Links 4/11/16

Greentech Media

Slate

Ars Technica (h/t martha r)

PsyPost

The Guardian

2016-o-Rama

The Boston Globe

Raw Story

Dean Baker

Talking Points Memo

Medium

Bloomberg Politics

Inquisitr. Congratulations to Bill Black!

The New Yorker. The rough benchmark is Zepyhr Teachout’s primary of Andrew Cuomo in 2014. She got 1/3 of the vote (and won several counties upstate) but had virtually no money, and it’s two years later, which a much higher expected turnout. So extrapolate to your heart’s content.

The Salt Lake Tribune

Erik Forman, Medium (h/t martha r). Interesting call from Bernie supporters for a movement-based politics that survives any one election and is bigger than any one candidate.

Bloomberg

Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Today’s must-read.

Reuters

Simon Wren-Lewis

Wall Street Journal

Econbrowser

Lee Fang, The Intercept

Larry Summers, Financial Times. Someone sounds nervous.

Panama Papers

Reuters

Financial Times. Richard Smith writes:

The [panamapapers] scandal intensified the already acrimonious relations between Poroshenko’s bloc and Yatseniuk’s party, which for months have been fueled by mutual accusations of corruption.
 
Maybe Yatseniuk will say more later about why he walked.

New York Times

Simon Busuttil, The Malta Independent

Daphne Caruana Galizia

Carl Levin, The Guardian

Thomas Piketty, The Guardian

60 Minutes, CBS. A major story on the classified section of the 9/11 report that has already yielded this break of the silence:

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

NBC News

The Washington Post. No apology asked for or given.

New York Times

George Soros, Project Syndicate

BBC

ISIS/Syraqistan

Bloomberg Politics (h/t resilc). Kind of a stunning admission.

The Independent

The Washington Post

Philadelphia Inquirer

Huffington Post (h/t Dr. Kevin)

New York Times. Do tell…

Christian Science Monitor (h/t martha r)

Class warfare

Bloomberg

PBS NewsHour (h/t martha r)

New York Times. In a past life, this was my job. Not on this particular show, but as a TV editor blurring was often a part of the gig, usually not of nakedness but of a license plate, corporate logo, or face of someone who never signed a release. This is the most painstaking work for the smallest value in Hollywood, particularly on these shows with handheld cameras where the subject moves around in the frame a lot. You can keyframe and interpolate the blur as the subject moves around, but inevitably you have to add more and more keyframes to keep up with the blur, until you’re effectively painting each of the 30 frames per second. The estimate here is that blurring an entire episode of this show takes 50 hours, and that sounds right to me. I know I’m not supposed to describe a cushy desk job as “soul-crushing,” but that sounds like it to me.

World Wildlife Federation

Antidote du jour:

Beautiful-Tiger1

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.

194 comments

  1. Paper Mac

    “Under the strict interpretation of Islam by Isis, if a fighter is killed by a women he cannot go to heaven, a fact the women clearly relish”

    Absurd nonsense on the same level as lard-coated bullets. The only thing notable about this is how literally any excuse is acceptable for indulging the media’s creepy obsession with YPG “female fighters”.

    1. diptherio

      This has been reported and debunked a couple of times now. Apparently the word hadn’t made it to NCHQ yet, though. While the YPG seem to be representing themselves admirably, what I’m most impressed with about the Kurds is the horizontal, democratic social system they have built, against all odds:

      wire.novaramedia.com/2015/02/6-notes-on-the-economics-of-the-rojava-revolution/

      This project aims to create democracy without the state through the creation of overlapping councils and communes at various political scales to govern the territory, as well as working to abolish the police. Rojava is also (justly) famous for putting feminist politics at the core of the political project, with the quota systems for female participation in the various communes and councils being almost as well noted as women’s armed participation in the Rojava defence forces. But all of this rarely suffices for some sections of the left – the burning question is, of course, what about class and the economy? After all, it’s not really #fullcommunism without the seizure of the means of production…

      1. Bill Smith

        “Under the strict interpretation of Islam by Isis, if a fighter is killed by a women he cannot go to heaven…”

        “This has been reported and debunked a couple of times now”

        What does ISIS believe?

        1. Paper Mac

          ISIS’ theology, such as it is, is characterised by (A) selective and contextless presentation of source texts (Qur’an and hadith) and (B) rejection of traditional hermeneutical modes, ordinarily the means of placing these texts in a context that allows for their reconciliation and interpretation in light of the recognised objectives of the faith, as effete, feckless, corrupt, and unnecessary. The (A) texts are then deployed to justify whatever political or military objective is being pursued by ISIS leadership, while (B) is used to protect the targets of this deployment from recognition that the seemingly plain-sense interpretation chosen in (A) is, historically speaking, extremely deviant and marginal.

          Being as there is no source text (Qur’an or hadith) which does anything like claim that death at the hands of women disqualifies someone sincerely striving in the way of God from salvation, there’s no way for an ISIS propagandist to advance this position under (A) without engaging in some serious hermeneutical mental gymnastics, already precluded by (B). There’s no reason to advance this opinion in the first place. Given that women are salted into kurdish units and would be indistinguishable from men under normal conditions (firing from cover 100-300m away), all it would do is produce pervasive fear and anxiety whenever engaging those units. So the suggestion is that ISIS has gone completely against their normal theological mode in order to demoralise their own fighters. It’s safe to say this didn’t happen.

          In terms of what they actually do believe, from what I’ve seen it’s a corrupted variety of the traditional Sunni view, i.e. they believe in the salvific power of death in battle for pious and sincere believers. As the traditional view both excludes those deliberately seeking death (eg. suicide bombers, many of the down-and-out fighters they get from overseas) and includes many circumstances beyond being a combatant (building collapses, plagues, etc. and thus including many of ISIS’ inadvertant and deliberate civilian victims), it’s pretty clear that the notion is deployed selectively to encourage particular military tactics, rather than out of some commitment to a “strict interpretation of Islam” (which would prevent any of them from fighting without the permission of their parents and the local ruler, for instance).

        2. JTMcPhee

          Not that this one “debunking” article overcomes the ponderous MSM mythology that us mopes so want to believe, but here it is, for your delectation and enjoyment:

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The female fighters allow the msm to sell permawar as progressive when the Kurds have an actual enemy at the gates situation.

      1. hidflect

        All cats are female just as all dogs are male.
        “What about Tigers”, you ask. They’re lesbians.

  2. Jerry Denim

    9/11, Bayoumi, Saudis:

    All of this was more or less reported in Lawrence Wright’s 2006 Pulitzer winning non-fiction 9/11 book “The Looming Tower”. What the CBS story isn’t mentioning is that Bayoumi was believed to be a CIA asset as well. Wright’s book doesn’t point any fingers directly at the CIA but they turn up time and time again in the book at many critical junctures of the planning and execution of the attacks. There’s no good reason any of the Commision report should still be classified 15 years later. It was a bipartisan exercise in ass-covering and white-washing from the start so I doubt anything in those 28 pages is too earth shaking. We have all the wrong enemies and “friends” in the middle-east and our government has a lot of explaining to do for why their fingerprints were in so many suspicious places surrounding the personalities and events of 9/11.

  3. paul

    Quit sugar with anti nicotine products?
    I hope they don’t mean .

    Still, if you’ve got the plant and the patent, you may as well use them for something….

      1. paul

        Feeding sugar in the form of so-called ‘placebos’ is morally equivalent to pointing a machine gun at their head when high quality pharmaceutical sweeteners such as are available

  4. ProNewerDeal

    I am sick of right-wing DLCers ala 0bama & Clintons “psychologically project” than center-left social democratic Sanders is “extreme” & they DLCers are “pragmatic”.

    I wonder what would happen if there was a DLCer that took a “moderate Corporate Hack” (MCH) approach, say take a very strong support of a Sanders position on 1 or 2 key issues, whilst selling out 0bama-style on the others & keeping the status quo. I’d submit that a MCH would actually get grass-root voters, as opposed to being the 0bama/Clintons style Extreme Corporate Hack (ECH).

    Imagine if 0bama had taken a MCH approach from 2009 in his term’s start.

