Links 10/25/15

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Bisquick Unveils Sprawling State-Of-The-Art Silicon Valley Campus Onion

Mother cat breaks into vet clinic to be with her abandoned kittens USA Today (furzy mouse)

Snow leopards face ‘new climate change threat‘ BBC :-(

For Many Norwegians, Ghosts Fill a Void New York Times

Photographs of the Gowanus Canal Atlantic (furzy mouse). Reminds me of a classic commercial we featured yesterday.

Like Everything Else, Alternative Energy Requires Cheap Oil FPIF (resilc)


Americans Less Concerned About Climate Change Than Reptiles, Tornadoes, Credit Card Fraud, Cyber-Terrorism, Nuclear War, Mass Surveillance, Economic Collapse or Obamacare George Washington. Wonder how strong the correlation is with news headlines…..

Tampons, sterile cotton, sanitary pads contaminated with glyphosate – study RT (Glenn F)

How Salad Can Make Us Fat New York Times. I must confess, I can’t relate to this at all. The foods that I gather most people regard as acceptable hedonism I’ve long regarded (as in for 40 years) as seriously unhealthy. Having to eat a burger and fries would be a punishment, not a reward.

Bishops Hand Pope a Defeat on Outreach to Divorced Catholics Wall Street Journal

Refugee Crisis

Border closure threat over migrant flow BBC


Telegraph Portugal Claim Busted Zolo Street. Good thing we didn’t get readers and ourselves all wound up posting on it. Mind you, we are not saying it is all sweetness and light in Portugal, merely that the Telegraph story is way ahead of the state of play.

#PortugalCoup. Twitterverse spoofs.


Tony Blair takes blame for Iraq War and admits conflict caused ISIS Daily Mail. Yes, this is the Daily Mail, not the Daily Mash.

Russia calls for fresh Syrian elections Financial Times. Note the subhead: “Moscow offers military support to moderate opposition forces.” We keep hearing about those Yeti, um, Syrian moderates…..”

See contrast with: Syrian rebels reject cooperation with Russia, demand end of bombing DW

Hillary Clinton: We Lied. The Aim Of Our War On Libya Was Regime Change Moon of Alabama (resilc)

The Real Afghanistan Surge is in Heroin Production and Tripled Opium Cultivation since the US military arrived/ UN and US Government documents Meryl Nass, M.D. (furzy mouse). Not news if you’ve been paying attention…

The unbeautiful south Economist (resilc). On Yemen.

The United States and the Pakistani Bomb, 1984-1985: President Reagan, General Zia, Nazir Ahmed Vaid, and Seymour Hersh Nuclear Vault (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Germany investigates fresh US spying allegations RTE (allan)

What Hillary Clinton Got Wrong About Edward Snowden FPIF (resilc)

Police State Watch

Cisa amendment would allow US to jail foreigners for crimes committed abroad Guardian (resilc)


Democratic race gets real in Iowa CNN. Translation: all the carpetbaggers are pouring in.

Live video and coverage from Democrat’s Jefferson Jackson Dinner DesMoines Register (furzy mouse)

Sanders contrasts his record with Clinton’s at Iowa dinner Reuters

Bernie Sanders doesn’t need to pay for his socialist utopia The Week (Steve H)

The Man Who Bought the Clintons: the Political Business of Terry McAuliffe Counterpunch (Li)

Black man at Carson event defends Confederate flag DesMoines Register (furzy mouse)

It’s Time for the US to Return to “Socialist” Policies OpEd News (Glenn F). Sanders needs to start quoting that great socialist Eisenhower.

Presidential Judgment and Unpredictable Outcomes National Interest (resilc). Clinton v. Biden on whacking Bin Laden.

Paul Ryan Wants to Shut Down the Government, Permanently Common Dreams

Top Five Things Congress Should investigate instead of Benghazi Juan Cole

Walker signs bill ending Doe political investigations WRAL (furzy mouse)


Spike Lee Sounds Off on Chi-Raq, Gun Violence, and Rahm Chicago (furzy mouse)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black New York Times. Investigative report.


Why every aspect of your business is about to change Fortune. What this reveals is the feeble responses of incumbents, both ideologically and politically, given that many of these “disruptive” new services flagrantly break the law. And it’s not as if capitalism hasn’t been here before. For instance, in the 1900s, there was a strong effort by businessmen and leading economic thinkers of the time as to how to throw sand in the operation of the market…for the health of businesses! See Michael Perelman’s Railroading Economics, or for that matter, Karl Polyani’s The Great Transformation for examples.

Class Warfare

Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year Washington’s Blog

The Law School Debt Crisis New York Times

US steams ahead with new rules to curb pollution by superyachts Guardian (resilc)

The Saker interviews Cynthia McKinney Vineyard of the Saker (Glenn F). Anyone who can make Rumsfeld squirm is worth listening to.

Antidote du jour (Stephen L). From the Alberta Wildlife FB page:

muskrat_pack links

And Frosty Zoom recommended this video on muskrats and beavers highly:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. abynormal

    **Gov. Mark Dayton has told BNSF Railway’s top executive that he is “deeply concerned” about the recent increase in Bakken oil trains on western suburban tracks into downtown Minneapolis, saying it puts an additional 99,000 people at risk. In a letter to BNSF CEO Carl Ice released Wednesday, the governor asked the railroad not to operate oil trains on the line that passes Target Field when events are underway at the stadium, to extend first-responder training to all communities along the route and assess it for a worst-case accident. BNSF, the major crude oil hauler out of North Dakota, recently disclosed in a mandatory report to the state that 11 to 23 crude oil trains per week are using the route from Willmar, Minn., through suburbs such as Wayzata and St. Louis Park into Minneapolis and across the Mississippi River at Nicollet Island. Dayton said he was concerned that BNSF did not inform him or his staff about the route change. BNSF spokeswoman Amy McBeth said in an e-mail that BNSF will be talking directly with the governor about his concerns. She did not say whether BNSF will consider halting oil trains during Target Field events, but noted that crude oil has been shipped along the corridor at lower volumes. State Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, said that during a game late in the Twins’ season he saw three trains carrying either oil or ethanol pass Target Field over the course of six innings.

    1. allan

      No problem, because BNSF has such an excellent attitude towards safety regulations:

      Oil-by-Rail Giant BNSF Threatens Shutdown Over Safety

      In June of 2014, a representative of oil-by-rail giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) attended a meeting with regulators where the American Association of Railroads (AAR) lobbied against any speed limits for oil trains. One of the slides from that presentation – titled “Far Reaching Economic Impacts” (image below) — predicted dire consequences to the American economy if speed limits were put in place.

      And it goes downhill from there.

      And now BNSF is back at it, informing regulators that if a congressionally mandated requirement from 2008 that requires all railroads to implement positive train control (PTC) by the end of 2015 isn’t extended, they may just shut down BNSF.

      1. abynormal

        ha! bnsf taking one from fire ind, give it up or i’ll blow myself & you UP!
        Buffett reassured shareholders that the company would be spending many, many billions of dollars to boost the railroad’s performance. “We are making significant investments,” said BNSF executive chairman, Matt Rose.

