Links 11/9/13

Reindeer Eyes Change Color in Wintertime Wunderground (Lambert). But not their noses!

Asteroid with 6 comet tails puzzles astronomers CBC and ‘Weird’ OBJECT moving by its own JETS seen beyond Mars orbit by Hubble Register. Lambert: “To serve man…”

New browser knows when you are drunk Daily Mash

The Withering of Big Pharma? Counterpunch (Carol B)

Bloomberg News Is Said to Curb Articles That Might Anger China New York Times

Emerging markets jitters are back Walter Kurtz

Spain faces staggering losses as it accepts the reality of the housing bust Quartz

France’s ‘AA’ Hollande pays price for kowtowing to EMU deflation madness Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Right Wing’s Surge in Europe Rattles the Establishment New York Times. Why are they surprised? That’s exactly what you expect to happen with austerity.

Rickets Making Comeback In The UK, Doctors Say Huffington Post (Carol B)

Israeli leader: Possible U.S.-Iran deal on nuclear program ‘is a very bad idea’ Washington Post. What did you expect them to say?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

On the NSA, the media may tilt right Columbia Journalism Review concurs (Chuck L)

Intelligence rebuff gives Obama a dilemma Financial Times

Heidi Boghosian on Spying and Civil Liberties Bill Moyers

Obamacare Launch

Tech director behind Obamacare site launch to leave government service Daily Dot (Richard Smith)

Another Stunning Reversal In President Obama’s Talking Points On Obamacare Time

How Obamacare will change employer-provided insurance CBS

Illinois Obamacare enrollment in ‘hundreds,’ state official says Chicago Tribune

Obama Considers Administrative Fix To Health Care Law Huffington Post. Not gonna happen. “Administrative fix” requires Congressional approval. Does Obama really think the public is going to be sympathetic when the Republicans refuse to bail Obama out of the mess he created?

Two admirals face probe in Navy bribery scheme Washington Post

GOP super PACs gear up to fight tea party Politico

California was sterilizing its female prisoners as late as 2010 Guardian

Insurers sue over Detroit bond plan Financial Times

Gay Sex Sting Goes Wrong in Manhattan Beach: Eagle Scout Sues for $5 Million LA Weekly

The GIGO jobs report Felix Salmon

US government sector is keeping unemployment high Bill Mitchell

Boeing says options open as workers protest 777X offer Reuters. Lambert: “Time to decide never to fly on new Boeing planes. That workforce is not fungible.”

State House for Sale: Big businesses pay off in jobs, political contributions The State (South Carolina). Lambert: “Flip side of Boeing story.”

Dozens arrested in Walmart protest Guardian

Chicago Lawyer Offering Grad Students $1,000 To Go Into Literally Anything Else But Law School Huffington Post (Carol B)

Make Debt Buyers Disclose Forward Flow Agreements American Banker. Geeky, but an idea of how to handle disputes with debt collectors from a consumer advocate.

The Frontiers of Mortgage Servicing, Part I Katie Porter, Credit Slips

Alan Greenspan still doesn’t get it. #OWS Cathy O’Neil (Chuck L). True enough, but Cathy misses that Greenspan’s role has always been to protect the financial services industry, and with them, their chief cheerleaders, economists.

Steven Cohen can’t make his Mommy’s Monkey Jump Greg Palast. Terrible headline for some new allegations….

Why Does JPMorgan Still Have A Banking License? Ilargi

Lew Said to Warn Banks of Tough Volcker Rule in Meetings Bloomberg. I’ll believe it when I see it.

The Fed’s Bubble Solution. MacroMan (Scott)

Twitter Declines as Market-Debut Euphoria Wears Off Bloomberg

Onion halts all print editions, turns entirely to digital ‘news’ Crain’s

Require Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and John Stumpf to personally assist in the Fukushima clean-up. White House. Please sign diptherio’s petition! Tell your friends, tweet it, and put it on Facebook.

Antidote du jour (Timotheus):

what is it

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      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think it’s more likely a new comet hairstyle.

        Pending further investigation, I would tentatively conclude it’s a teenager comet with a punk hairdo.

