Links 6/17/14

This Dog Is Deaf And Tilts. She’ll Make A Great Pet, And So Will Her 51 Special Needs Friends Huffington Post

Fowl legions take over Nakhon Pathom road (VIDEO) Bangkok Cocoanut. I’ve never seen so many ducks.

Bloomsday Rosenbach Museum

Bitcoin security guarantee shattered by anonymous miner with 51% network power ars technica (EM)

Supreme Court Rejects Argentina’s Debt Appeal New York Times

Fukushima’s Children are Dying EcoWatch

China’s Brewing Subprime Crisis Bloomberg

China Surpasses U.S. as Largest Corporate Debt Issuer New York Times

Military raids and Thai Red Shirt disquiet Aljazeera

Thai Military Co-Opts Populist Policies of Government Deposed by Coup Wall Street Journal. Lambert: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Indonesia on the knife’s edge Inside Story

EU-US trade talks hit roadblock on banks Financial Times. Music to my ears.

Yacht apps and anti-Semitic ministers in the birthplace of democracy Mark Ames, Pando

Blair unhinged, say lots of people who agreed with him at the time Daily Mash


Ukraine Says Russia Has 38,000 Troops on Border Amid ‘Invasion’ Bloomberg

Russia tables new UN resolution for ceasefire and talks in Ukraine Guardian


U.S. Is Exploring Talks With Iran on Crisis in Iraq New York Times

Kurds Grab Fourth-Largest Iraq Oilfield Amid ISIL Advance Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia Under Pressure To Plan For Iraq Oil Disruption OilPrice

“Obama considers special forces to help in Iraq” Lambert

Fox News’ Shep Smith gives hawks a history lesson on their own role in starting idiotic war in Iraq

War is no solution for the puzzle of Iraq Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Everyone Agrees Iraq Is in Crisis. Not Everyone Agrees About What to Do About It. Foreign Policy

Who Will Win in Iraq? New York Times. Subhead: “ISIS Will Fail in Iraq, and Iran Will Be the Victor.”

Spreading proxy wars mean a chronic oil premium MacroBusiness

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Swatting Vice (JH). You can see the new militarized police toys too.

NSA-Proof? Super-Secure Blackphone Shipping by July NBC

Sorry, You Can’t Really Escape the NSA National Journal. But says if you are not a probable terrorist, some not-horrific measures offer decent protection.

NSA Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny It Uses The Phrases It Used On A Leaked Slide TechDirt

Disciplined Democrats Paul Krugman. Dr. Pangloss alert: Krugman claims that there are no policy disagreements within the party, and that Obama did as well as he possibly could have. Oh, and of course the United Democrats are fully behind Hillary.

Neocon Kagan: Hillary Clinton Is One Of Us Moon of Alabama

Act Now to Defend Healthy School Lunches for Kids! Union of Concerned Scientists. Please sign this petition.

Hell on Wheels David Dayen, New Republic

Wyoming Residents and Environmentalists Frustrated With State’s Fracking-Funded Water Contamination Investigation EcoWatch

Virginia Political Report Corrente

Cantor Shocker and New Survey Put Anger at Wall Street at Center of Political Debate Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Wall Street’s Secret Weapon: Congress Bill Moyers


Exclusive: Wall St. watchdog to review its sanction guidelines Reuters. We wrote last week that the SEC Commissioner Kara Stein is making trouble for Wall Street friendly Chairman Mary Jo White. Stein criticized FINRA for its pathetically low fines. FINRA is rousing itself to look at the issue.

First SEC Case Under New Authority to Bring Anti-Retaliation Enforcement Action SEC

Informed Options Trading Prior to M&A Announcements. Insider Trading? Abigail Field highlights this sentence from the abstract: “Historically, the SEC has been more likely to investigate cases where the acquirer is headquartered outside the US….”

Federal Reserve

Economists: Take Fed ‘Dot Plots’ With a Big Grain Of Salt WSJ Economics

Fed to stay the tapering course MacroBusiness

Fed looks at exit fees on bond funds Financial Times

Class Warfare

CEO Pay Continues to Rise as Typical Workers Are Paid Less Economic Policy Institute (Rick V). Note CEO pay has risen at twice the rate of the increase in stock prices. And the comparison starts with 1978, when stock prices were particularly depressed.

Is a 400k salary too much for a university president? Four academics apply to share one lucrative U of Alberta position CBC

Harvard Business Review calls bullshit on today’s “capitalists” Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

The coming ‘tsunami of debt’ and financial crisis in America Guardian. Important.

Absolutely Nothing Stonekettle Nation (Chuck L). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (abynormal):


And a bonus video, Elephant Lullaby (lambert and Jim D):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. dearieme

    “Historically, the SEC has been more likely to investigate cases where the acquirer is headquartered outside the US….”

    The tendency of the US government and “justice” systems to mount shakedown operations on foreigners will eventually impose an economic cost on the USA.

  2. dearieme

    I’ve yet to hear any remotely coherent argument explaining why W launched his attack on Iraq.

    Yves? Anyone?

    1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Because Cheney pulled the little string sticking out of Bush’s back.
      Lots of folks got rich(er).
      Cheney got moved to the front of the line for a heart (even after unabashedly committing war crimes).
      The benes of controlling or of having controlled the M/I complex are apparently many and varied.

    2. scott

      Why? This has been going on since the Spanish-American war, the original false-flag-generated conflict.
      The progressive movement was becoming a thorn in the side of the Gilded-Age oligarchs and their politicians. War is the best way to demonize the progressive movement as unpatriotic. “You want more pay, and a 40 hour work week? There’s a war going on.”

    3. Carolinian

      Oil lust with a soupcon of Middle East chessboard rearranging. The pro Israel crowd hated Saddam for his rhetorical and financial support to the Palestinians. Cheney and his oil buddies wanted the crude. Bush hated Saddam for–allegedly–trying to blow up his daddy.

      The real question is why the national press and other “thought leaders” so willingly went along with the mad plan. It says volumes about their so called intellectual integrity.

    4. Jim Haygood

      Maybe Tony BLiar talked him into it with his ‘dodgy dossier.’

      Just kidding! Sort of …

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      I’m afraid “manifest destiny,” “white man’s burden,” because oil, and because israel told us to is about as “remotely coherent” as you’re going to get.

      Everyone knows that, just like the native Americans, god created Muslims for American target practice.

    6. Banger

      Because 9/11 offered an unprecedented opportunity to go to war anywhere in the world. Why Iraq? It was felt, at the time, that controlling Iraq would install the U.S. as unambiguous sovereign of the ME and thus be able to control and guarantee the flow of ME oil to Europe and Asia thus making it easier to achieve “full-spectrum dominance” of the world. So, then World Domination, the dream of all great empires featured prominently. The problem was that the U.S. ruling elites lacked the discipline and coherence of the Roman, Ottoman and British Empires. Iraq turned into a Star Wars cafe full of hustlers, con artists, smugglers, mercenaries, intel operatives, military organizations all in pursuit of one goal–money. Iraq was a license to steal for members of the Washington elite. The soldiers, of course, weren’t able to take part in any of that because they believed they were “protecting our freedoms” or, more accurately, the freedom for the hustlers to steal from the U.S. Treasure. A close look at what went down in Iraq reveals the ugly reality which the mainstream media, mostly, refused to cover other than a few intriguing reports here and there but all these were quickly forgotten and removed from the Narrative which now states that we made “mistakes” in Iraq. Of course, we meant well and those ungrateful Iraqis dominated by primitive religious emotions just can’t keep it together because they have always fought for “thousands” of hears. Well that narrative is mainly false. They started fighting among each other because of the machinations of the British, the French, and later the USA–but I don’t want to get into the sordid and cruel actions of American intelligence–just look into it and have a good cry.

      I, BTW, do not object to Empire as a project (nor support it) I just oppose the American Empire because its officials lack the minimal competence to administer such an Empire. Afghanistan and Iraq are two of the most deeply tragic examples.

      1. susan the other

        Jim Wright knows why. It’s because “full spectrum dominance” is like capitalism itself. It has to continually expand or die. And there’s also no question that oil is the means to that end. If we ultimately achieve control over ME oil it will be so fleeting that it will be maintained by ever more expensive violence, unless we simply kill all the “terrorists” and this applies not just to the Middle East and oil but to everything we touch. Clearly our own economy follows this exact pattern of ruthless control for the enrichment of only a very few people. And in order to maintain control we must expand control.

      2. David Lentini

        Alan Greenspan put it (surprisingly) bluntly in his memoir: “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

        1. dannyc

          Immediately after the publication of Greenspan’s book, Bob Woodward (Bush’s war of aggression press secretary) got Greenspan to do an act of contrition on that analysis, and restate it as that the removal of Sadaam Hussein was best for the world economy:

          Jim Wright’s piece is hilarious; and he’s right about Romney, McCain, Powell etc; but he’s veers astray on the “why” question too.

          First, the war isn’t about religion and the civil war isn’t caused by sectarian strife. Anybody who is at all familiar with El Salvador, Nicaragua, or Honduras in the 1980’s would recognize the pattern of internecine violence in Iraq and even be able to do facial recognition of some the Washington players involved.

          The “Why” of the war is the war itself. The endgame is endless war. To the extent that the motive might be oil, you have to understand that it is not necessary to take possession of any Iraqi oil in order to make a killing off of the killing in Iraq. It’s not about the flow of oil or the supply; it’s the price. Oil briefly dipped below $10 dollars a barrel in 1999, was somewhere around 30 after 9/11, shot up to 60 after the invasion, and then peeked near 150 the summer of 2008, just in time for the banks to wash their balance sheets of worthless assets before they screamed “financial crisis” to the American taxpayer. (btw the largest single consumer of petroleum in the world is the US military, something like 800,000 barrels a day and since oil companies do not sell oil to the Pentagon at a discount it is, again, the American taxpayer that pays for the oil for the war for oil.) We should call it the War for Higher Price Oil. And it is an endless war.

          Returning to the question of religion and war. Tony Blair converted to Catholicism just before he retired as a professional war criminal, and has since written a number of columns saying that the wars of the 21st century – indeed the biggest problem of the century is (not climate change) but religious conflict. Don’t worry he’s started a program at Yale University to study the problem and he and the other neocons where Bush Kerry and Clinton studied theology (along with Pat Roberts) will report back to us. And bear in mind the recently installed Archbishop of Cantebury, Justin Welby, is a former oil executive. Welby has written a few papers on finance. Perhaps he worked up a model where war and the aggregate demand of refugees intersect with philanthropy and the price of oil. World Peace and the Sermon on the Mount.

