Links 11/15/15

The Best Offense in College Football Is Also the Laziest WSJ. There’s a lesson here for all of us!

‘Gigantic mis-selling phenomenon’ FT

The Mega-Danger of Mega-Deals: Monopolies Are Crushing U.S. Workers and Consumers David Dayen, Fiscal Times

How Twitter can see the financial future – and change it The Conversation

The definition of recession needs a rethink FT

PPI Unexpectedly Declines Second Month; Another Big Decline Likely Next Month Global Economic Analysis

Use the Post Office to Help the Unbanked Bloomberg. The Editorial Board (!).

How disruptive technology destroys pensions FT

The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice Sheet NYT (DL).

Creation Care tried to bring evangelicals into the climate movement. Here’s why it failed. Vox

Montreal is going to start dumping untreated sewage into one of Canada’s biggest rivers Reuters


8 ways to defend against terror nonviolently Waging Nonviolence

Putin Plan: The Russian President’s Strategy for Syria Der Speigel

World powers to push for Jan. 1 start of Syria negotiations, then cease-fire WaPo

How to Defeat ISIS With Millennial Spirit and Service Ron Fournier, National Journal. That was fast; piggybacking one’s favorite policy on top of an unrelated policy meltdown is a favored Beltway pastime.

Study finds more child abuse in homes of returning vets USA Today


China banks face instability on shake-up of funding base South China Morning Post

Chinese ‘low-level’ banking crisis biggest threat to global economy Sidney Morning Herald

China’s corruption crackdown is so vast, top officials from every single province have been nabbed Quartz

Wal-Mart Uprising: The Battle for Labor Rights in China The Diplomat

Paddy-whacked The Economist

A Pro-Democracy Landslide in Myanmar The Atlantic

Tens of Thousands March in S. Korea Anti-Government Rally VOA

More couples saying, ‘I do … but not yet’ Japan Times

Trade Traitors

Obama Faces a Tough Road with TPP Trade Deal Fortune

Utah Senator, Crucial Ally for the Pacific Rim Trade Deal, Is Now Its Main Hurdle NYT

Germany protests lack of transparency in US trade talks EU Observer

Blairites, Brownites, Corbyn refuseniks: where do the New Labour tribes go next? Guardian

Portugal’s Novo Banco Has $1.5 Billion Shortfall in Stress Test Bloomberg

Police State Watch

Chicago cops conducted unauthorized spying on protesters Chicago Sun-Times

Marksville infighting made a bad situation worse Shreveport Times. What’s that Orson Welles movie with the candybar-munching Sheriff? Touch of Evil. Marksville sounds a lot like Los Robles….

Missouri Lawmaker Seeks To Block Students From Studying Restrictive Abortion Law HuffPo (RH).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Stories of race: People and events that have had an impact on MU The Missourian

Mizzou has a history of stalled race initiatives St Louis Post-Dispatch


Donald Trump: Mizzou Protests are ‘Disgusting’ NBC

Ohio Polls Showed Pot Legalization Winning …But then it Failed 2:1 Columbus Free Press. Uh oh…

Republicans consider drafting Mitt Romney for 2016 White House run: report Xinhua

Former CIA Chief: Carson’s Instincts the Foreign-Policy Class of the GOP Presidential Field Foreign Policy

Ben Carson raps Jeb Bush for intervening in Terri Schiavo case: ‘It was much ado about nothing’ Raw Story

How Bernie Sanders has already won David Axelrod, CNN. Axelrod would have us believe that Clinton isn’t faking left. Pas si bête.

Democratic Debate

UPDATE Here’s the transcript (Fresno Dan). Let the meme generation begin!

Winner of the 2nd Democratic debate: John Dickerson Politico. You can be sure that if Politico thought Clinton won, they’d say just that. But CBS and Dickerson did very well. Why, it’s almost as if CBS, unlike CNBC and Fox, is a news organization…

Hillary Clinton Missed Her Chance to Explain How She Would Defeat ISIS Slate

Clinton wobbled on foreign policy in debate Olivier Knox, Yahoo News

Sweet: Clinton, distancing herself from Obama on Islamic State, wins Dem debate Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times. That’s Chicago Sun-Times.

Sanders: I’m not as much of a socialist as Ike USA Today. When Sanders said his top rate wouldn’t be as high as Eisenhower’s 90%, to laughter and applause. That talking point has been around a long time, glad to see Sander use it.

I actually listened to the debate. We’ll have to wait a couple of days for the press to impose the narrative on us, but I thought Clinton was shifty, long on context but short on policy specifics*, and I thought her point that SuperPACs were no problem because 60% of her donors are women was idiotic (though idiotic in precisely the way that Democratic identity politics makes you idiotic). Sanders improved. He reminds me one of those scrappy underdogs that keeps hanging around, hacking and chipping away, until the third quarter, when everybody wakes up to the fact that the big school might actually lose, despite all that money and the fancy uniforms.

