Links 6/1/15

Solar Impulse 2 over Sea of Japan, day after take-off Log of Leg 7 (Nanjing to Hawaii).

Goldman lawyer becomes SEC chief of staff McClatchy (Chuck L).

Shadow banks grab record US loans share FT. What could go wrong?

Why is it so hard to regulate the banks? It’s less the complexity than the political power. Jared Bernstein.

Top US fund managers attack regulators FT

Monetary Policy for the Next Recession Bloomberg

Has the rethinking of macroeconomic policy been successful? Gavyn Davies, FT

OPEC likely to keep output unchanged at June 5 meeting: delegates Reuters


Tsipras accuses bailout monitors of making ‘absurd’ demands Peter Spiegel, FT. “[I]ncreased the sense of chaos.”

EU’s Juncker warns against Greek exit from euro: paper Reuters. Juncker: “I don’t share the idea that we will have fewer worries and restraints if Greece gives up the euro” (Sueddeutsche Zeitung). Note that leaving the Euro is not the same as default.

Greece suffering as insecurity surrounding debt crisis kills businesses across the country Independent

Embattled Alexis Tsipras prepares for Leftist mutiny amid snap election fears Telegraph

Defiant Tsipras threatens to detonate European crisis rather than yield to creditor “monstrosity” Telegraph

Greece, creditors agree on need for quick deal as talks continue Reuters

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ article in Le Monde newspaper: Europe at crossroads Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Grexit entering end game as Greece debt talks go down to the wire Australian Financial Review. Monday is a holiday in Greece.

IMF mission gives upbeat assessment of Ukraine, sees signs of ‘economic stability’ emerging Reuters

Red second generation China Digital Times (glossary entry).

China tells workplaces they must have Communist Party units Reuters

Big Brother Is Watching You

NSA reform advances as Senate moves to vote on USA Freedom Act – live updates Guardian. “Votes on any amendments as well as final passage will come on Tuesday.”

Senate Advances Patriot Act Overhaul, but Too Late to Foil Rand Paul (Updated) Roll Call

Senate to let NSA spy program lapse, at least temporarily Reuters

McConnell moves to swallow USA Freedom Act Politico. “Before he objected to McConnell’s last-ditch attempt, Paul was shouted down by his fellow Republicans as he attempted to give another speech in opposition of government surveillance.”

Why the Current Section 215 Reform Debate Doesn’t Matter Much Bruce Schneier, Lawfare. Last week, but still relevant.

Why the USA Freedom Act Is Both Desperately Important and Laughably Pathetic Dan Froomkin, The Intercept

A Sunset Is A Beautiful Thing Forbes. “Let’s let 215 sunset…. This is America. No secret law. No suspicionless spying. The sunset is a necessary first step for a new day to dawn.”

Don’t (Just) Let the Sun Go Down on Patriot Powers Motherboard

Iraq Lost 2,300 Humvees in Mosul, Prime Minister Says Defense News. And not for the first time: Insurgent Offensive Bogs Down After Capturing US Humvees Duffel Blog. “We were considerably more mobile with Toyota Technicals.”

The New Unknown Soldiers of Afghanistan and Iraq Foreign Policy

Chill Out, America Foreign Policy


Fifa was the perfect global monopoly – and its crisis is a parable about the future of capitalism Guardian

Qatar Stocks Rise After FIFA Re-Elects Blatter; Dubai Falls Bloomberg

Ex-FIFA vice president Jack Warner hits out at The Onion story Sidney Morning Herald

How FIFA were nailed by last act of revenge of a dying man: Investigative journalist ANDREW JENNINGS reveals how former official led him and the Feds into the dirty depths of Blatter’s kingdom of corruption Daily Mail

F-bombs, shouting: Uncivil discourse on Boston’s Olympic bid AP

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Race, Space, and Cumulative Disadvantage: A Case Study of the Subprime Lending Collapse Social Problems. Ka-ching.

Racial Penalties in Baltimore Mortgages NYT. Ka-ching.

Citation Debt: What’s really needed is a new approach. Judicial Council Watcher. Ka-ching.

We Pay A Shocking Amount For Police Misconduct, And Cops Want Us Just To Accept It. We Shouldn’t. HuffPo. Ka-ching.

