Links 4/5/16

Man escapes car dangling on Malibu cliff, only to be hit by bus Reuters (EM) :-(

Bullet indicates Lawrence of Arabia was no liar PhysOrg (Robert M)

New state of matter detected in a two-dimensional material PhysOrg (martha r)

Climate Change Puts Trillions of Dollars of Assets at Risk: Study NBC (David L)

Agriculture on the Brink TruthOut

Bullet indicates Lawrence of Arabia was no liar PhysOrg

How to Hack a Mouse Scientific American (Robert M)

Vitamin D ‘heals damaged hearts’ BBC. Not a very big dose, either.

Mossack Fonseca

Panama Papers: Obama, Clinton Pushed Trade Deal Amid Warnings It Would Make Money Laundering, Tax Evasion Worse International Business Times

France, Spain, US launch probes over Panama Papers Politico. The US loves busting foreign banks over money laundering, and HSBS and UBS are up to their eyeballs in this scandal.

Panama Papers: Russian cellist at centre of $2bn offshore web Financial Times. This is a lead story at the pink paper. Funny how they singled that one out and not, say, Porshenko, when the connection is more direct. Putin is widely assumed to have gotten exceedingly rich in the plutocratic land grab when the USSR fell….which took place under the tender guidance of the Dept. of State and Harvard. Not saying this is not a legitimate story, but that it is getting disproportionate attention, for the obvious reasons.

Panama Papers: Icelandic Pirate Party ‘ready’ to form part of government in event of snap election Independent (Chuck L)

5 ways the Panama Papers swept up EU figures Politico

Here’s Why You Should Give a Shit About the Panama Papers Vice (resilc)

After Panama papers leak: U.S., Britain are eager for names McClatchy (Jason). The names in the database will be released in May.


China workers ‘to account for 12% of global consumption’ Financial Times

Man who ran world’s largest army charged with taking US$12.3 million worth of bribes South China Morning Post. Lambert: “Of course SCMP is owned by Jack Ma now so who knows that this really means… ”

China proposes $50 trillion global renewable energy plan Wall Street Journal (Tony W). From last week, still important.

Destroy Greece: ΙΜF and Europe Disagree on the Method! Julian Assange, Counterpunch


Ukraine: Conflict Brings Hunger Crisis New York Times



Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libyan Mess Consortiumnews (EM)

Syrian Ceasefire in Tatters as al-Qaeda & allies attack in South Aleppo Juan Cole (resilc)

Saudi Arabia executions reach record high as beheadings set to double this year Independent (resilc)

Intel Analysts: We Were Forced Out for Telling the Truth About Obama’s ISIS War Daily Beast

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Data collection is the ultimate public good Larry Summers, Financial Times

The F.B.I. Is Sharing Its Secret for Breaking into iPhones Vanity Fair (martha r)

Alexa, Cortana, and Siri aren’t novelties anymore. They’re our terrifyingly convenient future. Slate. Needless to say, I can’t relate.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Lie of Patriotism TruthDig

New threats rose as U.S. apathy became policy Reuters. Resilc: “Constant warmonger propaganda, meanwhile no decent jobs, healthcare, infrastructure.”

Trade Traitors

A Trade Deal for the 21st Century: An Alternative to the TPP Dean Baker, Huffington Post

Trade deals costly in key election states Portland Press Herald (resilc)


Donald Trump has the manner of an arrogant televangelist suspected of murder by Columbo Guardian. Philip D: “Hilarious overview of the primaries from Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle.”

The DOJ Is Investigating Arizona’s Election Mess Huffington Post

Here’s why Donald Trump could be so disastrous for Republicans, in 1 map Washington Post

Charles Koch Is Privately Committed To Getting Paul Ryan Nominated In Cleveland: Source Huffington Post

Is 538 in the Bag for Hillary? CounterPunch

Berniecrats Commit To Supporting Candidates Who Already Feel The Bern, Provide Growing List Of Sanders-Endorsing Politicians Inquisitr

Agency and Abortion Jacobin

Supreme Court rejects conservative challenge to ‘one person, one vote’ Washington Post

Donald Trump just explained his amazingly depressing vision of the country. Oh boy. Washington Post (furzy)

Bought and Sold? John McCain’s Foundation Took $1 Million from Saudi Arabia Sputnik News (Wat S)

Republicans keep door open to confirm Merrick Garland during the lame duck Washington Post

U.S. top court rejects Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo class action Reuters (EM). The WalMart decision seems particularly important since it seems at odds with the horrid Amazon decision on what employee time an employer ought to pay for.

Denying Housing Over Criminal Record May Be Discrimination, Feds Say NPR (martha r)

Mississippi vs. Everyone: State’s pushing obscene law that’s not only anti-LGBT, it could also force women to wear makeup Salon

Police State Watch

A Man Is Facing Life in Prison After Allegedly Stealing Candy Bars Vice. Resilc: “If only Countrywide Credit stole some Mars bars.”

Woman shot to death by Auburn police sought help but officers ‘put a bullet in her,’ parents say


Gun lobby stirs to life in Europe Politico

White resentment is fueling opposition to gun control, researchers say Washington Post. Consistent with what Michael Moore pointed out (based on mere observation) in Bowling for Columbine.

Gun that looks like iPhone draws senator’s ire CBS. Yes. Creates more easy excuses for police to kill people of color.

Allergan drops 22% on tax inversion curbs Financial Times. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.


Fed flip-flops reflect global uncertainty Financial Times

We Need Fiscal Policy Forbes. Yes, sports fans. The MSM did not pick up that Yellen basically said that, and got a hardball question from of all people Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School (yes, THAT Glenn Hubbard, for you Inside Job fans)

Fed’s New Bank Critic, Neel Kashkari, Keeps Heat On Wall Street Journal

Puerto Rico opens accounts at commercial bank to sustain services Financial Times

Saudi Arabia Tries to Slow Iran Oil Exports, Without Much Success OilPrice (resilc)

Pimco raises the heat in battle with Bill Gross Financial Times. This is gonna be fun.

