Links 7/29/15

Twin Cities dentist admits killing beloved lion, thought he was acting legally Star Tribune. Furzy mouse: “May he be miserable for the rest of his days….​”

NASA has given us a 360-degree ‘view’ of ‘Earth 2.0’ Business Insider

A Politico investigation could change the way you look at food safety Columbia Journalism Review

What to Expect from El Niño: North America Wunderblog

9 alarming quotes from Twitter’s earnings call that have Wall Street spooked (TWTR) Business Insider

China Stock Rout

China’s Currency Policy Sinks Into Disarray Amid Rout in Stocks Bloomberg

How long can China’s ‘Rescue Squad’ keep intervening? CNBC

China Pushes to Rewrite Rules of Global Internet Wall Street Journal (resilc)

Malaysian parliament investigation of state fund on hold Reuters

2,100 migrants try to storm Eurotunnel site in French port Associated Press


EU refused to acknowledge mistakes made in Greece bailout Richard Koo (guurst). Um, the EU is not a party to these talks. While this is a very good economic analysis, the Greek negotiations are not about having the debts repaid. They are about maintaining Germany’s dominant position in the Eurozone.

How Germany Prevailed in the Greek Bailout New York Times

Merkel’s Bavarian ally says Grexit would cause ‘utter chaos’ Reuters

Tsipras attacks SYRIZA dissenters ekaathimerini


Our monumental Turkey blunder: Who put the American exceptionalists back in charge? Salon (Oregoncharles)

Latham & Watkins explains Top 10 Things to Know About the Easing of Sanctions Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement The CLS Blue Sky Blog (Adrien)

Turkey’s Focus on Crushing Kurd Extremists Complicates ISIS Efforts New York Times. Notice how now the Kurds who are fighting for independence have morphed into ‘extremists” now that we need to curry favor with Turkey.

Israeli official: ‘Dear Mr. Huckabee, no one is marching Jews to the ovens anymore’ Reuters (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

After Two Years, White House Finally Responds to Snowden Pardon Petition — With a “No” Intercept. Quelle surprise!

Vizio IPO plan shows how its TVs track what you’re watching Engadget. Chuck L: “As the owner of a Vizio TV this is disturbing. Guess I’ll have to find the instructions and learn how to turn off the ACR function.”

Trade Traitors

Is report ‘political tool’ of US govt? The Nation (Malaysia)


$1 of every $5 spent in US will be on health care CNBC. As we pointed out, the CBO uses an utterly bogus methodology which leads to forecasted cost increases that clearly exaggerated (experts at the Fed felt compelled to call them out). The purpose is to scaremonger to get Medicare cut. I suspect similar methods and motives are at work here.

Who’s Right on Health-Care Cost Projections? WSJ Washington Wire (Nathan Tankus). By the lead author of the study we linked to above:

Which of these should be believed? Neither. Health spending is almost impossible to predict. Assuming that past trends continue indefinitely produces nonsensical results, as it implies that health spending will eventually consume all of GDP. But forecasting how the future will be different from the past is not something we know how to do. The large wedge between these two arguably sensible projections of Medicare should be taken as evidence that we really don’t know how big a fiscal problem health spending will be 25 or 50 years in the future.

How Obama’s Confidant Became a Climate Adversary New York Magazine

Under Oath, Donald Trump Shows His Raw Side New York Times. Translation: the oppo is finally getting serious.

Latest national poll shows Bernie Sanders beating Scott Walker, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush Alternet (furzy mouse)

Bernie Sanders explodes a right-wing myth: ‘Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal’ Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Camille Paglia: How Bill Clinton is like Bill Cosby Salon. Li: “Camile Paglia rises from the crypt…”

Bay Area water agencies start strong, hit conservation targets SFGate (furzy mouse)

Trump: I Would Consider Palin for Post in My Administration Newmax (furzy mouse)

Los Angeles passes ordinance banning large-capacity gun magazines Reuters (furzy mouse)

Scientology Group Urged Veto of Mental Health Bill Texas Tribune. See related story: Texas Governor Vetoes Mental Health Bill Because He Doesn’t Believe Mental Illness Is Real Greenville Gazette

San Bruno: Regional transmission water line broken, ‘millions of gallons’ lost San Jose Mercury News. EM:

So San Bruno residents have in recent years suffered from biblical-plague-evoking fire (PG&E gas pipeline blast) and now flood in midst of a historic drought. What next – famine or plagues of locusts? The local news coverage mentioned 15-20 million gallons spilled before the water people were able to safely effect a shutoff, roughly 20% of the water San Francisco uses in an average day.

