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Ian Welsh

Entries by Ian Welsh

Carl Safina's View From Lazy Point: Expanding the Circle of Compassion One More Time

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2011 | 7:53 PM

There is a life lived within the rhythm of the seasons and the embrace of the land. A life where the cry of the chickadee announces a new season, a world where the return of salmon, silver in the whitewater, is celebrated as much, or more, than any holiday. In...

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The Primary Obama Movement Begins Today

(7) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 12:42 AM

The 2010 electoral massacre is all but over and Democrats are licking their wounds.

Let me put it simply, what went wrong went wrong from the very top of the party. In both political and policy terms, the President of the United States, the head of the Democratic...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Why Democrats Lost

(18) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 10:58 PM

The Democrats gained control of both Congress and the Presidency. They then pursued ineffective policies which didn't fix the economy. They increased deportations of Hispanics. They restricted abortion rights for women. They spat on gays repeatedly. They betrayed unions. They gutted civil rights, going even further than George W. Bush...

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As the Euro and the Pound Come Under Pressure, Bend Over and Kiss Europe's Economy Goodbye

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2010 | 5:40 PM

The catch-22 continues. First, the Euro under pressure:

Global Markets Overview: A sudden drop in the single currency reverses an early tentative advance for stocks as traders once again frett about the fragility of the eurozone economy
Second, the Pound under pressure:
Speculators extended their short positions in...
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Global Warming: A Localized Pause and Then the End of Our Civilization

(111) Comments | Posted May 16, 2010 | 8:41 PM

The majority of the American population now thinks that global warming probably doesn't exist. Part of that is the huge amount of money which has been spent on propaganda, but part of it is that the only continent which is not experiencing increased temperatures right now--is the continental USA*. If...

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Kos Calls For Progressive Civil War

(25) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 5:03 PM

Kos is threatening Dennis Kucinich, of all people, with a primary if he doesn't vote for health care "reform."

Let me get this straight, Kos wants to primary one of the most reliable and principled progressives in Congress (perhaps the most principled one) because Kucinich doesn't want to vote for...

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Video: How Small Changes in Driving Add Up To A Big Win for the Environment

(1) Comments | Posted February 12, 2010 | 3:40 AM

A delightful stop motion tilt-shift timelapse video on greenfleeting: making fleets of automobiles more environmentally friendly.

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Finding Common Ground Between Public Option Advocates and Single Payer Advocates

(6) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 2:30 AM

A heated argument is going on about the right health insurance model between those those who believe in a public option and those who believe in single payer.

Or perhaps I should say between those who are willing to take what they can get -- a public option -- and...

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Americans Lives vs. Insurance Company Profits: The Real Battle in Health Care Reform

(58) Comments | Posted July 21, 2009 | 12:12 PM

Lying about health care -- indeed, fear-mongering about health care -- has ramped up as insurance companies attempt to keep their profits. Those profits are created by a system where the U.S. spends 5 percent more of its economy on health care in exchange for the worst results of any...

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Senate Democrats Against The Public Option Aren't Caving -- They Just Don't Belive In Real Universal Healthcare

(20) Comments | Posted June 22, 2009 | 1:35 AM

Chris at Americablog wonders why some Senate Democrats are caving on healthcare when 72% want a public option and 85% think the system needs to be fundamentally changed. He thinks it's because such Dems are spineless. That fundamentally misunderstands the situation. To vote against something that 72% of the...

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Disrespecting the Poor

(5) Comments | Posted May 19, 2009 | 1:58 AM

The Washington Post hits on how much it costs to be poor -- the way that the poor are forced to pay more, not less, for virtually everything; if not in money, then in time.

A friend of mine put it most simply. Poor people spend time to save...

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The Consequences of (Yet Again) Failing to Stand Up to the Banks

(17) Comments | Posted May 14, 2009 | 5:09 AM

The Senate just stopped limits on credit card rates. Sometimes it takes a socialist to say the obvious:

"When banks are charging 30 percent interest rates, they are not making credit available," said Mr. Sanders, who noted credit unions are limited to 15 percent. "They are engaged in loan-sharking."

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On Mothers Day: Caging a Nightingale

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2009 | 11:59 PM

It being mother's day, and the entire world conspiring to tell me about it, over and over again, I've been thinking a bit about my mum. She died 3 years ago of cancer. I spent her last two weeks by her bed, and she died the night I told her...

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Why Central Bank Inflation Targeting Didn't Work

(5) Comments | Posted May 6, 2009 | 3:38 PM

Martin Wolf, one of the best economics commenters, notes that the widespread idea that central banks, over the past 30 years, had found the holy grail of policy in inflation targeting, was clearly wrong. That's good as far as it goes, and he's right. But it's worth taking...

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America's Essential Political Insanity

(23) Comments | Posted May 5, 2009 | 3:12 PM

Walk with me a while and imagine you are mad. Crazy. Insane. It's an interesting sort of insanity-you see the world as something other than it is. You are dead convinced that people are out to get you, but these people have almost no means to harm you and fear...

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The Chrysler Bankruptcy May Not Be As Smooth As Hoped

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2009 | 9:28 PM

Chrysler went into bankruptcy because creditors wouldn't agree to be wiped out. They may believe that they will do better in front of a bankruptcy court, or some of them may have credit default swaps (CDSs) and have wanted Chrysler to go under so they would be paid off...

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Why Pakistan's Decline Is Almost Inevitable

(7) Comments | Posted April 27, 2009 | 8:29 PM

Benazir Bhutto's niece, Fatima Bhutto, lays out the reasons for decline as succinctly as anyone I've read:

The Taliban and their ilk, on the other hand, are able to seat themselves in towns and villages across Pakistan without much difficulty largely because they do not come empty-handed. In a...
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Economics of a Flu Pandemic

(47) Comments | Posted April 25, 2009 | 5:06 PM

While I think it's unlikely that the current outbreak of swine flu will reach pandemic proportions, it's worth looking at what a pandemic would be like in economic terms, and what individuals can do to prepare for one.


When I was approached to write...

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Big Brother is Watching

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2009 | 1:04 PM

More panopticon news raises the specter of not having any privacy left. First, America follows in the Brits' footsteps by keeping DNA on file from people who were arrested but not convicted.

Next for Britain is:

1) The mobile calls, emails and website visits of every person in...
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Bank Profits Are The The Choice America Has Made

(3) Comments | Posted April 13, 2009 | 9:59 PM

Peter Morici points out something which should be obvious:

Monday afternoon, Goldman Sachs reported much larger than expected first quarter profits, and this comes on the heels of Wells Fargo's strong earnings reported last week.

No one should be surprised.

The Federal Reserve has provided the banks with lots...

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