Morning Reads for Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Above, today in history

Below, your Morning Reads!


  • To show spelling and poker, ESPN made the viewer omniscient (Quartz)
  • The Tool to make Social Security Sufficient (NYT)
  • Before you comment, here’s a list of common misconceptions  (Wiki)
  • In China, an Empire Built by following Apple’s directions (NYT)
  • Domestic Surveillance, to Obama from Bush,  (Mother Jones)
  • Scalia Gives Obamacare a healthy push (Bloomberg)
  • Financial Scandals and the Legislation They Inspired (SecHistorical)
  • How the GOP lost young voters in favor of the retired (Politico)
  • On Octopus and and the eighthness of being (Boston Review)
  • How the internet’s limited view makes believing from seeing (Book Forum)
  • Did Hipster Tech Really Save the Obama Campaign? (Wired)
  • Aging Nations Prefer Low Prices To Income Gain (Bloomberg)
  • How do large rocks move themselves across the desert (Smithsonian)
  • Defending the economic model McCain hopes to invert:

…-Part 1: The Cord-Cutting Fantasy. Getting only the content you want without paying for everything is a fantasy. Pay TV is socialism that works.
…-Part 2: Why TV has resisted disruption. Great content is differentiated, has high barriers to entry, and depends on networks.
…-Part 3: The Jobs TV Does. The key question is attention, not set top boxes. What jobs do we hire TV to do?


  • Jack Kingston tells how to run a campaign and have money to burn (savannahnow)
  • Though Paul Broun’s antics in the House should be a concern, (TheHill)
  • Wonkette considers him a national treat! (Wonkette),
  • Kasim Reed and Nathan Deal make each other complete (JamestownSun)
  • So says the Mayor, those who move against gun control will be judged (AJC)
  • Georgia Dems have a new leader, now that Berlon’s been nudged (GPB)
  • Loudermilk says its Orwellian, Lindsey goes for balance on domestic spying (CherokeeTribune)
  • How to improve GOP relations with women without even trying (RomeNewsTribune)
  • Handel confident of grassroots springboard (NorthFulton)
  • Time to put out to pasture that which we’ve long ignored (CL)


  1. xdog says:

    That’s General Henry V. Graham telling the preening little rooster Wallace what the score is. Graham had an active role in several of the mid-60s civil rights confrontations.

    • saltycracker says:

      Poverty – no child in metro Atlanta should go hungry, be abused, live in filth, lack basic health care, be denied an education that teaches them to read, write, speak clear English (starting with the teachers) & calculate at a level to be self-sufficient.

      The Brooking Institute is a respectable institution and while reporting poverty as defined has made a very strong case that the definition of poverty is wrong. It measures income but does not take into consideration all the support afforded those below that income level.

      The link is a United Way promo to be your personal shopper against poverty. The Metro Atlanta prez knocks down like $360K+ plus perks. The non-profits do pretty good in Atlanta and hopefully more do it right than those that don’t.

      The business of poverty and those grifters in it find it very lucrative for a very few.

      There is something to study & get to the bottom of when the economic center of the South is #1 in poverty.

    • sockpuppet says:

      Yes. If Obama had no undergradute degree, he would have never gotten into Harvard Law School.

      It is funny. Wayne Allen Root, the same guy who claims – or insinuates – that Obama never attended Columbia on one hand claims that Obama learned his Marxist playbook there on the other. Both cannot be true at the same time.

      Sort of like how some conservatives claim that all blacks are affirmative action hires taking jobs away from more qualified whites and wrecking the economy with Community Reinvestment Act mortgages on one hand, and are all on welfare and/or criminals in jail on the other. Again, while one or the other can possibly be true, they can’t possibly be true at the same time because they are mutually exclusive. Because if you have an affirmative action job and are exploiting an affirmative action program to get a mortgage to buy a house, you cannot also be a crack dealer on welfare. You can be one or the other but not both.

      The same thing with this Wayne Allen Root guy. Either Obama never attended Columbia, or he attended Columbia and learned his anti-American Marxist plot to become president and destroy America there. Gotta pick one and run with it. Or better yet abandon guys who promote mutually exclusive stuff. You know, guys like this and the guys on talk radio.

      Like Rush Limbaugh. Who yesterday on one hand extolled the merits of Edward Snowden, a white 29 year old high school dropout with no formal education (Limbaugh’s words) who somehow was making $200,000 a year as a high level IT consultant, and immediately switched gears on an anti-affirmative action rant about blacks getting jobs that they lacked the qualifications for over better qualified whites who did. With, you know, not the slightest bit of irony.

      You are better than this, Harry, and your (mis)information sources are leading you astray.

