Links 9/15/13

Genetically modified alfalfa confirmed in Washington test sample OregonLive (furzy mouse)

Promising vaccine candidate could lead to a definitive cure for HIV Gizmag

No One Has to Tweet American Prospect. Actually say the reverse. I hate Twitter, even though I use it a bit. Newspeak. The last thing our culture needs is more rapid reaction, lower content media.

The REAL Fukushima Danger George Washington

A Campaign in Germany With Influence Beyond New York Times

Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work as ‘f***ing people over for money’ Independent (Chuck L). FYI, Clifford Chance is top drawer, like Davis Polk here.

Mexico hit by severe dual storms BBC


Plan to rid Syria of stockpile poses new challenges Washington Post

Syrian Chemical Weapons Agreement Faces Major Obstacles Bloomberg

U.S., Russia agree on Syria weapons, Obama says force still option Reuters

Syria weapons deal averts US military move for now Associated Press

Putin eyes Obama’s Iran file Asia Times. Important.

US Negotiating Position in Lavrov-Kerry Deal Depends on Expansive Commander-in-Chief Claims Marcy Wheeler

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Fisa judge: Snowden’s NSA disclosures triggered important spying debate Guardian

Reporter talks about what it was like working with Snowden ars technica (Chuck L)

Report: Medical Examiner Shiping Bao Claims George Zimmerman Shot Trayvon Martin In The Back NewsOne. From what I can tell, this story is still languishing in alternative media.

Mississippi sitting on $872 million of Katrina funds Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

AFL-CIO to partner with the Sierra Club, other “progressive” groups? Corrente

Oakland, reeling from gun violence, aims for unprecedented solution Los Angeles Times

Heartless: Nevada Dumps 1,500 Mental Patients Via One-Way Greyhound Ticket to California Alternet (furzy mouse)

John Sculley Just Gave His Most Detailed Account Ever Of How Steve Jobs Got Fired From Apple Forbes

Factory Rebirth Fizzles in U.S. as Work Shipped Overseas Bloomberg. I was really hopeful about reshoring…

Immigrants lacking papers work legally — as their own bosses Los Angeles Times

Trade and innovation in services VoxEU

The Post-Lecture Classroom: How Will Students Fare? Atlantic (furzy mouse). Lambert: “Ugh. A Dean does a study funded by a technology company. This has the stench of corruption.”

After a Financial Flood, Pipes Are Still Broken Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

SEC denies rejecting settlement over money fund that ‘broke the buck’ Reuters

Wall St. Exploits Ethanol Credits, and Prices Spike New York Times

This National Journal Cover On Larry Summers Is Not Subtle Clusterstock

Everything Wrong With America In One Simple Image AddictingInfo (Carol B)

Antidote du jour. Furzy mouse writes that this horse, Akhal-Teke from Turkmenistan, is has been declared to be the world’s most beautiful horse, but I have no idea how that was determined.


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  1. Richard Kline

    Regarding Twitter, the last thing the public needs is often the first thing that Big Sell jumps on. Why? No prior stakeholders, so first in reaps a founder effect bonanza. I’m completely serious, we end up with useless stuff because it’s an unowned vehicle for ambitions consumer exploitation.

    It’s somewhat bizarre to recall that the initial motivation of Twitter had a rather ‘public good’ streak to it. And horrifying to me that a large share of those who value Twitter highly say they do so (IIRC the poll data) because they ‘are better connected to their friends’ thereby. We’re that shallow, now? Were we always, or have we acquired such vanishing complexity in the modern moment??

    1. Brian

      No offense to those that do, but the concept does begin with twit. In the past we had books with famous phrases to mark an impression of life in brief. They didn’t all make it to a book.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      These are also similar to rapid reaction, the last thing our culture needs:

      Rapid food
      Rapid food digestion
      Rapid chewing
      Rapid drinking
      Rapid friends/lovers
      Rapid driving
      Rapid alternate state of consciousness
      Rapid get rich schemes

      Ask yourself this question: Do you travel on the Rabbit Lane or the Turtle Lane of life?

      Take your time to answer that.

    1. Emma

      Nice to see an antidote do jour from one of those Stans in the world……
      Actually the horse in the photo is indeed beautiful – as all horses are.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a beautiful horse because we define having long, skinny legs as beautiful.

        And sure enough, the horse and the ladies have similar legs.

        If only we brainwash ourselves (it’s true, aesthetics is not necessarily innate…maybe some parts of it is but many parts are not) into thinking having short fat legs as beautiful, then everything in that photo is ugly.

        Maybe that’s why my cat kept meowing that the proportions are off.

        “No way a cat can look like that and expect to get a mate,” I think that is what she is saying in her cat language.

        1. anon y'mouse

          I thought similar. it is beautiful in the way that a fashion model is beautiful. out of proportion legs, sleek body and a too-small head.

          it sure is shiny, though!

          1. Emma

            What a tail!

            Look my lords, ladies and gentlemen……nothing in nature is perfect, least of all man…….

            So, if a horse has 4 legs (short or long) then that’s a trot in the right direction…..

          2. optimader

            “out of proportion legs”

            Who’s to say long legs are out of proportion?

            Are long legs vs short fat legs a sensible adaptation in the evolution/natural adaptation of the relatively weak (physically) hunter gatherer species, Homo sapien? I would think for the most part yes. Of course there are the short legged ones that moved to the jungle to survive.

            As far as head size goes, it’s mission is to carry around a brain and act as an interface for food, water air sound and sight (and act as a heat xchgr). any size beyond what is req’d for that is not an advantage. Any additional mass is a inertial disadvantage.

            Unfortunately I have no tail, but I would surely desire a sleek, prehensile one that I could probe things with, and ideally, hold a beverage glass.


            1. anon y'mouse

              meant, in purely visual/aesthetic terms. not evolutionary ones. downthread someone brings up the history of the horse and why it is built this way. still, just glancing and using one’s inbuilt system of proportionality, this horse looks distorted.

              like viewing Michaelangelo’s David from the wrong angle. not that I’ve been able to do that personally, but there are photos that illustrate what i’m talking about.

              1. optimader

                I understand your meaning. My underlying point (my link) evolution drives subliminal aesthetic taste. Obviously there are exceptions.

              2. Glenn Condell

                Reading David W Anthony’s The Horse the Wheel and Language about the Proto-Indo-Europeans – these speakers of our ancestral language, even after they’d domesticated cattle and sheep, ate much more horse than anything else.

          3. zapster

            The photo does not do it justice. The Ahkal-Teke has an extremely unusual hair structure that makes them literally iridescent. Photos just cannot capture it.

    2. Skeptic

      More Beautiful Hoss:

      Hoax or not, I cannot get the image of a Miss World Hoss contest out of my mind. With a bathing suit competition, of course, featuring a leering Donald Trump, declared the World’s Most Obnoxious Person. Sponsored by Tasty Hoss Feed, the choice of the Most Beautiful Hosses and Equishine, the World’s Best Hoss Hair Treatment.

      While at this, I declare NC best alternative financial site.
      What declare you?

      1. Emma


        As is The King (Peter Cook) giving a speech parodying the opening of Shakespeare’s Richard III in Blackadder (Series 1 Ep 1 (though Series 1 not as good as Series 2)).

