Links 7/4/15

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Dear patient readers,

Happy Fourth of July, for our US readers!

We have a higher proportion than usual of links from mid-late last week due to the high news flow. So view this as a combo of new items and important catch-up if you haven’t seen these stories already.

Cats ‘control mice’ with chemicals BBC

Seattle on the Mediterranean New York Times. David L: “The current heat is a precursor, an early peek at a scary tomorrow.”

One bold, misinformed spider slows a colony’s ability to learn Science News

Scholar at Stanford debunks long-held beliefs about economic growth in ancient Greece Stanford

Solar plane lands in Hawaii after record-breaking flight Associated Press (furzy mouse)

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Yes, The Pope Can Comment On Climate Change Huffington Post

Major Gaps Between the Public, Scientists on Key Issues Pew Research (furzy mouse)

Hedge fund worker jailed for copying code Financial Times

China Setting Up Fund to Stabilize Stock Market Wall Street Journal

This euro is destroying the European dream Guardian

Renzi threatened by political contagion from Greece Financial Times

Uber opts for co-operation in France Financial Times


In Greek Referendum Campaign, a Barrage of Doomsday Ads New York Times

Greek banks down to €500m in cash reserves as economy crashes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Greek banks prepare plan to raid deposits to avert collapse Financial Times

Greek bank official dismisses ‘haircut’ report as ‘baseless‘ Reuters (Swedish Lex)

Greece Steve Waldman. A wonderfully written, forcefully argued post, but I’m too swamped to check the veracity of this objection to conventional wisdom in his comment section (I was focused on the US mortgage/foreclosure/chain of title crisis from 2012 to 2012 and so was not watching the Eurocrises closely). Readers?:

The 2010 transaction wasn’t a “laundered” bailout of French and German banks. Dig into the numbers. It was a bailout of Greek banks, two of the biggest of which (Geniki and Emporiki) were owned by French parents. If that bailout hadn’t happened, CA and SG would simply have allowed their subsidiaries to fail, and limited their losses to the equity. Greek depositors, on the other hand, would have lost everything (and I mean everything – the Greek deposit insurance fund is laughably small).

Note that even if this is accurate, the German banks still got a bailout.

Why Greece and Germany just don’t get along, in 15 charts Washington Post. Important

Food and medicine shortages for British tourists in Greece ‘within days’ Telegraph

Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis prepares for economic siege as companies issue private currencies Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Yanis Varoufakis, are you staying put? ‘We have a duty to the people’ Paul Mason, Channel 4 (Richard Smith)

Greece’s Debt Burden: The Truth Finally Emerges New Yorker

Varoufakis calls Financial Report ‘malicious rumour Reuters

The Greek tragedy of Mario Draghi Hurriyet

Printing the drachma: the messy future of a post-euro Greece Bloomberg

As Greece fractures, old wounds are reopening Guardian. Important.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Pentagon’s “2015 Strategy” For Ruling the World Counterpunch

Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in ‘very big trouble’ CBC (Stephen L)

McConnell and the Iran Hawks’ Loathing of Diplomacy American Conservative (reslic)

Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016 New York Times

Jeb! trashes Obamacare in public, but privately made a cool half million off it Daily Kos

Hispanic leaders want GOP field to condemn Trump’s ‘idiocy’ Associated Press (furzy mouse)

Sorry, Trump: Average Texans are 3 times more likely to have committed sex crimes than undocumented immigrants Pando

Bernie, Hillary and the Liberal Realignment Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Despair and Anger as Puerto Rico Confronts Debt Crisis New York Times

Antidote du jour (Lance N):

SandKitten links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks, but this doesn’t address the issue of the 2010 bailout and how exposed the French banks really were. The bailout vehicles provided for governments to provide guarantees to vehicles that then lent Greece cash. My dim recollection from reading the press back then was that they were basically refinancing Greek government debt, since the banks had a lot of government debt because it had favorable risk weightings under Basel II. So the questions are:

      1. Is this argument correct, that the losses of those banks would be limited to the equity in the Greek ops and therefore not terrible (to the parent as opposed to the perspective of Greece, where depositors would lose lots of money)

      2. How much of the Greek gov’t debt held by French banks was held in Greek subs v. in other units of those banks as well as in French banks that didn’t have Greek operations.

  1. abynormal

    How the South skews America
    “Southern violence also goes a long way toward explaining the exceptional violence of the United States in general compared to otherwise similar countries. The pre-modern “culture of honor” continues to exist to a greater degree in the South. White Southerners are more likely than white northerners to respond to insults with increased testosterone and aggression, according to social scientists. According to the FBI in 2012, the South as a region, containing only a quarter of the population, accounted for 40.9 percent of U.S. violent crime.

    Compared to other Americans, Southerners disproportionately support sanctioned violence in all of its forms, from military intervention abroad to capital punishment to corporal punishment of children. According to Gallup, Southern households have a far higher rate of gun ownership (38 percent) than households in the East (21 percent), Midwest (29 percent) or West (27 percent).

    The death penalty has been abolished in Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Isolated among the major English-speaking nations, the U.S. is among the world’s leaders when it comes to per capita executions, competing with the regimes in Saudi Arabia, China, Iran and North Korea. The U.S. owes this dubious honor to the South. Between the time the Supreme Court ended the ban on the death penalty and mid-June of this year, the South was responsible for 81 percent of the executions in the United States, with Texas and Oklahoma alone accounting for 45 percent of the whole.” via Skippy’s blog (Thanks, homies waiting to skewer me over the pit)

    1. so

      Have a nice day wallowing in your fear. We are all god. Have to go out and mow the weeds now.

        1. so

          Sorry Bubba. That’s a no go with the land lord here in Savannah.
          Being this is the third time I’ve mowed a lawn in about 30yrs. I appreciate your concern.
          Bye y’all.

        1. so

          Needing to label and generalize looks like fear to me. Separation is not love.
          Being a transplant from NY has taught me many things.
          Racism and violence are everywhere.

    2. craazyman

      why don’t you get the hell out of there while you still can. Is the plantation worth it? You could live in Queens in a studio for less than $1000/month & there’s a few Barbeque pits here that pass for southern cooking.

      that’s an interesting take on things. I know we all try to be non-judgmental and analytical — preferring sober and reflective analysis to bulging-eyed invective — but that is a striking set of statistics.

      I wonder if that includes all the Jews in Florida. Probably not. When they commit crimes it’s usually financial fraud not armed robbery (that’s a joke so nobody flame me. Very few American Jews commit crimes). Those stats would be even worse if Florida Jews and Austin Texas white liberals were tossed out of the stats. What about all the immigrants from Asia over the past decade or two? They don’t really pack heat or get violent on the streets. There must be other islands of civilzation in the South. What about Myrtle Beach?

      At any rate, sounds like 1859 to me. They accused the northern folks of a lack of pugility and thought it would be a cake walk. That’s like a stock market forecast. At any rate, someday it’ll be over. For most of us, it was in 1865.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Or is the South an excuse? Plenty of “non-violent” types are agog over Hillary. Murder by spreadsheet is still murder.

      1. diptherio

        Yeah, I wonder what the body count would be for the North if we counted all the unfortunate foreigners killed by executive decree. Mr. Obama is doing a pretty good job representing for the North, with his kill-lists and Terror-Tuesdays and whatnot. (And no fair counting Bush as a Southerner, everybody knows he’s really New England aristocracy…)

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s the red state blue state bs Team Blue reveled in after 2004 instead of trying to reform. Dean didn’t go for that crap and soon had Democrats in Hastert and Delay’s gerrymandered seats instead of whining about whites and Republicans. Yes, the GOP gerrymandering even during the 2006 Democratic win, but running on issues and reform would mean upsetting the status quo.

