Links 12/14/13

Stop calling it your money, says RBS Daily Mash

Historic snow fall turns Holy Land into the scenes we see in Christmas cards with first flakes for 100 years Daily Mail. Does this mean the rapture is nigh?

I Don’t Want Michael Bromwich Messing With My Next iPhone John Dean, Justia (Chuck L)

The Mandela Barbie Truthout (furzy mouse)

North Korean Blood Feud is ‘Richard III’ with Nukes Daily Beast

North Korea embarks on Internet purge of executed official IT World

IMF admits it underestimated the fiscal multiplier EuroIntelligence (Mark Thoma). Does that mean they lose their license to practice economics?

Ireland becomes first country to exit eurozone bailout programme Guardian

Slovenia remains vulnerable Economist Free Exchange

Victory! The M5S has saved the Constitution from the parties! Beppe Grillo

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

By cracking cellphone code, NSA gains sweeping powers Washington Post

How FISA Dockets (Appear To) Work and Why Snowden Likely Got Few or No PayPal Documents Marcy Wheeler

Fire the Liar Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Not Obama, a different liar.

Obamacare Launch

Better late than never: the new insurance sticker shock story Tracy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review. “New” to the MSM, not to NC readers.

Errors Continue to Plague Government Health Site Wall Street Journal

Steven Van Zandt On Obamacare: ‘Mostly It’s Worthless’ Huffington Post (Pau Tioxon). Dueling celebrities.

With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals New York Times

Bad Sign: Fake Interpreter at Mandela Services Now Says That He Has A Violent Past And Was Hallucinating Next To Obama Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Obama team sees hope for agenda after budget deal Washington Post

Gun control battle moves to Main St. Politico. Battle? Looks like a phony war to me.

Selling Priceless Art Won’t Save Detroit msmolly, Firedoglake

Strategy More: Map Happy Gender. This Map Shows Which Parts Of The Country Have A Huge Gender Gap In The Workforce Business Insider

Security Footage Reveals “Violent And Terrifying Criminal Stunt” At JP Morgan More Of A “Musical Presentation” Than Previously Thought DealBreaker

The Church of “Stop Shopping”: Meet the Man Leading An Uprising Against The World’s Biggest Banks Alternet (furzy mouse)

US judge backs credit card payout BBC. $5.7 billion.

The old banks are returning John Gapper, Financial Times

Lurid Subprime Scams Unveiled in Long-Running Fraud Trial Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)

The Fed Doesn’t Really Trust the Banks Either Matt Levine, Bloomberg (Scott)

Effect on the Mind of the Words “Spending” and “Investing” Heteconomist

Dead or alive? Schrödinger’s markets Financial Times

The “Global Savings Glut” Is Conceptually Incoherent. “The Economy” Cannot “Save” Angry Bear

WHAT THE FLUCK! Adam Curtis, BBC (Mark Ames)

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):


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  1. no more banksters

    Greece: money and support only for the banks

    The Greek banks have been bailed out with billions exceeding 90% of country’s GDP since 2008. When citizens suffer from heavy taxes, unemployment strikes the Greek society, Greek economy faces deep recession and Greeks sink in poverty, it appears that Greek governments do have money, but only for the banks. Billions were given in bailouts, but no one knows where the money went and how they were exploited. The only thing that is certain is that they didn’t go where they should go: to the real economy.

    1. craazyman

      things would be better if economists would practice economics on themselves before practicing it on society, but it doesn’t work that way.

      they get a few lessons in a school someplace, then they go out and start playing without ever practicing.

      can you imagine if the NFL worked like that? some Quarterback would get the ball and throw it like shot put 7 yards downfield while the offensive and defensive lineman grovel in a pile of futility on the ground, punching and kicking each other, and the running backs just stand there 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage wondering what to do. The wide receiver, he’s down in the endzone waiting for something, but he’s not sure what. The referees are immobile with a stunned bewilderment. That’s the NFL without practice! it seems like that every day when you read the econommic news! hahah

      1. CB

        You forgot the coaching staff, pie eyed and delirious in a muddled huddle along the sidelines. Occasionally spilling over onto the field but unnoticed by players or refs.

