Links 3/20/16

Some Like It Hot … Really Hot WSJ

“Beyond record hot, February was ‘astronomical’ and ‘strange'” (CL).

Did X Cause Y? A New Look at Attributing Weather Extremes to Climate Change Bob Henson, Weather Underground

Crunch Time for the Climate HuffPo (JB). The post, on returning dividends from carbon auctions directly to “everyone with a Social Security number,” is more interesting than the title.

HSBC: ‘Zombie companies’ are killing the economy, so we should just let them collapse Business Insider

Every cycle is defined by a hubris trade FT

‘Helicopter Money’ Hurts Banks, ECB’s Weidmann Tells Newspaper Bloomberg. You say that like it’s a bad thing!

Central banks are already doing the unthinkable – you just don’t know it Daily Telegraph

Bangladesh heist exposes Philippine dirty money secrets Bangkok Post

How cyber criminals targeted almost $1bn in Bangladesh Bank heist FT. With flow chart.

LA Port Traffic Surges 46.6 Percent, Bloomberg Says “This Means Economy is Healthy”, Mish Says “Nonsense” MishTalk. An epiphenomen of last year’s port strike.

Gawker could still win Hulk Hogan case despite $115 million verdict: legal experts Reuters


China Inc: The quest for cash flow FT

China’s woes take sheen off amber as traders fear risky times ahead Guardian

Deterring China: US Army to Stockpile Equipment in Cambodia and Vietnam The Diplomat

US and Philippines agree on locations for five new military bases, including one in South China Sea South China Morning Post


What Russia Accomplished in Syria NYT. Handy maps.

Istanbul shopping area hit by suicide bomber BBC. Je suis… Je suis…

US senator to Saudis: Stop bombing civilians in Yemen PRI

The declining sensitivity of asset prices to events in Greece Bank Underground

Refugee Crisis

The EU-Turkey Migrants Deal WSJ

Migrant crisis: EU-Turkey deal comes into effect BBC

EU-Turkey deal: An “army” of EU staff to move to Greece (details) Keep Talking Greece

Cuba casts aside rancor to welcome Obama on historic visit Reuters. Hopefully the next time there’s blowback from the overthrow of one of our pet dictators, we’ll be able to settle the matter more rapidly.

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept


Looking for America WaPo. “In an election year like no other, one question has dominated the discussion: What’s happening in America? Underlying that question is another, more profound and more personal one: What does it mean to be an American?” Four-part series, perhaps a deeper dive than talking to the cab driver.

Kasich’s Contradictory Foreign Policy The National Interest

Trump Protesters Dog Campaign From City to City in Arizona Bloomberg. I’d like to know a lot more about these protesters before buying any narrative. “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent,” as the saying goes (but who is “we”?).

Trump to huddle with influential Republicans in D.C. ahead of AIPAC speech WaPo. Will Marshal Pétain be attending?

Forget Trump: Here’s Who’s Really Destroying the Republican Party David Dayen, Fiscal Times

Hillary Wants a Crusade to Defeat Trump’s “Bigotry” – and Leave Her Bankers Alone Black Agenda Report

Before Her Assassination, Berta Cáceres Singled Out Hillary Clinton for Backing Honduran Coup Democracy Now!

Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee Must Take a Stance on “Citizens United” Truthout

How Chicago racked up a $662 million police misconduct bill (since 2004) AP. That’s a lot of money!

Will Anyone Accept Responsibility for Flint? The Atlantic (Re Silc). Betteridge’s Law applies. And the next link confirms.

Flint burglary where water files stored ‘an inside job,’ police chief says MLive (MR).

How Locking Up Judges Could End Debtors’ Prisons HuffPo

Class Warfare

The Enduring Employment Impact of Your Great Recession Location Danny Yagan. Exactly like ObamaCare. Some people go to Happyville, some people go to Pain City, the suffering is random with respect to jurisdiction, and there’s no help for it.

Half of U.S. May Endure ‘Lost Decade’ of Depressed Employment WSJ. So the greatest recovery ever won’t reach half the country ’til the 2020s. Thanks, Obama!

Something really weird is driving inequality in the UK and economists don’t understand why it’s happening Business Insider. Will Upton Sinclair please pick up the nearest white courtesy phone?

Report of 10,000 severe workplace injuries might be only half the problem WaPo

Calculate Your Economic Risk NYT. Here is the calcuator. I’m not sure I’m impressed.

Yardfarmers follows 6 young Americans as they move back home to farm their parents’ yards Treehugger. Happening in my town.

Traditional Economics Failed. Here’s a New Blueprint. Evonomics (readerOfTeaLeaves). “Why true self-interest is mutual interest.”

The Secrets of the Wave Pilots NYT (DL). Must read.

Antidote du jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Lambert Strether has been blogging, managing online communities, and doing system administration 24/7 since 2003, in Drupal and WordPress. Besides political economy and the political scene, he blogs about rhetoric, software engineering, permaculture, history, literature, local politics, international travel, food, and fixing stuff around the house. The nom de plume “Lambert Strether” comes from Henry James’s The Ambassadors: “Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.” You can follow him on Twitter at @lambertstrether.


  1. tony

    “Helicopter money isn’t manna falling from heaven, but would rip huge holes in central bank balance sheets,”

    The horror! Liabilities that act like equity with no voting or dividend rights. How would the central banks ever survive.

  2. Collapsar

    I read the article and it reinforces some of the other items I’ve seen/read that some scientists are saying that the predictions the climate models have been making are off in the sense that they are underestimating the speed and scale of the warming trend (getting hotter, faster).

    1. diptherio

      Won’t it be hilariously ironic when it turns out that the climate skeptics were right that you can’t trust all those egg-headed meteorologists…only it’s because they way underestimated the damage we were doing, rather than overestimating.

      “I told you Global Warming was a hoax! There’s no such thing! What we’ve got is Global Roasting!”

    2. Danb

      i’m not competent to judge the climate science, but sociologically it makes perfect sense that models would underestimate speed and scale.

      1. armchair

        Por supuesto. The academic is subjected to peer review, the university does not want negative attention and any forecast with the slightest error would be a setback for all atmospheric scientists, since they would all have to answer for the one study that went overboard. Of course, they have been extremely careful and conservative. It ain’t easy to get published.

      2. Massinissa

        I think its fine theyre underestimating, because the alternative is overestimating, and that damages their credibility.

        1. Toske

          But there’s no good reason that overestimating should damage their credibility any more than underestimating. There’s a bad reason, of course: political reasons, as described by armchair above. I’m sure many scientists are aware of all this as it affects their livelihood, and thus the results they publish may be influenced, consciously or not. It seems the enemies of science have found a subtler way to corrupt it than simply throwing money at it.

      3. Code Name D

        Let us also not forget that our understanding of how the atmosphere is not complete. Forecasts underestimated because there are other forces we have yet to identify.

  3. allan

    Business Insider forgot to ask the HSBC economist whether `zombie companies’
    include TBTF money launderers banks. And as for

    Higher values for financial assets [caused by QE] meant that companies which, in other circumstances, would have been under pressure to reduce their costs could carry on with business as usual.

    tell that to the Carrier employees whose jobs are going to Mexico. And millions of others.
    This guy lives in a bubble.

    1. griffen

      It’s so much easier to be right when it’s the bubble protecting a “senior economist” for HSBC.

      HSBC, RBS, Citigroup. Just to name a few well known zombie creations.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Bloody Hands Hellery normalizing US relations with the murderous Honduras coup and allowing Neoliberals and multinational companies to loot the country. Hellery’s fat bloody finger prints are all over it. Gotta wonder if there are Clinton Foundation links to the looting companies which are paying the hitmen to murder activists. (starts @9:40)

      No doubt in my mind this is a window into what a Hellery Presidency will produce around the world.
      And as for the role of the US media — crickets, an accomplice by silence.

      1. Pavel

        Hillary, the Queen of Hypocrisy — she lambasts Trump for his “fascism” while acting aggressively to subvert democracy in the Honduras. And as you note, the MSM gives her a pass.

        Note that old Clinton pal/henchman Lanny Davis had his finger in the pie in the Honduran coup. Can the US survive another Clinton regime with Davis, Sid Blumenthal, and the rest of that greedy, duplicitous gang back in power?

        The Hillary Clinton emails released last week include some telling exchanges about the June 2009 military coup that toppled democratically elected Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, a leftist who was seen as a threat by the Honduran establishment and U.S. business interests.

        At a time when the State Department strategized over how best to keep Zelaya out of power while not explicitly endorsing the coup, Clinton suggested using longtime Clinton confidant Lanny Davis as a back-channel to Roberto Micheletti, the interim president installed after the coup.

        During that period, Davis was working as a consultant to a group of Honduran businessmen who had supported the coup.

        In an email chain discussing a meeting between Davis and State Department officials, Clinton asked, “Can he help me talk w Micheletti?”

        Davis rose to prominence as an adviser to the Clintons during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and has since served as a high-powered “crisis communications” adviser to a variety of people and organizations facing negative attention in the media, from scandal-plagued for-profit college companies to African dictators. His client list has elicited frequent accusations of hypocrisy.

