama and I very much doubt he did. Also Stoller promoted third party all the way to the polls.

          Just to say that, yes, LOTE is pointless/destructive in this climate but not everyone you listed has gone there.

    3. Nathanael

      Oh, I don’t disagree, but you have to realize there *was* a real choice.

      Democratic Party: the right-wing, conservative party.
      Republican Party: the End Timers, 14th century, theocracy, insanity, armageddon, Jim Jones at Jonestown party.

      Not a good choice. But there’s definitely a difference. I don’t think the US can even start to become healthy until the cultist end-timer faction is reduced to a miniscule level of popularity. As long as cultist end-timers are getting 40%+ of the vote, we have an extremely large problem.

      1. Synopticist

        Yes, the US has a centre-right party and a moonbatsh*t crazy party.
        Fortunatelly, the moonbat party lost this time, but they’re all set to double down on the stupidity. But that doesn’t mean they’ll lose the elections in 2 years time.

        I honestly can’t see any longterm improvement in terms of inequality and GINI co-efficients while the reps have a base of 45% of the population.

        I reckon progressive should try to peel off libertarians from the republican party, get them voting for a seperate electoral slate.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Yes, there was a choice. But the fact remains that the USA is on the flight trajectory of a brick, and neither legacy party is lifting a finger to pull up on the stick. The difference between the Democrats under Obama and the Republicans under anyone in sight is whether when we hit the turf we’ll be doing 450 or 500 mph. And it’s not at all clear which is which.

      2. lambert strether

        The issue isn’t that the two parties are “the same.” Nobody could possibly win such an argument, which is no doubt why D partisans and anybody who takes them seriously use it. (One of the many hilarious episodes from the election just past was hearing “ZOMG!!!! Teh Supreme Court!!!” and exhortations not to “throw away your vote” on third parties from both Ds and Rs.)

        1. I tend to argue that the difference between the parties is marginal (surely true) and have finally become so marginal that the real choice is between voting to preserve the two party system or voting to encourage alternatives.

        2. I also argue that although the two parties are different, but they are still one system, and each party reinforces the other. So, real choice as above.

        1. Synopticist

          I dont think the difference between them is all that “marginal”, but the 2 party system is totally f*cked.
          However, after reading Mark Ames article about the Libertarian Partys’ links to republican extermists and dirty trick experts, I dont know about trying to get people voting for them either.

  10. spooz

    So sad to think the only time I notice those cute little chipmunks is when they are in the jaws of my beloved kitten. Still, better a rodent than a goldfinch or a chickadee.

      1. ambrit

        Hard to find old ginseng nowadays. We have some pecan fed critters in our back yard. When I’m in a contrary mood I’ll refer to them as our “reserve food supply.” Who knows? One of my great grandfathers was at Mafeking and had to eat the horses and mules. Back then, people were more intimately connected to nature, (I know, an unwarranted assumption,) and the psychic shock was more intense. Participants wrote about it later, expressing an “unbelievable sadness.” I haven’t seen “War Horse” yet, but have been told that it develops this theme eloquently.
        Time to watch “Bambi Meets Godzilla” again.

    1. Nathanael

      You’re not supposed to let pet cats, which are an invasive alien species, roam outdoors unsupervised. It’s bad for the ecology and bad for the cats too (they tend to catch diseases).

    2. spooz

      Nat, in an ideal world, kitty would stay in. But, living on a farm he is expected to do double duty as a barn cat, keeping the rodent population down.

  11. jean palmer

    Especially like Barofsky’s last line “or not…” regarding what E Warren will do when she gets to D.C. I never thought she had the best interests of consumers in mind anyway.

    “… as a Senator, she will be uniquely situated to expose the banks’ arguments as false and publicly shame those who slavishly adopt their positions, be they Democrat or Republican. In other words, she can become the taxpayers’ ultimate anti-lobbyist, an apolitical agent of reform not beholden to Wall Street or to Washington.