        “At BNSF we will spend a lot of money to have the best railroad possible but we’re not going to be buying other businesses,” Buffett, 83, said, however. (all in? must have a guarantee from above)

      2. cwaltz

        The railroads are presently stomping their feet over protections that became law in 2008 anyway. They are threatening to shut down the rails if Congress doesn’t grant them an extension on positive train control. They say not only will they not move freight without an extension but they won’t let Amtrak use the rails for passengers. It isn’t just BNSF. I posted a link the other day to NS website where they say they will shut down operations on Dec 31, if Congress doesn’t give them an extension.

        1. JTMcPhee

          So these Fokkers can “just say no” to “the law.” Seems to me, probably to human sorrow, that the same response will ultimately be forthcoming, in reaction to the new “secret, private laws” that TPP, TTIP, TISA etc. are already generating. Sorrow, because “Resistance, particularly when unguided by an organizing principle based in decency and comity, is not only futile, but destructive.”

          Too bad us humans don’t have any idea what we should be doing, to survive as a species in any numbers…

          1. allan

            Moar: Deadline for train safety technology undercut by industry lobbying

            What has taken place since May provides insight into the influence that effective lobbyists wield in Washington and how ready access to members of Congress has helped one industry fend off a costly safety mandate. …

            Money flows readily to the chairs of powerful committees, but other members of the House Transportation Committee also have benefited from railroad contributions. In the 2013-2014 election cycle, committee members received more than $1.25 million in direct contributions to their campaigns. As of the end of September, the railroads had pitched another $721,742 at the House committee members.

          2. cwaltz

            Congress will cave, they always cave to the “job creators.” Now if these were just workers we were talking about they’d be FORCED back to work.

            What was that Carlin said about there being a club in DC?

    2. Virginia Simson

      He should be screaming loudly about ALL oil trains going through MN, not just high population density if he is going to speak for ALL Minnesotans.

      Typical liberal. He has no respect for the land at all. These train derailments are horrific in the extreme. And the horror isn’t just the exhorbitant (state spent) emergency money that piles up in high population areas.

      And he seems to actually know very little about the hazards oil trains entail. In fact it probably didn’t catch his eye at all until the screams against them got very loud.

      It’s not merely a routing problem; it’s a bad tracks, catastrophic emergency any where they the explosion happens, coverup-of-facts problem.

      Get with it Mark.

  2. craazyman

    Quote of the Day

    “I would have to really talk to him,” Carson said, adding that he knew no details about the situation.

    [Black Man at Carson Event Defends Confederate Flag – DesMoines Register]

    Whoa! It’s only 7:30 and the show is already starting . . .This dude is a wild man, whoa check out that pic of his truck hahahhah

    What’s the Top 10 Reasons a Black Dude Can Love the Confederate Flag

    Reason #10
    The stars and bars remind him of jail

    Reason #9
    He thought it was the Budweiser flag.

    Reason #8
    Shit Happens

    Reason #7
    You and whose army is gonna stop him? Um . . .never mind.

    Reason #6
    He can put one on his car antenna and he won’t get arrested for driving. Whoa!

    Reason #5
    Reality TV stardom is just weeks away!

    Reason #4
    It’s not 1864 anymore. It’s not 1964 and it’s not 2064. Doesn’t that make sense to you?

    Reason #3
    If a black man feels state pride, why does that threaten a northern liberal?

    Reason #2
    He’s practicing for Halloween. ahahahhahah

    and Reason #1 Why a Black Man Can Love the Confederate Flag

    Drum Roll Please . . . .

    Do you think only white guys are idiots? You probably did actually. hahahahahahahahahha

      1. craazyman

        I thought that would be reason #9. haha

        you gotta have some real reasons mixed in to keep people on their toes, especially #1!

    1. Jim Haygood

      Maybe he’s a member of the Black Confederate Warriors of Dixie:

      Note the spelling of ‘honoured’ in the blog. Confederates regard the spelling reforms of Noah Webster (native of Connecticut) as a hateful yankee intrusion, and stick to British lexicography.

        1. craazyman

          I think it would take a Kurt Vonnegut to make sense of this one. Evry time I channel the Civil War it comes in a riotous kaliedescope of total human chaos.

          If somebody wants to intellectually amuse themselves they can read about the Virginia politician and unionist John Botts on wikipedia. His pre-war career, his unflinching unionist stand, his arrest by JEB Stuart and destruction of his farm by confederate soldiiers, his letters to Richmond and New York newspapers, his entertaining Confederate and Union generals alike at his central Virginia home, and his disgust at South Carolina. Even back then South Carolina was considered a redneck. He somehow survived the war and continued his political career, then wrote a history of the Civil War period, which I have not read, but it sounds quite interesting.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Can he be John Howard Griffith, writing “Black Like Me In 2015?”

        The character was there to prove that anything a person of any category could do, he was just as capable, good or bad, as all humans were.

        “No one is exceptional. An act is to be judged by itself.”

  3. craazyboy

    “Carson calls for ‘groupthink’ on Social Security”

    He’s gotta be the dumbest brain surgeon in all of history.

    Quotes from the article:

    1) The first four paragraphs I won’t copy here. See article.

    2) ” The Republican presidential candidate said both measures would offset projections that Social Security funds will dry up by the year 2033.”

    Um – Social security funds aren’t “drying up in 2033”. That happens to be when the Trust Fund is projected to be zero – which was built up for the purpose of handling Boomer demographics..about 75% of the needs are still supported by payroll SS deductions. The good news is the Boomers are still expected to die.

    3) “We have to start making those adjustments for people under the age of 55 — very, very gradually raising the age,” Carson said, adding that some citizens should be asked if they would forgo their payments.
    Warren Buffet volunteered already……do I hear 2 grandmas surviving? Let’s hear a Yeah from someone in the audience!!

    4) “Carson emphasized that the average life expectancy has increased by more than 15 years since Social Security was established.”

    Which was back in the ’30s. Greenspan made a demographics adjustment in 1983, “saving SS” then, and we got a big increase in payroll deduction which is why we now have the almost $3 trillion SS Trust fund. I think current data shows Greenspan may have under estimated longevity by a couple of years.

    5) “He also said his plan for an Obamacare alternative — creating a Health Savings Account for every American — would eliminate the need for Medicare and Social Security for most citizens.”

    This is incoherent babble. We are retiring on a Health Savings Account?????

    People that make this much sense don’t run for Prez. They are put in an old people’s home where they can be taken care of by lucid people.

    1. cwaltz

      The only thing I even vaguely like about any of his blather is the idea in theory of a health savings account that rolls over. As long as Obamacare is going to have high deductibles it’s going to be imperative that people be able to put money into an account that rolls over from year to year for health care. Right now our family does not have access to an HSA, my spouse’s company offers an FSA, which if unused by year end gets to pad the pockets of health care administrators. Of course, that’s because in theory we don’t have a high deductible plan. That being said I’ve spent well into the thousands this year on health care thanks to being nickeled and dimed by the health “care” cartel.

