Links 8/1/14

Supreme Court upholds Scott Walker Act 10 union law Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

S&P500 Index Posts Worst Fall Since April; Indexes Down for July Reuters. Being attributed to…

How Do You Spell “Inflation Hawks on the Warpath?” ECI Dean Baker. Inflationistas seeing their fears realized by not smoothing out the stats over multiple quarters.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

CIA improperly accessed Senate computers, agency finds McClatchy. But don’t worry, John Brennan called up his best man to get to the bottom of it: lobbyist and conservaDem Evan Bayh.

State Department: ‘No American is proud’ of CIA tactics LA Times

Argentina’s Markets Pull Back After Debt Default WSJ. JPMorgan to the rescue? What is this, 1907?

Economists Call on Congress to Mitigate Fallout from Ruling on Argentine Debt CEPR

It Depends, Argentina Edition Credit Slips

Banco Espírito Santo Shares Plunge WSJ


Sierra Leone declares Ebola emergency Financial Times

US Peace Corps evacuates hundreds from west Africa over Ebola outbreak The Guardian

Ebola victim heads to US hospital BBC

Russia might ban US chickens, Greek fruit The Hill

Gay activists in China sue over electric shock therapy used to ‘cure’ homosexuality WaPo

Foreign diplomats, workers flee Libyan chaos by thousands LA Times

WTO Fails to Ratify Trade Agreement WSJ. The U.S. was bullying India on this but they refused to give in. Not a good sign for TPP and other deals out there.


Israel and Hamas agree on 72-hour humanitarian Gaza cease-fire Reuters

Under fire and out of cash, U.N. overwhelmed by Gaza crisis Yahoo News

US condemns Gaza school shelling FT

Executive Order Will Make It Harder For Federal Contractors To Violate Workers’ Rights Think Progress

Why the Children Fleeing Central America Will Not Stop Coming The Nation

House Won’t Vote on Border Supplemental Today Roll Call

Congress oks VA, highway bills, not border measure AP. Should point out that a Congress that continually screams “we’re broke!” and has imposed a spending cap and rules that everything must be offset today passed a bill to throw $12.5 billion at a single-payer health care program without “paying” for it. Because, support the troops. (Incidentally, the bill to throw a bunch of money at Israel’s Iron Dome program got blocked.)

Why America Gave Up On The Fight For A Family-Friendly Workplace, And Why It’s Starting Again Think Progress

UCLA flood from water line rupture is red flag for L.A. infrastructure LA Times

Protesters ‘Rally Against the Banks’ in Punta Gorda WINK-TV News (h/t Lisa Epstein)

Lobbyists Bidding to Block Government Regs Set Sights on Secretive White House Office ProPublica

Class warfare:

It’s Too Soon to Celebrate the Drop in Long-Term Unemployment FiveThirtyEight. What can I say, it’s a pretty good article.

In defense of the NYC “poor door” Vox. What can I say, it isn’t.

San Francisco million-dollar home sales hit record AP. Per above, maybe if we build more million-dollar homes, since those are the only buyers, it’ll all work out.

MaxSpeak vs. VoxSpeak: the reckoning MaxSpeak!

Neel Kashkari: Brother, Can You Spare a Job? WSJ. Ex-Goldman, Treasury guy running for California governor spends a week homeless, decides the problem is not a lack of services but a job. Would like to see him try to get lodging, food, etc. on a minimum wage salary.

U.S. Attorney Warns Cuomo on Ethics Case NYT. This little spat is delicious.

Cuomo Responds To Bharara’s Letter: No More Commenting On Moreland NY State of Politics

The Call Is Coming from Inside the House The Slack Wire

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. participant-observer-observed

    Happy Friday, DD!
    Here’s one that ought to wake people up:

    “The launch of ReaganBook, a conservative-oriented social network, was overrun by trolls Thursday despite its attempt at a soft launch meant specifically to avoid trolls. RawStory reports that the site was flooded with several fake accounts, including ones for Vladimir Putin, Sarah Palin, and Manuel Noriega. Eventually the whole site was taken offline.

    ReaganBook is the work of Janet Porter, an Ohio Republican and founder of “pro-life, pro-advocacy” group Faith 2Action, according to The Daily Beast. The site, pitched as “Facebook for patriots,” officially opened Tuesday and attracted such personalities as “Ben Ghazi, “Al Zheimers,” “Ayn Randy,” “Zombie Reagan,” and “Ronald Reagan” himself. Users also created group pages for the band Slayer, “Cut Dicks for Christ,” and various types of pornographic content, wrote The Daily Beast.

    As of Thursday, the site is nothing but a boilerplate message thanking those who (attempted to) participate in the soft launch. “Your participation is helping us build a more secure site. Thank you!” the message reads. “Please be patient while we make the necessary changes to keep the site free from obscenity, pornography, and those intent on the destruction of life, liberty, and the family… As Reagan taught us, trust, but verify.” The post is signed “Management.” Ayn Randy could not be reached for comment.”

  2. paul

    Looking at future governor neel’s wiki page, I realise that some are born to rule,some to serve and the rest can go get fucked.

  3. Carolinian

    Maxspeak; I haven’t read that site in years, didn’t even know it was still around. Thnx 4 the link!

  4. trish

    re San Francisco million-dollar home sales hit record AP. Per above, maybe if we build more million-dollar homes, since those are the only buyers, it’ll all work out.

    and supersized yachts for job-creation engine.

    1. mellon

      Trish, they already have built them, they are just called “your apartment” and they have to get rid of you and your neighbors before they sell each apartment as a condo, for > a million dollars. Drive you away, one way or another. There are a million ways they use.

      >re San Francisco million-dollar home sales hit record AP. Per above, maybe if we build more million-dollar homes, since those are the only buyers, it’ll all work out.
      >and supersized yachts for job-creation engine.

      I never knew any of those ultra-rich people, and I lived in SF for >25 yrs. I knew some enterpreneurs, and long-career older scientists who were semi wealthy, but they didn’t live as if they were. Too busy.

