Links 5/27/15

This photo shows a mysterious mechanism of the sun that has baffled scientists for centuries Business Insider (David L).

Twitter using shark becomes social media sensation The Drum (RS).

Why finance is too much of a good thing Martin Wolf, FT

JPMorgan Chase Writes Arrogant Letter to Its Swindled Forex Customers Wall Street on Parade. It’s not so much that they’re “arrogant”; I mean, they’re investment bankers, and water is wet. It’s that they’re still ripping their customers’ faces off. As they kindly explained in that letter.

City trader accused of being ‘ringmaster’ in Libor-rigging fraud boasted: ‘You want every little bit of money you can possibly get’ Daily Mail and Understanding the Libor Scandal CFR

UPDATE 2-U.S. SEC charges Atlanta firm over public pension funds Reuters. Abynormal: “They were under investigation since 2013… I am seriously SICK

Dollar Bulls Rally Around Atlanta to Justify Money-Losing Trades Bloomberg

The taming of the Fed’s balance sheet FT

Fed’s Yellen Plans to Skip This Year’s Jackson Hole Conference WSJ

Recession of 1937–38 Federal Reserve History

One of the Biggest Tech IPOs of All Time Is Getting Bought by a Teen Clothing Store Bloomberg

Investors are playing a ‘greater fool’ game FT

Spanish Elections

Spanish Local Election Results: Popular Party Wins But Loses 2.4 Million Votes Compared To 2011 Spain Report

Madrid goes mad for radical mayor Manuela The Local

Podemos Election Victory Implies Sweeping Housing Policy Changes In Barcelona Spanish News Today

Podemos makes ousting Popular Party its priority in brokering deals El Pais

Spain: No country for absolute majorities Open Europe

Pablo Iglesias: Podemos Changing Spain’s Political Map Telesur. Interview.

Was this an earthquake in Spanish politics? Not quite, but it’s coming soon Guardian

Europe’s anti-austerity movements: from Podemos to the SNP Channel 4 News

Why Greece’s Negotiators Can’t Afford to Ignore Spain Now WSJ

Grexit and the Morning After Paul Krugman, NYT


Will Greece Follow Ukraine’s Gamble? Peterson Institute

Varoufakis demands creditors ‘get their act together’ as Greeks cling to ‘impossible’ promises Telegraph

Greece Will Make its Next IMF Payment, Says Yanis Varoufakis WSJ

Macro Horizons: The Greek Deadline Draws Closer Wall Street Journal

Greek and German officials play down looming Athens default FT

Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday Ekathimerini


Russian Mobile Crematoriums? Shades Of Saddams Mobile Weapons Labs! Sic Semper Tyrannis


Key Iraq War Architect: “Our Objective Should Be a New Sunni State Out of the Western Part Of Iraq, the Eastern Part of Syria” Washingtons Blog

Saudi Arabia beheads 88th person this year, passing total for 2014 Middle East Eye. Billmon: “‘Now you guys are just running up the score,’ whines ISIS.”

Reports of deal with Pakistani spy agency rile some in Afghanistan Los Angeles Times

Macau casinos eye resorts to counter slowdown CNBC

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Steve Wozniak: Edward Snowden is ‘a hero to me’ Fortune

Privacy advocates oppose fresh Senate attempt to renew NSA spying powers Guardian

Prospects dim for 11th-hour PATRIOT Act deal Politico

‘Daredevil’ continues a sad tradition of endorsing torture Digital Watch by Adam Richter. See also: How Netflix’s New Daredevil Series Makes Torture Into a Virtue Reason (James C).

Sorry……Not All Lives Matter Colorado State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police

Supreme Court Agrees to Settle Meaning of ‘One Person One Vote’ NYT. I have a bad feeling about this… And: Major test on voter equality set for review SCOTUSblog

Sotomayor And Roberts Clash As Supreme Court Expands Power Of Bankruptcy Courts Forbes

Appeals court rules against Obama on immigration WaPo

Four Words That Imperil Health Care Law Were All a Mistake, Writers Now Say NYT

Class Warfare

Elizabeth Warren: No Need to Stop Uber-ized Workforce, but Must Invest in Education, Research ReCode. Eesh. Senator. So today’s “Shafting Economy” kidz have to wait twenty years for your policies to kick in? And go even more into debt? WTF?

