Links 9/22/15

Onion (DAvid L)

Poison Journal (reslic)

NPR (David L)

Fusion

ars technica (Chuck L)

China?

Wall Street Journal

South China Morning Post

Financial Times

Refugee Crisis

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (guurst). Google Translate version. German original

New York Times

Project Syndicate

Cameron’s Animal House

@robfahey. One can always hope, but Richard Smith’s take on l’affaire cochon: “I think if the *picture* that allegedly exists starts to circulate, he’ll have a problem. Short of that, I expect only some pig-themed heckling.”

VICE

Sun (Li via SH)

Daily Mail

Wolfgang Münchau, Financial Times

Grexit?

CBC (Sid S)

New Yorker

Atlantic

New York Times (resilc)

Syraqistan

EA WorldView. Resilc: “We have a sad state of affairs when he sounds more reasonable than the GOP clown car driverzzzz.”

OpEdNews (Glenn F)

Quartz

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

New York Times. : “When the US Govt says there was “a gap” between what NSA was authorized to do & what it did, it means: broke the law.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Daily Beast

VICE (resilc)

Wall Street Journal

 Jalopnik

2016

Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Elle

Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Wall Street Journal

Boulder Weekly. Glenn F: “Incredible investigative report on how Republicans are buying America.”

Guardian. Reslic: “Because they are cheaper to buy.”

New Republic (resilc)

Financial Times

y New York Times

Sam Altman. From last month, still germane.

Dean Baker, CEPR

Satyajit Das, Economonitor

Guillotine Watch

Alternet

Boing Boing. Resilc: “Somebody might pump a few caps into diz mofo.”

Motherboard (resilc)

Class Warfare

William Greider, Nation

Real News Network (Catherine A)

Antidote du jour (martha r):

links pretty beetle

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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94 comments

  1. abynormal

    re: Fed risks dropping the reins on US policy/If the Fed continued with financial market stability as the leitmotif of policymaking, a later but more disruptive policy adjustment and greater instability are the all too likely outcomes. The Fed should start telling markets about the difficult trade-offs it faces.

    re: US Treasury secretary urges China to keep economic commitments“We have made clear to China’s officials that they need to keep the commitments they have made to the US and the international community,” Lew said.

    “Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” Divergent

  2. Brindle

    2016…. Clinton / Sanders

    This article in the Penn State Univ. student run newspaper has much better basic journalism than your regular NYT or Politico piece.

    Clinton supporter says Sanders appeal is based on issues–whereas Clinton…?

    —-Megan Kay , president of Students for Hillary — the campus group supporting Sanders’ primary challenger, former Secretary of State and New York Sen. Clinton — said Sanders’ campaign message is the cause of his surge in the polls.

    “Bernie has a great message. He talks about issues that are important to people,” Kay (senior-international politics) said. “Ultimately though, I think Hillary is the better candidate.”—-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Clinton is a better candidate because she is, and “is” has so many meanings. If the President of Students for Hillary acknowledges that our the great expert on all matters of our time is poor on the issues, Hillary support is softer than I expected.

      The student newspaper probably doesn’t use template articles.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s a job where we only want the best domestic candidate, not the best global candidate.

      In many other jobs, we want the best global candidates.

      In-between, it’s less clear.

  3. John Candlish

    Thanks for mentioning the absurd and disturbing Cameron story.

    Where there is smoke there is fire, especially in light of the UK’s draconian libel laws.

  4. abynormal

    Marvelous. “We are the first in this market (of drone charging and data stations),” he said. “Qualcomm sees drones as a big opportunity.”

    Skysense is one of 10 startups chosen for the first-ever Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator powered by Techstars, which gives $120,000 each to new robotics-related companies, many of them involving drones. The investments could help Qualcomm diversify its business: The world’s largest provider of chips for mobile phones has faced pressure from activists as competition grows in the smartphone business.

    “I think they see drones like flying phones,” said Andrea Puiatti, CEO of Skysense.
    _______________________________________
    “Brutality and injustice made us raise our hands towards the sky for years; God didn’t respond to us, but drones came to our rescue.” M.F. Moonzajer

    1. craazyboy

      I smell hype. Does anyone really think the drone market is potentially even a 10th, nay 100th, the size of the cell phone market?

      I looked at the Qcomm board spec too a few days ago. I agree the spec looks like a flying cell phone. But that’s not necessarily what you want in a drone flight controller. So I’m waiting to see what the big drone oems do with it exactly.

      1. Mark P.

        ‘Does anyone really think the drone market is potentially even a 10th, nay 100th, the size of the cell phone market.’

        Oh, yes. Wait 15-20 years.