    1. craazyboy

      That’s how the Mother Ship communicates with it’s advance guard of Lizard People running the earth.

      It gave instructions to central banks and world leaders to begin a ZIRP/QE driven global synchronized export strategy. (this is the only command they know how to send using synchronized light bursts – they are still working out the tech for morse code.)

      Christmas is coming for the Mother Ship.

      1. Jim S

        FACT: The MOTHER SHIP can only make left turns due to an unexpected collision with PLANET X. The LIZARD PEOPLE are pissed because their insurance company refuses to cover the repairs, citing policy changes mandated by OBAMACARE.

  1. AbyNormal

    re: rickets returns
    awhile back i read where a narrow pointy chin was a sign of generational malnutrition.

    Clinical signs and symptoms of micronutrient deficiencies: Some of the clinical signs and symptoms of specific micronutrient deficiencies may closely resemble those observed in PEM. Deficiencies of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and trace elements have been well described. The most common and clinically significant deficiencies include the following:

    Iron – Fatigue, anemia, decreased cognitive function, headache, glossitis, and nail changes
    Iodine – Goiter, developmental delay, and mental retardation
    Vitamin D – Poor growth, rickets, and hypocalcemia
    Vitamin A – Night blindness, xerophthalmia, poor growth, and hair changes
    Folate – Glossitis, anemia (megaloblastic), and neural tube defects (in fetuses of women without folate supplementation)
    Zinc – Anemia, dwarfism, hepatosplenomegaly, hyperpigmentation and hypogonadism, acrodermatitis enteropathica, diminished immune response, poor wound healing

    “Our lives are to be used and thus to be lived as fully as possible, and truly it seems that we are never so alive as when we concern ourselves with other people.”
    Harry Chapin

  2. from Mexico

    @ “Right Wing’s Surge in Europe Rattles the Establishment” New York Times. Why are they surprised? That’s exactly what you expect to happen with austerity.

    But the finance capitalists always believe they can control the monsters which they create, that this time will be different.

    Oh well, we shall see.

      1. scraping_by

        Illusion is the word. More than most, right wingers depend on theater to make up for their objectively small membership and inevitable narrow appeal.

        At least until they’re the right wing government. But right now they’re the alternate voice.

  3. Jim Haygood

    Mmmmm — fresh WaPo propaganda for breakfast!

    Israeli officials registered fierce opposition to an emerging international nuclear deal with Iran on Friday, making clear that the Obama administration faced the uncomfortable prospect of reaching an agreement with one of America’s firmest enemies while overriding the objections of one of its firmest friends.

    Why is Iran one of America’s ‘firmest enemies’? Because some U.S. hostages were taken a third of a century ago? By comparison, it took less than decade to re-establish effective diplomatic relations with postwar Germany and Japan, after far more destructive events.

    And who says that Israel is a ‘firmest friend’? Now a member of the rich-country OECD, Israel continues to suck billions in tribute from the U.S., distort both its foreign policy and domestic politics, and (worst of all) menace its region with an undeclared, uninspected nuclear arsenal.

    A nuclear deal to normalize relations with Iran would be a major achievement for Obama. Poking the Lobby in the eye is just icing on the cake!

    1. Paul Tioxon

      I have to agree with you on that “firmest friend’ declaration. Clearly, Uncle Sam is 2 timing Israel with the British Royals! I mean, who do we love more, the new cutsey pie future King of England and his martyred grandmum, Diana and her ex-mum-in-law Queen Holy Mum Elizabeth or Golda, Ben and Netanyahu? Is it even a fair contest at this point? Someone has to get crackin’ on beloved Israeli figures we can swoon over, the Brits are far ahead of everyone else as the Firmest Friend. This week at least.

      1. Jim Haygood


        Reuters reminds us of the less telegenic figures skulking behind the pageantry:

        Negotiators have limited political room to maneuver as there is hardline resistance to any rapprochement both in Tehran – especially among its elite Revolutionary Guards and conservative Shi’ite clerics – and in the U.S. Congress.

        What a perfect pair: Iran’s mullahs and revolutionary guards, versus all the unearthly Sganarelles and Scaramouches who roar in the two houses of Congress (pace Mencken).