Tim Smeeding on how to reduce income inequality Lane Kenworthy

Danish Radio Station Defends Host Who Clubbed Rabbit to Death During Animal Welfare Debate NYT

Robotic Butt Helps Medical Students Learn Professional Intimacy KQED. EM: “Do Androids Dream of Electric Turds?”

Art World Hunt: The Quest for Hitler’s Lost Treasures Der Spiegel

PowerPoint should be banned. This PowerPoint presentation explains why. WaPo

The mystery of the power bank phone taking over Ghana Quartz

Antidote du jour (via):


I was super chuffed to spot my first dragonfly of the season yesterday!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

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. Kokuanani

    Hey, I see that NC is referenced on the front page of Wall Street On Parade!! [Left sidebar.]

  2. abynormal

    re: some lives don’t matter…
    In my opinion…he did nothing to make his life matter”

    “Feelings override facts, as facts alter feelings. Choose the truth first, rather than following after feelings.” Liccione

    (feelings with a loaded gun…a sure fire)

      1. Antifa

        Indeed. This entire essay is a flatulent exercise in “my way or the highway” jingoism. It demonstrates yet again why police departments weed out people who like to learn or who think twice about life — because such people won’t do The Job for 20 years without end. The Job is keeping people in line, whatever it takes. First and foremost, a cop is a personality who has no problem hitting or shooting someone to force their compliance.

        The purpose of the police in American is to protect property, and to force compliance with our plutocratic system of laws, no matter how oppressive or corrupt or hollowed out those laws may become. For a cop, all that matters is that a law be written down somewhere, and he or she will force people to follow it, no questions asked. Any cop who thinks they are serving any higher purpose than putting their muscle, weapons, training and life solidly behind their 1% masters isn’t thinking clearly.

        But cops don’t think. If they start thinking, right away they quit The Job for something that makes sense, at least. Which is why thinkers are never hired in the first place. You do not need to be big and dumb to be an officer, but that’s what they’re looking for, so it improves your chances of being hired, and of sticking around for 20 years. Like the Post Office or the IRS, it’s a job for people who can’t handle having multiple careers in one lifetime. If you can still be happily swinging your nightstick 20 years from now, and feel important and powerful because of it, you might be cop material.

        The officer who died yesterday was a wonderful person by all descriptions given in the essay, but she was nonetheless a member of the blue gang we call the police. She stood squarely for and behind what police themselves call The System — the machinery of oppression that is our criminal justice system, which has repeatedly been shown to be racist to its core, and exceedingly deferential to the wealthy. What would be a serious felony to us working stiffs is “affluenza” to the justice system. Which shows that there is no justice system, only a system of compliance enforced by direct violence. Unless you’re rich, or a cop, that is. Either of which puts you above the law, no matter what.

        Oh, the officer who died was friendly to kids in the violent, poor neighborhoods she patrolled? Yeah. Marines in green camo used to be friendly to the kids in the villages in Vietnam. Even painted their schools for them, and gave them chocolate. What did it matter that the men in boots belonged to a Mean Green Machine that killed a million Asian peasants, their families, and their neighbors, and violently foisted a corrupt government upon them for decades? They were just doing their Job.

        Wearing her blue police colors, she was about as welcome in the poor and oppressed neighborhoods she patrolled as a camo-wearing Marine was in a village in Vietnam 45 years ago. If poor neighborhoods in America are terrified of the police, it’s because the police terrorize them. The police are organized violence, they are a machine, they are a street gang fighting other street gangs. The function of the police in America is to keep the population in line so they can be fleeced by the wealthy.

        The felon who died yesterday was not born one. He started out wearing diapers just like the rest of us, and dreaming of all the wonderful things he’d do some day. So why did he become a criminal? Most likely because he was provided with nothing by our society, especially not acceptance, equality, education, or a chance of adult employment so rather than starve in the street he turned to the violent world of selling drugs and taking for himself what our society refused to let him earn.

        Here’s a question the author of the essay can wrestle with instead of waving his gang colors and cheerleading for his buddies in blue:

        Which is less expensive for a nation — to give a man a fish, to teach him how to fish, or to hire someone to hit him with a billy club every time he steals a fish to fend off starvation? Which approach is most likely to feed everyone?

