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Liberal Outrage

Mandatory privatized retirement accounts

David Sirota & Avi Asher-Schapiro:

While Hillary Clinton has spent the presidential campaign saying as little as possible about her ties to Wall Street, the executive who some observers say could be her Treasury Secretary has been openly promoting a plan to give financial firms control of hundreds of billions of dollars in retirement savings. The executive is Tony James, president of the Blackstone Group...

The proposal would require workers and employers to put a percentage of payroll into individual retirement accounts "to be invested well in pooled plans run by professional investment managers," as James put it. In other words, individual voluntary 401(k)s would be replaced by a single national system, and much of the mandated savings would flow to Wall Street, where companies like Blackstone could earn big fees off the assets.

More from Yves Smith.

By fnord12 | October 20, 2016, 4:54 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

"Centrist Internationalism"

Here comes the goddamn apocalypse:

In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama's departure from the White House -- and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton -- is being met with quiet relief.

The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy, via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House.

By fnord12 | October 20, 2016, 4:51 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Next: We torture puppies

Not feeling depressed for some reason? Time magazine has you covered:

They did it as a warning to other potential drug users.  Kind of like putting heads on a pike outside the city walls.

By fnord12 | October 17, 2016, 6:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Your lying eyes, etc.

I hear we are not at war in Yemen. Which is good. Because even if we have been supporting a country that is at war in Yemen both financially and logistically, and even though we may have had a ship fired at, and even though we've bombed Yemen and may "have to" do so again, it would be terrible if we were at war.

We'd also like you to know that what we're doing in Yemen is very different than what Russia is doing in Syria. And as soon as the State Department official can figure out why it's different, he'll let you know.

By fnord12 | October 14, 2016, 11:00 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Maybe not forever after all

Found on Naked Capitalism:

Over the past few days, the Diamond Producers Association launched its first new ad campaign in five years after watching retail sales of diamond jewelry slow down, as Millennials built on the habit pioneered by prior generations of delaying or not even thinking about marriage, and thus not being sufficiently enthusiastic about buying diamond engagement rings.

The campaign, according to Adweek, is designed to motivate Millennials "to commemorate their 'real,' honest relationships with diamonds, even if marriage isn't part of the equation."

Would an honest relationship with diamonds include talking about slithering into a recession. Good thing we have such promising choices in this next election.

By fnord12 | October 12, 2016, 2:56 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Not that it'll mean much

I'm unsure if the things being revealed about Hillary Clinton in the latest Wikileaks drop (here, here, and elsewhere) are new awful, confirmation of old awful, or if i'm just suffering from confirmation bias, but, regardless, i love the response from Bernie Sanders (from the second link):

Her former Democratic presidential rival, Bernie Sanders responded in a statement, "Whatever Secretary Clinton may or may not have said behind closed doors on Wall Street, I am determined to implement the agenda of the Democratic Party platform which was agreed upon by her campaign," and which "calls for breaking up the largest financial institutions in this country, re-establishing Glass-Steagall and prosecuting those many Wall Street CEOs who engaged in illegal behavior."

Sounds like he's acting like he has a contract and he's all ready to turn against her if she drops the ball on the things that (he thinks) she's agreed to.

By fnord12 | October 12, 2016, 7:23 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

Return of the Commies

Everything is a plot by the Kremlin.

I hope we're at least gonna get some Super Apes out of this.

By fnord12 | October 11, 2016, 9:38 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

I Love Zhang Yimou, But

I'm not seeing this white savior movie. Sorry, Matt Damon.

New York Comic Con has brought us some new information about Matt Damon's upcoming star turn in a creature feature set in ancient China called The Great Wall. As soon as early news about this movie emerged, so too did concerns that the movie would revolve around a classic "white savior" narrative involving Matt Damon's character coming to fight with the Chinese armies against the monsters and save them from the threat. Why do the Chinese characters in this movie need a Western outsider to show up and save them?
It's a very common trope in fiction to see a "white savior" showing up, joining an Asian organization or army, then proving that he is actually "the best" of them all. This is a concern that has been raised already about Iron Fist, as well as Doctor Strange, since both of those stories revolve around Western characters traveling to the East and learning how to be "the best" at whatever techniques they learn there. This is even a story that's been used in Wolverine comics and in the new Wolverine movies (with Wolverine traveling to Japan on a quest for self-discovery), and it also famously appeared in the 2003 action movie The Last Samurai. This "white savior" trope has been written about in media analysis texts for decades. It runs the gamut from a white character learning martial arts and eventually surpassing his Asian teachers, to a white character saving an entire Asian society from a threat using skills that apparently the Asian characters lack, for whatever reason.

Damon addressed the controversy himself on his panel about the movie at NYCC, but it doesn't seem as though he fully understands the problem at hand, let alone how prevalent it actually is. According to Coming Soon's transcript of Damon's words at the panel, he said:

"Yeah, it was a f*ckin' bummer. I had a few reactions. I was surprised, I guess because it was based on a teaser, it wasn't even a full trailer let alone a movie. To get those charges levied against you... What bummed me out is I read The Atlantic religiously and there was an article in The Atlantic. I was like, 'Really, guys?' To me whitewashing was when Chuck Connors played Geronimo. (laughs) There are far more nuanced versions of it and I do try to be sensitive to that, but Pedro Pascal called me and goes, 'Yeah, we are guilty of whitewashing. We all know only the Chinese defended the wall against the monster attack.'"

To point out the white savior problem that seems to be exactly what they're marketing is apparently undermining our credibility because we've only seen the teaser and trailer and not the entire film. Well, if it's not a white savior movie, then mebbe you should try not marketing it that way and then we wouldn't have to have this discussion.

And to add salt to that wound,

The Great Wall won't be passing the Bechdel-Wallace Test. There appears to be only one woman in the movie's main cast, to be played by Jing Tian. In this trailer, she appears to be the only woman fighting on the battlefield, but for some reason, the movie isn't about her experiences becoming a warrior woman in ancient supernatural-universe China... even though that sounds way more interesting than whatever Matt Damon's character does, which is show up, steal stuff, and shoot arrows. In this trailer, Jing Tian's character looks like a by-the-books "Action Girl", the only woman on the team. I'm willing to stake money that she'll end up as someone's love interest and, also, end up getting captured by baddies and rescued at least once.

Oh, she's totally going to end up a love interest. Most likely Damon's. Blech.

By min | October 11, 2016, 9:26 AM | Liberal Outrage & Movies | Link

NJ Poll

Link (PDF).

Seems pretty safe to vote third party, if one were inclined to do so.

By fnord12 | October 6, 2016, 7:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link

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