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The Truth

The truth is as hard to grasp as water in your hand. – Justin Bass, copyright June 5, 2015.

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So much corruption and hypocrisy in America today

April 9, 2013 Leave a comment
* Must-see video…”Exxon turns to paper towels for oil spill clean-up. Rachel Maddow shares photos and video of the pollution from the oil pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas being addressed with paper towels.”http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/51473926
“Exxon turns to paper towels for oil spill clean-up
video.msnbc.msn.com
Video on msnbc.com: Rachel Maddow shares photos and video of the pollution from the oil pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas being addressed with paper towels.”
* Must-see video…”British press more honest on Thatcher legacy. Rachel Maddow praises the ability of the British press to describe the full range of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy upon her death, in contrast to the willful ignorance endemic to manipulated American media coverage of political figures like Ronald Reagan.”http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/51474158
“British press more honest on Thatcher legacy
video.msnbc.msn.com
Video on msnbc.com: Rachel Maddow praises the ability of the British press to describe the full range of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy upon her death, in contrast to the willful ignorance endemic to manipulated American media coverage of political figures like Ronald Reagan.”
  • This is so wrong…”The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project was started in 1997 by Grover G. Norquist….Our goal is to eventually see a statue, park, or road named after Reagan in all 3,140 counties in the United States.”
    http://www.ronaldreaganlegacyproject.org/about

    www.ronaldreaganlegacyproject.org

    The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project is committed to preserving the legacy of one of America’s greatest presidents throughout the nation and abroad.”
  • https://fandecande.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/fah-q-grover-norquist/

    fandecande.wordpress.com

    FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; ) ___________________________________________________________________________________________ PROBLEM: The greedy, self-serving Superwealthy and their enab…
  • http://www.thenation.com/blog/162206/grover-norquists-culture-corruption

    www.thenation.com

    After his central role in the Jack Abramoff scandal, why does Grover Norquist have any credibility left?”

  • www.youtube.com

    “We are not auditioning for fearless leader,” Grover Norquist told conservatives at the CPAC convention in February. “We don’t need a president to tell us in…
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    “Exxon wins safety award as Mayflower sees no end to spill cleanup (VIDEO) — RT USA
    rt.com
    As responders continue clearing tens of thousands of gallons of oil from a small Arkansas town after an Exxon pipeline burst, delivering a severe blow to the local ecosystem, a major NGO has named the oil giant the winner of a national safety award.”
    • EXCERPT: “In preliminary other findings released in the weeks following the fire, the Chemical Safety Board has faulted Chevron’s failure to replace a heavily corroded pipe on the 245,000 barrel-per-day crude distillation unit that ruptured setting off the fire, which caused only minor injuries at the second-largest refinery in California.

      The board has also criticized the refinery for failing to shut the unit down when it sent firefighters on August 6 to try and find the leak.

      California’s worker safety regulator the California Occupational Safety & Health Division (Cal/OSHA) fined Chevron $963,000 on January 30 for 25 violations of worker safety regulations.”
      http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/04/05/us/05reuters-refinery-fire-chevron-richmond.html?hp&gwh=7669496AF28CDA75228882EAC67B1338

      www.nytimes.com

      The federal agency investigating the fire that broke out in August at Chevron Corp’s oil refinery in Richmond, California, faulted the state’s regulatory system for not being proactive enough in preventing accidents.”
    • “According to the indictments, one Republican official from Queens frisked a briber, who was actually an undercover F.B.I. agent, to make sure he wasn’t wearing a wire. Then failed to find the wire. Then took the bribe while being recorded. This all happened at a super-secret meeting at Sparks, the steakhouse where John Gotti had Paul Castellano rubbed out. I believe there should be an unwritten rule in criminal conspiracy that you do not schedule your big payoff at the most famous gangland murder site in Manhattan.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/06/opinion/collins-a-new-era-in-political-corruption.html?hp&_r=0

      www.nytimes.com

      New York’s recent corruption scandals shatter our confidence that taking money was the
      one thing politicians know how to do well.”
    • “Unemployment, not excessive money printing, is what ails us now — and policy should be
      doing more, not less.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/opinion/Krugman-The-Urge-To-Purge.html?hp

      www.nytimes.com

      The push to see depression as a necessary and somehow desirable punishment for past sins
      is as strong as ever.”
    • https://fandecande.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/open-letter-to-president-obama-9/

      fandecande.wordpress.com

      Social Security, don’t touch it. Mr. President, I’ve gone to bat for you over and over again.
      I volunteered for you in 2008 and in 2012. I stand up for you in conversation and defend you on-line. B…
    • www.youtube.com

      Bernie Sanders Sets The Record Straight On Social Security And The Fraud The GOP
      Is Attempting To Pull On The Elderly And Veterans”
    • “The Big Lie”…EXCERPT from End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman, pages 64-66;
      W.W. Norton & Company 2012:

      “The Big Lie

      ‘I hear your complaints. Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.

