Links 8/25/15

The 10 best countries to live abroad Business Insider

EXCLUSIVE: Raised in cages to be hunted as trophies like Cecil, and so used to humans that they think their killers are bringing them food – the haunting fate of South Africa’s ‘canned’ lions is exposed Daily Mail (Li)

‘Multifab’ 3D-prints a record 10 materials at once, no assembly required (w/ Video) PhysOrg (Robert M)

Researchers sample enormous oceanic trash vortex ahead of clean-up proposal Reuters

Fake Peer Review Scandal Shines Spotlight on China Wall Street Journal

Mr. Market Has a Sad

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses Onion (furzy mouse)

El-Erian: Market Now Is Not Like 1998 or 2008 Bloomberg

China’s market Leninism turns dangerous for the world Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Shanghai Stocks Continue to Dive as Global Markets Elsewhere Stabilize New York Times

China Shares Drop; European Stocks and U.S. Futures Rise Wall Street Journal

On China, and Preventing the Financial Runs of August Econobrowser

New U.S. Security Strategy Doesn’t Go Far Enough on South China Sea Wall Street Journal

What’s Scarier Than a Strong China? A Weak China Slate (resilc)

Air pollution kills an average of 4000 people every day in China, 17% of all China’s deaths TreeHugger (resilc)

Q&A: Why the Chinese slowdown everybody knew was coming is causing a freak-out Washington Post

Migrants Race North as Hungary Builds a Border Fence New York Times


SYRIZA projects election confidence despite split Reuters

First predictions for the snap elections in Greece failed evolution


Undelivered Goods Andrew Cockburn, Harpers (Gabriel)


The Same People Who Pushed for the Invasion of Iraq Now Want to Scrap the Iran Deal Nation (resilc)

Saudi women register to vote for the first time: ‘A dream for us’ Washington Post

Obama and the Illegal War on ISIS American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Sony to Offer Commercial Drone Services Starting 2016 Bloomberg (resilc)

Samsung smart fridge leaves Gmail logins open to attack The Register

Leaked AshleyMadison Emails Suggest Execs Hacked Competitors Brian Krebs

Two suicides are linked to Ashley Madison leak: Texas police chief takes his own life just days after his email is leaked in cheating website hack Daily Mail

White House aims to boost homeowner renewable energy use Reuters (EM)

The 2016 election will be determined by the economy, not by Trump gaffes Vox

Joe Biden Worried Hillary Clinton Isn’t Credible On Income Inequality Huffington Post

Why Biden Would Be a TERRIBLE President George Washington

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Are Calling for a Revolution Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Donald Trump and the White Nationalists New Yorker (furzy mouse)

Uncle Donald Down South The American Conservative (resilc)

Ted Cruz to lead 100,000 pastors in 50-state attack on Planned Parenthood Raw Story

Chris Christie blames 20-year heroin epidemic on Obama Boing Boing (resilc)

Carly Fiorina slammed by Jerry Brown Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Judge overhauls troubled Ferguson, Missouri, court Reuters (Chuck L)

Analysis Finds Higher Expulsion Rates for Black Students New York Times

Police State

‘Stop f*cking crying’: Mass. cops hold naked woman and kids at gunpoint after raiding wrong apartment Raw Story

The Fed looks set to make a dangerous mistake Larry Summers, Financial Times

Class Warfare

The slow invasion of privacy in U.S. public schools Daily Dot. Private equity story.

Banks Get Credit for Helping the Poor — By Financing Their Evictions? Intercept (resilc)

Sentiment Building to Deport Nation’s Billionaires New Yorker (resilc)

Slavoj Žižek: Ayn Rand’s Tea Party lie — Now we know who John Galt is Salon (resilc)

Antidote du jour:

White Rhino & Calf

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. petal

    Vermont Gov Peter Shumlin campaigns in NH for Hillary Clinton.

    “Time and again, Shumlin returned to the theme of Clinton’s resume: As a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, she is the strongest and most experienced candidate in either primary, he said.”

    “For his part, Shumlin responded to questions about the independent senator obliquely, repeating a careful formula: praise for Sanders, followed by the assertion that Clinton was the best candidate.”

    1. DJG

      The article above about Victoria Nuland and Ukraine, by Cockburn in Harper’s, shows just what wonderful credentials Hillary Clinton has. Either she or Obama could have unloaded Nuland, but being the practical-minded neocons that they are, they found uses for her in stirring up a manufactured crisis with Russia. Just wait till Hillary Clinton uses her financial genius (from those wonderful commodities futures investments) to slaughter Social Security. It’ll be the Grand Bargain all over again. Sheesh.

      1. Carolinian

        Exactly. I once foolishly thought of HIllary as Bill’s better half but her stint as Sec State has proved the naysayers right–less long suffering wife, more Lady Macbeth. To me one of the more dubious things about Sanders is his apparently collegial attitude toward Hillary. A true “revolutionary”–Charlie Pierce’s word for Sanders in above Esquire piece–would be running as the anti-HIllary. She is everything that is wrong with our politics.

        1. DJG

          Years ago, the omniscient Judy Tenuta called Hillary Clinton “Lady Macbeth in a headband.” I tend to keep that assessment in the back of my mind when thinking about HRC.

