Links 9/15/15

Eagle takes down Drone in Australia (Eagle is Fine) Melbourne Aerial Video (Richard Smith).

Navy to limit some training that harms whales in Pacific PhysOrg

Microbiologists Find Another 30,000 Year Old Giant Virus in Siberian Permafrost Motherboard. Reslic: “Great movie.”

School computers ‘do not raise results’ BBC

Appeals court strikes a blow for fair use in long-awaited copyright ruling ars technica (Chuck L)

This .Onion Farmer Is Squatting on 40 Million Dark Web Domains Motherboard

“WikiGate” raises questions about Wikipedia’s commitment to open access ars technica (Chuck L)

Prosthetic hand lets man actually feel what he touches for the first time Independent

Politico 2015: EHR sellers using “gag clauses” (despite Koppel/Kreda’s 2009 JAMA article on EHR nondisclosure clauses, and my 2009 JAMA Letter to the Editor on how these clauses violate Joint Commission safety standards) Health Care Renewal. EHR = “electronic health records”.

One Symptom in New Medical Codes: Doctor Anxiety New York Times (Chuck L)

Australia to swear in Malcolm Turnbull as new prime minister BBC. I met him when I was in Oz. He’s a huge improvement over Tony Abbott (which of course is not saying much). And he managed to get the best of Goldman in his dealings with them, no small feat. He’s always been regarded with some suspicion in Australia, from what I could tell for being openly ambitious and smart (the Australian tall poppy syndrome) as well as a bit too slick for his own good. But his wife Lucy as mayor of Sydney (yes, Australia is that concentrated at the top) annexed big swathes of what used to be independent districts like Bligh. which the voters in those districts detested. And she promptly shifted spending from social programs to building more glam sidewalks (not making this up, and in Kings Cross, of all places).

Fitch warns of emerging market shock if Fed sticks to rate plan Ambrose Evan-Pritchard, Telegraph

Migrant Crisis

Ian Bremmer: The refugee crisis YouTube (Scott)

More Border Controls as Migrant Talks Stall New York Times

EU members impose emergency controls Financial Times

Hungary begins border crackdown DW

After Creating Migration Flood Merkel Throws Up Emergency Dikes Moon of Alabama

The crises that threaten to unravel the EU Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

Europe faces war on two fronts as backlash builds Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Austerity Success Stories Paul Krugman

Italy’s Grillo sentenced for slander, compares himself to Mandela Reuters

So, you supported Corbyn: here is what you MUST do if he is to survive and win Ian Welxh


The (Mostly) Ignored War on Yemen American Conservative (resilc)

Russian Moves in Syria Widen Role in Mideast New York Times

US Intel Chief: Iraq and Syria may not Survive as States Juan Cole. Resilc: “Sykes Picot didn’t cut it.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Once seen as bulletproof, 11 million+ Ashley Madison passwords already cracked ars technica

Driver’s Licenses From 4 States Could Soon Be Useless For Getting Through Airport Security Consumerist

Imperial Collapse Watch

Veteran Intelligence Professionals Challenge CIA’s “Rebuttal” on Torture George Washington


Everything We Know About the Hillary Clinton E-Mails (and a Few Things We Don’t) Bloomberg (Li)

Price Tag of Sanders Proposals: $18 Trillion Wall Street Journal. One of the two lead stories at the WSJ as of this hour.

Grief Without Wisdom: Joe Biden’s Empty Authenticity Counterpunch

Trump eschews pricey political TV ads in favour of social media Financial Times. A tell that he is not in for the long haul. He should be doing targeted ads in a few markets, if nothing else to test messaging with audiences where he needs to improve his polling.

Prediction Market Traders Expect Bush to Grab GOP Nod Street Insider. Prediction markets are only as good as the people placing the wagers.


Two untamed wildfires displace 23,000 people in northern California Guardian

‘Pressure will result in action’: Ferguson Commission challenges community to effect change St. Louis American


Fed ‘one and done’ is a Wall St fantasy CNBC

The then and now of tightening cycles Bruegel

The Shale Delusion: Why The Party’s Over For U.S. Tight Oil Arthur Berman, OilPrice

Questions for California Teachers to Ask CALSTRS Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg

PEU Report

The Surprising Target of Jeb Bush’s Tax Plan: Private Equity Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times. But before you get excited:

If you’re wondering why industry isn’t howling, there may be good reason: The tax plan also reduces both individual and corporate rates so much that it’s unclear how disadvantaged the wealthy would be. There’s a sound argument that the other parts of the plan are so tilted toward the wealthy that society’s upper crust may view the entire proposal positively.

Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and now a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has described Mr. Bush’s tax policy as “R.R.H.”— Reverse Robin Hood. He called it “a revenue-eating wolf in sheep’s clothing” that “would engender massive, regressive changes to the federal tax code.

Officials Cover Up Housing Bubble’s Scummy Residue: Fraudulent Foreclosure Documents Dave Dayen, Intercept

Class Warfare

The case for redistributing wealth in America is losing support from 2 demographics Business Insider

White people’s laws Cycling in the South Bay (Randy K)

Antidote du jour (martha r):

fly links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. rich

    The Growth of Refugee Inc. In Europe, small shopkeepers to private equity find ways to profit

    The annual report in 2013 from a multibillion-dollar London private-equity firm that counts a French pastry baker and a Dutch shoemaker among its holdings touted a new opportunity with “promising organic and acquisitive growth potential.”

    That investment was the management of refugee camps.

    “The margins are very low,” said Willy Koch, the retired founder of the Swiss company, ORS Service AG, which runs a camp in Austria that overflowed this summer with migrants who crossed from the Balkans and Hungary. “One of the keys is, certainly, volume.”

    At times they have provoked protests from advocacy groups who accuse them of cutting corners in order to profit from human misery.

    “Because of our involvement it is a better service run more efficiently,” said Guy Semmens, partner at Geneva-based private-equity firm Argos Soditic, which previously invested in ORS.

    There are also profits to be made. In Germany, Air Berlin PLC was paid some $350,000 last year operating charter flights to deport rejected asylum seekers on behalf of the government. In Sweden, the government paid a language-analysis firm $900,000 last year to verify asylum-seekers’ claims of where they were from. In Athens, a Western Union branch has been disbursing €20,000 a day (about $22,600) to migrants, reaping fees on each transaction.

    The surge in businesses looking to sell to the migrants is generating some friction, as tensions rise along with the numbers of people seeking food, water and shelter.

    The case of ORS Service, the Swiss company that runs migrant reception centers, illustrates the complexities of the private sector stepping in for the government to provide critical services to a vulnerable and rapidly expanding population.

    In the early 1990s, Mr. Koch was a temporary-employment executive when he hit upon an opportunity: staffing a shelter for asylum seekers near the Swiss city of Basel.

