Links 8/7/13

New Surgical Rating Tool Gives Mediocre Grades to Major Institutions Patient Safety Blog

Confused photocopiers randomly rewriting scanned documents ars technica (Lambert)

Official: Tepco Plan Could Cause Fukushima Reactor Buildings to “Topple” George Washington

Forget ‘taper’ risk: China is a bigger threat Financial Times (Scott)

Record recession hits Italy Guardian

Washington Threatens Pakistan with Sanctions if it continues with Iran Pipeline OilPrice. The signaling looks ugly. Pakistan actually mentioned its status as a nuclear power in politely telling the US it needed to go ahead (the message was also implicitly, “give us as much oil or gas as Iran will and we might reconsider”)

Without Warning, US Bombs Yemen CommonDreams (Doug Terpstra)

Manning’s maximum sentence cut Guardian

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

New U.S. spying revelations coming from Snowden leaks – journalist Reuters (Deontos)

Surveillance questions snowball: 5 stories you may have missed CBC (Deontos)

Pissing Off Friends is a Doomed Strategy CounterPunch (Carol B)

Obama: ‘We don’t have a domestic spying program’ Reuters. My nominee for Obama’s “I did not have sex with that woman” quote.

The Ecuadorian Library Bruce Sterling (BoingBoing, referred by Deontos)

GDP Growth must Slow as Oil Limits are Reached OilPrice

Drought-Stricken New Mexico Farmers Drain Aquifer To Sell Water For Fracking Resilience (John L)

Help! Police! Daily Kos. OMG, you need to read this…

Fleecing Pensioners to Save the Banks CounterPunch (sgt. doom, Deontos)

Chapter 9 Hysteria in the Wall Street Journal Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

SEC Self-Indexing Ruling “Jeopardises ETF Brand” Index Universe

Private-Equity Payout Debt Surges Wall Street Journal (skippy). Also known as equity-stripping.

Some Thoughts on the Dual Mandate: Right Goals, Wrong Agency? New Economic Perspectives

The Lame “Uncertainty” Defense James Kwak. On DeLong’s efforts to rewrite the record on Brooksley Born to make Summers look better.

Crazy Fedspeak Tim Duy

US government sues Bank of America BBC

Freddie Mac takes the first step in transferring mortgage default risk to the private sector Walter Kurtz

Objectors’ Siren Song Enchants During Article 77 Proceeding Isaac Gradman. If you are remotely interested in the $8.5 billion “get out of liability almost free” settlement that Bank of New York is foisting onto investors on behalf of Bank of America (when BoNY is contractually obligated to operate on behalf of the investors!) you need to read this post.

Obama Should Stop Talking About How Great Homeownership Is Clusterstock

A Dream Foreclosed: As Obama Touts Recovery, New Book Reveals Racist Roots of Housing Crisis Democracy Now! (Lambert)

Do wage shares have to fall with globalisation? Business Line

Antidote du jour:


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  1. F. Beard

    re Do wage shares have to fall with globalisation? Business Line

    There’s that word “share” again which is what business would have to do sans the government-backed banking cartel – by paying higher real interest rates to workers and consumers for their savings in fiat and/or by using and accepting back their own common stock as private money for the goods and services they produce.

    Instead, companies borrow from the counterfeiting cartel to buy back their stock and thus “anti-share.” And that’s not Equitable is it?

    “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts. “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.” Malachi 3:5-6 [NASB] bold added

      1. F. Beard

        Do you mean why does God allow orphans? Part of the reason is to test people. Some people will take advantage of the weak and some won’t.

        Some people don’t like the idea of a Personal Creator because “What if He doesn’t like me?” In that case, one should get to know what the Lord likes and hates, no? He seems to hate injustice and oppression of the weak so a wise man will too.

    1. from Mexico

      What’s with the bash Texas campaign? Do you believe these sort of abuses don’t happen outside of Texas?

      Your bash Texas campaign is cut from the same whole cloth that the bash Mexico campaign is, such as this from Ruben Navarrette, the West Coast’s leading contender in Republican circles for top coconut (brown on the outside but white on the inside):

      For years, U.S. officials have urged their Mexican counterparts to get tough on drug traffickers. The Americans even provided $1.4 billion through the Merida Initiative to help our friends south of the border accomplish that goal.

      Yet, the drama that unfolded in the state of Sonora for the last week can’t be what U.S. officials had in mind.

      The idea was to help Mexico’s police and military pursue violent criminals — the sort who terrorize people by scattering human heads like party favors on the dance floors of nightclubs — not to prey on Americans held for ransom by crooked cops looking for their next payday.


      Those of us who visit Mexico know you never get on a bus. It makes you easy pickings for bandits and bad cops, and sometimes you can’t tell the difference. Bandits might take your money, and let you go on your way. Bad cops take your liberty, and hold it until someone back home sends enough money to let you go on your way.


      In Mexico, stories like this one — which are all about money, and corruption, and how predatory some hungry people can be when they catch a glimpse of a piece of bread — are as common as pinatas and margaritas.


      Incidentally, Mexico is still waiting on the last few hundred million dollars in drug fighting funds promised under the Merida Initiative.

      Congress should send the rest of the money. Minus $5,000. That should go to the Maldonado family. Think of it as a processing fee.

      Right, Ruben, as if things like what happened to Yanira Maldonado never happen in the US. For folks like Navarrette, the White Man’s Burden** is just too much to bear.

      **Imperialists within the United States understood the phrase “white man’s burden” as a characterization for imperialism that justified the policy as a noble enterprise. White people have an obligation to rule over, and encourage the cultural development of people from other cultural backgrounds until they can take their place in the world economically and socially.'s_Burden

      1. craazyman

        people are crazy everywhere but people from Texas are unusually crazy. everybody knows that. why deny it?

        they have a superiority complex because the state is large and that makes them insufferable. consider if you’re from Rhode Island and you meet somebody from Texas — they’ll probably try to defraud you somehow just for fun, just the way some people step on an insect because they can.

        You’d think people from California would also have a superiority complex since they have size and height (Texas doesn’t have high montains) but fortunately they’re too weird and spacey.

        It’s not that complicated if people admit the truth,

        1. from Mexico

          craazyman says:

          You’d think people from California would also have a superiority complex since they have size and height (Texas doesn’t have high montains) but fortunately they’re too weird and spacey.

          If only it were true.

          But as Adam Curtis explains in his latest endeavor All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, with its new “Computer Utopianism” or “California Ideology,” California is now the Mecca for Ayn Rand true believers:

          1. Richard Kline

            “Is ‘now’ . . . ?” California has been the native province of fibertarians since _the 1880s_. Seriously. California history is a truly wonderful read. And the big railroad barons of four generations since are the direct precursors of the big silicon barons of the present. California has been exactly what it is now since they put up cities with white folks in them.

