Links 10/12/15

Apologies for the lack of original posts. I’m still on the mend and decided to use the holiday weekend to catch up, including on sleep!

EFSA report considers risks of eating insects BBC. We’ve been warning to expect to be eating further down the food chain in the future. The prospect of insects might make that tofu, or beans + grains look a lot more appealing!

Nobel prizewinning scientist dies in poverty Euronews (furzy mouse)

An Alpine Antidote to Working Weekends New York Times

A New Map Traces the Limits of Computation Quanta Magazine (David L)

Your organic cotton tee-shirt probably poisoned a river in Asia Seattle Globalist (resilic)

Britain shows that world can cut carbon emissions and still get richer, says PwC Telegraph

“Steve Jobs” Is a Magnificent Piece of Consumerist Propaganda New Republic

PUBLIC HEALTH: Study links dengue epidemics to high temperatures in Southeast Asia E&E Pubishing. Resilc: “Here in USA too.”

Ebola’s persistence in survivors fuels concerns over future risks Reuters (EM)


Baidu and CloudFlare Boost Users Over China’s Great Firewall New York Times

Western economies are still too weak to cope with Fed rate rise, says China Guardian. Translation: Don’t mess with our export markets!

China launches probe into VW emissions Financial Times

Opposition Party Leaders Avoid Canada’s Role in Global Arms Trade and Wars Real News Network

More Cubans immigrating in old age Sun Sentinel

Migrant Crisis

Migrant crisis: UK response criticised by senior former judges BBC

For German city, flood of refugees brings hope McClatchy (furzy mouse)


Ankara Bombings Prompt Rally Against Turkish Government New York Times

The Explosions in Turkey New Yorker

US Begins Removing Patriot Missiles from Turkey Defense News

Violence spreads to Gaza, where Hamas leader calls for an uprising McClatchy (furzy mouse)

Putin defends Russia’s Syria strikes BBC

The West rightly condemns Isis’ vandalism of ancient sites – but not Saudi Arabia’s Independent

Imperial Collapse Watch

New Report: Civilian Nuclear Facilities Are Just Begging To Be Hacked Motherboard (resilc)

US Interventionist Policies in Iraq Unleashed Chaos, Brutality and Death Still Unfolding Today Truthout

America’s Unofficial Religion – The War on an Idea Real News

Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law New York Times. As Lambert pointed out, many people are doing the math and concluding Obamacare is not a good deal. What did they expect when they turned citizens into shoppers and gave them a bad product? Even with all the deliberate complexity and opacity, the stakes are high enough for a fair number of people to puzzle it out. Now this story managed to focus on almost every other factor: inability to afford it (which we stressed was an issue with low income earners, even with subsidies) and quelle surprise, “confusion”.


Clinton Emails Became the New Focus of Benghazi Inquiry New York Times

Slavoj Žižek on Obama, Bernie, sex and democracy: “That’s the reality of global capitalism. Everyone is violating the rules” Salon (resilc)

Trump, Carson, Bush all benefited from multilevel marketing schemes Slate (reslic)

Election 2016: CBS News poll shows Donald Trump still leads, Ben Carson in second CBS

Panama condo owners to Trump: You’re fired! Associated Press

From Donald Trump, Hints of a Campaign Exit Strategy New York Times. We suggested this was a brand-enhancement exercise that got out of hand due to how much it appealed to Trump’s already ginormous ego. He can’t possibly want to be President. You have to be polite to too many people, starting with Congresscritters and leaders of nations that have nukes. The other tell was that he was not building a fundraising apparatus, flying home every night (a real campaigner would be spending more time on the road) and not spending any real money of his own, save for jetting around.

Trump won’t be next president: Obama Agence France-Presse

Former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke Skirts Questions About That Time Bernie Sanders Kicked His A** Alternet. Watch the video clips.

A Heroin Epidemic in New Hampshire Is Our Best Chance to Get Politicians to Talk About Addiction Slate (reslic)

GOP’s tactics undermine the spirit of US Constitution Edward Luce, Financial Times

This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America press Bloomberg. Lambert: “Must read.”


