2:00PM Water Cooler 4/12/2016

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“New Balance is renewing its opposition to the far-reaching Pacific Rim trade deal, saying the Obama administration reneged on a promise to give the sneaker maker a fair shot at military business if it stopped bad-mouthing the agreement” [Boston Globe].

“Under [jargon alert!] regulatory cooperation trade officials will continue to negotiate our future and existing laws. This pushes contentious issues farther away from public scrutiny to be brokered over the coming years after TTIP is passed, giving big business lobby groups ample opportunities to influence the result of the decision-making” [Corporate Europe]. “In addition, TTIP will set in stone a particular type of impact assessment. Future and existing EU laws will have to go through these evaluations. Whilst they may sound merely procedural, in the past impact assessments have been used in highly political ways, for example to water down, delay or abandon any laws which might run counter to business interests. TTIP means existing and future laws will be weighted for their costs and benefits from an extremely narrow perspective. In fact, cost-benefit analysis (Article 8 2 a – good regulatory practices) only looks at costs of laws for business whilst paying little attention to the benefits for society as a whole.”



“One Forgotten Document Casts Embarrassing Light on Krugman’s ‘Sanders Over the Edge’ Column” [Wall Street on Parade]. The document is a chart of AIG’s counterparties, the real beneficiaries of AIG’s 100-cents-on-the-dollar bailout: “The chart shows that Goldman Sachs received $12.9 billion of the funds; Societe Generale received $11.9 billion; Merrill Lynch and its U.S. banking parent, Bank of America, received a combined $11.5 billion; the British bank, Barclays, received $8.5 billion; Citigroup got another backdoor bailout of $2.3 billion from AIG, to name just a few of the big banks.” Not “shadow banks” at all, as Krugman claims. The only “limit” here is the event horizon round the black hole of Krugman’s partisanship.

“If Bernie must, as pledged, endorse her – and he absolutely will, of course – then let him endorse her as the Lesser Evil (let him actually use that phrase) and let him mention the importance of people developing a great grassroots social movement not merely as an adjunct to major party electoral politics (or as a follow up to a presidential election) but as something to function and fight independently of the election cycle and to struggle (this is certainly asking too much of the not-very-radical Sanders) as an agent of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called near the end of his life the ‘real issue to be faced’ beyond ‘superficial’ matters: ‘the radical reconstruction of society itself'” [Paul Street, Counterpunch]. “At the same time, I hope that Bernie’s many young and turned on, in-motion supporters would not have to get the word from Sanders or any other politician to move in that radical direction.” Well worth a read; the starting point is the “qualified”/”not qualified” flap of last week, where readers will recall I was not happy Sanders caved. Street isn’t happy either.

The Voters

Clinton can’t stop insulting younger women who vote for Sanders [Newsday]. Interview transcript:

[CLINTON] I guess the final thing I would say is that, and again the research I’ve seen, some if it public, some of it not, they like me. They actually are quite admiring of me, but they’re excited by something new and something that is a little different and a little revolutionary and promises free college. [Laughter.] And so I have a job, which is a little bit of a downer job in saying, you know, my dad taught me that, if anybody tells you something is free, look at the fine print. And to point out where that disparity is. But I get that. And I am very confident we’re going to have a broad coalition. Right now I am like two-and-a-half-million votes ahead of Bernie Sanders. I’m a million votes ahead of Trump. And I have a much broader, inclusive coalition represented in those votes.



“Are Hillary’s big speaking fees being used to help fund her campaign?” [Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News]. (I’m gonna throw a flag here on the Betteridge’s Law violation.) Here’s the most pungent episode, even worse than the Goldman speeches:

The most problematic talk appeared to be the final speech before [the American Camping Association (!)]. The group is a small nonprofit whose $260,000 payment to Clinton (more than the $225,000 she received for talks to the Bank of America or Morgan Stanley) amounted to more than 10 percent of the group’s $2.1 million budget. That recently prompted the organization to add a special note in its annual tax filing with the charities bureau of the New York attorney general’s office, calling the payment to Clinton (described only as a “high-profile politician”) as a “one-time expense” that is “not expected to occur in the subsequent year.”

The key figure who arranged the talk was the group’s former president, Jay Jacobs, a prominent summer-camp entrepreneur. He is also the Nassau County Democratic Party chairman, a million-dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation and a Clinton campaign bundler who is throwing a major fundraiser tonight at one of the six camps he owns, the North Shore Day Camp, in Glen Cove on Long Island.

How cozy!

“Defense Contractor Employees Give the Most Money to Hillary Clinton” [Truthout].

New York

Hillary still wearing Lannister gold, I see:

Monmouth poll: “Currently, 51% of likely Democratic primary voters in New York support Clinton compared to 39% who support Sanders. Another 9% do not have a candidate preference with just over a week to go before the election.” [Monmouth University].

The race is basically tied among non-Hispanic white primary voters (48% for Sanders and 46% for Clinton), while Clinton enjoys a large lead among black, Hispanic and other voters (62% to 22%). Clinton holds a significant advantage among voters age 50 and older (57% to 36%), while the race is much closer among voters under 50 (45% for Clinton to 43% for Sanders). Clinton earns similar levels of support across the state, including Manhattan and the Bronx (52%), Brooklyn and Queens (48%), Staten Island and the metro suburbs of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam counties (51%), and upstate New York (51%). Sanders performs better upstate (44%) and in the metro suburbs (41%) than he does in Brooklyn/Queens (36%) or Manhattan/Bronx (35%). However, 13% of primary voters in these four New York City boroughs say they do not have a candidate preference. “It is worth noting that a significant number of minority voters in New York City are undecided. Based on past primaries, these should turn out to be Clinton voters, but Sanders is making an all-out appeal for their support,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute. The race is basically tied among non-Hispanic white primary voters (48% for Sanders and 46% for Clinton), while Clinton enjoys a large lead among black, Hispanic and other voters (62% to 22%). Clinton holds a significant advantage among voters age 50 and older (57% to 36%), while the race is much closer among voters under 50 (45% for Clinton to 43% for Sanders).

Clinton earns similar levels of support across the state, including Manhattan and the Bronx (52%), Brooklyn and Queens (48%), Staten Island and the metro suburbs of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Putnam counties (51%), and upstate New York (51%). Sanders performs better upstate (44%) and in the metro suburbs (41%) than he does in Brooklyn/Queens (36%) or Manhattan/Bronx (35%). However, 13% of primary voters in these four New York City boroughs say they do not have a candidate preference.

“It is worth noting that a significant number of minority voters in New York City are undecided. Based on past primaries, these should turn out to be Clinton voters, but Sanders is making an all-out appeal for their support,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The Trail

“Delegate math doesn’t add up for Bernie Sanders in California” [Los Angeles Times]. Delegates are awarded proportionately… With a lot of other establishment bells and whistles.

Stats Watch

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, March 2016: “Small business owners remain pessimistic, with the small business optimism index dipping another 0.3 points in March to 92.6, surpassing February’s two year low and remaining well below the 42-year average of 98” [Econoday]. “[E]arnings trends continued turning from bad to worse in March, and though small business owners were more optimistic than in February in their expectations that the economy will improve, this component of the index is still in deep pessimistic territory at a net negative 17 percent.” And: “Owners remain very pessimistic about the economy, a view unfortunately reinforced by Fed Chair Yellen’s back peddling on the timing of the next rate hike. She seems to be afraid of something, and this only adds to uncertainty on Main Street. Is the real economy so fragile that a 25 basis point increase will sink it, or is she more concerned about financial markets than the real economy?” [Econintersect].

Import and Export Prices, March 2016: “Yes, a 6.5 percent monthly surge in petroleum prices did make for a 0.2 percent overall gain for import prices in March but when excluding petroleum, import prices fell 0.2 percent” [Econoday]. “In a telling sign of how deflationary cross-border price pressures have been, import prices excluding petroleum last posted a gain way back in March 2014.” And: “Trade prices continue to deflate year-over-year” [Econintersect]. Note however: “There is only marginal correlation between economic activity, recessions and export / import prices.”