          Obama’s polling turned around in 2012 when he used progressive language and plummeted when he attacked social security. If you don’t give people a reason to support you, they won’t.

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      Insult, Aggression and the Southern Culture of Honor: “An Experimental Ethnography” (PDF)

      From the abstract:

      In 3 experiments, they were insulted by a confederate who bumped into the participant and called him an “asshole.” Compared with northerners—who were relatively unaffected by the insult—southerners were (a) more likely to think their masculine reputation was threatened, (b) more upset (as shown by a rise in cortisol levels), (c) more physiologically primed for aggression (as shown by a rise in testosterone levels), (d) more cognitively primed for aggression, and (e) more likely to engage in aggressive and dominant behavior. Findings highlight the insult-aggression cycle in cultures of honor, in which
      insults diminish a man’s reputation and he tries to restore his status by aggressive or violent behavior.

      1. vidimi

        hey, southerners, are you going to take that abuse from this northern provocateur?

        what kind of men are you? lily-livered chickenshits

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Moi? Provocateur? I’m only like the piano player in the cat house who plays the tunes and has no idea what goes on upstairs.

          I do think it’s fascinating, though, that cultural differences being what one can think of as human software can show up in the hardware of hormones.

      2. hunkerdown

        It could never be that Southerners have a stronger sense of personal boundaries than Northerners, and believe that people (well, some anyway) have a right not to be insulted and are willing to enforce that right in the micro? Cultural arrogance confounds yet another sociological study. Film at 11.

        1. Skippy

          That’s what happens when you consider yourself a commodity in the form of property and you enclose the commons with force in the fist order of acts…..

          Skippy…. Life…. Freedumb… and Liberty…. becomes and endless task of fending off poachers…

        2. Jack

          Oh please. Any culture that thinks words should ever be answered with fists is backward. This is literally schoolyard, kid grade stuff here. “Sticks and stones” and all that. Stronger sense of personal boundaries? Tell that to all the black people they kept as pets.

          The rest of the country has a whole host of problems, but the South is and always was a boil on the ass of America.

    5. craazyman

      why don’t you get the hell out of there while you still can. Is the plantation worth it? You could live in Queens in a studio for less than $1000/month & there’s a few Barbeque pits here that pass for southern cooking.

      that’s an interesting take on things. I know we all try to be non-judgmental and analytical — preferring sober and reflective analysis to bulging-eyed invective — but that is a striking set of statistics.

      I wonder if that includes all the Jews in Florida. Probably not. When they commit crimes it’s usually financial fraud not armed robbery (that’s a joke so nobody flame me. Very few American Jews commit crimes). Those stats would be even worse if Florida Jews and Austin Texas white liberals were tossed out of the stats. What about all the immigrants from Asia over the past decade or two? They don’t really pack heat or get violent on the streets. There must be other islands of civilzation in the South. What about Myrtle Beach?

      At any rate, sounds like 1859 to me. They accused the northern folks of a lack of pugility and thought it would be a cake walk. That’s like a stock market forecast. At any rate, someday it’ll be over. For most of us, it was in 1865.

      (I’ve tried 4 times to post this brilliant essay. I din’t know why it won’t go). Sorry if it there 4 times now but I don’t see it.

    6. Skippy

      Hay I thought you said you wanted to anoint me with scented oils….. tho it smells like BBQ sauce… WT*…

  2. Disturbed Voter

    Ancient Greek economic expansion was based on not just a vibrant decentralized political system, but also on the retraction of Persian power because of the Persian loss of the Greco-Persian wars (which allowed the greater circulation of the Athenian owl instead of the Lydian stater (where coins were first invented in the West), the imperial expansion of Athens (initially against its neighbor Aigina … which made the Athenian owl the monetary standard instead of the Aiginetan turtle … and later the tribute taken from members of the Delian league, and silver extracted from Laurion and Amphipolis (this is why the loss of Amphibolis was strategic). The Athenian historian Thucydides, whose inattention caused the loss of Amphibolis, was the first historian to mention the costs of warfare … the first econometric report … an economy which is why Pericles was tragically overconfident about his war against Sparta (which had no coinage).

    1. sufferinsuccotash

      Pericles wasn’t so much overconfident as unable to see into a near future in which one-fourth of the city’s population (including Pericles himself) would be killed off by an epidemic (typhus?). This was not a good start to a war which pitted a heavily commercialized society like Athens against one with a more self-contained autarkic economic setup like Sparta’s. The Athenian economy was bound to feel the pinch sooner and more severely. The most important consequence of this was the Athenian push to recoup losses by engaging in more ambitious and far-reaching overseas enterprises. The result was the catastrophic expedition to Syracuse, which was the beginning of the end for Athens as the Greek superpower.

      1. Ed

        On this Independence Day, its worth remembering that Athens in the 5th century BC is a cautionary tale of hubris. Most historical accounts have a pro-Athens bias and downplay the extent that they threw away an excellent strategic and economic position for pretty much BS. Persia had been beaten, and Sparta (the main power in the BRICS of its day) had a very conservative outlook and was not a threat. There was no reason even to maintain the Delphic League, let alone convert it into an empire, or to start suborning and attacking Sparta’s allies. They actually wound up getting away with it much more than they should have.

        1. Jim Haygood

          From the Stanford article:

          In his new book, The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece, Josiah Ober links [ancient Greece’s] unexpected prosperity to a relatively democratic, decentralized state system that allowed for innovation and cultural development.

          “Basically the answer to that is politics,” Ober argues. “The Greek world is distinctive in having this dispersed structure so that there are many, many independent states rather than a single empire – or rather than a few big and powerful states.”

          A ‘relatively democratic, decentralized state system’ is all in the rearview mirror for the USA. Gaunt old Abe Lincoln, with his hollow syphilitic stare, imposed the ‘Roach Motel’ rule (you can check in, but you can’t check out) in 1865. Occupation is always a good recipe for Groaf.

          Then in 1913, the federal structure was destroyed by the 17th amendment, ending states’ representation in the Senate (hello, unfunded mandates!). Coupled with the income tax and the Federal Reserve Act, which vastly increased the central government’s revenue and currency creation resources, and the stage was set for the sorrows of empire.

          Funny how ruling the world don’t pay for itself. Enjoy the parades; that’s the only payoff.

      2. DJG

        Sufferinsuccotash: Measles. McNeill believed that is was measles, which likely arose in China and spread west. Europeans had no resistance to measles then. It was a new disease and highly virulent. Then it stuck around and became a “childhood” disease in a milder form: evolution typical of disease agents.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The greater the circulation of one’s currency, the more prosperous one (the elites within and jobs notwithstanding) becomes.

      For Rome, at least, the greatest coin circulation in the ancient world was achieved on the battlefield.

      More recently, Genghis Khan so terrified everyone he was able to coerce his subjects to accept mere paper (a lesser conqueror could not have done it) in the great circulation of his money.

      “Must use my money.”

      “Must buy my music/read my books.”

      “Must believe in my gods.”

      “Must see the world my way – more our kind of education.”

      “Must speak my language.”

      1. diptherio

        The most profane curse in the English tongue: “you must…”

        The perpetual cry of the conqueror, the oppressor: “you must…”

        The favorite lie of the economist, the politician: “you must…”

        “You must…” is always a lie. One always has choices, options — as Anais Nin wrote: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

        If one has enough courage, there is never anything that one “must” do — even in the face of Genghis or a Caesar.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Many have died valiantly resisting that dictate in English, Latin, Mandarin, Russian, Hebrew, French, Japanese, Greek and many other languages.

