Links 10/19/16

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Psychology Today

CNN

BBC

NYRB

Francine McKenna, MarketWatch

WSJ

Martin Wolf, FT

Bloomberg. “[Summers] asked how many thought the U.S. should be ‘really proud’ of [JFK] as a gateway to America’s greatest city. The response: no hands, and a lot of laughter.”

 Fortune

Phys.org. On the NuTonomy campus with two engineers aboard. Well-played.

FT

China?

WSJ

FT

South China Morning Post

Cambodia Daily

Reuters

Syraqistan

Military.com

Foreign Policy

Tampa Bay Times

Reuters

USA Today

Pew Research. “Regional conflict and economic opportunity boost number of migrants from 25 million to 54 million.” Rather a lot.

Der Spiegel

War Drums

Ian Welsh

Politico

2016

McClatchy

The Hill. Now I want to take a shower.

UMass Lowell

WaPo
The New Republic

Jacobin

WSJ

The New Yorker

The Hill. The Howard Stern stuff has been out in the open, all along….

ABC

Moon of Alabama

Counterpunch. From May, but obviously still relevant; there are six parts in all.

 The Advocate

The American Prospect (Re Silc)

USA Today

Fabius Maximus

WaPo. Obama’s already written two autobiographies. Maybe he should write a third? And a fourth?

Health Care

Modern Health Care

Health Affairs. So much for universality, as discussed here.

Guillotine Watch

WaPo

Class Warfare

James Kwok, Baseline Scenario. Massive takedown of Vox’s Dylan Matthews on his “forget economics, it’s all racism” theory of Trump voters.

Bloomberg. The lead: “Americans are addicted to their jobs.” Shaking my head…

The Economist

In These Times

Journal of Global Crime

Antidote du jour (Mrs. Mop):

duck

Mrs. Mop writes: “At this time of the year, it seems almost impossible to take some decent pictures of some ordinary ducks, not because there are no ordinary ducks around (there are plenty of them) but because they spend all of their time going up-side-down and showing you their behind and nothing else as if telling you constantly ‘duck you’ or something similar which rhymes to that, I don’t know, well, what the duck, there it goes, see below.

P.S.That dark thing on the top left is the shadow of a curling swan’s neck…

… well, and then there was this really beautiful birdy creature, black body, red beak, green legs – what the duck, is this a duck or what?

duck_or_what

Readers?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

220 comments

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, otherwise known as a ‘rail’. I think it breeds only in the US, sensibly spends the winter in nice South American sunshine.

      1. gonzomarx

        Is a Moorhen.
        We have a pair of Moorhens outside ours in the north of England. Had 3 clutches this year, the last one in mid August! and for the first time in the 2 years we’ve been there 3 chicks made it to adulthood.

        I keep meaning to send some pictures for the Antidote du jour…ah one day ;-)

        1. Hana M

          If the photo is from Britain it is a moorhen, Gallinula chloropus; if it’s in the US then that’s the very similar common gallanule, Gallinula galeata

          1. Mrs. Mop

            Yes, a moorhen, sounds obvious from the looks, but then, can moorhens swim? At least this specimen was swiftly ploughing through the water like a professional duck and going up-side-down like all the other ducks, so I thought, well, if it‘s swimming like a duck and plunging like a duck then it actually might be a duck, or maybe a duck in disguise, or even a Halloween duck?One never knows ;)

            (picture of swimming German Halloween duck sent to Lambert!)

            1. evodevo

              It’s a gallinule – very common in FL – they have huge feet for walking on algae and water lily-filled canals common in FL subdivisions and a goose-like call. Watched them for hours at my mother’s house in Lake Placid.

      2. Anonymous

        Moor Hens are in Europe, too

        “The common moorhen is a bird species in the family Rallidae. It is distributed across many parts of the Old World. The common moorhen lives around well-vegetated marshes, ponds, canals and other wetlands. Wikipedia”

  1. frosty zoom

    of course mosul will be rid of daesh quickly.

    back into the white toyotas and off to damascus, an invisible convoy seen by all and stopped by none.

    1. craazyboy

      So… were those “our” ISIS or Mohamed’s ISIS? Do they serve The Prophet or The Profit? Are you sure Damascus is in Syria? I can’t find it on the map?

      This is getting more complex than the Game of Thrones.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Ah, yes, the never-ending battle for Mosul. So if they win, then what? Anybody ever think about that? Did their “wins” in Mosul previously ever accomplish anything?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Sets up yet another “battle for Mosul/Aleppo/Homs/Saigon/Khe Sanh/Kandahar/Kunduz, the latter two especially interesting as “the Taliban” are back in the saddle again, so the Marines and the Iowa National Guard will have to saddle up and “go re-take them” once again. In the words of ol’ Frank Herbert, in the mouth of was it Gurney Halleck, “Fortune passes everywhere…” And Milo Minderbinder Enterprises offers loss leaders on bombing “our” own troops for cost only 10%! Will somebody please lick my ice cream cone for me? It’s dripping, and my post-IED prosthetics don’t let me get it close enough to my mouth…

        JEEbus the cancer has rooted right in, metastasized, become the New (ab)Normal, the political economy grinds on and generates the wealth and weapons to keep on doing the same old shit (though maybe there’s a branch in the algorithm that leads to a big old nuclear war and “we” can finally get off the treadmill of species death wish…) The post-Buddist Exit from the wheel of rebirth…

        1. Optimader

          “The Surge”
          a 256 part miniseries presented on The History Channel starring all your favorite actors from CNN

        2. Optimader

          As a sidebar, a friend working in the field of brain diagnostic imagining was telling me that some of the most insidious injuries being studied are individuals who survived high velocity explosions that present apparently intellectually normal after their recuperation period but poach out with plaques/ brain tissue anomalies some years later.

          This all suggests (to me) we will see a bump in brain related diseases and loss of cognitive function in these individuals as they age.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I wish that just once ONCE our Dear Leader was held to his word. Obama promised “no boots on the ground, never”
            So America will elect Hilary, a vote for War, Lies, and Wall St. I would have thought we were well sick and tired of all three by now.

            1. BecauseTradition

              “no boots on the ground, never”

              removing double negative yields “boots on the ground, at least once”?

              1. uncle tungsten

                Iceland next, they are terrorizing banksters and threatening to jail them. They are somewhere closer to Russia too I hear.

            2. different clue

              I have seen the theory advanced that Special Forces people don’t wear boots. They wear sneakers. So the DC FedRegime can introduce Special Forces into places and still say “no boots on the ground”.

  2. frosty zoom

    wikileaks “election meddling” – politico

    ?!?!?

    i suppose they regard voters as election meddling as well.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The NYT sat on the warrantless wiretapping story for fear that it might influence the election which means they wanted Shrub or even more frightening the NYT believes elections are beauty pageants.

    2. Unorthodoxmarxist

      Seems pretty clear to me that Kerry did threaten Ecuador over this, or promised them something if Clinton is elected.

      1. craazyboy

        Ecuador is in a shaky financial position at the moment. I guess Uncle Sam could find himself in a position to help, if so inclined.

        1. JohnnyGL

          The fact that they still use the USD means they’re vulnerable. For all that Correa’s accomplished, and he’s done plenty, he has either been unwilling or unable to mess with the USD as the national currency.

          Bolivia and Ecuador look like lasting success stories out of the so-called, ‘pink-tide’ that swept S. America in the early 21st Century. However, with Venezuela on the ropes, Brazil getting the full coup and shock doctrine treatment, along with Argentina, I’d imagine that Correa is feeling pretty vulnerable these days.

          He sounded a lot more defiant when Hugo Chavez was riding high, pushing S. American solidarity. I figure he’s in survival mode, now.

      2. justanotherprogressive


        It is odd that “neutrality” is such an issue for John Kerry, given how much the US has interfered in other country’s elections, like Chile, Iran, Honduras, etc…..

        It is a very sad spectacle to see Kerry using the might of this country just to threaten a small country like Ecuador that has never hurt the American people.

        1. Roger Smith

          Maybe the CIA/Deep State is jealous that they never got to topple an Ecuadorian democratically elected government. As far as I can tell it was spared with the 20th run at the area.

      3. LT

        They promised that Ecuador wouldn’t be next in line for a coup like Honduras, Brazil, etc.

        But Ecuador would be foolish to believe any promises.

    3. sleepy

      Russia trying to rig the election? Can’t be. The news folks say there’s no such thing as rigged elections.

      Oh, I get it. Our elections aren’t rigged, they can only be rigged. Or something like that.

    4. john

      NPR yesterday on Trump’s j’cuse – “All the swing states are republican governors… so they wouldn’t let Hillary ‘influence’ the election…

      Framing the debate is the debate.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      From the Politico article:

      ” “The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate,” the [Ecuadorian] government said in the statement.”

      Oh really?!?!? Funny because just the other day I read that :

      “But in a little-noticed Sept. 30 interview, Ecuador President Rafael Correa told Russia Today’s Spanish-language outlet that an electoral win for Clinton would be preferable for the US and the world.

      “I want Hillary, whom I know and appreciate greatly, to win,” Correa said.”

      So did Correa abdicate and nobody noticed because otherwise how do you not call that a government endorsement?!?!?!?

      And check out the weasel words from State, again from the Politico article:

      “Any suggestion that Secretary Kerry or the State Department were involved in shutting down WikiLeaks is false,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby. “Reports that Secretary Kerry had conversations with Ecuadorian officials about this are simply untrue. Period.”

