Thursday, February 28, 2019

TRNN - Specter of Fascism: Cohen Says Trump Won’t Leave Peacefully in 2020

From this video you get some idea of what goes on at the top. Being fair, winning elections, playing by the rules, may the best man win - no, these guys win by whatever means necessary: Cheating, lying, double-crossing, illegal activity, blackmail, bribes, rigging elections - and maybe even worse, at times. There's big money involved.

The panel here seem to think that the Trump administration won't go out peacefully if Trump loses the election in 2020. They think a false flag may occur, where, maybe Iran will get accused of some terrorist act, or plot, in the U.S. or something, and then the Trump administration will call off elections to form an emergency government to get the war going they want with Iran.

The panel think that a large section of the U.S society is inept, supporting a brutal economic system based on the worse possible type of capitalism, where Trump was put in place by those who liked what he said about brutally torturing people, murdering entire families if one of them was considered to be a terrorist, and putting people in boxes, etc. The Trump administration is close to fascism, applauded on by its base.

But there is some hope, say the panel, and good people are getting into politics now who want to clean the system up, and then hopefully one day some of these swamp creatures will get put in prison where they belong.

Hearings reveal deepening systemic corruption, further degeneration of GOP, progressive members standout in questioning - Jacqueline Lukman, Henry Giroux and Carmen Russell-Sluchansky join Paul Jay

Einstein Letter Warning Of Zionist Fascism In Israel

Letter That Albert Einstein Sent to the New York Times1948, Protesting the Visit of Menachem Begin

Today, Einstein and many other leading Jews would be considered to be a racists for their anti-Zionist views. Well, what if they actually said that Zionism was fascism - imagine the outrage and condemnation? It would be said that they were very bad people indeed for holding such 'extremist views'!

Black is white, war is peace, the Western neoliberal dictatorship is democracy, our enslavement to work is freedom, we have a free and fair press, being greedy is virtuous, and the West stands for everything that is good.

And the BBC and the Guardian, manned by 'very nice' liberals, can be trusted to tell the truth and not put out right-wing imperialist propaganda to fool the British public and the rest of the World.

Letters to the Editor New York Times


Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine. 

The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughoutthe world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents. 

Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement. The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future. 

Attack on Arab Village 

A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants ? 240men, women, and children - and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin. The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party. 

Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model. During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.

The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots. 

Discrepancies Seen 

The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a "Leader State" is the goal.

In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin's efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin. The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism. 


New York, Dec. 2, 1948 

"Anti-Zionism is not the same as Anti-Semitism"

It is racist to accuse all Jews as being Zionists, as the Zionists do. This is a sweeping statement stereotyping a nation. Many Jews are not Zionists, and many others, like many ultra orthodox Jews, reject the Israel state entirety. This is a political position.

Activist and academic Sai Englert explains why conflating Anti-Zionism with Anti-Semitism is "problematic".

Israeli historian Ilan Pappé: it's not occupation - it's colonisation

Israeli historian Ilan Pappé says Israel's presence in Palestinian territories is not occupation - it's colonisation.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Jonathon Cook - France’s Macron leads the way as western leaders malevolently confuse anti-Zionism with antisemitism

An excellent article which covers lots of points.

Zionism is racism towards Palestinians, and yet anti-Zionism is being depicted as racism. With the whole of the media in cahoots, it seems they are getting away with it. What a shame this article will never by read in the MSM, because almost everyone reading it would agree with it right away. It's a long article, this is just a bit of it.

Macron’s confusion of anti-Zionism with antisemitism is patently nonsensical.
Antisemitism refers to the hatred of Jews. It is bigotry, plain and simple.
Anti-Zionism, on the other hand, is opposition to the political ideology of Zionism, a movement that has insisted in all its political guises on prioritising the rights of Jews to a homeland over those, the Palestinians, who were already living there.
Anti-Zionism is not racism against Jews; it is opposition to racism by Zionist Jews.
Of course, an anti-Zionist may also be antisemitic, but it is more likely that an anti-Zionist holds his or her position for entirely rational and ethical reasons.
That was made only clearer last summer when the Israeli parliament passed a basic law defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people (PDF). The law asserts that all Jews, even those with no connection to Israel, enjoy a right to self-determination there that all Palestinians are deprived of, including the fifth of Israel’s population who are Palestinian and formally citizens.
In other words, the law creates two statuses in Israel – and implicitly in the occupied territories too – based on an imposed ethno-religious classification system that entitles all Jews to superior rights over all Palestinians.
In constitutional terms, Israel is explicitly operating an apartheid-style legal and political system, one even more encompassing than South Africa’s. After all, the apartheid rulers of South Africa never claimed that theirs was the homeland of all white people.

Self-hating Jew’ trope

Were Macron and the IHRA right – that anti-Zionism and antisemitism are all but indistinguishable – then we would have to accept some very uncomfortable conclusions.
One would be that Palestinians should be uniformly damned as antisemites for demanding their own right to self-determination. Or put another way, it would be impossible for Palestinians to demand the same rights as Jews in their homeland without that being declared as racist. Welcome to Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Another conclusion would be that a significant proportion of Jews around the world, those who oppose Israel’s self-definition as a Jewish state, are also antisemites, infected with an irrational hatred of their fellow Jews. This is the “self-hating Jew” trope Israel has long relied on to discredit criticism from Jews.
On this view, those Jews who want Palestinians to enjoy the same rights as Jews claim for themselves in the Middle East are racist – and not only that, but racist against themselves.
And if Macron’s efforts to criminalise anti-Zionism prove fruitful, it would mean that Palestinians and Jews could be punished – maybe even jailed – for demanding equality between Palestinians and Jews in Israel.
Preposterous as this reasoning sounds when laid out so bluntly, similar approaches to dealing with antisemitism are being readily accepted by actors across Europe and the US.

