Links 10/3/15

Report: Increase In Gun Sales To Be Most Concrete Result Of Obama’s Pro-Gun-Control Speech Onion (David L)

Apple Blows Up The Concept Of A Privacy Policy TechCrunch (Chuck L)

The Difference Between Makers and Manufacturers MIT Technology Review

Danish travel company asks would-be grandparents to buy their children sexy holidays Independent (Chuck L)

Canada election: New Democratic party could finish third despite prior lead Guardian

Grexit?

Greece likely to meet deadline for bank money release: euro zone officials Reuters

Schäuble to Varoufakis: ‘The program is designed to fail!’ Failed evolution

Syraqistan

With One Bombing Run Russia Gets the US to Acknowledge CIA’s “Covert” Regime Change Forces Marcy Wheeler (OIFVet)

Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars Counterpunch

Obama: Russia strikes ‘strengthen IS’ BBC

Obama warns Putin of ‘quagmire’ in Syria Reuters

Nasser and Me Counterpunch. Chuck L: “Perhaps the main reason I surf to Counterpunch regularly is to make sure I don’t miss the latest Uri Avnery piece. He’s a fundamentally wise and decent man who was a personal witness to much of the history of the Middle East since World War II. This piece recaps his path-crossings with Gamal Abd al Nasser and rues what might have been but which died with the sudden death of Nasser forty five years ago this week.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US state police cars hacked Naked Security (Glenn F)

2016

How Reddit users helped Bernie Sanders close in on Hillary Clinton Daily Dot

Some Hillary Clinton Donors Defect to Movement to Draft Joe Biden Wall Street Journal

Republicans Don’t Like Donald Trump As Much As They Used To FiveThirtyEight (furzy mouse)

How Steve Jobs Fleeced Carly Fiorina BackChannel

Contrasting Partisan Perspectives on Campaign 2016 Pew Research. @rebeccagberg: “Bad news for Jeb!: New Pew poll has him at 4 percent nationally.”

As McCarthy Stumbles, the Race for House Speaker Gets a Jolt Fiscal Times

Police State Watch

Loretta Lynch: government shouldn’t require reports of people killed by police Guardian

Dept Says Cop Followed Procedure When He Mistook a 70-Yo Man’s Stroke for DUI and Beat Him Free Thought Project

Gunz

Gun control by state: Tougher laws mean fewer deaths Slate

The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Do Democrats Give a Crap About Public Schools? LA Progressive

Glencore

Glasenberg faces battle to rescue spiralling Glencore Financial Times

Singapore, Mitsui Said Interested in Glencore Agriculture Sale Bloomberg

Oil bust saps U.S. students’ enthusiasm for petroleum degrees Reuters (EM)

EPA extends VW diesel emissions probe to other brands in US Financial Times

US swap dealers return to negative quotes Financial Times

The U.S. Still Needs 2.7 Million Jobs Bloomberg

Gulf Widens Between Fed Forecasts and Signal From Futures Market Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Factory Orders Hit the Skids, Last Month Revised Lower, Shipments Down 4th Time in 5 Months Michael Shedlock

Grim Jobs Report Is Likely to Delay a Move by the Fed on Rates New York Times

Buying a Home Is About to Change Forever credit.com (furzy mouse)

Class Warfare

Paying CEOs fat bonuses for stock performance doesn’t work — Cornell study Yahoo. Furzy mouse also sent a link to the study proper.

The Hypocrisy of ‘Helping’ the Poor New York Times (resilc). Important.

Antidote du jour:

pretty armadillo

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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139 comments

  1. craazyman

    any update on the 1500 pound cow that somehow eluded capture by “running for several miles” down country roads then bolting into the woods?

    that’s incredible. didn’t anybody consider following it in a vehicle or did they try to chase it on foot? it sounded like they tried to chase it on foot and tackle it. that would be hard.

    at any rate, the news of the world is grim. but maybe there’s good news pending regarding the cow. evidently some agricultural genius, probably from the local 4H Club, put a feeder by the side of the road with a trap door that freezes the cow’s head in place. Well let’s see. One cow and a feeder in 200 square miles of woods and farms. That sounds like a 10 bagger, but you can always try and hope for the best.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think the story of the lost sheep is surprisingly relevant. Finding a lost sheep isn’t supposed to be easy. Wouldn’t one need a rider who can rope a cow anyway? If they aren’t going to shoot it with bullets or tranquilizers. How many people can handle and rope a cow over potential unknown/rough terrain?

      1. craazyman

        Maybe they need Bear Grillis the dude on TV who roams around in the wild eating bugs and wrestling wild animals.

        I saw him on TV a few years ago and was riveted by fascination.

        I bet he could catch and maybe even wrestle it to the ground. I bet he’d wait till it was asleep and then tip it over. The feed trap is an amateur prop. An expert can do it barehanded.

        1. craazyboy

          I don’t know why they don’t just send a bull out after the cow. Even if the cow does have a sports bra enabling her to jog around the countryside evading slow humans, she may change her mind if a bull is after her. Probably would, if it’s been a few weeks!

          1. craazyman

            that’s outside the box thinking! but if the cow’s a real cow the bull may need some beer googles, that might slow him down.

      2. optimader

        You recruit a Gen-Whatever Goth kid at the Mall Body Piercing kioskl, walk up to the cow, pierce it’s nose, attach a rope and walk it home.

  2. abynormal

    re: the Hypocrisy of Helping the Poor…”To me, globalization is the search for a new plantation, and cheaper labor; globalization means that, by outsourcing, it is possible to impoverish an American community to the point where it is indistinguishable from a hard-up town in the dusty heartland of a third world country.”

    but yesterday the Atlanta Fed had this to say:
    The decrease in labor force participation among prime-age individuals has been driven mostly by the share who say they currently don’t want a job. As of December 2014, prime-age labor force participation was 2.4 percentage points below its pre-recession average. Of that, 0.5 percentage point is accounted for by a higher share who indicate they currently want a job; 2 percentage points can be attributed to a higher share who say they currently don’t want a job.

    “Ale: Are you manipulating me again?
    T.C.: Try not to fall for it. I dare you.”
    Steve Kluger

    1. diptherio

      “If you have come here to help me, then you are wasting your time…But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” (Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s.)

      You gotta love the capitalist philanthropists: first they pat themselves on the back for making all that money, then they pay themselves on the back for giving some of it back to the people they took it from to begin with (well, not directly back, of course, but through some charitable foundation with well-paid staff, natch).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have come across a few ambitious youths who said to me, ‘I want to get rich so I can help others.’

