Links 4/17/16

Billions of cicadas will ascend upon the northeastern United States as another 17-year cycle concludes WaPo

That man who ‘deleted his entire company’ with a line of code? It was a hoax CIO (RS).

Chain reaction activated separate fault zone in 2nd huge quake Japan Times and 7.8 earthquake strikes near Quito, Ecuador Los Angeles Times

Treasury, Fed officials tell senators liquidity is fine in bond markets MarketWatch

Hungary Issues Sovereign Bonds Denominated in Yuan; Another Nail in US Reserve Currency Status? MishTalk (Furzy Mouse). Yves: “This is a stunt.”

Russia, Saudi Arabia Approve Oil Freeze Deal, Says Oman Minister Bloomberg

Global Drought Information System National Integrated Drought Information System

Chinese Lender’s Woes Expose Its Global Tentacles WSJ

Congress to vote on impeaching Rousseff in divided Brazil Reuters

Anti-austerity demonstration held in downtown St. John’s CBC (SS).

Wolfgang Schäuble warns UK of tough Brexit negotiations FT

Greece’s Creditors Weigh Extra Austerity Measures to Break Deadlock WSJ

Greece’s ‘erratic Marxist’ Varoufakis advises Britain’s Labour Party, Corbyn says Egypt Independent

Analysis: Egypt economy ‘entered a vicious circle’ Al Jazeera (TS).

Can The ‘Up All Night’ Protesters In Paris Find Common Ground? World Post

Anti-austerity protest: tens of thousands attend London march Guardian (Furzy Mouse).

Pope Francis takes refugees back to Rome following provocative and emotional Lesbos visit WaPo

Mossack Fonseca

UK ministers humiliated after Cayman and BVI leaders repeatedly ignore requests for meetings Independent (RS).

The UK’s position on sharing beneficial ownership data is totally hypocritical Tax Research UK

Trove of secret Swiss bank data released to European countries: now use it! Tax Justice Network

Inside Panama Papers: Multiple Clinton connections McClatchy


Obama likely to sit out Democratic primary altogether, White House aides say Los Angeles Times. The line is party unity, but hmm….

Bernie Sanders Meets With Pope Francis NYT. Briefly!

Bernie Sanders’ Hail Mary pass Commonweal

Hillary Clinton committee raised $33 million in first quarter Politico. The headline is anodyne; the story is not. Remember the stories about the DNC and the Clinton campaign jointly raising money for the state parties, and that Sanders was blasted for not helping? If I read the stories correctly, the “Victory Fund” entity was used to launder very large contributions through the state parties back to the DNC, and thence to the Clinton campaign and various Clinton apparatchiks. As a result, of the $33 million raised, a mere $2 million was left over for the states. (A secondary benefit is that underfunded state parties keep turnout low, benefiting Establishment candidates.)

Democratic Party fundraising effort helps Clinton find new donors, too WaPo. The same story as above, with an equally anodyne headline.

Clooney’s neighbor throws Saturday fundraiser for Sanders HuffPo. Tickets: $27.

Bernie Sanders Has Fund-Raiser at Fancy Hollywood Home NYT. Tickets: $250. Clooney tickets: $33,400.

Sanders Supporters Shower Clinton Motorcade With $1 Bills NBC. The upcoming California primary should be full of interest…

Why I Haven’t Felt The Bern Paul Krugman, NYT. Is doubling down additive, or exponential?

Caught in the Aftermath of a Minsky Moment by a Credibility Trap Jesse’s Café Americaine (SF).

Bernie Sanders wins Colorado with big showing at state convention Denver Post. NBC: “Bernie Sanders Picks Up a Few More Delegates at Colorado Convention.” Guys, c’mon.

Trump Continues to Attack GOP Over Delegate System WSJ

Indiana Awards 57 Delegates Before Primary Vote, Only 1 to Trump; Satan vs. Trump MishTalk

Ted Cruz sweeps Wyoming Republican Convention CNN

Twitter Is Seriously Warping Perceptions of the Presidential Race New York Magazine

Jill Stein: The Democratic Party ‘fakes left,’ marches right CNN

Facebook denies that it would ever try to influence the election The Hill. So that’s alright, then.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The CIA Is Investing in Firms That Mine Your Tweets and Instagram Photos The Intercept

How Technology Helps Creditors Control Debtors The Atlantic

Star DEA agent finds himself at center of sprawling probe as drug task force comes under scrutiny Baton Rouge Advocate

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Sundown Towns and Counties: Racial Exclusion in the South Project Muse. The Green Book was published until 1966. My household didn’t need one. But many black adults alive today grew up in households that did.

Class Warfare

Over-estimating neoliberialism Stumbling and Mumbling

Want a Higher Salary? It Helps If You’re a Man With Rich Parents Bloomberg

Answering the Call Buzzfeed. “For decades, beauty parlors were a rare refuge where gender-variant Filipinas could openly work, at the expense of low wages. But today ‘call centers are the new beauty parlor.'”

Inmates Argue Their Way to a Win Against West Point WSJ. Debate!

George RR Martin, fantasy sorcerer bewitches real lives FT

One million dollars for James Grant Medium

What is Money? LRB

Antidote du jour (via):


Bonus antidote (via):

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. JoeK

    So let me get this straight: subprime loans carry high interest rates due to the high default risk. Yet kill switches reduce that risk by a factor of 4. So the creditors get to have it both ways.

    And in the case of the laptops, illegally spy on the borrowers.
    No matter how cynical I get….

  2. Steven

    Introduced into North America, starlings are a scourge. Yet as a city dweller, I find them fascinating. I’ve heard them mimic cars, cats, other birds. They’ve stopped and looked right at me without flying away, as if calculating the possibility of getting something to eat. Two of them were in a fight on the sidewalk in front of me but just ignored me as I walked by. They just moved it over about a foot and a half.

    1. Bas

      Is that starling in the photo feeding a cowbird baby? Cowbirds are notorious brood parasites.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        Is ‘cuckholding’ not symbiotic? My birding consists of watching the action around the feeder. It seems to me that having a large aggressive species imprinted to hang with your young could easily be a long term benefit.

        Definitely looks like a bigger species than the bird feeding it. Been a while since I knew a naturalist I could have a beer with, though.

      2. different clue

        I have seen young-of-year starlings which were not quite “that” young. They are grey like that. The bird being fed is already growing into a starling’s basic shape and the bill is too long, narrow and sharp to be a cowbird.

  3. abynormal

    i look for the diverges in everything. the gaps on every level is where the wind blows…keep it at your back. here’s a Strong Example for how gaps close, Egypt:
    “In conclusion, the economy has entered a vicious circle where it is feared that the current dollar shortage would impede economic recovery and thus usher the economy into deeper recession in the coming few months.
    Egypt has relatively stabilized in the short term. Unlike the period between 2011 and 2013, no major changes in the structure of political authority are expected in the coming few years.
    However, longer-term sources of uncertainty persist. The future of political Islam, and the remnants of the Brotherhood, remains unanswered.”

