Links 11/7/15

Carson Plummets in Polls Amid Reports He Did Not Stab Anyone New Yorker (furzy mouse)

Why a Woman in Germany Just Spontaneously Combusted Vice

Switzerland Plans to Build a Livable Forest in the Sky Citylab (David L)

Why Andrew Cuomo’s Pollinator Task Force Won’t Save New York’s Bees Truthout

Scientists Study Links Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather New York Times (David L)

U.S. holds final auction of bitcoins from Silk Road case Reuters (EM)

Is America Ready for Safe Injection Rooms? Vice (resilc)

Former Illinois Drug Court Judge Gets Prison Time Following Fellow Judge’s Fatal Overdose PrisonLegalNews (Andrew S)

‘Fat’ is the new normal in America Business Insider

The dispensable French Economist (Swedish Lex)

Finland prepares universal basic income experiment Inhabitat (furzy mouse)




What’s the big deal between Russia and the Saudis? RT

Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq Mother Jones (resilc)

Egypt crash ‘not due to engine failure’ BBC

Sinai, Egypt Plane Crash Investigation – ISIS, Russia Fight to Assign Blame Charles Pierce, Esquire

Imperial Collapse Watch

How much will new U.S. stealth bomber really cost? Nobody knows. Reuters (EM)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

U.S. regulators reject push for ‘Do Not Track’ Internet rules Reuters


Clinton’s Attacks on Sanders’ Gun Record Fly in Face of Her Own 2008 Campaign Alternet

Hillary Clinton’s emails did not contain highly classified secrets, inquiry finds Politico

Ben Carson Defends Himself Against Allegations That He Never Attempted to Murder a Child New York Magazine. The news headlines on this are indistinguishable from the one meant as satire.

Marco Rubio’s $12 Trillion Problem Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Questions over Ben Carson’s West Point story BBC

Ben Carson’s Past Faces Deeper Questions Huffington Post

Take the winnings and run Washington Post

GOP 2016: Marco Rubio Helps Big Campaign Donor, Pressures Argentina For Full Debt Repayment International Business Times

Obama rejects Keystone pipeline The Hill (furzy mouse)

Lilly, Merck Receive Inquiries From Justice Department Over Drug Pricing Wall Street Journal

How Occupy Wall Street Paved the Way for Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders teleSUR (furzy mouse)

Socialist politician credits Bernie Sanders after re-election in Seattle Guardian (Sid S)

Police State Watch

Louisiana Police Arrest 2 Officers in Boy’s Shooting Death ABC

Only a crisis can stop the Fed Financial Times. On rate increases.

This settles it: The Fed is going to raise interest rates in December Washington Post

Stress tests will finally acknowledge that banker misconduct is a threat on par with credit or market risk Quartz (reslic)

U.S. charges Scottish man over fake tweets that hurt stocks Reuters (EM)

Dwindling cash transactions point to an inconvenient truth Financial Times

Class Warfare

Did Quantitative Easing Increase Income Inequality? Juan Antonio Montecino and Gerald Epstein

Labor Share vs. Fiscal and Monetary Policy Angry Bear

With the “Robin Hood Tax,” a Grassroots Movement Seeks to Bring Wall Street to Heel Truthout

Health Inequality Liberty Street Economics

Sanders, Warren Introduce Bill to Increase Social Security Payouts by Taxing Corporate Execs The Hill. Actually, it’s not taxing the execs. It’s taxing the companies that employ them.

Antidote du jour (Don Chernoff of DCWild):

Painted-Turtle links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. ProNewerDeal

    by chance does anyone have a link a transcript of the Nov6 MSNBC’s Dem Pres candidates’ “Democratic Forum”?

    1. ProNewerDeal

      I still haven’t found a transcript I wanted. However, if anyone else is interested, it appears that this “Democratic Forum” is archived on yt: SqHndf7PkHo

    1. ProNewerDeal

      a friend had a juvenile, yet funniest derisive nickname for a politician, for Sen. Orrin Hatch: Sen. Whorin’ Biatch *

      * The whorin is of course referencing to Hatch being a tool of his owners aka campaign contributors. No disrespect to sex workers is intended by my comment.

    2. low_integer

      As is no doubt obvious, I was pretty p@#$ed off when I posted this. Overall though, it is probably a good thing that there is resistance in the republican party to the TPP, even if it is pretty hard to swallow hearing a politician that is thoroughly in the pocket of big-pharma say that Australia is “greedy”. And just to be clear, “put[ting] them out of their misery” in this case means that I’d like to see the republican party reduced to political irrelevancy, nothing more.
      They really are a totally insane bunch of wierdos though.

        1. John Zelnicker

          I am gobsmacked that my local senator is demonstrating that he actually has some working brain cells. This is the first, and probably will be the only time, he has taken a position I support. Better yet, he is focusing on the issue I believe has the potential to be the worst part of this corporatist takeover – the ISDS tribunals and loss of national, state, and local sovereignty to the multi-national corporations.

          If this travesty is passed by Congress, we are well and truly screwed.

          1. JTMcPhee

            …”well and truly screwed,” to the extent and only to the extent that there are enforceable enforcement mechanisms and implacable incorruptible (sic snigger) enforcers to enforce them…

            Now us mopes, who may not have succeeded in keeping the Republic that the Founding Fathers and people like Abigail Adams dropped on us– complete with the seams and seeds that have “legally” enabled the current level of global brigandage behind a screen of “democratic faux legitimacy”– us mopes will now learn how well the Glob-ists have done the advance work and Fifth Column plotting and pre-positioning of oppressive weapons and submissive habits of thought and behaviors in enough of us, and what kind of power they really have, and whether we are in “Hunger Games Red Dawn” terrain, or “Soylent Green Meets The Matrix And Terminator In RoboCop’s Detroit…”

            And us sophisticated people sneered àt the country folks who were all het up about “Black Helicopters” and “OneWorldGuvamint…” All well and good to plot World Domination — they still have to try to make it stick. Getting autocratic and even unrepresentative-legislative signoff does not a Grand Permanent Regime make…

    3. Vatch

      This short snippet from the article increases my optimism that we might actually be able to defeat this abomination:

      “But at the end of the day, the alternative to renegotiation may very well be no TPP at all.”

