Links 4/14/16

Readers, the news pot seems to have bubbled over today, and I’m also feeling frisky, so you get a bigger ration of links than usual. –lambert

Escaped octopus ‘didn’t even leave us a message’ Radio New Zealand

Massive undersea crab swarm caught on video for the first time Ars Technica

Foreign Office Appoints New Chief Mouser Sky News

Grandmother rescued after nine days lost in Arizona forest Reuters

US rejects ‘living wills’ of five banks FT

Citigroup, Wells Fargo Swap Bad-Boy Role WSJ

NYC Pension Weighs Liquidating $1.5 Billion Hedge Fund Portfolio Bloomberg

Meet the man turning Goldman Sachs into a ‘frictionless’ machine Business Insider

Wall Street’s Fraud of the Week Club Richard Eskow, CAF

Regulators Propose Banning Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes for at Least Two Years WSJ. Another unicorn bites the dust.

Why You Should Care About Big Banks Cutting Deals with the Feds to Avoid Prosecution Vice. Another cost-of-doing-business fine. Investors get nothing, traders keep their bonuses, no CEOs in jail. And so many people’s homes are gone.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Introduces Tax Filing Simplification Bill Hitting For-Profit Companies International Business Times

Crude congestion Reuters. Gorgeous maps of global tanker congestion.


‘No case’ for prosecution of Panama Papers law firm – lawyer The Journal (RS). “Panama’s chief state prosecutor, Kenia Porcell, yesterday gave a news conference in which he noted that “in Panama, tax evasion does not constitute a crime.”

Who Are The Non-Celebrities In The Panama Papers? emptywheel

Alexander Lebedev: Vladimir Putin is not the villain; it’s the West’s banks laundering money Evening Standard

Pacific islands provided fertile ground for Panamanian law firm Nikkei Asian Review

A torrential leak The Economist. ” [ICIJ] picked some odd collaborators: in America it chose to work with the Charlotte Observer and Fusion, a news site for millennials, rather than, say, the New York Times.” Shaking my head….

World Wobbles

With plenty of punch, central bankers wait in vain for the world to drink Reuters

Dark economic cloud over IMF-World Bank meeting  France24

Slow growth is a fact of life in the post-crisis world Oliever Blanchard, FT. “The focus should be increasingly on medium term growth, and the redefinition of normal fiscal and monetary policies in an environment of lower growth and lower interest rates.” Shorter: The new normal. Brioche, yum!

US economy in charts: gloom versus data FT

Central Bank Lending in a Liquidity Crisis St Louis Fed. This seems anodyne to me. Am I missing something? If not, why now?

EU Gives Greece Two Weeks to Form Border Control Plan Greek Reporter

USS Donald Cook buzzed again by Russian jets in Baltic CBS (AR).


How Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has made al Qaeda stronger – and richer Reuters

Saudi Arabia restricts religious police powers Gulf Digital News (Re Silc)


Bernie Sanders sliced Hillary Clinton’s New York lead in half since early March WaPo. The dogs won’t eat the dogfood…

‘I welcome their contempt’: Bernie Sanders fires back at Verizon, GE Business Insider

Bernie Sanders in Washington Square Park NYT. Interviews with attendees. The Sanders estimate is 27,000 (I can’t find a police estimate). Clinton held a duelling rally (1,300, but note the headline!).

Bernie Sanders Endorses Three Women House Candidates WSJ. Zephyr Teachout of New York, Pramila Jayapal of Washington state and Lucy Flores of Nevada.

From Wi-Fi to music, here’s how to tell a Sanders rally from a Clinton rally Buffalo News

Hillary Clinton Excuses Lack of Wall Street Prosecutions, Doesn’t Note Scrutiny of Former Treasury Head Robert Rubin International Business Times. She should have Bill Black on her campaign team. Oh, wait….

Clinton’s Reliably Bad Foreign Policy The American Conservative (Re Silc), responding to David Rothkopf’s Pardon Our Election Foreign Policy. If you want a fine example of an elite bubble, listen to the Foreign Policy podcast. Sane-sounding, smoothly-modulated, credentialed voices saying crazypants things.

UPDATED: Democratic Party of Wisconsin helps billionaires channel donations to Clinton campaign Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative. State parties used as conduits for the DNC to allow donors to skirt federal election limits?

Reports: Trump’s campaign manager will not be prosecuted for battery WaPo

News About Obamacare Has Been Bad Lately. How Bad? NYT. Readers, have any of you “shopped” for ObamaCare and changed your plan? What was that like?

Obama Names Cyber Experts To New Anti-Hacking Panel Fortune

Imperial Collapse Watch

I am on the Kill List. This is what it feels like to be hunted by drones The Independent. Does anybody believe that Amazon’s drones will stop at delivery?

Confessions of a former US Air Force drone technician Al Jazeera

Class Warfare

Why Luck Matters More Than You Might Think The Atlantic

Our Co-op boss leads from the front on Exec pay nickmembercouncilpresident (diptherio)

What Is America’s Proper Place in the Global Economy? The Atlantic. Betteridge’s Law violation, or no?

Pearson’s Quest to Cover the Planet in Company-Run Schools Wired

The Democratization of Science Ushers in a New World Order War on the Rocks (LT). If “democratization” is the word we want…

We just got great news about wage growth in America Business Insider

Facebook bot platform to transform entire industries FT

Why Thousands of Americans Are Lining Up to Get Arrested in D.C. This Week Rolling Stone

Dozens of Senior Citizens Were Arrested at ‘Democracy Spring’ DC Protests Vice (Re Silc). Not big numbers, so far. However, it’s important that some seniors have decided to put their bodies on the line; when the regime beats down the grandparents on TV, cracks tend to appear in elite legitimacy. (I know that’s not fair, but that’s how it is.)

More arrests at US Capitol as Democracy Spring meets Black Lives Matter (VIDEO) RT. Huge, if it sticks. Critical that the various movements not remain siloed.

President Obama is using his power to get advanced copies of Game Of Thrones episodes Metro UK. Looking for escape-ism?

Sea-level rise factors unravelled BBC (DL). Original.

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. Pavel

    Jeezus, you’re not kidding about “note the headline” about the Sanders/Clinton NYC rallies. There were 3 comments on the article when I read it and each was correcting the headline in some way. Here is the most scathing, by a Kim Holleman:

    Ken Thomas and Catherine Lucey, Associated Press: What’s it like to be a writer with a major site that no one takes seriously? Don’t you realize every time you manipulate and fake a news piece, we lose respect for you PERSONALLY? Next time I see either of your names, I will automatically assume it’s a manufactured reality piece rather than actual reporting. Welcome to the ranks of faux news. 27,000 inside the rally I was at last night with 30,000 outside the event. This shatters all known records for any political rally in the United States for a Presidential Race, EVER. Tell us again how huge 1,300 is when compared to 57,000. Feel free to make every teacher you’ve ever had ashamed of you…You’ve already lost our respect.

