Links 4/19/16

Dear patient readers: I went out to vote (and if you are in NY, you should too!), so you will get a few additional links after our normal 7:00 AM launch time. Please check back later.

Snow Leopards WWF (guurst). Watch the video.

Octopuses are super-smart … but are they conscious? The Conversation

Ecuador quake death toll hits 413 BBC :-(

El Niño: Feeling the heat Financial Times (David L)

Dinosaurs ‘already in decline’ before asteroid apocalypse PhysOrg (Chuck L)

38 genes influence when you lose your virginity. But so what? New Scientist

Simulated smells and other tricks to make training stick Financial Times (David L)

Psilocybin reduces psychological pain after social exclusion Medical Express (Chuck L)

Mossack Fonseca

IRS issues Panama Papers warning CNBC

Tax Havens Radio Monocle (Richard Smith). Nicholas Shaxson speaks!

Panama Papers: Tech Companies Could Be Up Next Forbes


China’s credit-fueled growth gives reason to doubt market recovery: James Saft Reuters

China is tightening its grip on the world’s commodities markets Business Insider


After Vote to Remove Brazil’s President, Key Opposition Figure Holds Meetings in Washington Intercept

The Guardian view on Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment: a tragedy and a scandal Guardian (Richard Smith)

Dilma Rousseff vows long impeachment fight Financial Times


Treasury Brexit figures spark row BBC

Can we believe what the Treasury says about the cost of Brexit? The Conversation

Farmers’ union backs staying in EU BBC. FWIW, a recent FT sotry on Brexit, on Obama saying it would be bad for the UK to leave (as in he has a say!) got what looked like a record number of comments, over 700. One reader estimated that 80% were pro-Brexit. If you don’t have FT readers on your side, you are really in trouble.

Wolfgang Schäuble Tries to Save the Euro Wall Street Journal. This is an example of the sort of thing you get on the WSJ editorial page, which is why it’s generally best avoided. But it can nevertheless be instructive to read the rationalizations of the German case.

Forget Brexit – Italian banks are a bigger worry for Europe The Banker (Richard Smith)

Refugee Crisis

Migrant crisis: Hundreds dead after capsize, say survivors BBC

Turkey warns EU to stick by visa-free travel promise DW


Obama to Visit a Saudi Arabia Deep in Turmoil New York Times

History Deserves the Release the 28 Pages of the 9/11 Report That Concern Saudi Arabia Esquire

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Smart Mattress With Lover Detection System Will Alert You Of Illicit Shagging, Rat Out Cheaters HotHardware. Chuck L: “Just what a Hedge Fundie needs to make sure his arm candy isn’t wrapped in the embrace of the wrong arms.”

I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo memo and the feds detained my $42 Inverse (Dan K)

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Nationalist Foreign Policy? National Interest (resilc)

The tragedy of ‘foreign policy elites’ Washington Post


We are encouraging ALL independent and disenfranchised NY voters to VOTE on April 19th by provisional ballot. Voters should tell poll workers that there is a motion pending in Federal District Court [docket CV-16 1892] to declare the Primary open, and they are casting their vote in the expectation of a favorable ruling by the judge on April 19th and subsequently. ElectionJusticeNY (Deontos). Please circulate.

Bernie’s Israel Heresy New York Times (David L)

New Poll: Small Businesses Favor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for President ThumbTack

Why Bernie Sanders’ Crazy High Tax Rates Aren’t That Crazy Slate

Why Sanders Does Better With Independents FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Pope says its crazy to see his meeting with Bernie Sanders as political Reuters (EM)

Polling for Clinton Versus Sanders In New York Is Mostly Garbage Connor Kilpatrick. Finds errors in all the polls on NY, and when reweighted, the race looks super close.

Why Upstate New Yorkers Have Turned on Hillary Clinton Vice (resilc)

One Simple Question for Ted Cruz Talk 2 Action (Chuck L)

Sanders wins support from New York’s climate movement Toxics Targeting. John C points out that the article is from Denmark.

Why Secrecy Rules Apply to Everyone American Conservative. Resilc: “I would have lost my security clearance in a nanosecord and drummed out of the foreign service for a fraction of what Clintoon and her crew did with servers and outside employment.”

Betrayal is at the heart of U.S. politics Reuters (resilc)

How the GOP is losing its grip on working-class Republicans. Slate

Obama Administration Trying to Keep 11,000 Documents Sealed Rolling Stone

Campus cop orders students to scribble over penis on a “free speech ball” Boing Boing

Driver’s license claim could put the brakes on U.S. immigration case Reuters (EM)

Republican Energy Committee Chairs Shutter Fundraising Committee Bankrolled By The Fossil Fuel Industry International Business Times. David Sirota takes a scalp.

Culling of the Unicorns

Theranos Is Subject of Criminal Probe by U.S. Wall Street Journal. Still a remarkable number of comments trying to make Holmes out as a victim of meanie jealous journalists. I suppose that’s the best the media consultant could come up with.

Theranos Under Investigation by SEC, U.S. Attorney’s Office Bloomberg


Breaking Free from Fossil Fuels Project Syndicate (David L)

Theranos Lab Subject of U.S. Criminal Probe New York Times

Low interest rates neuter oil windfall Financial Times

Oil’s cheap? America drills anyway CNBC

Saudis Mix Politics and Oil Policy Wall Street Journal

Going Negative

Lord Adair Turner: Are Governments and Central Banks Out of Ammunition? CFA Institute

Central banks feel pain of negative rates Financial Times

No consequences, no justice in Goldman Sachs settlement Phil Angelides, Sacramento Bee

Hedge funds in US regulators’ spotlight Financial Times

Getting Past Slow Growth Project Syndicate (David L)

When Lies Are Allowed in a Business Deal New York Times

Class Warfare

Robber Baron Recessions New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

More cable and internet installers are independent contractors, and the hours and wages are brutal Slate

Review — Bleak scene of unequal America Financial Times. Subhead: “Democrat leaders have sacrificed blue-collar workers for elite.”

Antidote du jour (@PaulTobin via Richard Smith):

capybaras in rain links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Love to see capybaras trained in Capoeira fight it out, while one sips on Caipirihna.

  1. abynormal

    ‘People think I get dramatic when I’m upset but when an Octopus gets upset it eats itself. Now that’s DRAMATIC.’

    The banker representing Barclays “mentors” another member:

    “…whats the worst price I can put on this where the customers decision to trade with me or give me future business doesn’t change…if you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

    1. polecat

      I think an octopus would be a great choice for the oval office……they’ve more consciousness than most politicians…………..just remember to move the ‘squid’ tank close to the octo presidents’ desk………easier to feed that way, without reaching too far !!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not just an octopus.

        You need a vampire octopus to take on the vampire squid.

