The World Economy Has Embraced Conservatism

Low Tide Driftwood wallpaper, sunset, beach

Low Tide Driftwood wallpaper

 

The world’s economy is becoming conservative/libertarian, The World’s Richest 8% Earn Half of All Planetary Income

Wealth-inequality is always far higher than income-inequality, and therefore a reasonable estimate of personal wealth throughout the world would probably be somewhere on the order of the wealthiest 1% of people owning roughly half of all personal assets. These individuals might be considered the current aristocracy, insofar as their economic clout is about equal to that of all of the remaining 99% of the world’s population.

Milanovich says: “Among the global top 1 per cent, we find the richest 12 per cent of Americans, … and between 3 and 6 per cent of the richest Britons, Japanese, Germans and French. It is a ‘club’ that is still overwhelmingly composed of the ‘old rich’,” who pass on to their children (tax-free in the many countries that have no estate-taxes) the fortunes that they have accumulated, and who help set them up in businesses of their own – often after having sent them first to the most prestigious universities (many in the United States), where those children meet and make friends of others who are similarly situated as themselves.

Framing be a large part of our economic problems, or at least discussion them, i wish they had not used the word “earn.” Once someone has earned or otherwise accumulated some wealth, work is not a big part of the picture. Wealth erans interests. Despite what the working class hears on the news, some people are raking in plenty of cash. They do that with safe to moderately risky investments in bonds, treasury bills, mutual funds. Though those are the immediate sources of income, tracing the river of money back to its source will find a worker making something or providing a service – performing some kind of actual labor. Labor that is rewarded based on merit. The combined labor of millions of people creates enormous wealth for the few. Who decided that what the CEOs, bankers and hedge fund mangers do, constitute such rare and valuable skills and services that they must be rewarded with the income thousands of workers. If capital is the cake, why are workers getting  a smaller and smaller slice of that cake. Did the market really decide that, as conservatives and libertarians insist. Or did those who control the levers of power, absent any counter balance from workers, like strong unions, decide that they could get away with vastly over rewarding themselves and get away with it. This is whatever – a plutocratic economic system, a crony corporate economic system, economic corruption that has become the new normal – it is not merit based capitalism. This s the reality of a kind of world governance. Compared to the twisted misdirection of Fox news and Glenn Beck’s bizarro  U.N.’s Agenda 2, in which the U.N. will supersede U.S. sovereignty. Well the for’ners and international banking already have more say in U.S. legislation than the average red state conservative voter. And any attempts by people like Sen. Warren (D-MA) to reign in some of this power, are derided by conservatives as interference with their freedom.

NMMNB and The Atlantic on Rand Paul (R-KY) and peddling snake-oil to the true believers, WHEN THE GOING GETS PARANOID, THE PARANOID TURN PRO 

The Atlantic’s Philip Bump notes that Rand Paul got big laughs in a recent speech joking about the large number of diagnostic codes that will be used under Obamacare. It won’t shock you to learn that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the new codes, but this is the right doing what it does best — killing good ideas it doesn’t like by making them seem ridiculous to the rubes — and Senator Paul seems quite good at it:

An excerpt:

I’m a physician, and when you come in to see me, I put down a little diagnostic code and there was 18,000 of these. But under Obamacare, they’re going to keep you healthier, because now there’s going to be 140,000 codes. Included among these codes will be 312 new codes for injuries from animals. 72 new codes for injuries just from birds. Nine new codes for injuries from the macaw. The macaw? I’ve asked physicians all over the country: Have you ever seen an injury from the macaw?

Among other industries I have done some work with medical insurance data bases. They are an absolute necessity. The number of codes grows every year – based on hospital and doctor requirements. Steve explains the well grounded rationale for this at the link. What is funny, in a dark way, is that Paul thinks he is a physician. he seems to be gearing up for a presidential run. Good for him. Though this “I’m a physician” business is going to haunt him, Dr. Paul: Not board-certified, but self-certified

Libertarian ideology rejects most of the modern regulatory systems that protect consumers, because everyone should be responsible for determining whether the hamburger contains E. coli on his own. But does that do-it-yourself dogma apply to the regulation of medicine, too? If you’re Dr. Rand Paul, practicing ophthalmologist, the answer is emphatically yes.

According to an amusing story in today’s Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Republican Senate candidate bills himself as a “board-certified” physician even though he is not actually certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology — the only recognized body that certifies doctors in his specialty.