      Some of President Barack Obama’s Democrats have also suggested renegotiating the deal.

  2. allan

    For a few lucky-duckies, the health insurance shopping season started early.:

    Amid criticism, NY eyes probe of Health Republic

    ALBANY – The fiscal troubles of Health Republic, which enrolled about 20 percent of the customers on New York’s health exchange, is under review by state and federal officials amid criticism that the state isn’t doing enough to help patients.

    The health-care cooperative’s finances have gotten so bad in recent weeks that state and federal regulators stepped in and announced it would shut down the insurer by Nov. 30.

    The roughly 200,000 people on the plan, as well as 35 percent of the 3,700 small businesses in New York’s health exchange, need to find new insurance by Nov. 15.

    Why, Nov. 15, that’s soon. And to think that the policies they find, if they can, will only go to the end of the year and they’ll need to shop again for 2016. But shopping twice will make them smarter health care consumers, right?
    And as for the doctors,

    Doctors who accepted Health Republic, meanwhile, are likely to be [on] the hook for unpaid bills, experts said.

  3. Beekeeper

    Regarding “Why Andrew Cuomo’s Pollinator Task Force Won’t Save New York’s Bees:”

    Continuing to allow neonics to be used in the face of bee decline and possible extinction is like your doctor telling you to keep on smoking cigarettes even though you’ve just been diagnosed with lung cancer.

  4. ThePensum

    Re the Fat is the new normal.

    Go back and have a watch of Police Academy 1 (circa early eighties) and look how skinny those guys are.

    The ‘fat’ guy in that movie is definitely normal these days!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Organic, whole food diet – good for humans…and for bees as well.

      And don’t eat too much – low caloric intake means longer life, probably.

      When we all don’t eat much, that also means the system doesn’t have to be so efficient at producing and feeding us crap stuff.

      And when the system doesn’t have to be obsessed with efficiency and productivity, we no longer have to be stressed out as much.

      There will still be obese people. It’s natural…human diversity. But we and Nature will be healthier over all.

      Idleness, Health and Inefficiency…our new Trinity.

    2. DJG

      Heck, go back to the 1940s and 1950s and look at how slim the male leads were: William Holden, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, even Cary Grant (who was a U.S. citizen by then). They were not bulky. The U.S. male body type has gone toward extremes: Musclebound or pear-shaped.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Families used to be bigger (more numerous, that is), or is that my imagination?

        And people used to have more leisure time, not as industrious as we are today :< Or, maybe we are too overworked – there is a fine line between the two.

        But hey, gotta be industrious. Can't be lazy.

        The society demands efficiency and productivity. That means, you have to spend more of your leisure time acquiring information, skills and knowledge, so you can do more, produce more crap today than yesterday, in the chargeable 8 hours you put in everyday. Efficiency is measured in the hours you cost your company, not including the hours you cost yourself.

        Remember that.

        1. ProNewerDeal

          thanks for that wise penultimate sentence. imho that is a genuine Deep Thought, no Jack Handey just in case.

      2. binky Bear

        Binky reminds people that movies do not represent reality, and that actors are selected for their physical appearance on camera, which “adds ten pounds.”

        Look at newsreels instead.

    3. different clue

      How much high fructose corn syrup was available in those days? How much high-sugar-everything was available in those days? How much artificial hormone-analog chemicals were in the food and water in those days?

      Something powerfully obesogenic entered the food supply and the water supply between then and now.
      Quite apart from the “war on excercise” waged in this country between then and now. The careful refusal to build sidewalks in “new neighborhoods” and so forth, for example.

      Also, sleep deprivation is supposed to trigger fat-gaining. So is working the afternoon-shift and the night-shift.

      1. Lona

        What about ractopomine, that is in all the meat now, or go bovine growth hormone that is used in dairy, or GMO corn or soy – so many possibilities…

      2. gordon

        I used to worry about seeing so many overweight people. Then I realised that they’re actually fixing carbon. Now I see them as global climate benefactors.

    4. Daryl

      Or watch some Elvis videos and realize the guy was considered outrageously fat for the time.

      Of course, there was also a time when 45% of Americans smoked. Now the childhood obesity rate is finally starting to reverse (hopefully), so maybe this time we’ll figure it out and not replace it with another giant health crisis.

  5. rusti

    I’m not under the impression that the GOP is consciously doing this, but with the new revelations making Carson seem like even more of a maniac I’ve been wondering if it wouldn’t be a smart strategy to deliberately have a few clowns like Trump and Carson grabbing the headlines until the primaries near their end.

    Then the party can throw their weight behind Rubio or some other empty suit that will follow orders, which gives the DNC less time to dig up dirt on the eventual winner and plan their sales pitch for the general.

    1. Steve H.

      Jeb! would likely be the beneficiary.

      Generally the strategy is called ‘Last Man Standing.’

      I prefer ‘Catfish.’ Stay low, suck sewage, point your head upstream and let the fast waters wash away the rivals. Very low-energy, as T-Don pointed out.

