Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Zero Hedge — Democrats Demand Twitter, Facebook Crackdown On #ReleaseTheMemo "Russian Bots", There Is Just One Problem...

Meanwhile, Twitter's internal analysis of the hashtag has thus far found that authentic American accounts, not Russians, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo, according to The Daily Beast....
 Zero Hedge
Democrats Demand Twitter, Facebook Crackdown On #ReleaseTheMemo "Russian Bots", There Is Just One Problem...
Tyler Durden

Publius Tacitus — Evidence of FBI Conspiracy Grows

The shoe is dropping?

Russiagate, Trumpgate, now FBIgate.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Evidence of FBI Conspiracy Grows
Publius Tacitus

Tim Hayward — The Guardian, White Helmets, and silenced comment

Setting the record straight on the fake news about the White Helmets and suppression of dissent.

Renegade News
The Guardian, White Helmets, and silenced comment
Tim Hayward | Professor of Environmental Political Theory at At Edinburgh University and founding Director of the Just World Institute and the Ethics Forum. He is a founding member of the Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought

See also
It's so absurd it's hard to believe, but when it comes to US policy absurdity has been par for the course over the past years. At an international meeting hosted by France on global chemical weapons proliferation Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed both Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Russia for carrying out a purported new chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta. Speaking from Paris on Tuesday, Tillerson said, "Whoever conducted the attacks Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in eastern Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria."
That's right - in the same sentence Tillerson leveled the accusation against Russia, while simultaneously pointing the finger at Assad, he admitted that he really doesn't know much at all about "whoever conducted the attacks"....
Zero Hedge
Tillerson Blames Russia For Alleged Syria Chemical Attack After Admitting He Doesn't Actually Know Who Did It
Tyler Durden

Alexander Pokrovsky — Chinese military attache in Moscow: China and Russia should stand together against the US to ensure peace in their regions and in the world

The military attache of the Chinese Embassy in Moscow, Major-General Kui Yanwei has called on Russia to jointly resist the pressure of Washington. Only in this way, he asserts, can we ensure peace in our regions and on the whole planet.
Tsargrad was one of the first to report about this truly sensational statement, noting that it was made during a meeting with the chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Viktor Bondarev....
The US is back to square one after Nixon and Kissinger successfully split China off from the USSR.

Fort Russ
Chinese military attache in Moscow: China and Russia should stand together against the US to ensure peace in their regions and in the world
Alexander Pokrovsky, in Tsargrad, translated by Tom Winter

Rusvesna — Russian Central Bank buys 100% of the gold mined in Russia

This not only adds to gold reserves but it also pumps rubles into the economy without "debt financing" or taxation to "balance the budget."

Fort Russ
Russian Central Bank buys 100% of the gold mined in Russia
Rusvesna - translated by Inessa Sinchougova

James Pogue — The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded

Now, with ECOT imploding, some state politicians have floated the idea that Lager, who has made millions in profits off the school and come a long way from the Waffle House, should be personally held responsible for paying back some of the $80 million owed to the state. But while the coming days will reveal if the political will or mechanisms exist to make this happen, it’s unclear how he might ever be held accountable because the real scandal is that ECOT grew up legally, with the support of state politicians and national GOP power brokers, and that in many ways it has served as a model for schools like it across the country....
Mother Jones
The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded
James Pogue

Tyler Cowen — The five most influential public intellectuals?

A few of you have been demanding this, here are those who come to mind, note that “influence” does not have to mean I agree with them. And I am sticking with the West, otherwise Uncle Xi wins hands down.

Marginal Revolution
The five most influential public intellectuals?
Tyler Cowen | Holbert C. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and general director of the Mercatus Center

My quick list in no particular order. I do not limit myself geographically.

1. Xi Jinping (Xi Jinping Thought)

2. Noam Chomsky (huge output over decades spanning many fields)

3. Alexander Dugin (large output and premier Eurasian thinker)

4. Pope Francis (encyclicals, pronouncements)

5. Jürgen Habermas (large output and influence of critical theory)

The chief intellectual challenge of the day in my view is the ending of Modernity and the rise of Post Modernity. These thinkers realize that are standing on the bridge, attempting to bridge the gap in this transition rather than burn it down by jettisoning Modernity for Post Modernity, or build a wall to preserve Modernity.

