Links 1/17/16

Ancient tools may shed light on the mysterious ‘hobbit’ Science (Chuck L)

Our chemical Eden Aeon (guurst)

Mother Nature’s Invisible Hand Strikes Back Against the Carbon Economy Truthout

What will happen to our digital heritage? The Network (guurst)

Brain waves could help predict how we respond to general anesthetics PsyPost (Chuck L)

China?

China to land probe on dark side of moon in 2018: Xinhua Reuters

What happens if China’s economy has a hard landing? East Asia Forum

Jeremy Corbyn to confront big business over living wage Guardian

The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! failed evolution

Greek Jan-Dec central govt budget surplus below target on lower revenue Reuters

We Will Not Be a Party to This Crime! by Academics for Peace Monthly Review (Glenn F). On repression in Turkey.

Syraqistan

Iran Completes Steps to Implement Nuclear Accord; Will Trigger Removal of Sanctions Wall Street Journal

Iran Releases 4 American Prisoners After Months Of Top-Secret Negotiations Huffington

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Cheap web cams can open permanent, difficult-to-spot backdoors into networks Net Security

2016

The stock market is freaking out about Trump and Sanders MarketWatch. Oh, come on. It’s freaking out about deflation, oil (symptom of same) and China, and that the Fed can’t and won’t do much about any of them.

Ted Cruz isn’t presidential material, but not because of where he was born Guardian

Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Healthcare Plan Will Save American Families $1200 a Year NationofChange (furzy mouse)

Clinton Campaign Underestimated Sanders Strengths, Allies Say New York Times. She though she was better served treating Sanders as a mere ankle-biter. Oops. There are already 1100 comments, which due to my need to turn in, I am not scanning (hopefully some helpful readers will take a gander). Expect to see a disparity between “editor picks” and general sentiment.

Six Responses to Bernie Skeptics Robert Reich. It says a lot about how well the Clintons treat people who do their dirty work, like pimping for Nafta. that Reich is campaigning so hard against Hillary.

Clinton surrogate to demand Sanders release medical records Politico. People in glass houses should not throw stones! Hillary’s medical report reads as if it was written by lawyer, and it’s from an MD in the town next to Chappaqua, when you have to think her and Bill’s main doctors are big ticket MDs in Manhattan, and the local just part of the team. But most important, she’s on Coumadin, which is an anti-clotting drug used often in post stroke patients to reduce the risk of recurrence. Coumadin has to be tightly managed. And read this analysis….be sure to get as far as the discussion of the cumulative odds of death were she to be a 2 term president on Coumadin. Are there any doctors in the house who can weigh in on the article? Update: This came in by e-mail from a doctor who treats in this area that I asked to opine:

Clinton apparently had a rare type of stroke, cerebral venous thrombosis. For what it’s worth, I had never seen a patient with that kind of stroke in my career. In the blog post, Dr Cundiff analyzed the fairly minimal data available on that kind of stroke. One study showed a surprisingly high bleeding risk for patients on long-term Coumadin. But the study was apparently funded by the manufacturer of a drug that was brought out to be a supposedly safer alternative to Coumadin, the COIs affecting the study were not properly disclosed, and the design of the study was such that the likelihood it was biased is high.

And of course it’s actually very difficult to accurately predict what will happen to any patient, much less at a distance using limited information for a patient who had a relatively rare problem.

All patients on Coumadin (and other kinds of anticoagulants) have elevated bleeding risks. How elevated it may be difficult to say for many. Really good medical care and monitoring ought to decrease this risk. Falling and hitting one’s head, or having major trauma surely increase it. So I would advise Ms Clinton, from a distance, to avoid contact sports and activities with high risks of trauma (sky-diving, race car driving, working for the police, fire departments, going into military combat, etc). But that’s probably not so useful in this context.

Sanders calls for Michigan gov to resign over water crisis The Hill

Bill Maher Explains How Trump Is Making It Easier for a Bernie Sanders Win Salon

Bernie Sanders Is Closing in on Clinton, and He’s Not Even Trying Vanity Fair. Jeff W:

The supposedly liberal T.A. Frank thinks, for some reason, that the unfailingly clueless conservative Ross Douthat has a point in asking when Bernie Sanders will take off the gloves against Hillary Clinton, which, of course, ignores the headline of his own piece that Sanders is closing in on Clinton without even trying—i.e., he’s far more successful than the pundits expected so he has to change his strategy. Yeah, it makes no sense to me, either.

The underlying assumption—that people have to see a slugfest in order to decide who to vote for, rather than actually decide on, well, you know, the issues and policy—is, as usual, unquestioned.

Donald Trump Says He Is Self-Financing Bid, Despite the Evidence New York Times

Newsletter: Why Protests Will Continue To Grow Popular Resistance. Glenn F: “A more critical analysis of the SOTU speech.”

About half of retiring senators and a third of retiring House members register as lobbyists Vox (resilc)

Florida ditches surgical standards after failing hospital donates to GOP ars technica

In Maine, Local Control Is a Luxury Fewer Towns Can Afford New York Times

Forget the Quarterback Sneak: A Deception Play for the Ages New York Times

A lost century in economics: Three theories of banking and the conclusive evidence ScienceDirect

Transcripts of Fed’s 2010 meetings show risk of history repeating itself Washington Post

The Productivity Slowdown: Mismeasurement or misallocation…or both? Jared Bernstein. He works his way around to blaming the financial services industry for the fall in productivity.

Junk Bonds Go Sour, but the Question Is How Sour Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Don’t fear the oil price crash – unless it heralds the beginning of a global downturn Telegraph

Oil Goes Nonlinear Paul Krugman. This is clearly and compactly stated, and it explains why conventional wisdom was wrong. However, a non-trivial number of commentators, including your humble blogger, said when oil broke $70 and looked to have more downside than upside risk over the near term (which has now become the long term) that frackers, who were highly leveraged, were very vulnerable, and that we though the odds of production cuts and loss of high-paying jobs would more than offset gains to the consumer if the downturn lasted long enough that the frackers had trouble getting access to new/rollover financing.

Class Warfare

Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites New York Times. Notice that this is a new, disturbing finding. The much-ballyhooed Deaton/Case study found that life expectancies were falling for 45 to 54 year old less well-educated whites. This analysis covers 25 to 34 year old whites overall.