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide WaPo

Arbitrator rescinds discipline for four supervisors in deadly police chase Plain Dealer

Where Legal Challenges to Obama’s Domestic Priorities Stand WSJ

Online database ‘exposes’ pro-Palestinian college students in bid to block future jobs Haaretz. Oddly, or not, the funding and ownership are completely opaque.

Class Warfare

Half of All American Families Are Staring at Financial Catastrophe CityLab

Britain’s hotel workers – bullied, underpaid and with few rights Guardian

Exploring the Amazon The Economist

Washington farmers, wildlife managers prepare for drought AP

The state with the Arctic Circle running through it is warmer than most of the US. MWC News

Bird flu epidemic exposes our weak biosecurity measures Digital Journal 

Terrified passenger shares image of easyJet worker using TAPE on aeroplane engine moments before take-off London Evening Standard (Chuck L).

Is This Planned Ghost Town the City of the Future? Wired. Sounds like a due diligence laundry to me.

Robotics: Ethics of artificial intelligence Nature

Antidote du jour:


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. Carolinian

      Also: Ralph Nader, who at first criticized Sanders for running as a Democrat, has some gracious things to say. However he ends with this

      The nagging problem facing the Vermont Senator is the dilemma of how to compete with and challenge Hillary Clinton. Thus far, he has said that he has “never run a negative political ad” and that he respects his former fellow Senatorial colleague. Progressives may not like negative ads, but they do want a candidate who clearly articulates differences with other candidates in direct ways that draw voters away from those competitors. Assuming he is really running to win.

      Sanders has to take on Hillary Clinton and the other candidates with the issues that matter – the ones that truly show the difference between their voting records and assumed positions, especially her illegal, disastrous, brute force (think Libya) foreign/military policy. Her record favors Wall Street and the military-industrial complex, He also has to, in his way, convince Democratic and Independent voters, not only that he will be good for America but that on many issues Hillary will not support shifting power and control of wealth, income and our commonwealth from the Plutocratic few to the many.

      As it stands, Hillary is fully prepared to humor “my friend Bernie”, offer abstract agreement, and then sideline him.

      One has to wonder whether he will really challenge her on Libya or any of her other foreign policy missteps such as the handling of Russia. Were he really to win, he would have far more control over foreign policy than domestic.

      1. lord koos

        While foreign policy missteps may dog Hillary, I don’t think this election is going to be as much about foreign policy as it will be about economic inequality and corruption.

        1. Carolinian

          But her foreign policy is what makes Hillary horrible. Domestically she’d probably have the same agenda as Obama and even a bit more liberal….I’m willing to believe that. A vote for Hillary would be a vote for Empire and American exceptionalism. This is why the fat cats are all for her. They probably don’t take the threat of single payer and higher taxes very seriously. If Sanders isn’t willing to take Hillary on re foreign policy then he may be talking past much of the point. IMHO.

          1. Bunk McNulty

            Obama’s domestic agenda? You mean like No Bankster Left Behind? The former Secretary of State is a good pal of Robert Rubin, so you can be assured that NBLB will continue as policy. I suppose you could call that “liberal,” although you’d have to specify who was on the receiving end of the liberality.

            1. Carolinian

              Everybody know that….at least anybody who reads this blog. But there’s more to the government than just the Treasury department. No matter who becomes President it will take a movement, and not just a President, to change domestic affairs including the banks which, as we know, “own this place” (the Congress).

              The real danger from Hillary is conduct of foreign affairs where she seems to be clueless or maybe just heartless.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Agree that overseas is where Hilary is really frightening: hear her cackle as she blithely remarks on a military attack that could slay tens of thousands. Hey, Hil…those are people under all those “Murkan bombs. No, they don’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us because we keep killing innocent people.

          2. hidflect

            Liberal? Madame Clinton? Please… The LA Times:
            “Clinton is successfully wooing wealthy Indian Americans, many of them business leaders with close ties to their native country and an interest in protecting outsourcing laws and expanding access to worker visas. Her campaign has held three fundraisers in the Indian American community recently, one of which raised close to $3 million, its sponsor told an Indian news organization.”

      2. Ron

        Bernie provides a point of reference for H in that she is middle of the road or mainstream the more he attacks her the more she likes it. He has a role.