    The customers—governments—were dependable payers, and the source of demand—global conflict and upheaval—showed no sign of drying up. He built a company, ORS Service, and won contracts over rivals such as the Red Cross and Christian charities by promising to work more efficiently and avoiding taking political stands.

    Mr. Koch retired and cashed out in 2005. Since then, the company has been sold three times to different private-equity groups. The first private-equity owner was Argos Soditic, which sold in 2009 to Zug, Switzerland-based Invision Private Equity AG at a price tag in the tens of millions of Swiss francs, earning Argos Soditic more than three times the amount it invested, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    “It’s an excellent business,” said Mr. Semmens, head of Swiss operations at Argos Soditic. “It’s a logistics, care and hostelry business which happens to cater to refugees.”

    London-based private-equity firm Equistone Partners Europe Ltd.—which touted the opportunity in its annual report—bought the business for an undisclosed sum in 2013. The firm has raised close to $4 billion for two buyout funds since spinning out of British bank Barclays PLC in 2011.

    Equistone’s investors include American public pension funds California State Teachers’ Retirement System and Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, and the General Organization for Social Insurance of Saudi Arabia.

    The United Nations’ refugee agency described the conditions at the camp as being “beneath human dignity.” Advocacy group Amnesty International identified lacking medical and psychological care and described “blatant ignorance and thoughtlessness” in how the camp was run.

    Talk about new lows.

    1. abynormal

      “Vampires, real vampires, don’t nibble on the necks of nubile young virgins. They tear people to pieces and suck the blood out of the chunks. ”
      Wellington, 99 Coffins

    1. Benedict@Large

      The WSJ article captions a photo in the article:

      Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke to students at Liberty University on Monday. The hottest topic: birth control.

      Actually, the topic of birth control was never mentioned. Not once. Abortion? Women’s rights? Yes. But never birth control. Until you understand that to the fundamentalist knuckledraggers who attack women at clinics, everything to do with women’s rights and women’s choices is considered birth control. The men want it, and they don’t want women to have it.

      But has the WSJ really sunk so low as to editorialize photo captions to dogwhistle the Christian Taliban?

      1. ambrit

        The WSJ sank to those stygian depths when they were bought by a certain ex-Australian communicant of the Esoteric Order of Dagon.

      2. MikeNY

        has the WSJ really sunk so low

        Sadly, it’s not surprising if the ideological cesspool on the editorial page of the WSJ has seeped onto the cover page. It was probably only a matter of time.

        I value Rupert Murdoch’s views on progressive politics about as much as I’d value O.J. Simpson’s musings on love and marriage.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        One has to wonder if the captioning of future National Geographic photos will be as equally “creative.”

        Pictures of glaciers “proving” the fallacy of global warming, for example, or bare-breasted black women in Papua, New Guinea proving………?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not quite 20 pentagons, as that ($18 trillion) amount is over a decade.

      It’s more like 3 Pentagons ($1.8 trillion per year, roughly).

      I don’t think he will re-allocate some of it from military spending.

      More likely, I think, the Pentagon will add their own pet projects on the back of this proposal, since the government can spend as much as it wants.

  2. allan

    Taking the high road, a pro-Clinton super-PAC links Sanders to Hugo Chavez and Jeremy Corbyn.

    A super PAC backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is going negative, circulating an email that yokes her chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to some of the more controversial remarks made by Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom’s new Labour Party leader, including his praise for the late Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who provided discounted fuel to Vermont in a deal supported by Sanders.

    The smell of desperation is palpable.

    1. Furzy Mouse

      I heard from a fellow Dem who attended the recent DCCC meeting that Hil tried to have everyone sign a pledge to her….many refused…

      1. ProNewerDeal

        has anyone “demanded” Hellary to “agree to” that she will support the D nominee if it is Sanders or another non-Hellary candidate?

        Sanders has promised unconditional support to the D nominee. IMHO he should state conditional support at least 7 of his 12 policies in his platform, on the grounds that if elected Pres, if lying once in office (like 0bama with Public Option as just 1 example), and the lies take the policies supported to below 7, Sanders or another Sanders voter will primary challenge in the 2020 election. However, Sanders seems to have pledged unconditional support to the D nominee.

        ChumpWanksta D aka Trump, alongside all the other R clown-idates have ‘signed’ such a non-binding ‘loyalty pledge’.

        Why is Hellary the only one with this privilege of not agreeing to such a “loyalty pledge”? Especially given that Billary Killary personally have > $100M, alongside whatever bribery er fundraising that the Billary Clinton Foundation could obtain (for instance from Saudi Royals “laundered” in some dummy “Americans For America” Super-PAC, etc), could certainly have the money to launch a Perot-esque independent campaign, if Sanders somehow obtains the D nomination.

        Hellary, you need to go on the record, will you support the D nominee if it is not you?!

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Does Hillary interact with unapproved commoners? There are so many issues with her campaign and record hitting her on Keystone, TPP, foreign policy, crime/ware housing, and so forth are more real to people than an answer where she says in her folksy drawl, “well, you know I’m a Democrat and no one has worked harder…”

          Other more concrete issues cause greater damage to Hillary than the question asked about Bernie which ignores policy. Hillary hasn’t attacked Sanders for not presenting a united front against Hussein. She can only deal in hypotheticals and old pictures because that’s all her star is.

          1. low_integer

            As an Australian NC reader, I usually refrain from commenting on US politics, however I seem to recall that Hillary has styled her office to be an exact replica of a past US president (can’t remember which one). If this is true, apart from being utterly ridiculous, it is evidence that she is firmly mired in a past era, and would have no intention of assessing the issues facing the US (and the world) on the basis of facts, only ideology. It has been said that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, however in my experience, those who go to the extremes bring nothing to the (replica) table.

    2. OIFVet

      Hugo Chavez must have invaded a few countries, attempted several regime changes, launched a dozen color revolutions and Arab springs, droned scores of weddings, tortured suspected extremists in black sites around the world, and created the world’s largest prison population. Why else would he be so reviled even in his death?

    1. Carolinian

      Hillary, is that you? Not that I would ever be one to defend Gowdy (my congressman). But this is some pretty lame pushback.

        1. Carolinian

          I suspect there’s are a lot more fish in Hillary’s pond than Gowdy’s. He does have bizarre hair. Personally I would prefer that he haul Mrs. Clinton before Congress to answer for the many thousands of Libyans who have died due to her enthusiasm for “protecting” them. In truth she’s probably too smart a lawyer to doing anything overtly illegal. It’s her competence in all other areas we worry about.

          1. j in baltimore

            When you or your right wing troll friend, Gowdy, land a fish, let me know.

            Your wish that Clinton be “hauled before Congress” (nice language there, by a club-wielding Gowdy, perhaps?) will be granted in October.

            As for your charge on Libya, you should take that up with her boss, upon whose orders she was acting.

