Links 9/29/13

In Fragmented Forests, Rapid Mammal Extinctions Times

Billionaire Yachts Are Passe as Monaco Peddles Luxury Submarines Bloomberg

Shutdown Follies

Live updates: The shutdown showdown WaPo

As government shutdown looms, fundraising zooms Politico. The crisis will end when the sales projections are met. Kidding!

House stands firm against Obamacare, Senate won’t budge. Shutdown looms. McClatchy

Budget bill booted back to House. Just shut down government, already? Christian Science Monitor (furzy mouse). Hilarious prayer by Senate Chaplain.

Last Shutdown a Lesson Lost on Capitol Hill Times

Shutdown Would Shave U.S. Growth as Much as 1.4 Pctg. Points in Q4 Bloomberg

Dems say shutdown is inevitable The Hill

Shutdown crisis shows Washington breakdown Karen Tumulty, WaPo. If it weren’t for those crazy Republicans, we could have a Grand Bargain! 

As Senate clears way for Obamacare funding, how the House planned ‘from the beginning’ to angle for a one-year delay to set up 2014 election showdown Daily Mail. Dunno why “an aide to a senior Republican congressman” is leaking to the Daily Mail, unless to float a year’s delay for ObamaCare. Of course, what with the “soft launch” ObamaCare won’t really be going for another four months, so why not split the difference and delay ObamaCare for six months and not twelve? Then both parties can get back to doing the people’s business, like gutting Social Security.

How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers Atlantic

Former military snipers turn to mercenary killing Bangkok Post (furzy mouse)

In bid to help prevent violence, Justice Department awards grants for in-school officers McClatchy. Another victory for Second Amendment advocates to own.

The flimflam of this week’s Obamacare numbers Jack Shafer, Reuters

Race to get Obamacare online sites running goes to the wire Reuters. The word “race” in a headline is a bullshit tell, except in the Sports section. The “race” described is never run as the result of good faith efforts.

America’s Toilet Turnaround Online WSJ

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens Times

NSA: Analysts spied on love interests The Hill

The No-Fly List: Where the FBI Goes Fishing for Informants ACLU

Will the NSA Revelations Kickstart the Cybersecurity Industry in China? The Diplomat

Digital Public Goods Digitopoly

NY’s fracking future hinges on opaque health review Process clouded by secrecy, group sues to open records Shale Gas Review

Middle East

Impending Charges? Tarek and John in their own words Justin Podur (SW)

The Rouhani Week Moon of Alabama

Inspectors from obscure agency ready to destroy Syrian chemical weapons WaPo

Syria’s FM: No Transition Plan Without Assad AP

Their own men Economist. Local fighters vs. exiled “opposition.”

Greek police arrest far-right Golden Dawn party leader Euronews (analysis).

Greece: after Killah P’s murder, a battle for democracy? Channel 4 News (CL)

Italian coalition in disarray after Berlusconi’s ministers quit FT

Special Report: Myanmar old guard clings to $8 billion jade empire Reuters

Long-term unemployment is a catastrophe WaPo. For the disemployed, yes. And now it’s baked in!

More people express uncertainty in chance to achieve the American Dream WaPo

Why Have Americans’ Income Expectations Declined So Sharply?* FEDS Notes. Which Americans?

Antidote du jour (via):


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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Nonanonymous

    Lean left much?

    What is disemployment, and what does the 2A have to do with “resource officers” in the schools?

    At the same time you post a link about billionaires?

    To be fair, I’m a supporter of the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party, simply because there is a common enemy, status quo.

    1. Massinissa

      Look, if you want a right wing website, GO TO A RIGHT WING WEBSITE. Stop complaining that this one doesnt fit your tastes and find one that does.

    2. JEHR


      Do you even understand that the Occupy movement and the Tea Party have opposing goals: The Tea Party is funded by the 1% Kochs who influence through distributing money to the politicos; the Occupy movement is made up of the other 99% from whom the money was appropriated!

