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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – October 20, 2019
      by Tony Wikrent North Carolina Democratic Party Progressive Caucus Strategic Political Economy Economist Mariana Mazzucato has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation isn’t lone geniuses but state investment. [Wired, via The Big Picture 10-19-19] ….Mazzucato, an Italian-American economist who had spent decades researching the economics of innovation […]
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Saturday Open Thread: What’s Happening?

Captain Richard Phillips

Captain Richard Phillips

I’m not usually the bloodthirsty type, but I’ve been feeling pretty angry lately about the Somali pirates who have been holding an American ship captain hostage. Yesterday, when I heard he had tried to escape and then been recaptured, my head just about exploded.

The captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips, tried to escape from the lifeboat he’s sharing with four pirates in the Indian Ocean and was quickly recaptured, a pirate said yesterday. Two U.S. warships in the waters off East Africa are monitoring the pirates.

“Negotiations are under way to free the American captain and the discussions are continuing,” a man calling himself Da’ud, who identified himself as one of the pirates, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the area of Eyl, Somalia. “The captain is unharmed and at this stage we aren’t going to hurt anyone.”

WTF?! Where is “President” Obama? Why doesn’t he want to answer questions about this situation? Yesterday, reporters asked him about it, and Obama gave a typically snotty response: “Guys, we’re talking about housing right now.”

You know, I would like an explanation. I understand there are U.S. Navy ships near the scene of these events. Why don’t they have sharp shooters to pick off the pirates in the lifeboat? Or Navy Seal types swimming under water to aid Phillips’s escape? How must Phillips feel knowing that even if he courageously tries to escape again, no one will come to help? Isn’t that what happened in Somalia during the “Black Hawk Down” incident–no one came to the rescue? Exactly how are we going to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan if our military can’t deal with some pirates? Is it too bloodthirsty for me to want to bomb the hell out of Mogadishu after this pirate incident is resolved? I don’t get it. And I’m willing to be educated. I heard on a radio last night that the fear is the pirates could kill Phillips if any attempt is made to rescue him through firepower. That’s probably true, but why can’t I hear an explanation from the U.S. President?

In line with the pirate standoff, how come Dear Leader isn’t doing anything about North Korea? They shoot off a rocket and what does the O-man have to offer in response? “Just words,” as far as I can tell. I found this hilarious commentary by a British Conservative in the comments from last night’s cocktail post. He refers to Obama as “President Pantywaist.”

Then came the dramatic bit, the authentic West Wing script, with the President wakened in the middle of the night in Prague to be told that Kim Jong-il had just launched a Taepodong-2 missile. America had Aegis destroyers tracking the missile and could have shot it down. But Uncle Sam had a sterner reprisal in store for l’il ole Kim (as Dame Edna might call him): a multi-megaton strike of Obama hot air.

“Rules must be binding,” declared Obama, referring to the fact that Kim had just breached UN Resolutions 1695 and 1718. “Violations must be punished.” (Sounds ominous.) “Words must mean something.” (Why, Barack? They never did before, for you – as a cursory glance at your many speeches will show.)

Is it wrong that I somewhat agree with this guy?

In other news, there are rallies around the country this afternoon, organized by A New Way Forward. William Greider and other former koolaid sippers are all thrilled about these actions. I still love Greider, but I’d feel a whole lot better about his judgment if he hadn’t fallen for Obama’s lies the first time.

Apparently the leaders of ANWF are Joe Trippi and Mike Lux, who as far as I know are still on the koolaid. Am I wrong to be a little bit suspicious? Another Conflucian suggested to me that this could be an “Obot army” effort to take the focus off the Obama administration’s complicity in the financial crisis and put it all on the bankers. Is that too tinfoil hat? After reading this article last week, I really don’t think so. Obama and his Axelrodian puppetmasters are some very manipulative M-Fers. Paging Cinie! If anyone could scope this out, she could!

So what are you reading/hearing/watching today? Please share your links. Our commenters are the best researchers evah!!

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Conflucian Cocktail Party: Pre-Protest Happy Hour!

I’m schlepping my butt up to Manhattan tomorrow for the big protest in Union Square Park.  The protest is being organized by A New Way Forward and you can find local protests all over the country.  I have my trusty Metrocard all ready. I only wish I had a nifty PUMA T-shirt.  I should have swiped one from Murphy when we were in Denver.

The purpose of the protest is to bring attention to the fact that a bank that is too big to fail is too big to exist.  I just hope we don’t focus so much of our ire on the bankers that we let Congress and the Obama administration off the hook.  Bankers can’t help it if they’re greedy bastards.  It’s they’re nature.  But if banks are too big it’s because our elected officials won’t step up to the plate and make them smaller.  All our Reps need to do is decide they are on the side of their constituents, the taxpayers, who have lost their life savings and retirements.  That should be a fairly easy decision to make.  The problem is they aren’t afraid of us yet.  But they shouldn’t get comfortable because 2010 is just around the corner and we can organize to primary the ones who do not think they have to be accountable to us.

As to the polls, I don’t believe them.  Nope.  Everyday, I overhear people all around me who are steaming mad about what is happening in the financial sector.  In fact, it’s practically the only thing I overhear anymore.  And attention is starting to turn towards Obama himself.  Now, it could be that I just hang around a lot of geeks who are in danger of losing their jobs because big money investors just can’t get enough of mergers to boost their stocks.  But I suspect there is just as much dissatisfaction with the fact that Obama rode to the White House on a horse called Change!™ and so far, there is precious little change type activity going on.  So, my intention when I go to Manhattan tomorrow is to hang out with the people holding Congress and Obama accountable for the mess we’re in.  Care to join me?

In the meantime, let’s have a cocktail.

Welcome to the Conflucian Cocktail Party!  This is the time of the week when we mingle, mingle, mingle.  You will find the bar to the left of the door.  Our bartender with flair, Rico, is back for a permanent engagement.  He’s lucky.  A bartender’s job is recession proof.  Someone is always in need of a drink.  His special of the day is a Manhattan.  Simple, classic, I couldn’t have made a better choice myself.  We are also offering Causmos today at $10.  Today’s Causmo is dedicated to paying off Hillary’s debt.  I know, I know, I thought Obama was going to take care of it but, hey, that would me her term of indentured servitude would be over and where would be the fun of that?  Let’s put this baby to bed.  Purchase your Causmo here. Of course, you can order anything you like.

Tonight’s entertainment is one of the BFF’s favorites.  Sing along with Dizzy Gillespie to Salt Peanuts:

Ladies and gents, our saloon is real genteel like.  You can keep your grudges to yourself or hand them off to Florence, our lovely checkroom attendant.  The waiters will be circulating shortly with some samosas, soup dumplings and knish’s.  Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.