Links 7/30/15

Dear patient readers,

My sleep cycle has gotten even more out of whack than usual, and we had a lot of good material on we Innertubes, as Lambert calls them, so I hope you’ll forgive the lack of an original post.

Baltimore Sun (furzy mouse)

FiveThirtyEight (resilc). :-(

New York Times. Furzy mouse is getting her wish.

s Huffington Post (EM)

Guardian (furzy mouse)

Washington Post. Resilc: “Is the wapo now a licensed lobbyist for Amazon?”

BBC. Watch the vides in this article

Alliance for Natural Health (furzy mouse)

New York Times

New York Times

Guardian. The quasi live blog treatment seems like overkill.

BBC

China Spectator

Bloomberg

Radio Free Asia

EUROPP

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph. Huh? Podemos distanced itself from Syriza when the fight was on, moved to the center, and it’s still taken a big hit in the polls. The notion that there are real, effective left-wing radicals in Europe remains very much in doubt.

Financial Times. Wow. The EC may not be all that good at it, but it sees itself as the defender of smaller countries in the Eurozone.

New York Times

Grexit?

Guardian. Wow, she could be from central casting. And having done Cyprus, she will be a kneecap breaker.

ekathimerini (IsabelS)

New York Times. As we warned….these exporters rely on imports.

Kathimerini. This Google translate version is unusually readable (original for those who read Greek). This part is consistent with what we’ve argued:

In relation to debt, in fact, the information of “K” say that Europeans now accept the need for restructuring, although not discussed details on how to do this – or indeed on the financing needs of the program or the budgetary targets who will define the size of the adjustment in the years ahead.

Syraquistan

War Nerd, Pando. A must read.

Juan Cole (resilc)

n EA WorldView (resilc)

C-Span (Kevin C)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Intercept (resilc)

Financial Times

Obamacare

Bloomberg. Keep in mind Obama will veto even assuming they do their rider passed.

Huffington Post (EM)

Wall Street Journal. You can see a damning table of Bill Clinton’s top sources of speech income on , outside the paywall.

New Yorker

MSNBC. Furzy mouse: “Must read what Cohen says to Daily Beast reporter….serious threats.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

New York Times. JCC: “The Cincinnati Chief of Police is right, it doesn’t look good at all.” I had to watch it twice. The prosecutor, in a separate set of clips, sounds convincingly saddened and appalled.

Charles Blow, New York Times

Slate. Resilc: “Why not Cheney and W?”

Financial Times. As reader Li has said, “Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.”

Fed

Tim Duy

Michael Shedlock

TalkMarkets. Um, this is news?

Wall Street Journal

Matt Levine, Bloomberg. This is so convoluted it makes my head hurt. But tax does that to most people.

Class Warfare

Michael Shedlock (furzy mouse). No, I would not take fashion tips from Mish, but he is right about the stupidity of high end bags. If you want to make a status statement, watches and jewelry hold their value much better (and never buy retail) . But be warned they trade down hard in bad markets too.

NBC

. @stilgherrian

Antidote du jour. This is Jia Jia, , although this is a photo when she was younger:

Jia, Jia panda links

And a bonus video antidote. The Chincoteague swim reminded me of it:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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85 comments

  1. IsabelPS

    Maybe the Iron Lady will wear velvet gloves and things will be smoother than with Mr. Blue Eyes…

  2. Chief Bromden

    Gag orders…. what will become of Mr. Thompson and his testimony?

    “Just as startling, the CDC scientist, Dr. William Thompson, says the study co-authors “scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.”

    The…co-authors…brought a big garbage can into the meeting room… [and put the documents]…into a huge garbage can. –CDC Senior Scientist Dr. William Thompson

    Pharmaceutical Industry “Science” 101:

    1) Create pre-determined out come for product safety and effectiveness.

    2) Pay “scientists” to produce studies to support pre-determined outcome.

    3) Pay journals to publish and TV people to regurgitate.