      • Harry says:

        How about the fact that no one remembers him including the professor who knew everyone in international relations? Also, as a mediocre student at a second-rate college in California, how was he able to transfer to Columbia if indeed he did so? Why doesn’t he allow his academic records to be released? Do you remember the stink the Democrats made about getting Bush’s records released? I guess there really is a double standard.

        • sockpuppet says:

          “Also, as a mediocre student at a second-rate college in California, how was he able to transfer to Columbia if indeed he did so?”

          Simple. It is much easier to transfer from one school with a decent reputation like Occidental to an elite school than it is to gain undergraduate admission. Incidentally, this is something that wealthy whites with average academic records and ability have long known and exploited. Also, as stated earlier, his getting into Harvard without an undergraduate degree is a bigger issue than his getting into Columbia from Occidental.

          And saying that “no one” remembers him is simply false. It is that Wayne Allen Root and his cohorts discredit the ones who do remember him while promoting the ones who do not. Basically, everyone who claims to remember Barack Obama at Columbia is part of the Marxist conspiracy or at the very least is a liberal partisan Democrat (or is Muslim!) and everyone who does not is telling the 100% complete truth.

          By the way, I am not an Obama fan, and I did not vote for him. I am just stating that Wayne Allen Root can’t claim that Obama never attended Columbia on one hand and claim that Obama joined the Marxist conspiracy to overthrow America while attending Columbia on the other. Root is taking you along for a ride and doing so for money and attention.

        • saltycracker says:

          We just have to accept that a bad guy caught a great wave, TWICE, and the vote went emotionally as there was no choice for a candidate to get us on a road that we could all ride equally.

          Term limits settles it. Let’s push that idea down to the local county.

    • sockpuppet says:

      It is funny. Charging the GOP with having a negative message when Obama ran the dirtiest, most negative and dishonest campaign of any president in a re-election campaign in recent memory.
      The GOP’s problem was that the money people in the party – many of them northeastern moderates weary of their party being dominated by southerners and midwesterners – put their money behind Romney early and that kept more formidable opponents out of the race. This happened in 2008 and 2012. You saw the result. Romney blew the 2008 nomination with the ridiculous strategy of running as both an evangelical Christian and pro-business moderate and using the mainstream media to play the “anti-Mormon bigot” card against anyone who disagreed, and then blew the 2012 general election by failing to articulate an agenda. The best part was that in both races Romney was so arrogant that he was absolutely convinced that he was going to win right up until the second that he didn’t. It was this arrogance that kept him from stepping back, admitting that his strategy was failing, and getting a new strategy and team.

      It gets better: Romney’s previous political experience was losing a winnable Massachusetts senate race in 1994 – the year of Gingrich and the contract with America – by trying to run to the left of the Democratic incumbent. Romney “won” the 2002 governor’s race only thanks to George W. Bush’s coattails after 9/11 and because the Massachusetts state party was in disarray. He was so ineffective and unpopular as governor that he didn’t run for re-election in 2006 because he knew that he would have gotten crushed. Oh yeah, and then there was his being a private equity guy when the financial sector caused the economic collapse. Mike Huckabee hammered Romney over that in 2008 and ultimately wound up costing him the nomination, and even what Huckabee did was mild compared to what Obama did to him.

      The only thing that the GOP should have learned from the 2012 fiasco is to not let the big money northeastern establishment insiders pick their nominee again. But unfortunately, it seems that they haven’t. Instead they are reacting by moving left, and the result will be moderates and independents that they are chasing still splitting their vote about 50/50 between the two parties like they always do, and conservative voters staying home just like they did in 2008 and 2012.

      • xdog says:

        Your entire premise is flawed. If you rate Obama’s campaign as ‘the dirtiest, most negative and dishonest campaign of any president’, how would you rank Bush/Kerry? Or Nixon/McGovern? Or LBJ/Goldwater?

        imo Romney was hindered most by his frequent position changes on key issues, most of them dear to the goper base. That’s the same reason Kennedy sent him home in 94 too. He was seen as an out of touch rich guy by the electorate, with no deep principles except a strong belief that people should vote for him and no concept of governance other than taking care of folks like himself. He typically bailed the last year or so of his governorship because he wanted to be president. He’s a solid family man, a provably good #1 on small management teams and probably a good man overall but he was sadly miscast by his own failings at gaining higher office. Electorally, he’s an empty suit.

