The Department of Don't Say You Weren't Warned
Effective regulation, and on that note, it is a positive thing that the Summers of our discontent can finally be laid to rest. After all the damage Larry Summers has caused in being one of the architects of this crisis, from boxing in Brooksley Born and ignoring her warnings with regard to derivatives which brought down Long Term Capital Management during the Clinton administration, to his sexism among everything else. He has now thankfully taken himself out consideration for the job.
It's a good thing he did. Rather than fighting for something or someone that helps people suffering from this economic crisis, President Obama strongly recommended and fought for Larry Summers to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve, a guy who lost a billion dollars as President of Harvard betting on interest rates. Yeah, let that sink in for awhile.
It's really not OK. This is why making excuses for everything the President does, as too many Democrats do without thinking of the damage, is dangerous, immoral, and unprincipled. Now it looks like the front runner to replace Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve is going to be Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and once President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Janet Yellin. Unlike Larry Summers, she at least saw the crisis coming as early as 2005.
As the Obama Administration trots out its dog-and-pony show to advocate for war, I’ve been noticing some departures from our last misadventure. Although Lambert regularly uses the terms Pravda and Izvestia for major US news outlets as our own notorious examples of Soviet-era propaganda organs, the comparison has become more and more apt, because US journalism consumers appear to be honing their skills at reading between the lines. Here are some of my observations and what I think may be their significance in the larger scheme of things. Read below the fold...
On August 21, Chris Hedges wrote a great post called “Bradley Manning and the Gangster State.” It is consonant with my own thinking, and, more importantly, it makes one focus on the most important issue facing democracy today: “Is there a democracy in the United States anymore, or have we already evolved into a form of totalitarianism?” And if we have, then is there any return from this, a counter-evolution or revolution, that will restore our political liberties and our ability to change our political regime?
”The most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history”
Here's Chris's opening statement:
”The swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters. It signals the inversion of our moral and legal order, the death of an independent media, and the open and flagrant misuse of the law to prevent any oversight or investigation of official abuses of power, including war crimes. The passivity of most of the nation’s citizens—the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history—to the judicial lynching of Manning means they will be next. There are no institutional mechanisms left to halt the shredding of our most fundamental civil liberties, including habeas corpus and due process, or to prevent pre-emptive war, the assassination of U.S. citizens by the government and the complete obliteration of privacy.”
Some may object to the passionate and evaluative tone of this opening, and may want to quibble about whether Americans are “the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history,” seeing this as glossing over the extreme conditions existing at the height of the Nazi, Stalin, and Mao regimes in Germany, the USSR, and China. But nevertheless it is hard to deny that in the areas of concern to the National Security Surveillance State, including not just foreign policy, “homeland security,” and the big media, but also in maintaining the dominance of the FIRE, Energy, military/industrial, and health insurance sectors of the economy, this statement is, sadly, true. Read below the fold...
Here's a memorable piece of video on Xkeyscore, featuring Piers Morgan, Glenn Greenwald, James Risen, and Jeffrey Toobin.
Risen and Greenwald get set up by Morgan pretty well to make Toobin look clueless, and silly, in his insistence that Snowden's done a very valuable thing for American democracy, but nevertheless must pay the price for releasing classified material. This is a village meme running around Washington, New York, and evidently, London, these days. Read below the fold...
Paul Street in “Power Served, Millions Betrayed” presents the reality of Obama’s conservative neoliberal ideology and takes on the personality-cultish, propaganda-spun good will so many progressives still cling to regarding Obama:
There is, of course, one group of Americans who have clearly not been thrown under the bus by Barack Obama: the very predominantly white corporate and financial elite.Read below the fold...
"What happened in Darveshpura has divided scientists and is exciting governments and development experts. Tests on the soil show it is particularly rich in silicon but the reason for the "super yields" is entirely down to a method of growing crops called System of Root Intensification (SRI). Read below the fold...
A few things. First is that there appears to have been a great deal of classified information bandied about between the people involved and possibly others. The threshold for dissemination of classified information to unauthorized parties is absolutely zero tolerance, but especially so for the head of the CIA. In Obama's press conference yesterday, he stated that no classified information had been divulged that would threaten the security of the United States. Read below the fold...
Kent Conrad Endorses All Three Cuts To Social Security Program, Video, Speaking At The Wall Street Journal CEO Council [01:00]
Here's the link. [not embeddable]
*************SORRY, THE C-SPAN LINK HAS BEEN REMOVED****************
[Conrad says that he is "speaking for himself."]
This is as good as it gets, when it comes to having the Bowles-Simpson "recommendations" for cutting Social Security articulated in a public forum.
Here's the transcript:
00:00:00 THE SOLVENCY OF SOCIAL SECURITY ITSELF.
00:00:05 >> THAT IS DONE, HOW?
00:00:07 >> IT WILL BE DONE IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS TO EARN ONE OF THE WAYS IT IS WE WILL EXTEND THE CAP IN TERMS OF WHAT INCOME IS EXPOSED FOR FUNDING SOCIAL SECURITY.
00:00:22 THE AGE WILL BE EXTENDED OVER AN EXTENDED A PERIOD OF TIME.Read below the fold...
Evan Bayh Audio on Bloomberg Surveillance: "The President's been reelected, he can stand up to his base a little more." [and more pronouncements on 'the Fiscal Cliff']
Here's an audio clip with a transcript of the most salient points from the Bloomberg TV program, Surveillance,with Host Tom Keene, that describes what the "framework" of a Grand Bargain (struck in the Lame Duck Session) will look like.
The "interviewee" is former Indiana Senator, Evan Bayh. He is one of the founders of the "centrist" organization "No Labels."
Please see the transcript below, for the most salient points. Read below the fold...