Links 4/30/16

‘I never dress up for boys’ says 100-year-old star of Harvey Nichols’ new Vogue campaign Telegraph

Large Hadron Collider on paws after creature chews through wiring Guardian. Includes very attractive picture of a representative perp.

A Mine vs. a Million Monarchs New York Times

Why Game of Thrones is the Perfect Show for the Modern Age New Statesman (Carolinian)

CV of failures: Princeton professor publishes resume of his career lows Guardian

How You’re Making Facebook a Money Machine New York Times (furzy)

Dole Food Under Investigation Over Listeria Outbreak Linked to Salads Wall Street Journal

Wine And Coffee Are Good For Your Gut, Study Shows Time (David L)

From the Far Corner of the Basement Science Magazine (Chris M). On fats and cholesterol.

Argentina: President Macri’s reforms denounced by protesters BBC. Hard to gauge crowd size and no estimate in story.

US adds China, Germany and Japan to new currency watchlist Financial Times


China denies U.S. aircraft carrier Hong Kong port visit CNN

China’s debt reckoning cannot be deferred indefinitely George Magnus, Financial Times. Indicates that current levels of debt growth are much higher than official figures suggest. But he has a sour note in incorrectly saying that loans are made out of deposits.

Europe’s Economy, After 8-Year Detour, Is Fitfully Back on Track New York Times (furzy)

Jeremy Corbyn facing ‘coup attempt’ over anti-Semitism row as ministers hold talks with plotters Telegraph

A New Generation’s Anger Resounds From a Packed Plaza in Paris New York Times. The Grey Lady notices Nuit Debout.

rench deputies ask for lifting of sanctions to Russia Defend Democracy Press. Perhaps I am being paranoid, but I got this link via e-mail and tried accessing it at 1:30 AM on Saturday. I got a 509 error, one I have never seen before: “Bandwidth Limit Exceeded. The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.” I then tried searching using a string of text from the excerpt, since Defend Democracy Press mainly aggregates. Google said there were no matches. Weird.


Kunduz hospital bombing ‘not a war crime’ says Pentagon BBC. Of course we would say that.

Doctors Without Borders Launches New Solidarity Action as U.S. Military Brushes Off Deadly Kunduz Attack as ‘Accidental’ (Video) Alternet

Saudi builder Binladin terminates 50,000 jobs: newspaper Reuters (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch



Demonstrators storm California GOP convention to protest Trump CNN. “Storm” to me means they got inside, which didn’t happen. Contrast with BBC headline: Donald Trump speech delayed by protesters in California.

The Ancestral German Home of the Trumps New Yorker (furzy)

Trump Said to Lack Plan for Fundraising, Running Mate Vetting Bloomberg

Trump Spells Doom for Social Conservatives Bloomberg

Insiders: Clinton would crush Trump in November Politico. Lambert was reluctant to put this in Water Cooler because it assumes a level of normative behavior. A month ago, conventional wisdom was that Trump was facing a brokered convention. Now it looks like he has good odds of winning on the first ballot. This election is proving to be too wild to call with such high confidence.

With Carly Fiorina As Running Mate, Cruz’s H-1B Stance Now In Question Slashdot (furzy)

‘Clinton Cash’ rears its head again, just as Hillary is getting a leg up over Bernie – and now the the harsh expose of political payback is being turned into a movie showing at the Cannes film festival Daily Mail (Li)

The U.S. could feel the Bern for decades as Sanders plans to reform democracy Globe and Mail (martha r)

BOE Commissioners Knew About Purging Voter Rolls, District Leader Says King County Politics (martha r)

Owning US tech shares no longer a quick route to big returns Financial Times

Dallas Fed cautions on fresh oil bubble as glut keeps building Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

At Small Colleges, Harsh Lessons About Cash Flow New York Times

Washington Still Haggling as Puerto Rico Debt Deadline Looms New York Times

Class Warfare

San Francisco Hunger Strikers Enter Ninth Day to Protest Police Brutality Against Black and Brown Youths Alternet

A Private Equity Alum’s Guide to Better Payday Lenders New York Times (Li). Notice endowment-pension fund connection to payday lending. Not that I’m keen re the 2.0 version.

Antidote du jour. From Chet G, his photograph of a carpenter bee. Be nice to bees!

carpenter bee links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    So the “Insiders” say HRC will crush The Donald. These are exactly the same persons who kept saying Trump would be fading fast, and couldn’t last. Said the same about Bernie. The most revered insider of them all, Nate Silver, said Hill had a 99% chance of winning Michigan. They are entitled to their opinions, but their opinions are worth about the same as, or even less than, my opinion, IMHO. Having said that, I think Trump might be hurt by the Libertarian candidate who may be on the ballot in all fifty states. If the Libs have Jesse Ventura on the ticket, they’ll get a lot of votes. The tea leaves say Gary Johnson has the Lib nomination in the bag, but he could choose Ventura as veep candidate. I think the Libs will hurt the repugs more than the Greens (basically a disorganized social club) will hurt the dems. But anything can happen. For the “insiders” to predict HRC in a cakewalk is just an exercise in propaganda. What they are really saying is: our corporate bosses want us to pump up Hill because she is the establishment candidate. Yes, we already knew that.

    1. sd

      The insiders are just talking their book. After all, they’ve paid in a lot of money and expect returns.