“[T]he average homeowner who is in foreclosure now has been there nearly three years, which, considering that new foreclosure starts are less than 30 days old, suggests that many foreclosures started early in the crisis are still not yet completed” [Economic Populist]. So awesome.

“Documents Undercut U.S. Case for Taking Mortgage Giant Fannie Mae’s Profits” [Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times].

Honey for the Bears: “Wells Fargo’s foray into oil shows how Wall Street misjudged the risks hidden in an esoteric type of energy financing long thought to be bulletproof. To fuel the growth of its energy desk, the bank targeted some of the least creditworthy borrowers in the shale patch, offsetting the risk by demanding oil and gas as collateral” [Bloomberg].

“The perception was the risk was reasonably low,” Dennis Cassidy, co-head of the oil and gas practice at consulting firm AlixPartners in Dallas, said of reserves-based lending across the industry. “The volume and velocity of deal flow was such that it was a rubber stamp. They were not scrutinizing price assumptions and forecasts. Everyone was open for business. It was full on, full throttle.”

I hope I don’t know how this movie ends… Nevertheless: “If the worst happened, the five biggest U.S. banks would each need at least $9 billion tucked away, according to a recent Moody’s Analytics report” [CNBC]. That doesn’t seem like very much.

Honey for the Bears: “About 36 percent of some 150 energy companies with speculative grade debt will probably default on their obligations by the end of next year if oil holds around $35 a barrel, said Tarek Hamid, senior U.S. credit analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co” [Reuters].

Honey for the Bears: “According to academic research shared exclusively with FTfm, the collective funding shortfall of US public pension funds is three times larger than official figures showed, and is getting bigger” [Financial Times, “US faces ‘disastrous’ $3.4tn pension funding hole”]. Guess the pensions funds had better invest more in private equity for those higher returns [*** cough ***, snort].

“Iran dismisses canal speculation linking Persian Gulf with the Caspian” [Splash247]. Certainly, however, an interesting story to deny.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66, Greed (previous close: 65, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 12 at 11:33am.


“Panama Papers: Abu Dhabi emir’s vast London property empire revealed” [International Business Times]. “Al-Nahyan owns most of prestigious Berkeley Square, according to the Panama Papers and Land Registry records, including the garden in the middle of it all. And he owns huge chunks of the surrounding streets of Mayfair, such as Bruton Street, Bruton Place, Hill Street and Hay’s Mews.” Any Londoners out there? Lively neighborhoods, are they? Bustling streets? Lot of lit windows at night?


“How Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Scandal Reaches Around the World” (handy map and charts) [Bloomberg]. It’s worth remembering, amidst all the excitement about the #PanamaPapers, that the 1MDB and Unaoil scandals are both ongoing, and both ginornous.

“Last week, the hedge fund backed pro charter school advocacy group Families for Excellent Schools (FES) filed a lawsuit against New York City public schools claiming that the civil rights of black and Latino are being violated because “violence” is out of control in our public schools” [City Limits]. “We have seen what happens when people start blowing the dog whistle about violent and dangerous schools. This type of narrative is what was used to build the school-to-prison pipeline.” Terrible history — and bad data, too.

Our Famously Free Press

“O.G. Rightblogger Andrew Sullivan Returns — to a Changed World” [Village Voice]. It was a big moment when Sullivan came out for Obama, I’m tellin’ ya. Can Sullivan revive the magic?

Health Care

“Hospitals discover their inner venture capitalist” [Modern Health Care]. Gawd help us. “The health systems going down this path have moved well beyond passive investment. They are becoming incubators and accelerators, guiding young companies and entrepreneurs through the healthcare regulatory and commercial maze. ‘They’re investing more and more, and at an earlier stage than ever before,’ said Unity Stoakes, president and co-founder of StartUp Health, which invests in and coaches digital-health hopefuls. ‘It reminds us of 1995 Internet when Netscape first IPO’ed.'” Talking our book, are we, “Unity”?


“More than 80 percent of China’s underground water drawn from relatively shallow wells used by farms, factories and mostly rural households is unsafe for drinking because of pollution, a government report says” [AP].

“Private donors have paid $934,000 of the nearly $1.1 million legal tab racked up by three northern Iowa counties being sued by Des Moines Water Works over high nitrate levels — but county officials won’t identify all of them” [Desmoines Register].


“A group of youngsters just won a major decision in their efforts to sue the federal government over climate change. An Oregon judge ruled Friday that their lawsuit, which alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the next generation by allowing the pollution that has caused climate change, can go forward” [Think Progress]. A novel doctrine.

The Jackpot

“Around 2000 the pole took an eastward turn; it stopped drifting toward Hudson Bay, Canada, and started drifting along the Greenwich meridian in the direction of London. In 2013 Jianli Chen, a geophysicist at The University of Texas at Austin, was the first to attribute the sudden change to accelerated melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The result startled his team. ‘If you’re losing enough mass to change the orientation of the Earth—that’s a lot of mass,’ says John Ries, Chen’s colleague at U.T. Austin. The team found that recent accelerated ice loss and associated sea level rise accounted for more than 90 percent of the latest polar shift” [Scientific American].

“New study estimates global warming of 2.5 centigrade degrees by 2100 would put at risk trillions of dollars of world’s financial assets” [London School of Economics]. A trillion here, a trillion there; pretty soon, you’re talking real money!

“The most dramatic findings [of the White House report] included research suggesting that over the next 15 years, hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, hospital admissions, and cases of acute respiratory illnesses in the U.S. could be attributed to the impacts of climate change. One model projected that in 2030, there would be 11,000 more premature deaths from extreme heat compared to 1990. By the end of the century, that number is expected to spike to 27,000 additional deaths per year” [Bloomberg].

Imperial Collapse Watch

“For me, it is impossible to capture the degree to which counter-insurgency is at the heart of the American paradigm of state making and war fighting without placing the Indian Wars and subsequent efforts at American Indian population concentration and pacification at the center of U.S. political development” [The Disorder of Things]. Excellent long-form article. Amidst all the chaos and madness, we can take some comfort that there’s a great deal of truly excellent scholarship going on (despite the best efforts of university administrations and trustees).

Class Warfare

“Quick Come Rent Me, like dozens of similar [Chinese] services, operates through a public account on mobile app WeChat, a widely-used chat service that also acts as a platform for other applications. It’s not the first; the online people-renting business has been popular in China for several years” [Foreign Policy]. “By 2011, users of shopping site Taobao could already ‘rent’ a temporary boyfriend or girlfriend, often during family gatherings at the lunar new year holiday, to deflect parental pressure to find a spouse.” Thank heavens they’re Communists; otherwise, who knows what might happen?

“The current startup model destroys the social connection between businesses and those they employ, and these companies have failed to thrive because they provide crummy jobs that most people only want to do as a very last resort. These platforms show their workforce no allegiance or loyalty, and they engender none in return.” [Medium].

“Wall Street Wages Double in 25 Years as Everyone Else’s Languish” [Bloomberg].

“The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters” (with map) [New York Times]. As Billmon says, re identity politics: You can be rich and black. You can be rich and gay. But you can’t be rich and poor.

“It seems hard to escape the conclusion that people on Wall Street weren’t prosecuted largely because they were part of the same communities as major government agency heads: friends of friends and colleagues of colleagues, all part of the same relatively small social circles that exist at the top of the income ladder. To understand is to forgive, and the elite and the upper class understand their own” [The Week]. Good people.

Scholar fights lonely battle against the well-funded Hamilton industry [Hysteriography]. Bob Rubin didn’t help found The Hamilton Project for nothing, you know.

News of the Wired

“Brilliant IKEA-esque instructions teach you how to eat ‘hard-to-eat’ food” [ShortList]. I dunno “brilliant.” But it is fun. I wonder if the same idea could be applied to other tasks?

“Scientists have for the first time visualized the effects of LSD on the human brain” [CNN]. “Images of the brain under a hallucinogenic state showed almost the entire organ lit up with activity.” No duh!