Paul’s only certification was provided instead by something called the National Board of Ophthalmology, which is very convenient because he operates that organization himself. As the Courier-Journal explains drily, the American Board of Ophthalmology, which maintains a fully staffed headquarters in Philadelphia, has existed for roughly a century and currently lists about 16,000 doctors on its rolls. (Most hospitals and insurance companies strongly prefer doctors who are board-certified because certification indicates that they have kept up with changes in technology, best practices and so on.) The National Board of Ophthalmology has existed since 1999, when Paul “founded” it, lists no more than seven doctors, and its address is a post-office box in Bowling Green, Ky. He had claimed to be certified by both boards, but Courier-Journal reporter Joseph Gerth quickly discovered that claim was false.

I’ve been reading this stuff from the libertarian and conservative fringe for years – we have too many certifications and boards, just let people practice Ophthalmology, heart surgery, airplane design, bridge building, whatever – without all this gov’mint red-tape. let the market decide. Once there are a few bad eye treatments or a few badly designed planes fall out of the sky, people will stop doing business with them, another triumph of the market. No doubt offering great solace to all the now blind people listening to their TV. The fringe, who are not great on fact checking or rational thought, get a kick out of Rand, just like they did his dad. You can take the clown out of the circus tent, but he’s still wearing clown shoes, and he likes it that way.

Some American Park History – And Conservatives Are Too Weak To Win Campaigns Based on Truth

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi ca 1880. Bartholdi is most often thought of as the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty. While that assures his place in U.S. history, he also created another prominent U.S. icon, the “Fountain of Light and Water” located in Bartholdi Park in Washington D.C.

In 1877 the United States paid $6,000 for an iron fountain sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi (later famous for the Statue of Liberty) that had stood at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., who was redesigning the Capitol grounds at the time, had learned that the fountain was available and recommended to Architect of the Capitol Edward Clark that it be bought and placed in a suitable location.

A new water basin was built opposite the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Conservatory’s principal (north) front, located in the center of the National Mall, to receive the fountain. The fountain then moved to its present location in Bartholdi Park in 1932.

The fountain was a public magnet, a destination for both locals and tourists at the time as it was among the first well lit public spaces where families could enjoy the spectacle of the fountain as they took an evening stroll. Originally is was lit by 12 gas lamps. Battery-powered electric igniters replaced these lamps in 1881. In 1885 the lights surrounding the large basin were added. The fountain was completely electrified in 1915.

Bartholdi Fountain in its original location on the National Mall by the West Front of the Capitol. c. 1890. Barthholdi Park is still in operation, providing about two acres of beautifully maintained green space for escape from all the local asphalt.

Bartholdi Fountain 2011. Over the course of time the fountain had amassed dozens of coats of paint, but was stripped and restored in 2008.

Greater Los Angeles : the wonder city of America 1932. Not as large (1246×8100 as some maps I’ve posted.), still an interesting map historically and culturally. 1932 was not the best of years ( The Depression) and yet the map creators still wanted to present L.A. as a thriving metropolis. L.A. did happen to benefit from the Summer Olympic Games being held that year. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum had been expanded to hold the estimated crowds, but ticket sales were very slow. Some big name Hollywood stars – including Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, and Mary Pickford – offered to entertain the crowd and ticket sales picked up.

This is more or less a recap of the last thirty days: 6 Things Mitt Romney Is Hiding. Includes his old e-mails as governor of Massachusetts, the details of how and why he has offshore bank accounts, has yet to offer public details of his big money bundlers – something both Obama and John McCain have done in the past. The missing years of letters from his father’s archive of letters. Some amazingly intimate letters are in the archive including asking one of Mitt’s about his son’s dating, who he was dating and who he should date, ” good-looking” Mormon girls. So why hide the rest. The tax returns of course. If Mittens makes it to the White House he will be the first modern president to do so with America knowing nothing about his taxes. While it appears legal, technically because of the way he used a loophole in something called a “blocker corporation” to get such a large amount of money into the IRA. We still do not know the details of an IRA account that contains at least $20.7 million and as much as $101.6 million.

Press Barred From Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem Fund-raiser. It seems that the negative reaction to what David Axelrod “punnily” called the Mittness Protection Program has caused a reverse in course and Mittens will allow some press. It is not that Romney’s people are afraid of gaffes, they’re likely afraid that Romney is so comfortable with his own arrogance he does not think about what he says before he says it.

How the U.S. Government Helped Mitt Romney Build His Fortune

At events across the country, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is trying to convince voters that small business owners in fact build the roads and bridges they use every day. Unfortunately, Romney’s “We Did Build It” gatherings have hit some potholes, with many participants revealed to be the recipients of government contracts and subsidies and others unaware of the full context of President Obama’s selectively edited remarks now under attack.

