Links 1/29/16

Australian Accused of Planning to Pack Kangaroo With Bomb ABC

A Single Cell Shines New Light on How Cancers Develop New York Times

Amazon’s shares plunge as sales, profit miss Wall Street estimates Sydney Morning Herald (EM)

Japan Goes Negative

Bank of Japan adopts negative interest rate policy Reuters

Japan surprises with negative rate BBC

Bank of Japan Unexpectedly Cuts Interest Rate Below Zero New York Times. The effect on the currency is more important than the effect on domestic depositors…no doubt as intended.

Japan’s ‘quiet property bubble’ faces end as transactions slide Bloomberg


China Can’t Postpone the Pain Forever Bloomberg

PBOC Cash Injection Hits Weekly Record Wall Street Journal

Europe sets out plans to curb corporate tax avoidance Financial Times


Syria peace talks derailed as opposition stays away Reuters (furzy)

Saudi Arabia’s Enemies Are No Longer Just Knocking at Its Gate Vice (resilc)


Donald Trump Wanted Vets Kicked Off Fifth Avenue The Daily Beast

Republicans mock Trump over no-show BBC

Fox News will profit from the debate showdown with Trump Yahoo (furzy)

100% of Donors to ‘Black Americans for a Better Future’ SuperPAC Are White Conservative Men Who Love Ted Cruz Alternet

Susan Sarandon on Clinton: What has she done that we’re bragging about Daily Mail. Li: “It is the Mail but she really excoriates Hillary.”

State Department still hasn’t sent all Clinton emails for review Politico

Sanders: Hillary Calling For More Debates a Flip-Flop: “Clinton Campaign Does Not Run The World” Real Clear Politics (rich)

Bernie Sanders just hit back at the Washington Post with the most perfect jab Raw Story. Sanders is a threat to too many high income readers in DC, particularly all those K Street lobbyists.

Sanders surge panics Washington establishment The Hill (furzy)

Paul Krugman Unironically Anoints Himself Arbiter of “Seriousness”: Only Clinton Supporters Eligible Glenn Greenwald, Intercept. Lambert linked to this in Water Cooler, and this is delicious. Krugman has violated a rule of punditry: you need to maintain the appearance of objectivity to do much (any) good for the cause you are promoting.

How will they try to crush Bernie? failed evolution

Delayed Chicago school bond sale tainted by bankruptcy talk Reuters


How Can You Help Flint? Do Not Send Us Bottles of Water. Instead, Join Us in a Revolt. Michael Moore. Please sign his petition.

Michigan governor appoints Flint whistleblowers to remedy water crisis Washington Post

Angry White Men

WATCH: FBI releases LaVoy Finicium shooting video showing he went for his gun — twice Raw Story

FBI releases video of Oregon occupier’s shooting death Los Angeles Times

Cenk unchained: Watch Cenk Uygur absolutely destroy militants and FBI over ‘right-wing privilege’ Raw Story


Tankers Cutting Speeds Amid Oil Glut Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia’s Sale Of Foreign Assets Accelerates: Marketfield Emerging Markets Daily

Office Market in Houston Melts Down Wolf Richter

Goldman Sachs Feeling the Pain of Mortgage Litigation Corporate Counsel (Mark H)

Did controversial investments bail out N.J. public pensions last year? Only if you believe the bogus valuations.

S&P 500 short interest at 2010 levels Business Insider

In Search of Growth Strategies Project Syndicate (David L)

Class Warfare

World’s First Robot-Run Lettuce Farm to Produce 30,000 Heads Daily; Tipping Point for Workerless Agriculture Michael Shedlock (EM)

Antidote du jour. When my cat Blake died, many readers sent me notes and sometimes pictures of favorite pets they had lost. This is from James in New Zealand:

I lost my poor old boy, Fluffy (1996-2012) who you featured back in the day when he could still climb the cherry tree – and he’s a bonus pic in memory of him.

The Fluff08 links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. sd


    Funny business in banking is back and Icelanders are not happy.

    In November 2014, Icelandic bank Landsbankinn – nationalised after the financial crash of 2008 – sold its 31.2% share in credit-card company Borgun for a price of just under ISK 2.2 billion (approx. €15.4 million).

    The recent acquisition of Visa Europe by Visa Inc. is likely to see the new owners of these Borgun shares profit by millions of euros. These new owners include the uncle and cousin of Icelandic Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson

    As a side note, Iceland has grown dependent on Chinese tourists. As the bubble popped first in 2008 in Iceland, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      Based on anecdotal experience, I doubt Chinese tourists account for a significant portion of Iceland’s economy. Touring Reykjavik I saw a few obviously Chinese tourists, but certainly not a large number, most of the tourists evident were very obviously from other countries. There were clearly more from the US, the UK and from Europe.

  2. Ignacio

    Currency wars on their way. I just wonder when the US is fed up with this and starts their own retaliation. This year or the next?

    1. craazyboy

      I don’t think “fed up” is the appropriate choice of words, but yeah, it would be simple enough to do. All the Treasury needs to do is threaten to declare every county on Earth a currency manipulator, backed up with the perfectly legal, per WTO rules, action that it can raise import duties on any country that persists in this silliness. We have the infrastructure in place for implementing it. I’ll also bet just the threat of cutting off the American market would shock the world back to their senses. It would take back global Central Bank rule and re-empower sovereigns to take economic(fiscal) action as well.

      1. Dave

        Why can’t the government issue manufacturing tax credits the way it issues low income housing tax credits. See Yves’ article:

        This would allow manufacturing plants to be restored, rebuilt, built, at .75 on the dollar and 20-30% return to “investors”.

        Oh, and pass a law that all state, local and federal Tax dollars spent have a Made in America preference.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          I think most states will throw every tax break available (and pass new ones) for any mfr willing to reinvest. The problem is no demand and excess worldwide capacity, even in much lower cost countries than US (i.e. China).

      2. subgenius

        …or the rest of the world could refuse to supply the US in such a case….which would pretty much destroy the place…

        1. craazyboy

          Not likely. They like selling to someone with a strong currency, then take the resulting trade surplus and buy strong Treasuries. Keeps them safe from their own crappy currency. Japan has been doing it for 40 years.

      3. Lexington

        All the Treasury needs to do is threaten to declare every county on Earth a currency manipulator, backed up with the perfectly legal, per WTO rules, action that it can raise import duties on any country that persists in this silliness.

        ALL it would take?

        No, it would also take the willingness of the American elite to contemplate actions that run directly counter to neoliberal trade dogmas and to risk doing permanent damage to the international free trade regime, including a possible trade war.

        They don’t have the stones, and everyone including the Chinese know it.

    2. MikeNY

      Mohammed El Erian is out with new book (and has been making the talk show rounds) about the end of the current CB regime. He gives it three years, max. Actually, his reasoning and arguments seem sound to me, it’s like he’s been reading NC. But I wonder if he underestimates the obduracy of magical thinking of the CBs. Japan might indicate ‘yes’.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Speaking of the end of central banksters, the Atlanta Fed’s nowcast nailed this morning’s flash GDP report, showing a feeble 0.7% annualized Groaf in the 4th quarter.

