Links 11/10/15

Apologies for the lack of original posts. I need to move my sleep cycle earlier.

00-Pound Alligator “Godzilla” Dragged From Shopping Center, Tied Up In Pink Ribbons Gawker

SeaWorld to phase out whale display BBC

The man who made ‘the world’s first personal computer’ BBC

New eyes on the Edmund Fitzgerald: Forty years later, untold stories of the ill-fated ore carrier emerge West Central Tribune (resilc)

Prediction markets can help identify research results that are too good to be true PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Facebook’s referral traffic has plunged for some media outlets Fortune

10 reasons why phishing attacks are nastier than ever InfoWorld (Chuck L)

The Disturbing Truth About How Airplanes Are Maintained Today Vanity Fair

OECD cuts world growth forecast Financial Times

Suu Kyi’s party seen sweeping Myanmar’s historic vote; icon vows to rule ‘above president’ Japan Times

Burma election: Aung San Suu Kyi party looks set for decisive win – live Asian Correspondent

Think Burma Is a Democracy Now? Think Again. Huffington Post


China Cuts and Cuts, but Not Deep Enough Wall Street Journal

China consumer inflation slows to 1.3% Financial Times

Northern China’s dilemma—if you want heat in the winter, it comes with toxic air pollution Quartz

The Eurozone: Deflationary Boom Or Deflationary Bust? Pieria


Recapitalising Greek banks: The damage Economist

Greece fails at first bail-out hurdle as new creditor stalemate beckons Telegraph

Greece’s Bailout Dead End Council for Foreign Relations. You need to read past the neoliberal ideology to get current on the state of play.

Osborne’s cuts cannot penalise working poor Financial Times


Islamic State’s capital could be better off under Islamic State, unless… Reuters (resilc)

ISIS Ally in Egypt Emerges as Key Suspect in Russian Jet Crash – The New York Times (furzy mouse_

Egypt’s Brazen Crackdown on Critics New York Times (furzy mouse)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

On Building Consumer-Friendly Privacy Notices for the IoT Privacy

60 Minutes Casts Snowden, Manning As Traitors ShadowProof

Barack Obama, Lawyer-in-Chief Politico

Own a Vizio Smart TV? It’s watching you Ars Technica (EM)

Imperial Collapse Watch

USA: The country that did not win any war ... failed evolution


Cuban Peers Dispute Ted Cruz’s Father’s Story of Fighting for Castro New York Times (resilc)

Lessons for Ben Carson Washington Post (furzy mouse)

Marco Rubio’s Illegal Presidential Campaign Huffington Post

New Hampshire 2016: Jeb Bush Dodges Issue Of Big Donor’s Pipeline Plan David Sirota, International Business Times

Obama dealt blow over immigration reform Financial Times. We said early on that part of the plan was dodgy…

What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour Robert Reich

3 Lessons From University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s Resignation Nation (resilc)

How does your state rank for integrity? Center for Public Integrity

The US did horribly in a state-by-state corruption study Business Insider (resilc)

Detroit Businesswomen Team Up to Get Rape Kits Tested New York Times (Chuck L)

Police State Watch

Jeremy Mardis: Driver’s hands ‘were up’ when boy killed BBC

Shift to Lower-Carbon Energy Is Too Slow, Report Warns New York Times

The Great Climate Change Hoax Has Reached a New Level of Deceit Charles Pierce, Esquire

Sotheby’s points to selective art market Financial Times. A sign of a top. Weaker “credits” and properties fall first, then the AAA stuff flattens or starts to decline.

The Ibanez Property Ring Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Ibanez was a VERY big deal case at the time, a Massachusetts Supreme Court decision on chain of title issues. Levitin politely shellacks a paper that denigrates the borrower as a justification for saying the decision would have been different had those facts (alleged fraud) been known. Levitin, who wrote an amicus brief in Ibanez, basically says that everything that the paper says about the law is wrong.

Intel Lawsuit Questions Custom Target-Date Fund Construction Plan Sponsor (DO). Decidedly uninformative headline. The first sentence: “A participant in retirement plans sponsored by Intel Corporation has filed a lawsuit claiming custom-built investment portfolios within the plan are too heavily invested in imprudent investments.” Big focus on recent, large increase in allocation to hedge and PE funds. Have not had a chance to read the filing.

Class Warfare

What Does a Bag Designed to Carry $1 Million in Cash Look Like? Core77 (resilc)

Wall Street bonus expectations Business Insider

How Platform Coops Can Beat Death Stars Like Uber to Create a Real Sharing Economy Sharable (kimberly k)

The Strange, True Story of How a Chairman at McKinsey Made Millions of Dollars off His Maid Nation. The headline is embarrassing, even though the article is both sad and fascinating. Kumar was a “director” which means he was the equivalent of a partner. McKinsey does not and has never had “chairmen” or a chairman.

Antidote du jour (@SWildlifepics):

polar bears links

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  1. allan


    Nearly a year after the Senate released a declassified 500-page summary of the [CIA torture] report, the fate of the entire document remains in limbo, the subject of battles in the courts and in Congress. Until those disputes are resolved, the Justice Department has prohibited officials from the government agencies that possess it from even opening the report, effectively keeping the people in charge of America’s counterterrorism future from reading about its past. There is also the possibility that the documents could remain locked in a Senate vault for good.

    Contrary to the old saying, in this case the Czar seems to be working for the Cossack.

