Links 8/30/15

After a week of intense debate, Stephen Hawking and his colleagues are still puzzled by black holes WaPo

“U.S. Inflation Developments” Economist’s View

Fed, ECB, BOE Officials All Say They See Inflation Rising Bloomberg

Inflation Is Low? Let’s Tighten Monetary Policy Anyway Mother Jones. Kevin Drum is closer to the truth on this one.

New Austria migrant lorry found BBC

Egypt sentences 3 Al Jazeera English reporters to prison drawing widespread condemnation LA Times

U.N. Urges the Netherlands to Stop Portrayals of ‘Black Pete’ Character NYTimes

Dems say party chair blocked Iran resolution at DNC meeting WaPo. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the worst.

Jeremy Corbyn’s politics are fantasy – just like Alice in Wonderland Tony Blair, The Guardian. Never mind, I found a worse one! Gratuitous shot at Bernie Sanders in this one too.


Jeb Bush 2016: Top fundraisers leave campaign amid troubling signs Politico

Iowa Poll: Clinton leads, but Sanders draws near Des Moines Register. Here’s the poll. This is the gold standard poll in Iowa and Sanders starts the fall down 7-8 points. Direct quote from the pollster: “This feels like 2008 all over again.” The other amazing thing in the poll: in May Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers were 27/63. Now they’re 61/35. That just doesn’t happen.

Chris Christie: Track immigrants like FedEx packages CNN

10 years after Katrina: An evacuated family’s new crisis, far from New Orleans WaPo

Owned by Union, Amalgamated Bank Gives Lift to the Left NYTimes

Citizens taking video of police see themselves facing arrest AP

Islamic State Finds Gold Coins Are a Steal as Throwback Currency Bloomberg Business

Tesla Wants Obama Administration to Press China WSJ

Prison Vendors See Continued Signs of a Captive Market NYTimes. Shorter: “You say ‘mass incarceration’ like it’s a bad thing.”

Class Warfare

87K homeless school children in NYC, report says NY Daily News

Lowey Proposes Social Security for Unpaid Caregivers Nanuet, NY Patch

Not All Foreclosure Victories Have Fairy Tale Endings MFI-Miami

The Movies of My Youth by Italo Calvino NYRB

Kyle Jean-Baptiste, Actor Who Made History in Broadway’s ‘Les Misérables,’ Dead at 21 NBC News. Absolutely tragic.

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About David Dayen

David is a contributing writer to He has been writing about politics since 2004. He spent three years writing for the FireDogLake News Desk; he’s also written for The New Republic, The American Prospect, The Guardian (UK), The Huffington Post, The Washington Monthly, Alternet, Democracy Journal and Pacific Standard, as well as multiple well-trafficked progressive blogs and websites. His has been a guest on MSNBC, CNN, Aljazeera, Russia Today, NPR, Pacifica Radio and Air America Radio. He has contributed to two anthology books, one about the Wisconsin labor uprising and another on the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress. Prior to writing about politics he worked for two decades as a television producer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter at @ddayen.


  1. El Guapo

    The Guardian has sunk to new lows with it’s pathetic coverage of Corbyn. It’s beyond comical to read some of the nonsense they have put out over the last few months. Anyone who thinks that paper leans “left” needs to do less cocaine. The same thing applies to the execrable Globe and Mail in Canada.

    Also: F*ck Tony Blair. Scum of the earth.

    1. hidflect

      Seconded. I wonder if the serial “hit ‘n runs” the Guardian has been smacking Corbyn with have any relation to the insidious “Corbyn is anti-semitic” campaign concurrently being run against him. Anyone perceived to have less than a full-throated roar of approval for everything Israel can soon find themselves on the receiving end of very harsh editorials from powerful people.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s not just Israel. New Labour is in a complete meltdown over Corbyn. They are throwing everything they can at him. He’ll probably be accused of jay walking. One issue is a tax increase or even forcing the Tories to investigate tax evasion or put in place a revolving door ban could be a real problem for anyone living it up in London on an MP salary.

        On this side of the pond, Hillary is ignoring Sanders publicly, but if Sanders surge in Iowa continues, the Democratic elite will go nuts. Sanders and Corbyn types aren’t threats to Israel except Likud, but they are threats to people with hideously overpriced McMansions who need a buyout to pay off the mortgage and provide for a retirement they haven’t saved for. This is a major factor in the minds of the party apparatiks.

        1. PhilK

          The attacks on Corbyn have been so ridiculous that I must point out that the following is satire:

          Mr. Corbyn is thought to have longstanding links to the British Labour Party, whose former members include comedy despot, Oswald Mosley.

          After a brief stint in Labour, Mosley quit to form the British Union of Fascists. In 1936, he married one of the Mitford sisters at an exclusive ceremony attended by Hitler and Goebbels.

          Here’s a chilling fact: Had Corbyn been alive in 1936, and been in the Labour Party, and had he met Oswald Mosley, and had the two been on good terms and kept in touch when Mosley left, and had Mosley then invited Corbyn to his wedding for old times’ sake, and had Corbyn been available and wanted to go . . .

          . . . Corbyn could have been sat beside Hitler at Mosley’s wedding.