    1 Medicare Pt. O (Public Option). If blocked by Congress, open the Veterans Affairs Pt. O to ANY US citizen at actuarial cost, if this is legal via the Executive without Congress. If not, pound this issue hard at each election. Make ads noting that McConnell & P Ryan, as well as anti-MedicarePtO Ds are far worse than 1S1S in killing USians, after all, per Harvard Public Harvard Health 30-45K USians die yearly relative to CAN-Medicare For All, due to not affording health care, the equivalent of 10+ annual Sep11 massacres. Perhaps 0bama would’ve retained D majorities in both the Senate & House.

    2. (assuming 0bama insisted on his extreme selling out to the Sickcare Cartels): Reinstate Glass Steagall & end 2B2F via setting a hard cap on the amount of deposits/liabilities as a fraction of US GDP. Ditto on bashing the pols against these policies in campaigns, etc.

    3. WPA-esque Federal Jobs program for Civil Engineering Infrastructure + Renewable Energy adoption, citing the weak Employment-to-Population Ratio, low US 10-yr Treasury rate as it being an ideal time to do so, making it an even bigger “no brainer” than otherwise to do so.

    (more such examples exist)

    I’d submit if 0bama had been a MCH by strongly supporting even 1-2 of these policies, while continuing to sellout/support status quo on others, he would’ve accomplished more than the ECH approach he took.

    Consider the fact that Sanders is weak on supporting the MIC status quo. Sanders could’ve said “I agree with Pres Eisenhower’s warning about the MIC, & note the Cold War ended in 1989, thus the broadly-defined MIC budget will be slashed by at least 50% from the current $1T level”. Note that Sanders is excellent on the 3 issues above, perhaps the biggest issue of public campaign finance; that being mediocre to a sellout on the MIC issue, only results in Sanders receiving mild criticism from a minority cohort of genuine anti-War or anti-MIC CorpRipoff voters.

    If my premise is correct, why don’t we see any MCH candidates running for 2016 President? Sanders is actually NOT a CH whatsoever (apart from the 1 MIC issue), whereas the others are on the other extreme end: H Clinton & the Rs are ECHs.

    1. [email protected]

      Wow. You missed a class or two somewhere. First, Bernie is not particularly leftist. In the 50s/60s. he would have been called a Kennedy Democrat (aka mainstream). Clintons/Obama were largely right wing. The country “moving right” was actually media consolidation among the elites. The Bernie phenomenon isn’t therefore the country moving left; we’re simply talking our blinders off. That’s why your centrism plan isn’t a plan. You’re merely talking about doing right wing better. That’s not enough unless you’re Paul Krugman and already have all the acorns you’ll need.

      This isn’t about money either. We don’t need any “Plan O” to make healthcare affordable. We had $17T for the bankers in a heartbeat. We don’t even have one of them (e.g.) to make everyone well? No, this is about ideology. We have “rights”, but we must purchase them from the grantors. Our right to life is purchased by forking over various amounts to BigMed, BigPharma, and BigInsurance. Don’t got it? Then you don’t have a right to live.

      This is neoliberalism. You are not a person. You are food. Don’t like it. Get to work.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        “First, Bernie is not particularly leftist” consider rereading my comment, I said “center-left social democratic Sanders”

        I never said I desire an MCH, I’d support a non-CH, pro-99% candidate like Sanders or J Stein. I am merely wondering why no MCH exists, the major party candidates beside Sanders are all ECHs

        1. Steven

          Obama could have gotten all this and more through budget reconciliation and McConnell wouldn’t have been even a factor. But he saw his job as protecting Wall Strret from the pitchfork mob.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Supreme Court has already ruled that the only constitutional threshold is 50 the VP. They can hold their votes on the moon. Bill Frist’s nuclear option was technically the constitutional option.

      2. Alex morfesis

        Bernie would be an Ike republican in the 50’s…that is how far into c.r.e.e.p. eastern european “freedom fighter” A-O land we have bent as a nation….

          1. jrs

            No kidding, people found those times repressive for all sorts of legitimate reasons: social and political if they feared the bomb and the cold war *AND* economic (ie conformist 50s corporate culture).

    2. muserbox

      As far as I can tell, this generation of dems looks back on four decades of presidential politics, sees names like McGovern, Carter, and Dukakis and reads (not all that incorrectly) Failure, Failure, and Failure. More recently, they see pols like Edwards and Dean (made with 95% ECH/ 5% MCH for that taste you know and love) and see any MCH as a liability. FWIW, we’re coming out of a political era where pols of both parties have succeeded by moving ever rightward. If we get a more moderate republican party in the near future, or one that completely implodes, it’ll be interesting to see what the politics of a typical there-is-no-alternative ECH morphs into.

  5. Swiss Guy

    Bail-ins reach Europe

    “While the application of the new European recovery and resolution framework for banks is unchartered territory both in legal and practical terms, we are on target with the resolution of HETA and are also making satisfactory progress in relation to the realisation of its assets”, the FMA’s Executive Board, Helmut Ettl and Klaus Kumpfmüller commented: “The measures that have been prescribed under BaSAG form the basic structure for an orderly resolution, and fully satisfy the aims of the European resolution regime – namely to guarantee financial market stability, to protect taxpayers and to bail-in creditors. Moreover, this package of measures also ensures the equal treatment of creditors. Orderly resolution is more advantageous than insolvency proceedings.”

  6. the blame/e

    More Zika news? Fear mongering enough by the mass media? Yawn. Boring. Still. Here it comes. Gird your loins.

    “Scientists have yet to confirm what conditions the virus actually causes, although research has raced to study the once rare pathogen, which emerged from a remote forest in Uganda.

    That the evidence is still inconclusive has many scientists cautioning the public and leaders not to fuel hysteria around it.”

    Any sane person (except for the mass media apparently), would know that at some point you can over saturate (and over satiate), a world global population with fear.

    Like the world doesn’t have enough problems? More Zika babies?

    This ain’t cow bells.

    1. fresno dan

      the blame/e
      April 11, 2016 at 7:23 am

      So I am rewatching old Simpsons episodes, and I come across this from season 22:

      =====================================================
      PILOT (of helicopter after passenger decopts ): We’re unbalanced! It’s not fair! (explosion)

      CHAIR: I’d like to call to order this secret conclave of America’s media empires.
      We are here to come up with the next phony baloney crisis to put Americans back where they belong– in dark rooms, glued to their televisions, too terrified to skip the commercials.
      FOX representative: Well, I think NBC, you are here to listen and not speak! I think we should go with a good old-fashioned public health scare.
      (murmuring) A new disease! No one’s immune! It’s like the summer of the shark, except instead of a shark, it’s an epidemic and instead of summer, it’s all the time! (agreeing murmurs)
      MAN: That is smokin’! Now I hate to be the guy who derails what everybody else loves He loves being that guy.
      ANOTHER man: But, Janice, we do have standards. This can’t be a made-up disease. The only moral thing to do is release a deadly virus into the general public. We do have something we’ve been holding onto, but it hasn’t been tested. Get over here, NBC.
      NBC representative: (chuckling) Well, we certainly believe in testing, but I Oh! (woozy moan) (struggling breaths) Wow.
      Wow! Oh, yeah! So, we’ve got our deadly disease.

      1st Man: Now we just have to blame it on something that’s in every household something that people are a little bit afraid of already.
      LOCAL ANCHOR: Housecat Flu is coming, people! The Center for Disease Disinformation predicts with some degree of probability that the Housecat Flu might spread in the following hypothetical outbreak pattern. (map of US with cats popping up everywhere)
      (congested coughing) So petter beware, that warm body on your lap just might be ready to destroy your tender vittles.
      (purring) (screams) (meows) Springfielders are advised to stay tuned for more information if they experience any of the following symptoms: mild thirst, occasional hunger, tiredness at night (clamoring voices)
      (Scene of firemen PUTTING cats in trees) You know, I don’t know when this was ever a good idea.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not always so, but when we feel guilty, we can be easily scared into seeing ghosts or danger everywhere.

      Feeling guilty unconsciously about what?

      Hint: from a remote forest in Uganda.

      We are cutting down too many trees, destroying too many forests…

      It’s not always so, but maybe this is the case here.

      So, we remind ourselves one of the smartest man in history.

      If I don’t believe in God, and if he exists, this is the result.

      If I do, and if he exists, this is result B.