David Hearst - The truth about Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn and the new McCarthyism

False accusations by yesterday's spooks against Milne and Corbyn are a direct attempt to stop a popular and democratically elected leader from becoming prime minister

But David Hearst doesn't like Putin. 

It's all about Israel

I will end with just two observations. The Labour Party could very well split if more defections are in the offing. These interventions by yesterday’s spooks are not casual, nor are they ill-timed. They are a direct attempt to stop a popular and democratically elected leader from becoming prime minister. 
They are, therefore, actively, consciously and cynically subverting British democracy. You may like Corbyn or loathe him. That's up to you, but you may never be allowed to express your opinion at the ballot box, if these guys have their way. And how would you feel if the tactics used on Corbyn were  used on you? What would you do  if your character had been assassinated repeatedly and you had no means of redress? Is this the way you want politics conducted in " the mother of all parliaments"?
The second is that this debate about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party is all about Israel, and whether indeed anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic. There are many British Jews who support Corbyn, who do not feel threatened by Corbyn’s pro-Palestinian stance and wrote of their support in a letter to The Guardian.
The Middle Eastern Eye

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Zero Hedge — MMT Is Even More Dubious Than AOC's Green New Deal

Robert Murphy again. Nothing new. Just posting for the record.

Zero Hedge
MMT Is Even More Dubious Than AOC's Green New Deal
Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge — Ivanka Starts Cat-Fight With AOC: "People Want To Work For What They Get"

Hilton asked Trump: "You’ve got people who will see that offer from the Democrats, from the progressive Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Here’s the Green New Deal, here’s the guarantee of a job,’ and think, ‘yeah, that’s what I want, it’s that simple.’ What do you say to those people?"
To which Ivanka responded: "I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last 4 years. People want to work for what they get," adding "So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where’s there’s the potential for upward mobility."...
Pouring the Kool-Aid.

Zero Hedge
Ivanka Starts Cat-Fight With AOC: "People Want To Work For What They Get"
Tyler Durden

Fed Chair Powell gets it wrong, just as did Bill Dudley.

More proof we are ruled by morons. 

The battle line is drawn, with the ruling elite and neoclassical economists at the center and the flanks occupied by Austrians and Libertarians on the right and clueless progressives on the left, with corporate media in the background, facing off with the MMT economists at the center flanked by MMT advocates, backed by a public that agrees with genuine progressive goals. Now it is a battle for hearts and minds.


Washington Examiner
'Just wrong': Jerome Powell rejects AOC's theory about government debt
Colin Wilhelm

Financial Review
Fed chairman Jerome Powell shoots down Ocasio-Cortez's big deficit idea
Jacob Greber

Market Watch
Powell’s answers on deficit spending, climate change set up more contentious House hearing
Steve Goldstein

Jerome Powell Says the Concept of MMT Is 'Just Wrong'
Liz McCormick

Powell says economic theory of unlimited borrowing supported by Ocasio-Cortez is just 'wrong'
Jeff Cox

Zero Hedge
Tyler Durden

Bill Mitchell – The NAIRU/Output gap scam reprise

It is Wednesday and despite being on the other side of the Planet than usual (in Helsinki at present) I am still not intending to write a detailed blog post today. I am quite busy here – teaching MMT to graduate students and other things. But I wanted to follow up on a few details I didn’t have time to write about yesterday concerning the role that NAIRU estimates play in maintaining the ideological dominance of neoliberalism. And some more details about the Textbook launch in London on Friday, and then some beautiful music, as is my practice (these days) on Wednesdays. As you will see, my ‘short’ blog post didn’t quite turn out that way. Such is the tendency of an inveterate writer.

Macroeconomics Textbook Launch – London, Friday, March 1, 2019
There are a few places left and the list closes 17:00 (Wednesday).
If you want to come, please E-mail me and I will get your name put on the door.
The program for the Book Launch in London of Friday is more or less decided:
17:00 Doors open (light refreshments will be served)Doors open (light refreshments will be served)17:20 A welcome from Macmillan International Higher Education & introduction to the launch of Mitchell, Wray & Watts: Macroeconomics 1e – (Philip Rees/Jon Peacock/Jon Finch)17:30 An introduction to the book! – Dr Sandy Hager (City University)17:45 Integrating the MMT approach into the delivery of Macroeconomics HE courses – Professor Heikki Patomaki (Helsinki University)18:00 A word from our author! – Professor Bill Mitchell (University of Newcastle, Australia & Director of CofFEE – (Centre of Full Employment & Equity, University of Newcastle))18:15-18:30 Q&As (compered by Philip Rees, Macmillan)18:45 Finish
Location: The event will be held at the Macmillan publishers complex at the Springer Nature – Stables Building, Trematon Walk, Kings Cross, London from 17:00 to 19:00.
Here is a short video introducing the features of the new textbook
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The NAIRU/Output gap scam reprise
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Thomas Neuburger — How Much Will It Cost to Address Climate Change? Pennies Compared to the Alternative

But few are focusing on the real measurable — not what it will cost economically to address the problem, but what it will cost economically to not address the problem. "Cost economically" here means exactly and only what the people at Forbes and Bloomberg think it means — How does economic activity slow when atmospheric temperature rises?
How are profits and wealth affected? This analysis looks at no other factors affecting the economy, such as the cost of recovery from super-storms.
One of those who did address the economic cost of not dealing with climate change is Solomon Hsiang, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and coauthor of a little-noticed 2015 paper, "Global non­linear effect of temperature on economic production." A link to the Nature abstract is here; a link to the paper itself is here (pdf).…
Can we afford, economically, not to address climate change now? The answer, of course, is no.