          Many have submitted (bravely, for their families and children).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Equally effective, viewed from the top, is the following:

            “Must brainwash, seduce them into believing, on their own choice (no must this or must that here), voluntarily, that is, that our gods are stronger and our ideas are better.”

            “We must educate them. So, they will be free to choice (what we want them to choose).”

          2. diptherio

            The “you must” can, of course, be answered with “I choose to,” but whether or not the choice is one of courage or of cowardice, none but the respondent can know. The courageous consider all options and decide on one, the cowardly never even realize they have options–but again, these are all internal processes and not susceptible to outside analysis.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Is the choice to impose a ‘you must’ or not also an internal process of bravery or cowardice as well?

              Can we say, when someone demands us that we must, it’s impossible for us to say if he/she is acting out of courage or cowardice?

              It is more likely, perhaps even for sure, that when someone dictates that we must, that that act is, in and of itself, an act of cowardice. Can anyone give an example that it is an act of courage?

              1. diptherio

                The need to speak “You must” comes often from cowardice and insecurity (like any form of bullying), but sometimes from a lack of faith in humans, and sometimes even with genuinely good intentions and for the right reasons (i.e. “you must learn to poo in the toilet before you start kindergarten.”).

                But usually cowardice–“if I let you do what you want, you may do something that will harm me, so you must do what I say.”

        2. Lexington

          “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves”

          – William Pitt the Elder (1783), quoted by John Ralston Saul in The Unconscious Civilization

          1. pretzelattack

            they just don’t make bribees like they used to (pines for an older, mythical world).

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’m very much afraid financial time (as usual) is moving faster than political time. A Google map of these initiatives would be very useful and revealing as to scale. I wonder if there is one.

        Adding, Occupy Sandy and activities under #BlackLivesMatter are parallels in this country; I believe the Black Panthers called this “direct provision of services” (I may have the phrase wrong). So systems like this can be put in place, but I would argue they really do need to scale out to in essence parallel sovereignty to have a chance (so they don’t get swamped by the relief “community”).

  3. nippersdad

    So the bots at DK are now using Bernie Sanders’ successful campaign efforts to subsidize/conflate their status quo candidates? They never had much shame, looks like they have even less now.

    1. mn

      That article made me ill. Hillary progressive, hilarious. Anything she will say on tour, like Obama, is going to be a bunch of bunk.

      1. nippersdad

        I can’t wait for the debates. Seeing Hillary do backflips over her foreign policy will be well worth the price of admission, especially if she is asked why she sent in the Neo-Cons to foment a Nazi coup in Ukraine or has to answer in depth questions about the rationale behind TISA and ISDS. There just isn’t a hole in any needle large enough for that camel to get through.

    2. Brindle

      The DK piece and comments show how bankrupt those who support Dem elites are.
      I went to a Net Roots Nation gathering some years ago, many DK people there. These folks are very clubby and supporting the Dem party is a hobby they share together. They are mostly fairly well off financially though not rich. Perhaps they wish Hillary was more progressive, but nothing she does will cause them to not support her.

  4. ambrit

    I have been reading the disparagements of Daily Kos for a while now, but not felt the need to actually read it. (I do respect the views of the posters here.) Thus, when I actually read the piece linked to today, oh boy! Now I understand why Daily Kos is considered a propaganda mouthpiece for the DNC.
    Regular readers of this and other “Progressive” sites will have caught the numerous misstatements, flavours and colours of ‘spin,’ and downright meretricious sycophancy in the piece. The last thing in the linked piece says it all. Appended to the actual article, the site says, “Originally posted at Hillary HQ.”
    There it is. Daily Kos proudly displays its’ chains for all to see.
    They should change the name of the site to “DNC Bellwether Report.”

    1. timbers

      Markos the owner of DK is in lala land and I’ve lost all respect for him. DK was the first “liberal blog” I started reading during the Iraq War and it helped me turn from the Dark Side, going from Reagan Republican to realizing Liz Warren is one of the few good people in Congress but she’s still a moderate Republican of 50 years ago.

      Seems Markos has mostly disappeared (no longer have DK on my reading list but check in once in a while like the weather report) and assume he’s living The Good Life off his success of DK but once in a while he appears with a post which makes him look an out of touch idiot, like a year or two ago he posted on the drive to cut Social Security and Grand Bargains said “of course Obama does not want to cut Social Security and Medicare” while explain the 11th dimensional chess aspects, or something to that affect.

      Don’t know if he just misinformed or is in it for the money.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m not sure when it became a cesspool. The Hillary/Obama pre-primary fights were a sign of where the site was going. Needless to say, sexism and racism were rampant. Actual discussions of the candidates or collective action disappeared in favor of deran fed photo blogs. By Jan. 2009, it was redstate for Team Blue.

    3. wbgonne

      During the Fast Track “fight” I spent significant time at Daily Kos, hoping to see an uprising among the partisan Democrats. While the site participants overwhelmingly opposed Obama, the front page writers (other than one principled and respected writer, Meteor Blades) were effectively silent. The so-called “labor” writer, Laura Clawson never wrote one piece about Fast Track or TPP. Like Kos himself, the DK front page went full-in and early for Hillary Clinton. Since Clinton is awful, there is little to brag about so the pro-Hillary articles focus on polls, fundraising and this nonsense that Hillary is being “pushed Left” by Bernie Sanders and the hisorical zeitgeist. The rest of the DK front page consists of comical stories about those wacky Republicans. IOW: pretty much exactly what Daily Kos has been doing for the 6 years of Obama’s horrid reign.

      There are a number of intelligent, thoughtful, and decent people commenting at Daily Kos. And many of them are vigorously supporting Sanders’ challenge to Clinton. Unfortunately, Sanders is almost certain to fail and once that happens most — not all, but the large majority — of them will fall in line for Clinton. After all that Obama has done, and with the certainty that Clinton will do more of the same, I have no more repect for such Democratic partisans. None. In fact, they are the near enemy.

      1. timbers

        “After all that Obama has done, and with the certainty that Clinton will do more of the same, I have no more repect for such Democratic partisans. None. In fact, they are the near enemy.”

        Yes. They are far more dangerous IMO to enable the right wing corporatist agenda because they act as heroin on what should be Democrats that support actual liberal policies but instead support Obama or Hillary, they enable the Obama/Rahm/Hillary neo-liberals. They enable the trojan horses like Obama to sabotage any successful effort to oppose Republicans or for Dems to move towards liberalism.

        Put another way a la Glenn Greenwald, they may not be the greater evil, but they are the more effective evil.

        1. jo6pac

          they may not be the greater evil, but they are the more effective evil.

          Glen Ford is credited with this;)

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The anti-Sanders attacks are just oldies from 2007 with even less substance. Hillary base hasn’t grown, and there are less loyal democrats. If she keeps yammering about nothing, she will collapse just like last time.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Collapse, yes, but in favor of whom? Bernie is too old and wacky to get the GOM (Great Obese Middle) to support him. O’Malley? Too many skeletons but at least he’s not a commie. I think Her Majesty collapses but then stages a comeback based on the legions of the Vichy Left and HWW (Housewives Wanting a Woman), that plus the savoir faire with which complete lies roll off her tongue (not quite as smooth as the Manchurian Basketballer we have now but still impressive).

          The Founding Fathers knew the populace did not have the skills or information to select a leader, hence the Electoral College. The last dozen or so elections proved them right but unfortunately the structure has been corrupted.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Yeah, Obama ran on raising taxes, ending the wars, pursuing justice, etc, etc all while having a goofy name, the wrong skin color, and no record. Spare me the too wacky stuff. Except for Blagojevich, no Team Blue member has gone on to win state wide except to retain their seat. No congressman has become a senator, and no senator has become a governor.