But Mitt Romney has another, much larger problem with his baseless contention that President Obama is “insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America.” Because on his road to becoming a $250 million captain of private equity at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney had a lot of help from his uncle. Uncle Sam, that is. As it turns out, the U.S. tax code doesn’t merely allow Romney to pay a lower rate than many middle class families. Without the public subsidy that is the corporate debt interest deduction, there might not be a Bain Capital–or a private equity industry as we know it–at all.

That tax code which conservative serial liars insist is so unfair to the wealthy, actually pays for the sleazy behavior of the Mitt Romneys in private equity firms. Not only has Mitt never built anything, invented anything, created any valuable service, he parasitizes companies and their employees without even risking his own money. I can’t find the link now, but a liberal writer/political analyst recently called Romney a capitalist. I honestly cannot stick the ice pick deep enough into my brain to find a way to truthfully claim that Romney competes and creates something of value for society. Certainly Bain created great returns for the parasites that invested with them. If two or three layers of vultures feeding on carcasses is capitalism the middle-class is doomed. Australian and international criminal Rupert Murdoch’s continues to feed red meat to  unquestioning American zealots and the Right-Wing Urban Myth Industry: Fox News “Doubling Down” On Deceptively Edited Comments

Fox News accused President Obama of “doubling down” on comments they helped characterize as “insulting” to business owners, but in doing so, Fox itself doubled down on its campaign to strip Obama’s statements out of context to further a political agenda.

Obama spoke at a campaign event and pointed out how benefits such as American infrastructure factor in the success of small businesses. Fox deceptively edited the president’s remarks to accuse him of telling small business owners that if they have a business, “you didn’t build that.”

This morning, Fox returned to the scandal they helped to manufacture, reporting that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called Obama’s comments “insulting” to business owners. Fox then turned its sights on another campaign event and accused President Obama of “doubling down.” Here’s the portion of the remarks that Fox chose to play as evidence:

OBAMA: We did not build this country on our own. We built it together. And if Mr. Romney doesn’t understand that, then he doesn’t understand what it takes to grow this economy in the 21st century for everybody.

But the only way these comments can be portrayed as doubling down on an insult to business owners is to completely strip them of context. In the portion of Obama’s speech that Fox chose to ignore, it’s clear that he  explicitly touted the “drive and ingenuity of Americans who start businesses” as crucial to “what makes us such a robust dynamic economy.” Here is what Obama actually said:

OBAMA: As I said, I believe with all my heart that it is the drive and ingenuity of Americans who start businesses that lead to their success.  And by the way, that’s why I’ve cut taxes on small businesses 18 times since I’ve been President.  (Applause.)  I believe the ability for somebody who is willing to work hard, and sweat and sacrifice to turn their idea into a profitable business, that’s what makes us such a robust, dynamic economy.  We prize that.

But I also believe that if you talk to any business owner — small or large — they’ll tell you what also helps them succeed alongside their hard work, their initiative, their great ideas, is the ability to hire workers with the right skills and the right education.

  What helps them succeed is the ability to ship and sell their products on new roads and bridges and ports and wireless networks.  What helps them succeed is having access to cutting-edge technology, which like the Internet often starts with publicly funded research and development.  (Applause.)  And what helps them succeed is a strong and growing middle class, so they’ve got a broader base of customers.

How can anyone tell the difference between Fox News, Mitt Romney and convicted criminal James O’Keefe. They all take video, edit it to make it say what they want to hear and distribute it as the conservative version of reality. This tells everyone about how intrinsically weak the conservative movement is. They cannot win based on the truth. They cannot win a straight up debate about public policy.

Romney and Obama Strain to Show Gap on Foreign Policy

In his latest broadside against the incumbent’s foreign policy, Mitt Romney blamed President Obama for the Arab uprisings last year, arguing that he could have headed them off by pressing the region’s autocrats to reform first.

“President Obama abandoned the freedom agenda,” Mr. Romney told the newspaper Israel Hayom, referring to President George W. Bush’s democracy policy, “and we are seeing today a whirlwind of tumult in the Middle East in part because these nations did not embrace the reforms that could have changed the course of their history in a more peaceful manner.”

The critique was the latest attempt by the presumptive Republican candidate to undercut Mr. Obama’s handling of international affairs. But once the incendiary flourishes are stripped away, the actual foreign policy differences between the two seem more a matter of degree and tone than the articulation of a profound debate about the course of America in the world today.

