Links 9/1/2015

Telegraph

Schneier on Security

The Washington Post

NYTimes

Bloomberg. Looks like the Saudis blinked.

WSJ

HuffPost

2016

IBTimes

Five Thirty Eight. Half a paragraph of crow-eating followed by mounds of “I’m still right!”

The Intercept. Fine sarcasm from Jon Schwarz

Headlines & Global News. Also, a cold bracing splash of reality.

NYTimes

CNN

 Hillary Clinton & Tammy Baldwin, HuffPo. Maybe should have been in 2016, but it’s important so I split it out. This was the important Hillary news yesterday, not a bunch of meaningless emails. It took two months for Hillary to endorse a mildly stringent revolving door reform, amid pressure from progressive groups and stories by, well, me, about past aides at State who got golden parachute payouts from their former Wall Street firms. It’s a preliminary yet important step for her to disavow them, and something she could be held to with personnel if she makes it to the White House.

WSJ

Bloomberg

White House Readying Sanctions Plan Against Chinese Firms for Cybertheft WSJ

Wall Street on Parade

Credit Slips

WaPo

Class Warfare:

The New Republic

In These Times

WaPo

Think Progress

The New Yorker

Slate

Financial Times

The Guardian

NYTimes

Business Insider. The answer begins with “Goldman” and ends with “Sachs.”

Antidote du jour:

ground-pangolin

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to Salon.com. He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.

128 comments

  1. MikeNY

    Re Schumer and Iran.

    Good for MoveOn.org. I sent Schumer a nastygram telling him he risked losing my vote forever for his pandering. Dude needs to retire. He’s increasingly resembling “Senator Pothole”, whom he replaced.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘SchumerMobile’ is a good start. But it would rhyme better if they called it the SchmielMobile.

      The old fallback ‘Chuck the Schmuck’ is always an option too!

    2. curlydan

      Agree, but has MoveOn ever moved on anything that the Prez didn’t back? It would be nice to see some backbone from that organization on matters that the Prez doesn’t like.

  2. lyman alpha blob

    So sHillary wants to stop the revolving door?!?!? I’m guessing that will end up just like status quObama pledging there would be no lobbyists in his administration at which point he began hiring them almost immediately.

    1. Vatch

      I’m a little surprised that Hillary is supporting this bill. Maybe she’s supporting it because she doesn’t believe it has a chance of becoming law. She want credit for supporting the bill, but she doesn’t expect that people in her administration, should she be elected, would be constrained by a nonexistent law.

      We can interfere with her little plan by pressuring our Representatives and Senators to support the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act (in the Senate it’s S. 1779, and in the House of Representatives, it’s H.R. 3065). I’ve already ed my Senators and Representative, and I hope that many NC readers who live in the U.S. will do the same.

  3. craazyboy

    Ice Cream That does Not Melt

    Personally, I think “melting” is a key feature of ice cream, and will continue to buy the old fashioned kind.

    Elsewhere, hopes are rising again that the Fed will forestall hiking the overnight rate a quarter percent so that banks, Wall Street, HFT computers and hedge funds can continue to save the world using the carry trade.

    That will come as a relief to some people.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Once upon a time, the big dogs of finance ministries and central banks used to operate together, like a wolf pack. One example was the Plaza Accord in 1985, where it was jointly decided that the US dollar was too high. The dollar was successfully returned to earth.

      Now it’s just chaos. While the ECB is furiously pumping, the Fed threatens a baby-step rate hike. Markets are rioting till their monetary soup ration is restored.

      So far, Stanley Fischer (whose face rather resembles an ancient snapping turtle) hasn’t budged. Are ya scared yet, punk? Well, are ya?

      *bangs stick on Stanley’s shell to see whether anyone’s home*

      1. craazyboy

        The Plaza Accord in 1985 was about the Yen being too low – against both the dollar and European currencies.

        They did wait a little long, IMO. By 1985 I had already worked for one bankrupted US company and one bankrupted Swiss company before finally finding shelter in the “foreign competition” sheltered defense industry. [at a small components manufacturer way down the sub contractor tier.]

        ‘Course the LBO/Junk bond guys finally got that one – taking us over with Other Peoples’ Money.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Compare that era of international cooperation with today. China feels the need to devalue the yuan’s peg to the dollar as its economy sputters. But if the devaluation goes too far, Chuck Schumer will brand it a currency manipulator.

          Meanwhile in Europe, ever more desperate expedients are adopted to keep Greece in the eurozone, even as its uncompetitive economy reels under a strong currency.

          The rest of the world sees these high stakes, adversarial games of chicken, and watches in growing alarm. Who is actually in charge here? [rhetorical question]

            1. susan the other

              Haig was the guy who said “follow the money.” I wonder if the money trail has been hidden since the pension funds were ransacked. And if not, just claw it all back.

              1. Katiebird

                I thought it was Woodward & Bernstein quoting Deep Throat in All the President’s Men? (Supposed to be a reply to comment about “follow the money” being a Haig quote.