        Would that these benighted fanatics could annihilate each other and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives.

  4. diptherio

    Thanks for putting the petition in today’s must read spot, Yves. However, I can’t take full credit for it. Other commenters (namely Aussie F) sparked the idea, I simply ran with it a little.

    This was and is a group effort, all the way.

    Only 99,000 and change left to go…

    On a side note, I wonder if there are any laws against using the WH petition site to troll the administration…I didn’t see any terms of service…maybe I just found a new hobby. Next up: petition to require Pres. Obama to refer to all multi-national bank executives as “my dawg(s).”

    1. Keenan

      Since two of the reactors (units 1 and 3) of the Fukushima plant which melted down are General Electric Mark 1 models, given the design flaws and safety issues surrounding these units, it might also be appropriate to include the GE CEO in the cleanup crew.

      1. craazyboy

        Jack Welch has been annoying sensible people on the talk show circuit. He could use something to do.

        1. diptherio

          Unfortunately, the petition title can only be 160 characters (or something) so I just picked three a-holes. No reason, though, why we couldn’t nominate and vote on people to be placed on the clean-up crew. Kinda like Survivor, only we’d be voting people onto the island…

          1. craazyboy

            Maybe a polling website where we can nominate names, then vote yeah or nay?

            We could get Congress down to about four members that way, and also downsize the FIRE sector.

    2. down2long

      Dip, I swallowed my fear of the police state and signed your enlightened petition. They ARE coming to get us (in my case the banksters and their military industrial friends especially.) I have learned that nothing pisses banksters off more than standing up to them and costing them money. They also cannot stand a principled stance, since they have never had one. As my b.k. lawyer used to say to me, disparagingly, “Oh, that’s right. You have principles.” As someone posted here on N.C. “Intelligent people have plans. Wise people have principles.” Was it AbyNormal?

      But compelling community service for their crimes against humanity. My hat is off to you.

      1. down2long

        Onene ofg Charle Pioerce’s contributors has been pounding the table on the lack of teaching of “honour” to children these days, and the for last half-century. One look at Slimin’, Obama, Congress, Geithner, etc., etc. proves his point.

        There is no honour among thieves, and very little in Amerikkka in general.

      2. diptherio

        I was thinking something similar the other day. Why not have a website where every voter can log in and give each of their representatives an “approve” or “disapprove” vote, at any time? When a rep’s disapproval rating hits 51%, you have an election with, say, a month or two to campaign. More accountability and probably less money spent campaigning.

        We have the technology…we have the ability to make the world’s first bionic democracy…

        1. Glenn Condell

          ‘We have the technology…we have the ability to make the world’s first bionic democracy…’

          This is I think where the rubber really should hit the road. This simple concept, voter preference in real time as part of the political goods provided by government, is key to unlocking vast majorities which exist for fair and sensible policy on every front you can think of, but which cannot break thru from theory to practice thanks to the antiquated only-every-four-years mechanism we use to conduct our democracy, and the elite lock on that machinery via ownership of parties and candidates, media, think-tanks and, increasingly importantly, control of the government’s monopoly on violence and intelligence.

          Sure you would have a function on the app for live ratings of reps, but the real purpose would be direct voter polling on issues, which may be selected by voters and confirmed as valid by an agreed level of peer support. Once a certain level of constituent approval/disapproval is reached on any issue, it must be tabled by the rep in the House. Strong majorities on a particular issues (say single payer or jail time for banksters) in most constituencies (ie, unarguable voter majorities, not polls) would be hard to ignore and crucially those majorities would be striking while the political iron was still hot rather than waiting for a few years, when the issue had died, to roll it up with every other issue under the sun. The awesome distance we feel from our democratic representation would shrink, alarmingly for them, deliciously for us. Feet, meet fire!

          I enjoy reading things like Ian Welch’s ideology series and the stimulating comments they provoke, but in the end I’m frustrated by the cul de sac they end up in. The emphasis finally is on change in people’s thinking, persuading people, preferably en masse, in order to generate sufficient momentum, a critical mass of will and agreement, to raise ourselves out of this ruck. I agree that would be great but I think under current circumstances it is impossible, wishful thinking and too Big Picture to be concretely useful. The implementation of revolutionary ideas, in the full spectrum dominance of TIA and information control, will in the end rely on administrative baby steps and the action of time.