If you believe Glenn Greenwald, not only is there no daylight between Obama and Bush 43, Obama is worse in terms of authoritarian national security policy. There may not be much daylight, but there is some. As the NYT notes candidates usually make lots of foreign policy promises but find that once in office their choices are limited. Romney actually thinks Russia is the number one security threat to the U.S. yet as the article also notes how big are the chances that Romney would screw up relations with Russia and screw up the Afghanistan/Russian supply route for American troops. Romney will follow the advice of the CIA and the Pentagon, just as Obama is doing as concerns the use of drones and special forces to kill terrorists. The differences are, as is usually the case with conservatives, going that extra mile in hubris. Thinking all problems cannot be solved with force, but much more force. I’m grateful for that little bit of daylight between conservative hawks and liberal hawks. The latter is at least marginally saner and it succeeds where conservative hubris fails.

I would say that all the liberal concern about the abuse of drone warfare is unfounded, but some of it is a little shrill. Lacking in facts, The Moral Case for Drones

But most critics of the Obama administration’s aggressive use of drones for targeted killing have focused on evidence that they are unintentionally killing innocent civilians. From the desolate tribal regions of Pakistan have come heartbreaking tales of families wiped out by mistake and of children as collateral damage in the campaign against Al Qaeda. And there are serious questions about whether American officials have understated civilian deaths.

So it may be a surprise to find that some moral philosophers, political scientists and weapons specialists believe armed, unmanned aircraft offer marked moral advantages over almost any other tool of warfare.

“I had ethical doubts and concerns when I started looking into this,” said Bradley J. Strawser, a former Air Force officer and an assistant professor of philosophy at the Naval Postgraduate School. But after a concentrated study of remotely piloted vehicles, he said, he concluded that using them to go after terrorists not only was ethically permissible but also might be ethically obligatory, because of their advantages in identifying targets and striking with precision.

“You have to start by asking, as for any military action, is the cause just?” Mr. Strawser said. But for extremists who are indeed plotting violence against innocents, he said, “all the evidence we have so far suggests that drones do better at both identifying the terrorist and avoiding collateral damage than anything else we have.”

[  ]…AVERY PLAW, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, put the C.I.A. drone record in Pakistan up against the ratio of combatant deaths to civilian deaths in other settings. Mr. Plaw considered four studies of drone deaths in Pakistan that estimated the proportion of civilian victims at 4 percent, 6 percent, 17 percent and 20 percent respectively.

But even the high-end count of 20 percent was considerably lower than the rate in other settings, he found. When the Pakistani Army went after militants in the tribal area on the ground, civilians were 46 percent of those killed. In Israel’s targeted killings of militants from Hamas and other groups, using a range of weapons from bombs to missile strikes, the collateral death rate was 41 percent, according to an Israeli human rights group.

In conventional military conflicts over the last two decades, he found that estimates of civilian deaths ranged from about 33 percent to more than 80 percent of all deaths.

Mr. Plaw acknowledged the limitations of such comparisons, which mix different kinds of warfare. But he concluded, “A fair-minded evaluation of the best data we have available suggests that the drone program compares favorably with similar operations and contemporary armed conflict more generally.”

Just something to think about.

 

Brass Anchor and Old Map wallpaper – Tales of Modern Misanthropes

Brass Anchor and Old Map wallpaper

 

There was no way a sexual harassment scandal involving Herman Cain would benefit liberals. What with their victim-hood complex and that complex goes especially deep in Cain himself. “The Daily Show” takes on Ann Coulter’s race-baiting logic – Video at link.

Most by now are probably familiar with Ann Coulter’s declaration, when discussing the Herman Cain sexual harassment debacle earlier this week, that “our blacks are so much better than their blacks.” Most probably weren’t all that shocked to hear this sort of race-baiting from Coulter, who’s made a lucrative career dispensing right-wing vitriol. Most probably just ignored her uncouth remarks and moved on.