        The Intercept: During Honduras Crisis, Clinton Suggested Back Channel With Lobbyist Lanny Davis

          1. Massinissa

            I looked around on Google and I didnt find anything on Clinton calling Trump a fascist, except for like Michelle Bachman calling Hillary a fascist.

          2. Pavel

            Sorry Lambert, I misremembered (or “misspoke” :) … it should have been “friends of Hillary” (e.g. George Clooney). HRC herself hasn’t directly labelled Trump as being fascist. Perhaps she realises that infamous Trump wedding photo would be even harder to defend.

            Thanks to Massinissa and Chris in Paris for their comments :)

          3. John

            Wiki says a fascist is a military strong man… Or woman. Trump says advocated a balanced approach to the Middle East, and so scares the rep neoconservative that they are already jumping to Hillary.
            So why isn’t she the fascist?

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Thanks for the Intercept link.

          From that article’s comments…

          But lest anyone forget, wasn’t Hillary Clinton the chair at MCC (Timothy Geithner, deputy chair) when Zelaya was ousted by that business-supported military coup and wasn’t the MCC either financing, or partially financing, said coup?

          If I recall correctly, the Wall Streeters didn’t like President Zelaya simply because he wanted to raise the national minimum wage by a few pennies?

          Also, Honduras since has been the site of privatized cities, hasn’t it?

          If Hellery was involved in staging of the coup, OHH BOY…
          Now I’m really dying to see what was in the 30,000 emails Hellery deleted.

    2. pretzelattack

      i had a poster on the guardian try to tell me her vote for the aumf was a vote for restraining george bush from invading iraq, and bernie’s vote against it was a vote for the war. the mind just reels.

      1. Massinissa

        Ive seen worse. Ever hear people tell you that George Bush really did find nuclear weapons in Iraq but hid the fact to make the Republicans who voted for the war look bad? Now THAT is mental gymnastics.

  4. Ulysses

    Gotta hand it to the Trumpster, he’s very adept at leaving just enough plausible deniability in his statements that threaten mob violence– if he doesn’t make it to the White House. This is how he revved up his crowd yesterday in Phoenix:

    “On Saturday, Trump launched into promises that “we are going to win,” but took it a step further.

    “We’re going to win with our Second Amendment,” he said as the crowd cheered. “We’re gonna win big league with our Second Amendment!””

    Now he could have said something like: “our passionate defense of 2nd amendment rights will encourage millions of supporters to peacefully participate in the political process, through casting secret ballots in primaries and the general election.”

    Instead, the Donald chose to say something that his well-armed supporters might choose to interpret as a call to arms.

    1. Ulysses

      It will be interesting to see if the Donald backpedals away from this, like Sharron Angle did in Nevada a few years back.

    2. cnchal

      If Trump had said what you suggest, the audience would not understand it and think there is an imposter under the orange hair.

      1. Antifa

        Ah, but there is an impostor. It is so with every candidate. It cannot be otherwise.

        When a great man stands before a cheering crowd, what do they see, what do they hear? They are thinking of all the human traits they admire — integrity, honesty, generosity, compassion, mercy, strength, wisdom — and all the great things they would like to see happen for their country. And they are projecting all of these things, all of these qualities on the man up on the stage, and they know to a certainty that he will make their country great again. Whatever that means to them personally, it will happen, because there is the man who will do it, right up there. They invest in him, heart and soul.

        But hey, the man up there is just saying what he knows makes the crowd cheer. What worked at previous rallies — voila! — it works here, too. So he repeats it, and adds to it, and the cheers grow louder.

        As Hermann Goering might say, were he still with us, “it works the same in every country.”

        But if the great man actually wins the reins of power, the crowds will gradually discover that the great man is mortal, and he does not possess those grand qualities they so admired, and that he cannot deliver all those things they so desire. They are quite liable to turn on him, and leave him hanging by his heels from the remains of a burnt out building. It won’t be the first time it’s happened.

        What the Trump crowds dream that Trump can deliver with ease, no man can possibly deliver, because their demands pull in twenty different directions. There is no magic white horse that can ride off in all directions at once. At any given moment, nineteen out of twenty of his followers will not like the direction he’s taking.

        If only Il Douche had a lick of sense, he’d manage to lose this election. Then he could continue to be a great man for years to come, on TV and out in public. But if he gets nominated, or elected? Who is he to satisfy all those people, with all that they long for him to deliver? They will eat him alive at some point.

        He has no idea how to lead cannibals into a representative democracy.

        1. PQS

          He has no idea what he’s unleashing. Unless he does in which case we are in serious trouble.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            My understanding of human nature is that a lot of Homo Sapiens (the wise or smart man) believe they can handle any situation, if they have the tools.

            “All one has to be is to get the driver seat and take control of machine.” It’s repeated among the bllievers.

            ‘All things are possible when you have faith in an omnipotent government (after merger with the other omnipotent master to become omnipotent).

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Trump’s fall back is going to be that he was ‘stabbed in the back at the convention.”

          1. Massinissa

            To be fair though, wont that be the case? A brokered convention is a possibility still.

            1. Antifa

              An “open convention” is the aim and prayer of most of the GOP Establishment, and the long knives are out for Donald in many a smoke-filled room around the country, so if there’s any back-stabbing done in Cleveland this July, everyone will know whodunit. The Tea Party and the GOP will be quits for good. They’ll probably lose the South for a generation as well if Donald falls.

              But El Douche is on a serious roll, and may arrive with the delegates in hand to win the first vote. And then run for President under the GOP banner.

              And a week later, the Democratic Convention may well be open as well. It ain’t over ’till it’s over. Hillary may be in court that week, and not in attendance at all.

              Highway 61 isn’t on the map nowadays, but it still leads right through the heart of America.

              1. RicRadio

                Fear and Loathing on The Campain Trail.

                Are any of you, like me, missing Hunter S. Thompson and his ascerbic, errudite commentary on all these machinations and Kabuki theater?

                He knew it mattered, so very much.

    3. Carolinian

      Yes standard Republican boiler plate is definitely yet more evidence that Trump is the new Hitler. Someone should tell Rawstory that all endorsements of gun “rights” carry an implicit threat against those who disagree. After all you are arguing with people who have guns.

      Meanwhile Trump in Arizona is dogged by Black Lives Matter protestors who may in fact be operatives (not literally?) for Clinton. Here’s what Glen Ford has to say in the Links BAR article.

      However, no sooner had the “Ferguson movement” (as many initially called it) gained traction, than it was partially co-opted by young opportunists with corporate ambitions. Campaign Zero immediately set out to become a player in the Democratic Party. (Its twittering star, DeRay McKesson, is currently running for mayor of Baltimore.) #Black Lives Matter was endorsed by the Democratic National Committee, with its founders mentioned by name.

      You’ll recall the incident where BLM protestors crashed a Sanders rally even though there doesn’t seem any reason for black activists to target Sanders. Clearly the way the next few months are going to go is that Trump opponents are going to attach the work “racist” to Trump’s name in every possible context and turn the election into the sort of identity politics debate that our elites– including the AA elites–are comfortable with. Or as Glen Ford puts it, it’ll be a crusade to go after “bigotry” (his quotes) and leave Hillary’s bankers alone.

      1. Brindle

        Yes, Hillary as the aggressive defender of people of color against the stone-cold racist Trump will likely be the main theme of Clinton’s campaign. Economic inequality will be rarely spoken of. Clinton will never mention TPP unless specifically asked about. The campaign looks to be your basic “air sandwich”.

          1. perpetualWAR

            Funny you mention this. I criticized the Washington NAACP, as during the largest transfer of black wealth this country has ever seen, to celebrate their 100 year anniversary they held a black tie gala. I told one participant that they should have marched in the streets and asked why a gala vs. defending their neighborhood. The answer was, “They killed Martin Luther King.” So, I said, “MLK would be rolling in his grave to know that his death sparked compliance with TPTB.”

      2. Code Name D

        Sorry, but I am not buying the story.

        BLM had legitimate issues with the Sanders campaign, which Sanders himself later acknowledged and integrated into his platform. BLM also made several similar attempts to protest Clinton rallies, but she is far more anal in regards to message discipline and thus their efforts never managed to make it to the floor, let alone to Clinton’s podium. And BLM hardly needs clandestine orders from the Clinton campaign to attend and protest Trump rallies.

        The plot itself is fairly convoluted. Clinton is to send BLM protestors to Trump rallies with a Sander’s return address? To what end? The plot also seems to imply that Trump’s racist credentials is some how fabricated or exaggerated. That is a little too consistent with the pro-Trump talking points which try to dismiss his racist behavior both past and present. Keep in mind we live in a world where fully hooded Klansmen can stand up and with a strait face (well, we can’t actually see their faces under the hoods) tell us that they are not racists. They are merely concerned with the plight of the poor and oppressed white men suffering under quotas and affirmative action.

        Really, all of these events can easily be expand without invoking conspiracy.

        1. Yves Smith

          I hate to tell you, my reaction was similar to yours.

          However, by happenstance, I spoke to someone who is very placed politically, as in one of the few people who has deep connections to well placed Democratic and Republican insiders. And he doesn’t go around planting stories, which is why he hears a lot of intel.

          I’ve been sworn to secrecy on the details, but basically, he said that the Clinton camp has indeed coopted a portion of what purports to be the BLM leadership. Since BLM, like Occupy, does not have formal leaders but de facto leaders, this is not hard to do. We saw signs of that earlier with the Democratic Party trying to co-opt BLM.

