Links 1/9/16

Firehouse Loses a Spotted Symbol of Healing New York Times

I Bet You’ve Never Seen This Many Goddamn Bats Motherboard. Way more exciting to see them up close, as I did in a bat cave in Bali. But more risk of getting bat poo on you.

Oregon Patriots Occupied My Butt The Worst Things for Sale

‘Plot to kidnap one of Obama’s dogs’ stopped by police BBC. Calling this a “plot” greatly overstates the caliber of the effort.

What are your greatest regrets? Survey unearths heartbreaking answers Independent (Chuck L). Weirdly, I can’t relate to this. That may be because, due to my inability to get along to get along, I’ve wound up doing the “to thine own self be true” thing to a fault. Independence does not come cheap. I have many many ways in which I am not satisfied with myself. But I don’t frame them as regrets.

Largest ever ‘age map’ traces galactic history BBC (David L)

An hour-by-hour look at how a conspiracy theory becomes ‘truth’ on Facebook Washington Post

Defense Lawyers Claim FBI Peddled Child Porn in Dark Web Sting Motherboard (guurst) Suit alleges that the FBI’s sting made it the biggest distributor of child porn, and there’s no law enforcement or statutory exemption for distributing child porn. Oops.

New Health Advice for Britons: No More Than Six Pints a Week New York Times

Nation’s first vegan butcher shop to open in Minneapolis StarTribune (Chuck L)

Mr. Market is Stil Having a Nervous Breakdown

Dow Drops, Sliding at Close to Cap Worst-Ever Start to Year Wall Street Journal

World’s Richest Lose $194 Billion In First Trading Week of 2016 Bloomberg

A frail global economy caught in China’s tumble Financial Times


The control quagmire Economist

29 minutes that shook the world Financial Times

China’s Obsolete Economic Strategy New York Times. The editorial board is chewing out China! But complaining about their 2008 stimulus is wrongheaded. It was widely cited at the time as a far better response to the crisis than the US made…and that’s before you get to the fact that we caused it.

Guest post: Peter Doyle on China FT Alphaville. Important. Saw this after NYT op-ed. Great discussion of policy constraints. And consider this:

The true global impact of the post Lehmans and Euro Crises on the world has been masked by the Chinese credit boom post 2009. Though China may intone that in various spheres (environment, financial, etc), its not ready for full global leadership, just imagine what the post Lehmans world and the Euro Crisis would have looked like to date, absent the Chinese credit boom. China’s role has been pivotal

China Heightens the Contradictions Bloomberg

China’s consumer inflation up just 1.6% Financial Times. The subhead tells the real story: “Producer price inflation falls 5.9% year on year in December.”

France’s FN election success Le Monde Diplomatique (Sid S)

Over 200 Members of German Choir Were Abused, Investigator Says New York Times

Refugee Crisis

Merkel considers tougher migrant laws BBC

Merkel’s refugee plan in danger: Erdogan does not know what the EU wants Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachtrichten (guurst). See German original here.

Shitstorm on Facebook: “This belongs also to the pubic” WDR (guurst). See German original here.


The Bizarre Need to Take Sides and Our Foreign Policy Debates American Conservative (resilc)

Shocking: ISIS Attacks On Libyan Oil Facilities Visible from Space OilPrice

Clausewitz Would Not Like America’s Islamic State Strategy War on the Rocks (resilc)

ISIS Militant Kills Mother on Group’s Orders, Activists Say New York Times


Trump Rally in Vermont Disrupted Repeatedly by Protesters Voice of America

Donald Trump wants you to pay more for smartphones, TVs and a lot else Yahoo

Jeb Bush wants to end food stamps. Slate (furzy)

Will the GOP Strip & Flip the 2016 Election? Reader Supported News. Note that Obama in 2008 had a massive poll-watching operation to impede election fraud. I recall it being described at the time as “the biggest one-day law firm in history.”

Democratic debate criteria might keep Martin O’Malley from stage Yahoo

Clinton Email Hints that Oil an Gold Were Behind Regime Change In Libya George Washington

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott calls for constitutional convention. Slate

Arrest Governor Snyder Michael Moore (furzy). A great if sad letter, and I urge you to sign the petition.


1 killed, 2 hurt in shooting blocks from mayor’s home Chicago Tribune. A shootout.

Wal-Mart sued over sale of bullets used in Pennsylvania murders Reuters (EM)

The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare New York Times

Muslim students take on Islamophobia: Next protest movement in the making? Christian Science Monitor (furzy mouse)

Is $20 Oil A Possibility? OilPrice

Multiple Jobholders Artificially Boost “Full-Time” Employment: Does the Sum of the Parts Equal the Whole? Michael Shedlock (EM) versus…

The Most Important Message in the December Job Figures New Yorker (furzy)

Martin Shkreli Is Worth At Least $45 Million Gawker. Chuck L: “In terms of character, like many of his peers, Shkreli isn’t worth shit.”

Ratings Agencies Still Coming Up Short, Years After Crisis Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Important. The SEC issued a damning report…on December 28.

Class Warfare

In Supreme Court labor case, echoes of gay marriage fight Reuters (EM)

Uber to Drop Prices in 80 Cities in the U.S. and Canada Bloomberg. As some pointed out, the plan for Uber was clearly to establish a strong enough position to become dominant, and then squeeze drivers.

Airbnb lets you vacation in illegal West Bank settlements 972Mag (Alan C)

Antidote du jour (Rajesh):

blue herons links

And a bonus video antidote from Phil P:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    ‘Plot to kidnap one of Obama’s dogs’ stopped by police BBC. Calling this a “plot” greatly overstates the caliber of the effort.

    Agents say he made several outlandish claims during his arrest, including that he intended to run for president. (I fail to see what is so outlandish – I would say he is better than half the repub candidates, and equivalent to the remainder)
    He also said he was the son of former President John F Kennedy and actress Marilyn Monroe, according to court documents. (I don’t think we can definitively rule it out…until we get some dna swabs)

  2. fresno dan

    What are your greatest regrets? Survey unearths heartbreaking answers

    It is probably a good thing that one will not know the happiest moment of one’s life, when it occurs…

    1. diptherio

      Reminds me of a verse from that Dan Bern song Tiger Woods:

      I had a friend who’s goal in life
      was to one day go down on Madonna.
      That’s all he wanted, that was all,
      to one day go down on Madonna.
      And when my friend was 34
      he got his wish in Rome one night.
      In Rome one night in some hotel
      he got to go down on Madonna.
      And ever since he’s been depressed
      ’cause life is sh*t from here on in.
      And all his friends just shake their heads
      and say, “too soon, too soon, too soon
      he went down on Madonna too soon.”