    2. MtnLife

      Last night I realized there is genius to Trump’s plan (or what I think he may be doing). So Trump, the lifelong D, runs as a Republican and sews up a large swath of “the most loyal supporters” ever. As the primary has progressed he he toned down the more inflammatory talking points and brought more establishment types on as they begin to see him as having the only decent shot at taking down Hillary and, I imagine he’s thrown them a bone or two on tax and other issues. Once the main stage is set as Clinton vs Trump, instead of meeting her in the middle and fighting tooth and nail for Clintonite Republicans, I see Trump taking his über loyalists and rolling right around Clinton on the left, coming back to his liberal roots on some issue such as single payer health care – an issue he has briefly publicly floated and one that would benefit his personal business empire, not to mention that, as many have said, it will take a Republican to enact single payer. Sad as it may seem, that would essentially leave Trump as the greater anti war, pro health care, and most likely to stay anti free trade candidate.

      1. Eureka Springs

        There is more “hope” in a single raised middle Trump finger than all of both Clintons dark neoliberal souls.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          My question is this: Why didn’t they release that film about Clinton Cash earlier?

        2. Jim Haygood

          As we used to say when transiting Clinton’s hometown on I-30 … “no dope in Hope, kids.”

          Ergo, cruise on to Little Rock …

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I think a single, short, raised middle finger is precisely what the corporo-fascist Permanent War billionaire elite needs. Who cares what Trump said about Rosie O’Donnell, read below what he said about the big issues, then ask yourself which candidate represents your and your kids’ interests and which represents the interests of Big Wall St Big Pharma Big Health Care Big Spying Big Prisons Big Offshore Money and Big War:

            1. Malcolm MacLeod, MD

              OTPBDH: I believe that Mr. Trump will fill the bill for POTUS far
              better than Mrs Clinton (heaven forbid).

      2. Bev

        It seems planned to me. The it’s-time-for-women Hillary and her associates scolding women who are not for Hillary because she is female, while Trump goes way overboard to offend all women. It’s the tag team.

        Nate Silver is propaganda.
        Nate Silver and Election Fraud
        Richard Charnin

        Nate Silver never discusses Election Fraud, even though it has been proven systemic. I pointed this a few years ago in a reply to his post on why we should not believe exit polls. His knowledge of exit polls was (and apparently still is) non-existent.

        Nate never discusses the fact that exit polls are always forced to match the bogus recorded vote. The pollsters admit that it is standard operating procedure. Their rationale is that the polls must always be wrong since they deviate so greatly from the recorded vote. Of course we never get to see the unadjusted exit polls until years later, if then. The 1988-2008 unadjusted presidential state and national exit polls showed that the Democrats won by an average of 52-42%. But the recorded vote had them winning by just 48-46%

        Election Fraud: Response to Joshua Holland
        Richard Charnin

        Last week, actor and activist Tim Robbins tweeted on the exit poll discrepancies . And the media presstitutes went after him with a vengeance.

      3. MikeNY

        I agree it’s going to be fascinating to see how he ‘tacks’ for the general election. His resounding victories in the ‘liberal’ northeast last week were eye-popping. The MSM talking heads have gotten him wrong pretty much each step of the way.

      4. david s

        This is the reason why I thought that, for progressives, a Romney win in 2012 would have been a better choice than another 4 years of Obama.

        Nixon was the last progressive President.

        1. jo6pac

          Sadly that’s true and he also was the reason demodogs are who they are check Robert Parry on why.

      5. Lee

        Robert Reich, in his book Aftershock, posits a possible future left-right synthesis:

        ” The platform of the Independence Party, as well as its message, is clear and uncompromising: zero tolerance of illegal immigrants; a freeze on legal immigration from Latin America, Africa and Asia; increased tariffs on all imports; a ban on American companies moving their operations to another country or outsourcing abroad; a prohibition on “sovereign wealth funds” investing in the United States. America will withdraw from the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund; end all “involvements” in foreign countries; refuse to pay any more interest on our debt to China, essentially defaulting on it; and stop trading with China until China freely floats its currency.”

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          That’s because “Left” and “Right” are not the correct labels. The correct labels would be “The Billionaires” versus “Us”, or Jefferson’s “The People” versus “The Banks”.
          My own binary formulation is “The Permanent War Mongers, War Profiteers, and War Criminals” versus “The Guy Who At Least is Questioning Whether That Is Such a Smart Idea”.

      6. craazyman

        I might just be a Red Stripe Republican and vote for Mr. Trump. I would have never believed that in a million years, that something like this could happen. Four or five Jamaican Red Stripe beers for lunch and then voting for Trump for president. Oh my.

        As a lifelong liberal progressive too lazy, disinterested and detached to vote since the 1990s — I spotted the Big O as a phony even before the first win, I could just tell, it’s not that I think he’s a bad dude or that he wouldn’t be a barroom buddy after work for beers with the gang or something, he would, no worries, I’d probably like him enough that way, but I saw right through that dude like he was a piece of cellophane. I can think of a lot of people I’d have as a friend that I wouldn’t want as president, its not personal — it could be 4 or 5 bottles of Jamaican Red Stripe beer by 2 pm or so and then a trip to the voting booth, to pull the lever for Trump.

        That would be pretty hilarious.