          The tell is what a different political expert I know calls signs of “hidden hands” at work: people suddenly showing up very well briefed and very focused on certain issues. In the case the suspected Clinton cats paws in BLM. they are also suddenly looking a ton more middle class in their attire.

          What convinced me is my contact described the money trail that he is pretty sure is behind the Clinton effort. This did not come from his contact. It comes from his personal knowledge, since he has tight connections to the organization that he is highly confident is funding the Clinton effort.

          Now whether it went as far as trying to send Clinton-affiliated protestors to Trump events and passing them off as Sanders supporters is not certain. But he sees the signs, to the extent that the Clinton campaign can effect the infiltration, of BLM being used to make protests, including violent ones, against Trump after he wins the nomination. Preparatory efforts are already underway.

          He thinks this will backfire. BTW.

          1. tony


            These guys reported that the lead protestor in the Sanders rally had created her BLM facebook page just to days before the protest. I don’t see any Clinton support here, but she did make a career for herself very quickly. I think there is a certain segment in SJ movements who seek to enhance their own status by attacking the allies, since the allies can’t really fight back.

            It might backfire, but I think that will hit anti-racists and black communities due to lack of support, not Clinton. I’ve tried googling BLM activism and I have only seen them doing things that annoy working class and middle class people. I have found nothing that would affect the decision makers.

      3. Ulysses

        “standard Republican boiler plate.”

        Well, the reason that Sharron Angle made a splash with her “2nd amendment remedies” comment, and Trump’s comment gained attention yesterday, is that such statements are not boiler plate at all. I have been paying attention to campaign rhetoric pretty closely since the 1970s- and I don’t recall Nixon, Ford, Reagan, McCain, Dole, Bush I or II, even Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney ever using such language. Of course, strong support for the 2nd amendment rights that all of us share as Americans has been standard for politicians since the Bill of Rights was adopted. What is unusual is to suggest that the 2nd amendment (and not, for example, voting) will facilitate the installation of any particular politician in office.

        1. Ulysses

          I should add that it is indeed unfortunate that an unabashed war-monger, and kleptocratic rule enforcer like Hillary might be able to use Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric to win an election!

          That is why, rather than wasting energy trying to defend the indefensible Trump, I am eagerly supporting a genuine populist like Bernie Sanders in this particular race. Even knowing that he hasn’t shown much stomach, yet, for aggressively confronting the MIC or the surveillance state.

        2. Greg Gerner

          Please, do you not remember this gem from SarahPac? Talk about a proposed 2nd Amendment cure. Her poster uses the image of crosshairs to “target” Democratic Congressmen she believes deserve elimination. For the final inflammation of her tiny-brained fans, the poster states, “It’s time to take a stand.”

          Link to the poster:

    1. Vatch

      Amazon, or at least the company’s executives, seem to me to be more like vampires than like zombies.

      1. allan

        Vampire zombies with drones. And lobbyists:

        Amazon Leans on Government in Its Quest to Be a Delivery Powerhouse

        And nowhere is the company’s push to become a logistics and delivery powerhouse more evident than here in the nation’s capital. Amazon has emerged as one of the tech industry’s most outspoken players in Washington, spending millions on this effort and meeting regularly with lawmakers and regulators.

        Amazon has pushed officials to allow new uses for commercial drones, to extend the maximum length of trucks, to improve roads and bridges and to prop up a delivery partner, the United States Postal Service.

        With Jay Carney leading the charge.

  5. fresno dan

    Hillary Wants a Crusade to Defeat Trump’s “Bigotry” – and Leave Her Bankers Alone Black Agenda Report

    Tuesday’s primary victories will allow Hillary Clinton to get busy planning her “big tent” general election crusade against racism and incivility, in the person of Donald Trump. It will be a corporate Democrat’s dream campaign, with the prospect of the party garnering majority white support for the first time since 1964. Clinton will allow Bernie Sanders’ delegates to craft much of the language of the party platform, in Philadelphia – a meaningless exercise designed to convince the Sandernistas that there is still hope to transform the Democratic Party “from below.” Clinton – who is permanently primed to lie on any subject, at any time, in the interests of the Lords of Capital – may give forked-tongue service to a Sanders-inspired platform, especially if Trump continues his hype on jobs losses to “China” because of “bad deals.” But, Wall Street will have little to worry about. Clinton’s central project will be to build an historic Democratic super-majority by appealing to all “decent” Americans to reject “bigotry” and embrace “fairness” and “tolerance” – by which she will mean nothing more than that they reject Trump.

    Such civil rights-sounding rhetoric will signify to Black voters that their faith in the party, and the Clintons, has been bounteously rewarded; that the campaign is really all about them. They will be reassured of the continuity of Barack Obama’s policies under Hillary – as if that were a good thing, and as if Obama and the Clintons were not political triplets all along, rooted in the same right-wing of the party.

    “They will be reassured of the continuity of Barack Obama’s policies under Hillary – as if that were a good thing,…”

    1. local to oakland

      I’m with you re policy. And I may grit my teeth and vote against Hillary because of TPP, her service on the Walmart board, her aggressive foreign policy record. But leader rhetoric sets the tone for action. Hate crimes are a thing. People here will be beaten, possibly killed. That still may net better for the country and the world than a Clinton presidency. But if the alternative is Trump, it is an ugly calculus if you are not white or native born.

        1. John

          Ugly on the left, ugly on the right.
          As a citizen I always try to pick the best, or at least, least evil, as in 2012.
          As a white citizen I realize it is easier for me to see the least evil in a racist.
          But think how many in the Middle East died, plus the destabilization has now spread to Europe, because bush… And apparently not racist.
          And Libya, where I lived as a kid, now like Syria not least because Clinton.
          Israel has been dying to bumb Iran.. Would Hillary green light?
          Maybe if Nevada n Korea to keep us safe?
          Find a time and place to prove her manhood with Russia? To say nothing about the South China Sea.
          Obama might never find a banker he can prosecute, but he has done pretty well with foreign policy.
          Bernie reminded us the revolving door cesspool is worse than ever, with Clinton it just get worse.
          My fond hopes are that trump is mostly a populist. The following would all be popular:
          Less military spending on fewer wars.
          Jail bankers.
          Spend massive amounts on infrastructure.
          Nominate left of center judges that disagree with citizens United.
          Still hoping Bernie comes thru, with or without the Fbi, but
          Will. Not. Vote. For. Hillary. I see her as just another bush.

      1. optimader

        People here will be beaten, possibly killed
        should be stated as conjecture not fact. Similar Meme as “Candidate X is a vote for terrorist attacks.”
        If we can identify anyone WTF actually knows the outcomes of various alternative futures, I’d like to know who that is and have them buy me a few lottery tickets.

    2. John Merryman

      Interesting comment on front page, NYT;

      “If aggressive efforts to deny Donald J. Trump the presidential nomination fail, party leaders say they will try to field an independent candidate for the general election.”

      To get all those moderate Repubs that might have voted Hillery……

      1. Carolinian

        Did you read the story? One of their suggested alternative candidates is Rick Perry. And the “party leaders” aren’t identified except for William Kristol who must be one of those self appointed party leaders. This is a real nothingburger of an article and shows how the NYT coverage has both deteriorated and deserted all objectivity. File it under Trump Panic.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          On the subject of behaving with dignity for our elites.

          Trump’s rudeness is degrading the presidential candidacy.

          The presidency, itself, on the other hand, was degraded in the 1990s….by that, that woman of course. That woman is to blame for that mess.

            1. frosty zoom

              i would never, ever be seen at the squishy mart.

              nonetheless, he was very funny in “soap”. i can’t imagine how he transformed into such a warmongering slime.

      2. mk

        it would be so hilarious if they chose Bernie Sanders as their Independent candidate, as he’s the only one who can beat Trump! HAHA!! Would love to see that!

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      I disagree with Ford on one thing: I don’t think Clinton will let Sanders near the platform. Or near anything. She’ll keep him off the floor if she can, just as Obama did to her.

      To be fair, BAR’s call on Obama was correct, and earlier than mine, so they could be correct in thinking that Clinton is less ruthless than I think she is, and Sanders more pliant than I think he is. (I’m gonna have to eat a lot of crow if Sanders, personally, sheepdogs the way BAR claims he did, and I don’t look forward to it.)

      1. ScottW

        I doubt Sanders will “sheepdog” because he is not just a politician looking for political gain. His future is limited. And if he were to stray, I don’t think his supporters will follow in mass. As my 24 y.o. daughter says, “I just might find myself too busy to vote in November.”

        Sanders openly advocating for a Hillary Presidency will sow the seeds for cynical Youth who have bought into his message of a rigged economy and political system. Hillary is the poster child of everything that is wrong with politics and nothing she says can overcome her actions. She is not a viable alternative for Sanders’ supporters.

        She is more than just a “Goldwater Girl,” because I don’t think even Barry would support the Clintons’ corruption–turning public office into the biggest private looting in American history.

        1. optimader

          I can speculate Sanders as an “independent” has more potential to influence Trump than the policy intransigent Clinton.

        2. trinity river

          I don’t think even Barry would support the Clintons’ corruption–turning public office into the biggest private looting in American history.