            The only nuts are the people who think Hillary will win the general. Hillary and the war mongers have been rejected.

            Even among the Teabaggers, every Republican they challenged who voted for the bailouts lost on the primaries and Team Blue failed to capitalize on the wackiness.

            1. bjmaclac

              In my living memory (presumably longer than most of this site’s participants), and the fact that I tend towards a liberal progressive orientation, and actually shed a few tears of joy as Obama delivered his fist victory speech way back there in 2008, I have never so viscerally come to hate any US president as I do Obama. Certainly, Bush (dubbya) was bad in his own right; but at least you knew where he was coming from. Obama, considering all the broken promises; and the fact that his eloquent rhetoric is in a separate universe from the one that he actually governs within, has to be one of the most vile of all American presidents. The hatred I have towards him is so intense that whenever I see him on any telecast, spewing lie after lie, I can’t get at the “remote” button quick enough to either “mute” the sound or change the channel; and then read the analysis of others who are compelled to endure Obama’s special brand of potty-mouth banality.

    4. Brindle

      The author of the DK piece, “scan” is the creator of “Hillary HQ”. He describes himself as a fan of the Clinton’s since 1992– from Hillary HQ:

      “Following Obama’s victory, I have largely pursued interests outside the realm of political writing, but 2016 is simply too important to sit out…especially if there’s a Clinton involved.”

  5. timbers

    Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016:

    “President Obama, on a trip to Tennessee this week, said that consumers should put pressure on state insurance regulators to scrutinize the proposed rate increases.”

    See, Obama does care about us.

  6. willf

    Bernie, Hillary and the Liberal Realignment Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

    Wow, that article should come with some kind of trigger warning. I couldn’t tell if it was more important to the author to dismiss Sanders out of hand, concern troll his supporters, or whistle past the graveyard of party enthusiasm.

    The last thing in the linked piece says it all. Appended to the actual article, the site says, “Originally posted at Hillary HQ.”

    Oh, well that explains it.

  7. David

    One against 18 – How Varoufakis unified Brussels DW

    “As finance minister, his job is to forge alliances and generate room to maneuver. He might have done this better with a less confrontational approach. According to one diplomat in Brussels, Varoufakis currently personifies the loss of trust suffered by the Tsipras government in a matter of months.”

    1. ambrit

      Our ‘paperette’ appears to mainly be a client of the USA Today chain. Similar sightings of boilerplate propaganda are to be found here. The ‘people’ might not be buying into HRCs narrative so much as being bemused by it’s manufactured aura of ‘inevitability’ and ‘progressive exceptionalism.’ The older concept of “glamour” is relevant. Originally, glamour meant magic or enchantment. One was ensnared in coils of unreality. Modern politics perfectly fits this definition.
      I wouldn’t blame it on the ‘people.’ The average ‘man on the street’ only sees and hears what the MSM allows him to. One of the primary strengths of the Committees of Correspondence, this being the Fourth and all, was to widely disseminate a counter Imperial point of view. That effectiveness depended to a great extent on the participation of dissenting elites in the anti Empire movement.

      1. alex morfesis

        hrc and rudy guiliani

        didn’t these same all knowing media outlets say the same same in mid 2007…

        “it’s all set…the rumble in the jungle, the thrilla in manila…

        hello there sports fans this is…”

        so much for those best laid plans…

        1. ambrit

          Here goes for a second try at replying to a m.
          I’m cynical enough to consider the idea that Obama was a GOP plan from the beginning.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Has “GOP” become unitarily synonymous with “PTB?” Venn diagram looks like what?

      2. Gareth

        Both Hillary and her husband are celebrities. This is her greatest political asset in our celebrity obsessed culture. Just think of the election as being a reality TV show. The only Republican who can match her celebrity status is Trump, and he’s famous for being a cartoon caricature of a rich a*hole.

        1. petal

          Gareth, I was thinking that on my way into work today-it’s a celebrity thing. Spot on.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China to stabilize stock market.

    At what level though? A year ago, the Shanghai index was at around 2000. Stabilization at 3,500?

    Should the government there have, a few weeks back, boosted the market to 8,000, instead of the recent peak of around 5,000, so they could stabilize now at say, 6,000? That would be foresight…one would call that planning or central planning. And it’s probably easier to take it to 8,000 on the upleg of a bubble than trying to arrest the slide on the down-leg.

    Maybe they should have taken it to 10,000 ( a nice round number) so they can today stabilize it at, say, 7,500???

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      We don’t have “stocks” any more, reflections of the comparative risk of discounted enterprise cash flows. Instead we have “proto-money”, receipts that reflect the currency issuer’s funding activities. Said issuers both hold these receipts themselves and control the supply of the unit of account they are denominated in. China is late to the game, following Denmark, the Fed Plunge Protection Team, and the champs the Swiss National Bank, cited by some as the largest single holder of equities in the world. The Japanese central bank will own 100% of the floats of Japanese equity ETFs by 2017.
      Those wishing to invest in a company based on their prospects for “earnings” or “market share” must look elsewhere.

  9. roadrider

    Re: liberal relaignment


    Where to start?

    The successes of the Obama administration have largely been corrective actions that saved us from immediate disaster while calmly setting our course towards something better.

    I almost stopped reading right there! Corrective actions that saved us from immediate disaster? Well, maybe for the Wall St./bankster criminals but surely not for distressed homeowners or the jobless. Maybe if you’re a health insurance company, rapidly consolidating hospital complex or drug company but only for some ordinary citizens needing health care (as distinct from health insurance coverage) while others, even those who have obtained insurance under the ACA go without because of deductibles, co-insurance, narrow networks, etc,

    And as a progressive liberal who supports Hillary Clinton

    Well, I guess that explains it. If a corporatist war monger and professional grifter like Hillary Clinton represents “progressive liberalism” then one must really question what “progressive” or “liberalism” really mean.

    1. C. dentata

      “Something better,” like Tim Geithner using distressed home owners to foam the runway for the banks. Squeeze a few more payments out of them, not help them.

      1. roadrider

        Yes, I know. I contributed to and voted for Stein in 2012 and will do the same in 2016.

        1. spooz

          So you won’t be giving Bernie a shot by voting for him in the Democratic primary?

          1. Splashoil

            In States which Parties use a caucus system, you must pony up dues in cash to vote. There is no refund…

          2. roadrider

            I’m not a registered Democrat (haven’t been since 2008 – only stayed in to vote for Uncommitted in the primary to show my disgust with both Clinton and Obama) so I can’t vote in the primary. And, no, I’m not going to re-register as a Democrat just to vote for a guy who’s already vowed to support Clinton.

            1. Splashoil

              If the PTB as are asking us to finance these kabuki wrestlers they should be paying us to watch. Of course Sanders is inspiring and HRC is catty. At the end there is no change.

            2. spooz

              I must have missed the announcement where Bernie vowed to support Hillary if he loses. Got a link for that?

              1. Splashoil

                The script calls for a primary filled with heroic struggle and impassioned polemics. After it’s called for HRC Sanders will listen to his labor supporters and keep the Party united against those mean Rethugs in the clown coach. No investment is made in a real third party so there once again is no place to go.
                I was too tired to crawl the google but the evidence is out there. Sanders is not running as an Independent and will give cover to the same group of fakers. Big Labor will ask him to support HRC and Sanders will not field a slate of Independent candidates.

