Links 6/23/15

US readers: Please call your Senators this morning and tell them “Hell no!” on Fast Track. Give a short reason or two. Press everyone you can to make similar calls. Find Senate contact numbers here. Thanks so much!

Cat Takes Accidental Ride On An Airplane (VIDEO) Huffington Post

Why lions in the backyard could be a good thing BBC (furzy mouse)

Fracking and the Franciscans New York Times. Reslic: “You know the Pope is on to something good when Brooks doesn’t like it. I guess Brooks hasnt been to China, India, Brazil to see the water and smog, or is it just the GOPer green colored glasses of cashflow above all else?”

Why climate change is increasingly seen as an urgent health issue Vox (reslic)

Solar Storm Strikes Earth, Spawning Low-Latitude Aurora NBC (David L)

Spark at the Center of a Technology Revolution MIT Technology Review (David L)

With a nod and a wink, Microsoft gives away Windows 10 to anyone who asks ZDNet (furzy mouse)

Why Australia may need a recession Business Spectator

What if Beijing and Washington understood each other perfectly…but still clashed? China Spectator

China Margin Trades Buckle Leaving $364 Billion at Risk Bloomberg (furzzy mouse)

U.K. Bankers More Likely to Misbehave Under Pressure, PwC Says Bloomberg. Quelle surprise!

Erdogan Isn’t Finished American Interest. Dani Rodrik: “If you read just one thing one Turkey this whole year, let this be it—and yes I’m talking to you in DC and Brussels”


Painful reality — creditors will support Greece in any case Financial Times

Greek offer to creditors runs into angry backlash at home Reuters

Stathakis: Greece rescued BBC. Notice no announcement that the proposal was accepted, as Greece had hoped. And if a Wall Street Journal report yesterday is accurate, the “not crossing pension red lines” is a stretch. The benefits are not being reduced, but recipients are required to make higher health care contributions, reducing net payments markedly. Moreover, other links below indicate that the Germans are not satisfied, in that at a minimum they want legislation passed and what amount to performance guarantees. How much the Germans get of what they want is to be determined, but no deal is done until it’s done.

Germans’ impatience with Merkel on Greece bailout talks grows Financial Times

No deal, but some hope, on Greece Politico

Lessons from the plight of the Greek banks Financial Times. The money quote, in both senses: “Analysts at Citigroup reckon in any case that at the current elevated rate of deposit withdrawals, the banks have sufficient collateral to secure only another 20 days of ECB money.”

Energy, foreign ministers divided on Russia gas deal ekathimerini. We warned that a preliminary memorandum is a long way from a done deal.

The no-solution summit Politico.

Tax matters – Greece bailout deal hinges on collection rates Guardian (IsabelPS)

EU slams Greek ‘waste’ of time Politico

63% of Greeks are not afraid Grexit Poll Bridging Europe. I need to debunk this since it is making the rounds on Twitter. It’s an online poll. Online polls are utter garbage. They can’t and therefore don’t adjust the sample to be representative (you can’t collect enough accurate demographic to do so; serious pollster contact people about whom they already have demographic information, so the self-selecion also introduces considerable bias). On top of that, the results may have been gamed, since the results are allegedly only from 22 to 45 year olds. Syriza’s base is younger Greeks, and many younger people are so desperate that they are willing to risk any big change from the status quo, on the assumption things can’t get much worse.

Greece is a sideshow. The eurozone has failed, and Germans are its victims too Guardian. While the criticisms are well warranted, Chakrabortty tries pulling a sleight of hand right before the reader’s eye. He equates a promise merely to have a convergence of living standards with a pledge to increases living standards. I’ve long assumed the Eurozone to be all about crushing workers since that is what it has delivered.

Greek public stops paying off personal debts as uncertainty grows Financial Times. Important as well as sad.


Germany frees Al-Jazeera journalist sought by Egypt Associated Press

U.N. Report on Gaza Finds Evidence of War Crimes by Israel and by Palestinian Militants New York Times

Isis suspends two boys from pole in Syria for eating during Ramadan report Agence France Presse (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Insurer monitoring your heart rate? Allstate’s patent makes it possible – Sun Sentinel (Chuck L). Matt Stoller warned this was coming in 2012.

Trade Traitors

Nonsense Brokers Harper’s Magazine. Reslic: “All these whore Democrats are just GOP Lite. Not filling and no taste.”

Fewer Poor Uninsured, Study Finds in Health Law New York Times

Senator Bernie Sanders Town Hall C-Span. In Denver. I had this on in the background while working on Links. Broad-ranging and sensible.

