Links 2/22/16

Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special after All Scientific American

FBI gathers clues in massive Goldman Sachs money scandal NY Post (RS). 1MDB.

Firesale In Energy Assets

As U.S. shale sinks, pipeline fight sends woes downstream Reuters

Cloud Peak Energy records $205 million loss for 2015; outlook for Asian exports dims Billings Gazette

Investment banks’ return on equity declines FT. Bezzle, bezzle, who’s got the bezzle?

When Earnings Fall Short, Banks Fudge Losses WSJ

Hedge funds and private equity pressured to cut fees FT

HSBC says SEC probing its hiring practices in Asia Reuters

StanChart accused over $100m ‘dirty debt’ FT. “… the London-based emerging markets bank, which has incurred nearly $1bn in fines over the past nine years…”

Market for Fixer-Uppers Traps Low-Income Buyers NYT. Markets have no agency. Market actors are doing the trapping.

Use of Fed’s Foreign Repo Program Grows WSJ

Skulduggery in the Vatican LRB

Economic Outlook Has A Glimmer Of Sunshine Econintersect. That’s the real economy.


‘Provisional’ Syria ceasefire plan called into question as bombs kill 120 Guardian

What Is The Purpose Of The “Most Effective Application Of Firepower”? Moon of Alabama. Self-licking ice cream cone.

How America Is Putting Itself Back Together James Fallows, The Atlantic.

Why DeRay Mckesson’s Baltimore Campaign Looks Like It Comes Right Out of Teach for America’s Playbook Alternet

Battle lines being redrawn in Baltimore’s war on drugs Baltimore Sun

The Crisis of Minority Unemployment Editorial Board, NYT

A time of angry strongmen Le Monde Diplomatique


The New Shape of the Republican Race The Atlantic

Victorious Clinton: Americans are ‘right to be angry’ McClatchy. I feel so validated!

Hillary Clinton needs hope and change. Can she accept that before it’s too late? Jill Abramson, Guardian

Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada But Loses Her Narrative Vanity Fair (Re Silc).

Sanders has the resources and a plan to go the distance. Will it matter? WaPo

Bernie Sanders Hits a Roadblock Charles Blow, NYT

Ralston Reports: ‘Reid-Culinary bond’ won Nevada for Clinton Reno Gazette-Journal

Jesse Jackson to South Carolina Churchgoers: ‘If You Voted Yesterday, You Need a Real Prayer’ Bloomberg.

The Evolution of the Myth of the Sanders “English Only” Chant Student Activist. “Myth” is putting it politely. This falsehood was instantly propagated to the national press which has — hold onto your hats here, folks — issued no retractions.

Getting history right: Krugman continues his disinformation campaign Naked Keynesian

Response to CEA (pdf) Jamie Galbraith. Massive takedown of Krugman’s highly touted CEA letter.

Splits in the Keynesian camp: a Galilean Dialogue Gavyn Davies, FT

Whither Europe?

Boris Johnson exclusive: There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU The Telegraph

Boris is a copper bottomed, double dealing hypocritical little shit. The press will destroy him Jerry Hayes (RS). My goodness!


European Business Group Urges China to Fight Industrial Overproduction WSJ. “Karl Marx, call your office!”

Complacency, protectionism: Why China won’t shut underused factories WaPo. Because the workers would riot and string up the managers from the nearest lampposts? Not mentioned.

China stocks jump over 2% on new regulator chief, fresh stimulus Channel News Asia. “‘If a casino has a new boss and gets renovated, it’s certainly something worth celebrating,’ 31-year-old investor, Zhu Haifeng, told Reuters.” Attaboy!

China’s new securities chief faces old constraints Reuters

Pros of a spot gold exchange in India Live Mint. “A vibrant gold ecosystem.” Authors from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Fresh riots, arson in deadly north India caste crisis AFP

Deadly north India protests lead to New Delhi water crisis Asian Correspondent

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The new mind control Aeon (gizzardboy). Read beyond the clickbait-y headline all the way to the end.

To Clarify the Debate, Tim Cook Should Start Shopping for Land in Cork, Ireland emptywheel

This is Why People Fear the ‘Internet of Things’ Krebs on Security (CM). Even Orwell’s telescreens didn’t broadcast your whole life to the entire world. I exaggerate. But not much.

Evidence mounts for interbreeding bonanza in ancient human species Nature

Artificial Abundance and Artificial Scarcity P2P Foundation

Antidote du jour:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Llewelyn Moss

    So ~12,000 people voted in the Nevada Dem caucus. State population is 2,800,000. Gee nice turnout. I guess everyone was busy playing the slots that night. Hahaha.

    I’ve been seeing stories blaming the DNC for the low turn out because they limited televised debates (in an obvious effort to help Hillary). And now it may come back to bite the Dems in the general election — low interest means low turnout. The law of unintended consequences.

    1. Carolinian

      I noticed that election night. Isn’t it interesting how the press narrative of the Dem race has turned on a dime due to a few thousand votes. It’s almost as if they were waiting for an excuse to declare Sanders finished.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Yup. And I can’t blame voters for avoiding a 3 hour meeting with Clinton Bible Beaters yelling in their ears. These caucus ceremonies probably made sense back in antiquity, but geezes. It’s 2016, just do a local polling station and let people vote in 10 minutes.

        1. inhibi

          “Its 2016, just let people vote from Twitter in 60 seconds”

          There fixed it for ya.

          Why is the government always 5 decades behind the times? We could all vote from our phones, there are multiple research papers that discuss secure voting online through multi-nodal server networks (basically, you vote with your photo ID and social security, and your vote is sent to many different servers with the same ID to prevent hacking and double-counting). Voting from our phones could lead to real time voting, which is in my mind the closest we could get to a true democracy.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Another instance for technology (coming from this neo Luddite) – an online account for every taxpayer in America a the Fed, so it can deposit new money directly to each of us, and into the economy by extension, and lend to us at Zero Percent.

          2. hunkerdown

            Oligarchs like it when you stand outside in ill weather and incompetent conditions to pledge allegiance to them. “With the times” would be something like Facebook, where your ballot is scattered through the settings pages.

            Protestant cultures prefer drama to peace (“never jam today”). With the votes being essentially non-binding, perhaps the cognitive dissonance is the product and purpose of our election system.

      2. ScottW

        South Carolina is declared a crucial state even though a Democrat will never, ever carry it in the Presidential race. And the 50%+ African American voting demography will never be questioned by the Mainstream Press as unrepresentative of the Nation as a whole. I am concerned that all of the racial pandering by Hillary and Company may leave a bad taste in the mouths of young White voters who will believe African Americans are doing exactly what mainstream Dems accuse poor Whites of doing in voting for Republicans–voting against their interests. And it is very hard to argue with that conclusion.

        The Democratic Central Party controllers understand the more people get to know Hillary the more they dislike her. So they need to end this all in a hurry. Hillary’s polling numbers never improve over time, they only get worse.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I think BAR has the right theory. On the whole and on the average, Black voters want an electable candidate, because not electing a Republican is their first priority. Personally, I doubt very much that Clinton is electable, but Sanders has yet to hammer home why that would be.

          1. sd

            In the article about the caucus, there was this:

            “Sanders did well with self-identified independents and two-thirds of those participating in a caucus for the first time.”


            Which makes me wonder, if Sanders has in fact been running his campaign as laying the groundwork for a national election. Clinton, not so much. She’s really relying on calling in her chits. I can see how that helps her win a primary, but I don’t see how that helps her win the general election.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Bill was elected with the lowest percentage of the electorate ever. He turned around and ran the party into the ground. Newt went crazy, and Bill would. Again with less than 50% of the vote. Gore, with the Clinton people around him, made it close enough to steal. Kerry dumped his nomination strategy in favor of Clinton people who lost to the coke-addled moron. They were sidelined in 2006 and lost to Obama in 2008. Obama brought Rahm and eventually Bill back losing the House In 2010, and the Clinton people lost the Senate in 2014. Voting rights groups saved Obama in 2012.

              The simple reality Is the Clintons are not the political gurus their brown nosers claim they are.

              1. rich

                Cornel West: ‘Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics’

                Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” professor and activist Cornel West likened Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Milli Vanilli, the 1990’s pop duo that was disgraced over lip-synching their Grammy award-wining album.

                West said, “Sister Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics. She lip-syncs, she gives lip service, but when it comes to policy, who supported the crime bill? Who supported, not just the deregulating of banks, but also pulled the rug from under welfare? She talks about her work with the Children’s Defense Fund way back in the ’70s —doesn’t say a word about being a Goldwater girl, doesn’t say a word about supporting the candidate who Martin Luther King called… there is no moral case for Goldwater, the most dangerous politician. She vigorously campaigning. She shows up and gives wonderful speeches sounding like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)16%. Bernie Sanders on the
                ground getting arrested. The problem is black voters don’t know his history, they know the symbolic language of Hillary Clinton. But on the ground she is calling black youth super predators in the 1990’s. That is the most meaning degrading language to our precious young folk who sometimes do the wrong thing.

                We know they have gangsters on Wall Street. How many Wall Street. executives go to jail? She is the hero. She is too tied to Wall Street with all that big Wall Street money flowing her way brother.”