        1. James Levy

          The media loves that “mainstream” narrative, but I don’t think the voters do, certainly not Democratic primary voters. Hilary Clinton represents a status quo that most Americans can no longer tolerate. That’s why Jeb Bush, despite the blessings of the Party elite, is floundering. Even if the media won’t dare say it most people understand that Obama is little more than a continuation of Dubya with different packaging and emphasis (and that after Kosovo and the repeal of Glass-Steagal a continuation of Bill in his second term). People are considering Sanders for the same reason they are considering Rubio and Cruz and Paul–he doesn’t seem to be the same old horseshit they’ve been being fed for 20 years. That doesn’t mean the Power Elite won’t get their Bush versus Clinton demoralizing and demobilizing non-event, but they’re going to have to fight for it this time.

      3. optimader

        “never run a negative political ad” and that he respects his former fellow Senatorial colleague.”

        Unless a candidate is spilling the same bilge as the competition, isn’t any “political ad” in essence negative if the mission is to contrast a position on an issue???

        Why or why cant they (he) be sophisticated enough to acknowledge that being adversarial is not necessarily equivalent to engaging in Ad Hominem?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          No. A “negative ad” is Willy Horton, or LBJ’s “Daisy” ad, or Hillary’s “3AM moment” ad. So, sure, “in essence” comparing and contrasting on policy is “negative,” but that’s not the essence as the political class understands it.

          1. Oregoncharles

            As one who does a lot of negative campaigning, as in rubbing Democrats’ noses in their own, ummm, record, I’d say that holding Hillary to her record is going to be negative as all Hell – but if he doesn’t have the nerve to do that, what IS he doing?

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              No, that’s issue-based advertising. Negative is when you combine the assault on Hillary’s record with the testosterone-fueled voice-over, the photograph shot from below in bad light that makes her look like a demon (ok….), the out-of-context clip on torn newspaper, the menacing music, and an assault on a family member. It works, too.

              I think Bernie would be very effective with a “More in sorrow than in anger” approach; the grandfatherly persona nobody hates. If he has attack dogs, they should be proxies. He could even reprimand them! Kidding! But not…

              Often the high road is the best way to really stick the shiv in — which Sanders is going to have to do, I agree 100%.

              1. Oregoncharles

                Hmmm – by “family member,” do you perchance mean someone named Bill? Or Slick Willy, as I prefer.

                Perhaps I’m taking “negative” too literally.

                But it’s a real question: is he willing to undercut Hillary ON HER RECORD? Because it’s extremely target-rich – but then he has to go back to working with Dems in the Senate.

                We shall see.

                I’ve just posted a response to the issues-vs.-strategy question on the Water Cooler thread, in response to Mr. Levy. Look forward to your reaction.

          2. optimader

            point taken..
            I had to look the 3AM moment one up, it was apparently after I stopped watching MSM-TV.
            Now Lambert, I hold you personally responsible for my having searched the string “Hillary 3AM moment”

            Clicking on
            in a lazy momentary lapse of judgment

            and being confronted w/a banner for:

            I thought I knew better than to click on HuffPost links :o/ I guess not.

            Washing eyes w/ peroxide.. It still stings,,,, not the peroxide..

          3. myshkin

            Nader is not talking about Willy Horton type negative ads but about issue ads; suggesting Sander’s will be restrained in going after Hillary full bore on her record on foreign policy, mic, Wall Street, income redistribution.
            As to optimader’s point, a candidate’s mission in a presidential campaign or any campaign is to say as little of substance as possible, while keeping in mind that any lies ‘on message’ within the consensus narrative are manageable, the truth is much more liable to backfire, and the candidate ‘hoist with his own petar.’

    2. Gio Bruno

      Over at, Joan Walsh writes that Bernie’s Achilles’ heel will be lack of awareness of race issues. She then goes on to extoll the virtues of Hillary for her stance on mass incarceration. This is the American political journalist: see (or create) shortcomings (whether they exist or not) while extolling virtues (whether they exist or not). No discussion of the effects of policy/actions on real life events.

      1. lambert strether

        Joan Walsh is a Democratic apparatchik, so naturally she pushes identity politics. As if single payer or free college wouldn’t benefit black people!

    3. Jerry Denim

      AND from the NYT too!

      I found this line from the Times piece particularly irksome: “….called Mr. Sanders “a really valuable candidate” who can “push Hillary to the left” even if he does not defeat her.”