Yet once more the pathological among us have us asking the wrong questions. All they want to know is, will their own wealth be affected? Will they still keep their billions? Will they die poorer than they are today?
The question we should be asking is, will the rest of us die poorer — and sooner — if our first priority is protecting the wealth of the wealthy?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Looks like a collision course unfolding. 

I was actually on a naval vessel where the officer of the deck was watching a collision course developing and became paralyzed. The junior officer of the deck saw what was happening and rushed to get the captain (in the middle of the night). The captain reached the bridge in time to take command and avert the collision.

Richard Murphy — The Washington Post is leading the right wing backlash to the Green New Deal, and have got almost everything wrong

I haven't linked to the WaPo in some time since it is seriously compromised. Now it is paywalled, too. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are also on this list.

The one aspect I think worth debate, which Noah Smith has previously brought up, is the issue of whether to craft a comprehensive bill that addresses all issues or to create a comprehensive proposal and craft many separate bills to address the complexity involved.

This is a political issue that involves strategy. Thus, it will depend on vote counting, both in the legislature and the next election.

I that the most democratic way to proceed is to craft separate bills to address separate issues. But this needs to be based on a comprehensive proposal recognizing that the design problem is systemic and a viable solution cannot be addressed piecemeal either, since there are overlapping issues.

For example, if it is possible to crafted a good bill on taxing carbon that can pass quickly, by all means do it. But don't conclude that therefore the job is done, as the WaPo argument seems to suggest. Taxing carbon alone won't do it, although taxing negative externality is need to arrive at true price based on true cost in order to preempt socialization of externality through market prices that don't reflect true cost. This is a form of preempting extraction of economic rent.

Tax Research UK
The Washington Post is leading the right wing backlash to the Green New Deal, and have got almost everything wrong
Richard Murphy

Michael Roberts — MMT, Minsky, Marx and the money fetish

This is a good historical backgrounder and it should be read for that reason alone. But Michael Roberts also brings up other issues that follow upon this history that are relevant to the current debate, at least some of which that have been brought up previously in the comments here. Highly recommended.
As Maria Ivanova has shown, there remains a blind belief that the crisis-prone nature of the latter can be managed by means of ‘money artistry’, that is, by the manipulation of money, credit and (government) debt. Ivanova argues that the merits of a Marxian interpretation of the crisis surpass those of the Minskyan for at least two reasons. First, the structural causes of the Great Recession lie not in the financial sector but in the system of globalized production. Second, the belief that social problems have monetary or financial origins, and could be resolved by tinkering with money and financial institutions, is fundamentally flawed, for the very recurrence of crises attests to the limits of fiscal and monetary policies as means to ensure “balanced” accumulation.
None of the ‘money fetish’ schemes have worked or will work to get the capitalist economy going. Instead such measures have just created financial bubbles to the benefit of the richest. That’s because these “tricks of circulation” are not based on the reality of the law of value.
Now that we are in the midst of a debate over capitalism and socialism, these issues are coming to the fore. Michael Roberts provides perspective from a Marxian POV.

We are going to hearing a lot of Marx as this debate unfolds and also learn about the rich history of socialist thought. Here is a quick reference on socialism.

Michael Roberts Blog
MMT, Minsky, Marx and the money fetish
Michael Roberts

Michael Ballinger — The Mirage Called 'Modern Monetary Theory'

I was poring over the Federal Reserve minutes from Feb. 21, and as I was rolling my eyes and looking around my den for something to throw, I was reminded of the comments from then-Fed chairman Ben Bernanke years ago when he was asked if the Fed was "monetizing debt." The reply was "No."
Yet here we are, years later, and the new mantra is now "Modern Monetary Theory," which says central banks and sovereign treasury departments can print any amount of money they so desire over any extended period of time and it won't create anything but rising stock markets and minimal inflation. Better still, for those who depend on either their houses or their retirement portfolios for late life safety and security can continue to do so because the Fed minutes revealed the "Greenspan Put," which was survived by the "Bernanke put," which morphed into the "Yellen Put," has now been replaced by the "awesomest" put of them all—the "Powell Put."
Doesn't know the difference between monetary and fiscal, apparently. If he does, he doesn't demonstrate it.

Steetwise Reports
The Mirage Called 'Modern Monetary Theory'
Michael Ballinger

Michael Rainey — Chart of the Day: High Tax, High Service

The echo chamber.
One school of thought that’s been the focus of strenuous debate, known as Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), holds that worries about increases in public debt are misplaced, and that the federal government can easily take on much larger spending in some key areas without raising revenues through higher taxes. But at least one progressive policy wonk has his doubts about that increasingly popular approach. Matt Bruenig of the People's Policy Project accuses MMT supporters of “using word games to make people believe that the US can have Northern European levels of government spending without Northern European levels of taxation.”
No model. "Proof" by chart. Et non est ostensum est, quod demonstrandum instead of QED.