                1. jsn

                  Al Haig starred in that classic porn with Linda Lovelace… no wait, he was the source Woodward & Burnstein named “Deep Throat”.

                    1. Gio Bruno

                      … you’re correct: Deep Throat was Mark Felt, not Al Haig.

                      Haig is the fool who charged into the Situation Room after Reagan was shot and declared: “I’m in charge here!”. Actually, NOT.

            2. craazyman

              You have to be “of a certain age” to know what I’m talking about.

              I’m glad I’m only 34 years old, that’s for sure. hahaahaha. Maybe 35, but not a day more. I’m buff and I work out, so let that be noted by any hot women in the peanut gallery.

              I heard the weirdest thing on woo woo radio last night. It didn’t shock me, because I have already experienced the Ontological Shock that comes when you recognize that the conventional reality structure is incomplete. It’s like a probability distribution in which certain tail events are not acknowledged == I realize that’s a “financial industry” concept but I use it here metaphorically.

              There was a dude who walked out onto a frozen lake Michigan and disappeared. His tracks went out but not back. They thought he fell through the ice and died. Over a year later, he showed up at his father’s house in New England. He said he woke up that morning in a farm field — 800 miles from Lake Michigan — and couldn’t remember anything. He also had on clothes that weren’t his. This was presented as a true story and I have no reason to doubt its veracity. It’s conceivable that such events are part of the very far tail of the reality distribution, and as such people simply don’t comprehend them.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Greece…uncompetitive in the Eurozone.

            But those getting paid in Euros will appreciate the currency.

            And while capitalist factory owners hoping to export may suffer, workers who are mobile can migrate to Germany, while meditating over the difference between slaving for their (at this time not competitive) native overlords and German overlords.

    2. Praedor

      Perhaps a better use of the non-melting icecream tech would be to apply it to the Arctic and Greenland ice.

    3. optimader

      Personally, I think “melting” is a key feature of ice cream, and will continue to buy the old fashioned kind

      When food engineering goes off the rails.
      In less than two years, Put a carton of that next to the olestra chips on the shelf of failed engineered food curiosities

      the mouth feel of melting is part of the essence of ice cream that lights up the brian, similar to chocolate.

    4. Kurt Sperry

      Indeed, the melting of ice cream as it coats your warm tongue is the very best thing about ice cream, almost the reason it exists. I’ll bet this new “ice cream” is just awful.

  4. Eureka Springs

    Sanders. Just what Democrats like, a kinder gentler droner in chief. And continued BFF relationship with the Saudis.

      1. TedWa

        I can’t believe you guys are that shallow “”There are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been,” Sanders said. Would anyone else admit that?

        As far as the Saudis, they are the richest country in the ME and should take more responsibility for policing the ME, including fighting wars. Why should we continue to protect their interests when they are more than capable of protecting their own?

        1. Eureka Springs

          What good is admitting such miserable deadly failure out of one side of your mouth and saying we need to keep the program out of the other?

          I am not a Democrat. But you and Sanders sure make it easy to remember why.

          I still have “War is not healthy for children or other living things.” as my motto. What’s yours? More Wahhabi police and US MIC contracts please. Yay Sanders!

          1. spooz

            Sanders is the best option, unless you are planning on the “protest vote”, like voting Green. He actually has a chance of being elected, and, other than him not being ideal on foreign policy, he’s got it right on other issues.

            1. Oregoncharles

              And a long history of toeing the Democratic Party line – aka “caving.”

              The Democratic Party is where leftish movements go to die, has been at least since 1972. why would it change now?

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              ‘For those who are concerned that you, Mr. Sanders, will bring forth a kinder and gentler empire, and thus a more marketable hegemon, what can you, Bernie, say?’

              “Will you, Mr. Sanders, permit printing more global reserve money, to help US workers, knowing it will be used to create bubbles in emerging market nations?”

        2. Lexington

          As far as the Saudis, they are the richest country in the ME and should take more responsibility for policing the ME, including fighting wars. Why should we continue to protect their interests when they are more than capable of protecting their own?

          Because the Saudis have oil, a lot of it, while America has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes 20% of the world’s output. You do the math – the Saudis certainly have. And in the extremely unlikely event that any American leader would be foolish enough to attempt to disburden the people of the belief that cheap gas is an American birthright they only have to whisper the magic words “Jimmy Carter” to snap them back to reality.

          Besides that the combat effectiveness of the Saudi military is highly dubious at best.

          Also the American establishment loves war. It builds careers and provides the glue that keeps defence contractors, the Pentagon, and Congress locked in an unholy alliance of mutually benefit. The American people also love war. With the country visibly failing in so many other respects bombing towelheads in the Middle East gives them a vicarious sense of power and control.

          So really it’s a combination of things, but the bottom line is that it serves both American and Saudi interests.

      2. Praedor

        Drones absolutely have a military value, as do bombers, missiles, and even bullets. You don’t toss out a valuable and useful tech just because it gets misapplied. You simply adjust how it’s applied.

        Don’t be childish.