        2. Jim Haygood

          People are crazy everywhere but people from Texas are unusually crazy. everybody knows that. why deny it?

          We don’t deny it. So we find catharsis in telling jokes about the least gifted of Texans, those who attend Texas A&M:

          An Aggie went hunting and shot two deer. When he went to the taxidermist, he was asked if he wanted them mounted.

          “No,” the Aggie replied, “kissing will be fine.”

          1. craazyman

            faaaaaak! after a few beers I bet there’d be some mounting.

            “You’ve only got the head and anlters up on the wall. What happened to the rest of the deer?”

            “It wore out.”


                1. AbyNormal

                  no dragons (yet)…does that help

                  If you touch me I’ll more than alarm you.
                  Lisbeth Salander

        3. lakewoebegoner

          “people are crazy everywhere but people from Texas are unusually crazy. everybody knows that. why deny it?”

          why hypothesis is sleep deprivation from hot weather in AC-less homes is a big factor in the messed-up-ness in Fla/Tx/summer NYC, etc.

          other cultures developed mechanisms to cope w/hot weather (siestas, sleeping on rooftops, pushing work hours into the evening). The US doesn’t do that.

          people w/o AC get their nerves frayed from poor sleep. Minor skirmishes turn deadly with short fuses and ez access to guns.

        4. Roger Bigod

          I’m thinking about starting a cult in your honor. It wouldn’t be personality cult, though (not that there’s anything wrong with your personality). Something more rarified and ineffable. Maybe with a daily koan ring-tone to keep followers in the flow. And for special occasions a weekend holy-roller speaking-in-tongues session.

          One possibility was a mashup, but that has problems of possibly clashing tats, aura tints, Myers-Briggs categories. And multiple internet identities could lead to security complications I don’t want to go into.

          It’s a big responsibility, even if you don’t have to do anything but look charismatic now and then. Not nearly as heavy as the Dalai Lama or the guy who has to set the threat level color codes. If you go all wobbly and non sum dignus on us, I can plan-b on down and use something like The Cult of the Unknown Cr**zyman .

          1. craazyman

            faaaaaak, that sounds like a lot of work. It exhausting just thinking about it. But if we can have naked women hanging around like in Game of Thrones it might be worth it. hahaha

            1. Roger Bigod

              Wonderful insight. Nothing like over-organization to take the edge off a cult. Better to start with the naked women and see where it goes.

      2. allcoppedout

        We overdo the ‘white man’ thingy Mexico. Anthropology is full of this rot without any need to blame melanin deficiency. Your statement is otherwise spot on – as in the disgusting mandate system of the League of Nations. The Greeks and Romans, later the R. Catholic Church purveyed a history of Barbarians in classic Freudian projection, the Barbarians generally being the finer chaps (women, apparently, did not feature in human society at the time, a matter of some consternation to me as biologist). More recently, we were given ‘Sun’ and ‘Ice’ people, a theory with striking counter-examples with Idi Amin as Sun and Mother Theresa as Ice.
        One finds that of which you speak in British ex-pat communities and it lurks in our UKIP/BNP politics and coconut tokenism at the BBC. What was overt in Nazism was merely insidiously and barely hidden agenda on the allied side. I agree racism-sexism-superiority stuff is still a chronic disease (in all societies), but ponder on any white emphasis as useful any longer – though the problem is still pervasive – no one in the 200 compliment at an ethnomethodology conference a few years back seemed to notice the only ethnic faces and voices were those of Chinese staff serving our meal. My blind friend was the only disabled person present and he was insulted by Garfinkel. On his way to a first and later a PhD he was advised by a hideously prejudiced woman (herself a minority an intensely PC) to drop down to ‘basket weaving’.

        I don’t object to the white – and as white I’m not subject to this form of racism other than through shame – I just wonder if this way of putting the issue clouds the full problematic. I tend to think of much of this as a wider problem of the rich and professional class and the burden the rest of us pose for them. They are hard-working, individualistic, motivated, thrusting, the smartest people in the room, virtuous, creative and meritorious – we fit only to pick through the droppings left to be swept away and to watch their spectacular trajectory. We might do better to think of these people as slavers – the parallels between the British pay-off of such and the bank bail outs is scary. At the time of abolition we were still practising enclosure and clearance on our own, changing land law to evict them from land many families had been on for 500 years. Concentration camps were management techniques in the subsequent rip-off of Africa and South America (Red Rubber). I see little difference between the Domesday Book and modern HRM, the vile language of current slavers.

        I don’t object here, just wonder on the problematic.

      3. Gogol Marquez

        Discussions of Texans always remind me of this quote from the movie, Geeonimo: An American Legend

        “Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts: There’s two dead women there… and two little kids. They scalped them all, all four of ’em. Bounty hunters. The government down here pays 200 pesos a head for men, 100 for women and 50 for those kids. They kill any Indian and then claim they are Apache. I don’t see how any man can sink so low. Must be Texans… the lowest form of white man there is.”

    2. tim s

      I guess the Texas bashing is because it’s fun. Anyone who thinks this is what it’s like it Texas period is likely to think that we all wear cowboy hats and boots and drive from oil well to oil well in our Boss Hogg Caddy with a horse in the back for show.

      Texas is a complex place for many reasons. The stories coming from East Texas a couple of days ago are not a big surprise. Sounds an awful lot like the deep south. Well, East Texas really has much more in common with the deep south than West Texas. East Texas has a geography and demographic, as well as a history much more like Louisiana/Miss/Alabama. Gulf Coast has the industry to bring it to a more modern era. Houston being a hub of the Gulf Coast is pretty amazing in its international flavors, and for the most part, people seem to get along fairly well, everything considered.

      The orientation of Houston’s mayor says something in itself. While I won’t say that HPD are angels (I mean after all, this is still the American justice system), I don’t hear THAT much bad press, even with our local independent news sources, say compared to LAPD.

      West Texas, on the other hand, is still another world. I don’t hear about nearly as much crazy shit from West Texas as I hear from Arizona, which has a very similar climate & geography.

      South Texas, yet again, altogether different from the others. Border regions get all of the press on the federal level, what with homeland security’s militarization dumping ground for experimental/excess equipment.

      With this much complexity, you will have all of the off the wall shit you can think of. Spend some REAL time here though, and I have a feeling minds might change a little bit.

      Let the economy go down the crapper, and all bets are off. But then, that can be said about a lot of places.

      *Flame suit on*
      Yes, I know about Rick Perry, Tulia, Koresh (that’s more the fed’s fault), “one of the roadside cavity searches took place south of Houston”, etc, etc, etc.