            Your worries on “her competence in all other areas” are too generic/hazy/ad hom to merit response.

            1. OIFVet

              I am sure she was just carrying out Obama’s orders when she cackled like a hyena while claiming for herself the mantle of Caesar: “We came, we saw, he died”. Or perhaps she was following Syd Blumenthal’s advice to claim Libya as her own triumph. Poor Hillary, she was just following orders, see.

              PS Following orders was not a valid defense or Nuremberg.

                1. OIFVet

                  It’s a free country and no one is stopping you from offering your own interpretation of what sounded like a cackling hyena to me.

              1. Ulysses

                That was indeed an ugly moment! Her cackle was even more disturbing to me than that of a hyena, since hyenas don’t generally pretend to be anything but an opportunistic predator.

            2. Carolinian

              Perhaps you are right that the dreadful result of Hillary’s reign at State–seen vividly as refugees stream across Europe– was all just a matter of “following orders.” But if that’s true then she can’t really take credit for making those “hard choices” now can she? Regardless of whether she steered foreign policy during her Obama years, she fully endorses those decisions now. Her bellicose talk before Brookings the other day was a call for still further American intervention in the affairs of the Middle East and the world. I judge her incompetence by what comes out of her mouth.

              1. j in baltimore

                As long as you judge Obama likewise incompetent and voice that opinion as loudly/often, we have no disagreement here.

                1. OIFVet

                  You must be fairly new here, otherwise you would have known that there isn’t much love for Obama, or any other part of the establishment, in these parts. Welcome!

                  1. j in baltimore

                    “Not much love for Obama” does not quite equal the daily bashing Clinton takes here. If that were true this site would be putting the “email-gate blame” where it belongs, with the Federal Government – since if there is an problem with email use it is one that exists across the board – and not just with one employee who also happens to be running for president

                    or any other part of the establishment
                    except when it comes to the New York Post, Bob Woodward and Camille Paglia, who all receive Naked Capitalism’s approval when bashing Clinton.

                    1. Ulysses

                      I think you may be confusing a healthy contempt for pretty much the entire establishment, from both parties, for “Clinton-bashing.” NC readers enjoy bashing Chris Christie, Scotty Walker, etc. as well!

    2. Vatch

      Hillary Clinton and “Jeb” Bush are both arrogant tools of the oligarchs, and I won’t vote for either one. One difference between the Secretary of State and the Governor of Florida is that State Department emails are more likely to require a high level of security. Despite this, Bush appears to be about as guilty as Hillary is. See:

      The article’s conclusion:

      Our ruling

      Bush said, “I released all my emails.”

      In trying to draw a contrast to Hillary Clinton, Bush actually offered much of the same defense. In reality, Bush says he released all the emails he was required to under Florida law, in the same way Clinton says she turned over all the emails she was required to under federal law.

      But Bush hasn’t turned over every single email he sent as governor. While the state handled his public account’s emails, he was allowed to self-edit correspondence from his private server. That amounted to 280,000 emails out of a half-million or more, which Bush repackaged on a website earlier this year.

      Bush’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

  3. Furzy Mouse

    In my perhaps limited experience, it is not only the EC citizens who do not want to integrate with the migrants; many, if not most. of these migrants do not want to integrate whatsoever. Stay in Muslim dominated neighborhoods in Paris or Brussels, and you will not feel welcome at all. I have been told first hand by Belgian citizens that, for many years now, the imams in their towns preach hatred and death for all infidels daily from their pulpits, while taking generous bennies from the gov. And the MSM perhaps wisely is not broadcasting of the ongoing violence being done by these incoming refugees: commandeering food and vehicles, waving ISIS flags, trashing their campsites and the train tracks, and ridiculing or fighting with the local authorities trying to bring some order to the chaos. The influx is reportedly at least 90% young men; all a cruel twist to this karmic backlash from the Arab Spring and Western imperial greed and adventurism.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As if these “migrants” could forget who, either through direct action or complicit silence, is responsible for the hell that their lives have become, and instantly embrace the cultural trappings of their oppressors.

      Expecting instant fealty and complete “assimilation” after decades of exploitation, murder and destruction is patently INSANE.

      And to the extent that the massive influx of “migrants” disrupts the societies to which they are admitted, well, one good turn deserves another.

      Chaos is as chaos does.

      1. DanB

        Headline on Deutsche Welle this morning: “UNHCR: Europa richtet Chaos an.” Loosely translates in the context of the auricle as, “the [refugee] situation among European governments is chaotic.”

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s similar but not quite like the Roman situation where the Huns pushed the Goths to seek shelter inside the Roman empire.

        The Goths wanted to assimilate and ended up sacking Rome.

  4. kristiina

    Antidote: To have ones’ iridescent body covered in transparent water pearls – I’ll drop my long-held aversion to flies (symbols of transformation!) here and now. Thank you!

  5. Clive

    Re: “So, you supported Corbyn: here is what you MUST do …”

    Just to add a little more detail on Ian’s very valid suggestion (for UK-based readers, U.S. folks can safely go back to your donuts and skip the rest of this), the same approach should also be undertaken for PPCs (prospective parliamentary candidates) in additional to sitting MPs. If you’re a Labour party member, you’ll be told who they are and asked to help with local campaigning etc. (your poor inbox will probably die of fright from under the weight of communications you get sent; I don’t blame party organisers for providing verbose and copious messaging but it does run the risk that you tune it out which isn’t the right thing to do here but they should be more cognisant that people’s email tends to get dealt with fairly ruthlessly now-a-days, by necessity — but in this case, the PPC’s contact details are valuable points of leverage).

    I’m going to tell my local PPC that I won’t lift a finger if they want my help (such as leaflet stuffing through letterboxes — this is actually a quite effective campaign tool but is labour-intensive, if you’ll forgive the pun) unless they confirm they will be prepared to support Corbyn’s policies unequivocally.

    Local authority (county and district council elections) are in May next year, so they will be asking for local campaigning assistance. It should be provided by us members I think, but with strings attached.

    1. curlydan

      American Democrats would be wise to follow Welsh’s advice and occasionally make their Democratic reps’ lives uncomfortable. Instead, the unions’ leaders fall in lockstep with the DNC and the lifelong “blue team” fans just nod compliantly and say “red team bad” while TPP, ACA, and other sellouts are passed into law.

      1. Vatch

        Fortunately, TPP is not law (yet). Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) did pass, and that’s very bad, but the current TPA hasn’t been used to pass TTP, TTIP, or TiSA (yet).

  6. Francis

    “Grief Without Wisdom: Joe Biden’s Empty Authenticity”

    Chris Floyd’s Counterpunch piece will no doubt earn him a deluge of hate mail. His courage is stunning. Kudos to Yves for including this in today’s link.