        1. abynormal

          “It is probable that the most inhuman monsters, even the Himmlers and the Mengeles, convince themselves that they are engaged in noble and courageous acts.”
          Chomsky

          …and how did they advance that kind of power? the Praedors.

          next time you reference diptherio with childish…challenge your dullness:
          You’re Doing it Wrong: Politics As If Democracy Mattered \

          “as regards that which each must do for themselves, the best that one person can do for another is to unsettle them.”…take a bow Dip!

          1. Praedor

            It IS childish to expect from ANY presidential candidate a promise to never ever kill anyone, never ever use the military, never ever conduct a cruise missile strike, to not ever use a drone (drones ARE the future of military aviation, period), to never ever send troops anywhere to do anything. Presidents MUST be willing and able to use force. The best you can hope for is NOT hippy-dippy “give peace a chance a billion times and when it fails continue to give it a chance”, but rather, that the Prez will be much more circumspect and less profligate with its use.

            I should expect those with no military understanding or experience to unrealistically believe that there’s no use for the military or its weapons. That really is childish, simplistic thinking. You (the general you, not necessarily YOU specifically) embue drones with some kind of magical evil power, as if it is ANY different from a cruise missile, a bomb, a bullet.

            What do you think a maverick missile is? A DRONE. A laser-guided bomb? A DRONE. An air-to-air missile? A DRONE. The latest drones are simple evolutionary extensions whereby the airframe no longer needs to have a pilot RIGHT THERE in the cockpit. That means the aircraft is no longer limited by the g tolerances of the pilot. It can maneuver and pull g’s that no human could ever hope to tolerate. It can fly longer than any human-crewed aircraft could ever manage. It’s the future and it is a valid military tool. Your issue with them is NOT their droniness, it is with how they are being used. Period. Use them better (less often, with more circumspection) and they are perfectly fine.

            It’s not rocket science. Close, but not quite.

            1. abynormal

              “the aircraft is no longer limited by the g tolerances of the pilot. It can maneuver and pull g’s that no human could ever hope to tolerate. It can fly longer than any human-crewed aircraft could ever manage.”

              oh boy…and they’ll only buzz around your bunk bed on recognizance.

              those tools, as you call them, create and protect profits…Grow Up!

              1. Praedor

                No. Drones are (still) piloted. Remotely. They are not autonomous killing robots. A human is still in the loop, at the command level and at the action level. Same as with ANY military equipment.

                You honestly do not have any idea what you are on about. I served 20 years in the military, I KNOW the military and all its ways and procedures. No mysteries or magic to me. A drone is nothing but an evolutionary extension of normal military operations and hardware. Drones are VASTLY cheaper than any fighter, bomber, or recon aircraft carrying humans. Just as cruise missiles are vastly cheaper than the same and vastly cheaper than ballistic missiles.

                Drones. Are. Here. To. Stay. Accept that. All you can do is have some say in HOW they are used, not if. They are not magic, they are literally no different than any other military hardware – they are tools. They offer a CLEAR advantage of not directly endangering US personnel to direct harm from enemy fire. No more POWs, no more expensive SAR. Vastly cheaper than any alternative. You do NOT get to pick a president, ever, who will forswear EVER using the military for anything. Such a person is unqualified to be President and cannot ever be elected.

                Drones are superb tools if used properly. You can go with a Bernie Sanders who would likely be far more controlled in drone use, you can go with Hillary who would likely be a lot like Obama, or you can go with any GOP clown who would be Obama x 100 in their use, PLUS be happy and eager to toss in lots of ground troops too. Take your pick. Who you don’t get is Gandhi (and even he had a military – India always has had a military since its independence).

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          Drones absolutely have a military value, especially if the enemy is the human race. Like so many things of empires past and present, drones represent one more highly sophisticated, increasingly automated technology requiring more and more resources just to stay on top of the hill. And they are fast becoming capable of far greater lethal scale than just Arab weddings and their children’s birthday parties. What’s different from past empires, however, is their phenomenal potential to unleash an atmosphere of global hatred and lust for revenge that has never been seen or even contemplated in history.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        I’m OK with Bernie’s foreign policy record. He hit most of what I personally consider the big votes right and precious few can make that boast–at least those who’ve actually been in a position to make such votes. I’m less OK with his lobbying for military pork for his own state, but that’s kind of a representative’s job in a way. The criticisms made of Bernie often seem to me based on strawmen or sloppy or unnuanced characterizations of his actual record. Look how seldom the criticisms of Sanders here refer to his policy specifics or actual quotes rather than paraphrasing in a way helpful to the argument being made. I don’t have naively unrealistic expectations for politicians, I have no problem supporting people with whom I have substantial disagreements if the areas of agreement are sufficiently large. That’s how politics is supposed to work in fact I think. I also think people generally underestimate how disruptive to the status quo a Sanders administration fronted political movement could be. Sanders is genuinely unconnected with the shadowy financial networks that run DC in a way that is almost unknown there. He’s really the best we could possibly hope for in an actual contender at this point. That said, the moment he is no longer running is the moment I will change gears to the Green Party, whose policy platform is closer to my heart than Sander’s. I hope however, that moment doesn’t ever arrive.