Um, I recall that PG&E was the bad guy in the toxic tort case highlighted in the movie Erin Brockovich

Black Injustice Tipping Point

‘The video is not good’: Cincinnati braces for footage release in campus cop killing of Sam Dubose Raw Story (furzy mouse)

Armed Confederate supporters interrupt black child’s birthday party with racial slurs, death threats Daily Kos

Americans’ Economic Confidence Gets Mauled Wolf Richter

Lew warns of Puerto Rico debt risks to US Financial Times

Rotation May Hinder Audit Quality, Study Says Compliance Week. Adrien: “These guys are incredible…reminds me of Exxon financing research raising doubts about climate change science..Always the same modus operandi..”

Class Warfare

The ways in which the economy never recovered from 2008 Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Bloomberg, Out of Office, Still Has Influence Over Schools New York Times

Subaru’s secret: Marginalized foreign workers power an export boom Reuters

Antidote du jour (Stephen L). From the FB page of the Donkey Sanctuary:

3_donkeys links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bill Smith

    The article “Our monumental Turkey blunder: Who put the American exceptionalists back in charge?”
    has the following near the start of it:

    “Having demonized Assad—Assad, Washington’s one-time ally”

    Assad was once Washington’s ally? How much of an ally was Assad of Washington? More than Turkey? Israel? Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Jordan? Egypt? Oman? UAE? Bahrain? Qatar? Yemen?

    Did I miss anyone?

  2. depacmanchopra

    I’ll be sending a not-inconsiderable donation to PETA with specific requests for stopping mofos like this before the fact, and ruthlessly persecuting them after.

    No offense to the good folks who gather here daily for the real news. (NSA, do what you think you gotta do.)

      1. Juneau

        PETA’s perspective: (graphic)

        FWIW. some think no kill is too idealistic if it means keeping pets in tiny cages with little attention for years. tough issue. I remember reading Ingrid Newkirk gave the dogs “one good day” to be happy, eat well and be fried before they were euthanized when she worked directly with these animals.
        Not the same as murdering an animal with a good life and many to love him. So sad. Still very controversial.

    1. nippersdad

      The post mortem conclave has been completed; Israel brays that it was the messaging. Quelle surprise.

      You can lead the donkeys to the water, but clearly you cannot make them drink. They are kind of stubborn that way. Though, funnily enough, they are grateful when you don’t point and laugh.

      I thought it was cute that they think it is the moderates that they are losing.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They don’t care why they lost. Team Blue elites are more concerned with holding on to their wavering supporters, so they need an excuse for the skeptical to latch onto. The myth of the centrist voter is all Team Blue has anymore.

      2. Jim Haygood

        “This is a fork. If Democrats get their way, the fork will be more expensive and there will be a fork tax. Period,” [Rep. Steve] Israel writes of the Republican pitch.

        Can’t accuse the D party of lacking self-awareness. This quote is pitch-perfect.

        As Walter Mondale famously said, “Of course I’m going to increase your taxes.”

  3. Wayne Gersen

    The article on Bloomberg’s influence on education policy in NYS was astonishing! When the Executive Director of a lobbying group that has three board members who donated $250,000 to the Governor’s campaign serves “…as a go-between among different government offices” it is evident that our government has been bought and sold. Here’s hoping the NYTimes digs a little deeper to follow the money and amplify its corrosive effect on education legislation.

    1. Michael

      She didn’t sell out her base, she likely knew this was coming, it gives her cover to say, welp, not my fault.

      Her base is not the people who elected her. Not how this government works.

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        She likely knew McConnell was writing her checks she could never cash … insufficient funds.

        Still it’s our job to call her out and remind voters in WA what a sellout she is. Plus if you’re going to whore yourself out for Boeing you should at least get some results.

        1. joerenter

          anyone with synapses still firing knows Cantwell was sellout from day one. She bought her seat with stock options. I guess it was better than keeping Slade Gorten. Not by much though.

    2. jrs

      What was she supposed to get? An import-export bank? Does the base that consists of actual people not Boeing actually care about that? Really does anyone who is not a corporate person know or care about that issue? It’s hard enough to get people to care about Fast Track and the trade agreements but when they do, they can at least see it matters.