          If we think of democracy as a house we construct in order to live in shared safety, freedom, happiness and prosperity, then perhaps your app could be thought of as the mortar between the bricks (political and social blocs), holding them together securely.

          That mechanism cannot survive any inference that it serves only this or that political grouping, it must be state administered, part of the furniture of electoral bureaucracy (this is one public service that could not be privatised, otherwise we’d have Diebold in charge of it) That app (accessed via discrete citizen ID) would be built on open source software with architecture transparent enough for any interested party to audit it, with results immediately posted online. Using it should become an unremarkable part of everyday life for everyone of voting age who could give a shit about a particular issue, or indeed lots of them.

          I just googled to try and find whoever it was that said ‘Democracy is a great idea, we should try it some time’ Couldn’t find that but a couple of other apt pensees cropped up:

          ‘Unlike what neo-liberals say, market and democracy clash at a fundamental level. Democracy runs on the principle of ‘one man (one person), one vote’. The market runs on the principle of ‘one dollar, one vote’. Naturally, the former gives equal weight to each person, regardless of the money she/he has. The latter give greater weight to richer people. Therefore, democratic decisions usually subvert the logic of market.’

          * Ha-Joon Chang

          And vice versa I would say.

          Here’s one I’d like to see Russell Brand’s response to:

          ‘You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.’

          * G. K. Chesterton

          That app of yours, or something like it, is not the revolution, the ideal state. It would help bring us the democracy we require in order to achieve that revolution. To get to the end, you need the means.

          I reckon Brand might even consider voting again.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Historically, that comment about you have to have democracy to have a revolution is hogwash. The French revolution produced a democracy, but it took beating back 100 years of counter-revolutionary coups before it stuck. England became a constitutional monarchy more gradually; many point to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 as the watershed (as in it ended the absolute authority of the monarch).

            And what about all of the colonial struggles for liberation, or the fight in South Africa against apartheid?

        2. anon y'mouse

          this is what I keep saying! we need an alternative to the voting/polling system so that americans can know and understand what they are really for, en masse, and how their officials are failing them.

          we need an alternate voting system. also, a “protest the vote”. rock the vote was obviously not enough. just a way to play Stockholm syndrome and kick yourself going “I guess we simply weren’t strong enough…” yet again.

          I have no technical expertise (well, I have no expertise at all) but I have time and a big mouth. does that help the cause?

  5. DakotabornKansan

    Where in the world are people most depressed?

    When it comes to depressive disorders, parts of North Africa and the Middle East suffer more than North America and Western Europe.

    Ethical supply chain management…

    Free trade policies inspired by the IMF and World Bank have caused a crisis in India leading thousands of farmers to commit suicide. Companies such as Monsanto have been blamed for thousands of cotton farmer suicides. Less well known is that in Ghana, cocoa and tomato farmers have also turned to suicide.

    Rich McEachran of the Guardian asks, are companies are doing enough to address mental health in their supply chains?

    Many corporations fail to monitor the mental health of workers low down in supply chains and this can lead to suicide.

    However, “By monitoring mental health as part of audit regulations, companies invested in the agricultural industry can learn how issues such as rural poverty can impact on mental wellbeing.”

    1. Eclair

      How about monitoring the mental health of the company execs who are way up on the supply chain? Any sign of “abnormalities” and we clap ’em into a soothing padded cell.

      1. anon y'mouse

        they are already there. problem is, their ‘orders’ still reach the outside where the rest of us are.

        1. Eclair

          You are right. But I didn’t want to make really inflammatory and violent comments. Like you, I have “time” and am working on developing the “big mouth.”

  6. rich

    How Big Money & Big Media Undermine Democracy
    November 8, 2013

    This past Tuesday, special interests pumped big money into promoting or tearing down candidates and ballot initiatives in elections across the country. It was a reprise on a small scale of the $7 billion we saw going into presidential, congressional and judicial races in 2012. To sway the vote, wealthy individuals and corporations bought campaign ads, boosting revenues at a handful of media conglomerates who have a near-monopoly on the airwaves.

    advertising on web leads you away from political journalism, not towards it.

