Links 12/8/15

Donkey Who Nearly Died In Flood Breaks Into A Grin When He’s Rescued Dodo (YY)

Paris attacks: France accepts Russian puppy Dobrynya to replace slain dog ABC (YY)

Study: More Useless Liberal Arts Majors Could Destroy ISIS Gawker

Read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s delightful response to climate deniers Grist

Despite Push for Cleaner Cars, Sheer Numbers Could Work Against Climate Benefits New York Times

Chomsky was right, researchers find: We do have a ‘grammar’ in our head MedicalXpress (Robert M)

What Happens If Someone Uses This DIY Gene Hacking Kit to Make Mutant Bacteria? Motherboard (resilc)


Chinese Exports Fall for Fifth Consecutive Month Wall Street Journal

China issues first pollution ‘red alert’ Financial Times

Is the IMF Cutting Corners for China? WSJ China Real Time Report

US steps up South China Sea surveillance Financial Times

Finland Plans to Give Every Citizen, Rich or Poor, $870 a Month TakePart

French Elections

Front National’s election triumph leaves mainstream parties reeling Guardian. This is not getting the attention in the US that it warrants.

French Far Right Victory Brings Eurozone Disaster Closer Fortune Swedish Lex: “We began warning about this five years ago, I think, when Merkel and Sarkozy imposed austerity and Sarkozy domestically turned xenophobic in order to win votes from le FN:

But, as CER’s Tilford points out, “the politics have been moving in a worrying direction for a long time.” Unless something changes the direction of travel, it’s only a matter of time before Europe’s pivotal economy and body politic finds itself ruled by a motley bunch of neo-, crypto- and quasi-fascists absolutely irreconcilable with Europe’s current status quo.

Venezuelan Government Losing Grip As Low Oil Prices Take Their Toll OilPrice


We Talked to One of the World Trade Center Bombers About ISIS and Mass Shootings VICE

ISIL/ Daesh can be Starved of Oil Revenue: Here’s How Juan Cole (resilc)

The Isis papers: leaked documents show how Isis is building its state Guardian

The unavowable project for a pseudo-Kurdistan Voltairenet (Bob V)

Jihadis now integral part in US designs for Syria Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Admiral reprimanded for drunken, naked escapade at Florida hotel Washington Post

Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror Democracy Now

How the DEA invented “narco-terrorism” Vox. Resilc: “It’s sort of like a NPR fund raiser for the narcs at DEA.”

Public begins to react to Dick Cheney’s honorary bust at U.S. Capitol Daily Kos

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

‘Spell-check for hate’ needed, says Google’s Schmidt BBC. Lambert: “Wowsers”.

After Paris Attacks, French Cops Want to Block Tor and Forbid Free Wi-Fi Motherboard

Florida woman arrested for hit-and-run after her car calls police Guardian (furzy mouse)


When Will Iowa Republicans Make Up Their Minds? Bloomberg

Donald Trump has confirmed he’s a scary fascist. Now what? New Republic

Donald Trump Call For US Ban On Muslims Could Hurt His Own Mideast Business Deals, Cost Him Millions International Business Times. Headline weirdly fails to make the real point: Trump is perfectly happy to do business with rich Muslims, even ones in countries that the US has singled out as bad actors on the terrorism front. So is it convenient for him to turn on them now because oil is cheap and many of the oil barons are selling rather than buying right now?

Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Actually About Cruz New York Magazine (resilc)

Man Calls Obama ‘Pussy,’ Gets Suspended From Fox New York Magazine

Hillary Clinton: How I’d Rein In Wall Street New York Times. Have your barf bag nearby. And notice the difference in the comments from “All” versus “NYT Picks”

Clinton Super PAC Donor Is Former Goldman Exec and Foreclosure Crisis Profiteer Intercept

Clinton plans ‘exit tax’ on inversions Financial Times

Sanders Really Has a Workable Plan to Deal with Climate Change: Rare Among Politicians Ring of Fire (furzy mouse)

Most Republicans Have Negative Views Of Muslims — And Toward A Religious Test FiveThirtyEight

Expert: Homegrown terrorism threat is real The Hill. Resilc. “See date.”

Coarsening the Culture: Republicans Need To Do Some Housecleaning Washington Monthly

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Video Evidence Appears to Contradict SFPD Account of Mario Woods Killing KQED (Alan C)


Sticking to Our Guns New York Review of Books

Nevada Republican lawmaker shares Christmas card featuring fully armed family Daily Kos (furzy mouse)

Jeb Bush, who purged thousands of innocent voters from the Florida rolls, thinks the no-fly list is too error-ridden to screen gun buyers. New Republic

Economist’s Criticism of Federal Reserve Policies Gains Ground New York Times. Um, we’ve been linking to economists who have been saying this sort of thing for years.

Obama to cancel millions in student loans swindled by Rubio-supported Corinthian Colleges Daily Kos

OPEC Won’t Cut Drilling, and Prices Plunge 5% New York Times

Commodities rout deepens as Chinese trade data signal weaker demand Guardian

From “Leading the Way” to “Losing its Way”: CalPERS Andrew Silton. Important. Silton is the former Chief Investment Officer for North Carolina and therefore a particularly well informed commentator. Silton has also been producing more intense, edgy looking art since he’s been following CalPERS. Hope he regards that as a plus, or at least a useful expansion of his range.

A Revolving Door Helps Big Banks’ Quiet Campaign to Muscle Out Fannie and Freddie Gretchen Morgenson. Great reporting. I need to write a post on the policy issues on Fannie/Freddie “reform”…

Class Warfare

Uber-Sponsored Survey Finds Working for Uber Is Awesome Re/code

Whatever Happened To Galt’s Gulch Chile? Dollar Vigilante (furzy mouse). Haha, as we predicted!!!

It’s Not Foot in Mouth Disease Medium

Aging, real rates, and labour bargaining power: the case of Japan FTAlphaville. This is important, and I have to confess to having only skimmed it as 6:00 AM, so I hope readers will give this a serious look and pipe up in comments.

Antidote du jour. From The nine lives of Russia’s Hermitage cats. The Hermitage is one of those sites you really must see if you can arrange it. Not only is the art astonishing (and I’m pretty jaded on that front) but so are the places themselves (and I’ve seen a few of them too). It goes a very long way in explaining why Russia had a revolution.

hermitage cat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. MartyH

      I’m for it as long as they screen out hate from all sides on every ethnic, religious, or political issue. Of course, this is a proposal to automate censorship, not a real attack on hate speech. The algorithm would be adjusted by the likes of Netanyahu, the Sauds, and the Intelligence community to be sure.

    2. Daryl

      This is just another outgrowth of Google’s (and most tech companies) total disinterest in actually moderating content or interacting with people. Sure ISIS recruits people over Twitter, but chasing them down would be too hard. Can’t we make a program that does it?

      I also like how “he insisted that censorship would not solve the problem…” and then went on to suggest censorship.