                Hillary’s Goldman handcuffs,,,,,,,,,,,,Hillary Clinton is looking into it…

              2. Carolinian

                How true. In 2000 against Bush Gore briefly switched to a kind of populism–talking about protecting SS etc– and his lagging polls went up. Then the pundits and no doubt those Clinton people told him he had to drop all that “class warfare.” He did and the rest we know. The Clintons’ triangulation is based on getting just enough support to gain power but not enough to create any sort of policy consensus among the public. When you pull back the curtain on this flimflam it’s only about gaining power. They claim they will then use that power for good but never do.

      3. craazyboy

        If only we could get honest headlines.

        “Las Vegas Strip restaurant workers select next President of the United States – so you don’t have to.”

        1. nippersdad

          TBF, I was seeing a lot of headlines in the news last week about “Prostitutes for Hillary”. You just can’t get much more honest than that. :)

    2. Brindle

      Why even have a caucus? Wouldn’t a primary be a far more accurate take on the preference of voters? Seems that a caucus benefits a machine politician—they can prep and herd their people more effectively (unions & other orgs) than an insurgent candidate.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Why even have a caucus?
        Exactly BECAUSE it can be controlled by the party machine. The union bosses can even count heads and raised hands to (reward/punish) workers for showing up and voting for the ‘correct’ candidate. Any slight similarity to a democratic process is strictly coincidental.

        1. Pavel

          “Secret ballot? You can take your secret ballot and stuff it!”

          How on earth can a voting process where there is no anonymity/secrecy be considered valid? Obviously as noted there is ample opportunity for intimidation.

    3. jgordon

      Yeah, you’re not wrong. But by the same token it says something important about a candidate if he can’t muster up enough enough enthusiasm in the base to get more than a few thousand people in a population of millions to come and support him for a couple of hours.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Nothing could get me to go spend 3 hours listening to campaign surrogates brow beat me about their candidate. Then after 3 hours I get to raise my hand. Then rush home to get 4 hours sleep before work in the morning. Only party dead enders and operatives are going to show up for these caucuses.

        1. jgordon

          You give a good explanation for why Hillary is winning. Young people who support Bernie have lives and aren’t super motivated about politics anyway. The elderly people who support Clinton have lots of free time on their hands. Ergo…?

          By the way, although it’s not quite up to the level of Bernie, Trump is the only other candidate who has promised not to gut Social Security. Why are these elderly people voting for Clinton anyway? Senility?

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            Well, I am retired and I still wouldn’t drag my butt to a 3 hour caucus. :-)

            Why do Oldsters like Hellery? Probably because most watch 30 minutes of Corporate Controlled News (pick a network, any network) every night before Jeopary comes on. And they don’t know the difference between real news and propaganda.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              In a consumer society, the goal is to make everything easy, more convenient.

              Perhaps our grandparents didn’t walk in snow to go to school, but as joecostello wrote below, Somoans walk in the cold to get to their jobs.

              If they could, they would probably do the same to vote.

            2. JTMcPhee

              Llewellyn — Old habits die hard. Us oldsters lived through a time when the NYT had a conscience, and the TV provided us the likes of Walter Cronkite and Walter Winchell before him and Huntley and Brinkley, when PBS and NPR were at least a little “fair and unbiased,” and Murdoch and the Kochs, etc., were still “in the planning and early implementation stages.” Many of us find it hard to believe that a few nominally “fellow USians” (by birthplace only) have been busy, busy, busy for decades, generations even, building their cohorts of minions, organizing like a little malignancy, slowly and then faster and faster and wider and wider, building, on the looting of our lives and planet, this edifice of destructive destruction. Building an enormous death machine that for some reason the rest of us are too blank to percieve, too fearful (by constant training and reinforcement) to oppose, too uneducated or tribal to find any durable, healthy other path to take.

              15,000 nuclear weapons. An actual all up cost of the GWOT and the rest running to over $2 trillion a year.Something like $275 in military spending every year, always growing, for every man, woman and child on the planet — about $2 trillion or so, maybe 3-4% of “gross world product.” Endless emotionless, bloodless announcements of new! innovations! and breakthroughs! in ever more lethal, ever less controllable weapons, and “weaponizationability” as a test to apply to every fokking new thing. The kind of zombie bureaucracy that produces text like this: It’s long, and for anyone other than a procurement officer or Congressperson or lobbyist or exec for a war profiteer, dry and depressing. The whole image of what is so totally and completely dead-end wrong seems to me to be captured in the many pages of that carefully written justification for funding actions and stuff that are personally profitable to a very few who will be immune to the consequences of their “great decisions,” who live very high on the hog and die in comfort, and deadly for the rest of us.

              Some, maybe a lot of us “oldsters,” were hippie activists in our youth, in my case a consciousness developed only after enlisting in the Army to “keep my country safe,” and then finding out, as one commenter noted recently, repeating an observation by one of the war managers, that “The Vietnam war was about the Vietnam war.” Confirmed by my own personal up-close observation. We kept our cynicism and skepticism and refusal to suspend disbelief alive, and close to our hearts. And look where it all has turned out.

              If democracy is defined as “whatever happens,” which seems to be to be the current consensus, maybe the people I excoriate for saying “we get what we deserve” are right. In a conventional-economics collective-guilt sense.

              1. sd

                In the theory that you have to start somewhere, the US would be just fine with less than 100 warheads. If there is a need to launch more than 1, the war is already lost for both sides.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  That there is a good first response to any politician asking for more government spending power.

                  “How about we buy fewer warheads and drones?”

              2. Llewelyn Moss

                I agree 100%. We are probably about the same age. Lucky for me, when they did the Vietnam birthday lottery drawing, I missed getting drafted (barely).
                Peace-out, LM.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            As mentioned below, maybe some have to work or have other commitments, but I agree with you that participating in a democracy (if one is not engaged in consent withdrawing) requires tortoise-like persistence, instead of hare-like excitement-driven intermittent efforts.

            “I may be old and slow, but I persist.”

            1. Jeff

              Is there (reasonable) evidence that it’s significantly different than that of other people?

              It’s fairly easy to come up with some current examples to the contrary.

          3. Romancing the Loan

            re SS: They think it will only affect the generations after them (they’re not wrong.) Several have told me this to my face. I’m not sure they really care what happens to their kids after they’re dead.

            1. jgordon

              I know; I’ve heard the same. And I think… there must be a special place in Hell for these “people”!

              1. Romancing the Loan

                My mother was one of them. She is a Clinton supporter, and treats my political opinions with the utmost contempt. She doesn’t seem to understand why I have no fear of the Republicans. Why should I? We’ve been living under them for more than half my life (I am 35) and nothing ever changes.

                The political divide is so stark it’s honestly frightening to me. I don’t know how this is going to end but I hope to god it’s with a realignment of political parties and not an actual fascist strongman following in Trump’s wake.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  People may disagree, but no need for her to show contempt towards you.

                  But we have no control over who our mothers are. And I say that as one taking care of mine.

            2. JTMcPhee

              Yah, play to the wedge bit about old people not caring, since they got theirs. You got any substance to offer like opinion surveys that shows that is a general characteristic? I know a whole lot of older people who like myself, and Bernie Sanders can you believe it? are very desperately concerned about the attacks of the few on SS and other comity-supporting “programs,” and on more necessities like the biosphere.

              The other side of that “We’re spending our children’s inheritance” bit (parse it carefully — for many of us oldsters it’s a wail of sorrow directed at EVERYONE) is the remarks I have seem from avatars that claim to be young, who are hoping that their parents will Die Soon And Cheaply, so they can “come into their inheritance.” Nothing really new in either greedy fokked position, from what I have read and observed over the years, it’s an inevitable fraction of any population. The trick is to keep the parasites and malignancies from killing the organism.

              And of course a whole lot of the young people that fill the FIRE ranks and the rest of the power apparatus, as with the older ones “inside the system,” seem demonstrably to not give a sh!t about progeny or planet as long as they get “theirs,” can order up $50,000 “brunches” at the most au courant places, enjoy their perfect handmade shoes and suits and shirts and ties, have a hot car and a hot bedmate.

              There’s a sh!tload of reasons why, in my little view, humanity is a species with a death wish, busily strapping on one explosives vest after another to take it all down with them…

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s the other extreme of possible voting systems.

          The hard way – many hours to grind you down, to test your, er, commitment (or whether you belong to the leisure class, I guess).

          The east way, on the other end of spectrum – voting from home (like working from one’s apartment – even naked if one wants).

          A more informative coverage would have compared this turn-out to previous turn-outs that gave us Kennedy, Roosevelt, Carter, Obama, etc., from this caucus in Nevada, and maybe we do the same historical comparison with the Iowa caucus.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Perhaps there was a time, when, life was slower, and people felt spending half a day talking politics was the way to go, like, for example, drinking, chatting and electing a new Mongol chief in a Kurultai.

          They probably didn’t trust words. They wanted to actually meet face to face, getting to know each other, and not some 10 second sound bites or reading policies drafted by some experts.

    4. nobody

      No, the estimate is that about 80,000 participated on the Democratic side of the Nevada caucus (down from about 120,000 in 2008). The numbers you saw from which you derived ~12,000 are for county convention delegates. The exact number of total county convention delegates is 12,359. Vote totals are not reported.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That sounds more plausible and thanks for the 2008 data, for one historical comparison – this turnout, in one state, is down.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        @nobody, Ok, thanks. I just found a CNN article that confirms the 80,000 number. You would think the results sites would have mentioned that — how are we supposed to know the 12,000 is ‘psuedo-delegates’. 80,000 is still less than 3% of the state’s population.