      1. susan the other

        Like the lament in No Country for Old Men when Tommy Lee Jones is talking (up his Oscar) with his girlfriend and she sympathizes with him as he tells her that he now dreams of his long dead father tho’ his father is younger than he is in real life terms but somehow he still needs his father’s support. Clearly it does not exist for him. He’s on his own.

    2. Inverness

      Regrets are something of a trap, because it’s possible you’ll always regret whatever it is you did. The guy who regrets not committing to the performing arts, instead of an office job? That could have been another regret he had. I’m reminded of a line from Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” about how nostalgia is appealing because life is inherently unsatisfying.

      1. Antifa

        The last couple years of neuroscience research has shown the fallacy of the idea that dopamine is a pleasure neurotransmitter in the brain. It isn’t — it’s the motivating chemical, the brain chemical that gets us up and after some thing, some state of being, some prize.

        It motivates us through fear as well, which is the active desire to avoid unpleasant experiences. It also helps us gauge how close we came to gaining our desired experience, which often drives us to try again. This is directly behind addiction and dependence, which is better described as irrational perseverance behavior. Like scratching an itch — it’s not a pleasure, it’s relief. Urges to repeat addictive behavior are like an itch in the brain. We seek relief even knowing it will only itch all the more later on for our effort. Ya gotta scratch.

        In the life of our brain, which is our life, pleasure only comes occasionally and sparingly. It’s not like it is on TeeVee, where people instantly become deleriously happy because they just bought salad in a styrofoam bowl for only 99 cents. The chemicals behind pleasure are natural cannibinoids and endocannibinoids released by the brain quite sparingly. The pleasure reward is not from dopamine. Dopamine is what got you up and chasing some future pleasure, however you visualize it. I hope it’s not that salad.

        The life of our brain is a process of satisfying urges, chasing desires, pursuing goals, working toward, fighting for, going and getting. Any passing or profound pleasure we gain from all that is usually brief, and not reliably repeatable. You can only climb Mt. Everest for the first time once, or receive your Ph.D for the first time once. And by the time you get what you wanted, neither you nor the goal is the same as when you started. Chasing the dragon through drugs is reported, by addicts, to be just a chore after that first glorious experience. The pleasure stays beyond reach, and the habit is just seeking temporary relief from an overpowering urge.

        And then there’s the universal experience of the human species, that once you’ve gained something you wanted, you already want something more, or something else. Always something to work toward, with no guarantee you’ll get there, or like it when you get it. This continues until you’re all worn out.

        Science backs you up — life is basically unsatisfying.

        1. craazyboy

          Economists get severe depression if they just bought salad in a styrofoam bowl for only 99 cents. How weird is that?

        2. Petter

          Roy Baumeister (of Willpower fame, it’s been translated to Norwegian, yay), in his book The Meanings of Life (not translated) discusses the The Myth of Fulfillment and the Myth of Permanence. Sometime in the future we will reach our goals, we’ll be fulfilled and that it will last. Myths they are.

    3. juneau

      I remember, after committing a lamentable error, I asked a colleague what I should do? How to proceed after the attempted clean up of my error.
      His response was “keep making more mistakes!”. One of the kinder things I have heard in my life.

      1. Inverness

        That also applies to education. Students have grown much too risk-averse. I’ve worked with a lot of wealthy students whose parents either wrote, or hired tutors to write their papers, which is a terrible thing to impose on your child:” I do not trust you to produce quality work.” No, mistakes are needed. But this form of capitalism is all about making you feel insecure, all the time.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When you shoot an arrow, be the arrow.

      Be in the zone, lose oneself, empty the mind. Stop asking, ‘am I having fun’ or ‘is this miserable?’

      When someone slaps one on one’s right cheek,

      1. one can slap back
      2. offer the left cheek
      3. continue on unaware, until another person says, ‘that guy just slapped you,’ and you say, ‘huh? What happened?

      Of course, had that guy stabbed you, you’d have screamed in agony and done something about it.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Tangentially, one of the Business Memes of yesteryear (at least at that doofus retail entity, West Marine Inc. WMAR, where I did a ten year stint as “associate” and “assistant store manager”): “Be the ball!” In that context, it meant us minimum wage mopes were to ping around the store or warehouse like some frenetic Minion, “adding value” with every movement, every waking breath and every thought. (And burn our “paid time off” to reach the 32 hour minimum for health and other benefits, hardly any present employees get those there now).

        This was during the days, maybe 17 years ago, of “Management By Intimidation,” remember that? The district manager did not take kindly to my cynical observation, that “the ball” is the object that is batted, hit, struck, battered, blasted, crushed, holed, clobbered, gets the stuffing knocked out of it or gets knocked out of the park. And why, I asked, should I ever want to “be the ball”?

        One way to shorten job duration…

      2. DJG

        Agreed, MLTPB. Also agreeing with Yves:
        –Weirdly, I can’t relate to this. That may be because, due to my inability to get along to get along, I’ve wound up doing the “to thine own self be true” thing to a fault. Independence does not come cheap. I have many many ways in which I am not satisfied with myself. But I don’t frame them as regrets.–

        I have been a free lance for most of the past 25 years. Making one’s own decisions as to career and finances involves opportunities and mistakes but not regrets. (I’ll define regret as recycled emotions, something like resentment, but more nostalgic and less toxic.) Not going along to get along is a major revelation, but most people avoid striking out even a bit from the well-trod path. People don’t insist on finding meaningful work, which leads to a meaningful adult life (and emotion).

        And it helps to sing along now and again to Edith Piaf’s immortal rendition of Je Ne Regrette Rien.

    5. susan the other

      My greatest regrets are as dumb as I am. I think, every night actually, that it was a miracle I even survived. How could I be so stupid and still stagger through? Then I think, almost every night in consecutive order like I’m debriefing myself, that everybody else is certainly as dumb as I am. Then I think compassionately: if we only still had our future memories we would all be wise and secure.

  3. Steve H.

    -The Most Important Message in the December Job Figures
    ‘To repeat something that I’ve often said, it’s important not to get too exercised about one month’s figures.’

    And then he does.

    Looking through the FRED graphs, there’s not much there, and breaking out the demographics there’s an inverse relation between education and job. In fact, the only group with a real spike is the 16..19 year-olds, and aren’t they supposed to be in High School?

    1. Steve H.

      The sparse use of red, the story with the fur coats interacting with working officers… Note that the photoshopped images focus on the man in blue, how he floats in his own space. But those fail to get the true moral center of the image, in the midst of the hullabaloo is the lone bottle of beer, nearly full, sedate and upright…

    2. ewmayer

      That prescription for moderation is easier to take in the UK than the US, as their pints are a generous 20ozs as opposed to our stingy Yankee 16-ouncers.