      The space-lizards would certainly love ‘Bush v Clinton’ as that should suck all remaining hope from the husks of the victim class. See this for an early version of the mechanism (‘for posterity’):

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      That’s not how Republican voters work. Against Democrats, they don’t care about the tawdriness of their own candidate, and as for potential Team Blue voters who have been staying at home, fear and negative campaigning doesn’t motivate them.

      I actually think the GOP understands this and considers Team Blue to be a second rate outfit, not worthy of worrying about their election strategy. Last week in Virginia, every incumbent won, and the Team Blue still managed to not retake the state senate despite having total control of the gerrymandering process. One of the Republican incumbents is one of those guys who gets whole msnbc shows devoted to what a crummy guy he is. Despite the GOP incumbent holding a Northern Virginia (home of the petit bourgeois) senate seat gerrymandered for a Democratic victory, Team Blue lost with to see of money poured in and non stop messaging about abortion. The GOP Senator attacked the current public-private highway project being pushed by Governor Terry Mac (Warner, Kaine, Terry Mac…it makes one miss Chuck Robb) and pushed for saner transportation improvements than the pipe dream of extending the Washington metro which would require taking cars off moving less passengers.

      The GOP knows the Team Blue play book. It’s not impressive enough to worry about.

      1. cwaltz

        Considering the Democrats didn’t bother to challenge the GOP everywhere I’m not sure that every incumbent won is that much. I know for a fact the delegate here had ZERO challenges.

        For the record, my blue Senator retained his seat and they threw everything they possibly could at him from abortion to Obamacare.

        I’m pretty sure the Democratic playbook is The Cat in the Hat. Luckily, the GOP playbook is Pat the Bunny.

    3. craazyboy

      I wouldn’t attribute that much strategic planning to the Rs. I think the party has truly evolved into a nuthouse, and what you see is what they got. After all, it’s the party of tea partiers, evangelical Christians, libertarians, Neocons and right wing oligarchs. What else could you expect?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I expect them to dwell in the right brain, to be balanced by the left brain.

        The Middle Way of Aristotle, Mencius, the Buddha, and the Yin-Yang encompassing Taichi.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks for that comment.

            The idea seems to be everywhere, that ideas exist in the Realm of Ideas.

            Without the human mind, ideas live happily in their world; they don’t belong to any human beings, as we so arrogantly assume.

            There is no such foolish human notion like, ‘that’s your idea and this’s my idea.’

            And left-wing ideas and right-wings ideas – they pop in and out of any human’s mind.

            To live a happy, harmonious and sharing life, we have manage and balance all these ideas, which, again, are in everyone’s mind.

            Everyone is capable of having them – it’s how you harness them.

    4. DJG

      I’m not sure about getting too meta here, but I’m wondering how Carson could be so clueless about this over-media-ated age. He puts out ridiculous ideas and lies and seems unable to understand the repercussions. And to go ultra-meta–he doesn’t understand that he is an untested liar, unlike, say, Hillary Clinton, who is all flimflammery all the time (having learned from the Master). So he was mobbed by the journos.

      Carson is an athlete, which is what surgeons are. He’s the retired quarterback looking for some meaning. So he’s ended up at a level with Mike Ditka. It wasn’t the pyramids that did Carson in: It’s that he is not a sane man.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Got hit too many times playing football?

        One more reason to convert stadiums to National Gardens.

      2. fresno dan

        Being a libertine means I am quite open to trying different stuff.
        When I was in high school, I was very earnestly recruited by some evangelicals. So I attended their …sermons (they had some other word for it, but I don’t recall – testimonies???).

        So as being at that high school age, I immediately noted the hypocrisy among these people (but I noted that with all adults). But of course, with the perspective of years, there was more to it than that. It is just an insulated world, where to be permitted to stay in this world, one has to buy the story hook, line, and sinker. No skepticism is allowed, no QUESTIONING is allowed.
        It makes for some fantastic beliefs. And some fantastic ways of thinking…

        So I have no doubt that Dr. Carson really is very honest, and doesn’t LIE. Whether what he says comports with reality depends on whether your a secularist who believes there is a objective reality or whether you believe God makes things happen (unless your poor, in which case it is all your own fault)

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        It’s very un-PC to mention it in polite company but Carson is also a 7th Day Adventist, have a look at their core beliefs (not just the plain vanilla ones they advertise) and ask yourself whether that is a belief system you are comfortable being embraced by the person with his finger on the big red button.
        Since Congress and the people of the US no longer have any say in national war-making we need to examine closely the mental state of the person who will make those decisions for us and ask ourselves whether we subscribe to roughly the same overall view of reality that they do. The label “dangerous psychopath” is bandied about frequently but clinicians would probably put quite a number of our potential red-button-custodians into that category.

        1. davidgmills

          When I was a young boy, my parents would take me on Sunday afternoon to a 7th day Adventist barber who might as well have put a soup bowl on my head. My friends used to laugh at my buzzcuts and I hated them because my ears stick out.

          But this guy was the most racist person I ever met. He called black people the “curse of Hamm.” I guess I should have tried to figure out who Hamm was but never bothered.

      4. Gio Bruno

        Ben Carson is not clue-less; he’s simply a pathological liar.

        And he’s not an athlete, either. At best he’s a mechanic. (But never allowed to work on my “car”)

    5. Alejandro

      The circus seems to be mutating into a scuffle between “masters” of specious sound-bites, with Trump, a corporate insider posturing as an outsider, and Rubio looking to ‘enter’. One delivers with comical spontaneity (don’t think just spew) and the other is given a can and TOLD to memorize and practice, practice, practice delivering with “CONviction”…if you look closely you may notice the strain in the effort to project conviction, when there isn’t any…but not to worry because the intended audience are sleepwalking and just want to be entertained. Speaking of enter-tainment, the insider understands this viscerally, which is why he uses words like “boring” etc…the other doesn’t quite “get it” yet, and makes unconvincing inferences by clumsily tossing a football around. Maybe worth noticing is the word “enter-tainment” is a combination of “enter” and “containment”, with the “con” conspicuously removed.