        “Just not now. But wait till I am rich.”

        1. craazyman

          “Lord make me chaste, but not yet!”
          -St. Augustine

          There’s a logic in that. If you wait and get the 10-bagger first, you can be so much more effective when you help people.

          If you try to help people first, and then have hard time making rent money on the day job, then whoa! you could be so stressed out rather than helping people you end up messing people up! You want all sorts of shlt ffrom them and get pissed when you don’t get it, then you get depressed and angry and then your a sourpuss and your face is a twisted sculpture of hate and bile. Then you say Fuk It, if somebody want something from me and I have it, I’m gonna fuk with them then run um over. All cause you tried to help people before you got rich.

          Where’s that 10 bagger? But most people, when they get it, they don’t stop. That the problem.

          1. anon de plume

            The generous man will be prosperous,
            And he who waters will himself be watered.

            Otoh:

            Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

            Contradiction? Or channel markers for a safe passage?

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Or how about Matthew 25:15:
            “And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one…and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common. Neither was there any among them that lacked; and great grace was upon them all.”

        2. trinity river

          “Just not now. But wait till I am rich.”
          .
          That seemed to be the lesson Lewis Lapham was teaching Yale graduates in the film, “The American Ruling Class.”

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China has been enriched by American-supplied jobs,

      More precisely, China’s elites have been enriched by such jobs.

      ‘My country’s richest man is richer than your country’s richest man! We are number one!!!!’

      It’s easy to whip you and me, or at least readers of business magazines, into a competitive frenzy like that.

  3. jgordon

    With One Bombing Run Russia Gets the US to Acknowledge CIA’s “Covert” Regime Change Forces

    If there is one sure sign about just how close the US empire is to falling apart, it’s how boneheadedly stupid it’s been acting in Syria. The level of sheer dumbness is far beyond moronic. The worst thing is that the US “strategic” planners who got America into this mess probably still imagine themselves to be foreign policy geniuses who were unfairly outfoxed by an even more impressive genius (using underhanded means of course).

    Actually, they’re just dumb though. Dumb to the point of being imbeciles. And against someone of perhaps average intelligence and character like Putin, they are completely outclassed. The collapse of the US empire would probably be slowed down quite significantly if these guys just looked in the mirror and realized how incredibly limited and pathetic their own abilities. Such honest humility might encourage them to curb some of their more laughably grandiose ambitions.

    1. Carolinian

      Key graf from Moon of Alabama

      But the female candidates for the next presidential elections are not that smart. Both, Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina, have called for a U.S. enforced no-fly zone over northern Syria which would of course mean starting a war with Russia and its allies. These women want to attack Russian forces to defend al-Qaeda! Note: The country to decide who is flying or not over Syria is Russia. Dear U.S. voters. Please do not ever again allow these maniacs anywhere near a powerful position.

      Who can disagree? He gives long analysis of Russia’s check (mate in three moves?) to the neocon/GCC regime change scheme.

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/10/russias-campaign-to-snuff-off-cias-al-qaeda-forces.html

      1. jgordon

        That’s just stunning. And so insightful. I’m totally flabbergasted by this whole Syrian situation. I mean–seriously. My. Friggin. God. How could anyone be this stupid? We’re seriously protecting Al Qaeda forces from Russia right now, and whining about how awful it is that Russia got some of them. Let’s just put aside the sheer evil (and utterly transparent to everyone but Americans apparently) hypocrisy of it all and consider only how completely stupid it is.

        1. Cynthia

          We must rap our heads around the fact that the principal US ally in Syria is ISIS. The coalition to fight ISIS is a hoax. It contains all the nations that supply ISIS with funds and weapons. ISIS captured oil is sold on the open market without US sanctions. US aerial attacks on ISIS are lackadaisical window dressing. That the Russians stepped in to defend Assad, the only secular leader in the Middle East, means they are fighting against the de facto US ally.

          1. optimader

            ISIS captured oil is sold on the open market without US sanctions.

            Would not be a practical endeavor. Known in the trade as pots and pans operations

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          My personal view is evil and stupidity go hand and hand. Empathy encourages one to imagine the feelings of others and ultimately how events can spiral out of control. The evil don’t have empathy and simply don’t think about concerns beyond themselves.

          Attacking Russia of cover questionable civilian casualty claims while we conduct our own horrific wars is just a sign of this. Russia is stopping their plans, but to counter Russia, they will do anything that won’t put them at risk but contemplating the potential fallout of their own actions is not an activity shared by evil people.

          When Obama opined on mass shootings, did he mention how he has lobbied aggressively for regime change in Syria, Keystone, TPP, etc. while Americans are dying because he didn’t want the NRA to be mean to him/irritate the healthcare industry with mental health reform or work without the potential for financial reward beyond his pay check and pension? Nope. He’s a pig and won’t change.

          1. jgordon

            Well hold on here. I don’t have anything against fire arms per se; they’ll be invaluable for personal survival when the empire enters its final collapse phase. In order to a proponent of restricting our Second Amendment gun rights, you first have to accept the premises that the 1) the government is legitimate, and 2) the government is stable. I think this whole Syria debacle illuminates the lie of those two premises, therefore having easy access to firearms is absolutely vital.

            The idea that the US is an empire in collapse is already widely accepted here. I don’t think it’s a dramatic leap after that to start reconsidering positions on gun control.

        3. different clue

          Most Americans don’t read or even know about Naked Capitalism, Moon of Alabama, Sic Semper Tyrannis, etc. Sites like these remain an unknown unknown to most Americans. Most Americans get what information the CFP MSM chooses to give them. And many Americans are probably too worn out by the hourly struggle to survive in the teeth of Establishment pressures to make survival difficult that they don’t have the energy to think about such things at all.

          And yet, given all that, enough Americans tortured and terrorised Congress out of supporting Obama’s call for a Pearl Harbor attack against Syria that Obama was unable to pursue the Pearl Harbor attack he wanted to pursue.

          1. Andy

            I don’t buy that hypothesis anymore, they’re not to tired from” establishment pressures”, they’re too fucking lazy mentally to even care.
            The daily horrors of obtaining lattes, and still finding time to explain the complexities of the new (sic) iPhone, just don’t leave time for using the internet for anything other than cat videos…..PSY Gangnam style anyone?

            1. different clue

              I suspect the daily latte-obtaining-class is a minority clustered around trendy urban areas and so forth. I was more thinking of the smaller-city/small-town/rural millions that Joe Bageant used to write about. Now if they too have all ascended into the daily latte-obtaining class; then my views are more obsolete than I knew.

