Links 2/13/16

Staten Island Official Subtly Owns Real Estate Developer With Incredible Choice of Street Names Gawker (Chuck L)

Unity call as Pope Francis holds historic talks with Russian Orthodox Patriarch BBC

Media Either Ignores Pope / Patriarch Meeting, or Completely Misrepresents It Russia Insider

Elizabeth Warren asks CDC to consider legal marijuana as alternative painkiller Guardian

Mr. Market is Still Upset

Stock market rout intensifies amid fears central banks are ‘out of ammunition’ Guardian (Sid S)

Many suspects behind murderous markets Financial Times

Battered Bank Stocks Reflect Not Just Jitters, but Mistrust Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

Banks fight to regain investor confidence Financial Times

A Bit of a Pre-Weekend Reprieve in Europe, but Return of China on Monday is Worrisome Marc Chandler

Capital controls seen on agenda to curb fund outflows Nikkei (James). Important

Deutsche Risk Failures Now a Global Problem Forum (guurst). From last year, still relevant.

Sweden Goes Negative

Sweden’s central bank Riks-rolls the market FT Alphaville

Negative 0.5% Interest Rate: Why People Are Paying to Save New York Times. You want to destroy capitalism, this is the blueprint. As Machiavelli advised his prince, “You can kill a man’s father, but you cannot take his patrimony.”

Why Sweden’s Negative Deposit Rate Isn’t As Scary As It Looks WSJ MoneyBeat

Fukushima clean-up ‘may take 40 years’: Cleaning up Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffer.. CNN

How did Iceland clean up its banks?

Austrians Need Constitutional Right to Pay in Cash, Mahrer Says Bloomberg (Chuck L). I hate to say this, but this is probably the only upside of American being full of guns. I don’t think Fed officials dare propose either negative interest rates or getting rid of cash due to the odds of armed backlash (bank officials and employees, and various officials being targets). It’s the fear Kissinger actively cultivated re Nixon, that he was a madman and there was no telling what he might do.

A Comedy of Terrors Counterpunch. Bill B: “On Syriza.”


Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis Guardian (Sid S). Soros is taking his message on the road…and blaming Putin for the refugee mess!

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

New York police have covertly tracked cell phones, group says Reuters (EM)

Munich Security Conference. Guurst: “Where lots of creeps assemble.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Deconstructing America’s ‘Deep State’ Consortiumnews (Chuck L)

What Comes Next After Pax Americana? Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate (Sid S)



Watch a corporate executive turn a room full of workers into Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supporters Huffington Post

Clinton adjusts pitch: I can be a Sanders, just better McClatchy (resilc)

America’s Corrupt Media – How Reporters Took Direct Orders From Hillary’s Staff Mike Krieger (RR)

Apparently there’s a special place in hell for Democratic politicians who criticize Barack Obama as insufficiently progressive. And a special place in heaven for politicians who have accepted $133,246 from the private-prisons industry but tell Black and Hispanic voters at a debate shortly before the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary that they want to end the private-prison system Angry Bear

New Ted Cruz Ad Spoofs “Office Space” In Clinton Server Attack RealClearPolitics (resilc)

Eric Garner’s Daughter Endorses Bernie Sanders New York Magazine. The ad is amazing. And it’s a gripping reminder of how much needs to be done to stop the widespread injustices done to blacks and other people of color.

Black Political Discussion On the 2016 Presidential Race is Wider and Deeper Than in 2008 or 2012 Bruce Dixon (Bob K)

Sanders proudly declaring “Kissinger is not my friend” totally destroys notion that Clinton’s better on foreign policy Salon

The best protection shield for Bernie … failed evoution

Donald Trump Signs a Baby – Talladega Nights Scene Charles Pierce, Esquire

CFTC Likely to Charge Multiple Banks for Libor Rigging Wall Street Journal

Gross, Pimco rivalry hinges on US economy Financial Times

Mortgage Fraud and Growing Worries Matt Levine, Bloomberg. A very wide ranging news wrap.

Class Warfare

Carrier workers’ rage over move to Mexico caught on video – Feb. 12, 2016 CNN (resilc). In the way too small world category, I valued that business for United Technologies in 1984 when working for McKinsey. I had to spend time in Mexico City, and concluded there was no reliable data in the Mexican economy on which to do a valuation. The members of the local office agreed, and said, “We do a lot based on feelings.” I was nevertheless able eventually to cobble up a proper valuation based on the current owner’s POV, where he could play domestic asset valuation/redepreciation games and would also be able to get more actual work done by his employees (domestic unions play ball better with powerful local oligarchs than gringos) v. the UTX perspective (a very high market discount rate for peso risk). When you did the math, the (I am not making this up) 10x difference between bid and offer prices was perfectly rational. We did the valuation as a favor of sorts, and I exited thereafter. I don’t know when exactly the deal got done, but my impression was that UTX was eager despite the awfully high hurdles. And Monterey was a dump. Hugh 10-20 story high piles of raw materials that dominated the area, with small temporary-looking mainly one story manufacturing plants scattered among them.

NYC charter school hit with criticism after video of teacher berating student spreads online Raw Story

Antidote du jour. Since this is from Richard Smith (originally @AkshatRathi), one can deem this to be an anti-antidote. But it’s a 200 year old Chinese giant salamander, so it probably deserves some slack.

Chinses salamander links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. trinity river

      “NYC charter school hit with criticism after video of teacher berating student spreads online”

      I watched the video of the teacher bullying her students, then watched the longer video of parents at this school defending her. Surprisingly, they defend her to the hilt because their kids get high test scores.

      There has been a lot of press about bullying in schools, but as I have looked around, bullying seems now to be common everywhere in our society. I would argue that teaching children this way would lead them to think this is the normal way to treat people. Very happy my children’s schools didn’t subscribe to this philosophy.

      I will be glad when Bill Gates and Eli Broad give up and go home, but in my state this is encouraged.

      1. nothing but the truth

        cant say about this case but it seems to me we are overprotecting the kids and they are not ready for the world that is waiting for them.

  1. RabidGandhi

    Re: Comedy of Terrors

    (about Syria)

    St Clair brings up Sanders’ weakness on this point, and in the last Dem debate, tail wagging dog, HRC landed a solid punch against Sanders on this point: his ME policy is incoherent (as opposed to Clinton’s, which is solidly and consistently evil).

    On foreign policy as with other areas where Sanders is reticent to attack Clinton/Obama, we can see Sanders’ campaign being pulled to the right out of fear of being tagged as too radical. And seeing just how sick of foreign engagements the US public is (this is after all 8 years after Obama snowballed his way into the whitehouse by pretending to be anti-Iraq war), this should be an area where Sanders should be able to knock it out of the park.

    Clinton’s sole claim to experience is a four year stint as Secretary of State and one term in the senate wherein her most memorable vote was for the Iraq war. Bernie’s belated response to her Kissinger ties notwithstanding, why is he ceding this area to her? I fear it might be a presaging of what a Sanders presidency might do: consistently moving to the right to fend off non-existent claims of being too far to the left of the public.

    1. Carla

      “consistently moving to the right to fend off non-existent claims of being too far to the left of the public.”

      History of the Democrat party… the two-party system is toxic. It poisons everything and everyone it touches.

      1. Carolinian

        See Johnson, Lyndon Baines. And while some of us have long expressed our reservations about Bernie, in this race he really is the lesser evil. One need only check the links story on how HRC’s State spokesman negotiated with the press to have her described as “muscular.” Our elites need a session on the couch and that also applied to Lyndon who, as Robert Caro described, had a deep inferiority complex about his WW2 service. While some in this space like to think there’s a Machiavellian plan to everything that goes on in our government, it’s just a likely that we are being tossed about at the whims of psychic cripples.

        All of which is to say that while Sanders has his limitations at least he doesn’t seem to be wacko.

        1. Skippy

          “This trenchant study analyzes the rise and decline in the quality and format of science in America since World War II.

          During the Cold War, the U.S. government amply funded basic research in science and medicine. Starting in the 1980s, however, this support began to decline and for-profit corporations became the largest funders of research. Philip Mirowski argues that a powerful neoliberal ideology promoted a radically different view of knowledge and discovery: the fruits of scientific investigation are not a public good that should be freely available to all, but are commodities that could be monetized.

          Consequently, patent and intellectual property laws were greatly strengthened, universities demanded patents on the discoveries of their faculty, information sharing among researchers was impeded, and the line between universities and corporations began to blur. At the same time, corporations shed their in-house research laboratories, contracting with independent firms both in the States and abroad to supply new products. Among such firms were AT&T and IBM, whose outstanding research laboratories during much of the twentieth century produced Nobel Prize–winning work in chemistry and physics, ranging from the transistor to superconductivity.

          Science-Mart offers a provocative, learned, and timely critique, of interest to anyone concerned that American science—once the envy of the world—must be more than just another way to make money.”

          Skippy… don’t you love it when a plan comes together…

          1. Gio Bruno

            Among such firms were AT&T and IBM, whose outstanding research laboratories during much of the twentieth century produced Nobel Prize–winning work in chemistry and physics, ranging from the transistor to superconductivity.

            The concept of the “transistor” began in Germany. The development of a “real life” transistor began during WWII and continued onward at Bell Labs. (All of the scientists involved (12) gained their training and Phd’s at American universities.)

            The now ubiquitous bipolar junction transistor initially gained public attention in toy “transistor” radios in the 50’s.

      2. lindaj

        so right. wish Bernie had made a break for it. look at the number of people who would be supporting an independent unbought politician.

    2. Howard

      Sen. Sanders weakness in spelling out where he stands on foreign policy is not hurting him so far. He should continue to play to his strengths. While I agree that Clinton can be easily attacked for her failures in Libya, Ukraine, Honduras….etc, I am not sure that voters will respond logically.

      I have had long discussions with friends who are Hillary supporters who are her basic demographic, (>$200,000/yr, California liberals) and they are not moved by her foreign policy failures but are close to moving away from Hillary based on one thing, her obvious lack of integrity. Sanders needs to continue to stress economic issues that will galvanize young and working class voters and stress her corrupt nature to convince the upper liberal class to move away from her candidacy.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I think that tactically its smart for him to just focus on domestic issues first. He just gives too much ammo to opponents to say too much about foreign policy. Given that in his early days he was something of a radical on South America, etc., I”m sure he knows more than he lets on, better to let other dig holes for themselves.

        I think you are right that the weak link for Clinton among people who are demographically/economically ‘her people’ is the corruption and integrity angle. Its one thing for Sanders to mop up working class and younger voters, but even if Clinton holds on to minorities, if she starts losing her ‘core’ of white middle aged, moderately prosperous, centrist supporters, then she is in real trouble. If I was a Sanders advisor, I’d be counselling on waiting for Clinton to make mistakes which cast her in a shady light (lets face it, there are no shortage of those), and then hit hard on those points.

        1. Amateur Socialist

          I suspect that for at least some of her bundlers there has to be an increasing dismay over the resonances with her disastrously inept 2008 campaign. She is running the same top heavy big money TV ad saturated campaign that couldn’t keep her viable against a 1 term Senator named Barrack Hussein Obama. It’s like the clintons haven’t learned a thing from this failure.

          And yeah, that inept tone deaf ability to make unforced errors is still deeply ingrained. They will only multiply as the seams start coming apart…

          1. MRLost

            Clintons don’t learn. True mark of a narcissist; they think they are always right so they don’t believe they need to learn anything.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Interestingly, Nate Silver has just written an article which strongly implies that Sanders has a very good chance.

            So far as I can see he hasn’t officially apologised for dismissing Sanders earlier (as he had to do for his prediction that Trump would fade before a vote was cast), but it does seem here that he now sees it as a pretty tight race. If Silver is saying this, then it becomes even harder for the rest of the media to downplay his chances.

            1. Left in Wisconsin

              Thanks for linking. Not sure I agree with your summation though. I just don’t buy the meme (which Silver seems to buy into) that super-delegates won’t swing the nomination to HRC if she is well behind in the popular vote or with regular delegates. What the point of having them, then?

