Links 3/16/17

Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why PopSci (Chuck L, Dan K)

Great Barrier Reef survival relies on halting warming, study warns BBC

Parched koalas seek new water sources BBC

Crashed UFO in Colombia actually belongs to Google Boing Boing (resilc)

An unconfirmed change in how Google ranks web pages is freaking some people out Washington Post. We only do the bare minimum in search engine optimization (as in putting up keywords) precisely because Google keeps changing its algos to keep ahead of SEO firms. But separately, since Google has been optimized for shopping and recency, it’s tended to work against smaller independent blogs and academic sites for some time. As I’ve repeatedly said, there is no way I could have written ECONNED in six months, in which I relied heavily on Google for fact checking and re-finding of stuff I’d read earlier, if it worked then (2009) the way it does now.

The Entrepreneur with the $100 Million Plan to Link Brains to Computers MIT Technology Review (David L)

Researchers prove the five second rule is real Aston University

Unintended Pregnancies Would Drop With Full Birth Control Options Offered TeenVogue. Dan K: “TeenVogue pushing policy. Not an earth-shattering article in itself, but nice to see, the kids need to know.”

Married Oklahoma GOP Senator Found in Motel Room with Underage Teen Male: WATCH https://t.co/1BkdENRuhp https://t.co/aQfUV0l3lP @rlrt. Chuck L points out that life has caught up with the famous quote by former Louisiana Gov. and felon Edwin Edwards: “The only way I’ll lose the election is if I’m found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”

China?

China’s Continuing Credit Boom Big Picture (resilc)

How the CIA Sponsored Indian Magazines that Engaged the Country’s Best Writers The Wire (J-LS)

Brexit

London’s single market access will end with Brexit Financial Times. Important and wish I had had time to post on it, but I had a lot of competing demands. On the spectrum between posturing and sending a message, this is a hell of a lot closer to sending a message. Basic point is the UK’s claim that hurting the City will hurt the EU is bullshit and the EU knows it. The banks will relocate activities to the rest of the EU as needed.

Scotexit and Allocating the UK’s Debt Credit Slips. Note that per news reports yesterday, May seems confident she can block Sturgeon’s second referendum gambit.

Italian debate on merits of ditching euro grows louder Financial Times

Live: Dutch Liberals’ Surge Damages Odds for Le Pen Bloomberg

Save the Children finds rising self-harm, depression in Greek camps Reuters (Dan K)

Syraqistan

Trump Meeting Saudi Prince Hailed as ‘Turning Point’ on Iran Fortune (resilc)

New Cold War

Hillary Clinton Campaign Was Connected To Russian Government ShadowProof (Judy B)

John McCain: Rand Paul ‘Is Now Working for Vladimir Putin’ Daily Beast (Dan K). So this is now what you say in Washington when you’ve run out of arguments?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Irredeemable Silicon Valley Pando

A Very Dangerous WikiLeak Bloomberg. UserFriendly: “Just kill me.:

World Bank’s top economist says India’s controversial ID program should be a model for other nations Quartz. Jerri-Lynn provides more background: What is Aadhaar ? WhatIs.com

Imperial Collapse Watch

Can China leapfrog US in scramble for world’s best aircraft carrier? South China Morning Post (J-LS). Help me. Aircraft carriers are a cross between sacred cows and white elephants. See here for details. This has been known for a long time but no one is wiling to call off such a big ticket buying program.

Trump Transition

Judge blocks Trump’s revised travel ban The Hill

Trump’s loose talk came back to haunt him in judge’s travel ban ruling Guardian (furzy)

Trump goes feral on Muslim ban ruling, vows to destroy 9th Circuit court, crowds: “Lock Her Up!” Boing Boing (resilc)

Appeals court won’t rehear case on Trump’s original travel ban The Hill

Trump in Graham’s cross hairs as Russia probe kicks off Politico (furzy)

Clinton Ally Says Smoke, But No Fire: No Russia-Trump Collusion NBC: “‘There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.'”

Trump Budget Seeks Big Cuts to Arts, EPA, Foreign Aid Wall Street Journal

Comey will testify publicly on Russia investigation next week Politico (furzy)

‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House Politico (furzy). Given that they are in a cage match with the CIA, this isn’t “paranoia,” this is prudent. In fact, everyone should be doing stuff like this as a matter of course to reduce how much the surveillance state hoovers up about them. But having said that, this plus Trump’s pattern of creating competing power centers and letting them duke it out is very likely creating a counterproductive level of tension (IMHO, encouraging turf wars is a bad management practice. The success of Goldman is due precisely to managing aggressively to achieve the opposite result, of minimizing internal conflict save at the very most senior levels, where it is inevitable, so that as much energy as possible is directed towards making money).

Edward Snowden Has Some Advice for Donald Trump About Surveillance Intercept

Sullivan & Cromwell’s Brent McIntosh Is Picked for Treasury GC American Lawyer. Not a good look. Sullivan & Cromwell and Goldman are joined at the hip. An ex Goldman guy is running Treasury and the pick for #2 is also ex Goldman.

The Appealing Logic That Underlies Trump’s Economic Ideas Heather Boushey, Atlantic (resilc). Boushey does not have the public profile of a Serious Economist, but she is seen as serious by Serious Economists. Basically a credible DC insider who is on what that town perceives to be the far left flank. One quibble is that she talks about how much globalization has decreased world poverty. More recent stats may have changed this, but Joe Stiglitz said a few years back that the increase in incomes in poor nations took place entirely in China, that there was no real benefit to globalization anywhere else.

Strangers in a Cruel LandMatt Cameron, Baffler (resilc). On deportation.

Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run The Hill (J-LS). How quickly can I get a passport to anywhere else?

Obaamcare

Freedom Caucus to propose amendment to GOP health bill The Hill. In case you haven’t figured it out, anything acceptable to the Freedom Caucus is almost certain to be a no-go for more than a couple of Republican Senators.

GOP’s strange new politics: Going after seniors Seattle Times

Believing in Bernie Current Affairs (dougie)

Fake News

Google tells army of ‘quality raters’ to flag Holocaust denial Guardian (furzy)

Vista to Buy DH Corp. for $2.03 Billion, Combine With Misys Bloomberg (PED). I had put this in 3/14 Links but see it is in the autosave but not the published version. What I said: “Wowsers. So Vista buys yet another bank IT dog, pretending it can fix it up and/or obtain synergies by cobbling it together with minimally related businesses at the dog it already owns, Misys, and keep given pretty looking valuations to investors?” Any readers who know the business of DH Corp are encouraged to pipe up in comments.

Trump Officials Are Learning How Hard It Is to Sell $1 Billion of Assets Wall Street Journal

The Not-So-Secret Life of Terrence Malick Texas Monthly (J-LS). Subhead: “The world’s most private director, Terrence Malick, turns his lens on the place where he’s always been most public: Austin.”

Surprising revelation: Janet Yellen reveals why the Fed is raising rates! Fabius Maximus. See our accompanying post today: February Jobs Report: Hitting on All Cylinders but Wages

Class Warfare

How to Understand Globalization: Not Nations, But Class Real News Network (Sid S)

A great find We featured in Links: Charles Peters on Recapturing the Soul of the Democratic Party Washington Monthly (resilc)​. From UserFriendly: ​​A Neoliberal’s Manifesto by Charles Peters via UnzReview. “Just got this in response; ​Hypocrisy much?”

Income Inequality Over The Past 100 Plus Years EconIntersect (Chuck L)

Study: Women in Finance Are Punished More Severely – Especially When Their Boss Is a Man ProMarket (resilc)

The Feminist Far Left Is Making More Enemies Than Allies New Matilda. UserFriendly: “Not the far left but great article.​”

Economics: The architecture of inequality Nature (Tom H)

Antidote du jour (Robert H). A ptarmigan:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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220 comments

  1. Linda

    Unintended Pregnancies Would Drop With Full Birth Control Options Offered TeenVogue. Dan K: “TeenVogue pushing policy. Not an earth-shattering article in itself, but nice to see, the kids need to know.”

    Yes, so good to see Teen Vogue offering more to its young readers than make up tips. My teenage magazines sure never carried this kind of thing.

    Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept recently (March 8) had a Teen Vogue contributor on his Intercepted podcast. They had a long discussion on immigration.

    March 8 podcast transcript.

    He said:

    I’m joined now by independent journalist Aura Bogado. She recently has been contributing to Teen Vogue, a magazine that actually has emerged as an important news organization. It’s not a joke. It’s true. Teen Vogue is now a very good publication on the very issues that we talk about on this show and that we cover at The Intercept. I’ve worked with Aura before. I’ve known her for many years, and it’s a pleasure to welcome Aura Bogado to Intercepted.

    The current Teen Vogue issue has stories on Trump’s second travel ban being blocked, and military academy sexual assault.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Whether is sex or drugs, abstinence only education just doesn’t work.

      We can’t ban human nature – to be human is to engage in sex or…to be greedy….except many Zen monks.

      Greed – you can’t criminalize it any more than marijuana. Aborting the subsequent birthing of concentrated wealth is the way to go.

      Then we can live to learn with greed (and corruption – also human nature).

      But the wealth-abortion should be freely available.

      “We are here to help…to abort your concentrated wealth.”

      Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s true: According to a new report from Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization that specializes in child health and development, increasing access to the full range of birth control methods — i.e. everything from the basic pill form to an IUD you have inserted — could reduce unintended pregnancies by 64 percent.

      64 percent.

      What’s more? It also shows that it could reduce abortions by 67 (!) percent nationally, which would in turn cut related costs to our health-care system by $12 billion annually.

      At some point, you’ve got to start thinking that positions on this issue, particularly from pro-“lifers,” are about more than just the ardent fetus love they so vocally profess ad nauseam.