  7. rich

    Cuts in Hospital Subsidies Threaten Safety-Net Care

    Even so, many of the patients work, often in Savannah’s huge hotel and restaurant industry. Late last month, Donna Atkins, a waitress at a barbecue restaurant, learned from Dr. Guy Petruzzelli, a surgeon here, that she has throat cancer. She does not have insurance and had a sore throat for a year before going to a doctor. She was advised to get a specialized image of her neck, but it would have cost $2,300, more than she makes in a month.

    “I didn’t have the money even to walk in the door of that office,” said Ms. Atkins, speaking in a low, throaty whisper.

    Dr. Petruzzelli has a phrase for her situation: “She failed the wallet biopsy.”

    Ms. Atkins had surgery last Friday, two years after her first symptoms. It is unclear whether Ms. Atkins, whose income is right around the poverty line, will be left without Medicaid, or if she earns enough to qualify for subsidies to buy private insurance on the federal exchange. She appreciates the intent of the health law, but does not like the outcome: Her hours are being cut so her employer can count her as part-time to avoid having to offer insurance.

  8. diptherio

    The Tax Justice Network just released its latest financial secrecy index. The UK wins! Nice work, guys!

    Today the Tax Justice Network launches its 2013 Financial Secrecy Index, the biggest ever survey of global financial secrecy. This unique index combines a secrecy score with a weighting to create a ranking of the countries that most actively and aggressively promote secrecy in global finance.

    This new edition of the Financial Secrecy Index shows that the United Kingdom is the most important global player in the financial secrecy world. While the UK itself ranks only in 21st place, it supports and partly controls a web of secrecy jurisdictions around the world, from Cayman and Bermuda to Jersey and Gibraltar. Had we aggregated the entire British network it would easily top the index, far above Switzerland.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bloomberg curves article to avoid angering China.

    The test is this: between angering China and banksters (their interests do not always align, as they say in Godfather), who or whom does Bloomberg obey, in that case?

    1. rich

      and then we have….

      Shining light on Hillary Clinton’s media blackout

      Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has stared down world leaders, taken heat from Congress and gone toe-to-toe with Barack Obama on the campaign trail – but in what increasingly looks like a 2016 run for president, she’s drawing the line at putting up with the press.

      Clinton’s moves to bar mainstream and social media coverage at major speeches in three cities, including one in San Francisco this weekend, are drawing attention and criticism that could have ripple effects all the way to 2016, experts say.

      “This is a person who is the center of voluminous speculation about a candidacy,” said political science Professor Larry Gerston of San Jose State University. “My guess is her team is doing all they can to make her events as sanitized as possible so there will not be any kind of accidental developments,” such as a YouTube moment or headline-making remark.

      Clinton’s media blackout – which includes bans on photos and cell-phone videos – will be in effect at two events in San Francisco on Saturday.

      1. jrs

        ugh why should we vote for this garbage? Of course I’ll probably vote 3rd party as usual, but in case anyone is thinking of voting Hellary. Why would anyone in their right mind vote for people who deliberately ban press coverage of them?

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chicago lawyer…$1000…grad students not to go to law school.

    And $10,000 not to go to business school?*

    * for a moment there, I was going to comment on the Chicago lawyer’s ulterior motive…about cutting down supply or future supply to be a little more precise. I was wrong there.

  11. Fu Manchu & Kâramanèh got you by the short hairs

    A few rhetorical questions about these Navy dipshits getting busted:

    – Remember how effective ABSCAM was in putting a rambunctious institution on the back foot, despite how ham-handed and corny it was?

    – Does anyone doubt that there are foreign intelligence services that could refine and improve ABSAM like it’s a 350 GM V-8?

    – Does anyone doubt that there’s more corruption where that came from? That it’s everywhere, permeating every pore of the defense sector? That it’s absolutely SOP?

    Now then. Considering the diplomatic, legal, techical, and operational news from abroad, does anyone doubt that resistance to the US panopticon is a concerted effort of the international community?