      3. B1whois

        I called in to Nevada for Bernie Sanders, and spoke to many elderly voters. None of the ones I spoke to said de were going to caucus, this process is very burdensome for people in their seventies and eighties. Also, Nevada only became a caucus date in 2008, prior to that there were primaries. That could help explain why the 2016 numbers are so much lower than the 2008. People tried it the first time and said never again!

          1. jawbone

            Caucuses are much less expensive to run, which may be one reason. Probably a big one for a state like Nevada.

      4. Carolinian

        Thanks for the info. Going by the Washington Times story linked below the SC Republican primary had about ten times the turnout from less than double the population base. So that’s still a tiny fraction of Nevada fueling a press declaration of a new trend.

    5. Janie

      Nevada cow counties are sparsely populated. You may have to drive 40 miles to your county seat to participate.

  2. Carl

    Re: Baltimore Sun article

    As a fan of The Wire, I found the inclusion of a former city official named Barksdale pretty amusing.

    1. DakotabornKansan

      Baltimore’s war on drugs.

      “Baltimore knows the drug issue fuels violence here, so how can you not get that a decline in drug arrests increases the violence? How can you not get that?”

      “This drug thing, this ain’t police work. No, it ain’t. I mean, I can send any fool with a badge and a gun up on them corners and jack a crew and grab vials. But policing? I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you’re supposed to be policing, that’s just occupied territory.” – Maj. Howard ‘Bunny’ Colvin, from “The Wire”

      David Simon’s observation: “Martin O’Malley proclaims a Baltimore Miracle and moves to Annapolis. And tellingly, when his successor as mayor allows a new police commissioner to finally de-emphasize street sweeps and mass arrests and instead focus on gun crime, that’s when the murder rate really dives. That’s when violence really goes down. When a drug arrest or a street sweep is suddenly not the standard for police work, when violence itself is directly addressed, that’s when Baltimore makes some progress.”

      Time for Baltimore to once again “juke the stats” as a crime reduction strategy?

      Or, as David Simon says, end the drug war.

  3. Cry Shop

    Complacency, protectionism: Why China won’t shut underused factories WaPo. Because the workers would riot and string up the managers from the nearest lampposts? Not mentioned.

    Also because all the bank loans secured against these zombie assets would go “pop’. It’s not yet time for that. Xi is working toward manufacturing complete control, then with an external crisis to blame it all on, before he can unleash a fearful and enraged PLA on China’s own people.

    During the run up to the Tiananmen massacre, the Beijing PLA militia was made up mostly of locals who refused to march it’s own people (not unlike what happened with Yeltsin in Moscow) doing what the CCP constitution says they have a right to do.

    Deng was smart enough at the first hint to ship in in the Xi’an Militia (it took nearly a week), completely loyal to him. While waiting he ordered Li Peng to act out a fake negotiation as a counter-poy to Zhang Zhi-Min, and reset the crack down. Deng knew the boys from Xi’an were peasants, who expecially hated the privileged youth squatting in Tiananmen, some of whom they watched “lifted to heaven” from their own villages by family with party connections.

    The real mess thought wasn’t in Tiananmen,. Some parts of the Beijing militia and Xi’an militia started street fighting, and it was so close for a while that Li Peng’s assistant, went to the US Embassy, begging the Ambassador for a emergency visa for his daughter. This fighting fed the anger of the Xi’an militia, whom doubled down by rounding up gun-shot victims from the hospitals for “special treatment”.

    Xi knows all this history, particularly the close call. Between that an the two ‘rumored’ assassination attempts, Xi is hell bent about both strengthening control, building paranoia about foreign influence, and eliminating local-ism in the PLA/militia so that when he has to put blood in the streets there will be no hesitation. It won’t be an easy thing to turn the PLA against the masses from which they come (vs. a small number of elite/academics ala Tiananmen), but if anyone can do it, Xi’s the man.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The First Way – the neoliberal way – shutting down factories.

      The Second Way – the Chinese Iron-Bowl factory way

      The Third Way (maybe we call it the Fourth Way, the third (reich, way) has been jinxed) – we shut down the factories, and give workers money by taxing the billionaires. This way, Nature also gets to take a breather.

      “Hey, boys, you can stop poking into my body for more iron ores. Take those foreign objects out slowly.”

    2. Left in Wisconsin

      Am I crazy or is the least productive mfg capacity in China lower cost than the most productive OECD mfg capacity? If that is the case, then the overcapacity problem isn’t in China, it’s in the west. And this: Because the workers would riot and string up the managers from the nearest lampposts? means that culling capacity is not likely to be a central concern of the Chinese authorities, and that much OECD mfg is in deep doodoo.

      Beginning in the early 1980s, once the Japanese car companies saw they had a serious cost advantage over the existing western auto mfrs, they realized they could continue to add as much capacity as they wanted because all the capacity they added was lower cost than anything in the US or Europe. Reagan (!! to those of you with short memories) thankfully negotiated a “voluntary restraint agreement” with the Japanese to at least limit the onslaught here. But the US auto industry (at least the human part of it) basically never recovered.

      The current China situation looks similar to me – others who know better can explain why it’s not – except with a bigger “competitiveness” differential and a Chinese govt that will be less congenial than the Japanese were.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The South China Morning Post is also reporting that China orders end to ‘weird architecture.’

        One less freedom, but also fewer jokes from abroad (and locally).

  4. Cry Shop

    Complacency, protectionism: Why China won’t shut underused factories WaPo. Because the workers would riot and string up the managers from the nearest lampposts? Not mentioned.

    Also because all the bank loans secured against these zombie assets would go “pop’. It’s not yet time for that. Xi is working toward manufacturing complete control, then with an external crisis to blame it all on, before he can unleash a fearful and enraged PLA on China’s own people.

    During the run up to the Tiananmen massacre, the Beijing PLA militia was made up mostly of locals who refused to march it’s own people (not unlike what happened with Yeltsin in Moscow) doing what the CCP constitution says they have a right to do.

    Deng was smart enough at the first hint to ship in in the Xi’an Militia (it took nearly a week), completely loyal to him. While waiting he ordered Li Peng to act out a fake negotiation as a counter-poy to Zhao and reset the crack down. Deng knew the boys from Xi’an were peasants, who expecially hated the privileged youth squatting in Tiananmen, some of whom they watched “lifted to heaven” from their own villages by family with party connections.

    The real mess thought wasn’t in Tiananmen,. Some parts of the Beijing militia and Xi’an militia started street fighting, and it was so close for a while that Li Peng’s assistant, went to the US Embassy, begging the Ambassador for a emergency visa for his daughter. This fighting fed the anger of the Xi’an militia, whom doubled down by rounding up gun-shot victims from the hospitals for “special treatment”.

    Xi knows all this history, particularly the close call. Between that and the two ‘rumored’ assassination attempts, Xi is hell bent on strengthening control, building paranoia about foreign influence, and eliminating local-ism in the PLA/militia so that when he has to put blood in the streets there will be no hesitation. It won’t be an easy thing to turn the PLA against the masses from which they come (vs. a small number of elite/academics), but if anyone can do it, Xi’s the man.

    1. sd

      I’m not a scientist, but pretty certain our last chance to change our ways was in 1980. At this point all we can do is, as the Archdruid says, “collapse now and avoid the rush”

      1. Skippy

        Seems the druid does not read much history or anthro… societies don’t collapse as much as are weakened by successive rolling shocks. Decades of environmental to and fro followed by societal – its all good again – then adaptation lag.

        1. sd

          Individually, each of us can choose to continue as is or work to minimize our impact on the planet (that’s the collapse now part..)

        2. Skippy

          Be that as it may… until the cortex injections are modified to support such… on a broad base… its a drop in the bucket…

        3. Foy

          One difference between now and then might be that with the globalised world many countries have outsourced their food requirements to other countries in order to be ‘efficient’. If food doesn’t arrive in time due to say complete breakdown of the financial system halting global trade, the collapse might be a bit quicker than in Roman times. Also people could more easily go back and work on the land in earlier times as well, majority of the population were involved in primary/agricultural sectors. Its the opposite today making that option more difficult. Today’s complexities and dependencies may mean a faster collapse.

  5. voislav

    Exoplanet census article is why I have a baseball bat in my office. They take the current sample of detected rocky planets with the inherent detection bias and extrapolate the sh*t out of it. Rule of the thumb is that any extrapolation is only good for double the sample size of the original data set. So they take a sample of a few thousand planets, then reducing that to a couple of hundred rocky worlds (most of which are detected because they orbit their stars closely) and extrapolate it to 700 quintillion planets they presume occupy the know universe. Presto, a Scientific American article. This is why we get CBO extrapolating that health care costs will consume all the resources on the planet by 2100 (note: slight exaggeration).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Come to think of it, that’s how they poll people too, to a lesser degree maybe, certainly exceeding the rule of doubling the original set size.

    2. gordon

      I guess astronomers think they need to find ET to keep the money rolling in from an increasingly indifferent taxpayer base. It’s all about the research funding, just like NASA and Mars. Personally, I find it hard to believe that the “we’re not alone” meme impresses anybody. In a world of over 7 billion people, I certainly don’t feel alone!

  6. Pavel

    The NYT is getting slammed in the comments (as it should) re their duplicitous headline about Clinton’s delegate count. The Sanders supporters are rightfully going ballistic about the superdelegates, and pointing out they shouldn’t be included in these tallies at this point.