Coulter is like a one woman clown show. She has a terrible allergy to facts. Specializing in middle-school politics of who can think up the the most venal epitaphs to hurl. The most venal wins. Facts are not and never have been part of the equation. Their blacks are better? That is not a fact, but the rabid rantings of someone desperate for attention. Please someone give Coulter her warm bottle of pabulum before she starts choking on her own vitriol. Cain’s popularity and campaign contributions have gone up with the growth of the scandal. Part of that is because some believe Cain is a victim, while others simply believe it is alright to sexually harass women in the work place. So who would stand to benefit from a Cain scandal? Sure the village wing-nuts think Cain would demolish President Obama is a debate. That might be because thus far Cain has been debating the Tapioca Pudding brigade. Let’s back up and ask who originally broke the story of Cain’s background. Politico. A lot of people think Politico is just a political news site. It even publishes a little bit of liberal opinion. This is pretty much SOP for a Right leaning site that wants the appearance of impartiality. Frederick J. Ryan Jr. is CEO and president of Politico. He was formerly Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. James VandeHei is the executive editor and co-founder of Politico. He is married to a former staffer for Tom Delay (R-TX). There was and probably still is some speculation among conservative bloggers that someone in Rick Perry’s camp leaked the sexual harassment info – even Cain is pointing at Perry as the origin of the revelations. Which weakens Coulter and others claim that this is some liberal plot against “their blacks”. In response to the charges against Cain, Michelle Bachmann said – “This is the year when we can’t have any surprises with our candidate.” For whatever weird sociological reasons, as long as the scandal does not involve children ( as in Mark Foley(R-Fl) conservatives seem to actually benefit from sex scandals. When conservative Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for governor of California 16 women came forward with stories or sexual harassment and it did nothing to derail his campaign. Whether they are more important or not might be debatable, but the harassment stories are distracting scrutiny of Cain on other issues – Conservative Group Investigates Top Cain Aide

The conservative Americans for Prosperity is investigating their financial dealings with Prosperity USA, the group run by Cain chief of staff Mark Block that’s been accused of illegally helping get the Cain campaign off the ground, the Center for Public Integrity reports:

Levi Russell, a spokesman for AFP, told iWatch News , that “there were financial dealings with Prosperity USA and/or the Wisconsin Prosperity Network.” The latter group is another charity that Block helped set up in Wisconsin in 2008 to boost conservative causes. It’s not clear why AFP is reviewing the latter group except that Block founded it too.

Russell said AFP was trying to “find out the timing and the nature of the transactions.”

“We want to hold off (saying more) in light of potential legal ramifications,” Russell said. AFP is expected to complete its review late next week.

 

Like Politico, Americans for Prosperity is part of the conservative noise machine infrastructure. It is not like conservatives to make such timely moves that reflect negatively on one of their own, unless they would prefer another candidate.

While one can understand why the conservative corporate welfare club and millionaires would love Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan. Why would working class conservatives want their taxes to go up – Right-wing Sugar Daddy Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Distorts Impact Of Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan On Low-Income Taxpayers

PolitiFact: “A National Sales Tax” Like Cain’s “Would Raise the Relative Tax Burden On Low- And Middle-Income [Earners].” Sharockman also noted in his article, “Most economists agree that a national sales tax would raise the relative tax burden on low- and middle-income earning taxpayers.” From his PolitiFact article:

Cain’s national sales tax, in effect, would attempt to make up for the reduction of federal revenue by creating the 9 percent income tax. The national sales tax, which would help fund the federal government, would be on top of state and local sales taxes, which fund state and local government. In Florida, that would create a hypothetical tax rate of 15 percent in most parts of the state. In the Wall Street Journal, Cain said the national sales tax would be levied “on all new goods.” (A good question to ask would be whether services are exempted.) Most economists agree that a national sales tax would raise the relative tax burden on low- and middle-income earning taxpayers. “The main reason is that low- and middle-income households consume more of their income than high-income households do,” said William Gale, senior fellow for economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “Another way of saying that is high-income households save more of their income than low-income households do.” [PolitiFact, 9/26/11…

Conservatives who make under $40k per year would see their taxes go up substantially under Cain’s plan ( and Rick Perry’s as well).

Mitt Romney Moves To Embrace Paul Ryan Medicare Plan [UPDATE]. We’ve covered this territory before. The Ryan plan would give Medicare recipients vouchers. Vouchers that would lead to a large increase in out of pocket medical expenses for seniors and the disabled. The only thing Romney is changing – according to a spokesman – is that participating would be voluntary. Medicare would still end up being gutted. Only the wealthy would be able to afford the higher cost necessitated by the inability for Medicare to have the kind of cost control leverage it has now.

Let’s help Elizabeth Warren hold the banks accountable by signing the petition to reinstate Glass Steagall. Bringing back Steagall would be the end of the too big to fail banks. We’d have something closer to actual capitalism with more banks competing against each other for business. This is part of what progressives have been pushing for years. It is something that Sarah Palin does not understand Palin: Protesters want bailouts just like Wall Street fat cats

Failed Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin says protesters in the Occupy movement are looking for a handout just like “Wall Street fat cats.”

“I would like to know that my federal government understands a vision that believes in empowerment versus entitlement,” Palin told an audience the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Victory Dinner Thursday. “To see this struggle in action, look no further than the Occupy Wall Street movement that is going on.”