    Here is a briefer but equally angry:

    Only in media-speak is Bernie’s 27,000 strong rally equated with a “rally” of 1,300 people for Wall Street’s Sen. Clinton.

    Clinton and Sanders both staged huge New York rallies on the same night

    The MSM are going down in this election, along with the Republican and Democrat parties. Do they all think we are completely stupid?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        That’s a good cartoon. This explains her poor turnouts: “When Hillary speaks, its EARitating.” If people don’t want to listen to her and can’t even stand to look at her, how can she get elected?

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Yeah he nailed her. Hahaha.

          Something tells me this debate will have Hellery Stammering. She has had her Lie Machine on full throttle this month. Time for Bernie to speak some awful truths.

      2. samhill

        Considering Bernie’s age and that he’s speeching non stop for over a year now HRC is a lot more hoarse, down right ragged. In fact she’s been hoarse every time I’ve ever heard her speak on any campaign event from 2008 on. I think I got it – people think Bernie shouts because he’s so enthusiastic, he doesn’t, he appears to shout, and actually his vocal chords are ok from it all. HRC on the other hand totally fakes her enthusiasm, she shouts to appear enthusiastic, and there go the vocal chords. IOW she isn’t strident sounding because of any misogynistic anti powerful woman cultural bias or because she’s just cursed with a non-rhetoric blessed power voice – she’s strident because she’s a phony.

        1. Dave

          You’re saying that when you fake emotions you strain your vocal cords through tension on them?

          Liars have higher pitches. That explains why she’s hoarse.

          28 Bernie stickers to two Hillary bumper stickers here in solidly Democratic California.

          The Pantsuit Panderer throws people under the bus. She’s not accountable for anything. Everything she’s done in her life is, in her demented mind, a success, so anything that fails is somebody else’s fault.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            She’s not a good liar.

            Her bladder is probably too large.

            All great ones feel, at all times, as if the dam is about ready to burst.

      1. HotFlash

        Goldman mgmt and staff turned out not once but three times, and pd $225,000 each time. Perhaps we plebes just don’t know how to appreciate her properly?

    1. Ivy

      And people wonder when the MSM gets known as the Lügenpresse?
      The Associated Press and the New York Times are only two of many to surrender their integrity to the pursuit of various agendas.

      In this modern era of utterly shameless presentation of Op Ed under the guise of News, there continues to exist an ever stronger need to retain the letter and spirit of the First Amendment.

    2. jhallc

      The article also mentions “Clinton also walked a picket line in solidarity with the Verizon workers and addressed the National Action Network, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, giving her a visible platform for the city’s black community. ”

      I guess Bernie must not have picked up the tab for the lunch he had with Rev. Al after the NH Primary.

  2. rich caldwell

    Keynes said central bank lending to banks in a liquidity crisis should only be at punitive rates against good collateral, not at “rates consistent with normal market conditions”. The Fed paper’s fundamental flaw lies in this assumption — a liquidity crisis is not, nor should it be treated as, “business as usual”. To do so is to invite a liquidity crisis.

    1. nothing but the truth

      the fed likes the power it has grabbed. It will not let go of the emergency powers unless forced to.

      why? because this way it can do whatever it wants. That is the ultimate prize in a system based on laws and rules. Absolute “discretionary” policy.

      Rules and laws are for the small people.

    2. Procopius

      I am not an economist, but I’m pretty sure that was Bagehot, not Keynes. I apologize if I’m wrong.

  3. timotheus

    Hilarious Coverage Dept. from the online NY Daily News around midnight:

    “Clinton led Sanders 52%-42% in the latest Siena Research Institute poll, suggesting that the Vermont senator has MADE LITTLE PROGRESS among Empire State Democrats since the group’s last poll in March, which showed him trailing the former secretary of state 55%-34%.” -Adam Edelman

    11 point gain in one month = “little progress”. Do these guys even read their own copy?

    1. flora

      If you plan to steal an election ya gotta get the media to make it look legit by setting the expectations. /s

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More /s.

        Why do we want to alarm Hillary more?

        Wouldn’t that prompt them to be more ruthless, more thorough in stealing the election?

        (Expanding the sarcasm).

        “Ms Clinton, they are making little progress. Your highness can take a Roman Holiday.”

  4. Desertmer

    Re the Russians buzzing a US ship in the Baltic ….. The US has done this to the Russians for decades and continues to do it. Somehow it never gets reported on US media. The US also does it to the Chinese in a regular basis….. I guess it is a Nixon corollary- when the US does it it’s not ‘dangerous’ or ‘unprofessional’……

    1. Steve H.

      One of the Americans is smiling in the video, the professionals know exactly what it is, a professional pilot putting a very expensive aircraft through a very narrow window. Also ‘simulated attack’ is a laugh line, I think that’s an Aegis system on deck, the jet never would’ve gotten anywhere near the ship if there was any doubt about intentions, and wouldn’t have tried to.

        1. Lord Koos

          It’s crazy to me that all these weapons that have computerized systems don’t at least have some kind of manual backup or work-around, no matter how crude.

            1. Salamander

              I’ve flown one. And even I find the rote tsk tsk over dangerous behavior mind numbingly boring. Yes, we all do it. Hell – I’ve seen ALLIES do it… kind of a “Alo mates” kind of thing.

              And the Russian jets shutting down the destroyer’s air defense?


              Consider this: some years ago a Chinese attack sub surfaced in the middle of a carrier task force.

              Embarrassing, no? Then again… If you were a battle group commander in peace time, and you watched it all the way in, what’s the smartest move? Deterrence? Let them know you are on to them? Or discretion? Reveal your capabilities only in war time, and only when it matters?

              I don’t know the truth of the matter. I kind of doubt that Veterans Day does either.

              1. Optimader

                So i have read that nonsense about the aegeis being “shutdown” breadcrumb trail goes back to a story being planted in Sputnik, then mindlessly replicated as is the nature of the internetz.

                Objectively, buzzing vessels, at high speed no less, is more dangerous than not, and is to no beneficial effect–not to say in the moment it wouldnt appeal to my juvenile nature.

                Case in point you dont have to search too deep into youtubet to see a F-14 engine explosion doing just that , fortunatly it occurred moments after the high speed flyby ( next to its own aircraft carrier). Scale the image, and if that explosion happened next to the ship good chance some casualies would have occured.

      1. craazyboy

        They said the plane approached at 100 ft altitude which was below radar! If that’s what gets their panties in a wringer, the recent Russian cruise missile strike on Syria already proved warships are toast whenever Russia wants them to be toast.

        I thought the Phalanx component of Aegis could pick up low & close targets and put up a hail of bullets. No fighter plane pilot would get close to that in a serious situation. No one does things the way Japan did back in WW2 anymore. However, sea skimming cruise missiles launched from a respectable distance work just fine.