          1. gordon

            From Wikipedia, “Petrodollar” (a bit edited):

            “In 1971 Richard Nixon was forced to close the gold window taking the U.S. off the gold standard and setting into motion a massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar. In an effort to prop up the value of the dollar Nixon negotiated a deal with Saudi Arabia that in exchange for arms and protection they would denominate all future oil sales in U.S. dollars. Subsequently, the other OPEC countries agreed to similar deals thus ensuring a global demand for U.S. dollars and allowing the U.S. to export some of its inflation …

            “The brilliance of the petrodollar deal was that it mandated that all transactions actually be settled in U.S. dollars creating a world-wide demand for dollars that previously didn’t exist. The petrodollar system also meant that the U.S., the largest consumer of oil in the world, gained the power to buy oil with a currency it can print at will. Another aspect of the petrodollar system was that oil producing nations would take their excess oil profits and place them into U.S. debt securities in Western banks thus becoming a primary lender to the U.S. long before China came on the scene. This system would later become known as “petrodollar recycling” as coined by Henry Kissinger …

            “Some assert that the Iraq war which began on March 19, 2003, was a result of Iraq’s abandonment of the petrodollar system in 2002, in favor of a “PetroEuro”.”


            Iran is also trying to run a non-dollarised system:


            1. Dannyc

              Thanks Gordon,
              I really hate oil and don’t give a shit about it — in the sense that I don’t care to know much about it. It just kills me whenever I see refugees (desperate and defenseless) streaming in and out of the countries we bomb; and the fact that any of this violence is any way linked to or caused by religious beliefs is just bullshit, like the weapons of mass destruction or enhanced interrogation. It’s all a scam to break the law and escape being held accountable for breaking the law. It’s criminal that we don’t know how many civilians have been killed. The trillions that are being spent on these wars, and the fortunes which are being made off the killing and no one is even counting the dead — the innocent don’t even get a number. That’s not God’s will.

      3. Synopticist

        “lack the minimal competence to administer such an Empire….”

        Ain’t that the truth. All other empires have spawned a class of professional, skilled imperial administrators, who had a great contacts and a profound understanding of the local political ground. The US hasn’t produced them, possibly because of the “one size fits all” ethos MBA ethos.

      4. subgenius

        The problem was that the U.S. ruling elites lacked the discipline and coherence of the Roman, Ottoman and British Empires. Iraq turned into a Star Wars cafe full of hustlers, con artists, smugglers, mercenaries, intel operatives, military organizations all in pursuit of one goal–money.


    7. trish

      Re the must read, Absolutely Nothing.

      Oil, a gold mine for private contractors, the neocon dream of regime change for resources…the Christian evangelical right fantasy perhaps played some role, as well, together with the idea, born of utter ignorance and arrogance, that it would be all so quick and easy and who cares about the expendable peons on the ground, Iraqi or American…there were plenty of explanations for going into Iraq.
      And today, when it aint goin’ the way we want it but there’s still an (already) invested interest (part of the neoliberal dreams right there with neocon ones) and the same govt/corporate architecture just with different faces at the top…well those are sufficient reasons for those in power…
      But “just because you hate Barack Obama?”
      I don’t buy that. At all.
      That’s another unfortunate fantasy of many on the supposed left that’s allowed Obama to get away with a lot that Romney might never have…

      1. Jim Haygood

        Right. The author trivializes an otherwise powerful rant by invoking partisan point-scoring as the principal motivation. The AUMF was passed by a bipartisan majority. And the Depublicrat War Party will be doing business at the same old stand long after Obama is gone.

        What lies in ruins is the CFR consensus that the U.S. should continue subsidizing and defending hostile regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel which actively work to undermine U.S. interests.

        Saudi Arabia supplied most of the 9/11 hijackers. But because Frank Roosevelt made a deal with the Saudi ruler in 1943, the U.S. still sells arms and provides training to this despotic dictatorship which is undoubtedly funding rebel movements in the region.

        U.S. policy has been petrified since WW II, the war we forgot to demobilize from. This is how empires die.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            ORRR … Maybe the good cop really IS worse. The more effective evil, the warmonger disguised as hope-monger in sheepskin, the Harvard lawyer disguised as a Black Proggressive, has lulled the liberal class to death. I submit that Barack Hussein Obama is in fact Wall Sreet-MIC’s perfect Manchurian Candidate — the warmest, kindest, most wonderful human being we’ve ever known.

            1. JohnH

              Maybe you’re a bigot and don’t like African Americans in office? At least I have the fact that you didn’t mention any facts in your ad hominem attack on Obama as evidence for my maybe assertion of your bigotry.

              1. Doug Terpstra

                Nice try with the race-baiting. How, pray tell, do you judge my comment as racist? I voted proudly for Obama once — I hoped he was the Black Progresssive he pretended to be. I then discovered him to be a typical flim-flam politician who abandons his campaign promises like used tissues. You’ll have better luck with the race card at Daily Kos.

                1. Kurt Sperry

                  Indeed. Calling Obama’s detractors racist is the go to play at DKos in lieu of a substantive argument when things are getting a little too real and threatening the illusion. One wonders if anyone pointing out Hillary’s many similar political faults will be met with charges of misogyny? I’d bet on it.

                  The beauty of identity politics, like partisanship, is it is in actuality completely removed from policy or ideology or merit, it is simply a means of forming a core of tribalist supporters who as often as not have no interest in or grasp of policy or ideology or merit beyond superficialities and getting their unquestioning blind support. “Circle the wagons, we must show a unified front against the other”–meanwhile the oligarchs and looters are running riot over the whole affair, free to operate at will amidst the blind partisans who will fall in line behind any policy however depraved or outrageous if that policy is endorsed by the right identity totem.

                  The first woman president is likely to be as evil and corrupt as the first black president is because there are enough people who don’t know policy but can see superficialities such as race or gender and feel the glow of their identification with their chosen identity totem. Once the electorate’s gaze has been misdirected to the superficiality and they personally identify with the chosen frontperson and all disbelief has been suspended, then the looting and war mongering can proceed without impediment.

                  Once Hillary is anointed as the new dear leader, all cutting criticism will be reclassified from racist to misogynistic and brutally attacked as such.

                  I suppose we’ll see another corrupt evil monster win the Democratic nomination again after Hillary– openly gay might work as another distraction. Then all criticism of right wing corporate, mass murdering, wealth extraction and neofeudalism will become homophobic. I leave it to you to guess the next ruse after that.

                  1. dannyc

                    Of course if Elizabeth Warren is the nominee in 2016, we really will see misogyny. Good economist vs bad economist. It’ll be the most insidious imaginable. You’ll think inflation and deficits are caused by female Harvard professors.

                  2. Doug Terpstra

                    Very well said. So many wedges offer leverage for divide and rule, which the kleptocracy exploits relentlessly (witness the hair-trigger anger generated in the TP exchange on this thread). But Obama is far and away the greatest stealth tool ever harnessed for the takeover of democracy and the economy and the expansion of empire, beyond Bush’s darkest dreams of avarice and conquest. Who else could have escalated new wars, engineered coups, expanded executive assassinations in open defiance of international law, pushed even more rigged trade thru Congress, stacked conservatives on the SCOTUS, shredded the Constitution even futher, and handed total control of the economy to Wall Street? No one else could have acheived this without first effectively neutering the usually raucus Congressiional Black Caucus or holding the entire professional liberal class hostage in the veal pen along with the MSM. Obama was a diabolical stroke of genius for the would-be masters of the universe, and I have no doubt he will be lavishly rewarded for his role as the Great Deceiver.

                    One of the best sites to unflinchingly tackle the Obama phenomenon, the race-based perversion of democracy, is the Black Agenda Report:

          2. Lambert Strether

            No, but letting the war happen, and then failing to hold anybody accountable for the disaster, not even a show hearing with a few hapless scapegoats, is just as bad. It’s only that the badness is spread out over a longer time and is more insidious.

            You’re not seeing the two cops as part of the same system. The real question is “How come you’re in the box at all?” And the answer is they both put you there.

            1. hunkerdown

              “Any sufficiently advanced form of technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Likewise, any sufficiently advanced form of social control is indistinguishable from deus ex machina.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Agree completely. That’s why BO was given the job–to shut the “liberals” up. And, it would appear that the “nobody likes the black guy” crap is a pretty powerful amnesiac.

        The jews have been using the same strategy for decades.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Indeed. What started as a perfectly contemptuous indictment of lying, muderous chickenhawk psychopaths morphed into another Daily Kos or Infoclearinghouse apologia for poor poor pitiful Obama so helplessly beseiged by evil Neocons. Nevermind that Syria-based SIS sponsor Barack Obama is of course up to his shrivelled scrotum in this and has in fact already put US mercenary boots on the ground. Worse, the why, why, why questions studiously avoid the stinking elephant pile in the room — Israel — client the Zioneocons so slavishly serve.

          Working-class Nero nailed the reason for this gambit two days ago. Iran should be very cautious about being drawn into an ambush.

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Should read “consortiumnews” not “infoclearinghouse”; the latter is not an Obama defender.

    8. abynormal

      Throughout 2004 information provided by former administration insiders revealed the Bush/Cheney administration entered into office with the intention of toppling Saddam Hussein.[1][2]

      Candidly stated, ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’ was a war designed to install a pro-U.S. government in Iraq, establish multiple U.S military bases before the onset of global Peak Oil, and **to reconvert Iraq back to petrodollars** while hoping to thwart further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency (i.e. “petroeuro”).[3]

      1. James Levy

        It’s the mendacity and the stupidity and the ignorance informing the “why” that makes it so hard to take the real, venal reasons seriously or believe that those were the reasons. Most people are looking for a legitimate, albeit flawed or mistaken, reason “why”. The actuality of the thing–greed, hubris, stupidity, and unquestionably a vicious desire to kill Arabs even if those specific Arabs had nothing to do with 9/11 (the reason, sadly, a man I admire, James Howard Kunstler, thought at the time it was justifiable, but his bigotry against Arabs knows no bounds) are all too sordid for us to want to believe that they were the motivating and guiding spirits of the invasion. Lastly, there was the chance for Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the neocon crew around them to say “international law–fuck international law! we ARE the law!” which thrilled and excited them no end.

        1. fresno dan

          I agree.
          I also note Madeline Albright’s quote, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

          I will let the reader determine the brilliance of our diplomatic corps…

          And if you got superb diplomats (snark) like Kerry (O, or any of them) that HAVE to go sticking their nose around the world, than yeah, diplomating about something will eventually get yourself entangled in some dust up somewhere…

          It is human vanity that makes humans think they are accomplishing anything.
          The wisdom of the Russian general who did not attack Napoleon is all do rarely emulated. Did the US defeat communism, of did communism defeat itself??? Let ISIS alone, and the situation is likely to resolve itself better than if we blunder into it…

    9. JohnL

      Well the Iraq war has brought suffering. The Buddha figured out a few thousand years ago that suffering is caused by greed, hatred, and delusion. I think he pretty much nailed it. The question becomes whose greed, whose hatred, whose delusion?

