Links 6/12/15

Dear patient readers,

Links are going live a 6:55 AM not completed. If you come back at 8:00 AM or later, you’ll have the full complement.

Naked mountain photo climbers jailed BBC

Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners, study finds PhysOrg

Ad Tech Firms Find Venture Capital Funding Is Running Dry WSJ CMO Today

Tesla is worse than Solyndra: How the U.S. government bungled its investment in the car company and cost taxpayers at least $1 billion Slate (EM)

In China, Senior Citizens Take Stock Picking Classes – Signs of Bull Market Over-Drive Value Walk

Strauss-Kahn acquitted of pimping BBC

Draghi: ECB Didn’t Give Privileged Information to Fund Managers Wall Street Journal

Osborne’s bank profit claim challenged Financial Times

Toronto’s Epic Condo Bubble Suddenly Turns into Condo Glut Wolf Richter

Argentina’s “Me-Toos” Make Sure No Vultures Left Behind Counterpunch


EU issues final warning to Greece as last-ditch talks achieve nothing Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

IMF quits Greece talks amid ‘air of unreality’ as deal unravels Financial Times

IMF Team Leaves Brussels After Making No Progress on Greek Deal Bloomberg. One contact claims the IMF team hiked out not to send a message to Greece as much as to get a loss guarantee from the European creditors. I am skeptical that even if true this would come to pass but we’ll see soon enough.

Germany ‘Would Refuse A Third Greek Aid Plan’ Sky News

51% of Germany wants Greece out of the euro – and 70% want no more concessions to Athens Business Insider

UPDATE 1-Despite IMF walkout, Greece hopes for deal on June 18 Reuters. Well, at least they got the memo that the drop dead date is earlier than June 30.

What went wrong in Greece and how to fix it VoxEU

Greece, a Financial Zombie State New York Times. Editorial.

Why Sen is right about what is being done to Greece mainly macro


Russian Groups Crowdfund the War in Ukraine New York Times

Washington accuses Russia of ‘outright lies’ on Ukraine Hurriyet


Obama Looks at Adding Bases and Troops in Iraq, to Fight ISIS New York Times

Looming debt default threat alarms Ukraine’s creditors Japan Times

Israel Forgives Itself For Death of Four Palestinian Children Gawker

Israel can fend off militants’ rockets. But can it stop international boycotts? Washington Post

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The market for your personal data is maturing Cathy O’Neil

Big Data: An Alternate Reason for Hacks Past and Future? Marcy Wheeler

Trade Traitors

Moment of truth arrives for Obama trade deal Politico

Why the Founding Fathers Would Oppose Fast Track Counterpunch

What Worries Me Most About Clinton: That she may not have the intellectual capacity to discern even critically important distinctions. Including glaring ones. Angry Bear

Are feds deliberately delaying migration deal to keep kids, mothers behind bars? McClatchy (Chuck L)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Black Americans and the Military: This Country Is Not to Die for Truthout

Blacks and white growing further apart in seeing importance of race relations: Gallup Reuters

Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause to Charge Officers in Tamir Rice Death New York Times

Pimco Sold Itself Some Bonds Matt Levine, Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Mall retail jobs: Low pay, uncertain hours, and punitive number-crunching Slate (reslic)

Antidote du jour (Lance N):

LionessTP links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. ProNewerDeal

    Now that we are almost 2 months after the tax filing deadline, is there any report/stats on the ACA Individual Mandate? How many people were forced to pay the Individual Mandate? How many people made it to the maze of obtaining an IRS exception, such as the monthly individual health insurance cost exceeding 8% of income, or religious exception?

    How many USians that would not have had to otherwise file Federal taxes, to their income being excessively low, now had to file just to be in compliance with the ACA Individual Mandate reporting?

    Did the loathsome MS-DNC 0bamabot Lawrence O’donnell ever acknowledge or apologize for his lie that “the Republicans have created a fake scandal here, since the ACA Individual Mandate is totally optional”?

    I wonder what proportion of USians self-file their federal taxes using a software & e-file approach, and what proportion outsource it to a tax-preparer? I suppose that the higher the self-file proportion, the more risk of this ACA Individual Mandate being an issue that could impact the 2016 election. The outsourcers may not even realize that they got hit with ACA Individual Mandate.

