Panelists this week on Virtually Speaking Sundays were Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd, discussing the fact that important policy negotiations were going on in the dead of night when everyone is out partying instead of in the light of day with everyone watching (as would happen in a democracy).
Back in the spring of 2011, our friend The Raven did a post about the then-recent Brad DeLong interview on Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd. Apparently, DeLong saved that link for later use and referred to it recently, generating (to the sheer delight of The Raven) a post from Paul Krugman quoting from it. The gist is that people like Krugman thought they were having a debate on "freshwater" vs. "saltwater" economics with opposition that was operating in good faith - but (as people like me could have told them), that wasn't the case. It's worth listening to just to see how naive these geniuses of the "progressive" Democratic wonk council were even at that late date.
VSS producer Sherry Reson has posted individual clips of Culture of Truth's "Most Ridiculous Thing" from the Sunday talk shows that you can currently find on the front page here.
Charles Pierce: "Of course, while everyone in Washington, and the courtier press that serves them, were endlessly droning on and on about the Gentle Fiscal Incline, the Bill Of Rights closed out 2012 by having one of the worst weeks it's had in the two centuries of its existence. But the courtier press paid that little mind, possibly because selling out the Bill Of Rights was done on a "bipartisan" basis, and the denizens of the various Green Rooms would endorse cannibal murder if both parties agreed to subsidize it."
Dean Baker disputes the NYT CW that it's all the fault of the Tea Party faction: "Actually, the vast majority of Tea Party backers agree with the vast majority of Democrats in their opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The main difference is that the Tea Party backers seem to believe that there is some other area of government spending, other than defense, that can be cut back to reduce or eliminate the budget deficit. Of course this is not true. However the nature of the gap between most Democrats and Tea Party backers is informational, not ideological."
Baker buries the lede when he headlines this as, "David Brooks Reports that the NYT Can't Find Conservative Columnists Who Know Arithmetic." It could just as easily be called, "David Brooks reports that he hates democracy."
"David Sirota: The White House Has Said to a Right Wing Lynch Mob They Will Accept Their Political Terrorism" - I'm amazed CNN even let Sirota on long enough to say this stuff, frankly. But notice how everyone accepts the idea that suspicion of Bush White House complicity in 9/11 is a more outrageous lie than, well, almost anything. It's indisputable that, whether by negligence or intent, the Bush administration did indeed let 9/11 happen by its deliberate refusal to take any positive action in light of repeated warnings of an imminent al Queda threat. Whether they were genuinely incompetent or saw an attack as serving their own purposes is certainly a more legitimate question than whether, say, we ought to cut Social Security benefits (we should not) - but you still can't talk about that.
"California Newspaper Defies Trend to Shrink Costs: "New and expanded sections to cover business, automobiles and food. A nearly five-fold increase in community news pages and more investigative reporting. Even daily color comics. [...] It's too early to know whether he's right. Kushner said advertising revenues have grown, though he won't say how much. Average daily circulation rose 5.3 percent as of Sept. 30 from a year earlier to 285,088 on weekdays and 387,547 on Sundays, bucking an industry decline of 0.2 percent, according to the Alliance for Audited Media."
Interesting article by John Lanchester in London Review of Books, "Let's call it failure", on how austerity hasn't worked too well in Britain: "Saying ‘I told you so' is supposed to be near unbeatable fun, so it's disappointing to report that, in the case of the government's handling of the British economy, speaking for myself, no fun is being had. As George Osborne's autumn statement made clear, the scale and speed and completeness with which things are going wrong are numbing. The Tories went into the 2010 election with a manifesto commitment to reduce the structural deficit - the amount by which the government's spending in any given year exceeds its income, excluding temporary effects from the downturn. The first point in their economic policy read as follows: ‘We will safeguard Britain's credit rating with a credible plan to eliminate a large part of the structural deficit over a Parliament.' How? It's on the next page: ‘We will cut government spending to bring the deficit down and restore stability.'"
Sam Seder has been reposting podcasts of his best 2012 interviews while he's on holiday - listen again to the Chris Hayes interview on The Majority Report.
NYT: "F.B.I. Counterterrorism Agents Monitored Occupy Movement, Records Show"
Rebel Institute, "FBI Considers the 'Occupy Movement' as a 'Terrorist Threat'"
Naomi Wolf: "Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy"
I dunno, Dave Barry's shtick doesn't really work for me in his year in review piece.
Local color: Those who've done the IndiaTown tour with me may or may not recognize the Queen's Market, home of The One Pound Fish Man.
Who knew it was something I had in common with Sean Hannity? (Some of the rest are pretty cool, though.)