Links 4/24/16

Surfers Hear Baby Whale Crying And Come Running To Help Her The Dodo (furzy)

Movie ratings: Do critics and fans see eye-to-eye? Strong Analytics (Lance N). Notice how it correlates with the economic cycle.


Our Beleaguered Planet American Prospect (resilc)

San Francisco is requiring solar panels on all new buildings. But here’s a much greener idea. Vox (furzy)

College Life Before Facebook American Conservative (resilc)

Got a Hot Seller on Amazon? Prepare for E-Tailer to Make One Too Bloomberg

Judge Grants Torture Victims Their First Chance to Pursue Justice Intercept

Bangladeshi university professor hacked to death in Rajshahi BBC

United Nations Says Thai Military’s Powers Must Be Suspended Bloomberg (furzy)

The SACP sold out – Zwelinzima Vavi PoliticsWeb (Sid S)

Mossack Fonseca

Panama Papers include top military contractor Triple Canopy Fusion (furzy)

EU Files New Antitrust Charges Against Google Over Android Apps NPR

Refugee Crisis

EU-Turkey migrant deal is ‘working’ BBC

U.S. allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says McClatchy (Chuck L)


Post-Brexit trade deal with US could take 10 years, Obama warns BBC. Translation: Administration to post-Brexit UK: Drop dead. But I don’t think they can afford to to that given the UK’s position in the Five Eyes.

Losing the U.K. Wouldn’t Be So Bad for Europe Bloomberg


Merkel, Obama and the death of Greece Defend Democracy

March for Water: Thousands Protest Corporate Greed in Guatemala teleSUR


USA require participation of Germany in the fight against Russia Deutsche Wirtschafs Nachrichten (Keith F). German original here.


What Have the Saudis Done For Us Lately? National Interest Blog (resilc)

Seymour Hersh: Saudi Arabia bribed Pakistanis to hide bin Laden so Americans couldn’t question him (Raw Story)

The Fourth Jihadist Wave Project Syndicate (David L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The First Amendment Hasn’t Stopped Police From Harassing Copwatchers TruthOut

On Encryption Battle, Apple Has Advocates in Ex-National Security Officials New York Times

Imperial Collapse Watch

Bureaucratic Insanity is Yours to Enjoy Club Orlov (Wat)

Bacevich on force levels and policy Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)


Woman who ran Obamacare warns of BIG insurance prices hikes CNBC. Death spiral.

Health Care Industry Moves Swiftly to Stop Colorado’s “Single Payer” Ballot Measure Intercept (resilc)


A new Trump, like the new Nixon? The Hill (furzy)

Trump’s Makeover Will Fail New Republic. This may be overestimating the level of engagement and memory of the average voter.

Clintonsomething: Editing the Speech Transcripts Harry Shearer

Pro-Clinton Super PAC Spending $1 Million Hiring Online Trolls USUncut

Correcting Correct The Record’s Record Medium (chinabeach). A must read. I hope all of you will redouble your pro-Bernie social media efforts to burn up this PAC money as fast as possible. Start with circulating information about paid Hillary trolls on FB and Twitter. Lambert suggests asking everyone on Twitter or FB who is pro-Clinton if they are being paid and if so, how much per hour.

Meet Hillary Clinton’s “Greatest Influence” on Military Issues, a Fox News Pundit Who Makes Money From War Gawker (resilc)

Hillary Clinton and the “Get Caught Trying” School of Foreign Policy Atlantic (rexilc)

Democrats Have Gotten More Liberal Since 2008, But Not Enough To Nominate Sanders FiveThirtyEight (resilc). While that is how things are trending, the fallacy is Democrats alone can’t elect a President.

Clinton, Sanders at odds over Philly soda tax plan UPI (Michael O)

One Small Step for Bernie, One Giant Leap for Humankind Counterpunch

Obama Chides Black Lives Matter for ‘Yelling’ Down Leaders Bloomberg. Michael O” :We hear you. We just don’t give a damn about you.”

The 5 Dumbest Things in the U.S. Energy Bill MIT Technology Review (resilc)

Palestine is latest GOP offensive in climate change wars The Hill (furzy)

The Fight Over Who Gets Clean Drinking Water From the Great Lakes Motherboard (resilc)


The Kentucky gun owner who developed his own count of gun violence in the US Guardian (mgl). Important.

Theranos director: Treatment of CEO Holmes ‘unfair’ CNBC. This is ludicrous. If Theranos had had a rebuttal to the lousy results with their vaporware, um, technology, and their inability to even run a conventional lab properly, they would have gotten it in the media. And if the stores were as wrong as this director is now trying to assert, Theranos would have demanded retractions.

Disappearing pensions hurt U.S. economy as well as workers USA Today. Mirabile dictu.

Fantasy Math Is Helping Companies Spin Losses Into Profits Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times

The Gimmick Economy: how central banks pretend software isn’t eating the world BoingBoing

Guillotine Watch

A billionaire is willing to bring back public access to Martins Beach — for a price Los Angeles Times (James S)

Class Warfare

How License-Plate Readers Have Helped Police and Lenders Target the Poor Atlantic (resilc)

In an Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat New York Times

Antidote du jour (ngl). From AlaskaDispatch: “‘A wonderful sight:’ Alaska’s first wild-bred wood bison calves in more than a century.”

alaksa bisons links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Pavel

    Well now that Obama a/k/a Mr TPP and TIPP has added his voice against Brexit to the following:

    — David Cameron
    — Tony Blair
    — Peter Mandelson (The Prince of Darkness)
    — Goldman Sachs

    I guess I’m further in favour of Britain leaving the EU. The Leavers include the clowns BoJo and Nigel Fromage but at least they aren’t trying to create some massive corporate-run new world order.

    1. Christopher D. Rogers


      I’ve commented on The Guardian about the bullshit both Obomber and Ms. Klinton have peddled in support of the UK remaining part of the EU. Indeed, its my humble opinion the only reasons both these greedy neoliberal nonentities desire the UK to remain is in order for it to be a bulwark in the effort to destroy any communitarian ideas that remain within EU member states, the UK more or less mirroring the USA on public provision of public services, health care and education – just look at the mess of the NHS in England after 16 years of neoliberal BS from both NuLabour and the Tories – i hasten to add health care provision/ the NHS is not impacted as much in Scotland and Wales as these powers were devolved to their national assemblies thank god.

      Further, I’ve just watched Michael Moore’s “Who Shall We Invade Next”, which whilst perhaps too much on the PR-side for my liking, still emphasised much that is good about Europe, most of which is under threat by the Anglo-Saxon capitalist states of the UK and the USA.

      In a nutshell, if British and if you care about our European neighbours best to vote exit, if only to protect them from the neoliberal ravages that the US, UK and sections of the European Elite desire to inflict on the continent.

      Again, I’m voting out, much of this because I’m 100% opposed to TTIP, find the EU’s present set-up anti-democratic, and was absolutely appalled at the Euro-Elites destruction of Cyprus and Greece, nevermind all the other austerity imposed on the southern periphery and Baltic states. Oh, and that,s before I get to NATO and all its warmongering on behalf of the USA.

      In a nutshell, anyone who’s leftwing and pro-European should vote “OUT” in the referendum. The positive being once we finally manage to sort our own house out and turn back neoliberalism we can than re-apply to become a member of a non-Federal Europe. I am supportive of a European Confederation, but not one based on the present EU structures.

    2. Steven

      Of course the President from Citicorp is horrified of Brexit. Looking at the last eight years, I say smash the EU. Obama’s also an elitist prig. Brexit? Tut tut.

