Links 11/9/12

San Francisco, Bay Area and Sacramento Valley – Sea Level Rise Map Gealogy (Lance N). Right after 9/11, there was Nuke-o-Meter. Mouse to a location, chose your weapon, and you could see the impact and fallout maps. Now you can see what gets submerged with various sea level rises.

Climate threat to coffee crops BBC

Danish turbine maker hit by ill winds Financial Times (furzy mouse)

Our dangerous illusion of tech progress Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel, Financial Times

Bluffer’s guide to China’s regime change FTAlphaville

Almost 40pc of payday loans used to buy food Telegraph

Draghi runs out of options MacroBusiness

Missing the Bigger Picture in Greece Tim Duy

Who will stop the Sado-Monetarists as jobless youth hits 58pc in Greece? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Syria crisis getting ‘rapidly worse’ Guardian

CNN claims Iran shot at a US drone, revealing the news network’s mindset Glenn Greenwald. Just saw the same story at the WSJ, and my first reaction was that it claimed the incident took place 16 miles off the Iranian coast, but even so, never said clearly that this was international airspace (as in was there an island off the coast that would have made this less than clear cut?)

Wikileaks soldier in plea offer BBC

More post election coverage:

Romney ‘transition’ website briefly appears online Yahoo

Vote was astronomical for Obama in some Philadelphia wards (Paul Tioxon)

Simpson-Bowles ‘Grand Bargain’ Candidates Lose on Tuesday AFL-CIO. Hhm, the rumor is that Bowles will be Treasury secretary, so tell me again who lost?

Montana Voters Deprive Corporations Of Their Humanity Gawker

The Importance of Elizabeth Warren Simon Johnson. The test will come when Obama’s Treasury aligns with banks, which is guaranteed unless a dark horse candidate gets the nod. Will Warren buck the President and the party apparatus?

The View from the Cocoon of Denial and Epistemic Closure Spectator (Lambert). Great piece, despite the title

Catfood Watch:

Brady joins in city rally against federal budget cuts (Paul Tioxon)

Let’s Not Make a Deal Paul Krugman, New York Times. Good to see Krugman pointing out the obvious, that going over the “cliff” is not going to turn any lights off, and so Obama is not subject to a year end deadline, and gains from ignoring it (well, depending on which interests he really intends to serve…). But you’d never get that listening to the media, or for that matter, his operatives, who still seem to be gunning for a lame duck session deal.

The coming debt battle James Galbraith, Salon

Boehner Opens Grand Bargain Negotiations by Proposing the Romney Plan David Dayen, Firedoglake

New York rations gasoline as electric outages mount AFP

Battle Plan Shifts on Dodd-Frank Wall Street Journal (Joe Costello)

Videogame sales collapse ahead of holidays Market Watch. Economic harbinger or merely all things Apple sucking sales out of other tech?

Former Goldman trader accused of fraud Financial Times

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

And a bonus (HuffPo Hill):

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  1. fresno dan

    San Francisco, Bay Area and Sacramento Valley – Sea Level Rise Map

    Great – I am moving back to CA next year when I retire. I was thinking about settling in Stockton or Lodi – now I get beachfront!!!

    1. Stelios Theoharidis

      Sorry to hijack the comments section but I thought this would be a good link for today and I wanted a sophisticated perspective on these types of debt issues.

      Occupy is rolling out a program to purchase distressed debts at pennies on the dollar and discharge them. This is what the collections agencies purchase to harrass poor or indebted people regarding.

  2. Jim Haygood

    Argentines rise up against their puta gobierno that produces chronic 30% inflation, but claims it’s ten:

    Hundreds of thousands of protestors, probably a million according to some estimates, took to the streets of Buenos Aires on Thursday evening to hold the 8N pot-banging demonstration against the administration of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner.

    Likewise an estimated 20.000 gathered next to the presidential residence in suburban Olivos, where President Cristina Fernandez was staying and banged pots and pans for almost three hours, before dissolving peacefully.

    Another surprise was the fact that some of the columns that concentrated at the Obelisk came from the south of the city, traditionally the workers neighbourhoods, politically faithful to the government.

    Argentina’s central bank jefa, Mercedes Marcó del Pont, is the Gideon Gono (author of Zimbabwe’s recent hyperinflation) of Latin America. LOSERING!

    1. ginnie nyc

      j. haywood: I was wondering when you would come and gloat over the recent developments in Argentina.

      I don’t know how you can justify an international financial criminal holding a sovereign nation hostage in this extra-legal way, whatever the putative merits of his claims.

      And ‘puta gobierno’? I don’t think gender slurs of that nasty a tenor are really appropriate online.

  3. LeeAnne

    Our dangerous illusion of tech progress Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel, Financial Times:

    “During the past 40 years the world has willingly retreated from a culture of risk and exploration towards one of safety and regulation.”

    Arguments are so sweeping, it hardly makes sense to have written at all.

    top much regulation?

    Had Internet development not been allowed to avoid rule of law initiated under Clinton/Gore, protecting consumers and developing standards and profits for the authors would have been a teeny bit less with naive investors, consumers, and workers, particularly in the US, better served.

    These guys aught to be ashamed of themselves.

    1. David Lentini

      I’ll never understand why otherwise sober publications like the FT are so gullible about science and technology. Neither Kasparov nor Thiel has any experience, directly or indirectly, with science, engineering, or technology, or the history of these subjects; yet, the FT will happily publish their drivel if it came from the lips of the Almighty. Anything written by people who have real experience gets nowhere.

      I studied chemistry at two major US universities in the ’80s, bucking the trend that saw most my classmates abandon science, math, and engineering to get into business school and corporate finance to make “real money”. Those of us who remained in the harder disciplines had hopes of academic and industrial research or teaching. But as the ’80s moved along, those hopes were fading fast. I recall quite vividly seeing research chairs go unfunded after the latest retirement, federal research grants dry up (expect for defense), and industrial R&D disappear in response to Wall Street’s demands for bigger and faster returns. Like many, I left my doctoral program and became a patent attorney, working in Silicon Valley through the great dot-com and real estate booms.

      I certainly agree with the authors that we have a risk adverse culture. But we have to be honest where that came from—the very folks who brought us PayPal and Ebay and all the other “iThis” and “iThat” technologies, the very things that made Thiel rich enough to get his garbage published in the FT. The sort of research that was done in the ’50s and ’60s was not focused on selling products in the next six- to twelve months; it was true basic research. Industry provided lavish time frames and facilities at places like Bell Labs, Merck, Hewlett Packer, and Xerox. Government funded long range basic research through NASA, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health. The generation who ran our businesses and government understood that all technology comes from basic research, and basic research requires a lot of patience and trust in the future. That generation also understood that research is a group endeavor; people have to collaborate to generate new insights and discoveries, and to turn those insights and discoveries into technologies and products. Not surprisingly, the golden age that Kasparov and Thiel pine for was also an age of heavily progressive taxation.

      Now, as the authors note, the technology well is running dry and no new water source looks to come on line soon. They lament the lack of risk taking, and laud the individuals who are young enough to take risks while foregoing education, apparently to be funded by the rich. In short, our authors see the future in hands of a generation of John Gaults, who will use their magical fortunes to bring us fantastic life extension and other wonders through their innate genius that need not be wasted on education.