        A cop won’t think about this. He’ll jump off his barstool and look around the room for a fish filcher to roust

        1. abynormal

          Anita, i’ll take this with me…i don’t have a fb act. but it’ll show up and all hell will breakout! i’ll argue for every thought provoking paragraph you wrote!

          couple weeks ago a young high school student stole a car and plowed into a telephone pole…he died and the police chasing him said they stayed far behind him so not to ‘spook’ him. this kid was having trouble with grades and trying to graduate. it all took place not too far from my home and i was shook up…until a family member said he got what he deserved and i went ballistic. i asked this family member how he gathered capital after high school…all hell broke out b/c i knew he got it from wealthy mommie. the family member is my oldest brother…entitled since his first breath. guess what he’s doing now…retired from the railroad he owes irs and 3 mortgages…oh and social security is on him for a scam (which shouldn’t be as RR is exempt). anywho, he’s pill milling for capital at the age of 65yro. guess he figures the blue brigade will clear a golden path for him…

          as for your post…“Sometimes the words against a selfish have to be sharp, straight and blunt; it is very much like after the failure of all medications to cure a mental patient the only option left to revive him now is to give him a shock treatment through an electric current.” Anuj Somany

  3. Greenguy

    I have a bad feeling about the Supreme Court “one person, one vote” decision as well. It’s long past time to advocate for proportional representation and the abolition of districts (or at least a mixed-member system a la Germany) so as to eliminate the need for these debates about redistricting and number of voters per district.

    1. sufferin'succotash

      PR is an ideal solution which would require complete Federal control of election processes (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing) and a major constitutional redefinition of federalism (would some states lose representation entirely under a PR system?).
      My own pet solution would entail a decennial Federal Apportionment Commission following every census which would adopt redistricting plans for each state. To reduce the possibility of partisan gerrymandering all Commission members would be chosen by lot, like a jury. In addition, the adoption of redistricting plans would also be by a random process, with alternative plans chosen by sortition.
      Anyway, never gonna happen.

      1. sleepy

        I don’t think there will be any federal takeover of local elections beyond the “one man one vote” principle, or specific laws which address discrimination within the existing system, such as the Voting Rights law. States fought that sort of federal oversight tooth and nail, and as quasi-sovereigns they aren’t going to voluntarily give up their non-federal election procedures.

        As far as federal PR goes, change would be much simpler. There is no constitutional requirement that congress be elected from districts, just that each state’s number of representatives be apportioned by population. The district requirement came in through legislation in the late 40s, and that would obviously be much easier to change than a constitutional amendment.

        So, a state has ten reps. Each voter gets 10 votes and can give all 10 to one candidate or whatever he/she wants to do with the 10.

        None of that will happen of course since the system works just fine for the ones who make those decisions.

  4. abynormal

    re: Dollar Bulls Rally around Atl Fed (new GDPNow)

    “…the pace of output for a nation historically is key to its currency’s value.”

    USA Predators be our output…there’s your phucking Key

  5. diptherio

    The “Not All Lives Matter” screed made me throw-up a little. Oh yes, Mr. Police Officer, tell us how protesters in Ferguson (and everywhere else) are “misguided” and the police really are just out there trying to protect everyone in totally non-racist ways…riiiiight….

    Take away: if you have a record, you are a POS and worthy of death–your life does not matter. Of course, police have a long history of planting evidence and extracting false confessions through the plea-bargaining process blatant intimidation, but we’re going to ignore that. Police = Good. People Who Criticize Police = Bad. We clear?

      1. craazyboy

        Take hostages. Shoot 10 citizens a day until the banksters give ’em their money back. Plus ZIRP interest!

        1. JEHR

          Or: Take hostages. Jail ten banksters a day until they give us our money back with all the profit it has earned in the meantime.

    1. mark

      there are many scary parts of the screed but this is one that sums up the nasty, nasty mindset

      “In case you haven’t noticed…there is a war going on in our own streets today…it’s a war on law enforcement and unless YOU want to walk the line between good and evil, maybe YOU should do something to stop that war.”

      the police are at War with elements of the populace, probably those with darker skins. this guy is nuts. oh by the way Omni Cedo Domus…Everyone goes home should be applied to those you are sworn to serve and protect not just to members of the FOP.

    2. hunkerdown

      Yeah, that chickens–t writing under a pseudonym should stand for his astroturf.

  6. Carolinian

    How about an online petition for Billmon to return to blogging. So many great sites in the rear view mirror….

