By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
“Warren: I agree with Trump on taxes” [The Hill].
“Mrs. Clinton’s role in this critical early debate hasn’t been previously reported and shows that the Democratic presidential front-runner and her top aide, Mr. Sullivan, were key players in the Iran deal” [Wall Street Journal, “Hillary Clinton Opened Door to Key U.S. Shift Toward Iran Nuclear Deal”]. Not sure how Obama feels about Clinton muscling in on the glory, and only after he closes the deal with Senate Democrats, too.
“Ben Carson calls for guest-worker status for immigrants” [AP].
Clinton “apology on email server”: I’d cite to the ABC News transcript, but the link on their horribly organized site is broken, and I don’t trust the bits quoted by other sources. From Clinton’s Facebook page (sorry):
Yes, I should have used two email addresses, one for personal matters and one for my work at the State Department. Not doing so was a mistake. I’m sorry about it, and I take full responsibility.
Oh. Mistakes were made. And it’s not the two email addresses that are the key problem. It’s the server, which Clinton privatized.
I know this is a complex story. I could have—and should have—done a better job answering questions earlier. I’m grateful for your support, and I’m not taking anything for granted.
No, it’s very simple. See above. And “what took so long?” [WaPo].
“Clinton aide who set up email server is pressed to accept immunity” [McClatchy]
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 8, 2015
“The second those klieg lights hit [Trump], he’ll find his maestro voice, that nimble and knowing schoolyard brogue that doesn’t miss a trick or a chance to pounce. Besides, he’ll say the exact same unscripted things he said in Michigan days earlier and will say again tomorrow at the Iowa State Fair, all of it word for word from memory” [Rolling Stone]. Well, I should hope so!
Monmouth University Poll: “Biden surged to 22 percent among registered voters who identified as Democrats and lean toward the Democratic Party in the newest Monmouth University Poll, though he still trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who polled at 42 percent,” with Sanders at 20% [Talking Points Memo]. For the life of me, I can’t see a reason for that loveable goof Joe Biden to run, other than that he could run. Policy? Charisma? No baggage? Fealty to Wall Street? What, in business terms, is Biden’s distinctive competence? That he gets a charge out of retail politics? [WaPo]. That he doesn’t have a mysterious black van with him at all times?
“‘Looks like Biden already running,’ [reptilian media mogul Rupert] Murdoch tweeted late Monday. ‘Very likely he wins nomination and be hard to beat'” [The Hill]. Murdoch tossing the apple of discord? Or privy to elite gossip the rest of us poor shlubs don’t know?
“Huckabee Aide Physically Blocked Cruz From Getting Into Kim Davis Money Shot” [Talking Points Memo]. Republican bottom feeders start to get ugly!
“Rick Perry loses South Carolina headquarter offices” [CNN]. No, Perry didn’t mislay them; he’s running out of money.
“‘People say, well, Bernie Sanders is unelectable, can’t win,’ Sanders told reporters Friday. ‘In a number of those polls we are defeating some of the leading Republican candidates'” [McClatchy].
“U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that Republican leaders have not yet decided on how long the coming fiscal year 2016 stop-gap spending bill will be or whether it will be free of policy riders” [Market News]. Another variable for J-Yel to juggle….
MBA Mortgage Applications, week of September 4, 2015:”After jumping 17.0 percent in the prior week on a rate-related surge in refinancing applications, the refinance index fell back 10 percent in the September 4 week. The purchase index continues to show much less volatility” [Econoday].
JOLTS, July 2015: “Job openings were up sharply in July” [Econoday]. “Professional & business services, which is considered to be a leading component for total employment, led the gains. … Despite the rise in openings, the number of hires edged lower. The rise in openings could definitely be cited by the hawks at next week’s FOMC as a further indication of tightness in the labor market.”
Quarterly Services Survey, Q2 2015:IT up 1.3% for the quarter, 3.8% for the year [Econoday].