        A drone is essentially a smartphone chip that flies — you can run a small to mid-sized one (as in the kind that Amazon projects using) off a smartphone chip with GPS. Put them together in swarms like Vijay Kumar’s lab at Penn U does —

        –and you get a technology of great power that can construct multi-storey buildings (people are already experimenting with this) and do much else, like something out of Stanislaw Lem.

        People in the know don’t use the term the Internet of Things, with all its the Jetsons-type nonsense about the coffee pot that boils your coffee when you wake up. They talk about ‘Moving the Swarm to the Cloud.’ Drone swarms will be the mobile front end of the Cloud.

      2. hunkerdown

        Not every R/C quadcopter is a “drone”, no matter how badly Sen. Feinstein might soil herself at the terrible injustice that, as a Lady of the Court, her pig defilements aren’t just between her, the NSA and Israel. A bit (5s or more) of latency isn’t going to endanger a mission on a craft with its own aviation, object evasion and target locking capabilities.

        Now, Qualcomm is right, to a point. Pretty much any mechanical system can be factored into objective, sensors, processors, and actuators, given the availability of an appropriate energy source. Likewise, pretty much every mobile comms application *can* be expressed as a phone × airframe + application payload, given the availability of appropriate ground station infrastructure and cheap coders.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya, well, me and my quadcopter flying compatriots around the world don’t call our stuff “Predators” due to budgetary constraints typical to the hobby. However, if we have fancy enough stuff, we may be able to do automated flight (using GPS, compass, and barometer) The other popular way to fly is “first person view” using a quad mounted cam and video link. Then important flight info like heading, altitude, battery and signal strength can be superimposed on the video view and displayed in the pilots goggles.

          We do think latency is a problem, and “dropouts” too. Whether you are flying “line of sight” and your sticks go dead, or you are wearing your goggles and you go blind. Right now, hobbyist radio control gear is way more reliable in that regard than cell phone stuff.

          We do have our limits. Li-Ion batteries will give about 15-20 minutes flight time. With the typical RC gear, 2.4Ghz flight control transmitters and 5.8Ghz video transmitters, range is about a half mile to a mile. Some people are doing long range using UHF frequencies, maybe 5 miles to 10 miles depending how fancy the antennae are. But you need a ham license for that now, and they may even require a pilots license in the near future, or make it illegal altogether.

          Obstacle avoidance is quite poor. We’ll need the self driving vehicle people to invent commercial sensors for that first. I’ve seen Vijay Kumar’s videos a couple years ago. Not sure what he’s using for sensors, but his stuff is indoors with no wind, moving very slow, and just needs very short sensor range. GPS isn’t good enough for that, especially indoors. GPS can be off as bad as 100ft on a bad GPS day, or moment. However there is a way to build a differential GPS rig ground station for medium range outdoor stuff and increase accuracy/reliability a lot. Ultrasound is possible indoors and short range (under 20ft). Lidar is here, but an individual sensor is very directional.

          So far I’ve advanced to the “automation” stage on my quad. There were some firmware bugs in the flight controller I’m using and they are just getting those squared away. So now I’ve been able to do some flight modes like altitude hold, position hold, and “return to home”. The final one is GPS waypoint following and that’s on my list next to try.

          ‘Course you can buy a DJI Phantom for $1500 and it just does all those things. But that would take all the fun out of it.

          As far as the swarm building skyscrapers, we think mass, gravity, and battery life are a problem…….at least nanobots will have the good sense to stand on each others shoulders. Maybe all the way to Mars…..

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    That’s very smart*, buying a critical drug and hiking its price 5000%

    *Under our educational system and society, most wish they were that smart, as they aspire to join the system, the machine by getting more schooling. Some will think it too smart; only a few rebel students think it not very wise at all and demand action.

    1. DanB

      There will be major resistance to this.Therefore I suspect the hedge fund creep knows this and is waiting to announce a major cost reduction that actually leaves the price far higher than it was.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I hope so.

        I hope to see major resistance and that we have not been totally brainwashed or distracted.

      2. night-Train

        One of these days, one of the financial elites is going to say “let them eat cake” one time too many. Based on the response to this soulless jerkwad, that time may be getting close.

  6. abynormal

    Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund slime charging $750 a pill for a 60-year old drug that sold for $13 a tab before he got his greedy hands on the rights, says that the drug is worth a lot more than $750 because people really, really need it to survive. Your money or your life. Or first the one and then the other – asked if he would consider lowering the price for those who couldn’t afford it, Shkreli simply said “No.”

    “This little piggy went to Hades
    This little piggy stayed home
    This little piggy ate raw and steaming human flesh
    This little piggy violated virgins
    And this little piggy clambered over a heap of dead bodies to get to the top”

    Neil Gaiman

    1. craazyboy

      Funny how it never occurs to them that patents may be the reason they can charge so much. Odder still, the patent still exists on a 60 year old drug.