A polticeleb who makes millions off selling crap to the rubes getting self-righteous about who deserves what. All during a speech in which she praised the criminal governor of Florida who ripped off the government-tax payers for millions. Palin remains one of the most clueless people in America. She has had years to get up to speed on the most rudimentary facts and still a failure. She better love America, what other country rewards incompetence with millions of dollars. In this post about Elizabeth Warren, Palin could learn some basics about economics and how a complex free market economy works,  Elizabeth Warren really hit a nerve among conservatives with her winning message about the social contract and America’s economy.

Paul Ryan accused Warren of “telling Americans that they’re stuck in their current station in life, that they’re a victim of circumstances beyond their control, and that the government’s role is to help them cope with it.” When in fact Warren clearly explained that the economic crisis didn’t “just happen,” and that Americans aren’t “victims of circumstances beyond their control,” but of a financial sector that “broke the economy,” and politicians who were content to let it happen as long as they got a cut.

Worse yet, Ryan accused Warren of falling victim to the “fatal conceit of liberalism,” only to stumble over what sounds a lot like “the fatal conceit of conservatism.”

“Few tricks of the unsophisticated intellect are more curious than the naïve psychology of the business man, who ascribes his achievements to his own unaided efforts, in bland unconsciousness of a social order without whose continuous support and vigilant protection he would be as a lamb bleating in the desert,” wrote the great economic historian R.H. Tawney in 1926. He added pointedly that the arrogant assumption that marginal people’s “distress is a proof of demerit… has always been popular with the prosperous.”

Apparently that assumption is still popular in Republican debate audiences and among online commenters terrified of losing what little they have and desperately seeking targets that are easier to blame than the powerful interests that are actually taking them down.

For that matter, you’d think they would concur with the “common sense” of Thomas Paine — the patriot the right loves to co-opt.

No Known Restrictions: Thomas Paine by George Romney, 179? (LOC)

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.

You might assume that a party that once upon a time called itself “The Party of Lincoln” would as honest as old Abe was about wealth and labor.

 

Republicans, a terribly misleading name for the misanthropes that call themselves Republicans these days, could learn something from Adam Smith, Thomas Paine and Abe Lincoln, but instead they listen to the flies buzzing around in their empty heads and mercenary hearts.

Republicans Set to Save America From Healthy Children, History, The Recovery Act And Teens That Tweet

The only thing I don’t like about this article – Cutting kids’ healthcare will grow the deficit – by David Sirota is he uses the old saying that Republicans are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. That is true, but Republican attacks on children’s health care is typical of the conservative movement’s lack of appreciation for and lack of understanding of value.

In the name of curtailing deficits, politicians across the country are hacking away at programs that aim to make children healthier. In Congress, for example, House Republicans are spearheading a budget that eviscerates funding for food assistance and effectively defunds the wildly successful Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Similarly, from Texas to California, state lawmakers are chopping children’s health programs in the face of budget shortfalls. In all these initiatives, the rhetorical leitmotif is “fiscal responsibility.”

Like clockwork, this has set off the now-standard ideological debate over values, with liberals arguing that it’s immoral to deny healthcare to today’s kids and conservatives countering that it’s even more immoral to saddle the next generation with debt. But as highlighted by a new National Bureau of Economic Research report, both sides are ignoring the most important non-ideological fact: Any so-called deficit reduction plan that cuts child health programs is almost certain to increase deficits.

The NBER study compared British and American illness rates, controlling for both demographic differences and risk factors like smoking and drinking. It found that a) we have “much higher” childhood illness rates than our English counterparts, b) “the transmission rates of higher rates of childhood illnesses into poor health in [adults is] higher in America compared to England” and therefore, c) “the origins of poorer adult health among older Americans compared to the English traces back right into the childhood years.”

In other words, America’s broken private healthcare system allows kids’ medical afflictions to become far worse in adulthood than they become in England — a nation with a government-sponsored universal healthcare system.

When I say value that is not to be confused with values( Republicans have values they just happen to be abhorrent values). They frequently think of ways to cut imminent costs. We can all do that. We could all sell our cars tomorrow, end our phone plans and wear nothing but t-shirts from the thrift store. Those things will safe a lot in the short term. In the long term making such cuts might endanger our jobs, alienate our friends and family, and keep us from working in white collar jobs that require a dress code. This is the answer to Republicans if one assumes they are sincere about cost cutting. They are to the extent they want to cut anything Democrats are in favor of. A review of Republican history and the deficit – their political and economic resume says they are not sincere about the deficit and are consistently two faced about spending. Of our last five presidents three were Republican and they are responsible for 90% of the deficit. These are the same people who thought it gloriously patriotic to send over 4,000 Americans to their deaths over non-existent WMD. If lying Americans to their deaths doesn’t make them break a sweat then certainly lying about the economy and their plans for same is just another day in lalaland.

