Sunday, February 24, 2013

A scandal every minute

Marcy Wheeler:"The other day, I explained that the Administration would be forced either to cede to Republican demands for Benghazi talking points and other truther demands or release a full accounting why and in which countries it has conducted targeted killing. It decided to capitulate to the Benghazi truthers rather than tell the Intelligence Committee what kind of targeted killing it has been doing."

Something has gone terribly wrong with the Pew poll that conveniently left jobs and the economy off its list of options for what concerns Americans. Did they think no one would notice?

The Bradblog highlights a dispute over whether Colin Powell knew his Iraq-fear presentation was a pack of lies at the time he made it. I find it frankly incredible that anyone could have believed that crap.

David Dayen, "The recession was her fault - One woman gets to take the fall for the whole of Wall Street's crimes.

There's a great photograph at the bottom of Yves' Links post at Naked Capitalism, and there are also some great links, including:
"What Led Chris Dorner to Go Off the Edge: Workplace Abuse, Racism, and Unfair Firing [...] Ever since 'going postal' massacres first appeared in the public sector, in US post offices in the mid-1980s, they have tended to follow a familiar script. The murderer 'snaps' for no apparent reason; official culture blames it all on Hollywood or guns, never explaining why these workplace massacres only appeared in the mid-late 80s; and later, as it turns out, there were a lot of reasons for the gunman to snap. If you profile the workplace that created the murderer, rather profiling the murderer's psychology, you will often find a pattern of shocking workplace abuse and of top-down mistreatment of employees, culminating in the 'going postal' rampage. The consequent killing spree will target supervisors, fellow employees, and anyone associated with the institution that the abused employee blames for having crushed him (or her)."
"Lawrence Lessig Lecture On Aaron Swartz, Law and Justice In The Digital Age"
Rep. Alan Grayson: Remembering Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013.
And a post from Yves herself asks the rather obvious question of why Greece hasn't left the Euro. And answered: "It's powerful local politicians who are selling out their countries, working in cahoots with Eurozone technocrats. And I can assure you none of them are sharing in the suffering of periphery country workers. This is the plague of our modern social order: detached and corrupt leaders, whether intellectually, monetarily, or both. The old code of noblesse oblige, which at least required the elites to have some concern about what happened to the lower orders, is a dead letter. It's curious that someone as incisive as Wolf is unwilling to factor the behavior of the ruling classes into his assessment. Perhaps, as Michael Thomas said of Punch Sulzberger, he is dining with people he should be dining on."

Boing Boing reports that the Sunlight Foundation has launched its Open States site, where you can find out all sorts of things about local politics in your state. One of the things I found there was a link to a blog called Maryland Juice, where I learned the startling news that the Prince George's County school board is trying to claim copyright ownership of the work of students' (and staff), such as art and book reports. And the Tea Party has actually introduced " the 'Maryland Liberty Preservation Act of 2013' which would prohibit state agencies and employees from aiding the United States in detaining people under the National Defense Authorization Act. Specifically, the lawmakers appear to be attempting to protect Marylanders from being unconstitutionally detained without trail by the Feds..."

I know he says this at least once a day, but Atrios is really good at saying it, and it needs to be said more - and heard: Contractionary Policy Is Contractionary.

Digby, "They want to kill the New Deal just as much as we want to save it." I don't buy that it's just about tax cuts for the rich, either. These people really do want to kill Social Security. Just as much as Obama does. The wonder is that they haven't done it yet.

Ian Welsh explains what it means when the most well-armed country in the world can't win wars. It isn't pretty.

"A person with a gun and a government badge asked me to swear in writing that a lie was true today."

FAIR on The NYT's Problem With Leftist Presidents

It's amazing where you have to go to find good, old-fashioned bleeding-heart liberalism, but at Outside the Beltway, George Will Discovers Solitary Confinement.

Good Rachel Maddow segment (with some help from Colbert) on McCarthyite tactics in the Republican delegation and the attempt to burnish McCarthy's bad name.

Yes, the pope is resigning because of a scandal - but not quite what everyone thought. Via Atrios, who actually wrote something about it.

Sam Seder talked to Nick Turse, author of Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, on The Majority Report. He also spoke to Helaine Olen about the personal finance industry scam.

Looking back at The Battle for Bermondsey, from Peter Tatchell, and from his opponent: "But even though we were not the main culprits, anything that my colleagues or I added to growing homophobia was unarguably wrong and cannot be justified. With hindsight, the 'straight choice' phrase should not have been used, although at the time it was one of the most common phrases wherever we or others were trying to make an election contest the proverbial 'two-horse race'. I have never heard anybody suggest, then or later, that the 'two Queens' leaflet had anything to do with any part of the Alliance campaign. I assumed it came from right-wing Labour or another extremely bigoted group."

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Poor

"Police called after man refuses to remove pasta strainer from head."

"Boys don't read Girl Books and other lies my Society Told Me"

"A Day in The Life of 3 Million London Commuters, in 1 Minute"

The Fake Townhouses hiding Mystery Underground Portals

Nothing is real: In my lifetime, it was easier to actually go to the moon than it was to do this.

Man Feeds Swans, Becomes Part Of An Image Of Jaw-Dropping, Surreal Beauty

Google celebrated Edward Gorey's birthday.


  1. It isn't necessarily the strong who survive.

    Think afrensis. A.afrensis, omnivore.

    No fear...

    1. A little more detail: Australopithecus afarensis, popularly known as Lucy.

      Au. afarensis had mainly a plant-based diet, including leaves, fruit, seeds, roots, nuts, and insects… and probably the occasional small vertebrates, like lizards.

  2. FAIR on The NYT's Problem With Leftist Presidents

    Great link.

  3. Anyone caught this film based on Chris Hedge's Death of the Liberal Class?

    Per Ian's post, this is something Paul Craig Roberts wrote last year:

    The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America … The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. ...

    In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security. The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty.This is why the wars cannot end, or if one does end another starts … This truth doesn’t mean that the objects of American military aggression have escaped without cost. Large numbers of Muslims have been bombed and murdered and their economies and infrastructure ruined, but not in order to extract resources from them.

  4. I tried to send this comment to the author of the USA Today article about the Pew Poll:

    "I am really curious as to why and by who the four issues chosen were selected as opposed to other obvious possibilities such as jobs/the economy and Social-Security/Medicare. The four chosen all have their place, but considering the amount of media and pundit attention given to each, it almost comes across as a push poll for focusing on the deficit."

    I say "tried" because I hit the send button twice but could detect no sign that anything happened.

  5. Here's another great link: Alan Blinder on the financial crisis. The Q&A is especially good, especially a challenge by a foreigner, probably a Brit, on the way in which the crisis could have been avoided.