    The parade of such people who are grieving for their losses as deeply and genuinely as Biden is grieving — and because of actions that Biden directly and eagerly abetted — would take days on end to pass across Stephen Colbert’s stage, where Joe sat in comfort and basked in the sympathy of the nation. For each one of these — whose human pain is the equivalent of Biden’s — to sit down and tell their story as he did would take years on end.

    1. sleepy

      Except to his family, there is nothing unique about Biden’s grief, yet the media continues to conflate, as Biden does, his public, political career as part of some healing process.

      It’s as if his prospective candidacy is just a large stage to work out his grief, And that’s a mighty thin rationale imho.

      1. Clive

        In Biden, I’m torn between thinking I’m being too harsh or insensitive and thinking I’m not being harsh enough here, but he reminds me of the whore who “could commit adultery with one end and weep for her sins at the other, while enjoying both acts at the same time”.

        1. OIFVet

          I used to find Biden rather adorable, what with him chewing on his foot half the time. These days though, after 7 years of “liberal interventionism” (or neocon-lite, the difference being the unbearable hypocrisy of liberal interventionists) and personal involvement in the events in Ukraine last February following which L’il Hunter Biden got a piece of the gas action, I can’t possibly see how a personal tragedy can be used as a shield for his actions as a public figure, actions supposedly committed in our name. It simply can’t, not even in a pretend-democracy.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Clarence Thomas hearings were a sign Biden was just a crummy guy too crude to update his language. My parents never spoke like Biden, and they are older than him from Eastern Massachusetts and Vermont. Biden’s gaffes arent the same as my grandmother referring to the “Indians.” She knew the names of the relevant tribes. Biden lamented that Delaware didn’t join the Confederacy.

            The best thing Obama has done as President was pull Biden out of the Senate with a phony job.

        2. sleepy

          I don’t disparage his personal grief at all, just the fact that he uses it as a political vehicle. Even worse, I think he’s sincere–that he really believes that his son’s death in some way justifies a presidential campaign as a way to work out those personal problems rather than a way to solve public problems.

          Maybe I’m being too harsh.

          1. Brian

            Biden equates to one Dan Quayle for me. No redeeming characteristics and the overwhelming need to perform for someone that praises them, and pays them. Mercenaries are easy to spot. Political mercenaries more so. They have no point of view and no platform that isn’t mutable as a river.

  7. jgordon

    That fly picture is pleasingly psychedelic. Also, it’s technical merits are truly outstanding. I’m curious about who the photographer is.

  8. Foy

    So Abbottalypse is over. Poor Tony never even got to move in to The Lodge, the Australian Prime Minister’s residence, as for his entire 2 year prime ministership it was undergoing renovations. Kinda sums things up. If you can’t fix a renovate a house within two years well I guess renovating a country may be beyond one’s capabilities.

    Someone thoughtfully kept a chronological list of Abbott’s broken promises, snafus and general ball wrecking of the Australian economy and those at the lower end of the income spectrum…. interesting reading…scroll to anywhere on the list of 478 items and you’ll get the picture soon enough.

    After the Rudd, Gilliard, Rudd (who did plenty of ball wrecking themselves) and Abbott circuses of the last five years I’m not holding my breath that things are going to improve. At least Malcolm Turnbull can speak for longer than a 3 word slogan and wont make us a laughing stock on the world stage which is a start. But the hard core right wing media ie Murdoch’s honchos, already have him in their sights and will let him have it with both barrels at his first mistake I reckon. They are livid with Abbot getting kicked out. It seems as if they would rather lose the next election than have Turnbull at the helm given their comments the last 24 hours.

    I’d say keep passing the popcorn if it weren’t so sad. It’s going to get ugly in the next couple of years when our car industry shuts down for good (and takes our manufacturing skills base with it), the resources sector gets really squeezed with China rebalancing, the housing bubble finally pops as a result and then the AUD subsequently tanks (a lot more than it has). One of these prime ministers playing musical chairs is going to get a very poisoned chalice one day….


    1. Clive

      I so loved that list ! Well, not what it meant for Australia and Australians, but that someone took the time and the trouble to keep a complete record. What a clunker. He — and his policies (if they can be called that) — never got much (actually, never got any) coverage in the U.K. (not sure if U.S. residents were kept informed by Your Famously Free Press). A pity, the guy was obviously a louse and deserved a better spotlight on him.

      1. low_integer

        Malcolm Turnbull has already pledged to continue Abbott’s policies, with the proviso that he will create a better narrative around these decisions so that the Australian public will understand their necessity i.e. better marketing only. He is also surrounded by all the same people Abbott was (with the exception of Credlin), who remind me of a group of mean-spirited school children, (in)secure in their self-proclaimed status as the cool kids. Tall poppy syndrome or not, he seems patently untrustworthy to this Australian. Genuine mistakes are forgivable, however intentional breaches of trust are not, and Turnbull is smart enough to be fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

      2. low_integer

        One last point. I’m starting to consider the possibility that Murdoch’s tweets and media content, at least with regard to Australian politics, are a head fake. Whatever else can be said about him, he is no fool, and he would be aware that public sentiment in Australia is turning against him. Therefore, many will be happy to see him not get his way and will consider Malcolm Turnbull replacing Abbott as a victory against the Murdoch empire, when in fact he is getting what he wants. Not sure about this, so I’ll be watching, “you bet you are, you bet I am” (last Abbott quote, I promise).

        Btw, these two posts are not a reply to Clive specifically, just trying to keep the flow in this sub-thread.

        1. Foy

          Yes low_interger, maybe one of Murdoch’s last tweets is a head fake: “Sad to see such a decent man as Abbott toppled. Now Turnbull needs a November election before Labor sacks Shorten.” Not sure Turnbull could go to an election in November after Murdoch saying that and I’m not sure the Liberals would want to anyway. So maybe it’s just a fake way to create a view Turnbull is not in Murdoch’s pocket.

          I’m sure opposition leader Bill Shorten, who has all the presence of a block of wood in TV interviews and press conferences, is crying in his tea leaves that Abbott is gone. You can see his brain slowly whurring trying to work out which ‘focus group generated phrase’ he should use to answer the question put to him. I think each time he speaks from now on his voice and words will remind people of the Rudd, Gillard, Abbott days. I heard he went a bit white in the face when Turnbull challenged Abbot. Turnbull will wipe the floor with him from a communication perspective. Labor definitely need someone who is a ‘natural’ communicator compete with Turnbull.

          1. low_integer

            I agree with you on Shorten. Too many compromises on the way up. My take is that when Abbott’s Liberal party basically stopped trying to conceal their close connections to the IPA and big business, they started a political arms race. Shorten, with his union connections, was Labor’s answer. Perhaps this was a reasonable move at the time, but it is not a good look for Labor now that Abbott is gone.