        So the Fed’s PhD palm readers and eclownomists hiked rates just six weeks ago on an economy that was damn near parked.

        Why did they do it? Just to accumulate some poker chips for the gaming table. They’ve been losing steadily for 102 years, but once again have doubled down in the expectation that Fortune will smile on them.

        Stanley Mellon Fischer’s mantra of ‘four rates hikes this year’ is now revealed as the rantings of a lunatic.

          1. Jim Haygood

            Just pray that they don’t start issuing five-year grain harvest forecasts, brother.

            We’ll starve.

          2. craazyboy

            When u believe in the Phillips curve has cause and effect with either variable, and ZIRP and QE could never result in asset bubbles, financial fraud or malinvestmnet, anything is possible.

  3. financial matters

    Japan Goes Negative

    I liked Scott Fullwiler’s tweet on this.

    “Proves yet again that policy makers will do anything to create income + jobs EXCEPT directly create income + jobs “

    1. Eduardo Quince

      The BOJ’s NIRP is a big fat nothingburger. Bank reserves on deposit with the BOJ currently total about 253trn yen (as of 12/31/15). Of this total, 220.6trn will continue to earn interest at the BOJ’s status-quo IOER rate of +0.1%. The existing remainder of reserves (32.4trn as of 12/31) will earn 0% interest. The BOJ will not start charging negative interest (at -0.1% rate) until total reserves exceed 260.9trn, which is about 7trn more than reserves as of 12/31. Only the portion of reserves in excess of 260.9trn will be subject to the the negative rate. Additionally, NIRP will disincentivize banks from selling JGBs to the BOJ, so it will likely undermine the BOJ’s QE program.

  4. fresno dan

    I watched the repub debate last night so you don’t have to…it was raining, it was dark, and I don’t like to drive in such conditions in my dotage….
    The only thing that made it bearable was going waaaaaaaay over my usual wine limit – absolutely no elucidation, no clarification, no critical questions, nothing other than the most pandering blather one could imagine…I really suffered…

    Senator Cruz, before we get to the issues, let’s address the elephant not in the room tonight.
    Donald Trump has chosen not to attend this evening’s presidential debate. What message do you think that sends to the voters of Iowa?
    ((FOX makes the man who holds FOX in contempt – – which I think is GREAT!!! – – the most important man at the debate, even though he is not at the debate….))
    PAUL: Just very quickly, I would like to respond.
    The bulk collection of your phone data, the invasion of your privacy did not stop one terrorist attack. I don’t think you have to give up your liberty for a false sense of security.

    When we look at this bulk collection, the court has looked at this. Even the court declared it to be illegal. If we want to collect the records of terrorists, let’s do it the old fashioned way. Let’s use the Fourth Amendment. Let’s put a name on a warrant, let’s ask a judge for it. Let’s respect the history of our country.

    John Adams said that we fought a War for Independence because we wanted to fight against generalized warrants. Let’s don’t forget that.
    ((the outlier who actually understands that the constitution RESTRAINS government and is not just for campaign blather…)

    KASICH: You know, the situation is this. We cannot fix things in this country — the Social Security, the border, balancing the budget, getting wages to grow faster — unless we lead as conservatives, but we also invite people in from the other party.
    (((of course, no follow up on HOW Kasich proposes to FIX social security – the questions not asked were much, much more important than the drivel asked)))

    WALLACE: Governor Bush, here’s the question — I’m going to ask Governor Bush the question.
    You criticized several candidates in this field on this stage for what you call unrealistic ideas about how to fight terrorists, including Rubio, and Cruz on the issue of their refusing to give the President authority to enforce the redline in Syria.
    But, given the fact that your brother got us into two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have still not ended.
    That have still not ended, what lessons have you learned from his mistakes, sir?

    BUSH: Well, first, I was critical of the Senators not giving the authorization for the use of military force. They should have made it more open ended for the next president. We shouldn’t have the war fighters have their arms tied behind their back as President Obama wanted to do, but they had a chance to show support and it wasn’t popular at the time. It became popular after the attack in Paris, and San Bernardino. Now we hear the tough talk.

    Prior to that, in the Reagan Library, I gave a detailed plan. Exactly what to do as it relates to ISIS. And it is from the lessons from history that we do this because if we allow this to fester, we’re going to have Islamic terrorism, multi-generations of it all across this country. The caliphate of ISIS has to be destroyed, which means we need to arm directly to Kurds, imbed our troops with the Iraqi military, re engage with the Sunni tribal leaders. Get the lawyers off the damn backs of the military once and for all.
    BUSH: Have a no fly zone in Syria and create safe zones to deal with the refugees. But, more importantly, to train a Sunni-led force in Syria to take out ISIS with our support…
    ((((and this drivel is cheered, and Americans actually believe our good Sunni friends will fight other Sunnni’s for us??? NOT one repub candidate, out of all these macho guys, is brave enough to even express an iota of doubt about our “friends” helping us???))))

    WALLACE: Senator Paul, go ahead.
    PAUL: Thank you. The issue in Syria’s a very important one, and it’s one we need to get right. The question is, should we be bombing both sides of the war? Some want (ph) to topple Assad. In fact, they want to bomb ISIS and Assad simultaneously.
    I think that’s a really, really bad idea. In fact, I’ve said for several years that arming the allies of ISIS will make the situation worse, That what we really need to do is defeat ISIS.
    But if you defeat Assad, what you will wind up with is a larger and more powerful ISIS that occupies that space. You might — you may well see an ISIS that takes over all of Syria.
    ((one lonely…LONELY voice of skepticism regarding a party that led us into a disastrous war advocating that the best thing to do is have another…))

    KASICH: Well, look the Joint Terrorism Task Force needs resources and tools. And those are made up of the FBI, state and local law enforcement. And Megyn, it’s best not to talk anymore about back doors and encryption, it will get solved, but it needs to be solved in the situation of the White House with the technology folks.
    ((we don’t need no Snowden’s revealing our abolition of the 4th and 5th amendments))

    BAIER: Governor Bush, just today, a wounded warrior organization designed to help wounded veterans and their families is coming under fire for raising tens of millions of dollars, but spending almost half of that on travel and hotels and dinners and luxury, lavish conferences. So taking care of veterans is obviously a huge issue in the country that has asked so many to serve and sacrifice so much.
    If you were president. would you police these charity organizations that say they’re helping vets?

    BUSH: Of course. And there’s all sorts of ways that can be done at the state, local and federal level to do that. But the first duty of the next president of the United States is to fix the mess at the Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s his first responsibility
    I will make sure that we fire the sheer incompetence inside the Department of Veterans Affairs and then we’ll give veterans a choice card so that they don’t have to travel hours and hours to get care if they want to go to their private provider. You want to make the Veterans Administration do a better job, give them — give veterans choices and you’ll get a much better result. And as it relates to all the other organizations, let me give you a good example.