        4. cwaltz

          None of them should even be able to utter the words 9/11 again when you consider the fact that they are protecting and training the people who took credit for taking thousands of US lives.

      2. Procopius

        That’s a feature, not a bug. War with Russia is, for some insane reason, what they want. That’s what the neo-nazi operation in Ukraine is about.

  4. Irrational

    Re. Syraqistan headlines: I don’t know why, but something about stones and glasshouses seems appropriate.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      When the West destroys a hospital, wedding, school, and so forth, it’s collateral damage which puts a damper on Obama’s golf game. When the Russians Bob thugs illegally armed and trained by the West, this is an outrage because again guys like Obama have to actually get a situation update instead of hitting the links and explain away any potential American war effort despite the clear violation of the war powers act and a lack of official Congressional approval.

      There is a huge difference.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Psychopaths are beyond reason, and many simply missed the point of “Life of Brian.”

      1. heresy101

        There is a HUGE difference – it is deliberate murder:
        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-03/us-bombs-afghanistan-hospital-kills-9-civilians-injures-37-tosses-it-collateral-dama

        U.S. Bombs Afghanistan Hospital, Kills At Least 9 Doctors And 3 Children, Calls It “Collateral Damage”
        Less than a day after US ambassador to the UN, uber-warhawk Samantha Power informed Russia of the latest US foreign policy stance by tweeter, when she called “on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians”

        all parties 2 conflict, including in Kabul & Washington, were clearly informed of precise GPS Coordinates of @MSF facilities in Kunduz

        Worse, as Cone adds, the US bombing raid “continued for >30 minutes after American & Afghan military officials in Kabul & Washington first informed of proximity to hospital.” Not only was the US bombardment uncalled for, but it continued long after supervisors were made aware they should call it off.

        1. Oregoncharles

          An update on the hospital bombing from GG:

          UPDATE IV: Several reports suggest that this hospital has been viewed with hostility because it treats all injured human beings, regardless of which side they’re on. “The hospital treated the wounded from all sides of the conflict, a policy that has long irked the Afghan security forces,” reports the NYT.

          The bombing went on for an hour. VERY unlikely to be unintentional. Wouldn’t you like to know who the pilots were, and what they were told? Plenty of hanging to go around, hhere.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Another thing is the lack of agency in the headlines. If “Our Side” bombs, it’s:

      Airstrike Hits Hospital

      if “Their Side” bombs, suddenly the NYT discovers proper nouns:

      Russians Strike Targets in Syria

      1. AumuA

        Here’s a nice one from CNN today:

        Air attacks kill at least 19 at Afghanistan hospital; U.S. investigating

        Well, good thing the U.S. is investigating, you know? Rest easy, we’re on the case, gonna figure this all out.

  5. Parker Dooley

    Re: How Steve Jobs Fleeced Carly Fiorina

    Apparently Carly continues to apply HP’s motto “Invent!” to her “facts”.

    1. Chris in Paris

      You gotta love how she imagines her management skills up there at Jobs’ level (of sociopathy?).

      How is this person a serious candidate for president?

      There must be a word for this total shamelessness combined with blind confidence of impunity for one’s imprudent actions that caused irreversible harm to others.

    2. Norb

      As an interesting anecdote to the sorry state of contemporary corporate activities, I work in the printing business and we have been using an HP commercial printer successfully and profitably for more than 12 years.
      This printer is a reliable workhorse but is reaching it’s end of life. When evaluating new printers on the market, we inquired about the new line of HP printers and were told by reliable sources that the robust nature of the old printers was viewed by HP management as a problem- the old printers were too reliable thus their longevity cut into new sales. As a result, the new line of products has been found to be less reliable. Another case of designed obsolescence? Crapification?

      How anyone still gives credence to a pledge made by a corporate shill to act in the public good is beyond me.

      I always wonder how good, creative people feel when their talents are corrupted in the name of corporate profits. How does someone feel when they must design a crappy product to serve their corporate masters?

      We all must find our way in this world, but buying the BS of someone like Carly Fiorina is one step too far.

  6. Parker Dooley

    Re: With One Bombing Run Russia Gets the US to Acknowledge CIA’s “Covert” Regime Change Forces

    Sounds like pretty crowded airspace. Which side’s aircraft are being piloted by Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

    1. abynormal

      we ain’t seen noth’n yet: zh: Less than a day after US ambassador to the UN, uber-warhawk Samantha Power informed Russia of the latest US foreign policy stance by tweeter, when she called “on Russia to immediately cease attacks on Syrian oppo[sition and] civilians” in the latest desperate attempt to halt the Russian campaign against US-created ISIS which may wipe out the terrorist threat in just a few short days, it was the US itself which admitted that early on Saturday the US airforce bombed an Afghan hospital run by the medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors without Borders, in the Afghan city of Kunduz in an air strike that killed at least nine people and wounded 37.
      As the Executive Director, of Doctors without Borders Jason Cone tweeted, “all parties 2 conflict, including in Kabul & Washington, were clearly informed of precise GPS Coordinates of @MSF facilities in Kunduz” and that the “precise location of @MSF Kunduz hospital communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over past months, including on 9/29.”

      In other words, this morning’s US bombing was nothing more than another example of the utter incompetence, carelessness and disregard for innocent civilian lives that has become a staple hallmark of US foreign policy, something we have already witnessed repeatedly in the past 6 years as a result of the thousands of innocent people dead as part of US drone attacks, also known as “collateral damage.”
      Worse, as Cone adds, the US bombing raid “continued for >30 minutes after American & Afghan military officials in Kabul & Washington first informed of proximity to hospital.” Not only was the US bombardment uncalled for, but it continued long after supervisors were made aware they should call it off.

      Jason Cone @jtcone1977
      It is w/ deep sadness that we confirm so far the death of 9 @MSF staff from bombing last night of MSF’s hospital in Kunduz. 37 Wounded.
      4:57 AM – 3 Oct 2015

      As Glenn Greenwald points out, “it’s impossible to fathom what the U.S. media would be saying and doing if Russia did something like this in Syria. By contrast, the reaction to this airstrike by their own government will be muted and filled with apologia, ironically quite similar to the widely vilified caricature of Jeb Bush’s comments about the Oregon shooting spree: stuff happens.”

      1. Alex morfesis

        Samantha power is just following her publicists advise in trying to get her new pilot picked up by comedy central

      2. OIFVet

        The wail of the banshee, mourning the impending doom of its “moderate” terrorists duly armed by KSA and Eastern European lemmings.

