Links 3/8/16

Tips For Spoiling Your Cat The Onion

U.S. Consumer Borrowing Slows Amid Market Turmoil WSJ

Stop worrying about a recession for now WaPo

Fed’s Fischer: inflation is ‘stirring’ FT

Junk-Bond Rebound Signals Easing Fear WSJ

The ETF Files Bloomberg

The Affordable Care Act isn’t wiping out unpaid hospital bills Modern Healthcare

Theranos Ran Tests Despite Quality Problems WSJ. More fraud; more bezzle. Maybe we should change “Silicon Valley” to “Silly Valuations”?

The United States dominates global investment banking: does it matter for Europe? Bruegel


German industrial production jumps in January France24

Further dissolving signs for the euro-circus the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens

Devil Demands and Receives More Concessions from Merkel: In Bed with a Dictator MishTalk


Nine deceptions in our history with the EU Telegraph. The Torygraph, but still…


China’s Exports Tumble Amid Broad Slowdown WSJ

Poor China trade data revive global growth fears FT

China’s Export Slump Shows Growth Push Hinges on Local Demand Blooomberg

VPN services in China down due to parliamentary session in Beijing Asian Correspondent

Chinese woman trapped for a month in an elevator starves to death Los Angeles Times. Property management at that high-rise wasn’t the best…


End Times for the Caliphate? LRB.

Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East Reuters

U.S. Central Command Promotes The War On Yemen Where Al-Qaeda Is The Only Winner Moon of Alabama

Trump Panic

Trump challenged over ties to mob-linked gambler with ugly past Micheael Isikoff, Yahoo News. Seen The Big Short, Spikey? The difference between The Mob and Goldman Sachs would be?

Decades Later, ‘Spy’ Magazine Founders Continue To Torment Trump NPR. (And, of course, the classic).

Donald Trump, America’s Own Silvio Berlusconi The Intercept

The Trump-Beating and the Hope of the Sandernistas Counterpunch

Donald Trump: the case for the defence FT


‘I could not win’: Michael Bloomberg rules out a presidential run WaPo

Do Foreign Lives Matter? Hillary Clinton, a Death in Honduras & Feminism Down with Tyranny

The Presidential Plot Thickens NYT

Some supporters of Rubio say bad strategy, poorly run campaign killing his chances WaPo. Let the blame game begin!

Democrats and Republicans Are Quietly Planning a Corporate Giveaway—to the Tune of $400 Billion The Nation

Do Republicans and Democrats Drive Different Types of Cars? Priceonomics

Flint Crisis Shows How Cities Are Prize and Peril for Democrats Bloomberg

The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis The Atlantic

Medicare Is Leaving Elderly Women Behind The Atlantic

Reparations Isn’t a Political Demand Jacobin


Fukushima Nuclear Disaster 5 Years On: Water, Water Everywhere (Part I) Forbes

Five years later, Fukushima’s contamination is slow to fade Ars Technica

Mystery cancers are cropping up in children in aftermath of Fukushima Science

Playing Pass the Parcel With Fukushima NYT and Indian Point: Past Its Expiration Date NYT

Class Warfare

Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income Guardian

Why Seniors—Not CEOs—Deserve a Raise Elizabeth Warren, The Nation

4chan founder Chris Poole will try to fix social at Google Tech Crunch. Swell.

Craig Federighi: Security is an endless race, but the FBI wants to roll it back to 2013 Apple Insider

Banksy Identified by Scientists. Maybe. NYT

The List The New Yorker

Tomgram: Engler, The Transformative Power of Democratic Uprisings Tom Dispatch

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. abynormal

    …it now appears that ego depletion could be completely bogus, that its foundation might be made of rotted-out materials. That means an entire field of study—and significant portions of certain scientists’ careers—could be resting on a false premise. If something this well-established could fall apart, then what’s next? That’s not just worrying. It’s terrifying.

    i smell cookies…I’M GONNA DIE

    1. vidimi

      that’s quite interesting, and i haven’t been aware of this before. the psychologists devised an interesting experiment but then drew all the dumbest conclusions from it. other psychologists then picked it up and ran with it. without any background in academic psychology myself, i know that the amount of time i spend on a task is tied to either how important it is or(/and) how much i enjoy it. given that the priority of solving the problems was probably quite low for the participants, the ones eating freshly baked cookies enjoyed the task more than the ones eating radishes while smelling freshly baked cookies did. why the psychologists thought it necessary to draw conclusions about willpower from that i have no idea. perhaps it would have been interesting to see how well the two groups did on a completely new study in a new environment that was identical to both groups, but i guess they didn’t think of that. my assumption would be that their “willpower” would have reset, thus debunking the study.

      1. abynormal

        will you help remind me when the paper is released? (sometime next month)
        i do love a hot shower of condition cleansing…

  2. Cry Shop

    Fukushima cancers. That’s going to be a tough one to get through to a source, or which of several sources. The Tsunami washed up nearly 100 years of industrial pollution, including lots of pre-WWII heavy metals, as well as more modern PCBs, and other extremely carcinogenic and genotoxic organics which were deposited into harbour and off-shore mud. Many of these compounds are relatively easily transported as aerosols once the mud dried up, and it’s far more difficult and expensive to identify their movement — no simple waving of Geiger counters in the field will do for these. Rather it’s expensive, laborious application of laboratory based quantitative and qualitative chemistry techniques, which can generate their own toxic waste tail. Anyone else here old enough to remember Minamata disease?

    1. ambrit

      We had something similar happen in the teenintsy town we lived in on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It was slightly inland from an older industrial park.

        1. ambrit

          I hadn’t heard anything about Theodore! We here, Gulf Coast Mississippi, had thought that Alabama and the Florida Panhandle had escaped serious damage from Katrina. (How wrong we are!)
          My neck of the woods then was Pearlington, Mississippi. I had later read somewhere, which source has disappeared into Google Limbo, that areas near industrial sites all along the Coast showed elevated levels of arsenic. An explanation of the results for the DeLisle Dupont paint plant mentioned the fact that arsenic is suspended in soils underneath the waters next to the shore and bays. So, what to believe.
          I do support your comment about toxic dust because we all experienced exactly what you described.
          Yeah, I’ve read numerous times that the Mississippi River region below Baton Rouge Louisiana is the highest cancer suffering region in America.
          I won’t even bore you with our recollections of the aftermath of the BP Macondo rig disaster.

    2. andyb

      The death and virtual elimination of vast portions of Pacific marine life should be a big clue, and the spike in Cancers on the US West Coast gets no mention. The inhalation or ingestion of any radioactive particles will result in life threatening cancer within 10 years in at least 50% of the population. Meanwhile the radiation levels in the Continental US are at levels that used to be considered as cause for immediate evacuation. (see

      1. Antifa

        The mutant humans that result in coming generations may not necessarily be suitable for Professor Xavier’s school for superheroes.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Fukushima, franken foods, the Zika virus, all those chemicals inside one’s body, electro-magnetic fields everywhere – all are working over-time to produce the next mutant species.

