Links 5/21/13

Patient readers: Yves will be returning very shortly, perhaps even before you will have read this. –lambert

Welcome to Hive City: Inside the 22ft steel tower that’s home to 5,000 bees Daily Mail

Violent Tornadoes in Oklahoma Weather Underground storify. WU commentary, Jeff Masters. Time-lapse footage near OKC. Explainer (Atlantic).

Be more professional! GCHQ staff rapped as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals messages that he says point to ‘fit up’ Independent (‘frame up’).

How Jamie Dimon Became a Risk Factor HBR

Apple denies using ‘tax gimmicks’ to lower US payments FT. “He denies it,” said the King: “leave out that part.” WSJTimes.

Bulls vs. Bears

Boom or Bubble? The New Yorker

We should listen to what gold is really telling us Mohamed El-Erian, FT (see also Spooked).

Financial markets are at risk of a ‘big data’ crash Opinion, FT

Fed’s Evans Says Economy Has Been ‘Improving Quite a Lot’ Bloomberg

Air Cargo Volume Points to Continued Economic Weakness Pragmatic Capitalism

What’s Holding Back Hiring? Online WSJ

N.J. Revenue May Fall $937 Million Short, Analyst Says Bloomberg

Obama Scandals Bring MSNBC 7-Year Low While Fox News Rises Deadline Hollywood. Blip?

Dems betting heavily on GOP scandal overreach in 2014 Greg Sargent. Dick Gephardt, 1998, during Clinton impeachment saga: “They can’t help themselves.”

Carl Hiaasen: IRS went after small fry, but let the big ones get away Miami Herald

The Criminal Case Against the Tea Party Cabal and Why the Justice Department Won’t Pursue It Wall Street on Parade

Useful information on 501(c)(4)s and 527s and the IRS’s scrutiny dilemma ataxingmatter

Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes Glenn Greenwald, Guardian (emptywheel).

Obama administration mistakes journalism for espionage Eugene Robinson, WaPo. Yesterday, Colbert King.

Employers Eye Bare-Bones Health Plans Under New Law  Online WSJ (NT). White House ObamaCare adviser: “Our expectation was that employers would offer high quality insurance.” Oopsie.

Employee Abuse Runs Rampant In America Economic Populist

Jobless Youth: Europe’s Hollow Efforts to Save a Lost Generation Der Speigel

Support for 15-M protest movement grows, says new opinon poll El Pais

The M5S is not left wing (and neither is it right wing) Beppe Grillo’s Blog

Abe’s Resurgent Japan Hurt by Lack of Business Spending Bloomberg

Syria: Disunited Insurgents Lose Qusayr Moon of Alabama

Police killed as violence continues in Iraq Al Jazeera

How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic

Guatemala ex-leader Rios Montt’s genocide conviction overturned BBC

Inside America’s luxury bomb shelters: The underground homes which have enough space for pools, basketball courts… and even private jets Daily Mail

80-Year-Old North Carolina Educator: Why I Am Going to Risk Arrest Today Alternet (LP).

Why do some groups choose nonviolence? Foreign Policy (see also).

Antidote du jour:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t think they are gadflies.

      Some people confuse them. I know I do sometimes with gadflies and flies.

      One time, a salesperson told me both were the same and a fly swapper was good for both.

      I don’t know but for some reason, that sent shivers down my spine.

  1. rjs

    “hive city” has the number of bees wrong; 5000 is barely a nucleus; more likely that a honey producing colony would have 50,000 bees or more; i have caught swarms (partial colonies) with ~60,000 bees (by weight)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A 22-ft tower with only 5,000 bees, isn’t it like 20 rich families in the PETRONAS towers, density-wise for humans?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Good catch. I was so enchanted by the metal beehive I skipped right over the number. (Also I like ag projects in cities like Detroit…. Or Buffalo…)

      1. optimader

        Bees are good

        “…Sure, understanding today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But, there they are…”
        ~The Honorable Chester Cadaver

    3. evodevo

      Former bee-keeper here – 5,000 is a nothingburger….something 22 ft. high would have nearer to the hundred thousands.

  2. tom allen

    Dems betting on GOP scandal overreach? In the absence of any real ideas, I suppose that’s all they have. I mean, running on a platform of nothing worked so well for Democrats in 2010….

    From the article:

    DCCC deputy executive director Jesse Ferguson said in an interview this afternoon. “Voters are tired of Congress not focusing on the things that are important to them — whether that’s strengthening the middle class, fixing the budget, reducing gun violence, or passing immigration reform.”

    [Anybody notice the word “jobs” in there? The economy, rather than the budget? But what can you expect from the DCCC?]

    1. Massinissa

      As always, the Democratic party realizes that pleasing their base DOESNT MATTER, since theyre going to vote for them ANYWAY, so they try to poach republican voters by stealing republican talking points.

      This two party democracy is functionally similar to a one party democracy.

    2. BondsOfSteel

      It’s like the joke about the two guys that were out camping when a huge grizzly bear roared into camp. One the guys grabbed his tennis shoes and started putting them on. The other guy said, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun that bear!”

      The first guy said, “I don’t have to. I just need to outrun you.”

      The Democrats just need to outrun the anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-woman, anti-science Republican party.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe anti-science isn’t all that bad.

        ‘Please stop more scientific research into improving drone technology!’ – reads one flyer on a telephone pole.

        ‘We beg science to leave us alone. No more GM foods’ – reads another.

        1. BondsOfSteel

          Yes, the liberals can be anti-science too: GMOs, vaccines, drones, and in Portland, water fluoridation.

          In general, the left pushback seems to be more on the use and control of these technologies. Most people against GMOs aren’t against the technology, they are against the unlabeled sales, the cross contamination, or unlimited corporate control.

          The right seeks to suppress research that conflicts with their world view. They don’t want anyone using fetal stem cells. They don’t believe in [anthropomorphic] climate change, so they restrict studies on it. They want to restrict teaching human reproduction… or even basic biology. They attack the knowledge itself.

          While the left may keep us from moving forward as quickly, the right seeks to pull us backward.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            When they are for science, be careful.

            That’s when they thank science for making fracking more efficient.

          2. neo-realist

            The right wants to restrict research that potentially hinders the free market profit margin, e.g., climate change so Corporations won’t have to take money out of profits to adhere to regulations. They want to restrict any sort of scientific or reproductive education so the red state mouthbreathers will keep reproducing more mouthbreathers who will in all likelihood will continue to elect righties–a vicious and productive cycle for them.