    10. tongorad

      The arguments to invade Iraq have been proven inconsequential and irrelevant. The more important question is, “Why has there not been a political price paid by anyone?” In fact, why do we continue to get more of the same?
      Why, IMO, is the military still the most deeply respected institution in America?

    11. optimader

      Your question runs aground when you get to “remotely coherent” If you lay out “remotely coherent” and “bush” and “Iraq” in Venn diagram form, none of the circles intersect.

      I perceive the frustration and anyone sane that does not harbor craven special interests is there too, so don’t get this wrong, but your question is analogous to asking for a remotely coherent explanation for why the earth is flat.

    12. dalepues

      Will this isn’t a remotely coherent argument, but I always believed it was oil. The question may have been asked: Would the U.S. have invaded Iraq if Iraq had no oil? I doubt it. Replace oil with any other reason, WMD, terrorism, citizens being slaughtered; none seems sufficient enough for an invasion because they all exist(ed) in many other countries which the U.S. never invaded. In fact, they may have been given special treatment.

  3. abynormal

    thanks for posting the Healthy Lunch petition…here’s another needed program Weekend Food for Students

    “The United States changed the name of its definitions in 2006 that eliminated references to hunger, keeping various categories of food insecurity. This did not represent a change in what was measured. Very low food insecurity (described as food insecurity with hunger prior to 2006) means that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members was reduced and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because the household lacked money and other resources for food. This means that people were hungry ( in the sense of “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food” [Oxford English Dictionary 1971] for days each year (Nord 2009 p. iii-iv.).”
    (2006 ?…now that’s getting in front of it)

  4. Jim Haygood

    As expected after an adverse Supreme Court ruling, Argentina is looking for a workaround to continue paying creditors who accepted previous 30 cents on the dollar debt restructurings. This will be a fraught exercise, given the U.S. habit of viewing access to dollar-clearing as a privilege which can be unilaterally withdrawn for bad behavior (the huge fine sought from BNP Paribas for trading with Sudan and the threats of 30% withholding in Fatca being two examples).

    Europe is obvious place to go, since many of Argentina’s creditors are there, particularly in Italy. London has the ways and means for making payments, but the widow K. soured relations with the British with her extended campaign of bashing Blighty over Argentina’s claim to the Falklands. And even if London bankers could process Argentina’s payments, the UK would quickly come under U.S. pressure to cut them off.

    As USA Today noted, ‘The State Department warned that if Argentina’s property can be sought beyond U.S. borders, foreign courts could do the same thing to the United States.’ Extraterritorial application of foreign law to US? Who do they think they are?

    In any case, in the next round of sovereign defaults after Bubble III pops, this ruling will complicate restructuring negotiations, since creditors have less incentive to accept a deal if they can free ride under the pari passu clause. Doubtless Wall Street will fashion new ‘covenant lite’ sovereign bonds to sidestep this inconvenience. The party must go on.

    1. abynormal

      The tendency of the US government and “justice” systems to mount shakedown operations on foreigners [countries] will eventually impose an economic cost on the USA. ~Dearieme

    2. BondsOfSteel

      IMHO, it’s more likely that Argentina will just declare bankruptcy again to force the outstanding creditors to accept the 70% haircut.

    3. hunkerdown

      “The State Department warned that if Argentina’s property can be sought beyond U.S. borders, foreign courts could do the same thing to the United States.”

      When it comes to investor-state tribunals, feature, not bug.

  5. Benedict@Large

    Re: Disciplined Democrats Paul Krugman

    According to Krugman, Liberals who don’t like Obama are “being influenced, often without realizing it, by the prevailing media narrative.” In other words, if you are on the left and disagree with Krugman’s feting of Obama, you are weak-minded, and unable to think for yourself.

    Let us all now bow down to the royal Krugman, and thank him for setting us back on the path of righteousness. … Pardon me if I go last.

    1. david s

      Krugman loses credibility when he defends the neoliberal, center-right, laissez-faire, and downright Republican Obama Administration.

      Maybe it’s the two party system that creates the feeling that great things are being done, even though they are tiny and incremental.

    2. trish

      yeah, and we on the left who don’t like Obama (see him for what he is) need to “understand compromise” and need to be more “moderate” even though that “moderate,” indeed “left” keeps shifting over and over farther and farther to the right…and “liberal’ is rapidly becoming just another meaningless term…

      1. jgordon

        Liberal still has meaning: it means you are for gay marriage, against gun rights, and in favor of the unitary executive slaughtering women, children, and “suspected militants”. Just watch MSNBC for a bit, then you’ll get it.

    3. Carolinian

      Never forget that Krugman once worked in the Clinton administration. He is a partisan. Also, to this non economist, a rather dubious seer.

        1. Carolinian

          You are correct–Council of Economic Advisers for a year in the early 80s.

          On working in the Reagan administration
          Krugman worked for Martin Feldstein when the latter was appointed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan. He later wrote in an autobiographical essay, “It was, in a way, strange for me to be part of the Reagan Administration. I was then and still am an unabashed defender of the welfare state, which I regard as the most decent social arrangement yet devised.”Krugman found the time “thrilling, then disillusioning”. He did not fit into the Washington political environment, and was not tempted to stay on.

          In any case I think it’s not much of a stretch to say that at this point Krugman is a partisan Dem.

    4. roadrider

      I absolutely despise Obama and its all because of his own actions and choices and their resulting influence on my own life which has been a largely negative one (long-term unemployment, loss of health insurance specifically and only because of Obamacare). The “media narrative” has nothing to do with it. Krugman can kiss my ass. He lost me when he went into full Obama-bot mode. He’s right about some things (austerity, Republican/right-wing contradictions and lies) but come on, those are like shooting fish in a barrel. The ACA was the tipping point at which Krugman became just another partisan shill pretending to be a dispassionate analyst.

  6. kgilmour

    Thanks for the Elephant video… I cannot travel to Asia anymore – and Africa is a heart breaker for anyone who loves animals.

    I hear Sarah McLaughlin’s voice and I change the channel… because I just can’t deal with animal welfare issues anymore. I do my part in my little world, all my pets have been rescue animals, including canaries as a child – but the problem is so huge, the odds so bad, and the population of evil humans so large.

    I find myself cheering at stats on Bangladeshi monsoon deaths. A thousand more dead in Haiti? – YAHOO!

    Yet videos like this one make me weep uncontrollably. If that girl was sterile, I might have feelings for her as well. But one girl singing – and then making another 6 like herself – is the death sentence for the elephant.

    1. trish

      The whole world is a heart breaker for anyone who loves animals. I include the whole animal kingdom. And indeed all of the kingdoms. The whole ecosystem is so interrelated- plants, animals, fungi- the most obvious to us- and we are decimating it. Ultimately all for profit for the relative few. Truly heartbreaking.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You will be delusional to cheer on the stats of Bangladash monsoon (human) deaths.

      Nature is neither merciful nor cruel.

      She is what she is.

      And She doesn’t discriminate.

      1. abynormal

        ‘mother nature doesn’t have just one personal bullet
        she has many with the inscription…to whom it may concern’

    3. Jake Mudrosti

      I’m going to just go ahead and assume that you’re not in earnest, when you say you cheer for dead Haitians. That’s too shocking. I’ll guess instead that it’s just your reaction to a wider, encompassing horror — a world of people that seems hell-bent on undoing itself.

      Here’s something that couldn’t reductively be called a “kid’s cartoon” any more than “The Little Prince” could reductively be called a “kid’s story” — and in fact they’re colored with a similar sort of pensive magic. Homages to Kurosawa, art design and sound design invite one to reset one’s tempo. At the end, one may feel that one has both journeyed and rested.

  7. Banger

    Is Hilary a neocon? No, she is a Machiavellian opportunist. My intuition tells me that what she is trying to do is to triangulate on an even more dramatic scale than Big Bill.

    The neoconservative ideology posits a couple of things that we need to focus on: 1) they believe that the U.S. without a common purpose or mission will fall into tribalism and hedonism and thus lack coherence; 2) this sense of common purpose needs to be centered on religious ideas, not just secular ones–this is why Hilary now claims her greatest influence is the Bible (echoes of Bush the Younger). The neoconservative ideology is the only dynamic political movement in Washington which is why it is now shared by great numbers of people, particularly in the mainstream media. People need meaning in their lives and the alternatives are not good.

    What are the alternatives? The left, as a political force in Washington or most of the country is pretty much dead (read an article about the inevitable Hilary scenario by John V. Walsh in Counterpunch), the Tea Party is really just a confused jumble of ideas that are largely destructive when taken together–i.e., their focus is on deconstructing not enhancing society, and, finally, the traditional corporate country-club RP also wants to wreck civil society in order to install a rigid form of neo-feudalism (eventually they will have to clash with the Tea Party as they are beginning to).

    So, the Hilary project, I’m guessing, will ally the neoconservatives with people who are progressive on social issues–which means, they will try and hold the line against the fairly anarchic Tea Party and the corporate barons who both hold destructive ideologies. Neocons, for all their faults, seek to hold society together as much as possible to pursue common goals all other forces, including the left, are divisive.

    Those of us who remain on the left are left with no one to vote for–which I think is a good thing. We need to re-tool, re-think and reform the left along realpolitik lines (deep politics) and start from the Big Questions like the meaning of life and what it means to be human and so on. From that foundation we can build a world-view that makes sense to others because at the moment the left just doesn’t have it.

    1. kgilmour

      This independent voter has a whole family of Tea Partiers… and I resent and resist the blanket description of that movement as a “destructive ideology”

      The Tea Party has much in common with the left – NO they are not aligned on some issues… but there are plenty here who resist the open border with Latin America… and perhaps the excesses of the privileged minorities who run roughshod over the rest of us.

      The Tea Party and Progressives share common enemies.

      1. Wall St – both want em locked up, and reigned in.

      2. Big Banks – both want them reigned in and broken up.

      3. The Military Industrial Complex… just who do you think challenged Bush/Cheney on the Middle East madness? the Tea Party.

      4. Multi National Corporations – The TEA Party HATES multi national corporations – their influence on both parties – outsourcing of jobs and importation of cheap labor.

      5. One World Government – The progressives I know are have the same Nationalist Fervor as any Tea Partier I know.

      6. Corporate Influence in General. — The Tea Party wants a Teddy Roosevelt type Republican – small, local governance – remember Teddy developed the National Park System… the protection of wildlife – and distributed free ice during the devastating Heat Wave in New York in [um, 1906?]

      Roosevelt wanted Tariffs on imports… the policy that got McKinley assassinated – by a questionable lone gunman.

      Roosevelt’s independent second race for the White House was the cause of much of the destruction we see today… Taft and Wilson, WWI, the IRS, – Jekyll Island …. was the result of that unsuccessful run.

      The Tea Party is maligned by not just the neocons… the old order on the left has much to lose if their membership discovers how much they have in common with the Tea Party movement.

      DO NOT tell me that social issues like Abortion and Drugs are enough to keep the far left and far right from aligning against common enemies.