      So, the FT would have us buy into another Randian fantasy in which the rich must be left unfettered to take the risks that we no longer take. But it is the very risk aversion of the rich themselves, always demanding returns now, always afraid to invest in projects that require large organizations like the government or industry, always counting every penny, and always demanding that everyone else work for free and absorb all the blows of failure—for failure is how we learn and is the immediate fruit of research—that brought us here in the first place.

      No, gentlemen. John Gault is not a model; he is a fantasy. If we want truly new technologies and industries, then we have to make it worthwhile to do basic research. To do that, we have to give talented men and women the support they need to do good science by providing good pay, good schools, good health care, good housing, and good time in which to make progress. Sadly, the ignorance displayed by Kasparov and Thiel and the FT suggests that won’t happen any time soon.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          A resounding second and hearty thanks. A compelling voice of reason and conscience, one for the archives. Hear, hear!

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        David Lentini, thanks for your comprehensive comment. You will appreciate the potential *re-set* of *Economics+Politics* according to Thorstein Veblen’s “biological” frame or reference, as expressed by Dr. Dirk Ehnst in LINK below. Is Dr. Michael Hudson’s keen appreciation of Veblen contagious? Can this Triumvirate of Hudson-Ehnst-Veblen deliver Humanity from the fell clutches of Academic Economics Zombies “overnight?” Let *Real Economics* begin!
        YVES, please enter this frame, so far featuring “all men.”

        1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

          LBR, greetings;

          What can half-a-dozen nay-sayers do when faced
          with 100,000 MBAs and financial engineers when
          the latter’s job security is antagonistic to
          the writings and conclusions of the former

          Remarkably, around December 7th, 2008 the FT published
          a scathing Comment piece on “Value at Risk”
          penned by Nicholas Taleb and Pablo Triana.

          For your reading pleasure:

          1. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

            The URL link seems to have a problem when clicked.

            Easier is to use Google the Web on this:
            Nicholas Taleb and Pablo Triana


          2. LeeAnne

            Value at Risk penned by Nicholas Taleb and Pablo Triana.

            Basing their argument on an elaborate hoax, the truth of which can be researched with a few Google clicks on the 40 passive witnesses to the Kitty Genovese murder, seriously compromises any credibility Taleb has as a serious writer and researcher.

            Opening the article by elaborating and perpetuating the hoax, they continue with this “We have just witnessed a similar phenomenon in the financial markets.”

            Before the corporate oligarchy took over US media, forcing them not only to tow the company (oligarchy) line, but also produce every micro penny possible for share holders, by in part, skimping on fact checkers, copy writers, and editors, neither FT nor the authors would have a job.

          3. zygmuntFRAUDbernier

            From the theory of knowledge …

            If some quantitative finance Professor writes

            down a probabilistic model and says: “this will work
            for 20 years minimum, I can assure you”.,
            then, How can this be tested, validated?

            [In my opinion, one should pay very close
            attention to purported proofs of
            model validity over 20+ years, and the

            Cf. Peter Cotton arguing against Pablo Triana:



        2. LeeAnne

          Leonova, thank you for the link. I’m in total agreement with Veblen’s statement that economics doesn’t work as theory -a nice introduction for me.

          Unless you want to agree with my theory that government creates illegal markets with exorbitant taxes (cigarettes) and prohibitions on popular commodities. New York’s own oligarch, Bloomberg wants to increase taxes on cigarettes enjoyed primarily by lower income people while at the same time passionately against increasing taxes on LUXURY GOODS.

          Its no accident that these excesses put government in charge of both the profits of illegal trafficking (100s of $Billions recorded -above the law bankster money laundering) and the income over the last century from ever growing and expanding drug prohibition bureaucracies, so profitable that Wall Street wants more of the law enforcement action. Putting children and the mentally ill in prisons is profitable for them as well.

          Is it any wonder we have highly developed criminal leadership of our institutions.

      2. sd

        This has to be one of the best arguments for socialism – and how/why it supports capitalism – that’s I’ve ever come across.

      3. JTFaraday

        “Sadly, the ignorance displayed by Kasparov and Thiel and the FT suggests that won’t happen any time soon.”

        And our public policy liberals are no better. They think the answer to a hollowed out economy in need of redevelopment is for the government to give everybody a Walmart job.

    1. Noe G

      The brownshirts don’t prevail with frackers, BP, and financial gangsters..

      so they take aim at people growing vegetables in their backyard, collecting rainwater, or making raw cheese.

      I have no home on the internet. The Free Republic, Townhall and WND defend unfettered rape of the planet for profit – claiming the John Galt argument.

      And the lefties here and at Huff and Kos, Truthout and Salon – want passports seized if you owe money to the IRS>

      JUST an example before all the panties get twisted!!]

      There IS WAY too much regulation… I couldn’t swim laps in a Baltimore Marriott before 3pm.. because state law says there must be a life guard .. at a hotel? When he did show up, he was a Haitian illegal who folded towels the whole time. I suspect I would have had to save him, if he fell in.

      Democratic legislators are insane about regulating every facit of my life… So are Gopers… but they allow the worst of their kind to do BIG damage in the name of profits… but hassle pot smokers./

      MADD is nutso… I am not drunk after a glass of wine… but those rapid moms who spend their lives trying to get back the dead child because of a fall down dead drunk trucker — at MY expense.

      I am not even a drinker… so I have no skin in that game. But I have been warned not to drive after a couple of glasses of Merlot… and could not believe my ears.

      Dems are the regulators of minutia… GOPers regulate my personal life… and forgive the BIG abuses of their corporate buddies…

      a pox on all you jerks. I want some sanity to return.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Noe G says:

        “And the lefties here and at Huff and Kos, Truthout and Salon – want passports seized if you owe money to the IRS>”

        Proof positive that Noe G has NO comprehension of NC posts or comments. Or else Noe G is here to pitch dis-information. Maybe just a frustrated bot.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        You raise compelling points in the senselessly-tortured, now mostly meaningless, left-right paradigm. Regulation of the last few decades is certainly more about the elite erecting barriers and toll booths to new competition than it is about real health, safety, and welfare issues. It’s not about keeping the reins on BP, Monsanto, Goldman, or Dimon. It’s how the elite protect their unearned wealth and privilege at the expense of taxpayers and earnest entrepreneurs like you.

        A parallel benefit for the rich and shameless is the confusion and enmity sown among the dogs bickering beneath the master’s table, fighting pointless battles over scraps. Thus every new bill of sausage extruded by the Roman Senate is now thousands of pages of indecipherable Orwellian doublespeak. And thus the tax code is tens of thousands of pages (and always growing) to enable vulture capitalists like Romney to pay only 14% of his income for the one or two years he discloses — and almost certainly nothing or rebates for those that remain secret. The same arguments, confusion, and divisions will now arise over the all-consuming obsession with the dire fiscal cliff. Count on lots of sleight of mind political theater.

        If the dogs ever manage to focus, if libertarians and progressives can ever find common cause, there will be blood, a lot of blood and viscera … non-canine.

  4. amateur socialist

    The piece on payday loans going for food made me remember a moment of clarity I got in the grocery store a few years ago. Suddenly I started noticing bright orange stickers on various items indicating they could be purchased with SNAP cards.

    I realized this meant there were many new customers using this assistance who didn’t know the (often arcane) rules regarding what could be purchased with them. We have a long way to go.

    1. Goin' South

      In my neighborhood, the supermarket and the butcher are packed the first ten days of the month and abandoned the last ten.

      I’m sure there are some hungry people, including kids, by the end of every month.