              1. PlutoniumKun

                While obviously the purpose of super delegates is to make sure that the ‘right’ person wins, if it comes to a situation where Clinton needs them (as in, she is far short of a full majority), I think its safe to say that she can’t win a presidential election – she will be obviously a lame duck candidate. Unless the Republicans completely self combust over Trump its hard to see any Republican candidate losing against Clinton if she has conspicuously been unable to win a clean nomination and has to win over many disgruntled Sanders supporters.

                While many of the money people would undoubtedly prefer a losing Clinton to a winning Sanders, plenty of the super delegates would I think decide it was better to go with a potential winner. Not for ethical reasons, but pure electoral calculation – everyone wants to be seen to be behind a winner.

      2. RabidGandhi

        I agree, it is a tactical retreat. “Sometimes you have to lose with a winning hand so you can later win with a losing hand.” And I’m no tactician, maybe it’s the best move.

        That said, let’s say Sanders wins it all in November. There will no doubt be a concerted effort from the establishment to calcify these concessions. What is the left’s strategy to counter this, and keep the pressure on Sanders at the risk of becoming SandersBots that give Bernie a pass on kowtowing?

        Then again, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but I think it’s an issue the left has to think about now before it becomes too difficult to retrench.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Ominously, it seems, the real election is before November…the real election happens when the rich people donate.

          And the real battle is after November…when the hidden kingmakers install their people in the new administration and new Congress. There will be one crisis after another.

          One crisis to move the new president this way.

          Another crisis to move the president that way.

          Judo and more judo.

          You weapon becomes theirs.

          You want MMT.

          You got MMT.

          You get it for the MIC and state security people.

          We control the agenda.

          We control the faucet.

          It will be quite a chess game…Judo chess – your moves used against you.

          1. Lord Koos

            Although, if Bernie is smart enough (and I think he may be), he could turn every manufactured crisis into a mandate to go even further to the left, just as the right and the deep state use every crisis an excuse to start wars and further erode American’s constitutional rights.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              To do that, he needs foot soldiers in Congress, I believe, and in the Supreme Court.

              And some help from the Media, where ten, that’s 10, publishers account for 50% of the news.

              1. Tom Allen

                Speaking of the Supreme Court, a vacancy just opened up. Antonin Scalia died in his sleep last night in Texas.

                1. Antifa

                  Yes. This may prove to be one of the most newsworthy decisions he has taken to date.

                  The Republican-dominated Congress is unlikely to approve any SCOTUS nominee President Obama forwards. Heck, if Obama asked any one of them to step on his blue suede shoes they wouldn’t do it. Just because he asked. So we’re down to eight Justices atop the Federal bench.

                  But Antonin Scalia will not be voting with the conservatives on the SCOTUS henceforth. Following his Originalist legal approach, I shall interpret his death just as the Founding Fathers would: he’s gone.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    DWS was the boss at the DNC when Team Blue lost the Senate. This cannot be stressed enough, and the GOP can still beat Hillary.

                    Hatch is full enough of himself he would want attention and the joy of participating in a coronation ceremony. Joining the newer Republican rabble isn’t his thing.

                    Grassley and Pat Roberts (only the good die young) will want the moment. Grassley has a problem. Iowa is nice but there are evangelicals.

                    Ayotte and Collins are in play.

                    Matt Kirk and Rob Portman are seats a competent Team Blue should win. Fighting too hard against the President will only undo the efforts of the DNC to demoralize their voters, but they have their voters too.

                    I don’t know anything about Thom Thilis, other than that obviously his parents hated him, but he was the Speaker of the N.C. house. Speaker types don’t like bad government, and he won by a razor thin margin, thanks to low minority and youth turnout. Fighting Obama now on the S.C. won’t sit well in 4 years during reelection.

                    With Hillary swearing loyalty oaths to Obama, I don’t see any Democratic caucus member grandstanding. Warner is awful, but his squeaker of an election put him in his place. Angus King won’t fight this. He has nothing to gain.

      3. Brindle

        Obama made the bombing and droning of muslims in the ME and Africa the new normal for any future president. Curious how those Dems who are passionate about social issues (feminism, immigration, the “white Oscars”, police killings) don’t give a rat’s a** about civilians being killed overseas by Obama on a regular basis.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Our “famously free press” was apoplectic when it was suggested Putin *may have* had a hand in the killing of Litvinenko, but deathly silent on the proven daily FACT that Obama murders as a matter of regular everyday business.
          The Pentagon themselves say that *4%* of drone strikes kill their intended target. Even if we decided that administering a pre-crime, pre-trial death penalty was somehow OK, surely a 4% accuracy rate of the chosen method would disqualify it?
          But maybe I’m just the anachronism, from a time when we lived under the rule of law.

          1. Pavel

            Paul Craig Roberts had another one of his excellent anti-hypocrisy rants, which was featured on Zero Hedge today. Here’s an excerpt:

            Ignatieff and Wieseltier say that the US has put its “moral standing” at risk by permitting the Russians to bomb and to starve innocent women and children, as if the US had any moral standing after destroying seven countries so far in the 21st century, producing millions of dead and displaced persons, many of whom are now overrunning Europe as refugees from Washington’s wars.

            The recently retired head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn, has said that the Obama regime made a “willful decision” to support ISIS and use ISIS against the Assad government in Syria. That the violence in Syria originated in a US/ISIS conspiracy against Syria is ignored by Ignatieff and Wieseltier. Instead, they blame Russia despite the fact that it is Russia’s air support for the Syrian Army that has rolled back ISIS.

            Where were Ignatieff and Wieseltier when Washington and its vassals destroyed Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, much of Pakistan, overthrew the first democratically elected government in Egypt, overthrew the government in Ukraine and started a war against the Russian population, and supplied Israel with the weapons and money to steal Palestine from the Palestinians? Where were they when Clinton destroyed Yugoslavia and Serbia? Where are they when ISIS murders Syrians and eats the livers of its executed victims?

            Paul Craig Roberts: Are Americans Too Insouciant To Survive?

            I recommend reading the entire post. The US MSM covers up or ignores so many scandals and war crimes, whilst egging on further misadventures in the Ukraine and elsewhere. Very discouraging.

          2. optimader

            The Pentagon themselves say that *4%* of drone strikes kill their intended target.
            yes, terrible.,
            What is the efficacy of dropping iron bombs on urban population from Hind Helicopters?

            I know, I know thats different :o/

            Over the last half decade, the Assad regime has been slammed for dropping crude “barrel bombs” from holds of transport helicopters over densely populated areas, a tactic that has killed scores of innocent Syrian civilians. In effect, this is just area bombing a populace for psychological purposes.

            Yet Russia seems to be doing largely the same, albeit with production munitions, from their attack helicopters, and to some degree, from their fixed-wing attack jets.

            After reviewing videos of helicopter bombing runs in Syria, it appears that they are not even using accuracy-enhancing maneuvering techniques, such as dive or toss bombing, when releasing these munitions. Hind attack helicopters, which are a decently precise weapons platform, are simply dropping dumb bombs over populated areas. As you can see in the videos above, even at low altitude, this can result in bombs landing very far apart.

            Even if Russian or Assad regime Hind crews have a flat bombing technique that helps calculate the bombs’ point of impact, using “dumb bombs” is still a far cry from guided munitions or even unguided rockets, which the Mi-24 is much more adept at employing than dumb general purpose gravity bombs. The only thing is, guided air-to-ground munitions, whether they are laser or TV/electo-optical or even GPS guided, are expensive. While a 500 pound bomb may cost hundreds of dollars, a single precision guided munition will cost tens of thousands of dollars.

      4. craazyboy

        But we had the R debates. 21 out of 22 prez hopefuls[lunatics] posturing as some sort of Neo-Templars and espousing their fairy tale fantasies of what they would do about “our” problems in the Middle East and also that Putin dude. Trump even did SNL sketches of his fantasies. (One where Trump made Putin run away crying, I recall. hahaha. I guess Trump knows Judo too.)

        I figure maybe Bernie saw a vacuum in the discussion.

      5. smedley

        Howard, I think I agree with you that in ‘horse race’ terms, that Bernie should stick to his strengths. But should he become Pres. I see some cause for concern about his foreign policy views. In response to the ‘Putin Question’ he demonstrated a disturbingly shallow understanding of the events in Ukraine and Syria. I,for one, would be much reassured to know that he has competent people around, educating him about what’s going on in the wider world. Anybody know where Bernie’s getting his FP advice from?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Part of the problem is Obama poisoned the well. It’s virtually impossible to have an adult conversation. Hillary has called Putin “worse than Hitler” and is still treated as anything other than a clown.

          I will say this. Sanders said we should let Saudi Arabia deal with its problems. One, without U.S.backing this is impossible for a glorified police structure, and two, it’s an outright rejection of the Carter doctrine email which claimed the middle east as our own. Sanders position is a far cry from Obama’s less boisterous embrace of the Bush doctrine. These are radical departures.

          Obama is petty. Putin even gave Obama an out and chance to appear statesman like after Obama’s chemical weapon debacle. Obama would go scorched earth if he thought he was being embarrassed.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Bernie is flexible and will change tack, if temporarily (one hopes).

            When confronted with a ‘you called Obama weak’ claim from Hilary, he called that a low blow and refused to hit that fat pitch out of the park.

            1. different clue

              Sanders is VERY aware of the high percent of Clinton support among middle aged and older black racist tribal-loyalist Obama-worshippers in South Carolina and beyond. He is wisely unwilling just now to alienate the fanatical race-card votes among the members of “black AIPAC” which the slightest and gentlest expression of the least trace of skepticism about the Obama record would arouse among Obama’s fierce and ferocious black racist loyalist voters.

          2. DJG

            NotTimothyGeithner: Let’s leave the Middle East to Our Friends the Israelis and Our Friends the Saudis. They can then wallow in their stew of religious fanaticism and warped nationalism. The Iranians (who have never been a colony) were on to us a long time ago. No wonder the U.S. has had so many tantrums about them.

            In short, the policy of endless war in the Middle East has turned out to be as productive as the endless interventions by the U.S. in Latin America. And we wonder why the Cubans are skeptical of us?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I believe Bernie also said one had to do one’s laundry.

              That is, we have to clean the mess we made in the first place.

              Let those savages sort it out seems too coldhearted.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              Except they don’t have the resources to do anything. They are glorified police states who only behave like they do because they come hide behind Uncle Sam’s shadow any time they are in trouble.

              The Saudis have two armies. One exists to protect the Saud clan from the other army. They can’t deploy beyond the peninsula.

        2. craazyboy

          As a Senator, it would be the State Dept, Pentagon, CIA, and Council on Foreign Relations.

          As a Prez, see above.

          In the case of Hillary, see above.

          In the case of a R prez, see above.

          1. smedley

            Ha! Thanks for that Craazy, I musta been wandering off into my preferred state of senile idealism. I’m back now, thanks.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We should have asked this question of Obama in 08 about his guy/gal for the Treasury.

          Who will be your Secretary of State and Pentagon guy? Who to head the CIA? Any chance of a new chairperson at the Fed?

      6. Llewelyn Moss

        Lets be real. Foreign Policy is one of Bernie’s Biggest Strengths.

        Bernie said loud and clear that he wants to get out of the game of ME Regime Change which only creates broken countries for the bad guys to overtake. And he want to end the Endless War Mindset that is bankrupting the US.

        Hillary by contrast is salivating for WWIII with Iran (or any country will do really).

        1. Jeff W

          Foreign Policy is one of Bernie’s Biggest Strengths.

          I agree with this. Here’s what Ben Norton says in that Salon piece in the Links above:

          Sanders’ distancing himself from Kissinger on foreign policy shows just how much better he is on the issue.