      1. cyclist

        And related to the crapification of everything, some of those 16 oz pints turn out to be more like 14 oz when actually measured. BTW, when I lived in the UK, it was not considered rude to ask the bartender to top off your pint if they gave you too much foam (it was 20 oz at the rim). Euro glasses might have a line below the rim showing 0.33 L , etc.

  4. fresno dan

    Ratings Agencies Still Coming Up Short, Years After Crisis Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Important. The SEC issued a damning report…on December 28.

    I remember years ago I read a study – I printed it out but lost it when I moved. Essentially, it took all the government versus private bonds and discovered that government bonds had equal rating even though the actual default/loss rate was about 10 times less. Apparently this was done because everyone would buy munis (and therefore rise the interest rate of corporates) and the amount in fees the agencies could make would be an order of magnitude less.

    Its hard to believe in all the free market bull when there is indisputable evidence that these people (bond sellers – but you know, the bond buyers appear to be even stupider) just don’t know what they’re doing….and to the extent that they know what they are doing, its to screw bond buyers.
    But if “rational man” really was part of the market, why would anyone who really is rational, trust a bond rating, when anybody buying bonds should know that the bond seller buys the rating?

    1. griffen

      It is definitely part of the bond buyers duty to process thoroughly the investment decisions. That being said, the rating agencies are allowed repeatedly to prove their ineptness and not pay the cost of those mistakes.

      Out of many thoughts I had following 2008, regarding to either moody or s&p a key thought was something must change here. It hasn’t.

      1. Brian

        I think, and that is not without its own issues, that reliance upon rating agencies, trusted advisors, people in the know, the licensed professional, the government, the guru….. means you have abrogated your due diligence and let “someone else” do your thinking. Perhaps you have to be old to realize that NEWS of all kinds used to be based upon who, what, where, when, why and how.
        News has become only opinion spewed by those various pieholes that were reviled by people that respected the code of what news is about. Think at your own peril.

        1. LifelongLib

          If somebody “fixes” my roof, and it still leaks, I know they didn’t do a good job even though I don’t know how to do that job myself. But many things (like financial ones) are so obscure and chancy that a non-professional may not be able to even evaluate the professionals’ performance…

  5. Inverness

    On the ISIS militant who kills his mother. He was 21 years of age. If you look at Mao’s Red Guard, or Hitler youth, they were, by design, either adolescents or young adults. In Nazi Germany, and Stalin’s USSR, children betrayed their parents, so convincing was the propaganda against certain groups (kulaks, intellectuals, bourgeois types, etc). So as horrifying as it is to read about someone executing his mother, there are certainly historical precedents of violent youth betraying family members for a cause.

    1. Steve H.

      I misplaced a reply (see below), relevant to youth in violent situations.

      While not of ideological violence against parents, it shows how easy it is to guide the young to sweet horror. If ever their indoctrination fades as they age and understand more, their collusion is complete and unalterable.

      1. Inverness

        Well, that’s an image! People’s brains don’t fully mature until they are 25, making them prone to more impulsive behaviour. I do recall this argument being used by the younger Boston marathon bomber’s defense attorney.

        1. Antifa

          My drill sergeant sure as heck knew this. He got us poor sods to do any crazy thing he asked of us. And then ask him for some more.

          1. James Levy

            Historian Gwynne Dyer, a military vet, said that all studies indicate that the best soldiers are men in their late 20s with average intelligence and above average mechanical aptitude, Almost any 28 year old makes a better soldier than an 18 year old. But, he said, although you can get the 28 year old to do everything well you can’t get him to like it and buy into it. The 18 year old can often be convinced that it’s all a big, fun adventure and do whatever it is you tell them.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Wonder if there is any motivation-acceptance difference between 18 year old voters and 28 year old voters?

              Or 18 year old college students and 40 year old college students?

              Though the question regarding voters seems moot, as we don’t ask, are some voters better voters, and some not-so-better voters? Unless we are talking about partisan voters. All (Republican or Democratic) voters are better voters!!!

    2. Michael

      If you read the article, both the son and the mother were Alewites, considered apostates and subject to various punishments by ISIS.

      There are so many factors at play, but it’s not difficult to imagine the son joining primarily out of interest in his survival or because there are literally no opportunities for him. Of course, he’s also young and susceptible to all sorts of stuff and could be getting carried away in revolutionary fervor. These factors are not mutually exclusive.

      It is quite possible that had he not killed his mother that both he and his mother were about to be killed. He is an ethnic minority in a group that may be questioning his commitment. These kinds of tests, even if not so awful as this, are fairly common.

      There’s a lot of speculation here, but it seems to me that the public forum puts a lot of pressure on the situation and the “correct” decision from the standpoint of the combined survival chances of both his mother and him is possibly to kill her.

    3. LifelongLib

      Dunno. In “Hitler’s Willing Executioners” Daniel Goldhagen points out that one of the major German groups tasked with killing Jews was composed of middle-aged men considered unfit for military service. And it was a volunteer force — they could opt out without penalty. Plenty chose to participate anyway.

  6. Barmitt O'Bamney

    I don’t read German, but I’m sure the article, as mistranslated by google, surely obscures more than it clarifies. It’s not that Erdogan doesn’t know what the EU wants, it’s that he doesn’t give a damn. He is blackmailing the EU with his program of funneling ME/Islamic migrants into Europe’s underbelly. He hasn’t been paid in full and even when he is, the blackmailing will continue. He doesn’t want 3 billion Euro, he wants 3 billion Euro installments on a continuing basis. He wants Turkey in the EU as well so he can export all of Turkey’s problems to them.

    Europe’s elites are not good-natured in their misunderstanding of the situation: after all, the reason they want the migrants to flood across their borders is to crush their own workers with a new reserve army of unemployed, and to crash what’s left of the post-WWII European welfare state. What they are -in addition to evil- is fatally senile. I pray they are removed by the peoples of Europe as quickly as possible, and their scheme of a undemocratic European superstate ruled by German bankers and industrialists is broken and destroyed.

    1. guest

      That is about right. The article’s gist is:
      (a) The EU suspects that Turkey is doing nothing to stem the flow of refugees to Europe.
      (b) Turkey wants to get paid before undertaking any serious measures.
      (c) The EU has paid nothing so far and will not pay anything in the foreseeable future, because Eastern European countries refuse to be liable for the bill and no agreement about cost sharing is in sight.

      I just do not understand how Google Translate mucked up the title so badly. The original is “Merkels Flüchtlings-Plan in Gefahr: Erdogan macht nicht, was die EU will” which is properly translated by “Merkel’s plan regarding refugees in jeopardy: Erdogan is not doing what the EU wants”.