      Why would Killary use State to put the horse’s head in Correa’s bed when she could do it directly?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Also found of Correa’s endorsement but it’s in Spanish which I don’t speak so hopefully someone can confirm that’s what he’s saying.

        1. Mrs. Mop

          Yes, Correa says he’s endorsing Hillary Clinton. He appears to compare Trump as being in a direct political tradition of G.W.Bush, which he (Correa) refuses wholeheartedly. Interestingly, on another occasion, in early September I think, Correa made a very strong proclamation towards all people in Latin America to rebel and resist an eventual new “Plan Condór” (his words) of the USA in regard to Latin America, hinting at the recent developments in Brasil and Argentina.

    6. Jess

      What’s that old quote, from Orwell I believe, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    7. jrs

      The Associated Press is certainly election meddling. Calling an election before anyone has voted. Can we cut off the AP’s internet access?

  3. flora

    re: self-driving cars, health IT, MACRA, and AI. They’re all related.

    “Wrong things that programmers believe”

    and the larger compendium of great articles, “Awesome Falsehood”:

    For the next time someone explains that true AI is just around the corner…..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One impressive character of Human Intelligence is the ability for linear projection.

      With that, it’s easy to miss the corner, and just keep going straight ahead. Being around the corner, in that case, means never.

      1. Synoia

        Coupled with no belief at all in Chaos or growth curves.

        That’s why all humans keep growing until they reach 30 feet tall, then topple over, dead.

  4. temporal

    0bama on vote rigging.

    Nominal head of law-enforcement hears concerns from people in other party (and to be honest a lot of lefties as well), and labels it whining. Because surely any reasonable person could not imagine the current system has flaws. Still, to be honest, expecting the golfer-in-chief to do otherwise is crazy on the face of it.

    Gone are the days when government officials at least said a couple polite, empty phrases. Now they insult you and ignore your request.

    Whether team R or D has the best rigging systems probably varies from state to state and depends upon the motivation of the team. This is Trump trying to get a little help.

    0bama, feeling confident, tells his team: “I already got this.”

    1. Code Name D

      Rigging the vote is nonsense. It is to laugh. Unless the Russians are doing it. That demands an appropriate military response. (We return you to your regularly scheduled Trump bashing.)

      1. Otis B Driftwood

        That was the actual content of a LTE in today’s SF Chron. Par for the course these days. Both its political coverage (Obama scolding of Trump was on page 1) and editorial section are virtually unreadable given their bias. Thankfully I have a better source for news here at NC.

    2. Carla

      There seems to be considerable confusion about “vote rigging” and “voter fraud” vs. “election rigging” and “election fraud.”

      We shouldn’t allow the possible actions of individuals to be confused with, or considered in the same light as, the possible actions of huge institutions, such as the Republican or Democrat parties.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        There seems to be considerable confusion about “vote rigging” and “voter fraud” vs. “election rigging” and “election fraud.”

        There certainly does.

        There also seems to be considerable confusion about “elections” as the “bedrock” of our sacred “democratic system.” A system which includes the gerrymandering of “representative districts” every 10 years by the very “representatives” whose jobs are at stake, guaranteeing the outcome of all but a handful of the 435 seats that are up for grabs until the “elected” occupants are ready to become lobbyists.

        1. Code Name D

          More like they are trying to pretend confusion. This morning on NPR, they trotted out an expert who literally said he didn’t consider voter suppression as part of “rigging the vote.” It’s kind of hard NOT to see through that bull shit.

    3. Uahsenaa

      The president doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Massive vote rigging was proven by Richard Hayes Phillips’ audit of the Ohio 2004 vote count, and Bev Harris has demonstrated quite a number of highly suspicious and in some cases clearly fraudulent vote counts in counties all across the US. Trump’s problem is that he’s mostly adopted the Republican line about voter fraud that’s been used to disenfranchise so many people, when the problem is the people running the elections themselves. Of course, that can’t be attacked, because both D’s and R’s do it…

      1. tgs

        He doesn’t need a leg to stand on. In the current environment, he can say anything he wants and the press will report it as gospel. Which is convenient for him, given that he lies almost every time he opens his mouth.

          1. GMoore

            Wow. Group think tries to silence dissent. For what? The greater good of salvaging the Big Zero? The crooks who are being outed every day? The stench of this activity is beyond party affiliation.

            Where did he/she get their lines from? Group dynamics are brutal, especially among highly educated elites. I just discovered this site, but already, I know I can’t be too candid, lest I be a traitor to the “greater good” of saving the Democratic candidate – even as members discover that she is as bad or worse as Bernie and Jill have insisted.

            What a great shame. One need spend only a few months monitoring the threads here to understand we ALL were deceived by the big ZERO. He was packaging. He was and is a fraud. But we are all so invested in the “first black president” meme, that should anyone stray too far from the DNC orthodoxy, they are attacked, and their motives questioned.

            Well, I know my heart. I know my motives. And Obama is and was a fraud who was packaged to prey on the guilt of America. And it worked. I was shouting “Yes We Can” as were my children. I will never forgive him for that.

            Tucker Carlson is not a knuckle dragging neanderthal. The Daily Caller is not Alex Jones.

            When Obama chides Trump for “whining” about election fraud, is it Obama that is the fraud.

            Obama is in this up to his smirking, treasonous face. He and Clinton are guilty as sin.

            I expect to be banned for being a newbie with too much starch. I haven’t been around here long enough to criticize, or challenge. And unfortunately group dynamics don’t allow for such heresy. That saddens me because all groups should reflect on their greater purpose.

            This fellow O’Keefe may be in the enemy camp, but these videos are proving to be truth to power. Intelligent people dismissing the great weight of this evidence in favor of trashing the messenger. Because his ethics were questionable on Planned Parenthood. ??

            That doesn’t absolve Clinton/Bush/Obama. Nor does this make me the enemy. I want justice for my country and some honest progressives to deliver the goods. Bernie, God bless him, caved to the Machine.

            So far, Jill has stayed clean. We should be calling it like it is. Obama is not our friend.

      2. no one

        Agree. In fact, this is a pattern of party Democrats: the Republicans pioneer an outrageous technique to corrupt elections and, rather than engage in restoring good government, the Democrat party adopts it. Thus, the vote rigging that put GW Bush in office and gave Obama a smaller majority of votes was never reformed, even when Obama had a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate (lest we forget those first two years). And the Citizens’ United decison, which, after all, was all about an anti-Hillary film, has been used by the Democrat party to ensure that Hillary is flooded with cash and real Democrats like Sanders never have a chance at getting the nomination.

      3. Bev

        Bev Harris came up with this intermediate solution that could help this election cycle, even though paper ballots hand counted in public is the best future choice.

        via email from:
        The Institute of American Democracy and Election Integrity

        Help Make Our Elections Worthy of Our Trust ! A Brilliant, New, Inexpensive Way to Create Trackable, Publicly Verifiable Elections Results!

        A few days ago, we told you about the problem of fractionalizing votes.
        Adding: Fraction Magic – Part 6: Execution Capacity
        By Bev Harris
        6 – Middlemen, Inside Access and Manipulation –

        I mentioned that we would be sending you a letter with a really good solution that has worked once before and could work again.

        Although votes can be fractionalized while adding them up, the ballot images pictures taken of the ballots) can not be reduced to fractions. The solution is to issue temporary restraining orders in swing state counties so that the ballot images can be preserved. The act of issuing TRO’s will also be a deterrent in itself to fractionalizing votes in an effort to steal the election. This process could apply to all elections, presidential, state and county elections as well as bond issues and propositions.

        If you are interested in getting involved in making this happen, if you are a lawyer and if you know a lawyer or lawyers who might also be interested in preserving ballot images using TRO’s, please us at TrustVote.org as soon as possible, as we will need to issue these TRO’s for the most part BEFORE the election. And, as you might expect, organizing this effort will require money. So please DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN to support to fight election fraud in our country.

        THANK YOU SO MUCH on behalf of TrustVote and our challenged democracy!

        Also here is the analysis by John Brakey of AUDIT-AZ of How the California Presidential Primary was , Stripped and Flipped:

        WHAT CAN VOTERS DO TO RECTIFY THESE PROBLEMS:

        Election activist John Brakey and attorney William Risner assert that destroying ballot images is against Federal law: Federal law 52 U.S.C § 20701 requiring retention of federal election materials, provides a penalty of up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail for premature destruction of that material (was formerly 42 U.S.C § 1974).

        For the November elections, Brakey and Risner recommend the following strategy:
        • File a public record request (ASAP) asking for ballot images for the last and the next election. The request should include other critical documents like the Cast Vote Record (CVR). We can provide a draft of what to request.
        • If ballot images are or have been destroyed then file a special action Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which is usually easy to request.
        • If they refuse your public records request for “ballot images,” then file another special action in the form of a Mandamus Act. When you win they have to pay all expenses and legal fees.

        Additional efforts that may be necessary and are suggested by AUDIT-AZ member Mickey Duniho, a retired former NSA Cryptologist for 37 years. His recommendations are being added to our TRO.
        • Do not transfer results from the DS850 to the central count computer until election day;
        • Print the cast vote record serial number on each ballot so that an audit can link back to the original ballot as per how the system was federal certified by EAC;
        • Mark every storage box containing ballots with the range of serial numbers contained in the box, so that an audit can easily find the box containing a ballot of interest.
        ……….