      But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and Congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for.’

      –Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, on the Occupy Wall Street protests

      The story I have just told about complacency and deregulation is, in fact, what happened in the run-up to the crisis. But you may have heard a different story—the one told by Michael Bloomberg in the quotation above. According to this story, debt growth was caused by liberal do-gooders and government agencies, which forced banks to lend to minority homebuyers and subsidized dubious mortgages. This alternative story, which says that it’s all the government’s fault, is dogma on the right. From the point of view of most, indeed virtually all, Republicans, it’s an unquestioned truth.

      It isn’t true, of course. The fund manager and blogger Barry Ritholtz, who isn’t especially political but has a keen eye for flimflam, calls it the Big Lie of the financial crisis.

      How do we know that the Big Lie is, in fact, not true? There are two main kinds of evidence.

      First, any explanation that blames the U.S. Congress, with its supposed desire to see low-income families own homes, for the explosion of credit must confront the awkward fact that the credit boom and the housing bubble were very widespread, including many markets and assets that had nothing to do with low-income borrowers. There were housing bubbles and credit booms in Europe; there was a price surge, followed by defaults and losses after the bubble popped, in commercial real estate; within the United States, the biggest booms and busts weren’t in inner-city areas but rather in suburbs and exurbs.

      Second, the great bulk of risky lending was undertaken by private lenders—and loosely regulated private lenders, at that. In particular, subprime loans—mortgage loans to borrowers who didn’t qualify according to normal prudential standards—were overwhelmingly made by private firms that were neither covered by the Community Reinvestment Act, which was supposed to encourage loans to members of minority groups, nor supervised by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies charged with encouraging home lending. In fact, during most of the housing bubble Fannie and Freddie were rapidly losing market share, because private lenders would take on borrowers the government-sponsored agencies wouldn’t. Freddie Mac did start buying subprime mortgages from loan originators late in the game, but it was clearly a follower, not a leader.

      In an attempt to refute this latter point, analysts at right-wing think tanks—notably Edward Pinto at the American Enterprise Institute—have produced data showing Fannie and Freddie underwriting a lot of ‘subprime and other high risk’ mortgages, lumping loans to borrowers without stellar credit scores in with loans to borrowers who failed strict lending criteria in other ways. This leads readers who don’t know better to think that Fannie and Freddie were actually deeply involved in promoting subprime lending. But they weren’t, and the ‘other high risk’ stuff turns out, on examination, to have been not especially high-risk, with default rates far below those on subprime loans.

      I could go on, but you get the point. The attempt to blame government for the financial crisis falls apart in the face of even a cursory look at the facts, and the attempts to get around those facts smack of deliberate deception. This raises a question: why do conservatives want so badly to believe, and to get other people to believe, that the government did it?

      The immediate answer is obvious: to believe anything else would be to admit that your political movement has been on the wrong track for decades. Modern conservatism is dedicated to the proposition that unfettered markets and the unrestricted pursuit of profit and personal gain are the keys to prosperity—and that the much-expanded role of government that emerged from the Great Depression did nothing but harm. Yet what we actually see is a story in which conservatives gained power, set about dismantling many of those Depression-era protections—and the economy plunged into a second depression, not as bad as the first, but bad enough. Conservatives badly need to explain this awkward history away, to tell a story that makes government, not lack of government, the villain.

      But this in a way only pushes the question back a step. How did conservative ideology, the belief that government is always the problem, never the solution, come to have such a firm grip on our political discourse? That’s a slightly harder question to answer than you might think.”

      ________________________________________________________________________________

      * I highly recommend the book by Paul Krugman, “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.”

      picture source: http://www.amazon.com/End-This-Depression-Paul-Krugman/dp/0393088774

      www.amazon.com

      A call-to-arms from Nobel Prize–winning economist and best-selling author Paul Krugman.
      The Great Recession is more than four years old—and counting. Yet, as Paul Krugman points
      out in this powerful volley, “Nations rich in resources, talent, and knowledge—all the
      ingredients …”
    • “Republicans will lie, cheat and steal…EXCERPT: “As I reported a couple of weeks ago, a recent Senate bill came with a nice bonus for the genetically modified seed industry: a rider, wholly unrelated to the underlying bill, that compels the USDA to ig…”

