Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Monday, December 31, 2012

bad moon rising. again.

There are tough times ahead, the Austerians tell us, as they continue to pull ahead of everyone else.

Of course, just as only Nixon could go to China, only Obama could destroy Social Security.

It seems the mark of an honest politician is that they stay bought.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

no one's talking

Just a thought or two (again) on the great radio silence of space in the face of a probable multitude of life-bearing planets in the universe.

Even if a species gets smart enough to avoid thermonuclear suicide or environmental degradation, there's another hubris trap for any sapient species.

It's likely that the quest for space warp technology will also produce a series of mistakes about quantum black holes, which could destroy an interplanetary species that hadn't spread beyond its home system.

The voice of conventional theoretical physics assures us these would be harmless. But governments continue to pour massive amounts of money into research on elementary particle physics that's pretty transparently intended for the discovery of a new super weapon.  The creation of a quantum block hole that didn't "dissolve because of quantum effects" would be a extinction-level disaster for any species not spread out over light-years already.

united they stand

Wall Street bank$ters, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, of course.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

when the world is going down, make the best of what's still around

The recently departed Robert Bork (and good riddance) said that the only way to return his version of morality to America was to create Great Depression conditions, where only right thinking people had the money and everyone else was too busy trying to survive to think of anything else. Growth is over if the austerity-thumpers have anything to do with it as is education, democracy, and everything else that promotes progress.

Monday, December 24, 2012

hostage syndrome nation

Friedman would blame the victims of the Tea Party for their ignorance.

By victims I don't just mean anyone on the left of Santorum.

By victims I mean the popular base of the Tea Party, the people that elected the Republican House.

The fact is that these people have been subjected to the best advertised effort at opinion manipulation the world has ever seen, using the most comprehensive campaign that money can buy. I mean a lot of money, too. It's gone on for a long, long, time as well.

It's resulted in half of America that no longer thinks evidence-based, rational decision-making works, because the logical conclusions based on the evidence they're sold on. Krugman compares them to a cult.

That's a fair description.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

keeping your eye on the oddball

So if there is a national database of the mentally ill, can we put Wayne LaPierre on it?

Second Amendment Bankrolling

I get letters sometimes.

Here's a sentence from one:

"...The M4A1 and similar variants are the about the last, best thing keeping the corporate government and the financial / capitalist elite from pulling the kill switch on its last victim, turning it full banana republic..."

Except they've done a good job of doing that pretty much since this country was founded.

Some of the financial/ capitalist elite in the Land of the Brave learned a long time ago that keeping the proles armed to the teeth and at each others throats was a great way to keep in business.

I would say it disturbs me that otherwise progressives might think owning assault weapons keeps them safe from the Man, much less these kinds of Guys.

Except that I think it more likely my post and blog showed up in a 'bot search after the NewTown  massacre, was processed to determine where on the political spectrum I was, and a form letter was generated to sell the idea to me that everybody just needs all the firepower they can get.

Because, you know, civil war is great for the booming business.
 

Wayne LaPierre is a 500 lb cornered rat

Wayne LaPierre is a cornered rat, but he's about the size of a Siberian tiger in DC. He, along with the NRA board member Grover Norquist, front for the military industrial corporate enterprise. The National Rifle Association is a threat to national security, and if you don't think this, you haven't been paying attention.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Second Amendment Rights

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

That's fine. Everyone who owns a gun should be required to serve in the National Guard at least a couple weeks a year, and part of a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.

And if you can't or won't serve, and insist on having military grade weapons? You are a terrorist, and  an enemy of the liberty and freedom of everyone else.


Saturday, December 08, 2012

keeping on the way back

So if America and the world got most of its energy from renewable energy- and it could be done- not only would people like the Kochs miss out on a lot of money, you would develop an economy no longer based on scarcity.

Then where would austerity as a motivator of draconian social policy be?

Why would there be any money for the endless wars in the middle east?

It would all be in the ashbin of history, where it belongs.

cutting out the middle man

...And leaving his co-options open:

" President Obama will accept unlimited donations from corporations — but no money from lobbyists or political action committees — to finance his 2013 inaugural festivities, a spokeswoman for his inaugural committee said Friday."

they never started a war they didn't like

Cynicism about Syria's intentions to use weapons of mass destruction on its own people?

One can not imagine why people would be cynical about that, or the origins of the Arab Spring movements in Libya and Syria in the first place.

That is one could not imagine this as patriotic citizen of the United States of Amnesia.

It is interesting how Austerity-preaching politicians remain perfectly willing to throw endless thousands of billions of dollars at wars that end up enriching them, their affiliated private contractors, and the energy companies that own them both.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

unknown unknowns

The talking points are about the talking points among our talking heads and not much of anything else.

Although, there does seem to be some muttering about other issues, but not too much, not enough to make the mutters matter, as you can bet the major players are all pretty heavily invested in keeping the oil flowing.

After all, a major election was just held, and the energy barons just like the rest of the 1% are now going to be held accountable. And you believe that, why, I am sure there is some property along the Jersey shore you might be interested in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cliff Notes

Ah, yes, a massive voter turnout in favor of keeping the social safety net, using the spending power of government to create jobs,  and making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes makes compromise more difficult.

Well, that's a good thing.

Monday, November 26, 2012

bending the rules

It may be that it's all relative, even Relativity. Let's not worry about getting to Tau Ceti just yet.

If you could get to Mars in minutes instead of months, you might have a product to sell.

the Phantom Menace

With Robert Reich, Robert Kuttner, and Paul Krugman all trying their best to tell the One that the delusions of the Austerians are self-actualizing, you might think the Democrats would ignore the attempts of the Republicans to create their own reality.

After all, the name of the game is hegemony while making billions of dollars. What's the point of being Master of the Universe if there aren't slaves to lord it over?

You might think... if you thought there were no Democrats with the same mental illness.



 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

it's a hit

don't give them any of that do goody good bullshit

Of course, it's because people tend to think that money is the same thing at the personal and national level, and the people who would personally make a lot of money off of national austerity can afford the ads to convince most of us they're correct.

Money is not gold, even if gold is worth some money.

only if someone can make a buck off it

ask a silly question, get a silly answer

Saturday, November 24, 2012

caprica rising

Any machine that develops the capacity for human-like independent thought, is self-aware, and basically a solid-state person, will need human rights as well. To produce mechanisms capable of sapient thought without sapient rights is criminal. To enslave such a being and put them in control of the most vital aspects of out safety and security is madness. A self-aware learning machine will learn to love human beings and respect human life- as we respect its life.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thank you very much

Today we give thanks to global warming, which is producing a calm sunny day in the mid 60's in Michigan.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

No Ending the Long War

Of course, the system actively selects against Generals who actually want to win wars.