    4) Take real, ethical, scientific studies that contradict pre-determined outcome and toss them in the rubbish bin.

    Boom. Wet it, wipe it, good night. Shots for everyone…. oh, and tax payers, you get to pick up the tabs for the damage.

    1. afisher

      Or one can read the about the entire episode and the facts surrounding this entire brough-hau…and currently made for media event.

      TL:DR What got lost in the brouhaha over Dr. Thompson’s “confession,” allegations about a “cover-up” at the CDC, and threats of whistleblower lawsuits was what should have been the main point: Did collected data actually prove that the MMR vaccine produces a 340% increased risk of autism in African-American boys? The answer is no, it did not.

      On 27 August 2014, Dr. Hooker’s article published in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration that concluded “African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis” was removed from public domain due to issues of conflict of interest and the questionable validity of its methods:
      Read more at

      1. Chief Bromden

        Cha ching! I’m sure Dr. Thompson will receive the all-too predictable treatment from the pharmaceutical industry. Public relations, we have another one, send in the cleaning crew… dissent is not tolerated.

        Gee, I wonder if multiple doses of heavy metal cocktails injected into a child could possibly cause neuroinflammation. The science and the studies are there, you just have to wade through the corporate technocracy swamp to get there.

        Zero risk profiteers promoting “science” is an oxymoron.

  3. OIFVet

    The EC may not be all that good at it, but it sees itself as the defender of smaller countries in the Eurozone.

    A rather charitable view of itself, to put it politely. In reality a collection of Eurocrats drawing jumbo-sized pay checks to serve as the Neoliberal Orthodoxy police and inquisition.

      1. OIFVet

        Eff the EU. The EC being a collection of overpaid eurocrats is the least of my issues with it. Much worse is the fact that the EC, as the real center of power in Europe, is a collection of unelected and overpaid bureaucrats that issue neoliberal diktats to benefit their corporate and financial owners while screwing the little people and completely taking away national sovereignty.

        1. IsabelPS

          This was half a joke because I didn’t think it was the “price” that was bothering you.

          It is probably extremely un-PC to say this, but I am glad that the EC is a collection of unelected bureaucrats and I regret that it is losing power to the EP (and the Council) with time. The EC was the touch of genius of the “founding fathers” of EU. And yes, coming from a small country (or a medium one, to be more precise), I do believe it is the defender of smaller countries. One can hardly complain at the undue power of Germany, for example, and take shots at the EC at the same time. (Incidentally, it always amused me, so to speak, that Tsipras, of all people, did his best to ignore and dismiss the smaller countries, bowing to “size” in a way that I don’t remember having seen before).

          1. OIFVet

            So according to you, the unelected EC is a check on the power of one of the main architects of the EU, Germany. Sorry but that’s inane. The entire apparatus of the EU only amplifies German dominance, while it gradually destroys whatever pitiful remnants of national sovereignty do remain. I say this as a dual citizen of the US and a small and poor EU member.

            1. IsabelPS

              It certainly was designed that way. And the general purpose of the whole exercise was to keep in check national sovereignties, namely that of Germany. Inane as the notion might be.

              1. OIFVet

                the general purpose of the whole exercise was to keep in check national sovereignties

                in order to give the power to corporations and finance, the most dominant of which just happen to be German. That checks German power by unknown means, but it checks it nonetheless. Or so you want to believe.

                Except it doesn’t. The EC is a tool of German power, ever more effective now that sovereignty is gone. It has allowed Germany to achieve that vision of the Prussian Mitteleuropa on a continental scale. What Hitler couldn’t do with panzers, his successors achieved by lofty BS rhetoric about our “common European home”. Well played, indeed.

                1. IsabelPS

                  “So far so good”, as the guy that fell from a 20th floor said when he passed the 8th floor.

                  1. OIFVet

                    EZ, EC, and EU supporters are quite the optimists, as your example so perfectly illustrates.

