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"The thing about tariffs is - they do the trick" : Keynes, April 17, 1933

And : "Free trade agreements are licenses to engage in what used to be called "Labor Racketeering" Give the 6 month notice. Likewise notify the wto that we are out the door " Jolly Roger, in a comment to SleepinJeezus' blog today, "The failure of a thirty year experiment."

It's intuitively convincing, but in my particular case, FWIW supported by observations from  the 20 years of my career which I spent in international business, usually living abroad, that John Maynard and Jolly Roger, are right.

Time for Wikileaks

In artappraiser's comment to Wolfrum's Keith Olbermann post, she links to the Times' contribution to the cover story.

Not to repeat my post on Comcast's necessary involvement, but had it actually been true that it had just stood on the sideline every Comcast shareholder would right now be on his way to his lawyer to sue them.  For negotiating an acquisition without the usual prohibition against cardinal changes prior to closing. 

Of course Comcast approved the terms of Olberman's departure.

The COMCAST  contract with NBC will of course have contained a stand-still clause ,standard  in  such agreements, under which  MSNBC was required to avoid any major changes during this final  period before the Closing,now  scheduled for Jan 28.

Just the facts, mam


New York Times  Jan 20 2011 Cameron Proposes a Radical Reorganization of England's Heath Care System.

Concluding sentence :  " .......a service in which patients can now sometimes wait months for specialist care."

Sounds bad. But .....

Brother can you spare a dime

The point of post-1945 European welfare states was to free the needy from dependence on private generosity, which tends to miss out the socially marginal, and to be least available when times are hardest. Welfare gave a sense of security and dignity that the less fortunate had never previously enjoyed. It was particularly important to continental societies that had seen how insecurity bred fascism.

2010 the year that ended DADT

Step back and think about  it.

Until now our National policy was to officially designate one group of our fellow citizens as inferior.While at the same time braying about our "Exceptional status".  Yeah, we were exceptional.

The SS Trust Fund is going broke. Good

There ought not to be any amount in the Trust Fund. It's a rip off.

As I've explained tediously , each year some money is subtracted from the TF  to be paid out in benefits. And some is added by witholdings from workers' pay checks.

I've seen the Trust Fund and it is

not very impressive.

Some years ago, probably around the start of W's second term, PBS did a program on his brief campaign to privatize Social Security--just in time for us to have diverted our payroll withholdings into securitized sub primes.

At one point in the program they tried to make things more visual by showing the Fund. It was easy. It wasn't a room full of gold bars, or thousand dollar bills. Just a couple of filing cabinets about 4 feet by two feet.

Obama to propose social security cuts in the SOTU

according to Robert Kuttner, via destor.

I'm almost without exception a defender of Obama here.  Not on this one if Kuttner is right.  Not just no but damn no.  In spades.  With bells on.



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