* Except, tellingly, on her minimum wage proposal for $12, where she had a complex argument all worked out: $12, she thinks, is fine for the fly-over states, and places like Seattle will have to pay $15. So why not $15 for the fly-over states, and $18 in Seattle? $12 will be hard to sell to the base, I think, or what we used to think of as the base.

How The Old Farmer’s Almanac Previewed the Information Age The Atlantic

This man has been tasked with turning Facebook into a best friend that can get you whatever you need Business Insider. Please go away.

It’s Way Too Easy to Hack the Hospital Bloomberg. (This excellent article is JavaScript heavy and you may need to switch browsers to read it.)

The World’s Most Musical Languages The Atlantic

Simon Schama: The rediscovery of Shelley FT. Lost work rediscovered:

Millions to fight compell’d, to fight or die
In mangled heaps on War’s red altar lie.
The sternly wise, the mildly good, have sped
To the unfruitful mansions of the dead.

Antidote du jour:


Ceu, Isabel’s adopted goat, in the foreground.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    Hillary lied her ass off when asked about Libya.

    • The Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong. Libya’s 2011 uprising was never peaceful, but instead was armed and violent from the start. Muammar al-Qaddafi did not target civilians or resort to indiscriminate force. Although inspired by humanitarian impulse, NATO’s intervention did not aim mainly to protect civilians, but rather to overthrow Qaddafi’s regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans.

    • The Intervention Backfired. NATO’s action magnified the conflict’s duration about sixfold and its death toll at least sevenfold, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If Libya was a “model intervention,” then it was a model of failure.

    1. Carolinian

      In the NYT this morning there was speculation that ISIS will make Libya their redoubt if driven out of Syria and Iraq because it has no effective government to resist them. That would be the Libya that R2P Hillary convinced a reluctant Obama to regime change. It’s encouraging that Sanders is finally starting to challenge her on foreign policy although it may be too late to shift the race. Still, the Paris attacks introduce a new element. Is it finally time for a dove among the hawks?

        1. Oregoncharles

          The Sunnis in Iraq are a minority, up against the extremely effective Kurdish Peshmerga (attacking the Kurds was a huge strategic error) and the hate-filled Shia militias. A blood bath is all too likely. Maybe that’s what you mean by “something worse.”

          1. Daryl

            Unless something changes, the Kurds are probably not interested in occupying northern Iraq outside of Kurdish areas, and the Shia definitely aren’t (as demonstrated by the Roadrunner-esque cloud they left there along with some brand-spanking-new military equipment courtesy of Uncle Sam).

        2. different clue

          Here is how it could be driven out by something better. The Shia Supremacist regime in Baghdad realizes that without a fair deal for the Sunni Iraqi Arabs, the Arab tribes will never work against the ISIS in their midst. The Baghdad regime gives up on Shia Supremacism and accepts Sunni-Shia equality. The tribes now have something to revolt FOR. So they revolt, and with help from the Kurds and semiKurdish forces and Russia/Iran . . . they surround and exterminate all ISIS personnel in personal individual-by-individual detail. That way, ISIS would be replaced by something better, and no ISIS vermin would survive to escape and infest Libya.
          (Local scum identifying themselves with ISIS for shits and giggles would be another matter).

  2. fresno dan

    Paris Attacks Suggest Shift in Islamic State’s Strategy WSJ

    “Let France and all the nations following in its path know that they will continue to be at the top of the target list for Islamic State, and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils.…Indeed, it is just the beginning,” Islamic State said in its claim of responsibility for Friday’s attack.

    Given just how simple it is to kill random civilians in a Western city, that isn’t an idle warning. Its also one that calls into question the U.S.-led policy of using limited means to contain, rather than decisively defeat, Islamic State.

    I watched the democratic debate last night (yes, I have no life….)

    Well, John I think that– we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated.

    (I assume everyone knows the quote from the President about Isis being contained…)
    anyway, my three favorite quotes:
    1!!!! Yes, I do believe there must be a tax on Wall Street speculation. We bailed out Wall Street. It is their time to bail out the middle class. Help our kids be able to go to college tuition free. So we pay for this by do demanding that the wealthiest people and the largest corporation who

    QUESTION #3:

    Well, let’s get specific, how high would you go? You said before you’d go above 50%. How high?


    We haven’t come up with an exact number yet. But it will not be as high as the number under Dwight D. Eisenhower which was 90%. But it will be– (LAUGHTER)



    I’m not a socialist compared to Eisenhower. (LAUGHTER)

    Far distant second:
    John Dickerson: (after saying the next subject is Wall street) And now, for a word from our sponsor…
    (OK, OK he didn’t say that EXACTLY) –
    DICKERSON: You have — you have given me the perfect segue. We are going to talk about Wall Street, but now we’ve got to go do a commercial.

