Links 4/8/15

Brontosaurus Rising The New Yorker

Michael Bloomberg’s ode to his old boss is a perfect example of a Wall Street that doesn’t exist anymore Business Insider

Billy Salomon’s Leadership School Bloomberg

IMF warns of long period of lower growth FT. Cheaper servants and guards, so what’s not to like?

Record U.S. Capital Spending Is Last Thing the Market Wants Bloomberg

Repo Market Sees a Lending Shift as Rules Bite WSJ

Big Companies Pay Later, Squeezing Their Suppliers New York Times

The U.S. Job Market Is Losing Its Dynamism Bloomberg

It’s Hard to Lift Wages if the Fed Doesn’t Make It a Priority NYT

How the Geography of Jobs Affects Unemployment Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Wall Street wary of ‘audit the Fed’ campaign FT. Shocker!

TPP as Important as Another Aircraft Carrier: US Defense Secretary The Diplomat


Athens scrapes together cash for April but default looms in May FT

As Greece Battles a Debt Crisis, Its Banks Issue More Short-Term Debt NYT

Schulz warns Greece to stick to EU’s line on Russia sanctions: newspaper Reuters

EU attempting to unsettle Syriza government in Greece Guardian

Greek anti-establishment protesters torch cars, clash with police Reuters

The UK mood is shifting against austerity Business Spectator (Furzy Mouse)

In Photos: One Year Later, a Look at the Forming of the Donetsk People’s Republic Vice


All Praise To The Iranian Nuclear Framework—–It Finally Exposes The War Party’s Big Lie David Stockman

Is there any possible Iran compromise between Obama and Congress? Maybe not. WaPo

Iran calls on Turkey to help find peace in embattled Yemen McClatchy

Overstretched and Under Pressure, the U.S. Air Force Remains the Backbone of Current Operations CFR. When they get the F-35, everything will be jake.

New York Times Accidentally Undermines John Bolton “Bomb Iran” Op-Ed in Own Pages The Intercept

US military aid will further strangle Egypt’s democracy Al Jazeera

America’s Safari to Nowhere Counterpunch

The newest Duggar baby is named Israel, his father announced in an IDF T-shirt WaPo

China will struggle to keep its momentum Martin Wolf, FT

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

U.S. secretly tracked billions of calls for decades USA Today. Scoop!

Rand Paul Vows to Stop NSA Spying ‘on Day 1’ of Presidency Reason

Court mulls revealing secret government plan to cut cell phone service Ars Technica

Dogs killed over unpaid fines CNN

Utility cut power to home before 8 died of gas poisoning News22. Rule #2 of neoliberalism?

Colleges Launch Food Pantries to Help Low-Income Students WSJ

Ex-SCGOP official arrested on domestic violence charge Charleson City Paper. Also an Internet troll!

Power surge knocks out electrical service across parts of D.C. WaPo. Welcome to the Third World, America!

Emanuel Wins Second Term as Mayor of Fiscally Ravaged Chicago Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Rich People Are Great at Spending Money to Make Their Kids Rich, Too The Atlantic

Slack’s Stewart Butterfield, In His Own Words Inc. See “On the financial rewards of a successful startup,” and “On caring about your work.”

Maine farmers: Cultivating a profit from organics MaineBiz. (Here is the non-organic treatment of the same theme).

Economic history is dead; long live economic history? The Economist

America’s Endless War Over Money NYT

Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources [PDF] (Furzy Mouse)

Having Fun LRB. Public shaming on the Internet.

‘Sesame Street’s’ ‘Game of Thrones’ parody makes Iron Throne prediction Los Angeles Times

Dark Leviathan Aeon. “The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings.” In a totally rights-respecting manner, of course.