      Reply
    3. Malcolm MacLeod, MD

      Linda, after a long and enjoyable career in general pediatrics in northern California, I can
      say with ease that ALL teenagers of any sex must become experts in all of the modalities of
      birth control, except for early withdrawal. Nowadays, the vast majority of them screw like
      rabbits, no matter what they proclaim. We used to lose a lot of the girls through criminal
      abortion, when BCPs, the morning after pill, diaphragms, ad nauseum were less available.
      In this enlightened age, we need more and better sex and fewer pregnancies. We were born
      to have sex and it’s not a luxury, but rather a blessed necessity, even though it causes heaps
      of trouble, and keeps all kinds of lawyers busy. Eventually, one must face up to reality.

      Reply
  2. vlade

    While I agree with the general thrust of the FT “no back door for the City” article, one point I’d make is that while US kept USD clearing, it didn’t stop a large EuroDollar market to be created in the UK – although the reasons, conditions etc. were very different of course (not to mention that USD regulator didn’t really mind, and EUR regulator could well mind, especially if given a political task to do so).

    Otherwise, those who think no-SM-access-Brexit will have no significant impact on the UK finance are living in a lala land. Funnily enough, if Scots do get away with their independence, the next centrum – at least for Asset management, may well turn out to be Edinburgh (as quite a few AMs are already located there). Scots of course would have to wait to be admitted to the EU, or alternatively, join Ireland (together with NI), and maybe create “United Kingdom of Ireland and Northern Great Britain”.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The US can and has very effectively used its control of dollar clearing to dictate terms to foreign players in $, witness Standard Chartered as the first big case, where Benjamin Lawsky wrote an order when they were caught out doctoring wires on a systematic basis to trade $250 billion (yes, correct order of magnitude, over a number of years) with Iran in defiance of sanctions. It really did pretty much say to the CEO: You are showing up in a hearing at this date and time to tell me why I shouldn’t yank your New York branch license” which would be catastrophic. Needless to say, despite screams of rage from Standard Chartered and every banking regulator in DC, Lawsky prevailed.

      In other words, if you clear, you are also providing the lender/liquidity provider of the last resort capability. You are gonna make sure banks do things your way for that privilege.

      The US could have prevented the growth of the Eurodollar business. I’ve read historical accounts with some detail as to the mechanisms that were available to stop it. There were reasons at the time the US thought it was to our advantage to allow it. I forget what they were, however.

      Reply
      1. vlade

        That’s why I wrote “not to mention that USD regulator didn’t really mind, and EUR regulator could well mind, especially if given a political task to do so”.

        That said, the regulatory approaches to that can change as the political winds blow – but regardless of that (and it’s not something that would happen overnight, building EuroDollar took decade+ IIRC) after Brexit UK (including its finance industry) will be much different from what it is now.

        Reply
      2. Michael Hudson

        Yves, I remember very well why the US didn’t stop the growth of the eurodollar market in the 1960s. I was Chase’s BoP economist at the time. The single largest source of deposits was from Chase’s London office — eurodollars deposited with the head office. These deposits had NO RESERVE REQUIREMENT. A young kid was in charge of it, and outpolled the real estate and international departments.

        Reply
    2. paul

      I think such a marriage of convenience would be an extremely unhappy one….maybe some cooperation at most.
      Independence for Scotland is at least possible, I don’t see Irish reunification having hit that threshold yet.
      Besides, one of them is a republic.

      Reply
    3. visitor

      By the way, the comment Basic point is the UK’s claim that hurting the City will hurt the UK is bullshit should probably read Basic point is the UK’s claim that hurting the City will hurt the EU is bullshit.

      Reply
    1. katiebird

      I used to like him. Then I realized he never, ever talked about issues that mattered to me.

      This post is nuts.

      He comes out for the draft and means testing Social Security (if you can afford a trip to Europe, NO Social Security for you!!) … But no mention of Health Care (or even Health Insurance) at all.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        However his claim to be the Typhoid Mary of Neoliberalism may be true, at least for the US version. This was Washington Monthly’s organizing theme back in the early days. One should also say that some of his ideas were not taken up. For example, from the Post article

        This brings us to another fundamental tenet of neo-liberalism: We generally oppose requiring a law degree or similar paper credentials for most jobs. People should be judged on their demonstrated ability to perform, not on their possession of degrees and other credentials. Did you read that Paul Blair, an ex-major leaguer, was denied the right to coach high school baseball because he didn’t have a teaching credential?

        Another example of this concern is the recent criticism of Marva Collins, the black Chicago teacher who started her own school to help poor children. Some ofthe the criticism may be justified, but one charge — that she lacks a teaching certificate — is the sort of thing that makes me desperate, particularly since the press solemnly reported the charge without the slightest suggestion that a teacher’s certificate may not have any relation to teaching ability. The proof is that many of the best private schools do not require teacher’s certificates. What they care about is that the teacher can teach. Neo-liberals share this concern with actual performance because they want to encourage productivity and discourage the bureacratization that credentialism fosters.

        Peters also didn’t think much of the traditional press and so gets brownie points for that.

        Reply
    2. Grebo

      I’ve noted before that Peters’ Neoliberalism is not what we generally mean by Neoliberalism today, but was an attempt to resurrect the New Deal. Our Neoliberals are sworn to bury the New Deal.
      So I’m not sure that the accusation of hypocrisy in the the blurb is warranted.

      Reply
      1. UserFriendly

        As I noted in a follow up email that didn’t make the cut.

        yeah, it’s actually kinda shocking how spot on some of the criticism is. It really makes me feel like we are always solving the problems of our parents generation.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        I was struck by:

        We have found these responses not only weren’t helping but were often hampering us in confronting the problems that were beginning to cripple the nation in the 1970s: declining productivity; the closed factories and potholed roads that betrayed decaying plant and infrastructure; inefficient and unaccountable public agencies that were eroding confidence in government; a military with too many weapons that didn’t work and too few people from the upper classes in its ranks; and a politics of selfishness symbolized by an explosion of political action committees devoted to the interests of single groups.

        That part sounds like he was writing today. I’ve come to think of the ’70s as kind of the line of demarcation. Most of the trends we think of as bringing about neoliberalism, the Washington Consensus, started under Jimmy Carter.

        Reply
  3. voteforno6

    Chelsea is an adjunct professor at Columbia? What academic qualifications or relevant life experience does she have for that position?

    Reply
    1. Tinky

      In a perverse sense she is supremely qualified, given the powerful role that money and nepotism play in the advancement of careers in the ‘real’ world.

      Reply
          1. cyclist

            Normally, the adjunct assistant professors are the ones teaching four courses per semester for a pittance. Poor Chelsea, marking all those papers….

            Reply
            1. JustAnObserver

              … especially now that her husband’s hedge fund has crashed & burned she’s the family breadwinner.

              Reply
          2. Tom Reed

            Just like her “journalism job”…

            Lucky us, we can buy tickets to see her flogging her ghostwritten book
            Wednesday, April 19th 5P.M. at the San Francisco Ferry Building Book Passage store.

            Tickets are only $15 dollars and includes a signed book!

            “Chelsea Clinton tackles some of the biggest challenges facing our world today and has always been interested in making the world a better place!”

            “I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success that I wanted in my life. I’ve talked about this to my friends who are doctors and whose parents are doctors, or who are lawyers and their parents are lawyers. It’s a funny thing to realize I feel called to this work both as a daughter—proudly as a daughter—and also as someone who believes that I have contributions to make.”

            https://www.fastcompany.com/3028155/chelsea-clinton-makes-her-move

            Such lofty thoughts ring truer in a $10 million Manhattan apartment. :-)

            Radical anti-Trump demonstrators might want to thank Chelsea in person for helping to elect The Donald.

            Reply
            1. JoeK

              “I’ve tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents.”

              “Tried hard to care;” did she succeed in caring? If you have to try “really hard” to care, you don’t, really. Sounds like a Freudian slip.

              “were very different;” present perfect segues to simple past, another tell as to the sincerity (or rather lack thereof) of her caring.

              “from my parents;” she must mean “from my parents’ [pseudo-] concerns.” Most likely an unconscious attempt to distance herself from her progenitors (a reading bolstered by her thou-protesteth-too-much addition of “proudly as a daughter”).

              Let’s hope she’s not entrusted with teaching English Composition 101. As one of my writing profs. said, “clear writing requires clear thinking.” He’d doubtless give that one sentence alone a bath in red ink.

              The part about being “curious about $$$;” I think she’s hinting (again whether she consciously understands it or not) that curiosity is sufficient impetus to make marital vows (for one).

              Our overclass is just chock full of paragons of humanity.

              Reply
              1. Procopius

                Well, she says she doesn’t care about money. No matter how hard she tries, she just can’t do it. I guess it’s like the economists’ example of the different price of diamonds and water. Diamonds are only useful as an abrasive, while water is essential to life, yet diamonds are much more costly. The economists’ explanation, when you have a lot of something you tend not to value it much.

                Reply
          3. clinical wasteman

            Almost certainly true in this particular case, but most everywhere else ‘assistant adjunct’ means doing an impossible amount and barely being paid for it.

            Reply
    2. paul

      There was a link a while ago to an article explaining she’s getting very good at using twitter, should be enough these days.

      Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        The world awaits its first serious research paper published in multi-part twitter installments. Why not Chelsea’s?

        Reply
    3. FreeMarketApologist

      She’s an adjunct, so extensive academic credentials aren’t a high priority, though the Columbia web site claims that “Chelsea holds a B.A. from Stanford, a MPhil from Oxford, a MPH from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, and a Doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University. ” (This after a looooong advertisement for the Clinton Foundation and related “projects”.
      ()

      Her salary (probably minimal) may be covered by a donor’s contribution to Columbia, and it gives her a convenient place to meet and collect followers and future staffers. Why else would you sign up for her course?

      Reply
      1. Ivy

        Dr. Clinton, I presume.
        Her 712-page dissertation was titled The Global Fund: An Experiment in Global Governance.
        Gentle commenters, fear not. It isn’t that fund, but the one benefiting from Bill Gates et al.