      1. RanDomino

        There should have been a dialogue between Occupy and Tea Party people in 2011, even if only to show that Occupy was willing to extend a hand. Yet another opportunity squandered.

        1. nobody

          There was “dialogue between Occupy and Tea Party people in 2011.” At my Occupy, we invited the local tea partiers to come down, and some of them did. Later, some of us protested the NDAA together with some of them.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Same here in the Great State of Maine. The right is very sound on gardening, food issues, and local sovereignty. The East-West Corridor would never have been stopped without them, and they also helped stop the landfill. (Ask yourself: Who wanted the East-West Corridor, and who wanted the landfill?)

            Strategic hate managers in the Democratic party would have us believe that everybody on the right, all over the country, is waiting for a blast fax from Koch Brothers HQ before saying or doing anything. That’s true in the Beltway, but it’s not true out in the sticks. (It’s also super projection, since Obots and other apparatchiks are, themselves, waiting for blast faxes, just from whichever West Wing faceless non-entity replaced Axelrove et al. when they left to cash in.)

            There’s a ton of thinking and a ton of culture stuff on the right that gives me the creeps, and I won’t tolerate it in conversation. But the conversation has to be had. So far as I can tell, it’s the only way forward. Incidentally, if anybody wants bragging rights, it wasn’t the anti-tyranny gun crowd that got targeted by a 17-city DHS-coordinated paramility crackdown. No, it was a bunch of hippies using strategic non-violence.

      2. BondsOfSteel

        No… the Tea Party and Occupy have many similar goals. Both are driven by populism.

        While the Tea Party has been co-oped by Kochs… they still have their populist roots. Yes… they are pro-large business, but they are also anti-government. This means they are usually against business and government together. (They oppose Obamacare as this combination of business and government for example.) After all, they were formed as a response to TARP and the Wall Street bailouts.

        Personally, I stand with Occupy. I wonder if Occupy had some of the plutocracy on it’s side like the Tea Party, would we still face the black boot response?

          1. AbyNormal

            from your link:

            “The elites like to keep us divided because we have to look to them for power,” Dooley added. “But now grassroots activists are coming together from across the aisle and saying, ‘We’re going to do this and we don’t need to look to elites from either party – we just need each other.’”

            looking over their ‘Vision’…
            sadly, they’re setting themselves up to fail from overlapping oxymoron’s. they need to stay on point…that list is a Koch wetdream.

        1. cenobite

          “The tea party and occupy have many similar goals” …or something.

          The tea party is the same old crazy bircher wing of the GOP that has been around forever. The sane part of the GOP (while it still existed) used to keep them hidden away in the attic. They got an injection of political steroids (corporate money) and their job was to oppose Obama and get the stink of Dubya off the GOP.

          Please let me know when the tea party invites Chris Hedges and Richard Wolff to address them and when occupy starts calling Obama a socialist (*) kenyan muslim usurper and demanding birth certificates.

          * IF IT WERE ONLY TRUE.

      3. nobody

        “We were anarchists and ultra-libertarians, but above all we were peaceful. So, the media tried painting us as racists. But when that didn’t work they tried to goad us into violence. When that failed, they killed our movement with money and false kindness from the theocratic arm of the Republican party. That killed our popular support.

        “I am sharing these observations, so you guys know what’s going on and can prevent the media from succeeding in painting you as violent slacker hippies rebelling without a cause, or from having the movement be hijacked by a bunch of corporatists seeking to twist the movement’s original intentions… Here’s how they turned our movement into a bunch of pro-corporate Republican Party rebranding astroturf…”

  2. kimyo

    this is pretty wild – d&b, kroll background america and lexis/nexis have been hacked for months:

    An identity theft service that sells Social Security numbers, birth records, credit and background reports on millions of Americans has infiltrated computers at some of America’s largest consumer and business data aggregators, according to a seven-month investigation by KrebsOnSecurity.

    ….the miscreants behind this ID theft service controlled at least five infected systems at different U.S.-based consumer and business data aggregators.