        If he builds the wall, well, there’s a part of me that just doesn’t care. I’m sorry to be so honest. Maybe it could be like the Great Wall of China, a tourist attraction. If it’s like the Berlin wall, that wouldn’t be so good. If it was a huge wall, then maybe all the people coming to it from the south side could get jobs building it. That would solve two problems at once.

          1. craazyman

            it might turn out to be a destination resort if people came from south and north.

            Trump Wall — shops, condos, co-ops, restaurants, bars, bike paths, nature parks, office buildings, with views of the desert and the Rio Grande.

            1. Massinissa

              Would be funny actually. Trump does seem like the kind of guy who could con the ‘worlds greatest country’ into making him the biggest Trump Resort ever on the public dime.

              Would be even better if he diverted military funding to fund it. Make resorts not war!

        1. fresno dan

          I really have to question your judgement.
          This is the one event that millions upon millions of people will engage in.
          It is what separates us from the animals….
          It really is extremely important, and as they say on CNN, historical (well, every event covered on CNN is “historical” but never mind that)
          AND on ELECTION DAY, you choose, with the fate of the country, indeed, the WORLD ….. Red Stripe!?!???!!!!!

          Before voting, you really need to be ingesting quality alcohol….and plenty of it, so that when you are brought before future tribunals, in the few sanctuaries safe from the zombie dempublicans, you can say, “I was drunk out of my head!” because the future is gonna say, “Don’t give us that it was the Devil or Satan – couldn’t you have had one major party nominee NOT from hell???”
          You can claim insanity with your moniker – the rest of us didn’t have your foresight – we are gonna have to use inebriation as a mitigating circumstance ….
          My big decision will be some dark German beers, but I am afear that there will be long lines at the polling places, and I have a small bladder….
          Or just a few glasses of a nice Barbera…..

        2. P Walker

          I saw through him too, but the beauty of having an empty suit run in the aftermath of eight years of Bush is that Obama could be all things to all people. People were saying things that Obama was going to do … even when Obama didn’t say anything remotely of the sort.

          For me, the truth came when I was three quarters through Obama’s second book when a commentator online noted that the book was nothing but a message from Obama to the establishment: “Hey, don’t worry about me. I’m on your side.”

          Sure enough. My predictions came true and now all those that accused me of being racist suddenly forgot they did so and pretended as if they weren’t bamboozled. (That’s why I feel that Trump might be the 2012 version of Obama 2008).

      7. jgordon

        I think you’re right. If you look all through statements Trump has made throughout his history, policy-wise he’s always been extremely to the left. From supporting single payer, to banning guns he’s about as left as you can get. Then suddenly he runs as a Republican and he has all of these newfound conservative positions (well even with his current persona he’s still far to the left of crooked Hillary). Right.

        I think he’s just doing whatever it takes to get himself elected president–because he sees everyone else as incompetent and he’s worried about where the country is going. That’s just my personal feeling.

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Come to think of it, there’s more of a chance Jesse would run as veep with Trump. They know each other. Would be a great way for The Donald to rub the the repug establishment’s face in it.

  2. Clive

    Re: “From the Far Corner of the Basement”

    The more I learn, the more I come to the conclusion that there’s quite a bit of “medical science” which has a striking resemblance to the kind of logic and associated evidence base that is spoken by the Dothraki who, like a lot of the clinicians who foist it on us, substantiate it with little more than the run on sentence “it is known”.

    The next time I visit a physician, I’m going to try mentally appending “it is known” to the end of what they’ve just told me and see if makes me laugh. If I chuckle, then I will make an enquiringly sceptical face and ask for the supporting data.

    1. Skippy

      My wife as a intensive care clinical paramedic and educator is increasingly worried about the crapification of the general practitioner [GP or MD] or to my tastes the ‘Science Mart’ effect as it weaves its way through the industry / sector until it becomes the dominate narrative [neoclassical + bolt on].

      Disheveled Marsupial… I wonder if Grisham’s law applies to philosophy too….

      1. Juneau

        I feel sorry for health care providers and patients. The alliance has been almost completely ruptured and now it seems much information being used to justify evidence based treatments is faulty.
        So much illness is genetically based and exacerbated by environmental factors. I fear we will never get to the point of routine inexpensive genetic testing because of profit and privacy concerns.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            It’s about inflammation, your body sends cholesterol to try and heal inflammed tissues, so lots of heart attack autopsies showed cholesterol build-up. A doctor with a lot to gain decided cholesterol was the cause, not the effect. Fast forward to today, if you’re a GP and you prescribe lots of statins you get a trip to Bermuda, health care debt goes up, and a pharma billionaire gets another zero on his Panama account. Win-win-win.

            1. cwaltz

              It’s actually kind of weird to me that statins are just now getting attention.

              I served as a Navy pharmacy tech in the early 90s and we had a program for people with high cholesterol. If you were placed on a statin we made sure to test liver function fairly regularly even back then it was known these drugs could cause problems.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its amazing how much medical ‘knowledge’ is based on tradition rather than up to date research. A relative of mine is an academic who specifically studies diagnoses and treatments and its hair raising as to just how many doctors are either out of date or just plain wrong on many common issues – this is particularly so on issues which are seen as ‘peripheral’ to core medicine, such as nutrition and exercise.

