HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » n2doc » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 ... 1321 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 40,569

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Franklin Pierce-Herald poll: Sanders keeps lead over Clinton

Sanders holds a 38-30 percent lead over Clinton in the first-in-the-nation primary state, while Biden draws 19 percent in the poll of 403 likely Democratic primary voters conducted immediately after last week's debate.

Sanders' 8-point lead is essentially unchanged from the 44-37 percent advantage the Vermont senator held in a stunning Franklin Pierce-Herald poll in August -- the first to show the former Secretary of State behind in New Hampshire.

The new poll also has Sanders holding an even bigger 10-point lead over Clinton if Biden isn't in the presidential field.

The results suggest Clinton will have a tough time overcoming the deficit, as more than half of notoriously finicky Granite State voters now say they have made up their minds.


Why Free Markets Make Fools of Us

by Cass R. Sunstein

Very few economists foresaw the great recession of 2008–2009. Why not? Economists have long assumed that human beings are “rational,” but behavioral findings about human fallibility have put a lot of pressure on that assumption. People tend to be overconfident; they display unrealistic optimism; they often deal poorly with risks; they neglect the long term (“present bias”); and they dislike losses a lot more than they like equivalent gains (“loss aversion”). And until recent years, most economists have not had much to say about the problem of inequality, which seems to be getting worse.

There is a strong argument that within the economics profession, these problems are closely linked, and that they have had unfortunate effects on public policy. Most economists celebrate free markets, invoking the appealing idea of consumer sovereignty. If people are buying potato chips, candy, and beer, or making risky investments, that’s their business; they know their own values and tastes. Outsiders, and especially those who work for the government, have no right to intervene. To be sure, things are different if someone is inflicting harms on third parties. If a company is emitting air pollution, the government can legitimately respond. But otherwise, many economists tend to believe that people should fend for themselves.

It is true that companies might try to take advantage of consumers and investors, perhaps with outright lies, perhaps with subtler forms of deception, perhaps by manipulating their emotions. But from the standpoint of standard economic thinking, that’s nothing to panic about. The first line of defense is competition itself—and the market’s invisible hand. Companies that lie, deceive, and manipulate people are not going to last long. The second line of defense is the law. If a company is really engaging in fraud or deception, government regulators might well get involved, and customers are likely to have a right to compensation. But for economists, competitive markets are generally trustworthy, and so the old Latin phrase retains its relevance: caveat emptor.

By emphasizing human fallibility, the group of scholars known as behavioral economists has raised a lot of doubts about this view. Their catalog of errors on the part of consumers and investors can be taken to identify a series of “behavioral market failures,” each of them calling for some kind of government response (such as information campaigns to promote healthy eating or graphic warnings to discourage smoking). But George Akerlof and Robert Shiller want to go far beyond behavioral economics, at least in its current form. They offer a much more general, and quite damning, account of why free markets and competition cause serious problems.



Monday Toon Roundup 3-The Rest

GOP House



The Issue

Good Old Days

Monday Toon Roundup 2- Can't Quit You

Monday Toon Roundup 1- The GOP clown car

Inside the GOP’s hallucinatory dogma

The first Democratic presidential primary debate was a great example of “normal politics” in action. To that end, the participating candidates — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee — had a mostly intelligent discussion of matters of public concern, and their various approaches to addressing those issues. Compared with this year’s crop of Republican candidates, none of the Democrats on stage offered any comment or idea that would leave a reasonable person to believe that they were a threat to the safety, security, or future of the republic.

However, the question remains: Will the normal, functional politics of the Democratic Party be enough to win over the persuadable Independents and undecided voters in the 2016 election.

Normal politics in the Age of Obama face a daunting and dangerous foe. The power and appeal of the Republican Party lies in how its consultants and media accomplices have created a highly entertaining and confusing type of absurdist political theater. While wealth and income inequality are central to America’s political polarization and dysfunction, the alternate reality cultivated by political leaders and right-wing media has a heavy impact on a political culture where broken politics is not just an aberration or outlier, but rather the norm.

Movement conservatism is compelling for so many people because of its visceral emotional appeal, and how the mindsets of conservative authoritarians are oriented toward accepting a Manichaean, binary, fear-centered, and dominance-oriented perspective of the world.

much more


This is still Bernie Sanders’ moment: He’s right on the big issues, now he must communicate it


You don’t need me to tell you who won the Democratic debate. You can make up your own mind and probably have by now.

If you missed it, the press will gladly pick a winner for you. Don’t let them.

In 2000 Al Gore outshone George Bush in every debate but the press thought otherwise. To our emotionally arrested, intellectually undernourished reporters, politics is high school. We didn’t want to have a beer with Bush, they did. Gore struck them as a teacher’s pet and for that they were merciless to him. When he sighed audibly during one of Bush’s myriad lies, it got replayed a million times on TV. If you saw just that video, you thought Bush won. It helped him — not enough to win the election, but enough to steal it.

As for the frontrunners, if it were a high school debate I’d have to give it to Clinton. Say what you will of her, she does her homework and it shows. Being prepared relaxes you. A well-rehearsed line — “I’m a progressive who likes to get things done” — will always be there when you need it. She’s too cute by half but she’s the best debater in the race in either party; on Tuesday she turned in the performance of her life.

Bernie won anyway. The reason goes to the heart of the race. Hillary is a living avatar of the Democratic Party in our time. What it does well–cultural issues and social programs– she does well. When she talks about child care or family leave she’s passionate and sincere. What she and her party don’t do well is fight to end corporate control of government. She’s also weak on climate change, freedom of information, the right to privacy and, in matters of alleged national security, the rule of law.



Sunday's Doonesbury- Trump U memories

President Obama Crashes Wedding Photographs

San Diego-based wedding photographers Jeff and Erin Youngren got an unexpected surprise this past weekend after President Obama stepped into the scene. The wedding was at the Torrey Pines golf course in San Diego, and Obama happened to be playing a round of golf on Sunday.

When the photographers arrived at the lodge for the wedding, Obama was on the course just outside.

The president’s 18th and final hole ended up being right next to where the ceremony was being held, to the delight of those at the wedding (who had their cell phone cameras out and ready).

After finishing up his game, Obama surprised the crowd by approaching to shake everyone’s hand. The bride and groom, Brian and Stephanie, then sprinted to the scene from the hotel, and the Youngrens managed to shoot some photos of the happy couple as Obama crashed their big day.

who crashed who? Must have been fun!


Weekend Toon Roundup 2: The Rest





The Issue

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 ... 1321 Next »