  1. Dino Reno

    I wrote a scathing response to the Hillary op-ed in the NYT on banking that was not accepted so you can bet the readers’ response was much more negative than even the readers’ favorites would indicate. Their editorial thumb is firmly on the scale of Hillary’s march to the White House.

    But I confess I did use the word “tit,” as in where Hillary likes to suckle to maintain her lifestyle and her campaign funding.

    Oh, and I did say the primary business model of Wall Street is fraud, but that’s Bernie’s line.

    Both of those lines probably did me in as a responsible person or the negative response were so great in number that they did a wholesale dump.

    What really got me in the piece was her comment how executive bonuses should be trimmed when the banks fail and the savers and taxpayers end up bailing them out. She considers that pain sharing.

    1. Vatch

      Trimming executive bonuses in the circumstances that you describe is a good idea. One clarification is needed, though: the bonuses should be trimmed by more than 100%. In other words, claw back previous years’ bonuses.

      1. Dino Reno

        Bankers have nipples and are animals, but fussy politicians might reject a rubber mouth piece.

        What is the difference between Teat and Tit? :

        Teat : (noun)

        ( 1 ) Animal’s nipple

        ( 2 ) Rubber mouthpiece on a child’s feeding-bottle through which the contents are sucked

        Tit : (noun)

        ( 1 ) Woman’s breast

        ( 2 ) Nipple

        1. optimader

          Tit maybe gets bounced by a word filter teat maybe nt so much? I dunno. Anyway, for me, teat seems to invoke a more colorful imagery when it comes to the Clintons.

    1. wbgonne


      Until we can honestly evaluate the failures of neo-liberalism, and gut globalist cant which claims more trade and capital flows are always a good thing (and even if they aren’t, are “inevitable”) we cannot fix the economy.

      That about sums it up. The rest of the essay is spot-on, too.

  2. OIFVet

    it’s only a matter of time before Europe’s pivotal economy and body politic finds itself ruled by a motley bunch of neo-, crypto- and quasi-fascists absolutely irreconcilable with Europe’s current status quo.

    Lesser evilism by any other name… The current status quo is beyond redemption, with the Euro “left” no different from the US democratic “left”. Many of the commentators that now bemoan the rise of the far right enthusiastically cheered the processes that led to its rise.

    1. Carolinian

      Indeedy. The current press “be afraid/why are you afraid?” coverage of San Bernardino could be another aspect of this feigned pundit bemusement. They misinform the public and then complain about their ignorance and embrace of extreme views. Former msm journalist Phil Weiss suggests that self censorship could be one source of the public’s ignorance. By deliberately ignoring real world Muslim grievances the press makes them seem purely irrational, provoking an irrational response.

      1. OIFVet

        There is indeed a large disconnect between the media, political, and economic elites, and the ‘unwashed masses.’ It struck me again during my recent trip to Europe. The foundation-funded Bulgarian political and media elites are busy spewing their well-funded russophobia, while the masses remain stubbornly russophile. This was particularly pronounced in the aftermath of the turks’ shoot down of the Su24. I literally couldn’t find anyone who would take so much as a neutral stance, it was all anger and fear and blaming the US for what’s been happening in not-far-away Syria. At most some would preface their comments with “I apologize in advance if I offend you, but…” It was only slightly different during my short stay in Vienna, Austria now being one of the countries swamped by the sultan’s human waves. On this background of mass disbelief, the media’s hewing to the official line was quite incongruous, to say the least.

    2. OIFVet

      Ian Welsh agrees with me:

      Nougayrède wants France’s leaders to fix things, to not fail, but she is very nearly as delusional as them. She admits that their failure has led to the rise of Front National, but cannot admit that their policies have failed, economically, along the lines that Marie Le Pen says they have.

      The entire article is well worth reading, Welsh perfectly expresses what I think but lack his eloquence to say it.

      1. Carolinian

        This is a good article and right up NC’s alley. To continue your quote.

        Just because someone is a near-Fascist does not mean they are wrong about everything. I have no tolerance for LePen’s brand of Imperialism and cultural supremacy, but she, like Trump, is telling a lot of truths to a lot of people who feel like their country has been on the wrong track for a long time. (White working class male salaries peaked in 1968 in the US. No matter how much you scream about white privilege, you are a fool if you expect them not to go to anyone who seems like they might reverse that.)

        As an economic project, the EU is a failure for many of its members, including France. There are exceptions (Germany, Poland, etc…) but the losers cannot be expected to just sit there and take the beating forever. This is exacerbated by Europe’s deliberate imposition of austerity. It is not just that Europe’s elites have failed to create a good economy, it is that they have deliberately made the economy worse for the majority of residents in many of the countries.

        Until we can honestly evaluate the failures of neo-liberalism, and gut globalist cant which claims more trade and capital flows are always a good thing (and even if they aren’t, are “inevitable”) we cannot fix the economy.

        As it happens I was in Paris in 1981 when socialist Mitterand won. The proprietor of my lodging in a working class district was joyful. So it seems not everyone was smitten with the 30 years of prosperity preceding the oil shock or the conservative governments. But at least the French of that pre-globalized era were willing to keep American culture, and policies, at arm’s length. No poodles they.

  3. James Levy

    I know, I know, you don’t do requests–but the Gunz category automatically generates the kind of bile-filled and unrevealing commentary that incites nastiness and goes nowhere. It’s your acreage, of course, but you will reap what you sow.

    1. tim s

      Agreed. It’s a category that does not elevate NC, and is a slap in the face of responsible gun owners, who are the vast majority. Most honest gun owners support existing control laws, many of which are not enforced

      How about a category CARZ & PHONZ. I see any number of idiots behind the wheel on their phone. They kill any number of people at a time, and this is also a daily occurrence

      But, hey, I’m sure there were those medievals who had their SWORDZ category, and some cavemen had their ROCKZ & CLUBZ categories. What can you do???

      1. Lambert Strether

        I’d like to see responsible gun owners step forward with some concrete proposals to prevent mass shootings by irreseponsible gun owners. Falls under the heading of “well regulated militia.” Or perhaps simple altruism or public-spiritedness,

        In addition, I’d like very much to know whether the set of all “responsible” gun owners and the set of all NRA members have significant overlap, or not.

        If so, then “responsible” gun owners are “responsible” for the public policies that the NRA has successfully promoted. Given that they fund them, at least in part. No?

        1. flora

          Ban large-capacity magazines.

          George H.W.Bush resigned his NRA membership in 1995 disgusted with their tactics. He wasn’t the only then NRA member that dropped membership.

          If you think there are no responsible gun owners, or “responsible” gun owners, then that’s you opinion. My opinion obviously differs.

    2. Peter Schitt

      Indeed, James. Americans should allow themselves to be politely massacred without making a big hoopla out of it. So what if there’s a mass shooting every day. What did Jefferson say about Americans: “dumb as shit and proud of it”, or something similar. Weren’t that couple in San Barnadino part of a “well regulated militia”? if so, good for them. So James is cool with bullet holes in childrens heads but doesn’t want to hear any “nastiness” about it. Man up James, go on a spree killing. I promise I won’t be nasty about it.

