Links 5/19/15

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Internet.Not Huffington Post (furzy mouse)

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body? MIT Technology Review (David L)

World’s longest and highest glass-bottom bridge to open in China CNN. Lambert: “Not me, pal.” Agreed. Photos of guys standing on high story beams in construction sites give me vertigo.

Uber Tests 30% Fee, Its Highest Yet Wall Street Journal. Deploring taxis but taking their lessons from NYC medallion owners

Gucci sues Alibaba over ‘counterfeit goods BBC (Bob H)

China hit by record capital outflows Financial Times

AIIB Said to Mull Fast-Track Loan Approval With No Board on-Site Bloomberg

Japan plans $100 billion in Asia infrastructure aid, matching AIIB capital level Japan Times

As Chinese Stocks Rise, Beijing Wins Wall Street Journal

Thai ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s negligence trial begins BBC

A united Europe is closer than you think Politico

EU to launch Mediterranean naval mission to tackle migrant crisis Guardian

The UK Just Fell Into Deflation Business Insider


Syriza rebels call for ‘rupture’ with Greece’s creditors Financial Times. Perversely, this could help the creditors. If they bolt, the moderates in Syriza will need to find new coalition partners. Either way, seems to confirm my suspicion that Tsipras’ holding to his red lines was due to being checked by the hard left wing. More than once, he’s met with Eurocrats, made concilaitory statements, and then partly or fully renounced them when he got back to Greece. The piece suggests some mainstream members think Tsipras has been too willing to compromise.

Germany urges Greece to undertake reforms to unlock funds ekathuimerini. Merkel has been mum, but an influential coalition member pipes up

Alexis Tsipras claims Greece is close to securing deal with Brussels and the IMF Guardian. Another report on the same speeches: Greece Bailout Deal Needed By End Of May, Official Says Associated Press

Hans Rosling: ‘No such thing as Swedish values’ The Local (Swedish Lex)


Russia: economy in tatters, or business as usual? Financial Times

Russia’s Richest Billionaire Says Sanctions Impact Waning Bloomberg


The Accidental Operative Counterpunch (Chuck L)

US officials leak information about the ISIS raid that’s more sensitive than anything Snowden ever leaked Boing Boing

NYPD Chief Wants 450 Cops to Combat ISIS Weekly Standard

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Borg speaks with one voice Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Trade Traiotrs

Imports Displace Domestic Jobs: Why Do Proponents of Trade Agreements Have So Much Trouble Acknowledging This Fact? Dean Baker

Congress plots to pay for a trade deal by raiding Medicare Los Angeles Times. As reported by Lambert over the weekend.

Top Dem: Trade bill not for big business The Hill (Bob H)

Democrats clash over TPP fair trade deal Guardian

Hillary Clinton emails to be released in 2016, says state department Guardian. This is a good, but don’t forget about the ones she sent to people in other agencies, private parties, and foreign officials? Her “Oh you can get them all from the recipients at State” claim was always bollocks.

Obama Puts Focus on Police Success in Struggling City in New Jersey New York Timex (furzy mouse)

Texas authorities warned in memo of escalating violence between rival Texas motorcycle gangs Associated Press

Waco Biker Gang Killings — Funny How the Corporate Media Won’t Call It a Riot When White People Are Involved Alternet

Students Veto Campos’ Moratorium Plan and Win Big MissionLocal


Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed: Dean’s E-Mail Bloomberg. EM: “Ol’ Harold must be feeling spunky after the court let him keep most of his assets in the suit filed by his ex-wife, leaving him free to pursue his true twin passions of moneygrubbing and environmental devastation. Give ’em hell, Harry!”