Then again, some of us prefer to light up our brains the old-fashioned way:

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Readers, I still need to fix my fershuggeneh contact form! Hopefully noting that fact publicly will serve a lash and a spur to my endeavors. (Meanwhile, thanks to readers, who already have my email address, who sent in images of plants!)

See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (RH):


Readers, this is a bit small (as big as you like, but 600px minimum, ideally) but the melting snow and rushing water are so Maine.

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Readers, Water Cooler will not exist without your regular support. Your tip will be welcome today, and indeed any day. If you enjoy what you’re reading, please click the hat!


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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. Vatch

    Here’s an explanation of the huge speaking fee paid to Hillary Clinton by the American Camping Association:


    Now, what about Clinton and work visas? Some of you know that she has a terrible record in this area, overtly supporting the “Infosyses.” But the latest revelation from the Daily Kos is still mind boggling. According to the article, Clinton received $225,000 for a speech before a most unlikely audience, the American Camp Association. Remarkably, this was 10% of the organization’s annual budget; what did they want from Clinton? The answer turns out to be that their member camps hire young foreign workers as summer counselors, under the J-1 visa. Amazing.

        1. diptherio

          Not enough people with the right qualifications. If only our colleges would focus more on turning out the kind of student that our nation’s summer camps so desperately need.

      1. Gareth

        A great number of J-1 workers are hired every summer in Wisconsin, mainly students who think they are off to see America. Too routinely they live in deplorable conditions, are overworked and stiffed on their wages at the end of the summer. It’s a Wisconsin tradition and yes it’s hard to find locals who want to put up with that crap. When the students return to their home countries I believe they go directly to the American embassy to burn a flag.

        1. Larry

          One of my Irish cousins came over to Freeport, ME for a summer with a load of her friends to work these temporary jobs. The living quarters were shit and the wages were crap and I heard that their tips were getting skimmed. Fortunately they were using it to just experience America, so they ducked out on work and spent a month in Boston and New York staying with relatives.

          As Lambert says, I wonder if there were an invisible force that could get Americans to take these “undesirable” jobs?

          1. allan

            Something to think about next time you’re deciding what kind of chocolate bar to buy:

            Foreign Students in Work Visa Program Stage Walkout at Hershey Plant

            The students, from countries including China, Nigeria, Romania and Ukraine, came to the United States through a long-established State Department summer visa program that allows them to work for two months and then travel. They said they were expecting to practice their English, make some money and learn what life is like in the United States.

            In a way, they did. About 400 foreign students were put to work lifting heavy boxes and packing Reese’s candies, Kit-Kats and Almond Joys on a fast-moving production line, many of them on a night shift. After paycheck deductions for fees associated with the program and for their rent, students said at a rally in front of the huge packing plant that many of them were not earning nearly enough to recover what they had spent in their home countries to obtain their visas.

        2. sleepy

          When I was 19, I worked as a counselor at an Episcopalian summer camp in Connecticut in 1970 which probably had 25% foreign workers. This was so long ago in a different economic era that it probably is irrelevant, but I didn’t see any abuse of the employees. Pay was low, the work was ok, but everthing else was so cheap most people enjoyed it.

          A few years ago, I read a column by David Brooks where he stated he had also worked at the same camp which he praised as an “uplifting” experience. Maybe he was slumming or something, but I found that odd. Maybe it was all the pot we smoked out in the woods.

    1. RUKidding

      I have Australian friends whose kids have worked at US summer camps and had positive experiences. But I’ve US friends who’ve said that their kids cannot get jobs at summer camps due to the J-1 visa situation (which is ripe for abuse but not definite).

      My Aussie friends claimed that “no US kids want the job.” I was polite and didn’t say anything, but I found that hard to believe.

      When I read about Clinton’s speechifying for a cool quarter Mill$ – chump change for Hill – I figured it’s about J-1 visas. And I figure that somehow these foreign student workers get paid less somehow, if not totally ripped off.

      1. bob

        It’s also way to hold land, usually timberland.

        J-1’s? Check. Now you’re an “educational institution”, or non-profit to begin with- with lots of board seats and staff overhead.

        Property taxes? For suckers.

        1. bob

          It’s also a great liability check. They can shield themselves from liability on many different levels.

          Most of the kids who do this couldn’t start to file any sort of legal claim in the US, they couldn’t afford it, If they got hurt, or abused.

          In the case of a camper being hurt- blame the J-1. What? They’re not here anymore? Good luck tracking them down and getting them back here.

          “camping” is dangerous. Really, it is. To be able to use labor like this is just a giant dodge.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        One one can only wonder what the quarter million would have done had it been spent on behalf of the children it was meant to help. That’s the most appalling part.

  2. Jim Haygood

    As an impeachment vote nears, Brazil Fund (EWZ) busts out to an 8-month high. Chart:


    If overturning the political establishment can do that for Brazil, imagine what it could do for us.

    Indict Hillary … For the Win! :-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why wait?

      Do it now. Unless because she is a woman.

      “Men protecting men.”

    2. vidimi

      it’s difficult to use a gauge of foreigners’ future profit from brasil as a gauge for what’s good for brazil

  3. gary headlock

    Fun fact about your water cooler plant:

    “[…] Skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, which belongs to the aroid family, is an exceptional thermogenic plant that blooms in early spring and maintains its spadix temperature of around 20°C for about a week even when the ambient air temperature drops below freezing.”

    Yep, more or less warm blooded flowers that melt their own way through the snow.

      1. gary headlock

        there was a mechanism proposed, but i don’t have the patience to try and understand it. as far as the production of the heat, rather than the maintenance, that’s just good ole cellular respiration: carbohydrates + o2 -> co2, h2o, and heat, to greatly, greatly, simplify.

  4. fresno dan


    Many people confuse the wealth earned by people who actually create new products and services with the wealth skimmed by financiers. One is earned by creating new products, services and business models; financialized “lawnmowing” generates no new products/services, no new jobs and no improvements in productivity–the only engine that generates widespread wealth and prosperity.

    Indeed, the water cooler today details the billions upon billions that were “given” (saying that these were “loans” that were “paid back” is like saying you paid for fire insurance AFTER your house burned down – other than squillionaries, who gets that kind of a deal????) to the large banks. That a SUPPOSED liberal pretends that nobody believes that big banks had anything to do with the financial crises just shows the total propaganda simulacrum that we live in.
    Just today I read another article about the law for fiduciary responsibility being manipulated to enable the fleecing of investors.

    Every single institution in this country is designed to extract as much value from every “consumer” (aka carcass) as possible. That it is expertly designed, and constantly defended and rationalized so that billionaries can become trillionaires, and trillionaires can become squillionaires, is just the age we live in…
    I wish I could have a job where I spend my time at the casino, pocket the winnings, and leave the debts for Uncle Sam to pick up.

    1. steelhead23

      Your comment and the reality behind it is a principal reason I no longer trust the advice of experts, particularly as regards finance. Oh heck yeah, the boyz (and gurls) providing financial advice and service, know their business while, especially this time of year, I know I don’t – an honest financial adviser would be worth the freight. But, when a substantial fraction of those smarty pants advisers see fleecing their customers as a business model (a fact they don’t advertise), I’ll do it myself, thank you.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How about a mixed portfolio of index stock and index bond funds, with monthly or semimonthly auto investing?

        Do you cut out the experts then?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          But if everything is indexed… Don’t the people who have the fastest computers and the best algos (i.e., those most highly capitalized) win?

          Adding, I’m picturing “metals” for Automated Financial Advice: Platinum for the fastest computers and best algos, down to Bronzem for the slowest and worst. So in essence, you would pay not to be screwed. Which sounds like a terrific business model, now that I think of it.

          And adding, wouldn’t that be a great way to privatize Social Security? You could have a “Retirement Exchange,” and there would be a mandate to force you to pick your Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Retirement Plan. See? You’ve got choice!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We neo-Luddites will never have the fastest computers, and so, what you say is scaring the heck out of us.

            What to do now? Go back to buying and holding obsidian mines?

    1. nippersmom

      Added to the gains in Nevada and the switch in Missouri, it’s getting harder and harder for the hilbots to claim the inevitability of their candidate. How many states (and by what margins) has she actually won at this point?