    3. flora

      Yes. “gunz” relegates the debate to the culture war arena. the debate, to be serious, needs to escape that gulch.

  4. crow

    As much as I like “Ah-nold” Schwarzenegger and appreciate his excellent analogy, I can’t get the image out of my mind of his tooling around California with Maria in the Humvee. For sure, that was years ago and people change and grow. But the question remains: Does he still have it?

  5. James Levy

    Could not read the Alphaville article without signing in, and for reasons logical and irrational I won’t do that.

    1. Steven D.

      I actually did sign in, against my usual instincts. Can’t say I understand the discount rate stuff but for all Abe’s traditionalist nonsense, the most significant thing he’s done is increase the participation of women in the workforce. This factor was ignored by his predecessors who were afraid to rock the boat. It should actually help reverse Japan’s demographic implosion because countries where women have more options economically tend to have higher birth rates. Universal childcare would help even more.

      Also interesting to see Japan’s workforce participation increase as the population ages. The decline of women’s participation in the US workforce under that impressive young man in the White House is a striking exception globally, the article says. BTW, universal childcare would help enormously here and would have helped boost us out of recession. It also would have helped maintain or increase women’s workforce participation. More important though to “pivot” to the deficit because that’s what all high-minded and serious people want and the most important thing for a young president is to be seen as high-minded and serious, not to do things to make things better.

      1. Carla

        “countries where women have more options economically tend to have higher birth rates.”

        I believe it’s the opposite. Education and economic opportunities for women are often cited as the most effective form of birth control.

        1. Steven D.

          Southern European countries like Italy that do nothing to accommodate women in the workforce have demographic crisis level birth rates. France and Sweden have generous childcare policies as well as payments for families with children and the highest birth rates in Europe.

          1. OIFVet

            Yet Italy’s fertility rate, at 1.4 children per woman, is a bit higher than Germany’s 1.38 (per World Bank data). Germany does offer far more generous child benefits than Italy, so explain this paradox. The fact is that educational attainment is a key determinant for birth rates, and those are far higher for first world women than for third world women. Expectations also come into play: when they fail to align with reality the birth rate decreases. And generally speaking, Euros raised in the golden age of social and economic benefits have always had higher expectations than their third world counterparts. It’s then little wonder that the age of shock therapy and austerity led to precipitous decline in the birth rates.

          2. Carla

            “France and Sweden have generous childcare policies as well as payments for families with children and the highest birth rates in Europe.”

            Don’t France and Sweden also have very high numbers of immigrants from Muslim countries? Might this possibly have any effect on overall birth rates in France and Sweden?

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      I can’t speak to much of it but this line is a keeper:
      One reasonable explanation [for declining labor share] is that there’s a lot more to the bargaining power of labour than the number of people working or looking for work.

      My biggest beef about conventional economics – and I have many – is the consternation that arises when one refuses to look at the data that is directly relevant to the question. Perhaps one could look to actual labour bargaining in Japan to try to figure out what is going on? A quick search on “shunto” reveals article after article explaining why the Japanese unions still have no bargaining power. But of course to economists there are no collective actors so no need to look at what the unions actually say.

      The notion that (except in the extremely rare environment of actual full employment) any but a small fraction of workers/jobs are influenced by individual wage bargaining is ludicrous. Without either true full employment or aggressive unions (and of course the further we are from the former, the less likely the latter), wage growth will NEVER appear. But economists will continue to be consternated.

    3. giantsquid

      If you look up the link through google news, you can open it without signing in.

      I don’t understand why expenditure per household rather than per capita was used to show that expenditures decline as people age. Doesn’t household size naturally decline with age for people over 45 or so? Children move out and spouses eventually pass on. Also, do the expenditures only include out-of-pocket expenditures for healthcare or are expenditures paid for by insurance included. In the US, healthcare for a person over 65, on average, is about $19,000 per year. I tried to find the original graph but failed. However, at a guess, I’d say only out-of-pocket expenditures were included in the figure showing the decline in consumption by the aged. And again, shouldn’t it be per capita spending that’s examined to determine the extent, if any, to which consumption declines with age?

  6. bwilli123

    Mountain Ambush
    Detailed interview with a co-designer of the F-16 on the Turkish SU-24 shootdown

    “Looking at the detailed Russian timeline of what happened,” says defense analyst Pierre Sprey, “I’d say the evidence looks pretty strong that the Turks were setting up an ambush.”

    1. Paul Tioxon

      Turkey’s shooting down of Russia’s military jet fighter, has all of the hallmarks of the beloved eternal veritas, national sovereignty. The military language of firing a warning shot, then a more earnest of intent move, shooting down the jet is to be expected in the probe counter probe world of the military. Certainly, the two leaders of Turkey and Russia are on the same wave length and speak the universal language of nationhood, stay away from me and mine or you will bleed more than us since you are too far from the borders of your home soil. Russia is finding out just how difficult it is to project military power in the world, after watching the USA act with unilateral impunity to go from Korea, to Viet Nam to Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever it pleases and no one to stop them.

      The Soviet Union had a deal at Yalta, which is located in Crimea, that shared the world with the US and a crumbling British Empire. It was our ally in war and afterwards, it took care of its empire and we took care of ours, and never the twain would met on the battlefield, no matter how desperate the times and incidents. Back then, The Soviets were a much more formidable foe. It had a real blue water navy, unlike today. Today it is forced to buy French warships just to get some post mid-twentieth century military technology.

      With no diminishing of the European sense of history to emphasize a point, the annexation of Crimea, at the very place that the Post WW II international order was formulated at Yalta, Russia is announcing a renegotiation of the terms of a failed New World Order and the discredited and failed Project for a New American Century. Russia, with Putin as the face of the Russian leadership, wants the world to know that it is no longer willing to stand idle while the events of the world overtake them and impinge on their interests.

      And Turkey, does not want the world to think that it is no more than a collapsed empire welcoming Russia to ranks of those whose grandest days of imperial reach are behind them. Syria is the place where Russian interests intersect with the combustible region whose only crime is having more oil than anywhere else and that this oil fuels the entire rise and current wealthy status of Western Civilization via industrialization. But the sun is literally setting on the OPEC axis of fossil evil. COP21 stands for the geopolitical planned obsolescence of crude oil, more than anything else. With every plan submitted to shift to sustainable solar power, another permit is issued for the planned implosion of big oil’s corporate power and whatever leverage the formerly titled oil rich undeveloped 3rd world nations could ever hope for. As the oil minister of Saudi Arabia has said in interview after interview, the problem is not the supply of oil, the problem is that the demand for oil is peaking and will disappear altogether.