        The New Scanning Systems, FRACTION MAGIC and Humboldt Cty, CA
        Richard Charnin

      4. Procopius

        Ah, I see. The vote counts were rigged, so people should watch to see who votes and “make them a little bit nervous,” in order to stop vote rigging. The voting officials in Ohio were and are Republicans. So you are saying that is sufficient evidence that the vote will be rigged? And you think they are going to rig the vote in whose favor? Because the officials in charge of vote counting in more than 30 states are Republicans? You really gotta watch out for them riggers.

    4. m

      Obama laughs cause DHS is going to rig it when they assess computer systems in 18 states that requested help to prevent “Russians hacking the election.”
      I don’t believe these polls, the former pres can’t even draw a crowd & Trump has them lined up, jammed packed. Even after the “groping allegations.”
      I have met so few that want Hillary, it’s Trump or third party.

  5. Ignim Brites

    “The Liberation of Mosul Will Go Better Than You Think”. Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares? Not many in the US. How many thousands of miles is Mosul from Seattle? Even within the Acela Nation the number who care is probably in the the low thousands; 2 or 3 maybe. So why is the US military involved at all? If it goes badly, it will just lead to a shoulder shrug conclusion that our leaders have once again proved themselves to be idiots. If it goes well, Wolf Blitzer, et. al. might be agitatedly excited but the rest of the country will regard it as a matter of complete insignificance. So what is the point? There is no national security interest at stake. There is no national interest at stake.

    1. mad as hell.

      Selling arms while siphoning some of that moola to our freedom loving and God fearing politicians is all the interest that matters!

    2. JTMcPhee

      “Goes well?” WTF does that mean? False category. Mosul the infrastructure and commensality will be demolished. Rubble and “rebel,” I forget, are they homonyms or something else?

  6. pretzelattack

    maybe obama could devote a wing of his presidential library to his autobiographies. limited run signed first editions only, of course.

    1. nycTerrierist

      maybe he could take up painting like W, and do self-portraits – flattering ones, of course.

        1. mad as hell.

          Since you are hinting at an Obama gift shop. I want the 8″ by 10″ of Michelle HUGGING George Bush and I’ll up my purchase price if it’s autographed by either or both historic presidential celebrities! The sooner the better because the pictures will not be available if there is a war crimes trial in the future.

          1. polecat

            If you put an 8″ X 10″ glossy of G.B. & M.O. together, in embrace ….right next to an 8″ X 10″ glossy of Hans Solo with Chewy ….. which would you buy ?…. the happy-go-lucky smugglers ….. or the conjurers of BS ??

  7. Steve H.

    – Clinton announces final-pitch concert series ‘Love Trumps Hate’

    Last debate was ‘Trumped-up.’ Aside from infantalizing the election further, can anyone from marketing please tell me how repeating a rival brand name works in practice?

    1. petal


      Wilder — Some graffiti on the outside of an elementary school that references Donald Trump and the Ku Klux Klan has led Hartford Police to seek information from the public about who may be responsible.

      Black spraypaint was used to deface the outside of Dothan Brook School between 8 p.m. Monday night and 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to a news release from the Hartford Police Department.

      The graffiti, which reads “AmeriK.K.K.ans for Trump!,” led to more than 50 comments expressing disappointment and outrage on the police department’s Facebook page within a few hours.

      “We all work so hard to keep our schools looking great. … It was a very sad way to begin the school day today,” said Tom Debalsi, superintendent of the Hartford School District.

      DeBalsi said the maintenance staff immediately washed the wall Tuesday morning, and was pressure-washing the spot in the afternoon in an effort to make the words illegible.

      1. Steve H.

        petal, yup, I don’t see Clintons name being put up anywhere. ‘Bad publicity’ and whatnot, T was paid for his name on a number of products.

        My town is politically active, and only elects a couple of Republicans to check off the ‘diversity’ box. But I see no (as in Zero) presidential yard signs amidst the School Board and Assessors contentions. The nearest thing is the ‘Fire Mike Pence’ signs which were common before he was a VP candidate.

        (On re-reading I realized, my base assumption was that was not KKK’ers who sprayed the graffiti. My perceptions have been altered by the ubiquity of false flag operations. Albright: “Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough — and slow enough — so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?” Plus Syrian chemical attacks, …)

        btw (for anyone), my marketing question was non-rhetorical. What upside is there to touting a rival brand name?

        1. craazyboy

          It’s not marketing. It’s a sport. We cheer for or against.

          The name of the sport is Fantasy Politics.

          1. Steve H.

            That fits with ‘Hypernormalisation,’ which was linked to a couple of days ago. Trump was the case given for the Americans.

      2. polecat

        bored middle-schoolers is my guess ….

        ….or the results of high-schoolers commom-cornholed education ………

        pick one .. or both !!

      3. jrs

        It could as well just be a protest against Trump. I mean there are many quarters where associating something with the KKK isn’t a positive. And there are quarters where it is, make no mistake racism does live. But I’m not sure racists really outnumber people with a negative impression of the @#$# KKK.

  8. JTMcPhee

    On health care (or “Medical UNsurance”), there’s this, “Transparency
    International Once Again Takes On Health Care Corrpution,” , an article from a long time observer and critical commenter with real “sin in the game,” since “health care” KILLED his mother. Linked in the article is this list of lists of 37 types of corruption (“abuse of entrusted power for private gain”) in medical industrialism:

    Lots of wise and perceptive diagnosis, lots of hooks for what needs and ought to be done, but is it just so much spitting into the wind? With out organization and a common organizing principle, and the character strength in enough of that broad group everyone refers to as “us,” what can prevail against greed and self-pleasing and the internal imperatives and apparently insatiable and permanent culture of corporatism? Paychecks trump honor and decency and even truly enlightened self-interest, almost every time…

    Some of us may just be left with no remedy other than hoping that medical errors, and “sentinel events” (in the “medical errors study industry” lexicon, carefully defined as ) will occur, with morbidity and mortality, to the Fokkers whose corruption generation and participation bring fear, uncertainty and doubt into the sacred doctor-patient relationship…

  9. jgordon

    MDMA: it’s good stuff. Unlike other psychedelics it can be lethal though. Be extremely cautious. Also adulteration can be a problem.

    There are some drugs that people should have no access to. The problem is that making something desired illegal only changes how people get it–whether by an open market or a black market these things will always be available.

    Have some theory about how much society will improve if only such and such is banned? Well… if you’re of that kind of mindset, have fun being made a fool of again and again as people find ways around whatever artificial restrictions on access you’ve imposed. Although it will keep the prison lobbyists and the politicians they own happy I suppose.

    1. divadab

      A psychologist friend, mother of a sixteen year-old girl starting to go to raves, told her daughter: “I’d rather you take LSD than MDMA – LSD is harmless, consider Dr. Albert Hoffman’s over 2,000 trips and living to 103, while MDMA causes brain damage (synaptic destruction)”.

      But plant medicines are better – psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis flowers, both non-toxic and consciousness-raising.

  10. TheCatSaid

    “Basically, we’re the dupes in this story,” he says. “Previously, we thought that the offshore world was a shadowy, but minor, part of our economic system. What we learned from the Panama Papers is that it is the economic system.”


    Luke Harding quoted in the NYT Review of Books in the first of 2 articles about tax havens.

    Think of it–the amount of time and effort by all of us, at NC and beyond, to learn about our economic systems, but their collective financial heart is composed of elusive hidden black matter.

    1. financial matters

      Yes, somewhat similar to trying to make sense of the stock market when it is guided by the heavy hand of such things as the Fed, high frequency trading and stock buy backs to benefit executives.

      But NC does delve into the black matter.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The offshore world is the economic system.

      And the money supply as well. That is, we have created enough money, but they have all gone abroad, dark…not doing much for the Little People here.

      There is really no need to create more money. Just bring back some of it.

  11. Cry Shop

    Further to We’re Past the Point of No Return for Climate Change by Yves Smith on 06 Oct

    There is this bit of crappy news.

    “ITER will weigh almost a thousand times as much as C-Mod and cost about a thousand times more to build,” said head of the C-Mod project, Dr. Earl Marmar. “When ITER was proposed, it was going to cost the U.S.—a 9% partner in the project—about $1.1 billion. Now, a recent DOE review suggests it’s between $3-6 billion.”

    Cheaper — That’s key fault, not a benefit, because if there is going to be a breakthrough, then current systems do not want it to be too cheap nor easily done. To hell with if we’re out of time, protection of GE/Westinghouse’s Interests must come first.

    1. Vatch

      From the article:

      On the C-Mod’s final day of operation, Marmar and his colleagues gave the tokamak one last hurrah, cranking up the pressure inside its powerful magnetic fields. At 9:25 pm, they had squeezed the 63 million degree F plasma to 2.05 atmospheres, twice as dense as air pressure at sea level, breaking their own record set back in 2005.

      So they finally broke their record 11 years later? Maybe if they had broken their record 5 years ago, their funding wouldn’t have been cut in 2012 (they got an extension to 2016). I didn’t see anything in the article about achieving a positive energy output yet. It’s unfortunate that their funding was cut, but how hard were they really trying? Why did take so long to improve on their result in 2005?