        1. cwaltz

          As it should be…..that primary was a disgrace. Thousands of people were denied their right to participate and it is fairly clear that their computers glitched many into having their vote not count.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            Which is to say the election came off exactly as planned. Say what you will about Repubs, but their train wrecks do run on schedule.

            1. crittermom

              I’m not so sure it was the Republicans doing.
              I suspect it has been more at the hands of Debbie Wasserman-WTF-shitz, in support of Hellary, who has been pulling the strings.
              The debacle in SC caucuses had her hand all over it, as she sent in “her own” people to “organize” (screw-up) events for Bernie.
              It’s gone downhill at an ever accelerated speed following that.

              1. different clue

                Wasn’t it a mainly Repuglan legislature and governor in Arizona which set the stage by carefully engineering a deep shortage of poling places? Targetting “majority Democratic” areas with the deepest shortage of all?

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        All the news services are reporting today Hellery is the certified winner in MO. I guess the reports that Hell’s delegates failed to show at the certification convention were not correct.

        1. nippersmom

          Am I displaying my paranoia if I say I don’t trust the reports of the news services?

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            Yeah, as soon as I heard this I wrapped myself in my space blanket and laid down on the couch. On a positive note, it spawned a nice nap. ;-)

    2. hreik

      Apparently the Denver Post told the Sanders campaign, not the democratic party. Let me see if I can find the link. It just stinks, all of it.

  5. John

    Green shoots!

    Bernie should never have backed off, everything she’s done shows an unwillingness to learn from previous mistakes, I.e. Not qualified for dog catcher.
    No matter, IMo his election is the best chance to turn things around, and promoting same is more important than Tpp etc. imagine eight more years sliding down the neocon/neoliberal/inequality/ too big to jail rathole.

    Ask not what Bernie can do for you, ask what you can do for Bernie.

    1. shinola

      Well, Bernie did misspeak – he should not have used the word “qualified”; the proper term is “fit”.
      If you substitute “unfit” or not “fit” for un- & not “qualified” in Bernie’s remarks, it makes more sense.

      Obviously, being a crooked imperialist does not disqualify one for a position in our current government.

      Also I would suggest that the word “hawk” should not be used for Ms. Clinton without the prefix “chicken” preceding it. “War whore” might be a good term.

  6. Chris in Paris

    Re Skit for Brains: is it sexist to point out that Hillary is dressed in a very Hunger Games style lately? I find it disturbing.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      I’ll take that one.

      Yes it is, by definition, sexist. You have criticized the woman. The “rules” do not permit that. Where, exactly, have you been? It may also be “misogynist,” although the “rules” on that characterization will not be finalized until at least 20% of the population can define the term, and 2% can spell it.

      As to the actual headline, “Skit for Brains,” quite clever, no? NO.

      She didn’t say it and, in any event, didn’t mean anything by it. She was misunderstood, misquoted, misrepresented, misinterpreted. She had mono the day they taught “ethnic comedy” at yale. It’s not like that cad, Sanders, said it or participated in a “skit” in which it was said. THAT would have indicated something far more nefarious.

      Get over it.

      The pitching under the bus of the African American constituency has not been scheduled until AFTER the convention, and that schedule will be adhered to.

      1. Chris in Paris

        It was a serious question. Thanks.

        I don’t live in the US but I’ve never seen anyone dressed like that except in those movies.

  7. fresno dan

    Churchill got a scrip requiring him to drink at least 8 doubles a day “for convalescence” https://boingboing.net/2016/04/12/churchill-got-a-doctors-note.html

    Why wait for an accident? Maybe prudence dictates precautionary drinking – after all, if your passed out on the floor, how many accidents can you get into?
    and honestly, with Hillary or a repub as president, aren’t they more likely to make better decisions completely sloshed???

    1. Lyle

      It should be pointed out that this was during national prohibition. One way to get legal and safe liquor was to get a prescription for it and that is what the note amounts to. Now according to last call the note was not the proper form according to the Volstead act, as booze prescriptions were supposed to be on special numbered forms, so as to keep folks out of the booze prescribing business (similar to what is done with pain pills today). (What is old is new again). Churchill felt national prohibition in the US was foolish according to Last Call which details his visit to California wine country, as well as bringing booze in from Canada when he crossed the border.
      (One other way to get wine at least was to set up as a church and use that route since to ban wine in church would have violated that first amendment.

        1. Jagger

          Puzzler of the day. So if today’s prison industrial complex had existed during prohibition, would we still have prohibition today?

          1. different clue

            The prisondustrial complex players and lobbyists would have done their best to keep prohibition legal. And if they had kept it legal into the beginning of the present age’s rise of the Money Laundry Industrial Complex (MLIC), then the MLIC would also be working to keep prohibition legal.

            Just as I feel certain the MLIC works very hard to keep illegal drugs illegal today. Along with its social and political co-conspirators in the DLEIC ( Drug Law Enforcement Industrial Complex).

      1. Darthbobber

        At least he bothered with a scrip. FDR seems to have had never-ending supplies of the good stuff with him, whether boating off Florida, hanging at Warm Springs or back up in Hyde Park or Albany.

        Which didn’t interfere with Eleanor being officially pro-prohibition until it was determined that their political interests were better served by anti.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe Stone Age media, with Stone Age advertisers, have only Stone Age readers who read about their Stone Age candidates.

      In another parallel world, non-Stone Age readers get their coverage from other media sources.

      For example, one rarely runs into Hillary supporters here, though they are rumored to exist.

      1. different clue

        They are findable at the Riverdaughter The Confluence blog. The Confluence’s commentariat is about as pro-Clinton as the NaCap commentariat is pro-Sanders.
        And the Confluence’s commentariat is as anti-Sanders as the NaCap commentariat is anti-Clinton.

    2. Waldenpond

      I was reading the reddit sandersforpresident and someone canvassing said they are mostly finding people (2/3) who have heard of him but know nothing about him and the rest (1/3) have never heard of him. Found only 2 supporters. I think NY is going to be very painful and I expect Sanders phonebanking to further collapse. They are urgent over PA and MD (ballots going out) right now.

      Voter suppression works. Media suppression works.

      I would say watch TYT but the guy yesterday was talking about how the primaries aren’t rigged, the rules are the rules.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We don’t have to give up, but 1) rules can be changed and it may take time in some or many cases, and, 2) get some good lawyers to study up on those rules, so we can exploit them.

        You see that in sports from time to time, but mostly in real life justice…and why smart lawyers are expensive…many arcane rules and case precedents.

        1. Waldenpond

          It seems to be a closed system. You have to elect enough people to office to change the rules and although lawyers are useful for future events they have no ability to overturn certified results. It takes deep insiders knowing each and every state and the ability to communicate frequent rule changes. It is factually impossible to keep up with. States change rules, let one candidate know and not the others. That can’t be overcome unless you are the establishment candidate which will not change the system. Round and round it goes.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There is the other option – go independent, or another party, or the 3rd option, a brand new party.

            The plus with any one of the 3 options is that you can always register as a Democrat to vote, if an election is interesting.

            But if you really despite the party, then, maybe you never register as one, ever again, not even to get in and out quickly.

            Otherwise, just leave the party, and you can wait for it to entice you again.

            1. different clue

              If Liberadicals and semileftists leave the Democratic Party, it will never ever entice them back in.

              So . . . . would it be easier to conquer the Democratic Party from within over the next few decades, or easier to recreate a whole new party machinery the size of the Democratic Party machinery which already exists? Depending on the answer to that question, it would make more practical sense to stay and conquer from within . . . or leave and duplicate . . . . depending on the answer to that question.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I don’t understand why there aren’t national standards for this. The state differences are nuts. All the useless complexity just empowers insiders. Oh, I guess I do understand…

    3. zapster

      All the news is on facebook, TYT, RT and act.tv. And others. MSM is no longer a news source at all.

  8. fresno dan

    “It seems hard to escape the conclusion that people on Wall Street weren’t prosecuted largely because they were part of the same communities as major government agency heads: friends of friends and colleagues of colleagues, all part of the same relatively small social circles that exist at the top of the income ladder. To understand is to forgive, and the elite and the upper class understand their own” [The Week]. Good people.