    3: (Sanders rejoinder at bottom)
    CLINTON: Well, I think it’s pretty clear that they know that I will. You have two billionaire hedge fund managers who started a super PAC and they’re advertising against me in Iowa as we speak. So they clearly think I’m going to do what I say I will do and you can look at what I did in the Senate.

    I did introduce legislation to reign in compensation. I looked at ways that the shareholders would have more control over what was going on in that arena. And specifically said to Wall Street, that what they were doing in the mortgage market was bringing our country down. I’ve laid out a very aggressive plan to reign in Wall Street — not just the big banks.

    That’s a part of the problem and I am going right at them. I have a comprehensive, tough plan. But I went further than that. We have to go after what is called the shadow banking industry. Those hedge funds. Look at what happened in ’08, AIG, a big insurance company, Lehman Brothers, an investment bank helped to bring our economy down. So, I want to look at the whole problem and that’s why my proposal is much more comprehensive than anything else that’s been put forth.

    DICKERSON: Senator Sanders you said that the donations to Secretary Clinton are compromising. So what did you think of her answer?

    Sanders: NOT GOOD ENOUGH (OK, OK I added caps)

    And the award to most chutzpah:
    CLINTON!!!! (see the bottom of paragraph)

    SANDERS: I have never heard a candidate never, who has received huge amounts of money from oil, from coal, from Wall Street, from the military industrial complex, not one candidate say, oh, these campaign contributions will not influence me. I’m going to be independent. Well, why do they make millions of dollars of campaign contributions? they expect to get something. Everybody knows that.

    Once again, I am running a campaign differently than any other candidate. We are relying on small campaign donors, 750,000 of them, 30 bucks a piece. That’s who I’m indebted to.

    CLINTON: Well John, wait a minute. Wait a minute, he has basically used his answer to impune my integrity. Let’s be frank here.

    SANDERS: No, I have not. CLINTON: Oh, wait a minute, senator. You know, not only do I have hundreds of thousands of donors, most of them small. And I’m very proud that for the first time a majority of my donors are women, 60 percent.


    CLINTON: So, I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.

    So rebuilding Wall Street was an anti terror initiative….

    I would be interested in seeing everyone’s top three quotes

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Kudos to CBS for finding a tweet on Clinton’s “A noun, a verb, 9/11” answer, and then asking a follow-through to Clinton based on it. My jaw literally dropped when I heard that one.

      Of course, “SuperPACs are no problem because 60% of my donors are women” runs a very close second.

      I imagine Clinton was at the top of her game, too. This is it. This as good as it gets. This is going to be it from now ’til November 2016.

      UPDATE Sanders on “fraud and greed” on Wall Street was a great moment, too. It’s like years of work from Yves on everything but especially derivatives and robosigning and by Bill Black on accounting control fraud was condensed into those two words, finally, and broadcast to millions. Somebody said it!

      1. Jerry Denim

        “….because 60% of my donors are women AND I was a Senator from New York down on Wall Street on 9/11!!!! DC High Eagles rock! Go Eagles!!! National Championship 2016!!! U-S-A, U-S-A!!!!”

        She really said the 9/11 part, but I am paraphrasing just a tiny bit. I couldn’t believe Clinton was going to attempt such a juvenile and illogical stunt to deflect attention away from how corrupt and rotten she is for taking filthy Wall Street super PAC money, but yet she did. She said it straight-faced in plain sight under the hot lights with cameras rolling. I was sitting on my couch thinking holy sh*t this seems like a crazy SNL skit about a shameless, overambitious kid running for class president, but yet I heard CBS say after the debate her blatantly obvious Bald Eagle, 9/11, ‘I-have-a-vagina’ answer was her highest scoring emotional moment with the audience. Yet again, just when I think the American public can’t get any dumber, I realize I am still overly generous of my countrymen. Come on America! Stay with the ball! We need some pro-sports style on-screen special effects and slow-mo debate rewinds with commentary like John Madden’s sharpie and imaginary 10-yard lines.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With her negative approval rating which is more likely to climb, the GOP won’t be afraid of her and will still be dominated by Teabagger types. A Hillary Presidency will be a siege from day one.

    1. cwaltz

      No silly- it’s going to be another public-private partnership. You know, socialize the losses while privatizing profitability. Instead of subsidizing a government entity like the post office, we’ll be expected to subsidize Bluebird or Lending Up.

    2. Carla

      The USPS has already been privatized for most practical purposes. Let’s nationalize it, then mandate it to provide free Internet service nationwide, which the Founders certainly would have done had the technology been available.

      Here’s Mark Jamison, retired postmaster, reiterating the originally stated mission of the Postal Service:

      “All in all, the Postal Service is simply not accountable to the American people in the way it should be — or the way it must be if it is to survive as a vibrant public postal system, as envisioned by the Founders

      In the debates about the Postal Service, the public interest is too often forgotten. It’s worth quoting yet again the stirring words of Title 39:

      ‘The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.’ ”

      If we manage to accomplish binding “the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people,” with universal free Internet service, maybe we will be ready to institute Postal Banking.