  2. allan

    Voting in NYS: If you live upstate and were thinking of voting on the way to work, fuhgettaboutit
    the polls are only open noon – 9 p.m.

    Elections commissioners have two concerns if turnout on Tuesday mimics that of previous primary states. The first is overcrowding at polling sites.

    “This is a whole different year,” said Monroe County Republican Elections Commissioner David Van Varick said. “This is a whole different set of circumstances, and (the shorter hours) create concerns for us regarding the volume of voters.”

    The second concern is that thousands of people who may be unfamiliar with primary voting hours arrive at the polls before noon, get discouraged, and never return.

    And if you’re a fast food worker who’s scheduled for a clopening, you’ll need to chose between voting and sleeping,
    if voting is even possible.

    1. Lord Koos

      “This is a whole different set of circumstances, and (the shorter hours) create concerns for us regarding the volume of voters.”

      If they knew this ahead of time, then you have to ask why they didn’t prepare for it…

    2. Carla

      Maricopa County in upstate NY.

      Think about it: in 2012 , with NO ONE running in the Dem primary for president because Obama incumbent, Maricopa County, AZ had 200 polling places open. In 2016, with contested primary races in both parties generating much more interest in voting, that was cut to 60 polling places.

      NY state just took a slightly different route to the same result. Nobody can vote before work, so everybody has to swamp the polls after work. Good old voter suppression — seems to work for establishment candidates in both parties every time. Smart!

  3. Nick

    Re provisional ballot voting in NY

    Sure, we can circulate this story, but the question is why haven’t I seen or heard anything about this from Bernie’s campaign? I guess there’s going to be an emergency hearing on it at 9am today, so maybe the campaign is just waiting for that. Surely a favorable ruling has to gain some media attention…

    Even an Iowa-style 0.3 point loss in NY would cause an uproar

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Do you think the people manning the stations would actually retain provisional ballots? There’s no procedure for storing them anywhere. Plus it just opens a can of worms for tampering or having poll workers substitute filled out ballots for their fave for every independent that voted. Now that I’ve been there, the ballots are set up to be scanned right away. Retained unscanned ballots are a prescription for mass cheating.

      So upon reflection I can see why the Sanders people didn’t push this.

      1. Nick

        Well, that’s certainly a fair point. So I guess the choice comes down to either having the voice of millions of New Yorkers silenced or run the risk of mass cheating. IOM a mass-cheating scandal would at least bring a wave of media attention to the situation and hopefully lead to action being taken to remedy the system.

      2. Bill Smith

        Why would they not retain them?

        Different state but where I vote they get bundled in a locked bag and returned to the county election headquarters that night.

        Six or seven people see them counted (the number of provisional ballots not who they voted for as the individual ballots are in sealed envelopes) and locked away in the bag for transfer. Two people take them and all the other important stuff away.

        The number of ballots issued to the site are also counted so everything balances out.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          There is not any formal procedure. What are poll workers supposed to do? You are assuming planning and a procedure. This is just like the economist who assumes a can opener to solve his problem.

          Just start with your “locked away”. My local polling station is a primary school. The school does not want to and probably does not have a place to “lock away” ballots. I’m sure no poll worker has the foggiest idea of who should be the recipient of any provisional ballots. And none of them signed up to spend the time to transport them to said mystery place.

          Plus I strongly suspect there are no provisional ballots at any polling station. All you have are ballots that the pollsters hand you that are meant to be scanned immediately. If you let people fill out regular ballots and have the poll workers hold them, it’s way too easy to substitute a different form. People make mistakes, after all….someone could have demanded a fresh ballot.

      3. Bill Smith

        Also how would retained unscanned ballots be a prescription for mass cheating?

        Don’t know how it works in New York but where I vote the number of voters who came and got a ballot is counted and reported several times a day along with the number of ballots cast to county election headquarters. The two need to tie.

        The number of ballots that arrived at the site in the morning. less ballots cast, ruined and left over is balanced out at the end of the day.

        Any cheating would have to be in the machines that counted the actual votes that were scanned from the ballots, but that can be checked against the actual ballots if needed.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The ballots of independents cannot be scanned because they aren’t allowed to vote in the primary as of now.

          I doubt there are many (any?) provisional ballots at the polling stations. So if independents show up in meaningful numbers, there won’t be enough provisional ballots. I suspect these are actually thrown out, since the elections are called the same night and the provisional ballots are probably viewed only as a sop to prevent tantrums at the polling station: “if you aren’t in the records as being registered to vote here, you don’t have the right to vote here.” There is also probably a non-trival % of people showing up at the wrong polling station.

          So what you are asking poll workers to do is hold unscanned ballots. Those could easily be substituted for ones that voted for the poll workers’ favorite. There’s no process whatsoever for handling these records, so they could be substituted at any time. The controls extend only to voters who are permitted to vote and votes scanned in. And even if someone were vigilant about “number of extra unscanned ballots” versus “number of independents who showed up to vote”, that does not prevent substitution. The check on tampering in NY is YOU walk YOUR ballot to the scanner and feed it in. That check is absent if paper ballots are held.

          Plus I doubt a judge would issue a retrospective rule. If a judge were serious about intervening, they would have demanded the state set up a process to allow independents to vote pending the ruling. The judge didn’t do that. So even if the ruling is favorable. I expect the ruling to be prospective at bet.

    2. Bas

      Provisional ballots are a mirage. Maybe they want people to think they voted, so they won’t be able to complain later.

      1. LifelongLib

        IIRC in Hawaii provisional ballots are used if the voter insists on voting even if his/her name isn’t in the poll book for the polling place. The ballot doesn’t count if the voter isn’t actually supposed to vote there. When I was a poll worker I always tried to determine where the voter was supposed to vote and send them there, rather than take a chance their ballot wouldn’t count. Most didn’t mind taking the extra time.

      1. LizinOregon

        As of now the NYT is still not covering this mess in Brooklyn which has escalated to De Blasio and other top officials issuing statements demanding an audit. The Guardian has much better coverage.

    1. EmilianoZ

      Every trick in the book or not in the book is gonna be used. Even Tricky Dick would be envious.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It takes a lot of very smart people to read the rules very carefully, so that everything done is just barely legal.

        But if it’s barely legal, it is still legal.

        1. RP

          Is anyone surprised that the candidate of lawyerly parsing of every answer ever (when she even deigns to answer the question at all, that is) has the most elaborate cheating operation we’ve ever seen?


          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I usually try to avoid smart men and smart women.

            Smart cats, I can put up with.

    2. harry

      My wife tells me they changed the polling station for us in Manhattan. Apparently a lot of it around. I wonder who thought that was a good idea.