    ‘EVERYTHING is cyclical’…today, the gaps are wider and cycles will naturally tighten harder

  4. KCS

    Dennis Hlynsky’s video techniques [today’s anecdote is one example] are very trippy, and give us interesting insights into nature. I wonder if they could be used to visualize some aspects of economic behaviour, allowing us to follow the flow of certain kinds of transactions? Anyway, forwarded that all over the place. Thanks for finding and posting it.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Too busy to stop. She used her non-government-issued blackberry to contact her son-in-law who contacted his Goldman peeps to calculate the ROI, and after ensuring it would be profitable the campaign paid some people $8/hr to come back later and sweep up.

      1. edmondo

        Whereupon, the $92 in Bernie bucks that was thrown by the crowd was invested in cattle futures and – viola – two months later,- was worth just under $30 million.

  5. abynormal

    “A spike in tensions between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia GAP Iran appeared on Sunday to ruin prospects of the first binding oil output deal in 15 years between OPEC GAP and non-OPEC nations, and looked set to prompt another fall in the price of crude. “I am not sure you can call it a freeze,” one OPEC source said. A senior oil industry source said: “The problem now is to come up with something that excludes Iran GAP, makes the Saudis happy GAP and doesn’t upset Russia GAP GAP.””

    “One choice can transform you.
    One choice can destroy you.
    Once choice will define you.”
    V. Roth, Divergent

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      and looked set to prompt another fall in the price of crude

      Confused, the “fall in the price” refers to the result of the inability to reach agreement or to the natural outcome of, “the first binding oil output deal in 15 years…”?

      I assume it’s the former, but always curious as to whether I should put a hay bail of money next to me when driving or just the more recent wallet wad?

      Electric cars should be cheaper than gas fueled cars, not absurdly more expensive. Until this sort of reasoning pokes through the religion of monopoly capitalism, it continues to be empire collapse.

      1. abynormal

        “Until this sort of reasoning pokes through the religion of monopoly capitalism, it continues to be empire collapse.” deserves a repost and taking it with me…Thanx BB

  6. mistah charley, ph.d.

    Looking at the comments on Krugman’s “doubling down” anti-Bernie blog post, I note that almost all agree with with him, whereas the newspaper column comments tend to defend Bernie – although the fraction of anti-Bernie comments has been rising over the last two or three weeks. It’s not just Hillary’s commitment to the economic status quo that bothers me about her – it’s also her paranoid, pro-mass murder mindset*. Would we be better off if Herr Drumpf becomes Leader? I’m starting to wonder.


    1. Jason

      I think the appropriate phrasing is “Would we be less worse off” with Herr Trumpenfuher, but yes, I’m starting to wonder the same thing. Not just on foreign policy, but across the board.

      1. Brindle

        Hillary is a proven warmonger and someone who has used public office for personal enrichment, Trump could be just as bad or worse but he has not transgressed to Hillary’s level so far.

        1. sd

          The problem with Trump is actually not Trump, it’s his followers. And his followers are blood thirsty. So while Clinton likes foreign pink mist as Lambert likes to call it, Trump followers seem to like their pink mist on a more intimate and local level.

          Whether Trump can actually control his followers remains to be seen.

          1. kareninca

            I know two people who plan to vote for Trump; I guess you would call them “Trump followers.” They are the ladies who help my mom clean and organize in my hometown in rural CT. One used to be a school secretary; her job was eliminated; she is in her 50s; she and her husband now use the food bank and are hoping to sell their small house to switch to something even tinier. The other had a clerical job; she is in her 70s; she helps people find and use the food bank and drives them there. Both of them are ardent Christians.

            I truly don’t think they have any interest in “pink mist on a more intimate and local level,” nor have they given evidence of being bloodthirsty. They are worried about jobs for themselves and their kids and grandkids. There are simply no jobs in rural CT; it is very scary; the state is going down the tubes. I think they are probably extremely typical Trump supporters, and are not very different in many ways (except for their religiosity) from Bernie supporters.

            1. sd

              I’d truly like to believe they are the norm and not the exception. But too much evidence says otherwise.

    2. Jane Atwood

      In the last two Bernie bashing articles that allowed comments (the blog post by Krugman, and the week-end article reporting Sanders will campaign negatively and be a sexist because winning is everything to him and Hillary can’t fight back as much as she might like, because she has to care about unifying the party), I see fewer Mathezar’s asking, “but why?” and fewer Thermians sympathizing with “those poor people” on Gilligan’s island.

    3. Bunk McNulty

      I find it not terribly hard to believe that the sudden appearance of support for Prof. K’s Bernie-bashing has something to do with next Tuesday’s primary, and that the Times is, um, “moderating” comments.

  7. Nick

    Wow it really seemed like Krugman was on the fence there for a while re: Sanders v. Clinton with his 87 op-eds railing against Bernie and his supporters, but I guess he’s a Clinton guy in the end. Duly noted…

    “But never mind. As you know, I’m only saying these things because I’m a corporate whore and want a job with Hillary.”

    And you really have to admire his candor.

    1. James Levy

      Nothing uglier than being wealthy and successful and set for life while wallowing in self-pity like that. Pathetic.

  8. Brooklin Bridge

    The comment attatched to the link, Hillary Clinton committee raised $33 million in first quarter, gave a good summary of the article.

    The question it raises to me is how does one respond to those questions that are intentionally misleading because they require unreasonable background knowledge on the part of the audience. Another example of this was when Clinton criticized Sanders for not being able to explain how to break up the big banks. Obviously a misleading question because Sanders DID have a perfectly accurate response that was subsequently twisted by the pundit interviewing him and then pounced on (probably agreed upon before hand) by the media in general.

    Some possible ways of responding:
    1) Full answer, presenting a clear definition of the problem in the best cases including how the question is duplicitous.

    2) Condensed version of #1; brief summary of problem, why question is loaded and statement of accurate position when appropriate. Very difficult particularly in a nationally televised debate where the moderators will cut you off the minute you start to make too much sense.

    3) Ignore question possibly shifting subject to opponent’s weakness

    In both instances, Sanders chose #3 where caution may have been the right response, but which seemed to miss good opportunities to turn the tables around on Clinton with knowledgeable answers that illustrated her tendency to use falsehoods as a strategy. That said, it is no easy feat to have ready answers to such challenging questions that require so much background and this pattern of complex question that lends itself to duplicity is probably what Clinton’s strategists spend their days and nights dreaming up. One has to admit that Clinton excels at it and Sanders does not.

    1. ScottW

      I confess to knowing nothing about election laws, but there is something that seems unconstitutional about limiting someone’s vote to a party affiliation in elections that are funded by the taxpayers. Why shouldn’t I have a first amendment right to vote for who I want to vote for in government funded elections? Limiting my vote because of party affiliation is a content based restriction on my right of free speech.

      To me the nexus is government action combined with restrictions on free speech/expression. And if corporate money is considered speech, my vote should certainly be considered speech. Telling me I have to vote for selected candidates restricts that right.

      Could they get away with the same thing in the general election–or would it be unconstitutional? I know–as the judge used to ask me–do you have anything other than the constitution to support your argument?

      1. Ed

        The Democratic and Republican primaries are private organizations and the government shouldn’t be involved in organizing or funding how they select or endorse their candidates.

        1. cwaltz

          The government does pay for these primaries though, not the “private” parties(that’s why Arizona had such a mess, they did not get enough money from the state for an adequate primary.)