          3. skippy

            When science is funded by those with a profit objective from the get go. Well it ain’t science, its engineering an out come, added by scientific observations.

            Science does not tell Monsanto to incorporate roundup at a genetic level, the marketing and sales Dept. does. Nor did it tell the morons to rip out all the electric trams out of city’s or to spread urban sprawl over farm land and forests, incentivize population growth to facilitate short term positive out comes for for financiers and capitalists looking to maximize their profit…. Numerology of the wealth class did it.

            Skippy… cough… economics is a religion… shezzz… why do the priests always make out its someone else fault… gawds plan, devil did it, lazy people, non believers, lack of faith ~ who dealt it owns it thingy…

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Science is like a bad marriage of convenience – the weak partner (not necessarily the man) thinks it will get this all the while the stronger partner knows it will get what he/she wants.

            What the 99.99% think they will get is not what the 0.01% think they want to get.

            Until we straighten it out, the arrangement will continue to favor the rich and the powerful.

    3. jrs

      “Voters are tired of Congress not focusing on the things that are important to them — whether that’s strengthening the middle class, fixing the budget, reducing gun violence, or passing immigration reform.”

      Listen you Dem leaders but this is why I hold you beneath contempt and despise you completely – you are the greater evil – more effective evil.

      I hold freedom of the press as important to me. More important than all the rest. Why? Because the people being informed underlies good policy (not guarantees, it’s necessary but it’s not sufficient). You moronhead Dems think you can buy us out with the “goodie of the week” all the while undermining the foundation on which all good policies are built, informed citizenry, ability to protest, rule of law, etc.. Take your goodies and stuff them where the sun don’t shine.

      Take your kissing up to the middle class and shove it, throwing out some helecopter money to them (but nothing like the banksters get), until you can crush them entirely under the boot of your corporatist tyranny. You want to utterly disempower everyone but the rich. And we know it. We know it by how you treat our civil liberties. We know it by your trade pacts like the TPP. I know you think you’ve produced the most ill educated masses in the world, that can’t see through anything, beyond some money tossed their way today at the price of any future, but some of us see through you. We can still think. We can still see you as people who in a just world would have your heads on lampposts.

  3. Jim Haygood

    ‘A rumour that Cyprus could be forced to sell its holdings … was enough to bring the gold price down 15 per cent in less than a week.’ — Mohamed el Erian

    A similar dynamic has been playing out in Argentina, where the US dollar serves the role that gold does elsewhere.

    As the country’s dollar reserves shrank, the ‘dólar informal’ reached a 100% premium to the official rate a couple of weeks ago, at 10.48 pesos per dollar. Panic buying of dollars prompted an official reaction to increase the domestic dollar supply, driving the rate down to 9 pesos per dollar today:

    The President’s “economic team” announced a sweeping tax amnesty for undeclared dollar deposits. The new tax amnesty (an opportunity to whitewash dollars) includes a certificate, Cedin, to deposit dollars in the Central Bank to then purchase properties or undertake construction projects.

    The buyer of a property will pay with the Cedin certificate that the seller can then cash in the Central Bank for dollars, according to the official story trumpeted on Tuesday. It’s quasi money that can eventually translate into dollars filling people’s pockets once again.

    The currency exchange controls had practically frozen the real estate market in Buenos Aires City where properties have traditionally been priced in dollars. Real estate transactions in the first quarter of this year dropped 41 percent in Buenos Aires City. The Cedin certificate is designed to rescue the local real estate market from oblivion and the national government seems to be admitting that it lost the battle for properties to carry price tags in pesos.

    Not only has the Cedin plan temporarily knocked down the dollar, but also a pending US court decision in a lawsuit by holders of defaulted Argentine debt could paradoxically increase the local dollar supply by provoking a fresh halt in the country’s overseas debt payments.

    Neither of these factors changes the dollar drain produced by an overvalued currency, a subject on which the president has dug in her heels and said will never happen under her administration. By crippling exports and subsidizing imports, an overvalued currency ensures a perpetual capital account deficit. But hope springs eternal that the Peronist gang led by Cristina ‘Blind Squirrel’ Kircher someday will stumble upon a nut.

  4. Expat

    How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America: this is how White America talks to Black America, or would, if anyone would listen after 400 years of oppression. The question is why such a disrepectful, ahistorical message should be any more acceptable coming from Barach or Michelle Obama than say, David Koch.

    1. icc

      “We’ve got no time for excuses except when it comes to fulfilling our obligations under 59 Stat. 1544-1589, 6 F.R.D. 69 (1946), ICJ Statute Article 38, the Convention Against Torture, or the War Crimes Act of 1996. Then Attorney General Holder and I are pretty much stereotypical shif’less black hoods beggin for a stop-and-frisk.

    2. Jessica

      I think this is the black middle class talking to the black working class in about the way it has talked for a long, long while. It has some parallels with the way any new nation tries to form itself. Not that African-Americans form a separate nation, but their history has been distinct enough that there are some parallels.
      What makes it ugly when Obama does it is that he retains the custom of talking down and trying to make the less well-off clean up their act, but he has left behind the accompanying obligation to fight on behalf of black people.
      If he gone to the mat to fight against predatory banks and to fight for increased education and jobs for black people and to fight against the racist impact of drug laws on African-American youth, and then talked this way, it would be very different.

  5. simple jack

    “Boom or Bubble? The New Yorker”

    Oh, let me count the problems with this article. Wait, I don’t have that manyt fingers and toes. It is not so much the premise that I have a problem with, it the fact that once again, here is a article the puts forth a hypothesis (in the most non-scientific sense) and doesn’t really take a critical look at the what it proposes.

    Is it different this time? Yes possibly, probably even. But when you back it up with, now lets go talk to a vested industry insider who is on the payroll and needs the status quo to remain unchanged to survive, you kind of lose me. But than again, I’m simple.