    6. Ditto

      Well,the assumption is that Trump is not what the base wants. I’m not sure that’s true. So whatever the leadership wants may be irrelevant.

      There is a history of right wing populism in the US even as Trump may be faking it. Right wing voters may be similarly unhappy with the status quo even if they come up with bat shit solutions to respond to the problems like racist populists.

      From a practical POV, we should hope they nominate an empty suit. Their best shot is someone like Trump. If Ssnders starts to fully contrast himself with Clinton’s failures and he wins the primaries, he has the best shot of winning the general.

      Whether it’s an empty suit or Trump, he would likely win despite his constraints.

      Clinton, on the other hand, with her baggage is likely to increase turn out for Trump and to a lesser degree the empty suits. She would have the hardest time winning given her connections to Wall St.

      They already have oppo on the empty suits. The real problem is that if its Clinton there’s a lot of baggage with her. On the other hand, the concern with Sanders would be whether he would go negative in the general. I hope so bc I believe he’s our best shot but only if he does not tie his hands. Some of his actions like not taking dark money support makes sense due to corruption , but negative campaigning prohibitions don’t. If he gets to the general , he will need to define his opponent before they define him.

  6. Howard Beale IV chairman Jonathan Johnson threw his hat into the ring for governor at the Utah Republican Convention in August. Recently at a public forum, Johnson said his company has socked away $10 million in gold and three months worth of food for each employee. Salt Lake Tribune

    1. Tertium Squid

      Have you heard Johnson’s voice? He sounds like an asthmatic grandma. I doubt he had any chance anyway but I think his voice rules him out for public office.

      The guy who owns him, Patrick Byrne, is a piece of work. Not just gold and food, I expect he stockpiles weapons, too. Has more than he can keep track of:

    2. Gio Bruno

      Johnson said his company has socked away $10 million in gold and three months worth of food for each employee

      In case “society” comes to an end? If even a few elements of society begin to fail the disruption will be extensive. The folks best suited to survive disruption are those already living that lifestyle; everyone else will be shown to be poseurs.

      1. Massinissa

        And 10 million dollars of gold wont save anyone. Maybe a few well placed gold coins might save someone or another, but vaults full of gold bars will save noone save maybe a lucky looter.

        1. Ulysses

          Excellent point!! The Viking and Magyar raiders, in the darkest of the dark ages, were far more likely to burn down your village– if its church had some nice gold crosses that could be melted down into jewelry. Chances for survival were far higher in a modest village with no visible wealth on display.

          Doomsday preppers are a sad lot. They remind me of crazy old Walt Disney getting himself frozen, “just in case.”

        2. night-Train

          I think it is wise to have a few weeks of food and water and some ready cash on hand for any kind of disruption, natural or otherwise. But serious preppers are living a fantasy where they see themselves being heroic, or they are taking action to keep their fears at bay. In a Mad Max world they will be the targets of roving bands of looters. When you are the last guy in town with the necessities for human survival, you will be sharing willingly or unwillingly. Our energies are better used trying to fix the mess we are in and to keep it from getting worse.

  7. abynormal

    Desperate GOP Spotted In South Dakota Trying To Build Keystone Pipeline Themselves

    RAPID CITY, SD—Excavating hundreds of miles of trench following the defeat of a Senate bill that would have approved the project, dozens of desperate GOP congressmen were reportedly spotted in rural South Dakota Thursday trying to build the Keystone XL pipeline system themselves. “We really don’t have any other choice at the moment, so we’re going to build the best pipeline we can using our own two hands,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), flipping up his welding mask as he paused from beveling an expansion joint to direct a crane operated by House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). “Sometimes if you want to transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada to Nebraska, you just have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself.” McConnell went on to say that while it might take a long time for GOP lawmakers to complete the 1,179-mile pipeline, the addition in January of approximately 20 incoming Republican congressmen should help speed up construction.

    1. cwaltz

      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell- A little wishful thinking on the part of the Onion?

      They should be grateful they have such rich material to work from in our government-although I expect 2016’s freshmen Congress to be even more ignorant. I wish I could say that the GOP jumped the shark in terms of electing crazy people but based on Carson and Trump they are still one up themselves.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Heres Bloomberg’s take on the “great KeystoneObama Victory” that the Dkosians ore doing idiot victory dances over:

        There were two huge developments today, both for the oil industry and the earth’s climate. New York’s top lawyer issued a subpoena to Exxon, seeking information on whether the world’s biggest oil explorer deceived the public for almost 40 years about climate change. Hours later, President Obama announced that the U.S. would reject the Keystone pipeline.

        The rejection of Keystone is more symbolic than substantive. The pipeline would have added $3.4 billion in economic growth but contributed to climate change by speeding up production of oil-sands crude, which is about 17 percent more carbon-intensive than the conventional barrel. Rejection will neither halt oil-sands production nor damage the broader economy. Perhaps anticipating rejection, TransCanada had asked to postpone the final review earlier this week.

        The investigation of Exxon could have more far-reaching implications. Alleged disinformation by oil companies has long been compared to the actions of big tobacco, which eventually agreed to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in settlements. The New York probe follows investigative articles by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times alleging that Exxon’s scientists had evidence that carbon dioxide emissions were damaging the environment as far back as 1977. At a minimum, the probe could put a chill on anti-climate change funding during a critical U.S. election year.

        Both actions come as more than 80 world leaders prepare to meet in Paris this month to hammer out final details on the most ambitious global pact yet to curb the future course of climate change. The biggest current and future polluters—including the U.S., China, and India—have already made aggressive long-term pledges ahead of the meeting.

