Paul Krugman on European "romantics," who are not, as some would say, "technocrats." ...
... My New York Times eXaminer column on Krugman's tour de Times is here. The lede:
Once again, Paul Krugman has used his own New York Times column to try to save the Times op-ed page from its stable of uninformed columnists who insist on sharing their impressions of complicated things they know nothing about. Today, Krugman takes on David Brooks, Tom Friedman and Ross Douthat in his lede paragraph.
** "What Killed JFK." Frank Rich in New York Magazine: "What defines the Kennedy legacy today is less the fallen president’s short, often admirable life than the particular strain of virulent hatred that helped bring him down. After JFK was killed, that hate went into only temporary hiding. It has been a growth industry ever since and has been flourishing in the Obama years. There are plenty of comparisons to be made between the two men, but the most telling is the vitriol that engulfed both their presidencies." CW: this is the writer the New York Times let go.
... Rich refers to this video in his essay. Here's another, which also includes excerpts from the audio tapes of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s 1964 interview of Jaqueline Kennedy:
"Pre-Occupied. The origins and future of Occupy Wall Street." Mattathias Schwartz, in the New Yorker, on the origins of the Occupy movement.
Glenn Greenwald: "Every time the citizenry watches peaceful protesters getting pepper-sprayed ... many become increasingly fearful of participating in this citizen movement, and also become fearful in general of exercising their rights.... That’s ... exactly what the climate of fear imposed by all abusive police state actions is intended to achieve: to coerce citizens to 'decide' on their own to be passive and compliant...." BUT "the most important effect of the Occupy movement: acts of defiance, courage and conscience are contagious.... For the first time in a long time, the use of force and other forms of state intimidation are not achieving their intended outcome of deterring meaningful (i.e., unsanctioned and unwanted) citizen activism, but are, instead, spurring it even more." ...
... Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post: "It looks like he’s spraying weeds in the garden or coating the oven with caustic cleanser. It’s not just the casual, dispassionate manner in which the University of California at Davis police officer pepper sprays a line of passive students sitting on the ground. It’s the way the can becomes merely a tool, an implement that diminishes the humanity of the students and widens a terrifying gulf between the police and the people whom they are entrusted to protect." CW: quite a good essay.
In his sign-off to his PBS series Bill Moyers' Journal in May 2010, Moyers called for a public uprising against plutocrats. In four minutes, Moyers explains, pre-OWS, why Occupy Wall Street would be the one means to reclaiming American democracy:
A Reminder. Matt Yglesias in Slate: "Today’s the day when Washington officially comes to terms with the fact that the 'Supercommittee' — a bipartisan, bicameral group charged with reducing America’s long-term fiscal deficit — won’t agree on anything. This is being termed a 'failure,' and by the standards of D.C.’s fetishization of bipartisanship, it is one. But in terms of deficit reduction, failure is actually better than success."
Greg Colvin in Nation of Change: "Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) offered the strongest constitutional amendment introduced in either House of Congress so far to rectify the imbalance of power between the corporations and the people in our democracy. Colvin compares Deutch's amendment to several others proposed by Members of Congress and reform advocates. Here's Deutch's press release on the amendment. And here's a pdf of the Deutch/OCCUPIED amendment.
Stan Collender of Capital Gains & Games on the reasons for the "hardly-super committee's" failure to make a deficit-reduction deal. Here's Reason 3: "Grover Norquist was the super committee's Lex Luthor. All the reports that committee Republicans were moving away from the no tax increase pledge turned out to be completely incorrect, utterly misleading, and very likely were more wishful thinking than anything else."
Victoria McGrane of the Wall Street Journal: "In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate appears likely to easily confirm" Thomas Hoenig, President Obama's nominee to head the F.D.I.C. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell initially recommended Hoenig to the president, even though "the choice has rattled Wall Street executives.... Mr. Hoenig believes there is only one way to end this phenomenon of 'too big to fail.' 'We must break up the largest banks,' he said in a February speech, arguing that regulators could do so by restricting the activities of government-backed banks 'and significantly narrowing the scope of institutions that are now more powerful and more of a threat to our capitalistic system than prior to the crisis.'" CW: there must be a catch!