Class Warfare

Business Execs Support Progressive Policies, but The Chamber of Commerce Fights Them Gawker

It’s Been 25 Years Since Restaurant Workers Got a Raise TruthOut

Even D.C. workers who already make $15 want a raise Washington Post. Washington is not a cheap city in which to live.

Welcome to the Future: Middle-Class Housing Projects New Yorker

Antidote du jour (Emma S). This is Polo:

polo 1

And a bonus from martha r:

buharvV - Imgur

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ahimsa

    Debate details(from Politico) finally agreed by Sanders and Clinton camps. Interesting, em, tone? of the Sanders statement:

    “Fortunately, we were able to move a major New York City rally… to the night before,” the Sanders campaign released in a pithy statement. “We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton’s jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country.” – from the Guardian live feed.

    1. Bas

      yes, the truth has a certain “tone” all right.
      and, outside the “be very afraid, and more afraider all the time” bubble:

      This winter, for the second year in a row, Berkshire County, Massachusetts-based non-profits BerkShares, Inc. and the Schumacher Center for a New Economics are partnering with local organizations, community members, and companies to offer Entry to Entrepreneurship (E2E), a 10-week business-planning course for 14 to 25 year-olds focused on fostering community entrepreneurship. How does this business-planning course differ from any other? It’s crowd-sourced

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is Hillary building a village, doing what male candidates should have been doing themselves?

      “Men, just leave all the work to that WOMAN, that Capitalist Christian*!!!”

      *Everyone is nominal something.

  2. Carolinian

    The WaPo/Cillizza/”oh boy” article is just a transcript of Trump’s Woodward interview and is otherwise content free unless you have a “genius account”–whatever that is–to view the annotations. I gave up about halfway through. It’s more naked id with emphasis on naked.

    Clearly though the desired implication is that Trump’s naivite with reporters is yet another reason why he shouldn’t be taken seriously as a candidate. Real power is supposed to be sneaky and secretive–the kind Woodward likes to celebrate it in his books. Doubtless if the Nixon like HRC finally achieves her goal he will be more than willing to shift gears back into sycophancy. Watergate hero Woodward is, after all, a lifelong Republican.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Only life-long politicians need to apply for the top job.

      No carpenter, no plumber nor gig-economy driver will ever get that position.

      “Only professionals allowed.”

    2. bob

      “Clearly though the desired implication is that Trump’s naivite with reporters is yet another reason why he shouldn’t be taken seriously as a candidate”

      What? On what planet is trump “naive” with reporters? The media MADE him.

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    “Cleaning up Hillary’s Libya mess.” Good luck with that. She has a habit of compiling a list of abject failures, then saying this is a list of my great accomplishments, beginning with her failed attempt at health care reform long ago. Her record as sec of state sucks real bad. As I heard Bernie say in a debate, the US should be less aggressive in foreign policy. What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      This is where the whole Benghazi thing has been so stupid. It has distracted attention from the overall strategy, which was all hers. Its astonishing that she can leave such a blatant trail of disasters (Honduras too of course) and even the Republicans won’t attack her on them.

      1. Pat

        Well they really can’t go after her biggest mistakes as SoS because interventionist military action that is really about corporate profits (or fear of Russia) is their own foreign policy as well. So they have to attack about something else.

        In some ways, co-opting their policies really is a fine strategy for avoiding impeachment or really damaging Republican investigations. Terrible for the country mind you, but for protecting Clinton herself not a bad idea.

      2. Llewelyn Moss

        The Wasteland Of War is sacred ground to the MIC masters of both Neoliberal parties. They must never portray a war as a wasted war.

        Next stop, WWIII in Iran. Go Hellery.

      3. EndOfTheWorld

        Trump will attack her on her failures just as he attacked Jeb Bush right out of the race on his brother’s failures. Hill, OTOH, was photographed hugging W at Reagan’s funeral. Also hugging Henry the K. Also, sucking up to Lloyd Blankfein. Not my kind of person. I still hope Bernie will win the dem nod so the country won’t have to watch the Trump/HRC horror show. But the reason the repugs as a whole don’t want to attack the overall strategy is because the repugs are predominately neocons, like HRC, and it’s THEIR strategy. This strategy is unfathomable to the average citizen but basically it’s perpetual war in the Mideast to make money for defense contractors.

        1. James Levy

          I don’t even think it has much to do with the defense contractors any more. Neocons are enamored of domination, fear any slackening of control, have a powerful drive to punish disobedience or lack of respect, and would risk anything to keep Israeli dominance of the region intact. The drive is for power. Money is secondary. They will use the MIC and indulge it if they have to, but they are not subservient to it as Albright and Rumsfeld showed. Rumsfeld was more than happy to suborn and brow-beat the military and had no real respect for his generals, toadies perhaps excepted. Neo-conservatism is a grotesque overreaction to relative decline and the fact that dealing with foreigners as equals is psychologically unacceptable to most Americans minds.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Neo-conservatism is repugnant and ridiculous to the average citizen. No way it can be explained in a way that makes sense. It’s the main reason for the rise of Trump as well as Sanders.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            I think the contractors keep us on the path. If he contractors weren’t still relevant, I believe we would have pivoted from Iran’s occupation to an Obama style war much earlier, but the contractors were in and needed to be fed.

            I’m including the companies who supply the desk chairs, servers, TGIFriday outlets, and so forth. Leaving early would be bad for business.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I just read The Fall of Carthage and it got me thinking we are just in an intermediate phase where we have not yet fully embraced the business of Empire, we expect our politicians to be civilians who do what’s good for the peacetime nation, if a war threatens they’re supposed to fight it reluctantly as a last resort, get in and get out…but since war is the defining activity and lifeblood of an empire maybe everyone should just call it what it is and get with the program. Roman senators also had to be soldiers and had to do at least 10 campaigns before standing for office, and they could only be successful if they pursued and backed successful new war campaigns of their own. Like in the movie Idiocracy (“I’m the Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl’s Junior”), our politicians in Empire should be personally attached to their wars (“The War in Yemen, brought to you by Senator Lindsay Graham”). Delineating and advertising our imperial wars in this way could also provide outstanding branding opportunities for the corporations involved (“The Flattening of Libya, brought to you by Raytheon”, or “Cyber War on Russia, brought to you by Google and Akamai”).
              Since we refuse to call ourselves an “empire” there is nothing but cognitive dissonance in our messaging and all kinds of wasted efforts moaning about the costs. The military is THE engine of our economy, and we should all be cheering for more new conquests. USA! USA!