  10. alex morfesis

    in re: waldman on greece

    that one comment seems less important than the one on basel (faulty) 2…

    computer screen capitalism has been driven by bloomberg screens, credit rating agency empowerment through erisa, and risk redirection by basel rules designed to focus money on funding government deficits by claiming very low risks to capital.

    the best performing economies today are those willing to hit the print button where there are multiple outlets for financial credit creation…

    the rating agencies play along since they make the most money from the economies which create the most financial outlets.

    everyone talks about “government debt” and try to suggest greece has some much larger per capita debt then germany…

    well greece ONLY borrowed from the capital markets via its central government…so from that myopic view, it is NOT a lie to live the meme we are living…

    just a grand omission…

    but germany, france, italy and spain don’t want anyone to lift the rug to see all the dust bunnies of non-central state, regional, and municipality borrowings that the troika would not want anyone to pay attention to…

    remember that little recent burp with austrian government guarantees that was quickly pushed to page 27 and then made to slip away…

    somehow the hypo bank and all the landesbank counterparty guarantees on american loan pool derivatives seems to have also been made to slide to page 27 and then off to the media morgue…magically for germany, along with the forgotten financial “bankruptcy” of berlin ten years ago as if it didn’t happen…

    the problems of northern europe are not going away by crushing greece…

    and beware of greeks bearing lawyers…

    from a legal point of view, greece was not bailed out and only owes about 75 billion euros in debt.

    greece did not have 300 billion in euro debt due in 2010-12.

    what greece did was guarantee the bailouts of german and french banks so that the german and french governments would not have to book those liabilities on their debt structures and would not trigger problems for the isda

    france could not have let those greek subsidiaries of french banks die as the reputational risk might have spread to africa, where the french people still exploit their former colonies through control of their currencies (CAF) via the french treasury and central bank. it might have triggered bank runs in the former french african colonies.

    but all these issues and questions are moot come tuesday or at the latest, the tuesday after that…

    i hope the reason finance minister didn’t want the troika to see his books was because he has been playing the vix and has a pile of cash sitting in some account somewhere in the name of the greek government…

    oh just let me dream…

    happy 4th

      1. alex morfesis

        the us congress is not the only government that is allowed to do insider trading legally…

        it was legal…LEGAL for german companies to bribe public officials until just this last september when section 108 e of the criminal code in germany Finally made it a crime to offer or solicit a bribe…

        so now you know why transparency international has never heard of a company called seimens…it’s the german way…you do realize transparency intl is german, yes ?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s then as a symbolic gesture to be caught as the corrupt prosecute one (and take back the money) but not the other.

    1. susan the other

      Whether or not the French and German banks were bailed out by laundry might be a question of technique. I’m sure I don’t know. But Waldman’s “Greece” was pretty convincing. That Greece was used in order to save those banks, and clearly it did save them and it did not save itself. Germany and France are purebred imperialists so why not? And now they are scapegoating Greece to save their own domestic politix. “The nerve! The fucking nerve.” Yes, I agree. In 2010 French and German Banks socialized their losses via the IMF and the ECB and finessed to look like that private disaster and insolvency was always backed by their taxpayers. Not even possible. France and Germany also are NOT sovereign (let alone their private banks) so they can’t claim to be backed by taxpayers legally, and years after the fact. Those private banks should be shut down. Socializing those losses was a felony at best.

  11. Jesse

    There’s lots of speculation about what happens if the Greeks vote no, but what happens if they vote yes?

    1. ambrit

      I would guess that Syriza falls, new elections are called, and some stop gap funding mechanism is pulled out of a hat to keep the Greek State limping along until a new “Eurofriendly” government is installed in Athens. Mind you, I’m still predicting some sort of civil war in Greece by spring. At the least, a splintering of the country into informal zones of control will be the optimal outcome given the present conditions.

    2. Ed

      If the Greeks vote yes, at the least the finance minister resigns, as he has said he would. Probably the Prime Minister resigns. A new government forms around New Democracy, PASOK, Te Potami, and some defectors from Syrizia. There wouldn’t necessary be new elections. The other European governments have been pressing to get a new government in Greece and that has made them less likely to compromise on the debt restructuring.

      Greece would remain in the EU and eurozone and there would likely be some sort of debt restructuring package. Because regime change just happened, there would be a somewhat chilling effect on democracy within Europe. There are some underlying factors with this crisis that would remain and prevent the situation from resolving neatly. Greece should probably not be part of the EU at all, certainly shouldn’t be part of the eurozone, and doesn’t really have the economy that would enable it to support its levels of government spending. But we will probably hear a lot about how the crisis was resolved successfully with a yes vote.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Going by historical examples, I think it is possible that a Marshall Plan is possible, but ONLY AFTER victory is secured through a total war.

        It worked out profitably and ‘democracy has been restored.’

        As always, and I mentioned this before, it’s easier, way easier, to be magnanimous being a conqueror (though many failed even that).

    3. alex morfesis

      is “peace so sweet” ?

      for many people it is…

      the world has two percenters and twenty percenters…

      for those afraid of life, they gather up kindling and nuts and hope to gather
      two percent return from what they have earned or stolen…

      for the twenty percenters… a little breathing room and a bag of old rusty tools and soon enough they will have cut down some trees, gotten back on their feet and on a good day, make twenty percent for their best efforts

      the two percenters will fear they got lucky and will never have enough to quench those internal fears…

      the twenty percenters just need a good nights sleep and a healthy breakfast to go back at it and make things happen

      slavery from fear and anxiety will bring a yes vote


      greek yogurt, feta cheese and olive oil…

      the breakfast of champions…

  12. jfleni

    RE: Leaked dogfight test reveals that F-35 jet is in ‘very big trouble’.

    No Surprise! Flying turd F35 can’t fly, but it sure produces the big bucks for “Defense” plutocrats.

      1. ambrit

        The one fighter pilot I met who flew F-4s said it was a good reliable machine.
        As long as it gets the job done and gets the pilot home…

  13. jfleni

    RE: Health Insurance Companies Seek Big Rate Increases for 2016

    Medicare destruction by greedy insurance coming up! GIMME Barry! I gave to your library!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I see inflation on many fronts personally – health care, water, clean air, organic apples, etc.

    2. flora

      The insurance companies and Pharma are in it together.
      The Medicare drug act, and later the A.C.A. drug provision, guarantee by law that no price limits or govt group rate negotiations can or will limit drug prices in any way. Even generic drugs prices are going thru the roof. Then there’s the $1000 a pill for hep C. costing in total $84,000 for a full treatment. Drug costs get factored into insurance premiums.

      “Drug manufacturers can raise prices to whatever they want, says Peter Bach, a physician and epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering, in New York City, who has studied the pricing of cancer drugs. ….
      “The U.S. govt’s unwillingness to use its negotiating power to control costs puts it at odds with almost every other industrialized nation…..
      “The biggest winners, of course, are the insurance companies themselves….The law has handed them millions of new customers. Competition is unlikely to drive down costs; five big insurers now dominate the market…”
      – Harpers Magazine, July 2015, “Wrong Prescription” by Trudie Leiberman (pay wall or your local library

      Price gouging for drugs and insurance is legal.

  14. DJG

    The article in Washington Post has a graphic that indicates that Germany loses only 2.9 percent of taxes as uncollected. Greece is notoriously larger.

    As Lambert would write, a feature not a bug of the U.S. system:

    Fifteen percent. That’s a catastrophically large privilege being handed over to the rich and corporations. And it adds to the all-fraud-all-the-time ethos in U.S. life, as Yves notes a day or so ago.

    Yet both parties, in their determination to cripple federal and state agencies, are complicit.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To succeed, they, meaning the elites, deploy a two-pronged attack.

      One is to have the rates low officially.

      The other is to avoid those low rates (not collected).

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      This is one thing a tax maven I know mentions regularly, that we have no tax enforcement in the US (by international standards). A few individuals and small/medium sized businesses get audited and a few serious abusers get caught but not enough to amount to real deterrence.