      Seriously? Push Clinton left? This seems to be the narrative the media is attempting to spin now, Sanders as an unelectable long shot who none-the-less can prove a useful tool of the left by nudging the Clinton Campaign leftward. Sander’s must play to win or go home. If there’s one thing everyone should have learned from Barack Obama by now, it’s that campaign rhetoric doesn’t mean sh*t. It is a proven fact that Presidential Campaign promises can be quickly disregarded, broken or outright contradicted by an elected candidate and that same lying candidate can still win a second term with votes from the same gullible idiots who elected them the first time. Win, Bernie, win, please. I wouldn’t trade a cup of cat piss for all of Hillary’s promises.

  1. salvo

    in the telegraph article on ‘grexit’ the syriza left platform is repeatedly labeled ‘extremist’. So, someone like Lapavitstas is an extremist. Of course, throwing millions of people into miserable living conditionsis not ‘extremist’ at all. I just don’t understand the reason such propaganda is linked to in a serious blog like this.

    1. diptherio

      So you can point out how ridiculous it is. Having some idea about how people who don’t think like you perceive things is also helpful.

    2. Ned Ludd

      Sometimes reading propaganda unearths information buried within:

      • “Latest polling shows that 58pc of Syriza supporters would prefer to return to the drachma rather than continue implementing Troika austerity measures.”

      • “Latest polling shows the Leftist party holds a 26-point lead over pro-euro New Democracy.”

      • “Syriza’s Leftist rebels submitted a motion outlining their negotiating demands to the party’s central committee last week. They insisted MPs would only vote in favour of a bail-out deal which includes debt restructuring, lower budget targets and an investment programme for Greece’s crisis-hit economy. The motion was narrowly voted down by 20 votes after a number of abstentions.”

      • Syriza holds “only a 12-seat majority”

      Then there is this unsupported assertion:

      • “There are indications that Mr Tsipras is ready to ditch his extremists should he lose a vote…”

      The article does not support this claim with evidence, beyond repeating the assertion of Miranda Xafa. Hence, The Telegraph reveals the path it (and likely much of the establishment) will push Tsipras down, allowing the left third of Syriza to consider and prepare its countermoves.

    3. lord koos

      Not surprising — similarly, anyone who sticks up for working people getting a fair shake inevitably is labelled a “radical”.

      1. hunkerdown

        Or a racist, or a sexist, or some other snarl word that means nothing more than you don’t consider a bunch of fabulous confabulators and exploiters your “betters”. Any stick to beat a disobedient dog, when stateliness is involved.

    4. Oregoncharles

      The hard left is the extreme of Syriza (there are other left-wing parties in parliament, as well.) “Extremist” certainly has a propaganda meaning, though.

  2. Yonatan

    ‘Online database ‘exposes’ pro-Palestinian college students in bid to block future jobs’

    Richard SIlverstein has useful background. It seems that Nertanyahu has seen the Iran boogie man scam has run its course, so BDS is the new existential threat.

    Quoted from Silverstien’s article: “Netanyahu: Today’s BDS Enemies Are Like Those Who Accused Us of Drinking Blood of Little Children”

    — start of quote

    Ronnie Barkan tweeted an amazing front page of today’s Yediot Achronot. On it, the paper proudly trumpeted its enlistment in the national struggle against BDS. It has answered the prime minister’s call to arms. This is not journalism. This is journalism disguised as jingoism-boosterism. Journalism subjugated to national hysteria.

    The lede headline and sub-headlines blare:

    Fighting the Boycott:

    Yediot joins the fight against international sanctions with a series of report. Israeli new front: organizations in dozens of western countries proposing sanctions against Israeli policy in the Territories. How to fight against this expanding and sharpening threat.

    Who is against us: see a map of of the world boycott.

    One of the two lead articles is by far-right columnist Ben Dror Yemini. It’s titled: “The Threat Against the Right to Exist.” This is the sub-lede:

    Make no mistake: This is not a campaign against settlements. It’s a war on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. All reasonable forces, from right and left, must act against the economic, academic, and cultural boycott which has become a strategic threat. Yedioth Ahronoth is enlisting in the fight back.

    Keep in mind, Yediot is not the worst or most extremist Israeli newspaper. Not by a long-shot. It’s a populist broadsheet with center-right political orientation. So this is unprecedented. Even frightening.

    — end of quote

    1. Jim Haygood

      Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, wrote in an email, “… attacking Israel is serious business, not some inconsequential game, and their actions can damage both Israel and their future careers.”

      That’s the same speech freshman members of Congress get, as they sign up for their obligatory ‘tour of the Holy Land.’ Candidates are already on notice that the next Congress will be ordered to hike rich Israel’s allowance to $4.5 billion annually.