      1. anon y'mouse


        that old drunk guy in the chair always reminded me of my grandfather.

        “feck! drink! arse! girls!”

  2. Richard Kline

    I have rather lacerating remarks on the Kerry-Lavrov Geneva Pact, but I’m going to hold off to see if this cement overcoat cures into a fact set. Restraint, a virtue I’ve seldom been known for and all but forgotten of late . . . .

    1. Synopticist

      Anything that avoids the western world’s military might becoming al qeada’s air force must be a good thing.

  3. Marianna J

    Akhal-Teke is the name of the breed, not the horse’s name. Do you have the source or back story for the picture? My family is waaaaay into horses, and I would like to forward the information. And as for my opinion on that horse, freaky weird beautiful. It has a weird forward-leaning posture over it’s front legs, that looks out of conformity. But I’m used to high end quarter horses…..

    1. Marianne

      The Akhal-Teke’s head is strangely small too, but somehow very well balanced with it’s overall delicate build. It’s very, very, very strange looking. I guess the horse’s height implies a certain level of robustness and musculature through the torso and legs that’s just not there. Weirdly his neck has a mass that seems in line with the height. I suppose that neck and it’s relative size only serves to emphasize the head is small looking???? WEEEEEIRD.

      1. Bruno Marr

        It’s really not possible accurately assess the proportions of the head of the horse in the photo, as it is foreshortened by the camera angle. The camera is “normal” to the torso but the head is at a smaller, acute angle.

    2. LucyLulu

      Having owned, trained, lived and breathed horses most of my life, until a serious riding accident sorrowfully brought those days to an end, the horse’s head IS small for it’s overall size. From what I’ve seen of other Akhal-Teke’s, this isn’t a trait of the breed. His eye is also small (pig-eye), widely alleged to portend stubbornness and stupidity. Also, the horse IS “behind in the front” (legs), a conformation fault that affects its athletic ability by shifting its weight downhill onto its front end (okay if a draft horse that pulls weight, but this horse is not). It’s not just the way the horse has been stood up by its handler. As to post from cat above, the cat has good intuitive sense. Long skinny legs, and small hooves (as the quarter horse owner knows, navicular disease is associated with small hoof surface area to bear weight) are more prone to becoming lame. Substantial bone structure is preferred. Each leg is bearing ~250 pounds. Just to complete the critique, the horse is long through the barrel (dachshund-like), front, middle, and hind end ideally make up equal thirds. And angles of joints in hind end, looked at vertically, are too straight, also contributing to proneness to unsoundness issues and causing difficulties shifting weight to hind end as needed for performance. Not to be totally critical, the horse has a nice angle to its shoulder with withers definitively higher than hind end, and the neck is proportional and set on nicely. The neck would be quite lovely once the horse’s top-line muscles were developed (which would also remove the bulge underneath). I’d predict the horse could compete quite successfully at the lower levels, a pretty mover, but struggle with soundness issues when the work became more difficult.

      And that my dear fellow readers is your horse conformation lecture for the day……which, unlike finance/economic topics, is FINALLY a subject I can claim competence in. Yay!

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I’m hardly up on these things, but I believe Kate Moss has had the longest tenure as a supermodel. This despite having sort of goofy teeth, knock knees, and being way too short (only 5″7″). So perhaps the beauty contest business abhors perfection and goes for exoticism.

        I think we should just declare Secretariat to be the perfect horse and get over it. He was extremely good looking, a super athlete, very smart (Johnny Turcotte and Lucien Lauren let him decide how to run his races) and had a very good personality (and was a bit of a clown).

        1. Procopius

          I’ve noticed that most fashion models are really not very attractive. The clothes they wear are positively ugly, as well as bizarre. I’ve thought for many years that fashion designers clearly hate women, but here in Thailand they obviously hate men as well. In the gym where I used to go there were posters of “body-builders” who had won many contests and were some sort of world champions. All I can say is they looked very weird to me. Why would anyone want to have forty inch thighs? And, really, of the beauty contests I see (Thailand has dozens of them) the girls I think are prettiest almost never win and the girls who do win are not, to my eye, very pretty. I guess the people who are professional judges at these things become warped by their overexposure.

  4. psychohistorian

    The only item I found missing from George Washington’s Fukushima article was that I understood that a crane had fallen into the pool with the fuel rods, further complicating an already daunting task.

    I also want to ask if moving to the Southern Hemisphere is a temporary stay of life or workable for the “long term”?

    Regardless, I agree that TEPCO has not shown any appropriateness to this situation and should not be trusted to execute this dangerous task without international supervision and assistance.

    1. NotSoSure

      When they mean West Coast, does that mean the entire West Coast or only Baja California based on the link in the article? I wonder what the evacuation procedure would be in such a case? Go south, what does that even mean? Go to South America.

      I am from Asia and I’ll be at San Diego for one year plus. It appears to me I’ll have to fly to New York and escape through Europe back to Asia. Can’t even imagine the ticket cost at that time.

    2. LucyLulu

      Do you realize that the average spent fuel pool in the US has more spent fuel rods than Fukushima #4 has? Many of which are also stored above ground at high elevations in the same design plan? And with Yucca Mountain scrapped and dry cask storage way too expensive for our profit-maximizing lords, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

      1. psychohistorian

        The next time someone starts telling you that private industry does things better than government, simply tell them to do some research into Fukushima and all nukes like it……GE, (something like) it makes things better.

        Death by profit. It will be on the tombstone of mankind.

  5. LucyLulu

    Akhal-Teke refers to a breed of horse, not to an individual one. They are one of the oldest breeds, once the breed housed in the stables of Russian tsars. They are known for their speed and endurance. Most commonly they are golden-colored with black manes and tails and black “stockings” on their legs, though they come in all horse colors. They are uncommonly seen in the West.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. IMO, this particular horse leaves much to be desired (other than having a pretty coat)…….. unathletic and prone to unsoundness.

    1. Foppe

      yeah, it does look underdeveloped, as though they were going for a greyhound build. Neck looks huge compared to the rest of the body. I like this one much better..

      1. Dr. Noschidt

        “neck looks huge” also because head is too small. Horse lacks “perfect proportion”. Maybe should be entered in NY dog & pony show of overbreds.

    2. Furzy Mouse

      Thanks Lucylulu, I was going to clarify this too…here is a rundown on their conformation:

      Approximately 10,000 years ago, as desertification took hold of Central Asia, the stocky horses indigenous to its steppe grasslands began to evolve into the lean and graceful but hardy horses that inhabit Turkmenistan today. As food and water became more scarce the heavy frame of the horse gave way to a lighter one. Longer necks, a higher head carriage, larger eyes and longer ears evolved to better the horse’s ability to see, smell, and hear predators over the increasingly open plains. The golden coloring predominant among the akhalteke provided the necessary camouflage against the desert landscape. Through natural selection a breed was created which would become the pride of Turkmenistan…. Fed a low bulk, high protein diet consisting of alfalfa and barely mixed with mutton fat, the akhalteke maintains its traditionally lean proportions of long sinewy legs, a narrow chest, a long back and flat ribs. The average height of an akhalteke is 15 to 15.1 hands. Its small hooves are unusually hard and are therefore rarely shod. The great speed, elasticity and grace of the akhalteke makes it at once a coveted racer, show jumper and dressage mount. Though spirited in temperament, akhaltekes are by all accounts gentle and loyal to their owners, yet aloof with strangers.