      1. Jeotsu

        Remember, Fusion is HARD. By comparison the first fission pile was literally a pile of bricks! ()

        Fusion progress (in terms of plasma density, power ratios, magnetic fields) has actually been progressing faster than Moore’s Law, it is just that there is an enormous hill yet to climb. And the work is expensive, and will take years. And we are too greedy and have short attention spans to fund and value it properly.

        I don’t see heavy atom fusion (D-T, D-D, D-Li, etc) taking on base-load requirements for grids in the next 50 years. The simple reason is that the level of expertise required to keep one running is staggering. You’re average coal-fired power plant doesn’t need dozens of Ph.D.s on site 24/7. Even fission plants are relatively straightforward, by comparison. We will need to have running fusion cores for decades before we refine the technology to the point where “Joe six-pack” can keep it running and the town lights on.

        I am still excited by Fusion’s prospects, I just fear it will be a few decades too late to help due to climate change / peak oil / over-population / financial collapse.

        Oh, well. The technology is still really cool.

        And they achieved that peak plasma density the last night because that was one of those “what the hell, let’s see how high we can crank this thing!” experiments, as opposed to the previous years where they were doing all that careful and methodical stuff that science needs but that nobody finds sexy.

        1. Cry Shop

          And they achieved that peak plasma density the last night because that was one of those “what the hell, let’s see how high we can crank this thing!” experiments, as opposed to the previous years where they were doing all that careful and methodical stuff that science needs but that nobody finds sexy.

          Yep, when your underfunded to begin with, it behooves one to be extremely careful of even a test tube.

  12. Marco

    So now even Michael Moore “…fantasizes that if elected she [Hillary] will release the pent-up idealism she’s been clinging to since college, resulting in a flurry of landmark legislation reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous first 100 days.” Rabbit-hole we go (via NYTimes)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Clap louder! I suppose the Democratic midterm pitch will be President Malificient only behaved poorly because she was unappreciated for your lack of faith.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        President Kaine will have his hands full by midterm time, no question.
        Just as trees do not grow to the sky and great mountains topple over with gravity, the sheer weight of Clinton’s corruption and lawbreaking will exceed the angle of repose and we’ll get the sweaty little misogynist frat boy fascist named Tim Kaine as our Dear Leader. Dog help us.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I wonder if he is afraid of being hurt.

        When one fears that, one prepares oneself by telling oneself the worst case scenario is the most likely outcome, so, when it actually comes, there is at least the consolation that one was smart and right (and saw it – the tragedy – coming). One dares not hope what one wishes, lest one be disappointed and hurt emotionally.

        Moore wrote Trump would win.

        1. Vatch

          According to this web site, his agent is Ari Emanuel, and his literary agent is Morton Janklow.

          So this confirms what you said.

      2. Roger Smith

        He has been in the deep end since June-July. Where to Invade Next is a remarkable film with a great punch at the end. To see him go from that to Democrat groveler is sad.

        He is biased though. He has had a thing for Clinton since she was First Lady. He fails to see she is a war criminal just like Bush Jr (and Obama).

        1. polecat

          yes …the cognitive dissonance is strong in this one …..

          …and that one …. and them over there, too …. and ..

    2. pretzelattack

      she will simply use the momentum provided by the “unleashed” obama to march us into the glorious future, resulting in a flurry of landmark legislation driving a stake through the heart of fdr’s new deal. moore gets busy selling out flint.

    3. cocomaan

      Yes, very idealistic.

      Hillary puts in writing that she’s hoping Obamacare will unravel.

      How many more lives need to be wasted while these idiots tinker with things?

    4. ProNewerDeal

      With 0bama 2008, he did not have much track record. A few experts like political science Prof. Adolph Reed knew the real neoliberal 0bama, but most of us did not & were not aware of the experts like Reed or NC at that time.

      In contrast, HClinton has a longer & crappier neoliberal warmongering track record, relative to 0bama 2008. Furthermore, the Podesta & other Wikileaks shows her authentic “private position”.

      If Moore is claiming HClinton will be a FD Roosevelt clone, instead of a neoliberal Reagan clone, Moore is at best extremely naive & has low intellectual curiosity & critical thinking.

      1. Uahsenaa

        If she’s elected president, which Hillary will we see: the corporate-friendly centrist of the 1980s through the 2000s, or the born-again feminist of the 2016 presidential campaign?

        This is from the New Republic article linked above. It speaks to this completely delusional fantasia that liberals even think those are reasonable alternatives.

        Gee, which is more likely, the way she’s been her entire political career or the opportunistic stance she adopted to fend off a primary challenger… I just can’t puzzle it out!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Plausible deniability. The liberal msm has to face reality that they went all in for Hillary, a deeply unpopular person, and there aren’t enough White House communication jobs for Hillary to reward everyone.

      2. Ulysses

        “Moore is at best extremely naive & has low intellectual curiosity & critical thinking.”

        Yep. Michael has good, compassionate instincts, yet often seems risibly gullible. I like him personally, but I’m resigned to the fact that he won’t lead anyone out of the veal pen anytime soon.

        1. OIFVet

          Call me cynical, but I no longer believe that progressives like Moore are gullible. Take Adam Green from PCCC:

          Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group leading the charge for expanding Social Security benefits, told CNN that he is not surprised that Clinton appears to have been supportive of Simpson-Bowles back in 2013. Green said the “center of gravity” has shifted since then due to organizing efforts of liberal activists and the support of leaders on Capitol Hill like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
          Clinton’s praise of the Simpson-Bowles framework “would be concerning if it were a private comment last week,” said Green. “But it is not a surprise that she held the view of many other Democrats — including President Obama — in 2013.”

          Right, her views have evolved, because progressives like Adam Green have “organized”. This must be why Clinton wants to hand a cash cow to her Wall St. buddies.

      3. optimader

        M Moore is a (mediocre imo) indie documentary filmmaker. I will also say he is successful at producing formulaic material to a sufficiently large cohort.

        1. oh

          One by one, Sanders, Chomsky, Warren, Moore and all the great lefties fall in line. It’s really hard for me to figure out whom I can trust.

          And Bush, Kissinger and other criminals half of the Repugs support Hillary’s candidacy. Money talks and everything else walks.

          Why should one vote for Hillary in a swing state and third party where the race doesn’t count? That sounds like a dumb idea. Surely Hillary’s Supreme Court nominee would be one that the money interests would want. Trump may be really bad but if he’s elected there will certainly be gridlock (thankfully).

          1. Michael

            I don’t agree with your inclusion of Chomsky as I don’t think he has any misunderstandings about what Clinton represents and what she will do if elected. He merely thinks that better than Trump, which is (imo) quite likely (even though I won’t vote).

            Chomsky’s is a principled stance that you are free to disagree with but in no way is he having the wool pulled over his eyes as the others in your group are.

  13. Teddy

    Re: Bringing light to the informal economy

    One would have thought that post-Snowden such an apology for mass surveillance wouldn’t fly, but apparently you just need to avoid the s-word. “back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that they would garner $1 trillion or so extra in tax each year. For comparison, economists reckon that roughly $200 billion of tax is lost each year because of crafty use of tax havens.” sounds ominous – I’m not just sure if to read it like “when we’re done with fat cats, you’re next” or rather “when fat cats will remain fat, we will squeeze the little guy instead”.

    In contrast, the piece about Apple Pay supposedly being about to kill cash is rather amusing. I may be misinformed, but I fail to see any advantage to it above using a less card – you need plastic anyway, so it’s just another intermediary between a consumer and a vendor. Right now fintech seems just like another fancy buzzword to use after it turned out Bitcoin isn’t actually gonna radically transform money and payments.

  14. Arizona Slim

    Sanders was in Tucson last night. A year ago, he attracted 13,000 people to Reid Park. That was on October 9, 2015.

    Last night, he was down to 5,000 on the University of Arizona Mall. If he had been running as his own man instead of Hillary’s, I think the attendance would have beaten Reid Park.

    1. Arizona Slim

      And here’s another thing that bopped me over the head: This rally was billed as a way to encourage people to vote via early ballot. It was held on a university campus, and let’s just say that UA students aren’t known for their propensity to vote before election day. They go to the polls.

      Oh, one more thing: The deadline to be registered for November’s election was last week.

      So, in short, we have a GOTV rally on a university campus, where the kids don’t vote early, and the voter registration deadline has already come and gone. Really smart, Hillary. Really smart.

      BTW, I didn’t go to this farce. I was at home, filling out my ballot while sitting on the living room couch. Cast my POTUS vote for Jill Stein.

  15. Anne

    All the talk about voting and fraud and rigging elections is generating the following reaction from me:

    Republicans have no business whipping people up into a froth about voter fraud when they have been making concerted efforts for years – efforts that are ongoing – to deny as many of the “wrong” kinds of people access to the election process, and thus manipulate the vote in what they perceive to be their favor.

    Democrats who express outrage over GOP efforts to suppress and depress the vote need to STFU and work to make sure as many people as possible have access to the voting booth; if that means going into states with stringent voter registration and voter ID laws, then do that. You can’t put all the blame on Republicans for your own political gain, and pretend that you don’t have any responsibility to make positive contributions to expanding and protecting citizen access to the voting process.

    Third parties do not get a pass on this, either: there’s no sitting back and letting this be just a major-party issue: you have as much responsibility for expanding voter access as they do, and the argument could be made that if you want to be a meaningful part of the entire process, you shouldn’t be sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn.