Antidote du jour:


Readers, I struggled to find French animals suitable for Yves’s visit to Paris, but the best I could do is this sheep maintaining the lawn at the National Archives, and while that’s the sort of initiative I support, it’s not a very good best. Thoughts?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Disturbed Voter

    “America’s Endless War Over Money” is a great read. But like all essays, it says more through what is not said, than what is said. There was a continuous struggle until 1914 … to end the bi-metallic standard for money as established by the Constitution. Rather than amend the Constitution, which is difficult to do, practical attempts were made to make an “end run” around the consequences of the Constitutional definition of sound money. These experiments with predecessors to the Federal Reserve, over the availability of gold (before the California Gold Rush), over the availability of silver (prior to the Comstock load in Nevada), over the ratio between the official price of gold and silver … over limited issue of both private and government script … took place in a backdrop over the political struggles of the early Republic, the need to finance both sides of the Civil War, and the continuous efforts by the British, Spanish and French colonial empires … to tame the US to their own purposes.

    In 1914 that came to an end, the US became a Anglo-French colony again … with much assistance by President Teddy Roosevelt … not just President Woodrow Wilson. Those two presidents basically defined what a neo-liberal is today. The US hasn’t been financially independent since 1914 … though more independent that Greece is today, more like GB with it’s British Pound independent of the Euro. And given the fiat money changes in 1933, 1965 and 1971 … hard money has vanished into an ever growing “dark economy” of financiers … that threatens to consume the “real economy” of ordinary people. Politics and economics can’t be separated, and so aren’t describable by cold objective equations … it is time to restore political economy to its proper place as a discipline.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One simple equation:

      20% x your income = inflation fighting sacrificial offering.


      0.2 x INC = IFSO.

      That money must die! It must be destroyed.

      Yes, even in disinflationary or worse, deflationary periods.

      Actually, that is not a universal constant. It can vary.

  2. Synoia

    It may seem unjust that the equities of companies that make long-term capital investments in their businesses perform worse than the equities of companies that buy back their shares

    Define “Perform”. Does this mean their share price performance, their growth, or their earnings?

    1. ProNewerDeal

      it would be interesting to consider a variable that measures the impact of the company’s industry(ies) being subject to actual competition on some spectrum from pure competition (with many buyers and sellers, not even 1 of which is powerful enough to effect the overall quantity supplied or price, as per the fantasy story of Econ101), to monopoly.

      I would guesstimate if a company has a monopoly or oligopoly, rentier, etc position, especially in an industry in which one “enjoys” hybrid Government/private oligopolist enforced COERCED participation (like health insurance, other Sickcare Mafia “providers”, apartment rental/house mortgage, retailers forced to pay a cut to the CreditCard Oligopoly, etc), they probably extort profits greater than the median company, at ANY (including NO) level of capital investment

  3. Synoia

    He even likened the TPP to be as important to him as another aircraft carrier.

    Oh. So TTP is a useless target, and can be sunk?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      You beat me to it! Things are very scary when we have a US Secretary of Defense making statements like those reported for Ash Carter. I wouldn’t want that guy on my side in an argument at a cocktail party (not that I’ve even been to a cocktail party). Now I don’t need to wonder what sort of strategic or tactical thinking lead to the DoD dumping money into the F-35 and ship building for the Navy.

      I wonder whether Carter acted on his own to embrace the TPP as part of our Defense stance or, as I suspect, someone gave him a nudge. I hope that means the TPP is in serious trouble. Are there still portions of the American public who can be swayed by such screwy arguments? And what is a Secretary of Defense appointed by a “Democratic” President doing preaching to the choir at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University? What’s his next stop?

      1. craazyboy

        Obviously, the DOD recognizes that the US defense contractors need to outsource design and manufacturing to Japan if we are ever going to get some quality weapon systems. Then the defense contractors can just mark up Japanese products prior to selling them to the DOD. This way the DOD will be able to buy grossly overpriced stuff that works.

    1. bunny

      Image from “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestry at the Musee Cluny- bunny favors…a bunny image (e.g., below lion in tapestry with lion and unicorn between two trees).

