Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is your leadership on drugs

On The Majority Report, documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki (@EugeneJarecki) joined Sammy to talk about his new film, The House I Live In, a history of the failure and abuses of the War on Drugs. This is a good one to listen to if you are at all concerned about the devastation caused by the drug war and the enormous expansion of a prison system that is scooping more and more Americans into its maw. Another gift to you from bipartisanship. You can watch the trailer at the movie's website.

The Greater Evil - Democrats and Republicans conspire together to wreck the New Deal: "First, senators would come to an agreement on a deficit reduction target - likely to be around $4 trillion over 10 years - to be reached through revenue raised by an overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes to social programs like Medicare and Social Security, and cuts to federal programs. Once the framework is approved, lawmakers would vote on expedited instructions to relevant Congressional committees to draft the details over six months to a year. " ("social programs like Medicare and Social Security." Leaving aside the fact that the only real savings from Medicare will come from finally telling the medical and insurance companies that they can't keep treating health care like a gravy train, we're not talking about savings at all, we're talking about theft, here.)

I guess Krugman is trying to sound reasonable, offering excuses for why Bowles-Simpson is such bad policy, but the fact is that the commission never needed to happen in the first place. Congress voted against having their own commission when Obama tried to push them into it, so he put together his own instead - with Pete Peterson. The commission couldn't even agree enough to put together a report. There was no "environment" in which this was necessary, it was just what Obama wanted to do.

Over at Naked Capitalism, Lambert posted a video of L. Randall Wray and Michael Hudson talking about Modern Money And Public Purpose: The Historical Evolution Of Money And Debt: "It's usually considered the start of Western civilization, but what people think is the start of Western Civilization was the falling apart of Near Eastern origins of civilization, of this economy that had been put together in a very well-organized economy, and all of a sudden instead of the public institutions, you had local chieftains occurring, and in Rome, very soon you had the aristocratic families overthrow the kings, and the functions that were in the public sector in the Near East all of a sudden were taken over by private families - let's call them the Mafia, because that's basically what the Roman oligarchy was."

Or, in the modern world, you could say "Privatization was invented by the Nazis." (via)

Dr. Duncan Black says in USA Today that "U.S. needs paid family leave." (Also, what Atrios said.)

"We're All In This Together," By A Republican Standing In Four Feet Of Floodwater [...] "I guess I'm just rethinking my whole philosophy about the relationship between the individual and society as a whole. We don't just create every opportunity for ourselves by hard work and sheer willpower. We exist as part of an interdependent network of people - real human beings whose basic needs should be our concern, if we want to be a part of a society. That's why I truly believe we have to move beyond the selfishness of pure capitalism, and why I think you all should let me on your raft so I don't die." (via)

I know I posted this chart for a few years ago, and it looks a bit different for the OECD in 2010, but one thing hasn't changed: Americans spend a lot more money on healthcare and get a lot less back.

Lady Parts Diagram

Norman Spinrad tries his hand at saying what Lenny Bruce said about those forbidden words, only with some historical context.

World's first colour moving pictures discovered.

This is your artist on drugs. (via)

Tor/Forge E-book Titles to Go DRM-Free.

Thanks to all our friends for helping with the migration, and special thanks to Richard for installing the blogroll.

18 comments:

  1. The "Republican in four feet of water" reminded me of a lyric I wrote a while back. It drew quite a response from a libertarian acquaintance:

    ---
    THE SONG OF THE WINDOW PANE

    Near the town's only graveyard, an old mansion sits
    Surrounded by wild-growing grass
    And facing the street there are thirty-two windows
    But only one still has its glass.
    It looks smugly out at its less lucky mates
    As it twinkles and shines all alone
    And a sensitive soul might fancy it speaks
    In a thin and self-satisfied tone:

    "I made the right choices
    I took the right steps
    My present success is my own.
    I've no one to thank
    But my foresight and brains
    For the fruits that my planning has grown.
    I rely on no man
    For my unbroken face
    I earned what I have; I'm self-made.
    I've nothing to mourn,
    And I've nothing but scorn
    For the ones who go whining for aid:

    (snidely)
    "'Someone should do something
    Someone should step in
    If only somebody would see
    I did as I should
    I helped where I could
    And now someone else should help me!
    I hereby declare
    That this world is not fair
    And it's wrong that the innocent pay.
    Somebody must bail
    They can't let me fail
    We're in this together, I say!'"

    With the winter approaching, a gang of young boys
    Came biking by just before dark
    And spying the window, they stopped where they were
    And picked up some rocks for a lark.
    "Watch my aim!" one boy shouted, and straight flew a stone
    From a slingshot he kept in his coat
    And it shattered the glass that sparkled alone
    So no more did the last window gloat.

