Links 12/9/13

Lambert here: Another post from Yves will follow later this morning.

How sleep makes your mind more creative BBC

Early Human Interbreeding More Widespread Than Thought, Study Suggests Online WSJ. Kinky Neanderthals!

Hell on Wings – Cellphones Don’t Belong on Planes Truthout (indeed).

The boar war: Hunters using DRONES and high-power firearms… to kill pigs in America’s deep south Daily Mail

The U.S. Air Force Explains its $1 Billion ECSS Bonfire IEEE Spectrum (JS)

Budget deal expected this week amounts to a cease-fire as sides move to avert a standoff WaPo

Congress Readies a Year-End Dash Online WSJ

Will 2014 be a wave election? Not likely WaPo. That we’re handicapping 2014 already make me want to claw out my eyeballs.

After vote, lawsuits likely next hurdle for Volcker rule Reuters. 800 pages…

The Viral Center Stop Me Before I Vote Again

Bitcoin fuelling rise in cyberattack ransom demands FT

A New Source of Revenue for Data Scientists: Selling Data Data Science Central (PD)

I’ve worked at McDonald’s for 5 years and have 4 kids. Any questions for me? Guardian

My week as one of Amazon’s HUMAN drones: Doing your Christmas shopping online? This extraordinary undercover dispatch reveals what it’s really like to work in a giant warehouse. Santa’s grotto it ain’t Daily Mail

Clear Channel to Remove L.A. and San Francisco’s Only Commercial Progressive Talk Radio Stations, Replace Them with More Rightwing Talk Bradblog. Goebbels would be proud. And since the Democrats don’t do anything about this, they want it to happen.

Don’t Be Evil? Google Funding a Slew of Right-Wing Groups Bill Moyers

Dreaming of My Own Personal Billionaire Arthur Silber

ObamaCare Launch

APNewsBreak: Feds balk at paper health application AP

New Affordable Care US health plans will exclude top hospitals FT. Anorexic networks.

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Covered California gives out “consumer” information to insurance agents, even if they didn’t ask to be contacted  Corrente

Reviving the Fight for Single-Payer PNHP

Why Are Cancer Drugs Commonly The Target Of Schemes To Extend Patent Exclusivity? Health Affairs Blog

Michael Pollan: Bad food is costing America its economic health Salon

The Road toward Fully Transparent Medical Records NEJM

Big Brother Is Watching You

Former Top NSA Officials Insist Employees Are Leaving Because Obama Is Mean, Not Because They Object To NSA’s Current Activities emptywheel

Obama to soon propose NSA surveillance changes USA Today

NSA spying hurts business of large U.S. hardware makers USA Today

Some NSA Opponents Want to ‘Nullify’ Surveillance With State Law US News

Whose sarin? Seymour Hersh, LRB (note change of venue from the sadly decayed New Yorker). Bernard’s headline is more useful: Hersh On Obama’s Lies About Syrian Chemical Weapons.

US Towns Sued for Illegal Fracking Bans That’s “allegedly illegal.”

Ukraine’s capital Kiev gripped by huge pro-EU demonstration BBC

Rare Riot Hits Singapore Online WSJ

Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra dissolves parliament, calls for elections CBC (commentary)

China must not copy the Kaiser’s errors Martin Wolf, FT

Japan Posts Slower Growth, Surprise Current-Account Deficit Bloomberg

Record outdoor radiation level that ‘can kill in 20 min’ detected at Fukushima RT (CL)

EDITORIAL: Lawmakers–and public–must continue fight against state secrets law Asahi Shimbun

Black power challenges a white Christmas in the Netherlands Waging Nonviolence

Nelson Mandela: the meaning of the Madiba magic FT

The Island The New Inquiry

Alfresco Poetry

The Case for Filth Times. On housework.

Antidote du jour (YankeeFrank’s racoon dog puppies):


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post on by .

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. dearieme

    “Hell on Wings – Cellphones Don’t Belong on Planes”: that depends on whether there are ejector seats.

    1. Tim Mason

      Indeed. Frequent fliers are a delicate breed, unlike those of us who do most of our travelling by train or bus. We know we are made of coarser stuff, and just jam our headphones more firmly onto our ears, sparing a little pity for our loftier cousins.