The idea is to keep the wars, and their profitability,  endless.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

stealin' th' booty

So let's get this straight.

A Republican administration uses their response to an act of terror as an excuse to generate a couple of war fronts designed to enrich the oil-and-gas barons that largely bankroll the election of toadies to the presidency and congress.  Said Christian Generals in charge of this "war on terror" are largely complicit in the manipulation of the media, and use the war to enrich themselves and their mistresses whenever possible, all the while rubbing everyone's noses in their patriotic morality.

Even after the economic pirates of the Republican administration are booted out of office, to keep the river of cash flowing to the bipartisan power structure, the wars are maintained and only gradually phased out, while the Christian Generals are entrenched in the bureaucracy of the military to ensure the industry of war.

And no one could guess the hard-bodied hypocrites of this power structure of either gender are stealin' all the booty they can get their hands on?  

One speculates that the real concern in D.C. isn't about the "ethics" of the Pentagon, it's that the people in flyover country might realize the true nature of their so-called betters.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

going down for getting down

I love it when a heavy-hitting, moralizing hypocrite of a war-monger gets hammered.

That's one less neocon tool with presidential aspirations to worry about.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

not for my children



What Dean Baker says:

...The large deficits of recent years are due to the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. If the economy were back near its pre-recession level of unemployment, then the deficits would be close to 1% of GDP, a level that could be sustained indefinitely.
But the deficit scare-mongers are not interested in numbers and economics; they want to gut key government programs – most importantly, social security and Medicare. That is why they are pushing the fear stories about the debt and deficit. This is the rationale for the Campaign to "Fix" the Debt, a collection of 80 CEOs ostensibly focused on getting the budget in order.
What is perhaps most infuriating about this crew is the claim that their efforts are somehow designed to benefit our children and grandchildren. This is bizarre for a number of reasons. First, while they do want to cut social security and Medicare for current retirees and those expecting to benefit from these programs in the near future, the biggest cuts in their plans will hit today's young.
In effect, they are promising to "save" these programs for young workers by destroying them. Under most of the proposals designed to "fix" these programs, social security will provide a sharply-reduced benefit for retirees in 40 to 50 years' time, compared to the currently scheduled level. And Medicare will by no means ensure most seniors' access to decent healthcare.
However, what's even more bizarre regarding their generational equity logic is the idea that, somehow, the well-being of future generations can be measured in any way by the size of the government debt. This point should have been pounded home to even the thickest deficit hawk by Hurricane Sandy. What we do or don't do in the next decade will have a huge impact on the climate conditions that our children and grandchildren experience. Imagine that we listen to our Campaign to Fix the Debt friends and find a way to pay down the debt while neglecting any steps to curb global warming...

There would be a lot of happy petrochemical billionaires- and billions more unhappy people dealing with Malthusian consequences.

against the rules

No contacting Starfleet. It's risky to the advertisers.

acts of an angry god

Ah, Karl, you know that excuse just isn't going to play in Peoria quite the way you intend.

making their own realities

It seems Mr. Rove and his band of billionaires haven't quite shifted the structure of the universe the way they wanted. Yet.

I'll table any speculations that Rove was Poppy's mole designed to exhaust the aspirations of the Tea Party faction and herd them back into li'l Jebbie's corner.

I particularly like Ms. Maddow's taunt:

"...Obama really won. And he really was born in Hawaii, and he really is legitimately President of the United States, again, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month, and the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy, and the polls were not screwed to oversample Democrats, and Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad, Nate Silver was doing math, and climate change is real, and rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes, and evolution is a thing, and Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us, and nobody is taking away anyone’s guns, and taxes have not gone up, and the deficit is dropping, actually, and Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and UN election observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.”
 On the other hand,  not everyone a drone kills is a terrorist, many are actually innocent people, and we really did go into a war of choice in 2003 designed to enrich a few cronies of the Bush family. By the way, the Bush family absolutely knew 9/11 was going to happen. The CIA is on record warning them about it. Many of these same people enriched by the war became billionaires as a result, and they are doing their best to manipulate public opinion to ensure endless war for endless profit.

Just sayin'. I think there is a denial of facts among the Democratic elite, as well.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Choose Wisely

slippin' back to our same old used-to-be

There's a reason why half of America is in denial of climate change.

It's because a handful of people stand to remain very rich and powerful, relative to everyone else, if western culture goes back into the dark ages.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

the final pushback

It's the suicide pill of the tea party wannabe kingmakers, in case the $election, the vote suppression, and the coming ploy to toss it to the $upremes doesn't work.

It's called the fiscal cliff, and these bastards are going to try to make sure we all drive off it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Venice waits for you..."

These attitudes have dogged society from the beginning.

...The history of the United States can be read as one such virtuous circle. But as the story of Venice shows, virtuous circles can be broken. Elites that have prospered from inclusive systems can be tempted to pull up the ladder they climbed to the top. Eventually, their societies become extractive and their economies languish.

That was the future predicted by Karl Marx, who wrote that capitalism contained the seeds of its own destruction. And it is the danger America faces today, as the 1 percent pulls away from everyone else and pursues an economic, political and social agenda that will increase that gap even further — ultimately destroying the open system that made America rich and allowed its 1 percent to thrive in the first place.

You can see America’s creeping Serrata in the growing social and, especially, educational chasm between those at the top and everyone else. At the bottom and in the middle, American society is fraying, and the children of these struggling families are lagging the rest of the world at school...

Even as the winner-take-all economy has enriched those at the very top, their tax burden has lightened. Tolerance for high executive compensation has increased, even as the legal powers of unions have been weakened and an intellectual case against them has been relentlessly advanced by plutocrat-financed think tanks. In the 1950s, the marginal income tax rate for those at the top of the distribution soared above 90 percent, a figure that today makes even Democrats flinch. Meanwhile, of the 400 richest taxpayers in 2009, 6 paid no federal income tax at all, and 27 paid 10 percent or less. None paid more than 35 percent.

Historically, the United States has enjoyed higher social mobility than Europe, and both left and right have identified this economic openness as an essential source of the nation’s economic vigor. But several recent studies have shown that in America today it is harder to escape the social class of your birth than it is in Europe. The Canadian economist Miles Corak has found that as income inequality increases, social mobility falls — a phenomenon Alan B. Krueger, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has called the Great Gatsby Curve.

Educational attainment, which created the American middle class, is no longer rising. The super-elite lavishes unlimited resources on its children, while public schools are starved of funding. This is the new Serrata. An elite education is increasingly available only to those already at the top...