Who is dimmer Sarah Palin or her groupies? Palin’s fans rewrite wiki history of Paul Revere. In order to make Palin’s bungled history look like fact, her toadies are using her quote as the source. Not Paul Revere’s actual retelling of what happened. No “British” were warned. When Revere was caught by the British he got a little braggadocio and warned or taunted the British with talk about getting their comeuppance one day. Palin apologists are trying to claim that was what she was talking about. Nice try.

Tea Bag Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida Accepts Federal Stimulus Money He said Was Evil He Would Never Take

When asked why he didn’t veto the stimulus money, Scott reverted to his standard talking point — bashing the federal government. But when pressed by the Miami Herald reporter, Scott said he went through every line of the budget and considered each through the lens of job creation. “That’s the filter I used,” he said. “So if the stimulus money helps creates jobs, then it’s okay?” the reporter replied. Scott immediately reversed himself and denounced stimulus money again, saying, “I think it’s a mistake. It’s taxpayer money and we have to watch how we spend all that money.” “But you okayed it,” the reporter pointed out.

Scott’s staffer then stepped in to try to end the interview. Scott walked away hedging about how he would need more detail about which lines the reporter was talking about, again contradicting himself by suggesting he didn’t know which lines of the budget contained stimulus money.

Good concise article about Elizabeth Warren – The Warren Court

Given the intensely partisan nature of Washington these days, the demonization of Warren and the C.F.P.B. is all too predictable. But it’s profoundly misguided, because Warren is far from the anti-capitalist radical that her critics (and some of her supporters) suppose. Indeed, an empowered C.F.P.B. could actually be a boon to business.

The core principle of Warren’s work is also a cornerstone of economic theory: well-informed consumers make for vigorous competition and efficient markets. That idea is embodied in the design of the new agency, which focusses on improving the information that consumers get from banks and other financial institutions, so that they can do the kind of comparison shopping that makes the markets for other consumer products work so well. As things stand, many Americans are ill informed about financial products. The typical mortgage or credit-card agreement features page after page of legalese—what bankers call “mice type”—in which the numbers that really matter are obscured by a welter of irrelevant data. There’s plenty of misinformation, too: surveys find that a sizable percentage of mortgage borrowers believe that their lenders are legally obliged to offer them the best possible rate.

Liberals don’t like to go to far Right sites, but they are informative in their own limited way. Day after day the article writers, bloggers and commenters are half crazed with the absurd idea that Democrats and progressives are radical socialist leftists. I have actually never meant a real live socialist, much less a Democrat or progressive that subscribed to socialism. On the contrary most of them want a something like a real capitalist society. One that is not rigged. One that is fair to consumers, investors, home owners and consumers. That conservatives think the corrupt plutocracy we have now is capitalism is a lot like the delusions Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann have about U.S. history.

This right-wing writer shares the Right’s common allergy to even the most basic fact checking and contradicts himself,WEINER’S TALE UNRAVELING

But according to data provided exclusively to The Daily from TweetCongress.org, a nonprofit website that captures each member of Congress’s Twitter feeds in real time, the shot seen round the world was transmitted using TweetDeck — a popular Adobe desktop application that links up with social networking sites. A review of Weiner’s Twitter stream from May 27, the day of the crotch pic, shows that Weiner had been posting only from TweetDeck — one of many ways to post messages to Twitter — that entire night.

Chet Wisniewski, a senior security adviser at security software company SophosLabs, said the TweetDeck stamp “does make it more plausible that it did come from him.”

Weiner used TweetDeck frequently, but he often also posted from the Web directly or from his BlackBerry. A widely circulated explanation for how Weiner’s Twitter account could have been hacked by email would also seem to be incompatible with the fact that the message in question originated on TweetDeck. If email had been used, the message probably would have originated via the photosharing site Yfrog, where the infamous picture was posted.

Notice something obvious. The lies just never stop, do they? – A journal called The Daily has reconstituted a false argument first offered by The Mighty Seixon in order to “debunk” what I said about the Yfrog exploit.

Let’s knock this one down quickly, shall we?

I revealed in this blog — long before the Daily published its “exclusively” provided “data” — that Weiner used TweetDeck that night. But so what?