      I do agree with you though it seems he’s attempting an end run around privatizing social security since an HSA can be used as an investment vehicle. I also took a look at Wells Fargo HSA interest rate. It’s 0.05% for the plebes who can only afford to contribute $200 a month. However, it comes with a MONTHLY fee of $4.25(unless of course you are rich and can plunk down $5,000 for a joint HSA account in your first month.) Optum Bank has the same interest rate and charges $3 for under $5000(but does not include money in your investment fund.)

      It seems to me the banking cartel benefits from HSAs more than Joe Average as they are right now.

    2. j,c.

      Worth keeping in mind is the following :-

      In 1939, infant mortality rates were extremely high, but once age 65 the average American could expect to live another 13.4 years, or to age 78. Today, better health care and fewer infant deaths means overall life expectancy has gone up. But life expectancy after age 65 – a more accurate way to predict how long people are really living in retirement – hasn’t changed nearly as much.

      As of 2008, the average American who makes it to age 65 could expect to live 19.6 years. That’s just 6 years longer than in 1939, and less than 2 years longer than in 1979 – and even that number overgeneralizes, because it ignores other factors that affect life expectancy, including gender, race, and income. A Social Security Administration study found income inequality plays a big role in life expectancy. For workers in the top half of the earnings distribution, average life expectancy is 86.5, but for those in the bottom half it’s just 81 — a gap of more than 5 years that continues to grow.

      Shows just what an utter load of cobblers the “people are living too long now”ers are trying to sell. For the bottom fifty percent of the population life expectancy at 65 has only gone up 3 years since 1939.

      1. fresno dan

        Thanks for that! It is a very good point j.c. – I get tired of bringing up that most increases in human longevity is due to fewer babies dying. It of course means that the increase in longevity is not nearly as worrisome to social security fiances as made out…

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Put a platinum coin in that SS Piggy Bank.

      “Platinum coins are not just for planet wide adventures.”

    4. neo-realist

      By that rationale, most if not all of the republicans running for President insofar as their views regarding Social Security and Health Care policy should be in an old folks home.

  4. financial matters

    Good article on payday lending in the Salon quoting from Mehrsa Baradaran’s new book, “How the Other Half Banks.”


    “It’s funny — I keep thinking of this as the government banking option versus the free market banking option. But it’s not like we have any banking system that’s somehow free of government influence.
    There are all sorts of ways that our financial services can be improved by market innovations. I think that’s all fantastic, right? I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the government-supported banking system. Why is it that the poor, for their financial service and credit needs, have to rely on non-government lenders that end up charging them market or above-market rates?

    And then we have this hugely government-supported banking industry that doesn’t operate in a normal market, that operates with huge taxpayer wealth and federal subsidies, that ends up servicing the rest of us.

    So this isn’t creeping government socialism?

    If you think we have a private banking market now, you’re wrong. If it were truly a private market industry, you would have had a lot of bank failures in 2008. Banks are special. To say, “Well, this new thing — postal banking or public options — that’s socialism,” is a misunderstanding of how banks actually work.”

      1. financial matters

        Great point. I think one of the most useful things we could do would be to stop treating labor as a commodity.

        I think Polanyi can be viewed as being in support of a job guarantee as well as a BIG.

        When talking about an economic Bill of Rights he said that ‘The list should be headed by the right of the individual to a job under approved conditions, irrespective of his or her political or religious views, or of color and race.’


        ‘Compulsion should never be absolute; the “objector” should be offered a niche to which he can retire, the choice of a “second-best” that leaves him a life to live. Thus will be secured the right to nonconformity as the hallmark of a free society.’

        And he believed in a minimum wage or living wage not set by the market:

        “To take labor out of the market means a transformation as radical as was the establishment of a competitive labor market. but the basic wage itself, are determined outside the market.’

        1. financial matters

          This is also echoed by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin in The Making of Global Capitalism (2012)

          “Whether called socialism or not, todays revived demands for social justice and genuine democracy can only be realized through a fundamental shift in political power.

          This would need to begin by turning the financial institutions that are the life-blood of global capitalism into public utilities that would facilitate, within each state, the democratization of the decisions that govern investment and employment.”

  5. ddf

    “Why everything is about to change” reads like a 1950s documentary about sputnik. Yet another boring piece of big data hype. Big data does not make us better able to understand what is going on as shown by today’s other link on our limited ability to model nature complexity. And lots of data does not mean seamless: the “new new economy” could be more oligopolistic than the old one if e.g. there are large economies of scale to “new new” business models or if patents protect the incumbents. For all the hype about the ongoing technological revolution (which I believe has some factual basis) business creations, a key channel for the diffusion of disruptive technologies, are at a post-WWI low in the US and many OECD countries. And the idea of a company with 2 employees is ludicrous: it implies that a company’s competitive advantage is independent of its workforce. Is it then embodied in some secret formula floating in etherspace and accessible only to the 2 permanent employees (who per chance happen to be the 2 highest paid ones..)? And given the complexity of modern economies it seems a bit naive to believe that big data is going to resolve the coordination problems inherent to market economies. And people need to feel part of a community as well as to have reasonably stable revenues, they don’t want to be on call employees and are going to vote to express their displeasure. Why can’t we have instead a discussion on how technology is going to spread when demand is low and market entry costs high and on how we are going to to share the rents generated by disruptive technologies.

    1. Ditto

      That discussion would require 1. People to understand tech 2. the limits of tech and 3. ask really hard to address questions. Not going to happen

    1. susan the other

      If anyone wanted to ask Hillary and Obama the real questions it could get interesting. Yes, Benghazi was awful but why didn’t anyone ask just exactly who perpetrated it? We are left to assume that what still looks like a very professional special ops unit by a well funded source attacked our arms-dealing consulate because they were simple fundamentalists who only know how to terrorize. It was too professional for that. they could have been a rogue unit trying to force us into a broader war in Syria. It could have been done by any of our “allies” at the time. We will never know. Petraeus probably knows.

  6. Steve H.

    “Bernie Sanders doesn’t need to pay for his socialist utopia The Week (Steve H)”

    While I appreciate the hat-tip, ’twasn’t me. Happened before, possible auto-argh?

  7. nippersdad

    Re Sanders in Iowa: Pushing Clinton and Obama to defend their positions now has them furiously gilding their lilies, and he is calling them on it. Just flat out calling them liars will fluster them even more. I am eagerly awaiting the Chinese fire drill to come. This is going to be the most fun I have seen in an election in decades.

    1. lambert strether

      Sanders has been making the same points on policy for years, not just a campaign season. Head-fake left in the primaries, then run to the right in the general is the oldest play in the book. Apparently, Clinton thinks voters don’t understand this. And another old play is opposed a simple proven system (like single payer) with a complicated Rube Goldberg device because markets (ObamaCare), which is exactly what Clinton does whenever she rolls out one of these 15 point plans….

  8. Ditto

    Re Sanders contrasting his record with Clinton

    He should have been doing that since mid August or early September.

    Instead, he allowed her to demonize him as weak on gay rights etc (her record is abysmal and she is lying about the history now) through her surrogates as well as flip flop on economic issues with new positions that will not last beyond the primary.