The Obama Gap New Republic. Amazing. How can you write about Florida, particularly around Orlando, and NOT mention foreclosures or home prices? Florida was one of the worst hit states and the Democrats did nothing to alleviate the damage. As Thomas Ferguson ad Jie Chen found, it was unemployment and housing prices (as in the lousiness of both) that drove the Scott Brown Senate upset in Massachusetts. Also no mention of Alan Grayson, who has succeeded in Florida more or less over the dead body of the Democratic party.

Body of ex-White House chef found in New Mexico: police Reuters (EM)

Every American Golf Course Should Look Like This Year’s U.S. Open New Republic (reslic)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

South Carolina Gov. Haley to Call for Removal of Confederate Flag Wall Street Journal

Wal-Mart removing Confederate flag items from stores CTV News (Andrew S)

Council of Conservative Citizens Promotes White Primacy, and G.O.P. Ties New York Times

The Racial Divide Remains in a “Squint Society” Institute for Public Accuracy

Supreme Court rejects Madoff trustee’s appeal over $4 billion recovery Reuters (EM)

Renewed appetite for US hostile takeovers Financial Times. Another sign of froth.

Black box’ trading strategies could be the source of the next big financial scare Business Insider. Lots of quant hedge funds hit the wall in the crisis.

Clearing houses reduce risk, they do not eliminate it Financial Times

Yellen: Fed Was Advised Against Fully Complying With Subpoena on Leak Probe Wall Street Journal (Scott). DC insider: “Fed gonna Fed.”

Class Warfare

Why It’s Time for Interns to Unionize Alternet

Antidote du jour. IsabelPS: “A Portuguese modern family: two mothers and one baby.”

hens and a chick links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Disturbed Voter

      I certainly hope she isn’t nominated … JEB Bush too (JEB isn’t his legal name). But with high tech vote caging, will their version of machine politics win in the end?

    2. sleepy

      Yes, thanks, an excellent takedown.

      Unfortunately, though, I’m not quite so optimistic as the writer is on Hillary’s downfall, but it certainly sounds plausible.

    1. Carolinian

      As the story says it still won’t be free for businesses who will continue to pay sizable fees to license Windows for their office computers. This is their cash cow. The giveaway is designed to forestall truly free systems like linux that threaten the cow.

      MS was already giving Windows 8.1 for free to makers of small tablets. I now use one of these for portable use and like it. Say what you will about Windows, it supports a zillion pieces of legacy software–often quite valuable–and Win 8 is better at this than Windows 7. Many linux programs have also been ported over to Windows. So Windows is the opposite of the “walled garden” that is Apple’s business model.

        1. Carolinian

          I haven’t yet tried it but you can do so yourself with a spare computer. Details on the MS site.

            1. Kim Kaufman

              If you don’t have a touchscreen, probably best to stay with Windows 7. I have touchscreen on this 13″ laptop I’m working and have “reserved” my upgrade. On my older netbook, with no touch, I’ll leave Win 7 I guess.

      1. nowhere

        “Many linux programs have also been ported over to Windows. So Windows is the opposite of the “walled garden” that is Apple’s business model.”

        Not sure what this means. All Apple machines that run OS X can run any Li(nux) software.

        1. Disturbed Voter

          Apple is more of a neo-liberal business model … and Microsoft is more of a neocon business model. Lots to dislike … but if you can support Linux bare metal … then you have more flexibility. Running Linux or Windows in a sand trap on Apple … is subject to potential versioning problems all their own. Similarly Linux on Microsoft (the bios, the bios).

          Apple is more manic in pushing component updates (which are doing god’s knows what), Microsoft does less frequent but equally necessary block updates. Either kind has … whatever spyware on it, and potentially can break any locally developed app. The upgrade treadmill is only risk free, if you only load a generic OS, and only use generic apps. Dependency/ exploitation business model for 30 years now.

        2. Carolinian

          Linux itself is a bit of a walled garden in that practically all of the programs come from an official repository unless you are planning to write them yourself. Of course in many ways this is a good thing.

          On my windows tablet I can and do run programs dating back to the 1990s. My understanding is that Apple doesn’t offer this kind of legacy support. Happy to be corrected if that’s not right. Windows of course is known for many security issues and users must bear that in mind. But I’m finding it to be mostly trouble free and much more versatile than the ‘Buntu variants previously used.

      1. barutanseijin

        That cliche doesn’t apply to GNU free software, or really anything that you have the source code for.

  1. financial matters

    Greece is a sideshow. The eurozone has failed, and Germans are its victims too Guardian. While the criticisms are well warranted, Chakrabortty tries pulling a sleight of hand right before the reader’s eye. He equates a promise merely to have a convergence of living standards with a pledge to increases living standards. I’ve long assumed the Eurozone to be all about crushing workers since that is what it has delivered.

    “I’ve long assumed the Eurozone to be all about crushing workers since that is what it has delivered.”

