Category Archives: Corruption

From Crisis To Crisis

Must we bounce from one to the next in all facets of macroeconomics?

Usually this is an indication that the fundamentals are either flawed, or that those in charge of the system components are either incompetent or outlaws.

UPDATE: Perhaps this has much to do with it too.

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It Will Not Occur In A Corner

Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change scientist

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

Hansen will use the symbolically charged 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking speech (pdf) to the US Congress – in which he was among the first to sound the alarm over the reality of global warming – to argue that radical steps need to be taken immediately if the “perfect storm” of irreversible climate change is not to become inevitable.

Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.

When The Musics Over, Stiff The Band

The Game is Over. There Won’t be a Rebound

I think that at some point Obama will have to tell the public the bad news that restoring vitality will take radical measures – probably ones that Congress will try to water down so much that things are going to get worse – much worse – before the needed reforms will be made. He can say this before taking office, blaming the Republicans for their regressive tax policies and at the same time bringing pressure on the new Democratic Congress to back a return to progressive taxation and serious financial restructuring. As president, he will have to do what FDR did, and challenge the financial oligarchy with new government regulatory agencies staffed with real regulators, not deregulators as under the Bush-Clinton-Bush regime.

John McCain, "Take A Walk On The Darkside"

The real McCain

He gave an impromptu press conference, bantering gamely with reporters. When that was done, aides tried to drag him away, but McCain raced across the room and sought out a local reporter to clarify an answer he had given. The journalist, unused to such personal attention from a potential president, looked like a spellbound deer in the headlights as McCain spoke to him for a further 10 minutes. The fact is, McCain loves journalists and they love him back. That is how the myth of the moderate maverick – the most powerful tool in his political armoury – has come to be.

Nothing has changed since that moment in Hartford. McCain’s campaign bus – dubbed the Straight Talk Express, just as it was in 2000 – is filled with journalists who travel at the back with McCain, relaxing on a U-shaped couch. McCain recently hosted a barbecue for journalists at his Arizona ranch. As TV anchors and newspaper reporters sipped beer and cocktails under a desert sun, McCain stood at the grill and literally served up their daily nourishment. He is someone you could have a beer with, in stark contrast to Barack Obama, who keeps his press entourage firmly at arm’s length. Yet McCain’s riskier strategy has worked like a dream. Reporters often overlook McCain’s errors and flaps – especially in national security – clinging instead to the narrative of an unconventional patriot. ‘The media love him, especially his war record. He is the GI Joe doll they played with as kids,’ says Professor Shawn Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

I could have linked worse.

And the media girls go do ta do ta do ta do do do.

BBC Finds Missing Billion In Iraq

BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources.

A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.