      www.motherjones.com

      The notoriously agribiz-friendly senator freely admits that he crafted the recent GMO rider—and that Monsanto helped.”
    • http://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/513a8415c07f5d47130004d0-gasland-part-ii

      www.tribecafilm.com

      Two years ago, Josh Fox introduced us to hydraulic fracturing with his Oscar®-nominated exposé Gasland. Now this once-touted energy source has become a widely discussed, contentious topic. In his follow-up, Fox reveals the extreme circumstances facing those affected by fracking, from earthquakes to…”
    • * Legacy of failure manifests as a library and museum on May 1, 2013.
      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/01/16/george-w-bush-presidential-library-opening/1839687/

      www.usatoday.com

      The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas is set to open its doors to the public on May 1.”
    • http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/obama-im-no-cheney-on-drones-88853.html

      www.politico.com

      President Barack Obama’s defense to Democratic senators complaining about how little his
      administration has told Congress about the legal justifications for his drone policy: Dick Cheney
      was worse. That’s part of what two senators in the room recounted of Obama’s response when,
      nea…”
      ________________________________________________________________________________________
       For lagniappe…
      “History Licking Its Chops To Judge George W. Bush
      ‘Let Me At That Fucker,’ Says Branch Of Knowledge”

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/history-licking-its-chops-to-judge-george-w-bush,31921/

Everything Under the Sun by Justin Bass

October 19, 2012 Leave a comment

End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman

August 6, 2012 Leave a comment

EXCERPT from End This Depression Now! by Paul Krugman, pages 64-66; W.W. Norton & Company 2012:

 

“The Big Lie

 

I hear your complaints. Some of them are totally unfounded. It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp. Now, I’m not saying I’m sure that was terrible policy, because a lot of those people who got homes still have them and they wouldn’t have gotten them without that.

But they were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks because it’s one target, it’s easy to blame them and Congress certainly isn’t going to blame themselves. At the same time, Congress is trying to pressure banks to loosen their lending standards to make more loans. This is exactly the same speech they criticized them for.

–Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, on the Occupy Wall Street protests

The story I have just told about complacency and deregulation is, in fact, what happened in the run-up to the crisis. But you may have heard a different story—the one told by Michael Bloomberg in the quotation above. According to this story, debt growth was caused by liberal do-gooders and government agencies, which forced banks to lend to minority homebuyers and subsidized dubious mortgages. This alternative story, which says that it’s all the government’s fault, is dogma on the right. From the point of view of most, indeed virtually all, Republicans, it’s an unquestioned truth.

It isn’t true, of course. The fund manager and blogger Barry Ritholtz, who isn’t especially political but has a keen eye for flimflam, calls it the Big Lie of the financial crisis.

How do we know that the Big Lie is, in fact, not true? There are two main kinds of evidence.

First, any explanation that blames the U.S. Congress, with its supposed desire to see low-income families own homes, for the explosion of credit must confront the awkward fact that the credit boom and the housing bubble were very widespread, including many markets and assets that had nothing to do with low-income borrowers. There were housing bubbles and credit booms in Europe; there was a price surge, followed by defaults and losses after the bubble popped, in commercial real estate; within the United States, the biggest booms and busts weren’t in inner-city areas but rather in suburbs and exurbs.

Second, the great bulk of risky lending was undertaken by private lenders—and loosely regulated private lenders, at that. In particular, subprime loans—mortgage loans to borrowers who didn’t qualify according to normal prudential standards—were overwhelmingly made by private firms that were neither covered by the Community Reinvestment Act, which was supposed to encourage loans to members of minority groups, nor supervised by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored agencies charged with encouraging home lending. In fact, during most of the housing bubble Fannie and Freddie were rapidly losing market share, because private lenders would take on borrowers the government-sponsored agencies wouldn’t. Freddie Mac did start buying subprime mortgages from loan originators late in the game, but it was clearly a follower, not a leader.

In an attempt to refute this latter point, analysts at right-wing think tanks—notably Edward Pinto at the American Enterprise Institute—have produced data showing Fannie and Freddie underwriting a lot of ‘subprime and other high risk’ mortgages, lumping loans to borrowers without stellar credit scores in with loans to borrowers who failed strict lending criteria in other ways. This leads readers who don’t know better to think that Fannie and Freddie were actually deeply involved in promoting subprime lending. But they weren’t, and the ‘other high risk’ stuff turns out, on examination, to have been not especially high-risk, with default rates far below those on subprime loans.

I could go on, but you get the point. The attempt to blame government for the financial crisis falls apart in the face of even a cursory look at the facts, and the attempts to get around those facts smack of deliberate deception. This raises a question: why do conservatives want so badly to believe, and to get other people to believe, that the government did it?