    1. Susan the other

      I know! Mr. Surowiecki is appealing to a strange audience. I mean how is this all gonna end? Hey, a “boom” is a massive wave; so is a bubble. Created by a loss of pressure on the other side, aka the disappearing middle class. The steerage on the Titanic. “This time it IS different” is just utter nonsense. How are our corporations (that is “international” corporations) earning 46% of total earnings from “abroad?” Well, by selling all that junk to increasingly impoverished Americans. And stuffing the profits in the Bahamas except for maybe 5% they keep on their second set of books. I mean, how is it even possible that corporate earnings have tripled since 2000? Only by accounting. Compare corporate earnings with the GDP. Ha. Well, at least that is accurate. And also, “the decline of Unions has been very beneficial to our corporations.”

      So bottom line, what happens when sales plummet? Oh right – that already happened. And we’re all pretending the BRICS can save us. From what? Productivity? Yes because keeping profits where they are is do-able – it is NOT A BUBBLE. Because steerage really only needs comfortable shoes. And besides ordinary Americans aren’t in the stock market so a bubble is no problemo because it can be siphoned off and sent not just to offshore banks but to Africa and South America, and the UK. So tell me again Mr. Surowiecki, why does America need the Stock Market?

      1. Dirk77

        To take Jack Welch’s quote one step further: “The stock market is the dumbest idea in the world.”

  6. F. Beard

    “We should listen to what gold is really telling us”

    No. I refuse to fetishize a stupid shiny metal.

    Also, gold is merely a previous tool for oppression by the banks.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Be its master; make it do things for you.

      Don’t let it be your master by worshipping it.

      1. F. Beard

        Gold is not my master nor ever will be.

        So speak for yourself ONLY.

        Since you are wrong about gold as money what else is rotten in your belief system, you should wonder?

          1. F. Beard

            Gold is already your master in that you consider it at all in an economics context.

            You’ve been cognitively captured or are Buddhist monetary concepts that primitive to begin with?

            Perhaps you should switch to the Torah.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Maybe some people want to build a temple made of gold for their worship.

          3. skippy

            Gold or fiat only have what the observer inputs – inserts into its inanimate form… question the observers beliefs and not the objects value.

            Skippy… how much death can be attributed to both, yet life, is so undervalued.

          4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            However much gold the Greek government has, I say unto them, free gold and give it to the Greek people!

            Maybe that will jump start the “Free Gold From Fort Knox” movement there.

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It maybe the angle one takes to see things.

            Kind of like how things turn out in the long run.

  7. RanDomino

    “What’s Holding Back Hiring? Online WSJ”

    Classical economists are fools. The reason growth is slow is because capitalism means investment, but that requires something to invest in- an expansion of one of the factors of production (land, labor, technology, raw materials, etc). But there haven’t been any real discoveries since the 1980s tech boom (the subsequent 20-30 years have been slight efficiency improvements, but not all that substantial).

    There is nothing left to invest in, and so there is no growth. There is no opportunity for growth, and so there is nothing to invest in. Investment without profit is pointless to capitalists.

    So when I say “labor” is a factor of production, in this case it means that the only opportunity for extracting more profit- cut wages and benefits and make the peons work harder.

    That, and bubbles, and selling off critical equipment for scrap just so the executives can make the numbers this quarter and ride the golden parachute in the next one.

    This is the terminal phase of capitalism.

    1. F. Beard

      But there haven’t been any real discoveries since the 1980s …

      Just a few:

      1) Nanotechnology
      2) Quantum computing
      3) biotechnology
      4) 3-D printing

      No, the reason companies aren’t hiring is simply because the population is too deeply into debt to the government-backed counterfeiting cartel, the banks, to spend much on anything else.

      1. Jessica

        F. Beard,
        I think you make his point. Of the four inventions you point to, only biotechnology has been partly rolled out as an actual industry generating useful products and jobs.

          1. Jessica

            Thank you for the interesting link. I think the scenario he outlines (gradually return to almost zero growth by the end of the century at the economic leading edge country) is the most optimistic possible outcome if we remain with our current form of social organization, which also means attempting to shoehorn knowledge production into property rules evolved for material production.
            If we can make the multi-faceted leap to organizing social production around knowledge production, then we could move forward as fast compared to the industrial revolution as the industrial revolution did compared to the nearly zero growth of the centuries that preceded it.

        1. AbyNormal

          regarding the nano world i have to disagree.

          its a huge environment…nano universities worldwide are tapping on the gods brains.

          consider 20.1B in 2010 to 33T by 2018

          and keep in mind global universities in this field are footing the bill to all students (not scholarships) including books an food.

          I want to build a billion tiny factories, models of each other, which are manufacturing simultaneously… The principles of physics, as far as I can see, do not speak against the possibility of maneuvering things atom by atom. It is not an attempt to violate any laws; it is something, in principle, that can be done; but in practice, it has not been done because we are too big. Feynman

          life in the nano lane is something to behold…if we survive it

        2. F. Beard

          Mere lack of money is the reason for lack of innovation in many cases.

          But re biotech: I can see how bankers would want to delay their Day Of Reckoning more than most.

        3. Howard Beale IV

          And you’d be wrong there on nano-technology, as implemented in the microprocessor arena. In the 1970’s the IBM 370/168 was the biggest baddest general purpose computing platform out there–today I can run an emulator of that hardware and its operating system on a smartphone and still have plenty of headroom for other applications to run. Even IBM today is now saying that they are running out of options under the current state of micro-nano electronics-once that barrier is broken, in 20 years the 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon will look like the Intel 4004 back in the 1970s.

        4. RanDomino

          Exactly. Capitalism extracts profit from “primitive accumulations” (“primitive” meaning “first”). The conquering of the Americas meant a huge amount of land and raw materials. The technological and organizational innovations of the Industrial Revolution allowed profit to be extracted from labor on a scale never before seen. Steel and oil completely overhauled the world economy. But every technological advance of the past 20 or so years has only been a slight improvement; they have either been so technologically and organizationally expensive as to be nothing but academic curiosities or attempts to improve communication- but the Internet already means instantaneous free communication to any point on the world, so how much can that be improved? It’s the difference between a car built in the 1990s and one built in the 1930s. Better? Sure. Revolutionary? No.

    2. Jessica

      The main bottleneck creating this stagnation is that the social organization that somewhat* worked for industrial production have a much harder time handling knowledge production. It just does not fit into any existing system of property in a way that really turns loose the possibilities.
      So it is constricted into forms that fit with rent-seeking and most of the opportunities are lost.