Where there is oil and gas there is Schlumberger Guardian

Act Local, Solve Global: The $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem IMFDirect (Bob H). Not entirely oil, but still…

Energy subsidies top $6.6 trillion, lift carbon emissions by a fifth: IMF study Sydney Morning Herald

Energy groups axe $100bn of spending Financial Times

Weak First-Quarter Growth Due to Seasonal Issues After All, SF Fed Says WSJ Economics

Home Builders Optimistic Despite Decline in Traffic; Housing Market Index Declines Michael Shedlock

Finance chiefs urge action on bubble fear Financial Times

Years of Overlooked Red Flags Catch Up to Stockbroker New York Times

Proof! CEOs hurt companies by golfing too much CNBC

Class Warfare

Forgive and Forget: Bankruptcy Reform in the Context of For-Profit Colleges Harvard Law Review (Lee C)

Most of the world’s workers have insecure jobs, ILO report reveals Guardian

People have no idea what inequality actually looks like Washington Post. The only problem is most people are not so hot at data visualization and estimation….

A Bitter Lake free stream ! Moon of Alabama via Carolinian

Antidote du jour: @FreakingTrue via Lambert:

portable lab links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    State Department releasing Hillary emails after review? Wolf guarding the hen house. Anything interesting was never provided by Hillary to the State Department … and the rest is classified or should be. The expurgated and redacted version should be a nearly blank piece of paper. In a “government system of records” only a minority of correspondence and notes are “official” … and that should have been vetted thru her loyal subordinates. Appointment letters, official policies etc … boring stuff. The rest, technically, doesn’t have to be kept … though the law on email is currently self-contradictory on this … or at least Hillary hopes so.

  2. MikeNY

    1. That (Lab?) pup is so cute it hurts.

    2. I saw a clip of Kerry speaking on Ramadi yesterday; a corpse could have conveyed more conviction.

    3. I enjoy reading Gary Gutting’s pieces at the NYT. I thought this one on climate change was very good.

    1. diptherio

      Definitely a lab pup…although I’ve never known a lab to need a PFD…it is cute though.

      1. diptherio

        Because it’s thinking: “I was literally made to swim, so why does this guy think I need flotation device?”

      2. prostratedragon

        Two of a dog’s least favorite things, pet carrier and sweater, together at last!

        (Puppy does look like he’s about to say, “We need to talk.”)

  3. Ned Ludd

    The “fair trade” deal? The Guardian is apparently trying to rebrand the TPP as fair trade. Also note the language that Ben Jacobs uses in the article (emphasis added):

    • “Barack Obama’s battle with obstructionist senators continued on Monday”
    • “the Obama administration has hailed it as ‘the most progressive trade deal in history’”
    • “[Warren’s] report claims: ‘The United States does not enforce the labour protections in its trade agreements.’”

    1. Mojah

      You need to be careful with liberal outlets (like the Guardian) in the UK: many outsiders often assume that the centre-left in the UK is progressive. While that may be true for *some* issues, the majority of the liberal or centre-left within the UK is quite right-wing.

      1. Brindle

        On foreign policy, Ukraine especially, the Guardian is often more right-wing than even the NYT. I like the Guardian for its culture/arts/film section—very well done, generally.

      2. Strangely Enough

        the majority of the liberal or centre-left within the UK is quite right-wing.

        Much like the U.S.

      3. hunkerdown

        Liberalism IS a right-wing, market-based, anti-communist ideology. It perforce cannot be considered left-wing in any economic matter, and it’s a fraudulent conceit to happily proclaim “liberalism” when one is far to the left of what the term actually nominates.

        1. horostam

          Liberalism was the original left-wing. As in, they sat in the left of the Estates-General. Course alots happened since then…

          1. skippy

            Left to Monarchy and Genetic based arguments.

            Skippy…. yet down with heraldic symbolism…

      4. Praedor

        The ratchet moves ever to the right in UK and US. Rightwing goes bonkers hardcore to the right, the left, instead of resisting and standing for what it used to stand for “moves towards the (new) center” which is now right of where it was before. The ratchet ALWAYS and ONLY moves rightward. There is NEVER a rebalance or shift leftward to bring the center back to the TRUE former center. Center today means: no job security for anyone but executives, pay cuts for all but CEOs, shareholders over all other possible considerations, piling more and more “centrist” restrictions on women’s rights and autonomy (mainly sexual), etc. Basically, “center” today is rightward of Nixon’s mainstream GOP. THAT is the official “left” today.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      The nuts and bolts of propaganda. Everywhere you look, read, listen. Make them ubiquitous and you can hold up a rickety structure, a global one no less, with rickety mental boundaries and rickety ideologies that somehow function, remarkably (until they don’t).