The Chart That Explains Everything Mike Whitney, Counterpunch (Oregoncharles)

Convincing the Young to Blame the Old, Not the Rich Dean Baker, FAIR

Antidote du jour (Li). From the Daily Mail story on Bei Bei’s debut:

Bei Bei links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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160 comments

  1. rjs

    even i was amazed at the degree of financialization in the commodity markets; i posted this graph and tried to explain it: http://www.nasdaq.com/markets/crude-oil.aspx

    here’s what i ended up with:
    while we’ve got that chart up, we’ll look at a few other things that it shows us…on the top, we have CLG 16 or CL 1, identifiers of the oil contract being traded, with CL the exchange symbol for us WTI oil and 1 being the first or front month contract, the one which is typically quoted when the financial press talks about the price of oil; next to that, we have trading volume: 899566, which is the number of contracts that changed hands on Friday, the most recent day on the chart…likewise, across the bottom, we have red and green bars for each trading day of the last 3 months, which graphically shows the number of contracts that traded each day, with red indicating trading on a day when the price for this oil contract was down, and green representing trading on a day when the price for this oil contract was up, as indicated by 1000000 and 2000000 on the margin, indicating trading volume of 1 million or 2 million contracts…now, here’s the thing; each of those contracts represents the a trade of 1000 barrels of oil, meaning that on Friday, when 899,566 contracts changed hands, rights to 899,566,000 barrels of oil were traded; similarly, when 1,289,527 contracts changed hands on Thursday,1,289,527,000 barrels of oil were traded…hence, since nearly 6 million contracts for February oil were traded at the NYMEX this week, that represents net trades of electronic contracts that had claim to 6 billion barrels of oil…that sounds like a lot of oil, and it is; if you’ve been paying close attention to the EIA stats we review most every week, total US oil production has been running at about 9.2 million barrels per day; that means daily oil trading for just this one oil contract in New York has been more than 100 times the amount of oil we produce daily over the past week…likewise, the amount of oil that we’ve had stored at Cushing and various other depots around the country has been running between 450 million and 480 million barrels over the past several months; that means daily oil trading for just this one contract in New York has typically been more than twice the oil that exists anywhere above ground in the entire country…but while one contract may be swapped electronically several times a day, no physical oil ever changes hands in this strictly financial market, which is where oil prices are actually set; when a fracker starts to drill, he’ll typically hedge by selling his future output through such an exchange, just as the price the refinery pays for oil is set by this market…and this is just one contract at one main exchange; there are dozens of less active contracts and less active exchanges, including those in Europe, where similar volumes of oil contracts are traded….so whatever we might say about the oil companies, they are at least getting their hands dirty while making a living off of the dirty oil products we use; at the same time, there are these other bottom feeders at market monitors in New York who do nothing but swap electronic oil, who nonetheless still manage to get very rich between the time the oil comes out of the ground and the time it’s delivered to a refinery to make the products that we use…

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘these other bottom feeders at market monitors in New York who do nothing but swap electronic oil’

      I made some good coin in 2004-6 buying backwardated crude oil as it rose from $40 to $100 a barrel.

      Took the risk, received the reward.

      Speculators provide a service to markets — liquidity. They also, on balance, tend to lose money to commercial hedgers.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In the 23rd century, robot speculators with artificial money from self-driving, and self-managing, banks will provide liquidity.

        It’s OK that robot speculators lose money to human commercial hedgers. These robot speculators are programmed to absorb, mentally, financial setbacks.

      2. rjs

        my point was that 100 times more oil is traded daily in NY than is produced from wells in the rest of the country…

        1. Brian

          I have read that every commodity, or other thing that isn’t a piece of paper, is hypothecated 100 to 300 times the amount in existence. What was once designed to assist farmers to survive in bad years has become the betting shop.
          If one knew that they were causing market fundamentals to become permanently skewed mark to unicorn by attempting to profit on anothers loss, would you continue because everyone else does?

          1. tegnost

            I may be wrong here so correct me if you like, but aren’t speculators necessary to reveal the actual value of mark to unicorn assets, and is that not why TPTB don’t like speculators (see bans on short selling)?

            1. rjs

              what is “actual value”?

              and how can the “actual value” of a barrel of oil go from $105 to $29.43 in a year and a half’s time?

              1. tegnost

                The actual value is what you can get someone to pay you for it. It goes from 105 to 29.43 because it wasn’t worth 105. If a speculator sensibly looks at the overall market and says to ones self, It’s not going to be purchased at 105, I’m shorting, and they turn out to be right they reveal this discrepancy that the central banks and wall street bankster scum who’ve made unwise loans based on pie in the sky valuations don’t want to be revealed in their mark to model world, no? Now it’s mark to model on frackers to save banksters who we’d all be better off if they lost everything and had to enlist in welfare, get on foodstamps, or jump out a window because the market doesn’t always win. I personally noticed low demand at the end of the summer, now it’s come home to roost. Do you think oil should have stayed 105, and why? Capitalism is a brutal sport, which is why the oligarchs need socialism to soften the blows, mark to model is socialism for the rich and little else.

                1. rjs

                  re: Do you think oil should have stayed 105, and why?

                  no, i think both 105 and 29 are misvalued extremes…the barrel of oil hasn’t changed, the market crowd has..

                  1. tegnost

                    I’m surprised about the volume of rehypothecation. The image that came to mind was a greased pig(oil) in an arena (commodities market) with a bunch of traders trying to catch it, when they have it corralled into a corner, oil goes up, then someone tries to grab it ,it takes off and wham! 29 handle and it’s on the run! I agree the price of traded commodities is unclear, like I wonder how I can buy an orange shipped from chile or somewhere for .50 cents or a .99/lb.banana

                  2. craazyboy

                    It’s worth what someone pays for it!

                    But who that someone is matters. When we had the run to $140 oil, the Chinese announced they decided to stockpile, and once that news was out 2 hedge funds (Goldman and a Swiss firm) piled on and owned 30% of the contracts. The Chinese were really pissed about that.

              2. subgenius

                …unknowable due to the root disconnect of the fantasy game we call economics, and the hard reality of the physical universe??

            2. JTMcPhee

              “speculators necessary to reveal the actual value…”

              So speculators, many a/k/a market manipulators, want the rest of us to believe. “Absolutely vital to the transparent operation of Mr. Market,” right? pfffft.

              Nice bet, Mr. Haygood. Way better odds than a Powerball ticket, of course.

              1. tegnost

                Isn’t the fed a market manipulator? I’m saying “pure” capitalism is bloodsport so needs socialism to water it down, but currently the waters only being supplied to the chosen, and i’ll stand behind my claim that speculation is necessary for price discovery. I consider speculators different from manipulators in essence, speculators look at what manipulators are doing and judge their chances of success. Right now, for instance, i’m speculating that the market manipulator fed will back down before springtime in the ME and not increase rates or maybe even go back to QE, but I can’t make it happen. who allows mark to model? The fed, that’s who. manipulation..I said nothing about transparency in the market because that’s absurd..

              2. tegnost

                of course a lot of it is HFT which I wouldn’t consider speculation, more like manipulaton by pushing volume around, right, so there’s all kinds of junk out there, no pristine markets anywhere that I know of

        2. Synapsid

          rjs,

          And it’s an important point. Thanks for making it at this site.

          Something else we should keep in mind is that that price we see all the time is not the price the producers of the oil receive. Currently there are some crudes with a negative wellhead price. The wellhead price is often $10-16 below the “market” price, and varies greatly depending on the quality of the oil and where the well is. A colleague in south Texas barges his oil to Louisiana because he gets a better price for it there, even after transportation cost.

          Cash flow is king in the oil patch, so some wells that will never pay back are drilled just to keep the lights on and the crew whole. (Once prices go up one thing that will delay production rising too is that many drilling crews have been let go, and more will be let go, and there won’t be anything like the number there were available before the downturn.) Wells are also drilled in order to keep the lease; leases stop after a certain time, specified in the lease terms, without production. The term is “held by production.”