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Chanteclair is indeed the obvious choice and a good one at that, but just in case, here are some alternatives to le Coq Gauloise though many of them are human(ish).

      Family Portrait

      If it could be a person, I would vote for Obelix, otherwise I kind of like the dog, Idéfix (lower center).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Be interesting if he has a house warming party at the Eccles Building on Day 1 as well.

      “Everyone is invited!!!”

    2. Carla

      Presidents have no power to close military installations, and very little power to do much of anything else, since the national security apparatus that Truman set up has gradually, over the decades, seized more and more power. See “National Security and Double Government” by Michael J. Glennon. It packs a lot into 118 pages of text.

      It is ironic indeed that “our” Defense Secretary Ash Carter would be so blatant about who runs the country as to tout the toxic TPP. We all suspected that the national security apparatus was running more than the military, the spy agencies, “homeland security,” and all the related trappings of “national security.” But for them to come out and say so as a matter of course without apparently expecting anyone to take exception is, uhm, telling. Let’s hope that folks outside the NC community are listening to what Carter is telling us all.

      1. jrs

        I really suspect that the purpose of the TPP are the reasons given. Corporate rule is a byproduct, is pork, or is necessary to maintain dominance of particular parties. But it reflects “our values”. People really should listen when they tell us what “our” [u.s. government] “values” really are and it would be the end of illusion. Because it’s these same “values” we will be told we need endless war for. Oh so “our values” include corporate rule, do they? That’s what is being said. Remember that the next time they tell us to kill and die for “U.S. values” Not my values!

    3. jrs

      Yea, I thought of the same promise. Although Rand Paul has the virtue of not having betrayed the promise yet (and will probably never get the chance to). I was skeptical about Obama but when it looked early on (first year of his presidency) he would close Gitmo, I was willing to be positively surprised. One more notch in the cynicism belt.

  4. timbers

    The so called “liberal” media is surprisingly quite on Rahm’s victory and the crushing defeat of sanity/progressives in Chicago. No headlines yet in Huff or DailyKos. RealNews has a brief report and touches on a few things that went wrong.

    There is no way to spin Rahm’s victory. Progressives can’t win working within the Democratic Party. Look at all the money Rahm got to further his agenda of public school privatization. Blacks voted for Rahn. How crazy can it get?

    If Rahm can win and get black and liberal votes after all the kicking he did to them, what next? Dems are no better than Republicans. Obama is no better if not worse than Bush, and Dems are silent and even bristle if you point that out.

    I don’t get why progressive are not voting third party. Markos at DailyKos has become mostly delusional. I used to love they way he attacked Bush’s Iraq War. Now he is out of touch and pushing a failed party.

      1. alex morfesis

        ok, now that it is over…a little about chuy and the area he is in…

        it is lawndale…I worked trying to bridge the gap there, but the battle lines were drawn back in the
        60’s and 70’s when the machine pushed forward and expanded the mexican community to try to force away the black community and crush it. Mexicans and other latinos physically attacked the black community and basically got away with it and the school “chuy” got for little village was from money that had been put in place to have the school placed further north, in the historic black community…but daley and others in the mexican community wrestled the money south of ogden avenue (ogden being old route 66…)

        also…well…let’s just say, he aint done much for black foke…

        but obviously things are really bad when bobbi steele, danny davis and timuel black all decide to hold their noses and say

        please…anything but rapid rahm…

        it was the wrong candidate…the machine survives as it always has…play divide and conquer…make sure the US atty is going to do your political dirty work for you and attack the low hanging fruit while leaving behind the real charlatans to keep the merry go round playing…

        nothing much seems to have changed from when I was across the street from the offices of “In These Times” keeping the congress theater from becoming just another vanilla box retail store… its a grand old space…it was fun fighting for its survival…from empty to the raves to medusas to house of blues all within 180 days…one of my finest works of art…ithaki always wins…but we are always not quite on german time…(argos…the argonauts…meaning…never quite on time…at least not most people definition of time)

    1. optimader

      Rahm sucks but C.Garcia was no prize either.