      3. fresno dan

        The truth of the matter, which I did not see for so long because I came of age during the anti war Vietnam era, is what a complete anomaly that was (i.e., an anti-war sensibility). This is a country that likes it some violence, both domestic and foreign.
        And abysmal continued failure is no deterrent to repetition….

        What’s the aphorism? Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result….

        1. Carolinian

          Indeed. What became of the anti-war Left? Were the Vietnam protests really just about the draft? The anti-war movement did survive a bit into the 80s with opposition to the Contras and there were huge rallies against the Iraq invasion (ignored by the neocon MSM) but it now seems almost invisible.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Many were against the Iraq invasion.

            The Middle East is a special case and we are exceptional.

          2. RabidGandhi

            One of the key figures in the anti-war left is now US Secretary of State. That should be a clue as to which way that wind blew from the beginning.

          3. NotTimothyGeithner

            Too many voters believe their war like leaders are deep down really good people who are worried their heroes will be attacked. Look at the excuses to explain Obama criticism of Russia versus Obama’s own views of civilian deaths. I should point out in 2006 and 2008 the Democrats did promise to end the wars, and despite 2006 Republicans outperforming the 2010 and 2014 Republicans, the pro war Democrats have only seen their numbers decline.

            The Ferguson/Occupy style protests are antiwar in nature. The war is being fought against the American people, but too many don’t want to recognize the situation. In a sense, the anti-war left is fighting many battles, and too many don’t want to recognize the ugly face of Team Blue,

            Even the 60’s protest movement importance is a tad overblown. The large scale involvement in Vietnam lasted from Kennedy’s decision to send “advisers” (by November 1963, we had a division there) to 1973 and Iraq lasted from 2003 to 2010 (the end of combat operations). Quite the coincidence. When North Vietnam invaded the South, the unelected President was in charge. Ford wouldn’t respond. He had no standing, unlike Obama, the first elected (unlike Dubya) President with over 50% of the vote since 1988. I know everyone likes to be proud of the past, but we shouldn’t sugar coat anything.

          4. participant-observer-observed

            It is still alive and active, although aging, and have done a great job of documenting the past 50 years of nefarious military expeditions, coups, etc. Code Pink, Amy Goodman, Blase Bonpane, Veterans for Peace, Oliver Stone, Pax Christi are a few of the better-known names. Trouble is being quite outnumbered by the anti-peace forces and apathetic.

            Pacifica/KPFK/KPFA holds the archives to much of it, and as one of the usa’s last independent, community-funded media outlets, is under continuous struggle to survive.

            Blase Bonpane represents the liberation theology/ex-priest wing. His site is http://officeoftheamericas.org/ and he has a weekly Sunday morning anti-war sermon on KPFK/KPFA.

          5. different clue

            Many credible liberal leaders and people-inspiring-to-liberals were carefully assassinated by the Deep Government. Kennedy, King, Kennedy, numerous others less famous. How much of the “left” was infiltrated by government agents leading the “left” over buffalo jump after buffalo jump after buffalo jump? Between such “stampedes from above” and numerous decapitation strikes, how much of a “left” or even a “liberals” would be expected to survive?

            Then too, parts of the left were and are just plain nasty and repellent to many decent normal people. I was raised by “cultural leftists” and came to see how awful many of their beliefs and attitudes really were. ” Anti-Americanitic culture-racist anti-americanite” describes many such leftists. Such leftists won’t get very far with anything.

            1. Massinissa

              The state used all sorts of methods, as you say.

              Coopt the weak ones like Kerry, kill the strong ones that cant be coopted like King and the Kennedys. It was a multifaceted effort by all major circles of power.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Or even better stop pretending the Kennedys weren’t red baiting war mongers and hold leaders accountable even if they seem swell.

                1. different clue

                  Well . . . that is the Establishment Gate-Keeper Leftist position, to be sure. That position has the Noam Chomsky Seal of Good Political Hygiene Approval. “Move along, Lookie Lous. Nothing to see here.” So holding that position will get you invited to all the best wadical pwogwessive parties.

                  For those who wish to read independent gate-crashing analysis of these political decapitation strikes, just one of many such writers is named Jeff Wells, who runs a blog called Rigorous Intuition 2.0 .

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    Do you not want to discuss Jack’s record? Or Bobby’s? Or even Teddy’s?

                    I know the missile gap, the defense build up, the bay of pigs, macnamara, Vietnam escalation, keeping Hoover, tax cuts for the wealthy, the Cuban embargo, supporting Joe McCarthy’s witch hunts, and my personal favorite sin of the Kennedys attacking Nixon for his NAACP membership are clearly just leftist gatekeeper propaganda trying to hide the shadow government.

                    The Obots are nothing new in American society.

          6. neo-realist

            The lack of skin in the game w/ the absence of a draft is certainly a factor. But it’s also posssible that 9/11 effected a bit of a paradigm shift in that it made more people amenable to war, specifically if it is directed at people who look like the kind of people (brown skinned) who were involved in the attacks–The “Gladio” demand for safety from our perceived enemies? Social Networking on the internet has also served to direct energies against fellow Americans–facebook and twitter and enable excessive narcissism—selfies on smart phones that show up on instagram, vine and those other aforementioned social network sites. It’s all about what I look like with a new hairdo or my tasty lunch or showing how cool I look w/ my selfie photo at the Taylor Swift show. It’s me, me, me, who cares that poor people in hospitals and villages in the ME are getting the crap bombed out of them.

          7. skippy

            “Indeed. What became of the anti-war Left?”

            CNN MSM video pron’….

            Skippy…. sorta like Excel goal seek

          8. Oregoncharles

            The “anti-war Left” are still around – check out Veterans for Peace. (Some of its leardership are personal friends of mine.)

            As for waht happened to the anti-war movement: several Democratic campaigns for president, that’s what. Primarily Kerry’s – further inexcusable because he didn’t even remove Bush – and Obama’s first. The movement largely signed on to both, and silenced themselves to “help.” Not an exampleof the courage of your convictions. so they never recovered.

            It’s a universal rule, and a warning in the present: the Democratic Party is where leftish movements go to die.

            1. neo-realist

              In Kerry’s defense, I think the elites wanted to keep Bush in power (to better steal and plunder in defense contracting and in the markets) and a lot of the corporate media spin went totally against Kerry and put Bush on a pedestal. A lot of low information intellectually lazy Americans voted against their better interests thinking Bush could better protect them against the terrorists and he was a so much more personable guy to have a beer with.

              What was inexcusable was his reluctance to fight the swift boaters and the fraudulent returns in Ohio.