  12. taunger

    random thoughts on the ACA …
    From my reading here, the bill provides the opportunity for employers to stop providing health insurance and move folks to the individual market. Certainly this fits strategically with the neoliberal agenda, but could it be more?

    For example, I read this morning about New Bedford, MA, hoping to attract a wind turbine manufacturing plant. It will certainly be easier to site foreign owned manufacturing in U.S. if the employer doesn’t have to worry about providing health insurance, just like they don’t worry in most countries.

    Honestly, to see it as a tactical maneuver amongst a multi-industry strategy, alongside TPP and financial deregulation, rather than a “give-away” to health insurance companies, demonstrates clearly how far behind the opposition lies. We think we’re pretty smart if we can stop a tactic, mistaking it for a central strategy. Of course, we don’t often get to feel so smart …

  13. Paul Tioxon



    To Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the appearance of three peaks of political instability at roughly 50-year intervals is not a coincidence. For the past 15 years, Turchin has been taking the mathematical techniques that once allowed him to track predator–prey cycles in forest ecosystems, and applying them to human history. He has analysed historical records on economic activity, demographic trends and outbursts of violence in the United States, and has come to the conclusion that a new wave of internal strife is already on its way1. The peak should occur in about 2020, he says, and will probably be at least as high as the one in around 1970. “I hope it won’t be as bad as 1870,” he adds.

    What is new about cliodynamics isn’t the search for patterns, Turchin explains. Historians have done valuable work correlating phenomena such as political instability with political, economic and demographic variables. What is different is the scale — Turchin and his colleagues are systematically collecting historical data that span centuries or even millennia — and the mathematical analysis of how the variables interact.

    Periods of rioting and upheaval have recurred roughly every 50 years in US history.

    In their analysis of long-term social trends, advocates of cliodynamics focus on four main variables: population numbers, social structure, state strength and political instability. Each variable is measured in several ways. Social structure, for example, relies on factors such as health inequality — measured using proxies including quantitative data on life expectancies — and wealth inequality, measured by the ratio of the largest fortune to the median wage. Choosing appropriate proxies can be a challenge, because relevant data are often hard to find. No proxy is perfect, the researchers concede. But they try to minimize the problem by choosing at least two proxies for each variable

  14. Jerome Armstrong

    RE: European Populism.

    The NYT’s makes a claim: In some ways, this is Europe’s Tea Party moment — a grass-roots insurgency fired by resentment against a political class that many Europeans see as out of touch. The main difference, however, is that Europe’s populists want to strengthen, not shrink, government and see the welfare state as an integral part of their national identities.

    Which Paul Rosenberg just got done deflating:

    Thus, everything the media and Washington’s conventional wisdom tells you about the will of the voters is wrong. But don’t forget the Tea Party! They, too, did not respond as expected. Sure, they were more conservative than Republicans overall, but they still come across as wild-eyed socialists compared to their D.C. representatives…

    1. jrs

      Ugh it’s that new American center nonsense. Someone kill that baby idea in it’s cradle, please. The center promoted by the “new american center” is not only quite far to the right but also just generally aweful and confused.

  15. Jess

    Typo alert: I think Lambert meant to say don’t fly on new Boeing planes, not plans.

    Aside from grammatical nitpicking, this really is a tragedy. Dating all the way back to the B-17, originally developed in the late 1930’s, Boeing has built some of the very best large aircraft in the world. Their commercial jets have been the world’s gold standard. Hate to see that tradition sacrificed for the short-term bonuses of some sociopathic Poison Ivy League school MBA’s.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Fixed, thanks, and indeed.

      Do the MBAs who run Boeing care if planes fall out of the sky later when they can make a quick buck by screwing the unions now? Of course not. “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.”

      Plus, they enjoy screwing the unions. Bonus points!