The immediate answer is obvious: to believe anything else would be to admit that your political movement has been on the wrong track for decades. Modern conservatism is dedicated to the proposition that unfettered markets and the unrestricted pursuit of profit and personal gain are the keys to prosperity—and that the much-expanded role of government that emerged from the Great Depression did nothing but harm. Yet what we actually see is a story in which conservatives gained power, set about dismantling many of those Depression-era protections—and the economy plunged into a second depression, not as bad as the first, but bad enough. Conservatives badly need to explain this awkward history away, to tell a story that makes government, not lack of government, the villain.

But this in a way only pushes the question back a step. How did conservative ideology, the belief that government is always the problem, never the solution, come to have such a firm grip on our political discourse? That’s a slightly harder question to answer than you might think.”

________________________________________________________________________________

* I highly recommend the book by Paul Krugman, “Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics.”

picture source: http://www.amazon.com/End-This-Depression-Paul-Krugman/dp/0393088774

_______________________________________________________________________________

For lagniappe:

Minute 9:23…

Read more:

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”–Shakespeare, The Tempest

http://www.amazon.com/All-Devils-Are-Here-Financial/dp/1591843634

Transcription of Paul Krugman on CNBC’s Squawk Box, July 11, 2012

July 13, 2012 1 comment

Paul Krugman on CNBC’s Squawk Box, July 11, 2012

 

Transcription

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “Today we are inducting a Nobel laureate into the Squawk Box Book Club. We are proud to present a Blue Chip award. I think this compares with the Nobel. I don’t know how you think about this?”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “Way better.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “The book: ‘End This Depression Now.’ Paul Krugman walks us through the Financial Crisis that triggered the greatest downturn since the Great Depression, and offers us ways to move forward. Paul Krugman joins us on set this morning. Of course, he’s also the author of ‘End This Depression Now’ and ‘The Return of Depression Economics’ and ‘The Great Unraveling.’ And we have your award (Nobel prize for economics). How does this compare? Do you remember  the morning that you found out you got the Nobel, and then you got this (the actual award)?”

Paul Krugman: “Can you do a Swedish accent? I think it would be a little bit more impressive.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “Is it a woman who calls? Or how does it happen?”

Paul Krugman: “It was some guy with an obviously fake Swedish accent. I didn’t actually believe it until it was up on their website about a half an hour later.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “So Paul, I want to talk about economics, and I want to talk about what’s going on in the world. But tomorrow we have Simpson and Bowles. Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson on the show. And from everything that I’ve read and seen that you’ve said before, you’re not a fan of this. And historically, I will tell you, we get a lot of people who sit around this table and say ‘We’ve got to find a compromise in Washington [D.C.]. This is a good model. At least it’s a starting point.’”

Paul Krugman: “It’s a model that’s heavily tilted toward things that are not good ideas. It’s heavily tilted toward inflicting pain on the most vulnerable. It is obsessed with cutting tax rates. I mean, it’s not unlike the Republican side of it. It isn’t really a balanced proposal. It’s actually a proposal that’s very heavily tilted toward spending cuts, not enough toward revenue increases. I guess we could do worse, and, given the way politics are going, we might.

This is not a well-crafted proposal. And by the way, there are huge magic asterisks. If you think that they’ve actually solved the problem, it turns out that all of the big savings in Simpson-Bowles are all ‘Savings to be determined later.’ They don’t actually lay out how they’re going to control health care costs. And it is fundamentally about health care costs. And that does not become clear, the way they present it.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “Medicare, in particular.”

Paul Krugman: “Well, but Medicare is part of a broader problem, right? Medicare costs have actually grown a little more slowly than private insurance costs over the years.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “I’m talking about the federal government right now has Medicare, right? And Medicaid to some degree.”

Paul Krugman: “That’s right. But Medicare. If we could suddenly have French health care costs instead of American health care costs, our budget problems would be solved forever, right? It is about the very high cost of the U.S. health care system. And you cannot resolve our budget problem without resolving that. If you do resolve that, then this thing becomes a whole lot easier.”

Joe Kernen: “Paul, I was excited when you were coming in, because I view you as almost a unicorn. You really exist in real life. Sort of an ancient species or a new species. Because I try to understand where you’re coming from on some of this stuff. And I’m confounded when I read your pieces. And I’m hoping we can have a philosophical discussion.”

Paul Krugman: “Look, can I say something? We came into this [Financial] Crisis, and that’s what my book is about. Back then there were some very different views about how this thing was going to work, about how things were going to play out. People like me had one set of views. Other people had very different views. There were some predictions. A lot of people thought people like me were crazy…”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): Right.