          Would you vote for a man who might have shared best-man duties with the Führer, had history been completely different?

          We didn’t think so.

          6 Links Jeremy Corbyn Doesn’t Want You to Know About

    2. JEHR

      El Guapo, I agree with you about some articles in The Globe and Mail but that paper is more nuanced than the National Post (Canada), I think. For really good news I read online The National Observer from Vancouver ( ); http: Rabble ( // ); and an extension of the Occupy Movement ( ). I am always on the lookout for new online magazines as they provide a lot of the back story missing from MSM.

      An article that might interest you is: . Canadaland is sometimes a bit weak but it tries to analyze journalism in Canada ( ); it can be obtained in audio on iTunes.

      1. El Guapo

        I agree that the Globe is more nuanced than the Post but that simply makes it worse – it deludes many (including smart people that I know) into thinking it is something other than a neo-liberal rag.

        Rabble is good, I haven’t checked the other ones out before.

  2. hidflect

    “Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers were 27/63. Now they’re 61/35. That just doesn’t happen.”

    aka, the “anybody but Madame Clinton” effect.

    1. drexciya

      Maybe the other Republican candidates have shown themselves to be rather poor options, so why pick a loser over a “winner”? That’s the impression I get from the way Trump presents himself.

      1. MikeNY

        “Poor options” — as in mealy-mouthed, poll-driven, money-grubbing creatures of the plutocrat puppet workshop?

        Yes, precisely.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Trump is simply an outsider. 43 (a reformed drunk, blacksheep, and target of jokes) and Reagan were Republican outsiders in their own way too, and for a party dependent on the Southern Strategy, the GOP base voters aren’t Republicans as much as people who took a deal (money for churches, schools, pork such as bases and so forth in their areas). They would much rather have a leader from out of the club than say Jeb or Mittens who’s own weakness was obscured by turnout out West and declines in youth voting.

    2. Brindle

      Sanders popularity is a combination of support for his proposals and policies and Clinton fatigue. Sanders doesn’t need to attack Hillary directly—her campaign trajectory has something of a slow motion Hindenburg quality around it.
      Des Moines Register:

      —“These numbers would suggest that she can be beaten,” said Steve McMahon, a Virginia-based Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns dating to 1980.

      “But,” he added, “it’s still early, and Hillary Clinton’s done this before. She knows what it takes to win.”—

      1. sd

        That’s not what the poll data says. Sanders is doing well because people support his ideas. Only 2% of his supporters come from anyone-but-Clinton.

        That is, of course, not the story the inside the beltway crowd wants to tell itself.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        What has Hillary done before? Besides being Bill Clinton’s* wife, Hillary won in New York after bullying her way into a safe Senate seat and lost to Obama. In that election, she and her staff seemed to be unaware of delegate allocation rules.

        Even Bill couldn’t win the popular vote as an incumbent and came from Arkansas state politics with a bizarre perma-election culture. Of course, Bill oversaw one of the largest Congressional wipe out in history in ’94. His VP lost to a coke-addled moron.

        I’m not certain the Clinton’s are political wunderkids as much as brilliant self promoters.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Re today’s Links pic — suggested caption, “The Candidates.” Still, why the obviously compelling fascination with the Beauty Pageant idiocy that has so little effect on that thing we all worsip, “policy”? Seems like a lot of wasted processor– and news– cycles…

        1. fresno dan

          “In that election, she and her staff seemed to be unaware of delegate allocation rules.”

          Great point – and let me add, at the time all you heard was what a master politician, a wonk cum laude was Bill Clinton, so that Hillary was getting advice that made her invulnerable, with Bill’s knowledge of the most arcane and obscure election rules.

          Now, on Sundays, I wear triple aluminum foil, cause everyone knows that’s when the CIA can most effectively use their couch potato location database to affect the populace. The downside is that it does concentrate and magnify the conspiracies – and the #1 conspiracy is that Bill does not want Hillary in the white house… (Bill purposefully antagonized black voters???)

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            My favorite story about Bill, compared to his cronies he is on another level, was when Democrats started to panic about 2010 they brought Bill in to advise them because he did such a wonderful job with the Congress. It’s really a shame history class stops at World War II. Everyone gets to makeup the last 70 years.

    3. DJG

      As I keep pointing out to people, Trump of the 16 or 17 Republican candidates is about the only one who hasn’t said that God is sending him to rule the U S of A. So the Republican base is not as out to lunch as liberals would like to believe. Also, Trump has called the bluff of the Republicans’ economic fundamentalism on Social Security and Medicare. And pointing out that Lindsay Graham is a buffoon is icing on the cake, as the Republican establishment melts down.

      I don’t understand why Trump has gone anti-immigrant. Of course, it make him a class traitor, since immigration has been used to depress wages.. Yet if he had kept to economic issues, he could have started to put together the coalition required: Those semi-imaginary centrists are needed.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Trump owns hotels and real estate. He must employ hundreds, if not thousands, of undocumented workers. He’s very vulnerable on this point, unless he’s done a really good job of cleaning up his companies’ employment practices. The noise may be mostly to cover up his vulnerability.