    2. Garrett Pace

      What a bizarre title. What on earth were they expecting payday loans to be spent on? If your fridge is empty (or powerless) or you are about to be thrown out of your apartment, you spend into the future via a payday loan.

      Also bizarre is this:

      “Even those who use the services believe that the industry needs to face tighter regulation, with 43pc of those surveyed saying it was too easy to get credit.”

      People are desperate for food and go to payday lenders so they can feed themselves and their families. Therefore, clamp down on payday lending?

      Treating the symptom. If people aren’t desperate in the first place they won’t be going to payday lenders, will they?

      1. TK421

        I would have thought the vast majority of those loans were for emergencies: broken car, broken arm, etc. That 40% number shocks me.

        Amateur Socialist, I was a cashier in my younger days. Likely most of the employees at that grocery store needed food stamps as well as the customers.

        1. amateur socialist

          Heh I guess it depends on when those ‘younger days’ occurred. In my younger days supermarket cashiers were often union jobs that paid living a living wage. But those days are long gone, I’m pretty sure Nixon was president. Or maybe Ford.

  5. amateur socialist

    Yves, I appreciated your thoughtful piece on Warren’s decision to run for Senate. I understand all too well the concerns you raised about her insider status being subject to corrupting influence and ultimate ineffectiveness.

    But is it too much to ask to hold our cynicism in abeyance until she actually betrays her constituents? Is there nothing to be admired in the exemplary campaign she waged for the office, agreeing to a unique ban on 3rd party advertising with her opponent?

    It’s your blog of course, and I hesitate to presume asking. But some of the editorial and commentariat verges on the “Let no good deed go unpunished!” to this long time reader and admirer.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Dream on, amsoc. She could not have been “elected” without the Establishment’s favor. “Time will tell you nothing but I told you so.” (W.H. Auden: “If I Could Tell You”).

      1. amateur socialist

        Ok, guilty by association then. And is there something about the votes that motivated the quotes around “election”? If you think she cheated the voters to win the seat that would be worth a new post. I mean if you have some evidence.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      1. We argued in posts when she was considering her Senate run that there were better uses for her talents

      2.Grumbling in Links isn’t serious grumbling. Writing a post would be. This is merely making a comment for the record.

      1. amateur socialist

        Well the I told you so terrain is well mapped. I will be suitably appalled when/if she turns out as bad as most seem to expect.

        1. Synopticist

          Warren actually ran as an anti-Wall Sreet Greed, pro-small business and middle class candidate, and knows she OWES that constituency. That makes a big difference. She wasn’t elected as a generic, folksy quasi-populist.

          So I reckon she’ll sell out less than the average politico, although she’ll still be bound by party loyalty.

          1. citalopram

            Obama did too. He said all the right things and ended up stabbing us in the back. I’ll wait to judge her on her record. I’m not holding my breath, however.

          2. Gerard Pierce

            Considering the lack of support on the part of Obama and the Democratic Party establishment, Warren doesn’t really owe them much more than a kick in the butt to get their attention.

            People like Warren – and they respect her. The same people know that Obama (and party “leaders” like Reid) can’t be trusted any further than you can throw them.

            Warren has six years to kick ass and take names (in the nicest possible way, of course) and it shouldn’t take too long for Obama et al. to realize that it might be a good idea to pay attention to her.

        2. Butch in Waukegan

          Can / will Democratic loyalists put up a real fight?

          Kucinich, a man of principles, threatened to vote against Obama’s health care plan unless it contained a public option. He caved. The party came first. I suspect that Warren will respond similarly when “persuasion” is applied.

          1. citalopram

            I remember the look on his face when he gave his speech about that. He was totally depressive looking.

    3. different clue

      I thought I remember Yves Smith writing that a newbie Senator Warren would be excluded, bypassed, trapped-in-amber, and rendered ineffective and ineffectual. I don’t remember Yves Smith having written that a newbie Senator Warren would be seduced and corrupted. Is my memory wrong?

    1. diptherio

      Ariely fraudulently tries to equate “blue-collar” and “white-collar” crime, stating that because the death penalty does not decrease crime rates, we can imply that stiffer penalties for financial crime will not deter future fraudulent behavior. Bill Black or common sense can tell you why this is nonsense. Apart from that, he just spells out all the ways the elite fraudsters can get everyone else to go along.

  6. wunsacon

    >> Videogame sales collapse ahead of holidays

    What’s “new” in videogames? Not much, from what I can see. So, I continue playing 5+ year-old, non-subscription games.

    1. ambrit

      Dear wunsacon;
      I have been seen to break out one of the old S&T board games. Collapse of Army Group Centre was a lot of fun, especially when playing the Russians.

    2. Bill

      Yes wunsacon, like everything, the price goes up and the quantity goes down. I mostly don’t play multiplayer (with only one exception), so I have to pay ~$60 to get maybe 3 days of play on the single player these days ! That is, if I can get the game to work thru all the copy protection crap they put on it.

      I’ve been playing old games as well. Just finished the original Far Cry again….now that was a game !

      1. bsg

        35 years later, my trusty Atari VCS still works great… there is also a community of homebrewers producing new games for it. Check out

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Oh no, really? “Boys will be boys” with infantile “King of the Mountain” fantasies, playing “Cowboys & Indians” and “Cops & Robbers” and “WhiteHat v. BlackHat” and “Spy v. Spy” and “Mine is Bigger than Yours” and all that jazz by any name?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s good news.

          It’s important we are self-sufficient in as many ways as possible. Entertaining is one.

          Your (or our) jokes are as good as the ones you get from TV or online.

          The same with your (or our) drawings.

          Your singing.

          Your stories, etc.

          Take the power of the 0.01% away from them.

          Yes, that will mean fewer jobs. But that’s because it’s the system. When the system is that we don’t produce what we consume, we always, or almost alwasy, have to consume more in order not to make someone else lose their jobs.

    3. Garrett Pace

      What’s new in video games is online delivery, online gaming, mobile gaming, etc. It is actually a time of intense dynamism for the industry – maybe more than for any other “artistic” medium.

      This article is just a death knell for driving to the store to get the game.

      Don’t worry, there’s no danger that people are using up less of their lives taking on artificial challenges in a risk-free closed system.

    4. citalopram

      Many of those video games are absolute propaganda. The whole Call of Duty and Battlefield franchise is proof. I would love to see the black budget responsible for such titles.

  7. Valissa

    RE: The View from the Cocoon of Denial

    And what these eight responses demonstrate is the extent to which too many conservatives believed their own propaganda. This is what it’s like to live in a cocoon. The apparent inability to appreciate why any sane person might contemplate voting for Barack Obama is evidence of, well, of the closing of the conservative mind.

    Rewriting this a bit, I offer the following counterpoint…

    And what those responses to Matt Stollers columns criticizing Obama demonstrate is the extent to which too many liberals believed their own propaganda. This is what it’s like to live in a cocoon. The apparent inability to appreciate why any sane person might contemplate NOT voting* for Barack Obama is evidence of, well, of the closing of the liberal mind.

    [*using 3rd party voting strategies or not voting at all]

      1. Valissa

        I keep hoping, but don’t see much action yet… perhaps I’m too impatient. How soon can we have some new political language so we can start imagining different political realities? I’m all for dissolving the old definitions and labels which have become so encrusted, narrow, and inflexible. But most people people seem to still love the old familiar traditional arguments that go along with the traditional political language.