Paul Krugman (continued through interruption): [Other people thought] we can have budget deficits without raising interest rates.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “But, but bigger picture Capitalism versus a Social Democracy model. And I was going to just ask you, there was a time when we had 8% of government as GDP [Gross Domestic Product]. Then we got up to 15%. Now we’re at 25%, and it will be at 40 or 50% eventually with entitlements, if they’re not reined in. Is there a maximum amount of government spending as a percentage of GDP below 100 that you would? What would it be? Is 25% ok for a percentage of GDP?”

Paul Krugman: “When I’m in Europe, I will actually lecture them. They should let their stores open on Sunday. They have too much regulation. But we have European economics. Look at Sweden, which has been sailing through this [Financial] Crisis beautifully. It’s close to 50% GDP.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “But, but, but there’s more people in Newark [New Jersey].

Paul Krugman: “Come on. It’s not clear what difference. It is possible…”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “Would you put up the economic record of any part of Europe with the way we do Capitalism her over the last 200 years? Which one?”

Paul Krugman: “Oh, sure. Sweden again. Sweden was a poorer country than we were 200 years ago. If you’re looking for the last 30-40 years, you know Europeans don’t actually look that bad. They’re now screwing up because they made this terrible mistake of one currency without one government. But as of 2007, before this [Financial] Crisis hit, the previous 10 years had looked pretty good compared to ours, in a lot of dimensions.”

Joe Kernen: “You are a capitalist?”

Paul Krugman: “Yeah.”

Joe Kernen: “Is there some kind of modification to Capitalism? What would I call it?”

Paul Krugman: “I’m a Free Market Welfare State guy.”

Joe Kernen: “Wait a minute. A Free Market Welfare State.”

Paul Krugman: “I believe you let markets mostly run themselves. You have an economy that’s basically driven by market forces. But you collect taxes to provide a safety net. A pretty strong safety net.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “How big does the safety net have to be?”

Joe Kernen: “It goes back to our forefathers, who said ‘Limited government, low taxes.’”

Paul Krugman: “Really? I don’t actually remember hearing about that?”

Joe Kernen: “Nothing about that? Nobody?”

Paul Krugman: “No, I don’t think that’s in there [Constitution of the United States].”

* Mr. Kernen immediately grabbed the computer mouse in front of him and looked at his computer screen.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “Let’s talk safety net. So Medicare, by the nature when you look at actuary tables, actually becomes a benefit for the rich. Medicare is for everyone. We have billionaires who sit on this set, and they get Medicare. And if you are poor, the actuary tables bear out that you will die likely before you ever get your first Social Security check or Medicare. So how big is the Welfare State?”

Paul Krugman: “That’s actually, that’s not actually right, by the way. It’s certainly not true. What matters is life expectancy at age 65, and that is higher for more affluent people. But think about how many billionaires are there? The amount of money you can save by means-testing Medicare turns out to be trivial. And, by the way, if you do means-test it, what you have done is increased marginal tax rates because you’ve said if you make more money then you will lose your Medicare benefit. That’s actually reducing incentives.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “I’m going to turn it around then. Is it trivial? I don’t actually believe this, but I’m doing this almost as a Devil’s Advocate. Is it trivial then to increase taxes on the wealthy, since the amount of money you gain in the same way?”

Paul Krugman: “No, that’s not true.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “The converse is not true?”

Paul Krugman: “No, the converse is not true. The amount of Medicare that we spend on the richest .01% of the population is a tiny amount of money. The amount of money we can gain in taxes is not a tiny amount of money, because they are very, very rich. The health care of a rich person doesn’t cost a lot more. Actually, it costs a little bit less than the health care of a poor person. The income of a rich person is higher, by definition. So there’s a lot more taxes.

So this is not true. We cannot solve our budget problems entirely by raising taxes on the rich. But we can make a significant dent by raising taxes on the rich. And we actually cannot make a significant dent by doing things like means-testing Medicare.”

Andrew Ross Sorkin: “You talk a lot about the bond vigilantes. And I’m curious, how much do you think we can spend to quote-unquote grow the economy, if you think that would work, before the bond vigilantes have a problem?”

Paul Krugman: “Well, first of all. I guess the question is. We have to look at history. There’s no easy way to do this by looking at spreadsheets. We look at the fact that Great Britain had debt levels as a share of GDP [Gross Domestic Product] much higher than we currently have, for most of the 20th century. Never a problem. We look at Japan, which people have been predicting bond vigilantes will attack for 20 years now. No problem. So it looks as if countries that have their own currency, that are stable, advanced democracies have the ability to run to levels.