    1. jgordon

      The more I hear about Democratic operatives loading homeless people onto busses and driving them from polling place to polling place all over town, the more sense these stringent ID and registration laws make to me.

      It’s now to the point where I’m viewing those who aren’t in favor of strict laws as people who probably don’t mind election fraud, as long as it’s their side benefitting of course.

      1. Anne

        You may want to check out and consider this:

        There is a wealth of information at the site (Brennan Center for Justice).

        Here’s my take: let people vote. Stop making it harder for people to vote. We need more people participating in the process, not fewer. Getting people invested in the process is good for democracy, not bad.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have thought that small states are particularly vulnerable to people-movement manipulations.

        One doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to have ‘one’s voters’ live and later vote in Vermont to sway the electoral result there.

      3. Gareth

        “Democratic operatives loading homeless people onto busses and driving them from polling place to polling place”.

        Yes please keep recycling this urban legend because is makes you look stupid.

        1. Waldenpond

          Just reviewed the Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism. 12. Obsession with crime and punishment.

        2. jgordon

          That’s very interesting. So I take it if you saw a video of famous Democratic operatives explaining how they were rigging elections thanks to lax ID laws you’d immediately change your opinion? I just want to be clear on how much integrity you have before I give you the links.

      4. Waldenpond

        In CA, until you match a signature, the envelope is not opened nor the ballot counted. The effect is to overburden those trying to manage the vote counting.

        I don’t favor strict ID and registration laws, yet have no political party.

  16. DanB

    Lambert writes above, “Obama’s already written two autobiographies. Maybe he should write a third?” And a fourth?” I think he should talk to Hillary’s people about reintroducing himself to Americans. BTW: I have a circle of friends -here in Mass.- who consider themselves progressive. A few of us are being ridiculed for 1) pointing out the factual errors in the “Obama was hemmed in and prevented by those awful Republicans from doing progressive things” argument, and 2) warning about the dangers of a Hillary hegemony. One of them even told me that the latest Wikileaks docs shows Hillary might in reality be conciliatory towards Russia!

          1. Cry Shop

            Sunnyland Golf: How I flew Airforce One with a 2nd 747 in tow, to California nearly every weekend for a round of golf and the press kept quiet because they were all in the 2nd plane.

  17. ProNewerDeal

    fw journalist Jordan Chariton reporting that Podesta Wikileaks shows that HClinton campaign was coordinating with her “independent” SuperPAC.

    Can a lawyer or other subject matter expert explain would this be grounds for the relevant Gov agency to indict HClinton, Podesta, &/or whichever relevant HClinton employee with a felony crime for violating the legal separation between campaign & SuperPAC? Who would be the agency with authority, the Federal Election Commission (FEC)? Note I am talking legally would should occur, not what is “politically likely”, given the USA’s high level of corruption & seemingly lawful immunity of business & political elites.

    1. Anne

      The Intercept had quite a lengthy post about this, as well, which you can find .

      Super PACs are only allowed to accept unlimited contributions on the condition that the money is spent independently of specific campaigns. The Federal Election Commission hasn’t reacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of hard evidence, vague rules, and a partisan divide among the commissioners so bitter they can’t even agree to investigate obvious crimes.

      But newly disclosed hacked campaign documents published by WikiLeaks and a hacker who calls himself Guccifer 2.0 reveal in stark terms how Hillary Clinton’s staffers made Super PACs an integral part of her presidential campaign.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Thanks Anne for the article.

        I skimmed through it quickly, I did not see anything about would either Clump get charged for the crime of the campaign working with the SuperPAC.

        Apparently from your excerpted segment, the FEC is akin to a cop who witnesses an assault occur but calmly eats a donut & ignores it. Apparently both Criminal Clumps have de facto legal immunity in Exceptionally Crapified Criminal Murica.

  18. cocomaan

    The Stronger Together tour bus allegedly dumped its waste into a stormdrain in a suburb of Atlanta:

    Police say when officers arrived on the scene, toilet paper was scattered on the roadway near the storm drain, there was a foul smell.

    Mike Robins, manager of a nearby business, took several photos of the tour bus dumping waste into the storm drain. In the pictures, a liquid can be seen coming from the bottom of the bus.

    Just when you though the election had gone off the rails…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The worst part (besides the pollution) is the laws they are violating come from Bill’s unfunded mandates in much of the country requiring sewer clean up; although dumping human waste was likely illegal in most places, localities use to be laxer about sewers.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      So maybe the Dave Matthews Band will be part of the “love trumps hate” concert tour, and gave the stronger together people some cover. When ya gotta dump, ya gotta dump.

      A driver for the Dave Matthews Band admitted Wednesday that he emptied his bus’ septic tank over the Chicago River last summer, drenching passengers on an architectural boat tour with 800 pounds of human waste.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Ah, my America — Randy Quaid said it all:

      The Great Nation I enlisted in 1966 to protect from the ravages of Commyanism…

      At least some of us can still laugh about it all… that laughter that turns to hysterical breathless whoops, and then to sobbing and silence…

    4. Pat

      Perhaps there should be one or two less private plane flights so they can afford to hire the appropriate people to empty the bus’s waste tank. During the event the bus could go to the nearest place offering the service OR the various trucks that pump the waste could come to do that.

      Just a thought. But once again, the rules do not apply…

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why Feminists Shouldn’t Trust Hillary Clinton The New Republic

    But this trickle-down feminist perspective confuses the narrow personal interests of Hillary Clinton with the broader interests of women as a class. The result is that feminists have spent far more energy celebrating Clinton’s shattering of the “ultimate glass ceiling” and shielding her from criticisms (including fair ones, like those about her ties to Wall Street) than to sweating the details on her record and policies.

    So, with 30 years of selling out to personal political expediency staring them in the face, “feminist” luminaries have thrown their wildly enthusiastic support behind the candidate who has barely nodded their way when it really counts, and will commence, yet again, “holding her feet to the fire.” That magical “fire” that absolves all past sins and creates a “reality” that does not and never has existed.

    And when the “fire,” once again, does not materialize? (I can scarcely hear myself think for the deafening noise of my teeth grinding.)

    And what if Clinton still shows signs of returning to her old neoliberal self? Feminists and other progressives would need to start planning for a serious 2020 primary challenge. As the Sanders example showed, primary challenges are one of the most powerful tools activists have to shape the direction of the party—and, potentially, a presidency.

    A. Primary. Challenge. Not just any one, a SERIOUS one. Like the Sanders “example.”

    O. M. G.

    1. mad as hell.

      “A. Primary. Challenge. Not just any one, a SERIOUS one. Like the Sanders “example.”

      O. M. G.”

      I can’t think of a bigger sellout than the Bern. Yet like some mythological character he is celebrated for battling the dragons. While in the end those creatures were the zoo keeper for the senator.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Whatever you think Bernie’s intentions were, threatening clinton with a primary challenge as a way to influence her political positions is probably the worst joke ever invented. Any “feminist” democrat who accepts this as a legitimate “strategy” to compel her to enact favorable policies is “irredeemably” deluded.

        1. Pat

          I think the primary did scare them. Their being able to handle it got rid of that little issue. It will never scare them again.

          There is no way to hold her feet to the fire. NONE. And the feminists that didn’t blast her from one wall to another every friggin’ time she was ‘reasonable’ and ‘lawyerly’ and mealy mouthed and or flat out dismissive of feminist positions deserve what they get when their losses can be directly traced to Clinton’s choices or decisions. And that will happen. Unfortunately, like Obama, there will still be apologists.

          1. RMO

            Well, locking her into one of those remote controlled explosive collars from Fallout 3 might do it… but those are fictional.

        2. JohnnyGL

          “Whatever you think Bernie’s intentions were, threatening clinton with a primary challenge as a way to influence her political positions is probably the worst joke ever invented”

          As Lambert has pointed out 1) ‘wonderfully clarifying’ in that now, after having faced a primary challenge, we know she’ll barely even talk a little bit left while employing the full weight of the party elite and big media to crush opposition (and possibly ballot box shenanigans) by any means necessary. 2) She is who we thought she was. Per 1) she yearns for power and wealth and that’s about it.

          As Katniss points out….there is no alternative, she has to LOSE and that’s it.

      2. Knot Galt

        Bernie Sanders was THE ONLY ONE out of the entire political class to run on and vocalize the issues. Plus, he always said it was not about him; but US. He was also adamant about getting out the vote because he was probably already aware of the deck being stacked up against him. He can’t in anyway shape or form, as disappointing as it is for all of us, be called a sellout.

        He is being absolutely politically shrewd in looking at the future. If he didn’t attempt to support Clinton now, it would be the same as pulling, metaphorically, a Vince Foster.

      3. polecat

        In the mythologies, the hero wins the battle …. within the realities of american politics, not so much ….

      4. oh

        I wonder what happened to his revolution? I haven’t heard anything about it since the committee split up. Does Bernie’s revolving around Hillary count?

        1. different clue

          All the people who supported him to begin with are free to carry on the work in their own way or ways. It isn’t Sanders’s fault if they fail to do that.

      1. Waldenpond

        Liberal gatekeepers didn’t wash their hands of B Clinton. Liberal gatekeepers didn’t wash their hands of Obama. Do you have a personal theory as to why they will wash their hands of H Clinton or links to any writings on this? I’ve seen comments that the media will honestly reflect on HC after the election (they didn’t Obama) but haven’t seen the evidence for it.