        1. Valissa

          To clarify, I think a big part of the problem is the ideological focus. Ideology is easy compared to thinking about the many morally ambiguous and complex issues that actaully face us today. I’d like to see a move away from ideology creation based on utopian idealism (and building “followers”) towards practical solutions for better and more efficient governance and less looting/kleptocracy.

          If the left-right labels could be avoided and the “little people” of various political stripes could get togther on things like slashing/eliminating corporate entitlements for Big Pharma, Big Oil, and Big Ag that could be a good start. All ideology does in the long run is serve the elites divide and conquer strategies. As long as people feel that members of other political parties are evil, stupid, and can’t find any reasons to work together or be civil then the elites win.

          1. Aquifer

            I agree completely – this ideological labeling of everything and accepting or rejecting something on the basis of its label instead of its utility has long frustrated the bejeebers out of me, quite apart from all the arguments one can have over which “class” one fits into, or perhaps is allowed into ….

            I will miss Stein on the political scene for a number of reasons, but the latest and perhaps most endearing, to me, was her rejoinder to Johnson in their last debate – (para phrasing) “I am not an ideologue, I am a doctor, I believe in doing what works …” Now if all those bloody factions on the left could just sit down, dump all those formulae and magic words and blessed icons and actually start asking “does this work” “has it ever” “can it now” instead of tossing or embracing something on whether it has a “Capitalist” or “Socialist” label stamped on its forehead or backside …

          2. Valissa

            Yup, focussing on what works and what doesn’t as a basis for politics makes more sense and I think most people would prefer that (but the force of the duopoly is strong). This is why I think change has a better chance of happening one issue at a time, starting with finding issues which have a broad based appeal and practicality. Issues based change has a much better chance of success than group alignement based on ideology.

          3. Aquifer


            ISTM that it isn’t even just a duopoly issue – look at various factions of the left squabbling with each other over some nit picky issue which they will defend to the death – even if its the death of a movement.

            And then of course there’s personalities and egos and all that – Anderson with the same platform as the Greens, decides to start his own party, for Pete’s sake …

            Lefties can’t even think about a dialogue with Righties until they get their own bloody act together – until they are willing to actually include a whole range of people under their “big tent” that they are turning up their noses at now … e.g. that whole urban/rural thing in Kline’s piece ….

            I really am getting very frustrated with the whole scene, and like you am very tempted to throw in the towel and be a hermit, but the last time i tried that – I was confronted with a situation i had not bargained for – had to choose to skedaddle from, put up with, or fight, it. Chose the latter and for 10 years was up to my eyeballs, finally left for personal reasons – but that aquifer water became part of my DNA …

            I suspect there is a part of your DNA as well that if tapped into would pull you from your hermitage, but that is just a guess … Though i do confess i keep trying, alas without much success, to tap into folks genes that draw them out into the world of “politics” as the means by which we order our society – together …

          4. zygmuntFRAUDbernier


            One way of discoursing in public is with
            a “political platform” that sets the policies
            on all issues in one go.

            Another way is by speaking one one issue
            at a time. For example, fostering the idea
            to buy lots of generic drugs in bulk from
            Canada, because it’s often cheaper. This
            issue is already vast, because pressure
            points could include the distribution
            network, supply chain, contracts between
            HMACS (managed human care) and druggists,
            HMACS legislation, HMACS insurance,
            Medicare, Medicaid, FDA, Dept. Commerce, etc. etc.

            So, there could be one “action group” per
            narrow issue.

            I’d thought of looking at MLK and how he did it.
            Also, how lobbyists work in one specialty or

            And about others, they might not be so left-wing.
            Hence, the idea of joining the left-side
            Democrats at the MidWay point –half-way in
            the political landscape; so, the utility of
            compromise, meaning give-and-take, negociation
            in order to make a stronger “common front”
            (“un front commun” in French) …

        2. ambrit

          Dear Valissa;
          “New political language” is a bit of a misnomer I suggest. Human nature has changed little, if at all over the last ten thousand years, or at least that’s what my reading suggests. The trick, I propose, is to use the old political language more knowingly. In that regard, your appeal to, if I read you correctly, pragmatism, serves to highlight the need for redefining the political discourse along more “Progressive” friendly lines. Overtons’ Window comes into play. So does group association messaging and personal ego servicing. Who doesn’t want to be a member of the “Elite?” Whatever that is; and here the trick comes in. Defining said elite so as to organically include the desired “pro-Social” behaviours or policies gets us to the ‘promised land.’ The organized religious elites have this game figured out. Maybe we need to study them and learn how to get our agendas accomplished.
          Sorry if I’m ranting a bit here.

          1. Valissa

            You’re right about the “new” bit… and please feel free to rant, as your rants are always very interesting and intelligent even when I see things differently. Probably should have said more reality based political language. And this reality is all about “human nature”… which hasn’t changed, but political ideology seems to have veered away from human nature and into theological territory already. Human nature is not utopian, yet the various political ideologies today all have warped versions of utopian thinking. IMO, the propagandists of political parties already use religious type propaganda… and that includes so-called “progressivism.” I used to call myself a progressive, but have come to seriously dislike that label (however I respect that others still like and identify with their political labels so this is not a dig against anyone else just my own frustration speaking).

            I highly recommend the book “Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia” by John Gray, for anyone who wants to know more about this concept. Over at the Archdruid report, which is sometimes linked to here, John Michael Greer occasionally discusses how modern political ideology, in all it’s forms, is very much like a degraded theology and no longer has much to do with reality.

            I’ll be honest here and say that I don’t expect any of what I’ve said to come to pass, it’s just my own fantasy… I’m just an eccentric alien/outsider who is really tired of group conformity, no matter what or who the group. I used to be a joiner, and now I’m a happy “unaffiliated” hermit who tries to encourage people to think outside their belief boxes.

          2. Aquifer

            Yeah, as in maybe stop denigrating “values” voters and figuring out what our own “values” are – do we have any?

            And because i do believe that all of us “humans” belong to the same species and such things as “race” are artificial dividers stuck in for tribal purposes, then we ALL have some fundamental things in common in terms of needs and even desires, though those may be more culturally maleable …

            Can we start there – dialogue at that level – lock ourselves in rooms and not come out until we realize that in fact we do agree on something and go from there …

          3. ambrit

            Dear aquifer;
            Seeing as we’re at the beginning of the Sixth Extinction Event, all humans are indeed in the same room, which is filling up with smoke and toxins as we speak. To get outside the “room” would suggest O’Niell Colonies, or Trailing Trojan Point colonization, a high tech enterprise if there ever was one. Since, realistically, only the “real elites” would be able to ‘buy into’ such an enterprise, due to various and sundry constraints, the rest of us “groundlings,” a wonderful word from Elizabethan times, will have to work out our fates right here where the action is. A caveat; I am texting as if these occurrences were intelligently driven. A big and probably unwarranted assumption. As is usual, events will no doubt drive policy, for the umpteenth time. That’s the real tragedy.

            Most estimable Valissa;
            I am of the opinion that ‘Utopian Thinking’ is a necessary and vital part of all real human progress. I’m reminded of Martin Bubers wonderful book, “Pointing The Way.” My wife introduced me to Bubers thought early on in our adventure, and I have been wrestling with both ever since. (Sort of like Melvilles famous poem “Art”:

            In placid hours well-pleased we dream
            Of many a brave unbodied scheme.
            But form to lend, pulsed life create,
            What unlike things must meet and mate:
            A flame to melt–a wind to freeze;
            Sad patience–joyous energies;
            Humility–yet pride and scorn;
            Instinct and study; love and hate;
            Audacity–reverence. These must mate,
            And fuse with Jacob’s mystic heart,
            To wrestle with the angel–Art.)