      I suffered from this for many years as I had asthma as a child which was repeatedly misdiagnosed as bouts of bronchitis, and given antibiotics. This is apparently very common, and still happens, even several decades after research conclusively showed that bronchitis attacks are actually very rare with younger people. A particular biggie is the issue of screening for cancers and heart disease – many doctors are all in favour, despite the very thin evidence they do any good (except for very specific cases). Doctors feel a lot of pressure to ‘do something’, when the best thing to do is to tell the patient to just go for a walk.

      And of course the distortions created by Big Pharma is a gigantic issue, it has a huge impact on prescription practice.

        1. John Merryman

          My grandfather broke his hip at a political convention, when someone kicked a chair out from under him and continued to go fox hunting sidesaddle. Which caused gangrene to set in and they said they had to amputate. He said he’d rather die first, so they cut it open, stuck in six leeches, sewed it back up, did this several times and he survived. Always walked with a cane though and quit fox hunting. Had his last child at 65, so it didn’t completely slow him down.

          1. eleanor rigby

            I work at a high-tech hospital, and I saw leeches used on a person in 2015, don’t remember why.

    3. Malcolm MacLeod, MD

      Clive, my last year of medical school, our dean talked to us in the lecture hall
      and explained to us, “Half of what we teach you here is wrong, and we don’t
      know which half.”, as a caution to keep abreast of new work so long as we
      practiced. This was good advice.

  3. sd

    In my email this morning from AT&T….

    Beginning on May 23, 2016, we will be increasing the U-verse® Internet data allowance for many customers. After a grace period, and as our agreement provides, there’s a $10 charge for each 50GB of data you use over the allowance amount. The maximum overage charge will be $100/mo. If you choose to bundle your U-verse Internet with DIRECTV® or U-verse TV you will be provided an unlimited Internet data allowance with a $30 value at no additional charge, as a benefit of bundling. Or if you choose, an unlimited allowance is available for purchase as an optional bolt-on to your Internet service for an additional $30/mo.

    Why do I feel like I am being held hostage?

    1. Dave

      You are. It’s artificial price increases to make the bundling option appear to be the best value. It’s manipulation of the consumer plain and simple. I’ve cut the cord with a HD OTA (High Definition Over-The-Air) antenna and helped a number of others do the same. Drop me a note if you are interested and I can help you explore if this would be possible for you and how to do it based on your needs.

      1. CRLaRue

        For $19 dollars I purchased a digital antenna (E-bay) I get ABC,NBC,CBS,PBS,FOX
        two movie channels and all the crap from the sixties, seventies, etc.
        I live in a rural sitting so don’t know if a city dweller will get the same reception.

      2. steelhead

        I’ve got 2 TV sets with HD OTA and plan to cut the cord on 10-5-2016 on my primary HDTV as soon as the the US Open in NYC is finished and the satellite bill cycle is complete.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            “How you making Facebook a money machine.”

            When we ‘pay’* attention to stars, we make them into money machines.

            And what do you get when you pay (attention to) a celebrity? I suggest you get your addiction prolonged and strengthened, because you can’t stand any longer without looking at the face, body or something.

            *pay, as in ‘when we pay someone we give money to that someone.’ Here, one’s attention requires consumption of one’s resources, involving a temporal fraction of one’s allotted lifespan and space in one’s information processing center.

      3. Waldenpond

        We put up the old fashioned antenna. We got a large one because it was in stock. Cheap. We get 13 stations abc,nbc,cbs,fox,cw, 4 pbs stations, an oldie movie station and an oldie series station.

    2. ambrit

      “Why do I feel like I am being held hostage?” Because you are being held hostage, or rather, your ‘wallet’ is.
      We just switched from AT&T to Comcast. (Wow! Some improvement! -sarc-) AT&T is in the process of dropping their two wire service in this town in favour of U-Verse, which is, around here, ‘over the air’ in nature. The telephone ‘facilitator’ said that U-Verse could be two wire. Me telling her that I had already seen AT&T crews mounting local repeaters on telephone poles around this town shut her up. Add to this, the best replacement they offered was roughly the same price, but inferior in service and with a data cap added. (For all those “smart” phone users with multiple “apps” running, that cap would end up costing more money per month.) All we wanted was internet. At least Comcast offered better service over the cable, and an internet only option.
      The hidden problem in all of this is the fact that there are only two ‘options’ available in a region of 50,000 plus souls. Someone has quietly put the kibosh on the earlier movement to have cities provide internet as public services.
      Rent extraction, pure and simple.

      1. inode_buddha

        The incumbent monopolies usually lobby pretty hard about this. There’s been several stories over the years in the tech sector and particularly on slashdot, where municipalities try to roll out their own “last mile” service and get sued into oblivion by the telcos. They don’t share their infrastructure with anyone, and now they are also the content creators… what could possible go wrong? Stuff like this is why it boggles my mind when people accuse the regulators (FCC in this case) of being anti-competitive.

    3. sumac21

      For cells phones too it’s not necessary to pay the usual $100 a month (which seems standard for several people I know).

      For example I pay about $7/month for my cell phone, by buying a prepaid card from PagePlus about every 10 months or so. The card is 2000 minutes for $80, which comes to .04 cents per minute. Perhaps the card lasts so long because I only use phone and text (no email or anything fancy that like that).

    1. ambrit

      If this turns out to be true, expect Hillary to perhaps be the first American President to be charged at the Hague. (She won’t be able to go anywhere then.)