Gun nuts freak out over Texas students’ #CocksNotGlocks open carry protest — and it’s awesome Raw Story (OregonCharles). Ammosexuals do not like being exposed for what they are!

One man injured after carjacking, shooting at gas station KHOU. Resilc: “Police say a witness then pulled out a gun and began shooting at the suspects, accidentally hitting the carjacking victim in the head.”

When Comparing American Deaths Caused by Terrorism to Those Caused by Gun Violence, a Startling Trend Emerges Yahoo. Not “startling” if you are at all on top of how de minimus “deaths by terrorism” are in the US. The odds of being killed by lightening are higher.

Firearms are no longer a hobby of mine Medium

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Farrakhan’s “Justice or Else” march rocks DC Veterans Today (Judy B). Important.

Two Reviews of Tamir Rice Shooting in Cleveland Are Seen as Shielding Police New York Times. It’s pretty poor that the media was unwilling to explain what “experts” do when the story broke yesterday. So the first impression was cemented by headlines that made the prosecution witnesses sound objective, when they were bought and paid for, no doubt after considerable pre-screening.

Glencore Starts Process to Sell Some Assets in Chile and Australia Bloomberg

Higher Interest Rates Would Throw Bank Profits a Lifeline Bloomberg. Yes, but there are those “transition to a higher rate regime” costs that hit those sacrosanct quarterly earnings in the meantime….Notice the summary of the findings: “The conclusion drawn by Claudio Borio, the head of the monetary and economic department at the BIS, and colleagues is that the positive impact of being able to earn income by lending money out for higher rates over time is bigger than the hit of defaults and income that doesn’t carry interest.”

US banks build defences against downturn Financial Times

Bill Gross Seeks Revenge: Blockbuster Lawsuit Reveals Deceit, Greed, Risk-Taking, and Brutal Power Struggle at PIMCO Wolf Richter

Second Great Depression Silliness CEPR (Scott)

Class Warfare

Art investors unfazed by economic woes Financial Times

The Malloy Administration’s stunning attack on unions, professors and the future of Connecticut State University Wait What? (furzy mouse)

One chart that puts mass inarceration in historical context Vox (resilc)

Key member of Swedish Academy of Sciences calls for immediate suspension of the “Nobel Prize for Economics” Edward Fullbrook

Antidote du jour. Photo by Susan Partnoy, via Insatiable Traveler:

buffalo nookie links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law New York Times.

    The ideas behind it are that “consumers” or “patients” – call them what you will, will have skin in the game and “shop” for deals. Yet try finding out what a laboratory or hospital charges. Try disputing a bill – when by definition, you don’t get to know what the price of the service is.

    I have a copay, and that’s fine. Yet after paying the copay, “adjustments” are made and I’m asked to pay more. Than further adjustments, and I’m asked to yet again pay more (never less – funny how EVERY adjustment means I pay more).

  2. Clive

    Re: Steve Bannon

    If you’ve got a bit of time today because of the holiday (Columbus Day? Really?? Was that a joke sent to international calendar printers and they all duly added it to today’s date without realising that some college dude was stifling guffaws??? Sorry, I’m digressing) then it really is a must-read.

    It explained and encapsulated everything that is wrong with U.S. politics — both the corrupt politicians themselves AND the dubious web of opposition to them from both the conventional left and right party machines plus for bonus points the big money backers of the “non traditional” would-be opinion leaders and nudge-theory media manipulators.

      1. Chris Williams

        With all those guns, you’d think someone would have shot them by now?

        Better still, take all their money and property. They stole it from you, so why not take it back.

      2. JoeK

        “I decided long ago, I’d rather live for something than die for nothing.”

        He better be careful about stealing lines from Rambo (even if he gets them backa$$ward) or Sly’s gonna skewer him with an arrow off of his jet-black compound bow.

        1. JoeK

          There’s also got to be something fundamentally wrong with a man who lets his watch, 18k or not, slip around and sit on the side of his wrist.

    1. craazyman

      Columbus Day is a national holiday dedicated to guys who get lost driving and don’t stop to ask for directions. No real man asks for directions when he’s behind the wheel. Today is a holiday that recognizes this.