        1. perpetualWAR

          Between Fukishima and the Deepwater disaster, I have refused to eat anything coming from our polluted oceans. When we kill off the oceans, we kill off the humans.

      2. aumua


        Not even close to a credible source. While Fukushima has been and remains a huge ongoing disaster, we need to stay vigilant about lending credibility to fearmongering and hype, because there has always been a ton of it around Fukushima.

    3. low integer

      Anyone else here old enough to remember Minamata disease?

      Not old enough to remember, however as a photography fan I have long admired the work of W. Eugene Smith, who did a photographic essay on the industrial pollution in Minamata. He ended up being beaten to within an inch of his life by strongmen working on behalf of the Chisso corp for his troubles. The most prolific photo from his work in Minamata, Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath, is missing from the first link, though the Wikipedia link explains why this is the case.

  3. DakotabornKansan

    Hillary is an intersectional feminist?

    Hillary Clinton and the murder of Honduran indigenous and environmental activist Berta Cáceres …

    “Back-channeling deals to install right-wing military juntas that impose and enforce draconian reproductive laws is NOT FEMINIST. Back-channeling deals to install right-wing military juntas that silence–by bullet–more than a few women activists, is NOT FEMINIST. When LGBT people are beaten and killed; when women who are raped can’t get abortions; when women who live in a highly patriarchal culture cannot even access ways to plan their families, which in turn seals their fate as permanent members of the underclass so favored among multinationals who need cheap, motivated labor … these results are NOT FEMINIST GOALS.” – Deborah Newell,

  4. Llewelyn Moss

    Huh? Are they kidding us. Why would Bernie want to consider being Hellery’s VP? Why would he shackle himself to The Goddess Of Gloom. There’s just no freakin’ way. Never.

    C’mon Michigan, show us You Are Smarter than Massachusetts. Go Bernie!

    1. JohnnyGL

      Yeah, I saw an interview with Ted Devine, his campaign mgr in politico(?) yesterday. That kind of stuff is really demoralizing for supporters to hear. Does he realize how much of his support is based on people’s disgust with Hillary’s epic levels of corruption?

      In the last week or two the campaign has shifted their rhetoric and talked less about winning and more about ‘movement building’. I’m wondering if this is just spin to attempt to try to lose in a graceful manner?

      If the folks in charge don’t believe, how are the rank-and-file supposed to keep the faith?

      If he loses by double digits in MI today, combined with a MS loss, he’s going to start fading out of Clinton’s rear-view mirror. The gap is over 200 delegates now. There’s still time to turn things around, but he needs to claim a serious win so he can grab some momentum for when the calendar starts shifting towards him.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        I see the ‘movement building’ approach as a smart move. This way people feel like a part of something bigger rather than just throwing a vote into the Bernie pile. And maybe it will live on past the election as an org that carries some weight. We’ll see. Go Bernie!

        1. Ernie

          I agree. Here in my little corner of Maine, which we just brought home for Bernie, many of us (in addition to continued phone banking and support for the campaign in other states) are turning our attention to furthering the political revolution more locally. For example, we have a pretty good candidate for state senate that’s going to get a lot of support from local Berners. On a more national level, I’m hoping the national structure Bernie is building will transform into something more permanent (whether Bernie is elected or not) to help bring the political revolution to Congress and statehouses over the coming years.

          1. JohnnyGL

            I hope you both are right about what he does post election. It would be pretty frustrating if he just goes back to his Senate job and doesn’t try to build and mobilize anything.

          2. perpetualWAR

            My Bernie Revolution:
            I sincerely hope every other Berner will follow suit.

            What’s the definition of insanity again?

      2. neo-realist

        Hopefully, the campaign is serious about movement building to the extent of shifting the democratic party in a more populist progressive direction regardless of whether Sanders wins or loses. Hopefully pushing for a change in the DNC leadership, then embarking on a 50 state strategy of sorts to get good democrats elected to congress followed by pushing the president, regardless of ideological bent, in a more progressive direction, or at least containing and squashing reactionary policies.

        Even with a Democratic figurehead, he or she would be powerless without a congress he or she can work with.

  5. vidimi

    re: banksy

    another possibility is massive attack’s robert del naja. from the same bristol art collective, same political stance. or maybe different members of the collective take turns being banksy.

    1. ambrit

      Since “Banksey” appeared in New Orleans and later New York, analysis of travel by various ‘suspects’ can narrow down the list considerably.
      As I have elucidated below, the real heart of this article is not Banksey, per se, but surveillance in general.

      1. vidimi

        agreed. and these were civilian researchers who, presumably, didn’t even have access to the more sophisticated tracking devices available to three-letter gov agency employees and so can’t even determine who went to NO, NY, Gaza and a bunch of other places last year.

        1. vidimi

          besides, london’s countless security cameras would no doubt help solve the puzzle in no time

          1. perpetualWAR

            Regarding the network of security cameras in London:
            Did anyone question the “suicide” of Gabriel Magee from JPMChase in London?
            Wouldn’t his “suicide” be captured on CCTV?
            Don’t inquiring minds want to know?

    2. clinical wasteman

      Maybe, but some of Massive Attack’s work (or at least that first ‘Blue Lines’ album) is actually quite good, whereas Banksy’s graphic platitudes are about as ‘subversive’ as a Guardian op-ed by Jonathan Freedland. Then again, the band cravenly caved in to a govt. order to drop the word ‘Attack’ from the name during the first Iraq invasion, so who knows.
      Anyway, I agree with other commenters that Banksy’s elevation to National Treasure status (arise, Sir Robin…) coincides with a multi-agency crackdown on graffiti and other such ‘Anti-Social Behaviour’. Graffitists(?) were visited by friendly police officers just before the London Olympics and warned of the jail time awaiting them should they venture outside, let alone raise a spray can. Whereas during the most full-on phase of inner London Gentrification (about 10-15 years ago, but only ‘controversial’ now) it was easy to do enough get certain spec. developers visibly angry. A minor risk at that time though — as I can testify first hand — was that of getting badly plagiarised by Banksy.

      1. lightningclap

        Right, I rate “Blue Lines” above anything by Banksy, or S Fairey for that matter.

      2. vidimi

        i am a big massive attack fan but i rate banksy, too. perhaps his art could be more “subversive” but it’s still good art as it’s quite effective at capturing the zeitgeist of the moment.

  6. ambrit

    Re. Banksey;
    Reading the article, I felt that frisson that denotes amorphous fear. Banksey is being ‘tracked’ as an experiment dealing with analyzing graffiti as an expression of potential terrorism.
    “The team behind the Banksy study said they turned their attention to the artist as a test case to see whether their model could be applicable in more scenarios involving political messages, propaganda and information, such as for tracking extremist groups.”
    So, the real subject of this piece isn’t Banksey, but is The Panopticon.

