Links 4/7/16

Dear patient readers. I’m again a little late, so come back to get the full dose of Links after 8:00 AM.

How Coastal Cities Are Preparing For Climate Change Onion (David L)

Australia Is Letting the Great Barrier Reef Die Over a Lot of Coal Motherboard (resilc) :-(

Busy and distracted? Everybody has been, since at least 1710 Aeon Essays (resilc)

Rebranding The Conquistadors As Social Justice Warriors Guardian (Chuck L)

A fleet of trucks just drove themselves across Europe Quartz

Mossack Fonseca. Notice how this is producing more focus on tax havens generally.

How laundered money shapes London’s property market Financial Times. This is suddenly news?

This is much worse than the Panama Papers: How America became a world leader in tax avoidance Salon (Sid S)

EU vows to act quickly on Panama Papers Politico. Getting in front of a mob and calling it a parade…

Panama Papers expose China leadership Financial Times

Why the offshore tax haven crisis won’t get fixed, despite Panama Papers National Observer (Sid S)

Lessons of the Panama Papers: Yes, the rich are different from us — they stole our money Salon (Shawn D, Sherry)

The Panama Papers Expose the Hidden Wealth of the World’s Super-Rich Nation (Sid S)

France is moving Defend Democracy

Is there a solution to Brazil’s crises? New Economic Perspectives

Refugee Crisis

How Sweden wants to keep refugee numbers down The Local (Swedish Lex)

E.U. Suspects Russian Agenda in Migrants’ Shifting Arctic Route New York Times (Swedish Lex)

German Economy, Once Europe’s Leader, Now Looks Like Laggard New York Times


Dutch reject EU-Ukraine trade deal Financial Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Spies in the Skies: Here’s Where FBI Planes Are Circling U.S. Cities Buzzfeed (Dr. Kevin. guurst, Robert M)

It’s never been cheaper to steal someone’s digital identity on the internet Quartz (resilc)

FBI Begins Telling Congress How It Hacked iPhone National Journal

Imperial Collapse Watch

The US Is One of the Top Executioners in the World Mother Jones

The Middle East: Let’s End America’s Hopeless War Politico


OOPS! BILL CLINTON SAYS HE ACCIDENTALLY TOOK $500,000 FROM ALGERIA DURING KEY ARMS NEGOTIATION WITH STATE DEPARTMENT Downtrend (Sherry). The Clinton Foundation bribe machine is finally starting to be exposed.

Hillary Clinton Fundraiser Hosted by All-Star Cast of Financial Regulators Who Joined Wall Street Intercept (resilc)

Sanders: Clinton ‘Not Qualified’ to Be President New York Magazine. Ooh, I hope she takes the bait. But his critique needs to be much broader.

The best evidence I’ve seen that Bernie Sanders’s political revolution might be possible Vox (furzy)

Clinton Campaign Attacks Intensify To Halt Sanders’ Win Streak ShadowProof (martha r). This is beautiful. Sanders raises more money every time she attacks, and that’s before you get the fact that many (most) of her salvos backfire.

The Problem With Hillary Clinton Isn’t Just Her Corporate Cash. It’s Her Corporate Worldview. Naomi Klein, Nation (martha r)

Some Democratic Lawmakers Are Open to Removing Lobbyists as Superdelegates Intercept (martha r)

Bernie Sanders: “Israel’s ‘positive’ US ties hinge on bettering relations with Palestinians” Jewish Telegraphic Agency (Judy B)


Poll: Hillary Clinton Plummets in Crucial Pennsylvania Primary, Lead Falls From 22 to 6

Roger Stone: ‘They Ought to Put the Handcuffs On’ Ted Cruz for Vote Fraud Breitbart (furzy). Wow, just wait for the ugliness to get even worse as the Republican convention approaches. As Lambert likes to say, “Pass the popcorn.”

Ivanka Trump China-made scarves recalled Financial Times

Donald Trump snubs Europe’s far-right Politico

Cruz Explains ‘New York Values’ to New Yorkers New York Magazine

Court Denies ‘DC Madam’ Attorney Request to Release Records ‘Relevant to 2016 Presidential Election’ CLG News (furzy). Keep in mind the Supreme Court refuses to consider the overwhelming majority of things it is asked to reverse.

No Turning Point: What Happens in Wisconsin Stays in Wisconsin; Hell to Pay Michael Shedkock

Wisconsin’s Voter ID Law Caused Major Problems at the Polls Last Night Nation (martha r)

Election stirs debate about Fed’s handling of political pressure Reuters

Unwed couples in Florida can now legally live together BBC (Eva)

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration bills doctor for treating poor patients in state facility Daily Kos

College Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Demanding ‘Safe Spaces’ Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone (Sherry)


Facebook Groups Act as Weapons Bazaars for Militias New York Times (furzy)

Don Blankenship Gets 1 Year for Mining Disaster – BP Oil Spill Engineer Gets Probation Charles Pierce, Esquire

Yahoo Is in the Midst of a ‘Financial Meltdown’ New York Magazine

How Big Telecom Gets Away With Rewriting America’s Laws Motherboard

Class Warfare

Are Robots Job Creators? New Republic (resilc)

A huge ‘lifetime wage gap’ still exists between men and women, especially women of color Daily Kos

Walmart – trouble in store Financial Times

Antidote du jour (martha r):

squirrel photographer ilnks

And a bonus video. Lambert wasn’t sure if this was an antidote or an anti-antidote, but the horse doesn’t seem at all bothered. Craazyman will no doubt have some comments on the styling.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Llewelyn Moss

    Well, Hellery pulled the Death card from the bottom of her tarot deck, just as she promised.

    Hillary Clinton (via Twitter)

    @BernieSanders prioritized gun manufacturers’ rights over the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook.

    Of course the subconscious message is that “Bernie killed the Sandy Hook kids!”.
    Despite the depravity, you gotta give the devil her due. Piling up the bodies of dead children to use as a political prop is a Hellery master stroke.

    Then Hellery let her flying monkey loose to frighten the masses. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), ever willing to whore himself out when there are secret promises to feed the state’s MIC industry, was on CT public radio yesterday proclaiming Bernie was the trigger man. He killed the kids and “is not fit to be president.”

    And the nattering bundle of nerves known as the voters will likely slobber up this steaming pile. Sandy Hook is a huge emotional issue in CT. It’s Bernie’s gonna have to take his game to a new level or wither on the vine.

    1. frosty zoom

      Frosty Zoom (via Obvious Facts)

      @HillaryClinton prioritized her own narcissistic megalomania over the parents of children killed all over the Middle East.


      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Ha. That’s the obvious comeback. Hellery has thousands of dead bodies in the wake of her state department misadventures (maybe 100s of thousands ). But will Bernie say any of it? No of course not. C’mon Bernie, you started this dam revolution. So finish it.

        1. HotFlash

          In sculpture there is this concept of ‘negative space’. The thing that isn’t there. Current usage, I guess, would be the tag-phrase “not so much”.

          Bernie doesn’t have to say it, he trusts his hearers will hear what isn’t said. So far, it seems to be working pretty well.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Unfortunately, Hillary’s attitude is typical of your average domestic news consumer.

            He or she reacts the way the mainstream media wants her to react – to be scared and tormented by headlines of innocent Americans, kids more so, killed – again today? – and respond by demanding gun control (for individuals, but, because no one has told them, not cops).

            He or she also does not react (the thing is not there, the zen negative space in Chinese brush paintings), because the mainstream media does not hype it, to the daily killings and terminatings with extreme prejudice in some far off corners (that most people can’t find on the wall).

