Paul Krugman: Ending Greece's Nightmare (NY Times Column)
Now that Alexis Tsipras has won, and won big, European officials would be well advised to stop lecturing him on fiscal responsibility.
Paul Krugman: The Greek Stand-By Arrangement (NY Times Blog)
For [my] column I went back to the original, May 2010 stand-by arrangement for Greece, to see what the troika was demanding and predicting at the beginning of the austerity push, and how it compares with what actually happened.
Andrew Tobias: Deficit Thinking
No question, the world is too complex to suggest that Bush alone could all its problems. But he chose to invade Iraq; he chose to slash taxes on the rich. In combination, that greatly weakened our national balance sheet. He and his administration were at the helm as the real estate bubble inflated and inflated and inflated …
5 Historical Figures More Terrifying Than Any Horror Villain (Cracked)
If the world seems like a more violent and brutal place these days, well, that's because your history class left out a bunch of shit, probably due to your teacher not wanting to give you PTSD.
Stephanie Zacharek: "The Palm Beach Story: Love in a Warm Climate" (Criterion)
Because there is no romantic comedy less certain about the notion of lasting love than The Palm Beach Story (1942), there is no movie more comforting.
Michael Lind: From Poesy to Carrot Carnations (The Smart Set)
I had never heard of a carrot carnation. But when, back in the 1980s, several of my fellow staffers at the office of a Texas State Senator in Austin wanted to learn about them, I went along to kill some time. (There are downsides to working in the legislature of a state with an anti-government culture, but it does provide you with a lot of free time).
Jennifer Niven's top 10 teen books to save your life (Guardian)
Jennifer Niven wrote All the Bright Places knowing that at one time or another every teenager needs to know that it gets better, help is out there, high school isn't forever, and life is long and vast and full of joy. So here are her top 10 lovely, tough, honest, and ultimately life-affirming YA books.
David Bruce: Wise Up! Prejudice (Athens News)
Black musician Nat King Cole moved into a white suburb in Los Angeles back in the pre-Civil Rights days. Some of his neighbors started a petition to keep "undesirables" out of the neighborhood. When Mr. Cole found out about it, he knocked on a neighbor's door and asked to sign the petition because he also did not want any undesirables to move into the neighborhood.
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David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Spud Goodman « My POV
Two Worlds, One Country
Two Worlds, One Country
All of us have relatives or friends who seem to exist in their own private hemisphere. In fact we, me and you the reader just might spend most of our waking hours in that special place too where annoying facts we don't especially embrace are not allowed entrance. Some would say this tendency is a primary tool in surviving these trying times but let's get real for a second, a lot of us don't let dissenting opinions and verified information through our screening process for one reason, life is more enjoyable when the truth is as flexible as flubber. A cable news network is based on this premise and it remains wildly profitable as its ratings remain dominant. How did this happen? Well it has been well documented by many but to recap it seems to this writer it was a gradual process, sort of a slow administering of an anesthetic via the AM side of the radio dial. In the early 90's Rush Limbaugh pretty much had the partisan talk show playing field to himself. The left never effectively countered this ideological phenomenon and it gradually grew to take command of the airwaves. The fight was essentially over by the late 90's though there were valiant efforts by the other side as they launched a counter attack i.e. Air America which was the equivalent of responding to an attack by a Panzer tank unit with a fully loaded 38 Smith & Wesson. Not an evenly matched battle to say the least.
There are moments in the history of our country where certain events have generated great social change and at times upheaval. I present 1996 as a year in which a large segment of Americans began a relationship with a broadcasting organization that has literally changed the face of this country politically and clearly has cemented permanent grid lock in Congress. This the wet dream goal of business interests who oppose oversight is actively embraced by approximately 38 % of the good ole USA and about 2.3 nightly cable viewers. It should be noted that it represents action that is not in the best interests of 99.7% of this political community. Why would they support a dysfunctional system? The simple answer is we are talking about the true haters of forward movement socially and culturally and that trumps for the time being their own financial interests. Though they don't yearn for a return to the 16th century as radical Islamists openly promote they do wish for a pre-civil war model here that would erase a world where various ethnic groups continue to merge into one big melting pot that knows no color. That is a deal breaker for this segment of the populace. The ballot box on their side is continually juiced by the non-stop torrent of Anglo Saxon victimization. An around the clock orgy of watching FOX NEWS would convince any impressionable (low information) adult of voting age that either he or she either get with the program or very soon there will be no there there.
In watching analysis of President Obama's state of the union address televised from the bunker of each warring side, FOX NEWS & MSNBC (the Swiss or CNN tripped over itself staying neutral) it became clear this is the America we will have for at least a generation or two. My prior position was when the FOX NEWS main demo passed away in the next 10 years or so a new day would arrive but now I'm not so sure. This divide may be permanently baked into our culture and if one values a functional society with infrastructure and educational services that are not an embarrassment within the developed world this is a very bad thing. So I will end this little diatribe with one simple word, ok two, we're screwed! Later
Two Worlds, One Country « My POV
Newest Podcast - "The Candidate Episode" featuring J.B. Smoove & David Koechner
Animation segment "Fran Drescher on This Is Spinal Tap"
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to email@example.com.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
I'm not too good at the begging routine, but this page doesn't generate enough revenue for a high-speed connection, so I'm still on a crappy dial-up.