    1. James Levy

      In my lifetime, the press has gotten this down pat: first, it didn’t really happen; then, something happened but we don’t know what and mustn’t jump to conclusions; then, bad things happened in isolated cases; finally, of course bad things happened, but such “tragedies” and “mistakes” are endemic to human endeavors and there is nothing we poor humans can do about it (Rumsfeld’s preemptive “shit happens”). I’m sure if I had world enough and time I could demonstrate this as the de facto response by the MSM to every disgraceful action the US has perpetrated since the displacement of the Indians and the suppression of the Philippine Insurrection, but if I showed the media worthies all the evidence in the world they’d still deny any such pattern or any possible collusion. The fear of being castigated as “disloyal” or “compromising national security” or “disrespecting the troops” is so ingrained and potent that there is no need for overt indoctrination or threats. We seem to be, as Yves has pointed out, a nation of rugged individualists who want to be just like every other rugged individualist. When you consider a tough old cynic like Mark Twain was actually afraid to publish The War Prayer you see just how frightened of opprobrium and ostracism we are.

      1. Brindle

        I was unfamiliar with Twain’s The War Prayer—as relevant today as it was in his time.

        —“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle–be Thou near them! With them–in spirit–we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it–for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.—

      2. fresno dan

        Sorry for excessive posting…but an unusual amount of evil today.

        I note your comments Mr. Levy, and so many examples right in the postings today prove your point:

        60 Minutes Casts Snowden, Manning As Traitors ShadowProof
        This may be because Manning never said the thing Showman claims to have heard. Manning, according to Coombs, was talking about the problem of having “blind allegiance” to the flag. She said a person should not be an automaton. A person should have a “duty to all people regardless of their country.” Plus, no one else was present to witness this exchange so it is Showman’s credibility against Manning’s credibility, and she thus far has been allowed to make these statements in courtrooms and in public without the establishment dismissing her as a liar.

        Today’s 60 minutes might as well be a government stenographer. When we are in an era of less and less government “transparency” when the bullsh*t proclamations of the most “transparent” administration in history, more prosecutions for revealing information that is classified that shouldn’t be classified, it just goes on and on.

        The press tries the tack of blind allegiance to curry favor with the government – to get access to more and more worthless, misleading, false information. And they make themselves irrelevant…
        Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
        Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
        Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

      3. low_integer

        We seem to be, as Yves has pointed out, a nation of rugged individualists who want to be just like every other rugged individualist.

        I think ‘rugged individualist’ may be a subtle way of saying the rich can buy all the individualism they like, while the poor will have to be rugged to survive and shouldn’t complain about the rich expressing their individualism, even if it is to their detriment. I mean working class people’s expressions of their individualism are limited by their financial situation, and the rich don’t exactly strike me as having much need to be rugged, although they may affect that image for public consumption.

    1. Darthbobber

      But which car industry? This, from the article itself:

      “Overall, Japan expands production by 12.4% while the US industry contracts by 9.3%.”
      They make some strange assumptions about what rather limited number of factors control all this, by the way.

    1. Massinissa

      I wish the GLibertarians would complain that the police are violating those peoples personal property or something. But the truth is they dont really care about the property of poor people, much less homeless people.

  2. wbgonne

    What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour Robert Reich

    A good read and consistent with my personal experience. The Conservatives condemn “crony capitalism” but recoil from the term “neoliberalism.” I suspect that’s because (somewhat contrary to Reich’s analysis) crony capitalism places most of the blame on government, while neoliberalism suggests there is a problem with capitalism itself. IOW: the Conservatives can decry crony capitalism while still maintaining the core belief that government “interference” is the problem and that the uncompromised free market remains the ideal. This, of course, is where the Progressive and Conservative views diverge since Progressives believe that the “free” market is an illusion and capital markets must necessarily be regulated for the common good. That said, there is still much common ground before that divergence occurs. As for Reich’s hope:

    But I do hope the economic populists in both parties come together

    It is unclear to me how this will occur within the framework of the political duopoly since both parties are controlled by the people benefiting from neoliberal crony capitalism. Perhaps Reich envisions schisms within both parties leading to a populist third party emerging to serve the interests of those who reject the establishment’s political consensus. If Reich believes that either current mainstream party will be overtaken by populists I think he is mistaken.

    1. Lambert Strether

      All I care about is that the issues Sanders raises get into the discourse (i.e., the Overton Window gets dragged left). That seems to be happening.

      It’s amazing to me, except not, that proponents of non-major parties never, ever, EVER explain why their policies are better; that is, why people should vote for them. No, it’s always the guy closest to us in policy terms* is teh suxx0r. This little hit-and-run link exemplifies that tendency. It’s really the lesser of three evils, if you regard several generations of utter organizational and institutional dysfunction in the face of evil as, itself, evil.

      NOTE * That is, to Joe and Jane Sixpack, who don’t follow this stuff obessively, indistinguishable. “Aw, this Socialist says that Socialist is crazy. Maybe they’re all crazy.”

      1. Oregoncharles

        So if I write a head-to-head between Bernie’s positions and the Green Party platform, will you post it? It’s a lot of work I wouldn’t do without good reason – which I wouldn’t otherwise have unless he’s nominated.

        Your statement is exaggerated: some of us have indeed posted examples of policy differences, mostly on foreign affairs and the military. And Green Party campaigns, such as Jill Stein’s, are almost entirely focused on policy positions. Politically, that does NOT work to get votes, other than maybe yours and a few NC readers. That political experience is one reason we’ve been focusing on the institutional aspects; in our actual experience, those are more important – TO VOTERS.