    In Houston, Texas, there’s an organization in place because someone acted on their heart, wanted to make sure that there’s no homeless veterans in Houston. And they’ve come pretty close to that without federal government assistance. We need to mobilize the entire country to treat our veterans and treat them with much more respect than they get today.
    ((of course, the inconsistency of saying your for small government, but than having more regulation of a completely voluntary donation system only shows the TOTAL lack of self awareness. And of course it doesn’t even occur to any candidates or the INTERLOCUTORS to ponder why people who have served the government at the highest possible level of sacrifice aren’t COMPLETELY cared for by their US employer, instead of relying upon ANY charity at all))

    QUESTION: I’m Mark Watson. I’m known for my (inaudible) views on Youtube, but I’m also a veteran who served in the Army for eight years.
    As an African-American living near Ferguson, I’ve seen the strain between police officers and the communities they serve firsthand. Now, there are great tools like body cameras that — to protect both officers and citizens, but we all currently have better cameras in our pockets than in our precincts. Why aren’t we using the technology available to better protect our communities?

    BAIER: Senator Paul, that question to you.
    ((and ONLY to Paul – could any other candidate have said ANYTHING at ALL relevant????? heaven forbid we waste time on Ferguson or African Americans…))

    PAUL: You know, I’ve supported legislation to allow body cameras. I’ve been to Ferguson, I’ve been trying to look for solutions to our criminal justice problem.

    One thing I discovered in Ferguson was that a third of the budget for the city of Ferguson was being reaped by civil fines. People were just being fined to death. Now you and I and many of the people in this audience, if we get a $100 fine, we can survive it. If you’re living on the edge of poverty and you get a $100 fine or your car towed, a lot of times you lose your job.

    I also think the war on drugs has disproportionately affected our African-American community, and what we need to do is make sure that the war on drugs is equal protection under the law and that we don’t unfairly incarcerate another generation of young African-American males.

    Governor Christie, you talk a lot about entitlement reform and you say that that’s where the federal government can get savings needed to balance the budget. But can you name even one thing that the federal government does now that it should not do at all?

    CHRISTIE: Yes. You want one?
    BAIER: I want one. Yes.
    CHRISTIE: How about one that I’ve done in New Jersey for the last six years. That’s get rid of Planned Parenthood funding from the United States of America.
    BAIER: Anything bigger than that?
    ((I wish he had asked what percentage of the Federal deficit would be reduced by eliminating planned parenthood – that question would have revealed how asinine the response was))
    CHRISTIE: Bigger than that? Let me tell you something, when you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children being murdered in the womb, I can’t think of anything better than that.
    ((non-sequitur s were of course the most common response)
    CHRISTIE: Sure, because there has been three different investigations and proven that I knew nothing.
    ((I would imagine he wished he phrased that differently – his physical similarity to Sergeant Schultz only makes it worse…))

    WALLACE: Gentlemen, we had a case study on religious liberty just this last summer. A county clerk in Kentucky named Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court ruling, saying that it violated her religious beliefs.

    CHRISTIE: No, what I said, Chris, was that the law needs to be followed. And that someone in that office has to do their job. So if Ms. Davis wanted to step aside and get rid of her ability to be able to do that, there should be someone else in that office who it didn’t violate their conscience so they could follow the law of the state of Kentucky.
    They (ISIS) want everyone in this country to follow their religious beliefs the way they do. They do not want us to exercise religious liberty. That’s why as commander in chief, I will take on ISIS, not only because it keeps us safe, but because it allows us to absolutely conduct our religious affairs the way we find in our heart and in our souls. As a Catholic, that’s what I want to do. And no matter what your faith is, that’s what I want you to be able to do.
    ((Well, parlaying a gay marriage question into tough on terror response – that is what christie does))

    We will — when I am president of the United States, on my first day in office, we are canceling the deal with Iran, and nations will have to make a choice. They can do business with Iran, or they can do business with America, and I am very confident they’re going to choose America before they choose the Iranian economy.
    ((its my understanding that the deal was acquiesced to by the senate so I would assume the president can’t just “cancel” it – but its great campaign blather for repubs))

    ….Here’s what I’d do. This is about the bigger, broader war against ISIS. We need to bring together our European and our Sunni Arab allies, and we need to develop a strategy together to take on ISIS every place that it is around the world, so that together, all of us can take ISIS out, destroy it, and then move on to come back to our country, protect our homeland security and make sure that the American people are safe.
    ((((man, those repubs are enamored with Sunni “allies” – it will be heartbreaking when they find out that “they are just not that into them”))

      1. fresno dan

        Most any 2.99 red “2 buck chucks” from Trader Joe’s is dreamy…or puts you in dreamland, I forget which….

        actually, Panilonco is a chardonnay viognier blend that is only 3.99 and is quite tasty.
        Green Fin zin is only 4.99 and is organic.

        1. DJG

          I’m big on zinfandel. Also, the petite syrah from Peyrano Vineyards in your neighborhood. Lodi. Lodi?

          They cost more than 4.99 but are worth the oenological sacrifice.

          1. fresno dan

            When I lived in Sacramento, Thursday was my day to visit the nearby wineries (there are the foothill wineries and the Lodi wineries). I can’t specifically remember Peyrano – so many I visited…and after drinking everything is a little fuzzy.
            But I love all the Syrahs – regular size and petite…

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      Great job on the recap. Really good to hear Paul get his viewpoints across, not that they’re going to ever be accepted by the rest of the GOP. Anyone of the other guys on the stage will just make the body bags pile up, while achieving nothing militarily.

      I actually liked Christie’s response to the Kim Davis question. Not because he parlayed it into his tough-guy shtick, but because I think he got it right. You can’t have people swearing an oath to serve the public and then just ignoring the law, even if it is one that conflicts with your private religious beliefs. The solution is step down and go the Gandhi/peaceful disobedience route if it bothers you that much.

      1. Optimader

        I like the thousands upon thousands upon thousands. I wonder if thats how he fills out checks? When he was done, whas he breathing through his mouth?
        I cant bear to watch these, so thx for the recap FD.

        Btw, how was it in ANY of their best interests to even mention Trumps name??? Whos advising these guys ?

      2. low_integer

        From reading the quote in fresno dan’s post above I got the impression that Christie was saying Davis could momentarily step aside while someone else in the office issued that particular marriage licence, rather than that she would be forced to resign. This would also be consistent with Christie’s religious liberty statement in the next paragraph.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Bush: “Get the lawyers off the damn backs of the military once and for all.” (CHEERING)

      The Cheering tells us all we need to know about dumbazz Rupub voters. That mentality is why endless, pointless wars have raged for the past 15 years. Unfortunately, Dem voters are not much wiser.

      1. optimader

        If HRC or any other democrat candidate tossed out a pro-military bromide would the reaction be any different? I think not.
        The way this kind’a pro-military Redmeat is perpetually framed in both Parties, all you hear from are the advocates spanking their palms.

        Unfortunately Mike Judd’s film movie Idiocracy wasn’t supposed to be a documentary.

        283 days ’til President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho?

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Yep. Sadly, Most ‘Mercans are like Pavlov dogs. Mention kicking the bad guys arse (or even better ‘Support the troops’) and suddenly they forget that they were weary of war.