          1. Emma

            […] The real issue is that any resemblance to a democracy that the US has had in the past, is corroding fast. It’s not hard to see similarities between the US and nations with political dynasties (regimes) ie. Indonesia (Soekarnoputri and Sukarno families), Pakistan (Bhuttos), Argentina (Kirchners), Thailand (Shinawatra family), Malaysia (Razak family), Philippines (Marcos, Macapagal and Aquino families), India (Gandhis), the Duvalliers in Haiti, the Assad family in Syria, the Kims in North Korea, Castros of Cuba, Kabila family in the DRC, Gabon and the Bongo family, the Chávez dynasty in Venezuela…………….
            And we all know how Greece is faring these days, don’t we?! No thanks to the Karamanlis, Mitsotakis, and Papandreou families who contributed no less than 6 Greek PMs in the last few decades.
            The rise of elected officials with familial links to politicians, signals not only an increase in inequality, but a decline in access to power, and actual political influence. The countries listed, due to their nepotism, cronyism and corruption, hark back to the Medici and Borgia dynasties. The only difference is the alleged ‘Banquet of the Chestnuts’ all-night orgies then!
            You know, real democracy doesn’t involve ’twill-time’ dynasties and ‘sheepskinship’ smoothies! Real democracy is a thrill-time that can’t be bought. One study (Dal Bo et al 2009) of the US Congress showed how dynasties have improved the gender balance by allowing women to get in via family ties. This does NOT provide equal opportunity to hold offices of power and service. The concentration of money & power this process involves is anything but democratic, or representative of real equality.
            Lee Kuan Yew in his book ‘From Third to First World’, said the “elite mestizos had the same detached attitude to the native peasants as the mestizos in their haciendas in Latin America had toward their peons”. An updated edition should show the ‘leadership’ of the USA by members of the US Senate. Think of them like Weightwatchers discouraging growth. The US Senate cafeteria staff need food stamps to feed their own children to survive. This poor situation could be easily rectified. Perhaps the best solution will come from the American people. Just like in India. They squashed the Gandhi dynasty with their empty bellies. In doing so, they successfully swept the table clean (sort of….).

              1. Emma

                Hmmmm Lambert….then please show some consistency.
                Remove the constant onslaught of derogatory comments personally attacking Mrs Clinton because I (and other women….and men…yes, men!) find them unacceptable. If you reduce that to a respectfully minimal level, then this blog would indeed more closely resemble the dignified family blog you’re supposedly after.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  Huh? You think a close reading of what Clinton says is a personal attack? Believe me, I know what a personal attack is; I did them on a daily basis for years during the Bush administration, with some success. Are you sure you’re not conflating not being a Clinton cheerleader for a “personal attack”? In any case, just because the other kids are doing it doesn’t mean you should, as I’m sure your mother told you.

        2. Praedor

          If Sanders ran full-on as an anti-Clinton, he would alienate the HillaryBots and never ever be able to bring them over to him when she falls (I do so hope she falls). By keeping it respectful, he also makes it virtually impossible for Clinton to attack him. If he runs aggressively against Clinton, at least at this point, the animosity would run heavy and the Dem party (such as it is) would melt down every bit as much as the Rethuglicans are melting down.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Agreed. Going negative on Hillary would be a huge mistake. He doesn’t need to sling mud to differentiate himself–that’s what kayfabe participants do to distract from the lack of substantive policy differences.

          2. Carolinian

            And should HIllary get the nom and Sanders endorses her–as he has said he will–would that be “revolutionary”? He didn’t have to make that promise as part of being respectful. Rather Sanders was signaling to the Dems that he wasn’t planning to stray too far off the reservation.

            Of course if Sanders were to surprise the pundits and probably himself and defeat Hillary that would be terrific. So there’s no reason to oppose him. Still, the guy’s not exactly Che.

            1. Praedor

              I get why he promises not to run 3rd party (he’d be unfairly painted with the bogus Ralph Nader brush of “spoiler” when that’s simply not true). I don’t like that he says he will endorse Clinton either. I’d prefer, if he just must not let himself run 3rd party, to remain SILENT on Clinton if it comes to that (I think she’s her own worst enemy and will be killing herself off for viability).

              He also doesn’t want to be put out in the cold in the senate. If he didn’t endorse (or went 3rd party) he would likely lose the good will that lets him caucus with the Dems. Of course, what are the Dems going to do? It’s not like they’re goinng to have overwhelming control of the senate come 2016.

              I hate the mealymouths of politicians and their joyous desire to stab the people in the back repeatedly for their own political fortunes.

              1. Carolinian

                Yes he says he doesn’t want to be the spoiler and that Hillary, or any Dem, would be preferable to any Republican. But I’m not sure I agree. At least when Repubs have the Presidency the Dems act a little more like a real opposition. And it’s not as though Hillary the neo-con would conduct foreign policy differently from the various Republicans.

                The truth is that foreign affairs is where Presidents have real power. These domestic issues Sanders talks about require a compliant Congress or huge popular support. So Sanders throwing his support to Clinton would in many ways be a betrayal. It’s only by defeating her that he can boost the lefty cause.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Democratic supporters and hanger ons act like the opposition. The same Democrats who controlled Congress after running against Iraq or being forced into it in 2006 gladly approved Dubya’s surge.

                2. Jess

                  Actually the President has enormous power domestically through his executive branch appointments, his setting of legislative priorities, and his veto ability. Who he might appoint at Justice, Interior, Commerce, Trade Rep, Treasury, CIA, EPA, Education, etc., can mean a great deal.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    Until the President is a lame duck, only the President can bring an issue to the forefront with an off hand comment. Just look at the gop debate framing, there is nothing being discussed they weren’t repeating in ’96, ’84, ’68, and so forth. Vietnam became Iraq, and we say urban youth instead of less desireables. It’s still the same old song because none of those candidates even Trump have the standing to push the debate. Without Trump, we would be discussing immigration with all kinds of horrible things being said.

                    Only, the President can instantly overcome the morass short of a towering figure such as Jefferson, Neil Armstrong, or DDE.