        In my own experience, which is now extensive, the Green Party, both in Oregon and nationally, is about as functional as you can expect with no money and no professional staff (I exaggerate, but only a little). That’s just the nature of anti-corporate politics. Stein’s campaign was something of a miracle for us, as far as effectiveness – but still didn’t get many votes. Most importantly, WE’RE STILL HERE; believe me, that’s a major achievement in a system that’s rigged against us. The Socialists aren’t.

        Now, to be more honest than I should: some years ago, the Green Party approached Bernie about running for President. I advocated that myself. I was told at the time, by one who was involved, that he was “perfectly comfortable” with his position in the Senate and working with the Democrats. I think that was before some positions hardened – we wouldn’t do that now. But the reality is that his positions aren’t that different from ours, aside from Israel and the military. In the larger picture, it’s good for the country that he’s running and, as you say, shifting the Overton window a little. It would be good for the country if he won. But it would put the Green Party on hold for at least another presidential term, and would probably greatly strengthen the Democrats. I don’t consider that a positive outcome, and I don’t think you do, either.

        As of now, he appears to be topped out and falling back a little, so it’s unlikely we’ll face that dilemma. That’s a reason to refrain from campaigning against him; we may well benefit from a legion of disgusted Bernie fans, regardless of his own promises. A lot can happen in the next year.

      2. Massinissa

        Ive been a socialist for half a decade. And I know as well as anyone that nobody hates socialists more than other socialists. There are entire sections on reddit where all they do is bitch at eachother about seemingly minor doctrinal points and about things that happened 80+ years ago during the Russian revolution and all sorts of stuff. Its mind boggling really.

        1. ambrit

          Close. The main fire burned for six days. Some now believe that Chiliastic Christians either started the fire or helped a smaller fire spread so as to bring on the long prophesized “End Times.” Hmmm… The Lord hasn’t shown up yet. Maybe we can speed things up a bit and get him back sooner. A Red Bull anyone?

    2. Darthbobber

      So the Committee for the Fourth International, one of the numerous splinters of the Trotskyist “movement”, reaffirms its strong dislike of the Sanders campaign. Probably not needed, but they and all other Trotskyist sects can be counted upon to vehemently condemn all possible vehicles of change that proceed by some method other than forming the Vanguard Party, determining the “objectively correct” line by what they regard as scientific method (but looks to the naive observer a lot like scholastic theological method), and then getting everybody to march in line.

      Where this does rise to the level of actual analysis, it predictably gets it reasonably wrong. Even something as simple as “REAL change”, is clearly intended to BOTH reference the Obama slogan AND to distinguish itself from it precisely on the basis of specificity. As to whether that is better, worse, or just supplemental to the “political revolution” slogan, depends on whether one ever thought political revolution was really an apt description of what was on offer. In any case, their opposition isn’t about slogans, tactics, etc, and its simply disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

  3. wbgonne

    Excuse me if this Krugman piece was already discussed and I missed it:

    Here Krugman weighs in on the self-destruction of the remnants of the American white middle class. Krugman bandies a few ideas about, couched naturally in the GOP v. Democrat paradigm he seems constitutionally unable to escape. Predictably this captured and self-blinded analysis largely fails, which Krugman admits. Still, Krugman at least scratches toward the truth while, as Krugman notes, Obama prefers to mock disgruntled Republicans as grumpy cats, a show of disdain punctuated with humorous facial expressions, as if it’s all a big joke. Or we see Hillary Clinton atomizing the problem as one of drug addiction to be solved with a politically-exploitive offer of government programs. And I’d say that gets pretty close to the reason for the depair right there: Americans are living through the collapse of the American Dream, that collapse is aided and abetted if not driven by the plutocrats who own both political parties, and the politicians we are unable to replace then deceive us into thinking that the fault is ours.

    1. fresno dan

      November 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

      A couple of weeks ago President Obama mocked Republicans who are “down on America,” and reinforced his message by doing a pretty good Grumpy Cat impression. He had a point: With job growth at rates not seen since the 1990s, with the percentage of Americans covered by health insurance hitting record highs, the doom-and-gloom predictions of his political enemies look ever more at odds with reality.

      Yet there is a darkness spreading over part of our society. And we don’t really understand why.

      Yes, I saw it. I thought about posting about it, but I knew I would just rant and rave…and raise my blood pressure.
      For Krugman to say “and we don’t really understand why” is to understand that Swedish bankers giving awards to economists is equivalent to proctologists giving awards to tapeworms….
      (I could say something about swimming in a river of sh*t, but I’m gonna be nice and not…)

      Krugman doesn’t understand why? REALLY???? He makes Candide look like a manic depressive.
      Well, if you think the ACA is the very best we can do, and people love it (and ONLY republicans don’t), you have some numbers that say they should, and if you think the unemployment rate is accurate and gives a true reflection of people’s ability to get by, well than you will be BEfuddled….

      AND “the doom-and-gloom predictions of his political enemies look ever more at odds with reality.”

      And people think Krugman is liberal. What’s the phrase by Glen Ford – – “the more effective evil”

      1. nycTerrierist

        Perhaps Krugman doesn’t understand the difference between health insurance (with sky-high deductibles and narrow networks, etc.) and actual health care./

        1. Massinissa

          How did that phrase go?

          Its easy to get a man to not understand something if he is paid to not understand it?

  4. Ulysses

    Apologies if this was already linked here, but there has been a potentially significant development on the Big Brother is Watching Watch:

    “In my December 2013 Opinion, I stayed my order pending appeal in light of the national security interests at stake and the novelty of the constitutional issues raised,” he wrote. “I did so with the optimistic hope that the appeals process would move expeditiously.”