You know, I don’t like, I don’t want us to get up to a Japanese level of debt. But there is no sign that we’re anywhere close. There’s no sign that we’re close to [???] points of GDP debt levels.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “People use the analogy: ‘When you jump off a building, you think you’re flying until you hit the ground.’ People say if we doubled to 4% on what we need to pay to fund our expenses that we’re already headed for Europe.”

Paul Krugman: “That’s. Even. You know. Think about Europe for a second. Think about the fact that Britain has levels of debt that are basically the same as ours. And are actually a bit higher than that of Spain. Britain (the Pound) is a safe-haven currency. They can borrow at pretty much the same rates we can. Spain is obviously in the news today. It’s not actually about the debt level. It’s about the constraints of that terrible mistake of a single currency created. It’s not about the debt level.”

Joe Kernen: “But, but there would come a time where it would be hard to get Chinese.”

Paul Krugman: “When the economy is doing well, you should be paying down debt. And I spent a large part of the last decade screaming about Bush and his tax cuts and his unfunded wars, saying that this is not what we should be doing. We should be trying to get our debt down.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “But.”

Paul Krugman: “But now is a time when we have an economic emergency where there really is no good alternative. If we try to balance the budget under these circumstances, all we do is throw ourselves into a deeper Depression.”

Joe Kernen: “What would be a number? What’s the maximum amount that the government should spend as a percentage of GDP [Gross Domestic Product]? Do you have a number for me? I’m just trying to figure it out.”

Paul Krugman: “Well.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “Well, I’m trying to figure it out. You know [hand gestures from Mr. Kernen].”

Paul Krugman: “Look, when it gets above 50.”

Joe Kernen: “When it gets above 50.”

Paul Krugman: “Then I start to wonder.”

Joe Kernen: “Government spending as a percentage of GDP [Gross Domestic Product]?”

Paul Krugman: “We have several European countries that are right at the 50 line.”

Joe Kernen: “But is there anything to the notion that money is treated better in the private sector, where there’s accountability and people minding the store?”

Paul Krugman: “There are some things that government does better that the private sector, like taking care of people who are in desperate need. Health care seems to be something. Health Insurance the government runs better.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “Do you see innovation continue if the government?”

Paul Krugman: “Of course. That’s. There are so many myths out there. Half the time, more than half the time, when anybody tells you about some great innovation, ‘That wouldn’t have happened under socialized medicine,’ it turns out the innovation was made in Europe or Australia, not here.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “A lot of the critics of that approach would say in Europe they have rationing. Let me finish. What happens is that you end up not giving care to the elderly as much as you would to younger people, because they’re going to live longer. They’re more deserving. What a lot of people here say is ‘Look, we all ration, right? We all have unlimited wants but limited means.’ And the question comes down to who will do the rationing? Will it be the individual or will it be the government? And should it be the person who is in charge of their own life to make their choices, and have good choices about health insurance rather than ceding to the government?”

Paul Krugman: “What planet are those people living on? As far as I can make out, it’s my insurance company, not me, who is making those choices. And I have insurance.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “Because it’s provided by your employer, right?”

Paul Krugman: “Right.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “Because it’s 3rd party payer. Will you acknowledge that? No?”

Paul Krugman: “No, when you get a private personal insurance policy, which by the way that market has never worked anywhere.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (interrupting): “Because there is very heavy government intervention in that market.”

Paul Krugman: “No, that market has never worked well anywhere.”

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera: “It’s never functioned ever. It’s never been allowed.”

Paul Krugman: “It functions worst where there’s the least intervention. But, but this notion of rationing. The notion that. Look, everybody talks about hip replacements. It’s true that you have a longer wait for a hip replacement in Canada than here. Who pays for hip replacements in America? Medicare. This myth that the rationing is coming because we have a private system. We actually have less rationing because we spend more money. The French system has almost no rationing. It’s a very heavy government intervention…”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “I want you to come back. I have questions about the two kinds of fairness. Somehow the government figures out outcomes, rather than a meritocratic system?”

Paul Krugman: “I think we could go on like this for a while.”

Joe Kernen: “Equal outcomes for our citizens?”

Paul Krugman: “No, but there’s a long distance between that and saying. I mean, if you had talked to people in 1925 and talked about the economy we had in 1955, with Social Security and Unemployment Insurance and these kinds of things, they would have said ‘This capitalism will collapse.’ In fact, the post-War [World War II ended in 1945] generation was the best economic growth we’ve had in a very long time.”

Joe Kernen (interrupting): “I’m scared of 50% government spending. I can’t go there with you.”

Paul Krugman: “But it’s not going to happen here, right?”