          1. optimader

            That’s my sense of it, nobody (amongst the clappers) wants to be perceived as unpatriotic. It takes a shred of courage to push back on them. I do it all the time, makes people disoriented uncomfortable when you call them on it, and and pisses some off to the point of full stop on any dialog. So be it.

            They don’t get it that support the troops = not getting them killed and maimed unnecessarily

    3. Dr. Roberts

      RE: President canceling Iran Treaty unilaterally.

      It’s been done only once before, if I recall correctly, and has never been tested in the courts. That was when George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The Treaty had been ratified by the Senate, but when Bush withdrew from it he did not consult the Senate. So there is precedent, and frankly, with the position of the Congress today I could hardly see them bending over backwards to preserve their authority in foreign relations.

      If a President tried to unilaterally withdraw from, say, NAFTA, for example, I would expect the legal question to be addressed in a jiffy.

      1. fresno dan

        I tried to look it up. As best as I can understand, the agreement with Iran is not actually a treaty, but a “deal”
        Do you know if this thing with Iran is treated legally as a treaty?

        Apparently the repubs wanted to pass some legislation prohibiting the deal from going forward but failed. So what the legality is with whether the next president has to adhere to it is beyond me.
        But if a repub won, I find it hard to believe that breaking the deal would put us in a better position. It will be a good test, if we have a repub as the next POTUS, whether that have gone full batsh*t crazy…

      1. JTMcPhee

        All connects to Israel and oil. Interesting, that the Israelites today whine about US “spying” on them via the drones and jets the Empire provided and mostly paid for. When the Israelites have totally penetrated “our” deepest secrets, suborned the political process, run up a nice mini-Armaggeddon nuclear force of their very own, and tried real hard inter alia to sink a US naval vessel on the high seas to hide the stuff they were really up to in 1967. A seamless web of corruption, violence, Idiocy that is one of many proofs that Humanity is a failed species…

        I like the recourse to red wine to blur the horror– bit what happens when the effing complex corrupt “supply CHAINS” fail, and us mopes can’t get either wine or coffee?

    1. subgenius

      The go-playing system from the googleplex is pretty impressive, actually. The first impressive bit of ai….

      1. craazyboy

        I don’t think there’s anything AI about it. Country hicks have been doing FPV racing out in the cow pasture, or even thru forests dodging trees for years now. I’m gonna build one later this year.

  5. allan

    He just can’t help himself. From Krugman’s Friday NYT op-ed:

    To oversimplify a bit — but only, I think, a bit — the Sanders view is that money is the root of all evil. Or more specifically, the corrupting influence of big money, of the 1 percent and the corporate elite, is the overarching source of the political ugliness we see all around us.

    The Clinton view, on the other hand, seems to be that money is the root of some evil, maybe a lot of evil, but it isn’t the whole story. Instead, racism, sexism and other forms of prejudice are powerful forces in their own right.

    Pardon my French, but what a sleazy, dishonest caricature of Sanders’ positions (and history).

    1. James Levy

      An ECONOMIST telling us of the power of culture to shape society! How convenient for him to have discovered this at this late date.

      Earth to Krugman: if the people who are racist and sexist don’t have money and control the means of production and the governing organs of society, they can’t effectively deploy their racism and sexism to hurt anyone. You need money and power to make racism and sexism anything more than personal vices. You need money and power to turn them into societal pathogens. In a capitalist society power flows from money. Not birth, or position within the established church, or titles of nobility–money.

      And another thing, you disingenuous piece of Princetonian shit, Sanders isn’t against money, per se, but the accumulation of vast hordes of money and the POWER that gives some people over other people. He wants people to have some money, but he also wants them to have some power over their lives and their government, and not dance to the tune of the Oligarchy. Stuff that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Nobel Laureate.

      1. shinola

        Econ. prof. circa 1974: “No matter what they teach in social studies, the U.S. is a plutocracy.”

        Lest you think this was some socialist prof. this was not a rant against capitalism. The prof. fully embraced plutocracy & postulated that the country would be better off if only millionaires were allowed to hold gov’t office. (It’s harder to bribe someone who’s already rich).

    2. fresno dan

      I was reading a column by Chait and it seems to be the Hilary support meme – big money is not that much of a problem.
      So yeah, I don’t think gun nuts are driven by money – but their influence is certainly expanded by money. And having this group firmly in the red camp enhances the clout of big money, even though many gun nuts are probably lower middle/working class and would more affiliate with blues if not for this issue. Keeping the gun nuts exclusively with the reds is probably just game theory for the rich.

      But Chait goes on to group global warming deniers into the non money influenced group with the pseudo intellectual rationale that it is “tribal”!!!!
      But apparently Chait’s big brain isn’t big enough to wonder how this became a tribe, what motivated this tribe to take up more CO2 as a rallying cause. On wonders where all the nitrogen or helium partisans are at?
      With liberals like this, who needs greedy right wingers…

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        the gun nuts aren’t driven by money but the NRA absolutely is. And it’s the NRA that Congress genuflects before, not the gun nuts.

    3. flora

      The 2 paras you quote drip with condescension (oversimplify) toward Sanders’ supporters, who must be young or foolish or naive. Couldn’t believe Krugman would go that route, so read the whole column. He does go that route:
      “Oligarchy is a very real issue, and I was writing about the damaging rise of the 1 percent back when many of today’s Sanders supporters were in elementary school. “

      1. allan

        At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts calling his critics firebaggers.

        Over his years as a columnist, Krugman has done many good things. But one of the things that has always grated is a thin-skinnedness that leads him to claim to have `been there first’. I think it’s safe to say that readers of a number of blogs, including this one and the late FDL, and low-readership magazines were long ago concerned about issues where Krugman had either taken no stand on, or was on the wrong side of.
        How’s globalization working for you, Prof.?

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          Always remember that Krugman was first and foremost a trade economist, and he spent the entire 1980s telling those of us pushing for an overt industrial policy that we were selfish protectionists.

      2. Ian

        Too which I respond “then good sir, when did you sell out to said oligarchy that have risen out of the one percent that you have been writing about back when many of Sanders supporters were in elementary?”

    4. Carolinian

      Hillary at the first debate: among her list of enemies is “Iran.” Somehow that strikes me as a “form of prejudice.” One prob with Krugman’s supposedly humanist version of liberalism is that it often transfers its prejudices to other more outre groups. Politicians should stop pretending to be philosophers and admit that it really is about the money.

    5. Watt4Bob

      You would think Krugman could get the quote right?

      “For the LOVE of money is the root of ALL KINDS of evil.”
      Timothy 6:10

      Krugman’s mis-statement is an obfuscation of the truth.

    6. MikeNY

      It’s a tawdry piece of political hackery, bedizened with self-adoring assertions of the subtlety of his thought.