    Or not. It is impossible to know for sure what will happen when Warren gets to Washington, but I suspect it’ll be a lot of fun finding out.”

    Read more:

    1. danb

      She’s already flipped from supporting single payer as an academic to pressing Obamacare as a candidate. The so-caleld “fiscal cliff” and “tweaking” entitlements will reveal her true feelings for “middle America.”

    2. Klassy!

      She promises to take a “hard look” at trade agreements. Not particularly comforting.
      She seems to be under the impression that “strengthening intellectual property rights”. How exactly does this help workers?

      1. Klassy!

        Should have written she is in favor of “strengthening intellectual property rights”. Score one for the capitalists.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I believe one criticism of sharing and cooperation is that because humans are selfish, sharing deters innovation.

          But you think about it a bit, the greatest innovations in hominid history came while our ancestors shared – fire, tool making, the wheel, etc.

          It’s true the secrets were not broadcasted, but anyone was free to copy. So, it seems lack of intellectual property rights protection or just property rights protection did not deter innovation.

          So, when people say borrowing came before bartering, we should remind ourselves that borrowing is based on property rights protection but the greatest inventions we have ever made came before borrowing, when we shared.

    3. amateur socialist

      Ok then. Warren’s track record as a writer, lecturer, teacher and public servant is undermined because she won an election. Fascinating.

      “It is no fun being a cynic, kids.
      Oh you might start out thinking that it’s cool to be right all of the time.
      Eventually you will realize it is cold comfort.
      You will end up not being able to believe in things or people.
      And the worst part is that you will be right.
      You will end up with no convictions.
      And the worst part is that you will be righteous.
      Eventually you may come to see the error of your ways.
      You may come to a point where you desire to forgive.
      Chances are good you will have your tentative faith thrown back in your face with a harsh laugh.
      Beware of becoming cynical. It is a steep path.”
      -10 Hands, liner notes for “The Pollution Song”, Jazz For Jerks

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        She will be tough on the banks, the question is how far she’ll go when that means crossing Obama and the Treasury. But I have serious questions how tough she’ll be on anything which is outside her experience base. Hence the cynical comment from the peanut base.

        1. amateur socialist

          Serious questions are fine. Senator Elect Warren has a pretty good track record with them (E.g. her answer about the quagmire of Afghanistan). But I’ll reserve my own cynicism until she betrays the voters of MA with an actual vote.

    1. ambrit

      Sorry, you’re a century and a half too late. James Buchanan was our first “female” president. Interesting piece about him on Salon from earlier in this year.

      1. Paul Tioxon

        No, he means that Buchanan was gay, never married, lived with a dude for years until the dude died, still, never married. Almost certainly gay, based upon a preponderance of actual historical record and not a disinformation campaign, such the one against Hoover launched by Soviets.

    2. craazyman

      What tribe is she from anyway? Is it one of the New England tribes? I think that’s pretty cool.

      There’s a place on the Potomac River, in the rapids a few miles up above DC where I used to fly fish for smallmouth bass, where you can see the fish traps made with stones by the Indian tribes along the river before the revolutionary war.

      It’s pretty cool to be there wading in the rapids way out in the river alone warm in some July afternoon sun staring down in the water at the fish traps made by Indians, still there, where they carefully placed the white stones into the long V-shaped traps.

      It was real and they were real. YOu can stand there in the current and watch them in your mind, fishing and taking the fish. You can see their tan leather clothes and black hair, right there, wading in the river. Right where you are! That’s amazing because so little is real. Very little is.

      Ms. Warren may not really be an Indian at all. Maybe that’s not real. We’ll see if the words she uses are real, or just somebody’s imagination. Or maybe you will, because I’ll probably only find out about it if somebody tells me. :)

      The New England tribes understood things that we do not. Like the little people and the ape men in the New Hampshire woods. It would be quite controversial if Ms. Warren admitted she believes in Little People. ahahahahah. She says she does, but we’ll see.