          3. hunkerdown

            What? He doesn’t need to bring them over. What are Hbots going to do, work against their uteri’s interests and vote Republican? This is a laughable threat. Those nursery-school students will show up and vote blue because that’s their defining narrative.

    2. DJG

      And the e-mails? The e-mails that Clinton supposedly managed legally and have disappeared legally? Have I mentioned the e-mail messages?

      1. spooz

        I was surprised to see The Hill publishing an article on “3 reasons Bernie Sanders is now the Democratic front-runner”

        Democrats, and the country, can’t enter the voting booth 441 days from now with the FBI investigating emails and private servers. This fact, along with the millions of Sanders voters around the country filling arenas to hear the senator speak, are reasons why Sanders is the true Democratic front-runner. Over 100,000 people have attended his events thus far, and it’s safe to say that such enthusiasm and energy will continue to grow until Election Day. Democrats in Congress might not admit it at the moment, and Clinton supporters might still believe the email controversy is fabricated, but only one Democrat in 2016 can win the presidency. His name is Bernie Sanders, and the longer Hillary Clinton’s email scandal persists, the more Sanders becomes the only hope Democrats have of winning the White House.

        1. Praedor

          They missed something. Biden. If Clinton goes down, Sanders IS the best choice for everyone, let alone the party, BUT the neolib Dem establishment will not take this sitting down and will push Biden in all the way. He’s neolib all the way. He loves him some credit card industry and banks, he loves him some Wall Street, so he is the go-to guy should Hillary crap out.

          Bernie’s the man but the party “leadership” wont have him. The question now is which party falls down the fastest and hardest by election day? Rethugs (already spinning down out of control) or the Dems for pretending the true and best candidate untouched by 1%er poison isn’t there?

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Consider: I have no doubt if Sanders gets the nomination, almost to a one the Democratic Party insiders will be hoping for Sanders to lose to whomever the Republican nominee is. Losing to Republican X is just more or less business as usual, been there done that, personal income stream under little threat. Sanders winning would be an exponentially more disruptive and likely personally damaging scenario. I fully expect that the DP would actively try to ensure a GOP victory in every deniable way possible in that event. What could they do to torpedo Sanders in the general election that wouldn’t be obvious and could reliably be kept secret?

            Sanders pledging his support for the eventual nominee was apparently not optional if he wanted to run as a D. I doubt he really had any choice in the matter. I’d love to see Hillary have to do a pro forma endorsement of Sanders as she surely must if he wins the nomination. I think it would very nearly kill her or break her mind.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Just lamenting the utter *disenfranchisement* when 15 months before the election unassailable forces are already choosing our next Dear Leader. We’ll be permitted the kabuki spectacle of various persons who might consider the interests of 99% of the nation’s citizens…but then we’ll be compelled to suppress our gag reflexes and pull the lever for one who is just a slightly less awful corporo-fascist stooge.
              People should not fear the government, government should fear the people, but in this age of self-absorption there seems to be little chance the great mass with everything at stake will rotate their selfie cameras outwards for a moment and find common cause with all of those other “not-me” units around them. Occupy Washington! But it’s a nation of sheep, ruled by wolves, owned by pigs.

              1. Chris Williams

                Can’t see how we are going to stem the evil tide either :(

                Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
                You well heeled big wheel, ha ha charade you are.
                And when your hand is on your heart,
                You’re nearly a good laugh,
                Almost a joker,
                With your head down in the pig bin,
                Saying “Keep on digging.”
                Pig stain on your fat chin.
                What do you hope to find.
                When you’re down in the pig mine.
                You’re nearly a laugh,
                You’re nearly a laugh
                But you’re really a cry.

          2. Bridget

            hahaha The Republican establishment won’t cotton to a Trump nomination any more than the Dem establishment would take to Bernie. Picture each party trying to get the other party’s nominee elected. Delicious.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s true. Biden is still Joe Biden. His accomplishments are awful. He has Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hanging over his head. He has all the wrong guy votes on free trade, Iraq, the Patriot act, and so forth, and he doesn’t enjoy the novelty and loyalty Hillary has. The Biden fans like the picture of the old guy cleaning his thunderbird, but that’s about it.

          I’ve never seen him on the trail, but a Dodd staffer told me Biden looked like hospital patient in 2008. Rallies might fly after New Hampshire and Iowa, but voters there expect to touch and interact with the candidates.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Yes. He’s still ‘Windsock Joe’ Biden, a man who’s never been able to make a decision and stick to it.

            Now he can’t even decide whether to run for president or not. Not enough wind velocity yet to make Joe Weathervane point in any particular direction.

            Still, after all these years of executive overreach, there’s something to be said for electing a total nonentity to the position. ‘We’ll leave the signature facsimile machine on for ya.’

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Biden’s not a non-entity. If he was just a generic senator, he would be a better neo- liberal alternative. Obama was an empty suit.

              Joe’s problem is he is still bankruptcy Biden, credit card Biden, Iraq war supporter, free trade supporter, Clarence Thomas supporter ( let’s just throw out the supreme court shouting), and not to mention the casual racism. Unlike Hillary, he isn’t the standard bearer for women over 40-45 and he doesn’t cure racism like Obama.

              Did he fight Dubya tooth and nail? No, he made absurd arguments about dictating government and repeating generalizations about colonialism in Africa and applying them to the modern state centered around what is essentially modern Babylon. Biden is one of the shining examples of why the Senate needs to be abolished.

            2. Carolinian

              Still, after all these years of executive overreach, there’s something to be said for electing a total nonentity to the position.

              I agree! Time to scuttle the Imperial Presidency. However Biden is dirty on Ukraine so he might still be inclined to start WW3 despite the wind vane.