    It’s true that is what it has delivered but I think it is a governing problem rather than a currency problem as we are seeing the same thing in the US, Australia, and the UK via TPP etc.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Greek public stops paying off personal debts as uncertainty grows – Financial Times

      This is what is called a currency collapse. The Euro is collapsing inside of Greece. From what I’m seeing, the Troika (or whatever fascism in Europe is being called these days) is not acting to contain this failure.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the argument is that Greece should have gone after the rich (or been allowed to) and banks should not been bailed out (their bad loans transferred to the European taxpayers), if they could have saved the Eurozone that way, then the Guardian could also say the UK has failed.

  2. Sam Kanu

    It took a terrorist act for WalMart, the largest retailer in the country and in the world world, to stop selling symbols violent insurrection by white supremacists? Why where they doing it in the first place?

    Meanwhile they pour of countless claptracp about “corporate social responsibility”? Wow..

    1. Jagger

      The CSA flag represents far more to the South than just a symbol for white supremacists. Banning it in an orgy of political correctness is just another method of keeping the masses riled up, divided and fighting over simple minded nonsense while the real issues are forgotten. The best friend of the ruling elites are the culture wars.

      Although I must admit if we decide it is appropriate to ban flags from 180 years ago, then should we also judge the American flag and what it represents today? Should we judge the American flag by the atrocious actions and consequences of our neoliberal/neocon leadership? Since America no longer has a problem with torture, assassinations, absolutely brutal capitalism and on and on, should we ban the American Flag today or wait another 180 years for a more evolved society to make the decision? Or does the symbol of the American Flag represent more than just the actions of the a ruling elite minority? What other flags should we ban? How about the Israeli or the Russian or the Chinese Flag?

      I was watching Bill Maher last night ranting about political correctness run amuck in America today. He is right. I can understand not intentionally offending people but PC today, seems more of a weapon of coercion in direct opposition to freedom of speech or thought. Nevermind, enough of this. I have better things to do.

            1. sleepy

              I like this black and green confederate flag. Much of southern culture is shared lack and white culture, so that mix deserves a flag imho. MLK once said that the civil rights movement finally allowed blacks to claim the term “southerner”. Previously of course, a southerner basically meant a white person.


              1. abynormal

                ‘shared black and white culture’ TT…reminds me of my father’s come back to southern bigots trying to include him in a conversation…he was conceived at the woodshed behind the big house! miss my dad.

      1. todde

        odd that the thing people decided to use to represent their heritage happens to be the battle flag of a bunch of people who were willing to kill others so they could retain the right to own others.

        but no one is banning anything. South Carolina can choose to fly whatever flags they want on their state property, and businesses can sell whatever flag they want.

      2. Gio Bruno

        “The best friend of the ruling elites are the culture wars.”

        The corollary: the biggest enemy of the proletariat is the culture war. Not until folks recognize their economic best interests will political progress be made.

          1. Gio Bruno

            Okay, Lambert, I read the article. It is much more nuanced than my glib comment. But it doesn’t subvert it either. Does it?

            Black poverty is not good for society as a whole; even for white folks specifically.
            A fair and economically equitable culture would be better than what is manifested in the US today.

            1. neo-realist

              Part of the problem to eliminating black poverty is many white people perceive eliminating it as taking/redistributing from them to achieve the solution: As in raising taxes to pay for more welfare, as in affirmative action to create more college slots for black students at the expense of their own kids getting into that college and as in hiring more black people into corporations at the expense of their own career opportunities. Cultural gasoline to be ignited with the help of right wing corporate media.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Unfortunately, we don’t redistribute from the billionaires to the rest and consequently, the word ‘redistribution’ is not as appealing as it should be.

                Affirmative action college admission is a sort of trickle down – the talented can go to school and trickle newly earned, if any, wealth, however meager, to those left behind (not being able to get admitted).

                And symbols are important – often, it can rally a nation. Other times, symbols are offered as tokens. And you get a token leader, without improving the lives of the rest (or actually worsening them).

                Today, people are too smart and game everything. I remember the movie, Stalag 13, where the traitor beat up on the falsely accused (played by William Holden) the hardest to display his ‘patriotism’ and so too, we may hear, on those ‘opportune’ occasions, some who will shout the loudest for ‘progress.’ Do some people gain from making this a big issue? I don’t know. In Trujillo, in Spain ( Extremadura), the bronze statue of Pizarro stands even day. Do we think native Americans would not like to see it removed?

                1. ambrit

                  Pizarro was the ultimate redistributionist. He stole the Incas treasure, which was legally reserved to one individual alone in the entire culture, and spread it far and wide to help finance, for one thing, the Wars of Religion in Europe.
                  Few people look past the glister of all that gold and see the Incan culture, a form of theocratic communism. The average person in that culture evidently didn’t really consider all that yellow metal as anything even remotely connected with their day to day life.