      2. fresno dan

        Of all the republican candidates, Trump is the least evil as well as the least competent and experienced at screwing the American people.

        And my rejoinder to those who say, “can you imagine Trump with his finger the nuclear trigger”
        is, “Can you imagine any of the other republicans with their fingers on the nuclear trigger?”
        Hell yeah, Trump is the least whack a doodle….
        (and please, no human should ever be allowed to posit that a Bush has the brains, sobriety or gravitas to command the US military)
        And finally, Trump’s pandering pales in comparison to the other republican pandering, which is much more appalling as it is accepted without comment.

          1. fresno dan

            that must be a ventriloquist’s dummy….
            (and I don’t mean allegorically for McCain – I mean Howdy Doody changed his name to Lindsey Graham and IS Lindsey Graham) The only logical way to refute my contention would be to point out that a block of wood could not possibly be that ill informed…

            1. neo-realist

              Speaking of ill informed, considering his views on foreign policy and immigration–he recently suggested building a wall along the Canadian border—Scott Walker is the GOP’s Nucklehead Smiff w/ a little more hair.

  3. john

    Was re-reading my old papers and found a reference to the ‘Competetive Enterprise Institute’ (phyllis schlaffy was a member, famed anti-feminist, specifically the equal rights amendment.)

    Just the idea of such a contradiction is laughable.

    Since we never read, it suits reason that the lies must be in the headline, or it doesn’t work.

    1. sd

      Phyllis Schaffly was in it for the money and the attention. It worked and to this day, women do not have equal rights under the law in the United States.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Actually, they do, under the 14th Amendment. It just isn’t stated inso many words, but that’s true of any category you might name. Including corporations (a truly blatant and intentional misreading of the amendment.)

        The point of an ERA would be to make women’s rights no longer dependent on judicial interpretation. That’s worth doing, something I’d support, but it isn’t strictly necessary.

        1. sd

          You are mistaken. Women do not have equal rights under the law in the United States. Men have equal rights. Period.

          The ERA for women exists only at the state level in some states.

            1. JTMcPhee

              Tell me again– how many women can afford to sue? How many can adequately document even the worthiest claim, in our courts with the rules the way they are? Unbiased judiciary? Functioning bureaucracy that’s supposed to protect them, level the playing field? How many can afford the “long shadow” that even a significant “win” attaches to them?

              Without àn adequate remedy, there is no right — in a nominal “democracy” with its ha-ha “rule of law…”

              1. todde

                Follow the coversation please

                Oregon says women have rights ‘subject to judicial interpretation ‘

                The other.poster says women have no rights under the law.

                I am.pointing out that us an untrue statement.

                You can create another women more equal rights, but guess what, it will still be subject to judicial interpretation

                Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but the law already exists.

  4. John Merryman

    Having been following physics and cosmology for some decades, it is increasingly apparent there are significant aspects which need a major reset and Stephen Hawking has been an interesting expression of a group psychology that hasn’t wanted to seriously look inside the essentially black box of settled theory and so having such a zen like individual as the ideal has helped to push this need for going back and re-examining such seemingly accepted ideas as the “fabric of spacetime” as the physical reason for the mathematical effectiveness of General Relativity. Eventually though, even the icons prove to have feet of clay.
    Pysorg has a surprisingly skeptical take;
    Which was originally posted to an academic site;

    1. susan the other

      I’m not following the black hole paradox. Something along the lines of, It is physically impossible to be and to not be at the same time. Like Shakespeare said, To be and not to be, that is the question.

    2. Gaianne

      I agree with the sentiment that physicists ought to do better–and be less dogmatic.

      It is true that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity has beaten out all competitors. (The competitors were very obscure and you had to be connected to the field to know of them.)

      But the Theory was developed, and works, in the low-gravitation situations that are familiar: Bending of starlight by the Sun, excess advancement of the perihelion of Mercury, gravitational lensing of galaxies.

      At very high gravities, such as black holes (properly they are collapsars) the theory gives singularities, which is Mathematics way of telling you that your theory no longer works! A theory is just a theory. Your theory ought to be bound by reality; reality is certainly not bound by your theory.

      So physicists have fallen into a map/reality confusion (like believing your GPS instead of your eyes) and have fallen–dare we say it–into a black hole from which they will never escape.


  5. abynormal

    regarding Prison Vendors…i need another shower (this time with lye soap)
    “It’s hard for me not to be cynical about it,” said Jack Cowley, a retired warden who lives in Oklahoma. “Think about the size of our system, all the judges and lawyers, putting their kids through college, people that make leg irons, Tasers. Crime is driving the train. It’s like a business that is too big to fail.”
    “Sales to prisons are flat to down,” said Sandy Heitman, a senior project manager. “But more people are being put into mental health facilities, and that portion of the business has increased.” The same is true, she added, of halfway houses.”