      2. no more banksters

        True, there is a huge distance between theory and practice, but in the case of IMF economists how can one explain the fact that they insist on the same policies that have failed nearly everywhere in the past? The only reasonable answer is that they don’t care, they just take orders to apply policies in favor of big banks and corporations.

      3. pebird

        I don’t the football game would ever get started, they would be arguing over who forgot to bring the points for the scoreboard.

        1. dandelion

          no — they’d be busy trying to figure out how to borrow points from someone — China maybe — they have a lot of football points, especially the cheap ones, like safeties.

      4. NotTimothyGeithner

        Are you a University of Virginia follower? I don’t have to imagine that kind of football.

        1. craazyman

          are they bad again? That’s my beloved Alma Mater. When I was there they thought it was bad form to have a good football team. It meant their admissions standards weren’t high enough, Then they changed their minds. I think they were even ranked #1 once in the 90s. I don’t really follow college football.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I’m not old enough to remember “Cadavaliers” being a common phrase, but I’ve seen it bandied about in recent weeks.

            I didn’t know this off the top of my head, but Welsh only had one winning season in C-ville prior to Easters being banned. I worked in the Admissions Office when I was there, and I’ve gathered the school’s general character changed with the demise of Easters, claimed by Playboy Magazine to be the best party East of the Mississippi. Is there a connection? Possibly. Also, the University didn’t allow women until 1971, so I suspect many would-be athletes didn’t give the University a second look.

            We were 2-10 this year with wins over BYU and mighty VMI which plays in a lower division, but I suppose its better than the last year of Al Groh’s tenure (class of 68’ish) when we lost to William and Mary.

      5. craazyboy

        The best part is when after executing that play, they huddle for the next play, all slapping each other on the butts, and declare “That worked GREAT! Lets do it again!”

  2. David Lentini

    They Give Licenses to Economists?!

    I doubt the IMF’s admission will change anything regarding the presentment of licenses to practice economics. I’ve heard nothing about Cracker Jack shutting down, and sales of the “Magic Eight Ball” are said to be doing quite well this year. With goat entrails and tea leaves in strong supply, as well, I image that economists—especially of the neo-classical species—will be little affected by the spasmodic admission of what the laypersons call incompetence and stupidity.

  3. grayslady

    Couldn’t get on to NC earlier this morning. Now the font size is positively miniscule. What’s going on?

    1. craazyman

      the entire universe is shrinking around you, but you’re staying the same size! :)

      if that was happening to me i’d take 1 mg of xanax while it was still big enough to work

        1. ambrit

          Howdy Friends;
          That there Xanax must be a big city thrill. We here Down South gots to make do with Uncle Jethros home cookins, Shine and Meth. The local docs is so askeered of the feds, they wont prescribe much of anything, even when you’re really hurtin. :)>

    2. Foy

      I had the same small font size problem using Internet Explorer 10. Clearing the cache and deleting cookies and history, and setting Clear Type on (it was on already) didn’t fix it.

      I think the problem is that the normal delete cache, browsing history option within IE doesn’t always delete all of these files – there can be a raft of temporary IE files still lying around after supposedly deleting everything.

      I used a utility called ‘Index.dat Analyzer’ (index.dat is where IE stores temporary files, cookies etc and there are multiple index.dat files) to find and delete all temporary IE files and cookies. Afterwards NakedCapitalism happily rendered correctly with the proper font size. So I think one of the temporary files not deleted by the IE delete history option caused the problem with the smaller font size.

      I normally use Firefox or Chrome but use IE if those don’t display a site properly, but this time it was IE with the problem.

  4. Jim Haygood

    From the NYT article on ACA:

    Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage.

    Independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans. But under the ACA, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies.

    Barbara Meinwald, a lawyer [who will have to pay $5,000 more for coverage], said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.

    It is an uncomfortable position for many members of the creative classes to be in.


    HA HA HA … I split my sides laughing over the bolded sentence. Poor Barbara is gonna punish the Democrats by voting for Mitt Romney, who introduced the pilot version of Obamacare in Massachusetts? That’ll teach em, honey! Whack ’em with your ballot … harder! OUCH, OUCH!