Joe Kernen: “You said you’d let it happen.”

Paul Krugman: “No, I said that’s where I start getting nervous.”

End of the interview.

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Read more:

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000101427

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/zombies-on-cnbc/

http://www.businessinsider.com/cnbc-host-blasts-paul-krugman-on-air-after-krugman-calls-him-a-zombie-2012-7

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15838087/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/paul-krugman-cnbc_n_1664771.html

http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/daily_show_eviscerates_santell.php?page=all

www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-11/peregrine-customers-claims-priced-at-25-cents-on-dollar

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/regulators-charge-futures-brokerage-with-fraud/

http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/11/investing/pfg-wasendorf/index.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/opinion/krugman-whos-very-important.html?hp

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

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FAH-Q Me!

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; )

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Advance to minute 2:20 of The New York Times’ “TimesCast” to see an example of an Ignorant Conservative/Ignorant Republican voter in Columbus, Ohio by the name of Isaac Shupe, who is susceptible to the rhetoric of campaign commercials and repeats those talking points in place of his own reasoning.

Today on TimesCast
The Times’s Jeff Zeleny previews Super Tuesday | The changed perspective of a Republican voter in Ohio.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/playlist/timescast/1247467375115/index.html?hp

Could The New York Times’ reporter and the editors of the video have taken Isaac Shupe’s words out of context? Yes! We do not know what Isaac Shupe said off camera, we only know what he said on camera. That is why it is necessary to keep questioning the sources of our information: campaign commercials, TV/Radio/Internet/Print News reports, your neighbor, me, everybody. For All to Hear & Question…that goes for everybody.

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Can you feel your soul? I can feel mine. Wishing people dead is not good for my soul. I can feel it. I still hold on to the hope that Fact & Evidence, Reason & Sense will win out over the people who lie, cheat and steal…and that We, the People, will V-O-T-E for the best ideas and the best solutions that benefit the majority of Americans. Maybe there is hope of changing the greedy, self-serving demagogues and sophists, like the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney?

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FAH-Q National Football League (NFL)

March 5, 2012 Leave a comment

FAH-Q = For All to Hear & Question. ; )

Check out the video: http://www.nfl.com/videos/indianapolis-colts/09000d5d8275f9af/Did-Redskins-cause-Manning-s-neck-injury

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Question: Is there a correlation between the rise of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex — the increasingly militaristic attitude of America — and the adoption of free substitution in the NFL — the increasingly violent nature, without consequence, for defensive specialists? Think about it. Because the NFL and the game of Football has become ingrained in our culture, not to mention tied in with saluting our troops. How do we define Freedom? Will we ever have Peace if we are always practicing War? And the real question for all you Christians out there, WTF does Jesus have to do with a Football game? Answer: Nothing. 

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I’m talking about the timeline of the free substitution rule in the NFL (1943,1946,1949,1950) just about the time we “create[d] a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions,” according to President and WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Constant War became a part of American culture — Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War 1, Iraq War 2 — and we tell our kids to act like warriors and practice war on the gridiron, or Football field.

You know what would improve the game of American Football? Go back to the same players on offense and defense. Like the game of Rugby, the predecessor of American Football. Then those defensive players might not try to rip off a guy’s head, if they soon become the ones whose heads could be ripped off. American Football, in its present form, really is a barbaric sport. I guess, the same could be said about boxing, but I still like watching it. In boxing, there are rules about no hitting below the belt, no biting (Mike Tyson), no rabbit punches, no headbutts. In American Football, there are rules too, but those defensive players can deliver blindside hits, which can cause serious concussions and internal bleeding, and lead to even more serious health problems for the recipient of those blindside hits later on in life. If those blindside hits are done with malicious intent then American Football is simply barbaric. In boxing, the point of the exercise is to knock out an opponent. I do not believe that is the point of American Football, and it shouldn’t be. If American sports represent our culture then we should change the barbaric nature of American Football, so that we do not regress into a barbaric country.

Despite becoming a more militaristic nation, we still made progress as far as women’s rights and minority rights. Change is possible: we have a black president in 2012. Now if we can only make progress toward Peace by becoming a more responsible country, starting with demanding more responsibility from the NFL — our nation’s testosterone-addled, proxy-war theatre every Sunday of the Autumn and extended into the Winter, ironically just in time for the holidays. Gooo Jesus!

* What would Jesus do on the Football field? Whom would Jesus Christ blindside tackle? Read the Bible again if you think Jesus has anything to do with Football, because his teachings are about turning the other cheek and not about intentionally harming somebody else. 