    What about the ReThugz claiming in the 2014 election campaign that they will repeal the ACA Individual Mandate, only to pull an 0bamaesque 180-degree betrayal & ignore this promise in Jan 2015?

    What ever happened to the Employer Mandate? Am I excessively cynical to assume that 0bama & the official Repubs will just cancel it, indefinitely postpone it, so that it never actually takes effect, perhaps buried in a unrelated bill on “supporting the troops”/VA funding or some such?

    It seems like the ACA has become at least halfway like a Mafia protection racket. It forces low or median (median USian adult income is only ~$27K) USians to either pay the mandate, or buy a oligopolistic crapified health insurance product which at best might serve as catastrophic insurance in the case of cancer or auto wreck injuries, but otherwise may not even be affordable/practically usable with its high ~$3K+ deductible. Ditto for even Medicaid, when it is outsourced to a private insurance company. The ACA Individual Mandate forces individuals to jump through the application hoops to get Medicaid to avoid the Mandate Tax, only for the Medicaid outsourced company Mafia to get a monthly check from the state govt, and then the citizen is scorned & demonized as the “Welfare Queen”, not the Medicated outsourced company True Welfare Queen!

    Thanks to Yves/Lambert for covering ACA. It seems that many otherwise smart, informed, Progressives, such as economist Dr. Dean Baker, media such as The Young Turks or Sam Seder/Majority Report, Thom Hartmann, etc; have a massive blind spot with respect to the ACA, they only tell whatever ACA benefits, without any of the ACA negatives.

    Perhaps Yves/Lambert may consider writing an “ACA Survival Guide” book!

    1. gene

      “loathsome MS-DNC 0bamabot Lawrence O’donnell” Hee-hee! Love your spot on description!

    2. curlydan

      Yes, there are some ACA stats from large tax prep firms.

      HR Block
      “Almost two-thirds of tax filers who received insurance via the state or federal insurance Marketplaces had to pay back an average of $729 of the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), cutting their potential refund by almost one-third, according to analysis of filing data by H&R Block”

      “The majority of taxpayers (81%) with marketplace health insurance plans received subsidies… Of the marketplace users:
      • 33% took an advanced tax credit and got an additional subsidy when they filed their taxes, at an average range of $207 – $257.
      • 44% took an advanced tax credit and were required to pay some money back, at an average range of $315 – $365, because they underestimated their projected income for 2014. This is a lower amount than some previous industry estimates.
      • 5% took an advanced tax credit and saw no adjustments when they filed their taxes”

  2. ProNewerDeal

    I recall back in the Reign of Error TM, GW Bush 43 was often labeled as the Worst President Eva TM.

    I wonder now if Glen Ford was correct, & 0bama is the More Effective Evil.

    With the Grand Ripoff of SS/MC, these Monopolist Welfare Queen/Rigged Trade deals like TPP, the ACA Individual Mandate, failure to criminally prosecute or meaningfully regulate the criminal 2B2F Bank$tas (even in absurd cases like rigging LIBOR rate, or HSBC laundering money for Al-Qaeda & Mexican narcotic orgs), stagnant or worsening median income & employment-to-population ratio, and no-judicial-process dictator-murder of Muricans outside of US soil, I must ask, for USians, is 0bama indeed even worse that Bush43?

    Note, I would concede for Iraqis & Afghanis, Bush is worse than 0bama. But for Muricans, it appears 0bama is even worse than Bush43.

    1. sleepy

      Every new president seems to expand the meaning of “the worst president ever” to encompass previously unimagined crimes and misdeeds.

      I suppose a handy rule of thumb would be to realize that the worst president ever will always be the next president.

    2. abynormal

      I was eating breakfast with my 10 year old granddaughter and I asked her,

      “What day is tomorrow?”, She said “it’s Presidents Day”

      She is a smart kid so I asked, “What does Presidents Day mean?”

      I was waiting for something about Clinton, Bush or Obama, etc.

      She replied, “Presidents Day is when a President steps out of his White House and if he sees his shadow it means 4 more years of bullsheeeet.”

      You know it hurts when hot coffee spurts out of your nose.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Very Smart kid there. And I assume she didn’t learn that in skool, so kudos to the parents (and grand parents?) for revealing reality to the youngster.