    3. Clive

      Obama — and the tame media in the UK which is in the same mould (or should that be same mold) as that U.S. equivalent Democrat-in-Name-Only fauxgressive camp — seriously overplayed the Obama brand equity over the past couple of days. Obama clearly did not know a single sodding thing about the issues pertaining to Britain, the EU and the reasons for or against a British exit from it.

      Some of the language he used to criticise the Brexit camp had blatantly obvious British-English language phrasing it was embarrassingly transparent that it had been written by Cameron’s office or UK’s government civil servants. Obama’s minions took it and stuck it on Obama’s autocue without bothering to re-Americanise it again.

      The Brisitsh as a whole do not take kindly to being bossed around by foreign governments; scratch our surfaces and it doesn’t take long for our inner Daily Mail (we all have one, to a greater or lesser degree unfortunately — it just gets inculturalated despite our attempts at being civilised and that is even amongst those of us who try to put up a fight let alone those who are of the hopeless, dyed-in-the-wool Daily Mail type of mindset) will soon emerge.

      So stick your advice where the sun don’t shine, Obama. Oh, and don’t get all over familiar, touchy-feely with the Queen either. We won’t have it.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, I’m a somewhat amazed at how tone deaf supposed communications experts have become. Do they seriously think there are people in the Uk who would be swayed by comments by the likes of Obama and Clinton? Even people who like them are unlikely to take anything said by them on a domestic matter seriously. It smacks a little of panic, and thats the last thing the campaign needs. People just don’t like to be talked down to, in any context, it should surely be one of the first rules of any political campaign of this nature not to resort to this type of campaigning.

        1. Synoia

          People just don’t like to be talked down to, in any context

          The English have an ample supply of people will to talk down to them, the English ruling class.

          They rather resent being talked down to by foreigners.

          1. Pavel

            Plus this seems to have been Obama at his most sycophantic and officious.

            — Drinking beers with his new best friend Cameron (whom he just slagged off for the Libya fiasco, but who’s remembering that?)
            — Queen Lizzie is “one of his favourite people” (gag me with a silver spoon… he claims to like that despot, whose ancestors committed human rights abuses around the world?)
            — he “loves that guy” Churchill. What a load of bullshit.

            I looked at the Guardian comments regarding his visit and a good majority are saying “piss off and MYOB”.

            1. Clive

              Obama — Clinton too, while I come to think about it — should have learned the same lesson my mum taught me when I was, oh, about six or seven years old. We had a packet of biscuits which my sister and I were supposed to share over the course of a week which equated to about one a day, maybe two on Saturday. I used to snaffle far more than my fair share and I then put the blame on my sister. I was a far better liar than she was (when confronted, I’d just looked hurt and plaintively said I couldn’t possibly eat that many biscuits while my sister got all cross and threw a tantrum thus losing sympathy). My sister was stubborn and for quite a while this went on and she never figured out she should change her approach.

              But eventually my mum sussed out that I was just better at telling convincing fibs. The longer I got believed the more biscuits I ate and the more the circumstantial evidence there was that I was indeed the phantom biscuit eater. Eventually a big wedge of the biscuits got eaten while my sister had the measles or something like that and hadn’t eaten anything. The game was up.

              I learned a valuable lesson that once you start to tell fibs, the harder it gets to separate the lies from the truth and the greater the temptation is to bigger and bigger untruths. And you get lazy and sloppy.

              Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton — I’ve seen you scoffing all those biscuits.

              (yes, quite agree with you too Pavel, the commentariat in the Guardian does a very good job of piling in when they try their line in tired identity politics.

              Guardian : “yeah, but, she’s a woman, wouldn’t that be great, a woman president”
              Guardian Readers: “so bloody what, she’s still crap isn’t she”)

              1. Synoia

                Discerning people the guardian readers.

                Clearly understand the difference between the lipstick and the pig.

              2. Brooklin Bridge

                The Guardian commentariat is particularly good and fairly consistent. Perhaps because it was once a good source of news. The same can not be said for HuffPo which presently is being swarmed by $illers. I note that the Guardian is removing more and more comment sections from their articles.

                Truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I try to conserve it. ~Mark Twain

            2. windsock

              Calling Lizzie a despot is the type of ridiculous statement that invalidates anything worthwhile you might have to say. Ad I’m no monarchist – but she is no despot.

      2. Synoia

        So stick your advice where the sun don’t shine

        Difficult. There is so much advice and its attendant baggage (Trade Treaties), making it too large to fit.

        as for this:

        Post-Brexit trade deal with US could take 10 years, Obama warns

        Best news I’ve read. Is that a promise? Makes me want to go back to Ascot (where I’m on the voters’ roll) and vote.

  2. Christopher Fay

    “pro-Clinton if they are being paid and if so, how much per hour.” Other than a couple of high rollers at the top, all middle-aged unpaid interns and proud.

    1. John Merryman

      You mean they already sold their soul years ago and are just trying to recoup the investment.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Hard to find anyone who hasn’t sold his/her soul.

        For most of us, it’s

        1. when did you lose our virgin soul
        2 the % of the soul one has not a. sold, or b. mortgaged*.

        * another debt problem there…perhaps never dischargable. Scary…and soul-tormenting (for some; for others, nothing exceptional).

        1. Antifa

          Grampa always said, “Unless you can beat the Devil at the fiddle, you’re gonna dance to his tune.”

      1. rich

        The Real Hillary Clinton

        Recently in the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton supporters have complained vociferously that Bernie Sanders is being too critical. In reality, he’s been far too polite. He’s obviously uncomfortable insulting his opponent, shooting from the hip, using sarcasm instead of facts. Clinton’s comfort zone is all of that. Her sarcasm slops over the brim, and facts vanish like so much fairy dust. She dismisses the effective Sanders, with the solid progressive agenda, as a dreamer, while she, the proud warrior, paints herself as the pragmatist.

        Enough of this. Let’s meet the real Clinton.

        She has been running hard as an anti-gun candidate. Really? Then why, in 2008, did her then-opponent, Barack Obama, refer to her as “Annie Oakley”? Clinton was far more lenient on gun control at that time then Sanders ever was. If he’s pro-gun, why does he have a D- rating from the National Rifle Association? And in case you think Clinton has completely turned around on the issue of guns, on March 19 she was given a whopping fundraiser by John Forbes, a major lobbyist of the NRA.

        Not only is Clinton not the progressive she claims to be, she has consistently supported the agenda of corporations wishing to overrule government decisions (witness her strong previous support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which gives corporations exactly that power).

        Her foreign policy, endorsed not just by Henry Kissinger and neoconservative Robert Kagan, is lauded by Dick Cheney. Remember him? The Dr. Strangelove of the Bush administration?

        so you can see where the koch love for hrc comes from?

        1. Tom Denman

          Hillary Clinton is a mendacious and blatantly corrupt neoconservative who is unfit for any position of public trust, let alone president.

          Anyone who fears tax increases should at once resign themselves that they will be called on to pay through the nose for “Hillary’s War.”

          1. rich

            Empty companies…………

            This Delaware Address Is Home to 200,000 Shell Companies—Including Hillary Clinton’s

            But one of its tenants may come as a surprise—a company owned by Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

            Hillary and Bill Clinton quietly set up two shell companies listed at “1209 North Orange Street” in 2008 and 2013, the Washington Free Beacon has found. The names of the companies, but not their location, were first made public in tax filings released by Hillary Clinton last year.

            According to records, one of the Clintons’ “1209 North Orange Street” companies is WJC, LLC, which was set up by Bill Clinton in 2008 as a pass-through for his consulting fees.