      One who defied the thuggish threats, ex-U.S. Rep. Paul Findley, wrote They Dare To Speak Out in response, detailing how deeply Israel has penetrated the U.S. government.

      1. Carolinian

        On the other hand maybe those students wouldn’t want to work for a future employer who pays attention to such a garbage website. These latest tactics by the Lobby seem kind of desperate.

        Congress, of course, can be bought for a nickel.

          1. lord koos

            Buying congress-critters is quite inexpensive for the return you can get. Even if you or your company are only making tens of millions a year, congressmen only cost a couple hundred grand at most. It’s quite cost effective.

          2. optimader

            The buying part is usually cheap, very cheap, the consequence is what invariably is expensive.

      2. Fool

        Ah Daniel Pipes — of “Campus-Watch” fame. Something ironic about a Jewish guy making lists of ideological opponents.

      3. andyb

        I wish someone could name one other country (just one) that has over 50 dual citizenship Israelis in policy making USG power positions.

    2. Oregoncharles

      BDS IS an existential threat, in a way that Iran certainly is not. That is its purpose. It took down apartheid in SA, now it’s trying to do the same thing in Israel.

      At the same time: Israel’s constant abuse of the “anti-semitism” card is deeply offensive. It’s actually anti-Semitic, since it depends on equating all Jews with Israel, effectively blaming Jews in other countries for Israel’s atrocities. That’s the blood libel, again.

      It’s in Israel’s interest to PROMOTE anti-Semitism in other countries, as they’re doing, because they desperately need more Jews to move there – the long-term demographics are disastrous for them, and they’re bleeding people.

      Unfortunately, I don’t see a path to a happy outcome there. Wish I did. But economic pressure – BDS – is about as good as it gets. (Full disclosure: my wife is a BDS activist, and my party supports it.)

    3. Benedict@Large

      “Netanyahu: Today’s BDS Enemies Are Like Those Who Accused Us of Drinking Blood of Little Children”

      Not quite, Bibi. Not drinking the blood of little children. Spilling it. Often, and with faked remorse. And it’s not an accusation. It’s a fact.

      And Bibi, if you want to test just how thin American’s tolerance of your bullshit it, start picking on their children.

    4. hunkerdown

      OMG! War on Ben Dror’s best imaginary friend and favorite corporation! What a horrible thing! All imaginary friends must be protected, even at the cost of all human life!

  3. rich

    Villa Del Mare: Lola Wang Li and the secretive web of Chinese wealth

    But the intensely-secretive manner of the sale, including Xu’s offhand dismissal of other offers at the same price, reveals something not only of the extraordinary opulence of China’s new uber-rich but also the insecurity that causes them to circle together and protect each other’s privacy in safe harbours far from their original homes.

    An average of two US-dollar billionaires are minted every week in China. They make their wealth without the constraints of rule-of-law but, equally, they know there is little to stop the even more powerful from taking it away.

    Sydney’s princeling aristocracy

    And for Zeng Wei, the central figure in Sydney’s princeling aristocracy, the dangers have reached much closer to home.

    His father brokered the deal that elevated Xi Jinping to the presidency. Their families used to holiday together at the Politburo’s beachside resort of Beidaihe, where their villas were right alongside each other, according to friends who have visited.

    But according to close associates, Zeng’s father, the former vice president and kingmaker of China, Zeng Qinghong, has recently found his movements in China restricted as part of President Xi’s deepening political and anti-corruption purge.

    For Zeng Wei, and many others, Sydney offers a safe harbour from the gathering storms in China.

    wonder how much of this goes on in the States?

    1. Christopher Fay

      All of it. Game of Positioning. Let us all turn a blind eye while we enter Week of Mourning Biden Week.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The Great Leap Forward to wealth is to be a communist revolutionary first and then raise capitalist children and grandchildren afterwards.

      It’s a slight variation, that is, the modern take, on the Han Dynasty founder’s ‘seizing power via Legalist means, but governing with Confucian philosophy” claim.

    3. James Levy

      I have a big problem with this narrative fitting too closely into the “sneaky Oriental/Yellow Peril” paradigm of yesteryear. It implies that Chinese fortunes are illegitimate in a way that would never be extended to the wealth of a POS like Aussie-born Rupert Murdock or newly minted American billionaires. “Our” billionaires “earn” it, but those inscrutable Asiatic billionaires connive to obtain their money in some nefarious way. I call BS on that.