                  1. Procopius

                    I think silver was the real treasure the Spanish looted from the New World. Interesting thing is that the influx of gold and silver created an enormous inflation for the next century, which eventually led to Spain’s downfall.

      3. Paul Tioxon

        To a person like you with no history, it is all a part of the conspiracy of the overlords to manipulate the mindless puppets of the laboring class. Of course, everyone of the mindless puppets knows this is nowhere, compelled to go to war, go to work, go to do something we would rather not do if there were an alternative. But for the 99% there is no alternative most of the time when one is desperately needed. This is an issue that is real, not for the false consciousness of the Southern Man who still stands rebellious with one ridiculous cause after another, including the pathetic filial piety towards the warrior heritage of their confederate forefathers. The act of denial summed up in the core curriculum of the history of THE WAR OF NORTHERN AGGRESSION, does not even admit to the the US Government. The savagery of post Civil War racial political repression of African-Americans found them fleeing for their lives by the millions to get the hell out of the South for anywhere else. And if one symbol summed all of the murder and hate of the South, it is the unrepentant flying of the battle flag adopted by confederate armies, including the one that invaded the state of Pennsylvania.

        Perhaps it would be the War of Southern Aggression if the confederate armed insurrection succeeded in toppling the US Government. Perhaps if the Battle Of Gettysburg was lost by the Union forces the flag of confederate armies used in battle to identify themselves from the people they were trying to kill, the Army of the US Government, perhaps the battle flag would ascend to the status of the official flag of the newly established nation, established by shooting its way out of the United States of America in act of treason so broad and so deep it extended all the way to the political assassination of the President of the US Government, and the attempted assassination of more its leadership in DC to promote the Southern War of Aggression against Federal Government they fought to separate themselves from.

        I understand the skirts of heritage the Southern Man hides behind to dignify his brutal past, giving a patina of historical remembrance to confederate soldiers who fought in battle, as if their warring rampage of rebellion was one more important pillar in the building of a better civilization. As if the confederate government and its military instrument of armed insurrection was a valuable contribution to building a better world, by tearing apart the United States of America, state by state. I was born and educated in the City of Philadelphia, this city which bears so much of the history of the United States, because when you think of America, of its ideal, of its ideal symbols, from the founding of the city, you also have the founding of America, from its very beginning. In and around the city, we too memorialize forefathers and with Betsy Ross, founding mothers. We name not only streets and wide boulevards after historical personages, but tall bridges as well: The Ben Franklin Bridge, The Walt Whitman Bridge, The Betsy Ross Bridge. We are reminded each and everyday of the important contributions of the building of the America nation by people whose actions are valuable to civilization at large, as well as our national identity and our local pride. There are many statues to US Civil War Generals such as Grant and Meade and others. There is a statue to Lincoln on the scenic drive that is named after Lincoln as well.

        So you see, I understand the past is so important that we memorialize, proudly, the achievements that made history. Lincoln who preserved the Union and Emancipated the Slaves of the Southern Slave States. Grant who lead and won the battles that put down the insurrection. When you live in an old city, that was present from the founding of our nation, you have a rich storehouse all around you of the events which are memorialized. But NOT simply because they happened. Important monuments are erected to establish the historical memory well into the future by prominent public display. On Federal property, where the Liberty Bell is on display. The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier of The Revolutionary War. On top of City Hall with the statue of Billy Penn watching over his noble experiment. These are builders of American Civilization, contributors who made something valuable. Unlike the rebellion of the Plantation Capitalists of the South, who fought to preserve their power and wealth via their peculiar institution of human slavery. The heritage of treason and armed insurrection against the US Government is nothing to be proud of. The Confederate Flag has blood all over it, the blood money from slavery. The blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans slaughtered for NO good reason or cause. To be proud of your ancestors who fought for the rebel cause is nothing to celebrate in public spaces with the battle flag of confederate soldiers whether on the space of the re-admitted rebellious states or other public venues that promote some value in the deliberate attempt to destroy America.

