Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Bernanke

Wednesday!

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* The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has once again rejected Troy Davis’s appeal. Terrible.

* Occupy Wall Street, Day 5. Some more here.

* Apocalypse 2012: Just shy of a majority of registered voters, 49 percent, say they definitely plan to vote against Barack Obama in 2012, but just 36 percent say they definitely plan to vote for him, according to a newMcClatchy-Marist poll.

* House and Senate GOP leadership are taking fire from all sides for publicly pressuring Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke not to further loosen monetary policy, even if he thinks it will help the economy.

* Things Apple is worth more than.

* And some good news for a change: our energy problems are over forever. We’re saved!

“This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water,” said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. “It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy.”

Saved!

Tuesday Night Linkdump

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* From the Onion: Massive Earthquake Reveals Entire Island Civilization Called ‘Haiti’.

* In an opinion issued on Monday, a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals hexed a lawsuit challenging a ban on the game of Dungeons & Dragons by the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

* Welcome to the future: ‘Movie made by chimpanzees to be broadcast on television.’

* SCOTUSblog has a Citizens United roundup with a ton of links. Here’s another legislative fix for Citizens United that targets any company doing business with the federal government.

* Bitter Laughter has your word of the day: chronesthesia.

* ‘The most likely scenario for using combat aircraft in a U.S. war is an alien invasion’: Another day, another chart about our insane national priorities.

* The Canavan Plan for health care sanity is now “the consensus” among Democrats on the Hill, says John Podesta. Clyburn says House Democrats are on board. The usual suspects are unhappy, but the nice thing about reconciliation is they don’t matter.

* Of course, when the elites think their money is at risk, 51 Senate votes is suddenly enough.

* James O’Keefe, the gonzo journalist whose deceptively edited tapes brought down ACORN, has been arrested with four others for allegedly attempting to illegally wiretap Mary Landrieu’s office. If convicted he could spend 10 years in jail. Fox, naturally, is devastated.

* Today’s stunning evidence that paywalls don’t work.

* And Oregon voted today on whether or not to eat the rich.

Wednesday Night Links

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* The strategic genius in charge of the economy had an adjustable rate mortgage? No wonder everything collapsed.

* Also on Bernanke watch: Matt Yglesias on class biases in major media.

Bernanke takes office in February of 2006 holding what’s probably the second most-important job in the United States and the most important job for determining overall macroeconomic conditions. He follows basically conventional thinking and doesn’t make any unusual errors. Unfortunately, conventional thinking and normal errors lead into a major financial panic and the worst recession in 70 years. Then during the desperate fall of 2008 Bernanke takes decisive action and helps put a floor on the collapse. By spring 2009 it’s clear that this will be the worst recession since the end of the Great Depression rather than, as some had feared, the second-coming of the Depression. At this point he basically unfurls a “Mission Accomplished” banner, says ten percent unemployment is okay by him, and if congress wants to do anything fiscally it should look at cutting Social Security benefits.

That’s not nothing. That’s not the worst record of any 21st Century public official (I dunno…Robert Mugabe?) or even of any major 21st Century central banker (Jean-Claude Trichet) or any Bush administration appointee (Don Rumsfeld) or anything. But it’s really not all that great. And it demonstrates a very specific class skew—extraordinary intervention into the market place just long enough to fix the situation from the point of view of asset-owners while leaving wage-earners holding the bag. But the owners and managers and editors of Time Magazine and the companies that advertise in it probably don’t care so much about that.

* Superfreakonomics and the “All Else Equal” fallacy.

* An energy policy both ExxonMobil and MoveOn can love: cap and dividend. Via Ezra Klein.

* Alien “water world” found.

* Star Wars Kid was in the 2000s too? It’s been a loooooong ten years.

* Looking for Life in the Multiverse.

* Apparently it’s a New Jersey thing, as I did an impromptu dorm floor census (of both sexes), and everyone from Jersey wiped standing up. More important toilet science findings at MetaFilter.

* Life as a registered sex offender. He had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend when he was 17.

* Alice, Wonderland, and 19th-century mathematics.

* And Alex sends in a late entry for worst magazine cover of the year: “Will Global Warming Stave Off the Impending Ice Age?”

Bernankemania!

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Time has named Ben Bernanke its person of the year—I assume ironically.

America!