      The highway bill is slippery, they were trying to slip social security cuts in it of course, including for anyone with a warrant (all the black people in Ferguson I guess). These were luckily removed. Progressives in general need to stop being so impressed with infrastructure spending. Because everything left really worth fighting for is going to be lost on some stupid infrastructure bill someday. Because drool .. infrastructure. Well yes things need to be maintained if they are used (like bridges), and I would support green infrastructure, but much infrastructure isn’t even sustainable (we do not need any new highways), and for this lose something truly beneficial like social security?

  4. RanDomino

    Sanders says something idiotic and his legions of starry-eyed liberal fans dance in joy.

    Open borders has never been a “right-wing” idea. Come on, the same wing that’s trying to round up everyone who’s brown and rolls their n’s? The political wing of Joe Arpaio?

    Would anyone care to tell me which political philosophy has as one of its most important slogans, “No Borders, No Nations”? It’s OK to google it.

    Moreover, his argument is simply wrong.

    For one, there are ALREADY millions of undocumented people living in the US, and many of them and/or their parents slipped across the border. That’s simply going to be true no matter what, because a wall is a static defense and a solution can always be found.

    More importantly: Yes, there are undocumented workers in the US getting paid two or three dollars an hour. Why can employers get away with paying them so poorly? BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO LEGAL RECOURSE. What are they going to do, complain to the NLRB? Look for help from the AFL-CIO? They’re not interested. The fact is that it’s the closed border that suppresses wages, because it keeps millions of undocumented workers under the table. If you really want to see wages rise, in regards to immigration and undocumented workers, there needs to be open borders and full amnesty.

    1. OIFVet

      If you really want to see wages rise, in regards to immigration and undocumented workers, there needs to be open borders and full amnesty.

      How did that work out for the EU? Eastern European labor still earns a pittance, while Western European labor wages have faced serious downward pressure. Its not a coincidence that business is the biggest supporter of open borders.

      1. vidimi

        business is mostly supportive of borders open to capital. i think there’s some truth to randomino’s statements.
        i dream of a world in which we need no passports and the whole earth is our common heritage. it won’t happen in my lifetime, but perhaps one day.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You could make it more enjoyable, and yourself less likely to be robbed, with introduction letters from the various rulers along one’s journey.

            “Here’s my protection paper from Genghis Khan requesting a safe passage, for the holder said paper, through your exalted desert kingdom.”

          2. David

            From Wiki;

            One of the earliest known references to paperwork that served in a role similar to that of a passport is found in the Hebrew Bible. Nehemiah 2:7-9, dating from approximately 450 BC, states that Nehemiah, an official serving King Artaxerxes I of Persia, asked permission to travel to Judea…

            …In the medieval Islamic Caliphate, a form of passport was the bara’a, a receipt for taxes paid. Only people who paid their zakah (for Muslims) or jizya (for dhimmis) taxes were permitted to travel to different regions of the Caliphate…

            In medieval Europe, such documents were issued to travelers by local authorities, and generally contained a list of towns and cities the document holder was permitted to enter or pass through…

            IMO, our medieval future will look much like our medieval past.

          3. optimader

            Not too much is linearly comparable with present times and 100 years ago and before Jim.

            Population numbers, average distance people traveled from home, long distance transportation cost/scale and the ability to economically absorb an uncontrolled influx of largely low/no skill populations with language barriers are just a few.

            OIF is correct, with no organized procedure to control migration what condition do you think our already spanked lower-middle income largely service economy would be in?

            As a rule, No one wants to leave home. What are the economic opportunities for the demographics that will migrate with no control?

            Perhaps the more humane approach would be North American work visas that allow migrants to seasonally work in the US legitimately transfer money home without being exploited.. I know this was a mutually beneficial arrangement at least in California between generations of families that want to live at home (reasonably so) but needed external income to maintain dignified lives. The whole 9/11-Homeland Security 800 lb gorilla I understand has messed up many of these longstanding mutual consenting relationships.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A. Free to travel, needing no passports, for leisure, to learn about other cultures and make friends.

          B. And no need to migrate abroad in order to survive, to feed one’s family. This means ending colonialism, neocolonialism, neoliberalism, military adventurism, world domination via the hegemonic currency.

          Perhaps we can start making all world first world by moving all the elite universities to sub-tropical Africa and relocating social media’s US workers to Bangladesh (simultaneously earning Peace Corps credits).