      It’s hard to get lost now with those GPS things that tell you where to drive. Just turn them off guys. Really. Or you’ll lose your holiday.

      It also makes you wonder how a man can still be a man in a self-driving car. If anybody knows, please explain.

      1. craazyboy

        Self driving cars might be too manly. Right up there with parachuting and bungee cord jumping.

        Expensive too. Actually, I’ve been wondering if insect tofu should be paired with white wine or red wine? Or do the insects make it really a beer thing?

        1. Jay M

          The Silicon Valley approach is to use them as clay pigeons. (Note: must be done on suitable large acreage.) Your friends stand around at the bottom of the field with their Purdy’s shouting release, and you punch up the machine and send it in their direction, while they blast away. (It is helpful to have a little bunker to duck in to.) Double ought buckshot and saboted slugs give the best results. Serve insect hors d’oeuvres and Cristal afterwards, and pat each other on the back.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The next ten bagger idea, as I have generously offered to anyone who would listen, is cockroach farms on the Moon and Mars.

            Let them survive (and they will) there. Harvest them for protein. Ship back to the home planet to feed the hungry.

      2. Clive

        It is for real ? Like, an actual holiday ? Crikey, that just shows me. Can’t y’all agree to changing it to something better, how’s about “Columbo Day”. Dedicated to dishevelled homicide policemen and equally battered French cars. America’s one, undeniable, contribution to the world’s cultural heritage is the cop show TV formula both in longform and shortform. And Columbo never used GPS.

        1. craazyman

          I’m just joking. It’s a holiday to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ discover of India — um, I mean America. The holiday has fallen into disrepute in light of the invasion by Europeans that followed Columbus’ discovery. Since that is decidedly unpleasant history to contemplate, it’s worthwhile preserving the holiday by recognizing Columbus got lost and didn’t know where he was. That’s what happens soemtimes when guys drive, and when they get lost they don’t stop to ask for directions if they’re manly men. We can do what the Romans did when they converted the Europeans to Christianity. Let us keep the holiday, and we’ll just change the reason for it. But it’s not a holiday for me, I have to work. So no more PG ranting or I might piss somebody off! It happens by accident sometimes, I’m way too spacey to do soemthing like that on purpose.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Christopher worked too hard.

            Make everyday a Columbus day, and there will not be a second peopling of a not empty continent, because everyone will be home everyday. No time for any large scale government-sponsored explorations.

            “If you can’t take good care of Europe (or Earth), you don’t deserve another chance in America (or Mars).”

            But all the smart experts must have something to do to get promoted. Luckily for Columbus, the Spanish government stepped in where private sector and bank syndicate fell short.

            A good, big government will do that every time.

          2. Gio Bruno

            . . . um, wasn’t it Americus Vespucci that discovered America? Columbus discovered Hispaniola, Right?

            1. craazyman

              I think you’re right. But Columbus must have at least discovered Washington, D.C. because D.C. stands for “District of Columbia”. There’s also a Columbia, Maryland.

      3. Jim Haygood

        Closely related to unyielding instinctive navigation (which I do even when looking out of airplane windows, just to make sure the pilot isn’t lost) is the perennial search for the elusive dix baggeur, as ten-baggers are called in Franglais.

        Applying conditional probability with the aid of Bayes theorem shows that dix baggeurs must be highly unlikely. Yet counter-examples such as that of James Simons, who made a fortune in the markets applying higher maff, shows that it can be done.

        Then we come to the cautionary tale of Dr Hussman, a maff whiz who has actually managed to subtract value (compared to simply holding the market portfolio) despite extensive and diligent computational effort. His travails suggest that as lazy men, we can free-ride on his brilliance by simply doing the opposite of what Dr. H is doing.

        That’s why Dr H’s latest weekly column is so alarming:

        Given that investors are still celebrating the withdrawal of prospects for a Federal Reserve rate hike, our short-term market views aren’t very pointed. It will take more economic evidence to push recession risk from “possible” to “likely.”

        Here and now, we remain defensive, but we’re in no particular hurry for a decisive market outcome one way or another. We’ll take our evidence as it arrives.