    I saw the movie “Spotlight” last night.
    Of course, I can remember growing up in Fresno in the 1970’s, and that incidents of priests molesting children was well known. It is a strange thing – who society gives passes to. There were people who theoretically weren’t suppose to be having sex with ANYBODY, but when they had sex with children it was rationalized.
    An incredibly corrupt system (I’m talking finance now) and the institutions of the world will move any mountain to repair, restore, and sustain it. One wonders when the straw will break the camel’s back…

    1. kj1313

      I’m pretty sure there were numerous pedophile Priest stories on 20/20 during the late 80s and it was glossed over by the Church.

  9. steelhead23

    Folks, a couple of years ago I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my New Balance sneakers were made right here in the USA. Yes, we actually do produce shoes. If you care about the wage-earner and have guilt pangs when you find that your clothes were made by Malaysian slaves, consider New Balance for your next pair of sneakers. I know nothing of their labor relations and suspect that in this global economy, they are a bit tough on labor – but they are paying Americans to make their shoes and that sure beats offshore slavery.

    Lambert, if this is out of line here, please delete.

    1. pretzelattack

      i didn’t know that, and have been in need of another pair of sneakers. i always liked new balance, anyway.

    2. gary headlock

      Very telling that the lone major shoe company to still manufacture anything (even if only a small portion of their models) in the United States opposes TPP.

      1. cnchal

        Actually, they were for the TPP until their bribe didn’t come through.

        Even so, my next pair of sneakers will be from one of their US factories.

    3. Bullwinkle

      I strongly advise checking the label. The last few pairs of New Balance I bought were made in China and very cheaply made I might mention.

      1. RUKidding

        Yes, I agree. I used to buy New Balance due to being made in the USA, but I’m not so sure that they are now – or perhaps not all of the New Balance models/types of shoes.

        Check the labels.

    4. marym

      Shoes also made in USA – SAS – USA or Italy (website says some specific work like stitching for some styles done in Mexico) and Okabashi flip flops made in USA.

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It might cost more, if it might not.

      Though, initial acquisition cost should not be the sole determinant.

      Life time maintenance (maybe not for shoes) and useful lifespan need to be considered as well.

      But even if the overall cost is more, it is still a good deal, for the good for community brotherhood (and to placate Hillary) sisterhood.

      It would help, though, if we have Basic Income, so even many of us, already on a tight budget, can contribute as well.

  10. PNW_WarriorWoman

    I’d appreciate a post about that sudden Fed meeting on Monday. What’s happening?

    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s a secret. We can only speculate.

      But today, bond king Jeffrey Gundlach ventured that the quarter-point rate hike in Dec. 2015 was a “one and done” event.

      Given the three-paragraph official release citing “potential risks to the economy, both in the United States and globally,” I concur.

      “The authorities” are running scared.

  11. gonzomarx

    Politicians don’t know the price of milk – but they do know how to set up a shell company

    At night, we gathered on a starlit veranda to watch the arrival of the cash. It’s one of nature’s most epic sights. First we heard the grunting, faint at first but then louder, until by just the accents alone we could almost tell the Russian from the Australian from the French. The sea began to foam, the frenzied activity just offshore. And then they landed. Huge creatures, some as massive as an alpha walrus. Fat, and breathing heavily, they heaved themselves on to the shore. Hundreds, if not thousands. Lawyers, drug lords, politicians, prime ministers, mafia members, businessmen, peers of the realm, sex offenders and a cellist. Their bodies warm and fleshy. It had been a good summer.


  12. DJG

    The Ikea directions for eating food: The artichoke instructions are why I only eat artichokes in Italy, where you can eat the whole flower and part of the stem. I’m not sure what U.S. artichokes are, but they aren’t toothsome.

    Speaking of controversies and toothsome, and being of Italian descent, I can assure you that many people eat pizza with a fork and a knife. Also, a secret ingredient is the pizza scissors. Every time there is one of these pizza-eating incidents, I’m reminded of “appropriation,” the fictitousness of authenticity, and the silliness of goyim making a simple food into an ordeal.

    Cupcake instructions: Invalid. Cupcakes are not food.

    1. Pavel

      DJG, I was in Palermo on a short holiday recently, and our hosts took my friend and I on a long drive out of town for dinner… we ended up at a restaurant attached to an artichoke farm. The set menu as it were consisted of artichoke salad, artichoke fritters, marinated artichoke, one or two other dishes… A bit of a carciofi overdose but delightful nonetheless. One of the staff brought loads of fresh artichokes in straight from the farm. Only in Italy! (Or maybe, only in Sicily!)

      Any NC readers heading to Italy: I give Palermo 5 stars — great seafood, friendly and welcoming people, very low prices (negronis for 3-5 euros in the local bars :). Apparently in the year 900 it was the second-largest city in the world, after Constantinople. Amazing place.

    2. RMO

      This is why I only eat surplus Apollo mission food. Clear directions and easy to prepare. Well, except for my upcoming marriage – we’re catering that with MRE’s.

      Actually the article kind of reminds me of Douglas Adams and the instructions on the box of toothpicks.

  13. Jess


    Wanted a Bernie lawn sign so I went to a meeting of the nearest Bernie group last night. Despite the obvious passion and commitment of the group, (not to mention experience in previous elections), I came away not impressed, esp. by the recently arrived local rep for the national campaign. Way too many “I don’t knows” and “we’re getting that in a few weeks” (as opposed to needing it now, if not yesterday).

    Even worse, as I and others told the young woman after the meeting, the campaign seem to fundamentally not understand the nature of voting in CA. The date of the election, June 7th, is not nearly as important at the date the mail-in ballots go out, which is May 9th. 40% of CA voters vote by mail, and overwhelmingly they do it early. By May 15th a gigantic number of votes will have already been cast. (This is a problem that has bedeviled Bernie in previous primaries; you’d think they would have learned, but see my last comment at the end for more perspective.)

    Nevertheless, the edict from the national campaign is to concentrate on voter registration (both new and getting voters to switch to Dem so they can vote for Bernie in the primary). They even want us to go door-to-door registering people, but want to wait three weeks before starting to canvas door-to-door for votes, and to start phone bank calls to voters in CA. In the meantime, they are organizing phone banks to call into New York. I can see why NY is important, but I fear that the campaign will lose NY and then lose CA as well because it was terribly late getting into the CA ground game. My feeling, which I expressed to the young woman, was that to call NY the campaign needs to depend on experienced phone bankers from states that have already held their primaries. (They may be already doing this, but I — and others at the meeting — were not enthusiastic about being asked to call the other side of the county when we think the time to call our own state is now.)

    One lady at the meeting, who shared my views, is quite experienced in various campaigns, from local Congressional districts to having called and canvassed for Bernie om Ariz, Nev, and Fla. She was also concerned that the national campaign had only one person as the campaign coordinator for this entire Congressional district, whereas previous campaigns have had four or five coordinators per district. And although it may be normal at the national level, plenty of the local people at this meeting were concerned by the emphasis on organizing according to Congressional district. While the pros and deeply invested activists may think in those terms, my experience and that of many others at the meeting was that most people deal conceptually with cities. This can be a real problem where districts bisect one or more cities.

    In addition, as more than one person noted, just for this particular district we have only a tiny number of the people needed. I estimated about 35 people at the meeting. Compare that to having upwards of 60 just for meetings involving local ballot measure drives. Hell, we had 75 people show up at last weekend’s event involving a local zoning measure.

    I attribute a lot of these problems to Bernie having to start on a shoestring and then grow an organization on the fly, campaigning for the next immediate primary while also somehow doing the equivalent advance work for downstream primaries. And, of course, he can’t use a large segment of the experienced campaign apparatus because those people are either in the tank for Hellary or too afraid to cross her to join Bernie’s effort. (Not to mention the necessity of trying to avoid hiring Hellary saboteurs.)