        The operational theory seems to be: don’t hold their feet to the fire during an election or you might damage them. At the same time, if you don’t like what a politician does… shhh, they secretly aren’t horrid and they will do the right thing in the second term. Then it’s the second term… too late, their record was known, what did you expect. The opportunity to act is the next election.

  20. Reagan, Thatcher, Friedman, Ayn Rand, Goebbels

    The fears survey is classic polling as propaganda, as it pulls the bog-standard 1035-960 trick of lumping state crimes with outlandish fancies to tar them all as ‘conspiracy.’ Note the dismissive reference to diminished ‘big brother’ fears. Fits the standard profile of academic mediocrities churning out the official line with new wrinkles here and there. See the instrument anywhere? Christopher Bader’s a hack doing chores for CIA.

    1. Editor, FM website

      I don’t understand your objection. Here is their question about conspiracies. Which one do you believe in?

      The government is concealing what they know about… Percent Agree or Strongly Agree
      The 9/11 attacks 54.3%
      The JFK assassination 49.6%
      Alien encounters 42.6%
      Global warming 42.1%
      Plans for a one world government 32.9%
      Obama’s birth certificate 30.2%
      The origin of the AIDs virus 30.1%
      The death of supreme court justice Antonin Scalia 27.8%
      The moon landing 24.2%

  21. LT

    This is probably coming to links…but…

    The ACA paved the way for this. The entire exercise of putting that tripe through the Supreme Court tests was to set more legal precedents for MANDATING that the public subsidize private profits.

    The election is officially “Hitler” (Trump) vs “Mussolini” (Clinton)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If we are making comparisons, I’d say its more Mussolini (Trump) and Hitler’s non-Nazi backers* (Clinton). She might not be game for an official Holocaust, but she will gladly kill “subhumans” in wars and indirect policies.

      *The elites were terrified by the socialists might win and raise taxes. The horror.

        1. LT

          I doubt they’ll interrupt their scheduled programming about who touched who 10 years ago in order to discuss this latest money grab by Wall St.

        2. polecat

          ‘ethnic fixations’ of Trump supporters ……..

          go ahead … continue to beat out that faulty meme …….

  22. allan

    [The Hill]

    Hillary Clinton’s White House bid got a real bump after the Democratic National Convention — from her lobbyist fundraisers.

    Sixty-two lobbyists raised nearly $11 million for Clinton from July through September of this year, according to recently filed disclosure forms, a dramatic increase over previous quarters. …

    Two lobbyists brought in the top amount in the third quarter, about $1.6 million: Richard Sullivan, a veteran Democratic fundraiser now at Capitol Counsel, and Ankit Desai, a lobbyist at Cheniere Energy.

    Other boldface names include Liz Robbins of Liz Robbins Associates, with $741,000 bundled; Linda Lipsen at the American Association for Justice, at $575,566; Al Mottur of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, with $533,575; and Fred Humphries of Microsoft at $458,328. …

    In addition to the massive checks they collected for the Hillary Victory Fund, the top lobbyist fundraisers for the Hillary for America campaign account include:

    • Capitol Counsel’s David Jones, who raised $762,666 for the campaign alone.

    • Richard Sullivan, also at Capitol Counsel, brought in $592,891.

    • Holly Macarro, of Ietan Consulting, bundled $430,900.

    • Heather Podesta, of Heather Podesta + Partners, raised $406,878.

    • Steve Elmendorf, of Subject Matter, bundled $360,084. …

    The Blob speaks.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s where they got the money for, this from Mishtalk today, “paying homeless and mentally ill individuals to cause disruptions at Trump events via a process called birddogging.”

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Capping Enrollment To Save Minnesota’s Individual Market Health Affairs

    So, in an effort to prevent “market collapse,” the state government has “struck a deal” with insurers for “significant” rate increases and “caps” on the number of “lives” enrolled.

    Another concern is the marketing and enrollment practices of the health plans, especially the Blue Plus plan which is owned by BCBS and has enrollment and health status information of the 103,000 people for whom it has terminated coverage. There is incentive to get the healthiest individuals to sign up first and fill up the slots for all health plans. Then there are the details regarding oversight of marketing and enrollment and management of the caps. The financial pressures of plans are great and much can be done in both marketing and enrollment to discourage unhealthy people from enrollment.

    And just like that, pre-existing conditions are back with a new look and a new legitimacy under the auspices of “universal healthcare.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “…to get the healthiest individuals to sign up first…”

      But if the semi-healthy ones (but who need care) are distracted by being overburdened at work or with other issues of life, and are slow to sign up, even they can’t get in, once the slots are filled up.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Making profitable use of the “health status information of the 103,000 people for whom it has terminated coverage.” And which is ostensibly “private.”

        I think it’s called “thinning the herd.”

        1. polecat

          well, for some … or perhaps for many …. it probably means imminent & early death ….

          We’re All Wildebeest Now !!

    2. Anne

      Anyone who thought the industry didn’t have legions of people assigned to figure out how to game, bypass and legally ignore all the elements of the ACA that were intended to “improve” the system and broaden access to affordable care wasn’t paying attention or had stars in their eyes. When a system is in crisis, with people in desperate need of care and financial relief, the legislation designed to solve the crisis does not build in a years-long delay in implementation unless… those designing it need to make sure that the powerful interests making concessions get a head start on working around it.

      Put plainly, insurance – as currently structured – does not facilitate care, it impedes it. And it does this by collecting exorbitant amounts of money up-front that leave those paying it in the position of not being able to afford actual care. Meanwhile, at the other end of this cash transfer – the receiving end – a select group of executives, as well as stockholders, are benefiting. People have less care and a whole lot less money to pay for the care they do get.

      I know there are people who have been helped by the ACA, but it has to be obvious that we are returning to the same or worse crisis situation that was the purported reason for “overhauling” the system. Unfortunately, the fact that it was to be built on a rotten foundation that was just going to result in more rot at a later date had to take a back seat to Obama’s all-important legacy.

      Hillary Clinton isn’t going to improve the ACA; she’s not going to get Republicans to go along with anything that will do that, much less keep it going in its current form. Donald Trump doesn’t have an actual plan, other than the same old GOP package of “getting rid of the lines” so insurance companies can establish themselves in states with the least regulation/oversight/mandates, and their favorite: tort reform – but aside from that, he’s said only that whatever replaces the ACA will be “great.” Neither one of these candidates will ever worry for one moment about the cost of their own care, so they can afford to make promises they can’t keep.

      1. Pat

        One of the people I know who has benefitted from ACA is one of the people that insurance companies are going to be looking to jettison. Mind you, she may be eligible for medicaid, in which case there are going to be different challenges for her, but even there I don’t think she has a clue how screwed she is. Oh, she knows everything is under threat, she just doesn’t get that the political will to actually address the issues is not there. Never the less I do understand her desperate need to believe that Clinton can fix this, That her meaningless incremental fixes are better than nothing.

        I have to behave myself from saying time to be a _______ is over. Work your butt off getting a civil service job which has employer based insurance and save like a mofo and even that will only work for about half a decade at most. Or better, even longer term, find a way to get yourself to a country with an actual health care system legally. But nothing and no one is going to save this from going under, and none of them has an idea of how to avoid having our system devolve into the rich get care the rest die because their owners have eliminated every other option.

      2. allan

        ” legions of people”: such as

        Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle pushed Hillary Clinton’s top aides to consider supporting a massive health insurance merger for one of his clients — even though at the time he was not registered to be a company lobbyist.

        Daschle registered to be a lobbyist for Aetna in February of 2016, which subjected him to disclosure and ethics regulations. However, an email released Thursday by Wikileaks shows Daschle pressing the company’s agenda with political power players in October 2015. …

        There’s that old Matt Taibbi quote about Daschle. Some people were scandalized by it at the time, but it turns out to have been an understatement.

      3. Waldenpond

        In an e-mail she specifically wants to use R proposals to unwind ACA.

        ACA has served as a transfer of wealth up. Some state markets are experiencing their intended contractions so it can eventually be unwound yet marketed as a noble attempt by the Ds that the Rs just won’t let us have.

      4. ProNewerDeal

        ” Neither one of these candidates will ever worry for one moment about the cost of their own care”

        I wonder if the callously ignoring US public health by say implementing Canada-style MedicareForAll system, might even hurt the Criminal Clumps. In other words, implementing Canada-style MedicareForAll could be enlightened self-interest even for the Criminal Clumps.

        If you are a public health or other medical pro, consider fact-checking my reasons
        1 Ebola-type airborne communicable disease death risk is reduced by the existence of Canada-style MedicareForAll. The Ebola viruses don’t discriminate that a Criminal Clump is a 0.01%er. The 69 yr old Criminal Clumps are more at risk than most of us to such a risk, to their old age

        2 Criminal Clumps, despite their wealth, are still at risk to medical corruption, such a physician falsely recommending a medically UNnecessary procedure or treatment for the purpose of extra billable work, even if it as the cost of patient health. I vaguely recall an Atlantic article that a group of TX cardiologists were brazenly doing such medical UNnecessary procedures. AFAIK, being a rich 1%er does not eliminate such a risk, in fact the 1%ers are likely at greater risk, on the grounds of “to rob a bank, go where the money is logic”.

        3 Criminal Clumps are still at risk to the deaths from preventable medical errors. IIRC, >100K USians/yr die from preventable medical errors. I would assume given the crapified US health system, the amount is far higher than it would be if a Canada-style MedicareForAll system were in place.