            1. ambrit

              Yes indeedy. I’ve been hearing about the CFR and the Trilateral Commission since the ’70s, from generally reliable sources. I know that Conspiracy Theory is in low repute about here, but, that general dismissiveness itself speaks volumes.
              Thanks for this source. it’s new to me. I particularly like the idea of turning the tables. Jujitsu for politics.

  3. Tammy

    Just a quick comment re site maintenance. I’m printing Joe Firestone: Fast –Track: It Looks Like It’s In Pelosi’s Lap or Maybe Not! and the automatic print font size is much better. Nice job.


    Anecdotal IRS /ACA info. I have an ER nurse client who told me it was all about the DATA. And much to our surprise–this despite those 13k IRS ee’s laid off–that we got letters in May already about YOU FAILED TO TELL US WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW. That your insurance Co. Reported you were uninsured for whatever months. Why is ACA such a priority for IRS? Remains to be seen whether they can actually resist garnishing us to pay their dang ‘Community Responsibility Payment.’

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        However, IRS can deduct the ACA payment from your tax refund.

        I wouldn’t be against the mandate if congress had made a good faith effort to get HC costs under control. Instead they made everyone captive to the most expensive HC system on the planet — IIRC 2X to 5X the cost of other industrialized nations.

        1. ProNewerDeal

          I could support an ACA Individual Mandate, if there was a true robust option to buy into either Medicare or the Veterans Affairs system at actuarial cost. Perhaps also there could be an Job Guarantee-esque option in which people could have the option to work or volunteer a number of hours to meet the buy-in cost, this way individuals with low income/low wealth would be able to meet the Mandate condition without having to spend limited money they might need for more urgent needs like food (1 in 6 USians is at least sometimes hungry).

          Of course, even better would be to do like civilized nations where universal eligibility at age 0 for Medicare (Canada) or VA (United Kingdom) type of system is an economic/human right, word to FD Roosevel’s 4 Freedoms.

          1. subgenius

            …proving that you have bought in to a bullshit concept. There is a reason every country that ever had a functioning health care system has it run as a service free at point of use.

        2. coboarts

          My wife and I were on COBRA for ~$1000 per month. Our COBRA ran out just as the year began and we took three months of ACA, which cost $1,600+ per month (Gold Plan), and I paid the ~$600. We came under a new employer paid HC policy in April. In my 2014 taxes, done through HR Block (so as not to make a mistake on the ACA, but also adding to the expense), the G clawed back every penny of the “assistance” it had given us.

          So, we paid “much” more for less HC than originally (COBRA) or presently (Employer). I have family and friends who live in Germany. The difference between the USA and Germany is that in Germany, they care about Germans, the citizens of the USA are for fleecing.

          1. Leo

            Ah, yes. But you are free in America. Free! Why would you possibly want a life free from worry and stress, free from fear of losing your job, your house, your health? Why would you give up your freedoms just so that you could experience civilization? That’s not American, dammit!

      2. MRW

        Correct. Pages 286 and 336 of the Certified Full-Text Version: Affordable Care Act:

        Scroll down to retrieve link.

        Also, on page 336, if you don’t pay the penalty:

        13 the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely
        14 pay any penalty imposed by this section, such
        15 taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal
        16 prosecution or penalty with respect to such fail
        17 ure.

    1. James Levy

      This question confuses me often. How dumb are these people? You know, Bush, Hillary, Obama, McCain, Schumer, Boehner, et al. Most of these people were able to get into and pass through challenging elite universities. Sure, some of them coasted on their family name (Bush, McCain), but I doubt Hillary got into and through Wellesley and Yale Law on good looks and pedigree.

      My answer has to be that these people are exceptionally talented at doing what is expected of them by the people they need to impress. Independent or creative thinking is not their ken. They can regurgitate the conventional wisdom as needed without any hint of being “troublemakers.”

      My daughter graduated from MIT last Friday. The president told the assembled students that “no one ever won a Noble Prize for just doing what they were told” (please, I get the Obama irony, but a Peace Prize is not the same as the ones he was talking about). However, rising high in our Power Elite is tied precisely with doing what one is told and making oneself useful to those who already hold power. That, and telling those in charge what they want to hear (my Thomas Friedman Principle: you can be endlessly wrong about everything but still keep your job if the PTB find what you say useful or flattering).