Written by gerrycanavan

December 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

Monday Night

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* A key feature of capitalism in America is the complete insulation of elites from the violence the system inflicts against the poor. This is illustrated well in today’s health care debate; the actual human suffering and death caused by our broken health care system is invisible to people like Joe Lieberman, who is therefore free to consider health care reform as a purely abstract game centered around revenge against his enemies. To bring up the fact that people are actually dying over this is considered unspeakably rude—a total breach of decorum. Frank Rich and BAGnotes make the same point today about the invisibility of suffering in the economic crisis as a whole.

* In any event, Lieberman won (with an apparent assist from Rahm): the Medicare buy-in is officially dead.

* Ezra Klein explains why everyone is so terrified of reconciliation.

* Grist says the big story out of Copenhagen’s first week is the emergence of tensions between richer and poorer developing nations.

The one significant new feature of this treaty round is the emergence of a distinct voice for small island nations and the poorest states—the folks for whom climate change is an existential, not just economic, problem. Inside the talks, this manifested in the tiny island state of Tuvalu’s call for a new, post-Kyoto treaty that would require mandatory reductions not only from rich countries but from the biggest and fastest-growing developing nations, including China and India. It would also set 1.5 degrees C as the target for limiting the rise in global temperature, rather than the 2 C agreed upon in previous talks (and still maintained by big emitters). This amounts to the first big public eruption of the simmering tensions between major developing countries and their smaller/poorer brethren. Whereas China and India want to shelter their economic development above all else, Tuvalu, well, might go under water soon.

* The ultimate Disney/Marvel mashup.

* Millions of “lost” Bush administration emails discovered by computer technicians. MetaFilter has your schadenfreude.

* Could Bernanke really withdraw his nomination for chairman of the Federal Reserve?

* And I wanted to post this a few days ago, but seem to have forgotten: the situation with Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is rapidly growing completely insane.

Friday Links

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* Good job numbers suggest the recession could be bottoming out. Of course, you can’t please everyone.

* BREAKING: Ben Bernanke is kind of a douche.

* Ted Kennedy may be gone, but John Kerry still won’t support the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.

* In a new piece in Vanity Fair, Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater/Xe, turns out to have been CIA. Via MeFi. What’s next for this real-life Bond villain?

For the time being, however, Prince contends that his plans are far more modest. “I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

* New Jersey to pave million-year-old dinosaur footprints to put up parking lot. Okay, actually condos.

* Can humans reproduce in zero gravity?

This finding casts into doubt the science fictional notion that human beings can survive in zero gravity or in the microgravity environment of large asteroids.

* Could a super-advanced civilization live inside the acretion disk, the super-dense area around the black hole at the center of a galaxy?

* The headline reads, “Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex.”

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

* Sarah Palin goes birther.

The other thing that struck me about her interview was her contention that she didn’t go after Obama enough during the election, and namely, that avoiding the birther thing was a mistake. I suppose she could have gone completely off the deep end during the campaign, and certainly it seems she wanted to but was held back by McCain, but good god, who in their right mind thinks she wasn’t enough on the attack? She accused Obama, through implication, of being a terrorist. She did so in a way that maximized the anti-Muslim insinuation, even though neither Barack Obama nor Bill Ayers (who is the excuse for this rumor-mongering) is Muslim, making the whole thing not only racist but incoherent. She went out of her way to imply that anyone who was not white or lived in a city was not a Real American. She red-baited Obama. She did everything but tell jokes about his mom. Her entire campaign strategy was to attack Obama. I fail to see how she could have done more, honestly. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

* And science proves Rousseau was right: God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.

Thursday, Thursday

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* UNCG (Go Spartans) has opened an important digital archive on American slavery.

* Butterfly attempts to fly in microgravity.

* My MFA Workshop Responds to My Twitter Status Updates.

* A visibly distraught Senator Alesi casts his “no” vote on marriage equality yesterday in Albany.

* Detroit, Dubai, Dresden, more: cities before and after radical changes.

* Comcast, a company about which I have never heard a single good thing, will buy NBC. Only 30 Rock fans will benefit.

* NPR has a Logicomix preview. I enjoyed the entire novel; check it out.

* Barbara Boxer: Climategate is a criminal matter. Communist!

* Other senators I like: Bernie Sanders and Al Franken, whom the GOP underestimates at its peril.

* The rest of the senators I can mostly do without.

* And Toothpaste for Dinner zeroes in on my particular pathology.