        2. OIFVet

          Little to no truth in the contention that open borders increase wages. Bulgarians and Romanians are Europe’s “Mexicans”, doing low-paid farm labor, construction, janitorial, etc. Exploitation and wage theft are common, both by business owners and local job brokers. Living conditions can be as bad as the Qatar World Cup slave labor revelations. All inside Europe’s open borders.

          Perhaps amnesty for the illegal immigrants will help to curb the worst of the abuses, and I am all for it. Throwing the borders open will only accelerate the wage race to the bottom that’s already a fact.

        3. Gio Bruno

          I dream of a world not terrorized by US bombings, invasions, and economic austerity. A world where millions without passports fleeing death and destruction could live in their homelands and teach their children and share their culture. Instead of paying their limited resources to pirates and thieves to simply emigrate to SAFETY.

        4. zapster

          A better approach would be to mandate that all workers get the same wages, benefits and protections, regardless of whether they’re legal or not. Eliminate the “illegal premium” that employers get. If unions represent them and OSHA protects them the same as legal workers, it levels the field. People must have recourse if this stuff is to be stopped.

          If they’re here working and paying taxes the same as citizens, why aren’t they automatically legal? The corporations want them here because they’re captive, can’t organize and can’t vote, of course. All the bluster and handwaving the wingnuts do notwithstanding–they are *not* against illegals. They’re *for* militarization, corporatizaton, eroding civil rights and slavery.

    2. nippersdad

      You are missing that historically the Republican Party has been the party of big business, which benefits from easy immigration by lowering wages to boost profit. Our Big Ag sector would not exist without illegals and everyone, save the nativists, knows it. That the business faction has been in an uneasy alliance with nativists and christianists does not alter that fundamental tenet.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They also import foreign workers in non-Christian Japan, from today’s link on Subaru.

        Perhaps because Buddhism is also for universal salvation.

      2. jrs

        I don’t know why it would be difficult to grasp they play both sides. Look the other way at immigration because of their real corporate backers. Play the nativist card for the rubes.

    3. hunkerdown

      Show me where an American of very modest means who’s tired of this shitshow can do the same, and I’m there.

      1. ambrit

        Yeah indeedy. I’m up for a little ‘fillibusterin’ myself. (No low lying islands please. Caymans, I’m meaning you baby.)

  5. Brindle

    re:Twin Cities Dentist Kills Cecil The Lion

    As of now articles on the the death Cecil are the second and third most popular at the BBC News site and second through fifth most popular at the Guardian. One look at Cecil’s dignified, grizzled face and you get why his ugly death has resonated so deeply.

    1. nycTerrierist

      I can only hope poor Cecil’s ugly death does something to
      put an end to trophy killing and that the dentist gets a swift serving
      of karma. What a cowardly greedhead. I hear his business is getting
      hammered on yelp. That’s a start.

          1. Vatch

            Oh, there are plenty of working people in the world. What’s endangered is adequate pay for them. See Foxconn for an example. Also the Thai fishing industry and Bangladeshi clothing factories. And for a less extreme example back in the U.S., there’s the I.T. department of Southern California Edison.

    2. OIFVet

      That’s big part of it, for me it’s the fact that killing one dominant male lion such as Cecil leads to the deaths of several more lions. New males move in and kill the cubs in order to induce the females to mate, and the females themselves can get killed or hurt badly (leading to inability to hunt and therefore death) while protecting their cubs. This is ugly and infuriating on so many levels.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We realize we* are all like Cecil.

      *meaning us serfs and pigs, salmon, butterflies, bees, view-blocking trees, etc.

  6. Optimader

    “The club keeps a detailed record book in which members display photos, measurements and other information about animals they have killed. Palmer lists 43 kills, all by bow and arrow. His list includes moose, deer, buffalo, a polar bear and a mountain lion.”

    Reads uncomfortably like serial killer behaviour. He should be shunned, professionally in particular.

      1. optimader

        This guy, and presumably many others don’t distinguish between hunting for food and hunting, not even hunting, paying third parties facilitators to organize assassination opportunities purely for the pleasure of killing.

        It goes beyond Cecil the Lion. Providing Palmer and people like him with income tacitly endorses the sick behavior.

        Shunning him professionally is not so much a sanction for his deeds, he is irretrievably messed up witness his confusion about the furor because he “thought it was legal”. Shunning him hopefully at least reduces his disposable income to pursue his compulsion. Remove the income that pays those that facilitate the sick behavior.