            Another company at the same location, ZFS Holdings, LLC, was set up in February 2013, one week after Hillary Clinton left the State Department. Hillary Clinton received $5.5 million from her book publisher, Simon & Schuster, through the company.

            The “1209 North Orange Street” building is the headquarters for the Corporation Trust Company. The firm acts as a registered agent for thousands of corporations that are not actually located in Delaware, including the Clintons’ companies.

            Anti-secrecy advocates say the building is prime evidence that Delaware has become a corporate haven that’s comparable to more well-known, offshore locales.

            “If you imagined a building with 1,000 corporations in it, you’d imagine a building like the Empire State building,” said Richard Phillips, a senior policy analyst with Citizens for Tax Justice. “But apparently 285,000 companies claim [1209 North Orange Street] is their address.”



            …………………..empty promises….they’re with her???

            1. Alex morfesis

              Ah Delaware…where a corporation is not allowed to use the word “trust” in its name unless regulated as such in Delaware…

              unless you are big bad ct corporation from the netherlands(wolt-klu)…
              then you can use your original name =

              Corporation trust corporation
              (CT Corporation…285,000 corps)

              Because regulations and laws are for the very tiny little people….

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      I’ve been doing this with clear results since the first time there was an article by someone who said he’d been hired by the Clinton cult to post rebuttals and discussion diverters to Sanders social media streams. They’re readily recognizable because they can’t go too far off-script, so the same language keeps getting repeated.

      And asking them how much they’re getting paid does, in fact, make them disappear.

      1. Stephen Gardner

        Hmm. Good. It should be possible to use “big data” text analysis to detect HRC bots. It’s just like spam detection.

  3. Christopher D. Rogers

    Pro-Clinton Super PAC Spending $1 Million Hiring Online Trolls USUncut

    Nice to see the Democrats, or sections therein, aping their Israeli peers by hiring trolls to troll in defence of Ms. Klinton. However, and despite all the money and effort expedited such measures will amount to zero as a well informed netizen can easily smell a rat/troll from a mile off, and as we see even in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper website, the informed masses usually outnumber the trolls by at least 10-1, hence that papers propensity to close down any meaningful dialogue, readership commentary, once its obvious control of the agenda has been lost – we usually refer to this as censorship, which The Grauniad is brilliant at.

    Anyhow, don’t see these trolls doing much trolling on this site, or numerous other sites of a similar vein. Indeed, no doubt they keep it to MSM sites, which again the netizens are more than able to counteract lies and spin by paid agents. No doubt this will blow up in their faces, but it will be fun.

    1. Lexington

      …hence that papers propensity to close down any meaningful dialogue, readership commentary, once its obvious control of the agenda has been lost – we usually refer to this as censorship, which The Grauniad is brilliant at.

      The Guardian is clearly preparing the ground to shut down online reader comments entirely.

      The paper’s editorial staff is top heavy with Oxbridge educated toffs who are far more concerned with the preoccupations of upper middle class Britons -things like feminist politics and lifestyle policing – than with the bread and butter issues that demand the attention of those lower down the socio-economic ladder. This was painfully apparent when virtually the entire staff united against Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to become Labour leader. As you said this has often provoked severe criticism from the readership in the comments, and frankly they’re getting tired of it.

      1. hidflect

        Hear hear. The first articles that cut off comments are ones on controversial topics like Muslim rape gangs. The Guardian knows full well the storm of comments they’d get. Then they spread on to other topics like immigrants, then Cameron’s Panama scandal. An ever-spreading blanket of silence.

    2. vidimi

      the guardian has been waging a soft war on BtL comments since the Ukraine crisis began. every so often they will spitball the idea of removing them altogether to see if it gains any traction, but they have already removed them from most world news stories.

  4. Bill Smith

    “The Gimmick Economy: how central banks pretend software isn’t eating the world”


    “Previous cycles of automation have displaced some repetitive work while creating new and better forms of labor in the long run (weavers put out of work by looms, new textile industries created by cheap fabric).”

    I see this all the time, that automation destroyed some jobs but created others. Does this mean an equal number of jobs were destroyed and created?

    If one was to look back at the old records, say in England in the 1700’s and 1800’s is it true that automation destroyed jobs and created an equal number of jobs – at the same time?

    Or was it a generation later that the new jobs came along?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we have to be willing to let any closed chapter in the history stand and go unchallenged.

      We have a duty to be skeptical about everything.

      Maybe we revisit the Ludddites and their points.

      Were they right to oppose internal combustion engine-powered automobiles, for the right reasons, or even for the wrong reasons (but that could have prevented global warming)?

      1. LifelongLib

        England was running out of wood for charcoal, so people started burning coal which eventually led to deep mines that needed steam-powered water pumps to keep them from flooding. Hence the Industrial Revolution — even the pre-industrial economy wasn’t sustainable. Steam engines burn more fuel for power produced than internal combustion engines do, so global warming would probably have happened anyway, even if the internal combustion engine had never been invented.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      More like two generations later. The first two decades of the Industrial Revolution saw the living standards of average workers (small farmers who has wives who earned extra money weaving or doing fine textile work like embroidery) displaced by enclosures (which meant they could not have livestock on common pastureland) and the shifting of textile work to mills and India. And the mill work that replaced it was horrible, the Victorian sweatshops where people worked 13-14 hour days.

  5. abynormal

    Economies of scale are a good thing. If we didn’t have them, we’d still be living in tents and eating buffalo. Jamie Dimon

    1. Synoia

      You maybe Jamie. Us from Europe had already moved out of Yurts, and lived in Villages (with Pubs), a thousand years earlier.

    2. Massinissa

      According to HGTV’s small home hunting shows, Yurts are coming back into fashion in the US

      1. Synoia

        I’m laughing so hard it yurts.

        Something about “swing a cats” comes to mind, as well as a place to put all the outer clothes, when living in a snow bound climate, followed by the 300 pairs of shoes apparently deemed necessary by the possession of a second X chromosome .

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Except he’s operating in defiance of that. Economics of scale top out in banking at a level way below the size of JP Morgan. The highest threshold any academic study I’ve ever heard of is at a $25 billion in assets bank, while last time I checked, JPM is $2.2 trillion.

      After that size, you get diseconomies of scale,

      1. abynormal

        +++ the irony being they use the 2.2/4T as reason #1 for relinquishing your money to their ‘risk management’ teams /shiver

  6. Felix_47

    Well one solution for the Germans in response to the demand from the US that they participate in threatening Russia along the NATO border would be to propose that the US train the millions of military age “refugees” that our policies in AFG and Iraq created that are now in Germany. They could even put recruiting posters in Kabul. Even if you are not a US citizen you can become one by enlisting. That way Germany can meet our demands and simultaneously save their society….what little of it that is left.

        1. Synoia

          Well one solution for the Germans in response to the demand from the US that they participate in threatening Russia along the NATO border

          Yes I believe the Germans have a solution to that issue, it’s called “Poles Apart.”

          Or “Stalingrad the Movie II”, or the other contender for funding “Ukraining on My Parade”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Unwelcome, but armed, immigrants were also not problem in the ‘New’ World.