        I don’t know why the Navy even released this. Maybe to prove we need more defense spending. (cruise missile fodder)

        1. craazyboy

          Oh, I see. Just read the article above. The uncooperative Ruskies can jam Aegis radar now. I guess we are back to WW2. Without the deflation, unfortunately.

          1. B1whois

            The article closes with the ridiculous assertion that all the crew resigned. Isn’t that enough to compromise the entire piece?

            1. Synapsid


              The really worrisome point is that there’s no way to take care of the crew. The brig won’t hold a tenth that many.

              I wonder how I got through four years in the Navy without learning that I could just resign?

        2. Jake

          Who do you believe, me or your lyin’ eyes? I don’t believe anything they say. Aegis can see everything? Propaganda. Aegis can’t see below 100′? Disinformation. Do we let the Russkies swoop in unchallenged? Why give them any clues as to actual capabilities? What is Aegis for? To transfer huge amounts of cash to defense contractors. Mission accomplished.

        3. Optimader

          A reliable link on the ability to jam an Aegis system?

          I think the rank and file are smiling because they know the plane has nothing on the weapon rails and its a free vintage jet airshow. I think the commading officer has his panties twisted because he’s in command, if the coalburner turbine in the russian plane decides to explode and the plane augers into the ship with those two big fuel tanks his career is over.

          Personally, I think it would be reasonable to put practice blanks in the Phalanx gun and get some practice in that the pilots can cleatly see, but maybe that’s how things escalate and why i wouldnt make a very good naval commander.
          As far as Aegis goes, the USN really has NO reason to confirm capability, and that is reason enough to not aim any weapon at jets that present little more threat than as inadvertent kamikazes.
          Bigger picture, last I Iooked, the Russians dont own the Baltic Sea, as a matter of fact, their Baltic Coastline i belive ranks 7 of 8 in the Baltic region.
          Note that the Russian coast proper is in rhe Gulf of Finland not the Gulf of Russia no doubt much to Putins endless frustration.( except for odd little oblast, kaliningrad squeezed between Poland and Lithuania. )

          1. Salamansder

            think more deeply Optimader. Which Ordy would you trust to load that phalanx with blanks?

            1. Optimader

              Well, and thats the thing about unintended consequences…another reason i would not be a good Officer in command.

              Hmmm no doubt the system can offset lead and asimuth? See, a third example why i would not make a good officer in command

          2. vidimi

            i think it helps to think of what the scenario would look like if a russian destroyer was in waters off baja…

            1. Optimader

              Arent they allowed unmolested access to ports in Cuba freedom of navigation in international waters?

              Correct me if im wrong on that for my own clarification.
              Frankly i would like to see any link that can confirm USN USAF aircraft buzzing Russian (chinese vessels in international waters.

              The whole thing is stupid. They know and we know the plane have no weapons, are not locking on weapons radar and if they intended to, they would be doing it beyond visual range. Within visual range everyone in olay knows the jets would be turned into confetti.
              So I fail to see the point, other than possibly looking for fresh signal intelligence, which presumably is not going to be revealed anyway unless the ship is litup with a offensive weapon radar, inwhich case it Is uneccesarily in grave danger of being toasted with a RAM missle or a Phalanx burst if it is closer.

              All in all it it unneccesary to fly close enough to have a horrible accident.

    2. Procopius

      Yes, in fact I seem to recall reading stories back in the ’70s about how it’s normal for “both sides to do it.” With the Chinese, too.

  5. allan

    Panama lawyer: “in Panama, tax evasion does not constitute a crime.” But what about filing fraudulent documents?
    A few days ago I posted a link to a story (which for some reason has not gotten traction in the press) about how thousands of incorporation documents listed the International Red Cross as the owner of the trust.
    Is that legal in Panama?

    1. abynormal
      and somehow they ‘mishandled’ 500 Million for Haiti
      they shoulda been exposed & extinguished here: “The International Red Cross initiated an anti-smoking component to its global disease prevention campaign in 2008 and, in doing so, stopped taking donations from tobacco companies. That isn’t the case with the American Red Cross (or the Red Cross affiliates in Russia and Germany). Jilian Mincer reports for Reuters that the American Red Cross has accepted at least $12 million since 2001 from tobacco companies, including the Altria Group, Reynolds American, and Philip Morris International.”
      on a side note: i’m pretty sure the Waltons are working for the 1st time Eva…untangling their 20 shell corps (at least 20 being accounted for)

      I heart PanamaPapers

      1. jo6pac

        The red cross has been friend of Big T since WW 11. My late farther hated them, they charge for coffee but cig were free. He smoked the rest of his life.

        We now know were Haiti money went, into there pockets.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does the International Red Cross refuse donations from big banks too? Do it refuses doctors who accept gifts from Big Pharma? Or tech giants who have H1B visa workers?

    2. Alex morfesis

      It probably is legal everywhere…the power of direction to a trust is equivalent to a board of directors…the beneficiary to a trust may or may not be required to be notified…life insurance companies sometimes eat the policy money if the party does not know they were named or if the spelling of the name was different than an official govt version of your name…
      The control of a trust by beneficiaries exists only where the law says as much…usually the trust is totally in the hands of the one with the power of direction…much like a proxy for a corporation…
      And dont confuse tax rules, regulation and law with state law or federal law/intl law…
      One can also have current and future contingent beneficiaries in a trust…or a remainder interest beneficiary…which might be where the red cross shows up…

      1. B1whois

        I seem to remember that the leak itself occurred over a year ago, so factor that into any conspiracy theories.

        1. RabidGandhi

          Hey speaking of which, has this had any effect on the Buquebus traffic? I’ve always wondered how many shell companies would fit on the Eladia Isabel.

    3. perpetualWAR

      “Filing fraudulent documents”
      I can add, here, that filing or recording fraudulent documents in the USA is a felony, yet not one person has gone to jail even though the banks CONTINUE to file fraudulent documents every single day throughout this nation. Just look to the recording offices nationwide. Seattle City Council’s land audit report revealed every single document examined was void or void ab initio.

    4. sd

      Can the Internatinal Red Cross make claim on those accounts…and wouldn’t that be fun to watch…!

  6. ex-PFC Chuck

    In re: “Why Luck Matters More Than You Might Think”

    Napolean was once approached by one of his marshals who was recommending the promotion of an up and coming young officer in his command. Bonaparte is alleged to have responded, “I know that he is competent. But is he lucky?”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Your luck started with which parents you picked while you were waiting to be reborn…or maybe your luck depends on your karma accumulated from previous incarnations.

    1. abynormal

      You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman. ~Eldridge Cleaver

      1. john

        I had you in mind, writing.

        I think we just have to stop teaching people to be inhuman.