      1. wbgonne

        And it is disingenuous at best. Bernie Sanders does not deny that racism and other reactionary forces exist or that they have an impact on the polity. What Krugman elides — intentionally, I suspect — is that Big Money long ago figured out how to manipulate those angry feelings into supporting the corporatist agenda. If Big Money is brought to heel would that eliminate racism and homophobia? Of course not and, despite Krugman’s claims, nobody suggests otherwise, certainly not Bernie Sanders. But containing the manipulative power of the corporatists would at least allow these social issues to be addressed directly, rather than — as now — imbedded in and disguised by economic self-destruction. Removing the aggravating and confounding effect of corporatist propaganda will make it easier to resolve the other problems. And that’s just regarding primarily social issues like racism, gun-fetishizing, sexism and homophobia. When it comes to civilization-altering issues like global warming and economic inequality the destructive power of the corporatists’ money is far more obvious and direct.

        As for this blurb by Krugman:

        The Clinton view, on the other hand, seems to be that money is the root of some evil, maybe a lot of evil, but it isn’t the whole story.

        Really? Please tell me where Hillary Clinton, of the family that delivered the Democratic Party to Wall Street and replaced liberalism with neoliberalism as the party’s animating philosophy, indicates “that money is the root of some evil, maybe a lot of evil.” And please don’t bring up Citizens United which has come to be little more than a hypocritical Democratic showpiece complaint, while the neoliberal Democrats like Clinton and Obama rake in the very money they decry from the same actors they complain about.

        Krugman is just digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself. Before this is done, his credibility will be in shreds.

        1. MikeNY

          His credibility is going fast. I’ve never seen NYT commentators flay PK like they did after his piece last week on HRC as the heir to Roosevelt. I mean, flay.

          1. JTMcPhee

            “sticks and stones may break his bones, but verbal flays will never hurt him.” “all publicity is good,” ask Ailes and Gingrot and the rest of the kleptocracy and Kayfabe-ists…The dude, like Obama and so many others inside the charmed circle of Imperial Capital (all meanings) will be, in their lifetimes, “extremely comfortable” Unless their “policies” by happenstance manage to hit one or more “trigger points” of all the avalanches of horrific melting shit that are cornicing and micro-slipping, up in the warming Moneyspace as we niggle and kvetch…

    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The other side of Big Money is Small Money.

      One way to reinforce Small Money is with the Little People’s Money.

      The Little People’s Money, manna directly from Heaven without other mortals’ trickle down.

  6. Vice (Is A Right Wing Habit)

    The author of Vice’s “Saudi Arabia’s Enemies Are No Longer Just Knocking at Its Gate ” sounds like a strong supporter of Salafi ideology, which is a safe bet if Saudi Arabia let him embed with their Gestapo/Stasi equivalent. The claim that Yemen Militia without provocation attacked Saudi Arabia is a pretty serious misreading of the facts. The Militia were striking back against Saudi Artillery that had been very busy with attacking civilians, civilian infrastructure, and hospitals (which even if they were treating combatants still is a war crime). All of this under US assistance with targeting,

    1. Rhondda

      Don’t you find it odd that Vice just came outta nowhere and were suddenly everywhere? They were all up in the shit going down in Ukraine. Stinks, to me. I eschew their “nooze.”

  7. scott

    “Clean glacial water from Lake Huron”. Please Mr. Moore, don’t make me laugh. Lake Huron water comes mostly from Lakes Michigan and Superior, with plenty of agricultural runoff. That being said, when I was a kid in the 70s you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face underwater in Lake Michigan. Now, thanks to the invasive Zebra Mussel, you can see 30-40 feet down. “Bivalve purified water” is more like it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Is that the best impeachment you can come up with? Anything to say to the substance of Moore’s note?

      1. fakie wallie

        I have nothing against the substance of Moore’s note, but similarly, I dislike when people resort to hyperbole. As a general rule, it makes you wonder what else may be an exaggeration. That said I’d still love to see Snyder locked up.

      2. Optimader

        Do not send us bottled water, join us in a revolt

        1.His use of “us”? Honestly, when did he last live in Flint?
        2. And what happens after the revolt against who? A Michael Moore movie?

        And how will his unqualified revolt rehabilitate the Flint Municipal water infrastructure? The more systemic problem being how to address urban planning in Cities like Flint in a humane way. But that makes for a less engaging movie I’d guess.

          1. optimader

            Well, his lifestyle is certainly not consistent with his commercially framed Proletariat advocacy, I’ll say that much about him.
            Oh what the heck, the guy is a fake.

          2. annie

            god, please don’t cite kael. she was against leftist politics. she also panned ‘do the right thing.’ moore does some great work.

            1. Carolinian

              You mean the Pauline Kael who is still a right wing bete noire because she said “nobody I know voted for Nixon”?

              Kael’s take was purely aesthetic and she didn’t have a lot of patience for what she called “running for office in the arts.” So a “love me I’m a liberal” showboat like Moore was sure to rub her the wrong way. I don’t recall what she said about Spike Lee but in my opinion he would also fall under the category of running for office in the arts.

              And yes Moore usefully brings attention to social problems including his letter to Snyder. But that doesn’t make him any less obnoxious as a public figure. Opinions may vary.

              1. annie

                purely aesthetic, my eye.
                kael was terrific early on but by moore’s day she’d devolved into queen of a cult. it hangs on to this day bringing her into every conversation.

                1. Carolinian

                  True or not true she was still right about Moore. I could only make it halfway through his most recent effort. There’s no need to be so cutesy or treat your audience like children. Moore is a very rich guy who lives in NYC and has made a career out of playing the peasant. By injecting his persona into his movies it’s quite possible he does as much harm as help to the causes he supports.

                  1. optimader

                    Moore is a very rich guy who lives in NYC and has made a career out of playing the peasant.

                    ..and a 10,000sqft lake home in a conservative neighborhood in Michigan. Just say’in, not going down the class warfare route, that’s his right, but I find the duplicity exceeds his merit.

                    If I were being harsh I would say Moore doesn’t particularly inform the informed, unlike say Adam Curtis who can do it in an entertaining manner,Moore picks low hanging fruit and monetizes it.

                    A darker take is that Moore presents in a pandering manner rather than as an impartial documentarian, more atuned to getting in the pocket of people with a POV he is affirming . Saying that a different way, I don’t think Moore influences consensus, rather he is more a conduit to depreciate valid issues due to his cult of personality. Again, considering Adam Curtis, his body of work can be discussed without shtick getting in the way.

                    But hey, that’s just my opinion and I’ll admit I haven’t seen his entire body of work.

                    One perceptive bit of word-smithing by MM I use from time to time, and credit him for is along the lines of: “A lot of people like the Rolling Stones, they are very successful. Infact I like the Rolling Stones, but thats not to say I ‘ve ever bought a Rolling Stones Album”.

                    1. Inverness

                      I love Adam Curtis, but he simply doesn’t have Moore’s mass appeal. We need more accessible filmmakers as well. Furthermore, I get nervous when people start applying purity tests to who can be legit. Divide and conquer?

              2. Inverness

                Kael trashed Moore’s criticism of the GM firings, and said that Moore doesn’t get how capitalism works. Annie has a point

  8. James Levy

    Thank goodness: when I saw the antidote I was afraid you had lost another friend.