      Etc.

      So, per Pascal, if I believe in Zika, and it doesn’t exist, it costs me relatively nothing. Maybe I stay away from vacationing in Brazil, but so what?

      And if I don’t believe so, and it is dangerous, the penalty is WHAT? Well, maybe I play it safe, like Pascal would.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That may be the case, but the Zika virus ’emerged from a remote forest in Uganda.’

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Because they are chopping down Amazonian trees.

              Perhaps Karma…or the sixth sense Karma is at work. We have a lot to feel guilty about.

  7. Bullwinkle

    I believe Teachout won at least 20 counties in New York including those in the capital region (Albany & Saratoga). See

    1. allan

      FYI, turnout at campaign events in the Rochester area over the weekend:
      Clinton: 1,200
      Kasich: 3,000(!)
      Trump: 7,500
      Sanders is visiting on Tuesday.

      1. Bas

        Clinton has switched to small tightly-controlled venues so she doesn’t have to deal with the dirty proles of all races and persuations.

  8. Llewelyn Moss

    re: 28 Pages of 9/11 report – 60 Minutes

    Yeah that was intriguing. Sounded like they redacted the last chapter because:
    1) It showed FBI incompetence at letting 9/11 plot unfold (not connecting dots).
    2) Or Bush didn’t want his Saudi Oil Brethren embarrassed — I’m recall the pics of Dubya walking around his ranch holding hands with the Saudi Royals. True love.

    And now with the US firmly under Cabal control, we’ll never see the truth. They wonder why 9/11 conspiracy theories bloom like flowers in the spring.

    1. jhallc

      And I believe the Saudi Ambassador and others were allowed to fly out of the country when no civilian flights were being allowed.

      1. Gareth

        “Two dozen members of Osama bin Laden’s family were urgently evacuated from the United States in the first days following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, according to the Saudi ambassador to Washington”:

        1. Lord Koos

          Yes, that was an interesting way to investigate a crime scene — fly all relatives of the prime suspect out of your jurisdiction.

    2. PatrickW

      The senators protest too much. If they really want the 28 pages released, either House or Senate both have legal authority to declassify it. They can do this independent of the executive branch and separate from each other.

      Alternately, one of the senators who has read the chapter in the SCIF can simply tell us what it says in a floor speech. He would be safe from prosecution under the Constitution’s speech and debate clause.

      Conclusion: They don’t want it released. All this is a cover story.

      My bet is there is a deal with Riyadh whereby the Saudis could feign innocence and call for the document’s release, while the US secretly assured them it would never happen.

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Whatever is in the 28 pages is not going to tell what actually happened on 9/11. This is a big build-up, then when the 28 pages are finally released Pelosi et al can hail it as a big victory, but it’s actually a dog and pony show. You wanna talk about Building 7? The so-called “plane” that crashed into the Pentagon that was actually a missile? And yes, jet fuel does not burn hot enough to make a high-rise crash in what looked like, and actually was, a controlled demolition.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Could that set a precedent for senators to start reading things like how to design drones, etc?

      3. hunkerdown

        I seem to remember SecState Kerry’s heading over that way soon. Maybe he means to inspire sufficient alacrity.

      4. knowbuddhau

        Exactly. That whole steaming pile of a report should be filed under “modified limited hangout.” Remember how none other than Hillary’s BFF, Henry Kissinger, was nominated to lead it, and how that went over just as well as GWB’s call for a “crusade”? To give the devil his due, though, he was a successful propaganda catapult. I’m sure she’ll “look into it” if she’s likewise successful in stealing the election. HA!

        For those who didn’t live through Watergate (via Wikipedia):

        A limited hangout or partial hangout is, according to former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Victor Marchetti, “spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.”[1][2]

    3. JCC

      Another thing people tend to forget, a film that was shown for a few weeks after 9/11 showing Bin Laden and one of the Saud Family Princes watching the burning of the towers on TV together and clapping. It used to be easily found on YouTube, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find it anymore.

      1. diptherio

        If by “9/11 truther” you mean someone who doesn’t believe the official story is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then no, obviously not.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I got my recent post “moderated” out of existence; that’s why I asked. My remark was basically that the “28 pages” will not tell what really happened on 9/11 anyway. Right now you have this suspense –will they or won’t they–so Pelosi et al can claim victory when the pages are released. But the pages won’t tell what happened to Building 7, or why the towers pancaked like a controlled demolition, or why the “”plane” that hit the Pentagon was actually a missile.

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          I’m a 9/11 truther, and my posts related to 9/11 are getting “moderated” out of existence.

          1. JerryDenim

            Yep, been that way for a while round here. Don’t know if I would call myself a “truther” but I don’t buy the official story and I believe a great deal of information has been concealed from the public. My comments regarding the aforementioned taboo subject never make it past moderation either, even though I attempt to stick to well-documented, respectable sources and refrain from making speculative allegations. On one hand I get it, the taboo topic has a way of attracting the worst denizens of the net and I would hate to see this site get infected with Alex Jones types, but when a story from CBS news appears in the links section discussing very old and well-documented “revelations” that do cast doubt on the official story it’s very hard to say anything worthwhile that will make it past the gatekeeper/software. I have yet to figure it out. If that’s the price to have a civilized place to chat economics, world affairs and politics I can live with it, but it can be a bit frustrating when you are accustomed to having your say.

          2. diptherio

            I’ve had lots of comments moderated/disappear into the WordPress blackhole…none about 9/11 that I can recall, so I doubt that’s what’s going on in your case. It would be much more in keeping with the general MO on this blog to post your comment and then debunk it (if, indeed, Yves or Lambert feel it’s totally off base). I think you’re seeing censorship where it doesn’t actually exist.

      2. RP

        welcome, fellow thought criminal!

        It’s not expressly what we do here, but logic, deduction, and an aversion to ignoring the agency of human beings with agendas in events are encouraged at NC, so it follows that not all of us believe the Big White Book of What Happened

      3. Plenue

        What kind of ‘truther’? If you think there’s a lot shady about the Saudi connection, okay, I’m right there with you. If however you believe it wasn’t planes but cruise missiles/controlled demolition/thermite/space lasers, sorry, but you’re an idiot. If you’re the type of person who berates others to ‘do their research’ and then parrots gibberish about ‘free fall speeds’, completely oblivious to the hundreds of pictures and videos clearly showing debris falling faster than the buildings themselves, I have no time for you.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          I’m not an idiot. Apparently you have the right to parrot your gibberish, but I don’t have the right to parrot my gibberish, on this site. Not fair. I can understand it though, since it’s supposed to be basically an economics site, and if they let people talk about 9/11 on this site, it would be a big distraction. If we can’t make any comments, though, they shouldn’t link to the topic at all.

          1. Plenue

            This site talks about a lot of things on a regular basis. But you’ll want to go somewhere else if you want people to indulge completely asinine inside job ‘theories’ (real theories require evidence). Moon of Alabama or Vineyard of the Saker might be more to your liking.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Thank you. The propositions that the twin towers were a controlled demolition or that it wasn’t the airliner that struck the Pentagon are so devoid of sense and hard non speculative evidence that they must be put in the irresponsibly misinformed trash pile alongside chemtrails.

          My personal speculative suspicion is that the loonier theories such as these may have been planted or at least nurtured deliberately to categorically discredit highly embarrassing unconventional narratives that are reality based by association. Now that may not be the case but if I am a senior spook at some TLA with a lot to hide in terms of outrageous misconduct who fears disclosures gaining any traction in the MSM, having a thriving ecosystem of patent BS like the controlled demolition, Pentagon missile or chemtrails stories ready made to hide any outlandish truths that might leak out in could be extremely helpful.

          1. john

            Fox News hasnt retracted the OBL obituary from just after we invaded afganistan. Neither has Egypt.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      From a Salon link provided in yesterday’s comment section by nycTerrierist:

      John Podesta, hillary clinton’s current campaign chairman and bill clinton’s former chief of staff, is a registered “lobbyist” for saudi arabia.

      The saudi regime has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the clinton foundation.

      bill clinton has earned “enormous speaking fees” for speeches in saudi arabia including $600,000 while his wife was secretary of state.