      The Tea Party wants a Main St GOP — with controls on the border. I’ve spent enough time on left leaning web discussions to know there is much common ground between progressives and the Tea Party.

      Think about whose interest is served when you are bombarded with nothing but propaganda about this valuable movement within the GOP.

        1. kgilmour

          Nasty nasty rhetorical sleight of hand. And not unlike the rest of the left… if one Republican hates blacks… they all do?

          Or here’s a better one… the Anti Semite who assigns group characteristics to ALL JEWS based on the heinous behavior of a diamond broker? A wall st trader?

          Why hasn’t the board erupted in indignation.

          Or is a gay pedophile evidence of rampant pedophilia among gays. >>>> hmmmm?

          All priests are pedophiles? All Jews are money hungry cheats? ….. so exactly when do characteristics of ONE become valid generalizations of group think?

          Or do the rules only apply to the friends of the left?

          Where is the outrage?????

          I didn’t think so.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I agree with you that individuals should be treated individually…whether they are from Bangladesh, Haiti or Iowa.

            I also agree that ordinary people on the right, left and center share more in common.

        2. Carolinian

          Once suggestion: might want to stop calling them “TeaBaggers”….a sexual wisecrack harking back to when the left was a bit more supercilious, less aware that we are all in the same leaky boat (except for the high rollers of course…they have big yachts). I think it may have started with Atrios.

          Perhaps the gist of this rather long thread is that stereotypes are odious. However I do think that middle class and lower income people need to focus on the real enemy which is not each other but the people in the yachts. This may take an entirely new political movement with a new name.

          1. abynormal

            Carolinian, referring to ‘TeaBaggers’ is my compliment to them as individualist. They Do think for themselves first…right?

            Call me a NonconformistBagger and you’ll get a toothy smile ear to ear! I don’t trust Group-Think derived from this environment…still too much money from the top flushing thru the cesspool.

      1. trish

        I think progressives should be more skeptical of these supposed shared ideas/desires.
        The tea party is more against social welfare than corporate welfare. I’m with Banger: “their focus is on deconstructing not enhancing society.”
        Enough documented evidence that the supposed grass roots tea party was astroturf, with backing by billionaire corporate orgs (wasn’t koch in on this) and I don’t know their records exactly, but I think there’s probably ample evidence to show that tea partiers in congress have voted more against our govt social safety net system than corporate welfare, and, anecdotally, the comfortable tea party ranter-patrons I encounter at the library where I work complain about their taxes going to those on welfare and all those immigrants and all those teachers that make too much and government pensions, and never a peep about the massive amt of corporate welfare and they call obamacare socialized medicine, what a laugh, all while they check out their big intellectual read for the year (often for their fellow ignorant white upper middle class book group), Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged…

        1. kgilmour

          never a peep about corporate welfare? CHeck out a web discussion between Freepers….. or

          The problem as always is the cherry picking.. you’ve all decided that Tea Partiers are evil.. so you pick the things you hate and assign them to the whole…. not unlike anti semitism…. but then, Jews are a favored group on the left… so they are defended to the death as individuals… not so for members of the right.

          tsk tsk hypocrites…. TSK TSK

          1. bob

            The tea party was a creation of corporate america from before day 1. It’s been well documented. It’s not any grassroots politics, and taken to its end results in either monarchy or oligarchy. Neither of these are good for most people, but very good for a very few people who already have a whole lot of money…that they used to astroturf a “political party”.

            It’s that simple.

      2. Banger

        Look, I sympathize with Tea Party sentiments but they are, still, largely incoherent and destructive. Why do I sympathize? Because I believe that we ought to be destructive of the status-quo even if it is incoherent. I largely agree with many Tea Party stances even if they are somewhat incoherent. The problem I have with the Tea Party is they have allied themselves, wittingly or unwittingly, with the most deeply destructive forces and ideas in society: 1) ideological opposition to environmentalism particularly climate change; 2) love of fundamentalist Christianity and its radical intolerance and anti-rational anti-science stance; 3) the idea that compassion is a sin, i.e, not matter that someone who was born rich or someone who was born poor and physically and sexually abused they all have the same chances in society; 4) national chauvinism and racism; and 5) so far, Tea Party activists, while originally being anti-Wall Street bailouts have turned around and been apologists for crony capitalism by not supporting efforts to enforce the law.

        The Tea Party has a chance to redeem itself and the left should support parts of its agenda if it can move away from its obsession with anti-communitarian and deeply divisive cultural standards their love of the Bill of Rights then we on the left should, as I’ve said on many occasions on this site, make an alliance with them. I’ve said as much about libertarians (not the same as Tea Party people).

        1. kgilmour

          which of these tenants is incoherent — or destructive.

          Anger at Wall st? Anger at corporate influence? Anger at globalism? anger at too big to fail banks? Anger over exports of jobs without concomitant import tariffs of resultant goods?

          How about anger at oligarchy? Management to worker pay ratios? [ a huge deal with Tea Partiers who are by and large entrepreneurs and Main st Republicans]


          I’ve just listed the MAIN arguments of Tea Party revolt… WHAT IS DESTRUCTIVE?

          the problem is as always… cherry picking of things like immigration… which the left despises because of wages.. while they assign racism as the reason for resistance on the right.

          Huffington Post is FILLED with angry rhetoric over the child dump taking place on the border…. Ditto for the Nation and Truthout…. This issue crosses party lines… it’s just MOTIVE that is supposedly different.

          You assign EVIL motive to resistance on the right… and common sense economics to resistance on the left.

          THAT is why we can’t get anyone elected to thwart the status quo…. the TEA Party is your friend… in more ways than you admit to.

          NAME THE MAJOR tenants of that movement that are destructive? incoherent?

          1. bob

            You are falling from the useful idiot category into the paid troll typecast.

            Anti-wall st? AYFKM? You of course list that first. What actions have any of “the tea party” taken against wall st? One single instance?

            Wanna hear some tea party politics? Go to wall st. They love that shit.

        2. fresno dan

          Good points, all.
          But if it takes the Tea Party to ACTUALLY get rid of Cantor, than I am all for it.
          The question is: is Brat worse than Cantor??? Do you really believe the old guard republicans are better than the tea party republicans???

          From my standpoint, I would bet Brat is worse in some ways, and better in some ways. As I believe that Wall street and corruption are undermining the RULE OF LAW, the absolute foundation of our form of government, I see no more important issue than reining in wall street (and not pseudo reform written, advocated, and advanced by the same people who caused the problems) – I am willing to use Stalin as an ally.

          And I just wish as much effort went into (and not on obscure blogs – has MSNBC ever even mentioned Summers, Rubin, Geithner depredations???) pointing out the differences between actual democratic policies and professed democratic policies/ideals of such democratic power players as Rubin, Summers, Geithner, and basically every democratic appointee in Treasury in both the Clinton and Obama admins. (or making it clear that being a democrat and being a liberal are two different things, just as ideally the tea party will point out the differences between being conservative and being republican – the differences between what YOU SAY your ideals are, and what the person who pays for your campaign tells you to do)
          What the Tea Party professes and what it does often are two different things. I happen to think it is even worse when a group (democrats) doesn’t even have to be accused of hypocrisy on an issue because they have silenced, purged, AND IL legitimized all critics.
          The democrats get the benefit of being SUPPOSEDLY the more civil libertarian party, the more anti war party, the more anti wall street party. And I see no evidence of that what so ever, and indeed, they actually increase it and speed it along faster because the current democrats offer no meaningful opposition – and it isn’t because most people want more war in the Mid east, or more NSA surveillance.

          Indeed, the tea party use as a bloody flag is analogous to how the global war on terror deflects critical thinking about the use of war and surveillance (DANGER WILL ROBINSON) and is used by those who want war ALL THE TIME.

          Think about all the problems of Ron Paul policies….and than think about the ONE candidate who frankly said getting involved in wars is stupid. Than think about the candidates we actually get to choose from, and how the issue is framed as more or less war – but not NO WAR.
          When republicans and democrats agree (quite a bit in reality – wall street, war, surveillance) it usually is a good sign of corruption and evil. They agree on the Tea Party….hmmmmm

          1. Carla

            @fresno dan: Brat will not be House Majority Leader, so don’t worry about him too much. He’ll be an outcast–a voice in the wilderness, as Dennis Kucinich was for many years.

            @anyone who cares to read:
            If whatever exists on the real left and the Tea Party could form a coalition on certain, specific items, and leave everything else aside, maybe we could get somewhere. For example:
            No war and no war-mongering
            No bank bailouts
            No sweetheart deals for corporate interests
            No More National Debt (see Bill Still)
            No international “free trade” (read “world government” agreements) — none; bring manufacturing back to the US so we produce what we need to live.
            No Constitutional rights for corporate entities, whether unions, non-profits, for-profits, Super-PACs or other. Constitutional rights for human beings only.

            The D and R parties exist to create the fiction of “choice.” In order to accomplish this, they have to make sure that leftists and tea partiers never, ever talk to each other or discover that we have any ideas whatsoever in common. They may just be the most dangerous corporations in America.

            Of course, we could surprise them. ;-)

        3. Katniss Everdeen

          And so, we are all either Sunnis or Shiites now. Look no further than Iraq to see how that turns out.

          Reflexive distrust and dismissal of “the other side” renders us ALL eminently exploitable. That’s the point of stoking and nurturing “sectarian divides.”

          Emphasis on ideological differences while minimizing shared aspirations is the holy grail of exploiters. Why help them?

          Demanding “unconditional surrender” will never foster powerful coalitions. If you are truly committed to the environment, Banger, wouldn’t you be willing to do ANYTHING? Trust is BUILT, not demanded. When kgilmour extends a hand, why do you slap it away? The only result is a stagnation and paralysis that benefits those who understand that bending is not the same as breaking, that others may be as committed to their ideals as you are to yours.

          Acknowledging, not disparaging, the concerns of potential allies is the way “forward.” This is a nation of 315 million people, and there is power in that number. Permitting serial, unprincipled exploiters to divide and conquer, due to petty, emotional intransigence, squanders that power.

          Give a little, get a little. Or a lot.

          1. James Levy

            Is the Tea Party for:

            1) single payer health insurance
            2) laws against discrimination
            3) jobs programs
            4) redistribution of wealth through corporate and heavily graduated income taxes
            5) abortion rights
            6) gay rights
            7) massive cuts in military spending
            8) public education
            9) the teaching of actual science in the schools
            10) the end of corporate personhood

            At best, the answers are “some Tea Partiers” and “maybe, a few of these.” For me, these are absolutes. They are what I believe in. They are what I stand for. If they disagree, fine, but don’t try to Mau-Mau me into agreeing with or approving of people who I think share almost none of my core beliefs about the world. That’s not mindless demonization, although you do a pretty good job of doing that to anyone who doesn’t agree with your rosy picture of a big, inclusive, multicultural, tea party that just cares so much about poor people, blacks and immigrants and is really the enemy of capitalism and the oligarchy.