    1. neo-realist

      I have this view that Sanders doesn’t want the MIC stabbing him in the back/impeding his ability to govern or continue to govern as may have been the case with previous Presidents that resisted those power structures. So I think he is willing to go along with a establishment foreign policy of sorts as long as he can be allowed to work to create progressive policies domestically. It’s not like he won’t find opposition from big business/the corporate sector domestically, but I think fighting battles on multiple fronts may be too much for him to effectively govern.

      1. Eureka Springs

        And that makes it better? Progressive domestic policy has long been pro MIC, especially in re MIC jobs and contracts. Which gets us the foreign and domestic policy we have today as assuredly as any neocon. Truly horrific and wasteful way to be.

        I don’t want drones over my home or my neighbors. I don’t want to ask my fellow Americans to build, much more, pilot them anywhere. And I sure don’t want to sell them to Saudi’s.

        Violations of airspace are considered acts of war by most. Rightfully so, imo. Drones are acts of war on steroids. Foreign war policy is domestic war policy. It’s who we are. Progressives too.

        No excuses. And no wonder the majority doesn’t vote.

          1. jgordon

            Unless part of that 65% you didn’t get involved slaughtering women, children and “suspected militants”.

            Sorry there are some things that when you compromise on them, you compromise your humanity. Don’t think I’m willing to go there. But I guess others aren’t quite so picky.

            1. abynormal

              we’re not alone jgordon…

              “When you spend money on war, you can’t spend it on education or health or crumbling infrastructure or civilian technology.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s equally tragic whether a drone kills 10 kids in a foreign country or a gun man here takes out 4 students.

          Yet, the media coverage is different, and progressives often act more visibly in the latter case, speaking out about the need to put some control over the domestic devise used.

          That’s one case of nation-centered perspective.

          Another case is ignoring the massive amount of money spent on military adventures abroad, and instead of taking that money and used for much needed domestic programs, some of us advocate granting the government unlimited spending power.

          If the leaders don’t have the will to help the people, that power will just be wasted on more spending all over the world.

          Sanders needs to stand up to the MIC.

          1. neo-realist

            If he stands up to the MIC, it must be gradual (in the near term)—Take away some programs and let them have some others, e.g., scale back or eliminate missile systems, no long drawn out costly military conflicts, cut black budgets and above ground ones w/o their total elimination. The full scale pitchfork approach, if used in the present, is doomed for failure with full scale opposition/blowback and it may just doom Bernie.

            A stronger progressive institutional position within the power centers in the long run may be more conducive to using a pitchfork approach against the MIC. If we don’t get people like Bernie in a position to do things, we won’t get the chance to effect any sort of change.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              One could do a lot of military cutting in ways that would be far less politically painful with both the military and the electorate by cutting or eliminating the many large weapons programs that the generals actually don’t want–those that are pure pork pushed on the military for political reasons–and redirecting a portion of those expenditures towards stuff they do want. The US also needs to reassess and renegotiate a lot of multilateral defense agreements that lock us into a role as imperial World Police. The US, if you look at a map, has less need for a big bloated military than perhaps any other large nation on Earth, most of the threats we face are blowback from ill considered imperial overreaches we’ve already done rather than from inaction. A full audit of the DOD would probably be quite helpful as well.

        2. Praedor

          No. Drones are not violations of sovereign airspace on steroids. They are semi-autonomous aircraft. The way they have been used is a violation, not their existence. An F-18, B-1B, B-2, or 777 is a violation of airspace if it is flown into/through sovereign airspace without permission. There’s nothing magical about drones that make them any more violation-y.

          Drones are here to stay. It is how they are used that you have issues with, not their very existence. I’m all for drones and drone strikes if used properly (hit terrorist training camps, hit military HQs, troops, tanks, etc). I’m not too keen on the seeming conceit by Obama that using a drone to kill a single target embedded in a volume of innocent bystanders is better than dropping a laser-guided bomb on the same spot: the innocent bystanders are still wiped out either way but somehow its more acceptable if done by drone? He’ll need to explain the (non)logic of that.

      2. Adam Eran

        I’m not sure you’ll find that much difference between populations foreign and domestic when it comes to domination. The fact that we have an army of occupation in poor neighborhoods (Ferguson!) rather than peace officers eloquently testifies to that effect.

        We spent many years ensnaring our empire in unsustainable debt (see “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”), and applied those tactics domestically too.

        Michael Hudson says the objective has changed from a financial sector that financed productive activity and good infrastructure that made costs lower to one that aims to extract all economic excess (“No vacation for you!… You’ll have to work your third job to make a dent in what you owe the company store.”)

        Greece is a preview of what we can expect here.

    2. craazyboy

      Here’s what Sanders has been saying – from the article.