      1. drexciya

        Nope, it’s just a weird thing going on in the US. In The Netherlands, someone on a forum noted, that he could get the mentioned medication for 1 euro/pill from GlaxoSmithKline. I really don’t have a clue why the US population puts up with this. It’s daylight robbery, clear and simple.

        1. cwaltz

          Because free markets……..

          I doubt this douchebag(sorry douchebags everywhere for lumping you in with this guy) is self aware enough to recognize he’s practically begging “we the people” to step in and regulate his happy backside for his behavior.

          No, instead he’ll have idiots nodding their head about how mean the government is for limiting his profitability.

          1. ProNewerDeal

            A pharma that a portion of its patients use to treat HIV …

            An HIV patient that feels this price-raise is a death sentence and has nothing to lose, and also happens to be LGBT… might literally go extrajudicial/vigilante justice on this guy & “regulate his happy backside for his behavior”. Such a reaction would not be even slightly as morally repugnant on what this pharma sociopath Shkreli is doing.

            Despite this supposedly being a niche pharma for niche medical cases, I would wildly guesstimate that even if it is niche, Shkreli could be responsible for 100s of yearly USian deaths & many more medical bankruptcies. This would make Shkreli a bigger USian murdering monster than the Terraist Boogeyman Du Jour TM (ISIS) the BigMedia & BigPoli-trickian continuously cry about.

            Another comment said in the Netherlands, this product is sold for 1 Euro/pill.

            Could 0bama submit an executive order, allowing Actual Free Market Competition for this pharma, & allow the Netherlands company to export said pharma in the US for say $3/pill (generous padding for transportation/admin costs)? If 0bama has the power to do this, and refuses, 0bama like Shreki, is a worse Murderer-of-USians than the Officially Demonized Terraists.

        2. Michael

          Because the wealthy know it will hurt the poor more, and because white folks know it will hurt African-Americans more, and because straight folks know it will hurt LGBTQ folks more.

          It is impossible to overestimate the profound hatred the average American feels for the average American — or how much both of them deserve it.

          1. abynormal

            Bravo Michael.

            “The races are like America’s children. White people are the firstborn, so they were Dad’s favorite. Black people are the second kids, the abused ones, so they still hate Dad. Latinos are the third, caught in the middle and always trying to make peace between the other siblings. Asians are the youngest, and get good marks in school, but basically are just trying to keep their heads down and not get involved. And Native Americans are the old uncle who owns a house and everyone else in the family was like, “He’s not using that! Let’s move in!”
            Colin Quinn, The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America

          2. Karl

            Your group is not “average” Americans, it is a tiny subset of a troubled portion of America’s population who once usually straightened up and flew right, or ended up in the mental asylum, but who now have a codified existence based on plenty of new adjectives.

        3. Daryl

          I don’t think most people appreciate what a nightmare the patent system has become. The media narrative is “well by golly inventors won’t invent anything if they can’t profiteer off of it for tens or hundreds of years afterwards.” Perhaps if there was a little subtotal on every pill or piece of technology we bought saying that $xx is going to paying off Microsoft for such-and-such patent, the damage would be more widely understood.

          Incidentally, Fred C. Koch was sued for patent infringement and made his first fortune building oil refineries overseas for Stalin, who didn’t care much for [intellectual] property rights.

  7. craazyboy

    The PM, the Pig and musings on Power @robfahey. One can always hope, but Richard Smith’s take on l’affaire cochon: “I think if the *picture* that allegedly exists starts to circulate, he’ll have a problem. Short of that, I expect only some pig-themed heckling.”
    It would have to be pretty persistent to turn into a real issue for Cameron (or the Tory party) and I don’t think anyone’s got the stamina.
    ——————————–

    Not really. Everyone just needs to crank up the Photoshop and start turning out pictures. Maybe some youtube frat vids too. If it’s fun, people have great stamina. Safer and easier than guillotines too.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hedge fund leader (with easy access to zero percent interest global reserve money) bets on Emerging Markets (which have to ‘earn’ the same) rout.

    ‘Some people are born into a country favored by our omnipotent Money Creator God.’

  9. W Fergus

    Who do those VW guys think they are, banksters? I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Justice Department hammer some of the individuals involved. If nothing else it will deflect attention from their failure to prosecute any of the executive class involved in the financial services crimes of the 21st century.

    1. JerseyJeffersonian

      This was my exact thought when first I heard of potential criminal prosecution by our “Justice” department.

      No, the VW fraudsters, should they be found to be so, should not be let off the hook. But then, the big fishes are swimmin’ free and clear thanks to AG “Place” Holder and his wonderdog, newly-appointed AG Lynch.