      1. LucyLulu

        Thanks, Furzy! I just typed a long critique of the horse in the photo before seeing your post. It clarifies some of the horse’s features as being common to the breed (although the horse above doesn’t have large eyes or ears). I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one of these horses in the flesh (or if I have, knew what breed it was). I’ve seen some pictures where the horse is still stocky, and often the neck is short.

        Here’s an Akhal-Teke that’s amazing! It takes years of professional training to get a horse to move like this under saddle, for those horses that even have the necessary (e.g. Olympic quality) athleticism (the snow helps). His neck is quite short, but he has a pretty head with overall better proportions and bone on his legs.

  6. Yonatan

    A couple of non-links:

    The Post-Lecture Classroom: How Will Students Fare?

    Everything Wrong With America In One Simple Image

      1. anon y'mouse

        although I was wary of the caveat (who sponsored the study), that this CAN work for some classes should be no surprise.

        I did a lot of my math classes “by mail”. watch the video lecture, do the practice work & mail in assignments, come for the exams, and so on. I thought it worked very well (except for my typical use-it-or-lose-it forgetfulness when it comes to the subject in general).

        but I would NOT want this for any of my philosophy classes, nor a subject like history. the subject guides the method. if you’re just trying to drill concepts into heads, I guess this way (lectures on your own, and help in class with actual work) would not hurt. the problem will come from the fact that, because it is successful for some subjects, it may become the new normal. granted, I think they’re hoping that the NewNew normal will be MOOCs, but anyway…

        most classes nowadays are a powerpoint, and the teacher follows that then asks periodically “any questions?” while half the students look at their facebook page or divide attention between the lecture and their phone. this might be a method to get MORE attention paid to the subject matter during class time than what is occurring right now.

  7. Skeptic

    Heartless: Nevada Dumps 1,500 Mental Patients Via One-Way Greyhound Ticket to California

    Or What Goes On In Vegas, Is Bussed Out Of Vegas

    There must be an economic paper in here. Vegas business model of luring potential gambling, booze, sex, etc. addicts to their unfair city and then stripping them of all their assets and then shipping them out of town. A fine example of shedding the social costs associated with your business model.

    Of course, this is much the same as what Wall Street does but they generally leave the victims in their own jurisdictions.

    1. AbyNormal

      if there was ever a chance for the two to meet…Kettle Meet Black

      (CA)College Hospital must pay $1.6 million in penalties and charitable contributions to various agencies. It is said that in 2007 and 2008, this one hospital alone dumped more than 150 patients on skid row. Mentally ill patients. Hollywood Presbyterian’s homeless dumping case involved the donation of $1 million to nonprofit groups. It would be real interesting to know if anything close to a million ever finds it way to those organizations.

      Calif. hospitals accused of patient dumping

      Maybe CA is hoping everyone forgot about their own dumping…or is this about geography and ruptured states?

      We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.
      k.v/breakfast of champions

      1. LucyLulu

        While they may not bus patients to other states, dumping patients is nothing new. Defunding mental health care is #1 on the list whenever states have a budget crunch. It’s always been the lowest priority health sector when it comes to funding. Institutional care is expensive, and judgments over need are subjective, related to danger to self/others, or inability to provide for own needs, thus discharges can be easily justified by selective representations. In addition, policy-makers know that the mentally ill have no voice (though invariably the mentally ill PREFER skid row to hospitals, just as citizens prefer poverty to secure housing and meals of prison) and that advocacy is limited. Unfortunately, what’s happening is many are ending up in our jails and prisons instead, where they receive either minimal or no treatment for their mental illness. Estimates from roughly the change of the millenium had ~20% of those incarcerated had diagnoses of mental illness, 1/2 – 3/4 of those deemed severe. I’ve heard anecdotal reports the numbers have since risen.

        There was broad bipartisan support for better mental health care after Newtown. I worked in the mental health field too long to believe it would ever happen. Besides, ya know, shared sacrifice for all (except the 1%)…….

        1. LucyLulu

          What’s even more sad is some of these people COULD live in the community given access to resources and some support, and saving taxpayers A LOT of money. Instead they are dumped with limited monthly funds (and lack of capacity for budgeting, will spend all the first week, mostly on cigarettes), temporary housing, no access to resources, and no family or social support. Of course they fail. The same programs that pay for themselves about 4x over, get defunded.

  8. YankeeFrank

    re Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work as ‘f***ing people over for money’

    I used to work for similar “white-shoe” law firms in the US. While this trainee is correct, I always saw the job (at least in the litigation departments I worked for) as “rich people fighting over money”. I think the two sentiments exactly capture the function of these firms en toto.

    It always amazed me how much effort and time these people put into whether one huge corporation or another one was going to wind up with another $50 million at the end of the case. They had some sharp lawyers, for sure. But so what? I mean, doesn’t the goal matter to these nimwits? Perhaps they are so completely soulless they actually do care which corporation wins the booty. Needless to say, I didn’t last long.

    And this trainee should be thankful, she/he wouldn’t have been happy selling their soul for very long anyway, but the pay might’ve kept her there long beyond the smell-by date ;).

    1. Expat

      My experience was similar, except that in my day, the quarrel was over which oversized corporate monstrosity would “win” the $35 million tax-subsidized bounty, leaving the “loser” to sulk over the $15 million remainder. The real loser, the public, didn’t have any way to participate or object. Even in those days, though, I think the total booty was an order of magnitude greater, like $500 million.

      1. Santos Guero

        Well, all this story demonstrates – “Clifford Chance trainee lawyer faces sack after describing his work” – is that while the British do well with the sledgehammer of satire, they are hopeless with the subtlety of irony. Let’s unpack this. Some white Oxford University student “journalist” burns some poor drunk swarthy trainee lawyer for serving up an honest – albeit impolitic – assessment of Big Law. Then said Oxford twit scolds the likely soon to be unemployed lawyer trainee for “bigotry.” Pure comedy gold! Now I remember why the best thing about London is Paris. BTW I worked for over a decade in Big Law, and the “city lad” is right.

  9. McKillop

    Having read George Washington’s report regarding TEPCO I’d like to know “Where is regime change when we _need_ it?”>

    1. Massinissa

      And replace Obama with what? Biden? A republican? Or maybe someone outside of politics, like one of the Koch brothers?

      Who would step in after forcefully ousting Obama? Likely someone who already had large amounts of power in society. And I cant think of any factions of the ruling elite that are on the side of anyone but their own.

      1. McKillop

        I’m sorry that my comment caused confusion.
        I was referring to the TEPCO regime, the management, that has done so poorly in managing the situation at Fukushima. Ironically, we have some politicians in the U.S.A. predicting possible horrific results if Assad is not “punished’ through military attacks. You know, other guys might use chemical weapons. or do other stuff.
        Meanwhile, in Japan, we have poison actually threatening the northern hemisphere _the northern hemisphere_and . . . . crickets.