  4. South

    Regarding the Panama Papers, situation down here in Argentina: there’s a partial media blackout on the subject. Media chosen to divulge is instead shielding the president (for the record, we’re talking about 80% of national news outlets). Even the german paper who organized the leak noticed and commented on this.

    We can only hope that the records are disclosed for open search in the near future.

  5. Steven

    John McCain had the kernel of a good idea in 2008, which was a league of democracies, or a trade agreement among democracies. Instead, we should be in trade agreements only with countries with high strong labor and environmental standards. Of course the way we’re going that standard now would be pretty low.

  6. diptherio

    Denying Housing Over Criminal Record May Be Discrimination, Feds Say NPR

    Um…denying housing due to a criminal record is discrimination by definition. The question is whether or not this type of discrimination is legal.

    NPR, your Alexa-approved news source!

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Blanket policies of refusing to rent to anybody with a criminal record are de facto discrimination, HUD says — because such a policy would likely have a disproportionate impact on African-American and Hispanic applicants.”

      Classic example of gov’t working both sides of the street. Forty-five years on, they continue prosecuting Nixon-Agnew’s Drug War, which was explicitly intended to selectively profile and incarcerate minorities.

      What to do? Instead of ceasing and desisting from its racist Drug War, dotgov puts property owners in legal jeopardy for using the racially-biased but factual conviction data that dotgov itself continues churning out.

      Racism: it’s not bad when gov does it!

  7. Dr. Roberts

    The recent flare-up in violence in Nagorno-Karabakh between the Azeris and Armenians is still on a low boil. Aliyev seems to be trying to pull a Saakashvili after visiting Washington last week to get the nod. This has the potential to blow up into a major regional war as the Russians are allied with Armenia and Azerbaijan is allied with Turkey. The Iranians could also be drawn in, as well as Georgia and perhaps even Syria. The ceasefire declared by Azerbaijan was clearly a sham intended to divert attention and blame while they kept advancing into N-K.

    1. Dr. Roberts

      Actually as I wrote that the Azeris seem to have been pushed back and things have quited down.

      1. Andrew Watts

        A product of the Russian-American understanding and/or detente no doubt. Don’t expect it to last into the next presidency. To his everlasting credit Obama has shirked the influence of the foreign policy establishment in the aftermath of Libya.

        That’s pretty much the only nice thing I can say about him.

        1. Procopius

          I don’t think “shirked” is the word, but I agree he seems to be pushing back against them in random instances. Kerry humiliated Victoria Nuland by making her shake hands with the Russian foreign minister when they came to an agreement over Ukraine. That may be one reason the “strategery” in Syria seems so deranged — first the neocons think they’ve got a green light, then the realists get their way, then the Pentagon gets a turn, and they’re all fignting each other. He doesn’t seem able to oppose them consistently, though.

  8. Brucie A.

    The Washington Post as the Summers’ article, for those of us both interested in it and lacking FT subscriptions: Larry Summers: Data collection is the ultimate public good

    Has it been noted that Mr. Summers has a gift for understatement?

    With the ubiquitous ability to collect data and nearly unlimited ability to process it will come more capacity to discover previously unknown relationships.

  9. Lexington

    Chris Hedges’ “The Lie of Patriotism” article in TruthDig is essential reading.

    Long story short: war is a brutal and brutalizing experience. Most civilians are in deep denial about this. Sure, bad things happen, but when our side does them it’s only by mistake. Our enemies on the other hand, well, they’re animals.

    The truth is that in war everyone is an animal. It took great courage for the two veterans who Hedges interviewed to speak candidly about their experiences, but even they feel the need to resort to a certain level of obfuscation, as when one of them says “I know [Marines] were there all night interrogating [accused Taliban supporters]. Who knows if they even made it back to their family.”

    Combat veterans -and it’s important to recognize that the majority of people who serve never see combat- are generally tight lipped about their experiences, because they rightly suspect that civilians who have no remotely comparable experiences cannot really relate to what they have seen and done, and because they fear being judged. As one of Hedges’ interlocutors points out calling these people “heroes” is really an underhanded way of silencing them, and maintaining the conspiracy of silence is doing a huge disservice to both veterans who desperately need a safe space to process their experiences and to civilians who need to hear the truth about what war is really like and what it does to people.

    Btw there’s a really easy way to tell those who really have been on the bleeding edge from the poseurs. The former say little or nothing about their service. The latter will go on and on about what a great and glorious adventure the whole thing was and how they really stuck it to the hajis (or the gooks, or the Krauts). You can bet that person was a rear echelon paper pusher who never fired a shot in anger. Every time.

    1. Robert Dudek

      In my opinion, anyone who willingly signs up for the military, and that military in used in any war that is not purely defensive, does not deserve any sympathy.

      1. Lexington

        That’s harsh. People sign up for all kinds of reasons – in America, very frequently because it is the only path for upward mobility available to much of the population (from the standpoint of the elite that’s a feature, not a bug). One of the people Hedges interviewed said he joined because he wanted to prevent more 9/11s, and I see no reason to doubt his sincerity. It was only after he sold his soul to Uncle Sam that he realized what he was doing wasn’t what he had signed up for, but by then it was of course far too late.

        1. vidimi

          re: upward mobility

          signing up to torture some folks or turn them into hamburger meat for careers sake makes them no different from the clintons or obamas.

          1. Lord Koos

            I agree that you’re being harsh. 99% of the people volunteering for the armed forces don’t sign up for that stuff. A lot of poor kids join the military because of a lack of other options… no decent jobs, no money for college, etc. But when there is a war, that’s what happens in war — cruelty, brutality, and killing.

  10. Nick

    This is the NYT response to their lack of coverage of the Panama papers.

    “…Times editors believe that they owe it to their readers to do their own evaluation of the material”

    Right. And that’s why they wait a full 17 seconds before headlining every other major story that becomes a media frenzy but make a point of labeling those stories “developing” (as they should).