    2. Karl

      If the Justice Department were serious, they would cancel V.W.’s license to sell cars in the U.S. for a couple of years.

    3. JTFaraday

      …. maybe. Or maybe (time frame at issue is 2009-present), this is an attempt at regulatory arbitrage. No way Germany will allow VW to go bankrupt, any more than GM went bankrupt (2009-10). US auto market loses/ loosens its regulations, lets VW go easy. Just like the bankers (2009 on). That VW is an industrial company is neither here nor there.

      Some People have an irrational hatred of environmental regulation and general concern for the environment. This appears in the climate change debate among other things, including the way environmental and animal rights activists have long been targeted as _terrorists_.

      Add to that irrational hatred of any and ALL regulation. Uber–so hip, so popular as to have spawned a whole new economy!**– is basically regulatory arbitrage + a software program (BFD).

      ie., the “sharing economy,” lol.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    When the US Govt says there was “a gap” between what NSA was authorized to do & what it did, it means: broke the law>”

    If you have a lot of money to spend, the best lawyers can get anyone (or any entity/organization/state/nation) out of breaking any law.

    The government knows that.

    Maybe we should limit how much it can spend.

  11. JTMcPhee

    …and “we” call where we live “civilization…”

    A nice little timeline of what has happened to the “AWAY” place “we” toss our trash at:

    And if one looks at all those “civilized” places where the effing Rulers have stirred up so much profitable, regime-extending anomic chaos that the little things are no longer attended to and the elements of comity and local strength are so trashed that “away” becomes a disease- and pest-breeding stink in the streets and alleys outside one’s doorway,

    And then there’s the reality of life for such significant part of our species, like “Children of the Dump,”

    Under the heading “Learning can be fun,” Fun Facts for grade schoolers to grow up having heard if not learned from:
    Dump sites and landfills also come with serious problems like
    Very bad smell and odour in the town.
    Landfills breed rodents like rats, mice and insects, who in-turn transmit diseases.
    Landfills in towns do not attract tourists to the town. The town will loose (sic) revenue.
    Many landfills are always burning and they cause further air pollution.
    ibid.

    One kind of garbage collection that even W’s “government” used to do, way back “BO” (before Obama): , and this little link for a nice profile of The Biggest Name In Garbage: Of course, I am sure their Public Accountability Department has got this stuff all fixed up, right?

    From my own experience, WM would bribe their way into a monopoly contract for muni garbage after (sometimes literally) kneecapping the competition, then their “designated indictee” corporate officer who arranged the “deal” would “turn state’s evidence” on the bribed corrupt municipal official(s), would get a nice plea deal for helping the ambitious corrupt prosecutor “put away” the elected/appointed official(s), and then resume his place on the MW corporate ladder after sitting out his sentence in a comfy “corrections” setting…

    Of course there’s so much in the way of other kinds of rotten garbage that is also not being cut off at the source, and properly disposed of once generated:

    Corruption is everywhere, and multiplying — too bad there ain’t no motions toward instituting an organizing principle that might have a prayer of letting us humans stop the self-directed march over the cliff…

    “We” get the outcomes that “we” structure our political economy to eventuate…

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Glenn F: “ncredible investigative report on how Republicans are buying America.”

    I am surprised Democrats are not also buying America.

    Doesn’t the end justify the means?

  13. Jef

    “Startups Connect Vermont’s Farmers To Urban Market”

    Yes because there is so much extra money in farming there is plenty of room to jump in the middle and syphon off some.

    The #1 complaint about local grown and organic is that it is too expensive (except for the tiny % for whom money is no object).

    1. Ed S.

      Too expensive — compared to what? Produce at my local farmers’ market is generally LESS expensive and VASTLY better than at a major grocery, let alone a Whole Foods.

      Now if you’re talking fresh, organic tomatoes vs. canned tomatoes — then much more expensive.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ‘(T)he institution of war as a way of life.’ Palestine and elsewhere.

    Warring on the asset-less (or asset-light) – via asset bubbles – as a way of life

    Warring on wage inflation as a way of life.

    Warring on savers as a way life.

    Well, it’s a dangerous world (for the super rich).

  15. Bill Smith

    “This Is the ISIS Intel the U.S. Military Dumbed Down”

    Headline isn’t very accurate. Article is pretty general and sparse on specifics. Too bad as it would be nice to know exactly what was going on.

