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Archive for September 19th, 2008

here, this will make you feel better

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From a big New York Magazine piece on the end of book publishing:

It’s inherently risky, though. You have to wonder about the prospects for one new book that Elberse had her students case-study—Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World. Grand Central, inspired by the best seller Marley & Me, is betting on the new mini-genre of cat-related nonfiction. Grand Central initially offered $300,000, then went up to $1.25 million. Gobs more will be spent on marketing. You’ll likely be hearing about Dewey when it comes out this month, and if half a million of you still feel that you can’t get enough heartwarming pet stories, it just might earn back its advance.

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September 19, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Posted in such as it is

preview

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Everything happens five hours earlier here:

The public finances suffered yet another lurch into the red last month amid warnings of a record deficit this year that would force the next government to raise taxes or cut spending – or possibly both.

[…]

The national debt figures lurched higher as the government’s nationalisation of Northern Rock’s £87bn debt came onto the books for the first time, pushing debt up to 43.3% of national income, well above the government’s self-imposed 40% ceiling.

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September 19, 2008 at 12:22 am

Posted in crisis

“a Keynesianism largely military”

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Letter in the Guardian yesterday:

Despite the main finding in the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency that it “has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran”, the western media has focused on the issue of Tehran’s lack of transparency over the IAEA investigation into recent intelligence allegations (Report, September 12). These involve missile re-entry vehicle projects and have been rejected by the Iranians, who have not even been permitted to see the documents upon which the allegations are founded.

This week the US Congress is debating two non-binding resolutions which, if passed, will greatly increase the likelihood of military intervention against Iran. They call on the US president to “increase economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities”, and demand “stringent inspection requirements” of all goods entering or leaving Iran and an embargo of refined petroleum products to Iran. Although both resolutions exclude authorisation for military action, the embargo will require a naval blockade. Such a blockade could result in skirmishes with the Iranian navy which could rapidly escalate.

The US is massing the largest armada of warships in the Gulf since 2003. Two aircraft carrier task forces are already there and a third was dispatched on August 22. French and British warships and carrier groups are also reportedly on their way. This has increased speculation that George Bush might authorise military attacks against Iran before the end of his term in office in January, or before the November elections to boost to the likelihood of a McCain presidency.
Stefan Simanowitz
Westminster Committee on Iran

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September 19, 2008 at 12:16 am

Posted in crisis, war