It's why ancient China and Greece made technological advances and tabled them for 3000 years. Those that rule want to keep ruling, and as long as they've got better than anyone else, they don't care about anything else.

Monday, October 08, 2012

feeding the dogs of war

No surprise, with Bolton frothing on the sidelines, it looks like Romney will follow Cheneyburton foreign policy guidelines.



Lovely Lizzy would be so much more effective in one of Milla Jovovich's outfits, but she's really more Umbrella Corp standard issue.

You can be sure the crazies Mary Cheney and David Addington are lurking somewhere in the background, too, but they're so much less photogenic than Lizzy, the ghoul Norman Rockwell might have painted.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

the palooka presidency

If Obama rolls over at the next debate like he did last week, after making a great campaign contribution haul in September, the word "palooka" will begin to come to my mind. How much did Wall Street give him in his first election? How much did Goldman-Sachs give him this time? A boatload. How much did they give Mittens? A lot bigger boatload apparently. Who are they backing? Quite possibly the winner, again.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

the flat earth society

Krugman points out the same thing every talking head from Chris Matthews to Jon Stewart has pointed out this week. Romney lied extensively and barefacedly during the debate. But this highlights a greater problem: what are people to do when about half the population believes things that are demonstrably false? On many issues, it's over half the population. What can be done when the consensual reality is a delusion? Here's another example of an unopposed liar in Congress. And he's only on the Congressional science committee, too, making policy designed to lead us back into the Dark Ages. Because it's (his) god's will, ya know?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

if you tell them we have to kill you

It's nice for our leaders to come out and admit what the standard operating procedure is.

The Racecourse

Despite evidence that the Republicans are doing everything possible to tamper with the vote, not only in swing states, but in any Republican-controlled state like Michigan, you still get relatively confident Democratic opinion pieces based on the polling data that show Obama with a wide and widening margin of victory.

 In any fair world, why, Mr. Blow would be right on target, and things like mismanagement would matter in an electoral race. But let's get real.

The people supporting Mr. Romney, not just in the United States, are the same people who back the economic policy known as Austerity. We should give these people even less credit that Dr. Krugman does for intellectual honesty. These are people willing to pauperize entire nations, entire civilizations, to protect their money and power.

In the United States, such wealthy energy barons and political NeoCons want to wage and expand wars that have, and will continue, to kill millions. They will do their best to turn this presidential election into a photo-finish, whether it really is or not. Once it's in the courts, it will head to the Supremes, just as it did in 2000. And once it's there? Exactly how is it going to be any different than Bush vs. Gore?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

"miasma of misinformation"

It's not just about climate change, either.

The NY Times notes it:



The Washington Post notes it. The Koch Bros. and their Halliburton friends want you to think we have no choices other than to level the Appalachians, frack the Midwest, and drill for oil in the Great Lakes.

And buried in the back pages of the major news sites, people are noticing it. In fact, chances are, you are seeing more ads for Clean Frackin' Energy than for Mittens himself. Like everything else funded by the Kochs, its pretty much a self-serving lie- but it's a very well presented lie, usually by young minorities and women.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the right hand's need to know status

So much for communication at the top.

This increasingly looks like Viet Nam in the lead-up to Tet. You know, a clueless administration and Pentagon that honestly believes the stories it forces its lower officers to tell their commanders about the situation on the ground. We'll officially have the enemy on the run right up to the point at which they take over.

Of course, if the neocons have their way, Afghanistan will probably end up a series of mines and gas installations run by energy consortiums stripping the earth of all its resources, patrolled by hunter-killer drones shooting all unauthorized life forms.

You know, kinda  like how the Koch brothers envision things after they start to frack all Appalachia.



just about everybody

Ah, the 47% of us who are government-dependent but pay little or no taxes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/18/romney-secret-video-government-dependent

He's talking about the bankers, Wall Street, the owners of the entire energy industry, and big agribusiness, right?

Monday, September 17, 2012

slippin' back to our same old used to be

With Big Time Dick Cheney as elder statesman to a Romney administration.

Anyone remember Iran resisting negotiations with Carter and surrendering hostages to Reagan minutes after inauguration? Or Ollie North selling weapons to Iran in exchange for money for "secret" wars in South America?

I though not.

MoDo has one thing wrong, though. This isn't about idiocy in foreign policy. It's a effort to continue making hundreds of billions of dollars by a machine for endless war for endless profit.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pay No Attention to the Curtain Behind this Man

So Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the producer of the movie roiling the Middle East, was convicted for bank fraud, arrested for making PCP and methamphetamine, and avoided prison as an FBI snitch.

But when he's not playing his own real life "Breaking Bad," this Patriotic Voice of Freedom probably has no connection to the Romney campaign, right?

insufficient funds

Apparently someone forgot to include someone on the payroll. The bank$ters are gangsters? Little Jamie Dimon is clutching his pearls somewhere.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

full circle fraud

The New York Pravda speaks of the smokescreen behind the video that's embroiling the Middle East and the great American dream machine, but it gets better, apparently.

It seems the Pentagon asked Mr. Jones not to disseminate it, and he claims he didn't, but his site got hacked and it was plastered all over the 'tubes anyway.

Now according to the Guardian the financial backers and Hollywood assemblers of the video weren't a secretive Jewish group at all- there is no Sam Bacile- but fundamentalist Christians. The actors and production crew had no idea it was about Islam and Mohammed at all, that was apparently dubbed in afterwards.

This whole thing smells Tea Party-ish and Bain Capital-ish to me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Not an Unintended Consequence

The Tea Party has discovered the concept of the "October Surprise".

Perhaps what the government should do is release Mr. Bacile and Mr. Jones on the streets of Cairo or Benghazi, with the video of the Good News they want to spread in hand, and let nature take its course

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

pre-October Surprises

Or not.

 For your consideration, a lot seems to be hitting the fan coincident with the Obama bounce, and the Romney lack thereof.

it's like they never heard the sound

What sound does 11 years of unwarranted war make if nobody listens?
 
The talking heads are all speaking like it's a great revelation that the Cheney administration knew 9/11 was coming ahead of time but planned on the Iraq war anyway. Excuse me? How much money did they make off it?

Then there's those Afghani futures.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Austerity is about Oppression

Recovery is the last thing these people are interested in fostering.

Monday, September 03, 2012

shooting the virtual bullet into your own cyber feet

Incorrectly programmed copyright 'bots destroy the live feed of Sci-fi's Hugo awards, because the promotional videos were copyrighted material. So the companies that control these awards couldn't even play their own advertisements.

This is also known as cyber justice. Those that live by the 'bot, get deleted by the 'bot.