  2. Ned Ludd

    It has come to my bemused and somewhat startled attention that a writer can now be entirely funded by an uber-wealthy patron(s), and that this has no bearing whatsoever on the writer’s independence or willingness to proselytize against power and privilege, and indeed against the uber-wealthy themselves.

    I used to read Greenwald’s columns daily, watch his speeches online, and follow his comments on Twitter. Now, I can no longer stomach his evasiveness and dishonesty. He was more perceptive when he was on the outside looking in.

    In the book, [Chris] Hayes described how American elite culture is so insulated that it “produce[s] cognitive capture,” meaning that even those who enter it with hostility to its orthodoxies end up shaped by — succumbing to — its warped belief system and corrupt practices. Given that Hayes pronounces this “cognitive capture” to be “an inevitable outcome of sustained immersion” in that world, I asked him what steps he is personally taking to inoculate himself against being infected now that he’s a highly rewarded TV personality and employee of one of the world’s largest media corporations.

    What Greenwald once emphasized he now disputes. As Tarzie notes, “What a difference a billionaire makes.”

    1. JEHR

      Ned, what did Hayes reply to the question about inoculating himself against close proximity to obtaining great wealth?

      There are not many billionaires railing against wealth accumulation or declining further wealth for themselves.

      Is it physically possible for everyone to become a billionaire? When we are all billionaires, will we have equality then?

    2. ScottW

      From Greenwald himself on the twitter links cited above: “Skepticism is totally warranted – condemnations before there’s any evidence are not.”

      1. Ned Ludd

        Wikileaks just linked to this post: “Is the WikiLeaks model being threatened by subsumption into the culture industry?” In a postscript, the author gives an example of the current problem with Greenwald conducting business with Omidyar:

        Over the past few days, I worked diligently to produce a post detailing and analyzing the Paypal blockade; the trial of the indicted protesters known as the “Paypal 14;” what I see as Mr. Omidyar’s intellectual and ethical incoherence (and cowardice); his back and forth with WikiLeaks on twitter, etc. I churned out a well researched and incredibly dull exposé. I simply don’t know how to write about such things without stamping all life from them and from my writing, so I have tossed it out. I still think that such an article needs to be written and I hope that somebody better suited for the job will do so. In my opinion, one of best fits for this job would be “Salon Greenwald,” who I used to admire for precisely these types of articles. I fear it may not be a chosen job for him today, but I do hope someone stands up to fill that void.

        For background, here is Alexa O’Brien’s interview with Stanley Cohen, who is counsel to PayPal 14 co-defendant Mercedes Heafer.

        What I see quote Pierre doing now is trying to get the best of all worlds. […]

        eBay, from day one, has exploited this. They’ve been a complainant. Someone lied to either the SEC or the Department of Justice. Someone inflated imaginary losses that never existed. Someone pushed the Department of Justice, particularly the cyberspace unit, to go after these 14 young heroes. And now, Pierre turns around and is about to start his billion dollar, we’re hip, we’re cool, we’re counter-culture, Internet news service; and is trying to resurrect themselves.
        They were the complainants. They brought the charges.

        “Salon Greenwald” would be writing about this now, at a time when it would undermine Omidyar’s ability to launch his new media venture and hire liberal writers to work for it. “Omidyar Greenwald”, on the other hand, is busy setting up that new media organization; an organization that will control and redact leaked documents in a way that is “very different” from Wikileaks.

    3. Huxley

      Glenn Greenwald has been suspect since he came out in favor of the Citizen’s United decision, and his support of ACA further impugns his credibility. He has not seemed inclined to recant these positions.

      Greenwald hates my guts because of all those arguments he lost on Salon. He still gets the benefit of the doubt because of his support for Snowden, but the doubt remains.

  3. diptherio

    A few interesting thing on the GEO site recently:

    How to Turn a Corporation into a Co-op:

    To take control of their business, employees of a firm could place negative bets against their firm and then quit from their jobs, using the proceeds to restart production as a worker cooperative. To accomplish this, employees of a firm could either: 1) Purchase put options on shares of their business; 2) Short sell shares of their business, or; 3) Purchase credit default swaps on the debt of their business.