    Last but not least, I think the campaign is inexperienced (or less experienced) with campaigning in large states, which would partially explain Bernie’s problems in NY and CA. For instance I went to a fundraiser last week for former Congresswoman Janice Hahn who is running to replace our local retiring L.A. County Commissioner. (Not a big Hahn fan, and suspect that she’s probably a pledged superdelegate to Hellary, but went to the event out of respect for help a few years ago on a local matter.) Anyway, during her talk she mentioned that the population of L.A. county alone is more than that of all but ten states.

    So I will put up my yard signs and make another contribution, but not holding out a lot of hope.

    1. katiebird

      I am very worried about your report. Do you have that woman’s email address to keep the discussion going? Or other ways to contact the campaign?

      1. Jess

        Yes, I can keep in contact with the woman you’re talking about. And I will continue to monitor the activities from here on out. One of my neighbors is active in the group so I have that contact as well. I simply think the campaign is stretched to its limits. I see it as a warship that has been heavily damaged by enemy fire. Hard to both shoot back and at the same time fight to keep the ship afloat.

        1. katiebird

          Also, there is that subreddit Bernie group that seems very active. Maybe start a discussion there?

          1. Jess

            Thanks, I’ll check that out. You by any chance have a link for that subreddit group? (Not a reddit user so not familiar with the terrain.)

            1. katiebird

              I barely know anything about them but I am a member of this group Bernie Sanders for President

              I really don’t know how to navigate the group though and have only read postings …. I haven’t actively participated.

              I think I found a Kansas group back before our caucus…. Maybe there is a California group? At least my link would be a start. ….. I do want to learn my way around Reddit but keep getting distracted

    2. jhallc

      Sorry to hear that was your experience in CA. Here in MA we have been phone banking to NY for Bernie over the past few weeks. They only seem to set up the phone banking system for the next couple of closest state primary’s. This is my first involvement in a national campaign so I can’t say if it’s being run better or worse than others. I do get the sense that a lot of the volunteers are like me and fewer with more experience. Who was it said “you go to war with what you got”. Oh yeah..”Rummey”

      1. Jess

        “They only seem to set up the phone banking system for the next couple of closest state primary’s.”

        Yep, that’s a big part of the problem. Like I said, June 7th is a deceptive date; a lot of potentially decisive votes will be cast weeks prior.

      2. Waldenpond

        They simply don’t have enough phonebankers. It was split into registration and gotv but after his losing streak it shifted when volunteers gave up. CA is not focusing on CA, it’s focusing on NY. The campaign actually asked the reddit supporters to call MD and it just did not happen. Some redditors want direction and then they completely ignore it. Eh, volunteers, what are you going to do?

    3. RUKidding

      CA has typically not been “in play” for the primaries for a long long time. I assume that Sanders has had to build up to various primaries slowly and certainly doesn’t have the resources or knowledge that Clinton does. Not totally surprised but too bad, for sure, bc it looks like CA is going to be influential.

      You’re absolutely correct about Mail In ballots and the critical-ness (is that a word??) of getting out the vote – and voter info – by early May. So many in CA now vote by mail that it’s super important to work the ground game EARLY – like now.

      At least there was this meeting you went to. Hopefully more – with more urgency – can follow. Thanks for the update. Do what you can.

    4. HotFlash

      There have been reports of possible sabotage from parachuted-in paid staffers, would you happen to have the name of the young woman? If she is legit, there should be no problem and no harm done, if not, it would be good to have her name to check with, for instance, Facebook postings.

    5. Waldenpond

      Yeah, CAs a mess. Gear needs to get to people ASAP. I have a sign up, button and magnet on my motorcycle and am wearing my t-shirt when I go out. I have ordered more gear and it’s taking 10 days to 2 weeks.

      Went to our local Bernie event and they said turnout was highest ever. It was supposed to be for all but it turned into a phone bank recruiting session. I think two dozen signed up to put in 2-4 hours calling NY. Berniepb has dropped drastically when they have NY and 5 states a week later. I responded to a registration drive and after a half dozen e-mails back and forth was told no (4 people) and I suggested we split into 2 and 2 on campus. No. I had to find another group that will meet for training tonight.

      There are desperate calls for sites to elect delegates and actual delegates by supporters not the campaign. People support Bernie but can’t afford $2-4000 to go to Philadelphia. I don’t excuse the campaign at all. They are raking in the money and should have something going on here.

  14. curlydan

    Health Care and Short-Term Plan Popularity:

    “The reason behind the surge in demand for these [short term plans] comes down to one word: cost. The average monthly premium for a family of three on a short-term plan is about $283, or about $500 less per month than coverage through a major medical plan…. Because the plans don’t qualify as individual coverage under the ACA, they trigger the tax penalty for lack of coverage under the federal law. Even after adding that in, the short-term plans can still represent a savings”

    Naturally in our messed up insurance system, this requires the consumer to do lots of research and cost/benefit analysis.

  15. Jomo

    On the “New Balance shoes made in USA”, it just is not true. I like New Balance and have several pairs – Style M890BK2 is “Made in China;” Style MW411BK is “Made in Indonesia”; and my newest Style MW411BB2 is “Made in Vietnam.” They are a global corporation and they have not made their shoes in America for some time, just like the other global shoe corporations. So buying New Balance does not make you immune from contributing to “offshore slavery.” I too would love to buy a shoe made in USA.

    1. RUKidding

      I said similar above. I think that most NB shoes used to be made in the USA. Now, not so much. You have to read the labels. I was sad when I saw that the most models I looked at are no longer made in the USA. Too bad.

    2. fakie wallie

      A simple google of ‘new balance made in america’ would show you exactly which models are made in US.

      partial link to bypass skynet: (w)ww.newbalance.com/made-in-the-usa/

      1. Optimader

        Funny, i told my friend who sent these to me that i can see this easily devolving into a beer drinking game this summer — byob and duct tape
        Dont need to spend alot of money to have fun if you remain a kid at heart.

        1. craazyboy

          Join a club and try it! Find one that accommodates beginners. Oftentimes they”ll have a club trainer plane and a dual transmitter setup and a instructor will take the plane up the hand over control you. He can take back control if you screw up. He’ll also do the landings in the beginning, which is the hard part. If you like it, then they can give good advice on what stuff to buy. This is important, because there is lots of choices, mostly bad for new pilots.

          They probably have quad flyers too.

          Don’t try learning airplanes on your own. You’ll just crash until your plane is totally destroyed, be frustrated, and give up.

            1. craazyboy

              Yep. Check out these guys – they have it down to a science. Free plans for more than a dozen models from Dollar Tree foam board. They also sell laser cut kits if you don’t want to cut all the parts out yourself. There are also detailed build videos for each, so you can watch the vid first and decide if you want to go that route. By the time you buy everything else, they aren’t much cheaper than buying a nearly finished plane from somewhere like Hobby King however. Having an urge to do it DYI is the main motivation.

              Then doing the final setup and trimming prior to flying is probably the most important factor in whether the plane flies or not, which is another reason to join a club – they’ll help with that too. That applies to buying store bought planes as well.


              1. optimader

                the foamboard electrics allow you to mess around w/ control surfaces and wing designs with an exacto knife, ultimately that is what intrigues me about the hobby , not so much as building a faithful scale representation of something then worrying about crashing it
                Will THIS Fly?

                1. craazyboy

                  Flightest.com is the place for you then. Josh Bixler is famous in the hobby for cranking out lots of foam board designs. He has developed a really good build methodology too, so check out the build videos for his models (he has some flying wing designs too). You can become an expert(second hand) in a couple hours. He also has standardized on “power pods” – where you can build the part that holds motor and stuff and use it in various models for some variety off of one power train. You can also google for rc plane plans and find more.

                  That was a cool ducted fan jet in the vid. Tho ducted fan is kinda inefficient compared to props and flight time suffers. That one looked like it was cut from “hard” foam (don’t know what it’s called). They do that with a hot nichrome wire setup.

          1. RMO

            “Don’t try learning airplanes on your own. You’ll just crash until your plane is totally destroyed, be frustrated, and give up.”

            This applies to the full size ones too.