          The cornerstone of intelligentsia foreign policy, from both the Democrats and Republicans, for decades (and beyond) has been that the projection of U.S. and NATO military power is inherently good, because it is the U.S. and NATO doing it.

          By distancing himself from this destructive, bloody legacy, Sanders is demonstrating just how much wiser he is.

          And it’s not bad campaign strategy, either. As this short piece in The Daily Beast says:

          …[Sanders’ chief strategist Tad] Devine said judging by the number of Google searches, people were looking for Kissinger, “And when they do, they’re not getting one of his treatises from Harvard, they’re getting Pol Pot and bombing Cambodia. They get a lot of stuff like that, and that puts Hillary on the defensive where she supposedly supremely rules.”

        2. The Cleaner

          I agree and have been bemused that the meme that Sanders is weak on foreign policy is accepted as received truth even among Bernie’s supporters. If you actually listen to him, then it is clear that he is actually quite sophisticated — for example, he is the only candidate in recent history who has condemned regime changes whether it be Mossadegh in Iran, Allende in Chile or Arbenz in Guatemala. He is the only candidate who has acknowledged that NATO expansion under Clinton was bound to create unnecessary tensions with Russia. He and Trump are the only candidates who think that Russia and the West should be on the same side in the fight against ISIS.

          Does not sound like someone out of his depth to me… in fact, quite the opposite.

      7. Procopius

        I’m not too worried about Sanders’ foreign policy. A president doesn’t have that much freedom of choice. As Obama has mentioned, “Remember what happened to Dr. King.” I think he’ll at least try to minimize foreign adventures, as Obama seems to have. HRC, on the other hand, seems to be an enthusiastic neocon warhawk.

    3. Torsten

      “Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

      The MIC, Hollywood, and the media have done a masterful job of executing Göring’s plan.

      Bernie has to deal with the irrational fears of the gun-toting American electorate, which has been taught that violence is the answer to every question.

      There has been consistent, reliable polling over many years indicating that a solid majority of Americans favor the notion of “Medicare for All”. Maybe, just maybe, if Americans can start caring for other Americans, they will begin to also care for non-Americans.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To care for non-Americans, we must replace a current system where everyone else has to earn foreign reserves (mostly dollar reserves) and we alone are an exception to that.

        And we can’t just print, print and print, and not see what it does to little countries.

        1. Procopius

          The situation is perpetuated by Germany, Japan, and China, who continue to manipulate their currency to keep trade surpluses flowing their way. I don’t really see what the U.S. can do to counter it. Meanwhile we’re getting actual valuable goods. They’re getting promises of dollars. As long as they’re happy, why should we worry? We will never not have dollars to pay them. Do you really think they’re going to stop taking dollars? Do you really think there will be a day when an American bank will refuse to cash a check drawn on the U.S. Treasury?

    4. Ignim Brites

      Listening to Senator Sanders ramble on about Henry Kissinger and the Khymer Rouge, I was struck by how anachronistic his foreign policy views are. Secretary Clinton didn’t even begin to touch this when she noted that a vote 14 years ago may be less than relevant to assessing a person’s foreign policy views. The implications of Sanders’ anachronism shows up in his calls for reaffirming the US and NATO’s guarantee of the independence of the Baltic states. It seems pretty clear that Sanders would engaged in brinkmanship with Russia over the independence of the Baltics. But in Putin, the US confronts a man who knows our national interests better than we. Sanders clearly would not take the US to war for the sake of the Baltic nations independence. But blustering that he would only sets Putin’s table. The only thing that will really give the Russian nationalists pause is the prospect of a militarily resurgent Germany. And the condition for that is US withdrawl from NATO. Do you seriously think that Sanders’ millenial supporters would be aghast at that. What percentage of millenials even have heard of Henry Kissinger and the Khymer Rouge? What percentage even know what the Soviet Union was for that matter?

      1. sd

        Millennials know warmongering when they see it and the US has been on a non-stop rampage pretty much since 2001.

        1. Ignim Brites

          Not, if you don’t see Senator Sanders policy views on the situation of the Baltic nations as war-mongering.

      2. Lexington

        he implications of Sanders’ anachronism shows up in his calls for reaffirming the US and NATO’s guarantee of the independence of the Baltic states. It seems pretty clear that Sanders would engaged in brinkmanship with Russia over the independence of the Baltics. But in Putin, the US confronts a man who knows our national interests better than we. Sanders clearly would not take the US to war for the sake of the Baltic nations independence. But blustering that he would only sets Putin’s table.

        The Baltic states are NATO members whose security is guaranteed by the other members through the allliance’s collective security framework. If there was a crisis over the Baltic states it would be one initiated by Putin rather than the US or NATO. If the US failed to honour it’s security guarantees it would thoroughly discredit the alliance and the principle of collective security and probably lead immediately to its collapse and a power vacuum in Europe. For those reasons it is very unlikely any American president could accept the risks of ignoring Russian aggression against the Baltic republics.

        What percentage of millenials even have heard of Henry Kissinger and the Khymer Rouge? What percentage even know what the Soviet Union was for that matter?

        If they haven’t it’s a damning indictment of what is supposedly the best educated generation in the history of the world. If Sanders really is talking above their heads -which I seriously doubt- then maybe the solution is for them to Wiki the relevant references and in so doing become better people and citizens rather than than for Sanders to dumb down his foreign policy talk to a level accessible to people so ignorant of very recent history that they haven’t heard of the Soviet Union.

        1. Ignim Brites

          The US has minimal national interest in maintaining the credibility of NATO. What are we going to do when Turkey tries to draw NATO into a conflict with Russia in Syria. Nada – that’s what.

          1. Lexington

            It’s kind of late in the day for Russia to try to avoid be drawn into a conflict in Syria. You’re pretty much inviting a fight when you send expeditionary forces into foreign countries.

            As for NATO you’re confusing your antipathy to NATO as an obstacle to Russia’s strategic ambitions with America’s national interest. The US has no national interest in allowing NATO to collapse and be replaced by a patchwork of ad hoc arrangements that would destabilize the whole continent and create a plethora of other security problems, including feeding Putin’s already outsized appetite for military adventurism and greatly increasing the probability of nuclear proliferation.

    5. TedWa

      Seriously, what’s he going to say? Come straight out and say that the MIC is more corrupt than Wall St? He knows as well as we do that our foreign policy is controlled by the MIC who needs to create enemies to justify it’s existence. He’s a politician who plays his cards carefully so as not to upset TPTB – until he actually can. His vote against the Iraq war shows he has good judgement that far exceeds our understanding of what needs to be said and done during this campaign. He could hammer HRC on so many issues it truly would be ridiculously easy. I’d say patience, he’s the only true democrat on that stage.

    6. Higgs Boson

      Sanders cannot really say anything negative on how the U.S has conducted foreign policy without sounding critical of President Obama. And that would be great fuel for the Clinton campaign. Sanders knows this, so he has to keep his comments focused on the Iraq war debacle which was started by Obama’s predecessor. The risk of course, is that the Clinton camp will accuse Sanders of being a foreign policy light-weight; but I guess in Sanders estimation it’s better than being branded as disloyal.

      Who knows what Sanders really thinks. Maybe he is indeed a foreign policy light-weight. Or maybe he’s keeping his powder dry.

      In the meantime, people vote with their wallets. Wasn’t it Bill Clinton’s campaign mantra, “It’s the economy stupid”? It was true then and even more so today.

    7. different clue

      In this case, Sanders is afraid to criticize Clintobama ME policy too hard because Clinton will play the Race Card against Sanders even harder than she is already playing it.
      So it may not be “fear of being too left”. It may be fear of a black backlash if Sanders raises any real questions at all about Clintobama foreign policy.

  2. allan

    The Congressional Black Caucus PAC (not the same thing as the CBC), which hurriedly endorsed Clinton on Thursday (can you say firewall?) then turned around and refused to endorse Donna Edwards in the Maryland Senate race.
    Edwards is progressive and black; her opponent, Chris Van Hollen, is white and hack.
    `Misleadership class’ is way too kind.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Re the CBC and an epithet from my hippie youth:

      The article treats Oreo as an entity, when it is just a “brand” owned and exploitede, to the tune of “over 450 billion sold”

      For more fun reading on how it all works, try this:

    2. Pat

      It may be past time for the actual members of the Congressional Black Caucus to overtake the PAC with their name and either take over its direction or force them to change their name. If their goal as a PAC is to elect more black Congressional representatives AND especially ones that will represent their community than they are obviously failing.

    3. different clue

      By now I begin to grow weary of the Left “Leftsplaining” to the black voters and followers who the black leaders “should be”. I begin to think the Left should respect black people enough to let black people make their own bed and then lie in in, in terms of black people picking their own black leaders.

      1. Steven D.

        Are you saying the Black Misleadership Class isn’t self-appointed, or groomed by people like Hillary, Wasserman-Schultz or Robert Rubin?

  3. Skippy

    Interesting conundrum…

    Argentine and Brazilian doctors suspect mosquito insecticide as cause of microcephaly

    With the proposed connection between the Zika virus and Brazil’s outbreak of microcephaly in new born babies looking increasingly tenuous, Latin American doctors are proposing another possible cause: Pyriproxyfen, a pesticide used in Brazil since 2014 to arrest the development of mosquito larvae in drinking water tanks. Might the ‘cure’ in fact be the poison?

    1. susan the other

      interesting. and maybe also a connection to tetracycline which was so pervasive in the environment in that corner of Brazil that it nullified the genetic neutering of the male tiger mosquitos which then led to use of pesticides… tetracycline is known to cause point mutations in human eggs.

    1. fresno dan

      This Clinton lovefest with Kissinger is not new. And it is not simply a product of professional courtesy or solidarity among former secretaries of state, who, after all, are part of a small club. There is also a strong social connection between the Clintons and the Kissingers. They pal around together. On June 3, 2013, Hillary Clinton presented an award to de la Renta, a good friend who for years had provided her dresses and fashion advice, and then the two of them hopped over to a 90th birthday party for Kissinger. In fact, the schedule of the award ceremony had been shifted to allow Clinton and de la Renta to make it to the Kissinger bash. (Secretary of State John Kerry also attended the party.) The Kissingers and the de la Rentas were longtime buddies. Kissinger wrote one of his recent books while staying at de la Rentas’ mansion in the Dominican Republic and dedicated the book to the fashion designer and his wife.

      The Clintons and Kissingers appear to spend a chunk of their quality time together at that de la Renta estate in the Punta Cana resort. Last year, the Associated Press noted that this is where the Clintons take their annual Christmas holiday. And other press reports in the United States and the Dominican Republic have pointed out that the Kissingers are often part of the gang the de la Rentas have hosted each year.

      Not just for the policy implications, but that is just bizarre.
      Do all rich people collect high government officials as mementos????

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Without Kissinger and accepting Chinese panda gifts, it’s possible the USSR is still around.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The USSR had an old men problem. The apparatus of state and party were put in place after the Stalin purges. Everyone was from the same age and background. Young people never joined the party or were employed in important institutional structures for 40 or 35 years depending on the purge. Gorbachev and Yeltsin were young men in the Soviet power structure. There was no one invested in continuity of government who could take the reins, once the post purge generation reached retirement. The USSR was doomed once they did away with Kruschev in favor of staying the course.

          Democracy addresses this problem, judging by the current election not as well it should.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I wonder if some one would have spotted a young guy named Putin in the KGB as the next guy to lead.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              My understanding is Putin’s star rose because he was the only, relatively anti-Yeltsin voice who wasn’t aligned with the Communists or Nationalists in the Duma. A successful businessman, but he wasn’t on the scale of an oligarch. Yeltsin was forced to pick a new VP, and Putin was the only acceptable option to the electorate who didn’t have the resources to move against Yeltsin which a number of oligarchs, the communists, and nationalists did.

              A number of analysts in both the West and USSR expected the President for life (unofficially) of Kazakhstan to be Gorbachev’s successor if there had been a vote. Yeltsin kicked Kazakhstan out of the Russian Federation because he was afraid he would lose to their President.