    1. Carolinian

      They said they were also unimpressed with headlines asserting that they had somehow proved Banksy’s identity. “It does show a trend that overall we need to be worried about,” said Dr. Rossmo. “It’s kind of hard to know what to believe.”

      You mean headlines like “Banksy identified by scientists”? Shorter NYT: made you look.

      1. ambrit

        It’s like the Chinese Finger Puzzle. The more you try to extricate yourself, the deeper enmeshed you become. Me, I’m up to my knees in it right now.

        1. Ulysses

          Banksy is one of those instances where the spooks have decided that they would rather allow something mildly subversive to persist, rather than create a martyr through heavy-handed suppression.

          Sometimes the decision goes the other way, as in the cases of Aaron Swartz and Barrett Brown. Any of us who post here at NC, or attend anti-fracking rallies, Black Lives Matter marches, etc. are firmly in the gaze of those who own the Panopticon.

          My own feeble attempts to preserve some anonymity on the intertubes isn’t a realistic method for avoiding scrutiny. It’s more of a symbolic gesture, meant to recall the memory of Benjamin Franklin, and many other patriots, who contributed thoughts in the public square under pseudonyms.

          The whole point of this global surveillance state is to try and foster a climate of self-censorship among us subjects of this transnational kleptocratic regime, limiting to manageable numbers those who point out the emperor’s lack of clothes.

          We will know we’ve turned the corner– into a harsher new normal– when Banksy, and other unconventional voices, are definitively silenced. If any of us survive that transition we will have to employ samizdat techniques to preserve free speech.

  7. Steve H.

    Brilliant antidote. The detail on the forefronted branches, how the two crossed branches near the middle cause the contrast to pop and draw the eye, the red at the corners balancing off this, and the story the two faces tell..

    And foxes. Vulpes voluptuous.

  8. ambrit

    Well, it had to happen sooner or later.
    I’ve gotten in ‘bad’ with Yves before over the issue of ‘ad blockers.’ Fair enough. This site partly supports itself via ad revenue. I can see the logic of that.
    Now, Forbes has weaponized ad presentation. In trying to gain access to a Forbes article about Fukushima, I encountered a screen that denied me access to the site as long as I had an ad blocker engaged. Simply put, no ads, no article. Finally, a site friendly Denial of Service attack!
    I won’t go any further since I value a civil discourse.

  9. Cry Shop

    “Mystery cancers are cropping up in children in aftermath of Fukushima”

    Very well written article. My only complaint is with the title, which seems to suggest that the “mystery cancers” are due to the meltdowns. The actual article said the exact opposite. It basically said that what we have here is a classic example of the screening effect.

    Perhaps the author didn’t write the title. As I’ve learned writing letters to the editor, it is the editors, not the author, that choose the title. And editors often make titles more alarmist, in order to attract readers.

    Is the site software having some glitches handling comments? It lost an earlier comment.

    1. diptherio

      Sometimes WordPress just eats a comment. The other day one of mine disappeared, which really bummed me out, as it proved conclusively that Donny Trump is the Antichrist (seriously, do a search for “Donald Trump 666”). Oh well. Probably wouldn’t have done this group of unbelievers any good, anyway.

      Speaking of Trump, if it turns out that he’s not the Antichrist, it will only be because he is, in fact, an incarnation of Loki, the Norse trickster god:

      1. Ulysses

        We may well be living in the end times, brother diptherio. In any case, Word Press is part of the Matrix, lol.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Wonder if that has anything to do with his big hands, or is it his little hands, or what? It’s getting difficult to keep track of all the candidates’ qualifications.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Yaboo flakes off:

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cancellation of a proposed meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama put more strain on their troubled ties on Tuesday just before a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden.

    The White House said on Monday it was “surprised” to learn first from Israeli media that Netanyahu had decided against coming to a conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington on March 20, and the suggestion in some reports that among his reasons was Obama’s unavailability to see him.

    Zeev Elkin, an Israeli cabinet minister close to Netanyahu, countered that Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer had given the White House advance warning the trip might not happen.

    Obama, Biden and Kerry have experienced first hand Israel’s relentless sandbagging of U.S. statecraft, most outrageously when Netanyahu denounced our foreign policy from the dais of the House of Representatives last year.

    Israel’s ambassador Ron Dermer functions as a wingman for the Republican party. Last October, Pat Buchanan urged Obama to declare Dermer persona non grata (for activities incompatible with his ambassadorial status) and deport him. Still a good reco!

    1. RabidGandhi

      I will believe there are “troubled ties” when it is notable that the US is decreasing its military/diplomatic/financial support for Israel. Until then hot air is just hot air.

      1. alex morfesis

        Silly wabbytz…if anyone thinks the sahwoods, ayatoela, egyptian military or other demigodish musselmani keeping their fellow mooselumz “captive” want a palestinian democratic state you are not paying attention…the dominos start to fall the day after the palestinian state is assigned its iso number for its official legal tender and takes a seat at the un…if iran was really bebe frikin yahoos enemy he would do a major take away by creating a palest state unilaterally…
        Remember Iran Contra…and ask…how exactly have the Iranians been able to keep those US military planes of the clown prince deposed in 79 flying if “we” are not providing them the parts directly…how have the MD passenger airliners kept flying all those years…

        the truth is hardly ever what it appears to be…

        1. alex morfesis

          Besides…barouch obamovitz has thick skin…why else would he be in argentina on the 40th anniversary of the coup…

          Dont cry for me sant clemente…

          the truth is not quite important

          All thru our drone daze

          Our mad persistance

          We made a promise

          And would not keep it

          We made a promise…

    2. Carolinian

      The friends of Benjamin Netanyahu in the United States rightly fear that someday the American people and government will come to their senses and regard Israel as just another friendly foreign state, without any “special relationship” attached. To counter that possibility, the lashing out against any public figure who dares to criticize Israel is both immediate and visceral. Note, for example, the fate of former President Jimmy Carter who was virtually excommunicated by the Democratic Party after he condemned Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.

      But what the neocon subset of Israel’s powerful lobby fears most is something quite different – becoming irrelevant. They have weathered being wrong about nearly everything but what they particularly fear is finding themselves without a major political party whose foreign policy they can manipulate because that would cut off their funding from defense contractors and pro-Israel zealots. They will have to give up the emoluments that they have accumulated since hijacking the GOP under Ronald Reagan. They might have to abandon their corner offices and secretaries and could even have to find real jobs. And what would the Sunday morning talk shows be like without the Cheshire cat grin of Bill Kristol?

      Kristol in attendance of course at the Sea Island conference mentioned in downthread comment.