    1. craazyboy

      dang! That is some example of ultra slow speed precision flying. I was trying to find the wire..

      I just joined a local RC club here. I’m leaning airplane flying now. All sorts of flying machines at the field.

  16. John

    NC NEEDS to be talking about this:


    There is a huge protest going on that has been completely blacked out by the MSM.

    People tend to define censorship as the state suppressing communication. The reality is that even if the media is entirely in private hands and legally allowed to print whatever it wants, self-censorship still occurs whenever it is in the interests of these media outlets. It may not even come from editors and management but from the journalists themselves. They probably know better to even consider reporting on what may incite popular discontentment with corporate dominance of politics and the channels through which the powers that be exert their influence. And this includes the massive conglomerates that control the mainstream media.

    1. Yves Smith

      1. This is what Lambert calls “internet evidence”. He saw the tweets last night and apparently didn’t find enough to substantiate the claims. Even the one shot of the protest has hardly any people in it, and USUncut claims only 3500 people. Protest organizers usually estimate high. 3500, or even half that, is a huge amount to jail, but by protest standards this is not a lot of people.

      2. We decide what we talk about. Assignments are against house rules. Please see our Policies.

      3. This is a finance and economics blog. You are demanding us to be something that we aren’t and don’t aspire to be.

      1. Qrys

        Considering they were there protesting the corrupt campaign finance system, I would have thought there’d be grounds to include right there, but ah well, “Your Boat, Your Rules”.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          There was actually a link to this protest in LInks IIRC a day or so ago (although clearly the reporter didn’t actually visit the demo).

          I think the action is praiseworthy. That said, #BlackLivesMatter people I follow are pointing to the discrepancy between what they face from the police, and the well-mannered treatment these people got. I think a less silo-ed approach might be a good thing, strategically.

    2. perpetualWAR

      See here, young man, mind your manners.
      An “economic blog” does not stoop to covering revolutions.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        What a load of bollocks. As if we didn’t cover Occupy thoroughly and give plenty of coverage in the form of links to Tahrir Square, Carré Rouge, etc., as well as #BlackLivesMatter.

    3. Optimader

      John, friendly advise for this particular ecosystem… Just tchuck it out there, if anyone wants to discuss it they will.

      Higher level advise,: Understand NEEDS vs wants. In most cases the former is really the later

  17. Skippy

    “Hillary still wearing Lannister gold, I see:”

    Naw… obviously Dr. Ev’bal attire… with an up grade from a fashion gawd benefactor… I think it comes from the meritocratic collection….

    Skippy…. file under we know them by there garb…. fashionistas whisper imperial purple will come back for the coronation….

    1. Pavel

      I may be being sexist (hope not) and I certainly am biased against HRC, but am I alone in thinking she has the worst fashion sense?

      I’m mindful that it is much harder for female politicians — men only need to have a suit and a tie basically — but I dread having to look at her outfits for the next 4 years.

      (Mind you, if HRC becomes POTUS that will be the very very least of my concerns.)

        1. Pavel

          Ha ha, without clicking the link I suspect I know the image you have in mind.

          That is definitely how I’d like HRC to be dressed for the next 4 years! Thanks for the laugh.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We men cheapen our valid criticism of HRC with our very genuine, very sincere eagerness to improve her fashion sense.

        For me, the time is better spent to spring clean my own room, and maybe re-arrange the chairs or posters on the wall.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Better get used to it … before President Hillary starts popping up on your phone through the Emergency Alert System …

          “Did you clean up your room??? … grrraaacckkkkk … And what about those beer bottles I told you to take out to the garbage? Do you not HEAR me when I speak to you?? etc.

          1. Skippy

            For you Jim I can only hope Clinton gets in w/ Cruz a close second….

            Skippy…. that way you can experience the hatred you project on others…. arbitrarily… because you have some paper that needs to go up… or your life style might take a hit and that would screw with your self identity…

            1. ambrit

              Perhaps we here in America can resurrect the original method of peopling the White House with the “winner” in November being president, and the ‘runner up’ being Veep?
              Hillary for Prez and Cruz for Veep! (She had then better avoid flying in small airplanes.)

                1. ambrit

                  Galactic rabbit punch?
                  Extending this concept, and pretending that the ‘real’ world works differently, I wonder how anyone could tell the difference between a Clinton/Kasich administration and a Kasich/Clinton one.
                  “Ignore that woman behind the curtain!” (We ain’t in Kansas anymore.)

      2. Optimader

        Ironically, all she needs is a couple nicely cut fairly identical blue business suits, and make it her brand.
        At best she has a horrible sense of style. At worst she’s paying someone for the advise.

        With all her crap overhead she would be smart to have an entourage flunky responsible for setting up a Spinner in her hotelsuite everyday, then use it 30min trice a day.
        Just sayin

        Of course if she wasnt such a horrible person i wonder if her sense of style would be such a poke in the eye with a sharp stick or not?

        1. Pavel

          Ha ha, knowing the Clintons they probably have a focus group to survey before she puts on an outfit!

          1. ambrit

            Sounds like the King of France just before the Revolution.
            Remember the paper doll dress ups Little Sister played with? One for Hillary! (For all I know, someone on Hillaries’ campaign staff does exactly that on a computer.)

    2. bob

      It’s the pre-emptive fashion faux pax. If you can’t talk about policy, dress really stupid, they’ll never even think to ask you any questions.

      And if they remark on your idiotic clothing- “you hate women”

      It’s the second time she’s pulled it, to the same effect.

      1. Skippy

        Yeah… tho I see it as a case of “I” have arrived…

        Skippy…. not like you can ware it to the coroner shop or other digs…

    1. John

      She is a fab multi-taster and job creator. A partial list:
      To stand between banksters and pitchforks.
      To create jobs in military industrial complex… Nothing like a little war in a far away place.
      To make sure prisons remain stuffed, naturally with those with least clout.

      No dummy, she naturally demands partial payment in advance, then willing to trust that massive bonuses will come later from her grateful customers.

  18. Viva Zayas

    Re TTIP ‘narrow perspective,’ the international community is formalizing a consensus that ISDS cannot be used to end-run human rights including economic rights. That consensus becomes customary international law (i.e. US federal and state common law like the UDHR, per The Paquete Habana decision) and puts trade agreements in the remit of the Human Rights Committee and Human Rights Council.


    US urgency in imposing trade agreements is partly to get the jump on international obligations, but even where agreements (like NAFTA) are in force, the international consensus includes pressure to make them comply with the system of law. The ILC is doing its part by reconciling different international legal regimes with a set of interpretive priorities including human rights and jus cogens.


    This can block the US trade agenda, which is based on a strategy of invalidating duties of the state with lex specialis. Under the ICCPR, supreme law of the land, the international community is humans, not a smoke-filled room for predatory corporate deals.

  19. Pavel

    Eric Zuesse at Washington’s Blog wonders why the US media are refusing to discuss the actual statutes that Hillary may have broken by using her email server and deleting emails:

    When I submitted on April 9th to virtually all U.S. news-media a news-report headlined “Two Ways Hillary’s Private Email Operation Was Obviously Criminal”, and provided there the U.S. statutes that Hillary Clinton had clearly violated by her privatized email operation when she was serving as the U.S. Secretary of State, it was news-enough to qualify for publication by all of the major newspapers and TV networks and the other major and minor U.S. national news-media — but they all rejected it, declined to publish it, even though I don’t charge for my news-reports; and the only reason why they wouldn’t publish it had to be that they don’t want the public to know that she had violated at least two specific U.S. criminal statutes. But then a reader, Rocky Springer, at one of the news sites that did publish it, rinf.com (there were four, all very small: those two, plus this and this) posted a comment calling my attention to yet a third federal criminal statute that she was violating there:

    18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

    (a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    (b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

    The 3 U.S. Criminal Laws Hillary Broke with Her Email: Why Are ‘News’ Media Hiding Them from the Public?

    Zuesse’s mistake, of course, is his quaint belief that the laws apply to the Clintons.

  20. Mark

    ” One model projected that in 2030, there would be 11,000 more premature deaths from extreme heat compared to 1990.”