    NY Times: Delegate Count Leaving Bernie Sanders With Steep Climb

    Here’s a sample comment from Joel:

    If Hillary Clinton wins based upon Super Delegates all of the backers of Bernie Sanders will cry fix and they will either sit out the election or, if the Republican nominee is Donald Trump, they will vote for him out of spite. And, in addition, if she is nominated, she is so reviled by every Republican (and millions of Democrats as well) that right wing yahoos who never voted before will crawl out of their caves to vote against her. All her nomination will do is to throw the election to the Republicans.

    From Adam L:

    “A New York Times analysis found that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders are tied in the pledged delegate count, at 51 each.”

    Given that — and given that the Democratic nomination has never been decided by superdelegates — I’m not sure how the Times justifies this headline or the conclusion in the second paragraph.

    From Bob:

    The only reason the delegate count favors Mrs. Clinton is because of what the Democratic Party calls “superdelegates.” These inherently anti-democratic delegates exist to insure the party’s preferred choice wins the nomination. Even though they are technically unpledged, the fact that the Times, and every other news source that counts delegates, counts them towards a specific candidate, makes it appear as if one candidate has a much larger lead then the popular vote demonstrates so far.

    This leads to the observation that one candidate is the preferred choice of most media outlets, including the Times. Needless to say, this appearance of bias is unseemly, especially in a newspaper of record.

    The “superdelegate” issue has also prompted a group of us to write the Democratic Party and withhold any further support until “superdelegates” are eliminated. Let the people speak – that is, after all, what the Democratic Party is all about, isn’t it?

    Let’s see how long the Times leaves the comments open… And christ, there have been only 3 frigging events so far!

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      What our cat taught us about the NYT:

      When it comes to the persistence of seeing that rag as a reputable news source, the intellect can be fooled more easily than a cat’s behind.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        My theory is that humans’ genuine intelligence is, in fact, artificial smartness.

        That is, from a cat mathematician’s perspective, as far as humans are concerned,

        Genuine Intelligence = Artificial Smartness

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Mrs. Clinton has 502 delegates to Mr. Sanders’s 70.’ — NYT

      Democrats complained bitterly in Dec 2000 about how a slight edge in the popular vote for Gore translated into a slight edge in electoral college votes for Bush.

      In the Clinton / Wasserman-Schultz Electoral College, a slight edge in primary votes for Hillary translates into an eye-popping 7-to-1 advantage in delegates. Or so the Saddam’s WMDs paper tells us.

      The grifter granny, comrades: she’s in like Flynn.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      “Mrs. Clinton has 502 delegates to Mr. Sanders’s 70; 2,383 are needed to win the nomination.”

      “A New York Times analysis found that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders are tied in the pledged delegate count, at 51 each.”

      That the nyt is willing to play this card so early and blatantly on behalf of a candidate who is already seen by two-thirds of the electorate as “untrustworthy” and “dishonest” strikes me as nothing short of suicidal. Can clinton really be in that much denial where public opinion of her is concerned?

      While star-struck, low-information voters in early southern primary states may be unaware of the ways in which the process is being manipulated, far more throughout the country, including Donald Trump, are not.

      When asked this weekend to comment on clinton as a general election opponent, he demurred, suggesting that, due to her “legal problems,” that match-up may not be an issue. And so it begins.

      For the guy who turned jeb! into a weakling and cruz into a Canadian, this is a “meatball”–right out over the plate and out of the park. To quote Hawk Harrelson of the Chicago White Sox, “And you can put it on the board, YESSSSSSS.”

      1. Jason

        Clinton, along with every single one of her advisers, lives in a bubble of wealth and privilege. And she’s done so for so long that she apparently can’t internally model real human beings in the real world anymore. Maybe she’s ignoring the people around her who can, or maybe she doesn’t have any.

        Trump, for all his wealth, privilege, and flaws, apparently can model the world actual voters live in. If it comes down to Trump v. Clinton, he’s going to steamroll her. And she and her people will sit there after election day and wonder what happened.

        1. sleepy

          Yeah, I pretty much agree but to get more specific, I would add that Clinton has done little else other than be a politician for at least the past 25 years. In that sense, everything for her is reduced to an abstract category–a bloc of voters, an issue–and are ranked according to their helpfulness to her as a politician. That makes her unrooted, dispassionate, calculated, and scripted.

          Trump at least does not have that past as a complete robotic candidate.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Do you remember in ’08 when clinton was in a convenience store and couldn’t figure out how to work the coffee machine? It was laughed off as a humorous “triviality” at the time.

            Can you imagine Trump in that same situation? He’d probably start bellowing about how that damn coffee machine was probably made in Mexico, and when he’s president all coffee machines will be made IN america BY americans so that ALL americans know how they work and can get a cup of coffee when they want one. Then he’d demand that someone come and show him how to work the thing. People would be trampling each other for the honor.

            It’s a funny picture. And telling.

        2. different clue

          The Clintonites would blame it on all those nasty Sanders supporters who shirked their duty to vote for her in the general election.

          1. hoops

            Exactly… The current wave of Bros Shaming will turn to Bros Blaming. Instead of Nader they will blame all those unrealistic kids.

    1. vidimi

      exactly. i had one of those “i suspected it was bad but had no idea it was this bad” epiphanies while reading it.

      1. fresno dan

        The new mind control Aeon (gizzardboy). Read beyond the clickbait-y headline all the way to the end.

        “Late in 2012, I began to wonder whether highly ranked search results could be impacting more than consumer choices. Perhaps, I speculated, a top search result could have a small impact on people’s opinions about things. Early in 2013, with my associate Ronald E Robertson of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in Vista, California, I put this idea to a test by conducting an experiment in which 102 people from the San Diego area were randomly assigned to one of three groups. In one group, people saw search results that favoured one political candidate – that is, results that linked to web pages that made this candidate look better than his or her opponent. In a second group, people saw search rankings that favoured the opposing candidate, and in the third group – the control group – people saw a mix of rankings that favoured neither candidate. The same search results and web pages were used in each group; the only thing that differed for the three groups was the ordering of the search results.


        We predicted that the opinions and voting preferences of 2 or 3 per cent of the people in the two bias groups – the groups in which people were seeing rankings favouring one candidate – would shift toward that candidate. What we actually found was astonishing. The proportion of people favouring the search engine’s top-ranked candidate increased by 48.4 per cent, and all five of our measures shifted toward that candidate. What’s more, 75 per cent of the people in the bias groups seemed to have been completely unaware that they were viewing biased search rankings. In the control group, opinions did not shift significantly.


        Other types of influence during an election campaign are balanced by competing sources of influence – a wide variety of newspapers, radio shows and television networks, for example – but Google, for all intents and purposes, has no competition, and people trust its search results implicitly, assuming that the company’s mysterious search algorithm is entirely objective and unbiased. This high level of trust, combined with the lack of competition, puts Google in a unique position to impact elections. Even more disturbing, the search-ranking business is entirely unregulated, so Google could favour any candidate it likes without violating any laws. Some courts have even ruled that Google’s right to rank-order search results as it pleases is protected as a form of free speech.

        Does the company ever favour particular candidates? In the 2012 US presidential election, Google and its top executives donated more than $800,000 to President Barack Obama and just $37,000 to his opponent, Mitt Romney. And in 2015, a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and elsewhere showed that Google’s search results routinely favoured Democratic candidates. Are Google’s search rankings really biased? An internal report issued by the US Federal Trade Commission in 2012 concluded that Google’s search rankings routinely put Google’s financial interests ahead of those of their competitors, and anti-trust actions currently under way against Google in both the European Union and India are based on similar findings.

        I had read an article a while back about Google’s great innovation being figuring out how to give good search results while extracting the most money – balancing giving relevant results to the users, while getting money from the posters – skewing one way or the other would not make it optimal.

        So one should bear in mind that commerce drives it – and that non commerce related stuff – well, I don’t know what the bottom line on how they determine that (e.g., what is the biggest church in Boston) – probably trying to get you to the biggest media or site. Being just about the money is bad enough – except, maybe not just being about the money could be worse.

        But recently, when trying to find a very obscure faucet part, I was somewhat surprised after my first attempt using Google got me a part that turned out wasn’t what I was looking for, and that Amazon referred me to a site that was cheaper, and provided much more detailed and larger pictures that made confirming that they had the exact part I was looking for. So even at commerce, Google can be beat.

        Anyway, there are other search engines out there, for example:

        I use the above (and a few others….which I initially found using…..Google…irony) as a check, not so much do to the lack of tracking, as for making sure that I am not in a “walled garden” and only getting the conventional wisdom…
        But the lesson is – we are always in a box. Its bad enough that Google, or Facebook, try to put us in a box and instill a dogma – what is worse, is the dogma of red or blue (or even “third way”), or only that a two party system can work, or that the American way is the only way or the best way.

  7. joecostello

    James Fallows American propagandist – the future – artists painting abandoned housing, Somalian and Sudanese walking in the cold to their jobs because public transit doesn’t work, and skate board ramps for manufacturing. Even including a geography lesson as new for a geographically illiterate readership – ie The Atlantic and pretty much every other American.

    The idea of a more distributed future without taking on centralized power is the anti-politics that has helped create the situation we face. A dis-empowered people making due with what they have is not about American exceptionalism, it’s the history of much humankind.