      So, is Hillary a hopeless mediocrity? Well, compared to the average duffer of modest intelligence and learning, no–she is, I’m sure, filled with knowledge of a kind and capable of doing things that elites find useful. Is she simplistic, rigid, dogmatic, and ignorant of how average people live and the problems that face the mass of humanity? Sure, I’d bet she is. But so are Bush, Obama, McCain, Boehner, McConnell, Roberts, Scalia, and almost everyone else in positions of authority in this country.

      And the saddest thing is that most Americans would neither like nor trust anyone who showed any depth, erudition, sympathy for others, respect for scientific opinion, or conscience about killing anyone who got in the way of our continued profligate “way of life.” When Cheney said that our way of life was “non-negotiable”, he wasn’t speaking for an evil cabal–he was speaking for the vast majority of the American people.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m not sure if you are agreeing or disagreeing. While the Angry Bear piece is claiming (perhaps a bit tongue in cheek) that Hillary is just plain dumb with her statement about small business, the Harper’s is more that she is a climber with mediocre character and imagination. As you yourself say academic success (and btw congratulations to your daughter) can be more about hard work and playing ball within the system than raw IQ. In any case I’m sure you would agree that Harvard, Yale etc. have turned out plenty of mediocrities along with their share of geniuses. Which is to say I’m not sure her academic pedigree proves much of anything other than a certain level of ambition.

        Personally I find Henwood’s portrayal in Harper’s to be highly plausible. Hillary’s conduct as Sec State, in running her campaigns, in her greedy and lordly career as public speaker, show her to be a person lacking in qualities that would set her apart from any other routine hack politican. But whether one agrees or not the Harper’s is an interesting read.

        1. subgenius

          NOBODY I know bestowed with powerful raw intelligence occupies a position of power. Several are/have been homeless & many are outside the system in other ways.

          EVERYBODY I have met holding positions of power within the system has been somewhat weakmided. And I only really have experience from Europe – and they make your “betters” look really fkn stoopid…

          1. optimader

            I’ve known several in positions of authority that were/are super brilliant, but didn’t operate in the public sector, except one who served as Presidential appointee (cross party in fact) for a few years–bloody smart.

            I have long maintained, after listening to HRC over the years, that she is intelligent in a rote kinda way –plenty of formal training but basically just a dumb uncreative grifter, put a nicer way an uncreative thinker w/ mediocre judgment. More technician than artist.

            Frankly, someone HRC age, wealth and connections could be doing something really interesting if they were “smart”.

          2. hidflect

            The smartest guy I ever met was an ABC (Atomic, Biological, Chemical) Scientist who told me he voted for Dubya, twice. When I asked him why, he stiffened visibly and dogmatically said, “Bush kept us safe.” I practically reeled back with cognitive dissonance. Such a clever person and then.. like someone flicked a switch in his head. Weirdness.

            BTW – All great comments above. Really nailed it you 3.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I can’t say she is dumb or smart.

      All I know is, in a world where the smart ones get ahead and the not-so-smart ones get left behind, there is no wisdom.

      And perhaps our attention lingers a tad too much on smartness and not-so-smartness.

      1. Carolinian

        There are many kinds of smart. Truman Capote famously said to Dick Cavett that “all actors are stupid.” But actors, the good ones, have tremendous emotional intelligence. It’s Capote with his 180 IQ (according to him) who now seems a dim figure from the distant past. Marlon Brando–Capote made fun of him in the New Yorker–is for the ages.

        If Hillary is smart it’s the wrong kind of smart. Arguably it’s her savviness that she is always trying to sell (remember 2008 and her pitch that Obama was too inexperienced). But if you look at her real world accomplishments they don’t impress.

        1. optimader

          This notional thing called IQ, that is measured and assigned a numerical value. Never heard a real good explanation.

          On Capote’s reflection, way off base IMO. Many brilliant, in their discipline, actors.
          Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole come to mind, I’m certain I’d never be able to extemporaneously recite Shakespeare after drinking , quite literally, a case of beer and a fifth (or two) of whiskey. In a similar vein, Billie Holiday or Charlie Parker. To be able to perform in such nuanced manner w/ much of the brain shutdown, what were their “IQ”s?