          My personal feeling is they shouldn’t be allowed to have their cake and eat it too. If they want to limit the voters to people registered to their party then they should have to pay for it. If the state pays for the primary the only thing that should be required is that you be registered to vote.

          1. jrs

            It’s uncertain this wouldn’t lead to more Arizonas though, as both parties WANT to minimize turnouts in the primary.

            1. cwaltz

              Eventually people would come up with a solution other than the DNC and RNC then and the state wouldn’t have to waste money or time on what amounts to a beauty pageant for a PRIVATE PARTY.

              As a voter the cry should be that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want the state to pay for it then it has to be open to any eligible voters in the state. Otherwise you can pay for your party itself(and explain to your members why their voice doesn’t matter and see how that goes over.)

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The dirty Republicans were infiltrating Democratic elections.

          How does one prevent those undercover agents from subverting elections in order to turn out weaker nominees?

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Eventually, it will go where we (or some of us) would like – no more parties.

              1. TomD

                I don’t know. Parties are useful as a means for collective bargaining with the government. I really like what the WFP is doing in New York.

                It would be really cool to have many small parties and the candidates would have to work to get endorsed by them, and then not have them involved in any way in the voting process.

                1. B1whois

                  It is my understanding that WFP members can’t vote in the Democratic primary in NY. Seems very unfair since WFP is not national and has no presidential candidate. They are completely unable to suggest thier support for the candidate they would vote for in the general. I could see a situation where this restriction actually hurts the Democratic party pic a nominee that can win the general.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    New York has a closed primary. Anyone who lives in this state knows that. I am a registered Democrat even though I consider myself to be an independent because I’d be disenfranchised otherwise. Too many important races are decided in the primary, not the general.

                    Party registration matters only in some states like NY for primaries, or if you ever aspire to run for office or if you are a big fundraiser and need to say you are a party member. There’s no reason to register as a party member otherwise.

                  1. TomD

                    Thus the second part of my proposal, which is your proposal. There are no party affiliations on the ballot. Just names. Parties become like unions, but represent more than just one type or one company’s workers.

                    Hell, I might even be on board with barring party officials from running for office on the grounds of conflict of interest. That would really cause a ruckus I think.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Your instincts are right. Political parties used to be seen as private entities, responsible for conducting conventions at their own expense.

        Enter the soi-disant progressives, who claimed that nominations were being decided in “smoke-filled rooms” and that government-run elections could open up the process.

        Not only did they proceed to exploit government-run primaries to lock in a two-party duopoly, but also their elitist superdelegates still decide nominations in now smoke-free rooms.

        Government-run primaries should be wide open. As you say, there is no constitutional authority for governments to serve as registrars and enforcers for exclusive partisan primaries.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If the government wants to do anything progressive, put all candidates (major parties, Green party, Independents, etc) on one single ballot in every state primary.

          Then Sanders can run as an Independent.

          He would not have pretend he’s a Democrat.

          And Stein would appear next to Clinton, Trump, Sanders, Cruz or even Nader.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          But you have a point that presidents like FDR was undemocraticcally elected in smoke filled rooms. when we warred on those Fascist Imperials Japanese.

      3. JEHR

        As an outside observer, it seems to me that when citizens have to declare party affiliation before voting then that means there is no truly secret balloting. A secret ballot is necessary for democracy.

          1. HotFlash

            If there was, say, one ‘primary’ election, per state, on one day (which should be, as all voting days, a holiday), you show up and you vote. Perhaps you chose a ballot — R, D or whatever, perhaps the candidates are all on the same piece of paper. Perhaps you list two or more in order of preference, perhaps you rank them all and maybe even you get a chance to downvote a candidate you find particularly repellent.

            Polls allow us to show this sort of nuance, and we regularly upvote/downvote/recommend/flag posts on various social media. We know how to do this! We could do it for issues, too, as they arise.

            It is most interesting that the actually running society is still just barely out of the stone age — wonder why?

            1. abynormal

              GEM: It is most interesting that the actually running society is still just barely out of the stone age — wonder why?

              “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
              (sudden change…the outcome of growth & progress on steroids without the balance of appreciation & breath = TODAY)

      4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The government gives money to school districts, but the school districts admit only students in their districts (unless there are some special circumstances).

        My party, sorry, my district. Move here, become one of us, and you can take part in our activities.

  9. Alex morfesis

    Clooney sorta kinda throws Hillary under the bus by saying Sanders and his supporters are correct about how disturbing it is to have to raise so much money from large contributors…then slightly walks it back by saying without money…no way to win elections…. Et tu george…

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      The whole notion of purely artificially created superstars having any particular claim to expertise in any areas whatsoever, including acting, is yet another American phenomenon, now exported everywhere, of absurd over production, or supersizing, that is catching up to us with a vengeance. Marketing = catastrophe

      1. Joel

        I do not have links/references, but from what I have read — people have a psychological bias in that they ascribe positive characteristics and traits on those that are successful. This extends beyond the area of success, and allows actors to achieve notoriety in humanitarian or other philanthropic causes. This explains why so many have positive or favorable viewpoints of oligarchs like Gates or Zuck, even though their positive contributions have been lacking in many ways. It also explains why the claims of meritocracy pushed by the technocratic elite is so false — small initial imbalances in success (due to luck) cascade over time to create huge differences by middle age.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Those with the price of tuition are Meritorious though Hillary qualifies for a special derivative of the term, meretricious.

    2. diptherio

      Astounding that anybody has the balls, or the lack of awareness, to still be peddling this line. Bernie has raised more than Hillary with an average contribution of $27. Bernie does it, establishment Dems claim it can’t be done.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think it’s doable, though we have no seen it demonstrated the all candidates, at all levels, can raise money this way.

        Let’s do it, because I believe it’s scalable, up or down.

        1. diptherio

          Well no. If your policies only appeal to a small segment of the population, then it’s not going to work. Which is, of course, why Hillary couldn’t do it.

          Imagine: if campaign contributions were limited to $27, every candidate would have to offer broadly popular policy proposals. Perish the thought!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            You’re right.

            All good-guys will be able to raise money that way.

            Bad guys (and gals) like Hillary are not going to be able to do it, as she couldn’t do it.

            1. Brooklin Bridge

              You’re doing fine, Mrs. Clinton, only two hundred and eighty three million more miles of dishes to wash. We’ll cut you a check as soon as you are done!

    3. cwaltz

      George Clooney- master of irony

      Saying it’s disturbing to have raise so much money from large contributors while holding a fundraiser that raised 15 million for your candidate of choice is the height of chutzpah.

      1. sd

        Was it said before he was picked up by limousine to take him to his private jet so he and his wife could zip off to their villa in Italy?

        George Clooney should be embarrassed. This election just keeps bringing out the tacky.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Clooney’s neighbor, with their $27 tickets.

          Did they make a special effort to let the people in poorer areas of Los Angeles know about it?

          Because I believe many who have never been to that exclusive neighborhood would love to go.

          “Your $27 ticket includes champagne and a free limousine pick up Dressed as you would normally and if you haven’t been able to afford shower in drought stricken Southland, it’s OK, My mansion is yours for a day, and I plan to do this everyday in the future.”