    Interview with Michael Johnson of SolidarityNYC on building the Solidarity Economy:

    1. Larry Barber

      … and then go to jail for insider trading, which seems to be about the only financial crime that the SEC is willing to enforce, particularly when its being done by low-level employees.

  4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Early human interbreeding…or breeding in general.

    One suspects that they never asked, are you humorous, are you liberal, what music do you listen to, how much do you make a year (OK, maybe how many wooly mammoths can you kill a month), do you have health insurance, do you cook (but you are a neat housekeeping Neanderthal though, right), what is your favorite ethnic food, are you a vegetarian, etc.

    That made breeding and interbreeding a lot less cumbersome.

    1. craazyman

      Those were the days. No eHarmony nonsense to climb through. That’s why the population exploded then and why it’s collapsing now. waaa haa haaa I wonder what a hot Neatherthal woman looked like? After a few beers it wouldn’t matter. hahaha

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am humorous.


        Because I say so. Trust me.

        Hopefully, that makes a successful eHarmony profile.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The thing about being humorous is that some of us can be really serious about it.

            Gotta be the number one funniest guy/gal.

            If that’s the last thing I do, I have to get the last joke in.

                1. craazyman

                  I wonder if they can joke about it.

                  I don’t know what’s going to happen anymore and it’s not funny.

                  It seems like every day is its own universe and when you go to sleep, God only knows what the next day will bring. IT couuld be the same, or it could be something that defies words.

                  It can’t go on like this, or maybe it can. I don’t know anything anymore. Time itself now seems weird to me. It seems thinner and lighter than it used to be, like it’s a partial vacuum in the dark and you’re flying it through it at an astonishing speed but it, itself, is hardly moving.

                  If they could make some good jokes, maybe it would all make sense. I swear this is what it must have been like when they were on that hill outside of London waiting for the end of the world. I’d have been on that hill, myself, probably. For a few days anyway, then I would have said “faak it” and hit the pub for a few beers. Everybody deserves a beer at a time like that.

    2. fresno dan

      Free-association test: in the old sitcom “The Odd Couple,” Felix was the fussy neat freak who sipped wine, listened to opera and straightened up incessantly; his roommate, Oscar, was an unrepentant slob who swilled beer, threw garbage on the floor and smoked cheap cigars. Now picture our prehistoric cousins the Neanderthals and choose one—Felix or Oscar?


      True, they may have been hairy and brutish-looking, and they might have spoken in guttural grunts while our own ancestors were working out the intricacies of complex language. But when it came to keeping a cave looking its best, Neanderthals evidently had the domestic touch. There was more Felix in them than Oscar, right down to the neatness, if not to the wine.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am currently searching for a convenient, nearby workshop on ‘how to rediscover your neat Neanderthal heritage.’

        1. optimader

          Introduction to Neanderthal Grooming 0100: Social Tick Grooming
          “Learn Neanderthal techniques for nonsexual infestation removal.”
          Perquisite: Long Hair, full complement of Body Hair
          Bring: One clean towel, wear easily removed loose clothing

          1. fresno dan

            Not actually having any social interaction, I only have my vast knowledge of pornography to inform me – but apparently, female humans apparently have NO body hair whatsoever anymore…

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How you sleep makes your mind more creative.

    I am interested in how to be more creative about how I sleep.

  6. fresno dan

    “”We are locked in a generational war, which will get worse before it gets better.”

    Samuelson is saying this in the context of a country that has seen the most massive upward redistribution of income in the history of the world over the last three decades, with the richest one percent of the population getting close to half of the income gains over this period. But Samuelson doesn’t want people to pay attention to all the money going upwards, he wants them to focus on the money going to seniors, even when it means seizing their property.”

    “In 1960, about one in four renters paid more than 30 percent of income for housing. Today, one in two are cost burdened,” according to the study, America’s Rental Housing.