              I have to say that Biden/Warren has a certain appeal. I wonder what that was all about.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                I don’t see the appeal. Warren rails against Biden’s legislative accomplishments. To me, it would suggest Warren is a grandstander and nothing more.

                I can understand disagreement on issues which aren’t at the forefront of a ticket’s political lives, but this is a front and center issue for both individuals. Hillary couldn’t be VP because she voted for the Iraq War regardless of feelings. It would undermine Obama. A Biden/Warren alliance would destroy the credibility of Warren or force Biden to say, “hey, I don’t know why I’m here but Liz will make decisions.” Why doesn’t she run in that case?

                1. Carolinian

                  Apparently Biden asked Warren to meet him at his home and they are personally friendly according to the press. Could the windsock be swinging Warren’s way?

                  It’s pure speculation on my part whether Warren would take a VP nomination and we know nothing about what was discussed. But it’s a safe bet that she would not be a Veep choice for Clinton or for Sanders who would need someone more middle of the road and regionally diverse. Any path upward for Warren works for me. She is the Dem’s real rock star.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    It’s not a path upward. The Vice Preisdency is nothing more than a holding pattern. It’s aligning herself with her public nemesis. She’s trashed Hillary on the 2005 bankruptcy act and will support Biden’s attempt for higher office.

                    Milli Vanilli was a very popular act once too.

                    1. Carolinian

                      She did fly to DC to meet with him so presumably they don’t hate each other.

                      For Biden it would be a smart move. He must have been seeking some kind of support.

                    2. NotTimothyGeithner

                      They might be chums, but I’m not voting for my friends.

                      I’m sure Joe is very friendly with great stories. He’s “Uncle Joe” in Delaware, but this about values not friendship or affability. Warren has built her career on attacking Joe Biden’s accomplishments whether it’s credit card deregulat ion, student loan changes, and bankruptcy law changes. If she goes with Biden, she has no credibility because she’ll be attacking her career and who she claims she is. If she doesn’t understand Biden is Hillary, she’s not fit for any office. She might be confusing friendship with decency.

                      Maybe, she is just being nice, but a Warren/Biden confab will only undermine everything she has worked to build.

                  2. Praedor

                    If Warren went VP, it is either because she is actually trying to undermine Sanders or she is being tricked, and hamstrung, by the DLC. As VP she becomes a non-entity. Silent and powerless. She not only is no longer in the senate to make noise and actually DO something, she becomes virtually invisible.

                    I would lose respect for her, personally. She turned down running for Prez in no uncertain terms repeatedly but she is willing to go VP for another neoliberal looter? Why? VP is a loser spot. It sets her up to run for Prez in the NEXT election but only after her credibility is lost because she had been consumed by the neoliberal monster that is Biden and his supporters, advisors, party apparachiks, etc. It’s lose-lose for Warren if she goes VP.

                    Now, if she accepted the VP slot from Sanders…he’s too old to likely be able to run for a second term and she would be well positioned to step in, unpolluted, to run in the next election.

                    1. Carolinian

                      Just to repeat the only known facts are that Warren came to DC to talk to Biden as part of his Presidential decision process. Perhaps he was simply asking if she would oppose him. While the Post mentioned the VP possibility in passing, I’m not trying to start any rumors.

                      But for “empty suit” Biden to cast smartest Senator Warren as his running mate is good casting. And if you think it’s not about casting then you haven’t been paying attention to our elections. The Rethugs get this, even if the Dems often don’t.

                      What’s in it for Warren? Historic first female VP. Also a seat at the policy table if Biden chose to give it to her.

                  3. neo-realist

                    Nothing more than endorsement of Sanders from Warren would be just fine, with me at least. Since she appears to be in league with the economic populism of Sanders, what is she waiting for?

      1. aletheia33

        shumlin’s hilary endorsement is confirmation, had it been needed, that he hopes his political career is just getting started.

        he didn’t just kill single payer in vermont, he disappeared and tortured it first, while everyone wondered where it was, assuring them all was well, postponing as long as possible the moment when he had to “find” the body, pretending to be stricken with grief.

        if he makes it to DC, he’ll be perfectly at home.

        and so, sooner or later, little vermont, always a bit behind the times, earnestly believing in its own goodness, eyes wide shut, must fully enter the neoliberal era.

    3. Bridget

      “As a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, she is the strongest and most experienced candidate in either primary, he said.”

      Not. First lady is worth less than a warm bucket of spit. A US Senator who can point to no notable accomplishments (and if she had any, you can be sure we’d be hearing about it….have you heard a word????) A SOS who doesn’t know a her ass from a classified document. By the standards of those who voted for Barack (the lemonade stand organizer wannabe) Obama, it might be something to brag about, but it ain’t much. Kasich is the strongest and most experienced candidate in either primary. For what that’s worth. Prolly not a lot.

  2. allan

    Our Syraqistan frenemies: Turkey tipped al Qaida group to U.S.-trained fighters

    The kidnapping of a group of U.S.-trained moderate Syrians moments after they entered Syria last month to confront the Islamic State was orchestrated by Turkish intelligence, multiple rebel sources have told McClatchy.

    The rebels say that the tipoff to al Qaida’s Nusra Front enabled Nusra to snatch many of the 54 graduates of the $500 million program on July 29 as soon as they entered Syria, dealing a humiliating blow to the Obama administration’s plans for confronting the Islamic State.

  3. financial matters

    Roots of MMT

    “”MMT focuses on the private debt dynamics and considers the public debt dynamics to be passe. It goes further and recommends that governments break the nexus between debt-issuance and fiscal deficits.