    2. OIFVet

      Spot on. Erdogan is nothing more than a racketeer, and the EU in its present form is toxic to the welfare of Europeans. Unfortunately a lot of Euro liberals (US usage of liberals) have settled for a lesser evilism sort of justification for supporting the status quo. A friend from the Netherlands is quite representative: “But Marine Le Pen is worse! The EU did a lot of good things back in the day!” Well, so did Roosevelt’s Democratic party, but we all know what the Dems are like today. And Marine Le Pen’s rise is mostly the result of the Euro “left” turning into a bunch of neoliberals, whose old base finds Le Pen’s and Orban’s economic populist message quite attractive compared to the neoliberal status quo.

  7. Steve H.

    My wife says this image changed me:

    May 2, 2014

    {edit: meant for Inverness at 9:48}

  8. allan

    “Arrest Governor Snyder”. Couldn’t agree more.
    This is a slow-motion Bhopal, destroying lives through austerity, that will play out over decades.

    But Gov. Snyder has a better idea:

    Governor Rick Snyder says he would like to give Flint’s mayor “more authority.”

    Flint has been under state oversight since 2011, when Snyder appointed the first of four emergency managers to run the city. The last emergency manager left in April 2015.

    But this week, after meeting with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver about the city’s drinking water crisis, Snyder suggested it’s time to move closer to local control.

    1. polecat

      I would think of Gov. Jerry Brown as running for second place!……….By the way,…..does anyone know if it is true that she has,or had a financial stake in the co. who is responsible for the blown nat gas well in Aliso Canyon……?

        1. lightningclap

          Not that it really matters, but the article states that Kathleen Brown (not the Guv, his sister) is on the board.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It sure looks like an elk but I didn’t know what kind. Thanks for the tidbit. I don’t label the YouTubes.

      Very very handsome animal.

  9. vidimi

    vegan butchershop is just about the most hipster concept ever. back in the day, they had fruit and veg vendors.

    1. Inverness

      The first one in North America was in Toronto. The veggie burgers there are quite good, although pricey. Calling it a butcher shop does sound silly, but they are not just selling fruits and vegetables, but a lot of cooked, vegan foods. Basically, it’s a glorified health food deli.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We are spared more graphic names, like vegetable death camps or fruit extermination camps.

        “Put all the potatoes in that pot and let them die together.”

              1. OIFVet

                Well, it was cage-free for a few moments before it was butchered. Hence it was technically “cage-free.” Techicalities are 99/100ths of the law! I am off to butcher some feta right now.

    2. GlobalMisanthrope

      It’s not a “hipster concept” or even an original one. It’s Asian. There’s a vegetarian restaurant called Quan Yin in Houston’s Chinatown that has been serving all kinds of fake meat and fish for at least 25 years. These kids are probably well aware and have just given it a spin that capitalizes on hipster trends. Good thinking.

  10. TarheelDem

    The Blumenthal-Clinton email is interesting.

    The alliance intervened March 21, 2011. This email on April 2, 2011 is telling Secretary of State Clinton (for the first time?) what Sarkozy’s reason for war is. The public view was that Sarkozy was politically scared that a refugee crisis would enable a Front National victory and that stopping the violence against civilians would stem the flood of refugees from Libya into Italy.

    The full text of the memo as released in the State Department FOIA area

    This memo points to a practice of Hillary Clinton doing back-channel cross-checking intelligence gathering through the FOH network. Whose work was she checking after the decision to commit forces had been made?

    The other issue was the location of Qadhafi’s gold reserves in-country and the estimated amount. The West had impounded most out-of-country Libyan reserves prior to the decision to commit forces.

  11. JTMcPhee

    Regarding public comment period on the TPP: This is the header from the announcement of the public comment period:

    “Review of Employment Impact of the Trans Pacific Partnership,” [comma in original]

    So anyone wanting to comment is largely wasting their time with a broadside on all the many other aspects of this yoking of the (soon to be former) nations and their peoples to the Juggernaut of corporate dominance and rule. However satisfying that may feel. Anything other than very particular well-supported documented comments directed to the employment impact will be dismissed out of hand. And as to the notion that a flood of anger and intimations of reaction by the mopery to the imposition of this phase of Skynet might affect the “resolve” of these vermin to charge ahead, “A fig for your opinion.” This is barely a pro forma exercise in notice-and-comment rulemaking –just another fig leaf of faux “legitimization” by recourse to one of the once significant pieces of the “rule of law.” Which will itself disappear into insignificance in the face of the burgeoning “rule by fiat.” Out of the gate, the TPP and the rest are not even “rules” under the Administrative Procedures Act, just power whimsies by our Lords and Masters, so the requirements for supported rulemaking consistent with a statutory grant of delegated authority don’t even apply. Nor do the standards of review of such actions, like “arbitrary and capricious” and “not in accordance with law” and that silly quaint notion, “unconstitutional.”

    Here’s the text of the salient part of the notice:


    Notice of intent to conduct an employment impact review of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and request for comments.

    The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Labor (DOL), through the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), are initiating an employment impact review of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. USTR is seeking public comments on the impact of the TPP Agreement on U.S. employment, including labor markets.

    Written comments are due by Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

    Written comments should be submitted electronically via the Internet at If you are unable to provide submissions at, please contact Yvonne Jamison, TPSC, at (202) 395-3475, to arrange for an alternative method of transmission.
    For Further Information Contact

    For procedural questions concerning written comments, contact Yvonne Jamison at (202) 395-3475. All other questions should be directed to Greg Schoepfle, Director, Office of Economic and Labor Research, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-4887 or Lewis Karesh, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Labor, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20508, telephone (202) 395-3330.
    Supplementary Information
    1. Background

    On November 5, 2015, consistent with Trade Promotion Authority (Title I of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, Pub. L. 114-26) (19 U.S.C. 4201 et seq.) (“the Act”), the President notified Congress of his intent to enter into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Also on November 5, 2015, USTR requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) prepare a report as specified in section 105(c)(2)-(3) of the Act assessing the likely impact of the TPP Agreement on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. On November 17, 2015, the USITC announced that it was instituting an investigation of the likely impact of the TPP Agreement on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers.

    2. Employment Impact Review

    Section 105(d)(2) of the Act directs the President to “(A) review the impact of future trade agreements on United States employment, including labor markets, modeled after Executive Order No. 13141 (64 FR 63169) to the extent appropriate in establishing procedures and criteria; and (B) submit a report on such reviews to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate at the time the President submits to Congress a copy of the final legal text of an agreement pursuant to section 106(a)(1)(E).” USTR and DOL are conducting the employment impact review through the TPSC.