  16. craazyboy

    “Is Britain Ruled by a Secret Pig-Fucking Cabal? VICE”‘

    This got me thinking. GWB was a member of the secret Skull & Bones Society at Yale. Now the Brits have exposed the Pig-On-A-Stick Society. The image explains much about what’s been going on the last 40 years.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Hey, c’mon, if the tease is correct it wasn’t really “f__kin,” it was just a little fellowlatio… if it was ok for Big Bill Clinton, it should be ok for that prig Cumeron… And after all, BO acknowledged that he did inhale some of that Demon Weed smoke, as a callow youth…

    2. abynormal

      inbreeding…all i can come up with.
      A more fundamental problem with labeling human distress and deviance as mental disorder is that it reduces a complex, important, and distinct part of human life to nothing more than a biological illness or defect, not to be processed or understood, or in some cases even embraced, but to be ‘treated’ and ‘cured’ by any means possible—often with drugs that may be doing much more harm than good. This biological reductiveness, along with the stigma that it attracts, shapes the person’s interpretation and experience of his distress or deviance, and, ultimately, his relation to himself, to others, and to the world. Moreover, to call out every difference and deviance as mental disorder is also to circumscribe normality and define sanity, not as tranquility or possibility, which are the products of the wisdom that is being denied, but as conformity, placidity, and a kind of mediocrity.” skeerie, they roam among us…let alone lead
      Neel Burton, The Meaning of Madness

    3. Emma

      What’s really subversive?
      Making honey dick-in-mouth cumbat operations or making money hand-over-fist combat operations? Former Etonian Thomas Gray, a Dazzler of Radiance (!) said “where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.” Let’s be clear here, Gray wasn’t actually promoting ignorance but rather pining for the naivite of youth. The deep state of sleep care of Godfrey’s Cordial if you will. Not the state of sleep care of Kool-Aid.

  17. JohnnyGL

    This was interesting, I think and hope it’s on target as far as the direction that White House is going on foreign policy in the M.E. Sounds much more reasonable and pragmatic.

    1. drexciya

      Maybe because he’s about to lose face given the fail that is the current strategy? With hundreds of millions going into a handful of “moderate” rebels that get taken prisoner or defect to the “not so moderate” rebels?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The theory on inoculation, if applied here, would suggest we fight a little bit of ISIS, so we develop some immunity, some resistance, some ability.

          Then we will have the capability to fight more ISIS.

          1. JTMcPhee

            I’m guessing “we” do not have a prayer of undoing ISIS by “fighting it,” a little bit or a lot, within the parameters that so far exclude nuclear or other WMD annihilation or, of course, addressing the conditions that produce jobless anomic nihilistic true believers and opportunists that apparently fill out the ranks. Since the “thing” we wise people personify as ISIS sure seems more like a social-movement-with-corporate-legs-and-weapons than just some “field force.”

            Go “fight” the thing, in all its parts and persistences, with the same likelihood of “success by diplomacy by other means” as with all the past and present serially ineffectual “applications of revised doctrine and improved force structure” behavior? The idiocies so carelessly imposed by the same set of insulated unaccountable people who take our wealth by other means, return lives of quiet desperation in exchange, and really do not care, have no incentive or need to care, about “winning” and “victory” and “success” as the popular mind might think those terms imply, vis-a-vis the “it” they want us to excoriate as “ISIS.”

            As pointed out frequently, the enterprise we hypostatize as ISIS has an enviable business model, one which our own corporate overlords wish they were freed to emulate and employ more openly. Love the commentary:

            “The World’s 10 Richest Terrorist Organizations,” (Interesting that the US Empire is not No. 1 in that listing, with maybe the Brits at #2… per the DoD Dictionary, “terrorism — The unlawful use of violence or threat of violence, often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs, to instill fear and coerce governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are usually political. See also antiterrorism; combating terrorism; counterterrorism; force protection condition. (JP 3-07.2))” (I guess the “unlawful,” along with “often” and “usually,” are supposed to provide the weasel-out that honorable and honest self-examination would otherwise slam down on the BS about “our team GOOD GUYS”…)

            “Terrorist group ISIS has quite the lucrative business model,”

            “How ISIS Is Using Taxes To Build A Terrorist State,”

            Then there’s this sage advice from the mainstream:

            And thoughts on BO’s grand plan to “defeat ISIS?” “Obama’s ISIS Plan Has 2 Big Flaws,” , though I’m sure “we” are on version 2.2.5 of the Plan by now, and so therefore that much closer to “success” and “victory” and all that jazz… What outcomes do “we” really want from “our” political economy, again?

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Perplexing failure of Europe’s center-left.

    At first glance, I thought it was ‘perpetual failure.’

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Buddhism not consistent with the Constitution.

    That wouldn’t surprise me. No mention of reincarnation in the latter.

    Moreover, the former doesn’t rely on the law of karma being enforced by us, but on some invisible mechanism.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    VW diesel cheating catastrophe.

    When a law-making/law-creating/law-priting sovereign cheats on its GDP data, does it have unlimited immunity?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Software sophisticated enough to detect when an emissions test is underway ought to have many other practical uses.