  7. EndOfTheWorld

    Trump Makeover Will Fail. “This may be overestimating the level of engagement and memory of the active voter.” I agree with this comment. The fun of voting for Trump is it’s an exercise in rambunctiousness. Also it’s going against the status quo, which most people in the US hate. His constant flip-flopping on issues is part of his appeal—he doesn’t even pretend to know what the hell he will do after getting elected, unlike HRC who we all know is lying whenever her lips are moving. We will be voting for somebody who’s never been a politician—-because we despise politicians. We’re willing to give him a chance. If he’s not effective, at least he’ll be entertaining.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      And what difference does it make anyway? It’s not like the other two parties are vying to see who can do the most to produce jobs and revive the economy. Maybe Trump will throw a monkey wrench, or a wooden shoe, in the Demo/Repug plans to accelerate the transfer of wealth from lazy, stupid, worthless, citizens to the deserving elite.

      1. James Levy

        Exactly what in the life of this real estate speculating billionaire would lead you to believe that? My god, didn’t hopey-changey show any of you people not to vote for a pig in a poke?

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          If Hill is the alternative, that is not a viable alternative. Trump is a wild card, and maybe we’ll hit the jackpot. Sorry for the mixed metaphor. If by hopey-changey you’re referring to Obama, I believe a lot of his bad governance is due to the fact he expects to be paid off monetarily by such people as the TPP advocates, etc. He’s a crook, like all Chicago pols. Trump has enough money already.

        2. John Wright

          With Clinton vs Trump, I view it more as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” vs a “pig in a poke”

          With a Koch brother, H. Kissinger, and Dick Cheney all mildly endorsing Clinton, I see Trump as potentially less harmful.

          Trump will have both Democrats and Republicans ready to quash any outlandish plans.

          But Clinton will have neo-lib Democrats and “free trade” Republicans willing to help her with her plans (foreign military operations and wealth transfer)

          And the “hopey-changey” election of 2008 only had McCain-Palin as the option.

          I still do not see McCain-Palin as a better choice, and having Clinton as a candidate rather than Obama might have not been a better option, seeing her subsequent willingness to use military force for ostensibly “Humanitarian Hawk” purposes while SOS.

        3. Pat

          Let’s see we have a narcissistic self promoting lying candidate and we have Trump.
          One is a known for voting for every bad neocon idea as a Senator along with a few neo liberal disasters, and pushing military regime change and corporate wish lists while in a diplomatic office, the other is a carnival barker who managed to understand that invading Iraq was a mistake and that our trade policies are a disaster. Both have questionable business practices and probably far too few moral scruples. So you tell me who is the pig in the poke. Because as far as I can see we have a choice between two, not one. When you have evil of an unknown level and evil of a known def con 5 level who has now garnered the tepid endorsement of three of the worst humans on the planet at least the unknown offers a small chance meaning Trump may be the smaller pig. While the smartest option is none of the above, we may not be given the chance at that option.

    2. dk

      Sure, but that was some of the take on Reagan too, and look where that ended up. Rumsfeld and Cheney were only some of the fruits of that poison tree.

      Trump will be reaching into a grab-bag of shameless slimeballs eagerly fawning to fill his administration posts. No way that can end well.

      Not that I think much better of Clinton. But at least she has some vestiges of self-consciousness and would be more reluctant to blatantly embarrass herself beyond some (already too meager) threshold.. a disgusting argument I know, but when the differences are fractional, one has to look at the fractions.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A few scenarios

        a. Enough people leave the D party and the R party to vote and put a third party or an Independent into the White House.

        b. Not enough leaving the D party to do (a) above, but sufficient to undermine Hillary (remember, we are going over scenarios here, so I’m not predicting the future here), that Trump gets elected.

        c. (b) above, except Hillary survives, with the help of voters fleeing Trump, and ascends the Throne.

      2. Ed

        “Rumsfeld and Cheney were only some of the fruits of that poison tree.”

        This is off-topic, but unfair to Reagan. Rumsfeld and Cheney specifically were promoted into the federal executive branch by Ford, and brought back in by the Bushes. They were associated with Reagan’s opponents in the Republican Party. Reagan had people like David Stockman, Jim Webb, and Paul Craig Roberts in his administration.

        Reagan screwed alot of things up, but his administration has been looking really good compared to the corporatists who succeeded him.

        1. dk

          Rumsfeld/Cheney, yes, I’m not doing my research. Iran/Contra though, and I think that was a precedent. And the whole “we brought down the Soviets” line, the USSR collapsed under it’s own corruption. My poorly argued point is (or was) that policy got dumbed down, and became more acceptable.

          Well, I come here to be educated… thank you sir, may I have another :( (not meant sarcastically)

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Reagan thought the neocons were nuts and kept them as far away as possible.

          You can blame a lot of stuff on Reagan, but not them.

      3. John

        Please check out the embarrassing video of Hillary cackling “we came, we saw, he died” when asked about Gadaffi, who had warned, “after me, jihad” …well beyond embarassing.

  8. Sam Adams

    re: March for Water: Thousands Protest Corporate Greed in Guatemala

    I recall the Bush family purchased hundreds of thousand acres in the mountains precisely because the property sat over water resources. I believe NC reported this.

        1. allan

          Just as the GOP-DNC-MIC war profiteers often make their riches in countries that end in -astan,
          they often park their ill gotten gains in countries that end in -aguay.
          Where many of their family friends and benefactors moved to in the late 40s.
          It’s all very hard to keep straight.
          Sort of a Triple Canopy Three Card monte.

  9. Fred

    I have been following several pro-Clinton accounts for a while. Most of the pro-Clinton posters appear to be, at least, from their avatars, gen-x women. A constant theme in their posts is the sexism of the pro-Sanders supporters. They intentionally conflate criticism of HRC’s policies with criticism of her as a woman.

    To challenge any suspected Correct the Record trolls by asking if they are being paid will run directly into some flavor of this defense. I am not suggesting to not ask this question, as it will be effective and plainly addresses the truth of the matter. However, this will need to be blended with some ridicule of “fake” outrage to be the most effective.

    On a slightly different note, Correct the Record’s plan to hire a social media army reminds me of the dystopia of the pre-Jackpot protagonists in William Gibson’s The Peripheral, particularly if the members of this army are either underemployed or unemployed.

  10. DorothyT

    Re: “Wrong Kind of Activism …McKibben’s Divestment Tour Brought to You by Wall Street …”

    The (formerly) notable NYC progressive Protestant church, The Riverside Church, founded by John D. Rockefeller 85 years ago began a divestment campaign three years ago. After the members supported it and signed a petition approving a referendum that called for a study of divestment (and a fracking ban), a group headed by a McKibben supporter at the church did an about face along with the Church Council and withdrew its support. The referendum was rewritten with the full approval of the Council, dropping the divestment study and the fracking ban. This was done quietly without knowledge of the general congregation that originally signed the petition.

    Finally, a fracking ban was reintroduced thanks to a ‘church whistleblower’ and passed by the members (after the Governor had already come out against fracking). The divestment study remained in the trash can though they are talking about doing ‘something about it’ again, three years later.

    Corporate interests are found in the least likely places. Former brilliant ministers like Revs. Harry Fosdick and William Sloane Coffin are turning over in their graves.

    1. dots

      “Corporate interests are found in the least likely places.”

      It’s pretty much baked-in any cake that’s gonna get served up.

      “…we really have to be very skeptical because we have such a complex technological world, that we keep backing up. Means to means to means to means and we don’t have time for the end. What’s it all for? Has life in America really improved in the last 25 years with the Information Revolution? With the information explosion? I mean look at the poverty. Look at the misery. Look at the crumbling public works. Look at the differential in wealth. And you can see it in one indicator after another.

      The bottom line is that if you don’t have distribution of power, technology can become a monster against the very people it was supposed to serve.”