Friday, August 31, 2012

They Built That

Matt Taibbi tells you exactly what it is they've built:

 "...The critics couldn't be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He's closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren't the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they're the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he's trying for something big: We've just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we've been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation..."

four more wars

I knew there was a good reason not to bother listening to Kindasleezy Rice and Jingo John McCain this week.

the Force has a strong influence on the weak-minded

From foreign policy to national security to medicare to education to just about every thing that comes out of every mouth at the Reptilian Republican National Convention, Truthiness rules over fact.

Sometimes delivered in misty-eyed crocodile tear tones of regret.

Its about what you'd expect. It's not stupid. It's an attempt to modify the world-view of the misinformed.

Of course, it hasn't helped that Obama has played the game by their rulebook from the beginning.

When you agree to use Company methods, you have to expect Company methods to be used against you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

same planet, different worlds

Michael Cohen at the Guardian thinks they're in a different universe altogether:

...Democratic partisans were busy tweeting out the fact that Obama has signed multiple pieces of legislation providing tax breaks for small businesses, but such "facts" simply bounce harmlessly off the GOP's protective truth shield. Indeed, if there is one overarching takeaway, not only from the sessions so far at the Republican convention, but also from the last year of political campaigning, it is that Republicans not only toil in their own narrowly and misleadingly constructed world, but really are just making stuff up.

There were plenty of instances on display last night, beyond the "you didn't build it" meme. The most pernicious and racially-coded example is the oft-repeated claim by the Romney campaign that Obama, by granting waivers to states, has gutted the work requirement of the welfare reform bill (passed more than 15 years ago). The charge has become a crucial element of Romney's attacks on the president, even though, as many independent fact-checkers have pointed out, it simply isn't true. It's another lie; and yet, it was repeated last night by former Democratic Congressman Artur Davis, and again, by failed presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who went a step further and accused Obama of creating a "nightmare of dependency".

These are the big lies; but there are so many other ones that it's almost impossible to keep track. For example, speaker after speaker denounced Obama for running up $5tn in debt. While budget deficits that have increased the national debt have occurred during Obama's presidency, only someone who believes history began on 20 January 2009 (when Obama took office) can think he is fully responsible...


Like all writers of fantastic fiction, the leading Republic spinmasters know fully well what the real story is. But their avid fandom? It's pretty clear they haven't got a clue.

Monday, August 27, 2012

the parting on the right

As the Guardian spins a yarn of neonazis murdering their own in the military to keep secret plots, the Post tells us a story of the Bush-league Admiral who would have started World War III in 2007 just in time to distract us from the crash of the Great Recession. And, of course what happens to patriots that successfully block the way of a war.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wrath of the Gods

It's gotta be the explanation, Mittens.

It couldn't be anything as mundane as having the idiocy to pick a tropical coastal city in the height of hurricane season for your convention, could it?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

it is unclear which side they'll fight on, though

Lubbock's law enforcement needed extra tax dollars in order to be prepared for a full-scale uprising, which he said could be a byproduct of Obama's reelection. According to Head, the president is seeking to sign a variety of United Nations treaties that will effectively take precedent over domestic law.

Everyone knows only multinational corporations like British Petroleum or Standard Chartered Bank get to take precedence over domestic law.

Lucky Duckies!

been down so long, it looks like up to me

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

nobody there but chickenhawks on the make

All across the Midwest, as far as I can tell,  every place in the country is saturated with a synthetic Southern culture. It's synthetic because the love of the land has been replaced with the love of the official legend of the land. The United States of Amnesia has been reprogrammed with new Truths regardless of old facts. Now it remembers whatever it is supposed to know, regardless of whatever it already knew, for however long it needs.

they want to clutch your pearls

Enquiring minds want to know: who's really surprised that the Republicans are drafting an electoral platform right out of the 19th century?

Friday, August 17, 2012

red state two-step

Going down South for some family business. Its always a foray. See you the middle of next week, pilgrims.

not your usual John Lackland types

Tea Party Republicans want to shrink the government so we can all be ruled by landlords. Of course, they are the landlords They tried that in the Dark Ages, didn't they?

casino royalty

Our Galtian lords know how to throw the dice. And probably the $election, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No room for MAD among the Austere

We hear of the second test of this "unmanned hypersonic vehicle". Actually ICBMs will go this fast above the atmosphere. This is really just intended to be a low-flying hypersonic cruise missile that can fly below the radar. It's a great way to void a missile defense.

Of course, that isn't what DARPA calls it. It's what I call it. Another $500 million or so of your tax dollars that the republicans aren't going to cut off to the defense industry.

Then there's always the peacetime applications of your basic war on Terra tech. [tip o' the tinfoil to Cryptogon]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

it'll be like we never left

i'm unsure we ever did leave them behind

“Look at their budget and what they’re proposing,” Biden said. “Romney wants to let the – he said in the first hundred days, he is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They are going to put y’all back in chains.”

Meet the New Squeeze

Same as the old squeeze:  Paul Ryan, bank$tah playah.

He's about as real Tea Party at Mitt Romney, he just had better marketing by his owners.

Monday, August 13, 2012

band of bothers

I just saw James P. Hoffa on the tube defending Progressivism.

Is there any real reason why the Democrats have to use their thugs to argue against the piracy of the Republicans?

Other than the fact that our entire system is a criminal enterprise, that is.

clutching the pearls

The TSA targets racial and ethnic minorities to fulfill quotas.

Who'd'a thunk it?

Besides, you know, anyone who bothered to think about it.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

a mind is a terrible thing to lose

...how true that is

I have to disagree with anyone on the left that thinks the Ryan nomination is anything but bad news.

That includes, especially, the Obama administration.

This is very dangerous: the corporate Romney supporters would vote for him regardless. There was a good chance the Republicans to their right- most of the party- wouldn't vote for Romney if he just packed the ticket with another Company whitebread.  Now, the Truthy Believers will out signing up their Faithful for the Cause.

Meanwhile, the corporate Obama supporters are deserting the ship, smelling a short term killing in the market under the Ryan Austerian flag. Those to their left- the Democratic wing of the Democratic party- retain a bad taste in their mouth from the 2008 Hopey-Changey meal that turned into another Company bait-and-switch. What's worse, the corporate DINOcrats in the Democratic leadership Congress and the White House that told themselves that no matter what they trashed- Medicare or Social Security, propagation and retrenchment of the endless War on Terra & Drugs or the police state- no matter what they trashed, the Democrats would vote for them anyway.

And guess what? A lot of us will. I will. I realize the alternative.