            To paraphrase the mother of the last Moors king to leave Alhambra: “If you didn’t fight that Exceptionalist propaganda like a grown adult then, go ahead and cry like a baby now.”

        2. Paul Tioxon

          Sanders: Clinton should apologize to Iraq war victims

          “Well I would say that I think that it is — we are all aware of what happened in Sandy Hook is a tragedy beyond comprehension,” he said before quickly changing topics.

          “But maybe Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq or Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the millions of workers in this country who lost their jobs because of the disastrous trade agreements that she supported,” he continued.”

          It takes Philadelphia to bring out the Brooklyn in Bernie. The Nitro and Glycerin of attitude are teaming up to rattle the nerves of the Dems who like to choose compromise over conflict, even when the conflict is a fundamental pillar of your history that can not be unlived or forgotten.

          The smearing of blood on his hands over 2nd Amendment voting by Sanders pales in comparison to the Iraq war and other misbegotten policies with Hillary’s name all over them. Yeah, the trial lawyers would like to avenge Sandy Hook victims, that is the new Eternal Verity to chisel into the marble of public buildings? I am not feeling the hairs on my neck standing up over inspirational product liability lawsuits!!

        3. neo-realist

          She does have thousands of dead bodies, but they’re brown skinned foreign dead bodies, so main street, unfortunately, won’t give two sh*ts about them.

          Bernie’s people need to engage in quick response—disingenuous conflation and better mental health care in the US needed re the sandy hook shooter.

    2. Mav

      Twitter hastag #HillarySoQualified started by SHilbots after Bernie speech backfired big time and is trending for the wrong reasons.. It s hilarious.

      1. Jeff W

        From the Washington Post article here:

        [Kim] Frederick [who started the hashtag]…lamented that seemingly every Hillary Clinton social media push is hijacked.

        If anything is surprising about that, it’s that Clinton supporters seem flummoxed about how that is happening.

        Clinton’s record is, generally, worse (or, at least, no better) than Sanders’ and her attacks on him are transparently disingenuous—which confirms anyone’s bias that she is “untrustworthy”—so any social media push on her behalf is likely to be mocked relentlessly. IBT says “As of Thursday morning, more than 124,000 people had tweeted about #HillarySoQualified, many of them anti-Clinton.” (Here’s one: “#HillarySoQualified she has cared about income inequality since she was a young boy growing up in Brooklyn.”)

        It’s really fascinating that social media has effectively neutralized a lot of the (false) narratives (e.g., regarding Sanders’ “tone,” that he appeals only to the young/males/white people) put out by either the Clinton campaign, its surrogates, or the media.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s preaching to the choir.,,all this hashtags among the internet/smartphone savvy.

          Hilary’s voters are not on any social media, I have read.

          Maybe there’s method to her madness, though I hope not.

          1. Jeff W

            Ha, yeah. Hey, I’m not on social media, either—I barely understand what a hashtag is. But the other media covers all these social media backfires and that’s how they gain currency among us non-social media types. If nothing else, they reinforce how clueless/disingenuous the narrative being pushed is. (Something’s happening to change the polls from, say, -20 to +13 for Bernie in Wisconsin and every little bit helps.) I will concede, though, that I might be assuming too much.

    3. Gareth

      CNN radio news nearly caused a fatal spike in my blood pressure yesterday afternoon when they reported that Bernie didn’t care about the dead Sandyhook children, without attribution, as though it was a well known fact. This caused me to reflexively donate some more money to him. Thanks CNN.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        CNN is a misinformation sovereign, like the Fed is a monetary sovereign.

        As Dr. Hussmann will tell you (hopefully he will), you don’t fight the Fed.

        Not many people can afford to donate money to Sanders every time CNN misinforms.

        Everyone with extra money to spare, think of your local progressive candidates as well…especially if they are likely to win, and need that money to get to the top.

      2. RP

        CNN = Time Warner, one of HRC’s top 10 donors over her entire political career.

        Just trying to protect their investment.

        Ignorance is strength and 2+2 = 5

    4. nycTerrierist

      In today’s NYPost:

      “The Clinton campaign on Wednesday put forward supporters to denounce Sanders’ opposition to efforts by families of Sandy Hook shooting victims to sue gun manufacturers.

      Jillian Soto, who lost her sister in the massacre, called Sanders’ position “not only offensive” but “insensitive and disrespectful to the families involved.”
      The Vermont senator responded angrily.

      “What happened in Sandy Hook is a tragedy beyond comprehension, but maybe Secretary Clinton might want to apologize to the families who lost their loved ones in Iraq,” he told CBS, alluding to her Senate vote to authorize the 2003 invasion.”

      Zing! I like it when Bernie takes off the kid gloves.

      1. James Levy

        I don’t care about the points. Sanders should never have cast that vote. it was pandering to people who equate gun control with gun confiscation, who remind me too much of people who equate taxation with theft. We are drowning in a sea of guns, and if we never made another it would literally take more than a century to wear out the supply that already exists. We need to meet the needs of hunters and the rational needs of those who wish to own a gun for protection. We don’t need to pander to assholes who think their dick will fall off if they can’t buy a gun every other Tuesday.

        And for those who disagree, tell me then how when the rich say “How DARE you say I have too much! Who are you to take money from me to help the poor! That should be MY choice!” you are going to argue with them?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To the rich billionaire hedgie: “It’s not your money. You are just borrowing it from the government.”

          Additionally, we need a universal ban on guns…individuals and police officers.

          I don’t have a gun, never had, but I do think about, from time to time, how to defend myself, when necessary.

        2. nippersdad

          So where do you stand on suing GM for car related injuries and deaths not associated with product deficiencies? Liquor companies for domestic abuse? Plastic bag makers for child deaths? McDonalds for selling hot coffee? Shoe manufacturers who have their products thrown at George Bush?

          Essentially banning products by putting the blame on those who provide them rather than those who misuse them is something that I agree with Sanders would be a slippery slope that would leave few unscathed. I agree that there should be limitations to gun ownership, especially wrt machine guns, but suing gun companies out of business will only benefit foreign gun firms that we cannot sue.

        3. Jim Haygood

          Sanders’s more nuanced position on guns could allow him to bridge the cultural gap and actually win some red states, despite being a Democratic nominee.

          Whereas Hillary’s reflexive anti-gunner stance prompts an automatic “hit the reject button” reaction in the majority of states where legal gun ownership is valued and protected.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            A more nuanced position would be to say, if we want to get rid of gun violence, we have to do it comprehensively and universally.

            Domestic and abroad.

            Foreign lives matter (as well – we add ‘as well,’ lest people twist it like they twist into something like, so white lives don’t matter if you just say black lives matter).

            1. MtnLife

              Sanders understands that gun violence doesn’t come from easy access to guns (16 yr olds can buy and carry concealed with no more than a drivers license here in VT) but from being in poor economic circumstances with little to no social safety net and little hope for the future (southern pride/honor may be an exception there). No one who had a bright future ahead of them commits gun crimes. Children at private elite academies aren’t gang banging.
              Sanders also understands it is about attitude. Maybe we would have fewer Americans committing violence if America was committing less violence. Drawing again from Vermont, we don’t have Stand Your Ground laws or even Castle Doctrine so if an intruder breaks into your home you are legally duty bound to flee if possible. We understand life is more important than property.
              The problem with liberals and guns is that their polarizing attitudes towards ownership puts off a lot of voters who would otherwise support a large majority of their views. If Bernie takes the nomination and makes a few pro 2nd amendment comments he could sway a lot of moderate republicans his way while understanding the democrat/progressive base won’t throw the baby out with the bath water over that one issue.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                The “gun crimes” meme is monstrously overblown and leads suburban homeowners who have no business owning guns to own guns. Gun injuries and deaths are due overwhelmingly to domestic fights, accidents, and suicides.