        Reply
      2. Katharine

        Indeed. Not only Columbia but also Wikipedia “claims” she holds those degrees, possibly because she does. Stanford 2001 B.A. with honors (history), Oxford 2003 M. Phil. (international relations), 2011 Columbia M.P.H., 2014 Oxford D. Phil. (international relations)
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Clinton

        I am not suggesting that anyone like or admire her if they don’t, but it would be nice if everybody would recognize that the daughter of two hard-driven intelligent people is fully capable of academic achievement in her own right. The cheap shots are just that.

        Reply
        1. jrs

          I bet she even graduated without student debt! Of course people with every possible advantage in life often do well for themselves, in other news water is wet.

          Reply
          1. Katharine

            You still have to work to get a degree from a good university. I fail to see why that should not get the same respect in her as in anyone else.

            Reply
            1. JoeK

              As I outlined above, even though she’s speaking not writing, that one excerpt is just full of intellectual sloppiness. If her degree with honors was conferred without any regard to her pedigree (of course it was!) then I guess standards have really degraded since I was in the Ivies.

              Reply
      1. Pat

        Well I wish she would make up her mind, since someone else, Politico iirc, had her ending that when a recent poll made it clear that over 50% of NYC didn’t want her as mayor and disliked the idea.

        I’m sure the Clintons are trying every thing they can think of to figure a way to continue the ability to sell access, but in truth I’m not sure being Mayor, even in NYC, gets them what they need long run. Although speculation about it is probably helpful.

        Reply
      2. Bullwinkle

        Wouldn’t she need to be a resident of NYC to run? Or maybe she’ll move in with Chelsea or just swap homes. On another note, just days after Preet B being fired all fund raising investigations against Del Blasio have stopped and he’s been cleared. Just a coincidence you say? I doubt it.

        Reply
    4. Alex Morfesis

      If your mommy hates the commies then you have to let her in…but in her case, is it adjunct or “a junk”…maybe the typesetters thought they were being helpful…

      Reply
    5. allan

      Chelsea Clinton is cashing in on Elizabeth Warren’s persistence [New Republic]

      Clinton, arguably America’s dullest beneficiary of nepotism, announced on Thursday that she is publishing a new children’s book She Persisted about 13 women “who overcame immense opposition to achieve their goals.” …

      But She Persisted is a deeply strange project, to put it mildly—“biopathological” is maybe one way to describe it. Chelsea Clinton was not the person who was silenced by Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor, and if the mystery cameo is from Hillary Clinton and not Elizabeth Warren—who was the actual person who persisted!—then this project only becomes weirder. …

      Le Resistance, c’est moi.

      Reply
    6. Kramer

      “What academic qualifications or relevant life experience does she have for that position?”

      Chelsea has the most important qualification of all; she doesn’t need the meager paycheck.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Ah, but is her paycheck meager. I haven’t seen a report yet of how much salary she’s being given (and I use that phrase purposely).

        Reply
  4. Andrew

    That photo of the ptarmigan is stunning, I’d never really seen one before. Actually, my first thought was, “how could a bird with such obvious snow adaptation have been known in ancient Greece”? So I looked it up — turns out the name is from Gaelic tarmachan; the pt- is a mistaken Greek construction. Learn something new every day.

    Reply
    1. Alex Morfesis

      Greece has plenty of snow and skiing too…mt parnassos, etc…over 20 ski resorts in northern greece…just typical perpetual bad marketing by the promotion geniuses of (h)ellas…

      Reply
  5. Linda

    Trump Budget Seeks Big Cuts to Arts, EPA, Foreign Aid Wall Street Journal

    The budget has the National Endowment for the Arts and Endowment for Humanities completely eliminated.

    It’s often said Trump is revengeful, vindictive.

    Eliminating The Arts may be his way to hit back at those in the artistic fields who were so aligned against him during the election. “Take that, #$%^!”

    They need to come up with the $54 billion for the War dept. somehow. This is very depressing news. I have no idea if this is something that could actually pass or not. With Republicans in control, I suppose it’s very possible. Probable?

    Reply
    1. craazyboy

      I was gonna give the entire budget bullet point list a quick scan, but ended up consuming a full half hour reading it. Looks like something Ryan and Trump-Staff worked together on. Sorry to predict it may very well pass thru the present Congress like shit thru a crooked goose.

      The treatment NASA got would be really funny, if it were an Onion version of the news. I had really warmed up to the idea that NASA had included Earth as one of the more interesting planets to study in our universe, and NASA has compiled some evidence of sentient life here or there. But then there is the anti-global warming position……

      (excerpt of imaginary Onion article)

      Trump to NASA – Stop looking at us like that. It’s yuugly inconvenient!

      NASA to Trump – Sorry. We were just trying help. What would you have us do, Mr. President?

      Trump to NASA – Look! Up there! There’s the Moon, fool. Why don’t you figure out what’s going on with that???

      (End of excerpt)

      Reply
      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        When you speak plainly here it’s always over something dead real like this. I do not understand why our media – every corner of it – hasn’t front paged this proposed budget. When it is passed, it will dramatically change life in this country for many people.

        I think there are large numbers who don’t have a clue how much of their personal income (and the health of their economic sub-sector) depends on federal spending. Military and security industries will be our only growth sectors for 4 to 8 years now. Health care and the university complexes are on the chopping block and they have already so overburdened their customer bases they don’t have much room to flourish. The oil patch faces bona fide international competition that can’t be choked off by federal budget cuts. And where is the infrastructure spending in this Executive pigswill?

        Reply
        1. jgwilson

          I spent a few years a NASA. Some management over aspects of a few science missions. They absolutely love what they do. Science. Not politics. Breaks my heart. We will all be worse off.

          Reply
    2. allan

      NYT:

      … Mr. Trump wants to hire 20 lawyers to obtain land in the Southwest, foreshadowing bitter legal fights with landowners from Texas to California over the seizure of private property. …

      Small government conservatism: You will pry the power of eminent domain out of my cold dead hands.

      And ending This American Carnage™ is so last month:

      The budget would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program, which funds local improvement efforts and anti-poverty programs, and cut funding for rental assistance and homeownership programs and affordable housing initiatives.

      Reply
      1. Pat

        That one probably is vindictive. Rent laws and affordability requirements for development have been long and ongoing thorns in the side of every real estate mogul in NYC.

        Reply
        1. Alex Morfesis

          Ha…you dont really know new york real estate…nyc developers have been feeding off of hud & other fed affordable housing money for almost 40 years…they even got special waivers in the past(don’t think it is still out there)on 80/20 money so they could keep the riff-raff from actually living in the same building as intended by the original legislation and regulations, they bought closed up buildings in devastated areas and rebuilt those instead of housing folks in the building built by federal funds or subsidies…or they put in seniors as “affordable” housing occupants…hud mtg insurance

          And as for the “new york” endowment for humanities and arts…no other city gets more federal money…heck, probably no other state gets more money from fed humanities and art funds than nyc…

          The arts community in nyc will go into free fall…without the museums and arts, the tourism will stumble and…well…

          Looks like trump is bailing on nyc and drowning it on the way out…or looking to collapse it and buy the pieces for 20 cents on the dollar…he was never a major real estate holder in Manhattan…just did some large and loud projects…

          The “affordability” requirements (421a, j-51, etc) are to get cheaper govt subsidized funding and real estate tax reductions…there are very few affordable housing restrictions in nyc for those who want to build inside existing floor area ratio and zoning guidelines…

          Developers complain they can’t just get cheap govt funding or zoning variances without giving something in return…

          This is a joke budget…

          No jobs increase or stimulus it seems…the jawboner in chief…

          Maybe he wants to get impeached…

          Reply
      2. Eureka Springs

        The budget would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant Program, which funds local improvement efforts and anti-poverty programs, and cut funding for rental assistance and homeownership programs and affordable housing initiatives.

        The road to BIG and JIG may be paved with unintended neoliberalcon intentions.

        Reply
    3. cocomaan

      Basic research is unfortunately going to be shredded. Also cuts to NIH and DOE and USDA. No mention of NSF at all, that comes in a later version of the budget. You can expect bad things on that front too.

      The NASA budget makes a mess of previous planned missions, as usual: they are canceling the asteroid towing missions, but are expanding the Europa flyby missions.

      http://www.nature.com/news/us-science-agencies-face-deep-cuts-in-trump-budget-1.21652

      We’ll see what shakes out when it actually comes to negotiations. The debt ceiling and the AHCA debates are going to make the budget debate even more contentious.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        so then the question becomes how many people are going to lose their jobs for this “make America great again” “job creating” president? And I don’t mean in a recession (which we will hit sooner or later regardless), I mean as a DIRECT result of Trump and Congress policies (Congress is driving it, but Trump is going along for the ride).

        Reply
    4. sd

      Arts funding in the US is already a pittance at .002% of federal spending while creative industries bring in over 4% of GDP.

      An easy way to identify a sociopath is antipathy for the arts.

      Reply
      1. RUKidding

        Also wants to cut out the Institute for Museum & Library Services.

        Trump wants to gut everything in order to provide himself and his mega-rich crony “friends” a giant sucking tax cut.

        MOAR money for the already obscenely rich. Sucks to be you in the 99%.

        So this is what Trump’s fans voted for… another proverbial shoot themselves in the foot, but hey: they get to be out loud racists and carry guns around and prevent people from using the “wrong” bathroom, so it’s all good.

        Reply
        1. BeliTsari

          Gee, putting both your posts together… I wonder who’ll be Trump’s Herman Goering, marking art works with a great big yellow grease crayon, as Melania starts to empty-out the national museums? She could decorate Trump ‘s classy new, YOOJ Sequoia Half Dome Casino or JellyStone Miniature Golf grizzly game park, or JesusLand money-changing gaming n’ chicken-chasin’ family fun center. http://www.autoblog.com/2017/03/15/john-goodenough-develops-rapid-charge-battery-made-of-glass/

          Reply
          1. craazyboy

            About the new battery tech – if for real, this is huuuuge.