        At its best, all of these artifacts, including the flag are simply museum pieces and not a source of inspiration. You can NOT raise both flags and honor them BOTH as important symbols of contributions to making a better world. Today, as in the 1860s, a house divided against it self can not stand. The confederate flag has no more meaning today than it did after Picket’s charge at Gettysburg. The Union soldiers from the ghetto fighters of the Irish slums, known as The Philadelphia Brigade, outnumbered 3-1, stopped Picket’s charge and did not pick up the cheap glory of a fallen battle flags from dead rebels. The savagery of the battle which descended into hand to hand combat with muskets turned into skull crushing clubs left so many dead and wounded, that the Irish of the 69th Pennsylvania were too busy looking for their wounded buddies, looking for survivors among the field of thousands fallen. Too busy to scoop up a war memento battle flag. Those flags are as worthless today as they were then. Every confederate flag in the South was not worth anyone’s life.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I have always felt that meetings in Philadelphia must have been strange; imagine a non-slave owner being served tea or petits fours by the slave of a slave-owner. Oddly, or not, we don’t put up any bronze plaques about this: “Here, on [such-and-such a date], [insert name of Framer], was served by [insert name of slave, if known].” It would be nice if one day human rental were to be looked on with the same loathing and horror that human sale is, but that day is probably far off.

        2. Jagger

          ——To a person like you with no history—-

          Ummm…history has been my passion for my entire long life. Of course, I am not emotionally involved over events from the 1860s..

          1. Paul Tioxon

            History is what we are, our DNA is history encoded down to the marrow of our bones. This conflict over diminishing a widespread symbol encoded in the battle flag of the confederacy is emotion itself. It motivated the murder of 9 people, which is the point of the outcry this time around over the flag as a rallying point of hatred. How can you have a passion for history without emotional attachment? That makes no sense.

            My emotional attachment is not to go out and march around in a fit of angry protest. I am motivated to write and bring the connection to what just happened to the point of origin of the confederate flag and the blood on all of the hands that wave it with pride. The ones that waved in the 1860s who killed people who are buried all over Philadelphia’s grave yards and the ones who wave it today who still carry it into battle and send people to their graves in Charleston SC.

            Not 4 blocks from the home I grew up in is a graveyard from the 1690s, along with its church. That is history too. Because I grew up there, I am attached to it as well. And Because I have lived long enough, and have time to look into it. That is the point of explaining the city I grew up being here since the founding of the nation. It has accumulated so much and like any place that is your hometown, you can easily grow attached. You have no history unless you live in place that has been around long enough to have accumulated events. And these events are so much more than diversions to make citizens into sock puppets. If anything, we can learn resistance, such as the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionist Movement did against slavery. And they didn’t even have a flag. They promoted the Liberty Bell as a sign of freedom against slavery. So, when you see a Liberty Bell as a symbol, most of the reason why is that it was taken up by the movement to abolish slavery. Liberty vs Slavery. So, here’s some motivation. Get a Liberty Bell on a license plate. Call your state capital and demand Liberty Bell vanity plates. It’s the chimes of freedom flashing!!

          2. optimader

            Avoid wars you cannot win, and never raise your flag for an asinine cause.
            ~Frank Underwood , House of Cards

          3. jonboinAR

            You might be if 9 of your people had just been murdered by one who appears to have a nostalgia for that time.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I will quote tendentiously from a far more nuanced article:

            Franklin gradually came to believe that African Americans should be treated as equals by their government. In 1787, at the age of 81, he was named president of the country’s first abolitionist group, the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage (now known as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society).

      4. optimader

        if we decide it is appropriate to ban flags from 180 years ago
        Is anyone talking about banning it, or just not displaying it on public property?

        should we ban the American Flag today

        Fallacy of false equivalence. The Confederate flag does not represent an existing country, the American flag does. Even if the Confederacy represented a benign agency, which it doesn’t, it should not be flown on government property.

      5. Sam Kanu

        The swastika in its time also represented for many people in Germany more than just concentration camps. In fact maybe for some people who didnt know the full picture, it didnt represent concentration camps, just nationalism. But I dont see anyone today debating what the swastika ultimately stands for in the contemporary context…

        Similarly I cant imagine anyone around here buying the excuse that the Isis flag has nothing to do with jihad or beheadings and is “just about purity of religion”. I mean, sorry but no. Just no.

        Interesting then that when it comes to a black “holocaust” then people want to start looking for loopholes to excuse the inexcusable.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Can be it different for each case?

          Is the Imperial Japanese flag a symbol for the Nanjing massacre and superiority of the Yamato race, or for nationalism when they believed they fought for their way of life?

          And I don’t know whether they are thinking of the totalitarian state and the KGB or the years when they put Sputnik into orbit and everyone was equally poor (more or less for the non party eiltes) when the old USSR flags are flown these days.

        2. Carolinian

          Please do remember that the entire United States was complicit in that black holocaust. The slaves were brought here in part by Northern ships and the plantations were financed by Northern money. The country’s founders were often slave owners including Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Madison. Some have claimed that the country’s entire early prosperity was built on the free labor of blacks. So I am sure there are many African Americans who could say–in the past have said–that the American flag itself is a hate flag. There are undoubtedly people around the world at this very moment who would say the same thing. Then there’s this “thought experiment.”