      1. Jagger

        —–The nuts and bolts of propaganda. Everywhere you look, read, listen.—-

        Yes, once a person recognizes propaganda, it is everywhere. Makes it very hard to read/listen/watch most forms of media except maybe baseball, historical books and some types of music….

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I believe the brain is like a wastebasket.

          It needs to be empties once in a while.

          And meditation is a good way to empty the mind (to add to yesterday’s discussion).

          By the way, one can do walking Zen meditation, or so I have heard.

          Once more, don’t forget to throw out the trash in your brain…once a day is recommended by 99% of the members of the Association of Brain-Cleaners (ABC).

          1. frosty zoom

            that’s my problem. my brain is full of empties. i should take them back for the deposit.

          2. frosty zoom

            walk using a metronome. set it at say 43 beats per minute. breathe in 3/4 time. 3 steps in, 3 steps out. waltz your way to nirvana.*

            did they do any waltzes?

    3. frosty zoom

      what, you didn’t read the wikileaks tpp section about chocolate and coffee farmers in nicaragua?

      certified gmo free!

    4. Brindle

      I’ve noticed that the words “sovereign” and “sovereignty” rarely appear in MSM stories about TPP. Liberals tend to think the concept as being associated with libertarian Tea Party types—but those types are the GOP Congress critters that are needed to stop TPP.

      Yes, discombobulate the whole mess—with extreme prejudice….
      The Guradian:
      —However, Hatch noted “those who hate the bill would like to discombobulate the whole mess”.

    5. Praedor

      Yeah, I caught that too. BIG difference between FAIR Trade and FREE Trade. The former would be better than the latter with actual protections for indigenous people, environment, societies while the latter is ENTIRELY concerned with profit(eering).

  4. allan

    Cuomo pushes tax credit aiding private schools

    ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging the state Legislature to bring to the floor a vote on a controversial tax credit that would aid private schools amid opposition from Democratic lawmakers and teachers’ unions.

    Because you can’t make a neoliberal omelette without breaking some eggs unions.

    1. petal

      Have been keeping up with this issue in my old hometown newspaper and tv station. Cuomo has been quietly and not so quietly chipping away at public schools since he got into office. This is more of his effort.

    2. Benedict@Large

      This year, according to projections, non-white public school enrollment will exceed white enrollment there for the first time. In that light Cuomo’s bill makes perfect sense. It’s called white flight.

  5. Carolinian

    Dana Milbank poaches Lambert’s Clown Car.

    The occasion is the pre-announcement of our Lindsey who Milbank thinks is some kind of wit.

    Graham has potential to break out of the pack by saying some truly zany things. Last month, the 59-year-old bachelor spoke of having no offspring to pay into Social Security. “How do you fix that?” he asked. “Well, Strom Thurmond had four kids after he was 67. Do I have any volunteers?” He then added, “One guy raised his hand, but he didn’t understand the question.”

    1. MikeNY

      Mother of Jefferson Davis! If Lindsey and The Donald both get in it will be Christmas in May!

      1. petal

        MikeNY, thank you for making me laugh this morning. Nearly choked on my eggs. Cheers.

    2. Lambert Strether

      The clown car has been in the zeitgeist for a long time; but I think I was the first or at least very early to introduce it this season.

      So I can’t take credit. Now, if “squillionaire” propagates… I do think I was the first to introduce that, at least into the politico-econo blogosphere. Nevertheless, what counts is propagation, not personal credit.

  6. oink

    The mass hysteria over ISIS is centrally coordinated. It’s being replicated to absurdity in every one-horse town with something to blow up.

    We’ve gone through various fads in policing like community policing and broken-windows policing. The new fad can be termed asshole policing. It’s a mixture of COIN doctrine and routinized Israeli state repression. The answer to everything is a show of force with demonstrative impunity.