Xi Jinping and Pope Francis have bully pulpits as well as wide influence not only in their communities but world wide. What they think and say will shape the world as a matter of course. Each speaks for an ancient tradition that is faced with bridging the gap between the past and future.

Noam Chomsky, Alexander Dugin, and Jürgen Habermas are not only influential owing to their output and connections but also because of the wide range of the thinkers that influenced them and to whom that have reacted. So in a sense they speak for and against many more than themselves.

Maxwell Hall — Society is fractured. These innovators at Davos are fixing it

Social entrepreneurship.

The post seems to view the social application of technology as the "solution." Apparently, they really don't get it. "It" is not just about making life "better" but rather making life meaningful. The issue is overcoming alienation by providing integration.

Capitalism is based on alienation. Society ism fracture because individuals are fractured rather than being integrated personally and socially.

So the solution involves addressing the paradoxes of liberalism. Many of these paradoxes arise from economic liberalism in a neoliberal global regime, since neoliberalism is a political theory holding that economic liberalism is prior to social and political liberalism because "trickle down" and TINA (there is no alternative).

Social entrepreneurship is contributory to making life "better" from the standpoint of economics but it doesn't address the psychological and sociological issues that underly and cannot be covered by a veneer of rising living standards that are unevenly distributed by "trickle down."

World Economic Forum
Society is fractured. These innovators at Davos are fixing it
Maxwell Hall | Media Lead, Broadcast and Programming, World Economic Forum Geneva

Ross Chainey — Narendra Modi: These are the 3 greatest threats to civilization

Climate change, terrorism and the backlash against globalization are the three most significant challenges to civilization as we know it, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos, Switzerland.
These are all conditions either caused by or strongly influenced by neoliberalism, which entails neo-imperialism and neocolonialism, as well as "colonizing" the vast majority of the populations of the developed countries that heretofore had been more or less exempt. The results are environmental pillage, inequality of income and wealth to more an more wealth concentrating at the top, and the substitution of transnational corporatism for democracy. The reaction is becoming clear as the historical dialectical responds — social unrest, political divisiveness and increasing conflict.

Prime Minister Modi puts his finger on the problem and then offers neoliberal nostrums for addressing it.

World Economic Forum
Narendra Modi: These are the 3 greatest threats to civilization
Ross Chainey, Digital Media Specialist, World Economic Forum


Branko Milanovic sums it up:
This return to the industrial relations and tax policies of the early 19th century is bizarrely spearheaded by people who speak the language of equality, respect, participation, and transparency. None of them is in favor of “Master and Servant Act” or forced labor. It just so happened that the language of equality has been harnessed in the pursuit of structurally most inegalitarian policies over the past fifty years, or more. And indeed, it is much more profitable to call journalists and tell them about the nebulous schemes whereby 90% of wealth will be, over an unknown number of years and under unknowable accounting practices, given away as charity than to pay suppliers and workers reasonable rates or stop selling information about the users of platforms. It is cheaper to place a sticker about the fair trade than to give up the use of zero-hour contracts.
They are loath to pay a living wage, but they will fund a philharmonic orchestra. They will ban unions, but they will organize a workshop on transparency in government.So in a year, they will be back in Davos and perhaps a new record in dollar wealth per square foot will be achieved, but the topics, in the conference halls and on the margins, will be again the same. And it will go on like this…until it does not.Global Inequality
Dutiful dirges of Davos
Branko Milanovic | Visiting Presidential Professor at City University of New York Graduate Center and senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), and formerly lead economist in the World Bank's research department and senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

See also

The following post is wonkish not mathematically but conceptually. But Alexander Dugin puts his finger on it in distinguishing between the person and the individual. The person is the total human being with all the unique of a personality and social relations, embedded in a historical, geographical and cultural contest. The individual is the person stripped of every sort of different that distinguishes human beings from each other. The individual is reduced to homo economicus, a black box that operates on stimulus response to maximize self-interest. The individual can serve as an atomistic "representative agent," while the person cannot owing to personal uniqueness and systemic relationships.