    “However, because it has been almost two years since I first found that the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program likely violates the Constitution and because the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm,” he continued, “I will not do so today.”

    1. fresno dan

      “Leon said he regretted not issuing the injunction when he first ruled on the case, and that his faith in the appeals system had been misplaced. “In my December 2013 Opinion, I stayed my order pending appeal in light of the national security interests at stake and the novelty of the constitutional issues raised,” he wrote. “I did so with the optimistic hope that the appeals process would move expeditiously.”

      Discretion is the better part of valor, so I can understand the judge NOT being forthright and simply stating that he no longer has any faith in the “appeals process” instead of the more accurate “appeals judges” who think privacy is NOT an important constitutional issue.
      5th amendment, we hardly knew ye…

  5. mrmetrowest

    Thank you for linking to the story about Jeb!, the Kinder Morgan pipeline and his unwillingness to take a stand on an issue that is foremost in the minds of people who are in the way of this crony capitalist monstrosity. In fairness to the slower of the Bush brothers, it should be pointed out that his ambivalence toward the pipeline (NED) is an attitude embraced equally by many Democratic politicians, including Elizabeth Warren, whose silence on this issue is notable. In fact, with a few exceptions, the typical response from politicians at the federal level in ultra-blue NY and MA, and purple NH, has been to call for ‘openness and transparency’ in the pipeline siting process, a phrase that will be quickly recognized by connoisseurs as nothing but concern trolling.

    Residents of Massachusetts might have thought their polity would keep a Texas based energy company founded by the COO of Enron from having its way with them. Sadly, not only will their landscape be despoiled with a noxious industrial project but they will have to pay for it too, as Gov Baker’s DPU is taking the unprecedented and perhaps illegal step of allowing an electric ratepayer tariff to be assessed for payment of gas pipeline infrastructure.

    This tariff is utterly necessary for the pipeline’s development, as an unstated but obvious goal of Kinder Morgan is to supply two proposed LNG export facilities in Nova Scotia (Bear Head and Goldboro) with fracked gas for export. At current world LNG prices, those facilities are probably not economic and won’t be built. And without those customers, with no tariff the NED pipeline likely is not economic either. Thanks to Gov Baker and fellow travelers from both parties, the only question is, will Kinder Morgan win, or win bigger?

    1. alex morfesis

      I think we should allow all the pipelines the industries want…as long as for every 100 gallons that is spilled, by statute the entire board of directors and the top 25 executives need to spend one day in a maximum security federal prison…so spill 10 thousand gallons, spend 100 days enjoying Jonathan the murdering drug dealer biker make you his bee-#$%&-chee roommate…when the world of wall street had partnerships, there was less over all risk taking…enterprises over a certain size should be held out as partnerships…oh wait…hedgefunds and PE’s already make that argument…but only for tax purposes…lets stretch it out across the entire playing field…you want that corporate jet life style…enjoy the capacity to wear orange when you fumble…

      1. hunkerdown

        I think you’re on to something. If the smelly poor are the only thing TPTB really fear, rubbing their nose in them is the only real way to control TPTB.

      2. Optimadsr

        I can see requiring a lloyds of london style unlimited liability underwriting scheme for all ahareholders/ board members to remedy pioeline damages incurred due to spills/ failures.

        1. alex morfesis

          Lloyds is a non capital callable syndicate system (for the most part)…a bit like selling an option…just hope no one calls you when the losses come in…historically speaking…catastrophe payouts magically never actually happen…

          1. Optimadsr

            The model of a syndicate of members (Names) that participate in the unlimted personal downside risk as a entry requirement to invest in the upside potential of a pipeline I think would be a great moderator of enthusiasm for the pipeline venture.

            No suggesting how all the gears would mesh, but apparently it would have some prospect of efficacy if you consider how the Nuke utility industry vaccinated itsself legeslativly to avoid analogous bottomless risk

  6. JTMcPhee

    I see where The Only President We Got is telling us what a great deal TPP and the rest are for us mope USans. Please forgive me for reproducing the whole thing, it is such a classic it deserves more exposure than a click might generate:

    “A Trade Deal for on the backs of Working Families
    By Barack Obama

    As president, my top priority is to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class. When I took office, America was in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression — but thanks to the hard work and resilience of the American people, [and no thanks to my government/administration] our businesses have created 13.5 million jobs over the past 68 months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation in history. The unemployment rate has been cut nearly in half — lower than it’s been in more than seven years. We have come back further and faster from recession than nearly every other advanced nation on Earth.

    That’s real progress. But as any middle-class family will tell you, we have more to do. That’s why I believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so important. It’s a trade deal that helps working families get ahead. [Can you spell “non sequitur?]

    At a time when 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, this agreement will open up new markets to made-in-America goods and services. Today, exports support 11.7 million American jobs. Companies that sell their goods around the world tend to grow faster, hire more employees and pay higher salaries than companies that don’t. On average, export-supported jobs pay up to 18 percent more than other jobs.

    These are good jobs — and this agreement will lead to even more of them. It would eliminate more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on made-in-America products. For instance, last year, we exported $89 billion in automotive products alone to TPP countries, many of which have soaring tariffs — more than 70 percent in some cases — on made-in-America products. Our farmers and ranchers, whose exports account for roughly 20 percent of all farm income, face similarly high tariffs. Thanks to the TPP, those taxes will drop drastically, most of them to zero. That means more U.S. exports supporting more higher-paying American jobs.