      1. sd

        Free internet is a great idea. Expand on that and also offer basic teleconferencing capability at low cost.

        There’s no reason that the post office shouldn’t be able to offer basic checking so and savings services.

        1. hunkerdown

          Why pay for “teleconferencing” when there are so many ways to get it for free (as in speech or beer) atop basic IP, with no special infrastructure needed? Methinks you’re on the wrong side of the envelope — let’s not create more “business records” for the peeping Toms in Cheltenham and Ft. Meade.

          1. sd

            I take it you’ve never tried to organize a teleconference in a room for a nonprofit before. Affordbale resources are very limited. Conference room rates even through other nonprofit organizations are high often with minimums. In person meetings tend to be more effective but too often not all participants can attend.

  3. nigelk

    Sanders won handily mostly due to the fact Clinton was awful. The twitter question calling her out for invoking 9/11 to justify Wall Street contributions was a moment I’ll never forget.

    I wonder what kind of odds I could’ve gotten pre-debate than Salvador Allende would be mentioned?

    1. Steven D.

      Hillary is now Rudy Giuliani. We have to go with the plutocrats “Because 9/11.” I laughed at her blatant cravenness.

        1. allan

          AP reporters embarrass their organization trying to undermine fact-check Sanders on the 1%:

          SANDERS: “People are working longer hours for lower wages, and almost all of the new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent.”

          THE FACTS: As he did in the last debate, Sanders leaned on outdated data.

          In the first five years of the economic recovery, 2009-2014, the richest 1 percent captured 58 percent of income growth. That’s according to Emmanuel Saez, a University of California economist whose research Sanders uses. That’s a hefty share, but far short of “almost all.”

          In the first three years of the recovery, 2009-2012, the richest 1 percent did capture 91 percent of the growth in income. But part of that gain was an accounting maneuver as the wealthiest pulled income forward to 2012 in advance of tax increases that took effect in 2013 on the biggest earners.

          Many companies paid out greater bonuses to their highest-paid employees in 2012 before the higher tax rates took effect. Those bonuses then fell back in 2013. And in 2014, the bottom 99 percent finally saw their incomes rise 3.3 percent, the biggest gain in 15 years.

          So what is the AP’s official cutoff for `almost all’?

          1. Alejandro

            AP can fact check who said-“Better to be roughly right than precisely wrong”. Bernie seems to be roughly right, while the “fact checked” language of “affordability” seems to be mostly “precisely wrong”. Where “affordability” is a euphemism for “stolen purchasing power”.

    2. RedHope

      Sanders should be running ads about her statements in SC, NH, NV and IA.

      Eg her 9/11 statement and statement about being open to raising the age of social security benefits are policies about which he can do some serious game changing.

      I don’t think he will.

        1. Greg Gerner

          Hi, Mr. Strether. She tossed that little gem out as a throw away line in the first debate, not unlike when Obama said during his first debate with Romney that “We’re not as far apart as you may think.” PS: Love your and Ms. Smith’s work.

    3. Llewelyn Moss

      Hillary was hillarious. Most of the night she looked like she had just sucked on a lemon because Bernie kept alluding to her Wall St Buddies and what they expected for their campaign donations.

      That 911 reference to explain her coziness with Wall St was totally off the Wall. So we should all love the Wall St Gang just because they were in the neighborhood on 911 and got dust on their suits. Wait. What Now? Hahaha. Hill’s Spaghetti Logic at its twisted best.

    4. Invy

      Family guy has an episode named after Clinton’s book where the main characters wife is running for office and wins over the crowd by saying 9/11 in various ways.

      Life imitating art… It wasn’t absurd as they thought!

    1. cwaltz

      It’s going to be funny if greed undoes the health insurance organizations and instead provides more to government coffers in the form of the fee for not buying on their marketplace.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        My understanding is that the money extorted by the ACA Individual Mandate Tax, is used entirely as the initial yet insufficient “payment” for the ACA private health insurance subsidy/coupons. In other words any USian above 138% FPL who can NOT afford health insurance, and also does not have the patience & time available to attempt getting the IRS ACA Mandate Exemption (over 8% of income, religious exception, etc?), is paying a Corp Welfare payment to an oligopolist health insurer, laundered as “helping paying” for another USian’s monthly oligopolist health insurer bill.

        Is my understanding correct?

        1. Oregoncharles

          Once again: an open invitation to a civil resistance campaign. Just Don’t Pay It.

          The only way they can collect it is from your refund, so arrange not to have one.

          1. ProNewerDeal

            IIRC from an Yves’ earlier article here, say if you underwithheld your 2014 return to avoid the 2014 ACA Individual Mandate tax, even if from 2015 on you did hold health insurance, then for the next 10 yrs through 2023 you must continue to underwithhold in order to avoid getting your refund confiscated by that “ancient” 2014 ACA Individual Mandate tax, charged with interest at an interest rate that is above CPI inflation (iirc Yves noted ~3.3% was the IRS rate at the time at the article.