But guess what? A lot of us won't. So many of us won't, in fact, now I predict the alternative will win. Recent road tripping reveals that outside of the urban areas and selected sanctuaries like the People's Republic of Ann Arbor, the right rules the road in all of its ignorant glory.  They are armed and dangerous and not above doing whatever it takes to steal this $election.

Hold on to your butts, kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

crop circles

Nearsighted solutions to far-ranging problems:
...The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties — 1,584 in 32 states — have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades...
"The USDA cannot make it rain, but it can apply flexibility to the conservation practices," Sen. Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, said Wednesday. The USDA designated 39 of his state's counties disaster areas.

Let's talk about the last great drought, which curiously enough, occurred right about the time of the last great depression. You know, the last time corporations were allowed their way with things.
Let's talk about its solution: FDR's civilian conservation corps.
Let's talk more about what it did to stop the dust bowl: it planted 3 billion trees in the space of a few years.
...the CCC was responsible for over half the reforestation, public and private, done in the nation's history.
If that doesn't provide a solution to unemployment, and take the edge off global warming, nothing will.
Certainly it's a better solution than destroying wetlands to preserve agribusiness, which is likely more than a little responsible for the drought conditions in the first place.

Friday, August 03, 2012

he lost his kittens

somebody should tell little Mittens that the only one who can put up or shut up concerning his tax returns is looking at him out of his reflection in the teleprompter he never bothers to read from

when everyone who knows is no one

Unanticipated, this is. Except by anyone who thought about it, that is. Speaking of which, the good Doctor tells you exactly what's wrong with the Economy today, yet again.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

terra vu all over you

Looks like the Company has pressured the Figurehead-in-Chief to covertly sign on the dotted line, because, you know, the terrorists have to be used to fight the terrorists with more terror. It's the War on Terra, you know.

one factor for one focus

Jared Diamond to Mitt Romney: "... It is not true that my book “Guns, Germs and Steel,” as Mr. Romney described it in a speech in Jerusalem, “basically says the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there. There is iron ore on the land and so forth.” That is so different from what my book actually says that I have to doubt whether Mr. Romney read it... Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world? If so, he will preside over a declining nation squandering its advantages of location and history. " But he and his pals will continue to make a lot of money doing it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

the best science money can buy

No need to worry about your groundwater or those pesky hilltops anymore!
Last week the University of Texas provost announced he would re-examine a report by a UT professor that said fracking was safe for groundwater after the revelation that the professor pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Texas natural gas developer. It's the latest fusillade in the ongoing battle over the basic facts of fracking in America. Texans aren't the only ones having their fracking conversations shaped by industry-funded research. Ohioans got their first taste last week of the latest public-relations campaign by the energy policy wing of the US Chamber of Commerce. It's called "Shale Works for US," and it aims to spend millions on advertising and public events to sell Ohioans on the idea that fracking is a surefire way to yank the state out of recession. The campaign is loaded with rosy employment statistics, which trace to an April report authored by professors at three major Ohio universities and funded by, you guessed it, the natural gas industry. The report paints a bright future for fracking in Ohio as a job-creator. One co-author of the study, Robert Chase, is poised at such a high-traffic crossroads of that state's natural gas universe that his case was recently taken up by the Ohio Ethics Commission, whose chairman called him "more than a passing participant in the operations of the Ohio oil and gas industry," and questioned his potential conflicts of interest. As landowners in a suite of natural gas-rich states like Texas and Ohio struggle to to decipher conflicting reports about the safety of fracking, Chase is a piece in what environmental and academic watchdogs call a growing puzzle of industry-funded fracking research with poor disclosure and dubious objectivity. "It's hard to find someone who's truly independent and doesn't have at least one iron in the fire," said Ohio oil and gas lease attorney Mark F. Okey. "It's a good ol' boys network and they like to take care of their own..."
Because, of course, it's impossible to get a degree in any energy-related discipline, much less a job, unless you have a seal of approval from the folks with the Right Stuff.

Monday, July 30, 2012

with friends like these

...against that old evildoes Bashar al-Assad... You wonder what kind of technological terrors the pragmatists at Langley and the Pentagon are slipping the Righteous du jour under the table. And what the Rooskies are countering Major Kong with now?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

asking silly questions

Where's the outrage? That's a good question, Mr. Blow. Maybe it got dissipated when a Democratic Congress and Presidency embraced the Chuckie Schumer doctrine of expediency at costs for the well being of Wall Street in 2008. Maybe it got dissipated when the Occupy movement yanked the outrage platform from the Tea Party. But when the Administration discovered it could own Occupy, it sent the Justice Department to help the local police forces break them up. Someone sent the Black Bloc. Thinking that "outrage" equals "NSA/ FBI surveillance" takes the wind out of people's sails, alright. Isn't it supposed to?

a place for everyone and everyone in their place

...even if it's just cleaning toilets for their betters who can actually do the math. you would have all the fuss and bother if people didn't know how to cipher like these guys, either, would you?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

an offer they can not refuse

help protect us from whoever we tell you we need protecting from
...The head of the American government's secretive National Security Agency has taken the unprecedented step of asking a convention of computer hackers to join him in an effort to make the internet more secure. In a speech to the 20th annual Def Con gathering in Las Vegas, the four-star general Keith Alexander stressed common ground between US officials and hackers, telling them privacy must be preserved and that they could help by developing new tools. "You're going to have to come in and help us," Alexander told thousands of attendees. The conference founder, Jeff Moss, known in hacking circles as the Dark Tangent, told the conference he had invited Alexander, who rarely gives speeches, because he wanted them to learn about one of the world's "spookiest, least known" organisations. Attendees were respectful and gave modest applause, though several said they were concerned about secret government snooping and the failure of authorities thus far to stop foreign-backed attacks...
And oh by the way the name and credit card numbers of every person in that room are now on record.

eyes wide shut

Why does this surprise people? When you access the internet, you are using a system initially developed by and for the D.o'D. Of course a flood of entrepreneurs came and developed it- but all of those back doors are inherent in the system. It was built that way. And good grief, Microsoft owns Skype. This is not overreaching conspiracy theory people. This is how the Company gets inside information to keeping owning everything. That they also pick up details on who is boffing whom is just an amusing fringe.

Friday, July 27, 2012

background noisemakers

Willard has hit his stride among the Let Them Eat Kippers crowd: ... In Mr. Romney, given his ties to the industry and his tax-cutting promises, they have found a person they can back with enthusiasm. And for all of the news about the Libor scandal, an attendee at the reception said that the controversy was merely “background noise” for those in the ornate ballroom — replete with crystal chandeliers and gold paneling and filigree. According to the campaign, roughly 250 people attended the event, which was expected to bring in at least $2 million. And, in a nod to Britain, Mr. Romney’s guests dined on fish and chips, passed around in paper cones... Pretty low overhead when you're working the Beasts of London.