  24. Expat

    JFK? How about any international airport in the US? They all suck and for one reason whatever the building may look like. They are staffed by arrogant fascists with high school equivalency diplomas and a badge. I return (as rarely as possible) to the US and get grilled on the purpose of my visit, why I live in France, what I do, why I do it, who I am visiting, why I am visiting, when I will be leaving, etc.

    When I go through the UK I get a big smile and sometimes a “Welcome back” since I lived there for a decade at one point. In France, they might read my passport, they might not, but they would never dare ask why I left France and visited the US.

    Summers is an asshole but he is at least right about infrastructure

  25. allan

    Excellent on the rank hypocrisy of the Gen. Cartwright leak prosecution.

    … Still, the FBI’s unprecedented release of documents related to its Clinton investigation shows the Bureau is keenly aware of the public criticism of Comey’s decision not to recommend any charges. And the mere fact that Clinton had the State Department, along with an army of lawyers, negotiating with the FBI over the investigation shows that the playing field is not even for the targets of such investigations. Petraeus, for his part, had several top U.S. senators publicly calling on the FBI to exonerate him before he cut his deal.

    Cartwright, by contrast, was short on high-profile Washington friends. He had long ago run afoul of his two Pentagon bosses, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, who never forgave him for going around the chain of command to join with Vice President Joe Biden to present Obama with an alternate plan for the Afghanistan troop surge in 2009.

    Cartwright’s greatest mistake was not talking to reporters or lying about it; he failed to play the Washington game skillfully enough to avoid becoming a scapegoat for a system in which senior officials skirt the rules and then fall back on their political power to save them. …

    Game of Thrones for ugly people.

  26. JohnnyGL

    HA Goodman giving a summary of what has been revealed by wikileaks about Clinton campaign and it’s relationship with the media.

  27. rich

    Tue Oct 18, 2016 | 5:43 PM EDT

    CFTC regulator oversaw compliance at firm accused of illegal trades

    By Sarah N. Lynch | WASHINGTON

    A U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission senior regulator is being thrust into the spotlight after the agency fined her former employer for a supervisory breakdown over illegal wash trades that primarily occurred on her watch.

    The commission’s Sept. 28 civil case against Newedge USA LLC, now fully owned by Societe Generale, makes no mention of Eileen Flaherty, who heads up the agency’s office that oversees rules governing chief compliance officers at brokerage firms, among other things.

    Before Flaherty joined the CFTC in July 2015 as director of the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, she was the global head of Compliance and Financial Crime Prevention for Newedge from mid-2011 through the end of 2014

    Flaherty, who has been recused from handling or commenting on matters involving Newedge, declined to comment, CFTC spokesman Steve Adamske said in an emailed statement.

    Adamske said the CFTC routinely hires people with industry expertise, and that Flaherty had complied with all government ethics rules, noting that she was recused from reviewing the case when it was sent to her division for input.

    A spokesman for Societe Generale declined to comment on Flaherty’s role in connection with the case, but said in an email that the firm was pleased to have resolved the matter.

    The case has raised eyebrows among some commission staffers, who questioned whether Flaherty did her job properly at Newedge, and whether she was fit for her current role, several people told Reuters, asking not to be named because they were not authorized to speak with the media.

    CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad extended Flaherty’s employment contract for another year in August, about a month before the case became public, internal records show.

    A major concern about federal government operations involve the “revolving door” through which executives in regulated industries get jobs to regulate their former employers.

    However, experts have said that this case is particularly interesting because the settlement with the firm was announced while the former employee still works for the government.

    What’s a regulator, again?:)

    1. polecat

      A GRIFTER”S APPRENTICE !!

      … without the wand ….

      “Vippity Voppity Voome” …. as in hoovering up all those Tubmans .. POST HASTE !

  28. DarkMatters

    Re vote rigging: Been there, done that: another United States of Amnesia issue. The fact that Obama’s dismissal of this issue is meeting with the little criticism it’s attracting is shameful, but unsurprising. Steven Spoonamore discussed this issue more than a decade ago:
    .

    In fact, he exposed an actual man-in-the-middle attack in Ohio in 2004:
    .

    Recommendation of this cyber-expert: dump machines and use paper ballots hand-counted in public.

    The fact that this has all been forgotten is mind-boggling; the fact that nothing was done, though, is unsurprising.

  29. Starveling

    On the article on gay vs gay sex- aren’t these activists playing with fire? When ‘gay’ is an inborn trait, people can be persuaded towards compassion. If it is, in fact, a lifestyle choice and political stance after all- why should I give two figs about ‘gay rights’ or make any move to accept or show compassion towards their ilk?

    If being gay means not just same sex attraction but that activism- why then should we ban ‘pray the gay away’ campaigns? Seems to me that if being gay is a choice, people could choose otherwise.

    Then again, why should sexual attraction be considered the most important fact about a person? You’d think the gay community would celebrate an out gay man being accepted by some very conservative people, who, decades ago, wouldn’t have given someone out the light of day. Isn’t it progress for the defining characteristic of your particular group to be this accepted?

  30. mudduck

    Where same sex relationships are accepted today, young people aren’t “coming out of the closet” or joining a counter culture — they’re simply dating whom they feel like dating, within their peer groups. This may be fatal to the culture — assimilation usually is.

  31. Synoia

    Obama adopts a grand design to shape his legacy

    We know:
    Obamacare
    Copenhagen Climate Accord
    Kill lists
    Relentless Surveillance
    ISDS and Regulation Harmonization

    And finally: Supporting Hillary
    Legal Whitewash

    Obama has his legacy.

    1. Pat

      Do not forget the massive deportations and the use of private contractors for the detention centers. I realize it is small on that list but it does give him a record point that will be hard for any one to beat.

    2. Anne

      And I would add to that list the relentless pursuit and prosecution of whistleblowers.

      And let’s not forget the Catfood Commission and the effort to strike a Grand Bargain – and hand-in-hand with that, we have the attempt to go to chained CPI.

      As to his support of Hillary, I actually can imagine him one day saying, “weeeelll,maybe you’re not as likable as I thought.”

  32. Pat

    Similar to the devolving position on public records we found with the email eruption, liberals are once again going “nothing to see here” regarding the DNC leaks. See one of the latest posts as Eschaton. Atrios calls the DNC hack gossip that is nothing more than showing political process. Perhaps he intended that to mean the Podesta leaks, and I disagree even then. But the DNC leaks are far more troubling. They showed not typical political process but the severely corrupt efforts of a group, which by their own rules and regulations were not supposed to interfere, actively kneecapping one candidate to advance another. But then corruption has to have an obvious quid pro quo. Unfortunately for democracy we weren’t able to catch the prostitutes negotiating their price and then taking the bucks. (Apologies to prostitutes for associating them with DWS and Brazile). So it is just one more way things have changed, look forward not back,ignore the man behind the curtain focus testing the lies so they can screw the hell out of you. And it continues with the Podesta hacks. What do you mean our candidate is lying, always lying to the voters – who are you going to believe: her or your lying eyes.

    I think there is going to be a point where a whole lot of relatively decent people feel very very stupid, because they should have known better.

    1. DarkMatters

      After comparing Obama’s sensible campaign rhetoric with his behavior in office, it’s clear that only a fool would use campaign statements to predict what a candidate really stands for. The most reliable indicators I’ve found so far are biographical and historical data, especially personal associations and funding connections.

      It’s a sad commentary that I have to keep throwing cold water on my face to make myself realize that the Podesta em’s really DO indicate aberrant behavior, and should NOT be viewed complacently as business as usual, even though they are.

  33. Jim Hannan

    Jeb Bush had over $100 million in the bank when the primaries started. How much would it have cost to Google Donald Trump? Or call his first cousin Billy Bush?

  34. ekstase

    On animal altruism:
    “But a seal can’t possibly help a whale in return for its protection.” Not unless there’s karma.

    “It was once believed that psychological altruism required a level of cognitive complexity that only humans possess.” Let us list some of the humans that we know, and see how this logic stacks up!

    “high-level concerns about justice and morality—which are the purview of humans,” I don’t know. Wait. Yes. Yes I do.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “Thank you, tree, for letting me cut you down to make a canoe. Now, I can go and catch fish, so I won’t starve.”

      “Thank you, bison, for letting me catch you so my wife and children may live.”

      Cognitive complexity has always been assumed.

  35. Waldenpond

    Seeing a link to TNR brought to mind an exchange yesterday: (Eichenwald was linked last week and I commented that he was a fabulist. Now TNR is referenced in an Eichenwald e-mail.) Anyways…..

    Michael Tracey tweeted: I haven’t seen any insane Twitter screeds from Kurt Eichenwald in a few days. Has he been forcibly sedated?

    History:
    Bill Moran wrote a piece for Sputnik. Deleted it. Apologized. Fired.

    Eichenwald wrote a piece for Newsweek[“I am Sidney Blumenthal. At least that is what Vladimir Putin seems to believe.” – Kurt Eichenwald] Journalists pointed out the many errors. Moran pointed out the errors by writing [I Am Vladimir Putin: The First Victim of McCarthyism 2.0]

    Next: Cassandra Fairbanks writes: [Newsweek Journalist Claims US Intelligence Fed Him False Putin-Trump Conspiracy] with purported excerpts of e-mails between Eichenwald and Moran. Eichenwald calls Fairbanks a liar and blocks on . Moran offered job back but does not accept.