            That about says it all.

          4. Valissa

            Ambrit, a wonderful poem indeed. Yet I would label that spiritual not political, and I firmly believe there is a palce for utopian thinking within the conext of a personal spiritual philosophy. At one time I read some Buber myself as part of my path. It is in the realm of politics that I have stopped thinking in a utopian fashion, and it was been great for my sanity. As my Danish mom is find of saying, the Danish phrase translates to “Practice makes a master.” As opposed to the very Calvinist protestant verion “practice makes perfect.”

            This is indeed that argument that people like John Gray and JM Greer and others thinekrs today are making… that the decline of religion is being somewhat replaced with more religiosity in the realm of politics. In my case, I am reasonably content with my spiritual philsophy and practices and that fulfills my needs for feeling connected to something greater than myself. Other people, however, seem to seek and/or find great personal spiritual motivation in the context of their politics. I’m fine with that. Vive le difference!

          5. Aquifer


            ISTM the crux of the problem is that we apparently do not all realize we ARE in the same room – that no (wo)man is an island – and as we have not acceded to that, MN has decided to graphically demonstrate the truth of it by literally submerging islands ….

            So what i am suggesting is a bit more literal – a real room, with real people, in real time – and no one leaves until certain things are hashed out and agreed upon, with violence being the one no-no. The illusion we have now is that we can meet and discuss and leave when it suits us, with impunity, with nothing resolved – but we cannot leave with impunity and, IMO, we need to flesh that reality out …. Of course this runs the risk of having bullies run the show – but strange things can happen when principled folk meet “mere” bullies and no one can leave …

          6. ambrit

            Dear Valissa;
            Somehow, the idea of separating the political realm from the spiritual, (as distinct from Religious,) feels to be a disservice to both. Both endeavours are expressions of relationship; one between person and divine, (another argument for another day,) and the other between persons. What I call Progressive Politics is based on a set of beliefs about the optimal treatment of “others.” Unless one professes strict Materialism as ones world view, some iteration of the Golden Mean acts as the defining ‘primal cause.’
            Excuse me if I misunderstand you. You project a very strong sense of altruism and compassion. I like the saying: “A cynic is an optimist on vacation.”

          7. ambrit

            Dear aquifer;
            My wife has observed that it might have reached the point where these ‘meetings in a room’ could, of necessity, be about picking up the pieces after it all goes boom. Starting with smaller, feasible tasks, like Midwest after the Aquifer runs dry, (you hinted an intimate knowledge of that,) will be a good start.

          8. Aquifer


            “political/spiritual” – wonder if perhaps, ideally at least, the political is the realm where we might flesh out and act upon the recognition of the divine in each other – just a thought ..

            My definition of a cynic – a disillusioned romantic …

            But for that room – as i have said elsewhere, hang me for a fool, but I have to believe we could do more at this point than pick up pieces – because the problem with focusing on the latter is that too many of those pieces may have left the room before we close the door …

            Aquifers are very interesting “critters” – they defy artificial boundaries and challenge the meaning of “property”. If you live on top of and depend on one your world view changes enormously. The interesting part is that they tie the rural and urban together in ways that nothing else other than farmland does which is, in turn intimately associated with them.

            Don’t know where you live, but you may be sitting on one, or dependent on one yourself …

            Check out some USGS maps of groundwater – not all aquifers have been mapped, of course, and many may never be, if for no other reason than they may have already been overdeveloped and no one cares where they are because no one wants to use them for a water supply – Actually another reason for not mapping them is if you find one and it is significant and not already polluted then the pressure is on to restrict development over it. So although all aquifers are “out of sight” some may wish to keep them “out of maps” as well –

            oopa, sorry, tend to “well up” on the subject …

          9. Valissa

            Ambrit, thanks for the delightful conversation! I don’t think we’re all that far apart just using language a bit differently perhaps and differently nuanced positions… as my husband and I sometimes say to each other “just another case of violent agreement”… LOL…

            I am both altruistic and cynical, practical and full of ideals… and I am always working on the right balance. Of course my spirituality informs my politics, which is my own blend of pagan-buddhist-taoist thinking. Of the 3 strands, the Buddhist is most perfectionistic regarding human nature (compassionate detachment is a goal more than a reality) while the pagan and taoist aspects are much more grounded in accepting and understanding the foibles of human nature. Those two aspects also have a much better sense of humor about life, which I find very helpful.

            I tried believing in progressive politics, did it for some time, and a few years ago I would have been much more in agreement with your worldview. But thinking, studying and contemplation often ends up changing one’s worldview is ways unexpected. I have chosen to consciously set certain inner boundaries (though they are permeable) in my own mind about my spirituality and the world of politics, and the current frmaing works much better for me. My spirituality is my own and it is private, but with politics one is engaging with others in some sort of group endeavor. They have a relationship with each other but are not the same. I think we all set those boundaries differently.

            About human beings in groups, I am pretty cynical about what is possible based on human nature and my reading of history, anthropology and such… but that doesn’t mean I’ve “given up” on human beings either… that’s just another dualistic attitude and I’ve been working pretty hard to deprogram myself from that way of thinking. It’s a complex multidimensional world and we are all the 6 blind men trying to grok the elephant in our own ways.

        3. Synopticist

          The article in question…

          Comes from the Spectator, which is the house journal of clubbish, intellectually somewhat elevated, occasionally principalled but mostly smugly self-interested, knee-jerk centre right, pragmatic, High British Toryism.

          It’s representative of the second-most rightwing establishment in the western world. And they, genuinelly, think the modern Republican party is moonbatsh*t f*cking crazy.

          They’re correct of course. It’s not just American democrats or European socialists who think republicans live in a bubble of their own cognitive creation.
          This isn’t a matter of “he said, she said, both sides do it”.

  8. LeeAnne

    the stock market won this election -the manipulated stock market run by corpoate oligarchs. It won the 2010 election and it won for Obama -the craven middle class is bipartisan on that score -unprinciples to the end.

  9. jsmith

    Kasparov is an effing neoliberal disgrace. Gee, how did “free markets” work out for your fellow Russians in the 90s, you disgusting piece of human garbage?

    Oh, but he’s a great chess player?

    What a genius!

    From the link:

    “Another prominent face in the recent anti-Putin rallies is former world chess champion turned right-wing politician, Garry Kasparov, another founder of Solidarnost. Kasparov was identified several years ago as being a board member of a Washington neo-conservative military think-tank. In April 2007, Kasparov admitted he was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy, a “non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security.” Inside Russia Kasparov is more infamous for his earlier financial ties to Leonid Nevzlin, former Yukos vice-president and partner of Michael Khodorokvsky. Nevzlin fled to Israel on being charged in Russia on charges of murder and hiring contract killers to eliminate “objectionable people” while Yukos vice-president. [21}

    Don’t worry, you might also find the “grand master” giving speeches at your favorite local right-wing think tank soon like the Hoover Institution.