      “He’s said this repeatedly — and prominently. In February with Wolf Blitzer on CNN: “This war is a battle for the soul of Islam and it’s going to have to be the Muslim countries who are stepping up. These are billionaire families all over that region. They’ve got to get their hands dirty. They’ve got to get their troops on the ground. They’ve got to win that war with our support. We cannot be leading the effort.”

      The article goes on to deplore this “regressive” thinking, and stresses that our present masterful handling of the ME must continue – otherwise we may fail, or something. [US Military on “free” loan to billionaire Oil Sheiks – Big Satan and Little Satan winning the Hearts and Minds of Muslims….etc….)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe we hope the good candidate can become better, if not perfect, though, that is not really possible.

        1. Vatch

          17 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and that doesn’t even include third parties. Oh yes, I almost forgot: it’s actually 5 1/2 Democrats, since Joe Biden might run.

      2. Elliot

        Exactly. We finally get a national candidate who is head and shoulders above the rest, and people complain that he is not the messiah.

        It’s like a lot of people don’t want a real candidate for office, they want a mirror to reflect their own perfection. Political parties and armchair activists argue endlessly, and outside in the real world, people go bankrupt from illness, can’t get decent paying jobs, gazillionaires drive the legislation.

        What’s wrong with electing someone vastly better than what we have, and then improving our position afterwards?

        1. jrs

          I mostly want to just tell people, there is no messiah, no rescue, no savior, no hope for salvation in presidential politics. You are on your own (or better on your own together – solidarity!). Now what do you want to do with that?

          1. abynormal

            here hear Skip

            “Brian’s mother: What star sign is he?
            Wise Man #2: Capricorn.
            Brian’s mother: Capricorn, eh? What are they like?
            Wise Man #2: He is the son of God, our Messiah.
            Wise Man #1: King of the Jews.
            Brian’s mother: And that’s Capricorn, is it?
            Wise Man #3: No, no, that’s just him.
            Brian’s mother: Oh, I was going to say, otherwise there’d be a lot of them.”

  5. diptherio

    Re: Bernie vows to continue mass-murder campaign if elected president

    Why am I not surprised? Oh, but he’ll “try to limit the number of innocent civilians killed,” which I guess makes it ok. I mean, a few innocent civilians getting killed here and there isn’t a big deal is it? You gotta kill a few innocent civilians every now and again…how else would you know that you’re the president?

      1. ran

        Our flying murder drones murder civilians all the time. Sanders says he won’t stop our flying murder drone program.

        1. Vatch

          You didn’t answer my question. So I’ll pose a question for the NC readers: What do you think would happen to a Presidential candidate who vows to completely eliminate the military drone program? His opponents would react with righteous indignation, furious that he is “soft on terrorism”. They will demand to know why he is willing to risk the lives of rosy cheeked American boys rather than use drones to fight our fanatical sworn enemies. And millions of American voters would decide that they can’t vote for such a candidate. It would be the end of his campaign.

          Sanders has adroitly criticized the drone program without backing himself into a corner that can be exploited by right wing Republicans.

          1. Carolinian

            You Sanders supporters please stop. This notion that we have to accommodate the worst in our society in order to gain the power to do good is exactly what Hillary Clinton and her fellow “realists” claim. Sanders is simply wrong about drones and wrong about the Saudis. Please push him in another direction.

          2. Romancing the Loan

            That’s the same thing people said about Obama’s non-left positions that crystallized into obvious reality after he took office, and it would also be a dandy reason for Sanders not to have the left positions he does have on domestic economic issues. Please consider that the reason he might say he supports the drone program might just be because, in fact, he does? In any case does it matter? If you’re willing to lie about your positions before taking office, why would you have the courage and willingness to be unpopular that it would take to follow your “real” positions after your election on those false pretenses?

            1. Vatch

              Sanders has 24 years of history in the Congress, and Obama had next to no experience in the Congress. Obama was a nearly blank slate, so it was easy for him to fool people. Instead of trashing one of the few good candidates who has run for the Democratic or Republican nomination for President in the past few decades, why don’t you just tell us who is better than Sanders? Do you think that Hillary Clinton is as good as Sanders? She’s not — she’s just another Republican.

              Tell us who you support in either the Democratic or Republican fields of candidates. You don’t have to vote for someone from those parties; I didn’t in 2012, and I voted for several third party candidates in 2014. But we know that the next President will be either a Republican or a Democrat, and I would like the best possible nominee. So which Democrat or Republican should I support in the primary?

              1. Romancing the Loan

                Bernie’s record in Congress is completely consistent with his support of the drone program. He and Warren are both in favor of increased social programs but are hawkish. Obama, btw, wasn’t nearly as much of a blank slate as you make out. If praising Reagan wasn’t enough of a clue for you I don’t know what would have been.

                Throwing up your hands and saying “well who do you support then” is just a dodge. No one’s going to get near the presidency who isn’t going to give us essentially more of the same, with at best a few little tweaks.

                Sometimes there are no good outcomes. I doubt who you support in the primary will matter much one way or the other in the long run.

