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Piper Palin

That poor, misguided child:

Piper, nobody takes vacations in a tour bus with their picture and name emblazoned on the side. I know you want to believe that your mommy loves you and wants to spend time with you, but I think it’s time you understood that your mommy is a con artist, and she cares about you exactly to the extent that you help her with her next con. Sorry, kiddo.

Virtually Speaking tonight

Thursday, June 2 | 8 pm eastern | 5 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking A-Z |Stuart Zechman and Culture of Truth | This week in liberalism…. What is a “Culture of Truth,” and why do we have a political press corps that seems to operate within a “Culture of Untruth.” Listen live on BTR. Beginning Friday, June 3 listen here.  See Show Notes below….

9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific | Digby (in for Jay) and Howie Klein discuss how to make activism ‘work.‘ | Virtually Speaking w/ Jay Ackroyd | Listen live and later on BTR.

The mistake of 1937

How is it that, with all these people out of work and a president who’s doing nothing to help them, that Obama isn’t facing a primary challenge? But I digress: Why is he so determined to do the wrong thing? Go read it all:

The Mistake of 1937 was a preemptive policy tightening in a fragile economic environment. Specifically, it was a decision to abandon the policy of “reflation” introduced in 1933. After prices tumbled during the 1929-33 depression, the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and the Federal Reserve made a commitment to increase the price level to pre-depression levels. (For more on this key initiative of the 1933-37 recovery period, see my article in the American Economic Review, “Great Expectations and the End of the Depression.”) The reflation policy was backed by an aggressive increase in government spending, the maintenance of large deficits, the abandonment of the gold standard, and monetary easing. If we accept the account of modern macroeconomic models, this reflationary policy mix can be very expansionary once the short-term interest rate is constrained at zero (as it was at the time). Why? Because at zero interest rates, if people start expecting that prices will rise instead of continuing to fall, the real rate of interest—a critical determinant of aggregate spending—turns from positive to negative. Thus, it becomes economical to spend money rather than save it. A further benefit of reflation is that it can repair balance sheets of overleveraged households and firms, a point explained in more detail in my recent paper with Paul Krugman, “Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap.”
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Anonymous announces it will hack the IMF for the predatory lending and austerity package for Greece. I can’t say as I’m all that upset…

‘The food system is broken’

Stop your sobbing

The Kinks sing to John Boehner, who should stop sobbing about the deficit and help the poor suckers he’s supposed to represent:

Your librul media

Why does anyone take Ruth Marcus seriously?

Mac vs. pc

The argument goes on.

I read this and had a bit of an epiphany: My preference for PCs is summed up by the philosophy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

…The book details two types of personalities: those who are interested mostly in gestalts (romantic viewpoints, such as Zen, focused on being “In the moment”, and not on rational analysis), and those who seek to know the details, understand the inner workings, and master the mechanics (classic viewpoints with application of rational analysis, vis-a-vis motorcycle maintenance) and so on.

While I fall into the first category for my inner life, I lean very heavily toward the second for my “stuff”. I like to know how things work, I like to master the art of maintenance, I just want to know. And I like the sense of self-sufficiency that comes from knowing I can fix most PC problems, or that I know people who can help. If I didn’t like fixing my PC, I wouldn’t have one. I like to tinker with things!

Owning a car with computer chips also bothers me, by the way. I don’t like the veil of mystery. I’m someone who started out with a ’63 Bug, learned to change my own oil, do tune-ups and even managed a clutch replacement. Boy, that was a long time ago!

My Mac friends tend to like the feeling of owning an Apple machine. “I just turn it on, it works, that’s all I care about, I don’t want to know all that stuff.” They like being the kind of person who owns a Mac.

The part I don’t get it, why does this always have to turn into a war? Why are people so defensive about their computers — which are nothing more than tools, after all?

It’s as silly as fighting over guitars. It’s a matter of taste, style and budget, period. I’m a lot more interested in what you produce with your computer than I am in what model you own.

Carl Jung, genius

Remember the New Yorker story I linked last week about Iran and Sy Hersh? Glenn really lets the media court jesters have it for buying the official line:

Dutifully writing down what government officials say and then publishing it under cover of anonymity is what media figures in D.C. refer to as “real reporting.”  But the most hilarious part of this orgy of cowardly anonymity comes at the end, when Politico explains what is supposedly the prime defect in Hersh’ journalism:

Hersh has faced criticism for his heavy reliance on anonymous sources, but New Yorker editor David Remnick has repeatedly said he stands by his reporter’s work.

That’s the criticism that ends an article that relies exclusively on anonymous government sources, appearing in a D.C. gossip ragnotorious for granting anonymity to any powerful figure who requests it for any or no reason.  The difference, of course, is that the Pulitzer Prize-winning, five-time-Polk-Award-recipient investigative journalist who uncovered the My Lai massacre and the Abu Ghraib scandal grants anonymity to those who are challenging the official claims of those in power (that’s called “journalism”), while Politico uses it (as it did here) to serve those in power and shield them from all accountability as they spew their propaganda (which is called being a “lowly, rank Royal Court propagandist”).

Politico, criticizing Sy Hersh for using anonymous sources. Beautiful!

A cautionary tale

For outsourcing CEOs!

Thousands of American companies that have moved production to China to take advantage of cheap labor might want to consider a case study that is unfolding for a U.S. manufacturing company. Fellowes Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of office and personal paper shredders, is witnessing the destruction of its business, as its large Chinese manufacturing plant has been shut down by its joint venture manufacturing partner.

The company’s Chinese joint venture firm has barred 1,600 employees from entering the plant, stolen all of its proprietary manufacturing production equipment and forced the venture into bankruptcy. The contracts Fellowes signed with its Chinese production company meant nothing. For Fellowes, there is no such thing as rule of law in China.

The Itasca, Ill.-based company has lost $168 million worth of business and is no longer able to produce personal shredders for the world market. It has taken its case to Chinese courts, to no avail. It has pleaded with members of Congress and federal agencies, with no results.

Can you say “karma,” boys and girls? I knew you could!

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