        CNN reports the affluenza teen is getting 2 years, maybe.

        Meanwhile, a furor over a dead NFL player.

        Race and class strike again.

        Speculation, will the NFL video game “Madden” start adding concussion time outs to their injury roster?

        1. pretzelattack

          not only that, the state paid something like 150k toward therapy for his affluenza. which raised an obvious question.

  7. John Candlish

    I find Cleveland FED paper as anodyne as a circus fun house. Huxley said there’d be Soma to cope with such crap.

    The outcome the economy ends up in is determined by the public’s self-fulfillling expectations of economic conditions


    Thank goodness for non-imaginary ultra-cheep industrial farming. It keeps us from having to eat bankers.

    1. fresno dan

      All the cynics are preventing liftoff of the confidence fairies – why O why won’t the skeptics let the poor fairies fly! Its all peachy if only you believe!!!

      1. Clive

        Or the Schrödinger’s cat economy; it’s probably quite well and happy unless we look at it. Then there’s a fair chance it might be dead.

        1. jsn

          I always assumed when bankers said “the economy is fundamentally sound,” they meant if they quit talking about it it would vanish.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a modern form of indoctrination, easier to digest with the word ‘science’ attached to it.

      1. Lord Koos

        I enjoy it myself some evenings (it’s legal here), but yes, it’s time to keep the population sedated as much as possible.

      2. different clue

        Legalizing marijuana = reducing revenue streams to the Money Laundry Industrial Complex.

      3. different clue

        Also . . . Legalizing Marijuana = reducing revenue streams to the Drug War Industrial Complex.

    2. polecat

      uhhh….’gangster bankers’ = banksters………..NOT ‘bankers……..they’re extinct !!

      …and they ALL leave a rotten taste in one’s mouth….unless leached of corruption and malfeisance first !!

      1. Propertius

        Perhaps one could adapt the recipe for “Prête Grillé” from Toulouse-Lautrec’s Art of Cuisine.

  8. Michael Hudson

    Re the “torrential leak,” the AMAZING thing is that 200 journalists were working on these documents and there was NO leak. None of my investigative journalist friends had heard rumors.
    This explains WHY they did NOT work with the New York Times. There would have been an immediate leak — and perhaps counter-pressure brought to bear against reports embarrassing to the US authorities. The moral is that NYT is now being shunned by respectable journalists who need to keep things confidential and avoid “outside” interference.

  9. Jim A

    Shareholders pay the fines, CEOs get the bonuses…. Yeah, that’s going to lead to “peace in our times,” on Wall Street.

    1. diptherio

      The inescapable conclusion is that those public employees who have been tasked with prosecuting white-collar crime are themselves complicit in aiding and abetting the criminal activity of these people. Aiding and abetting a criminal act is itself a crime. Therefore, those signing off on these decisions at DOJ are themselves criminals, QED. Remember that when you drop your tax-return in the mail this year. You are literally paying the salary of criminals who assist other criminals in robbing people like you. That’s America!

      1. Adam Eran

        OK, sorry. Your tax dollars do *not* pay government workers’ salaries. Where would taxpayers get the dollars to pay taxes if government didn’t spend them out into the economy first?

        Second: Let’s be fair. Lots of both public and private outcry accompanied the crime. … and lots of suppression of that outcry occurred too. The “most transparent” administration ever decided to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined.

        For more about the money, see Randall Wray (e.g.:

        Personally, I doubt the left will make much headway unless it throws off the shackles that say government must provision itself with tax revenue.

        1. diptherio

          Sorry, it takes too long to say “your taxes are sterilizing the spending that the Fed. Gov’t is paying these people”

          One way or another, taxation is how the government pays it’s bills, though, since it is taxation that gives money its value, as anyone at UMKC will tell you. Continued payment of taxes by citizens to authorities that are blatantly engaged in looting the country is not a situation that I would imagine would last very long…I would think that people would have too much self-respect to put up with it…apparently I’m wrong. So much the worse for us….

        2. craazyboy

          Q: Where would taxpayers get the dollars to pay taxes if government didn’t spend them out into the economy first?

          A: Paychecks create deposits!

          “Personally, I doubt the left will make much headway unless it throws off the shackles that say government must provision itself with tax revenue.”

          Let’s try anyway.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            With the People’s Money, the little citizens can provisions themselves without government trickle-down kindness.

        3. different clue

          No? But I could not emit dollars the way the money-issuing authority can emit dollars. I have to trade real work performed over time to earn my share of these dollars AFter they have already been emitted. So a tax-taken percentage of my work over time is indeed what pays these goverpaid workers.

      1. fresno dan

        Thanks for that.
        Saved it, but what folder to put it in – I decided the music folder made the most sense…

  10. Carolinian

    Independent drone story well worth a read.

    I took to the habit of sleeping under the trees, well above my home, to avoid acting as a magnet of death for my whole family. But one night my youngest son, Hilal (then aged six), followed me out to the mountainside. He said that he, too, feared the droning engines at night. I tried to comfort him. I said that drones wouldn’t target children, but Hilal refused to believe me. He said that missiles had often killed children.

    PBS this week is running Ken Burns’ new Jackie Robinson documentary. Robinson’s story–also the subject of several movies–is inspiring and well worth the telling but Burns gives prominent interview positioning to Obama and his wife as though to say “see, here’s what Robinson’s groundbreaking has finally brought us.” Indeed. Now a black president can cold bloodedly blast innocent Third Worlders to atoms just like the white folks do. One hopes Ken will forgive some of us for thinking the inclusion of our dronemaster in chief in Robinson’s story is a buzzkill.

    Sanders thinks drones are a useful tool. So, probably, does Trump and we know Hillary is an enthusiast. In short there’s so very little dissent from this grotesque policy. The campaigns highlight the many problems with American society and one can’t help but believe that none of these problems will end well. But one also has to believe that the hellishness the US often imposes on far away people means we will more than likely be getting what we deserve.

    1. Steve in Flyover

      Nobody has explained to me yet why whacking someone with a drone is any different than firing the same missile off thre wing of an F-16. Other than the drone launch costs about 1/10th as much.

      The drone is just a tool. If the drone goes away, the policy will just revert to the F-16s. Which will make things “fairer” in that the pilot of any F-16 they manage to shoot down will become the new star of the latest “snuff video”.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I don’t think that’s accurate. There’s drone strikes in a lot more places than there are airstrikes. I don’t think there’s ever been US airstrikes in Yemen, for example (though there has been plenty of Saudi strikes with US supplied equipment).

        The big problem with drones as they’re used is that it makes it greatly expands the possible target zone of places that the USG can hit.

      2. Titus Pullo

        Drones, and robots in general, aren’t covered by the laws of war (at least in the opinion of those that use them). Plus if a drone gets shot down (or crashes), you don’t have to worry about an American pilot being paraded on some belligerents television (and other) screens that might make the populace ask why we are bombing country X in the first place (though, really, who am I kidding).