    Evidently this sort of woolly speciousness characterizes the soi-disant ‘creative class’ in New York — people who can’t think outside an artificially imposed, false-alternatives box. Depublicrats and art don’t mix!

    Meanwhile, on her seedy 8th Avenue beat across from the bus station, New York’s old grey meretrix carries on distributing handbills touting the phony D vs. R wrestling match, until one day the creaky old presses finally grind to a halt for good. I’d be happy to throw some sand in the gears to hasten that glorious day!

  5. markf

    “The Louisiana Sheriffs Pension and Relief Fund, or SPRF, is suing IBM after the technology company lost business in China amid revelations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden that the company was involved in spying program there.
    Lawyers acting on behalf of the SPRF, an IBM shareholder, filed the class action suit in the New York’s Southern District Court on Thursday. The suit claims the company defrauded investors by not revealing it was involved with a National Security Agency spying program called Prism, which allowed the U.S.government to spy on the Chinese government and businesses there.

    1. Baraka on the Potomac

      Great catch. So. With NSA’s nuts in the vice, who gives the screw another quarter-turn? A bunch of superannuated sheriffs. Louisiana sheriffs.

      Things Louisiana is famous for:

      – Lethal cuisine;
      – Plinkin’ on Danziger Bridge;
      – The venerable mardi gras tradition of Show us your tits;
      – CIA gun-running cutouts in state sinecures;
      – CIA drug-dealing cutouts under state protection;

      Granted, some of these famous things are not inextricably entangled with the knuckledraggers of the CIA. Far be it from moi to imply, as some do, that Snowden’s coup was an intricately-planned PSYOP hatched in the darkest penetralia of the deep state. But. COMINT has always been an inferior substitute for competent HUMINT (not that CIA HUMINT is remotely competent.) And kick em when they’re down is CIA’s mission, after all.

      This tidbit suggests that CIA has piled on NSA for its own narrow bureaucratic reasons. That’s what you want, malignant state organs at each other’s throats. In better-known 3rd-world shitholes like Congo they call that effondrement. In better-known 3rd-world shitholes like Congo, the strongman scrabbling at the top of the dungheap would sport an honorific, like Obama Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga.

      Give it time.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Baraka;
        I’ve lived in Lacombe. The training base for the Contras Fidel was out on Dixie Ranch Road half way between Lacombe and Slidell. The town has been a centre of smuggling of all sorts since the War Between the States. As for gun running, well, let’s just say that a lot of the Bibles flown down to the Nicaraguan border back then were part and parcel of a very militant brand of Christianity. Regular twin engine private plane loads of, er, bibles. Also, lest you be accused of being un cochon, we also enjoy Decadence Fest, where one can be found savouring the venerable tradition of “Show Us Tour A–e!”

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Selling priceless art and Detroit not saved.

    Yes, but it will make a lot of billionaires feeling good about their artist-ness.

    But art is not something you hang on the wall.

    Art is something you do…even the most mundane tasks in your daily life.

    Go ahead, make a fool of yourself, but write your own stuff, paint yourself, make your own jokes (even at your own expense) , sing (your own songs) in the shower and decorate your own home – an empty beer bottle here, unwashed sock there, etc, for goodness sake, don’t just let some so-called ‘professional good taste people’ do it for you.

    You are the most creative person in your life.

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Effect on the mind of words…

    Yes, it’s so true.

    Take competitive people, for example.

    You tell them there is a competition for the most easy-going person in the world, and when they hear the word contest, competition, pageant or race, they immediately, instinctively, without much reflection, want to win it – in this case, the contest for the most easy-going person in the world.

    So, words are, indeed, very powerful.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stop calling it your money.

    If it were really your money, you should be able to put your face on it if you want, I believe.

    It’s like when you own a lot in the desert, you can drawn yourself as a giant spider or whatever you want. The point is that you should be able to have your own graven image on something you own.

    That’s my belief, anyway. Perhaps the Supreme Court can validate this.