The Financial Times
Chart of the Day: High Tax, High Service
Michael Rainey

Tim Worstall — Can we just inflate the economy into paying for socialism?

Another rant from Tim Worstall.
If we can't get the rich to pay for all this democratic socialism the Left would give us these days, then how are we going to pay for it? Up pops that other current bright idea, modern monetary theory: We just print the money and go spend it. It is actually true that nobody has ever had socialism paid for by the rich, so it's good to have an alternative idea out there. It's even true that modern monetary theory works, in theory.
The only problem is when we add in these odd people, us humans, it fails.
Variant of the noble lie.

Washington Examiner
Can we just inflate the economy into paying for socialism?
Tim Worstall

Paul Ebeling — Owning Gold Make a Lot of Sense in Here

If Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) were implemented, foreign exchange markets would have their say about it, that is if we still had floating exchange rates.
FACT: No matter how much money the Fed prints, or what they do with their balance sheet, you cannot spend more money than you make.
You can make up a shortfall with debt, but after a while, creditors will have had it with you.
Governments have always found the temptation to borrow, overspend, and tamper with the value of their currency.
 So, savvy investors take protective measures
The way you protect yourself from plans to demolish every house and kill all the cows is is with Gold, miners and other hard assets.
Got that? 😂

Bond vigilantes, again.

Live Trading News
Owning Gold Make a Lot of Sense in Here
Paul Ebeling

Lars P. Syll’s Blog Krugman vs Kelton on the fiscal-monetary tradeoff

The battle of the titans. Or maybe better, David and Goliath.
We have to free ourselves from the loanable funds theory — and scholastic gibbering about ZLB — and start using good old Keynesian fiscal policies. Keynes — as did Lerner, Kaldor, Kalecki, and Robinson — showed that it was possible to promote economic growth with an “appropriate size of the budget deficit.” The stimulus a well-functioning fiscal policy aimed at full employment may have on investment and productivity does not necessarily have to be offset by higher interest rates.
Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Krugman vs Kelton on the fiscal-monetary tradeoff
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

TRNN - The “Permanent War State” Aims to Plunder Venezuela - Wilkerson and Jay

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says that many members of Congress, like Elliott Abrams and John Bolton, expect to make a lot of money out of plundering Venezuela.

But who's behind most it all, Wilkerson says, it's mainly the Koch brothers who rule most of the U.S. from behind the scenes? They have an incredible amount of power, he says, and they only care about money, not the American people, or the amount of people, or servicemen, who will die in their wars.

Remember, it's the Koch Brothers who are the main people behind the present day libertarian movement, a movement that was started by the elites in the 1930's to counter the New Deal after their coup to topple the government was foiled by Smedley Butler. So much for liberty: libertarianism was designed to give power to a handful of unelected, unaccountable people.

Isn't it crazy how the BBC and the rest of the MSM back these war criminals, gangsters, and psychopaths? Now they are saying that Iran and Hezbollah operate terror cells from within Venezuela. Things are getting crazier! They make it go as they go along.

Trump promises “democracy and freedom” to Venezuela, delivered by Elliot Abrams who brought you illegal wars, coups, and support for dictatorships; and Mike Pompeo and VP Pence, both with deep ties to the Koch brothers who need Venezuelan heavy crude to feed their Texas refinery - Col. Larry Wilkerson joins TRNN’s Paul Jay 

PCR - Will No One Stop American Gangsterism?

Yes, they are gangsters, hardened criminals! 
An accurate description of the US orchestrated event today at Venezuela’s border with Colombia was posted on The Saker’s website 3 days ago.
Most of the world sees this as “US gangsterism.”  But no one does anything about it.
John Wight asks:  “Does anybody really think that Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams care one bit about the welfare of the Venezuelan people? These are thugs in tailored suits whose views are far closer to Al Capone than to Thomas Jefferson.” 
President Maduro’s failure to arrest Juan Guaido, the puppet chosen by Washington to be the Empire’s front man in Venezuela, might spell the end of Venezuelan democracy.  The Venezuelan military will wonder why they are at risk when all Maduro has to do is to arrest Guaido, try the traitor, and execute him.  
Chavez’s lack of decisive action against the elite enemies of Venezuelan democracy is now being repeated by Maduro.  This sends the signal of a lack of confidence, and it is this lack of confidence that has given birth to the American coup. 
Maduro even made the mistake of allowing American and British media to be on the scene of the orchestrated “humanitarian aid” border crossing to make propaganda films against him.
Bolivia will be next.

Zero Hedge - WaPo Quietly Deletes Branson's Venezuela Concert From Article After 'Fake' Attendance Figures Exposed

Richard Branson was hoping to get 250,000 people attending his concert, and the Washington Post said that 200,000 people had turned up, but Google Earth photographs show that only 20,000 people were there. I guess that was a few rich kids.

The Washington Post has stealth-edited all mention of Richard Branson's Venezuela aid concert in Cucuta, Colombia, after the paper originally claimed that the event "drew a crowd of more than 200,000 people Friday." 