    "No one could predict this
    I did all I could
    And in justice, I should be okay.
    This murderous clod
    Was a sheer act of God
    And that's nothing for which I should pay.
    It's a sad day indeed
    When the innocent bleed
    For something no one could foresee.
    I need help, and soon!
    I've not changed my tune
    For heaven's sake, listen to me!

    (plaintively)
    "Someone should do something
    Someone should step in
    If only somebody would see
    I did as I should
    I helped where I could
    And now someone else should help me!
    I hereby declare
    That this world is not fair
    And it's wrong that the innocent pay.
    Somebody must bail
    They can't let me fail
    We're in this together, I say!"

    (It seemed thus to sing, by the light of the moon,
    On the night that the fortunate pane changed his tune.)

    ---
    ©2011 by Kip Williams
    No tune assigned

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  2. Ah. No post-posting edit command. Well, if you'd rather I link instead of putting the whole thing here, here's a link to it on the New Pals Club Web-Log: http://kipwblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/pane-chant.html and I could delete the previous.

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    Replies
    1. Can't you just copy, delete, edit, and re-post?

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    2. Um, I haven't figured out a way to create those options, if it exists.

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    3. I have the choice of deleting my own posts. If you have a preference, let me know.

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    4. As near as I can tell, we can all delete our own posts, and I can delete yours as well. So the only way you can edit is to copy the comment, delete it, create a new one and paste it in there and edit it. Pain in the ass, but I don't see any way for me to offer you an actual Edit option.

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    5. Or, of course, you can link to material at your own site (or elsewhere). I have no problem with that, either. Happy if it gives you a little traffic. ;)

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  3. Off topic but be warned, it turns out Matt Stoller is the type of feller who will kick a guy when he's down:

    [indent]>>>>>...The reason Obama did poorly is simple. He is bad at governing America. He hasn’t solved the foreclosure crisis, the jobs crisis, the climate crisis, the energy crisis, the financial crisis, the debt crisis, the health care crisis, or really, anything. He can’t point to very much that Americans broadly like, except killing Bin Laden and the auto bailout. His second term agenda is to cut Social Security, Medicare, frack, cut corporate taxes, bust more teachers unions and pass more neoliberal trade agreements. He is proud of this record. So are his people....

    He tried to present himself as a fighter for the middle class, but he doesn’t actually respect people he perceives have less strength than he does. Obama believes in pity for the middle class, not respect. Nor does Obama like Romney. So Obama came off passive and unpersuasive, making a case he didn’t believe in. It’s like George W. Bush, who couldn’t put two words together fluently unless he was talking death and destruction, and then he was a virtuoso rhetorician.

    Obama is at his best when he is talking about himself and his family, because that’s what he likes and believes in. That’s why his 2008 campaign worked, because it was all framed around Obama The Savior. It was mass narcissism (and even then, he only narrowly beat John McCain). If you’re wondering why Obama is a bad speaker now, where the old Obama went, just recognize that he’s only a great speaker when it’s all about him, because that’s where his interest is. The talent is there, the character, not....
    <<<<<[end indent]

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    Replies
    1. Er, how is that off-topic?

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    2. Stoller's is a post debate comment and you haven't gotten to that yet.

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    3. Having not watched, was it as bad as our fucktard media makes it?

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    4. Content-wise, if you were a wonk, Obama sort of held his own. Style-wise, well of course, I wouldn't have noticed. But had I noticed I would be saying that Chris Matthews and James Lipton have it exactly, precisely right (except for their gratuitous reference to Al Gore). Don't know if you or Avedon can watch this segment but here *Matthews and Lipton* are with their review.

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    5. Not really important but just to throw it out, I think that the strategy of the O-team was "you're ahead, you're pulling away, so just go out there and don't make any mistakes. Lay back, be cautious, be safe, don't start anything." (Remember, the issue is not what we would think of as mistakes but what they would think of.)

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    6. About Matt Stoller kicking a feller when he's down, I can live with that. Back in Watergate days, I remember Hunter Thompson quoting a New York Times writer who chided those who criticized Nixon when he was already on the ropes as "vulture-hearted"; Thompson said he could live with that. I should try to track down the original article and make sure I've got it right ... Eek, the Watergate break-in was 40 years ago, wasn't it?

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  4. I like the new place. I'll be sure to put up the new link on my blogroll.

    Mike Flannigan weighs in on the debate in Sound Minus the Fury.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Replies
    1. Kip W [Muffaroo] and Avedon,

      I'm logged in on my google account and I have a delete option available at the bottom of all my comments here - even a day after posting them. I would think that's true for the rest of ewes.

      Delete