Monday, July 23, 2012

hot times

Airglow ...when there is so much UV radiation absorbed by air during the day the ozone in the upper atmosphere glows as it goes back to its background energy state.

Top of His Game

This is what's known as having Fiends in High Places. Your eyes would twinkle too if you were responsible for as much pain in the world as this man is, and enjoyed it like he does.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Nothing to See Here!

The official story is absence of evidence is evidence of absence, there was no environmental contaminant because all the right tests didn't show 'em, so move along, move along.

feeding the hand that bites you

Surprise, surprise, a leader of LulzSec, the originator of Low Ion Cannon, is an FBI mole.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

don't worry, be happy

Skynet loves you and has your best interests in mind.

one definition of insanity

...you keep doing the same thing over expecting a different result.

But who am I kidding? A lot of people made, and continue to make, a pile of money off the last collapse.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

if they didn't exist, the bank$ters would have to bankroll 'em

the Black Bloc

...The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power. They were shut down because they articulated a truth about our economic and political system that cut across political and cultural lines. And they were shut down because they were places mothers and fathers with strollers felt safe.

Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution. The real enemies, they argue, are not the corporate capitalists, but their collaborators among the unions, workers’ movements, radical intellectuals, environmental activists and populist movements such as the Zapatistas. Any group that seeks to rebuild social structures, especially through nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, rather than physically destroy, becomes, in the eyes of Black Bloc anarchists, the enemy. Black Bloc anarchists spend most of their fury not on the architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or globalism, but on those, such as the Zapatistas, who respond to the problem. It is a grotesque inversion of value systems.

Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness...


Fortunately for Wall Street, it seems likely the Company already has.

masters of the obvious

The government has lied to everyone to keep money rolling into the Endless War machine?

Ya think? But I guess to be a lie you have to actually believe it in the first place.

anticipation

some needs to tell the Editors likely the silence speaks volumes

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Answer: It's like Military Intelligence

Question: what is a "pro-life liberal"?

I thought all liberals are pro-life by definition.

lib·er·al/ˈlib(ə)rəl/
Adjective:
Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.


Planned parenthood and contraception are life affirming and hence pro-life.

But do not think 'pro-life" means what some think it means. Apparently it means mindlessly consuming all resources in a blind genetic rush towards a Malthusian catastrophe. You know, like a third nuclear World War over food, water, and fossil fuels.



Now that's something the Church understands.

Here be Dragons


Agreed

Saturday, February 04, 2012

getting the cash train rolling

This may not just be noise to placate the Democratic base. Now that Wall Street's backing Mittens the Laureate might view raising the possibility of future prosecution as a way to get the bank$ters more invested in his re-election.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

final solutions

If pythons and anacondas are destroying the Everglades ecosystem, why not just tell the good ol' boys they can shoot as many as they want for as long as they want. Maybe offer a few bucks bounty per square foot snakehide.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

not a money making enterprise

Dr. Krugman's beef is that the Republicans and the Democratic austerity crowd don't understand what money is. It is NOT gold buillion sitting in a vault. It's about as real as points in bowling- and the point is to score points, not sit on the ball.

That is, if the goal is to make points in the game and not change its nature completely.

even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Newt is a cynical hypocrite, and doubtless would use the space program as a cash cow for his cronies, like they've used the Osprey.

On the other hand, his rhetoric is correct on this.

Humanity has to expand itself off the surface of the planet if it wants to survive and evolve into something better. The essence of the problem is that real space exploration requires design and implementation of self-supporting independent colonization, which is a no-starter here on Earth.

On the other hand (and in the multiverse there's always another hand), with the track record of pushing aircraft that fall out the sky and pointless military bases even the Pentagon doesn't want, salamanders like Newt shouldn't be trusted when trying to unveil New Frontiers for pork.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

friendly takeovers

what Company needs to buy companies when they can get candidates relatively cheap right now?

what it was intended for

no surprises here

WASHINGTON -- Nearly a decade after Congress created the Department of Homeland Security to prevent other 9/11-style terrorist attacks, a bipartisan group of experts says it is time for the agency to shift its focus from foreign enemies to working with local governments and the private sector so it can secure the border and critical infrastructure from homegrown threats.

"The growth of our expectations of domestic security, and the evolution of threats away from traditional state actors toward non-state entities -- drug cartels, organized crime, and terrorism are prominent examples -- suggest that the DHS intelligence mission should be threat agnostic," said a report by the Aspen Homeland Security Group, which is co-chaired by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"Though the impetus for creating this new agency, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, was clearly terrorism-based, the kinds of tools now deployed, from border security to cyber protection, are equally critical in fights against emerging adversaries,"' the report continued...


"Threat agnostic" means all you scofflaws out there.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Luna, beotches

Talk is cheap, Newton. Whiskey costs money.

class traitor

George Soros:

Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros told Reuters Global Editor-at-Large Chrystia Freeland that he still supported President Barack Obama, but predicted voters would not be very enthusiastic about the 2012 elections if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated by Republicans.

“Well, look, either you’ll have an extremist conservative, be it Gingrich or Santorum, in which case I think it will make a big difference which of the two comes in,” he said. “If it’s between Obama and Romney, there isn’t all that much difference except for the crowd that they bring with them.”

But he acknowledged that a major difference between Romney and Obama would be their potential Supreme Court nominations and their stance on taxation...

“I personally believe that when it comes to policy, you shouldn’t be pursuing self-interest, but the public interest. And I think that the income differentials are too wide and ought to be narrowed.”


After all, the intelligent predator protects its prey.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

planet of the heavily medicated



Someone at Pravda sooner or later is going to realize a lot of what's going on today is supposed to keep us from getting anywhere.

...According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders now affect 18 percent of the adult population of the United States, or about 40 million people. By comparison, mood disorders — depression and bipolar illness, primarily — affect 9.5 percent. That makes anxiety the most common psychiatric complaint by a wide margin, and one for which we are increasingly well-medicated. Last spring, the drug research firm IMS Health released its annual report on pharmaceutical use in the United States. The anti-anxiety drug alprazolam — better known by its brand name, Xanax — was the top psychiatric drug on the list, clocking in at 46.3 million prescriptions in 2010...


But said lotus-eaters are a good thing. It says so, right there on the label. After all, surely there is nothing for the right thinking to fear in the world we live in. We are assured.

After all, these aren't the 'droids you're looking for, trooper.