          2. low_integer

            Also, note how Abbott, the quintessential political brawler, has publicly stated he will not be engaging in any further political maneuvering within the Liberal party. It was almost like that message was meant for people like Murdoch, to show them that he understands what is at stake for them. Of course on the surface, it also said to the public that the Liberal party is stable. Multi-layered!

    2. JEHR

      Foy, that list was priceless! Our Fearless Leader, Harper, who is a good friend of Abbott’s (two peas in the same pod you might say), has followed a similar trajectory in Canada. Harper had 9 years in which to destroy our democracy and I’m not sure it will ever be repaired. Where do these guys come from that do nothing except destroy?

      One list for Harper can be found on page 11 of this link:

      1. JEHR

        From a Comment in the Globe and Mail by “Conservative Lies” who WAS keeping track of Harper!

        I always thought the Harper government was marked by its dishonesty and incompetence, but……I guess ‘mean streak’ would be up there !!

        Volume 1-

        • Put soldier’s lives at risk for partisan pre-election photo-op;
        • Omnibus 2015 Budget Bill contains legislation to retro-actively change law to prevent Mounties from being charged for illegally destroying Long Gun Registry data;
        • Sold the Canada Wheat Board to Saudi and U.S. interests, despite competing bid from Canadian Farmers group
        • Criticized by Auditor General for not calculating the long term costs or benefits of their tax initiatives, and for the political partisanship of their nature;
        • Paid Public Servants overtime to appear in partisan Economic Action Plan videos;
        • Loaned Volkswagen $526 million to expand operations in Mexico, but only provided $200 million in support for all of Canada’s manufacturing sector in his 2015 Budget;
        • Auditor General’s Report states that Stephen Harper’s changes to parole system have increased costs and over-crowding in prison, with no noticeable improvement in prisoner rehabilitation;
        • Harper’s former Parliamentary Secretary, Dean Del Mastro, found guilty of election fraud;
        • Government found guilty of election fraud 5 times in 8 years;
        • The only party in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament (endorsed by a Conservative Speaker of the House;
        • Spent $700 million on Partisan advertising 2008-2014, plus another $75 million as of May 2015;
        • Spent $7 million in partisan anti-drug ads in just 3 months
        • Spent $700,000 fighting Canada’s veterans in court
        • Spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars developing partisan legislation that stood no chance of withstanding a Constitutional challenge……and when all were overturned by the Supreme Court, began undermining the credibility of the Court, and its Chief Justice;
        • Deception around Nigel Wright repaying the $90,000 Conservative Senator Mike Duffy defrauded from taxpayers, closing off investigation and refusing to give details….with RCMP finding all trails lead back to Stephen Harper’s office;
        • undemocratic ‘Fair Elections Act’ removing ability of Elections Canada to do its job;
        • Auditor General reported $3.1 billion in anti- terror funding missing;
        • Using taxpayer dollars to fund partisan personal attack ads;
        • Found guilty on three separate occasions of election fraud and campaign financing violations;
        • Over spent those cabinet-approved ad budgets by $128-million — more than 37 per cent…..all the while cutting funding to important government programs;
        • Conservative campaign staff proven to be behind Guelph Robocalls;
        • Increased the size of the federal public service by 32,000 employees, increased government spending by 30% to a record $276 billion,
        • First Government in Canadian History to be found in Contempt of Parliament,

        Cont’d in Volume 2………..(see Reply)

        Volume 2 –

        • ignored recommendations contained in 2012 Auditor General’s Report regarding security deficiencies at the Parliament Buildings…….contributing to the killing of a soldier there on October 22, 2014;
        • Veterans Affairs Minister Fantino criticized for spending $4 million on advertising programs for veterans rather than investing the money in services;
        • reduced funding for Canada’s military to an all-time low of 1.4% of GDP;
        • Slashed funding to the federal immunization program by 23% since 2006
        • Despite the Conservative government’s frequent warnings about lingering terrorist threats, it quietly abolished a federal panel of national security advisers;
        • Shut down Committee investigating F-35 purchase scandal;
        • Lied to Parliament and the Canadian public about the true cost of the F-35’s,
        • Auditor General proves fraud and incompetence in Government’s F-35 purchase,
        • Lost Canada’s seat on the Security Council;
        • The annual cost of paying Conservative political staffers working in a network of satellite minister’s offices ballooned by 70 per cent (from $1.6 million to $2.7 million) during the same years the government was eliminating some departments and programs, and ordering others to tighten their belts;
        • Stephen Harper employs 3,325 spin doctors, at a cost of $263 million…..almost equal to the cost of operating the House of Commons;
        • $1.3 billion in unspent funding for Veterans returned to Treasury to help balance budget after Veterans Services cutbacks;
        • ratified a controversial 31 year treaty that will allow China to sue Canada in secret tribunals for Canadian laws that interfere with Chinese investments;
        • muzzled outgoing leader of Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), Lt.-Gen. Stu Beare …. preventing him from talking to journalists about the challenges that CJOC and Canada face during this period of global tumult;
        • imposition of new federal grain and transportation rules, that because of lack of coordination, transparency, accountability, and infrastructure……caused global clients to walk away and buy elsewhere……at a cost of $5 billion to Canadian farmers;
        • poor monitoring of safety and environmental controls by Department of Transport, detailed in damning Transportation Safety Board report as a contributing factor in the Lac-Mégantic train derailment that killed 47 people;
        • A report by Canada’s veterans watchdog says nearly half of the country’s most severely disabled ex-soldiers are not receiving a government allowance intended to compensate them for their physical and mental wounds;
        • sent out email to Public Servants asking them to promote Conservative tax proposal on Twitter;
        • Harper government paid $35 million to quietly settle lawsuit regarding contract dispute where Conservatives rigged the bidding process;
        • Industry Minister Christian Paradis stays in Cabinet after being found in violation of the Conflict of Interest Act;
        • Diane Finley found in violation of House of Commons ethics rules;