      1. NotSoSure

        Saw this quote by Balzac on the Godfather book

        “Behind every great fortune, there is a crime.”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think most Chinese feel about their billionaires the same way Russians feel about their billionaires, Australians feel about theirs and we feel about ours.

        And when our billionaires start migrating to the Middle Kingdom*, there will be articles written about them in People Daily in Beijing.

        *Apparently the land of opportunity not just today. Homer Lea was interested enough to befriend and become a close advisor to Sun Yatsen. Before him, there was general Chinese Gordon and his Ever Victorious Army that helped the Qing government defeat the Taiping rebels.

  4. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Why is it so hard to regulate the banks? It’s less the complexity than the political power. Jared Bernstein.

    “The fact that Comcast can tell you that they’ll come fix your internet connection sometime between 10 and 5 suggest [sic] a level of monopolistic market power that reeks of rent-seeking.”

    So, what does the fact that, everywhere I’ve lived, my “choice” of cable/internet service providers is exactly ONE suggest to this intrepid economic Sherlock Holmes?

    Is the concept of rent-seeking monopoly really any more “complex” than that?

    1. ambrit

      Have you considered one of those 30 cm satellite receivers? Raw feed is a hoot. (It’s still a complete waste of time, though.)

      1. optimader

        So, what does the fact that, everywhere I’ve lived, my “choice” of cable/internet service providers is exactly ONE

        I use twisted pair copper for internet, digital broadcast TV ( free) for the rest. Why use cable?

        1. Oregoncharles

          The switch to digital broadcast severely crapified the range of choices – around here, we get exactly 2 stations, each with two feeds. Used to get 5 or 6. I assume this is worse in the West, with greater distances.

          Our Internet now comes over the air via a local company called Alyrica. High feed rate, fairly low cost, but you need a tall tree to put the antenna (which looks like a satellite dish) in. I’m no longer so resentful of the Douglas firs the former owner foolishly planted.

          1. Optimader

            Here in chicago area im guessing 30+ and 1080p, unlike cable Of course i am interested in maybe 5 stations, mHZ being the 75%+ choice if i flip the tv on.
            Depending where youre at you may need a better anttena, check the digital broadcast map online

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The old Soviet joke about waiting a few years for one’s plumber comes to mind.

  5. Jef

    “…City of the Future.”

    Its good to know that long after we’ve become extinct there will still be cities living, breathing, and carrying on.

  6. jjmacjohnson

    Oh capitalism! “Indiana is training 300 minimum-security prisoners in how to kill infected chickens.” Why train people and pay at least minimum wage when you can use the cheapest form of labor in the USA instead? You know we are taking this threat seriously!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Please focus on the positive:

      ” As far as prices go, the U.S. market will have a surplus of certain chicken parts due to export bans by a number of countries.”

      Cheaper, if slightly diseased, chicken “parts.” Yum.

      1. abynormal

        CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Estimating illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths for various types of diseases is a common and important public health practice.

        Foster Farms ranked #197/Forbes in 2010.
        Industry: Food, Drink & Tobacco (processes chicken, turkey and deli meats; feed mills)
        2011 Revenues 2.24B,

        7/14/14 Foster Farms recalls some chicken, 16 months into salmonella outbreak
        Until now, Foster Farms executives have steadily fought against federal and state regulatory pressure to issue a recall.
        The company has publicly denied its chicken was to blame for making people sick. Proper cooking should have killed any salmonella on its meat, the company has said.
        Litigation against the company is starting to grow. Mounting, too, is political pressure to change USDA’s recall authority in certain salmonella food-safety cases.
        “There have been instances where responsible companies have recalled their products, even where they were not linked to a particular illness. Those recalls were voluntary, out of a concern to get the product off the market and help prevent people from becoming sick,” said William Marler, a food safety attorney who is representing a California man allegedly sickened by the salmonella outbreak.
        “This is the first time Foster Farms has done a recall of its chicken products over salmonella – ever.”
        A California-based agricultural giant, Foster Farms produces about one out of every 10 chickens eaten by Americans and controls about 95 percent of all the chicken raised and slaughtered in the Golden State, according to data compiled by poultry industry lobbyists.

        1. Oregoncharles

          They control local chicken production here, too – probably the whole Left Coast.

          but we buy organic – and cook it thoroughly.