      I also know about Terlingua, Marfa, Kerrville (folk festival), Austin (when it was cool), the Rocky Mountains (yes, it’s true!), the music (for decades and decades and decades, all styles), the many distinct cultures as well as the melting pots, and the generally open/friendly/helpful people.

      1. F. Beard

        Ya left out Amarillo, where I was raised, and which hasn’t changed since in over 50 years, including our neighborhood. I loved that place but mostly after leaving it.

  2. Ned Ludd

    The end of an era: Blink tag removed from Firefox. The idea for the blink tag came from Lou Montulli, the creator of Lynx. Not surprisingly, it involved drinking.

    Sometime in late summer I took a break with some of the other [Netscape] engineers and went to a local bar on Castro street in Mountain View. The bar was the St. James Infirmary and it had a 30 foot wonder woman statue inside among other interesting things. At some point in the evening I mentioned that it was sad that Lynx was not going to be able to display many of the HTML extensions that we were proposing, I also pointed out that the only text style that Lynx could exploit given its environment was blinking text. We had a pretty good laugh at the thought of blinking text, and talked about blinking this and that and how absurd the whole thing would be…

    It turns out that one of the engineers liked my idea so much that he left the bar sometime past midnight, returned to the office and implemented the blink tag overnight. He was still there in the morning and quite proud of it…

    I remember thinking that this would be a pretty harmless easter egg, that no one would really use it, but I was very wrong.

    Raise a pint for the blink tag! A vestige of the chaotic, messy, innocent, juvenile, optimistic, mischief-making web of the 1990’s.

  3. from Mexico

    @ “A Dream Foreclosed: As Obama Touts Recovery, New Book Reveals Racist Roots of Housing Crisis”

    That is a wonderful interview!

    I liked what she said about Obama being on board for a “Wall Street housing recovery,” while being indifferent to a “human housing recovery.” We need “a new way we can structure society,” Gottesdiener says, one that is very different than the one being imposed by Wall Street.

    She is also light years ahead of Enlightenment thinkers who believe race only has to do with taxonomy:

    I didn’t write the book and focus on black America because that community has been the most devastated. I focused on black America because that community has been the most organized in resistance and the most visionary in some of the concrete proposals for how we could restructure ownership and control of land and housing for the future so that this crisis wouldn’t happen again.

    There’s so much more to race than skin color. As María Elena Martínez explains in Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico, “race is not merely a consequence of material interests (an “effect” of class) but rather is linked in complex ways to economic, political, and ideological structures; social conditions; and systems of signification.”

  4. from Mexico

    @ “Washington Threatens Pakistan with Sanctions if it continues with Iran”

    How can Obama and his fellow neocons impose sanctions upon Pakistan when Pakistan is one of their chief allies in spreading extremist Islam across the globe?

    Obama’s motto: “If you don’t have an Al Qaeda threat near you, get one!”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’d be careful with Pakistan.

      Not only do they have nucular bombs, but they also boast an Elvis, the Elvis of the East and Marley of Pakistan – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

  5. skippy

    Got pesky confused photocopiers randomly rewriting scanned documents… just call…

    There are a few private company’s that probably wish they had chosen a different name by now. Like a….

    Office copier solution company in WH, CT or an IT Cloud – management mob in the UK (rave reviews).

    skippy…. poor bastards… search if you feel like it… snicker….

  6. Richard Kline

    Obama: “We do not have a domestic spying program. We have a domestic surveilance program. We only surveil guilty people. A judge said so. When we don’t already know they are guilty, we don’t bother a judge, we just observe. . . . It’s all pretty harmless, really. I mean, if you have nothing to hide, we won’t see anything we don’t put there anyway—wait; David, is this thing on?”

  7. rich

    The Pariah Shortage

    As far as the two costliest fiascoes of the last decade go—the Iraq war and the subprime-mortgage crisis—it’s difficult for many of us to move on in the absence of any sort of rational resolution. The Obama administration has shown scant interest in getting to the bottom of how we let these two disasters bring the country almost to its knees. Which is something of a mystery.
    In the absence of a cathartic resolution to the past five years of financial misery brought about by the banking industry, the savings-and-loan crisis of the 80s and 90s may be instructive.

    The deregulation-fueled subprime-mortgage explosion and crisis of the past decade wiped out nearly 500 banks and, according to the nonprofit group Better Markets, will end up costing taxpayers at least $12.8 trillion. That’s more than 100 times the cost of the S&L crisis.

    Furthermore, not only did the architects of the subprime-mortgage crisis get no comeuppance, many of those in charge of failed financial institutions left their posts having pretty much won the lottery.
    To say that Eric Holder has been ineffective as the nation’s chief law enforcer would be an understatement, especially when it comes to financial institutions.Before he went into government, Holder worked at the esteemed Washington, D.C., law firm of Covington & Burling, where he was one of the top attorneys in its white-collar criminal-defense division.

    Earlier this year, Lanny Breuer, who had headed the criminal division of the Department of Justice under Holder—and was therefore the point man on the department’s ineffectual subprime investigations—went back to work for Covington & Burling, where he had been a partner prior to his brief spell in public service. He’ll be getting a reported $4 million a year.

    With the cost of the Iraq war totaling $1.7 trillion, and U.S. military fatalities approaching 4,500 and the number of wounded nearing 35,000, the American cheerleaders of the invasion, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, continue to spout their mantra “Even knowing what I know now, I would do the same thing over again.” It’s meant to be an all-purpose waiver of responsibility for what happened. In truth, it’s as infuriating as it is nonsensical.

      1. Ms G

        As an alternative, it should be kept in active circulation by as many as possible.

        This is one of my all time favorite YouTubes.

        “Look at my clothes — I wear a tie.”

        1. rich

          Big Banks Conspiracy is destroying America
          Commentary: All markets manipulated, capitalism getting killed

          SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Imagine 100 Goldman Sachs banks running America and the world. It’s happening. Forget politicians, Big Banks rule the world.

          Today every bank in the world is a Goldman wannabe. That’s capitalism at its peak. All competing to be the world’s most powerful bank. Seriously, look around: Your world really is dominated by this amazing new innovation emerging from capitalism — a bizarre conspiracy of Big Banks, maybe a hundred Goldman wannabes. These new Big Bank capitalists are rewriting the history of the world.

          But we’re getting ahead of the story. Let’s review Goldman Sachs role in creating this new Big Banks Conspiracy.
          Goldman Sachs, now the role-model for all global Big Banks
          But thanks to their Trojan Horse in Washington, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, a former Goldman Sachs CEO, the banks were able to deceive, con and manipulate Congress into bailing out not only Paulson’s old firm, but all his buddies in the Wall Street banking community, by giving away over $30 trillion of free cheap money, to be paid for by future generations of taxpayers, investors and a high-unemployment, weak recovery.