        Cont’d in Volume 3……….(see Reply)
        Volume 3 –

        • Using taxpayer funded ten-percenters and constituency mailers, and House of Commons free mailing privileges to send out attack literature;
        • wants to change copyright law to allow for privately owned news copy to be used free of charge in attack ads……but has done nothing to protect film & music copyright owners receive proper payment;
        • using the Canada Revenue Agency as an arm of PMO to target groups and agencies deemed ‘unfriendly’ to the Harper government;
        • scrapped 3,000 environmental reviews on pipelines and other projects;
        • Canada ranked worst of G7 nations in fighting bribery & corruption, by Transparency International, the watchdog agency that monitors global corruption;
        • Canada slipped out of the top 10 countries listed in the annual United Nation’s human development index — a far cry from the 1990s when it held the first place for most of the decade (rating a country’s performance in health, education and income);
        • cancelled the Health Council of Canada and the 10-year health Provincial accord that led to its creation;
        • consistently used Omnibus bills to hide and pass controversial legislation that it did not want to debate separately;
        • instructed civil servants to begin deleting ‘sensitive’ emails; Under proposed changes to prescribed annuity taxation, Canadian poor seniors will pay a lot more taxes; according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation……
        • government employment policies stimulate creation of part-time jobs at the expense of full-time positions;
        • Canada performance ranked as 58th out 61 industrialized countries by international climate organization;
        • closed Fisheries Library……and destroyed research materials;
        • Held back $7 billion in approved spending to finance tax cuts……depriving some departments of required operating funds;
        • Allowed XL Foods meat processing plant to continue to process and distribute tainted meat for 3 weeks after U.S. stopped importing for the same reason;
        • Paul Calandra’s dishonest and embarrassing performance answering questions in the HoC;
        • Transparency Lies,
        • Accountability Lies,
        • Afghanistan Secrecy;
        • Fake election phone calls in 34 ridings,
        • Fake Citizenship ceremonies,
        • Tony Clement’s $50 million Gazebo fund,
        • Misleading Parliament on what the Gazebo Fund was supposed to be used for,
        • In And Out election convictions,
        • Income Trusts lies,
        • Security Leaks,
        • Cadman Affair;
        • fired Nuclear Watchdog Linda Keane for doing her job,
        • fired head of Military Police Inquiry for doing his job,
        • fired Veteran’s Ombudsman for doing his job,
        • had Firearm Long Gun Mountie removed for doing his job,
        • eviscerated Long Form Census to keep facts from the public,
        • trashed Diplomat Richard Colvin for doing his job;
        • Canada Was The Only UN Member To Reject Landmark Indigenous Rights Document;
        • Spent $15.4 million on a records archival system it never used (2014 Auditor General’s Report);

        ……..and the list keeps growing every day !!

        1. Foy

          Yep, JEHR and Clive, when you see what Abbott, Harper and co have done laid out in a simple, but necessarily long list, it almost numbs the the senses. The scale and targeting really is something to behold.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I’m not sure the author is a HuffPo regular. I believe Brill was the one who did the excellent stories for Time on real health care costs.

    2. shinola

      Good article – thanks! The whole series may be worthy of inclusion in NC’s daily links or water cooler.

  9. Tertium Squid

    That Ashley Madison password hack is further proof that complexity makes systems fragile and unreliable, not stronger or more secure.

    Every new layer of complexity makes the future more uncertain.

    1. hunkerdown

      And this is why Papa Smurf always says, developers, don’t roll your own crypto. (And if you do, at least engage some bright undegreed Eastern European kids to go over it for you.)

    1. diptherio

      Corrupt judges violating the rule of law for the benefit of large, corporate, out-of-state interests is as old as the state of Montana. I’ve read a little too much history to be at all shocked by this sort of thing. I’m a little disappointed, but not really surprised.

      1. Jim Haygood

        OT, but a mildly bizarre feature of this site’s coding is that your comment posted at 1:30 pm made my unrelated comment at 1:29 pm uneditable.

        That is, if someone else randomly posts a comment a few seconds after yours, your 3-minute edit window expires instantly.

        1. diptherio

          On occasion, I’ve had “edit” and “delete” buttons show up under other people’s comments. The mysteries of technology…

          1. Skippy

            “If you are a non-employee who has discovered this facility amid the ruins of civilization, welcome! And remember, testing is the future, and the future starts with you.”

            The Aperture Science computer-aided Enrichment Center is Aperture Science’s main facility where its products branded “Aperture Laboratories” are developed and tested, and the main location of Portal and Portal 2. Located in Upper Michigan, USA, above and inside a disused salt mine,[1] the facility has been monitored by the computer GLaDOS since 200-.[2]

            Skippy…. welcome – !!!!!!

  10. ProNewerDeal

    Do yall have a take on 0bama & Attorney General Lynch proclaiming they will now prosecute white collar crime?

    Is HSBC still laundering money? HSBC was busted for laundering for many groups, including Al Qa3da; & periodic, industrialized, repeat laundering for the M3xican Drug Cartel(s). By the way, perhaps I was insufficiently cynical, but the HSBC incident made me consider the War on Terra TM, & Drug War, are a joke, and probably have nothing to do with their official/stated purposes. (For the War on Terra being a joke, also note the failure to pursue the evidence from ex-Sen Graham, imprisoned Al Qaeda bookeeper Moussaoui, that a faction of the Saudi Royals Regime funded the Sep 11 attack)

    If 0bama/Lynch are uncharacteristically earnest in this one case, a prosecution of HSBC launderer/bank$ta(s) would be possible proof of said earnestness.

    Otherwise, I’d assume that this is only possible prosecution of the portion of white collar criminals who are not huge businesses, not Billionaires, and not politically connected to the 0bamas/Hellarys/JohnB0ners/etc.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: One Symptom in New Medical Codes: Doctor Anxiety New York Times (Chuck L)

    Was “the patient was crushed by a crocodile or sucked into a jet engine”?

    “As people make the change, doctors and hospital executives say, it is inevitable that some claims will be denied for services that were provided but not properly coded. Patients may see the denials in statements they receive from insurers.”

    From narrow networks to crocodiles and jet engines. Shoulda’ just let them keep their “pre-existing conditions.”

  12. rich

    Ralph Nader Blasts Harvard Law School for Serving “Corporate Crooks on Wall Street”

    Would you be proud of representing the corporate crooks in Wall Street? What is the purpose of the Harvard Law School? Well, you know who knows what the purpose is? The corporate giants. They know exactly what the purpose of the Harvard Law School is. It’s to provide endless relays of lawyers who service their interests.

    Harvard Law is not an institution that provokes any kind of consternation or fear among the power structure, just the opposite. It’s an institution, and I’ll get around to the exceptions. On the whole, it’s an institution that rationalizes corporate power brilliantly, services corporate power brilliantly with its graduates and some of its departments here.

    – Ralph Nader during a recent speech at Harvard Law School

    Ralph Nader is a Harvard Law School graduate. Here’s what he had to say about the institution’s shameless decay into the worship of greed and cronyism.

    Read more of this post

    1. Oregoncharles

      Look up what Francis Boyle (civil libertarian and Palestinian rights advocate) thinks of Harvard Law. Also an alum. (he thinks they’re a menace.)

      1. Oregoncharles

        (My wife is a Francis Boyle fan, came up with a couple of quotes:) He said Harvard is his “dis-alma mater.” And: “Mothers don’t let your children go to Harvard Law.”

        Of course, Harvard is one of the Ivies whose alumni concocted the financial collapse.