            1. lambert strether

              On the culture war front, some are for #5 and #6. Others are certainly for #7 and #10. Plenty are for jailing the banksters; See conversation here — a year before Brat beat Cantor on this same issue, I might add.

              1. bob

                BS. All of it. Plenty are for jailing the banksters? Are any in jail? This line of argument is completely without merit. Lots of tea party people, and most importantly, money on wall st. They’ll say anything, just don’t ask any of them to actually do anything.

                There have been plenty of people who run for office on an anti-wall st platform only to turn into wall st whores once in office.

                Thinking that “the tea party” might change that is a along the lines of believing a “black” guy might be in the slightest bit different from the rich Connecticut-Texan before him. He’s not.

                This whole thread is straight out of the Koch handbook-


                1. Lambert Strether

                  No, no banksters are in jail. The people on the right I’ve talked to don’t have the power to make that happen any more than I do.

                  I don’t know what you mean by “straight out of the Koch handbook.” For one thing, it seems obvious to me that strategic hate management is hardly confined to the Kochs. For another, what exactly are you saying? That commenters are in the pay of the Kochs? That the people I talked to are? That I am? Next, are you of the opinion that the Kochs are a problem only because of the views they hold, and that billionaires as a class, are not? Your comment seems very much to me an example of viewing everything through a lens that’s simultaneously tribal and institutional. Fact on the ground are more complicated.

                  Adding, what to do you mean, “all of it.” Are you saying I made the incident up? If not that, then what?

                  1. bob

                    Trying to pretend that the “tea party” is on the left, or represents anything other than the corporate masters that fund it, with listicles.

                    kgilmour is a pitch perfect PR person.

                    Even engaging the argument gives it more credit than it’s worth, which is exactly the point.

                2. Working Class Nero

                  One thing is that we need to be careful about exactly what we are calling the Tea Party. This is probably going to be a first for NC, but I am actually going to quote Ann Coulter on this subject:

                  Of course, these are the same people who also try to persuade us that amnesty isn’t “amnesty,” illegal aliens aren’t “illegal aliens” (they’re “undocumented workers”!), and that there are 30 million jobs Americans won’t do at any price.
                  In fact, however, the tea party had nothing to do with Brat’s victory. Only the small, local tea party groups stand for anything anymore, but they’re as different from the media-recognized “tea party” as lay Catholics are from the Catholic bishops.

                  National tea party groups did not contribute dime one to Brat. Not Freedom Works, not Club for Growth, not the Tea Party Express, not Tea Party Patriots. They were too busy denouncing Sen. Mitch McConnell — who has consistently voted against amnesty.

                  As I have been warning you, the big, national tea party groups are mostly shysters and con-men raising money for their own self-aggrandizement. (Today, they’re blast-faxing “media availability” notices to television networks claiming credit for Brat’s victory.)

                  The Tea Party Express, for example, “represents” the views of ordinary Americans by supporting Chamber of Commerce demands for cheap labor through amnesty.

                  As Eric Hoffer said, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

                  So there are certainly rank and file members of what could be described as the “Tea Party” that very well could work with elements of the Left. The key is as always social class. The wealthy elite partisans on either side have the job of stoking the partisan flames in order to keep the masses from unifying against them. Those towards the bottom 60-70% have every interest in coming together, to get over the Sunni – Shiite type bickering that the bottom three quintiles in the US are currently engaged in. Instead the working and middle classes need to unite against the wealthy and defend their class interests.

                  1. bob

                    So, we’re supposed to feel sorry for the suckers that bought the brand® and are now supporting it?

                    We get to listen to their insane ranting on national level politics from a local level to feel more inclusive?

                    Pity la revolución!

                    Also, almost skipped over, and often pre-supposed to be true- Where is the evidence for all this local activity? What does a ‘tea party’ local platform look like? How many local candidates have they seated? How many ballots have a “tea party” candidate appeared on? Lotsa bark, not much bite, IMO. Perfect status quo ante preservation move by the powers that be to co-opt any legitimate dissent and herd it into pens, where it can be “managed” into ineffectiveness.

                    1. abynormal

                      Agree Bob! Look what one Teabagger did to this thread. Folks need to understand and get real clear on their issues they are living…there a lot more to come where they came from. The Branches we need to turn this mess around, have been bought and paid in full…we’ll survive it by relying on each other consciously living within the realities of daily living changes desperately needed.

                      a few Tea Party Quotes:

                      “We needed to have the press be our friend … We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported.” —Sharron Angle, during an interview with Fox News Channel’s Carl Cameron, Aug. 2, 2010

                      “People ask me, ‘What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?’ Well, that’s not my job as a U.S. senator.” —Sharron Angle, May 14, 2010

                      Tea Party candidate Ken Buck, after being asked why people should vote for him for the Colorado GOP Senate nomination: ”Because I do not wear high heels. She has questioned my manhood, and I think it’s fair to respond. I have cowboy boots, they have real bullsh*t on them. And that’s Weld County bullsh*t, not Washington, D.C., bullsh*t.” Buck was referring to an ad run by his opponent, which decried third-party spending on behalf of his campaign and urged Buck to ”be man enough” to run the ads himself (July 21, 2010)

                      “What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP.’ I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business. I’ve heard nothing from BP about not paying for the spill. And I think it’s part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it’s always got to be someone’s fault instead of the fact that sometimes accidents happen.” —Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul, May 21, 2010

                      …just as crazy as the 2 parties we’ve been entertaining !

            1. James Levy

              A more general, reasonable point I was trying to make (but didn’t articulate along with my first point because I was a bit perturbed) was that if a Tea Party Congressman puts forward a good proposal, I would urge my Congressman (a vanilla Democrat) to vote for it, no question. If the Tea Party caucus said, “Let’s repeal the AUMF, or the PATRIOT Act, or cut the funding of the NSA so that it had enough dough to keep an eye on the Russians, the Chinese, and targeted terrorist groups, but no money or facilities for dragnets and total surveillance programs” I’d say “Bless you, I’m right behind you.” But I don’t hear that from the Tea Party. I hear a great deal of hate directed at immigrants, a load of anti-science crap, a contempt for the poor, and an endless demand for tax cuts and cuts to social welfare programs. I’m waiting for “we hate the banks” to translate into something substantial. When it does, then I’ll say whether or not I’m going to support any specific Tea Party initiatives.

          2. lambert strether

            Up here in Maine, it was the corrupt Democrats that inverted the solid waste hierarchy to put landfills at the top, above re-use and recycling, and it was the loony right of the LePage administration that after ten years of fighting actually gave landfill opponents a hearing with witnesses under oath. And there’s another one coming down the pike — surprise! — and its the families who moved up here to get away from it all that are in the thick of the battle.

            And I know for sure that it would have been a lot harder to slow down the odious East-West Corridor without guys carrying a “Don’t Tread on Me” banner.

            And let’s not forget that when TARP was being rammed through, with President-elect Obama whipping the Black Caucus for the votes, it was the hard right (and the American people) who were vehemently against it. Not the Democrats.

            There’s a ton I don’t agree with (see handy list above) when the “Don’t Tread on Me” guys get talking. On the other hand, they’re clear and open about their belief system. They don’t sidle up to you, put a tweedy arm round your shoulders, and then slip in the shiv, like the Democrats/”progressives”/liberals, or whatever they call themselves these days, do.

            1. Jackrabbit

              In the US:

              > ‘Socialist’ was turned into “closet communist”
              > ‘Liberal’ was turned into “tax and spend bleeding heart who is soft on crime”
              > ‘Democrat’ is the Party of those who hate Republicans
              > ‘Progressive’ ??????

              I’ve thought that ‘progressive’ (small ‘p’) still meant someone that seeks human advancement thru moral means.

            2. bob

              Yeah, the “hard right” was against it just like Ron Paul was able to vote against every pork project, ever, for his district. Voting against it didn’t ever stop him, or his constituents, from accepting his hard won DC largesse. It also doesn’t stop him from stumping and working for some of the largest MIC contractors.

              This is what is wrong with Teabaggers. I think that is perfect, and proper. They know exactly when use their horrible politics (balls) to smear across the forehead of a good idea. “see what I’m doin’! LOOK!”

              1. Lambert Strether

                The “Teabaggers” didn’t even exist when TARP was passed. Ya know, maybe if some principled Democrats — BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!! I crack myself up sometimes — had done a “strange bedfellows” coalition with the hard right, the bailouts wouldn’t have been the complete capitulation to the banksters that they were, under Obama. Just saying.

                1. bob

                  Coalition with the hard right? Good one. “you will be assimilated”. A major plank of the hard right is complete obedience, along with standing against anything that the “left” is standing for. As a matter of fact, Bedfellows? That kind of talk ‘ll getcha kilt quick…

                  Your timelines and politics are very mixed, and not what I remember, at all.

                  Technically, the name of “tea party” was already picked, but not for public release at the time of TARP. The machinery was also already in place and building out.


                  (Interesting that you can only find excerpts of the story on a site other than which it appeared first.)

                  It was a built to fail moment that any fascist would and did take huge advantage of. Forgive me if I don’t clap.

      3. MikeNY

        Good comment.

        Yes, I find myself in agreement with many of the themes you listed above. I also believe our government is out of control. I’d like to devolve a lot of power to the local level. I fantasize about breaking the country up into handful (or more) of new nations… maybe mine would trade its nukes and tanks for single-payer healthcare. Maybe then I’d stand a chance of meeting one of my elected officials in the cereal aisle at Safeway. This Federal Corporatist Leviathan seems utterly unaccountable to me.

        1. kgilmour

          If your comment is directed to K Gilmour please say so… it’s lost among the mindless rhetoric defending demonisation of the Tea Party

          1. Banger

            Expand on “mindless” — that’s a rather insulting and overly broad comment to make about this particular thread wherein we have the opportunity to exchange some unique insights on very important matter and even crucial matter. Why devolve into insults?

            1. abynormal

              i think he’s here to sterilize the thread, but ive been wrong before

              “The self-judging person will always judge others. The rubric we develop for ourselves, the measuring stick we put against our own mind and body, generalizes to every other human being.”
              Vironika Tugaleva

              1. Paul Niemi

                Introspective people can be needlessly hard on themselves or become stoved up with self-doubt and then project. These days I try to let go and go with the flow. Keeps me moving. By the way, you are able to find the most apt quotations at all times. It is very enjoyable.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          MikeNY, I agree with you.

          I usually say we should be for

          Big Little People

          and against

          Big Government
          Big Business.

          A lot of nice, kind-hearted people, as soon as you say you are against Big Government, assume you are for Big Business…a product of the most effective propaganda from the 20th century.

          The reality is we don’t live in a duality world. It’s also more than just a trinity world. We have at least Big Business, Big Religion, Big Government and the Little People.