    1. diptherio

      This heart that beats is not my own,
      Nor the blood which through these veins does flow,
      Not flesh that blankets borrowed bone,
      Or the hair that on my head does grow.

      My body is borrowed, this life not mine;
      A steward only, ’till Fate decides
      To swing her blade and end my time.
      Of ownership, I can take no pride.

      For I could no more own the wind,
      That comes and goes as whimsy moves,
      Than claim these things I cannot defend;
      Mine, so long as the Fates approve.

      So how much more the bank account,
      The clothes I wear, the car I drive?
      I could not keep them though I should mount
      All the world’s levees ‘gainst Eternity’s tide.

      And whence this grasping cast of mind
      That seeks to own and not to give?
      Knowing full well that all I find
      Escapes from me like sand through a sieve.

      Better it seems to loose my grip
      Of icy greed, spread wide my hands.
      Let all like wind through my fingers whip,
      To sing for the tide and not weep for the sand.

      Life is a flux, all motion and change
      Where things are not owned, only rearranged.

  9. rich


    But then Tamara Mellon wanted to expand – especially in America – and so she got involved with the system of Private Equity. A company called Phoenix Equity Partners poured in millions of dollars for a majority stake in Jimmy Choo.

    They promised a wonderful vision of the future – but Tamara Mellon found herself trapped, she says, in a corrupted system that ripped the heart out of her company. Private Equity wasn’t the noble force for good it pretended to be. And it ended when, what she calls, the ruthless financial sociopaths she had let in forced her out.

    Tamara Mellon got angry and wrote an autobiography. It was full of lots of celebrity friends and catastrophic drug-taking – but it was also a full on blistering attack on the system of Private Equity.

    Here she is being interviewed about it on Newsnight.I suspect the interviewer wanted to get as soon as possible to talking about shoes – but Tamara is going to say what she wants about the corrupt financial world that destroyed her.

    But there is more to Tamara Mellon than just that. She’s in the public eye because she’s telling one kind of story – about Private Equity. But actually her own life story opens all sorts of other, unexpected doors that in a strange way help pull today’s random scandals and corruptions into focus.

    In particular one of those doors leads you back over a hundred years to a time in America that was rather like our own. There was a realisation back then that the power of money and vast corporate wealth was overwhelming politics and corrupting public life. But journalism was struggling to make sense of the full dimensions of it – and grab the public’s imagination.

    1. down2long

      Thanks’ Yves, this link to Adam Curtis’ blog was fascinating – the connections were chilling. Reminded me of that old PBS show “Connections” except that in this case I’m living – or at least suffering through it. The concern I have is that the piece imples, a la McClures magazine, that once people “get” the connections between the 1% and the continuing deterioration of their lives, they will act.

      It is the pessimist in me that believes that the Robber Baron’s comment “I can pay to get one half of the working class people to kill the other half.”

      Here in California I know people who think that immigrants are the root of the problems in the U.S. I always joke with them that the Mexican migrant is surely the reason the bank committed fraud and stole their house. Rather than a light going on in the wormhole of their mind, their eyes light up and suddenly they are agreeing with my preposterous premise.

      One of my rent controlled tenants who pay 1/3 market rent and controis half of a property – using one apartment for storage – was bemoaning high taxes the other day. Now this is drummer who hasn’t worked for ever, has been living off Social Security Disability forever, now maybe SS since he’s over 65 years old, and hehas been serial gigilo on the women who have lived at the property since 1974. (He’ll celebrate his 40th anniversary on the property in 2014.) He is the basis of the old joke Q: “What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend? A: Homless

      I told him that while I think taxes on the working middle class W-2 employee are obscene, without them, he wouldn’t get his social security, then where would he be? His look of surprise tickled me – where the fuck does he think that money comes from. His great contributions to society?

      His brain has rotted from spending the last 30 years wathcing TV.There is no there there “to be sure,” as the new crop of journalists are wont to say.

    2. JTFaraday

      “Her real name was Diana Fluck – but her mother said she should change it because there was always the chance that her name would be up in lights outside a cinema – and one of the letters might fall off.”

      That’s funny.