      It was C.Garcia’s election opportunity to loose. Frmr alderman now radio talking head Cliff Kelley’s analysis was correct. C.Garcia offered nothing. In such a target rich environment, Chuy “should have been issuing two white paper a week” critiquing Emmanuel but C.G. and his peeps apparently didn’t have the horsepower to do that. The two TV commercials that C.G. was running were counterproductive because he had no message. ” I am for neighborhoods” and “I will listen to you”. Ok , that’s great, now what?

      I thing C. Garcia’s fate was pretty well sealed when refused to endorse him. IMHO, She is one of the smarter elected officals in Chicago and she sized him up. Frankly T.P. probably could have been an excellent candidate in this “anyone but Rham” window of opportunity, but I guess she is happy consolidating her power where she is presently as president of the cook county board..

      Karen Lewis? No way.

      1. MLS

        Curious why you don’t think Lewis had a shot. She is smart, well-known, and would likely have the full backing of the Chicago Teacher’s Unions, an enormous bloc that probably brings some smaller blocs with it. It’s not like the city is in love with Rahm, so Lewis(in my amateur opinion) would have offered a credible alternative.

        Agree with you 100% on Chuy – there was just no “there” there.

    2. different clue

      How many voters in Chicago are “Progressive” Identity voters? How many are “Black” Identity voters?
      How do the two different Identity voter populations compare?

      What percent of Progressive Identity voters voted against Rahm? What percent of Black Identity voters voted against Rahm?

      Once those numbers are known, some analysis may be made.

  5. Effy

    Stockman is right, of course. But remember what happened to Saddam Hussein when he accepted the ultimatum of UNSC Resolution 1441 (2002). That also exposed the fake enemy threat once and for all.

    The US attacked him anyway.

  6. vidimi

    stopping the TPP/TPIP is going to be our fight of a lifetime. at least until the next monstrosity comes around to enslave us.

    on the other hand, if it is passed, maybe it will hasten the collapse of this evil, predatory Neoliberal civilisation?

    1. Clive

      Only, alas, in the same way that the Treaty of Versailles hastened the collapse of German aggression.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes, the best offensive is defense.

      It just seems like they are always on the offensive.

      I suppose they have

      1. Time (serfs to do daily chores for them)
      2. Money (the Omnipotent Father in Washington smiles upon them; Fortune favors the greedy, I guess)
      3. the most ‘intelligent’ college grads money can buy

    3. jrs

      I rather hope the collapse of neoliberal civilization comes FIRST before the TPP has a chance to pass. In other words the world economy is slowly unwinding, U.S. dollar dominance is slowly unwinding. The latter is a very good thing for the world. Since all of this is happening, lets hope it beats the TPP, the cementing of corporate rule, to the finish line.

  7. diptherio

    Stewart Butterfield actually sounds like a human being, despite being un-gawdly rich. Exception that proves the rule, I suppose…

    I’m going to end up with a lot more money than I feel like I’m entitled to given how hard I work. I see all kinds of people work hard all over the world, and some of them are barely making it. I don’t just mean subsistence farmers. I mean people in the developed world who work multiple jobs and because the cost of healthcare and childcare eats up almost all of the living they make. To be clear, I don’t have a better way in mind. I think the system we’ve developed, and the byproduct, of people who founded tech companies getting stupidly rich — I don’t have a better alternative. It’s something that can be addressed through tax policy. But I’m definitely very conscious of the role that luck and timing and race and gender play in all of this stuff. If I was a woman, it would be twice as hard to do what I do. If I was black in the U.S., it would probably be five times as hard.

    But also, there are early 20-somethings who work here — kids, from my perspective as a 41-year-old — who are going to make a couple million bucks. I think about the shitty jobs I had when I was 23. I worked as hard as they’re working these days. There’s something untoward, something incorrect — I’m not sure exactly what the word is. Wait, I know: Unfair. There’s something unfair in that.