          Thanks again for the post, rjs.

          1. Rhondda

            I had forgotten about an oil lease being “held by production” — thanks much for the important reminder.

            1. Synapsid

              Rhondda,

              You’re very welcome.

              “HBP” is one of the pressures drillers face. The landowner is likely to favor it: there’s no money coming in if there’s no production.

      3. griffen

        But did your account stay solvent after the firm of Duke & Duke went under following their attempt to corner the O.J. futures ?

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        International capital flows used to be 2X trade flows. Per the BIS, before the crisis, they were 61x.

        You don’t need this much speculation to grease commercial activity. This is well into “the tail that wags the dog” category.

  2. Ruben

    The link to the Werner’s paper in the International Review of Financial Analysis is important, although the last policy implication in Highlights needs further examination because it is often the case that developing economies need capital in foreign currency (mostly the international reserve currency) which cannot be provided by domestic bank credit creation.

    1. Plenue

      I’ve asked this question in a few places, and have never received much of an answer, but here I go again. These are entirely man-made, artificial systems. If money is created from scratch and given out as loans, that means it was a consciously created system set up by human beings at some point. Which means it should be documented somewhere. For that matter, the people working at the banks should have there own guides explaining how the system works and their role in it, surely. Why on earth are people like Werner having to conduct experiments and collect evidence as if this was some physics problem or other mystery of the universe? I get that the economics profession as a whole doesn’t care about reality and so was content to just coast on convoluted theories of ‘fractional reserve banking’, but there must be meeting transcripts from the 1910’s or outlines in dusty research stacks at the back of an archive that lay all this out in clear language.

  3. edmondo

    However, a non-trivial number of commentators, including your humble blogger, said when oil broke $70 and looked to have more downside than upside risk over the near term (which has now become the long term) that frackers, who were highly leveraged, were very vulnerable, and that we though the odds of production cuts and loss of high-paying jobs would more than offset gains to the consumer if the downturn lasted long enough that the frackers had trouble getting access to new/rollover financing.

    Holy Moley! That’s one long-ass sentence! On a Sunday? That’s more words than my local newspaper prints in a Monday edition.

    1. craazyman

      when the near term becomes the long term as quickly as this, there’s no time to shorten sentences without falling behind the long term in the near term

      I may be misrecollecting but I thought the position of this blog was the shalers would keep pumping in spite of low prices just to keep the cash flowing for debt service.

      1. craazyboy

        News came out Friday that the Fed is telling banks they don’t need to “mark to market” fracker loans. So the Fed Magic Wand fixed up the short term for banks. However, they also told banks they should pursue asset sales by the frackers. So we’ll have to see what oil properties sell for that have $50 and up production costs in a $30 oil world. Long term that still means write offs for the banks.

        Also, my Cardinals won! What a nail bitter. They sure didn’t look like the #1 NFL offense, and Aaron Rogers didn’t have much trouble moving the ball against the Card defense. They are gonna have to get it together if they are gonna get past the winner of the Carolina-Seattle game.

        1. craazyman

          If you’re behind 24 – 10 with 30 seconds left in the game and get sacked on 4th and 7 at your own 9 yard line, that’s worth +15 points! (if it has to be, wink, wink). But you gotta get lucky

        2. craazyman

          I think eveything’s going to go in reverse. the Rams are heading back to LA — that was big news! Maybe the Cardinals will fly (no pun intended) back to St. Louis. The Lira will return to Italy and the Franc to France. Global temperatures will fall, and we’ll all go ice skating over Christmas and warm ourselves with hot chocolate like in the old days. Heck oil is back under $30 already! You have to pay attention to really see what’s going on.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            Yeah, well the 76ers just won their 5th game. Proving that the new ownership of Whartonite hedge fund guys can manage ANYTHING.

          2. craazyboy

            We won’t let our Cardinals leave, but the rest of it sounds pretty good. We need more hippies too. And 1966 Jag XKEs. That would be cool.

            1. craazyman

              Help Me FASB

              It’s all fell apart and I’ve been down drillin’ in my head
              Check the prices late at night and in the mornin’ I just lay in bed
              Well, FASB, you look so fine (look so fine)
              And I know it wouldn’t take much time
              For you to help me FASB
              Help me give my loans a new mark

              [Chorus]
              Help me, FASB
              Help, help me, FASB
              Help me, FASB
              Help, help me, FASB
              (repeat x2)
              Help me, FASB, yeah
              Give my loans a new mark

              Thought I was set for life
              And that I was gonna be The Man
              But the Saudis kept on pumpin
              And Lord how it ruined my plan

              Well, FASB, you caught my eye (caught my eye)
              And I got 80 million reason$ why
              You gotta help me FASB
              Help me give my loans a new mark

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                They might as well grade banks on a curve, to ensure there will always be survivors.

                All C- and better banks will move on to the next earning period; incomplete banks – they will have to repeat the Fed’s free-money class.

              2. craazyboy

                Good Vibrations
                The Beach Boys

                I love the colorful ink banks use
                And the way the daylight turns red to black
                I hear the sound of a gentle Fed
                On the books that lift bank finance back

                I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
                Banks giving me excitations
                I’m pickin’ up good vibrations (Oom bop, bop, good vibrations)
                Banks giving me excitations(Oom bop, bop, excitations)
                Good good good good vibrations (Oom bop, bop)
                Banks giving me excitations(Oom bop, bop, excitations)
                Good good good good vibrations (Oom bop, bop)
                Banks giving me excitations (Oom bop, bop, excitations)

                Close my eyes
                Banks somehow better now
                Softly smile, I know banks must be kind
                When I look at the books
                Banker pay is stealing me blind

                I’m pickin’ up good vibrations
                Banks giving me excitations

                1. craazyman

                  This one’s pretty bad, but it’s a slow day in Magonia . . .

                  I Drill Around

                  Round round drill around
                  I drill around
                  Yeah
                  Drill around round round round
                  I drill around
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  From ground to ground
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  Had a real cool bed
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  Was makin’ real cool bread

                  I’m gettin’ bugged drillin up and down the same old strip
                  I gotta finda new place where the wells all rip

                  All the frackers and me are getting real well known
                  Yeah the banks all know us and they leave us alone

                  I drill around
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  From town to town
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  Had a real cool bed
                  Drill around round round I get around
                  Was makin’ real cool bread
                  Drill around round round I drill around
                  I drill around
                  Round
                  Drill around round round oooo
                  Wah wa ooo
                  Wah wa ooo
                  Wah wa ooo

                  We’ll be driling through the tar though it’s never been sweet
                  And we’re not broke yet, if all our payments we meet

                  None of the wells flow steady cause it wouldn’t be tight
                  But we hope to have some cash by Saturday night

                  I drill around
                  from town to town
                  Had a real cool bed
                  was makin reall cool bread
                  etc.

                  1. craazyboy

                    I like it.