    He also played into the Clinton’s use since the 90s of the GOPs hatred of her to excuse stuff that’s really about Clinton rather than the GOP. The Democrtatc base like Palov’s dog salivated at her button pushing without asking outside of what the GOP says about Clinton. ” is this someone we can trust on policy or leadership
    ?'” It was his job to provide that contrast.

    Now I’m not sure people are listening after the great bread and circus show she was more than happy to participate in last week because any idiot could see the bat shit Republicans had nothing.

    It was the kind of meaningless theatrics that partisans eat up like the best meals ever, it was great for her bc it was the kind of fake leadership at no cost that says nothing about how she will help Americans or take a risk to move the country in a better direction.

    He’s not made it about her leadership and can we trust it factor

    I don’t know if he can

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      I find it hard to believe that Republicans handed that (or any) scoooooore to Hillary by accident of lunacy. She is someone they can work with a lot more effectively than one of their own.

      1. Ditto

        No the GOP was simply throwing red meat to its base

        No conspiracy needed

        Clinton is smart enough to know these attacks are red meat for the Democratic

        So she uses it to say see they don’t like me like they don’t like you although in fact the reasons they hate her are pathological rather than ideological

        It’s a conflation that’s effective bc it takes discipline to both realize the GOP is acting bat shit and her policies are conssrvative despite their reactiom

        This is why identity is such a powerful means of control

        It does not require a vast conspiracy

        Just pushing of buttons

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Conspiracy? Your term, (and your insinuation) not mine. This is politics, plain and simple. If Bernie Sanders had been the one in that seat, the questions would not have been softballs or goofballs.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Clinton Derangement Syndrome is real. Also, the GOP needs to distract it’s voters through the debt ceiling/budget/speaker votes.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Derangement Syndrome? By foxes perhaps. Republican derangement always seems to achieve their objectives far more than insanity would permit and also far more than Democratic Vichy-ishy-issitude achieves their ostensible goals, which puts a big question mark on the derangement part of Republican shenanigans for me.

          The Benghazi hearings were little other than a huge wet wet kiss for Hillary. Coincidence that she is also their greatest hope?

          1. hunkerdown

            Which Democratic goals, the one from the glossy pamphlets or the ones they actually operate under? Why do you believe their objectives are any different aside from style?

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              “ostensible” goals in conjunction with Vichy Democrat needs explanation? Yes, the glossy pamphlets that are always promised but where the closest Democrats can come to cat food (and get away with it) is delivered instead.

              I don’t understand your last sentence; objectives and style?

              My statement meant that Democrats, with their comparative veneer of sanity make a profession of failing to achieve what they promise, while Republicans who act bat-shit crazy, do quite well at what they promise and what they aim for over time and that moreover, they are perfectly aware that when they have fake “progressives”, or Trojan Horses such as Hillary, or Obama in the White House, they do better than when they have a Republican in that space. It would be a gross mistake to imagine these people are as stupid as they look, or at least that they do not operate on a level of lizard smarts that belies the clown car activity.

              A Democrat is a likely win and they know it, even if it confounds the historical pattern, and they want run of the mill corruption, or Hillary, a hell of a lot more than they want Sanders.

              1. wbgonne

                Yes, crazy like a fox. The GOP has useful idiots for the rubes but they move ever closer toward their real goals all the time. They are so confident and so dominant that they can absorb the fools and propound homicidal insanity like AGW denial yet still remain politically competitive. And the Democratic partisans sneer at the Republicans’ stupidity as if they are winning. The Democrats are not winning. They are losing in a particularly embarrassing manner.

              2. hunkerdown

                Aw heck. Missed the “ostensible” when I’d read it. Sorry, sorry.

                I get the sense that Sanders or Trump in the general isn’t a problem for them; the Establishment candidate would be coronated by any means necessary. What I suspect is giving Them hives, based upon the clumsy efforts at a two-front reality-manufacturing war in the corporate media, is the possibility of both Sanders and Trump essentially Occupying the two reserved parking spaces and leaving no friendly to throw the election to. Hillary in the general is totally acceptable to a GOP who, to a man, poll unfavorably against Sanders.

                1. Brooklin Bridge

                  the possibility of both Sanders and Trump essentially Occupying the two reserved parking spaces

                  Exactly, and this is giving both parties hives, and probably shingles as well. They ARE scared which is why the MSM can no longer even pretend to look critical of Hillary or any of the corrupt episodes she hauls around behind her clanging like a dumpster full of tin cans while the MSM coos, “She’s put everyone’s fears to rest.” Hahahahaha. It is funny.

    2. nippersdad

      There is something to be said about his playing in someone else’s sandbox, though. He needed to gain a following, develop a profile, before he could push her buttons otherwise he would have had the entire Party establishment calling him out as a crank. Now he has that, so it is unsurprising that he would be getting more aggressive.

      As for Benghazi, I think everyone is just relieved that she did not fall on her face. That, however, really doesn’t do much for her campaign wrt anyone but the true believers, and one fifteenth of the electorate does not a winning campaign make.

      1. Ditto

        There seems to be disconnect between the Democratic base’s view of Clinton and the general public.

        She was down -18 compared to Sanders net positive of 17 with indepebdentts. So it’s not just the GOP voters.

        However, while your point is valid as to the public at large, the primary is Democratic,

        He needs to contrast with those voters who are pre disposed to accept clinton to win the primary rather than simply intro himself to the public

        1. hunkerdown

          You speak of this “primary” as if it were some sort of binding directive that the Party, being a private corporation, can’t fudge or just flat out ignore.

          1. Vatch

            Good point. If the primaries are close, the nomination will be decided by the super delegates. Those of us who are likely to be dissatisfied by the choice of the establishment super delegates need to spend time and effort encouraging our friends and family to vote for whoever is the most viable anti-establishment candidate.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I saw a bit of Trump on CNN (I love only the trashiest if reality shows), and he’s going after Hillary in Iraq.

      Hillary’s record will take care of itself, but much like the Obot play book, Hillary supporters will try to paint criticism from men as sexism.

      Her appearance at the Benghazi committee wowed the elite punditry still under the illusion that Republicans aren’t insane. It will be forgotten by Monday.

    4. ljge

      The other thing you have to remember is the until late August/early September, HRC and Sanders had very different policy positions — the extent of the differences were such that Sanders simply stating his policies was sufficient to draw the distinction. But once Hillary coopted many of Sanders policy positions (albeit with weakened versions of those stances that allowed for another pivot when the timing required), that put Sanders in an awkward position. HRC was not going to comment on Keystone in deference to Obama, then she says no to it because we cannot wait. HRC said she would not comment on TPP until the text was released, and then suddenly she said that “at this time” it does not meet my standards (regardless of the fact that the text still has not been released).

      He has a fine line to walk, wherein he needs to draw key policy distinctions without attacking her personally. Already, if you see the usual suspect websites (like DailyKos), HRC supporters are saying Sanders is desperate and going negative and that he has backtracked on his promise to run only on the issues. It is amazing that discussing real issues and policy differences is perceived as an attack. Even HRC has been dishonestly accusing Sanders of attacking HRC for being a women because of his comments about how there is too much “shouting” about guns.