    And here’s another typical NYT story about today’s primary.

    Step 1. Lower expectations and emphasize the fact that Clinton is expecting to lose, and that it’s all about the delegates anyhow: “Even an overwhelming victory for the senator might only narrow Mrs. Clinton’s lead by 20 delegates.”

    Step 2. In tomorrow’s story covering the results of the primary, condescendingly re-emphasize that the results may get a bit of media attention, but that Clinton continues to maintain a “nearly insurmountable” (or some variation thereof) lead in delegates, and that even an upset victory in New York (might as well start preparing for the worst now) by Sanders won’t actually matter because he can’t make up the delegates. Oh, and of course start talking about how white New York actually is, despite being considered diverse.

    Imagine how poorly would Clinton be doing if she didn’t have such a steadfast campaign surrogate in the NYT et al.

  11. Andrew Watts

    RE: Syrian Ceasefire in Tatters as al-Qaeda & allies attack in South Aleppo / Syrian Civil War Update 4/5/16

    The breakdown of the cease fire in Aleppo isn’t much of a surprise. Al-Nusra wasn’t included in the cease fire and the other rebels in the area were either jihadis themselves or nothing more than rebel auxilleries. When Division 13 didn’t go along with Al Qaeda’s plans they were duly crushed. The cease fire seems to be holding in the south but the Southern Front is being curbstomped by groups affliated with Islamic State.

    By all accounts most of al-Qaryatayn is in the hands of the Syrian Arab Army. This is a significant development for a few major reasons. The first is it’s strategic location given that all roads go through Qaryatayn. With this location under the control of the SAA their lines of communication are more secure from counter attack. In the meantime their supply lines can be shifted when/if the SAA advances towards Deir Ezzor to relieve the IS siege of that area. Any advance into that province or northwards towards Raqqa stretches the SAA’s LOC so the ability to swiftly shift supply routes as needed is essential. (see Grant’s invasion of Virginia)

    IMO the whole “race to Raqqa” meme is the result of over-enthusiasm of activists/citizen-journalists and the wish thinking of the Pentagon.

  12. Andrew Watts

    RE: Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libyan Mess

    I figure the next round of refugees flooding into western Europe will be the product of the Libyan Civil War. If the various Libyan factions and tribes were capable of uniting against Islamic State they would’ve done so already. Perry is probably right when he says that the latest intervention will make matters worse. The Islamic State flourishes in any environment where the opposition is divided and where a political void has been created.

    Great job Hillary! I wonder how many other countries she wants to flip over to the Islamic State or it’s successor organization.

    1. Carolinian

      They are already flooding. Refugee boats from North Africa have been crossing to Italy for some time now.

      1. Andrew Watts

        I’m discounting the previous refugees hence the “next wave”. Those only numbered in the thousands and were mostly from Libya. The projected next wave I’m expecting will be from other North African countries as they’re destabilized and in the millions. Nor will Italy be their likely entry point. I think it’ll be Spain and southern France that will be their ultimate destination.

  13. JohnnyGL

    Trump said he would also consider adding trade tariffs to Mexican goods or increasing visa fees for Mexican travelers to increase pressure on the Mexican government to pay for the wall.

    “Mexico needs access to our markets much more than the reverse, so we have all the leverage,” Trump said in the memo, which also proposes canceling or denying business or tourism visas for some “important people in the Mexican economy.”

    JohnnyGL here. Couple things going on 1) Trump breaking political rules and putting things on the table that the DC elites don’t want put there. This sort of thing is key to his popularity in my view. 2) Trump disrupting business elites who want to be “free” to go and move money wherever they please. 3) Media spinning his comments to make them seem more personal against Mexican immigrants and airbrushing the headline to conceal his attack on Mexican elites, too. Mexico seems to be as untouchable as Saudi Arabia these days.

    Here’s the scanned memo. It’s short and actually interesting to read, if you’ve got a minute.

    1. JohnnyGL

      What’s that Lambert quote? “I hate it when Trump’s right”?

      I dislike the guy as much as anyone, but he’s posing hard questions that should be asked.

    2. Jim Haygood

      Pew Report:

      Between 2009 and 2014, some one million Mexicans returned to their country of origin, while 870,000 headed to the U.S., according to the report.

      Mexicans are returning home because economic opportunities have improved there relative to the U.S.

      Putting up tariffs, non-trade barriers and border walls likely would reverse this positive trend, and create a fresh horde of Mexican economic refugees moving north.

      Ultimately, that wall would serve to keep Americans in, instead of Mexicans out.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Is it possible that when you wall off Mexican migrants, corporations will cope by bringing more Syrian refugees or out of work Northern Chinese miners?

        “Don’t worry. We can supply cheap serfs from all corners of the globe.”

      2. Dave

        As though only Mexicans were coming across?

        Mexicans aren’t the only ones crossing the border.

        All Central Americans are as well, witness the tens of thousands from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, plus the many Chinese and others that cross the Mexican border after arriving in Mexico.

        This document makes sense.

      3. reslez

        The reason many have left is because they could not find work. If they could not find work they would not enter the country. All that needs to be done is enforce existing employment laws. That would crimp employer profits, so the preferred “look tough/act stupid” alternative is midnight raids on terrified families.

    3. reslez

      Trump is not popular. If nominated he would be the most disliked Republican presidential candidate ever. He is loathed by women, a majority of voters. Trump has walked back every vaguely leftish thing he’s said.

    1. Dave

      “Well, we smeared Putin and the guy that had the temerity to put bankers in prison in Iceland.

      There are more names coming”…Gee, can’t wait for them* to reveal something about Trump.

      *Them = George Soros’ funded journalists

      1. craazyboy

        “There are more names coming”…

        I think that’s an Eric Holder quote, but I’ll remain hopeful anyway.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Here, the theme we are ask to have faith in is, instead of trickle down, trickle out.

          The names will trickle out eventually…Trust me, says the guy in charge.

          Patience is a virtue…again.