The Fourth Political Theory
The Economic Personality
Alexander Dugin

Dirk Ehnts — The Euro – Evolution and Prospects (2001/2018)

Assumes that keeping the euro is a given and proposes a fix.

econoblog 101
The Euro – Evolution and Prospects (2001/2018)
Dirk Ehnts | Lecturer at Bard College Berlin

Bitcoin in Brazil

Crypto really catching on down in that cesspool of corruption... many people being introduced and becoming familiar with the technology...

Simon Jenkins - Britain already throws money at defence. Ignore this Russian red herring

The fearmongering over cyber-warfare with Russia isn’t about actual threat, it’s about vanity, history and MoD greed

Simon Jenkins is a moderate conservative who is spot on again. Why can't some Guardian journalists on the left, like George Monbiot, be writing this stuff?

The Russians are coming. The terrorists are at the door. Feel afraid, feel very afraid. Give us the money.

Every year at budget time, the defence lobby waves shrouds and howls blue murder. With yet another defence review in the offing, the army fears it will lose thousands of soldiers, while the navy and the Royal Air Force fear the (long overdue) merger of the paratroop and marine brigades and the loss of more frigates.
Britain’s defence budget is one of the largest in proportion to population in the world, the largest in the EU and the second largest in Nato. This is unrelated to threat and entirely related to history. That is why each year no one asks what the nation needs, only whether it can “do with” less than the year before..
The army has only itself to blame. When Labour came to power in 1997 and the coalition formed in 2010, there was a chance to listen to collective defence wisdom and accept that Britain discontinue its aircraft carriers and Trident nuclear deterrent. They would eat money and serve no reasonable defence purpose, least of all now in the age of unmanned power projection. The navy and the RAF lobbied furiously, and a sceptical army said nothing. Downing Street capitulated to a massive distortion in equipment defence spending, largely at the army’s expense.
Last year, Britain’s second aircraft carrier was launched, bringing their cost close to £7bn, wildly over budget. Trident was extended. A sign of Trident’s lunacy is that the Treasury proposes to remove it from the defence budget altogether. It will go with HS2, overseas aid and Olympics legacy under the heading “vanity project”.
Britain’s three services should long ago have merged into one, so that defence could be viewed in the round, not as a derivative of mutual lobbying. Defence should be seen from threat upwards, not history downwards. Such is the anarchy that British taxes are now financing the country’s “defence” in no fewer than 80 overseas outposts around the world, chiefly as mercenaries to American interventionism.
The row over defence spending has nothing to do with defence, but with an arbitrary target, unrelated to threat, for it to consume 2% of the nation’s wealth. Labour’s spokesman, Nia Griffiths, who should be challenging this, merely attacks the government for damaging “Britain’s international credibility”. What is she talking about? Germany has no need of drone squadrons and nuclear missiles for its credibility.
A sure sign of the decay of the defence debate is the abstract language in which it is conducted. Defence is now a mish-mash of rightwing virtue-signalling, international credibility, influence, greatness, friendship and showing the flag. Tell that to the NHS.

UK Column News - 16th January 2018

UK Column News is a small independent British news organisation which was started because they felt the corporate media was not putting out the real news. They say that BIS has identified 10% of UK companies as being zombie companies where their interest payments on their loans exceeds their earnings and that 17% of American companies are zombies too. They say that even a slight increase in interest rates will make 25% of British and American companies become zombies. UK Column News then go on to discuss how the elite have actually planed for this 'creative destruction' in which the public will pay the price.

UK Column News show how the private sector has become so enmeshed with the British government that it is hardly democratic anymore.   

Brian Gerrish and Mike Robinson with today's news update from the UK Column. START – Carillion: Directors under investigation…who’s next…? 09:18 – This is all planned: ‘creative destruction’ - a Marxist doctrine 10:46 – Common Purpose CSC leaders: the Carillion connection 13:00 – Carillion auditors: KPMG with Government control… 19:36 – Resilience: City States agenda – Common Purpose again 25:06 – Common Purpose BBC: 83% of Britons don’t trust the BBC 26:48 – Police investigation for wrongdoing, no investigation into child abuse 27:53 – UKIP leader dumps girlfriend but a duplicitous nature never dies 28:47 – Brexit: more creative chaos…Brexit without the Exit 30:37 – IFS: problem debt and low-income households – organised collapse 33:46 – Hawaii missile scare: just an accident…? 35:37 – Russian TU-160s on patrol in International airspace: RAF scrambled 37:48 – Consortium News: The FBI hand behind ‘Russia-gate’ 39:38 – Syria: Russian diplomat says US not interested in territorial integrity