    At a time when our workers too often face an unfair playing field, this agreement also includes the highest labor standards of any trade deal in history. Provisions protecting worker safety and prohibiting child labor make sure that businesses abroad play by the same kinds of rules we have here at home. Provisions protecting the environment and combating wildlife trafficking make sure that economic growth doesn’t come at the expense of the only planet we call home. And these commitments are enforceable — meaning we can hold other countries accountable through trade sanctions if they don’t follow through. So, these tough new rules level the playing field, and when American workers have a fair chance to compete, I believe they’ll win every time.

    I’ve said many times that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the right thing for our economy, for working Americans and for our middle class. But I’m not asking you to take my word for it. Instead, I’ve posted the agreement online. If you build cars in places such as Detroit, you can see for yourself how your products will have a better shot of hitting the road in places such as Japan. If you’re a farmer or rancher, you’ll see how your products will face fewer barriers abroad. If you’re a small-business owner, you’ll see how this agreement will mean less paperwork and less red tape.

    Along with the text of the agreement, we’ve posted detailed materials to help explain it. It’s an unprecedented degree of transparency — and it’s the right thing to do. Not every American will support this deal, and neither will every member of Congress. But I believe that in the end, the American people will see that it is a win for our workers, our businesses and our middle class. And I expect that, after the American people and Congress have an opportunity for months of careful review and consultation, Congress will approve it, and I’ll have the chance to sign it into law.

    Together, we’ve overcome enormous obstacles over the past seven years. We’ve taken an economy that was in free fall and returned it to steady growth and job creation. And we’ve put ourselves in a position to restore America’s promise not only now, but for decades to come. That’s what I believe this agreement will help us do.

    This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    It occurs to me that Obama might actually be playing some kind of 11-dimensional Vulcan chess game. Whether or not this particular salient gets implanted in the rest of us, he gets all the perks that will flow to him, and of course to his “nuclear family,” from going all out for this complete suppression of sovereignty of any place in the world except where Large Corprophagists want to assert such sovereignty (as where standards and regulations are at the bottom-most possible baseline and are thus to be used as the Troika “standards” to measure the potential “lost” anticipated profits [sic]). And of course if the Corprophagists do manage to pull out a ‘win” here, he and his nuclear family will be protected through their lifetimes against the worst of the sh_tstorm of dare we call it fascism that’s building up behind some poorly maintained dams and dikes and levies of steadily eroding ‘”ruleoflawstuff.”

    But maybe he really has a decent bone in his body, some residue of “Christian morality,” or at least is hedging, by being so horrifically overboard and patently disingenuous about what this set of complexities entails for the planet and particularly for all those people that he is “president of,” that he is feeding a groundswell of anger and resistance that at least makes a Sumo match out of the contest, rather than a complete walk-over, or one of those scenes from “Catch-22,” where Milo Minderbinder, with the apparently willing cooperation of the Squadron it should be noted, bombs the US troops for cost-plus-10%, or where Yossarrian is dragged into a concrete room with just the steel chair and the bright hanging overhead light…

    Naaaahh, that latter is nonsense. He WANTS the Corprophagists to win. He is convinced that’s the future of the planet, and he wants to be on the winning side. “Resistance is futile, plus I get my payday…”

    How it works, in case one has not been exposed to Heller’s hellish vision:

    “The Syndicate

    Minderbinder’s enterprise becomes known as “M & M Enterprises”, with the two M’s standing for his initials and the “&” added to dispel any idea that the enterprise is a one-man operation. Minderbinder travels across the world, especially around the Mediterranean, trying to buy and sell goods at a profit, primarily through black market channels. Everyone has a “share”, a fact which Minderbinder uses to defend his actions, stating that what is good for the company is good for all. For example, he secretly replaces the CO2 cartridges in the emergency life vests with printed notes to the effect that what is good for M & M is good for the country.

    Eventually, Minderbinder begins contracting missions for the Germans, fighting on both sides in the battle at Orvieto, and bombing his own squadron at Pianosa. At one point Minderbinder orders his fleet of aircraft to attack the American base where he lives, killing many American officers and enlisted men. He finally gets court-martialed for treason. However, as M&M Enterprises proves to be incredibly profitable, he hires an expensive lawyer who is able to convince the court that it was capitalism which made America great, and is absolved only by disclosing his enormous profit to the investigating congressional committee.

    In typical Catch-22 satirical fashion, Minderbinder’s business is incredibly profitable, with the single exception of his decision to buy all Egyptian cotton in existence, which he cannot unload afterwards (except to other entrepreneurs, who sell the cotton back to him because he simply ordered all Egyptian cotton) and tries to dispose of by coating it with chocolate and serving it in the mess hall. Later Yossarian gives Minderbinder the idea of selling the cotton to the government, since “the business of government is ‘business’.”

    The exact size of Minderbinder’s syndicate is never specified. At the beginning of the novel, it is merely a system that gets fresh eggs to his mess hall by buying them in Sicily for one cent, selling them to Malta for four and a half cents, buying them back for seven cents, and finally selling them to the mess halls for five cents. However, the syndicate is soon revealed to have become a large company, and then an international syndicate, making Minderbinder the Mayor of Palermo, Assistant Governor-General of Malta, Shah of Oran, Caliph of Baghdad, mayor of Cairo, and the god of corn, rain, and rice in various pagan African countries. Whenever Minderbinder appears in one of his cities, an impromptu holiday with parades forming around him is declared.”