        1. Massinissa

          I am very sorry for my confusion, thank you for the clarification. I do apologize, the fault was mine.

    2. craazyboy

      The Arnie Gunderson radio interview linked to in George Washington’s report is the most important thing you could listen to today, and maybe all week.

      Also, too; regime change – the Syrian rebels just declared war on us!

      1. susan the other

        Arnie Gunderson is terrifying. Wish we understood nuclear reactions enough to know how the sun keeps itself from exploding – because fusion offsets fission or whatever. Too bad this understanding will come way too late for us. And about the Sryian Rebels declaring war – why isn’t this a bigger headline? When I saw that article (CNBC?) my first thought was that they’re doing our bidding by creating a situation that will require military intervention. Only we’ll be coming in on the side of Assad and inernational law? That will be a first.

        1. craazyboy

          I remember back in high school they made us read that “1984” book. Big Brother was always at war, but would switch back and forth between being enemies with East Damascus and allies with West Damascus and then visa versa.

          Our news reporters are probably still trying to figure out how to report it.

          Also, don’t talk about the sun. It goes supernova, then white dwarf.

  10. fecal throw-weight

    So now the US government’s sole contribution to Syrian diplomacy is threat of force in breach of UN Charter Article 2 clause 4. With each new illegal empty threat, Putin gains stature as a statesman and Obama lives up to Rogozin’s monkey-with-a-hand-grenade mot.

  11. petridish

    On all the Syria links from the majors:

    “New challenges,” “major obstacles,” “force still option,” “averts US military move for now.”

    As has been detailed in several posts here over the past week, the geopolitical imperatives of our ME masters “requiring” the US to use its military are tremendous. It was never about the Syrian people and it still isn’t.

    I doubt seriously that a little thing like the will of the American people will derail our military intervention for long. These headlines are just laying the groundwork for the ultimate failure of the reluctantly undertaken “diplomacy.”

    1. diptherio

      More on the Syria-Rhetoric front from the Baffler:

      The Good, the Bad, and the Rhetorically Challenged

      This great muddle of American political speech—the impossibility of connecting what people say to what they intend to do—grows from a rigidification of false categories, a hardening of the cartoon that our politics have become. In contemporary American discourse, there is a side populated by the good guys and a side populated by the bad guys, and the two have always existed.


      When you know that there is, and has always been, a set of good guys with uniform, transhistorical values and a set of bad guys with uniform, transhistorical values, and that the politics of each side has remained consistent over time, then the deviations from these hard truths can be . . . confusing.

  12. petridish

    RE: Factory Rebirth Fizzles

    From the article:

    “I know all of us are concerned about manufacturing, but it’s not going to come home to the degree that it used to be,” Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher said at a Sept. 5 event in Dallas.

    This is the weak, puny fait accompli mantra inevitably invoked in discussions such as these. Manufacturing was never going to “come” home. It was always going to need to be FORCED home through tariffs and severe tax penalties for those who would destroy what it has taken over 200 years to build. In truth, it never should have been allowed to leave at all–Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound.”

    As to the accusations of “protectionism” that would follow, they should be EMBRACED. The productive economy of the US deserves and demands protection and the US government, with all available FORCE, should provide it.

    No country can long endure economically without producing the bulk of what it consumes. And no economy can “grow” without growing, mining or manufacturing things as its primary activities. All other activity should serve those ends.

      1. petridish

        It is interesting how simple, declarative sentences have fallen so far out of fashion.

        It’s probably the result of globalization. Everything else is.

    1. Montanamaven

      Here! Here! or is it “Hear! Hear!? If a country does not make as much as it can of what it needs and instead imports finished goods, it is called a colony. The Germans never gave up the making of the machines that make the machines. They did not outsource their tool and die makers. They still make hammers. So it is they, not us, who are selling these advanced machines to the Chinese.

      The U.S. through its tariffs rose to be an industrial power. Now maybe that’s not what we should aspire to anymore i.e. power. Maybe we should aspire to making just enough for us all to live decent lives. But that would still demand that we produce these things ourselves and then trade for things like coffee that we can’t produce. And coffee would then be a treat. Imported perfume would be a treat. Chocolate would be a treat.

      1. anon y'mouse

        exactly! re-localization. trade special, rare things but not basic essentials.

        or, better to spend one’s carbon-credits on personal travel to distant places (hey, new age of sail) than perpetual daily orange juice.

      2. Doug Terpstra

        “Hear, hear is an expression used as a short, repeated form of hear him, hear him. It represents a listener’s agreement with the point being made by a speaker. In recent usage it has often been misconstrued to be the homophonic phrase here, here, although this is incorrect.” (Wikipedia)

  13. Garrett Pace

    “Everything Wrong With America In One Simple Image”

    Thought provoking for sure, but with a single exception, for all the states with a non-coach public servant getting the most money, it’s always a college administrator. That represents a different kind of malinvestment…

    1. subgenius

      …and be sure to read the comments on that LA Times article on illegals and work for a fuller picture of the level of intelligence…

    2. diptherio

      My sentiments as well. High-level Administrators in education seem to me to be wildly overpaid, in stark contrast to teachers and lower-lever admin staff. Even in our local school district the Superintendent just got a pay raise to $200,000/yr(!), and this in a state with a per capita personal income of of less than $25,000/yr. I’m pretty sure there’s a secretary or two in the district that could do everything the current Super’ does for half the money.

        1. susan the other

          +100. What is a superintendent anyway? They can’t make decisions that go against the state. They can’t make significant business decisions that affect their own school district. They are basically nothing. They could cut superintendency to way below half-time. They could have one superintendent for at least 10 school districts. Freeing up enough money for 30 new teachers.

          1. diptherio

            And the school district cut the Young Families program for pregnant teens right after Apostle came on. But apparently the Super’ is a “superstar,” and so infinitely more valuable than a couple of classes (what are we running here, a school?).

            At the time, board Chairwoman Toni Rehbein called Apostle a “superstar” and said the raise was needed to keep him in the district.

            Thankfully, the school board members who were responsible, including Rehbein, were voted out in May.

            1. Procopius

              The cemeteries are full of indispensable men.

              Attributed to Charles DeGaulle. “Superstar?” My feeling is the same as I felt over the AIG and Goldman Sachs bonuses: we’d all be better off if we didn’t try to keep them. It’s so nice to hear that other people feel the same way:

              Thankfully, the school board members who were responsible, including Rehbein, were voted out in May.

          2. anon y'mouse

            why pay them significantly more anyway? why bother with a payscale?

            raise wages for teachers to something much better than the slave labor they are providing right now (considering hours worked and efforts involved), and supervisors also make the same decent standard. let people advance up the ranks because it suits their talents and interests, not their pocketbooks.

            this hierarchy game of “who is the most valuable to the organization” has to go. also, we need to KEEP OUT those motivated by money. deter them from public administration.

            1. diptherio

              Whoa there, pinko! Now yer talkin’ crazy! Get rid of the payscale?!? Whaddaya think, a highfalutin administrator can live on the same pittance of wages that a lowly educator can? How would we know that he was better than everybody else if’n we didn’t give him all that money?