    I’m curious if anyone thinks that Hilary Clinton can, given the way her campaign positioned her as the heir apparent to Obama, survive some losses and near-misses early in the primary season and continue through, raking in enough delegates to win in a tight vote at the convention. It’s unclear to me that she can. I also think that her mouthpieces like Krugman dumping on Sanders and Sanders’ voters is suicidal in the long run. But I guess from where they sit a Sanders win is much worse an outcome than any Republican winning, because if the Republicans win Team Blue remains intact and they then have a shared enemy to rail against. They can also afford to alienate Sanders supporters because they can then turn around after Hilary gets smashed in the general and blame Sanders and his supporters for splitting the party, not showing up, and “forcing” Clinton to espouse those damnable left-leaning positions during primary seasons that sunk her with the aspirational class Metrosexual swing voters in Denver and Miami.

    Can’t you see the Op-Eds now?

    1. fresno dan

      I thought Clinton was inevitable… 2008.
      A black man would get the nomination????????
      A black man would win the presidency!!!!

      I think people really expected something ACTUALLY DIFFERENT with the election of Obama, and I think that thirst has not been slated….
      a 3rd Obama term held by a woman isn’t going to do it…

      1. JTMcPhee

        Well, to maybe tarnish the lily, Obama is only part black. Interesting how the Jim Crow racial identity tests got turned around to gift Obama with blackness…

        1. Pakhet

          the Jim Crow racial identity tests got turned around to gift Obama with blackness

          Seriously? How is Obama being labeled Black Jim Crow rules turned around? It’s the rules applied. Or maybe you meant like Stephen Colbert’s definition of reverse racism: Racism, but in the wrong direction. Whatever you meant, I hope it wasn’t what you said.

          And, anyway, white people decide who’s Black. Always have. (In this way, I see Rachel Dolezal as a brilliant, unwitting satirist.)

          With Obama it was important to his supporters to see him as Black because it flattered them as having a post-racial politics. If some young white guy had tried on that kind of rhetorical grandstanding, he’d have been laughed off the stage. But a “mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy?” Swoon. As Biden said, “that’s a storybook, man.”

          1. JTMcPhee

            “white people decide who’s Black. Always have.” Maybe not altogether true. A little bit of context: “Black or Biracial? Who Gets to Decide?”,

            My point? The irony that rules on fractional black parentage from Jim Crow days are turned around, to allow us liberal progressives to denote BHO as “the first Black president.” I can hope that the next one is not such a disaster for blacks and the rest of us too…

            At least it’s easier to tell, definitively, turning to current affairs, who’s a woman… Not that anointing a woman electorally as president is any guarantee that anything significantly good for the ordinary people and the planet they have to live out their lives on will happen under her rule…

    2. ChrisFromGeorgia

      But I guess from where they sit a Sanders win is much worse an outcome than any Republican winning, because if the Republicans win Team Blue remains intact and they then have a shared enemy to rail against.

      Note the nice symmetry with the GOP establishment attitude towards Trump/Cruz.

      s/Team Blue/Team Red/

    3. nippersdad

      While I can sure see the op-eds write themselves, I don’t think that they will have the effect that they might have due to Clinton’s obviously flawed candidacy. The “Nader bashing” playbook worked better for Gore because so few knew, for example, that he had spent his first term as VP deregulating Ohio power plants; having Lieberman as a running mate only served to confirm doubts that already existed, but, again, amongst very few of the electorate. Everyone knows that Clinton is damaged goods in such a wide variety of ways that blaming anything on those who refuse to vote for her would backfire.

      Good point about maintaining the team over the brand. We have seen this wrt Wasserman Schultz supporting Republicans in Florida over Dems in open seats. They have no one to blame but themselves if they lose this election.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        2006 and 2008 had not happened. The GOP’s recent victories weren’t driven by younger voters becoming Republican. They were the result of Democrats not earning votes and throwing tantrums.

        At least in 2000, I think the general consensus was winning was a tougher nut to crack.

    4. Howard L

      Even if HRC can pull out the nomination and somehow win the national election, how long before the House impeaches her for real crimes? The senate might even convict her. How does this fit with Krugman’s theory of progress?

      1. neo-realist

        Impeachment has been pretty much off the table since Nixon. The side of the aisle that wants to do it gets just enough pushback from the opposite side to prevent it. The GOP wouldn’t even get the blue dogs to go along.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Still, it would be an awesomely cool “lightning strikes twice” event if both Clintons got impeached, after becoming the first couple to both be elected president.

          Yes we can!

  9. fresno dan

    Australian Accused of Planning to Pack Kangaroo With Bomb ABC

    And yet, not one of our border agents is provided with spring equipped boots….
    hopping boots…..
    to place our border agents without the necessary springs only shows the complete and total irresponsibility of the Obama administration to not address the “bounce gap”. And it is public knowledge that Clinton has used Kangaroos as “pouch” men…
    how in the world do we expect to thwart this ominous hopping menace????????????????????

    1. craazyboy

      We’ve got those suicide bomber dolphins. I say send them to Australia and surround the damn island!

    2. ambrit

      How do I put this? This is obviously some Antipodial way of sending up Obama; “Hop and Change.”

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: How Can You Help Flint? Do Not Send Us Bottles of Water. Instead, Join Us in a Revolt. Michael Moore.

    Saddam Hussein “gassed his own people.”

    Assad “gassed his own people.”

    Snyder poisoned his own people.

    The standard has been set, the red line has been crossed and the punishment established. Snyder must go.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And look what happened to Gaddafi… Given the “wide stance” predilections and preferences of some nominal “conservatives,” maybe a more appropriate remedy?

        And I kind of resist the move toward guillotines. The people who have been bleeding us, bleeding the planet to serve their pursuit of personal pleasure and Elite rule, who many of us feel in imagery at least have been shoving it up ours for decades, might better be treated to impalement… Why do people who are consigning so many of us to slow painful deaths get to expire comfortably, cared for kindly by nurses and doctors and such?

          1. subgenius

            There’s a fine 303′ megayacht that ought to be sunk to replace the reef it trashed – perfect place to strap a whole gang of miscreants…

            (And I don’t buy the ‘we did what we were told’ – any competent seaman should be able to judge conditions, chain scope and anchoring strategy)

    1. Jen

      Snyder’s not sitting on an oil field, to the best of my knowledge. I’m actually starting to come around to LaPage’s point of view on the guillotine, except for the target population.

    2. diptherio

      I was with Moore until I got to this part:

      The Federal Government must then be placed in charge. The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder declared over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency manager in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the state and federal government in saving Flint.

      ummm…why not restoring democracy, rather than asking for another un-elected emergency manager. Why does Moore think the Obama administration will do a better job than Snyder? I dunno about this one…

      1. optimader

        why not restoring democracy, rather than asking for another un-elected emergency manager. Why does Moore think the Obama administration will do a better job than Snyder I dunno about this one?
        indeed, and yeah you do know better

      2. JTMcPhee

        In the complexity that is “managing a city,” which elected officials do with more or more often less competence and decency, there has to be a “decider” (albeit that is usually a very diffuse and opaque bunch of grifters and slugs and their special-interest “chinamen” [Chicago term]).