    Immediately after 9/11 Cheney filled the hollow mountain with bureaucrats and supplanted the constitution with COG. That’s why Congress is a humiliated rubber stamp, courts are CIA-censored sound stages, and the executive is shot through with intelligence-community moles. COG goes hand-in-hand with COOP, continuity of operations, which pushes the secret-police apparat down to the local level through fusion centers. The fusion centers conflate instability abroad with domestic dissent. Soon everybody, not just New Yorkers, will find that their local government are puppets who report to asshole cops. This is policy, the endgame of E.O. 12656 and all-hazards preparedness. It advanced under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. It’s not TS/collateral anymore because, Whatta you gonna do about it now? Forget your grade-school civics. You live under a police state.

    1. Ulysses

      “Forget your grade-school civics. You live under a police state.”

      Very true! We need to think more in terms of really resisting the actual oppressive regime that holds us down, than participating in veal-pen “activism” that declares “victory” every time it delivers another 100,000 petition signatures to some corporate or government bigwig completely impervious to polite public pressure.

      “The corporate state seeks to maintain the fiction of our personal agency in the political and economic process. As long as we believe we are participants, a lie sustained through massive propaganda campaigns, endless and absurd election cycles and the pageantry of empty political theater, our corporate oligarchs rest easy in their private jets, boardrooms, penthouses and mansions. As the bankruptcy of corporate capitalism and globalization is exposed, the ruling elite are increasingly nervous. They know that if the ideas that justify their power die, they are finished. This is why voices of dissent—as well as spontaneous uprisings such as the Occupy movement—are ruthlessly crushed by the corporate state.”

  7. vidimi

    dean potter was one of the craziest in a crazy field. he was addicted to the kind of lucidity we get when faced with life and death situations, in search of which he routinely put his life at risk; without which he didn’t feel alive.

    off-topic, strange how extreme athletes, surfers, and the like are almost all invariably white. perhaps people of colour will too one day have upbringings privileged enough such that they can devote their lives to leisure.

    1. diptherio

      Well, as a black person in the US, you can be killed for nothing at all (well, being black, I suppose) by cops or even just wannabe cops. So I’m guessing that the adrenaline junkies among the black community get their fix just walking down the street. Maybe if we had cops start randomly killing white dudes with no repercussions, then they wouldn’t feel the need to go looking all over the world for their near-death trip.

  8. YY

    Bitter Lake stream has some very nice images and overdose of irony (lecture on conceptual art is priceless). Well worth it especially if you like (or like me miss) Afghan dogs.

    1. JEHR

      YY: I agree about Bitter Lake which can be seen here in its entirety:

      As I watched it, I thought how wretched we human beings are. What amazed me is that the same man who gave the New Deal to the wretched during the 30s also brought the Saudis on board the train to annihilation. So he can be seen as both the creator and the destroyer. What is clear is that wherever there is a surfeit of money, there follows a surfeit of malignancy. I think we have yet to feel the full force of QE (which is now proclaimed in Europe).

    2. OIFVet

      The part of Bitter Lake where Curtis narrates:

      “President Reagan simplified everything for America… Reagan set out to give the country a new sense of purpose. He took all the problems, even the most complex, and turned them into reassuring moral fables… In the end goodness and innocence would triumph… Conflicts that would in the past be seen as political struggles were redefined. They became instead battles against dark demonic forces that threatened innocent people. And the role of we, the good people of the West, was to intervene to save those innocents.”

      brings to mind Forrest Gump. The “Life is like a box of chocolates” guy who gained a following while running across the US of A and whose simplistic remarks to strangers were viewed by said strangers as deeply meaningful and ultimately proved materially enriching… Good vs evil, heck who wouldn’t view themselves as part of the forces of good. And what good patriotic American corporation wouldn’t enrich itself by producing weapons to fight those forces of evil? I truly think that Forrest Gump might as well have been about Reagan.

    1. Clive

      Oh, I’d heard they were finalising their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. I’ll bet they beat the UK’s act.

  9. daniel

    I read (comments in an FT article above-mentioned):
    “The country (Greece) has:
    10 m inhabitants (a little more)
    4 m pensioners
    1.5 m unemployed
    1.2 m, public sector workers (in the wider sense)
    1.8 m private sector employees (in the wider sense)”

    May we add the Greek demographical structure is definitely weak.