      “Huge arms deals,” approved by clinton’s state department, provided weapons to saudi arabia.

      saudi arabia has already paid the freight. Whatever’s in those “28 pages,” the saudis will remain our “trusted” allies. These dots connect themselves.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        If Hellery wins she has a lot of favors to pay back. And I wish the press would coin a term like “Speech Bribes” because only idiots still consider the payments as anything other than bribes.

        The Associated Press notes that during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, Bill Clinton earned $17 million in talks to banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, real estate businesses, and other financial firms. Altogether, the couple are estimated to have made over $139 million from paid speeches.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Let Chelsea deliver the speech next time.

        She’s got three degrees. I think Bill only has two.

        1. paul

          I’m sure they were the best degrees money can buy.
          A solid education is vital to a high earning career these days…

    5. Plenue

      Nothing new here that Bob Graham hasn’t been saying for years:


      Seems to me there’s really only two options: either the Bush administration was simply criminally negligent (which is certainly possible, they were notoriously inept) or they wanted their Pearl Harbor event and intentionally ignored numerous warnings and pieces of evidence. If the latter, that then raises the question of how much they knew about the specifics of a Saudi-funded attack. Were they merely ignoring warnings in the hope something big would happen, or did they know specifics about what would happen? And did they have some role in plotting it, in the most extreme extension of that line of inquiry.

      1. Bas

        wasn’t bin laden’s family close to the Saudi royal family? you’d think they’d be keeping an eye on him after they kicked him out of Arabia

      2. vidimi

        the fact remains, if the saudis organised the attack, which is very likely, they did it on america’s orders. i don’t mean the americans tolerated it, they ordered it or called it in as a favour. such is the relationship between empire and vassal, even if the saudi vassal has gotten a lot of preferential treatment over the years. make no mistake, though, this treatment has been earned through lots of service.

  9. allan

    The mystery over who controlled a British Virgin Islands-registered company that received $3.5 billion from Malaysia’s scandal-tainted state fund 1MDB deepened on Monday when a company in the Middle East with an almost identical name said the BVI firm did not belong to it. …

    Opposition leader Tony Pua, who was part of the parliamentary probe, said “there was no way” the attorney general or the parliamentary inquiry could clear the prime minister of the allegations since billions of dollars that 1MDB sent overseas cannot be traced and investigations into them continue abroad.

    Sanctimonious purist.

  10. EndOfTheWorld

    I think the consistently low turnout at both Hill and Bill “events” is indicative that the general populace is sick and tired of both of them, doesn’t want to hear anything they say, and can’t even stand to look at them. Thus, I will stick my neck out and say that Bernie still has a chance to win it.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      With all the lying, cheating, and stealing during the primary so far, I’m not optimistic that the convention will be conducted with honesty either. But we’ll see.

      What has to scare the hell out of the DNC is that half of Dem party voters have gravitated to Bernie. IF Bernie doesn’t get the nomination, what would happen if they all just said ‘screw this’ and walked off to join the Greens. In other words, the revolution lives on beyond the Bernie campaign.

      PS. IMO All this talk by the press that Bernie will move the Dem party to the left is nonsense. The Dem party is a neoliberal mafia — no one is going to make it do anything regardless of any lies they whisper in the voters ears.

      Can’t wait to cast my first ever vote for an honest politician in CT. Go Bernie!
      ———————————-
      Good video to show Bernie skeptics.
      Six Responses to Bernie Sanders Critics by Robert Reich

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        “The Greens”. They are not really a party, are they? More like a club or something. Do they have any candidates that actually might win? The Libertarians at least have enough clout where they are automatically on the ballot in most of the states. I’m still waiting to see if they nominate Jesse Ventura at their convention. But the best way to let the phony crooked dem party know just what you think about them is to vote the straight repug ticket. If the dem party as now constituted doesn’t get anybody elected they will realize: “Duh…must be doing something wrong…no power, no bribe money….waahhh!”

        1. Jason

          The Libertarians are shills for billionaires, and such whores for attention that they’ll nominate anyone who gives them more press coverage, principles and beliefs be damned.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Of course, the Libertarians suck too. It’s still a two-party system in the US. What I’m saying is if the dem bigwigs manage to defeat Bernie with their machinations and shenanigans, they need to be spanked severely. A lot of people will vote Green or stay home. I will go one step further and vote the straight repug ticket, the rest of my life—or at least until the dems see the light.

            1. Katiebird

              I plan to vote against any incumbant who votes against me — my benefit.

              And to double the power of that vote, I will vote for the Republican against a Dem incumbant … And then flip it the next time around if that Repub wins and votes against me (which he will….)

              It’s not a matter of holding my nose…. It’s strategic. I want to do whatever is my most effective action to throw the bums out. I might (in the short run) get a worse bum…. But I believe that if we really vote as Independents, this strategy could be very effective over time.

                1. katiebird

                  Yes, I was. I supported Hillary then. But not now. I thought she was pretty awful as SoS (actually didn’t like it that she left the Senate. I really thought she would/could do more good there. Silly me.) and then her Never Ever statement about single payer sealed the deal.

                  1. Waldenpond

                    I was at talkleft, for Hillary. Even helped moderate during the election. I was suckered by the pretense of running to Os left on domestic policy and wasn’t comfortable with her foreign policy. I thought she was atrocious as secretary (a money laundering war criminal). I’ll likely vote for whomever the Rs vomit up, less likely to vote for Stein.

                    The ‘voting against my interests’ garbage bores me after all of these years. People who treat politics like sports have been voting against me and mine for more than 30 years.

                    I currently have the Democracyspring protest on. :)

                    1. katiebird

                      (nodding) I guess she was a lot more careful about her language on domestic policies back then. I listened pretty carefully and she didn’t signal any interest in raising the age of social security (as she has this year) and back then, she clearly stated how much people were spending on healthcare and that it was too much (these are small gifts really — even if she meant it, which I now doubt)

                      I don’t regret that I supported her then however. I think Obama has been awful. I know better now though and won’t do it again.

                      I used to go to TalkLeft pretty regularly but nothing there for me now. I do miss The Confluence (oh, well)

                      What is the Democracyspring protest? I’ve missed that.

                    2. different clue

                      Katiebird,

                      You miss the Confluence? Have you been formally or informally banned there? If not, what would keep you from still reading and commenting?

                    3. katiebird

                      Oh, No! I’m not banned. I just don’t feel that comfortable there right now. I told them why I was taking a break.

                      I get really worked up about presidential politics. And TC isn’t the place for me right now.

            2. neo-realist

              I tend to want to bum rush the party with organizations, e.g., hopefully a post presidential Sanders Movement, that run good appealing populist democratic candidates for state and local offices. Sort of like infecting a cell with a (good) virus and getting it to metastasize.

              I believe that merely voting republican or allowing republicans to win without a fight doesn’t result in neo-lib dems and the organization people who worked for them to change the direction of the party, but rather for them to call in their chips from their donors and work for $$$ in the private sector.

          2. Romancing the Loan

            We need a new party that will appeal to both Sanders and Trump supporters with a platform that still sounds sane to the majority of Americans, and then it needs to start running candidates at every level, everywhere. An explicitly class based Populist Party could be ready to take the White House in 2028.

            Here’s my shot at a platform that doesn’t hit too many programmed ideological hate-buttons:

            Infrastructure/jobs program (rebuild it much more energy-efficient), withdraw from NAFTA/TPP, nationalized healthcare, hang university eligibility for federal student loans on the % of students employed in their major 5 yrs after graduation & re-institute an apprenticeship program for many fields, start suing or in the worst cases nationalizing companies who depend on an illegal immigrant workforce, and a more realistically multi-polar foreign policy.

        2. Llewelyn Moss

          Repub party is neoliberal just like the Dem party. If Bernie’s Revolution votes Repub, it effectively gets re-assimilated into the Neoliberal Borg. It may be a feel good vote b/c you are flipping the bird to the clintons. But it won’t change the govt one bit.

          I don’t know a lot about the greens. I’m not a libertarian. I think it is too late to form a new party and get it on the ballot for 2016. So yeah, if Bernie loses, then maybe I’ll do what Chris Hedges suggests, draw a warm bath and slit my wrists. Hahaha.

          1. cwaltz

            :( I really wish people would not tell people things are that hopeless.