  2. Harry says:

    On the subject of Edward Snowden, it really is interesting how the guy could be a highschool dropout and end up at the age of 29 as custodian over seemingly the entire NSA files. Having said that, my sympathies lie with him. Apparently the NSA by itself gets $60 billion a year to spy on Americans (yes, Americans) for political reasons, never mind the terrorism. I’ve come to the conclusion that Washington is a company town and will do anything to protect its job base, no matter how inept and partisan they are. It’s time for a second American revolution. Unfortunately it won’t happen, because the citizens are brain dead for the most part. Obama has been incredibly lucky, but his luck and the country’s will run out and when it does then we will have stagflation, and wake up hungry and angry like people in Greece, Spain, and Turkey.

  3. sockpuppet says:

    The GOP should really give up trying to get the votes of women (and by that the media really means liberal, pro-abortion, feminist and increasingly single parent women … women who do not fit those ideological and cultural markers already vote equally for the GOP and even favor the GOP) and start doing what they can to maximize the turnout of white males. There are tons of issues that they could use to get more white male voters, starting with the declining performance of males in school (higher dropout rates and only 42% attend college) and also an antiquated, extremely unfair family court system. Those are some, there are others. Do a good enough job advocating male issues, and not only do you negate the Democrats’ advantage with women, but you attract women who want these issues addressed to (you know, those with husbands, fathers, sons, etc.) and you also have a shot at increasing the vote of nonwhite men (i.e. black males used to vote Republican at twice the rate of black females before Obama, and after Obama leaves office and black males see that Obama has done nothing for black men but bash them on Father’s Day and at Morehouse graduation ceremonies and scapegoat them for all the problems in the black community like good feminists are supposed to, they’ll be even more up for grabs).

    One thing that the Democrats have going for them is that they don’t waste time on constituencies that are never going to vote for them and concentrate on maximizing turnout and loyalty of the constituencies that do. Republicans would do well to emulate that playbook.

    • TheEiger says:

      “The GOP should really give up trying to get the votes of women.” That is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Women make up 50% of the population and turnout in higher numbers to vote than men do. I don’t know what you do for a profession, but I can assume it has nothing to do with trying to get people elected because your strategy is a guaranteed lost.

  4. gcp says:

    For those that failed to notice, both Chambliss and Isakson voted for the bloated 100 billion dollar a year Senate farm bill.

      • Ellynn says:

        As long as SNAP is in existance, US farmers have a known market for selling and comsuming. You remove SNAP and the fungible market becomes unstable not just locally, but internationally.

          • Ellynn says:

            Agriculture is a soft commodity and is open to market guesses vs the real number it will be sold at by either traded value or auction. If there is no SNAP, farmers will still maintain a set level of risk (although a much lower proffitt) because they are still either insured or subitized. It’s not like American NEEDS to grow cotton, but the USDA still pays farmers to grow it… (and in same place it pays farmers not to grow cotton) – SNAP has no effect on it’s free market pricing so it hops up and down every year. It also keeps the number of farmers who plant cotten a on low side.

            What SNAP does is allow the farmer and traders of say milk, to have a known buying power of use. You walk into any school in any city in this contry and you will find thousands of little 1/2 pint size milk containers. Farmers have a known market and because of this traders of milk have a stable point of trade. Even when bad contditions hit, milk prices in the short turn never go up or down more then a few cents in a month. Now take SNAP and school lunch programs away. Can you say how much milk would be drank in this country with out USDA helping us along? Sure the farmers will have to now deal with a free market, but so do we. Think of the price of a gallon of milk as being unstable as a gallon of gas. The first time a gallon of milk shoot up a quarter over night and spike out a less then two weeks to $8.00 a gallon, every one of you is going to blame whoever is in office for a normal market change on typical commodity related bad news. Plus then milk can be sold to the highest bidders instead of schools lunch programs and children who’s parents are the working poor. Before you know it, US produced milk is being shipped to China.

            No basic food chain should ever be left unstable.

            • gcp says:

              In a free market if the price of one item is unaffordable consumers will substitute a cheaper item; juice for milk, chicken for beef, cabbage for lettuce. Let consumers and producers interact freely without government/taxpayer subsidies.

              • Ellynn says:

                Children need milk. Water, sure, if you can pay the bill to your governemnt owed unility you can drink water. The number of private wells in this country are really low, and right now you can’t even drill one of the east coast of Georgia. Juice at the moment coasts about $3 for half a gallon and growers are funded by who again, oh yah… the USDA.

                Also look at the meat markets, all USDA funded. Take away the hand out from the governement that Tyson gets directly, they still have to buy the feed to grow their chickens (USDA funded). Pig and cow feed, all USDA funded. Hay, USDA funded. Plus, who here has ever gone in their yard, catched a hen, and then turned it into a meal? (every one should de-feather a chicken once in their life…).