      2. Cry Shop

        Clinton and Kissinger relationship goes back to Henry K showing Bill that selling out segments of the USA, particularly labour unions, to China, would lead to a very profitable relationship. Bill and Hillary have made many extremely expensive speeches in China, and by structuring them through Bermuda holding operations have avoided US tax on them.

        As another example of the snake still having venom, Kissinger got a slice from China for securing Condoleezza Rice. By accepting his influencing her policy making in office, which he rewarded Rice by set her up as a non-executive director for several Hong Kong listed companies which are shell operations for Mainland Chinese firms. Recently Macao gambling tychoon Lui Che-woo put Rice, (and Bill Clinton) in highly paid on committees awarding “World Humanity” prizes, which are another tool in China’s United Front Campaign to subvert opposition to China’s domestic suppression and expansionist land-grab policies. In all of these sorts of affairs, Henry K gets a commission and more influence, hard to say which corruption excites him more.

        BTW, Would not surprise me if some of the money was moved through those USB accounts that Sec. Clinton sheltered from the FBI subpoena, as referenced 2 days earlier in one of the Link items for Nakedcapitalism.

      3. bob

        Work of the current sec state, messed with by Kissenger, WAAAY back in 1992

        “FAS Note: This December 1992 document is the penultimate draft of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on the BCCI Affair. After it was released by the Committee, Sen. Hank Brown, reportedly acting at the behest of Henry Kissinger, pressed for the deletion of a few passages, particularly in Chapter 20 on “BCCI and Kissinger Associates.” As a result, the final hardcopy version of the report, as published by the Government Printing Office, differs slightly from the Committee’s softcopy version presented below.–Steven Aftergood”

        Some great work in there otherwise. Can you imagine, in this day and age, the senate producing something detailed and honest enough for Kissinger and associates to have to make post printing additions and subtractions?

        How far we’ve fallen. Hey, Kerry, WTF happened?

  4. Howard

    Re: UTX/Carrier layoffs

    UTX pulls in several billion of profit every year and they announce a production facility move from Indianapolis to Mexico! The announcement is caught on video and is going viral. Is there any way Bernie Sanders can stop by and give a speech on his way to Minnesota? Might be too hard to coordinate since Indiana has their primary in May.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From a Carrier press release dated January 16, 2014:

      Carrier was recently allocated a $5.1 million Qualifying Advanced Energy Project tax credit (Project Credit) to expand production at its Indianapolis facility to meet increasing demand for its high-efficiency gas furnace line.


      “I am extremely proud of the hardworking Hoosiers across the state who are contributing to the continued growth of America’s manufacturing sector,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. “The tax credits will help these companies invest further in more good-paying manufacturing jobs right here in Indiana. When we invest in American manufacturing, we support a strong middle class.”

      Carrier also received $520,815 from the state. The city is still trying to figure out whether it provided “incentives”!!!!! According to the IndyStar, both are prepared to “aggressively” pursue clawbacks IF PROVIDED FOR IN THE “CONTRACT.”

      This happens far too often for it to be just a “mistake.”

      I can only hope Donald Trump gets wind of this before tonight’s debate.

        1. fresno dan

          But the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s.

          During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs, which were among the best-paying working-class jobs. They were and are predominantly men’s jobs. In both 1968 and 2015, 70% of manufacturing jobs were held by males.

          During the same half-century, the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs. Apart from agriculture, many of those jobs involve the construction trades or crafts. They too were and are predominantly men’s jobs: 77% in 1968 and 84% in 2015.

          Economists still argue about the net effect of these events on the American job market. But for someone living in a town where the big company has shut the factory and moved the jobs to China, or for a roofer who has watched a contractor hire illegal immigrants because they are cheaper, anger and frustration are rational.

          Add to this the fact that white working-class men are looked down upon by the elites and get little validation in their own communities for being good providers, fathers and spouses—and that life in their communities is falling apart. To top it off, the party they have voted for in recent decades, the Republicans, hasn’t done a damn thing to help them. Who wouldn’t be angry?

          There is nothing conservative about how they want to fix things. They want a now indifferent government to act on their behalf, big time. If Bernie Sanders were passionate about immigration, the rest of his ideology would have a lot more in common with Trumpism than conservatism does.

          As a political matter, it is not a problem that Mr. Sanders doesn’t share the traditional American meanings of liberty and individualism. Neither does Mr. Trump. Neither, any longer, do many in the white working class. They have joined the other defectors from the American creed.

          Said many times before. What is amazing to me is how long it has been going on. And how the America political system is so, so finely honed to be able to completely ignore it. So much for representative government.
          Good conduct, good citizenship, all depends on good jobs – who knew?
          Will this be the time where it is not more of the same???

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Half a century of sold and bought dreams…

            It’s better to be awake, Americans and non Americans.

          2. Dave

            “During the same half-century, the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs. Apart from agriculture, many of those jobs involve the construction trades or crafts. They too were and are predominantly men’s jobs: 77% in 1968 and 84% in 2015.”

            You are claiming that 23% of construction trades or crafts jobs were held by women in 1968? That seems very high. Or, that 23% of those jobs were held by immigrants, legal and illegal. Am I misreading this?

      1. Brindle

        Wonder which candidate will be the first (if any) to mention this? This is right in Sanders wheelhouse so you would think Bernie will comment, if not then a “served on a platter” opportunity missed.

      2. fresno dan

        Katniss Everdeen
        February 13, 2016 at 9:24 am

        Thanks for that background.

        From the link:
        “Nelson said it was “strictly a business decision” that was made in order to “stay competitive and protect the business for the long term.”
        Yes, it was a business decision. And people should understand that giving up jobs, and rising inequality, are political DECISIONS. God didn’t do this. The “market” is not a natural phenomenon, described by truly objective scientific laws and empirical observations. It is a contrived construct, defined by a multitude of laws and innumerable regulations, all carefully considered, crafted, and designed to benefit those, and ONLY those, who have great resources to influence the system.

        This happens because we ALLOW it to happen. We now have close to 50 years of data that “free trade’ is a chimera that makes the majority worse off and increases inequality, and occurs only because a powerful elite totally manipulates the system for their own benefit – and its time to end it.
        If the 0.1% and their toadies (i.e., economists) don’t like it, they should go to where they can get a better deal. America, love it or leave it….

        1. JTMcPhee

          Beg to differ. There is no “we” that I can see, and the predations of hierarchy and autocracy seem to be baked into the human ecology. A relatively tiny set of humans have the wiring and positive-feedback entree and self-licking connectivity to ensure a continuous concentration of wealthpower, just to feed an insatiable sociopathic demand for personal pleasures. Pleasures that include homicide at all scales. Fostered, as I see it, by the species-scale equivalent of the telomeres, that tell cells when they are past their use-by date and its time to die… Titillation, consumption, genocide, fornication, exhaustion, extinction.

          Of course that doesn’t vitiate that unfortunate element called “hope,” which in the Pandora myth was rendered as the last and worst plague that curiosity and the quest for knowledge loosed on Humanity…

          Yah, biotech and nanoresearch and AI and More Energy and geoenginerring and SkynetMatrix ™ and escape from the gravity well will bring us satisfaction of all hungers and itches and desires…

        2. Brindle

          Local small contractor starting boycott of Carrier:

          —Although some customers only want Carrier, which could cut into his company’s business, Poffenbarger already has people contacting him for quotes because of the boycott.

          He said one customer, who has family members who will lose their jobs when Carrier moves, contacted him and asked him to do work specifically because of his stance.—

        3. PQS

          Agree 100%.
          Great to see how those workers get it.
          They said they were working with the union so wonder how that will go.

        4. Antifa

          Since ‘Free Trade’ and the ‘Free Market’ are not occult magical mysteries, but a huge collection of ongoing business and political decisions driven by the greedy,
          then why shouldn’t we recognize this fully and design a series of algorithms (automated decision making) that have goals like full employment, social safety net, building the best-educated workforce in the world, national healthcare as a right, and — what the hell, why not — flying cars.

          In other words, let a supercomputer manage the national economy with goals of the most benefit to the maximum number of people, leaving no one to starve.

          The current set of algorithms obviously are set up and fine tuned to make the rich richer with every sunrise. How about measuring GDP in terms of maximum citizen wellness and happiness, with minimum environmental impact?

          If we can put one set of algorithms in place, we can put another set. Banking is just too important to be left to bankers.

          1. inode_buddha

            The vast majority of management can be replaced by a few well-written lines of a Perl script. In other words, automated.

        5. different clue

          “We” allowed it to happen? First of all, there is no “we” in this country. There is only “us” and “them”.

          Second, “us” tried to prevent Free Trade, but “them” was too strong and forced “them’s” Free Trade on “us”. Us will have to crush and possibly exterminate Them one way or another on the way to gaining enough overwhelming strength to crush and exterminate Them’s Free Trade Agreements against Us.

    2. Pat

      I’m going to be very blunt. Forget the ‘incentives’. Make it clear that taking jobs out of America is treasonous, and treat it as a punishable action. Close a plant, or even lay off a great number of workers and transfer those jobs to somewhere else, you lose the right to sell those products or even later versions of those products in the US for the next quarter of a century. And that includes providing customer service or sales calls from outside the US. Decide to change your nationality as a corporation you are banned from doing business in or with America for the next century, and that means either directly or by selling that product to an American company.
      Americans should have started demanding this and calling the bull shit about perks accorded to companies who build factories elsewhere three decades ago that I know of. Call it the subversive act against the American good that it is.

  5. ProNewerDeal

    I wonder if the Uber taxi service of “gig economy”, in terms of the auto insurance, at least in a Barbaric non-Universal healthcare nation like USA.

    I suspect many of the contractor drivers are using their personal auto insurance, not a taxi/commercial driver insurance? If so, such a driver could face catastrophic medical bills for himself, customer, or other motorist. Potential contractors may assume risking a $100K+ bill for possibly as low ~$10/hr after expenses is not worth it, PT at Wack Arnolds for even $7.25 min wage would be a superior risk/reward combo.

    Of course, taxi driver itself is a dangerous job, with the much increases risk of auto accidents, given much more exposure to driving than a median USian person, as well as assault risk from a rare sociopath customer. I wonder if there should be a “dangerous job” min wage, that is higher than the general min wage. If the general min wage were $15 as per Fight For 15 movement & Sanders, perhaps the dangerous job min wage should at least be $20. Spare a thought for the USians who work dangerous jobs, such as in transportation or those using dangerous tools like loggers with chainsaws, especially the subgroup that get crap near-min wages. What a horrible risk-reward. If unemployment were actually low, perhaps there would actually be a shortage that would drive these wages up say at least 20%, as Econ 101’s competitive market supply/demand curve would predict. Interesting the PTB oligarchs never cite Econ 101 when it comes to the Labor market.

    1. tegnost

      yep. waiting for that first big “un or underinsured uber driver under the influence causes major crash” story which will certainly happen as the highway is the most dangerous place in america. Your Uber driver may have been at the bar all night, too…

      1. shinola

        I’ve wondered about the insurance aspect for uber drivers (I’ve been in the ins. biz 30+ years).

        The standard personal auto ins. policy specifically excludes coverage when the insured vehicle is used for commercial purposes such as delivery services or transporting passengers for hire.

        It was not uncommon for an insured to ask me about using their cars for part-time pizza delivery. This would NOT covered by their personal auto policies & would require a commercial auto policy.
        The rate for a “Mr. Good Risk” (over 30 yr old, clean driving record) living/working in Lawrence, Ks. (not considered a high risk area) was about $1,400 per yr. for liability only (no coverage for damage to the insureds own car). Rates could be double that if the insured lived in a large city such as Kansas City or St. Louis. Passenger-for-hire coverage is substantially nigher.

        I wonder how many uber drivers are carrying proper coverage.