          I am eager to see just how BHO plans to spend the rest of his life. I suspect that he will follow the Clinton’s lead in speaking to groups for great financial gain, but realize that he is a more private person. He also doesn’t need $$$ to prime the runway for a future presidential campaign as the Clintons have. My sense is that he just wants to be among the important people and to be comfortable in that environment. I haven’t seen him stick his neck out for anyone else.

          1. Optimader

            Well the Clintoms have been prodigious, but i wonder how they rank compared to Lincoln and sweetheart deals with the Railroad right of ways. Those were some breathtaking deals, notonly for the right of way property itself, but the adjacent properties.Headfakes on were the RR routes actually got staked made and crushed landowners andspeculators of the day that didn’t have rhe real info. The BNSF line my town grew off of was planned to be some miles north of where they actually put it

          2. Optimader

            Well the Clintoms have been prodigious, but i wonder how they rank compared to Lincoln and sweetheart deals with the Railroad right of ways. Those were some breathtaking deals, notonly for the right of way property itself, but the adjacent properties.Headfakes on were the Rar routes actually got staked made and crushed landowners andspeculators of the day that disnt have rhe real info. The BNSF line my town grew off of was planned to be some miles north of where they actually put it

        3. Vatch

          As my 24 y.o. daughter says, “I just might find myself too busy to vote in November.”

          I hope you encourage your daughter to vote. There are other offices at stake besides the Presidency. And she can vote for a third party Presidential candidate (if long shot Sanders isn’t nominated).

      2. Johnnygl

        Before the recent campaign, sanders didn’t have a big fund raising apparatus or a real nationally recognized name or base of supprt. Now he’s got all of those things at his disposal and his senate seat is virtually untouchable. Keep in mind he won almost 90% in his home state primary.

        He can flip the bird to the dem party if he so chooses and there is very little they can do about it. Will he choose to do just that????

        1. pretzelattack

          i sure hope so, but i’ve been disappointed before. at any rate, it’s basically up to us, whether our leaders betray us or not.

        2. nycTerrierist

          I too hope he decides to run as an Independent if he doesn’t get the D nom.
          The Dems are hopelessly discredited. They stand for nothing at this point but
          TINA to the Rs. Screw that. I would love it if Sanders decides to give us a choice
          from the duopoly. He is so close, way closer than Nader was, and way better positioned than the Greens.

          1. Johnnygl

            I don’t expect him to run beyond the dem nomination race. I DO expect him to start dogging a clinton presidency from the first bad piece of legislation that hits the floor.

            As for leaving the party completely. He doesn’t need to do that. If he does he should bait them into taking some heavy handed action so he will be seen to be kicked out rather than walking out. There is advantage in that kind of break up for him.

          2. Vatch

            The Dems are hopelessly discredited.

            Are they? Just because we know how bad they are, doesn’t mean that the average American knows. There are still plenty of people who are voting for Hillary Clinton, and among Republicans, there are many who actually believe that she is a “left wing liberal”.

        3. NoOne

          He can flip the bird to the dem party if he so chooses and there is very little they can do about it

          They can, and will, take away his seniority and committee assignments. They are “privileges,” not rights, given to him by the Democratic Party Senate leadership.

            1. NoOne

              How Jesse Ventura as third-party candidate? More viable than Stein?

              Jill Stein is going NOWHERE! Jesus, she got 0.32% of the vote in 2012 against two of the worst candidates in recent history. Even if she doubled that this year, does anyone think that her two-thirds of one percent of the vote matter to anyone?

              It’s time to get old Ralph Nader out of retirement. One last “Fucckk Youuu!” to the establishment!

            2. Massinissa

              Theyre third party candidates. I vote third party myself, but if you care about viability, you might want to reconsider voting third party. I assure you neither Ventura nor Stein can get as far as Ross Perot. (In fact, if you want a ‘viable’ third party alternative, you would probably do best with the Libertarians, they almost got 1 percent in 2012)

              Just vote for who you like better. Neither of them have ‘viability’ in any real sense. Even if the Libertarians (or less likely, the Greens) manage to break 1% this year, its not like they would accomplish anything. Ross Perot got like over 10% right? He didnt accomplish anything either.

              1. Tom Allen

                Of course, to get all those votes, Perot spent something like $100 million (in today’s dollars) of his own multi-billion-dollar personal fortune.

                In 2012, the Stein campaign spent about a million dollars, and the Gary Johnson (Libertarian) campaign about 2.5 million. The Obama and Romney campaigns spent about a billion dollars each (adding together candidate, party, and outside spending.) Stein got around 1/3 of the number of votes that Johnson did, and Johnson got about 1/50 of the number of votes that Romney did.

                The correlation between money spent and votes gained isn’t direct, but it sure is suggestive.

          1. Johnnygl

            That’s not without cost to the dem party elites. They need him as much as he needs them, prob more unless clinton steals more votes from the right.

      3. neo-realist

        If Sanders loses the nomination, he hopefully will tell his followers/movement to fight for progressive change within the party, privately advise or push his followers to remove DWS as the head of the DNC, and start pushing for the nomination of populist candidates for election to congress. The thing is that regardless of which democrat is elected to the presidency, that person will be a toothless tiger more or less with republicans controlling both houses of congress, so structural change within the party should be a mission of the Sanders people and progressive democrats moving forward regardless of who is nominated.

        1. Ulysses


          I think that if Sanders loses the nomination some people (following the lead of Sanders, Warren, etc.) will try to reform the D party, to bring it back to its New Deal roots. They will probably fail to accomplish that, and thus the D party will eventually collapse from the weight of its own hypocrisy.

          1. Code Name D

            I think that is Sanders losses the nomination, he will have proven that the Democratic Party can not be reformed.

          2. Carla

            Oh, please. The Democrat party is irredeemable. The two-party system is toxic. Time for a re-do.

            1. Ulysses

              Probably right about that. Perhaps if Bernie is robbed by the DNC establishment it will mark the beginning of a new Labor/Green sort of party?

              1. Massinissa

                Or worse, what If Bernie AND Donald are said to be cheated of their nominations? Could mark the creation of multiple parties and interest groups to be challenging the Status Quo

            1. Ulysses

              I think the U.S.Whigs were forced, by the pressures of the burgeoning abolitionist movement, to reveal themselves as being more about protecting the interests of landed gentry, and big money, than any higher principles. They collapsed pretty quickly once real matters of conscience reared their ugly head!

        2. Rhondda

          I think perhaps the most important question we all need to be asking ourselves is why our politicians are for the most part so frikkin’ worthless and how we can fix that.

      4. dcblogger

        Sanders wants to keep his place on the budget committee, he will play the good soldier. But his supporters do not take orders.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          Bernie is a one-time deal, kind of an accident of history. The only reason he could run his present campaign is because he is so squeaky-clean. How many congress people can say “I take no money from wall street.” Only Bernie Sanders. How could he have a 35 year political career and still be clean? Because he started in Vermont, which was then a haven for hippies and idealists. IMHO, it’s too late for another Bernie to crop up. Politicians now need moola. Vermont is so small, back then Bernie could just walk around and talk to everybody and get elected. The reason the politicians are so worthless is they whore themselves out all day every day for campaign contributions

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          I dunno. Maybe Sanders is now in the stage where cranky oldsters give zero f*cks. What’s a seat on the budget committee by the side of (as I advocate) introducing an institutional left presence into American politics?

    4. human

      I got to thinking that Lula got himself appointed to (effectively) Prime Minister and how this will shield him from any prosecution, then saw that Clinton must become president for this very reason. Absolution for her “Possible ™” crimes will be made in the grand Obama (Ford) manner of “Looking Forward ™” and avoiding “Divisiveness ™” while avoiding any unpleasantness to TPTB.

    5. craazyboy

      I have to admit that this strategy to defeat bigotry in America looks like a stroke of genius on the part of the democratic party. It’s so brilliant in it’s simplicity it almost makes you slap yourself on the forehead and exclaim, “Why didn’t anyone ever think of that before?”. And what better target than “pin the tale on the Donald?” It’s almost like he’s asking for it?? And what better time to bring this issue out into the open for discussion than during a Presidential election where the media can bring the full force of it’s TV cameras and word processors to bear on the subject? Exciting times ahead, methinks.

      Don’t forget there is bigotry against white wimins too. It’s not just a black thing either. Hillary is uniquely equipped(?) to have something to say on this issue as well. A major problem with wimens is they are dismissed as not being macho enough to be taken seriously and therefor aren’t suitable “persons of consequence” whom can make the important decisions – like have WWIII to make “America Safe/Great Again/Still”, or have the wisdom to realize Wall Street knows what’s good for the country, or that surrounding China with military bases are indeed American jobs.

      We can steal a page from the science of macro economics to see how we can constructively solve this problem. If each of our wimins became more macho, then at macro level the macho-ness of the entire country goes up! Could be as much as a factor of two? Conceptually, we could call this “gross domestic macho-ness”.

      Once we have a solid theory for our basis, next we need an implementation. After some research, I found the antidote for today conveniently at the top of this page. A bear! What is more macho than a bear??? Almost nothing. So we can try and analyze what are the key elements that make bears macho? There would be many, but to save ourselves some work, we could pick a couple obvious ones – facial and body hair. Not so surprisingly, most women have difficulty growing copious amounts of facial and body hair. Voila, we have discovered what the problem is!