    1. jrs

      Not only that she’s pushing right wing arguments into the public dialogue (not the education part, that’s neither right nor left particularly – it’s credentialism) but ideas like this: “We’re not going to stop tech so that lots of people will work. That’s like saying, ‘Let’s get rid of heavy equipment and let people dig with a spoon.’ That won’t work”

      Excuse me but does ANYONE actually argue that the proper response to Uber is to stop technology? If that’s not straw-manning, I don’t know what is. So next thing anyone criticizing Uber will have to preface with “I have nothing against technology but …” because this garbage is being dumped into the public dialogue. I think Obama often does the same thing. That’s not a compliment.

      “Asked later if she would push on-demand companies to classify contract workers as full-time employees, Warren did not answer directly. “Work is changing in America,” she said, appearing to placate startups like Uber that rely on a temporary workforce that doesn’t pull in benefits.”

      Yes see those are the type of things people might actually advocate.

      This type of behavior makes me think she is running for president, selling out is under way.

  7. Jose Garcia

    As for Greece, don’t worry. The American taxpayer will come to the rescue. Do you think they’ll allow this Euro racket, excuse me, project, go down the sewer pipe? The IMF will suddenly find, with a big surprise look on their faces, that they have a few billion here and there to lend Greece, so they can pay back the IMF with it. As the CIA character in the film, Casino Royale, told Bond, ” Does it look like we need the money?”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “Rand acting like a Democrat”, um, well, I think that metaphor needs updating. “Acting like a Democrat” these days means expanded domestic spying, Permanent War, free pass for Wall St crime, health care giveaways for Big Insurance, and continued middle class destruction via “trade” treaties.
      “Rand acting like an American citizen” might be better… or “Rand acting like a patriot”. Or perhaps “Rand showing the slightest glimmer of common sense for the actual American people against the power of tyrannical war mongering corporo-fascist oligarchy”.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From your link:

      Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub … declared the situation in the West Bank far worse than apartheid that existed in South Africa because right-wingers and extremists in Israel want to “delete Palestine.”

      In the 1960s, FIFA suspended South Africa for decades after it failed to comply with the association’s nondiscrimination policies.

      Economic boycotts of apartheid-era South Africa never did much damage to its largely self-sufficient economy. But sports boycotts deeply injured South African pride.

      How did the US acquire the exorbitant privilege of ‘ordering’ Swiss police to arrest Europeans in Europe? Why, with boycotts:

      Senator Alphonse D’Amato’s Senate Banking Committee hearings [about Holocaust survivors’ dormant Swiss bank accounts] led to international friction between the US and Switzerland, with boycotts of Swiss companies and products threatened in several US states.

      NY City Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi convened a meeting in December 1997 with Swiss bank executives and Democratic Party state treasurers to discuss sanctions such as divesting state funds from Swiss banks and withholding licenses.

      Hevesi also withheld an operating license for the merger of Union Bank of Switzerland with Swiss Bank Corporation. Author Angelo Codevilla argues that this was essentially blackmail of the banks by state banking officials, with backing of the US administration.

      Boycotts, comrades: don’t attempt them without ‘our’ sponsorship.

    2. Carolinian

      Curious, or totally obvious. More from Moon

      While some of the indicted persons are U.S. citizens one wonders what contorted maneuvers the U.S. justice department will make to claim jurisdiction over foreign national FIFA functionaries:

      United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider

    3. Brindle

      Occurred to me the “embarrass Putin & Russia” angle is in play here. One of those arrested was a Russian, and the awarding of Russia the 2018 WC was a big sore spot for Cameron, as UK wanted bid. Interesting to see the sidebars that come up in next few weeks.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          “Right on cue….”

          Gawd, it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.

          I wonder where he wants it held instead.

          1. OIFVet

            The occupied territories? Newly “freed” Tehran? Why not Bulgaria? It’s owed a favor for nixing South Stream, something McCain himself ordered in June of last year… I wonder why no mention of Qatar, despite its bribes and use of slave labor to build the stadiums?

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Well, not Qatar.

              According to “commentary” this morning, the bribery “tell” was the choice of Qatar since it apparently gets real hot there in the summer when the world cup is usually played.

              110 degrees in the SHADE “if you can find any” I think they said.

              How on earth did the FIFA committee think they’d get away with that? I mean it gets real HOT. What do they think we are, STUPID?

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Good to see Loretta Lynch “hit the ground with her feet runnin’. ”

      Lord knows this country has no bigger problem than which country hosts the world cup.

