Here's an illustrative story for one of the things Jay and David talked about: "Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy".
Over in Seattle, a Socialist candidate scored 28% of the vote in a State House race - which is no small thing!
Occupy Debt: Occupy's Rolling Jubilee buys $100,000 worth of medical debt - to tear up the IOUs.
Sam Seder interviewed David Graeber on The Majority Report, Occupy Debt.
Just before the election I was talking to an ordinary confused voter about the standard deduction, and realized that he didn't know what it was. My friend is a tax-payer, he's an American who has worked for many years and filled out his forms, but he didn't know that the line where he gets to subtract a little money from his income before he has to calculate what he owes the government is called "the standard deduction" and means he's allowed to make that amount of money before he has to start paying taxes on the rest. Maybe this is something you should talk to your friends about. I remember asking a few years ago what the current standard deduction was and got no answer, and now I wonder if anyone knew what I was talking about. I had to google around to find my answer. But maybe I should have explained when I was talking about it before. Wikipedia: "When Congress enacted Section 151 of the Internal Revenue Code, it did so believing that a certain level of income, 'personal exemptions', should not be subject to the federal income tax. Congress reasoned that the level of income insulated from taxation under §151 should roughly correspond to the minimal amount of money someone would need to get by at a subsistence level (i.e., enough money for food, clothes, shelter, etc.)." In 1913, that amount was calculated to be $3,000, equivalent to $57,000 in 2005 dollars. The current standard exemption is $3,800, which is, you know, $3,800 in 2012 dollars, not even remotely enough to live on.
I spent the morning bringing myself down over at Ian Welsh's place, where I found him, among other things, predicting - with horrible believability - the future we are facing, in two articles, "The Left Wing Case Against Obama and Obama's Next Term, written pre-election, and his post-election "Reality about America's Future". I think he's right and I hope others will take heed: Just aside from wrecking what's left of our economy, Obama's Grand Bargain will not only revive the GOP but pretty much destroy the Democratic Party as an institution that can even pretend to have any relevance to We, the People.
Ian also mentions the response critics made to Matt Stoller's "The Progressive Case Against Obama" and to Matt's response to those critics in "Why is the left defending Obama?" In the second piece, Matt refers to detractors who evade his arguments, and links (as an aside) to one piece by Glenn Greenwald in which we see details of, well, the reason you don't see me linking to Balloon Juice much. It's in one of Glenn's "Various items" posts, so there are a number of other subjects mentioned, one of which is a talk he gave on the idea that some wars are "just" wars because they are fought for "humanitarian reasons". In that talk, Glenn points out that this excuse always accompanies calls to war.
You know things are bad if I'm citing Matt Bai, but: "Will Obama Agree to Entitlement Cuts? He Already Has."
Meanwhile, Robert Reich indulges a fantasy of Obama doing right by the country, but he's not dreaming big enough, and anyway, Obama doesn't want to save the American economy, so he won't pay any attention whatsoever.
Since I don't watch a lot of this stuff on TV, I hadn't realized how ridiculous Petreus looked. Maybe it doesn't startle you like it does me, but it really does look weird to me. Meanwhile, Jeremy Scahill says, "The problem with Petraeus isn't what he did with Paula Broadwell." And, of course the real story is right here.
Our hearts were broken by the story of how Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital because the doctors refused to take the action that would save her life. Roz Kaveney wrote a "Sonnet for Savita".
Saw Harry Shearer on Have I Got News For You the other night, which delighted me. Then KS put the link in comments for Harry Shearer's B-Rock's Grand Bargain Barn! And for his interview with Stephanie Kelton of the Levy Institute. Great stuff.
"HARRY SHEARER: (laughs) The other half of that. What's happening to our grandchildren? Who's doing what to our grandchildren?
STEPHANIE KELTON: Well, we're not doing them any favors at the moment, that's for sure. Cutting education, laying off teachers, letting our infrastructure fall into disrepair to the tune of, you know, $2.2 trillion, and a D rating overall. I mean, we're not leaving them a whole lot to be proud of., in energy and environment and any number of things, and a, you know, retirement system, Social Security, the cuts that they - the programs that may not be there for them when they need them and so forth. So we make all of these choices and the excuse is always, 'Well, we'd love to do better but we can't afford it.' Because we don't understand our own monetary system. We think the dollar comes from China."
The Democratic governor of my state is a neoliberal nitwit.
If you didn't watch it before, watch The Final Presidential Debate: Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.
American Extremists: "How does a racist bill pass?"
I've always found it slightly bizarre that this song is theme to Rush Limbaugh's show. Can't help the feeling he wouldn't much get along with Chrissie Hynde.