    1. abynormal

      from the ‘head in the sky’ article: “Mike Gallo and Bill Clarke are politically conservative and, as I heard from Clarke in particular, they share the current GOP pessimism about trends for the country as a whole. But they both feel encouraged about the collaborative efforts on education reform under way right now in their own town. What is true for this very hard-luck city prevails more generally: Many people are discouraged by what they hear and read about America, but the closer they are to the action at home, the better they like what they see.”

      ya know what ya can’t see when your head is in the clouds???…THE GROWTH OF POVERTY from caring for the ill !

      More than one-sixth of the U.S. economy is devoted to health care spending and that percentage continues to rise every year. Regrettably, our system is not delivering value commensurate with the estimated $2.7 trillion spent annually on health care. Experts agree that about 20 percent to 30 percent of that spending – up to $800 billion a year – goes to care that is wasteful, redundant, or inefficient.

      Rising health care costs punish our nation on multiple fronts. For families and seniors, the soaring cost of medical care means less money in their pockets and forces hard choices about balancing food, rent, and needed care. For small businesses and Fortune 500 employers alike, they make it more expensive to add new employees, more difficult to maintain retiree coverage, and harder to compete in the global economy. For federal, state, and local governments, rising health care costs lead to higher Medicare and Medicaid costs, and funding cuts for other priorities, such as infrastructure, education and public safety.

      1. Jagger

        Rising health care costs punish our nation on multiple fronts. For families and seniors, the soaring cost of medical care means less money in their pockets and forces hard choices about balancing food, rent, and needed care.

        They left out the part about seniors skipping health care altogether because it isn’t affordable. I know one lady that doesn’t take osteoporisis medicine because she can’t afford it. The doctor prescribed her the new expensive treatment but she really can’t even afford the cheap pills.

        1. jrs

          It might be for the best, a lot of the osteoporosis treatments in the past have had side effects worse than osteoporosis. Maybe it’s gotten better, I don’t know. Of course the decision shouldn’t be made on the basis of not being able to afford a basic medicine, but there is vastly more wrong with the way we do medicine than just that.

      2. Gio Bruno

        James Fallows article is heartwarming if not facile.

        How many folks have the time and money to rent (or own) a Mooney or KingAire Baron (aircraft) and fly it across the US? Does Fallows understand those general aviation airports get federal subsidies (“free stuff”)? Yeah, some small towns are more egalitarian than we’d suppose (given the news about Ferguson, MO), but institutional racism is still the norm across the land. People treat people better when they now them personally; more likely in a small town. The Big City is still a Bitch!

        There will always be folks who make lemonade out of lemons. That’s what happens when the dysfunctional Congress appropriates the tax base for mostly the military. Let’s let more people make wine from good grapes instead!

  8. Clive

    Re: Brexit / Boris Johnson.

    It has been amusing, if not exactly a huge surprise, that the mainstream media outlets instantly turned the coverage of the referendum into — if not entertainment — then certainly into a trivial personalities-over-policy melodrama. If Kim Kardashian has a view on the matter, no doubt it’ll make the headline on the 6 o’clock news.

    This has resulted in the ridiculous spectacle of that lovable goof (or odious twerp) Boris Johnson being held out for our delectation as some sort of seasoned statesman or master of economic and political analysts. Please somebody, pass me the sick bag.

    He makes me think of Chris Christie in a fright wig.

      1. Clive

        To be fair, there’s the occasional token gesture to the Scottish Nationalists (SNP) who are reiterating that, with a majority of Scots likely to want to remain in the EU, if the rest of the “United Kingdom” (especially if it was the English who effectively locked in a “no” vote) voted to leave then this could only trigger a new Independence referendum there too. But it seems to foster too much clutching of pearls in Middle England (which is where the mainstream media concentrates its attention) to get proper coverage and analysis.

        1. James Levy

          I know from living in Wales that the EU connection (or should I say connexion) has been very positive there and that monies not in evidence from Westminster for development and investment have come in from the EU. I don’t think “Europe” is despised in Cardiff or Swansea and I know that they have been trying to develop strong ties with the Bretons (shared ethnicity and all that).

          1. Praedor

            Sure. Positive there NOW. What happens when you get a bit deficity? When the technocrats in Brussels force Wales to austerity the fuck out of itself, cut benefits, pensions, etc, to the bone, then the marrow to serve EU banks?

            The EU is great until you are on the wrong end of the austerian whip. Then you are Greece.

    1. Pavel

      Put me into the “odious twerp” category please.

      Note (as the Guardian reminded us in a commentary today, Cameron vs Johnson — two Old Etonites fighting each other.

      I’ve never understood BoJo’s apparent charm to the voters — his carefully rustled hair, his spluttering speech (with a few Latin or Greek phrases thrown in). In real life he is a philanderer with some nasty lawsuits over “love children” (to use that quaint English phrase).

      Even accounting for Britain’s rapidly changing moral standards, the disclosure that a politician fathered a child outside of marriage would generally be a serious setback to their career.

      Unless, of course, that politician is Boris Johnson, whose Teflon-like ability to shrug off political, personal and sexual controversy is underlined by a ComRes poll for The Independent.

      By a majority of more than five to one, voters say his fathering of a child as the result of an extramarital affair would not affect whether they would vote for him.

      The result will be a relief to his admirers, after a court ruled last week that the public had a right to know about the three-year-old daughter he fathered with the art consultant Helen Macintyre, below. This followed the exposure nine years ago of an affair with Petronella Wyatt, which resulted in an abortion and a miscarriage.

      On both occasions his wife, Marina, kicked her philandering husband out of the family home before relenting and letting him come back.

      He’s fathered a love child and had three affairs, but the British public still loves Boris Johnson

      God knows I’m not a prude, but honesty doesn’t seem to be his strong suit. Anyone interested should watch Eddie Mair grill Boris over his lies and call him “a nasty piece of work” in this classic clip:

      Boris Johnson accused: ‘you’re a nasty piece of work’ – video

    2. gonzomarx

      I’ve been waiting for this bastard to trip over his own feet since he parlayed his shtick on tv (Have I got News For You has a lot to answer for, here and ).
      He has been the oligarchs best friend while been Mayor and if his wife and friends can’t trust him why should I.
      I hope he gets nailed to the floor and eaten by wild dogs.

      1. gonzomarx

        Damn it! Rage got the better of me.
        it’s suppose to read

        I’ve been waiting for this bastard to trip over his own feet since he parlayed his shtick on tv (Have I got News For You has a lot to answer for, here and ) into being Mayor.

        The villagers are going to love writing about the sexy proxy fight between Boris vs Cameron than the dry, unsexy referendum, heaven help us and if Jerry Hayes is anything to go by then Boris’s enemies in the Tory party are going to have a field day, let alone the rest of us.
        He has been the oligarchs best friend while being Mayor and if his wife and friends can’t trust him why should I.
        I hope he gets nailed to the floor, set on fire and the barbecued corpse eaten by wild dogs.

  9. Uahsenaa

    You know, I had some sense that the political discourse has been gamed from the get go, but the sheer extent of it, and the corruption it engenders, is staggering.

    John Lewis, a veritable hero of the civil rights movement, lobs the ridiculous claim that Sanders didn’t do civil rights activism simply because he personally never met the guy. Then, we see him giving a speech at Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein seated right next to him, to paper over just how miserable the banksters have made the lives of African-Americans in today’s economy.

    THEN, the thing with Dolores Huerta, whose support of Hillary confused me immensely, even setting aside the not-so-artful smear of Sanders’ supporters over what was, in fact, an argument over proper caucus procedure–Nevada may be different, but in Iowa, if you’re not voting in the caucus or an appointed official, you do not get to participate in any meaningful fashion, thus the cries of “she’s a surrogate.” You’re not allowed to send people into caucus meeting as observers, which Huerta was, to influence the end result. Anyway, I became rather less confused concerning her support of Hillary, when it came out the Clinton Foundation had donated $100K to her own foundation.

    I suppose one [un]happy outcome of all this is that I will get a ready made list of whose opinions I should never just ever again.

    1. Brindle

      Neoliberalism is so embedded in today’s Dem Party that many see it as the norm without realizing what has transpired over the past 30-40 years.
      With a HRC presidency the Clinton Foundation will have its slush fund / influence peddling actions reaching a full spectrum dominance. What a wonderful world we live in…

    2. E

      I saw John Lewis speak twice at the Teach For America 20th anniversary summit in 2010. He was on a panel with Gloria Steinem & Janet Murguía of La Raza about the tipping points of social movements hosted by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell had on custom made looking sneakers with an M on them.

      It didn’t necessarily surprise me that these folks are in the tank for Hillary but I was genuinely saddened by Lewis’s remarks about “not seeing” Sanders during the Civil Rights protests of the 60s. The Democrats are disgracing themselves mightily.

    3. Renoite

      Nevada is no different from Iowa. Observers are NOT allowed to talk or influence the end result. I didn’t realize she was an observer.

      1. jnleareth

        As soon as I read the tweets, I assumed there was something else going on. Having done caucuses in Minnesota, the caucus procedures are very well known to everyone attending and they will get rowdy when they’re not enforced. I remember two occasions when sitting US Senators were yelled at – at the State Senate District caucus – to stop talking when they exceeded their allocated three minutes.