          Yes, the Goldman Bubble Machine phenomenon turned into a rapidly spreading virus after 2008, infecting all banks worldwide. How? Pure capitalism, competition grounded in basic human psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience research.

          As we wrote recently, this “moral bankruptcy” virus was hard-wired in the collective brain of all the world’s bankers
          Mass corruption is now the ‘new normal’ for global Big Banks

          Don’t believe me? Any doubts about the world domination trend driving the Big Banks Conspiracy, then go to “The Big Picture,” one of the world’s leading financial blogs run by Barry Ritholtz, author of “Bailout Nation.” Last week he posted a powerful “Washington’s Blog” on the “Manipulation” that’s is a pandemic of corruption across America and the global banking world. That analysis of “Manipulation” is brilliant. Here’s a summary:

          But before you read: You must mentally translate all references to “manipulation” into what they really mean, phrases like: corruption, scam, con job, gaming, cheat, fraud, price-fixing. Why? Because that is the real meaning: Wall Street and the world’s Big Banks are not merely engaged in “manipulations” common in commercial transactions.

          The banking industry is engaged in a subtle conspiracy of unethical, immoral, dishonest, corrupt, illegal, and outright criminal behavior, for profits … cheating investors and taxpayers, conning the government, buying off politicians and setting America up for a massive crash, bigger than 2000 and 2008 combined. Their rationale? That’s the logical next phase for capitalism!

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Steve Keen: “It’s a Bubble so big we can’t even see it.” It’s not the wealth effect, it’s the leverage effect, and it’s outstripped anything in history. This time is indeed different. It’s much worse. (a little over a month old)


            Pam Martens of references your link too in “Billionaire-Media, the End Game of Cartel-Capitalism” on Bezos’ purchase of a mainstream propaganda channel.

            “So the question becomes, has corporate-owned media already failed in rooting out and calling out this corruption; how much worse will it become under layers of billionaires owning our news outlets[?]” No doubt a rhetorical question.

          2. Paul Niemi

            What I see, rich, is big banks at the crossroads. Say, in five months, a group of Senators block the establishment choice for Fed chair. QE will end, and the big banks will eat each other, like yellow jackets in a trap. Then, “Get big or get out” will be over, and “Downsizing” will be the headline going forward.

      2. Aspern


        Ah, a little violence, a little imaginary violence rises to the surface in your expressed thoughts about Lawyer B.

  8. Jim Haygood

    Nightmare at T minus 54 days:

    (Reuters) – The federal government is months behind in testing data security for the main pillar of Obamacare: allowing Americans to buy health insurance on state exchanges due to open by October 1.

    The missed deadlines have pushed the government’s decision on whether information technology security is up to snuff to exactly one day before that crucial date, the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general said in a report.
    As a result, experts say, the exchanges might open with security flaws or, possibly but less likely, be delayed.

    Did Lambert tell us this was going to happen? Why, yes … yes, I believe he did!

    Frankly, you would be better off collaborating with that kindly gent from Nigeria who offered to share 25% of a $16 million blocked deposit in exchange for your banking details, than to entrust your precious personal data to these halfwit fedgov f***faces and their hacker-paradise online flea market.

    Odiobama couldn’t manage his way out of the paper bag that he used to huff glue from. So, hapless Yemenis better hunker down for some more Snowden missiles: BOHICA, biTcHeZ!

  9. diptherio

    German Firms Scramble to Boost Data Protection ~Der Spiegel

    When BMW managers fly to other countries, they leave their company-issued mobile phones at home in Munich. In their place, they are given disposable phones to be discarded upon return.

    At the specialty chemicals giant Evonik, managers are required to store their mobile phones in cookie tins during meetings, the idea being that the tins will serve as Faraday cages that prevent anyone from listening in on the conversations.


    After the revelations of large-scale data mining by the United States, German managers have become even more nervous about data security. EADS CEO Tom Enders and other senior executives have ratcheted up their defensive measures even further. “Many documents that used to be sent by email are now hand-delivered to the recipient,” says an EADS official. He notes that the only documents that are now sent electronically are those that the company would have no objections to posting publicly or displaying “on the church door.”

    Apparently the Germans don’t buy the “this is all about terrorism” line from the US…

  10. from Mexico

    @ “GDP Growth must Slow as Oil Limits are Reached”

    That is a thought-provoking article.

    One of my problems with Tverberg’s analysis is how she gives carte blanche to the way we currently define “GDP”. “GDP” is one of those things like “race.” It is a social construct, and therefore completely artificial and arbitrary.

    So Tverberg starts out with the assumption that GDP growth is good and necessary. And then if we define GDP to include, with a positive valence, private car ownership and suburbanization, then it logically follows that GDP growth must slow as oil limits are reached. But what happens if we redefine GDP so that it still includes private car ownership and suburbanization, but we give them a negative valence? Then it seems like oil inputs become less important. Our definition of GDP seems to be structured so as to award a positive valence to those things which are the most oil intensive. How did this definition come about? Who was most influential in constructing it?

    But beyond that, because oil is such a critical component of food produciton as Tverberg points out, it seems that at some point we must deal with Tverberg’s underlying subtext: that the earth has physical limits, and these in turn place limits on human flourishing. Tverberg is therefore casting doubt upon the Modernist, humanist notion of the apotheosis of man, articulated by both Hobbes and Descartes, which asserts that man “can develop a science that will make us masters and possessors of nature” (Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity).

    1. Susan the other

      OilPrice is always sobering. I’ve stopped drinking wine till after I read it. It is a timely article today, combined with Stephanie Kelton’s stuff. Because it raises the question, what is a capitalist (or communist for that matter) to do? I don’t think we can invoke Marriner Eccles on this one. I don’t think we can invoke capitalism at all. Not the old fashioned kind nor the new gangster brand. Oil is a utility. Money is a utility. Demand is discretionary but need must be met. If the price oil is a conundrum then it will have to be regulated to prevent either recession and devastation of the oil market, or brief but absurd price bubbles and devastation of GDP (that’s us). You are right Mexico, GDP is a social construct…. One currently based on an old fashioned ideal (capitalism).

      1. Lidia

        GDP is almost entirely a measure of waste.

        As surplus energy to waste becomes more scare, GDP will necessarily fall; it’s quite straightforward. GDP will become negative as more “good” resources are thrown after bad: paving roads, repairing cars, patching up leaky nukes, etc.

        Everyone wants “sustainability”, but nobody wants a GDP of zero. Humans are not rational. Economics is a crystallization of psychotic human delusions, reflecting the biophysical world not in the least.

        1. F. Beard

          GDP is almost entirely a measure of waste. Lidia

          I agree. If we had always had a just money system in the US, we’d mostly be a land of small farmers and mechanics and Indian tribes.