    “We could well be witnessing the death of knowledge-based authentication, and it’s as it should be,” Litan said. “The problem is that right now there are no good alternatives that are as easy to implement. There isn’t a good software-based alternative. Everybody in the industry knows that KBA is nearing its end of usefulness, but it’s not like you can instantly roll out biometric identifiers to the entire US population. We’re just not there yet. It’s years away. If ever.”

    isn’t it kroll that’s doing the income verification for obamacare?

    D&B spokeswoman Michele Caselnova said her firm was “aggressively investigating” the attack.

    “Data security is a company priority and we are devoting all resources necessary to ensure that security,” she said.

  3. Thorstein

    Curious that the Atlantic stops short of quoting the full text of 26 USC 501(c)(6):

    (6) Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not organized for profit and no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual [emphasis added].

  4. Jagger

    FBI will remove you from the no-fly list if you agree to become an informant!!!! This is simply insane. Just how deep will this country sink before we see some real change towards sanity?

    1. Massinissa

      “Just how deep will this country sink before we see some real change towards sanity?”

      I dont want the answer to that question myself. Nazi Germany sank pretty damn far, pretty damn fast. I dont want to see how far a country that is arguably the most powerful country *ever* militarily can go down the path to hell.

    2. ambrit

      Dear Jagger;
      Reading the history of previous empires it seems “how far” includes: Civil War, Barbarian Invasion, Defeat by Opposing Coalitions, and, oh yes, Environmental Catastrophe.

      1. Antifa

        There’s a pithy old South Indian proverb to the effect that, “if it doesn’t rain right (rain when and as you’ve grown accustomed to) civilization ceases”

        Another one reminds everyone that “even the mightiest kings wait for rain to rule” meaning, no business as usual if the fundamentals of climate, farming and eating every day is disrupted.

        Civilization is a house of cards that falls right down without water falling from the sky.

    3. Ned Ludd

      The Roman Republic ended by transitioning into a military dictatorship. For several hundred years, republican institutions continued to operate during the Principate, in order to hide the political reality of autocratic rule and to foster an illusion of a republic, which helped prevent rebellion and secured the cooperation of the citizens in the management of the empire.

  5. TimR

    James Corbett has a good video up today taking on the latest IPCC report. I found particularly interesting his discussion of “how” scientists can be manipulated for political ends, beginning somewhere around the 25:00 – 30:00 min mark. Then the fascinating interview with Dr. Tim Ball (33:30), who explains the structure of the IPCC, how its “Terms of Reference” limit its findings, and the absurdity and fraud inherent in its design. This is interesting beyond climate change, as it shines light on the whole nature of governmental panels of inquiry, and the specific mechanisms by which they are politically manipulated.

      1. TimR

        I’m not a scientist, nor have I devoted all my spare time to becoming a civilian expert, so I am neither “denialist” nor “believer.”


        The statement linked above, by Dr. Ball, shows pretty clearly that the IPCC, at least, is a fraudulent organization by its very structure (or more politely, a political organization rather than a scientific one.) Unless the facts he gives are inaccurate. Do you dispute his facts? I ask sincerely because I want to know it if Corbett is relaying false information.

        1. JL Furtif

          Forget about the facts. There are tens of thousands of people investigating things, and 1000s of scientific publications (nearly) all pointing to man-made global climate disruption and ocean acidification.
          James Hansen ringed the alarm bells in his testimony to Congress back in 1988, and the IPCC was created after his testimony to ‘assess’ the science.
          Whatever the IPCC does or says, or whatever you or anybody else thinks or says about the IPCC doesn’t really matter, as the IPCC doesn’t do science, only the assessment.

          1. davidgmills

            Yes but all it takes is one Henrik Svensmark to prove them all wrong. Science never was about consensus.