    Comments may be submitted on potentially significant sectoral or regional employment impacts in the United States as well as other likely labor market impacts of the TPP Agreement. Persons submitting comments should provide as much detail as possible in support of their submissions.
    3. Requirements for Submissions

    Persons submitting written comments must do so in English and must identify (on the first page of the submission) “TPP Employment Impact Review.”

    In order to ensure the timely receipt and consideration of comments, USTR strongly encourages commenters to make on-line submissions, using the Web site. To submit comments via, enter docket number USTR-2015-0012 on the home page and click “search.” The site will provide a search-results page listing all documents associated with this docket. Find a reference to this notice and click on the link entitled “Comment Now!” (For further information on using the Web site, please consult the resources provided on the Web site by clicking on “How to Use This Site” on the left side of the home page.)

    The Web site allows users to provide comments by filling in a “Type Comment” field, or by attaching a document using an “Upload File” field. USTR prefers that comments be provided in an attached document. If a document is attached, it is sufficient to type “See attached” in the “Type Comment” field. USTR prefers submissions in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). If the submission is in an application other than those two, please indicate the name of the application in the “Type Comment” field.!documentDetail;D=USTR-2015-0012-0001

    Anyone wanting to actually comment and even get the most scanty attention to their comment in the administrative process needs to also read the “Tips For Submitting Effective Comments” .pdf, at If you read through that piece, it’s clear that you better be as knowledgeable as the lobbbyist fokkers who get paid the big bucks to know the entire textual and formal context of the whole, ugly rotten process.

    The Tips start off with a summary that ought to be well understood:

    A comment can express simple support or dissent for a regulatory action. However, a constructive, information-rich comment that clearly communicates and supports its claims is more likely to have an impact on regulatory decision making.
    These tips are meant to help the public submit comments that have an impact and help agency policy makers improve federal regulations.
     Read and understand the regulatory document you are commenting on
     Feel free to reach out to the agency with questions
     Be concise but support your claims
     Base your justification on sound reasoning, scientific evidence, and/or how you will be impacted
     Address trade-offs and opposing views in your comment
     There is no minimum or maximum length for an effective comment
     The comment process is not a vote – one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand form letters

    Detailed explanations of the bullet points follow. As one who used to play lawyer in federal notice-and-comment rulemaking, I am appalled but not surprised how far the process has been corrupted even from the corruption of regulatory capture and fake “consideration” in the Reagan era.

    The last Tips paragraph reads,

    Form Letters

    Organizations often encourage their members to submit form letters designed to address issues common to their membership. Organizations including industry associations, labor unions, and conservation groups sometimes use form letters to voice their opposition or support of a proposed rulemaking. Many in the public mistakenly believe that their submitted form letter constitutes a “vote” regarding the issues concerning them. Although public support or opposition may help guide important public policies, agencies make determinations for a proposed action based on sound reasoning and scientific evidence rather than a majority of votes. A single, well-supported comment may carry more weight than a thousand form letters.

    Gee, and who writes those single, well-supported comments, by and large? Not the mopes…

    And there’s lots more in the documents for anyone wanting to augment their skepticism about how much effect the vox populi can and will have in this “process…” This is all about power, what a surprise. more proof, to me at least, that “our global political economy” is most likely going to succumb to a vast, metastasized, terminal malignancy.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Actually, I suspect the most likely to be effective are expletive-laden (or even dignified) rants.

      What they really want to know is: how many people are really angry about this? Angry enough to vote differently, perhaps?

      Politicians respond well to threats to their livelihood.

      1. different clue

        Hopefully some politicians also respond to threats to their ego-identity as a politician. Those that do respond to such threats . . . can be motivated to reject TTP, etc.

        Those politicians strictly concerned with their livelihood will be rewarded-for-life in return for supporting TTP, etc. So their mere livelihood can’t even BE threatened. At least, not threatened by US.

        Now, if there were a huge movement of millions cohering over years and decades to track ex-politicians through every post-political job and boycott their places of work into firing those post-politicians, or into going extinct if they won’t fire those post-politicians . . . and that movement keeps its focus very narrow on support or opposition to FTEs . . . then perhaps such a movement really would be able to threaten politicians’ actual livelihoods ( including collecting rewards-after-office for things done while-in-office. THAT kind of threat to politician livelihoods might really scare reward-seekers into doing what we want on TTP instead of doing what they hope will get them a private sector reward later. Because if enough of such politicians can be made an example of by destroying their post-officeholding career prospects, then officeholding would be the only livelihood they will ever have. And it then becomes easier to threaten that while-in-office livelihood too.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Millions of low paid mopes or jobless types divvied up and distracted by games and circuses(the Empire doesn’t even have to provide bread any more) are going to organize to put the fear of shaming into the Elected Legitimizes of serfdom? And said Elected won’t be all over making such pursuit illigal, or putting their “people” to work SLAPPing down such efforts?

          Worth a try. Maybe Move-On or 350 apparatchiks would build and manage the framework?

    2. polecat

      like I made mention of in another post, lawmakers and corpros……. do….not……one whit about us plebs…..just giving us the big, fat, middle finger!…….and you partisans on BOTH aisles, who still think YOUR side will make the right and honorable decision and vote against such vile crap, are dreaming! As the Archdruid pro offers: “Collapse now and avoid the rush”

  12. Light a Candle

    The Flint story just gets worse and worse.

    The City ordered doctors not to do lead tests on Flint residents including Flint children.
    Some excellent coverage and links at Seattle PI.

    Also the State of Michigan cheated on the lead testing. It ordered residents to flush their systems before testing, so testing results would be lower.

    Governor Snyder and his lackeys should be jailed.

  13. alex morfesis

    Regrets ?…we aint got no regrets…we dont need no regrets…I dont have to show you any stinkin regrets…

    No one ever makes the wrong decision…it was truly brilliant at that time and place…we may not have liked the decision we chose to make…but it was the right one at the time…based on our energy level, time available, and frame of mind at that moment…some people say fight on…but if you have a headache or have not slept well or eaten lightly up to that moment, your body and soul may not have had the resources to put up any real fight…no reason to regret…it is what it is and there is nothing wrong with the it is…

    Live like Satchel Page

    Dance like no one is watching…love like you have never been hurt…work like you dont need the money…

    And learn to laugh like a child again…

    1. JTMcPhee

      Satchel Paige also offered this advice, “Don’t look back — something might be gaining on you.”

      Seems relevant.