  4. LaRuse

    Snow Leopards
    Beautiful cats but the video opening with the injured one was a kick in the guts first thing this morning. :-(

    1. TomT

      Ditto on the kick in the guts. While I appreciate the video, I also would have appreciated a heads-up about the content. I often share these things with my kids (seems like many times the first links fall into the cute/funny category), but I’m glad they weren’t around when I viewed this.

      1. susan the other

        It looked like the himalayan goat herders were the ones killing them, ergo a simple solution – compensate the goat herders generously to keep their goats and share with the leopards.

    2. Roy R

      Can someone find out if anyone went out to help that injured snow leopard? I do not speak or read German so I’m quite unsure of where to begin my search as to find out its fate. I do know that there are conservationists located all across the globe who can intervene on these situations and help save an animal. From the video, the trap did not appear be causing a great deal of damage to his foot. Hopefully, this is not yet another senseless loss of an apex predator. Thank you.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        It’s probably long dead. But yes, really sad. I never saw a clip of them moving about in the wild. They really look magnificent. Tragic that they may not be with us for long.

  5. abynormal

    re: IRS issues PanamaPapper Warning…weightless! this wknd i caught the IRS commissioner on CSPAN begging the senate for help with their internet access network…’We want to assist Good Taxpayers internet access and keep the Fraud out.’
    my mother did the last 10 years of her IRS ‘career’ in Criminal Investigations. She spent 80% or more of her time chasing Convicts in Prison filing fraudulent filings or IRS auditors going door to door of the poorest with offers to pay less if they pay now in cash…pocket change :-/
    IRS should outsource their problems to the Financial Forensic Journalist …or just give the broken collectors more money to look the other way at the tax havens under their nose.

    “May the IRS find that you deduct your pet sheep as an entertainment expense.”
    Christopher Moore, Practical Demonkeeping

  6. Mark Alexander

    Yesterday, three of us Vermonters walked some neighborhoods for Bernie in Glens Falls, NY. The people we talked to were either unaware that Bernie existed, or had long ago given up on elections (“they’re all crooks”), or had tried to register last month but it was too late. It was a bit dispiriting. Clearly, the media blackout and pro-establishment election rules have been working well.

    1. hreik

      Similar in East Hartford CT on Sunday. Very working class area, not much interest, a few Bernie supporters (younger). I don’t blame them. See my post above. They mostly are crooks, esp. HRC

  7. Paul Tioxon

    El Nino or not, something bad is happening to Texas, and Houston in particular. Hundred year floods are now coming annually. Here is a link to the 4th largest city in the US showing last years deluge, covering about 1/2 of Houston. And that city has the largest sq mi at about 600 of all cities in the US. These floods would completely cover Chicago, or Philly, other top 10 largest cities.

    This year, the flooding may be worse. It’s a good thing Texas held its presidential primary on March 1, or else there would be no voting in a lot of Texas for quite some time.

    The city of Houston is now, for the second year in row, under water and 3 years ago was drying up under a drought. To those of you who worry that this or that plan is not radical enough to forestall climate change disasters, as I have said, the damage has been done. 250 years of industrial powered fossil fuel burning has already started its rampage. Of course we need to move rapidly off of carbon fuels, but that does not mean there will not be mass destruction parceled out as nature sees fit, not all in one big Hollywood end of the world epic where one iconic capital after another falls like dominoes in a matter of minutes or days. This is what death by a thousand cuts on a planetary scale will look like.

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      Houston has been flooding at least since 1967 when my family moved there and probably long before. Our house flooded, to varying degrees, pretty much every year when I was growing up. What’s amazing is that the media keep presenting this as if it were a surprise. In terms of infrastructure, Houston is basically a third-world country. Always has been.

      1. Jim Haygood

        You have to admit that Houston was early and enthusiastic in building out its interstate network.

        What surprises people in Houston is neighborhoods that never flooded before getting inundated.

        One has to suspect that flooding is a very local phenomenon. It may literally depend on whether a particular big thundercloud parks over the watershed of your drainage ditch, or the next one.

    2. Eureka Springs

      600 square miles of asphalt, concrete and rooftops on flat land hasn’t been there for a hundred years. These “100 year floods” have less than forty years of falling on such developments. But people keep breeding and looking around their environment without thinking or at least hearing their thoughts if and when they do think – or moving. In 1971 I lived there and knew instinctively as a first grader this wasn’t going to work out.

      1. James Levy

        I’d lay heavy odds on cholera, yellow fever, and/or Dengue fever hitting those environs hard before too long. I’m sure that like Ebola the locals will simply write it off as a plot by Obama or some other “liberal” schlub to kill off white Americans (you know, REAL Americans) and replace them with brown people. The irony, of course, being that Obama may have been the last president with any chance to head off at least some of what is to come, but he was too busy being techy and drawing up kill lists for drone and death squad elimination to do anything about climate change.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And the Zika virus, though they down there in Houston don’t have to worry about tsetse flies for now.

    3. perpetualWAR

      Hey, no global warming here……Seattle hit 87 degrees yesterday…..IN APRIL!!!!


    4. harry

      Its a big El Nino.

      Dont worry, next year, normal drought conditions will be resumed. You will be able to pay your local oligarch for access to his water.

    5. Jerry Denim

      Houston is probably my least favorite city in America. I remember a similar flood event in Houston around the year 2003? I’m not saying saying Houston isn’t experiencing climate change events, but since Houston started off as an inhospitable malarial swamp maybe its destiny is to return to one. Houston is the epicenter of the US oil and gas industry so maybe this is divine justice. All of the concrete, sprawl and willy-nilly development can’t be helping either. You can’t get anywhere in Houston by foot or bike and almost any basic destination requires thirty minutes or more of driving on a high-speed, eight lane super highway. The whole town hates government, city-planning, regulation, progressive ideas, and environmentalists; It shows. I say let it die, no city in America is more deserving of climate change comeuppance.

      1. RabidGandhi

        no city in America is more deserving of climate change comeuppance.

        So many other great nominees though: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando…

        1. jsn

          Oh come on! You missed the big one: DC was a malerial swamp, actually, before pumps and air conditioning made it the amygdala of climate change it’s become: no better candidate for comeuppance!

          1. RabidGandhi

            OMG you’re so right. Especially if we add all the climate-change exacerbating policies that were promulgated there. Gomorrah’s fate would be too lenient.

    6. ekstase

      From the “el niño” video. When a marine mammal scientist describes something as “Russian Roulette,” perhaps it is time to begin to freak out, and take action fast.

  8. katiebird

    My sister in New York, checked her registration online several days ago and it was Dem. She went to vote today and she was not on their list. So she cast a provisional ballot. What the heck is going on?

    Edit affidavit ballot

    1. hreik

      Is she in the right polling place. Polling places were changed yesterday. It really is FUBAR, by design or by supporters of ….$

        1. hreik

          Also this: to report “problems”:

          New Yorkers: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has set up a hotline for voters to report problems at the polls. The number is (800) 771-7755.