    1. ambrit

      Hey now! Yesterdays article about the Iranian Navys push for small, cheap subs for Hormuz interdiction shows that not only billionaires can ‘benefit’ from submarine adventures. Remember when those South American narcos were caught building their own cargo sub to facilitate their pharma trade to North America? Wouldn’t that now be legal under the terms of the proposed TPP? It’s trade after all! (And I’m quite certain the narcos provide “taxes” to the governing authorities in their countries of residence.)

      1. jfleni

        >>I’m quite certain the narcos provide “taxes” to the governing authorities in their countries of residence.)>>

        Not really! For Colombia, wages,commerce,taxes, fees and all the rest amount to two percent of all spending for criminal enterprises, according to press reports.

        These high-rolling crooks are all fixed u[p with Swiss accounts, and money-laundering right here in the Land of the Big Bucks!

    2. Benedict@Large

      I used to think that gutters were as low as billionaires could stoop, but I guess submarines will solve that limitation.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It may be more nefarious than we think.

      The billionaires are preparing for a future when it is no longer livable on the surface of the planet and these are just two of all the options they will explore: Space and underwater.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          They still need servants. Robots are not perfectly reliable yet. And there are some things robots can’t do.

          You can’t make robots grovel before you with fear…yet.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              We have ‘Janus’ politicians.

              They are public servants who are indeed servants, but to the 0.01%, as you rightly mention, who, at the same time, are masters who lord over taxpayers.

      1. hunkerdown

        As the Archdruid recently mentioned in discusson, “most religions can be analyzed with equal facility either as devotion to a set of ideas or as devotion to an institution and its priestly personnel.”

    1. Massinissa

      Lieutenant Obvious here: The Democratic house members are ALSO doing what their billionaire owners want them to…

  6. Montanamaven

    I get the Wall Street Journal and only have time to skim it. The “Toilet Turnaround” story also leaped out at me.
    “”The days of chasing cheap labor around the world are coming to an end,” said William Strang, who heads the operations division for Toto in the Americas. Toto is reducing trans-Pacific shipments and relying more on U.S. and Mexican plants for its sales in North America.”
    Yes, why chase cheap labor when you can get it here without the shipping. Well, at least it keeps alive the idea that a country needs to make its own stuff rather than importing it. Interesting fact that there used to be 48 toilet companies and now there are 7. Interesting that the Japanese have bought several American plumbing manufacturing companies, but not surprising. The Japanese take their toilets very seriously and the Toto toilets are quite innovative.

          1. Stan Musical

            A Toto toilet that I was being buffed and polished by post-mission gave me the insight (this was many years ago) that our so-called modern civilizations are really just about maximizing comfort and convenience. Japan is one of the best examples of what the side-effects are: neurosis, sexlessness, fetishization of nearly everything, nuclear meltdowns, &c.
            The extremely refined arts of Japan were created in a country where living was often neither comfortable or convenient. Now, in the Toto Period, the Japanese arts have pretty rapidly lost much of the “jitsu” of past works and become either merely mimetic, flashy, or self-absorbed. The banana man’s turning in his grave and I lay it all on Toto and its ilk! :-)

  7. Jim Haygood

    From the Moon Over Alabama post:

    After the first Gulf war, Israel’s propaganda changed from demonizing the then-defanged Saddam Hussein and instead started to demonize Iran. Israel always needs an enemy, the new Hitler, to distract from its continuing colonization of Palestine and to keep its picture as a “victim” alive.

    The Israeli delegation was the only one that left the UN General Assembly when Rouhani spoke. A clear demonstration of Israel’s new isolation. Its AIPAC lobby had already lost the fight for War on Syria and upcoming domestic business will keep Congress occupied with other issues.

    It must be terribly discouraging, after the Lobby’s decade-long anti-Iranian hate campaign on behalf of Eretz Israel, to see it all swept away by one phone call, when the U.S. president went off-script and actually asserted America’s interests for a change.

    Save the AIPAChyderms! /:-()

    1. frosty zoom

      i believe you are dreaming in colour.

      this friendishliness will only last until oil goes down to say, $95 a barrel and then the sabres will rattle again.