      Most people are just normal people. I had jobs in research, and tech, pay was okay but not spectacular. I probably made more than most of my friends. SF is far enough north of Silicon Valley that it is a PITA to commute there every day. I did it for a long time but it was an ordeal. For every company like Google that has special busses, there are 20 that don’t. Caltrain is not so great, and the alternative, cars, isn’t either. The traffic there is a nightmare. Worse than NYC. SF has changed a lot. When I moved there it was fairly cheap. People could work as an artist and support themselves working some other gig part time. Thats much less common now. Housing is the main reason. New housing is not rent controlled and the rent rises arbitrarily, it can go up 10% or more in one year. People who try to rent a single family home in the area get hit by that. Only apartments in older multi unit buildings are rent controlled.

      Most of the people who end up buying the newly $1M condos are stretching it financially. Many lived in the areas before, they are just trying to stay near their jobs. People who cannot afford the cost end up losing their rented homes and their jobs because they cannot find anywhere near enough to live. $1 million dollars sounds like a lot but even a average size 2 bedroom apartment will sell for that in a safe neighborhood in SF. Manhattan in NYC is even worse, Brooklyn is similar. What it means is that unless you bought your home a long time ago, people have to make a lot of money to rent or buy in those places. There is no way around it. The increased cost has forced many of the fun and interesting people, out of some cities. They are becoming theme parks for the wealthy.

      Pray that TTIP with its irrevocable natural gas (fracking) deal does not pass because if it does, energy prices are projected to go up a lot in the US and many older buildings will become much more expensive to heat or cool very quickly, forcing lots of low income people out of their formerly affordable apartments or homes. Lots of older housing will become unaffordable to live in without substantial energy upgrades, which would not be so bad except that the people who own them are itching for a way to sell and that will be it. They will “go out of the rental business” leaving many families without a place to live in expensive, unaffordable housing markets, with no place to rent. This will be particularly hard on older workers because they cannot switch jobs so easily. Many will lose pensions and will end up homeless. They cannot move to suburbs because many urban people don’t even drive. They never have. So – protest the TTIP energy deal/fracking expansion. Its a bad idea which could seriously hurt the US economy by making energy in the US much more expensive. Energy in the EU and Asia costs three times or more what it does here. That cost increase will mean that many people on fixed incomes won’t be able to afford heating or air conditioning. Just as TTIP, TPP, and TiSA are making health care and Rx drugs more expensive, they will do the same thing with energy. They will probably also lower wages for many people by throwing their jobs open to global bidding, even local jobs like teaching and construction (and in the energy industry) which most people dont think of as being globalized. Anything that involves government procurement at the federal, state or local level.

      So, anyway, I came over to this thread to tell people about a new video on TTIP I saw listed at (which is a web site for info on the huge US-EU trade deal which is being negotiated in secret in Europe) Here is the URL: Its entitled “TTIP, Race to the Bottom”

      A thought for people. These trade deals are all about setting up privatization of everything and elimination of public services as their stated goal. In their vocabulary, public services are always bad and privatized ones are always better. There is no possibility for affordable public health care under the privatization regime.

      So, unless that is what you want, you need to vocally oppose all three trade deals. This is really important. Especially if you live in the USA. They are trying to lock in the ill gotten gains of the last decades, and nullify all that was good that came out of the 20th century, before people wise up to what their privatization agenda really is, its theft of the public wealth and value in countries, which is a public resource. Corportaions want to steal it, everywhere in the world, fast. These trade deals make it mandatory for countries to literally buy back their freedoms if they get trapped in them, due to “investor-state” clauses. We do not want that to happen to us. Look at what GATS, an existing trade deal did to Maine’s Dirigo Health health care. TiSA is GATS II, basically, but its even worse because it includes everything by default. (it’s a “negative list” – i.e. “US style” FTA) These FTAs block any future improvement in health care by giving companies entitlements to unchanging markets within which any change due to lawmaking or program creation are banned and are compensatable. Countries can be sued for just doing what they need to do for their people. If you beleive that public services are good, you oppose these FTAs intrinsic rejection of public services and elevation of privatization as inappropriate. Please speak up and let your Senators and Congresspeople know that all these trade deals frame public services and privatization in the wrong way and so you oppose them all strongly.

  5. abynormal

    so Eboli has been transported to Atlanta/Emory….ICE/international commodity exchange is only a few miles down 400 (just sayin)

  6. Skeptic

    Poor Door: “Even better, it’s a building that created subsidized dwellings in a desirable location for 55 lucky families….” How do you get “lucky” in New York City?

    One might ask: Who actually gets to live in those taxpayer subsidized apartments? Could it be employees/bumboysandgirls/sychophants of the other folk living in the rich part of the building? Or of the Rich who have Connections in NYC? (Unbelievably as it may be, yes Virginia, there are Connections even in NYC.)

    The Poor have to have someplace to live nearby so the Rich can live in the style to which we have accustomed them. All those valets, butlers, cooks, cleaners, elevator operators, chauffeurs, etc. inconveniently need housing, See DOWNTON ABBEY.

    Really poor analysis in this story.

    1. mellon

      Didn’t Downton Abbey have live-in help? They lived two or three per room in tiny little rooms in the attic area. Their jobs were live-in so they were basically on call all of the time.

      >All those valets, butlers, cooks, cleaners, elevator operators, chauffeurs, etc. inconveniently need housing, See DOWNTON ABBEY.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Really. You know, it’s virtually impossible to be TOO cynical these days. Or too suspicious.

      So there are (at least) two Americans infected and fighting for their lives who are NOT being “transported” to Atlanta. We know their names and what they’re doing in Africa. We’ve seen pictures of them, and members of at least one of their families have been interviewed on television. But no trip back home for them.

      And now an “unnamed patient” will be flown to the US with the state department’s cooperation. And we are assured that the hospital can handle it. I hope whatever plane they decide to use can.

      I wonder what’s behind this seemingly ill-advised move. Why is this “unnamed patient” so special (and “unnamed”)? The US doesn’t have a very good track record when it tempts fate. And this particular bit of overconfidence could have some potentially pretty devastating consequences.

