Monday, November 7, 2011


Despite the economic slowdown, global carbon emissions are up and are continuing at a rate that exceeds even the worst-case scenario envisioned by the IPCC.

Water in the west is a scarce resource that is soon to be even more scarce given the dual stresses of population growth and climate change, and the water-energy nexus isn't helping matters. But the Pacific Institute has a set of recommendations to reduce the energy sector's reliance on water, thereby freeing up more of the region's water for human consumption.

The conservative defense of Herman Cain is all-too-often an unwillingless to acknowledge that sexual harrassment exists, and that goes so far as to suggest claims of sexual harrassment are by definition illegitmate:
[T]ake the legal stylings of Kurt Schlichter, who asserts that “the only things you need to file a lawsuit are the filing fee and a printer. Facts are optional. … Where sexual-harassment law once protected women from being forced to be the playthings of crude lechers, it’s been transformed to enforcing a prim puritanism that drains the humor and humanity from the workplace.” The humorless line is the route Sen. Rand Paul chose to deploy as well: “There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly.” You catch that? Humorless puritanical women have weaponized sex-discrimination law as a part of their global war on humor.

Matt Taibbi treats Mike Bloomberg with the respect he deserves given his recent lies and disingenuous bullshit about the causes of our financial meltdown (h/t BenJ):
Well, you know what, Mike Bloomberg? FUCK YOU. People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. They’re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back.

Rortybomb takes a look at the recent CBO report on rising inequality and reminds us that turning back the tide on inequality will take more than just raising taxes on the rich and redistributing that wealth:
The idea that the 1% will be so rich they won’t mind sharing is an absurd one. And it turns out that they like using government towards their own ends of remaking the legal codes of the corporation and the financial firm while dismantling the social safety net and other transfer devices.

Nobel Laureate Joe Stiglitz reminds us of the necessity of regulating capitalism in order to allow capitalism to work:
As we have seen, unfettered markets lead to economic and political crises. Markets work the way they should only when they operate within a framework of appropriate government regulations, and that framework can be erected only in a democracy that reflects the general interest—not the interests of the 1 percent.

But Stiglitz may be the exception to the rule; most economists fail to articulate a vision of what capitalism should be and whose interests it should serve:
Perhaps the protesters occupying Wall Street are not so misguided after all. The questions they raise — how do we deal with the local costs of global downturns? Is it fair that those who suffer the most from such downturns have their safety net cut, while those who generate the volatility are bailed out by the government? — are the same ones that a big-picture economic vision should address. If economists want to help create a better world, they first have to ask, and try to answer, the hard questions that can shape a new vision of capitalism’s potential.

How unequal is your county?

Our minimal social safety net doesn't do much, but it still does help keep more families from living in poverty than would without it.

Elites don't just own the economic and political structures, in China they own the clean air, too.

My governor, Jan Brewer, is not only a lying idiot, but she's a partisan hack, as well. In the thoroughly embarrassing politics of this state, perhaps the only point of pride we could point to was our independent, non-partisan redistricting commission. Well, Jan will have none of that.

A musical break-up, all because of a cadenza.

Revisiting World Cafe's greatest sessions over the years with Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco and Beck.

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