  7. OIFVet

    The Duffel Blog’s satire on humvees would be even more accurate if they had mentioned the incredibly bad fuel economy – less than 6mpg for most versions. How can an offensive keep moving when half the time is spent refueling?

    1. Carolinian

      It did

      Although ISIS attempted to use the vehicles immediately, they were unable to properly employ them because of the Humvee’s incredibly poor fuel consumption, as well as unsuccessful attempts to obtain spare parts from manufacturer A.M. General in Indiana.

      Maybe the soldiers (?) who write Duffel should be in charge of our vaunted military. Seems there is such a thing as military intelligence

        1. OIFVet

          Well, some humvees were transporting top brass. Brass tends to weigh quite a bit, even if most of the weight comes from self-importance.

      1. James Levy

        The spare parts thing makes no sense. Every army in history (with the possible exception of the modern US Army) always sets aside damaged or malfunctioning equipment for cannibalization. You take some Humvees out of service so you can strip them for spares. You don’t try to get spare parts on the black market.

      1. ambrit

        I dunno Mz Everdeen. That road hog is a status symbol around here. At least those who drive Hummers aren’t nearly as ‘offensive’ drivers as the yahoos in big pickup trucks.

  8. diptherio

    Re: Solar Impulse

    Solar Impulse 2 is powered by more than 17,000 solar cells built into wings that, at 72 metres, are longer than those of a Boeing 747 and approaching those of an Airbus A380 superjumbo.

    All of that to get one guy across the ocean. This actually seems to just be more evidence of why thinking solar power will somehow replace fossil fuels is so wrong-headed. Solar can never match the energy density of petroleum…I mean, how long would the wings need to be if he wanted to take a couple passengers along? How many cells would he need then?

    1. craazyboy

      Will the $20 luggage fee be enough?

      Actually, solar will have it’s place, but it will be on the ground.

      1. ambrit

        Solars’ real ‘place’ is in space. If Tesla is right, and electricity can be induced by transmission, solar ‘farms’ in orbit, beaming power back to Earth are the “wave” of the future.

        1. craazyboy

          Solar is good in space, but it’s like Vegas – what happens in space, stays in space. I have seen some brainstorming where they propose beaming back super high power microwave beams or some such thing. Don’t know if anyone is taking that seriously or not.

      2. OIFVet

        Huge solar farms on the ground fry avian life and Marine Corps pilots in mid-air. There was a story about the Ivanpah solar farm in the Mojave frying thousands of birds in the air, and there was a Marine Corps jet crash that some blamed on glare from a solar farm. Commercial aviation pilots complain about the glare also. I can see solar on roofs, but large farms on the ground are rather bad if one cares about our feathered friends and aviation safety.

        1. James Levy

          To be fair, that was because they were using focused sunlight to boil water as in a steam engine. They were not using photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells are useful and would make sense in certain areas to generate power directly into a localized grid. Using sunlight to boil water, like using nuclear fission to boil water, is really problematic.

          1. bob

            That set-up is exactly what you would want to “test” the untested part of new nuke designs, without going full nuke. Sodium cooling. They can reach the temps necessary to get it moving with that rig.

            Google nuke™

            There was some talk about using sodium when they were building it. Maybe more vaporware PR, or proof of concept lab. Either way, highly subsidized. And yes, google was part of the group that built it.

            1. craazyboy

              They’ve proven out molten salt a long time ago.
              Using this concept, two demonstration plants, called Solar One and Solar Two, were designed by the Sandia National Laboratory and operated by Southern California Edison in Daggett, California. Solar One was a 10 MW plant where water was heated directly in the solar receiver to generate steam. The plant operated from 1982 through 1988 and was eventually decommissioned and replaced by Solar Two, in which water was replaced with a mixture of molten nitrate salt as the working fluid (Figure 2). The advantage of molten salt is that it remains liquid to a higher temperature, and thus its thermal efficiency is increased (Figure 3). Solar Two had an additional advantage in that it could generate 7 MW of electricity for three hours after sunset. The Solar Two plant operated from 1996 to 1999, after which point it was decommissioned due to a lack of funding. Based on lessons learned, BrightSource Energy is building the largest series of solar installations with capacity of 1,300 megawatts in Mojave Desert. When completed in 2013, the facility will provide electricity to 845,000 Southern California homes, doubling the total US solar output (3). Similar plants are being built in Spain, Australia, and elsewhere.