  15. anonymous123

    Is anyone else having trouble with the mobile site? It has become unusable for me again. There’s some sort of advertising spam that keeps taking me to download a game from the itunes store, whenever I click on one of the NC blog posts to read it. It’s the same (or something like that) that was happening awhile back, plus another redirect website that seems new. I can’t get to any posts without being hit with this spam, which unfortunately means I can’t read NC on mobile at all. :(

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We have no ads that relate to iTunes. Hate to tell you but I think you have a virus. I’ll tell our tech guy, but your problem sounds local (particularly since no one is making similar complaints).

    1. knowbuddhau

      Well I’ll be damned, thanks for that. Just starting the process of setting up a co-op with my buddy to do environmental consulting that isn’t just “Permits-R-Us” advocacy for anything property owners dream up. Trying to come up with a name. Already rejected “Anarcho-Syndicalist Defenders of Wetlands.” ;)

      Are there enough people who want to actually know what is actually on their property, and what they can actually do without harming it, to provide two people with livelihoods, not just jawbs? We’ll find out.

      1. diptherio

        Cool! Best of luck! You might look into the DIG cooperative of Oakland, if you haven’t already. They are in a somewhat related field. Also, be sure to contact any cooperative orgs in your area. Austin, Philly, NYC, Boston, SF all have regional worker co-op development orgs…and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head!

        There are lots of people who want to help worker co-ops: make sure you reach out to them.

        1. knowbuddhau

          Thanks, will do. Surprised already by the level of technical assistance available.

  16. alex morfesis

    that poor kitty needs some fresh water and a sun visor…

    that has got to hurt squinting so tight to block out all that sunlight

    poor pootie kat

    or maybe i should mind my own business

  17. mk

    Happy 4th!
    Can’t get this song out of my head!!:

    Fraud is in the air
    Everywhere I look around
    Fraud is in the air
    Every sight and every sound
    And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
    Don’t know if I’m being wise
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when I look in your eyes

    Fraud is in the air
    In the whisper of the trees
    Fraud is in the air
    In the thunder of the sea
    And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
    Don’t know if I feel sane
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when you call out my name

    Fraud is in the air
    Fraud is in the air
    Oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh

    Fraud is in the air
    In the rising of the sun
    Fraud is in the air
    When the day is nearly done
    And I don’t know if you’re an illusion
    Don’t know if I see it true
    But you’re something that I must believe in
    And you’re there when I reach out for you

    Fraud is in the air
    Everywhere I look around
    Fraud is in the air
    Every sight and every sound
    And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
    Don’t know if I’m being wise
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when I look in your eyes

    1. knowbuddhau

      Love it! Thanks. Working on a parody of my own to the tune of “Make the World Go Away.” Only one stanza so far.

      Make the wetlands go away
      Take it off of my shoulders
      Let’s fill it in with some boulders
      And make the wetland go away

  18. rich

    Bernie, Hillary and the Liberal Realignment

    “The debates should also make crystal clear that if Bernie loses the nomination, he will support the winner 100% in the fight against the Republican nominee and strongly push all of his dedicated supporters to follow suit.”

    Bullshit….i’d rather not vote….I’m not sure how others feel but Bernie’s support doesn’t equate or become support for Hillary…I hope that’s not the game plan.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Screw that. Will Hillary support the democratic nominee or will she stand with her brethren the war mongers?

    2. Vatch

      “i’d rather not vote”

      Whoa! Don’t avoid voting — vote for one of the third party candidates if both the Democratic and the Republican nominee are objectionable (they almost certainly will be).

    3. Lexington


      This is why I stopped reading Daily Kos a few years ago.

      The not so subtle point of that fine little piece of propaganda is to establish the meme that Hillary and Bernie are really peas in a pod so that Bernie’s progressive bona fides will rub off on Hillary in the minds of voters. Bernie isn’t going to win the nomination so given the foregoing the only conscionable thing for his supporters to do is rally to his good buddy Hillary.

      You have to give the Democratic establishment credit for being on top of this. If Bernie gets Democratic supporters thinking too hard about the actual implications of Democratic policies he could contribute to an incipient split in the party. The establishment is working overtime to promote the counter narrative that support for Bernie and support for Hillary are two sides of the same coin. So when Hillary wins the nomination do your duty on election day and vote for Bernie – oops, I mean Hillary.

      And don’t forget about all the Democrats in the the downticket races.

      1. nippersdad

        The Sanders group that I am contact with here seems pretty militant. We made very sure from the beginning that the local Democratic Party realized our votes were not transferable as we are largely a contingent of Indies and disaffected Democrats. Such is also the impression that I am getting from the various Sanders sites that I frequent.

        Prolly not a coincidence that I am also frequently seeing articles that cite such as AxelRove (Mr. “Professional Left”, himself) saying that the Clinton campaign needs to tread carefully around the Bernie supporters if they want to keep them for the general. IMHO, it won’t happen in large numbers as Sanders’ platform is incompatible with the DLC version that he is actively campaigning against, never mind the Republicans. To become an informed Bernie supporter is to become disaffected from the dominant Party structure pushing such as Clinton. If Hillary wins the nomination they will mostly either vote for the Greens or not vote at all.

        I think the split is here and we are just awaiting the polls to find out how large it is.

  19. Roland

    The Greek world wasn’t wrecked by Macedon or Rome, although these barbarian states would play their part in paralyzing the culture of the ancient Mediterranean as a whole. But the Empire which spoiled ancient Greece was that of the Athenians.

    The Greek city-states were involved in a series of nearly incessant wars amongst themselves, and by a series of simultaneous civil wars which occurred within many of those warring states. Unfortunately, much of this warfare was caused by the much-admired Athens, which tried to assert its control over all of Hellas.

    After the Persian Wars, Hellas was safe from outside threat. But for the Athenians, security wasn’t enough. The Athenians set about turning a defensive alliance into a tribute-collecting empire in which Athenians enjoyed special trade and legal rights. It got so bad that many Greeks ended up preferring Persian rule, while the Athenians resorted to massacre in order to maintain hegemony.

    By the time the Athenians were finally stopped, the entire Greek world was exhausted and demoralized, and the pace of creativity in the ancient Mediterranean never resumed. The century which preceded Athens’ bid for hegemony produced more new ideas than the eight centuries which followed. The Macedonians and Romans, being the barbarians they were, just tried to copy old ideas and make them bigger through the better application of violence.

    1. Vatch

      You are certainly correct that the Athenians got greedy and caused great harm to Hellas. But I disagree that “the pace of creativity in the ancient Mediterranean never resumed.” Here are some Greeks whose work occurred after the Peloponnesian wars:

      Democritus (he straddled the war and the post war period)
      Aristophanes (another straddler)
      Euclid (in Alexandria)
      Archimedes (in Syracuse, Sicily)
      Pyrrho (he may have learned about Buddhism in NW India with Alexander’s army)
      Apollonius of Rhodes
      Apollonius of Perga
      Eratosthenes (Alexandria)

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      What he says is that the sh1t is going to hit the fan when Obama announces the new overtime rules. So they were just announced. So I guess we should treat them like a big deal.

      What is interesting is that 1) Hanauer is explicitly saying we have businesses all over the country paying people $30,000/yr and making them work 60-70 hour weeks because employers don’t have to pay them overtime, and now they will have to pay a lot more either in OT, making the $30k job into a $40-50k job, or by hiring more people and letting them work reasonable work weeks and 2) I don’t hear any of this from the O administration. I hope Hanauer is right.

  20. knowbuddhau

    Didn’t like the “Seattle on the Mediterranean” article. The author seems to indulge in the “nature as ornament,” “nature as ‘precious’ resource (gag)” view. There are much better reasons to care for nature than, “oh, isn’t it pretty!” and “think of the money we’ll make!”