        The world will depend on oil for decades to come. But 2015 may very well be remembered as the beginning of the end, with the rejection of Keystone and the investigation of Exxon as key markers on the timeline. Here’s a chart of oil forecasts from the International Energy Agency since 1994, from a Bloomberg New Energy Finance keynote presentation this week in Shanghai. Forecasts have been dropping, and the transformation of oil markets may be coming sooner than we think.

        Bloomberg also has this on what “burning bitumen” means:

        Can’t even start to keep up being cynical enough…

          1. JTMcPhee

            Lots of great bits in Sunstein there, like

            “In sharp contrast, visionaries have a large-scale understanding of where the nation should be heading. They are entirely willing to press a controversial theory about, say, liberty or equality or the president’s power as commander-in-chief, even if that theory offends many Americans.” And “Like all minimalists, Obama believes that real change usually requires consensus, learning, and accommodation–a belief directly reflected in many of his policies. He favors aggressive action on climate change, but he has shown an interest in nuclear power and he insists on “a market-based strategy that gradually reduces harmful emissions in the most economical way.””

            Absolute power is never having to say you’re sorry… Or that you were wrong…

    2. night-Train

      I knew it was a joke from the get-go. The idea of an elected politician doing any honest labor is a laugh riot. They can only use golden painted spades for one light scoop when cameras are present.

    1. John Zelnicker

      @abynormal – I’d be glad to help. I looked at the chart. What is the Gap you are referring to? The table looks complete for the first 100 lines or so. There are a lot of securities maturing on Feb, 29, 2016, but they are of several different durations, which you can estimate by the coupon rate shown. There’s a security maturing with a 9.25% coupon. That’s huge. It has to be a thirty-year bond. Another is 0.25%. It has to be the shortest term Note (not sure if it’s 6 mos. or 1 year.)

      I’ll check back later.

      1. abynormal

        Thank You John. Appreciate you taking the time. i’ve got feelers out…eyes are popping but your breakdown is the closest to splitting the atom. i’d be much obliged if you’d share Any 411. i’ll be around…

        1. John Zelnicker

          @abynormal – Can you explain what you meant by a Gap?

          These securities are those that the Fed has purchased doing its QE if that wasn’t clear. Some, but not all, are being replaced as they mature, IIRC.

          Other questions?

  8. alex morfesis

    No need for robinhood tax…we already have excise tax for reinsurance that is magically not being enforced although for all practical purposes derivatives are reinsurance for tax purposes…we also have a very old tax…so old there were never any forms for it…an excise tax on creating and issuing currency…which was circumvented when banksters “invented” checks over 100 yrs ago, and i dont find that it was ever actually repealed…but creation of “notional” valued currency should still be enforced and the excise tax levied…the tax is a whopper if enforced in respects to the “currency” creation from the “notional” value of derivative instruments/contracts…
    but then i remember the service is in service to k street…so…haroommfff…

  9. Jef

    Re “…Livable Forest in the Sky ”

    A very common mistake people make is to not understand that soil is a living, breathing thing not simply a medium that will support healthy long term growth by simply adding N,P,K periodically. This is why hydroponics has such limitations.

    A building like this can be built but you would have to spend a lot of time and energy maintaining the soil and you would periodically have to replace the plants. All in all I don’t believe the benefits are there other than for the architect and the real estate broker selling units.

  10. craazyman

    It’s amazing that Mr. Carson and a woman in Germany have both spontaneously combusted at approximately the same time. Nobody would believe that if you told them, but there it is. That’s the way things are in general.

    1. fresno dan

      Ben Carson Defends Himself Against Allegations That He Never Attempted to Murder a Child New York Magazine. The news headlines on this are indistinguishable from the one meant as satire.

      “Carson’s 1990 autobiography Gifted Hands is a redemption narrative, in which the nadir of the brain surgeon’s troubled adolescence comes when he tries to stab a classmate to death in ninth grade. In Carson’s telling, he thrust the knife toward the boy’s belly with such force that, when, by the grace of God, he accidentally struck his boy’s belt buckle instead, the blade broke off its handle.”

      What is interesting to me is that the supposed crime used a knife. Well, as well as that one puts in one’s resume for the presidency that one is a knife welding criminal…

      But could one have done that with a gun? Think about forcing republicans to vote for their repentant candidate who would be prohibited from owning a gun….(hmmm – I guess if the bullet had bounced off the belt buckle, no harm no foul??? But it still means that would be voting for someone who had used a gun for EVIL)

      So ….
      ATHEISTS: Carson came up with the perfect scam to attract republican voters…uh, 25 years ago (think ahead)
      BELIEVERS: God’s plan was that Carson was a thug, who than repented, after being given a chance to reform thanks to a holy belt buckle, and will became president of the US

      So usually my pants stay up without a belt, but as I have learned of the power of belt buckles, and now I always wear a Kevlar belt buckle and belt…

      1. craazyboy

        “hmmm – I guess if the bullet had bounced off the belt buckle, no harm no foul??? ”

        Rs carry a Bible in their vest pocket to protect against bullets.

          1. fresno dan

            So who was that guy with the heel? I mean, who aims for the heel?
            Atlas? Hector?? And was it the Romans? Etruscan’s? Whoever…I am definitely getting steel toed and steel HEELED shoes

            1. craazyboy

              Achilles. Greek hero of the Trojan War – Homer’s Iliad

              He was dipped in something that deflected arrows. (Kevlar?) Except a leaf was on his heel, so no coverage their. Someone passed that info to the enemy, so to kill Achilles, you shoot for the heal.

