PND Commentary

Study: Big Government makes people happy

October 16, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Forget about feeling 'like a room without a roof,' or whatever that 'Happy' song says. If you want to know 'what happiness is to you,' try living in a social democracy. A recent study confirms something leftists have suspected for a long time: People are happier in countries with larger governments, a more generous 'welfare state' and more government intervention in the economy. Policies that depend on the so-called 'free market,' on the other hand, decrease personal satisfaction. This is not a matter of opinion, according to the data, but of fact. We interviewed political scientist Patrick Flavin of Baylor University, lead author of the study." [editor's note: The claim is that the study "had no political agenda"; yeah, right ... - SAT] (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l8rr9m8  

No Comments »

Hillary Clinton’s soft sales job at Salesforce.com

October 16, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"How does Hillary Rodham Clinton, the queen of old-school Democratic partisan politics and bane of the 'vast right-wing conspiracy,' woo movers in the be-nice and collaborate-on-a-couch tech economy? During her speech at Salesforce.com’s San Francisco Dreamforce mega-convention Tuesday, the former U.S. secretary of state showed a softer side to the beanbag workforce. To those of us who have been following politics for years, La Hil is the consummate pol. At Moscone Center, she shed her old brand to become, as she was billed, a 'visionary.'" (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lwmosk7  

No Comments »

When the workday never really ends

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. And for working people who have to juggle family and work, locked into a rough schedule and the stress of poverty, there really aren’t enough. The 'new economy' of twenty-four-hour online shopping, global markets and just-in-time inventory churning, have created a demand for 'flexible' labor: rapid-fire changes in schedules, shift-swapping, on-call staff. In a new book, Unequal Time, sociologists Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel survey how time is distributed across this new economic landscape, and finds that flexibility (and its evil twin, unpredictability) is creating a new social order that brings chaos to the workplace and the home." [editor's note: Time to consider the world of "self employment" (where your "boss" demands this of you constantly)? - SAT] (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kuw8bf6  

No Comments »

Rand Paul’s 2020 Vision

October 16, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Adele M. Stan  

"No one in the political establishment seems to know quite what to make of Rand Paul, the United States senator from Kentucky and son of Ron, the three-time quixotic presidential candidate with a libertarian bent. In 2012, Ron Paul, the former congressman from Texas, said good-bye to all that, retiring his House seat and forswearing another presidential run, having prepared the ground for his progeny, who hopes to inherit the throngs of young followers nurtured by his father. By turns quirky and cunning, rumpled and slick, Rand Paul, at this writing, is running neck and neck in the polls with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the undeclared establishment candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination." [editor's note: The teaser on the main page tries to label RP as "the GOP's next Goldwater;" yeesh! - SAT] (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n432jmh  

No Comments »

New Deal, same spiel

October 16, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"This fall, Ken Burns (the nation’s director laureate of all things sepia-toned) offered an epic, exhaustive documentary that served to rebuke just about every feature of our postliberal political order. 'The Roosevelts: An Intimate History' blanketed the PBS airwaves for 14 hours, summoning the viewing public back to the halcyon days of the Fair and New Deals, and thus making a powerful de facto case for liberal rule by enlightened patrician overseers. But that, of course, is just the problem." (10/16/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17247/new_deal_same_spiel  

No Comments »

Joining IS about sex & aggression, not religion

October 16, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Arie W. Kruglanski  

"It is easy to look to religion for an explanation of why young men (and some women) become radicalized. But it is psychology, not theology, that offers the best tools for understanding radicalization -- and how best to undo it. The appeal of Islamic State rests on individuals’ quest for what psychologists call 'personal significance,' which the militant group’s extremist propaganda cleverly exploits. The quest for significance is the desire to matter, to be respected, to be somebody in one’s own eyes and in the eyes of others." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k5x9jqb  

No Comments »

The politicians are scaring you again

October 16, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman  

"They are doing it again. 'They' are the war-party politicians, Democrats and Republicans. 'It' is scaring you into supporting another war in the Middle East. When will the American people learn? If in a republic the people are the ultimate check on government power, a gullible, easily frightened public is a disaster waiting to happen. Where is the derisive skepticism Americans are reputed to feel toward politicians? A high-ranking official and, say, CNN's Christiane Amanpour need only say 'Boogeyman!' and Americans line up for orders." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lx7mas2  

No Comments »

Jason Ditz on The Scott Horton Show, 10/15/14

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Jason Ditz, news editor of Antiwar.com, discusses ISIS’s takeover of Iraq’s Anbar Province, including a key air base." [Flash audio or MP3] (10/14/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/10/15/101514-jason-ditz/  

No Comments »

Obama knew arming rebels was useless, but did it anyway

October 16, 2014
posted by

Dan Froomkin The Intercept
by Dan Froomkin  

"What’s worse: Launching a disastrous military campaign under false pretenses to achieve goals you wrongly believe are attainable? Or launching a disastrous military campaign you know is doomed in order to help your party win an election?" (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pp4gdu9  