          The flag should certainly come down but you may be mistaken in how seriously people in this state take the thing. What matters is how people treat each other and it seems obvious from the reaction down in Charleston that there’s a lot less hating going on than you may think.

          1. Oregoncharles

            the county’s entire prosperity was most certainly based on the theft of the entire country from its natives.

      6. jonboinAR

        Sorry, buddy. It represents way too much a nostalgia for the time of slavery or when it was considered okay in much of the country for the white man to keep the black man down. Because of this fact it’s considerably more offensive, in general, than the American flag or Israeli flag are to certain viewpoints. Not really the same, IMO.

        1. jrs

          But yes of course the American flag DOES offend many of our viewpoints to a certain extent, it’s hardly some notion we hadn’t thought of, we merely tolerate it’s display, that is all.

          The U.S. flag is ultimately the symbol of imperialistic militaristic and otherwise domination of the world, it can’t be hidden. I’ve seen the American flag in a hippy retro context 60s aesthetic context. It doesn’t work, it’s ok aesthetically, just you can’t really make the symbol of imperialistic domination “cool” (in a retro or any other sense). A house that used to have a California flag, and the native California plants, now seems to have adopted an American flag. How unfortunate. The lovely plants deserve better.

    2. lord koos

      Walmart sucks for sure, but let’s face it, you can buy that Confederate memorabilia junk all over the south.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Repeat the lie often enough and peeps begin to believe it. That some lefties still consider Obama a progressive is a testament to their stupidity.

    1. abynormal

      and what a piece you found. supports they’re playing offense over defense (f.zoom shared this wknd)

      im still reading but chpt 4 looks like ‘they Only read their own headlines’ syndrome

  3. jonboinAR

    Just called my AR senators, both Repubs, for whatever good it might do, to vote against fast-track. The other times I called I got through to an intern. Today, only got a recording. Left a message, FWIW.

    1. J.

      I called my senators (both R) and told them I’d make sure to vote against them in the future if they supported fast track. I got a staffer for one and left a voicemail and my phone number for the other.

  4. Kas Thomas

    Piketty discusses CEO super-salaries in CAPITAL and does a fine job of demolishing the pay-for-performance myth. It’s important to note also that CEO pay and the stock-buyback craze are connected. Stock repurchase programs boost stock prices and executive pay all in one go.

  5. fresno dan

    How did this become a federal case? A raisin grower named Marvin Horne of Fresno, California, decided that he had had enough of the National Raisin Reserve, and in the agricultural equivalent of burning his draft card, refused to hand over the raisins.

    It cannot be confirmed that Mr. Horne stated that the raisin board could have his raisins when they pry them out of his cold dead sticky fingers…..

    I merely mention this as I worked part time when I was a college student as a night watchman, and one of the things I watched, in a big hangar like building at the Sunmaid raisin plant, was raisins…..
    And I can honestly say, with no one around, and the raisins just lying there, I didn’t eat even one…
    And I can proudly say that no one stole any raisins on my watch, and I am almost certain that none of the raisins scampered away either…

    How much water in sunny CA should be devoted to growing stuff no one….well, not nearly as many people as actually needed to eat those raisins all up…?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is something people want, but I saw a couple of stories out there that pot growing it was making the drought in California worse. Perhaps not true…just more propaganda.

      If it is the case, should we outsource marijuana growing to wetter locales?

      1. Carolinian

        This was on the Newshour. Apparently growing pot takes tons of water and since it is still mostly done illegally in California (legal to sell) there are no controls over illegal stream diversions, discharge of things like rat poison into public waters etc. It sounded like a problem that only full legalization would solve. So, another great Eric Holder legacy…..

          1. three eyed goddess

            “… summary, sustainability is essential to cultivation in the short and long-term. Water is scarce and will almost certainly become scarcer; hence adopting cultivation techniques that conserve water is good planning for the future…..[and] promotes the best interests of farmer, patients and the environment.”
            dope magazine Nor Cal June 2015

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Are there less thirsty varieties, or entirely different medication alternatives?

              And in all, any forecast how much less water usage can we expect, say y.o.y?

  6. DJG

    The New York Times: First the theological burblings of Catholic-convert Douthat (the Gingrichian kind of convert–looking for reasons to oppress). Now David Brooks. Yep, the pope is on to something.

      1. diptherio

        Those of us working in this area (i.e. alternative economics) have been saying this since the beginning. It’s not sharing if money is required to change hands!

        There is, however, a real sharing economy composed of practices like time-banking, free stores, offers-and-needs markets, creative commons licensing, community gardens, etc. Heck, even this here blog counts, seeing as how the content is provided free and the bills are paid largely by donations.