            I interpreted that article as to avoid the money tax, you pay an incremental time/stress test that is above that of your “baseline” annual tax filing. “You picks your poison”, money vs time/stress.

            I half-joked we should start a “religion” that we follow the prophet Tommy Douglas (CAN & Saskatchewan pol that enacted Medicare For All), and that it is against our religion to pay the ACA Individual Mandate, unless there is Medicare For All Public Option, modeled after the CAN Medicare For All service.

      2. Bubba Gump

        Unfortunately, you have to buy a plan in order to get the “adjusted charge” for services provided. These plans are basically a discount scheme that keep us from paying the “list price” that the uninsured would be billed. At least we have a little leverage this way. It still stings that my premium went up 32% for 2016 (can they even do that?) and therefore I’ve chosen to drop back to a $6500 deductible HSA plan that pays NOTHING for the first $6500. That deductible of course counts $6500 of adjusted charge not list price. This arrangement is criminal extortion imho.

    2. Benedict@Large

      People don’t understand what these high deductible plans are for. Essentially, they’re meant to protect the hospitals from loss on catastrophic illness or injury. Say your bill is (easily) $100 thousand. On that sort of bill, it’s easy for the hospital to take the $5 thousand hit that is your deductible. Of course you (or your estate) still owe it, but even if you never pay, the hospital doesn’t have to go begging for the services it did provide you.

      1. cwaltz

        Hospital bills are out of control. The hospitals are part of the problem because in order to get insurance to pay the cost of procedures they’ve jacked up the rates to absurd amounts. What appears to be what happens is the hospital charges $600 for a procedure that costs $200 in order to recoup the $200 from the insurance company.

        Don’t even get me started on all the “contracting” that goes into these bills. My MRI with insurance was $70(something I considered fairly reasonable.) The radiologist who read it………another $257 and that’s WITH insurance payout. I also think it’s interesting because I’ve noted that I’m paying for doctors who are “supervising” a good portion of money. I might see a nurse practitioner but my billing reflects that I saw her supervising attendant. I don’t mind paying for her to have supervision but I do mind when you think looking over her notes is billed the same as if you saw me. You didn’t. Likewise with being told having a catheter put in by a paraprofessional being billed as “outpatient surgery.” The person who put that catheter in isn’t a surgeon, they’re part of your nursing staff or a technician.

      2. tegnost

        Is there some kind of gravity like force that makes your bill $100.000? How do you justify that? I’ve been unlucky enough to have been in a hospital for less than 36 hours, One fantastic doctor set a badly broken bone, after that they just tried to get me out the door…$50,000 bucks….and the fantastic doctor probably got less than $1,000, And let me come into her office repeatedly for care she knew she wasn’t going to be paid for. It’s too expensive for people to pay for means it’s too expensive,your “rock star” administrators are not nearly as valuable as they think they are. Had a broken back, too, they gave me a brace and said be careful, the spine doc was one of the worst people I’ve ever encountered. I recovered out of spite so I guess it worked in it’s way…

        1. alex morfesis

          The HIC…hospital industrial complex IKE warned us about…the bernaze sauce is they SAVE us…so we should be willing to not ask to see the bill…

      1. Massinissa

        I remember that after 9/11 Bush said the best thing America could do would be to go back to shopping

    3. OIFVet

      “You may get a better deal.” Has Mr. Chandra even looked at the crap that’s available on the “marketplace?!” There are no deals, period. My favorite degelopement in this year’s Cook County, Illinois “exchange”: the second-lowest priced silver plan offers a network of 5 (that’s FIVE!) hospitals. That’s a silver plan, and what’s more that’s the silver plan that’s used to determine the subsidy amounts for the ” shoppers” of Cook County. With only five hospital network the plan is much cheaper than the previous years’ subsidy benchmark silver plans, so the subsidies have taken a nosedive, thus raising the premium costs for just about everyone far more than the officially stated premium increases. And that’s after the wide network PPOs have become non-existent. So this year I am at a loss about which plan to select for my mother, and how she could actually afford the premiums. It is easy for Mr. Chandra to pontificate, he is safely ensconced in the unreal non-profit world, with their nice plans. He should go eff himself as far as I am concerned.

      1. allan

        Pro tip for the Democratic Party: Don’t start open enrollment for 2017, or even the `window shopping’,
        until after the 2016 elections.

  4. allan

    File under Police State Watch: an under the radar SCOTUS case that might very well
    further dilute the right to counsel supposedly guaranteed by the 6th Amendment.

    Though not the sexiest Supreme Court case this year, a few have recognized that Luis v. United States has an issue that could do some serious harm to nice folks who meet the criminal justice system. It’s one of those cases that, after the shit hits the fan, everybody will cry “how did that happen?”, as if this was a big secret.