      Ralph Nader in Policy Talks@Google 2008

  11. Steve H.

    – Wrong Kind of Activism

    My face still hurts from Morningstar ripping the wool off my eyes. Her work, and John Stauber’s, and Naked Capitalism, have helped me to be free. My heart became heavier, from understanding my own ignorance and responses, and then lighter, by freeing me from the confines of the story I was caught in. All love.

    1. diptherio

      My heart became heavier, from understanding my own ignorance and responses, and then lighter, by freeing me from the confines of the story I was caught in.

      That made my morning. Thanks.

    2. perpetualWAR

      The article just reiterated what I have already come to expect, esp after being a part of Occupy and seeing how SEIU and the Democrats co-opted that movement. Working WA, an SEIU spin-off, got all the Occupy Seattle organizers together to “help the movement.” Once they had that, then they started shifting the narrative.

      Same with Sawant. She rose to power through Occupy and defending evictions of foreclosure victims, but then as soon as she got into the Council, she dropped any pretense of helping the foreclosure victims whatsoever.

    3. hreik

      Am just starting parts 4 & 5 of the series. Mind numbing. I wish my heart was lighter. Each part makes it heavier. Maybe by part 13 I’ll feel better. The almightyfuckingdollar.

    4. Gaylord

      We must come to the realization that industrial civilization is a heat engine that is already destroying the habitat and the web of life we depend on for our very existence, and therefore civilization must end if any life forms are to be spared. Furthermore, the human species is beyond saving because critical tipping points have been passed and there’s no going back to repair the damage already done, which will have catastrophic consequences in the near future.

      We of the “Doomer” contingent commiserate with your sadness and recommend that you study the coping methods of the Kübler-Ross Stages of Grief — Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. We like to prescribe Doomer’s Humor as an antidote to despair, a-la George Carlin. Humans are a totally fucked-up species (especially White Males), having failed to evolve beyond obsession with self and the desire to dominate over others. So, it is sad but fitting that Nature would finally be rid of us.

      1. LifelongLib

        Humans are the only creatures that know or care about anything. Nature doesn’t know or care if we or anything else live or die. We never could have fit in to that sort of order. That is the tragedy of our existence.

  12. jfleni

    Re: Health Care Industry Moves Swiftly to Stop Colorado’s “Single Payer” Ballot Measure.

    Historically, Canadian Provinces all moved the same way to create their great health system — individually one at a time. When it worked well, the New Dem. Party formed and took the issue away from their dual party system and enacted reforms.

    New party anyone?

  13. MtnLife

    Re: Beauraucratic Insanity

    The leaf the boy brought in was probably a Japanese Maple, whose leaves can easily resemble marijuana to those not intimately acquainted with either. That panic is understandable. The continuation of hostilities by the administration afterwards is not.

    1. Antifa

      There’s a Christian element to the vengeful, controlling reaction of officialdom to anything cannabis, because it is an herb or potion that introduces one to a more colorful, joyous and liberated inner world, here and now.

      In other words, it’s witchcraft. It’s the Devil’s playground. And witchcraft gets the same response from authoritarian minds today as was demonstrated in Salem, Massachusetts, or during the entire Middle Ages in Europe. Culturally, Christianity expects us all to wait until after death to experience sublime peace, joy and oneness with Creator and creation. If an herb can reliably produce those states of mind right now, right here, it invalidates any and all waiting for them to arrive after death, and this weakens Christian theology. So it must be evil. If it’s evil, well then it comes from the Great Deceiver.

      There is a similarly fierce bureaucratic reaction to all psychedelics, even while America’s raging opioid epidemic, and even larger alcohol epidemic both get a ho-hum response. So many tens of thousands of deaths annually from various painkillers in pill or liquid or injectable form don’t compare, for some reason, to one child bringing one frightening green leaf to school.

      Ah, but that leaf represents an alternate inner universe that must never be looked at, never looked into. The boy has been touched by the Devil, and must be cast out of the village lest we all perish.

        1. Lambert Strether

          And the followup:

          Guy pays the Zen Buddhist pizzamaker with a twenty.

          Zen Buddhist pizzamaker hands over the pizza.


          “Where’s my change?”

          “Change, my friend, must come from within.”

  14. Tertium Squid

    Velvet Rope Economy

    From the article: “They are looking for constant validation that they are a higher-value customer.”

    Raging insecurity aside, this means that even if they don’t associate with the peasants, they still have to know how those unfortunates are being mistreated.

  15. Cry Shop

    Marilyn Tavenner’s crystal ball didn’t foresee the initial epic flop of when she actually ran the agency in charge of the website. Now, as an insurance lobbyist, she sees big jumps in Obamacare insurance premiums next year.

    This says so much about the system.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘Tavenner, who is now president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s lobbying group.’

      So not only is Obamacare costly, it’s a corrupt revolving door.

      Why shouldn’t the grasping Marilyn Tavenner be in a jail cell?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In the meantime, people are paying more than ever for health care, that is, if they can afford it in the first place.

        If you have to switch from eating fresh vegetables to cat food, in order to save for the additional health care or premium cost, for one example, you will likely not die immediately, but shorten your lifespan, and no one will notice that, until years or decades later.

        Out of sight, out of mind.

        1. Jane Fuller

          you will likely not die immediately, but shorten your lifespan, and no one will notice that, until years or decades later.

          Out of sight, out of mind.

          In the same way as infrastructure was suggested to be a byproduct of producing munis, lifespan might be said to be a byproduct of the production/sale of test findings/diagnoses of a treatable disease/injury; just the right pills for what ails you, p/s of surgical protocols (removal, replacement implantation) and tools, and talent, of synthetic body parts, of treatments with radiation, with chemicals…Somebody noticing people shortening our lifespans and…why just recently my cousin’s lifespan was mined for five months ranging from 1/4 lung removal, tracheotomy, months in intensive specialized care “setting”. Infection, it was explained, was what he couldn’t “keep up with”. How much value was noticed and mined I wonder.

      2. Cry Shop

        Sen. Bacchus, who sponsored the insurance lobbyist to help write the PPACA for Obama, was given the plumb role of official bribe collector cum Ambassador to China. By arranging TTP so that it excluded China but where in China will still be the prime supplier to the USA, China avoids having to open up any of it’s domestic markets. Having all the right terms set up inside TPP has got to be worth at least several trillion a year, so USD five hundred million in bribes delayed benefits to all the people ponying up (Obie, Hill-Bill, down to low level scum like Darci Vetter) is easily on the low side, and Baccus gets a slice just for shaking the tree as hard as he can.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Saw it this morning on Stephanopoulos. Can’t say I was surprised.

      Hope Bernie saw it and recorded it for later use.

  16. Benedict@Large

    Woman who ran Obamacare warns of BIG insurance prices hikes || CNBC. Death spiral.

    For the UM-teenth time, it’s April.

    Every single April, the health insurers cry poverty and forecast HUGE increases. Every single April.

    Every single May, the actual increases are announced, and the insurers ask you to pat them on the back for holding off those huge raises. Oh, the raises are pretty noticeable, but they aren’t the frightening raises talked about in April. Aren’t you glad.

    Now maybe this May will be different. Maybe this May, the raises predicted in April will actually happen. But mostly, those April predictions have been bullcrap. Scaremongering. And that’s where I’d put my money.

    1. diptherio

      Given what you describe, I think I’d define it more as “framing” than “scaremongering.” Just saying. And while the previous hikes haven’t been as bad as warned, they’ve been plenty high to piss off lots of people, even if the hikes weren’t as bad as the initial predictions.