I'm grateful to my 3 pillars who faithfully send a monthly donation, but it's not enough to cover what the local cable monopoly charges ($59.99/mo) for a faster connection.
Many thanks to the 10 kind readers (Dale [twice], David, B2tbBob, John, Gary, David in AZ, Michelle, Kip, John G, & Gary D) who have responded.
The cable monopoly will visit today, and as the kids at the beach used to say, "I'm stoked."
OTOH, it's been 1218 days in row. In a freaking row.
Today is dear old dad's 90th birthday.
Bet there's a Polka party at the Senior Center.
WikiLeaks on Monday criticized Google for failing to swiftly inform the secrets-spilling group about U.S. search warrants issued seeking emails and other personal information from three of its staff.
The warrants, issued in March 2012, required the Internet giant to hand over the phone numbers, IP addresses, credit card details, contents of all emails and other details for Google accounts used by Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Faerrell. The existence of the warrants, which cite an espionage, fraud and conspiracy investigation, was disclosed to WikiLeaks in December.
"We are astonished and disturbed that Google waited over two and a half years to notify its subscribers that a search warrant was issued for their records," WikiLeaks' lawyer Michael Ratner said in a letter to Google chairman Eric Schmidt that was published online Monday.
The letter adds that Twitter took legal action in order to alert WikiLeaks of a similar warrant in 2011.
Price Of Free Speech
Conservative political advocacy groups supported by the billionaire Koch brothers plan to spend $889 million in the 2016 U.S. elections, more than double what they raised in 2012, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
The newspaper said the goal was announced to donors at a weekend meeting in Rancho Mirage, California, hosted by Freedom Partners, a business lobby at the center of the Koch brothers' political operation. The Post cited a person who attended the gathering.
The money will be doled out by a network of 17 organizations funded by industrialists Charles and David Koch, who have become a major force in conservative politics in recent years, and other wealthy donors. The network raised $407 million for the 2012 campaign.
The Post said the $889 million would be spent on field operations, technology, policy study and other expenses.
The Freedom Partners network spent almost $300 million on November's congressional elections, in which Republicans won control of the Senate and retained their majority in the House of Representatives.
Earns Writing Credit
Tom Petty has earned a writing credit on Sam Smith's megahit "Stay With Me" for its similarities to his song "I Won't Back Down."
Smith's representative said Monday the publishers of Petty's 1989 hit contacted the publishers of Smith's song, which was one of last year's biggest hits. Smith and "Stay With Me" writers James Napier and William Phillips say they agree their song is similar to Petty's song, written with Jeff Lynne.
"Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of 'Stay With Me' along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips," they said in a statement.
"Stay With Me," Smith's debut song, has sold more than 3.5 million tracks and peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100. The breakthrough British singer is nominated for six Grammy Awards at next month's show, including song of the year, an honour solely for the writers of a track.
ABC's Botched Plan
ABC has put the brakes on a plan to fire Rosie Perez from "The View," after Variety broke the news of the decision on Jan. 14.
Perez had only been on "The View" for four months when ABC execs concluded that she wasn't the right fit for the talk show. The network thought it had an easy plan to offer Perez a graceful exit: the actress was already scheduled to take a month off from "The View" in January to prepare for her role in Larry David's Broadway play, "Fish in the Dark." Instead of having her return to the Hot Topics table once she was done with rehearsals, the show would announce she had to leave permanently for her other commitment.
But the Variety story that broke the news of Perez's ouster created pandemonium backstage at the "The View." One problem was that ABC execs hadn't told the other co-hosts of the plan. Rosie O'Donnell, who joined the 18th season of "The View" in September along with Republican strategist Nicolle Wallace and returning moderator Whoopi Goldberg, was particularly caught off guard, sources say. O'Donnell is close friends with Perez.
The premature news leak in Variety, which was corroborated by reports from other media outlets, led to concerns that Perez's departure would reflect badly on the show and ABC management in the same way that the tearful departure of Curry from "Today" tarnished the NBC morning show's sunny image. ABC executives weren't high on Perez's performance on "The View" because she didn't necessarily steer the Hot Topics segments in the direction that made the talk show must-see TV, but last week, ABC announced that Perez would return on Feb. 3. According to sources, Perez could remain on "The View" through the end of her one-year contract at the end of the summer, or possibly leave earlier if the situation changes again.
Only Circumstantial Evidence
A former CIA officer was convicted Monday of leaking details of a covert mission to derail Iran's nuclear program in a case that, until the eve of the trial, was as much about the journalist who published the leaks as it was the accused leaker.
The government gave up on its effort to force New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal his sources - and ultimately didn't need him to win a conviction.
Jurors convicted Jeffrey Sterling, 47, of O'Fallon, Missouri, of all nine counts he faced in federal court.