  5. cnchal

    Bernie Sanders: The business of Wall Street is fraud and greed.

    Wow. Spoken on a national stage right beside the weasely Clinton. The plutocrat’s ball garglers in the audience were aghast.

    First debate I have been able to watch live, because I fired cable TV eons ago. Thanks CBS.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      That was great. Now if Bernie will just say out loud that 95% of Congress including the Democrats are corrupt and could care less about the workingman/woman, it will all be out in the open. He might as well throw in 100% of the White house and 56% of the Supreme court — for completeness.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        That Chinese anti-corruption crackdown should be globalized.

        “Top officials in every province.”

        Power corrupts and, since money is power, money corrupts as well. Handing out all those trillions of economic stimulus money in China can corrupt the best socialist comrades

        Proposal – let’s send all the world’s corrupt officials to some islands/atolls in the South China Sea.

        1. three eyed goddess

          best quote of the week from ‘China’s corruption crackdown’:
          “Shanxi punished a total of 15,450 officials, leading to a shortage of officials.”

  6. Chris in Paris

    Bloomberg article is suggesting that the Post Office host “curated” private financial services for the underserved lower classes. A sneaky way to get corporate disruption into the common. Blech.

  7. Jim Haygood

    ‘Bloomberg. (This excellent article is JavaScript heavy and you may need to switch browsers to read it.)’

    What — you have some objection to random pieces of medical equipment, rendered in cartoon-like primary colors, spinning rapidly on their axes as you try to read the accompanying text?

    If Trump speaks at a fourth-grade level, Bloomberg’s graphics communicate at a four-year-old level. Please don’t munch the crayons, kids!

    1. Molly

      When I saw the graphics wiggling and thrashing, I bailed out. Sorry, Bloomberg, TOO MUCH of a “good”(?) thing.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s actually editorial design, and for techies. That great “What is Code” article did the very same thing. It’s not for fourth-graders. Here, I thought it was over the top, even though “What is Code” is great.

  8. Ignim Brites

    “How to Defeat ISIS With Millennial Spirit and Service”. There is no conceivable plan to defeat ISIS that would not be domestically extremely and bitterly contentious. Republicans will rip to shreds any Dem strategy as being insufficient or repeating the mistakes of the Bush administration. Dems will eviscerate any Rep plan as repeating the mistakes of the Bush administration or being insufficient, at least in terms if national sacrifice. The reason for this is simple. There is really no compelling national interest in defeating radical Jihadism. Sure DC or NYC or LA or Seattle might be hit by a Mumbai/Paris/London/Madrid…. style attack but as is evident, this is the kind of bludgeoning that US can readily shake off, once we get over the indignity and humiliation of being subject to such an attack. Declarations of war are meaningless in the absence of an existential threat as the US citizenry has found out and the French will soon enough discover. The British and the Spanish governments never bothered to engage in this level of hyperbole. Of course, the British had had prolonged experience dealing with the IRA and the Spanish have a recent enough experience of civil war to keep things in perspective. It is really the extreme domestic weakness of Hollande that causes him to forget the domestic turbulence resultant from the Algerian war. As for our own political and journalistic elite, they regard themselves as the leaders of a world historical nation and civilization. Their umbrage should be regarded only with sadly ironic reflections on human vanity. The only prudent response to the carnage in Paris is putting an end to our ongoing war in the middle east. To bring back a phrase from the Vietnam era: Out Now!

    1. PQS

      Don’t forget it’s the “DC or NYC” part of your formulation that houses the powerbrokers, rich people, and media. They’re totally terrified of being attacked. As they have been for a decade and a half.

      Meanwhile, out in the heartland, everybody knows there will be no “coordinated attacks” unless it’s Operation Rescue.

      1. Ignim Brites

        The DC and NYC crowd are far more fearful that the POTUS will cease to be the “Sun King” and they will cease to be bathed in glory of his brilliance. It is really as simple as that

    1. sd

      KitchenAid used to make a great professional mixer. Not so much now. Pot metal parts and poor craftsmanship.

  9. Daryl

    > Ohio Polls Showed Pot Legalization Winning …But then it Failed 2:1 Columbus Free Press. Uh oh…

    When it comes to e-voting, it’s often so poorly done it’s hard to tell the difference between fradulence and incompetence.

    1. Pat

      Many supporters voted no because of the private monopoly enabled and the continued criminalization of growing your own. I have to wonder if the polls got people before they realized that they were being given a piece of poison pill legislation.

      1. Daryl

        This is true. I know that I personally generally pay no mind to ballot amendments until I vote, when I read up on the details. They are too numerous and frankly, mostly asinine and not really anything that should be embedded in the law of the land.

      2. zapster

        There was another proposal that passed that would have nullified the monopoly problem. People I know voted yes on both of them. This still sounds like fraud.