    Where are these ‘Mental Health Facilities’? “Many states and the federal government have created a class of prison referred as “supermax.” Supermax prisons are intended to reduce violence within prison systems by creating an extremely harsh environment which includes extreme isolation and sensory deprivation. MHA shares the concerns of most prison reform groups that supermax prisons may constitute cruel and unusual punishment for all inmates and may induce mental illnesses in those prisoners who were previously healthy.[18]”

    the register thickens: Chris Christie’s Ties To the For-Profit Halfway House Industry
    The West Caldwell-located Community Education Centers company makes plenty of glowing claims for its halfway houses as an “innovative example of privatization” that provides relief for overcrowded prisons and at a cheaper price. The corrections, parole and other government agencies in New Jersey pay about $60 to $75 per inmate to operators of halfway houses, vs. the $125 to $150 a day it costs the state to house someone in prison.

    About 40 percent of New Jersey’s prison population — some 10,000 prison inmates and parolees a year — now pass through the state’s privately run halfway houses and many through those run by Community Education Centers. kafuckingching

    “To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.”

    1. ambrit

      Remember when Ronald “Beelzebub” Reagan started closing the ‘genuine’ public asylums?
      If only Hinkley had been a better shot; Brady would still be with us, hale and hearty, and President Bush would have preserved the ‘Olde Conservative Guard’ in opposition to the NeoCons.

  6. John Merryman

    Having been following physics and cosmology for some decades, it is increasingly apparent there are significant aspects which need a major reset and Stephen Hawking has been an interesting expression of a group psychology that hasn’t wanted to seriously look inside the essentially black box of settled theory and so having such a zen like individual as the ideal has helped to push this need for going back and re-examining such seemingly accepted ideas as the “fabric of spacetime” as the physical reason for the mathematical effectiveness of General Relativity.
    Eventually though, even the icons prove to have feet of clay.

    Pysorg has a surprisingly skeptical take;

    Which was originally posted to an academic site;

  7. financial matters

    Lowey Proposes Social Security for Unpaid Caregivers Nanuet, NY Patch

    This is an interesting proposal. In a type of BIG she proposes giving $22,000 to unpaid caregivers. This is for people who leave their jobs but could be extended to caregivers in general.

    It is interesting to compare this with minimum wage of $15,000 and living wage of $30,000 in a relatively average cost of living area.

    It seems that minimum wage is often supported by food stamps etc essentially helping corporations maintain high executive salaries.

    Getting more people into the $22,000 to $30,000 annual income would seem an excellent way to start to deal with inequality and get basic needs met.

    1. ambrit

      Interesting idea that. If I were to retire now, I’d get all of around $800.00 a month from Social Security. See the problem?

    2. Demeter

      Oh, but I’m not unpaid! The Kid gets $733/month, and then I am paid a whole $429/month for caring for her. She cannot cook, clean (even herself), do laundry, fix anything she breaks, or navigate even on foot, so I am either providing care 24/7 or hiring help. I get a whole $1700/year from the state for “respite”….she attends a “sheltered workshop” for 7 hours/day, 4 days/week, not counting 6 weeks of “vacation” that I have to find other arrangements to provide her with supervision for safety.

      I get to take care of her paperwork (not trivial) appointments (Mom’s taxi and durable power of attorney at work) and incidents with the greater world…like when she wandered off from her respite and was picked up by the fire department, taken to the hospital, and it took over an hour to get her out…

      For my own needs, I get to work 2 jobs: independent contractor for home help care for elderly/disabled in poverty ($10/hr) and my “vacation” job: $8.25 delivering car parts (and all the car parts I need at 75% off!). Income is subject to frequent unplanned schedule changes, and if the Kid is sick, she comes first.

      Needless to say, my education and career don’t even enter into this picture. An institution, you say? The ain’t any such thing. What passes for Adult Foster Care couldn’t provide sufficient safety for a goldfish, let alone a large clumsy adult with tremendous self-will and no practical living skills.

      As for the absent father, vanished before her 18th birthday? Good riddance. If it weren’t for a small family trust, I’d be underwater and our lives would be even more restrictive than they are..

      So, yes, this is more than a good idea. But it won’t happen, and I’m not holding my breath.

  8. John Merryman

    It is interesting to read some of the various stories on the Stephen Hawking speech. Even some in academia are starting to express skepticism that hasn’t yet made its way into the media.
    As someone who has had a number of logical quibbles with current cosmology, such as using General Relativity to explain cosmic redsift, but overlooking that the speed of light would have to increase as well, in order to remain constant, I’d come to see Hawking as more of a totem to a field that was more inclined to add enormous patches, like inflation and dark energy, than admit observations were not supporting its predictions.

    1. Oregoncharles

      So I’m not the only one who sees dark matter and dark energy as flagrant kludges – intellectual baling wire. I can’t pretend to understand the math, so I’m dependent on what they tell us – but they’re PRESENTED as kludges, ways to make the data fit the theory.

      I assume all of this is tied to the problem that has stopped physics in its tracks for 50 years, the inability to reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity. As a matter of simple logic (maybe too simple), if two theories that describe the same universe can’t be reconciled, one or the other or both is wrong. Not that i could begin to solve that, but surely solving it starts with acknowledging the reality?

      Trouble is, both are well supported by experiment and observation.

      Isn’t there a mathematical proof that logical systems can’t be completely self-consistent? Maybe that applies to the universe.