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      The “sexual motivation of DNA” is known in evolutionary biology as sexual selection. I am an avid, albeit informal, student of the subject and I can tell you that much ongoing work is being done that appears to disprove this element of Darwin’s theory. The three areas of the theory that are disputed are, helpfully, summarized by Stanford Evolutionary Biologist Joan Roughgarden in her 2009 book The Genial Gene. She writes:

      First are the great many species that depart from the sexual-selection templates of male and female behavior in one way or another. Second are the increasing number of species that appeared perfectly to fit sexual-selection theory, but who nonetheless do not support it when closely studied. The failure of its “poster-child” species to accord with sexual -selection theory raises the question of whether the theory is correct for any species whatsoever. Third are contradictions between population-genetic theory and the sexual-selection narrative that need to be circumvented for the theory to be internally consistent.

      Popular conceptions of Darwin’s sexual selection and Spencer’s fitness have nothing to do with the actual science and are most probably completely wrong, as were Darwin and Spencer. Despite their ongoing popularity, these narratives based on 19th century attitudes are being overturned by science.

      Absent any scientific basis for the claims made by Factor, one is left to observe that she is merely expressing her own biases. But, unless I missed it, even her deeply flawed piece does not “[treat] sexual abuse as a religious extreme,” as you put it, and the article about German choir boy abuse explicitly cites allegations of all kinds of abuse, including abuse not described as sexual in nature.

      This kind of muddled thinking is an obstacle to understanding how the various permutations of abuse of power work and come to be ignored or accepted. But worse than that, your statement and Factor’s work trade in the worst, most debilitating kind of cynicism when offering as an explanation for our worst behavior that it is simply our nature.

      1. Felix_47

        You are more informed than me but her article brought out a few points I saw confirmed while I was in Afghanistan for a year. The average laborer there does not have a wife or anything for that matter and they used to longingly stare at our US female soldiers on the FOB. All they wanted was to get a visa to get out to where they could have access to women. We had to give the females portapottis because they could not leave their hootches at night without being assaulted by Afghan employees on the base. On the other hand the Afghan business owners, doctors, and military men all had multiple wives. I think the lower class men have no alternative but to go to a society with women more freely available such as in Germany or Sweden or Finland. The genetic evidence suggests that the vast production of children is generated by a smaller subset of men meaning the others are not getting any……..ergo the refugee crisis.

  14. Paul Tioxon

    As a public service announcement to the long suffering NC folks who demand justice and get none for the financial collapse, a slow train is coming to take down actual bank execs who somehow had the nerve to accept TARP funds as well. While few regional banks are nearly the size of the top 10 banks in the US, there are still significant dollars defrauded. Take the ongoing investigation of the Wilmington Trust Corp.
    Feds indict first bank that got TARP bail-out money

    “A federal grand jury in Wilmington has indicted the former Wilmington Trust Corp. on criminal charges, alleging the bank illegally hid hundreds of millions of dollars in land-development loans that were so delinquent that one banker called them “credit turds.”

    Although a number of larger U.S. banks were forced to sell themselves at bargain-basement prices as property values collapsed in the recession, Wilmington Trust is the only bank bailed out by the Troubled Asset Relief Program to face criminal charges, according to Charles Oberly, U.S. attorney for Wilmington.”

    1. alex morfesis

      Everything is proceeding as i have foreseen…e.p.

      Now if they add on the part about wilmington trust allowing all the foreclosures to move forward in the foreclosure mess by letting the “indenture” trustees and servicers to take homes when Willmington was the actual corpus holder…then the klownz that be might be in line for some redemption frequent flier miles

      Wilmington and Northern Trust in ChaiTaon were the actual corpus or “note” holders in most remic type loan pool partnership trusts

    2. ilporcupine

      So, does this mean Citizens United was a good thing? Can you actually indict a Corp.? Story was unclear as to who, exactly, would be showing up in a criminal court to face sentences for this behavior.

      “A federal grand jury in Wilmington has indicted the former Wilmington Trust Corp. on criminal charges, alleging the bank illegally hid hundreds of millions of dollars in land-development loans that were so delinquent that one banker called them “credit turds.”

      Wilmington Trust is the only bank bailed out by the Troubled Asset Relief Program to face criminal charges

      1. Yata

        Wilmington Trust is the only bank bailed out by the Troubled Asset Relief Program to face criminal charges

        I don’t know about that. Lee Farcas received roughly thirty years for trying to defraud the TARP program.

      2. craazyboy

        Delaware may need to create a corporate prison for all the incorporation paperwork. I guess Grand Caymen could send their PO Boxes to Guatmo. But overall, I’d say maybe an improvement.

  15. Jim Haygood

    Gov. Abbott’s nine-point constitutional amendment proposal is remarkable for what it omits: repeal of Amendment XVII (popular election of Senators).

    His complicated plan for state overrides of federal actions was a feature of the original Senate, whose members were elected by state legislatures and actually represented the states in a federal structure.

    Amendment XVII destroyed the U.S. federation by cutting states out of the picture, along with their ability to veto federal actions. A hundred years later, the Department of Homeland Security is proposing to strip residents of half the states from flying, because it don’t like the design of their drivers licenses.

    One has to wonder whether Gov. Abbott even knows this history. He sure wasn’t gonna learn it from self-styled “professors of constitutional law” like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

  16. flora

    re: Ratings Agencies Still Coming Up Short, Years After Crisis
    Great article. Thanks for the link.

    1. mark

      In Europe, after 2008, several inquiries were launched into ratings agencies, but I haven’t read or seen anything about them since.

      went nowhere I suppose.

      also: (2010)

      “European leaders are ramping up their push for a new bond-rating agency after credit-rating cuts in Southern Europe further fuelled the crisis on the continent.

      The ratings-agency plan comes in the wake of rating downgrades on Spain, Portugal and especially Greece, whose debt was cut to junk status last week by Standard & Poor’s. The credit-rating reductions have caused investors to sell bonds issued by those countries, driving up their borrowing costs and potentially increasing the bill for bailouts financed by the European Union.

      “We are undertaking work on creating a European agency,” Europe’s financial services commissioner Michel Barnier said Tuesday. He said the review of the proposal needs to “very fast, but not off the cuff.”

      “The power of these agencies is quite considerable, not just for products but also for states,” said Mr. Barnier, who has previously criticized the “brutal way” in which Greece was downgraded and said nations deserve “more consideration” from ratings companies.”

      Globe and Mail….

      Probably also went nowhere.

  17. Jim Haygood

    From BCA Research in Montreal:

    Demography is patently deflationary for global growth. The aging of the developed world population is not news, but the trend is accelerating making its effects more pronounced. The working age population is poised to decline 0.3% / year over the next few decades.

    While China’s transition from a heavy industry/export led growth model to a consumption and services-geared economy will take years, the early innings of this tectonic shift are having an immediate deflationary effect on the rest of the Asian manufacturing complex as export volumes decline and inventories swell forcing prices down.

