Department of Analytical Tools
Yves has two stories on the settlements the banks are pushing to evade accountability for their illegal actions during the ongoing foreclosure crisis, by offering token payments and gutting the court system. Read more about Thieving Banksters scheme to get away clean on foreclosure fraud, MERS
Here is a link to a DailyKos blog in which the writer took the time to assemble the list of the states that perform worse on a number of measurable social indicators. The ten states with the lowest median household income are almost all solidly Republican / conservative states. The states with the worst health-care systems are almost all solidly Republican / conservative states. Read more about Empirical Evidence That Proves Conservatism is Destroying America
I realize that the title of my post is a contradiction in terms, but I can't think of any other way to describe what's going on with federal Republicans and Democrats these days. Burnt Orange Boehner pulls out all the stops by demanding something outrageously batshit fucking crazy - like, the total defunding of Planned Parenthood - and then he stamps his little feet and says he'll shut down the government if he doesn't get it. The Democrats bang their fists on the table in outrage and say there's no way the Republicans will get what they want. But somehow, the deals are made, the governmental shutdown is avoided, and some horrible "compromise" is reached which, mysteriously, amazingly, benefits the top 2% of society. Read more about Report from the Field: Life-and-Death Kabuki
I'm going to meander about here and end up at DanP's nine-word word platform. This is sloppy and unfinished because RL is shouting again, but maybe there are some useful questions in it. This is an inferior substitute for the big think piece I was asked for in mail (you know who you are).
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From the Barcalounger: Read more about Pay no attention to the oligarch behind the curtain
Here are the results of the shallowest possbile online research on Gene Sharp:
Amazon's page of Sharp titles, including Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice And 21st Century Potential, From dictatorship to democracy: A conceptual framework for liberation, The politics of nonviolent action, Gandhi As a Political Strategist: With Essays on Ethics and Politics, and five more.
I'm trying to remember the title of a book I read about....it entailed a study of a machine tool company that implemented work place democracy (in a limited way) during the 1960s, as part of a program to introduce computer numerical controlled machinery. Ring any bells? Read more about Work place democracy study?
Interesting idea (and Herbert Simon is an interesting man):
Herbert Simon was a remarkably fertile thinker in the social and "artificial" sciences (The Sciences of the Artificial - 3rd Edition (1969, first edition)). His most celebrated idea was the notion of "satisficing" rather than "optimizing" or "maximizing" in decision-making; he put forward a theory of ordinary decision-making that conformed more closely to the ways that actual people reason rather than the heroic abstractions of expected utility theory.
[Live updates continue at the bottom. Nothing from Mub yet, but a statement from the E speaker of the parliament is expected shortly, according to AJ and Guardian live blogs. More: Mub orders govt to step down, will name new govt tomorrow. Alrighty, then. --lambert] Read more about Live from Cairo
Mike Kimel has been doing great work analyzing real-world data on the effect of U.S. income tax rates on economic growth and investment. This pretty much summarizes his findings so far:
Put another way – conservatives and libertarians have a very, very flawed theory of the world. At the very least it does not conform at all with historical US data. At all. Which of course has serious consequences; because that theory is somewhat dominant in the political sphere, and has been since the late 60s. The end result – slower economic growth for all of us since the late 60s. That has real consequences for real people – 310 million of us. That should have repercussions for the consciences of economists who peddle this garbage, though apparently it doesn’t.