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Paul Krugman, not knowing what he's saying, says it

Krugman writes:

One thing I learned from reporting on the Madoff affair was the term “affinity fraud”: people are easily duped by con men who seem to be like them, to be their kind of people.

Look, I don't have to point out why this is so funny, right? Read below the fold...

"I'm Done Making My Kid's Childhood Magical"

Not that I'm qualified by experience to speak, except to note that this is an excellent rant. Re-arranged slightly:

Today, parents are being fed the idea that it benefits children to constantly be hand in hand, face to face, "What do you need my precious darling? How can I make your childhood amazing?" You can't walk through Pinterest without tripping over 100 Indoor Summer Craft Ideas, 200 Inside Activities for Winter, 600 Things To Do With Your Kids In The Summer. 14 Million Pose Ideas For Elf on The Shelf. 12 Billion Tooth Fairy Strategies. 400 Trillion Birthday Themes.

This is how I remember childhood too: Read below the fold...

To the NSA on #heartbleed: Any way you look at it, you lose

This seems to be my day for quoting Kevin Drum:

Heartbleed is a Sucking Chest Wound in the NSA's Reputation
I'm honestly not sure which would be worse. That the NSA knew about this massive bug that threatened havoc for millions of Americans and did nothing about it for two years. Or that the NSA's vaunted—and lavishly funded—cybersecurity team was completely in the dark about a gaping and highly-exploitable hole in the operational security of the internet for two years. It's frankly hard to see any way the NSA comes out of this episode looking good.

"Looking good"? Read below the fold...

Common Household Remedies Request

Back in Thailand and, heck, here, although less urgently, I had a Sweat Management project, of which a task was tracking down bacterial odors. The armpits were one subtask of that task:

And a much-loved pair of boat shoes was another: Read below the fold...

Declaring victory in the culture wars

I rarely quote Kevin Drum, but I think he's got hold of something:

ver the last half century, various branches of government have also taken plenty of proactive steps to marginalize religion. Prayer in public school has been banned. Creches can no longer be set up in front of city hall. Parochial schools are forbidden from receiving public funds. The Ten Commandments can't be displayed in courtrooms. Catholic hospitals are required to cover contraceptives for their employees. Gay marriage is legal in more than a dozen states and the number is growing rapidly.

Needless to say, I consider these and plenty of other actions to be proper public policy. I support them all. But they're real things. Conservative Christians who feel under attack may be partly the victims of cynical politicians and media moguls, and a lot of their pity-party attempts at victimization really are ridiculous. But their fears do have a basis in reality. To a large extent, it's the left that started the culture wars, and we should hardly be surprised that it provoked a strong response. In fact, it's a sign that we're doing something right.

As far as I'm concerned, the culture wars are one of the left's greatest achievements. Our culture needed changing, and we should take the credit for it.

Fair enough. Read below the fold...

danps's picture

Saturday morning music

danps's picture

Like the McCarthy era, except for everything

Jonathan Chait has been making parallels between the current discussion on race and the red baiting of the 50s. To say the least, it's an inapt comparison.

Cross posted from Pruning Shears. Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: ObamaCare doesn't play well in Peoria (well, Pittsburgh)

Riverdaughter is posting again; too bad she has time, but good for us:

I recently attended a younger cousin’s birthday party. My relatives sat around and compared plans. This group was a mix of ages, employment situations, number of dependents, personal wealth. The bad news for the Democrats is that no one likes Obamacare. Not one of them. In Pittsburgh, the effect of Obamacare is pronounced because two major insurance carriers in the region are battling and one of them, UPMC, refuses to contract with Highmark BC/BS. That leaves Highmark customers scrambling to find new doctors and praying that if they do have an emergency, they don’t get carted off to one of the ubiquitous UPMC hospitals where they will get socked with a massive out of network price structure. They played nicely before Obamacare but no more.

The problem of insurance plans is particularly acute for those of us who fall into the precariat class and Obamacare falls severely short there.

As we say, read the whole thing. Read below the fold...

Three questions about the 2008 campaign

[And leaving this sticky again because at 133 comments the topics have broadened. I guess it's time for me to start posting on the horse race again... --lambert]

[And leaving this sticky because now I've had time to go through the comments and make some responses. --lambert]

[Leaving this sticky to remind myself that I still have things to say. And it's interesting to imagine what future historians, if any, will think of the 2008 Democratic campaign. We'd better get our thoughts and memories on the record! I'd also note, for researchers like Cannon, that Corrente's archives are incomparable, and our faceted/filterable search function is excellent. It's also sad to me that many comrades in arms from that time have dispersed. It's natural, of course. --lambert]

Joe Cannon is writing a book "that will give a precis of the strangeness that hit blogworld in 2008." He asks the following questions, which I thought I'd open up for discussion:

1) Looking back, do you think that Obama mania was a genuinely spontaneous eruption, or do you think that the whole thing was engineered by manipulators who worked the blogs using personas?

Yes. (With the caveat that I think the key manipulators, at least the ones doing the manipulation, were perfectly open about it.)

2) Do you agree with my contention that blogs (not television) were the true drivers of the national conversation during that primary fight?


3) And what do you think was the shiftiest trick employed by the Obama forces against the Clinton forces?

Texas caucus fraud.

Readers? Read below the fold...

I had no idea the Sex Pistols lifted the riff for "Pretty Vacant" from Abba

Glen Matlock interviewed in the Guardian:

Did you really steal the riff for Pretty Vacant from Abba?
Yeah, from SOS. Being at art school and being hip to the Dadaists and Marcel Duchamp, you'd nick something and make it your own. If I hadn't come clean no one would have ever spotted it.

I think a world where this can happen is a wonderful world. Read below the fold...

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Democrat hack Joan Walsh makes Ezra Klein look like a paragon of integrity

It wasn't easy! Yeah, I subscribe to Salon's news feed, so every once in awhile I hold my nose and click through to Joan Walsh, "progressive":

Ezra Klein trolled the right by declaring that it means “Obamacare has won,” which is pretty funny given that he helped lead the national freak-out over’s troubles back in October.

Read below the fold...
Rangoon78's picture

Obama a Clintonite?

After seeing Lambert's post 'Adolph Reed on identity politics,' I was looking forward to reading Reed's Harper's piece. I went to the library to read it. I was disappointed to find Reed succumbing to the narrative that "Obama is just another (Bill) Clinton, no more no less."

Of course I was disappointed with the rightward progress of Clinton, but there was still a certainty that he was a Democrat. Read below the fold...

Shocker: NSA exploited #heartbleed bug for at least two years

Nobody could have predicted:

The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said.

Sure! "Critical intelligence!" I mean, how likely is it the NSA would just Hoover up everything and store it on some humongous server in case they "needed" it later? Read below the fold...


I said I'd look up at the sky:

(That's the Bangor Mall, complete with dead snow.) Contrast: Read below the fold...

And so what about Colbert and his one schtick?


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