    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think of Solar Impulse more as a beautiful piece of artwork than a solution for air travel. But the world needs beautiful art, exactly because the outcome of inspiration is not predictable.

      I’m not sure why I think that way about Solar Impulse and not, say, Elon Musk’s rockets. Perhaps I don’t like squillionaire vanity projects, but I think it has something to do with the physical fragility of the aircraft.

    3. Gio Bruno

      …You do know that energy density originally came from the Sun, right? A couple millin’ years of phytoplankton sedimentation (carbon) compressed and heated, then trapped in geological anticlines for the motoring public is always denser than on-the-spot solar energy. However, with smart design, commercial solar panels are now capturing 20% of irradience (lab models are reaching 30%) AND with conservation (LED lighting) and improved battery technology (Elon Musk & others) solar is a viable, growing and cleaner option than oil. (No coastal cleanup required.)

  9. frosty zoom

    “o.k., class, hands up if you think the nsa* gives a donkey’s eyeball what the senate says. now, now master cheney you can’t raise both hands. good, good. now, let’s open our books to page 17,353,498 and we’ll continue our discussion on how every fiber of our being makes us exceptional.”


  10. craazyboy

    “Monetary Policy for the Next Recession Bloomberg”

    It’s hopeless. The only way I could string together this progression of words at this point in history would be to shove an egg beater in my ear and push the button until I no longer heard a whirring noise in my head. Then write a Bloomberg article.

    “But QE isn’t unconventional any longer. It mostly worked, the evidence suggests. The world avoided another Great Depression. Yet even in the U.S., this is a seriously sub-par recovery; growth in Europe and Japan has been worse still. Now imagine a big new financial shock. It’s quite possible that all three economies would fall back into recession. What then?”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I blame it on the barbarians.

          When the empire finally fell, so did its promises.

        2. Louis

          Reality TV and non-stop coverage of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner are the bread and circuses of America in the 21st Century.

  11. Carla

    Re: “Monetary Policy for the Next Recession” — Clive Crook talks about OMF (overt monetary financing).

    Perhaps what the economy needs now is OOMPH:
    Overt Overall Monetary Policy for Humans

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think that’s what I have been saying for a long time.

      Money directly to the people.

      The government is a household.

  12. uncle joe

    The Bloomberg article on helicopter money is intriguing and very well explained.
    Any comments, MMT?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I rather have new money go to the people than to the government and discover later that it was spent on drones.

    2. Benedict@Large

      Clive doesn’t score well with MMTers. But, (1) MMT views QE as an accounting entry. Both currency and bonds are viewed as money, so QE simply converts one form of money to another. (2) The Fed can’t by law give money to people. A helicopter drop would have to be ordered by Congress (with the President’s signature. It would therefore be considered fiscal (not monetary) policy. Of course, Bernanke spent his entire tenure telling Congress it needed to get off its ass, so he agreed with all of this.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What happens if Clive’s proposal is enacted?

        Will it do the people good? Even if the action, if legislated and signed, doesn’t fit the theory?

  13. subgenius

    I was way too busy yesterday, and again today…but Lambert…+1 GDP for that water thread…! Excellent!

    (also +1 GDP for the mention of “one straw revolution” to jgordon)

  14. ewmayer

    Re. NSA, Reuters headline is factually incorrect: it is merely the legal authority (and that only in the narrow sense that one considers any law which embodies such a blatant contravention of the 4th amendment ‘legal’) for the mass-domestic-spying which has lapsed. If you believe that the spooks are not simply carrying os usual today, I got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you – cheap!

  15. gordon

    The Foreign Policy piece (“Chill Out, America”) notes that massive US interference with foreign countries, invasions, bombings, torture etc. etc. has costs. In particular: “The costs to our global image are far from trivial, and it remains to be seen if our commitment to civil liberties will emerge unscathed”.

    Is this cut-and-pasted from The Onion?

  16. TedWa

    Re : McConnell moves to swallow USA Freedom Act

    I watched Rand on Cspan 2 and it really was a sight to see. Here he was standing up to nearly every republican and democrat in the senate and even his mentor and co-Senator McConnell (turtle/human hybrid). The republicans were trying to shout him down and he kept going and ended up yelling! It was cool. For that absolutely amazing performance I sent him $20 and change. Totally entertaining. I wouldn’t vote for him for president – but that was sincerely impressive.

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