  10. down2long

    Caption for under today’s swell antidote”

    “You said there were 340 horses under the hood. I don’t see even ONE!”

    1. craazyboy

      I was thinking that is either the ugliest horse I’ve ever see, or it’s some other sort of critter.

      But the horse? critter is probably trying to figure out where the hay goes in that critter with the big mouth.

      1. Emma

        Dear Craazyboy,
        I’m thinking of a far better scenario without a self-serving fodder-seeking audience out of the picture…..

  11. Andrew Watts

    RE: By cracking cellphone code, NSA gains sweeping powers

    The purpose of the forthcoming reforms is to erect new legal, physical, and psychological barriers impeding the mass collection of electronic signals intelligence. The deployment of newer encryption standards is a small part of the physical side of the reforms. This development makes the mass violation of people’s 4th amendment rights prohibitively expensive. With the continuing development of technology this is a war without end. There won’t be a real winner emerging from this conflict.

    Because war, war never changes.

    The intelligence community will undoubtedly whine to the news media that these reforms will prevent them from fulfilling their duties. This is to be expected. However the unusual circumstances of Robert Levinson’s disappearance should be a casebook example of what happens when individuals within the intelligence community decide to run their own private spy networks outside of the gauntlet of the preexisting barriers. While demonstrating the necessity of close supervision of our spy agencies.

    RE: Fire the Liar

    “General Clapper, come on down!”


  12. XO

    Please excuse the following, OT, rant:

    Let me start by saying that I don’t do Christmas. I don’t care what friends and family think — I refuse to participate in it. Don’t get me anything, and I’m not going to get you anything. If you do get me something, I’ll give it right back. If you want to make a big dinner on the 25th of December, and hang out, and drink, and watch football, that’s okay. I don’t even care if Aunt Irene gets sloppy drunk and starts blubbering (but I draw the line at having to listen to any song I’ve heard more than 25 times). In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a complete fool for Thanksgiving (just sayin’ that I’m not all Scroogey or ill natured).

    I had to go to Lowe’s today, which, in my area, is just outside a major shopping district and a mall (in a solidly middle class area on the southern edge of the Northeastern megalopolis, in VA).

    Observing the bedlam that is the Holy Shopping Season, I realized two things:

    1. I swear to Odin that if the incessant Christmas music had been replaced by a soundtrack of cattle mooing, it would have been more appropriate.


    2. I understood why the middle class is not up in arms: They are blissfully unaware of the goings on of the upper class (as is entered into evidence in the links on this blog, every day).

    They simply don’t give a flying F. It’s too damned confusing and depressing for them to even contemplate. So, they “get in the spirit” and join in the stampede.

    Ol’ Shrub was on to something when he told Americans to “just go shopping,” after 9/11.


    Moo, bitchez.

    P.S: Once again, I apologize.

    1. AbyNormal

      no need to apologize XO…your rant resonates in my pea brain everyday

      We are The United States of ICD
      it didn’t happen over night and to change it will be like turning an eighteen wheeler around in a two car garage

      “Reason only controls individuals after emotion and impulse have lost their impetus”
      Carlton Simon

    2. optimader

      Ahhh.. Merry Kwanza?

      I’m pretty much on the same page, as is my family.
      Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.. all about over healthy indulgence of food drink family friends.
      Followed by Halloween, the one day a year I can put on my Nosfaratu costume, have a tumbler of Jameson’s, crank up the Gregorian chats on the stereo and scare the crap out of the neighborhood kids w/o be Tazered.

    3. stupid_iz_stupid_duz

      I’m a 42 year old man who has lost his line of work and is in the bottom tier of employable people. I currently work at a large big box retail store. We are one of the top stores when it comes to sales on Black Friday. I worked that night, and I can testify to the absolute pandemonium that the average consumer goes through when the holidays come around.

      This beast that stalks the aisles wielding their shopping carts is a mystery that defies all explanation. They line up around the corner of the store in cold temperatures, get into the store, and then proceed to complain that things are too chaotic. They complain that there’s too many people. They complain the lines to check out are too long. IT’S BLACK FRIDAY, people. WTF did you expect?