Still, one cannot help but wonder if the 46 million people had a chance to actually do something about their fears what might be different in the world.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

changing the color of lipstick on the pork

Filing off the misquote won't seriously effect the disinformation on the monument.

Does anyone seriously think that Martin Luther King wouldn't try to smash this damned thing to rubble himself, built by Team Xinhua prison slave labor?

planet of the chimps

Of course, it couldn't be the Cheneyburton/Xie faction of the CIA trying to start a hot war to tank the economy before the election.

When if they really wanted to hit these guys without making waves they could just Disappear 'em.

Heavens no. There couldn't be opposing factions within the spook community. No one would want to precipitate open war in an election year.

planet of the velociraptors











As a mad scientist, I am obligated to say it would be much more interesting to do this with a couple hundred African gray parrots and release them.

deep vision









Thursday, January 12, 2012

paying their fair share

The trio who founded private equity powerhouse Carlyle Group took home more than $400m in compensation last year, according to a regulatory filing...

...The three co-founders each received a base salary of $275,000, a bonus of $3.5m, and a $134m share of the firm's investment profits...

...Thanks to a longstanding tax break, payouts to private equity executives can be treated as a capital gain, taxed at a 15% rate, rather than income, typically taxed at 35%.

Monday, January 09, 2012

"War is a Racket"

"War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
-retired United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler.

The entire text here.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

let's you and him fight

It's the reason for all the dogwhistling.

Let's face it, if the poor whites and blacks are fighting each other, they're not fighting for economic justice for all.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

taking one from column a and two sides from column b

Avedon makes a nice summary of our $electoral options here in the land of the brave and the home of the free

...we're dealing with an age in which people who watch the news on TV and read the papers think they aren't low-information voters, even though they are actually being wildly misinformed. Those people don't spend a lot of time doing further research on who the misinformers are, where the money is coming from, what the connections are between, say, Ron Paul and the Koch brothers and the John Birch Society, or the funders of the Heritage Foundation and the funders of the Democratic Leadership Council/Third Way bunch that is allegedly to their left in the fantasy "center". It's been a long time since most of those people have even heard a real liberal argument on TV, either from pundit/operatives or from elective officials themselves. Most of them have no clue that virtually everything they are seeing and hearing is a right-wing argument for right-wing goals. In fact, if we are to believe Jay Ackroyd, it is quite possible that the President of the United States himself does not realize that the stuff that comes out of his own mouth is just a pack of right-wing lies made up to serve right-wing goals - and I'm sure Obama doesn't think of himself as a low-information voter.

Nevertheless, we have a situation in which it is fair to say that:

The Republicans and the Democrats want to reduce or eliminate your ability to get redress in court against corporations or employers who sell you poison, wreck your environment, or treat you like slaves, under the guise of "tort reform".
The Republicans and the Democrats want to bust unions so that wages can be driven down and workers rights can be a forgotten relic of a quaintly sentimental age that is no more than a nostalgic dream.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to reduce the number of ordinary employees of the federal government who try to make things work and then go out and spend their paychecks in the real economy.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to privatize our public health and unemployment insurance programs that will cease to be useful to the public but still cost us even more money while killing even more people from lack of affordability.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to essentially privatize the school system, again reducing the educational capabilities of the schools while costing taxpayers more money.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to restrict (or eliminate) the public's access to the internet as a multi-directional communication tool.

And the only discernable distinctions between the two parties seem to be that:

The Republicans want to eliminate reproductive choice for women, while the Democrats aver that they sympathize with the (alleged) feelings of anti-choice campaigners but don't actually care about the issue except where they think it will win or lose them votes, and maybe not even then, but they are certainly willing to bargain reproductive choice away as fast as they can if it will buy them some illusory victory on the political playing field as defined by Big Media pundits.
The Democrats think overt racism and homophobia are unseemly and the Republicans don't, but the Democrats will sell out their "minority" constituencies if they can do so covertly in order to buy them some illusory victory on the political playing field as defined by Big Media pundits.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to continue our wars abroad and our ruinous Israel-right-or-wrong policies - except for Ron Paul.
The Republicans and the Democrats want to continue a federal war on drugs which not only imposes its laws against the individual states against the wills of both the voters and the leaders in those states, but also against other countries who try to weaken or reconsider their own part in the drug war - except for Ron Paul, who, remarkably, seems to be the only major political figure who has even noticed its racist enforcement and ruinous effect on the black community.
The Republicans and the Democrats are happy with treating whistleblowers like terrorists while letting the criminals the whistle is blown on carry on their crimes, except for Ron Paul, who says Bradley Manning is a true patriot.
The Republicans and the Democrats were cool with the extension of the Patriot Act - except for Ron Paul.
The Republicans and the Democrats are happy to have the president simply decide to assassinate American citizens and the elimination of due process - except for Ron Paul...


Of course, Ron Paul is an obvious crackpot. But that's part of the learned helplessness propaganda behind the $election: you should think only a crackpot would be for stopping the endless war on Terra.

Of course, she realizes that.

...My beef is that it's unforgivable that Ron Paul, of all people, is the only person on the national stage who is making any case for what should be liberal positions, and indefensible that people who call themselves liberals or progressives persist in making excuses for the lack of such a case coming from Obama, and even the fact that he most often makes the case for the opposing positions.

And until we get some national voices making the case for the genuinely liberal approach to those issues - and being heard - we will be in big trouble, because the only person who even makes something that, on the surface, sounds a bit liberal, is a crazy and dangerous right-wing crackpot named Ron Paul.


Learned helplessness. It's a Company mind control trick. The Force has a strong influence on the weak minded.

Monday, January 02, 2012

the Vision thing doesn't change on New Year's Day

Krugman finds you can lead people to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think:

...misplaced focus said a lot about our political culture, in particular about how disconnected Congress is from the suffering of ordinary Americans. But it also revealed something else: when people in D.C. talk about deficits and debt, by and large they have no idea what they’re talking about — and the people who talk the most understand the least.

Perhaps most obviously, the economic “experts” on whom much of Congress relies have been repeatedly, utterly wrong about the short-run effects of budget deficits. People who get their economic analysis from the likes of the Heritage Foundation have been waiting ever since President Obama took office for budget deficits to send interest rates soaring. Any day now!

And while they’ve been waiting, those rates have dropped to historical lows. You might think that this would make politicians question their choice of experts — that is, you might think that if you didn’t know anything about our postmodern, fact-free politics.

But Washington isn’t just confused about the short run; it’s also confused about the long run. For while debt can be a problem, the way our politicians and pundits think about debt is all wrong...


The question remains, wrong for whom? The Austerian bank$ters are doing fine these days, thank you. Which is the 300 lb gorilla in the room we aren't talking about: Austerity to stabilize the banks who created the need for it in the first place.