    In this sense, governments should use Overt Monetary Financing rather than going through the pretence that they are being funded by private bond holders. The bond sales are made possible by past deficits, which generate net financial assets for the non-government sector.

    Further, they are just an example of corporate welfare, which is totally unnecessary.

    There is some progressive argument that the debt helps pension/superannuation funds provide safe returns to workers in retirement. My solution would be to national superannuation funds, eliminating the managerial fee grab of workers’ savings, and using the government’s currency-issuing capacity to fund workers’ retirements.””


    I think Bill Mitchell here lays out the policy potential of MMT and how governments can use it to fund the needed large programs like climate change, pension security etc.

    The main point in not issuing debt would be to get away from the ‘balanced budget’ mantra.

    I think governments need to strongly reassert their primacy in the public/private relationship.

    1. Foy

      Just on that, Warren Mosler did a great job a shredding a recent Krugman article on government spending and debt, paragraph by paragraph. Mosler has a way of saying things very simply that get the message across I think.

      As he says at the end “The larger problem with this editorial is that the wrong reasons it gives for what’s largely the right policy are out of paradigm reasons that the opposition routinely shoots down and shouts down, easily convincing the electorate that they are correct and the ‘headline left’ is wrong.”

  4. financial matters

    Roots of MMT

    “”MMT focuses on the private debt dynamics and considers the public debt dynamics to be passe. It goes further and recommends that governments break the nexus between debt-issuance and fiscal deficits.

    In this sense, governments should use Overt Monetary Financing rather than going through the pretence that they are being funded by private bond holders. The bond sales are made possible by past deficits, which generate net financial assets for the non-government sector.

    Further, they are just an example of corporate welfare, which is totally unnecessary.

    There is some progressive argument that the debt helps pension/superannuation funds provide safe returns to workers in retirement. My solution would be to national superannuation funds, eliminating the managerial fee grab of workers’ savings, and using the government’s currency-issuing capacity to fund workers’ retirements.””


    I think this lays out the policy potential of MMT and how governments can use it to fund the needed large programs like climate change, pension security etc.

    The main point in not issuing debt would be to get away from the ‘balanced budget’ mantra.

    I think governments need to strongly reassert their primacy in the public/private relationship.

  5. Tertium Squid

    I think the first I ever heard of Jerry Brown was a Dead Kennedys song, so from the start I couldn’t take him seriously.

    1. alex morfesis

      systematic bean counting…rules are made to keep certain people from getting and staying on their feet…when I was doing community reinvestment act work in chicago, it began when it was obvious recent eastern european immigrants who barely knew how to put up dry wall were being handed variances and easy loans and smoke and mirror building inspections while middle class blacks trying to reinvest in historically black chicago neighborhoods had teams of city inspectors nit picking about not cleaning up on a daily basis during construction, and lenders bringing in suburban appraisers who somehow could value a development in kane county with vacant land around it, but vacant buildings or land in the city was not acceptable…the eastern europeans did not have to put any cash in equity or prove up any savings, while black folk had to find 35% plus more often than not…under the same game of “construction costs” and forced “over repair”…

      and seeing what I see, the BP settlement has fallen into the same…white people good, black people bad nonsense with white folks getting money with hardly a burp and black people being “reviewed and denied” due to “possibilities” of fraud…

      jim crow never died…
      it just got a new suit

      1. prostratedragon

        That Chicago stuff sounds interesting and fits my casual observations of who seemed to be getting most of the work. Maybe you could write an article.

  6. William C

    Regarding migrants into Europe, there was an interesting discussion on BBC’s Newsnight last night where it was argued that most of those now coming into Europe would be more accurately described as refugees (principally those from Syria) than migrants. This seems to me to be right. It was also argued that it is important to describe their status accurately if the discussion is to generate the appropriate response. Again, I agree. Building a fence to keep refugees out is less easily defended than one to block migrants.

  7. DJG

    Ten best countries to live abroad: Luxembourg and Singapore? Then what do you do? Fall asleep for the rest of your life?

    1. annie

      and italy is 58. ha ha ha ha. nowhere on earth i’d rather be. plus, more art than in all the rest of the world combined. beauty around every corner.

      1. Massinissa

        You would rather be in Italy than anywhere else? I dont think you know much about modern Italy man. Its pretty but its problems are big and growing every year.

    2. neo-realist

      That country list may be a bit white person presumptuous.

      Some black people may beg to differ, particularly with Asian countries and Eastern European ones.

      I actually liked Berlin–While visiting 11 years ago, it struck me as a cleaner orderly German NYC. Terrific older architecture and a great public transportation system w/ more diversity than I expected in the center of the city.

      I’d probably go w/ Canada—-arts, culture, and some diversity w/o the overt racism and racial violence and NHL and MLB for the North American sports fan:).

      1. ewmayer

        No offense intended, but the problem with Paris is that it’s overrun with, um, Parisites.

        The BI list appears to have used a metric dominated by “economy based on money-changing and international tax scammery”. I hear Liechtenstein (not kitsch artist Roy, the country) and the Caymans are also very nice.

        (Though to be fair, Liechtenstein does have some actual productive industries – e.g. Hilti Tools – and they are renowned for their artistic postage stamps.)

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am more of the ‘where I am, it’s the most beautiful place in the world’ type.

      So that it doesn’t become some kind of self-centered thing, I believe it to be true for all of us, and I have to work constantly to enjoy the benefits of that sentiment.

  8. Eureka Springs

    ‘Stop f*cking crying’: Mass. cops hold naked woman and kids at gunpoint after raiding wrong apartment Raw Story

    Outrageous. Infuriating. Disgusting. Scary. Damn near every aspect of that story in re police, swat, prosecutor and no knock warrant issuers (judge?) ought to be criminal offenses… at the very least all fired with no possibility of so much as working as a security guard in an empty warehouse ever again.