              And keepin’ out people who are motivated by money? Like that’s even possible! All respectable economists know that greed is the only thing that motivates people. Obviously you haven’t read enough neo-classical econ…[/snark off]

            2. Procopius

              Reminds me of a remark Phil Gramm made to the effect that the CEO of some huge energy or telecoms company was exploited because he was only paid $25 million a year while the company was making billions. I remember thinking, “Wait, the other 300,000 people who worked for that company didn’t have anything to do with its profits?”

          3. Glenn Condell

            It seems crazy doesn’t it, this algal bloom of overpaid education administrators. Vice-Chancellors here now earn three times what the Prime Minister takes home. But there’s method in that managerial madness, a neoliberal logic that woos less than stellar but still ambitious members of the academy into roles that pay them 3 or 4 times what they could conceivably earn at their backwater. They become part of the elite’s penumbra and know that the quid pro quo is to enforce a lower paid and less secure workforce arrangement, the better to control them. They never really tried to beat them, but they joined ’em anyway.

    3. WorldisMorphing

      I agree. That is one disturbing image if I ever saw one…
      …and I agree with your point on the college administrators…

      Which makes it so unbelievably surreal is that, of all the things you’d expect taxpayer financed institutions to *easily* avoid getting caught at doing(in such a free market lovin’, government hatin’ country), top of my freakin’ list would surely be –dumb spending on trivial activities.

      1. Procopius

        Back when television was new I remember watching a guy who advertised after midnight, when the rates were cheapest. Mad Man Muntz, the used car king. “Come to my lot and take advantage of me! I have to be crazy to be letting these great cars go so cheap!! Just look at this Nash Rambler …” He actually did very well for himself. It seems like all these highly paid people have an extraordinary talent for persuading other people. They don’t have to be actually competent at anything, but they have to be likable and persuasive. Like the 23-year-old principal of a charter school in Michigan I read about the other day. Didn’t even have a college degree, but he was connected to the people who owned the (for-profit) company that was behind the school. I think he was being paid $200,000, too.

  14. barrisj

    In addition to the referenced two articles appearing in Sunday NYTimes, there is an Op-Ed piece by Ian Lustick demolishing the so-called “Two-State Solution” in resolving the ca. 65 year-old Palestine-Israel impasse. Lustick points out that years of neglect by Israel’s main sponsor and enabler, the US, in constructively guiding the now-risible “peace process” has led to what is now extensive Israeli settlements and de facto colonisation of the West Bank. And continued Zionist nationalism only will make the problem worse, as an apartheid state is in reality the norm now.

    Two-State Illusion
    THE last three decades are littered with the carcasses of failed negotiating projects billed as the last chance for peace in Israel. All sides have been wedded to the notion that there must be two states, one Palestinian and one Israeli. For more than 30 years, experts and politicians have warned of a “point of no return.” Secretary of State John Kerry is merely the latest in a long line of well-meaning American diplomats wedded to an idea whose time is now past.

    ¶ True believers in the two-state solution see absolutely no hope elsewhere. With no alternative in mind, and unwilling or unable to rethink their basic assumptions, they are forced to defend a notion whose success they can no longer sincerely portray as plausible or even possible.

  15. BondsOfSteel

    RE: “Report: Medical Examiner Shiping Bao Claims George Zimmerman Shot Trayvon Martin In The Back”

    This article has been updated… they are no longer saying he was shot in the back. It was bad reporting from AlterNet, which has been corrected too.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    After a financial flood, pipes are still broken.

    Pipes are only broken (actually redirected to the superrich) in your and my neighborhoods.

    In the gated communities of the 0.01%, they are working just fine.

    That’s why they keep asking to open the spigot more.

    1. AbyNormal

      “I’ve heard there’s a lot of bagpiping in that house. I’d love to go check it out.”
      “So…you want to join the secret society of revolutionary plumbers.”
      Benson Bruno, Evergreens Are Prudish

      (must be a mighty insulated underground society’)

  17. Eureka Springs

    Don’t have time to search in depth for news on this around the country but an uninsured friend of mine here in northwest Arkansas told me his Cymbalta scrip (3 months) just went from 500.00 to 800.00. The pharmacist who charged him cost this time said everything across the board just went way up. One millrun (?) drug went from 8.00 to 300.00 overnight. Pharmacist thinks it’s part of the plan to force everyone to buy insurance.

      1. susan the other

        Lambert, on the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club alliance. The labor unions are looking for a constituency in a world without labor. Its bizarre. But bargaining rights could morph into the right to have a job with a living wage. And about the Sierra Club – it was only about a year ago that none other than Jim Hansen of Nasa fame spoke in NYC at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation advocating that labor unions come together with environmental causes to push for green jobs, etc. Interesting. The question will keep arising (as in Wisconsin): Why should government jobs allow collective bargaining at all? So labor will have to have a new mandate to do with the right to a job with a livable wage, etc. I wonder if the AFLCIO’s inclusion of environmental groups is cynical – they need a quisling faction to sell out the environment to pay for the jobs. I certainly hope not.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Not sure if it’s a world without labor as much as a world where everyone is labor, except for a very very few. I am just jaw-droppingly amazed that Trumka can imagine — if indeed any of this is good faith — that allying with an Inside-the-Beltway organization like the Sierra Club will do anything good for working people. Why would it? It’s as if he thought sponsoring an NPR program would build his membership.

      2. Alexa

        Here’s our observation on RX prices, FWIW.

        We’ve seen huge fluctuations (back and forth) in RX prices

        since the early 2000’s.

        But sometimes there are ways to get around them (which we do) by changing the dosing.

        For instance, one of Bailey’s (our “medical rescue” Springer Spaniel) maintenance medications which we purchase from Walgreens is much less expensive because we get a drug discount, by paying a $35 annual membership fee to be in “the W Club,”–pets are considered to be “family members.”

        It helps tremendously.

        But the biggest help is buying the cheapest “pill dosage.”

        One of his prescription medicines (which is capsule form–never tablet–so you can’t “pill split”) has wild fluctuations, depending on the dose.

        It comes in 25 mg, 50 mg, and another dosage that wouldn’t work for him.

        Anyhoo, I check the prices every 90 days before I get the refill, to see “the going price” for both doses.

        The generic cost for a 90-day supply if $60 for the 25 mg dosing of 4 capsules, and it’s $30 for the 50 mg dosing of 2 capsules.

        Just last year–IT WAS THE OPPOSITE!!

        [Not certain, but it could be that the Walgreen’s “W Card” cannot be used with a health insurance plan. Obviously, Bailey is not on our group health insurance plan. ;-)]

      3. Jess

        First of the year my maintenance meds on my Blue Crucifix Medicare Advantage plan doubled in price. $7 Rx went to $14, $42 med went to $84.

        Slightly O/T but at the same time my new MedAdv policy doubled the office and specialist co-pays, added a $50 per visit therapy fee for physical therapy.

        I’ve heard for years that MedAdv plans are a ripoff, but I confess I still don’t really understand how they work compared to regular Medicare. I’d love to see somebody do a post where they compared straight Medicare vs MedAdv plans for a cross-section of common injuries and illnesses. How much does the patient pay with straight Medicare vs MedAdv?