      COP21 is the manifesto for killing demand for oil and all fossil fuels. The last man selling oil will not be the last man with inventory to sell, but the political savy to price enough competitors out of the market and keep demand alive and flowing to those willing to keep gasoline affordable for SUV loving drivers and profitable for Saudi domestic political stability. The oil rich don’t want to wind up like Venezuela. The US has sold over 50 million gas vehicles in the past 3 years. Those cars will not disappear for at least a decade. And affordable gas will keep consumers buying them, as long as Detroit keeps building them. But the electric vehicle is coming to take over, but just not by next week or next year. No one with a 7 year car payment is getting out easily from buying gas.

      So Russia is now enmeshed with the United States, just like the good old days. Evil brings men together. And with so much evil breaking out in the last place the world needs this to happen, where it gets its oil, Russia will prove a valuable ally when it suits us and them. And so far, with Iran and now Syria, the helping hand, if not not our sock puppet, is at least reliable and formidable to get the job done,of bringing political stability by hood or by crook. And Turkey is letting it be known, it too is enmeshed with the US via NATO and together we are all captive to the political instability which will eventually end, but will be a nerve wracking mess of inhumanity and cruelty to endure for another generation. The only clear result will be the fall of fossil fuels as being too prone to geopolitical disaster and too expensive to keep exporting our hard currency to those who fund deadly crackpot mafias masquerading as religious zealots.

      1. Chris Williams

        You writing is compelling, Paul, and very well put.

        Yes, the world will swing toward oil substitutes, but the electric car with all its carbon released before you buy it and the electricity mostly coming from coal… And the gases we burn at home and in the car…

        Not looking good for anyone living within the sandy countries

    2. Steve Gunderson

      The SU-24 was copied directly from the F-111. The F-111 was a terrible aircraft that made a lot of money for General Dynamics.

      The Russian just did not understand capitalism back in the 1960’s/1970’s.

  7. craazyboy

    “Public begins to react to Dick Cheney’s honorary bust at U.S. Capitol Daily Kos”

    Be something if they equipped Cheney Bust with a shotgun to protect against low flying pigeons, and Cheney Bust begin blowing away pedestrians.

    [mistakes were made]

    1. ambrit

      Built in armaments? As in Gehlens’ office desk? In honour of his pivotal role in the enshrinement of the Perpetual War economy, may I suggest a squadron of Predator and Reaper Drones circle the “Holy City” day and night in perpetual vigilance against Oceana? (Or was that Eurasia?)

      1. craazyboy

        And maybe a bronze plaque:

        Dick Cheney
        Two Trillion Dollar Man
        [And counting]

        Maybe put something like a “deficit watch” on the wrist of one of his armaments?

        Airshows of F-35s shooting down pigeons would be a nice touch. If the F-35s miss any pigeons, they can hire some illegal immigrants to wash down Cheney Bust and save a few bucks. Or he needs a iPhone to dial Norad for assistance.

        Then I hope they thought ahead and made provisions for the inevitable Nobel Peace Prize display.

        War Is Peace

        1. fresno dan

          “You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.”

          [In response to “Do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?”] “Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I’ve talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House….The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.”

          (doesn’t have anything to do with deficits, other than making the deficit ginormously larger, but how can one not quote this when mentioning Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Devil, Charles Manson, and Ted Bundy. Wha!?!!??? – you didn’t mention ANY of those beings??? huh…..Curious….)

      1. ambrit

        With slightly over a third of the members of the 2015 Congress being lawyers, I’d say the “Militarized” Cheney bust will be in a target rich environment. And, of course, any of Cheneys’ friends left over from the Bush 2 Administration. “Blowback. Not just for furriners any more.”

    2. Pavel

      So on the one hand we have:

      * almost-presidential-candidate Joe Biden singing Dick Cheney’s praises
      * complete failure of Obama to carry out his inauguration day pledge to shut Gitmo (if he spent 1/2 as much energy on that as on passing TPP it would have been closed years ago)
      * complete failure of Obama’s DOJ to follow the US constitution and international law by prosecuting Cheney, Bush, et al for torture and war crimes
      * Obama’s extension of Bush’s droning campaign, which kills tens of innocents for any actual “militant” or “terrorist”
      * Obama’s shameful anti-whistleblower campaign (despite his Most Transparent™ administration), threatening or imprisoning those who reveal war crimes and other illegal behaviour (Manning, Snowden, Assange)
      * Going waaaaay back in time, Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton started bombing Iraq from Saudi bases, one of the explicit causes of 9/11. The sanctions killed 500,000 children (paging Madeleine Albright’s “it was worth it”)

      So faced with this litany of hypocrisy, war crimes, and failures by the Dems… Trump’s calls to ban Muslims from the US is scary and atrocious and ridiculous, but FFS both the Dems and Repubs have been killing innocent muslims by the millions over 30 years. Let’s have a little historical perspective.

      Christ what a world.

  8. ambrit

    Well, well. Sultan Erdogan deploys a battalion of Turkish troops to near Mosul, and refuses to withdraw them from the nation formerly known as Iraq. A flank move against Syria? Or, just maybe, the Turks really want the Mosul oil fields.
    These Turkish units are supposedly ‘trainer cadres’ sent to help Kurds and Sunnis retake territory from Daesh, over two years ago. First, Turks help Kurd fighters??? Second, two years and no dislodging of Daesh from Mosul. Third, why the demands from Baghdad now? Four, not Iraqi troops, but Kurds and Sunnis. Isn’t Baghdad now a Shia capitol? The defacto partition of Iraq proceeds apace.

  9. wbgonne

    Public begins to react to Dick Cheney’s honorary bust at U.S. Capitol Daily Kos

    This story is a microcosm of the rot that infects Daily Kos, the Democratic Party and the national body politic. Not one word about Democrat VP Biden attending the ceremony and praising Cheney. Not one word about the Democrats giving Cheney a get-out-of-jail-free card. Just airbrushing and partisan pom-pom waving. And check the DK comments if you dare: juvenile mocking without a scintilla of self-awareness that Team Blue under Obama is just one click less vile than the Bush-Cheney war criminal regime. I’ll say it again: in America today, political partisanship is a thought disorder, providing an endless font of comforting but soul-deadening delusions. Just like heroin.

    1. Romancing the Loan

      I can’t imagine who still remains at Daily Kos. These days even my boomer family friends from Newton have switched from voluble disagreement to keeping schtum when I criticize the Dems.

    2. Carolinian

      They don’t call it The Great Orange Satan for nothing. I stopped reading DK about the same time I stopped reading Talkingpointsmemo because Josh Marshall thought invading Iraq was a good idea. On the other hand Kos did provide an early platform for the great Billmon.

