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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 43,714

Journal Archives

"Don't You Know You I Am?"


B CLINTON "Our side’s not used to voting in midterms-We gotta get used to it-There’s a lot at stake”

For the purposes of understanding this midterm election, the most important quote of the weekend by far comes from Bill Clinton, who said this while in Iowa yesterday:

“I’ve studied all the polls and I really believe that we’re still in a zone where they’re all real close and it depends on who decides to show. And our side’s not used to voting in midterms. We gotta get used to it. There’s a lot at stake.”

In that interview, Clinton suggested that this is particularly true of the Senate contests in southern states. Clinton said that Senator Mark Pryor could probably hang on in Arkansas “if we get the turnout.” And speaking about the contest between Dem Michelle Nunn and GOPer David Perdue, Clinton said that African Americans are “under-registered in Georgia” and added that if Dems “increase the number,” victory is possible even in that red state.

Clinton is right. It isn’t just that core Dem voter groups tend to drop off in midterms. It’s also that this time around, they don’t necessarily know what’s at stake in this election and why it should matter to them, as Dem focus grouping I reported on last week clearly shows. What’s more, as Nate Cohn recently demonstrated, for a variety of reasons, black voters are poised to play a pivotal and historic role in multiple Senate races in the south. If they turn out.


KRUGMAN: — the fault lies not in our textbooks, but in ourselves.

How to Get It Wrong


.......... the failings of economics were greatly aggravated by the sins of economists, who far too often let partisanship or personal self-aggrandizement trump their professionalism. Last but not least, economic policy makers systematically chose to hear only what they wanted to hear. And it is this multilevel failure — not the inadequacy of economics alone — that accounts for the terrible performance of Western economies since 2008.


If you imagine that policy makers have spent the past five or six years in thrall to economic orthodoxy, you’ve been misled. On the contrary, key decision makers have been highly receptive to innovative, unorthodox economic ideas — ideas that also happen to be wrong but which offered excuses to do what these decision makers wanted to do anyway.

The great majority of policy-oriented economists believe that increasing government spending in a depressed economy creates jobs, and that slashing it destroys jobs — but European leaders and U.S. Republicans decided to believe the handful of economists asserting the opposite. Neither theory nor history justifies panic over current levels of government debt, but politicians decided to panic anyway, citing unvetted (and, it turned out, flawed) research as justification.


The big problem with economic policy is not, however, that conventional economics doesn’t tell us what to do. In fact, the world would be in much better shape than it is if real-world policy had reflected the lessons of Econ 101. If we’ve made a hash of things — and we have — the fault lies not in our textbooks, but in ourselves.


The Former Dogs Of War

from a few days ago......

Hardy will get his $770,588 game-day paycheck for Sunday's game.

However, when he was presented with a humanitarian award on Wednesday night, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson wept as he spoke of the toll domestic violence takes on society:

“Standing before you tonight, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge an issue weighing heavily on our sport and our society. When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference. I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple.

“To those who would suggest that we’ve been too slow to act, I ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge. Over the course of our 20 years, we have worked extremely hard to build an organization of integrity … I will work hard to continue to earn your trust.”

The Panthers announced the decision 90 minutes before gametime, finally reconciling the owner’s words with its roster moves. Hardy will, however, receive his gameday paycheck of $770,588.


Fuck you John McCain and the turd you rode in on:

McCain Claims He's 'Vetted' Syrian Rebels Because He Knows Them

McCain touted that he’s vetted a number of them because I know them.” It was at that point Fox aired the infamous photo from last year of McCain and a few Syrian rebels, two of which turned out to be suspected kidnappers. This led to Rand Paul taking a shot at McCain and illustrating this as an example of why it’s hard to properly vet Syrian rebels.


So you vetted Khalid al-Hamad, whom you are photographed with, who ate a Human heart on video?


He vetted Sarah Palin too, didn't he?


Why so many Tunisian?

This is concerning, Tunisia, which is the only Arab Spring country that more or less successfully made the transition from totalitarianism to democratic reforms —has the highest concentration of fighters in Syria and Iraq:

comments are enlightening:

Sen. Rand Paul: If I Become President: My 1st Executive order---Repeal ALL Previous Executive Orders

The Very Serious Rand Paul
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is a very serious person.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that if he became president he would repeal all previous executive orders.

“I think the first executive order that I would issue would be to repeal all previous executive orders,” he said, according to Breitbart News.

Isn’t that a great idea?

Repealing all executive orders has the potential to undo a large amount of policy. Executive orders, for example, ban assassinations by the United States and organize intelligence agencies under the Director of National Intelligence.

Hmm. Maybe it’s not such a great idea.

“Senator Paul’s statement was meant to emphasize this president’s overt and unconstitutional executive orders, it was not meant to be taken literally,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor wrote in an email.

Alrighty then. Never mind.


Sign of the times? - The High Times Bonghitters defeated The Wall Street Journal 11-5

WSJ loses NYMSL championship to High Times

The High Times Bonghitters defeated The Wall Street Journal 11-5 in Saturday’s championship game to win the New York Media Softball League.

It is the first time in seven years that the championship was not won by a business news outlet.

The Journal had entered Saturday’s playoffs as the No. 1 seed and with hopes of recapturing the championship it held from 2009 to 2012. It was upset in the playoffs last year, and Institutional Investor won the 2013 championship.

The Journal defeated DC Comics by a 22-5 score in the semifinals on Saturday, while High Times defeated Forbes.


Ted Rall’s “uncomfortable truths” about Afghanistan

Tell me a little about the ordinary Afghans’ perspective. Do they subscribe to a similar narrative of the U.S. invasion as we do? Namely, that it was a consequence of 9/11, and that the U.S. military is leaving because Americans are sick of the occupation?

I’ve never met a single Afghan who had any understanding of the relationship between 9/11 and the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. In fact, I’ve never met a single Afghan who even understood what happened on 9/11, understood the scale of it. I was repeatedly having to explain it to people, having to explain these buildings and how big they were and how many people were in them and how it affected the American psyche and so on.

Whenever you asked (Afghans), regardless of their age or their politics or their tribal affiliation, they’d all say the same thing: The only reason the U.S. was in Afghanistan was because the U.S. was the dominant superpower in the world; and from their point of view, whoever is the dominant superpower in the world at any given time invades Afghanistan. So we’re just there because we could — they all think that.

If Americans think Afghans understand that whatever suffering they’re going through is somehow tied to 9/11, no; they should be disabused of that, because Afghans just don’t think that. That’s just universally true. They think we’re there because we hate Islam or because we want to steal Afghanistan’s natural resources or because it’s strategically important or “I don’t know, but they’re here, and I just have to deal with them!”

There’s something vaguely Kafka about that. It’s kind of existentially bleak and yet has a touch of black comedy to it as well.

Yeah. They always call us “the foreigners,” which just refers to the inevitable foreign presence that’s always there, whether it’s Soviet advisers in the 1960s and ’70s or the Red Army in the ’80s or whatever it is. “There’s always foreigners here. We’re a weak country. We can’t defend our borders. The foreigners come and go; we shoot a lot of them, and then they leave.” Black humor is absolutely a huge survival tool for people who live in stressful circumstances — and Afghans are very, very funny people.


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