    Should the figure bear some truth, I’d bet they do, the chances of a solution are N-I-L.
    Except for very courageous steps, the chances of escaping a descent into endemic poverty are indeed limited. Distressingly so.

    We can still bet on courage though, wherever it comes from… I do mind the political orientation!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They track people there, but can’t keep track of property ownership?

  10. optimader

    Waco Biker Gang Killings — Funny How the Corporate Media Won’t Call It a Riot When White People Are Involved Alternet
    Um.. because it wasn’t a riot? It was elements of organized crime having a gangland style shootout in a parking lot.

    “Riots” are reserved for communities of color in protest
    “communities of color” ohhh, groan

      1. hunkerdown

        Jenny Kutner is still a lightweight Democrat, wherever she vents her pathos, and can be safely ignored as anything other than a leading (in any sense) indicator of what her assigned demographic thinks

  11. Bill Smith

    “US officials leak information about the ISIS raid that’s more sensitive than anything Snowden ever leaked.”

    This stuff is pretty funny.

    The Islamic State was tweeting about the drone surveillance before and after the raid.

    The rest of it is just common sense. I look at Google Earth too… And listen to the radio.

    As to the “growing network of informants” who knows…maybe the US wants the Islamic State to believe they have traitors in their midst….

  12. Andrew Watts

    RE: The Borg speaks with one voice

    Oh man! I loved both the book and movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats”. When you start believing your own propaganda the curtain is getting ready to fall.

  13. rich

    Reich: Restore Balance, Break Up the Big Banks, Financial Transaction Tax

    Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill are charter founders of the Wall St Wing of the Democratic Party. They removed one of the great counterbalances to the corporatists, and have organized political corruption into a cottage industry like Lansky and Luciano organized crime into a business.
    The problem is that neither most Republicans nor many Democrats make any bones about serving Big Money first anymore. It is understood that this is how things are. Soft corruption and the revolving door is the fashion.

    Mitch McConnell’s new chief is a former lobbyist for Koch, for example. And the Republican presidential field is devoted to Big Money while confounding their constituents with emotional sideshows and manipulative pandering to their worst impulses and scapegoating.

    Reich’s ideas of reinstating Glass Steagall and a nominal Financial Transactions tax have potential. It was a mistake to repeal Glass-Steagall in the first place. I wonder who presided over that? Oh yes, Bill and Hill. And NAFTA. Everything had a price tag including the Lincoln bedroom and Presidential pardons. Very entrepreneurial.

    So Robert, how can you be so gung ho for reform, but so unqualifiedly endorsing the unreformed Hillary Clinton?

    Why don’t more Beltway and media progressives and liberals come out for Liz Warren or Bernie Sanders? Because they want reform, but cannot offer their supporters the biggest Washington payoff, which is money and power, which are the mother’s milk of the politically corrupt.

    I wonder if Reich will blog his answer?…it’s a good question.

    1. James Levy

      Reich wants to believe (he has no reason to do so, but he badly wants to nevertheless) that such reforms might have a chance under the Democrats, but would have no chance at all under the Republicans. He’s right about the Republicans, but wrong about the Democrats, but he can’t force himself to see that because then, in a world where there are only Republicans and Democrats (the world we currently inhabit) there would be no hope at all. People will believe almost anything rather than surrender to the fact that under the current dispensation of power, there is no hope.

      1. JerseyJeffersonian

        Reich walks up to it, but can’t quite get there. Maybe if the roshi whacked him with a stick…satori.

        Nah. Too much attachment to his sunk costs to ever attain this insight.

  14. frosty zoom

    in regards to “bitter lake”:

    i had to stop viewing this movie because of it’s very graphic nature. perhaps we need a warning system akin to the nsfw thing.* maybe nsfsanity or nsfquiet or nsfhappiness would work..

    *¿why can we not see boobies at work but shattered heads are o.k.? my vote goes for boobies.

    i do understand that our self-imposed “reality” is very violent and one needs to understand the nsfsurvival actions of our (b)leaders. however, i made a decision years ago to forgo violent images and my health and happiness have improved considerably (i hope!). i now dream about parking instead of being shot.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    As Chinese stocks rise, Beijing wins.