    So the Federal Reserve’s Janet B. Goode is doing what? That’s right — hiking rates.

    Her mother told her, Someday you will be The Man
    And you will be the leader of a bankster band
    Many people coming from miles around
    To hear your bullish forecasts as the Dow goes down
    Maybe someday your name will be in lights
    Saying Janet B. Goode tonight

    — Chuck Berry

  18. Oregoncharles

    “. That may be because, due to my inability to get along to get along, I’ve wound up doing the “to thine own self be true” thing to a fault.”
    Yeah, that’s why we’re all here.

    And thanks again.

  19. allan

    ISIS has been radicalized by the Cowliphate:

    Supporters of the Islamic State terrorist group are urging American sympathizers to try to instigate more anti-government demonstrations like last week’s armed takeover of a federal building in rural eastern Oregon. …

    “A mass mobilization of anti-government rebels could occur,” said the message, posted to the account of a self-identified Iraqi supporter of ISIS who calls himself Abu Adriatic Irhabi. “These rebels have military experience and are trained in warfare. They may be able to degrade and destroy their corrupt, evil, and oppressive government, or at the least severely damage its operations.” …

    The posting says Islamists should avoid inviting the protesters to convert, as they are “hard-core anti-Islamic.” Instead, the encouragement should appear to come from “everyday Americans supporting their cause,” it says.

  20. craazyboy

    “Dow Drops, Sliding at Close to Cap Worst-Ever Start to Year Wall Street Journal”

    Things are more f*kd up than the WSJ even knows. Went grocery shopping yesterday expecting prices to be down at least 10% since the start of the year, but they were the same! Then I checked my bank and broker accounts to see if interest rates went up. They didn’t!

    I think these people just make sh*t up.

  21. ChrisFromGeorgia

    It’s looking like Merkel really miscalculated in allowing such great numbers of single young males from the ME into the country, or perhaps the cynic in me says she figured it would cause acceptable levels of “collateral damage” to society while accomplishing some other goal that remains murky.

    There is a law of numbers at work here – people behave differently in mobs than they would normally. It’s one thing to allow a small number of immigrants who don’t share your values in as they will psychologically feel obligated to conform to the rules and norms of the environment they’re in. However big groups feel entitled to demand those they encounter submit to their norms. And apparently, treating women like property is their norm.

    1. craazyboy

      It’s getting harder and harder to be a bleeding heart liberal feminist in Europe these days.

      1. OIFVet

        Normally I enjoy good schadenfreude as much as the next guy, but it has been painful to follow the rhetorical contortions of the Euro liberals this past few days, seeing how they are so torn between kneejerk tolerance and barely suppressed outrage. I really tried to enjoy it but I can’t, for obvious reasons.

        1. OIFVet

          BTW, it is fascinating to watch the subtle ways the MSM has changed its coverage of the migrant wave. I have been using ‘migrant’ for months now, but just over the past couple of weeks did MSM replace the term ‘refugees’ with the term ‘migrants’ in its coverage. It is a rather big shift, even if it is subtle.

          1. craazyboy

            Once they change to “undocumated immigrant” you know the gloves are off. If they use “alien” as any part of the description, Europe has gone full bore fascist.

            If the migrants think German women are hot, just wait till they discover Swedish women. Or Italian women for that matter. It’s just a matter of time until Europe decends into chaos.

            1. Carolinian

              Some Swedish and Finnish women were also assaulted/harassed by apparent migrants the same night . Big row in Europe–it sounds like that old saw “a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.”

      2. different clue

        There has to be a way to argue that it is the progressive and feminist thing to do to stop these anti-womanitic attacks by NorthAfro-WestAsian migrants. If the attacks themselves are unprogressive and anti-feminist, then it is progressive and feminist to stop the attacks. And it should be possible to pass all the necessary laws making it legal to round up all the perps and ship them back to their countries of origin . . . at nail-studded axe-handle point, if necessary.

    2. Carolinian

      Pat Lang

      Nevertheless, I must point to the fact that the current migrants to Western Europe are merely the “bow wave” of what IMO is a volkervanderung that will consist of many, many more people moving generally from East to West. There are millions of people in the MENA and Central Asia regions who would like to move to Western Europe or North America. Some of them want to get themselves and their families out from under the bombing and out of the general mayhem, but, IMO an even stronger “draw” is the high standard of living to be found in the destinations of choice. It is now clear to those waiting in the Islamic World that the West does not have the will to resist this mass migration, a period of movement of the peoples that may well permanently and massively alter the cultures of the Western European countries. Is the United States responsible for triggering the avalanche of migration that is just starting? Yes, we are responsible, but is the Western European region really capable of assimilating the millions who will be on the move toward Germany, France, etc.? The countries of Western Europe are more or less ethnically and culturally uniform in their ways of life. Americans have a hard time understanding that truth. The US is not and has never really been an ethnic “nation.” The US was built and continues to be built in a process of never ending immigration that has changed the nature of the country in every generation. For most Americans there exists a basic assumption that immigrants can be assimilated and will become integrated in a society changed by their presence.

      Europe is not really like that. France is a good example. There is an element in French society, descended from colonial subjects who were loyal to the metropole in Algeria and elsewhere and who voluntarily moved to France proper as part of the process of de-colonialization. These people are truly French. They are to be found throughout French society and government. But, there also many, many people who have moved to France from the francophone maghreb and West Africa who have no interest in becoming culturally French. Their goal is cultural autonomy in separate enclaves. There are now so many examples of this mentality and actions based on it that I will not bother to present such examples.

      I may be paranoid but when I long ago toured France as a heavily black bearded and somewhat ethnic looking Southerner I got some less than friendly looks. How will it all play out as global conditions continue to deteriorate?

      1. Andrew Watts

        A old commentator from the Oil Drum wrote about this on his blog. The post involved the history of a Germanic mercenary turned Welsh warlord named Tewdrig who rallied natives to fight off the Saxons. It was written in 2013 but the ideas are incredibly fresh.

        Immigrants, even armed, powerful immigrants, are not conquering armies. They are rather destructured groups of families and individual trying to better their lot. In a healthy society, that means fitting in socially and culturally. Of course, some amount of culture loyalty has to be expected in the first or even the second generation, [AW: The Islamic State seems to draw it’s western recruits from the second and in a few instances third generation.] but on the long run, assimilation is the norm. Tewdrig ap Teithfallt is, of course, a case in point.

        What that means for us, fifteen century after the fall of the Western Empire, is that culture shift is less dependent upon the number of immigrants than upon the health of our society. Mass migrations are pretty much unavoidable during the long descent which will follow peak energy. As the USA and its vassals lose the power to prop them up, the African and middle-eastern government dependent on them will collapse, or at the very least lose the control of a great part of their territory. At the same time European countries are bound will be less and less able to stop the flow of refugees from the south.