    “Cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than 30 percent of income for housing and “severely cost-burdened” means you’re paying more than half. “By 2011, 28 percent of renters paid more than half their incomes for housing, bringing the number with severe cost burdens up by 2.5 million in just four years, to 11.3 million,” according to the Harvard study, which was conducted with partial funding from the MacArthur Foundation

    This is one of those things that economists seem to forget when they are telling us how cheap my-pads are. Something you actually need, a place to live, is gobbling up ever greater amounts of your income…but no inflation! Of course, at the same time, pensions need to more accurately reflect inflation (i.e., be cut) probably because these same economists can’t figure out that any shortfall is a function of the 1% sucking up all increased productivity over the last 40 years…

    1. Auntienene

      They are declaring war on everyone who hasn’t already been targeted. The generational warfare they are trying to drum up is what we should call it anytime someone brings up the subject: the War on Families. Call it what is and they can’t win.

  7. Jim Haygood

    In a famous scene from season 5 of “Mad Men,” at a party at Pete Campbell’s suburban spread, Don Draper rips off his shirt to fix a broken sink. The women applaud.

    Later, driving back to the city, Don and Megan pull off to the side of the road to have sex, because, as Megan says, “I can’t believe how much I loved watching you fix that sink.” — The Case for Filth

    Shouldn’t the next line have been, ‘So give me the pipe!’?

  8. Massinissa

    “Some NSA opponents want to ‘nullify’ surveillance with state law”

    Wow, this is maybe the first time I remember some group trying to use the doctrine of Nullification for something important. Usually its been used to try and protect shit like segregation.

    But regardless of the intent, it wont work. Both state courts and the supreme court have rejected the idea of nullification for centuries, regardless of the intent of what is being nullified. This simply wont work. And even if it were ‘legal’, it STILL wouldnt happen because the PTB wouldnt allow it anyway. That it just so happens to be an illegal move anyway just solidifies its failure.

  9. mark f

    interesting comment at that article,

    “Longtime radio veteran and BRAD BLOG commenter Howard Hoffman points out another important point here. With Clear Channel’s move reported above, while Rush Limbaugh will still be on the air in Los Angeles, he’s being dumped off of one of the most powerful stations (KFI), with the largest signals, in the nation’s largest media market for one that is often difficult to pick up in the KTLK parking lot.”

    also Howard Hoffman pointed out, that car companies will not be putting radios in new cars, because their research shows, nobody they are interested in uses the car AM FM radio. Howard linked to this about that:

  10. Guy

    Looks ike the San Francisco area will have only one radio station left then: KPFA, F.M. 94.1 or

    Been listening to it all my life.
    1/3 outstanding programs that hit at the heart of what’s wrong environmentally and economically offering real solutions,
    1/3 woo woo b.s. like astrology and the plight of left handed transexuals in antartica etc,
    1/3 socially corrosive pro-immigrant big business activism disquised as humanism that helps destroy what the first 1/3 has tried to save.

    Still a great station in place since the late 1940s.

    1. JEHR

      Notice, however, that the new rich are rich “for parts of their lives.” That can cover a lot of couples before they retire or before they divorce or before the financial crisis ate up their wealth or before their home was foreclosed on, etc. It’s a non-article and says non-sense.

  11. Punchnrun

    Between the Hersch detonation of the Assad-uses-Sarin story and the documentation of the repeated demonstrations of mass incompetence in Air Force IT projects, I am reminded of Asimov’s description of the trajectory of imperial control structures in the Foundation trilogy. One need not be a practicioner of psychohistorical mathematics to see where this is going.

  12. Bridget

    Ok, ok. I confess. I adore Amazon and use it all the time. But my consciousness has been sufficiently raised that, when presented with a choice between next day free shipping and 2-3 day free shipping, I choose the latter.

    My experience, albeit limited, with racial attitudes of the Dutch is that they feel very superior to the US regarding attitudes toward black people, (and they insist that Black Pete is not a racist symbol). And in virtually the same breath, they will say the most awful things about Indonesians. And insist that they are not racist because everything they say about Indonesians is true. Go figure.

    1. McKillop

      Yes. And the Ditch are also ever so liberal!
      We seldom hear about “Dutch East-India and the control exerted over Java, etc.
      Perhaps if the country had been more active in Africa . . . .

