Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More precious, far, than gold

Sam Seder talked to Bill Black on "why pushing for austerity in a economic crisis is illogical, how Europe plunged itself into a unnecessary recession and social crisis with austerity policies, why governments need to stimulate the economy, how Greece's debt crisis is fundamentally different from America's 'debt crisis', what the IRS does with your cash if you send it in to pay your taxes and how a 'grand bargain' would be grand betrayal of the middle class and the poor."

Everyone who's seen it says that Chasing Ice is so visually beautiful that you've got to see it on the big screen. Watch the trailer and a neat clip. Or watch a news story about how James Balog turned from being a climate change skeptic into a man who risked everything to document the receding glaciers. Or this interview with Balog and Jeff Orlowski. Or listen to Sam Seder's interview with Orlowski on The Majority Report.

Rajiv Sethi at Naked Capitalism on "Curtailing Intellectual Monopoly: The Insanity of US Copyright Law"

I'd like to see a more readable version of this image, but, you know, pass the word to your neighbors and relatives, because most people still don't know that there's a cap on what you pay on Social Security.

About a minute of Bernie Sanders

Huh, I would have sworn I'd linked to Brad Hicks' "How Damon Runyon Would Have Explained Jon Corzine" already, but now I don't see it.

I thought I'd have a look at Memeorandum to see what they're talking about these days, and one item I found was a hilarious piece by Gregory Mankiw in which a "liberal" Obama has a conversation with a "moderate" Obama over future economic policy. As usual, the term "moderate" is undefined and meaningless. There is, of course, no actual liberal in that conversation, since pretty much everything the "moderate" Obama says would normally be met with derision at best by an actual liberal. (Why is it that "moderates" like to talk about how any minute now the whole of Congress is going to break out into some kind of Woodstock Nation in suits where everyone will hold hands and come to a shining agreement?) But, for those keeping track of the output from the right-wing's Mind-Reading School of Journalism, this should definitely be on the reading list. (Obama does seem to believe the same rubbish that Ross Douthat believes, though, doesn't he?)
Memeorandum links a short piece from bm at CEPR called "That Shortage of Skilled Manufacturing Workers is Really a Shortage of Employers Willing to Pay the Market Wage", and a related article at No More Mister Nice Blog on "How To Create Serfs". These are actually sensible and have some good comments in the ensuing threads. (See also Krugman on The Fake Skills Shortage.)
Memeorandum cites a post by Kathleen Greier at The Washington Monthly called "Grover Norquist: the end of an error?" noting that Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) has said he's not worried about what Grover Norquist will do if he votes to raise taxes. Geier does not seem aware that Norquist himself has said he's not all that worried about taxes right now, nor does she acknowledge that raising taxes (but not very much) on the rich is the alleged "liberal" side of the Grand Bargain to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, a principle goal of the arch-conservatives since before I was born - and also a clear goal of Barack Obama and other "liberals" in the Democratic leadership. Ms. Geier's post is in the "Look at this Republican who is being more reasonable" mold, much as earlier but apparently forgotten pieces on Norquist's relaxation of his anti-tax position were. But, as Digby says, this is flim-flam, and all part of the process of setting up the destruction of the New Deal that the financiers, plutocrats, and royalist factions are itching for.

Glenn Greenwald, "Prosecution of Anonymous activists highlights war for Internet control: That the US government largely succeeded in using extra-legal and extra-judicial means to cripple an adverse journalistic outlet is a truly consequential episode: nobody, regardless of one's views on WikiLeaks, should want any government to have that power. But the manifestly overzealous prosecutions of Anonymous activists, in stark contrast to the (at best) indifference to the attacks on WikiLeaks, makes all of that even worse. In line with its unprecedented persecution of whistleblowers generally, this is yet another case of the US government exploiting the force of law to entrench its own power and shield its actions from scrutiny." (Also: Glenn on the false equivalency in the Gaza issue.)

I can't help feeling that everyone who heard or read Joe Klein floating raising the Medicare eligibility age is morally justified, if they ever meet him, in punching him in the face.
Some rare good news when federal education officials tell PA that charter schools must meet the same standards as "traditional" schools.

40 years later, Dennis Miller smears Sacheen Littlefeather.

No matter what anyone says, it's hard to look at this picture without being sure you're looking at vegetation on Mars.
Diamond Ring and Shadow Bands - a neat picture of last week's eclipse.

Mary Martin, original kinescope, "Never Never Land"


  1. Essential reading on organizing from Jane McAlevey.

    One of the fundamental things that separates good organizing from everything else that people pretend organizing is, people say to me “How'd you get workers to do all that shit?” And I'd say “We asked them.”

    Seriously. Because a lot of people don't want them participating. It's easier to have five people who make all the decisions--technically easier in the short term but it's killing our movement in the long term. Ask workers to step up and do the work, you want to have that contract, here's what you have to do. But that's what can get you to this unpredictable crazy base, which a lot of people are scared of. But we're not going to make real change in America by flipping the switch every four years, that's for sure.

    Change isn't coming through elections. Change comes through the fights in the governing period. And so labor puts the base to sleep for the governing period both in the shop after the contract is won and after the Democratic Party wins every four years, both the party and labor put everybody back to sleep and then who's talking to the people who are really pissed off? The Tea Party.

  2. Liked the closing from NMMNB:

    "This is the real reason corporations and their pet repugs in Congress so frantically oppose creating the 10 million government infrastructure jobs that would restore the economy and eliminate the deficit in one fell swoop: because those would be good jobs at good pay with good benefits, and corporations would actually have to compete for high-skill employees."

    And swing low if you're going for Klein, he's about man-breast high.