    It’s hard to gift stock shares under the table.

    On the other hand, I just recently learned that giving classical brush paintings by famous Chinese artists is a good way to improve one’s guanxi…to get the job done. Extrapolating, it’s not hard to see why Chinese antiques are appreciating greatly. “Here, take this small, but very portable, under-glaze red Yuan dynasty vase as of a token of my respect for you. It’s only $20 million in London. I hope my project will soon be approved?”

    1. frosty zoom

      same thing in flint:

      “Here, take this small, but very portable, case of Tide as of a token of my respect for you. It’s only $54.99 wholesale. I hope you will not torch my liquor store?”

  16. Jim Haygood

    There she goes, blowing smoke up our ass again:

    Hillary Clinton declined to take a yes-or-no position on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal being sought by President Barack Obama.

    “I have said I want to judge the final agreement,” Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said at a small-business roundtable in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Tuesday. “I have been for trade agreements. I have been against trade agreements.”

    “… but usually, my stance has been for sale to the highest bidder.”

    1. MikeNY

      Really, now, Jim. Hillary is more sophisticated than that. I think what she meant is this:

      “I will wait to see how this plays out in Congress. After the TPP either passes or dies, I will read the public opinion polls and come out VOCIFEROUSLY on the side of the majority in the polls.”

      Now THAT is leadership.

      1. ohmyheck

        “….and then vote the way my Puppet-masters tell me to, and after it is too late for my constituents to do anything about it. Suckerz.”
        I would say she learned it from Obomber, but she finessed this trick ages ago.

  17. Paper Mac

    Re: “Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?”

    Philosophically stupid question- single cell *.omics has shown that at any given time adjacent cells of any arbitrarily defined lineage are going to differ substantially. The stochastic nature of cellular trajectories through space and time means every cell is unique. Any “kinds” of cells that are identified are definitionally arbitrary and only justified by their utility in understanding, predicting, and controlling biological systems.

    Aside from that, this article has some value in demonstrating the aburd flight of molecular biologists from any sense that their work might be limited by, you know, the world around them:

    “The eventual payoff of collecting all this data, says Garry Nolan, an immunologist at Stanford University, won’t be just a catalogue of cell types, but a deeper understanding of how cells work together. “The single-cell approach is a way station that needs to be understood on the way to understanding the greater system,” he says. “In 50 years, we’ll probably be measuring every molecule in the cell dynamically.”

    Gary Nolan is incorrect. In 50 years we will be lucky to have an industrial civilisation capable of doing tissue culture, manufacturing recombinant enzymes, and producing the lasers necessary to track fluorophores etc. That the entire field has not turned to creating low-energy toolsets that will enable us to continue studying living systems under much lower energy fluxes, preferring instead to shelter under this kind of rhetoric, is a symptom of how deluded these “empiricists” actually are.

    1. Lambert Strether

      “Low energy toolset” sounds like a generic spec useful in many, many fields. I wonder, for example, if there’s such a thing as a “low energy” circuit board, perhaps even a biological one. (And I thought of “Your brain, dummy!” first…)

      1. Paper Mac

        Yeah, that’s a good point. My feeling in general is that low-energy molecular biology will involve a lot of chemistry performed by various microbes- at least some of the common reactions necessary for medicinal chemistry and some kinds of petrochemical syntheses can be replaced in this fashion. I suspect that computing machines will be around for a long time, although the nanoscale transistor processes that grace us for the moment may end up being too costly (need global mineral extraction + logistics network in many cases).

        1. JTMcPhee

          We all can just hardly wait until the Smart People with their molecular assemblers turn themselves loose on the genomes of the planet. What could possibly go wrong?