    IMNSHO, and maybe MyLessThanPrimeBeef (a bow in your virtual direction) can back me up on this, the most fundamental problem we have in having a healthy relationship with nature, is the illusion of separateness. We have the bizarre idea that we as organisms somehow stop at the edge of our skin, and everything outside it is absolutely “other” which can be cared for, or not, as we see fit.

    Truth is, there is no such boundary. If there were, we’d be dead already. If cell membranes absolutely separated the interior from the exterior, the cell would quickly die.

    Everything we see on the exterior of our skin is more properly our external organs. All the other organisms are not other than us. They’re our selves, our kin. We need to care for them as we care for our selves.

    And the whole “Seattle is the New Sicily” idea is exactly what got us into this mess in the first place: coming to a new land and imposing patterns from distant lands instead of respecting the existing relationships.

    Far too many people around here are only too happy to frame nature with picture windows, cherishing it as an ornament for a house that probably shouldn’t have been built, but don’t give a damn about the health of the waters and forests or our kin who live in them. Everybody’s happy to see orcas, but no one wants to hear that each and every newborn is polluted with PCBs from its mother’s milk. And ain’t that a plague of biblical proportions? I guess it’s not until it affects us humans inescapably. Check that, AGW is exactly that, but too few seem to get it. Hard not to think we’re effing doooomed!

    Accepting our identity with nature, and living it, is our only chance of not ruining it for everything else.

  21. craazyman

    OK it’s all in SPAM. Never mind, it’s not worth all this. Back to math reading. Not that I’m a mathematician, I’m not, but it does take concentration and this is too distracting, posting a comment 6 times. I should be embarrassed and frankly sort of am by now, wasting time like this

    maybe the SPAM algo needs to be re-equationed actually. It’s probably some machine learning GIGO exercise using the kind of care that used to go into writing VCR operation manuals someplace in Japan. You’d read it and wonder how anyone could pay somebody to do that. Even random assemblages of words drawn from a dictionary would make more sense. hahahaha oh well

    1. JTMcPhee

      Leaves it to experimentation to discover what will pass the filters. Frequency? Amplitude? Wavelength? Power level? Impedance? Maybe a grant iis needed.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Craazy, you know I love your work but here’s the deal. If I want to stand on policy, NC promises only 24-hour turnaround, though of course most of the time we do much better than that. It would be possible to fund near-real-time moderation, but ask yourself which is better: That, or funding original reporting and research? I know my answer.

      Next, multiple posts and difficult-to-trace complaints make your problem worse.

      First, with five posts of similar material, you’re training Skynet to believe you are a spammer, because that’s what spammers do. And as you point out, you’ve been successful! We’ve said this over and over again; please pay heed. (Yes, occasional dupes slip through, but that’s — if I understand this correctly — because NC is cached all over the world, and subject thereby to race conditions. The occasional dupe is in no way proof that pressing the Submit button over and over again, goddammit, will help you.)

      Second, this was the workflow: 1) No text to search on, so 2) search for Craazy in three queues to make sure 3) Yves has not already approved what you have complained about, and if she hasn’t 4) figure out which of the multiple posts is the canonical one, 5) approve that one (two steps), 6) trash the others, 7) check two queues to see if there are any useful information to pass on to the tech guy (there wasn’t, because there’s no audit trail in WordPress that I know of, but just in case), and 8) Write this comment.

      Without this comment, between 5 and 10 minutes. With this comment, 20. (These times are not much of a problem for me, but they are a very big problem for Yves. After all, 20 minutes is a phone call to a source.)

      So you see that multiple posts do two things:

      1) Train Skynet to think you are a spammer (making the problem worse).

      2) Disincentivize time-stressed moderators from pulling your comments out of the queues sooner rather than later (making the problem worse).

      Readers, there is no need to respond to this; there’s no reason to clutter the thread with meta.

      I hope this helps.

      1. Oregoncharles

        I’m going to respond anyway, because I have an observation that might be useful.

        1) All praise to the moderators; NC has far and away the most useful and least annoying comments columns I’ve encountered. Some are horrendous.
        And on the same note, no response is needed, nor is this a complaint. If it’s useful, good. And it may help reassure other commenters.

        2) The site response to my posts is inconsistent, I assume because of traffic loads. Sometimes, when I hit “post,” it shows me my comment, in place, with a note that it’s awaiting moderation. That helps: I know it’s in queue, and get a last chance to edit it. Other times, perhaps more often, It simply takes me to the top and leaves me there; no sign of the queue. I’ve learned to ignore the difference, but it would be tempting at that point to either try again or pester the moderators.

        3rd case, occasionally the response is so slow that I’m not sure I hit the button, but it alerts me that I’m duplicating the post. Again, correct function.

        Hope that helps.

      2. craazyman

        that’s why you make the big bucks! History will thank you. LOL

        it wasn’t a complaint by the way, I was poking fun at myself.

        Frankly you need not have gone to the trouble. It was way beyond the call of duty & I really don’t care if what I comment gets lost sometime. It’s just idle amusement for me — it’s not remotely close to anythhing I’d call “work”. You and Yves do the work. I lay around.

        I live with the occcasional lost post and am quite OK being a Team Player there.

        1. Lambert Strether

          More than “lay around”; the dying WASP subculture of which I am a part never lies or flatters about really important stuff, like writing. And when I hear “team player” I reach for my Browning (and not the works of the poet). Just… Be aware…

  22. Lambert Strether

    From July 2 in comments:

    6) If voters must travel a significant distance to get to the polls, some percentage of voters with cash flow problems will be effectively disenfranchised. (Readers will correct me, but I think this means the referendum would be heavily biased toward Athens, and against the villages and the islands.)

    Today, here’s an example of exactly that:

    Pointing out that the polling station is 80 kilometres (50 miles) away, Chatzifotiadis said: “I have no money to go there, unless perhaps if my children would take me in their car.”

    Assuming, of course, that the children have money and petrol (i.e., not in exactly the same situation as Chatzifotiadis.

    Reminds me of ObamaCare. In the referendum, your right to vote on Greece’s future depends heavily on income and location.

  23. ewmayer

    Re. “Sorry, Trump”:

    Yeah, but the Texans are here committing their sex crimes *legally*, or something.

  24. JTMcPhee

    There’s always so many sides to every crisis. What if they performed a bilatetal above-the-knee Grexit and the patient not only survived but grew new legs?

    Somebody at Bloomberg is speculating…

    The Other Contagion: What If Greece Thrived After Euro Exit?

    “Few forces are more clearly demonstrated in economic history than the boost to spending and growth from a large and sustained real depreciation,” said Gagnon.

    Of course, maybe the habits of self-serving and Byzantine corruption are too deeply ingrained.

    What’s Greek for ” hope?”

    1. Skippy

      Had a nice guffaw at this comment….

      9:42 AM GMT+1000
      And now for something completely different.
      Possibly Monty Python’s highest-minded sketch in an American newspaper.
      The times are heady, get to know your towel.

      Get to know your towel indubitably – [!!!!!!!!!]

      Skippy…. anywho…. seriously…. Einstein and French philosopher Henri Bergson wrangling over time kinda puts the old reductive mythology… I mean methodology… in perspective… 75 years is a long time on palliative care…. whom knew?

      1. ambrit

        Too right. The comments are usually as good as can be when the Pythons are involved.

  25. JEHR

    Did you ever think that only one man could dismantle a whole country’s democracy in just nine years? Well, it has already happened and without huge protests from the inhabitants mostly because of the secrecy with which the dismantling took place and is taking place at this very moment.