          New York’s U.S. attorney’s offices will also be taking complaints at

          (718) 254-6323 (for Brooklyn, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk counties) and

          (212) 637-0840 (for New York, Bronx, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester

          The FBI is also fielding reports of election law violations at 212) 384-1000.

          1. katiebird

            I just posted that info to Facebook tagging her. Thank you very much!!!! Also thanks to hreik!

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Can the FBI handle that, (fielding reports of election law violations) and investigate Hillary’s emails at the same time?

            Does the FBI have to rely on the same team to do double duty?

    2. timbers

      Based on recent reports of elections overseas, it appears voting in Syria may be freer than voting in America.

      Maybe that’s why Obama & Hillary support bombing Syria: because Syria is a democracy and democracy must be destroyed to protect Hillary and Obama’s ultra rich friends and corporations.

    3. craazyboy

      New Yawk changed the polling place location to Hillary’s Facebook Page. It’s easy, just click on the “Like” button. They made this change so moderate Republicans and moderate Arabs can vote “Democratic” as well.

  9. ahimsa

    Interesting take: Polling for Clinton Versus Sanders In New York Is Mostly Garbage suggesting a much tighter race. We shall see.

    Why is the electoral register is being messed with? It’s so obvious. Why not rig the voting software?

    1. diptherio

      Maybe it’s because they’re worried that Anonymous would be able to defeat that, a la Rove in 2012.

    2. ambrit

      One theory is that rigging the voting software is a ‘one time’ effort and easily dealt with. Rigging the electoral register takes a sophisticated ‘ground game,’ and would be time consuming and expensive to unravel. The obviousness of the ‘fix’ is not the point. The ability to reverse the ‘fix’ is. Thus, short term thinking is applied to politics. How many re-votes of State or National elections can you remember?

      1. James Levy

        Excellent point. The media and many people have a built-in expectation that the voter rolls are screwed up and incomplete so it would take an extraordinary amount of obvious meddling to garner any attention. Mess with the registration of voters in a few dozen areas you are afraid will vote heavily for Sanders and you can make a big impact without leaving much or a footprint.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I can’t remember even one re-vote of elections.

        Should we re-do FDR’s elections, since nominations were decided in ‘smoke-filled’ rooms?

        Get it in the books or get into the White House, and it’s ‘Let’s look forward.”

        Remember that the next time you hear ‘Let’s all just look forward.”

        You say, no, Let’s revisit the Luddite arguments.

        1. TomD

          In 2000 there was a re-vote for the presidential election. It went 5-4 in favor of George Bush.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Agree with James, makes excellent sense.

        That said, and I don’t know how verifiable the voting trail is in NY, but because of the importance of the primary in perception if nothing else, I strongly suspect the knives of voter suppression and what ever other mischief DWSchultz&Co_Inc can cook up will be out in full force today and they will open wide what ever money spigot it takes to suppress any outcry or backlash. I can hear Debbie softly cooing, ” $oftware & $, a match made in heaven today…” Just to hedge my bet, I’ll settle for, “If it can be done, it will be done.”

    3. Bas

      The polling is messed with because when they rig the voting, they don’t want it to look too “off”

    4. Buzz Meeks

      I spent the last two weeks phone banking for Bernie. I kept a scratch pad count on responses from folks who answered their phones and is no wheres scientific regarding no answers, wrong numbers, moved, refusals, etc. My score card consistently came averaging around thirty Bernie to five Klinton on each two hour calling session. The Bernie supporters much more enthusiastic about their support than than of the Klintons. So I have doubts about the margin of the perceived Klinton lead in the various polls.

      When I voted this morning here in Buffalo at 10:30 I asked the poll worker about turn out. She said they had been much busier than usual.

      Buzz Meeks

  10. Cry Shop

    Starboard thinks that the net value of the “Yahoo stub”, that is to say, Yahoo without its stake in Alibaba, is worthless. With the amount of money a purchasing company would have to pay Mayer to leave in the event of a change in ownership – $59.3m in numbers adjusted for share price from the company’s most recent proxy filing – Yahoo’s value by Starboard’s reckoning would be negative.

    “The firm buying her knows all about this,” said Alan Johnson of compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. “They’re not going to pay for it. That’s coming out of the hide of Yahoo’s shareholders – everybody’s got that in their spreadsheets. They look at this as another sunk cost, like a bad lease.”

    1. curlydan

      Why doesn’t Yahoo! simply try to become a Google knockoff. In other words, when you type in, let it simply open up to a search page with 5-6 small links to email, news, sports, etc.

      Let search and ads drive the revenue and push content waaaay back. Why does Yahoo try so hard with content?

      Right now, Yahoo! is a mess, trying to be everything. Google does well just through search. Can’t Yahoo! pick up nickels and pennies as a Google follower?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Google has gotten to be so awful it ought not to be hard. If Yahoo worked like the Google of 2009, it would get a dedicated and meaningful group of users.

    2. Cry Shop

      I guess I messed up, one of the things I wanted to point out was how Modern Mass Scale Corporations almost never work for their shareholders, as they are too large to have individual shareholders, or at least individual shareholders who are more concerned about every shareholders well being instead of just their own.

      Meyer was a near complete failure. Yet…What’s the price of failure? For Yahoo’s boss Marissa Mayer it could be about $137m. Bids are now in for the ailing tech company – and no matter who gets it, Mayer is set to be one of the biggest winners.

  11. willf

    It is interesting to compare the article entitled “Betrayal is at the heart of U.S. politics” (Reuters) with the article on Blue Collar workers and the Democratic Party (Review — Bleak scene of unequal America Financial Times. Subhead: “Democrat leaders have sacrificed blue-collar workers for elite.”)

    The first one purports to tell us that the “betrayal” only exists in the minds of “purists” who don’t like it when their politicians “make deals”. Deal making itself, rather than the results of those deals, are presented as if it was the source of the betrayal. But the second article gives us a more realistic picture of what the betrayal of working people by their elected leaders actually looks like. Too bad its behind a paywall.

    1. Cry Shop

      Compromise has become such a dirty word that I wonder how most American families function. Certainly not as democracies. Perhaps as dysfunctional semi-anarchist?

      Politics is the bread of human life, I’ve yet to see anywhere where if more than one person was using the same room (resource) that politics did not exist. Families in particular are full of politics, because of the closeness both physically & emotionally of the people. If violence can erupt in a family as an expression of political will, then it should be no surprise it will happen anywhere. Government is simply a name for the “science” of structuring the political will. Hence extreme anarchist that declaim all government are actually declaiming humanity (as well as chimps and other social animals). ie: They want the impossible, which is a humanity divorced from it’s biological roots (Hence the more thoughtful ones push for a computer run world… the problems there are too long for this note).