      But I sure hope she’s prepared for the world community to retaliate by demanding Tom Brady’s extradition to the International Criminal Court for deflating his balls during the superbowl.

      1. bruno marr

        …actually the deflation came before the Superbowl. It was the other teams inflated head coaching decision that allowed Brady to be a victor.

    5. JohnnyGL

      Maybe it’s about Israel, but I think it’s more of an attempt at “regime change” in FIFA. Moon doesn’t point this out, but Blatter’s on record as opposing the suspension of Israel.

      The US is pretty bummed about not winning the 2022 World Cup. FIFA elections are in two days and the US has already backed the Jordanian prince Ali to take Blatter’s job. Ready made Arab monarch stooge to be put in charge? Have we seen this strategy before from the US? UEFA (Europe) has backed him, too. I think Europe feels it’s been too long since they’ve enjoyed their rightful place of domination and the US DOJ has been working over Chuck Blazer since he resigned in a bribery scandal and seem to have gotten him to squeal. He was once seen as a solid vote getter in CONCACAF (N. America) for Blatter.

      Blatter has continued in the Havelange tradition of the “everyone against Europe” alliance. He’s a master of that strategy. It’s not clear Prince Ali would be any less corrupt, but he’d likely push to overturn the 2018 and 2022 bids if he got elected.

  8. Jim Haygood

    WSJ [linked above]:

    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen plans to skip the central bank’s high-profile conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., this year.

    Mr. Yellen “does not plan to attend the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in August,” a Fed spokesperson said Tuesday.

    Remember the Kremlin’s habit, back in USSR days, of airbrushing purged comrades out of photos? They’re trying to pass this off casually. But J-Yel getting airbrushed out of J-Hole signifies trouble afoot.

    As does the next link about the recession of 1937-38. It took only a hike in reserve requirements (the New York Fed’s discount rate of 1.5% didn’t even change) and the beginning of a savage 2 percent [/sarc] FICA tax to send the US economy spiraling back into depression.

    If Yellen Capital manages to eff it up again with this year’s long-telegraphed rate hike, everyone understands that 1937-1938 will be the model.

    1. Dino Reno

      Yellen’s “matrix” like move to hike rates will put special effects (FX) into the currency market (FX). Could the direction and timing be worse? Normalization will never seem so abnormal.

    2. craazyboy

      If a quarter point rate hike, from .25% to .5%, after almost 7 YEARS, can put America into a deep depression, then there is something seriously wrong with the structure of the economy and the financial system. (whocouldaknow’d) Let’s get on with finding out what it is this time. I hate mysteries that never get solved.

      Besides, everyone has bought their subprime financed car by now and houses are unaffordable again – so we are due for a garden variety biz cycle recession – if it’s possible to have one of those anymore without collapsing the highly leveraged, ZIRP carry trade financed and derivative “insured”, financial system.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Be careful what you wish for.

        After 7 years we have an economy that can barely survive WINTER without a “seasonal adjustment.”

        A quarter point rate hike could just about bring on Armageddon.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Interesting that Yellen is being air-brushed out.

      Maybe she can relocate to FIFA.

  9. JohnB

    Heh – this is interesting:

    In short: The fact that banks create money when they make loans, is being used as the basis for charging the banks with counterfeiting in Iceland (since only the central bank has the constitutional right to create money) – which, despite seeming a bit silly at first, actually sounds like it might just be a plausible way to kick up a storm and generate a lot of legal/public/political attention, to the fact that banks create money, and all the related political/societal/economic issues that raises.

    The legal challenge will almost certainly not get far, but the publicity may be a win – fairly original idea, which maybe can be emulated in other countries?
    What do people think – do other countries have laws like this, that would prohibit banks creating money – limiting it solely to the central bank?

  10. Brindle

    FIFA Corruption Arrests….

    Although they were arrested by Swiss authorities this basically is a FBI/DOJ operation. Anyone who follows soccer has known for years that FIFA is extremely corrupt. If you are wondering why would the U.S. put so many resources into going after the world soccer governing body—-well FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and there was likely some bribery going on. I see this as an extension of U.S. foreign policy in going after Russian and Putin. Don’t be surprised if there springs up a movement to take away from Russia the hosting of the 2018 World Cup.

    “The last time international media attention was focused on the Baur au Lac (Swiss Hotel) was four years ago, when US and British World Cup bids were rejected in favour of Russia and Qatar. Suspicions of vote-buying and wrongdoing in those bidding contests have dogged Fifa ever since.”