              1. Lambert Strether

                Hmm. I believe his mother dipped Achilles, as a baby, in a river whose waters conferred invulnerability — but she did so holding him by his heel, which the waters never touched; and so that is why his heel was vulnerable.

                Classical scholars please correct.

          2. craazyboy

            The pic looks like a Roman soldier. Must be a 1st Testament thing. Taken all together then, your feet are protected by the Gospel of Jupiter. Not to say that helps my understanding either, but Ben Carson probably could explain it.

            1. skippy

              Yep and of the universe… tho you must remember he said the canons were self reading… which in his universe must have meant his reading….

          3. griffen

            Think about it – your feet are leading you on your path or journey. So if you walk in light, as opposed to walking in darkness, etc..

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Today’s antidote.

    That’s the classic Chinese Han dynasty lacquer color scheme…black and red, save the few creamy white streaks.

    The turtle being a symbol of longevity there, I wonder if they got the color combination inspiration from this particular species.

  12. rich

    Real Estate Shell Companies Scheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress.

    In Bedford-Stuyvesant and other pockets of the city, white-collar criminals are employing a variety of schemes to snatch properties from their owners. Often, they use the secrecy afforded to shell companies, leaving victims groping for redress, unable to identify their predators or even, in some cases, to prove a crime has been committed.

    Attention lately has focused on the growing use of shell companies to buy prized real estate in Manhattan and other glittering destinations for global wealth. But the stealthy practice of deed theft illustrates another way that limited liability company law used to create such entities has been twisted and stretched to conceal the ownership of real estate. This is particularly true in Brooklyn neighborhoods where profits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from quick turnaround sales have become common.

    “Sham LLCs are a huge problem in terms of their lack of transparency, in terms of who is behind the property and who is behind these schemes,” said Jennifer Sinton, a lawyer with South Brooklyn Legal Services, which is representing Ms. Campbell in an effort to reclaim her home.

    A review by The New York Times of several dozen cases, and interviews with lawyers, prosecutors and others knowledgeable about fraudulent deed transfers, suggests they are accelerating even as officials struggle to address them. The city’s Department of Finance said it was investigating 120 cases, many of them hard to crack because of the role played by LLCs, officials said. Underscoring the rising alarm over the problem, the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, and the Brooklyn borough president, Eric L. Adams, held a forum last month to warn property owners about it.

    In other cases, signatures are simply forged on deeds. The thieves, meanwhile, hide behind inscrutable mazes of limited liability companies, rented post office boxes and fake addresses.

    lets make crime easy??

    1. Ditto

      This is also the preferred tactic of slumlords. They will often own several buildings in disrepair under LLCs. The result is that it is more difficult to demonstrate in any given case that the lack of repair is a pattern with the slum lord rather than a one off. Most tenants won’t have the resources to show harassment. There needs to be a lot more transparency.

    2. alex morfesis

      fiduciary theater…govt reading its lines and the NYT buries the parties deep in the article…using an LLC is not some magic elixir…owning something is worthless…turning it into cash or cashflow is the value…the end of nyt story suggests the victimizers paid out 30 grand to 40 grand on each deal…so did not the victims/persons who cashed the checks not see which bank the funds came from ?? even if escrowed with an attorney, when fraud is argued, there is very limited attorney client protection…buildings with tenants need to have utility bills paid, and service providers paid…money can be tracked in these types of situations…the public is not well served by articles that imply some wizard of oz magic to using an LLC…and deeds need to be notarized…why is the NYT article not naming and shaming the notaries ?? they have bonds which can be made to pay out when someone claims the notary “made a mistake”…and if the State of New York wanted to fix the problem here, all the Governor would have to do is require notaries in New York to keep a log book which is then a public record…fiduciary theater…although it is nice to see that when there is something that looks like they are doing something, they can go through the motions, as against asking about all the magically assigned mortgage notes that LPS signed a consent order they would clean up, but from what I gather in the various states I have done legal support work for attorneys on foreclosure defenses…but for a few foreclosure case there has been no disclosures nor adjustments as required by the Fed Reserve docketed case stipulation signed by LPS and now the burden of Fidelity its old and now new again Parent Company in Jacksonville… stale popcorn…yuck…

    3. JustAnObserver

      Calling Richard Smith ?

      I know its the other side of the pond from your normal beat & Brooklyn’s not as exotic as Moldova but LLCs, PO Boxes, nominee directors (presumably) etc. seems to good to miss. Eric S. could probably use some advice.

      Wouldn’t it be (sad) funny if, somewhere in this mess, New Zealand shell co. generators appeared? Or Scottish LLPs ?

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Links between climate change and extreme weather.

    That’s reasonable to expect.

    If you apply uniform increasing pressure, such as in an ascending plane, some parts of your body will react more radically than others. For example, your ears might pop.

    When you reduce overall food supply, such as in a famine, some parts of the society will react extremely. For example, the rich, backed by hired force, will oppress the poor more.

    And so, if the planet warms up uniformly, you will get extreme reactions from Nature, thus, extreme weather. And if the globe warms up not uniformly, you get even more extreme weather.

  14. BEast

    Re: fat being the new normal: the map of the fattest states looks to me like a map of the poorest states. By now the reasons for that should be well known by everyone.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Switzerland, livable forest in the sky.

    One internal combustion engine powered Model T down the Illinois country road is very idyllic.

    A billion of them, and we have a global warming problem.

    These livable forests in the sky – they would have to selectively favor those threes that don’t have problem root systems so they don’t cause problems like they do to sidewalks.

    We, masters of the universe, will again favor some over others, when we scale up this concept.

    1. subgenius

      Somebody should work out the carbon dioxide offgassing from the concrete needed for construction, and then work out how long it will take for the plants living on the structure to recycle it…then you will see how fundamentally stupid a plan it is.