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Reviving the Fight for Single-Payer

    “There are places where this could work,” McDermott said, “and once people see it work in Oregon or Washington, or maybe Kentucky, the people in Tennessee are going to say, ‘Why the hell don’t we have that? Are we not as good as the people in Oregon?’ Then you’re going to get the governor of Tennessee to do an about-face.”

    If that were true, why are people not saying it now?

    Every other industrialized, economically developed country on the planet has single-payer, nationalized healthcare for far less cost, with universal access and providing better results. Every. Single. One.

    Do Americans really not know this? What exactly is it about Americans that they so willingly submit to and even DEFEND this horror show that is “healthcare” in America?

    I just don’t get it.

    1. VTer

      People aren’t saying that now because of the fearmongering by the interested parties that people will have to wait extreme lengths for procedures. For those of us who are not covered, I’d gladly wait 3 months for a treatment that I cannot afford under our current system. It is far better than never receiving it. Not to mention the wait times on surgeries now aren’t what I would call spectacular or a display of “market efficiency”.

      I’m one of the ones getting really reamed by the AMA, young(ish) and self employed. Well, if I signed up I would but that is not going to happen. They offered me the chance to spend $8k/yr for the priviledge of paying out the first $7500 in costs. This totals approximately 50% of my income. Sooo… I can go bankrupt or I can pay 8 grand (if that doesn’t bankrupt me) to still go bankrupt if I get hurt. So I’ll pay the penalty tax for the next 3 years until our single payer system kicks in while continuing to eat chemical free food and staying fit – my form of health insurance- and hope like hell that I stay accident free.

    2. McKillop

      Puzzled, are you?
      That’s o.k.
      Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto, who ‘likes’ Obama, doesn’t care for single payer health care – or even the type your President (liked by Ford)- has set up for you.
      You see, his daddy built up quite a tidy sum and reputation and, so he doesn’t think there;s a need for all the expense which a society can’t afford. Others agree with his ‘pinion.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think many voters are expecting a single-payer system or at least those result to develop in the next few months considering the trash put out by the Obots, and its not just blather from Obots in various places of the world wide web but what they say in conversation in their own communities.

      They are way more honest here, and I think low info voters who support Obama have been promised “good times” are coming in 2014. That date is almost upon us.

      When a voter thinks of their dentist as rich, they are opposed to more taxes because they see the dentist spend money in the community, but they don’t really grasp that the dentist is a trifle.

  14. optimader

    RE: The boar war: Hunters using DRONES and high-power firearms… to kill pigs in America’s deep south

    As opposed to what, using low-power firearms?

    In anycase, someone at the Daily Mail riffing off of old Good Food episodes:

    Why We Tip, Using Drones to Hunt Wild Boars, Kefir

    SAT SEP 14, 2013

    Host: Evan Kleiman

    Subscribe to this Podcast:
    Podcast iTunes Podcast

    Listen to/Watch entire show:

    1. Benjamin

      It’s a well established fact that the media as a whole doesn’t understand the first thing about firearms. You’ll regularly get stories about miltia in Africa holding ‘AK-47 machine guns’ or similar.

      Also hilarious that they consider what appears to be a 5.56 AR-15 to be high-powered.

      1. Larry Barber

        Actually, those look more like shotguns to me. AR-15’s would be a bit small for a clean kill on a feral hog (which can get much larger than the ones shown in the picture). But for hitting a running pig in the dark? Couldn’t beat a a good shotgun loaded with buckshot.

      2. optimader

        Not being a hunter but someone w/ gun handling experience that thinks hunting is a perfectly legitimate way to source “organic” meat, (consequently I do know hunters), I think I would not want to be in a cornfield at night w/ a wild boar that was likely only wounded by an 5.56 round. That said I suppose a well placed shot would work as well as anything.

        I think your both correct, the article depicts both an AR-15 and what looks to be a large bore pump shotgun.

        BTW the term “high-power” firearm I think is a bit of a colloquial term, I’ve always considered it to be any gun that uses a center fire bullet (w/a center primer on the casing.)

        BBTW from conversations w/ friends and acquaintances down south, it sounds like the Wild Boar population is out of control.