The poor schlub writing for the Daily — his name is Daniel Libit — doesn’t understand that Seixon’s entire “TweetDeck” argument was based on the presupposition that the congressman used TweetDeck or some similar app EVERY SINGLE TIME. Thus, he never established a Yfrog account.

Yet even the Daily stipulates that this was not the case.

So there goes the argument. Poof.

Furthermore, TweetDeck and similar apps (such as the divinely-named Twitterberry) always append an identifying signature: “via TweetDeck” and “via Twitterberry.” Something like that. Weiner’s previous photos didn’t have that data. They were labelled “via Yfrog” and “via Twitter.”

Let’s take it a step further. Suppose Weiner had used TweetDeck and nothing but TweetDeck during his entire career as a twitterer. Again: So what?

TweetDeck automatically establishes a Yfrog account for you. When you try to send a pic, it even flashes a message: “Sending via Yfrog.” Don’t take my word for it. Download the app for yourself and try it out.

I downloaded TweetDeck and had one of my fictional creations send a pic to another. “Chalice153” had never set up a Yfrog account — and yet one was set up for her. Here it is. (That’s Angela, my model. Pretty, isn’t she?) That account was open to the very same exploit which I pointed out in my post. ( My note: you can see Joseph’s experiment at the link on his post.)

Than there is the other very obvious problem – the photo that ended up on Congressman Weiner’s Twitter stream has no metadata. This is a run down of all the Conservative bloggers who have latched on to this story like mindless blood sucking leeches – Rightbloggers E*aculate Over the Women of Weinergate. Imagine one of really bad college freshman sex comedies – the straight to $5 dollar DVD variety. That is about the level of discourse you’ll find.

TBogg has a write up of Patterico’s Pontifications ( who reportedly has a job on the public payroll as a DA in California) long post which consist mostly of some teenage girls tweeting back and forth about Congressman Weiner. PP actually thinks he has broken open some kind of wild hijinks. Like A Dog With A B*ner

Now, Patterico his own bad self is working the Weiner beat and he could have spent a lovely Southern California day with his wife and kids doing stuff in the sunshine. But, no. Because he can’t let this penis go, he spent the day creating timelines and using his mad Google skillz (with which we have personal experience) and reading between the lines and possibly even checking the kerning on notes passed amongst  some tweens who think Anthony Weiner is Bieberiffic.

So lets say you’re accused of murder. PP presents as evidence a string of Twitter feds of people talking about you. Ah ha, proof you’re guilty, take the accused to the electric chair forthwith. Andrew Breitbart is also mentioned in the PP post as having some new breaking story which alleged that Rep. Weiner traded inappropriate photos with another woman. He’s off to a bad start – they traded photos? Last i heard consenting adults can do stuff like that. I’ve gone over there and checked several times and so far all he has is a pic of Rep. Weiner holding up a sign that says “me” – fully dressed.

Update: I don’t agree with everything Jack Shafer says in this article. For one most bloggers never said that Brietbart hacked Weiner’s Twitter account, but that Breitbart relayed what was unsubstantiated material as a fact. Shafer does nail a lot of what Weiner defenders are feeling about now, Anthony Weiner’s Semantic Satiation

Weiner owes me no apology for his serial lies because I understand that that’s what politicians do when they’re cornered by their fibs or unseemly behavior. I’m not even sore with him for scapegoating the press over a problem of his own making. That, too, goes with the territory. Nor am I outraged that he went onto national television to attempt to cover up his lies, telling Rachel Maddow that he wasn’t “trying to be evasive” and he just didn’t “know” whether the Tweeted drawers photo was of him. For me, when the mass of lies equals the mass of apologies, the whole package congeals into some new sociopathic form for which there is yet no name. (Weinerite, perhaps?) That he was caught lying about his personal life, and not about public policy, doesn’t really matter to me. By demonstrating that he’s as good a liar as he is an apologizer, Weiner tells us everything we need to know about him.

I’m less judgmental about the “sin” that Weiner confessed to this afternoon, of sexting his junk or his chest shots to six women over three years. If you’re as old as Weiner (46) and have never done something naughty but still legal, you’re probably immune to the power of human desire, have no sense of fantasy, and have been living in a locked veal cage in a convent basement. You don’t have to be a libertine to not care about a politician’s kinks, as long as those kinks don’t get in the way of his job.

Within that torrential cascade of apologies he could or should have included his wife and family. At this point Rep. Weiner has shown more class and humility than John Ensign (R-NV), Tom Coburn (R-OK) who helped Ensign with the cover-up and David Vitter(R-LA).