Good Sunday morning. A few items that caught my eye that I thought might be worth your time:

• It’s Not All About The Fiscal Cliff (Comstock) see also Kaletsky: Confessions of a deficit denier (Reuters)
• Thaler: Applause for the Numbers Machine (NYT)
• Hating Tech, Loving Junk: Global money managers have abandoned tech stocks and small caps in favor of junk bonds and REITs. This will not end well. (Barron’s)
• Steve Jobs vs. Sam Walton: The tale of the tape (CNN Money) see also Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: The ultimate disrupter (Fortune)
• How Dead Is the Book Business? (NYT)
• Chicago judge okays AG suit vs S&P. Bad omen for rating agencies? (Thomson Reuters)
• Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation (Spiegel Online)
• Scientists uncover a new pathway that regulates information processing in the brain (Science Codex) see also Study reveals how the brain stores information about social rank (Wellcome)
• When armies become media: Israel live-blogs and tweets an attack on Hamas (Gigaom)
• IRS sued for not enforcing campaign restrictions on churches (Daily Page) see also Freedom From Religion Foundation sues IRS for not enforcing electioneering restrictions on churches (The Daily Page)

What are you reading?


13 Cents of Every Retail Dollar Was Spent at Gas Stations

Source: Real Time Economics

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

23 Responses to “10 Sunday Reads”

  1. swag says:

    Thx for the Freedom from Religion Foundation links. Their annual convention was a blast: Richard Dawkins, Peter Baghossian, Julia Sweeney . . .

    Secularism: the way of now.

  2. mathman says:

    Naomi Kline on Capitalism and Climate Change (Bill Moyers interview)

  3. Greg0658 says:

    ‘ Religion Foundation sues IRS ‘ .. please not another force to pass cash to lawyers hense go underground legally .. I see mathman highlights BillM too – Naomi was a good seg

    Trevor Potter on Big Money’s Election Effect
    November 16, 2012

    bankers, accountants, lawyers, media’istas are stealing your oil people .. wait – its not stealing if you buy the stuff

  4. ilsm says:

    Cut the US’ too large war spending.

    Pull out of the empire.

    It is going to waste, since the traitors Mc Cain, Gramm and Ayotte are outing the CIA ‘s Human intelligence apparatus in the US media.

  5. Sunny129 says:

    Honest. I didn’t make this up!!!!

    Letter in this week’s Barrons-
    comment to Article-Hope Springs, but You Shouldn’t

    November 17, 2012
    J R wrote:
    True story
    (This happened at a Ford Dealership 7 miles north of Albany NY)

    One of my salesmen here had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus. As he was reviewing her credit application with her he noticed she was on social security disability.

    He said to her you don’t look like you’re disabled and unable to work.

    She said well I’m really not. I could work if I wanted to, but I make more now than I did when I was working and got hurt (non-disabling injury). She said the gov’t sends her $1500.00 a month in 1 check. And she gets $700.00 a month on an EBT card (food stamps), and $800.00 a month for rent. Oh yeah, and 250 minutes free on her phone. That is just south of $3500.00 a month.

    When she was working, she was taking home about $330.00 per week. Do the math and then ask yourself why the hell should she go back to work. If you multiply that by millions of people, you start to realize the scope of the problem we face as a country…’


  6. theexpertisin says:

    Churches should be taxed. I state this as a practicing Catholic. I also think there should be no entity that should be allowed to avoid fair taxation. This includes foundations, trusts, all religious institutions and all so-called “non profits” . Tax differed treatment? Out. Federal and state income tax? Everyone pays in proportion without exception.

    Until everyone has skin in the game so far as paying in fair share to support our governmental endeavors, I do not think an honest appraisal of our public spending will be possible.

    There should be no deserters, or tax postponement gimmicks from appropriate taxation.

  7. Greg0658 says:

    Sunny thats an interesting story .. just want to add to our thought process – is that stuff a person & family welfare program or a merchant welfare program? Does it matter ? yes it does – it encourages population growth – hense more drain on “Precious” … what stops the immediate drain on precious’es – death – ok what’s the solution pc’ers? … fire it up – ready to go (pc wise that is)

  8. RW says:

    Well that didn’t take long. Apparently it is so downright odd, dang it, for a well researched and fair report produced by House Republican’s that they decided they better disavow it and take it down.

    Follow the doggie doo trail at ‘House Republicans Release Watershed Copyright Reform Paper’

  9. ilsm says:


    I am sure she qualified for the lease.

    The world is indeed a strange place, I could not make a lot of this up.

    Albany NY has no defense plants so it is not getting enough welfare back from the federal government. Big time!

    The DoD is buying F-35 fighters, which did not pass the few tests that could be done, because the thing broke so much they could not do the flight tests. That will be $1500B over the next 20 years good income if you can bring it home!

    That is welfare.