        1. Alexa

          Ditto, Jess.

          We’re several years from qualifying, but I’m always interested in learning anything that I can about the social safety net programs.

          Just hope a “Grand Bargain” doesn’t greatly reduce the Medicare and Medicare Advantage benefits.

          The only thing that I know about Medicare “Advantage” is that is offers more comprehensive benefits, or coverage (eye exams, etc.). But I’m thinking that it is an ACO or HMO type of plan, with perhaps more restrictions on network physicians, etc.

          BTW, we’ve also been able to “pill split,” and saved money.

          Many physicians have no problem with prescribing pill doses that can be halved–often at some savings to the patient (so long as it does nothing to lessen the therapeutic effectiveness of a drug).

          Good luck!

        2. LucyLulu

          Regular Medicare has no drug coverage. I switched to regular Medicare about three years ago due to no coverage for med supplies with MedAdv, since changed. If one takes no meds, there’s probably a marginal advantage to Medicare. Otherwise, the rx coverage makes MedAdv hands down the better deal.

          On dosing…. I take a generic medicine, 225 mg once a day. If I take 225 mg caps, made by only one manuf. in that dosage, it’s $800 for a 90 day supply. If I take (3) x 75 mg caps, different manuf., it costs $225 for 90 days. I take 3 caps daily.

          1. Crazy Horse

            And if you source the same prescription medicine shipped direct from the manufacturer in India (where most of the world’s drugs are manufactured) it will cost you $40 per month rather than $380 in the case of one I am taking—.

            American Exceptionalism at work—.

          2. Alexa

            That’s incredible, LucyLulu!

            And it sure puts my “dinky” little example to shame, LOL!

            Bailey’s pills ran the same way for close to a couple of years–taking “4” 25 mg (less convenient) was cheaper, until the manufacturer (the same for both doses, reversed the price points.

            Go figure . . .

      4. JaaaaayCeeeee

        The 1987 lsw giving group purchasing organizations safe harbor to accept vendor kickbacks didn’t help, increasing prices by $30 billion in 2011

        They award, “… select suppliers exclusive contracts in return for exorbitant (and undisclosed) “administrative,” marketing and other fees, they have reduced the number of suppliers to just one or two for many generics. Further, they’ve crimped investment in maintenance and quality control, resulting in adverse F.D.A. inspections and plant closings”.

        This doesn’t even describe the collusion that ratchets up prices on inexpensive prescriptions and over the counter drugs, since the article addresses only hospital injectables.

        But if you look at how a single plant closing increased price by a factor of 9, overnight, for a Walgreen’s/CostCo generic like Clonazepam in July, or track price increases of old fashioned Benedryl as new prescription anti-histamines get marketed, there is a world of anti-competitive practices that no one is even tracking, that has nothing to do with the hospital group practice cabal for injectable generics.

        Letting pharma set prices, just as we let doctors set prices, means there is no free market, no incentive to invest in manufacturing or new drugs, just incentives to tweak, market, and price collude. When Safeway in BC charges one third the USA price for an epi-pen, and news media calls corruption lobbying, things aren’t going to improve.

    1. Denise

      I have insurance and the price of my generic drug shot up. I’m not even using my insurance for it anymore – I’m doing better now at Costco at retail by a substantial amount. This is Medicare Part D that I’m paying $47/month for.

      Isn’t there something wrong when your insurance company wants you to pay more than you can get it for without insurance?

  18. Andrew Watts

    RE: Reporter talks about what it was like working with Snowden

    I seriously doubt that Snowden ended up in Russia by accident. In a recent AP interview Putin let it slip that the Russian government was in contact with Snowden while he was in Hong Kong. Putin was also kept appraised of the moment he left for Moscow. How curious.

    When I was trying to figure out how much damage was done by the Snowden revelations I brought up the case of William Weisband. If you exchange Snowden for Weisband and Yugoslavia for Syria there is an appropriate comparison to be made. At the time the CIA had or was about to receive permission to arm the Syrian rebels. They were extreme reluctant to do so and have refused to give the Syrian rebels the anti-tank/aircraft weaponry they desire thus far.

    Many years from now we will find out if Snowden compromised the NSA’s cryptology efforts against Russia. Also we should discover if this lack of insight into Putin’s mind is influencing the Obama administration’s policy decisions regarding the Syrian civil war.

    History can be fun on a bun.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Um, your sentence construction insinuates Russia initiated contact with Snowden. I am just about certain (no time to check) that Putin said the reverse, that Snowden contacted Russian diplomats.

  19. neo-realist

    Re: Fukushima

    In a worse case scenario, where the hell are you going to relocate millions of Americans????? American citizen Reservations in middle america–Fukushimavilles? At least the average American will know how the native americans cope. Caldicott acts likes its something that the average person without wealth can do easily. Rather than do that, distribute radiation suits and transport supplies of clean water to the west coast for use.

    1. anon y'mouse

      would it be enough to move beyond the rain shadow of the Rockies?

      is there no possible way to bring in a modular building and construct it around this “sears tool shed” that Gunderson describes to enclose the storage pools? perhaps the ground is too unstable around there, much less the shell of building visible around it that might fall on top of it.

      time for the pescatarians to give up tuna, at least.

      1. anon y'mouse

        sorry, I had not yet reached the end of Arnie Gundersen’s interview. he says that they plan on doing exactly that–constructing another building around the existing one–.

      2. anon y'mouse

        and for those who were too busy to stay until the end, Mr. Gundersen, nuclear expert who has worked in the industry for decades, says we humans are incapable of properly managing nuclear power in a safe way.

        he has lost faith in the industry, post Fukushima.

    2. LucyLulu

      Perhaps Arnie will predict the sun explosion next. Where shall we move to protect ourselves?

      Arnie has been predicting imminent catastrophic disaster ever since March 2011. He’s not by any means an objective source.

      In February 2012, Washington quoted a Dec 2011 paper:

      Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

      They beat the 70% odds in 2012 and are now 3/4 of the way through year 2. Arnie says a 7.0 would cause pool #4 to collapse.

      This is the same Arnie that at the end of March 2011 posted a video that showed “clearly” that the crane had fallen into pool #4 and clearly that the fuel rods were not covered with water, leading him to explain this as causing a hydrogen explosion and fire in the building. While it never appeared obvious to me at all, quite the contrary, we now know that none of this was true.

      Early in the disaster Arnie claimed he’d found Americum, a heavy metal, from Fukushima in New England. The presence of such a heavy metal so far from Fukushima would indeed have more dire implications than reported. But when asked to produce the Americum he’d found, he never did so. I followed Arnie’s work on the plaintiffs’ case for the Three Mile Island lawsuit (in conjunction with an epidemiologist from NCSU) and his work seemed to be very respectable, even impressive. I don’t know what happened since. He DOES have expert knowledge on spent fuel but sadly, he’s become akin to a snake oil salesman.