    It’s not just police state, it’s aggressive State terrorism with abandon.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      How about the line by the police as they left, “We were respectful to you.” All that “f*cking” language of thugs and keeping someone naked in their own home for 10 minutes is “respectful”?????. Just like banks and insurance co scandals, it’s the attitude by everyone involved that this was just a minor incident and the real problem is the people who find such “normal police work” disturbing in the first place.

      1. Praedor

        1. The guys wanted to get a good eyeful of the naked woman.
        2. Common power game. Keep your target naked and afraid and you get your power yuk-yuks

        (Addendum note: nudity and humiliation were used in SERE training…back then, when I was young it was somewhat effective but if tried today, I couldn’t care less – which was the point of the SERE training).

    2. Gareth

      And yet the authorities will use their own incompetence as a defense, just watch. Who could have known?
      Stuff happens. Collateral damage.

    3. Jim Haygood

      ‘No knock raids’ are another poisonous outgrowth of the War on Drugs, declared at the federal level by Nixon/Agnew in 1970 and passed as a bipartisan project, since both houses of Congress had D-party majorities.

      Because those suspected of the status offense of possessing contraband might flush the ‘evidence,’ armed cops have to bust in at 5 a.m. with flash-bang grenades to try to grab the stash first.

      There is no such thing as civil liberties under drug prohibition. This is martial law. Don’t try saluting our heroes after they’ve ordered you to lie motionless on the floor, comrade.

    4. Bill Frank

      Welcome to America 2015. Undisputed world leader in sponsoring terrorism around the globe and in the homeland as well. Yes, we are number 1!

  9. Jef

    “White House aims to boost homeowner renewable energy use”

    Somewhere in the White house is a closet with a dusty old roof top solar set-up from the Carter admin.

    By the way thats when solar, if broadly implemented, would have lead to a possible reduction in FF use.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Actually, it’s even worse than that. Carter’s solar panels ended up at Unity College in Maine. Some students there, fired with enthusiasm for “hope and change,” drove down with the panels to the White House, hoping to give them back so they could be re-installed. They couldn’t even get a meeting. They were, however, given a brochure.

  10. Praedor

    I’ve downloaded the raw Ashley Madison file dump (I wish to search for a specific person whom I would not be surprised to find as a user, as well as look for prominent political and religious turds). I cannot (yet) look through it, however. There’s nothing to indicate what form the file is in (csv, txt, etc, it’s just a *.dump file ) and it is HUGE (~2gb) so that virtually every app I’ve tried to use to get into the file fails because nothing is really made to open up such a huge data file.

    1. craazyman

      If there are any women listed, post them here so CB can send the drone over their house. Maybe they’ll be in the backyard.

      I wonder if the women to men ratio is even 1 in 20.

      Talk about sloppy seconds! It’s like sloppy second-squareds! It’s like buying used tires over the internet. hahaha.

      I don’t mean to make light of people’s pain. some are trapped in hellish marriages and a little affair is probably a good thing. It’s harder when you get older. YOu can’t just go to a bar, get drunk and jump on somebody. That used to be quite acceptable — when you’re 22 or 23. For some reason it stopped being acceptable. It’s not entirely clear why that should be. It seems reasonable to me, just thinking about it. Maybe somebody can explain why it’s considered rude. You wouldnt need Ashley Madison. All you’d need is about 5 beers. That sounds like efficiency.

      1. Praedor

        Well, according to the hackers and others who have checked the data, there are very very few actual women signed up. It is closer to 30 to 1 ratio men:women. The AM people created a bunch of faux female accounts to make it APPEAR there were more women than actually existed.

        The file is HUGE (Not 2 gb like I originally said, more like 9.8 gb decompressed. I first have to install a database server on my computer before I can look at it, import the dump file, etc).

      2. craazyboy

        First find out if the women are Army Rangers. I’m not risking my drone by flying over a macho female Army Ranger’s backyard!

  11. flora

    re: Ayn Rand’s Tea Party.

    Now, the IMF admits that forcing Greece and other debt-burdened countries to reduce their deficits too quickly would be counterproductive—now, after hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost because of such “miscalculations.” And herein resides the true message of the “irrational” popular protests all around Europe. The protesters know very well what they don’t know: they don’t pre­tend to have fast and easy answers, but what their instinct is telling them is nonetheless true—that those in power also don’t know it.

    This reminds me of WWI generals who based their battle plans on 19th century warfare. They ordered infantry and cavalry charges across open ground …. into machine gun fire ( a new weapon.) The failure and the slaughter didn’t immediately convince the generals their plans were dangerously wrong. So they kept repeating orders to charge…. into machine gun fire. Today that looks like madness to us.

    1. William C

      Don’t forget the barbed wire. Without it, maybe men could have rushed across no-mans land at a sprint. With it, you were climbing over it agonisingly slowly (or channeled into the kill zones) while they gunned you down.

    2. EGrise

      Worse, the generals eventually figured it out but kept getting pressure from their governments to “do something” and break the stalemate…so they kept sending in more waves of infantry, despite knowing it wouldn’t work. Comparisons to modern politics abound.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One comparison would be a government having plenty of young to spend in trench warfare then, versus, a government being free to spend as much money as it wants today.

        Very few infinities in nature, though checks and balances have shown to be effective.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I recall that a reporter asked some cocky Brit Brigadier how he could be sure the Allies would prevail over the Boches. Response? something like “We have nearly half a million more men under arms than they do.” This, I recall, was from late 1917…

  12. Brian

    “Shanghai Stocks Continue to Dive as Global Markets Elsewhere Stabilize”
    thanks for the laughs NYT. To even consider reading you requires brain numb as a prerequisite.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Stocks, comrades: it’s only once or twice a decade that you get a brief window to buy them with the VIX fear gauge above 40. Yesterday VIX reached 53 in the early going, and closed at 40.75. Today it’s closer to 30 as the panic subsides.