“A shortage of glass is taking a toll on the nation’s commercial building boom, adding millions of dollars to the cost of new skyscrapers and halting some projects midway through construction” [Wall Street Journal, “Cost of Skyscraper Glass Hits Dizzying Heights”]. “Many glass makers mothballed their operations or went out of business in 2008 and 2009, during the recession, which hit the construction industry hard.” Interesting case of hysteresis.And how are we going to sell condos to fleeing Chinese wannabe squillionaires if we can’t get the curtain walls built, dammit?
The Fed: “The US Federal Reserve risks triggering ‘panic and turmoil [!] in emerging markets if it opts to raise rates at its September meeting and should hold fire until the global economy is on a surer footing, the World Bank’s chief economist has warned.[Financial Times, “World Bank chief economist warns Fed to delay rate rise”]. Awwww! Not even a quarter point? Not even one-and-done by Xmas 2016?
The Fed: “We believe that the most likely outcome is for a short-term funding deal to be reached to avoid a shutdown. However, the prospect of more unwelcome political dysfunction could add additional complication to the Fed’s deliberation next week” [Across the Curve].
Fear & Greed Index, September 9, 2015: 16 (“Extreme Fear”) [CNN Money].
“Investment Strategies Meant as Buffers to Volatility May Have Deepened It” [DealB%k, New York Times]. “[S]ome experts warn that the sums that have flowed into so-called risk-parity funds and exchange-traded funds, or E.T.F.s, over the last five years have become so large that the end result has been a riskier, more volatile market. Analysts estimate that there is currently around $4 trillion tied up in these investment strategies. The fear is that as their returns continue to suffer, a wave of investor selling will start a wider market rout as managers struggle to unload high-yield, high-return bonds and equities alike.” After hubris, anagnorisis, then nemisis, followed by hubris. As Minsky taught!
“[T]hose that bet on China’s demand for their oil and iron ore are realizing Beijing might not always be buying—and might not be able to teach them how to hang on to power indefinitely, either”[Wall Street Journal, “In Africa, Those Who Bet on China Face Fallout”].
Black Injustice Tipping Point
“Understanding Civic Unrest in Baltimore, 1968-2015: Home” [Decker Library, Maryland College of Art]. Many useful resources, not all visual.
Our Famously Free Press
Los Angeles Times publisher learns of his firing on drive-time radio [Politico]. On the other hand, the owner seems to have believed the publisher was orchestrating a deal to take the companyt]. private. Too bad, since the Los Angeles Times seemed to have improved over the last year, which can happen when you spend money on the newsroom.
“Yesterday, in a stunning decision packed with Orwellian reverse speak, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (where cases against Wall Street firms are thrown out like penny candy by a carnival barker) dismissed claims against Goldman Sachs in a case so fraught with the appearance of corruption that it had commanded an investigation by the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations” [Wall Street on Parade]. “Plaintiffs in the case were investors in Hudson Mezzanine Funding 2006-1 and 2006-2, synthetic bets on toxic mortgages which Goldman sold to investors while making multi-billion-dollar bets for its own firm that the deals would fail.”
“Japanese police raided the offices of a recently formed splinter group of the country’s biggest yakuza crime syndicate on Wednesday, following fears the rift will spark bloody inter-gang violence” [France24]. “Like the Italian Mafia and Chinese triads, the yakuza engage in everything from gambling, drugs and prostitution to loan sharking, protection rackets and white-collar crime. But unlike their foreign counterparts, they are not illegal and each of the designated groups have their own headquarters.” Rather like our own investment banks. Funny, these cultural parallels.
“[A]s 1MDB tries to fend off a cash crunch, its backers in Abu Dhabi are asking what happened to a $1.4 billion payment the fund said it made but which they never received, two people familiar with the matter said”[Wall Street Journal, “Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Scandal Spreads to U.A.E.”]. That’s a lot of money!