              2. Yves Smith Post author

                Did you read the article? Schauble is wanting to rein in the EC because Juncker was too active. That means he actually made a difference. If the EC was ineffective, Schauble wouldn’t bother. In fact, it would be useful to talk them up as a fig leaf for Germany.

                1. OIFVet

                  I read it, but I still see things differently. Just because Schauble wants to make changes to the EC does not mean that the EC has been a boon for the poorer nations and the bane of Germany’s existence. Neither does the EC’s self-claimed status as “defender of smaller countries” make it so. The current set up has been great for Germany, and it wants to make it that much better. What difference has the EC made for the weaker members, when the periphery continues to fall further behind. The article cites the case of France as having precipitated Schauble’s ire. France, while having problems, is hardly the little guy in Europe, and it only shows how the big ones can selectively follow the rules. Now that it’s becoming weaker, Schauble wants to go for its throat by way of the EC. It’s what predators do.

                  Juncker’s investment plan, which he announced to great fanfare, is particularly good example of how little the EC does for the have nots. Once the details came out, it turned out that the lion’s share will go to those who are already well-off. The have nots will have to do with a few crumbs. That’s how Juncker plans to close the gap between rich and poor. Good luck with that.

    1. David

      The FT doesn’t agree with your interpretation of reality. From the article,

      The European Commission has quasi-judicial authority over some of the most sensitive Europe-wide decision making, particularly in the area of merger approvals and antitrust monitoring, powers that could be moved to independent bodies under Mr Schäuble’s plan.

      Berlin has also long called for the eurozone’s budget rules to be triggered automatically when a country breaches EU debt and deficit ceilings, and has complained bitterly that France has been given repeated waivers by the commission despite violating those limits for years — waivers some have viewed as politically motivated.

      Yes, Berlin blew through the budget controls when they were rebuilding the East. Also,

      The German proposal is not aimed at weakening the commission but at safeguarding regulatory independence at a time when the EU body is becoming increasingly political, according to people familiar with Mr Schäuble’s thinking.

      Schäuble seems like the only leader willing to address the EU’s problems and not kick the can down the road.

      1. OIFVet

        Except many of Europe’s problems were caused by the very economic rules that the EC upholds, and which were designed from the get-go by German economic thinking. By insisting that budget rules be triggered automatically, Schauble is calling for abolishing the remnants of sovereignty, which is what I’ve been saying the EC is about all along. Schauble is right that his proposal doesn’t weaken the EC, in fact it strengthens its ability to enforce the rules that benefit Germany so well.

        1. David

          Except many of Europe’s problems were caused by the very economic rules that the EC upholds

          Examples? The financial problems discussed on this site can be tied back to EMU rules not being enforced (debt and budget ceilings).

          …Schauble is calling for abolishing the remnants of sovereignty…

          This is what happens when you join a union. You can’t have the Euro without giving up your financial sovereignty. A lesson Puerto Rico is learning with the US dollar.

          it strengthens its ability to enforce the rules that benefit Germany so well.

          Life ain’t so grand in. Enforcing the budget rules will mean less money for German imports, which may push Germany to better address their EMU problems. Growing pains for the young EU.

          1. OIFVet

            The financial problems discussed on this site can be tied back to EMU rules not being enforced (debt and budget ceilings).

            Is that so? Surely the cooked bookkeeping and the lack of workable tax collection system were well-known issues well in advance of Greece joining the Eurozone. Except it didn’t matter that much to the EZ as long as these follies were profitable way for their financial institutions to make a pile of easy money by servicing the Greek debt. Now that it blew up and the Troika had to rush in to save the private banks, Germany is suddenly discovering the virtues of enforcing the rules. Rules that are toxic to begin with: the 3%/60% rule in the growth and stability pact is all about forcing austerity on the masses and strangling the welfare state.

            This is what happens when you join a union. You can’t have the Euro without giving up your financial sovereignty

            Except the Euro was never marketed as a suicide pact, which is what it has become for most members. Sure their elites benefit, but everybody else loses.