      *Somewhat worked meaning that there was much conflict and inequality but the overall level of production was greatly increased and through enough effort by ordinary people, a somewhat healthier distribution of power and wealth was temporarily achieved.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      Doesn’t technology increase productivity, thus reducing employment?

      The article on Detroit yesterday pointed out that one of the large auto plants used to employ 11,000 people. They now produce more with only ~1000.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        Productivity means 2 things.

        It could mean roughly the same total output but with fewer workers. Why a society would tolerate that if the ‘improvement’ is not shared among all is beyond me.

        It could mean more output with the same number of workers. That sounds good on the surface, as people now have more to buy, though consuming more does not necessarily lead to more happiness for humans, but likely less happiness for the rest of Nature.

        1. Jessica

          Productivity eliminates the need for certain types of labor and creates the need for others. For example, the first wave of industrialization wiped out hand weaving, hand spinning, etc. as viable jobs, but created huge number of factory jobs.
          When the added productivity of the wave of industrialization centered on electricity and the internal combustion engine took full hold, it actually created a large number of new jobs.
          It is not productivity itself that is the problem, it is how the changes are handled. In recent decades in the advanced economies, the benefits of productivity increases are almost completely captured by the elites, so many people are hurt more than helped.
          How we should change society so that increased productivity helps rather than harms is a crucial question.

      2. RanDomino

        If the factories were owned by the workers, 1000 people doing the work of 10000 would not mean a reduction in standard of living for those 10000. Maybe it would mean a reduction in the workweek by 90%. A four hour week? Why not? But under capitalism that excess productivity is stolen by the capitalist owners as profit and used to finance the construction of luxury yachts.

  8. lakewoebegoner

    “Obama Scandals Bring MSNBC 7-Year Low While Fox News Rises ”

    olbermann may have been at times prone to histronics or pompous—but he was objective and fun to watch.

    playing MSNBC as a “liberal” Fox was bound to fail—–Fox doesn’t succeed because it’s conservative per se, it succeeds to because it feeds a skewed older demo a echo chamber worldview that those folks love to eat up.

    MSNBC/CNN could fill a vaccuum left by TLC/Discovery’s move to reality TV by featuring less talk and more informative/science/travel programming in the evenings—like CNN’s new Bourdain program. but doubt that many media executives have the risk appetite for intelligent programming.

    it’s easier and cheaper to keep shoveling the same dumbed-down slop that’s offered now.

  9. skippy

    The service economy in order of importance:

    Financial services

    So what happened to natural capitalism and resource productivity movement?

    skippy… yeah I know… the natural order mob.

    1. skippy

      Lets unpack this further…

      Financial services: Wall st et al ie binary numerology religious template.

      Tourism: Cheap entertainment out side your slave habitat.

      Distribution: Amonzon et al ie. slave habitat.

      Health: Obama care ie. forced participation to rentiers.

      Education: Charter schools ie. Darwinian survival of the financial fittest social ladder climbing contest.

      Skippy… for every TED, Inet or other Enders Game contest the Financier’s will game it to their benefit, nothing gets a green light to deploy capital… unless they… say so.

    1. Massinissa

      Us at NC know you can get to the article by googling its title to bypass the paywall.

        1. mookie

          It’s not a paywall, it’s a registrationwall. If you don’t mind registering it’s free.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why do groups choose nonviolence?

    True dat.

    Why did machine-gun toting, Al-Capone fearing, bank-robbing mobsters go away from violence to become nonviolent, derivative-writing, wealth-stealing, ‘charity-giving,’ sports-ballpark/freeway-naming rights-owning banksters?

    It seems that things didn’t improve that much with that transformation.

  11. dcblogger

    Dems betting heavily on GOP scandal overreach in 2014

    In 1998 the unemployment rate was 3%. Clinton made people’s life better, so they defended him. With 8% unemployment no one has a reason to defend Obama.

    1. Massinissa

      Im not even convinced Black America will defend him much at this point. And even if they do, im pretty convinced the GOP will still run away with the election.

      The worst part is, when the repubs beat the dems because the dems got a president who was too conservative, the dems and repubs will both say its because Obama and the dems are too ‘liberal’, and the next dem president will try to be MORE conservative…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder if it will at least make pot-eating human flesh smell better (human flesh eating should be judged to be immoral, I believe).

      1. Valissa

        “Is it progress if a cannibal uses a knife and fork?” – Stanislaw Lee

        “The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal — they have to live off each other–while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats.” – Will Rogers

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Interesting thoughts.

          I have wondered if it is progress if science just solves problems created by science in the first place and if more progress will be needed by using more science to solve problems created by science’s solutions from today .

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I like twisted loopiness, but only odd-number of twists.

            That is to say, Oddly Twisted Loopiness is good.


            Oddly twisted loops are Moebius strips. There is only one side; no two sides.

            Whether you believe in one creator or not, you are all on the same side…the side of peace, calm and absence of out of control rage about nothing.

      2. optimader

        What is “moral” is such a mercurial thing isn’t it?

        If you were a member of The Fore, aboriginal New Guinea, eating your dearly departed is the utmost tradition of respect…

        Read Richard Rhodes “Deadly Feasts”

        Kuru among the South Fore

        Main article: Kuru (disease)

        Upon the death of an individual, the maternal kin were responsible for the dismemberment of the corpse. The women would remove the arms and feet, strip the limbs of muscle, remove the brain and cut open the chest in order to remove internal organs.

        Shirley Lindenbaum, one of the early kuru researchers, states that kuru victims were highly regarded as sources of food, because the layer of fat on victims who died quickly resembled pork. Women also were known to feed morsels – such as human brain and various parts of organs – to their children and the elderly.[4]

        It is currently believed that kuru was transmitted among the South Fore through participation in such cannibalism, although opportunistic infection through wounds when removing infectious tissue from the corpse can be assumed to be another cause, as not all cases can be explained by ingestion of infectious tissue.

        Though the Fore would not eat those who had apparently died of disease, and so did not so easily catch other diseases via cannibalism, they believed that kuru was a mental affliction caused by a curse rather than a physical disease.

        The kuru epidemic reached its height in the 1960s, having recorded over 1,100 deaths of the South Fore from kuru between 1957 and 1968[citation needed]. The vast majority of victims among the South Fore were women. In fact, eight times more women than men contracted the disease. It later affected small children and the elderly at a high rate as well.[5]

        Lindenbaum and Vincent Zigas worked among the South Fore in New Guinea trying to identify and catalog the symptoms and possible behavior causing the disease. Daniel Carleton Gajdusek also traveled there in 1957, to study disease patterns in indigenous and isolated populations.[6] Lindenbaum, Zigas, and Gajdusek were all crucial to explaining the specifics of kuru to the rest of the world.