        1. Benjamin

          I just chalk it up to the news frequently using certain terms and words because they sound scary, with little care for their accuracy. ‘High-powered’, ‘fully-automatic’, ‘machine gun’, ‘high capacity magazine’. The most egregious is probably ‘assault weapons’, which simply put aren’t a real thing. Assault rifles are a real type of gun, assault weapons is a nonsense title the media gives to pretty much everything that isn’t obviously a pistol or a shotgun.

          The fact that real legislation was passed that banned this fictitious catagory, on top of including lots of specifically banned weapons that didn’t actually exist, makes having any kind of real discussion about gun control with 2nd amendment zealots that much harder. For them these things are the source of much amusement and derision.

    1. Kim Kaufman

      Whoops, hit wrong “Reply” button:
      Yes, Lambert, MoveOn petitions are mostly for MoveOn to collect data on petition signers. Noticed how their “membership” has increased lately? Despite them being irrelevant,if not completely off message, for years?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Well, look, Kim. MoveOn is a well-respected institutional player in the Democratic ecosystem. So I just don’t see how this can be true.


        I crack myself up sometimes!

  15. rich

    JP Morgan Chase, the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, and the Corruption of America
    How different is bribing China’s “princelings,” as they’re called there, from Wall Street’s ongoing program of hiring departing U.S. Treasury officials, presumably in order to grease the wheels of official Washington? Timothy Geithner, Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, is now president of the private-equity firm Warburg Pincus; Obama’s budget director Peter Orszag is now a top executive at Citigroup.

    The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is important, and JP Morgan should be nailed for bribing Chinese officials. But, if you’ll pardon me for asking, why isn’t there a Domestic Corrupt Practices Act?

    Never before has so much U.S. corporate and Wall-Street money poured into our nation’s capital, as well as into our state capitals. Never before have so many Washington officials taken jobs in corporations, lobbying firms, trade associations, and on the Street immediately after leaving office. Our democracy is drowning in big money.

    Corruption is corruption, and bribery is bribery, in whatever country or language it’s transacted in.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why can’t an ex-president work as a shoe-salesman, if that is his/her newly-discovered passion?

      We teach our kids to 1) respect all legal jobs, as every job is noble, 2) do what you really are passionate about.

      So, if an ex-president wants to sell shoes, let him.

      Except it’s not dignified.

      Neither is it dignified for ex-presidents, or other government officials, to try all those get-rich quick schemes, like charging for giving speeches, etc., as if government pension is not enough to live on.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Or we could do the sensible thing by abolishing term limits and raising taxes so $600,000 is a lot of money again.

          Even when the President a lot of money in relative terms, they were often pretty lousy. Money wasn’t the driving force behind our good Presidents. Eternal glory was a better motivator. Obama is a small man and doesn’t grasp that he will have a brief spectacle of a funeral and largely be forgotten despite whatever hideous but scaled down library he is able to put together. Not coming from the right wing or possessing popularity, he is going to find that Presidential pension is pretty important.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I have to think about what 12 years of Bush or 12 years of Obama would be like a little bit.

            1. Benjamin

              You shouldn’t have to think about it, we’re going on 14 years of Bush leadership. And Clinton before him wasn’t good either. Or H. W. Certainly not Reagan. Really how far back do we have to go to find a president even vaguely worth a damn? And we may well get another Republican in 2016.

  16. down2long

    Re: Clear Channel. Leaving aside absurdity of letter companies like Clear Channel unfettered control and ownership of our public airwaves, there something else going on with the Rush move in L.A.

    Clear Channel has been slowly culling the liberal voices – first Thom Hartman, then Mike Malloy from KTLK (to add yet more sports talk radio. I think we must be up to 10 sports talk radio stations in L.A., and yet I know one person who listens to them. Bad sample, I know.)

    Anyhow, KTLK has a terrible signal: You get to the San Fernando Valley, ten miles from city center, and the station drops out. I get better signal with the college stations. I love Brad DeLong, and he subs for Mike Malloy who used to be on KTLK, so he had dog in that fight. But, there is more to the story.

    KNX is a 50,000 watt powerhouse, covering the entire western US at night.

    Also, I listen to a little KFI to Coast to Coast AM late at night, and so I sometimes catch the other talkers on their way out the door. Trust me, their talkers know this is a demotion for Rush, in favor of more “local” coverage.