      1. Jessica

        If _we_ had a government instead of them having a government, then our government would nationalize Boeing before they would let its current management strip mine one of the crown jewels of American industry.
        Just saying

  16. anon y'mouse

    Heidi Boghossian says:

    “They now identify what they call the anarchist threat. And that’s basically anyone who I think may be continuously critical of government and corporate policies, who speaks out, and who isn’t intimidated by corporations. So they spend vast amounts of money to track these individuals.”

    that’s us, folks. we are in the file right there. *waves* hieee!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Harry Reid called the TPers anarchists, which in one way is one of the stupidist statements about politics I’ve ever heard, but is in another way quite smart, since it tells the NPR-listening liberals they’ll get space in the lifeboats as long as they stay quiet.

      I keep posting this, but only because it’s so true, especially the last line of the last stanza before the refrain (lyrics):

      Somebody with more talent than I have should add a verse for today’s Obots; there’s no lack of material. Bonus points for including “I’ve got mine”!

      1. Eureka Springs

        How could I have listened to and loved Ochs for nearly fifty years and yet missed this tune?

        Brilliant! Timeless.

        A blogger could post that.. leave it up top and take a month off… says it all.

      2. jrs

        Hmm what if I decide my best chance for a space in the lifeboat is to fight for it as Chris Hedges says, because they probably mean not to lifeboat any of us unless they are made to.

        1. Fíréan

          There is no “lifeboat”. Your salvation will not be within the physical and cannot be by,from nor association with those responsible for the destructive or threatening environment. Reliance upon those others gave to them the power in the first place, which is now destructive.

          (salvation: liberation from ignorance or illusion, preservation from destruction or failure, deliverance from danger or difficulty ).

    2. Ulysses

      That is why we need to start playing head games with the secret policemen, just to keep our own morale up! I make a point of detouring past (thankfully almost former) Mayor Mike’s place, whenever I go to the museum, just to flip the bird at his paranoid protectors who are watching the security camera feed, LOL

  17. Hugh

    You have to understand the pathological relationship we have with Israel. Netanyahu doesn’t really think he can torpedo a US-Iran agreement, but he will certainly try for domestic consumption. The real scheme though is to voice loud opposition, to wring an even bigger aid package to assuage their hurt feelings.

    1. JohnDT

      If one was to put aside the pathological focus on what happens in tiny Israel, as Obama seems to be doing, our discussion would lead us to our own interests in that part of the world.
      What is the best way to support those who try to end oppression in Iran? How do we lower the probability of a breakdown in the non-proliferation regime? Can we sustain our influence and credibility in that region in a way that will ensure access to the Suez Canal, energy reserves and prevent us from being sucked into a deeper mess in the long-run?

      Netanyahu cannot expect to stop negotiations, nor can he change the stable majority of Israelis who have opposed a direct conflict with Iran (per multiple surveys). However, he may be trying to ensure that the superpowers are not in a rush to remove the sanctions, since the Iranians are masters of negotiations and out-of-the-box exploitation of the formalistic-western-style approach.

      After all, it was the Israelis who warned the US on record about the consequences of going into Iraq, supporting the Egyptian revolution and avoiding action in Iran. In face, US diplomats used to dismiss the notion of spontaneous revolutions against oppressors in the Mid East , where not interested in hearing about Islamist militant networks until 9/11, did not think much of the Muslim Brothers until recently, thought that Assad was a great partner for peace just a couple of years ago, had an ongoing affair with the Saudis for decades, where shocked when North Korea conducted a nuclear experiment and helped the Syrians and Iranians, and still believe that both Israelis and Palestinians are fully capable of making big concessions, curbing extremists on both sides, while also transforming their bureaucracies in a way that will produce peace and stability.
      Many of our problems start at home, and some of the noise made by other countries may turn out to be constructive, if analyzed critically.

    2. Manofsteel11

      As this administration turns its back on its former allies, the Egyptians, Saudis, Gulf States, Pakistan and Israelis, while continuing the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, a counter reaction is unfolding, as expected.
      As European leaders learn about the extent to which the US has penetrated their systems, the consequences are likely to be very interesting.
      As China and the US take action per contested bonds/currencies/financial maneuvers, a zero-sum-game may emerge.
      And, as the Russians approach multiple parties in the Mid East with cold war-like proposals, the balance of power in that region is at stake.
      Whether the Israeli PM is doing his thing out of frustration, as part of domestic politics, as means to lever moves behind the scenes or toward unilateral Israeli steps, our discourse here in the US is likely to benefit from ignoring the noise and establishing clarity as to what we would like to achieve in years to come.