        1. Katiebird

          Hi shinola! I lived in Lawrence for 12 years in the 70s-80s and my sister still lives there. I go to the Yarn Barn now and then…. (Totally off topic)

    2. sd

      We recently signed a new personal auto insurance policy with a brand name insurance company. It specifically does not cover services like Uber or Lyft. I imagine our policy is not unique.

  6. BruceNY

    There are many, many issues with eliminating cash. But the one Issue that I think very few are focusing on is that if cash was eliminated in the U.S., the “dollar” as we know it would cease to exist. We would no longer hold “dollars issued by the Federal Reserve”, we would hold “bank deposit credits”. These are very, very different things. This is an entirely new (or actually old) type of “money”, as the link to the CB is severed. Now I realize that 95% of all “money” is already this kind of “credit”, but that credit exists currently in a sort of Schroedinger state, as it in theory can always be converted to Federal Reserve cash notes. Remove that “option”, and what we are left is ” Money Center bank”, “”SuperRegional bank money”, “Community bank XYZ money”, etc

    In effect, we would return to a pre-Jacksonian time when banks issued their own “currencies”, only the 21st century version of “digital deposits/credits”. Different banks would presumably, over time, “trade” at different exchanges to other banks based on their perceived “chance of bail-in” (eg, Italian banks – Target 2) and/or the “anticipated degree of change in negative rates” (I have no idea how to phrase that – what I am trying to say is different banks might charge different rates of negative interest AND different banks might be expected to change those rates faster than other banks. And the U.S. has, what, 7000 banks???

    This madness would probably eventually kill all but the largest banks, which in turn would crush private credit to small and medium sized business unless those banks drastically changed their current commercial practices.

    So, it’s really hard for me to see how this works in practice or even if they really want to “go there”.

    1. different clue

      Since I have never owned a firearm, I never thought of how useful a few million armed and loaded defenders-of-cash could be against such a policy.

      There is nothing wrong with the supporters of “cashless society” that a few million rounds of machine-gun ammunition and a few thousand bulldozers and a few thousand long deep trenches, and a few thousand cubic yards of bulldozer dirt wouldn’t fix.

  7. nothing but the truth

    why negative rates? because too many were created in the “have to take advantage of a crisis” hurry. basically negative rates are a subtle acknowledgement that Silvio Gissell was correct. However, Gissell was trying to get to a system that was good. Never expect this from the PTB.

    Soros: after all, the tribe invented the right word that best describes their behaviour, “chutzpah”. “You made me drop white phosphorous on Gaza. You did. You’re to blame. I wouldn’t have to be so evil if you didn’t exist.”

  8. Steve H.

    – Eric Garner’s Daughter Endorses Bernie Sanders

    Both Janet and I choked up watching that ad. Watching an Ad. It’s a good ad, music, build, but O had good ads for his run. The choke up came from the depth of the truth it told.

    This quote from the Studebaker link a couple of days ago just keeps coming back:

    – What this means is that if this is the year when the voting public decides that it’s done with neoliberalism, the party that nominates a neoliberal candidate will likely lose. If democrats don’t nominate and support the left egalitarian political movement, if they instead continue to nominate neoliberals who continue to allow incomes to stagnate, they are ensuring that sooner or later (and probably sooner) disaffected poor and working Americans will choose right nationalism as the next dominant economic ideology for potentially decades to come.

    Juxtapose with RabidGhandi:

    – Soda Pop Mike swoops in at the last minute, he or the Clown Car win the White House, and the Dems spend the next decade blaming Bernie and the left for the ensuing mess. Then everyone forgets about the math. (see: Nader, Ralph, DNC demonisation of)

    I suggest that the DNC SOP of grounding out any spark, and incrementally ceding terrain while pointing fingers, has a real danger of implementing the Studebaker scenario. And there is a Joker in the pack of Clowns.

    1. fresno dan

      When things get so bad that people start paying attention to what politicians do, and not what they say, we can’t keep going on the same way.

    2. BillC

      We’ve had an excellent run of links and comments the last 2-3 days. I’d put the sic semper tyrannis link, above, right up there with the two your citations (tl; but DO read!).

      It’s a rare day lately when NC isn’t the most (or only) sane “public square” in the western hemisphere. And the way things are going in the EU, that includes it, too.

  9. hemeantwell

    Re “Fukushima clean-up ‘may take 40 years’: Cleaning up Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffer.. CNN”

    I’m finding it very difficult to believe that the situation there is anything other than a disaster of unknown dimensions, so this 40 year estimate, coming from a news source that flings system-supportive crap around about as freely as FOX, seems like an attempt to appear coldly realistic when it’s just happy talk. All the reports I’ve seen indicate they don’t know where the cores are, they are uncertain of their state, they don’t know how much leakage into the ocean is occurring and, as linked here, I believe, we’re at the point where all tuna tested off the NW coast of the US shows cesium poisoning. Maybe the 40 years notion really only makes sense in relation to cesium’s half-life, which is about 30 years. The “clean-up” will occur spontaneously, if at all.

    1. Steve H.

      * Ding! *

      In hazardous materials management, we’re told to isolate the source and stop its output. We seem unable to stop the output of radioactive materials. But what you say about cesium’s half-life is exactly what I would put in a risk assessment geared toward optimism. Sort of like, “well yeah the oil well is on fire but eventually it’ll all burn off.”

    2. tegnost

      I have to agree, and at the time I thought, and continue to think that if “they” knew how bad it was we’d not be told because a mass migration would have negative economic impacts, among other things. Most geiger readings were not from the gov but from independent sites or universities. “Luckily” for the PTB radiation is invisible…used to like sushi….

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Your kids and grandkids are going to glow in the dark but you’re more worried about not getting your favorite sashimi?
          I’ve arrived at the opinion that Americans are the most self-absorbed people in the world and every day new data points emerge to reinforce that opinion. The damage extends far and wide when Presidents, bank CEO’s, air conditioning company CFOs, and everyone else on down decide “it’s all about ME”.
          We’re trying to have a civilization here, instead what we get is a free-for-all. “Every man for himself” is no way to run a planet.
          TEPCO, backed up by the Government, ordered all of their employees to run. A handful of them disobeyed, and they saved Tokyo. Those employees could have been safe and sound in their beds that night (maybe after enjoying their favorite sashimi) but they decided there was something larger and more important than themselves.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      At the minimum, they could just shut down this particular branch of applied science, lest we have another Fukushima.

      They did briefly, after the quake.

      But the people of this applied science branch must have prevailed.

    4. susan the other

      There is very little in the press about the size of this catastrophe – 40 years is meaningless so why does anyone bother to write up this crap? Japan has failed consistently to do what is necessary to clean up Fukushima – and among other things evacuate Tokyo – because it cannot because it is impossible. So it won’t have been possible 40 years from now either. The least Japan can do is just admit it.

      1. Propertius

        So it won’t have been possible 40 years from now either. The least Japan can do is just admit it.

        The danger from the shorter-lived isotopes will have decreased considerably in a few years:

        Iodine-131, for example, has a half-life of 8 days. It’s extremely dangerous because it’s absorbed by the thyroid gland. In 40 years the amount remaining will be too low to detect.

        Caesium-134 has a half-life of a little over 2 years. In 40 years, Caesium-134 levels will be around a million times lower than they are now.

        Caesium-136 and 137 are a different matter, however. Caesium-136 has a half-life of about 2 million years. Caesium-137 has a half-life of a little over 30 years. We’re pretty much stuck with both of them for the foreseeable future. 136 isn’t particularly dangerous as radioactive isotopes go – it decays slowly and releases very little energy when it does. Cs-137 gives off high-energy gamma rays when it decays and is pretty dangerous.

        So, yes, the problem will become more tractable with time. It won’t, however, just “go away”.

        1. Antifa

          The Japanese authorities are making no known plans to evacuate the Tokyo Metropolis, despite radiation poisoning from Fukushima, because how do you evacuate close to 40 million people?

          Pretty simple, really. Poison the air, soil, water, and food. People will get up and walk out of town rather than die horribly in situ.

          The Fukushima and Onagawa nuclear plants sit a few miles apart, and also sit a few miles from the Japan Trench, an underwater fault zone just off the coast that has had nine 7.0 earthquakes since 1973 — the past 40 years. And then there was that 9.0 quake that shattered Fukushima.

          So within the next 40 years, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect the same sort of thing in this Onagawa-Fukushima region. Except, the Fukushima plant is already melted down and flooded, and another 9.0 quake will likely result in the whole place sliding and melting down into the sea, and the merging of molten cores and spent fuel bundles. It will be a tremendous radioactive accident, and will poison Tokyo to the last square centimeter.

          Followed by immediate evacuation. It could happen tomorrow, it could happen in 30 years, but it will happen. If you build nuclear reactors on a fault zone that produces 9.0 earthquakes, those reactors will end up all melted together in the earth or the sea.

    5. knowbuddhau

      I see your difficulty and raise it to “impossible.” Because Hanford. 27 years ago it was supposed to take 30 years to “clean up.”

      Hanford History

      What led to the cleanup effort?

      By the mid-1980s, the Freedom of Information Act allowed an alerted public to review Hanford documents from the 1940s and 1950s. These documents revealed that incredible contamination of the environment and exposure of large numbers of citizens to dangerous amounts of radioactive nuclides had occurred in Hanford’s earlier years. By 1957 eight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia. Perhaps the most dramatic of these events was the “Green Run” in December 1949, when 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were intentionally released from (“green”) nuclear fuel with only a short cooling period. This secret release was part of a US intelligence effort to develop capability for detecting Russian plutonium production. Although the plume covered an area of 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given and no follow-up of area residents was conducted. By comparison, only 15 -24 curies of iodine-131 were released at Three Mile Island.

      The public in Washington and Oregon became concerned enough to demand action in cleaning up Hanford. Three agencies, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Department of Energy (DOE) entered into The Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, known as the Tri-Party Agreement. This historic agreement, hammered out in 1989, set out schedules and tasks to accomplish cleanup of the site over the next 30 years. While some milestones have been met since 1989, the agreement has suffered repeated schedule and cost overruns by the DOE.

      The plan for the high-level tank wastes at Hanford was to put them into molten glass that would then cool in steel containers (vitrification). This process of containing materials that will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years is used at other sites in this country and abroad. But at Hanford no vitrification plant has been constructed nor has one gram of material been vitrified. When the DOE has failed to reach cleanup deadlines, at times the EPA and the WA Department of Ecology have responded by granting extensions that exempt the DOE from fines for non-compliance with the Tri-Party Agreement. The delays in emptying leaking tanks on time finally led WA State Governor Locke to threaten to sue DOE for breaking Tri-Party Agreement commitments.

      Fukushima obviously exceeds Hanford’s difficulties by unknown orders of magnitude. But that extra 10 years should do it. /s

    6. Gaianne

      Except that more cesium keeps being created. The reactor cores have gone feral, and are intermittently sustaining fission reactions. (and thereby creating cesium).

      No one has the least idea how to recapture a feral reactor core.


      1. Steve H.

        Well, there’s your problem…

        But don’t worry, we can fix it with an extra uncertainty term in the risk assessment.

  10. tgs

    Re: America at Bay – MIchael Brenner

    Ever feel like our leaders and their media mouth pieces have lost contact with reality? Brenner affirms that they have. Excellent essay.

    1. HopeLB

      After watching Hillary tout her foreign policy prowess, I emailed Brenner (as a fan of his writing and fellow Pittsburgher) asking him to contact the Sander’s campaign to offer his views and analysis and to suggest others who could offer sound policy advice.. I don’t know if he contacted Sanders but he promptly emailed me his latest article and attached two others.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Aside from Brenner’s use of Freudian and pop psychologisms (as a BA in psych, this might be what y’all feel like, reading amateurish economics writers), I agree.

      I like that he’s using psychology and even (albeit brief) references to mythology. The myth of American Exceptionalism sets the stage for our break from reality.

      The basic problem with it, shared by the other Abrahamic traditions, is its exclusive claim to access to the divine. Extra America nulla salus, amirite? “You’re either with us, or against us.”