  7. JTMcPhee

    How about a little reality for the reality-based community? It’s not all Great! Enrollment, Now You Have The Right To Try To Get Actual Health Care From Your Insurance “Contract” sweetness and light — here’s a link for anyone interested in something beyond the sales pitch, and it’s even balanced, starting with “successes” listings and going on to cover Fails:

    “The White House has helped gather many success stories born of the Affordable Care Act.

    Read ACA success stories here.

    Many people have undoubtedly been helped: for example, the previously uninsurable with pre-existing conditions.

    However, other Americans have been disappointed by Obamacare and believe it has worked against them.

    Tell your “fail” stories by clicking “comments” in the horizontal gray bar above on this page or scroll to the very bottom of this page. Please be specific, be nice and stick to the facts. To read the stories, click “comments” or read below.

    Read all of my reports here.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Cruz’s father’s story of fighting for Castro.

    It’s not the same here (first father, then son), but it reminds me of how man smart young Red Pioneers under USSR, passionate about socialism, distinguished him/herself for the Kremlin, then only to become brilliant capitalists in today’s world.

    (Or Red guard one day, billionaire tomorrow).

    The only common thread here is that they are smart and can thrive in any system, as long as they can convince themselves to believe the supremacy of the system.

    “Today an ardent leftist, tomorrow, a successful right winger.”

    Versatile and smart.

    1. Massinissa

      Angela Merkel used to be in the Communist Youth. Now she is, what, the most ardent capitalist leader in all of Europe?

  9. fresno dan

    “An increasingly twisted sense of humour could be one of the early signs of dementia, a new study has found, including laughing at inappropriate moments.”

    Oh O!!!
    Well, my only chance is that I have had, for as long as I can remember, a permanently high plateau of sick, depraved, and sarcastic humor (and humor is spelled the right way – the American WAY ….we should bomb those warm beer swilling surrender toads…)

  10. fresno dan

    Jeremy Mardis: Driver’s hands ‘were up’ when boy killed BBC

    “Col Michael Edmonson of Louisiana state police said on Monday he was still “figuring out” why the father and son’s car was being pursued by police.
    Hopefully they did not see the boy was in the back seat before they fired, he told CNN.

    You have to wonder how many people have been shot by police with their hands up before the age of cameras. And in light of the fact that maybe the victim should not even have been stopped…well, maybe 1st degree murder is the more appropriate charge…

  11. ProNewerDeal

    fw: PBS Newshour clip “Mexico’s sugar clinics help patients gain control over diabetes” . the reporter claims 72% of MEXian adults are overweight or obese. IIRC this is almost as bad as the ~76% USian adults’ ratio. Perhaps the MEX health problems mentioned here, are another underacknowledged, negative result of NAFTA?

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Northern China’s dilemma.

    Maybe they will go south.

    And that won’t be the first time in her history. There were at least 3 mass migrations in the last 2,000 years, if you don’t count those driven into, say, (what is called today) Thailand – the Thais were as far north as Shandong, or the Yueh (or Viet) people into Viet-nam who call themselves the Kihn people today.

    Most southern Chinese today are descendants of northern Chinese 1,000 years or more ago. The Min Nan tongue is very close to the spoken Chinese at the end of the Han/Wei dynasties. The ancient poems actually rhyme when read in that dialect, whereas many don’t when pronounced in Mandarin Chinese or Putonghua.

    Most northern Chinese today are of the Xiabei, Xiognu, Jurchen, Mongol, Turkish stocks. When they move south one day, maybe the Russians and Mongolians will have room to move a little south too.

    That’s been the way historically.

    And those in Southern China can go to South Asia, the Americas or Europe.

    Some, but not many, will go to Africa. It’s a mystery, similar to the mystery of why so few gurus, zen masters went to Africa, compared with the number that have come to save those (celebrity disciples will not be rejected) in America and Europe.

    It’s also similar to the mystery of how political refugees would seek to go to xenophobic, but prosperous Germany, but not to socialist but not so prosperous Cuba, for example.

    1. Massinissa

      About Cuba, isnt it already sort of crowded? Im not sure theres that much room

      Anyway, lots of the refugees want to go to Sweden because of Swedens social welfare.

      Not that Sweden has that much room anyway, or at least room that isnt freezing cold.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    OECD cuts world growth forecast.

    This is a special good time to ‘come together, share what we have so we can survive the coming storm.’

    Smaller GDP, but better distribution.

  14. Peter Pan

    How does your state rank for integrity? Center for Public Integrity

    California gets a 94 on State Pension Fund Management? Seriously?

  15. Jerry Denim

    The VF story on the outsourcing of critical airline maintenance work really squares with the comments of reader jetfxr from a few days ago.

    I can vouch for this quote: “The Federal Aviation Administration is supposed to be inspecting all the overseas facilities that do maintenance for airlines—just as it is supposed to inspect those in America. But the F.A.A. no longer has the money or the manpower to do this.”

    I have spoken with numerous senior FAA inspectors over the years who have told me the same story. One told me he was working beyond his retirement age because he felt his work was important and if he retired he would not be replaced. His position would be eliminated. He claimed he was already doing the work of three people previously under his supervision who had resigned and had not been replaced in recent years due to budget constraints, so he planned to keep working as long as possible. As it as often said around here, ‘feature not a bug’. Airline management scores yet another return on their lobbying dollars at the expense of the flying public, government workers, and the domestic labor market.