    If you have the time and patience you can read all about the details. Our PM must have been plotting for years what he was going to do when he gained power. Read the following and weep:

    The strange thing is that it will take many, many years to build up the open, fair, transparent, nurturing and honest government that we once had. If he gets elected again, he will be our First Dictator. I am not exaggerating because once all the democratic agencies and persons are gone and oversight is missing, there will be nothing to prevent his rise to dictatorial power.

  26. Lambert Strether

    The Clinton rope line:

    I don’t think most Americans have a lot of respect for the press, oddly, or not, so one possible reaction is that Clinton was pretty nice to set her boundaries with what looks like a bungee cord, as opposed to something electrified, or security dudes in sunglasses carrying cattleprods. That said, there is this sort of narrative lurking:

    The entrance guards stepped aside, formed a short corridor of lances. There came a murmurous swish of garments, feet rasping the sand that had drifted into the Residency.

    The Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV led his people into the hall. His burseg helmet had been lost and the red hair stood out in disarray. His uniform’s left sleeve had been ripped along the inner seam. He was beltless and without weapons, but his presence moved with him like a force-shield bubble that kept his immediate area open.

    A Fremen lance dropped across his path, stopped him where Paul had ordered. The others bunched up behind, a montage of color, of shuffling and of staring faces.

    If the narrative takes hold that Hillary lives and moves in an imperial bubble — I don’t recall hearing of rope lines for the Sanders Fourth of July march in Iowa — that would be bad. For the Clinton campaign, at least. These images seem almost calculated to produce that effect. Couldn’t some staffer have made a deal with the scorps, instead of rubbing their noses in it with a rope?

    * * *

    Meanwhile, Clinton is being pursued by people holding up handwritten and therefore doubtlessly authentic “Benghazi!” signs; the mother of all hairballs. I hate to deploy “The Party of Stupid” against Republicans, because Democrats are stupid in their own way, but can’t we do better?

      1. nippersdad

        That looks interesting, especially the parts about conservatives being attracted to his message. I noted that at the end they say that he will be at an event in Maine on Monday…..Do we know anyone from Maine who could tell us about it? :)

          1. nippersdad

            Excellent! So much of what one sees is clearly reported through rose colored glasses, it will be nice to read an account with a more jaundiced eye. While there is a lot to be said for talking up the team, sometimes that induces a silo effect that ultimately does no one any good.

    1. Skippy

      Obviously someone on her staff has been reading Temple Grandin….

      Skippy…. so that leaves the question of whom is actually being conditioned… ummmm….

    2. ambrit

      Am I the only NC aficionado who gets the joke in that picture?
      It’s a limbo contest!
      “How low can you go!”

      Also, as per the White House fence story from the other day; when the governing class see the people as potential enemies, the rot has reached the brain.

  27. Cano Doncha Know

    I’m confused. I haven’t been on NC for awhile, but I would think Yves and the commenters on this site would be supportive of the OXI side, given all of the articles here against austerity. Can someone summarize for me why in this case NC is leaning NAI? Thanks.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We have taken no position on the election. We have said repeatedly that those who are advocating a Grexit, which BTW the current Greek government vigorously opposed too, have failed to do basic homework as to what it would mean for Greece. Our giving warnings about what a disaster a Grexit has been widely misinterpreted by people who want simple black/white narratives. We don’t dumb reality down to make it more appealing. That’s what Disney is for.

      1. Cano Doncha Know

        Thank you for your response.

        I guess the better question is, for someone who has been only marginally following the Greek crisis, do you have a recommendation for the most representative or best article(s) that could provide some solid, anti-austerity, anti-neoliberal, anti-corporatist criticism of Syriza/Tsipras, et. al?

        From my only very marginally informed position, it seems that this is much like the other shock situations Klein described in The Shock Doctrine, and that in an emergency/economic shock, people have a limited ability to do basic things like homework/economic research. People can’t make the most basic decisions in situations of shock, and we’ve seen these scenarios of economic warfare play out over and over. Sure, leaving the eurozone would be disastrous (although it seems to me the OXI side is very well aware of the sacrifices, much more so than someone like me sitting comfortably in an economically stable nation), but obviously, staying in the Eurozone will be disastrous as well. Not really a choice, as this site has pointed out.

        On another note, this is my outlying, less-than-informed position, but I don’t see the Eurozone allowing Greece to leave, no matter what they do. Personally, I think Greece should call Troika’s bluff. In terms of the less quantifiable things like image and imagination and culture and “nation-building”/nationalism/identity–which are just important to the european project as the more technocratic details, I don’t think Germany has the european hegemony they think they do. I think most Europeans have a more difficult time viewing Germany as Europe than they do Greece. This is not just an economic issue, it is also a military issue. Greece is a border nation. The idea of Greek civilization undergirds the entire “post-nationalist” project that got Europeans to sign on to the EU in the first place. And Europeans are going to allow Germany, the most conditional European nation for all intents and purposes, to create further economic Armageddon in Greece? I don’t see it happening. I understand that technocratically speaking, it is financially possible. But socially, politically, culturally, I really think its much more difficult. Europeans are organized and politically aware and somewhat historically cognizant (although white Europeans tend to be somewhat less cognizant of their imperial history, they do remember WWII. And thankfully Europe is not as white as many imagine it to be).

        Did I see this article in the links here? I really don’t remember. If not,

        What is happening in Greece is sickening.

      2. Robert Dudek

        RNo one can know what Grexit would mean for Greece, most of all people who are not privy to the inner workings of the Greek government.

    2. Lambert Strether

      To which I would add, speaking only for myself, that I worry about Syriza bringing down the curve for the left world-wide, something the banksters are only to happy to have happen. This referendum is bungled and shambolic; see here and here. One would think that before chanting “Yay democracy!” the pom-pom wavers would stop to consider the actual nature of the vote to be taken, and whether a party and government that handles basic blocking and tackling so badly is capable of delivering on anything (see Nathan Tankus on organizational capacity).

      I suppose if I had to pick a side, it would be the Joe and Jane Sixpacks of Europe collectively, with whom Syriza is by no means identified.

      Adding, if the left takes its class warfare rhetoric seriously, then it needs to think through what war-making means. That includes assessing the correllation of forces between your enem[y|ies] and yourself, considering collateral damage, and so on. I’ve got little sympathy for people charging machine guns with swords, no matter how brightly their flags wave. I’ve got less sympathy for those who ordered the charge. And I’ve got zero sympathy for onlookers who cheer on the spectacle. This isn’t a Peewee League football game. There’s no mercy rule.

  28. cripes

    Made the mistake of watching part of the PBS July 4 Capitol extravaganza on teevee tonite. I have avoided these “celebrations” since the 1976 “Tall Ships” in NYC which served mainly a teevee audience and fanatics in the nascent NYPD security state, while alienating locals from attending, even though I then lived one block from Riverside Park.

    But this evening was a weird amalgam of John Philip Sousa, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Alabama, Leni Reifenstahl and Soviet Realism. Exploding rockets! A battery of cannons firing fusillades of shells! Billowing clouds of friendly fire! Countless military bands! More explosions! Shock and Awe!
    Barry Manilow was too painful to watch.

    New York, not to be outdone by little Washington DC had the Singing Sergeants, four columns of synchronized rockets reminiscent of Nuremberg at night, and the enraptured faces of little children plucked from the orderly, well frisked crowds of approved guests.

    But KC and the Sunshine Band, in a tepid medley of classic 70’s dance funk, failed to get the 99% (white) crowd to shake their bootys. He said it best in his “interview” from the Washington Times:

    “I have been able to live the American dream and have it come true. I know that people think it doesn’t exist anymore in this world, but it does. It just takes hard work, sacrifice and determination.”

    Oh yeah.

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