          1. MikeNY

            ITA, Beef.

            I’ve come to agree with Simone Weil that power is inherently oppressive, and that the best we can do is “tilt the balance” a little bit away from the oppressor and toward the oppressed. I think that means, at the moment: away from corporations, away from the rich, away from the military, and away from the Feds…

      4. Doug Terpstra

        Excellent points, kgilmore kgilmour, well made and welcome. That said, I think the strong indignation on display in of your comments diminishes the impact of your message a bit. It’s easy to misconstrue one’s perspective in from the wording of a contemporaneous comment; Banger has in fact often made the case for greater right-left cooperation and even reconciliation. You should too, but your quick-reaction attack posture is off-putting. Should I duck now?

        1. kgilmour

          You don’t have to duck… but the responses to my itemization of similarities between the Tea Party and Progressives was met with the same ole same ole…

          Because I disdain homo sapiens in favor of the rest of the plant and animal kingdom is NOT indicative of Tea Party politics.

          Nobody came to my defense… it’s always har har har for the petty ambushes ….

          No one explained how ANY of my list of Tea Party objectives could be defined as “incoherent” or “destructive”

          NOBODY. … not a peep. I made very important points on where we agree… and I was met with [yes mindless] attacks.

          Yet I AM THE ONE HELD TO A STANDARD of responses or my entire point is diminished.

          This is supposed to be a place for thoughtful discussion. Reread the thread. Nobody went point by point on my list… it was word games to diminish my effort and reputation.

          And what is this crap about sterilizing a thread????

          Why are there no comments on the insanity of THAT observation???? — this is pack mentality – just like the Free Republic.

          We get no where against our oppressors if we don’t recognize that we ALL have something in common against the powers that be in both parties.

          For both parties are corrupt beyond redemption. And they count on discussions just like this to keep it that way.

          1. James Levy

            My reply would be, “where are the legislative proposals that correspond with what you claim to be similarities between Progressive and Tea Party values?” I understand that some of the rhetoric is similar, but I can’t tell if “Wall Street”, like “Hollywood” ten years ago, is just dog whistle for “the Jews”. I can’t tell if “big government” means the MIC or food stamps. I can’t tell if Tea Party people want regulations of big business and banks, or have a mythic faith in laissez-faire. I’m not sure if they want to put people back to work and redistribute wealth or only want to go untaxed and unregulated. I also am not sure if they think that “equal justice” and “equal protection” means for everyone or for white, heterosexual Christians. And I don’t think that the statements I have seen from people who claim they are in the Tea Party, or speak for the Tea Party, or speak at Tea Party rallies, clarify these issues for me.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Hey, I kinda peeped on your behalf. It was a 25 words or less peep, admittedly.

          3. JTFaraday

            “No one explained how ANY of my list of Tea Party objectives could be defined as “incoherent” or “destructive””

            Okay, I’ll bite. (I won’t get into a big fight about it, but I’ll bite). Here’s (a big) one.

            You said:

            “How about anger at oligarchy? Management to worker pay ratios? [ a huge deal with Tea Partiers who are by and large entrepreneurs and Main st Republicans]”

            I say:

            My understanding of rank and file Tea Party membership, based on a big demographic survey done at one point (don’t have the details at hand), roughly coincides with yours.

            While this Tea Party of petit bourgeois businessmen may be outraged at the ritual excesses of the “crony capitalist” uber-class, it seems to me that this demographic has has a long history of consistently organizing (with the uber-class) to depress the wages of the lower paid employees that they hire by doing things like opposing increases in the minimum wage and opposing unions—whether they are themselves in any danger of having to hire unionized employees or not.

            They just oppose the whole idea of employees having rights on the job– which means over their own person– including (but not limited to) the right to bargain for higher pay, because that’s Not in Their Interest.

            What’s incoherent about Tea Party positions, which I take to be broadly opposed to things like a national “single payer” healthcare program and expansion of the social safety net, is that they inhibit changes to the structure of the social welfare state that would take the pressure off lower paid workers, all alongside working to depress their wages.

            This strikes me as being incoherent and needlessly nasty.

            In opposing changes to the social welfare state, they also maintain the expectation on the part of their skilled employees that they, as the employer, will provide them with social welfare benefits like “health insurance.” In this case, either they do it, or they run the risk of not being able to hire who they want to hire.

            This strikes me as being incoherent and dumb.

            In the end, one is left with the conclusion that when (if) the petit-bourgeois Tea Party complains about things like “management to worker pay ratios” amongst the “crony capitalist” uber-class, the petit-bourgeois Tea Party is just being hypocritical because they do the same exact things to everyone else.

            I concede that not all Tea Partiers are petit-bourgeois businessmen, but many seem to have been brainwashed by them nonetheless.

            I think that’s the “economic case” people have against working with the petit-bourgeois Tea Party in a nutshell, so I’ll just leave it at that.

          4. skippy

            WRT Tea party – Follow the Money – and its increasing – Sovereign Man – involvement.

            skippy… Tis a short list but, gets right at the foundations….

            1. bob

              “Everyman for himself!”

              That phrase used to be a distress call. Now it’s a rallying cry?

              1. skippy

                Kimball Carson is now a birth certificate cattle brand sort, so, the group think is quite infectious imo.

                “Everyman for himself!” – Nay Bob… that would be Gawd does the sorting.

                Skippy… the dis cog burns mate….. soon to be a pyre… methinks

          5. bob

            Victimization! You really are a “lefty”. “No one is defending me!”

            Another christian seeking to prove persecution.

            Your answer? Letting you spout off about your victim status? The oppressors will cower in fear!

      5. lambert strether

        I’m late to this thread, but see my comments throughout on Maine. (I would bet also there are regional differences. I’m not sure how useful “Tea Party” is as a label. Up here it’s more a convention time thing, where the roots try to kneecap the regulars, than it is a formal organization.

        I think a lot of people look through a partisan lens not only ideologically but institutionally. Some places the two may be joined the hip, all the time. I don’t think that’s true everywhere.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      I think you’re a little off target on this one, Banger, though not necessarily on the TP, which I think does appear to be confused, as much as the mythical Left. What I don’t see are Neocons on a religious quest, unless full-spectrum dominance, global dominion (for Israel) is an article of faith. They may pose as the Judeo half of Judeo-Churchianity (sp.), but I don’t think they project their mission as anything but secular.

      In fact, I suspect that Yahweh (Jehovah) may even now be readying some Russian nukes to turn Har Megiddo (Armageddon) near Israel’s capitol, Haifa, into a Revelation “sea of glass”. According to Churchian prophecy (alone and de-emphasized), Israel is incinerated, save 144,000 Jews. Curiously, four prominent Revelation beasts, the (US) eagle, the (UK) lion, the (Russian) bear, and the (Chinese) dragon, do indeed all appear to be circling this conflict.

      1. Banger

        Neocons have always tended to be atheists–they believe, however, that the people need religion to stay in line–neocons are, if anything, libertines much like the powerful figures depicted by Eyes Wide Shut.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          That makes sense, but I don’t see much overtly religious appeal or emphasis on that in their witing and speaking, unlike other conservatives, who code everything in religious reference.

        2. Jackrabbit

          I agree with Doug: I don’t believe neocons are associated with any overt religious message. And while many of the most ardent may be Jewish, there are also Christians and, I guess, even some atheists. Then there are enablers/allies/etc. that see advantage to joining with neocons. I don’t see these opportunists as terribly important but they add to the political heft of the neolibcons.

          1. ohmyheck

            Well, the Neo-Con-Libs might not be overt, as in bible-thumping, but have you never heard of “The Family”?

            “The Fellowship, also known as The Family,[1][2][3] is a U.S.-based religious and political organization founded in 1935 by Abraham Vereide. The stated purpose of the Fellowship is to provide a fellowship forum for decision makers to share in Bible studies, prayer meetings, worship experiences and to experience spiritual affirmation and support.[4][5]
            The organization has been described as one of the most politically well-connected ministries in the United States. The Fellowship shuns publicity and its members share a vow of secrecy.[6] The Fellowship’s leader Doug Coe and others have explained the organization’s desire for secrecy by citing biblical admonitions against public displays of good works, insisting they would not be able to tackle diplomatically sensitive missions if they drew public attention.[6]
            Although the organization is secretive, it holds one regular public event each year, the National Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C. Every sitting United States president since President Dwight D. Eisenhower, including President Barack Obama, has participated in at least one National Prayer Breakfast during his term.[7][8][9][10]
            The Fellowship’s known participants include ranking United States government officials, corporate executives, heads of religious and humanitarian aid organizations, and ambassadors and high-ranking politicians from across the world.[1][11][12][13][14] Many United States Senators and Congressmen who have publicly acknowledged working with the Fellowship or are documented as having done so work together to pass or influence legislation.[15][16]”


            There has been much written about “The Family”.

            “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”


            “Worse Than Fascists: Christian Political Group ‘The Family’ Openly Reveres Hitler
            In his new book, The Family, author Jeff Sharlet reveals sordid details about this power-hungry, inside-the-Beltway fundamentalist group.”


            Guess who is an active member? None other than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

            1. Jackrabbit

              Yes, I’ve heard of them. Good point, ohmyheck.

              However, while some neocons may have a religious affiliation that is shared with other neocons, they don’t push a religious public agenda. Neocons and The Family seems to both relish having adherents/followers/allies who have power. They don’t seem to be interested in converting millions like a traditional religion.

              As Doug said, the neocon may be ideologues that behave with an almost religious dedication but their message is secular. Patriotism, ‘exceptionalism’, and ‘indepensible nation’ flatters us and anoints our leaders. It is propaganda-driven psychological conditioning. But it does not invoke our conception of God as an individual or group.

              1. Jackrabbit

                Oh, and necons and neolibs seem to be two sides of the same duplicitous coin: neolibcons.

    3. Jackrabbit

      I very much disagree Banger.

      You define ‘neocon’ in way that was valid 20 years ago. I really don’t think that neocons have been about anything resembling a patriotic mission since the fall of the Soviet Union (and even then, I wonder). The liberal consensus has been replaced by a neo-consensus (neocon + neolib, or ‘neolibcon’). Together, they work their magic for special interests and oligarchs – not for America.

      “Only dynamic ideology in Washington” and “the left . . . [is] dead” are also deceptive. Neocons and neolibs have succeeded by subterfuge (see this comment) and MONEY. The reason they incessantly attack and undermine the left is because they fear it. And libertarians/TP are not far behind (but less of a threat because they are much more willing to go along). So neolibcons are NOT the “only dynamic ideology” by a long shot but they are certainly the strongest political force.

      Lastly, Hillary is almost certainly a neolibcon. Few get as far as she has without demonstrating their support of the neolibcon status quo via convincing action. She kept the neocons alive at State. And former Pres. Clinton is probably as successful as he is because of his connections which are almost certainly neolibcons. She may also be a “Machiavellian opportunist” but such a person would naturally gravitate to the neolibcon camp so this is a difference without distinction.