  4. Alex morfesis

    Vogue @ 100…86 is the new 40…live till your 86’d at 86…today is a good day to live….

    1. Pat

      Now there’s a shocker. Funny the first thought I had when reading that link was this is the latest in the derail Corbyn campaign that has failed time and again. And that most of us should only start paying attention when the public joins in, not the disgruntled Blair faction of the party. I didn’t account for the ‘never get in the way of Israel punching Palestinians’ lobby. My bad.

      1. Rhondda

        It’s like watching Beavis and Butthead. “Huh huh huh huh, he said Hitler.” “Bwa ha ha ha, he said Israel Lobby.”
        Idiots. No doubt a certain cohort will lap it up with relish.

        Also, amazing how Livingston’s words are by association alone supposed to tar Corbyn. He didn’t deny it forcefully enough.

        Those pushing this may discover that, like here in the US, the good ol’ anti-Semitism card may not have as much play as it used to.

        1. Clive

          Thanks for putting into words the thing that had been rattling around in my head while following this saga.

          It was fairly obviously a London media village creation but there was something else about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But like you say, it’s an old trope, warmed over and tried out on a British audience long after its U.S. sell-by date.

          The only question is whether people will see it for what it is or fall for it. Time will tell I guess.

          1. Christopher D. Rogers


            There is a vigourous dialogue going on at Craig Murray’s website following a ‘stitch-up’ on him after an appearance on Sky News on Friday. Suffice to say, and given comments attributed to Ken Livingstone with regards Hitler’s considerations on what he perceived as the ‘Jewish question’, which historically is well documented and factually Ken was correct. Indeed, most of the ‘anti-semitic’ hysteria whipped up by the UK’s media comes courtesy of those news outlets that in the 1930s actually were supportive of one Adolf Hitler, namely the Daily Torygraph and the Daily Hate, but lets not let facts get in the way of an old fashioned witch hunt, one the perpetrators hope will damage the Labour Party leader, Mr Jeremy Corbyn. That the Blairite faction is behind all of it is all you really need to know – for US readers the Blairite faction is much like the DNC of the Democrat Party in the USA. Here’s the link to Craig Murray’s blog:

            1. Clive

              Yeah, the Hate Mail brandishing its (cough) long-standing tolerance for minorities is something to behold. Thanks for the Craig Murray info.

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            It’s combined with all the other attacks and inuendo they pump out that they hope to get Corbyn with. It’s the permanent ratchet; never miss an opportunity, manufacture from whole cloth when none to be had, never let up. The crank goes in one direction.

            And to think this could all be Bernie’s over here….

  5. RabidGandhi

    Re: Argentina protest size. Govt friendly sources (Clarín) estimated 70k. Opposition sources put the figure at “up to 200k” (both for BA. We went to a march last night in Córdoba and i’d guesstimate there were 5-7k there).

    The big factor is that the three largest unions were divided into various factions with the main leaders having helped Macri get elected. Now they have reunited. The honeymoon is over.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Well, it ain’t the Cordobazo (a 1969 general strike in Argentina’s second city Córdoba).

      But it ain’t bad.:-)

  6. Alex morfesis

    the new white citizens council…big blunder is watching (or grooming)…Funny Blinded Individuals…americas very own saud style religious police…american sheria at its finest…shared responsiblity committees…so cute…so clever…so…so…

    Two private corporations…the republican party and the democratic party have taken it upon themselves to privatize and convert tax payer funded instrumentalities to eliminate competition…

    Who will be the new william buckley…playing us with his eloquent ignorance….

  7. allan

    A Carly is born: Big Severance for Marissa Mayer if Ousted From Yahoo After a Sale

    Yahoo’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer, will walk away with a $55 million severance package if the company’s auction of its Internet operations culminates in a sale that ousts her from her job.

    The payout, which was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, would consist of cash, stock awards and other benefits if she is forced out within a year after a sale.

    1. inode_buddha

      PROOF that the magical Free Market fairy, hard work, and talent have exactly ZERO to do with “getting ahead”.

  8. Ron

    “Doom for Social Conservatives”
    “With a Republican nominee hailing from the most hostile psychographic terrain in the nation, it’s unclear where, outside of the deepest South, social conservatives can go to find a sympathetic ear for righteous anger.”

    other then the South and Bible states the Republican Party has been in steep decline but the main stream media has continued calling it a National Party when in fact it has become a regional party in fact remove the Southern and Bible state national political House and Senate positions it would have little if any members!

  9. Jim Haygood

    Ambrose E-P warns of crude calamity (link above):

    Oil prices have surged by 80pc since touching bottom at $26 in mid-February. West Texas crude reached a five-month high of $46.70 this week.

    Commerzbank warned that the market is primed for an upset. “We see worrying parallels to 2015, when oil prices rose sharply well into May before collapsing in the second half of the year,” it said.

    Oh my, oh my … me so scared! Let’s check how Craazyman Fund (50% junk bonds; 30% emerging market stocks; 20% gold bullion) is doing. In fact, it hit a new high watermark yesterday.

    Since formation at March 2nd closing prices, Craazyman Fund has gained 6.27%, versus a 2.51% gain in its benchmark (a 50-50 mix of SPY and AGG).