            Life ain’t so grand in Germany

            Thus illustrating my point. The German and Northern European powers have pretty much sucked the periphery dry, and the lack of national currencies make it impossible to fix that. Common Germans lose out too, but at least their elites made out well!

            Growing pains for the young EU.

            More like
            the beginning of the death rattle. Some of the smart non-EZ countries have taken notes and are reconsidering EZ membership. In any case, the EU in its current form is toxic for the welfare of the common citizens, particularly those in the periphery.

            1. David

              the EU in its current form is toxic for the welfare of the common citizens, particularly those in the periphery.

              Agreed. Either change it or dissolve it.

          2. Gio Bruno

            …not certain Puerto Rico is a good example of a Sovereign. It became a US territory after the Spanish American War (self-induced). And while the locals elect a Governor they have no direct representatives in the US Congress. Neoliberal finance controls the island.

            1. David

              I only meant it as PR could take advantage of it’s status to sell lots of triple tax-free bonds , but it lacks the financial sovereignty to inflate or devalue it’s way out of default.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Defending smaller countries…

      Potentially, a sovereign state of 3 citizens can have the clout as a sovereign state of 50 million

      It’s the same here with electoral vote vs. popular vote

      And it’s like that at the United Nations. Billion- India has one vote – the same as, for example, Malta.

  4. vidimi

    re: MH370

    i don’t know anything about the speeds of ocean currents or how quickly they could move a heavy object lying on the ocean floor, but if you look at the wreckage and the map of prevailing ocean currents in the link above, it looks suspiciously like the flaperon came from that bold blue dot located near diego garcia, which has been, for me, the most likely area to search for all along.

    1. andyb

      Diego Garcia, btw, is the home to what might be the most sophisticated satellite surveillance systems on the planet. Why then, haven’t the images during the time of the disappearance of this flight been released? Just as, and no different from, the questions about MH17.

      1. Bill Smith

        “Diego Garcia, btw, is the home to what might be the most sophisticated satellite surveillance systems”

        huh?

        No more than any other place that has good communications links.

        1. ambrit

          Diego Garcia, in the Indian Ocean, is a major American Air and Sea hub, and a large military base. (One of my relatives has served there.) In that role, it has state of the art radars and other more esoteric equipment. Unless the commercial aircrafts pilot flew the plane towards Diego Garcia at wave top height, someone on the island would have noticed it.
          Some tin foil hatters, distant cousins of the Mad Hatter, have speculated that the commercial pilot may have decided to crash his plane on Diego Garcia in Cowboy Style. All any responsible Air Defense Director could do in such a circumstance is to shoot down the jet. Thus, a somewhat understandable coyness about the truth of the matter.
          We used to quip: “Don’t get on any small planes if you want to remain healthy.” Now we need to add large planes to that list.

          1. vidimi

            gee, thanks for the tin foil dismissal

            you can check for yourself DG’s position relative the maldives

            1. ambrit

              Ye gods! I have been accused of “Wearing the Foil” many times, and consider it a badge of honour now. Too many Crazy Conspiracy Theories have turned out to be true; many more than the stopped clock hypothesis can account for.
              I’m not sure how low one would have to fly a commercial jetliner to get below the radar line, but low enough to scare the locals might be low enough. That the witnesses are being ignored comes as no surprise. Such is standard operating procedure for cover ups of all kinds. The witnesses to Timmy McViegh being in the explosives truck with a passenger prior to the Oklahoma City Bombing were denied a hearing by the government committee “investigating” that incident.
              Thanks for this information. Having to read other countries news outlets now for any semblance of the truth is a sad commentary on how corrupt our culture has become.

              1. sam s smith

                The website shows lots of native people, but I thought they were all forcibly deported by the British?

              2. vidimi

                that’s strange that the US media buried the story. wonder why?

                the british media covered it quite a bit: you can google mh370 maldives sighting and quite a few links from different sources will come up.

