hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011
Gary Farber (Obsidian Wings) - CPT Thomas J. Casey's Bronze Star

ROD NORDLAND (NYT) - 12 Americans Die as Blast Hits Bus in Afghanistan

Corrente Wire - Bernanke & Unemployment

I like Bernanke as a person. But the unemployed deserve to know that there are consequences to the nation's top economic policy-makers for failing to prevent high unemployment.

Violet Socks - The end of male primogeniture

Susie Madrak - Greece
Kevin Drum explains the latest banking mess.

I agree with Atrios that this is really not that difficult. This is just a form of bank run, and we know the way to deal with bank runs is some FDIC-like system.

Arthur Silber - Once Upon a Time. . .

ROBERT D. McFADDEN (NYT) - Dorothy Rodham, Mother and Mentor of Hillary Clinton, Is Dead at 92

Thomas Macaulay Millar (Feministe) - Facts on rape
. . .rape is not the result of miscommunications, and since it’s not the result of miscommunications, sending “mixed signals” isn’t the problem. . .

Rapists aren't actually seeking consensual sex, they're seeking plausible deniability that non-consensual coercion cannot be proved to be non-consensual. They're not looking for the truth ("Is this rape?"), they're looking for a cover story ("Can I make it possible to argue that I couldn't be expected to know this was rape?").

Alan Rappeport (FT) - Obama orders FDA to tackle drugs shortage
. . .Last month, a US congressional committee requested documents from five “grey market” drug companies that buy and sell drugs in short supply to find out how they are acquiring the drugs and how much profit they are making from selling them to hospitals and pharmacies. The committee said that one company was selling a drug to treat leukaemia for nearly $1,000 per vial when the normal price was $12 per vial. . .

One key point that was not made in the FT article: Europe & Japan do not have these drug shortages.

If I were the Dems, I would make this story the centerpiece of the 2012 campaign. "We found evidence that rogue companies & health-care providers were trying to corner the market in cancer drugs so they could drive up the price and gouge hospitals. We immediately investigated and and used every tool in our power to put a stop to it. We are willing to take action to stop these abuses, no matter how loudly the rogue companies squeal. The Republicans aren't".

The Herman Cain case reminds me of how much I hate non-disclosure agreements (I also hated the non-disclosure aspect of the settlements the Catholic Church made in an attempt to cover up clergy abuse). "I did nothing wrong, but let's let it be our little secret, hmm'kay?" I think a good law Congress could pass is "Non-disclosure agreements shall not be enforceable in a court of law unless the enforcer of non-disclosure clause can demonstrate that said enforcement poses no serious risks to the general public."

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