  9. Grizziz

    Re: Inflation
    The circular logic involved in the rational expectations where the market expects the Fed to expect the consumer to anticipate that the price of the non core item, gasoline will be higher tomorrow, therefore the consumer will sacrifice his liquidity premium today and fill his tank ‘cuz markets is annoying.
    While I am a layman in these matters and can offer ideas without institutional precedents, why couldn’t the Fed raise the rate by 10 basis points in December, so they can solve the reputation problem the Fed has created for itself and save face as the “honest broker.” Oracles whispering amongst the aspens, sheesh.

    1. susan the other

      The Economists View mock interview with Stanley on his many contradictions was good. It was a surprise to read the comments, some of whom recommended shooting the good doctor.

  10. sd

    Iowa poll link wasn’t working so I read an article at the Des Moines Register. This was an interesting finding:

    Sanders, a Vermont U.S. senator, has become a liberal Pied Piper in Iowa not as a vote against Clinton, but because caucusgoers genuinely like him, the poll shows. An overwhelming 96 percent of his backers say they support him and his ideas. Just 2 percent say they’re motivated by opposition to Clinton.

    So Sanders is not the-anyone-but-Clinton candidate. He’s standing on his own. The reference to Pied Piper is a bit of an insult and disappointing in a serious news article, but that’s corporate media for you today. Journalists just can’t leave out their opinion.

    1. Lambert Strether

      The URL is fine and appears in other posts; I can only think that Gannet took it down for some reason; I tried various versions of it, and there’s nothing at the other end of the link.

    2. susan the other

      Sanders is going to disappoint us all sometime between now and the time Clinton gains enough traction to compete. At that point Sanders will drop out, due to his health, or his fading popularity, etc. And he will back Clinton as the best candidate. I think he has been her frontrunner all along. At the outset of his campaign he told us all that Hillary was his good friend. And then not another word on that subject.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “Good friend” is what politicos say when they have nothing nice to say. John McCain calls everyone “friends.” I wouldn’t read too much into it.

      2. neo-realist

        I couldn’t see Sanders dropping out due to fading popularity numbers—the economic policies he proposes are being embraced by far too many Americans thirsty for such policies for him to drop out before the end of the campaign, policies that are faintly alluded to by establishment democrats in running for office, yet totally shunned upon holding office.

        As far as health, Sanders strikes me as a healthier 73 than Hillary’s late 60 something.

      3. RabidGandhi

        Chomsky, assessing Obama’s performance, said he is not disappointed by the president because he ‘didn’t expect anything.’

        ‘So, I’m not one of those who was disillusioned,’ he said in the interview from his office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.”

  11. edmondo

    Chris Christie: Track immigrants like FedEx packages CNN

    I live in New Jersey. And although I never voted for him, I apologize to the rest of the country for sending you this nasty, ugly person. Just ignore him, he will go away.

    1. Antifa

      Evangelicals should be terrified by Mister Christie’s comment, but they haven’t picked up on the opportunity for some reason.

      Fedex tracks packages well because every package has a barcode on it, which gets scanned into the system at every stop along the delivery route.

      To track human immigrants like Fedex tracks packages requires a barcode be placed on each person, a non-removable tattoo, a number which can be scanned into the system at every stop they make.

      This barcode could conveniently be placed on their forehead, or on their hand, just like the Mark of the Beast described in the Book of Revelations.

      (cue Christians screaming about The End, The End I Tell You) . . . nothing . . .

      Hello? Are there any End Timers awake out there? Is no one interested enough in Chris Christie’s chances to bother calling him the AntiChrist? Is it because he lacks all seven heads and ten horns?

      Is a tinhorn?

  12. Pat

    I would be upset at Amalgamated’s relationship with Clinton and the Democratic Super Pacs (including the 24 hour concierge service) except it still is a better deal for working class NYers from the regular banks in the area.
    Credit Unions are still a better choice, but too many cannot access that.

    Still a bank founded by a union and funded by labor originally being the bank of choice for candidates who happy sell unions out at pretty much every opportunity is depressing. I can only hope that they are making a ton in fees and the float.

  13. tomk

    Elephant seals, I stumbled on the elephant seal overlook on the Pacific Coast Highway, near San Simeon earlier this month. Unbelievable, you’re on a walkway on the top of a short bluff, with hundreds of those amazing 2 ton creatures sleeping, fighting, loving, surfing, grunting and roaring just a few yards away.

      1. susan the other

        Since Orcas haven’t had a live birth in 3 years, it is surprising that elephant seal pups are viable.

  14. tegnost

    inequality story that exposes a potential economic disruption. Although gas didn’t really get as cheap as it probably should have it can jump at any time and take a bite out of incomes. Also another “tax on time”

    Within the last few days the same paper ran an editorial “Not so fast on that $15 min wage”. Funny thing is after the law passed the biz leaders and politicians (not Kshama) all rallied to delay implementation over a 7 year period, I think that’s not so fast…
    Looking for housing in seattle and it’s ridiculous. I blame student loans and the fed.

    1. Joerenter

      Don’t forget Amazon and their like in the mix. Seattle is becoming the next Berkeley as a realtor told me this weekend. I think we are in the top 7 cities for worst traffic too. The next crash can’t come too early enough.