            I would hope the liberal viewpoint is to choose hope and fight for what you believe for as long as you need to.

            If Bernie loses I’m going Green. They may indeed never win but they’ll be the closest thing on the ballot to what I believe. I’m not interested in winning a great big pile of disaster- Team blue and red can keep that. Maybe getting the Greens on the ballot and eligible for funds gets them motivated(and it seems to me they’d be easier to take over then the Democratic Party and shape as an alternative to the DNC.)

        3. sleepy

          It hasn’t taken that much to sway me, but if it’s Hillary as the nominee I’ll vote Green to help put them over the hump of 5% required for federal funds–at least that’s the threshold I’ve read in postings here. It sounds like the most useful rationale for voting in light of a Hillary v. a repub choice.

        4. Strangely Enough

          But the best way to let the phony crooked dem party know just what you think about them is to vote the straight repug ticket.

          That only seems to encourage them to continue to emulate, and recruit, Republicans. The big tent only seems to expand one direction.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            If the Republicans say what they mean and mean what they say about efficiency and productivity, and the same with Clinton Democrats, the two parties should just merge, and make do with one chairperson, instead of two, and one machine, instead of two (we can sell the sur machine to North Korea).

            Now, that’s efficiency.

        5. Sam Adams

          It’s unnecessary for the DNC to realize anything. If Hillary is crowned, the congress and all its incumbents can learn the hard way what happens when the electorate goes all in Rethuglican. Hillary is deadly down- ticket to the Democrats.

          1. Bas

            it’s possibly preferable to having the electorate go all grassroots progressive–at least it has been in the recent past in down-ticket contests. Rahm has been pushing DINOs, for one

      2. TK421

        Losing elections doesn’t bother the DNC types. They wouldn’t care if Trump were president and 100 Dennis Hasterts were in the Senate. They just want to keep their own money and power.

      3. perpetualWAR

        We, the “Berners,” can attend the DNC convention and protest loudly outside if TPTB try to annoint Queen Hillary. I certainly intend to.

        1. cwaltz

          Be prepared to be penned.

          Nancy Pelosi gets the vapors when you suggest the unseemly position that candidates that can’t make the threshold end up “fighting” on the floor.

          1. Bas

            I made the mistake of calling her office the day she announced at a DNC function “who in this room thinks we will be talking about single-payer,” to protest, and my email account with my ISP almost immediately disappeared for two days–the explanation I got from my tech support was that someone with Zimbra had gone into my account and changed my user name. He said it was not something someone should be messing with. Never happened before or since, so I have to think it’s better not to bother Miss Nancy if you don’t agree with her.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Correlation is not causation.

              But if it were, or is proven to be so, that’d be really damaging (or the other end’s perspective, beneficial to you and the rest of us little people).

              1. Bas

                impossible to prove it was cause and effect, but too weird in my experience and close in sequence. Perhaps it was the “tone” of my call. LOL. I was a bit offended that the topic was off the table and said they had a nerve.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “……..Bernie still has a chance to win it.”

      What difference would it make if he did?

      See Wyoming.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Here’s the Tucson perspective. Bernie has made two public appearances here.

      Last October, he spoke to a crowd of 13,000 in one of our largest city parks. People were climbing trees so they could see him.

      Last month, he came back. Attendance of nearly 7,000 for a speech in the Tucson Convention Center.

      Hillary also came here in March. She spoke at a local high school. I don’t have the attendance count handy, but I doubt if she came anywhere near to Bernie’s total for the TCC event.

  11. nycTerrierist

    From yesterday’s links. Nice:

    none
    April 11, 2016 at 1:12 am

    This is beautiful, a whole sub just for the latest Hillary outrages:

    It’d be great if someone could post this into Links tomorrow morning so the early risers will see it.

      1. none

        The links are vetted by the sub mod in at least as far as they’re current news items. The comments are unvetted and very snarky at times.

  12. Ed

    “Why no economic boost from lower oil prices?” Econbrowser

    I’ve been puzzling over this. In past writings, the James Hamilton and the other bloggers on the site demonstrated a very strong historical relationship between the performance of the US economy and lower oil prices. There should have been a much stronger boost.

    Assuming the economy continues to struggle, which I think it has, I can think of two explanations. The first is is that the US has turned into an energy extraction economy. All other industries have been hollowed out, dropping employment, and consumer credit is less available, so in net the US is affected by lower energy prices as one would expect an energy extraction economy to be affected. There are charges that this happened to Canada during the Harper government. I think the US economy is too large for the same thing to happen to it.

    Another idea is that oil prices have been held down “artificially”, though market manipulation. However, this means that the costs of worldwide oil production haven’t disappeared, but have been shifted to other sectors. This has led to an increase in prices in other sectors of the economy, which have had the same net effect as if oil prices had been allowed to rise.

    1. vidimi

      personally, my belief is that this IS the boosted economy. if oil prices were higher, things would be much worse.

      1. Lord Koos

        Yore probably correct, but I expected lower oil prices to reduce the cost of agricultural products, however it doesn’t seem to have had much effect. Remember all those “fuel surcharges” from DHS, FEDEX, UPS and the airlines when oil was $100 a barrel? I don’t think I’ve noticed any of those being rolled back…

    2. allan

      There seems to be a lot of price stickiness in some of the most energy-dependent sectors, such as transportation.
      Hence the multi-billion dollar profits at the airlines. But have no fear, those profits will soon enough come trickling down, in the form of executive bonuses and stock buybacks.
      The boom is coming.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The government can implement many non-fiscal economic stimuli.

        More competition (not workers competing against workers, but, say airlines competing against other airlines, like the way it was, before all the mergers…I remember there were a lot more airlines in the 70’s and 80s) would have let those profits trickle down.

        The Justice Department should start breaking up big corporations. Teddy Roosevelt’s would have.

    3. HotFlash

      Ths analysis of consumer spending by debit and credit cards overlooks some very basic costs that have been increasing. A commenter above mentioned interest, I would also suggest rent, paying down mortgage or student loan debt, and health insurance premiums would not likely be reflected in credit/debit card transactions.

    4. coboarts

      As carbon energy investments lose their luster projects are put on the shelf. Once the inevitable rise in demand for this energy returns, the shelved projects leave a gap in the means to supply that demand. Prices spike to record levels.

      Wages are “allowed” to rise to initially restart global demand. As inflation begins its inevitable rise the economy rebalances, readjusting the purchasing price relationship to levels below where they began.

      The world economic collapse is pushed off several years while a general mood of enthusiasm for the future returns. As the trends mentioned and unmentioned progress, the house of cards finally crumbles as the sands it is built on are washed out by rising tides. Economic dislocation spreads and more people fall into the growing abyss.

      Then, the wars begin. They might start as robotic play, but the boots will hit the ground and the blood will flow and the human race…

  13. pretzelattack

    obama/clinton: wait, you mean we should have planned for the day after quaddafi was overthrown?

    1. Eureka Springs

      Invaders who bludgeon to death a countries leader with a stick up a rear orifice in the streets never have a plan worthy of attention. Obama, Clinton et al are war criminals of the worst most inhumane disorder. Funny ha ha how he doesn’t regret his barbarism.

    2. sleepy

      In other words, Obama is complaining that we didn’t have plans for a handpicked puppet to be parachuted in and that fact has caused the chaos not, of course, the initial overthrow. No problem with that.

      1. RabidGandhi

        An excellent point. What would “good planning” have meant for the Obama Administration? The Libyan people in control of their own resources? Actual democracy? Nationalisation of key industries and services? An independent foreign policy? Not at all likely.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Neither was (and is) Tokyo, being so close to Fukushima.

          But Obama went anyway (duty and all), and ate their food (was it flown in from DC? – I doubt the diplomatic faux pas).

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Obama was attempting to alleviate concern. How does Sanders going to Tripoli point out Hillary’s failure? He should demand she go and meet the people she liberated in Baghdad, Palmyra, Libya, Aden, Belgrade, Kiev, and so forth.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Maybe I free associate too much, but when I think of Libya, I think of Hillary.

              Still, I agree, sort of, that he visits Kiev, Baghdad, etc, as he controls his own itinerary, while at the same, demand Hillary she go as well. though he does’t control hers.

              Just not Rome, unless Bernie has the extra time.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The president is so omnipotent that he/she can reshape, redesign the presidency to fit what he/she is qualified for.