      For instance, in trading markets. Today Volkswagen’s software might be able to detect whether this is a real bear market, or just a fakeout.

      Off to buy me a used VW diesel, so’s I can winkle that clever code out of it. One suspects that Inslaw’s notorious Promis software is prolly embedded in the kernel.

      1. Gio Bruno

        …umm, the VW diesel fiasco is the ultimate “Tragedy of the Commons + PR”. They have folks paying top dollar for an inferior product that is degrading the living environment of purchasers and non-purchasers alike. Buying one at steep discount is a fools errand.

    2. mundanomaniac

      The cheaters on top of the humane facilities, the state bought by the family-world’s 0,1% – a clear demonic mirror of the moment in the aeon.
      Here the analysis of our fate for the moment:

  21. Bottom Gun

    After everything that has happened with the banks and mortgage companies, does anyone really believe that the losers at DOJ are really going to convict an individual at Volkswagen and send him to jail?

    You heard it here first: VW retains counsel at Covington & Burling or Debevoise & Plimpton. Negotiations ensue. Loretta Lynch proudly calls a press conference and trumpets an “unprecedented settlement worth billions of dollars.” Unfortunately, criminal fraud cases prove too far too complicated for the chumps at DOJ, who know even less about organic chemistry than they do about collateralized debt obligations — and, strangely, make remarkably little effort to find and listen to people who do.

    The next round of former DOJ officials make their way to Covington and Debevoise, and the band plays on.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Google…France.

    Under incoming French regulation the fine could increase to between 2% and 5% of global operating costs.” For 2014, Google’s total operating costs were just under $50 billion, so potentially the fine could be from $1 billion to $2.5 billion (€900 million to €2.2 billion).

    Is it possible to control money supply via fines?

    Make the fine $20 billion. And go find more fines

    Does it impact corporations? Does taxation impact taxpayers?

  23. vidimi

    i hope francis survives his trip to the states. the US bishops and republican party, among others, would surely like him gone.

  24. direction

    Thanks so much for posting the Boots Riley interview. I first heard him as a speaker back in 1993 and was so taken with the clarity of this extraordinary young man with oratory skill and innovative thinking that I stayed after and asked for his card (he of course didn’t have a card but I lodged him into the memory banks for later. Slowly the rest of the world caught on to him too. And he’s so kind and peaceful in person, he’s got a lot figured out; I wish him a long life. It took me 20 years to go see his band and they were GREAT>ha! Anyhow, he was a voice of reason during the Oakland riots, and every time I hear him I get a better perspective on things. I remember way back then, 1992 or 1993 I think, he was talking about getting community currency going in the ghetto, since the same dollar circulates there many many times, and he spoke about recording local neighborhood news on cassettes with music so people could copy and hear it for free and the draw of the music would get them interested in the news and create community. It’s basically the same as folk songs from the 1800s carrying news of lynchings and murder; song is a facile way to remember and disseminate oral history. Anyhow, he’s bloody brilliant, and I’m glad he’s now a proud daddy and is also continuing to be an innovative thinker and agent of change. Long Live Boots!

    1. pdehaan

      Loved watching his interview on RNN as well. Unpretentious and straightforward insights on society and capitalism.

  25. Steve H.

    I’ve read the Frank Rich piece on T-dog, and it’s pretty much dead on.

    Rich is a master of understanding the intersection of theater and politics, and Trump is a master at narcissistic branding in a way most of the other candidates can only aspire to. (I say ‘most’ not because any are better, but in hopes that some don’t walk that primrose path.)

    John Robb:

    “For almost zero $, #Trump has set himself up as a kingmaker for the Republican party. He’s going to turn that into lots of big $ favors.”

    For those who doubt the insight Rich is able to bring, about politicians who don’t really want to be elected, this is (for myself) one of the most important articles I’ve read about how the wheels of the machine grind:

    What ‘That Regan Woman’ Knows

    1. jrs

      Yea but he discredits himself by comparing Nader to Trump. Nader is a Donald Trump. Really? How can you compare a principled man like Nader to an out of control narcissist? And still the dubious assumption Gore would have been much better (even after 8 years of the disease called Obama, of Democratic sellout even before than in Congress (off the table Nancy), of seeing very clearly what Kerry is – granted a much closer view than we’ve gotten of Gore) etc. they STILL believe. Believing that Trump or Gore is our salvation strikes me as delusional. So yea the people who think that Trump is somehow so bad he’s good are out of it, but what are those still harping on Nader after all these years? By the way WW II is also over, the Japanese lost.

      1. Steve H.

        I am looking at the article cited here, and the article it cites.