        What does it mean that Dr H is feeling so disinterestedly patient and noncommittal? ‘Crash dead ahead,’ most likely. Run for your life! (but bring a map)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          His mistake, I believe, is his failure to buy stocks with cute names, like Blue Buffalo, when we are in the middle of the Age of Cute Names.

    2. Carolinian

      Well, if the politicians are corrupt is the opposition necessarily dubious because it comes from sleazy self-promoters? It sounds like Bannon is barking up the right tree to me. The madness of the Republicans and the press back in the late 90s was that they latched onto blowjobs and crazy conspiracies rather than the Clintons’ true dark underbelly: their avarice and neoliberal ideology. Perhaps the “danger” represented by Bannon (as seen by Bloomberg?) is that he is highlighting a form of corruption shared by so much of our ruling class.

      Also I’m not sure he’s succeeding. The Clintons’ conflicts of interest don’t seem to have gotten much attention compared to the email controversy, which probably is a snipe hunt. Still, many months ahead for the oppo to kick in.

      1. Clive

        Yes, you might well be right there Carolinian — and foolishly I’d quite overlooked where this came from and forgotten the “Bloomberg” angle. They definitely would be working one in their article.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          The article is amazing. And after thousands of words, I still have no idea what Bannon’s, or in this case Bloomberg’s, agenda might be. It’s one thing to point out how corrupt Washington is, another to then suggest Trump or the Koch brothers are thus our salvation. Maybe he’s working for Bernie!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What did pre-Columbian natives call themselves down there?

        Any one of their endonyms – autonyms is a more diversity respectful name than Argentina.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Truth be told, it is a nicety that we have relabeled 12 October, but the entire country was based on a genocide of autochthonous peoples (in my neck of the woods they were the Wichis), and a lot more than changing a holiday or even the country’s name needs to be done to exercise those demons.

      2. Carolinian

        Just now reading this great Jonathan Schwarz riff. This part seems highly NC relevant:

        The through line in the entire history of colonization is that we were doing this to the rest of the world for their own good….

        Remarkably, the Obama administration has straightforwardly explained that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will help us jack small countries like this without the muss and fuss of war. A page about the TPP on the White House website asks, “Where did ISDS [i.e., the Investor-State Dispute Settlement part of the TPP] come from?” The answer:

        Before we had investment rules and ISDS international agreements, unlawful behavior by countries that targeted foreign investors tended either to go unaddressed or escalate into conflict between countries. In fact, early in our history, the U.S. had to deploy “gunboat diplomacy,” or military intervention, to protect private American commercial interests. ISDS is a more peaceful, better way to resolve trade conflicts between countries.

        It’s because we feel the responsibility to protect….from us. Happy Columbus Day.

          1. skippy

            lmmao… it reads like an apologia for “War is a Racket” by retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedley D. Butler…

            Skippy….. we will repeat – !!!!! – TINA – !!!!!

  3. MikeNY

    Luv the “cocksnotglocks” girls.

    And they’re right to leave the rabid, frothing comments from the GUNZ NUTZ up on the site. Unhinged.

  4. Ulysses

    Great line from the Salon piece linked above:

    “For me, the unsurpassable model of what is false in charity is still the first big one: Carnegie, of Carnegie Hall. On the one hand, yes, he did everything, building cultural home, concerts, etc., but on the other hand, he employed hundreds of Pinkerton detectives in Texas to beat workers to break trade unions. That’s the model for me, you know. First, you extremely brutally beat the workers, and then you offer them a concert.”

    In other words, we can’t make up for the inherently destructive impact of capitalism, as it is currently practiced, by imploring obscenely rich capitalists to selectively “help” a few of their victims.

    1. griffen

      The Pinkertons were put to use at the mill operations in Pennsylvania. Carnegie and his right hand man Frick, (apparently Carnegie was obsessed with not only power but maintaining profitable margins)

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and of course Henry Ford, that paragon of altruism, left a rich legacy of doo-gooding in his enormous wake, including (if one believes the mythology) that “$5 an hour” generosity to his wage slaves, which the following link from Forbes (“Capitalist Tool”) nicely puts in context:

        To add even more richness to the context, and remind ourselves of how power in the political economy has historically and realistically been “Adjusted,” there’s this on the Battle of the Overpass:

        1. jrs

          Yea I know tired of apologies for that F-ist (and stronger words) Henry Ford. He was never a good human being.