  5. abynormal

    re Chinese Stock Pickers [or Whereva]…
    “If I have fully diagnosed the cause and nature of your condition, you are wasting away in pining and longing for your former good fortune. It is the loss of this which, as your imagination works upon you, has so corrupted your mind. I know the many disguises of that monster, Fortune, and the extent to which she seduces with friendship the very people she is striving to cheat, until she overwhelms them with unbearable grief at the suddenness of her desertion”
    Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy


  6. grizziz

    Per the:Ad Tech Firms Find Venture Capital Funding Is Running Dry
    It is very telling form this quote that the VC community is not interested in making investments that require humans.

    Ashu Garg, general partner of Foundation Capital, said investors like ad tech companies that grow much like classic “SAAS” or “software as a service” companies–i.e. businesses that can expand their customer bases exponentially via self-service software rather than having to sign on new customers one by one with the help of expensive sales people.

    1. curlydan

      I was thinking maybe the VC guys have learned that Online advertising really isn’t that different than advertising in other channels in that it’s damn near impossible to quantify the impact of advertising–and often has virtually no impact no matter how much you “optimize it”

      Google skims off all the good money anyway and leaves crumbs for the rest

  7. vidimi

    that “Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners, study finds” headline took me a few milliseconds to figure out. at first it was, dogs can tell that some people own others? then it was, ‘oh’.

    the humorous ambiguities of the english language.

  8. JM Hatch

    “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.”, Jay Gould.

    Had to think of that quote when I read the article in your link: “This Country Is Not to Die for”

    “One thing you can’t argue with is time. The Civil War ended in 1865. In 1866 Congress passed a law which allowed blacks to join the military. For a people to come out of 200 years of subjugation, exploitation and slavery and immediately join the U.S. Cavalry to fight the Indians is nothing for them to be proud of. Perhaps a better name for them would be the Buffaloed Soldiers.

    The power of media, myth, and the victor writes the history is much more powerful than many can guess or I can truly comprehend.

    1. James Levy

      One thing that is very hard for the critically-minded and the historically conscious to wrap our heads around is how many people don’t want to beat what we perceive as the corrupt and destructive American system, but to join it. People whose families were tortured, murdered, and napalmed by US troops in Vietnam would today gladly sign up for a chance to move here or even gain Most Favored Puppet status for their country (everyone? of course not–but you’d bet your ass the Vietnamese Communist Party wouldn’t want to put it up for a vote). Where we see racism, grotesque class inequality, and oligarchy they see the opportunity to live well, get rich, and largely be left alone by the government (at least overtly, and even native-born Americans steeped in a rhetoric of personal autonomy and freedom can’t seem to bestir themselves in large numbers to fight the covert destruction of their privacy).

      Freed slaves didn’t repudiate America, they rushed to embrace it. They did not head en masse to Charleston and New Orleans demanding a one-way ticket back to Africa (and black leaders of that time like Douglass rebuked Lincoln when he talked about repatriation). So the fact that blacks willingly signed up to become amongst the best Indian-killers in the US military shouldn’t strike us as strange, even if it might strike us as crazy.

      1. hunkerdown

        I don’t think people are trying to join the corrupt American system. They’re trying to join the “good America” in a belief they can vanquish the “bad America” through the narratives on offer. As if pool noodles were ever an effective weapon against schizophrenia.

        “even native-born Americans steeped in a rhetoric of personal autonomy and freedom can’t seem to bestir themselves”

        The surveillance is more or less an open secret now. Why would they stir themselves, when it’s much easier and more fulfilling to “assume a can opener”, to just stay in the sandbox like good children, gaslight one another with the help of the MSM, and beat up the dissident kids who damage the social proof for Santa Claus?

        Humans are adaptable, for better or for worse. There are enough children raised in dungeons, closets and non-USA totalitarian regimes to get some flavor of this, and of just what sort of gruesome adaptations humans can impose on themselves and one another.

        It seems clear, and historical, that mainstream USians have no interest in justice, fairness or equity that doesn’t give them the right to abuse someone. So, why join these struggles to try and right a virulently pathological tribal association that has no interest in being righted? I’m very interested in what function the futile pursuit of social justice and democracy serves a society engineered with intent as a permanent aristocracy.

      2. lindaJ

        “Freed slaves didn’t repudiate America, they rushed to embrace it.”