    1. OIFVet

      I am quite thankful for the international sporting bodies’ corruption. If the IOC hadn’t been so corrupt, Chicago might have been selected to host the 2016 Olympics instead of Rio. Can you imagine the orgy of corrupt Machine pigs feeding at that trough?? This in a city where almost any public project invariably comes in years late and 100% over budget (think the Millennium Park).

    2. JohnnyGL

      Maybe it’s about Israel, but I think it’s more of an attempt at “regime change” in FIFA. Moon doesn’t point this out, but Blatter’s on record as opposing the suspension of Israel.

      The US is pretty bummed about not winning the 2022 World Cup. FIFA elections are in two days and the US has already backed the Jordanian prince Ali to take Blatter’s job. An Arab monarch stooge with no real power base other than his colonial handlers to be put in charge? Have we seen this strategy before from the US? Maybe once or twice?

      UEFA (Europe) has backed him, too. I think Europe feels it’s been too long since they’ve enjoyed their rightful place of domination and the US DOJ has been working over Chuck Blazer since he resigned in a bribery scandal and seem to have gotten him to squeal. He was once seen as a solid vote getter in CONCACAF (N. America) for Blatter.

      Blatter has continued in the Havelange tradition of the “everyone against Europe” alliance. He’s a master of that strategy. He’s dished out 3 of the last 4 WCs to non-European countries and the one European country who got it is Russia! It’s not clear Prince Ali would be any less corrupt than Blatter, but he may push to overturn the 2018 and 2022 bids if he got elected.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Maybe the whole thing is “over-determined.” A two-fer, three-fer, eight-fer, ten-fer. If you have a model of competing ruling class Flexnets deploying portfolio options, sometimes co-operating, sometimes competing….

  11. Dan Lynch

    Re: Tim Smeeding on how to reduce income inequality.

    While Tim offers many worthwhile suggestions, the overall impression is lame. “Improve college prep classes and college counseling for students?” Really?

    The gold standard for reducing inequality is Huey Long’s 1935 “Share Our Wealth” plan. It’s sad that 80 years have passed and we still haven’t caught up with 1935.

  12. alex morfesis

    219 days

    for 219 days after metaxas told the idiot italian who showed up at his home…

    Alors, C’est la Guerre,

    the hell-eenz pushed back against the hoodlums from the NSDAP, and bought stalin enough time to prepare for the german horde…

    so sad for dr. Strangeluvauble…he had that FDR in the wheelchair thing down tight…almost got there…but he did not have a montgomery to make life easy for him…

    how sad…he will be remembered as his countries Chamberlain instead…

    greeks are (foolishly) imbibed with a history of survival. Armies and hegemons come and go…but the marble temples still stand…I think the northern europeans have just killed off the great project…greeks are survivors…draghi should have pulled the plug in march…now its too late…any further demonizing of the greek people will only feed the distrust of the northerners…even poland is turning away…so lets see…which three countries have most of the tanks in nato…hmmm…there is greece with 1400 tanks…turkey with another 2500 tanks..and poland with 1000 tanks…thats pretty much 75% of nato capacity…how many tanks does germany have that are functional…140 150..200 maybe…so the three countries you need to help keep the lead for gold scheme going in the EU are the ones you are trying to annoy…great job there finance minister…you wont let turkey into the eu, you are pissing on the leg of Syriza and your flank to the east is now lost…

    brilliant…yup…the german neville…stupidity in our time…

    you pushed too hard old chap…what is it with these clowns from illium…must be some type of chicago second city syndrome…some genetic defect…grasping defeat from the jaws of victory…oh well, pass me the feta…

  13. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Four Words That Imperil Health Care Law Were All a Mistake, Writers Now Say NYT

    Apparently this garbage can of apologia was featured prominently on the front page of the print edition. Predictable stuff–“mistakes were made,” “we were in a hurry,” “it was a BIG bill.”

    No mention, of course, of the infamous Jonathan Gruber, who specifically made the plaintiff’s case when he said:

    “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits, but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” Gruber said. “So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, ‘You’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.’ I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges and that they’ll do it, but once again, the politics can get ugly around this.”

    Kinda makes you think that the NYT has gotten a heads up from the “supremes” and has decided that the situation calls for a quick historical rewrite to make the forthcoming “decision” seem legit.