    Emerging market stocks rose 8.08%, junk bonds tacked on 7.05%, while gold bullion brought up the rear at 4.26%.

    Craazyman Fund was conceived on the thesis that gold’s sharp rise since Jan. 2016 indicates an end to the five-year commodity depression. This in turn would benefit emerging markets and junk bonds, within which the energy sector is the most troubled.

    So far, so good. In the past two months, the US dollar index (DXY) has dropped 5.2%. This provides a lift to gold, commodities, and emerging markets.

    There may well be a pullback from recent gains. But it’s always the case at secular turning points that early buyers are met with skepticism, if not ridicule. If Ambrose E-P were touting oil as a buy, I would be worried. :-)

    1. MikeNY

      Thanks for the update, Jim. I’ve stubbornly stuck with my own lil Craazyman portfolio. I’ve owned it for a while in the interest of ‘balance’ (which I need somewhere in my life). Nice to see it finally getting some love.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Interesting question is whether the ZIRP era is ending, or whether this year is rather just a brief warming spell before a more protracted bout of demographic-driven deflation sets in.

        Fortunately we don’t have to decide between gold (in case of the former scenario) or bonds (for the latter). We can hold both.

        Although you’re never gonna hear it publicly from J-Yel, she has got to be a secret gold bug at this point, cheering on the welcome commodity bounce. Treasury has joined the parade:

        The U.S. put economies including China, Japan and Germany on a new currency watch list, saying their foreign-exchange practices bear close monitoring to gauge whether they provide an unfair trade advantage over America.

        The inaugural list also includes South Korea and Taiwan, the Treasury Department said Friday in a revamped version of its semi-annual report on the foreign-exchange policies of major U.S. trading partners.

        The five economies met two of the three criteria used to judge unfair practices under a February law that seeks to enforce U.S. trade interests. Meeting all three would trigger action by the president to enter discussions with the country and seek potential penalties.

        Message: don’t try to play competitive devaluation with us, punks … or this kitten gets it!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Try this on for size: having reached peak debt, the transmission channel to get “money” out into the world (by people taking out loans) has seized up, and the the CBs know it. The remaining transmission channel (apart from helicopter money) is equities. So we will see more and more equity purchases by CBs (Japan is already all in, Denmark, Switzerland, the Fed’s plunge protection team) as we move to the next system: equity-based money. Instead of passive escape valves to provide “emergency credit to solvent borrowers at high rates” the CBs become just giant hedge funds that can never get a margin call.
          We may have some more broad sell-offs as the last dinosaur traders looking in the rearview mirror get nervous about Transports at 24x earnings or the Russell 200 at 100X+. But after that it’s clear sailing. Corporations get funded by higher stock prices, not higher debt loads. We see much more use of “proto-money” (Vancouver real estate, art, African water rights) by investors desperate for yield in a ZIRP/NIRP world.
          (They must know that NIRP, since it imagines time preferences that can be less than zero, has no possible rational basis to exist).
          Of course this impoverishes the many in favor of the very few, but that’s a story for another day.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was hoping gold’s rise has to do with TINA (there is no alternative) with bubbles everywhere, even cash is not safe with the coming ban or negative rates.

      In that case, oil should go to $20 a barrel or less, as the economy slows down.

      Except I don’t trust myself (I know myself too well); otherwise I would double down on gold.

    3. craazyman

      I’m thinking of going big into GLD and SLV with put protection, looking for 50% to 80% upside in a year. The 10-bagger is too hard. This bides time and helps to inflate the bag, so that the 10-bagger, when it comes, will be all the bigger.

      But so far, I haven’t actually done anything, I’ve only talked about it. That’s the way I am with most things, actually.

      It better be soon now or it won’t work. if GLD gets to 170 and I’m still thinking about it, instead of dong it, that will be bad.

      1. Clive

        Nah, buy a unit in 432 Park Avenue. Call it Oligarch Futures. Janet Yellen — and a world of corrupt politicians, Unicorn CEOs, Hedge Fund managers and similar pillars of the community — will have your back. You can’t loose.

  10. Ep3

    Yves, not sure if u have time to look into this, but I think it is a good insight into “life on the ground” in small towns in Michigan.

    This coming Tuesday, voters in the towns of Mason and Dansville Michigan (populations 8k & 600 respectively) will be voting to approve millages to build new school buildings. Someone, not me, created the above site to inform voters of the information that the local leaders are not communicating. As some back story, I went to school in Dansville and then after college have lived in Mason.
    Dansville’s middle school is over 100 years old. It’s so old and dangerous that in the 90s the federal govt had to give the town a grant to bring the building up to modern safety codes (which meant improvements to the gymnasium and adding a new lunchroom). As I said, Dansville has a population of about 600 (in the village limits) and has a total of about 400 students who attend all 3 levels (elementary, middle, high school). Dansville consistently ranks as having the highest paid teachers in the mid Michigan area while having average to below average test scores. The majority of students are bused in from across the community to attend the school. In fact, most bus routes cross over adjoining districts.
    Mason is a larger community (class B) and school who 10 years ago, shut down one of their elementary schools because they could not afford it. Both communities are predominantly white, with the majority of students coming from lower middle class homes. Both communities were homes to many manufacturing workers (either small local factories or via a 15 mile commute, working at the since closed down large GM complexes in the Capitol city of Lansing).
    One quick highlight from the website discusses the interest rates to be paid on the financing. Supporters brag that now is the time to build because interest rates are so low. But the researcher for the site points out that the financing agreements do not have current rates; only once all construction and other processes are complete (in 3-5 years) only then will interest rates be established. At that time, most likely rates will be far higher (Jefferson county anyone?).
    Second, a selling point is to add new tech and new busses and other upgrades. Yet there is a rule that funding for such things cannot come from long term bond millages. So what the district is doing is taking current general fund expenses for these things and paying those off with this bond (refinancing short term loans into long term) and then that frees up general funds to pay for these things. Also, none of this money can be or will be used to add teachers.
    I have a friend who sells construction materials to builders. He says when projects like these are announced, contractors come running. Under normal construction projects, he has to be very competitive in his pricing of materials. But for projects like this, prices skyrocket. No one watches the numbers. The school gets a pile of money. There is no profit; that money has to be spent. One school project involved purchasing a lock for a dumpster enclosure. A normal lock would cost around $100; the school paid $1,200 for the same $100 lock. I think the term is boondoggle.
    I want the children to be educated. But these millages are not to benefit the children. It is just another way to fleece the community.
    Thank you,