          2. HotFlash

            Yup. Sen Sanders seems to understand that a basic rule of negotiation is to not paint your opponent into a corner. This is how things really ‘get done’.

            1. TomD

              The funniest thing in this election was Trump explaining this to Rubio and Cruz in the debate regarding Israel.

    5. aletheia33

      please excuse this interruption. the reddit comment below indicates that some sort of “town hall” is being held at nyc city hall, today (?), to discuss opening the ny primary. (it’s not clear if this is to be done in time for the upcoming primary, but i can’t believe it’s not within the power of the state to do so.)
      obviously, if this gathering has real potential to force TPTB to open the primary, it is very important.
      nc readers, if you can find out time and place and more, and circulate widely and/or get to this hearing, or whatever it is, i hope you will!
      you might want to try calling or visiting the ny office of the organization “open primaries” (linked in the below post) for info. their phone no. is 646 205 0202. address 36 W 25 ST, 9th floor, nyc.

      NYC Open Primary City Hall “town hall” on Thursday self.NewYorkForSanders
      submitted 11 hours ago by CoilConductor
      I had just received a phone call from the petition organizers of Open Primaries regarding the fight for an open primary election in New York.
      The caller told me that there was going to be some kind of town hall or dialogue in NYC’s city hall to discuss an open primary. I unfortunately am out of town so I told her I could not go, but did anyone else hear about this? I wanted to spread word if it were the case.


      [–]Shortl4ndoBronx/Riverdale 5 points 8 hours ago
      Can anyone go to the townhall?

      [–]CoilConductor[S] 2 points 7 hours ago
      Based on what they told me, yes. They were calling around the people who signed the petition to get attenders. I just wish I could find more information.

      [–]Shortl4ndoBronx/Riverdale 3 points 37 minutes ago
      The little info that you got, did they give a date and time? I’d seriously like to attend

      1. aletheia33

        update on my post of 9:46 a.m. re: opening ny primary.

        the organization open primaries’s vp is jeremy gruber, who recently coauthored this article:

        quote from the article:

        “We should apply those same free-market principles of open competition that work so well for businesses and consumers to our ballot so that we can get the best candidates representing our state, regardless of party affiliation.”

        so OK, you can make up your own mind on their bona fides. i was skeptical about a petition to schumer, known to be owned by HRC, but now i can call bullshit.

        sorry for the interruption, i should have done my homework before posting.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Does it seem like another middle-of-the-game quixotic side adventure?

        Can we better use that energy?

        Maybe the next time, we will be better prepared…like a year or two before the primary.

        Another choice is to run as an independent in the general election and siphon off Democrats and Republicans, while holding on to the Independent base.

        1. aletheia33

          MLTPB at 11:38 a.m.:

          does it seem…? yes, it does.
          can we better use that energy? yes, we can.

          what i see all over reddit is so many people, mostly young, are getting a baptism-of-fire crash course in national elections at the ground level, capitalism, forming a movement beyond an election, political economy, the state, how corruption works, the media, and more. not just what exactly is this whole entrenched toxic system but also how do we carry out a “war” to bring it down (the answer to which, by the way, no one knows). not to mention the phenomenon of global neoliberalism, which i’m not sure how many of them have even now heard of.

          the people on the sandersforpresident page of reddit are exploding with not wholly directed energy and enthusiasm. everybody wants to help with whatever they imagine they might be able to accomplish or feel like doing, in addition to campaign grunt work. they are brimming with ideas good and bad. they are eternally ready to drop everything they’re doing and go on a hunt together.

          they are learning as they go the makeup of the giant that is sitting on top of them. they are very excited by the revelation that if they together can stick enough pins in it, it will deflate and collapse. of course, in a sense they are right.

          and what a high they must be on! the bonding, camaraderie, sense of effective action, victory, the hard work, the righteous battle, the word that spreads like wildfire, the merging in mass loyalty to the idolized leader who can do no wrong, etc.; it would be no wonder if, when it’s all over in november, many of them were to be too exhausted to even think for awhile.

    6. sid_finster

      This coming from the woman whose State Departmemt authorized 160 billion in arms sales to some of the most repressive, fanatic, backward tyrannies in the world.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Her ex-boss should be included

        Where does the buck stop? The previous administration?

        “You mean people just picking on poor old me, because I am a woman.”

        “No discrimination here.”

        .”Yeah, that woman. And that guy. And the retired guy as well.”

    7. cwaltz

      She got owned by his supporters when they pointed out that someone who was essentially an arms dealer to the Middle East has no business criticizing Bernie for his stance. They went with her look at Iraq as a “business opportunity” statement.

    8. The Heretic

      Hillary is a much more dangerous enabler of death, as she facillitated wars in Iraq, Libiya, Syria, and the political based violence in South and Central America. I would also like to onow if she gave any directives or support to her various underlings and associates for the suppression of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Yemen and other countries? (Those dictators do not make moves without at least tacit agreement from the USA, which means Hillary, Obama, and the CIA.)
      However, it is also well known that Bernie does support some degree of Gun ownership, so he must directly address defamatory piece of propaganda and clearly explain his position, (which i suspect are well balanced, nuanced , and fair) that Hillary team has put out. Then he continue to skewer Hillary on her role as benefactor to the war mongers in the middle east and South/Central America.

      ‘Remove the plank from your eye, before you remove the speck from your brother’s eye’ a famous guy said… Good PR and operational advice. But in Bernie case, he does need to address some of the specks in his eye, but he should not bother with removing the plank from Hillary’s eye; rather he should point out that she has no eyes to see the suffering that her polices and actions have facilitated.

      1. allan

        U.S. readies bank rule on shell companies amid ‘Panama Papers’ fury [Reuters]

        The U.S. Treasury Department intends to soon issue a long-delayed rule forcing banks to seek the identities of people behind shell-company account holders, after the “Panama Papers” leak provoked a global uproar over the hiding of wealth via offshore banking devices.

        A department spokesman said on Wednesday the rule would “soon” be turned over to the White House for review and issuance, but did not confirm any timetable for the initiative, which has taken years.

        File under Jump In Front of a Mob and Pretend You’re Leading a Parade.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          File under Jump In Front of a Mob and Pretend You’re Leading a Parade.

          Also file under limited shelf life category, “To Be Forgotten ASAP”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I wish somebody would pry open the lead that John Podesta formed a company with his brother and the company is in the Panama Papers
            That and the video of Bernie asking why HRC and Obomba were pushing a “free trade deal” with Panama so hard would go a long way

        2. craazyboy

          Yes, well…could there be anything illegal about these tax haven firms aiding and abetting their clients in tax fraud????

          Which of these things is not like the other?

          1) The Saddam WMD “rule”
          2) The Iran Nuke “rule”
          3) The “Global Terrorism” “rule”
          4) The War on Drugs “rule”
          5) The Tax Haven “rule”‘

          Not that we’d ever consider violating the sanctity of another nations borders and laws.