    1. fresno dan

      Thanks (I think) for that

      “Over the last 35 years, the economic growth necessary to increase living standards, increase wealth and manage growing inequality has been based increasingly on rising borrowings and financial rather than real engineering.”

      I don’t have the fear of “debt” that I used to, but the problem seems to be we’re stagnating because all that the debt is loaned into existence for, is stock buybacks to goose stock prices to reward CEOs and hedge fund managers, and all the related financial engineering shenanigans – its nothing but buying and selling of financial assets. That seems to work for the 1%, but for some reason, the 99% are expected to eventually pay with some cash…

  15. rich

    Landlord Without Permit Could Face Loss Of Rent Paid

    Landlords skirting the law may soon be flooding Southampton Town Hall. Although it wasn’t filed by the town, a recent decision in Suffolk County Supreme Court gives renters in the town a clear legal path to seek reimbursement of rent already paid if their landlords lack rental permits.

    “I think it’s actually a good thing for the town for a case like this to be out there,” said Southampton Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato. “We’re hoping that encourages people to obtain rental permits.”

    This recent decision, which supported a tenant’s right to sue for rent paid, could serve as yet another deterrent to dissuade landlords in the town from cutting corners when it comes to complying with rental laws. It is already an accepted premise that they cannot retrieve rent lost in cases such as eviction without a permit, according to Ms. Scarlato. And, if a landlord is found to be renting without a permit, he or she can be severely fined or even imprisoned.

    On August 7, Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Thomas Whelan added arguably the most extreme disincentive to renting off the grid after listening to a case between Deborah Schwartz and her landlord, Richard Torrenzano.

    Ms. Schwartz, who is an attorney, had been renting Mr. Torrenzano’s home in Noyac for four years beginning at $35,000 per year. As a result of Super Storm Sandy in 2012, she believes, saltwater got into and rusted the home’s heating system, making it faulty and unreliable. The landlord claimed there was “no issue,” Ms. Schwartz said.

    Judge Whelan mostly agreed, noting that while the town code was not intended to allow tenants to simply sue their landlords to recoup their rent, it does require a valid rental permit as a condition to collect rent.

    Therefore, a renter “may recoup rent based upon the implied private right of action which precludes a landlord from ‘collection of rent,’” the judge ruled.

    He did not think Ms. Schwartz was entitled to recoup her security deposits, however.

    “This is the first time a court in Suffolk County has recognized the private right of action under the Southampton Town Code to recover rent paid if it turns out the landlord had no rental permit,” Ms. Schwartz told The Press last week. “It permits a tenant to recoup rent paid where there is no rental permit.” She will seek the return of four years’ worth of rent, totaling more than $140,000.

    “The lesson to be learned there is go get your rental permit,” said Ms. Scarlato.

    wonder if you don’t have a rental permit do you even report the income??…hmmm.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘If a landlord is found to be renting without a permit, he or she can be severely fined or even imprisoned.’

      You don’t how lucky you are, boy
      Back in the USSR

      — Lennon/McCartney

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Yes, “one for you, nineteen for me” as George Harrison put it in the taxman’s words. Doesn’t seem to have kept them all from still becoming stinking rich did it? The similarly high marginal rates in the US in the fifties likewise didn’t seem to prevent the accumulation of large fortunes either did they? So much for the argument that high marginal rates sap “incentives” or even rewards to any significant degree.

  16. Jim Haygood

    Onion version of the first link:

    After a week of intense debate, Stanley Fischer and his colleagues are still puzzled by deflationary black holes

    Maybe a hot tub discussion in the Yellowstone caldera would have helped.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Stanley Fischer in a hot tub discussing fed “policy.” Another one of those images that you can’t “unsee.”

  17. Tulsatime

    On the rise The only thing on the rise in this economy is deflation, and the pathological misrepresentation of the real state of affairs. For the Fed to even be talking about anything other than a total abandonment of their traditional programs shows how compromised they are.

  18. tongorad

    Old news for anyone even remotely paying attention, but it’s nice to see it in print anyhoo:

    Democratic Party elites have abandoned public education

    For years, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s children attended public school in Virginia. Now, he has announced that they will go to the University of Chicago Laboratory School, the private school where Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sends his kids and where Barack Obama sent his daughters when he lived in Chicago. The tuition for the 2015-2016 school year is approximately $30,000.

    Duncan’s senior advisor and former education commissioner of New York, John King, also sends his daughters to a private Montessori school near Albany; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daughters, on their part, attend an elite boarding school in Massachusetts.

    There is nothing wrong with private school. The problem here, though, is that too many Democratic elites advocate education reforms such as the Common Core standards, charter schools, and high-stakes testing with minimal first-hand knowledge of how they affect schools or children. In sending their children to private schools, Democratic elites exempt themselves from policies that they might oppose if they saw their own children being harmed by them.

    In short, market based “reforms” are for other people.

  19. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Not All Foreclosure Victories Have Fairy Tale Endings MFI-Miami

    Thanks, I guess, for the trip down the foreclosure memory lane. That simple 4 minute video just never loses its potency. It reminded me of something I heard many moons ago–can’t remember where.

    “In an economic downturn wealth is not destroyed. It is transferred.”