    From Wikipedia:

    “In April 2007, it was asserted[45] that Kasparov was a board member of the National Security Advisory Council of Center for Security Policy,[41] a “non-profit, non-partisan national security organization [in Washington, DC] that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security”.[42] Kasparov confirmed this and added that he was removed shortly after he became aware of it. He noted that he did not know about the membership and suggested he was included in the board by accident because he received the 1991 Keeper of the Flame award from this organization.[43][44] But Kasparov maintained his association with the leadership by giving speeches at think tanks such as the Hoover Institution.[29]”

    If you still have the stomach, look up Thiel’s bio for more libertarian awesomeness!!

    Another chess “master”, eh?

    Too bad the game doesn’t teach morals or ethics, eh, boys?

    These two people are a disgrace to humanity.

    1. jsmith

      More on Thiel:

      “Thiel is listed as a member of the Steering Committee of The Bilderberg Group, a controversial group of influential business and government leaders who meet annually behind closed doors under a media blackout to discuss world issues.[40]”

      “In 2009, it was reported that Thiel helped fund college student James O’Keefe’s “Taxpayers Clearing House” video – a satirical look at the politics behind the Wall Street bailout.[42] O’Keefe went on to produce the ACORN undercover sting videos.[43]”

      “Thiel was the largest contributor to the conservative Club for Growth a political action committee in July 2012, donating 1 million dollars in a single donation. [44]”

      Oh, and it appears that Mr. Thiel is keen on the idea of gracing our planet with his wonderful presence FOR EVER (MWHAHAHAHAHAHA) as he consistently provides funds for anti-aging and longevity projects and technologies.


      Thiel for President of the United States of AfAmAsEurica, 2011!!!!

      What a f*cker.

      1. jsmith

        I meant Thiel in the 2100 election.

        Damn it, if there weren’t so many tech restrictions I could get my 0s and 1s to line up correctly! ;)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One day, immortality will be possible, through taxpayer funded research (nice leverage there), but the cost for each immortal person is so high only billionaires can afford it.

          Probably why they need all the money they can get now.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That is to say, we may the lucky few who will be there to witness the emergence of gods out of mere mortals for the first time in history.

            And our role, beside validating the currency through paying taxes as per MMTers’ claim, in the making of those gods should make us proud indeed.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I forgot to giver credit to hundred-millionaires as well.

            This group is just as immortality-worthy, most of them claim.

          3. Maximilien

            There is no such thing as immortality. Here’s my Socratic proof:

            All immortality-seekers are narcissists.

            All narcissists are bores.

            Therefore, the would-be immortals will bore each other to death.

    2. TK421

      If it hasn’t happened already, some day soon a computer will play Chess as well as any human possibly could, so it’s hard for me to consider someone a genius just because they excel at that game.

  10. karpodiem

    Hear ye, hear ye –

    The 2nd (!) annual (unofficial) NC holiday festivus/meetup is in the planning stages. Last year we gathered for drinks at Trinity Place, which is by Zucotti Park. It was loud, crowded, but hey – it moved the discussion along a bit, and helped with the awkward moments that invariably come with meeting people who comments on a blog (but NC is not you average blog, amirite?)

    I’m open to suggestions on a secondary location. Yves mentioned that most places around this time of year are booked solid, months in advance. Trinity wasn’t so bad though…

    also, I’m thinking of how I might incorporate donations to help those impacted by the hurricane? Eventbrite?

    I’ll try and re-post once a week, leading up to the event. Looking forward to seeing old and new acquaintances!

    feel free to drop me a line –


    1. Lambert Strether

      Will there be an airing of the grievances?

      UPDATE Adding… For those of us who aren’t from “the city”… and would have to travel, it would sure be nice if the date coincided with those wonderful MMT seminars that I’m dying to have an excuse to see. But maybe the calendar makes that not possible.

  11. Eureka Springs

    The AFLCIO article is an odd one, even for the veal pen.

    A grand total of three loses does not bode well for their argument. It of course asks readers to ignore the current foundation of both major parties. I will be far more impressed, dare I say hopeful, when the likes of the AFLCIO talks about and funds exclusively three to three thousand third party candidates… none of whom will even discuss catfood commish plans with anything but a contemptuous brush off.

    Also quite telling there is no battle plan at this late hour, they have no real counter (overton window) proposal such as raising cost of living pay, raising the cap on high income folks SS payroll tax, returning to age 62 eligibility on SS. Medicare for all, prescription price negotiations, reducing MIC 90 percent, etc. They appear to be simply hunkering down for a false kabuki fight, preparing their own for certain defeat… even while they admit overwhelming numbers of people would be on their side if they did these things.

  12. jsmith

    One last Kasparov gem and I’m done:

    Here’s an excerpt from a speech he gave last year to the Heritage Foundation:

    “Pushing back hard and setting a firm, even confrontational line, is the only message the Putin regime will respond to. They respect only strength. All this talk of engagement transforming Russia slowly has been disproven. 20 years ago it was expected that Russia would eventually embrace the manners of the West, but now it’s clear the opposite has happened. Countries dealing with Russia have conformed again and again to the corrupt practices institutionalized by Putin. As I said in my testimony on the Hill last June, the system is not corrupt; corruption IS the system. So if you are going to go after these guys, you have to use banks, not tanks. Hit them in their wallets, because that is what they care about.”

    He then goes on to say that we need to embrace the Cold War tactics of Reagan once again if we are to have peace. Read: Russia needs to be America’s b!tch.

    What a fricking genius!

    Obviously, this man needs to plug his “master” plan into WOPR before he opens his piehole again.

      1. jsmith

        Yup, and here’s Cartalucci on the potential of Argentia being yet another “color revolution” backed by – who else? -Western finance.

        From the link:

        “The Western media claims the protesters are angry over, “rising inflation, high levels of crime and high-profile corruption cases,” all the identical, vague grievances brought into the streets by Wall Street-backed opposition groups in Venezuela. Underneath these unsubstantiated claims, lies the International Monetary Fund, and threats of sanctions aimed at Argentina’s turning away from the US Dollar and the Wall Street-London dominated international financial order.

        And like in Venezuela, a coordinated campaign against the Argentinian government, led by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchne, has begun in op-eds across the Western media.

        The Chicago Tribune in an op-ed titled, “A wrong turn in Buenos Aires: Argentina’s populist economic policies court disaster,” stated:

        What a shame to see a country of such great economic promise swerving off the road to prosperity again.
        The latest in a history of unforced errors began in 2007. National elections ushered in populist President Cristina Fernandez, who has led her nation to the brink of disaster by refusing to play by the rules of global finance.”

        I’m just so gosh darn proud of my country and its leaders.

    1. TK421

      Because Russia is a corrupt, lawless oligarchy, they HAVEN’T embraced the manners of the West? That’s an odd argument to my American ears.

  13. b.tom.darga

    “Former Goldman trader accused of fraud ”

    If the victim of his Fraud what GS then that is a perfect case for Jury Nullification.

  14. LeonovaBalletRusse

    Quicktip from this morning’s DEALBOOK ( feed):


    //Britain Opens Inquiry on HSBC Over Tax Haven The British tax authorities said Friday they were looking into more than 4,000 accounts of HSBC clients with bank accounts in the tax haven of Jersey.//

    JERSEY! Did the Saville expose open the door to this? Could it be for real?

    Re-open “The Franklin Cover-up” and the Top Paedophile Rackets in USA!

  15. jsmith

    Doing some research on Argentina, Ecuador, etc and came across this wonderful site:

    The Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.