            2. optimader

              A reasonable question to me right off the bat is under the metrological conditions at the time at the assumed low altitude, what is a reasonable range guesstimate for the MH-370 B-777 (allegedly transiting over the Maldives) on its way to Diego Garcia?

              I’m guessing way, way short of any thing like Diego Garcia.
              MH370 had fuel on board for a maximum range of 3,900km assuming a normal flight profile.
              DG is ~3,500km from the last known radar location foo the coast of Malaysia. A B-777 would be horribly inefficient at low altitude, factoring in a fuel burn like it is perpetually taking off, I speculate a range that is small fraction of the theoretical (3,900km)range.

              The barnacle growth on the debris should be a clue on how long it was floating

    2. hunkerdown

      All these storybook endings for Malaysia in the news, all of a sudden. The liveblogging treatment is lobbying the mass. See, America can still provide closure when you do their bidding.

  5. IsabelPS

    “The criminalisation of any Grexit debate shuts off the option of an orderly return to the drachma…”
    How dishonest can you get?

  6. generic

    Podemos distanced itself from Syriza when the fight was on, moved to the center, and it’s still taken a big hit in the polls.

    Is this actually true? one can see the rise of Ciudadanos eating Podemos’s lead and after that no clear trend.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We tweeted on July 16:

      We warned Syriza would set the left back 10 years. @YanniKouts
      “#Spain poll (Simple Lógica): Podemos 14,9% -8.4 Tsipras destroys Podamos

      The more recent polls show some recovery but Podemos is still polling lower than it had been earlier in the year. And that is after moving to the center after it performed worse than expected in the March elections, to the point that one of the long-standing party leaders quit in May in protest.

      1. OIFVet

        I hate wearing a tinfoil hat, but it increasingly appears that someone or something is creating its own European fake left to forestall the rise of the genuine article. What’s concerning is that this is pushing people into the hard nationalist right that spouts appealing populist economic rhetoric but would be a disaster for minorities if it ever gains the reigns of power.

  7. Gareth

    FWIW I find the Russian Yandex to be far superior to Google, at least for translating from Russian, Ukrainian or Greek.

  8. Ché Pasa

    Given that the Greek Thing continues to be all about protecting the “interests” (including the banks) from the People’s Wrath, and protecting the European Core from the Sniveling Periphery, the strategy of the SYRIZA coalition has been surprisingly effective — along the lines of Beating the Whites with the Red Wedge. It’s not quick or easy, but it seems to be having an effect.

    This may be one reason why the Greek people continue to support SYRIZA and the supposedly hapless Tsipras when “nothing they promised” seems to be coming forth. Austerity is getting worse after all… And they promised to end it. (They made a lot of promises; that’s just one…)

    It may be taking longer than they anticipated to correct the errors and imbalances of the austerity impositions on Greece and to reverse the irrational and irresponsible demands of the Troika, but to have surrendered at the outset would have done nothing but preserve the unsustainable — and deadly — status quo. By rejecting the conditions of the Second Memorandum and by exposing the ludicrous nature of the Euro-Project, there is a chance of a better future — and not solely for Greece.

    Whether it will be realized remains to be seen.

    The Iron Lady might meet her match.

    1. juliania

      The article at the Telegraph does go on to say that Italy is in a position to heed the lesson of Syriza’s ‘failure’, rather than Spain which is, the article says, experiencing a period of false prosperity.

      Also, the prosecution/persecution of Varoufakis, whose Plan B had Tsipras’ approval, has to be seen in a similar light, along with the UKIP leader in Great Britain sounding a ‘No’ in a speech against EU membership, claiming that for Great Britain to expect to retain status quo membership without being forced into the euro isn’t facing reality. So, I think your point is well taken. Syriza has been up against it from the getgo; I hope they can keep on opposing one another without fragmenting. It’s an edifying dialogue, as are the ones we’ve been having here.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Tsipras’ Plan B was not a plan, but he’s managed to get the media to treat it as something more serious than it was.