  10. abynormal

    Eurex System
    Eurex Clearing (CCP)

    Release date: 22 Feb 2016
    Emergency Information Market halt

    In order to avoid any threat to the functioning of exchange trading, on-exchange trading in Eurex T7 has been suspended until further notice. We are investigating and will keep you informed. Please do not hesitate to call Market Supervision for any questions you may have: +496921111210

    i bought a wooden whistle
    but it wouldn’t whistle
    so, i bought a steel whistle
    and it still wouldn’t whistle

  11. jgordon

    I’d just like to point out something I’ve been seeing in the news but haven’t seen mentioned here yet:

    Republicans are getting record turnouts this time around in their primaries, while Democrats are getting depressed turnouts. I’m thinking that this bodes ill for Democrats no matter who the nominee is, but especially if it’s Hillary. Also, there’s something else that I’ve personally observed that I think might have some bearing on the race:

    Whenever Hillary talks, she looks like she’s lying.
    Whenever Bernie talks, he looks like he’s angry about something.
    And whenever Trump talks he looks happy.

    So, is it just a coincidence that Trump is driving record turnouts while everyone else is driving voters away?

    1. Steve H.

      Trump is a master salesman. But then, so was Romney.

      More particularly, thanks for the numbers, I had not seen the point differential.

      1. jgordon

        Eh, Romney had the Charisma of a dead fish. The first time I saw Romney talking I winced and had to leave. Not because of anything he was saying, which was admittedly dumb, but because his whole demeanor and bearing just screamed out “I’m a fraud!”.

        On the other hand, whenever I get to see Trump speaking, I have to smile and want to keep watching, no matter how ridiculous and awful the crap he’s saying is. It’s just… he’s just so nonsensical, ridiculous and fun that it’s entertaining–especially because it’s stupid. Every other candidate is just so boring and annoying comparison.

        Now of course policy matters too, but come on, these people, politicians, are all inveterate liars anyway. Even if they come out claiming to have some decent policy proposal (esp Hillary) they’re just lying about it and will well out to whoever they want after they’re elected anyway. Or at least that’s been the experience of the voters so far. Because of this, Trump saying incendiary and ridiculous things actually turns into a huge positive for him, since if nothing else at the very least it does not look like he’s only saying things he thinks voters want to hear to get elected. Actually, he’s actively trying to offend everyone, including his voters, and that’s great. In the perversion that our electoral system has become that’s his biggest selling point.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I have not watched the State of the Union speech for years. Decades even.

          But you can believe that when Trump makes his first one, that’s gonna change.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I feel a solid drinking game can be established for Trump. Hey, Trump might decide to just send the SOTU over to Congress an abolish the Reagan pageant. He could hold a rally on the Mall for real people and tell Congress to come hear about the SOTU from real Americans.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            He must have been thinking about Paris, where, for a time, all buildings were the same height (or is that just my imagation)?

      2. Jeff

        Romney was a master salesman? I never saw that in him, but I’m willing to take a look at any link showing him in that kind of mode…

        1. Steve H.

          We forget after the fact, particularly in light of his “47%” comment.

          “He is a great salesman,” top Obama strategist David Axelrod said on Fox News Sunday. “That is what he did as a professional; he is very good at it.”

          Taibbi in Rolling Stone gave the best analysis of his methods at Bain. “Romney and Bain avoided the hostile approach, preferring to secure the cooperation of their takeover targets by buying off a company’s management with lucrative bonuses.” This presented as great salesmanship, since management would speak glowingly of opportunities for the company.

          “Over the years, colleagues would anonymously whisper stories about Mitt the Boss to the press, describing him as cunning, manipulative and a little bit nuts, with “an ability to identify people’s insecurities and exploit them for his own benefit.” ” Some sales techniques specifically target the victim/customer’s ‘fragile ego structure,’ and Romney was built for it.

          Also, lest we forget, Obamacare was lifted from Romneycare, which was implemented when he was governor of Massachusetts. He was so proud of selling that to the public, he had it put in his official portrait. (By the way, feel free to substitute ‘grifter’ for salesman.)

          I had more links, but file corruption issues… Time magazine touted his sales skills, and Truthout looked at his techniques also. But start with the RS article, it really captures his ability to sell poison pills as giving a special glow. The bait-&-switch was that the executive bonuses were so good that he looked like he did great things in the short term, and by the time the company crumbled a few quarters later, the spotlights had moved on.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            And just in case there’s any kind of Cory Booker VP boomlet: Cory Booker Slams Obama Campaign For Attacking Romney On Bain Capital:

            “This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides. It’s nauseating to the American public,” Booker said. “Enough is enough — stop attacking private equity, stop attacking Jeremiah Wright. This stuff has got to stop. Because what it does is it undermines to me what this country should be focused on. It’s a distraction from the real issues.

            Booker may actually believe this.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Politics is so much about human emotions, like all other human activities.

      So, it will always be puzzling if we only confine ourselves to having the right policies.

      I wonder if that is the case here, because I read everyday about low-information voters not producing the correct election results we want. No other reasons but just they don’t have enough information, either they don’t read up or they are not smart enough, or have been indoctrinated.

      1. fresno dan

        You know, I used to actually read campaign sites – when I was younger and stupider (not so young, still stupid, but understanding that the documents are NON-BINDING and have no relation what so ever to what the candidate REALLY believes). I only watch the republican debates for amusement.

        The only thing I have learned is that politicians pretty much do the opposite of what they say (Reagan – balance the budget) and that they are pretty much the same, if not worse, than their predecessor (I think if would be hard for an objective person NOT to argue that Obama out Bushed Bush – does anybody believe Obama campaigned on the idea that he would advance and extend Bush policies????).

        There are a number of links today that bring up an important point – the FRAME of the argument. If a bunch of “serious” economists argue that the Sanders economic plan is ridiculous, one has to burrow into the presumptions and assumptions the economists make to be able to refute the analysis they make – but really, the whole exercise is a waste of time, because what is really important is the VALUES being debated. They think “free trade” is more important than higher employment – its not a mathematical argument.

        Now, I could expend zillions of pixels arguing that I believe Trump is more credible in protecting social security that any republican and Hillary. And people could counter argue that.
        And it would ALL boil down to: Who is the bigger liar???

        1. jrs

          right, it’s about values, and ultimately with most of those pundits it’s probably about follow the money . Even if Sanders healthcare plan did not perfectly add up, there has got to be a way to make a single payer plan add up, as every other country on earth does pretty much. So what does it even mean if some pundits did win the battle? When we all know many countries on earth successfully adopt many of Sander’s proposals. Why are their theories to be preferred to working models as implemented in actual countries?

      1. aet

        It is so: but that is not to say that they are necessarily the more beautiful; nor the more noble; nor the more admirable – that has been my experience.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The numbers are a tad skewed for Team Blue. Edwards had a huge presence in New Hampshire and Iowa. There were just as many staffers as Obama and Clinton. Obama and Edwards were treated as serious opponents for a longer time which meant they had campaign operations state wide longer than Bernie. There were legitimate candidates for anyone who didn’t feel too strong without the “what’s O’Malley still doing there vibe?” I don’t believe Hillary’s campaign is invested In high turnout. The just want to scare potential Sanders supporters.

      The caucuses were a mess. Students were at school, not one like in 2008. Given delegate allocation, students don’t need to skip class to sweep the Ames area delegates for Sanders. Nevada’s caucus mess should be blamed squarely on the shoulders of Harry Reid.

    4. Vatch

      Whenever Hillary talks, she looks like she’s lying.
      Whenever Bernie talks, he looks like he’s angry about something.
      And whenever Trump talks he looks happy.

      Interesting. If true, then that’s an argument in favor of voting for Sanders, because there’s a lot to be angry about nowadays. If Trump is really so happy, then he’s either clueless or he’s benefiting from many of the problems that need to be corrected.

      As for Hillary, well, voters should just say “no”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That’s rational.

        But if it’s accurate that people are not turning out, and we will see as we roll along the primary season, we have to look at something other than rational reasons, as we humans are very irrational.

        It works both way for both parties – sometimes, you get a Reagan and he was a great salesman, if not much else. The same with Bill Clinton – how much of it was people curious about which type of undergarment he preferred. Many young voters seemed ‘excited’ by him.

        Or you get Monty Python’s one too many Messiah. And with many saviors, it’s easier for children to enter their kingdom.

        The right message, but a handsome face or a nice or youthful body never hurts.

        To win, you have to have lots of tools in the box. We can’t always blame it on low-information voters on the other side.

        “They have been indoctrinated.”

      2. cwaltz

        Perhaps it’s just me but Trump doesn’t SOUND happy, he sounds angry and I think that is what people identify with.

        I also think it’s why he and Bernie sometimes get linked together. They tap into the anger of folks that have been huckstered into supporting a system tilted to the advantage of the rich, sometimes to their own detriment.

  12. Darthbobber

    2016 and the McGovern Scarecrow
    My apologies in advance for the length of this, but a great deal of “messaging” about the 2016 campaign seems to me to rely heavily on a narrative about the 1972 (44 years ago!) presidential election), and having had “lessons” read to me from that narrative from people younger than me, who can’t possibly “remember” the election itself (I was 16 at the time, and as a result of a 4 year breat for military service many of my college friends were people who were ten to twelve), it seems appropriate to recall the actual events rather than the narrative crafted later to explain them.
    1) McGovern became the nominee without ever having broad support in the party. 27 states held actual primaries in 1972, and the popular vote percentages n those for the 3 leading candidates were:
    Humphrey 25.77
    McGovern 25.34
    Wallace 23.48
    McGovern’s strength came from swamping the regulars in the caucus states. They had not yet learned that they needed to achieve higher turnout than they were used to, and it killed them. Because Young Democrats 16 and up could participate in the Kansas caucuses, I got to be there in ’72, and the McGovern kids killed the regulars in Wichita, Lawrence, Topeka. (Kansas actually sent a McGovern delegation to the convention, though if we’d had a primary he would have been lucky to get 20%) By way of comparison, I also participated as a Jackson delegate in 84, and in those 8 years the regulars had learned their lesson. We had almost as many Jackson people at the 4th District caucuses as McGovern had had in ’72, but that no longer was sufficient to win. We trailed both Mondale and Hart.