Sarah Seltzer in the New York Times eXaminer: "You’d think, [in response to the Herman Cain & Joe Paterno scandals,] our national op-ed pages would rush to publish some feminist-minded pieces ... pushing back against this pervasive culture.... What we got instead, in the New York Times, was a column by professional antifeminist Katie Roiphe, sounding a lot like Don Draper, with the essential message that sexual harassment is just ladies who can’t take a joke.... Sexual harassment is a genuine bar to equality, and the onslaught of denial in both the Herman Cain situation and even worse, the Penn State rape coverup scandal, shows that we need to talk about these dynamics in the places we work and play seriously."
NEW. Prof. Robin Wells on the student walk-out of conservative economics Prof. Greg Mankiw's Ec10 class at Harvard. In an economic environment in which students' parents are struggling, students' futures look bleak, millions are out of work & income inequality has reached Gilded-Age magnitude, "instructors who lecture on the superiority of free markets without acknowledging the dysfunction in the wider economy are at risk of appearing out of touch and exacerbating antipathy towards economics."
CW: Larry Summers posts his Not-My-Fault op-ed in the Washington Post. Summers, whose ideas-turned-into-policies during the Clinton Administration made him one of the architects of rising income inequality in the U.S., spends most of his piece arguing that factors other than government policy are "substantially" to blame for income inequality. Oh, and why it's okay for the super-rich to get super-richer. At the end, Summers, whose piece is titled "Three Ways to Combat Rising Inequality," does get around to tossing out a few bromides about tax reform and access to education which are unobjectionable. If this is the way Larry Summers really thinks, and I suspect it is, this little Not-My-Fault exercise explains a lot about why we're in the mess we're in.
Right Wing World
I Did Not Make This Up. Maggie Haberman of Politico: "Newt Gingrich tonight said at an address at Harvard that child work laws 'entrap' poor children into poverty -- and suggested that a better way to handle failing schools is to fire the janitors, hire the local students and let them get paid for upkeep." Gingrich blames liberals:
Core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization against children in the poorest neighborhoods, crippling them by putting them in schools that fail has done more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy. It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid. -- Newt Gingrinch
NASCAR Fans Know Their Manners. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite: "First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden were on hand this afternoon at the Homestead-Miami Speedway to Grand Marshall NASCAR’s Sprint Cup finale, and to support Joining Forces, an initiative to hire and train veterans. When they were introduced to kick off the race, however, loud booing could be heard above the cheers.... However, the Associated Press reports that the First Lady and Dr. Biden did receive a standing ovation at a pre-race driver’s meeting, much more in keeping with the spirit of the occasion." With video.
Gina Barton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "In a demonstration reminiscent of those that occurred in February and March, between 25,000 and 30,000 protesters took over Capitol Square [in Madison, Wisconsin] on Saturday to protest Gov. Scott Walker's policies and to promote a signature drive to recall him."
Politico: "President Obama granted five pardons and commuted one individual's sentence for distribution of cocaine, according to a White House press release. Those pardoned were incarcerated for charges ranging from distribution of illegal drugs to running an illegal gambling business."
President Obama speaks about the supercommittee's failure to propose a deficit-reduction plan:
Washington Post: "A special congressional supercommittee acknowledged failure Monday in efforts to cut the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, and President Obama warned that he would veto any attempt to undo a resulting round of across-the-board spending cuts. The failure promptly triggered finger-pointing between Republicans and Democrats."
Nation of Change: "...the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee and the Partnership for Civil Justice today filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA and the National Parks Service to release 'all their information on the planning of the coordinated law enforcement crackdown on Occupy protest encampments in multiple cities over the course of recent days and weeks.'"