      2. rich

        Here Rothschild explains to foreigners how to launder money using U.S. real estate:

        The foreign company contributes its shares to the US LLC and then liquidates, and the US corporate subsidiary it owns elects to be treated as a qualifying sub-chapter “S” subsidiary. The end result is a single layer of US income tax and reduced rates on income and capital gains tax, though in the case of property that has appreciated greatly in value – such as, for example, prime New York condominiums – there can be a significant tax cost to the liquidation.
        We have recently seen the usefulness of “foreign” Nevada trusts for offshore foreign investors in US real estate. The appointment of a foreign protector to a trust that would otherwise qualify as a US domestic trust causes the trust to fail the “control” prong of the US court and control test for trust situs, and therefore prevents the trust from qualifying as tax-resident for US federal income tax.
        Generally, this type of structure is useful for foreign offshore investors in US real estate (or other US situate assets) who do not wish to file US tax returns in their own name and who, having no personal US nexus, would like to minimize the amount of US tax payable on the investments

        This, of course, would not be possible if the National Association of Realtors was not complicit. Which it is, as we have covered since 2012:

        Many of you reading this will undoubtedly have spent time in an international bank and been forced to sit through countless hours of “know your client” and AML training. Fascinating to note that the National Association of Realtors lobbied for and received a waiver from such regulation. That’s right, realtors actually went to the U.S. government and said: we want to be able to help foreign business oligarchs and other nefarious business people launder money through the real estate markets of the United States – and prevailed.

        Here’s their official position:

        “NAR supports continued efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism through the regulation of entities using a risk-based analysis. Any risk-based assessment would likely find very little risk of money laundering involving real estate agents or brokers. Regulations that would require real estate agents and brokers to adopt anti-money laundering programs may prove to be burdensome and unnecessary given the existing ML/TF regulations that already apply to United States financial institutions.”

        So far, regulations that prevent foreigners from laundering money in the US have indeed proven “burdenseome.” The result: record high luxury real estate prices which is now used by foreign oligarchs and money launderers as the modern day “Swiss bank account”, and which make this particular sector of US housing accessible only to other foreigners.

        If you are still not convinced to use Rothschild, here is one more reason: to avoid a “blacklists” – after all, everyone is anonymous:

        Nevada “foreign” trusts may also prove attractive to settlors from politically sensitive countries who are grappling with blacklists and strict CFC regulations as they seek to structure their assets.

    1. diptherio

      I’ve heard it’s part of the natural yearly cycle for financial analysts. As the deer sheds its antlers and the snake sheds it’s skin, so every spring financial analysts the world over prepare of the yearly shedding of their….well, you get the idea.

  2. sumiDreamer

    I’m all for #TaxHavens to become a big issue. Ditto on #MoneyLaundering which the MSM hasn’t really cottoned onto. Ganster Capitalism, gansta banks need a Good Going over, that’s for shure.

    Dan and I got interested in just how this “hack” was pulled off and what has been done about. Here’s the upshot!! Maybe a few Mossack Fonseca clients should sue. Maybe someone should get a hold of that server .. Maybe there will be a run on hiring decent tech professionals who know what they are doing.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Until tax havens go away, you will always have stories like this to be exposed.

      While exposing the customers is good, we have to ask ourselves, what about those governments where tax havens reside?

  3. divadab

    “Dear patient readers. I’m again a little late”

    Dear Yves – thank you for your monomaniacal attention to this important work – and for maintaining space for lazy dilettantes and amateurs to dip oars and pull!

    Speaking only for myself, of course…….no disrespect to other posters intended!

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      +100. Yes! Yves should get a top communications position in Bernie’s administration. She’ll get that Bully Pulpit roaring.

      1. frosty zoom

        concur. it seems that ms. yves has an excellent blend of financial twists’n’turns insight and basic human humanity. i bet she’d even leave those pesky rt reporters speechless.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Hear hear! This site is absolutely essential reading. Not only are the articles provocative and informative, the emphasis on critical reading and inclusion of opposing perspectives make the comments section the best discourse available for my otherwise undernourished intellect.

      I bow must humbly in your virtual directions.

  4. Katniss Everdeen


    So, we should all place this bribery in “context.” How clintonian.

    Here’s some “context” for ya.

    Cheryl Mills was the “point person” for USAID’s response to the Haiti earthquake, Politico reported in 2013.

    Bill Clinton was named co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the organization formed to help the Haitian government coordinate the international donations that were then pouring into the country.

    “In 2011, the Cinton Foundation reportedly brokered a $45 million deal with Digicel, a cell phone service provider, to open a hotel for aid workers in Port-au-Prince.

    Owned by Denis O’Brien, a close friend of Bill Clinton’s, Digicel raked in millions after it set up a mobile system for transferring money via text message — an idea both Clintons reportedly endorsed.

    O’Brien helped Bill Clinton secure three speaking engagements in his native Ireland and even covered some of the event costs himself, according to the Irish Times.

    Digicel was one of the first recipients of funds from the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative, launched by USAID in June 2010.

    By 2012, Digicel had taken over more than three-quarters of the mobile market in Haiti, according to Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash.”

    Plenty more in the article in the “context” of warren buffet/clayton homes and the swindling of land from “smallholder farmers” for an industrial park which produced neither the promised jobs nor the promised housing. In fact, in 2013 “nearly 95% of that land remains unused.” Perhaps bill is still “negotiating” with united fruit company.

    It would appear that “context” is one of the famously fungible clinton constructs.

    1. frosty zoom

      to the tune of “willie horton”:

      dooooom… “sandyhook” bang!.. “your kids ‘mommeee..'” Bernie…

    2. Brindle

      From the Naomi Klein / Nation article:

      — While Clinton is great at warring with Republicans, taking on powerful corporations goes against her entire worldview, against everything she’s built, and everything she stands for. The real issue, in other words, isn’t Clinton’s corporate cash, it’s her deeply pro-corporate ideology: one that makes taking money from lobbyists and accepting exorbitant speech fees from banks seem so natural that the candidate is openly struggling to see why any of this has blown up at all.—

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        I love Naomi Klein’s work, but she’s giving Hellery a bit of a pass here. Kinda sounds like poor Hellery is just clueless and doesn’t recognize the conflict of interest. Whereas a cynic might see the wall st speeches as bribes for future favors, not fees for wonderful, insightful advice worth $250 per word. Clueless vs corrupt is a big difference. Which is it I wonder? ;-)

        1. Brindle

          Yea, in the article Klein essentially describes Hillary as corrupt but won’t use the C word to define what is actually happening.

        2. montanamaven

          A commenter to Klein’s article:

           This is perfect. I see people say all the time, “You can’t prove Hillary changes positions because of donors!” but what they miss is the fact that the donors are getting a good return on investment. It might not be that she has to change positions to please donors, but that she fundamentally agrees with the people who fund her campaigns. She fundamentally believes that the US should be an imperial power and has the right to overthrow democratically elected governments. She believes that corporations are not the problem. It’s not the greed. It’s the irresponsible homeowners! You see this is the problem. We live in a society that is morally bankrupt and in which corruption is rampant. It’s the system that has caused this and it is time to change the system fundamentally.

          I don’t think our whole society is morally bankrupt, but the political system certainly has become a kleptocracy as Hugh often pointed out. Crime pays and a lot of us watch in frustration. And the Clintons are comfortable within this system. They are comfortable with “The Shock Doctrine” that Klein wrote about in 2007; deregulation, privatization of public assets and dismantling of social programs. That is what Greenpeace and Sanders should hit on. Get specific. Another commenter mentions the “Alberta Clipper” pipeline that brings tar sands oil through Wisconsin. Ask about that. Ask about fracking since both city and upstate people in New York don’t want their water screwed with.

          1. fresno dan

            The whole system reminds me of nothing as much as the dispensing of indulgences by the church in the middle ages. Today, if anything, the moral preening, self aggrandizement, and high order rationalizations of corruption if anything makes the popes look like paragons of virtue….

          2. Jess

            You referenced Hugh and I realized that I haven’t seen him here for quite a while. Anybody know what his status is, is he okay, posting someplace else, etc?