    2) The sitting president was the guy who had proposed and signed into law the EPA in 1970, launched detente with the USSR, gone to China in February of ’72, withdrawn 400,000 troops from Vietnam, including almost all combat troops by the beginning of ’72, and enthusiastically endorsed the Equa Rights Amendment in March of ’72 when it cleared the Senate. So the relative alignment of the Democratic and Republican parties on political issues was nothing like what it has since become. part of McGovern’s problem was that he had his genesis as a single-issue candidate on the war, and that single issue was already beginning to recede in importance as the American casualties had virtually stopped, and it was becoming clear that reescalation, at least on the ground, now was impossible and that the war would soon end even without electing an “antiwar” candidate.

    3) The METHODS used to secure the nomination for McGovern had infuriated people throughout the party, including many labor leaders. Some may recall that the man selected to chair the committee to impose reforms on the nominating process after the contentiousness of ’68 had been GEORGE MCGOVERN, who became a candidate in early 1971 almost as soon as his new rules were safely in place. Two states held primaries which violated the new rules, those being Illinois and California. Illinois (153 delegates) violated the rules by using a method in which voters voted for slates of delegates rather than for the name of the candidate the delegates were pledged to. This election was handily won by a slate headed by Daley, with McGoverns people doing badly indeed. At the convention, the rules committee, run by McGovern’s people, dealt with this by seating a McGovern delegation rather than the one actually elected by Illinois voters, and justifying this as an effort to achieve better racial and gender balance. Maybe so, but it couldn’t be claimed to reflect the preferences of the Illinoi voters.

    California was another violation of the McGovern rules, being a winner-take-all primary in spite of the fact that the reform rules forbade THAT. But McGovern had won that primary (44.3 to 39.1 for Humphrey) so the rules committee ACCEPTED that result. The end product of this self-serving log-rolling combined with moralistic cant being to hand McGovern all of the 271 California delegates and all of the 153 Illinois delegates. And he NEEDED both of these results to get a first-ballot win.

    As these fights played out at the convention, and a further brawl developed over the VP nomination, McGovern wound up accepting the nomination in the wee hours of the morning.

    This was followed by the fiasco involving Thomas Eagleton as VP. The most killing part of this for McGovern was that he went in the space of three days from backing Eagleton “1000%” to throwing him under the bus. This was followed by the public offering of the nomination to Ted Kennedy, Ed Muskie, Hubert Humphrey, Abe Ribicoff, larry O’Brien and Reuben Askew, only to have them all publicly decline, and leaving the virtually unheard-of Sargent Shriver as the nominee.

    In the few weeks of this debacle, McGovern’s polling, according to Gallup, went from 41% support to 24% support, and the campaign never did recover fully from this.

    Nixon’s campaign didn’t devote much of any effort to attacking McGovern, their campaign strategy being to just make the election a referendum on Richard Nixon. The attacks (“abortion, amnesty, appeasement” coined by Scoop Jackson well before the convention) had been largely provided by Democrats.

    A final nail in the coffin: McGovern didn’t help himself much by dealing with the POW question by saying that he would “crawl on my knees to Hanoi” to get them back. There’s almost no segment of the American political spectrum that much cares for crawling on one’s knees as part of its self-image. This was not “radicalism.” This was stupidity.

    The results of this election were very much a PERSONAL defeat for George McGovern, as indicated by the fact that equally antiwar Democrats not named George McGovern had no noticeable problems. The overall results of this election were: Dems -12 in the House, leaving them at 244.
    Dems +2 in the senate leaving them at 56.
    Dems +2 in the governorships, bringing them to 31.

    But the facts clearly on the record about this campaign rapidly receded from memory, leaving only a self-serving narrative scarecrow designed to prove that Democrats should always and forever run “centrist” candidates. Although except for the issue of unilateral withdrawal and to a lesser extent a guaranteed annual income, there was little or no difference between McGovern and Jackson, Humphrey or Muskie on the wide range of other issues. (McGovern was actually seen as weaker than any of the others on labor issues, and both Jackson and Humphrey could actually claim more robust records on civil rights.)

    Also worth noting: The Goldwater campaign suffered a debacle of nearly these proportions in ’64, but republicans of that bent did NOT draw from this the conclusion that they should stop trying. They concluded that they needed some other issues and a better pitch man, and by 12 years later they nearly took the nomination from Gerald Ford, and 4 years after that they installed their guy in the White House and began to accomplich a wide-ranging remake of the institutional structure of their party and their country.

    A final point: There are few points of commonality between issues on the table in 2016 and those of 1972. Which is hardly surprising, as we are 44 years removed from that election. By way of comparison, it was only 40 years removed from the election that first installed FDR. Life is not static, n matter how hard some try to convey the opposite impression.

    Again, sorry for the length and the questionable topicality.

    1. sd

      Thank you for this excellent summary. I was a teenager at the time so my only memory of the election was the landslide as the tallies came in so I really appreciate your taking the time to write this.

    2. nobody

      Also, according to Mark Ames (admittedly not the most reliable storyteller or fact-checker), the Nixon team most feared Muskie and destroyed him with CREEP dirty tricks:

      “The main thing is that Nixon and his team wanted Muskie out, the Democrats divided, and an unelectable leftist to emerge from the rubble as Nixon’s opponent. What’s painful to swallow is how successful they were in manipulating that outcome.”

    3. Titus Pullo

      This should be a post here or some other friendly blog, so it can be circulated widely. The real implication from your insight is that having one candidate control and overly influence the Democratic party machinery in the Presidential nomination contest, is a recipe for electoral disaster (for President) in the general election.

    4. JohnnyGL

      Assuming you’ve got your facts right (I’ve no reason to think you don’t). Then this is an important story to tell.

      Suddenly, McGovern’s story of ’72 becomes one of 1) his winning the nomination coming from a internal coup which was a result of his control of the rule-making process and 2) an agenda which seemed to be going mainstream and getting enacted even without him

      The only way it could be analogous to today is if the superdelegates all pledged to Sanders, even while he loses the popular vote (pretty unlikely!) and if the Republicans in Congress and in the Presidential race suddenly started jumping on board with the fight for $15, as well as free healthcare and college tuition (again, pretty unlikely!)

    5. fresno dan

      I very much enjoyed your synopsis of the old days.
      and I’m with
      Titus Pullo
      February 22, 2016 at 11:17 am
      on the lessons learned.

      It does raise in my mind what happens when all those front loaded primaries in the south with “winner take all” results give the repubs Trump as a nominee – so much for not trusting the majority…
      Of course, I can’t get over the fact that Gore won the popular vote.

      1. GlobalMIsanthrope

        Hmm. This raises new questions about the Clintons’ having run the McGovern campaign in Texas. Important because Texas was then a Democratic stronghold. It turned Republican in the 90s.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      He was for a guaranteed annual income?

      Sadly, he was not the right person, as his personal defeat showed. And the idea is still feasible.

      I think, with Income Guarantee, more people would have made to the Nevada caucus.

      But not necessarily with Job Guarantee…depending on if they have to work or not, that day (emergencies, for example, don’t schedule around election days, for emergency workers).

    7. different clue

      This is useful. Thompson mentioned none of this rules pre-rigging by McGovern before 1972, or this view of Illinois and California. So between Thompson and this, and other correctives to come, what reality-based lessons should be learned?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        One lesson is, if you fail, like the GOP in ’64, don’t give up.

        Get a better pitch man or woman.

  13. Zephyrum

    From the mind control article:

    Is Facebook currently manipulating elections in this way? No one knows, but in my view it would be foolish and possibly even improper for Facebook not to do so. Some candidates are better for a company than others, and Facebook’s executives have a fiduciary responsibility to the company’s stockholders to promote the company’s interests.

    How sad that the author buys into this malarkey. The only rational justification for corporations in a democratic society is that they be mandated to serve the public good, a value that used to exist here in the US back when I was a young ‘un.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Speaking of mind control, one form of which is by making the mind the stupid.

      And I think this is just urban legend, but I read the other day about some statin drug making women stupid.

      Probably needs some debunking.

  14. sumiDreamer

    Many won’t recall the extremism and fanaticism shown when the EU was first introduced and debated. It real debate wasn’t about bangers and paperpushers: it was about German bankers controlling Europe’s money. But in true English fashion that didn’t much come right out and open.

    The link is a clue as to what we all thought about the EU debate:

    To quell the unrest, milquetoast John Major was elected to oversee the fun. He was celebrated on Spitting Image (I cannot find a videoclip, unfortunately) with a simplist song called “Oh you just can’t hate John Major” that swept households in Britian for years to come. He was the oil to calm the troubled waters.