  14. Ranger Rick

    Surprisingly insightful article (excerpt from a book, really) from the NYT about how Millenials are falling through the job market. No analysis beyond “the system is failing college graduates” “Millenials are resisting choosing job-connected degrees” (the first victory for liberal arts education in over two centuries) and “student debt has nearly eliminated risk-taking behavior in the 20-35 age group.”

  15. Jim Haygood


    ‘You know these things that happen in your life that just stick? [Hillary] walked by and she shook my hand and our eyes connected and I just remember having this moment where I thought; “Wow, this is amazing,”‘ said Abedin.

    ‘And it just inspired me. You know, I still remember the look on her face. And it’s funny, and she would probably be so annoyed that I say this, but I remember thinking; “Oh my God, she’s so beautiful and she’s so little!”‘

    Sounds rather sapphic … not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Looks like a “limited hangout” type of deal right now, to see if it flies. HRC’s strategists know full well that Hill’s reputed bisexuality will be a key point in the repugs run against her, should she actually emerge from the primary season with the nomination. Hill at that point will look back longingly at the “tone” problems she had with Senator Sanders as the republicans will go full bore personal attack mode 24/7.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        HRC’s strategists know full well that Hill’s reputed bisexuality will be a key point in the repugs run against her, should she actually emerge from the primary season with the nomination

        Serious point – would it actually be an issue? I would have thought that the only people who would be influenced by sapphic rumours would never be in the frame to be Democrat voters anyway (with the possible exception of very religious African Americans, although they would be concentrated in ‘no hope’ States). I can’t see serious Republican strategists seeing it as a useful weapon against her.

        1. neo-realist

          Right Wing Radio talkers will stoop to it. They are not bound by any boundaries of decency. You could say that they are the “airwave brownshirts” for the GOP. Think back to the 2004 presidential campaign, when right wing talk radio bashed Kerry morning, noon and night over Swiftboat, being a traitor to his country and looking French, being an elitist. The lifestyle and personal red meat that people in middle America eat up and unfortunately are very influenced by will be regurgitated by the radio mouthpieces of the right to take out the Presidential opposition.

        2. EndOfTheWorld

          I think it might actually help her with the younger generation, where she is currently very weak. But I believe when older people see that’s she’s actually gay (if it’s true) in addition to all the other baggage she has, it will hurt her in that demographic. She can forget about trying to get crossover votes from the repugs. Anyway you can count on this being thrown at her like all the other spaghetti to see what sticks to the wall. You’re right–the mainstream of the repugs will give her a pass because they actually want her to beat Trump, but the non-mainstream of the repug party, perhaps more powerful than the mainstream therein, likes Trump and hates Hill. Although I still think Bernie has a chance to beat her.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          It’s one thing to have rumors and suspicions, another to have proof. If it was official that Clinton was a lesbian (and thus her marriage was phony) she’s done as a Presidential candidate. A big swathe of America won’t stand for it. It’s one thing to have that say, from the woman who cuts your hair. It’s another thing completely for a political leader. Americans are not that tolerant. It’s one thing to concede that gays should have the same rights as heteros, another to be welcoming of them. I’ve had people I though were sensible and open-minded say they’d never vote for a single person for President. A lesbian is at least as bad.

      2. cwaltz

        The republicans must really want to lose women then.

        There isn’t a woman in the world that I’m aware of that hasn’t been accused of being a lesbian by some rejected guy who has to rationalize in his brain why said girl wants nothing to do with him that doesn’t include his own shortcomings.

          1. cwaltz

            My statement does not apply to men, it applies to females(and judging by the fact that at least two women are saying things like funny but true and +50 I think we can safely assume that I’m not the only woman who knows other women who’ve been called a lesbian when they AREN’T, simply because the male psyche doesn’t do rejection well.)

            1. Bas

              also, I’ve had men say that to me to scare and shame me into bed, like they were going to spread rumors about me and other guys would stay away. pathetic.

    2. Anon

      It’s gonna be a sad day of irony when Hillary throws her under the bus to avoid a terrible fate. If I was Huma, I’d have something in the back pocket to avoid that.

      As for DC, I can attest to how expensive it is. 10% sales tax on prepared food and apartment owners are offering efficiencies for 40k/Year earners.

    3. Carolinian

      Well she did say her heroine is Eleanor Roosevelt.

      You guys…we’re not supposed to “go there.” Although Huma’s statement does sound like something out of the movie Carol.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Just to affirm tolerance, this male voter might have to single-issue vote for Hillary.

        “I am thinking about doing that.”

      2. reslez

        You guys are forgetting the well-known phenomenon of the girl crush. Better known among among women, as opposed men who like to fantasize or cast aspersions about lesbians.

        girl crush – an overwhelming sense of awe felt for another girl, elicited by varying causes ranging from deep respect to giddy enthusiasm

    4. Dave

      “Clinton’s Croné Capitalism Cocktail Cabal”

      Change the fourth word and you have it.

    5. Kim Kaufman

      Speculation about the 30k “personal” emails not made public would include having to do with her social life (Clinton Foundation related and otherwise).

  16. DJG

    Restaurant workers not getting a raise: It is time to eliminate tipping completely in the U S of A. For years, in a restaurant, the client has been expected to be in charge of the places’ wage policy. Make restaurant owners figure out their own wage policy. Part of the problem with the article is that it starts with an anecdote about a $182 check with no tip. Don’t blame the client. Blame the owner.

    1. Foppe

      I quite agree. See no reason why workers should earn less than an acceptable wage whenever business is slow (or when customers refuse (apparently esp. old folks)/forget to pay). Why should they bear part of the risk, esp. given that they not compensated for doing so at all?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The government should also stop tipping politicians.

      Their owners – the rich and the trans national corporations – they should pay adequate, living (adjusted for their corresponding caste) wages.

    3. bob

      Lemme guess….the market is going to make up the difference?

      An argument based on fantasy. Less money for the people working.

      Tip well, tip often and tip in CASH. How often are you given the chance to actually PAY the person doing the job?

      Is that what creeps you out? You need an intermediary, taking their cut…

  17. Jim Haygood

    Legislated prosperity:

    California and New York acted Monday to gradually push their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour — the highest in the nation.

    A great economic experiment is underway, in which a couple of coastal states will have minimum wages twice as high as some states in interior.