    P.s. Sorry to run on about all this. But I see this as a very serious issue.

  11. Qrys

    To this:

    Why Game of Thrones is the Perfect Show for the Modern Age New Statesman (Carolinian)

    I just have to say that the declining Rome had gladiatorial combat (and debaucheries galore). Fans of the show should elect Trump, likely he’d make George R.R. Martin bang out 8 more seasons … (Full disclosure, never watched an episode or read the books.)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Yet Rome could not reverse the decline, but had to be relocated (including the gladiators and charioteers) to a new Rome, by the sea of Marmara.

    2. Sam Adams

      Bad history. Gladiatorial games ended in Rome before its fall in 476. Christianity gained a foothold and its adherents gradually eliminated the games until there were none.

  12. abynormal

    bye bye ms am. pie: A renowned Chicago musician is going public with her airline spat over a piece of carry-on luggage—because that piece of luggage happens to be a 1742 violin insured for almost $20 million. Rachel Barton Pine says an American Airlines
    captain refused to let her bring the Joseph Guarneri “del Gesu” violin aboard a
    Wednesday flight from O’Hare to New Mexico, where she was scheduled to perform,
    because he deemed it too big, reports the Chicago Tribune. When Pine, a frequent
    traveler, pointed out that the FAA—and American Airlines itself—allows
    instruments such as hers on a first-come basis as long as they fit in the
    overhead bin or under a seat, he still wouldn’t budge. “It is not going on
    because I say so,” she quotes him as saying. Instead of checking it as the crew
    suggested, she opted not to board at all.

    “These are so delicate and breakable that if you check your violin, it will get
    broken,” Pine tells KOB 4. “There’s no maybe it will get broken. It definitely
    will get broken.” American ticket agents got her on another flight, violin and
    all, and the airline says in a statement that it “has reached out to Ms. Barton
    directly to apologize for the inconvenience.” She has the violin courtesy of a
    lifetime loan from an anonymous patron. Last year, Pine spent the night in a
    Phoenix airport terminal after a similar disagreement with US Airways, notes a
    post at In a far more serious incident, back in 1995, the 1617
    Amati violin Pine was carrying got trapped in a Metra train door; she was
    secured to it by its strap and dragged more than 300 feet. She was able to free
    herself, but the train’s wheels took her left leg and mangled her right.

    1. craazyman

      Jesus, why didn’t she buy it a ticket and sit next to it?

      The airline should be happy because it wouldn’t have eaten anything or even complained to the flight attendant.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    No US aircraft carrier in Hong Kong.

    And Afghanistan also denies drone visits too.

    “Sorry, you can’t come in.”

    1. Rhondda

      Do you have a link for your assertion that Afghanistan has denied US drone overflights? I Googled, but couldn’t come up with anything.

  14. nothing but the truth

    “But he has a sour note in incorrectly saying that loans are made out of deposits.”

    you guys seem to wait all day to catch someone saying this and then nag/shame him all day, even if it has nothing to do with the message of the article. I guess you are still not at peace with MMT.

    most troublesome debt in china is shadow and that is made out of deposits.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The key issue with MMT is, to whom does the new sovereign fiat money belong?

      The people or their fiduciary?

      “Empower yourselves.”

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    CV of failures.

    CV of successes.

    Today, long hair is in style. And crew cut tomorrow.

    Long skirt, short skirt.

    Anorexic one day, Rubenesque another.

    Its always the powerful,,,financially powerful, intellectually powerful, etc. You are being pulled this way, manipulated that way.

    It’s never about yourself, but about this professor who was killed in a South Asian country or what’s new in that professor’s CV. And yet, it’s you, yourself that is most interesting to you. What are you doing that is creative and new?

  16. dcblogger

    With sufficient voter suppression Trump won’t need a majority of the population, only those who are allowed to vote.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. People are not allowed to vote

      2. People voluntarily don’t want to vote

      Fight for the right to vote, and also don’t give that away either.

      I suspect we beat ourselves not just once or twice.

  17. Dave

    “San Francisco, demonstrators protesting police killings, gentrification and lack of opportunity.”

    Gentrification? Is it as bad as white flight? How can you be against both?