                In the early 1920 to the late 1930’s the US made choices to make sure young men were feed in case we needed another draft. The military needed known food sources and after the dust bowl, wheat as a free market item was out of reach for the average person. If we all want to resort to per 1920 fair market farming, be aware if China offers a better price for wheat then US comsumers, the wheat goes out of country, and US food spending goes through the roof. Currently, US markets are addressed first in a supple chain (since we are funding them) and others sold to forigen markets.

                You think big ‘free market’ companies want the USDA to stop what it does? Coke’s biggist expence in making soda is corn syrup. The price of corn goes up due to a purely free market, so does their cost and prices. Who is ready for a 12 pack of Coke priced at $10? Ditet Coke uses a plant based sweatener which is – you guessed it, funded by the USDA. People but less Coke and before you know it, they close half of bottling plants in Georgia. Do you know how many things beside ‘food’ soy plants are used for? I bet P & G would love to have out of control soy futures when trying to figure out market shares and price points.

                A free market is not free. No company can be 100% free of taxpayer subsidies. They might not get them directly but they have something in their supple chain that does.

  5. Scott65 says:

    I just read the first two of the “cord cutting” links you posted. Where do you find these people. He has it completely and utterly wrong, and I dont know this but it reads like an industry propaganda piece. First, cord cutting is real. If it wasnt, ISP’s would not be pushing so hard for usage caps. Since they have near monopoly rights on the last mile, you have no choice since their content (especially in the case of Comcast) is not subject to the caps. He also dismisses Netflix as “just another network”. He also gets the premise of “disruption” wrong. The reason disruptive technology is stifled is the antiquated copyright laws that we have, and the overly broad DMCA. If you invent a disruptive technology (and most start ups have limited cash) any company with deep pockets can sue you out of existence whether the case has merit or not. Look at Hulu…it could have been disruptive, but when it was taken over by the established networks…what did they do? Limited the content. Thats the problem. Major content providers want to act like they are still operating in an era where they could control distribution…well, they cant. If you lock up content at absurdly high prices…people will find alternatives. Thats what Netflix and Itunes (with music) did. If you do cut the cord to TV…Comcast will jack up the price for internet. I will say though…I have a roku box that will stream netflix, amazon content, I have Plex installed on my PC that will stream internet content to the roku. You would be stunned at what I can watch (everything except some brand new shows…and many of those I can watch the day after they air)…add in an antenna for local channels (for sports if you want that)…and you have as follows:

    Roku…75.00-150.00 depending on model (one time expense)
    Netflix…7.99 a month
    amazon prime…75.00/year (6.25 a month)
    Plex …FREE
    rabbit ears…25-35
    The best part is you can watch when you want,what you want at your convenience. You have access to whole seasons of show you might have missed.
    So, I have to say the guy who wrote those blog posts is about as clueless as they come…but my bet is he knew what he was doing…and truth didn’t factor in to the equation.

    • Stefan says:

      Generally I try to link to industry shills whenever possible.

      The solution you are suggesting is fine and good for a limited number of people, and their use is subsidized by the majority. Much of the content that you watch at a lower price was originally paid for by consumers using traditional pay methods – Netflix and non-traditional viewership is just icing so it doesn’t have to pay full freight. If Netflix was the primary outlet for, say, The Big Bang Theory – i.e.e no original broadcast or syndication, the price would be much higher.

      I will, with your permission, table the IP arguments because they are larger than the specific cable problem.

      The issue that I set up was traditional cable pricing versus a la carte (McCain’s bill forces a la carte pricing). The ESPN situation clearly expresses the problem and the alternative you suggest above does not address it. Care to?

      • Scott65 says:

        So the fact that Netflix is having to pay billions for content doesn’t matter? I’d say thats full freight. They dont get it for free. They just have a business model that is less expensive despite what Hollywood would have you believe. The big content providers are not hurting at all and are massively profitable, so to say the content was paid for only by traditional methods is pushing it (since I believe the advertising industry helped to fund a good bit beyond your cable bill). I think ESPN is hugely over priced, and the simple fact is that you are forced to have it even if you dont want it. The numbers given in that article dont take in to account that in an a la carte world ESPN would not be able to get anywhere near the price they get now because most people wouldn’t pay it…but they would still be profitable…just not wildly profitable. People dont know what they are paying for with bundled channels so the market isn’t really dictating price. Plus…a good number of these carriage agreements are not public.

      • Scott65 says:

        “The solution you are suggesting is fine and good for a limited number of people, and their use is subsidized by the majority.”

        Its subsidized by advertising…

        • Stefan says:

          Yes, advertising on network and local broadcasts…which you primarily watch on cable. The most recent expiry of some of the Netflix rights brought them closer to paying full share, but most of what they are purchasing is content produced under an older system.

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