    Thank goodness we’re murdering pillaging helping citizens become free in many of the countries listed in the “Mostly Unfree” and “Repressed” categories, eh?

    That’s right Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Iran, Libya and Cuba are all “repressed”.

    Hmmm, wonder who the repressor would be?

    Don’t miss the handy-dandy comparison chart where you can pit country vs. country in a freedom cage-match of blood!

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It looks like a tie between the dog and the pig…the most exciting race we have seen in quite a while.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Meditating on the picture, I try to figure out why or what makes the race so exciting.

        I think it’s partly because one doesn’t see any sponsoring corporate logo anywhere…no ads tattooed on their bodies nor on any surface around the venue.

  17. Herman Sniffles

    If sea levels rise 60 meters, who is going to put in all the new boat launches?

    (and what’s that squirrel getting out of his mailbox? Is that a PETA magazine?? I thought so! It’s a conspiracy!)

    1. ambrit

      Dear Herman;
      More importantly, who is going to dig up and remove all the highly toxic stuff lying around in tanks both above and below ground? Uh, there’s an economic reason why so many refineries and chemical plants are next to coastlines and rivers, just the places to suffer first from sea level rise. Plus, if you act now, Tepco has just doubled the projected cost of cleaning up the Dai Ichi nuclear electric generating complex disaster site. Hint: It’s in the tens of billions. That’s in just one admittedly ‘severely degraded’ site. Lest anyone think that I’m being unduly pessimistic, look up recent research about the RATE of sea level rises during bursts at the end of the last major glaciation. Evidence states that global sea level rises occurred on the order of tens of meteres over very short time periods in discrete widely spaced catastrophic events. And no one seems to be doing any planning for it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Perhaps we need a massive fleets-of-arks building project that will also simultaneously stimulate the economy…

      2. ambrit

        Now that I’ve had to wake up and do something about those oysters I ate earlier tonight, the thought has struck me, *Kapow!* that our experience with the BP Deepwater Horizon rig disaster is the perfect test bed for what’s going to happen after the next major sea level rise. Giga-tonnes of toxic junk oozing into the new near shore waters. Someone had better be doing the basic research on the behaviours of those ‘mysterious’ ‘phantom’ deep layer oil streams in the Gulf of Mexico. Or, how about the evidence of severe ocean fauna degradation linkable to the crude oil and Corexit dispersion fluid? Anecdotal evidence I’m getting from people on the Coast is that yields are way down and quality is abysmal.
        Ah, nothing like a good rant to get the digestion going! NC, among its’ many virtues is also therapeutic!

    1. Valissa

      Now for some Big Foot cartoons…

      The Big Foot challenge… … it pays off

      One man’s opinion

      Big foot and the 12-step approach

      Savage chickens explain Big Foot

    2. TK421

      I avoided election coverage Tuesday by switching to “Binding Bigfoot.” Turns out the host of that show is named Tim Barackman.

      1. Valissa

        Thanks for the heads up! I found this Bigfoot website by Cliff Barackman… assuming that’s who you mean. Too funny you couldn’t completely escape the Barack man (i also escaped into fun tv shows on election night). Is the series any good? Maybe I’ll start TiVoing it and see for myself.

    3. craazyman

      It’s gotta be a dude in a hairy costume.

      If it was a real bigfoot, the energy field emanating from the apparition would have erased the digital memory on the camera.

      Only film works. Yet another reason to shoot film over digital. :)

    4. ambrit

      Dear Friends;
      Considering where this “sighting” took place, I’d cite it as just one more piece of evidence supporting the theory that Bigfoot is one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

  18. JTFaraday

    re: Boehner Opens Grand Bargain Negotiations by Proposing the Romney Plan David Dayen, Firedoglake

    “Now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, it’s the Mitt Romney platform. The one defeated at the polls. Boehner’s opening bid is just the Romney tax plan, made even more ludicrous by the notion that you can increase revenue with it. Romney was widely mocked during the election for trying to make a large rate cut revenue-neutral; here Boehner wants to add to the fantasy world.”

    Well, but that’s why Republicans are politically “successful”– elections, math, and reality be damned. Someone at FDL should take a lesson, rather than letting Rahm Emmanuel call them retarded.

    Right wingers negotiating from the left would be retarded. Liberals negotiating from the right is just another day in Dodge.

    1. Chris Rogers

      It would seem most of the left wingers, progressives and actual Liberals post on these boards and I’d not known of any left-of-centre individuals on Capital Hill – with maybe two or three exceptions – which actually is about correct if we look at the numbers for those voting Third Party – some 1.5% of those who participated in Tuesday’s election.

      Still, its nice to be a member of an endangered minority grouping – or is it an actual curse, knowing what’s going on and being able to do fuck all to alter it!

      Whatever the fact, nice to see we still have somewhere to assemble – and with the ‘Great Betrayal’ around the corner I’m positive Yves will be able once again to highlight how finance is at the bottom of it and how rotten and barren its underpinnings are.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Should there be a putsch for Dr. Jill Stein as Secretary of the People’s Good Health, Good Food, and Welfare?

        1. ambrit

          Dear LBR;
          Dream on o fellow traveler, I’m with you in spirit, if not on the littoral.
          Unfortunately, the idea of a putsch is also too easily imaginable as coming from The Promise Keepers in the Air Force too. I’ve forgotten the ‘address,’ but there is a good website, connected to here once, run by a very brave Hebrew gentleman concerning just such groups. The recent flap about the courses at the Academy in Colorado Springs teaching the future officers and gentlemen that Muslims are an existential threat to American Exceptionalism says it all.

  19. charles sereno

    Kona coffee lovers:
    When I was a kid in Hawaii (long time ago), 100% Kona was cheaper than Hills Bros from a can. Many locals turned their nose up and bought mainland. They did that too with bananas, buying Central American bananas via California instead of the beauties in their own back yard. Can you believe it?

  20. mcgee

    Senator Warren…President Warren, both have a nice ring.

    Can the senate squash a solitary voice, of course. Do senators depend on campaign contributions and lobbyists, yes. We are witnessing a sea change in the electorate and which type of candidates are electable, at least nationally. Old white guys are moving out and a more diverse cross section are taking their place. Policies and attitudes will follow along and make this country far more egalitarian. I hope.

    Senator Warren is beholden to special interests like any other elected official. The difference is she sees her constituents as her primary focus and leveling the financial playing field for the consumer has been a life long study and passionate cause. Will she be compromised by the system within the Senate; time will tell but if the past is a predictor for her actions I am comforted by her record as an advocate and elequent communicator in supporting the 99%.

    Again, President Warren, a person can dream.

    1. citalopram

      She’s a typical Harvard brat, a member of the elite. We’ll see what she does during her tenure.

    2. Aquifer

      The problem is her political umbilical cord is attached to the Dem placenta located in the corporate womb … if she makes noises that discomfit that womb, the cord will be yanked, if she persists the cord will be cut …

      She may well decide to temper in return for positions on committees where she will convince/comfort herself of/with the idea that she can do more good from the “inside”. If she indeed stands up for prog values, the cord will be cut and she will be out on her ear –

      As Molly I would say – ta gotta dance with the one that brung ya, she has decided to dance with the Prada wearing devil, so let us see who gets the hotfoot ….

      This whole scenario has been played out multiple times with “promising” Dems – Kucinich being the poster child …
      If she breaks the mold she will be marginalized then defeated – by her own party ….