        I just hope this whole Uber/AirBnB stuff doesn’t turn everyone off to the idea of sharing as a real economic practice (that doesn’t involved the demand for Federal Reserve notes). There is a real sharing economy out there–I just hope it doesn’t get buried under all the BS…

          1. diptherio

            Some people want to sleep in a bed, apparently.

            A friend recently took a trip to NOLA and stayed in an AirBnB place that turned out to be on a block where literally every single house was being rented out on the platform. A whole Airbnb neighborhood!

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                There is this addition project in my neighborhood. Judging by the size, it will double the original house.

                My guess is it’s either an expansion by a successful air bnb operator or a maternity motel entrepreneur looking to become less conspicuous with this maternity mansion substitution.

              2. ambrit

                Not really. It’s just another version of gentrification. I’d ask what the people were in NOLA for, Jazz Fest? If so, the observed rental pattern is understandable. Mardi Gras would present another, similar dynamic. Other times of the year, say, July through September, the “Long Hot Summer,” I’d guess demand would fall off.

              3. Jed1571

                There’s something to be said about this. Pockets of New Orleans are quietly being taken over by homeowners that are increasingly not interested in actually living here.

                This alt-weekly story mentions 140 listings in a single neighborhood:

                Here’s another article from our formerly daily newspaper with some more fuel for this particular fire:

  7. timbers


    Reports that Ted Cruz is changing from a yes to no on TPP because we can’t trust Obama or Repub leaders. At least he got the the right place even if for the wrong reasons.

    1. different clue

      What if disgruntled Democrats were to call Republican Senator offices and hint that they might vote for Republican Senate trade-opponents next election if Obamatrade is comprehensively killed in the Senate?
      Might that persuade some others to join Cruz and Sessions? Especially others with Presidential aspirations?

  8. Vatch

    Here’s an article in The Atlantic emphasizing the dangers of ISDS in trade agreements such as the TPP:

    Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Unconstitutional?

    I don’t think there’s anything in this article that hasn’t been covered by Gaius Publius or Joe Firestone here at NC. It’s just nice to see the dangers of ISDS getting some exposure elsewhere.

    1. abynormal

      no, but they ever so eloquently recite Pessoa
      Para ser grande, sê inteiro: nada
      Teu exagera ou exclui.
      Sê todo em cada coisa. Põe quanto és
      No mínimo que fazes.
      Assim em cada lago a lua toda
      Brilha, porque alta vive.

      1. IsabelPS

        Naaahhh… They’re very rural, down to earth birds and, as another poet says:
        Palram pega e papagaio
        E cacareja a galinha…

        1. abynormal

          Aaaaaah… thanks, it musta been the parrot feathers i smoked

          ‘all the worlds relax’
          robbins/fierce invalids home from hot climates

  9. Brindle

    re: Body of ex-White House Found In New Mexico

    I used to live in the Taos area. The trail he was hiking was one I had tried a few times. That part of the Sangre de Cristo mountains,near Taos Ski Valley is quite rugged. Likely he probably slipped and slid or fell onto rocks or maybe had a heart attack. Beautiful country there.

    1. timbers

      It’s probably a diversion from TPP and a means to rally Obots to support Obama’s Plan to support Obama’s plan.

      1. jrs

        Won’t some of those regulations interfere with corporate profits? So Obama wants to take it before the investor state tribunals? You know, the ones he’s pushing for. Ah more kabuki, regulations that probably won’t even be enforceable anymore when the sovereignty is gone.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    63% of Greeks are not afraid of Grexit.

    The younger Greeks perhaps are not afraid of exiting Greece to go to Germany, America or even Russia and China.

    The country can exit, or the people can exit.

    Will you see a less-populated Greece? Is that what a localized solution to the world population looks like? Do you also have a vision of refugees, economic/political, or carpetbaggers from rich nations, filling in the vacuum left behind by the departing Greek youths, so that there is no population loss?

    “Cut my pension that I use to support my out-of-work grandson? He will go to Berlin and collect unemployment benefits there (or places easier to qualify). That’s my revenge!!!”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Actually, grandma, it maybe not be your revenge.

      Immigrants will probably be positive for Germany.

      Another win for those Teutonic barbarians?

    1. marym

      Roll call

      Dem Y’s
      Bennet (D-CO)
      Cantwell (D-WA)
      Carper (D-DE)
      Coons (D-DE)
      Feinstein (D-CA)
      Heitkamp (D-ND)
      Kaine (D-VA)
      McCaskill (D-MO)
      Murray (D-WA)
      Nelson (D-FL)
      Shaheen (D-NH)
      Warner (D-VA)
      Wyden (D-OR)

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        So Cantwell provided the winning margin, despite getting nothing from McConnell or Boehner on her Ex-Im bank vote. I guess she looks good in tire tracks.