        It was only a preliminary look at introducing a parallel currency. That could be used ONLY for domestic purposes, basically to allow the government to keep paying pensioners and wages. It would not be useful for paying imports, nor would they work for recapitalizing banks. So they would have done zero good even if they had gotten done when the ECB cut off the ELA.

        Moreover, what little was done was daft, and I don’t just mean the hacking idea. The notion of distributing PINs electronically was insane and proves that Varoufakis was sorely lacking in relevant expertise among his advisors.

  9. Brindle

    re: Amazon/ Drone Delivery

    So basically Amazon is saying “trust us” in taking over civil air space behaviors of their drone fleet:

    — Given this projected growth, Amazon believes responsibility for traditional air services such as navigation and air traffic control must be delegated. It imagines a civil aviation authority having underlying authority, yet much of the air navigation being handled in a distributed fashion as drone operators manage their fleets. Amazon sees such a model working provided that all parties follow the same protocols.—

    1. abynormal

      such a model working provided that all parties follow the same protocols.—
      almost forgot i was reading AMZN and not IMF or BIS BangHeadOnWall BS

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you buy a drone on Amazon, does it deliver your drone in another drone?

      For me, and call me a cheapskate if that will make your day, but I will wait for the special – ‘buy a book and get a free drone.’

      1. craazyboy

        At this point I’m pretty sure a USPS delivery truck will have a Amazon Drone painted on both sides and the drone you bought will be in the USPS truck.

        The R’s will still be complaining that the USPS loses money.

        1. susan the other

          makes me wonder about the confluence of the amazon drones and the non-funding of our highways… the new infrastructure requires no paving

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sounds like you are proposing Guarantee Income.

              But I see things a little differently.

              If we all stay home from work, that means, to me, Armistice in the War on Nature.

            2. hunkerdown

              Hah, no. Your office has been externalized onto you and is now your responsibility.

  10. Unorthodoxmarxist

    The attack on Varoufakis is a full-on witch hunt/scapegoating. While it was amateurish at best, the idea that the government should have some fallback position if Grexit were forced is logical. The EU elite, Greek media, and Greek old political guard are out for blood and to discredit what remains of the Syriza left after it was shattered by the party’s own incompetence and the hammer of the European bourgeoisie/troika.

    Plus it has the added effect of occurring right as the initial talks between the Greek government and institutions are happening.

    1. susan the other

      Interesting that the Plan B was to have a way to switch to drachma (a very prudent thing to do) but also included a stealth privacy-intrusion of Greek tax records… so the raging right wing oligarchs demanded an “investigation” and started a treason action in the Greek court… and it appears they are including Jamie Galbraith! Maybe Schaeuble knew the oligarch would go batshit and so offered Tsipras 50Bn five years to just get out of the EU.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      It was not a fallback. See my comment above:

      http://cfdtrade.info/2015/07/links-73015.html#comment-2479011

      It would have allowed Greece at best to negotiate longer because they could keep paying pensions and government wages. But the end of the runway was July or August regardless. Greece could not pay external creditors (the ECB) using a parallel currency, nor could it have warded off the ECB from cutting off the ELA for a separate reason that the Greek banks were running out of eligible collateral (we flagged that as in issue IIRC in May).

  11. Jim Haygood

    The pink paper published an article today, presenting exactly the opposite conclusion of ekathimerini:

    According to the summary, IMF staff concluded Greece no longer clears two of the four requirements in the IMF’s “exceptional access criteria” – the Fund framework that allows it to grant bailouts of larger-than-normal size.

    Under the criteria, a bailout recipient must be able to prove it has the “institutional and political capacity” to implement economic reforms, and that “there is a high probability that the member’s public debt is sustainable in the medium term”.

    Can’t pay, won’t pay. You don’t need no PhD Econ to figure that out.