            3X the energy density of Li-ion, fast charge, electric vehicle compatible battery characteristics ( relatively good deep draw capability), uses common materials…

            That would make a huge improvement in cost and practicality of electric cars. Just the improvement in energy density would knock almost $10k off the price of a electric car.

            It would also make battery storage for rooftop solar economic.

            Buy the IPO when and if it becomes available.

            Reply
    5. RUKidding

      Trump allegedly was so anti-war, and allegedly his working class voters wanted Trump bc he was going to end war. Yet we see Trump massively overreaching on providing an already bloated MIC even MOAR money – which means money in Trump’s pockets, of course – while gutting and cutting programs that don’t cost that much but provide real value for citizens.

      But: Oh Well. We need that Wall, stat!

      Reply
      1. jrs

        Seems like the Trump administration is ramping up Syria, Yemen (and possibly Afghanistan though that’s less certain) as well. “But Obama”, yes, and it might be escalating now under Trump. More ground troops are being sent in Syria, so it certainly isn’t ramping down.

        I don’t presume to get into the minds of whether the voters were wanted to end war etc.., maybe they did, but it’s not happening. The simplistic response is: they were duped by Trump. The more sophisticated one is: empire gonna empire. As the policies of empire though they wax and wane to a small degree, never really change no matter who we elect.

        Reply
      1. marym

        To be accurate, this cut eliminates the federal contribution to Meals on wheels. The program, though it should have more funding, not less, in these times has other funding. It’s still a disgusting proposal, though.

        currently tweeting Meals on Wheels accomplishments:

        https://twitter.com/aaronecarroll

        Reply
  6. voteforno6

    Re: Terrence Malick

    Just the thought of him quoting Zoolander makes me giggle. Then again, I read somewhere that Ingmar Bergman was a fan of American action films.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      voteforno6
      March 16, 2017 at 8:13 am

      “And yet, as in high school, Malick can be just as down-to-earth as high-minded. He’ll show up for lunch at an unfussy cafe wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt and talk about football or gush about pop-culture schlock like the genetically-modified-shark movie Deep Blue Sea or drop a quote from Ben Stiller’s Zoolander. (After hearing that Malick was a fan, Stiller made an in-character happy-birthday video for the director.)”
      =====================================
      I wonder if Malick would guest direct the next “Sharknado” sequel???

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Only if it includes long sequences of Jessica Chastain wandering around contemplating the Meaning of Life.

        Reply
    1. MoiAussie

      Here’s a Jessica Crispin interview for IWD from last week. Rather more revealing than the Jacobin book review, it’s titled “Why I’m Not A Feminist: a takedown of the ‘narcissism’ of modern feminism”.

      Feminism is:

      – A fight to allow women to participate equally in the oppression of the powerless and the poor;
      – A method of shaming and silencing anyone who disagrees with you; and
      – A bland reworked brand of soda, focus group tested for universal palatability and inoffensiveness.

      Not so unreasonable when you consider that Americans asked to nominate the most prominent US feminists in a recent poll voted for Michelle Obama, Oprah, Hillary and Beyonce in that order.

      MICHELLE OBAMA: …I tell my daughters that our first job in life as women, I think, is to get to know ourselves.

      Reply
        1. witters

          If Plato, then misreading I think. His ‘know thyself’ isn’t a New Agey ‘look inside myself and discover me!’ It is 5 decades of hard educational labour with a focus on higher math and logic. Is that what MO was recommending? Or is that a ridiculous idea?

          Reply
  7. craazyboy

    “Humpback whales are organizing in huge numbers, and no one knows why”
    _________

    Some not so very serious people have suggested the whales intend to use collective bargaining to negotiate for higher wages.

    However, Janet Yellen just announced the Federal Reserve intends to find out the real reason, and has commissioned a study to be done by the Peterson Foundations and Institutes Holding Company, who in turn re-commissioned the work to the Council on Foreign Relations (c/o Pete Peterson) – these creatures being whales, and all.

    The Federal Reserve’s 200 staff economists will oversee the work, wherever it eventually gets done.

    Janet demurs from setting a completion date, saying, “I’m more concerned we get good quality work. I’m not one to pressure people for results. That’s just not fair, or very nice either. I strive to be nice above all else. Have patience, we will be rewarded in Heaven. Amen. Women too, of course.”

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      craazyboy
      March 16, 2017 at 8:26 am

      To the unsophisticated, whale food may appear to be much, much more expensive, and travel to plankton sources much more arduous and difficult. These people just don’t get Hedonics, where increases in global temperature and CO2 have resulted in better plankton (as measured by the criteria convenient to the masters of the FED, Goldman Sachs…). Indeed, as plankton grounds….uh, plankton ?fields? become smaller, whale aggregations will increase and male whales will have much greater opportunities to get “lucky.”

      Reply
          1. Vatch

            By now I’ve lost count, but for a long time, the even numbered Star Trek movies were always better than the odd numbered ones.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If you count Galaxy Quest as the tenth Star Trek movie before Nemesis, it’s still true, assuming you can handle the plot holes of the first and third entries into the Kelvin time line.

              Reply
      1. JEHR

        I can think of many reasons for whales to congregate: vast amounts of plastic particles now in their environment, leaking radiation from nuclear mishaps, fewer fish in the oceans, large amounts of garbage on the ocean surface, pollution of all kinds from land, bleached coral reefs, whale hunting, sonar signals, etc. Perhaps if whales ruled the world, we would have a better chance to clean up the environment!!!!

        Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          Sounds like The Swarm:

          At the same time Leon Anawak, a marine scientist who investigates the behavior of whales and works for a whale watching company, makes startling observations in the whales’ behavior. In addition, he is called to investigate an incident where whales and sea-borne mussels seemed to have attacked and incapacitated a commercial freighter.

          When he returns to his whale watching job, he witnesses how humpback whales and orcas attack the watcher’s boats. The whales work together to capsize the boats and then kill the people drifting in the water. A large number of tourists and close colleagues of Anawak are killed.

          The events that are witnessed by the protagonists are only part of a worldwide phenomenon. Several other attacks are briefly described in the plot: Swimmers are driven from the coast by sharks and venomous jellyfish. Commercial ships are attacked and sometimes destroyed in a variety of ways. France sees an outbreak of an epidemic that is caused by lobsters contaminated with a highly lethal type of Pfiesteria.

          When it becomes clear that all those events are related, an international scientific task force is created under the lead of the United States. The task force is led by Lieutenant General Judith Li, a close friend and adviser to the President; the protagonists become part of it.

          Reply
    2. ewmayer

      Are the researchers confident that the alleged organization is more than a mere, ahem, ‘statistical fluke’?

      Reply
  8. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: John McCain says Rand Paul is working for Vlad Putin—-John McCain is not the only congress critter showing signs of senility, but his are very pronounced. In fairness to him, he does have chronic health conditions, probably, from when he wrecked his plane in Vietnam. If you watch the tv clip, it’s obvious Rand Paul was intentionally baiting the old guy: he objected and then walked briskly out of the room.

    But yeah, how long can this “Russia is behind everything” stuff go on? I don’t think the public is buying it at all.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      He keeps getting re-elected. And much of that has to do with the weakness of the Arizona Democratic Party organization.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        When someone shouts the loudest, he/she should be beyond suspicion.

        Like Price, the German stooge in Stalag 17.

        That’s the human mind works – he’s can’t be one…he’s in charge of security…also like one of the Cambridge Boys, in charge of British counter-intelligence…he can’t be one of them…

        So, with that bit of history on reverse-psychology, where do we go from here?

        Reply
      2. perpetualWAR

        Arizona shoulda booted him after the Keating 5 scandal when they caught McCain’s hand deeply imbedded in the cookie jar. Shameful.

        Reply
        1. RabidGandhi

          After mass bombing civilians and civilian infrastructure in an impoverished third world country, swindling S&L’s is rather mild.

          Reply
        2. Alex Morfesis

          McCain worry about keating ?? his former aide and driver(bradley boland) married one of keatings daughters…(“let’s go hit the bricks, brad boy”)

          nothing to see here folks…
          keep moving…

          he just pushed for estrella mountain to be named for keatings grandson (navy seal) who got killed in iraq…

          Plenty of soldiers die for the military adventures rah-rah-rah’d by McCain and his boy Lindsey, but how many get a mountain renamed for them…

          $omething about hi$tory repeating it$elf if you don’t learn about it…or it that ju$t that it rhyme$…

          Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      When asked to comment on mccain’s “working for Putin” accusation this a. m. on morning joe, Rand Paul replied that “he (mccain) makes a really good case for term limits.” He also used the term “past his prime” and the word “unhinged.”

      Then Paul proceeded to take down david remnick over the importance of Montenegro, as well as Ukraine and Georgia, to the security of the people of the u. s., and suggested that more americans would agree with him than with remnick over the need to fight, die and finance those countries’ wars as required by nato.

      When confronted with the fact that there are “many” Ukranian americans, Paul said he would not stand in the way of their joining the Ukranian army and fighting for what they “believe” in.

      Yikes! A sanity sighting.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Katniss Everdeen
        March 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

        “…suggested that more Americans would agree with him than with remnick over the need to fight, die and finance those countries’ wars as required by nato.”

        Poor Paul….foolishly believing that the majority, even when thinking rationally and wisely, have any influence WHATSOEVER on US policy.
        AND, and maybe we could have a Lincoln battalion for Ukraine….Led by McCain and Graham (has Graham ever been in the military??? Maybe McCain could let Graham hold his gun….)

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          graham was an Air Force JAG officer, retiring in 2015.