      3. cnchal

        . . .Other than the drone launch costs about 1/10th as much.

        That just means they will be used 10X as much. Efficiency!

      4. RabidGandhi

        Another difference, which comes out clearly in the story, is the terror created just by having drones constantly flying overhead. At least with the F-16 strike it’s somewhat quick and unexpected, whereas I shudder to imagine what it would be like to hear predators (in the literal sense) circling above my family at all times. That is the classic definition of terrorism.

        Either way, they are both utterly reprehensible.

      5. Carolinian

        Drones loiter over the target waiting to assassinate/murder. They are therefore quite different from jets which need fixed targets that stay around long enough to dispatch a mission. The Israelis–where got the whole idea–use both but the drone is specifically a tool of assassination. Drones are also robotic devices with poor vision and therefore give Obama a technological excuse when he kills women and children.

        But yes air power in general has often been detached from its victims.

      1. Synoia

        Drones are instrument of Terror, and the drone strikes designed to deter, not punish.

        Their use is a clear set of war crimes, weapons aimed at a civilian population who have no military relationship.

        Exceptionalism for evah!!!

    2. Vatch

      Sanders thinks drones are a useful tool.

      He only thinks that in a very limited sense. My reading of the following quotes is that he thinks drones cause more problems than they solve.

      Sanders supports the limited use of targeted drone strikes, but believes that collateral damage, when it occurs, is detrimental to U.S. interests in the region.

      In an interview with ABC in August, Sanders, who described military intervention as “a last resort,” said, “I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively. That has not always been the case.” He explained, “What you can argue is that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective.” Sanders continued, “There are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been.”

      In a conversation with the Iowa Press last month, Sanders reiterated his position. “I am concerned. I think we have seen situations where drone attacks have ended up doing us a lot more harm than good…When they can be effective, that’s good, but I think when they are killing, as they have done, innocent people—we’re seeing women and children being killed—that is not a good thing and it turns people against the United States. I think you’ve got to be very selective in that area.”

      1. craazyboy

        Plus you have to take everything a Senator says in the context of working in a war crazed government. If he came across too dovish, he might be accused of being an unpatriotic commie loving socialist pinko!

        1. James Levy

          The goal posts are so far over on the “kill them all and let God sort it out” side of the field among US elites that even Sanders’ wishy-washy support of the status quo looks radical. Trump squares the circle by casting aspersions on Iraq and NATO one minute, calling for the murder of “terrorists” families and water-boarding the next. He complains about waste and “bad deals” at the Pentagon then insists he is going to “restore” our military so we are greatest power on Earth. Sanders doesn’t play that game, and wouldn’t be allowed to if he tried.

          1. craazyboy

            Yeah, Trump gets a few things right, but then cancels them out with a bunch of stupid stuff. But reality is the pentagon is pretty much all a bad deal. Sure, war is fun, but sometimes we just can’t afford to entertain ourselves in any manner we want.

            1. Eureka Springs

              Let us just take a moment to parse that old canard about killing women and children. I rather suspect men are being killed as well. None of these “men” are as much a threat to Americans as a toddler with a gun if I recall correctly.

              If MIC develops a drone which vaporizes male dna only will that be okay?

              Every time I read or hear someone dumb down/justify murder of men (anyone) this way I know they are not playing with a sane deck.

              When, oh when, will Sanderites hear?

              1. Vatch

                Sanders said:

                When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been.

                There’s nothing there about only women and children. In the other quote, he mentions women and children, but so what? That’s a good thing for him to say, because it is likely to have an emotional effect on the listener.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Sometimes with wealth inequality, the super rich build libraries and give to the poor.

                  Often, innocent women and children are killed.

                  Emotionally, I (and I imagine many as well) get frustrated with that kind of framing.

                  I rather we hear, ‘We have to eliminate wealth inequality.”

              2. craazyboy

                I imagine Hillary will start a Hellfire missile upgrade program. It will be a smart missile that only targets testicles+pubs. But that’s a ways off yet.

          2. Carolinian

            I think you are going to have to make up your mind whether Trump is wishy washy silly guy or the new Hitler. Wasn’t it in that Washington Post interview that someone (Ruth Marcus?) asked if he kept a copy of Mein Kampf by his bedside? The truth is that among the dumb bunnies who serve as our “thought leaders” Trump is whatever bad thing serves at the moment. One shudders to think what their bedside reading looks like.

            Personally, I say when Trump says something that is true then lefties should applaud. With encouragement he might even follow through.

            1. James Levy

              I have exactly the same yardstick for Trump and Clinton: what have they done in the past and how have they lived their lives. When Clinton in her commercials talks about trade and China, I have reason to believe her. When Trumps says anything, I have no reason to believe him. These two are serial liars out to use whatever prestidigitation it takes to screw the other guy and get what they want. There is not a scrap of evidence in Trump’s history to show me that he will follow through on anything or gives a rat’s ass about anyone but himself. Same for Clinton.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Can he not say the same, with the same understanding, with respect to hand guns?

        “I am concerned, but when they can be effective, that’s good…”

    3. craazyman

      I read today that Senator Sanders said that he’d do everything he could do to keep Trump from the White House.

      That means to me that Sanders might consider a Sanders/Trump ticket, maybe an independent ticket, because the Vice President doesn’t live in the White House, only the president does!

      Anybody can visit the White House, so if Vice President Trump wanted to visit, President Sanders couldn’t really stop him. But he could try to arrange meetings with Vice President Trump outside the White House. He’d have a lot more power as president to keep Trump out of the White House than he ever would as a Senator. That would work.

      This way the American people can have what they want in a ticket. No foolin.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        As president, Sanders can choose to work out of a log cabin in Vermont, and turn the White House into a museum.

        Then, he can order Vice President to market the bedrooms as time share units…Trump White House Resort by the Potomac.

        “By booking an overnight stay, you don’t have to wait in line to see the museum!!!”

        1. Vatch

          As president, Sanders can choose to work out of a log cabin in Vermont,

          Yeah, but he’d better not use a private email server. That’s Hillary’s job.

      2. craazyboy

        Professor Kelton could help too. Maybe on weekends when she isn’t working on the budget and figuring out what the economy needs to buy next week, she could challenge Trump to a mud wresting grudge match. Maybe out back by the rose garden and set up some TV cameras.

        If Steph wins, Mr. Trump agrees not to talk to any reporters for an entire week. If The Donald wins…well, wining is it’s own reward, isn’t it?

  11. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Re: Democracy Spring

    Good. I hope every Congress crook^H^H^Hitter is afraid, very afraid. The optics of grandma getting busted aren’t going to help them get re-elected.

    If they bring up TPP in the lame duck we’re going to need a LOT more people willing to get arrested blocking the Capitol.