        Ironically, Palmer is such an self defined accomplished bow hunter that according to the article, his close quarters assassination attempt only succeeded in wounded the Lion which then suffered for 40 hours until they got around to actually putting him down with a pistol, which means close range, which means the Lion finally laid down to die.

        The other shoe falls when our larger social illness is revealed by sympathizers that start donating Palmer money.

  7. JoeK

    Re Walter J. Palmer, Big Game Hunter Extraordinaire:

    “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt.”

    Did you then notice the GPS collar before, or after you cut Cecil’s head off?

    I checked out a few articles about this guy, the overly buff-body esp. unnecessarily large arms–excuse, me, “guns”–mark him as a 100% pure-bred, all-beef wannabe alpha male, leader of the pack, top gun. I’ll bet he’s a real straight-shooter who won’t take no for an answer and knows how to show a woman her place. Wait for Sarah Palin to come to his defense and invite him up to AK(47)for a barbeque of bear heart so he and Todd can trade war stories, then maybe jump in a ‘copter and gun down some wolves.

  8. Vatch

    Like many here, I think Palmer’s murder of Cecil the lion is quite odious. I was struck by this passage in the article:

    The Yelp page on Palmer’s dental practice was inundated with hostile comments, and by midevening, nearly 200,000 people had signed an online petition condemning the incident organized by an online group known as Care2.

    200,000 people! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could channel that rage into public policy improvements? We could:

    Abolish CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or factory farms).
    Put an end to the TPP, TTIP, and TiSA, once and for all.
    Implement adequate regulation of credit default swaps.
    Force the ultra rich 0.01% to pay their fair share of taxes.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We have been carefully conditioned to be selective about what we are to be outraged about.

      Being outraged about an unapproved subject, you instantly become a bigot or a mental case.

      Additionally, it’s considered good manners and etiquette to express only those outrages appropriate to one’s age, class, gender, etc.

      1. Vatch

        Well, some of us are outraged by both. That cop who “arrested” her was actually a kidnapper.

        1. JoeK

          It depends on what rights you believe non-human animals should have relative to those humans enjoy.

  9. financial matters

    Class Warfare

    The ways in which the economy never recovered from 2008 Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

    In discussing things like child poverty and overall inequality the issue of taxes often comes up.

    I think MMT has a bit of a conundrum in that it views taxes as the very linchpin that gives currency its value but then states that they are not necessary for spending.

    Almost the very definition of a sovereign currency space is that the state has the power to collect taxes which creates a demand for the currency. This power and its ability to enforce it is a large part of what the state brings to the public/private partnership.

    But why would people or corporations want to pay taxes if they are not necessary for spending?

    Ingham in ‘The Nature of Money’ has an interesting comment:

    “As Wray has pointed out, if high-powered money grew on trees, it would be worth very little (Wray 2004: 106). High-powered money is the result of the struggle between debtors’ demand for money and creditors’ belief that the state can service its debt, which in turn depends on tax revenues. And it is the need to work for a taxable income that gives it value.”

    Taxes, I think, can be seen to contribute to the public purse in a somewhat indirect manner. They are part of the social relationship that binds together public and private purpose. They can help deal with inequality when done in an anti-regressive manner.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A corporation, making (foreign currency) money abroad, using local labor and local materials, its economic activities overseas do not much relate to anything in its home country.

      How does taxing those profits impact inflation in the home country?

      Surely multinational corporation will use that to avoid paying taxes, if taxes are to be increased to reduce excess inflation.

  10. Steve H.

    Syraqistan: Well, Turkey is bombing the Kurds so our AlQueda allies (!) get air support…

    American foreign policy isn’t just derailed. It’s depraved.

    (For details, check Moon of Alabama, &/or Mike Whitney at Counterpunch.)

  11. Jim Haygood

    Peter Van Buren’s perceptive essay “Balance of Power in the Middle East Just Changed” essay contains a single, jarring off-note:

    “Israel has long had the bomb, with no arms race triggered.”

    Does Van Buren really believe this, after Israel has spent the last twenty years threatening Iran with a devastating aerial attack, perhaps in concert with the US? Of course not.

    It’s an example of the elaborate faux naif pose that must be struck when writing about Israel for American audiences. Not only must all punches be pulled, but Israel’s out-of-control behavior must be excused with wry asides and gentle hand wringing, as if, like the weather, it’s a simply a fact of life that must be endured.

