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Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:31 PM
Number of posts: 6,545

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Can the Fed Overcome Its Transitory Policy Mistake?

Dec 2, 2021
Mohamed A. El-Erian

CAMBRIDGE – It took way too long, but key officials at the US Federal Reserve have finally acknowledged that for months they mischaracterized an inflationary surge that has proven larger and more persistent than they expected. That recognition is welcome, especially given the likelihood that inflation will remain uncomfortably high in the coming months. The challenge now, not just for the Fed but also more broadly for the United States and other major economies, is to navigate a policy terrain in which communication and implementation have been rendered significantly more complex by a fundamental misreading of inflation as “transitory.”

That initial characterization of inflation earlier this year was understandable. From March to May, in particular, strong base effects were at work, because inflation in the year-earlier period had been suppressed by the lockdown of the global economy in response to COVID-19. In addition, policymakers hoped that markets would quickly resolve the initial mismatch between robust demand and lagging supply as the economy continued to open up. By summer, it was clear to some of us that such transitory factors were being accompanied by longer-term issues. Firms were detailing the persistent nature of the disruptions in their supply chains. Labor shortages were multiplying, adding to the cost-push drivers of inflation. Few, if any, companies expected these two issues to be resolved any time soon – and said so on one earnings call after another.

Additional source:

Excerpt: Remember the Fed mistakenly thinks it can stimulate growth when all it can stimulate is speculation in assets, but it can choke activity. It had all these years since the Taper Tantrum to try to take some air very slowly out of financial markets…and acts as if it has finally gotten the nerve. We’ll see how long its resolve holds.

For further confirmation and more detail on the sorry state of retail, van Metre below presents data. For instance, he shows at 8:58 that inventory levels rose even though the media reported them as falling.

@JoeBiden United States government official: America has always been a nation of possibilities.



'It became crystal clear they were lying': the man who made Germans admit complicity in Holocaust

‘It became crystal clear they were lying’: the man who made Germans admit complicity in the Holocaust

Dorian Lynskey
Thu 2 Dec 2021 11.00 EST

With Final Account, the late director Luke Holland set out to obtain testimonies from those who participated in the Nazi atrocities – before their voices were lost. The result is a powerful mix of shame, denial and ghastly pride

One day in 2018, the prolific documentary producer John Battsek received a call from Diane Weyermann of Participant Media, asking him if he would travel to the East Sussex village of Ditchling to meet a 69-year-old director named Luke Holland. Weyermann said that Holland had spent several years interviewing hundreds of Germans who were in some way complicit in the Holocaust, from those whose homes neighboured the concentration camps to former members of the Waffen SS. The responses he captured ran the gamut from shame to denial to a ghastly kind of pride. Now he wanted to introduce these testimonies to a mainstream audience, and he needed help.

“Luke wasn’t consciously making a film,” Battsek says. “He was amassing an archive that he hoped would have a role to play for generations to come. We had to turn it into something that has a beginning, a middle and an end.” As soon as he saw Holland’s footage, he knew it was important: “It presented an audience with a new way into this.”


(With little light shined on the persistent issues of antisemitism we see today, the case for the documentarian such as this is even more prescient than ever.)

How Ghislaine Maxwell's Lawyers Are Attempting to Discredit Her Accusers: Very aggressively.

By Seth Stevenson
Dec 01, 20219:58 PM

Witness “Jane” cries as she testifies on day three of the Maxwell trial. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Day three of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial began with the defense resuming its cross-examination of “Jane”—an accuser who’s been granted a pseudonym. Again and again, defense attorney Laura Menninger tried to trip up Jane by highlighting inconsistencies in statements she’s made at various times. Menninger noted things Jane has said in FBI interviews or in meetings with government prosecutors over the past couple of years, and then contrasted them with the testimony that Jane gave in the courtroom yesterday.

Jane, who says she was a victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, kept her composure amid the onslaught. The defense’s aim was to poke holes in her credibility by suggesting her memory is faulty, but few of Menninger’s gotchas landed. Does it really matter whether Jeffrey Epstein took Jane to see the Lion King on Broadway in prime mezzanine seats when she was 14 (as Jane claimed in one statement) or a few years later, while she was still a teenager (as she later amended)? Seems like the sort of mistake a jury is unlikely to hold against a witness. Menninger also tried to ensnare Jane in a confusing and ultimately fruitless back and forth over when she’d first seen Maxwell “without her clothes” (during an alleged incident of abuse) versus when she first saw Maxwell topless (while lounging by Epstein’s pool), which mostly just served as a reminder that Jane remembers seeing Maxwell in states of undress on multiple occasions.