          You’ll notice that the first six letters of his former position spell jag-off.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            But, but the press loves him. Guess they think he’s Tennessee Williams meet Curtis LeMay. Colorful.

            Here in SC we cringe.

            Reply
            1. RabidGandhi

              “Tennessee Williams meet[s] Curtis LeMay” and “the Typhoid Mary of Neoliberalism”

              Carolinan’s on fire today.

              Reply
          2. craazyboy

            Lets go with jag-off-ice-r. That’s a hero commando handle suitable for a true war hero! Visions of a Stallone action figure with AK-47s blazing from each arm!

            Reply
    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      John McCain has always been a self serving attention hound. Let’s not blame McCain’s latest cry for attention on old age.

      Reply
        1. fresno dan

          Carolinian
          March 16, 2017 at 10:58 am

          On July 29, 1967 there was a terrible fire on the flight deck of the Forrestal in which 134 servicemen died. If you believe Mary Hershberger’s unsparing account on the truthdig website – to be fair, there are vigorous and detailed denunciations of her report by McCain’s defenders – imprudent actions by McCain may have started the fire. What seems undisputed is his extremely Flashmanesque behavior in the immediate aftermath of the lethal inferno. McCain promptly quit the stricken ship with the late R.W. “Johny” Apple Jr., of the New York Times, who wrote him up in handsome terms a few weeks later.

          Thee flames still smouldering and the body bags barely zipped, McCain bounded into a helicopter and flew to Saigon for, in his own breezy words, “some welcome R&R”, even as somber memorials for his dead shipmates were held aboard the Forrestal. Flashman to the life.

          He then raced to London for an important private session with the man who would preside over the inquiry into the Forrestal disaster, the officer in question being his own father, Admiral John McCain, at that time the Navy’s top man in Europe, soon to become overall commander of all forces in Vietnam.
          =========================================================
          Entire article is well worth reading. Considering the hagiography McCain gets, its a wonder he doesn’t have relations in the press.

          Reply
          1. Ivy

            McCain has a string of nicknames, including Wet Start (for his Forrestal misadventure) and Songbird (for his Hanoi Hilton confessions, admittedly done under torture). Add Senile or variations thereon, and ask Arizonans what they were possibly thinking by re-electing him.

            Reply
        2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

          And much else besides. Thanks for the link. It reminded me how much I miss AC’s writing. (This is meant to be a comment on Carolinian’s Alexander Cockburn link above. Sorry– I’ve not worked out how to make my comments appear just where I want them to.)

          Reply
          1. ewmayer

            Jerri-Lynn, you correctly clicked the ‘Reply’ under the comment to which you were responding here, but note that such replies-to appear top-down, i.e in descending order based on time-of-post. IOW, fresno dan beat you to it.

            The level of rightward indentation indicates the reply-to-ness, just as with source-code indents, for anyone who has done any amount of coding.

            Reply
    4. tgs

      But yeah, how long can this “Russia is behind everything” stuff go on? I don’t think the public is buying it at all.

      It is a fishing expedition and therefore will go on as long as the powers that be want it to go on. They are getting results since Trump has backed off his desire for better relations with Russia. Moreover, it is part of a larger plan which we have seen before – demonize then attack, in this case Putin and Russia.

      Besides, I have heard that the Democrats are raising money on this circus.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Carolinian
        March 16, 2017 at 10:51 am

        Ardent Russia critics like Masha Geesen and former ambassador Michael McFaul now warn of irreparable damage the irrational anti-Russian campaign may cause.
        ==================
        GOOD!
        And the MSM takes another beating to their rather tattered reputations.

        Reply
      2. tgs

        B at moonofalabama obviously is not watching CNN and MSNBC to name just two all Russia all the time outlets.

        Though is seems to be true that some democrats, having fired up their base with this nonsense are now, seeking to lower expectations.

        Reply
  9. fresno dan

    Clinton Ally Says Smoke, But No Fire: No Russia-Trump Collusion NBC: “‘There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.’”
    =========================================
    It wasn’t that long ago that the CIA spied on Senate staffers – Congress, undoubtedly acknowledging that they can’t keep a secret about anything other than donors, magnanimously forgave the CIA and associated surveillance.

    Former Dem rep: I got wiretapped during Obama admininstration
    (yes, its misspelled – I am not the editor of Hot Air)

    “However, what happened afterward is notable. Kucinich is correct that any conversation with a member of Congress that doesn’t involve a criminal investigation should have been off limits to intelligence operatives. They should have disconnected at that point and referred the matter to the DoJ, which could have discussed the contact directly with Kucinich if they felt it was important enough to investigate. Instead, not only did they stay on the line, they retained the recording, transcribed it, and archived it — and eventually leaked it to the media while identifying Kucinich. That is a swipe at the separation of powers and the concept of co-equal branches, treads dangerously close to political interference, and it closely resembles what happened to Flynn.

    The lesson here is that broad powers of surveillance will get used broadly, and the risk of abuse for political purposes is high. Congress should investigate Kucinich’s allegations along with Trump’s to see whether those abuses have happened, who knew about them, and whether agents had permission or orders to conduct it from political appointees in their organizations.”
    ======================
    “Instead, not only did they stay on the line, they retained the recording, transcribed it, and archived it — and eventually leaked it to the media while identifying Kucinich.” AND “treads dangerously close” – if that isn’t kicking it and than running over it with a steamroller, I don’t know what is…

    And I note, leaked for what was obviously partisan purposes, OR if not partisan purposes, for CIA PURPOSES. Will Trump have the subtlety of mind to understand what happened and how to use it against his CIA opponents??? Will Trump have the gumption to really take on the IC, or has he already been transmogrified into a cold warrior by the McCain/Graham proselytizers?

    Its an outrage how much surveillance goes on. But this has shown that despite the high regard the media now holds the CIA in, the CIA confirms its right to rejigger an election (including USA) when the results don’t suit the CIA’s agenda. And if not that, than the appointees who get to serve in it.

    If the democrats involved in this, it is pretty bad. If it is the CIA alone, it is much worse.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      With the CIA having become America’s Stasi, East German history becomes quite relevant in interpreting CIA behavior:

      Stasi officers discussed rebranding East Germany as a democratic capitalist country to the West, but which in practice would have been taken over by Stasi officers. The plan specified 2,587 OibE officers (Offiziere im besonderen Einsatz, “officers on special assignment”) who would have assumed power as detailed in the Top Secret Document 0008-6/86 of 17 March 1986.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stasi

      Apparently the CIA prefers to rule more invisibly through the threat of Zersetzung directed at errant politicians. It means secretly destroying their self confidence by leaking intercepted communications, damaging their reputation, organizing failures in their work, and destroying their personal relationships.

      Well, I’d write more, but Putin is a demanding boss and wants me to do so many more posts today.

      Reply
  10. funemployed

    I saw a huge flock of robins a few weeks ago. I like those fat little birdies, and have been watching them for my whole life. Never have I seen anything close to a large flock of them. Actually took me a minute to figure out they were robins it struck me as so odd.

    Reply
      1. JEHR

        I have noticed that robins gather together in the fall to fly south and often they will come back north in large flocks. They then seem to disperse and join into pairs for nesting until they again gather for the next flight south.

        Reply
    1. cocomaan

      That’s weird, so did we. They were in a big old flock, flipping over the leaf litter on the wooded side of our lot. There must have been twenty or more of them. I’ve also never seen a flock of robins like that, they always struck me as solitary birds.

      I agree with Vatch and also submit Alfred Hitchcock’s documentary as exhibit A of why we should fear the birds owning the means of production.

      Go long on corn, we’ll need it.

      Reply
    2. Annotherone

      Same here – in our back yard a few weeks ago. Usually they visit singly or in pairs, but on this afternoon the yard was full of them – must have been at least 40. We thought maybe some kind of grub had just matured, as they all seemed to be finding plenty to eat.

      Reply
  11. toshiro_mifune

    An unconfirmed change in how Google ranks web pages is freaking some people out ….

    … Google’s search results have gone noticeably down hill, especially over the past few years. Enough so that I wonder if they could actually be vulnerable to an upstart competitor. I’d also agree that 2009, or there about, marks the point at which they really started to deteriorate. At this point their results remind me of using Yahoo circa 2k4 where the entire first page is sponsored content of some sort. Especially annoying is the AMP news results.

    Reply
      1. cocomaan

        DuckDuckGo is fantastic and much improved. I do 90% of my searches through it.

        Occasionally I’ll need to be more exacting. In that case I type in g! to search google for an exact phrase (“in quotes”).

        Reply
          1. robnume

            Yes, do try it again. Duck Duck Go is a great search engine. No annoying ads and they don’t track you. One of the features I like best is that your search results are all on one page so you can scroll through the results without changing pages. Since there don’t seem to be any paid for result rankings I feel I get better options from which to search. But I’m certainly no “techie” so I could be wrong.
            Completely off topic here, but I just got back from Borrego. I urge everyone living in So. Cal. to go out to Anza Borrego and see the “flowergeddon” at least by this weekend, or it’ll be gone. Haven’t had a display like this for 15-20 years. Unplug and get out there!

            Reply
      2. Kurt Sperry

        DDG is hear as i can tell, like pretty much everyone else, running off Goggle’s search engine and indexing. How many independent American SEs survive today. I think MS’ Bing is–anyone else?

        Reply
        1. jrs

          Yea DuckDuck go though I often use it doesn’t get us back to the internet of a decade or two ago either. Bing might be worth I try, I know it’s Microsoft, but it can’t be worse than Google in it’s suck at this point I figure.

          Reply
    1. MDBill

      For Google users who haven’t found it yet, if you visit the Google home page (www.google.com) and look in the bottom right corner, you’ll find a link for “settings”. Clicking that link brings up a menu, one of whose options is “Advanced”. Choose that which will take you to the advanced Google search page. Here you’ll find a large array of search qualifiers which allow one to focus one’s search more precisely.