    So…… Michael Tracey asks for the e-mails. Moran posts this:

    Which brings it back to Eichenwald’s claims of being wired into the intelligence community and the impression he would buy off Moran’s silence with a job at TNR.

    1. Waldenpond

      Eichenwald Threats/Bribes: Did Newsweeks Kurt Eichenwald Use Threats and
      This is a good write up.
      Eichenwald:
      [“You need to ask yourself,” he writes, “how does someone some like me who is deeply wired into the intelligence community know so fast that you had posted this?” He says that Moran’s firing is a good thing, “if you are who you claim to be,” and guarantees him that the FBI already has a file on him. “You have been playing in a sandbox surrounded by very large, and mostly unseen, players, engaged in games you don’t recognize.” ]…[He went on to say that everyone at Sputnik had an intelligence file on them, and asked if Moran had made any foreign phone calls that might have raised eyebrows. He went on to imply that Moran might have issues getting a re-entry visa into America if he ever traveled abroad,]

      Moran:
      Moran’s next email, the following Monday, includes Rose McKimmie, Newsweek’s general counsel. He makes his intention to release a public statement on the affair known. He tells Eichenwald that he likely won’t go into the threats made against him, and will probably make it clear that he’s not accusing him of “malpractice in his initial reporting.” He writes: “You may ask why I would do this for an outlet — I am, frankly, not doing I for the outlet at all. My colleagues have been blistered with claims of treason, physical threats, and pictures of dead children sent to them. These are just ordinary reporters living in fear.” He offers Eichenwald a chance to issue a correction.
      Eichenwald:
      [Amazingly, with McKimmie still copied, Eichenwald brings up the potential of helping Moran get another job—yet making it clear that the way things are going, that offer is about to be retracted. “I will start off by saying that as I promised, I took you at your word that the events were as you described and reached out to The New Republic on your behalf]…..[I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and try to protect you from your determination to commit an act of permanent career suicide.”]
      [Eichenwald still urges him to apply for the job, as it would make him “more credible.” He argues that going public will “accomplish nothing other than insure you never work in journalism again.”]
      he reverts to the threatening language—the “bad cop” persona—telling Moran that [he could tie him to the Russians themselves: “Now, there is one alternative here,” Eichenwald writes. “I can write: ‘William Moran, the writer for Sputnik, said he based his article not on directives from the Russian government but on an anonymous tweet that used a clip of the image of the document. He said he accepted the anonymous tweeters’ description that this was from Blumenthal, and did so because he was rushed. However, as the government official with knowledge of the intelligence inquiry said, the original altered document that was tweeted onto the internet came from a location that has been identified as being connected to the Russian disinformation campaigns]

      ****Eichenwald****
      [In a comic twist, he urges Rose McKimmie to tell “her client” not to force him to print that paragraph, as it will “destroy his reputation forever.” He doesn’t seem to realize that McKimmie is actually his lawyer, not Moran’s.]

      From the piece:
      [The central question of this strange odyssey is this: Was Eichenwald guilty of using threats and bribery to coerce Moran into staying silent, fearing that the true story of plain human incompetence at Sputnik would undermine his own conspiracy theories?]…

      [Moran certainly thinks so. It will be up to each reader to judge whether Eichenwald’s exchange rises to that level—having read through the emails, it is Paste’s opinion that his language clearly meets, and exceeds, the standard of intimidation and coercion, from the sinister talk of an FBI intelligence file on Moran, to the redemptive possibility of a job at The New Republic.]

      [The fact that Moran didn’t succumb to this tactic, despite his low status in comparison to Eichenwald, is almost astonishing. ]

      ****
      It really is a bizarre piece showing a window into how media individuals treat each other. I’m surprised Eichenwald still has a position at even something as poor as Newsweek.

  36. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A private chef for your dog.

    About time.

    Dogs are people too.

    And if you’re really rich, you’d have a chef for your pet bonsai tree as well.

  37. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Americans’ greatest fear – showing our true selves.

    Wait, showing our true selves is not our great fear.

    Rather, I misread it. It’s about Americans’ greatest fears (and those fears themselves reveal our true selves).

    No 1. – corruption of government officials.

    What happened here? Have we all been brainwashed by Reagan: I am from the government, I’m here to help you.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      As for fearing to show myself, I look at a dog and see that when it is happy, it wags its tail.

      I say to myself, ‘You will never last long in a human world. You have to learn to play poker.”

      And the same goes for cats as well. It’s so comforting and relaxing to know one can tell how they really feel.

    2. Editor, FM website

      MyLess,

      There are probably a lot of readers of Cfdtrade who worry about government corruption. Especially by the defense and banking industries. Plus the drug companies and … it’s a long list.

      As for the headline — writing these is an art, one that I have not mastered.

  38. Dave

    Applepay?
    Screw Apple and their walled garden of technology. They plan to skim a little off of every purchase people make from both the buyer and the seller, while at the same time handing their records over to tax authorities worldwide. A perfect Orwellian scenario.

    Go to the bank, walk in and talk to the tellers. Let them know you support their wage demands and ask about their benefit package. Don’t use ATMS or any kid of electronic payment system.
    Withdraw enough cash for a week. Spend that cash in small businesses.
    That’s what real Americans do.
    Credit cards are for corporate purchases made when there is no alternative.
    They too skim 4 to 6% off what merchants are paid, usually the smaller the store the more they skim. Those little white Square card readers charge a flat .50 cents for every purchase, including a pack of gum.
    Cash is freedom. Use it or lose it.

    1. Clive

      Way to go Dave!

      (With due apologizing if my knowledge of Americanisms isn’t up to scratch, hopefully my sentiment is clear. I heard the “kids” say that all the time on Beverly Hills 90210. Or maybe it was Baywatch. Could have even been CHiPS, I do indeed go back that far)

    2. Ulysses

      Awesome comment Dave!!

      Barter is another way to starve the rentier beast. I’ve had young people who are adamant about paying me for tutoring. Rather than accept any of their limited cash, I’ll accept payment from them in the form of some sort of musical or other artistic performance. Win-win for us both!

      1. different clue

        Cash and/or barter and/or creative combinations therof whenever feasible. And subsistence production-for-self when feasible and defensible. 50 million gardens in 50 million suburban yards.

  39. Jeremy Grimm

    “Russia Is Preparing For War”: I remain very alarmed by the U.S. actions provoking Russia.

    A little war here and there may be nice for reducing “excess” populations although it does tend to litter a lot of real estate with explosive trash. A nuclear exchange with “tactical” nuclear weapons spoils an area for a long time. It’s not a good option for wars to intending to conquer territory — nothing is left worth keeping. A full scale nuclear war — I don’t like to think of what might be left after.

    Maybe I’m an just an old worrier — but the ongoing tensions and provocations between the U.S. and Russia leave me very very worried. There seem so many reasons we should be allied with Russia.

  40. allan

    Antitrophymuseumism for the win: [Reuters]

    Finland’s center-right government has dropped plans to help build a Guggenheim museum in Helsinki with state funding, Prime Minister Juha Sipila said on Wednesday.

    The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has proposed a museum for Helsinki, like those that grace New York, Bilbao and Venice. …

    Promoters of the museum had hoped it would be a boost for the recession-hit country, while some Finns considered the project a waste of taxpayer money at a time of cuts to government welfare and schools. ($1 = 0.9119 euros)

    And it would have been an eyesore on Helsinki’s waterfront.

    One can only hope that there is more push-back against “prestige” projects like this.

  41. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Europeans work 25% less than Americans.
    And oh, look, France has national productivity per worker equal to the US, a lower debt-to-GDP ratio…and um they get healthcare, retirement, immaculate public transport, paid maternity leave, and 2X America’s vacation time.
    But we get laser-guided missiles controlled from space that can blast wedding parties to bits thousands of miles away. So there’s that.

    1. Yves Smith

      People need to learn to do math. The headline I saw in Bloomberg was that Americans work 25% more than Europeans.

      Than means Europeans work 80% as much as Americans do, or 20% less, not 25% less.

  42. JSM

    7 Characteristics of Fascism 2.0/‘Smart’ Fascism

    Intimidate, harass, neutralize & destroy key leakers, whistleblowers & journalists.
    Create redundant and obvious surveillance mechanisms to internalize censorship & suppress dissent.
    Create a unified front of ‘ex’ CIA, FBI and other ‘national security’ figures that can give voice to agendas the government cannot openly advocate.
    Rather than identifying a traditional enemy type, publicize & promote nontraditional enemies & irregular reinforcement schedules to maximize fear and coerce the abandonment of civil liberties.
    Denigrate critical, longterm & connecting the dots thinking as ‘conspiracy theory.’
    Shortcircuit critical, longterm, connecting the dots & strategic thinking with constant fearmongering. No one must see the big picture.
    Do not allow political factions to coalesce around areas of broad & near unanimous agreement.

    Etc. Apply not only to civilians but also press, academia, & politicians. Et voila!

    1. Ulysses

      Spot-on analysis! I would add:

      Create an officially preferred “controversial” story-of-the-day in the MSM over which people can argue without challenging the status-quo. Is Angelina being too mean to Brad? Was it fair to bench Tom Brady for the first four games of the season? Why do people who don’t like books have to pay taxes for public libraries?

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