          Wonder how many homeless on Skid Row would love to spend a lovely Spring afternoon (was it night) with the stars for $27?

        2. craazyboy

          The Hollywood limo libs are pretty useless. They probably sense Bernie would be bad for their income tax rate.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Just 50 righteous people in Hollywood, and it will be spared.

            Fifty ($27 tickets or not), that’s all that is being asked.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Look at Hollywood’s product, it’s 100% war mythmaking, how spying is cool, how violence is cool and perfectly OK, and how women should know their place.
            Are we surprised they go all in for the leading Permanent War candidate, while patting themselves on the back for being so “progressive”?

  10. EndOfTheWorld

    Krugman. Is he aiming for a big job in the HRC administration? Looks like it. He even concedes the point in the last paragraph, jokingly. But Sec of Treasury or the like would fill out his resume, to be presented to God, I presume, when he dies.

    1. Tertium Squid

      Quoted for truth: “As you know, I’m only saying these things because I’m a corporate whore and want a job with Hillary.”

  11. ScottW

    Re: Krugman’s blogpost about not feeling the Bern and all of the highest reader recommended comments parroting pro-Hillary/anti-Sanders talking points:

    One of the highest ranked reader comments stated Sanders has never had to make a real decision. How about voting against the Iraq war for starters, while Hillary supported it?

    For a policy wonk, Krugman’s political pieces supporting Hillary (as he did in ’08 against Obama) are always heavy on generalities and short on facts. Take speaking fees, campaign contributions and foundation donations. You will never see Krugman put those figures into actual dollars–hundreds of millions over the past 15 years. He just concludes he sees no evidence of corruption.

    So repeat after me Krugman–taking hundreds of millions in special interest money does not influence policy decisions or who you appoint in your Cabinet. Tell me those special interests are just throwing their money down the toilet because Hillary’s decisions are never influenced by that money. Maybe you are right. It could be Hillary believes that catering to the interest of the Street, financial crooks, big pharma, defense contractors, dictator foreign governments is just good for America. The special interest donations are just a huge Thank You.

    Finally, still waiting for a Hillary supporter to talk about SPECIFIC policies she advocated while Sec. of State that make her qualified to lead our Country. The Iraq War (ooops that was as Senator), bombing Libya (what Obama called his biggest failure), invading Syria (thankfully Obama stopped her). Let’s talk specific policies not general platitudes.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      I would like Hill to explain to me how her failed crusade to get a health care program started while her hubby was prez, which she usually lists as one of her great accomplishments, did anybody any good. Everything she touches turns to excrement.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Probably Hillary is referring to her accomplishment of electing a Republican-led House in 1994 for the first time in forty years, after her celebrity tour of Congressional committees.

        Getting things done with bipartisanship! :-)

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Every few people ask Hillary to explain anything.

        At least not oral explanations.

        Many will simply pass out from hearing her hoarse voice.

    2. Podperson

      One could look from the other side and suggest that all this money would not influence Hillary because she is a bona fide member of the 1% and believes that they are all doing God’s work. I strongly doubt she’s not still a Goldwater girl. The 1% pays her because of that, and because they fear the alternatives, not to change her opinions.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Repeating it enough times, “I was not influenced by it,” and, the experts claim, you can pass a polygraph test.

        It also helps to have a small bladder.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I noticed in the last debate (or the day after on radio by her surrogates) whenever she was connected to Wall Street, she hid behind Obama.

      “Obama took money and he signed this,” to paraphrase.

      Of course, that’s where Sanders has been reluctant to open a front.

    4. craazyboy

      Krugman has a PhD in economics, so he probably knows what he is talking about. Someone who pays Hillary $225,000 for a one hour speech must really, really, really, really like the speech. Also too as well, scarcity. Only a $100 million were ever made, and apparently they are immediately destroyed to preserve their value!


      1. dots

        Aside from issues of corruption and wrong-doing, really the Hillary/Krugman/Wall-Street triad reminds me the most of Alan Greenspan’s being so completely “out of touch” with reality just prior to the financial crisis. It’s directly tied to the biases that arise from the company we keep (and the circles we move in), which in turn influence what we believe to be true of the world around us.

        Obviously, it’s much easier to identify an echo-chamber or false-consensus effect in “the other guy” than it is to have that epiphany for oneself. And unfortunately, we can’t depend on the media for significant reality testing here. For example, I honestly believe the media and pundits have been taken completely by surprise to discover that Main Street America is feeling way more angry and/or disaffected than they realized. Hence, all the “WTF?” articles surrounding both Trump and Sanders.

        For Mr. Greenspan’s milieu, the economy seemed just fine and has since rebounded quite nicely. The Economist impertinently called it, Monetary Myopia in January of 2006. A decade later, I have come to call it the black cat from ‘Just a glitch in the Matrix.’

        Monetary Myopia

        Deja Vu

  12. Bas

    Dataminr directly licenses a stream of data from Twitter to visualize and quickly spot trends on behalf of law enforcement agencies and hedge funds,

    Hedge funds? I would love to organize a daily Twitter mob to eff them up

    1. diptherio

      Should be we see if we can get #hedgefundscollapse trending, or something like that?

      I have a feeling that analog counter-measures to combat this type of data mining are going to be the next big thing in organizing.

  13. grayslady

    Last night I watched the video of 300 people lining the streets, on a Saturday night, to throw $1 bills at Hillary’s black SUV. It was the most contemptuous gesture against a politician–and, by extension, the political system–I’ve ever seen in this country. All I could think of was the French Revolution and the excesses of the French aristocracy.

    1. edmondo

      One can only imagine if this began to happen everyday at every apearance for the next 7 months. Do you think that people might begin to notice the corruption?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        People will notice why it is not happening to Obama, and other politicians.

        “We can’t tolerate this woman!”

    2. DJG

      Yes. I was reminded of the revolutions in Central Europe in the late 80s and 90s, when people in countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia threw small change at politicians. I have been waiting for a similar gesture here. Now I see it: Let the Velvet Revolution begin. (Finally.)

      1. abynormal

        You killed your European son
        You spit on those under twenty-one
        But now your blue car’s gone
        You better say so long
        Hey hey, bye bye bye
        You made your wallpapers green
        You want to make love to the scene
        Your European son is gone
        You’d better say so long
        Your clown’s bid you goodbye

        Velvet Underground / Lou Reed, bassist/violist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker

    3. Kokuanani

      I went to college in CA. In sports we played the University of Southern California which, at the time, was MUCH more a “University of Spoiled Children.” [It has progressed for the better.]

      At football and basketball games, we in the stands used to wave credit cards and dollar bills at them. [No throwing; we needed that cash.]

      Perhaps this could be tried as well.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not sure if it has progressed for the better.

        To me, it’s more like, there are more spoiled children everywhere now.

        In a local high school parking lot, when I drive to pick up books or DVDs from the library, I see a lot of fancy cars.

        This is high school we are talking about.

        And when I heard Berkeley was embracing rich out-of-state, out-of-country students, I was more determined than ever to ask refund for my (all cash*) degrees from them.

        One day, I will really do it.

        *It was affordable then.

    1. diptherio

      As Michael Hudson has pointed out, the Fed has already been engaged in Helicopter drops for years — they call it Quantitative Easing. The problem is they only fly their cash-copters over lower Manhattan.