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Ronnie Lott hit hard without trying to rip off a guy’s head…

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Now Dick Butkus was a different story…but I wonder if Dick Butkus would have been as malicious if he had to take his turn on offense?

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SOURCE:

http://www.nflteamhistory.com/chronology_of_football/football_1941-1950.html#1950 

EXCERPTS:

“1943–The NFL adopted free substitution, April 7….

‎1946–Free substitution was withdrawn and substitutions were limited to no more than three men at a time….

1949–Free substitution was adopted for one year.”

SOURCE:

http://espn.go.com/classic/biography/s/Bednarik_Chuck.html

EXCERPT:

‎”In 1950…the NFL permanently instituted free substitution….offensive and defensive specialists were born, and the clock was ticking on the Sixty Minute Man. More and more, players chose one side of the ball or the other.”

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Worth Repeating…

From page 653-655 of That Is All by John Hodgman:”FOOTBALL is a working-class game in which men shove one another back and forth for no reason. They do not choose how, when, or whom they shove. All of that has been decided for them in advance. All they need to do is follow the orders given to them before the game, showing them where to run and how to violently deploy the meat of their bodies against the meat that is running at them. They are doing this in order to please one angry old man on the sidelines. This man is called ‘coach’ or ‘yelling surrogate dad who will never be happy.’ For even when the footballers win (which they do by moving a ball repeatedly to one end of the field or the other, then ritually bathing the old man in a vat of what I presume is the finest urine-colored champagne), the old man will soon get mad again, and his brief, fury-filled victory smile will once again become a scowl. Then a week later, they will have to try to earn his love once again by hitting other people as hard as they secretly want to hit him (and/or themselves)….By the 1960s, with war becoming less and less fun-seeming, Americans poured their martial fantasies and hatred of other regions into a newfound love of professional football at the national level. And so the pigskin soon was passed from the sickly gin fiends of the northeastern colleges to the hearty farm boys of the American Midwest, with their incredible lung capacity and often third or fourth hearts, and the invention of the American jock was complete….I appreciate that there are defenders of school sports–football especially–who point out that athletics is not merely a fun, concussive way to make our children fight like gladiators for our amusement. It also teaches young people valuable lessons such as DISCIPLINE, TEAM-WORK, and HOW TO LIVE IN A BRUTAL CASTE SYSTEM THAT YOU WILL NEVER ESCAPE.”http://www.amazon.com/That-All-John-Hodgman/dp/0525952446

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Read more:
 
 
EXCERPTS:
 
“But one hit still resonates. In a game against the Redskins in 2006 — when Williams was Washington’s defensive coordinator — Manning was hit low, then high. His body twisted awkwardly as he was pulled down and his neck was wrenched, his helmet flying off. Manning later said that Phillip Daniels ‘wouldn’t let go of my head.’ Daniels defended Williams to The Washington Post on Friday. Tony Dungy, then the Indianapolis coach, and Jim Sorgi, then Manning’s backup, have spoken about that play. They say it was the beginning of the neck troubles that caused Manning to miss last season. ‘I have no idea what was going on in Washington,’ Dungy, now an NBC analyst, said Saturday. ‘I do know in Tennessee they definitely had bounties. We had players that went there in free agency; we had some of their players who came to us as free agents who told us. You can draw your own conclusions from that’….
 
Williams has never been shy or modest about his intentions. Before the Saints played in the Super Bowl in 2010, he told a Nashville radio station that he wanted his defenders to put ‘remember me’ shots on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. When asked if his players worried about drawing penalties for hitting Manning, Williams responded: ‘When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior’s mind, he doesn’t play all out. If it happens, it happens. And the only thing you’d like for me to say is that if it happens, you hope he doesn’t get back up and play again.’”
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For lagniappe:
Ah, now this is writing!
EXCERPT:
“Think of all the illusions about the National Football League that the revelations of a bounty program in New Orleans shatter. Think of all the silly pretensions those revelations deflate. The preposterous prayer circles at midfield. The weepy tinpot patriotism of the flyovers and the martial music. The dime-store Americanism that’s draped on anything that moves. The suffocating corporate miasma that attends everything the league does — from the groaning buffet tables at the Super Bowl to the Queegish fascination with headbands and sock lengths while teams are paying ‘bounties’ to tee up the stars of your game so they don’t get to play anymore. What we have here now is the face of organized savagery, plain and simple, and no amount of commercials showing happy kids cavorting with your dinged-up superstars can ameliorate any of that.”
http://www.amazon.com/Idiot-America-Stupidity-Became-Virtue/dp/0767926145

www.amazon.com

NATIONAL BESTSELLER The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units · Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough · Fact is that which enough people believe.”
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