        1. craazyman

          These people are nuts.

          Look at all these people at Harvard who say they’re Indians! This only took me 2 minutes to Google up. There must be a lot more than these, if somebody looks. They don’t look anything like Indians to me. I bet they all speak English:

          Ms. Warren must have gotten caught up in all this stuff and lost her composure. She probably should have drank more and loosened up that way. After a 4 or 5 beers you stop worrying about whether you’re an Indian or not. After 6 beers you admit you’re really not.

          I wouldn’t hold it against her forever. God knows the stupid shit I’ve done. People can find redemption, sometimes after hitting bottom.

          Hopefully she’ll acknowledge she’s a descendent of the Star People and the Big Spider wove the universe — not some manly God with a beard and a toga with an outstretched arm on some ceiling somewhere — but even so, that calling herself an Indian is a stretch.

          Everybody came from the Star People but only a few realize.

          1. Valissa

            Lots of New Agers and neo-shamanic students have dreams of being descended from Native American, if not in body then in spirit. It’s very culturally hip and all very romanticized, and gets people telling the wildest stories. Storytelling or the telling of tall tales is an American tradition, and I think you’re right about the drinking, but it could just have easily gone the other way… the more drinks the taller the tale and then you’re stuck with defending a whopper. We’ll never know for sure of course… but she looks much more like she’s descended from one of those northern european tribes to me. Once upon a time all of our ancestors were indigenous.

            But were they all descended from star people before that? Lotsa tribal legends hint at that.. sound good to me. I quite like the Pleiadians (despite how awful most of their channellers are), and the ones I know aren’t nearly so prophetic or self-righteous… turns out they’re pragmatic party types like most humans.

          2. skippy

            “Everybody came from the Star People but only a few realize.” – Crazzyman

            skippy… Gravity effects even star dust… its just the time it takes…. that messes with humans minds… life is so short. Eureka!!! Dead….

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think it’s more like, everyone came from the star, the sun.

            In any case, I note here that she is not from the most important university of the world, MIT, though.

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            One day, when they decide to fund MIH&GT (that’s Massachussets Institute of Hunting and Gathering Technology), we can enjoy similar hits on youtube.

  12. TK21

    I know how to solve the Rinehart family’s feud: confiscate 90% of their fortune and use it to help the impoverished. Problem solved!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Having billions is in itself not a good thing.

      It seems it’s worse that than though. Not only is having that much money not a good thing itself, but it actually brings you more problems.

      If anyone who is compassionate and is looking to do some charity work, relieving those people of the source of their problems is a good place to start.

      1. citalopram

        I would love to see the look on Pete Peterson’s face if a gun were pressed against his left temple. The man holding the gun demands that Pete give up his money.

        “But I earned it! You’re a robber and a thief!”

        “Ah”, says the man. “You didn’t earn a thing. You gambled and won, and the rest you stole yourself. You used your money to make money. That is not work. Investing is not work. Getting lucky is not work. Screwing your employees IS work, however.”

  13. Eureka Springs

    The Torture/Rumsfeld decision is where the myopia of the Democrats (most citizens for that matter) astounds me. Obama Holder Justice argue for immunity / impunity of those who order or conduct torture upon American citizens. This is the kind of nominees/courts neoliberals want as much if not more than any neoconservative they can possible maintain fear of.

    1. electric dental floss

      And Politico says the administration might install one of the DC Circuit scumbags to run DHS. The DC Circuit is all the worst torturers put out to pasture and propped up in court so they can make shit up to ensure their own impunity. The perfect choice to protect our psycho brainwashed cops and Feds when they administer routine government torture. NCS is the government now. There’s nothing else there. And Obama is an agent of the torturers just like the Little Pineapple was.