    On Nov 15 2012 an F-22 which cost nearly $700M went into a smoking hole in the woods near Panama City, Fl. A few weeks before a student at the same base did not apply enough power and turned the $700M toy into a skate board with no wheels!

    That is welfare.

    The Navy is planning to spend nearly $35B to build two new super carriers, a new class better than their last class. They are going to put in an ‘electro magnetic catapult’, that is not ready for prime time.

    That is welfare.

    No space or time for the rest: MV 22, C-17, B-2, Littoral Combat Ship, San Antonio Class landing ships, Zumwalt, DDG 1000, Star Wars, Standing Armies, aid to kill Palestinians………………..

    Welfare for the war profiteers is about the same cash outlay as the total of annual disbursements to SS retirement and disability.

    Perpetual war profiteering, crony capitalism, bailing out banksters, and tax cuts for the wealthy are the issue.

    And you throw around urban legends about a welfare queen in a county with no war welfare, getting a couple grand a month

    You cannot make this stuff up!

  10. louiswi says:

    Here are some very simple questions.
    How many lobbyists do welfare recipients have? A. None
    How many lobbyists do the poor have? A. None
    How many lobbyists do defense contractors have? A. Thousands

  11. RW says:

    Bill Moyers and Trevor Potter On Big Money’s Election Effect (ht Jesse)

    Think Super Pac and 501c4 “social welfare” money didn’t matter this election? Think again (this may surprise you).
    Think that money won’t matter even more next time? Think again.
    Think that money won’t further distort and weaken our political system? Think again.
    Think it won’t lead to a wave of corruption and influence dwarfing the Gilded Age in the decades to come? Think again.

  12. Sunny129 says:


    I agree with you with the ugly (the other side of welfare queens coin!) reality of CORPORATE WELFARE which gets ignored b/c the powerful Mega congress-Military-complex makes sure it is always muzzled under the ‘radar’ for any honest public debate in MSM.

    Any one who raises the objection will be labelled ant-American or even a ‘enemy combatant’!

    Since a Corporation was declared as a citizen and money as ‘free speech’ by declared shamelessly our GOP 5-4 SCOTUS, they got more power and influence over the budget than any other segment in our society.

  13. James Cameron says:

    > You cannot make this stuff up!

    This Economist article dates from July 2011, but sums up the scandal that is our weapons procurement process:

    The last manned fighter

    Also, see the Wikipedia article on the F-35:


    1.3 Program cost increases and further delays
    1.4 Concerns over performance and safety
    1.5 Problems with Lockheed Martin

    Change the name and you pretty much have the B-1, B-2 and F-22 programs.

    Our major weapons procurement programs all share key characteristics now: costs and schedules that soar, production numbers that dwindle, dubious missions by the time they’re finally produced . . . and in many instances production that has been spread across most states.

    We should think long and hard when presidential candidates and others talk up a patriotic storm about the need to keep up military funding in order to have a military “second to none.”

  14. SecondLook says:


    Just from that $1500 a month from SSDI, the story is almost certainly untrue.

    In order to get that amount, she would have had to have an annual income level around $60,000, not the $17,000 that is stated, before she applied to for disability insurance.
    To qualify for SSDI, you have to prove a 100% disability, i.e. impaired to the extant that you can never work again; not any kind of work, at all. The Social Security Administration has a reputation of being rather tough to convince, unless it’s clearly obvious.

    I would say the story is yet another welfare urban myth that floats around the Internet like flies on dead meat…

  15. Conan says:

    Here is an interesting read:

    Ceilings, Cliffs and TAG: Three Immediate Risks

    The recent market sell off has not been about the re-election of President Obama but rather the repositioning of assets by professional investors in anticipation of three key events coming between now and the end of this year – the “fiscal cliff”, the debt ceiling and the expiration of the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG). Each of these events have different impacts on the economy and the financial markets

  16. brianinla says:

    Well secondlook how do you explain the 3.6 million that have been added to SSDI since 2008? Did the workplace suddenly get that much more unsafe that all those people got injuries? Or is it government policy that allows such fraud and keeps them dependent on continuing government checks in exchange for their vote (and subtracting them out of unemployment stats).


    BR: This has been an ongoing trend for more than a 25 years: At the end of 2011, there were 10.6 million Americans collecting SSDI — up from 7.2 million in 2002. Since 1985, the share of the U.S. population receiving SSDI benefits has risen from 2.2% (adults age 25 to 64) into 4.1% in 2005.

    You have two factors: Demographics (lots of elderly) and high long term unemployment.

  17. formerlawyer says:


    I call BS. This urban myth was posted on 3,600 mostly conservative websites dating back to 2011. This story comes from various chain e-mails.

  18. Expat says:

    Re: SSDI Why on earth would we let questionable veracity get in the way of a good story? Let’s also toss in that the woman was a black, atheist, unmarried mother of three (three different fathers) as well as a second generation immigrant (parents were Muslims from Somalia). Did I miss anything?