        Maybe dumb luck would produce a lawsuit that could end up in the docket of a federal district judge who, as has happened multiple times in the past, would grab the reins and levers out of the hands of the pols and thieves, find a “special master” to do what a city manager of competence and good faith ought to do, and with such power as is left in the belief in the rule of law, take some steps to fix things. Not sure where there are any such philosopher kings in the judiciary with jurisdiction in MI, given decades of appointments of neoliberals and their fellow-travelers to the bench. All depends on pure luck. At least that approach would seem to have some putative legitimacy, rather than affirming the “right of might” of the executive working with a corrupt and neoliberal legislature to place ’emergency managers aggravators’ to dismantle and loot and privatize.

        And yes, given the nature of the US polity, the precedents in the area of desegregation and school busing are not salubrious. From the perspective of what is so ridiculously called “the Right:” The “democratically elected” and subordinate appointed folks did such a bang-up job of things, of course, as they did in Flint and Chicago and Tallahassee and so forth — corruption (NC definition) is endemic, and even keeping it to something short of a terminal bleed-out is a popular triumph…

  11. Harry

    Surely the biggest news of the day is that the terrorists (they hate us for our freedoms) are now in league with marsupials against us! This evil that is Islam is against all mammal kind!

    Second biggest news is negative rates in Japan.

    1. Steve H.

      Nope. You cannot generalize from one roo to all marsupials. Europe can’t handle more migrations.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A little negate rates tinkling is a dangerous.

      Make it big, or taste not the deflation-free spring.

  12. nippersdad

    There is a great op-ed by Warren in the NYT today, but I cannot seem to get this new computer to pull up a link for you all! Anyway, well worth the read. I don’t know why she just doesn’t go ahead and endorse Sanders; her rhetoric all but does so already.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Clinton is vindictive.

      What would a Warren endorsement do?

      -the Hillary backers who might go, “oh Liz Warren has a vagina. Now I’ll vote for Sanders,” are still going to vote for Hillary for this reason.
      -you and I know who Liz Warren is, but what percentage of Massachusetts knows who Liz Warren is? Outside of political geeks who know every Senator and Congressman, I bet there is a strong correlation between Warren identification and potential Sanders support.

      The women war for identity won’t be won by a random Senator which us who at Warren is until she says she’s running for President but by the daughters and granddaughters who are scared about their futures and are demanding change not a bucket list.

      1. wbgonne

        I think an Elizabeth Warren endorsement for Bernie Sanders would be huge, possibly similar to the impact Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama had. Why Warren hasn’t done it is probably explained by the same reason she didn’t run against Hillary in the first place. What that reason is remains a mystery to me. But I don’t like that Warren won’t stand up and declare herself.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama was a wishy washy empty suit who never separated himself from Hillary. Teddy gave Obama the Kennedy mystique which is strong. A vote for Obama is like voting for Jack, a renewed Camelot. Interestingly enough, I decided to vote for Obama after a I heard Michelle shortly after the Kennedy endorsement. I assumed she didn’t marry such a dolt.

          Bernie isn’t an empty suit. Liz Warren is not Ted Kennedy in the zeitgeist.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          Warren will have to at some point endorse Sanders if her advocacy for financial reforms is serious. Sanders is very obviously more in sync with her policy approaches than Clinton; a Clinton endorsement would be a direct repudiation of her own articulated policies on which she has built her reputation, whereas not explicitly endorsing either in the primary would be an implicit (and frankly cowardly) one.

          1. nippersdad

            Agreed. She is already looking a little calculating, the appearance of cowardice cannot be far behind.

            1. Kurt Sperry

              I can’t be too disappointed in Warren for keeping her cards close to her vest at this point. Making an endorsement at this stage, when it’s so early and so unclear who the nominee will be could unnecessarily cost her significant political capital she needs to advance her positions.

              I wonder if she’s on either Sanders’ or Clinton’s veep short lists–and if so if she’s been in backchannel communications with either camp. She’d probably do more good in her current roles than as a veep in any case. I like a Sanders/Warren ticket as besides being an attractive electoral pairing it sets up a potential executive succession with no letup in its focus on tough financial regulation. The battle, to be won, is realistically likely to take a long time to get accomplished given the resources and embedded interests and access it will be fighting. You might need three or four terms to get the stake driven in deep enough.

              1. nippersdad

                As she has proven thus far, though, she makes her own political capital. It is both a little late to worry that the Democratic Establishment will not take kindly to her form of political action and not yet too late to make a difference in the upcoming caucuses in Iowa next week.

                Such an endorsement could only burnish her credentials. I like your point about succession, though. I hadn’t thought about it that way and age is, unfortunately, a Sanders issue. I think Zephyr Teachout would be a great choice, and it would have the advantage of leaving Warren as an ambassador in the Senate.

                The bench is looking pretty sparse, why not promote some of them early?

      2. Ulysses


        Maybe not, but she’s definitely “in it to win it.”

        “retreating Clinton campaign staffers reportedly set the central Iowa town of Humboldt ablaze Friday to stem the advance of Bernie Sanders volunteers. “Once we received word the Sanders campaign had begun canvassing in nearby Fort Dodge, we only had a matter of hours to burn everything to the ground,” said communications director Jennifer Palmieri, who tossed a lit torch through the window of the town’s hardware store before rushing over to help a group of Hillary for America workers erect a roadblock made of dead livestock to prevent all entrance to and exit from the city. “With so little time left before voting day, we simply can’t allow them to establish a foothold in this part of the state. Besides, you can’t convince anyone to caucus for Bernie Sanders if the civilian population is gone and all that’s left is smoldering rubble.” At press time, Clinton campaign staffers were spotted rigging a nearby bridge with C-4 as they hastily retreated to Algona.”

  13. Jim Haygood

    Curse of the Time magazine cover strikes again:

    Forty percent of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign over her refugee policy, a poll showed on Friday, in a sign of rising dissatisfaction with her welcoming stance towards people fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

    The Insa poll for Focus magazine surveyed 2,047 Germans between Jan. 22 to Jan. 25.

    Merkel was Time’s person of the year for 2015.

    The idiot MSM: infallibly wrong.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’ll bet that right about now they’re wishing they’d done one of those group selections–perSONS of the year–and selected Trump AND Sanders.

      And I’ll bet angela feels the same way.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wouldn’t that have just upset Time subscribers at the time? Time is a dying product. Picking a Trump, Sanders, Putin, Larvov (this might be the real person of the year), the President of Iran instead of a “moderate” conservative beloved by banks wouldn’t change the rest of the garbage in a Time Magazine issue. This is after all a magazine that employs Joe Klein. Outside of trying to determine wnat is the dumbest thing one can say without going full Palin, what good is Klein? I doubt Time’s management lacks the self awareness for regret.

  14. griffen

    The link to the article “Goldman Sachs pain of mortgage litigation” is locked or requires setting up free access. Has anyone been able to review that one?

    I’m interested to see what be their troubles. Poor fellas just doing the work of mammon.

    1. RP

      As Taibbi once said, “Goldman Sachs is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

  15. Jim Haygood

    The Saddam’s WMDs paper catapults the propaganda:

    Pentagon officials have concluded that hundreds more trainers, advisers and commandos from the United States and its allies will need to be sent to Iraq and Syria in the coming months as the campaign to isolate the Islamic State intensifies.