                    But back to football. the Panthers didn’t have to punt for the first time until 1 minute before halftime. 2nd half, Seattle is battling back from a 31-0 deficit. If they pull that off, it will be the weirdest weekend in football history.

                  2. craazyboy

                    The Sell Off By Edward Greene Shoe’d Boys
                    Traffic

                    If you see something that looks like a well
                    And it’s shooting up out of the ground
                    And your head is screaming $100 barrel sell
                    And you just can’t escape rolling loans around
                    Don’t worry too much, it’ll happen to you
                    We were all oilmen once, playing with ploys
                    And the thing that you’re hearing is only the sound of
                    The sell off by Edward Greene Shoe’d boys

                    The percentage you’re paying is too high priced
                    While you’re living beyond all your means
                    And the man in the suit has just bought a new car
                    From the profit he’s made on your dreams
                    But today you just read that the man called your loan
                    By some terms that really annoys
                    But it wasn’t the terms that laid you to rest, was
                    The sell off by Edward Greene Shoe’d boys

        3. ChrisFromGeorgia

          I read some of that article on the Fed suspending mark to market for banks with bad fracking loans too. This is the same trick they used in March 2009 to help save the banks.

          One big difference here though is that with real estate loans time is on your side. Housing is a durable good that only depreciates very slowly (well, unless copper thieves and termites strike) and you still have the underlying land as collateral.

          With these bank loans to frackers, isn’t the “collateral” depreciating much faster? I’m assuming the land itself isn’t worth much without recoverable oil. Plus everything I’ve read says that those wells deplete quickly – that is why they drill so many. So while the Fed lets the banks “mark to unicorn” bad debt, you’ve got desperate frackers sucking every last drop as fast as they can to service same bad debt.

          Sounds like a race to see what happens first – all the oil is gone or the notes mature.

          1. craazyboy

            There is a lot of confusion about “fracking wells being short lived”. I’m not an authority on this, but I think the way to think of it is you have very large properties with frackable oil, but you have to drill it with lots of short lived wells to get it all. This is what makes it high cost, but they are talking huge areas with recoverable oil at a high price.

      2. Synapsid

        craazyman,

        I don’t know about the position of this blog (it has one?) but that is indeed what the shale companies are doing. See my response to rjs just above.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Right, and that plus everyone else continuing to pump (all the governments that need oil revenues) plus China falling out of bed is why we are where we are.

        Mind you, I never in a million years thought we’d see below $30, which just goes to prove that markets can go to extremes you’d never anticipate. And I had no point of view as to when the frackers would get reined in, merely that they’d keep pumping to service debt as long as they could.

  4. allan

    It has just been announced that at the start of tonight’s Democratic debate there will be a 60 minute moment of silence in honor of Downton Abbey. /s

    One nice thing about the NYT article on HRC’s implosion is the on the record, if anonymous, admission by Clinton insiders that they determined the debate schedule – the number of debates and the ridiculous times – and now have buyer’s remorse.

    1. jgordon

      Yeah, I noticed that too. They just threw it out there like it was nothing special. These people are so thoroughly steeped in their own corruption that they don’t even notice it anymore.

  5. Kokuanani

    Expect to see a disparity between “editor picks” and general sentiment.

    I am an inveterate comment-reader, and I’m always surprised at this.

    1. Patricia

      I am often amazed by the bias shown in photos, too. In this article, Sanders is completely hidden behind the podium, except for flailing arms. Disembodied and…cute…

      1. Pavel

        Patricia, I was also struck by the NYT “photo of Bernie Sanders” — as you say, only his arms appear from the podium, his head is hidden. Almost an ironic comment by the Times of its coverage of Bernie’s campaign.

        Of all the available photos, why on earth pick that one?

  6. Pavel

    Re: NYT piece on Hillary vs Bernie. I just browsed through a few hundred comments. I would say all but a handful — 5 or 6? — were strongly pro-Sanders. Most of the comments about Hillary were absolutely scathing. The common themes:

    * she (and the MSM) felt she is ‘entitled’ to the presidency
    * real Americans (i.e. not part of the political/financial establishment) are shocked and outraged at how much money Hillary and Bill have taken from Wall Street and other corporations (the name of Goldman Sachs came up quite often)
    * the desire for single-payer health care
    * the sense that Hillary is insincere and inauthentic (Jeez, who woulda’ thought!)
    * scorn and derision at Chelsea’s joining the anti-Sanders campaign. Numerous references to her hedge fund husband and $10 million NYC apartment
    * comments along the line of “if this is how she runs her (2nd!) campaign — ineptly — why should we expect her to be better in government?”
    * quite a few noted the apparent admission by Team Clinton and the DNC that they worked together to plan the debate schedule, which seems to be backfiring on them
    * more than a few noted the disparity between comments on the campaign by readers and the MSM coverage!

    One said simply that when he sees these political articles he goes straight to the comments to find the truth. So true!

    1. Carolinian

      Worth saying that only one of your bullet points concerns the issues. HRC’s fade–if it’s real–is probably more a rejection of her personally than a reflection of policy differences with Sanders. I also think the widespread left horror at the prospect of President Trump is working to amplify concerns about her electability and therefore the need for someone else. TINA only works if there in fact is no alternative. By just showing up and gaining credible levels of support Sanders shows that there is.

      Perhaps she will prove to be the SS Clinton after all. And with her out of the way we will finally have that debate about issues.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The blogger Billmon1 had a flurry of tweets yesterday which were an interesting read, but he pointed out Obama and by extension the Obots embraced the Clintonistas who were never forced to address why Clinton might have lost in 2008 and were able to brush away failures as the fault of voters and a once in a lifetime flash in the pan in Obama.

      Unlike 2008, Sanders lacks a cult, hasn’t been a media darling, and is surging at the same time. What this means is the problems with Hillary go far beyond the candidate and are representative of a class of out of touch and deeply disliked people.

      1. Carolinian

        And add that Clinton is a much less appealing candidate in 2016 than she was in 2008. It’s harder to present yourself as a warm and fuzzy “it takes a village” surrogate mom after “we came, we saw, he died.” Clinton as Sec State revealed her true colors as a cold and calculating pseudo-realist. This appeals to the pundit class but in a general election the public might very well find Trump more relatable.

      2. Uahsenaa

        Well, when you spend your days listening to Donna Brazile and Steve Israel, as if anything that comes out of their mouths reflects reality, all the while selling your soul to financial and med industry execs as you grease the wheels of the state department for the most recent donor to your family’s “charitable” foundation, you don’t have any time to even look in a mirror, much less actually try to figure out what it means.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      I was reading the “Reader’s Picks” column and had to read through dozens and dozens of comments before I found even a single one supportive of, or even sympathetic to, HRC. This, among the NYT readership whom I’d expect to skew pro Clinton. The cumulative power of reading all these overwhelmingly pro Sanders comments in the comment string in such a completely establishment venue as this has caused me to switch my opinion on the race. I think Sanders wins the nomination and the presidency, I’ve never really believed that will happen before. I don’t think it’s wishful thinking either, I think the Clintonistas and the mainstream media are engaged in that this time.