        2. jan deen

          The anti war Vietnam era thinking was tied to the pressure of the draft, which compelled us to take a position. Combine that with the sense that JFK was murdered and we of the youth generation were being lied to, while our culture had actual media influence,in print, music and film, and you can see why we had hope for a different future. Nixon knew it was not a done deal and increased the war on drugs to include the hip and aware as enemies of the state.

        1. Jim Haygood

          That’s just Drone Laureate Obama, taking out a troublesome Frenchy NGO, along with the usual bloody mountain of brown folks.

          They hate us for our surgical bombing.

        2. Oregoncharles

          The bombing went on for an hour, just to make sure they got the message – that it was intentional.

          Reminds me of the attack on the Chinese embassy during the Serbian “police action): not one missile but TWO, just to make it clear.

  7. mark

    wikipedia

    “2001 October 7: (9 p.m. local time): the United States, supported by Britain, begins its attack on Afghanistan, launching bombs and cruise missiles against Taliban military and communications facilities and suspected terrorist training camps. Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat were hit.

    2015 October 3

    Associated Press, Huffington post

    ” In a statement, the international charity (Doctors without Borders) said the “sustained bombing” took place at 2:10 a.m. (2140 GMT). Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have been fighting to dislodge Taliban insurgents who overran Kunduz on Monday.

    U.S. forces in Afghanistan said they conducted an airstrike on Kunduz at 2:15 a.m. The spokesman, U.S. Army Col. Brian Tribus, said the strike “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility” and that the incident was under investigation. Tribus said it was the 12th U.S. airstrike “in the Kunduz vicinity” since Tuesday.”

    1. JEHR

      This is so sad! When you consider that MSF does its work charitably and has some of the best trained health care people in the world. I would consider this a war crime!

      1. OIFVet

        MSF is a true charity, unlike the American Red Cross. I don’t expect the murderers will face justice.

      2. abynormal

        this is an Economic, Finance & Political Power site…i consistently work to remind myself of the danger(s) of mixing emotion with facts.

        i cannot lie…i’m crying. not that this is the first or tenth time i’ve hung my head in hopelessness over US global policies…but my stomach hurts, bad. ‘sad’ i can work thru but i’m feeling lost in the darkest of dark…what is anything i/we do worth?

        “Here in Bosnia I had already seen several cases of rheumatic fever and a case we thought was miliary tuberculosis, diseases now rare in America. It was sobering to think that the mundane process of vaccinating these children might ultimately save more lives than any UN-brokered peace treaty.”
        Pamela Grim, Just Here Trying to Save a Few Lives: Tales of Life and Death from the ER


        Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders

        http://www.freedocumentary.tv/?attachment_id=13042
        “Some of the purely medical scenes here will test your capacity for human suffering, but that’s a minuscule impression of horrors these doctors face daily in far-flung corners of the globe.”

        1. mark

          Thanks, I feel the same way. The absolutely pointless misery and suffering…..

          fourteen consecutive years of bombing one desperate, poverty stricken country.

          And producing thereby nothing but pain.

          I look forward to the craazyman comments, to shed some kind of cockeyed sanity on these things.

          1. craazyman

            If you think for a moment about each person that was there and all the forces of the mind and all the decisions that placed them there it coheres into a phenomenon that condenses into a singularity of almost perfect insanity. At least that’s what it seem like to me. all the forces and the decisions seems like a huge vector field in 18 dimensiions and anything that falls into it, from anywhere in the world, that thing gets run down the gradient and into a gulley that narrows and narrows and then it gets shot out through a hole in the field and then we don’t see it anymore. Only God know where it is now. Or maybe not. maybe it’s beyond even that.

        2. AumuA

          Doctors without Borders. What a phenomenal concept. This is exactly what we need more of: Doctors without borders, Engineers without borders .. people, Human Beings without Borders! That’s it, that’s the only way we can cast off the oppression that is on us all.

          We can only defeat the globalists if we all act together, globally.

          1. different clue

            I think this is another case of two or more different theories worth being pursued at the same time by people best suited to apply those different theories.

            All the various kinds of Helpers without Borders is one theory, worth pursuing to see where it goes.

            Anti-Free Trade and the restoration of a hundred or more National Protectionisms is another theory. The more free and casual trade beTWEEN countries can be STOPPED, the more countries will be free to develop their own semi-air-gapped sovereign economies withIN countries. And that theory is also worth pursuing. It can begin with killing the Free Trade Agreements not yet ratified, to stop the finalization of the Corporate Globalonial Plantation project.

        3. low_integer

          Perhaps you can console yourself a tiny bit with the fact that at least you are one who is willing to try to comprehend what is really happening.
          Yeah, I know, doesn’t work for me either…

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘supported by Britain’

      America’s little “punching above its weight” poodle is still helping Obama cleanse the world of surplus brown folks, as well as tweak the noses of their rivals the French.

      Cute.

    3. tgs

      Well, at least they didn’t use ‘barrel bombs’ – which if you listen to the likes of Obama and the rest of the folks in Washington is the ultimate war crime.

  8. JEHR

    When I consider voting in the next election in Canada, I get very despondent because I think the whole parliamentary system has been so weakened and, in some cases, so destroyed, that we will be fighting for our democracy for years to come. It is incredible that one leader could successfully destroy our government and our economy in less than 10 years!!!!!

    1. Inverness

      Without Québec, it is lost for the NDP. Mulcair seriously flubbed by insisting on a balanced budget, when what we need is government investment. To also think of Mulcair losing votes to that relic the Bloc Québécois over the burqa is infuriating. Very afraid of even a minority Harper government.

    1. Daryl

      > The first thing to do would be to eliminate recruits from Europe, as ISIS burns through jihadis at a high rate, street fighting with modern weapons is expensive of even very well-trained and well-equipped troops highly motivated to preserve their own lives. Without continuous replacement, ISIS will quickly be impotent, and will start losing battles with the Kurds, Iraqis and Syrians.

      Foreign jihadis are actually a very small portion of the fighting force of these various groups. They’re more of a PR tool as every single person who leaves a Western country to fight for them generates a massive amount of press. If you were to reduce their Western recruits to 0 (which I very much doubt you could do, as we’ve seen there is a certain subset of young men who are attracted to the chaos and barbarism rather than repelled by it), it would likely not impact their fighting capability very much at all.

      The other, darker rebuttal to this article would be the simple fact that Western governments often support Islamist jihadis. For myopic reasons, but they do. So the press engages in a lot of handwringing about ISIS, but a lot of “moderate” groups are ignored.

