Mike Whitney at Counterpunch explains why the Federal Reserve raising interest rates again is a bad idea. If you've been following Michael Hudson's work over the last few years, the story won't be unfamiliar to you: corporations are borrowing record amounts of money -- mostly for stock buybacks and shareholder payouts, versus, you know, creating jobs and making stuff -- and thus have very little cash-on-hand for when things go bad. You see where this is going: if the Fed raises rates, banksters will make even more money from corporate debt -- while banks that might lend to small businesses that might actually get the economy going again will be even less likely to do so. Heckuva job, Our Glorious Elites!
The incomparable Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone sees a lot of parallels between the WMD-in-Iraq story and the Russians-hacked-the-election story. Chiefly, stories alleging Russian interference in the Presidential election have very little evidence behind them -- and much of that evidence comes from our government! Who, as we know, is very trustworthy about these things, just as they were when they "confirmed" Ahmed Chalabi's allegations about Saddam Hussein! Of course, as you know, accusing Russia of "hacking" the election lets the "liberal" media hide the real hackers -- the state Republican governments that worked overtime to keep black folks from voting.
Of course, despite those efforts at vote suppression, voters in four states approved minimum wage hikes on Election Day, but corporations and their lobbyists are doing their damndest to block the wage hikes. Not just with lawsuits, but with flat-out refusals to enforce the law (that is Gov. LePage's main job in Maine, is it not?) and with, sadly, ballot initiatives that make voter ballot initiatives harder in the future, like the Amendment 71 that Colorado voters passed on November 8. Of course, if you're trying to block the will of the voters, you've just told everyone you can't win arguments on the merits. Let's make sure that means more than it currently does.
Jonathan Chait finds CNBC talking head Larry Kudlow saying rich people can't be corrupt, because they have "no need to steal or engage in corruption." Because, as we know, people only act based on their actual needs, and never on their perceived ones! I'd quarrel with Mr. Kudlow's definition of Mr. Trump's cronies as "successful" people, too -- anyone can be successful at making too much money, because doing so only requires a) sucking up to the right people and b) the complete absence of a moral compass. But Jonas Salk will always be more successful than Donald Trump, because Mr. Salk helped cure polio. (Kudos to Mr. Chait for reminding folks than Ayn Rand, who once called Ronald Reagan "the representative of the worst kind of conservatism," would more likely call Mr. Kudlow's heroes looters than makers.)
Finally, Adam Johnson at FAIR reminds us that the "liberal" media was wrong for reporting that a Drexel professor literally called for "white genocide." Racists use the term "white genocide" to mean -- surprise, surprise! -- a variety of things that are not actually genocide, like multicultural studies and interracial dating. And yet I'm puzzled over how Mr. Ciccariello-Maher's utterance is supposed to be funny in the first place -- it's the kind of thing you might say to a small group of people in your living room who already get you, but it's not the kind of thing you say to the whole world, and though, yes, the racists who whine about "white genocide" should be mocked, and no, the "liberal" media should not let fucking Breitbart be their assignment editor, we all need to think through the whole concept of an appropriate audience before we open our mouths.