      1. allan

        On Meet the Press this morning, the only two topics Chuck Todd wanted to discuss with Sanders were gun control and Iran. Nothing on economic or justice issues. As long as MSM narratives on Sanders are being crafted by the Clinton people, it will be a headwind for the Sanders campaign. Not impossible to overcome, but it makes getting his message across harder.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It hurts the attacks against Sanders. Voters are concerned about the economy and Healthcare, not ISIS or Iran. There aren’t many complaints about the Russians bombing are jihadi allies for example.

          The media isn’t a means of attacking Sanders because they are losing credibility with every softball question to Hillary about stuff no one cares about except the middle schoolers who run the country. Even the dismissals of Sanders amount to “look at this loon who thinks domestic politics don’t have to reflect Republican wet dream.

          1. jgordon

            Don’t forget to mention also that voters are generally supportive of Bernie Sander’s anti-gun control positions. Even most Democrats who say they really care about it aren’t willing to have it affect their vote. Therefore the MSM’s insistence on harping on this fairly meaningless (to most people) side issue is a strong positive for Bernie.

        2. neo-realist

          The corporate media craft of a message of uber high taxes from subsidizing single payer and possible American economic ruin will be much more powerful if Sanders gets to the general election. The question is will the American people allow themselves to be manipulated to vote against their interested as in the past, e.g., W in particular, not that Kerry was all that great.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Kerry ignored economic issues and significantly under performed in blue collar areas and bungled foreign policy with his clownish embrace of “Democratic smart war.” Much was made of gay marriage, but that wasn’t why people didn’t turn out for Kerry. He didn’t give them a reason to turn out, and Kerry was still denounced as the love child of Ho Chi Minh.

            Threats of economic ruin don’t work when people think the system is corrupt.

          2. allan

            This morning, the WaPo article was titled
            `The 7 big issues in Sunday’s Democratic debate’.
            None of the issues were economic.
            The only domestic ones were gun control and energy/climate change.

            This afternoon, without any indication that changes were made,
            the article has been renamed
            `The 8 big issues in Sunday’s Democratic debate’,
            and now includes, tacked on at the end,
            8. Clinton’s ties to Wall Street.

            The URL has stayed the same:

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/17/the-7-big-issues-in-sundays-democratic-debate/

        3. annie

          but sanders supporters do not get their info–or passion–through tv or through nyt.
          none of them are watching meet-the-press. nor are they reading nyt etc except to marvel at and correct blatant bias.

      2. Rhondda

        After reading some comments here, I floated the idea of watching tonight’s ‘debates’ to my better half. He said, “Oh, I’d rather watch a monster movie, wouldn’t you? We just got The Night the Earth Exploded… I guess we could switch back and forth and see if there’s any difference.” I thought that was pretty funny.

      3. sleepy

        I certainly hope you’re right about Sanders winning. I will do my part soon in my state of Iowa.

        Having said that . . . . . . I can see Clinton losing Iowa and New Hampshire handily, then surging ahead down south. Remember, Bill became known as the Comeback Kid. I can already see that same pre-packaged media narrative with Hillary:

        “Despite early setbacks, or maybe because of them, Clinton’s legendary toughness and determination turn things around.”

        and:

        “Sanders offered prime time slot at convention”.

    4. Paul Tioxon

      Using my idiosyncratic anecdotal demand side economic model, I am seeing a surge of support by older, morbidly obese baby boomers based on the Bernie online retail store SOLD OUT OF 4XXL BERNIE HOODIES. Typical online stores sell swag for the skinny jeans set, the urban outfitter crowd, rarely venturing beyond the XL size. And we all know this is only MEN’S sizes, as women sizes start and stop around 0 or 2. And most telling, these are $55 a piece.

      That is a pretty steep price to pay for the mad as hell and not gonna take it demographic. The support for Trump by 50 and older males may be not has heralded as the 4XXL size apparel indicates. Closer observation of fulfillment centers will reveal the volatile putting your money where your mouth is predictive indicators. So far, overpriced over sized sold out apparel with candidates name embroidered is the leading indicator of this coveted most likely unemployed with time on their hands to attend rallies and show up to vote segment. Stay tuned.

      1. Rhondda

        Well, I must say I am not liking the unseen physique of the “hoodie man” in the email the Bernie folks sent me. It’s a booya! kinda man with his pecs pushed out. “Hey, you want a piece of me?” Aggressive invisible man body language. And now that I hear they’re out of my size. Well, that’s that, I guess.

        1. 3.14e-9

          Funny, I just saw it as wide shoulders, but then I’ve worked in menswear in department stores and take the mannequins for granted. I was joking about it running small, but in going back to look at the photo to respond to your comment, I think it actually is quite tight-fitting, which could be why they put it on a mannequin instead of laying it flat, as they did with the T-shirts. Some people like their hoodies to fit that way, but others (me) like them big and baggie. Based on the photo, I’d probably order this one a couple of sizes up.

    5. Anon

      Also, regarding the piece, there was this part that struck out at me:

      Several Clinton advisers are also regretting that they did not push for more debates, where Mrs. Clinton excels, to more skillfully marginalize Mr. Sanders over his Senate votes in support of the gun industry and the enormous costs and likely tax increases tied to his big-government agenda.

      Instead, Mrs. Clinton, who entered the race as the prohibitive favorite, played it safe, opting for as few debates as possible, which were scheduled at times when viewership was likely to be low — like this Sunday at 9 p.m. on a long holiday weekend.

      It’s almost as if they were catering towards her or as I believe Yves put it, being wrapped in tissue paper all of this time. I wish I would be able to catch the debate tonight.

      1. 3.14e-9

        It’s almost as if they were catering towards her

        Almost? This was a totally pro-Hillary article, attempting to disguise itself as criticism. Judging by the comments — as of this moment, 2, 468 of them — few are falling for it. The NYT editors evidently had trouble finding enough pro-Hillary comments for their “picks.”

        It seems to me there’s a pattern emerging of this type of article; i.e., pretending to be critical but in the end either defending her or attacking Sanders. Could this possibly be a new campaign strategy? Surely they’ve noticed that readers are seeing straight through the media bias, and it’s only helping Bernie.

        One of my favorite lines: … the Clintons are particularly concerned that her “rational message,” in the words of an aide, is not a fit with a restless Democratic primary electorate. Allies and advisers of the Clintons say Mr. Sanders is clearly connecting with voters through his emotional, inspiring rallying cry that the American economic and political systems are rigged for the wealthy and powerful. By contrast, Mrs. Clinton has laid out an ambitious policy agenda, but more recently has been stressing her electability and questioning the costs of Mr. Sanders’s ideas.

        So you see, it’s really not her fault. She’s just trying to be reasonable, while he’s an agitator. And it’s working, because voters just aren’t using their heads.

        On a related note, I’ve sifting through the e-mails and have found several instances of HRC’s staff feeding info to friendly reporters and chewing out those who wrote anything negative. Her chief of staff even personally called the PM designate of Haiti to complain about a quote in an AP story. He said he was misquoted, but HRC replied, “He needs to pull back statement asap before it causes damage to BC and IHRC” (the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, co-chaired by Bill Clinton). The next day, the sitting PM issued a press statement to fix it.