      1. wbgonne

        While I agree Warren wil be marginalized by the ObamaCrats if she stays Left, I don’t agree she will lose her MA senate seat by doing so. I think the American People are hungry for economic populist leaders. Warren could be vert successful and very popular if she goes after Wall Street and truly stands up for the Middle Class.

        One interesting wrinkle: if Warren really is a wild card (i.e., assuming she’s not already in the bag), Obama may really more than ever want the Great Betrayal to go through in the Lame Duck. If Warren, the Democrats newest star, were to be bold and stand firm she would give a lot of cover to the rest of the Progressive Democratic Congresspeople who have been cowering in the corner since the summer of 08.

        Will Warren do it? Beats me but we’ll know very soon.

    3. TK421

      Old white guys who hate unions, gay people, and immigrants are being replaced by hip young people of color who hate unions, gay people, and immigrants. Huzzah.

  21. charles sereno

    “It is the worst of all worlds.” Ambrose Evans-Pritchard about Greece

    The Parthenon is transported to the Perganom; named the “Merkel Marbles”.
    Spain leases the Alhambra to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (rumor has it to suppress evidence of wholesome, non-pecuniary, cultural Islamic-Christian exchange and collaboration).

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      After the Alhambra Caliphate is restored, will the Sephardim re-locate to Spain from *Israhell*?

  22. LeonovaBalletRusse

    NPR NEWS 3PMEdsT – SCOOP? “David Petraeus resigns his post due to extra-marital affair.”

    Batshat! Who can de-construct this “game-changer?”

  23. Denise B

    Wow! Montana and San Francisco united against corporate citizenship! I never would have ever imagined that.

  24. LeonovaBalletRusse

    OBAMA IS LAME: Will he learn EveryBidnessman’s Basic Game Theory?
    //President Barack Obama called for an immediate tax-cut extension for people earning less than $250,000 and insisted that top earners pay more, claiming a mandate from voters as he invited congressional leaders to a White House meeting on averting the so-called fiscal cliff.//
    OBAMA must LET the Bush Tax Cuts Expire, THEN Negotiate!

    1. different clue

      Obama wants to make the Bush tax cuts permanent in their entirety. That’s why he destroys every opportunity to let them die of sunset. He only pretends to want token tax increases on the “very richest” people so as to inspire the Rs to fight against that in order to settle on another compromise keeping the Bush tax cuts unaltered for another “Obama Unit”. Obama hopes to run out the clock with
      faux-efforts to “raise” taxes on the “very richest” so that after enough such no-action Obama Units have come and gone, everyone will wear out and give in to the inevitability of permanent Bush tax cuts.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      So-o-o-o-o embarrassing: EXCERPT from:

      PETRAEUS’ RESIGATION LETTER, according to NBC News:
      HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency
      9 November 2012
      //Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

      /As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. . . .//
      Read more:

      “D/CIA” – “our Nation’s Silent Service” — Who knew?

    2. TK421

      Ah, America. Massacre innocent people in Afghanistan, cover up the death of a military hero–water under the bridge. But an affair–THAT we can’t have!

    3. Lambert Strether

      So much for Petraeus 2016. Looks to me like the White House is working through its “disposition matrix” for potential rivals (and with some dispatch, too).

      I mean, I’m sure this could have come out at any point in the last six months, instead of on a Friday afternoon immediately following the election.

      1. Expat

        Of course you are right that this could have come out before the election. What I can only guess at is why the Republicans didn’t leak it, since we know Obama is the sort of person who would bristle at any such revelations during his campaign. You would have thought that embarrassing Obama and the Democrats (as only the Republicans can) would have been so sweet for them. All the loyalty…. Is Washington all tied down like Chicago now?

      2. barrisj

        Well, perhaps the “attack on US drone by Iranian aircraft” was the sainted Petraeus’ last-chance effort in saving his arse, trying his best to manufacture an updated version of the notorious “Tonkin Gulf” incident so prominently built up by LBJ to advance “escalation” in Veeet-Nam. Fortunately, the actual region above the Gulf where the alleged “incident” occurred is completely devoid of internationally recognised territorial waters, and the Pentagon is walking back the original claim. Petraeus is a latter-day McArthur who was so thoroughly fellated by Boosh that he really believed that he was the Indispensable Man on Horseback, and why Obama felt that he had an obligation to give this POS a key position in his administration is both curious and troubling. Sic transit gloria, dude, hope you land a high-paying “private-sector” jawb in the security industry.

      3. different clue

        Since Obama can’t run in 2016, for whose benefit would the battlespace be shaped in 2016 by this “outing” now?
        Are the Democrats growing Obama’s little mini-me in a test tube somewhere for 2016 rollout?

  25. wbgonne

    I see that Obama waited two whole days before formally launching the next installment of his War on the American People. Now, for the sake of our children, we must begin dismantling the social safety net so those same children don’t have a social safety net. In order so save the social safety net we must destroy the social safety net. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it’s just that kind of crackerjack reasoning that got us into Vietnam, kept us there interminably, and caused us to guarantee our own failure with our tactical idiocies. Now our Best and Brightest are leading us into battle … against ourselves.

    So let’s recap: The plutocrats all agree that the American People must be sacrificed to Wall Street. Most of the American People accept the Great Betrayal because [well, you tell me]. Agent Orange says he wants the Great Betrayal but no tax increases. Obie says he wants the Great Betrayal but must be fig-leaf tax increases on Rich. Reminiscent of his opening number in the health care fiasco, Obama helpfully adds that he is: 1) happy to compromise; and 2) not wedded to his own plan. Meanwhile, Liberals and Progressives who just voted for Obama while he told them the Great Betrayal was coming rise up to demand there be no Great Betrayal.

    HMMMMM. Where might this possibly end? It’s a real mystery.

    P.S., In 30 years let’s ask the American People whether they wished we had protected them from the 2012 deficit or anthropogenic global warming. Think of the children indeed.

    1. TK421

      “Liberals and Progressives who just voted for Obama while he told them the Great Betrayal was coming rise up to demand there be no Great Betrayal”

      If only there was some way they could have prevented that! Like, on November 6th!

  26. Hugh

    Re cocoons, it’s just trash talk. The Republican team lost this year. So the fans are blaming the weather, the coach, the quarterback, the other side was working the refs, etc. It is just noise signifying nothing.

  27. Lambert Strether

    The Republicans lost on everything except policy!

    * * *

    In other words, as soon as the ego-damaged winger billionaires stop bellowing and stamping at the pinpricks inflicted by Democratic talking points, they will settle down and come to understand that Obama is working out very well for them.

  28. Lambert Strether

    Another data point on video games. The local university is to its credit, #9 IIRC on the list of party schools. But students aren’t partying in clubs so much; they’re partying at house parties. That argues financial stress, to me. Perhaps they aren’t buying video games either.

    1. ambrit

      Mr. Strether;
      We live in a college town, and the stresses you allude to are everywhere. There’s a small frat house down the block from us, and it is hosting more small parties this year than in the past few years. (My wife calls it the Obstacle Course when we try to squeeze through some Friday nights. Cars everywhere.) At work, there is a lot of grumbling, and some info exchange between the college students about schooling costs and coping strategies. (Actual exchange I overheard: “Oh come on now. Just give the World of War up and save your money!” “But man! It’s addictive!” “Yeah, and so is crack. You smoke that s—?” “It’s not the same.” “Really? Prove it.”….) And so it goes.

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