  11. nv

    Re dissolving Europe, Turkey is making its contribution with outrageous demands. Reminds me of how expropiation was part and parcel of Ottoman era genocide against the Armenians (1915) and the Greeks (1922). From the beginning of the reporting: “Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stunned his counterparts by demanding an extra three billion euros ($3.3 billion) in aid in exchange for his country’s help to counter the continent’s biggest migration crisis since World War II.

    He also proposed a refugee swap under which the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey in exchange for every Syrian that Turkey takes back from the overstretched Greek islands, a move that rights groups say would be illegal.”

  12. Brindle


    New poll has Sanders closing on Clinton in Michigan. The divide between younger voters and over 65 is striking, I guess those older voters are so set in their ideas as to what is possible that they essentially vote for the status quo. Unfortunately, I see a Clinton win in Michigan.

    —The poll, released by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, shows Sanders is favored by 79% of voters between the ages 18 and 29. But Clinton is favored by about 78% of voters 65 years and older.—

    1. JohnnyGL

      For the over 65s, I blame TV news and radio. They’ve been very disciplined about refusing to give him any oxygen. They don’t mention his name unless it’s to dismiss him as having wild ideas, that he’s unelectable and fading fast and they quickly move on. NPR has been among the worst. The primary calendar helps them.

      Bernie’s money didn’t start really rolling in until maybe 6 months ago? It’s hard to build a name from scratch that fast.

      The younger crowd knows how to use the interwebs!

      1. Brindle

        The older demographic is by far cable news highest of viewers.. I don’t have cable but when I do see CNN etc. I am struck by how severe the marginalization is of progressive voices. Younger people are far more likely to get their news via links from friends and social media etc.

        1. Antifa

          My elderly in-laws visit a couple times a year. Mid-eighties. Fox News fans. They complain that we have streaming web, not cable TV. They ask how I expect to get the news each day if I don’t watch live TV, real news as it happens.

          I got nowhere explaining RSS and newsfeeds and apps and Google Alerts. It was all computer gibberish to them. So I showed them an in-depth blog post about their favorite Presidential candidate, John Kasich.

          To their credit, they both read it, and even accepted its several criticisms of his politics, but then they asked, “Why on earth would you take the time to read something that long when TV news would have given you fifteen or twenty stories in the same amount of time?”

          1. RabidGandhi

            “Why on earth would you take the time to read something that long when TV news would have given you fifteen or twenty stories in the same amount of time?”

            That’s the most depressing quote I’ve read all week. I guess it’s not just Twitter that’s to blame for the shortening of the modern attention span.

          2. JohnnyGL

            Grandparents these days just don’t have the attention span that grandparents of previous generations had!!!

            1. bob

              Or any sort of common sense and ability to think into the future.

              Who would benefit most from single payer health care, aka, more in the boat, making it a truly non-generational, non-age based, non-political system? All people, in the same rooms, seeing the same docs, and getting the same treatment.

              Who’s the largest group against it?

              Fucking morons, as a broad generalization.

              1. hunkerdown

                They’re concerned about their elder status more so than their fortunes, I suspect. Remember, these are the people who want you to have grandchildren for their own selfish purposes. To have common sense, you must first have common interest.

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think that’s an improvement – we are getting better.

            History used to be decided by, say, a nose (Cleopatra’s).

            More recently, it was Nixon sweating on a televised debate.

            “There you go again,” and an election was won.

            Why take all that time? – that’s a question as old as humanity.

          4. RP

            If you can’t confirm my biases about things I have convinced myself I’m not a complete ignoramus about while exposing me to new things to be afraid of I may not have thought of yet in under 10 minutes, what’s the point?

            The point is critical thinking makes better citizens, you spoon-fed morons.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              There are always morons.

              The question for thinking persons is whether we should let them vote or not.

              “Can a democracy survive close to 50% moron rate?”

              1. myshkin

                “Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers. I hope it’s the same fifty percent.”
                -Gore Vidal

                  1. myshkin

                    Nice pad.
                    I think he sold it after his long time partner died and he himself was in bad health.
                    He left Italy reluctantly I think, returning to California for what he called his “Cedars Sinai years.”

      2. TsWkr

        My fiancé’s mother early voted in Illinois for Clinton. Her parents are right around 65 and would theoretically be part of the older crowd that would swing towards Bernie — liberal, rural, anti-war with the refrigerator magnets to provide it. The one thing that would lead one to think of a Clinton supporter is relative affluence as her parents are a former physician (who just retired partially out of disgust for generic managerialism in medicine) and a former executive director for a non-profit. Even so, you’d think a lot of those experiences would tilt one towards the candidate rejecting the status quo.

        They seemed to be sympathetic to Bernie, even to the point of buying me some Bernie campaign swag for the holidays knowing I’d prefer a campaign donation over any gift. Still, her mother told me that her choice came down to 1) Hillary’s probable better handling of the job once in office and 2) not betraying the ‘sisterhood’.

        With all that, I really just can’t wrap my head around the value systems and political decision making of our parents’ generation (I’m late 20’s). I can guess as to why seniors are going so much towards Hillary, but personally I’m having a tough time seeing how they come to that decision.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I suspect today’s seniors, when they were younger, say, in the 1960’s, wondered the same…

          “Don’t trust old people.”

          1. Gio Bruno

            Yep. I recall it was: “Can’t trust anyone over 40”. Now that I’m over 40 I realize you can’t trust anyone (in politics).

        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          They’ve been beaten down by life, basically. Their ‘political decisions’ have been made for them by their experiences. They are like Mark Twain’s famous cat that, having once sat on a hot stove, will never again sit on any stove at all.

          I sat next to a 65-70 year old guy while waiting for our caucus to begin in Nevada, ~3 weeks ago. His words to me were (roughly) “I mostly like Sander’s ideas & ideals, but I’m going to vote for Clinton — despite knowing and hating that she’s in bed with the banks — because Sanders won’t win the general.”
          I walked into the other room with the Sanders voters ~15 minutes after we spoke; he stayed in the Clinton room. The average age of the voters was ~20-25 years younger in the Sanders room.

          I understand their impulse since I’m in my 50s, but I don’t hold with it. My perspective was radically altered by a significant life-changing event 12 years ago, and I tend to recognize my helplessness in the face of life’s impermanence better, I think. Having recognized it, I’ve ceased to care as much. There is no point in being chickenshit when the ‘safer’ route will fail you anyway; you just make yourself miserable for nothing in doing so.

          People whose feel their lives are precariously balanced in a metastable ‘OK’ state make bad decisions in the face of uncertainty. We’ve hit a major cultural inflection point, and their old calculus is failing us all.

        3. Lexington

          People generally become more conservative politically as they get older, in part because they have a bigger stake in the status quo. It’s all good and fine for the kids who have no money, no assets, no careers and few prospects to back Sanders’ radical schemes for free tuition and single payer healthcare and what have you but if it all goes horribly wrong it’s the people with something to lose who are going to pay the price. And starting over in your 50s or 60s is not something anyone can regard with equanimity.