  14. JTMcPhee

    Hey, Lambert — is anyone doing the vector math on all the various vagations that actually are either wired into our physiology, or the product of Kochian nudging, over that long view and with all the plotting and investment that those sorts have made?

    You know the myths of Democracy ™ and Freedom’n’Liberty ™ and Our Great Nation and all that, and all the fractures and schisms and small and large parasitic and cancerous processes in play. Lots of stuff about “our” PO-lice as increasingly hostile occupation force, separate, and apart, and of course “above.” Some notice being taken of the phenomenon of “inbred in-sourcing mercenarization” of “our” military: “US Military and Civilians Are Increasingly Divided”. Not real clear whether the author of the linked article thinks what’s happening is a good thing or bad, for any of the players in this game:

    A 2013 survey by three West Point professors found that the estrangement between the military and civilian worlds is especially pronounced among young people. Many civilians born between 1980 and 2000 “want no part of military life and want it separate from civilian life,” according to sociologist Morten G. Ender, one of the study’s authors.

    On the other side, military recruits in that age range had become “anti-civilian in some ways,” the survey found.

    “I am irritated by the apathy, lack of patriotic fervor, and generally anti-military and anti-American sentiment” of other students, an unidentified 20-year-old ROTC cadet told the authors. “I often wonder if my forefathers were as filled with disgust and anger when they thought of the people they were fighting to protect as I am.” (Really? Kicking in doors in Kandahar is protecting us people? Drone Murders? F-35s? Construction and operation of the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace, that lets the Emperor and immediate subordinates “make the calls” on every tiny tactical futility? Autonomous Terminator-style killing machines? But you know the issues…)

    What, beyond debt, a sort of common language, a fading set of shared myths being replaced by other stuff, a certain geographic propinquity, and fear, exists any more (or ever did) of “our” Camelot? SOMEbody is deciding on what the flux and direction of the future looks like, for us and our immediate progeny and a little ways off that we can see, before the bend off there in the future where the Squillionaires become Immortal Gods (and the Greeks showed us what happens when gods with human foibles run things…) , and

    It’s not like the “issues” are obscure and unnoticed by Players in the current myriad of games within games:


    The United States Air Force (USAF) has a number of initiatives underway to better support tomorrow’s Warfighter. As part of the Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century (eLog21) campaign, one of the most critical initiatives is the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS). ECSS is the world’s largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation and will completely transform USAF logistics operations. The benefits of an ERP include centrally-managed and integrated information sharing, while the many challenges include training future state operations and employing change management. An effective governance structure is essential in order for the USAF to realize the full benefits of ECSS and minimize the challenges of ERP implementation. Governance is the means by which decisions are made and how decision-makers are held accountable for those decisions. This case study research examines the changes that five organizations made to their governance structure during a large transformation effort, such as an ERP implementation. Specifically, this research examines the main trigger points, or causes of these governance structure changes. The implications of these trigger points and changes to the governance structure are explored within the context of the current ECSS implementation.,d.cWc

    Butterfly wings, bomber wings, fighter wings… Just a matter of managing the largest ERP EVER ANYWHERE… Hey, if they can get the governance right on such transformations, why can’t the rest of us require the same, for stuff like the LARGEST GRAB AT THE BRASS RING OF POWER EV-ER, that conversion of all the loci and foci of legitimacy into a “living agreement” that WE’RE NOT PART OF, BUT FOR SOME REASON BECOME SUBJECT TO? what will be the last grain of sand added to that seemingly metastable pile that causes it to slump off the spinning turntable…

    In other news, “The Dawn of Killer Robots,” and other stuff —

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Not me. How about you? And out of curiosity, why do you say “vector math”? Is there are data structure for which vector math is especially appropriate? Can you give an example? (Real questions).

      1. bruno marr

        I’m sure JT can answer for himself, but vector math is used in physics/engineering problems. (Vectors have both quantity and direction; i.e,force vector in mechanics.) However, I’m not clear on the metaphor JT was reaching for in the comment.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I’m no math or data person, just try to see patterns and connections through the fog of dis-, dys-, and mis-information, a fog patch that grows exponentially. My recollection of the notion of vectors from PSSC high school physics, and practically, as a lifelong sailing enthusiast, seems to fit the apparent sets of behaviors and connections that catch my attention. And a little density of composition, as in two definitions of the word, “1.
        MathematicsPhysics — a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.

        a matrix with one row or one column.
        a course to be taken by an aircraft.
        denoting a type of graphical representation using straight lines to construct the outlines of objects.
        modifier noun: vector

        an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.”