    Military officials have told the White House that they believe they have made significant progress in the fight against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

    “We’re looking for opportunities to do more,” Defense Secretary Asshat Carter said, but added, “We’re not looking to substitute for local forces in terms of governing the place and policing the place.”

    “significant progress” … HAR HAR HAR.

    *makes rude gesture in front of crotch*

    They don’t even publish McNamara’s kill stats no more.

  16. frosty zoom

    i must say the vice article on saudi arabia is garbage.

    the enemy is the house of saud and all its associated barbarisms.

  17. polecat

    regarding Mishs’ robotophilia article in links;……in Mishs’ robot world, lettuce heads pick you!

    1. craazyboy

      One thing we shouldn’t be scared of is a lettuce picking robot. No one wants to do that. But the whole friggin article didn’t mention what the price of lettuce is. If it’s $5, that would be scary.

      However, vertical farming sounds kinda interesting, and may even be necessary some day. Sounds expensive to have to build a building for it tho. But maybe we can convert over empty malls, surplus Walmart stores, Walgreen and CVS stores, and of course the entire office_depot_to_the_office_max_stapled _together chain.

  18. Bunk McNulty

    Josh Marshall wrote an editorial about Trump’s “bitch-slap politics.” And it occurs to me that what The Donald is up to sounds an awful lot like the way the Tudor Kings behaved. In short, he’s running for King. Which I believe makes his fans Monarchists…?

  19. nippersdad

    I have to say that I am loving the melt down over at WaPo as a result of their Sanders editiorial the other day. This is too good! I had to get out the old computer to give links. Tumulty writes an entire article with the sole purpose of pointing out that the editorial section is separate from the news section:

    And, get this, honesty in a pol is overrated anyway!:

    Sanders is hitting exactly the right chords in this concerto. If it is this easy to discombobulate the Washington Consensus paper of record, and he can keep it up, his election should be assured.

  20. perpetualWAR


    FUCK THEM, they aren’t losing their homes with forged and fraudulent documents. Chase fined $2 bil by OCC for still using forged and fraudulent docs to steal homes.

    Revolt over poisoned water? How about a revolt over 14 MILLION STOLEN PROPERTIES???

    Tired of no one standing up for the homeowners.

  21. Jess

    Speculation about Warren as a VP candidate with Bernie is all good with me. Although he certainly appears robust and healthy, at his age you can never know what might crop up. I would hate to see him win, then die in office and be replaced by another LBJ. (Remember how LBJ quickly reversed Kennedy’s policies toward Vietnam, the Fed (having the Treasury issue currency), the CIA, etc.)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Jack had put a division in Vietnam. Jack authorized the Bay of Pigs. Jack sabre rattled. Jack launched an inane military build up. Jack hired pigs like McNamara. Johnson’s mistake wasn’t rolling back the course JFK had set when it came to foreign policy.

      Oh and that Bobby really liked to play up Nixon’s association with a radical group called the NAACP when he and Jack weren’t conducting witch hunts against Communists.

      1. Jess

        It’s my understanding that Jack was upset over being misled by the CIA and the generals over both the Bay of Pigs and the assassination of Diem. He had already ordered the military to plan the withdrawal of US advisers from Vietnam.

        McNamara was brought in to attempt to give some semblance of modern methods of procurement (sanity) to Pentagon spending. (Not that that worked out.) And given McNamara’s own memoirs, IIRC he didn’t come to his epiphany about Vietnam until well after Johnson was in office.

        And as for the “inane” military buildup, not sure what you’re referring to specifically. But I do remember that at this time we were at loggerheads with the Russkies in quite a few areas of the world. Hindsight is 20-20, and it’s often easier to pass judgment when you’re not the one in the hot seat at the time. Personally, I have a lot of trouble envisioning JFK following the same course of action LBJ did with respect to Vietnam.

          1. Gaianne


            John F. Kennedy certainly ran on a militaristic platform, and probably knew–certainly ought to have known–that the “missile gap” was nonsense.

            He also signed the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty.

            He also removed the USAF air cover from the Bay of Pigs invasion–ostensibly to make it vaguely credible that it was a revolution of Cuban dissidents and exiles rather than a straight up US invasion. He inherited the Bay of Pigs plan frome Eisenhower: It was not his.

            Just two of the many reasons he was assassinated.


            1. alex morfesis

              being of half cuban background, I have had the honor of meeting all 50 thousand cubans who were at the bay of pigs…and the myth that kennedy pulled back air cover at the bay of pigs…who do you think was flying those beez after the first wave of cubans turned chicken little and were upset fidel was firing back…kouda sworn we got back the remains of certain american fly boys from the fidel about a decade or so ago…and it was THAT frank sturgis and Mr. Hunt who put the flares on the wrong spot by the sand bar to make sure the supply ship got stuck…just following nixons orders probably…

              oh wait…

              reality what a precept…(and for any sunshine hero cubans who might want to complain about my “insult”, posiblemente si miravas la historia nuestra podias ver que dicen raulito mismo puso la bala en la cavesa de mi tio quando el estuvo en el ejersito y fue en la jungla mbuscando fidel y la mayoria de ustedes andavan aciendo nadamas ruido y yoraban que el mulato batista no debia ser presidente…)

              1. ambrit

                I ‘grew up’ in Miami, and remember the Alpha 66 and all those ‘mysterious’ explosions in Hialeah garages, (garages, in Hialeah?)
                What makes me suspicious is that the CIA, under that paragon of anti Communists, Dulles, was behind it. (The man offered the French nukes to use in Indo China!)
                Batista was deeply in the pockets of the Mob, who ran the Casinos in Cuba then. He had to go. (El mulato batista, LOL!) The CIA screwed up in assuming there would be a ‘popular uprising’ in Cuba once the saviors landed. A soft power approach might have worked.
                Si, esta correcto. Su Tio es “La Cosa Real.”

    2. norm de plume

      ‘Although he certainly appears robust and healthy, at his age you can never know what might crop up’

      That’s what worries me a bit. If he was 40, a sudden natural death might appear rather suss, but at his age it probably wouldn’t.

      I hope he has a food taster.

  22. susan the other

    Single cells and caner. NYT. There must then be a communication network between all the cells in the body. Which would explain why a tumor forms (because it is ring-fenced) preventing the aggressive cancer from simultaneously taking over the entire body. Must wonder tho’ what this info does to stem cell therapies. Is this a harbinger of hell to come? Makes me think of a row of garden broccoli.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China can’t postpone pain forever.

    Let’s do the math.

    Infinite amount of fresh new money vs. infinite series of delays.

    My guess is the speed of the convergence of the series is the deciding factor.

    You must print faster than the next necessary pain delay.

    X^3 when confronted with X^2.

    X^4 when facing X^3.

  24. mdh

    Re: Life imitates art. I know it’s late in comments, but the exploding kangaroo brought me back to the detonating ostriches in Tom Sharpe’s evisceration of Afrikaans apartheid culture in his novel Indecent Exposure.

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