          For those people Clinton is the “safe” choice.

            1. Lexington

              In America they are, in that they lie outside of the Overton Window and have virtually no support among the mainstream establishments of either party. If it were otherwise the US would already have them.

              Clinton polls well among the older demographic because they think it’s safer to stick with what they know than take a risk on what they don’t. That’s not a commentary on the objective merits of what Sanders is proposing but merely a realistic appraisal of the political realities he is up against.

          1. HotFlash

            Speak for yourself. Me, I got only a few years to live and nothing to lose. I want to leave the best world I can.

            1. Lexington

              I’m not speaking for myself, I’m just trying to explain why Sanders is losing older voters to Clinton.

      1. polecat

        Don’t worry too much……..those old geezers (of which I am trending towards, age wise) will soon, relatively speaking, be taking the long dirt nap !!

        Then the xers & yers can take up the reins of human evolution…or devolution……..take your pick!

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The only way to beat those geezers is for the youths to vote even when not excited.

        “An eye for an eye.” – that’s the way you wanna play? We will play it your way.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Elections being on Tuesdays helps. Another good option is to have all the potentially rambunctious youngsters deep in debt and working 2-3 jobs each so they don’t get distracted by news that lasts longer than a Daily Show segment.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Jobs Guarantee – We guarantee you will need 2 or 3 jobs to stay alive.


            Do we need to outlaw robots in order to implement Job Guarantee?

            “I am here to interview for the department spokesperson job.”

            “That was 20 years ago. It’s not a job now. It’s a robot.”

            “Can a human take it back?”

            “Take what back?”

            “The job back.”

            “I’ve told you. It’s not a job. It’s a robot now. And you leave the robot alone. You can”t take that robot anywhere, forward or back.”

              1. ambrit

                I thought the Jubilee gave the clothes back. Where’s olde tyme religion when you need it?

    2. Brindle

      Michigan mayor threatened with physical removal by DNC chair: The Democratic Party is just their own little fiefdom. Despicable.

      —A Michigan mayor was threatened with ejection from Sunday’s Democratic debate in Flint, Mich., for voicing his support for one candidate, BuzzFeed News reports.

      Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, who was sitting behind Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said he was complimenting Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). But staffers for the DNC said Fouts was “being very disruptive,” according to BuzzFeed.

      The mayor said he and his assistant were pulled aside by security during a commercial break and were told that people had asked for him to be removed.

      “The sergeant-at-arms said, ‘The people that run this want you ejected, they don’t want you here,’” Fouts said.

      When asked if it was Wasserman Schultz making the request, Fouts said, “The security guy said, ‘Don’t say I said it.’”—

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The party is like the old USSR.

        You let it go.

        Some fantasized about sending an American rock start inside the evil empire, getting all the youts excited, and run for the head of the Politburo and ‘reform’ it.

        “Let’s get a socialist in there and save the party.”

        Maybe we let it go…

        1. Strangely Enough

          Airbrushed out of the picture. Kremlinology for the 21st century. Awesome…

    3. Jerry Denim

      Just wanted to add to the dog pile here…

      Yup- totally concur with the NC readership here, the Clinton/Sanders age divide is primarily a function of generational difference between media consumption. Any online reader poll for any of the Sanders-Clinton debates always show Sanders crushing Clinton by 10:1 margins yet she is somehow still ahead in the primary race. The over sixty set is wed to old media, while the under 40 crowd gets their news mostly from the internet. I would wager the under thirty voters are almost exclusively getting their information from online sources. If Naked Capitalism was the most popular news source for Americans we would have this rule by a corrupt, monied elite thing sorted yesterday.

      1. grayslady

        A gross generalization, I’m afraid. It’s more likely that the educated use the web for their information. The older, educated people I know don’t watch television–or turn it on for background noise only–and are voting for Bernie.

  13. alex morfesis

    b2tf little marco rubio…little “marti” rubio…in dealing with a bully one must take away their shadenfraude…not ignore it…but embrace it…

    get to the texas delorean people and borrow the “back to da fewchyr” tricked out delorean…

    I want to publicly thank you for stepping up when the marine archeologist (treasure hunter) I invested in yacked his way into trouble in Honduras…he eventually rips me off (duh…what part of treasure hunter did I not understand) but that is my problem…you did your part(only by chance was I not down there with them)…& considering my cousins long history with the miami krew hopefully you take this as a return thank you and if not marked fully paid…then at least mostly paid…

    The bully needs to be biffed…get the delorean…become little “marti mic-fly” rubio…he handed you the key to his own demise…run woth it…absorb it and laugh back…

  14. flora

    re:Revealed: the 30-year economic betrayal dragging down Generation Y’s income – Guardian

    I don’t understand the charts framing young adults v retirees. Why not young adults v middle-aged v near retirement? Current young under-jobbed v old no-job retirees looks like the wrong comparison. The problem of bad employment prospects is due to bad trade treaties de-industrializing (eliminating jobs in) whole countries. Article keeps saying “industrialized countries”. The US and the EU have been de-industrializing for 20 years. I’d like to see charts comparing the effective dates of lousy trade treaties and the following income levels for X age cohorts. e.g. 18-24 yr olds avg x income in 1990. Nafta passed in 1994. 18-24 yr olds avg y income for 1998.
    Young people should be making more money, should have better job prospects. Stop the disastrous trade deals, bring jobs back.

    1. vidimi

      this companion article explains why:

      the “progressive” guardian is currently doing a whole series of articles, allegedly, on generation Y, aka the millenials. if you scroll down, you will see others in the series as well as this snippet:

      Millennials: the trials of Generation Y

      For the first time, a generation is growing up certain that it will be poorer than its parents. Millennials — people born between the early 1980s and late 1990s — have dimmer prospects than their forebears. Why? And what can be done? This series is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust

      a visit to the jrrt about us page doesn’t turn up anything nefarious but, because they are a corporation and not a charity, they don’t disclose their funders.

    2. JohnnyGL

      Divide and conquer! They get you mad at your parents and grandparents, mad enough to cut their social security checks.

      Then, they want to subdivide and subdivide further! Political consultants love that stuff.

      The generational stuff is only a real issue in the minds of media commentators who can’t possibly talk about SOCIAL CLASS. Because that might bring up the subject of their bosses.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They also divide American Millennials from, say, Chinese Millennials.

        Apparently, the Chinese Millennials are doing better than their parents, especially when they cam move to the West…something their parents could only dream 20 or 30 years ago.

          1. rich

            They fed your social security to the Lie-ons? Oh well….carry on…carried interest. They used labors pool of capital, they drank it all up, they moved your jobs, they paid lower taxes, and now they’ll blame it on you.

            Rubenstein Carried Interest Story
            ProPublica reported how Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein ensured wealthy private equity underwriters (PEU) would continue paying minimal taxes via their preferred carried interest taxation.

            On June 8, 2010 Rubenstein’s cell phone rang as he was speaking to supporters of the Economic Club, at the Phillips Collection. He left the stage to take the call. Among those in the audience was Gary Shapiro, the consumer-electronics lobbyist who was Rubenstein’s travel companion to Japan in the ’80s. After a few minutes, Shapiro recalls, Rubenstein returned and said, “That was a senator. That one call just saved us on carried interest.”

            PEUReport readers know how Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama curry favor by dining with Mr. Rubenstein and his wife Alice Rogoff. ProPublica also told a number of dinner stories.

            The first serious run at removing the carried interest loophole came in 2007. PEUs won. Another attempt occurred in 2010. PEUs won. The next year America learned about the policy making billionaire.

            Today elected officials are no closer to righting this wrong. Americans are clearly concerned about our abysmal leaders, who seem to serve billionaires over the common man.

            It’s been a tough decade since the public learned about carried interest and our elected officials sat on their fattened hands. Thank heaven ProPublica noticed what others have. It’s a bipartisan world with lots of love for PEUs. Politicians Red and Blue love PEU.


            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Tolerant people are successful people.

              You don’t say you hate Republicans.

              You don’t way you hate Democrats.

              You dine with them all.

              Haters are losers.

              1. ambrit

                The problem is, when a ‘tolerant’ person ends up dead, there’s no coming back. Since tolerance is a hard won social tool, and haterance is almost hard wired in our society, think of the energy expenditure one of each requires. Then do the math and get sneaky.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We will see, in less than 30 years, all-robot corporations.

      “Our multi-national, multi-dimensional universal corporation is the first in the galaxy to be completely free of human workers. Welcome to the brave new world, better tomorrow today.”

      1. Antifa

        When it comes to mining asteroids for uranium, and hauling liquid methane home from Titan, a robot corporation fits the bill nicely. Humans get cranky and crazed out there alone on a 90-year project.

    4. Jerry Denim

      “Free Trade” and the resultant job offshoring is only part of the picture but it’s all interconnected. “Free Trade” deals lead to offshoring and the cut throat ‘race-to-the-bottom’ which included wage stagnation or declines. The lack of jobs and wages lead to the growth of credit to stimulate consumption and create a facade of prosperity. The easy credit blew bubbles primarily in education and housing- two things older more established Americans had no need for. The education bubble was a one-two punch for millennials because the crap economy plus the easy credit environment caused many young Americans to stay in school collecting advanced degrees since they had nothing better to do with their lives, which lead to degree inflation (Masters degree required to be someone’s intern) and all of this lead to increased debt loads and lower earnings. The massive debt loads and longer climbs to be established in one’s chosen career fields are what’s setting Gen Y and other other younger cohorts back. I’m a late blooming 1975 Gen X and I can tell you having a five year jump on Gen Y did not spare me from these macro-economic trends. I managed to get a reasonably priced undergraduate education at a decent state university but then went in debt for an advanced vocational degree that has only recently begun to pay off. At 40 years old, after working 15 years in my chosen profession, I’m on track to just barely crack six figures next year. Despite having a “good” job in a profession that most would deem “high-paid” I still can’t even fathom buying a house in my town. A two bedroom house in an undesirable part of town starts at around half a million. I could do it I suppose, but there’s other things I rather do with my disposable income than sink it all in a 25 year mortgage for a less than awesome house in a neighborhood I have no desire to live in. 40 years ago a guy at this point in my chosen career would already own two or three houses, including a vacation home/beach house.

      Generational warfare such as cutting Grandma’s social security or slashing anyone’s pension obviously isn’t going to address any of Gen Y’s problems but they certainly have been on the losing end of the real estate and job market. They have good reason to feel resentment towards older boomers who have happily benefited from the current state of affairs while remaining apathetic to the suffering of others or worse yet, supported politicians with neo-liberal policy agendas. Allowing the housing market to correct in 2008, removing distorting subsidies for real estate speculators, heavily taxing large inheritances and incomes over 500k could do a lot to ease the pain of struggling millennials.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Education bubble.

        I would not be personally excited about free college tuition, unless they first help those already graduated get a job to pay off their previously not-free college education.

        “You go first. You deserve to be help more than me.”

    1. Brindle

      Like a swarm of locusts or flies….

      —Federal Aviation Administration records available on show that a fleet of private jets flew into and out of two small airports near Sea Island this weekend. Fifty-four planes flew out of the airport on St. Simons Island, Georgia, on Sunday — nearly four times as many as departed from the airport the previous Sunday. —

      1. Carolinian

        Yes kudos to the HuffPo reporter for tracking all those jets on FlightAware. That’s shoe leather.

    2. Bas

      much of the conversation around Trump centered on “how this happened, rather than how are we going to stop him,” as one person put it.

      Yes, that makes perfect sense. And good luck to them. What was that Upton Sinclair said?

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

    3. barrisj

      Plennya reports surfacing about how the Superpacts are co-ordinating massive ad blitzes in the remaining primary states to rubbish He, Trump, in order to deny him a delegate majority…a plurality can be handled within a “brokered” convention, and it little matters to the billionaires who of the remain Repub “candidates” would be acceptable as nominees. Lotta talk about how the post – Citizens United era has been a complete bust for Big Money, as hundreds of millions or so have been spent on promoting “personal” or “vanity” candidates that have gone down in flames: my man Jeb!, Scott Walker, “Doctor” Ben Carson, Ricks Perry and Santorum, et al. However, as is well-known in Murkan politics, it’s far easier to go oppo and trash a candidate than it is to promote one, and Trump now is really taking it in the shorts from Big Money.

      1. ambrit

        Since Big Money is ‘shorting’ Trump as you say, then it behooves Trump to try out a Put(sch.)

    4. HotFlash

      Been trying to figure out what to call Der Trumpster. Tritler? Nah, sounds so trivial.

    5. RP

      Want to stop Trump? Simple. Nominate Bernie.

      Oh wait, that’d be even worse for the Oligarchs…

  15. Brindle

    Like a swarm of locusts or flies….

    —Federal Aviation Administration records available on show that a fleet of private jets flew into and out of two small airports near Sea Island this weekend. Fifty-four planes flew out of the airport on St. Simons Island, Georgia, on Sunday — nearly four times as many as departed from the airport the previous Sunday. —

  16. ambrit

    We just went and voted in the Mississippi Primary election.
    Our state does ‘open’ primaries. You are supposed to continue voting in that parties primaries, until the general election frees you up again.
    Lots of Republican candidates signage. No Democratic candidate signage. Republican desk always crowded, Democratic desk empty twice during the four or five minutes I was there. This being an older subdivision, population skews older.

      1. ambrit

        You’re very welcome, from both of us. No anecdotal evidence as to why the AAs surged for H Clinton. Will keep our ears open. The first signage we saw a few weeks ago was for Trump. A late ad blitz for Kasich was seen. Even in the AA neighbourhoods, no Democratic signage at all. Lots of Sanders internet traffic, if our e-mails are any indication. We’re thinking that Sanders has the Internet Generation well in hand. Now, all his campaign has to do is figure out a way to split off some of the older wealthier population from Clinton.
        Now on to the General Election! (We are keeping an eye on the down ballot races too.)

  17. craazyman

    Hello sensitive caring white peoples. hello Lambert. Hello Yves. Hello peoples of color with tan from sunshine. Trump is not Berlusconi. Berlusconi put his women on TV naked but Trump keeps his women for himself. How many women did Berlusconi put on TV nakeds. Many many. How many Trump? Not one. Berlusconi did Naked Capitalism before Yves and Lambert did Naked Capitalism.

    April 1 is coming soon.

    On April 1, Lamberts and Yves, please do this for great fun for ever person.

    Change tag line “Fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power” to

    “Shining the harsh light of truth into all the holes and cracks”
    “It Ain’t Pretty, that’s for sure!”
    “It Doesn’t need Viagra to Screw You”
    “Take off your Beer Goggles and Look!”

    1. Steve H.

      y u distinguish sensitive caring white peoples from Lambert and Yves and from tan? that’s a sin u foolin cos then u act like u think trump is a hoarder. or you wanted to see berlusconi naked. i guess that’s or inclusive.

      u may be craazy but u no f00l

      1. Steve H.

        “Then card out any clumps – you know, the cliques of chumps,
        the oligarchic clubs. Pluck their little heads off.”

        – ‘Lysistrata’, Aristophanes

        The classics speak to us from millenia past.

        1. Steve H.

          Aristophanes was brutally personal in his attacks. Must’ve stung, that line of satire disappeared for a looong time, instead we got stock characters, stereotypes, like you can still see on any sitcom…

          Enough, have some fun, here’s the closing number by Helena Paparizou:

    2. flora

      Gloves-off satire. Sorely missing from American discourse.
      “Take off your Beer Goggles and Look!”

  18. allan

    When It Rains, It Increasingly Pours, Scientists Say

    The overall rain and snowfall average is increasing only moderately. But observations since 1951 show that the wettest days every year have increased their intensity by 1 percent to 2 percent per decade, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change. The heavy precipitation is increasing over both wet and dry land areas, a surprising conclusion drawn from the research. … Dry regions should implement new protective measures against extreme rainfall because “even small increases in the intensity of extremes can have strong impacts”.

    Surely there’s a disruptive yet pragmatic public-private partnership that can deal with this.

    1. susan the other

      I’m not a climate denier, global warming is driving the climate. which was once based on periodic glaciations. so global cooling is no longer the driver of our climate. They have been saying, therefore, “warmer and wetter” for a few years now.

    2. Gio Bruno

      The heavy precipitation is increasing over both wet and dry land areas, a surprising conclusion drawn from the research. … Dry regions should implement new protective measures against extreme rainfall because “even small increases in the intensity of extremes can have strong impacts”.

      This is not a surprising conclusion. Scientists have been saying for decades that global warming is real and will increase the energy in the planets atmoshpere, which will create climate changes, which we will experience as intensified weather events. More energy (heat) in the atmosphere creates a cycle (warming oceans give up more water vapor, which holds more heat and stimulates intense weather) that makes for extreme weather events (hot, cold, wet, dry, windy, etc.) anywhere.

      Think about “dry regions implementing protective measures.” What should they do? Build giant levee’s along small creeks to protect against a rainstorm of unknown dimensions? How big and for how far? Quickly you realize the solution is not new infrastructure, but CARBON (CO2) abatement.

      1. bob

        Entropy. Tough word to use in this debate because it’s use is normally tied up with thermodynamics, which DOES NOT apply to the earth, as a system

        But the concept of entropy does- an increase in the dis-organization, along with an increase in temp.

        More long dry spells in one spot, more heavy storms in another.

  19. Ed

    This is a must read -and its also very enjoyable- that got buried in the links so I’m highlighting it:

    I also read the Stille article on Trump and Berlusconi but do not recommend it. She knows alot about Berlusconi, but not so much about Trump, and really strains trying to connect the two. They are both vulgar billionaires who made their money in entertainment and real estate who are running for public office. But its clear just from reading the article that Berlusconi is much more vulgar than Trump -if Trump registers at 8 on a 1 to 10 vulgarity scale, Berlusconi registers at 18- and also a much more sinister figure. Its also clear that that alot of the writer’s complaints about the US political system have nothing to do with Trump, for example, for all his flaws, the man did not repeal the fairness doctrine, did not set up or run Fox News and in fact doesn’t own any media outlets, and so on. Plus there is not much American politics and Italian politics have in common other than a high amount of corruption.

  20. allan

    Stunningly awful WaPo poll-free garbage piece on Sanders’ alleged inability to appeal to Jewish voters.
    Money quote:

    “We like Hillary Clinton. We’ve known her well for many, many years. We’ve worked with her. There’s a tremendous comfort level,” said Rabinowitz, the former Bill Clinton staffer. “Bernie Sanders? Eh, don’t know him so well. Like him. Excited for him. Proud about his success. But we’re with the other guy.”

    Seems legit.

  21. susan the other

    breugel. The EU is not a state, has no fiscal authority, no taxing authority and no sovereignty to sell at bargain basements. ergo the EU is unsuitable to house big international investment banks which could collapse if they could not be bailed out. Big global investment banks. So that leaves only the US, and soon China. Maybe China will bail out the bigs with rehypothecated Chinese non-performing-loan-backed securities and a duffle bag full of credit default swaps. They learn fast. This idea floated a few years ago and everyone said Hell No we don’t want your exploding banks. But it looks like we got em.

  22. fresno dan


    Graphic Economics
    Op-Eds & Columns
    Scorecard Series


    The Americas Blog

    Beat the Press

    CEPR Blog

    Director Watch

    Haiti: Relief & Reconstruction Watch
    Social Security Monitor

    Krugman on China, Trump, and Romney

    Published: 08 March 2016

    I see Paul Krugman was taking cheap shots at my heroes while I was on vacation. Krugman argues that Trump is wrong to claim that China is acting to keep down the value of its currency against the dollar. He points to recent efforts to prop up the value of the yuan by selling foreign exchange as evidence that China is actually doing the opposite of what Trump claims. Krugman should know better.
    This doesn’t lead us to the Trumpian conclusion that we need smart trade negotiators who are going to beat up China. First, I would be fairly certain that our trade negotiators are not stupid people. The problem of our trade deficit with China was not an intellectual deficit on the part of our negotiators; the problem was that they had a different agenda.

    A large trade deficit with China is a big problem for the millions of workers who lost their jobs and the tens of millions of workers who had lower wages as an indirect result of this job loss, but it is not a problem for everyone in the United States. Major retailers like Walmart are happy to use low cost imports as a way to undercut competitors. The same applies to manufacturers like GE who outsourced much of their production to China and other countries with low cost labor.

    Furthermore, the United States has other concerns in its trade negotiations with China. It wants China to do more to protect Pfizer’s patents and Disney and Microsoft’s copyrights. They also want increased access to China’s markets for Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

    Given this conflicting interests, it would not be surprising that our trade negotiators didn’t press China to raise the value of its currency. If Trump wants to beat up someone over the trade deficit with China, he might better direct his anger at Walmart and Goldman Sachs than at China’s government. He will have to first win a fight here over the goals of our trade policy with China before getting to an agreement with China on trade.

    Winners and losers…..funny how those with money always win…

  23. susan the other

    And Cockburn (yuck) in LRB on End Times for the Caliphate. ISIS. What’s with that map? Fudging the geography of the ME again? Since everyone is talking about redrawing borders again? Not really the fog of war, but definitely the fog of propaganda. Nothing to see here – no Caspian Sea; no liittle buddy Dagestan; no Armenia; no Azerbaijan – not even the gulf of Teheran. Nobody knows enough geography to know that Turkey does NOT border Iran. Not to mention that all the blabber about ISIS is just bullshit.

    1. Vatch

      Turkey does NOT border Iran

      They do share a border, but if the Kurds ever get their own country, that particular border might disappear, since there are Kurds on both sides of it.

        1. Vatch

          I agree with you. I was just pointing out a hypothetical situation in which that border would not exist.

        2. ambrit

          Putin and Assad have made a de facto Kurdistan in North Syria a distinct possibility. Add that to Iraq north of Mosul… Since the Iranians are allowing Russia to transit their territory with supply missions, some of them for the Kurds, the outline of a modus vivendi appears.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Iran gets a client state in Southern Iraq and Syria, cedes some territory to Kurdistan also a client state, and becomes an international player and regional mega power. It seems like a fair trade. Lebanon and Jordan have to join up, and Egypt can gain major status as a partner of Russia and Iran versus a vassal.

            Ceding territory is a large deal and might not be necessary, but Iran is positioned to reclaim ancient relevancy without soldiers of conquest.

    2. clinical wasteman

      With real, not rhetorical, respect to you Susan, I must disagree about Patrick Cockburn. The (UK) Independent as a day job: yes, yuck for sure, and it’s now a former newspaper anyway. But it’s hard to blame him for wanting a platform bigger than his other ones, i.e. Counterpunch (great as that is) and the LRB (which I strongly doubt lets him draw his own maps. That’s what the editorial Cenobites think interns are for). I’m open to being convinced otherwise, but for now I agree with As’ad AbuKhalil of the Angry Arab News Service that Cockburn is the only member of the Beirut-based western press corps not guilty of stenography for Anonymous Intelligence Sources and Saudi/Hariri media. Would you rather he leave it to Anne Barnard and Roula Khalaf, with Robert Fisk as the loyal (and still non-Arabic speaking after decades in Lebanon) opposition?

  24. susan the other

    the nation. About the half-trillion in tax forgiveness to our international corporations to repatriate their ill-gotten profits. There must a deal that since the rules have changed the government will not hang them out to dry; they can come home again. We should be demanding the same forgiveness here for every mortgaged home and small business and over-indebted municipality – because the rules have changed. And also because we don’t need no stinkin’ taxes to operate the federal government. Whatsoever.

  25. susan the other

    for Vatch above: you’re right Vatch. I’ve misread that for years. i think my point still holds – we are after the Caspian oil fields. Hence the turmoil at their doorstep. War is nothing if not strategic.

    1. Vatch

      In your defense, the border is shorter than Turkey’s coastline or their border with Syria, or Iran’s borders with several countries. So it’s easy to miss when glancing at a map!

    2. ambrit

      Given events in North Syria and North Iraq, the opposite could be true. Russia could be aiming for control of the Mosul oil fields through the Kurds. At the least, denying the West control of Mosul would be a big win for the East Bloc.

  26. NeqNeq

    Re: $400B tax break

    We do these “one time” deals every 20 years regardless of tax rate, party in power, etc… (At least since Reagan which is where my memory starts)

    Its almost like companies know the rate is illusory.

  27. Harry

    “Silicon Valley” to “Silly Valuations”?

    Nothing wrong with “Silly Con Valley” as a name. Perfectly descriptive.

  28. Plenue

    “Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East”

    Yes, let’s redraw the borders along new arbitrary lines. Brilliant idea. Because artificially hacking up the entire region isn’t at all what caused many of the current problems. Nope.

  29. Roland

    New Sykes-Picot? So the solution to a mess created by the meddling of foreign powers is more meddling by foreign powers? The dismal situation today is the direct result of the American invasion of Iraq. More American invasion cannot be the answer.

    The whole notion of “artificial boundaries” is itself artificial and illegitimate. In any case, it is not up to foreigners to decide what boundaries should be drawn elsewhere. Most countries in the world are ethnic, linguistic or religious composites.

    Memo to everyone who talks about “artificial boundaries”: Please break up your own damned artificial country first.

    As boundaries go, those in the Middle East are certainly no more “artificial” than those, say, in Europe. Syria and Iraq are in fact very old political entities. Again and again through history, Syria and Mesopotamia have been territorially defined not too differently than today–sometimes as sovereign entities, sometimes as provinces of empires. But the units themselves have been very enduring, despite all the changes that have taken place in terms of religion and language.

  30. Foy

    Re: Playing pass the parcel with Fukushima

    “As for higher-level waste, the government should fund its shipping and storing in permanent repositories abroad: Japan is too prone to earthquakes to host any such facility.”

    Very generous of The New York Times to recommend storing the toxic waste abroad. Is the USA included their definition of ‘abroad’ or is ‘abroad’ only impoverished third world country lands for generations (x100+) long storage where apparently it makes ‘economic sense’ as Larry Summers likes to think?

  31. barrisj

    Abso-fecking-lutely brilliant…He, Trump wins in
    MS und MI…as I noted previously, the more the “establishment” Big Money go oppo on him, the more “the people” rally to his cause…surprise-surprise! Now these feckers will be falling all over themselves trying to unnerstand – well, “everybody” said, He, Trump had “peaked”, now let’s go for the jugular! Not so fast, dickheads, first you count the ballots, THEN you make your call. Waaaay too premature, He, Trump still has legs…suck it and see.

    1. barrisj

      Oh, and “the empty suit” – you know who you are…don’t pick up your calls, coz it’s the Money People saying, ” We ‘re all-in on gold futures…you, on the other hand, maybe we’ll back your B&B venture in Havana”.

    1. aumua

      Liked, subscribed, and followed.

      Reuters, oddly enough is running a BIG HEADLINE about the upset. But when you click on the article, it’s almost entirely about Trump.

      But hey we got the headline, I wonder how long before someone notices and removes it in a hurry.

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