        Like the militarization of the police, and the cordoning off of both police and military cadres from “ordinary people” who pay their wages and are supposed to adore and adulate them, and the phenomenon of selection where (a kind of sociological Gresham’s Law?) it appears that the bad ones drive out the good ones.

        So it’s mostly a rhetorical device. Maybe Hari Seldon has an answer: The little bit of homocentric optimism I have left kind of hopes that the actual Seldon Plan or something like it is in operation, or at least that it’s not just all random taking and violence coordinated by people like the Kochs and other rulers who really have put us ordinary people on a vector into even greater insignificance and abuse in our little spot way out here on a water planet in a distant bit of a mediocre galaxy.

        The hardest part is ‘feeling’ that it matters, compounded by a strong sense that it all might be so much better and gentler and kinder, if only… But the cynic remembers that one uglier version of the Pandora myth relates that the last and worst plague on humanity to escape from the casket she was forced to care for was “Hope…” We learn that order is temporary and local anyway, but little sets of humans don’t seem to be able to preserve even that.

        So maybe somebody can do the math, but a betting person would lean toward the wager that the calculating person would yield to the same moral hazard that those really smart math whizzes and data jerkers who brought us to the current pass so happily have embraced.

        1. mundanomaniac

          what ever robots might be mirroring of our ilk – at the end of the day the breathing psyche in everyone has to deal with eternity and the “ticket” we came with.
          So after all the intellectual mundane entities a break might be due and a thoughtful moment of view to heaven, changing every week

  15. David

    SEC charges Atlanta firm over public pension funds…

    Last year, Gray received notices that charges would be imminent. In February, the firm filed a lawsuit against the SEC challenging its use of in-house judges. That case is still pending.

    Isn’t this what TPP/ISDS is all about.. using ‘in house judges’? I guess it depends upon whose house…

    1. OIFVet

      “Arizona senator and former presidential candidate John McCain received $51,700 in the first quarter of 2015” It could be me, but aren’t there parallels with the FIFA bribes?

      1. craazyboy

        Except that you can fuk a country of 300 million for only $51K. Getting the World Cup costs some serious bucks.

        1. OIFVet

          All the more reason to arrest a few senators. Criminal failure to extract larger bribes. It’s un-American and quite possibly communist to settle for a few crumbs.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Don’t we miss Abscam, an FBI sting which convicted seven (7) KongressKlowns.

            Now they’re such small potatoes that the FBI can’t be arsed to entrap them. As Hillary Rotten famously remarked on an upstate NY listening tour, “What the f*** did we come here for? There’s no money here!”

  16. subgenius

    Can somebody pease explain how the feds can prosecute eg fifa (almost entirely not of the US sphere…you cant even use the word football correctly FFS…) but no corruption charges are ever brought against bought and paid for senators????

  17. JTMcPhee

    Re Obama the Partially Black President throwing slaves under the (Rosa Parks?) bus — maybe it’s another “so obvious it’s not worth mentioning,” but the fleeting spirit that inhabits that only-President-we’ve-got mix of “racial DNA” seems not to belong at all (except in moments of convenience) to the category of “Black descendants of Black slaves. His actual allegiance and affinity have become increasingly, painfully clear.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A good time for private sector labor unions and public worker unions to joint together.

      We are solidarity.

  18. Jim Haygood

    How to parlay a $186,600/year gov’t job into $100 million or so, according to David Sirota:

    In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.

    A federal law specifically designates the secretary of state as “responsible for the continuous supervision and general direction of sales” of arms, military hardware and services to foreign countries. In that role, Hillary Clinton was empowered to approve or reject deals for a broad range of reasons, from national security considerations to human rights concerns.

    Money, it’s a hit
    Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
    I’m in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set
    And I think I need a Lear jet

    — Pink Floyd

  19. optimader

    Powerpoint engineering and the downfall of quality

    I recently downloaded a presentation from Hoppy Price of JPL and Alisa Hawkins/Torrey Radcliffe of the Aerospace Corporation describing “Austere Human Missions to Mars” (available as a PDF file HERE). Regardless of the other merits of the presentation, the illustrations… well… the illustrations made my tiny little brain cry…..

Comments are closed.