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      I once had a conversation with someone who worked for a dance company about how awkward it must be to take money from Exxon I think it was. They didn’t think it was awkward at all and had only nice things to say about the company’s generosity.

      1. Massinissa

        I wonder what those same people thought about Exxon a few years before the donation. I wonder if it would have been equally as charitable?

    3. TedWa

      It seems that those that are capable of great good are also capable of great evil. Andrew Jackson comes to mind …

  5. Carolinian

    Great piece on Steve Jobs. There is indeed something truly Warholian about Jobs worship and if Warhol were still around he would undoubtedly produce a posterized portrait of Jobs to go up beside Marylin and Campbell’s soup. If you listen to Walter Isaacson you’d think the invention (or rather market changing launch) of the smartphone was right up there with Graham Bell and Edison. But the shirt pocket spybot is already–with larger screens–morphing back toward the more practical devices that it supposedly replaced. And I suspect Jobs himself will quickly become a dim historical figure. A friend who’s seen the movie says it’s quite the snoozer. The earlier version, with b-list star Ashton Kutcher as Jobs instead of the gnomic Fassbender, may well be closer to the mark.

    1. Ron

      I did work for Apple and interacted with Jobs on many situations. He clearly understood that the SV techie world was ripe for marketing, delivering sleek attractive easy to use computers made sense to Jobs and he was way ahead of his competition that was dominated by techie’s that were all came from the engineering side.
      So Steve gets a hat tip for smart marketing and also ran a very tight ship at Apple , no decisions were made regarding product development, Advertising, Graphics, manufacturing without Steve’s approval as he said many times,Apple was not a democracy…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        With a good propaganda, sorry, brain-manipulating, check that, a good marketing campaign, one can get people to do just about anything.

        That’s the most profound discovery in the last 5,000 years.

        The inventor is less visible than many dim historical figures. In fact, we don’t know him/her at all…was it Darius, the king of kings? Or someone even earlier?

      2. Carolinian

        I don’t think anyone is arguing that Jobs wasn’t a brilliant businessman. It’s just the over the top claims of Isaacson–not a techie clearly–and some others are a bit much.

        But interesting that you worked there. I’m sure you could share many insights.

        1. bob

          Clarification please-

          What is the difference between a “brilliant businessman”, criminal, or “asshole businessman”? In this instance, they are all one in the same. I guess that makes him “complicated”? As opposed to “convicted felon”.

          He stole billions via wage theft that accrued to his personal equity stake in apple among other companies he worked for and held huge equity stakes in.

          I don’t consider that brilliant. The only “brilliant” part is PR army who keep putting that word out there in relation to the criminal behavior of The Great Jobs.

          The difference between a jail cell and brilliant businessman? A PR team, paid for with the sweat of your captive labor pool.

          1. Carolinian

            Brilliant if you think the goal of businessmen is for them and their companies to make lots of money. I think it’s pretty clear from my original comment that I’m not a Jobs fan, and indeed even his official biographer Isaacson makes clear that Jobs was indeed, as you say, an “asshole.” One of the controversies about the current movie is that they try to soften him up toward the end of the film in a way that, it’s claimed, is not in line with the facts.

            My objection is more that Apple’s proprietary approach is bad for computing. Personal computers should be for empowering their owners, not rich companies.

    2. Ed

      I saw the earlier version and it was a pretty good movie. The script was favorable to Jobs without hiding the fact that he was a —hole.

  6. Lucretia T.

    Can anyone comment how the VW emissions scandal might play out under brave new world trade deals like TPP?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Pretty clear: VW, an “investor” in most nations, sues in a Trade Troika Tribunal any of said puny nations that dare to enforce restrictive profit-expectancy- diminishing laws against VW the SuperWorldCitizen. Outcome scarcely in doubt — “Judgment for Investor in the amount of $52 quintillion dollars, collectable against the equity of everyone residing in Losing State.”