                1. Vatch

                  I think you exaggerate the level of Sanders’s support for drones, just as some people have exaggerated his support for Israel, which was discussed here:

                  http://cfdtrade.info/2015/08/links-81615.html#comment-2484072

                  In the drone article, Sanders said:

                  ““I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.”

                  That is a radical change from the indiscriminate use of drones by the Obama administration. I stand by my assertion that if a candidate completely rejects the drone program, he will have zero chance of being elected. (Sept. 1, 1:52 PM)

                  If the future is so hopeless, why do you bother posting comments?

                  1. Romancing the Loan

                    Obama also has said many things like that. Weasel words like “selectively and effectively” (by whose definition?) and “not always been the case” (which ones were those?) are a signal that this is not a concrete policy statement but soothing words to placate the base.

                    I don’t think the future is hopeless at all. If your only hope for change rests in the promises of a presidential candidate, that seems like a far more dire outlook.

                    I bothered posting because you asked a question. That it didn’t give you the answer you were looking for doesn’t give you cause to be rude. If you can’t countenance the possibility of anything less than blind support for some or any candidate perhaps you would be more comfortable on DailyKos?

                    1. Vatch

                      Wait a minute. DailyKos? Isn’t that the site for Obots and Hillary supporters?

                      And no, I don’t support Sanders blindly. I’m just tired of the exaggerations that people are using against him. One person at NC called him a war monger a few weeks ago. That was ridiculous. I don’t think it is blind support to believe that Sanders would use drones less than Obama does.

    1. jrs

      Drones are neither here nor there and this news is not news at all. I admit I have pause when they kill a teenager that is an American citizen and having them fly over American cities or be used for law enforcement is another matter. But most of the time I think drones are just part of how war and empire is administered now right? To oppose that is to oppose war and empire, which we knew from day 1 was not Bernie Sanders. So is this really news?

  6. Jim Haygood

    ISM (Institute for Supply Management) monthly survey drops from 52.7 to 51.1.

    Still consistent with economic expansion, but it’s a big drop from 58 a few months ago.

    Prices paid fell from 44 to 39, indicating the deflationary chill.

    Whatcha gonna do, Stanley?

    1. andyb

      “still consistent with economic expansion”

      There has been no true economic expansion for 8 years; all metrics trying to prove otherwise are massaged, manipulated, or outright lies. I bet you still believe the true unemployment rate is 5.6%. Shadowstats, with the factual measurements used in the 1970s (prior to total government obfuscation of everything economic) shows the unmanipulated number in excess of 23%. The ISM specifically uses auto sales reported by the Manufacturers in its base numbers. The problem is that an auto in “sold” when it leaves the factory, not when an actual warm body takes possession at a dealership. That’s why the auto lots are overstuffed these days, despite the 10 year sub prime loans to buyers with FICO scores in the 500s.

      1. Ulysses

        “There has been no true economic expansion for 8 years; all metrics trying to prove otherwise are massaged, manipulated, or outright lies”

        Yep!! The unfortunate fact, however, is that if everyone were to recognize this, all at once, what’s left of an “economic engine” in the developed world would sputter, choke, and croak.

      2. Jim Haygood

        ‘The ISM specifically uses auto sales reported by the Manufacturers in its base numbers.’

        No, it does not. ISM is a diffusion index. The ISM survey asks purchasing managers whether this month was better or worse than last month in each category (Production, Employment, New Orders, Prices Paid, etc.)

        ISM’s promptness relies on not using any specific hard data, which take time to collect.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In China, a lot of people are confessing they were wrong before about their economy.

      If we can get a lot of positive people to think positively, we can make it better….maybe.

      1. Vatch

        I’m reminded of the flimsy apartment building on an episode of Monty Python that was prevented from collapsing by hypnosis. Of course, this applies to many places besides China.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A lot of people in China are confessing they were wrong before about their economy.

      I think, if a lot of positive people think positively, it can get better…maybe.

  7. susan the other

    The antidote. The ancient armadillo. It looks like it evolved to survive leprosy. Remember not to kiss one.

    1. abynormal

      i learn something everyday or so: Besides being excellent diggers, armadillos are also good swimmers. Armadillos can hold their breath for up to 6 minutes. A pound of armadillo meat contains 780 calories. Most armadillos seen dead on the road did not get hit by the wheels. When an armadillo is frightened it jumps straight into the air. The female armadillo can delay the implantation of a fertilized egg for up to 14 weeks after conception. The delay is believed to be caused by stress. Armadillos have four babies at a time, always all the same sex. They are perfect quadruplets, the fertilized cell split into quarters, resulting in four identical armadillos. Armadillos get an average of 18.5 hours of sleep per day. Armadillos can walk underwater.
      A vaccine for leprosy was developed because of armadillos.

    2. Jagger

      I believe that is an anteater. I can definitely see it wandering around during the time of the dinosaurs. Although back then, it would probably have been around 10 feet tall with bigger teeth and claws and eating something more filling than ants.

  8. jgordon

    John Micheal Greer did the of the Bernie Sanders phenomena that I’ve seen yet a couple of weeks ago.