        Citation? I’ve just started reading “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.” A review:

        Or from an interview with the author:

  9. fresno dan

    Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause to Charge Officers in Tamir Rice Death New York Times

    This, I believe, tells us more
    “It is very sad how miserable the lives of these self-appointed “activists, civil rights leaders and clergy” must be. I can’t imagined being so very consumed with anger and hatred. The FACT is that police officers are responsible for their actions based on the information they had AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT and NOT through 20/20 hindsight.”

    Trying to coerce public officials into filing a criminal charge under direct/indirect threat of mob rule is a very dangerous game. These continued attempts to hijack rule of law and the constitutional process afforded to ALL citizens is a VERY dangerous idea and IS NOT in the best interest of a civilized and law abiding society.”

    “can’t imagine” after your 12 year child is shot? Really and truly??? The use of the term “mob rule” against black people, who have actually been victims of REAL mobs that have lynched innocent people, says a great deal about the intellect of the police representative. As far as refuting that this is a mob, I copy a comment from “Reason”:

    Mobs also don’t petition the court using obscure criminal procedure laws.
    “Follow me! We must immediately find a lawyer!… Who’ll draft a well-reasoned affidavits regarding Ohio Revised Code 2359.09… Well-regarded community leaders shall sign these affidavits and have them properly-filed… We shall then wait the requisite statutory period… and then the judge shall issue his opinion which shall, we hope, be in our favor!
    “WHO’S WITH ME!!!!”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It seems to me that the severity and duration of oppression/degradation/humiliation do not necessarily correlate with its subtleness.

      Perhaps we are just more subtle than those in the 19th century or less ‘sophisticated’ nations.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Educate them while young

    Dogs snub people who are mean to their owners.

    Soon to be on a national entrance examination for the wannabe-college-students, on drawing parallels:

    And therefore, workers should snub people who are mean to their bosses?

    True or false?

    1. Gerard Pierce

      Workers DO snub people who are mean to their bosses. Have you noticed that whistle-blowers are very often attacked by other employees, even when they have exposed blatantly criminal actions by those bosses.

      My guess is that this behavior is an example of “pecking-order” in action, but exactly why is not that important – that’s just how it works.

  11. Mamzer ben Zonah

    Israel Forgives Itself For Death of Four Palestinian Children Gawker

    …. Further reports indicate Israel accepts its apology.

  12. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Obama Looks at Adding Bases and Troops in Iraq
    Translation: Obomba swindles Taxpayers into borrowing more money to build yet more military sh1+ in the middle east.

    In related news, US roads and bridges continue to crumble, US infrastructure gets a D- rating, … (this could be a long list including BS Austerity measures but it just gets too depressing).

    1. frosty zoom

      “if we don’t build it there, they’ll come here and build it!!!”

      i hear bin laden group has a no-bid contract to rebuid flint.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Ten short years ago the wapo declared the following:

      U.S. forces currently occupy 106 bases, ranging in size from the sprawling Camp Victory complex near Baghdad’s international airport where the U.S. military command is headquartered, to some outposts with as few as 500 soldiers. Additionally, the United States operates four detention facilities and several convoy support centers for servicing the long daily truck runs from Kuwait into Iraq.

      And now we need to build more?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Yes, since ISIS inherited most of that shit.

        Only the best for our lads! (Though they prefer Toyotas over Humvees — more reliable by a long shot.)

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The government doesn’t waste taxpayers money and it doesn’t swindle them either.

      The money the government spends does not come from the taxpayers’ taxes.

      In the private sector, you can criticize performance for work you pay for. You can grade them, reject notions such as responsibility-free, and demand quality. But it doesn’t work that way with the government.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Inflation is a hidden tax.

          To combat inflation (a hidden tax), you tax (to destroy money).

          It’s like fighting poison with more poison…something Zen like that.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              A very good idea.

              And the people really ‘taxing’ the system got bailed out.

              Of course, those on the other side, the super-wealth side, would probably say, if you retire before 65*, say at 61, and expect to get full-retirement age benefit, you are taxing the system.

              *approximately of course.

      1. craazyboy

        Yes, whenever I need a chuckle, I create a mental image of IRS agents “destroying money” by shoveling our paycheck income tax withholding money into a furnace or landfill. Who’s the moron that told them to do that?