    What’s always obscured are the dire consequences of unconditional U.S. diplomatic cover for Israel, which allows Israel to continue as an undeclared nuclear state, possessing dozens of warheads and a full panoply of state-of-the-art delivery systems. The unrestrained (and highly credible) threat of Israeli attack looming over the region is a factor not only in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but also in vast arms acquisitions by U.S. “allies” such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

    1. Stephen L

      It’s not just “diplomatic support” for Israel – it is at least $3 billion of weapons giveaways per year.

      According to Jimmy Carter, Israel has not dozens, but 150 nuclear weapons. This includes thermonuclear (hydrogen fusion) and neutron bombs.

      Some put the cost of US support of Israel much higher than just the direct aid:
      1.6 Trillion, as of 2002? What that figure be if it included the cost of the fool’s errand in Iraq?

      Was the US treasury reimbursed for this: Operation Nickel Grass.? I doubt it.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    2,100 migrants try to storm the Eurotunnel site.

    It mentions thousands of migrants from Eritrea, Sudan and beyond camping around the city.

    But it doesn’t say nothing about the conditions of their home countries. What is causing them to leave? Are we to naively believe that these migrants are bad guys, that they enjoy going there to take jobs away from Britons?

  13. TheCatSaid

    Richard Koo’s views on Reaganomics are fascinating:

    “It was “Reaganomics” that first signaled the importance of structural reforms for the world. Although this policy was implemented in the first half of the 1980s, it did not lift GDP until Bill Clinton became president 12 years later. In fact, the Republican Party responsible for it lost the 1992 presidential election to Mr. Clinton. His slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!” overshadowed all the diplomatic successes of the Bush administration, which had ended the Cold War, overseen the collapse of the Soviet Union, and won the first Gulf War.

    This experience demonstrated just how long it can take for structural reforms to have a significant macroeconomic impact.”

    I thought Reaganomics and its trickle-down / lifting all boars concepts had been thoroughly debunked. Koo, however, says Reaganomics worked, just very slowly.

  14. Lypemenos

    I have enjoyed your commentary on the crisis in Greece despite having very limited training in economics.

    Today’s Ekathimerini (7/29) had an article of interest — 60,000 small – medium Greek businesses opening accounts in Bulgaria, as well as others banking in Roumania, Germany, etc. Big firms are said to have already done this. What do you think this trend means for the future of banks in Greece? what are the wider economic implications?

    I was in Greece from mid-May to mid-June. My cousin gave me a tour of Patissia (northern suburb of Athens with lots of homelessness). I can verify that it’s as bad as you have been reporting. Even in a well-to do suburb like Varkiza, there are dumpster-divers everywhere. In Patissia, buildings are literally crumbling at the edges. In one half-finished building, the ground floor was covered with dried feces. Austerity means there isn’t enough money to hire anyone to clean them up.

  15. Ronald Pires

    Assuming that past trends continue indefinitely produces nonsensical results, as it implies that health spending will eventually consume all of GDP.

    Odd to finally see someone state this, I was working for one of the majors back in 1978 and I used this exact argument to try to make a case that we move into a single-payer model (and try to grab the government contract for it, of course, which would have been the largest government contract in history). This was a pretty good crowd of brains I was talking to, and they looked at me like I was from the moon.

    I guess I was a little before my days on this. They apparently couldn’t see past the words “single payer” to the mathematical argument I was (and now you are) making.

  16. Chauncey Gardiner

    For me, the money quote from the linked CNBC article by Nyshka Chandran on China’s stock market crash: “Chinese intervention in markets has been much criticized, but is actually little different from that done by G4 countries during previous panics,” Mark Tinker, Head of AXA Framlington Asia, said in a report on Monday.

    “Aside from the obvious irony that Quantitative Easing (QE) across the West has been distorting markets for the last six years, the criticisms look a little harsh”, …

    Just as in the U.S., the Chinese authorities and central bank have crossed the financial Rubicon with their financial markets support measures. And just as in the U.S., the mechanism of independent price discovery through the financial markets no longer exists, and market prices are now no longer trusted except as a measure of power and control by those who control government and central bank policy.

  17. john

    Bill Clinton joke seeks punchline “It’s the stupid economy.”

    Also, I hear the self-portrayed feminist Hillary brutally attacked all the women who accused Bill of rape in the Oval Office.

    Good thing for Hil’ that our media is a joke.

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