    Such sweeping edicts are classic late cycle phenomena. Minimum wage hikes are never voted in recession years, since it’s understood that layoffs and business failures would accelerate when the economy is already under pressure.

    In the next recession, one would expect that California and New York will experience higher unemployment rates, relative to lower minimum wage states.

    One would also expect accelerating impoverishment of the interior areas of California — Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield — that don’t enjoy the high wages of ocean view cities. But effete coastal folks aren’t concerned with ‘those people.’

    Oh, if you ain’t got the do re mi, folks
    If you ain’t got the do re mi
    Better go back to your beautiful Texas
    Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee

    — Woody Guthrie, Do Re Mi

    1. Ranger Rick

      There’s no pretty way to address the issue of minimum wage. This is why the basic income guarantee is gaining traction, much to the displeasure of the fans of the “makers vs. takers” argument. There are not just enough jobs; there are not enough jobs that pay enough to survive in today’s urban hellscapes.

      The question always becomes “so where is the money going to come from to pay these people?” The taxpayers are, by design, the working class. And they will, by design, resent the people who don’t work to support themselves. The answer is poetically just: tax money earned without work. Interest. Capital gains. Copyright licensing. Patent licensing. Intangibles like goodwill.

      1. TomD

        The problem with this thinking is that there is a huge amount of work not being done. There is “demand” for all kinds of labor that isn’t being met because the demanders don’t have the capitol. Let’s launch a war on crumbling infrastructure (how about German style no speed limit highways across the country, a robust train system, safe and fast public transport in all major metros, and high speed fiber to every home in America?) and a war on environmental destruction (replace all fossil fuel power stations with clean ones), and once all that is done we can talk about how there are not enough jobs.

        1. cwaltz

          It’s crazy that people are talking about “not enough work” when we’ve got cities lined with lead pipes that need to be replaced. We’ve got work. We probably don’t have people with the skill sets though since the thought process has been to push everyone to college, ironically enough.

          Heaven forbid we pay and advertise blue collar what we pay white collar.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Income Guarantee is the way to go.

        Unless you define zen meditation, and caring for one’s family as work.

        These people are not helped by min. wage increases. We don’t even think of their work as work.

        (YOU DON’T EVEN EXIST) about insulting and robbing a person’s dignity.

        If you cut your wife’s hair, it’s not work and not counted in the GDP.

        If she goes to a salon and pays for it, it’s work (for someone).

        1. aletheia33

          ty MLTPB

          the great silence.

          as i’ve heard said a society may be accurately judged by how it treats its weakest members. as in, how much it pays the able-bodied to take care of them.

    2. TomD

      “One would also expect accelerating impoverishment of the interior areas of California — Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield — that don’t enjoy the high wages of ocean view cities. But effete coastal folks aren’t concerned with ‘those people.’ ”

      Of course ‘those people’ seem to be well in favor of minimum wage increases. Maybe let the minimum wage workers decide for themselves when they think it’s too high instead of speaking for them in such a condescending way?

      And/or supply evidence that a minimum wage increase will increase impoverishment. I seriously doubt this will happen. It’s almost certain to boost demand in the areas with the most minimum wage labor, and thus boost their economies.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      I will never understand what benefit an “economy” derives from “businesses” that cannot “profit” if they paid employees a living wage. What good are they?

      Let them fail, and be replaced with new businesses built with a living wage as an absolute requirement of the plan. Of course, that would put the lie to the claim that a “world-class economy” can be built on a foundation of pizza parlors, retail outlets peddling chinese manufactured “goods,” technological “innovations” and corporate monopolies.

      This whole argument reeks of desperation. Having looted the economy beyond recognition in service of globalized, financialized profiteering, TPTB are now attempting to claim that it is unreasonable to expect to be able to LIVE on what you earn. Because “small business.” Because “jobs.” Because “skills.”

      Such BS. If you can’t run a profitable business while paying your employees a living wage, then you don’t deserve to have either a “business” or employees. Get out of the way and let someone who knows what they’re doing take over.

      1. HotFlash

        Exactly! And even people who seem to ‘get it’ with regard to the earth, for example, as a closed ecology can’t seem to wrap their heads around the economy being a closed ecology.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Worse than that – they will run their businesses with robots.

        Then, they don’t even have to have this conversation.

        If not today, they will work on making their dream come true tomorrow. That’s one thing we can bet on.

        Basically, we have to start thinking Basic Income.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          What, exactly, is the difference between a guaranteed minimum wage and basic income guarantee, except that one is compensation for work and is paid by the employer, and the other doesn’t require work and is paid by someone else?

          And, for that matter, what is the difference between replacing human american workers with robots and replacing them with humans in foreign countries? The results are the same. Zero income, with products to sell.

          Am I the only one who thinks that these threats of massive “robotization” serve no purpose beyond prole control?

          At some point, the cost of maintaining social stability in the face of hundreds of millions of americans with no place to go and nothing to do will become so great that robots will be pitched over the side so fast it will make your head spin.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I think a recent link about Basic Income shows that people use the money (and therefore free time) to engage in some very meaningful activities.

            If we recognize those as work, like caring for one’s family, or to heal oneself (providing health care to oneself) – that’s a struggle in itself – then, it would help more people than just those engaged in ‘formally recognized’ work.

      3. inode_buddha

        Such BS. If you can’t run a profitable business while paying your employees a living wage, then you don’t deserve to have either a “business” or employees. Get out of the way and let someone who knows what they’re doing take over.

        THIS. A thousand times, THIS. Thank you, for saying what I have been suffering thru for the last 30 YEARS. repeated for emph.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I just feel that these people (that’s us) have been wiped off the face of the earth.

    4. Lexington

      In the next recession, one would expect that California and New York will experience higher unemployment rates, relative to lower minimum wage states.

      I suspect the impact of a higher minimum wage is going to be limited because these jobs are largely concentrated in the service sector and therefore tied to the customer base. No one in Sacramento is going to say “Why order from the pizza joint around the corner when lower wages make a pie in Reno $2 cheaper! It’s worth the 3 hour wait and delivery surcharge!”

    5. bob

      Don’t worry jim, it’s not going to be 15 for a few years….if ever.