          We’d best learn to share quickly so we can quit growing the economy just to pay usury.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We can construct the following races:

      Peach Americans
      Expresso Americans
      Banana Americans

      Or we can construct these races

      Meat Americans
      Vegetable Americans


      Day Americans
      Night Americans

      The possibilities are endless.

    1. Bruno Marr

      Well, some of it. Sterling gets carried away with his literary metaphors, here and there. Lumping Manning in with cypher-minds like Assange and Snowden, at the end, is a stretch.

      1. anon y'mouse

        to further the hyperbole, Manning is the only one likely in the end-scenario likely to bring back a full pack of smokes, some matches, and your exact change.

        but he’s just a lumpenprole, barely at file-clerk level so..

  11. AbyNormal

    re, NM selling water to frackers

    “In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted,” said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington. “A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.”

    many countries are implementing fracking…its ‘cheep’ by corp. standards and folks are in the exact economic place to extend/pretend it. America the Hub will be the first to go.
    What a Successful Experiment WE are…sarcfuckingoff

      1. djrichard

        Greenwald links to a trenchant article by Jay Rosen:

        What allows this stuff to operate is the trust in the notion that “as long as they only have our best interests at heart”.

        At some point this will be superseded by “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”. Loss in trust in government is moving us there. But socialism for the rich and economic risk for everyone else is getting us there a lot faster.

        1. hunkerdown

          Ah, yes, the “just world” hypothesis that has been thoroughly invalidated by anyone paying attention.

          Today I learned about the “fundamental misattribution problem”, the tendency of humans to overweight dispositional factors and underweight situational (and systemic) factors in explaining others’ behavior. Hence the popularity of “If only we could find a man of pure heart” whingeing, which completely (and conveniently) misses the mark where corrupting pressures are mostly situational/systemic.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’m rather taken with the IMPOTUS acronym, which fits this situation like a glove (hat tip, Skeptic).

      What’s Obama going to do next? Threaten to hold his breath?

      1. Brindle

        Beautiful country there, southern San Juan mountains.
        I once traveled Hwy 17, which roughly parallels the railroad, from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s not known which route the lowland Mayan conquerors (pressure from the Toltec?) took to seize Chama in highland Guatemala.

          We know, however, the Chama vases are very distinctive, with a black-white chevron band on the rim and the base, on a distinctive yellow or yellow orange background (see the famous Chama vase)…probably ran out of Maya blue.

    1. Expat

      Thanks for linking to Scott Baker’s articles. How rare for a reporter to identify the accounting tricks used to present Detroit as bankrupt. Other tricks, of course, would put it safely in the black. The pension trick, which the .1% are using with such success to drive the US Post Office out of existence and reneg on its obligations, is being used in Detroit to create the appearance of catastrophic debt by counting all pensions as immediately due and paid in full. Will a bankruptcy trustee see through these right wing shenanigans, or will Detroit, and the rest of the US, be dragged down this despicable path that benefits only the .1%? The answer is obvious: the very day that Detroit was declared bankrupt the senior Senator from Michigan had an op-ed piece in the NY Times asserting that now is the time to bomb Syria to bits.

      1. anon y'mouse

        we can’t afford to spend money supporting the tired workers after their life’s productive employment period is over, because we need that money to buy bombs to kill grannies in the middle east.

        we also can’t afford to feed our hungry children here, much less send them to decent schools, because we must buy drones to kill similarly starving kids in Afghanistan & Pakistan.

  12. AbyNormal

    re, NM selling water to frackers

    “In 10 to 100 years we are going to find out that most of our groundwater is polluted,” said Mario Salazar, an engineer who worked for 25 years as a technical expert with the EPA’s underground injection program in Washington. “A lot of people are going to get sick, and a lot of people may die.”

    many countries are implementing fracking…its ‘cheep’ by corp. standards and folks are in the exact economic place to extend/pretend it. America the Hub will be the first to go.
    Another Successful Experiment…goUSAgo

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One drop at a time…

      A curve is a straight…or likely, a short curve is a straight line and a long curve is many short straight lines, coming together one at a time.

  13. rich

    FBI arrests 2 South Florida mayors
    FBI arrests mayors of Miami Lakes, Sweetwater on bribery-related charges; both suspended

    MIAMI (AP) — The FBI arrested two South Florida mayors Tuesday morning on bribery-related charges.

    Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel “Manny” Marono were taken into custody at their offices, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami reported. Both made their first appearances in federal court Tuesday afternoon.

    Pizzi, elected in 2008 and in his second term, is an attorney who once worked for a high-profile criminal defense firm in Miami. According to federal prosecutors, Pizzi — who is also Medley’s town attorney — and Richard F. Candia, an attorney and lobbyist, were involved in a kickback and bribery scheme in connection with federal grants for both Miami Lakes and Medley.

    Marono, a member of the Sweetwater City Commission since 1995, became mayor in 2003. He serves as president of the Florida League of Cities and played a role in Gov. Rick Scott’s transition team in 2011. An indictment claims that Marono and lobbyist Jorge L. Forte — the former manager of North Bay Village — were involved in a separate kickback and bribery scheme in connection with federal grants for Sweetwater.

    Both complaints charge the defendants with conspiracy to commit extortion.

    Note to FBI….how many cities are there?…keep going…..

  14. AbyNormal

    regarding Obama, Russia & the World:

    I used to wonder how it is that empires die,
    with all of history to warn them.
    Nothing to wonder about now, is there?

    It helps little to water-proof the foundation
    after the rot has already well set in.
    And set in it has.

    If only our enemies were truly outside our borders,
    it would all make sense.
    If only they were outside our skins! GF Sutton

    And while one State may well see the warts of another, it will assuredly never admit to its own blemishes. Even the illusion of objectivity is sacrificed for the sanctity, the security, and the honor of the State, its ideology and homeland. So, as our own extremist view falls victim to its peculiar brand of myopathy – a SUPERSIZED sense of its own righteousness – another, one with a different perspective, emerges to point a finger, an apparent voice of reason, of humanity, a protector of freedom, watching as the elephant spins wildly in its dance, mercilessly striking out at anyone who questions its authority.

  15. AbyNormal

    Exclusive: Al Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted by U.S. Officials Sparked Alerts

    It wasn’t just any terrorist message that triggered U.S. terror alerts and embassy closures—but a conference call of more than 20 far-flung al Qaeda operatives, Eli Lake and Josh Rogin report.

    Several news outlets reported Monday on an intercepted communication last week between Zawahiri and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda’s affiliate based in Yemen. But The Daily Beast has learned that the discussion between the two al Qaeda leaders happened in a conference call that included the leaders or representatives of the top leadership of al Qaeda and its affiliates calling in from different locations, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence. All told, said one U.S. intelligence official, more than 20 al Qaeda operatives were on the call.