      1. Optimader

        Bho is a low entrance barrier for derision, this at least is a better development than puting biden out on a sunday morning talk show circuit dicussing invasion plans. Maybe nothing more than a three shell distraction after his Syrian creampie, but it unwinds tension a bit, good if for no other reaso. Than it give room to. Windup again w/o effect.

        1. frosty zoom

          of course. anything that stops the bombs is great. then again, this moment kinda feels like november 4th, 2008.

          check this out:

          The well-paid Persian ministers who negotiated the Anglo-Persian Agreement attempted to counter the barrage of opposition to it by publishing an article in the Raad in August that stated, ‘America, the only government able to assist Persia, abandoned her’. The Raad adopted this stratagem because some, ‘newspapers denounce treaty, but suggested that a similar treaty be made with America if possible’.

          and this:

          Iranian Minister in Washington, Hossein Ali, expressed his gratitude to the American government in his letter addressed to the Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes:

          The Persian Government and people have always recognized the altruism and impartiality which distinguish the American Government and people. They particularly appreciate the concern of the United States for fair play, for the respect of the independence of the smaller nations, for the maintenance of the economic open door.

          emphasis mine!

          1. optimader

            Thanks for the link, I’ll read that later. Indeed, nothing is as it appears, that said the US would be best served w/a constructive/mutually respectful/productive relationship w/ Persia. This is high time-preference peaceful strategy, which is so difficult for US policy makers anymore who are lashed to the election cycle political mast and breaking news media drama.

            The underlying US strategy in the ME has evolved to be less about securing a petroleum supply, more about controlling who gets supplied. Perhaps this should be reconsidered and instead put our questionably allocated resources toward a more domestically centered focus on productivity and energy EFFICIENT competition w/ our economic competitors? But I digress..

            A collateral quotation of the day you might like:

            “…The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster. How long will we permit millions of pounds, thousands of Imperial troops, and tens of thousands of Arabs to be sacrificed on behalf of colonial administration which can benefit nobody but its administrators?”
            ~ August 22, 1920, written by former Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (AKA Lawrence of Arabia)


  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


    Those eyes – they look a lot like those of pre-Columbian western Mexico clay figurines, specifically, those from Jalisco, Colima and Narayit.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    In-school officers…2nd Amendment victory…

    If I have to guess, when forced at gun point to face its cause and not its symptom, I would say that violence is due to the society breaking down from being robbed by the 0.01%.

    Address wealth inequality and see what happens. Maybe we get a happier society?

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Golden Dawn leader arrested.

    If he writes a book, while there, about his struggle, it would be cause for concern, I think.

    1. ambrit

      Dear MLTPB;
      Of more concern would be if he starts getting clandestine financial support from American business and financial interests. However, I’m really afraid that some other rightest politician will have him “shot while trying to escape” because of purported “moral transgressions.” If it happens on the last day of June next year…

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The NFL fleecing taxpayers.

    Football addiction – it should be regulated. Set the ticket prices low enough and cap how much they can charge for broadcasting, many footballers will find their real passion is running hedge funds or writing poetry.

    Drug addiction – if legal, it should be similarly regulated. Make it cheap enough so the poor could afford it as well. The concern is no one will grow it if it’s really, really cheap, where it should be.

    1. ambrit

      “..running hedge funds or writing poetry..”
      Modern sports has the moral bankruptcy and ethical vacuum of the hedge fund cosmos. It also gave birth to Sports Journalism, as close to verse as modern communications gets.

    2. Skeptic

      Hey, Atlantic, why pick on the NFL? Pro baseball, hockey, basketball all engage in the same ripoffs.

      Then, of course, there’s the Olympricks run by the Elite to advertise all the stuff you don’ t need and the food/beverages that are bad for your health. Globalisation, you know, we are all ONE now. ONE to be ripped off and sedated by Sportz.

      Then there are the professional feeder leagues, known as colleges. Only there the professionals aren’t paid. That’s a fine racket by itself. What’s that word for when people aren’ t paid for the work they do?