    3. Jerry Denim

      Great comment, I couldn’t agree more. The same dynamic prevents me from watching cable news. The Obama apologetics and team blue cheerleading/obfuscation over at MSNBC rankles with me more than the clearly nutty, nonstop editorializing on FOX. I can’t even stomach the faux liberals at MSNBC for ten seconds, but I enjoy taking in 5 minutes of FOX News on rare occasions for a good laugh or to provide insight into the frightened reptile brains of fellow Americans that choose to have their worldview formed by that sort of programming. I have a harder and harder time relating to anyone that lives in the United States as time passes and politics continue to polarize people around the two fake identities of the same party. It’s like 97% of the population is living in a mutually agreed upon alternate reality that I am not a part of. The sanest people consume the least amount of news these days.

      1. Ulysses

        “It’s like 97% of the population is living in a mutually agreed upon alternate reality that I am not a part of.”

        Yet even that perception is an alternate reality, based on the belief that the MSM actually reflects popular culture. The MSM is always desperately trying to propagandize people, but far less than 97% are still paying attention to the great Wurlitzer.

        Everyday people are starting to notice that the emperor has no clothes!!

      2. wbgonne

        I have a harder and harder time relating to anyone that lives in the United States as time passes and politics continue to polarize people around the two fake identities of the same party. It’s like 97% of the population is living in a mutually agreed upon alternate reality that I am not a part of.

        Amen. P.S., I stopped watching TV news several years ago and I can safely say I have not missed a single thing.

        1. fresno dan

          And you are much better informed AND clearer thinking for not watching it….
          E.g., why does the media think 14 people murdered one day, about half the typical murder victim total in a typical US day, warrants exhaustive around the clock coverage? With every victim named. With the perpetrators analysed in minute detail – – While the 30 murdered on any other typical day are not worthy of any note WHATSOEVER, the victims not named, their killers not identified, their killers’ motives not analysed, etcetera.

          1. tegnost

            I am for some reason irritated at seeing flags all over town at half mast….hypocrites united….I stopped watching tv as well and don’t miss it, astonished at what tripe passes as journalism when I do…thank goodness for NC

      3. Chris Williams

        I only watch what I can find on line now.

        I can only see more and more Americans seeking to emigrate, for economic and safety reasons.

    4. ewmayer

      Even people I have great respect for in terms of clear-headed non-partisan-blinded thinking often slip into this sort of rah-rah-ing. From Noam Chomsky’s otherwise excellent piece on US imperial aggression in yesterday’s Links, in which Chomsky is far too generous to Democrat congresscritters:

      As respected political analysts of the conservative American Enterprise Institute have observed, the former [Republican] Party is now a “radical insurgency” that has pretty much abandoned parliamentary politics, for interesting reasons that we can’t go into here. The Democrats have also moved to the right, and their core elements are not unlike moderate Republicans of years past – though some of Eisenhower’s policies would place him about where [Bernie] Sanders is on the political spectrum. Sanders, therefore, would be unlikely to have much congressional support, and little at the state level.

      Uh, when it comes to ‘core elements’ like US foreign policy, the domestic economy, so-called ‘free trade’ agreements, crooked-bankster-cartel bailouts and de facto legal immunity of same, and massive 24/7 government flouting of the rule of law in this country, I see no significant differences between the 2 parties. Ooh, look, the Dems talk a more progressive game on dog-whistle ‘hot button’ social issues … color me unimpressed. Support for marriage equality is great and all, but does not come close in my mind to making up for thoroughly bipartisan support for US imperial aggression which has cost the lives of literally millions of human beings in all parts of the globe. What about those folks’ rights to not be blown to smithereens as ‘collateral damage’ or have their economies turned into elite-benefiting looting operations? What about the rights of U.S. citizens to see elite white-collar criminals who loot and wreck the economy held to the same laws which apply to hoi polloi?

  10. Dino Reno

    The Establishment is shocked that Americans are more afraid of Muslims than they are of Trump. After fifteen years of non-stop war against the Muslim world, why, they wonder, are Americans so insecure about Muslims in their midst? Yet never once do they refer to this glaring fact that Muslims are seen as the enemy. So it took Trump to point out the obvious, as he has done throughout his campaign, and shortly thereafter his numbers soar much to utter amazement of all the Great and the Good who have taken us down this disaster path.

    The Establishment’s clear message is Trump is scary, but an increasing number of Americans don’t see it that way. They think Muslims and immigration are scarier. Many have seen it all firsthand having experienced the impact of Muslims wars on their lives and seen how uncontrolled immigration has changed their communities. Trump is only telling them what they already know to be true. Being against Muslims and immigration together is a winning combination. Putting his opponents in the position of defending Muslims and immigration is genius. After all, Trump is going to make America great again. “It’s going to be fun,” said Trump.

    If Trump is a monster, he was created by those now trying futility to destroy him. Good luck with that.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Kind of a theme here regarding monsters raised up by hubris, greed, stupidity which then are somehow unamenable to control or dissolution. Cheney, MIC, ISIS, Trump…

  11. abynormal

    re: Talk with WTC bombers about ISIS…”What did you think of the San Bernardino attack?
    The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the attack in California was I hope they’re not Muslim. I thought this for several reasons. First, the victims are civilians—they have nothing to do with it. My religion prohibits attacks on civilians. Unfortunately, many Muslims don’t know much about Islam.”

    why does this sound familiar?

    “But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” by Francis Cant’MakeThisShitUp Chan

  12. participant-observer-observed

    There’s room at the top, they’re telling you still
    But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
    If you want to be like the folks on the hill
    A working class hero is something to be
    A working class hero is something to be

    RIP John Lennon 7 Oct 1940- 8 Dec 1980

  13. Steve H.

    Some things are simple:

    : The original plan was to have such a pipeline run through Syrian desert flatland to Turkey and on to Europe. The gas from Qatar would be sold there in competition with gas from Russia. President Assad had rejected that pipeline and preferred one from Iran through Iraq to the Syrian coast. Qatar and Iran collectively own a huge gas field in the Persian Gulf. Whoever gets his pipeline going first will have a big advantage in extracting from the field and selling its gas. The rejection of the original pipeline project was one reason why Qatar engaged heavily in the regime change project in Syria.

  14. Eureka Springs

    I thought Ian Welsh hit the nails on the head with his response to Obama gunz and no fly lists.

    The Vast Injustice of Linking Gun Purchases to the No-Fly List

    Eric Schmidt and Hillary have great contempt for free speech… would much rather hide their (and perhaps especially our) heads under a blanket rather than look in the mirror. How about Eric quit working for Hillary and her ilk and Hillary quit bombing innocents, quit arming, funding al nusra qaeda ISIL, and installing maniacs as head of State of other countries. America needs to cast a spell alright… banishing Schmidt Clinton, haters of free speech from our leadership positions. When they can’t even get out of propaganda enough to discern between spell checking and censorship. These are the same people who want/have all our info and the power and control which comes with it, yet we have none of theirs.

  15. Paper Mac

    re: What Happens If Someone Uses This DIY Gene Hacking Kit to Make Mutant Bacteria?