      Now I imagine some wimins readers will be thinking at this point “but I just can’t grow copious amounts of facial and body hair. How will voting for Hillary help me and the black people?” Good question…but when you think about it a little, it doesn’t really take a lot of facial and body hair to get quite a bit more macho. Just not shaving your armpits and wearing a sleeveless top goes a long, long way on the macho scale. Facial hair is a challenge, but try a little mascara on the upper lip and bring out that little mustache. A little moustache will do wonders for your new look. And stop plucking those eyebrows. Some of history’s most macho leaders had wild and bushy eyebrows.

      So that’s a start anyway. I don’t have time to work out the whole election platform this morning – I have an AIRPAC meeting to skip and a long list of other things I’m not gonna do. But don’t despair – the press will be working on this too over the coming months as well.

      1. John Merryman

        Living around horses and horse people my whole life, I’ve known lots of macho wimin and they didn’t need body hair to be scary. Claws work just fine.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The silent, invisible and smooth talking racism versus the loud, visible and crude racism.

      “Here, sign on the loan docs. It’s good for you.”

      We see the physical (gun violence) ones, but don’t register, as sharply, the non-physical ones (economic sanctions to deny medicine).

      Has racism (or war against other faiths) really gone away? What, we are just starting to be alarmed now?

  6. Steve H.

    The Secrets of the Wave Pilots

    “subtracting dominant wave signals from a field, until a much subtler signal appears underneath”

    And that’s how we find our way. To detect gravity waves, vibrations from servos had to be accounted for, subtracting signals produced by the machinery used to detect the signals.

    “what if it is the path you take if you keep your vessel at 90 degrees to the strongest swell flowing between neighboring bodies of land? Position your broadside correctly, smack in the di lep’s path, and your hull would rock symmetrically, side to side”

    So if you follow the direction of the strongest force, you cannot detect the signal and find the path.

    “The di lep feels like pidodo, diarrhea. We might have been riding it all along.”

    And that is why we need the antidote each morning. Today’s looks like a bear trying to get into the pepto-bismol. Seems appropriate.

    1. craazyman

      If you’ve had 5 beers at a bar and need to find the men’s room you can funnel yourself down the paths enclosed by the strongest repelling bodies — like the bar itself and nearby tables, then the main sections of tables, then the walls by the bathroom. You don’t need a GPS or even science.

      It’s amazing how symmetries work in nature.

      Also, if you’re analyzing stocks like MIT Mathematical Economist Ed Bucks, who had a nervous breakdown after he realized his life’s work was complete nonsense, and ran away to the New Hampshire woods to look at nature through binoculars in hope of clues — what you’d do is this:

      And this is actually relevant to the analysis of naked capitalism, I’m not just wasting time here. What you’d do is measure monthly or quarterly returns over years and years and come to statistical conclusions about properties of time series. But what you wouldn’t do, which you should do, is realize that all your short-term period returns are only the dominant wave signals that obscure subtler and more important signals over much larger, long term periods and as a result all your standard errors are too high and all your numbers are basically bullshit. But nobody will pay much attention unless you pay them.

      1. optimader

        If you have seat at the bar, and have a couple empty bottle or glasses, you don’t have to find the mens room.
        Now ill read the rest of your post…..

    2. susan the other

      i thot pepto bismol too… and about the di-lep… it requires an interesting sense. A filtering sense that eliminates false signals until you arrive at the essential vibration and it feels like diarrhea… weird but no doubt true. Just let us imagine all the things we could know if we had a good filter. And could withstand vibration sickness… because everything has its wavelength…

    3. Scylla

      That was a very interesting article. It is notable that they brought up the cabbage swinging as a pendulum. Years ago, I read a book (fiction) that if I recall correctly was written in the 60’s. I forget the title, but it was primarily about a man whose grandfather was a traditional polynesian navigator, who then went on to become the same. I have no idea how true to life or well researched the book was, but it did stress the fact that boats had to be oriented to waves in a certain manner and that different types of waves rocked the boat differently. What makes this all memorable to me, was that they had a particular way of sensing the motion of the waves. The navigator would squat within the boat, and allow his testicles to pendulum, and used them to detect and measure the wave action.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Re the pendulum: I remember reading this in Whole Earth Review, at some point in the 70s, in a story about this same navigational technique. But it didn’t describe the holographic di lep data structure!

        Adding, the other amazing thing is there was one navigator left with the skill, and he grew up on an island we Americans had irradiated with a nuclear test, and then let the people live there to see how things would work out.

        Sort of like colonialism to the millionth degree…..

    4. craazyman

      If you’ve had 5 beers at a bar and need to find the men’s room you can funnel yourself down the paths enclosed by the strongest repelling bodies — like the bar itself and nearby tables, then the main sections of tables, then the walls by the bathroom. You don’t need a GPS or even science.

      tried to post this earlier but it got lost. It should have channeled itself rather than obeyed the dsyfunctional technology!

      1. craazyman

        Now thta’s it’s working, this is also what I said

        If you’re analyzing stocks like MIT Mathematical Economist Ed Bucks, who had a nervous breakdown after he realized his life’s work was complete nonsense, and ran away to the New Hampshire woods to look at nature through binoculars in hope of clues — what you’d do is this:

        And this is actually relevant to the analysis of naked capitalism, I’m not just wasting time here.

        What you’d do is measure monthly or quarterly returns over years and years and come to statistical conclusions about properties of time series. But what you wouldn’t do, which you should do, is realize that all your short-term period returns are only the dominant wave signals that obscure subtler and more important signals over much larger, long term wave-like cycles that produce in the short-term signals strange serial correlations, and as a result all your standard errors for the short-term signals are too high and all your numbers are basically bullshit confusions of quantities mistakenly inferred as descriptive of the primary underlying forms. But nobody will pay much attention unless you pay them.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘much larger, long term wave-like cycles’

          … otherwise known as Kondratiev waves.

          Spend too long contemplating their mysterious quasi-symmetry, and you develop untreatable apophenia.

          1. craazyman

            those were the days, when as a young man, you could drink 5 icy cold tall frosty beers before needing to piss.

            Now it’s only 4.75. hahahahah. the ravages of time.

            1. Jim Haygood

              A buddy of mine in Arizona stepped out behind his cabin to relieve himself after having a few beers.

              To his surprise, one of the ubiquitous little brown lizards skittered over and started lapping it up.

              “That’s why they call it lizard lemonade,” I observed.

      2. Jim Haygood

        If one could read, in the subtle cross-currents of intraday trading, the invisible di lep generated by the opposing poles of gold and the dollar, then an endless train of ten-baggers heaves into view on the misty horizon.

        It’s the secret of Jesse Livermore, waiting to be rediscovered. Likely entheogens will prove to be a necessary, but not sufficient, aid to navigating these invisible waves produced by streaming data.

  7. Andrew Anderson

    “Helicopter money isn’t manna falling from heaven, but would rip huge holes in central bank balance sheets,” Weidmann, who heads Germany’s Bundesbank, said, according to the newspaper. “The euro area states and taxpayers would pay the bill in the end.” from `Helicopter Money’ Hurts Banks, ECB’s Weidmann Tells Newspaper

    Pay the bill (and quite a few others as it flows through the economy?) with the helicopter money itself? Then what’s the problem?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Helicopter money should be dropped through a series of sieves…finer sieves lower down.

      This way, big guys, big institutions, big agencies, big districts, big departments, big bureaus, big corporations can catch the big chunks early on.


      1. Andrew Anderson

        Of course helicopter money should be dropped equally into inherently risk-free, individual citizen accounts at the central bank itself. And it should keep falling at least until price inflation indicates all idle resources have been employed.

        Also, future needs for new fiat in the economy should be met the same way – equal drops into individual citizen accounts at the central bank itself.

        Also, regular spending by governments in the Eurozone should be directed, by default of course, into individual citizen, business, state and local government, etc. accounts at the ECB and NOT to banks as it now must be for lack of such accounts.

  8. Tony S

    Last night at dinner, my Republican Rubio-voting brother told me, “Looks like we’re stuck with Trump and you’re stuck with Hillary. I’m not voting for Trump, and I presume you’re not voting for Hillary. [He’s right.] I just have one question — what has Hillary Clinton actually done for black people? I would have thought that Sanders’ message would have been a natural fit for African-Americans.”

    I told him that question’s been asked multiple times in the liberal blogosphere, and no satisfying answer has ever really emerged. I just said that black voters can be just as shallow and celebrity-oriented as white voters.

    We get the government we deserve. It’s always been true.

    1. nippersdad

      There are a series of articles up at the BAR that specifically address this point from a variety of angles all making essentially the same point, one of them is in the links today. After having read them they struck me as extremely likely rationales, esp. for Southerners.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      What black people? Hillary appeared to have largely won to the same African American voters as she did in 2008 which is wealthier black people who don’t want to risk a change in the status quo. I’m fairly certain Hillary 2008 would beat Hillary 2016.

      The behavior of the Democratic Party in the mean time is important. In 2012, Democrats promised to behave and that they just had to get through 2012. Black voters came out for Obama in record numbers, but they didn’t show up to protect the Senate despite threats of the GOP, neither did women. I think the Democrats have broken too many promises.