    Maybe they’ve got their numbers reversed.

    “At least 35,000 people died as a result of the record heatwave that scorched Europe in August 2003, says an environmental think tank.

    The Earth Policy Institute (EPI), based in Washington DC, warns that such deaths are likely to increase, as “even more extreme weather events lie ahead”.

    The EPI calculated the huge death toll from the eight western European countries with data available. “Since reports are not yet available for all European countries, the total heat death toll for the continent is likely to be substantially larger,” it says in a statement.

    France suffered the worst losses, with 14,802 people dying from causes attributable to the blistering heat. ”


    The UN reports on climate have been lowballed to get concensus.

    ” A new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels. The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates”

  21. Raj

    Some interesting/unique Panama Papers stories…

    Panama Papers may reveal information on ownership of $25 million Modigliani art…

    John Perkins on the history underlying the Panama Papers…

    Easy to create shell companies in the United States.

    Birkenfeld speculates the CIA is behind Panama Papers…

    Panama Papers reveal spies used Mossack Fonseca

    Per usual, interpret these news stories using your NC lenses.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      On Birkenfeld, Yves says:

      his is bogus but is making the rounds.

      US tax evasion via setting up Swiss bank accounts is not at all like the offshore secrecy regime.

      He wouldn’t have been able to identify his customers at all, let alone as American, if he had been dealing with a firm like Mossack Fonseca.

      This is at best a blind man dealing with an elephant.

      Our Richard Smith knows vastly more about this. He’s been tracking precisely this type of operator for years, and all the UK media except the Guardian is calling him for help. The BBC has had him on air before Mossack Fonseca as an expert on offshore secrecy regimes.

  22. knowbuddhau

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    “For me, it is impossible to capture the degree to which counter-insurgency is at the heart of the American paradigm of state making and war fighting without placing the Indian Wars and subsequent efforts at American Indian population concentration and pacification at the center of U.S. political development” [The Disorder of Things]

    Fascinating, captain, thanks.

    From the article:

    “Unlike other explorations of counter-insurgency that emphasize the ‘weaponization’ of social theory and anthropology, Owens locates counter-insurgency as an outgrowth of liberalism and its governance of the social, specifically the domestic.

    My hope is that foregrounding the Indian Wars in American political thinking, and in the American way of war that emerged from it, may also give us pause as critics of liberalism in conflating the historical origins of liberal thought in colonial powers as opposed to settler colonial powers. (Byrd, 122-125) That is, states for which the social emerged before it was exported abroad as opposed to those states in which the eradication and formal and informal subjugation of indigenous peoples and slaves was co-constitutive of the production of the social.

    I have another stake in this counter-history, which is that the ‘renaissance’ of the study of counter-insurgency, both for critics and practitioners, has thus far missed the opportunity to take seriously the role genocide plays in state formation. While this claim is frequently made, the gravity of its history is rarely appreciated. To stage what I mean as a kind of thought experiment would require a world where the population-centric efforts and the celebration of COIN more generally would be immediately compared to practices of warfare that culminated in slaughters like those that took place at Wounded Knee. That counter-insurgency and pacification campaigns can be considered the ‘softer’ side of war requires a near total amnesia of what wide-scale pacification and counter-insurgency looked like in the U.S. territories between the end of the Civil War and the late 1890s.

    So I thought, hmm, how many times has Sanders been told lately that he’s “off the reservation”?

    “Even the Leftist ADL Thinks Sanders is Off his Meds”
    Daily Wire April 7, 2016

    Sanders is way off the reservation here. Even the world’s most virulent anti-Israel organizations dispute the candidate’s numbers. The United Nations itself believes that roughly 2,104 Palestinians total (including innumerable terrorists) were killed during the 2014 operations. Given the fact that the UN often draws its numbers from highly-suspect Hamas-affiliated sources, it’s safe to say that Bernie Sanders has officially lost his mind. Clearly, the senile socialist forgot to bring his meds with him after he escaped the geriatrics ward.

    The graph below puts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into perspective, shining a blinding light onto Sander’s apparent schizophrenia.

    Nailed it. A use of a term from the Indian Wars to mean dangerously straying from a concentration camp for domesticated indigenous people, territory that itself is defined by the military and federal bureaucracy with the threat of violence never far, targeted at a domestic political insurgent and critical of his allegedly exaggerating the number of indigenous people killed by that other settler colonial state, Israel.

    WTF does it even mean to say Sanders is OTR? Is Hillary on it? Is “on the reservation,” in fact, where we’re all at? What’s this implying? ‘Sanders better get back on the reservation, like us good little domesticated folks, before he gets himself killed, and it’ll be nobody fault but his own, you know. Just like all them Palestinians getting themselves killed.’

    “The graph below” is a truly vile display of deaths vs. years, comparing Iraq (8 years, Iran-Iraq War, 1M), Darfur (12 years, 450K), Syria (4 years, 350K), Iraq again (2 months, 1991 “uprising,” 250K), Iraq again (3 years, Al Anbar “campaign,” 200K), Yemen (53 years, 200K), and ever so restrained Israel, (95 years, only a puny little bar that barely reaches 150K). That’s ok, Israel, I’m sure you’d be top of the charts if you just had more targets.

    So I’d say, yeah, seems about right. I’d call it the operationalization of a mythology. Or a worldview, if you like. “Ideology” is too bloodless for me. Makes it seem all abstract and logical and whatnot. We’re talking about deaths in millions, displayed on bar graphs with 50K death increments. Nothing bloodless about that.

    Whatever you do, don’t call it genocide, or the actions taken in pursuit thereof war crimes, or you’ll be the latest iteration of OTR and “off his meds:” unserious.

    And re: Paul Street’s advice for Sanders, MLK, the necessity of radical reconstruction: indeed.

  23. allan

    NYDN to Sanders supporters: Drop Dead

    On April 19, New York Democrats will have unusual say over the party’s nominee. They have in Clinton a superprepared warrior realist. They have in opponent Bernie Sanders a fantasist who’s at passionate war with reality. By choosing Clinton, Empire State Dems would powerfully signal that the party has gotten real about achieving long-sought goals.

    1. Pavel

      Hmm… I guess that works if the party’s “long-sought goals” include more disastrous and expensive foreign interventions, more cozying-up to big banks, big pharma, big ag (note HRC’s connections with Monsanto), and 4 years of DC gridlock while the rabid Republicans investigate the Clinton Slush Foundation.

      1. cwaltz

        Don’t forget impeachment.

        I’m going to keep repeating it over and over- The Republicans are NOT going to believe that this administration, who has admitted that Hillary Clinton was “careless” with classified email, did not politically protect her from consequences for that carelessness.

        It’s going to be a three ring circus once Obama is no longer standing between her and Congress.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yeah, sheesh, it’s like this whacky fantasist thinks there’s a Medicare for All system sixty miles north of Burlington. Or that Germany has free university tuition. Haw!

  24. Qrys

    File under 2016 | The Trail : California

    One Endorsement Can Make All The Difference for Sanders, Clinton in California’s Looming Contest [huffpost]

    …the last time the state had a competitive Democratic Presidential primary as late as June, was in 1992. That year, the state witnessed a feisty brawl between then-Governor Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown in the race for the Democratic nomination.

    In a similar fashion to today’s Democratic primary contest, in 1992, a Clinton was far and away leading on the delegate front but hadn’t yet sewn up the needed delegates to lock down the nomination. Equally symbolic is the fact that Brown— at the time an underdog much like Sanders is today— ran on a comparable platform of overhauling the nation’s campaign finance system.

    While Brown put up a solid fight in 1992, he was ultimately defeated by Clinton. Ever since then, there hasn’t been much of a cozy relationship between the two.

    Fast-forward to 2016, and interestingly, Brown has been remarkably radio-silent on the Democratic primary race.

    While I’m not entirely sure Brown’s endorsement matters as much as the article implies, his access to the MSM nationally would have some impact, but perhaps not nearly as much as say Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement would be.

    Brown’s recently told an LA Times reporter about his choice, “I’m not in any hurry.” :

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