      So what’s this all about?

      1. abynormal

        “Personally, I tend to think there are multiple layers of agendas happening here all at the same time. At the most basic level, front-line doctors and medical scientists simply want to save their colleague, and they likely believe bringing him back to the USA offers him the best chance of survival.

        At the same time, we cannot refute the fact that there are drug company profit interests at stake in all this. The worse the Ebola problem becomes, the more money can be made from future Ebola vaccines or anti-viral treatment drugs. We already know one company called Tekmira has already been awarded a $140m contract by the Department of Defense for its Ebola drug development program.

        At an even spookier level, we also know that Ebola is one of the most easily weaponized viruses on the planet. We also know the U.S. Department of Defense has already developed weaponized strains of Ebola and keeps them supercooled in a level-4 biohazard facility somewhere. This is justified on the grounds of “national defense,” of course, just in case the survival of the nation one day depends on deploying a global killer virus on enemy territory, I suppose.

        You can bet blood samples from this patient will be shared with Pentagon virologists, just in case it’s some new strain with a mutation that makes it an even better bioweapon than what the military already has.
        “The recent discovery of loose smallpox vials in CDC labs doesn’t exactly give me confidence in the government’s ability to handle infectious disease agents in a safe manner.”

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            A lot, as it turns out.

            Did you read aby’s article?? Truly a “must read.”

            This is where more awareness and discussion of the not-often-mentioned number of deaths from hospital borne infections would be helpful. If they are so good at containing infectious agents, why don’t they do it all the time? Why do they sometimes choose not to?

            And if they really, truly are doing the best they can, deliberately bringing Ebola into the US is insane.

            This isn’t a joke or an inept government punchline. It’s serious business, especially in view of the pretty much non-existent relationship 40-50 million Americans have with what passes for a “healthcare” system in this country. Not to mention their relationship with information. Or information’s relationship with actual truth.

            If something went wrong, this could get out of hand pretty fast.

            1. mellon

              “iatrogenic” (human caused) injuries, mostly in hospitals are the third largest cause of death in the US. But, we never read about that.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “Why are U.S. health authorities not sending U.S. medical teams to the infected patient instead of bringing the infected patient to America? This is not an irrational question. Why not give this doctor the advanced treatment he deserves and keep Ebola a continent away at the same time?
          Remember, this particular strain of Ebola has already overwhelmed the full government resources of several countries in West Africa. Doctors who were fully versed in safety measures involving biohazards underestimated their own exposure and allowed themselves to become infected.”

          Thank you for this, aby.

          Everyone on this site should read this rational, informative article and PASS IT AROUND. It is a much better article than the one from The Guardian.

          US authorities have absolutely no right to take this chance. We have a non-functional government right now. It is completely incapable of addressing current pressing crises, and no American should be under any delusion that, should something go wrong with this “plan,” the current US government will be able to deal adequately with it.

          This a very bad idea, and Americans should raise their voices against it.

        2. mellon

          As soon as Ebola starts effecting wealthy people, within a year or two we’ll see lots of research dollars being devoted to patenting treatments for it.

          Cures are less desirable for drug companies now, than treatments.

      2. MtnLife

        Why is this “unnamed patient” so special (and “unnamed”)?

        VIP, politician, or oligarch family member? Who else has that level of pull? They are being kept unnamed as the peasants get irritated by our collective health being endangered for political whimsy.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          That was actually my first thought. Apparently there is a rumor (aby’s article) that it’s another infected doctor.

          I don’t know if it really matters, though, because the disease actually DOES have a name–Ebola.

          1. sd

            CNN did an oopsie and identified them as the two American doctors already known to be infected. Then backtracked, 4th amendment doncha know.

            1. mellon

              As illnesses go, Ebola isn’t the most contagious or the most fatal. its just horrible looking in what it does to people before they die. Thats when they are contagious.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                Well then, by all means, let’s import it and install it in Atlanta.

                We have such a healthy population here in America. I’m sure the upper bound–90% fatality–won’t apply. At least it’s not the “worst.”

                I must have been misled by how bad it “looks,” you know, before people DIE.

                In the immortal words of George W. Bush, “Bring it.”

      3. yenwoda

        ‘there are (at least) two Americans infected and fighting for their lives who are NOT being “transported”’

        Pretty sure it is exactly those two Americans who ARE being transported. And Ebola is transmitted by contact with bodily fluids. It is not hard to isolate patients. Bringing these aid workers home for treatment is an easy call.

        1. abynormal

          have you or anyone heard if they’re both being treated at the same facility? Emory’s top rated but with the CDC down the road…well they still haven’t reopened the bldg that housed small pox. (still shiver’n…from 20min. ‘down the road’)

      4. different clue

        Perhaps this patient is the “designated Patient Zero” for the intended Ebola epidemic in America and is being transported here to get the party started? Perhaps it is a germ-sjpread containment experiment such as elements of the US Army once performed in the New York Subways with mostly-harmless-to-most-people germspores to see how they spread?

  7. Ignim Brites

    Gov Cuomo’s problems with the US attorney certainly increase his incentive to push for. NY secession.

  8. Jim Haygood

    War pigs:

    Congress authorized a panel of outside experts to review the Quadrennial Defense Review, a strategy for shaping the active and reserve force. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel appointed the co-chairmen: former Defense Secretary William Perry, who served under President Bill Clinton, and retired Army Gen. John Abizaid, who ran U.S. Central Command during the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

    The panel’s report said the past several years of budget cuts and mandated reduction in personnel and weapons have stirred deep unease among allies who would count on the U.S. in a crisis.

    “It is the same conclusion many Americans have already reached,” House Armed Services Committee chair Howard McKeon (R-CA) said. “There is a cost when America does not lead, and there are consequences when America disengages. What the president fails to understand — which the report points out — is that a strong military underwrites all other tools our nation has for global influence.


    ‘Global influence’ is what the USSR used to do, till its economy imploded. It requires sustained malinvestment, which ultimately produces a muscle-bound, hollowed-out economy that is noticeably tattered around the edges.