  12. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re Driver’s license claim could put the brakes on U.S. immigration case

    The article leaves out a critical piece of the math: Texas charges a $25 fee for most driver’s licenses (slightly less for the very young and the very old).

    It also doesn’t mention that with the state’s population growing at an estimated 1.8% annually, the legislature should be budgeting for substantial increases already. Nor does it mention the percentage of undocumented immigrants who are children too young to drive.

    More very expensive Texas Republican theater. They want to lose, which is why they so consistently bring such lame lawsuits. How else to maintain the fiction of the big, bad, federal government treading on the rights of Texans?

  13. Operation Mockingturd

    Schneider in Reuters, wow. Used to be that state propagandist was a challenging and intricate but ultimately satisfying job. Now you just have to spout complete crap and be the most earnest nitwit you can be. Total sacrifice of human dignity. The work has degenerated into putting little catchphrases into the predicates of sentences:

    Isolationism. The false dichotomy of US statist dogma is their unspoken question: Do you want to go abroad and blow shit up, or not? If not, you’re an isolationist. Rule-of-law internationalists like Robert Taft got pushed aside as isolationists. So do people who want peace, whether because the UN Charter Article 2(4) is the law or because they don’t want to get their limbs blown off.

    Checks and balances. The constitution’s gone, the non-executive branches are vestigial appendages, the executive has impunity for the gravest crimes. The president could torture bankers or invade the City of London to placate the ripped-off masses. But Schneider’s wringing his hands over the poor helpless unitary executive.

  14. Bas

    Well, PK was sounding reasonable. I read on, as I knew it could not be real

    The obvious next question is why competition has declined. The answer can be summed up in two words: Ronald Reagan……True, there was a limited revival of anti-monopoly efforts during the Clinton years, but these went away again under George W. Bush

    1. ambrit

      Oh Bas, you fell for the R.R. hagiographies?
      Even though he may not have originated the pro corporate agenda in America, Ronnie The D—-d was a very effective spokesmodel for it. R.R.s ‘kitchen cabinet’ helped guide his political career from way back when he first ran for Governor in California. Most of the members of said ‘cabinet’ were wealthy moguls of one sort of another. Reagan was anti-egalitarian from the early sixties, at the least. He was the figurehead for the forces of Reaction fighting to roll back the New Deal. Today, we live in a time many call a New Robber Barons Era. So, PK’s remarks about the pernicious effects of Reagan are not only ‘reasonable,’ they’re restrained.

      1. Bas

        I don’t disagree with the Reagan part–I got a cold and clammy feeling when he was elected, not a good sign (this may not seem scientific, but with me it is very reliable). It was that later I lol’d when PK said Clinton’s administration tried to “anti-monopolize”, then Bush effed that up. I was lulled into thinking it was not campaign propaganda for a moment, and I had to laugh at myself.

        1. ambrit

          Ah, crossed wires there on my part. I do see how some ‘grassroots’ anti-monopoly’ work was attempted at the beginning of Bill Clintons reign, simply because of the lees of the New Deal and Great Society Democrats trying to do ‘the right thing.’ Many saw through Clintons’ ‘democratic values’ from the start, but some of us were lulled by his initial Democratness. So, in faint defense of PK, I can see some anti work being done, just not by Clinton.
          When Regan was elected, I remember my Dad saying; “Well, the White House has gone Hollywood.” It was not meant as a compliment.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Anti monopoly work attempted at the beginning of Bill Clintons reign…

            Anakin Skywalker went through a similar phase.

            The next thing you see in the double trilogy is Luke lifting the mask, ‘You don’t look so handsome, father…’

  15. Brooklin Bridge

    Polling for Clinton Versus Sanders In New York Is Mostly Garbage

    This morning’s post, about 45 min ago, projects a Sander’s win by a tiny margin of the popular vote and $ taking a win in delegates.

    I imagine if the voter suppression (voting locations and party affiliation switches), the media bias, and whores such as Paul Krugman, were removed from the mix, Sanders would score about a 5% or greater victory.

    1. ambrit

      I like your use of the Dollar Sign icon to represent Hillary Clinton. Snark of the highest calibre.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Ahh, Hillary Clinton, that does ring a bell though $ is so much easier to remember (actually, I stole it shamelessly from @hreik above. :-0 I’m getting worse than $.)

        1. Bas

          no, you gave credit. $ would have said it was her idea to begin with, and @hreik stole it from her.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Why in the world do the corporations want to replace Democracy with trade deals such as the TPP when they have such a perfectly oiled machine as the United States voting system lobbyist favs pageant?

      1. James Levy

        Elites everywhere are scared. The German elites are scared of America, so they go along with our idiotic policies in the ME and Ukraine. Non-German Euro elites are scared of Germany, so they go along with its idiotic austerity policies that are killing them and are going to get the current political elites kicked out of office. Chinese elites are afraid of everything, and are in the middle of a slow-motion clampdown and purge. American elites are afraid because they can subvert and suborn the Constitutional order, but it is still a latent threat. So they’ve got to outflank electoral politics completely. And that’s why we have TPP and its Euro counterpart.

          1. harry

            Same reason the rest of the world is.

            Sometimes I get asked why I live in NYC if I dislike Amurika so much. I always give the same answer. Its the only city I can think of which has relatively few American residents but is still free from the risk of US military attack.

            1. Optimader

              If you dislike America (The United States? …America is a big place) you should lookinto trading places with one of the people standing in line to live here!

              There are options and you’re free to leave, ultimatly life is stupidly brief, why stick around?

              I give OIFVet respect points for planning to move to location next, a place he prefers, instead of being a whining lump and doing nothing about it.

              1. Harry

                One of the negatives about Americans is the impaired sense of humor, and limited appreciation of irony. Thats said my wife and daughters are American. My wife prefers to live here and I’m not so much a fan of the UK either, but I do take all your points. I quite fancy Canada but sadly they dont let you swap.

                Besides, your point doesn’t address my concerns regarding death from above. Where would you move to where the risk of getting bombed by the USAF was minimal?

                Belgrade? Aleppo? Caracas? You can see how Manhattan might be safer from attack, and have a minority population of Americans. Frankly, I think South Ken has more.

          2. Antifa

            Could it be because America owns NATO, and is pushing it right up to the Russian border, while also trying to push up toward the Caspian Basin through Syria and Turkey, while also pushing Russia from the Baltic? Could it be because Obama is creating a new generation of “usable” nukes just perfect for stopping huge armored columns?

            The Russians know whose name is on those tactical nukes.

            America has pushed NATO weapons so much and so often into Russia’s face that Moscow has finally felt it necessary to begin rebuilding the same gargantuan Army and Air Force they last put together when Hitler came looking for some lebensraum.