      1. Hugh

        What we want or what we think is wise or just is not at issue because we do not count. We live in a kleptocracy,and US policy will be determined, not by us, but those with power, the rich and elites. They have no one’s best interests at heart, except their own.

  18. scraping_by

    RE: Obama’s talking points

    Nothing new here. Every policy/practical/moral difficulty is transformed into an emotional scene.

    Glad to hear he’s having emotions, and that anyone who isn’t behind him is having emotions, and that if we can all have our emotional moments and be done we’ll all be happy and done.

    Maybe break out in tears and have a group hug and then go out and eat dessert.

  19. Doug Terpstra

    “’No one is more frustrated than I am,’ [Obama] said on October 21 of the technical problems that had rendered the website for the Affordable Care Act inoperable.”

    Uh, no, actually millions of people are more frustrated than you, and not only about the website’s “technical problems”. You are not compelled to sign and pay extortion to the protection rackets who bribed you. The people pay for your Rolls plan. But millions are even more frustrated … incensed, furious, livid … that you lied to them about keeping current plans. You knew this when you designed your fascist bailout and you’ve known it for years as fact-checkers and experts have repeatedly warned it was blatantly false.

    1. jrs

      Obama does his best Bill Clinton: “I feel your frustration”

      But the line falls flat from such a ham actor.

  20. anon y'mouse

    Gay Sex Sting Goes Wrong:

    there are a huge number of things that are ‘wrong’ and signs of police state stuff all over this article. here are three that are particularly disconcerting.

    for one, why are posting names and photos of individuals who have not been charged with a crime? is the new method rather like a facebook-style Scarlet Letter here? if we shame you enough within the community, you will be shunned and marginalized for your supposed sinful private transgressions. do they also do this in prostitution stings? which crimes earn you this distinction and which do not?

    for two–“Couch knew none of this. As he and the boy hurried away from the peeping Tom, Nickerson says, Officer Nasori followed them, demanding, “Why are you leaving so quickly?” ”

    if you want to know how police behave at the street level, especially towards black people, homeless and other Untouchables this is exactly how they do it. you have, by your very presence and appearance, “done something wrong” which entitles them to harass you. they will do so, and use the excuse that you ‘walked away quickly’ or made facial expressions or did some other perfectly natural or understandable human expression or action to justify shaking you down and searching you until they can find something to string you up with. and if you get them on the wrong day, if you appearance or something about your manner ticks them off enough, if you just use the wrong tone of voice that wasn’t wavering with enough fear, they WILL find something to rack you up with.

    the third issue: he’s got unmarked/un-uniformed men basically attacking him and holding him down. this trend towards unmarked police cars and un-uniformed officers is DANGEROUS for both the police and the individuals who rely upon them. how is a person to know that the car trying to get you to pull over to the side is really a cop and not some kind of whackjob? how is a person to know that the guy that threw you to the ground and put the cable ties on you is not some sick weirdo with a fetish?

    people are going to start going about armed, regardless of the laws, simply because they won’t be able to tell the good guys from your average street ruffian. then, when you do get ‘legitimately’ stopped and frisked, you will be in one heap o’trouble. if the worse happens, it might be a Trayvon Martin situation, except with a cop. guess who’s going to lose their liberty in that situation, even though you didn’t know that dude trying to taser you WAS a cop? you are.

    the ghetto police tactics are coming to us all, folks. actually, ghetto folk are luckier. they know when the 5-0 is rolling through their neighborhood (cops go out of their way to make their business in the ghetto obvious, as a sign of ‘what might happen to you if you step too far out of line’ and also because, heck…good PR. someone with a camera might be watching a crack bust!).

  21. evodevo

    “Alan Greenspan still doesn’t get it. ”

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”
    –Upton Sinclair

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Oh, Greenspan gets it alright, Math Babe. Don’t let his rugged good looks fool you. The man is one of FDR’s “malefactors of great wealth”. Like Obama, nothing he does is well-intended; his utter cluelessness is naught but theater for the Goyim.

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