    “Someone” like one from amongst the legion of unemployed mol bio PhD grads we’ve been churning out with wild abandon? Or are we only worried about “laypeople”? Everyone knew Crispr was destined to get out “in the wild” as soon as it became clear that it was far easier and more reliable than previous zinc finger nuclease or TALEN systems, and people who have the knowhow to do the work so are a dime a dozen.

    Frankly I’m skeptical that regulatory action around this will do anything other than serve the interests of agrochemical corporations. I’d rather see community-driven generation of edited crop germplasms and so on than enclosure by Dow, Cargyll, Monsanto et al. As far as bacteria go, I’m sorry to report that careless graduate students have been washing transgenic bacteria (usually with antibiotic resistance plasmids) down drains for decades. I don’t think this is going to make things any worse.

    1. giantsquid

      “As far as bacteria go, I’m sorry to report that careless graduate students have been washing transgenic bacteria (usually with antibiotic resistance plasmids) down drains for decades”

      This is true, however, the strains used in most mol bio labs are derived from E. coli K-12 which does not thrive in the intestine. (The lack of outbreaks of intestinal distress among the same careless grad students attests to this fact). Unfortunately, if someone wanted to use Crispr to create a strain that can survive in the mammalian intestine, it wouldn’t be difficult.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Finland, Basic Income.

    Finland’s unemployment rate is at a 10-year high of more than 9 percent (the United States’ rate is 5.4 percent). Some fear that the basic income would be unfair, with the wealthy receiving the same amount as the poor. Others worry it might make people less eager to find work, but the monthly check is actually designed to get people back into the workforce. For many Finnish citizens, getting a part-time or low-paying job could impact their welfare benefits; leaving them worse off than if they did not work at all.

    The unfair part is easy to fix.

    Tax it away for those who don’t need it.

    The only improvement is to make sure that every time they create new money, it’s distributed equally as Basic Income.

    1. Felix47

      You mean instead of giving cash to banks (which huge percentages of Middle Eastern ownership) give it out as a basic income……..??? Great concept.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        I.e., Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud, the biggest individual shareholder of the Citibank stock

        … they got bailed out, we got sold out …

    2. Ed

      My own system on these lines would be an income guarantee, where everyone is guaranteed x annually, post taxes. X would be pegged at 50% of the median income or some sort of micro-percentage of the GDP. You file your taxes, and if after paying taxes you come up short of x, you would receive the difference back from the government, in biweekly installments. And “income” would be defined very broadly.

      By definition, only the poor would receive checks (and remember income includes other sources of government support), though there would be considerable value for the middle class in knowing there is only so far down that they would be allowed to fall. Nor would there be much of a free rider problem, since the guarantee only gets you to half the median. Most people would want more than that.

      Mailing everyone the same check, then taking it back from the higher income taxpayers in the form of taxes, would work, but its a somewhat clunkier system and more inflationary.

      1. vlade

        As I understand it, this is to replace any and all other forms of government support (although your plan wouldn’t have to do so).

        The main problem with the Finnish plan is that unless it’s limited to long-term Finnish residents (which, as we can see with the UK attempt, is discriminatory and at least now considered illegal under EU law), or Finland leaves EU, it would mean a massive within-EU immigration wave. EUR800/month is more than median wage for all of the new EU countries. Hence the likelihood of this actually happening is, as it stands now, quite low.

        On the fairness – in practice, if we say that it would be unfair to give it to the top 10%, it’s likely that any non-tax measures to get it back would be more expensive than just going on with it.

        Increasing the tax bands accordingly would be the easiest measure. TBH, I’m not sure I’d even care for that. If everyone gets it, the support for the policy in the society tends to be slightly larger (see means testing). If the top 10% (or whatever) get it, it automatically creates “us and them” where those that don’t get it have an incentive to campaign against it (and, in general, have better means to campaign and lobby, so are more likely to succeed).

        Sometimes, it’s just better to get on with a bit of unfairness that fighting for the ideal and getting much more unfairness in the process (i.e. remain at status quo).

    3. Skippy

      Speenhamland System

      The idea of a basic income guarantee is very popular with readers, more so that the notion of a job guarantee. Yet as we have mentioned in passing, this very sort of program was put in place on a large-scale basis in the past. Initially, it was very popular. However, in the long run it proved to be destructive to the recipients while tremendously beneficial to employers, who used the income support to further lower wages, thus increasing costs to the state and further reducing incentives to work. And when the system was dismantled, it was arguably the working poor, as opposed to the ones who had quit working altogether, who were hurt the most.

      It is also intriguing that this historical precedent is likely to resemble a a contemporary version of a basic income guarantee. Even though some readers call for a stipend to everyone, that simply is not going to happen, at least in terms of net results. It is massively inflationary, since most of it would fuel consumption. More consumption means more environmental damage: more strip mining of the planet, more chemicals, more greenhouse gas emissions, more plastic containers and other waste. Increased consumption also means more profit for the CEO class without necessarily improving the wage share of national income, hence no better and likely worse income inequality.

      Skippy…. basic income for whom…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s complicated and not clear how offsetting factors work.

        A. Reducing incentive to work
        B. More consumption and more strip mining, but maybe they can’t find strip miners (no incentive to work).

        Where in one case, incentive to work is restored and more strip mining proceeds along, or in another time and another place, incentive to work can’t be restored and strip mining is lessened.

        1. Skippy

          Some readers are very enthusiastic about the idea of a basic income guarantee.

          Be careful what you wish for.

          An important article in Vice discuses why Silicon Valley’s elite, which is dominated by libertarian thinking, has become keen about providing a minimum level of income to everyone.

          The purported reason is to allow their favored class, “creatives,” have a greater ability to support themselves while they are coming up with the Next Big Thing. From the article:

          One might not expect such enthusiasm for no-strings-attached money in a room full of libertarian-leaning investors. But for entrepreneurial sorts like these, welfare doesn’t necessarily require a welfare state. One of the attendees at the Singularity meeting was founder Marshall Brain, who had outlined his vision for basic income in a novella published on his website called Manna. The book tells the story of a man who loses his fast-food job to software, only to find salvation in a basic-income utopia carved out of the Australian Outback by a visionary startup CEO. There, basic income means people have the free time to tinker with the kinds of projects that might be worthy of venture capital, creating the society of rogue entrepreneurs that tech culture has in mind. Waldman refers to basic income as “VC for the people.”

          In other words, the idea is to have the government act as a first-line incubator. Notice that the government does a lot of that already by funding health care and military research, as well as the national labs like Sandia. And as readers pointed out yesterday, private companies also used to fund a tremendous amount of basic research, with Bell Labs and Xerox Parc once the pride of their corporate parents, and later shuttered or considerably cut back when they came to be perceived as corporate luxuries.

          “It’s complicated and not clear how offsetting factors work.” – I strongly disagree, its only complicated or unclear when one confines themselves to reductive rationalizations as the only analytical tool.

          Skippy… I think it was Lambert that said “slaves had a basic income too”.