        Who knows what was said (or threatened) behind closed doors but “laughing stock” is a good way of putting it.

        1. neo-realist

          Our other WA state senator Murray helped the fast track cause as well. I suspect both Cantwell and Murray got their “orders” from Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.

          I believe both Senators think they can get away with their votes unscathed their future elections…….the vote will be framed as keeping our big employers competitive in the international markets.

          1. Gio Bruno

            It shouldn’t be that hard to Primary both Cantwell and Murray. Washington State isn’t THAT large. And Boeing has been sending plenty of work out-of-state to non-union workplaces that last few years. Maybe the State is just marginally Democrat?

  11. jfleni

    RE: With a nod and a wink, Microsoft gives away Windows 10 to anyone who asks

    This is the same thing “Billy Boy” did in the early days of “Windoze”: Conquer the market by shutting Microswift’s greedy eyes to “stealing” licenses. After they pretended to be blind, they suddenly started yelling “GIMME” and finding lots of ways to get the dough.

    Avoid this duplicity and the mammoth spying operation that goes with it, and use a Linux version that meets your needs.

    1. Gio Bruno

      …that “spying operation” is congenital to the Internet (and most software companies). While Linux resolves inbred “spying”, Google, NSA, and the inherent architecture of the Internet make anonymity difficult. One of those software companies is Autodesk (maker of computer-aided-design/drafting), which now requires “online activation”. This “activation” not only tracks your use of the software but also can identify your specific computer through its network MAC address.

  12. barrisj

    Repub candidates for Prez – aka, the Republican Klown Kar, that’s RKK – had been waffling all over the show whether to denounce the SC rebel flag flying in front of the Statehouse. Now that Gov. Nikki Haley has taken a firm public position on its removal, suddenly all the guys in the RKK have grouped behind her pants-suit and also are calling for the Stars und Bars to come down. “Profiles in Courage” these gents ain’t.

  13. JEHR

    Re: Fracking and Franciscans:

    Brooks is relentlessly positive, on the other hand, when describing institutions in which people compete for political power or economic gain. At one point he links self-interest with peace. He comes out for technological advances that will improve productivity by replacing human work. He specifically supports market-based mechanisms to solve environmental problems, especially through cap-and-trade programs that are up and running in places like California where it is possible to manipulate that process for the benefit of “markets.”

    1. jrs

      Yes well it’s David Brooks …

      Competition is also the reason for every externality that exists. They had to do it, their competitors were doing it afterall. Bringing out the best in people indeed, we have the whole messed up world as evidence of “competition bringing out the best”.

  14. Raj

    Some articles that may interest you…

    1. Natural Gas Export Limitations

    The new rhetoric: “Central and Eastern European countries need natural gas from Pennsylvania because their economic development is being stymied by the high price they are forced to pay to Russia.”

    2. Long-term Reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank

    These articles present one side of the story.

    3. Should the H1-B Visa Program Be Abolished?

    4. Drones

    “ISIS has released videos that include footage shot by drones flying high above the battlefield.”

  15. Sig

    Introductory comment on the Guardian “Greece is a Sideshow” article is just a tad overwrought, no?

    (Greece is a sideshow. The eurozone has failed, and Germans are its victims too Guardian. While the criticisms are well warranted, Chakrabortty tries pulling a sleight of hand right before the reader’s eye. He equates a promise merely to have a convergence of living standards with a pledge to increases living standards….)

    Nit picking at best and might dissuade some readers…. a useful article nonetheless. Cheers, S.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Removal of the confederate flag.

    Meanwhile, on Marketwatch: Confederate flags are selling like crazy on Amazon.

    There is something about the collective human psyche.

    1. todde

      I don’t think they should.remove the battle.flag from the monument.

      But to be historically arcurate they should.replace it with the white flag of surrender on Friday Saturday and Sunday.

  17. juiiania

    I understand the importance of promoting ecologically friendly golf courses. Links courses in Scotland and other places are truly beautiful. This course was ugly; the gravel pit, if it had indeed been reclaimed, fought back. One tree, one lonely tree?

    If there was an exciting contest, I would say the gravel pit won. It wasn’t golf. And it did a great harm to environmentally sustainable sports activities. To suggest it was just the pampered elite golfers (and they are by and large a corporately pampered lot) who decried the conditions is to overlook many of the physical indignities that made this fiasco a survival test for both participants and spectators alike. Human beings are part of the environment as well, and xeriscaping is not just gravel and lack of shade.

    I wonder what the area had looked like before it became a gravel pit? I will say it advertised the harmful manmade effects of pillaging the earth very well. Bravo golfers. Maybe the non-contest will be worth it in the end, but non-contest it was.

    [Apologies if this is a double entry and please ignore – my computer was doing funny stuff]

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