        There is no doubt in my mind that her campaign is using the same approach.

        .

        1. Micky9finger

          “Questioning the costs” I’ve heard this several times. Single payer- can’t afford it.
          Probably can’t afford free college education either. Can’t afford to fix infra-structure. Etc.
          Neo liberal econobabel.
          Just shows H. doesn’t understand macro- economics or the nature of the policy space afforded to a sovereign currency issuing state.
          That’s all we need. An economics illiterate as President. Next she will be trying to produce a surplus because debt. Someone please save us from the neo- liberals.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Yes, H who was the health care expert does not understand that the American health care system is twice as expensive as that of any other advanced economy, and delivers generally worse outcomes. Even if you grant the neoliberal framework, there are tons of costs to be wrung out of the system, but as we know, that would gore the oxen of the long-standing biggest industry donors in the Beltway.

  7. Dino Reno

    For the record, I will restate my hypothesis about peak oil consumption here as I did seven months ago when oil was $75 per barrel. Oil demand is stabilizing and headed lower for various reasons (alternatives, conservation, environment, etc.). Oversupply has outstripped demand due to malinvestment stimulated by Central Banks. Producers now realize, with at least 50 years of reserves in the ground and the current demand now seen in decline, they are sitting on a stranded resource and they are all simultaneously rushing to the exit. No one dares to speak this ultimate truth so they blame the greedy, stupid, politically-motivated overproducer on the other side of the world for the price decline. Citing the real reason would dry up credit and crash the market, but that is already happening. Loan losses could easily outstrip the MBS crisis because this crisis is global in nature. There is no relief in sight. Disrupting oil dependency is a good thing in the long run, but now the comes the hard part.

          1. optimader

            http://www.autonewschina.com/en/index.asp
            Late surge lifts 2015 light-vehicle sales 7.3%
            Automotive News China | 2016/1/15

            China’s 2015 light-vehicle deliveries rose 7.3 percent year on year to 21.1 million cars and trucks, thanks to a late sales surge triggered by the government’s purchase tax cut on small cars, reported the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In December, light-vehicle sales in China surged 18 percent from a year earlier to 2.44 million, according to the association.

              1. optimader

                Paul,
                I’m neither a porn consumer nor for that matter a “for fee” streaming video consumer (like Netflix), but not recognizing that the money sloshing around in the porn industry was significant enabler of the rollout of broadband video technology is to live in denial .
                Capiche?

                http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/10/07/cybersex-ascii-pinups-celebrity-fakes-how-the-internet-created-a-97-billion-porn-industry/#gref

                Porn driving technology

                Pornography is often credited as the fuel behind technological innovation, or at least as a major driving force behind technology adoption.

                It is often — not unfairly — blamed for many of the negatives of online life, such as pop-ups throwing hardcore images in the faces of unsuspecting Internet users, malware infecting our computers and, of course, that spam about penis enlargements, Viagra and busty women filling our inboxes. But porn has pioneered positive developments too.

                Do you stream video online? Most likely you do, without even really thinking about it. Porn companies were trying to perfect this technology long before the mainstream media, in order to offer live sex performers that could be streamed directly to consumers. Better tech meant better quality, which meant higher prices.

                Live chat, between porn consumers and performers, is the logical step up from this, and porn companies were driving this technology that we use almost daily today to conduct business and to stay connected with our loved ones. Performers could sell these one-on-one chats at high prices. It’s no wonder the industry pushed to perfect the technology.

                Some claim that we have porn to thank for the fast broadband connections that allow us to download large files in seconds and stay constantly connected. Whether or not that’s true, it is hard to argue that the adult industry didn’t help render dial-up difficult to use by advancing the state of media on the web.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One way out for these producers, for them to survive this Armageddon, is to buy into the retail market.

      Oil is still $3/gallon here.

      I bet phthalate prices are still holding firm.

      Or mergers with banks. The Age of Peak Greed isn’t over yet…not over by any stretch of the imagination.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Drug Overdoses Propel Rise in Mortality Rates of Young Whites New York Times

    “This is the smallest proportional and absolute gap in mortality between blacks and whites at these ages for more than a century,” Dr. Skinner said. If the past decade’s trends continue, even without any further progress in AIDS mortality, rates for blacks and whites will be equal in nine years, he said.

    There is a reason that blacks appear to have been spared the worst of the narcotic epidemic, said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a drug abuse expert. Studies have found that doctors are much more reluctant to prescribe painkillers to minority patients, worrying that they might sell them or become addicted.

    “The answer is that racial stereotypes are protecting these patients from the addiction epidemic,” said Dr. Kolodny….

    What a truly remarkable statement.

    Denial of “healthcare” based on racial prejudice and stereotyping is actually SAVING the lives of those the system has permission to refuse.

    There’s a lesson in there somewhere for the “lucky” white people who have unfettered access to all the best “healthcare” money can buy.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      20th and early 21st century medicine quackery.

      Dr. McCoy: Not put away your butcher knives and let me save this patient before it’s too late.

    2. cwaltz

      It’s interesting that the private practices are dealing with drug abuse this way. The publically run sector now drug tests those that they put on addictive medications. If you are put on medication for pain control, you have to agree to be tested. They can then look at your levels to ensure you aren’t selling or abusing the medication.

    3. 10leggedshadow

      The fact that pot is illegal is also a big factor in oxy/heroin addiction. This problem is not just confined to the white working class, it is epidemic among lots of white kids of all classes. It works like this. Pot stays in your system for 30 days, most people get drug tested to either get a job or to keep a job. Since they can’t smoke pot and they still want to get high, they do oxy which stays in your system for 2 or 3 days, the same with heroin. Much easier to pass a drug test, keep your job and still get your buzz on. The street cost of Oxys or percs is generally $1 per milligram, so a oxy 30 is $30. The longer you do them the more you need to get high. So a one pill a day habit will eventually turn into a many a pill a day habit. I’ve known some people who took 8 to 10 30 mg pills a day. This eventually becomes too expensive or the addict loses their job and they turn to heroin which you get a much bigger high for the buck with a $20 bag. This addiction eventually escalates as well. I remember reading somewhere that when Colorado legalized pot, oxy overdoses dropped. The other problem with hardcore heroin addicts is that eventually, they have to do so much, they no longer get the high and they have to take it just to feel normal. This is why heroin addicts refer to getting their fix as getting “well”. Oxy and heroin are physically addicting and withdrawal makes them very sick. It takes about 2 years of being clean for the addict to have a chance of staying clean long term. Even then it’s still a crap shoot because that craving for that rush of getting high never goes away. An addict even has to wean off of methadone and suboxone, both of which also get the user high.

    4. Oregoncharles

      There is such a thing as overtreatment (I just experienced it), including financially motivated overtreatment.

      I note that my spellcheck doesn’t agree – no such word.

  9. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re: The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship!