          1. Lambert Strether

            The Jobs Guarantee would put baseline wages and working conditions under Democratic control, unlike BIG. No wonder the JG is anathema to Silicon Valley.

            Adding, I don’t think I said that, or not exactly that. I do put BIG in the same box as bread and circuses.

            1. Skippy

              The thing that puts hair on my back teeth is the philosophical sophistry that “believes” cutting a check for – everyone – some how – magically fertilizes the body politic into sparkle pony democracy e.g. moeny equals democracy thingy…

              That is the neoliberal free markets biggest wet dream… atomized individualism by PP in a pure market reality… and it will be self reinforcing…

              Skippy… and the most bastardy part is… it will be ushered in as a Human Right.

              1. Paul Tioxon

                Your thinking that democracy is betrayed by too much give away money is run of the mill middle class BS. The main reason why money is never the solution for someone like you is that money is a form of economic power. Your false trade off that real democracy dies when there is enough money for everyone to be fed, clothed, housed and grow old with enough other stuff like health care, is ridiculous on its face. It is the fallacy of eternal verities, in this case democracy.

                Really, if we produce all of the stuff we need and distribute money in enough supply so there is no poverty, what role does democracy need to play at that point? Having a voice in what to name the local professional sports teams? Just what is perishing in an atomized world where everyone has a guaranteed minimum income, presumably most useful when the factory, farms and cubicles no longer require our services, temporary or long term? With more time on our hands, and no worries about paying the bills, are you assuming people just stay locked in their homes, never doing anything at all? Hermits due to too much money? You may project all you like, but poverty is the problem, not a culture deficient in your desirable attributes. People are better off not hungry, not homeless, not sick, not poor! How they live their lives upon emancipation from mindless make work to obtain a paycheck is really none of your business. Ever think of that as a public policy? Mind your own beeswax and I’ll mind my own biscuits with whoever I choose and will have me.

                1. Skippy

                  Huh – ???? – when did you join the loon pond….

                  What a ideological diatribe that has zip anchor to monetary theory, financial system architecture, geopolitical reality nor historical perspective.

                  You have not even engaged in the analysis provided above. nary on bit of rebuttal, nor power dynamics, just one endless screed.

                  FYI we are awash in money, more money types and quantity’s than in any time in human history, yet the delineation between the haves and have not’s is is reverting if not also reaching historical highs.

                  Yet your drama is about democracy or freedom is about even more money front loaded into the corporatist free market wood chipper – ????

                    1. Skippy

                      Some times is exactly the main on the menu that is ordered…

                      UBI is going to save not only humanity, but the world FFS…. read Roman history… they did it too… at least they had a world which was not so utterly ravaged…

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        What IS likely different, however, is that in the past there were more jobs; more industry, less automation. Now there are less and less jobs and automation is fast reaching the point where it offers fewer new jobs than it eliminates. So what happens to potentially vast numbers of people with no income?

        Charlie Rose was interviewing George Osborne this morning and I inadvertently tuned in just when Osborne was bragging that Britain is not just about austerity because they are going to spend billions upgrading their prisons, so at least HE has a solution for those jobless though almost certainly a copy cat one.

        It’s hard for one person to highlight almost every toxic thing his government plans to do but Osborne almost managed – all while claiming – literally – that each one was the best thing in the world that could happen to the poor.

        If you just happen to need to have your stomach pumped, check this out and save some money (eos),

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          But certainly it is not the case that there is no socially useful work to do. If the private sector cannot create enough jobs, then it is the govt’s role to provide the rest. Speaking of which, why is it better for single parents to work at McDonalds than be paid a stipend for parenting their children. And why can’t we pay young people to look after the elderly? Then they are no longer “people with no income.”

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            I would love to see career opportunities for all along with a base income below which people can not fall, but I dislike the value judgement inherent in making work and income too tightly coupled as well as, potentially at least, judgements about what is and isn’t “useful”.

            Skippy of course has a valid point, as do you, but if I’m thinking of the same thing he is touching upon, the environment in which it took place poisons most of the conclusions one can draw from it.

  17. Vatch

    Trump’s Muslim Ban Is Actually About Cruz New York Magazine

    When is Trump going to start emphasizing Cruz’s Canadian birth? Trump was an anti-Obama birther; if Obama’s birthplace was an issue, then why isn’t the same true for Cruz’s birthplace?

  18. Ignacio

    If the absence of proper coverage about french elections in main media is symptomatic of fear, spanish newspapers must be crapping themselves!

  19. Carolinian

    There’s a great Russian movie about the Hermitage called Russian Ark. It consists of one continuous steadicam trek through the Hermitage with actors recreating periods of its history in the appropriate rooms. You gawk at the amazing art and architecture and applaud the technical tour de force.

    1. Jim Haygood

      There should be a Fed Ark documentary, featuring a continuous Steadicam shot through the rat maze of the Marriner S. Eccles Building.

      Trouble is, the gold vault is off limits.

      1. participant-observer-observed

        The great banks of the world at one time got absolutely sick of the expense and security measures involved in shipping consignments of gold from one bank to another and so they decided that all the chief banks of the world would open offices on a certain island in the South Pacific which was balmy and comfortable and there they would store all the gold in the world. And they put it in great subterranean vaults reached by deep elevator shafts and then all they had to do when one bank, one country owed gold to another was to trundle it across the street. And this was very efficient. It went on beautifully for five or six years. And then the presidents of the world banks got together and said, “Let’s have a convention out on this island and take our wives and families.”

        So about seven years from the date of opening, all those presidents and their wives and families went out to this Pacific island and they inspected the books. And everything was beautifully in order. Then the children said, “Oh Daddy can’t we see the gold?” They said, “Of course you may see the gold.” And they said to the managers, “Let’s take our children down to the vaults and show them the gold.”And the manager said, “Well it’s a… it’s a little bit inconvenient at this time and perhaps the children would not really be very interested, after all it’s just only old plain gold.” And the president said, “Oh no, no, come now, they’d be thrilled. Let’s go down and see.”And there was further humming and hawing and delays and finally it came out that a few years before there had been a catastrophic subterranean earthquake and all the vaults had been swallowed up and all the gold had disappeared. But so far as the bookkeeping was concerned everything was in perfect order.

        Alan Watts, Money, Guilt, and the Machine

    2. alex morfesis

      “Make america German Again” Because El Donaldo is going to show us those nazi soldiers he had on his hair thing advertisement/promo piece over an american flag was Not an error…maybe someone can ask mister birther about his grandfathers “german” birth certificate…mister Drumpf or Trumpf or whatever story your abwehr handlers have asked you to read into the camera…why dont you tell us about what your fathers cousins were doing during the war…or why it seems no one from your family has Ever served one minute in any american military service…none…abwehr man

      1. alex morfesis

        Oops was to be response to Vatch…how did it get all the way down here…must of taken too much of my meds this morning…or need to grow smaller fingers

      2. Carolinian

        Sounds like all he needs is that little mustache–just to reply to your non sequitur.