A Saturday analysis by Moon of Alabama revealed that WaPo's 200,000 figure was Fake News. 
"200,000 people?" asks MOA.
The stage was build at the top right across both roadways with its front towards the southwest. There was room for a few hundred VIP and reporters right in front of it. The field where the plebs were kept away lies between the north to south treeline at the right and the north to south ditch with the two single trees. According to the Google map scale the field's northern edge is some 125 meters wide. The crowd was standing at the northern end of the field at a depth of about 50 meters. The density of the static crowd was low to medium with on average 2 to 3 people per square meter.
125m * 50m = 6,250 m2 * 2.5 people/m2 = 15,625 people
One may generously add a count of one or two thousand for the people mingling around in the back of the public area. In total there may have been up to 18,000, but certainly no more than 20,000 people at the concert. -Moon of Alabama 
In short, Fake News.  

Craig Murray - Has the Elite’s Slavish pro-Israel Agenda Finally Gone Too Far?

From the Guardian:

The UK is to ban membership of or support for Hezbollah’s political wing, the home secretary has announced, as he accused the Lebanese Islamist movement of destabilising the Middle East. 
The decision was also welcomed by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who said “antisemitism and hate crime have no place in our city”.
 The [U.K.] government said the organisation continued to amass weapons in contravention of UN security council resolutions, while its support for the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, had prolonged “the conflict and the regime’s brutal and violent repression of the Syrian people”.

Craig Murray

Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the July war of 2006 was heroic and an essential redress to the Middle East power balance. I supported Hezbollah’s entirely defensive action then and I continue to applaud it now. That, beyond any shadow of a doubt, makes me guilty ofn the criminal offence of “glorifying terrorism”, now that Sajid Javid has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. I am unrepentant and look forward to the prosecution.
A large majority of the public, and certainly almost everyone who remembers that 2006 invasion, would revolt from my being prosecuted on those grounds. The very absurdity of it is a sure measure that Sajid Javid has simply gone too far in naming Hezbollah – the legitimate political party representing in parliament the majority rural population in Southern Lebanon – as a terrorist organisation.
Together with the largely manufactured “Corbyn anti-semitism” row, Javid’s move is aimed at achieving in the UK the delegitimisation of political opposition to Israeli aggression and absorption of the occupied territories and the Golan Heights, in the way that has been achieved in the USA. However, there is a much better educated population in the UK and a great deal of popular awareness of decades of Israeli crimes. In fact, the continuing resilience of the Labour vote shows that at least over a third of the British population does not buy the “anti-semitism” tag applied to all those concerned at the continued plight of the Palestinians.
Hezbollah has never been implicated in any terrorist attack on the UK. Its military posture in Southern Lebanon vis a vis Israel is entirely defensive; it evolved as a military force in reaction to wave after wave of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in which the Israeli “Defence” Force casually decimated Shia communities en route to attacking Palestinian refugee camps. Hezbollah has never invaded Israel. Hezbollas played an effective and laudable role in assisting the defeat of Isis and their Jihadist allies in Syria.
Oh look, I just “glorified terrorism” again.

Stephen Hail — "It is great that Paul Krugman is spending so much time trying to understand MMT…"

It is great that Paul Krugman is spending so much time trying to understand MMT, but I don't think he has escaped from his old ideas sufficiently yet to grapple with these new ones. 
Professor Krugman assumes an inverse relationship between aggregate demand and interest rates which is stable enough to be useful. In other words, he assumes a reasonably stable and downward sloping IS curve. 
No such relationship can be assumed.

Fiscal policy is effective because it adds to or subtracts from the net financial assets of the private sector, in a way that monetary policy does not. Surely, by now, people should be aware of the limitations on the ability of central banks to use interest rates to manage demand. Right now, many central bankers no longer believe interest rate cuts work; they have no faith in quantitative easing; and they are terrified of raising interest rates, due to the well-founded fear that significant increases might undermine asset prices and trigger defaults.
Mainstream economists have tended to argue that fiscal policy will be ineffective because a higher fiscal deficit necessarily leads to higher interest rates and crowding out of private spending (which is nonsense); or because a deficit today leads to government debt which must be repaid in the future, implying higher taxes in the future, causing people to spend less today (which is an even bigger pile of nonsense).
So yes, mainstream economics is wrong.
In mainstream economics, monetary policy is a more effective demand management tool than fiscal policy, nearly all the time. 
In reality, fiscal policy is an effective demand management tool and monetary policy isn't. 
Use fiscal policy to manage total spending. 
Leave risk-free interest rates at zero, or close to zero. 
Use financial regulation to limit and influence the direction of credit creation. 
Balance the economy - not the budget. 
And stop drawing IS curves. They don't help.
Modern Monetary Theory- Economics for Sustainable Prosperity (Facebook, membership required)
Stephen Hail | Lecturer, School of Economics, University of Adelaide

Nina Banks — The Black Woman Economist Who Pioneered a Federal Jobs Guarantee

Decades before it caught on with other economists, Sadie Alexander was the first economist to recommend a government jobs guarantee in the US.…
Many contemporary economists have endorsed this idea, which is often credited to Hyman Minsky in the 1960’s[1]. But, its genesis actually begins two decades earlier, with Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, America’s first black economist.

Good to know. Like the fact that Aristotle wrote that money/currency (nomisma) is a creature of law (nomos).

Upholding Economics — What’s wrong with MMT?

In this article I will attempt (but probably fail) to critique MMT in good faith, but I will be targeting MMT as it is generally presented to the public — that is where I’ve digested most MMT content: mainly through MMT bloggers and on twitter. If this is at odds with some more academically pure version of MMT that exists in the literature, I can only suggest that modern monetary theorists could then work on their messaging somewhat....
Exactly how is that "good faith"?