    These war pigs cost us the dollar’s link to gold with their idiotic Vietnam adventure. Now they’re working on destroying its reserve status, as they shadow box with Russia and search for trouble all over Asia and Africa.

    Politicians hide themselves away
    They only started the war
    Why should they go out to fight?
    They leave that role to the poor

    — Black Sabbath

    1. Carolinian

      At least they’re being honest re what the MIC is all about. An example of dishonesty: renaming the War Department the Defense Department after ww2. All about the branding.

      Plus think of the jobs. The Israelis are keeping our ordinance production lines humming as we speak….doing us a favor.

    2. Banger

      U.S. wars were and are all about making sure that a substantial part of the budget goes to the National Security State. To keep the money flowing enemies are, for the most part, either invented or grossly exaggerated in order to keep the populace in Orwellian mode.

      “Global Influence” means Empire–the Empire is centered in Washington/NYC and the deal is that the “world” (the United Oligarchs of the World) agrees that the world economy will run based on the dollar in exchange for the public funding, by the U.S., of the Empire. Everybody benefits with this arrangement. The U.S. guarantees stability and power for oligarchs, as much as it can, using direct military methods only if it has to but using covert means 99% of the time, yes some countries fall between the cracks at times. This enables the U.S., if it wanted to, to maintain much larger budget deficits than it does today and still get funded because this agreement is in force.

      1. Jim Haygood

        That’s the idea. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by empires ranging from classical Rome to Great Britain, the economics of global force projection do not work.

        Sustained malinvestment in military power beyond that actually needed to defend the borders invokes compounding of a negative return until the capital base is leeched away.

        ‘Global influence’ feeds the egos of generals and kongressklowns, but it eats out the substance of the people.

        1. Carolinian

          Generals and kongressklowns and think tankers and intelligence consultants and defense contractors and lobbyists. Might be about money as much as ego.

  9. Jagger

    From CIA breaks into Senate databases:

    —-“I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan,” Udall said in a statement. “The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.”—-

    So if this activity is illegal, violates the constitution and the Senate is outraged, why does Udall just call for Brennan’s resignation? How about criminal charges?

    I wonder when we will hear of our first proven case of political blackmail based on out of control CIA/NSA/FBI.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Yeah, I suppose savior Elizabeth Warren, (and every other D or R including former senators Obama and Clinton) are too busy with domestic policy.

        1. Doug Terpstra

          “From whence cometh our salvation?”

          Well certainly not from any charter member of the duopoly kleptocracy. Sadly, it seems even Bernie is on AIPAC’s payroll.

          1. different clue

            What does that have to do with enforcing law against outlaw CIA heads and assistant heads? Does AIPAC concern itself with keeping Brennan, Alexander, Clapper, and other such out of a courtroom and possibly out of jail?
            Maybe Sanders has other reasons not to care . . . or not to dare. Blackmail reasons?
            Well-founded fear of assassination reasons?

    1. JCC

      @Jagger “So if this activity is illegal, violates the constitution and the Senate is outraged, why does Udall just call for Brennan’s resignation? How about criminal charges?

      Ask Bob;

      Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
      Pretending he just doesn't see?
      The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
      The answer is blowin' in the wind.

    2. Andrew Watts

      By calling for Brennan to resign Udall is just doing the CIA a favor. Before he became CIA Director he was the director for the National Counterterrorism Center… you know, the white man’s welfare bureau. I’m guessing he doesn’t get a lot of respect from the rank and file at Langley. That’s why he should remain in place and establish his authority over the agency.

      As for the spooks who spied on Congress we have them to thank for the eventual release of the torture investigation’s full report. I say we give them all medals as a reward and we hammer it into their skulls as a punishment for doing something so brazenly illegal and hilariously asinine.

      Whenever an intelligence agency says that they’ve been hacked everybody should just assume that they’re trying to cover up something so incredibly stupid that they don’t have a better excuse available. They really earned bonus points for demonstrating that the US intelligence community is completely off the reservation. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

  10. Jim Haygood

    La Nación on ‘The High Cost of an Ideological Caprice’:

    The first signal from the Casa Rosada after deciding on a new default was not the cavalier statement of Cristina Kirchner: “It’s July 31st and life goes on.” It was more tormented: Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich met with businessmen and bankers to ask them not to dismiss staff. It is evident, then, that Capitanich, and with him a part of the government, foresees what awaits the country with the default: more recession.

    The President assumes that this effect can be neutralized with an increase in public spending as announced last night. That is to say, more monetary emission and, therefore, more inflation. This is the current paradox of kirchnerism: to satisfy its ideological dreams it must sacrifice its electoral base; disenchanting those who adhere to it because “with Cristina there’s work.”

    The bankers got a long way in their negotiation with the holdouts. Through Jorge Brito [head of Argentina bankers association], they deposited $200 million in Deutsche Bank in New York. They were to disburse that amount this week; $300 million more on September 18, and another $100 million in November. If the second or third payments weren’t made, the previous ones would be forfeited.

    In January, they would buy the holdouts’ bonds — they agreed, with principal and interest, on $1.4 billion as compared to the $1.66 billion set by Griesa — and exchange them with Sedesa, the organization that guarantees bank deposits, for Bonar 2024 bonds. To implement such an exchange, Sedesa would have to expand its statutory mandate by law.

    When the hurdles were almost removed, with bankers and holdouts about to shake hands, [Economic minister] Kicillof dynamited the setup with his press conference.

    Yesterday Cristina Kirchner appeared to allude to Brito when she hammered on “those who forget that to be the savior of the homeland one needs, besides a horse, honesty.” Thus she unknowingly fulfilled the prediction of Ignacio de Mendiguren, when he asked the banker: “Jorge, do you think they’ll allow you appear as Gardel?”

    We’ve seen this movie before. It could be called Fútbol para Todos II. [Football for All, a state-sponsored soccer network]

    1. Alejandro

      Unnecessary suffering so as to feed the need for greed, based on the surreal ‘logic’ of “the magic of compound interest”. Munch Munch Munch.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Uh, whut time is it?