        Although the prohibition of cannibalism in the 1950s led to the steady decline of the epidemic, kuru has lingered into the present century by an incubation period that can exceed 50 years.[2

    2. Valissa

      More antidotes to this very depressing news cycle…

      50 brilliant pub chalkboards

      David Fincher To Helm YouTube’s First Hour-Long Drama Series ‘Turtle Has Sex With Shoes’,32493/

      Massive hashish asteroid on Earth collision course around May 31st

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s what make this planet unique, as we have not detected another like that…yet.

            And people foolishly think we can just make a mess here before migrating to another hospitable planet, if we just give scientists enough money, in order to escape facing judgment.

  12. thesystemoftheworld

    That How Jamie Dimon Became a Risk Factor piece reads like a court eunuch fretting about the Emperor lacking a male heir, while making sure to note the Emperors demigod like qualities. Gotta love the line:

    Corporations resemble dictatorships more than democracies — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Talk of Neo Feudalism is starting to make sense to me.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Obviously businesses are primarily built on the authoritarian/military top down hierarchical model. Participatory democracy or independent oversight is–again obviously–anathema to that mindset. As far as the organizational flow chart, most businesses are essentially indistinguishable from a military dictatorship. As business culture steeped in this authoritarian mindset is increasingly integrated into government, democracy cannot functionally survive. The two are simply fundamentally incompatible.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Police killed as violence continues in Iraq.

    Not sure why they haven’t picked up nonviolent, or at least less violent, as blood is less likely to be seen on the evening news, denying of food and medicine is more effective at bringing about change.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Apple…tax gimmicks.

    Google…evading taxes.

    Are these two companies doing their best to avoiding money destruction (tax-paying) as we are in a deflationary period? I am a little puzzled here.

    1. MLS

      Apple and Google have a duty to build wealth for their shareholders, not to pay taxes to the government.

      The real issue here is the convoluted, confusing, burdensome tax code that politicians from both parties have built over the years by allowing one carve out after another exempting certain groups or constructing certain barriers to benefit their friends in the corporate world. Hard to blame the fox for eating all the chickens if the farmer lets him sleep in the coop every night. Apple is right to defend themselves against the use of the word ‘gimmick’ as it implies something untoward. Everything to press thus far has indicated that they did nothing illegal and IMO shouldn’t be punished for something that is entirely legal. I suspect some of the fauz anger from politicians is embarassment from they themselves have helped cause.

      The answer here is a simpler tax code with as few carve outs (read: distortions) as possible, not to punish companies for perfectly legal behavior.

      1. Expat

        “Apple and Google have a duty to build wealth for their shareholders”: if one were to study his/her legal history, he/she would discover that this so-called duty has the same specious origin as corporate personhood; namely, the unelected judiciary. It’s legislating from the bench, not according to the Constitution. Like all big lies, however, if you repeat it enough people with belive it is true.

        1. MLS

          Then what duties do the boards and management of Apple and Google (and any other company for that matter) have if not to build wealth for shareholders (owners)?

          1. mookie

            What duties can you imagine? The duty you mention is enshrined in law, but it is not a just duty, nor is it an eternal law as revealed by The Almighty Free Market, or god, or what have you.
            The true function of the duty you mention is to strip all conscience from human activity. The duty you mention turns people into powerful sociopaths in the form of corporations.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Underground homes with pools, tennis courts, all the back issues of Playboy, etc…

    Is that why, after making their first billion, they continue to try to get more?

    Is the meaning of life making so much money you don’t know what to do with it?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why no hiring?

    I don’t know about the big boys (our difference is close to that between Relativity and Quantum Mechanics), but for small guys, it’s a lack of trust or faith that a true bottom has been pun in.

    All the lunch money I have saved from not eating out almost everyday now, well, I am not putting that to work until there is a true bottom.

    And if you have money for a house, you are probably waiting until after the banks havecome clean with their REO inventories.

  17. petridish

    RE: Glenn Greenwald on the Obama Admin…

    The desperation and blatant unconstitutionality with which the Obama administration is cutting off public access to information is looking more odious every day.

    I, of course, don’t buy for a nanosecond the national security BS or his “remoteness” or lack of managerial capability.

    You’ve got to wonder what it is that he is so desperately trying to hide.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      As long as they’re only coming for the Muslims, why should I speak up? As long as they’re only coming for Muslim sympathizers … for whistleblowers … for un-American citizens … for Fox journalists, why should I speak up? Loyal, patriotic White House stenographers and cheerleaders have absolutely nothing to worry about.

      And Obama still has approval numbers above 50%. Mission accomplished. Nothing but a market collapse can jeopardize his status and the “Fed” is all in now to keep the bubbly flowing.

    2. jrs

      I think Chris Hedges guess is the best one about why the police state now? They want to establish a complete police state in anticipation of environmental collapse. Or well I’m not sure I’ve heard a good alternate theory other than just that power corrupts.

  18. ohmyheck

    “You’ve got to wonder what it is that he is so desperately trying to hide.”


    Jeebus. Not like what we already know about the Obama Administration is bad enough.

    How far down does The Rabbit Hole go?

  19. Jackrabbit

    Code words to the Left/Left Media?

    Friday: “The Second-term Agenda!” STFU or the Agenda gets it.

    Sunday: “Trust in Government”: If we go down, you go down.

    Tuesday: “Scandal over-reach”: don’t count us out

    There was a similar full-court press of BS last fall. Except that was aimed at pushing back republicans (racist sore losers!). Now that the scandals have broken, the Administration wants to keep the Left in line.

    Remember: “Susan Rice has nothing to do with Benghazi?” Now its: “The President didn’t know!” (so everything’s fine).

  20. looselyhuman

    Re: Beppe Grillo – I didn’t click through, but isn’t that basically what Mussolini said about Fascism?