      1. cwaltz

        They really need to figure out a better method to get money to people than the banks and Wall Street.

        I’d say invest in municipalities as well but I’m starting to doubt that any of them understood the term “shovel ready” considering the woeful state of our infrastructure.

          1. abynormal

            1st paragraph “China has stabilized”…after mkt hrs. last wk, China inserted over a Trillion. We’ll insert 10T and our CB might as well helicopter 10 dollar bills for every dollar bill.

            “the Fed, which is normally prepared to experiment with something different if the situation is desperate enough, or the Bank of Japan, where – as the Deutsche research reminds us – helicopter money was used successfully in the 1930s to help the country escape the Great Depression with far less damage than to other western nations.”…
            uhh, FAIL! because This Fed thinks it can print TRUST (the proof is in the greed/fear/hording).

          2. diptherio

            Well, he seems to be contemplating something more like direct financing of Federal deficit spending (i.e. “monetizing the debt”).

            As the Deutsche research makes clear, the most basic variant of helicopter money involves a central bank creating money so that it can be handed to the finance ministry to spend on tax cuts or higher public spending. There are two differences with QE. The cash goes directly to firms and individuals rather than being channeled through banks, and there is no intention of the central bank ever getting it back.

            So the cash goes “directly” to firms and individuals through the equivalent of our Treasury Dept. He’s not talking about sending everybody a monthly check, though [sadly].

  14. Pat

    What the various state committees deals with the DNC and the Clintons tell me is that the people running them really are not bright. They had to know that they would get little or nothing while acting as an agent for money laundering. Frankly a smart leader would have taken the donations, sent them ten per cent or less as a ‘finder’s fee’ and informed them they could try to sue to get anymore and explain in court why these obvious attempts to circumvent election fund raising regulations should be sent on rather than treated as the donations to the states that were “supposed” to be. In other treat them with the same contempt with which they obviously hold for the state committees.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      State committee Democrats are kings of molehills. They hate Bernie, not for challenging frau Clinton but for potentially bringing people who might unseat them into the party.

  15. tomk

    The translated column from the the French Huffpost on the Nuit Debout protests is riddled with false assumptions, malign implications and terrorist fear mongering, while pretending to be sympathetic and progressive.

    1. meeps

      tomk @ 11:15 am

      Agreed. It was so confused it left the impression it’d been written by Carmine Lupertazzi, Jr., “You’re very observant, the sacred and the propane.”

  16. larry

    Ft article on Schaeuble you linked to isn’t available to anyone without a subscription. Even academics can’t get access to it if their institution doesn’t subscribe. You don’t even get this with the few free for a month. Not very helpful.

    1. diptherio

      Well, you know it exists now. And some people do have subscriptions, you know.

      There are a lot of links here every single day. You really need to take the time to bitch about one of them not working for you? You could have spent that time finding a library with a FT subscription, you know.

    2. abynormal

      and just think…the money you save on FT you can pay it forward here.
      Top Right, Just Under the Pretty Cubs

      oh yeah, Welcome to NC !

  17. Jim Haygood

    Supercar ownership, comrades — it’s a small club, and we ain’t in it:

    Ford began taking applications online this morning to buy its 2017 GT supercar.

    Early on, the document asks if the applicant owns a Ford, uses Ford vehicles in a business, or supports Ford-affiliated charities. It prompts: “Briefly describe your role as a public influencer” and asks for online profiles, blog posts, videos, and specifics on “your audience demographics.”

    Ford goes a step further, prompting applicants to express why they would be “a good Ford GT owner.”

    Ferrari has the industry’s most notorious and arcane screening system. The company and its dealers essentially maintain a system of rolling waiting lists. Preference is given to those who already own one of its cars or at least belong to a Ferrari club. Flipping a vehicle gets you blacklisted for life.

    Get the picture? Just as no celebrity wants to chauffeured down Rodeo Drive in a dowdy econobox, no maker of supercars wants their stylish creations devalued by proles with down-market audience demographics.

    1. cnchal

      Whatever happened to how much? Here’s the money, where is my car?

      It’s actually a pleasure to read that rich narcissist have to subject themselves to the Ferrari inquisition before being allowed to own one of their cars. Psychopaths over narcissists.

      1. Jim Haygood

        So how can a well-coiffed slacker with a tiny Twitter audience qualify to spend daddy’s warbucks on a posh minge mobile? Contract out:

        Ghostwriting has increased simply because more content is being produced. Businesses and blogs seeking content to draw eyeballs have led to the rise of “content mills” where ghostwriters work for anywhere from $25 per short article to five cents per word. Or less.

        Within book publishing, the share of books published every year by smaller, independent presses and self-publishers has increased from 10% to 80%. And with this increase in production, the number of ghostwritten works has increased.

        Many of these books do not intend to turn a profit. For some clients, a book is a vanity project. English pop culture celebrity Kerry Katona admitted to having never read her “autobiography.”

        “Books have become a new toy,” says one industry insider. “Instead of buying a Lamborghini, you have a book produced.”

        Then after your “book” launch, you qualify (as an “influencer”) to buy a Lamborghini.

        Last week I couldn’t even spell “Lamborghini.” Now I’m Instagramming in one!

        1. sd

          Celebrity cook books….just saying. If you look carefully, you’ll see recycled recipes from book to book.

        2. cnchal

          Your links are priceless.

          “Not every celebrity gets the chance to tell [her] story in a few hundred pages. They’re usually described in soundbites,” says Joel Hochman of Arbor Books, a ghostwriting company, “It’s really about reputation repair.”

          I await with vibratory anticipation, Doofus Clooney’s ghostwritten story about the spewed bullshit at the dinner table with Hillary. Talk about reputation repair.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Not just Clooney, but his $27 ticket neighbor, and others.

            Just 50 righteous people from that zipcode.

            1. cnchal

              America should switch to dollar coins instead of bills. Then when you throw money at a politician, it will leave a mark.

              1. polecat

                is that swiss…..or deutschmarks ?

                I think one is deamed made of gold….the other in puffball ……

                Choose one !!

                1. polecat

                  the only other marks i know of ………are small time investors…. lottery ticket holders…….and, perhaps, political partisans….

        3. Yves Smith

          It’s worse than that. I am emailed at least 2X a day from from content mills wanting to post on NC. Really stupid stuff (just from the headlines of supposedly great other work) and all clearly advertorial lites. virtually none of them on topics in NCs wheelhouse. There seems to be an unimaginably large number of small fry in this business.

          I also was pitched a truly awful piece by some second tier corporate CEO (well, an agency representing said CEO, even worse), pimping for Hillary. I was tempted to run it to show both the agency and him up.

          1. Skippy

            “I was tempted to run it to show both the agency and him up.”

            You’re a tease….

            Skippy… albeit a wry smile was had… thanks…

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        oh no, it’s still, “Here’s the money,” but it’s covered up by even more money in the form of expensive prestige gag perfume to cover the rotting stench of moral bankruptcy.