  13. fresno dan

    Driver’s Licenses From 4 States Could Soon Be Useless For Getting Through Airport Security Consumerist

    I just moved, and when I updated my drivers license and car registration, I was surprised to never receive any updated documentation. I called the CA department of motor vehicles (DMV) and was informed that I could get updated paperwork and licenses for 20$ each, but I DID NOT have to. I have a little paper card that I wrote my current address on from the DMV that I carry with my drivers license, and was told that I could just hand write my new address on my car registration.
    I think they send me a new license in a year, and I think car registration is every two years.
    Makes me wonder if these documents would be accepted at an airport – I would think not.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Remember what freedom was like: I used to buy Frequent Flier awards on the gray market, and travel under someone else’s name.

      Smash the Real ID Act.

      1. optimader

        I used to park my car in a parking lot in front of Midway airport 15 minutes before the flight and walk on the plane :(

    2. Howard Beale IV

      The ‘enhanced Drivers license’ in MN will actually allow you to travel to both Mexico and Canada sans passport, but it costs more and isn’t available in all DMV locations.

      1. ambrit

        Isn’t one of the provisions of NAFTA reciprocity in licensing? Expect tons of low paid Mexican over the road drivers on our highways, if they are not here already. Who’s safety and ergonomic rules apply to these “guest drivers?”

  14. fresno dan

    Officials Cover Up Housing Bubble’s Scummy Residue: Fraudulent Foreclosure Documents Dave Dayen, Intercept

    “There is no timeline in the Stillwater County, Montana court for a ruling in Paatalo’s case. In Gallatin County, Montana, clients of Paatalo’s private investigator business have also filed motions to dismiss their cases, armed with certifications from the Secretary of State that their trusts were unregistered, but no judges have yet ruled on them.

    “It appears the judges don’t want to enforce the law,” Paatalo said.”

    The most pernicious aspect of the whole fraudcalypse is the complete subversion of the rule of law. It is now apparent that the judiciary accepts that laws that hinder corporations are mere technicalities, and has adopted the FED philosophy that the US is of the banks, by the banks, for the banks…

    1. alex morfesis

      is it the judges or just fiduciary theater…foreclosure mess paperwork continues but a local judge can only do so much when there are players involved who will tell any lie…

      the ABA committee on covering up for bank foreclosures…


      corporate trust committee…came up with this noise in 2010 when I was harping at the DirtBlog of the other ABA that the Trust Indenture Act was the key to cleaning up this mess…they came up with this little report

      The Trustee’s Role in Asset-Backed Securities
      —By the American Bankers Association, Corporate Trust Committee

      in it, to gloss over the TIA, they suggested…


      the laws and rules had been magically changed by
      “The Trust Indenture Reform Act of 1989”…

      so you sniveling little insolent peasants need to keep walking…

      everyone accepted it…SEC included, and also that smoke and mirrors “we will fight the players club but make sure we lose so people think it is a losing battle” organization run by Chris Katopis as exec director, “the-ami”…

      except…drum roll please…

      it doesn’t look like “The Trust Indenture Reform Act of 1989” ever actually became law…can’t find it…

      someone please correct me if I bee rohng…

      been wrong before and will probably also be wrong in the future…but me thinx i bee not so rohng this time…

      keep pushing david…nice work…

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Support for re-distribution of wealth losing support in 2 demographics? Business Insider.

    Since 1970, as income inequality has ballooned, support for redistribution among Americans has broadly remained the same. In multiple surveys and many ways of framing the question, the researchers observed that Americans have essentially not budged in their opinions.

    In addition to losing support in 2 groups mentioned in the title, this bit is also puzzling – that as income inequality has ballooned, the support of re-distribution has remained the same among Americans overall.

    Perhaps we need to see a different scheme of re-distribution: Wealth directly from the rich and directly to those in need, without the government middle-man layer, without government trickle-down spending.

  16. lyman alpha blob

    RE: School computers ‘do not raise results’

    I’ve been trying to make this argument to my local school board (unsuccessfully) for a while now. ‘Smartboards’ that cost $10K + a pop might teach kids how to use a smartboard but they don’t necessarily help you learn reading and math better than paper and a chalkboard that can be had for a fraction of the cost. Our district spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on ipads so that middle schoolers can trash them and then thousands more in replacement and repair costs on a regular basis.

    But I see the neoliberal nonsense is everywhere. This argument came from one of those dissenting with the article’s conclusions:

    “We’re preparing our children for jobs that don’t yet exist,” said Mr Morris, head of Ardleigh Green junior school in the London Borough of Havering.

    Our local superintendent recently made the exact same argument at a school board meeting, almost verbatim, and it was about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard come out of the mouth of someone who purports to be educated and tasked with educating others.

    1. Skippy

      iholes are a GDP multiplier and excellent cortex portal manufacturing tool….

      On another note, there is building evidence of detrimental outcomes wrt industrial exposure e.g. text neck [the result of the head lent foreword for unnatural periods as the result of the face getting sucked into the tiny screen whilst texting].

      The list is getting larger as we speak, kids especially lying or positioning in contorted posture whilst viewing phone or pads video / text – resulting in C spine abnormality’s and musculoskeletal dramas. This is acerbated by visual conditioning i.e. extended periods of watching 2D images which messes with the development of depth perception et al. Current guide lines are for a total of 2hrs per day, which in many cases exceeds time use in school, making personal time use deleterious at onset.

      Skippy…. freedom and liberty for all – ????? – or is that just what the, to whom the, for the is applicable too – Purveyors Thingy….

  17. Jim Haygood

    The social mood darkens ominously:

    Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday in the Q&A portion of a “town hall“ event at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., that the company is working on a dislike button to be tested on Facebook soon, according to a report from VentureBeat.

    “Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg said. “If you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post. …I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”

    One casual dislike can ruin your whole day. :-(

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes you like; sometimes you love.

      Sometimes you dislike; sometimes you hate.

      The whole gamut of human emotions, including loving/hating at the same time..

    2. ambrit

      What if Facebook introduces the metrics that e-bay has been trying out? Too many dislikes, or not enough sufficiently high likes, and into limbo you go. Talk about cherry picking!

  18. different clue

    There is still a way that the Syrian Arab Republic can survive and even thrive as a State on a smaller territorial footprint. And that would be if Europe decides to go against the US and Turkey and change sides in the warfare in Syria. Europe could work WITH Russia as hard and fast as possible to re-supply and strengthen the SAR and the SAA within its current areas of control. And do so faster than Turkey and the US and the Saudis and the Lesser Gulfies can ship new aid and support to the Nusras and the ISISts. In return for which . . . the Syrian Arab Republic would decide which parts of Syria are economically and culturally worth saving and defending. It would then get all the support it needs to exterminate and crush and sterilize and wipe out all traces of rebellion within its smaller footprint area, including the demographic cleansing of all persons who support the cannibal throatcutting liver-eaters. Then it would scorch the earth in the rest of “ex-Syria” as totally as possible before handing it over to ISIS while expelling millions of cannibal throat-cutter liver-eater sympathisers into the truncated default-ISIS territory. It would also pass all the pro-rebellion Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon into the designated ISIS territory. It would be very picky-choosy about which Syrian refugees would be allowed back into the smaller-footpring rationalized-borders Syrian Arab Republic. No rebel-sympathisers need apply. And THAT is how the Syrian Arab Republic can survive and thrive. Whether Professor Cole likes it or not.