            They’re rebuilding it right now. Not waiting, any more than they waited on Sebastopol. When orders come down, they’ll roll westward.

            If NATO continues to seek lebensraum, in Eastern Europe, which it clearly will under American marching orders, Russia can choose when to drive over and park its tanks beside the English Channel. Whom is there to stop them?

            If NATO is foolish enough to launch Obama’s “usable” nukes against Russian armored columns, Russia has the largest yield atomic weapons in the world waiting five minutes away from every European city. City erasers. Nation busters.

            NATO had better keep its new tactical toys in their launch tubes. They are useless for their intended purpose.

            Throughout the Cold War, NATO never had any war plan that involved stopping Russian tank armies, only slowing them down long enough for immediate negotiations to halt the fighting. Failing that, Plan B was nuclear winter worldwide.

            And it was always understood that Germany would bear the brunt of this holding action.

            Could it be that Germans still remember what happens when you poke the bear?

            1. James Levy

              I understand where you are coming from but Russia lacks the manpower and logistics to drive to the Channel, and most likely always will. The Soviet Union had 300 million citizens; Russia has maybe 140 million today. And they experienced a “baby bust” so the number of military aged males isn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong–they can and will defend themselves and their local interests, but the days to driving vast armies great distances are over, if for no other reason than the infrastructure of Belarus and Poland won’t support it.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Unless they ally themselves with China, or many Chinese people volunteer.

                “My great Khan, this time, we will not stop at Poland, but will extend the New Silk Road all the way to London.”

                1. Cry Shop

                  Russia fears China far more than it fears the US. If they let the Chinese get onto Russian soil, then they are not going to leave. The leadership knows they can’t play it tough and hard on China like Khrushchev, it’s better to cooperate while rebuilding defense.

                  It’s a considerable relief to the Kremlin that China US relations are in such a precipitous state, very little chance of Obama or whom ever follows him playing the Nixon-China card (where we gave China the ability to produce better long range artillery than the Russians, which btw China promptly sold on to North Korea).

                  1. vidimi

                    i’ve read this argument many times but there has been nothing but rapprochement and collaboration between the russians and the chinese during obama’s presidency. both countries know that it is in their best interests to hold a united front against the world’s real menace.

                    1. Cry Shop

                      Not sure you’ve added anything new to what I wrote, Vidimi. Perhaps you could be more precise.

  16. dcblogger

    Exclusive: Internet of Clothing Is Coming Through Huge Label Deal

    Evrythng manages the digital identities of items, from packaging to smart lightbulbs, in much the same way as a social network manages the identities of people — keeping track of their latest “status” and ultimately helping to connect them. The deal with Avery Dennison will see these identities assigned to apparel, shoes and various accessories at the point of manufacture, creating use cases beyond the point of sale.

    1. EGrise

      So am I going to have to start running my new clothes through the microwave oven before I wear them?

  17. Jim Haygood

    Stocks “already in decline” before asteroid apocalypse PhysOrg

    This is the headline Dr Hussman hopes to read someday. Well, he wouldn’t be around to read it. But he’d be posthumously right.

    Speaking of stocks, the S&P 500 poked its head above 2,100 this morning. Its all-time high was 2,131 last May 21st — not far away now. Likewise, depressed emerging market stocks and commodities have busted out to their highest levels since November.

    Even the old yellow dog, gold, has gotten up off its flea-infested pallet to scratch its balls.

    If President What’s-his-name don’t call a press conference and take credit for it, this ‘risk on’ trend might even continue for awhile.

    1. ambrit

      And silver!!! (Though this looks to be bubblicious. Reputedly, most of the silver action today is coming out of Shanghai.) I don’t know if I would hitch my wagon to Chinas’ “star.”

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      It’s impossible to beat JH for snark and humor, virtually not available as an option, but it’s fun to try!
      Great comment! (Line about Yellow Dog : priceless).

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The S&P is acting as if Wall Street is celebrating the triumph of its favorite daughter on this election day.

      Hopefully not prematurely.

  18. ProNewerDeal

    Yves, I have a news report you may be interested in.

    I’d like to report that the IRS/0bama Admin has possibly (again) changed the definition of the ACA Individual Mandate’s “individual shared responsibility payment” (ISRP). The other possibility, is that my tax software vendor had a bug in incorrectly implementing IRS rules/law in the code, a “code is law” bug as Lambert might say.

    I noticed when answering the questions in my tax software, there was a running tally of the amount of refund, which is negative if a taxpayer owes & needs to write a check to US Treasury. Unrelated to ACA, it was apparent I would owe a small amount due to insufficient withholding. Then on a screen unrelated to ACA, the amount I would owe increased in a step that is equivalent to the ISRP in my case. At a minimum, this is an additional bug in the tax software, in that they show the effect of the ISRP at a step in the process that is unrelated to the ACA. A later screen/question asked about Health insurance coverage. Since I had health insurance during 2015, the amount I would owe again decreased by the ISRP amount.

    The bug is that apparently had I not had health insurance, the tax software would add the ISRP to the amount owed. This is contrast to Yves earlier report that the IRS would NOT penalize for nonpayment of the ISRP, but would instead extort from any potential future refund with punitive above-CPI interest in ANY future annual return in the next 10 years. Now it appears that the IRS is treating the ISRP the same any other amount owed on annual tax filing, to be paid immediately in that year. Again, the other possibility is that my tax software vendor mistakenly/incompetently did not properly implement IRS tax law in its software.

    Yves & other NC community, I’d love to read your take on this issue.

    If the IRS/0bama Admin has indeed changed the definition of ISRP again, is this legal? Can 0bama change the ISRP at his will as Exec Branch discretion, or isn’t this part of the ACA Law that can only be amended by Congress?

    For reference, my tax software vendor is referenced by the old Das Efx song line “when I be on that block, I’m like them Brothaz H&R”

    PS, again highest level of disdain for that ms-DLC, self-described “socialist” (what a joke), actual 0bamabot, arrogant incompetent hack/propagandist Lawrence O’Donnell, who said a few years ago that the Individual Mandate & ISRP “is optional”, & anybody criticizing the Individual Mandate is a right-wing 0bama-hater. O’Donnell can truly eat the proverbial buffet

    1. ProNewerDeal

      if integrity or actual journalism mattered, Lawrence O’Donnell would have to publicly apologize on his show for his ISRP propaganda. At a minimum, at the level of the ms-DLC South Asian ethnicity, British-accented guy who insulted Sarah Palin; if not at the Brian Williams get suspended level.

    2. curlydan

      Your tax prep software, the IRS, and the feds want you to pay that shared responsibility payment right away. So even if you have a balance due to the IRS, they want that money immediately and will reflect it in the bal due/refund-‘o’-meter.