    2. Pat

      I think my favorite moment was when Hillary talked about how great ACA was and it just needed everybody to cheer harder for it, and maybe correct a few tiny problems. All because I see the trends all over – if it isn’t deadly by 2016, it will be by 2018. And Little Miss Blows in the Wind will be ranting about how it was not what she fought for and forgetting last night’s ‘I do believe in fairies’ speech. (Apologies to Peter Pan.)

    3. different clue

      Maybe Ohioans voted against Big Rich Insider Monopoly pot so they could have another chance to vote for Free and Equal legal pot for ALL Ohioans. The “Legal pot for Everyone, not just for Cronies” has a chance to get a real genuine legalization item onto the next ballot.

  10. different clue

    Syria? A “cease fire” is toxic bullshit. A “cease fire” is designed to give the Axis of Jihad ( America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, etc.) time to re-arm and re-supply their little headchopping liver-eating cannibal jihadi servants in the field. The answer to Syria is to keep the Russia, Syrian Arab Republic, Iran, Hezbollah, etc. going until every last jihadi throatcutter has been physically exterminated from existence within Syria. I don’t know whether that would even be possible in iraq as long as the Shia Supremacist regime in Baghdad refuses to offer a fair deal to the Iraqi Sunni Arabs. The only country which could force the Baghdad regime to deal fairly with the Iraqi Sunni Arabs would be iran. And the only way Iran could do that would be to assassinate and disappear enough Shia Baghdad regime-figures that the rest knew they would be assassinated or disappeared unless they dealt fairly with the Iraqi Sunni Arabs. Does Iran care enough to do that?

    As to global warming — global dewarming, . .

    The God of Selection is a Callous God, and Its first true prophet was Darwin.

    I remember hearing Reverend Pat Robertson speak. He said that global warming was real, it was a sign of God’s displeasure with a sinful manking, and that trying to reduce global warming was the work of Satan. So don’t expect any Talibangelical Christian co-operation on global dewarming.

  11. Oregoncharles

    The Greenland Ice Sheet: “At one point several hundred thousand years ago, snow began falling over the center of the earth’s largest island.”
    2 Points:
    ” several hundred thousand years ago”, in geologic terms, is nothing. This argues that the ice sheets are a short-term, evanescent phenomenon.

    And second: ALL predictions of global heating have been very conservative (which is good scientific practice). It has consistently gone much faster than forecast.

    And the conclusion: kiss the coast good-bye. In the fairly near future, we’ll face around a billion refugees (if there are still that many people around) on a much smaller, less fertile land mass, with really bad weather.

  12. Bob Visser

    Your: Der Spiegel article is wishful thinking at its best, journalism at its worst. May I suggest you read the book “Gekaufte Journalisten” by Udo Ulfkotter? Sorry, but once again I have to wonder whether you are indeed not part of the CIA/Murdoch empire! Rgds. BV

  13. knowbuddhau

    IsabelPS: I’m so jealous! Had a goat adopt me for three glorious weeks this summer. Goats are cool :)

  14. Oregoncharles

    “or what we used to think of as the base”

    Once again: because the combined legacy parties are now down to about 50%, each of them is now down to about 25% of the electorate. That isn’t really a major party. A more important point: primary voters are the hard core. Because Democratic policies, in practice, have been so conservative (or more precisely, sold out), that hard core is now quite conservative, too. It isn’t the progressives and liberals we think of as “the base” – they’ve been driven off. At best, they’re unenthusiastic. At worst, they aren’t voting at all. In Oregon, or any state with a closed primary, they aren’t registered Democratic, so they can’t vote in the primary even if they wanted to.

    If we continue to allow the no-longer major parties to control ballot access, we’ll get the government we deserve.

    1. flora

      The Democratic party can ignore the base (it thinks) because convention super delegates will always throw to the establishment’s candidate. Super delegates, if I remember, were invented after McGovern’s win in the primary and loss in the general election. Dem establishment vowed never again to let the young or disenchanted challenge the party’s establishment. No wonder Obama and Holder feel free to “punch the hippies.” Thus, Hillary’s inevitability. They think.

  15. Oregoncharles

    “More couples saying, ‘I do … but not yet’ ”
    So the Japanese have found out, quite by accident, how we can avoid the armageddon of overpopulation.

    They’re a model for us all.

  16. Synapsid

    Montreal dumping wastewater into the Saint Lawrence River:

    Victoria, capital of British Columbia, has been dumping its raw sewage directly into the sea for decades, right across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Washington State.

    Montreal is a piker.