      *checks watch*

      That’s right — election time!

      And where do the campaign funds come from? Says the WaPo:

      Christie, Walker and Kasich — as well as former Florida governor Jeb Bush — each met privately with Adelson in what some political observers have dubbed “the Sheldon Primary.”

      Adelson is familiar with the governors’ positions on Israel.

      “It’s important to Sheldon to know what makes people tick and to establish a comfort level.”

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Yeah, finally, only after the sixth (6X!) time a UN-designated civilian shelter was bombed — a finger -wag and extra treats. There can be no clearer evidence of war crimes — deliberate, premeditated mass-murder and state terrorism, a constant thruout Israel’s history.

      It’s high time that incurably-rabid dog was put down permanently, its owners jailed for manslaughter and forced to pay restitution.

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Every time an Israeli missle hits a school or hospital “by mistake”, instead of a family home as intended, the IDF claims it was a Hamas rocket gone astray. It’s certainly plausible of course. Hamas rockets are so inaccurate they may be fired in one direction but fly off in the opposite direction, several in succession, in fact, all hitting the same grade school.

      Anyway, notes Robert Fisk, this now makes it a “blame game”, so lets not determine who really is to blame and hold them accountable for war crimes. It’s just so hard to find know just whose US-made missles hit those hospitals and shelters.

  11. Civics

    Udall wants to fire Brennan, how poignant. This is really good deprogramming for people steeped in pointless civic theater like congress. If we wanted to re-institute grade-school civics, these are the basics we would teach. Now we live in the United States of COG. It’s particularly galling to a guy like me who got duped into helping to set this shit up (never occurred to me that they could just knock over David and Nelson, then roll it all out.)

      1. Schtubb

        I believe the poster may have meant Continutity Of Government.

        “Oliver North was involved with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in plans to take over federal, state and local functions during a national emergency. This planning for “Continuity of Government” (COG) called for “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law.” Two of the key COG planners on the secret committee were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the two men who implemented COG under 9/11.

        9/11 met the conditions for the imposition of COG measures, and we know for certain that COG planning was instituted on that day in 2001. The 9/11 Report confirms this twice, on pages 38 and 326. It was under the auspices of COG that Bush stayed out of Washington on that day, and other government leaders like Paul Wolfowitz were swiftly evacuated to Site R, inside a hollowed out mountain near Camp David.

        What few have recognized is that, nearly a decade later, some aspects of COG remain in effect. COG plans are still authorized by a proclamation of emergency that has been extended each year by presidential authority, most recently by President Obama in September 2009. COG plans are also the probable source for the 1000-page Patriot Act presented to Congress five days after 9/11, and also for the Department of Homeland Security’s Project Endgame — a ten-year plan, initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.”

        For even more detail, Peter Dale Scott’s book “The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America” is worth a look.

  12. Banger

    Saker has a well-written bit on his site “Thinking the Unthinkable” about whether or not the U.S. would be willing to engage in full out war including nuclear war over Ukraine. Worth reading so check it out.

    He uses the “Duck Test” (if it quacks like a duck….) to examine his own assumptions which have been, up to now, that the U.S. would not go to war because the U.S. military just is not capable of fighting a war there. His arguments are sensible but, I believe, mistaken. He sees U.S. oligarchical leaders as irrational and crazy–they’re not. The whole point of Ukraine is to create a new enemy for the National Security State to scare Congress to increase the budget of said NSS, aka “Deep State.” The overall strategy of this organization is to create as much chaos and tension in the world as possible to distract people from the obvious criminally minded actions of the U.S. oligarch class. The enemy is not Putin but the American people. America does not fight wars to win (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq) but to enrich cronies and reward military officers with promotions and lucrative careers after their service. What Saker does not comprehend is the extraordinary corruption that has infected Washington since 9/11 (which Saker believes was a false-flag event) though it was pretty major before 9/11.

    All this hinges on the control of the MSM by the Deep State. I urge all of you to look beyond the surface events and see what underlies contemporary events and ask questions like “who benefits” and “follow the money” two tried and true principles you must have. We need to understand that Public Relations/Propaganda/Mind Control are 24/7 operations with incredibly high-stakes and everything is obfuscated–there is no reliable mainstream source of information–they are all political establishments related to some faction of the oligarchy.

    And here I will stop. I am taking a break from NC after today for at least a couple of weeks–I have other matters needing my attention and I need a break from all the stuff we write about here, barring major world events. I am happy to have pushed the envelope here just a bit, to the chagrin of poor Lambert, whose work I actually respect and admire.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Sometimes one has to attend to basic responsibilities: paying the bills, schlepping groceries, taking out the garbage, fighting Clintonism. Te veo despues.

    2. Carolinian

      I saw the Saker piece but he’s also written other articles that say the current situation has come about more or less by happenstance…that the Nuland gang at State probably never thought Russia would react the way they did. Indeed if Yanukovych had used more violent means of repression he might still be in power and things would be tense but quite different. It seems clear that the regime changers never ever expected Putin to take Crimea and this in your face gesture is what caused Obama to become overtly hostile. One should also allow for the apparent fact that Obama and Putin don’t like each other very much. I quite believe that Obama, a vain man, could let his personal pique influence policy. Seems less likely of Putin but the Crimea move may have been a bit of that too.

      All of which is to say that, imho, there’s also serendipity in world events. It isn’t all cui bono.

      Hey enjoy your break. You seem to be a sparkplug around here.. I’m sure you’ll be missed.

      1. Banger

        Makes sense–I think serendipity does play a large part indeed–much larger that all the carefully laid plans probably. I think Obama’s dislike of Putin has something but not a lot to do with it. Obama and Netanyahu clearly don’t like each other yet U.S. policy has not changed.

    3. Eureka Springs

      Amazing Banger considers any part of this to possibly be rational or not batsh*t crazy. I suppose if one considers the ends justify the means to be sacrosanct. Or that anyone thinks this is only about Ukraine. Ukraine is nothing but a couple pawns near the extremely dangerous center of the board. Ukraine has been (actively or in waiting) for the U.S. since at least the time of Pres. Hoover.