    1. jsn

      I expect that none of the owners of these airlines fly on them any more. If the elite don’t depend on it, its an unnecessary expense to be competed away with regulatory arbitrage. Now that the process is begun, it won’t end until the airline sector destroys its own credibility, which can happen pretty quickly. I think I’ll bike to Texas for Christmas…

      1. tim s

        I’d say that the elite absolutely depend on those who fly the airlines, though, and if the elite start to get their own managerial class to start to hate them as those of us lower down the food chain do now, then their problems compound that much more.

  16. fresno dan

    Most political scientists believe that Trump’s polling success — which began in June and peaked in early September — reflects his domination of the media. When Republican voters were hearing plenty about Trump, and little about the other candidates, they told pollsters they would vote for him. Trump is still receiving the most attention. But most voters aren’t paying close attention yet, and therefore are unfamiliar with the rest of the candidates.

    Kevin Drum at Mother Jones argues that the real-estate mogul’s manipulation of the press is innovative. Trump and Ben Carson are willing to say things that more traditional candidates would regard as outrageous and politically suicidal, and journalists gobble up these statements.

    Drum explains:

    The difference is that most presidential candidates in the past figured they had to act at least nominally presidential if they didn’t want to end up as ignored as Alan Keyes. But apparently the political media has changed. Reporters and editors are now as eager as any gossip show to cover obvious buffoonery, and both Trump and Ben Carson have ridden that wave.

    I suspect that’s mostly wrong. The constraint in the past wasn’t that the media wouldn’t cover the off-kilter pronouncements of presidential candidates. It was that the contenders themselves would not make these comments. They wanted to please their parties, which would not nominate people who were not considered serious.

    My own view is that there is a LOT of media, and its big gaping maw has to be filled….doesn’t matter with what – well, actually, your not going to get good ratings with detailed and serious analysis, kinda of like who wants to eat their broccoli (I actually like broccoli) when they can have ice cream…all ICE CREAM all the time!

    I just wish there were some interesting questions ONCE in a while.
    I would like to see Carson asked this:
    Why is it that in the early, early part of the republican nomination, black nominees do so well (Keyes, Cain) but than disappear? Which of your policies are substantively different than Mr. Keyes or Mr. Cain that will help you do so much better? Or were they not nominated because they were just not true Christians?

  17. Jim Haygood

    Stuff’s gettin’ real:

    On Monday at a Springfield, Illinois rally, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said that Hillary Clinton is running for president to avoid going to jail.

    “People are in jail right now for doing five percent of what she did and the Democrats are not gonna to prosecute her, and it’s frankly a disgrace,” Trump said. “And you know it and so do I and so do these people right here—they know it.”

    Regarding Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State and mishandling of classified information, Trump said that “and you better remember that there’s a six-years statute of limitations on that crime.”

    “Hillary is running for a lot of reasons—one of ‘em is because she wants to stay out of jail.”

    Trump added that, “if we had honest government, Hillary wouldn’t be allowed to run.”

    Nor would Trump, most likely. But that’s another story.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Can she try to buy China’s ambassadorship to America and claim diplomatic immunity?

      Seems cheaper to go that way.

    2. cwaltz

      Using that logic Dubya and his cronies should be sharing an adjoining cell.

      I’ve got a name for Donald Trump- Scooter Libby

      Trump shouldn’t play pretend, we haven’t had an honest government for years.

  18. Jim Haygood

    Vampire squid bags a dove:

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced today that Neel Kashkari has been appointed its 13th president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2016. Narayana Kocherlakota will end his tenure as president and CEO on Dec. 31.

    The news is interesting to fed watchers as Kocherlakota was seen as an overt dove.

    Kashkari, 42, has had a varied career spanning both the private and public sectors. Kashkari served in the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2006 to 2009, established and led the Office of Financial Stability and oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

    Before joining the Treasury Department, Kashkari was a vice president at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco.,+Replacing+Kocherlakota/11057878.html

    Who’s our daddy?

  19. shinola

    University of Mo. president steps down: My local rag (Kansas City Star) has 2 long articles about this; front page splash & 1st page sports section. It seems something that struck me immediately is beginning to sink in:

    The football team took out the president.

    Not protesting (non-athlete) students & faculty, not a hunger strike but THE FOOTBALL TEAM!

    This could represent a rather dramatic shift in campus power dynamics. The university simply could not afford a strike by the football team. I am sure this is not unique to M.U.

    The sports writer claims to have contacted admin’s at several other Big Football U’s & reports that they are “concerned” about this development.

    OMG – what if other teams develop a social conscience? Or even start to make demands in their own self interest.
    Things could get interesting…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think football players should also demand penalties (for roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness, for example) not be losing yards, but suspicions, like in European football.

      Two in a season, at any time during the season, you sit out the next time.

      Technical fouls, you sit out the next game (well, that’s basketball).

    2. craazyboy

      What if college football teams demanded better working conditions and refused to hit each other all the time? Watching college football would be like watching a girl’s volleyball game! A bunch of girly men prancing around patting a football around in the air. Still wearing helmets and tight pants too, I’ll bet. That’s the kind of thing I’d expect to get started at UMKC.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think better uniforms that will go with those new working conditions would have to involve tutus.