      There’s also a $40 million a year federal subsidy to NASCAR, Bubba’s (Bubba is against Big Guvmint) favorite.

      And, Atlantic, probably lots of dirt on tennis, golf, wrestling, boxing, tiddlewinks, etc. if you lift a few rocks.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Myammar $8 billion jade empire.

    Technically, it’s a jadeite empire. The Chinese love the emerald green jadeite from Burma more than the nephrite from their own in Khotan and Yarkand. Thus jadeite is usually more expensive than nephrite, this dealer told me recently.

  13. susan the other

    WaPo. Long term unemployment is a disaster. Just wondering. The long term unemployment figures are probably, in truth, close to the 20% mark – just my suspicion here. But that’s gotta translate into such a spending/consuming shortfall that the corporations will have no profit whatsoever. Cool, as long as we have debt forgiveness, food stamps, and medicare for all. Global trade is not going to fix it – other countries are a disaster too. All that will be left will be some weird luxury trade carried on beyond the reach of any nation. Out in the middle of the ocean where the rich can park their submarines.

    1. ambrit

      Dear sto;
      Lest I discommode you, check out the upcoming government shutdowns effect on SNAP programs. They can and probably will get rid of Food Stamps sooner or later.

        1. ambrit

          Dear craazyboy;
          Commodus would be proud.
          I smell a RAT. (Rentier Access Tax) But, and it’s a big but, it carries with it the odor of sanctity. Just ask the Vestals. They can’t match it.

  14. rich

    The JPMorgan Apologists Of CNBC

    I don’t know which producer at CNBC had the genius idea of asking Alex Pareene on to discuss Jamie Dimon with Dimon’s biggest cheerleaders, but the result was truly great television. What’s more, as Kevin Roose says, it illustrates “the divide between the finance media bubble and the normals” in an uncommonly stark and compelling manner.

    Alex Pareene: I think that any time you’re looking at the greatest fine in the history of Wall Street regulation, it’s really worth asking should this guy stay in his job. In any other industry – I can’t think of another industry. If you managed a restaurant, and it got the biggest health department fine in the history of restaurants, no one would say “Yeah, but the restaurant’s making a lot of money. There’s only a little bit of poison in the food.”

    This view – that profits cleanse all sins, and that so long as you’re making money, nothing else matters – is not normally expressed quite as explicitly as it was here. After all, there are licit and illicit ways of making money, and surely if your profits fall into the latter category, you should not be able to remain comfortably ensconced as a celebrated captain of industry. Besides, banks shouldn’t be obscenely profitable: they’re intermediaries, and in an efficient economy their profits should be quite easily competed away. When bank profits are high, that’s a sign that the bank in question is extracting rents from the economy, rather than helping it to grow.

    The rest of the interview is a glorious exercise in watching CNBC anchors simply implode in disbelief when faced with the idea that JP Morgan in general, and Jamie Dimon in particular, might be anything other than a glorious icon of capitalist success. In the world of CNBC, the stock chart tells you everything you need to know, while the New York Times is a highly untrustworthy organ of dissent and disinformation.
    Eventually, Bartiromo asks Pareene, with a straight face, who would be the best CEO of JP Morgan “from a shareholder perspective”. Since, clearly, the shareholder perspective is the only one that matters. Except, of course, it isn’t.

    1. skippy

      McNamara’s specter lives on in the numerology cult and observed – opined by its priests on CNBC et al.