        “What the country can do for you…”

    3. Chauncey Gardiner

      I read Obama citing the failure to plan regime succession in Libya as “probably” his biggest ‘mistake’ as implicit criticism of his then Secretary of State and a ringing nonendorsement of her qualifications to be president. I think it is noteworthy that the interview was on FOX, not that I agree with Obama regarding his biggest failure as president.

  14. cm

    Enthusiastic, but not well organized, a slate of Bernie Sanders supporters failed to unseat House incumbents at the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention on Saturday.

    And in the county council’s at-large race, upstart Kim Bowman nearly received enough delegate support to end the bid of Catherine Kanter, who has the backing of Mayor Ben McAdams and the four Democratic council members.

    Regarding the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention, can knowledgeable Sanders supports suggest additional ways to disrupt the existing power structure? Is there a clearinghouse for the topic?

    1. Ranger Rick

      You think that the state that regularly re-elects Orrin Hatch is going to allow someone campaigning against corruption to be nominated?

    2. Lord Koos

      There is a group, Occupy Rigged Elections that is trying to keep track of fraud and suppression.

  15. fresno dan


    ===============================================
    Funny how Brennan doesn’t even get asked about how many innocent people get turned to pink mist because by CIA and US government definition, anybody we kill is guilty of something.
    Oh, and they wouldn’t call it waterboarding – they would call it hydrogen dioxide submersion technique….
    Hey, the submersion technique is nothing like waterboarding – don’t forget, Hillary, master of tendentiousness, would be president

  16. Tell it to the ICC Prosecutor

    We won’t do it again. Boilerplate US impunity bullshit. Outside US borders, where Brennan does not enjoy his domestic kingly sovereignty as CIA director, the law does not just say “Don’t do it again.”

    It says, take the accused torturer into custody. Investigate and prosecute or extradite.

    It says give the victims redress.

    It says, No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

    A week from today, the Convention Against Torture treaty body holds its plenary. The Committee Against Torture will announce whether the US meets this minimal standard of the civilized world.

  17. fresno dan

    Sorry Paul, but the Bailout WAS about the Banks Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Today’s must-read.

    Paul Krugman claims that “Many analysts concluded years ago” that the big banks were not at the heart of the financial crisis and that breaking them up would not protect us from future crises. Incredibly, his claim is linked to an article by … Paul Krugman. Maybe a Nobel Prize comes with a license to cite oneself as Gospel authority, but I don’t believe that Krugman’s Nobel Prize was for his expertise on bank regulation.

    =============================================
    Doesn’t Levitin know that Krugman is an EXPERT on EVERYTHING, and (self citing) is never wrong???

      1. perpetualWAR

        Put Wall Street in stocks…..either that or those body stretcher thinga-ma-gigs that you see when you tour the London Tower.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We humans are easily manipulated and brainwashed.

      Some people decide based on how smooth and pretty the persuader (a candidate, a salesperson, a news reader, etc) talks.

      Others based their decisions on name/face recognition.

      Many choose because of peer pressure (listen girls, this year, the boys are favoring this and you have to wear your hair this way). This also explains the inexplicable rise and fall of the bell bottom jeans and the pony tail hairstyle for men.

  18. downtheRabbithole

    Wow. If we needed any confirmation of Sanders as sheepdog, this Open Letter is it.

    Apparently led/promoted by pro-DNC groups like UFT and IWW, these people hope to kettle Sanders supporters in a Democratic Party-friendly institutional structure. The aim of the proposed “Movement” appears to be to be a ‘voice’ within the Democratic Party, even if nominally independent.

    What this letter does best is demonstrate the extent to which Sanders has failed to form any sort of Movement that is independent of himself or the DNC.

    Furthermore, Sanders is a poor choice to lead any such ‘independent’ Movement because he has made it clear that he will support the Democratic Party nominee. Movements are about principle, not craven politics.

    If people signing this Open Letter were serious, they could just form a Movement themselves and ask for Sanders’ endorsement. That they ignore other choices (particularly the Greens) is just icing on the sheepdog cake (a nasty saccharine confection that leaves a bitter taste for years).

    Sanders supporters best protest the ‘Centrist’ Hillary and undemocratic DNC by joining/volunteering and voting third-party – notably the Green Party.

    NB

    1. Lambert Strether

      It’s not clear to me why a letter from DNC types proves anything about Sanders whatever. That said, I’ve been a consistent and very early advocate of the idea that victory for the Sanders campaign should be defined as the creation of a standalone, permanent organization outside the Democratic party. I’d like to see signs of that now, but it’s obviously not the easiest thing in the world to spin up an independent organization while simultaneously running an insurgent Presidential campaign.

  19. flora

    Some security cameras sold on Amazon contain malware.

    From ZDNet:

    and
    Nest has killed its smart home hub.

    also from ZDNet:

    ‘Smart home’ devices, imo, ask a premium price for something often no better, and sometimes worse, than a standard product. All the vendors’ promises should be taken with a large grain of salt. (And that’s before considering security and privacy issues of ‘smart’ devices.)

  20. vidimi

    reading over comments in yesterday’s links, i was disheartened to find that roughly half the readers declared they would vote for hillary against the republican candidate in the general election. it just validates the DNC strategy: they will fall in line because republicans, and so can be ignored.

    ça change…

    1. hreik

      My reading is that about 1/3 of Sanders supporters will not vote for Hillary Clinton. I am among that cohort. I think she will lose to any republican that isn’t named Trump or Cruz.

      1. heresy101

        It looks more and more like it will be a four person race – Trump, the Republican lackey, the Warmongress, and Sanders as a write-in candidate. As a write-in, Sanders could win with 39% of the vote. The 1/3 that won’t vote for Hellery are a big base to build on. A very large amount of independents could be persuaded to write-in Bernie.

        The question is how to organize a write-in for Bernie and also organize a write-in for a lot of Senate and Congressional candidates in all 50 states.

        1. hreik

          In CT you cannot write in a candidate. It’s awful here. Closed primary and rigged GE too. lol

        2. Arizona Slim

          Recall that Bill Clinton won the 1992 election in a plurality. The votes went this way:

          Clinton 43%
          Bush 38%
          Perot 19%

        3. Jim Haygood

          Or … if Trump runs third party but Bernie doesn’t (after both have their nominations stolen from them), splitting the R and conservative independent vote between Trump and the establishment-R usurper could end up electing the Warmongreless [hat tip!] in the same manner that her consort “Bill” won in 1992.

          Hope this is totally wrong. But it is a horrible contingency to contemplate. And it’s exactly what they would like to happen.

    2. different clue

      It depends on which Rglan. I wouldn’t vote for Hillary vs. a Trump. But I would vote for Hillary vs. Cruz or Ryan or possibly Kasich. So it becomes very important that Trump win the Rglan nomination.

      1. different clue

        Actually . . . upon reflection, I would look at which candidate had what group of thinking-brain dogs before deciding something about Clinton vs. Trump. If Trump had the sort of thinking-brain dogs which lent reliability to his statements about no more Free Trade Agreements , no gratuitous conflict with Russia, no questioning Assad’s place as being the legitimate President of the legitimate government of Syria . . . . then I would be inclined to look upon Trump with a degree of cautious favor.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      I wouldn’t vote for Hillary under any circumstances. But I think her chances against Cruze would be considerably better than against Trump.

      Nevertheless, you may have gotten an inaccurate impression yesterday; not that many people made a specific declaration.

  21. Gareth

    Another public private partnership horror story:

    Thousands of Edinburgh pupils affected by school building closures

    “Fears over safety has forced the closure of 17 Edinburgh schools leaving 7,000 pupils unable to return to classrooms following the Easter break.

    Following inspections, two high schools, Gracemount and Craigmount, have been found to have faults.

    In all, 10 primaries, five secondaries and two additional support needs schools have been shut due to concern over the standard of construction.

    They were all built under the same public private partnership contract.”

    and: Architects warned of PPP dangers ‘at the time’

    1. paul

      The top secret deals for these jerry built sheds were made under the previous labour administration at holyrood, though the MSM here are too delicate to mention that.