      1. Ditto

        His fight is not over policy

        It’s over leadership and trust

        If he thinks it’s about policy, he will lose

        1. wbgonne

          Interesting. I’d say it’s both policy and leadership/trust. Some Democratic primary voters don’t want Clinton because of her policy stances. Some because they view her as unpricipled and untrustworthy. For some others, it’s a combination of the two. To win, Sanders needs all the people already in those groups and, more importantly, he must add significantly to the total number. The good news tactically for Sanders is that, not only are these efforts not antagonistic, they are synergistic. When Sanders begins hammering Clinton for her neoliberalism and her opportunism he can grow his pool of potential voters considerably. That, however, will require a far more aggressive approach than he has demonstrated so far. Incredibly, I’d say that it is Clinton who has been more aggressive, even if it is passive-aggression (intimations that Sanders is sexist, racist, communist). Sanders’ approach to date is not, IMO, how a challenger facing steep odds in a quasi-rigged contest wins. And as I have already noted, I think time is not on Sanders’s side.

          1. Ditto

            You must convince people to about leadership and trust before they will listen to policy.

            It’s one of those hard won life lessons for me

    5. wbgonne

      Re: Sanders contrasting his record with Clinton. He should have been doing that since mid August or early September.

      Agreed. I just listened to Sanders’ entire Iowa speech and, as usual, he is superb on domestic issues. However, not once did he mention Hillary Clinton by name. Yes, Sanders obliquely criticized Clinton on policy but the contrast he is drawing, even now, is far too subtle and indirect. Sanders is a longshot challenger not the prohibitive favorite. He must be far more direct and aggressive. Sanders’ speech seemd largely aimed at skewering the GOP, as if he is already in the general election. He is not and, IMO, he won’t get there unless he takes the gloves off pronto. For god’s sake, he has the substantive material, he knows how to attack Clinton on policy, so just do it already. Play to win, not for a gentlemanly second.

      1. montanamaven

        Sanders should study President Putin’s speech before the UN. He took the US kid to the woodshed without mentioning the Empire by name. On the Middle East and Libya:

        I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done?”

      2. Jeff W

        However, not once did he mention Hillary Clinton by name. Yes, Sanders obliquely criticized Clinton on policy but the contrast he is drawing, even now, is far too subtle and indirect.…For god’s sake, he has the substantive material, he knows how to attack Clinton on policy, so just do it already.

        My impression is that Sanders’ calculation, given the “schoolyard” mentality of the media, is that, once you’ve named the opponent, you’re into “personal attacks” and running a “negative campaign”; if you refer to your opponent obliquely and criticize policy, you haven’t. (It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but that still might be the thought process.)

        I think there are actually some good communications reasons for a more indirect approach: if you make an oblique reference and your audience draws the conclusion, it’s actually better than if you draw the conclusion for the audience. If Sanders says, as he did about his 2003 Iraq War vote, “I came to that fork in the road. I took the right road even though it was not popular at the time,” anything he says about Clinton would not be as effective as the conclusions the listeners themselves can draw. And if the audience draws the conclusions, that, well, Clinton makes bad choices or does only what is politically expedient, that is not Sanders’ doing—“all he did” was point out what he did at the time—and yet the issues of how and what Clinton did are hanging in the air. (I think implicature as a political technique is very underestimated, if not completely overlooked.)

        That doesn’t mean that he can never point to what Clinton did explicitly, it just means that there are good reasons to be oblique. (You might not think those are good enough reasons, though.)

      3. Jeff W

        And, just to add: if you look at the headlines, it’s unmistakably clear who Sanders was attacking:

        Bernie Sanders Points To Clinton’s Shifts On Issues In Iowa Speech (HuffPo)

        At Iowa dinner Sanders slams Clinton, but her organization dominates (CBS News)

        Bernie Sanders Has Finally Begun Challenging Hillary Clinton’s Record (New York Magazine)

        At Iowa Democrats’ Dinner, Bernie Sanders Contrasts His Record With Clinton’s (Newsweek)

        Bernie Sanders sharply called out Hillary Clinton in Iowa (The Week)

        There are ways to “slam” or “sharply call out” an opponent and indirect attacks can be just as effective—or even more effective—than direct ones, with far less risk of backlash.

        If Sanders says, in effect, “I made the right decisions at the right time, whether they were political popular or not,” that doesn’t mean that the message his audience is supposed to get—about Clinton—isn’t crystal clear—it is. And yet Sanders, by design, has made no explicit statement about Clinton that can be scrutinized and criticized—and the statement he did make is (arguably) true.

        It’s a lot more difficult to attack the speaker with messages conveyed in that way (i.e., by implicature) than it is with explicit statements. That’s because (1) it’s very difficult to unravel the assumptions that are conveyed implicitly along with the statements and (2) those assumptions are ones that the listener makes (even though the speaker can’t, in fairness, disclaim responsibility for them—that’s why he’s making the statements).

        1. wbgonne

          Yes, I saw those headlines. I even saw the one from Dan Balz at WaPo saying Sanders was now running a “negative campaign.” I find those headlines very curious, as if the media is now protecting Clinton after “proving” its independence by giving her a hard time up to the Benghazi Show. In any event, I agree with your basic point that one can attack withour names. I also agree that Sanders is beginning to get more aggressive.

          1. Jeff W

            “Protecting” Clinton didn’t occur to me at all—it seemed to me like the press was just taking the obvious meaning of what Sanders was doing.

            I guess the other thing that occurs to me now is—it’s actually difficult for Clinton to attack Sanders on policy. He can easily point to programs in other countries that work and her only available response is “Well, we’re not like them!” which is kind of incoherent—his ever-ready retort is “Why not?” (Sanders is not willing to kowtow to “because American exceptionalism.”) If Clinton points to the cost, she’s, in effect, aligning herself with the 1% (i.e., we can’t tax them). Sanders’ voting record—on Iraq, Keystone, TPP—is simple and clear; he just voted the right way. But if he doesn’t attack her by name, she can’t attack him that way either, without appearing petty and small. So, in a sense, his strategy boxes her in; it sorts of preempts her, disarms her.

            In any event, I agree with your basic point that one can attack withour names. I also agree that Sanders is beginning to get more aggressive.

            Yeah, I really understand that it’s satisfying if Sanders really lands a (rhetorical) punch, naming names, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t some underlying strategy to doing what he’s doing. (If I were advising him on communications—not that I am big communications expert—I’d be telling him to do just what he’s doing.)

            I have a theory that, given the completely trivial way in which US politics is covered, avoiding missteps, which then characterize the candidate for the rest of the campaign (e.g., Michael Dukakis riding around in a tank; Kerry’s “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it”)—i.e., a really “defensive” campaign strategy—is maybe even more important and effective than attacking your opponent. President Obama’s seemingly “flawless” 2008 campaign was really just him avoiding flubs—I’d be willing to say that just about the only one was his “clinging to guns” comment. It sort of sucked the oxygen out of the room—the media (and his opponent) couldn’t play “Gotcha.”

            My impression is that Sanders is very deft at avoiding those types of missteps. (He’s been treading successfully in what should be the “minefield” of US politics—socialism! (as he calls it)—for decades.) I think the “no-names” thing—which I’d say is very conscious—is part of that. (Bottom line: no reason to panic—yet! ;) ).