      1. Massinissa

        There actually ARE many foreign jihadis, but theyre not from USA or UK or France, theyre from Libya Chechnya and other places with lots of existing jihadis. So most of what you say is correct.

        1. cyclist

          A few months ago, a guy called Graeme Wood wrote what I thought was a pretty decent article in The Atlantic (which I always regard with caution): ‘What ISIS Really Wants’. He argues that one important distinction between Al Qaeda and ISIS is that the latter is really focused on building the caliphate, while AQ does not think the time is right (there is prophesy tied up in this). So going to fight for ISIS means you are comitted to stay; returning home would be regarded as a failure. How this plays out in the real world of the foreign fighters is the important issue.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I try to look for practical not the angels on the head of a pin explanations. Bin Laden and his crew were rock stars. Would-be jihadists waited for orders from on high or search them out. Bin Laden and his cronies were out for revenge for the perceived betrayal and acknowledgement of their victory. Why didn’t they get a victory party at the White House? They weren’t interested in building a state but protecting their legacy and directed followers to suicide attacks. They didn’t want new voices who could take their spotlight.

            The Bin Laden crowd is out of the playing field, and there are no universal recognized jihadi leaders. Every group is out to outdo the other and grab their place and leadership role. Go big or go home is the real state of the game. With backing in Libya and through the Surge, would be jihadi types found themselves awash with guns, money, and fellow recruits. Who gets to rule? The guy with the best platform or record of achievement when the old leader dies. They can write new prophesies, but no one in a traditional Al Qaeda outfit has the standing to denounce another outfit.

            1. andyb

              Especially true as Bin Laden was a CIA asset (code name Tim Osman) who was deeply involved with the Bush family of neocon psychopaths. Even though he died in December 2001, he had to be kept “alive” so that the sheeple still had a bogieman to justify the Patriot Act and other forms of totalitarian control.

      2. different clue

        If ISIS could actually be contained within fixed borders, and encouraged to keep fighting within those borders; would it then make sense to allow all the “foreign recruits” who want to join ISIS to go and join ISIS? Would that be a way to “burn through” the pool of radicalized and radicalizable “foreign jihadi recruits”?

          1. different clue

            Trying to reconquer the area entirely from ISIS would be even rougher on the people who live there. Most of the people living in the ISIS heartland are learning that if they stay totally obedient and not a challenge of any kind, they will be allowed to live. It is the head-down low-profile path to survival which apolitical Iraqis had adopted during the time of Saddam Hussein. The fringes and borders of ISIStan are where the victimised and targetted minorities live or lived. Hopefully, those parts of ISIStan can be reconquered back away from ISIS, through meaningful cooperation between rump-Shia Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and maybe China. (And of course the Syrian Arab Republic government, which is the only leGITimate government within the borders of Syria.) When ISIS can be confined to totally Arab Sunni areas of near zero economic worth, then its borders can become killing grounds for all the foreign fighters who can be allowed to reach them. Who would object? Would Russia object to having unruly radicalized and/or radicalizable Chechens, Daghestanis, etc. going to ISIStan if they could be guaranteed not to survive to return? For example . . .

            And where would a desert-based ISIS get the money to keep functioning? From the Saudis, Qataris, lesser Gulfies, Erdogist Turks etc., which would attrit the finances of all those groups as well.

  9. lylo

    “Plus, the more the US argues these groups that aren’t entirely distinct from al Qaeda are entirely distinct from ISIS, it will make the Administration’s claim that the 2001 AUMF against Al Qaeda authorizes it to fight ISIS (in related news, DOJ just denied USAT’s FOIA request for 3 OLC documents making that case) really wobbly.” from the Empty Wheel piece

    I just can’t get over this. Isn’t this treason?
    It was one thing when it was all conjecture and theory, but to be openly supporting what can only be described as affiliates of Al Qaeda during a war against Al Qaeda and it’s affiliates… I’m not saying I agree with the original AUMF being passed, or the people arguing it applies now to Syria, but in all fairness those groups won and it was passed by Congress who seems to think it still applies.
    For all the bad things done by the executive in my lifetime (some of which I described at the time as treasonous, even,) this is the first time I can really honestly say that everything meets the textbook definition.
    So, when do the impeachment hearings start?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Impeachment, hell.

      When do the Nuremburg II trials start … with the ‘allies’ in the dock this time round, and a gallows visible through the window.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Oil bust saps students’ enthusiasm for petroleum degrees.

    Learning for learning’s sake.

    Nothing wrong with learning to make a buck. Such learning should be funded by corporations, staffed with teachers from, tenure-less or otherwise, schools, in the same way future professional baseball (or football) player-workers should be trained by billionaire-owners’ farm instructors, out of their own pockets.

    In this case, oil companies should train their own petroleum degree holders.

    By investing upfront, in addition, perhaps they will treat their workers better, in order to recoup that cost.

    1. Synapsid

      MyLessThan…

      “…perhaps they [oil companies] will treat their workers better…”

      Can you expand on this? Which workers are you referring to? And what aspects of how they’re treated?

      Thanks.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am just thinking out loud here, but I think, if a corporation has to pay to train a replacement petroleum engineer, for example, and if it takes 4 years, it thinks twice before letting someone go.

        1. Synapsid

          Makes sense.

          It’s such a brutally cyclical industry that I’d expect such an effect to show up during the downturns.

          The oil companies do a great deal of training anyway. Back in the mid-20th century Shell’s in particular was so highly thought of that a job at Shell was sometimes viewed as preparation for working for another company–the other side of the coin, as it were.

    2. Oregoncharles

      That’s actually the basic concept of most community colleges: they’re vocational, and work with local businesses to supply their personnel needs. Done honesty, it makes sense, but it’s obviously an invitation to corruption.

      I’m not sure the other side of that coin applies, though: that the businesses are paying for the school, other than through local taxes. And that model applied to research is a disaster: by paying for it, business can control the questions asked – even better than the answers, which they also often control. And thtat goes way up into the research universities.

    3. Pepsi

      That’s good thinking. The neoliberal university is just a sorry trade school and debt scam. Let super profitable companies train their own workers. Why wouldn’t they? You know what they say about getting you to ask the wrong questions.

    1. Massinissa

      Nobody, because if anyone video tapes the cops the cops arrest that person and confiscate the tape.

      1. different clue

        It would seem there is a foot-race between fear of the cops and disgust/outrage over Blue Criminal behavior. As long as only one person in the crowd is videotaping, that person can be suppressed and the tape destroyed. But what if everyone in the crowd were videotaping, some videotaping the initial police-aggression and all the others videotaping the videotapers . . . so that there were too many videotapes and videotapers to suppress them all . . . or to even know where to begin? Either the Blue Terror encourages everyone to leave their videotapers at home . . . or a Domestic Police-Based Pearl Harbor incident inspires so many millions to come out with videotapers at the same time that they cannot be contained.