    I can’t find the exact quote I had in mind but here’s one (via Wikipedia):

    Benito Mussolini in 1919 described fascism as a movement that would strike “against the backwardness of the right and the destructiveness of the left”

    1. Synopticist

      I’m normally the first to pour scorn on any movement, or person, who’s dumb enough to buy into the “there’s no such thing as left and right any more” meme. Like the Spanish 15-M movement, who failed to realise they were on the left until a rightwing government got elected, and now they’re stuck in impotence while their country goes to the knackers.

      But in Italy, uniquely, they may have a point. The Italian right has been all about berlusconi stopping anyone else having power, staying out of jail, and screwing teenagers. In that order. He hasn’t even done the mild Thatcherite reforms he repeatedly campaigned for. Italy is more bureaucratised than France or Spain, and it’s harder to start a business there than almost anywhere in Europe. He never laid a hand on the public sector unions, still arguably the strongest on the continent.

      The left, by contrast, are run by hyper-feminised puritans obsessed with identity politics and a thinly concealed contempt for the working class. They’ve bought into the whole TINA agenda, complete with managerial smugness and obesiance to Brussles and the bankers. They have all the bad elements of Western countries’ centre-left, none of the good, and they can’t even win elections.

      I don’t have a lot of confidence in Bepe and his cohorts, but they may be what Italy needs.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I believe inside every person, there is a little bit of left and a little bit of right.

        For some, it’s 90-10.

        For others, it’s 45-55.

        So on and so forth.

        1. Synopticist

          Maybe if you’d have read on you’d have got the point. It’s harder to start a business in Italy than anywhere in Europe, except Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.

          Italian bureaucracy is mental. A lot of small companies , especially any owned or run by foreigners, need to employ a full time fixer just to deal with all the ongoing bullsh*t that comes at them from the various regional, local, guild, business or national bodies. It’s a massive cost, a huge economic drag, and it makes it really hard to do business properly.

          Berlsuconi won repeated elections by promising he was the man to make it simpler, and he never did. He prefered to screw 16 year olds instead.

  21. craazyman

    Holy smokes did anybody see Jane Fonda in Cannes? She looks hotter than a 30 year old!

    Macroeconomics is so over for me at this point.

    Years of reading and intensive study and all I get is enough confidence to lose half my money in GLD, thinking somehow I was erudite and well-informed enough to slam a 4 bagger.

    Jesus. Just goes to show you you can be the Albert Einstein of economics and still lose all your money. I only lost half since I’m not Albert Einstein. Good thing I’m not or I’d be totally broke.

    Just makes it more crucial to get a $250,000 INET grant, just to reload. I figure I’d take it and try for a 3 or 4 bagger in 1 year. Clear about $500 or %600K then pay back the grant with a note saying “I couldn’t think of anything after all. Here’s your money back. Sorry about that.”

    Of course I can think of lots of things, but am too lazy to write them down. The point isn’t to get famous as a thinker, the point is to score the 3 bagger and not work.

    They’d be frustrated, probably, but they’d get over it. As long as they didn’t lose anything they’d be OK.

    1. AbyNormal

      did Nostradamus ‘see’ himself out of a job?

      “Nothing in the world can one imagine beforehand,not the least thing,everything is made up of so many unique particulars that cannot be foreseen.”

    2. Valissa

      Microeconomics: The study of who has the money and how I can get my hands on it.

      Macroeconomics: The study of which government agency has the gun, and how we can get our hands on it.

      — Gary North

      1. F. Beard

        Gary North? I used to read him till I discovered he’s a fascist; he wants fiat gold. Libertarian? NOT!

        He also justifies usury.

        1. Valissa

          Well Beard, I never heard of him before… I just amused by his quote. You inspired me to look him up and now I know that there is probably very little that this guy and I would agree on and can see that you are right, he’s a scary fellow! Despite this, I still appreciate his snarky definitions of micro and macro economics.

          1. F. Beard

            He’s not scary to me since he’s a hypocrite. He claims to be a libertarian yet wishes to force people to pay taxes with gold. I guess he realizes his favorite shiny metal can’t survive as money without government privilege.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Just separate gold from the government by giving it all back to the people.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s a thin line between whatever one thinks one is and a fascist, especially if there have been many close encounters.

          1. F. Beard

            North’s a fascist. He want’s the government to enforce a gold standard:

            “The government does have the right to establish the form of money that citizens must use to pay their taxes. The government should limit itself to a statement regarding the weight and fineness of the tax coins. If private enterprise produces coins that meet these standards, the government must accept such coins as valid for the payment of taxes. The government lawfully controls the form of taxation; but it should not have any power to monopolize the production of coins. Governments have always asserted this authority, and they have always done so to the detriment of liberty.” Gary North from [bold added]

            What North calls “liberty”, I call special privilege for gold owners and usurers.

          2. F. Beard

            In case you’re listening Gary, inexpensive fiat is the ONLY ethical money form for government debts; else government is privileging private interests such as gold owners and usurers, which is fascism.

          3. F. Beard

            Sure. Distribute the gold. Who cares?

            But it will make the gold-bugs howl since it will drive down the price of gold in [intentional irony] fiat.

          1. F. Beard

            Really? Then Bible-reading North has disobeyed the Bible wrt mutilation:

            You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.
            Leviticus 19:28

          2. AbyNormal

            Truth has to be given in riddles. People can’t take truth if it comes charging at them like a bull. The bull is always killed. You have to give people the truth in a riddle, hide it so they go looking for it and find it piece by piece; that way they learn to live with it.
            The Gift of Asher Lev
            (a true gift ST…thanks)

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think it’s fascist to insist on one interpretation of everything written.

            The Amish, for example, interpret their book to read they should not own cars, but can ride in one.

          4. skippy

            Let unpack that beard in context.

            New International Version (©2011)
            “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.
            New Living Translation (©2007)
            “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD.

            English Standard Version (©2001)
            You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.

            New American Standard Bible (©1995)
            ‘You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.

            King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
            Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

            Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
            You are not to make gashes on your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves; I am Yahweh.”

            International Standard Version (©2012)
            “You are not to make incisions in your flesh on account of the dead nor submit to cuts or tattoos. I am the LORD.

            NET Bible (©2006)
            You must not slash your body for a dead person or incise a tattoo on yourself. I am the LORD.

            GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
            Never slash your body to mourn the dead, and never get a tattoo. I am the LORD.

            King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
            You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

            American King James Version
            You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you: I am the LORD.

            American Standard Version
            Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am Jehovah.

            Douay-Rheims Bible
            You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord.