    Good on him for calling a spade a spade. Our current economic system is unfair. Such a simple way of putting it…

  8. Clive

    Re: The UK mood is shifting against austerity …

    Talk about learning a lesson the hard way. But finally — finally — I think the penny has dropped and the UK, as a country (helped by a good example from Scotland, it has to be said, which has actually provided something like political leadership) is now having an election based not on an endless, go-nowhere mantra of “we can’t afford it” but onto a territory which sounds to me like “there are some things which we are not prepared to live without, so how do we find the money to pay for it?” Which is progress. Of sorts.

    Whether this popular sentiment results in a government which receives a mandate that reflects this national mood, that depends on the vagaries of our electoral system. Still, at least I’ve more cause for optimism that I would under the U.S.’s One Party State (apologies; you do have a choice — you get to choose between Red or Blue neoliberalism).

  9. financial matters

    Do you know where your money is?

    Repo Market Sees a Lending Shift as Rules Bite WSJ

    “Repos are short-term loans, often made overnight, that serve as the lifeblood of Wall Street. In a typical repo, a money-market fund lends cash to a hedge fund or other borrower in exchange for bonds, with the borrower agreeing to repurchase the bonds later at a slightly higher price.”

    Do most people know that the funds they have in their money markets are the ‘lifeblood of Wall Street’? The threatened collapse of these funds in 2008 led to some pretty extreme measures.

    It would be safer for the Fed to guarantee a standard 2-3% interest rate on basic money market funds.

    If you want to participate as the ‘lifeblood of Wall Street’ that should be a separate issue with more yield for the risk and no bailout provisions.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      ‘Life blood of Wall Street.”

      The ‘logic’ goes that

      1) they are too big to ever fail

      2) therefore you should be charged a fee for storing your money under their ‘protection.;

    2. craazyboy

      I think most people would be shocked to know that you could be a Lehman investor and get a .25% return for it. Risk/Reward got tossed out the window long ago.

  10. fresno dan

    “The consensus in the profession is that widening inequality must be the result of deficiencies in the skills of the workforce, rather than the result of structural disadvantages inadequately addressed by government.”

    Hmmmm. Structural disadvantages??? How about just good ole plain corruption??? Like failure to prosecute, or write laws…er, more accurately, let the oligarchs write the laws and than just pass them. ESPECIALLY tax and “trade” laws, and laws dealing fiduciary responsibility….

    And maybe, just maybe, an economy is NOT like a harbor full of yachts, and a rising tide does NOT lift all boats….Maybe holes get shot in boats that the “admiral” doesn’t care for, while other boats that sink get salvaged cost free…
    “But Mankiw and others may forget that the market structure we have was not handed down from the Almighty by an invisible hand, it is the creation of humans — mostly men, mostly wealthy — who used their political, economic and social power to construct the best possible world for them.”

    To me, the question isn’t that there are a few megalomaniacs – the question is: why do we buy that their gains help us? We now have lots, and lots, and lots of evidence that a growing economy is doing nothing for the vast majority of people. Tell me again, what does Lloyd Blankenfein ACTUALLY do? And tell me why, Goldman Sachs when it made poor investments, should not be bankrupt?

  11. Jackrabbit

    The lack of skepticism regarding the Iranian non-deal is astonishing.

    M$M pushes the notion that a deal was struck (that that is not true might get a mention way down the page) and focuses on the partisan reactions.

    This superficial reporting generally ignores deeper issues like US+US allies direct and indirect support for sectarian war. A war that is largely against Iran interests.

    Then there is the ‘big picture’: Iran’s likelihood of joining the SCO+BRICS. And lets not forget that neocons believe that Ukraine and Iran must be in the Western camp for the West to ‘win’ the neo-Great Game.