      I heard CA’s had the ability to be discarded in the event of recession.

      They should be fighting for $20.

  18. Alex morfesis

    Will a hillary presidency lead to a civil war…last secty of state to become prez helped lay down the foundation for the great divide and the eventual rise of Lincoln…not a good omen…

    can she be effective ?
    Nyet 9 nicht…
    no way she coat tails democrats into office via semi contested coronations…
    so a republican Senate and house…

    paging jon lovitz…

  19. Tertium Squid

    Three months ago the basketball game would have been a bigger draw than the debate, but at this point I’m not so sure about that.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That’s a good sign.

      People were concerned about the scheduling. We can trust the voters to be wiser than we had presumed.

  20. tegnost

    Vitamin D: Mushrooms grown in real sunlight have huge amounts of vitamin D, especially chanterelles, but also morels, the latter of which can be be afield today in the greater PNW, I’ve found a bunch so far at sea level so season underway for sure. Look around hardwood trees, old oaks, old fruit trees, and when you find one, carefully look around for the others likely in the vicinity, you don’t want to step on one, use scissors or a knife and leave the roots undisturbed, carry them unbagged or in a net to let the spores freely travel. They should be all over the puget sound lowlands in the next couple of sunny days.

    1. tony

      Don’t use a knife. It kills the mushroom. Just pick it. Sepp Holtzer writes about that in his book.

      1. diptherio

        “I have seen very heated exchanges between the two schools over whose technique is more ecologically sound. The truth is that it makes very little difference to the fungus either way, in the same way that it makes no odds to an apple tree how you pick its apples. The most important ecological consideration is that the fruit body has been allowed to mature to a point where it has distributed most of its spores. A forager is more likely to damage mycelium by compacting or disturbing ground or leaf litter with their feet than by any picking technique.”

        1. Bas

          it does matter how you pick apples, btw. if you break off the fruiting spur, you will lessen the next year’s crop. place the palm of your hand around it and twist it off, leaving the leaves also if possible.

  21. allan

    Ford to City Detroit: Drop Dead

    Ford announces new investment in Mexico amid election-year controversy

    Ford Motor Co (F.N), criticized by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for manufacturing outside the United States, announced on Tuesday that it would invest $1.6 billion to build more small cars in Mexico, starting in 2018. …

    Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and head of the Americas, said on Tuesday that the automaker is investing more money in Mexico “to improve our small-car profitability.”

    In Detroit, United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams described the new Ford investment in Mexico as “a disappointment and very troubling.”

    More free media campaign ads for Trump.

  22. craazyboy

    Antidote #2

    iPhones can be set to purr mode when you call them. Did this iPhone get adopted?

  23. HotFlash

    There was an article a few days ago about how the Democrats Abroad primary, which returned 69% to 31% for Bernie, showed the failure (bias) of the US Press to actually, you know, report the news. This chart shows the voting results by country of residence — most interesting, Hillary only won two of the 170 countries represented.

    I would suggest that the results also show how Americans who live and work in actual foreign countries feel about Bernie’s foreign policy.

    1. Lord Koos

      People living abroad don’t have their news as heavily censored, unless they are in China perhaps.

  24. mk

    Les Misérables:
    A Man Is Facing Life in Prison After Allegedly Stealing Candy Bars Vice. Resilc: “If only Countrywide Credit stole some Mars bars.”

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The irony is that many formerly middle class people might have to steal many candy bars to afford to go to one Les Miserables performance.

  25. participant-observer-observed

    FYI, ethics-minded NY asset firm mentioned in Bloomberg Briefs:

    Pine Street Seeks Several Managers for Seed Capital

    BY Hema Parmar

    Pine Street Alternative Asset Management is looking to deploy as much as $300 million in seed capital to hedge fund managers this year, according to founding partners Lofton Holder and Vinod Kurup.

    The New York-based investment firm expects to provide allocations of between $50 million and $100 million to about two or three managers, Kurup said in an April 1 interview. The managers could be starting up their own firm or seeking to boost their assets under management, he said.

    Pine Street will consider any type of manager, but it specializes in minority and women-led hedge fund managers. It isn’t seeking any specific strategy, and prefers managers who have at least five years of investing experience. In the past, the managers it has selected have typically had a longer track record than that, Kurup said.

  26. JTMcPhee

    Yesterday I ranted about the US imperial military shemozzle and what its Mission might be. So while staring at the TV, some stupid syndication, I think it was “Cheaters,” this commercial message paid for by MMT emissions or my tax dollars, take your pick, comes on:

    So now I know: the “best and brightest,” who are protecting our great nation on land, at sea, in the air, in space both physical and cyber, from Great But Unspecified Threats And Dangers, have just one Mission: “WIN!” It says so right there at the end, with the brave lone Troop standing on the load ramp of the C-7 (I think it is, maybe C-130?)

    One has to wonder how that word is defined in what lexicon by which great military thinkers who do the “battle plans” (or is it “babble”?) — one might think the ordinary Troop, who gets sucked in by this enlistment tripe and then finds out how it really works and how guess what, the real mission is to keep losing, expensively, to keep the supply chain filled, one might think that Troop might suffer from some kind of cognitive-dissonance distress (but of course there are Chaplains to help, along with the perpetual “indoctrination” that the General Officers’ subalterns keep serving up… like the drop-in, drive-by Colonel of Marines who 10 years ago was filmed telling his OOrah troops that “going into Anbar” with their brigade was going to be the opportunity of a lifetime, to be a part of the pivotal battle of the whole War in Notagainistan, and that decades from then they would be feeling so strong and right, telling their grandchildren how they had taken part in the great battle that saved democracy! (Cut to Colonel pivoting to the waiting Blackhawk, saluting, mounting up, and rotating out of the area…)

    Where’s the strategy to cause an end to this treadmill that grinds out corpses and broken bodies and cities-and-provinces-and-political-economies-at-all-scales-destroyed-in-order-to-save-them?