              1. different clue

                I thought I remember having seen a Hugh comment at Ian Welsh saying why he doesn’t come here any more . . . . but I am too lazy to find it after about 10 minutes of looking. Perhaps my brain just imagined seeing such a Hugh comment anyway.

                Perhaps Hugh might answer a question about that if he were asked over at Ian Welsh if he felt the reason was political or important enough to be explained in an answer.

  5. rusti

    Not sure how interesting this is to the audience here, but there are some errors in the Quartz article about “Self Driving Trucks”. For starters, the title is misleading because the trucks did not drive themselves, the lead trucks in each platoon are driven without any automation and the following trucks have manual lateral control (the driver operates the steering wheel) while the longitudinal control (acceleration and braking) is automated.

    The automation is done by using a high frequency radar (a common feature in vehicles today) that allows the driver to maintain a fixed buffer (usually defined in by the following time gap) to the vehicle in front of them. This system just adds a slightly modified Wi-Fi router in each vehicle that sends supplemental information about acceleration and braking of the other vehicles to permit a closer following distance, enabled because the lead vehicle communicates information about acceleration/braking faster than the following vehicles could otherwise detect via radar.

    Full automation for following vehicles in a platoon (lateral and longitudinal) has been demonstrated on test tracks, but it’s a tougher technical challenge because you have to pass a lot of vector data about where you’re going and the vehicles have to understand where exactly they sit in the lane.

    There are significant fuel savings (up to 15-20% for some drive cycles) but of course a more effective fuel-saving method would be to truck less shit around.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To truck less ‘stuff’ around, we should start with

      1. Count cooking and eating at home in the GDP, just as we would when we eat in a restaurant
      2. Count healing oneself, say, for example, walking and lifting weights in the GDP, because you’re providing health care to yourself.
      3…..N, etc
      N+1 (that is, finally). Redefine work to include all above non-employment related activities as work

      Such revolutionary new paradigm of what work is can provide the framework for future discussions on enhancing human and nature’s welfare, in the coming Age of Robots.

      “You put food on the table, no longer via your job (your employment status), but through your work (the new definition), GDP sharing, and your inalienable ownership, your (equal) share in The People’s Money Creation sovereignty.”

    2. human

      “That’s why the Dutch set up the elaborate truck-driving event, to pull together everyone with a stake in getting self-driving trucks on the road. That includes transportation officials, truck makers, executives of companies with significant logistics needs (including Unilever and DHL), and academics and researchers.”

      “Everyone”…except the drivers!

  6. RabidGandhi

    Excellent take down of the Guardian by Media Lens. My recent trips to Europe have all left me nauseous from the overwhelming stench of corporate greenwashing– of which the Guardian is just one fetid example. My overall impression was that this is what too many Europeans unfortunately want: so many whom I met wanted to look like the most environmentally conscious people on the planet, and exude a faux progressive version of The End of History where they have built the most advanced society. It may need a few tweeks, but they will defend it against the upstarts and barbarians. Thus Corbyn gets attacked and Shell gets greenwashed.

    This makes me look quite skeptically on the “France is Moving” article (also in links… and which I was expecting to be “France is Moving: Spain and Italy Rejoice”). If the movement Defend Democracy is describing is to be believed as being a real sea change in attitude (a “compendium” of a whopping four [4] links), it will have to show itself to be more than just a vague desire to have a patina of change a la The Guardian before folding into the ancien regime, as we saw so painfully with Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece…

    So colour me skeptical about the idea that “France is Moving” or that the baby steps of organisation there may be on the verge of “a new May 1968 or a French Spring” as the article posits. The EU is obviously a doomed project, but I don’t see movements with the staying power to deal the sick man of Europe the death blow. That said I’d be thrilled to have them prove me wrong.

    1. vidimi

      indeed, shame about the guardian. i wonder if the money-losing is a cause or effect of their corporate sell-out, or just part of an industry-wide malaise. they still do good articles, on occasion, although you often have to put your yellow waders on to get through the sludge.

      this one on dietary guidance is very good, although it probably won’t be news to readers here.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Probably just the web kicking in. Not easy to make the kind of money formerly accomplished in the world of print. Web based advertising a la Google is probably inadequate to sustain such a big institution. Of course external corporate thumbs on the scale always help board members to see things clearly when making major decisions about policy.

        I imagine bathroom signs now read, “Wash our hands after printing posting turd shiners”.

      2. Skippy

        Ian Leslie is an Australian television journalist and corporate communicator.

        Corporate communication is a set of activities involved in managing and orchestrating all internal and external communications aimed at creating favourable point of view among stakeholders on which the company depends.

        Sadly Ian does not offer disclaimers before speachifying….

        Skippy…. Humans have only been consuming refined sugar for only a very short period. From the beginning only the wealthy could afford it as well as other rich foods. The evidence trail actually starts with this demographic, results are damn near linear wrt health out comes, body fat, teeth decay, etc.

        BTW corporate greenwashing– of which the Guardian is just one fetid example is rife in MSM along with other lifestyle page stuffing….

        1. bob

          Re- sugar

          I’d bet that its rise can be plotted pretty well against a fall in the consumption of calories from alcohol.

          Not saying it’s good, but something I’ve tried to research before and haven’t had much luck. I think most “western” people, meaning the majority of western people, not the people who write history, survived on a steady diet of calories from alcohol. Food was a bonus, wine/beer/booze was cheap, and easier to store and transport. Wintertime- alcohol.

          Ships from the same period must have been awful. I’ve seen records of what they would carry- no food. Lots of alcohol. Beer/grog as your base, catch a fish if you can….

          There was a link here a while ago about a top notch cabinet maker, “upper middle class”, from the 1700’s who had hidden a letter in a desk he built. Wine wasn’t a worry, almost an afterthought, but what he wanted was food.

          FWIW, seems like it should be easier to track diets over time. Not so easy.

          1. Bas

            I recall a Ben Franklin quote about beer and wine being a safer bet than the water health-wise, before they knew about boiling.

  7. Carolinian

    Thanks for the MIshtalk link which strikes me as a very good analysis. The contested convention talk is just the Republican version of the Dems stacking the deck for Hillary. Both parties have only limited interest in giving the mass of the public any real power. If the GOP bigwigs give the nomination to Cruz or Ryan then it’s simply their way of saying to the public: “you’re not the boss of me.” The Repubs in particular have shown contempt for democracy in recent years with their voter ID laws and their refusal during the 90s to accept the fact that Clinton was even the legitimate president–up to and including impeaching him for a blow job. The stolen election of 2000 was thus the icing on the cake. To some of us Bush v Gore was the most shocking thing to happen in our millennial era and arguably was the major impetus for the rise of the blogosphere. Since the MSM seemed just fine with the theft (and also enthused over impeachment) there arose a passionate need for alternative media.

    There’s a lot of talk around here about defending the commons but the most important part of that commons is the vote itself. If the American public, in their wisdom, decide to choose a clown for president then the reaction should be: so be it. The contempt for the electorate among our elites is the real whiff of fascism.

    And yes Hillary versus Cruz will practically guarantee her election. Even I might vote for her.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Good point that a brokered convention is the Repubs once again doing everything in their power to help HRC (another recent example was the Benghazi hearings, which if they hadn’t been held the Clinton campaign should have scheduled itself, it was such great PR). It will be interesting/scary to see what happens if the Trump and/or Sanders supporters have their democracy shoved down their throat. I doubt everyone will just go home and sleep in the safe room for another 4 years.

