Sunday, December 15, 2013

All the world's links at once

Scheduled for tonight's Virtually Speaking Sundays, "Joan McCarter and Jay Ackroyd compare and contrast the media attention to the beleaguered centrist Dems with John Podesta's appointment to a new position of power, and then discuss the pros and cons of cutting discretionary spending."

David Dayen in The American Prospect on Robbing Illinois's Public Employees serves as homework for that last Virtually Speaking Sundays Dday did with Gaius Publius.
And Sam Seder's interview with David Dayen on The Majority Report.

Public and Private Sector Payroll Jobs: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama

At Naked Capitalism, Yves reposts "Bill Moyers: The Great American Class War, Plutocracy Versus Democracy".

Believe it or not, George W. Bush actually tried to close down the gulag at Gitmo but Cheney undercut him. Today's Cheney is Democratic Party honcho Steve Israel, who has kept Gitmo running despite opposition from just about everyone.

Atrios accidentally linked this two-year-old article about how Bush tried to find dirt on Juan Cole to discredited him, but it's worth reminding that this is exactly why we don't want our intelligence and law-enforcement apparatus storing back-data on every little thing you might have done in the past.
And Juan Cole certainly gets that, so he wrote, "Dear Pres. Obama: Dissent isn't Possible in a Surveillance State," in response to Obama's eulogy for Nelson Mandela: "Obama praised dissent in the service of human rights, but has done everything in his power to suppress dissent. Dissent can come from within the ranks of government employees (indeed, since 3% of the work force in the US is employed by the Federal government if you count the military, it would have to). If Mr. Obama truly valued dissent in the service of human rights, he would persuade his Attorney General to drop charges against Edward Snowden and he would use his presidential pardon to release Chelsea Manning from penitentiary. These two are dissenters, the one in prison and the other facing prosecution if the US could get its hands on him. They saw their government do things that they found ethically repugnant and blatantly unconstitutional, which the government had hidden from the citizens whom it was supposed to be serving. Their revelations of what they knew was the highest form of morality. [...] Greatness has escaped Mr. Obama. He seems content to be the community organizer of the Federal government, asking Congress and Federal officials what they think they need and offering to try to get it for them. That isn't leadership. His response to the NSA leaks was to announce that the country could now have a discussion of the practices, as though the citizenry could discuss matters being actively hidden from them, on which a sitting senator like Wyden is muzzled. Mr. Obama's chance at greatness is before him. Most of the abuses are in the executive, over which he largely has control. He could initiate major reforms restoring constitutional liberties. If he does not, he is very unfortunately choosing to play P.W. Botha, not Nelson Mandela."

Echidne says we need a different concept of "infrastructure": "All the things that a First World country is expected to have: Not only roads, bridges, communication systems, cheap-and-efficient transportation systems, but also clean water, safe food, schools which provide the citizens of the country with the needed skills and knowledge, basic safety nets which protect them against major illness, the pains of old age and utter poverty."

More NSA fallout, or "Why there won't be a third book in the Halting State trilogy" - because reality has caught up too fast with Charlie's imagination.

Dean Baker has to explain TPP to Paul Krugman. Yves Smith is distressed by the role Krugman has chosen to play - but heartened by the critical response of his loyal readers.
Spocko spends a minute-and-a-half pretending to be Ross Perot to tell us why there should be NO Fast Track on Trans Pacific Partnership Job Killer.
And here's Sam Seder talking to Zach Carter about TPP on The Majority Report.

How Slate redefines a push-back - Dave Weigel's weird article about how the left "made up" a debate about Social Security expansion. This is a very odd way to frame a story about how objecting to having policy made by people no one agrees with actually worked for a change. Well, they do have someone's support.

I'm sorry, you can't blame the internet for the fact that a story went viral because no one had time to check it. The Newspapers of Record have been printing crap since before there was an internet. And since the internet has been around for some time now, why is The New York Times suddenly noticing that there are fake stories around? I mean, jeez, those people get paid for the so-called gate-keeping and fact-checking and editing that allegedly goes on. If they can't do better than a lazy, sloppy, unpaid slob like me, why should anyone pay attention to them at all, let alone pay money for their product?

Like I've said for the last 12 years, the great thing about bloggers (the independent, unsalaried kind) is that they're not part of the beltway consensus, and they don't depend for their income on saying things that are pleasing to powerful, connected, people.

Even Reagan's labor secretary ultimately had to agree: "You can't run an economy like that."

Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts [...] I know how to cook. I had to take Home Ec to graduate high school. Most people on my level didn't. Broccoli is intimidating. You have to have a working stove, and pots, and spices, and you'll have to do the dishes no matter how tired you are or they'll attract bugs. It is a huge new skill for a lot of people. That's not great, but it's true. And if you fuck it up, you could make your family sick. We have learned not to try too hard to be middle-class. It never works out well and always makes you feel worse for having tried and failed yet again. Better not to try. It makes more sense to get food that you know will be palatable and cheap and that keeps well. Junk food is a pleasure that we are allowed to have; why would we give that up? We have very few of them."

Microaggressions - I grew up in a neighborhood where we were all living in the house our parents brought us home to from the hospital, and the other kids used to ask me, "Where are you from?" I'm from here, you nitwit!

Waterstone's responds - well, hell, that's where I wanna get my books from!

World's biggest snowglobe, Piccadilly Circus
What London Would Look Like If the Thames Barrier Had Failed

Licia Ronzulli takes her daughter to work - in parliament.

It's funny how often people refer to camera work (Photoshop, air-brushing, "touching up") as why models and stars look better-than-real in photos and film, but it's amazing how much of the work happens in make-up.

This article about Dave van Ronk and the new film about him brought up Lee Hoffman's folk bio, 'cause she was a pal of van Ronk and, of course, did a fanzine about that scene, too.

The Wreath of Khan

An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer
And here's a nice photo of them with the Guardian story.

"When I Finally Realized What I Was Seeing, This Was The Coolest Thing Ever. Look Closer."

I saw this long ad on my TV and went to find it, and discovered there is a different and longer clip that is apparently a three-minute trailer for a seven-minute film. Odd. Oh, and apparently a director's cut of the ad.

Paul Krugman recommended this music, which is kinda neat.

Reginald D. Hunter on The trouble with Batman

For Daria fans

Wholock - an amazing bit of fan work.

"Carol of the Brains" - for your Zombie Christmas.
"Regeneration Carol"
And the baby hurricane made us play this one about eight times.


  1. I don't know what's involved in selling off the Royal Mail, but I hope it doesn't include moving post offices into big box stores. Audio link to a discussion of the theft of U.S. post offices by the likes of Richard Blum, aided and abetted by Obama's Postmaster General. Makes me wonder what happened to those schools Mayors Emanuel and Nutter closed.

  2. This Paul K. post remains burned into my brain:

    Finally, there’s financial reform. The Dodd-Frank reform bill is often disparaged as toothless, and it’s certainly not the kind of dramatic regime change one might have hoped for after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees.

    Still, if plutocratic rage is any indication, the reform isn’t as toothless as all that. And Wall Street put its money where its mouth is. For example, hedge funds strongly favored Mr. Obama in 2008 — but in 2012 they gave three-quarters of their money to Republicans (and lost).

    Poor raging plutocrats...

    Wall Street could support Romney in 2012 because they knew Obama and company would stay bought: their big rewards come from the corporations after they're done screwing the public.

  3. St Ron's former labor secretary explains the consequences of Reagonomics to those who still consider PBS a legit news source. Truly precious.