    His supporters are fooling themselves, like Obama’s supporters fooled themselves. He is perhaps the least worst option people could have in 2016–but that just makes him the conservative candidate, while every other candidate in the race is a hardcore neoliberal. Our lots in life might stop getting worse faster if Bernie is president, but that’s a best case scenario.

    1. Ditto

      So president Obama supported single payer , free college education and other social democratic programs ?

      And those are neoliberal/conservative programs

      Who knew

      It’s okay to attack sanders over the use of drones, even if he did qualify his statement to suggest they would not be used in the same way as Obama used them, but are you serious with this stuff ?

      Right now , the left is getting nothing.

      The people who are fooling themselves are those who think sanders needs to be a great candidate in order for us to admit he’s a better one

      In other words we see him as start

      No one supported Obama expecting him to govern from the left

      They called him progressive , which is not the same thing

      All his policies were neoliberal even during the primary

      Sanders is an
      Opportunity to start to move left and to open a door that’s been shut

      It’s just that – an opening

        1. jrs

          hunkerdown has suggested the idea we need a way to repeal people from federal offices once elected, so that they can at least in theory be held accountable for breaking their promises, like can be done in some states at the state level (California governor Gray Davis was an example). But we don’t have that now.

          As for trying to read Sander’s character and deciding whether he will be another Obama. I’m not sure it’s even possible to do so. Reading tea leaves. Can not be done. Though his character seems alright …

          Which is why I merely point out there are many structural factors that would tend to impede a President doing whatever social democratic rhetoric they campaign on. Like the most obvious one: how much money there is in Presidential politics. If Sanders by some miracle won the primary, wouldn’t he need even more tides of cash to win the Presidency? (assuming neither the super-delegates in the Dem primary not the electoral college in the general nor Diebold intervened of course)

          1. Ditto

            Obama never campaigned on social democratic policies

            Clinton is not campaigning on them

            Nor did either have a record favoring them

            So it’s a little mire than Trea leaves

            1. jrs

              If it’s singling out economic policies it might be too narrow. It’s campaign promises. Obama DID campaign on closing Gitmo and he could have and without congress which is not the case for many social democratic policies. If we want to speculate whether they will keep their campaign promises we can speculate on character and systematic obstacles. Record is hard evidence and useful but even then not foolproof.

              1. Ditto

                The only point I’m making is that there is evidence to suggest sanders is a social democrat. There is evidence to support that he is good on social issues outside gun control (I find his answers weak on gun control). His foreign policy pov is problematic. Is it beyond a reasonable doubt certain? No and I would add that we shouldn’t trust any pol even if we all evidence was beyond doubt

        2. Ditto

          Your argument amounts to “we can’t trust pols”

          That is true with whoever you elect so it adds nothing to the process

          All we can go on is their record and remaining skeptical bc you shouldn’t trust a pol anyway

          There is a difference between attacking sanders based on skepticism and attacking him based on cynical beliefs

          Again you can attack his drone position without ignotinh his record as a social democrat

          1. jgordon

            That’s not true. A president doesn’t have to have any special personality characteristics in order or the lot of Americans to keep getting worse. All he has do is go with the flow. Or at least be someone who is not capable of putting up enough resistance to buck the flow. In other words, just being a regular, good-natured, honest guy, which Bernie strikes me as, is plenty enough to guarantee that the lives of American citizens suck a lot more by the time he leaves the presidency compared to when he entered it.

            A president capable of actually doing something useful at this point would have to be a true megalomaniac asshole. And at the point we would be running into other severe problems with such a character as president. Near as I can tell, the only individual capable of shaking things up, whether for worse (probably), or better is Donald Trump. By all indications, the best Bernie is capable of doing is slowing down the misery a bit. Which admittedly has some merits, but it’s not enough to motivate me to bother voting.

            1. Ditto

              You said that’s not true and then proceeded to talk about Something other than my duscussion of sanders

        3. neo-realist

          Wouldn’t Sanders have gotten some heavy plutocrat donations to his campaign like Obama did if they knew he would flip for them? Mostly small fry donors and marginalization from the corporate media whereas Obama got plenty of attention as if the elites knew he was in cahoots with them.

          1. abynormal

            shell…rally for Sanders b/c he doesn’t have the heavy plutocrat donations
            pea…Sanders lobs supporters right into the hands of the plutocrats/Hillary

          2. Kurt Sperry

            That’s the real tell. Where’d the money come from? One brief look at a list of Obama or Hillary’s top bribers tells you all you need to know about who they are working for and it ain’t any of us. Regardless what they say. Sanders passes this, what should be the, test for candidates. Trump fares better than Obama or Hillary here as well I assume, and I’m not sure he wouldn’t be a better president than Hillary based on that alone. Not that that would be setting the bar high.

  9. Ditto

    538, corporate media , leftist media, corbyn and sanders

    A few observations based on coverage

    1. I wonder if the U.S. Media will become as hysterical if sanders wins the nomination as the British press is with corbyn?