      A note though– Bill Clinton was not impeached for a BJ as you say; he was impeached for witness tampering, lying to a grand jury, and obstruction of justice. The GOP and Ken Starr, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make the issue BJs instead (like in Benghazi where they made the issue the dead US agents and not the fact that Benghazi was a CIA operation funneling arms to Syria and elsewhere). And the Clintons gladly went along because the culture wars is the only area where they can win.

      1. knowbuddhau

        Well said, RG. I feel the same about ersatz criticism from the likes of Bacevich, who manages to spew paragraph after paragraph with calling war crimes “war crimes.” Bonus points for turning the perps of aggressive war into the victims. Pity the poor imperial “prisoners of war!”

        Without calling things by their proper names, we’ll never arrive at proper solutions. (h/t Confucius.) I know, I know: feature, not bug, amirite?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          War crimes.

          Some believe war is crime.

          A war on any particular faith or nationality would then be a hate crime.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think that’s why Wisconsin primary results were reported differently.

      Trump went from being maybe probably to just possible.

      Sanders stayed possible, before and after.

    3. diptherio

      Both parties have only limited interest in giving the mass of the public any real power.

      Please provide evidence of this “limited interest.”

    1. rich

      Obama’s “Jobs Czar,”GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt, Threatens to Outsource Jobs if Export-Import Bank Expires

      Anyone with a remotely functioning brain will by now be aware that America is an oligarchy, not a democracy. In fact, a recent academic study by Princeton and Northwestern University found that the desires of the public have absolutely zero impact on public policy. What does have an impact is money. Lots and lots of money. This is where billionaire oligarchs and CEOs of large multi-national corporations come in, as they arrogantly throw around their clout to advance their wealth and power, and further drive the unwashed masses into hopeless serfdom.

      GE’s CEO, Jeff Immelt, is a perfect example. This is what he had to say recently at the Economic Club of Washington. From Reuters:

      General Electric Co Chairman Jeff Immelt warned on Wednesday that the company would move manufacturing jobs to Canada and Europe if the Export-Import Bank closes and that U.S. economic influence will wane if Congress blocks a major Pacific-rim trade pact.

      Naturally, he fear mongered about the TPP at the same time. A double dose of crony corporate greed.
      If you work for GE, take close note of the despicable behavior from your CEO. You, your livlihood and your family’s well being mean nothing to Jeff Immelt. In fact, you’re nothing more than an easily expendable cog in his corporate game to accumulate even more wealth and more power for himself. He talks about you like you are chips on a poker table.

      Oh, and in case you forget, Mr. Immelt was named Obama’s Jobs Czar back in 2011, a position in which he served until early 2013. You’ve gotta love the “Jobs Czar” threatening to outsource his employees if a crony bank expires.

      thanks jeff

        1. polecat

          You know…in an earlier age, the rabble would have caught ilk such as he, to be put up into the stock, to be subjected to the public’s ire by having rotten food & offal thrown in their faces……for a period of days…….

          seems fitting to me!

      1. fresno dan

        April 7, 2016 at 10:23 am
        At one time, one could make the argument that what was good for GM was good for America. Economists and other rationalizers of the hollowing out of the industrial base have been completely co-opted and corrupted by a concerted and well designed propaganda war to advance “free trade” and ‘deregulation.” These policies makes these “world citizens” or Davos man indisputably wealthier while not making any one else better off, and quite a few worse off. The fact that these financial elites circle in both dem and repub spheres shows that there is an overwhelming consensus in Washington DC to screw the little guy – the rest is merely professional wrestling to distract the rubes.

        1. JustAnObserver

          If you’ll permit me to paraphrase: What’s good for Goldman’s good for America.

  8. craazyman

    They evidently didn’t make the horse some hand crafted Northampton shoes to go with the tailoring.

    That’s just insulting.

    Perhaps two pairs of John Lobb Tudor boots. At the very least.

    1. craazyboy

      I would have chosen a maroon tie, but not bad anyway, and the hat gives a nice retro look.

      However, I disagree on the shoes or boots. Horses wear horseshoes. A discerning, well bred, horse about town would have theirs banged out by Rolls Royce.

      1. craazyman

        Those would be proper racing shoes, but if you’re a horse hanging out in your tailoring at the men’s club reading by the fireplace or dining at some upscale London restaurant, you’d want to feel like you fit in.

    2. cassandra

      “That’s enough tweed to stretch from Cheltenham to Ireland.” Such arrogant elitist profligacy! Don’t they realize how many fragmentation bombs for Yemen the Saudis could have purchased with that money?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Four Day Week in the Bolivarian Workers Paradise!

      As Reuters notes:

      ‘A severe drought, coupled with what critics say is a lack of investment and maintenance in energy infrastructure, has hit the South American nation which depends on hydropower for 60 percent of its electricity.’

      Lack of maintenance and new capacity is endemic in state-owned power systems throughout the developing world. There’s no incentive, since power is sold below cost. (Ms Market coulda fixed that.) Venezuela had notorious blackouts even before the drought started to bite.

      Shutting down production one day a week should nick 2 or 3 more percentage points off GDP, which already was falling.

      Hope there’s still some fish to eat on Fubar Fridays.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        No incentive for maintenance/new capacity, you say?

        “A little socialism is a dangerous thing, drink deep, or enter not the Socialist Paradise.”

        I think the socialist government can provide whatever incentive necessary. It’s not different than envisioning a capitalist government to provide money for infrastructure projects.

        So, I don’t see this as a convincing argument for Ms Market…yet.

      2. frosty zoom

        haha, didn’t expect to see the “usual suspects” here.

        mr. haygood, ¿can’t you think of any reasons why making one day a week a holiday would be a good thing?

        1. jrs

          If it manages to reduce energy use without mass suffering it will do what few countries are capable of. Certainly not the planet destroying monster that is the West which has shown itself incapable of making rational conservation choices. There aren’t many other examples. There is Cuba of course. And well Japan has been fairly steady state I guess.

  9. Brooklin Bridge

    A fleet of trucks just drove themselves across Europe

    An interesting article on self driving trucks and “platooning” where the trucks follow each other at very close distances thus, so the claim goes, saving considerable amounts in gas and other expenses.

    In other news, Google researchers are looking into what they are calling a rad-revolution-rad technology break through where they eliminate the need for all engines except one in the “platoon” by putting two rails underneath the trucks and linking them up to each other by mechanical means called couplers.

    The details on this break-through technology are still under almost complete secrecy but Google engineers have leaked out information that these “trains” of trucks (eliminating even the term “platoons”) will be over 500% more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and bring the trucks even closer together than the “platooning” technology permits. In addition, the “trains” are projected to be over 1000% safer from interfacing with other vehicles by eliminating all together the long convoy lines that are difficult and dangerous to pass for regular vehicles trying – increasingly in vain – to use the highway built with their tax dollars. This would be accomplished by separating the “tracks” of rails from the highways so that the “trains” run all together independently of the other vehicles; a totally radical departure from current thinking.

    There are rumors, however, of interdepartmental conflict since one of the benefits of the rad-revolution-rad project is that it requires almost no new software or even hardware platforms to implement which has many powerful players in the company very concerned for the future of their respective departments.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Unwed couples in Florida can now legally live together BBC (Eva)

    Praise the lord!

    It has been said that most people break the “law” every day. I must confess that I have been one of those people.

    I think most here who have read my comments know that I have a deep and abiding respect for the rule of law, and the tireless commitment of our lawmakers to providing moral clarity to a nation, desperate for such clarity, through thoughtful legislation.