      I wonder if the Old Koch family members and Hoover were in Russian oil business together?

    4. Christopher Dale Rogers


      With the total loss of @DownSouth/Mexico from this site, it will be sure less active without your worthy contributions of late. Whilst I don’t comment on this site as much as others, its still a daily read for me, so one will miss your imaginative comments greatly – suffice to say, please enjoy your respite and good health to you and your family.

    5. Jackrabbit

      Banger, you make some cogent observations but consider:

      The enemy is not Putin but the American people. TIFIFY
      We are happy to work with elites in other countries that oppress their people.

      ‘Chaos everywhere’ seems to go quite a bit overboard. I think you are confusing cause and effect. There does seem to be a strategy and direction, not just willy-nilly chaos. I think the are working toward a uni-polar NWO. A recalcitrant Russia, allied with other nations, is a threat to this over-arching goal. And ‘chaos’ in the ME is just an indirect way to attack Iran and Syria and our allies, Israel and KSA, on top.

      Control of the MSM narrative is important. But only as long as people have not lost confidence. Maintaining that confidence is key. The more that it needs propping up, the more unreal is the narrative. Its not surprising that Obama has recently talked of reigning in growing cynicism and pleaded with Republicans to “stop hating”.

      H O P

      1. Jackrabbit

        To further explain my objection to ‘chaos everywhere’: AFAICT, USA now seeks to topple Putin, not have a war with Russia. The economic and propaganda war will continue and tensions will naturally rise and fall until that is accomplished. The flaw in this strategy, however, seems to be that China, India, Iran, Brazil, and others are increasingly wary of USA actions and NWO promises.

      2. Banger

        Well I was indulging in hyperbole there. No, not chaos everywhere because the US largely seeks to preserve power for the oligarchs in all countries and want, for example, Europe to remain stable.

    6. Lambert Strether

      I’m wasn’t, and am not, chagrined. As with “progressive,” which implies motion without direction, I don’t see pushing the envelope as good, by definition, that’s all. Enjoy your break!

    7. scraping_by

      First, blessings for success on your efforts in meatspace. That ain’t no crime, brother.

      As far as conventional warfare in the Ukraine, the augeries are against it. The US has announced a drawdown of the Air Force, starting with grounding the A-10 Warthog. This is a significant diminishing of offensive capability of the US Military. Their doctrine follows Napoleon’s dicta, ‘The artillery conquers, the infantry occupies.’ Warplanes are just updated cannon, in the scheme of the battlefield.

      The neoconservative cabal directing our nation’s actions in the world will probably content themselves with continuing heartless mischief. Those of us who lived through Cold War 1.0 are wise to the breadth and depth of MSM lying in that era, but anything overt would teach the young ones too quickly that the propaganda puppet presented as the enemy doesn’t exist. And we are still worth lying to.

      1. lulu

        The A-10: one of the most powerful, versatile, useful and formidable weapons in the arsenal… oh well.

        “He sees U.S. oligarchical leaders as irrational and crazy–they’re not.”
        But they sure do include a large population of a**holes.

        1. MtnLife

          No one needs the ability to loiter over a battlefield, carrying tons of armament that can destroy anything it comes across, unable to be hacked, and the ability to absorb an incredible amount of damage. Seriously, who in the world would want an airplane that you can blow a wing off of it and still fly it home?

          *Sigh* It most not be making someone enough money. Maybe if we stick a $2 billion dollar price tag on each one they’ll keep it in service.

          1. James Levy

            It never made anyone enough money, and Republic, which built it on LI right by where I grew up (and right by where they rolled out the Lunar Module and the outstanding F-14 and A-6) is long gone (as is, in anything but name, Grumman). The Air Force detests doing close air support and will leave that to the attack helicopters, MLRS, and drones. The F-35 will be used for deep penetration Ops after the cruise missiles, F-117s. and drones have destroyed the adversary’s air defense network. All of which will receive a rude shock if they take on a country with even a couple of hundred good fighters with the will and skill to use them.

          2. Jess

            As much as I truly admire the A-10 Warthog, I believe the plane you are referring to in your “wing blown off” comment is actually the F-15. And in fairness, they only blew 2/3 of the wing off. That Israeli pilot managed to land it with about six feet of the starboard wing still intact.

            Note: If I’m wrong and you know of an instance where an A-10 flew home safely minus a wing, please provide a link or direction to the story. As an aviation buff I’d like to learn about the circumstances.

            1. MtnLife

              I’m pretty sure it was the A-10 since, as a child, I disliked the F-15 from an aesthetic point of view and didn’t do much reading on it but I can’t seem to find a specific story. Found a number of mentions of planes coming back with large portions of the wing missing but no full narrative. It was designed to lose at least half: ” the long low-set wings are designed to allow flight, even if half a wing is completely blown off.”

        1. Jagger

          Shouldn’t be too long before ultra-expensive warships, tanks and airplanes are all obsolete once cheap missiles can reliably hit and destroy them all. That time is here now for many of them and I suspect not too far in the future for all of them.

        2. hunkerdown

          Did they just learn this from those 4 Ukrainian OTR-21 Tochka missiles that never hit their targets in Novorossiya? All that talk about “manning up” from the usual oligarchical apparatchiks, and now this bit of performance anxiety just clinches it.

          The USA is having a mid-life crisis.

          It’s only a matter of time before the flashy car and the gold chains, isn’t it. Oh. Boy.

    8. MtnLife

      While your leaving doesn’t endanger my membership in the Tin Foil Hat Club it sure does make fulfilling my continuing education requirements a lot harder. ;-)The rest of us will try to pick up the slack in critical analyses that doesn’t wither upon encountering uncomfortable conclusions “crazy conspiracy theories”. I’m actually curious to see how much the comment total drops off. Not only are you a prolific commenter but one who creates a lot of post-comment discussion. Enjoy your time away!