  7. jef

    “Britain shows that world can cut carbon emissions and still get richer”

    If everyone switches from actually working to finance/money making money we can all get rich and and just close down all the polluting elements of the economy.

  8. Ron

    This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America press:

    I had never heard of this person and checked out the site and found this brief opinion piece regarding the mad as hell Republican voters. If one looks closely at the various Republican elections going back to the 90’s it always contain very similar messages targeted at Republican voters to give money and votes to various Republicans but once in office not much if anything happens that reflects a meaningful change to the Right Wing of the Party other then a parade of odd bills relating to women’s health which generally have little or no chance of passing. This right wing opinion piece may be a clue to why the Republican voters of today have little interest in established Republicans since they have always talked the talk but rarely deliver so why bother voting for them.

    “House Republicans won the majority by campaigning on a robust agenda of blocking and fighting the policies of the Obama Administration. Over three election cycles they promised to scrap ObamaCare, roll-back regulations, cut spending and block Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.

    “Mind you, they were not forced into these positions, but spent hundreds of millions of dollars promising these things to voters across the country. They, if you will, volunteered to take up these fights. Only long after they had secured majorities in both the House and the Senate did Republicans in Washington inform their supporters that Obama’s veto pen blocked their promised actions.”
    Republican voters are not children and are well aware that Obama can, and probably would, veto any reforms measures that reached his desk. By forcing Obama to make these vetoes, however, the campaign of 2016 can be waged on clear political differences”

    1. Ed

      I was thinking that conservatives probably have an even better argument for being screwed over by “their” party than progressives do with Democrats. Their leadership is as pro-open borders and pro-free trade as the Democratic one, and all those cultural things they keep campaigning on (and which wins them elections) always wind up happening no matter how many elections conservative politicians win.

      Its time to accept that elections just don’t have much effect on how this country is governed, if they ever did, and voters sort of understand this and choose their political parties the same way they choose their sports teams.

      1. Ron

        Without the Conservative Right Wing voter outside the Bible Belt the GOP becomes a regional party and loses any chance of controlling the House/Senate. The current standoff in the House leadership shows how critical it has become for right wing conservative House members to show they are worth voting for and will deliver to the party faithful. There concern is real either they will face even tougher Conservative Primary opponents or there Right Wing voter base doesn’t bother to turn out in the Fall either way not an attractive alternative.

    2. neo-realist

      I’ve had the impression that Republican voters tend to continue to vote for their own team (particularly geriatrics) even if their representatives do nothing because they hate the other team so much, they’re willing to vote for a do nothing GOPer over a Democrat (who’s framed as an uber liberal even though he/she is far from it nowadays) who may pass big spending legislation that will benefit poor and or dark skinned people (more taxes!).

      It differs from Democratic voters who sit out elections, particularly the young, if they’re not rewarded with beneficial policies from Democratic legislators, or if they don’t get the exact candidate they want.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Their coalition is way less coherent than ours. OTOH, lack of coherence seems to be a problem for people on our side more.

  9. curlydan

    “The proper response, [The Israeli defense minister, Moshe Yaalon] said, was to ‘bring about the liquidation of the terrorist stabber or attacker, the stone-thrower and the like, immediately and on the spot.'” There are no words to adequately describe how disgusting that statement was…

  10. OIFVet

    Ouch: <a href="'s+Example+of+Fiscal+Discipline">>Ouch:

    Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has advised the United States to use the example of Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov and his policy of discipline.

    Speaking at a conference of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham), Borisov also urged Washington ro revoke visas for the Bulgarian businesses as other EU member states did.

    Citing the eased visa regime in neighboring Greece, he said: “Greeks have this privilege, Bulgaria doesn’t. Are they more loyal in the EU or NATO?”

    “Our taxes are the lowest in Europe and will remain so,” he declared.

    Bulgaria introduced in 2007 a personal income and corporate tax of just 10%. Defenders of the move say it is drawing millions in foreign investment to the country.

    “We have a low debt, our budget is [sic] a 2% deficit,” Borisov added.