    That is the same principle, I suspect, that was operative in this past week’s “sell high, buy low” stock market round trip.

    Creating “wealth” is tough. Engineering a transfer, not so much.

    1. fresno dan

      Kinda of amazing – all the banks, the trillions of bad loans, the collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and such swaps squared (whatever that meant), and billions of other acronyms for esoteric financial instruments (designed to be opaque AKA designed to be fraudulent)….and how many bankers went bankrupt??? Did ANY of them lose ANY money???
      How many went homeless, put out on the street???

      Funny how those who caused the problem suffered not at all…
      Funny how those who did not cause the problem did….
      And funny how the United States institutions printed (OK, typed electronic bytes on computer ledgers) heaven and earth to defend, protect, and insure the assets of the too big too fail, but there just wasn’t enough pixels left for the people tossed out on the street….

      1. rich

        Listen to Bernie….
        Bernie Sanders Interview: ‘The Business Model of Wall Street Is Fraud’

        Most people are sick and tired of the system as it is now. And they are once again attempting to reject the status quo, having been badly disappointed by Obama and the Congress. And this gives rise to popular movements and even third parties.

        The biggest problem with popular movements is that they either tend to be co-opted by the most powerful in the status quo and used badly, misdirected and deceived, as in the case of the Tea Party, or diffused by too many factions and lack of prioritization resulting in a lack of effective cohesion, as in the case of the Occupy Movement.

        And so we have the ascendancy of the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party, and the Koch Brothers wing of the Republicans.

        And the corrupting power of Big Money underlies all of it, in part thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United that defined corporations as having the rights but not the obligations of people, and money as free speech, while doing nothing to remediate the actual use of free speech by real people except in special zones and restricted venues, subject to some of the most oppressive abuse of the secrecy laws..

  20. JustAnObserver

    O.k. so its only 87K homeless children in NYC and not 87,000.

    NewSpeak as Prozac for the concience … or Soma ?.

  21. Jim Haygood

    Dr. Hussman has served up his weekly thrashing of the speculators. He’s developed a new verbal tic, employing the adjective ‘obscene’ in near-obsessive fashion, as in this clip:

    ‘Regardless of obscene overvaluation and historically offensive extremes in sentiment and overbought conditions, speculators were buying every shred of the risk-seeking recklessness that the Fed was selling.’

    ‘Historically offensive’ represents a new empyrean in bearish tub-thumping. One can only be impressed by the poetic alliteration of ‘risk-seeking recklessness,’ particularly when it’s blamed on the flagitious Fed, a more ubiquitous malefactor than Satan himself.

    Dr. H.’s conclusion will come as no surprise:

    ‘Prior pre-crash bounces have generally been in the 6-7% range, which is what we observed last week. Use this opportunity to set things right.’

    Translated into a biblical injunction, this exhortation is equivalent to ‘Get right with God; tonight your soul may be required of you.’

    Nevertheless, lacking last week’s lovingly detailed chart porn showing calamitous crash-and-burn scenes from previous market crack-ups, Dr. H’s latest column falls a bit short of the dire ‘final warning’ that was expected. He doesn’t even mention that that the doomed 1929 bull market reached its apogee on Sep. 3rd, 86 years ago next Thursday (you have been warned).

    Verdict: neutral. Hang out in T-notes, for lack of a better plan.

    1. fresno dan

      “He doesn’t even mention that that the doomed 1929 bull market reached its apogee on Sep. 3rd, 86 years ago next Thursday (you have been warned).”

      Upon hearing that, I immediately went to the Grocery outlet bargain market and bought enough cases of spaghettio’s and even a few cases of spaghettio’s with mini meatballs (in case this is not merely a depression, but the apocalypse – might as well sup extravagantly in my last meal) and than stopped by Trader Joes and bought a consummate number of cases of 2 buck Chuck (which is actually 2.49$ now. I find the pinot grigio accentuates the orange notes of the spaghettio’s )

      1. JustAnObserver

        … then on to Walmart for the AR-15s ? Oh well missed that boat, It’ll have to be Big5 … do they still do Armalites ?

  22. optimader

    “Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers were 27/63. Now they’re 61/35. That just doesn’t happen.”

    aka, the “anybody but Madame Clinton” effect.

    Seems to me Bill Clinton had a sea change of fortune during primary season as well earning the moniker ” the comeback kid”, albeit Dem competition was tepid as Bush had something like a 80% favorability rating, the Iraq war bounce –the conventional consensus being that he was unbeatable.

    Well, history records that Bush went on to politically shoot himself in the mouth w “no new taxes” which was sealed w/ the exogenous variable of a softening economy.

    History doesn’t repeat but it rhymes. Trump is running against a bunch of idiots, a one eyed man in the land of the blind scenario?

    1. jrs

      But there also seems non-stop media propaganda about Trump (and any publicity is good publicity?). Never mind the above interview of Bernie Sanders, CNN all day long is Trump, Trump, Trump (I’d rather never watch CNN but I’m subjected to it at work). If Sanders got even half the coverage Trump did, maybe he too would be beating Hillary and then some! But coverage of Sanders not so much so. It doesn’t just happen. You have to be carefully … propagandized.