      Deciding that it was a good idea to mortgage up councils and health boards with outrageously padded thirty year rentals for buildings which will likely not last half that time while underspending £1.5bn of the block grant over their 8, pathetic years of administration is partly why the red tories are now the dead tories north of the border.

      Good riddance, and may they rot in hell.

    2. paul

      Of course, the BBC in scotland won’t be too critical of these matters as their new headquarters (at pacific quay, attractively renamed from plantation quay) on the clyde.
      Its deal has a similar combination of opaque, offshore financing, high current and unpredicatable future costs.

      Its sometimes hard to work out who to hate more, the crooked financeers or the quislings masquerading as public servants.

      1. perpetualWAR

        For me, anymore, I don’t blame the financial crooks. I place blame squarely on the backs of the crooked elected officials.

  22. diptherio

    …you’re effectively painting each of the 30 frames per second. The estimate here is that blurring an entire episode of this show takes 50 hours, and that sounds right to me. I know I’m not supposed to describe a cushy desk job as “soul-crushing,” but that sounds like it to me.

    Who says office jobs can’t be soul-crushing? Especially if your work there is manually blurring nipples? What makes a soul-crushing job, in my opinion, is a combination of monotonous work and little or no control over working conditions and processes. Lots of cubicle monkeys have to deal with that. I think we should expand our definition of “proletariat” to cover these sorts of white-collar workers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A wise government should support people pursuing their dreams, doing what they are passionate about.

      So, if you are passionate about healing yourself, or enlarging the compassionate zone on your front lobe, if you can’t live without Zen meditation, then, you should be able to making a decent living doing that everyday.

      Who knows, maybe this will lead to a better world?

    2. neo-realist

      You should add to soul crushing job, verbally toxic management and or co-workers. Also more work than can be done by one person, yet management says, they tested and worked out the dynamics of the job and believe it can be done by one person within a 40 hour work week.

      1. diptherio

        So many ways to crush a soul…

        And it ain’t just our soul that bears the damage of these toxic environments. Corporate capitalism is bad for your health:

        geo.coop/story/health-and-hierarchy

  23. TomD

    A love letter to Bernie Erik Forman, Medium (h/t martha r). Interesting call from Bernie supporters for a movement-based politics that survives any one election and is bigger than any one candidate.

    Regarding this and the previous article Lambert posted about organizing into a movement, I found this fundraiser on the downwithtyranny blog:

    Looks like it may be an easy way to support many progressive candidates at once.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Moreover, we remind ourselves that corporations do more than support their candidates.

      They buy their obscure objects of desire, sorry, give money, non-stop.

      They give to human candidates, and they give money to enact inanimate legislation.

  24. Ranger Rick

    I’m shocked that the isn’t getting more airtime We’re watching the complete disintegration of the illusion that the United States is a democracy.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Probably earlier than that.

        The key difference between then and now is traditional illusions were easier on the body that was sustained by the Standard American Diet.

        You knew it was an illusion, but you said to yourself, ‘well, is it so bad that I must get up from the couch with football on TV, just to grab a pitchfork and tire myself out running around chasing rich people?’

    1. Jim Haygood

      No one should make the mistake of thinking Colorado — and the Boston Globe’s hysterical rant against Trump — are just R party sideshows.

      It is perfectly clear that the status quo D and R parties are prepared to lie, cheat and steal as needed to quash the outsider-insurgent campaigns of Trump and Sanders. These unauthorized candidates can win all the popular votes they want, but their nominations will not be tolerated.

      We are ruled by an utterly illegitimate bipartisan cabal which, now that the chips are down, is no longer even concerned with maintaining the appearance of propriety.

      If Mundanes pour out into the streets of Cleveland and Philly to protest this broad-daylight theft, they will be shot at until they stop.

      1. Jim

        “If Mundanes pour out into the streets of Cleveland and Philly to protest this broad-daylight theft they will be shot at until they stop.”

        I hope the Sanders/Trump populist forces take this sentiment seriously.

        One thing I have never understood about many of the Sanders’/Trump supporters is their apparent belief that the networks of power which they are facing will simply allow electoral democracy to win out–even if it is not in the political/financial/economic/cultural interests of these same elites. I believe there is too much money and too much power riding on the outcome.

        I would love to be proven wrong about this and maybe my assumptions about the viciousness/inflexibility of this structure of power are wrong–I guess we will find out by early November.

      2. different clue

        Jim Haygood,

        If vast numbers of Mundanes were to pour into such streets and get shot in massive numbers, then we would finally see if Lambert Strether’s analysis of the gun-owning citizens that their guns must be fetish objects because there is no anti-constitutional or civic-freedom outrage which they would bear their arms against . . . . is correct or incorrect.

        If a few days of Authority shooting the Mundanes leads the Mundanes to bring their guns and ammo to the streets of Cleveland and Philly in response, then Lambert Strether’s analysis of their ultimate reason for gun-ownership will have been proven incorrect.

        The heartlessly dispassionate neutral observer might consider it a very interesting experiment which Armed Authority would be running if it really started shooting down the Mundanes.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        I found the Globe piece hard to believe. A House Un-American Activities Committee in the guise of a News Paper. Real stench. You’re right, if anyone thought the gate keepers were kidding around, this is the wake up call.

      4. perpetualWAR

        Pretty sure that Philly is going to be a massive protest if Clinton steals the nom. I know I’m going.

    2. Jason

      This is the single decent side-effect Trump and (to a smaller but still strong level) Sanders are having. They’re destroying the facade over America’s inverted totalitarianism.

      Still probably not worth President Trump, or even Candidate Trump. But if you’ve got the cloud, might as well look at the silver lining.

  25. JohnnyGL

    Paging Bernie…

    I also like how he picked a fight with Jeff Immelt. Good enemy to have when they just yanked their HQ from CT recently (primary on 4/26). That’s worth a few votes, possibly.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Better than just good enemy to have is someone like the Carrier corporation.

      Moving the HQ from CT to Boston is bad, but not as bad as moving jobs to Mexico.

  26. allan

    After five months of pressure, three merger offers and one rejection from regulators, Canadian Pacific Railway said on Monday that it had abandoned efforts to combine with its American railroad counterpart Norfolk Southern. …

    The terminated offer is the latest black eye for the hedge fund activist William A. Ackman, who is among Canadian Pacific’s largest shareholders and an outspoken proponent of the merger. [cry me a river] …

    Canadian Pacific’s hopes dimmed on Friday, though, when the Justice Department officially opposed its voting-trust structure. The regulator said that the tactic would “compromise Norfolk Southern’s independence” by integrating the two companies before the Surface Transportation Board could complete its review.

    First Pfizer/Allergan, now this. If only DOJ had been so forceful for the last seven years …

  27. lulu

    re: Federal Prosecutors Cast a Wider Net in New York City Hall Inquiry
    Another sidelight to Mayor de Blasio’s tale of woe, a post from an NYC blog about the East Village called EV Grieve:

    I liked the characterization in NYTimes: “Mr. Bloomberg’s enormous personal wealth freed him from the traditional politician’s burden of raising money…”

  28. fresno dan

    …. So I think this stuff is deadly serious in that these crazy fools should never let people like Alan Greenspan – he’s an amiable man, but he’s an idiot – should not make the head of the Federal Reserve and governor of all banking; somebody whose hero is Ayn Rand, who believed in no government at all.

    It was a very unlikely place to look for correct decision making, and we probably got the kind of decision-making we deserve. I think he’s an honest and amiable man, but he just didn’t see reality the way it was. A lot of people think that if an ax murder happens in a free market, well it has to be all right because free markets are all right. A lot of those people are in my party, by the way.

    =====================================
    Hmmmmm….
    So what do people think of
    A – Munger
    B – Greenspan

    1. diptherio

      Don’t be fooled by the Cleveland experiment. I used to have high hopes for them, until I saw how they actually ran things. They are, so far as I can tell, members of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, looking to make some sweet upper-middle class salaries while supposedly helping poor people by creating 100% debt-funded “worker co-ops” over which the Non-Profit maintains important veto power.

      These people (the Cleveland organizers) failed to reach out to the already existing co-op community, and so made a ton of rookie mistakes. The results were that the businesses almost tanked and the workers had to be convinced (by the suits) to reduce their pay to $9/hr (while the suits were making considerably more, presiding over this mess). Six years after start up and the Cleveland co-ops still aren’t financially self-sustaining…not the kind of thing you want to export, if you ask me.