    What’s more:

    I am talking to you like this because we are partners and friends, not just when we have lunch, but also when there is a problem. If you know something, help me. We are one. We are friends… We stop Russian planes, we also stop three Russian projects, and if [we aren’t] your partners, who is?

    I don’t know which is more embarrassing: the feeble attempt by the poorest Euro lemming with a failing economy and destroyed social institutions to hector one’s master on the virtues of fiscal discipline and low flat tax, or the whining about how the master treats BG as a second-class ally despite its fawning obedience. What did you expect when McCain ordered you to stop South Stream and reject the better Russian offer on adding another reactor, that this is all in Bulgaria’s own best interests?

    To make the humiliation complete on the day after massive anti-TTIP protests in Europe, the Foreign Minister chimed in:

    At an international conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary since the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham) was founded, Mitov said the “strengthening of the Transatlantic bonds” is essential at a time when there is “desire that it should be broken or at least undermined”.

    “We should do everything to strengthen it, and to this regard [TTIP] might play a key role. Of course we should do it in a way that it is of use to everyone and convince our citizens it is useful and will only bring about benefit to businesses,” the Bulgarian National Radio quoted him as saying.

    Ok then.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the best example of what being a loyal US “ally” entails: corrupt local elites working against their country’s own best interests lest they become a target for a color revolution. Meanwhile their much-suffering subjects don’t know which way to turn to hide their collective embarrassment.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Your organic cotton tee-shirt…probably poisoned a river in Asia.

    Less consumption can minimize the problem and there is nothing probable. You are 100% certain of your less consumption when you do it (actually, when you do not do it – do not consume).

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nobel prizewinning scientist dies in poverty.

    That’s newsworthy. We didn’t expect that.

    Kind fathers who die in poverty are not.

    Nor are caring mothers. We have sort of come to expect these.

    In the former case, that scientist is assumed to have contributed to the system and the system is expected to take care of him/her, so more will see that and want to be taught, be trained, in order to make a similar contribution to make the system work even more efficiently.

    But kind fathers don’t make the system more efficiently (with the present measuring techniques).

  13. Anon

    Re: NY Times Health Article

    Don’t you see? The reason why there are so many gaping holes in the Marketplace is because we’ve been using it wrong – it’s just to hold you over until you get a job with benefits, as quoted here (emphasis in bold):

    “This market is always going to be a temporary way station for some people until they get a job with health benefits,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health research organization. “Where I would get worried is if there starts to be evidence that people are dropping out because their insurance is becoming unaffordable, or they just don’t feel it offers them good value.”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And, if the “economy” doesn’t deliver that “job with health benefits,” you can just PRAY for one.

      “My prayer is that God will show favor for my employment status to move from part time to full time,” she said.

      “Using it wrong” is RIGHT–If we just had a national religion, like the taliban, everyone could just pray their bad cholesterol away. Or, better yet, just pray for their cholesterol to behave normally or for god never to give them cancer in the first place, and we wouldn’t need no stinkin’ “healthcare” system at all.

    2. cwaltz

      Someone should tell Larry that many companies dropped their coverage because it was cheaper for them to use the “market” then it was to keep covering employees. They should also mention that penalizing good coverage(something you wouldn’t want to do if the point is for companies to offer health care) has also resulted in crapifying insurance. While the premiums may be affordable what people are finding is all the extras like deductibles or copays that are accompanied by indeterminate percentages for practically everything aren’t. What good is an affordable $100 “premium”(accompanied by a 200 subsidy) if I have to come up with another $250 a month for a full year before it even covers anything? What good is a $200 premium(accompanied by the company contributing $800 on behalf of their employees in lieu of pay) when my $75 co pay trip turns into a $300 visit because I am charged for everything from a pregnancy test to the catheter inserted after the fact. The system is still broken…..very, very broken.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nobel prize for economics.

    Rothstein’s article argues that today with increasing success, economics as commonly taught in universities and endorsed by most winners of the economics prize promotes corruption in societies around the world. Therefore he concludes that the Nobel Foundation’s awarding the economics prize is “in direct conflict with what Alfred Nobel decreed in his will.”