      While I think it has a snowballs chance of happening if we actually had a President Trump in what appeared legitimate elections, I would sort of blame media propaganda. They want it.

      1. M

        Seriously, this is driving me crazy. In every newsfeed it’s Trump, Trump, Trump. Rarely a word about Sanders.

        The popularity of Sanders is all the more amazing.

      2. optimader

        CNN all day long is Trump, Trump, Trump
        Other than airports and other random public places I’m happy to say I haven’t seen cnn. fox and the other usual suspects coverage. I would speculate cnn is all about trump possibly because, so ive read, fox is nothing about trump because the fox talking head dust up, and probably some larger mutual animosity with the guy who’s face looks like a catchers mitt.

        just my opinion, but it seems to me any American that wants to be politically informed has fairly low barriers to channels of relevant information on the candidates, and those channels do not include cnn, fox and the other usual suspects.

        Frankly, I hope that anyone whom actually considers the presentation from those organs of propaganda as their criteria for opinion forming forgets to vote.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          CNN like most media is garbage entertainment, but Trump is an easy story to tell. My god he was in Home Alone 2. A story about any candidate other than Jeb and Hillary would require research, reporters, and a level of intelligence. Can Don Lemon handle that?

          Telling a story about Trump or a missing white girl with parents with resources to push the story is easier and cheaper than real news.

  23. ewmayer

    Re. the black hole confab: Speaking of much-neglected ‘dusty old’ theories, I find the pervasive lack of mention (or perhaps better, misrepresentation) of the second law of thermodynamics in the context of the alleged information paradox exceedingly curious. After all the 2LOT tells us – in stark contrast to the assertions made in the piece like ‘Information isn’t supposed to disappear’ – that information is in fact destroyed (in the sense of being rendered irretrievably nonrecoverable) all the time. The term is ‘irreversibility’, and in many ways it defines the blurry transition zone from the microscopic world, in which ‘all individual transactions are time-reversible’ to the macroscopic, in which the resulting collective behavior is not. Boltzmann, anyone?

    Equally curious is that Hawking himself in his groundbreaking earlier work in which he achieved the first plausible (albeit piecemeal) unification of quantum field theory with classical (= relativistic but continuum-based) gravitation, came up with a strikingly lovely result regarding blackbody (= diffuse, i.e. entropy-maximized, i.e. all-detailed-information-lost) radiation from black holes and the entropy of same. So the present extreme aversion to the idea of information loss in the process of black hole accretion among the ‘thought leaders’ in the field -including Hawking himself – strikes me as bizarre. Perhaps it’s simply the natural research bias that confirming (in this case by extending to encompass novel phenomena which were unknown when the original theory was being developed) existing theories is inherently ‘less sexy’ that publishing ‘radical paradigm-smashing’ new ones.

    From another perspective on the issue (bolds mine):

    [The idea of black hole information loss] posed a huge problem for the field of physics because it meant that information inside a black hole could be permanently lost when the black hole disappeared — a violation of quantum mechanics, which states that information must be conserved.

    Uh, QM may say this for individual microscopic events, but again, what about large-scale statistics of collective behavior? Even though QM is now accepted as underpinning all macroscopic physics, I’ve never heard of any luminary claiming that the second law of thermo is thus a dead letter in the macroscopic realm where, last time I checked, information continues to be merrily and profligately destroyed and entropy thus keeps increasing. Why should matter (i.e. mass/energy) falling into a black hole be an exception? Sure, there may be some wacky stuff happening to spacetime near (and inside) the event horizon, but there is no reason to believe that the infalling stuff suddenly stops being subject to the rules of statistical thermodynamics.

    Similarly, here: The entropy of black holes:

    Yesterday I talked about black hole thermodynamics, specifically how you can write the laws of thermodynamics as laws about black holes. Central to the idea of thermodynamics is the property of entropy, which can be related to the amount of physical information a system has.

    For classical black holes, this is a problem, because if you toss an object into such a black hole, the object (and all its physical information) is lost forever. It is as if the information of the object was erased, which would violate the basic principle that information cannot be destroyed. Now you might argue that being trapped is not the same thing as being destroyed, but for information it is. If you cannot recover the information, then it has been destroyed.

    So it would seem that black holes “eat” information, even though the laws of thermodynamics say that shouldn’t be possible. This is known as the black hole information paradox.

    Could someone point out to me which law of thermodynamics says that information cannot be lost? Because for the life of me, I never heard of that one.

    I’ve heard (e.g. see here:, h/t to my buddy Ross) that some of these folks are trying to evade the 2LOT by claiming that the 2nd law does not say what its formulators said it does and that entropy increase does not in fact represent lost but rather ‘hidden’ information, but that, like so much of the stuff flying around in the field, is wildly speculative, and has 0 basis in observed phenomena.

  24. allan

    Who’s charging more for Obamacare plans? Surprise …

    A new analysis found that the largest insurer in each of the states served by raised their prices in 2015 much more sharply—by an average of 10 full percentage points—than smaller competitors on that federal Obamacare marketplace. … That means the largest issuer in each state had, on average, a 75 percent higher premium increase compared to other insurers in the same state, the report found.

    Bending the cost curve.

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