          TPP and TAA: Now, $700 million out of Medicare to maybe go to workers displaced by “trade treaties.”
          Obama and Congress are engaged in finishing up the stripping of our Republic and our real security. In exchange for what? More corporate profits and power, more income inequality as the wages and wealth of us ordinary people are further stripped down. All our Tampa area legislators are currently in favor of all this: Bill Nelson, surprisingly, and of course Marco Rubio, and Jolly, Castor, Ross, Bilirakis and Buchanan. They currently support the “fast track,” and the treaties, only a tiny bit of which are actually about trade, being secretly negotiated by the Obama administration, that threaten what is left of our national, state and local sovereignty, and promise more destruction of our national wealth and income.
          Now, to divert attention and sweeten the pot, they plan to “redirect” at least $700 million from YOUR Medicare, that YOU pay for, to continue paying for privatized “retraining and support” of workers who lose jobs to outsourcing via “trade adjustment assistance,” or TAA. NAFTA in 1994 started a huge US job loss, that “giant sucking sound” that Ross Perot promised, conservatively estimated at nearly two million decent jobs. And taxpayers, not the corporations doing the outsourcing, have paid other corporations to manage TAA. That “trade adjustment assistance” only goes to a narrow set of provably outsourcing-displaced manufacturing workers, is nearly impossible to qualify for, and has had no measurable effect on re-employment for outsourced workers. Medicare, on the other hand, provides health care to tens of millions of us. A program that mostly works, despite corporate efforts at bleeding that too.
          All this is going on behind an Obama-imposed “national security” secret classification. What little we know about all these documents is thanks to leaks, not transparency. These “agreements” run to hundreds of pages. The few we have learned about contain outrageous giveaways to corporate “investors,” way beyond what even NAFTA did. Our representatives can, if they try real hard, find out a little more about the text, but even in their ignorance they still plan to give Obama and future Presidents the power to do: Move this and all future “trade agreements” through Congress on a “fast track,” with little ability to effectively review, let alone oppose, these bad deals for America. We can’t even require “buy American” policies under these “agreements.”
          So: Corporations and Obama persuade our legislators to ignore their duty to gather facts and debate and consent to treaties, and to set the terms of “trade” under Article I section 8 of the Constitution. And to sneakily make “legal,” and enforceable against us, “agreements” created by corporate lawyers and lobbyists that hurt the general welfare of America but become the supreme law of the land, even over the Constitution. They yield up our national sovereignty to “Trade Troikas” that tote up speculative “lost profits” from national, state or local laws adopted by our representatives to protect oour health, safety and jobs, and order us to pay “damages” in huge amounts. And don’t say that’s speculative; it’s already happening, worldwide, under prior “Agreements” that are not as potent as the coming “deals.”
          And now we give up Medicare funds that WE pay for, to another privatized, ineffective “retraining” sham. That’s putting what has been characterized as a “bandaid on a cancer.” And they have their greedy eyes on Social Security as well. Bear in mind that this is only a fraction the outrageous terms in just what little we know is in this package of “agreements.”
          Is this what we, as constituents, want our President and our legislators to be up to? What we authorized them to do when we voted them into office as our chief executive and representatives?

          And consider the source, but then consider the sources and points of inflection:

          As always, unregulation and the Dead Hand of the Market will open Pandora’s little casket, pull the cork from the genie’s bottle, all that stuff. And it’s not like there’s a shortage of Really Driven Power Lovers to figure ways to either kill off rivals, engineer permanent slaves and foodstocks, use your own imagination people. I worked with a multiple-bioscience PhD years ago, who once when in wine offered the considered opinion that humans are a plague species that needs extirpation. This person had the foundations of the necessary knowledge to create the suggested solution, a virus 100% fatal to humans and transmissible by all pathways and vectors, and since then the tools to make such beasties and the techniques to apply them have become widespread and readily available.

          And maybe we recall a couple of Mainstream articles in the WSJ, back in the Cold War, trumpeting the plans of a Soviet scientist to use gene-splicing to (CIA had “specific information,” it was said) to insert the gene that expresses cobra neurotoxin production into a common E. coli bacterium, then spread it across to infect the “West” by various means, to achieve that Marxist-Leninist dictum that “capitalism will destroy itself from within!”

          What could POSSIBLY go wrong? What could possibly be done to change the arc of history?

  18. Andrew

    Seasonal issues. It’s always ‘seasonal issues’. The fag end of capitalism more like..

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