Craig Murray - PFI – A Cautionary Tale

Here, Craig Murray describes his personal experience of the PFI (private finance initiative) rip off scam.  He says that because things have gone so badly wrong the elite are now ready for some privatisations and tax increases, but that isn't enough, a more radical overhaul is required. It looks like Corbyn might not be ready for the task, his hands are tied.  
Craig Murray 
Here is my personal experience of the great push for the public sector to use the Private Finance Initiative.
When I was Deputy High Commissioner in Accra, the British government was paying a very large sum to rent over 80 residential properties in a city where rents are very high for quality properties. However the British government owned a lot of land there, and it was an obvious saving to build our own residential compound.
We accordingly drew up plans and got quotes, which were submitted to the FCO with details of the very substantial savings from the medium term. The response was that we had to invite private sector bids for a PFI scheme. This amounted to no more than asking the companies who had already submitted construction bids to submit pre-financing and maintenance plans. Needless to say this increased costs very substantially.
But here is the kicker – in comparing the “build it ourselves” plan with the PFI plan, we were instructed to give an 8% cost advantage to the PFI scheme – the “public sector comparator” – to allow for the extra efficiency of the private sector. No matter we were comparing real costs to real costs, somehow magically an 8% saving would accrue from using the private sector, in a manner the Treasury refused to define. I simply shelved the whole scheme in disgust, but I understand this “efficiency saving” allowance was a standard feature of the PFI scam.
The vital thing to realise about PFI is that it was not the construction companies – such as Carillion – who stood to benefit most. It was the bankers and hedge funds who financed the schemes and stood to rake in decades of high and taxpayer guaranteed interest payments. The fundamental craziness of the entire scam is that in effect the public sector was still borrowing the money, but at significantly higher interest rates than if it had been financed the normal way through Treasury bonds.
As the scheme was at heart a massive diversion of taxpayers’ money to the bankers, it should come as no surprise that Gordon Brown was the driving force behind it. My personal experience of it, which I found disgusting, was during Brown’s tenure of the Treasury. Why Brown is still treated as some sort of guru by the media, when he has caused such immense and demonstrable harm, is an example of the desperation of the media to maintain the neo-liberal “consensus”.
There is no doubt that the people are stirring and increasingly unwilling to accept the gross and fast widening wealth gap in a society entirely skewed by its legislative organisation to the interests of the small number of the ultra wealthy. In the interests of self-preservation, the corporate and state media have been forced to allow the Overton window to drift very slightly left. Nationalisation and wealth taxation are no longer entirely taboo subjects, while Theresa May feels the need to make insincere promises to initiate token measures to restrain boardroom greed. But the blighted prospects of a generation, and the increasing financial struggles of the middle classes, have not yet produced a concomitant political reaction. I have never been so struck by the irrelevance of the witterings of the Westminster classes to the life experience of ordinary people.

It remains my view that Independence for Scotland – and for Catalonia – are part of the radical shake up of the political system required to make democracy meaningful again. The recent moves by the Scottish government on welfare protection, for example to ban the involvement of private companies in health assessments, gives me some comfort in that view. But the situation calls for a politics more radical than Corbyn or the SNP have yet dared to propose. Society now needs a fundamental redistribution of wealth. Parodoxically, the fact that so much wealth now consists in notional transactions rather than physical goods, makes this an easier task than when the classic philosophers first addressed it.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bill Mitchell — Greece – the next bailout is just around the corner

When the latest Greek bailout deal between the Greek government and the European Commission/IMF) was concluded on June 16, 2017, I concluded that it was designed to fail. Please read my blog – Latest Greek bailout – a recipe designed to fail. Despite all the statements from the European Commission and the IMF to the contrary, the terms of the deal with the Greek government confirms that these institutions had abandoned any pretense to being interested in serious economic policy. For the European Commission, the desired irrevocable status of the euro, as a political statement, is all it seems interested in when it comes to Greece. They just don’t want to admit that Greece cannot reasonably function in this monetary union. This deal only stalled reality for yet another day and the only goal it serves is to keep Greece using a currency it cannot afford to use. And now the reality is emerging that the Greek economy will need a further bailout to survive for another period. The latest analysis from the German research group – Centrum für europäische Politik – shows that Greece remains close to insolvent and cannot survive within the Eurozone on its own. One has to ask what has all the austerity been for if the patient is still on life support some 10 years later. We know the answer.

