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Liberal Outrage

I hope Krugman is wearing his Ring of Mixed Metaphor Resistance

New York Times columnists aren't supposed to pick fights with each other but it seems like Thomas Friedman has rubbed Paul Krugman the wrong way recently:

[M}any, many people (I'd guess an especially large fraction of those at Davos) are eager to get away from all this deflation stuff and talk about how what they imagine to be, or wish were, the really important issues like Big Data and a world that's even flatter.

There were people like that during the Great Depression too -- dismissing as naive any notion that you could put the unemployed back to work just by spending more, and surely technological unemployment was the real story, and anyway we should be looking at the broad sweep of history and institutions, right?

A very feisty concluding paragraph too:

Finally, I know that people who airily dismiss the austerity debate and all that and demand that we focus on the long run think they're taking a brave stand; but you know, they aren't. In fact, they're ducking the truly hard issues -- because let's face it, stimulus and austerity, QE or not, are politically charged issues where taking any kind of stand will get you attacked. And since they are also important issues, pretending that they aren't is a form of moral cowardice.

By fnord12 | January 31, 2015, 12:02 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

FBI Successfully Foils Their Own Manufactured Terror Plot

Your morning Glenn Greenwald:

The affidavit filed by an FBI investigative agent alleges Cornell had "posted comments and information supportive of [ISIS] through Twitter accounts." The FBI learned about Cornell from an unnamed informant who, as the FBI put it, "began cooperating with the FBI in order to obtain favorable treatment with respect to his criminal exposure on an unrelated case." Acting under the FBI's direction, the informant arranged two in-person meetings with Cornell where they allegedly discussed an attack on the Capitol, and the FBI says it arrested Cornell to prevent him from carrying out the attack.

Family members say Cornell converted to Islam just six months ago and claimed he began attending a small local mosque. Yet The Cincinnati Enquirer could not find a single person at that mosque who had ever seen him before, and noted that a young, white, recent convert would have been quite conspicuous at a mosque largely populated by "immigrants from West Africa," many of whom "speak little or no English."


The known facts from this latest case seem to fit well within a now-familiar FBI pattern whereby the agency does not disrupt planned domestic terror attacks but rather creates them, then publicly praises itself for stopping its own plots.

First, they target a Muslim: not due to any evidence of intent or capability to engage in terrorism, but rather for the "radical" political views he expresses. In most cases, the Muslim targeted by the FBI is a very young (late teens, early 20s), adrift, unemployed loner who has shown no signs of mastering basic life functions, let alone carrying out a serious terror attack, and has no known involvement with actual terrorist groups.

They then find another Muslim who is highly motivated to help disrupt a "terror plot": either because they're being paid substantial sums of money by the FBI or because (as appears to be the case here) they are charged with some unrelated crime and are desperate to please the FBI in exchange for leniency (or both). The FBI then gives the informant a detailed attack plan, and sometimes even the money and other instruments to carry it out, and the informant then shares all of that with the target. Typically, the informant also induces, lures, cajoles, and persuades the target to agree to carry out the FBI-designed plot. In some instances where the target refuses to go along, they have their informant offer huge cash inducements to the impoverished target.

Once they finally get the target to agree, the FBI swoops in at the last minute, arrests the target, issues a press release praising themselves for disrupting a dangerous attack (which it conceived of, funded, and recruited the operatives for), and the DOJ and federal judges send their target to prison for years or even decades (where they are kept in special GITMO-like units). Subservient U.S. courts uphold the charges by applying such a broad and permissive interpretation of "entrapment" that it could almost never be successfully invoked. As AP noted last night, "defense arguments have repeatedly failed with judges, and the stings have led to many convictions."

By min | January 22, 2015, 9:16 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Why is this idiot my Senator?

Menendez: Obama Admin's Iran Talking Points Are 'Straight Out Of Tehran'.

He's bucked Obama on this and on Cuba. How can he be from the same state that elected Cory Booker? Can he at least not be the Dem's Ranking Member on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations?

By fnord12 | January 21, 2015, 6:43 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Cheap and fast internet access is not a technical problem

Matthew Yglesias has some sad facts that are particularly relevant to the SuperMegaHousehold as we watch our internet-only Comcast bill start creeping up again.

By fnord12 | January 15, 2015, 10:02 AM | Liberal Outrage & My stupid life | Link

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