        Belonging to those clubs, “public influence,” etc., etc., yawn, is handing over a lot more money than simply the price of the car (assuming it even has one). But it’s still just money. The people who chase after that illusion are the same sort who would chase after a car with a sign saying, “Catch Me And Be The President.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          Hey, with enough money you can screw up any number of “super cars” and be assured that the snotty dealers will sell your another. Seems pretty obvious from all the YouTube videos showing the wrecking of “super cars” by various ego-indicts that the supply will always exceed the demand. Kind of like war materiel… Designed to be used up…

          Entitlement, don’tcha know? Rich fokkers been doing it since way back, little princelings swaggering around Verona with their swords and brocade clothes and silk stockings… Note the large number of Russian offerings, I guess an artifact of their fetish for dash cams…

        2. Chauncey Gardiner

          Reminded of the spectre of that timeless Marshall Lucky scene from the now somewhat dated film “Used Cars”. Think it’s on YouTube.

      1. craazyboy

        I remember a $3500 Mustang…..They called it a “Boss 302” and did the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Hey, with enough money you can screw up any number of “super cars” and be assured that the snotty dealers will sell your another. Seems pretty obvious from all the YouTube videos showing the wrecking of “super cars” by various ego-indicts that the supply will always exceed the demand. Kind of like war materiel… Designed to be used up…

      Entitlement, don’tcha know? Rich fokkers been doing it since way back, little princelings swaggering around Verona with their swords and brocade clothes and silk stockings… Note the large number of Russian offerings, I guess an artifact of their fetish for dash cams…

  18. Light a Candle

    The comments on the latest Krugman article were odd.

    For starters, the comments were posted at the bottom. For other columns, comments were clearly flagged at the top.

    And most oddly, the first 10 readers’ favourites comments were solidly pro-Hilary. I haven’t seen that happen in the past eight months of reading NYT articles/columns on Bernie. Usually the pro-Hilary comments were only in the NYT Picks.

    Dunno, things that make you go hmmmm!

    1. cm

      Agreed. I read the article last night and was astonished to see the 100% pro-Clinton reader-picked comments. I’ve not seen that before, and have to suspect voting promotion shenanigans.

      1. Beth

        My last comment on a NYT article was posted days after the article so that they could limit Bernie comments. I’m out. The newspaper of record no longer.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A 2 step proposal:

        1. Stop reading him.

        2.Since we all don’t read him, we hardly can quote/cut-and-paste/link his stuff here.

        Sever once and for all this fatal attraction.

        Though we won’t be able to save not-so-smart people from falling for his propaganda.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        That would be nice, but wishful. First 10, 100% Hillary? They’re culling comments.

      3. Donald

        I think that might be it. I was a Krugman fan until his anti Bernie jihad. It initially shocked me. Krugman was terrible in the 90’s, but I thought he’d changed. His columns have been so stupid and hypocritical in the past few months I’m back where I was in the 90’s. I still read and comment, but since the majority now commenting are actually swallowing his garbage I will soon give it up. Might as well read any number of other mindless blog threads.

        It has made me think back on warning signs. His defense of the ACA has also been over the top in similar ways. It wasn’t enough to argue it was a step forward–I’m no expert but I guess some people have been helped, including a reader of this blog who posted a comment about that some weeks back. But Krugman hardly seemed willing to acknowledge any serious criticism. So his credibility was starting to slip a little with me already.

    2. jrs

      Maybe no Bernie supporters even bother to read Krugman anymore as they view him as hopeless biased against the Bern, which of course he is.

  19. Kokuanani

    Today’s Antidote made me think about the eagles that hatched at the National Arboretum in DC, so I went to check their progress on the live cam. Boy, they’ve gotten big [and rather homely].

    You can go see for yourself.

    There’s one camera positioned slightly above, a second to the side, so if one doesn’t give you a desired view, just switch.

  20. kcramer

    Bernie Sanders wins Colorado with Big Showing at State Convention …

    In some ways, determining the direction of the Democratic party may be more important than the final outcome in November. Sander’s supporters should make a collective ultimatum to their state’s unpledged delegates. If the delegates honor the choice of the voters, then Bernie’s supporters will pledge to vote for the winner of the Democratic national convention rather then vote third party or abstain. However, if they refuse to do so, then virtually every blue state won by Bernie will be at play come November.

    1. HotFlash

      Excellent suggestion! Quite doable, too. Further, any of the superdelegates who are elected — eg, reps at any level, plus state and local Dem party officers — will be subjected to *vigorous* action to unseat them at the earlies opportunity at the hands of Berners.

      This should be done whether or not Bernie gets the nom. Take ’em over and make ’em over.

      1. nycTerrierist

        Seconded. This is a great idea. We need to make the superdelegates accountable
        for betraying the will of the majority.

        If they don’t reflect the will of the people, throw the bums out!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It may be tough, but the right thing to do is we must try.

          A super-delegate, say a governor, might have been voted in to represent them, by more Democrats in the previous general election, than the number of his/her state’s Democratic primary voters this spring.

          Democratically, can he/she argue that represents a bigger authority?

  21. pdehaan

    On Brazil, quite nervous times. This is the house of cards, or rather with a far more intricate mesh of intrigue. It’s a spectacle that is beyond believe. Long speeches being held in favor and against impeachment in anticipation of the vote, but the real power game happening in the corridors and backrooms of Brasilia, with votes being bought and congress members switching allegiances in a flurry of activity. A very cynical and sick game. It looks like the pro-impeachment wing will have the necessary votes. The powers to be aren’t in this for just a couple of years. This is a coup. Think austerity, repression and social programs on the chop. A masterstroke by the Brazilian elite, but at a cost that few are yet able to imagine.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Corridors and backrooms of Brasilia, votes being bought.

      Name the democratic countries where this does not happen.

      Those places are where I might want to migrate to…one day.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Where are “our” CIA and related types in all this? The Jackals? More of the effing same?

  22. TomD

    Bernie Sanders wins Colorado with big showing at state convention Denver Post.

    So apparently there were a lot of shenanigans in the Co caucus. Democrat party misreported results that made it look like Clinton won one more delegate than she did, hundreds of people were excluded from the process, and at least one caucus meeting was held outside in freezing temperatures.

    Once again that enthusiasm gap shows up. Sanders got 2 more delegates than he would have if all the delegates showed up and voted.

    Also the Denver Post seems like a fun newspaper to read. I like their style.

  23. John k

    Swing state polls mostly under predict Bernie, sometimes enormously, e.g. Michigan.
    National match ups consistently show Bernie beating all the repug opponents while Hillary loses to kasich… And winning margins all by more than Hillary’s.
    This implies that a poll that properly accounts for youthful, and enthused, voters would bring about a dem landslide that might flip one or both houses of congress.

    Supers are well aware of this, they study polls daily. Why, then, are they clinging to a corrupt candidate that is under investigation for serious felonies? Because they feed from the same trough, and see their golden post public office years threatened by a sanders broom that promises to sweep out the stinking stables.

    And what reward might accrue to a loyal hack? Might Paul be thinking a few years at a high treasury or advisor perch, with all its prestige, be followed by an extremely well paid position in a grateful finance industry?