        Neither Nader nore Gore is mentioned in Rich’s article. Gore is cited in the Pierce article, from a quote by Rich 15 years ago, and Rich calls him a chameleon, not generally a compliment.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Over at Marketwatch, there is an article about Americans worrying more about finances than health.

    People will sacrifice their health to address their finance problems.

    We kill ourselves in order to work.

    Does this have any implication on Job Guarantee vs. Basic Income Guarantee?

  27. Jim Haygood

    Germany’s DAX, comrades: today it fell into a bear market, down 22.7% from its April 10th high of 12,375. A five-figure index is just a memory now. Chart:

    Recall that the ECB is still administering an intravenous QE drip in the eurozone. But the patient’s vital signs are weakening. If QE can’t keep stocks bubbling in Europe’s largest economy, what can we expect as the Fed prepares us for QT (Quantitative Tightening)?

    Nothing good, most likely. Meanwhile, the ‘dark mastermind’ Dr Hussman is gleefully sitting at his terminal, cackling ‘I warned them! Morans!’

  28. Ignacio

    The dieselgate has many more implications in Europe than in the US. Happily the US unveiled de trick. For instance, in Spain, Diesel is relatively much more important than gasoline. If I remember well, for every liter of gasoline, we consume about 5 liters of diesel. Moreover, government subsidies to auto sales depend on their emissions, even parking fees in cities like Madrid vary depending on the emission profile of the vehicle.

      1. Ignacio

        The scandal involves 11 million vehicles sold around the world and extends to the brands Skoda (Czeck Republik) and Seat (Spain), besides Volkswagen and Audi.

          1. Dune Navigator

            Merckel: “I varn you! Dees NSA is killing me! Das ist genug, Schartzie mit dies shpying!”
            Obummer: “I pull out my ace card whens I needses it. Vroom vroom. Fahrfegnugen, ja, es tut mir Leid.”

  29. Jim

    The recent William Greider article in the Nation “Who’s Afraid of Populists” sounds almost quaint in 2015 in its yearning for “plain people in rebellion organizing themselves to go up against the reigning powers.”

    Although a “self-generated citizen insurgency ” is really the only practical political answer for developing a path out of this financial/economic/political/cultural crisis the sentiment on much of the non-traditional political internet seems content with hoping and waiting for the apocalypse–some type of magical collapse which will see the end of the old world and somehow the birth of a new world–without threatening any shreds of what is left of our present comforts– as we all intently watch from the sidelines.

    1. JTFaraday

      I think the change that’s coming is already coming in, and therefore I tend to agree with Guy Standing that what he calls “the precariat” is the new popular political class-in-the-making. This is certainly not comfortable, not least because it doesn’t fit well with our life narratives. So, it’s a problem that runs straight to the core of our psychological makeup.

      But that’s just the parochial view from the US. How this “economic” precariat connects with increasing statelessness on the other side of the pond, I haven’t thoroughly pondered.

      Collectively, it is kind of an all out, all encompassing assault. I don’t think “class war” really covers it.

    2. JTFaraday

      Actually, I think Greider kind of really misses what’s most interesting about Goodwyn’s book, which is that that his populists organized an entire collective “cooperative” system of agricultural production and substantially WERE the market. He says their political ideas made them forerunners of the New Deal. Lord Keynes smiled on them. I don’t know, maybe. But it seems to me that the outcome of the New Deal was to help turn everyone into an employee, which may be a kind of disenfranchisement, actually. Proletarianization.

      So, part of what’s quaint about that piece is the way it slips into this ready made narrative that isn’t even very good.

  30. 3.17e-9

    . . . much of the non-traditional political internet seems content with hoping and waiting for the apocalypse–some type of magical collapse which will see the end of the old world and somehow the birth of a new world–without threatening any shreds of what is left of our present comforts– as we all intently watch from the sidelines.

    Brilliantly stated!

  31. ewmayer

    Re. “Hedge fund manager buys drug company, raises price of pill from $13.50 to $750”. Two words: Canadian Pharmacy. They’re not just for boner pills anymore. There are sites that maintain reputation scores and allow comparison shopping, and all the one’s I’ve checked out accept US RXes by mail/fax/phone and mail you the goods, the latter being something than many of the big US chains will not do.

    1. ProNewerDeal

      is it legal for a USian to actually consider pharma a free market, comparison-shop & order from the superiorly priced CAN pharmacy? Or is this some type of felony, implemented by owned poli-trick-ians by the US Sickcare Mafia?

      1. craazyboy

        I recall something they did to make it illegal (can’t remember details) – even if you go to the iPharms that do ask for a prescription.

        You can’t mess with the Mafia’s turf. Using the mail for illegal activity is a very stiff felony.

      2. ewmayer

        From the Big Pharma Bureau of Commerce, erm I mean FDA, :

        Is it legal for me to personally import drugs?