      As aptly described by Brenner, myth trumps reality when the latter challenges the former, albeit at the cost of ever increasing dissonance.

      The myth of American Exceptionalism says that either we’re special because the cosmic tyrant-engineer said so, or on the secular side, we’re special because our science and technology have conquered the cosmos; either way, it’s our world, others just live in it.

      Rather inconvenient that other people have squatted on our oil fields, and especially the wrong kind of people at that, no? Bipartisan consensus is that we’ll prevail anyway, because either god said so or we can always break out a bigger stick. Some argue that we have a positive obligation to beat the world into submission with god’s own stick aka “the finest military the world has ever known.”

      The MAE tells a tale of a world that never existed; it’s believers inhabit a world that doesn’t exist now; they look forward to a Promised Land that will never exist.

      Psychologists have a word for such a profound break with reality, one that Brenner oddly never uses: psychosis. We’re a nuclear-armed nation led by insanely hubristic psychotics, individually armed to the teeth, convinced of our own divine or self-made right to dominate everyone, everywhere, forever (cf “Full-Spectrum Dominance.” Present company excepted, of course ;). What could possibly go wrong that hasn’t already? Tune in tomorrow and find out!

      Is there any hope? The language of myth is metaphorical. To change the world stage, we need to change our metaphors. Our choice of metaphors has gotten us into this mess. I’d like to boldly assert that new ones can get us out, but I’m not so sure because climate change imposes an unprecedented time horizon. We’ve squandered decades on denial already (looking at you, Exxon et al.). I expect that trend to continue. I’ll believe the USG is serious about climate change when it renounces empire.

      The multi-trillion dollar question is, can we come up with successful new metaphors in time?

    1. fresno dan

      That was a great article.
      And I think it can be summed up that more and more, we are living in a country deluding itself more, and more, and more.

      In the last Republican debate before his smashing New Hampshire primary victory, on the subject of interrogating prisoners, Donald Trump, with all the fury and bluster of the noncombatant he chose to be, had this to say: “I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse.” This was consistent. Trump had previously argued that whether they were effective or not, waterboarding and torture should be used, because “even if it doesn’t work, they deserve it.”

      In that debate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was characteristically slippery on the torture subject, denying that waterboarding is torture. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ducked the question.

      To former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s credit, of all the Republican candidates on the stage, he alone stated that he would honor the existing ban on waterboarding. (And his own brother presided over an administration conducting some of the worst and most damaging torture of prisoners in Iraq, Guantanamo and Afghanistan.)

      Let us now make clear that the United States of America has in fact officially prohibited cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners. Where? In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the binding Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate at the urging of a revered Republican president, to “demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.”

      That president, whose grand coalition Republicans have been trying, and failing, to reassemble ever since, was Ronald Reagan.

      The United States has been long and strong in recognizing the illegality of waterboarding prisoners.*** After World War II, in the Tokyo War Crimes Trials, several Japanese soldiers were charged and convicted as war criminals for waterboarding American prisoners of war. In 1968, an American soldier was court-martialed for having been involved in the waterboarding of a North Vietnamese prisoner

      So, I wonder if Jeb Bush ever brought up at the family Thanksgiving dinners how waterboarding is torture, and torture is wrong….and ILLEGAL!!!
      But it was done anyway.
      The fact that Jeb Bush has the Chutzpah to run, but than to try and claim any moral superiority on waterboarding, I think demonstrates the point of Brenner’s article – a society constantly advertising its own virtue while acting exactly the opposite.
      So I’m sorry Jebbie, I can no more believe you won’t torture based on rules written by Obama, than I can ignore the fact that your brother paid no attention to Saint Reagan….
      So I’m sorry Mr. Shields, Jeb deserves no credit, and indeed, scorn, because if Jebbie TRULY believes water boarding is wrong, where was he 12 years ago? Bush only does what is politically expedient. As bad a Trump is, Jeb is the more effective evil.

      ***I can’t help myself – so much for that bull about this being a nation of laws…

      1. James Levy

        I can’t go that far–Jebbie would be constrained in some ways by his public statements in a way that Trump, who embraces cruelty and violence (no matter what he says about disengaging from the ME) fervently. Jeb might act cruelly at the margins. Trump would make it a point of pride and dare anyone to do anything about it. I fear millions of people around the world might rise to that challenge. That anyone running for President could gleefully announce that he would break the law and the constitution (cruel and unusual punishment is out, so how could you use cruel and unusual methods against those who haven’t even been convicted of anything?) and it not destroy their chances for the nomination shows what depraved assholes Trump supporters are and what cowards and weaklings the press are.

    2. Ignim Brites

      This article reads like a highly sublimated primal scream. Not much more to it than Americans are ignorant and like it.

  11. griffen

    Re, negative interest rates link from NYT. Savers continue to pay a burden for the sins from 2004-2008.
    Time to extend those jumbo CD maturities out the curve !

    There is a phrase in the bond markets called positive carry, but if this keeps apace the phrasing may require some adjusting.

  12. Eureka Springs

    Sigh. If elected by the people and the electorals Bernie Sanders will be Commander in Chief. Will you people who know better quit pretending that Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Honduras is not one streaming act of murder… none of it in any way an act of defense. Will you stop and listen to yourselves when you try to rationalize it as unimportant, please.

    I wont vote for Bernie knowing what I know now because of it and I say so clearly to anyone who might be listening. A callous murderer is a terrible thing to vote for. Is he going to be one or isn’t he? It’s more than a reasonable question to demand a much clearer answer than we have so far.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Clue: The perfect is not the enemy of the good.
      Clue the 2nd: Embracing whole hearted cynicism is sort of like wetting your pants. You might feel nice and warm for a little while but then you’re just all wet and sticky.

    2. RabidGandhi

      “This is not because the leadership are bad people. And none of it is likely to change very much if better people take their place. The reasons are institutional and the problems should be confronted without illusions, with understanding of the social realities.”

      — Noam Chomsky, 1987

      1. Eureka Springs

        Amateur: Aside from bless your heart,I have nothing to say to you.

        katie: Why should anyone believe a want to be/ or willing to be mass murderer could possibly, sincerely, want health care for all?

        Rabid: This is not because the leadership are bad people.

        Yes, it is.

          1. Eureka Springs

            If you have to ask what I mean, you probably never will get it (what our entire foreign policy is – an act of ongoing mass murder)… or people like me back into the ongoing criminal D vs R party fold.

            Sorry I wasted my time. Nobody gets the simple Golden Rule or karma, baby.

            Over and out.

            1. Katiebird

              Well I often ask people what the mean when they speak in shorthand.

              My feeling at this point is that I don’t have much choice on the foreign policy issue. But one guy has a plan for giving me back a fifth of my income. Plus making health care available to everyone.

              This promise is more than anyone has given me since, well ever.

              If that makes me a mass murderer, I guess I’ll have to live with it.

              1. ProNewerDeal

                I feel as though the PTB that continuously block MedicareForAll, including 0bama in 2010 during the ACA “sausuge” law making, Campaing H Clinton 2016, & the DLC Dems & Rs in general, ARE MASS MURDERERS. IIRC per Harvard Public Health Profs’ estimate the ACA reduces the annual preventable deaths relative to CAN-style MedicareForAll to ONLY ~30K USians/yr.

                The T3rist Boogeyman Du Jour like 1S1S can only dream of massacring this huge number of USians.

            2. Vatch

              Sanders voted against the Iraq war resolution, against the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, against the Patriot Act, against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. I’ve provided links to the Congressional votes on all of these more than once. He has made statements on the record criticizing the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, which few American politicians have the courage to do.

              Saying that Sanders is a mass murderer or will be a mass murderer is about as far as from the truth as one can be. I honestly don’t understand why some people keep repeating this nonsense about Sanders as a war monger or a mass murderer. I guess it feels good to “stick it to the man”, but wouldn’t it make more sense to “stick it” to people on the Forbes list of 400 billionaires, or to people in the Senate and House who actually vote in favor of war? Sticking it to Sanders is a pretty pathetic way of “sticking it to the man.”

      2. Carolinian

        Chomsky has also said our actions in the Middle East are all about oil and imperial positioning–discounting any other motives. In my so very humble opinion this is a big blind spot. The question is not whether they are “bad” people but whether they are rational people. I believe Chomsky, from his technocratic perch at MIT, gives far too little attention to irrationality among the elites.

    3. Pat

      Is Sanders perfect? No. But name one other candidate in the last twenty or so years who has shown the ability to recognize their errors and attempt to correct them more than Sanders has?

      Yes he is far too right wing on foreign policy, but even at that he is light years better than anyone else currently running and even the idiot who wants to run to kneecap him. And I think exposure to more information can lead to change with him, something else I cannot begin to say about anyone else. And despite Stein being my fall back, her record on this is nonexistent.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is it the nature of things that we never get perfect.

        It’s possible.

        Is it something we can be manipulated to accept one imperfect over another less (or more) imperfect?

        As an exercise, we can try to ask ourselves, what would anyone of us have done differently if we could re-do 2008 again.

        Would we vote for Obama again, the less imperfect among the two major candidates?

        Note this is not to say the people in it today are the same as those in 2008, but how reliable is choosing the less imperfect.

    4. James Levy

      Sanders cannot rewrite America’s DNA in one election cycle. We are a militaristic and expansionist people. We have been since we arrived on this continent and stole it from its inhabitants. For Sanders to do what Eureka wants him to do would be to cut himself off from the very people he needs to convince that this process has got to stop. It cannot be done overnight. It cannot be done cold turkey. All the apparatus of party, state, and economy would rise up against such a move, and the people would find it bewildering, threatening, and annoying (“blame America first”). Eureka is saying, “I’m going to denounce Americans as a bunch of mass murderers, then ask them to vote for me because I’m so brave and pure I called them out on their collective criminality”. Sure, that’ll work.

      1. grayslady

        That’s the issue in a nutshell.

        Some of us still remember what happened to McGovern. Or, for that matter, to Ned Lamont. The necessary changes need to be mounted judiciously and with concrete examples of how non-military approaches improve(d) outcomes.

      2. Eureka Springs

        Well you’ve come closer than most to directly replying to what I was saying, yet you still fall into the straw man of enema/perfect/good routine. So few seem to have learned from 2008 forward.

        What’s wrong with saying, mass global fomentation of war and ongoing offensive murder will not happen in my term as pres. There are laws both domestically and internationally which are worth honoring far more than we do now. 80 percent of current ‘defense’ expenditures and the people/infrastructure involved will be redeployed into any area of their choosing. Health care, infrastructure projects, establishment of a world best internet in every home, etc. But we will maintain excellent defense capability at home, as well as budgets and work forces in order to clean up our mess, closed bases, toxic sites, etc., at home and abroad for decades.

        It’s really not that difficult to quit this madness. Easier to honestly and openly disperse the work and money too. Like single payer, the rewards among so many would far surpass the current system in no time.

        And it’s by far the right thing to say and do. Trump breaking far more molds on the right than Sanders on the center or left with shockingly good response. That Green woman/party who shall not be acknowledged is already here.

        1. ballard

          @Eureka Springs

          Have you seen this, from Scott Creighton’s blog?

          Sanders Won First Two States in Primary Contest Yet Trails Clinton 394 to 44 Delegates?

          “Is it possible for the Democratic Party to make it any clearer that they don’t give a sh*t about what the day-to-day rabble of their own party wants when it comes to selecting a nominee to represent them as a candidate for the presidency of the United States?”

      3. Eclair

        “We are a militaristic and expansionist people. ” Word!

        And all our national myths recount the glories of our march over the Plains and Mountains to the Pacific, scattering those pesky Injuns with our victorious blue-coated Cavalry. Problem is we’ve reached the ocean on the West and are hemmed in by Mexico and Canada (problems, although not insurmountable to creative Military thinking). There is no more “free” land on the continent, contrary to the fevered dreams of the Bundy clan. Even the Imperialists have almost run out of hapless countries to invade and exploit.

