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Rise in Household Debt over the Last 30 Years -- not what anyone thought it was

except, perhaps, here. Via Skydancing, some new research by Josh Mason and Arjun Jayadev shows that it's not increases in household borrowing that has driven higher household debt, but leverage.

Some of the interesting bits: Read below the fold...

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VL Talks to OccupyBoston

VastLeft has posted the first installment of videos he shot from OccupyBoston on his site. Not surprisingly, Part I is a great vid. Excellent citizen journalism!

(My apologies if someone has already posted on this, but I didn't see anything when I looked around. Ah well, it deserves to be posted more than once anyway!). Read below the fold...

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Baby steps

Somerby discusses a review of Michael Kazin’s new history of the left, “American Dreamers” by Yale professor Beverly Gage. Gage can't imagine what "the left" could possibly do to recapture their relevance, but Bob has some ideas for her:

The left can dream of a world where the left doesn’t sneer at everyone else. Where the left tries to focus on shared attitudes rather than on differences. Where the left is willing to admit that the values of regular people aren’t always noxious and deserve a respectful hearing, even if we disagree with those values and views.

Read below the fold...
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Comment of the Day: "What Democrats appear to be talking about here is a pure pain plan"

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Froomkin has an interesting up on the consensus among "progressive" pollsters (including Lake) that Obama's driving away voters with his "everything's on the table" approach to Social Security.

The pollsters had no doubt that the turnaround stems from statements by Obama and other Democratic leaders expressing their openness to cuts in Social Security. "It's the rhetoric that says things like, 'Everythng is on the table,'" said Lake. "That's not how the public feels. This isn't a policy debate in the public's mind, this is a core value."

When Democrats say they're open to cuts in Social Security, some voters are less drawn to the party, said Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps.

Read below the fold...
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Whatever happened to Obama's "move" to rescind the "conscience clause" rule?

Avedon tags an Idaho pharmacist's refusal to provide a non-abortifacient medication:

“Methergine is not an abortifacient and it serves multiple purposes in postpartum care,” the practitioner wrote in her complaint. “I believe the pharmacist wrongly applied the conscience protections.
....
Planned Parenthood officials said in the complaint that the pharmacist inquired if the patient needed the drug for post-abortion care. The nurse refused to answer the question based on confidentiality of health information.

Read below the fold...
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Right Wing Rage and Right Wing Populism

Lambert suggested I turn this comment on votermom's excellent distinction between anger and hate, into a regular post.

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Anyway, apologies in advance for a long comment and diversion to a bit of personal history:

For a very long time, the right-wing rage which we see now being turned against immigrants, “socialists”, Obama etc was channeled into anti-communist feeling during the cold war. Then the wall fell and for a while the same rage was turned in a number of directions, but did not really have a similar unifying focus. Or maybe it would be more accurate that for a while it didn’t have a coherent political agenda, or coherent political cover. Read below the fold...

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NJ Judge Threatens to Close Down Big Banks over Fraudclosure

via madamab over at her place.

NJ state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner has ordered 6 banks to demonstrate why the state shouldn't shut down their operations in NJ in Jan:

Six lenders who have combined to file nearly 30,000 foreclosure actions in New Jersey this year face the possible suspension of their operations next month under a court order announced Monday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

Read below the fold...
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A really long roundup of links on Assange rape accusations

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I've done my best to avoid the worst sites, but this latest wave of misogyny and rape apologism has me ready to vomit. The only good thing (from a personal point of view) for the whole nauseating mess is that I found I number of kick-ass sites this last week. Since they've mostly already said what I would've liked to say, but a whole lot better, here's a big honkin' roundup. Read below the fold...

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Sometimes I really hate these f*ckers

The House today sunk the Childhood Marriage Act, legislation which would have made preventing child marriage a key component of our international development efforts. Via dakinikat.

The measure passed the Senate unanimously, but was sabotaged in the House by Republicans who claimed the act could be used to 'fund abortions and use child marriage "to overturn pro-life laws."'. Even Pravda seemed disgusted, noting that Read below the fold...

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Bipartisanship I can applaud: IVAWA clears a hurdle

Today, the International Violence Against Women Act was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sponsors included Congress members from both sides of the aisle. madamab has details over at her place (and more detail here). madamab also has a line on likely opposition in the full Senate. Read below the fold...

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AmericaSpeaks But It's Not What Pete Peterson and Crowd Want to Hear

Froomkin today tags the encouraging news that deficit-whiner and Catfood Commission architect Peterson's continuing attempts to convince us that we need to gut “entitlements” and slash taxes under the rubric of a deficit crisis backfired. Lambert promised me a sticky-post if I posted on one of the highlights (my first ever! Yaay!) of the rebellion, on single payer, so here goes: Read below the fold...

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How the Federal Reserve Doesn't Work for Us

Over at Naked Capitalism, Matt Stoller (who I'm not such a fan of) has a longish piece explaining how the Federal Reserve works and how, in particular, it has consistently failed "the rest of us."

The list of failures goes on and on. But fundamentally, it is not corruption that is at the heart of the problem for this Fed system, it is a lack of democratic accountability. The Fed failed to stop the S&L crisis, the dotcom boom and bust, the mortgage boom and bust, and shoveled money to AIG with an overtly disdainful approach to the public.

Read below the fold...
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What Progressives Are Thankful For

What Progressives Are Thankful for:

Some are grateful for sundry Palins:

We're grateful that Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas did not win the Mirrow Ball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars... (Naomi Cahn and June Carbone)

I’m thankful that Sarah Palin might actually run for president....(Eric Alterman)

Some are grateful for vestiges:

That we still have enough of a semblance of rule of law in this country that judges are not giving banks a free pass on the failure to adhere to the terms of their own contracts and the abuse of legal processes. (Yves)

Some for their sparkle ponies: Read below the fold...

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On a More Positive Note

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt over at New Deal 2.0 urges the Senate to ratify The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW):

Today we know with certainty that improving the status of the world’s women is not just the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. Investing in women must be recognized as a necessary, strategic objective of United States foreign policy.

Studies from more than 100 countries offer impressive evidence that societies are more peaceful and prosperous where women have basic rights and opportunities.

Read below the fold...
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Zombies!

No, not zombie lies, or OFB zombies. But related.

Because of Stirling's recent (and very interesting) post on torture-economy, this post over at the Global Sociology Blog caught my eye:

The Culture of Poverty and Zombies Read below the fold...

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