      Sanders has had troubles with older voters who should vote for him and non college black youth. For a variety of reasons, these are low info voters, and in many ways, Sanders and Obama sound alike in a superficial way. For the average potential voter, Sanders is even newer than Obama in 2008. Many people have given up on Team Blue, more than I realized. Voting for Obama didn’t change anything. Why would voting for Sanders matter? Blacks have been a captured group for a long time, and Obama preyed on AAs for votes in 2012.

      Back during the debate over ACA, it’s important to remember what low info voters thought ACA would be or were told by Obama loyalists. The Obots pushed misinformation through the whole process, not just on blogs but in person.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I invite readers to replace “low info voter” with “ineffective campaign.” Same idea, different focus, and not insulting to voters, eh?

        Adding: Michigan Blacks are different from South Carolina Blacks are different from Chicago Blacks are different from Los Angeles Blacks. Ditto whites. All politics is local! If there’s one thing following these primaries closely should teach us, it’s that most generalizations we read are incredibly flimsy, verging on category errors.

        1. perpetualWAR

          I dispute your term “ineffectual campaign” and actually go to “ignorant and rather stupid voters.”

          1. NoOne

            And not just the AA ones either! Stupid voters is the only way to explain how the woman who’s husband championed NAFTA could carry Ohio, a state he devastated with it’s implementation. Stupid knows no race, gender or sexual orientation.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Voters are not stupid when they try to avoid starvation or lynching.

              Or maybe they are (with the aid of stupidity-meter), but we count one stupid vote the same way we count one genius vote…it’s one vote.

            2. perpetualWAR

              Stupid also is shown that Clinton carried Florida, a state most assuredly that understands how Wall street devastated their communities.

              And btw, I didnt mean to imply it was only AA who are stupid. There are a LOT of stupid Americans.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                There are people who look at the world differently from us.

                Then, there are people who assign different priorities than us.

                Sometimes, one’s job dictate how one votes (his job is with a big government military contractor, or her’s is with an ethanol producer, or college administration).

                Some believe in reparation and some don’t.

                Some want more trade, some less.

                Some think we should defend Europe, some think the Europeans do.

                Too many voters for me to know why they vote the way they vote.

                But they vote and their votes count. Hopefully, more will vote.

              2. hunkerdown

                For “stupidity”, I would offer as a replacement “knowing what just ain’t so”. If ideologies and lifestyles were not all lies, how could they be different?

          2. MojaveWolf

            Gotta agree w/perpetualWAR here. Is Bernie’s campaign perfect? No. Nor has any campaign ever been nor ever will be. Is the media essentially a propaganda outlet for Hillary at this point? Yes. But …

            More or less half the voting public in the US voted for George W Bush twice. He may have won both elections by cheating, but it shouldn’t have been that close. I don’t care how biased the media was or how bad Gore’s or Kerry’s campaign were, people voted for W. People voted for W. in 2004. There is no excuse for this.

            I can’t remember what year it was, but there was an election in Georgia where people voted for a chickenhawk who avoided the military over a former military guy who was disabled from diving on a grenade to save others because of pro-war “patriotism”. I don’t care how imperfect someone’s messaging may have been, we’re getting seriously screwy here.

            People abandoned Dean in 2004 after the Dean scream. Yes, the media were trying to get rid of him for a while and finally found something that worked. This does not excuse the people who saw this and thought “oh my! must not vote for him! He… he… he yelled!” Same people who almost with 100% certainty would have thought this was a wonderful, inspiring moment if the media had told them to think that. (and it would have been at least equally easy to frame it that way)

            In 2001, post 9/11, suddenly over 90% of Americans thought W was doing a great job. Half of those 90% thought he was doing a lousy job until he ignored all warnings and let people fly planes into buildings. Suddenly we were supposed to love him, and most of the country went along with this. People were stupid.

            There’s a point at which you just gotta say, at best, a big chunk of the American public are being willfully blind fools, and a big chunk of us are that way on a consistent basis and never learn a damn thing.

      2. neo-realist

        Sanders doesn’t strike me as similar to Obama in a superficial way— Sanders is much gruffer in delivery as opposed to the smooth baritone of Obama, but delivers much more policy substance in his spiel than Obama ever did.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Smooth baritone, soothing words…they help to distract attention from actionable (and actioned) missions against other faiths.

          Some guy says that out loud, as crudely as the actions, and panic ensues.

          Maybe now we wake up and start putting it (like South Africa’s Reconciliation Commission, instead of ‘letting them fight it out) on the table, along side free college tuition, and start blowing up Wall Street, blowing up corrupt campaign finance, blowing the Citizen United decision, and blowing up more free trade deals (all non-violently).

    3. John Merryman

      You mean most people are shallow, regardless of color?

      The irony here is this applies to the rich and powerful as well, as the system would hold together longer and they could ride the wave longer, if they weren’t so intent on stealing anything and everything not bolted down, as quickly as possible.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      If you think that racism trumps socialism* — that is, that the concrete material benefits promised by socialism will be drained away by institutional racism — then Sanders cannot deliver the universal benefits he claims.

      There’s a lot to be said for that viewpoint. Let’s remember that Social Security wasn’t extended to a lot of black people, and that (IIRC) the original “red lines,” color-coding neighborhoods racially, were drawn for FDR’s HOLC foreclosure program, by an official from the Federal reserve.

      It’s extremely unfortunate that “the left” has no language to bridge gaps like this. “Intersectionality” is the closet we have but, (a) it’s noun, and I want verbs, and (b) it’s about interpersonal microdynamics, and I want macro.

      But I don’t think it makes sense to blame the voters. Let’s remember that Sanders youth vote — even in SC, he took black youth. I’d argue that’s because of free college: a concrete material benefit.

      * As any Democratic client in the Black Misleadership class would instantly say. But the argument still needs to be answered.

      1. John Merryman

        Sometimes I think of socialism as the loyal opposition to capitalism.

        Rather than point out that the monetary system functions as a public utility, much like roads, they basically just seem to argue for an egalitarianism which runs counter to natural self-centeredness.

        So that money remains a commodity to be possessed, rather than the social contract which it functions as, scaring people back to capitalism, so the “government” won’t take “their money” and give it to “those people.” Leaving the rich the natural right to as much money as they happen to acquire.

        People who love money and hate government are like the fish that loves the worm, but hates the hook.

        If you think those little pieces of paper are yours, try printing some up and see how seriously they take copyright laws on it.

        It doesn’t have your picture on it and you are not directly responsible for maintaining its value.

      2. Tony S

        I believe that racism USED to trump (we need a new verb) socialism — Harry Truman couldn’t get national health care passed because of Dixiecrat racism — but I think the climate today is different. If any current government initiative leaves out minorities, there are plenty of voices out there to blow the discrimination whistle. Institutional racism lingers on, but defending it is much more frowned upon today. In that context, Bernie would be more effective than Truman was.

        And even that still doesn’t address the original question — what DO black voters (or any voters, for that matter) see in Hillary? There’s literally NOTHING there except some cheap celebrity constructs and vague “fighter” attributes.

        A sidebar — “How will Bernie pay for his ideas?” is a constantly-asked question in our pundit class. It’s an eminently reasonable question. But, somehow, the question “How will Ted Cruz pay for his ideas?” seems to be noticeably absent from the discussion in our “liberal” media. Only progressive spending ever gets challenged…

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Actually, “How will Bernie pay for his ideas?” is rotten framing, part of the the “Progressive ‘Give-Up’ Formula” (though his Medicare for All proposal comes with numbers).

          Why aren’t we asking: “How can we not afford to do what Sanders proposes?” Canada can afford single payer; Germany can afford free college: Are we so poor that we can’t do what they do?

          1. Patricia

            Rotten framing also because other single payer systems are markedly less expensive than ours. It’s not rotten framing so much as overtly deceptive.

            “How can we not afford to do what Sanders proposes?” is the correct question whether poor or wealthy.

            *If we care about our citizenry*

          2. Tony S

            To be clear, that’s the media’s framing, not Bernie’s. I agree that it’s counterproductive framing, but it’s not coming from the Sanders campaign.

          3. neo-realist

            Why aren’t we asking: “How can we not afford to do what Sanders proposes?” Canada can afford single payer; Germany can afford free college: Are we so poor that we can’t do what they do?

            Our MIC soaks our budget, because according to PNAC, the world is ours and we need to spend as much money as possible to achieve strategic dominance and access profitable resources.

      3. PWC, Raleigh

        As for verbs, how about “include” vs. “exclude”, or “enfranchise” vs. “disenfranchise”, or “unify” vs. “divide”, or “join” vs. “separate”, or “provide” vs. “deprive”, or “acknowledge” vs. “dismiss”, or “enrich” vs. “disadvantage”, or “share” vs. “hoard”, or “integrate” vs. “segregate”, or…

    5. John Wright

      I’m very tired of reading, as accepted truth,”We get the government we deserve”.

      Speak for yourself, as I believe I deserve better government.

      Perhaps it should be stated as “We, the sheeple, get the government the powerful want us to have”

      1. Tony S

        We had an opportunity to vote for a non-corrupt, non-establishment, non-SuperPAC-sullied Presidential candidate. He was right there on the ballot, in front of every voter.