            Darby Bible Translation
            And cuttings for a dead person shall ye not make in your flesh, nor put any tattoo writing upon you: I am Jehovah.

            English Revised Version
            Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

            Webster’s Bible Translation
            Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

            World English Bible
            “‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh.

            Young’s Literal Translation
            And a cutting for the soul ye do not put in your flesh; and a writing, a cross-mark, ye do not put on you; I am Jehovah.

            Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
            19:1-37 laws. – There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men’s anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God’s particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God’s grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God’s precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God’s law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.

            Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
            Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead,…. Either with their nails, tearing their cheeks and other parts, or with any instrument, knife, razor, &c. Jarchi says, it was the custom of the Amorites, when anyone died, to cut their flesh, as it was of the Scythians, as Herodotus (d) relates, even those of the royal family; for a king they cut off a part of the ear, shaved the hair round about, cut the arms about, wounded the forehead and nose, and transfixed the left hand with arrows; and so the Carthaginians, who might receive it from the Phoenicians, being a colony of theirs, used to tear their hair and mouths in mourning, and beat their breasts (e); and with the Romans the women used to tear their cheeks in such a manner that it was forbid by the law of the twelve tables, which some have thought was taken from hence: and all this was done to appease the infernal deities, and to give them satisfaction for the deceased, and to make them propitious to them, as Varro (f) affirms; and here it is said to be made “for the soul”, for the soul of the departed, to the honour of it, and for its good, though the word is often used for a dead body: now, according to the Jewish canons (g), whosoever made but one cutting for a dead person was guilty, and to be scourged; and he that made one for five dead men, or five cuttings for one dead man, was obliged to scourging for everyone of them:

            nor print any marks upon you; Aben Ezra observes, there are some that say this is in connection with the preceding clause, for there were who marked their bodies with a known figure, by burning, for the dead; and he adds, and there are to this day such, who are marked in their youth in their faces, that they may be known; these prints or marks were made with ink or black lead, or, however, the incisions in the flesh were filled up therewith; but this was usually done as an idolatrous practice; so says Ben Gersom, this was the custom of the Gentiles in ancient times, to imprint upon themselves the mark of an idol, to show that they were his servants; and the law cautions from doing this, as he adds, to the exalted name (the name of God): in the Misnah it is said (h), a man is not guilty unless he writes the name, as it is said, Leviticus 19:28; which the Talmudists (i) and the commentators (k) interpret of the name of an idol, and not of God:

            I am the Lord; who only is to be acknowledged as such, obeyed and served, and not any strange god, whose mark should be imprinted on them.

            Skippy… its all about – ownership – branding… like cattle… eh.

          5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            …do not print any marks upon you…

            No makeup nor lipsticks then?

            How far is that from burka wearing?

          6. F. Beard

            .Skippy… its all about – ownership – branding… like cattle… eh. skippy

            Maybe with the heathens. Circumcision (Males only!) served that role with the Jews.

            So what are you modern day heathens marring your skin with?

            When I was raised, a tattoo meant one was stupid, in the Navy or both.

          7. AbyNormal

            Sometimes wet, sometime dry, sometimes I hide deep inside, what am I?


          8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With certain things, it’s easier to say what they are not than what they are.

          9. AbyNormal

            tears Prime…too funnee
            Lamberts gonna have a turtle when he sees this thread…im outa here :o)

          10. skippy


            More like sad, its marketing influenced (branded again) and not more like the traditional tribal rites (collectivism for social benefit).


            Dr. Horrible: Any dolt with half a brain can see that humankind has gone insane, to the point where I don’t know if I’ll upset the status quo if I throw poison in the water main. Listen close to everybody’s heart and hear that breaking sound. Hopes and dreams are shattering apart and crashing to the ground. I cannot believe my eyes… how the world’s filled with filth and lies. But it’s plain to see, evil inside of me is on the rise.

            Penny: Billy?

            Dr. Horrible: Yeah?

            Penny: You’re driving a spork into your leg.

            Dr. Horrible: So I am. Hilarious.

            Penny: He’s a really good looking guy and I thought he was kind of cheesy at first.

            Dr. Horrible: [under his breath] Trust your instincts.

            Penny: But, he turned out to be totally sweet. Sometimes people are layered like that. There’s something totally different underneath than what’s on the surface.

            Dr. Horrible: And sometimes there’s a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.

            Dr. Horrible: What a crazy random happenstance.

            Dr. Horrible: I wanna do great things, you know? I wanna be an achiever, like Bad Horse.

            Penny: The Thoroughbred of Sin?

            Dr. Horrible: I meant… Ghandi.

            Dr. Horrible: [singing] And Penny will see the evil me/Not a joke, not a dork, not a failure/And she may cry, but her tears will dry/When I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia!

            [talking about Horrible needing to kill to get into the Evil League of Evil]
            Moist: Hourglass says she knows a kid in Iowa who grows up to become president. That’d be… big!

            Dr. Horrible: I’m not gonna kill a little kid.

            Moist: Smother an old lady!

            Dr. Horrible: Do I even know you?

            Dr. Horrible: Captain Hammer threw a car at my head.

            Moist: You’ve got more than enough evil hours to get into the henchmen’s union.

            Dr. Horrible: Pssh! I’m not a henchman, I’m Dr. Horrible. I have a Ph.D. in horribleness!

            Moist: Is that the new catchphrase?

            Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog



            “Maybe with the heathens. Circumcision (Males only!) served that role with the Jews.

            So what are you modern day heathens marring your skin with?

            When I was raised, a tattoo meant one was stupid, in the Navy or both.”

            Skip here… Vapidness comes to mind. To quantify ones ethical underpinnings by way of marking the flesh ie “a tattoo meant one was stupid” well what a concise tool you weld. Have fun devolving into Babylonian echo chamber 2.0, if it doesn’t work just keep trying to force it, she’ll come good one day…eh. Rapture… we were right!

            skippy… WHAT IS THIS GODLY MIX OF FANDOMS?

            First couple of minutes will do, unless…


    3. Susan the other

      You don’t have to give ’em their money back Craazy. You didn’t know you really didn’t have an idea until you researched it. Like getting a grant to study the history of nostalgia. Go for it.

    4. Jim Haygood

      ‘They’d be frustrated, probably, but they’d get over it. As long as they didn’t lose anything they’d be OK.’