The case was delayed for years as prosecutors fought to force Risen to divulge his sources. Risen eventually lost his legal battle to quash a government subpoena, though prosecutors ultimately decided not to call him to testify once it became clear he would not reveal those sources even if jailed for contempt of court and free-press advocates lobbied on Risen's behalf.
Prosecutors had acknowledged a lack of direct evidence against Sterling but said the circumstantial evidence against him was overwhelming. Defense lawyers had said the evidence showed that Capitol Hill staffers who had been briefed on the classified operation were more likely the source of the leak.
Former Employee Snaps
A man shot and killed himself in an apparent suicide on Monday outside the News Corp office building in midtown Manhattan, police said.
The 41-year-old man, whose identity was not officially released, shot himself in the chest outside 1211 Sixth Avenue and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the New York Police Department.
He carried a suicide note, police said.
The Wall Street Journal and other local media identified the man as Phillip Perea, a former employee of a Fox television station in Austin, Texas.
He had been handing out flyers criticizing Fox, which is owned by News Corp, and left messages on Twitter and a video on YouTube complaining about losing his job, the Journal and other news outlets reported.
A YouTube video apparently narrated by Perea said he was a promotion producer who had been fired due to what he called "managerial bullying and corporate complicity."
History Of Abuse
The sexual abuse of a 13-year-old scout by an adult volunteer was part of a "sordid history of child sexual abuse" within the Boy Scouts that has been documented internally by the organization for nearly a century, the victim's attorney said Monday in his opening statement at a civil trial in California.
The scout, now 20, has sued the Boy Scouts of America and a local scouting council for punitive damages after being molested by a volunteer leader in 2007. He claims in his negligence lawsuit that the Scouts failed to educate, train and warn parents and adult volunteers about the dangers of sex abuse.
His attorney, Tim Hale, won the right to draw from more than 30 years of "perversion" files kept by the Scouts as evidence at trial to support those allegations. The files cleared for use by Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Donna D. Geck include 16 years of documents - from 1991 to 2007- that have never been seen before outside the Scouts.
Hale said in his opening remarks that the Scouts recorded between 9,000 and 10,000 such files between 1920 and 2007. He intends to use documents dating from 1971 to 2007 to build his case.
Six More Cases In California
Six more cases of measles have been confirmed in California following an outbreak at Disneyland that began in December, public health officials said on Monday, raising to 74 the total number of people in the state who have been infected.
Previously, 68 people in California had been confirmed to have the measles, along with 14 others elsewhere: five in Arizona, three in Utah, two in Washington state, one each in Oregon, Colorado and Nevada, and one in Mexico.
The latest tally includes 73 cases documented by the California Department of Public Health and one additional patient reported by the Ventura County Health Care Agency.
Most, but not all, of the 88 known cases of measles in California and out of state have been linked to an outbreak that is believed to have begun when an infected person, likely from out of the country, visited the Disneyland resort in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20.
Go Without For Pooti
Eat less, use beetroot instead of lipstick, swap French lingerie for Russian-made cotton panties and remember that hardships are a test from God.
These and other tips are being offered to Russians by lawmakers, top policy makers and the Russian Orthodox Church as the gravity of the economic crisis sinks in and prices soar.
The country pulled through great hardships before, officials say, and people should tighten their belts for their leader Vladimir Putin and a great Russia amid the confrontation with the West over Ukraine.
"I lived both under Gorbachev and Yeltsin but Putin is the first president for whom I am being asked to eat less," one Russian, Andrey Kozenko, said on Twitter.
His quip would be funny if it were not sad.
Warm Ocean Melting Largest Glacier
The largest glacier in East Antarctica, containing ice equivalent to a six-metre (20-foot) rise in global sea levels, is melting due to warm ocean water, Australian scientists said on Monday.
The 120-kilometre (74.4 mile) long Totten Glacier, which is more than 30 kilometres wide, had been thought to be in an area untouched by warmer currents.
But a just-returned voyage to the frozen region found the waters around the glacier were warmer than expected and likely melting the ice from below.
The voyage found that waters around the glacier were some 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than other areas visited on the same trip during the southern hemisphere summer.
Naked Violinist Sues
An Oregon man who claims his rights were violated last year when he was arrested outside the federal courthouse in downtown Portland for playing his violin in the nude is suing the police department and others for $1.1 million.
Matthew Mglej, 25, says officers used excessive force, unlawfully detained him and violated his constitutional rights when they arrested him during his free expression demonstration last May, according to the lawsuit filed in the Portland Division of U.S. District Court of Oregon last week.
Mglej, of the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, says officers dragged him across concrete to the police car while he was naked, dropping him several times in the arrest process, according to the lawsuit. He also says he had cuts on his wrists from the handcuffs and was not allowed to contact a lawyer.
Police said officers responded to Mglej's demonstration, in which he stripped off all his clothes, played his violin and made signs about freedom, after receiving numerous complaints.
Portland police said at the time that Mglej had been warned he would be arrested if he continued his naked demonstration. He was ultimately arrested for violating Portland city code, which prohibits indecent exposure.