    While Dr. Hussman prances shirtless round his office, pounding his chest and proclaiming ‘I AM IR-R-R-R-R-RON MAN-N-N-N-N!!!,’ I stick to my modest projection that this proves to be an up week.

    1. griffen

      That is an excellent point, regarding the VIX. Would own stocks or the index; junk bonds or high yield not so much.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Since July 28th, the Consumer Staples sector (fund symbol XLP) has outperformed the S&P 500 index (fund symbol SPY) by 1.73%.

        Equal-weighted Consumer Staples (fund name RHS) has outperformed SPY by 3.71% since July 28th.

        Consumer Staples has lived up to its defensive reputation in this downturn. The sector includes stocks such as Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Philip Morris, CVS and Walmart.

  14. Minor Heretic

    China’s desired growth rate is around 7%, but that would lead to a doubling of their economy in ten years. It raises a few questions:

    Given that China has an economy based on the export of physical goods, to whom will they be selling this doubled output in ten years? Europe? The U.S.? Africa? I don’t see a doubling of the world market in a decade.

    Given that China presently uses half the world’s cement production and between 35 and 50 percent of the world’s production of steel, lead, copper, aluminum, nickel, tin, and so on, where will they source double that amount of all these minerals? It generally takes decades to double the production of mined commodities, and the planet would have to accomplish that for all of these at once.

    Oil? Coal? Natural gas? Yes, there is about a 2 million barrel a day oil glut right now, but don’t expect U.S. fracking to sustain that for a decade. The U.S. has reached peak coal net energy (more tons dug but fewer BTUs output) so we’ll be no help.

    Air? Water? Soil? China is drowning in its toxic emissions now. Even with draconian efficiency and cleanup measures a doubling of output would make China literally unlivable.

    But really, it’s the mineral supply problem that dooms Chinese growth. China can get efficient and clean as it likes, but a two pound hammer made in China still weighs two pounds.

    1. curlydan

      Good points, heretic. Better insight than Nocera’s extended pat on the back (massage?) of Chanos.

      The extra cement, copper, etc isn’t needed anymore. They’ve built the roads and bridges with massive infrastructure investment. As I travelled across the Pearl River delta a few years ago, I was in awe of the highways and bridges that traversed the delta. It would be like building three to five Interstate-10s across the Louisiana swamps. The infrastructure is awesome. Now, they’re just pulling the lever back on investment and waiting for internal demand. It will take awhile, but I agree that the silly and artificial 7% to 8% growth target ain’t gonna happen.

      1. Minor Heretic

        Thanks, curlydan.

        Just to clarify: I’m not talking about just the materials needed to build infrastructure, although more infrastructure of certain kinds would be needed for a doubled economy. I’m talking about the materials needed for actual physical products to be exported to the thriving economies of the European periphery. (That’s a two-fer) Or, for that matter, to be sold internally to the new Chinese middle class. Twice as many phones, deck chairs, weed whackers, wrenches, flat screen TVs, etc., require twice as much material input. Also twice as many ships and ISO containers, bunker fuel, and port infrastructure, now that I think of it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And twice as much air pollution, if not more, depending on how big a part corruption plays out.

    2. Praedor

      THey are trying to get their own consumer economy going, which means less focus on exports. They have a long way to go before their “consumers” (citizens, people, not “consumers”) catch up to the over-consumption of the west (and the US in particular). They may not be able to become all consumery and eat up a 7% growth rate but they can do it for a while.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think consumption or over-consumption requires a different mentality in how the over-consumer sees himself/herself in relation to the rest of Nature.

        The over-consumption attitude involves something the complete opposite of what the Japanese would call Wabi-Sabi and Mono no Awari.

        I don’t know what the Chinese would call it, but I recall the Chinese Bronze Age declined after the Warring States period, because they exhausted their sources of tin and copper.

        Many people don’t know that elephants and rhinos* once roamed in many parts of China. We are looking at two more cases of over-consumption here.

        *I have a tinyl jade elephant I believe to be from the Anyang (Honan) period of the Shang dynasty and a small reddish bronze rhino of very old age (3,000, 4,000 yrs old, it seems).

  15. Praedor

    Get a load of this. Forder IN Gov Mitch Daniels, current prez of Purdue University, wants to replace student loans worth investment accounts. He envisions investors passing for a group of students’ education in return for a preventative of their future income. He claims this isn’t a debt because you only pay back of you work. He sees it this way: students studying for”valuable” degrees would get investors to pay their tuition and fees. Less valuable degrees would receive less attractive terms (or be left out in the cold). A great way to kill off the university education stem once and for all, turning them into just vocational/technical schools target than institutes of higher learning. Eliminate Literature or Art degrees because they are economically”valuable”, turn students into just another investment on Wall St, cop up student investments into tranches and sell, resell, students into derivatives, etc.

    I despise neoliberals and Republicans. Universities are NOT vocational schools only intended to train students how to be good employees. It’s supposed to provide a broad education in arts and sciences, expose students to new ideas and cultures and alternate views of history. Daniels and his ilk just want universities to be job training factories.

    1. Praedor

      Oh for…lots of typos for trying to enter on a tablet.

      The short of it: Daniels envisions replacing student loans with investors paying for students education in return for a percentage of their future earnings. Wall St can then start trading student derivatives and we can start up student education bubbles.