      1. Pat

        And I’d say it was a marketing campaign. “Journalists” who follow the industry remember and then write about far too high premium increases as if they were reasonable. The problem with the marketing is that the public is not reading or buying the media reports of all this. As you say they still piss off people – mostly because they are not idiots and realize that NO doctors are not getting that much more, NO hospitals are not getting that much more, and NO Pharma should not be getting that much more they are ripping everyone off. They may not realize how broken the insurance system is in America but they know it is not working. IOW the Insurance industry’s manure has not been miraculously changed to compost over time but is still a ripe mass.

    2. Cry Shop

      Distraction, actually. The relief will stop people from complaining too much about the shrinking net, increased deductible and co-pays,.

  17. Ed

    “Movie ratings: Do critics and fans see eye-to-eye? ”

    People may have missed this one, but its quite good.

    The short summary is that critics’ choices and audiences’ choices co-relate, but not very strongly. They diverge most often on “science fiction” movies, I’m not sure how that category is defined, and also more often than normal on drama. Looking at the list of movies provided, the audiences seem to be usually right when they disagree with the critics.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Need more refined propaganda, I suppose.

      When what the establishment wants to indoctrinate differs from what the subjects are willing to accept (or desiring or craving to be administered as indoctrination), it’s time for a better model.

    2. Brian

      critics are the part of society that can never honestly assess their role as both useless and annoying. Will humans begin to cull the useless jobs some day?

      1. polecat

        No….but you can bet the robots will………….

        ……..”Yaah critic’s writing notes”…….”GIVE THEM TO ME!!”………..

    3. Jagger

      I don’t trust the stats he used but if you have to write something on stats, you go to it with the stats you have, not the stats you want.

  18. Ed

    On the Brexit links, this is shaping up to be one of those elections that are important enough that the voters will give the right answer, even if a majority of voters would prefer otherwise. So I think the results will be for the UK to stay in Europe.

    My own opinion on the issue is that de Gaulle had it right. While on an island right off the European continent, culturally and politically the British are too different to work well as part of some sort of nascent European federation, and their presence could only cause such an organization to be less cohesive. And this is probably why the US and UK elites want them in.

    I would have preferred for Corbyn to have come out in favor of exiting, but probably internal Labour politics made this impossible and relative silence the best course.

    1. Synoia

      elections that are important enough that the voters will give the right answer, even if a majority of voters would prefer otherwise

      That’s a little confusing. Could you clarify it?

  19. ahimsa

    Correcting Correct The Record’s Record Medium (chinabeach). A must read. I hope all of you will redouble your pro-Bernie social media efforts to burn up this PAC money as fast as possible. Start with circulating information about paid Hillary trolls on FB and Twitter. Lambert suggests asking everyone on Twitter or FB who is pro-Clinton if they are being paid and if so, how much per hour.

    Clinton campaign shoots self in foot, again. As Lambert (via Yves) so rightly points out, now every pro-Clinton comment will be undermined by such lines of response. I cannot believe they publicly announced this?!

    On a related note, Rosario Dawson referenced Monica Lewinsky in suggesting the Clinton campaign is attempting to bully Sanders into submission.

    In the comments of another article I read, somebody hoped that Trump “hires Bill’s women for campaign commercials.” If it’s Trump vs Clinton, it could get very messy.

  20. Ignim Brites

    “The Fourth Jihadist Wave” The Project Syndicate piece is a completely neocon analysis of jihadism and 100% in favor of continued military action against ISIS. If Senator Sanders wants to reinvigorate his campaign, he might consider coming out against continued US involvement in the war against ISIS. President Obama has been quietly escalating US involvement laying the ground for a complete failure of his policy of leaving Iraq. Already we are nearly past the point where our investment in defeating ISIS militates against walking away ( or cutting and running ). If Senator Sanders thinks his vote against the Iraq war over a decade ago was such a great idea why is he not now in favor of ending our involvement in the war against ISIS?

    1. Gareth

      It was interesting the author blamed failed states for the rise of Jihadism without mentioning that those failed states were the result of US regime change operations in Iraq, Libya and Syria. The US and its allies have essentially been clearing the decks for the Jihadists to take over. Just wait until Hillary takes control, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      1. Antifa

        When one considers coming decades for the nation of Iraq, one of the inevitabilities is that the Mosul Dam is either going to fail, or be moved/removed. A rock-fill dam on that porous bedrock of limestone and gypsum is not a viable concern now, never was, and never can be.

        If it is removed safely, the US is in a better position to leave Iraq behind us.

        But if the dam collapses, it will be impossible for the US to avoid blame and responsibility for the environmental mess the subsequent flooding will cause.

        When the dam collapses, the world will not say it is because Saddam built it in the wrong spot, and that it needed constant grouting from the day it was finished. They will say it collapsed because America dismantled every semblance of order and good governance Iraq ever had.

    2. heresy101

      Actually, Sanders needs to cut out the heart of terrorism. Promise to use the Bolshevik solution on the Wahhabist terrorists of the House of Saud. Hang all 2000 of them and their Wahhabist immam’s, cremate them, and dump their ashes in the ocean. Never again the House of Saud and 12th century Wahhabism.

      Then take the trillions they have stashed in Switzerland and elsewhere and: a) develop schools throughout the Mideast for boys AND girls, b) put hospitals and clinics everywhere, c) rebuild the roads, electricity, and infrastructure, d) blow up and destroy all military equipment, and e) build housing for refugees to return home to. The UN estimates $180 billion to rebuild Syria but it looks like three times that from the videos of damage on RT.

      Terrorism can be ended but you have to cut out its heart and not destroy the Mideast by fighting against the House of Saud lackeys and puppets.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          That would a mistake for Sanders to do that.

          It assumes that that region is ’empty.’

          It assumes that no one can do the job, except the Exceptionalists.

          “It’s empty here – No solution can come from Empty Quarter desert. But the solution should be imposed from outside. And we have nothing to apologize for. Also, they are the only regional bad guy, the only regional hegemon.”

  21. Mengele and Mengele PA

    “your average garden-variety bureaucrat has morphed into a monster and has started to take sadistic pleasure in the suffering of innocent people”

    Good on Orlov. The Human Rights Committee brought up exactly this point in 2014. The specific context then was criminalization of the homeless. The Committee characterized it as cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment – torture. The human-rights experts flagged it because they’ve seen it before. Arbitrary enforcement of senseless draconian rules is in fact a standard US technique for mental torture (Human Rights Watch noted it in Senate testimony in 1990.) Operation Condor rolled it out in Latin American satellite states. Now CIA has brought it home.

    The sadism Orlov cites is more than just anomie. Torture requires systematic dehumanization of torturers as well as victims. US state policy at the highest levels is geared to crushing popular resistance. Mechanistic social services are designed at the collateral level as systematic torture. That’s why there are fusion centers for cops and ‘prevention programs’ for teachers and this shit for our state-of-the-art healthcare dungeons.

    This torture state has got to go.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Baby whale crying, humans come running to help her.

    Are the 99% crying loud enough? Why is no one running to help us?

    Maybe the 99% merely vote and complain, but don’t cry. Is that why?

    You don’t see grown men and women pictureed on MSM, or elsewhere for that matter, crying.

    Is the lesson here that we must show more pictures of people, that is us, crying?


    1. TK421

      Well, you see, when rescuing a whale you can only nudge it toward the ocean. Pie-in-the-sky plans about taking it all the way back to the water just aren’t practical. And besides, most whale-rescuers are men so we need to wait for a woman, even if the next one to come along usually ends up killing the whales she tries to help. And don’t be concerned about her millions of dollars in speaking fees from seafood concerns.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I feel like crying at those million dollar speaking fees.