The characters within and outside of the European Commission that are bent on maintaining the Eurozone status quo no matter what have regularly told us that the Greek crisis is over....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
Greece – the next bailout is just around the corner
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Gordon M. Hahn — Russian Propaganda Machine: Much Ado About Little as Compared with Western Stratcomm

Much is being made about the ostensibly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Russian propaganda machine. In the Western view, it decides Western elections and threatens the ‘global liberal order’. In fact, an anti-Putin media organ has published a comparison of the resources devoted to propaganda or ‘strategic communications (stratcomm) by Russian and just the US (excluding European) governments. It demonstrates that the American propaganda machine alone is approximately 3-4 times more robust than Moscow’s (https://meduza.io/en/short/2017/09/14/comparing-russian-and-american-government-propaganda)....
Russian and Eurasian Politics
Russian Propaganda Machine: Much Ado About Little as Compared with Western Stratcomm
Gordon M. Hahn, analyst and Advisory Board member at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation, member of the Executive Advisory Board at the American Institute of Geostrategy, a contributing expert for Russia Direct, a senior researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, Akribis Group, and; and an analyst and consultant for Russia – Other Points of View

See also

Wish I had direct line with Putin, but I don’t – RT Editor-in-Chief

Ray McGovern — Foxes in Charge of Intelligence Hen House

We learned in recent days that the FBI and the National Security Agency “inadvertently” deleted electronic messages relating to reported felonies, but one noxious reality persists: No one in the FBI or NSA is likely to be held to account for these “mistakes.”
It is a 70 year-old tradition. Today’s lack of accountability is enabled by (1) corruption at the top of intelligence agencies; (2) the convenient secrecy behind which their leaders hide; (3) bureaucratic indignities and structural flaws in the system; (4) the indulgence/complicity of most of the “mainstream media;” and (5) the eunuchs leading the Congressional “oversight” committees, who — history shows — can be bullied by threats, including blackmail, a la former longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover....
No accountability = license to abuse power.

Consortium News
Foxes in Charge of Intelligence Hen House
Ray McGovern


Disobedient Media
Documents Reveal The NSA Is An Agency Gone Rogue As FISA 702 Is Reauthorized
Elizabeth Vos

Dirk Ehnts — Lecture tonight at Hamburg University

MMT in Germany.
Tonight at 6PM I will give a lecture with the title Modern Money Theory and European Macroeconomics – an Alternative to the Policy of Austerity?. It takes place at room S27 at Von-Melle-Park 9, Hamburg University. The lecture is part of a series organized by AK Plurale Ökonomik Hamburg and will be held in English. More information is available here.
econoblog 101
Lecture tonight at Hamburg University
Dirk Ehnts | Lecturer at Bard College Berlin

RUeconomics — Germans tell NATO that a war with Russia is "suicide" - they would know

The German Contra Magazin called on NATO to understand that a war against Russia is "suicide". Readers of the publication noted that Germany remembers this especially well....
In NATO, there are forces that are convinced of the correctness of a "military solution" of confrontation with Russia. However, anyone who attacks the Russians "actually commits suicide" because of the strength of Russian weapons and Moscow's readiness to use them in case of a threat to its security. An author of Contra Magazin, Ernst Planner, singles out the Iskander-M complexes, capable of "flying to Warsaw in two minutes, and four to Berlin."

In addition, NATO defense equipment is obsolete when it comes to the Iskanders, as they can fly in the mesosphere.
According to the journalist, NATO should have no doubts that the Russians, whose patriotism has increased against the backdrop of confrontation with the West, will "press the button" to defend their homeland.

In this case, the "madmen" who started the war, whether the US or the "nuclear dwarfs" Britain and France, will not stand a chance. Russia can destroy any external threat, and realist politicians (Planner places Trump and his associates among them) are well aware of this.
Some Germans getting concerned about trigger-happy Americans?