    As such, one should not just bury one’s head in the sand with an immediate suspension, but actually try to change how it’s taught or not taught.

    1. Massinissa

      Oh please. The Economics Nobel has always been Neoliberal and always will be. Some institutions cant be changed.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Over at Marketwatch: Social Security unlikely to rise next year…falling gasoline prices.

    But, but, but, seniors don’t drive that much.

    Organic apples are more expensive though.

    1. Carolinian

      Apparently the lack of COLA is the reason new Medicare enrollees will have a (temporary?) 50 percent increase in monthly premium. This was discussed here the other day. By law regular Medicare recipients can’t have their Part B premium increased if no COLA and the newbies have to make up the shortfall.

      Of course the obvious question is that if medical inflation is so high then why no COLA? Nothing is obvious, it seems, in governmentland.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        By focusing on suppressing wage inflation and ignoring medical inflation, it kills two birds with one stone.

  16. mycroft

    Continuing on yesterday’s topic of attempting to maintain mental agility, I came across this item in a book by a scientist who has had a weekly call-in program in Montreal for over a decade.

    The husband of a pediatrician was diagnosed with alzheimers’s disease and was fading fast. The wife, after spending a lot of time on the internet, came to the conclusion that giving her husband two tablespoons of coconut oil a day wouldn’t hurt him (coconut oil is described as a mid-chain triglyceride). Two days after starting this regimen, her husband went off for a regularly scheduled cognitive test and scored higher. Since that time he has regained interest in the things he had lost interest in and is now back volunteering at the hospital. The wife noticed that if she missed just one day of giving him coconut oil, her husband would get very confused. (No mention was made in this book about how long the coconut oil regime was able to hold off what I assume was an inevitable decline into dementia).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can it really be that simple remedies are out there, outside the Medical Industrial Complex and its educated soldiers?

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Gun nuts freak out over Texas students’ #CocksNotGlocks open carry protest — and it’s awesome

    What’s truly “awesome” is that “glocks” rhymes with the much-obsessed-over “cocks.” Why it’s as if Dr. Seuss came back from the grave to influence a “movement.”

    How blissful it must be to think that there is no problem so weighty that it cannot be solved by long blond hair, cartoonishly glittery eye shadow and brightly colored sex toys. Oh, and social media.

    Oh, to be young again!!

    How BORING it would be to have to confront the idea that one of those much-loved cocks might be attached to a male human who had been taking risperedal or paxil or SSRIs to control his behavior since he was knee-high to a grasshopper.

    And that those prescription drugs may have turned a perfectly good cock-owner into a murderous maniac who doesn’t give two hoots about sex toys.

    Never mind. I think Dr. Seuss and big dildos are the effective way to go.

    1. Oregoncharles

      That’s a stock picture, probably from an ad.

      The point of the demonstration is that it’s both defiant (of a bizarre law) and humorous – as well as mocking the gun nuts, who got the point.

    2. hunkerdown

      Throw in SSRI-induced impotence along with the several other ways the working-class white male has been systematically emasculated and disenfranchised, and it seems as if the system as a whole is trying to keep a stock of murderous maniacs in reserve at home under much the same gambit as in the Middle East.

  18. Oregoncharles

    Quick thought on the ACA story: ” for many who lost coverage this spring, the problem began when the marketplace could not verify the annual income they listed on their application, or their citizenship status.”

    Is that perchance the “backend” that we’re told still isn’t working? Didn’t we hear from someone who had sent them the documents, but was asked tosend them yet again? IOW, how many are dropped simply because the system itself is a trainwreck?

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ebola virus hiding in eyes, breasts, etc.

    Looks like it made a successful landing in Europe (another one in N. America, etc), now peacefully settling in, blending in, moving about freely and working hard to multiply.

    There is a human saying – if you don’t first succeed, try, try try again.

  20. Oregoncharles

    From the Bernanke interview: ““Well, I think there is a sense in the public, in general, is that anything bad happens, it’s because some evil person willed it to happen,” Bernanke explained.”

    He’s denying agency – even though in the next sentence, he admits to it, albeit as “mistakes.” Mistakes from which the same people benefited.

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