Links, 7/25/11

Our Collapsing Empire

Remember how much better Hillary was on trade than Obama in the primary? She gave a really depressing speech–talking up free trade–in Hong Kong today.

Oh. Sorry. Bob Baer was only mostly serious when he said Israel would attack Iran in the fall. But who needs to attack Iran? After five Russian scientists who contributed to Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant died in a plane crash last month, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists was just gunned down outside his home. Or maybe not.

This interesting take-from Gregory Johnsen, who knows a bit about Yemen–says our use of drones there are making AQAP stronger.

Jason Leopold describes how David Addington and Jim Haynes pushed David Hicks charges through to help out Prime Minister John Howard.

Our Collapsing Economy

Dan Froomkin reviews the big money being spent to pass three more NAFTA-style trade deals.

According to this post, the average duration of unemployment just shot up to a new high: 39.9 weeks. And there are now more than 2 million 99ers–folks who have been out of work for more than 99 weeks. This is not the time for austerity, but unfortunately the bozos in Washington can’t help themselves.

Everyone’s talking about this long piece on the insanity of our debt limit crisis, “What were they thinking.” My favorite line, from an anonymous ex-White House employee? “It’s not a place that welcomes ideas.”

In which Republican David Frum lectures Obama about trusting banksters.

This is an interesting piece on how Wall Street has gotten suspicious of Microsoft’s tax shell game.

Corporatists v. the Environment

Hungary is destroying 1000 acres (or much more–see joberly’s comment) of land that got planted with Monsanto’s GMO corn, apparently without the knowledge of the farmers. What’s particularly interesting about this, IMO, is the company that sold the GMO seeds that is now bankrupt. Under what business model does a company sell more expensive Monsanto seeds, particularly if the company is not viable? It almost seems like the company was a ploy to get the seeds in there.

Big Carbon is miffed about the statue at University of Wyoming suggesting that coal has ties to the explosion of pine beetles in the state. The effort to pressure the University is bad enough, but I think the statue is pretty cool on its own right.

Grist finds an interesting way to visualize what the GOP budget would destroy: by describing what it would do to 10 great vacation spots.

Your Daily Murdoch

The ACLU and Gawker are partnering to sue Governor Chris Christie for “correspondence, phone records, and calendar entries” of conversations between him and Roger Ailes. NY Magazine had reported that Ailes had pressed Christie to run for President. ACLU is arguing that Christie did not properly invoke executive privilege, and privilege wouldn’t cover such conversations in any case. I can’t help but wonder whether Gawker, at least, is going for something else, such as mention of why Christie didn’t prosecute News Corp for a US-based hacking incident with Floorgraphics.


30 replies
  1. harpie says:

    I love this daily “Links” post! Every segment is as interesting or even more-so than the one before it!

    Gregory Johnsen [with an “e”] always has interesting thoughts to add to the discussion about Yemen and the region around it. Notice that the Tweeter who insinuated himself into the conversation between Johnsen and Cilluffo/Watts is Will McCants, the same counter-terrorism “expert” the NYT uncritically quoted about the recent terrorist rampage in Norway.

    See How a clueless “terrorism expert” set media suspicion on Muslims after Oslo horror; Benjamin Doherty; 7/23/11 [Electronic Intifada link]

    McCants has an anti-terrorism think tank called C.N.A. Here’s the link to the web site:

  2. DWBartoo says:

    “It’s not a place that welcomes ideas.”

    One wonders just how many thoughtful people, some of whom have been paying concerned attention to the conditions of society and the state of the nation from a time BEFORE Barack Obama was even born, have been told to “shut the fuck up!” Hundreds, thousands, even millions (if we include younger, yet equally concerned citizens)?

    And, if you’re always “looking forward”, as Obama has exhorted that we all do, from the very beginning of his “don’t criminalize policy differences” administration, now, it is “looking forward” to “re-election”, then you REALLY don’t want to be bothered with the past OR the present, and certainly not with ANY reality checks that might deflate the barely contained enthusiasm of some mythical “independents” who wish to see Social Security diminished or eliminated, and who, apparently, are NOT “haves and have mores”.

    Pity poor Barack, he is having to work dreadfully hard, and unconscionably long for his promised admission into the Legacy Cla$$.

    Thanks, EW, your “Links” posts are always a bit like Christmas in the unexpected (sometimes) “packages” you provide for our edification … and other things.


  3. freepatriot says:

    so you finally got your own little corner of teh innertubes huh

    bout time !!!

    does the hat pin still work on the likker cabinet ???

  4. joberly says:

    a modest correction about the story from Hungary: I think the scale needs to go up at least 9x from what the English-language sources report. Your link to has the figure of 1,000 acres plowed under. However, Radio Kossuth ( 950 hectares destroyed earlier in July and an additional 2,500 identified that will need to be destroyed; at 2.5 acres=1 hectare,that’s 9K acres. Radio Kossuth ( an additional 940,000 hectares are being inspected as part of what the Hungarians last week were calling “Vetőmagbotrány” (translation: “Seed-Gate”).

  5. emptywheel says:


    Actually, we’ve been trying to get the likker cabinet open for some months–bmaz lost it the last time I went out of town.

    Can you help us?

    • bmaz says:

      Meh, I lost teh key because Watertiger drank all me tequila and I finished off the bourbon. Nuthin worthwhile left in there.


      Frrep!!! welcome home. PS: I refused delivery on the sweater vest and wrote in “return to sender”. With Maroon & gold crayons.

