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Showing posts from January 31, 2016

the naivete of peace

D.C., as we all know, swims in a culture of impunity. Denizens of the New Republic, who in the Bush years showed such a hawkish appetite for the invasion of Iraq that the jaws of the advocates seemed to be dripping with the blood – let me hasten to say, with the blood of freedom, free enterprise and muscular liberalism – are out in force throwing contempt on Sanders’ lack of foreign policy knowledge and … muscular liberalism. This article from Business Insider is typical Clinton wants to lead in the Middle East, whereas Sanders idea that there could be a coalition between Iran and Saudi Arabia is just “puzzling”. Indeed it is, since it calls the game: do the Saudis really want to defeat Isis? After all that money from Saudi sources flowed to Isis at the beginning of their revolt against Iraq? I agree with the criticism that Sanders is a bit naïve about foreign policy, in as much as he hasn’t oriented himself to pounding into the heads of the populace that negotiation is not a

quid pro quo culture

The quid pro quo culture Clinton’s response to the question about being paid 625,000 dollars for giving three speeches to Goldman Sachs stirred up some interest, and a lot of vitriol from Sanders supporters. While I understand the vitriol, I think it is important to broaden the response. Clinton didn’t invent this culture. She simply floats in it. It is a matter not so much of being bought, but of being cognitively captured – which by easy degrees effects the career arc. Instead of using Clinton as an example, lets use Bernanke. In 2009, the Fed, along with Treasury, engineered a controversial bailout of AIG. AIG was the party to financial instruments – bets – made, on a tremendous scale, by numerous counterparties. Among those counterparties was Citadel, a Chicago based hedge fund. Now, Citadel was hit by the meltdown in 2008. According to Bloomberg Business: “Investors in Citadel Investment Group’s two main hedge funds can take solace in the fact that 2008 has finally co

morning in santa monica

Morning in Santa Monica. For a long time, now, I have been walking Adam to school and then returning home to work, or to read. I’ve been enclosed in a little capsule of winter routine. Today I decided to walk down to the ocean. The beach was largely empty – meaning, really, that there were few people there. I walked across the expanse of sand to where the bank over where the ocean was lapping up on shore, then loped my way down the beach, heading away from the pier, towards Malibu. I encountered birds, lots of seabirds. One colony of very large pelicans, five of them, with those faces, elongated, brightly colored, somehow reminiscent of an African mask, or of Picasso’s Demoiselles D’Avignon . Slightly frightening, the length of beak. As I passed them I actually glanced back, as if they might be following me. I came upon a curlew. It was on the edge of the watermark left by the ocean, which at this hour was rumpled by low tide. It had the nice curved beak, not the sandpiper’s str

the solution-suck: Sanders single payer plan and the neo-liberal attack dogs

You will have noticed that Sanders single payer plan has been extensively attacked. It has been dismissed by Paul Krugman and savaged by Vox, which is turning into the 21 st century version of the old New Republic (the Marty Peretz New Republic that marketed its liberal reputation to put across reactionary ideas). These logic behind these political attacks is pretty simple. Sanders has been hammering on a problem, a massive problem, with healthcare in America. It is fantastically expensive; and, for the majority of people, that is, those who live in households thatmake below around 100 thousand, it is a subject of constant, rational worry, since it is precisely those households for which every rachet upward of the medical machine makes medical care ruinous.  32 million non-elderly Americans are still uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And even for those who are insured,  According to the Commonwealth Fund: “New estimates from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial