Links 3/4/16

The man who listed the Egyptian president for sale on eBay Mashable

This Bizarre, Marble-Powered Instrument Is the Coolest Thing in the World Curbed. Chuck L: “Watch and listen.” Reminds me of the Strandbeests.

‘I ate my friends to survive’ BBC

NASA’s Graveyards: Haunting Images Reveal Remnants of the Space Race Core77 (resilc)

Kids, concussion and sport Economist. American football is done in 10 years unless the medical industry finds treatments for brain trauma.

Immune cell breakthrough in cancer fight Financial Times

Why the war on drugs is unwinnable Boing Boing (resilc). Important.

Three major concepts that shatter the myths surrounding drug legalization Raw Story (furzy)

Inside the “most toxic city in America” where the earth is poisoned by lead and zinc Business Insider (resilc)

Got ransomware? What are your options? Naked Security (Glenn F)


China’s Rebalancing Is Overrated Bloomberg

China Begins to Tackle Its ‘Zombie’ Factory Problem Wall Street Journal

Japan’s monetary firepower misses mark Financial Times

Only the IMF can now save Brazil Telegraph (Ryan R). Um, that requires a liberal definition of the word “save”.

Refugee Crisis

‘Do not come to Europe’ – EU’s Tusk BBC

A welcome intervention from France over Brexit Financial Times, Yes, this is in the correct category.


The Price Britain Pays for Europe Bloomberg

Is Brexit a threat to foreign direct investment? Financial Times

Fog in the Channel: Brexit through the eyes of international trade Bruegel

Tsipras Must Purge Cabinet to Lift Economy, Greek Industry Says Bloomberg


Syria conflict: Massive power blackout across country BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple Is Rolling Up Supporters in Privacy Fight Against F.B.I. New York Times

Health care takes on the fight against trafficking Marketplace (guurst). You’ll see why I put this story here.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Don’t Fall for Obama’s $3 Billion Arms Buildup at Russia’s Door Defense One (resilc). “There is no Russian resurgence. Washington is playing on your Cold War fears to get you to pay for something the U.S. does not need and can’t afford.”

Clinton E-Mail Hairball

Hillary’s Emails: Convenient Privileges vs Classified Trust Counterpunch

Tech specialist who helped Hillary Clinton set up her private email server flips – and is now willing to cooperate with the FBI after pleading the Fifth Amendment Daily Mail. Readers curiously have not reacted much to this. Folks, getting immunity from prosecution means 1) the person almost certainly did seriously questionable stuff and 2) the prosecutors are willing to let them off the hook to get a higher value target.

Clinton Email Probe Fraught With Political Consequences Associates Press

Judge Accepts New Timeline for Clinton Email Release Courthouse News Service

Trump Panic

Mitt Romney Remarks on Republican Presidential Race CSpan (Kevin C)

GOP crackup has Democrats in stitches Politico


11 most interesting moments of the GOP debate Politico

Winners and losers from the 11th Republican presidential debate Washington Post. Trump and Clinton have the same problem: You like them less the more you know about them.

Trump says the military ‘won’t refuse’ to waterboard terrorists on his watch while he attempts to justify going after family members Daily Mail

Kentucky cops expand probe into neo-Nazi attacks at Trump rally: ‘Klan rallies are not as scary as this’ Raw Story

Trump Has a Point About American Decline Bloomberg

Like Marco Rubio, Thomas Jefferson Also Cracked Dick Jokes About His Opponents Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Must Step Down as DNC Chair – Hillary Clinton Should Insist on It Charles Pierce, Esquire (resilc)

Over 60,000 People Want Bill Clinton Arrested for Violating Election Laws on Super Tuesday AntiMedia

Big Money Turned Upside Down American Prospect (resilc). Notice the refusal to mention Sanders and his small donor campaign.

Prospect Debate: The Cost of Sanders’s Single-Payer Health Plan American Prospect (Kevin C)

Why the Critics of Bernienomics Are Wrong Robert Reich

Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu in the US Congress, on Modi, Hinduism, and linking Islam to terror Quartz (resilc)

Georgia’s GOP governor uses New Testament to reject anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bill Raw Story

Flint Is in the News, but Lead Poisoning Is Even Worse in Cleveland New York Times


Dallas Fed Unplugs Oil Bulls, Warns of Liquidity Crunch, Contagion Wolf Richter

Anadarko Slashes 80% Of Onshore Rigs, To Lay Off 95% Of Contractors OilPrice (Glenn F)

Hedge funds have been getting crushed, and it is hurting everyone else in the market Business Insider (David L)

Class Warfare

Making the Journey From Menace to Neighbor, All on One Brooklyn Block New York Times (resilic). Telling.

5 Ways to Minimize Inequality Amongst Americans Huffington Post

Costco to Raise Its Minimum Wage Wall Street Journal

The Dynamics of Retreat Jacobin (Chuck L). A must read, and arguably a case study of the thesis outlined by Richard Kline in Progressively Losing. However, the depiction of the 1970s is not right. If you look at Fed Flow of Funds data, corporate profits after the 1974-1975 recession abated were strong. But the overall level of growth was mediocre, and American companies were losing ground to German and Japanese competitors. The issue wasn’t corporate profits per se, but that executives resented how much was going to employee benefits and social welfare programs, and they were convinced that workers were only going to keep asking for more unless they were disciplined.

Antidote du jour. More raccoon exploits:

racoon-riding-hog links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. DakotabornKansan

    “They’re vultures sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick, and then they swoop in, eat the carcass and leave the skeleton.” – former Texas Governor Rick Perry on robber baron Mitt Romney, one of the most irresponsible debt creators and debt collectors of all time

    Romney’s scheme was leveraging companies with crushing debt, cutting workers’ wages and benefits, and killing jobs while making billions.

    Said vulture capitalist Romney, with the audacity of chutzpah, on Trump: “His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them.”

    “You – like the spider which sucks only poison from the rose – draw only vain pride from the doctrine of humility.” – Martin Luther, “An Open Letter on the Harsh Book”

    The epic hat-trick …

    “He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat,” according to archipelago man.

    “You start out giving your hat, then your coat, then your shirt, then your skin and finally your soul.” – Charles de Gaulle

    1. Christopher Fay

      Romney’s wife practiced full black {totally illegal} Swiss tax dodging. In that Morman sect that type of important decision is made by the male in the house, so Romney’s lawyers. Illegal = criminal. Romney practiced gray Swiss tax dodging, hiring a bunch of professional lawyers and accountants to give it a treatment, like a bad Hollywood screenplay, to make it smell not so bad

      1. charger01

        Matt Taibbi gave ol’ Mittens the royal treatment a few years ago for Rolling Stone. Google it- the audacity of the man is remarkable. I don’t know how he can sleep at night.

        1. Synoia

          By lying (pun intended) on a cushion of millions of dollars, all safe in an overseas bank account.

    2. cnchal

      What really scares Romney is Donald Trump’s imagination.

      Trump is scary indeed. He was talking about $4 trillion in stupid spending, getting close to linking it directly to the stupid wars, then boomerangs to how the military needs more building up. Almost as if he were self aware to not piss off the military brass. Negotiating with himself, in the moment.

      1. John

        If the military can off a president, a controversial candidate is no problem at all. He better watch his mouth if he wants to be around next Jan.
        Otoh, not starting more wars makes him quite attractive vs Clinton. Neither neocon or neo-Econ… Imo he’s clearly more progressive… Would likely appoint more progressive judges than Clinton.
        Is sanders doesn’t get the nod hope trump wins.

      2. Jason

        Perhaps Mr. Trump plans to keep the military gainfully employed rounding up first Mr. Romney and those like him, and then anyone who objects to said rounding up, or who dares disagree with Mr. Trump in other ways?

        America is indeed in sorry shape, but to me Trump looks like amateur chemotherapy, at best. At worst, he’s toxic snake oil.

  2. Paper Mac

    Re: A welcome intervention from France over Brexit

    “It is also unclear whether France could practically put asylum seekers on cross-channel trains and ferries against the will of the British authorities.”

    I’m sure they can put them on, but I doubt the Brits are going to let them off? The idea that France will just displace the Calais camps across the channel is pretty bizarre.

    1. vidimi

      the french are currently dealing with the costs and logistics of the issue by restricting the migrants’ movement. they could easily transfer the burden to the UK.

  3. petal

    I haven’t commented on the guy that flipped for the FBI because I’m too cynical-I guess I find it hard to believe that a prosecution will actually happen. The Clintons always get away with it, snatching victory (for them) from the jaws of defeat. I gave up on them being held accountable for anything a long time ago. They always win. Don’t want to get my hopes up that they’d finally go down.

    Exciting news about the cancer immunology paper. I saw it last night and will pull the paper today to read. If anyone has any questions, yell. Neat stuff. Have a good Friday, friends.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Re: Tech specialist flipping ….
      Reaction, yes, but note story just below: “Judge Accepts New Timeline for Clinton Email Release” (Courthouse News Service). My cynicism reads this as, oops, Clinton was supposed to have won the primaries already. Sorry, your honor, we’ll need more time. After all, this is the “arrest no friends” Obama Justice Department. I’ll bet this thing can be stretched right out past the general election if need be.

      1. nippersdad

        Taking a page out of Deal and Walkers’ playbook. Is this a new fashion? Commit crimes and then run for office so that you can kill all of the investigations?

    2. Steve H.

      – ‘I ate my friends to survive’

      Does not apply in the Obama administration, as Larry splained to Warren. Justice’ll put the evidence in the room with the bank fraud documents, but I don’t think they’ll fine the State Dept.

      1. Steve H.

        To soften the cynicism, let’s give some credit to the FBI for pursuing the case.

        That pursuit may have some political fuel. Kayfabe drives ratings in politics. The FBI could be asserting territoriality, as the rightful purveyors of internal surveillance.

        But following the Barofsky quote in the Bill Black piece, there are some individuals who are choosing to not be lapdogs. Kudos.

        1. participant-observer-observed

          And if “anti-Clinton bias” is pervasively normative, is it still bias?

    3. Llewelyn Moss

      Yeah, let’s wait to see what he divulges. Could be a Hellery head fake. She deleted 30,000 emails so she may be confident she hid all the crimes. So she tells her techie, “You flip to the Feds. Give them a couple insignificant tidbits. Then I can declare, see nothing to see here.”

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Age could prove to be a fatal flaw in this case. Bernie and Trump are older, so Hillary’s aoge seems to be linked to the narrative of our young President of 1993. Hillary and her contemporaries lived in a world without computers. As first lady, she had a staff, and she was a first lady since 1981. Outside of amusement, did she even use a computer or have to fix it on her own. Has Bill answered a phone since he was governor?

          For all we know, she might believe her secret server is secret because a “computer nerd” said so.

          Claims of secret deals from 2008 aside, Obama hates Bill, and Kerry remembers Hillary’s post 2004 election glee and how Hillary has tried to claim the Iran deal as the result of her activities.

    4. Brooklin Bridge

      Ditto. The next in a divinely chosen dynasty being held accountable? How vulgar.

      Hillary is supremely arrogant. It wouldn’t even surprise me if she campaigned, “Sanders shows he doesn’t have the huevos to be president because he didn’t take me on regarding the email server.”, and STILL assume she was going to get away with it.

      Perhaps she figures she can retroactively pardon herself once Debbie Wassermann Schultz has shot everyone standing in her way and sworn Hillary into the presidency with the bible in one hand and a smoking machine gun in the other, so Hillary argues that since she will be pardoned, she will be president because otherwise, how could she be pardoned?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You can’t pardon yourself for future convictions. Hillary wouldn’t be tried for real crimes until after she was removed as President. Bill made his deal because the legal proceedings would last until after he was President and would be an issue for Al Gore’s election or cripple his Presidency.

        Ford was the appointed VP, and Nixon resigned for crimes while he was President. I think Ford could justify a pardon in his mind, given the extraordinary events. It may not have hurt him because Vietnam killed the Dems in 1968. I’m not certain a VP will be able to pardon Hillary as President for crimes committed prior to an election.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          I think it would also still be illegal for Shultz to shoot down any opponents with a machine gun, but with HIllary, you never know.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Also, if you read my comment, I’m suggesting HIllary pardon herself in the future, retroactively, for crimes committed in the past and therefore couldn’t be convicted in any way except via a worm hole in the fabric of the space time continuum. This may not be mentioned in our constitution nor even in our system of jurisprudence, and it’s only theoretical in physics, but you have to remember the rules change significantly for Kings and Queens.

  4. wbgonne

    Tech specialist who helped Hillary Clinton set up her private email server flips – and is now willing to cooperate with the FBI after pleading the Fifth Amendment Daily Mail. Readers curiously have not reacted much to this. Folks, getting immunity from prosecution means 1) the person almost certainly did seriously questionable stuff and 2) the prosecutors are willing to let them off the hook to get a higher value target.

    I’ll just make some general points since I don’t know what is actually happening in this investigation. First, the Clinton Team is almost certainly engaged in a joint defense where the lawyers for the various witnesses (or subjects or targets) coordinate and share information and strategy. Second, many defense lawyers routinely demand immunity before letting their clients be interviewed by the government. Third, formal grants of immunity are almost always associated with grand jury testimony (though the reports are that no grand jury has been convened here). Fourth, prosecutors are reluctant to grant immunity unless A) they are confident that the witness is not criminally culpable, or B) (as Yves suggests) the prosecutors are willing they to take the risk of letting the witness escape criminal liability because the information sought is considered valuable against a higher-level target. Finally, as to the reports I see today that the witness testified that there was no server breach, this information is almost certainly coming from the Clinton Team and should be regarded warily.

    1. Bill Smith

      There is an email chain that was recently released in which Hillary gets an email then replies back (forwards the original email back) asking if the email was not classified please send it to a reporter.

      As she has stated many times the email she was sent and then replied (forwarded back) was not marked ‘classified’. That act clearly shows she knew she was from time to time getting classified email on her private server and that email wasn’t marked in any way.

      1. Antifa

        Oh, we’re following the Hillary email thing. But it’s going to take a few days for Bryan Pagliano to get the real story out on paper. And a few days more for the FBI/CIA to decide who to roll up next. My guess is it’ll be Susan Swart, who was CIO at the State Department during Hillary’s tenure, and who personally authorized Hillary’s offsite, unsecured mail server. That authorization alone was a crime.

        Meanwhile, the web of lies and deceit reaches all the way over to Obama’s desk. He had a hard time talking Senator Clinton into taking the SOS cabinet position back in 2008. Only months of wrangling finally got her to agree to it. Apparently, obviously, plainly, one of the key points of the deal was that the empty office of Inspector General of the State Department would remain empty for as long as Hillary was over there. That’s how she was able to blatantly excuse herself from the mandatory security protocols of the State Department computer system.

        Over four years, Obama never even tried to appoint an IG over there while Hillary ran wild, making pay-for-play deals with donors to her Clinton Foundation, letting them buy State Department approvals, contacts, whatever. To her credit, she did not sell the State Department’s furniture, but she would have gotten around to that eventually.

        Susan Swart was the very person whose job description most definitely included stopping the funneling of anybody’s email out the pipeline to a private server in some basement. Especially the Secretary of State. But she didn’t stop it, she got it set up and approved it herself. For four years. Three months before Hillary left State, Susan was given a cushy job supervising computers over at the IMF.

        The new IG at State, the new CIO, and Secretary John Kerry are all trying to sort out and clean up what Hillary got away with — so much cronyism and self-enrichment — and they find all trails end up pointing right at Obama. He left the place completely unsupervised, a fiefdom for the grifter Hillary, and oh my did she go to town.

        Was Obama just giving Hillary enough rope to hang herself?

        Or was he getting her out of the Senate and into a job where her innate kleptomania could burn down any career she might have left in politics?

        Or both? Is there really such a thing as 11th-dimensional chess?

        It’s not unheard of for Presidents to pardon their predecessors, or fail to prosecute them. If Hillary is ever to become President, she will need to be the first Commander in Chief in desperate need of a pardon right before taking the oath of office.

        Her most serious problem is the endless drip-drip-drip of sulphur and brimstone and skunk juice stories in the media. Makes it hard to hold on to respectable folk like superdelegates. They’ve got to hold on to their political careers first. Makes it hard to hold on to voters.

        And then she has that whole criminal problem to answer.

        Honestly, I’m beginning to think neither major party actually wants to win the White House in 2016. Much better to be in a position to throw stones at the other side.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I am sure putting Clinton at State was an Obama “keep your enemies close” move. How far he gamed it beyond that is beyond me.

          I don’t know the rules, but I don’t think Obama could circumvent State and appoint an IG himself.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, no one with an operating brain cell goes for “joint defense”. The people who are in the hot lights are all DC insiders, have lots of friends who are lawyers, and would be told they need their own counsel.

      The odds of “joint defense” are zero. Anyone who knows anything about the law would know that’s a fatally bad idea, and DC is an even more lawyer-intensive town than NYC.

      1. wbgonne

        Yves, with respect, you are very much mistaken on this. In a joint defense agreement, each person gets individual counsel but those lawyers share information and coordinate strategy, at least until a particular person is compelled to withdraw from the joint defense agreement, which generally occurs when specific targets are named. Joint defense is standard practice in high-powered defense cases. And Team Hillary is a legal juggernaut beyond compare. David Kendall is practically the Clinton consigliere. As I said, I don’t know any specifics about how this particular investigation is proceeding but, as a matter of general practice, joint defense agreements are common. I know this. And I would be very much surprised if a joint defense agreement does not exist in this case.

  5. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Over 60,000 People Want Bill Clinton Arrested
    About 98,000 signatures at this time. Hahaha. Hellery will make a fine Commander and Cheat. I’m seeing a pattern here…

    Mass. Secty of State is clearly in on the Con since NOTHING WILL BE DONE about Bill breaking election laws.

    Add this to Hellery’s pile of Primary/Caucus Cheating. 1) Nevada: People streaming into caucuses skipping the registration desk (caught on video), while some caucus official says, “Oh don’t worry, they will register later.” Hahaah, yeah right. 2) Iowa: 90 precincts counts missing, artificial inflation of Hells numbers; coin tosses, etc…

    You’d think the brain dead Dems would have learned a lesson when the Clintons stole all that White House furniture on Bill’s exit from the WH. Trump is going to feed Hillary into his TrumpChipper when he is done eating his fellow repubs.

    Go Bernie!!

    1. cwaltz

      Don’t forget that the Sanders campaign had to sue the DNC because they weren’t going to give him access to his own voter databases.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        And the DNC suppressing the number of debates to lower Bernie’s exposure to voters. The super-delegates all swinging to Hellery (the fix is already in no matter how the commoners vote).

        It just goes on an on. The Dem party is officially as morally bankrupt as the repubs.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My mom’s hometown has an arrest warrant out for W and Cheney for all the good it doez, but this is the kind of thing which could cause Democrats problems in Massachusetts. Those Southies probably love Trump.

    2. Vatch

      The petition was a link in Naked Capitalism yesterday, and here it is again:

      Now there’s a White House petition, with more than 2000 signatures so far:

      I signed both petitions, and I encourage others to do the same.

  6. cwaltz

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, who here believes that the GOP won’t launch an “independent investigation” into this if Clinton actually wins the Presidency?

    I still want to know how this plays into the Clinton will be able to get things done narrative. How does one get things done when the opposing party is having a field day looking into what even THIS administration is acknowledging was “wrongdoing?”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      For Team Blue cheerleaders who would only ignore a successful Benghazi hearing, the Benghazi hearings created the illusion Hillary is invincible. Gun running and the email scandal were words used in October’s hearings, so Hillary will obviously win those too. Of course, there was Ken Starr which might be more important than the elections. Bill seemingly beat Starr and the GOP witch hunt.

      They probably expect Hillary will karate chop any GOP attack with similar ease.

      As for Team Blue turnout, there Is a sense of inevitability with Hillary running against a 73 year old, buyers remorse with Obama, and people who have given up on Team Blue politics, leaving the dead enders. People are afraid of criticizing Obama for fear of being labeled as racists or traitors, but Hillary basically won the same black voters she won last time.

    2. fresno dan

      March 4, 2016 at 8:34 am

      There are “democratic” things that Hillary ‘says’ she wants done (well, most dems for that matter – i.e., say they want these things but when in the majority with a president – cough, cough, Obama – – never actually do what they have the power to do) – pay no attention to these things – they are simple a matter of branding, and are like saying that the vast majority of maple syrup has something to do with maple trees.

      Bankers didn’t get investigated or prosecuted not because of repub obstructionism, but because the dems didn’t want to. Dems are all for foreign adventurers, “free trade” – indeed, everything in this country is of the 0.1%, by the 0.1%, for the 0.1% – – there are just two parties, the repubs who are pretty straightforward about screwing the 47%, albeit with some lip service about crony capitalism for the rubes, while the dems pretend to care about the middle class, but its all kabuki. Are the repubs really an offshoot of the dems, and solely exist to give the dems an excuse for failing to do things they constantly promise? Or vice versa? VOTE YOUR CHOICE…and just like our elections, same difference.

      The fact that we’re not getting what we want doesn’t mean those at the top aren’t getting exactly what they want.

  7. For The Win

    immunity: It can also be used to buy silence. The police and local AGs use it this way all the time when it comes to police corruption cases for example.

    Blanket immunity is granted in order to get testimony for a relatively benign charge, or for a charge that even with the testimony will be hard to stick to a 3rd party. Once the blanket immunity is granted, then the person of interest has been removed from being leveraged on any future issues; and they now are more responsive to old loyalties, money, etc. Lest we forget, AG Loretta E. Lynch (she of getting HSBC, Standard Chartered, and a host of others out of trouble in return for donations to the Democratic Oligarchy’s public, and private, interests) probably directed the whole investigation, including the immunity agreement. She will stand with Eric on the podium of race traitors, and a enemy to the lower and middle classes, so don’t expect anything much.

    How is that for a comment?

    1. Steve H.

      Well, the guy first invoked the Fifth in the Benghazi investigation. There is evidence the State Department was directly involved in channeling Libyan weapons to al-Queda in Syria. That is active treason, not treason by negligence.

      “If you gon have a crew, make sure you know who gon be the fall guy.” – Cris Carter

    2. sleepy

      I believe it was use immunity that was granted, meaning any statements he makes, or any evidence derived from those statements, can’t be used against him.

      As I understand, prosecution is still possible, although I agree very unlikely, if independent evidence of his wrongdoing is found.

      Transactional immunity is what is commonly referred to as blanket immunity, granting complete immunity for the “transaction” being investigated.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Not gonna fly in a case this high profile.

      And this isn’t plea bargaining. Pagalino got immunity from prosecution period. He’s home free. I don’t see any basis for third parties filing civil suits against him based on his testimony.

      The issues are:

      1. Judicial Watch is going after the same information, more or less. If they uncover real dirt and the Administration fails to act, that leads to all sorts of hell

      2. The FBI is pretty independent. It’s much less controlled by the Administration than other parts of the Executive Branch. And it has conservative agents who will leak to the press

      So there are real checks on the AG this time, unlike in the banking cases.

  8. Steve H.

    – Cancer

    Non-paywalled story below.

    “The personalized nature of the treatments meant they were likely to be very expensive at first, Prof Swanton said. But he hoped they would eventually prove more cost-effective than current cancer drugs because the benefits would last for longer. The 71 cancer drugs approved by US regulators in the past 12 years have produced a median survival rate of just 2.1 extra months of life at an average cost of $10,000 per month, said Prof Swanton.”

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      In the southern states, where Clinton won big, it was the AA voters who went big for Hellery. IMO, it is because Hellery convinced them that Bernie hates Obama (but seriously what’s to like). But hey Obama (the historic first AA president) is their guy. Very hard to fight that since most voters only watch the corporate controlled teevee news — that goes for all voters, not just AA.

      Hellery is going to steam roll us all, flat as pancakes, if she get in and that includes her AA firewall voters.

      1. RabidGandhi

        My assumption (based on 0 data) is that most older AA voters voted for HRC because they are democrats and democrats vote for Clintons. I would bet a good portion of them have no idea who Sanders is.

        1. Friar Tuck

          There was an NPR segment I listened to before the South Carolina primaries discussing primary choices with black voters, which addresses some of your theory.

          In Battle For South Carolina, Black Voters Face Generational Divide [NPR]


          (SAM) SANDERS(, BYLINE): Lewis is voting for Hillary Clinton. She’s not alone.

          Who else in here is Clinton? Everybody. OK.

          A lot of these voters – they’re older, staunchly Democrat and many of them lived through the Civil Rights Movement. And a lot of them like Hillary Clinton. They see her as a direct extension of the Obama presidency. Here’s Emiluel Porterfield.

          EMILUEL PORTERFIELD: She’s been there. She knows his policies. She was a secretary of state under him, so she knows what’s going on. We don’t need to start all over again.

          SANDERS: Fannie Lot says Clinton just has a history that she knows and trusts.

          FANNIE LOT: She did an excellent job as the governor’s wife. She did an excellent job as the first lady in the White House. She did an excellent job as secretary of state, and she did an excellent job as a senator.

          SANDERS: Yeah, not really, but that’s how Kataya Dease feels about Bill Clinton. When I asked them about Bernie Sanders, Emiluel Porterfield had this to say.

          PORTERFIELD: Bernie Sanders has a lot of socialist ideals, which, being a capitalistic society, will not work.

          SANDERS: And Queen Lewis said she didn’t know enough about Sanders’ history with black people.

          LEWIS: Where was Bernie Sanders even when they went to Selma and marched back here? Where was Bernie Sanders for civil rights? What have Bernie Sanders did in the black community?

      2. Tony S

        Yep, black voters can be shallow and base their voting decisions on banalities. Just like white voters.

        Royal families hold an odd emotional sway over the people they screw. And to think we fought a war once against the concept..

      1. James Levy

        Jeez, Katha Pollitt at The Nation is still pushing the “we’ve got to get women into office” meme, and she’s hardly a fool (just astonishingly misguided). For her, the “revolution” of her youth will be actualized when she sees a woman sworn in as President. Of course, if that woman was “pro life” like Palin she’d reject her as no woman at all, but reproductive rights and personal identification seem enough for a whole generation (and a huge one) of educated women.

        George Carlin would have had a field day with the “self esteem” boosting line that so many Dems want to push (“first black president!” “first woman president!” doesn’t that just boost all your black and female self-esteem!!!). Of course, his opinion of Trump would have been just as bleak and scathing.

          1. Tony S

            Agreed. Identity politics just means that the middle and working classes get screwed by a more ethnically diverse cross-section of elites than usual.

            1. nobody

              “It is as if America’s traditional racial segregationist tendencies have been reorganized, and the tools and tactics of that system have been repurposed for a multicultural elite colonizing a multicultural population.”

              — Matt Stoller

        1. reslez

          Hillary walks away with the AA vote and people over 45. Sanders wins women outside those groups.

          1. ambrit

            Maybe she walks with the AAs, but not with over 45 years old and under $30,000 a year income. Part of her appeal to the older demographic is elitism. “We are the best and brightest! (We survived into the upper quintile wealth bracket.)” Many older people I’ve spoken to realize all too well how bleak their ‘golden years’ are stacking up to be. Sanders will do well with this cohort if he keeps pounding away at the wealth inequality theme. “Fifty years ago, the wealthy paid much more in taxes because the society did so well by them. America was great, and those higher taxes guaranteed that. Etc.”

          1. James Levy

            None at all, but just like the “I love Trump not because there is a chance in hell that that plutocrat will help me, but I like his ‘fuck you’ style” people buy into the narrative and have lost all faith that there is any hope or will be any change. So getting a vicarious thrill if you are voting for Hillary or Trump is the whole pay-off.

      2. Antifa

        “Clinton fans think Clinton is the revolution.”

        Clinton fans think a revolution is one more go-around with a Clinton.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The biggest problem is tuning out of politics, Obama crushed political activation for a long time, and under 35 registration or anyone the registration of anyone who rents. Given the state of Team Blue, they haven’t been doing field work outside of the 2012 election outside of cities.

      Bernie had time to do this in New Hampshire and Iowa.

    3. grayslady

      Thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it, because, as I mentioned in a comment the other day, it’s almost impossible to find voter turnout comparisons for the 2008 v. 2016 primaries. Also, if you do find information, there’s no analysis of who showed up or why voter turnout may have been down. For example, was the reason for drastically reduced turnout in the southern states in any way connected to new (since 2008) voter I.D. laws in those states? What proportion of women voted in those states in 2008 v. 2016? What were their ages? Races? What about the youth vote?

      Finally, what is the impact of so many voters, both Dem and Repub officially becoming independents after the 2008 election? People fed up with the two-party system have defected in droves. Are enough of them willing to re-register with a party to vote in the primary? In my state, thankfully, we have open primaries. On election day, you just walk into your polling place and tell them which ballot you want. Early voting or absentee voting has also become much easier in my state. It seems that many other states make voting difficult–especially caucus states.

      1. Gio Bruno

        The did a story on this topic recently. The Democrat Party in CA is much smaller than in the past (even though the population is bigger). They concluded that the many voters now declare as Independents. (Which means they don’t get to vote in the Primary.) The numbers were striking: ~25% of eligible voters declared “no party preference”.

        Here’s a link to an article about new/young voters and the Democrats in California:

  9. TiPs

    Re concussions and the comment that American football is done in 10 years if nothing done. I’ve had this argument with several friends, and my position is it may be done for the middle and upper classes, but not for the poor. Sports (and entertainment) are a way out. The lure of winning that lottery is too much. You might as well say there will be no boxing or ultimate fighting in the future as well, but I don’t think that will be the case…

    1. Ulysses

      Good point! Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future includes prisoners entertaining people with extremely violent competitions– most die, but some gain their freedom.

    2. Roquentin

      I flatly disagree with all of this. The readers of this blog haven’t spent nearly enough tim in small town America, where football is bigger than guns and God. Just like gun violence, these concussions won’t stop a damn thing. In these reactionary, economically depressed small towns, football is about the one good thing any of them look forward to. They’d probably go to war before they let it be shut down. Don’t think for a second things like the Stubenville rape case are an anomaly. Football matters that much, that they’d look the other way when a girl was raped on videotape, and go so far as to harass the victim and her family after the fact.

      That’s to say nothing of Sandusky and Joe Paterno at Penn State. You get the picture. American football is absolutely essential to the smooth functioning of the society and political system in these places. You’re out of your mind if you think they’d just up and stop, injuries be damned.

      1. reslez

        I think you’re right. Football is going down the road of Nascar, a cultural signifier to a subset of the country. They don’t care if it destroys players’ brains, all the NFL has to do is dispute the science and the South will call it liberal nanny state nonsense. Oh wait, they already do….

        1. ambrit

          The subset of the country you might mean is the set of ‘socialized’ males.
          The South is not alone in it’s, er, distaste for the “nanny state.” I suspect that attitude can be found in most rural locales. Check out the ‘importance’ of football in the Mid West.

    3. RP

      The Will Smith movie about it tanked. Nobody cares about the gladiators in the arena, it’s about the show.

      And the show is a multi-billion dollar business that must go on.

    4. Gio Bruno

      That’s all true. But the “farm system” for pro football are colleges and university. They may decide after a few civil lawsuits for injury that decimate the budget to simply move on to soccer. (Ooops, concussions there, too!)

    5. Yves Smith Post author

      No, I’ve heard this from people who make their living training pro athletes. The industry is in full panic mode trying to find treatments.

      What you don’t get is the legal liability will crush them, and the bad press of all the lawsuits will eventually turn off a lot of viewers. Before, they could say they didn’t know. Now, it’s willful.

      1. Elliot

        Agree. Plus, am old enough to remember when boxing was a much bigger & respected sport, on TV all the time, lots of local boxing gyms, etc. That has disappeared down the pay-per-view funnel, and I doubt will make a come-back, nobody wants to become a cabbage. Once they realize that that’s really the future of a lot of football, they really won’t want their kids to chance it.

    1. Ulysses

      Although the comparison to Berlusconi does have some merit, we shouldn’t forget that Silvio didn’t have to manipulate the media– he was the biggest media mogul in the country. Berlusconi is more directly comparable to Rupert Murdoch than he is to Donald Trump.

      1. fresno dan

        The article in yesterday’s links about FOX Ailes abandoning Rubio, and the point was repeated in a number of right publications, is noteworthy. People forget before any ideological purity about “conservatism”, FOX and Murdoch is ALL about the money.
        Trump brings the ratings, and the ratings bring the advertisers….

  10. GlobalMisanthrope

    Marble Machine! Strandbeests! What would the world be like if we all got to use our talents? Hope is an anarcho-steampunk revolution.

  11. ScottW

    If Hillary’s private basement email server did not violate the law, that means every government worker can use a private email account to conduct government business. Of course, that is not the law and as the Counter Punch article points out, government employees have been prosecuted and kept in solitary for having lower classified material on their private computers. Drake was indicated in part for possession of 5 documents that went from unclassified to classified, after he took possession. Hillary had dozens of “top secret” documents on her private server, and thousands of secret and classified documents.

    Her defense of over classification and after the fact classification are red herrings. By their nature, email messages by themselves are not going to be classified as secret or top secret when sent. Maybe if there is an attachment, but an email message from her Chief of Staff to Hillary with top secret information about drone strike locations would not be classified as “top secret” until after it is created and sent.

    Hillary obviously knew the law as she claims she never sent classified material from her private email. So I assume her staff handled all of that material? What a strange way to conduct business–the Sec. of State unable to receive email that contained classified material. Why would a head of state devise such a system of communication? One who wants to retain complete control over every email received and sent from her private server. Don’t forget–she never thought she would get caught using the private server and it only came to light last year.

    Hillary has created quite a web of culpability by forcing her staff to send “top secret”, “secret”, or “classified” communications to her private email account. Is she going to invoke the Clinton victimization defense that they broke the law by sending classified information, but not her?

    It will be interesting seeing the DOJ squirm out of this one. Hillary’s campaign flak attack on the IG means something damaging is about to emerge. But if it does not rise to the level of a criminal indictment, it will fade away as partisan politics. Bernie left Hillary alone on this issue. Donald won’t and my hunch is he will effectively convey to the public Hillary’s intent to avoid public oversight at the same time her Foundation was receiving donations tied to decisions she was making at State.

    I am rooting for Donald on this issue because the Clintons have made avoiding responsibility for their actions a life-time enterprise.

    1. fresno dan

      To me, the evidence of bank fraud at the highest echelons of the industry was irrefutable. And yet…nothing. Video tapes that prove police have lied under oath are as common as robins in the spring….and only in rare exceptions are there prosecutions, and almost are rarely, any firings.

      In the years since Nixon was impeached, the elite has mastered the art of corruption – or more accurately, they have bought everybody they needed to buy…

      With apologies to the movie “Chinatown”
      Forget it, ScottW – its Chinatown…

    2. TomD

      The US State Dept actually changed their policies after Clinton left and made private email not acceptable. I don’t know if a law was changed or just an internal rule.

  12. ScottW

    If Hillary’s private basement email server had not come to light, would she have done the same if elected President?

    You know Hillary is in trouble when she looks less trustworthy than Trump.

      1. James Levy

        The night before Kissinger departed as Secretary of State he literally had an 18 wheeler roll to the service entrance of the White House and everything not nailed down was hauled away as his “private papers.” Much of that material has yet to see the light of day, and new rules instituted under Dubya to protect his daddy’s papers now make the release of presidential documents completely at the discretion of the president in his lifetime. Theoretically, after they die it’s just those papers deemed “essential for national security” that will be locked away until everyone involved is dead (and some of them will simply disappear into the national security state’s archives until the human race is extinguished or, like the Bolsheviks, the revolutionaries come along and parade the contents to discredit the ancien regime).

    1. rich

      Democratic Presidential Candidate Jim Webb Says He Won’t Vote for Clinton, Might Vote Trump
      by Michael Krieger

      By nominating Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party is handing over the presidency to Donald Trump.

      This is a sentiment I’ve been repeating consistently over the past several weeks, and one that has yet to be truly appreciated by most people. There continues to be extreme denial amongst those who want “anyone but Trump” in recognizing that Trump is exactly what you’ll get by nominating a corrupt, Wall Street puppet under FBI investigation with more baggage than American Airlines. It’s obvious to those of us who have a sense of the national mood and why this is the case, but remains beyond the grasp of those who are either a part of the status quo or depend on it for their financial survival.

      Up to this point, I’ve been going on personal interactions with friends as well as interviews with voters to conclude that a significant number of Sanders supporters will simply not “fall in line” and vote for Hillary in November. While this is interesting in its own right, what has really surprised me is the number of people that have maintained they might vote for Trump if Sanders doesn’t get the nomination. Conventional wisdom would say this is impossible, but what many voters seem to want more than anything else in 2016 is to burn the status quo to the ground.

      Was it run emc or dnc?..i forget

      1. Tony S

        The funny thing is that BOTH parties are trying to lose this November. The Democrats by insisting on trotting out Hillary, the Republicans by trying to sabotage Trump. Never before have I seen the Iron Law of Institutuions manifest itself so starkly.

        Whatever happens, the establishments of both parties have been forced to rip off their masks and show their ugliest sides. The party power structures might have one last stop left in them, but enough voters’ eyes have been opened that I doubt they’ll last one more election cycle as we know them.

        Now, at that point, do we get an FDR, or do we get a Mussolini? I don’t have much confidence there…

        1. RP

          Good chance whoever wins in ’16 loses in ’20.

          When Obama’s “recovery” runs out of steam, look out.

      2. VietnamVet

        The ruling elite is camped inside its gated communities. They do not realize how many Americans have been screwed over by the New World Order. Most every middle class and lower white family has someone who hasn’t made it, one who is addicted to drugs or suicidal. If those voting for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump in the primaries decide to vote for the one who makes it into the General Election, it is all over for the overlords, period.

  13. financial matters

    Tulsi Gabbard, the first Hindu in the US Congress, on Modi, Hinduism, and linking Islam to terror Quartz (resilc)

    “”The majority of Muslims are practicing the spiritual path of Islam within their own lives in a pluralistic, peaceful way. So by calling organizations like ISIS Islamic or Islamist extremists [emphasis hers], we are making a distinction between the vast majority of Muslims who are not extremists and a handful of those who are.””

    I’d like to see her as a member of Bernie’s cabinet.

    1. Steve H.

      Lawrence Wilkerson:

      “I happen to know, backtrack just for a moment, I happen to know the congresswoman fairly well from my almost hour-long conversation with her in her office about the Iran-EU-Germany Permanent 5 Iran deal, the JCPOA, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I found the congresswoman to be deliberate, well-versed in what we were talking about, in some ways more circumspect even than the party there to discuss it with her. And I found her to be very serious and very concentrated on her responsibility towards dealing with that agreement in the way she felt was best for the American people and ultimately for the world.

      So I have great respect for her ability, not just because she’s an Iraq war veteran, but also because I found in her what I did not find in clearly a majority of the rest of the Congress, of either Republican or Democratic ilk. And that is, I found a sane and sober voice. I found a voice interested in national security in a serious way, and a voice that was well-informed and itself spoke well about national security issues.”

  14. Brian

    “Hedge funds have been getting crushed, and it is hurting everyone else in the market”

    I can’t stop laughing at stories about unbridled greed of VC and hedgies. Remind the folks that are still doubtfull who stole or destroyed all they thought was real.

    1. fresno dan

      March 4, 2016 at 10:42 am
      Great article – documents that we have reached “full Orwell” or full bullsh*t – the hypocrisy has gone beyond being a torrent, it is beyond an ocean, d*mn, its beyond the mass of the planet, and I suspect the solar system.

      “But in many cases, probably most, the flamboyant denunciations of Trump by establishment figures make no sense except as self-aggrandizing pretense, because those condemning him have long tolerated if not outright advocated very similar ideas, albeit with less rhetorical candor. Trump is self-evidently a toxic authoritarian demagogue advocating morally monstrous positions, but in most cases where elite outrage is being vented, he is merely a natural extension of the mainstream rhetorical and policy framework that has been laid, not some radical departure from it. He’s their id. What establishment mavens most resent is not what Trump is, does, or says, but what he reflects: the unmistakable, undeniable signs of late-stage imperial collapse, along with the resentments and hatreds they have long deliberately and self-servingly stoked but which are now raging out of their control.”
      These five dozen or so extremists (calling themselves “members of the Republican national security community”) were the toast of the town because they published an “open letter” denouncing Trump on the ground that his “own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world.” This was one of their examples:

      His embrace of the expansive use of torture is inexcusable.

      Most decent human beings, by definition, would express this sentiment without including the qualifying word “expansive.” Even Ronald Reagan, whom virtually all the signatories claim to idolize, advocated for and signed a treaty in 1988 which stated that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever . . . may be invoked as a justification of torture” and that “each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law.” The taboo is on “all acts of torture,” not its “expansive use”: whatever that means.
      But the group signing this anti-Trump letter can’t pretend to find an embrace of torture itself to be “inexcusable” because most of them implemented torture policies while in government or vocally advocated for them. So instead, they invoke the Goldilocks Theory of Torture: we believe in torture up to exactly the right point, while Trump is disgraceful because he wants to go beyond that: he believes in “the expansive use of torture.” The same dynamic drove yesterday’s widely cheered speech by Mitt Romney, where the two-time failed GOP candidate denounced Trump for advocating torture while literally ignoring his own clear pro-torture viewpoints.
      The military official in charge of investigating War on Terror policies, Gen. Antonio Taguba, said this in 2008:

      After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

      In 2009, Gen. Barry McCaffrey said: “We tortured people unmercifully. We probably murdered dozens of them during the course of that, both the armed forces and the C.I.A.” The notion that the U.S. intelligence and military community will collectively rise up in defiance of the Commander-in-Chief if they are ordered to obey polices that are illegal is just laughable.

      It’s obviously a pleasing fiction to believe – it produces nice, nationalistic feelings of nobility – but everything in the past decades proves that Trump is right when he says “they’re not going to refuse.” Some likely would, but nowhere near enough to preclude the policies being carried out. In fact, the primary argument used to justify immunizing America’s torturers is that they were just following orders as approved by John Yoo and company: reflecting a moral code which dictates that, even when it comes to plainly illegal policies, obedience is preferable to defiance.
      What it most reminds me of is the preposterous contention that Trump is too racist for the genteel repubs, who are shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that a teeny, weensy, insignificant number of their most ardent partisans are – – and the repubs are APPALLED!!! – – are “disinclined” to full throatily support the full complement of civil rights laws. WHO would have THUNK it? Why, who could be soooooo cynical to believe that the repub “Southern Strategy” had ANYTHING to do with race?

      I have said it many, many times – Trump is a horrible, terrible, abysmal, indeed monstrous republican candidate – EXCEPT that all the others are far, far, far worse…
      (I leave it to every individual to decide if Hillary is better, equal, or worse)

      1. Strangely Enough

        “I’m shocked, shocked, to find racism is going on in here!”

        “Your Southern Strategy, sir.”

    2. fresno dan

      And this
      Then there’s the feigned horror over Trump’s proposal to kill the family members of terrorists. Though they claim they don’t do it deliberately, the fact is that this is something that both the U.S. and Israel, among others, has routinely done for years: they repeatedly bomb people’s homes or work places, killing innocent people including family members, and then justify it on the ground that a terrorist was among them. While they claim they don’t target terrorists’ family members, they certainly target their homes and other places family members are certain to be found.

      f you really think you can locate fine distinctions – we merely keep killing the children, spouses and other family members over and over by accident, not by purposely targeting – at least don’t pretend that what Trump is advocating is something our civilized minds have never previously encountered. He may be more gauche for saying it aloud and gleefully justifying it rather than feigning sorrow over it, but the substance of what he’s saying – despicable though it is – is hardly categorically different from what the U.S. government and its closest allies actually do over and over. And that’s to say nothing of the unpleasant fact which we’re all now supposed to ignore lest we be smeared as Trump supporters: that even as he advocates clear war crimes, he also, in some important cases, is advocating policies and approaches less militaristic and war-mongering than not only his GOP rivals but the war-loving leading Democratic candidate as well.


      fresno dan
      January 30, 2016 at 3:06 pm
      Rhetorical Terror: GOP Candidates Pledge War Crimes, Carpet-Bombing, Asian Land Wars Juan Cole (resilc)
      JEB! gave his own prescription:
      “The caliphate of ISIS has to be destroyed, which means we need to arm directly to Kurds, imbed our troops with the Iraqi military, re engage with the Sunni tribal leaders.”
      That sounds to me like exactly what Obama is doing. The US helped the Kurds take back Sinjar in Iraq. It helped them defend Kobane. It is embedding US troops with the Kurds in eastern Syria and has a command in Iraq. The US military and intelligence is reaching out to Syrian Sunnis in the northeast and getting them to fight alongside the Kurds. Sunni tribal levies helped retake Ramadi.
      JEB! is just advocating the current policy and pretending that he is saying something different. It is weird***.
      Then he said we should get the lawyers off the back of the US military. I take it he means by that we should toss overboard the Geneva Conventions, which were crafted to prohibit the kind of behavior that made the Nazis notorious during WW II.
      We’ve been trying to outlaw war crimes since then, but the US Republican Party seems to admire the tactics of the Axis and to regret their having fallen into disrepute.

      ***no, it is despicable. Back when dinosaurs roamed the land and I was young, there was the quaint notion that politics ended at the waters edge. But that is when we faced an enemy that could in fact obliterate us. Now we worry about people who kill once a decade half the number of people shot dead on an average day in the US. But it is done by people who will say anything to get elected. They are worse than Trump because they spend so much time working on and crafting their lies. And in advancing such idiotic policies, they make us less safe, expend American soldiers lives needlessly, and spend treasure carelessly.

      And again, it just showed the absolute cravenness if JEB!
      Bush was asked specifically about bombing terrorist families (see Washington Post January 19, 2016):
      “It happened again the next day in Hampstead, when a young boy asked: “Why would you want to be the president of a nation that would consider voting for Trump?” Bush replied, “I don’t think Trump’s a reflection of the American people.” That’s when a dude in a Trump T-shirt began heckling him, according to the Union Leader. The man wanted to know why Bush had said he would not target the families of terrorists. “No president would allow for the killing of innocents as a designed strategy of the United States, my friend,” Bush shot back. “I don’t care what Donald Trump says.”

      So at the repub debate Bush is all call off the lawyers and let the bombs fall. Rah, Rah go USA!!! There could be a modicum of respect if JEB! had said on that debate platform that we must be more careful to protect the lives of the people living there, which ostensibly is the reason we’re there…But of course not, those people are pawns, and we are pawns. No protection of their lives is owed, and no provision of the truth to us is owed….ANYTHING SAID, ANYTHING done to get elected.

      Than if he can stick it to Trump, Bush says the Trump proposed policy of bombing terrorist policy is something America would NEVER do. But what JEB! says is flat out false – it is documented beyond dispute that US drones hit innocents in the mid east all the time, undoubtedly some of which are related to the terrorist target (not to mention all the people mistaken as terrorists to begin with). Again, the subtle, crafted lying is worse than Trump, because it is always, ALWAYS accompanied by these candidates proclaiming what great courageous leaders they are. At least with Trump you know its just madison avenue self promotion. I find the the self righteousness of JEB! sickening.

  15. Asher Miller

    American football is done in 10 years unless the medical industry finds treatments for brain trauma.

    Methinks doth over-estimate the American public. If we were complacent about gun violence after Sandy Hook Elementary, football is going be sticking around for a while.

    1. Chris A

      Maybe, but don’t underestimate the power of insurance companies and lawsuits. And pantsuits.

    2. Daryl

      Eh, I don’t know about ten years, but I do know that with American parents and plenty of other sports that don’t involve concussive trauma as a matter of course (including the surging soccer) to choose from, it won’t be long.

  16. Soulipsis

    Re: war on drugs, seldom discussed is the main cause of drug abuse in the first place: socially and economically induced stress, i.e. capitalism and darwinism. Vote for Bernie, his presidency would be a good therapeutic starting point.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Today the S&P 500 stock index is trading above the 2,000 round number for the first time since early January. Simultaneously, the Dow Industrials are trading above the 17,000 round number.

    At this level, the S&P is about 6 percent below its record high set last May 21st.

    Stocks’ extended break from setting new highs coincided with rising credit stress and some economic indicators approaching recessionary levels.

    But evidence is growing that this picture is brightening, and not only because of stocks’ rebound. On today’s firm employment report, the Atlanta Fed hiked its GDPNow estimate from 1.9 to 2.2 percent.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Every junkyard dog has its day:

      High-yield bond funds just attracted their largest weekly inflow on record, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

      $5.8 billion in investor money rushed into junk-bond funds in the week ended Wednesday, said BAML’s investment strategy team, led by Michael Hartnett, in their latest Flow Show note.

      That was a “monster” inflow, and the largest on record in absolute terms, said the BAML team.


  18. Mark Alexander

    Re: War on Drugs video: This is a good summary of the arguments that National Review (back when Buckley was in charge) made in their special issue of Feb 12, 1996, titled “The War on Drugs is Lost”. (Use Google to find it.) I’m no fan of NR, but they got this one right. It’s sad that the so-called liberal media haven’t really gotten behind this issue.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “It’s sad that the so-called liberal media haven’t really gotten behind this issue.”

      Operation Mockingbird handles the MSM’s Drug War content feed.

      Support our DEA troops! /sarc

      1. RP

        So glad a place of serious conversation exists where Mockingbird can be mentioned without one being shouted down as the worst of all epithets (save for “terrorist” itself): “conspiracy theorist”.

    1. fresno dan

      Thought for sure I had seen it, but my Netflix account doesn’t apparently show movies that they have removed from the queue. But I vaguely recall a Danish movie about some criminals who start a restaurant, but I don’t think there was any people eating, so I am probably getting it mixed up with that. Its definitely not “The Butcher’s Wife”
      Of course, I have seen an unusual number of movies where people get eaten, starting with “Eating Raoul” – probably my love of offbeat movies. Oh, and in Eating Raoul was Robert Beltran, who I actually was on stage with when I was in Community college production of Julius Caesar…this is way before he was in that Star Trek offshoot (he was the Julius Caesar, I played a spear catcher…)

      And of course, Delicatessen is a great flick

      Ever watch any Aki Kaurismaki?
      A good start is “Leningrad Cowboys go American” though my favorite is “Man without a Past”

      1. optimader

        You can get a copy of The Green Butchers for ~$10.00.
        Worth the price of admission, the you can donate it to your local public library!

        Ah, thanks for the heads up on Aki Kaurismaki. I did see
        but I’ve have been remiss on his other films. From time to time i’ll order up a handful from the same director or an actor and watch them sequentially. Directors like Guillermo del Toro ( Pans Labyrinth, Devils Backbone, Hellboy..) it’s interesting to see how the progress — As you know, bigger budgets aren’t necessarily a good thing.

        Here’s another fun Danish film , a dark humored satire which includes a hilarious treatment of the pre-crash Icelanders. Revolves around the sale of a IT startup done good..
        The Boss of It All

        Danish director Lars von Trier gets experimental again in “The Boss of It All”, but this time he aims to make us laugh. This corporate comedy sends up actors, artistic pretensions, and the venerable tradition of passing the buck. Mr. Ravn (Peter Gantzler) founded a successful technology company but was loath to take on the role of President. So he invented a fictional company president who is always abroad, concealing his true role even from the company’s “six seniors”, its first and most valuable employees. Now Ravn needs to close a deal with an Icelandic businessman who insists on dealing with the President. So Ravn hires Kristoffer (Jens Albinus), an out-or work actor of little talent and many pretensions, to be the President for a week.

      2. meeps

        fresno dan march 4 @ 2:02pm

        Netflix has a documentary called Tar Creek about the superfund site in Pitcher, OK, noted in the article above. It’s a revealing look at the history, from the methods used to steal the land from the indigenous tribe to the profiteering in the aftermath. High ranking officials still in power today (all the way to the WH) have names on those documents…

  19. barrisj

    After last night’s Repub WWE brawl, it only strengthens my case for placing all 2016 election “news” under the “Imperial Collapse Watch” aggregator.

    1. fresno dan

      March 4, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      great link!

      “I suppose no one would be more of an expert in phoniness and dishonesty than Romney, but there is also no one more ill-suited to criticize another politician for these flaws than he is. As I said earlier in the week, it’s fair to call Trump a fraud or a con artist, but almost no one has less credibility to make that accusation than Romney.”

      Romney epitomizes a line from a Peggy Noonan column: “It is the rise of people who don’t have all that much against those who’ve been given many blessings and seem to believe they have them not because they’re fortunate but because they’re better.”

      Romney is a man who is rich because of his ability to finagle tax loopholes. He has demonstrably reduced incomes and employment, and has documented contempt for 47% of Americans (he probably has contempt for 99%, but we don’t have that on tape).

      Just as another link today shows that Romney also has supported torture, Romney is the best example of using “Washington speak” (aka Orwell speak) to defend the indefensible.

      I saw Romney today on Bloomberg’s “All Due Respect” and the fact that such a loathsome character is treated as if an elder statesmen, and the total inability of the mainstream media to confront the most blatant, transparent lies is a reason no one pays attention to the media…..and shouldn’t.

  20. Watt4Bob

    Something has slowly dawned on me as I wonder why HRC can count on the Black vote considering the fact that the Clintons have done next to nothing to deserve that loyalty;

    Black Americans have much longer experience in fighting the good fight, and unlike most American voters they understand it’s going to be a long-haul.

    There is not a hint of the naive expectation of an instant fix on the part of Black Americans that is so much in evidence when you look at the poor whites rallying around Trump, and by extension, the T-Party in general.

    Black Americans understand that progress comes slow, and deeply distrust anyone who tells them it will be otherwise.

    This is a wisdom born of hundreds of years of experience.

    (Neither side of my family has been here for more than one hundred years.)

    I have a feeling that what we are seeing is not Black America’s loyalty to the Clintons, so much as a reluctance to abandon hope in the Democratic Party, a partnership that in the long run, has paid off, no matter how slow the progress.

    Most of White America has no idea what kind of patience, and faith it takes to engage in this kind of struggle.

    Most of poor, white America has fallen for the myth of the ‘rugged individual’ and turned its back on the hard won lessons of the progressive era, the most important of which is the necessity of SOLIDARITY in the face of the enemy.

    Right or wrong, Black Americans have made the decision that when facing the rising threat of angry mobs of ignorant people, coagulating around a hateful demagogue, it’s unwise to bust up a coalition with such a long history.

    If the Sanders phenomenon becomes a significant, read effective progressive movement, I would expect Black Americans will have no trouble adapting to that reality, but don’t expect them to abandon what has been working for decades to join a ‘movement’ that could be just another flash-in-the-pan.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Very thoughtful. But the allegiance seems to be specifically to Clinton, not to the party. Unless the general view is that Clinton effectively is the party, which I could see.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Hillary is the established leader of the party. The results show Hillary likely enjoyed the same support she had in 2008 while Obama, African American voters stayed home.

        Have you seen the way the majority of elected Democrats have sworn fealty?

  21. tiresoup

    War on Drugs: There ARE winners. The private prison complex, the DEA, the cops. Lots of jobs and profit in enforcing the unenforceable. That’s why it continues. Like a lot of the other unwinnable wars we’re now engaged in. The point isn’t winning because that would end it. End the profits, that is.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As winners, you could add the enormous new federal justice palaces:

      “Since the early 1990s, the General Services Administration (GSA) and the federal judiciary have been carrying out a multibillion-dollar courthouse construction initiative.”

      Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and on and on. A pampered federal judiciary with well-appointed chambers and private elevators serves as a compliant rubber stamp for the conviction machine.

  22. cripes


    Seems like a bootdisk that loads a basic operating system would allow you to browse and delete/quarantine files that shouldn’t be there.
    Or to back up and rescue files if you end up installing a new operating system from scratch.

    1. Antifa

      Look into SpiderOak, a cloud backup service that encrypts your files before they ever leave your local drive, and no one at the server farm has any means of decrypting them. Only you have the means.

      If you are hit by ransomware, just wipe the drive, reinstall your OS, login to SpiderOak and download.

      I maintain a second computer also synced with SpiderOak, but that second box never has relations with my main computer. (Might catch something that’s still spreading through the file system.)
      Every few days I login on the second box to update files.

      I’ve had the pleasure of inviting some Russian geek to go enjoy oral congress with a syphilitic rodent. It feels so much better than sending him money.

  23. NeqNeq

    Which is just to say that the wage component of total compensation decreases and costs to consumers increases (directly via ticket/food prices or indirectly though tax incentives and public funding of stadiums).

  24. NeqNeq

    Wierd. My previous post was supposed to be a reply to Chris A wrt football….but it seems to have losts its way.

    1. fresno dan

      March 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Great link – Posted that link a few times myself.
      Can’t refute Carlin’s logic – either on where the politicians come from, or that you can only not take blame if you DON’T vote…

  25. kevinearick

    Elevator Work

    Alfred Nobel modified nitroglycerin to slow and control the reaction, to increase the efficiency of natural resource exploitation and print money. That’s about all you need to know about the path of technology, within the empire. Derivatives of debt replace natural resources, inflation on arbitrary RE control increases, relative income falls for the majority with a decline in natural resources mined, and prices increase due to artificial scarcity in a lawfully closed system.

    The whole energy thing is a hoax perpetrated on a willingly ignorant majority, and the marriage of big business and big government, blaming each other for outcomes, picks up it reserve currency apparatus and moves to greener pastures when the jig is up. Digital debt is slowing down and controlling what remains of this nonsense, to increase efficiency and print more money, but the empire has nowhere to go where the planet can recycle resources faster than it can consume them. The answer, the next logical extension in this line of reasoning, is robots – fewer, dumber and more efficient consumers of energy, replacing the middle class.

    Subjected to government healthcare selection and government education filtering, on compliance to the arbitrary rule of local RE control, the majority cannot develop their own elastic priorities, let alone integrate the priorities of spouses and direct the work of those with no priorities demanding equal rights, whatever the hell that means on any given day. And the social engineers enforcing the rule of RE inflation are no exception. Special interests are encouraged because they keep the majority busy with their own misdirection.

    Most are willing to learn a little math, English and biology – derivatives, because the process immediately improves their capabilities, at least to have sex and protect themselves from immediate threats. Like all things in the universe, compliments attract. A math wiz may marry a language wiz, or someone slightly better at math may marry someone slightly better at language, and the non-complimentary pairings blow up, if not heavily subsidized.

    You have order and disorder, increasing and decreasing complexity. Complex carbon chains with complimentary species like oxygen rise, are hit by higher energy solar, break up, and fall back into simple carbons and simple compliments, to start all over, as the universe tinkers. The recycling of carbon formation is the biology you see, taught by arbitrary category by those who do not understand chemistry, who have arbitrarily categorized themselves.

    Chemistry, the sub-atomic level, is the same thing, but you are looking at complimentary positive and negative partial charges, with surfaces again separating species, moving electrons around which serve as keys to unlock biological locks, triggering the reaction pathways. Chemistry gives you a major advantage relative to the empire majority, so public education is going to make it out to be rocket science, with all kinds of mythological religion, again taught by arbitrary category. Physics tells you what those electrons (charge separation) are going to do given a circumstance.

    Energy is nothing more than separation of charge, into positive and negative ‘quantum’ fields, relative to each other, net to zero if you connect them with a circuit, inside an atom, among atoms, between earth and atmosphere, or anything else. The critters love oil to back currency because nature has already done the work and everyone made dependent on it is easily controlled. Physics is just the electrical pathway, which allows you to easily bypass the empire, with just a little work.

    When you throw that rope over the wheel attached to the ceiling and attach it to the counterweight on the other side, you are ready to do work, on your side, but the work is not moving the counterweight for Fred Flintstone. You attach an elevator cab on your side for relative balance, with some differential to maintain friction on the rope, and connect the wheel to a motor. RE is the Fred Flintstone counterweight, arbitrarily adding to the counterweight burns up the motor, and the CBs are always behind the curve adjusting with retrospection, wondering what happened to the motor.

    A circuit does the same thing, with multiple wraps between the elevator and the ceiling sheaves for leverage, slowing the elevator and increasing the load with a smaller motor. Across the universe, the sheaves are just going here, there and everywhere, in many dimensions. Once you get past 3-D, how your sight is wired, you have to give up one dimension for another.

    Because you are an I/O circuit doesn’t make you less human any more than it does a bumble bee, unless you accept the stupidity of empire as your reality, the false assumption that your identity is defined by others, through the systematic elimination of imagination.

    Empire, the low energy counterweight, tries to tell the elevator cab where to go, and fails miserably every time, but that never prevents the majority, riding the rope from high to low energy into the pit, from trying again. Don’t let the cave people in public healthcare and education fool you. They know slightly more than a rock, and a rock is more efficient.

    At some point, some of the kids with imagination get tired of riding the elevator as well and want to build one. And you never know; one of those kids may be yours.

  26. fresno dan

    Making the Journey From Menace to Neighbor, All on One Brooklyn Block New York Times (resilic). Telling.

    The thing is, not only do you have to be “successful” in the US to live a middle class life, you have to be successful UNINTERRUPTED for your entire life, without exception – no accidents, no untoward events, no mental anomalies, etcetera – the mesh on the safety net is very, very big…

    I have some friends finally coming to realize how a few months of unemployment can imperil one’s middle class existence.

  27. Andrea

    Boing Boing on the drug war.

    I live in Switzerland a-hem know in detail the evaluation of the first set-up of that program (5 year retrospective study.) B – B’s clip on Switz. is roughly correct.

    Is stated 2/3 of the ppl got regular jobs, not untrue but a tad optimistic, as the jobs were about 50% part-time, lowly, etc. Remember CH has basically no unemployment, it is easy to find work.

    Extra points, may be of interest.

    a) Some addicts (applies *only* to heroin addicts) found it extremely easy to quit, once they were accepted / stabilised (etc.) and they just did it. — See studies that show that such addiction is dependent on culture, context, etc, and once removed from it, quitting is no prob, such as Vietnam vets. Some others however could not. No difference on the ‘regular’ measures was found. (= “People differ.”)

    b) Those who were in stable partnerships, relationships (married etc. or with strong family relationships, to a parent for ex.) did better than those who were isolated/single, and this held even for couples who were both addicted.

    c) Crime was reduced, but overall that is very hard to measure. However it is the case that the ppl in the program completely gave up any criminal activity (2% did commit 1-2 criminal acts in 5 years…very low %)

    d) no relationship to age emerged. Some young ppl did really well from day one, others not; some older ppl, even with AIDS, completely turned their lives around, etc.

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