  24. rich

    A Tax Shelter for the Rich Sports Fan With 500 Hours to Spare
    Buying a slice of a team can generate significant paper losses
    IRS requirements met by watching games, following sports

    Why would anyone spend $24 million to buy a 1 percent stake in the New York Yankees? Minority ownership seems like a lose-lose proposition: A lot of money for very little power. For wealthy sports fans, though, it’s cool — and can be one heck of a tax shelter.

    Owning a piece of a team can create the kind of on-paper losses that cut a wealthy owner’s bill to the Internal Revenue Service. A sports team “spits out losses that offset other income,” says Murray Solomon, a tax partner at the accounting firm EisnerAmper in New York City. “Then at the end of the day, you can sell the investment and make money.”

    What’s more, sports teams often show losses that don’t actually lose investors any money. Investors are generally allowed to write down the value of the initial investment in a sports team over 15 years. Even though franchise values are rising, IRS rules automatically assume the opposite. The result is that a team can look like it’s losing millions of dollars while, for all practical purposes, it’s breaking even or even making a small profit.

    between subsidies and tax breaks…what’s not to love?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Why not invest those $24 million in adult film companies and take the paper losses?

  25. abynormal

    where’s OPTI ? anyone know what this ‘mystery’ foam stuff is in Japan

    H/T dubaibanker: India has added more cities as being prone to earthquakes just yesterday.

    India could be the biggest disaster on the planet if the Earth were to shake because of the Himalayan plate touching the Burma plate which is what caused the earthquake led tsunami in 2004 when over 230,000 died across Asia.

    81 towns and cities added to India’s earthquake-prone list

      1. abynormal

        Thanks meeps…im still looking around. a mite too thick for seafoam and did you see the tire tracks thru it? detergents is where im leaning…too clean/white for sewage, imho.
        i think their still off the grid so i doubt there’s much investigation, if there ever will be…
        wish they’d stop stomping around in it…their feet could fall off

        1. Jay M

          there are polluted lakes around certain cities in the Indian techzone that generate foam, though on a more or less continuous basis

  26. Anne

    George Clooney on MTP: repeats the canard that this high-dollar fund-raising (which he wants us to know, he really, really does not enjoy) is meant to benefit the downticket races and the state parties…as usual, the inimitably dim Chuck Todd doesn’t know about, or doesn’t understand, the Clinton deal with the DNC and the incestuous links between Clinton and the superPACs.

    Second, I don’t understand why people are having so much trouble understanding the corrupting influence of high-dollar contributions; the latest tactic is to bully people into silence because they can’t give concrete examples of how Clinton taking money from powerful interests and powerful individuals is influencing her. First of all, Clinton doesn’t hold any elected office, and hasn’t since she gave up her Senate seat to become Secretary of State, so what is being bought is sort of a futures contract, isn’t it? Second, does anyone think it’s hard for Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein – and others of their ilk – to get Clinton on the phone? Does anyone think the person who contributes $50 or $25 would be given that kind of access? Money buys access, and access guarantees that, at a minimum, you get a chance to put your thoughts and views and ideas directly in front of someone who now, or in the future, has the power to move things in the direction you want them to go. It isn’t just about the access to Clinton, it’s about her having access to people whom she can influence on your behalf.

    And I hope she’s prepared for the lid to come off the Pandora’s box that is the Clinton Foundation, especially in her Secretary of State years; that could be more damaging to her than her damn e-mails.

    To my mind, Clinton’s “nuance” on issues like the minimum wage, Social Security, criminal justice, trade and the environment ought to be seen as the direct effect of the money she’s been paid over the years; I get a little tired of being assured that money has nothing to do with her inability to answer more definitively and consistently when she’s asked about these – and other – things.

    I think it all ends up coming back to being unable to determine who Hillary Clinton is, whether there is much at her core other than naked political ambition; I can’t ever trust if what she’s saying is what she really believes, or what she has determined she needs people to think she believes because it has the most political benefit for her. Because it’s always about her. In some ways, she’s more than a little like Donald Trump in the way she seems to believe that she, and only she, has some special ability to do things that no one else can. She has a long list of things she’s failed at, or things she’s done a spectacularly bad job with. It’s hard for me to believe she cares about American gun deaths when she seems to have no problem being responsible for, or having a big hand in, thousands of deaths in other countries via her foreign policy decisions.

    What disturbs me is that we have already started seeing how Clinton intends to “pivot” to general election mode, and that is to hedge on issues that Democrats/liberals have been forced to take a back seat on because – we are told – that none of it matters if we can’t get Dems elected. But we aren’t electing the kinds of Democrats for whom these things are important – we are electing Dems who keep selling us out once we have given them what they want. It’s clear to me that Clinton is just another one of that kind of Democrat.

    Oh, one more thing: she keeps wanting to remind us about the unions that are supporting her, and using that as “proof” that she is more trusted on minimum wage matters than Sanders; what I want someone to ask her is whether the rank-and-file of these unions are supporting her, or if union support came from up top. Seems to me that when the rank-and-file votes, they vote for Bernie, not Clinton.

    1. sd

      The union leadership, who typically are in the 1% salary wise, support her. That Trumka and the AFL-CIO leadership backed off of endorsing a candidate so far was a big tell that AFL-CIO rank and file may not be on the same page.

  27. Plenue

    >What is Money?

    “The value of fiat money is an act of faith.”

    Fundamentally correct. Now just carry that line of thinking a little bit further, and realize that all money is fiat money.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You know money when you see it.

      Two economists arguing over what money is, with dollar bills and gold coins falling out of their pockets, as they walk down Main Street USA.

      All the downtrodden, tired and poor serfs scramble, without arguing, to pick them up.

      “Leave their arguing to those smart people.”

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      I appreciated craazyman’s viewpoint expressed here yesterday regarding the article on ‘Shadow Money’: “Money is just the energy that makes the forms potent.”

      Energy is an aspect of money I hadn’t really considered beyond a subjective observation of the negative energy from the channeling of money into speculations on prices of financial assets and purchasing legacy public and private assets for wealth extraction, rather than the positive energy of using money for productive wealth creation, which I think has an economic multiplier effect.

      Not an economist, but accepted the Fed’s M1-MZM definitions and wondered why they didn’t just add a number or letter sequence to accommodate repos, etc. and define and expand regulatory authority over all the systemically important shadow banks.

      After a first reading of Lanchaster’s linked article from the LRB, I am now thinking about the similarities between Rai (Fei) stones on the island of Yap, the bitcoin block chain public ledger, and our electronic money system (which is really just a gigantic accounting system). This is an entirely different line of thought or space, although not sure how it relates to the discussion of “shadow money” and the interplay between the state, central bank and shadow banks/banks/private finance discussed here yesterday. Would need to think about this and Plenue’s comment that “All money is fiat money.” I get that money derives its value from being required by the state for payment of taxes. But IMO there has somehow been a diminution of the energy that stems from the use of money for productive purposes, as money has increasingly been channeled into speculations on the prices of financial assets and for wealth extraction through debt-leveraged purchases of legacy public and private assets.

      1. Plenue

        “I get that money derives its value from being required by the state for payment of taxes.”