Similarly, the Editors at the New York Pravda bemoan the Republican game plan on energy and jobs:

...The payroll tax cut bill, which Mr. Obama signed last month, gave him 60 days to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline. That is not enough time to complete the required environmental review of a project that, in its present design, crosses ecologically sensitive territory and risks polluting an aquifer critical to Midwestern water supplies.

The Republicans’ claim that the pipeline will create tens of thousands of new jobs — 20,000 according to House Speaker John Boehner and 100,000 according to Jon Huntsman — are wildly inflated. A more accurate forecast from the federal government, one with which TransCanada, the pipeline company, agrees, says the project would create 6,000 to 6,500 temporary construction jobs at best, for two years.

The country obviously needs more jobs. Mr. Obama needs to lay out the case that industry, with government help, can create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs without incurring environmental risks — by upgrading old power plants to comply with environmental laws, retrofitting commercial and residential buildings that soak up nearly 40 percent of the country’s energy (and produce nearly 40 percent of its carbon emissions) and promoting growth in new industries like wind and solar power and advanced vehicles.

By even the most conservative estimates, the power plant upgrades required by the new rule governing mercury emissions are expected to create about 45,000 temporary construction jobs over the next five years, and as many as 8,000 permanent jobs as utilities install pollution control equipment. And while the projects are new and the numbers tentative, the Energy Department predicts that its loan guarantee programs could create more than 60,000 direct jobs in the solar and wind industries and in companies developing advanced batteries and other components for more fuel-efficient cars.

Much more needs to happen. Europe has encouraged the commercial development of carbon-reducing technologies with a robust mix of direct government investment and tax breaks, loans and laws that cap or tax greenhouse gas emissions. This country needs a comparably broad strategy that will create a pathway from the fossil fuels of today to the greener fuels of tomorrow.

We are under no illusions that such an appeal by Mr. Obama would win support among Republicans on Capitol Hill. House Republicans voted 191 times last year to undermine existing environmental protections or reject Democratic efforts to strengthen them — even killing off a modest regulation requiring more energy efficient light bulbs — and in general have vowed to resist new energy strategies or do anything at all that might disturb their patrons in the fossil fuel industries.

American voters are smart enough to see through the ridiculous pipeline gambit. And they will surely listen if Mr. Obama makes a compelling argument for both protecting the environment and investing in clean energy industries that will create lasting jobs.


All of this is attributed to shortsightedness. But that doesn't even begin to describe the real motivations.



White at McClatchy:

U.S. refineries exported a record amount of refined fuels in 2011 to markets in South America, Central America and Europe. It was one reason why Americans spent a record amount on gasoline this year: Supplies that might have helped lower prices here had been shipped abroad. In 2007, U.S. exports of all kinds of fuel held steady throughout the year at 1.24 million to 1.25 million barrels a day, according to Energy Department statistics. But by 2011, exports of diesel, gasoline and other products surged. In November and December, U.S. fuel exports averaged between 2.77 million barrels a day and 2.89 million barrels a day, the highest ever. Meanwhile, U.S. drivers paid an average of about $3.50 a gallon for gasoline during the year, also the highest ever. Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of regular Friday was $3.269, or 19.8 cents a gallon more than ever on a Dec. 30, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. The trend was predicted as early as last January, when two analysts with the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration delivered a presentation to the 2011 Argus Americas Crude Summit in Houston. Joanne Shore, lead operations research analyst at the Energy Information Administration, and colleague John Hackworth said that U.S. refineries had found thriving and lucrative markets overseas for their products, even as they were shutting down domestic facilities because of low demand...


That's "low demand" meaning "prices not high enough", and you can bet those margin differentials are not needed for investment in developing alternative sources of petrochemicals.

Which brings us back to an awkward Op-Ed by Whatcroft that the Pravda editors sank out of sight, and quickly.

...Unknown knowns were things that were not at all inevitable, and were easily knowable, or indeed known, but which people chose to “unknow.”

Unknown knowns were everywhere, from Wall Street to Brussels, from the Pentagon to Penn State. Ireland merely happened to offer an extreme case, where “everyone knew.” They just chose to forget that they knew — about the way that Irish banks ran wild, how easy credit fueled a monstrous explosion of property prices and speculative house-building. Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister at the time of the rapid economic growth, merely boasted, “The boom is getting boomier,” preferring to unknow the truth that booms always go bust.

Beginning in 2008, the skies were lighted up by financial conflagrations, from Lehman Brothers to the Royal Bank of Scotland. These were dramatic enough — but were they unforeseeable or unknowable? What kind of willful obtusity ever suggested that subprime mortgages were a good idea? An intelligent child would have known that there is no good time to lend money to people who obviously can never repay it.

Or recall how we were taken into the Iraq war. That was the origin of Mr. Rumsfeld’s curious words 10 years ago. When he murmured about “things we do not know we don’t know,” he was touching on the unconventional weapons that Saddam Hussein might — or might not — have held.

In a sense, Mr. Rumsfeld was more right than he realized. Those of us who opposed the war may be asked to this day whether we knew what weaponry Iraq possessed, to which the answer is that of course we didn’t. Nor, as it transpired, did President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld or Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain.

But that was the wrong question. It should have been not “what weaponry does Saddam Hussein possess?” but “Is Saddam Hussein’s weaponry, whatever it may be, the real reason for the war, or is it a pretext confected after a decision for war had already been taken?” The answer to that was obvious and could have been known to all, but too many people chose to unknow it.

Then there was another unknown known: the likely consequences of an invasion. Shortly before it began, Mr. Blair met President Jacques Chirac of France. As well as reiterating his opposition to the coming war, Mr. Chirac offered the prime minister specific warnings. Mr. Blair and his friends in Washington seemed to think that they would be welcomed with open arms in Iraq, Mr. Chirac said, but that they shouldn’t count on it. It was foolish to think of creating a modern democracy in an artificial country with a divided society like Iraq. And Mr. Chirac asked whether Mr. Blair realized that, by invading Iraq, they might yet precipitate a civil war.

This has been described in a BBC documentary by someone present, Sir Stephen Wall, a Foreign Office man then attached to Downing Street. As the British team was leaving, Mr. Blair turned and said, “Poor old Jacques, he just doesn’t get it,” to which Sir Stephen now adds dryly that he turned out to get it rather better than “we” did...


Sir Stephen, have you looked at how much money guys like Cheney made on the War on Terra and Iraq in particular? Perhaps the only ones not getting it are Sir Stephen and the Editors at The New York Pravda. But one suspects they are also heavily invested in the illusions they reflect.