    3. alex morfesis

      do you think Jim Brown at 80 yrs old can still outrun campus police…betcha his fingerprints are all over this…

  20. alex morfesis

    no more whales for poor people(seaworld)…sadly, lost in this “save the whales” noise, the mystery Malibu Surfer Realtor who claims his “daughter” started this boycott works real hard to keep the “hoi polloi” off his surfer beach and out of his “special little town”…i am sure he regularly advertises in hispanic and black media with his property listings…

    so only rich people will now get to enjoy a whale close up…gonna have to pay for a boat captain to take you out there somewhere to see a whale now…no need for the children of the plebes to have the joy of the mist of a whale splashing upon them…back to the fields you surfs…all these protesters walking over homeless children to save the animals…i guess animals dont talk back much so it feels better to save an animal than a child…serfs up

      1. alex morfesis

        have you ever been to one of these shows…it is quite designed for the awe of children to see a large creature in a manner that might inspire them to get into marine biology instead of being afraid of some creature of the deep…

        with all due respects to all who insist these animals are suffering…these are quite capable of taking out their anger as has been shown…these are not empty vassals…but my thing is the children will lose out…I should say those children who are not wealthy…

        its much like the noise that is made to not bring up “treasures” of the deep…leave them in situ…so that rich folks in yachts can plunder…I mean….view…because since these rich folks who just shut down factories and move the jobs to asia…I mean…they respect things…so only the well off special people get to dive onto wrecks…and maybe pluck a souvie or two…

        and those who are animal crazy lovers dare not put in the time or energy being foster parents to a needy child…animals don’t much talk back…cats might…but saving a whale or a shark even is much easier since there is no communication and no complication…now if all the children in the usa were well taken care of and tended to…then perhaps we could move onto to animals…or adults next and then animals…or children in other needy countries first and then adults in those countries…and then maybe animals…

        1. optimader

          Im sorry, utter bullshit
          Even you impression of comparative cost (Sea World vs a whale watching cruise) is utter bullshit.
          If you want to enrich some kid w/ the prospect of engendering an interest in marine biology , put ’em on a boat in the ocean for three hours, not in some concrete artifice that tortures marine mammals with resultant premature deaths.

          1. alex morfesis

            right…premature deaths…because…commercial fishing across the ocean does not kill any sharks or whales…I am actually shocked more sharks dont chew on humans for revenge…but again…my argument is lost…we spend way too much energy worrying about mammals that do not talk back…because the average working family can just get on a boat into the ocean…which is not the same experience…but it is what it is…puny little humans vs giant orcas…but the orcas are forced to be nice…out of fear ???

            this is like folks who scream they are against the death penalty but don’t seem to mind when their governors give out drivers licenses to children and old folks who can hardly walk…guaranteeing the death of at least 5000 americans every year…but lets not focus on the big picture…lets do some feel good stuff and shout out like we took it to the man…and the whale in question is over 30 years old already…but to me…the idea that one would be held up in a pool by an orca is insanity…a bit daredevilish…

            and we should also make sure there are no lions in zoos…they should only be in the wild in zimbabwe…where rich dentists can lure them out and shoot them at close range…

            2000 whales per year are killed commercially by japan norway and iceland…there are 11 or 12 orcas in seaworld san diego…and plenty of needy children along the way…

            1. optimader

              This is one of the more bizarre trains of thought I’ve read on NC.

              If you were being sarcastic I’d be chuckling, but I’m pretty sure you’re serious, right?

  21. low_integer

    I had to sigh today when I saw US government official Josh Earnest on the news talking about the elections in Myanmar, lamenting the fact that Myanmar is not a democracy because a portion of the seats in its parliament, one quarter I think, are de facto given to/taken by the military. Whatever the case with Myanmar, this seems like a lower concentration of military representation than there is in US politics, though admittedly without all the subterfuge.
    The word ‘democracy’, as used by US government types, is really sounding a bit worn out these days too, which is not to say that I don’t agree with it when it is implemented in its true form.

  22. ekstase

    That’s great that the San Diego Sea World is shutting down the whale display. Unfortunately they seem to be keeping others open. It sounds like public opinions in each community have a lot to do with their decisions:

    “Vice-President of Communications at SeaWorld Fred Jacobs told the BBC that the changes reflect “input received” in San Diego.
    “It does not affect our other parks,” he added.”

    I wonder if the public in other towns really likes to keep whales in tanks.

  23. Oregoncharles

    “What I Learned on my Red State Book Tour,” Robert Reich

    Good article, with a gaping hole.

    This is a good example:

    “They claimed giant food processors were using their monopoly power to squeeze the farmers dry, and the government was doing squat about it because of Big Agriculture’s money.”

    There’s a little problem with this, for Reich: Democrats have controlled the administration for 7 years now. If the government is “doing nothing” about monopoly and fraud, that’s Obama you’re talking about. the same Obama who got millions in “campaign” cash from Wall St. and big business, then appointed their minions to every gov’t. post that mattered. None of this is news on NC (I originally wrote this for the article on Salon).

    That just might be one reason those “red states” are still red. Not that they’re happy with the Republicans, either, which is, as Reich grasped, the real reason Trump and Carson, complete outsiders, are the frontrunners for the nomination.

    It’s the very same reason Sanders is doing as well as he is in the Democratic race – but you notice, he is NOT the frontrunner. Is the Democratic Party even more beholden to the plutocracy than the Republicans?

    Which raises a good question for Democratic Party loyalists: what are you going to do about that? When is enough? Not questions Mr. Reich is ready for.

  24. Oregoncharles

    Somehow I just don’t find the sight of a mama polar bear, apparently up close and personal, all that reassuring.

  25. JEHR

    USA: The country that did not win any war: the article is amazing because it says that the US does not win wars, but its economy does! Wowsers!!!

  26. KFritz

    Re: Platform Co-ops (not coops):

    For the ‘social engineering’ aspect of their incubation and expansion, study successful co-ops of the past, especially Mondragon. And don’t just study them, talk to them, and see what can be gleaned.

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