    1. vidimi

      we need employers with a conscience who will only hire people with a disobedience arrest on their record

  12. Steve in Flyover

    From the drone operator: “………….work long shifts with no support.”

    LOL. No shit Sherlock. Welcome to the norm in the airplane business.

    If you think the USAF is bad, just wait until you become a civilian.

  13. fresno dan

    Escaped octopus ‘didn’t even leave us a message’ Radio New Zealand

    AKA the Shawslither redemption…

    Guards…er, attendants at the aquarium said the hole in tank was not obvious due to a poster of Spongebob squarepants covering it.

    1. petal

      I hope Inky made it to the sea and didn’t get stuck in the pipe somewhere. Run and float free, Inky! You give the rest of us hope.

      1. fresno dan

        Ms. Harvey recalled one octopus at a British aquarium that escaped nightly from his tank, slithered to a nearby tank to snack on fish for dinner, and went home.

        At the same time as Inky’s escape, a series of saving account withdrawals from local banks were made. Analysis of bank withdrawal slips confirmed the ink was not of any known pen brand, although handwriting experts were perplexed by the handwriting being unique to each withdrawal slip. One expert noted that other than the common findings of suction marks on the withdrawal slips, the signatures were unique with absolutely no common characteristic in the handwriting.
        One investigator noted that 8 scam artists working in concert to sign withdrawal slips on such a grift was unprecedented, but experts could not account for the 8 varied signatures. One expert stated that it was almost as if the signer used eight different arms….

        Detectives were also puzzled as to the funds being converted into claims, to be dumped offshore at a South Seas island….

        1. ewmayer

          I’ve always been a sucker for a juicy cephalopod-hijinks tale, and yours is really kraken me up, FD – thanks.

          Aside: My Mac dictionary app adds this note on

          USAGE The standard English plural of octopus is octopuses. However, the word octopus comes from Greek, and the Greek plural form is octopodes ( |äkˈtäpəˌdēz|). Modern usage of octopodes is so infrequent that many people mistakenly create the erroneous plural form octopi, formed according to rules for Latin plurals.

          I did not know that … but since the prefix ‘octo’ is common to both Greek and Latin and the Greek ‘pod’ (foot) is close to the latin ‘ped’, I shall continue using ‘octopi’, having fewer syllables and a smoother mouth-feel than either |äkˈtäpəˌdēz| or ‘octopuses’. If that makes me a proper-grammatical wimpish octopussy, so be it.

          Way-over-yonder: Anyone else remember the soccer-match-predicting octopus at a German aquarium in the 2010 world cup? One of the funny afterstories there was that after correctly predicting all the matches submitted to him (via a pair of food-containing bins, each bearing the flag of one of the paired-up teams) said cephalopod was invited to be the guest of honor at some annual celebration at a coastal town in either Italy or Spain, forgot which, but suspect the latter as it won the 2010 WC. As it turns out, though, the main industry of said village was its octopus and squid fishery. I only hope said invite was declined. One enjoys being the guest of honor, but only so long as it doesn’t lead to one’s becoming the main course.

    2. Milton

      Inky slithered through 500 yards of s**t smelling foulness and … …and stopped to enjoy his surroundings before continuing on to his freedom. 500 yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile.

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    “Medicare-for-all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us,” Song said, according to reports.”

    This was, “reportedly,” Bernie’s introduction last night by Dr. Paul Song, physician and healthcare activist.

    Immediately assuming, apparently, that he was referring to hillary, her camp demanded, of course, an “apology,” which Dr. Song provided:

    “I am very sorry for using the term ‘whore’ to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive,” Song tweeted Wednesday night.

    What could possibly make the clinton campaign think anyone could refer to her as a corporate whore? It’s so sexist and…………obvious.

    In other “news,” while Bernie has supported Verizon employees in their lengthy struggle with management, clinton was paid $225,000 by Verizon for another one of her famously valuable “speeches,” and then, of course, there was the inevitable clinton foundation contribution.

    1. rich

      Sing a song, sing out loud….kudos to Dr. Paul Song!

      The Entire Status Quo Is a Fraud

      Fraud as a way of life caters an extravagant banquet of consequences.
      This can’t be said politely: the entire status quo in America is a fraud.
      The financial system is a fraud.
      The political system is a fraud.
      National Defense is a fraud.
      The healthcare system is a fraud.
      Higher education is a fraud.
      The mainstream corporate media is a fraud.
      Culture–from high to pop–is a fraud.
      Need I go on?
      We have come to accept fraud as standard operating practice in America, to the detriment of everything that was once worthy. why is this so?

    2. Gareth

      I hope the Clinton campaign and the media continue to make a big deal out of the ‘corporate whore’ remark because I don’t think most Americans would disagree with it.

    3. Synoia

      “I am very sorry for using the term ‘whore’ to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive,”

      True. Insensitive to who? Inquiring minds would like to know….

      1. Pat

        What crazyboy said. And I’m pretty damn sure that Song meant it that way. That is one hell of a nice non-apology apology.

        And yes, of course he meant Clinton and every single one of the politicians she is carting around with her to her small events in NY.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think we have to start a new party, or as least let the old one go (like yesterday or last year).

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let the party sink?

      Try to redeem those corrupt Democrats by entering their den and letting them crucify oneself?

      Are those loyal, low-information Democratic voters, who will faithfully vote the nominee, too precious not to waste, if one runs as an Independent?

      Why the fatal attraction?

  15. LaRuse

    ObamaCare Shopping:
    Lambert, I know I wrote our story somewhere on NC months ago anecdotally, but I will share again.
    My mother, 61 years old, divorced after 33 years when my dad found a younger, healthier bride, lives with me. She is a poster child for ObamaCare. Extremely limited income, chronic health conditions, uninsurable once she was off my dad’s employer-provided insurance. Though college-educated, she has been largely unemployed (housewife) since the early 80s, and not remotely tech savvy. She has been in ObamaCare (federal marketplace) since 2014.

    When she received her Anthem renewal package last October, her quoted monthly rate more than doubled to almost $400 from the roughly $140 she had been paying. She freaked out and started shopping around. Long story short, she ended up finding a decent rate with a company that turned out to be unlicensed scam artists who ran away with her bank account before she could say Bob’s your uncle.

    Because I work for the state commission that, among other things, regulates insurance, I knew who to contact, what forms to fill out, and how to get a quick response. My mom did eventually get her bank account back under control and the several hundred dollars the company took, I think largely because they received a notice they were under investigation for their practices.

    The day after the scam fiasco started, Mom received a letter from Anthem with a NEW quote for her monthly premium, almost exactly in line with her previous year’s amount. They hadn’t included her low income subsidies in her first quote, which is what had set off the scam firestorm. Oops. Their bad.