    The vitriol returns now. Having Boris being a spokesperson in the upcoming dayz is going to invoke numerous comparisons to the Trumpster. The Etonians are going to have a field day, as is their wont as Hayers esq. is the opening shot. I do hope the mudslinging takes a back seat to actual debate on the issues involved this time …

    1. Brian

      Boris Johnson and David Camera-On have one job. I think that job is to protect the city of London at all cost. The people of the UK are totally dependent on the city of London for the stability of the island. I think that this is a result of putting all the eggs in the one basket due to a dearth of other opportunity to skim the amount of money necessary to keep the machine rolling along.
      The city is critical because it is an island within the nation, and has law that does not apply outside its border. There is no accurate reporting of financial matters because it was thought to be a feature built in long ago, when the crimes were hatched to profit. Now the skim pays the interest and “Keeping up Appearances” is the best that can be hoped for.
      There will be nothing to get in the way of business as usual. There will be no compromise for London, because the UK reality would come under a microscope and that can not be allowed. If they haven’t been required to report for several hundred years, they won’t be doing so any time soon. When it comes to light, the light will be gone.

  15. Synoia

    Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special after All

    Maybe. However, based on our management of the planet, I would add the hypothesis that intelligence as we know it is an evolutionary dead end.

    For humankind to achieve permanence we’d have to expand to living in the asteroid belt. Personally I cannot conceive of the impetus or profit that would have to exist for us to expand that far.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You’re right – we have managed so badly here.

      And if we can’t take care of this planet, do we need another chance to wreck another planet or asteroid?

      Speaking of dead ends, was the tally stick an evolutionary dead end or, have we any evidence of the missing link, connecting the tally sticks to coins? Something that shows, at some point in time, in the past, a coin was struck for the specific purpose of replacing the tally stick?

  16. different clue

    The “This is why people fear the Internet of Things” article contained a comment so good that I will copy the comment itself right here.

    February 19, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Not just No, but Hell No.

    We do not have to assume the supine position to having relentless surveillance shoved at us. Public outrage killed off Google Glass (“become a walking surveillance drone and look like a dork”), and it can kill off the Insanely Dangerous Internet Of Things (IDIOT).

    All it’s going to take is “teleplague” malware in IDIOT fridges (cycle the temp up when the humans are away, and back down when they’re in; humans eat spoiled food that’s within its expiration date; tens of thousands of food poisoning cases descend on hospitals; CDC and FBI go looking for bioterrorist attack….).

    As in, all it’s going to take to kill off the obnoxious Roboto-Mobiles is kidnapware (“send us bitcoin now or we slam you into overpass”).

    Nobody wants this crap except the hucksters who sell it, the cybercriminals & terrorists who plan to hijack it, and the deluded narcissists who think that talking to a forest of mics and cameras in their home makes them some kind of movie star rather than a prisoner of the New Stasi. Fie on all of them.

    If I want home automation I’ll build it with relay logic. Otherwise I’ll get up off my arse to flip wall switches and turn on appliances the good old-fashioned way, that won’t get me a dossier in some sociopath’s identity theft file or some corporation’s “predict and control” algorithm, or some would-be tyrant’s politico file. And you should too. While you still can.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Reid-Culinary bond won Nevada for Hillary:

    its panic-stricken spin that Nevada was as white as Iowa and New Hampshire, undermining Reid’s argument why the state was given early-state status

    Then, why should New Hampshire and Iowa be the earliest ones?

  18. kevinearick

    Big Brother: Problemsolutions, Threats & Opportunities

    Big Brother is The Majority, a slippery illusion chasing itself, watching and confirming itself in a house of mirrors, only differentiated by dress, artifice as difference, seeking scapegoats for the outcomes, to preserve itself, ring around the roses all fall down. The Internet is still scaling up, but it hit its head on convexity a long time ago, and if all the folks with I-phones in their pockets were so effective as a result, the efficient global economy would not be collapsing. Technology, a cheap derivative of nature in every case, does no work; only you can do that, but it is entertaining.

    Pulling consumption ahead for generations and delaying production, to enslave future generations to the status quo, only lasts so long, and the cure for bricks and mortar is worse than the disease. I prefer Coke, but it doesn’t define my other attributes, the real thing, and all Google does in confirm attributes, largely artificial attributes in an artificial world. Of course you are going to find what you expect, if you expect to confirm yourself, your peer group, your whatever.

    When you last googled, did anything in a foreign language come up? Did you learn anything constructive about your imaginary opponents? The mirror neuron theory is only relevant as a NOT function, for those interested in a simulation of life, but not the real thing, which is all the Internet, like its parent empire, is, another layer of entertainment, propaganda and surveillance.

    The problem / solution of DNA complexity is mutational meltdown. As complexity increases at the environmental edge, so too does rate of DNA meltdown, determined by the nature of DNA process, which is connected to the rest of nature, with individual behavior as the mitigating circumstance. Use it or lose it.

    All cultures lose it over time due to collective confirmation, groupthink, a mythological view of History which can only become increasingly irrational relative to nature. The global economy is collapsing because the mythology of America is collapsing, due to the fully predictable habits and consequences of natural resource exploitation, a legacy shared globally, and pushing production yet further from consumption isn’t helping. Politicians are simply scapegoats paid to identify an imaginary bogeyman, until inevitable collapse.

    You have a wagon, in which you will find family members, communities and cultures; individuals far ahead; and Millennials in the gap, quite satisfied to watch the wagon roll back downhill. Naturally, all cultures want to hitch their wagon to the future, not to change direction, but to slow their descent, as the proverbial frogs in boiling water. Place a sheave under that rope.

    Where are you relative to that rope?

    By the time the majority sees the new economy it will be the old economy, new majority same as the old, with different colored tennis shoes; that’s History, and as Dino said, you ain’t gonna change it. As the kids get off at their stops, the majority is subjected to nature, as predator, and the psychologist, as drug dealer. Each position has its trade-offs.

    The obsessive compulsive consumer, ignoring the lack of productivity, and lobotomized by credit as money in the nth derivative, slams the door on what is not status, goes through analysis, and takes more of the drug, repeating the process, making a job out of it all. The only difference in this iteration is the technology serving as the noise in the simulation experiment; the drug for self-medication is always within reach. Consumption was pulled forward and production delayed, but the newly minted debt slaves refuse to cooperate, and the lab rats are calling for revolution, as usual.

    Careful what you wish for; let them eat cake works both ways. In WWII, the dead infrastructure wasn’t carpet bombed by accident, The New Deal wasn’t just another actuarial ponzi by accident, and borrowing consumption from the future doesn’t end in bankruptcy and war by accident. The Millennials are simply calling the empire’s bluff, and the empire has nothing but worthless IOUs called Treasuries, posing as risk-free money, backed by dead RE in an abortioned economy.

    At the front end, property is just dead weight on the back end, ultimately cut adrift. And all the propaganda and surveillance ensuring the status quo is just more dead weight on the rope, the empire choking itself with increasing rent on excess capacity to keep cooking the books. Local fascism grows into global fascism when left unchecked, and the focus is always on the derivative, which blames the bogeyman.

    The more the CBs try to prime the old boomer pump with Internet IPOs, the more they hang themselves. With a choice between themselves and dead pensions, over the cliff the pensions go, but the CBs are still on the wrong side of the fulcrum themselves. The all-seeing, self-obsessed, data-driven eye setting staple inflation is a Cyclops, walking backwards.

    From the farmer’s perspective, right atop the sheave, it’s always about nature, and you prepare the soil for the seeds to find, because that is what seeds do. The Obey Clause, marriage to have children, maximizes choice by giving you the option to disobey the State, when it still matters, instead of demanding another false promise when it’s way too late. Nature favors those who make the best choices, with frequency, and ignore the noise of arbitrary human history, free bread and circuses.

    Studying neuroscience in the lab, the latest and greatest version of artificial intelligence, doesn’t do you much good, because while you are studying the past, life continues forward, whether at the atomic, cellular, or aggregate levels, each dimension with its own time of fruition. The goal isn’t to cure cancer or AIDS; that’s mutational meltdown. The goal is to move forward in whichever direction suites you, and if you keep up with expansion, you don’t have to move very fast, because you aren’t fighting the gravity.

    Get that dc computer project kit from your eight-yr-old and build it. The entire dc industry is just a micrometer more advanced because it invested the preponderance of its weight behind miniaturization, to hide the arbitrary proprietary algorithm and increase the efficiency of lobotomization, ultimately DNA meltdown. Build an ac computer and use that dc computer as a groundless ground (the to-be sensation grounds the antennae).

    You can eliminate the recursion initially by having two power amps on each side of the preamp, but you’ll need a ground, and all you can do is simulate. Playing last-man-standing with natural resources, as if nature is a closed system with no access to the rest of the universe, is a game in which all participants lose. Let the empire blow itself up, with leverage, which is an implosion from the perspective of the amplifier.

    The collective tries to adapt nature to itself and fails every time. The preamp is a NOT function; what you choose to amplify in your life is up to you. Don’t waste a lot of time on the preamp, other than to see the connections.

  19. Plenue

    “I hear the phrase, ‘Make America great again,’” said Jackson, reciting Trump’s campaign slogan with a tone of disbelief. “This is the best America’s ever been!”


  20. Ed

    Apparently James Fallows (How America is Putting Itself Back Together), once he quit as Jimmy Carter’s speech writer, chose to adopt Ronald Reagan’s Morning In America theme for his life’s work. Reagan did kick Carter’s ass; perhaps that lesson was just too much to bear. Whatever, the article does seem very Reaganesque in the sense of wishful thinking; also, probably too little too late.

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