    2. Sites like 538 are interesting for their unspoken ideology bias

    3. Right now leftist media is getting zero percent of policies it wants. With a sanders or corbyn , it may get a lot more than that . So, will the left sabotage the chance to get more by not showing up?

  10. Oregoncharles

    “Why the Koch Brothers Will Pour All Their Money Into Making Bernie Sanders President ” –
    Schwarz could have provided a link for Jill Stein, the last two words. Of course, we can search it easily enough.

  11. Oregoncharles

    – would make a good antidote, albeit video. (The link was on one of the Bernie articles.)

    Apes are clearly aware of the close relationship. In another zoo example, a toddler somehow fell into the gorilla enclosure (sorry, don’t remember the details); one of the females carried the kid over to the keepers’ door and waited there with it.

    You can hear her thinking: “Isn’t this yours?”

  12. Tertium Squid

    Rand Paul says when he’s elected president he’ll turn the Utah NSA center into a constitutional law study center.

    Best response: “When you become president, I think we should turn it into a unicorn farm.”

  13. Tertium Squid

    Here’s a terrific 1848 panorama of the city of Cincinnati, Ohio – from across the river.

    It is supposed to be the old surviving North American cityscape. My great great great great granddad would have been somewhere in that mass of buildings.

  14. Oregoncharles

    “Bernie Sanders Says He Will Not End Drone Program If Elected President ”

    Not surprising; Sanders is actually a New Deal liberal. domestically, that’s an improvement; but they were and are very imperialist. They were directly responsible for the Viet Nam War, which nearly turned the US into a failed state. We’re still paying for that one, in many senses.

    Drones are deeply addictive, for two different reasons. One is ka-ching; but more important, they enable a president to wield miltary power, or pretend to (there’s no evidence they’re very effective), without the danger of US bodies coming home. That’s the only time American voters actually care about foreign policy.

    This is of a piece with Bernie’s foreign policy record generaly.

    1. Praedor

      It’s all in how you use drones. A drone, in principle, can be just as good (if not better for loiter) as a piloted aircraft for Close Air Support, Air Superiority, Defense Suppression, etc. They are cheap as all hell compared to a multi-million (even billion) dollar piloted fighter or bomber, if one gets downed, no biggie (and no worries about having to rescue a downed pilot). All the complainers about the drone program are not really complaining about the drones themselves, it is merely in how they are used. Change how they’re used and your issues go away.

  15. Oregoncharles

    Afterthought on Bernie and drones:
    I already referenced Vietnam. That war destroyed the Great Society – Johnson’s New Deal, and the last hurrah of American liberalism. Foreign policies DO come home, even without body bags. Foreign and domestic policy aren’t really separable.

    1. abynormal

      “You’re in America now,” I said. “Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you’d prefer.”
      Jim Butcher, Turn Coat

      1. optimader

        Air cooled hemi v-8…just don’t stand at the outside corner when it goes by w/ vigor as there may be a practical pendulum physics demonstration

        Unfortunately Tatra never really had a chance to evolve. The original type 77 had an incredibly low coefficient of drag, lower than most production cars of today.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          This Tatra is reminiscent of the contemporary DS Citroën in it’s stubborn heterodoxy although less so. I don’t think rear engine cars need to handle poorly, Porsche has shown if you can match up the rearward biased weight distribution with the appropriate tires and roll distributions, oversteer is completely tameable. Czechoslovakia, like Yugoslavia at the time, were interesting and pretty successful hybrids economically between western capitalism and Soviet centrally planned economies.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Stocks got whipped like a broken-down mule today, in what traders are starting to call the ‘Fischer break.’ Since Fischer’s remarkably doctrinaire screed delivered last Saturday at J-Hole, the S&P 500 has slid 75 points.

    Today’s Fischer Break rhymes oddly with 1929’s Fisher Break, which occurred after prominent economist Irving Fisher averred that stocks had reached a ‘permanently high plateau.’ That plateau promptly experienced a landslide.

    Despite his unfortunate attempt at market timing, Irving Fisher actually was a quite creative economist, who brought mathematical rigor to a field that mostly used rhetorical argument in the 19th century.

    As for Stanley Fischer, his ukase that ‘we should not wait until inflation is back to 2 percent to begin tightening’ likely will go down in history as an epic misjudgment.

    1. craazyboy

      Also too, China PMI cratered, Korea export data tanked, Canada and Brazil officially went into recession…and our PMI looked not so good. That was today. Also, additionally, Europe, Russia and the rest of Central and South America and Asia.

      The only people happy with Stanley Fischer are me and Santa Claus. Me, because he wants to do the right thing even if he can’t figure out why. Santa, because he lives on the North Pole and there are no people there to have an economy or most of all a stock market. ( Santa doesn’t borrow money – especially at low Fed rates.)

      1. MikeNY

        I’m (kinda) happy with Stanley Fischer. Repeat after Ben Bernanke (think, stopped clock):

        Monetary policy cannot solve all economic problems.

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