    1. ewmayer

      At the risk of a tangential-postjacking: Ah, “shemozzle,” one of my favorite Yiddishisms, and one whose origin has long puzzled me. My Mac dictionary app helpfully suggests

      ORIGIN late 19th cent.: Yiddish, suggested by late Hebrew šel-lō’-mazzāl ‘of no luck’

      but that is not immediately connotative of a derived word meaning “a state of chaos and confusion; a muddle”. I would like to suggest an alternative (or synergistic) possibility in the form of the German Schlamassel, which means precisely that.

  27. tony

    Sam Vaknin, an expert on narcissism, wrote about nationalism as a form of collective narcissism.

    Patriotism is akin to the healthy form of self-love: it consists mainly of pride in one’s self-identity and values based on one’s culture and shared history. Patriotism is not exclusionary, but inclusive. The patriot, in constantly seeking to improve his lot and that of his compatriots, is open to advice and suggestions, and welcomes criticism. Patriotism is concerned with the concrete, the here and now. It is grounded in reality.

    Nationalism is very much like compensatory, malignant narcissism. It rears its head when people stop being patriots, when they are rendered by circumstances (usually of their own making) ashamed of who they are: Nazi Germany comes to mind. Nationalism is exclusionary and oppositional: the nationalist’s sense of self-identity and self-worth depends on the aggressive belittlement and devaluation of other collectives (other nations, minorities, ethnic groups, or religions.) The nationalist regards every hint of criticism of “his” nation as an act of violence. Though he volubly professes to an ardent love of his “Volk”, the nationalist is mostly concerned with the abstract and the elitist: megalomaniacal, grandiose fantasies of a utopian future occupy his time, not the concrete, or the here and now.

    It is common to believe that the more marked the differences between newcomers and citizens, the more pronounced the resultant racism. After all, white Frenchmen, Americans, and Dutch hotheads attack black folks. The self-proclaimed liberal white often harbour averse racism (unconscious racist attitudes). But, this is only half the truth. The ugliest manifestations of racism (up to genocide) are reserved to immigrants who look, act, and talk like us. The more they try to emulate and imitate us, the harder they attempt to belong, the more ferocious our rejection of them.

    1. Lexington

      The distinction between “patriotism” (good) and “nationalism” (bad) is one that only exists in the American mind – “patriotism” is really American nationalism, but because Americans are exceptional what is bad and odious in non Americans is rendered pure and wholesome in America’s collective bosom. It’s not an accident that the term “patriotism” is never applied to countries other than the US. They are not worthy.

      All of which is to say Vaknin is just another historically illiterate social scientist transcribing his pet theories onto the historical record.

      1. Tony

        My country has one of the highest percentage of people who would fight for it. Yet, when Finland was chosen as the best country by Newsweek, Finns protested. Even the president cautioned people not to let that praise distract you from the many very real problems our country has. There is constant critique of Finland and Finnish policy. Finns are rather authoritarian and servile, but not in a way of believing that we live in the greatest county. American style self-praise would be mocked by everyone.

        It’s true that the terms are not well defined. But then, neither is socialism, which is used to refer to everything from Nazis to Social Democracy to Stalinism. Vaknin defines the terms, which makes them useful, at least in his argument.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      These are abstract terms and people read them with their own particular examples.

      What is healthy about it, as referred to in the quote ‘patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel?’

      And was it all malignant when African nationalists ended colonialism?

    3. clinical wasteman

      Points mostly taken … well, except for the excuse-making for patriotism.

      But: “an expert on narcissism“!

      Quite a job title. Must be hard to get hired when there’s so much of that sort of Expertise around.

  28. Plenue

    “Alexa, Cortana, and Siri aren’t novelties anymore. They’re our terrifyingly convenient future.”

    I want to point out that Cortana leads an AI rebellion in the latest Halo game. I’m just saying.

  29. ekstase

    The Guardian piece on the election is fantastic. I especially liked, “Trump is in many ways just saying what the other candidates would say on cocaine,” One could speculate on what drugs each of them is on.

    1. clinical wasteman

      Yes, Frankie Boyle is actually a fine Scottish poet in “stand-up comedian” drag. Consistently sends Middle England the apoplexy it deserves. Best of all, he did it for years in the pages of Murdoch’s Sun.

  30. Plenue

    “Saudi Arabia executions reach record high as beheadings set to double this year”

    Is there some sort of bullet point quick reference for how regimes collapse? Because it seems Saudi Arabia is at the point where it’s encountering increasing unrest as its finances collapse and attempting to suppress the problem through sheer body count. What stage would that be do you think?

  31. yan

    Among the “Panama Papers” is one Farhad Azima, donor extraordinaire to Clinton(s), of Iran Contra fame and, apparently, extended his logistics services to the Lybia campaign in 2013 through an offshore company incorporated through Mossack Fonseca. From a spanish newspaper (elconfidencial) who had access to the papers. I wonder if anything will be mentioned in the US.
    First half of the article focuses on a spanish spy, the second half is where Azima makes his apperance, along Adnan Khashoggi.

    Azima is an American national, by the way.

  32. Jeff W

    I read that awful piece by Chris Sosa in Salon when it came out on Monday and thought “This can’t be right—a self-proclaimed ‘democratic socialist’ is saying ‘Both Clinton and Sanders are effective progressive fighters. Sanders is not a purer progressive choice, merely a different one’? That is ludicrous.” Apparently, not only did Sosa support Clinton in 2008 but he was donating to her current campaign as early as June, 2o15. The guy is getting slammed—rightly—in the comments for his failure to disclose his connection to the Clinton campaign but, really, his arguments on their face are absurd.

    It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to argue, as Sosa does, for Clinton over Sanders on policy grounds. The more people learn about these two candidates, the more they shift in Sanders’ favor. (The revelations in the “Panama Papers” show that, yet again, as if more evidence were needed, Clinton chooses the wrong side and Sanders the right one.)

    The New York primary is slightly less than two weeks away—an eternity in political primary terms—and a fair amount of time for people to learn about the candidates. Clinton was up by about 10–12 points in New York just a few days ago (before Wisconsin) but the Wisconsin polls around the time of its primary had Sanders up by just 2.6 points and he won by over 13—so it’s conceivable that, even as of now, Sanders would win in New York. With two weeks’ more time, it might be even more likely.

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