    9. Doug Terpstra

      Be assured you will be missed, Banger. Your experience, cogent analysis, and empathy are potent and inspiring. Please don’t stay away. I dread the prospect of your disappearance like DownSouth or Warren Celli. Plus, if you don’t come back, I’ll be plagued by yet another CIA conspiracy theory (former NC leading light shoots self three times in the back of the head with hands bound). I’m also reminded of that expression, “If you love something, let it go …”

    10. VietnamVet


      Enjoy your rest and relaxation.

      Russia reports that President Obama called the Kremlin today. Perhaps they discussed Ukraine firing ballistic missiles at the rebels. Maybe, it even came up that the Ukraine civil war is escalating with no end in sight. Finally did they discuss how to ratchet down the tension without losing too much face?

      No doubt this is what Western Industrialists and US Chamber of Commerce wants. A nuclear war is bad for business. But, in our new world of 24/7 propaganda and no facts, it is impossible to tell our future; except, Wall Street financiers and War Profiteers together with government and NGO true believers have pushed the war pedal to the floorboard in their game of global chicken.

    11. different clue

      Hitler went rogue on the German Deep State of Hitler’s day. And the Wehrmacht humbly obeyed.

      Who is to say certain Obamaform Elements aren’t going rogue on the American Deep State of Obama’s day? And that the United States Department of Defense won’t humbly obey?

  13. scraping_by

    RE: Ebola

    The last deadly pandemic in the US and Europe was the Great Influenza of 1918. Aside from a population with no previous infection, the proximate cause was WWI. Soldiers penned in barracks and sailors piled up in ships spread the virus among themselves and, from there, to the general population. The mass packing in long train trips and boarding houses gave the infection national scope.

    These days we tend to give each other far more room. The crowding in airliners and dance clubs. professional and college sports, while dense, are short duration. Breathing each other’s breath for long stretches of time is rare except for people in prison and people at universities. I was an undergraduate health aid at a large state university, and we were warned of the inevitable widespread URI peak in October and its echo in February. The American custom of incarcerating otherwise inoffensive people, however, creates a pool of potential carriers that may give legs to a plague. An unintended consequence of the Drug War.

    The other great packing is refugee camps. Africa has many along with those displaced in the Middle East. Both are prime locations for passing around infections. While infected but nonsymptomatic patients don’t travel much from Africa, Syrians, Iraqis and Palestinians most have connections in the larger world. As long as the disease stays in the ghettos of Liberia, no problem. If it shows up among the displaced people further north, the rest of the world has cause to worry. An unintended consequence of Neoconservatism.

    Ebola’s a particularly nasty way to die. But pandemics are well-studied, and as long as modern Public Health is allowed to do its work, can be safely relagated to ‘things that happen to other people.’

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Because “modern Public Health” handled the AIDS epidemic so competently.

      And FEMA was so competent during Katrina.

      Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. And the above can barely be legitimately called “history.” More like current events.

      1. Mark P.

        Katniss wrote: ‘Because “modern Public Health” handled the AIDS epidemic so competently.’

        [1] Eh. Ebola is a pathogen that burns so extremely rapidly and violently through its victims, so as it exists now it’s something of an evolutionary failure. It can’t spread easily across populations of any size, so isn’t really much of a threat as a pandemic — nor, contrary to another poster’s comments, even weaponizable in any militarily useful way (short of some advanced techniques that I’m not going to go into here).

        Because AIDS was extremely slow-burning and initially hard to detect, conversely, it was an ‘ideal pandemic.’ In fact, unless you want immediate results, slow-burning pathogens like AIDS are your ideal bioweapons, doing long-term damage to societies over decades.

        [2] Whatever the successes and failures of ‘modern Public Health’ or FEMA, then, one disease is the ultimate fast-burner that’s impossible to ignore, with uniquely violent, fast-burning symptoms that prevent its spread; the other is the ideal slow-burner, being initially very hard to detect, easy to confuse with other things, all of which vastly facilitated its spread.

        So the comparison of AIDS and Ebola is about as worthless a comparison as could be made.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I didn’t compare AIDS to Ebola. I critiqued the blundering, flummoxed “public health” response to AIDS which, fast or slow burning, was a public health crisis. The comment to which I was responding suggested we should all trust “modern Public Health.”

          I don’t. Regardless of the “speed of the burn” the specific disease exhibits.

      2. abynormal

        this isn’t the only removal issue TX has had: The University of Texas Medical Branch said Saturday that there was no breach in the security its Galveston National Laboratory and no indication of wrongdoing. Officials suspect the missing vial containing the Guanarito virus was destroyed during the lab’s cleaning process but the investigation continues.
        (i’ll find what i posted here last yr…its somewhere)

      3. different clue

        Modern Public Health was stood down by political and cultural opposition in high places to seeing AIDS contained and solved.

        Jeff Wells at Rigorous Intuition 2.0 has a number of articles under the subject heading Katrina. He makes very well the point that FEMA was VERY competent at doing exACTly the secret agenda job it was really secretly tasked with doing as regards Katrina, the Federal Flood, Operation Drown NOLA, etc.
        “Incompetence” was the cover lent to FEMAs and Bush/Cheney’s secret agenda by the CFP MSM. ( That stands for Corporate Fascist Pig MSM). Here is a sample article from Jeff Wells’s Rigorous Intuition 2.0 blog’s grouping of Katrina-related posts.
        The only way Ebola will get here is if someone brings it here on purpose. On purpose.

    2. Johann Sebastian Schminson

      Until 4 years ago, when I moved from Reston, my gym was less than 50′ from the abandoned monkey building (the original was torn down and replaced, earlier, but never had another tenant). When these folks abandoned the place, no one went back in — even though ‘experts’ said it was safe to do so. It was like a mini-Chernobyl. Gives a perspective on how frightening this virus is.

      Hard to believe this type of activity was taking place in a nondescript suburban executive center.

  14. Benedict@Large

    But don’t worry, John Brennan called up his best man to get to the bottom of it: lobbyist and conservaDem Evan Bayh

    The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act saw the pairing of conservaDem Evan Bayh join with Bob Dole, the man who scuttled the Koch indictments in the 90s, to create the prescription patents rip-off system our medical system is collapsing under today. As a reward for his efforts, Evan Bayh himself was later scuttled in the November Reagan wipe-out. Bayh sold out the American people, and then the GOP sold him out as a way of saying thank you..