      In my opinion, you could pay the non-ISRP bal due and leave the ISRP without penalties and interest. But the year you get a refund, the IRS would garnish the refund versus the ISRP you owe. I suspect the Feds basically leave a marker and amount on your “accounts”. Uncle Sam won’t forget what you owe him.

      1. curlydan

        OK, I dug into this issue further. Here’s what I found just for clarification:

        What happens if a client can’t pay the ISRP?
        An ISRP balance due will not affect the penalty for Underpayment of Estimated Taxes.
        An unpaid ISRP balance due will accrue interest but not additional penalties for late payment.
        The IRS will collect ISRP balances due through voluntary payments and refund offsets but is prohibited from using liens or levy to collect.The IRS will work with taxpayers who are having difficulty paying a balance due.

        From page 17 of this document:

        I doubt your tax prep software would tell you all these details given the IRS is a key partner in their biz.

  19. diptherio

    That American Conservative article is misleadingly titled. It should be Why Secrecy Rules Don’t Apply to Everyone, since that’s what the article is actually about.

    That affront with Jeffery Sterling is just appalling. And, of course, when they need someone to throw under the bus, they go for the Black guy. Typical. Sends a handy message though: don’t talk to journos about anything, we’ll lock you up just on suspicion.

    1. voteforno6

      That article was spot-on about the consequences for the average person. I’ve seen people lose their jobs and security clearances for lesser offenses than what Clinton did.

  20. Goyo Marquez

    Nice review of, Listen Liberal. A quote:
    To Frank, though, Clinton was responsible for the death of an essential part of liberalism. “Erasing the memories and the accomplishments of Depression-era Democrats was what Bill Clinton and his clique of liberals were put on earth to achieve.” One of the president’s favorite sayings was that “the world we face today is the world where what you earn depends on what you can learn.” This reflects, in Frank’s interpretation, the core New Democratic principle that “you get what you deserve, and what you deserve is defined by how you did in school.” Given such a premise, which is “less a strategy for mitigating inequality than it is a way of rationalizing it,” it is hardly surprising that Democrats have little interest in championing the cause of workers.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It reads like he has been indoctrinated into believing more education is the answer.

      Like Chelsea’s all-cash, debt-free (presumably) 3 degrees.

    2. tongorad

      Thanks mucho for this link. I’m in education and this quote is THE unchallenged assumption to the entire enterprise: “the core New Democratic principle that “you get what you deserve, and what you deserve is defined by how you did in school.” Brilliant review/summary. Looking forward to reading Frank’s book.

  21. Brindle

    re: Psilocybin reduces psychological pain…

    In small doses psilocybin also increases visual acuity. Terence Mckenna had a theory that hunter-gatherers used psilocybin mushrooms to help with hunting—whether for animals or plants, as an increased visual discretion would yield results.

  22. Jim Haygood

    Death spiral for 0bamacare:

    UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer, will cut its participation in public health insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to 34 states this year.

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. said it now expects to lose $650 million this year on its exchange business, up from its previous projection for $525 million.

    Insurers say they have struggled, in particular, with customers who have signed up for coverage outside regular enrollment windows and then dumped expensive claims on their books, a problem the government has said it would address.

    A dozen nonprofit health insurance cooperatives created by the ACA to sell coverage on the exchanges have already folded, and the survivors all lost millions last year.

    Other publicly traded insurers like Aetna have said that they have lost money on this business as well.

    Let it bleed!

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      There is something so twisted in this that it is hard to hold the concept in one’s head. These insurance companies are already charging more than most people can afford (short of work provided ins. or gov. subsidy) and yet the scoundrels are still loosing money?

      It’s like the international bank robber’s association complaining that knocking over banks has gotten too costly to make an honest buck.

      1. curlydan

        Well, they still expect net income around $6B for the year, but they are shedding some tears about not making beaucoup bucks on their marketplace customers.

    2. JohnnyGL

      I saw that one, too. $1bn over two years (2015-2016). It seems the estimates keep getting revised higher.

      When I saw the below, I thought what on earth was management thinking???

      “UnitedHealth moved slowly into this newly created market by participating in only 4 exchanges in their first year, 2014. But the company then expanded to two dozen exchanges last year and said in October it would add to that total. It currently participates in exchanges in 34 states and covers 795,000 people. A month after announcing its latest exchange expansion, UnitedHealth started voicing second thoughts. The insurer said in November that it would decide by the first half of this year whether to even participate in the market for 2017.”

  23. juliania

    My apologies if this has already been noted – here is a video that I think does service to the tax haven issue for the common man as it affects both New Zealand and other Pacific island countries drawn into the web. I think it makes excellent points for the effect this has on such small nations’ economies, and is relevant to the articles you have been presenting by Richard Smith as well:

  24. Nick

    I am admittedly reading everything through my I-feel-the-Bern-filter today, but I have to say that the “tone” (as much as I hate using that term) in the MSM today seems to subtly be setting the stage for either a Bernie upset or a VERY narrow victory by Clinton.

    They may very well just be hedging their bets, but different variations of the phrase “the results will not make or break either candidate” are a far cry from the tone of two weeks ago, when New York was set to put the nail in the coffin of the loser (which was simply assumed to be Bernie at the time) and crown the winner, HRC Her Royal Clintoness.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If correct, that would make sense.

          We know no one would dare to accidentally purge voters around Wall Street.

        2. Brooklin Bridge

          Doug Hatlem, who wrote the article, Polling for Clinton Versus Sanders In New York Is Mostly Garbage, interestingly, gives Hillary the edge in Brooklyn.

  25. Jim Haygood

    James Grant’s Time cover about per capita Treasury debt has provoked such outrage that a legion of loincloth-clad pygmy economists, brightly feathered, has emerged from the forest to pelt Grant with acorns. One such is Noah Smith, who offers this gem of logic at Bloomberg:

    The national debt — which includes debt held by the public and money owed to other branches of the government — is only equal to about six years’ worth of tax revenue.

    If the U.S. devoted a fifth of tax revenue to paying down the entire national debt, it would take 30 years to do it.

    That’s not insolvency.

    Currently, tax revenues are running at $3 trillion, and the deficit at $550 billion.

    Devote a fifth of tax revenue — $600 billion — to paying down debt. What happens? Now the Treasury needs to borrow not only the existing $550 billion shortfall, but another $600 billion more. So the debt goes up faster than its pay-down. You can’t pay down debt by issuing more debt; only refinance it.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If you sell the land under the compound known as the White House, how much do you think the Chinese would pay?

      Take that money to help pay down the national debt and move the executive branch to a log cabin in fly-over country.