    Now, as to the quality of Mom’s marketplace insurance? She cannot afford the double knee replacement she requires. She has to save up a couple of hundred dollars for routine checkups and blood work for her rheumatologist. She has dental coverage, but she can’t afford to use it. Hearing aids, which would greatly improve the quality of life for EVERYONE in my household, are not covered. In short, she pays about $150 a month for insurance that doesn’t do a whole lot but keep the IRS at bay. My mother, the true blue, neo-con, life-long Christian conservative Republican voted for Bernie Sanders in our primary last month because Medicare For All.

  16. ambrit

    Embedded deep in the Vice article about the capitol demonstration article about the ‘seniors’ was an aside about the newsies being ‘escorted’ to a “First Amendment zoned sidewalk.” Hmmm… Now the Constitution is being interpreted to account for property rights? Oh, silly me. That’s the way it’s always been! (Really though, domestic news reporters are being “embedded?” As in, “in bed with?”)

    1. human

      I assume that the reporters are being treated as the protesters and being told to remain in the pens if they do not want to risk arrest. This technique is used regularly to minimize widespread observation of populist events.

      Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. ™

  17. Jay T Kauffman

    As a Bernie supporter who is aghast at the mess of Obamacare and the rise in insurance rates and drug prices, I’m in a facebook discussion with a friend who is in the pharmaceutical industry—he is pretty adamant that single payer is an impossible transition to make. I’ve seen a number of big picture articles here and elsewhere defending single payer arguing the opposite but I’d like to see something specific about the fact that recently single payer failed in his home state. The specifics would involve getting realistic how much taxes would need to get raised—it looks like this was what killed it in Vermont, and I found it sobering.
    When I google “vermont single payer sanders” there’s not much there but hit pieces full of pretty discouraging numbers. Obviously it’s something Sanders and his supporters are not interested in drawing attention to. I’m interested in it though, because it’s a real thing that has happened, and if he becomes the nominee, you can bet that it will be a talking point. I wonder why Clinton doesn’t use it?
    Also, specifics about how this might look different on a national scale.
    Any suggestions?

  18. abynormal

    moments ago NHK reported that Japan’s Kumamoto region had been hit with another quake which had a shindo shaking intensity of 7 and registered a magnitude of approximately 6.4

    1. Synoia

      It was terrorists. The Pentagon needs another Trillion to destroy many innocents in the search for the perpetrators (probably Chines, or is it Putin again?)

      1. abynormal

        unfortunately, you’re not too far off base (we’re falling short): “The Pentagon requested an overall defense budget of $585 billion, including a $534 base budget and a $51 billion war budget. That’s an increase of about $25 billion, or 4 percent, in funding from this year.

        Even so, the active-duty military would actually shrink by about 12,000 troops to 1.3 million. The Army alone would lose 15,000 soldiers, dropping its end-strength to 475,000, while the size of the Marine Corps would stay relatively flat at about 184,000 Marines. The Air Force would add about 1,700 airmen, increasing its size to 317,000 and the Navy would add 1,500 sailors, swelling its ranks to 329,000.
        The war budget, or funding for overseas contingency operations (OCO), projects an average of almost 5,900 U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan next year, a figure that’s slated to fall to an embassy security presence of about 1,000 troops by the end of 2016. There are currently more than 9,000 American service members in the country.

        The Pentagon acknowledged that the cost of maintaining forces in Afghanistan “will fall more slowly than forces themselves due to expenses (including contractor costs) associated with closing bases, returning equipment, and resetting the force,” according to the budget document.

        It also projects an average of almost 4,100 troops serving in Iraq next year. That’s more than the nearly 3,000 service members President Obama has authorized so far to deploy to the country in support of Iraqi and Kurdish forces battling militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

        The war funding would support training allied forces in the Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are trying to push government forces out of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS and al-Qaeda militants have overtaken large parts of both countries.

        (the China seas will necessitate that Trillion to be plural)

  19. Llewelyn Moss

    corporate Democratic whores
    Hey, that sounds accurate. I demand that Paul Song take back his apology!!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Again, nasty as she is, I am told, she will claim we are singling her out because she’s a woman.

        “Many Democratic men do what I do. Why don’t you go pick on them?”

  20. flora

    re:”Bernie Sanders Endorses Three Women House Candidates – WSJ
    Yes. Bernie is sending out fund raising emails on behalf of these candidates. One way to break the grip of the DNC is to create a different funding channel for good candidates.

    1. perpetualWAR

      Pramila Jayapal refused to support an anti-bank, pro-homeowner bill in Olympia. I won’t support her effort to get to DC.

      1. Gio Bruno

        I understand there are only Democrats with a chance of winning the 37th Congressional District. Is Jayapal not progressive enough?

        Here’s a quote from a local (to the 37th District) newsapaper:

        Jayapal will immediately become a frontrunner and—in a field of all Democrats—will likely be the candidate of the progressive left if she runs. In Olympia, she has pushed for a statewide increase to the minimum wage and stronger voting rights. This week, she unveiled a bill that would provide state residents with free community college.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Older voters can really get excited over any bill for free nursing homes.

          “With free education, especially in technical fields, we hope you will make our (national) machine stronger (to defeat those communist machines).”

          “With free senior nursing homes, what can you old geezers do for your country, but wasting precious resources?”

          No place for old people in America.

  21. fresno dan

    A team of sniffer dogs set up at a British airport at a cost of 1.25 million pounds ($1.7 million) have proved adept at discovering small amounts of cheese and sausages but not so good at finding smuggled drugs, a report said on Thursday.

    An inspection of border security at Manchester Airport in northern England found that during a seven-month period, the six dogs had failed to find any illegal class A drugs, those considered the most dangerous such as heroin or cocaine.

    Aren’t those cheese and sausage doggie treats call snausages?

    1. craazyboy

      If the doggies can find their own food, that should keep operating costs down. Especially if a “Feed the Airport Doggies” craze catches on and more travelers bring doggy goodies to the airport? Sounds like a British thing to me.

      1. optimader

        Heathrow(?) has to be perhaps the shittiest commercial airport in the western world.

        So it would be consistent that they might have perhaps the most disinterested sniffer dogs in the western world, they are probably depressed? I’d be looking to sniff out something to eat as well.

        Commercial travel sucks these day. Last time at Heathrow the security check person did a slow motion disembowelment of a friends carry on. Some basic cycling gear –clipless pedals/shoes, helmet little flashy lights, all apparently presenting like she was smuggling some form of ex-terrestrial technology.
        “whats this?”–
        “ahh.. a pedal”
        :whats this”–
        “ahh the other pedal” (trick question??)
        “Two of them?”–
        “and this?”–
        Ahh.. a bikelight”
        “Turn it on”–
        “why’s it flashing?”
        AHHHH..ER..groan…ah, they do that”

        Been a while since I have been in S America, but its was so pleasant to just walk onboard a plane. Still the case in domestic flights in Iceland.