In addition, the critique is confused by the author's lack of understanding of institutional arrangements and operational realities. All of this has been raised before and explained. Nothing new to see here.

Warren Mosler commented on Twitter: "Doesn't look like you've read my book."

What’s wrong with MMT?
Upholding Economics

Robert Hockett — Green New Deal Funding: Remember Finance is a Public-Private Franchise, Not a Big Broker in the Sky

Not MMT but worth reading. Robert Hockett is an advisor to AOC.

Green New Deal Funding: Remember Finance is a Public-Private Franchise, Not a Big Broker in the Sky
Robert Hockett | Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell University

See also

Bloomberg Opinion
How to Design a Green New Deal That Isn’t Over the Top
Noah Smith

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lev Golinkin — Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine

Longish and detailed, with lots of documentation. It's an excellent reference tool.

Concerning in itself but also because of US support that turns a blind eye to it. "Never again" is happening again.

The Nation
Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine
Lev Golinkin

Judd Gregg — Water does run uphill

This economic theory [MMT] could best be described as the equivalent of claiming that water runs uphill, the sun rises in the West and apples do not fall from trees.
It is the Alfred E. Neuman platform of political posturing. It takes “What, Me Worry?” to a new level in promoting political ideas that are fiscally dysfunctional.
Two weeks ago, the U.S. national debt passed $22 trillion.
You get the idea. Another clueless "progressive" determined to lose. And if they won, they would be dangerous. Oh wait, Judd Gregg did win and was one of the culprits.

This is a chronic problem of the left. Great at diagnosis but clueless about etiology and treatment. Love blood-letting though.

The Hill
Judd Gregg: Water does run uphill
Judd Gregg | former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee

Josh Marshall — Thinking about the Magical Elixir of MMT

I have no doubt that there are MMT advocates reading this now saying, no, you’re not getting what MMT says or you’re caricaturing it. Maybe. But what I’m able to speak to is how it is playing out in a political context. As Bruenig explains, if you want Northern European-style social democracy you’re going to need to have significantly or dramatically higher rates of taxation. And not only much higher rates on the uber wealthy but generally higher rates on a much broader range of the population.
Where's your model, or are you pulling this out of your …. Quoting opposing economists isn't going help by providing an argument from authority either. That's a logical fallacy. Show your work.

Another clueless progressive determined to lose. With a "left" like this, who needs enemies.

Talking Points Memo
Thinking about the Magical Elixir of MMT
Josh Marshall

David Jamieson — Bernie Sanders' adviser to join advisory group for new indy economics organisation

Professor Stephanie Kelton to join group of economics advisers to new MMT Scotland group
  • New Scottish economics group to argue for Modern Monetary Theory policies for independent state.
  • Some of the worlds most influencial MMT advocates to join advisory panel, including key Sanders 2016 campaign adviser Prof Stephanie Kelton.
  • MMT part of a new wave of economic thought around the developed world.
  • Heterodox economic school sets economic thinkers in opposition to Growth Commission Sterlingisation proposal.
ONE of the advisers to Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign will join a panel of prestigious economic advisers for the new Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) Scotland group being launched at meetings in Glasgow and Edinburgh in May.…
The advisery panel will also include Warren Mosler and Professor Bill Mitchell, two of the world's leading MMT thinkers, Professor Mathew Forstater of University of Missouri-Kansas City and Fadhel Kaboub, Associate Professor of Economics at Denison University, among others.
Bernie Sanders' adviser to join advisory group for new indy economics organisation
David Jamieson

Kevin Drum — Is MMT the Liberal Version of Supply-Side Economics?

Kevin Drum is clearly an apologist rather than a serious commentator. Ignore him.
So far, then, MMT has not seduced most lefty economists into becoming defenders of crank theories the way supply-side economics did on the right. Hooray for us!
He is a reason that progressives that follow the line he touts will lose, or if they win, will fail. Clueless, and don't want to know.

Randy Wray — Response to Doug Henwood’s Trolling in Jacobin

Doug Henwood has posted up at Jacobin an MMT critique that amounts to little more than a character assassination. It is what I’d expect of him in his reincarnation as a Neoliberal critic of progressive thought. ( It adopts all the usual troll methodology: guilt by association, taking statements out of context, and paraphrasing (wrongly) without citation....
New Economic Perspectives
Response to Doug Henwood’s Trolling in Jacobin
L. Randall Wray | Professor of Economics, Bard College

Bill Mitchell — The NAIRU/Output gap scam

There is a campaign on the Internet calling itself CANOO (the Campaign against nonsense output gaps) which one Robin Brooks, economist at the Institute of International Finance and former Goldman Sachs and IMF employee, is pursuing. You cannot easily access his written memos on this because the IIF forces you to pay for them. However, there is nothing novel about his claims and the points he is making are well-known. However, they are points that are worthwhile repeating at loud volume because the implications of the ‘nonsense’ are devastating to the well-being of workers, particularly those most vulnerable to precarious work and unemployment. So while the CANOO is just dredging up old issues I am very glad that it is. The concept of biased estimates of output gaps and so-called ‘full employment unemployment rates’ goes to the heart of the way the neoliberal economists, who dominate policy making units in government and places like the IMF, the OECD and the European Commission, create technical smokescreens to justify their dirty work. The more people find out about the basis of the scam the better. I have been working on this issue (estimating, writing and publishing) since the late 1970s as a graduate student. So welcome Robin Brooks, and make a lot of noise....
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
The NAIRU/Output gap scam
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Lars P. Syll — What’s wrong with MMT? Nothing!