            1. wbgonne

              “Protecting” Clinton didn’t occur to me at all—it seemed to me like the press was just taking the obvious meaning of what Sanders was doing.

              It occurred to me. Perhaps I am jaded by my observations at Daily Kos where the Clintonistas have for months used Sanders’ vow not to run a “negative campaign” as a sword to attack whenever there is criticism of Clinton. On this point, I note something odd:

              Yesterday, Dan Balz had an article regarding the Iowa speeches which Balz entitled something to the effect, “It Sure Look Like Sanders Is Running A Negative Campaign.” I am paraphrasing the title because it is gone and has been replaced. The new title for the article is:

              “Bernie Sanders draws a sharp contrast with Clinton: conviction vs. expediency”


              Now that is more along the lines of what you suggest, that the press is simply reporting what is happening. That’s fine. But the fact that WaPo’s chief political correspondent first used the “no negative campaign” as a bludgeon only to amend the article suggests something is afoot. And let me be blunt: I have no doubt that the corporate media wants Hillary Clinton not Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee.

              As for Sanders’ gentlemanly approach, if it works it’s great and if it fails it is a mistake. The proof is in the pudding. For months, Sanders continued to rise in the polls, building significant leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he absolutely must win. So his strategy up until then was working. Recently, however, Sanders has stalled in the polls and in fact declined in those crucial first states. Using the same measure, Sanders’ strategy is now failing.

              Perhaps this is a temporary glitch and Sanders will resume his rise. Personally, I think he must be far more aggressive. But I’ll sit back and watch for a while.

              1. Jeff W

                I get what you’re saying. I’m sure also that the corporate media would way prefer Clinton over Sanders.

                I honestly don’t have any idea what the media or Sanders or anyone means by “a negative campaign”—is it contrasting your opponent’s positions with your own? is it doing so dishonestly? is it personal attacks? I have no idea and the media probably doesn’t either. But, again, given their sort of infantile approach to politics, I think they’re more than willing to construe something—maybe anything—as a fight, hence the term “negative,” than not. That doesn’t mean they won’t favor Clinton over Sanders in calling what he does “negative”—it just means I tend not to draw a lot of conclusions from it. (I’m not reading Daily Kos so maybe I am less attuned to what that means than you are.)

                Sanders is, at least from the headlines, being more aggressive than before. I won’t argue against him being far more aggressive, as you’d like him to be.

                I think, as you say, the proof is in the pudding. But it’s still early days—right around this time in 2007, Clinton’s lead over Obama had expanded to nearly 30 points (50% vs. 21%), according to the Gallup poll at the time. We know how that turned out.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Foolish to model Nature’s complexity with equations?

    Nature is Nature.

    We can fool ourselves by thinking we can simplify it, leaving out the stuff we don’t know (sometimes, or maybe often times, the complex part, unfortunately). And Galileo was the one who brought mathematical equations.

    So, the question really is, is it foolish to model Nature with equations?

    1. optimader

      I shop by temperature. room temp first frozen last. ( practical thermodynamics: use stuff shrink wrapped on foam trays to your advantage, flip them over foam side up on the coldest things in the cart).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s a good idea.

        Stack your food like a Roman phalanx, with the foam-shields on the outside..

      2. low_integer

        This could be the first installment in a series called ‘optimader’s optimizations’. I’m guessing you’ve got a few more up your sleeve.

  10. griffen

    NY Times column on that elusive purple* unicorn, making or keeping healthy choices in one’s diet. Maybe food manufacturers could stop putting crack in the things I really love to eat.

    Don’t mess with beer though. Tis proof we should be happy.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    51 percent of all American workers make less than $30K a year.

    It’s a miracle that many even have $1000 saved.

    Another perspective: 51% of all American jobs pay less than $30K a year.

    (Somewhat static analysis, but not off by much, I believe): More education by American workers does little to change the fact that 51% of all American jobs pay less than $30K a year.

    In fact, it’s more likely as Neoliberalism intensifies and spreads wider and deeper into the country, that percentage of ‘$30K/yr or less’ jobs will go higher than 51%.

    More (this will get you a job, but necessarily enlightenment) education is just any man and woman for himself and herself, as that percentage ascends.

  12. optimader

    re: Spike Lee Sounds Off on Chi-Raq, Gun Violence, and Rahm Chicago (furzy mouse)

    A point of clarification. Is that the same Spike Lee who made navy enlistment commercials when economic conditions were resulting in recruitment goal deficits amongst the 17-21yo blacks? See the world! bomb some of it!
    Navy Recruitment Command spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Karen Jeffries said recruitment last year fell 7,000 short of the goal, though it has since rebounded.

    “Spike may attract a younger audience than our previous commercials did. Perhaps Spike can give us a different edge. I know he has a different look and feel.

    “It’s faster paced, different camera angles. He gets what we’re trying to sell.”
    The 30-second spots zero in on:

    *Sailors in a rock band.

    *The “hard-core” Navy SEALs.

    *A homecoming celebration for a returning sailor.

    *Exotic travel opportunities.

    *Life after the Navy.

    …”The commercials will be shown on TV during NBA and NFL games; on the cable stations MTV, BET, ESPN and Comedy Central; and on youth-oriented primetime shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

    Yeah, I think it’s the same guy. exotic travel opportunities!, that was my favorite.

    Black on Black violence by Chicago gangs is a way overdue story to be told, maybe just not by an opportunist from Brooklyn wearing “blazing-orange Air Jordans” (come on…really?), we’ll see.

    1. Chris in Paris

      I’m fair-skinned so I say this with trepidation but I never felt Spike Lee represented anyone but himself and his own wishes. Kind of typical opportunist of the “misleadership class” as some people say. He’s made some pretty great movies though.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Britain’s Tony the Spiv masters the art of the Hillary non-apology (Daily Mail article):

    [Blair] replied: ‘You know whenever I’m asked this I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence I received was wrong.

    ‘Because even though he had used chemical weapons extensively against his own people against others, the programme in the form we thought it was did not exist in the way that we thought. So I can apologise for that.

    ‘I can also apologise, by the way, for some of the mistakes in planning and certainly our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you had removed the regime.

    ‘But I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam. I think even from today 2015 it’s better that he is not there than he is there.’

    ‘Apologizing’ because ‘the intelligence was wrong’ is to sidestep responsibility by blaming staff. Didn’t work in the Nuremberg trials, did it Tony. Those in command are responsible, full stop.

    As for removing Saddam Hussein, Blair still don’t get it. I happen to think it would better that Blair is not here than here. However, that notion would not serve as a defense in a lynching trial (tempting as it would be to give it a go anyway).

    1. John Zelnicker

      “[Blair] replied: ‘You know whenever I’m asked this I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence I received was wrong.”

      Apologizing for a fact seems to be a rather unique way to avoid agency and responsibility.

      “I’m sorry the facts are the facts, but I had nothing to do with that.”

    2. susan the other

      Tony Blair can lie till he dies if they don’t ask him the hard questions. The UK needs to drag him into court and put him on trial for treason.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        The UK, hell, we need Nuremberg like trials for the lot of them; Bush, Obama, Blair, etc.