No Comments »

America’s fatal blunder in the war against ISIS

October 16, 2014
posted by

Ted Galen Carpenter Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter  

"US and Western officials like to portray the campaign to defeat ISIS as a struggle between the civilized world and a monstrous terrorist organization. As with most wartime narratives throughout history, that portrayal greatly oversimplifies matters. The war against ISIS actually involves numerous factions, each with its own policy agenda. The American people need to grasp the extent of the complexity, lest the United States drift into an endless war with no coherent, attainable objective." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmkwxnx  

No Comments »

The morgue

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Bill Schorr  

Cartoon. (10/15/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/10/the-morgue/  

No Comments »

Stocks plunge 460 points on QE exit

October 16, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Mike Whitney  

"The proximate cause of Wednesday’s bloodbath was weaker than expected economic data from Europe -- which is sliding towards its third recession in five years -- droopy retail sales in the US, and a report from Department of Labor showing that wholesale prices for producers are edging closer towards deflation, the opposite of what the Fed is trying to achieve via its aggressive monetary policy. But the real trigger for the selloff was not the dismal data, but the policies that have been in place since the Financial Crisis of 2008." (10/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o3kvzqw  

No Comments »

Not your Senator’s job to stop Ebola

October 16, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"To the endless list of inane things candidates accuse one another of, we can now add this: My opponent has not done enough to stop Ebola! Or actually, in this case it's local media, and the politician in question is Pat Roberts; but Roberts' opponent is picking up on it (and may have been the source of the story, since a nearly identical report appeared on a second local news station). ... If only Pat Roberts had been at that hearing, we'd all be safe. There are few criticisms more meaningless and yet more persistent than 'you didn't attend enough hearings.' ... [E]verybody cooperates in creating the fiction that attending a hearing is 'doing' something, when it really isn't." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/obfl8pz  

No Comments »

Jim Webb: Hillary’s worst nightmare?

October 16, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by William Greider  

"Instead of becoming more hawkish as defense intellectuals often do when they acquire status and influence, Jim Webb has become more skeptical and critical of how US military force is being used and misused. His biography is what gives his candidacy potential significance. It is not that he has much likelihood of winning the nomination, but Webb has a chance to do something far greater for the country. Given his resume and valor in war, Webb has the authority (and the guts) to provoke a profound national debate about the nature of US militarism." [editor's note: I'm imagining a 2016 race with at least two anti-imperialist Dems (Sanders & this guy?), and at least ONE on the GOP side (Paul?), making this issue a big part of the battle, right to the final round! (I can dream, can't I?) - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npfov22  

No Comments »

So many candidates, so few choices

October 16, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Jon Carroll  

"I live in a safe district. Most people live in a safe district; it was planned by state legislatures to be that way. The legislatures were dominated by either Democrats or Republicans. Whichever party held power drew districts that would favor their side. Since people of similar political persuasions tend to live near each other (the farm belt is different from the inner city) it’s easy to draw districts that will favor one side or the other. Well, perhaps not easy, as some of the tortured results show. But doable -- and so it’s done. And I’m part of the problem. I agree with the argument that one problem with the House of Representatives is its unchanging nature -- and yet I keep sending Barbara Lee back to office." [editor's note: A nice, honest confession? - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/octgnd5  

No Comments »

Surge pricing and the just economy

October 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Edward Hadas  

"Surge pricing is what car service Uber calls its reliance on the market mechanism. The use of price to balance supply and demand is a perfect example of standard economic theory in action. It is also a good example of why market economics can have an anti-social edge. Uber finds the market-clearing price with an algorithm rather than the auction found in textbooks. But the principle is the same. As the fare goes higher, more drivers decide to stay on the road and fewer would-be passengers decide to use the service. While Uber’s calculation is biased to maximize rides rather than driver revenues -- it will choose 10 fares of $10 over one fare of $100 -- the balancing price can be as much as seven times normal." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kwdmocv  

No Comments »

A breath of fresh air

October 15, 2014
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Joep Bertrams  

Cartoon. (10/15/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/10/a-breath-of-fresh-air/  

No Comments »

A “post-political” labor movement

October 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by David Moberg  

"After the Brooklyn College administration temporarily suspended Stanley Aronowitz from school in 1950 for taking part in a protest, he dropped out to follow a much more unorthodox route to an academic career. From the 1950s through the 1970s, Aronowitz (a lifetime New Yorker in spirit even when temporarily absent) was a factory worker, union organizer, civil rights advocate, influential contributor to New Left organizations, and a vivid, often flamboyant debater in a tumultuous political period. Since 1983, however, he has been a prolific sociology professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, writing or editing 25 books. His latest, The Death and Life of American Labor: Toward a New Workers’ Movement, out from Verso this fall, expands his decades-long argument that unions need bigger goals and more direct action to succeed, or even survive." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlu582y  

No Comments »

Budget cuts don’t save money

October 15, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Cutting federal spending doesn’t 'save money' -- not the way conservatives in Congress and in the states have been doing it. If you cut the Internal Revenue Service budget, that obviously increases the deficit because it lowers the government’s ability to collect tax revenue. If you cut the infrastructure budget, obviously after a while bridges start to fall down. That costs money. And lives. And, of course, if you cut the health and research budgets, diseases can spread and cures are not found. An article in Scientific American magazine by an infectious disease specialist spells out the consequences as the United States deals with the threat of the Ebola virus." [editor's note: Here we go with another "lifeboat" scenario; cherry-pick the things to "fear" just like the GOPers do ... - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20141014/budget-cuts-dont-save-money  

No Comments »

Revisionist History 101: Bush was right about Iraq WMD!