Removing some confusions.

See the comments also.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
What’s wrong with MMT? Nothing!
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Peter Hadfield (Potholer54) - Climate Change Skepticism Debunked.

Peter Hatfield is a conservative and scientist who completely demolishes the climate change skeptics arguments. Skeptics, like Patrick Moore and Lord Monckton, actually twist the facts and use altered graphs to push through their their mumbo-jumbo. 

Peter Hadfield says how Lord Mon Monckton loves live debates because he doesn't have to show his references. Peter Hadfield has emailed Lord Monckton many times asking him for his references, and when Lord Monckton replied, he checked them out and it turned out Lord Monckton had taken the data out of context. And if a misquoted reference doesn't suite his arguments enough, he will simply change it. 

Peter Hadfield challenged Lord Monckton to a live debate, but Lord Monckton has never replied. I wonder why?

The first video below is a nice all rounder, but if you want to go deeper, I've put some others below.

Potholer54/Greenman3610 - The Search for Lord Monckton

Monckton Bunkum Part 1 - Global cooling and melting ice

Monckton Bunkum Part 2 - Sensitivity

Monckton Bunkum Part 3 - Correlations and Himalayan glaciers

Monckton Bunkum Part 4 -- Quotes and misquotes

 Monckton bunkum Part 5 -- What, MORE errors, my lord?

Robert Samuelson column — Are Dems proposing economic policies or pipedreams?

Of course, there is another choice: more deficit spending. Last week, I tried to educate myself on so-called “modern monetary theory.” Embraced by some Democrats, its central thesis seems to be that deficits are not nearly as dangerous as we’ve been led to believe. Here’s the case for that view, as best I can determine.

“The biggest mistake we make is thinking of the federal government as a household” that has to repay its debt, says Stephanie Kelton, an economist at Stony Brook University and an adviser in 2016 to Sanders.
The United States won’t default on its government debts, because it can always create more dollars — through the Federal Reserve — to honor U.S. Treasury bonds and bills, she says. She rejects the argument that the Fed might generate inflation by flooding the economy with too much money. To prevent that, inflationary pressures can be offset through higher taxes and interest rates, as occurs today.
The obsession with controlling government deficits hinders us in stabilizing the economy and promoting maximum employment, she contends. This may or may not be good economics, but it’s certainly expedient. No one likes to raise taxes and cut spending, and that may explain why benign neglect of deficits is now going mainstream.…
What’s missing from this picture is old-fashioned prudence.
Bond vigilantes.

Abby Martin - An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

It's hard to believe things could be this bad, after the Russia-Gate myth they're just going to go straight into Venezuela and throw out a legitimately elected government to steal the oil, and in broad daylight in front of the whole world.

It's the U.S. that doesn't have a proper functioning democracy! And neither does Europe, as the people are not informed because the media is controlled.

If the Guardian was a proper progressive newspaper, if would have articles by Chris Hedges, Abby Martin, Max Blumenthal, and even Paul Craig Roberts. And there are no decent mainstream newspapers anymore, anyway. Years ago, even the Daily Mirror had real news in it.

It looks like the elite can make anything up they want and get away with it, after all, they managed to convince millions of people that man made climate change was a liberal hoax, despite all the science saying the opposite.

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Pepe Escobar — Memo from Moscow

What Putin meant in his address about Russia targeting “centers for decision-making” was fundamentally related to NATO, not the American mainland.
Russian state media today contradicts this. See SouthFront and Sputnik International. Russia will target CONUS, military terminology for continental US. A list of provided.

Good analysis otherwise. Short.

Asia Times
Pepe Escobar: Memo from Moscow
Pepe Escobar

See also
When [Msgr.] Ronald Knox was born, Queen Victoria presided over an empire on which the sun never set. By the time he died during the reign of Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter, that empire had vanished. Funny how quickly these things can happen.
The American Conservative
America: ‘Indispensable Nation’ No More
Andrew Bacevich | Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies

See also

Prelude to Civil War II?

Zero Hedge
Bannon: 2019 To Be "Most Vitriolic Year In American Politics Since Before The Civil War" 
Tyler Durden

See also

Zero Hedge
Conrad Black Exposes The Greatest Constitutional Crisis Since The Civil War
Tyler Durden

Zero Hedge
Why Populism?
Michael Every of Rabobank

Matt Bruenig — What’s the Point of Modern Monetary Theory?

Another straw man argument.

Matt Bruenig begins with summarizing what some prominent MMT critics have said and then attacks MMT on that basis. Lame.

At one time, it was prudent strategically to correct erroneous arguments against MMT. It still is when arguments are researched. But otherwise it is a waste of time now. Time can be more productively allocated.

People's Policy Project
What’s the Point of Modern Monetary Theory?
Matt Bruenig

David Roberts — This is an emergency, damn it


The GND proposal that is on the table doesn't scratch the surface of what needs to be done. Global resources must be reconfigured and deployed internationally to meet this emergent challenge. The scope and scale of a design solution is mind-boggling. Tweaking around the edges is simply a foolish delay.

The alternative is massive culling.