    Rush is on his way out, at least here. The San Fernando Valley is more conservative, and they won’t even be able to get his signal.

    San Francisco is so liberal so as to have a conservative talk station is a joke.

    Having lived in both cities and been in broadcasting in both cities (I’ve a had a varied life) the thing to remember is that the lower end of the FM dial in both cities is packed with at least three liberal public stations in both markets which have loyal listenerships. Both cities have an ultra-progressive Pacifica stations with solid listenerships.

    Out here the Pacifica stations have avoided becoming Balkanized like WBAI New York. In New York, it is my understanding, the ever smaller group of radicals who control the station are going to push for niche programming right until no one is alive to listen to the those programs. That’s what the internet is for. Radio is a broad based medium. This is not an old telephone party line folks. No audience, no radio station.

    Anyhow, to quote Martha Stewart, Flushing Rush to a tin-can station is “A good thing.”

    1. rich

      University of London Bans Student Protests, Free Speech

      The student union outlined their stance, “Occupations are a legitimate form of dissent. When our university exploits our staff, shuts down our student union, and are utterly unaccountable to the students and staff that give it life and make it function, students have no choice but to gain leverage in whatever way they can.”

  17. subgenius

    Frequent fliers should be treated as war criminals. Mankind is behaving like an obnoxious spoiled brat wrt the rest of the biosphere.

    1. diptherio

      Growing Up

      Mountains above the cities rise,
      On humanity’s youth look with ancient eyes.
      On the racket and din of children there,
      Whose aromas of digestion rise through the air.
      Like babes unwilling to give up the suck,
      Or gambling fools ever pressing their luck.
      Cities of toddlers, teeming with those
      Who know not what the Mountain knows.

      Rivers of life through the unwitting pass,
      But unwitting children make them a mass
      Of all that their childish digestion spits out;
      Soiling the garment of their brother, the trout.
      Unwitting of siblings and older kin,
      Like brain-damaged children who know not they sin
      When they strike out at relatives and elevate those
      Who know not what the River knows.

      What lessons would Mountains and Rivers give
      To us, their children, whose lives depend
      On Rivers and Mountains, in order to to live?
      To childishness they say, put an end.
      Live now as siblings upon the earth,
      Life was not meant for just you alone.
      Look now to your siblings and know you their worth.
      This Earth was your nursery, now make it your home.

      Put away now your toys, for the time has come:
      The time when the time to be children is done.
      So quit being spoiled and spoiling the land,
      Or Mother Earth may do more than just slap your hand.

      1. subgenius


        The original comment was supposed to be way up-thread as a response to Tim Mason but cloudflare threw a wobbly and ditched me…

      2. AbyNormal

        Whoa Dip, did you swirl this?
        if you did your Genius…Absolutely Genius
        (another example of giant genitalia)

  18. diptherio

    UMKC Assoc. Prof. Erik Olsen on the Viability of Worker Cooperatives and Barriers to entry:

    The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the conjecture that WCs suffer a competitive disadvantage relative to CFs is not supported by existing research. Since the size of any population depends on how frequently new members are added, how frequently they drop out, and how long-lived the members of that population are, the question of why WCs are so rare involves their formation, failure, and survival. There is a growing literature on the survival of WCs, which indicates that while a significant percentage of them fail—especially during their early years—they do not fail at a rate that exceeds that of CFs. Instead, once created the expected survival of WCs meets or exceeds that of CFs. This finding complements decades of research on the productivity of WCs that finds they do not suffer a productivity disadvantage relative to CFs (Fakhfakh et al. 2012; Pencavel 2012; Doucouliagos 1995).

    Taken together these results indicate that the answer to the question of why WCs are rare relative to CFs involves obstacles to their creation, not their survival, but it also indicates that when the rate of failure is considered, the creation of WCs is a more complicated issue than has previously been recognized.

    As Kruggy would say, “wonkish”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is a similar hypothetical question.

      When capitalism was at its formative years, there were no communist/socialist powers to make sure of its failure.