  14. Chauncey Gardiner

    Regarding Yves’ comment questioning the effectiveness of ad spending on TV as opposed to more targeted messaging thru social media, I think there is another aspect of these ads that merits discussion.

    The low level of voter participation in the election suggests a flawed political system. There are many reasons behind this IMO, but I question whether negative political adverts themselves played a meaningful role for many voters in their choice of whether or not to participate; ie, worked to suppress the vote. I wonder if this wasn’t particularly true of those voters who don’t feel themselves to be strongly aligned with either of the two major political parties. Clearly the ads inflame their core members and enable both major parties to generate increased monetary contributions from their respective bases in order to fund further ads to combat the attacks by the other side in a sort of self-perpetuating cycle. But in doing so, the two major parties may be losing some of the broader population and arguably even the legitimacy afforded by election by the majority of citizens.

    Think it’s time to revisit Citizens United yet? … How’s that working out for you?

    1. amateur socialist

      Citizen’s United so far has (mostly) turned out to extract pallets of cash from the 1% to little discernable political effect. They lost many more races than they won especially and including the candidates they targeted the most.

      I was horrified by the decision and fearful at it’s impact especially if it turned out to be successful. Tuesday’s result makes it a nothingburger. So far.

      1. Jonathan

        Au contraire. Just because it didn’t provide any differential advantage to one or the other Establishment party doesn’t mean it had no effect. You would need to look at how it differentially served the Establishment above others: keeping any rabble-rousing talk of economic justice well away from the rabble, preferably in riot cuffs. Think of how much money they know is ill-gotten and are scared of losing (or “losing”, as in not gaining) if they’re willing to pump $6bn into propaganda.

        1. amateur socialist

          I guess I’ll start being more concerned when propaganda’s effectiveness is determined by the price tag. I can’t imagine the people who ponied up for the show this time around think it was worth it. But Sheldon Adelson doesn’t call anymore so who knows?

      2. patricia

        Perhaps Citizen’s United’s results are most clearly seen in the poor fare of third/fourthparties–worse than ever in a time when many people feel disenfranchised and yet feel responsible enough to vote.

        1. Chauncey Gardiner

          In a poll conducted from July 30-August 8 by USA Today/Suffolk University, 23% of unregistered voters and 18% of registered voters said they would vote for or lean toward voting for a third party. 53% said they think a third party or multiple parties are necessary. So, what happened in the intervening 90 days to cause a shift away from third parties of that magnitude? [See: ]

          1. Aquifer

            IF they were going to vote they would vote for a 3rd party, but they weren’t GOING to vote because, of course a 3rd party “can’t win” so why bother ….

            Awe there any actual polls among folks who don’t vote as to their reasons?

    2. amateur socialist

      In particular, I think if I were a GOP strategy type I would be closely examining the impact Citizen’s United had on their primaries. There were many big fat checks written to keep Rmoney in the race and arguably he wouldn’t have made it to the nomination without it.

      Of course that begs the question regarding which of the primary field would have made a better general election candidate than mitty mitt, and I don’t have a dog in that fight. But I would wonder in future races whether or not you want a lot of outside untraceable money shloshing around in low turnout races like primaries.

      It’s very hard to control, as Claire McCaskill proved by giving her worst GOP primary opponent a big boost to the nomination. A result I regret almost as much as if Akin had beat her – she is easily among the worst of the Democratic Senate Caucus (why do GOOPers only protect the worst candidates?)

  15. b.

    “We’re not interested in helping Republicans win a majority so they can grow government a bit slower than the Democrats. We want to elect principled fiscal conservatives.”

    Irony abounds. The repugs are doing whatever it takes to get the candidates they want, even if those candidates loose elections. The progressivists are doing whatever it takes to get a candidate – any candidate – elected, despite never getting the candidates or policies want. The momentum? The repugs get the policies they want, one betrayal at a time.