ABC News: "Former FBI director Louis Freeh was tapped today to head an independent investigation of Penn State University's role in allegations of child sex abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky. The investigation announced today by the school's board of trustees is the fifth probe of the school launched since the scandal broke earlier this month. The state attorney general's office, the federal Department of Education, the NCAA, and the university's faculty senate are all also investigating or planning investigations of the abuse and events surrounding it on Penn State's campus."
Guardian: "Bradley Manning, the US soldier who has been held in confinement for the past 18 months on suspicion of having leaked a huge trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, is to go before a military panel on 16 December at the start of the most high-profile prosecution of a whistleblower in a generation."
AP: "Actor Hugh Grant told a London courtroom Monday about the dark side of celebrity life, describing mysterious break-ins, leaked medical details and hacked voice mails — and laying blame on the entire tabloid press, not just the now-shuttered News of the World.... Earlier, the parents of a murdered schoolgirl whose phone was targeted by the tabloid described how the hacking had given them false hope that their daughter was still alive."
The Guardian has a liveblog on the Leveson hearings.
They Said/They Said. New York Times: "As a handful of the lawmakers on the sputtering joint Congressional committee charged with drafting a deficit reduction package met for what seemed like one final time, the White House said Monday that only Congress could have produced a solution, while Republican presidential candidates moved to frame the committee’s failure to meet its deadline as a lack of leadership by President Obama."
President Obama signed legislation to provide tax credits for businesses that hire veterans. AP story here.
ABC News: "In a significant failure for the United States in the Mideast, more than a dozen spies working for the CIA in Iran and Lebanon have been caught [by Iran & Hezbollah] and the U.S. government fears they will be or have been executed, according to four current and former U.S. officials with connections to the intelligence community. The spies were paid informants recruited by the CIA for two distinct espionage rings targeting Iran and the Beirut-based Hezbollah organization, considered by the U.S. to be a terror group backed by Iran."
New York Times: "The had been placed on administrative leave after using pepper spray on seated protesters at the campus on Friday during a demonstration aligned with ." ..., said Sunday that two police officers
... Here's a more expansive Sacramento Bee story on reaction to the police attack on Occupy protesters at U.C. Davis. ...
... New York Times Update: "The chancellor of the its police chief had been placed on administrative leave, three days after two campus police officers sprayed seated protesters with pepper spray during a demonstration aligned with .", said Monday that
Al Jazeera: "Protesters calling for Egypt's military to hand over power have beaten back a new raid by security forces to evict them from Cairo's Tahrir Square after more than 48 hours of violence in the heart of the Egyptian capital.... Egypt's health ministry says at least 22 people have been killed and 1,500 wounded in clashes between government forces and protesters in Cairo and other cities since Saturday, raising concerns over the conduct of parliamentary elections due to begin later this month." ...
... Update: "Egypt's interim cabinet has offered its resignation to the country's ruling military council as clashes raged for a third day in Cairo's Tahrir Square, pitting police and soldiers against protesters demanding democratic change. 'The government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has handed its resignation to the [ruling] Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,' Mohammed Hegazy, cabinet spokesperson, said in a statement aired on Monday night by the official MENA news agency."
New York Times: "A Manhattan man who became fascinated by the American-born Muslim militant Anwar al-Awlaki was arrested on charges of plotting to build and detonate bombs in New York, city officials announced on Sunday night." ...
... AP Update: "Federal authorities declined to pursue a case against an 'al-Qaida sympathizer' accused of wanting to bomb police stations and post offices in New York City because they believed he was mentally unstable and incapable of pulling off the alleged plot, two law enforcement officials said Monday. New York Police Department investigators sought to get the FBI involved at least twice as their undercover investigation of Jose Pimentel unfolded, the officials said. Both times, the FBI concluded that he wasn't a serious threat, they said."
AP: "Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as Boston's archbishop in 2002 after the priest sex abuse scandal exploded in the United States, has left his subsequent job as head of a major Roman basilica."