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    • Assassination Works Only Under Two Circumstances
      For years, decades even, America has had a policy of assassination. Americans believe that if you kill the leaders, you kill an organization. This is delusional. It only works when it almost isn’t necessary. How many times has American killed the #2 man of the Taliban? Did killing Osama stop Al-Qaeda? Assassinating Yamamoto in WWII […]
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Convergence(?): something Paul Krugman said

The other day, Paul Krugman speculated that Barack Obama was adopting the values and the rhetoric of the serious people, who for some reason always want to impose austerity on the little guy, because he identifies with that class:

OK, here’s an unprofessional speculation: maybe it’s personal. Maybe the president just doesn’t like the kind of people who tell him counterintuitive things, who say that the government is not like a family, that it’s not right for the government to tighten its belt when Americans are tightening theirs, that unemployment is not caused by lack of the right skills. Certainly just about all the people who might have tried to make that argument have left the administration or are leaving soon.
And what’s left, I’m afraid, are the Very Serious People. It looks as if those are the people the president feels comfortable with. And that, of course, is a tragedy.

Today, the front page of the NYTimes reports on the phone hacking scandal by News Corp editors and higher ups in Britain. For those of you not up to date on this scandal, News Corp, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has been accused of tapping the phones of terrorist victims, soldiers from Afghanistan and paying substantial bribes to police officials for juicy tidbits of confidential information on people it doesn’t like. David Cameron’s former aide, Andy Coulson, left the Cameron administration to work for Murdoch’s org. Murdoch is poised to buy the remaining shares in British Sky Broadcasting and the deal is to be finalized today. Coulson has been arrested in connection with this probe. It looks like the political arena was not spared from Murdoch’s tentacles. It isn’t clear to me whether Coulson is being offered up as a sacrificial lamb in order to let the deal proceed. If it does, Murdoch’s lock on the British media would be almost insurmountable.

Kudos to Atrios for keeping on top of this.

As you can imagine, the Britain’s Labor Party is throwing Cameron an anchor. But here’s the paragraph that got my attention:

Fourteen months later, with Mr. Murdoch’s media empire in Britain reeling, Mr. Cameron may feel that his close relationship with Mr. Murdoch, which included a range of social contacts with members of the Murdoch family and the tycoon’s senior executives, has been a costly overreach.

It sounds to me like David Cameron also wanted to schmooze with the Serious People. Is this a characteristic of our national leaders? What about that Canadian dude who just rewon? What the heck is his name?

There is a pattern here with Rupert Murdoch and his media empire. He gets into a country, buys up their media, then his outlets start belching forth child murders and abductions of young white women. Enter the Sean Hannity types and the lies that go uncontested. Gin up the war machine, turn on the gasbags screaming that anyone collecting a government check is a parasite and voile! Austerity for thee but not for me.

Can we get an investigation of Murdoch going here in the US? And who does Steny Hoyer know at Fox News? How did we know about Weiner and Massa? Who else is toeing the conservative line because of some personal secret or minor ethical violation that threatens to become a s#%^storm? And how did Andrew Breitbart jump into the ranks of the serious people?

Of course this is just speculative on my part. Maybe Fox News and Rupert Murdoch arent setting the tone and cracking the whip and hobnobbing with the power in Washington and the other serious people. Neverthless, I’m interested in pursuing an investigation into Murdoch’s ties in Washington. How many times did we wonder what the Bushies had on the Democrats in Congress? And what has changed? And how is that Fox News and the other serious people have gone so easy on Obama? Call me crazy but I think it’s time to clean the Houses.

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