    As to the part of ISIS in Iraq, as long as Iran supports sectarian Shia hegemonism in Iraq, the Sunni parts of Iraq will support ISIS. If Iran can torture and/or assassinate the Iraqi government into offering a fair and square self-rule and fair-share-of-the-oil-money deal to the Sunni Arab tribes of Iraq, then they may decide to withdraw support from ISIS and assist in exterminating ISIS in their territory, including exterminating all the Baathists who have become ISIS supporters and organizers and leaders out of embittered revenge against the Shias and out of antiKurditic racist antiKurdism against the Kurds.

  19. alex morfesis

    breaking up is not so hard to do…juan cole syraqistan…actually seems like a perfect idea…

    as long as all the parties play nice…
    turks are not so much against a kurdish homeland…as long as it does not mean losing territory to that kurdish homeland…kurds fight amongst themselves but many would like a chunk of turkey, even if it is small, as a symbolic gesture for the lives lost in the civil war type skirmishes that have caused the death of so many…

    so the Turks get to “reclaim” the provinces/districts of Aleppo, Idlib and Latakia, along with most of the north part of Al-Suqaulabiyah…

    fearless/feckless leader gets to keep seeing himself on TV and keeps Tartus, Hama, Homs, Al Nab and Damascus…Jordan and Israel split up Quneitra, Daraa and As Suwayda…the russians get their guantamo in Tartus and can keep 25k troops there to keep the mental midget, vlad “razz” putin happy…and the kurds get all the land they can take from the issis or sissi or whatever name the “mystery meat” is called this week…

    and eventually, turkey hands off a small chunk halfway between the two mighty rivers…after an international arbitration they were “forced” to accept…

    and no…I am not a member of the north tonawanda redevelopment association…at least not that I know of…mom threw away the invitation to join…

  20. Oregoncharles

    “Trump eschews pricey political TV ads in favour of social media”
    I’ll repeat my comment on this from yesterday: Trump is a populist and isn’t raising money. Even his ugliest policies are populist in appeal.

    For a populist, cheap is a selling point – a positive.

    Further thought: (1)it’s very early days; (2)he may question the value of that advertising; (3) he’s winning.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry but you are misreading this. Trump has such a thin campaign operation that it’s clear that he is not in this for the long haul. He doesn’t have the liquid assets to begin to fund a real campaign and he’s too much of an egotist to do what it takes to raise campaign funds (and he has not set up a fundraising operation, another big tell). Plus if he understood the job, there’s no way he’d want it. Presidents have much less power over their immediate environment than business owners do (start with having Secret Service tell you how to run your life, of having to kiss Congress’ ass to get your bills passed). This has all marks of a Trump brand building exercise that has gotten a bit out of hand, largely because it’s really good fun for Trump.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Trump’s splash has stayed steady since June. The establishment candidate Jeb has collapsed, and the more “conservative” styled candidates haven’t made any noise. Of course, the electorate is in a strange place. Half of GOP voters are self identified as Trump or Carson. This just feeds his ego, and there will be events in New Hampshire to attend through October.

  21. Oregoncharles

    Related to the eagle taking down the drone – bit of an antidote, I think:

    A neighbor is an avid hang-glider. He says they often find themselves flying next to hawks and eagles, which are looking for the same updrafts. Sometimes one of the birds will fly right next to a hang-glider, take a good look, then swoop away. It’s one of the inspiring features of the sport.

  22. gordon

    Re: Shale delusion

    Here’s another take on the origin of Saudi’s oil overproduction:

    “John Kerry’s brilliant “win-win” proposal of last September during his September 11 [2014] Jeddah meeting with ailing Saudi King Abdullah was simple: Do a rerun of the highly successful State Department-Saudi deal in 1986 when Washington persuaded the Saudis to flood the world market at a time of over-supply in order to collapse oil prices worldwide, a kind of “oil shock in reverse.” In 1986 was successful in helping to break the back of a faltering Soviet Union highly dependent on dollar oil export revenues for maintaining its grip on power.

    “So, though it was not made public, Kerry and Abdullah agreed on September 11, 2014 that the Saudis would use their oil muscle to bring Putin’s Russia to their knees today.

    “It seemed brilliant at the time no doubt.

    “On the following day, 12 September 2014, the US Treasury’s aptly-named Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, headed by Treasury Under-Secretary David S. Cohen, announced new sanctions against Russia’s energy giants Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftgas and Rosneft. It forbid US oil companies to participate with the Russian companies in joint ventures for oil or gas offshore or in the Arctic.

    “Then, just as the ruble was rapidly falling and Russian major corporations were scrambling for dollars for their year-end settlements, a collapse of world oil prices would end Putin’s reign. That was clearly the thinking of the hollowed-out souls who pass for statesmen in Washington today. Victoria Nuland was jubilant, praising the precision new financial warfare weapon at David Cohen’s Treasury financial terrorism unit…”

  23. alex morfesis

    President Sanders thanked the WSJ 8 months after his inauguration…(18 trillion dollars)

    “As an old socialist, it didn’t fully dawn on me how making sure the citizens of this country were comfortable in their future would have such a powerful effect on the growth of the economy. I had imagined the WSJ was just doing the Murdoch shuffle and attacking me when they said my ideas would lead to a ten percent per year increase in the US Economy. I thought they were trying to scare people into the left wing danger will robinson big inflation is bad nonsense. I had advisers who had suggested the modern economy had release valves for inflation with the stock and bond markets, but as they pointed out, it had been decades since someone had pushed forward the economy with such vigor. But here we are, 8 months into my presidency, and the few big players left who were trying to pull a capital strike, are now arguing I am not moving forward hard enough and fast enough on rebuilding the safety net of this great country of ours. I am told we just passed China and are the number one growth country in the world. Foreign investors are pouring money into the USA. My detractors are saying that is because of the strife around the world the previous President caused in the last year of his administration. That might be true, but it has allowed us to show the global investment community that America is open for business as long as you are not trying to give us the business. This competition for capital and available workers has pushed American companies to cut a

    ‘Better Deal'(tm)

    for the average American worker, which has led to happier workers, which has led to more productive workers, which has helped lead us past China.

    The naysayers are insisting I am just lucky…well, I’d rather be lucky than good any day of the week…I will take your questions now…”

Comments are closed.