    And so it is, with a finally unburdened heart, that I express my gratitude to our courageous governor for transcending the scourge of partisanship and gridlock to restore the rights of the “not technically married,” the long-suffering group to which I belong. I need not fear the SWAT team battering ram of righteousness any longer.

    rick scott. Hero.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Unless, of course, the SWAT team gets the wrong address or thier GPS screws up so they bash in your door anyway which I believe automatically makes you a “criminal” in Florida since if your house was not in their way, the mix up wouldn’t have resulted in said damage and possible personal injury.

      1. different clue

        What kind of doors, walls and windows would a house need to be swat team bash-proof? What would they have to be made out of? How would they have to be made?

        Realistically speaking? Because it could be a real question for anyone at any time in today’s and tomorrow’s world.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What about unwed robots?

      Can two unwed robot-truck-drivers check into the same motel room?

      “Two separate rooms? This is gonna increase me cost! It will impact corporate profit.”

  11. MJ

    Just some anecdotal evidence from NY. I ride the subway everyday from Brooklyn into Manhattan and I have yet to see a Hillary Clinton supporter on the street. I am greeted, however, every day when I exit the subway in Union Square with Bernie supporters holding signs and talking to people.

    I’ve seen Bernie t-shirts sported by the young and the old in parts of Manhattan (East Village, West Village, Hell’s Kitchen, West Harlem, and Lower East Side) and Brooklyn (Downtown Brooklyn and Bay Ridge).

    The only Hillary campaign paraphernalia I have seen is a Hillary sign in the window of an apartment that sat over the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn.

    Of course NY state is a big place and there is considerable support here for Hillary (not to mention the closed primary dimension) but I have been surprised at the lack of visible support for Hillary on the streets of NY.

    Anyone else in NY have similar or different observations?

    1. Light a Candle

      That is so interesting, thanks for posting.

      The personal observations, social and indy media draw a far more accurate picture than MSM. Very encouraging and empowering when we, the people, all work together.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The MSM create their own reality and thus their own accurate picture,

        And that’s the unfortunate picture. Many people still get theirs from the MSM.

        Is it vainglorious to say, we need to liberate those viewers?

        1. aletheia33

          good question and no it is not.

          the msm have to be made irrelevant. but how?
          maybe they have to get worse, in order to become ignored.

          but people seem to love them their msm.

    2. Jim Haygood

      You’d think the Saddam’s WMDs paper would put up a Hillary sign on their pile across from the bus station.

      After all, they endorsed her on Jan. 30th. So any pretense of objectivity is already out the window.

      But so far, no.

    3. Brooklin Bridge

      It takes time and effort to prepare to skewer the electronic results in her favor not to mention making it difficult for Bernie voters to cast their ballots. This leaves little time for “traditional” campaigning as in getting out her cardboard supporters with signs.

      1. aletheia33


        this may be taking it too far, but one does have to wonder how many of HRC’s “supporters” know what it is to actually work.

    4. Ann

      I live in Washington Heights, the uptown/downmarket part of Manhattan. The only campaign activity I’ve seen up here is for Bernie. The other day I was pleasantly surprised to see, in this heavily Dominican neighborhood, a table set up sporting a “Latinos for Bernie” sign. Given some of Trump’s comments, you might assume people around here would be reflexively pro-Clinton, given that the MSM relentlessly sells her as more electable, but apparently this is not always the case.

    5. neo-realist

      Maybe the Sanders supporters are much more animated about their choice given the policies for the people that Sanders espouses, which is a big sea change from the usual corporate democratic candidates. I suspect the Clinton supporters are just plain jane pull the lever for Clinton on election day and there may be a lot of those, possibly because she is perceived by them as a safe floor in policies and electability. The older demographics that support Clinton just don’t make a big stink out of it (silent majority?).

  12. Louis

    There is a chance that the DEA will change course and reschedule marijuana to a lower classification.

    This is an incremental change; however, I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. Nonetheless, much more significant changes are needed–to say the least–to end the failed “War on Drugs.”

    1. diptherio

      Major changes are unlikely without a lot of pushing from the bottom. Ending the wholesale incarceration of black people non-violent drug offenders would drive the unemployment rate up and decrease GDP, as many a for-profit prison would be forced to close down or reduce size. Just two reasons that if we really want change on this front, we have to be uncompromising. Fortunately, it seems to me that as the old people in society become those who came of age during the ’70s, there’s much more support for decriminalization. As pops once said, “If you were in your 20s in the ’70s and you didn’t smoke pot, there was something wrong with you.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘Major changes are unlikely without a lot of pushing from the bottom.’

        Exactly … illustrating the fallacy that the federal gov’t is somehow more progressive than the states. On cannabis, states are simply ignoring the feds and crafting their own policies.

        Now with about half the states having wandered off the reservation, the U.S. “caboose on the train” is finally, maybe considering to catch up.

        One could name plenty of other examples of how forcing social issues into a national “one size fits all” approach results in reactionary intransigence farther down the road. Democracy works best as close to the local level as possible.

        1. polecat

          I feel proud to be a citizen of one of the two states to have gotten the ball rolling with regard to legalization….the feds are ALWAYS reactive, NOT proactive…………unless it involves graft or corruption in their favor!

          that’s not to say that the states don’t have their share of malfeasance, but at least the public has a greater say in policies that affect them.

    2. different clue

      It would be a first step which could be built on. “De-schedule it all the way.”

      Total de-schedulization would be passive de-facto pre-legalization because it would remove the actual “dangerous drug” basis for laws against it to begin with. It would then be easier to repeal those laws.
      And if there are no specific laws making marijuana per-se illegal . . . . if the laws are merely against Schedule 1 Drugs . . . . then de-scheduling marijuana altogether would remove it from the shadow of the anti-Schedule-1-Drug Laws altogether.

      So “Total de-schedulization” might be a movement worth pursuing in parallel with the grinding “legalization through specific legislation” efforts.

  13. TomD

    Expanding Medicaid Eligibility Would Help Low-Income Workers Find Better Jobs: Study

    a recently study suggests that more Americans would be emboldened to switch jobs if their access to health insurance wasn’t tethered to their employers. This uniquely American system encourages so-called job lock, in which workers are fearful of migrating to potentially better-paying jobs out of fear of losing access to employer-subsidized access to medicine and doctor’s visits.

    When people aren’t literally afraid for their lives, they’re able to improve themselves. Who woulda guessed it?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One’s access to health insurance and health care is tethered to one’s employment.

      The same with one’s access to food and putting food on the table – through employment.

      The alternative?

      Basic Income (and directly or indirectly, Basic Health Care).

      1. rich

        One’s access to a health insurance company is tethered to one’s perks?????it’s call the other kind of single payer plan.

        Universal Health Pays for Billionaire’s Tickets, Expenses
        Founder Alan Miller was paid $46,391 in perks during 2015
        Includes $13,846 for country club, $25,000 for tax services

        Alan Miller, who built a ten-figure fortune while running Universal Health Services Inc. for 37 years, still gets reimbursed for expenses as pedestrian as gas and cell-phone bills.
        Universal Health paid $46,391 in perks for the billionaire last year, including $25,000 for professional tax services, $13,846 for country-club dues, and smaller figures for accounting services, maintenance on his vehicle and personal residence, and tickets for sports events, according to its proxy statement filed Thursday. The company reported compensation of $20.5 million in 2015 for Miller, including $1.31 million in insurance premiums, mostly related to life policies for him and his wife. That’s an increase over his 2014 compensation of $18.4 million. He has a net worth of $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  14. rich

    We Have Met the Enemy And He is Us
    By William Weeks IV and Diane Mulcahy

    A compelling report out from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation describes how most institutional investors, including larger state pension funds, endowments and foundations, may be shortchanged by their investments in venture capital funds.