      Also…high rise? So elevators?

  16. Ignim Brites

    “Lie by Lie: A Timeline of How We Got Into Iraq.” Wouldn’t it be a little more appropriate to start seeing articles entitled “Lie by Lie: How we are not getting out of Iraq”?

  17. rich

    My proposal to lower drug prices: Expose the industry’s manipulations Nov 6, 2015,

    While Sandoz is doing all it can to market its generic, Teva appears to be largely winning in the first few months of competition. Three-quarters of Copaxone patients are now taking the higher-dose, 40 milligram version, up from two-thirds as of three months ago. That’s a shame for at least some patients, who might have preferred to stay with once-a-day dosing in return for thousands of dollars in savings (because of undisclosed discounts offered by drugmakers, we don’t know exactly how much patients would save).

    So my proposal to lower drug prices — which probably won’t win me many friends in the industry — is simply to start drawing attention to ploys by drugmakers to artificially extend the duration of patent protection without doing any actual innovation. My theory: The more patients who know they have cheaper options for medication, the more who will make informed decisions.

    Know of a good example? Click on my photo above and email or tweet. I will look into it and report what I find.

    The best part?

    Any of my colleagues in the media can steal my idea and do the same. After all, it’s not like I have a patent on it or anything.

  18. Jim Haygood

    A timely reminder from Patrick Martin that there’s only one War Party:

    The US military-intelligence complex is engaged in systematic preparations for World War III. As far as the Pentagon is concerned, a military conflict with China and/or Russia is inevitable, and this prospect has become the driving force of its tactical and strategic planning.

    Three congressional hearings Tuesday demonstrated this reality. The hearings were examples of what might be called the routinization of World War III. A US war with China and/or Russia was taken as given, and the testimony of witnesses and questions from senators and representatives, Democrats and Republicans alike, concerned the best methods for prevailing in such a conflict.

    None of the hearings saw any debate about either the likelihood of a major war or the necessity of winning that war. Without [D and R party members seated on opposite sides] there would be no way of detecting, from their questions and expressions of opinion, which party they belonged to.

    Well of course not, Pat. Same as it ever was, during our lifetimes under the permanent Welfare-Warfare state.

    One is reminded of Japan in the 1930s. As the military moved colonize China, the parliament simply served as a rubber stamp to authorize funding — just as our 535 Kongress Klowns did in the recent budget deal which pumped another $50 billion into the deluded dream of pacifying Syria, and Africa, and Asia.

    The collective social delusion of ruling the world has exerted a magnetic attraction on every empire in history, luring it into self-initiated destruction like a moth hitting a bug zapper. That’s what 14 years with a suspended constitution has done to us, though it started long before. This is the phase where decline begins to accelerate quite visibly.

    1. fresno dan

      if your not for war, your an isolationist….
      You would think that now that the life expectancy of middle aged white people is declining in the US (pretty much only done previously in Russia), that are oligarchs and their oligarchs could get along…

      1. Jim Haygood

        Ol’ Geo. Washington was as radical an isolationist as ever existed (viz. his Farewell Address and all that). But they still print his face on the one-dollar fiat FRN.

        “Doublethink is the act of ordinary people simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. Doublethink is part of Newspeak.”

        We are the Soviet Union now. But it seems that oxycontin is our version of cheap vodka, to promote the self-culling of unproductive middle-aged males before they become a burden on bankrupt social benefit schemes.

        See you at the Victory Day parade, comrade.

      1. cnchal

        It was nice to see the military spokesperson squirm while explaining that only .5% of the population is in the military, and they need moar cannon fodder. So it’s a marketing gimmick, where rich NFL owners get even moar taxpayer money.

        The “Army” is wasting lots of money sponsoring drag racing.

        Since the 2000 U.S. Nationals, the U.S. Army colors have adorned the Top Fuel dragster of Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher. An eight-time world champion, Schumacher holds numerous NHRA records including the national elapsed-time record and national speed record for both the quarter-mile and 1,000-foot distance.

        And nascar

        The U.S. Army will pay Stewart-Haas Racing $11.6 million to sponsor Ryan Newman’s car for 23 races this season, and the Army official who oversees it says the money is worth it.

        Army and National Guard (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) were the only branches of the military that served as primary sponsors for cars in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.

        Lt. Gen. Benjamim Freakley said the Army looks at different ways to determine if the sponsorship is worthwhile but admits it comes down to one thing.

        “At the end of the day, for the Army, it’s does someone join the Army or not,” Freakley said.

        At least Freakley had the good sense to sponsor a Chevy instead of a Toyota.

        Cartoonish, in the extreme.

  19. allan

    Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: White House missed highway bill chance

    LaHood — who headed the 55,000 person department with a $77 billion budget from 2009 through early 2013 — writes of frustrations in his job in a new memoir: “Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics” being published this month by Cambria Press.

    “When (Obama) took office, most everyone accepted the need for action on transportation. They knew where the bad roads were. They knew about bad bridges that needed to be fixed. They knew we suffered with outdated transit systems. But we could never figure out a way to pay for the fixes. The administration would not lobby for an increase in the gas tax when it had the votes,” LaHood said.


    1. cwaltz

      My biggest problem with the gas tax is this idea that it should come before we come up with alternative transportation options for the country.

      Public transit needs to be better and in some respects actually exist otherwise you are going to be charging rural poor disproportionately.

      1. ambrit

        How many divisions do the rural poor have?
        Also, the Obama Administration was ‘in the pocket’ from the beginning. The ‘election’ of 2000 marks the end of even pretend democracy. I’m now waiting for the emergence of our modern ‘Octavian,’ ‘Mark Antony,’ ‘Julius’ and ‘Pompey.’
        “Let the Games commence!”