This is an emergency, damn it
David Roberts

See also at VOX

It is absolutely time to panic about climate change
Sean Illing

See also

World in Transition: Climate Change as a Security Risk - WBGU (2007)
Members of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) 

Foreign Policy (9 Jan 2018)
The Only Force That Can Beat Climate Change Is the U.S. Army
Anatol Lieven

Magpie — Parallel Lives

Personally, I’d recommend Marxists to pay MMT closer attention. It has plenty to teach us.
I would say the same to MMTers.

Marxism is about emancipation of workers from wage-slavery, which Marx analyzes in terms of capitalism as concentrated private ownership of the means of production being based on rent seeking and rent extract. This is free riding on the system and is parasitical. 

Under capitalism, workers are in a position similar to serfs and peasants under feudalism and the dominance of land lords, regardless of being "better off." They are still putting in unpaid work time and have little chance to escape the system in aggregate. The Horatio Alger stories obscure the truth.

Peter Cooper (www.heteconomist.com is probably the best reference on MMT and Marxism.  Michael Hudson ( is also a good source, although he is not always in paradigm with MMT.

Magpie's Asymmetric Warfare
Parallel Lives

See also

Mitchell Aboulafia | Professor of Philosophy at Manhattan College

Bruce Currie — How can America pay for things the people want? With ease.

Good summary article on MMT.

Here's a teaser:
With a sovereign currency, what this nation chooses to spend money on should be removed from any discussion of how a program should be paid for. Congress can authorize such spending at any time. Inflation is never a concern, so long as sufficient goods and services are available to purchase with the money spent into the economy.

In fact, government spending that invests in new infrastructure, more efficient buildings and transportation, and in better health care for all, has a multiplier effect that spending on war does not. The benefits of such spending are concrete and tangible to all of us, because they ripple through the economy in ways that spending on wars cannot.

Much of this spending is on things that the private sector will not or cannot do, because it’s on things that aren’t profitable – like roads and mass transit, or retrofitting buildings for greater energy efficiency. The return on investment may be too risky, or too many years away.

And thanks to “shareholder value theory” popularized by Milton Friedman, U.S. corporations have become risk-averse – more interested in stock market manipulations than in long-term investment.

Contrary to critics, government spending doesn’t drive out private spending. Instead, such spending creates opportunities for new investment by the private sector.
 Recommended reading. Pass it on.

Concord Monitor
How can America pay for things the people want? With ease.
Bruce Currie

Christopher Carley — My Turn: Money, wealth and balloon navigation

Hyperinflation crank.

Concord Monitor
My Turn: Money, wealth and balloon navigationChristopher Carley

Institute for Energy Research — MMT and the Green New Deal

I hate to break it to the MMTers, but fuddy-duddy economists already knew this. Indeed, among free-market economists it is a standard pedagogical device to tell the audience that the government has three ways of financing its spending, namely (1) taxes, (2) borrowing, or (3) inflation. So this notion that only the MMTers perceive the possibility of the printing press as a means of “paying for” government programs is silly. 
For proof, consider the following excerpt from Austrian economist Murray Rothbard’s economics treatise, Man, Economy, and State, published in 1962:
You get the idea. Claims that MMT economists are cranks by citing a crank.

Canadian Free Press
MMT and the Green New Deal
Institute for Energy Research

Josh Ryan-Collins - Debunking Deregulation: Bank Credit Guidance and Productive Investment

Deregulated banking in rich countries delivers more “investment” in speculative asset markets, not productive businesses.

Deregulation of the financial sector has not improved growth as it was said it would, but rather the opposite has happened, as money went mainly into the speculation of assets instead. 

I read years ago in the financial section of the Guardian, when it was still a decant paper, how the pension funds were just putting all their money into property creating house price booms. As property prices skyrocket, pension fund profits dramatically increased creating huge bonuses for pension funds managers, but when the crashes came and everyone lost money, the pension fund managers kept their massive bonuses. 

The article then went on to say that the pension funds should have been regulated to invest in industry instead, especially new industries, like green technology, computer and software design, etc. Even the British inventors of graphine, a remarkable new substance, had trouble getting British finance interested, and now the Chinese are world leaders in it. And Dyson wanted his company to be British but he had to take it to China instead.

In these emerging new industries young people could have got well paid, highly skilled jobs, with university degrees that would have been worth having. And there would have been more apprenticeships and good jobs for unskilled people. Then they would have produced the profits to keep the pension funds in good order, giving retired people excellent pensions. 

Most people who vote for right-wing parties have no idea how much they and their children have lost, while a few at the top raked it in. Now these people want to privatise the NHS so they can take off half the money the government spends on healthcare, while whacking prices up as well. And if you add in the squandered North Sea oil, you can see how the British people have been had over.

Just think, excellent highly skilled well paid jobs, less reliance on fossil fuel helping to mitigate the Middle Eastern problem, low cost renewable energy, better pensions with perhaps earlier retirement creating more jobs for young people. All lost because of right-wing economics - neoliberalism! Now a third of the British people are the poorest in Northern Western Europe. 

These new empirical findings support a much older body of theory that argues that credit markets, left to their own devices, will not optimise the allocation of resources. Instead, following Joseph Schumpeter’s, Keynes’ and Hyman Minsky’s arguments, they will tend to shift financial resources away from real-sector investment and innovation and towards asset markets and speculation; away from equitable income growth and towards capital gains that polarises wealth and income; and away from a robust, stable growth path and towards fragile boom-busts cycles with frequent crises.