      This appears to be yet another issue that we disagree on as you continue to insist that there are ‘realists’ that could act against the neocons; and I have previously complained about your outdated definition of ‘neocon’. I really don’t understand your outlook. You claim a special knowledge of Washington and that you are a libertarian with anarchist leanings but you are hesitant to call out neocons. You are critical of “Washington” and the left but ready to understanding and forgive powerful figures or factions.

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        I don’t see the ‘common purpose’ of the original neocons as being religious. It was more of an appeal to patriotism. They believed that ‘American democracy/ideals’ were inherently good/valuable and that America should act as a stabilizing force in the world, not simply be a role model (the ‘shining city on a hill’). The neocons have long said that this is in America’s interest and that such involvement ‘keeps us safe’ (fight them THERE instead of HERE). After 911, this was expanded to the infamous and extreme notion that ‘if your not with us, your against us’.

        But they undermined their own arguments by doctoring intelligence to start the Iraq war. They were so discredited that they ‘retreated’ to the shadows (with the help of their allies and benefactors). Now they work their influence behind the scenes and push for covert actions that advance their agenda. One could well wonder the ‘patriotism’ of even the original neocons was really genuine as they seem to consistently work to benefit a narrow group of special interests.

        The one thing that is overt about the neocon ideology today is this: a public relations campaign to convince Americans that they are ‘exceptional’ and that the US engagement is ‘indispensable’.

    4. subgenius

      …but the real question should be how do we grow a more organic set of identities – on a local scale. Y’know, local color instead of monotone corporatism and “politics”?

  8. JCC

    Harvard Educated blogger and Economic Journalist post: The Fed Needs to Reconsider Taper.

    We need more money printing, according to Matt, because… are you ready????

    There is no inflation, it’s working in Japan, and QE does not undermine financial stability! For the other 6 of 9 reasons, check out the article.

  9. Banger

    News Flash!!!!!

    George Will has an editorial which should set political Washington on edge right here. He lays out with good prose a challenge to the RP to face the facts of U.S. foreign interventions. He deconstructs the Libya story which the mainstream media has been silent on an puts it in play. This editorial could be of enormous significance and means that people within the national security state are not happy with the Bush/Obama agenda. Since the Democratic Party is moving more towards neoconservativism, the RP now has a chance to pull back and adopt for the first time since Bush the Elder a relatively sane approach to FP.

    It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media will echo this or not. But it clarifies the struggle. Evidently the “realists” in the national security state don’t see any avenue on the left so are putting their hopes on the right.

    1. fresno dan

      I’m glad Will is thinking straight – he actually does quite often.
      But the idea that the left is really all that anti intervention is/was probably always overstated.
      And non-interventionism, although the most logical and most prudent course to follow except under the most extraordinary circumstances, unfortunately doesn’t even get a hearing amongst the “serious” types.

      I just do not see any sanity and/or realism in the republican party. If there are sane members, they are cowed by the McCain/Lindsey demented feeble minded wing.

      1. kgilmour

        there are plenty of new Republicans who loath Graham and McCain…

        Michael Savage is one. So is the fellow who left Fox for the internet… his name escapes me but he’s highly effective voice for Tea Party change… and there is no love lost.

        The problem around here is none of you visit the opposition to see where your interests intersect.

        1. abynormal

          “none of you visit the opposition”.

          “They’re trying to kill me,” Yossarian told him calmly.
          No one’s trying to kill you,” Clevinger cried.
          Then why are they shooting at me?” Yossarian asked.
          They’re shooting at everyone,” Clevinger answered. “They’re trying to kill everyone.”
          “And what difference does that make?”
          Heller, Catch-22

        2. bob

          My interests, along with those of the majority of america have very little to do with the interests of the people funding and supporting whatever the hell “the tea party” is.

          A real tea party moment would be taking the top 200 “tea party donors” and shipping them back to england, home of the monarchy.

          That’s what is so abhorrent about the tea party. They took a great symbol of america, turned it into a rallying cry for the rich and the suckers in the mob were co-opted into the DC parade of money from wall st.

          aby, perfect.

    2. Jackrabbit

      I think its just electioneering, really. Mostly criticizes the ‘D’ team (not failing to please the crowd by naming the usual suspects: Hillary and Obama) but without saying much else. Bush neocons went too far and Obama neocons tried to act covertly instead of overtly; but otherwise they are the same.

      Just another example of how each Party’s base can’t see the forest of reality for the partisan trees. And that’s just the way TPTB (neolibcons) like it.

      H O P

  10. Jim Haygood

    As of today’s CPI report, the 12-month rate of change has accelerated to 2.1%, a full percentage point higher than it was just seven months ago.

    With the Fed still months away from tightening (in which the first baby steps probably won’t accomplish anything), they are simply along for the ride.

    Free money — who knew it had consequences?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Free money – by the time it trickles down to me, it would be too expensive – make that even more un-affordably expensive – for me to pick up a Van Gogh as an inflation hedge.

  11. diptherio

    Re: Four Academics applying for Univ. of Alberta president

    Rationality in the academy–holy buckets! They are apparently applying like this to make a point, but their reasoning is a lot stronger than they’re giving it credit for. Why not hire four people for the job? Not only would the Univ. be getting a lot more labor time for their bucks, and they’d be fighting unemployment by hiring three additional people for a single position. The profs could sweeten the deal even more by offering to take $75,000/yr each, for a 25% salary discount to the U.

    The argument for high-paid university presidents is, I gather, that they have to be great fundraisers, and apparently great fundraisers require lots of moola to beg on your behalf. And, apparently, university donors won’t open up their wallets unless the person asking them for money is also making a ridiculously high salary. This says more about fundraisers and donors than anything else, I think, and nothing very pleasant about either.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a little like when the Romans decided 4 emperors were needed to run the empire – cost less and ran more efficiently (in theory).

          1. Tim Mason

            An ethologist once remarked that if baboons had nuclear weapons, the world would already have been destroyed a thousand times over. One might surmise that the same were true for college presidents.

    2. nycTerrierist

      The four-person application teams are fantastic — brilliant agit prop –
      and they make a great deal of sense, too!
      the irony is that one administrator is more likely worth
      one-fourth a faculty member, not vice versa!

  12. NotSoSure

    The election in Indonesia makes me recall the phrase from the Godfather i.e. “we’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse”. One one side is a seemingly honest person (with no known record of corruption) and on the other side is a butcher. Should be an easy choice right? The former though seems to have come out of nowhere and it would truly be interesting if he turns out to be wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe the next 12 months will be a year of living dangerously for Indonesia.

  13. Eeyores enigma

    Great article;

    “We live in a bleak moment in human history. And Chomsky begins from this reality. He quoted the late Ernst Mayr, a leading evolutionary biologist of the 20th century who argued that we probably will never encounter intelligent extraterrestrials because higher life forms render themselves extinct in a relatively short time.”

      1. Doug Terpstra

        Yes, that’s it! We’re right on the cusp of transfiguration and ascension. The Rapture is coming in Shekhinah glory! What’s the holdup? Why won’t the Bear launch on Israel already? Let’s get this Armageddon event rolling so we can all be vaporized into Kingdom Come.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe it’s more a quieter transformation…a mutant gene here or a previously undiscovered brain neural pathway.

    1. Banger

      Always depends on your definition of ” higher” but let’s no go there for the moment. I think this notion is radically pessimistic and results from the tendency of modern intellectuals to adopt an increasingly narrow view of life and reality. Chomsky himself is a prime and rather powerful example of this idea that if a fact does not fit into our ideological framework we must ignore it that’s, of course, not unique to the obviously brilliant Chomsky.

      1. fresno dan

        More than any time in history, mankind now faces a crossroads. One path
        leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction.
        Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
        Woody Allen

  14. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    The study I sent–my snark re the SEC’s targets aside–documents compelling evidence of large scale insider trading. Worth a skim, or if you’re financially savvy enough to understand the options trades, a closer read. Just one more way markets are rigged.

  15. Mbuna

    Regarding- you can’t really escape the NSA- “much of the surveillance is done through court orders to Internet and phone companies.” This quote from the article is so delusional and propaganda-ish, I will cross National Journal off my list of reputable reporting.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    NSA proof? Super secure blackphone?

    Now we sheeple can relax,,. let our guard(dog) down, with more information gathered from us eventually.

  17. craazyboy

    This has nothing to do with anything, except that in my quest to find ways to waste time that don’t cost much money, I’ve taken up electronics design and microcontroller programming and came across some youtube vids I just had to share.

    Mini robot rides mini bicycle – Another way robots will save us work!!!!

    Raven attacks quadcopter – Where’s the button for the Hellfire missiles?

    Homemade quadcopter – too cool!

  18. Working Class Nero

    The NYT about Iran winning is based on the rather strange premise that before the recent ISIS advances, somehow the Iran had no influence in Iraq and the Maliki government was not their puppets. That’s the only way their argument makes sense. But the reality is, just two weeks ago, an Iranian puppet government controlled all of Iraq, they could ferry Iranian Special Forces anywhere, but now they only control maybe a little more than half of Iraq. And the ISIS is clearly working hard, with their recent capture of Tal Afar near the Syrian border, to deny the Iranians and their puppets ground routes into Syria. It will not be too long before they cut main routes into Baghdad and start to slowly lay siege to the city.

    The ISIS is an insurgent army. Yes they captured some heavy equipment that they will use from time to time but in the end their basic strategy will be to avoid pitched battles and to hit and run with terrorist attacks until the moment presents itself to actually take towns and cities. They are not going to roll in with a thousand tanks and conquer vast Shia controlled area. The only reason they were able to do that in the Sunni areas was that the Iraqi Army didn’t fight and certainly deals were made with local warlords or tribal leaders.

    So two weeks ago Iran had access to all of Iraq, could resupply allies in Syria, and controlled to some extent (through their puppet Maliki) the oil revenues from Iraq. Now they are faced with the unpleasant task of fighting an unconventional war against the ISIS. This will be expensive and time consuming. Of course Iran will not face the moral constraints a first world army in theory faces in not overtly indiscriminately slaughtering too many civilians. Iran’s counterinsurgency (CI) operations will be more like those of El Salvador (death squads, no taking of prisoners, etc.) than the slightly more civilized US attempts at CI in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. In any case defeating an insurgency that at least has some popular backing is extremely difficult. And Iranians hate the Sunnis so there will no doubt be atrocities that only serve to bring the Sunnis closer together. The same will be true in the other direction as well of course, so we could be in for a long struggle.

    The idea that a Sunni minority of 25% cannot take over a country is also foolish, and directly contradicted by the fact that is exactly the type of regime that was in power in 2003. The Sunnis have a ruling class arrogance and a will to power while the Shia have for generations been victims and the underclass. And the Sunnis will be plenty assisted by outside forces as well. Also the Sunnis showed a lot of fighting potential in the years 2005-8 against the far better equipped American forces. It may take years but it is certainly not out of the question that Sunnis could once again rule Iraq.