        I don’t thing it does though, from a practical standpoint. People accept money because, well, that’s just what you do with it. No one thinks about why they should accept pieces of paper or coins or whatever in exchange for something. Just like pretty much no one (including professional economists) actually goes through life doing a cost-benefit analysis of everything and ‘maximizing their utility’. If push came to shove, and people started asking the government why they should accept its money, yes the answer would be “would you rather go to jail for not paying your taxes instead?”. But when has that ever happened? I mean other than back when the Lydians first started minting coins to pay soldiers and had to explain to all the merchants and innkeepers why it was in their interests to accept these stamped bits of metal as payment. Once the idea took hold it became self-perpetuating.

        People use money because that’s just kind of what you do. No one thinks twice about it. It’s a cultural concept that is deeply engrained.

  28. abynormal

    Maia Penfold, Poet/Red Buddha died yesterday. Thank You Maia, you’ll always be my most special (overlooked) zen poet.


    The day will come
    Not for an expensive box
    Dropped into a hole in the ground
    Covered up with dirt

    My choice is cremation
    Fire and flame
    Down to clean ash
    Sharp bits of bone

    In Colorado or Oregon
    Climb a convenient mountain
    To a seaward rushing stream
    Put me in its mountain music
    And let me go

    To join with everything
    Everywhere ~

    1. HotFlash

      In 2013. Seems she was born in Alberta, but I have not heard of her before and can’t find much about her now. Thanks for this, I will look for more of her work.

      1. abynormal

        2nd time this mo. my own gmail resent a past email alert. i rec’d the red buddha 3 birthdays ago…a sign i need to dust her off.

        How are you doing HotFlash? Hope You & Yours are Well & Enjoying a nice Spring.
        your granddaughters seem to be thriving with online schooling…very good. (less constraints and better resource availability)

        1. HotFlash

          So far, so good. The rhubarb, haskaps, shrub cherry and pear tree I planted last spring seem to be coming back, the pawpaw is still not declared itself. I prepared the pea bed today and will seed it tomorrow, and fill in with radishes, lettuce and other greens. I need to rack the dandelion wine (2 yrs now, this stuff takes *forever* to clear!) I know we corresponded a coupla yrs back, then Bill stole my old email system (and my printer) so I switched to Linux and to email on a webmail app that works off my domain.

          I’d like to stay in touch, I will put a proper email up for the edit duration, if no go then we can try again.

          Always like reading your comments.

          1. abynormal

            THIS IS GREAT. wish i lived closer to help you with that DELICIOUS garden! see ya on the otherside…

  29. allan

    California Virtual Academies: Is online charter school network cashing in on failure? [SJ Merc]

    The TV ads pitch a new kind of school where the power of the Internet allows gifted and struggling students alike to “work at the level that’s just right for them” and thrive with one-on-one attention from teachers connecting through cyberspace. Thousands of California families, supported with hundreds of millions in state education dollars, have bought in.

    But the Silicon Valley-influenced endeavor behind the lofty claims is leading a dubious revolution. The growing network of online academies, operated by a Virginia company traded on Wall Street called K12 Inc., is failing key tests used to measure educational success.

    A counterexample to Betteridge’s Law.

    1. HotFlash

      My 3 granddaughters ‘attend’ a cyber school in PA, if I understand correctly it is a charter but 100% state financed. The reason they are being (sorta) home-schooled is b/c parents are anti-vaxers. Does anyone know if this is a common reason to chose a cyber charter?

      Last summer the eldest won a ‘scholarship’ to do intern work in a museum cataloging dinosaur bones (or something like that). Seems like she is getting some science there, anyway. I am dubious but only a grandparent, and a long way away, so…

  30. It's that or Info-mercials

    Krugman’s hackery reminds me of when the Republicans propped a somewhat demented Charlton Heston up to say that thing about pry it out of my cold dead hand. Krugman’s long past it, he’ll never make a substantive contribution again, and today’s students are too blase to kiss his ass enough. With his dwindling brains he can at least become a useful idiot for the Dems. Hell, lots of washed-up actors do it too.

  31. abynormal

    According to US European Command, during a routine flight by a US EC-135U reconnaissance plane which was flying over international waters (again in the Baltic Sea) a Russian Flanker barrel rolled from the left side of the U.S. RC-135 and went over the top of it to end on the right side of the aircraft. As CNN details, the Russian jet “performed erratic and aggressive maneuvers” as it “flew within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft’s wing tip”, Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, said.

    plug’n my favorite blue angels video here

  32. Jim Haygood

    Rousseff impeached:

    President Dilma Rousseff has lost a key impeachment vote in the lower house but will fight back in court and in the Senate, a government leader in Congress said.

    “We can turn the game around in Brazil’s Senate,” Jose Guimaraes, Rousseff’s leader in the lower house, told reporters as the vote was wrapping up. The “coup mongers” were stronger, he said.

    With 83 legislators left to vote, the opposition had garnered 316 votes in favor of impeachment. It needs at least 342 votes, or a two-thirds majority among 513 deputies, to send the motion to the Senate. Most analysts agree that if Rousseff were to lose Sunday, it would be very difficult for her to avoid being ousted in the Senate.

    1. Elliot

      Greenwald’s commentary of the impeachment vote on Twitter this afternoon was sobering.. the person presiding has a suddenly no longer secret Swiss bank account, which he has lied about, (hello Panama Papers), those voting to impeach have scads of indictments against them, it’s a frightening thing to see happen.

      Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald 18m18 minutes ago

      Glenn Greenwald Retweeted The New York Times

      This is going to get worse – maybe much worse – when lots of people ignoring this until now realize what was done

      Glenn Greenwald added,
      The New York Times @nytimes
      In Brazil, the battle over Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment is inflaming passions as never before

  33. Jim Haygood

    Hellary on Staten Island today (from Newsday):

    “I will not raise taxes on the middle class — at all,” Hillary vowed.

    “There’s plenty of money in rich people’s pockets.”

    Remember Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign promise of a “middle class tax cut” … which morphed into a retroactive tax hike just months after his inauguration?

    Anyone who falls for this Clinton bait a second time deserves their fate.

    Experienced observers will realize that it depends on what the definition of “middle” is. It probably means anybody that’s got a job and 99 dollars.

    Her second remark reveals her plunderer mentality: “money in people’s pockets” is hers for the taking.

    Clinton told the audience that they must hold her accountable for her promises. “I will be coming back to Staten Island when I am your president,” she threatened.

    So have your valuables ready for inspection …

  34. Kim Kaufman

    “Clooney’s neighbor throws Saturday fundraiser for Sanders”

    I was at this thing. I initially went to check it out for friends because I live nearby. I didn’t think it was going to be real… but it was. There were a bunch of people lining the street with Bernie signs as all the guests drove by. I might have brought a pitchfork had I planned better. Or painted one on a sign. I left before Hillary arrived. There was plenty of private security and LAPD including a LAPD helicopter keeping an eye on things. They managed to make the whole street no parking for anyone. The guests had to be brought up to Clooneys by a huge fleet of very fancy rental cars that took up most of the parking on the street. I must say the 99 cent stores been very good to owners – but it was nice that he opened his house and pool to do this. I like the idea of getting in “their” faces.

    The NY Times was pretty pathetic trying to equate the Bernie fundraiser with $2,700 max to Hillary’s $33,400. I know people who were there and they are NOT the 1%. And isn’t $2,700 the straight up legal limit without all the fancy money laundering through PACs?

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