    To be sure, the CIA had been tracking the threat posed by Wuhayshi for months. An earlier communication between Zawahiri and Wuhayshi delivered through a courier was picked up last month, according to three U.S. intelligence officials. But the conference call provided a new sense of urgency for the U.S. government, the sources said.

    Al Qaeda members included representatives or leaders from Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Pakistani Taliban, al Qaeda in Iraq, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and more obscure al Qaeda affiliates such as the Uzbekistan branch. Also on the call were representatives of aspiring al Qaeda affiliates such as al Qaeda in the Sinai Peninsula, according to a U.S. intelligence official. The presence of aspiring al Qaeda affiliates operating in the Sinai was one reason the State Department closed the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, according to one U.S. intelligence official. “These guys already proved they could hit Eilat. It’s not out of the range of possibilities that they could hit us in Tel Aviv,” the official said.

    Al Qaeda leaders had assumed the conference calls, which give Zawahiri the ability to manage his organization from a remote location, were secure. But leaks about the original intercepts have likely exposed the operation that allowed the U.S. intelligence community to listen in on the al Qaeda board meetings.

    (could al Qaeda leaders really be slippin this much??…hmmmmmmm)

    1. Lambert Strether

      It’s a self-licking ice cream cone. AQ looks great, NSA looks great, Yeminis reinforce client status, what’s not to like?

      Adding, Links 8/4: “Let’s just hope the administration doesn’t engineer too much corroborative detail intended to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.” Can’t take (much) credit for a call that obvious, but let’s hope they don’t ratchet things up and kill some people just to make the point, which they’re fully capable of.

    2. Eclair

      The Al Qaeda leaders are probably rolling around on the floor, laughing hysterically: “Look, 20 phone minutes and we have the US closing down its embassies and sending special planes to evacuate staff! What a ROI!”

      1. Ms G

        It’s interesting, too, that the “coverage” doesn’t mention one word about what exactly was being discussed. Just that there were a whole bunch of Al Q’s on the horn together. And note that the only dot-connecting to a geographical location for a threat has zero to do with the phone call — previous chatter had led to the closing of the Tel Aviv embassy.

        Foily Hat Alert: Mossad and Obama cooked this one up to counter the ever-growing scope of the Snowden revelations. “By Gum, all this surveillance stuff is to keep “us” [Israel?] safe from [our friends] Al Q. And it works and it has nothing to do with spying on Americans.” Pretty amateur stuff, if this is the case.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Yup more diversion and distraction is the only plausible conclusion. They want it both ways: Snowden is a traitor who did irreparable damage to national security, but we were still able to intercept a high conference call from evildoers all around the region. Be very afraid, but rest assured we’re keeping you safe. We have to relinquish our liberties to protect our freedom. The quality of propaganda is insulting.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      So AQ didn’t get the memo on Snowden after all. Hmmm. A secure conference call? Please. Could it otherwise have been their intent to get the bumbling CIA-NSA to essentially shut down all MENA embassies and immediately start bombing false targets?

      1. Ms G

        The Al Q Conference Call Participants (altogether now): “He he he. He said “intercept” and … “secure” … he he he.”

        1. anon y'mouse

          time to dispatch a drone on these A.Q. leaders’ kids who were obviously smoking hashish and making prank calls to one another.

          “do you HEAR that, America—we want to bomb your embassies!” followed by that snorting sound that stoners tend to make while holding in their sacred smoke.

  16. barrisj

    Today’s headline:

    Childhood obesity sees decline in 19 states
    After decades on the rise, obesity rates declined slightly among low-income preschoolers in California and 18 other states and U.S. territories between 2008 and 2011, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Republican leaders in Congress hailed the CDC report as validation of their efforts to slash food-stamp and school lunch programs in the House in order to slow the epidemic of childhood obeisity. Reps. Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor said in a statement today, “We are pleased that the data from the CDC study confirms our belief in a strong correlation between food-denial and weight-reduction in children, and encourages us to broaden our program to include the millions of overweight adult poor as well.” The two leaders also noted that radically cutting dietary intake amongst poor children encourages a healthy lifestyle heretofore only enjoyed by the offspring of wealthier families, and puts paid to “Democrat-inspired class-warfare demogoguery regarding so-called ‘inequality’ in healthiness as a consequence of income differences”. They added, moreover, that some may consider government-promoted food-denial a crude form of “social-engineering”, but maintained that “…[A]ll of society benefits when subsidised food outlays drop, as less spending means a financially leaner and healthier America”.

    1. anon y'mouse

      and if they’re starved, and constantly worried about where/when the next meal will come, they will not be able to concentrate in school and thus do poorly on those mandated tests.

      then the funding to their schools gets cut due to poor scores.

      oh, and in the newest plan, the welfare to their families gets cut as well.

      is this the latest “treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen”? it sounds like Ebenezer at work again.

      1. F. Beard

        Fasting harms children but it does wonders for adult mental acuity and physical health including improvements in the senses. Why do you think the PTB hate hunger strikes?

        And if fasting improves one’s prayer access to the Lord then imagine the danger a hungry population is to the status quo?

        But trust the ninnies not to have the wisdom to keep us fat and dumb.

        1. barrisj

          I hasten to point out that the original comment was tongue-firmly-inserted-in-cheek parody, but, be fair, the Repub bozos in Congress are right out of Chas. Dickens…”bring back the poorhouse, I say!”.

          1. anon y'mouse

            one suspected as much.

            the real problem is, such a ‘plan’ being announced and enacted would not at all surprise anyone now.

  17. Hugh

    Re “We don’t have a domestic spying program,” Obama is taking the Humpty-Dumpty approach to language:

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’

    So yes, Obama has multiple “surveil everyone everywhere” operations, but “we”, as opposed to him, do not have “a”, as against plural, “domestic” as against all-purpose, “spying” as opposed to surveillance, “program” as opposed to operations. Who knew that Obama would apply “change we can believe in” even to language?

      1. Ms G

        Or … this is where Obama [cornered] shape-shifts into the “adult in the room” with: “These juvenile debates don’t deserve my attention.” (See, e.g., “I’m not wasting time scrambling jets for this Snowden guy” [paraphrase]).

  18. Skeptic

    Confused photocopiers randomly rewriting scanned documents

    As pointed out by NC a while back, Optimism has its drawbacks.
    One of the great current Optimistic scenarios is that computers will soon engage in Artificial Intelligence, and usher us all into a Heaven On Earth.

    Well, maybe it is just possible, that what we will get instead is Artificial Stupidity ushering in a Hell On Earth. Certainly, the behaviour of those scanners raises a pessimistic eyebrow. I wonder if those scanners were used in the plans for Fukishima?