In trying to gain control over Russia, the US is more likely to loss control over Europe.

Fort Russ
Germans tell NATO that a war with Russia is "suicide" - they would know
RUeconomics - translated by Inessa Sinchougova

See also
The British Armed Forces are lagging behind the Russian army, as stated by the chief of the British General Staff, Nick Carter.
Carter stressed the seriousness of the threat, which, in his opinion, is represented by Russian cruise missiles successfully utilised in Syria. London does not have any protection from them, the head of the General Staff believes.
Won't result in a change in policy but rather increased military spending to fuel a new arms race.

Britain concerned about superiority of Russian Armed Forces
RIA - translated by Inessa Sinchougova

See also

Professor Robinson comments.
In a happy coincidence of timing, the head of the British Army (of which once, a long time ago, I was a member), General Sir Nick Carter, has provided us with a relevant case study to chew upon in our class. The BBC reports that in a speech tonight to the Royal United Services Institute, General Carter will argue that, ‘Britain’s armed forces risk falling behind Russia without more investment.’ According to the BBC, General Carter ‘will say the Army’s ability to respond to threats “will be eroded if we don’t keep up with our adversaries” … He will add that Russia is building an increasingly aggressive expeditionary force, which already boasts capabilities the British Army would struggle to match.’
And this is where Russia comes in useful. By exaggerating the Russian threat, the British army can make a claim to an increased share of the the country’s resources. The connection between the two – exaggerating threats and claiming resources – is quite explicit in this case.
We see here how the military industrial complex works. The army makes wild claims to justify its budget; the defence minister and his bureaucracy support the claims; institutions such as RUSI spread the word further among those who influence public opinion; and the press does its bit by giving space to the exaggerations. This isn’t a conspiracy – no doubt all these people believe in what they are doing. Long exposure to a given set of institutions tends to make people identify the national interest with those institutions’ interests. But the two aren’t the same. The British nation – that is to say its people – don’t benefit from conflictual relations with Russia; nor do they benefit from spending extra money on defence rather than on more productive activities (or alternative getting their money back in the form of tax cuts).
The national interest?
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa


Missed opportunity.
In the 1990s, American President George Bush Snr seriously considered the option of including Russia in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SOI) program, also known as 'Star Wars', as its partner. This is reported with reference to the newly declassified documents of the British government....
Declassified: How 1990s Russia almost became part of a US alliance
Vesti - translated by Inessa Sinchougova

John Helmer — The CIA Bull In Glenn Simpson’s Russia Shop

Another case in which investigators fail to ask the right questions.

Norbert Häring — The curious silence of the British media regarding Mark Carney and the secretive G30

Central bank "independence." Say again?

Oh, right. Central bank independence means political indolence of technocrats from influence or intrusion on the part of elected representatives. It has nothing to do with influence by financial industry cronies.

Real-World Economics Review Blog
The curious silence of the British media regarding Mark Carney and the secretive G30

Ramanan — New York On Glenn Greenwald

Short overview of New York Magazine's take on Greenwald on Trumpgate and Russiagate. 

The whole article at New York is worth a read.

Greenwald is no longer invited on MSNBC, and he’s portrayed in the Twitter fever swamp as a leading villain of the self-styled Resistance. “I used to be really good friends with Rachel Maddow,” he says. “And I’ve seen her devolution from this really interesting, really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack.” His view of the liberal online media is equally charitable. “Think about one interesting, creative, like, intellectually novel thing that [Vox’s] Matt Yglesias or Ezra Klein have said in like ten years,” he says. “In general, they’re just churning out Democratic Party agitprop every single day of the most superficial type.” (Reached for comment, none of these people would respond to Greenwald.)
Couldn't agree more. But perviously to this, Maddow's silence when Cenk left MSNBC because he refused to parrot the party line was an early tell. 

Regarding Klein and Yglesias, once one is in the bubble, it's only a matter of time. Same for Maddow, et al. 

The Case for Concerted Action
New York On Glenn Greenwald
V. Ramanan

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Reuters — The World's Richest 1% Took Home 82% of Wealth Last Year, Oxfam Says

Four out of every five dollars of wealth generated in 2017 ended up in the pockets of the richest 1%, while the poorest half of humanity got nothing, a report published by Oxfam found on Monday.
As global political and business leaders gather for this week’s World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the charity’s report highlights a global system that rewards the super-rich and neglects the poor....
“The economic model is not working at all,” Oxfam report co-author, Iñigo Macías Aymar, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “The way this wealth is being distributed we are really worried, it’s being concentrated in fewer hands.”...