        We have been weaving new myths based on space travel and colonization, attempting to continue our expansionist dreams. But ultimately, to insure our survival, we need to fashion a new set of national narratives, taking, not land and livelihood, from the Indigenous inhabitants of this continent, but their values and beliefs; that humans are only one small part of the natural world, pitiable, naked and on a par with the bears and eagles and snakes and bison and rocks and water and air. We humans are not made to dominate the earth but to live in harmony with all its other inhabitants.

        I think we can get this done by next Friday.

        1. knowbuddhau

          Yep yep yep. Our narratives have gotten us into this. We’re not essentially effed, only relatively. New narratives can get us out. Although not so comfortable with the “taking” formulation, I hear ya.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Many suspects behind murderous markets.


    Now, it’s murderous.

    It was never murderous unemployment.

    And suspects…like ‘crimes against markets.’

    But never crimes against savers.

  14. Cry Shop

    2016: Hillary and her minions can go on all day about how Bernie Sanders platform is dreams that are not practicable. However she doesn’t understand they are necessary dreams, without them we’re no longer human. Clinton gave up her humanity a long time ago,

    Susan: All right, I’m not stupid. You’re saying that humans need fantasies to make life bearable.
    Death: No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
    Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
    Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
    Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
    Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
    Susan: They’re not the same at all!
    Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder and sieve it through the finest sieve and THEN show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet… you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some… some rightness in the universe by which it may be judged.
    Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what’s the point?
    Death: You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?

    ………. Pratchett’s “The Hogfather”.

    1. knowbuddhau

      Nice! Never heard of it, thanks for that. Reminds me of Campbell saying, the process goes from dream to vision to reality. Hindus talk about the powers of maya, the world-creating and -veilling power of illusion. Our myths and narratives reveal, create, and hide from us, all at once, the “reality” we inhabit.

      That sieving wouldn’t reveal, either, the One True Myth, apodictical and inescapable. We have to dream that up ourselves.

  15. allan

    Warning signs for Hillary Clinton in South Carolina

    …there are signs that the Clinton team may be falling behind the Sanders campaign, both in terms of organizing on the ground and exciting black voters, even as former Secretary Clinton maintains a large lead in the polls … As of last week, the Clinton campaign had only two campaign offices in South Carolina: one in Charleston and another in the capital, Columbia, with just 14 full-time staffers including state director Clay Middleton. The campaign also has nine “get out the vote” sites – smaller-scale sites devoted to turnout – across the state.

    The Sanders campaign, meanwhile, had 240 staffers on the ground as of last week – 80 percent of them African-American – spread across 10 offices statewide. …

    1. Pat

      Makes you wonder what they have spent all the money on so far, doesn’t it?

      I’m dead serious. The word was out weeks ago that besides the first few locations the Clinton campaign was extremely week on the ground. That besides a few cursory locations and minimum number of staffers, they just weren’t bothering. Once again they were beyond arrogant and once again they are getting bit in that ass by that arrogance. They truly believed that no upstart who hadn’t gotten the memo, or filed in the garbage where it belonged, could possible challenge her. So they didn’t bother to really figure out what the issues were, what people were concerned about, or even funnel their millions into the real campaign and not just salaries for people who had been her failed brain trust before.

      And people try to tell me she is the most competent candidate seen in decades and her judgment is stellar. She was a piss poor Senator, and a hideous Secretary of State. But she is also a spectacularly bad candidate, in that she takes huge advantages and can never seal the deal due to shooting herself in the foot.

      1. petal

        I kind of got the feeling she thought NH was in the bag so she didn’t even bother. There was almost no effort for several months, and then at the last minute after it was too late, hubs and Chelsea were trotted north for token appearances-again, showing the arrogance that she doesn’t have to put forth any effort because she deserves the win simply because she is who she is. I keep thinking of the grasshopper and the ant. The same thing may be happening all over again in SC. Commenters in SC, please keep the observations coming. It’s very interesting(at least it is to me).

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I get the sense Clinton Inc. and elite Democrats believe they own minority voters, hence they don’t need to offer anything other than morale building promises.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think there are no more loyal party supporters than minority voters.

            They will support whoever the party nominee is in November.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              If there is a sense the party cares. Hispanics haven’t rocked the vote, and I think Republican attempts to block minority voters had a huge impact in 2012. Bill Clinton, our first black President, didn’t do very well in 1996 among blacks. Gore did a little better. 43 did fairly well in Florida among young, non-Cuban Hispanics.

              There is a Republican state senator, a cookie cutter republican, in these parts who has always represented a fairly sizable black population going back to his city council days. African-Americans have never turned out for his challengers. Unlike the waspy, Democrats, this Republican goes to every community forum and respectfully disagrees.

              Loyalty is a two way street, and Team Blue hasn’t played it’s part.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Basically, half the money Hillary has raised is general election money. They can’t spend it. We aren’t discussing a maxed out donor buying pizza for the field staff and being reimbursed, this happens. No one makes a fuss. She can’t go to the maxed out donors. The SuperPac money can go to ads, but if they coordinate with field operations, even Obama will have to act. The SuperPacs aren’t set up to rent vans, office space, printers, paper, hire organizers, etc. The SuperPacs are vanity outlets and often push a billionaire’s message rather than a campaign reflective of the voters. Running an ad featuring the socialite wife of the owner of hedge fund X whining about the state of horse breeding for polo might play well at he Hamptons but not in Iowa.

        Then, there is how the Clintons spend money. 2007/8 Clinton campaign should have been sufficient to ban the Clintons and their gang of friends from ever being considered for office or donations. Mark Penn made $6 million to lose to Obama. The Clintons pay for loyalty. Their campaign inner circle made fortunes offering terrible or at least advice one could have found on the description of a West Wing episode. Again, I can’t stress enough, but Mark Penn made $6 million in 2007/8 campaign. If he can make that kind of money off Clinton Inc., just imagine what a vaguely competent person could achieve.

        1. Jess

          She will have to if she uses any in her CA campaign. State outlawed unpaid internships a few years back. Too much abuse.

          1. Vatch

            Here’s my unrealistic fantasy: Hillary will have suspended her campaign when it’s time to pay serious attention to the California primary, so she won’t be hiring California interns. I know, I know: she has a boatload of super delegates, so no matter how well Sanders succeeds in the primaries, Hillary will continue to nip at his heels. But I say it’s okay for me to fantasize about this, so long as I’m aware that I’m being unrealistic!

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hillary should continue to be complacent and just ignore this bit of unpleasant news this early in the morning.

      All’s well.

    3. Frosty


      This reminds me of a tidbit from an article in January, I think from the Times. It reported that Clinton had concentrated as much as 90% of her campaign’s resources in Iowa in advance of the caucuses. What ever happened there?

      I’ve seen a few puff pieces with prominently featured quotes from Clinton personel about the strengh of their national organization, but nothing by way of serious followups with anything resembling real reporting. This msnbc report makes we wonder, yet again, if that campaign isn’t already a total fucking mess.

      1. Bubba_Gump

        From personal experience with folks in past Clinton organizations, my (comforting) view is that it would indeed be very surprising if the campaign is not a total f*cking mess. Competent management is not a Hillary Clinton skill. Infighting, spite, and backstabbing are more like it.

    4. Carolinian

      I live in upstate SC and have yet to see a Hillary sign. Not that there are many signs up yet anyway, but I have seen a few for Bernie.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s field intelligence hopefully Clinton will not pay too much attention to, even if she has spies monitoring this site.

        2. Daryl

          View from the ground in hick evangelical Texas: I haven’t seen a dang thing. Of course I don’t live in the suburbs. But it seems like people here are responding by not caring since, y’know nobody would dare vote for a Demmycrat but the Republican field is so awful.

          1. Amateur Socialist

            Yeah I just ordered some Bernie yard signs for our place in Deep Red Bastrop County. I ordered 4 because I tend to suspect they are going to disappear in our subdivision. Most of our neighbors are retired Military so we’ll see.

      1. sid_finster

        I live in Deep Red North Dakota, where they hunt Team D members using specially trained dogs.

        I see a fair number of Bernie signs, very few for Mrs. Bill.

  16. Loretta

    re: Sanders’ foreign policy

    Had a conversation yesterday with a fed employee, Iraq vet, a guy with a gun for a screen saver, overwhelmingly approving Sanders’ foreign policy, concerned (but not enough to throw his vote) about his domestic policy.

  17. sd

    Iceland may have “cleaned up its banks” but it has not cleaned up its financial system. Icelanders constantly roll over their debt. So while on paper everything may look fine, in fact people are still struggling to get out from under their debt (they have indexed loans – so, for instance, a good friend just sold his apartment. So while the value had doubled he was still underwater on the loan. In order to get out, value had to go up about 300%). Which is one of the reasons Airbnb is so popular in Reykjavik and why Icelands recovery is riding on the backs of tourists.

    Iirc, Iceland is expecting 1.5 million tourists this summer. The multiplier effect of tourism is certainly helping the economy. But tourism now represents 30% of GDP in a country of only 350,000 people. This growth has been exponential. The cranes are back all over the city while there are still unoccupied apartments and unfinished developments from 2008.

    Icelanders will tell you point blank this is not going to end well.

  18. Light a Candle

    United Technology is offshoring 2500 unionized American jobs to Mexico despite record profits and government contracts.

    The video recording the disgusting announcement by the smarmy corporate spokesman is going viral, almost a million views. It’s in the Huffpost story posted by NC above. And to add insult to injury, the CEO made $20 million dollars last year.

    This video alone could recruit millions more Sanders voters.

    1. sd

      There is an interesting dynamic happening at the moment. Union leadership keep endorsing Clinton while rank and file revolt and support Sanders.

  19. giantsquid

    How Bernie Sanders Learned to Be a Real Politician

    Published in May 2015 but still worth reading if you’re interested in learning more about Sanders background. Not the typical career path for a politician to say the least.

    “Many mornings, Sanders would greet his roommate with a simple statement: “We’re not crazy.” “I’d say, ‘Bernard, maybe the first thing you should say is “Good morning” or something,'” [his roommate] recalls. “But he’d say, ‘We’re. Not. Crazy.'”

    “…says Sanders’ friend Jim Rader. “I think that Bernie’s basic idea of socialism was just about as simple as Einstein’s formulation.” (In short, according to the physicist, capitalism is a soul-sucking construct that corrodes society.)”

  20. meme

    Why Brother Bernie Is Better for Black People Than Sister Hillary by Cornel West

    Now, with Obama’s departure from the White House, we shall see clearly where black America stands in relation to King’s legacy. Will voters put a smile on Martin’s face? It’s clear how we can do it. King smiles at Sanders’ deep integrity and genuine conviction, while he weeps at the Clinton machine’s crass opportunism and the inequality and injustice it breeds.

    1. TedWa

      Thanks for that link – I always enjoy his view on matters of importance and tend to agree with him nearly 100% of the time, especially when he talks about our Pres.

  21. Daryl

    > Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis Guardian (Sid S). Soros is taking his message on the road…and blaming Putin for the refugee mess!

    Of course it’s Putin’s fault. Just the other day I had a flat tire and I’m pretty sure it was the FSB. Has there been any sort of census or analysis of refugees; are they mostly Sunnis?

  22. DakotabornKansan

    Steven Salaita says, “Bernie has run a smart campaign and I admire his economic platform. But his foreign policy lacks moral vision.” Therefore, “I won’t vote for Bernie Sanders: His feeble position on Israel is a serious progressive problem.”

    Salaita’s position reminds me of Haitian Dr. Magiot’s letter in Graham Greene’s The Comedians:

    “I have grown to dislike the word “Marxist.” It is used so often to describe only a particular economic plan. I believe of course in that economic plan – in certain places and in certain times, here in Haiti, in Cuba, in Vietnam, in India. But Communism, my friend, is more than Marxism, just as Catholicism–remember I was born a Catholic too – is more than the Roman Curia. There is a mystique as well as a politique … Catholics and Communists have committed great crimes, but at least they have not stood aside, like an established society, and been indifferent. I would rather have blood on my hands than water like Pilate … I implore you – a knock on the door may not allow me to finish this sentence, so take it as the last request of a dying man – if you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?”