      2. hunkerdown

        Most of the UK government needs to be dragged into court themselves. When Her Majesty or the ICC hangs, draws and quarters all the rapists in her government, she might not have one left.

    3. JustAnObserver

      All Blair’s doing here is to get his excuses/spin/finger-pointing in before the publication of the – very long delayed – Chilcot report.

  14. Left in Wisconsin

    Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year Washington’s Blog

    This is an amazing headline but I don’t know if it’s really the best reading of the data. Almost 15% of earners were at $5K or below, 23% were 10K and under, 30% were 15K and under. Those in this 30% who are really trying to support themselves entirely or primarily on their own earnings have to be in desperate shape, but I don’t think this data can be broken out that way. And without knowing how many of these are secondary earners, it is subject to the (undoubtedly false) charge that all of them are.

    Whereas to me, even if you accept that a significant portion of that 30% are secondary family earners, what is eye-opening is that 80% of all earners were below 65K. And you have to accept that a significant portion of the 20% above 65K ARE MARRIED TO EACH OTHER.

    Which, to me, is an elegant description of society and our politics. There is the 1%, there is the class that administrates the machinery that runs the system (roughly those over 65K), and there is everyone else. And it is now becomingly increasingly evident even to many of those “machine operators” how it all works, and that the 1% don’t really respect them and will only be too happy to degrade their existence/dignity if preserving it in any way impinges on their 1%-ness. (After all, TINA.)

    But, if you are a machine operator, what you conclude from that is that it is more important than ever to use every advantage you can muster to improve the odds of your children being selected for one of those increasingly rare machine operator jobs. Which is why we all move to the same neighborhoods and send our kids to the same schools. We are all now like those archetypal construction/firefighter/etc unions where one of the perks of the job was a spot for your kid at the entry level. Segregating by community.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We need a new class – one that is below the lower-class.

      That’s where those who fall out of the lower class go, the same way those who fall out of the middle class go to the lower class (if not one class lower than that).

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Over, they are a bit lazy and don’t work hard enough to make more money for the rich class.

      1. polecat

        perhaps “pleeblanders” ………a term Margaret Atwood coined to describe the disenfranchised suburbanites in her book ‘oryx & crake’ ???

    2. sd

      I was disappointed to see Barry Ritholtz Washington Post piece today equating desperation (buying lottery tickets) with laziness. He assumes everyone has access to a job to begin with.

      Anecdotal but not unique. We have a friend who has struggled for the last 6 years to hang onto a job. Over and over again she has landed a decent job only to see the company go bankrupt. In one case, she called me from her lunch, “oh my god, my employer is going bankrupt and they don’t even know it yet. I’ve now seen this so often I know the signs before my employers do!” She quickly landed another job and later learned the employer was toast within a year. Her savings are minimal. She builds it up a bit only to see it knocked down when she has to change jobs again.

      Anyway, I’m sorry to see Barry has turned into an *hole.

      1. edmondo

        Anyway, I’m sorry to see Barry has turned into an *hole.

        I’m pretty sure that happened a while ago. Nice of you to notice though

      2. skippy

        What happens to the investor breed when the diminishing middle class velocity multiplier goes poof – ????

        Skippy…. like black jack with only the dealer, a card counter and an algo….

        1. JTMcPhee

          …unlike the mope dealers in Vegas and all those “native American” casinos, the dealer in that example has likely got a huge stash of skimmings converted into real-world assets that one can live very, even grotesquely, comfortably on — again, getting to live out his rotten smarmy destructive life free of consequences or retribution, with nice nurses to keep them clean and comfy…

          1. skippy

            Actually many croupiers pinch a bit here or there and can be a small nest egg after some time, just don’t get greedy.

            Skippy…. sort of a trade off with the house for keeping mum about other things, again don’t get greedy or caught and it all good….

      3. alex morfesis

        sd…sorry but…not sure why trying to adjust people out of their fetal position and love of the bernaze sause by laying out what a waste short cuts almost always are…
        how does that equate into being an arse ??

        most successful people grind it out and do the little things well…and those who succeed are those who will reduce their expenses down to almost nothing during times of “adjustment”…I am in one of my reduce reduce reduce modes in my life…I put my money on the wrong ponies this year and the human capital I invested is for the most part, not going to make its way back into my inbox…reduce, readjust, reconquer…for the most part…I have made my money to pay my bills from restructuring consultations, legal support work, business development (mostly tightening up sales presentations)…and buying real estate a few months ahead of the wave of progress…sometimes one too many months ahead of the wave of progress…one of the criteria when I go somewhere new to look at real estate is the glow of the blue lights and the front of the home windows…if I see blue lights in most of the neighborhood at 10 pm…not too much hope…if I see them again at 330 am…then almost no hope at all…the blue lights being what reflects off the walls of a tv when the lights are shut off…poorer (vs broke) folks tend to watch TV too much, for too long, and without the lights on…as to open front windows….it is a sign of a neighborhood/community comfortable in itself…drawn up curtains or blinds so that no one can see your ceiling…not a good sign for the neighborhood…

        there are many who choose to walk in the snow barefoot and then wonder why they catch a cold…the internet is a place to learn and grow…I, many times, like my down shifting as it allows me to force myself to not chase my tail and instead tighten up my skills in areas I have let slip through the cracks or never quite harnessed…but in many areas of the country and in many families in need…there is a running away from the needs and issues at hand…the internet becomes a place for finding neutertainment not actionable knowledge…but work is required for success…how pointing out that obvious fact makes the ritzer an arse…then it makes me a triple arse…

    3. 3.17e-9

      Another way of looking at it:

      According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income for a household of four in 2014 (latest data) was $53.6K, down from $54.4K in 2013. The federal poverty level for a family of four in the 48 contiguous states is $24K. Doesn’t matter whether you live in NYC or Beattyville, KY. The absurdity of that number has prompted studies breaking down by area the income necessary to support a family of four – just the basics, no wide-screen TV or a night out at Pizza Hut. The most comprehensive that I know of was conducted by the Economic Policy Institute. There’s another at The University of Washington, which devised the “self-sufficiency” standard as an alternative to federal poverty guidelines. The calculator is more detailed than EPI’s, but limited to certain areas.

      According EPI, the lowest basic budget for a family of four in the U.S. is $49K, somewhere in rural Tennessee, and the highest is $106K, in Washington, D.C. The median for the 618 areas in their survey is 63.7K, in Des Moines. A single person in Des Moines can get by on $26K (the Census Bureau poverty level for a single person is $11.7K).

      What does this tell us about the number of U.S. households that aren’t able to make ends meet? And how many can’t make ends meet and yet don’t qualify for assistance? This partially explains the mean-spirited comments on news sites about welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, and other programs to help the very poor.

      The part that can’t be explained is why they are looking down and not up. OWS tried to change that, and now Bernie Sanders is campaigning on it. Hopefully, enough people will get it by November 2016.

      P.S. 3.17e-9 is “one of the 99 percent,” using current U.S. population data.