    Yanis Varoufakis has been traveling around Europe making this point in speeches and interviews. I’m aware that there are those who believe he is doing this to burnish his credibility after his stint as Finance Minister. But, frankly, whatever his motivations, he is doing a tremendous service getting this out there.

    I’ve posted this link to an interview with Varoufakis intended for a German audience before, but I’m posting it again so that readers can get a more fully elaborated description of what’s going on.

  10. ambrit

    Of even more interest is the underlying addiction precursor, lack of something positive to live for. Young males have been conditioned to gauge their worth by work; how much money earned and perceived status. Young minority males have always been told that their worth is low. Now it’s the turn of young white males.
    I remember when the White drug culture made at least a pretense of following a “Higher Calling.” Remember the Acid Tests, and various Transcendental movements? I do, some at first hand and others at second hand. Today? Now the culture seems seriously intent on the High part.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Remember the Acid Tests, and various Transcendental movements?’

      Those were fueled by entheogenic drugs (LSD, peyote, psilocybin, etc). This class of drugs seems to terrify the State the most. LSD chemists and dark web marketers (e.g. Silk Road) have been tracked down and put in the Gulag for life. They are penalized as harshly as murderers.

      From the standpoint of our cultural controllers, synthetic and natural opiates are much less likely to induce radicalism and revolution. Whatever mind expansion they offer is accompanied by physical inertia. These substances are still convenient vehicles to provide cash income to .gov agencies and keep the Gulag packed, but they don’t scare the .gov like the entheogens do.

      1. ambrit

        Yep. The American medical establishment still uses Morphine to do badly a job that Heroin can do better and cheaper.
        Taking a peek outside of the socially approved “box” has always been prohibited.

  11. allan

    Art market in ‘mania phase’ and risks bursting of the bubble [Guardian]

    After examining more than a million auction records from over 36 years, economics professors at the University of Luxembourg have concluded that the international art market is overheating, creating the potential for a “severe correction” in the postwar and contemporary and American segments. …

    Some parts of the market that have been subject to intense financial speculation – for example, the so-called “zombie formalism” painters, such as Jacob Kassay, Lucien Smith and Parker Ito, have already deflated dramatically.

    But Neo-Geo is as solid as JPMC’s balance sheet.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe the same will happen or have already happened to Chinese modern masters.

      $250,000 to $500,000 for one ink painting by Zhang Daqian?

      I have been told you could have picked one up in his house in Taibei in the early 70s for $1,000.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not, but this comparison seems or is easily mis-perceived as if he is the lesser of two evils.

      But it’s not.

      Sanders has a lot going for him.

  12. Dave

    That Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky, can pretend to represent the interests of average Americans in the health care world is hilarious.

    Here’s what you average folks need to do to get great health care:

    1. Have parents that are decca millionaires.

    2. Marry into a hedge fund billionaire’s family.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Most people bow when they meet their doctors.

      When a billionaire summons his/her doctor, it’s the doctor who bows.

    2. edmondo

      She has an MBA in Health Care Administration – she speaks ex cathedra on all health care-related matters.

      1. Romancing the Loan

        Chelsea Clinton and I were born on the same day. All the money and power anyone could ever want, and she…got an MBA in Health Care Administration? I no longer feel so bad about any squandering of my own potential that may or may not have gone on during the last twenty years.

      2. optimader

        in fact a very good degree. nothing wrong with it other than she apparently wasted someone else’s spot.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The GOP is a tad more enthralled to traditional industry such as the operations of the Koch brothers. Small businesses as a result receive more political attention from the GOP especially in the constituency outreach department whereas national Team Blue types tend to blow them off. Even when Democrats point out how stupid small business owners are, small business owners remember being blown off.

        Because of this Republicans have been able to raise money for smaller races earlier whereas Democrats tend to rely on a Wall Street October windfall.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Questioned in 1993 about whether her proposed health care withholding tax would devastate small companies, Hillary replied: “I can’t be responsible for every undercapitalized small business in America.”

          Every NFIB member old enough to remember Hillary’s la-di-da contempt for small merchants and service companies still seethes.

          I was so outraged that I went down to the county clerk’s office and changed my voter registration from Democratic to Independent. At that time, Hillary served as the greatest recruiting tool the R party ever had, as evidenced by their takeover of the House in 1994.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s not the policies, Team Blue has none except to call Wall Street. It’s the openly insulting nature of the Democratic elite, and then they have the nerve to call anyone who doesn’t worship them idiots.

            1. allan

              DNC chief: Debates scheduled to ‘maximize’ candidates’ exposure

              Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Sunday said she scheduled primary debates with the goal of maximizing media attention for the party’s presidential candidates. …

              She said scheduling more debates would “take away” from opportunities for voters to see candidates in person on the campaign trail.

              The Hill, not The Onion, in case you were wondering.

  13. jfleni

    RE: Cheap web cams can open permanent, difficult-to-spot backdoors into networks

    Yes, an expert can easily do the specified tricks; but an ordinary on/off switch, as well as physically blocked lenses and mikes, on the cheap camera can get foolproof protection. Looks like security nerds pushing their own act.

  14. Nikki

    Regarding the uses of Coumadin: Certain heart arrhythmias correlate with later stroke by means of traveling clots. Because the epidemiological evidence is clear Coumadin is prescribed prophylactically to this population. The other use that I know of is for deep vein thrombosis (leg clots), for treatment as well as maintenance therapy. In addition, a stent to collect any traveling clots might be installed in the neck. (DVT can be a signaler of malignancies, therefore cancer ought to be ruled out if DVT is diagnosed. Also note that a blood thinner is available via weekly shots. This might be a low molecular weight heparin, but here I am out of my depth, and guessing.)

    1. Brian

      also, Afib is often treated by coumadin. If afib conversion via electrode fails to get a normal sinus rhythm, blood thinners are prescribed for the reasons above. If the atrium is in fibrillation, The ventricles pump, but the blood isn’t forced in to fill them.

      1. JEHR

        I have been on blood thinners (heparin then warfarin) for nine years to prevent pulmonary embolism. I had a lung clot when I was 47 and took warfarin for a time. I asked my doctor if I could take aspirin instead which I did for 20 years. Then I got another pulmonary embolism (from travelling by air) and have been on warfarin ever since. It needs constant monitoring with monthly blood tests but if you don’t miss a dosage, it keeps blood from clotting. My main reason to worry is if I have to have surgery for any reason because going off the drug can cause clots especially in the legs. That’s my experience with this blooding thinning medication. It does not stop me from doing anything and I don’t see why Ms. Clinton couldn’t be Pres. I have noticed, however, that when she was Sec. of State, she looked very, very tired most of the time.

        1. cwaltz

          I would suspect that she would not be overwhelmingly limited since I have little to no doubt that an MD would be traveling with her to monitor her clotting. It’s not like the President wouldn’t reveive top notch health care(unlike the rest of us.)

          There are so many other reasons to oppose her than her health(for me personally anyway.)

    2. ewmayer

      Re. Deep vein thrombosis: I was tempted to make a snarky comment about Hillary actually taking the Coumadin for her cankles, and now I see I may have been on the right track.