      One parameter I find very useful in some circumstances is “site or domain”. So if I’m looking for something I know has appeared in Naked Capitalism I simply put nakedcapitalism.com in that field.

      Another is “last update” which lets me focus my search on only new items.

      Using those two in combination will limit results to recent items from NC.

      Reply
      1. JoeK

        True, but why is “advanced search” buried like that in the first place? Actually, IIRC it used to be more visible/easier to access–for example, I like to ogle watches I can’t afford and my favorite site for doing so has the link right under the search field. Call me cynical but it appears google doesn’t want users to create search enquiries that will negatively impact their secondary raison d’être (I place making $$$ via advertising below data mining/privacy invasion/surveillance).

        Crapitalism is indeed crapifying the www; yes content producers need to make money, but the way it’s being solicited from readers these days makes many pages nearly unreadable. The “targeted” ads and content would be shameful if the codebots that created them had any shame (I infer they don’t). “(Insert famous person’s name)’s net worth will shock you!” “This flashlight’s availability to the public is giving generals the willies!” “(Insert city you’re visiting) wants to ban…..” We truly appear to have arrived at Lowest Common Denominator, a terminus.

        Reply
    2. Benedict@Large

      I’ve had occasions recently when Google results have been useless. I’ll plug in a few key words obviously relating to a top story in the news, and on the first page of results, that story has been totally pre-empted by links for shopping. I don’t get what Google is trying to accomplish when it does this. With absolutely zero links to what I’m interested in on that page, I’m hardly likely to dwell there long enough to even casually process the links they’ve placed there. So is Google ripe to be pushed out by an upstart? I’d say so.

      Reply
      1. Kurt Sperry

        What are you gonna do about it? [villainous laugh] Go to Bing? Google is a de facto monopoly, they need no longer give two family blogs what you or any other user or users think. They can monetize your personal data either way just the same.

        Reply
    3. jrs

      remember when the internet was fun, not as an ideological matter, but just a really cool tool. You could search and find random blogs, often very thoughtful in those days, though not always.

      Who wants a search optimized for buying stuff anyway? As if it was even difficult to buy stuff on the internet, it’s not of course. It’s an algorithm to solve a non-existent problem, except that under this system any moment we are not spending money is a “problem” in our masters eyes I guess. What actually IS difficult is finding relevant stuff on the internet.

      Reply
      1. JoeK

        Yes, and if you, out of sheer curiosity, for example, check out a certain product, you’ll see ads for it popping up everywhere for months (clearing your cookies/history/cache at the end of the session is too little too late). Or if you want to buy, say, hiking boots, you will likely end up checking out 10-20 models online, and ads for at least a few of the 19 (or 20) you rejected will show up on web pages for months.

        It calls to mind Truman Capote’s observation that more tears are shed for answered prayers than unanswered ones.

        Reply
  12. allan

    Trump resets U.S.-Saudi relations, in Saudi Arabia’s favor [WaPo]

    President Trump’s new deal with Saudi Arabia is really good — for the Saudis. After publicly bashing the kingdom for years, Trump completely reversed course Tuesday and rolled out the red carpet for the Saudi royals. He gave them a huge publicity boost and a highly sought-after U.S. commitment to improve and elevate bilateral relations. And what did Trump get in return? Not much at all. …

    I’m old enough to remember when certain commenters claimed that Trump would disrupt, in a good way,
    our relationships with tyrannical regimes in the Middle East, while Clinton would be more of the same.
    How’s that working?

    … The Saudi leadership saw Hillary Clinton as more aligned with them on regional issues, but still worried that she would have insisted on Saudi political reform and respect for human rights, even conditioning U.S. military and financial support on progress on those fronts. But with the Trump administration, that’s no longer an issue. …

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Gee, I remember Clinton making noises about those issues when she was in a position to approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Oh…wait…
      Other than reportage from about Saudi leadership about what they feared from Clinton based on unknown sources from a clearly anti-Trump pro-Clinton news source where again do we get any indication of these concerns. Oh..wait…

      Am I happy about this? No. Do I think for a moment anything would have been different if Clinton had been elected in this regard? Well, yes, I do. I’m sure the Clinton Foundation would still exist and there would have been a big donation to it in January from those self same Saudi leaders. So yes, Clinton would have gotten a better deal for Clinton.

      Reply
      1. allan

        From WhiteHouse.gov:

        Readout of the President’s Meeting with Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

        Yesterday at the White House, President Donald J. Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reaffirmed their support for a strong, broad, and enduring strategic partnership based on a shared interest and commitment to the stability and prosperity of the Middle East region. They directed their teams to explore additional steps across a broad range of political, military, security, economic, cultural, and social dimensions to further strengthen and elevate the United States-Saudi strategic relationship for the benefit of both countries. U.S. and Saudi officials intend to consult on additional steps to deepen commercial ties and promote investment, and to expand cooperation in the energy sector. The President and the Deputy Crown Prince noted the importance of confronting Iran’s destabilizing regional activities while continuing to evaluate and strictly enforce the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The President expressed his strong desire to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to continue the two countries’ consultations to help reach solutions for regional issues. More broadly, the President and Deputy Crown Prince noted the ongoing security and military cooperation between the two countries in confronting Daesh/ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations that pose a threat to all nations.

        The two countries announced their determination to strengthen their cooperation in the economic, commercial, investment, and energy fields, with the aim of realizing growth and prosperity in the two countries and the global economy. President Trump provided his support for developing a new United States-Saudi program, undertaken by joint U.S.-Saudi working groups, and its unique initiatives in energy, industry, infrastructure, and technology worth potentially more than $200 billion in direct and indirect investments within the next four years. The President also provided his support for United States investments in Saudi Arabia and the facilitation of bilateral trade, which will result in sizable opportunities for both countries. On energy, the two countries affirmed their desire to continue bilateral consultations in a way that enhances the growth of the global economy and limits supply disruption and market volatility.

        The two countries highlighted that expanded economic cooperation could create as many as one million direct American jobs within the next four years, millions of indirect American jobs, as well as jobs in Saudi Arabia. The Deputy Crown Prince reviewed Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program for the President and agreed to put in place specific bilateral programs to help both countries benefit from new opportunities created by the Kingdom’s implementation of those new economic plans. [emphasis added]

        Dick Cheney couldn’t have said it any better. Compare and contrast with the campaign rhetoric
        quoted in the WaPo article I first linked to. But that was then and this is now.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Yes it is disappointing to end up exactly where we would have with President Clinton. Sorry it saved the Saudi’s a few million dollar ‘donation’ to the Clinton Foundation. Although either group having that money is disgusting.

          As for your bold facing, not just usual rhetoric it is business as usual with regards to the ‘energy’ business and our relationship with SA. I do find the limiting volatility thing amusing though. The current volatility is the race to cheap oil. See the failure of the OPEC agreement discussed here on NC just a couple of days ago. Neither country has a means of stopping that particular slide.

          Reply
          1. cocomaan

            You could argue that Exxon is probably going to benefit, so the cash going to the Foundation is now just going to a corporation instead.

            The House of Saud are some of the most horrific people on the planet. Trump just capitulated to them in a massive middle finger to supporters who thought his tough talk on Islamic extremism would result in something meaningful.

            Reply
            1. Pat

              Not sure Exxon is going to benefit, but yeah they might. And if there are any benefits to this it is to a small group of people largely in the energy sector.

              Since I think SA and Israel’s influence in our foreign policies and in our government as one of the top five problems facing this country, I am extremely disappointed that this was just another campaign ‘promise’, and we do get what we would have gotten without the ‘change’ candidate getting office. And yes, like the GOP plan for ACA replacement, it is a big screw you to his supporters (and even those of us who don’t support him). It is especially upsetting if you believe like I do that much of the religious extremism we see in the Middle East is being spread by SA and terrorism centered there is even supported by them. Although I also know that much of the terrorism only pretends to be about Islam it is about power, same as many perhaps even most evangelical Christian preachers and Christianity.

              Reply
              1. craazyboy

                I do recall Hillary was in favor of restarting the draft and making young girls eligible for the draft as well – making it all a merry “woke” thing with equal opportunity, equal pay and all those good things.

                The young servicewomen could end up shipped to Saudi, or the front lines of Yemen, or even lead the charge when we, the Saudis, and Israel inevitably decide to liberate Iran.

                I’m not sure this scenario has really ended with Hillary, but it’s something we can still hope for.

                What we really have here is the inability of the US to find a way to untie this Gordian Knot binding us together with the ME. In recent years, we have been trying to employ or partner with some nasty thugs to avoid having to put too many of our own boots on the ground. Limited pragmatic success so far, except for Russia at least temporarily making headway in Syria. ‘Course in that case, Russia beat up our thugs. And we could be on opposite sides when it comes time to liberate Iran.

                This is a labyrinth I can never find my way out of.

                Goblin Kings everywhere.

                Reply
        2. Aumua

          I think the obvious truth is that Donald Trump has been replaced by a clone. That sure didn’t take long. Just waiting for the TPP to rise back up from the grave now in 3.. 2.. 1..

          Reply
    2. Vatch

      People in our government would feel less compelled to be obsequious to the Saudis if more Americans drove fuel efficient cars, because there would be less demand for petroleum from any country, including Saudi Arabia. But the Trump administration wants to discourage people from choosing fuel efficient vehicles by lowering the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuels Economy) standards. This is short term thinking at its most extreme. There are many articles about this; here’s one:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-cafe-fuel-economy-standards-rollback/

      Oh, why not. Here’s another:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-at-the-pump-car-companies-move-to-create-fuel-efficiency-double-standard/

      Reducing fuel efficiency is a great way to provide more money for Middle Eastern terrorists and oppressive governments in the same region. I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that, but obviously that’s the policy of the Trump administration: pro-terror and pro-oppression.

      Reply
      1. cocomaan

        Vatch, we need efficiency, but we’re not even close to thinking about it.