        In most circumstances, it is illegal for individuals to import drugs into the United States for personal use. This is because drugs from other countries that are available for purchase by individuals often have not been approved by FDA for use and sale in the United States. For example, if a drug is approved by Health Canada (FDA’s counterpart in Canada) but has not been approved by FDA, it is an unapproved drug in the United States and, therefore, illegal to import. FDA cannot ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs that it has not approved.

        FDA, however, has a policy explaining that it typically does not object to personal imports of drugs that FDA has not approved under certain circumstances, including the following situation:

        o The drug is for use for a serious condition for which effective treatment is not available in the United States;
        o There is no commercialization or promotion of the drug to U.S. residents;
        o The drug is considered not to represent an unreasonable risk;
        o The individual importing the drug verifies in writing that it is for his or her own use, and provides information for the doctor providing treatment or shows the product is for the continuation of treatment begun in a foreign country; and
        o Generally, not more than a 3-month supply of the drug is imported.

        The “not represent an unreasonable risk” bit appears manifestly applicable for drugs of longstanding, i.e. FDA approved already long ago and now available in generic form.

        Suggestion to FDA: broaden the language in the first bullet point to from “effective” “cost effective”.

        1. craazyboy

          Ya, I guess they decided it would be too brazen to try and use the “not USofA FDA Approved” argument in the case of generics.

      3. Bridget

        You can obtain prescription drugs for personal use from Canadian pharmacies, but you need an Rx from a Canadian doc. If you are in a position to travel to Canada, bring your pertinent medical records and prescriptions with you. Canadian pharmacies, (at least in areas with lots of US vistors) can refer you to a compliant Canadian doc. There are also online sites that purport to connect US citizens with Canadian doctors, but I wouldn’t vouch for any of them.

    2. ewmayer

      One (not intended as a promo, strictly illustrative):

      Their “shipping information” page says “We are sorry as we currently do not ship to addresses located outside of Canada and the United States.” And look at the locations of testimonials on their homepage.

  32. ProNewerDeal

    China or the BRICS group it is within, should do an epic “soft power move”, a “humanitarian innovation” globally, but especially in the US, & take economist Dr. Dean Baker’s policy recommendation to make the pharma R&D and end resulting formulation like “open source software”, and allow any private & public orgs the freedom to manufacture & sell this open source pharma product in a Free Market-manner.

    IMHO The global goodwill from such a move would be enormous. It would also be a crushing blow to monopolistic Neoliberal propaganda/fantasies.

    1. Dune Navigator

      Hey, you, pssssssss … over hear … Yo, Gene Sharpe-like people power astro-turd revolutions are only for ‘murrrKKKuh’s enemies abroad, not for home, unless yer a teabagger. Sshshshshshshsh!!!

    1. Lambert Strether

      This reminds me of the following passage from Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, in the chapter building up to Flay’s death match with Swelter, the cook:

      All of a sudden the gale seemed to hurl itself to a climax and then to cease utterly, but the interim of dead silence was over as soon as it had started, for a few seconds later, as though from a different quarter, the storm unleashed another of its armies of solid rain and hail, pouring its broadsides against the Castle from the belly of a yet more riotous tempest. During the few moments of what seemed to be an absolute silence between the two storms, Flay had jerked his body forward from the ground, and had sat bolt upright, every muscle frozen. He had forced a knuckle between his teeth to stop them from chattering, and with his eyes focused upon the dark stairhead he had heard, quite plainly, a sound that was both near and far away, a sound hideously distinct. In that lacuna of stillness the stray sounds of the Castle had become wayward, ungaugeable. A mouse nibbling beneath floor boards might equally have been within a few feet or several halls away. The sound that Flay heard was of a knife being deliberately whetted. How far away he had no means of telling. It was a sound in vacuo, an abstract thing, yet so enormously it sounded, it might well have been within an inch of his craning ear. The number of times the blade moved across the hone had no relation to the actual length of time which Flay experienced as he listened. To him the mechanical forward and backward movement of steel against stone lasted the night itself. Had the dawn broken as he listened he would not have been surprised.

      So I have the pleasing picture of that hedgie startling awake, at night, because he seems to hear the sound of a far-away edge being honed.

      1. night-Train

        I prefer an Arkansas stone with just a tad of honing oil. Use a coarse stone first, pulling the edge toward you, then away an equal number of strokes in each direction. The blade to stone angle should be about 30 degrees from horizontal. Repeat with a fine stone for a well honed edge. If you plan to shave with it, a few strokes likewise on a leather strop makes a keen edge. Arkansas stones are novaculite which is a very fine grained chert of Devonian age.

        A job worth doing, is worth doing right. A little craftsmanship if you will.

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