    I wonder if anyone has ever counted the number of conservaDems who have sold out only to get re-sold out by the GOP?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The Bayh of the Bayh-Dole Act is Birch Bayh. Evan Bayh’s father.

      Money is not the only thing that’s passed down from generation to generation.

      1. David Dayen Post author

        Birch Bayh was actually a pretty darn good Senator. Wrote two amendments to the Constitution (lowering the voting age and Presidential succession) and almost a third (the ERA), more than any non-Founding Father. Stopped two Nixon appointees to the Supreme Court and authored Title IX. He’s with the coalition trying to nuke the Electoral College. Unfortunately couldn’t beat Dan Quayle in 1980.

        The apple fell pretty far from the tree with the son.

    1. mellon

      Thats partially the effect of NAFTA – note the biggest shifts from manufacturing to health care came in the years immediately after NAFTA

  15. MtnLife

    This is just golden on so many levels. Pipeline Protestors Flee Company Official After Hour Long Sit-in

    I am totally supportive of their goal and proud of the uniqueness of Vermont. I don’t think this could have taken place anywhere else. That aside, sheer comedy. :-)

    Some highlights: “Unlike at previous protests, like a “knit-in” that led to one arrest, the protestors fled as soon as a Vermont Gas official approached them. It was a coordinated effort to evade being served notifications of trespass.”

    The protestors began to chant “we shall not be moved” as they stood up and quickly walked to the property line, though the chant was cut short when a member of the group alerted them to the contradiction.
    “Two earlier protests led to arrests – the “knit-in” at Vermont Gas headquarters and a protest where a woman was arrested after chaining herself to the headquarters building. A later “fish-in” event consisted of protestors sitting in or standing near a metal canoe placed on the grass outside the Public Service Board offices and singing protest songs (some of the activists were knitting there, too). The fish-in was meant to indicate a “bait and switch” by Vermont Gas, which recently announced a major cost increase to its pipeline project. That demonstration finished without any arrests.”

    Surprisingly reasonable police reaction: “Williston police were on the scene within minutes after protestors arrived. Chief Todd Shepard repeatedly asked protestors to clear the driveway to the site, but officers never took official action.”

    …and the corporate loony: “”We respect the right individuals have to express their point of view. Unfortunately, this organization has proven on more than one occasion that it cannot be trusted to express their point of view peacefully or honestly,” Wark said. “As a result of their extreme behavior, and our concern that they may be violent or vandalize property in the future, we have had to establish specific security protocols to protect people and property and we will continue to follow these protocols.”

  16. Doug Terpstra

    “A Zionist Demanding Genocide” – Moon of AL.

    Though mostly unspoken if implicit, the Amalekite or Samson Option as “final solution” is broached in Israeli press, then retracted. Did someone say “never again”? Almost inconceivable, yet all too predictable from a society that refers to Arabs as “cockroaches”.

  17. Ron

    Israel aski U.S. for more arms and money to continue battle, and on the ground another Israel soldier is captured and the President demands he be returned or else no deals! Hamas could care less anymore as they have won the ground war and are extracting significant pain and suffering from both Israel and the U.S. Israel can only generate more air and shelling damage further isolating them in the world. We are seeing the dome of Israel Right Wing policy implode in there face it must be tough for them to seek out more aid the mighty have fallen.

  18. EmilianoZ

    Human smuggler talks the language of capitalism:

    “The traffic of human beings is a service widely requested on the market, I am just a provider,” he [the smuggler] says.

    These agents, he says, operate a “league table” of smugglers, rating them according to how many would-be migrants make it safely across the Mediterranean. He says his safety record puts him near the top of this league.

    LOL! All that’s missing is costumers’ reviews.

    The logic of capitalism pervades everything. It’s like the scientific method. It insinuates itself everywhere.

    1. hunkerdown

      Who wants to start a pool on when such cottage industries set up departures from the USA?

  19. p78

    Evidence Questions Effectiveness of U.S.-Funded Israeli Missile Shield Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists “The Evidence That Shows Iron Dome Is Not Working.”

    “… there is no evidence Iron Dome is actually working. He estimates the Iron Dome, which is partially built by Raytheon, intercepts just 5 percent of rockets fired at Israel. […]
    So, people look at these explosions in the sky, they associate this light show with successful intercepts, and what they are seeing are the explosion of the Iron Dome warheads.[…]
    The interceptor probably costs well in excess of $100,000 per interceptor, and it’s maybe achieving a 5 percent rate—maybe, could be lower—against rockets that maybe cost $1,000 each or $500 each. So the cost-exchange ratio is fine, if you’re Israeli and the dollars on not coming out of your pocket. […]
    U.S. Defense Secretary sent a letter to Congress requesting $225 million more in U.S. funding.[…]
    … the question of which American technical institution has obtained the data from the Israelis and verified the accuracy of the data and verified that the performance levels are what they are…radar data …video data in the visible… video data in the infrared…. data that they could and should make available to the United States, to our technical institutions, and have this data reviewed and certified. “

    1. optimader

      It’s all BS chimera MIS corporate welfare technology rather than diplomacy .. file under Patriot Missile.

      When they do intercept where to all the sharp bit fall on their trajectory back to terra firma? During the “Shock and Awe” TV Special Event put on by the Pentagon, the well intentioned Iraqi A-A gunners probably did as much damage to Bagdad with their antiaircraft rounds. A terminal velocity version of Stoke’s Law with lots of nasty sharp bits and molten hot lumps

    2. Jagger

      It seems much of the Iron Dome and Gazan missiles are purely for the psychological benefit of civilian populace. The Gazans civilians feel they are fighting back even though the missiles accomplish absolutely nothing while the Israelis feel safer seeing Iron Dome going off even though they are under no threat at all. The rulers are safer from the populace if the populace feels something is being done even if nothing is really being done. All about morale.

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