      I’ve detailed some of the many problems with the model here:

  29. Alex morfesis

    Larry summers/ft…thinking I am going to have to make my way to milan for andy summers photo event at leica gallery to cleanse myself of the thoughts larry laid out…

    Andy knows a little something about living and making money without wholesale economic destruction…and as to Larry…

    Larry: here little peasants…here are some trinketz while we destroy your drinking water…

    1. ChrisPacific

      Yes, I would have found his call to action on labor and environmental issues more convincing if he hadn’t already spent three quarters of his article space singing the praises of global integration and neoliberalism and explaining why everything really was wonderful and anyone who thought otherwise was just deluded. One of his recommendations is that those whose lives have been destroyed receive better education on the benefits of neoliberalism so that they can understand why it’s for their own good.

  30. fresno dan

    ========================================================
    I quoted this particular passage because it gives you a way to think about the CNN Money propaganda I deconstructed today.

    Think of it this way—CNN Money did this hatchet job on Bernie in order to

    preserve the highly preferential treatment of carried interest
    preserve the privileged treatment of dividends and capital gains
    preserve the ability of financial institutions to use off-shore (and U.S.) tax havens
    preserve the tax deductibility of “huge” (sic.) fines paid to buy off the Justice department
    And so on (i.e., all the other outrageous stuff Summers didn’t mention)
    ==================================================
    The article isn’t that good, but it does illustrate the all pervasive assumptions that under gird the “narrative” that media uses in constructing their “stories.” And the one that drives me apoplectic – that the financial crises was just some unpredictable, unavoidable NATURAL disaster…
    Of course, the questions not asked are the only worthwhile questions.
    Ms. Yellen, is the FED completely captured by the rich, or were FED officials truly too stupid to see the housing bubble, as well as being unaware of the incredible amount of fraud in originating mortgages?
    Did the fact that so many FED employees come from banks blind FED officials to the instability and danger of all those CDO’s, MBS’s, ABC’s, XYZ’s et al designed and instituted by the banks?
    And since 1990, how many Treasury secretaries have come from Goldman Sachs??? Have these Treasury secretaries….I mean, other than for the 1%???

  31. inode_buddha

    I see just now via google news (reuters) that GS has agreed to a 5 bil fine and are still criminally lable. Good start, but its not nearly enough.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They will borrow that money at a negative rate of say, -1.00%, for 100 years.

      They, they wil borrow that loan, sell it to the Fed, and use that money to borrow more.

  32. afisher

    For supposedly smart people, aka, people who show up here and read / discuss econ. the idea that electing GOP is a good answer is insane. Perhaps if feels good to say that they will vote GOP. If you are seriously dissatisfied, why vote for the Insane – just don’t vote for a POTUS. Filling the congress for GOP out of revenge is really dumb.

    1. different clue

      Is it? It depends on which GOP. If the amount of Tea Party GOP for preserving Social Security and rejecting Free Trade Agreements could be increased while the amount of Old School Democrats for preserving Social Security and rejecting Free Trade Agreements could be maintained, then people for Social Security and against Free Trade Agreements would be better represented than now.

      It all depends on exactly what sort of GOPs and Democrats we are voting for and against.

  33. optimader


    Simulation of a Sneeze on a Plane with SimScale
    We’ve all wondered how bad it is to have that guy that shouldn’t be traveling seated behind us while captive in the iron lung.. yeah it’s worse

  34. ewmayer

    Re. Director Brennan: CIA Won’t Waterboard Again — Even if Ordered by Future President | NBC News — That’s right, “All future enhanced interrogations will be outsourced to our designated private contractor for such matters, BlackSiter Logistical Solutions LLC.” And of course an endless list of other “not really torture” methods remains on the table, including (but by no means limited to) solitary confinement without end, sleep deprivation to the point of psychotic break, “stress positioning”, living on a tiny concrete slab in an environment-exposed metal box, etc.

    As with the post-WW2 closing of the internment camps for Americans of Japanese ancestry – “We’re sorry … in retrospect we may have overreacted a tad (even though the Supreme Court said what we did is legal, mind you) … you are free to return to your interrupted lives and to try to recover your expropriated houses and belongings, which we made you dispose of in extreme haste for pennies on the dollar to your profiteering neighbors and other ‘enterprising wartime entrepreneurs’ … besta luck!” – post hoc apologias such as Mr. Brennan’s have been show by history to be meaningless, so long as real behavioral change is not in evidence when ensuing crises come along (or are manufactured). There is an infinite variety of methods by which to deprive people of their constitutional rights, their chattels and even lives — come the next emergency ‘existential threat / they hate us for our freedoms’ pretext du jour they’ll just find another one, have their paid employees in the federal court systems (plural because now we have both the public and secret branches thereof) declare it legal and their shills in the state-captured MSM sell it in the tried and true “this time is different” terms.

  35. Darthbobber

    Lack of planning for the next day in Libya. Duh.
    Planning for the next day couldn’t be meaningfully done, except in the magical thinking, wish-fulfillment fantasy way that substituted for planning, because any meaningful study of what would come next would have indicated that there was no feasible option. As to all the hand-wringing about external forces coming in and internal disruptions, this was already all KNOWN to be the case even as our leaders decided on the plan.
    Once again, planning was reduced to those things that COULD be reduced to predictable military equations, which included none of the really important factors. And this sort of thing recurs repeatedly.
    I seque here to a couple of passages from Anatol Rapoport’s excellent introduction to Penguin’s poor translation/abridgement of Clausewitz.
    “The very posing of the problem turns attention to those aspects of the conflict which make concrete formulations possible. Efficacy of action can be measured if it is expressed in dollars, firepower, investment rates, kill ratios, etc. That is, logistic calculations seem to shed the most light on the problem , as it is posed by the power wielders, because such calculations clarify and operationalize the meaning of “efficacy”. Consequently, in a culture where science is practically identified with technologym success with virtue, and security with power, there is unrelenting pressure to translate vaguely stated political problems into clearly stated military ones.”
    and “The Clausewitzian principle implies logically that military policy ought to be geared to political objectives. But psychologically the implication is read the other way: political objectives are determined by military capacity.”

    And Clinton’s rationale would just be absurd if it idn’t reflect so much of the alleged thinking that dominates at this level:
    “I think it’s fair to say, however, if there had not been” an intervention “we would be looking at something much more resembling Syria now, than what we faced in Libya,” she said in March.

    1) Other than the number and size of the outside players, there isn’t that much difference between Syria and what was actually achieved in Libya.

    2) The proximate cause of BOTH situations is that the hope of massive EXTERNAL military help encouraged local players to militarize the situation rapidly, and in Syria this very expectation that outsiders would tilt the scales was what encouraged the armed opposition to reject all negotiations that didn’t hand them the results of victory before the negotiations started.

    It either does not occur to our leadership, or they hope it doesn’t occur to us, that the knowledge that an 800 pound gorilla of an outsider might be dragged into the conflict on one side encourages the party that hopes for that to play va banque in the first place, when they’d be vastly more likely to negotiate a solution if they knew that fighting a war had to be done with their own resources.

  36. Cry Shop

    China / Wind:

    China’s rather unique, has lots of issues. One big issue is that corruption/money favors building infrastructure like roads, power stations, hydraulic dams, etc; and then often enough neglecting them afterwards, as there is no market, no way to connect to the market, etc. I can see quite a few wind farms from various clients sites in China, and many of the wind turbines don’t even turn over on a good day of wind. My guess is that many of these turbines are broken, and there is no budget or interest to get them fixed. Often enough the companies set up to run them have been plundered. Only the largest wind and solar farms have anything close to professional management.

    The main point I’m trying to get here is that a central government effort to promote the wind turbine construction industry has been turned into a game to plunder local land banks, and rob funding for “green” initiatives. Without better government transparency, there is no way to address these issues. Finally, China’s green energy numbers are probably mostly made up, as political propaganda. No one makes money from selling wind, but there is huge corruption in coal, natural gas and even nuclear fuel sales.

    BTW, turns out the “owners” of the “news” site providing the original link have their own axe to grind, particularly with regards to government subsidy and perhaps graft.

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