  22. Jim Haygood

    More from a local paper on the woman rescued from a remote part of Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona after being lost for 11 days:

    Crews learned Ann Rodgers had set off from her Tucson home for her grandson’s birthday party in the [Phoenix] Valley, but instead of turning west on U.S. Highway 60, headed east toward Show Low.

    Apparently Rodgers, in a search for gas, got disoriented and drove further and further into the Fort Apache reservation.

    When [a rescuer] arrived, he had driven 115 miles from Payson to the Cibecue turnoff on Highway 60. Rodgers’ car was another 40 miles in on a dirt road.

    After her vehicle broke down, she headed [on foot] into a canyon, taking a daypack with her. A painter, Rodgers kept the bag in her vehicle for small trips. Beyond a small amount of food, Rodgers had binoculars, pen, paper and matches.

    Rodgers told rescuers that she had just enough survival knowledge to know which plants were safe to eat. At night, Rodgers said she kept warm by starting a fire.

    “She was all soot covered when we found her,” a rescuer said. “But man, her spirits were really great.”

    Rescuers calculated Rodgers covered eight miles of ground after leaving her vehicle.

    Well, the good part is she knew something about edible plants, and had matches to build a fire. Bad part is she went more than a hundred miles off course, then left a paved U.S. highway to drive more than 40 miles into the wilderness on remote dirt roads, in an area where there are hardly any people, much less gas stations.

    And they say men are too stubborn to stop and ask directions …

      1. polecat

        maybe she had an appointment with Don Juan ………

        … which case..she might have flown……

        1. polecat

          did the authorities find any sutured-up lizards in her vicinity ?

          and did any ‘speak’ ? ;)

        2. optimader

          HA! indeed.. So let see…
          a day pack without any water?
          desert environment?
          enough hallucinogens to get through the grandson’s birthday party??
          double check

          I would have used the matches and a floor mat to set the baldest tire on fire at noon… then sat back an enjoyed the rest of the peyote from the daypack that she enjoyed before becoming so thoroughly “disoriented”..

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Could she have been trying to reach a voting booth?

        One more dirty Hillary trick in Arizona exposed?

        1. Aumua

          Seriously, though. How do you get lost going from Tucson to Phoenix? As a Tucson resident, I just have to ask..

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Seems highly unlikely. Reports are that they may take human rights into account in future bidding (for 2026 and beyond).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are many precedents.

        “We will take recount into consideration in all elections in Florida, but not this time.”

        “We will look into election fraud in Chicago in the future, but not this year. Maybe starting 1961.”

        “We can’t re-do Arizona. Maybe in the future, after 2017, we will make adjustments.”

  23. Lord Koos

    Antidote — is that a photo of the “fat tail” syndrome I’m always reading about?

  24. Jim Haygood

    Fireworks at the UN next week:

    The Palestinians are planning to bring their own resolution to the UN Security Council declaring that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem are illegal, with a time frame of one year to reach a final status agreement.

    The UN vote is set for April 22, Passover eve. Palestinian media reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to be present in New York for the vote.

    The last time the Security Council voted on a settlements-related resolution was in February 2011. The Palestinians had the support of 14 out of 15 Security Council members, including Britain, France and Germany. The US opposed the Palestinian move and tried to stop the Palestinians from bringing the resolution. When efforts to convince the Palestinians failed, Obama used America’s veto power.

    Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former consul-general in New York, is quoted as saying,

    “Under [another] option the US, in an unprecedented move, would not use its veto against a French resolution at the Security Council on the conflict.

    “This option of non-exercise of the US veto can only be used between November and January 2017 so as not to hurt the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

  25. rich

    Steve Cohen Has a New Firm That’s Allowed to Take Outside Money

    ‘Engineered With Precision’

    An accord with the SEC bars Cohen from handling outside money until Jan. 1, 2018, a restriction far less onerous than the lifetime ban the agency originally planned to seek when it alleged in July 2013 that the billionaire failed to supervise two senior employees charged with insider trading. Setting up a new firm under the control of his lieutenants could generate additional revenue for the family office, help attract and retain top traders and give Cohen a head start when the management embargo expires in 2018.

    Stephen Crimmins, a former SEC enforcement attorney who is now a partner at the law firm Murphy & McGonigle, said as long as Cohen stays within the limits set out in his agreement, the hedge fund manager won’t run afoul of the agency. In negotiating the settlement, Cohen’s lawyers were able to include a provision that specifically allows the billionaire to set up a money management firm like Stamford Harbor.

    Cohen’s settlement “was engineered with precision — everything was carefully thought through,” said Crimmins, who was not involved in Cohen’s settlement. “To see him getting active again, that is what the deal was” with the agency.

    Florence Harmon, an SEC spokeswoman, declined to comment on the startup.
    Five Weeks

    Point72 can only manage Cohen’s personal fortune, estimated at $11.2 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, along with money belonging to his relatives and the firm’s employees.

    rules and laws, what are they again?

  26. optimader

    Inky deserved to be back in the octopus gene pool.

    I used to have a largerish saltwater aquarium before my life got complicated, and it was simpler times.
    We used to dive in a reef off the coast of Honduras and bring back specimens, clown fish, angels, gobies and the like. In any case, really enjoyed the octopus, but very difficult to keep. Endlessly fascinating to watch and give things to puzzle out.

    Unfortunately the are very high maintenance, and sort lived The last one I had was partitioned in his own private part of the aquarium tank. He was non the less able to escape through the cover at a very close cut pipe access hole, slithered over to the larger portion of the tank and mauled a pet French angel fish. And I say pet. I had him for +10years, since he was the size of a thumbnail and grew the size of a large open hand. He’d splash water when I was in the room indicating he wanted food, would watch TV. Pretty crazy. Mobile eyes in sockets, I would speculate the intelligence of a house cat.

    Anyhoo, the octopus mauled him, climbed back out to go to his lair presumably, but fell to the floor and wrapped himself around tubing going to a protein skimmer that was making water rushing noises (vibrations).
    That was a bummer, for both of them and me included. Im sure the French Angel would have lived a long time beyond his untimely death.

      1. Optimader

        Bas, he was a well fed octopus. It is their nature to go on nocturnal wanderings from tidal pool to adjacent tidal pool to catch and eat small fish that are trapped until the tide comes back in. I think he was just on a walkabout fullfilling his natural behaviour.

        Some of the most facinating times ever for me was late night walking around in tidal pools on full moon nights, bioluminecent phytoplankton pulsing green blue whenever you take a step while tracking the wild octopussys on their nocturnal scavenger hunts.

        Flash on a maglight and they would do their color and texture show. Facinating and intelligent critters. Too bad for them that they are so tasty.

  27. tongorad

    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas

    T.S. Eliot

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