  17. craazyman

    well . . . back to trivia and nonsense as a form of relaxation and relief from the turgid march of time through the narrow gates of hell they call “the world”


    Baylor’s offense. That’s pretty good. I like that one. Lay around and win. That’s what I like to do. Lay around and win in the most lazy and effortless way possible. Sometimes you don’t even have to get up off the couch. You just let the other guy lose and then you shake hands, Even shaking hands is an exertion. Sometimes You can just nod a manly knowing nod, from one man to another. The kind of nod that says “I won, but you’re still a cool dude. See ya at the bar later.” That’s the way a man wins. hahahaha. As lazily as possible, not making enemies and earning respect for craft and skill.

    you can win any debate that way. Not that debating is fun. Needling and teasing is fun. Since it’s already so obvious what reality is and it’s way beyond debate. And when you win, you just smile and nod. You don’t even have to get up off the couch! (Unless you need a xanax and another glass of wine. But that’s worth it!).

  18. Plenue

    “The fact is that Assad’s offensive is hardly advancing, even with massive Russian support.”

    So I’m guessing Der Spiegel just doesn’t pay much attention to actual events on the ground? Or maybe they think if they just keep saying “the Russians are losing” long enough it will magically become true.

    The reality is the Russian coalition is successfully cutting supply lines to Aleppo and just lifted the three year siege of an airfield. A field that will be quickly repaired and used to fly even more sorties from. Not to mention what’s left of the FSA is deserting in droves. This is still the attrition phase. Once Aleppo is back in Syrian hands I expect that will be the breaking point and we’ll see a rapid steamrolling, especially through the empty desert that constitutes most of the impressive-looking-on-a-map ISIS holdings in Syria.

    The recent ISIS terrorist attacks are as sure a sign of how things are going as any; when they are getting their asses kicked ISIS likes to do something dramatic, like blowing up a historical site, as a propaganda ploy.

    1. Massinissa

      “massive” russian support is funny. A few airstrikes and some free guns is “massive” russian support?

      1. Plenue

        A few? They’re running at least 60 a day now, with plans for far more when they have more airfields to work from.

  19. Jim Haygood


    “Attacking Paris, the city of light, reminds us that there is no middle ground in going after these terrorists. We have to be rallying our partners and allies, pulling countries off the sidelines.” — Hillary Clinton, Nov. 15, 2015

    “Over time it’s going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity. You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.” — George W. Bush, Nov. 6, 2001, in joint news conference with French president Jacques Chirac

    America: staying on message!

    1. different clue

      It is not “America” on message here. It is the governating elite. And the message is lie-based. Hillary wants to pull countries “off the sidelines” and into supporting the jihadis against Syria. She still wants Assad toppled. She still wants the pro-ISIS “no fly zone” that Erdogan also wants so he can resupply ISIS across the Turkish border.

      The Bush message would be the right message if it were only redirected in the right direction. So lets
      change some wording in Bush’s message to make it a message all intelligent people can support.

      “Over time its going to be important for nations to know that they will be held accountable for inactivity. You’re either with ASSAD or against ASSAD in the fight against terror.” You are either with Assad, or you are with the terrorists. Hillary is with the terrorists, as is Obama, as are many.

        1. cassandra

          We were told Hussein was horrible, Qadaffi was horrible, but now ISIS is even MORE horrible; but Kosovo is wonderful. These operations were such civilizational advances, weren’t they? There are worse things than leaving nations to decide their own fate, as Europe learned in the 30 years leading to the Peace of Westphalia at Munster. (How to resolve a religious conflict? Gee!) None but the Syrians should choose their own ruler(s), and certainly not the religious and economic hypocrites hiding their imperialism under the cloak of R2P.
          The only question I have is how to keep legitimate Syrians isolated from ringers: the Saudis have deep enough pockets to crowd-source the entire election, the same way our own oligarchs hire crowds of actors to fatten up political rallies of their candidates here.

  20. ewmayer

    While studiously avoiding the ‘opening ceremonies’ of tonight’s Sunday Night Football game due to risk of ODing on flag-waving jingoism, I was reminded that I sent this link to Yves last Wednesday afternoon, but Lambert did the following day’s Links:

    Pentagon paid sports teams millions for patriotic events USA Today

    I was about to sarcastically ad ‘your taxpayer dollars at work,’ but that would risk throwing the MMTers into a tizzy. We can always print as much fiat as we like to support the Global War On Un-Patriotism.

  21. bob

    “Montreal is going to start dumping untreated sewage into one of Canada’s biggest rivers Reuters”

    They’ve already stopped, ahead of schedule.

    And honestly, it was for maintenance/construction. Float the idea of having half a city not able to flush the toilet. Never. Gonna. Happen.

    Other than that, gravity rules. Or, in more technical jargon, for this case- shit always flows downhill.

    They had no choice.

    This was also a political pony for chuck schumer. Look at a map. How does this effect the US?

    Chuck does more damage in front of a TV camera in 30 seconds.

  22. Malcolm MacLeod, MD

    The United States is way too encumbered by a profusion of gansta opportunists
    overly concerned with making millions by privatizing something for profit that
    actually falls under the heading of social service for the public good. That concept
    has fallen by the way, but I remember the days when it was in full effect. Most of
    these aggressive financial bozos will be starving in a few generations with lots of
    money, but little food. That will be fun to see.

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