      Its not true… its just not true~

      And there you have it… breathing… at its finest. As a duly appointed oratorical of truthiness… nothing you say – is beyond – reproach…

      skippy… like swinging chains in the slaughter house… tuned to make soothing sounds… to mask intent. impending

    1. Hugh

      It is about dueling conceptions of kleptocracies, not if we are to be looted but how. I have not been following this that closely. The way I see it is that the Republican leadership would like a deal A) because they remember that this blew up in their faces last time and (B) they think Obamacare is going to blow up in the face of the Democrats. So they would rather some deal that would kick all this down the road, keep the spotlight on the Democrats, and give the country more time to get thoroughly sick of Obama, Obamacare, and the Democrats. The Democrats probably see this as a win for them either way. The crisis manufactured as it is helps them position themselves to gut Social Security, puts the spotlight on the Republicans and not their lame duck President, and they hope it will all blow up in the Republicans’ faces like it did last time. The Republican House footsoldiers and their allies in the Senate oppose Obamacare, corporatist’s wet dream that it is, because in their view it is not corporatist enough. But they also realize that Obamacare is unpopular in the country. They may be banking on that to offset some of the negative effects of a shutdown. I think they are mistaken in this because the media propaganda machine is working against, not for them, this time. Being true believers, however, they would do this anyway. So unless they get something they want, they likely won’t back down until a shutdown and public pressure really turns against them hard. Just my view.

    2. psychohistorian

      If this isn’t time for a Shock Doctrine event, I don’t know when it will be.

      All the energies are aligning, sides are being drawn/taken and sufficient control is in place to assure the outcome(s)…….darn.

      Can a government whistle blower be charged if they do it when they are not being paid?………….What did Jamie and Eric really talk about?

  15. AbyNormal

    Reflections on First Encountering Ethnomethodology
    (this dude always cracks me up…even after his worms mutate within the cracks of my drying noodle)

    “…This process of culture reaching into our minds and organizing our experience and thinking is creepy, horrifying even. But luckily our experience of this has the positive quality of averageness, everydayness, to make it work smoothly.”
    (it comes an it goes)

    1. Alexa

      The “testing!” comment above was supposed to be a “Retweet” of a Zaid Jilani “Tweet,” which shows Jilani on video asking Senator Warner “why he supports raising the eligibility age for Social Security, but not a bank transaction fee.”

      It doesn’t “look like” a Tweet–is there anything that I can do differently, that would “change that”?

      [I just created this Twitter account in order to “Tweet” on Social Security and Medicare “Cuts.”]


  16. optimader

    Rubber plate blocking radioactive wastewater

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says a rubber mat has come loose in a tank of a new filtration system, possibly clogging the drain outlet.

    On Friday, Tokyo Electric Power Company suspended a test run of its ALPS system designed to eliminate radioactive materials from the water that is accumulating at the plant.

    The suspension came less than one day after the operation was resumed for the first time in one-and-a-half months.

    TEPCO had detected a decline in the flow of radioactive wastewater in a pipe that carries the water to a storage tank.

    The utility used a camera to check the interior of the upstream tank and found the 3-millimeter thick rubber plate measuring 20 centimeters square had come loose.

    The mat is used to protect the floor of the tank when carrying out an inspection with a ladder.

    TEPCO says it is likely that the plate is blocking the drain outlet of the tank.

    The utility will check other tanks to see if similar problems have occurred.

    TEPCO plans to install more ALPS systems to complete the task by the end of the next fiscal year. But a series of problems is casting doubt on whether the work will progress as planned.

  17. timotheus

    Re fracking: why do the health officials and public advocates have to prove that fracking adversely affects health rather than the frackers having to prove that it doesn’t?

  18. skilbain

    Jan 2013…Kiss Nightclub Rio Grande do Sul….242 people dead…. smoke inhalation…many found in the bathrooms…… June 2013…death toll from the North Indian floods reached over 6,500 with many people still missing around 100,000 people have been evacuated…….

    Snowden exposed massive surveillance program named PRISM… includes the storage of information collected from Internet history, telephone calls, and texts….current war in Syria began on March 15, 2011…. death of over 100,000 people…..government shutdown… midnight hour deals struck….looming calamities….stock market unfazed…media hyperventilating…

    All of that comes to be annihilated on the television screen.

    We live in the era of events without consequences…There is no more hope for meaning.

  19. dalepues

    “Football is the king of sports. Should the favorite sport of the greatest nation really be one whose economic structure is based on inequality and greed?”

    A perfect match it seems to me.

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