    The Mission District in which this protest is taking place was mostly Irish and German. No one protested the arrival of the Latinos. Now the Irish and German grandchildren are returning.

    “Lack of opportunity”. Illegals have a hard time finding work, that’s true.

    “Police killings” They won’t allow them to carry tasers, so they use 9MMs on knife wielding lunatics. It is extreme and barbarous.

    1. Massinissa

      “so they use 9MMs on knife wielding lunatics.”

      Um, alot of the killings are of unarmed people. I think those are the ones being protested.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Nice try at making stuff up.

      1. Since when is a guy with a knife any threat to a cop with a gun who has it pulled out and is standing well away?

      2. The specific incident in SF was a guy who was SURROUNDED by cops with guns, was carrying a knife, which he had down at his side, and was walking as if he hoped to skirt along side the building and be allowed to escape:

      3 Gentrification means displacing the locals who pay low rents with rich people who pay higher rents. Is that concept somehow alien to you? What happens to the people who were paying low rents? I suggest you think this through, since it appears you haven’t. I know a techhie who lived in one of these former working class neighborhoods in SF. Had a modest but affordable apartment. Twitter moved into the ‘hood and all the Twitterati started renting apts like hers for crash pads. Her rent went up 30% in a year. And let me underscore that these were second apartments for the Twitter folks. This was just for their convenience. Why doesn’t Twitter just have an internal hotel at its office with some bunks and showers and a little closet space instead? More efficient and kinder to the neighbors. Plus people could even crash during the day if they needed to.

      1. M. Black

        Thank you for responding to this, Yves. As a long-time San Francisco resident horrified by the dangerous misrepresentations in Dave’s posting, I debated whether it was worth correcting the record here. I appreciate your taking on the task.

        I would just add a couple of points:

        The implicit racism of Dave’s linking “lack of opportunity” to “illegals” should not go unremarked.

        Over the past couple of years there have in fact been several wanton police killings of young men of color who posed no imminent threat to anyone, all killings defended by the mayor and police chief, vigorously and before any investigation: Alex Nieto, Amil Pérez López, Mario Woods, and most recently Luis Góngora, shot within 30 seconds of police arriving on the scene just months after the police department had promised to deescalate encounters with knives in the wake of the outrageous Woods murder. In all of these cases, the testimony of eye witnesses other than the police (not to mention that notorious video of the firing-squad execution of Woods) has contradicted the police accounts. As damning as that video is, perhaps even worse is the autopsy of Pérez López which showed he’d been shot in the back — after police claimed the man had charged at them with a knife. Hence the desperation of hunger strikers resorting to camping in front of a police station. Moreover, District Attorney George Gascón — no flaming leftie but, rather, a former police chief himself — has himself complained bitterly in writing about the mayor and the police chief’s resistance to and obstruction of an independent investigation of the police department and its record of racism and homophobia, along with its reckless use of violence.

        The latest news is that the hungers strikers are going to meet with the mayor on Tuesday to reiterate in person their demand that the lying and corrupt (there is another whole story about a no-bid contract to the Taser company for body cams) Police Chief Greg Suhr be fired. The mayor — himself under an ongoing FBI investigation for corruption which has already claimed political allies of his — has not yet acknowledged any such meeting.

        Thank you again for your attention to this issue.

      2. M. Black

        One last important note.

        Both and are providing excellent on-the-ground coverage of this and other issues wracking San Francisco these days.

  18. bob visser

    Did Germany revert back to the Deutsch Mark? I thought they were part of the Euro system.

  19. petal

    I think it was Pat? We had been discussing how upstate cities(ie Rochester) went in the NY primary. Thought this might be of interest to you.

  20. ewmayer

    Re. Insiders: Clinton would crush Trump in November | Politico … “This election is proving to be too wild to call with such high confidence.” — Except that the establishment media have underestimated Trump every step of the way. In other words, if it’s from the establishment side, it’s been a quite safe bet to take the over. We just need to ask Fresno Dan to find a good way to monetize the trend, as a prospective additional holding in the craazyman portfolio!

  21. Brooklin Bridge

    The U.S. could feel the Bern for decades as Sanders plans to reform democracy

    Of the, “good fight… and now”, genre, this article at least posits the notion of change to the Democratic party. But it repeats one meme that I find more and more frustrating; it’s always Millennials that support Sanders and no one else. And somehow, they make it sound as though the millennials needed a ride home from the voting stations. I am for Sanders but I am distinctly no millennial, at least not of this latest calendar mark, and I’ll probably need my own ride home in the, alas, not to distant future..

    I would love to have an inkling of just how big a pool of geezers like me there are who trick out their walkers and and snap in their chompers, and twang that lone white dna hero of the pate in Sanders’ honor so we could rise up as one truly frightening and grizzly beast and give these damn one “millinial” track minded journos a piece of our mind with hard numbers.

    1. sd

      Millennials is just the latest catch phrase journalists use to make it sound like they know what’s going on when in truth, they haven’t a clue.

  22. mk

    Antidote du jour. From Chet G, his photograph of a carpenter bee. Be nice to bees!
    Magnificent bee shot Chet G!

  23. Daryl

    > Trump Said to Lack Plan for Fundraising, Running Mate Vetting Bloomberg

    Well heck, they should’ve asked me. I could’ve told them all about Fiorina.

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