  13. Jim Haygood

    From ‘The Market for your personal data is maturing’:

    ‘Turns out that EBay and PayPal recently changed their user agreements so that, if you’re a user of either of those services, you will receive marketing calls using any phone number you’ve provided them or that they have “have otherwise obtained.” There is no possibility to opt out, except perhaps to abandon the services.’

    Ebay has sucked ever since it acquired Paypal. And it will still suck after it spins PayPal off.

    Ebay offers the customer service of a cable company, with the accessibility of a wireline telco.

    Isn’t Ebay actually run by off-planet borgs with pink tentacles and exoskeletons?

        1. ambrit

          Better that then your crawlspace becoming infectious. Besides, when you next encounter said “obstreperous” plumber, be kind and think, “The Market at work.” (Unless you are thinking of a Dick Nixon type of ‘plumber.’)

  14. Lambert Strether

    TAA voting now live stream, and in next fifteen minutes. Pelosi votes no, which could mean anything, including her being a revolving here. The loathely Clyburn and Hoyer vote yes.

    1:40PM Not looking good for TAA, but then this is where the real sausage trading begins, and/or where Boehner holds the vote open (against the rule, AFAIK).

  15. Lambert Strether

    TAA goes down. AWESOME.

    And this was the easy vote. This is the Hill, so it’s too early to pop the champers, but who would have thought?!

  16. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Great to see the defeat of TAA … let’s hope this is a fatal blow but we know the history. TARP, tanks in the street, etc. I suspect the next move for the White House is to argue that without TPA he is an instant lame duck and beg for a re-vote.

    1. jrs

      Even if it’s not, it’s a victory IN ITSELF! Since medical expenses bankrupt far more people than education expenses, education funded with Medicare cuts is a disaster, even if the education was good (good education for non-existent jobs that is)

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        The whole idea of “worker retraining” is like giving a condemned prisoner a bowl of ice cream. Better than nothing, but ultimately not very game-changing.

        How about just letting American workers keep there jobs?

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        The way the bills were packaged together, it was all-or-nothing. In order for TPA to get to Obama’s desk it had to be accompanied by TAA.

        Boehner tried to pull a fast one on the Dems and they didn’t fall for it. At least that is my interpretation but someone correct me if I’m wrong?

  17. marym

    Tweet from Hill reporter:

    Pete Schroeder ‏@peteschroeder · 9m9 minutes ago
    Update: House will RECONSIDER TAA next week. The TPA vote that just happened counts IF TAA passes. Up to WH to twist arms.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Here is the problem with that, from the WH point of view. In order to change that many Dem votes on TAA they’re going to have to throw in a bunch of concessions to labor and maybe environmentalists that will alter it enough to require the bill to go back to the Senate, rather than straight to Obama’s desk.

      TAA didn’t just fail by 5 votes, it went down like the Hindenberg. That’s a lot of arms to twist or realistically bribe with bridges, home district museums, etc.

    2. Lambert Strether

      AFAIK, the math is against them. Subject to correction by e.g. Gaius Publius, the TPA numbers are the ones that count; the TPP was for cover. So it’s not a matter of twisting one or two arms.

  18. barrisj

    Of six WA reps in Congress, three voted down today’s bill…one of the three who supported the O-Man was Rick Larsen, who did send out a thoughtful rationale to his constituents for why he’s voting YES…but it had a good slice of “middle-class jawbs” nonsense that anyone who’s studied the long-term effects of NAFTA, which had promised the very same, would dismiss out of hand. Sorry, Mr Rick, try, try again to resurrect this turkey.

  19. Louis

    The train wreck in Kansas continues in the legislature. The House begrudgingly approved tax increases but what the Senate does is anyone’s guess–we’ll find out shortly.

  20. Lambert Strether

    Random proffer: I don’t know why people who are most vociferous about their strategic insights are so likely to throw their drink in their host’s face, violating house rules.

    Happens often enough some sort of law of life, which is amusing, because it’s self-cancelling: On the one hand, putative strategic insight; on the other, complete inability to operate at the most basic tactical level in their venue of choice. Oh well. It’s a big Internet.

    No response needed; just a random thought.

    1. ambrit

      That is creepy. Plus, or minus, if you are at all philosophically inclined, TV and gadgets have become the default caretakers of our young, now that Mommy has to work all the time. (We’ll agree to argue about gender stereotyping at some later date. OK?)

Comments are closed.