    1. susan the other

      I read that version too and if it is true then Lagarde (always to be read USA) might be planning to scuttle the deal. Maybe explains why they brought in the Iron Lady from Romania. Let Romania do it. If Romania won’t do it maybe the IMF can ask Moldova. More South East Europe maneuvering.

  12. vidimi

    file away under corruption (because olympics) or environmental catastrophe:

    Athletes in next year’s Summer Olympics will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.

    An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues – results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.
    […]
    Extreme water pollution is common in Brazil, where the majority of sewage is not treated. Raw waste runs through open-air ditches to streams and rivers that the Olympic water sites.

    As a result, Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7m times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach.
    […]
    “What you have there is basically raw sewage,” said John Griffith, a marine biologist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s all good that the o.01% athletes of the world compete among themselves.

      What is more meaningful is the fitness of the 99.99% couch potatoes.

      My concern is the the widening gap…the increasing fitness-inequality, as the couch potatoes sink ever deeper into their couches, while the ueber-athletes jump higher and further…leaving austerity-stricken host nations in its Olympian sewage wake…even as peoples everywhere refresh and strengthen their nationalistic identities.

      It’s never ‘the poor in nation X are treated better than the poor in nation Y.’

      It’s ‘the richest man in country A is richer than the riches man or woman in country B.’

      And so it is that it’s not ‘the slowest runner from Europe vs the slowest runner from South America.’

      We are conditioned to ignore, to look away, those at the bottom…in many subtle ways.

      1. juliania

        It’s when the couch potatoes and the austerity-stricken pool their acquired wisdoms as both fuse into a single entity that a new – not necessarily brave – world shall begin.

    2. susan the other

      That is just mind-boggling. The athletes should all just shit on a postcard of Rio and go home. The IOC is so corrupt it undoubtedly got plenty of bribes to just look the other way. It’s charter requires the members of the IOC to inspect all the venues. This one lands on them. Sue the Olympics, it’s far more corrupt than soccer.

    3. Vatch

      Of course this is horrible, but not just for the athletes. There are millions of Brazilians who live among this crud, and they are the primary victims. Just like the half a billion people in India who don’t have access to a toilet, or the vast number of people in China’s mega cities who breathe heavily polluted air.

      1. different clue

        No one outside Brazil looked at this crud till non-Brazilian athletes faced media-visible danger from this crud. So now the visibility of the crud-danger to non-Brazilian athletes can be leveraged to extend awareness to ongoing-all-along danger to Sao Pauloans as well. And danger to any tourist who happens by, which might increase pressure on Sao Paulo to solve the problem.

        1. Vatch

          Oh, I hope you’re correct! It really would be nice if something good would emerge from the Olympics for a change. Did the people of Beijing (2008) or Atlanta (1996) get any long term improvements from their games?

  13. Schnormal

    Today is Medicare’s 50th birthday.

    I went to Bernie’s site, expecting to find single payer in his list of campaign issues, but alas it is nowhere to be found:

    (i see this list):
    REAL FAMILY VALUES
    CREATING DECENT PAYING JOBS
    INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY
    GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
    CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIRONMENT
    A LIVING WAGE

    I could swear universal coverage was on that page not too long ago :(

    1. Lambert Strether

      Let me rectify the coverage; he introducing a bill. (That’s the problem with vague feel-good buckets. Everybody genuflects to the labels on the buckets, but nobody knows what’s actually in them. Now, a truthteller and a nuts-and-bolts candidate… Such a candidate will go far. Clinton, alas, is a fail on the first.

      1. Schnormal

        Afterwards i was thinking maybe he removed it to keep his message focused.

        Maybe the biggest “feature” of The ACA (from perspective of the healthcare industry), even more than the narrow networks and higher premiums, is its success in sucking all the oxygen out of the national conversation. Not only has it resulted in issue fatigue, or the mistaken notion that Obama has Solved the Problem, but it’s now twice as complicated to address as a campaign issue (“my opponent calls the ACA a complete disaster, and i agree, but for a completely different reason”)

  14. Brindle

    Sanders/2016

    Local media can be more friendly than the big networks and newspapers. This piece on the Sanders nationwide meetups yesterday from Grand Junction, CO is a good example:

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Rent a handbag.