      [Aside: Would that imply that Hill has actually been treating Bern as a “cankle biter?”]

  15. optimader

    http://www.theengineer.co.uk/graphene-brings-tuneable-properties-to-terahertz-devices/
    According to Manchester University, the introduction of tuneable properties thanks to graphene could also potentially increase internet bandwidth capabilities up to and beyond one terabyte per second.

    !!!
    A little back of the napkin figur’in:

    1,000 gigabits per second
    1,000,000 megabits per second
    1,000,000,000 kilobits per second
    1,000,000,000,000 bits per second
    125,000,000,000 bytes per second

    Assuming 1-1.5GB per hour for the data content of a HD feature length movie, that’s ~ 333 feature length (3 GB) movies (or 1MM one MB jpegs).

    That’s a lot of porn…

    1. low_integer

      one terabyte per second

      1 terabyte per second = 1000 gigabytes (1024 but 1000 is close enough) per second = … = 1×10^12 bytes per second = 8×10^12 bits per second (works out as 8.796×10^12 bits per second if 1024 is used for each stage).
      Not enough coffee?

      1. optimader

        1 terabyte per second = 1000 gigabytes for estimating, correct..

        For estimating figure typical HD movie is apprx 3GB of data & ~2hr duration (2hr*1.5 GB/hr = 3GB data). Therefore 1,000GB/sec/3GB/movie=333movie downloads/sec

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Enough to make, store (and play back) surveillance movies, one every two hours or so, with one film library for each citizen starring him/herself as the main protagonist and most of the time as the director as well, with the state as the cinematographer.

    1. Steve H.

      Two paradoxical outcomes at least. Team Clinton’s anti-effective use of their own power counts as perverse, at least from their perspective. But what about the doctor-race-death thing? “We’ll save you from yourselves, but that means that we don’t save who we do treat.” That’s seems perverse, but it’s weird in a Mother Teresa sort of way, in that inflicting pain and suffering may have achieved the stated ends of the agent, as far as the agent is concerned, but there’s a backend about who gets treatment which calls into question certain assumptions…

  16. Steven D.

    Mike Whitney’s Counterpunch piece explains clearly that Obama sacrificed the unemployed so that Wall Street could boom and bank shareholders would be untouched. It explains a lot of puzzling behavior by Obama and his administration.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To be fair, he’s not the only leader to have done so.

      Plenty of space at Mount GoldRushMore.

  17. giantsquid

    Re: Clinton surrogate to demand Sanders release medical records

    Here’s John Podesta’s twitter reaction to David Brock’s call for Sanders to release his medical records:

    “@davidbrockdc: Chill out. We’re fighting on who would make a better President, not on who has a better Physical Fitness Test”

    Smells a lot like Team Clinton’s in a panic.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Panic itself is a symptom or precursor of ill health.

      Is she going for a Pyrrhic victory?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Team Blue elites haven’t grasped the disconnect between themselves and the voters.

        The “Bernie is OLD” routine is just bizarre. Everyone can clearly see Bernie is old, but much like Obama supporters projected onto Obama, Clintonistas project too. They assume everyone is as shallow as they are.

        1. cwaltz

          I actually told my kids that we’ll be electing the grumpy ol’ “get off my lawn” guy if we elect Bernie. They thought that was hysterical particularly since they’ve seen him and his arm gestures.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              And while they make her up to look great for the debates (and you can take 10-20 years off on TV with the right make-up and lighting)), she looks if anything more aged than Bernie in most photos.\.

    1. barrisj

      Give a little, take a little…it’s all about provoking Iranian government hardliners and mullahs to question and/or oppose further concessions to the West. Just keep the pot boiling, who really cares about Middle East peace in the US?

    1. ambrit

      Taken to its’ logical extreme, anyone not ‘in the money’ can be denied anything. This could be a trial run for the New World Trade Organization Medical Efficiency Fitness Test.

  18. barrisj

    BTW, in yet another demonstration of self-indulgent squillionaire exceptionalism, the execrable Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin “space rocket” company is out trying to shake down WA communities to give him huge “incentives” to site the rocket mfrg. plant locally. How this POS can demand concessions for his personal self-indulgence is just beyond the pale…this guy, Elon Musk, Richard Branson…they are pursuing expensive hobbies and want public subsidies to offset costs…send in the sappers!

    http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/bezoss-blue-origin-seeks-tax-incentives-to-build-rocket-engines-here/

  19. Vatch

    Six Responses to Bernie Skeptics Robert Reich. It says a lot about how well the Clintons treat people who do their dirty work, like pimping for Nafta, that Reich is campaigning so hard against Hillary.

    I’m impressed by Reich’s most recent book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few. It’s not at all intimidating, unlike some economics books. It’s one of the books that can be recommended to a person who isn’t yet convinced that things are as bad as we at NC know they are. Reich has a very easy-going style, and he tries to be very diplomatic when describing some really bad behavior by oligarchs and their agents, so he won’t automatically turn away someone who has a disputatious personality. It’s not necessary to read the book from cover to cover. A person can dive into just about any chapter and learn something valuable; I particularly like chapters 11 and 12.

      1. Vatch

        Reich’s views on globalization seem to have changed somewhat over the past few years. He is adamantly opposed to the TPP, for example. Do a web search for:

        “Robert Reich” TPP

        and you’ll see this. In his book he is critical of the level of outsourcing that has been occurring in the United States.

        Here’s a sentence from the last paragraph of the NC article to which you refer:

        I hope journalists will ask Reich if he supports the TPP and the US-Europe trade deal. Reich could redeem his record and show he is fully on board for reversing the fallen position of the American middle class by taking a principled stand against these pacts.

        I don’t know whether he’s written anything about the TTIP (the US-Europe trade deal), but that is still in an earlier stage than the TPP is. His opposition to the TPP demonstrates that he’s at least partly satisfied the conditions specified in the NC article.

  20. bob

    Random pol thought-

    What if hillz can’t get the nomination, like last time, but still holds the reins. What would her price be this time? Sec state last time.

    T- sec Hillz?

    1. bob

      Monument of steve jobs added right next to, and glaring down at Lincoln.

      “he’s sitting; what a waste of productivity!”

  21. ewmayer

    o Re. China to land probe on dark side of moon in 2018: Xinhua | Reuters — common science error here: It’s not the “dark” side anymore than the side facing us (thanks to gravitational tidal-locking) is the “bright side”. The correct term is the Gary-Larsonesque “far side of the moon”. (Sorry, Pink Floyd — still a great album, though.)

    o Re. Electile Dysfunction 2016: The local Nitwitness News™ (channel 4, KRON) in the SF Bay Area this evening was shilling hard for Hillary — their synopsis of tonight’s Dem debate was in the form of covering a Hillary watch party at a local high-end pub on the peninsula – “including two superdelegates!” – and their coverage of the race consisted of showing a full-screen graphic of a WSJ poll which put Dem-primary voter support for Hillary at 59%, versus just 34% for Bernie. (They did mention at the very end the polls which had Bernie doing better vs Trump, though). Nice little bit of Dem-establishment echo-chambering there.

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