Menninger did, however, create one powerful moment, when she introduced the fact that, in a document prepared by Jane’s personal lawyer prior to the trial, Jane named only Epstein as her abuser, while making no mention of Maxwell. This could undercut Jane’s testimony yesterday that Maxwell was present and intimately involved in some of the abuse Jane alleges. I wouldn’t call it a home run for the defense, as the document didn’t specifically rule out the possibility that Maxwell played a role. But establishing evidence like this is crucial to the defense’s grand strategy, which involves convincing the jury that Maxwell has been ret-conned into the case—that Ghislaine was never a part of the government’s narrative until Epstein died and the story suddenly required a new antagonist.


( The fight for justice here will not go without more pain and suffering for the victims. This is not to suggest Maxwell has no right to a defense, but it is important to note the agony victims must go through when they come forward. )

( 2014 ) They'll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record's clear: It was segregation.

The Real Origins of the Religious Right

They’ll tell you it was abortion. Sorry, the historical record’s clear: It was segregation.


May 27, 2014

( Authors bio: Randall Balmer is the Mandel family professor in the arts and sciences at Dartmouth College. His most recent book is Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. )

One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.

This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.

Some of these anti- Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.

But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.


( ***** 5 stars. ) Throughout history and in the context of today's continued ill-treatment of black people, this remains accurate, imo.

Global Pandemic Will Rage Until WTO Approves Vaccine Patent Waiver (Stiglitz- Wallach)

The WTO must not postpone this decision. It needs to call an online meeting of its General Council and adopt the waiver this week.

Joseph Stiglitz, Lori Wallach
December 1, 2021 by CNN

If international organizations are subject to karma, last week's abrupt postponement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference, the body's first major decision-making gathering in four years, was fated to be. News of the emergence of Omicron, the latest coronavirus variant, not only caused the meeting to be delayed but it also shined a light on how the international community has failed to get the virus under control.

Over the past two years, the global scientific community has figured out the pathogen that causes Covid-19 and developed vaccines and antivirals to fight the virus. Rapid production has meant that everyone in wealthy countries who wanted a vaccine has gotten one. But the market, on its own, has failed to provide enough for the rest of the world.

Since October 2020, a large number of WTO member countries have sought a temporary waiver of the organization's expansive intellectual property restrictions, which limit the production of vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests to certain pharmaceutical companies. But a few WTO members have blocked this initiative, which is needed to ensure sufficient supply of Covid-19 medicines to inoculate the world and end the variant cycle that otherwise will indefinitely prolong the pandemic.


( There is no rational argument against what they present here....none. )

BREAKING: 2.5 million nurses from 28 countries have filed for a UN investigation of human rights


( A must. )

David Dayen@ddayen: Why workers are quitting their jobs, after the trauma of the pandemic


Excerpt: She started as a bather, and showed enough promise to be invited to the company’s dog grooming academy, where they teach how to cut hair. “I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life,” Caroline said. “I was really passionate about animals and I loved grooming.”

There was only one problem: PetSmart. Groomers were pressured to complete as many dogs as possible, through a constant whirlwind of commotion and barking and often verbal abuse and harassment from customers. Without enough staff available, Caroline sometimes worked seven days in a row. https://prospect.org/labor/great-escape-why-workers-quitting-pandemic-trauma/

I know how lobbyists make sure Americans don't get dental care-I was one of them

Wendell Potter

November 19, 2021 6:47 AM EST

Many seniors cross the border to Los Algodones, Mexico, to get the dental care they can't afford in the U.S.Guillwemo Arias—Getty Images

excerpt: A recent Morning Consult poll found that the number one thing Americans say they want out of the reconciliation bill is Medicare dental coverage. That’s no surprise when you consider that millions of seniors lack dental coverage. Many suffer quietly with often excruciating pain caused by untreated–and often lethal–oral health disease.

The main reason Medicare hasn’t covered dental care since its inception in 1965 (except when oral health problems become so severe they require hospitalization) is that organized dentistry staunchly opposed it.


( The fight continues. )

State legislation tracker: Major Developments in Sexual & Reproductive Health

Posting a resource for anyone interested.

By the end of October, eight state legislatures (IN, MA, MI, NJ, NC, OH, PA and WI) and the District of Columbia were in their regular sessions. Forty-two legislatures (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, ND, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV and WY) had adjourned their regular sessions.


The Guttmacher Institute is a pro-choice[1][2] research organization started in 1968 that works to study, educate, and advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.[3][4] The organization works mainly in the United States but also focuses on developing countries.[4] The Guttmacher Institute uses studies to help support policy making and program reform.[4] The Institute is named after obstetrician-gynocologist and former president of Planned Parenthood Alan F. Guttmacher.[5] The Guttmacher Institute has many sources of funding nationally and internationally.[4] One of the Institute's biggest projects is keeping a running list of the reproductive health laws and policies throughout the United States.
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