      Meanwhile, while ya’ll panic over evacuating from a source of radiation thousands of miles away, nothing, absolutely nothing, is said about the 31 plants in the US with BWR designs similar to Fukushima and their elevated pools. Many of our US spent fuel pools are reracked to twice the capacity of pool #4 at Fukushima. NRC has commissioned several studies of spent fuel fires over the years, prior to Fukushima, which can be read on its website. Worst-case predictions are for evacuations of 50 sq. mile radius needed. Granted, there MIGHT also be bias and underestimates here as well, but that’s a far cry from evacuations of the entire N. hemisphere.

      Here is a recent report by Robert Alavarez, considered an anti-nuclear alarmist (and expert) by those in industry, on the hazards posed by spent fuel storage at San Onofre in CA, also predicting the need for a 2500 sq. mile evacuations. San Onofre will be indefinitely storing 1200 tons of spent fuel in 2 pools. Fukushima has 400 tons in it’s most heavily populated pool #4 (IIRC 800 tons total at #1-4). They have earthquakes in CA, don’t they?

      One can say that one can’t believe anything Tepco says, they’re known to lie. I grant that’s true and I myself don’t take anything Tepco says at face value. But I’m also skeptical of any claims others make too……. especially claims of those who are in no position to know.

      BTW, Arnie has claimed that the fuel fell through the bottom of the vessel and onto the floor of reactors 1 and 2 (don’t recall his claims on #3) and was unlikely to go further, which is the consensus opinion of experts. Sky high radiation emanating from the fuel prevents somebody (and robots also have burned up) from strolling in to take pictures and confirm.

      Chill, folks. Unless you live in Japan, there are many more ominous threats to your life than Fukushima…… including the nuclear power plant in your backyard (and decommissioned or not the spent fuel is likely still being stored in pools), and the glowing Hanford swamp.

  20. optimader

    I’ll be spending more time here:

    There is a nice little village near the entrance, (the name I wont mention), but for anyone else, Bariloche is a very nice place indeed! (Post WWII many ahh…. “Swiss” people relocated here). Has a very Bavarian flavor.

    Ironically enough though, Bariloche is where the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission is located.

    On the other hand , it is relatively benign in its scope of activity.

    Plenty of other beautiful Patagonian ‘burgs in parts south.
    Surely a favorite of mine

    as far south as you can go, a great place to contemplate the Beagle Channel while you contemplate life at the End of the Road”

      1. rich

        How the cops watch your tweets in real-time
        Products like BlueJay search all your tweets, then present results to cops.

        Recent leaks about the NSA’s Internet spy programs have sparked renewed interest in government surveillance, though the leaks touch largely on a single form of such surveillance—the covert one. But so-called “open source intelligence” (OSINT) is also big business— and not just at the national/international level. New tools now mine everything from “the deep Web” to Facebook posts to tweets so that cops and corporations can see what locals are saying. Due to the sheer scale of social media posts, many tools don’t even aim at providing a complete picture. Others do.

        For instance, consider BlueJay, the “Law Enforcement Twitter Crime Scanner,” which provides real-time, geo-fenced access to every single public tweet so that local police can keep tabs on #gunfire, #meth, and #protest (yes, those are real examples) in their communities. BlueJay is the product of BrightPlanet, whose tagline is “Deep Web Intelligence” and whose board is populated with people like Admiral John Poindexter of Total Information Awareness infamy.

        BlueJay allows users to enter a set of Twitter accounts, keywords, and locations to scan for within 25-mile geofences (BlueJay users can create up to five such fences), then it returns all matching tweets in real-time. If the tweets come with GPS locations, they are plotted on a map. The product can also export databases of up to 100,000 matching tweets at a time.

  21. Jackrabbit

    Something that has not received much attention in Obama’s speech is his dismissal of any repercussions from an attack on Syria.

    If the US has nothing to fear from Syria AFTER unilaterally attacking the country, how can the Administration say that Syria currently threatens the US? After all, it is very unlikely that any attack – which the Syrians had weeks to prepare for – would completely destroy all chemical weapons and chemical weapons production.

    Obama also completely ignores the reaction of Syrian allies in his calculation. This is all-the-more curious since the Administration is so hyper-sensitive about the possible threat from Assad.


    What’s most disturbing is that an Administration that is well known for disingenuous and duplicitous positioning does not get more scrutiny from the press.

    Change you can believe in.
    Most transparent Administration ever.
    At this point what difference does it make?
    No one is reading your emails.

    1. LucyLulu

      Of course the arguments don’t make sense because they’re merely made to match the most recent circumstances, and circumstances keep changing.

      Don’t worry though, dear rabbit. If you need to talk, the nsa, just like God, is always listening.

  22. rich

    Will Disillusioned Millennials Bring an End to the Reagan-Clinton Era?

    If the Millennials challenge Reaganite orthodoxy, they will likely challenge Clintonian orthodoxy, too. Over the past three decades, Democratic politicians have grown accustomed to campaigning and governing in the absence of a mobilized left. This absence has weakened them: Unlike Franklin Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama could never credibly threaten American conservatives that if they didn’t pass liberal reforms, left-wing radicals might disrupt social order. But Democrats of the Reagan-Clinton generation have also grown comfortable with that absence. From Tony Coelho, who during the Reagan years taught House Democrats to raise money from corporate lobbyists to Bill Clinton, who made Goldman Sachs co-chairman Robert Rubin his chief economic adviser, to Barack Obama, who gave the job to Rubin’s former deputy and alter ego, Larry Summers, Democrats have found it easier to forge relationships with the conservative worlds of big business and high finance because they have not faced much countervailing pressure from an independent movement of the left.

    But that may be changing.

    Still, Hillary is vulnerable to a candidate who can inspire passion and embody fundamental change, especially on the subject of economic inequality and corporate power, a subject with deep resonance among Millennial Democrats. And the candidate who best fits that description is Elizabeth Warren.

    First, as a woman, Warren would drain the deepest reservoir of pro-Hillary passion: the prospect of a female president. While Hillary would raise vast sums, Dean and Obama have both shown that in the digital age, an insurgent can compete financially by inspiring huge numbers of small donations. Elizabeth Warren can do that. She’s already shown a knack for going viral. A video of her first Senate banking committee hearing, where she scolded regulators that “too-big-to-fail has become too-big-for-trial,” garnered 1 million hits on YouTube. In her 2012 Senate race, despite never before having sought elected office, she raised $42 million, more than twice as much as the second-highest-raising Democrat. After Bill Clinton and the Obamas, no other speaker at last summer’s Democratic convention so electrified the crowd.

    Warren has done it by challenging corporate power with an intensity Clinton Democrats rarely muster. At the convention, she attacked the “Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — [who] still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.”

    And in one of the biggest applause lines of the entire convention, taken straight from Occupy, she thundered that “we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”

    1. neo-realist

      In spite of her bona fides, I could see Warren being to the dems what Jesse Jackson was in 1984. A candidate whose purpose is to ignite the voting passion of a neglected minority–with Jackson, African Americans (however, I also suspect the dem establishment was trying to f**k a suspected insurgent in Hart out of the nomination), with Warren, the left so that when she loses, that minority, still in their excitement stage, will fall behind the establishment candidate. She’ll be treated like a celebrity by the MSM, but not taken seriously as one who could be President. Warren’s call to arms of fighting back against elite plunder while on the campaign trail will be inspirational enough to the neglected left that when she loses the nomination to Hillary, they’ll fall lockstep behind her, the way many AA’s did behind a piece of cardboard like Mondale.