    Also, purity and impurity in Greene’s The Power and the Glory: the whisky sinful priest and the morally good lieutenant. Both characters are noble yet flawed. The lieutenant doesn’t see that his zealous idealism can cause as much harm as good.

    1. optimader

      The SCourt term limit of last resort.

      Wish I could think of a good thing to say about the guy, that in itself is a sad….
      Nothing comes to mind, how about he died doing one of the things he loved best?

            1. optimader

              The media misrepresentation here is that Dick Cheney has (real) friends.

              To be clear:
              Eating quail is fine, I’m an omnivore;

              Going out into the field and shooting quail to eat them if your hungry is ok, just another way to dispatch them I suppose.. (and I guess there is healthful merit in the fact the wild quail are organic by definition);

              Paying money to hang out w/ a bunch of like minded individuals that derive pleasure by spending the day in essence assassinating a managed bird population? In my mind that’s the behavior of someone that’s not quite right in the head.
              Why not just shoot skeet if that’s your thing, go out hiking in the field w/ a set of binoculars, come back hungry, wolf down some great meal and take an afternoon nap?

              How can assassinating farm raised birds be better than that? Never understood that one, to me it’s creepy.

              1. bob

                It’s a GIANT tax scheme.

                None of these guys want dead animals, they just want to shoot them. The lord of the manner therefore ends up with the meat. He walks it down to the local food bank, gets hanging weight, as a TAX CREDIT, and uses that to pay his property taxes.

                He avoids the sales tax on selling it, and the food bank sells the big money game and buys lots more other stuff.

                From what I can tell, this is how all “game” ends up, legally, in a restaurant. You can’t sell wild game, period. But farmed game, shot by a republican, is fair game. Eat on, it’s green!

                halal or kosher…

                merican blessed by a gun nut

          1. allan

            Sounds like Sen. Lee gets his constitutional law out of the same Cracker Jack box
            as the Bundy Gang does.

            1. polecat

              Oh come on !!!! ……the Yeehadis are 8th to the tenth squared over virtually anyone in the senate…..or the house for that matter!

        1. ProNewerDeal

          My understanding of the Judicial Branch of US Fed Gov is trivial. Can someone explain a brief overview of what might happen, with 0bama’s SC nomination, does 50 votes or 60 votes confirm, etc? Also what is the process like for the Citizens United 5-4 decision to get revisited? Doesn’t someone like ACLU have to sue at the District Court level, & hope it gets elevated to SCOTUS?

          If Citizens United gets overturned, what is the earliest elections that SuperPACs will again have limited donations, the 2018 midterm?

          Your Wild A** Guess is BETTER than mine!

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s a simple majority. Yes, the filibuster didn’t stop Bork, just a simple majority. The Judiciary Committee is where the real fireworks are. The Bork floor vote was only held to appease Reich-wingers.

            This is still a chance for a guy like Hatch to have a moment in the sun.

                1. optimader

                  I think a recess appointment can be withdrawn when the Senate is back in session.,,, NotTimothyGeithner ?

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    “Which shall grant commissions which will expire at the end of their next session” Article 2 Section II

                    At which point, the President can make a new appointment or the new Senate can deal with it.

              1. Steven D.

                A simple majority required for confirmation, unlike a treaty, which requires two-thirds. Nothing in the current Senate rules prevents a filibuster for a Supreme Court nominee. If Obama and the Democrats were to incinerate Senate Republicans for refusing to fulfill their constitutional duty and leave a Supreme Court vacancy open for a year, I suspect the Republicans would have to work out a deal over a nominee. Richard Posner? But, of course this is Democrats we’re talking about, so I expect little more than whining about the mean old Republicans.

          2. Daryl

            Here is my wild ass guesses:
            – Longest time to confirm an SC justice was 4.5 months. Republicans will be pilloried if they try to delay it. Democrats will probably close ranks on this one.
            – However, this is probably one of the most obstructionist congresses ever. They might really go for it.
            – Whoever Obama nominates will probably be a vaguely left-of-center corporatist anyway. Think someone who probably would’ve been with the majority on Citizens United and gay marriage.

            1. kj1313

              “– However, this is probably one of the most obstructionist congresses ever. They might really go for it.”

              Problem for them is that most of Congress is up for election including 34 Senate Seats. How much political capital can they expend before it becomes a referendum on them?

          3. Antifa

            It’s a really big deal, all between the President and the Senate. He sends his nominee well coached to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and after four or five days of grandiose speeches about themselves mostly by Committee members, they complete their questioning of the political and legal views of the nominee and either send his nomination to the floor of the Senate or don’t. If it goes to the floor, it needs a majority vote approval, or the nomination fails to win a majority of Senators.

            The Senate Majority Leader plays the biggest role, deciding if filibusters will be allowed, and how long they go on. He decides when and if a vote ever occurs.

            If one nominee fails, the President sends another. Rinse and repeat.

            Of course, this is the usual procedure. I think Opus Dei has laid divine claim to the chair Scalia used to sit in, and will want to appoint their own successor to sit in it . . .

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Obama nominates Bill Clinton, taking him out of Hillary’s campaign.

              Hillary, if she gets lucky, in turn, nominates Obama for the next vacancy, further cementing his secret support for Hillary.

              “We are in the same boat and I never called you weak, at least not after the 08 election…publicly.”

            2. Vatch

              I think Opus Dei has laid divine claim to the chair Scalia used to sit in

              Maybe he really didn’t die in his sleep. Remember that fanatic in “The Da Vinci Code” who would whip himself because of his sinfulness? Maybe that’s what Scalia was doing, and at his age, well, it was just too much.

                1. Vatch

                  No, that’s not what happened in the movie. The fanatic practiced self-flagellation. But I like your theory about what really happened to Scalia.

    2. ewmayer

      At the risk of appearing unkind, you won’t see any sadness from me on the passing of that extreme-right ideologue.

      So 0bama gets to appoint another faux-progressive hardcore-corporatist before exiting stage left (erm, I mean stage-fake-left-but-then-sneaking-out-via-the-hard-right) … fabulous! Capsule job description: ‘Must be able to micturate on the Constitution while straightfacedly claiming it to be a blessed legal rain’.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        IIRC 0bama has publicly stated he is anti-Citizens United ruling. His nominee better MUST HAVE the “litmus test” of being anti-Citizens United ruling. Lucy-yankin-the-football 0bama better not pull his 4080th betrayal ala killing the Public Option.

          1. Vatch

            That’s why we need a Constitutional amendment, because we can’t rely on the Supreme Court to do the right thing. But if we’re lucky, the new Justice will support the reversal of Citizens United, and we won’t have to wait X number of years to get an amendment passed.


  23. ewmayer

    Re. ‘Why Sweden’s Negative Deposit Rate Isn’t As Scary As It Looks WSJ MoneyBeat’ — Should be listed under ‘sponsored links’, as in ‘the sponsors of the WSJ paid to plant this story.’

    Re. ‘What Comes Next After Pax Americana? Joschka Fischer, Project Syndicate (Sid S)’ — Maybe we should consider trying the ‘Pax’ part for once?

    Re. ‘CFTC Likely to Charge Multiple Banks for Libor Rigging Wall Street Journal’ — As long as they don’t go after the bankERs, who were apparently unwitting dupes in the fraud their banks were committing behind their backs. For some reason the old Steve Martin comedy sketch about his discovering that his cat had used his credit card to secretly buy thousands of dollars of cat toys comes to mind. “I mean they’re cute … [imitation of cat-playing noises] … but you can’t return ’em ’cause they got spit all over ’em…”

  24. 3.14e-9

    Re: St. Clair on Sanders

    A few points, particularly in response to RabidGandhi, whose comment started a discussion with many good comments…

    1/ Jeffrey St. Clair is a long-time Sanders-basher. He distorts facts to fit his opinion. Sanders NEVER said the Saudis should lead the fight against ISIS, nor did he say they should invade Syria under their own flag. The quote in the article is out of context and totally misses what Sanders was saying about the Saudis. Other writers on the far left have used this same disingenuous argument, and they try to boost their credibility by citing each other as sources. It makes me sad and angry that writers who have long been an important alternative voice have allowed hatred of Sanders to cloud their objectivity.

    2/ There is simply no way Sanders can win a foreign policy debate with Clinton. All she has to do is show her superior knowledge, which is indisputable, and she does it with aplomb. His “bad judgment” argument is valid, but then she starts ticking off her accomplishments, crowned by Obama’s confidence in her, and there’s little he can do, particularly in a 30-second response with Clinton shouting over the top of him. It’s a no-win for him. And, as others point out, voters don’t choose a candidate based on foreign policy.

    3/ At this stage, it does not make sense for him to argue for peace. This is something he is going to have do after he’s in office, by leading Americans to understand why being able to kick the s— out of the rest of the world not only doesn’t make us any safer, but it devours resources needed to ensure that every American has the basic necessities of food, shelter, and healthcare – the true hallmarks of a great nation. In the meantime, he has to take care not to look “weak on defense.” IMO, that’s why we’re hearing the tough talk against Putin, Assad, Iran, etc.

    On Wednesday, Sanders was endorsed by the Peace Action PAC (formerly SANE/Freeze). It was the first time in nearly 25 years they’ve endorsed a presidential candidate.

    I thought they would mention in their press release that he cosponsored a Markey bill (S.831 SANE Act) to phase out some nuclear weapons. Not sure why they didn’t, but it’s worth knowing that he has been involved in that effort for the past couple of years. It hasn’t gone anywhere yet, but as president, he would have leverage.

    He also was one of seven senators who signed a letter to Obama in mid-December urging him to abandon a proposal to spend $1 trillion on a new nuclear cruise missile.

    These actions haven’t received much media attention, and for now, that might be just as well.

    1. nothing but the truth

      she caused the mess in libya and syria and the refugee mess in europe.

      bringing that up should shut her up.

      1. 3.14e-9

        Actually, it didn’t, and that perfectly illustrates my point.

        During the debate on December 19, he brought up her disastrous plan to overthrow Gadhafi, and she shot right back that he voted for regime change. What he “voted for” (there was no vote; it was a nonbinding resolution) was to support a U.N. resolution calling for a peaceful transition in which Gadhafi voluntarily stepped down. The U.N. resolution had strong international support, including Russia, which insisted on a provision ensuring Libya’s sovereignty. The Senate resolution was essentially a mutiny against Obama and Clinton. Try explaining that in 30 seconds in a way that wouldn’t make viewers’ eyes glaze over or sound like he was the one playing hard and loose with the facts. She had him on the defensive, which is not a winning place to be. Moreover, if viewers did a Google search to try to get the facts, the first thing that came up was PolitiFact’s analysis, which at the top of the page rates her allegation “mostly true,” even though their fairly decent analysis doesn’t support that conclusion.

        He tried in a recent debate to explain that what he “voted for” wasn’t to bomb Libya and take out Gadhafi. She most definitely did not shut up but interrupted him and kept right on going until no one remembered what he said. That’s the danger in debates, especially when the moderators have been almost uniquely pro-Clinton and inclined to let her keep going after time limit expired.

        1. nothing but the truth

          voting for something is not the same as doing it.

          the “facts” are classified and known only the the insiders. They make up lies to get votes.

          It is the doers that are responsible.

          Remember the vial of talc that was shown by powell as evidence of WMD at the UN to get votes? So now it is the UN’s fault that it supported him?

          Russians etc supported the US because they trusted the west. That is why now the non-NATO world will never again trust the West. And most of the power of the West is based on that trust. As that has evaporated due to misuse, so has its power. And now we have the NATO/US trying to bait Russia into a war.

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