        The voters decided, “No, we’d rather have the corrupt one.”

        I’d say we deserve it.

        1. Patricia

          Media complicity is a big part of it. People are not given information and what they do read/hear demeans Sanders. Plus, many of us have not transferred to online news-gathering, and when attempts are made, it is confusing. time-consuming, and difficult to track down accurate info.

          Also we have become dead-weary of corruption and the pols are always lying, so many of us have given up.

          The collective ‘we’ bear some responsibility, but loading it all on the public is like the Calvinist doctrine of ‘total depravity’, assigning all-consuming guilt so one can derive perverse satisfaction from punishing consequences.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think it’s interactive, involving feedback loops, and other factors.

          Factors like

          1. accepting good looking candidates should be winners
          2. if you sweated in debate, you’re likely to be a loser
          3. preference for younger candidates, and if all old, just stay home…low turnout
          4. only 1 or 2 candidates on the menu (multiple choice questions vs. essay – i.e. design your own)
          5. aggressive candidates that go all out, versus play-it-safe candidates
          6 not speaking out when elections degenerated into candidates’ underwear choices
          7. letting mafia socialize with our candidates


      2. DJG

        Sorry, John Wright, but I agree with the commenters below. We get the government we deserve. My father, a child of the Depression, used to say that people get better government than they deserve. But those were the days when both parties thought that government should function.

    6. Anon

      From what I gather, it’s largely a mixture of Clinton nostalgia and increased incarceration and welfare cuts aside, they did okay. I guess it’s also a case of “the devil you know” vs the one you don’t.

    7. rusti

      We get the government we deserve. It’s always been true.

      Does this apply to Eritreans? Brazilians? Greeks?

      1. Vatch

        Good point. Few people get the government that they deserve. However, in the marginally democratic United States of America, the people who vote for the winners often do get the government that they deserve. And this is doubly true for the people who don’t vote at all.

        1. Ulysses

          “marginally democratic”

          Even that may be too generous! I don’t think any country– where Chelsea Manning is in jail and Jamie Dimon walks free– can be called “democratic” in any meaningful sense of the word. We are less citizens and more subjects every day!

          1. perpetualWAR

            Wore my “Jamie Dimon is a common criminal” tshirt to the Bernie rally in Seattle today!

              1. perpetualWAR

                Reports of over 30,000 people attended the Seattle Bernie rally! Many had to watch a large screen outside in the rain as the arena was filled to capacity!

  9. Pespi

    Russia’s impact in Syria, clearing Latakia province completely, cutting off the supply lines from Turkey to Aleppo, decimation of the ISIS-Turkey oil connection, breaking ISIS sieges and expanding government control of the big cities in the desert, completely refitting the Syrian air force with modern targeting and munitions (they’d been using rockets and dumb bombs as they had nothing better), equipping Syrian mechanized forces with reactive and slat armor to mitigate the 15,000 tow missiles we gave to the jihadists, a drone fleet to monitor the battlefield, upgraded communications, refitted syrian infantry with modern gear, brought groups who had been sitting out (specifically Christians in the north) into the fighting on the government side, relieved pressure on kurds which allowed for huge offensives south and west.

    There are battles left, Palmyra, closing the Aleppo kettle for good, clearing the stalingrad esque Damascus suburbs, the race to Raqqa, plus the tougher nuts along the Israeli and Turkish borders, and Idlib. I don’t know if Idlib is possible without Russian air. I wish Russia had stayed another 6 months to prevent a Balkanization, but the Syrian gov,should be able to make consistent gains, retake the oil fields and end the war as the holder of all but one of the biggest cities.

  10. Kokuanani

    Things are NOT going to end well for that bear in antidote, once he ingests shards of sharp, non-destructable plastic.

      1. polecat

        Do not under-estimate the power of digestive enzymes.

        not saying it’s good to consume plastic….still..

  11. tgs

    re: Greenwald on Brazil

    Truly informative and depressing. A good corrective to the distorted view of events in that country given by our MSM.

  12. Carolinian

    Interesting story about what drives voter turnout and how making voters stakeholders in government programs makes it far more likely that they will participate in the democratic process.

    The classic example of this feedback loop, described by political scientist Andrea L. Campbell, is Social Security. Prior to its passage, older Americans weren’t known for their engagement in politics. Since its passage, however, older Americans participate at dramatically higher rates than middle-aged and young people. Social Security created a group of beneficiaries with a stake in democratic participation to protect their benefits. Similar mobilizations have occurred around the G.I. Bill, as extensively documented by political scientist Suzanne Mettler.

    Conversely those with little direct state such as the poor and young come out and vote in pitifully small numbers–12 percent for one category.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Wasn’t this FDR’s Social Security’s point man’s point when FDR questioned why the program shouldn’t be means tested? Social Security was always about poverty and youth unemployment, encouraging people to leave the workforce, but to keep it, it had to be universal.

      1. John Merryman

        I’ve long wondered if there wasn’t a little quiet intent to put unemployed capital back to work, as government debt, as well as the people on whom it was spent.

        How do you think they really cured inflation, in the early 80’s?

      2. Carolinian

        It’s not really a new idea to point out that Republican assaults on SS were always as much about reducing Democrat political power as about shoveling all that money to Wall St etc. Even now fears about SS likely keep many voters in the Dem corral.

        All of which is why the Clintons’ attack on “the era of big government” was an attack on the viability of the party itself. Hill and Bill were always out for themselves, not “them what brung em.” In the 90s many Dems resented having to always defend the Clenis. Which once again brings up the ongoing question: why are these people still around?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama ate up much of the energy. I think Sanders’ biggest problem is on the surface he seems like campaign Obama, and my sense is the potential Democratic electorate is much worse than Team Blue types imagine. It doesn’t matter what Hillary or Team Blue elites say as much as what their local sycophants said.

          Local Team Blue enthusiasts told lies and spread fantasies about Democratic policies such as ACA. In many ways, low info voters will only see Sanders as a repeat of Obama from 2008 with crazy promises. It’s anecdotal, but when I was phone banking in 2008, I heard other volunteers say crazy stuff about Obama’s views which weren’t true. In many places, there are no longer Democratic aligned organizations which can combat this problem. Too many people have left to be brought back by a random Senator, which Sanders is to most people, promising sane foreign policy, economic justice, universal health care, and accountability. Perhaps this is a campaign failing, but I suspect Sanders is seen as very similar to Obama by people who don’t have resources to see a radically different individual or read through the Democratic propaganda.

          Who is left in the Democratic Party? Obama is leaving nothing behind. Only Clinton-philes.

          1. sd

            Apparently Sanders’ support for down ticket candidates is pissing off the DNC establishment.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is the crazy idea the government gives voters money for the work they perform to uphold democracy, that is, when they vote.

      No more voluntary voters.

      All voters should be paid voters…less when inflation is on, more when deflation threatens.

    3. Jim Haygood

      ‘Social Security created a group of beneficiaries with a stake in democratic participation to protect their benefits.’

      Yes. But has it really worked that well? Benefits have indeed been protected. Meanwhile, the funded status of the system has receded to about 20%, headed for zero in 2034 according to the trustees’ own forecast.

      Soc Sec’s slow-motion train wreck demonstrates the principle that democracy enables interest groups to defend their own entitlements at the expense of others (younger cohorts, in this case).

      It also exposes the unhealthy politicized foundations of the system, in which ex officio trustees such as the Treasury and HHS secretaries owe no fiduciary duty to beneficiaries. Instead they accommodate political pressures to shortchange the Trust Fund to accommodate current spending, while penning hand-wringing, pearl-clutching tales of woe in their annual trustees report about Soc Sec’s deepening funding crisis.

      Exempting government-sponsored pension programs from fiduciary obligation is a recipe for bad behavior. Goddess forbid that the Yellenites “go NIRP” on us in the next recession, obliging the Soc Sec Trust Fund to pay the Treasury for the privilege of owning “non-marketable bonds” — redeemable only with issuer’s consent — that no fiduciary would ever accept.

  13. Jef

    Re; A new blueprint…

    I have been pointing out for years how evolution theory has been bastardized into an excuse to be greedy where instead mutual aid was the main finding.

    From the article;

    “We’ve convinced ourselves that a million individual acts of selfishness magically add up to a common good. And we’ve paid a great price for such arrogance.”

    “In a sense, the latest wave of scientific understanding merely confirms what we, in our bones, know to be true: that no one is an island; and that someone who thinks he can take for himself, everyone else be damned, causes a society to become to sick to sustain anyone.”

  14. JEHR

    Re: ” Central banks are already doing the unthinkable . . . . ”
    “Central bankers have led the world out of recovery as politicians have stood on the sidelines”

    Pardon me, but didn’t the politicians bail out the banks so that central bankers could buy up all kinds of assets so that Mr. Market could continue to make a profit for the bankers? Also, the recovery only helped the bankers and the 1% so that does not make it a recovery for everyone. What twisted logic!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The focus of the campaign has been more about bankers, but not enough on the central bank itself.

      Someone needs to go harder on the Fed.

      1. Andrew Anderson

        When we all may have accounts at the central bank then favoritism toward depository institutions (aka “banks”) will be much more indefensible, eg. why should the central bank lend or sell fiat to banks when the banks could borrow or buy it from individual citizen, business, state and local government, etc. accounts at the central bank?