Bill Mitchell — The GFC only temporarily interrupted the trend towards rising inequality

The UK Guardian Editorial ran a sub-header yesterday (January 21, 2018) “Democracies will fall under the spell of populists like Donald Trump if they fail to deal with the fallout of globalisation?”, which I thought reflected the misunderstandings that so-called progressive have about ‘globalisation’ and its impacts on the capacities of the sovereign state. The UK Guardian Editorial was responding to the release of the latest Oxfam report (released January 16, 2018) – An Economy for the 99%: It’s time to build a human economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few – timed to coincide with the gathering of “billionaires and corporate executives” at Davos this week. The Oxfam report reveals further staggering shifts in inequality across the globe, that the GFC barely interrupted. A major shift in political sentiment on the Left is needed to arrest these trends before they break out in destructive social instability....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The GFC only temporarily interrupted the trend towards rising inequalityBill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Logo competition
I am launching a competition among budding graphical designers out there to design a logo and branding for the MMT University, which we hope will start offering courses in October 2018.
The prize for the best logo will be personal status only and the knowledge that you are helping a worthwhile (not-for-profit) endeavour.
The conditions are simple.
Submit your design to me via E-mail.
A small group of unnamed panelists will select the preferred logo. We might not select any of those submitted.
It should be predominantly blue in colour scheme. It should include a stand-alone logo and a banner to head the WWW presence.
By submitting it you forgo any commercial rights to the logo and branding. In turn, we will only use the work for the MMT University initiative. It will be a truly open source contribution.
The contest closes at the end of March 2018.

Eugene K. Chow — China May Have Solved the One Thing That Was Poised to Stop Its Military Rise

Chinese engineering has become so advanced that German jet engines could soon get a major boost from China.
Officials in China have begun talks to sell sophisticated aerospace technology and manufacturing equipment to Germany for the production of high-performance jet engines....
Discussions for the sale are still in the early stages, but even the possibility of an agreement with Germany, which created the world’s first production-ready jet engine and has long been revered for its design and manufacturing prowess, is a major victory for China as it seeks to shift its reputation away from cheaply made knockoffs to high-end innovation. 
China on track to follow Japan and South Korea?


The Chinese Are on the Verge of Dominating a New Domain: Near Space
Robert Work | US deputy secretary of defense from 2014 to 2017

Reuters — Senator says FBI lost crucial texts tied to Clinton probe

The dog ate my homework.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost about five months worth of text messages between two staffers who worked on probes into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails and possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a Republican lawmaker.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed in a Jan. 20 letter that the FBI’s technical system failed to preserve texts that were exchanged between Lisa Page, a lawyer, and Peter Strzok, an agent, between mid-December 2016 through mid-May of 2017.

A spokesman for the FBI and a spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment....

Add another batch of potentially damaging evidence to the mountain of missing documents.
The FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees who made pro-Clinton and anti-Trump comments while working on the Clinton email and the Russia collusion investigations.
The disclosure was made Friday in a letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).
The Daily Caller
FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Text Messages Between Anti-Trump FBI Agents
Chuck Ross

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy.
As Philip Giraldi notes, up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.
Nowhere is that "independence" of the 'state within a state' more evident than in the blatant and egregious news this week that The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn’t destroyed, according to recent court filings.
As Politico reports, the agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and "sincerely regrets its failure."
Zero Hedge
NSA "Sincerely Regrets" Deleting All Bush-Era Surveillance Data It Was Ordered To Preserve

Jason Smith — Money is the aether of macroeconomics

So I've never really understood Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). In some sense, I can understand it as a counter to the damaging "household budget" and "hard money" views of government finances. To me, it still cedes the equally damaging "money is all-important" message of monetarism and so-called Austrian school that manifests even today when a "very serious person" tells you it's really the Fed, not Congress or the President that controls the path of the economy and inflation when neither inflation nor recessions are well-understood in academic macroeconomics. People have a hard time giving up talking about money...
Information Transfer Economics
Money is the aether of macroeconomics
Jason Smith