      I hated Christmas (consumermas) prior to working there, but now I hate it even more. The sheer amount of unnecessary junk that is produced to get people to buy it is astounding. There’s no limit to how creative (or stupid) marketing types get trying to get these beasts’ last dollar.

      Then there’s the issue of working conditions, but I digress…

  13. optimader

    RE: the Mandela Signer

    My first and last thought was how much do I pay for POTUS Pretorian Guard that cant find it’s ass w/ both hands?
    Just another object lesson of obscenely expensive kabuki theater.
    Inside Fed law enforcement ranks, the SS is considered to be a bunch of Andy Frain stooges with guns and attitude, more lamentable than Feebs who are generally assessed to be superficial headline grabbing Asshats.

  14. skippy

    From a recent 188-page report by the World Health Organization come these ghastly and appalling factoids:

    Suicide rates rose 40% in the first six months of 2011 alone.

    Murder has doubled.

    9,100 doctors in Greece, roughly one out of every seven, have been laid off.

    Joining those doctors in joblessness are 27.6% of the entire Greek labor force. By comparison, in the depths of the Great Depression, unemployment in the United States peaked at a lower percentage than that. Among Greek young adults under 25 years old, unemployment reached an abominable 64.9% in May. (Yet the unemployment rate in Greece was as low as 7% as recently as 2008.)

    I’m sure that my Tea Party friends will blame universal healthcare, paid sick leave and “generous” unemployment benefits for this catastrophe. “If we simply stopped helping people, then they wouldn’t need our help,” they would say. You can see where that “logic” leads. The dead need no help whatsoever, except possibly burial. Sort of like this: “The Republican healthcare plan: Don’t Get Sick. And if you do get sick, Die Quickly.”]

    Maybe you think that I’m kidding about what my Tea Party friends would do. I’m not. A few years ago here in Florida, we had a children’s health insurance program called KidCare, with a waiting list of over 100,000. The Tea Party Republicans didn’t like that. So they eliminated the waiting list.

    But back to Greece. A lot of people blame Greek government debt for the current suffering. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, that most authoritative of all conceivable sources, Greek government debt stands at 160% of GDP, which seems like a lot. But Japanese government debt stands at 215% of GDP, and the unemployment rate in Japan is only 4%.

    Moreover, Spain’s unemployment rate is virtually as high as Greece’s, but Spain’s government debt stands at only 85% of GDP. That’s less debt than Singapore’s, and Singapore’s unemployment rate is 1.8%.

    So we cannot properly attribute the catastrophe in Greece to labor protection, nor can we attribute it to government borrowing. What is the cause, then? The World Health Organization has the answer: austerity. “Austerity” is a bloodless term for gross economic mismanagement, animated by heartlessness. That robotic cut-cut-cut mentality that deprives us of jobs, of public services, of safety, of health, of infrastructure, of help for the needy, and — ultimately — of our economic equilibrium and the ability to survive. The mentality that ushers in, and welcomes, a vicious war of all against all. Austerity is destroying an entire country, right before our eyes.

    Or, as the World Health Organization put it: “These adverse trends in Greece pose a warning to other countries undergoing significant fiscal austerity, including Spain, Ireland and Italy. It also suggests that ways need to be found for cash-strapped governments to consolidate finances without undermining much-needed investments in health.”

    In America, we have a rich and powerful lobby that has the same prescription for every economic malady: austerity. Cut-cut-cut. Cut Social Security and Medicare. Cut teacher and police and firefighter jobs. Cut health care. Cut pay and cut pensions. It all boils down to that one ugly word: austerity. And austerity always brings disarray, disaster, decay and death.

    People often ask me my position on various issues. Well, I’m for certain things, and I’m against others. But on one issue, I’m very consistent. I’m against pain and suffering. Especially avoidable pain and suffering. And therefore, I’m against austerity. It begins with seemingly innocuous budget cuts. It then leads inexorably to the destruction of countless lives.

    Why am I telling you about Greece? In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote a book called “It Can’t Happen Here.” But it can. And it’s up to us to prevent it.


    Rep. Alan Grayson

    skippy… starting to get frisky out there….

