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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 49,195

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KRUGMAN: Down the Up Staircase

Down the Up Staircase

James Surowiecki makes an important point: if you want a society in which everyone has a decent life, you need to construct a society in which everyone has a decent life — not a society in which everyone has a small but equal chance of living the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Not that we’re anywhere close to the second condition, anyway — the most important factor in whether you can become rich is whether you chose the right parents: Most people are going to end up with socioeconomic status close to where they started. But even if that weren’t true, those moving up the ladder would be matched by an equal number moving down. Since anyone could find himself or herself downwardly mobile, social mobility arguably actually strengthens the case for a strong safety net.

I think you want to read Surowiecki in the context of people like Eric Cantor, who first chose to celebrate Labor Day by congratulating people who start businesses — forgetting about the workers — then, more recently, tried to get his fellow Republicans to understand that most people work for other people, and that employees vote too. The point is that even in the best of worlds, only a few people will live out Horatio Alger stories; the quality of our society depends on what happens to everyone else.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/down-the-up-staircase/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Al Jazeera Offered WikiLeaks Money In Exchange For Cables

Al Jazeera Offered WikiLeaks Money In Exchange For Cables
An ex-WikiLeaks employee said the organization offered other things too: “I remember a remark along the lines of noting the women there were very lovely, and very friendly.” A WikiLeaks spokesman said a deal never materialized.




WASHINGTON — Al Jazeera offered WikiLeaks money in exchange for access to the diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks amassed in 2010, according to the accounts of Julian Assange’s former ghostwriter and of a former WikiLeaks employee.

In “Ghosted,” a story by Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books about his experience ghostwriting an autobiography of Assange that was never published, he alleges that Al Jazeera offered Assange $1.3 million in exchange for WikiLeaks data.

“That night, a guy from al-Jazeera was talking to the group,” O’Hagan wrote of a night in January 2011. “The group was usually just Sarah, who lived there, and Joseph Farrell, a pleasant twenty-something whizz kid who came and went. Another guy, an activist and academic from Canberra University, was drinking wine and talking about how to mobilise the world. It turned out that the guy from al-Jazeera was hoping to strike a deal with WikiLeaks – that’s to say, with Julian. He was offering $1.3 million to get access (via encryption keys) to the data. He also wanted to organise a conference in Qatar on press freedom.”

According to James Ball, a former WikiLeaks employee, another meeting with Al Jazeera executives took place in December 2010 in the office of Mark Stephens, then Assange’s lawyer. Ball and WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson represented Assange’s side, while two high-level Al Jazeera employees, one described as the “third-in-charge” and one introduced as the head of investigations, represented Al Jazeera, according to Ball.



http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/al-jazeera-offered-wikileaks-money-in-exchange-for-cables

David Gregory's so-called "mistake" reason enough to boot his ass right out of the "Meet the Press"

DAVID GREGORY:

And you talk about the humanitarian assistance. The level of suffering is huge. The fact that Assad has killed-- about a million people have died, the refugee crisis adding numbers to that, by almost another million, I mean the scale of mass suffering is huge in Syria.

SUSAN RICE:

David, I think it's more like 100,000, which is--

DAVID GREGORY
:

Excuse me, I messed up, I'm sorry.

SUSAN RICE:

--horrific. But--

DAVID GREGORY:

Yeah, 100,000 killed.

SUSAN RICE:

Not a million.

http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/meet-press-transcript-feb-23-2014-n36721

Dick Cheney rips Obama for defense cuts: “He would much rather spend the money on food stamps"

“Absolutely dangerous,” Cheney told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I, obviously, have not been a strong supporter of Barack Obama but this really is over the top. It does enormous long-term damage to our military.”


“They’re basically making the decision, the Obama administration, that they no longer want to be dominant on the seas and the skies and in space,” the former vice president added. “This notion that we no longer want to have a force that’s capable of any sustained occupation of a foreign territory, that’s a basic fundamental decision that drives — supposedly justifies this. But lots of times, you don’t get to make that choice. Circumstances will make that choice for you.”

Cheney said that his “old friends” in the Middle East had told him that they no longer trusted the United States to use military power when it was necessary.