        How many will join me in crying?

        Do we stigmatize crying?

        “Can you get a hold of yourself, please? You are making a scene. You don’t see, say, objective, rational, busy doing calculating scientists or professors (or intellectuals) cry, do you? Crying is a sign of weakness. It makes you look like you are not in charge (of yourself, and others).”

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef



    University professor hacked to death.

    More tragic, sadder still – no reporting, or little reporting, of non-professors hacked to death.

    1. Cry Shop

      and it’s all government sponsored. Bangladesh and Burma/Myanmar are in the midst of a struggle over land rights. Bangladesh is using Sunni extremist to silence critiques and also to slip across the border into Burma to further incite unrest against the Rohyinga. The US Embassy knows what’s going down, and probably supports it in hopes of preventing Myanmar from linking up with China to exploit the new gas fields there.

        1. ambrit

          The Golden Triangle, for when the Taliban get their act together and start executing en masse the “middle men” in the Afghan Opium Trade.
          We can’t throw stones here. Look at what we do to suppress any independent pharmaceutical trade in America. We destroyed Mexico for one thing.

  24. Cry Shop

    A toll keeping opportunity for underestimating carbon emissions.

    GHGSat, the Montreal-based firm that has spearheaded the satellite’s development since 2011, regards itself as setting a new standard for GHG measurement. According to company founder Stephane Germain, emitters will gladly pay for data to be collected in this way. “The issue is that the tools and methods and processes that they’re required to use right now are not appropriate for the types of industrial processes that they’ve got,” he explains. “They find themselves with the opportunity to look at a method that will be more precise and cheaper for them to use. They’re interested in seeing the results of that.”

    When emitters eagerly line up to pay for their emissions to be “estimated” by a new, expensive, private satellite technology, what’s the going average that those reported emissions will be dramatically reduced?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the article:

      Besides the Daodejing, only a few of the texts excavated over the past twenty years have mnemonic devices or rhyme. She writes that even the texts that claim to be speeches of ancient kings originated as literary compositions.

      A few issues:

      a. rhyme in Modern Chinese or Archaic Chinese?
      b. furthermore, at that time, people in Confucius’s home state, Lu (in today’s Shangdong), did not pronounce words the same way as those in the State of Chu.
      c. Rhyming depends on the origin of the text. Orthodox Confucian texts would have been written by people from Lu. Who wrote Dao De Jing? Some say it was written by a group of scholars from state of Chu, who were visiting scholars at the Jixia Academy (in the State of Qi, next to Lu).

      Many ancient poems rhyme not in Mandarin, but in Min Nan dialect of Fujian, which seems to have preserved those ancient sounds from around 300 AD, when the Jin Dynasty was overrun by invaders from further north beyond the Great Wall, and ancient clans migrated south, following their new emperor (of the Eastern Jin Dynasty). Southern Dynasties followed. One of them, I think, Liu Song dynasty (the first of S. Dynasties) is said to be the last of true, classical Chinese state.

  25. rjs

    re: The Fight Over Who Gets Clean Drinking Water From the Great Lakes

    the Great Lakes looks like it’s a lot of water, but the flow at the mouth of the Ohio River is 50% more than the flow from Lake Huron to Lake Erie through the Detroit River…take too much out on a regular basis, and you’d shut down shipping and slow Niagara Falls to a trickle..

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    College life before Facebook.

    Another question:

    What is college life like after college football?

    Can we substitute Guarantee Work Saturday instead of college football for students who are interested?

  27. dk

    “Lambert suggests asking everyone on Twitter or FB who is pro-Clinton if they are being paid and if so, how much per hour.”

    Oh please no. Volunteerism is the foundation of politics, good and bad. The paid troll is a rare creature indeed. Not that they aren’t out there, but the odds of catching one (like they’re going to admit it!) are low enough that the blatant effort to identify them is a weak move.

    Google catchy phrases/arguments and find other usages, then post the links. Unoriginal/overused shade/snark loses cred.

    Or better yet, go to Correct The Record and get their material, then call it out. Brock’s astro-turf assumption is that people are too lazy to do this. You may have to pass some kind of loyalty test though (name on mailing list, etc).

    Also, handle-chasing, although the return isn’t usually as good.

    Also, know the logical fallacies, and avoid them yourself.

    Also, don’t get stuck in defense. Clowns attract attention; put out your own info.

    Many of Clinton’s “policy details” involve privatization (“pork-barrel”) and/or dilution.
    Random example:
    “Establish a small-donor matching system to amplify the voices of everyday Americans.”
    Donation matching allows the (oligarchic) matcher to pick which “voices” to “amplify”, suppressing unsupported streams.

  28. Jess

    FWIW, scumbag NY AG Eric Schneiderman has an email out about how he’s vigorously looking into the NYC election problems and taking credit for pressure that led to the resignation of the Brooklyn election official. I’m sure he’ll get after this just as hard as he did with the mortgage and foreclosure frauds.

    1. Lambert Strether

      There are two officials responsible for certifying the roles after a purge, one Democrat, one Republican. IIRC, it was the Republican who resigned, and the Democrat who remained.

  29. Daryl

    RE: ColoradoCare. Has anyone seen any surveys on whether it is likely to pass? Seriously considering relocation over here.

    1. meeps

      Daryl @ 3:42 pm

      As ColoradoCare volunteer, I’m unaware of any polling. But people keep asking about it, so I’ll ask the Directors and report back here asap. Where are you now?

      1. Daryl

        I’m in Texas, but I work remotely; relocation is not a big deal (or at least finding work is not).

  30. meeps

    Re: The Five Dumbest Things in The US Energy Bill

    There are six: “the creation of a Department of Energy program to harness resources from the private sector, academia, and the government to develop advanced nuclear reactors.”

  31. hreik

    If our votes aren’t important in the primary, I guess they won’t be needed in the general

    . – (shamefully stolen from a tweet by @YoungPPL4Bernie

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The rich own the country and you can tell (or see) by that fact that if the rich don’t get what they want, they try and try again. They also make sure it is run the way they desire – the ‘making sure’ is proof they care about their ownership.

      That’s what ownership usually does to the owner. The owner cares enough to fix and repair his/her car/house/toy.

      Some of the people still believe the people are the owners of the country. They don’t throw away their votes in any election.

      They are like turtles, not rabbits.

      You lose when you don’t vote.

      The rich know this. So they put forth more propositions or trade deals to be voted.

      “My vote did not count the last time. I am not voting now.”

      “We didn’t win that last time. We are not showing up. They can have the game.”

      They seize on your frustration, helplessness or whatever.

      1. cwaltz

        I didn’t read that as someone saying they won’t vote. I read that as someone saying they won’t vote for a candidate they did not get a say in. In other words, since Democrats didn’t want Independants to vote in their primary in NY none of the Independants should cast a vote for a Democratic candidate.

        It’s actually an idea. The same goes for the states where the GOP held closed primaries.

      2. Massinissa

        Do I also lose if I vote third party? Cause I will take your word for it and vote but im not voting Trump Clinton or Cruz. Because if I lose by not voting, I lose by voting for third party, and I lose by voting an establishment party, then I may as well not vote.

        Stein 2016!

  32. allan

    Austria far right freezes out coalition in presidency race

    Austria’s far right won more than a third of the vote in the presidential election on Sunday and will face an independent in next month’s run-off, dumping out the country’s two main parties from the post for the first time.

    It was the Freedom Party’s best result in a national election after a campaign that focused on the impact of the migrant crisis, which has seen around 100,000 asylum seekers arrive in Austria since last summer. …

    While the presidency is largely only a ceremonial role, the fact that neither of the main ruling parties will be battling for the post on May 22 marks a major change in Austrian politics – as well as the rising role of the far right in Europe.