    1. no more banksters

      Thanks skippy, this is so true

      “The philosophy of neoliberal doctrine is exposed quite easy when someone thinks that is not recorded by cameras. What is the deeper meaning of Romney’s words? Maybe this: All people (not just half), must stop beleiving that they have a right to healthcare, food, housing and that is the job of the state to provide them. Until they do, the lower incomes should be taxed to the level that someone could barely allowed (or not allowed) to survive, as was done in the “Greece” experiment, and continue the tax cuts in the name of competition and job creation for the 1% that owns most of the wealth. Besides, it is the poor who believe in the welfare state, why should the rich pay for it?”

    2. ambrit

      You don’t know the half of it. A young woman working “part time” at the Boxxstore I’m doing my time in applied for a job with General Dynamics. Doing telephone work for health care policy sign ups! The first test given was a typing test. She’s very interested in this job because it’s full time and offers health benefits! She and her long time boyfriend are moving out to the countryside and intend to do their best to go “off grid.”
      I know it’s the Deep South and all that, but I’m seeing people using the open carry law every day now. All sorts of people. All sorts of guns. The stores have to put up a sign at the door to stop them from carrying inside. (The burden has been shifted, ah yes, Overtons Window has some bullet holes in it.)
      We live in interesting times.

    3. psychohistorian

      I brought up Alan Grayson’s name at a family wedding recently at which there was a New York Jewish contingent. I could tell the tenor by the first comment…..I didn’t know he was Jewish…..grin

      It went downhill from there and I quickly became persona non grata in that group and moved away.

      It is nice to hear ANYONE say something real about our world in “public discourse”, so give me more Alan Grayson, please and thank you.

  15. Doug Terpstra

    Okay, well after the nick of time may be better than never ever, but the distinction is negligible WRT ObamneyCare. CJR doesn’t state the blindingly obvious point that ACA’s unaffordability was clearly forseeable — and was in fact premeditation. Media silence when elementary questions (never mind analysis) might have made a difference, constitutes reckless endangerment and negligence. Only when it can no longer be supressed, the MSM discovers ObamneyCare’s fatal flaw. One might even call it criminal conspiracy. As for stating the obvious, how many times have Olenick and Strether said this:

    “The plan might be “affordable” in terms of its monthly premium, but having the plan doesn’t necessarily make healthcare affordable.”

    Calling RMichael, can you please enlighten us…without becoming too unhinged? Remember, we’re “f*cking retarded” progressives.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    The article by Matt Levine on Bloomberg titled “The Fed Doesn’t Really Trust The Banks Either” briefly described the recently implemented Reverse Repo program at the Fed as evidence of a lack of trust. Although the Primary Dealers’ interests do not align with the publicly stated policy objectives of the Fed, I don’t think this particular program necessarily reflects a lack of trust. Rather, because it gives the PDs an avenue to immediately return QE Cash to the Fed and temporarily store that Cash until the PDs decide to employ it, it prospectively offers them a store of liquidity for “market management” purposes.

  17. Ray Phenicie

    “Better late than never: the new insurance sticker shock story”
    The story is good information but misses describing ‘20% coinsurance’ that is on all of the individual plans and a lot of the commercial plans (employer sponsored). All individual plans under the gold level will have this %20 kicker (it applies to most care outside of the doctor’s office) without any limit. So even after the deductible is met the patient pays %20 of applicable costs-again this applies to all out patient services including certain procedures performed in the practitioner’s office such as minor surgery. If an MRI costs $1000, the patient pays $200. Most discussions miss this hidden (in plain sight because a check of several insurance companies web pages shows it plainly listed) cost. So to give an worst case scenario of an accident involving hospitalization for two people. Say the plan has $5600 total family deductible.
    Initial hospitalization with room and board is say $100,000.00
    Deductible of $5600 applies plus %20 ( 18,880) of the remainder; means $24,480 total out of pocket for the hospitalization. Say follow up costs (labs, MRI’s, Physical therapy, etc) total $10,000. That means an additional $2000. Copays at the professional offices, drug copays and the total out of pocket could be over $30, 000. Not something many households could handle.

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