  6. freepatriot says:

    I could give it a good head butt

    overkill is the only style I know

    an while I’m hear. I gotta ask, why dontcha print some happy news

    trainin camp opens Wednesday

    we got us sum football

    PS: tell BMAZ he can lose the sweatervest now

  7. emptywheel says:

    Oh, we’re planning the trash talk extravaganza, trust me.

    (Er, um, aren’t you, bmaz?)

  8. William Ockham says:

    This is an interesting piece on how Wall Street has gotten suspicious of Microsoft’s tax shell game.

    Now I finally understand why they bought Skype. I follow the tech side of Microsoft very closely and this was the first acquisition that they’ve done in 15 years that didn’t make any sense to me. I totally missed the tax implications.

  9. DWBartoo says:

    As I live and breathe.


    You have been missed.

    Please do not disappear for so long, again, the trolls, well, we’ve been mostly lucky as your reputation long lingered, but I dare say that they are getting more frisky, though, in general, the quality is slipping very rapidly, there might yet be a few who could still meet your … um … taste.

    Anyhew, ’tis wunnerful good ta “see” ya, and I behopes that you’ll be often in attendence.

    Why in hell the likker cabinet is wearing a sweater vest is beyond me, but stranger things do go on at this site than just about anywhere place I’ve ever done been.


  10. Jim White says:

    Jeebus. I go away for a few days and you guys let Pelosi jump on the austerity bandwagon?

    Well, at least freep is back, so there may still be a bit of hope.

  11. prostratedragon says:

    It almost seems like the company was a ploy to get the seeds in there.

    And then definitely not be around by the time they were found out. That part might lead to something actionable by way of accounting (control) fraud, right? ‘Course, who wants actually to pursue a thing like that?

    [Hi, freepatriot! I’d missed you a while back too.]

  12. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Was it just me or did anyone hear the word ‘veto’ come out of Obama’s mouth last night? What’s the over-under on how long it takes him to cave?

    If O had played his cards right I think he could have essentially run the teabaggers and their Republican hosts out of town in the next election yet now he’s pissed it all away. How did this guy ever beat Hillary or was Hillary way overrated?

  13. harpie says:

    @GCP @14
    I do not believe Hillary was overrated. Domestically, we would have been very much better off with her than with Obama. I also don’t think she would have been the stealth hawk he turned out to be. She was 100 times the Real Democrat he is. [jmo]

    Since they fell for him, I have given up on them completely.

  14. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Who is ‘them’?

    Fact is, for whatever reason, he beat her. Plus, we don’t know if she could have beaten McCain. I think you may be right about her though. I think at this point she probably would have made a better president. Kind of wish she would go after him in the primaries but it’s probably a little late for that.

  15. harpie says:

    I don’t believe he did “beat” her in the Primary. Sorry, last comment about this…water under the bridge…but the admonishments of Obama supporters to “get over it” obviously still haven’t had their desired effect on me.

  16. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Interesting. So you think she got screwed by the leadership?

    No apologies necessary. If it wasn’t for her getting up and cheerleading when the Israelis were dropping bombs on Lebanon I probably would have preferred her myself. That was a little too much for me.

  17. Mary says:

    Man-so all it takes a flowerpower buggy and both freep and pirate show up.

    On the Iranian scientist killing, which now it turns out may be an assassinated student instead (calling Mr. Koh – that’s still ok, right? assassinations of people who had a similar name to a guy who’s a scientist for a country we’re not at war with and don’t have an AUMF for – it’s still fine, right? The Koh-Koh doctrine, not to be confused with, and shot down as being, something with a similar name.

  18. GulfCoastPirate says:

    LOL – not the buggy. I’ve got all my hurricane preparations made (copius amounts of chianti, tequila and shrimp are appropriately stored) so now I have a little more free time.

    Yes, killing scientists is still fine. In fact, I think the teabaggers give you extra points for scientists. It doesn’t even matter which side they are on. If you can manage a differential equation then you’re definitely a threat to the christian taliban.

    Speaking of killing. I noticed your comment the other day. I play golf on Sundays in a group of about 25 (facilitates more gambling) and one of the group who occasionally plays is a professor of economics. He suggested investing in bullets. He thinks one day the liberals (although the scientists may want to take note) are going to figure out that our local version of the taliban isn’t compromised of very nice or likable people and that no compromise is possible. They may very well have to fight to save their skins. Of course, being on Lafitte’s island where we are regularly inundated with thousands of urban cowboy baptist types this came as no real surprise to me. I think some of the rational newcomers are sometimes shellshocked though.

  19. Mary says:

    epu’d a bit, but I kind of like the invest in bullets thing, but with a Scarletti Inheritance twist. ;)

    It’s hard to decide whether the American Taliban or the CIA are more enamored with their powers to put the noose in hypotenuse.

  20. GulfCoastPirate says:

    Now that you mention it I can see where it would make a nice ride to go crabbing. Hmmm, crabs – I may have to make some gumbo this weekend.

    How am I going to evade all the local anarchists? That thing would end up with a lot of bullet holes in it.

  21. GulfCoastPirate says:

    bmaz – can you get my email address off the posts? Just wondering if I can be of any help.

  22. Gitcheegumee says:

    harpie @ 9:09 am

    ….since they fell for him…

    I have this scenario in my head of vignettes of Presidential perfidies with the song “Since I Fell for You” as the soundtrack.

    (Oh,darkblack where for art thou?)

  23. guest says:

    My favorite line, from an anonymous ex-White House employee? “It’s not a place that welcomes ideas.”
    My favorite line was when Waxman confronted Barack Hoover Obama with quotes from 7 Republicans who all confidently and rightly predicted the BHO would cave in, “I’m the President of the United States; my words carry weight.” It’s almost like Li’l Boots never left us.

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