    So, attempted regime change in Damascus has failed but is having serious political consequences in Europe.
    Heckuva job.

    1. hreik

      As the child of a person who had to leave Austria in the 30s this is scary but not surprising.

  33. Roland

    Under the “Syraqistan” file, I read an interesting article in Stars and Stripes

    It appears that many of the interpreters working for the Coalition in Afghanistan, including those who have worked for over a decade, are trying to seek asylum in the USA, but are having difficulty doing so. They might get left in the lurch.

    A question I have is why, after nearly 15 years of warring in that part of the world, do so few of the Occidentals deployed there still lack a working knowledge of local languages and customs? 19th cent. European imperials seemed to adapt more readily to foreign environments than the West’s supposedly cosmopolitan globalists of today.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Dialects are area huge deal, and why is a college student taking Pashtun right now? Or even five years ago? Imagine if Obama wasn’t a terrible President, we wouldn’t be in Afghanistan.

  34. cnchal

    Got a Hot Seller on Amazon? Prepare for E-Tailer to Make One Too Bloomberg

    This a new twist on the depravity that is Amazon.

    Rain Design has been selling an aluminum laptop stand on Inc. for more than a decade. A best-seller in its category, the $43 product has a 5-star rating and 2,460 customer reviews.

    In July, a similar stand appeared at about half the price. The brand: AmazonBasics. Since then, sales of the Rain Design original have slipped. “We don’t feel good about it,” says Harvey Tai, the company’s general manager. “But there’s nothing we can do because they didn’t violate the patent.”

    . . . .
    At first, AmazonBasics — launched in 2009 — focused on batteries, recordable DVDs and such. Then for several years, the house brand “slept quietly as it retained data about other sellers’ successes,” according to the report. But in the past couple of years, AmazonBasics has stepped up the pace, rolling out a range of products that seem perfectly tailored to customer demand.

    “When we saw AmazonBasics products as bestsellers in several categories, our stomachs dropped and [we] started thinking, ‘we need to learn from them,”’ the report’s authors said. AmazonBasics now has more than 900 products, including 284 launched last year alone, according to Skubana.
    . . . .
    While Amazon’s apparel brands remain relatively obscure, the online behemoth has a huge advantage over better-known labels. Shoppers increasingly start on to search for products, bypassing Google and traditional chains’ websites. In a survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers conducted by digital marketing firm BloomReach, 44 percent said they go directly to Amazon.

    So not only can Amazon track what shoppers are buying; it can also tell what merchandise they’re searching for but can’t find, says Rachel Greer, who worked on the private label team until 2014. Then, she says, “Amazon can just make it themselves.”

    Well, Amazon makes nothing. It contracts that out to Chinese sweat shops.

    So, if someone has a good idea and puts it on the market, Amazon steals it whether or not it’s sold there. Criminal minds at work.

    1. Pat

      I have bought Amazon Basics batteries and cables (I have also bought generics in stores and from other retailers on these). I balked when I was looking for an antenna and it was clear their ‘Basic” was a Mohu rip off. Unfortunately, people are not going to look beyond the obvious and sort out the areas where generic offerings are the norm, and where there are one or two offerings, the original and the copycat, and understand what they are seeing.

      1. Cry Shop

        Started Boycotting Amazon 7 years ago. I could see where it was all headed, nearly every evil in the consumerist society is magnified by Amazon.

  35. Pep FAIL

    LT Prime beef, thanks for all the disjointed analogies that all manage to ignore one crucial fact: there’s more to civil society than rigged electoral politics.

    Those propaganda lines are familiar from ad campaigns to sell other forms of pernicious manipulation: “if you don’t play, you can’t win!” Proving that I have to buy a lottery ticket. “try, try again, don’t be a sore loser,” Proving that I have to get brain damage playing football.

    Fuck the vote. That’s not any of the emotions you’re projecting into it. I’m not going to waste my time. Instead I’m going to do things that don’t have futility built in. Like joining and forming civil society organizations that don’t accept the parties’ pre-chewed pap.

  36. inode_buddha

    Further insanity: Forbes has an article about why Sander’s doesn’t understand poverty.

    I am living in upside-down world it seems.

  37. meeps

    Re: San Francisco is requiring solar panels on all new buildings. But here’s a much greener idea.

    This one, too, could have been titled, The Wrong Kind of Green

  38. Alex morfesis

    And many miles to go before I sleep…strange feeling of march 2000 has come over me…when sex and violence…I mean Bush and gore…were able to push aside bradley and mccain, nasdaq burped up its hairball the next day…

    if $hillary and her modern c.r.e.e.p. krewe “$teal” the nomination on tuesday nite…

    what might mister markets say…

  39. Dugh

    Harry Shearer has a good interview with James Galbraith on this Sunday’s (4/24) “Le Show”.

  40. Robert Dudek

    I’m very disappointed in Sanders’ stance against the proposed Philadelphia soda tax. It is a classic example of a worthwhile Pigovian tax: a tax on something that creates a massive negative externality. By Sanders’ logic, he should oppose cigarette taxes because the smoking rates among the poor are higher than among the rich.

    The money raised by taxing sugar should go into treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes. The aim should be to raise the price of the product so that poor people have incentive to choose healthier options such as water, milk and herbal tea. This, coupled with an educational campaign, might make a big difference over the coming decades.

    Other junk food taxes can be directly funnelled to subsidize at the point of sale local and organic food production, thereby helping both consumers to eat better food and sustainable farming practices to be more profitable. The amount of money saved in medical expenses down the road would be enormous.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The poor eating organic food? You don’t understand what “poor” means. Organic food is 30-40% more expensive that comparable non-organic food. And poor people often have to buy food beyond its sell by date or canned food rather than fresh. Milk is pricier than soda if you buy soda by the liter. So you will increase the cost of the poor feeding themselves if you force them to switch to milk. And kids don’t like tea unless you put a lot of sugar in it, which gets you back to the equivalent of soda.

    2. aab

      What Yves has already said. If you want the poor to eat healthier food and drink healthier beverages, give them money, and the means to readily obtain such products. Numerous studies have shown that poor citizens ( won’t use the neoliberal “consumer” frame) are highly rational purchasers and decision-makers overall, more than the wealthy — that’s IF you consider, as they must, issues like travel time and cost, time and energy exerted on preparation, storage issues, etc. This is not just with regard to food, mind you. It holds true with financial decisions, as well.

      “Organic” is a crock, at this point. The foolish, uneducated affluent purchase organic products as part of their affirmation of their noble worth and to maintain their physical and moral purity. However, food products labeled as organic purchased via the Big Ag/Corporate food chain rarely meet any rational standard for what was originally intended for the term. You are paying for the feeling of righteousness, not actually food that is healthier either for you or for the environment.

      Moreover, they have a right to some pleasure in their lives. The wealthy gain their pleasure from status and power, and so it is easy for them to belittle those enjoy the more sensual pleasures of food, drink and sexual contact. But those things are also part of creating human bonding and community. There is innate value in fueling the body and connecting one person with another as equals, unlike how the wealthy interact with most people, which generally enacts and reinforces the power dynamics in miniature that are destroying the planet on a macro level.

      If you believe it is important to subsidize better farming practices, tax Monsanto. Tax Michael Bloomberg. Tax the corporation that MAKES Coca Cola and all of those distributors. Too hard? Then leave the poor souls that actually drink the stuff alone.

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