      1. Alexa

        I think your analysis of “why” the PtB would push Warren to run as a faux Dem primary opponent, is spot on.

        However, I don’t believe that it will work. It is simply too transparent, IMO.

        And I suspect that to some degree, the almost eight years that the Democratic Party has spent trashing, and or throwing “seniors” under the bus, will come back to haunt them in 2014 and 2016.

        And, of course, they have succeeded in throwing alienating many seniors, with their constant threatened cuts to the social safety net, at the same time that they have heavily courted “the Youth.”

        And if the Dem Presidential Candidate is not one of the younger Dem pols–Booker, Deval Patrick, or O’Malley (Martin’s is certainly not young, by any stretch, but he sure looks considerably younger than VP Biden or FS Clinton)–it is rather difficult for me to imagine that a great deal of youthful enthusiasm is likely to be generated by much more “mature” candidates. ;-)

        Especially if the Repubs put up a much younger candidate, which I believe that they will do in 2016.

        In 2015 (when much of the race is run), Christie will be age 53, and Rubio will be age 44.

        Contrast that to VP Biden who will be age 73, and FS Clinton who will be age 68.

        Not exactly “great optics” for Dems, LOL!

        Which is not to say that I think that such shallow considerations should be what folks base their votes on–I don’t.

        If anything, I absolutely abhor “cult of personality” voting, a concept which is totally mystifying to me.

        And look at where it’s gotten us. ;-)

        1. Alexa

          Should have read “faux liberal”

          [Although surely a bit left of many other Dem candidates, whose names have been bandied about as a potential Dem Party Presidential hopeful.]

      1. Alexa

        I wish I thought so, but after spending just a few hours at DKos (there appear to be many younger bloggers there), one gets the strong sense that their is a major “gulf” or divide between the generations.

        Maybe it’s just systemic to blogging, because I’ve not seen this in “real life,” thank goodness. But it’s a real “big deal” on some blogs. I just mainly avoid the posts that deal with this topic.

        My impression is that many (not all, of course) younger bloggers blame their state of affairs on the “Boomer” generation, in general–but I don’t think that they blame any one political party.

        Of course, to some extent, the Dem Party has inadvertently fostered this false belief by conjuring up the Fiscal Commission and its proposals, with all the hyperventilating about the cost of social programs–or at least those for seniors.

        However, I agree that the Democratic Party didn’t co-opt the movement, if you mean infiltrate it.

        But they were largely responsible for dismantling much of the movement, since many of the largest protests and camps were in “blue” states and cities and towns. And it was those Mayors and local governments that shut down the protests.

        Beinart is a right-winger from the word go, LOL!

        I pretty much take everything he says with a huge grain of salt.

        Remember his relentless “beating of war drums” regarding Iraq?

        Thank goodness, he finally faded from the scene (C-Span, etc.).

        But then, I truly didn’t know–in spite of my years of political activism–that there were wars between the two Democratic Party camps (PBO and HRC), until I started blogging.

        Actually, in the case of Beinart, I believe that much of what he and writers of his ilk attempt to do is misdirect the energies and activism of the Democratic Party base.

        I believe that neo-realist was correct on that (about Warren).

        I also believe that at least some of the “conflicts” that I observe in the blogging community, don’t truly reflect the society at large.

        Probably because non-bloggers don’t “obsess” over politics, the way many bloggers do. ;-)

        1. Lambert Strether

          Generational analysis cannot provide an account of the dynamic differences in power relations between different subsets of age cohorts. Hence, if you’re trying to do serious political analysis, it’s at best useless and at worst extremely deceptive. Even worse, it prevents alliances between generations based on common values and interests. One might ask oneself why a legacy party cesspit like Kos is promoting the concept so heavily. I grant the concept may be useful for marketing purposes, and possibly even cultural purposes, as in discussing whether musician X sucks, etc. Otherwise not.

          If you want to see a fine specimen of how utterly destructive thinking in politically in generational terms can be, try Andrew Sullivan’s Goodbye to All That: Why Obama Matters, which was wrong in almost every respect, and sucked a lot of vulnerable people in.

          Why “progressives” would want to use analytical tools that divide their potential majority is beyond me.

          1. Alexa

            As an aside, I’ve never seen Kos, nor his staff writers, encourage inter-generational tensions.

            Occasionally, there are bloggers who become overly emotional and excitable when issues surrounding the Grand Bargain, Social Security, the deficit, etc., are discussed. Especially those bloggers who do not fully grasp or understand the policies, or their implications.

            As a result, an occasional “pie fight” erupts in the thread. [Of course, the best antidote for that is to get the heck outta there, LOL!]

            1. JTFaraday

              A lot of younger people aren’t as invested in Social Security because they haven’t seen the benefits of regular wage employment under which they can earn SS benefits.

              ie., as a generational cohort, they are literally less invested in it.

              It is also true that many baby boomers took a similar hit in their Social Security investment through midlife layoffs and/or taking jobs in which they made less money, seeing their benefits under SS decrease.

              One group–younger people–will talk about it, albeit rather inarticulately. The other group is too intimidated to say anything.

              The truth is that Social Security was structured to serve a different economy and including a different domestic economy, supporting traditional gender roles, and it may not serve us well in the future.

              I don’t believe in not saying things that are true that might impact how policy might be structured in the future.

              So, silencing people through accusations of “generational warfare” is not necessarily the way to go.

              1. JTFaraday

                For example, my mother who ultimately had a better career than my father in the same field and who eventually made more money, collects less from SS because she raised children for about 10 years.

                Personally, I think social security is crap. And the silence around is crapness is deafening.

              2. Alexa

                Concur, JTFaraday, that

                “One group–younger people–will talk about it, albeit rather inarticulately. The other group is too intimidated to say anything.”

                Since corporatist Dem and Repub “neoliberal” policies “revolve around the theme of inter-generational tensions,” I also believe that it is pretty much a necessity to discuss this issue.

                Here’s an excerpt from, and link to:

                A bullet point from the DLC’s “Hyde Park Declaration,” entitled A New Politics for a New America.

                The aging of the population, creating new intergenerational tensions over resources for schools, retirement, and health care.


                This declaration speaks to “generational inequities,” which some corporatist Dems and Repubs ostensibly believe that “slashing the social safety net” would cure.

                “The Moment Of Truth,” [link below] the Fiscal Commission’s Chairman’s Mark proposal was written (partly) with this policy goal in mind.


                Obviously, this proposal represents a “policy choice” of the Washington Elites, who seem prefer policies which would potentially impoverish tens of millions Americans, rather than to sufficiently fund our social safety net programs.

                Therefore, I consider this policy choice or discussion to have been foisted upon us by the Dem and Repub “Powers That Be.”

                [By the way, most of the diary thread’s at the DKos Social Security and Grand Bargain Groups, are not contentious. And many of the posts there are quite constructive, and very valuable.]

  23. charles 2

    Regarding Antidote du jour, you really have no idea ?
    It is simply another instance of the “golden is beautiful” prejudice, golden watch, golden hair… now golden horse !

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