  20. Daryl

    > How much will new U.S. stealth bomber really cost? Nobody knows. Reuters (EM)

    So it’s working! Even the budget is stealthy. Very good.

  21. Rajesh

    Read on wsj that the guy who started RT died of a heart attack. Sad…i hope it wasn’t drugs or something more sinister

    1. abynormal

      Mikhail Lesin, a prominent Russian political figure and mass media expert credited with inspiring the creation of Russia Today (now RT), has died in Washington, DC after a heart attack.

      Lesin, a former press minister and ex-head of Gazprom-Media, Russia’s largest media holding, died at the age of 57 on Wednesday, according to family members. “Mikhail Lesin died from a heart stroke,” a family member told RIA Novosti.

      Meanwhile, TASS has reported that Lesin was found dead in his hotel room in Washington, DC, citing the Russian Embassy in the US. Police found no signs of foul play, but a formal investigation has been launched. It has been reported that Lesin had been suffering from a prolonged unidentified illness.

      this couldn’t come at a more mellow time. never thought i’d say this but i hope Lesin really was suffering from a prolonged ‘unidentified illness’. shaking head

  22. fresno dan

    Did Quantitative Easing Increase Income Inequality? Juan Antonio Montecino and Gerald Epstein

    Well, its better than most analysis. But it misses the point. Whether it marginally or more substantially increased inequality, what it most assuredly did was maintain the status quo. A status quo that for 40 years now that has resulted in stagnant at best, and many times decreases in living standards for the lower quin tiles. A status quo that implicitly supports ever increasing inequality. A mentality that is most analogous to the Church refusing to look through the telescope…

    If you protect the value of a loan that is mispriced, but not the house that is mispriced, you are in fact making a political decision. That is also an economic decision.
    As Iceland shows, it is not a law of physics that if banks and bankers fail, and even go to jail, that thermonuclear reactions ensue, and electrons careen into atomic nuclei and the world becomes a black hole…

    Central bank defenders can’t go on, and on, and on, about how innovative, creative, and daring Bernanke and company were in bailing out banks, and than turn around and say, OH …HEAVENS!!! its against the law to help homeowners…

  23. Oregoncharles

    “Health Inequality” – HS, did somebody drop a dirty bomb on Dixie? That first map is really dramatic: all of the former Confederacy is light brown, with the lowest life expectancy, and the plague spreads into the near edge of adjoining states, even Ohio and Indiana. It’s as if a disease started in upper GA and AL and is spreading concentrically.

    Could that be the effects of conquest, still going on? In any case, it’s a good reason for the South to feel that they’re second-class citizens – even if they’re essentially doing it to themselves.

    And on a note closer to home: that one light-brown county in Oregon, the huge south-central one, is desert and has very few people. Apparently it’s a hard place to live. Some of the other low-life-expectancy counties scattered around the West are Indian reservations.

    1. cwaltz

      That map is really weird. The state of Virginia seems to be largely brown. I expected it in my region which still receives federal help to address poverty(It used to be 1 in 3 here was below poverty level, we’re now at about 1 in 5) I wasn’t expecting it in most of Virginia. I wonder what Minnesota(almost entirely blue) is doing right that our state should be doing.

      1. ambrit

        It might have something to do with the degree of unionization years ago. Most union contracts included medical benefits, which, if utilized early, will endow an increase in longevity upon the covered population. Now that the unions have largely been ‘busted,’ I would be interested to see if the life expectancy of the North starts to drop back toward the levels seen in the largely un-unionized South. Life expectancy is a lagging indicator.
        The lower life expectancies in the Reservations indicates that the governments policy of genocide continues apace. “Benign Neglect” and all that..

  24. fresno dan

    Research backs this up. A yearlong experiment in Rialto, California, in 2013, found that police officers who weren’t wearing cameras were twice as likely to use force as those who were. It also found that citizen complaints against police dropped 80 percent. In late 2014, President Obama announced that the government would spend $75 million over three years to distribute 50,000 body cameras to police departments across the country, saying that “evidence shows that body-worn cameras help strengthen accountability and transparency.”

    If there hadn’t been a camera, what would have happened?
    Or more accurately, what would not have happened?

  25. C

    Apropos of the conservatives opposing the TPP See Breitbart:

    The last article includes this particularly hilarious quote:

    Froman said foreign governments were able to win exceptions within the agreement by comparing that to the commercial impact on American businesses.

    “In the example of Malaysia, the final deal laid out a sliding scale, allowing Malay businesses to get greater preference for smaller projects, while larger procurement bids, which are more interesting to U.S. firms, would provide fewer advantages,” Behsudi reported.

    “It’s an absolutely central policy there, absolutely central to their politics,” Froman explained of Malaysia. “They would not be able to participate in TPP if they were not accommodated in one form or the other for what is a defining feature of their political system.”

    Apparently government contracting is not at all central to our politics.

    1. lambert strether

      One might also ask whether the CBC, Canada Post, and Medicare, all not privatized, are central tonthe Canadian system.

  26. hunkerdown

    Perhaps Sikorski was too quick to gripe about what he got out of all that “lip service”, as it were, to Uncle Sam who, as if is heart had grown a half-size one day, is now bailing his down-and-out rent boy out of jail, taking him into his home, introducing him to the local pillars of the community as a very nice and distinguished young man, at the head of his class, after a fashion. I picture a 1950s hygiene film’s phys ed coach proud of his protégé during a kindly pep talk, “The rest of you boys could learn a thing or two from this one!” Such an adorably airbrushed immorality tale of GOP phantasy. It almost brings a tear to the eye.

Comments are closed.