“I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it’s driven by budget considerations,” he insisted. “He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/25/dick-cheney-rips-obama-for-defense-cuts-spend-on-military-not-food-stamps/

Americans rising up against government - Three examples of pushback against the ruling class.

Though people have taken to the streets from Egypt, to Ukraine, to Venezuela to Thailand, many have wondered whether Americans would ever resist the increasing encroachments on their freedom. I think they've begun.

Three examples of pushback against the ruling class.

America's ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.

First, in response to widespread protests last week, the Department of Homeland Security canceled plans to build a nationwide license plate database. Many local police departments already use license-plate readers that track every car as it passes traffic signals or pole-mounted cameras. Specially equipped police cars even track cars parked on the street or even in driveways.

..................................................................

On Friday, after more public outrage, the Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to "monitor" news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate. The "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN (pronounced "sin") involved the FCC sending people to question reporters and editors about why they chose to run particular stories. Many folks in and out of the media found it Orwellian.

....................................

Meanwhile, in Connecticut a massive new gun-registration scheme is also facing civil disobedience. As J.D. Tuccille reports: "Three years ago, the Connecticut legislature estimated there were 372,000 rifles in the state of the sort that might be classified as 'assault weapons,' and 2 million plus high-capacity magazines. ... But by the close of registration at the end of 2013, state officials received around 50,000 applications for 'assault weapon' registrations, and 38,000 applications for magazines."

....................

Though people have taken to the streets from Egypt, to Ukraine, to Venezuela to Thailand, many have wondered whether Americans would ever resist the increasing encroachments on their freedom. I think they've begun.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/02/23/license-plates-guns-news-federal-government-column/5759933/

ask yourself why?

Cartoon: The gun - by Tom Tomorrow


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/24/1279154/-Cartoon-The-gun

“Did I say I was done?”

Look at that face: “Did I say I was done?”

http://underthemountainbunker.com/2014/02/22/morning-coffee-caturday-49/

Right-Wing Bloggers Paid $500 for a blog post praising Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions.

I’m shocked, shocked to find that grifting is going on in here (via):

Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government — and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed.



The model resembles a recent stealth campaign in which bloggers were paid by the Malaysian government to write favorable stories, though the Ukraine campaign appears to have involved smaller sums of money.

One of the writers who participated in the campaign, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and because of lingering qualms about the arrangement, they said, described being offered $500 for a blog post praising Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions. The payment was arranged by George Scoville, a libertarian media strategist, and Scoville’s name was on the check, the source said.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/exclusive-how-ukraine-wooed-conservative-websiteshttp://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/43104_Buzzfeed-_Ukraine_Paid_Right_Wing_Bloggers_to_Post_Talking_Points













OMG! Scott Walker Gets Grilled on EmailGate - On Fox "News"!

OMG! Scott Walker Gets Grilled on EmailGate - by Chris Wallace (!) On Fox News!

Actual journalism was committed by Chris Wallace who tried hard to get Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to actually answer a question he didn't want to answer about the almost 28,000 documents released this past Wednesday. Kudos to TPM for watching Fox News Sunday so we don't have to.

This is video you need to watch:



WALLACE: In one email that was released this week, your then chief of staff Thomas Nardelli, let’s put this up on the screen, writes campaign and county workers that you wanted to hold daily conference calls, “to review events of the day or of a previous or future day so we can better coordinate sound timely responses,” and in another e-mail county administrative director Cynthia Archer suggests that colleagues should use a private e-mail account. “I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW,” that’s you, “and Nardelli, the former chief of staff.” Question: if county workers were doing nothing wrong, why should they be using a private e-mail account?

WALKER: Well, but that’s exactly to my point. you had a Democratic district attorney spend almost three years looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people, talking to people and closed the case.

WALLACE: Did you have your own private e-mail account?

WALKER: It’s one of those where I point out district attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues.

WALLACE: But sir, you’re not answering my question.

WALKER: No, because I’m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information.


...................

MORE:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/23/1279780/-OMG-Scott-Walker-Gets-Grilled-on-EmailGate-On-Fox-News
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/02/23/3321041/scott-walker-chris-wallace/#
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