        But in the meantime, if anyone is going to take the personal and physical risk of recording police misbehavior, one hopes their technology is somehow able to transmit their recording in real-time to a secured and defended server beyond police reach, so it can be forever accessed and never be erased.

  11. GlennF

    Lawrence Wilkerson: “The Empire is in Deep, Deep Trouble”

    Is there a transcript for this video?

    Thanks

    1. lindaj

      beware! altho wilkerson is good on diagnosing the problem of empire, he also says he is proud of his son who is a drone pilot. also says people should join the NSA, CIA, etc. to reform it from within. what a fool!

  12. rjs

    on Factory Orders Hit the Skids, Last Month Revised Lower, Shipments Down 4th Time in 5 Months by Michael Shedlock

    as i pointed out yesterday both on that post and on Lambert’s water cooler, that report is in error…the totals for new orders for non-durable goods and shipments of non-durable goods are identical, ie, all the amounts for June, July, August and year to date are identical, as are the percentage changes shown…those subtotals are then carried to the headline totals…
    see tables 1 & 2:
    http://www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3/prel/pdf/s-i-o.pdf
    i downloaded the excel files for both and they also showed non-durable new orders and shipments data to be identical…i called the Census bureau unit before 5PM and left a message notifying them of this error, but apparently they’d all gone home…
    i suspect the error is with the new orders, but it’s hard to tell, since the monthly difference between the value of orders and shipments has been around 0.6%..if it was the new orders that was mistaken, it would have in like manner have screwed up the data on unfilled orders..

  13. fresno dan

    http://www.businessinsider.com/secret-service-targeting-of-jason-chaffetz-washington-post-2015-10

    On March 31, Edward Lowery, an assistant director of the US Secret Service, wrote an e-mail about Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was leading a congressional panel investigating possible misconduct by Secret Service agents.

    “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Lowery wrote. “Just to be fair.”

    A few days later, on April 2, the fact that Chaffetz had applied and been rejected for a job with the service was published by the Daily Beast news site.

    The leak was a clear violation of the congressman’s privacy, aimed at smearing him and undermining his ability to act as a credible overseer of the Secret Service.

    =================================================

    So, did this congressmen Chaffetz vote for government surveillance (aka the Patriotic Act)?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/08/AR2011020806345.html

    https://www.legistorm.com/stormfeed/view_rss/105293/member/983.html

    Well, it looks like he did. Perhaps representative Chaffetz should ponder the constitution – the idea that the constitution limits the government (i.e., government employees) because power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That people will use their secret knowledge for their own purposes and advancement, and harm any one who threatens their schemes.

    The Secret Service is a LAW ENFORCEMENT group – supposedly of the highest caliber, and highest integrity…
    But oversight is difficult if one gives them ever more snooping ability…..pretty much due to representatives like Chaffetz, who naively assumes our “guardians” are disinterested angels and patriotic…Was this secret service agent patriotically defending a noble anti terrorist law enforcement agency against a self serving corrupt congressmen (maybe Chaffetz is a closet…..LIBERAL!!! or a TEA PARTY!!!! Chaffetz has dark hair, sooooo….he could be Taliban! Anything is possible!!!!!!)

    The irony is that the “herofication” of the police and surveillance agencies makes any real action against the secret service agent who disregarded the rules against violations of privacy probably immune to any consequences – poetic justice for Rep. Chaffetz, as he probably believes if you don’t have anything to hide, what do you have to fear???
    Poetic justice – I am reminded of Robespierre

  14. Carolinian

    Thanks for the excellent Avnery link.

    And re 538 and the Pew Poll: I wonder if one reason for the softening of Trump’s support is found in Pew’s description of the still reactionary nature of many GOP voters. It could be that some of Trump’s recent statements–let the Russians handle Syria, raise taxes on the very rich–are well to the left of the Republican base. It’s hard to bring much moderation to a group that gets much of its info from Fox News. His instinct–since recanted?–of going after Ailes was sound.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The GOP is pretty divided. I think its less Trump’s support is softening than Trump is reaching his ceiling.

      Trump isn’t the natural candidate of the very Christian voters who are still shopping. I think they glanced at Carson, but 7th Day Adventist (polite way of saying too black)…yeah…Huckleberry…and the various Christians want a candidate from their church, not a random one. They spent good will last cycle on the Catholic Santorum over the Mormon Mittster.

      The candidates are trying to out crazy the other on foreign policy. I think Trump might be eating the libertarians Tyler support.

      Fiorina was seen briefly as a counter, but she has a poor reputation with too many computer nerds.

      Jeb is not well liked and doesn’t have the Western vote or presence and charisma of Romney, yes, I just said that. Also, Jeb seems to be the stupid brother.

      The rest are nothings but cookie cutter Republicans, also rans, and Jim Gilmore. There is no GI style bill for any of these candidates to claim credit for. Right now, there isn’t a potential 270 winner in the lot short of Hillary self destruction.

      1. neo-realist

        Jeb seems to have a political tin ear that W didn’t. W didn’t bring up issues of ratcheting back social security and medicare on the campaign trail, nor did he show bold faced antagonism toward black folks in his rhetoric (“free stuff”), as Jeb has. W allowed his surrogates to act as the bad cops w/ contemptuous talking points toward his political enemies and waited to show his fangs upon getting elected with his SC appointments and his political housecleaning of the Justice Department.

        I wouldn’t rule out the stated mediocrity of his GOP opponents, the possibility of trap doors being set by TPTB to take out Trump, continued strong monied elite backing, and systemic electoral system gaming to allow Jeb to win the nomination by default of sorts when the smoke clears.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Jeb might win the nomination, but a guy who limps in with very little percentage of the vote is done before he starts. He still has to get to 270. As bad as John Kerry was (a smarter Iraq War is still an Iraq war), the guy was 10,000 votes away. Jeb won’t reach anywhere close to Dubya in a general. Team Blue has the Kerry states plus Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, and probably Virginia locked. Given the treatment of Trump by equally incredulous candidates (Trump is just louder), the GOP candidate can kiss their vote good bye.

          This whole GOP race is largely entertainment value.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I don’t know. I believe he was toyed with, but he isn’t anything special, lacks establishment backing, and is Catholic and ethnic. I believe non-Catholic fun dies outside of the West considered Santorum because Mittens was Mormon. Without the threat of a Mormon, they would prefer an evangelical.