    Lastly, Obama has struck many ‘deals’ that soured later:

    “Change You Can Believe In”
    A deal with the American people for transparent government, to end spying, to stop wars, to close Guantanamo, to champion working class Americans, end executive signing statements, end the ‘carried interest’ tax deduction, etc.

    As the skeptics warned, provisions were watered-down in later negotiations over rules-making. Wall Street and TPTF banks still take excessive risks, and our QEconomy has still not recovered from the shock and malinvestment of 2008.

    Fiscal Cliff
    Obama colluded with struck a deal with Republicans whereby the Bush Tax Cuts were cut back somewhat (you didn’t hear much complaining from the wealthy, did you?) in exchange for big cuts in social spending (austerity) via a trick called “Sequester”. The military budget – bloated from the Iran War – has to be scaled back ANYWAY but that became an excuse to cut social spending as well

    ‘New Beginning’ with the Arab World, ‘reset’ with Russia
    The result: gun-running to Syrian rebels, many of whom later joined ISIS; quiet support for Eqyptian military dictatorship; turning a UN no-fly zone into a bombing campaign; the Ukrainian coup.

    No doubt NC readers can think of other examples


    It’s one ‘hope and change’ headfake after another. So why would anyone believe that the Iran non-deal will result in a real deal? Clearly, any failure to reach a real deal will be blamed on the Iranians. And the neocons, who hold sway in this WH as much as they did in the Bush WH, are not ones to compromise.

    Those who have become cynical after all these years of war and chaos can not help but to wonder if ISIS’s sectarian war IS the response to Iran. And all these peace talks just buy time for them to strengthen and continue this ‘proxy war’.

    We shall see. But I am pessimistic. Obama the deceiver being hailed as a ‘peace-maker’ seems very dangerous to me. AFAICT, he has never been reluctant to wage war. Recall that the US left Iraq principally because Iraq demanded that US forces be subject to legal action for abuses in the country.

    Obama has ‘banked’ an undeserved political/propaganda victory. How will he use that political capital? It strikes me that only a ‘peace-maker’ can wage a ‘just’ war. And the Obama Administration has no lack of ‘war’ opportunities (though, I think Syria is probably highest on the list).

    H O P

    1. vidimi

      in order to go after iran they need to substantially weaken russia first. they’re doing their best, but the russians seem resolute. china knows that, while the u.s. is bullying other countries around willy nilly, they need a strong russia so they are supportive. i do get the impression that the americans are fighting a losing battle as it will be their allies in europe who cry uncle before the russians do.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Big companies pay later, squeeze their suppliers.

    Squeeze, also, their workers.

    And really big companies squeeze governments around the world too.

    It may be that we have to give free money to small businesses ($100,000 per year per worker, for a companies of less than 5 workers) to make sure they are around to offer some competition.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    It’s hard to life wages if the Fed doesn’t make it a priority.

    Priority number one, not just today, but for decades (so they have expended a lot of time and energy on this) – exterminate wage inflation.

    “Please, don’t be confused* again!!!!”

    *It’s confusing to this commenter why people should be confused. The message is broadcasted every day all over the information highway.

  14. Jagger

    ——Dogs killed over unpaid fines CNN—–

    Turning animal control and animal shelters into profit making centers. What sort of society produces monsters that would kill pets over money? I swear if that were to happen to one of my animals, there would be blood in the streets.

    1. Light a Candle

      Disgusting, just another way to fleece ordinary people who don’t have clout. Other fleecing methods: adjustable mortgages; Fergusson policing model—fining its citizens outrageously and then jailing them; privatized parole; charter schools run by scam artists; the student loan industry; sky rocketing energy bills. I assume water and food are next on the list.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Tracking billions of calls for decades.

    Does it mean, they know what our tomorrow’s leader is saying today…and yesterday?

    Can they combine Artificial Intelligence with Surveillance (two top academic fields) and use the data to predict the next genius? A tool for such an analysis shouldn’t to be difficult for our programmers.