      Scale that to other DC buildings as well.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        In the French Revolution they confiscated the assets of the Church in order to pay down debt. Just removing their tax-exempt status would be a good start

      2. optimader

        If you sell the land under the compound known as the White House
        I wonder how far down you have to go to find land?

        Idle curiosity

    2. Jim Haygood

      Pygmy eclownomist Noah Smith goes on to make an even bolder claim:

      “The federal debt held by the public is now growing at about a 3 percent rate, while the economy is growing at about a 3.4 percent rate (these are both in nominal terms). In other words, the U.S. deficit is now perfectly sustainable.”

      And his trick? Smith is citing an instantaneous rate of change, over the most recent period. But as his own chart shows, debt vs. GDP is a highly cyclical series, which reaches its low points near the end of economic expansions — as it did during the late Nineties, and is doing again now.

      Over the past ten years (4Q 2005 to 4Q 2015), federal debt held by the public grew at a compounded annual rate of 8.8%, while nominal GDP expanded at 3.1%. In other words, debt growth blew away nominal GDP growth by 5.7% annually, a rate which compounds like a phosphorus fire in an LNG tank farm.

      Math, comrades: don’t try to learn it from the MSM!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Efé Pygmy people are considered one of the oldest races in the world.

        Early on, Pygmy children are taller than non-Pygmy kids, who catch up and pass the former later on in life.

        Mr. Smith probably last enjoyed his childhood many springs ago.

      2. Skippy

        From his perch this one opines…. yet is unaware that many are self attacks…

        How does one argue the Euler Equation [DSGE] agent is dodgy without that of the utility-maximizing agent [homo economicus].

        Back to square one – again – does the model inform or does it code the observer e.g. like religious iconography where whence dominate becomes self fulfilling….

        Skippy…. Sadly the orb does not respond to such….

      3. Skippy

        Wellie seems you two have gone turtle when stuff gets granular…. cover getting thin – ?????

    3. Adam Eran

      Confusion about what the “debt” is…. If you have a bank account, that’s your asset, but the bank’s liability. The National Liability is someone’s asset too…. It’s the dollar financial assets out in circulation. It’s the EXACT SAME THING!!!

      So … reducing the “debt” would diminish people’s savings. This makes them vulnerable to the tender mercies of the the same folks you brought you payday lending. Take a look at Lawrence Goodwin’s The Populist Moment for an account of what this looks like. We did it just after the Civil war.

      (There’s a reason the South *hates* the rest of the country. They still haven’t forgotten the post-civil-war madness. And racism was concocted as a distraction, so…)

      For that matter, we’ve had seven significant “debt” reductions since 1776. Each and every one has been followed by a Great Depression-sized hole in the economy. See

      Complete unconsciousness, never mind ignorance, of this is what’s costing Dilma the Brazilian presidency. (BTW, see Greenwald about that in the Intercept…not pretty)

  26. Left in Wisconsin

    This story really seems to be getting downplayed:
    Bernie Sanders Just Accused Hillary Clinton of Violating Campaign Finance Laws

    The gist of it is that HRC’s joint fundraising exercise with the DNC and state DPs pays fundraising expenses before any contributions are doled out to the various parties (for any contribution: first $2700 to HRC, next $33,400 to DNC, then the rest, if any, equally divided among state parties, up to $10K per state). Now part of the plan is to attract, a la Bernie, low-dollar contributions which, based on the formula, all go to HRC. And her campaign has billed the joint fundraising entity for more than $16 million in direct-mail and online fundraising costs, whereas all the contributions that direct mail and online generate only go to HRC.

    This is separate from another charade that has been uncovered here in Wisconsin (as well as Alaska and Montana) which involves having the state DP reimburse the DNC, dollar for dollar, for the state contributions received because, in the word’s of the Wisco DP spokesperson, the DNC provide[s] all state parties with funds, resources, and infrastructure needed to support candidates in 2016. Link to excellent citizen investigative journalism below.

  27. susan the other

    declining consciousness: do robots have consciousness; do machines; do applications; do designers; do users; do the unemployed; do dogs; do dead birds?

    1. Bas

      Do establishment politicians; do PE company administrators; does martin shkreli; do political pundits?
      I begin to believe in the lizard people

  28. hreik

    Also posted at today’s WC here:

    Clinton’s again breaking the law by campaigning w/in polling location

    It pays to have Clinton Privilege.

    New York election regulators seem to be looking the other way today as Bill and Hillary Clinton campaigned outside their polling location this morning.

    Video published by Reuters shows the Clintons posing for photos inside their precinct, as well as “greeting voters” outside the door.

    Campaign signs and stickers are clearly visible.

    1. Jess

      If I was a candidate for any other office on the ballot I would be campaigning inside precinct polling places like mad, making sure the media knew about it, and posting video on YouTube, all in the hope of making the authorities crack down on me, thus exposing the hypocrisy of not prosecuting the Clintons. Believe me, if I find out that Bill or Hellary are going to be around any polling place in So Cal when our election takes place, I’ll be going there to make a citizen’s arrest. (Meaning, I’ll get arrested but have grounds for dismissal as well as a lawsuit.)

  29. john k

    lots of pundits happily forecasting that Bernie supporters will come out for Clinton in November. But many of them are first time and/or not frequent voters, and pretty much hate Clinton. They might not vote for Trump, but maybe they just stay home. And what if FBI?
    OTOH, older voters who always vote will certainly support Bernie. His landslide might flip one or even both houses.
    But elite dems are saying, Clinton and our banks for God and country or bust!

  30. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Obama in Saudi: presumably this will be to reassure them, don’t worry, the fix is in, we won’t let anyone know how you funded and organized 9/11.
    Maybe while he’s there he can take in some of the public entertainment on offer, maybe go see the beheading of a gay person or a nice stoning or two.
    If he was in Japan he’d probably go to a baseball game and they might let him throw out the first pitch…maybe the Saudis will let him throw the first stone?

  31. Brooklin Bridge

    Boy, HuffPo is pulling out all the stops for $. Their splash page headline says “Live Results”, but when you click on it you go to a Howard Fineman hit job on Bernie Sanders calling him nasty for reasons that aren’t entirely clear (other than that it is Howard Fineman, a true establishment crack-0-twinCity descent artist if ever there was one).

    Looking for a good site to watch the results as $ and DWShultz&Co_Inc have their way with the NY primary.

    Don’t know why I’m bothering with all this, I should really be out pushing my bridge, which by an extraordinary coincidence happens to be for-sale today, because there is no date on the calendar like today for those who fit the, “one born every day” category of shrewed investors.

    And then the non suckers; over a hundred thousand of them who registered as Democrats have been whisked off where ever it is on the cloud that they put potential Bernie voters with the bit flag, “to be vaporized just before primary day.” Surely these forlorn souls will be in the market for a bridge to somewhere…

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