            One problem the GOP has is its traditional issues have been passed or are held by Team Blue (private prisons/schools, supply side economics, permawar). It’s hard for anyone to jump out of the pack. It’s like comparing pizza coupons. In the end, you just choose the one that’s easiest to get.

      2. fresno dan

        Pretty insightful analysis.
        Only problem was this line:

        Jeb …doesn’t have the presence and charisma of Romney

        I hurt myself laughing. If your going to say dangerously funny things, there should be warning signs!!!

  15. participant-observer-observed

    “The Hypocrisy of ‘Helping’ the Poor New York Times (resilc).”

    Yes, the companies and politicians were in cahoots to offshore everything of value mfgd in the usa at least in retail.

    But what makes this piece lame is the failure to identify the co-dependency relationship of the American consumers who kept buying the imported crap over and over again, all the while voting for Reagan, Bush, Clinton, while their neighbors lost their jobs.

    The greed of the consumer to have more for less and the greed of the companies and politicians are the same greed and selfishness! Yet all are still in denial, and instead of admitting their collective weakness, insist on a game of a musical chairs, ponzi scheme economy. Short-sighted selfishness is still the name of the game. The author of this weak and tired piece didn’t even come close to scratching the surface. As if the Chinese were supposed to say, “oh no, we don’t want to make money manufacturing your endless crap!”

    Failure of leadership, certainly, although the laws of the land and capitalism religion were engineered to leave little alternative. But failure of the followers (voters and consumers) have been fully complicit in the devastation.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Carter attacked the truckers unions and ignored his promise to repeal Taft-Hartley. Between his tax cuts for the wealthy and defense build up, Carter saw a major drop in union support.

      Clinton rose largely due to the late collapse of 41, Cuomo sitting out, and Jerry Brown attacking teachers and other right wing ideas. Voters were stuck.

      Hillary Clinton was a juggernaut who was stopped, but most voters made up their assets end of Obama. Reagan, Obama, 43, and even Clinton all ran on a promise of changing how business in Washington is done.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        Yes. Plans for those tax cuts go back to Nixon if not earlier!

        (And Obama’s fossilization of Bush tax cuts prove Dems have been in on it the whole time right up to the present times)

        4th estate also always conveniently fails to mention the tails wagging the dogs!

    1. Lambert Strether

      Nikkei Asian Review, October 4:

      ATLANTA — Representatives from the 12 countries trying to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal have given themselves another 24 hours to make the trade pact happen, Japanese chief negotiator Akira Amari told reporters. As they continued last-minute efforts on Saturday morning in the U.S., the host country began sounding out Japan and other countries about extending the talks for another day.

      And with only a couple remaining contentious issues, including how long drug patents should last, that is exactly what happened.

      Global News:

      [Canadian Prime Minister] Harper emerged early Saturday in Montreal, summoning journalists somewhat unexpectedly to report that the talks were continuing and that he was receiving regular updates – a clear sign that he expects a deal to come together very soon.

      Radio New Zealand:

      Pacific trading partners are this morning reported to be deadlocked over protections for next-generation medicines after a long night of negotiations.

      The impasse is also holding up a deal on dairy trade, the main other sticking point in the talks, with New Zealand insisting on increased access to US, Canadian and Japanese markets.

      No word on auto, or IP, or ISDS. Ugh. Chewing my hands.

  16. tongorad

    It’s hard to imagine an Education Secretary worse than Arne Duncan, but Obama’s main function is to double-down on disastrous neoliberal policies:

    If you thought Arne Duncan was controversial, meet his successor

    King led a series of school reforms that included a new teacher evaluation system using student standardized test scores that critics say is nonsensical (for example, art teachers are evaluated by student math test scores) and the implementation of the Common Core standards, and aligned Pearson-designed standardized tests. King’s oversight of all of this was considered such a disaster that Cuomo last year wrote in a letter to top state education officials that “Common Core’s implementation in New York has been flawed and mismanaged from the start.”

    Critics of King in New York said he did not give teachers enough time to develop lessons and forced students to take new Pearson-designed standardized tests that themselves were attacked for including unfair questions and bad scoring. King’s testing policies led to the creation of an opt-out movement in New York, in which 20 percent of test-takers statewide sat out the tests this spring.

    On the bright side, this might lead to more opt-out movements.

    1. Massinissa

      Francis is a puppet, sort of like Obama, though at least more sincere than Obama ever was. The Vatican bureaucracy controls the church.

      The church is an organization that is almost two thousand years old, and the older the organization, the more it resists change. Why anyone believes it will or can change just because one man was replaced with another man is beyond my comprehension.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They both have control. Even the Kim Davis audience which I suspect was a plot by a bishop could easily be done and isn’t a huge operation.

        The priest in this case knew he would be fired because there is a restriction on political activity. The priest is doing the right thing, but the RCC knew how the priest was living, Im referring to his partner. He was teaching in Rome for a reason.

        Look at Obama, no one made him go into Libya or in Syria, stay in Afghanistan, and muck around in Iraq. If the shadow government has that kind of control over Obama, why do they have less control over the Iraqi PM, our puppet in the first place, who forced us out? Are you telling me the puppeteers couldn’t get immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq?

        Obama is just a normal Democrat, who has far too many Team Blue fanatics willing to overlook any sin for their candidate.

  17. ewmayer

    Re. Obama warns Putin of Syrian quagmire – Shorter Obama: “Hey, that’s *our* quagmire!”

    Re. Danish travel company promoting sex tourism: Also available in a low-budget version, in which the wannabe grandparents buy their kids a couple bottles of wine, some fruity umbrella-drink mix and a couple of pineapples and lock them in a room wallpapered with a tropical theme and containing a bed, DVD player and a half-dozen tastefully selected pornos and sunny-climate vacation romances for 24 hours. “Don’t come out until saturation bombing has been completed.”

    1. Oregoncharles

      Well, urban blackouts always produce a surge of births 9 months later.

      But you left out the part about tracking the erstwhile mother’s cycle – has to be the RIGHT 24 hours.

  18. Daryl

    Curious what NC readers think of this piece

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/young-entrepreneurs-lead-portugal-out-of-crisis-a-1055954.html

    I am unsure of what to think as I have no knowledge of Portugal’s economic situation, but this sentence was concerning to me.

    > The government’s tax revenues are strong and almost twice as much has been raised through privatization than agreed to with the country’s lenders.

    I assume this was part of the EU bailout packages? What are the long term ramifications of it going to be?

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