        We had a snowstorm up here in the NE this week and the number of people I know using snowblowers to do all their work is wild. These are people with legs, arms, and a back. They can damn well shovel but didn’t. They instead outsourced their efforts to sweet crude and oppressive resource extractors.

        My wife and I shoveled our way out and are now better in shape for the effort. The average person just does not need a snowblower, it’s ludicrous.

        Reply
        1. HotFlash

          Yup, and it is not as if there are not people who could shovel snow for them. A. M. Smith’s heroine in the The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series (set in Botswana) talks disapprovingly about a university professor who is well-compensated, but will not share his bounty with others, specifically, allows his house to be neglected rather than hire a housekeeper and a gardener.

          OTOH, I remember reading (here? FDL?) a comment by a woman whose husband, a college professor who was, um, indifferent to fashion, getting an offer from neighbour lady, “I’ll give you a sandwich for shovelling my walk.”

          On my street we have an unorganized snow shovelling coop. Whoever feels like/has the time to shovel does for the 6-7 or so houses on our block, plus we tend to do our across-the-street neighbours if we have time/energy, seniors and disabled first. Been going for 5 yrs or so, works great.

          Reply
  13. Uahsenaa

    Even if she was on Clinton’s campaign, I have to say I’ve been very impressed with Boushey in the past. She gave an excellent talk at Brookings that said something I’ve never seen anyone say in the Hall of Neoliberal Consensus: that growth over the past 30 years has ruined many communities and there’s a price to be paid for it.

    It’s worth a watch, if you have time, starts around the 49:40 mark.

    Reply
    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I always thought so too. In the article in links, her analysis seems pretty good. But it is hard to square with the economics we heard, or didn’t hear, from the HRC campaign.

      Reply
      1. Uahsenaa

        It’s entirely possible she would have ended up like Reich in the Clinton administration: as the one whose ideas were never given serious consideration.

        Reply
  14. drexciya

    I’m getting sick of the reports about the Dutch elections. The media are seeing this as a loss for populism, but that’s just spin. There was a very high number of people that voted, which is quite something to begin with. Next up is the “fact” that “far-right”/populist parties didn’t “win”. Actually, they did win:
    – PVV got +5 seats, not much, but still they’re the second largest party now
    – FvD (new party) got 2 seats
    – VVD and CDA took up some of the PVV’s talking points
    – Left as a whole lost, and the PvdA got clobbered
    – Most likely will be a combination of VVD-CDA-D66-CU, which is a center-right cabinet

    What I really don’t understand is that there’s no attention being given to DENK, which is a party aligned with the dictatorial regime in Turkey. These people used to stay undercover inside other parties, but they’ve shown their true colors.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      This is very interesting. Can you recommend some links? Dutch is OK, I don’t read it (well, with difficulty), but have some friends who do. Thanks in advance.

      Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      It is indeed an interesting map. From one perspective, it contains a subtle distortion, in that the populations of the target states vary enormously.

      For instance, Texas has nearly ten times the population of Nevada. On a per capita basis, 119,000 Calians in Nevada have 7.5 times the impact of 155,000 flower children in Texas.

      That’s enough moonbeamers to seriously californicate Nevada. Watch them start baying for an income tax and gun control, to bring the rest of the West down to their degraded level.

      Reply
      1. Vatch

        Since you mention gun control, I thought that people might like this concise list of mass shootings in the U.S. from 1982 to 2012, recently updated through early 2017:

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

        Here are lists of rampage killings organized by continent. Some of these killers used weapons other than guns.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers

        The information in these lists can probably be used by people with various opinions on gun control.

        Reply
        1. skippy

          Always thought the C-corp Tec high skirt thingy would be funny in Texas…

          disheveled…. the cross pollination should be a hoot _ !!!!!!!!

          Reply
    2. jrs

      I think the migration can make sense for many truly middle class people (yes there are a few left in this country – with decent incomes and employer provided bennies and so on). But it makes a LOT less sense for the poor.

      Migrating might be a bad idea for anyone struggling economically if they leave the people they know where they are and it’s an initial upfront cost as well, but even leaving that aside. Let’s imagine leaving California for Texas. Texas has the most people without ANY form of health coverage in the entire nation! So the rent wont’ be California rent that as a poor person you have to struggle to afford, but OTOH the maybe not initially obvious trade off is if you get sick and your poor your gonna die. If you ever need any form of government benefits you are in a lot of trouble.

      Reply
  15. allan

    White House requests $30B more for defense spending for fiscal 2017 [The Hill]

    The White House is requesting $30 billion more in defense spending for fiscal 2017 to pay for the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), more equipment across the services and other items considered urgently needed. …

    The request also includes $18 billion in cuts to nondefense programs to offset the increases. …

    Clawing back $18 billion from other departments half way through this budget year is going to be yuuge.

    Reply
  16. hemeantwell

    John McCain: Rand Paul ‘Is Now Working for Vladimir Putin’

    I would appreciate it if someone who follows McCain’s antics would estimate his real influence. He doesn’t appear to lead a faction or to be a political bellwether his congressional colleagues pay attention to. Is he just a Senate pinion for the broad effort to legitimize neocon positions? He used to be portrayed as an independent, hands across the aisles guy capable of finding sensible common ground. But for some time now, as the ME and Russia have preoccupied him, he just seems to be a lone shouter. Does Ran Paul need to give a damn about what he says?

    Reply
    1. Uahsenaa

      He’s not just a lone shouter; Graham is just as noisy. Even if he were, he’s a lone shouter who chairs the Armed Services Committee, so he gets to dictate how oversight of the military plays out. And when generals and various IC functionaries appear before him, they kiss his ring, while he obediently calls for all the money to be given to the military. Why liberals keep propping him up as the voice of reason, when in reality he’s a frothing loony, is beyond me.

      Paul, on the other hand, is pretty marginalized within his own party, a back-bencher, to use parliamentary parlance. This doesn’t put him on the outside anymore than he already was.

      Reply
  17. Pat

    If the Democrats of my acquaintanceship had not reacted with such insanity to Trump winning and the outrageous soft coup, I would think the only good thing that would come from this budget and the Republicans having such power would be the end of the delusion that elected Democrats and the Party had been blocked from enacting their agenda by Republicans during the first two years of the Obama administration. All indications are that that delusion should be in shreds by May. And that more people should get they were being scammed by Obama and most of the Democratic leadership. All of it leading to populist demanded wholesale changes that would make the Third Way/New Democrats shake in their boots (think of it as the elected Democratic version of the Republican Tea Party panic on steroids). All working to stem the hemorrhage of this, and to start the long term care of our country’s ailing condition.

    Unfortunately, we are going to get the budget from hell, the Democratic leadership will still be making what should be obvious the dog ate my homework excuses, democratic voters remaining largely in denial buy it and nothing will change. Instead the Republicans will just keep piling the leeches on the failing body with no one stopping them and a few of the opposition even helping to pile them on.

    Reply
  18. flora

    rre: GOP’s strange new politics: Going after seniors – Seattle Times

    “The biggest lobby group for seniors, AARP, says the GOP bill is an unprecedented triple whammy on old people. In addition to the premium hikes, it would reduce the solvency of the over-65 health program, Medicare, and slash Medicaid, which provides nursing-home payments”

    Older voters generally vote GOP. I conclude this is the GOP’s attempt to rehabilitate the Dem party. In much the same way the Dem estab put in great effort to rehabilitate the GOP after the 2008 elections.

    Reply
    1. flora

      as in:
      ” “If I was a 62-year-old Trump supporter, of modest means as I am, I would be going ballistic right now,” Holtz said. “Is this what they signed up for — huge medical costs for them, and tax cuts for the rich?”

      Yep. Project to rehabilitate the Dems by GOP. (and both parties estabs wonder why 2 outsider candidates – Trump and Sanders – did so well in the primaries ?)

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Older voters don’t typically vote GOP. These older republican voters were once younger republican voters. The 80’s were awash in stories about the youth revolution of the GOP which was largely driven by Democrats losing voters as the moved right.

      When the GOP noticed that young boom getting older and the New Deal generation (guess who they voted for) dying off, older voters became sharply more conservative. Pretty soon, email chains were everywhere (computer engineers and IT people are overwhelmingly republican) explaining the aging GOP voter as connected to wisdom gained with age.

      The Democrats winning all those young people in 2006 and 2008 and then proceeding to dump on them destroyed the opportunity to produce a new New Deal generation and permanent Democratic majority.

      Reply
    3. RUKidding

      For some of these older people, as long as they perceive that this royally screws over some poor person, esp if they’re a minority, then they’re ok with it. Really. At least, that seems to be what is happening with my now aging family members.

      I don’t get it, but they seem to love ginormous tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy, esp if it means that poor minorities get the shaft worse than they do.

      Don’t ask me to explain. I think it has a lot to do with Rush Limbaugh and their “churches.”

      Reply
  19. Adamski

    “Joe Stiglitz said a few years back that the increase in incomes in poor nations took place entirely in China, that there was no real benefit to globalization anywhere else” — sounds interesting, can you cite something on this?

    Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That products on store shelves are usually marked Made in China is a possible clue.

        We print money and it has gone to not too many countries.

        Not much to North Korea, for it seems they have gotten poor, right next door to the Middle Kingdom. They don’t seem want to be shoemakers or hat-makers to the lords, like those royal warrant holders of the British royal family.

        Reply
    1. RabidGandhi

      Curious. Was he eating skittles at the time? I understand Florida has laws about that sort of thing.

      Reply
  20. fresno dan

    Income Inequality Over The Past 100 Plus Years EconIntersect (Chuck L)

    In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by EVERY major statistical measure, for some 30 years.

    Income disparities have become so pronounced that America’s top 10 percent now average nearly nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent. Americans in the top 1 percent tower stunningly higher. They average over 38 times more income than the bottom 90 percent. But that gap pales in comparison to the divide between the nation’s top 0.1 percent and everyone else. Americans at this lofty level are taking in over 184 times the income of the bottom 90 percent.