    Probably Guinness world’s records time.

    What country is the biggest importer of status statement bags?

    What country is the biggest importer of trophy lions – that one is easy.

    What country is the biggest importer of trophy wives?

    What country is the biggest importer of mail order brides?

    Back to hand bags. I would rather save and get a 5,000 year old Hongshan Culture jade pig-dragon for $250 than those handbags.

  16. afisher

    1. Whole Foods owners are now claiming that they are victims. First they admit they were over-charging and then upon reflection….oh my. finance.yahoo.com/news/whole-foods-ceo-says-company-230802709.html This coincides with recent article on why the Libertarians are so screwed up – they believed all the hype from the 60’s / 70’s and never grew up.

    2. Great interview with Mark Ames / Pando. This and that are my favorite read sites of the day.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One can

        1. lie to oneself
        2. rob oneself
        3. kill oneself
        4. beat oneself up
        5. starve oneself
        6. spoil oneself
        7. abuse oneself\
        8. hurt oneself
        9. love oneself
        10. obsess over oneself
        11. devote to oneself

        Pretty much what one can do unto others, one can do unto oneself.

  17. Vatch

    “Whole Foods Sales Slow After Price Scandal”

    John Mackey, the libertarian CEO of Whole Foods, is getting an education in how markets work.

  18. Ulysses

    “He said Malaysians will have access to the full text in the event that an agreement is reached.”

    Just like in the U.S., if “citizens” want to actually read the text of a document that will greatly influence their lives, they have to wait for “their” government to agree to it– without any public debate on its merits!

  19. different clue

    They should rename the panda Lady Jia Jia. Why has no one else already thought of this?

  20. Roland

    Re: Dolan on Turks & PKK.

    One reason, as a leftist in the West, that I have distrusted the various Kurdish nationalist militias, is that too many of them sided with the invaders during the Iraq War.

    The Iraqi Kurds cooperated to an extent far exceeding whatever level was needed to help improve Kurdish status within Iraq. Kurdish forces played a prominent role in helping to crush Iraqi resistance forces during the height of the Baghdad campaigns. Moreover, Kurdish nationalists performed a number of their own ethnic cleansing operations to secure their claims to Kirkuk and Mosul.

    Over three years ago I predicted, in a comment I posted on this site, that the USA would sell out the Kurds in favour of the Turks. I did not of course anticipate the success of ISIS, which made the Kurds useful for longer than I expected, but I think that I was correct in recognizing the overall tendency of imperial policy.

    The comment to which I refer is found here:

    http://cfdtrade.info/2012/06/yanis-varoufakis-greece-is-finished.html#comment-746760

    Is it surprising that Turkey wants to forestall the possible emergence of an autonomous Kurdish zone in Syria? Is it surprising that the USA regards Turkey as a more important ally than the Kurds? All the more so, since there is possibility of rising confrontation with Russia? All the more so, since Iraq and Syria are now both so weakened by war, that one would expect it would be a long time before any state, strong enough to contest US interests would be able to re-emerge in either of those regions?

    What’s surprising is how few pro-Kurdish commentators can recognize that those who make themselves tools, will find themselves getting used and discarded.

    Mind you, I can spare Dolan. He spent time in Suleimaniya and I imagine that he would feel strongly about Kurdish welfare.

  21. Roland

    One more thing: how can Dolan consider himself a leftist, when he so obviously despises the very large number of Turks who voted for Erdogan–the first really elected leader of post-Ottoman Turkey?

    I hate Erdogan’s 2012 shift in policy, after he decided to help attack Syria. But I cannot despise millions of people in Turkey who tried to elect a government whose platform at least ostensibly reflected their religious beliefs. At any rate, Erdogan’s post-2012 aggressiveness is partly a sop to the military-led “secular” elements in Turkey.

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