    “We are not interested in helping Democrats win a majority so that they can cut Social Security a bit slower than the Republicans. We want to elect principled liberals.” Or just law-abiding citizens. For a nation in perpetual constitutional crisis, the bar to electability is astonishingly low.

  16. BondsOfSteel

    Not a great article… yes, some partisan CEOs like Trump are sad over the loss. It’s all based on selective sampling not a servey, and hence not really news.

  17. LeonovaBalletRusse

    //”Assange better hustle out of that Ecuadorian embassy in London quick…”
    Posted on November 8, 2012 by maxkeiser| 5 Comments
    CIA Allegedly Using Drug Money to Overthrow Ecuador President Rafael Correa//
    More of That Old Feeling: “AntiCommunist Democracy Putsch”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      *Interglobal Participatory Democracy* COMMENT from abroad by:
      “Danny Cunnington | November 8, 2012 at 5:07 pm |”

      //Equador has also started repatriation for it’s gold reserves from the BofE. This coup attempt will probably fail. Chavez easily neutralized the controlled opposition just recently. The elections for president of Russia and the attempt to disrupt Putin ended in failure with the last gasp Pussy riot stunt.

      /In fact it’s failure all over for the colour revolution squad of fake opposition. Iran’s Green revolution: failure. Monks revolution in Myanmar: failure. Monks revolution in Tibet: Failure. NATO proxies in Syria: Failure. Staged protest in the Middle East over a fake trailer for a fake movie: Failure. Kony 2012: Failure with the lead proponent permanently committed to a mental institution after prancing naked in public and furiously masturbating.

      /People are wise to these stunts. They have become too predictable. All a leader has to do is to widely tell the populace the plot. A few years ago this wouldn’t have had credibility but now everyone is wise. (Apart from the imbecile zone of mostly US, UK, EU sheople who incredibly are still glued to establishment propaganda, small children and maybe forest dwelling indigenous tribes).//

  18. Article 7(1f)

    “absolute immunity” for government crime, exactly. And if you’re not Princeton Cap & Gown party nomenklatura like Rumsfeld, you still get impunity for torture. For victims of lowly contractor criminals, compensation may be permitted. But US law on torture exactly mirrors that for financial crime: crimes are addressed solely under civil law, whether it’s fraud, theft, perjury, and extortion by banks, or torture by US public officials. US victims of state crime should stop wasting their time with the suppurating US judiciary. It’s as gangrenous as congress and the executive. International criminal law is the only recourse for getting this mafiya state under control.

  19. Buck Eschaton

    What is this “Fiscal Cliff” I keep reading about? What’s it supposed to mean? Is it a sign?

    1. Aquifer

      I think he is the 4th Stooge – Curly, Larry, Moe and Cliff – the one they kept tripping over, to the amusement of all, before getting up and going on their merry way ….

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      All I know is it’s a good time to stock up on bungee cords when one sees a cliff ahead.

  20. LeonovaBalletRusse

    How many people think that childhood agony is “cute” or “adorable?”
    “Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney”
    Published on Oct 30, 2012 by Elizabeth Evans

    The “party responsible” for displaying this child’s agony for public entertainment is a SADIST to the marrow, even though a “useful idiot” who has put the child on the block. Will the “Beauty Contest” and murder come next? Will an abduction by “strangers” occur?

    Parents: Don’t be stupid! Keep your infants out of the public eye! Don’t be sadistic and reveal to creeps the depth of your child’s agony due to her trauma from relentless propaganda as bludgeon for the People.

  21. Klassy!

    More instant classic from Greenwald:
    Concerning the claim by the Pentagon that Iranians had shot a drone:
    First things first: let us pause for a moment to extend our thoughts and prayers to this US drone. Although it was not physically injured, being shot at by the Iranians – while it was doing nothing other than peacefully minding its own business – must have been a very traumatic experience. I think I speak on behalf of everyone, regardless of political views, when I say that we all wish this brave hero a speedy recovery and hope it is back in full health soon, protecting our freedom.

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