    On a practical level, in my jurisdiction, in challenging your property tax, you are not allowed to question the calculation done by the computer, but only to challenge whether the tax is “reasonable”. Thus, the computer, its software, its maintenance, its integrity are off limits. It and the people who program and manage it cannot be cross examined. I researched this a number of years ago and found that in more and more jurisdictions computer evidence is accepted as true and cannot be questioned. You would think that the opposite would be so: that computers and their operations could be tested and examined to keep them honest and operating properly but not so.
    In the case of my property tax, I call this Black Box Taxation and you can’t see the contents of the Black Box. See more of this in your Neighborhood in the Future.

    1. lambert strether

      Like I said: Code is law. Literally. But it’s great to have this additional information, or not, of how pervasive the practice is becoming.

      “Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.” — Frank Herbert

    2. Ms G

      Wow, that is odd about not being able to challenge the source of the calculation — the black box computer.

      Normally in any court proceeding it’s a fundamental rule of evidence that it is only admissible if you can establish what’s called a “foundation” that the evidence (and the source) are reliable. So in this case, the reliability of that computer would be in issue as a matter of course before any calculations made by it would be admissible. This, in turn, would mean that the state would have to establish with expert witness(es) who have first hand knowledge of the technology behind the calcs and the normal operation of the computer what are the bases (technological and data-based) that produce tax liability amounts.

      Is it that a challenge to the tax bill can only be brought in some sub-legal forum like an administrative proceeding where none of the normal rules of evidence apply?

      Otherwise this sounds like a pretty good case for a due process challenge to the state entity’s tax calculating/collecting procedures.

  19. rich

    New Santa Ana City Manager’s Pay Could Exceed $500,000 a Year

    The Council is expected to vote on Cavazos’ pay package tonight in open session.

    According to city documents, Cavazos would earn $558,625.85 his first year, $515,395.08 his second year and $515,895.08 his third year. The annual compensation includes his $315,000 annual base salary plus retirement, medical insurance, life insurance, relocation allowance, temporary housing and time-off costs.

    Santa Ana, a city with a bare-bones budget that has struggled to maintain basic public services and narrowly avoided municipal bankruptcy, has become accustomed to large payouts to high-ranking managers.

    Wonder how many jobs will get privatized to keep this picnic fully stocked?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t think they can make it up with more traffic tickets.

      Still, I will make a conscious effort to avoid that city, even if going around it means more CO2 emission.

    2. charles sereno

      Wonders never cease! Before getting to the (metaphorical) heights of Wall St, consider this: An individual, Bezos by name, accumulates wealth ($25b?) by running a company that’s not profitable in Economics 101 terms. That does it. I’m a hopeless dummy. NC, HELP!!!

      1. rich

        Some people have been wondering for a while…but it’s a hard nut to crack.
        How Amazon Trained Its Investors to Behave

        With Amazon, though, nobody emphasizes EPS. Or, when they emphasize earnings, it’s in the opposite direction from what Christensen’s worried about. A few months ago, I heard analyst Mark Mahaney, now of RBC Capital markets, argue (at about minute 26 on the video) that Amazon’s razor-thin profit margins were a source of competitive advantage:

        You really develop very sustainable moats around a business when you run it at low margins. Very few companies want to come into Amazon’s core businesses and try to compete with them at 1% margins or 2% margins.

        This sounds eerily similar to what Yglesias was saying, half-jokingly, on Tuesday:

        Competition is always scary, but competition against a juggernaut that seems to have permission from its shareholders to not turn any profits is really frightening.

        Amazon has this permission because it has trained its shareholders to believe that everything will work out in the end. As a result, it has a shareholder base that’s geared for the long-run. The biggest holder, by far, is Bezos himself. After that the No. 1 institutional holder, by a good margin, is Capital Group, the giant Los Angeles mutual fund complex with a reputation for having long investment horizons. I’ve been looking through transcripts of the company’s past couple years of quarterly earnings conference calls with analysts (thanks, Seeking Alpha), and have learned that Bezos never participates (most CEOs do) while CFO Tom Szkutak always concludes his remarks with the sentence, “We believe putting customers first is the only reliable way to create lasting value for shareholders.” Nobody complains.

        Being long-term oriented isn’t necessarily the same as being right. Amazon could make the wrong bets. Bezos could get more interested in space travel than selling massive quantities of stuff at just above cost. But Bezos seems to get this. From an interview with Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky last year:

        “We believe in the long term, but the long term also has to come,” says Bezos, explaining that periodically Amazon wants to “check in” with its ability to make money.

        Just “check in,” mind you. Wouldn’t want to get hung up on flawed financial metrics when there’s a world to conquer. Which Bezos can get away with — now that he has housebroken the investment community. The key to success in dog training, I’m learning (we just got a puppy), is to appeal to instinct and memory. Reasoning with the animal, or getting mad at it, doesn’t get you anywhere. Neither does mockery, whatever Will Ferrell says. Bezos did lose his cool a bit over Suria’s claims back in 2000 (“hogwash,” he kept calling them). But in general he has exuded the steady authority of a good dog trainer. Hey, Wall Street! Roll over!

        1. F. Beard

          Competition is always scary, but competition against a juggernaut that seems to have permission from its shareholders to not turn any profits is really frightening. rich

          Dividends are dumb because they drain assets from a company. And cash sitting around is an unused asset. So what use would profits be anyway? Unless they are reinvested in the company which I presume they are? Or is Amazon using bank credit to expand?

  20. CJ

    Thanks for the antidote du jour. I needed that. It’s a comforting thought that life goes on, but I do question if snapshots in time tell us anything about what’s to come, or if they lull us into a false sense of the reality of the processes already in motion?

    I came across an article yesterday about a polar bear in Norway that literally starved to death due a lack of ice on which to hunt seals. (

    For whatever reason, this story, and more so the photograph, has had a huge impact on my psyche and I cannot escape the awareness of my contribution to their difficulties, challenges that seem likely to lead to their extinction.

    At the same time, I am aware of the ways in which I am trapped and constrained by a system that intends on turning everything on the planet into a commodity, including us humans. I’m also aware of some of the ways my psyche has been programmed/brainwashed/indoctrinated to consider the existing schema as “normal” and “rational,” despite what my own senses tell me about the rapid changes. Yet, despite my intellectual understanding of our dilemma, the overwhelming feeling is one of despair, a despair I can’t seem to shake.

    Sorry I don’t have much of a point here, but I am increasingly feeling a need to grieve over the losses not only in front of my eyes, but over the stories of decimation worldwide.

  21. rich

    For Delong….

    Cornel West Explains Controversial Relationship with Former Harvard President Larry Summers, ‘Legendary Gangster With a High IQ’

    Former Harvard professor Cornel West told the Huffington Post Summers clashed with members of the Department of African and African American studies. West, one of the department and school’s most prominent figures at the time, said the problem with Summers lasted throughout his tenure from 2001 to 2006.