    ==============================================================
    Well…..just like fracking, the fact that there is less and less wealth to pump from the 90% does not mean that we have reached peak inequality…..

    Reply
  21. optimader

    Chelsea Clinton fuels speculation of political run The Hill (J-LS). How quickly can I get a passport to anywhere else?

    screw that.. Instead wooden stake, then chipper shredder into a freeze dryer, fire what’s left in a kiln at 1200C, put the ash on a rocket ship and:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieQZoY9PQlY
    Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun + lyrics
    ~Pink Floyd

    maybe then they will stop?? ohh wait… she spawned already :o/

    Reply
    1. craazyboy

      Ya! Ummagumma!!!

      Remember, passports are cheap, easy and fast to get. Foreign permanent residency is the hard part. You have to ask permission, and when you think about it, who would want any more Americans mucking around with their country??. Food for thought. We may be backed into a corner and be forced to fight it out here. :(

      Reply
      1. optimader

        We may be backed into a corner and be forced to fight it out here. :(

        Damn right. Start fire tempering the pointy ends of the sticks..

        Reply
        1. craazyboy

          Oh yeah. Completely forgot about Passport. Plus I’ve just been looking around to add to my jazz-funk library. Ha! Well, down the youtube downloader chute it went.

          Reply
  22. allan

    A.M.T., Which Hit Trump in 2005 Taxes, Is No One’s Favorite [NYT]

    One good thing that, in an ideal world, would have been widely commented on in connection with the leak would have been the way that the AMT did what it’s supposed to do, which is to make sure that the rich have to pay some semblance of their fair share. It resulted in Trump’s effective rate going from about 4% to about 24%.
    But there has been almost no reporting on this (or, to be fair, commentary from Democrats who in theory should be interested in pointing this out). And now this piece in the NYT, which goes on and on about how bad the AMT is, until grudgingly admitting, in the last paragraph, that for Trump in 2005 it functioned as intended.

    Inquiring minds want to know: Does the publisher of the NYT have to pay AMT?
    Mr. Sulzberger, release those returns!

    Reply
    1. jrs

      because it makes taxes way more complex as it’s two parallel tax systems. Progressive taxation is one thing, taxing capital gains at the same rate as income is one thing, getting rid of most deductions might also be a good idea. With all that, you’d have Trump paying more taxes I’d bet. But noone likes taxes that they have to spend days of unpaid labor trying to figure out and then still worry about. Taxes are a tax on time, at least when they are that complex. Funny I think they are probably far less a tax on time for those who actually ARE rich and can just hire the best tax accountants money can buy, than everyone else scratching their head at their tax software which is all they can afford.

      Reply
      1. allan

        I have been hit with the possibility of paying the AMT a couple of times (not recently) and, yes, it is a pain to have to calculate your return twice, in two very different ways. But taxes on time come in many forms – fighting with health insurance companies, long layovers at hubs because of our airline oligopoly, lines at understaffed banks – and many of them yield no benefit to me or society. I’m more than willing to spend time on a system that also forces rich people to pay their fair share. The NYT story said that in fact many wealthy are still able to avoid the AMT, but provided no figures, and you have to wonder whether the Gray Lady protesteth too much.

        Reply
  23. Chauncey Gardiner

    Thank you for the clarifying article from Fabius Maximus. I agree that the Fed is focused on wage pressures, and that they likely look at momentum in the KC Fed’s Labor Market Conditions Index as a key determinant of policy direction regarding interest rates. I believe their approach dates back to the Fed’s experience during the hyperinflation of the late-1970s and early 1980s, and the aggressive monetary policy actions that Volcker took at that time to suppress wages under the “Fed’s dual mandate” argument. I suspect they are averse to repeating that episode due to its adverse effect on stock and bond prices, and would rather preempt emergence of wage pressures and run the risk of erring on the other side.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FRBKCLMCIM

    I also suspect some other cross currents play an unstated but significant role, and that key Fed constituencies are now complaining of interest rate margin compression as potential trading gains have largely been realized from the long-term rise in the bond market which has run up against the zero bound in interest rates.

    However, I also believe the Fed has continued to underestimate the magnitude and duration of the damage to Labor stemming from the 2007-09 economic collapse which so impaired consumers debt servicing capacity. Further, the Urban Consumer Price Index is now running hotter than growth in Disposable Personal Income as the effects of debt leverage from QE-ZIRP in elevating real estate prices and other maladjustments are revealed in the real economy.

    Reply
    1. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website

      Chauncey,

      The Fed might heavily weight a Labor Market Conditions Index in their policy decisions. But which one? The KC Fed’s LMCI shows strong momentum. But the Fed’s LMCI has been slowing for 5 years, its growth rate peaking in January 2012. Its level has been flat since December 2015.

      https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FRBLMCI

      https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/notes/feds-notes/2014/updating-the-labor-market-conditions-index-20141001.html

      You point to a second factor that Fed leaders seldom mention but which is rumored to be significant: the needs of Wall Street and the larger banking industry. They might want higher rates, and the Fed has a history of often giving banks what they want. Unfortunately, what the banks want and how the Fed weights that input are matters for guessing. No transparency!

      Reply
  24. optimader

    Married Oklahoma GOP Senator Found in Motel Room with Underage Teen Male

    The Senate passed a resolution Wednesday to suspend Shortey from all committees and strip his name from all legislation. He can no longer occupy his office or parking spot and must return all state property in his possession. Shortey’s seat was empty as the vote passed unanimously. NewsChannel 4 has gone to Shortey’s home and called him repeatedly but only got his voicemail. Shortey is married and has three children.

    After the charges were filed, authorities issued a warrant for his arrest.

    Ok, I’ll go out on a limb and speculate this is going to be a challenge to his political future

    Reply
    1. craazyboy

      He may have to apply for the pizza code cryptologist opening over at the FBI building. Probably a cut in pay from the $180K senators pull down, but not that bad. Then they pay extra if you can shoot a gun.

      The big thing, I would think anyway, would to get an official last name change. Can you imagine enduring all the Shortey jokes after this little incident??? I’d be suicidal within a year.

      Reply
  25. DH

    Re: Going after seniors

    It is actually quite logical for the Trump Administration and the Freedom Caucus to go after poor unemployed seniors. That is where the money is. They are big consumers of the entitlement programs which are getting in the way of Making America Great Again. Its almost like those programs were designed to spend money on them. After all, When America Was Great, the average life expectancy was much lower than today and re-achieving that pinnacle of greatness should be an obvious economic goal to reduce federal budget deficits while providing for tax cuts to the wealthy.

    It was excellent that many of these seniors voted for Trump and the Freedom Congress and courageously putting themselves on the menu so that Trump and Congress can Make America Great Again. Self-sacrifice has always been a great American value that receives adulations from future generations.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Strange, as the writer of that article said.

      Why don’t they go after their more traditional victims?

      Typically, the inquiring type would check into the accuracy of said strange narrative. A new discovery, a new theory, may be in store, or maybe not.

      Reply
    1. adrena

      Fantastic link. Thank you.

      One quibble. I believe gender inequality is the fire that lights the cauldron of ALL inequalities – race, class, sexual identity etc.

      How to remedy this? Start with the children. Concerned parents (yes, men and women together) should organize educational sessions with other activist parents to offer their children an alternative view of the world – teach children what a “just” society would look like. Plant a seed, organize and spread.

      Take charge. Do not depend on a capitalist educational system.

      Reply
  26. flora

    re: The Feminist Far Left Is Making More Enemies Than Allies – New Matilda.

    Thanks much for this link. Agree completely.

    Reply
    1. adrena

      Terrible article. Disagree completely.

      Commenter Freya Beth says it best:

      I have to say I am glad that the author has refrained from commenting about feminism until now as she has no idea what feminism means. The patronising use of the term “ladies” is a bad start and it just gets worse from there.

      Obviously, examples of exaggerated outrage-mongering are not hard to find in social media, from either the left or the right. To take a couple of extreme examples and then claim that the “feminist left” (whatever that is) is driving men to the extreme right of white supremacy, hansonism and misogyny is not only offensive but absurd. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Oh, except, you just did!

      It is not only bizarre, it is also victim blaming: men are misogynist because feminists are mean to them! You do know that is straight out the MRA handbook don’t you?

      This piece is really a denial of the entire concept of feminism itself. I’m not sure what the author thinks feminism is, but feminists at least agree on the premise that women are oppressed by virtue of being women. That this concept involves an oppressed and an oppressor is just too much for the author to accommodate.

      Speaking of exaggeration, the author makes liberal use of dishonest misrepresentations herself. Including a series of bizarre rhetorical questions which bear no relation to anything any feminist has ever thought or said:
      “Are you telling me I should dismiss my (male I assume?) partner’s hard work….?” Who?! What?!? Nope. You just made that up too.

      Reply
      1. flora

        oh gosh. I have a completely different take, having listened to self-described radical feminists 40 years ago discussing whether, in an all female commune, male children should be put up for adoption or killed outright, since males ipso facto were enemies. No kidding. I am not making this up. I thought they were nuts but they were dead serious, so to speak.

        I think the author of this article is saying don’t alienate your allies, and don’t assume your allies are id-pol agreed on groups or individuals.

        Reply
        1. flora

          I should add that no women who advocated killing male children actually had children, male or female. The women who did have children thought the discussion was crazy. They were accused of being insufficiently feminist. Oy.

          And no, no children were either threatened or harmed. But even having that discussion was so insane I still remember it, and wonder what planet some of the self described true-believers live on.

          Reply
    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Yes, the article is worth taking a look at. It discusses, from a European perspective, some points about Trump, Russia, Wikileaks, and the European MSM that may be familiar to readers here, along with other details that don’t receive much attention in the US.

      Reply

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