      Isn’t that a Hank Paulson quote?

      If not, it will be, after the transcripts of the TARP meetings are declassified 50 years from now.

    5. optimader

      “…Holy smokes did anybody see Jane Fonda in Cannes? She looks hotter than a 30 year old…
      ..(30 yo) what? you sir are revealing some latent necrophiliac tendencies

    6. optimader

      “..Just makes it more crucial to get a $250,000 INET grant, just to reload. I figure I’d take it and try for a 3 or 4 bagger in 1 year. Clear about $500 or %600K then pay back the grant with a note saying “I couldn’t think of anything after all. Here’s your money back. Sorry about that…”

      Economics is the one discipline ( ok maybe meteorology) where you can successfully seek funding to study why your PhD thesis was entirely wrong.

      “..Of course I can think of lots of things, but am too lazy to write them down. The point isn’t to get famous as a thinker, the point is to score the 3 bagger and not work..”

      More or less correct, but maybe the time preference is a bit skewed

      Your implied point (I think) is spot on. The intrinsic value of money = the opportunity to buy your free time back. Understand that, and if you’ve preserved your curiosity from childhood, your in the clover. So many people here (and elsewhere)that seem to suggest money is evil don’t get that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It depends on what kind of austerity.

      Austerity on drone-buying actually is actually life-giving.

      So it goes with interpreting books you read.

    2. Susan the other

      Wow. I was wondering why they failed to build shelters. it would have been a massive savings of life. Not real estate tho’. Mmmm.

    3. AbyNormal

      from your link…
      “Meanwhile, it emerged that Senator Tom Coburn, one of the state’s two fiscally conservative Republican senators, would seek to offset the cost of any disaster relief with equivalent cuts elsewhere in the federal budget.

      Both Mr Coburn and Senator Jim Inhofe were criticised by fellow Republicans for voting to cut relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and both men also voted against sending money to FEMA during a funding shortfall in 2011.”

      1. Gerard Pierce

        So what’s wrong with, say, a 90% cut in Senatorial compensation for the state of Oklahoma. (We do need to leave them with bus fare home).

  22. AbyNormal

    BAHAHAHAAA Someone Claiming To Be Jamie Dimon Arrested By Homeland Security

    After being arrested by Federal Protective Service yesterday, they were asked for their names. Among the names that the arrested gave were Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase, Brian Moynihan of BOA, John Stumpf of Wells Fargo, Richard Davis of U.S. Bancorp and Lloyd B. Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. Many of those arrested were not veteran activists but ordinary people who feel they have been crushed by the foreclosure crisis. According to Amy Schur of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, there are grandmothers among those arrested and *at least four of them are over seventy*.

    makes me FEEL GOOD!

  23. Hugh

    When I heard about the tornado hitting Oklahoma, I could not help thinking that it was yet another example of the destructiveness attending global climate change, and that Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe is one of the biggest and most vociferous of the global warming deniers. Of course, it wasn’t his house that was destroyed or his family that was harmed, and there is always all that money he gets from the oil industry which owns him so I don’t see him changing his mind.

    1. barrisj

      Also, Sen. Tom Coburn, popularly known as the “sane Senator from OK”, has an interesting twist in accepting fed disaster relief funds: “We’ll take it, but only if cuts are made elsewhere as ‘offsets’ to spending”. Cute…Chas. Pierce has more:

      The moral gymnastics needed to reach Coburn’s position is astonishing.

    2. Jessica

      That even the school lacked a tornado shelter – in a town that has already been hit 3 times before by strong tornadoes, one of which had the highest wind speed ever recorded – says that something is deeply wrong with how Oklahoma is run. And that the MSM could cover this story without hammering on that very fact says something about the MSM.
      But this has nothing to do with global warming. That part of the country has always been tornado alley. The air dried out from going up one side of the Rockies, then down the other meets warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. That is why Wizard of Oz country has the most tornadoes of any place on the planet. And always has.

  24. Howard Beale IV

    Federal COA Rulings Could Make 5 Years Of Non-Judicial Fannie/Freddie Foreclosures Unconstitutional:

    Tasty nugget:

    “Attorneys for FHFA may be popping the bubbly because two federal Court of Appeals have upheld the fact that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in fact government entities and they can enjoy the privileges of such a tax-free status, but what they fail to realize is they have inadvertently barred Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from foreclosing on homeowners in Michigan and homeowners in other non-judicial states from foreclosing non-judicially because it denies them their due process rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This of course would create a nightmare scenario for FHFA on multiple levels.

    First, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their servicers who they assign a temporary ownership to must foreclose judicially. This means that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the servicer would have to sue the homeowner to take possession like they do in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. A judicial foreclosure also makes it easier and less expensive for the homeowner to defend against the foreclosure because the cost and burden of proof is now shifted to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Second, this opens the door for homeowners in non-judicial foreclosure states who have been non-judicially foreclosed on by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bring damage lawsuits against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for violating their civil rights.”

  25. rich

    PBS Killed Wisconsin Uprising Documentary “Citizen Koch” To Appease Koch Brothers

    “Citizen Koch,” a documentary about money in politics focused on the Wisconsin uprising, was shunned by PBS for fear of offending billionaire industrialist David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television, according to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. The dispute highlights the increasing role of private money in “public” television and raises even further concerns about the Kochs potentially purchasing eight major daily newspapers.

    The film from Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin documents how the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision helped pave the way for secret political spending by players like the Kochs, who contributed directly and indirectly to the election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2010 and came to his aid again when the battle broke out over his effort to limit collective bargaining.

    Originally slated to appear on PBS stations nationwide as part of the “Independent Lens” series, “Citizen Koch” had its funding pulled after David Koch was offended by another PBS documentary critical of the billionaire industrialists.

    “People like the Kochs have worked for decades to undermine public funding for institutions like PBS,” Deal told the Center for Media and Democracy. “When public dollars dry up, private dollars come in to make up for the shortfall.”

    And that private funding can conflict with PBS’ “public” mission and its editorial integrity. The PBS distributor “backed out of the partnership because they came to fear the reaction our film would provoke,” Deal and Lessin said in a statement. “David Koch, whose political activities are featured in the film, happens to be a public-television funder and a trustee of both [New York PBS member station] WNET and [Boston member station] WGBH. This wasn’t a failed negotiation or a divergence of visions; it was censorship, pure and simple.”

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