    “To put it bluntly, Summers has always struck me as a legendary gangster with a high IQ, in service of the well-to-do. That was my experience the first time I ever encountered him in his office,” West told The Huffington Post. “What’s interesting is I’ve noticed in a number of the newspaper pieces, they make more of his comment about women than they do his relation to black folk at Harvard. As you know, it really started with black folks.”

    The Globe reported in 2001 that Summers could have made a statement by applying affirmative action to his faculty, but did not. Beyond that, some critics felt he was abrasive toward several faculty members.

    “After the semester began, other senior black professors began complaining that the new president had acted like ‘a bull in a china shop’ and that he spoke dismissively of some professors, calling their ideas ‘stupid,'” the Globe reported.

    In 2001, West was a Harvard “university professor,” and reported directly to Summers, an honor given to 14 of 2,200 faculty members. According to the Globe’s report, Summers criticized West for recording a rap album, for supporting Rev. Al Sharpton’s possible presidential campaign and for writing books unlikely to be reviewed in academic journals.

    “The meeting between Cornel and Larry was, to put it mildly, a disaster,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was the head of the African and African American Studies department.

    In the end, West admits that Summers is a very smart person, but, he said, that’s not enough for the next Fed chair.

    “People are fetishizing Summers’ brilliance,” West said, “and yet don’t want to accent that he hasn’t used it in the service of working people or poor people.”

  22. Doug Terpstra

    Another Big Bro’ alert. Glenn Greenwald says to “Expect more NSA Revelations.” (…and more diversionary bombings of course. The bombings will continue until…)

    This confirms exactly what from-Mexico wrote the other day, that this is about political leverage and economic espionage, not terrorism. Boston proved that.

    GG: “Expect new spying revelations ‘within the next 10 days or so,’ Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald said on Tuesday during testimony at a Brazilian Senate committee hearing.

    “Telling the group of lawmakers that he had received between 15,000 and 20,00 documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Rio-based Greenwald said that the NSA surveillance stories that have been published so far represent just ‘a small portion’ of the revelations.

    “‘The pretext [given by Washington] for the spying is only one thing: terrorism and the need to protect the [American] people,’ RT quotes Greenwald as saying. ‘But the reality is that there are many documents which have nothing to do with terrorism or national security, but have to do with competition with other countries, in the business, industrial and economic fields.'”

    1. psychohistorian

      I like hearing that more of the veil hiding American Empire is going to be torn off.

      The big lie, they hate us for our freedoms will be exposed for the cover of economic rape and pillage that has been done in our name.

  23. Cynthia

    Re: “Obama Should Stop Talking About How Great Homeownership Is”

    Homeownership is way overrated. And contrary to the quasi-religious precepts of modern fiscal and housing policies, not everyone can or should ‘own’ their own home. Although this is Sacrilege to the Housing Industry (builders, banks, mortgage companies, title companies and realtors), more people need to rent. Or, live in an extended family housing — like the rest of the planet.

  24. AbyNormal

    lets help get the #s up & the message out with this video… july 26th around 2:30am. metro Dekalb GA Officers showed up at a residence to collect a fine. the brothers filmed it because of the aggressive shouting and they wouldn’t identify themselves/badge #s or why they were there …when the family called 911 for confirmation they opened the door.
    today, in a live interview, the police chief says the cops had every reason to be there, KNOWING the cops beat one of the boys & stood on the head of the other brother.
    the mother owed 1000.00 civil fee but had never heard of cops showing up in the middle of the night to collect fees.

  25. Glenn Condell

    Kevin Rudd, quite happy to schmooze Murdoch and his staff both before and after his previous PM-ship, goes as close as any politician has done in the last 30 years to oppose the Dirty Digger. Murdoch has mobilised his 70% of Aus major media on behalf of Tony Abbott and the Coalition and taken to tweeting bitter remarks about the National Broadband Network which threatens his control of pay TV here (with Foxtel).

    Rudd makes this rationale explicit and says he would prefer to hear from Murdoch on the issue than Abbott, and has accused the two of a secret pact on the NBN. He should go further and politely invite Murdoch to debate him on the 7.30 report on the issue, and any others that exercise him. Watching Murdoch run from this offer would be priceless politics for him in a race he is still likely to lose.

    1. skippy

      No polie lover here but, Ruddy seems to be more coherent – in depth – about labors policy than the LNP Tony the Tiger ( a stuffed toy imo). Although Malcolm could do a better job than Tony he’s still got dirty hands from his banking past.

      BTW the High Court handed down its decision on Gina Rinehart’s attempt to suppress details of the battle over their multi-billion dollar family trust.

      Read more:

      skippy… at least the journos can still do their jobs (if they have the balls) around here…

  26. Glenn Condell

    ‘Tony the Tiger ( a stuffed toy imo)’

    Yeah I’ve never understood the encomiums people like Bob Ellis and David Marr have heaped upon the Abbott intellect – ‘formidable’ said Bob. Marr thinks TA could have been the great Australian novelist. Of course Bob had to settle out of court for the Abbott and Costello’s wife quip and Marr, perhaps he just fancies the Mad Monk in his budgie smugglers.

    Behind every great fortune lies a great crime so if Mal ever got to run it would be interesting to see if our remaining muckrakers turn up some truffles.

    Gawd my testes try to jump back into my body every time I see the Rinehart woman.. I can imagine women having an equivalent reaction with Les P.. I mean Clive Palmer. I wish they would all go and be rich somewhere else. Real journos at Hello, I mean the Herald, long under threat of her becoming their boss, must just love writing stories like that one – ‘take that you Anti-Christ She-Bear’!

    A thousand Gina Rineharts aren’t worth one of Kate McClymont’s fingernails.

  27. barrisj

    Something from the Daily Kos Diaries that is actually worth reading:

    15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media

    Prince Riebus (and apparently many others) still thinks there’s a liberal media.

    While I share Prince’s frustration with the media, as a liberal, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

    Don’t believe me?


  28. Howard Beale IV

    The Russians love their dash-cams-even more reason to use old cellphones as one, uploading to the wireless network to prevent such abuses from ever happening should you ever get pulled over.

    I’m actually thinking about producing a sticker you put on the window that says, in no uncertain terms, by approaching the vehicle you consent to be recorded as your are in public.


  29. Optimaddr

    Breaking news!
    Japanese gvmnt bringing their own pots and pans to collect water at Tepco site!

    “‘No blueprint, nothing’
    “Right now there are no details (of the project yet). There’s no blueprint, no nothing yet, so there’s no way we can scrutinize it,” said Shinji Kinjo, the head of the task force set up by Japan’s nuclear regulator to deal with the toxic water issue.”

    File under: Clstrfk, nuclear

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