Patrick Cockburn — It’s time we saw economic sanctions for what they really are – war crimes

The record of economic sanctions in forcing political change is dismal, but as a way of reducing a country to poverty and misery it is difficult to beat. UN sanctions were imposed against Iraq from 1990 until 2003. Supposedly, it was directed against Saddam Hussein and his regime, though it did nothing to dislodge or weaken them: on the contrary, the Baathist political elite took advantage of the scarcity of various items to enrich themselves by becoming the sole suppliers.…
There is nothing very new in this. Economic sanctions are like a medieval siege but with a modern PR apparatus attached to justify what is being done. A difference is that such sieges used to be directed at starving out a single town or city while now they are aimed at squeezing whole countries into submission....
Non-combatants bear the brunt of economic warfare. This is not "collateral damage." A civilian population is targeted intentionally in the expectation of fomenting internal strife that will weaken the regime, and ideally spark revolt.

Independent (UK)
It’s time we saw economic sanctions for what they really are – war crimes
Patrick Cockburn

Joaquin Flores — Assange confirms: hit piece on Fort Russ backed by Neocons

Julian Assange has made it clear what his research has uncovered about the 'research' used by one of FRN's (Fort Russ News) opponents - the billionaire blog known as 'Vice News'. Over a month ago in December, Vice News wrote a hit piece in which Fort Russ was singularly named and singled out as a particularly pernicious outlet of 'fake news'. In particular, their slanderous claim was based upon the 'data' compiled by a shadily financed method it called 'Hamilton 68'. Supposedly a 'score' which 'rates' a non NATO non Israel compliant news source based upon it's 'friendliness' to the 'Putin and Assad regimes'.

We struck back, exposing Vice News as an instrument of the US and Zionist, Trans-Atlantic power elite. We showed that the Hamilton 68 matrix offered zero published methodological framework. In other words, as Assange as come forward to say, it's 'unfalsifiable'.

But we didn't know until just a few days ago that this 'method' is sponsored by some of the very well known neocon war criminals, responsible for millions of confirmed murders world-wide....
Fort Russ
Assange confirms: hit piece on Fort Russ backed by Neocons
Joaquin Flores | Editor-in-Chief of Fort Russ News, as well as the Director of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies.

Michael Roberts — The macro: what’s the big idea?

What Skidelsky and other critics of mainstream economics (both in its micro and macro parts) fail to recognise is that no new big idea willappear because mainstream economics is a deliberate result of the need to avoid considering the reality of capitalism. Its theories are ideological justifications of capitalism( its supposed tendency to harmonious growth, equilibrium and equality). When reality does not bear out the mainstream, it is ignored. That’s because ‘mainstream’ means support for the existing dominant ideology.
‘Political economy’ started as an analysis of the nature of capitalism on an ‘objective’ basis by the great classical economists Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Mill and others. But once capitalism became the dominant mode of production in the major economies and it became clear that capitalism was another form of the exploitation of labour (this time by capital), then economics quickly moved to deny that reality. Instead, mainstream economics became an apologia for capitalism, with general equilibrium replacing real competition; marginal utility replacing the labour theory of value and Say’s law replacing crises.
Even the so-called Keynesian revolution that came out of the experience of the Great Depression was hardly ever applied and was soon dumped when capitalism faced renewed crisis in the 1970s. The Keynesians are now either advocates of theory that is ‘good enough’ or critics with no ‘big new idea’.
The new "big idea" needs to be a framework for generating competing theories. Rationality based on microfoundations and general equilibrium assuming full employment isn't it. Now the question is what the next iteration is.

That would require admitting the nature of contemporary financial and managerial capitalism, for one thing, and, more specifically, the role of power in rent extraction, which the "mainstream" is so far unwilling to do.

This would involve integrating economics and finance, rather than treating them as separate and unrelated disciplines owing to the erroneous assumption of money neutrality. As a consequence, this would necessitate operational analysis of monetary regimes based on the difference between currency issuer and currency users.

I would envision the new big idea being a fusion of Post Keynesianism and Institutionalism as MMT has done, along with Marxian economics based on class power.

Michael Roberts Blog
The macro: what’s the big idea?
Michael Roberts