    1. vidimi

      my thought on the article was was it really a scoop, or were they just sitting on it for 20 years only to release it now with the public completely apathetic?

  16. Eclair

    My suggestion for a very French animal to commemorate Yves’ trip to Paris? Le bouquetin.

    Les bouquetins are mountain goatish animals that inhabit the French Alps, living at very high altitudes during the summer but venturing down to lower altitudes during the spring. The French are particularly fond of them; driving up from a trip into Chambery or Grenoble, to the tiny village where we were living, we would find cars pulled over to the side of the narrow winding road, and people standing in the road (blocking traffic but nobody was upset) and pointing up to a rocky slope, uttering joyous cries of, “Les bouquetins, les bouquetins!”

    Some neighbors invited us for a picnic one weekend, assuring us they knew of a little meadow where we could view the bouquetin moms and their babies. Sure enough, we caught sight of the little ones …

    Like Yves, they are agile and sure-footed, scaling heights and slopes that lesser mortals would not attempt.

  17. vidimi

    re: grexit

    should we be putting 2+2 together with the back-to-back headlines “EU attempting to unsettle Syriza government in Greece” and “Greek anti-establishment protesters torch cars, clash with police”?

    is this another colour revolution about to take place (e.g. brown)?

  18. frosty zoom

    Police and witnesses say Scott tried to run from Slager before turning to fight for the officer’s Taser. It was during that scuffle that the officer fired his service weapon, fatally wounding Scott.

    According to an incident report, officers heard Slager say over the radio that he had deployed his Taser and “seconds later” he said “Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser.”

    Attorney David Aylor released a statement Monday that reiterated the police report.

    “This is a very tragic event for all of the families,” Aylor said. “I believe once the community hears all the facts of this shooting, they’ll have a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding this investigation. Officer Slager believes he followed all the proper procedures and policies of the North Charleston Police Department.”


    how many times have we read this story?
    oh, hey look, there’s video..
    what shame.

      1. Jess

        This is what’s known as a pretext stop. Tail light out, failing to signal for a turn, etc. Then the cop gets to interrogate the driver and passengers, eyeball the inside of the car, ask them to step out and be temporarily handcuffed “for my safety”, and then say, “Hey, you don’t object to me searching your car, do ?”

        Of course, if you object they counter with, “We can get a search warrant but it’ll take a long time. Wouldn’t you rather just be on your way? It’ll only take a minute.”

        If you still object they announce, “You obviously got something to hide,” search the car anyway, and lie that you gave permission.

    1. optimader

      So he ran away, then allegedly inexplicably came back to fight (unsuccessfully) over a nonlethal weapon then ran away again, then got shot in the back?
      Looking at the picture I’d guess abt 40ft separation, did the cop think he was giving the guy a sporting head start before shooting him in the back?
      WTF, and all for what? a taillight??

      That 40ft looks like premeditation to me. Dropping the Tazer seals it, that was 1st degree murder.

      So, in bizzaro world will the photographer be arrested?

  19. frosty zoom

    i’ve been pretext stopped. i’m still here.

    that’s not my dismay. the outrage is that the mediapolicecourtcomplex circus already has a template to “deal” with this.

    how many other non-video “he grabbed my taser” murderers are still out there?

    i think this planet seriously needs a nice long vacation. there’s gotta be another star who will take us in for a while..

  20. optimader

    TPP as Important as Another Aircraft Carrier: US Defense Secretary

    In reality an incredibly ambiguous statement.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps someone can tell us whether a new aircraft carrier is more cost effective or a new fleet of drones.

      My guess is the latter.

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            You’d better sit down…

            The President of the United States is named Schiklgruber.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Only if you are already predisposed to Subversive Thoughts such as, “How much value genuinely inheres in having yet another Aircraft Carrier? And then, if my answer to this is ‘dubious value’, then what does this imply about the TPP?”

      Go ahead, pull on that loose thread, and see what happens. You bad boy, you.

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