    On the other hand, the only way Iran and their local puppets take back Iraq is to partner with the Americans, but this cooperation will come at a steep price.

    1. BondsOfSteel

      Agreed. The NYT opinion piece still sees Iraq as a single entity. What we just witnessed was it’s disintegration. ISIS took over the Sunni areas so easily because the Sunni clans allowed them. ISIS turned over Mosul to the Ba’ath Party. I think we’ll see that Iraq’s army didn’t so much as flee, as dissolve into it’s sectarian components.

      In the 2006-7 sectarian conflict, we saw neighborhoods ethnic cleanse and coalesce into Sunni and Shia. Now, we’ll see whole cities / regions. Once this is complete, ISIS will lose out to the more moderate Sunni elements. Still, all the kings horses and all the kings men can’t put Iraq back together again.

    1. fresno dan

      I think that pun gets you not in to the eight circle of hell, but the 10 to the eighth circle….

      I will admit, that was a lot of ducks. I didn’t know they liked to march in formation…
      and somebody must have a sh*tload of day old bread…

      1. craazyboy

        Maybe the local Chinese buffet announced a Peking Duck Special and the Chief Duck quacked “run like hell”? Why not fly, we might ask? Because they are stupid ducks! There has got to be a duck crossing the road joke in here somehow. Coming up blank, tho.

        PS That was a fowl pun. hahaha

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A lot of Germans will tell you that there are more ducks in France than anywhere else in the world.

      For Germans, a Citroën 2CV is called a duck (Ente).

    3. ewmayer

      Nancy Reagan has a practical suggestion for duck-beleaguered Thais: “Just say no to quack.”

      [quick exit stage left as the rotten produce begins to fly…]

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From Guardian’s Coming Tsunami of Debt:

    “Under the current disastrous economic and tax policies, we can look forward to rapid increases in debt for both corporations and households from at least 2015 to 2017: a tsunami of debt.

    Alternatively, a teeth-gritting brake on household and corporate spending would be no help at all.

    That’s because if levels of debt and consumer consumption go down, the nation would move into what’s called secular stagnation: anemic growth, if any, and higher unemployment…”

    That logic is only for GDP-growth-ueber-alles propaganda victims.

    We can have both a smaller GDP and a happier society overall.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the Happiest Place in the entire planet, you will find a Small GDP world.

      1. craazyboy

        I’ve done my part already. Thanks to ZIRP, I’ve got my SDP down to almost nothing.

        Thanks again, Ben
        You too Janet.

        Oh yes, Mr O, can we please invade Iraq, Syria AND the Ukraine at the same time. It would give us something to watch on daytime TV besides Seinfield re-runs. I’m not a Jerry Springer fan, and whenever I do see the show by accident at the gym, his “guests” cause thoughts of buying a gun to go thru my head.

        If anyone wants me to stimulate the economy, I’ll do that for free, but please send money. hahaha.

        1. subgenius

          dude, you should have caught brazil mexico – that was a great game to show why 0-0 is a side issue…can’t help you with negative outcomes sadly…

    2. Abe, NYC

      If the article’s prediction come through and there is a period of growth followed by a slowdown in 2017, this will have been the longest period of economic expansion since (B.) Clinton and family moved into the White House, and one of the longest overall in the last 40-50 years. Not one of the fastest, but one of the longest.

      I don’t understand this economy anymore – I got Clinton’s, I got W’s, but I don’t understand how Obama’s economy works. The article doesn’t make it much clearer.

  20. F. Beard

    To paraphrase Voltaire’s words on God, even if bubbles and debt did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. And that is exactly what we are doing. from The coming ‘tsunami of debt’ and financial crisis in America

    Greenspan said much the same thing – that the boom-bust cycle is necessary for progress – but it isn’t. Anyone who has ever seen a balance sheet should realize that if money can be issued as Liabilities (debt) then it can also be issued as shares in Equity (common stock). And since common stock need never be repaid (since it is spent, not lent into existence), much less with interest, then the boom-bust cycle is not built-in as it is with money as debt.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      I think all the “Fed” heads believe bubbles are essential, not only to enrich their cronies (that’s patently obvious), but also to kindle animal spirits, like gambling fever, among the lower orders in order to animate economic activity. But of course, like our vaunted “intelligence” bureaus, they can never admit it publicly and have never, ever been capable of recognizing any bubble (or a bomb) until well after it detonates.

      In truth, only a coincidence theorist could possibly believe that these serial bubbles, including the current “grandaddy of all bubbles”, are not in fact engineered, just as most terrorist “incidents”, coups, and war pretexts are not contrived (or ignored) by the deep state, which always manages to pull off a convincing Sgt Schultz act (I know nuthink … ja, nuthink!) They lie — constantly — because of course, we can’t handle the truth. Either that or they are just common thieves and murderers who prefer to keep their crimes secret, under the noble mantle of “national security”. Is it any wonder they persecute, prosecute, and even torture those who dare expose them?

  21. DakotabornKansan

    Krugman claims that there are no policy disagreements within the party and the united Democrats are fully behind Hillary. Hillary Clinton is one of us!!!

    I’m with b @ Moon of Alabama, who asks, “Why would anyone vote for her?”

    However, just as the O-bots persist in keeping their heads in the bubble, so will the Clintonistas (rabid supporters of Hillary Clinton). The worst of all deceptions is self-deception.

    “The average citizen is the world’s most efficient censor. His own mind is the greatest barrier between him and the facts. His own ‘logic proof compartments,’ his own absolutism are the obstacles which prevent him from seeing in terms of experience and thought rather than in terms of group reaction.” – Edward Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion

    How easily people are manipulated. The struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. Just as Obama was a corporate marketing creation, so will be Hillary. Our nation’s digital slavery is the ultimate means of social control because it is voluntary, addictive and shrouded in illusions of personal freedom:

    “Today, we prefer to believe that there is no submissive void. ‘Choice’ is ubiquitous. Phones are ‘platforms’ that launch every half-thought. There is Google from outer space if you need it. Caressed like rosary beads, the precious devices are borne heads down, relentlessly monitored and prioritised. Their dominant theme is the self. Me. My needs. Riefenstahl’s submissive void is today’s digital slavery.” – John Pilger, “The new propaganda is liberal. The new slavery is digital,”

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928

    “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” – George Orwell

    Yes, Hillary Clinton should never ever become President of the United States, but she may well be – the lesser of two evils, once again.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      You’d expect that the US would be slated so low due to the fact that that they don’t have what one would consider a ‘socialized’ (to varying degrees) medicine plan(s) unlike the rest of the study participants.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Three Cheers For Starbucks…Mish’s Global Economics…

    I think he missed the key point – why not just pay employees more and let them decide what to do with that money (and would benefit all workers, instead of skipping over those with a BA degree already)?

    Maybe they will spend it one travelling around the world, to learn from life (instead from Ivory Tower hermits), or on health care.

    Why the obsession on ‘college education’ that will only benefit college presidents and tenured professors?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Besides, a lot of college degrees are faulty and should really be recalled for modification.

      They are lucky no lawyers have worked out the product liability angle yet. ‘My degree enabled me to launch massive financial weapons of mass destruction on innocent people all over the world.’

  23. Doug Terpstra

    Wow: ” Pope Francis has launched a scathing
    attack on the global economic system,
    warning it is near collapse because of a
    ‘throwaway culture’ of greed and the
    ‘atrocity’ of youth unemployment.

    “The Roman Catholic leader openly
    blasted the ‘idolatrous’ economy for
    disregarding the young, which he says
    has led to shocking levels of youth
    unemployment and will lead to a lost

    “The 77-year-old also criticised the
    economy – which he said had ‘fallen into
    a sin of idolatry, the idolatry of money’ -for surviving on the profits of war.

    “In an interview with Spanish newspaper
    La Vanguardia, he said: ‘Our world cannot
    take it anymore. Our global economic
    system can’t take any more…”

    Spiritual leaders have been crucified for such words

      1. savedbyirony

        You may find these articles interesting as well: in lingua inglese
        The topic of the second article is the real test because if a Pope is talking about the corruption of those in power, then he needs to be talking and doing something substantive and institutionally intigrated about the corruption rampent amongst the RCC Bishops (and how they are appointed/kept accountable). I don’t know much about other nation’s Bishops councils, but the USCCB is NOT on the same economic and spiritual pages as this Pope claims to be, and they have the power and inclination to make all sorts of other catholics (and others) lives a living hell through their behaviors.

      2. ewmayer

        Actually, I like your accidental neologism “atricious” – definition could be “descriptive of a contest to determine the most atrocious.”

  24. OIFVet

    Forbes scrapes the bottom of the barrel: “With Washington’s attention diverted, as radical ISIS forces march towards Baghdad, it is no coincidence that Russia chose to send tanks, missiles, and armored personnel carriers across its border into east Ukraine.”

    Hard as it is to believe, this is actually the high point of the article.

  25. dannyc

    Thanks Gordon,
    I really hate oil and don’t give a shit about it — in the sense that I don’t care to know much about it. It just kills me whenever I see refugees (desperate and defenseless) streaming in and out of the countries we bomb; and the fact that any of this violence is any way linked to or caused by religious beliefs is just bullshit, like the weapons of mass destruction or enhanced interrogation. It’s all a scam to break the law and escape being held accountable for breaking the law. It’s criminal that we don’t know how many civilians have been killed. The trillions that are being spent on these wars, and the fortunes which are being made off the killing and no one is even counting the dead — the innocent don’t even get a number. That’s not God’s will.

  26. Roland

    I want to caution everyone against the anti-Saudi propaganda getting spread around all the time. If you accept the propaganda line that the Saudi government supports Al-Qaeda, then you’re just letting yourself get set up for the future war that the USA will wage against that country.

    There are many people in Saudi Arabi and in the other Gulf monarchies who support Al-Qaeda and other Sunni radical groups, but those people are not, by and large, the people running the governments. Rather, it’s the disgruntled outer-circle aristocrats in those countries who are backing Al-Qaeda. The emergence of Al-Qaeda is a product of political dissent within the Arab monarchies.

    Once all the strong sovereignties in the Middle East have been demolished, the US ruling class will stab Saudi Arabia in the back. When they decide to start that war, it’ll be an easy sell to the American people, since hatred of Saudi Arabia is already widespread across the US political spectrum–even among those outside the bipartisan box.

    The Saudis, for their part, would be naif to think that the USA wants Saudi Arabia to be a strong and stable state. Once Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are all weakened and no longer really sovereign, the USA will smash Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty, too.

  27. different clue

    (From the looks of things, this comment may nest in a very strange place).
    Obama isn’t really black. He just plays black on TV. ah ha ha ha ha . . . heh heh.

    Harold Washington died too soon.

Comments are closed.