    Over the past decade, public stock markets have outperformed the average venture capital fund and for 15 years, VC funds have failed to return to investors the significant amounts of cash invested, despite high-profile successes, including Google, Groupon and LinkedIn.

    Interviews with fund managers and limited partners also suggest that many institutional investors commonly maintain inadequate fiduciary oversight and are anchored to narrative fallacies about the benefits of venture capital as an investment class.The report, “We Have Met the Enemy … And He is Us,” is based on a comprehensive analysis of the Kauffman Foundation’s more than 20 years of experience investing in nearly 100 VC funds. It illustrates a persistent pattern of inflated early returns in funds that may be used to raise subsequent funds and shows the poor historical performance of funds with more than $500 million in committed capital.

    The authors call upon institutional investment committees to require deeper due diligence of VC investments and more rigorous data analysis of VC portfolio performance relative to the public markets. The authors also urge limited partner investors to charge more for providing capital to risk assets by insisting on preferred investment returns before sharing profits with general partners – as is often the practice with buyout and growth investment firms.

  15. rich

    Apollo’s Push Into a Lending Business That Others Call Predatory

    Seller-financed’ home sales proliferate in low-income areas
    Other firms say they’ve rejected deals due to reputation risk

    Eight years after subprime mortgages all but disappeared, U.S. buyers with bad credit can still own homes. If they come up with a nominal down payment and stay current on their monthly bills, they’ll get title to the property — after as long as 30 years.

    If they miss one payment, their contracts say they could lose all their money and get tossed out.

    The deals often end badly for low-income buyers. Some are financed by Apollo Global Management.

    While Apollo’s stake in the business is small compared to the $170 billion it manages, most other high-profile investment companies have steered clear of what Apollo calls “seller-financed” transactions.

    “It’s so predatory in nature,” said Tim Herriage, chief executive officer of 2020 REI Group in Dallas and former managing director at Blackstone Group LP’s B2R Finance. Herriage knows this niche of the housing market well: As a partner in a Texas real estate firm, he used the strategy until 2006. “It doesn’t pass the sniff test for me anymore. You’re telling someone, ‘You have all the responsibilities of a homeowner but none of the rights.’”
    Shadow Banking

    aaron rents for homes??

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China Leadership exposed by Panama Papers.

    According to FT, so far, 3 members of the 7-member Poliburo Standing Committee have been linked.

    Wonder how many will still be standing when they sort it out.

    Even an in-law of the Great Helmsman.

    Will they need a distraction?

    1. different clue

      It will be amusing to see what kind of “Cult of Personality” the ChiCom Party Leadership will really be able to create for the Gray Flannel Devoid-of-Personality Bureaucrat Shi Jin Ping.

  17. Red Athena

    Yves and Lambert, thanks so much for your excellent posts on the election, including all the intra-party sharp practices.

    One question that has bothered me is whether Sanders will be able to keep all the delegates he has won in the various states. A nagging issue in the delegate math has been the possible post facto state-level reallocation of delegates to favor Clinton. It seems to be happening now. In Missouri, for example, it seems that Sanders may be stripped of some of the delegates he won. According to one Reddit thread, Missouri’s “State Democratic Party has just decided to change the interpretation of the rules by forcing all counties to allocate their delegates based on the entire congressional district’s proportionality vs. the way each county voted in the presidential primary, I.e. previously delegates were allocated based on the way each county voted.”

    The reallocation would strip Sanders of delegates.

  18. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Countdown until the Panama Papers kerfuffle disappears entirely from view, is it three more days? Nothing will change, and there will certainly not be any perp walks anytime soon. So they smeared Putin and the Chinese and the prez of Iceland had to retire and go spend his offshore millions, billions of tax dollars stolen and people don’t care in the slightest, after all we don’t need that money, we can always cut day care and Social Security instead…

  19. rich

    Buying of the President 2016 How ‘Citizens United’ is helping Hillary Clinton win the White House Reforms wait as Democrat’s allies target GOP with super PACs, ‘dark money’A ‘Milky Way’ of Clinton groups

    During the 2016 election cycle, most presidential candidates have enjoyed support from super PACs created for one reason: to supercharge the candidates’ campaigns.

    The development represents the full flourishing of a trend that began during the 2012 presidential election. While technically separate from the campaigns they back — federal law prohibits super PACs and campaigns from coordinating most spending — the super PACs are legally independent, but often run by friends, associates or former staffers of the presidential candidate being supported.

    And Clinton has been a trailblazer: Three cash-flush super PACs, stacked with Clinton allies, exist almost exclusively to strengthen Clinton’s presidential effort.

    “She doesn’t just have a constellation, she has a galaxy — a Milky Way — of this outside funding,” says former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who ran against Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary and dropped his bid in October.When Sanders later pressed her about Priorities USA Action, she shot back: “It’s not my PAC.”

    Schwerin, Clinton’s spokesman, declined to address specific Center for Public Integrity questions about secret and tough-to-track money that super PACs are using to support her candidacy.

    He likewise declined to answer questions about Brock, the leader of many pro-Clinton organizations.

    Such responses fit the pattern of Clinton’s campaign: Eschew talk of the cash-flush political groups orbiting her campaign, or even in general about super PACs and the like.

    This proves especially true when Clinton is face-to-face with Sanders, who often antagonizes her about her paid speeches to Wall Street executives, connections with wealthy supporters and support from big-spending groups that wouldn’t exist in their current forms but for Citizens United.

    Priorities USA Action paid Paul Begala, a close Clinton friend, $200,000 for “communications consulting” work from January 2014 to August 2015, FEC records show. Begala also aided Ready for Hillary PAC.

    During that time and beyond, Begala also worked as an on-air political contributor for CNN,How close are Clinton and Begala? Close enough that Begala on April 28, 2009, asked Clinton associates at the U.S. State Department for “a briefing on what HRC has accomplished in the first hundred days” of her tenure as secretary of state.

    He’d be talking about Clinton on an upcoming CNN special, he explained.

    “I gave Sec. Clinton an A+ in our dopey CNN report card last night,” he told her in an email, released after a federal judge ordered the State Department to publish most emails Clinton wrote and received from a private address she used for official business.

    “Xo,” replied Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff.

    Maybe they could rename it Clinton News Network????????

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When one was growing in the USSR, the smartest, the fittest, would master whatever that was deemed, under that system and its rules and regulations, the best.

      An option would be to not try to be the best player in that game…in fact, not to be a player at all.

      When the USSR fell, some of the smartest were able to adopt to the new rules. There was a new game in town.

      But the option to not be the best player, or a player at all, in the new game was still open to anyone interested.

      And, so, the rule (currently) is Citizen United.

      The smart ones out-play no-so-smart ones under that rule…because they are smart.

      But again, you have an option not to play the game (which includes that rule).

      Let’s keep that in mind, when we are tempted to be best at fracking, designing financial derivatives or laying the foundation for the next nuclear bomb.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Good link on Wikileaks, thanks!

      As to Putin’s documents, they concern the period “1930 – 1989”??? You might want to look at the expiration date on that popcorn… :0)

  20. Kim Kaufman

    re Clinton Campaign Attacks Intensify To Halt Sanders’ Win Streak ShadowProof (martha r). This is beautiful. Sanders raises more money every time she attacks, and that’s before you get the fact that many (most) of her salvos backfire. ‘

    Wasserman Schultz and primary opponent Tim Canova each raise more than half a million dollars

    with 20% of his coming in the four days after the endorsement and in total twice as many donors.

Comments are closed.