      1. low_integer

        It has been reported that the diffusion coefficient for dilute aniline in acetone using a Taylor Dispersion method is 3.17e-9 m^2/s^15

        Is this what your alias refers to? Been meaning to ask for a while.

        1. 3.14e-9

          Funny. But no, the math is much simpler.

          U.S. population is 318.9 million (2014 figures, but if I used real time data I’d have to change my alias every time I posted). 99% is 315,711,000. To get “one of the 99 percent,” divide that number into 1. The result is 3.167[12 more numbers]e-9, so I just rounded up to 3.17. Actually, though, I should have rounded down; the higher the population goes, the lower my percentage of the 99 percent becomes. I just checked and I’m now down to 3.14e-9. ;-)

          1. low_integer

            …and I see now that you gave the answer to my question at the end of your preceding post. Oops.

      2. 3.14e-9

        P.S. I was just researching something else and stumbled on an article about Hill&Bill’s $50K/week summer vacation rental. This has got to be up there with Poppy Bush’s “Are you suggesting that if somebody has means that the national debt doesn’t affect them?”

        Next question: Can you spell O-L-I-G-A-W-K-Y?

  15. low_integer

    Really enjoyed the Cynthia McKinney interview at/by the Saker.

    “What I have learned is that they are fallible; it is possible for the people who represent good in the world to win. And win, we must.”

    1. prostratedragon

      Thanks for the Doc Watson. Picture and description reminded me of “Muskrat Ramble,” variously done to perfection by Armstrong, Bechet, Ory, … and Lawrence Welk?!

  16. DJG

    Bisquick in Silicon Valley: Ten on-site pancake bars. Wowsers. See what happens when you don’t hire Carly Fiorina?

  17. polecat

    regarding lower class: Margaret Atwood, in her dystopic novel (oryx & crake) had it right……..”pleeblanders”

  18. mark

    re Pakistan nuclear weapons, I found this book very interesting:

    Fallout: The True Story of the CIA’s Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking Paperback – October 18, 2014
    by Catherine Collins (Author), Douglas Frantz (Author)

    Publishers Weekly

    “Investigative journalists Collins and Frantz, who documented how rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan created a nuclear black market in 2007’s The Nuclear Jihadist, return to the subject in this sobering, true-life part spy story, part cautionary tale. The authors focus this time on the CIA’s participation ina massive cover-up to prevent public disclosure of its passive role in Khan’s proliferation activities. For years the CIA had Khan under constant surveillance, but instead of moving to shut down his nuclear bazaar, the CIA and policymakers watched and discussed how and when to act. Collins and Frantz conclude that the CIA was addicted to information, not action.”

  19. rich

    Sunday, October 25, 2015
    Valeant and its captive pharmacies: some questions

    Some Questions for State Attorneys General and Boards of Pharmacy

    Is a pharmaceutical manufacturer allowed to own or effectively control a pharmacy in your home state?
    If a third party obtains effective control over a pharmacy licensed in your state, is a new registration filing required?
    If a pharmacy owner sells all or a portion of its economic interest in a pharmacy in your state, is it required to update its registration?

  20. OIFVet

    Refugees will change Europe for the better. Throw in unicorns and Europe will be one happy and prosperous multikulti society. Provided, of course, that the numerous coulds, shoulds, and assumptions in the article all pan out. It’s getting annoying to wade through the emotionally manipulative articles, and the attempts to manufacture consent through wishful thinking straight out of the neolibcon playbook is giving me unpleasant flashbacks. Frankly I don’t see integration happening, but I do see plenty of conflict ahead. Europe is in for a rough ride, that’s for sure.

  21. allan

    Eurosceptics claim victory in landmark Poland election

    Poland’s eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS) claimed victory on Sunday in a watershed election that risks putting the ex-communist state on a collision course with key European Union allies. …
    If the exit poll is correct, the victory by PiS would be the biggest in terms of seats by a single party since Poland held free elections after shedding communism in 1989 — marking a decisive swing to its brand of social conservativism mixed with left-leaning economics in the country of 38 million people. …
    But pockets of poverty and economic stagnation remain, and PiS was able to exploit growing frustration in some areas that the spoils of economic success are not more evenly shared….
    Kaczynski, a long-time fan of Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Orban, has said Muslim migrants threaten Poland’s Catholic way of life. Earlier this month he was accused by some media in Poland of fanning racism when he said they would bring new diseases and parasites to Poland.

    If the point of austerity was to prolong economic stagnation and strengthen the far right, it’s working.

    1. IsabelPS

      She had to edit (heavily, I think) her first version of the article (including the title, that caused a lot of outrage) because she jumped on Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s bandwagon in the Telegraph about the Portuguese elections without knowing much about how it worked (the powers of the President, how governments were formed, etc). She got a lot of flack for it, on twitter and her blog. She is defending herself saying that the article is about the EZ, not Portugal, but I still think that she missed a good opportunity to be quiet, as we say in Portuguese.

      1. Emma

        And so many chose to miss opportunities to actually helps others out by lending a constructive hand/advice in a pleasant, straightforward fashion. Regarding this article, I must have simply read her revised contribution which I find valuable in terms of studying the situation. Ultimately Coppola raises a valid concern about the direction the EU would appear to be taking. It’s an important matter, duly deserving of our attention, along with an exchange of ideas & potential solutions.

        1. lambert strether

          I’ve always found Isabel’s comments pleasant and straightforward. To whom is your implied complaint directed?

        2. IsabelPS

          I didn’t like her article, and many others didn’t, obviously, because she had to spend the day defending it, apparently. I appreciate that she raises a valid concern about the direction the EU would appear to be taking, but going over the top and comparing the EU to the Soviet Union (one using tanks to crush Hungarians, the other using banks to crush the Greeks and now the Portuguese) and comparing a perfectly normal political mess that is still in its first stages and will have many twists and turns in its overly dynamic constitutional evolution to the shots of Sarajevo doesn’t help (I know that many articles in NC are, in my opinion, over the top, too, but I don’t like them, either).

          As far as I understood what she says it was her point, it was the fact that the Portuguese President invoked the EU treaties, the Budgetary Pact, the markets etc to say he would not do this and that (the this and that she misunderstood a lot, in my opinion) that was a threat to democracy: “the breaking of the Syriza government has ended overt opposition to the dominance of Brussels. No-one dare oppose the European institutions.”.But she made her point very badly, in my opinion. As the French say “ce qui se pense bien s’énonce clairement”.

          Of course, she is right in assuming that the Greek drama played a role in the Portuguese elections, as it will certainly play in the Spanish ones. But that is a “duh!” sort of thing. Where she goes wrong is in assuming that it weighs only in the minds of the puppet-powers-to-be. She, and AEP, and all the (British) euroskeptics from right and left that quote him, assume that the Portuguese voters chose to go Greek and are undemocratically prevented to go that way. But that is far from obvious to our own Portuguese eyes, and we will know more about that in the coming episodes.

          BTW, I will never get used to the way left and right join forces, quoting each other ad nauseam, when it comes to fight a common enemy (in this case, the euro). This is an interesting take on that:

          The enemies of my enemies are my friends. But that doesn’t help clear thinking.

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