  16. JTMcPhee

    Maybe recognizing reality also includes some honesty about the real nature of “nations?”

    Seems clear that “we” know how to play with “money,” after a fashion, maybe like a 6-year-old knows how to play with Daddy’s S&W .40 pistol, which doesn’t even have a safety. But don’t have any agreement or maybe other than partial understanding of what “money” is, and how “it” functions and what outcomes “it” appears to drive in our political economy. (“It” seems to actually be a lot of ‘things’ lumped under an entity name, pick the subdivision you want to manipulate in order to screw other people and advance your own interests, which seem in total to sum to “f__k the planet for my pleasure and convenience.”)

    Add to that the whole “nation” thing, the thing that bred “trade” as a Rosemary’s Baby out of other ways to conquer and destroy and extract, where the Real Functional Units of Everything are these combinations of super-supra-post-national people and interlineages and relations loosely called “corporations” or maybe cabals, you pick the most apposite descriptor. Things that play the “nations” against one another in real or put-up “competitions” and “confrontations.” So “capital” can get extracted and generated inside the nominal boundaries of Nation X, and X-ported to Nation Y, and ordinary people who actually generate all the Real Wealth that the baristas of Funny Munny froth up get suckered or beaten into doing their labors to keep the coffers filled.

    So Greece The Nation is what, exactly, as differentiated from other Nations in their skirmishes and combinations under the superstructure of the actual Real Functional Units? Is Greece The Nation even a “thing” any more, or just an exemplar of the fraudulent and decimated nature of the whole “nation” thing? Surely maybe a whole lot more, and maybe a whole lot less, than the personification we so glibly use when “talking policy.” The national boundaries are there on the maps, there’s a sort of common language across some territory, a bit of a feeling of commonality of culture, sort of, subdivided into sets of people with more or less ability to use the “national” levers and memes and elements for their benefit, and play money games for their personal benefit across national boundaries, both physical and “legal,” with no one with advantages and position in the overall system willing to yield up a picoparticle of the stuff they call “MINE.”

    And a few people who do try hard, with the limited range of motion left to them by what “we” call neo-liberalism, to actually try to maintain some element of a Commons, to be the mechanics who keep the trucks, trains and vessels of commerce (and ambulances) running, and the elements of the Real local economies that have a prayer of feeding people and giving them the means to survive or subsist or achieve a Modest Competence, . Some few of them areeven willing to adopt that “live simply, that others may simply live” DFH mantra (to be taken advantage of by the profit-takers.) And in the meantime, the extraction and combustion and “globalization,” with interesting observations, continues.

    How is it possible, given the demands and impulses of the limbic systems of those billions of humans, born or migrated into their fortuitous Nations and tribes, to get everyone pulling on the same end of the rope? Seems clear that stopping CFC production has been a Good Thing, e.g., (only happened because profitable substitutes that are only less bad?) but the debate, the debate, the enormous pressures and forces of Trade and Commerce …, and Is preserving habitability any part of Trade and Commerce and Nationalism?

    “We,” or some of us, have the power and opportunity to tell the rest of us what the fate of the decreasingly habitable planet we were given will be, what the outcomes of our political economy will eventually form up as. In the meantime, what’s “money,” again, and what are “nations,” in the political economy of human-affected-space?

  17. alex morfesis

    david dayen CRA/class warfare/Intercept piece…nice but…who exactly convinced you to create the meme that internet banks have no CRA responsibilities ?? not only do they have them, they are stuck having to cover the Entire country with CRA responsibilities if they have a deposit base in all 3000 plus counties…

    further, foreign banks are also covered even when they claim to just be wholesale banking…under Reg H Section 109 of the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking Act…since 1997…since most foreign institutions have offices in more than one state…

    even foreign banks in new york city having back office, prime brokerage and wholesale operations on the other side of the PATH line in jersey city…

    problem is that most larger and “main stream” CRA organizations are captured in multiple ways…they get funding from banks…they get training from Neighborworks/NHS which was created by the banks and directs the training to a “comfortable” set of solutions, and many have board of directors infested with “volunteers” from tall building law firms with massive conflicts of interest…

    the idea many of these “well meaning” CRA mainstream organizations present that “something” is better than nothing, is really just a nice way of saying…

    I get mine, keep walking people, nothing to see here…

    but at least the article begins to bring some light to the issue…so there is that…

  18. ewmayer

    Re. AEP’s latest: I posted (by way of fwding to Yves) an even-more-bullish “China is in recovery mode!” piece by Pritchard last week, along with the comment “I think AEP is being wildly optimistic here, but time will tell.” A week later, and AEP is still optimistic, but has now started to hedge. He laughably trots out the “self-perpetuating crisis of confidence” meme, but what is really happening is s self-perpetuating crisis of reality finally, belatedly, intruding on misguided, wildly amok-running confidence, confidence which has been stoked by governments, central banks and their paid shills in the economics profession and the MSM, who never met a speculative bubble they didn’t like (while strenuously denying existence of same all the way up and much of the way down, each time).

    And what does AEP think may yet rescue China from this dire, irrational loss of confidence? Why, the real estate sector, of course.

    I’ll go with Steve Keen (who correctly points out the crucial differences between previous Asian crises and China 2007 vs now) and the under on this one, thanks very much.

  19. Gaylord

    I urge everyone to read Yanis Varoufakis’s post-mortem speech delivered in France —

    “Greece is a battleground on which a war against European democracy, against French democracy, is tried and tested.”

    I take a broader view that the Eurogroup’s austerity program is a battleground in the class war intended to enslave the world. Of course, that is unsustainable and within a few decades will be subject to cataclysmic reactions both from the human populace and from the destabilized ecosystem.

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