October 15, 2014
posted by

Murtaza Hussain The Intercept
by Murtaza Hussain  

"Perhaps the most movingly pitiful exercise in American politics is the periodic attempt by Iraq War advocates to grasp at new developments that might somehow vindicate their disastrous, criminal support of that endeavor. The latest attempt came yesterday, when The New York Times published an explosive new story on American soldiers who were wounded while handling corroded munitions extracted from Saddam Hussein’s inactive chemical weapons program. The Iraq Study Group has long documented the existence of these decrepit and corroded weapons stocks in Iraq, something which has precisely nothing to do with the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' claims purveyed by war supporters. Given this readily available information, one would think that people would focus on the human tragedy exposed by this story and not use it as an attempt to revise history. But, sadly, one would be wrong ..." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mexgdoy  

No Comments »

Why Apple and Google’s latest marketing ploy won’t protect you at all

October 15, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Alfredo Lopez  

"Although not a data storage company, Apple’s programs move data and interact with storage services. Its iPhone, one of the world’s most popular hand-held devices, uses a lot of Google software as well as much of its own programming. Through cell phone technology, these two companies are the major sources of NSA-gathered information. Google gives the government copious information stored on most cell phones and Apples does the same for its powerhouse iPhone. So savvy critics are wondering if this latest announcement is really a pledge to privacy or the latest in the long string of cynical marketing ploys that have made these outfits the powerhouses they are." (10/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nd2holm  

No Comments »

Death on demand is not death with dignity

October 15, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"I’d like to think that if I got the bad news that Brittany Maynard received (terminal cancer with a prognosis of less than six months left to live), I’d be like her. I’d like to be stoic and brave. I’d like to take charge of the rest of my cruelly abbreviated life. If I were facing death at age 29, I would want to find meaning in an end come too soon. Maynard has done just that. She moved from the East Bay to Oregon, where assisted suicide is legal. She has become the face of Compassion & Choices, which wants to legalize assisted suicide in California. ... I love the spirit, but there is a huge flaw in Maynard’s reasoning." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kuplg28  

No Comments »

Kentucky candidates agree: Coal is the future!

October 15, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"There was a debate in Kentucky yesterday between U.S. Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes, and while there was lots of disagreement, one thing both candidates agreed on is that what their state and America needs is more of that sweet, sweet coal. McConnell accused Grimes of being complicit, because she's a Democrat, in 'Obama's war on coal,' and Grimes protested that she loves coal more than she loves her own mama (though not quite in so many words)." [editor's note: I've noted elsewhere that Ms. Grimes seems to be "not a smart politician," based on her fumbling when simply asked who she voted for last election. Apparently, she's still not learned the ropes - SAT] (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcjsq74  

No Comments »

Hep-C: Profit-tier pricing

October 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Terry J. Allen  

"Drugs that cure patients can kill profits. So Gilead Sciences Inc. faced a fiscal challenge with its new drug, Sovaldi, which reportedly cures up to 90 percent of people with hepatitis C, a viral infection that can lurk undiagnosed and transmissible for decades until it causes liver diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer. Unlike take-forever meds like those for high cholesterol, Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) 'represents a finite cure, an important point to consider when comparing the price of a pill or bottle to the lifetime costs of treating a chronic disease,' Gilead spokesperson Cara Miller said. Considering that point, Gilead set the price at an astounding $1,000 for each daily pill -- a total of $84,000 for the minimum 12-week course." (10/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oekeafp  

No Comments »

What it will take for Americans to start getting pay raises

October 14, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Robert Kuttner  

"What will it really take to give America a raise? A lot of well-credentialed policy experts have been writing nonsense about why Americans can’t be paid more. One bogus story is that young people and working moms (whatever happened to working dads?) love the new 'flexible' economy of Task-Rabbits working odd jobs. Or they’re Uber drivers or Starbucks clerks, marking time until their economic adulthood begins. Some of these people imagine themselves to be high-tech entrepreneurs-in-waiting. Recent college grads who hope that they are just one killer-app away from financial success are the well-educated equivalent of inner-city kids hoping for a tryout in the National Basketball Association. For every one who makes it, there are hundreds who don’t." (10/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qaa92xy  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors




Making a living off your Drupal site?

Drupal Managed Hosting

Fed up with Maintenance and Hosting companies?