FM newswire for June 30, interesting articles about geopolitics

Today’s links to interesting news and analysis. Today’s are exceptionally fine!  If you find this useful, please pass it to friends or colleagues.

  1. Another lie about the Gulf oil spill, circulated by conservatives to slam Obama:  “Oil Spill, Foreign Help and the Jones Act“, FactCheck, 23 June 2010
  2. Today’s propaganda:  “US military: ‘Women are very much in combat‘”, Guardian, 23 June 2010 — 125 women among 5,560 dead US troops = 2% of the total.  “Very much” seems to mean “not very much.”
  3. Recommended, the best economic analysis I’ve seen in years:  “Get Ready for More Recessions“, Lakshman Achuthan (Managing Director), Economic Cycle Research Institute, 25 June 2010
  4. Good analysis, but too optimistic about the weak banking reform bill:  “The Banks That Cried Wolf – Ignore the Wall Streeters moaning about how unfair the new regulatory bill is“, Daniel Gross, Slate, 25 June 2010
  5. Another good story shot down by uncaring scientists:  “Gulf fishing nets, not oil, may be culprit in initial sea turtle deaths“, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2010 — “Many of the animals that washed ashore dead in the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident appear to have drowned, findings show”
  6. Recommended:  “Inequality and crises: coincidence or causation?“, Paul Krugman, slides to his presentation about the Inequality and the Status of the Middle Class, 28-30 June 2010
  7. Recommended:  “The universality of war propaganda“, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 29 June 2010
  8. Recommended analysis of our servile journalists:  “New study documents media’s servitude to Government“, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 30 June 2010
  9. A blow for Justice in Chicago
  10. Another climate change Big Lie, but easily disproven — Lay warmists have become more shrill as they see the opportunity to sleaze through legislation slipping away.  Here’s another one, about Australia’s drought.

Two excellent feature articles appear below the fold:

  • The one-line summary of an excellent one-page analysis of Europe’s problems
  • What we learned about the news media from the affair McChrystal

(11)  The one-line summary of an excellent one-page analysis of Europe’s problems

“A eurozonemember state can sort out its problems if it has a competitive problem but no debt problem or if it has a debt problem but no competitive problem.”
— “The only option for Greece is both to exit the euro and to default“, Douglas McWilliams, Chief Executive, Centre for Economics and Business Research ltd, 30 May 2010

This excellent brief deserves to be read in full.  However, McWilliams forgot the one great rule of forecasting:  never give a prediction AND a date. 

(12)  What we learned about the news media from the affair McChrystal

As to this whole “unspoken agreement” business: the reason Lara Logan thinks this is because she’s like pretty much every other “reputable” journalist in this country, in that she suffers from a profound confusion about who she’s supposed to be working for. I know this from my years covering presidential campaigns, where the same dynamic applies. Hey, assholes: you do not work for the people you’re covering! Jesus, is this concept that fucking hard?

… They don’t need your help, and you’re giving it to them anyway, because you just want to be part of the club so so badly. Disgustingly, that’s really what it comes down to. Most of these reporters just want to be inside the ropeline so badly, they want to be able to say they had that beer with Hillary Clinton in a bowling alley in Scranton or whatever, that it colors their whole worldview. God forbid some important person think you’re not playing for the right team!

Meanwhile, the people who don’t have the resources to find out the truth and get it out in front of the public’s eyes, your readers/viewers, you’re supposed to be working for them — and they’re not getting your help. What the hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Is it worth all the bloodshed and the hatred? Who are the people running this thing, what is their agenda, and is that agenda the same thing we voted for? By the severely unlikely virtue of a drunken accident we get a tiny glimpse of an answer to some of these vital questions, but instead of cheering this as a great break for our profession, a waytago moment, one so-called reputable journalist after another lines up to protest the leak and attack the reporter for doing his job. God, do you all suck!

— “Lara Logan, You Suck“, Matt Taibbi, blog of Rolling Stone, 29 May 2010

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