“The United States attorney for New Jersey has been investigating whether United, the nation’s third-largest airline, agreed to reinstate money-losing flights to the airport nearest the weekend home of the authority’s chairman, David Samson, in return for improvements the airline wanted at Newark Liberty International Airport, where it is the biggest carrier” [New York Times, “United C.E.O. Is Out Amid Inquiry at Port Authority”]
“Saying that AT&T and Verizon have failed to consistently provide quality phone service, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has demanded that the companies pay for a study of their network infrastructure” [Arts Technica]. How much you wanna bet it’s all bubble gum, baling wire, and CEP ka-ching?
“The ethics report contains remarkable details about how [Zero Dark Thirty producers] Bigelow and Boal gave CIA officers gifts and bought them meals at hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles and Washington, DC — much of which initially went unreported by the CIA officers — how they won unprecedented access to secret details about the bin Laden operation” [VICE]. Wow, who would have imagined a film glorifying torture would involve corruption?
“The US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, which is based in Seattle, arrived at the [North] Pole on September 5, the Coast Guard said in a statement,” the first American surface ship to do so [Agence France Presse]. “The rapid melting of polar ice has sent activity in the inhospitable region into overdrive — as nations eye newly viable oil, gas deposits, mineral deposits and shipping routes like the Northwest Passage.” What could go wrong?
“Richard Gere on playing a homeless man in NYC: ‘I could see people from two blocks away’ decide to avoid me” [Salon].
“[T]he case for enlisting corporations to address rising inequality and stagnant mobility warrants some skepticism. For starters, social and corporate objectives are obviously not always aligned. If so many so-called win-win opportunities for companies exist, why haven’t more been taken?” [Eduardo Porter, New York Times, “Corporate Efforts to Address Social Problems Have Limits”]. A new HBR study “offers a case for optimism, [but] also suggests that executives’ enlightened self-interest is probably not enough to bring about social change.”
News of the Wired
“Your baby monitor is an Internet-connected spycam vulnerable to voyeurs and crooks” [Boing Boing].
“How Debian Is Trying to Shut Down the CIA and Make Software Trustworthy Again” [Motherboard]. Reproducible builds.
The rules of cricket [Purdue University]. If you ever wanted to know, here they are!
“The Hellburner Was the Renaissance Equivalent of a Tactical Nuclear Weapon” [War is Boring].
“How Europeans evolved white skin” [Science]. “When it comes to skin color, the team found a patchwork of evolution in different places, and three separate genes that produce light skin, telling a complex story for how European’s skin evolved to be much lighter during the past 8000 years.”
“As one intriguing fossil discovery after another has made headlines over the past year, our understanding of our species’ history has started to shift, and a new story is emerging: one where our extinct relatives share many of the traits we had thought were uniquely human, and our own species is not that special after all [Ars Technica].
“Where the artificial intelligence sought to maximize paperclips, the capital maximizer seeks to maximize capital” [Thought Infection]. “It can be said that capitalism is an adaptive intelligence system. While humans find it easier to relate to a single unified intelligence such as a silicon-based artificial intelligence, complex distributed systems like capitalism can also be thought of as a single machine. Instead of relying only on silicon based computing, the capital maximizer utilizes advanced biological computing units housed in a distributed global network of human bodies.”
“If Moore’s Law – the doubling of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits every year, coined by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore – continues, the computers of 2030 will have as much power as the human brain, [investor and author Michael Malone] believes” [BBC]. “‘Then you get into this world of Ray Kurzweil [Google’s director of engineering] – the singularity – at a certain point we will just map our brains into a computer and that will give us a kind of silicon immortality,’ he reasons.” So, Google’s Director of Engineering is a sociopath who thinks disembodied brains in big silicon jars are neat. That explains why Google isn’t focusing so much on search these days, I suppose. Readers, have any of you read an early Frank Herbert novel, Destination Void?