      As it’s orthodoxical that communism/socialism is the stage after capitalism, the question opposite of that last statement – could communism/socialism survive without capitalist powers’ counter revolution – is nonsensical.

      But this question is possible – can a new sharism work, even with capitalism attacking it? Here, it’s not dogmatic that sharim must come after capitalism. Sharism was the original -ism when Neanderthals were busy keeping their caves neat.

  19. rich

    How Wall Street Bankrupted Detroit | Interview with Richard Wolff

    Published on Dec 9, 2013
    Abby Martin speaks with Richard Wolff, economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts about the recent district court ruling on Detroit’s bankruptcy and how it could affect the pensions of thousands of city workers.

  20. fresno dan

    “Putting this number in context, since 1992 the average percentage of the total capital gains attributable to the top 400 earners was “only” 8.69%. In 2009, or the year QE officially began, it was double this or 16%.”

    I’m pretty sure QE will work any day now…at some point, heating your mansion by burning 1,000$ bills (excuse me, I meant burning whatever it was the Federal Reserve traded fo rht 1%’s MBS’s) will become economic. Now, no fireplace is 100% efficient, so expect some small number of financial instruments to escape the chimney merely singed and to eventually drift down to some small fraction of the 99% – and presto, with their 100% propensity to consume (they seem to want food DAILY)the demand function will rise.

  21. Jess

    Regarding the shutting down of progressive stations in L.A. and S.F. by Clear Channel: anybody who thinks that Randi Rhoades and Steffanie Miller are progressives is delusional. They are both hard-core Obot shills. Was fooled by them back during the Bush 43 days but soon wised up and was completely disabused of the notion that either one had any progressive princicples during the march to ACA enactment. Haven’t listened to either of them or KTLK for years now.

  22. fresno dan

    “The main difference between well-run and badly-run countries is certainty. In well-run countries, money is worth pretty much the same from one year to the next, the police come when called and protect rather than prey on the caller, and contracts, including pensions and other retirement plans, behave as advertised. In badly-run countries, not so much.

    With the contract part of this story, Americans have been living in two different countries, depending on whether they’re in the private or public sectors. Private sector workers discovered years ago that things like pensions and employment contracts are just so much scrap paper. But until recently the public sector had been spared such nasty surprises. Baby boomer teachers, firefighters and college professors have spent lifetimes doing their jobs and watching their pensions accrue. They’ve known for decades that when they retire they’ll get X amount per year for life and have X amount of their health care covered. This certainty makes them perhaps the last segment of US society to retain a belief that the system works.”

    Well, as Humpty Dumpty would say:
    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

    “Contract” as relates to the 99% – meaningless. “Contract” as relates to MBS’s, CDS’s, etc held by the 1% – inviolate.

  23. Jim S

    Re: ECSS Bonfire

    One boondoggle put down, another one buzzes overhead: New Air Force bomber costs seen reaching $81 billion — 47 percent more than planned (Stars & Stripes).

    Only incidentally relevant, but here’s an interesting opinion piece on the foundering of Navy procurement: THE B-2 BOMBER OF THE SEAS: THOUGHTS ON THE ZUMWALT CLASS DESTROYER AND THE NAVY’S BROKEN PROCUREMENT STRATEGY (AviationIntel).

    And has the Army gotten around to canning its 21st-century Maus program yet? We can only hope.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s cheaper to buy helicopters from Russia, if we are not a monetary sovereign but have spend money like a householder. Plus, we can buy their silence too.

      One navy admiral’s solution – go with contractors from Singapore, a supposedly clean place (as in not corrupt).

  24. EmilianoZ

    Nobel Prize winning scientist boycotts journals like Nature, Cell and Science saying:
    The incentives offered by top journals distort science, just as big bonuses distort banking

    What I find funny is that Wall Street has become the epitome for corrupt incentives.

    From the article:
    Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of the bonus culture, which drives risk-taking that is rational for individuals but damaging to the financial system, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals.

  25. JTFaraday

    re: Dreaming of My Own Personal Billionaire Arthur Silber

    “This news makes me quite deliriously happy. I want me one of these understanding, astonishingly tolerant shitheads for my very own.”

    A-men! It’s like a dream come true! :p

Comments are closed.