        Another movie btw. The Boys from Brazil. Not very believable.

    3. EmilianoZ

      Sounds interesting. Luckily it looks like my local library system has the movie. But it’s currently checked out. I should get it soon enough though.

    4. optimader

      .. great movie..ghostly character through time.. the clicking heels on the floor, nice touch.
      Saw that at the Chicago Film Festival years ago then ordered it from the library..

  20. Jim Haygood

    Barry Eichengreen, who knows a lot more about economic history than J-Yel, fires a warning shot across her bow:

    Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her colleagues should seriously think about delaying an interest rate hike given falling commodity prices, said noted economic historian Barry Eichengreen of the University of California at Berkeley.

    “If I were in her shoes, I would be having second thoughts,” Eichengreen said in an interview on Bloomberg Radio.

    For the U.S. economy in particular, low commodity prices can dampen exports and set up a negative feedback loop with the already-weak manufacturing sector. “Manufacturing is already doing poorly and it can do even more poorly if this news from the rest of the world continues to be negative,” Eichengreen said.

    Despite his outlook, Eichengreen said he still expects the Fed to raise interest rates after their two-day meeting on Dec. 15-16. “I think the FOMC as a group is committed to their course of action…they have succeeded in painting themselves in a corner,” he said.

    ‘Painted in a corner’: who would’ve imagined that central planning is so difficult?

    1. Carolinian

      Being one of those long suffering savers Ralph Nader was “mansplaining” about, I’m curious whether you think she should ever raise rates? Suspicions that our noted NC wit is talking his book.

      1. Jim Haygood

        CPI rose 0.2% over the past 12 months, while commodities (based on the Continuous Commodity Index, with lower energy weighting than other commodity indexes) are down more than 20% year-on-year.

        Fedsters ‘predict’ that the commodity price collapse will spontaneously reverse itself, and lift CPI back to the 1.9% year-on-year increase of the Core CPI (which is still below their 2.0% inflation target).

        Fans of George Soros’s reflexivity theory reply that rate hikes strengthen the US dollar, imposing yet more downward pressure on commodity prices in a ‘vicious spiral’ dynamic.

        Reflexivity is just a theory. But so is J-Yel’s notion that inflation is going to spontaneously rise up from its sick bed. Is this any way to run a $16.8 trillion economy?

        1. Carolinian

          I’m not sure you answered my question but sounds like you are saying I’ll have to give up my $1.62 gas to get my token rate increase. Clearly it’s a no win situation for the impoverished lower orders (not me I’ll admit).

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          This is my theory.

          If low rates encourage corporations to borrow (to buy back shares, creating a stock market bubble) and reduce that all-important senior saver consumption, the reverse will stop corporate borrowing and share-buybacks, and get seniors to finally start spending some money on food and medication, creating…inflation.

        3. andyb

          Hate to burst everyone’s bubble but real inflation in the US has averaged from 7-10% over the past decade. Take a look at the Chapwood Index that has compiled a history of consumer and household purchases in 50 metro US areas. The USG lies, obfuscates and manipulates all economic numbers. GDP, instead of languishing between 1-2% for some time, has actually been negative for at least 20 quarters. So much for the recovery.

      2. Ed

        Interest is an important tool for augmenting the income of the middle class, and for encouraging lending to small businesses. A zero interest policy is an economic disaster, especially one sustained for a long time.

        However, interest, and eventually scrip, is something that vanishes as economies collapse. There are lots of historical examples. The industrial economic system is starting to collapse. There is not much the Fed can do about that, though I think on balance their policies are hastening the collapse.

        After continuously devaluing their currency for over a century, sometime in the fourth century AD the government of the later Roman Empire started issuing a hard currency, backed initially by gold confiscated from the pagan temples, and maintained its value throughout the Byzantine period. What happened is that in the less developed parts of the Roman Empire (mainly northwest Europe), the collapse was pretty complete, with cities and basic literacy vanished, but in the more developed parts fo the empire civilization continued functioning more than was usually the case. Of course there were other reasons behind this dynamic. In contrast, with Han China, the opposite happened, the more developed parts of China took it worse.

  21. ChrisFromGeorgia

    The last two links on Syraqistan are really illuminating and I shudder to think where we’d be without the Internet to cut through the fog of propaganda and know-nothingism.

    If Assad is able to hang on and retake large chunks of territory from ISIS/Daesh or whatever you want to call the Saudi backed jihadis, with support from Russia and Iran, I really wonder what kind of epic desperation move we’re going to see from the neo-cons.

    They won’t be too happy to watch their “assets” on the ground get vaporized by the Russian and Syrian forces.

  22. Praedor

    Jeb Bush is right. The No-Fly list IS too error-riddled to be used to screen gun buyers. It’s too error-riddled to use to prevent flying and since there is NO WAY for someone to easily contest their being put on the list, it is unacceptable on all counts.

    When it has a simple and usable means of contesting addition to the list and quick removal when winning contestation, THEN we can talk.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To make Fortress America work, we have to strengthen the weakest link in the chain.

      No fly list may be at the top, but we learned last week, we can’t ignore regional centers or other similar places.

      Will we all have to stay home, or somewhere close? That’s like localism. Buy local, vacation locally, etc.

  23. tegnost

    Noting a desperate attempt to lift crude earl off the low but how’s that going to work out? Copper managing to hold onto the $2

  24. vlade

    oooh, Trump now claiming “police in London are afraid for their own their lives” because certain parts of the city have become so radicalised..

    I guess that means no more curry in Brick Lane for the bobbies..

    London Mayor Boris Johnson (Tory)’s response: “the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”.

  25. Daryl

    > Whatever Happened To Galt’s Gulch Chile? Dollar Vigilante (furzy mouse). Haha, as we predicted!!!

    It’s great that this guy learned absolutely nothing from this adventure.

    > When that happens GGC could actually go on to be a rousing success. The land is some of the most beautiful and well-positioned land in all of the world (that’s why the project attracted so many buyers and investors) and if this entire mess can be unraveled in the courts we may finally, after many years of struggle, be able to say GGC is a success.

    Yep, keep up the good work. Living with a bunch of libertarians sounds like a real nightmare. Of course I live in Texas so I already have a good sense of what living in libertarian wonderland is like.

      1. ambrit

        The Gulchers are, or were? trying to establish their own Private Idaho. Like an old “colonia.”

  26. giantsquid

    A pilot program simulating a basic income was begun by the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina in 1996. Using profits from their casino, each member of the tribe receives subsidies that are in the thousands of dollars twice each year. Since these subsidies began minor crimes committed by Cherokee youth have declined, and high school graduation rates have improved. By 2006, when the subsidies reached about $9,000 yearly per member, it was determined that the earlier the subsidies had begun in a child’s life, the greater the improvement in that person’s mental health during early adulthood.

      1. giantsquid

        I don’t know, but the payouts are smaller. In 2015, for instance, each Alaskan received $2042.

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