        The goal of those immigrants will not be to create some kind of Islamic Republic, but to better their lot. Of course, this will become more and more difficult as the economy contracts and the way to power and wealth becomes narrower and narrower for those not born in them. It will result in immigrants choosing unpopular careers (which, in France, includes the military) and in sharpened competition between natives and immigrants (and their children) for low-paying jobs.

        Naturally, this will feed extremism on both sides, weakening the very fabric of the society. In fact it already does: we have had riots near Paris after the Police checked a veiled woman, probably in not so gentle a way. Needless to say, our elites’ behavior, combining contempt for the lower class’ concerns, self-righteous promotion of mostly irrelevant societal issues, and ambivalent attitude toward the immigrants’ religiosity, doesn’t help.

        Aaaaaand my favorite part of the whole post…

        Opening wide the gates of immigration in this age of decline is pretty stupid – it makes the upper-middle classes feel good and lowers wages, which explains why the idea is so popular among societal leftists and laissez-faire right-wingers

        Now, if you want to preserve some kind of cultural continuity – and it certainly is a worthy goal – you should better make easier for immigrants and their descendants to fit within your community. Their chances of being ultimately absorbed will be greatly improved and the skills they’ll bring will certainly help. Tewdrig’s certainly did. –Damien Perrotin. Remember Tewdrig

        If you like this summary I highly recommend you read the rest of this and his other posts.

        1. Carolinian

          I don’t think I’m qualified to have much of an opinion on this, but I do think the people who simply tag anti-immigrant sentiment as racism or xenophobia often fall into that middle-class bubble mentioned in your comment. Poor people feel economically threatened from below just as the rich do and, interestingly, some of the most vehement can be former immigrants themselves who succeeded via that so-called American dream before it became so elusive.

          1. Andrew Watts

            It’s also a sign that they’ve properly assimilated into American society. While re-reading the passage about the elite mindset I thought to myself that this is how Trump will be elected president.

              1. Andrew Watts

                Absolutely. Read a lot of books. Don’t watch television. Finally don’t own or operate a cell/smart phone, Then you’ll be like those freakish people on the island of misfit toys… you know, the public library?

                Even that space is becoming endangered for us non-assimilated Americans.

      2. Jim Haygood

        From a U.S. neocon point of view, the beauty of “regime change” (successful or not) is that Europe suffers the demographic consequences of inundation by terrorized refugees, while the U.S. harvests the (imaginary) upside.

        Europe could put a stop to this by checking out of NATO and other U.S.-led ad hoc coalitions. But after 70 years of learned passivity, it won’t.

        So Germany carries on pretending not to know that Drone Laureate Obama uses Ramstein Air Force Base as the data downlink for his vast middle eastern program of executive assassination.

        If Europe refuses to rebel against the poisoned legacy of its 70-year American military occupation, then it had better “embrace the suck.”

      3. Felix_47

        The Janet Factor article linked to yesterday really made sense. We saw huge number of young men in Afghanistan without women or prospects to get one because the guys with money had all the wives and generated huge numbers of kids. They all wanted to get out to Europe and this was in 2011. This was observed long ago by Pierre Scholl Latour, a French/German writer who described these millions of young men without prospects as suffering from “Samenkoller.” This is a term that really refers to stallions in heat. Women are not available to these young men in Afghanistan but they feel they can get some in Europe ergo “refugees.”

  22. Oregoncharles

    Will the GOP Strip & Flip the 2016 Election?

    What makes them think that only Republicans can cheat in elections? What do they think the famous Democratic big-city machines were based on?

    do they really think the Dems are that stupid?

  23. The Heretic

    Concerning the following article

    This article, among many others concerning ‘the destructiin of Isis’, mistake discussion of means, which in this article is the proper deployment military forces, for the more important elements of strategy, which would be, as per Sun Tzu, what is the enemies goals and what would be his strategy to achieve his goals, and what are his strengths and weaknesses relative to his strategy and relative to us. Only then can you discuss what is the appropriate strategy and the means to achieve.

    In the present situation, bringing war to ISIS in the Sunni (and non Kurdish) areas of Iraq and Syria areas would be counterproductive, the collateral damage cities ruined and civillians killed would only radicalize sunni muslims in the middleast and throughout the world. Hence we see that despite their defeats on the battlefield, recruitment and the flow of weapons and support to ISIS, continue unabated and there may emerge a new group of homegrown terrorist who commit crimes in the name of ISIS.
    However, to use military means and economic means to thwart ISIL advance into Non-sunni areas, to defend allies, or to choke the supply of weapons to ISIS would be feasible.

  24. Plenue

    >Jeb Bush wants to end food stamps

    “These programs may temporarily alleviate need, but they trap families in perpetual poverty.” – Jeb Bush, 2016

    “Indiscriminate charity is vicious, say the professional philanthropists.
    Well, I resolved to be vicious.” – Jack London, The People of the Abyss (1903)

    More things change…

  25. OIFVet

    Redneck baby daddy drama:

    After it was reported that Palin’s alleged baby daddy filed for child support and joint custody of 2-week-old Sailor Grace, the Palin camp and the state of Alaska are now saying —in very different words — that they need proof he’s the dad.

    So former abstinence-only ambassador Bristol can’t be sure about who the baby daddy is. Who knows, perhaps it was an immaculate conception! What’s that, Bristol’s spokesman (WTF?!)?

    David Martin, a rep for Bristol, also weighed in, telling ET, “My values are such that a real American hero doesn’t ask for child support.”

    Good lord, when will these people’s 15 minutes of fame be finally over?!

  26. Hoard Beale IV

    Will the GOP Strip & Flip the 2016 Election?

    I have firsthand personal experience with the Obama Ground game. I had just moved to Minnesota in September 2008, which has same-day voter registration. Little did I know that I moved into a voting district that was heavily blue and minority. I had brought everything I needed in order to satisfy the same-day registration requirements. requirements, but I was told that I could not register. As I was walking out the door I was met by someone who took all of my personal details and then I went to work (I went to vote early, and the line was quite long.) After I got into work (it was a 15-minute drive) I received a voicemail on my cellphone from (Obama’s campaign org), telling me that the election monitor was wrong in their decision not to allow me to vote.

    So I was able to vote. To this day I’m pretty sure the election judge who tried to stop me was a GOP operative, and if it wasn’t for Obama’s campaign, I would have not been able to vote-and since the margin of votes that allowed Franken to win over Coleman was some 300+ votes my vote was that critical.

    For as much a heap of scorn we like to heap on Democrats around these parts, the alternative is even worse.

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