        And indeed, the banks WILL need to borrow* from those accounts, since spending by the monetary sovereign will, of course, be directed to those individual citizen, business, state and local government, etc. accounts by default and not to the banks as now must be the case for lack of those accounts.

        *And pay honest interest rates too since government-provided deposit insurance will no longer be necessary.

        1. Andrew Anderson

          And indeed, the banks WILL need to borrow* …

          Explicitly borrow, that is, since the lack of individual citizen accounts at the Federal Reserve, for instance, means that US Military personnel, Social Security recipients, Federal workers, etc. ARE FORCED TO LEND the fiat they receive from the US Treasury to the banking cartel.

          Currently, physical fiat, aka cash, allows those forced loans to be undone, if one is willing deal with the risk and inconvenience of physical fiat. But why should one have to? Given a thing called Equal Protection under the Law? Guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, iirc?

  15. Carla

    Re: Yardfarmers– I guess if it was good enough for Soviet Russia and the hard-scrabble decade that followed, it may have to be good enough for us.

    We’ll have to be careful what we grow in our chemically and heavy metal contaminated soils, however.

    1. Schnormal

      I was thinking the same thing. Some suburbs were built on scary sites. I hope they make time to mention that, and how people who want to farm their own yards can test their soil (or at least put it on the show’s blog, if for ratings’ sake they want to keep the focus more on the human interest side).

      Loved the trailer!

      1. optimader

        And from the good old days in Chicago… I believe the insane Municipal stooges called the program in Chicago “New Earth” or “New Soil”?.
        Basically they were giving away intensely contaminated sewage sludge to people to use yard soil amendment!
        This was back before industry was stripped out of Chicago and sent elsewhere so all the goodies like plating residue, halogenated compounds, hexavalent chrome were finding their way into the sanitary district ponds.
        I would shudder to think what the “urban gardeners” are eating re: plants that strip these “micronutrients” from the soil, if they haven’t carefully excavated and disposed of the topsoil they are gardening in!

        And this does not even consider the long forgotten contaminants from the WWI and WWII war production efforts that are lurking in now urbanized residential areas….

        1. Keenan

          I suppose one can opt for the roundup ready GM products of industrial agriculture and the pollution resulting from long their distance transport and heavy reliance on inorganic fertilizers. Or one can chose the path of independence from agribusiness.

          I’m curious of how the yard-farmers of the film will deal with the cloven-hoof predators prowling much of suburbia, which display a distinct preference for farmed crops and fruiting trees. The additional costs of defending against these adversaries discourage many a gardener.

  16. Brian

    “looking for america”, wapooo; Sorry, but if I might ask the question; Why in the wide world of sports would we care, read, think about, ruminate upon or consider, any garbage about “life” from the WaPooo, or any of these lame excuses for public opinion generators.
    This site has been real enough to laugh out loud at the absurd, but we know what bezos wants and it is not good for living things. or faux, or huffingonglue, or the telecrapfh.
    garbage in, it can be nothing but garbage or compost out.

  17. sd

    Corruption in Iceland – the Prime Minister, an offshore company, and bank bail outs…

    Prime Minister in hot water after his wife admits to owning a mysterious off-shore company

    Anna Sigurlaug Pálsdóttir, the wife of the Prime Minister, only admitted to owning the company after she and the Prime Minister learned that an Icelandic investigative journalists researching tax avoidance and assets in tax havens had asked questions about the company. The investigation is part of an international effort, involving The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    1. Carla

      Whenever we read “No laws were broken,” we know the circle is complete. The law has already been made the handmaiden of corruption, so of course, it was not necessary to break the law to take what was not yours.

    1. allan

      The author’s qualifications:

      … a financial journalist and the weekly columnist for Money US. She’s also written for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The Financial Times and the Institutional Investor.

      (The only thing that’s missing is Distinguished Scholar at the Center for American Progress.)
      Insert the standard Upton Sinclair quote.

  18. John Merryman

    I found the NYT article on piloting by wave very interesting. To repost my own comment, slightly edited;

    While I don’t get off the farm much, a lifetime of training horses has provided a lot of experience at reading the wave patterns of nature. I’ve come to see reality as fundamentally wave like and that while our quantitizing, digitizing and atomizing has been very useful for information compression and thus our current state of civilization, it has also created an atomized, disconnected and isolating view of reality.

    Our materialistic paradigm is that under all the activity are solid objects moving about, first atoms, then quanta, now just strings vibrating, with the wave largely as second order effect, because if we were to consider the wave, not the object, as fundamental, it would mean that conceptually, reality is more of a hologram, than materialistic.

    1. craazyboy

      However, I do remember a Star Trek “blooper” where Captain Kirk walked straight into the exit doors from the Bridge because the stage hands didn’t pull the doors back in time.

      It was in Star Trek Next Generation they solved wave-particle duality by using a holodeck a separate room.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Exactly. And in this case, not metaphorically, but really, and so real that one can navigate using the “hologram,” and our own senses. Period.

      Useful post-collapse, I would think.

      1. John Merryman

        Its just a wave anyway. The energy is conserved. The trick will be to guide the energy being created. Reverse disaster capitalism, so to speak.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stockpiling equipment in Cambodia and Vietnam.

    In addition to all the mines and undetonated bombs we stockpiled there in the 1960’s.

    Wonder if these countries will have to pay for the protection?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Central banks are already doing the unthinkable.

    It used to be that a central bank printed money, the money stayed in that country and hopefully got consumption/demand/manufacturing/resource depletion going, and if not handled properly, inflation or hyperinflation.

    Nowadays, when a central bank prints money, either the one printing global reserve money or one that has a lot of it in reserves, the new money goes toward expanding coffee stores/hing more coal-miners (for a while) in the Third World or some other uses that do not ‘increase domestic working class demand nor bottleneck domestic production.’

  21. PlutoniumKun

    Re: China Inc. the quest for cash flow, FT.

    That article sounds ominously familiar to any Irish person – in the dying stages of the Celtic Tiger lots of newly wealthy Irish went on a credit funded spree of overseas buying – the same for Iceland. They paid crazy prices for superficially attractive companies such as football clubs or high class hotel chains. In reality, they massively overpaid. I don’t think there is any need for an explanation except that what we are seeing are connected people emptying out domestic banks of every yuan they can get to buy whatever bauble comes to hand. That the banks are willing to do so suggests there is nothing left domestically they can invest in. Its a real sign of ‘top of the market’.

  22. Barmitt O'Bamney

    Pretty cool watching a US President get off his big blue plane in Cuba, at long last. Yeah, yeah – I know Obama has only schemes of Neoliberal oppression in his heart for Cuba’s people, but still… I am glad it’s him directing Cuba policy and not John McCain or that other guy, Whatwashisname? The motives behind US overtures to Cuba may not be pure enough for all of us, but it’s a great thing to witness a President visit there and treat Cuba like a country instead of like a runaway slave.

    1. Eureka Springs

      What? You don’t think the slave owners took a Sunday horse ride out on the plantation to see their captured/returned slaves? He probably put down his Tuesday global slave to be killed playbook long enough to pick up a deal on some beachfront property.

  23. Jim Haygood

    Commodities launch like never before, says Jodie Gunzberg of S&P’s indexology blog:

    The GSCI index reached its highest level since Dec. 10, 2015, and gained 18.8% since its bottom on Jan. 20, 2016. This is the most the index has ever increased in just 40 days after bottoms.

    Now in March, 23 of 24 commodities are positive. This is the most ever in a month with one exception when all 24 commodities were positive in Dec 2010.

    It is also the fastest so many monthly returns of commodities changed from negative to positive, making a comeback from Nov. 2015 when just two commodities were positive.

    Gunzberg’s comments jibe with a March 8th Bloomberg article noting that gold is off to its best start of the year since 1974.

    With her characteristic word salad opacity, J-Yel commented on this phenomenon last Wednesday:

    “As you mention, recent readings on inflation have moved up. There may be some, you know, I want to warn that there may be some transitory factors that are influencing that.”

  24. Death to America

    Oh boy, more Look for America. Puke me out. Did the Soviets indulge in this kind of mawkish navel gazing when their police state was collapsing? ♪♫ We’ve all ♪ gone to look for the ♫ Soviet U–huun-yun♪♫.

    Just break it up already.

  25. John

    I wish Bernie would use kennedys ‘ask not’ speech. Might remind Hilary’s seniors of their long lost idealism.

    Also… Imagine some guys in suits carrying Hilary’s ‘working for us’ signs as they happily high five with workers entering an office building in the morning…
    Then, the camera across the street pans out to show the name of the Wall Street bank.
    I suppose the suits entering the building wouldn’t have to actually be banksters.

  26. carping demon

    “now we understand that small differences in initial choices can cascade into huge variations in ultimate consequences.”

    I think this conflates initial choices with “initial contitions.” In what’s known as “the butterfly effect,” the flapping of a butterfly’s wing eventually gives rise to a storm somewhere else in the world,” but conditions are not choices.

  27. Sluggeaux

    I rarely comment on “Links” (if ever), but I must salute the appropriate references to both Maréchal Petain and Upton Sinclair.

    Don’t we ever learn?

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